Optimism!

The slog of waking up to my drab mundane life takes a sharp turn for the better, and I am suddenly filled with hope and optimism. The world is not so scary anymore. How on earth did I live without this hope before? I attended this year’s YOBBERS retreat, and my mind is spinning over what I just saw and experienced.

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YOBcast Episode 037: YOBBERS Retreat!

Tom and Elliott welcome back Marshall and Ryan to the show for our most unique episode yet, recorded in front of our first-ever live studio audience! We gathered for this podcast on the second day of our inaugural YOBBERS retreat, and we had a fantastic time kicking back with many of our faithful YOBBERS in attendance.

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If Dating Threatens This Friendship

My biggest fear was that my best friend was going to force our friendship to end all because of this girl, pushing me away from his life. It was the fear that whatever friendship we’d built in the past he was willing to tear down, trample to the ground, and pretend that I never existed at all.

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The Painful Path to Restored Friendship

After the funeral, I felt almost paralyzed. I just couldn’t force myself to lead at the house. James needed me to lead and be a help to him, so he confronted me on being too passive. I admitted he was right, but I felt unable to get beyond my emotions and lead others. Things degenerated until James and I barely talked.

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When the Masculine Ideal Failed Me

His profile definitely made him seem like the modern, ideal, “manly man.” He was a jock type with many photos of himself playing baseball. He also stated drawing as one of his hobbies, just like me. A straight masculine dude who plays sports, likes drawing, and calls himself a Christian? Perfect!

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When Grief Tests a Friendship

He wanted me to be a man, to be tough, emotionally disciplined and not giving in to my grief. After all, we should consider ourselves like soldiers in battle who can’t afford to stop and grieve when someone dies. I couldn’t fully process everything at the time, but you can imagine how I felt as a sensitive guy.

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My Straight Friend Won’t Touch Me

He was never physically affectionate; we’d never even hugged. I wanted to touch him not out of a sexual desire but from a longing to connect with him as love with a brother. I dreamed of a day when we could embrace and confess our brotherly love for each other. I put my hand on his shoulder once. He brushed it off.

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YOBcast Episode 033: Marriage, Another Story

Sometimes a marriage falls apart. We tell another story of “mixed-orientation” marriage as Elliott’s friend, John, talks about his unique upbringing in Japan, his time as an openly gay man at a Christian college, his sexual encounters with men and women, and ultimately a marriage that led to children and heartbreak.

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Finding Your Brotherhood

In this episode, Tom dives into the third of our five YOB values — brotherhood. In brotherhood, we learn to share our burdens with one another and bond in the two ways Jesus demonstrated — the being and the doing. Tom talks his childhood yearnings for brotherhood and how this longing has translated to the present day.

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