Sunday, August 29, 2010

More Twelve Tribes Community processing (updated)

I left this here yesterday...
I was with the Twelve Tribes as a member for close to 9 months after staying with them for a month prior. They do absolutely begin to try to strip you of even your own thoughts and emotions, your God given free will. They do that gradually of course, but they work full force on it once you are “in.” There is a lot of control from the top, absolute leader control. Although there are some nice folks there, they too have to deal with all the undue demands and submit to them, or else! (The consequences of not doing so are not pretty- you will be counseled to no end, kept a very close eye on and/ or put to public shame, and then eventually ostracized). Very sad. I am glad I was able to get out when I did. They probably would have kicked me out sooner or later anyway as I was not an “easy” convert in many ways. I was there too long as it is. I feel badly for many innocent people there who aren’t even allowed to process their own thoughts without being (often) interrogated or questioned. They let others be God for them, and are greatly damaged because of it.
One example is that the Twelve tribes will teach that “everyone can hear from God and share.” But in reality what you share is always scrutinized by whatever the “teachings” have already established. They are the guide to everything and the only right interpretations to scripture, as far as they are concerned. So they try to interpret EVERYTHING for you in the end, and you are left with nothing really. But many people there become used to that, and then numb to it- they see no use in fighting anymore, they are too exhausted anyway. (I almost reached this point). Very sad indeed.

NOTE: Despite what I've shared above, I know there are some very decent, good and caring people there and I was glad to know them and become friends. I've described more of this in some of my other posts. What I'm referring to here is the structure-  overpowering/ controlling teachings and leadership, deception, and also how so many are misled by it. It became evident to me that that was definitely there- some high up leader, running the show. I never met him, just some of his pawns. You could see in people's eyes the fear of ever even questioning Yoneq- a mere man after all. Like I said, I never even met him, yet he clearly defined EVERYTHING for the community. How could I not question him?!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Juggling act but counting my blessings

I would describe motherhood in today's modern age as an insane juggling act. I often feel like I'm just trying to figure out which ball is up and meanwhile, bam!, I get smacked by another ball I forgot about, and it knocks me down and so the other 20 balls (which are: laundry, groceries, driving, doctors, cleaning, teaching, playing, e-mails, phone calls (no way I'm getting on facebook!!), birthdays, driving some more, play dates, shopping, school stuff, and trying to squeeze in some time with my husband somewhere in there, and some time with friends and then some me time, God forbid.... and I haven't even mentioned all the sideballs- trials, inconveniences, problems...) come falling on top of me,  and then I'm crawling around looking for some dumb balls and I'm like, what the heck...?

But I do love the challenge once I can get some down time and reflect on all of it. I do love my daughter so much and I'm lucky to have a husband who doesn't want me burned out and will help out (way) more than most husbands I know... he is pretty darn domestic and loves his daughter to pieces. So I'm counting these blessings. Recently, I was able to enroll Maggie in a morning school and although I have to drive for at least half the time she's there, I'm so enjoying it. Driving is so therapeutic. Just driving through the dessert roads, surrounded by mountains, palm trees and sunny skies is just what my soul needed. My thoughts clear and I can hear what I'm thinking and feeling. I've always loved driving and driving until things begin to make sense. It does help that these are "off roads" and not congested highways for the most part.  Often, I like to listen to music, but lately I've just been listening to my thoughts, the silence, and such...
The school is so far away, but it is so perfect for our family in so many ways.  It is a safe place for Maggie, out in the country, where she can experience nature all throughout the year. Her teacher is a gem too, and I'm a lover of the Montessori teaching method.
...God is good to us always amidst all the trials and heartache. I am very grateful he always shows up in tangible ways despite our messes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The bible for religious people...

I think the bible was written for religious people, people who think they can do it all by their own methods and strength; people who think they can "achieve" salvation or a level of goodness or rewards all on their own. Yeah, self-righteous people. The rest don't really seem to need it as much. They're already humble perhaps.  Perhaps I'm wrong.
I was such a person (self-righteous, and still struggle with this), but what the bible has taught me, and continues to teach me when interpreted right, is that I can't do diddley-squat on my own in terms of important eternal stuff, like loving.  It's just a fact. I can't even understand spiritual stuff, like the scriptures themselves.
When I first started reading it, thankfully I quickly made it to the gospels, Matthew actually. By reading what Jesus said, particularly in the sermon of the mount, I came to realize how much was "demanded." I wasn't even remotely close. What did he want from me?! But then I saw that He did it. He actually somehow pulled it off. He was altogether good. And so began my journey out of self-righteousness, and the realization of my deep need.
Maybe all he wants is dependence on him, because he can carry us, and is. Why all the kicking and screaming, who knows? He knows. For me it was this: how could I depend on a demanding God? Sometimes he seemed so benevolent, but sometimes my tainted eyes only saw demands- demands. demands, demands. The blind religious system wrote all these out for me just when I was starting to escape. But Jesus always pulled me back, and continues to- "Damn those demands!!," I hear him say time and time again. I was raised under demands, raised up under them (they were my stupid foundations) and they have had to be torn down. (Such is the nature of religion- HEAVY YOKES.) It has not been an easy demolition for him, I'm sure. He's still at it, I'm also sure.

Yes, it's taking me a LONG while to begin to see that he didn't expect me to immediately be just like him, that he wasn't expecting everyone to be "perfect."  I still struggle with this. I really do. It's so deep seated in me. Knowledge hasn't been enough to eradicate it. Only the experience of love has and is. And he keeps on breaking through with love, and I keep on being amazed at his patience with me-- reckless love.
It is a real thing. If he (Jesus) wasn't really real we wouldn't even be here. What he did is EVERYTHING and more than I can see, because it's who he is- LOVE- real, transcendent- an all-encompassing loving being that does not relent, abandon or leave his loving-ness towards his people. Amazing. I am seeing it. Through all kinds of trials (made to humble me) I am seeing his care. I never knew how proud and stupid I really was. I never know until he comes along and just takes care of things in his mysterious way, never like I expected. What a fearful person I can be. The trials pile up, and he will make his way. So when will I learn to trust? When, oh when? He's winning me, like only he could.
So maybe I'm starting to trust him.  Because he has turned SO much junk for good. Surely he'll do the same with the rest of the seeming "junk," trials, worries, burdens, blindness. Maybe I have trusted him some, because he's loved me in tangible ways. He did die for me after all. No one else has done that. Even his ripping at my pride and stupidity is his love. So keep on, Jesus. Keep on doing what you do, because I know who you are. Sometimes I might not recognize you right away, but you don't give up on me, on any of us. You are our only hope.

note: I only refer to God as "he" because I am referring to the man (male) Jesus, his son.