In bed with the Badge in the news: Sunday, July 15th, 2012

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In bed with the Badge will be released on July 17th, 2012, Order your copy today @ http://www.amazon.com/In-Bed-Badge-Barbara-Sheehan/dp/0984304711/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342384169&sr=8-1&keywords=in+bed+with+the+badge

Here are today’s stories:

http://online.wsj.com/article/AP78dbb67f9b8b4bbd8921adbb248663a8.html

http://www.salon.com/2012/07/14/children_of_nyc_mom_who_killed_husband_pen_book/singleton/

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/07/14/2119775/children-of-nyc-mom-who-killed.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2173556/Barbara-Sheehans-children-write-book-domestic-violence.html

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CHRISTIANITY INCLUDES GAY PRIDE

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The Times-Union (Albany, NY)

June 16, 2012 Saturday  Final Edition EDITION

CHRISTIANITY INCLUDES GAY PRIDE

BYLINE: SHARI JOHNSON

SECTION: RELIGION; Pg. A13

LENGTH: 510 words

The night my 37-year-old daughter Cholene called and told me she is gay, I felt as though the air had been sucked out of the room. I was beyond devastated. I had been an evangelical Christian for more than 30 years and thought that this was the worst thing that could happen — to a parent, to a Christian, to me.

Cholene had given us many reasons to be proud of her. She was a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the second woman to fly the U-2 spy plane and then a captain for a commercial airline. In my experience, “gay pride” was not on the acceptable list of parental bragging rights.

I begged God to change her. Instead, God changed me.

I had always known that I had a problem with unconditional love, but I thought if I followed all the “rules” and “worked” for God and his kingdom, I would get a pass on the love thing. I didn’t.

In 2004, Cholene emailed me to say that she and her partner were getting married. I didn’t take it well at all. One morning as I was driving to work, I actually asked God, “What event could a parent be asked to attend that would be worse than this?” His answer was short. A funeral. That got my attention.

By the time we arrived in Massachusetts for the wedding, God was already there. I have never felt his presence and love as I did that weekend — perhaps because it was so unexpected. It was then that my heart began to change. I told Cholene that her wedding rocked my world, and my world needed to be rocked.

I have learned since then that Cholene knew she was gay since she was a little girl. She got the message from pastors, Sunday school teachers, Christian leaders and even her parents that she didn’t deserve God’s love. I have agonized over this. People have said, “But you didn’t know she was gay.” What difference does that make? Our behavior was unconscionable, not only as parents, but also as Christians.

Thankfully, she received the message from God himself that he loved her.

I have had a dramatic change of heart since learning of Cholene’s homosexuality. Call it a paradigm shift, an epiphany or just plain coming to my senses. Whatever it was, I know this: God was behind it. I would give anything to have a do-over for those years when we hurt Cholene so terribly, so I’m on a mission to help keep other families from making our mistakes. Our story did not end in tragedy as so many do. But it could have.

I can’t forget where I was before. My thinking is so different now that I find myself being upset with those who aren’t “there” yet. Now, the lessons I have learned about unconditional love for the gay community need to be applied to those who are exactly where I was for so many years.

Love can’t be legislated, politicized, forced or faked. It comes from God. I have said many times that change will come one heart at a time, and only God can change a heart if we will just get out of God’s way.

Johnson is president of the Odessa, Texas, chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She is author of the memoir “Above All Things” and wrote this column for the Religion News Service.

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Christians can change their minds on homosexuality. I know, because I did.

By: Shari Johnson (Washington Post Article)

When President Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage, I was thrilled. But I also was filled with a sense of dread about the maelstrom that was sure to follow. I knew it was coming because there was a time when I would have been a part of it.

This Friday (June 15), I’ll be at the White House for a reception to mark gay pride month. It’s an event I never thought I would be attending.

The night my 37-year-old daughter Cholene called and told me she is gay, I felt as though the air had been sucked out of the room. I was beyond devastated. I had been an evangelical Christian for more than 30 years and thought that this was the worst thing that could happen — to a parent, to a Christian, to me.

Cholene had given us many reasons to be proud of her — she was a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the second woman to fly the U-2 spy plane and then a captain for a commercial airline. In my experience, “gay pride” was not on the acceptable list of parental bragging rights.

I begged God to change her. But instead, God changed me.

I had always known that I had a problem with unconditional love, but I thought if I followed all the “rules” and “worked” for God and his Kingdom, I would get a pass on the love thing. I didn’t.

In 2004, Cholene emailed me to say that she and her partner were getting married. I didn’t take it well at all. One morning as I was driving to work, I actually asked God, “What event could a parent be asked to attend that would be worse than this?” His answer was short — a funeral. That got my attention.

By the time we arrived in Massachusetts for Cholene’s wedding, God was already there. I have never felt his presence and love as I did that weekend-perhaps because it was so unexpected. It was then that my heart began to change. I told Cholene that her wedding rocked my world, and my world needed to be rocked.

I have learned since then that Cholene knew she was gay ever since she was a little girl. She got the message from pastors, Sunday school teachers, Christian leaders and even her parents that she was an abomination to God and didn’t deserve his love. I have agonized over this. People have said, “But you didn’t know she was gay.” What difference does that make? Our behavior was unconscionable, not only as parents, but also as Christians.

Thankfully, she received the message from God himself that he loved her.

I have had a dramatic change of heart since first learning of Cholene’s homosexuality. Call it a paradigm shift, an epiphany or just plain coming to my senses. Whatever it was, I know this-God was behind it. I would give anything to have a do-over for those years when we hurt Cholene so terribly, so I’m on a mission to help keep other families from making our mistakes. Our story did not end in tragedy as so many do. But it could have.

I can’t forget where I was before. My thinking is so different now that I find myself being upset with those who aren’t “there” yet. Now, the lessons I have learned about unconditional love for the gay community need to be applied to those who are exactly where I was for so many years.

Love can’t be legislated, politicized, forced or faked. It comes from God. I have said many times that change will come one heart at a time, and only God can change a heart — if we will just get out of God’s way.

(Shari Johnson is the author of the recently published memoir “Above All Things” and serves as the president of the local PFLAG chapter in Odessa, Texas.)

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Universal Uclick.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/christians-can-change-their-minds-on-homosexuality-i-know-because-i-did/2012/06/13/gJQA72PaaV_story.html

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Above All Things on sale tomorrow – June 15, 2012

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Order your copy today of Above All Things!

http://www.amazon.com/Above-All-Things-Evangelical-Christian/dp/0985024801/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1339676701&sr=8-3&keywords=Above+All+Things

About the Book: 

Shari Johnson’s world turned upside down the night her 37-year-old daughter called and told her that she was gay. This just couldn’t be possible. Cholene had always been the hero-Air Force Academy graduate, second woman to fly the U-2 spy plane, captain for United Airlines – she cried, begged, pleaded with God to change Cholene, but he changed Shari instead. It seems that he was much more concerned about Shari’s lack of love than he was about Cholene’s homosexuality. This book is Shari’s personal story.

About the author: 

Shari Johnson’s book, Above All Things, was written as a result of her struggle as an evangelical Christian to come to terms with her daughter’s homosexuality. Through this sometimes gut-wrenching, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of her journey, her desire is to help reconcile families torn apart over this issue. From her example, she hopes that readers will “have more sense than I did.” Shari learned that grudging acceptance was not the same as embracing her daughter Cholene for who she is. She went from devastation to full-on joy when she finally grasped that the most important thing to God is love. It truly is above all things.

After ending a long career as a dental hygienist,Shari Johnson is pursuing her dream as a book editor and writer.

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Thought Revolution

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On Mother’s Day, The Proud Mother of a Gay Daughter Celebrates a Presidential Stand for Equality

Shari Johnson

Author, ‘Above All Things: The Journey of an Evangelical Christian Mother and Her Lesbian Daughter’; 

On Mother’s Day, The Proud Mother of a Gay Daughter Celebrates a Presidential Stand for Equality

When I learned of President Obama’s support of same sex-marriage this week, my emotions ran amok — surprise, hope, excitement, joy — joy because the marriage of my daughter and daughter-in-law was recognized as a good thing by the highest office in the land. His stand supersedes politics. It should be a standard for all of us to follow — to lay down our opinions, prejudices, and judgments and do what is right.

I wasn’t willing to do that in 2004, when I received word that my daughter, Cholene Espinoza, was marrying her partner, Ellen Ratner. I had finally reached a point of grudging acceptance, two years after Cholene first told me that she was gay. Cholene was 37 at the time, and I had not had a clue. I thought it was the end of the world then, and now this! I had a terrible attitude about it. I wasn’t even sure I could attend the wedding; I just couldn’t picture it. A dear friend told me that if I didn’t straighten up, I was going to lose Cholene, and our relationship would never be the same. Imagine the position Cholene was in: She was risking our ruining the happiest day of her life by inviting us to the wedding, but if she hadn’t invited us, I would have been hurt and upset. It was definitely a no-win situation for her.

One morning, while driving to work, I was “talking” to God, and I said out loud: “What event could a parent be asked to attend that could be worse than this?” The answer came to my mind quickly: “A funeral.” I knew exactly where the answer had come from, and it shook me to my core. I related this to my son Chip during a telephone conversation. He was quiet for a moment, and then he said, “That’s interesting, Mom, because she has always thought you and Dad would rather she be dead than know she was gay.”

What kind of a parent would give their child that idea? I adjusted my attitude, and we went to Cambridge, Mass., for the wedding. I still had misgivings, but I was determined to make the best of it.

It was the December right after President Bush was elected to his second term. My husband and I are conservatives, and I was pretty sure there would be liberals there. I didn’t know how we would be treated. I shouldn’t have been worried. We were treated kindly and graciously. The whole weekend was magical. Ellen is the quintessential hostess and had a fantastic weekend planned for all the guests, but the one thing that absolutely astounded me was that God was there. Who knew that He showed up at gay weddings? One woman that weekend said to me, “I can’t really describe it, but it all seems so ‘spiritual.'” I knew exactly what she was talking about. There was such love there, the love that can only come from God.

On the night before the wedding, Ellen threw a birthday party for Cholene. At one point I looked around for my husband, James, and Mr. Conservative was sitting between two gay women discussing the history of the area. They had found their common ground. Isn’t that what it is about, finding a common ground with others who may not think like us, look like us, or act like us?

I heard much later about an incident that took place that same weekend regarding my grandson Chandler. My son Chip, his wife Lisa, their three sons, and their daughter were all in Cambridge. Chip was to take part in the Jewish ceremony by reading scripture, the boys were to be ushers, and their daughter Charli was to be the flower girl. Chip was an ordained minister in a very conservative denomination, and I was proud of him for placing the love he has for his sister above the opinions of others. Because all of Chip’s family was involved in the church, and there was no question of where it stood on homosexuality, there was a family meeting beforehand, and the decision to take part in the wedding was unanimous. However, as they were all getting ready in the hotel room the night of the wedding, out of the blue, 11-year-old Chandler said, “Well, this ought to be interesting.” Chip and Lisa exchanged looks that said, “Oh, no, here it comes.” Then Chandler said, “I’ve never been to a Jewish wedding before.”

Don’t you just love kids? What a great world this would be if we followed their example — such as the example President Obama’s daughters gave him that allowed him to see things differently.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shari-johnson/on-mothers-day-the-proud-_b_1512458.html

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NY Times Best Seller 4/1/12- Thought Revolution by William A. Donius

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

William A. Donius, author of Thought Revolution has had much success with his first book:

New York Times #4 Bestseller in Hardcover Advice & Misc –  April 1st Edition

The Wall Street Journal #7 Best Seller for week ending March 18th

USA Today #54

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