Friday, September 26, 2008

...great quote

As I've mentioned before, I love Scott Peck books.
Here's a quote by him that I got on a church bulletin, from a sermon. I've heard it said said that if you are truly looking for God, you can find him anywhere. I know this is true, but sometimes, in certain places, we don't find him as we would have liked or even thought. This is not to say he isn't good...
Anyway, here's the quote:
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." -M. Scott Peck

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Mothership...

My good friend Sue wrote a shiny, brilliant post today-
Here's a little excerpt:

"The Mothership seems to find it terribly difficult to accept our tarnished parts. Unless it's in tightly controlled love sessions from 7.30-9 on a Wednesday evening when we're talking about X Problem, but make sure you've got it together by Sunday. If we take longer than is deemed appropriate to get rid of the rust - well, there is something wrong with us..."
Check it out- here

Sunday, September 21, 2008


-I edited this post because I wrote it on the fly yesterday (we were heading out to go apple-picking) and when reading it again, some things didn't entirely sound the way I meant them to at all, and I also needed to expound. Sorry about that to those who happened to read it...

Last week I listened to a great podcast at Free Believers (see sidebar to link) about spiritual abuse...
A few comments stayed with me (these aren't word for word):

-all too often in the IC (institutional church) you are only allowed to have two emotions- happy and maybe sad
-saying you're bitter is like using the "F" word in the IC (he cracks me up)- but it's really okay to be mad at the way the system messes with good people (how can you not be "bitter" at it)

People in the IC are way too scared to admit they are angry at the abuses done, it's true. It's considered a sin to mention anything negative that happened to you within church. So they stuff it, suppress it, put on a happy face.... Enough is enough. Let's be real. We are not machines!

Another emotion that is allowed in the system, and expected, is FEAR. Be sure you have it, but don't show it too much. Geez!! CRAZINESS (been there)
I think anger is stuffed the most and then turned inward it can become self-contempt (e.g - "I am so bad for being bitter at these things that are "great" and supposedly helping people") This is so awfully destructive-- you start to feel guilty for having a whole normal range of human emotions. It begins by denying your thoughts and perceptions, and then, subsequently, your feelings as well. The contempt follows. This has been my experience, anyway.

Nowhere, in my understanding of the bible, does it say that we should not be angry at wrongs done, rather, it says that in our anger we ought not to sin:
Eph 4:26
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry...
Psalm 4:4
In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.

To me this shows that God expects us to feel and acknowledge our anger, especially to him, otherwise he wouldn't say to "search our hearts..." I think God cares very much about our emotional health. He's the one who gave us these thoughts and emotions that make us human. People will say we need to submit it all to him, but how can we even do that if we are stuffing all our feelings? It's too easy to get out of touch with what's really going on inside... Then we become mechanical in our "religion" and it's not real... and we suffer for that.

I have been afraid, as I have left the IC to name all the unhealthy things I was subjected to... It feels wrong, they trained me well unfortunately. But I'm outgrowing this a bit at a time.
The last IC I went to was on the healthier side of the spectrum, but there was still a lot of nonsense there. I left a little over a month ago. There were some hurtful dynamics there and perhaps I saw them more than others because I had already been subjected to an very abusive "church" environment years previous, so I knew the signs. My heart was still raw and I'd been looking for a healthy environment.

Now I honestly believe that it is almost impossible for any IC to not be abusive on some level. The system sets even good people up to become arrogant. I've been around the block enough to confidently say that. Is that reason to completely stay clear? I don't know, I guess that's between each person and God. For me, I'd already been beat up enough and God opened the door and said I could leave. I also happen to think there is a better, healthier way... but it's a process-- It's not me signing up to a new church (no thank you)... it's about relationships and love and the Spirit leading. It's about walking by faith into the unknown, trusting God will provide. That's what I'm seeing-- it' s a new way to walk and in my spirit it feels right...

What I mean by "the system" is any system, really, that tries to control people in one way or another. It's everywhere, but it should not be in the family, the home, or the church!! It is NOT God's nature. It isn't!


by the way, we have 10+ pounds of yummy hand-picked apples in our fridge now : ) I'm gonna go have one!

Feedback, please?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lonely sigh

This lonely sigh
I breathed out
returned to me time
and again
I swelled up,

lost, like ashes
like feeble ashes I crumbled
bled out my shame
and bled out my name
for all to see
but none to see

and I'm so tired
for all this fighting

What's the use in making it all
pretty on the outside
what's the use
inside the blood swells
the bruises are there
what's the use
in anything
but crying

Let this dying run it's course
is all I feel
is all I don't feel
and this lonely sigh
is real

and oh,
Your noble wounds, You wore them on
your lovely wrists
for all to see You wore them
on Your brow
with love not shame
on your side

Are they so lovely
up there in heaven?
Up there where all is lovely
and takes your breath away

takes this sigh away

by Manuela R.
I have battled clinical depression most of my adult life. This loneliness is a recurring transient state I can find myself in (no matter where I'm at in life).
Sometimes I dread her (loneliness). But sometimes I can see she is my friend, leading me to better unknown places.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's level ground, baby!

I've always pretty much been the kind of person who is very (maybe too candid) about my weaknesses, questions, struggles, and failures because deep down I know these don't define me (I am loved and forgiven so why hide. Sometimes I figured-- well, if God says he loves me, then my brothers and sisters won't judge me-- WRONG!) This has played against me many, many times, as it gives the arrogant people of the world an opportunity to think (and act) as though they are better than me, and their job is to fix me or give me unsolicited advice. How very annoying this is. (Most of us know when we are being loved versus being judged!) When people do this they are not lifting up the dignity of another, but rather, putting the person in some kind of derogatory box, and themselves on a pedestal (who has the speck here, and who has the log). Putting people in a box is NOT loving them! This happens a lot in the IC (it's the nature of the system), but it also can and does happen everywhere.... it's human nature (sinful nature) to compare ourselves to others. In the comparison game someone is always better and someone is always worse off. This is so harmful within the body I think, where we're all in it together and all equally important, essential and needed. Somewhere it says that the least are greater... too. Maybe Jesus was referring to the humble as "the least." What do you think?

Well, I have a wonderful quote on my fridge that levels the ground for all us, no matter what we believe about ourselves:

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; we grow unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another." -Anais Nin

I think this is so true and why we need one another as well. But we can only help another if we are aware of our own weaknesses as well. Otherwise our pride will just blast harm on the person. We need to not be so hasty with our word or actions sometimes...

I can confidently opinionate (my made up word meaning - to firmly form an opinion) that everyone has failed in this or the world wouldn't be in the condition it's in.

God's showing me to just take ownership for my own shortcomings, regardless of what they are in comparison to anyone. I am not to look at the speck in my brothers eye and ignore my plank. (I am not saying I have a plank right now- I may or may not :) I'm just trying to make a point).

So what makes a person truly humble? In my opinion it is someone who is aware of their weaknesses and therefore they don't depend on themselves, but rather, on the Spirit...
Though we've been redeemed, I believe that our sinful nature is still at war with the Spirit now in our hearts, transforming us.

Your thoughts/ opinions are welcome, but NOT your assessments and judgements of me.

I hope to continue to be candid, regardless of the cost. Healing can only occur when you have a constant disposition to face the truth about yourself, in my opinion, in light of God's unconditional love...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stray ponderings


love is KIND



WOW- I love the Word

oh, how we get tripped up sometimes and then dissatisfied
This country is too prosperity minded. Well, it's the world system under the dark prince. That's how he tries to trip us up:

" you are somebody now, you made money from your book"

"look at how gifted you are"

" you need to be somebody great"

" you need to be self-actualized in every way, you know, become super gifted at everything and supper beautiful-- shine, shine, shine)

"people are flocking to you, you must have all the answers"

" you should definitely charge $ for your 'love' services"


I was just thinking of ways the dark prince tries to trip us up... (and has tripped up so many)

And it's all too much about those dollars sometimes, ain't it...?

But the Word says to seek first His kingdom, not making a name for ourselves, or making dough (cash), self-seeking.

We're all pressured under his lies...

Through Christ in us we can overcome and we do.
He alone is true fulfillment
We also need to pray for one another....overcoming together

this video is about a girl, I know, but it's also about LIES

Once- Lies

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

on Pagan Christianity (the book)

It's funny, right when God was really stirring me to leave the institutional church for good (mainly last month!- see my post below) my husband had checked out this book- Pagan Christianity- from the library. (Apparently it is a sort of sequel to George Barna's Revolution which I haven't read, but was warned about by a pastoral church person a few years back)
Anyway, I saw it lying downstairs on the couch, resting : ), and I thought, by the title, that it was probably gonna talk about how people who leave the church are pagans....(I thought- great, something else to try to make us feel guilty...) Well, I picked it up and read a big portion that night (couldn't put it down).
I was completely wrong. It was what I was needing to read... I've read almost all of it and it has been immensely helpful because it has solid historical evidence for why the IC is really a pagan way to try to "do" church. That's right, you heard me. That's their claim and it's backed up with cold hard facts! We, the IC exiters (not a real word), are NOT, for the most part, lost souls with no respect for church government, whatever that means...(you have to read the book to understand my sarcasm). We are Jesus lovers and truth lovers (you can't separate the two, really). I've heard there's over a million of us as well....

So, I strongly believe anyone raised in the "church" or now attending, needs to read this book, but especially those who are unsettled by the whole shabang.... or sincerely questioning it (and not guilting themselves out of their questioning). (I know, guilting is not grammatically correct. Quite frankly, this is probably my worst post to date, grammatically speaking. What can I say, I play with a three year old most of my days).

Anyway, reading this book will either severely shake your world or be like a breath of fresh air (or both) but you'll be better for it.... I believe I am (and I have a pretty critical mind, mostly, even if you can't tell from this post)

Note: Apologies to my readers for any brain or eye damage that may have been incurred by trying to read through all these parentheses, comas, fake words, and side notes within this combulation of words.

note #2: combulation is also not a dictionary word, but it really oughta be, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Confusion...then grace

Yesterday was a very hard day for me. I was truly confused for most of the day, with some very tiny glimpses of clarity and hope. Listening to the latest Free Believers podcast REALLY helped me in knowing I'm not alone at feeling like I don't really have to have the answers anymore.

I have spent so long fighting and serving within the institution, I don't even know how to live outside of it. I was used to being "different" and misunderstood, maybe I thrived in it. Now I feel like a fish out of water. It feel like the guy from the Matrix right when he gets snatched out of the matrix and has to undergo the change ( it kicks his butt...but ultimately it makes him stronger). I think part of my struggle is I know my issues with guilt... based on my upbringing, etc. It's a process, like my friend Kent has said, "getting the institution out of you." I always felt like I had to "do" so much... I definitely had spread myself too thin. But this is still my issue, even as I am outside of the institution. There are a lot of things to juggle, still, especially being a mom and I want to be led more from God's spirit of grace (rest) and less from fear. Does this mean I'm a total mess? Not totally. Well, we're all a mess in one way or another, but we are all also full of beauty and hope. I can only rest my head in His merciful love.
My issues are my blind spots which only he knows how to remove, with so much grace. He uses His body to build up and love (becasue we all get blind spots by the way- that's why we need each other). This transition out of the IC has brought up some of my wounds and issues once more, but now I feel more hopeful that there can be some real healing, where the system just beat me up some more. That's what false religion does to people-- it puts heavy, heavy burdens on them...
Yeah, I'm shedding that whole yoke off!

This morning I was broken about my part in serving the system as well, and all Father did was give me grace.... (He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble). Sometimes we are proud because we are so hurt we don't even know how to let go...

But letting go is where it's at, isn't it? -and- Perfect love casts out fear

Monday, September 1, 2008

...The Shack

I finally finished reading The Shack. I took me a while, but I did it! I had to go slow cause there's A LOT to think on and and it was a bit scary to read of the tragedy to the protagonist's daughter (cause I have a little girl, similar age and she's my only) Well, I got over that hump, and other humps, and finished reading it. Wow, what an insightful and mind-bending book (in a good way). Definitely worth the read. There's so much you can say about it, but this really stayed with me:

"Sarayu interrupted him. "Mack if anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again."

Yeah, I think it'a all about the "little" things-- a returned phone call, a blog comment or response : ), a smile, a checking in with someone, a kind word, a glass of water... I think, in the great scheme of things, "little" things must indeed matter the most.

Matthew 25:40
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Father, establish these things deep in my heart... I need you so much. Help me rest in You and stop trying to do it all at once. Help me know I don't have to do great things, just abide in You, worshipping You. You will show the way. Thank you for loving me and picking me up, everytime. I get so blind and You are so very kind... so very patient...