Monday, July 30, 2012

a not so "straight" perspective on singleness

dan here.  my blog on singleness blew up way beyond my imagination.  when i wrote it i knew it wasn't all encompassing but didn't really care...and figured my other four readers didn't either.  i was wrong.  of the many areas i missed, two are: marriage doesn't "fix" life and the "calling" of singleness.

my new denver church co-worker and friend, stephen redden, posted a response blog "not single" which was fantastic.  it blew mine outta the water.  if you haven't, you should read it. 

i received an interesting comment on the blog from a dear and close friend (signed "another single christian brother").  my friend is attracted to guys, not women.  so, i invited him to blog on his unique views on singleness (below).  it's fantastic, i hope you'll read along. 



Singleness. I feel like everyone is talking about it, so I decided to join in on the conversation. I’ll admit though, I have a unique perspective on this issue. I am a Christian guy in my mid-20's who is not attracted to women – I am attracted to guys. Hear me out. I think I might offer a different view on the issues of singleness and marriage.

First, I firmly believe that marriage is designed by God to be between one man and one woman for life. Given my own situation, with a desire to be true to God’s word, I have chosen to live a life of purity. I’m not interested in “easy,” I’m interested in pleasing God. So really, I’m no different in that respect than what God expects of every person who is single. But, I feel like to many, maybe most people, "singleness" is considered just a waiting area where we can be happy and content but never truly fulfilled until that "special someone" comes into our life. Marriage is the goal, and that period of singleness is just part of the journey. But what if that is not the right perspective?

photo via
I can’t help but feel like marriage is a measure of success not only in our culture, but also in our churches. If you never get married you are looked at differently, thought of as weird, somehow considered “less than”. I believe that God created us as relational beings who want and need intimacy. One way that is fulfilled is through marriage. In fact, Jesus chose the occasion of a wedding to perform his first miracle. But even though marriage is a gift of God, can we really claim that marriage is a promise from God for all of us? Can we simply “walk through” our single lives waiting for God to fulfill a promise that he never really made?

I suggest that we broaden our view. Maybe we are first to live our lives married to Christ (Matt 6:33). Then if one day God brings a spouse into our life, that’s awesome; if he doesn’t then that’s awesome too. After all, Paul was never married, but who wouldn’t want the kind of walk with God that Paul experienced, living right smack in the middle of God’s will? If the measure of success is whether one gets married, then where does that leave someone like me who may never get married? What are my biblical options? Paul went so far as to claim that singleness actually can be a gift (1 Cor 7:7). So if you’re currently single let me challenge you not put so much pressure on yourself to find a spouse. If it’s your heart’s desire to be married, then be honest with God about it. If not, that’s cool too. God knows your heart. But I’m asking you to dare to pray bolder than that! Pray that you may know Christ in a deeper, more intimate way – that he may be the true desire of your heart (Psalms 42:1-2). And don’t merely pursue God to get what you desire. Purpose in your heart, and have the faith to believe, that whatever he desires for you will be your deepest source of fulfillment.

And if you’re married, remember your single brothers and sisters. When you got married you didn’t graduate to the “next level” of fellowship. While your spouse will always comes first – after all you are now one – God desires us to live in fellowship and community together as one body of believers in Christ without putting each other in categories like “singles” or “marrieds”. As a married couple, Pricilla and Aquila, partnered with a single guy, Paul. Likewise, let’s continue to strengthen and encourage each other on this journey of faith. We’re strongest when we are bound together pursuing a common purpose.

Sincerely – Another single Christian brother.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


one of the coolest parts of working at new denver church is that i get to sit down and talk with a lotta young adults.  i love it.  there are a lot of things that we talk about: life, faith, singleness, jesus, singleness, work, singleness, and singleness (i'm only slightly exaggerating).

if i'm honest, i've done an okay job with my own singleness.  until recently.  i was talking to a friend the other day, matt patch, and we were talking about life as a 29 year old single guy.  he suggested that it's harder to be single now because we're both 29, staring the big 3-0 in the face.  i think he's right.

i think he's right for a lot of reasons: there's some societal pressures...some pressures from my friends/family (even if they're unspoken).  most crippling of all, though, are the pressures i put on myself.  after all, i'm 29...i should be married by now...i should be well on my way towards a house in the suburbs, with 2.3 children, and a white picket fence.  i should, i should, i should.    

and sometimes i beat myself up for wanting a it's not something i should want.  

photo via
but a lot of us are like that.  sometimes it's hard being single.  if you're 18, it's hard.  if you're 39, it's hard.  single is single...and it's hard (again, sometimes).  and often times we beat ourselves up over it...we beat ourselves up for wanting a relationship.

but there's a reason for why it's hard.  there's a reason why we want a relationship.  i think it helps us understand what we were born for...because the bible tells us that we were born for intimacy.  we were born for intimacy with god, with others, and with ourselves.

we were born with this strong and innate desire for intimacy.  so, it's no wonder we single folk long to be in a significant relationship, right?  it's no wonder why married folk desire to have deep friendships.  it's biblical.  it's adam and eve.  it's our parents.  it's our friends.  it's all around us.

that said, it's in this longing for intimacy that many of us can turn to desperation and get in trouble.  we settle: we date someone we know we're not supposed to, we let the desire for intimacy encompass our thoughts, we turn to unhealthy dependancies with friends (same sex and opposite sex), we open the computer screen, we "act out" sexually...the list goes on and on.

but, as one of my favorite pastors says:

"purity paves the way to intimacy"

it's in our singleness that we have the ability to prepare ourselves for future intimacy.  instead of turning to unhealthy desperation, we have the ability to turn to healthy relationships, purity, and friends.  

and guess what?  it's okay to want to be in a relationship.  there's nothing wrong with it.  let's stop beating ourselves up for longing to be in an intimate relationship.  that's how god created us.  let's just embrace it, call it what it is, and move on.

so, as we walk through singleness together...let's stay pure and not get desperate.  and it's there that we'll find true intimacy...with god, with others, and with ourselves.  and pray that your future spouse is walking the same path.  

much love.

(this post inspired while listening to this song)


##7/26 update##

wow, i've been floored by the popularity of this post...maybe i shoulda proof read it one more time or used caps.  oops.  thanks for reading and thanks for spreading the good word.

as i wrote this i recognized it didn't address the struggles that married folk face.  i'm alright with that.  i still love married folk but just didn't want this to be a 3 page blog.  and it's perfect because my friend and co-worker, stephen redden, just posted a response blog titled: "not single."  it's so good.  check it out.   

Friday, July 20, 2012

aurora shootings

i was up late last night.  i haven't been sleeping too well recently.

and last night, at about 2AM, i saw a news flash about the shooting via twitter.  being the nerdy former cop that i am, i turned on the police scanner and sat in disbelief as i heard aurora PD talk about the shooting.

the scene commander started asking for victim counts from each hospital.  10 at one.  9 at another.  20 at another.  bodies in the theater.  i sat in disbelief.  the count was around 40 shot. unreal. (currently the count is: 71 total shot, 12 dead)

photo via
this morning i woke up to a buncha of texts wondering if i was okay (thanks, by the way).  yup, i'm fine.  physically.  but, if i'm honest, emotionally...i'm kinda struggling.

as i've thought about it, i've realized that i'm struggling because this is such a tragic event...that hits in my backyard...again.  10+ years ago i sat in an aurora high school classroom when i heard about columbine.  like then, i don't have a personal connection with anyone who was shot (that i know of anyways...victim names haven't been released yet).   i know a couple of the fire/cops who showed up (to both)...know a couple people who were in the theater or library...but it doesn't really affect me personally.

but it's still hard to hear about.  it affects me.  it affects us.
perhaps it's because i'm forced to face reality: this is a jacked up world we live in.  violence, murder, death.   there's no way to explain it.

or maybe it's a sense of helplessness.  i want so badly to do something, to help someone.  but, honestly, there's nothing i can really do.

maybe it's something else.  honestly, i'm not sure, there's just a lotta confusion.  and that's normal.

but i've come to this: prayer.  i've been praying for everyone i can think of: victims, family members, friends, first responders, others who are feeling the way i am (just heavy)...and for the suspect and his family and friends.  we all need the grace of god right now.  for real.

it's been quite the summer here in colorado: two murdered cops, wildfires, and now this.  please say a prayer for our beautiful state.  we need it.

much love.

##update, 7/21##

news of more victims are coming out.  i don't have any direct relationship with any of them...but lots of friends do.  so sad.

if i'm honest: watching the 24 hour news coverage of the shootings is like an addiction.  i don't wanna watch but find myself captivated by it.  i've literally had to make the decision to turn the TV off (or turn on friday night lights, haha)...and get back into "normal" life routines.

check back tomorrow...i'll be posting a blog about what i learned as a cop from columbine, platte canyon, and the theater.  in the mean time, hug a first responder.

##update 7/22##
decided not to publish the blog on past shootings, felt uneasy about it. ml.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

july update

life these days is good.  and i mean that.  not just in the, "how's your day?"..."good" sorta way.  i mean it, it's good.  that doesn't mean it's easy...but it is indeed good.

and this is an update for all you who have journeyed along with me over the last few years...either through email, blogs, monthly updates, whatever...this is for you.  thanks for checkin in!   
me, bro, mom and hudson!

my family is doing really well.  as you most certainly know, life in the snyder family proudly revolves around our newest addition, my nephew hudson!  i say this a lot, and i know i'm biased, but he's adorable.  i absolutely love to see him, hold him, play with him and my heart melts every time i think of him.  he turns 14 months old in a few days...time flies!  his parent' brother, steve and his wife rachael...are wonderful!  i love watching them raise hudson, it's really special.  with the amount of wildfires (and fires in englewood), my brother's been busy, busy (thanks to all you who have been praying for him)!  speaking of special: it's so neat to watch my parents with hudson.  i've always heard being a grandparent is special and from the looks of sure seems that way!  

work keeps me busy!  i'm still working at new denver church and absolutely love it.  i've been given some really cool opportunities and have felt myself grow in so many ways over the last couple of years.  here are my main areas of work: young adults, discipleship, and outreach (and a whole buncha other things, haha).  if you didn't hear, i was given the privilege of preaching a couple of weeks ago.  it went really well and i loved teaching.  which, if i'm honest, was odd because i'm not a big fan of public speaking!  but i loved it and hope to do it more in the future!

me helping facilitate a FAQ night at NDC
photo via
i feel incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with such a great team at ndc.  seriously, the pastors are amazing men who i really look up to.  they're great and really believe in me.  it's an honor.  but even outside of the pastoral staff, the others i work with are amazing.  both the other "staff" folk and the volunteers who make ndc run.  it's an incredible team...i don't say that lightly, they're incredible.  i really sense that big things are happening at thank you for all of your prayers for our church.

if you didn't hear, i actually took an additional job a few months ago.  i was hired to manage an apartment complex in denver.  it's been an interesting transition...the apartment is interesting to say the least.  it's not the "nicest" apartment in denver but i've really grown to appreciate my neighbors and see it as a huge blessing!  so, obviously i moved out of steve and rachael's house in littleton and moved closer to downtown denver.  it's a much more central location and very close to most of my meeting locations and the church.  overall, it's great!

photo via
seminary is rapidly coming to an end!  wow, it's hard to believe it's almost been two years!  if all goes as planned, which it should, i'll be graduating in december!  because so many of you ask: i'll be graduating with a masters degree in pastoral counseling.  but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves...i'm still finishing up a big internship this summer (through seminary/ndc) and have 12 hours and a final comprehensive exam to tackle in the fall.  graduation will be bittersweet: i'm ready to be done with school but i really do love school!  can someone say phd??

what will i be doing in january, 2013??  that's the million dollar question...or the one i get asked a lot these days!  over the last couple of years, 
it's been my hope, prayer, and dream to continue my ministry here in denver.  the "perfect" scenario has me continuing my role at new denver a more full-time capacity.  but honestly, as ministry (and life) goes, all of that is up in the air...nothing is set in stone.  so, if you don't mind...please shoot a prayer or two up for my future!  

i think that's it...thank you so much for reading through this update.  if you're ever traveling through denver...or if you live here...please call me or email me if you'd like to get together!

i'll end with a blessing from the bible (paul's letter to the thessalonians).  i prayed this for each of you reading:

"may the god of peace make you whole and holy, may you be kept safe in body, heart, and mind, and thus ready for the presence.  god has called you and will not fail you." 

much love.

Monday, July 16, 2012

telfy, danny boy, and redemption

last night, as i was standing in the pews at new denver church singing, i was struck by an incredible thought.  god is good.  and his redemption is available to all of us.  and his love never fails.  oh, and i'm thankful for friends like chris telfer .

telf and i in college, on his b-day...nice stache, brah!
it struck me last night because telfer was leading worship at NDC, the church i work at.  normally, notta big deal.  but last night it was powerful.

it was powerful because telfer and i used to party together.  we met in undergrad, where we worked at an apartment complex together.  we were instant friends.  and we loved having a good time together, usually under the intoxication of a foreign substance.  for real though, we have some hilarious stories: stealing cats, sausages in the model apartment, pondering schemes to break into the liquor store on sunday's (they used to be closed on sundays in colorado..don't worry, we never did), changing driveshafts in the driveway.  the list goes on for awhile.

after i graduated, i moved back to denver.  shortly after i moved, telfer went through a series of life changing events and gave his life to jesus.  he turned down weather forecaster jobs (think 6PM nightly news weatherman) to follow god's plan (i remember watching the nightly news here in denver and seeing telfer on 9-news commercials, haha).

he gave it all up...and went on the world race.  coincidentally, he met his amazing wife jenny on the race, too.

though life happened and chris and i drifted apart for a few years...we'd talk from time to time and i always admired his life from afar.  and when life got tough, he was one of the first i called.  i told him i was thinking about going on the world race (honesty timeout: i thought chris' life change came from going on the world race, not jesus...haha, oopsie).  i decided the race wasn't appropriate yet and continued working my cop job.  

telf and i at ndc...thanks for the pic, jenny!
then i had a life changing experience with jesus.  my life changed.  a couple months later, i went to chris and jenny's wedding.  i was strategically placed at a table with 3-4 world race alumni (thanks god.  shout out: sean smith).

i left the wedding reconsidering the race again.  a few days later, while chris and jenny were on their honeymoon, i left him a voicemail letting him know i was flying to world race training camp in atlanta.

in month three of my world race, chris and jenny flew to romania so chris could lead worship at a world race conference.  as chris and i sat in a cabin in brasav chattin about life, i was brought to tears.  the tears came from thinking about how much god had changed both of us.  gone were the days of partying and searching for satisfaction that we'd never truly find.  enter the days of giving our life to follow jesus christ.  and god had brought us across the world to worship together.  his plans are perfect...and his love never fails.

over the last few years, chris and jenny have been all over the world...and spent the last year or so in houston.  jenny's pregnant (congrats!!)...and they moved to denver a couple of weeks ago.

and last night, as chris sang this song...i was moved to tears.  because, as chris sang...i realized that the lyrics to the song couldn't be more true.  god's love never fails.  never.  and i'm not alone.  ever.  and god will even use guys like "telfy" and "danny boy" in his kingdom.  redemption is beautiful.

here's to you chris: thanks for being an incredible example in my life.  you're a great man who i deeply admire.

and here's to you god: thanks for loving me.  and thanks for your love that never fails.