Monday, December 18, 2006


Calling Rev Barnes

"Its happened again. First it was Ted Haggard. Last week the Rev Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in South Denver announced that he was stepping down as pastor of his big mega church.

" I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year old boy." Barnes said."I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away".

Barnes said that he became a Christian at age 17 and felt that it would help him to give up homosexuality. Of course the feelings never went away.

He still believes that a person is not born "that way".

If he knew of his sexuality at 5 years old what did he think made him gay?
Does he not believe that the Lord is perfect and does not make mistakes? Has he ever considered that if the Lord would not change him it must be because he does not need to be changed?

I wish these fundamentalists would look at the excellent literaturee available on the MCC Church website,
and other places. Read the information, study it, look at the passages in the Bible themselves. Read it with new eyes. Could it be that they have misunderstood what the bible says?

Not that many years ago the fundamentalists could show you Biblical passages proving that the white man was superior to the black man. They could prove to you that God approved of slavery!

What changed? Was the Bible re-written? Did God change his mind?
No, the readers re-examined the passages and read them with new eyes and found out that they had been mis-interpreting them all along.

The same is true of homosexuality. Fundamentalists have been wrong for years.

I was taught wrong as a child myself, and hid my true identity from the world untill I was in my mid 30's. How much did I hurt myself? Why did I not accept the truth sooner? I personally feel that my own case it was a part of God's plan. He was showing me things that I would later need when I became his servant.

I now know that God was right, I was wrong. I pray that Rev. Barnes will finally come to accept who he is. He is God's child and God loves him as He made him. I hope that he will accept that this too is part of God's plan. I pray the Rev Barnes will accept his new identity and move on in service to God.

He seems, from what I have read and seen of him, to be an honest, decent Christian man. He deserves to be truly happy in service to his Creator.

I would also encourage any others who read this and are denying themselves a chance to lead an honest life to think, study, pray and accept yourself as God made you.

Deacon Harry

Friday, December 01, 2006


The 25th Year of AIDS

It,s the evening of World AIDS Day and I still haven't posted anything special for it. I have hoped all day long that I would get a sudden inspiration but it hasn't happened. So, I'll just have to tell it from the heart.

World AIDS Day means so much to me because of those I love who have passed, those I know now living with the disease, those whom I hope we can save from contacting it and especially because of the person I share my life with, who has AIDS.

I have been the primary caregiver for two people whom I love. The first, my nephew Pat, was one of the early persons to contact what was then known as G.R.I.D. My partner Dan was diagnosed in 1991. I have been a support person to many more.

We have been together since then. We have had lots of ups and downs, but his fighting spirit and never quit attitude are inspiring to me. (Look back in the archives to one of my first posts, "My hero's") or click on the link for the BIKEBOYS site for more about him and all he does.

I could never begin to list all the people I have known who have lost their lives to this disease. The effect of seeing a beautiful human being become so ill and waste away has a tremendous effect on your inner being.
To hold someone you love in your arms as they ask you for permission to let go and die is something you never get over.

I will always have a sad part of me that forever mourns the losses. But we who mourn have an obligation too.

We must urge our new Democrat controlled congress to pass new bills, to spend more funds on research to treat and find a cure and to educate and prevent the spread of this pandemic.

We must insist the the Bush administrations policy of pushing abstinence-only programs be halted. These programs do not work and only cause a drain of finds and efforts from programs which teach prevention in a more realistic approach.

WE must insist that people in Africa and other areas in the third world should receive more funds and support.

These are the facts:
Forty thousand persons become infected every year in the US.

Of those living with AIDS in the US 1/3 to 1/2 are either homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.

HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among those between 15-59 WORLDWIDE!

HIV/AIDS has become the 3rd leading cause of death among all diseases.

An estimated 35.9 million people worldwide are living with AIDS.

Over 25 million people have died of AIDS worldwide.

There are more than 12 million AIDS orphans in Africa.

Check out the link at the begins of this post for more figures.

So, as World AIDS Day fades, we must do our part to help, in the name of those who are no longer with us.

Posted with Love for Pat & Scott, and for so many others. Deacon Harry


World AIDS Day revisited

This is a post I wrote for World AIDS Day in 2005. Due to power problems from the weather I lost most of the evening being unable to post anything new, so I thought that I would repost up this old post.
If things work out I hope to add another post after work today.

World AIDS Day is always a special day for me as I remember my past friends and loved ones and pray for an end to AIDS.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World Aids Day.....
Today is World AIDS Day. The numbers are staggering. More than 40 Million people worldwide have AIDS! AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981. 3.9 million people died from AIDS last year alone and another 4.9 million became infected.
(figures are from a recent U.N. report)
In the US the number of new cases reported every year has remained more or less stable from 2001 to 2003. However, the number began to rise again since 2003.
Every hour 2 more young Americans are infected with AIDS!
The Human Rights Campaign issued a report card on our governments efforts this year. See for the details.
The main point is that our government rated an "F"in 2 of 4 categories, prevention and care & treatment. They only managed a D in research and a C in Global AIDS. The HRC has a online link to allow you to email your elected officials and let them know that this is not acceptable. Please use it.
On a personal level:
I have had far too many friends who have died from this disease.
I have also been involved as a caregiver and/or advisor to several persons.
My nephew Pat moved here from Iowa at age 17 so that he could come out and live life as the man he was. This was in the early 1980s. He and I became very close and it was extremely hard to take when he became infected with "GRID" (Gay Related Immune Disorder ) as it first was known. There was almost no knowledge and there were no treatments for it. All the doctors could do was to treat the symptoms by trying to keep the fevers down, etc.
I used to get up at night and hold him as he shook with"night sweats. "
Then I would change his sheets and he would go back to bed. I never felt so helpless in my life. Someone I loved deeply was so ill and I couldn't do anything! I had a nurse-call button clipped to his sheets and an intercom mounted to the wall by his bed so he could call me when he needed me. When AZT was released we were so happy that at last there was something he could take. However the first meds were all so toxic that they caused their own problems. He had to use suppositories to fight the nausea had to keep a pan beside his bed all the time.
It was a horrible experience to watch him slowly die. His death was the hardest I had ever faced. My parents had lived their lives and it was much easier to take. Pat, was so young,and I loved him so much. I would ask myself frequently "Why him? Why can't it be me?"
Pats ex, Scott, had become my best friend. Of course he was also infected, although he lived with his family and not with me, I was very involved in his illness. I was the one he talked to and asked advice of. Over a several year period I watched him get slowly worse. The HIV meds always had bad side effects on him and he was always miserable.Finally he became infected with CMV and lost the vision first in one eye then another. He entered a hospice program where they kept him comfortable but made no efforts to prolong his life. I was the only pallbearer at his funeral who was not a family member.
About this time Dan( my partner) became infected. When he was first diagnosed in 1990 he already had an opportunistic infection, Cryptoccal Meningitis. He was deathly ill and I had to run IV's for him every night at home. He has been hospitalized several times and I have seen his weight drop as low as 110 lbs.
Now he weighs about 160 and looks good because of medical breakthroughs in the past. The biggest difference between Scott and Dan was that Dan was never bothered by drug side effects. He always took his meds in the proper amounts at the proper time. He never missed. Also, the FDA approved trials of Protease Inhibitors in 1995 and I was able to get him on a trial while he was in the nursing home.
He did have a reaction to DDI and developed pancriatitis. His pancrease
went wild and damaged his lungs. He was in the hospital for 2 weeks that time, 10 days in ICU. He had previously had all his legal affairs taken care of and had given me his power of attorney for health care. When he was in icu I went against all the things we had discussed and put him on life support. He was on life support for 7 days while his lungs healed and he was able to recover. His family in Pennsylvania did not want anything to do with him, so I spent 7 days at the icu with him, going home only to sleep.
It was a hard period, but we got through it. I told in a previous post about his experiences in a nursing home and in the AIDS Rides. I am very proud of him for what he has endured and what he still does today.
So , for World AIDS Day I am pausing to remember Pat, Scott & Dan's close friend and nursing home roomate, James. They are especially in my heart today as I pray for them and all the others who have passed on before us. Deacon Harry

# posted by Deacon Harry @ 12:07 PM

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