When Is A Person Not A Person? A Review of Loved. I. Am! One Woman’s Journey of Shattering Shame Through Experiencing PAPA’S Great Love! by MelanEE Lisa Davidson

Is every single human being who has ever existed created in the image of God?

Assuming they are, then is every single human being who has ever existed precious in the esteem of our Creator?

Again assuming they are, is every person who has ever existed equally as precious and loved in the esteem of our Creator?

Yes again? Ah, then that must include people who define gender differently than humanity has commonly defined it – as in girls who think they are boys and boys who think they are girls even though their biological identity indicates otherwise.

And there we have a whole new level of complication. Because if such people are just as precious in the esteem of the Creator as the “nice” people whom society finds easy to accept, then we have to find some way to understand and deal with them. That, after all, is what our Creator would likely have us do.

Does that mean we must endorse without question gender definitions and sexual preferences other than what we find articulated in the Bible? Not necessarily, but it does mean that LGBTQ people are first and foremost people, and as people they are entitled to the same respect as all human beings made in the image of the Creator.

That is one important message from the memoir of MelanEE Lisa Davidson. She tells her story in a fast-moving volume she calls Loved. I. Am! One Woman’s Journey of Shattering Shame Through Experiencing PAPA’S Great Love!

Of course, MelanEE doesn’t leave us there; if she did, there would be no reason for her to tell her remarkable story. It’s only the starting point of a journey that so far has spanned almost six decades. It has been a very hard journey. As she explains up front, her childhood in California and Florida was anything but ideal. Tragedies and injustices all too common in dysfunctional families afflicted her at an age far too young and tender to deal with any tragedy. No child should ever have to suffer sexual assault, abuse, and neglect. Children are supposed to grow up in stable homes, with loving, affirmative parents who help them mature into responsible adults. When that does not happen, as MelanEE’s story demonstrates, the wounded children become wounded adults, manifesting their inner dysfunctions in a number of ways in their search for security, acceptance, identity, and above all, peace.

That is what made MelanEE a “Proud Dyke Athelete” in her college years, and a militant lesbian thereafter. One might think that such a bold, unapologetic attitude would render such a person beyond redemption. After all, MelanEE practiced what she preached, moving through several intimate relationships with like-minded women over the years. And yet, her testimony proves that she was not beyond redemption – that her Papa, as she fondly calls our Heavenly Father, loved her and still considered her a precious jewel, even with all her damage and dirt and baggage.

Which is why her life is not only a miracle, but a testimony that such transformation is possible for anyone.

Not without struggle, of course. Growth and change is hard, which is why we too often opt to hold on to unpleasant situations and relationships, deeming them to be less threatening and difficult than change. MelanEE’s memoir makes that abundantly clear. First of all, it took decades before she came to the realization that her lifestyle was not only contrary to the Creator’s design for humanity, but destructive to her personally. The irony in which this happened is one of the remarkable points of her book. But even then, it was another quarter century before she could consider herself truly delivered. She tells us some of the many victories, both small and large, along the way, and she tells us as well of the considerable setbacks – some of which came close to ending her life. The gift of hindsight has allowed her to put each experience in context, weaving them into a seamless whole that presents the tapestry of a victorious life well lived (so far!).

The journey has been extraordinarily difficult, and it has required help. This, too, is one of the high points of MelanEE’s story. Help came in unexpected places and at unexpected times. Sometimes the help appeared in the form of trusted friends and counselors who stayed with her for years, enduring all the unpleasantness she could throw at them simply because they believed in her as a valuable person, and believed as well in what she would become. At other times, help did not seem like help at first, especially when it brought immediate conflict and negative situations which, as MelanEE explains, infringed on her desires to remain in a familiar place she could control (or at least have the illusion of control). Yet even in those situations, miracles occurred. (I choose to see them as miracles; when a lesbian friend walks into a gay bar and explains how she has found Jesus, then a miracle has occurred!) That string of miracles is what gives MelanEE’s story the surprising element of hope even in the midst of hopeless dysfunction.

One other aspect of Loved. I. Am! that I personally appreciate is the window MelanEE opens for us into the LGBTQ world. It is a world that Christians all too often shun, and with reason. Yet in doing so, we miss so much of the real story: the genuine humanity of the people. These are people who endure larger-than-life struggles – struggles not so different from those common to all people, but magnified and multiplied through the prism of questions about self-identity at the most fundamental level.

How is a follower of Yeshua (Jesus) to deal with such people? MelanEE addresses that question through her story. Genuine Christians made the greatest difference in her life because they first accepted her as a person with intrinsic value simply because God made her. They did not agree with her lifestyle, but they accepted her where she was and lovingly, patiently, helped her realize that her Papa had something much better for her. Then they stayed with her through the years of turning her life around, proving that people are the indispensable element in making miracles happen.

This is a book about hope turned into reality by action – both MelanEE’s and those in her circle of friends, counselors, prayer warriors, and guardians of her peace. It is not just a “how to” book on how to have a better life; it’s an essential manual for every person who suffers from trauma, addiction, dysfunction, broken relationships, dashed hopes, and quiet tears in the dark when nobody is looking. Which pretty much describes all of us at some point. If you need help, and if you want to give help even in your own hurting place, Loved. I. Am! is the book for you. Let MelanEE Lisa Davidson – Beautiful Brave Beloved Warrior Princess Kingdom Daughter CowGirl – give you encouragement in her unique, genuine way. Then go make a difference in someone’s life – especially your own.

Loved. I. Am!: One Woman’s Journey of Shattering Shame Through Experiencing PAPA’S Great Love!  is available on Amazon in paperback. Additional resources are available at MelanEE’s website, https://hisgreatlove1.org/.

Statute/Balak | Discussion on Numbers 19:1 – 25:9 – YouTube

From left to right, Abe Ott, David Altman, Al McCarn, and Leonard Newlin.

While in Winchester, Kentucky, David Altman and I had an invitation from our friends Leonard Newlin and Abraham Ott to join them in their weekly video discussion of the Torah portion. They have been doing this for quite a while on their YouTube channel, RSS Torah Portions.  This was the double portion Chukat (Statute) and Balak. We had a lot of fun talking through such topics as the red heifer, the bronze serpent, Moses not getting to enter the Promised Land, Aaron’s death, Balak’s attempts to get Balaam to curse Israel, and, of course, the talking donkey. Hopefully you’ll have as much fun listening as we had in the discussion!

Please click here to listen to Statute/Balak | Discussion on Numbers 19:1 – 25:9 – YouTube

Picture of the Week 01/11/19

What’s the connection between faith and authority? Ask a soldier.

 


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2019.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Suffer the Little Children

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, December 24:
One of the most precious moments recorded in the gospels is when children were brought to see Yeshua. His disciples did not think that moment so precious, which is why he had to intervene on behalf of the little ones –
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.(Luke 18:16 KJV)
Yeshua’s command in modern English would be, “Permit the little children to come to me.” The King James, however, gives us an insight into something that we do not often consider: children suffer more than we imagine.
Children have always been the most vulnerable people in any society. All too often, they are left to their own devices, to survive – or not. That is why Yeshua had to intervene to remind his disciples, and through them, all of us, that children are precious in the sight of our Heavenly Father. Since then, his followers have sought to obey him by taking care of little ones. Christian orphanages and hospitals are the most visible examples of efforts to put action behind our Messiah’s words. Yet somewhere between the orphans and the sick are those who seem to fall through the cracks. Who cares for them?
This is where foster families fill the gap. Foster families take in children who for some reason have had to be removed from their homes. Whether it is abuse, unhealthy environment, abandonment, or any of a number of reasons, these children are at the mercy of society. They need healthy families to help them come through the trauma they suffer and help them not only survive, but thrive and become ready to enter society as responsible adults.
But who helps the foster families? Betsy Ruch can answer that question. She is co-director of Fostering the Family, a ministry based in York County, South Carolina, with the mission to, “assist families to be successful in their call to foster and adopt physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.” Betsy will share with us the magnitude of the need, and how big-hearted people from across the Body of Messiah are stepping up to help. What she brings to us will be heart-wrenching, but it will also be full of hope – and of challenge to pray about what difference you can make in the life of a little one.
To learn more about Fostering the Family, visit their website at http://www.fosteringthefamily.org/.

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Greatest Faith in Israel

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, December 17:

Did you ever notice that the Bible tends to view Roman soldiers favorably? That seems unusual since the Roman occupation of Judea and Galilee was oppressive. In fact, that oppressive occupation led to a lengthy war that brought the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, as well as countless Jewish lives. Decades before that, Roman soldiers carried out the execution of Yeshua. Why, then, are Roman soldiers viewed positively in the Apostolic Writings (New Testament)?

The account in Luke 7 of Yeshua’s encounter with a centurion gives us some of the answer. The soldier had asked Yeshua to heal his servant, but while he was on the way, the centurion sent word that Yeshua need not come all the way to his house, but merely speak the word of healing. The warrior’s explanation revealed a profound understanding of how authority works in both the spiritual and physical realms, and belief that Yeshua carried that authority. That’s why the gospel account says:

Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” (Luke 7:9 NASB)

How is such faith possible? Is it something only warriors can understand? Or is it something that warriors seem to understand more easily than others?

Let’s ask that question of Matt Nappier, a recent graduate of the United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy. Having served as a soldier for nearly 20 years, Matt understands the world of warriors. But he also understands the Scriptures, and helps train up others in becoming spiritual warriors! He and his wife, Malissa, are part of the pastoral leadership team at Beit Shalom Messianic Congregation in Monroe, Louisiana. Matt joins us on The Remnant Road to share his unique perspective on being not only a Torah-honoring follower of Messiah Yeshua, but an active duty solder in service of his nation of birth. What are the challenges of such a calling? Come along with us and find out!

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.