SSB Sunday Gathering – July 6, 2014

Spiritual Sounding Board  – This is our place to gather and share in an open format.  Feel free to join in the discussion.

 

 

Spiritual Sounding Board Sunday Gathering spiritual abuse 10448745_10152207812906186_4518134747677102126_n

 

A few weeks, I posted this article, The Difficult Sundays after Spiritual Abuse, and invited discussion on the topic of what it is like on Sundays after having experienced spiritual abuse. Because of the big response, I decided to have an ongoing “gathering” on Sundays.
This is your place to share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

 

    Photo credit:  Hannah Smith 

26 comments on “SSB Sunday Gathering – July 6, 2014

  1. Soooo…as I posted in SSB forums I visited a new church last week and really liked it. Started driving there today and my car made a horrible noise and suddenly overheated big time! Really bummed. I am in desperate need of a new car, this one is falling apart. Could use prayers.

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  2. I’m sorry to hear about the car troubles, Gracie71. I hope you can get your vehicle issues resolved soon – – – and get another chance to visit the new church.

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  3. I was going to try to go to a large church last night. I know my soul longs for a place to worship and learn, but I still begin to feel anxiety when getting ready to leave my apartment just knowing where I’m going. I thought a Saturday evening service that is more causal and contemporary would be easier. But alas, I just can’t go yet.

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  4. JA The YouTube video was amazing. Gracie71, Praying for transportation for your to get to your new church. I could have easily convinced myself to stay home this morning, but my elderly friend relies on me to get her to church. The heat in the building overwhelmed my MS symptoms and couldn’t focus on the message. Next week I am taking ice cubes with me as a back up plan. Thank God for replays of sermons online. I think I will tune in to Pastor Jeff Crippen from ACFJ and hear what the Lord has laid on his heart this morning. This is a link to a number of songs that blessed me yesterday. They do say from Sovereign Grace Worship/Music. I am not sure if they are connected with Sovereign Grace Ministries and hope no one is offended. The music is very good.

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  5. Brenda,

    I know Jeff will be pleased to know that people are listening to his sermons online. I’ve met with him a couple of times (once in Portland with a group of victim advocates and the other time with his wife in his hometown) and he is very aware of spiritual abuse and is concerned about those of us struggling and trying to get back on our feet again.

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  6. OH, yes, I frequent the blog regularly. I would love to meet him and Barb some day, Lord willing and have listened to many of Ps Jeff’s sermons on abuse. I have read both of their books that helped me make some very difficult decisions to separate and ultimately divorce this past fall. I thank God for that ministry and the truth that is spoke through it.

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  7. I met Barb at that same meeting in Portland as she was here in the States for an extended time. A Cry for Justice is such an important blog for women in oppressive and abusive marriages. Barb and Jeff and their team are doing great work there.

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  8. I agree with Brenda R. The songs are uplifting. The Sovereign Grace ‘disgrace’ has touched many, however, at this point in time I tend to concentrate on the lyrics and sacred God-given talent in producing such edifying worship music.
    I still don’t feel safe in any of the local churches, however the Lord has truly blessed me this past year as I also receive much encouragement from this blog, A CRY FOR JUSTICE, Leslie Vernick, Rev Chris Moles, Cindy Burrell (hurtbylove) … I usually partake in Sunday’s LiveAudiocast from Pastor Jeff Crippen. Praise God for the internet so that if the feed is broken I can always access the archive. I appreciate the PDF’s with each sermon.
    As I attempt to move forward I am finding some very lonely elderly souls who desire more. I recently met a woman in our Senior’s Manor who suffers with MS and much back discomfort. She can only manage the mornings in her wheelchair and then rests in bed or her reclining chair. I hadn’t seen her for awhile but last week her door was open and she invited me in; she was reading the Word. Well, that got me talking:-) Discovered her husband does not share her faith which is only one yr young but she said he is a good man. NOW, sadly, she said she stopped attending the Friday morning ‘c’hurch services because she wasn’t getting anything out of it. My heart ached as I knew exactly what she was getting at. Our so-called spiritual leaders are quite often late for these services which last maybe15-30 minutes and few stay to really minister to the soul. I reassured her that I did not want to intrude into her life but if she was willing I would gladly come and ‘read with her and study the Word’ as she probably tires easily. She quickly agreed.
    Please, pray that she would accept my offer of a CD player. I could then supply her with Christ-honouring sermons. I know there are more like her out there … forgotten souls at the end of their lives; it just makes me want to cry. As I weep, I pray.

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  9. Thank you Julie Anne. I really covet everyone’s prayers. I’m treading on the enemy’s territory.

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  10. Beverley, This is so true. The younger should be helping the elders, but many are just forgotten or we just don’t know they are in need. The lady that I drive to church, take her to appointments and to the store when she needs to can be very difficult as she has dementia. I never know how she will respond on any given day, but I let her know she is loved, which I believe you are doing for the lady you speak of.

    I have MS and would like to help others while I am still able. I have run across the issue with some who say they wish they had cancer, then they would die faster. One lady who has been in a wheel chair for 30 years has now lost a leg from complications from her immobility. She wants to die and doesn’t want visitors. I pray that this lady accepts your gift and allows the Lord to fill her with joy. It is a wonderful thing you are doing..

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  11. Brenda, Thank you for the encouragement. I feel so vulnerable. I want to be more helpful to others, however as I move on it will ultimately mean I am without a vehicle. My small community allows me to walk everywhere, however, yesterday it just dawned on me that my “room mate” husband has robbed me of helping others. Another woman down the street requires transportation. I can’t bless her with this. Praying; that if it is God’s will, an affordable vehicle will appear!
    I appreciate your info concerning MS. I must do more research on what to expect. This woman has said that she feels ‘she has lost her joy in the Lord’; so I’m wondering if it is a depression due to MS or because the manor is such a spiritually dead institution? Perhaps both? My fear is that “the staff” will suggest she be medicated, if you know what I mean? So, far she is smiling and fairly positive, however, it only takes one question about ‘sadness’ to set the prescription for anti-depressants.
    ** Would be interesting to note how many “true” churches have a pure wholesome ministry to the elderly **

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  12. Beverley,
    Both possibly. Depression is a problem for people with MS, but those of us with faith in the Lord are generally able to get beyond that much easier than those who do not. Being in a place that is less than cheerful can’t help matters. Praying with her and reading scripture together can be most uplifting and fill the hearts of both of you.

    I know there are shut ins who have been long time members of the church I have attended for the last 4 years, but I have never heard anyone asking for volunteers to help out in this area. Believe me they are not shy about saying this is what needs to be done, who can help. This church is pretty open about where there is a need and asking if people can help and also asking if you need help. So I assume they are being cared for and/or visited. If God wants you to help with someone’s transportation needs, a car WILL be provided. Perhaps he has someone else in mind for this one. We’ll just have to keep praying that these ladies needs are met.

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  13. Thank you Brenda for the info and prayers:-) For years, my husband would tell me that ‘I care too much. That I cared more for his family than even him.’ So, yes, I must prayerfully let the Lord guide me as to whom He chooses for me to help?

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  14. Over the years, I have noticed how the sick and elderly are being overlooked in many churches. Often these are people who have spent decades serving and giving, but are no longer considered useful. It seems that because many churches have become big businesses, those who are no longer be considered useful or relevant are overlooked. Also no one considers the elderly part of the mission field. No wonder so many of our older people are fearful of their grandchildren’s generation. Between Fox News and disconnection from the local mega-churches, they no longer feel respected or relevant to our society. If we would serve and listen to the wisdom and experience of the old, there might be more unity and fewer megalomaniacs running our churches!

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  15. Gracie71, I appreciate your dilemma because you and I are in the same boat. We were in a car crash last Sunday and our car was totaled. We’re using a borrowed car at the moment. I hope your car issues are resolved soon. No fun being without transportation!

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  16. Ann,
    You have touched on one of the many reasons we no longer are affiliated with a church..about 20 years ago a friend and I started a ministry of taking school children to a nearby nursing home. The program was successful beyond all expectations. We were then asked by the nursing home if we could come on Sundays and do a short service. Being excited about this additional opportunity to minister we went to the pastor. AND HE SAID NO. Even though we could work in four teams, he didn’t want any of us missing Sunday church. We worked around it and did it later in the day, but that pastor’s arrogance still makes me grind my teeth.

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  17. I enjoyed church in the car today driving through corn and soybean fields in central Illinois. Living in hot, dry LA, I miss the green fields, trees and rain. So, I cranked the radio up with lots of worship music, enjoyed the rain and beauty of God’s beautiful earth.

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  18. A great find on Amazon Kindle. It was free when I ordered it 2 days ago. Now it is $1.99. “The language of sparrows”. One of the best Christian, non religious books I have ever read.

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  19. Leslie, Jesus asked the Pharisees, if you had an ox in a ditch would you not get him out. (My memories version) What was wrong with ministering on Sunday morning? He was so arrogant that he thought the message he brought was more important? I assume the answer was yes. I’m glad that you choose later in the day. The church I went to when I was young went on Sundays to a nursing home. One of the elder’s would bring a devotional, I played piano and we sang. Most of the people listened, but some would sing with us. It was a wonderful time with Jesus in our midst.

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  20. We’re visiting churches. My family won’t let me just stay home–even though my wounded, weary soul really can’t handle this. Every church is the same and I don’t want to settle for that. I don’t trust them.

    This week the pastor said something that struck me…it seems to encapsulate the core of my problem. I can’t believe he said it so flippantly. He was talking about getting more involved–getting committed to a church. He was challenging folks who’ve been lurking there, to step it up. He was speculating on “excuses” for why people have been holding back. One reason was about wounds/abuses from fellow believers. He said, “oh, you want to trade stories?” He said he could tell his own share of stories–mean people in the church. Well, Jesus was mistreated too. And
    “he got over it in 3 days”. So, get over it.

    You know, I get sarcasm. I appreciate a good joke. I have a good sense of humor. But, something about this really isn’t funny. “Oh, you’re hurting? Get over it. Jesus did.” I don’t think I agree with the statement that Jesus “got over it.” How does the eternal God mark 3 days? 1 day is as 1,000 years. He experienced an eternity in 3 days. I don’t think we just get over it.

    And if the point of “get over it” is so that I can get with the program and say callous remarks to others–then, maybe I don’t want to get over it. Let’s go to the emergency room, see the Dr. apply that wonderful advice to people coming in there. Oh, car accident, gunshot wound, infections…whatever it is…get over it.

    Paper cuts or broken bones–these hurts matter. There’s spiritual wounds on a variety of levels, too. They all matter. We should be able to talk about them, and pray about them together. Why is it so hard to find a church that acknowledges we’re hurting? Even harder to find a church that is willing to help the hurt?

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  21. Kim, The pastor of my church once said in reference to “doing more” and “allowing God to use you”, “it doesn’t matter if you’re sick or not”. There was a couple in attendance the wife in a wheel chair. I haven’t seen them since. I don’t go to this church because of the pastor, I go because the church as a whole is caring and I can feel the spirit of God in its people and working through this body. Is everyone perfect–hardly. The pastor can be rather insensitive at times. I send him emails quite frequently asking him about things he says and what he was getting at. Now the Youth Pastor is much more sensitive and really enjoy hearing him preach.

    A woman last month, when I joked about switching name tags at a meeting, said that I wasn’t nice, but I was fun. I didn’t take the way she said it too kindly and simply said, “I have my moments” and walked away. Some people are way too serious. When she went in for surgery a couple of weeks later I wanted to send her a get well card and instead of sending flowers or a home made gift I sent her a bobble head from a baseball game that I went too. Knowing that she loves to watch the Detroit Tigers play and being at a game the day she had surgery, I sent her a bobble head they were giving away that day. On the card I wrote, “I thought flowers would be nice, but this is so much more fun”.

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  22. Kim – Oh my! I hear you loud and clear about ‘the get over it’ remarks. WE are not Jesus. Also, Jesus dealt with the Pharisee’s, you know, the ones who tell us to “get over it” by calling them “white-washed tombs”. I have dealt with this painful attitude by referring to the Lord’s compassion with the woman ‘caught in adultery’. (John 8:1-11) He uniquely exposed the hypocritical ‘leaders’ and lovingly told her that He did not condemn her but His command was that she “sin no more”. (note: the white-washed tombs scattered when Jesus confronted them about being without sin??) Such compassion is missing in today’s ‘c’hurch because of the Pharisees. We must all guard against slipping into that mode.
    Brenda – “I don’t go to this church because of the pastor, I go because the church as a whole is caring and I can feel the spirit of God in its people and working through this body.” I would appreciate a church like that … or even vice-versa … a church where leadership was prayerfully feeding the Word in order to convict the people into being “a caring body of believers”.

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  23. I can’t stand being told to “get over it”! And I agree, really, you want me to be like Jesus in regards to the cross and resurrection? Aren’t leaders supposed to lead us to become more Christ-like? If we are already like Christ, why would we need to be sitting under their ministry?!?!? Sounds like this guy has his own issues to deal with in “getting over” being hurt!

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