Guest Author

Indescribable Joy from the YOB Retreat to Back Home
Indescribable Joy from the YOB Retreat to Back Home
I board my first plane with another YOBBER, North Carolina-bound from Houston. I know exactly where I’m going, yet it is a new adventure all the same. Perhaps I should say, "I know what to expect where I’m going." Memories of the previous year’s YOB camp retreat replay in my head -- more static around the details than there used to be, though the feelings surrounding them remain unchanged. Chaotic. Flabbergasted. Humbled. Healed. I have to pull myself back to the present and prepare my heart for what may be a whole new set of feelings this year. I have to prepare my heart for growth.
Planting Seeds of New Growth at this YOB Retreat
Planting Seeds of New Growth at this YOB Retreat
"New growth" was the theme of this, my first YOB retreat; slightly ironic as fall was slowly putting the world to sleep. The sun felt defiantly hot that first day, beating down on tall trees that simultaneously clung to summer green while shedding autumn red and gold. I was exhausted from a stressful week and travel delays. Now I faced a weekend of interacting with virtual strangers. Literally. Aside from a handful whom I had met in person, my fellow YOBBERS were tiny faces on a screen. I had discovered YOB some months prior. I was desperate, starving for some kind of connection with other men who understood my journey.
Breaking Beyond My Comfort Zones at the YOB Retreat
Growth Beyond My Comfort Zones at the YOB Retreat
When you are 60, you'd think that you no longer experience growth spurts. It's more recognizing life's process of devolution and slow decay, at least on the outside. This year’s YOBBERS retreat was not about expecting profound change, or gaining insights into myself and God that I would carry home; rather, it was seizing an opportunity to meet a group of men with whom I had dialogued, listened to, and only seen in postage stamp-sized pictures on Zoom – men of faith who share a common struggle to live the sexual ethic of the Gospels as they understand it.
Pride and Strength for the Struggle
Pride and Strength for the Struggle
Another Pride Month gone; another year I didn't participate. I've never been one for any kind of parade, but part of me believes participating in Pride means I have accepted the part of myself that remained hidden for so long.
Loved by God – Even When I Can't Relate
Loved by God – Even When I Can’t Relate
Who am I? This could be a question for self-edification or self-deprecation. A question answered with set shoulders and proud confidence, or a rhetorical question asked to oneself at the depths of loneliness and despair. The best way I have determined to answer that question is I am...loved by God.
A Single Gay Man Lost in the Crowd
Being gay has ruined large crowds for me. Something about being surrounded, seen but utterly unknown, twists my soul. And then add to that the layers of guilt I feel. All these couples I'm jealous of because they get to be here together. Or the number of attractive men I see, the number of times I don't control my lustful thoughts. Or worst of all: when I spot a gay couple somewhere out there, and I want to be them, and I wish I didn't.
Sharing My Testimony and Finding Healing
Sharing My Testimony and Finding Healing
I think it's ironic, but I really believe our stories may be better received by unbelievers than some churches. Fortunately, my story is different. Most people have patiently heard me out and graciously extended loving support.
Finding Confidence Through Friendship
Finding Confidence Through Friendship
Knowing I'm still loved and accepted when I bare the deepest parts of me has meant so much. Through these friendships, I've grown more confident in myself.
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Not Interested in a New Machismo
I am not interested in a new machismo, finding a new way to be a man, a new way of determining what a real man is and isn’t.
When We Pray Together
When We Pray Together
I've noticed a couple different aspects of when we pray together. About the unique power in the fact that I go to God with brothers at my side.
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