I Wished I Had Been Born a Boy

Great first person account of God’s grace at work!

Uturnlavern's Blog

I am a 52 year-old woman and mother of four. A wife for almost twenty-six years but I wished I had been born a boy.

Probably until I was well into junior high and maybe even high school I was fairly convinced God had simply mixed me up with John Mark, the name my parents had selected if I had been born male.

photo 2-2

You see, I am over six feet tall and very large framed. I wear a size thirteen shoe. My hands are as large as any man my height. I was always told I had a pretty face but because of my height I was able to carry a lot of extra weight without looking fat and the fullness on my frame tended to make me look less pretty and just attractive. Still I never felt pretty or much less feminine.

So for many years I wondered. Did…

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Find Your Way


The song says, “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.”[1] But then the song suggests that we take a break.

If we are trying to make our way in this world, and if it is so intensive that we must exhaust every resource (everything we’ve got), should I really “take a break”? Even on my down time, which every body, mind, and soul needs, I still need to be aware that I could be headed the wrong way. I still need to be concerned whether I am on the right path.

As the song proceeds to show, our culture is not too concerned with staying on the right path. The ultimate goal is being happy and one way is to escape your troubles. As we look elsewhere in our culture we see the growing opinion that being happy involves following your own version of what is right. Even some people who choose to live by Biblically conservative guidelines are now refusing to say that that way is THE right way. Instead we are told to be tolerant of alternative lifestyles.

I’m not focusing here on the modern push by the LGBT community. The lack of care for the right way has always existed in this world. Jesus pointed out the two ways (to destruction and to life, Matthew 7:13-14). Jeremiah wrote, “Ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it…But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’” (Jeremiah 6:16) Elijah asked, “How long will you falter between two opinions?” (1 Kings 18:21). Joshua called for Israel to choose between the way of the world and the way of God (Joshua 24:15).

This need to choose must be emphasized again today. Drifting along on the current of life one may enjoy the pleasures along the way but he misses the greater joys that are upstream!

We tend to do a great deal of research when we feel a huge decision is at stake. What we plan to get out of life is the biggest decision of all. What we plan to get out of life will impact our choice of career, our relationships, our spending, our recreation, our clothing, our TV watching, our hobbies, and everything else, large and small.

Then all those smaller choices reinforce the overarching one regarding what we are getting out of life. Our sense of who we are is defined by what we are striving to attain. If we are just drifting along with everyone else, satisfied with what comes our way by following the world, we will identify with that world.

That means we have not chosen God.

That means we have not evaluated where our life is taking us. Not just asked, “Am I happy with this?” and saying, “Yeah, it’s ok.” But actually discerning whether the goal of the life one is living is the best goal, the right goal. This is a decision that ideally is made before we decide on career, mate, home, etc.

But if you are past those decision points, it is still not too late to effect a change in course. You still can decide what ethics you work by, what demeanor you show your spouse/family/friends, and what influence you will be in your community.

More importantly, you still must decide how you will relate to the Eternal God. How will you live spiritually? Will you ignore it or become educated about it? Will you seek to grow spiritually or be satisfied with a gamble for your soul?

We all need to find our way. We each need to evaluate the eternal value of the life we have chosen. If you don’t know your Bible, let us help you discover the path the Lord has laid out for you.



[1] Where Everybody Knows Your Name (theme song from TV show, Cheers), http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/televisiontvthemelyrics-80s90s/cheers.htm

Are You Lost?

What does it mean to be lost?

We all know what lost means. We were trying to get somewhere, maybe even trying to get home, and we missed a turn or made a wronAre you lost?g turn. Now we don’t recognize anything, see none of our usual landmarks. Maybe we can retrace our route, but everything is so unfamiliar, we again turn the wrong way. Now we must either get help or wander around aimlessly.

In wandering around we might find something to take the place of where we were going. We might even decide it is better than what we were originally looking for. But it isn’t what we were looking for. Regarding our original destination we are still lost, even if we have found another place to be, specially if our original destination was home.

The same is true when we spiritually use the term “lost.”

Each of us is traveling somewhere. When we get to the end of life’s journey we will be somewhere. It will only be the right somewhere if, first, we know where we want to go and, second, if we know how to get there. Traveling through life aimlessly is the condition God called “lost.”

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus, Luke 19:10

Jesus spoke of life as a choice between two ways with two possible destinations (Matthew 7:13-14). One way is easy to find. Even the aimless can (and will) find it. The other way is specific. It requires finding the narrow gate. But directions to that gate are readily available. If you aren’t adept at reading the map (Bible), help is available. Or if you wish someone to share the journey with, we are available. Click here to contact me via email and I will help you get in contact with someone from your area.


Doing It Right!

Highlights from the sermon presented Sunday morning, Dec. 2, 2012, at the Brentwood Church of Christ worship assembly:

Scripture text: Matthew 1:18-19–
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.” (English Standard Version)

Early in the week, I was preparing a lesson on the next passage in our ongoing series of sermons from First Timothy when the above text was brought to my attention. Notice what it says about Joseph: He was a JUST man. That means he always did things in the most proper way he could manage. He didn’t react to situations according to his emotions or calculate his next move with an eye to self-promotion. And in this case, it meant that he would do everything he could to protect his fiancée, Mary. Yes, he was going to break off the marriage contract because it certainly appeared to him that she had been unfaithful. But, no, he did not need to bad mouth her to his friends, and all the other things that we tend to do when we feel we have been wronged. Joseph did not need to make a big deal about being right. Everyone that knew him knew that he always LIVED right. He was a just man and it showed in his consideration for others.

That is a wonderful example for those of us that want to be right, and I trust that all of us want to be right in our own eyes as well as in the eyes of God. We can’t claim that we are right simply because we are “better” than somebody else. We can’t claim that we are right simply because we haven’t been dragged off to jail. We can’t claim that we are right simply because we have argued down all the opposition. We are right when we LIVE right. We are right when we give proper consideration to the entire needs of our current situation. Not what we can rationalize about our situation, not what gives us the greatest satisfaction, and not what other people necessarily expect, but what is right in view of ALL the circumstances. That includes the question of what is God’s will and what is best for any other people involved.

This idea is in the passage that I was originally going to use as the basis of today’s lesson: 1 Timothy 4:7-8–
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Notice the admonition: “Train yourself for godliness” and the fact that Paul contrasts godliness with “irreverent, silly myths.” There are two things to really dwell on here:

  1. The idea of training indicates a great amount of effort is being expended to reach a goal, in this case, godliness. No one who is truly training goes about it haphazardly or apathetically. You need a focused program that you work on a daily basis. That was the example of Joseph–his practice of rightness was so steady and consistent that he was known as a just man.
  2. The practice of irreverent, silly myths do not make one godly. Whether the myth is from society (“A real man has to fight” “You can’t let her get away with that”) or even a myth from religion (“Once you have done ‘x’ you will always be safe with God” “God loves everybody so it doesn’t matter what you do”), it is no substitute for godliness. How do we know what is myth and what is truth? That is where the training comes in! We need to examine what principles we live by to see if they match the principles God created us to follow.

Let us all set godliness as our goal! That doesn’t equal self-justification. If godliness is our goal, we will not shy away from choices that may be uncomfortable. We won’t relate to others on the basis of what satisfies self. We won’t excuse our inactivity with having followed some ritual or accepted some empty platitude. WE WILL make a concerted effort to know God’s will and practice his love and goodness on a daily basis.

WHY? Because of the promises given in the above verse: “godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” Promise for the present life in that we can be truly satisfied in living rightly. We can know the great blessings that come in Christ, e.g., peace, joy, assurance. And of course, the great promise for the life to come.

If we wish to be with God, why would we not work to be godly? Let Joseph’s example lead you to a life that is just.

My Sanctuary

I was led to Isaiah 8:12 today. God warned the prophet not to follow the ways of the people around him:

“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 8:12-14, English Standard Version)

This passage seems to apply to our current political season. So many people are trusting in one political theory or the other as the absolute need of the hour. But the true need is to trust the Lord, to trust him so much that our greatest fear is being without him. We must honor him as holy. Then he will be our sanctuary.

To the others, he will be “a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling.” As he disciplined Israel then, he may soon discipline some today. But as the remnant of Israel was brought home, so those who honor him as holy today will be brought through safely. Perhaps through tough times, but brought through. Believe it.

New Office!

Yesterday, it was time to get dirty so that the contractor on our building remodel could be free to finish some other important items.

So that he could work on installing door hardware and finishing the office, I took on the job of removing the old floor covering from another room. That was a high priority job because those laying the new flooring come today, but it didn’t require any expertise. I was glad I could help, and now, I can move my bookcases and desks into the new office!

PS: I have a lesson for this Sunday morning (May 6, 2012, @ 10:45) that looks at the relationship between fear and faith in our Christian lives. It’s an interesting dynamic. Understanding it will greatly enhance your peace and joy.

Gary Greene
Brentwood Church of Christ
corner of Balfour Rd and Walnut Blvd
3483 Walnut Blvd, Brentwood CA 94513

I am a Conservative

Yes, I am biblically conservative, and happy to say so.

I know conservatives are vilified as intolerant, inflexible and old-fashioned, but there are reasons that I wish to be identified with them.

Why do I hold to traditions that are hundreds of years old? I have studied the bases of these traditions and find them to be solidly built on the foundation of God’s Word. These hallmarks of the churches of Christ, so much maligned in recent times, are dear to me for I find that they were instituted by my Lord and Savior. It is to him I must be true and it is his message and mission that I must uphold.

That is not to say that nothing can ever change in the church and its activities. Different types of songs, different styles of preaching, different types of meeting places, etc., have all been used without any abuse to the doctrine of Christ.

But at the same time, there are certain tenets that are absolute and unchangeable because the Lord has stated them and so they must stand. We read the scriptures with an eye open for any instruction that would provide a definitive statement regarding our salvation or our practice of Christian living as individuals and as congregations.

So, for example, we are inflexible in regard to the fact that our music is by singing, but we have many different types of songs that we do sing, from very old to very new styles. As another example, we are intolerant of teachers that change the biblical definition of salvation yet we welcome preachers that bring a fresh approach in how to present “the old story.” For example number three: as long as the church is meeting together to the glory of God, the meeting can be held in many differing styles of buildings be they borrowed, rented, leased, or purchased, large or small, traditional or modern, portable, etc.

There are many differences that truly don’t matter at all. But we cannot change where the Lord has specified the what or the how. Because of that, I am a conservative.