Living-Small

There is a huge movement today to minimize our impact on our environment, and part of it is about learning to live with less, “down-sizing“, but how “small” are you willing to go, when the dominant-symbol of affluence is “ever-bigger“? Cities have become “concrete-jungles” with nary a “green-space” in sight, and even suburban-developments pack the homes in like sardines with “postage-stamp” yards. The problem is that, rather than learning to live with “less“, people are insisting on putting MORE in tighter-quarters.

We have seen the recent advent of “tiny-homes“, and several designers and manufacturers have responded with a wide variety of very cute, practical, tiny-homes. They are towed to the home-site and set-up just like a mobile-home. I could imagine myself living in one, as long as everything was on one level. No “loft” bedroom! That begs the question: “Can we really “live-small” comfortably?

I believe the answer is a resounding YES, because I do “live-small“.

In 2008, after losing everything in a divorce, the only “home” I could afford to buy was a travel-trailer. I was “down-sizing” from a 1500 sf home to a 300 sf home, and yes, I had to adjust, but I did adjust. I quickly learned what I actually “needed” and what was “excess“. Yes, some of the “excess” is in storage, but because it is at my mom’s place, it isn’t costing me anything to store it. Some of that could easily be discarded because I doubt that I will ever use it again.

After over six years of living in my trailer, I don’t have anything that isn’t “necessary” here. So, what does 300 square-feet of total-space give me?

An amazing-amount of well-thought-out storage, including storage under the front-third of the trailer (right behind the 5th-wheel).

An 8′ X 8′ bedroom with a queen-size bed, overhead and under-bed storage, a night-stand with two drawers, and two 18″ closets. By-bye bulky dresser and chest-of-drawers. After all, all I do in the bedroom is sleep and dress or undress. It is “couple-adequate“.

A 5′ X 8′ bathroom, which, believe it or not, three people could be in at the same time. The shower is a bit small to suit me, but I make do. Oh, and there is another 18″ closet and a 12″ linen-closet. Both are 26” deep. Sink/vanity and two medicine-cabinets are built-in.

A 4′ X 7′ dining-room, with a free-standing oak table and four upholstered chairs. Yes, four people can eat there comfortably.

A built-in china-cabinet between the dining-room and the office.

A 4′ X 6′ office. Both the dining-room and the office are in the street-side slide-out.

A wall-to-wall entertainment-center and bookcase across the back of the living-room.

An 8′ X 8′ living-room with an oversize recliner, and 6′ hide-a-bed sofa which is recessed in the curb-side slide-out.

Last, but not least, an 8′ island-kitchen, with stove, sink and counter-top in the island, and the pantry, refrigerator, microwave and small-appliances area in the curb-side slide-out. It could be a “two-butt” kitchen. There is dish and glassware storage above the island, with decorative-glass-centered doors on both sides.

Reducing my utility-bills:
I use fans instead of AC as much as possible, and because I live clothes-free, it is much easier for me to stay comfortable.

Low-voltage and LED lighting, as much as possible. There is only one regular 110v light.

In the winter, I only heat the space I am in. Bedroom/bathroom at night, kitchen/living-room/office during the day. I also have storm-windows and window-insulators for all the windows.

Conclusions:
Now, if my trailer was on my own secluded-property, I could live even more clothes-free than I do now, in a textile RV Park. That would be as close to “paradise” as it gets in this life. I know quite a few people who “live-small“, and some have “lived-small” for over twenty-years. “Living-small” isn’t for everybody, but it certainly suits me to a “T“. It really depends on much much a person is willing to give-up in order to “live-small“, but I am doing just fine.

Cheers!
Steve

It Is All About The Title…

Most Americans, and particularly Christians, have a very strong “modesty-ethic“. From a very young age, children are taught that there are certain parts of their bodies which must NOT be seen by anyone of the opposite sex. Those “boy-parts” and “girl-parts” are often called “privates“.

This brief essay isn’t about “body-shame“, because I have already covered that topic. Instead, it is about those “exceptions” to that rule, because we all know that there are certain “acceptable-exceptions“.

The first “exception” is parents, but only to a point. While a mother may see her girls naked virtually anytime, even after they are grown up and go out on their own, a father may only see his girls naked until they reach a certain age…often first grade. A father may see his sons naked off and on until they are likewise out of the nest, while their mother may never see them naked after they hit puberty. What is interesting to me is that both parents were “allowed” to see their children naked when they were quite young, but the rules changed beyond a certain age. Same parents and same children, but different rules…what is wrong with this picture? For the record, neither of my parents saw me naked after I hit puberty…

The next notable “exception” is baby-sitters – FEMALE babysitters, that is. It appears that it acceptable for parents to delegate their “exception” to a babysitter, but only if the babysitter is a girl. The same is NOT true with MALE babysitters. Is babysitting considered to be “preparation for motherhood“?

Another notable “exception” is teachers…that is, as long as they are FEMALE. Are teachers considered “surrogate-parents“? That seems to be the case for elementary school teachers. Male teachers are frequent in the upper grades, but NOT in elementary school. That profession is dominated by women. A female teacher is allowed to take either little “Suzie” or little “Johnny” to the restroom, but heaven-forbid allowing a male teacher to take either to the restroom. Don’t men have what it takes to be good elementary school teachers? Sorry, but men have the “wrong plumbing“. Men can’t be “surrogate-mothers“…

Do you see some common threads here?
Another notable “exception” is one’s spouse…husband or wife. It is almost universally accepted that it is okay to be naked in their presence. I say “almost“, because pastors and marriage counselors see an occasional couple who have not, even after a year or more, consummated their marriage, because one of the spouses hasn’t been able to bring himself/herself to get undressed in the presence of the other, even to consummate the marriage. Failure or refusal to consummate the marriage is against God’s Word, and an extreme case of prudishness. A person’s spouse should be the one person they can be most comfortable with. In some states, inability or failure to consummate a marriage is adequate grounds for an annulment.

The final notable “exception” is medical care-providers, doctors and nurses, and by extension, certain medical technologists are also “exceptions” to the rule. What amazes me is that we not only pay them to tell us to disrobe, but we do so more or less willingly. It is a “given” that a person must check their “modesty” at the door of a health-care facility, particularly at a hospital. While some think nothing of going to an opposite-gender health-care provider even for “intimate” exams, there are some who absolutely refuse to be seen by anyone of the opposite gender.

I used to be in the latter category, and my rants and raves in a “Physical Exam” forum were legendary. I absolutely hated being seen by an opposite-gender health-care provider, and was that way for over fifty years. My own attitudes have changed significantly in the last few years.

What would cause a “modest” lady, who wouldn’t be caught dead even being seen in only her underwear by any man other than her husband, to allow herself to be examined by a male doctor? What would cause a “modest” man, who likewise wouldn’t be caught dead being seen in only his underwear by any other woman other than his wife, to allow himself to be examined nude during a head-to-toe skin exam by a female doctor?

Why these “exceptions”?
I believe this health-care provider “exception” may be prompted by how we perceive doctors and nurses, and I believe that it is a combination of:

1) We perceive doctors to have a certain “authority” over us, because they have a TITLEdoctor.

2) We perceive nurses to also have a certain “authority” over us, because they have a TITLEnurse.

3) It all goes back to who had “authority” over us when we were young…our PARENTS, and they have TITLESfather and mother.

4) Parents, because they have that “authority“, also have the privilege of delegating their “authority” to others, such as baby-sitters, teachers and health-care providers.

Our role…
As adults, we have “authority” over our own bodies, and I believe that we do a “cost-versus benefit” analysis, even if it is subconsciously. Once we get past the marriage-nudity hurdle, our only “exception” is health-care providers, but we must be convinced that the “cost“…nudity, is worth the “benefit“…health-care. Thus, if we want or need a certain kind of health-care which requires nudity, we will “allow” that “exception” to certain health-care providers.

Examples…
I have ongoing urinary-tract issues, which require both frequent monitoring and occasional treatment, so I “allow” my urologists to see, examine, and occasionally treat me. I also have a history of skin-cancer, so it is very prudent for me to get examined by a dermatologist regularly. If I were to hesitate, something might get out of hand, and become full-blown skin-cancer…the nasty kind. My “benefit“…good health-care…is worth the “cost“…occasional nudity.

I also need to mention that all of my health-care providers genuinely care about me and my health and treat me with the utmost of respect. On the scales, the “benefit” is great, and the “cost” is small.

Final thoughts…
I believe that if we have to grant “exceptions” to our “modesty-rules” based on the person’s TITLE, we have the wrong concept of MODESTY. We have equated clothing with MODESTY, and certain garments are more MODEST than others, but that is patently-false. MODESTY is about DEMEANOR, not whether a person is clothed or not. We have also placed a false SHAME on certain body-parts, which is also patently-false, because God created ALL of our parts.

What we do with some of those body-parts may need to be hidden from public-view, namely having sex and using the restroom, but even then, neither the parts nor what we do with them is shameful. Those are simply “private” actions.

Once I got past that false notion of clothes-based “modesty“, I have been able to dress up or completely-undress based on the place and situation without any concern about whether I was “modest“. When I got to a health-care appointment, I am often far less concerned about my “modesty” than the care-provider is.

I spent two days with about two-dozen other naturists, and even though none of them wore any more than a grin, they were entirely-modest. I was also around another couple of hundred other naturists on and off during that weekend, but I didn’t see anyone behaving “immodestly“, even though they were also not wearing much more than a grin.

I have also spent many “mental-health” days at Cypress Cove, and even though I have gotten to know quite a few people at the Cove, there are always people who I don’t know. As a result, I have been “seen” by hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people, most of whom were also nude. I have even led Cypress Cove Bible Fellowship clothes-free. We are just human-beings, so there is nothing “weird” or “strange” about any of us. I enjoy being clothes-free.

A grin is the only “clothes” you need!

Christian Naturist Festival 2016 Lake Como Resort

We had another great weekend! Many kudos to Pam and her crew for putting together a delightful and inspiring weekend. While it was called a “Festival“, “Retreat” might be a better way to describe it. In spite of all the evil in the world, it was a time for us to “retreat“, to put aside the cares and concerns of what was going on outside, and concentrate on what the Lord was in our midst to teach us and encourage us with.

For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:20)

We were certainly more than “two or three“, more like 20 to 25, and there was a lot of Christian unity and love in our gathering. Our featured speaker was Matthew Neal, author of The Biblical Naturist, and he came well-prepared. The theme for the weekend was “The Image Matters“.

Friday evening…
We gathered Friday evening for fellowship, ice-cream and to worship and adore our awesome God. Matthew introduced us to the need for Christian Naturists to impact the textile Christian Theology and Culture.

He asked five questions:
* What does the church say about porn?
* What does the church say about sexual-objectification?
* What does the church say about homosexuality?
* What does the church say about transgenderism?
* What does the church say about marriage?

The sad fact is that the church has lost its biblical understanding of mankind being created in God’s image, and replaced that with the Gnostic heresy that the body is “evil“. Thus, a “pornographic“, “hypersexualized” view of the body has arisen from that false doctrine. Is it any wonder that the church has lost its prophetic-voice in our culture, that porn consumption is rampant among church members and leaders, because if there is no “real” reason behind “Thou shalt not…“, why not; “If it feels good, do it“? If there is no “reason” for the rules, why not chuck them in the garbage?

The bottom line is that the church’s answers fall far-short of the truth of the Bible.

Saturday…
Our morning began with a catered breakfast provided by CNA (Christian Naturists of America). After a time for fellowship, we sang a couple of praise songs to get our hearts and minds ready to concentrate on God and His Word.

The topic for the morning session was: The Importance of the Imago Dei as a foundational Theological Concept and the culturally-relevent implications for reclaiming a Biblical understanding in the doctrine of the Church.

1) We have a hole in our Theology:
*We give lip-service to this doctrine
*Imago Dei – in the image of God
*We acknowledge “likeness” – moral, volitional, emotional, intellectual and relational.

2) We have neglected “image
*Image means “looks alike
*Our neglect has caused a big hole in our understanding of Imago Dei.

3) We have actively rejected “likeness
*God has no body??? God is “spirit“???
*We use anthropormorphisms to “explain” God’s appearances
*Imago Dei does NOT restrict God

4) God presents Himself:
*Walking in the Garden: 8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. ( Genesis 3:8)

*Talking to Aaron and Miriam: With him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?” (Numbers 12:8)

*Moses: 17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” 19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” 21 Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-32)

5) God reveals Himself in human form
*General, special and personal revelation
*If we deny the Imago Dei, we miss what our bodies mean.
*Our Theology is defective

6) We need a Biblical Theology of the Body
*What does the body tell us about God?
*What does the Imago Dei mean to the purpose of our bodies, mankind?

7) The Church does have a Theology of the Body, but it is wrong.

Is the body an aid, or is it an impediment to righteousness?

* Temple of the Holy Spirit: 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)

* Glorify God with your body: 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Cor. 6:20)

* Present your bodies as living sacrifices: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Rom. 12:1)

* Present yourselves to God: But present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. ( Rom: 6:13b)

8) What is the purpose of sex in marriage?
*Procreation
*Strengthening the marriage bond
*Recreation

9) What are we expected to think when we see the exposed human form?
*Disgust?
*Give glory to God?

10) “Modesty doctrine”
*The church has it all wrong.
*Biblical “modesty” refers to carriage and demeanor, not clothing

11) What is the source of the current Theology of the Body?
*Satan loves to twist and pervert the truth
*This Theology of the Body has failed the church
*It has been a failure for many generations

We are called to expose this lie!

12) We must recover the glory of God
*As revealed in our bodies
*We must proclaim this truth

13) Theology of the Body
*Our visible bodies reveal how God has proclaimed Himself

Splendor and majesty are before Him,
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. (Psalm 96:6)

Strength and beauty are not mutually-exclusive, which is why God has revealed Himself in the strength of a man and the beauty of a woman. There is also a certain beauty in the strength of a man, because the physique of the masculine body has its own functional-beauty. While nobody will deny that women are the most beautiful of all of God’s creatures, they aren’t left out of displaying strength either. Men who tackle the job of being “Mr. Mom” marvel at how seemingly effortlessly women do what they struggle with. Why? Because God has gifted them with strength also.

Have you ever known any women who were both beautiful and strong? I have.

After the morning session, we had a time of prayer before lunch.

Lunch was provided by Garden of Eden Church, and while we ate, Cameron Bennett presented the Vision, Purpose and Mission of CNA. After his presentation, all of the pastors and ministry leaders who were present gathered around him to commission him to a new ministry at Rock Haven. He was commissioned by the laying on of hands and prayers, and then the pastors and ministry leaders offered him the right hand of fellowship.

The afternoon session focused on how we can impact others in our Christian Communities (without using the N-words), and how we can live the truth in a way that challenges other’s preconceptions.

How to influence the Church
1) Recognize that it is a Theological issue.
* Without a Biblical understanding of the Imago Dei, the Church can’t get its Theology straight.

2) Be alert for the many ways that the lie is expressed.
* “Modesty” rules – seeking to “protect” men from lust by laying the blame for men’s lust on women, and shaming them into “mitigating” men’s lust by dressing “modestly“.

* Double-standards – Men can dress almost any way they want, but women have to dress “modestly”.

* Jesus specifically refuted this false “modesty-dogma” in Mark 7:14-21, by teaching that lust and sexual sin come from the heart, not from what a person sees with their eyes.

3) We must remember that NO-ONE can convince ANYONE. That is the Holy Spirit’s job, so all we can do is present the Biblical “evidence“.

4) We must be ready to speak.

5) We must trust God with the results AND the consequences. There may be consequences for believing and proclaiming the truth.

Sunday…
A few hardy souls gathered early to walk come of the nature trails at Lake Como.

Morning worship…
We opened the service with several praise and worship hymns.

Pastor Dan shared some thoughts on 1 Cor. 1:26-31:
26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God. 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

We were NOT wise, we were NOT mighty, we were NOT noble, and we were, in fact, FOOLISH, however God sees us as being “in Christ“, who is everything that we are not. We didn’t contribute ANYTHINGgood” to our salvation, God did it ALL, so our only boasting must be in the Lord.

The topic for the message was: The Body and Redemption
1) To be human is to have a body.

2) We will have a body for all eternity: 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:20-22)

3) Jesus was fully-human: 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, (Col. 2:9)

Why did Jesus need a human body to redeem us?

* Incarnation: 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

* Anticipation: 22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:22-28)

* Substitution: 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, But a body You have prepared for Me; 6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. 7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) To do Your will, O God.’” (Hebrews 10:4-7)

* Propitiation: 24 And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24), 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2), 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. (Luke 22:19, 20)

* Intercession: 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:11-14)

* Resurrection: 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

* Ascension: 9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)

* This is what Jesus did: 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ, who, 6 being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

Communion:
While the Bread was being passed around, one of the ministry leaders served the Cup to each person. After everything was distributed, we all partook together.

We sang two more hymns before we were dismissed with prayer by Pastor Dan.

The worship service concluded another rewarding Christian Naturists Festival, and there is already talk about having another Festival next year.

Final thoughts…
Besides being able to spend two full days au naturel, it was a great weekend. The fellowship was wonderful, and being able to worship our God naturally was an awesome experience. That is the epitome of coming to God “Just as I am”.

Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

In Christ,
Steve

Wholistic Sexuality

What is “wholistic sexuality“? It is the belief, the conviction that we cannot divorce or separate our sexuality from everything we are, think, say and do. We are a “whole” person, and our sexuality is an integral part of the whole. So, before you start thinking that I have lost my mind or gone off the deep-end, sit back, relax and buckle up, because I am going to tell you things you may have never thought about before.

In the beginning…
If we really go back to the beginning, we must go back to creation, to Genesis chapters 1-3. In the beginning God… After God created all the rest of the universe, He set out to make His finest creation, mankind, in His own image, male and female. Then He told our first parents to “Be fruitful and multiply“. We are the products of that multiplication, so let’s go back to the beginning of YOU…

So, just how “male” or “female” are you? If I said “totally“, that wouldn’t really explain it. Every person who has lived or ever will live, with the exception of our first parents, began life as two microscopic cells which merged to become one. Your mother provided an egg, and your father provided a much smaller, but equally-important sperm. Neither cell is capable of making life on its own. They must have each other, or they both die. When that sperm penetrated that egg, your life began, not as a genderless blob, but fully gendered, with all the genetic information necessary to build your body. Each of those parent cells contained half of your DNA package. The “normal” human genetic package contains 46 chromosones, 23 from your mother, and 23 from your father. That sperm determined your basic gender, male or female. Every cell in your body that has ever been produced, and ever will be produced, is either male or female, and that includes your blood.

The two gender-determining chromosomes are X and Y. Natal females are genetically XX, and natal males are XY. All eggs contain an X chromosome, because females carry only X chromosomes. Sperm, on the other hand, carries either an X or a Y chromosome, because males have both. If a Y-coded sperm fertilizes the egg, the result is a boy. If an X-coded sperm fertilizes the egg, the result is a girl. This is a bare-bones basics of genetics, because I am neither a doctor nor a genetics-specialist.

When you were born, you weren’t just a “baby“. You weren’t born with the “potential” to “become” a boy or a girl, you were either a BOY or you were a GIRL. You were born “fully-equipped” for your male or female reproductive role, even if those parts were small and not fully-developed. Baby girls are born with all the eggs they can ever use in a lifetime, and their ovaries are already producing estrogen. Baby boys are born with the ability to achieve an erection, and their testicles are already producing testosterone.

I am a participant in the Human Genome Project, through the VA Million Veteran Program, and when I enrolled, they simply took a vial of blood, which will not only be used to look at my genetic-makeup, but also to see how genetics affects diseases progressions and treatment outcomes.

I am not going to delve into all the possibilities when a person inherits extra genes.

Physical gender…
Our genitals are the visible evidence of our basic genetic-makeup, not the determiners thereof. Hence, I have male sexual equipment, penis, testicles, etc, because I am genetically-male. I have also fathered four children.

Brain “wiring”…
Why do you think the way you do? Is it because you were raised as either a boy or as a girl? Nurture only explains part of why you think the way you do. A lot more of it has to do with how your brain is “wired“. Male and female brains are different, which is why men will never truly understand women. God didn’t design us to be alike. He designed the two genders to be complimentary, not identical.

Sometimes brain “wiring” gets mixed up, so that a male gets a “female” brain or a female gets a “male” brain. Those people feel like they are the opposite sex of what their genitals reveal, and some go on to get themselves “replumbed” into what they truly believe they are. I am NOT here to judge them, but I do accept trans-gender people as they are.

Hormones…
Men and women have different dominant hormones, testosterone for men, estrogen for women, and even though the amounts of these hormones which are circulating in our bodies seem miniscule, their affects are huge. My first wife was unable to take birth-control pills because the excess hormones caused her to have wild mood-swings, and even though millions of women have taken those same pills with good effects, her response was extreme. Men also have estrogen in very small amounts, but if there is too much estrogen in a man’s body, it had feminizing affects, including loss of libido and the appearance of “man-boobs“. Women also have testosterone in very small amounts, and if there is too much testosterone in a woman’s body, it has masculizing affects, including excess body-hair growth. If a woman has too little testosterone, her libido or sex-drive may be low or missing completely.

Body shape…
Have you ever wondered why eight-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, can look SO much alike that you can’t tell them apart unless they take their underwear off, and yet by the time they are sixteen years old, they look totally different? That, my friends, is the miracle of puberty. The classic male body-shape is a “V“, broad at the shoulders, and tapering down to narrow hips. The shoulders are the widest part of a man’s body, and the hips are the widest part of a woman’s body. The classic female body-shape is an hourglass, wider at the chest, narrow at the waist, and broader at the hips. Have you ever heard a woman being described as having “child-bearing hips“? During a normal vaginal delivery, the baby must pass through its mother’s pelvis, so female pelvises are quite a bit wider and shallower than the average male pelvis, which is deep, compact and heavy. Some women get cheated in the pelvis department, and their pelvis isn’t wide enough to accomodate normal vaginal delivery. I used to have a niece by marriage who was that way, and had to have all of her babies delivered surgically. It also didn’t help that her babies were over ten pounds. I have a wider-than-normal pelvis. Go figure…

Stature…
Why are men generally taller than women? Could it be that men are built to a different set of “specs“, or even a different “blueprint” than women? We already know that men and women have a different “typical” body-shape, but how about their respective statures? Indeed, men and women ARE built to different “specs” with very different “blueprints“. Men are built on a 7 X 3 “platform“, and women are built on a 7 X 2 “platform“. The first number refers to the number of “head-heights” a person is tall, and the second number refers to the number of “head-widths” their shoulders are wide. A man is generally seven “head-heights” tall, and his shoulders are three “head-widths” wide. A woman is generally seven “head-heights” tall, and her shoulders are two “head-widths” wide. A woman’s head is also smaller than a man’s head which helps account for the difference in proportions.

For me, since I have a ten-inch-tall by six-inch-wide head, I am seventy-one inches tall, and my shoulders are eighteen inches wide.

Have you ever seen someone whose body-proportions seem to be all “off” for their apparent gender? I used to know someone who was a male-to-female transexual, and no matter how hard she tried, she didn’t have a feminine body because her proportions were all “off“.

Muscles…
Why do women have to work twice as hard to build half as much muscle as a man? Could genetics have anything to do with it? We know that some men are more “genetically-gifted” than others, but are male genes more conducive to having more muscle and being stronger? Besides have a different bone-structure, men have another advantage, and it is between their legs, their testicles. Testosterone, the dominant male hormone, is required in abundance to build strong muscles. That is why men with low testosterone levels have great difficulty losing weight and building muscle. I do not advocate taking anabolic steriods (testosterone) for the purpose of building big muscles, but testosterone-replacement therapy does have a place in helping men regain their “manliness“.

That is why Mr. America will never be a woman.

Voice…
Have you ever wondered why “Papa sings bass and mama sings tenor”? Have you heard or seen the Vienna Boy’s Choir? Have you wondered where the girls are, because there sure are some high voices in that group? Welcome to the world of pre-pubertal boys. Puberty does a lot of things to a boy’s body, and one of those is causing his voice to start becoming lower, and lower, and lower… Some boys only make it down to tenor. There are some wonderful operatic tenors, and then there are the Five Irish Tenors. All I can say is WOW!!! Those guys have incredible voices.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is guys like me. The bottom just about dropped out as our voices were getting lower. I give the bottom octave on a piano a run for its money, and one choir director I sang under called me a “basso-profundo“. There has been a lot of bickering on some of the nudist blogs and forums about social nudity and sexuality because they don’t understand how completely our sexuality is interwoven with our humanity. No one could ever confuse me for a woman, even if all I did was say “Hello“… on the phone.

When I was in the hospital in 2007 after my eye-stroke, I was on the stroke-wing, just in case. Besides a list of tests as long as my arm, all stroke-patients were assessed by a physical-therapist and a speech-pathologist. I offered to take the physical-therapist on a tour of the facility (chuckle-chuckle). When the speech-pathologist came in, she quickly realized that I have a very deep voice, so she asked if my “stroke” had affected my voice. I told her, “No, I sing to the LOW-pipes” (chuckle-chuckle).

Have you ever heard a grown woman who sounded like a little girl? Most girl’s voices also change as they grow up, but not as dramatically as boy’s voices do. Those changes, and training, are what give us women who can sing everything from low-tenor to super-soprano.

The pitch of a person’s voice isn’t all that changes with puberty. The timbre, or tonal-quality of their voice changes also.

Hair…
Why do most men have a lot of body hair and most women have very little? Why do some women have a lot of body hair and some men are almost hairless? The process of growing body hair usually begins when a youngster enters puberty, and is one of the signs of puberty. Puberty in girls is “staged” by their breast development and how much pubic hair they have. Puberty in boys is “staged” by how much pubic hair they have, and how large their penis and testicles are. It is also controlled by genetics. Generally the only body hair most women have is under their armspits and in their pubic area. Many men have hair from their face all the way to their toes.

How many bearded women have you met? How many bearded men do you know? Facial-hair is rare for women, but the ability to grow facial-hair is almost universal in men. The ability to grow facial-hair is a masculine trait.

How often do you see a naturally-bald-headed woman? How often do you see a bald-headed man? Natural baldness is very rare in women, but very common in men. Have you heard the term “male-pattern baldness“? Baldness in men tends to run in families, and may go for several generations. My dad was the only nearly-bald male in his family, and I inherited his father’s full head of hair. Mine is turning colors (gray) rather than turning loose. Grandpa’s hair was snow-white when he died.

Face…
Even our faces are different. Men look like “men“, and women look like “women“, and if you have an Adam’s Apple, you were born “male“.

Hands…
Is you ring-finger noticeably longer than your index-finger? If so, you were probably born “male“. If your index-finger is longer than your ring-finger, you were probably born “female“.

Feet…
How many women do you know with size-13 feet? How many men do you know with size-13 feet? I wear size-13 shoes, but I haven’t met any women who wear size-13 shoes… My dad wore size-14 shoes…

Conclusions…
These are just a few of the ways in which our gender, our sexuality, are displayed in unmistakable ways. Our “sexuality” is NOTjust” our genitals and what we do with them, and the notion that a person can “turn-off” their sexuality in certain situations is patently-false. For the nudists who believe this notion, do your own research, because you aren’t going to take my word for it anyway. Just because a man doesn’t get an instant erection when he is nude in mixed company doesn’t make him any less a man. He may have good control over his erection responses, but if he gets overloaded with sexually-suggestive inputs, his penis may rise to the occasion anyway.

Forensics specialists can determine the birth-gender of a person by looking at the configuration of their bare skeleton, and determine their approximate age from the condition of their skeleton. We don’t simply “dress the part” or “act the part“. We ARE the part.

I am ready for another nakation!

Christian Naturist Festival 2015 – Lake Como Resort

WOW!!! What a weekend! Many kudos to Pam and her crew for putting together a delightful and inspiring weekend. It was called a “Festival“, but “Retreat” better describes to spirit and mood of the gathering. It was a time to “retreat“, to put aside the cares and concerns of what was going on outside, and concentrate on what the Lord was in our midst to teach us and encourage us with.

For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:20)

We were certainly more than “two or three“, and we could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit among us. Besides being physically-naked, it was a safe place to be emotionally and spiritually naked as well. Yes, we laughed and we cried, and our darkest secrets saw the Light of Life as we became open to the healing touch of the Great Physician.

One lady, who was struggling with her faith because of some very bad things in her life, found the love of Christ in our midst and recommitted her life to Christ. Friday evening she was asking; “If there is a God, and He is good, why did He allow these things to happen to me?“, and Sunday morning, she approached the Table of the Lord, left her burdens at the foot of the Cross, and accepted His healing and restoration in the Communion. Only the Holy Spirit could have worked that change in her life.

Friday evening…
We gathered Friday evening for fellowship, ice-cream and to worship and adore our awesome God. Pastor David Hatton RN was our featured speaker for the weekend, and he came loaded. After we partook of the ice-cream and fellowshipped a while, we sang a few hymns. Pastor Hatton gave us a preview of what he had prepared for the Saturday morning “keynote” message.

http://www.pastordavidrn.com/files/sermons/2015-07-10-Preliminary_Thoughts-CNF-Friday.mp3

We ended the evening with prayer, and BTW, there was ice-cream left over…

Saturday…
We gathered Saturday morning for a lite breakfast and fellowship before we began in earnest.

9 AM: Pastor Hatton gave his “keynote address” on the theme “Caring for the Garden: Genesis 2:15“. He asked four questions:
Why did God create us as body-spirit beings in the first place?

How does Christ’s incarnation demonstrate our calling in a fallen creation?

What are the material and spiritual dimensions of Christian ecology?

Why are we meant to be co-creating “friends” of the Creator and not just servants?

Rather than trying to summarize the message, since I didn’t take notes, you can download it and listen for yourself.

http://www.pastordavidrn.com/files/sermons/2015-07-11_Caring_For_the_Garden-CNF-Saturday.mp3

10 AM: Meeting with God in nature. Pastor Dan, the pastor of Garden of Eden Church, led us on a walk along one of the nature trails in Lake Como. We stopped along the way to drink from God’s Word and contemplate our place in His creation. We were all naked and a couple of people even walked bare-foot, so we got to sense what it might have been like for Adam and Eve to walk naked with God in the Garden.

11 AM: Christian Labyrinth. Pastor Mike led the group through a labyrinth. Unfortunately my legs gave out on me part way through the nature walk so I had to sit out that event. Leg cramps are NO fun.

Lunch: We were on our own for lunch, but several of us gathered in the Rec Hall and fellowshipped while we ate our lunch.

1 PM: There were two different sessions during that time.
Brother Norman led a group discussion on “Victory through Grief and Suffering“. Norman lost his wife this past January after a long illness, an illness that had dogged them their entire relationship. It was intense.

Pastor Mike led a session on “Centering Prayer“, exploring the meaning behind Matthew 6:6.

2 PM: Brother Dale led a group discussion about being a Christian and a nudist, under the theme “Nude Christians“. That discussion got cut short so we could prepare to participate in the World Record Skinny Dip, but we agreed to pick it up during our evening session.

3 PM: 2015 AANR World Record Skinny Dip. We joined about 250 other nudists in the Lake Como pool for the WRSD.

Supper: We were on our own for supper, but again, many of us joined in fellowship with our Brother and Sisters over food.

7 PM: Fellowship of Christian Naturists. Remember that ice-cream that was left over? We dug in again before gathering with the pastors and event leaders for a round-table discussion of Christian naturism. We closed that session by gathering in a circle, hand in hand, to pray about whatever was on our hearts. “Where two or three are gathered in My name, I am in their midst”.

Sunday…
We gathered for a lite brunch and fellowship before the morning service.

11 AM: We worshipped together naturally. After singing a couple of hymns, Pastor Hatton opened our time with prayer, and then opened the service for a time of sharing. You would have had to be there to realize what had happened in our midst that was shared that morning. The Holy Spirit was at work, and in a big way.

Pastor Hatton spoke on “The Table of Reconciliation“. We are to bring what needs to “die” in us to the foot of the Cross, as represented by the Table of the Lord, and take up new life as we partake of Communion.

http://www.pastordavidrn.com/files/sermons/2015-07-05-The_Table_of_Restoration.mp3

When it was time for Communion, the Table was before us, and we were invited to approach the Table when we felt it was our time, leave at the Table whatever needed to “die“, and take new life in Christ from the Table. It was a solemn time, and there was no rush to “get it over with“. We were restored through taking Communion.

After Communion, we sang a hymn and Pastor Hatton closed the Festival with prayer.

About CNC…
Christian Nudist Convocation (CNC) is a loose-knit organization whose mission is the proclaim the Good News of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the nudist/naturist community. What the mainstream church sees as their “Samaria” is our “Jerusalem“. The nudist/naturist community is our mission-field. We are represented coast-to-coast, and we have a growing-number of resort-fellowships, with more in the planning-stages.

People…
Pastor David Hatton RN: Pastor Hatton was our featured speaker. He is a pastor of a small church in California, a Labor and Delivery Nurse, and the author of several books of poetry and his semi-autobiographical novel “Meeting At The River“. His website is: http://www.pastordavidrn.com.

Tom Pine: Tom and his lovely wife were there, and I had a wonderful opportunity to get to know them. Tom has been active in the Christian naturist community for many years, both as a writer and as one of the founders of CNC. Tom was a regular contributor to the Fig Leaf Forum, and he has his own website as well. It is: http://www.thenakedtruthnaturists.com.

Pam: Pam is the “sparkplug” of Garden of Eden Church at Lake Como. The Garden of Eden Church website is: http://www.gardenofedenchurch.org.

Pastor Dan: Pastor Dan is the pastor of Garden of Eden Church.

Cameron Bennett: Cameron is our east-coast CNC board-member, and is heavily-involved in the CNC mission. He has a zeal for furthering God’s kingdom and the mission of CNC.

Dale Deg: Dale is working towards starting a mission-work in California.

These are just a few of the wonderful people I met at the Festival.

Final thoughts…
Besides being able to spend two full days au naturel, it was a great weekend. The fellowship was wonderful, and being able to worship our God naturally was an awesome experience. That is the epitome of coming to God “Just as I am“.

Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

In Christ,
Steve

“Mental-Health” Days

Stress is a KILLER! Stress destroys us mentally, spiritually, psychologically and physically, and yet many of us are under tremendous stress, and wouldn’t know how to live our lives if we weren’t under that much stress. When was the last time you took a “mental-health” day to destress and unwind?

God commanded us to take weekly “mental-health” days:
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)

This is not about some religious observance, even though I am quoting from the Bible. It is about REST, about destressing, about unwinding, about what is best.

God took a break…
Notice that God took a break after He had finished the creation. “11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” If the cosmos didn’t unravel while God was taking a break, our world won’t unravel either if we take a break.

God said: “Take a break”…
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.

When I was growing up, the ONLY thing open on Sunday were churches. Nobody worked on Sunday except for pastors and church staff. There were no convenience stores open 24/7/365, and in fact, one of the first convenience store was 7-11, which was open from 7 AM to 11 PM, SIX days a week. Now there are a myriad of places that are open 24/7/365.

We are so tired from our non-stop activity that we are rarely operating at our best. Tired drivers cause more than their fair-share of traffic accidents. Tired workers can’t give their best to their employers. Tired church-members may sleep through a long-winded sermon. We are growing more tired, AND more irritable by the day.

Taking a break…
I made it my habit during my working career to not wirk on Sunday. Yes, there were times when working on Sunday was a necessity, but I didn’t make it a habit. A close friend of mine is a Seventh Day Adventist, and he always observed Saturday as his day of rest. Did that mean that he never worked a Saturday? No, but he didn’t make it a habit. If we were working together out of town, and needed to work through the weekend, we did, and got back on our normal schedule when we got back home. We also tried to make those weekend work-days a bit shorter so that we didn’t wear ourselves out.

Besides going to church on Sunday and generally chilling-out, I like to take periodic “mental-health” days. Sometimes I just need to get away from the rat-race.

Mental-health days…
When I need to get away and unwind, my favorite chill-out spot is Cypress Cove Nudist Resort. I try to go there about once a month. Now if I could just force myself to turn my phone OFF and leave it in my vehicle… That is easier said than done. because I have a strong commitment to someone who has a lot of medical problems and is frequently sick. I can’t NOT answer my phone if she calls and needs me. I call those “mini-nakations“, for mini-naked-vacations.

I am going to take a bit longer nakation next month (July 2015) and go to the Christian Naturist Festival at Lake Como Resort. I already have my room reservations and I have sent in my Festival registration. That is going to be a time of unwinding, and physical and spiritual rejuvenation. I need that for a lot of reasons and on a lot of levels. I’ll also get plenty of “Vitamin S“, sunshine.

The challenge…
When was the last time you took a “mentalhealth” day and just relaxed? My challenge to you is for you to take a break, take a “mentalhealth” day, or two or five, however many you can manage. Whether you do as I do, and make them “nakations“, or not is up to you, but one thing that I can promise you, is that you really WILL feel better after you take one. Even God rested, so we need to rest also.

To your health,
Steve

Accidents…

Have you ever not quite made it? Have you ever had that “oops” moment? There are times when certain body-functions, which are normally under our control, take charge of us and we lose control. I have been there, as have many others. We are embarrassed, but should we be ashamed? Embarrassment is normal, but what about shame?

Babies have no control of those body-functions for the first couple years of their life until they get old enough for their parents to “pottytrain” them. We tend to forget that God built these functions into our bodies for our good. We can’t go indefinitely without emptying our bladder or our bowels, or seriously-bad things happen to us. If we don’t heed that “call of nature“, sometimes the automatic system takes over, and we have an “oops“. Sometimes we eat something that doesn’t “agree” with us, and it goes through us like Drano on speed. Been there, done that.

Several years ago, my wife and I were in Wisconsin for a family reunion. On the morning of the reunion, as we were pulling into her parent’s driveway, my bladder decided to cut loose. I didn’t make it to the bathroom in time, so I wet my pants. She understood, because she had the same problem and way more often, so she wasn’t surprised when I asked her to get me a couple of “pantyliners“. I used a “pantyliner” and carried a spare with me every time we went out for several months thereafter. She always carried her “diaperbag” with her which had a change of clothes and some underwear. When we went to her parent’s for a game-night, she always sat on a water-proof pad, because it was not a matter of “if” she was going to leak. It was a matter of “when?”.

My neighbor has had a LOT of problems with her digestive tract, kidneys and urinary-tract, so she has had a LOT of “accidents“. When I first started getting to know her, she had a hard time admitting that she was having “accidents“, both from the embarrassment and from false “shame“. After I shared with her that I also have “accidents” and described some of mine to her, she started relaxing and getting less embarrassed about it. Even though I am normally catheter-dependent, once in a while, all those damaged “circuits” will make contact and my bladder will have a mind of its own with an “accident” as the result. Now we shamelessly share our “accident” experiences with each other, because we are each other’s “support-system“.

This really isn’t about whether “accidents” happen, because they do. It is about our response when they do. Embarrassment is normal, particularly if we are in public when it happens. We often confuse embarrassment and shame. We SHOULD be ashamed when we deliberately do something wrong, but we should NOT be ashamed when an “accident” happens. Embarrassed – maybe, ashamed – NO.

You might now be asking “What does this have to do with being a Christian and a naturist”? The reality is that it has everything to do with it, because if we are going to accept ourselves as God made us, we must come to accept that God made us this way. If God had not built into our systems the ability to go on “automatic“, we could find ourselves in a world of hurt – literally. Part of being “Fearfully and wonderfully made” is that God DID design our waste-disposal systems and He DID “program” them to go on “autopilot” when necessary, but sometimes that “autopilot” kicks in at an “inconvenient” time. That is nothing to be ashamed of.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)

God bless!
Steve

Unlikely Nudist…

I have told bits and pieces of my story, how I was raised, and how I became a nudist, but those pictures have been far from complete. I certainly wouldn’t have made anyone’s “Most likely to become a nudist” roster. I was raised in a clothes-compulsive family, and I was terribly-shy.

The more you read, the more you will see that the fact that I have become a nudist was a HUGE change in my life. SO, sit back, relax and buckle-up as I unfold this for you.

“Born-clothed”…
We all know that babies aren’t born with clothes on, but if someone had never witnessed the miracle of child-birth, they might think that babies are born with clothes on. That was the environment I entered in 1956. I was taught from a very early age that the only people who were allowed to see me naked were my parents. That haunted me for many years.

Ouch…
When I was about eight years old, I got my arm gouged up by a rusty nail while I was at a friend’s house. His parents took me to a doctor to get my arm fixed up, and because it was a rusty nail, I had to have a tetanus shot. I still vividly recall my relief that I didn’t have to get that shot in my bottom. What if?

Thirteen…
About the time I turned thirteen, my “privacy” was further-reinforced by my parents. My mom, who had been in the habit of coming into the bathroom and visiting with me while I took a bath, abruptly quit doing that. I also got not-so-subtle training that, from now on, the only female that should ever be allowed to see me naked was my wife. That training dogged me for the next forty years.

Sports…
As I was moving up into high school, I started getting an interest in sports, that was, until I found about the mandatory “sports-physicals” and realized that I would be seen nude in the locker-room every time I changed into and out of uniforms. Thanks, but no thanks. Being in band was much “safer“.

“Nail-biter” physical…
I was recruited by an out-of-state company as I was finishing college. That company required a pre-employment physical, so they sent the form to me to get it filled out by my own doctor. The only doctor I knew at the time was my wife’s doctor, an older lady. I had seen her before for a couple of minor problems, but not for a physical. My wife made the appointment for me, and thankfully was able to go with me for the physical. Imagine my trepidation…a physical, performed by a female doctor. The exam was supposed to be comprehensive, and was…until…that point…yes, the genital exam. The doctor must have sensed my trepidation, because she simply asked me if everything was okay “down there“. My wife and I both nodded yes. Whewwwww…. close call. What if?

Every five years…
The company had its own medical department, and each employee was required to have a complete physical every five years. About a week before the actual physical exam, each person had to go to medical for lab-work, a hearing test and other preliminary tests. Some of the doctors were female, but I was fortunate that I never got assigned to one of them. Whewwwww…

Snip, snip…
After three children and many years of supporting the Trojan company, I decided that it was time to have a vasectomy. One of my friends recommended the urologist who had performed his vasectomy, so I made an appointment. When I went for the preliminary appointment and met the doctor, he had great patient-manner and inspired a high-level of confidence in his abilities. My friend also highly-recommended him.

On the day of the procedure, my wife went with me, consent form in hand, because I really don’t get any warm fuzzy feeling about having sharp objects anywhere near my family-jewels and Mr. Happy. After I paid the tab, $200.00, cash, in advance, insurance not accepted, we were shown to the room where the procedure would be done. I was instructed to strip from the waist down, use the restroom, wash my hands, lay on the table, and wait for the doctor, who would be in “shortly“.

As I lay there waiting for the doctor, the door opened, but it wasn’t the doctor. I didn’t know who she was, but she had no business invading my room. She looked at me as she came in, and after she used the restroom, she looked at me again on the way out. WTH??? Was she in the habit of “checking out” all the male patients? I was NOT a happy-camper, and I am sure that my wife wasn’t happy either.

1997…
I was under a lot of stress, particularly at home, so I decided I need a little break. I had read about a nudist resort in northern Oklahoma, and even though I still had a lot of body-image issues, and was still heavily-influenced by my upbringing, I decided that a trip there might be the kind of break I needed. How could I go to a nudist resort and be seen nude by lots of people when I went ballistic when one woman saw me essentially-naked? Good question… When we are all nude, we are all equals. Everyone is equally-vulnerable.

I went there twice, and both times were for long weekends. I enjoyed both weekends immensely, but I always had to go back to the textile world and my family.

OUCH!!!
Yes, it hurt, my badly-swollen testicle hurt, and I needed a doctor STAT. After calling nearly all of the urologists in the area, I finally found one that could see me the next day. That was another adventure… The doctor was okay, but he must have flunked out in patient-manner, because he was pretty brusk with me. After checking both testicles, he told me that he was going to do a prostate exam. Yes, bend over and put your elbows on the table. The prostate exam (DRE) was more like an anal-invasion. He also ordered a testicle ultrasound…

The ultrasound tech was female, and there was another woman in the room also. The tech announced, yes, I said announced, didn’t ask permission, ANNOUNCED… that the other woman was in there to learn the procedure. I was in no position to argue with her, because I still hadn’t received the prescription for the antibiotic that would take care of the infection and end my pain. I suppose she must have learned her patient-manner from the doctor.

Medical voyeurs…
I used to belong to a Medical Exam and Diagnostic Procedures forum, and my rants about “medical voyeurs” were legendary. A “medical voyeur” is someone in a health-care situation who makes it their business to see what they have no business seeing. If they were in public, they could get thrown in jail, because voyeurism is illegal in most places.

Wet paint…
My wife and I bought a house that had been foreclosed, and to get it sellable, a contractor had painted the interior with cheap, white latex paint. One of my wife’s brothers, who was a remodeler, came up to spend a few days with us. He helped us select new colors for the interior. After we bought the paint, I started painting, fortunately in the master bathroom. I was doing some trimming with a brush and had put the paint can on the tank-lid of the toilet. Big mistake, because the toilet lid wasn’t flat. Before I knew it, the can of paint was on the floor and there was paint EVERYWHERE, including on me and my clothes. Thankfully all the floors in the master bathroom were tile and the majority of the mess was confined to the cubby where the toilet was. I stripped off all of my clothes and threw them in the trash so I didn’t track paint throughout the rest of the house. After cleaning up my mess, I finished painting that area au naturel.

Even though my wife wasn’t enamored with the idea, I painted the rest of the interior of that house au naturel. I tried to do all of the rest of the painting while she was at work, so by the time she got home, I was cleaned up and dressed, and all she saw was the results of my labors. The whole job took a couple of weeks, but it looked nice when I got done with it.

She dumped me a few months later, so even though she got to enjoy the fruits of my labors, it was love’s-labor-lost for me.

Home nudist…
I only got to enjoy clothes-free life sporadically for about the next five years, and only when I was home-alone.

Trouble in pee-adise…
No, that is NOT a typo, but it does set the stage for my next set of life-changing adventures. About seven and a half years ago, I started having trouble peeing, not bad at first, but getting worse with time. I did some research which led me to believe that I had an enlarged prostate.

I enrolled in a clinical-trial of a medication that the manufacturer was hoping would provide improvement in the peeing problem and improve the quality of life for men taking the medication. To make a long story short…the medication didn’t help me because having an enlarged prostate wasn’t the cause of my peeing problem. The medication did cause other problems, but you will have to read “Reclaiming Our Manhood” for that part of the story.

I went along for another couple of years, with my problem getting worse and worse, before I finally got real help. I had already had one urinary-tract infection(UTI) that was so bad that I was also peeing blood, so when I got another UTI, and was seriously-sick otherwise, I headed for VA Urgent Care. When you go to urgent care, you get whatever doctor is available when your name is called. I was assigned to a…female doctor, an older lady, a LADY. I had forgotten what good health-care was like before I saw her, but she raised the bar on caring health-care. Yes, she saw it ALL, but in a way that didn’t cause me any embarrassment. The male nurse that came in the catheterize me was a jerk, but the doctor was a lady. She ordered antibiotics for my infection and sent a consult to urology, something that I had been trying to get my primary-care doctor to do for several months.

Urology…
I was assigned to a female urologist, a nurse-practitioner, an older lady, and she was a gem. She treated me with dignity and respect, and never gave me any reason to be embarrassed. The first item of business, even before she started looking for the root-cause of my problem, was to take care of my problem, which was getting me able to pee again. She ordered catheters for me so that I could drain my bladder whenever it gets full. Then she sent me to a nurse who showed me the proper method of catheterizing myself to help avoid more infections. That nurse, an older lady, was also a gem, and she never gave me any reason to be embarrassed.

What is the common thread here? Treating others with dignity and respect helps them not be embarrassed, even in a potentially-embarrassing situation.

My urologist ordered several tests to help get to the bottom of my problem. I had a urodynamics test series, and the young lady who did that test was a HOOT. Even though I was fully-exposed to her for about forty-five minutes, she treated me with dignity and respect, and never gave me any reason to be embarrassed.

I also had a cystoscopy, which is procedure in which a doctor inserts a flexible scope through the urethra into the bladder. I got a guided video-tour of my urinary-tract, which was fascinating, and also showed that my prostate was NOT the cause of my problems.

After several more tests, the final result was that nerve damage in my lower back was/is the cause of my problems in pee-adise.

When I moved to where I am now living, I was no longer in the area of where I had been getting my care, so I was assigned another urologist in this area. She is also a gem, and I am no longer afraid to see and be seen by a female doctor or other health-care professional. It “only” took forty years to finally get over that early indoctrination.

Unlikely nudist…
Yes, if you had know me forty-some years ago, you would never have thought that I would ever be sitting here typing this au naturel, or that I would ever be completely-comfortable au naturel in mixed-company. I have been a full-time home nudist for over two years, and during the last two or so years, I have been to Playalinda twice, Cypress Cove over a dozen times, and to two nude bowling events.

I blow doctor’s minds with how quickly I can and do get undressed, and if they need to bring other care-providers in to see me, it is no big deal. Go figure…

If I can become a nudist, anyone can.

Steve

Out Of The Shadows

Do you live a double-life? Are you one way in public, but entirely-different behind closed doors? Do you put on an act when you walk out of the door of your home? Do you believe that you have to act a certain way to “fit-in“, to be “liked“, to be “accepted“? Do you cuss like a sailor all week long because that is how “everyone else” talks where you work, but talk politely and piously around your family, and particularly at church? Does anyone actually KNOW you?

Whether we know it or not, a LOT of people lead a double-life. This is NOT referring to being some kind of covert spy or agent, rather, it is about how ordinary people present themselves when someone is watching. During the work-week, they go along with whatever the “social-norm” is, but on Sunday, they appear to be an entirely-different person. Are you one of them?

Out of the shadows…

While this topic has broad applicability, there is one particular group of people, to which I belong, and that is naturists/nudists. Most of us are masters of living a double-life. Even the thought of the “wrong” person finding out about our lifestyle scares the bejabbers out of us. Coming “out of the shadows” is nerve-wracking at best, and down-right scary at worst. Very few will ever become completely “open” about our lifestyle.

There was a series of articles entitled “Sharing Your Naturism“, co-sponsored by The Naturist Society(TNS) and the American Association for Nude Recreation(AANR), which ran for several months in the AANR Bulletin. The articles were intended as a means of helping naturists/nudists become more comfortable with their lifestyle choice and helping us to be more able and better equipped to share our lifestyle with others. Part of that process includes becoming more open about our lifestyle, or coming “out of the shadows“.

Potential repercussions…

The repercussions from the wrong person or persons finding out about someone being a naturist may be life-changing. As a result, naturists with high-profile jobs or in Christian ministry often resort to writing under pen-names and having multiple profiles on the various social-networking sites. One Christian brother was an assistant pastor of a church until the senior pastor found out about his naturist views and lifestyle. He was relieved of his position – FIRED for being a naturist and told to leave the church. The Lord has since blessed him with both new employment and ministry opportunities.

Other friends have been run out of churches, some multiple times, for being a naturist. Unfortunately “the traditions of the elders” trumps the Word of God in those churches, and they aren’t even interested in finding out what the Bible says. Others have been ostracized by family and friends.

My journey “out of the shadows”…

I was challenged in January 2013 in an email exchange with a Christian brother to come out of the shadows and own my naturist lifestyle. Because of my conservative, Christian upbringing, I had to do a LOT of studying to find out what Scripture says, or doesn’t say, about nudity. I was also interested in God’s dealings with His covenant people in the Old Testament to gain a historical perspective. The same Christian brother who challenged me to come out of the shadows also pointed me to the writings of several Christian naturist authors and bloggers. I didn’t want to be “caught with my pants down” when I started coming out and started getting questions, particularly from fellow Christians. This blog has grown out of, and is still growing out of my studies.

I also wanted and needed to find out how strongly both historical and modern cultural prejudices have and are affecting church theology and dogma. I live in a 21st century Western culture whose attitudes towards nudity and nakedness have been heavily-influenced by 16th and 17th century Victorian and Puritanical prudishness. It is almost impossible to escape these influences, particularly in the Church, because they have been enshrined in the “modesty-doctrine” of the Church.

Before I told a soul, I wanted to be fully-convinced that God, as He has revealed Himself in the Bible, is not only NOT anti-nudity, but that He looks with favor on those who are willing to shed their clothing disguises. What I found shocked the pants off of me, literally; prophets who prophesied naked (Saul, Isaiah, Micah), a king who danced naked before the Lord in the middle of Jerusalem (David), a high priest (Aaron) who was stripped naked in front of all of the children of Israel when he was consecrated and anointed, and the list goes on and on.

That was even before I started reading the ceremonial law in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, with all the ceremonial washings and cleansings which were required for tabernacle/temple worship. Life for the children of Israel, particularly while they were wandering in the wilderness, bore very little resemblance to anything that I can relate to today, except for maybe an extended camping trip. We don’t “get it“, but in order to understand the Old Testament, I had to start learning and understanding their culture and what life was like when this part of the Bible was written.

Imagine NOT having private restroom facilities and having to use the public latrine. Imagine NOT having private bathing facilities and having to use the community bath-house. Imagine only having ONE set of clothes, or maybe only one garment, and NOT having a washer and dryer, so that when that garment was dirty, a person had to take it to the public washing facility to wash, and then hang out naked while it hung on the line to dry. Oh, because they only had one garment or set of clothes, do we really believe that they wore it to work in, since it not only had to be washed by hand, but if they damaged it, they would be left with nothing? These were God’s chosen people, and they were on that “extended camping trip” at His command. Was God really concerned about their nudity? He didn’t give them any reason to have body-shame. Public nudity wasn’t shameful. It just meant that they were going about their normal daily business of life. We are the ones who have made nudity shameful.

Out of the shadows…

Once I became comfortable with the fact that I am not doing anything “wrong” or “sinful” by desiring to partake in social nudity, I started coming “out of the shadows“. I didn’t start “advertising” that I am a nudist, although in early 2013, I did put a small AANR decal on the back window of my vehicle. The first person I told was my mother. We were talking about the resort that I frequent, Cypress Cove, and I told her that it is a nudist resort. It certainly took her by surprise, because she probably thought that she had raised me better than that. She did, but the “better than that” was the traditional “modesty-theology” which has no basis in Scripture. She has more or less accepted that I am a nudist and she hasn’t mentioned it since.

Early this last spring, I came “out of the shadows” to the senior pastor of my church. I had given him the link to this blog, and I didn’t want him to get an unpleasant “surprise” when he came here the first time. He is a serious student of the Bible, but to a certain extent, he has also been taught “the traditions of the elders“. Finding out that I am a nudist broke some new experiential and theological ground for him, but he had no Biblical basis for condemning either me or my lifestyle. He simply ask me to not “advertise” that I am a nudist.

Since then, the AANR decal has been replaced with a “God created nudists/Sinners created clothes” decal. The only church friend who has commented on it had to agree that what it says is true. I am sure that quite a few others have seen it, but no one has asked me about it. I am not “advertising” that I am nudist, but I am not hiding it either.

Consequences…

Have their been consequences for me deciding to come “out of the shadows” as a nudist? Absolutely, and most of them have been wonderful. I no longer have to live a “double-life“. I am no longer afraid of who might find out that I am a nudist. My research and study has given me the material for many of the articles in this blog.

I don’t know whether anyone else in my church has “figured it out” and is shunning me as a result, but that is between them and God. I wasn’t part of an “in-crowd” before, so I haven’t been pushed out of anything that I know of. I still have a good relationship with both pastors, so that hasn’t been affected. Not everyone in my church is equally-friendly.

Final thoughts…

I wish that I hadn’t been taught and believed that our bodies are “shameful and must be kept covered” for all those years, because I can clearly recognize the negative effects those lies have caused me. I have no regrets about becoming a nudist, except that I wish I had known what I know now many years ago. I also have no regrets for coming “out of the shadows” as a nudist, because I believe that being a nudist and NOT hiding what God created in His own image gives Him glory. The next thing on my list is to participate in a nude worship service.

I am naked and unashamed in Christ!

Steve

The Role of Nudists in the Church

This topic may sound like a total oxymoron, because the visible church is overwhelmingly textile. Pastors and priests are often called “men of the cloth“, and aside from a relative handful of nudist congregations, usually at nudist resorts, people wear clothes to church. The Church I am talking about, however, is the Church of Jesus Christ…the Church universal…the “holy catholic Church“, as it is stated in the Apostle’s Creed. Even as we are not recognized, and even shunned, by the visible church, I believe that we, as Christian naturists/nudists have a very important role in the spread of the kingdom of God, the Church of Jesus Christ.

To the typical church, the nudist resort, down the street or in the next county, might as well be an alien culture on a remote island. The only purpose the church would have for contacting nudists would be to condemn their lifestyle, and attempt to “convert” them to being textiles. Never mind that the Great Commission doesn’t include cultural conversion. It simply requires the church to make disciples of all nations, and that applies to all believers. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19)

I had an experience recently that brought this thought from “back-burner” to front and center. I found myself thrust into a ministry opportunity that no textile would have been able to perform, because it was at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort. The person who needed ministering to, although he wasn’t naked, was relaxing in the game room. The normal odds of him being there, me being there, and us meeting were somewhere between zero and none, except that, when God has work for us to do, He is quite able to “stack the deck“, and place us in the right place at the right time. We are never “off-duty” when it comes to the work of the Lord. Recent events have brought that fact home to me in a very dramatic way.

Divine appointment…

About once a month, I try to take a mini-nakation to Cypress Cove for a “mental-health day“. I have been under a lot of stress, and Cypress Cove is the one place I can de-stress and unwind. I usually go the first Saturday of the month, but the weather wasn’t very nice the first Saturday of May. However, the weather was beautiful the second Saturday…

The details of that encounter are immaterial. What does matter is that I was at the right place at the right time – God’s place and time, and was able to minister to a man who was hurting from the breakup of his marriage. God gave me the awesome and humbling privilege of ministering in His name, and that fellow found a listening ear, compassion and the love of Christ in an unlikely place.

My church…

There is only one person who knows for sure that I am a nudist – our senior pastor, and whether he accepts or rejects my lifestyle choice, he celebrated that ministry opportunity with me. He asked me to keep my lifestyle choice “mum” – ie. don’t advertise it, which I don’t. Even though I have been a part of that church for over sixteen months, he had no idea that I am a nudist until I told him. The only clue is the small AANR decal on the back window of my vehicle.

Our commission…

I don’t expect my church to “commission” me to be their missionary to nudists. That commission came from our Lord Himself: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Breaking that commission down: Jerusalem – our home community, Samaria – those whose lifestyle we don’t agree with, to the ends of the earth – those in foreign lands, or maybe just the next town. Nudists ARE the typical church’s “Samaria“, because we live a lifestyle contrary to what the church believes to be “appropriate“. Hence, if that “Samaria” is going to be reached with the Gospel, it will have to be Christian “Samaritans” who do it. We are the only ones who can bring the Good News of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ without ‘contaminating‘ it with ‘figleaves‘.

To a Jew, Samaritans were “unclean“, because they didn’t follow the ceremonial law to the letter. Does that sound familiar?

Our mission field…

In short, our mission field is anywhere we are, whether it is at a nude beach, a nudist resort, or even in a private gathering. There are a growing number of nudists who live full-time in a nudist resort, and the only times they get dressed and leave the resort are for necessary errands. The likelihood of them attending a local church, where they will be fed a ‘figleaf‘ gospel is slim to none. Very few local churches are involved in ministry to nearby nudist resorts, because they are unwilling to strip the ‘figleaves‘ out of their gospel, and unwilling to remove their own ‘figleaves‘. There are also far too few bodies of believers who regularly meet in nudist resorts.

The Christian Naturist Convocation (CNC) is actively involved in supporting bodies of believers at nudist resorts. They also hold two to three weekend retreats every year.

I have heard of one church which has a regular ministry to a nearby nudist resort, and that is a beginning. There are dozens more without a regular Christian witness.

As believers, we can bring the good news of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to this sin-sick and dying world. We are in touch with the Living Water which truly satisfies, and the Bread that sustains spiritual life. Are we up to the task?

In Christ,

Steve