SSB Sunday Gathering – August 10, 2014

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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 10333241_10152196155646186_8486681085799756080_o

 

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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?

 

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So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.  This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Hebrews 5:14-16

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Do you see any spiritual applications in this video?

Photo credit:  Hannah Smith

101 comments on “SSB Sunday Gathering – August 10, 2014

  1. “It’s a great moment when someone has character to step up and do the right thing at the right time.” Were this true in many of our lives, we would be much further along in healing.

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  2. Peter, the article on Caner was written in 2010 so it’s old news, but what I didn’t know is that he was a protege of Paige Patterson. So was Darrell Gilyard who sexually abused women/girls for years. Me thinks Patterson does not have the gift of discernment and one should be wary of anyone Patterson has mentored.

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  3. “What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?”

    Old Muff Potter at TWW got me to thinking yesterday with an example of “anyone seen Jesus lately?” He linked to a story of a baby deer being rescued from drowning by a teen.

    I thought about this in every day life and our kids. Let’s look for things that look like Jesus. My daughter and I did that last night in a discussion where we related things we know about such as something someone did for someone else that was compassionate, etc. We are excited about this because there are small examples of this everywhere if we just look. (I hope more examples are from Christians but I doubt it as most seem to think nowadays that good works in a redeemed life is a sin and “earning” our salvation)

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  4. Lydia,

    I have to say that my brother-in-law really inspires me. He is a great example of a Christian. He’s always helping people, volunteering himself, such as at the food bank, or at Salvation Army, etc. If anyone needs something, he’s right there to help out. A couple of Sunday’s ago, after church, we went to Radio Shack. A woman in the parking lot had a flat tire. She was in the store to find out where the nearest tire place was. Don, my brother in law, volunteered to change her tire, since she had a spare. She was so thankful. But Don does these kinds of things for anyone he comes across. I highly respect him.

    In the earlier days, I was thinking that he was doing it all out of works salvation. But we had a chat about that, and he assured me that I was mistaken. Now, if only his sister, my ex-wife, was like that.

    Ed

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  5. “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” This, I submit, is at the very heart of the Gospel–not that false gospel that says only that our sins are forgiven–but that exhilarating Gospel which promises that we are given new hearts, that we are granted entry into the very heart and life of Jesus, becoming one with Him as He is one with the Father.

    If a brother or sister is hurting, and if I resist the temptation to dispense advice, and if I empathetically enter into their pain so that I weep with the one who weeps, healing will follow. Or so I have observed. In like manner, our Lord, the Son of God and Son of Man, knows and has entered into our sorrows, even having been made sin for us. How does Jesus communicate his healing and transforming empathetic Love to his lambs? There may be many means, but it may be that He most effectively does so–not even through the Bible–but through others, through our brothers and sisters who have, as has been said, become Jesus with skin on.

    I am sick and tired of all these theologians who so confidently teach that salvation is positional only, that it is no more than some kind of legal fiction by which our Lord’s righteousness is merely imputed to us. I even reject the notion that Scripture alone is enough to satisfy our need. See John 5:39. Our Lord is in the business of coming to us, of entering our very lives, and thereby actually transforming us. Our Lord insists on coming to me, at least, through my brothers and sisters.

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  6. I have been angry with God lately, frustrated with many of the happenings in my life. I haven’t been attending church services, as all of the putting on a happy face is too much for me. Gary’s comment brought a timely reminder that Jesus was called Emmanuel, “God with us”. The Bible is full of the truth of what lengths God has gone to just to be with us humans. It’s encouraging that He didn’t just forgive my sins so I can have eternity, but that He wants relationship now and is only as far away my heart keeps Him.

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  7. Thanks for that, wallflower. I have been at that place many times. It’s difficult. It’s painful. I’m glad that He never abandons us when we are overwhelmed.

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  8. wallflower,

    It is not possible for me to speak into your situation because I do not know what it is, and probably wouldn’t have wisdom to do so anyway. For myself, however, I can say that it is very easy to be angry at God if He is as has been represented by the Sinners-in-the-Hands-of-an-Angry-God crowd. Even if one has attained a purity of heart that enables them to see God (Mt 5:8), injustice, suffering and even plain old frustrating circumstances will tend to pollute the view.

    Where might we find the way to seeing–and actually knowing, experientially–God as the infinitely, eternally, immutably Loving Being that He is? I have very little hope that propositional truth will be of much use. The preachers are not so helpful. Such truths, maybe, must be lived before they can be grasped. Perhaps, though, we may approach such truths vicariously through art.

    Just this previous Friday I attended, for the first time, a performance of the musical, Les Misérables, a tale of almost unimaginable suffering. Yet a tale that ends, I dare say, looking into the very face of God. Yes, that same God who is Love. Though I certainly continue to be outraged at oppression and injustice, and suffering in general, I seem somehow to be finding greater peace with a God who allows such things, with a God who allowed His very Son to suffer such things. Maybe it just has to do with recognizing that there are others who share my outrage without, apparently, having been left in utter despair. I do not know. Others might have the opposite reaction, but there you have it.

    I know very little about the author of Les Misérables, the book, and what little I do know causes me to suppose that many would think him to have been something of a reprobate. Nevertheless, I suggest that Victor Hugo may be one through whom Jesus, even now, heals by weeping with those who weep. At least that is my hope. The three hour musical could not possibly represent more than a thumbnail sketch of the book, and I have so far only made it to page 52 of the 1463 page book.

    For what it is worth.

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  9. 1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT
    [6] So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. [7] These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6-7

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  10. I would like to know what people think about the role and accountability of pastor’s wives in spiritual abuse. As I’ve shared here before, in my own experience, the pastor’s wife was a prime actor in my false accusation, and her husband claimed that his own actions against me were to protect her.

    That, of course, brings to mind Mark Driscoll, who claims that the reorganization/firings of 2006-2007 were basically prompted by his need to take care of his wife.

    Skirt-hiding, yes, but we shy away from publicly addressing the wife’s behavior, generally seeing her as a fellow victim of a controlling man. Yet it seems inconsistent to proclaim that women are equal spiritual agents to their husbands, and then see them as too delicate to be called to repentance themselves.

    I’m genuinely trying to think through my own views on this, and am interested in your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

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  11. “I am sick and tired of all these theologians who so confidently teach that salvation is positional only, that it is no more than some kind of legal fiction by which our Lord’s righteousness is merely imputed to us. ”

    You are preaching my sermon, Gary.

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  12. “I have to say that my brother-in-law really inspires me. He is a great example of a Christian. He’s always helping people, volunteering himself, such as at the food bank, or at Salvation Army, etc. If anyone needs something, he’s right there to help out. A couple of Sunday’s ago, after church, we went to Radio Shack. A woman in the parking lot had a flat tire. She was in the store to find out where the nearest tire place was. Don, my brother in law, volunteered to change her tire, since she had a spare. She was so thankful. But Don does these kinds of things for anyone he comes across. I highly respect him.”

    Thanks for that, Ed. That is what I am talking about. And the agnostics and atheists often put us to shame on that score. My mom used to always say: I am not here to see through people but to see people through. I used to roll my eyes as once again we were off on some mission. Now I get it.

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  13. “I would like to know what people think about the role and accountability of pastor’s wives in spiritual abuse.”

    Depending on the situation and how fundy they are his income is most likely the main one. That might help answer your question.

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  14. Gary,

    Why do so many pastors act like Javert?

    Hugo modeled Valjean after a real person, an ex convict who became a philanthropist.

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  15. Lydia,
    My mom used to always say: I am not here to see through people but to see people through. I used to roll my eyes as once again we were off on some mission. Now I get it.

    I hope you don’t mind if I add this to my list of quotes that I want to remember in the future.

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  16. “The Bible is full of the truth of what lengths God has gone to just to be with us humans”

    Now there is a quote. That should be tweeted!

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  17. The video was deeply touching, as this in the character I so desired to see in my children, as we emphasized this through our many years of home educating, However, bill gothard encouraged us to focus on instilling discipline and responsibility.( As you mentioned Sinners in the Hand of God). We were instructed in our ATI wisdom books to sit our young children on our piano bench (to give it historical context for over 60 minutes) as their father read that sermon to our kids, as I looked on praying for it to touch their hearts and minds.

    Fast forward now 15 years, I missed the boat, failing miserably at making the important connections of RELATIONSHIP with that GOD. They now see Him as angry (like their parents often were, with “righteous indignation”) at their failures of the character tests life brought. Now as adults their relationships with God are all tainted by that failure and anger. They elect to make God, church etc as optional, cause they have “failed” so often, why bother. Now that we all have connected the dots of the spiritual abuse of pastors and organizations in our family over the years they see little need for it in their lives. We failed to see the role of grace in our lives and now struggle to regain the years the locusts have eaten, at our own hands.

    But I am encouraged because I know He who began a good work in me will complete it in Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6). He knows my heart was to love and serve Him. I was brained washed by some narcissistic leaders who twisted scripture in my head. I know I was sooo trusting of those “men of God” and they truly abused our family trust. Yes the pastor’s wife played a part in it too. She told me I was the reason for my husband’s sin, as I had failed him as a wife. So the recipe includes anger, guilt, shame and fear all dealt up as we tried to walk the life in church. Yet God is not done with me and I WILL TRUST HIM to be faithful and complete His work in me and my family.

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  18. Lydia,
    “I used to roll my eyes as once again we were off on some mission. Now I get it.”

    As a 50 year old, I have a full head of hair, and it’s surprising, as many times I slap myself in the forehead with my hand, saying, “Now I get it.”

    Ed

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  19. Wow, this video is the best “sermon” I have heard in a while. Why is it that something so simple (compassion, love for someone “on the other side”, just plain doing the right thing etc) seems so difficult for many in the church. Those two girls were the hands and feet of Jesus. They put love before success. I pray to have such compassion towards those around me!

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  20. I would like to know what people think about the role and accountability of pastor’s wives in spiritual abuse.

    Great question, LJ. While we were going to BGBC, I would not say that her behavior to us was abusive; however, after we left, I saw a complete change. In fact, Tom Rich of FBC Jax Watchdog was the one who highlighted my pastor’s wife’s involvement as integral.

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  21. Oh, the wives are the worst, IMO. In my type of former group, though they are patriarchal, when it is convenient and the men don’t want to get their hands dirty, it’s a matter of “men with the men and the women with the women.” Many people expressed a great deal of compassion for Beall Phillips, and though I have compassion for her as a betrayed wife, she played an integral part in the construction of the system that facilitated what happened to her. That’s part of the reason why spiritual abuse is so painful. It’s initially covert, but you chose to stay because of the nature of the process. Why do you stay? When you support the system, you aid and abet it. That’s a painful realization and point of grief after you leave, if you leave.

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  22. hi everyone. I really missed this blog. So many things happened this summer, including everyone getting sick. For several weeks I was taking care of someone in my family who had pneumonia. Anyway, it’s neat to see a Sunday gathering post available for “visiting” here.

    I just wanted to share something I am feeling much joy over. I had a very difficult relationship for years with one of my children.. i was treated very harshly (i won’t go into details) just on a relational level… as a mother this hurt. Now we are very close, this adult child is very loving, caring, supportive, compassionate, helpful, merciful, thoughtful etc, to me and I am on cloud 9 and just loving it! My heart is so thankful and happy.

    Today we went on a morning trail hike then went out to breakfast (yes all during the Church hours this morning.) I was telling a friend yesterday about this amazing change in our relationship and she said to me, “YOU are a different person now.” (since leaving legalistic religion). She was suggesting that my child sees a difference in me. I don’t know, maybe. ; ) But I remember before I left churchianity, I was not only knocking myself out trying to please the rules of this particular Church culture&leaders, I became consciously aware that I was being faced with a choice between being religious, and having real relationships. (Because I realized that my Church was not supportive of many of my attempts at giving myself in love to people in relationship– these loving acts of mine involving relationships, were criticized.) It is amazing to me that those 2 things were actually in conflict, and they were. And I chose relationships. I said no to churchianity (religious tradition, legalism, performance based Christianity, status quo outward self righteousness and rule keeping) and yes to relationships. Yes to friends, family, homeless, strangers, needy, and neighbors. Now i no longer have Church but I have all these relationships and they are growing in love and I am actually more able to practically live out my faith and abiding in Christ now, than i did when I was the the very religious Church goer.

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  23. Thanks, Julie Anne and Cindy K. Grace Driscoll, as well, seems to have been an integral part of her husband’s ‘ministry’, yet there is a hands-off attitude to both her and Beall. I suppose this is what one would expect from a complementarian perspective, but I am surprised to hear it from egalitarians.

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  24. As a 50 year old, I have a full head of hair, and it’s surprising, as many times I slap myself in the forehead with my hand, saying, “Now I get it.”

    Ed, For the life of me, I can’t figure out how slapping yourself in the forehead is going to change the amount of hair you have.

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  25. Loretta,

    I’m so glad that you had a good outcome and what sounds like an auspicious future. It seems like family members do so much waiting and hoping for better relationships with one another, and it’s wonderful to hear about a good outcome.

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  26. Loretta,
    It does my heart good to hear that you have regained your relationship with your child. It gives me hope.

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  27. Slaphead,

    It seems in addition to the Strong’s I ordered, I need to brush up on today’s language. I’m only 7 years older than you, but clueless to this terminology, although I do know a few that the term would fit. lol

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  28. Brenda,

    I know what you are saying. I have to use urban dictionary a lot these days, just to figure out what my daughter is trying to communicate. There are tons of strange words they use today.

    From time to time I would see this word: Mehhh.
    Urban Dictionary Meaning: when something really retarded has happened and one does not know how to express ones feelings towards it.

    The list goes on and on.

    Ed

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  29. It helps when you volunteer at high school choir class to get the new lingo. But sometimes I revert back to my old school lingo and say stuff like, “Has anyone seen my thongs, I don’t want my feet to get hurt on the rocks?” and my teens roll their eyes and correct me: FLIP-FLOPS, NOT THONGS, MOTHER!

    lol

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  30. I always loved that part. Just loved embarrassing my teenagers. We parents have to have some fun. : ) I just found a picture of my girls riding a camel at the zoo. I think I will have it enlarged and hang it on the wall. I will enjoy watching the expressions on their faces the next time they come for a visit.

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  31. JA, It is even more fun in a store. I have done that several times and my kids all duck under the counters. Why do they take a common thing like thongs and reclaim it and trash it??
    Loretta, I am so encouraged by your testimony and will pray that I can experience the same one day soon.

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  32. Thongs vs flip-flops.. hehe I need to try that one on my teens…
    Deb thank you and I pray for your experience of relationship renewal, closeness and friendship with your children.

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  33. “It helps when you volunteer at high school choir class to get the new lingo. But sometimes I revert back to my old school lingo and say stuff like, “Has anyone seen my thongs, I don’t want my feet to get hurt on the rocks?” and my teens roll their eyes and correct me: FLIP-FLOPS, NOT THONGS, MOTHER!”

    Now that is funny.

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  34. Lydia i ‘totally’ like, lay all that gnarly 80s slang on my kids and they just laugh. my 16 year old likes to get me by saying “60s, 70s, 80s, what’s the difference?” ; )

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  35. Speaking of embarrassing teens – Ok, I’ve got to tell a story. My daughter took one class at high school (the rest was homeschooled) and I had to drive her each day. At the school parking lot, there was no real place to turn around; however, there was a dip in the sidewalk for wheelchairs, bikes, etc, so I’d drive up the dip onto the sidewalk. The stairs leading to the entrance was only maybe 10-15 feet away so one day I decided I’d give her “front door” service – I drove the car up on the sidewalk, as close to the stairs as I could. Students were hanging out on the stairs waiting for the bell to ring and they’d look to see what I was doing. She opened the door, got out, and walked up the stairs acting like it was no big deal. Meanwhile, I’d back up onto the parking lot and headed home, laughing profusely once I got out of her line of sight. No joke, I did this every day for a whole school year. It was a great way to start the day 🙂

    I continued this during her sophomore year, still laughing all the way home. One day, out of the clear blue, she practically shouted, “Mom, why do you always do this?”

    Me: What?
    She: Drive up so close to the stairs. Why don’t you just drop me off by the sidewalk like a normal person?
    Me: Because I’m not a normal person.

    She walked away shaking her head. I think at that point, I stopped the front-door service because it wasn’t as fun anymore. However, months later, on the way to high school camp, I took some of her friends in the car and we got onto this topic. She told her male friends this story and they were laughed their heads off, both at me and at her. At first she wasn’t laughing, but then when she saw how hard her friends were laughing, she came around and realized, yes, it really was funny, and we all had great fun the rest of the trip telling stories.

    She’s told me since that she feels sorry for her future kids. DNA, I tell ya. Yea, my mom was similar. 🙂

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  36. Ed, you can at least have your own personalized ’80s MTV anytime you want, via YouTube. I always have one foot in the ’90s, myself.

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  37. I’m one step ahead of ya, Oasis! I use YouTube a lot, and have my own playlists. My 90’s foot only goes as far as about 96. I got hooked into the grunge thing for a bit. Being in the Seattle area was a lot of fun, having Nirvana from Aberdeen, and Pearl Jam from Seattle, as well as other famous Seattle grunge bands. Candlebox was a Seattle favorite band of mine, too. Not to mention, we’ve got Ann and Nancy Wilson.

    Ed

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  38. Oh, on YouTube a lot here, too. Yeah, living up that way would have been fun. Always wanted to be there, and not just because of the music.

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  39. Oasis,

    Well, if ya have seen one Space Needle, you’ve seen ’em all!!! Oh, there’s only one? All kidding aside, it’s beautiful here, and there is tons to do, and many places to see.

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  40. Funny, Ed, funny. 🙂 Well, also, you have both the glorious ocean and the dramatic mountainous sky together, without the blindingly bright and unbearably hot and humid summers, like the ones here. I even like the rain. Sounds pretty good to me!

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  41. I believe that the pastor’s wife is only as responsible as she is a participant or observer of the spiritual abuse that she recognizes. We are all responsible if we recognize spiritual abuse in our churches and do nothing about it. Wives of abusive pastors only get a pass if their children have been threatened with harm if they became advocates for the abused parishioners.

    On the encouraging note, my pastor’s wife is very spiritually encouraging to me lately.

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  42. @CindtK:

    Oh, the wives are the worst, IMO.

    That fits in with what I heard of the Ku Klux Klan of the Roaring Twenties; that it was the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Klan which did a lot of pulling the strings behind the scenes.

    Think of the Pastor-Dictator’s wife as a Christianese Imelda Marcos. (Especially in a Megachurch with the money coming in in buckets.) With all the Special Perks and Privileges of being the ManaGAWD’s Wife, running all the Women’s Auxilliaries, the Queen Bee of the church. You think she’s going to give all that up without a fight? (And women can fight REAL dirty.) And from her Submissive Widdle Wifey role, she wields one weapon over her husband: The P-whip. And a lot of raging Real Men are meek widdle boys at home facing She Who Must Be Obeyed (in Secret). And take it out on others outside their home, to PROVE to themselves that they’re Really Really MEN.

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  43. @JulieAnne:

    She’s told me since that she feels sorry for her future kids. DNA, I tell ya. Yea, my mom was similar. 🙂

    “The Curse WORKS!” — Bill Cosby

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  44. @BrendaR:

    I just found a picture of my girls riding a camel at the zoo. I think I will have it enlarged and hang it on the wall. I will enjoy watching the expressions on their faces the next time they come for a visit.

    Check out the poem “Oonts” by Rudyard Kipling sometime. (It’s about camels, and you won’t find a contrarier or worse-tempered beast of burden anywhere.) An excerpt might make a good caption for the pic.

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  45. Think of the Pastor-Dictator’s wife as a Christianese Imelda Marcos.

    Extremely thankful for the wives of the 2 pastors at the church I attend. Not at all the description here.

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  46. HUG,
    I printed off a copy of “Oonts”. Thank you. The girls will get a kick out of that. It has a catchy rhythm to it.

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  47. Deb, your post about the “years the locust had eaten” with your kids really struck a chord with me. I had the same miserable regrets with my own son, having allowed him to be taught, then modeling for him, the very thing God is not. I have only one piece of advice: own everything and earnestly seek their forgiveness, and be specific: hypocrisy, harshness, intolerance, judgment, etc. And then, here is the great part, actively embrace and participate in the grace that our our good and kind God will lavish in the life of a heartbroken mother. You’ll really have something to share with your kids! I’m praying for you, sis.

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  48. Where have I seen Jesus lately?

    One of my guilty pleasures is watching Discovery ID. Recently I saw a show about a young bride whose new husband was murdered in her presence as they slept in their bed. Since she was unharmed, she was the prime suspect and the police and her husband’s family were convinced she was guilty, adding to her terrible ordeal. Sadly, the woman’s young stepdaughter was returned to her dysfunctional mother, the murdered man’s first wife.

    It was eventually discovered that the murder was committed by a male friend of the first wife. He says he did so on her orders and she says he did it on his own. She was not charged but was convicted on unrelated charges. That left the new bride’s stepdaughter and her older half sister (from a previous relationship of the first wife, no relation to the murdered man) with no one to raise them.

    The second wife stepped forward and is raising both girls. And the youngest, not even a teen at the time, asked to be able to speak to the convicted murderer. She told him she forgave him and explained to the interviewer that she wanted him to have hope.

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  49. I’m sure many of you have been following the story of Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia. They were both transported home and are now in isolation at Emory University Hospital.

    Dr. Brantly happens to be the nephew of one of the ministers at my church, so I’ve probably been paying more attention to it than I might under other circumstances. While one can point to his work in Liberia and say, this is like Jesus, I found another story that touched my heart: when an experimental serum was delivered to Liberia, he insisted that his co-worker get it.

    A 14-year-old boy who had had Ebola, and then recovered, offered to give a unit of blood (with Ebola antibodies) because he wanted to help the man who saved his life.

    Out of a horrible situation, there are some glimmers of light.

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  50. Tina, Thanks so much for this. Yes, been following this and the story has been “Jesus in Action” to me.

    I am devastated over the Christians in Iraq. Why couldn’t we airlift them out of there or something? We just turned out backs on them.

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  51. Oh my.

    “Think of the Pastor-Dictator’s wife as a Christianese Imelda Marcos. (Especially in a Megachurch with the money coming in in buckets.) With all the Special Perks and Privileges of being the ManaGAWD’s Wife, running all the Women’s Auxilliaries, the Queen Bee of the church. You think she’s going to give all that up without a fight? (And women can fight REAL dirty.) And from her Submissive Widdle Wifey role, she wields one weapon over her husband: The P-whip. And a lot of raging Real Men are meek widdle boys at home facing She Who Must Be Obeyed (in Secret). And take it out on others outside their home, to PROVE to themselves that they’re Really Really MEN.”

    I don’t know about the P-whip part, but you’ve pretty well nailed at least one elder’s wife at the place we just left. “Queen Bee of the church” was my own private nickname. You know, middle school all over again. The popular, pretty, fashionable girl that all the other girls (well, all who are allowed, and some who are just tolerated, and all are probably gossiped about behind their backs) hover around, wanting to be in her presence, in her favor, in her good books. Sweet, smiling to your face, helpful even, life of the party, but when you’re not there, the claws come out and tear you (and your children) to shreds. Yeah. BTDT.

    And most of this I learned after we came out of that place, from people who called to say, “Good. I didn’t know how to tell you this before, but…”

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  52. (I meant, above, “my own private nickname for her”. I was about as far from a Queen Bee, or even a worker bee, really, as the East is from the West.)

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  53. I was glad to read some of the encouraging comments in this thread just now. I really need some encouragement today. Thanks.

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  54. Lydia,

    You said: “I am devastated over the Christians in Iraq. Why couldn’t we airlift them out of there or something? We just turned out backs on them.”

    My response: We could.  But Obama is pacifying the liberals and the Ron/Rand Paul’s of the world to leave the world alone.  That’s why he was in such a hurry to get the “troops” out of there as quickly as possible. 

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  55. “You know, middle school all over again”

    My friend John Immel of ‘Spiritualtyranny” blog calls institutional church, “Adult High School”. :o).

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  56. Ed, it is the premeditated brutality of torturing and beheading children, women, etc. It is systematic eradication of Christians for a purpose. To make a point. Nothing more. They offer no armed resistance or threat to their power.

    . Where is the outcry from the moderate Muslims in this country, at the very least? And yes, I would feel the same way if it were Hindu’s or Jews.

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  57. Lydia,

    I agree with you. I’ve been to Dubai, United Arab Emerites several times, and yes, they are pretty peaceful Muslims there, too.

    However, let’s look at a few things. Our own government is refusing to lay it on the line. This is not the Reagan era anymore. I was just discussing a couple of days ago, that when I was active duty, in the navy, doing deployments to the Arabian Sea (we were not allowed in the early 80’s yet to enter into the Persian Gulf), the liberals were not as many as there are today, and the saying was, “No blood for oil”.

    Well, as an active duty guy back then, I disagree with that “No blood for oil” thing. I say to protect our investment. We bought the oil. They are the ones who want to fight about it. All we want to do is to protect our investment.

    Since then, we have so many liberals that doesn’t want the US to get involved in anything overseas. Bring our troops home, they say. Why? That’s their job.

    I guess protecting the lives of animals are more important than to protect the lives of people. And, our president is catering to that mind set. I’m not happy.

    Ed

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  58. Ed,

    I guess protecting the lives of animals are more important than to protect the lives of people. And, our president is catering to that mind set. I’m not happy.

    You’ve got that right!!

    Like

  59. Liberal here.

    As a sociologist, I could have told Bush that intervening in a country like Iraq and expecting democracy to result within a lifetime was not going to happen.

    Saddam murdered his political opponents but he kept a diverse country together. Once he was removed as a dictator, religious conflicts played out unchecked. There is no tradition of democracy and no respecting of minority rights.

    Intervene in a country like Iraq and expect the resulting violence or stay there for a generation or more. You break it, you buy it. There are a lot of nasty dictators in the world; how many times can we intervene and how many countries can we occupy?

    Personally I think this mess is our fault and we have to do something but given that Saddam was not involved in 9/11, I wish we had never gone to war there.

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  60. Here’s a piece you won’t hear from most conservative (both religious and secular) outlets because it doesn’t support their demonization of all Muslims:

    There are good and evil in any aspect of life. Conservative, liberal; religious, secular; attorneys, doctors, accountants, ditch diggers. There is not a lot of good news brought out by any news media..

    Like

  61. That’s precisely what I’d hoped to bring out Brenda. Liberal and conservative labels have little meaning for me because I’m all over the map that way and tend to be the bane of both camps.

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  62. Ah, Muff. Thank you for that. I really needed to read that. I especially loved this part: “There is a lesson to learn from the fatwa that called for our death: It’s not violence or pre-emptive strikes that terrify the terrorists. They need violence to be done against them to justify their cause.

    But pre-emptive love — shown through heart surgeries or simple hospitality — upends our simplistic stories and threatens hatred everywhere.”

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  63. HI Muff, Thanks for the link and I have no doubt there are Muslims there striving to save lives just as there were Germans risking it all to hide Jews. I was specifically focused on why there is so little moderate Muslim outcry on radical Islam in the US. They have the freedom to do so. This has bothered me since 9/11. I do not understand it. I think it would make a huge difference.

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  64. Marsha,

    Military folks have a much different mind set. We do not see it as “occupy”. We see it as the analogy that someone picked up the telephone, called our president, and said, “HELP US”, for which we say, “Help is on the way!”.

    Freedom is in the heart of every human being, except for those who wish to control people. People look to America to save them from tyranny. Now, some of those people are looking to America to save them, and we are turning a blind eye.

    In regards to Iraq, we differ on that one, too. Some of us are thankful that we got involved. Some of us are thankful because we were disappointed that the elder Bush didn’t finish the job. And back then it was Kuwait that had picked up the phone and said, “Help us!” Iraq had invaded Kuwait.

    America is supposed to be there to help people in need. I’m sorry that some see it as “occupy”. It saddens me that they see it that way.

    Ed

    Like

  65. Off topic for a second. I just wanted to let you know that today my mom has her final radiation treatment. Then she will be done, and will be able to start regaining her strength.

    Like

  66. Lydia,
    The HuffPo religion section frequently carries articles written by moderate Muslims who want no part in what the radical elements of their religion teach.

    Like

  67. Muff, that is great and have read some of them. I am talking more about all the Christian focused blogs talking about different aspects of Christianity.There are tons of them from all aspects of our tribe. Something along those lines. I have been looking for something like that for years concerning Islam with interaction among themselves.

    I think we have to admit there is really not that much in the way of social media promoting moderate Islam. People can point to a few articles, talks, etc but there is no real dialogue that I can find discussing Quran, rules, living in non Sharia free country, etc.

    I have always wondered why more moderate Muslims in the West are not having “discussions” about these things. Like we do.

    Like

  68. Lydia,
    I think it will come in time with their young people born and raised here in the USA. I think that ultimately they will develop their own ‘progressive’ thinkers who value reason above dogma just as Christianity has developed its own dissenters.

    Like

  69. Marsha,

    I really like the book “Occidentalism” which discusses what I’d call the “Westernization” of Eurasia. I’ve actually compared it to the patriarchy movement which overlaps into this Calvinism stuff. I was taught a very different model of missions work where one supports the culture to build trust and strengthen it for those you are trying to reach. Kindness woos us to repentance (metanoia in the Greek — literally to “change your mind”). I think that our failing approach in the Middle East works in the opposite fashion. It objectifies the people, demoralizes them, and then seeks to reform them in far too many of the wrong ways.

    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2008/10/spiritual-politics-occidentalism-and.html#more

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  70. BTW, I am a libertarian — a moderate social one (because of our pluralistic society) and strongly fiscally conservative.

    Like

  71. “I think it will come in time with their young people born and raised here in the USA. I think that ultimately they will develop their own ‘progressive’ thinkers who value reason above dogma just as Christianity has developed its own dissenters.”

    Now you get where I am coming from! Yes!
    This is my hope. Especially for the women.

    Like

  72. My first encounter with liberals:

    After a deployment to the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean, our next stop for a liberty port was Perth, Western Australia. On our way into port, we encountered many boats with banners ordering us to “GO HOME”, all because of nuclear weapons, for which at the time, we could neither confirm, nor deny. Well, that’s a nice welcome mat.

    Well, to me, that shaped my view of liberals. California is going through a needless drought, all because of a fish. Seattle banned the use of “plastic” grocery bags, yet garbage bags are plastic.

    Then there is the smoking of cigarettes are “oh, so disgusting, and nasty”, but smoking pot is good for your health and cool?

    Then there is Rosy O’Donnel.

    Ed

    Like

  73. Ed,
    Not being allowed to see Aussie land is criminal. That is my #2 dream vacation. I’m not sure how California’s drought is because of a fish, but I will take your word for it. Banning one type of plastic and not others is stupid. My youngest daughter will only use cloth or paper bags, paper for taking out her garbage and will not use paper towels. She is green, not necessarily liberal. I’m so thankful that she hasn’t found an alternative for toilet paper.

    Cigarettes are disgusting and nasty. I do not want to kiss an ashtray either. Smoking pot may be beneficial for some people with certain medical conditions, but not to be cool or just to get high.
    Don’t even get me started on Rosie O’Donnell or Hollywood in general.

    Like

  74. Brenda,

    Well, once we got past Green Peace, Perth was extremely welcoming, and it was a great place to visit. Families would take us in for dinner. Saw kangaroos and koala bears. Nightlife was great, etc.

    In regards to “SMOKING” pot being beneficial to your health, I cannot buy into that. I see it as an excuse to get pot legalized. We have a generation of pot fanatics, a bunch of drug addicts. Now we have grade school kids doing pot. That was unheard of when I was growing up.

    Ed

    Like

  75. Ed,
    We are being desensitized to many things over the years. I never thought a thing about saying “gosh golly” or “gee whiz” until someone said they were desensitized ways of saying things that I shouldn’t outta. Shut the front door, is another one that offends many people I’m not sure I understand any of that, but it’s out there. An Easter Egg hunt was created to show the Romans searching for Christians to kill. We still have them every year like clock work and even at a lot of churches. That’s a couple of examples. I could give others, but I have really got off track with this conversation and don’t want to start more issues.

    I am not for the public using marijuana, but I am also not for the public using hard liquor. Sorry folks, but that’s the way I feel. The public has been desensitized to the use of both for a very long time. For proven medicinal purposes such as glaucoma, the lowering of blood sugar for diabetics and a few others I don’t see the harm in prescriptioned marijuana. If it reduces a persons pain when nothing else works, I am for it. The problem is there are too many docs that are free and easy with the prescription pad. I don’t want to see children smoking or drinking any substance that can alter their mental state or hurt their bodies growth, but unfortunately it is happening illegaly. It is a crime everywhere to allow children to have these things.

    Another issue is our government regulation. Our president recently said that he thinks marijuana should be legalized. I think he is seeing $$ in his head when he says that. Think of the tax revenue that could bring in!! Think of all that money we could be blowing on senseless projects such as scientists hammering a monkey in the head to see if he feels pain. Just one project that our government has given $$ to in the past. Well anyways, so far the Government officials in my state haven’t listened to a word I have said on any topic. I write letters to them all the time with responses like, “thanks for writing but this is how I feel”. My voice isn’t heard. I keep trying to vote them out without success.

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  76. Oh PS Ed,
    Since the legalization of medical marijuana in my state, they are working on ways to make it useful in lotions and teas. It could be useful without being smoked.

    Like

  77. Brenda,

    I’m still not buying into the medical use of it.  People are saying that it has been proven.  But I’ve read Dr.’s who are wanting it to be legalized for the purpose of finding out if it is indeed medicinal.  They don’t know.  Real doctors, that is.  It’s like Nancy Pelosi, saying that we won’t know what’s in the law, until we pass the law.  A friend of mine has a doctor that will prescribe him practically anything that he wants, i.e. percoset, marijuana, the list goes on.  Doctor shopping.  If you can’t find a doctor to prescribe, search for one that will.

    The other things that you mentioned, i.e. easter egg hunt, etc., sometimes I think that people make things up to demonize it, really having nothing to do with desensitizing it.  Never heard that it was wrong to say “Golly Gee”, etc.

    The United Church of God, which originated from the Herbert W Armstrong clan, which is an offshoot of the 7th Day Adventists say all sorts of things against Easter, for example.  They mock little girls wearing Easter Bonnets and Dresses.  They mock the game of Easter Egg Hunting.  It’s a kids game, not a religious ritual. 

    The Jews “custom” during Passover meal is to hide the 1/2 broken bread for the children to find.  Whoever finds it, wins money, or something.  It’s a game.  But that particular game is a spiritual looksy into the resurrection of Jesus.

    Some people make mountains out of nothing, it seems.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  78. It seems only part of justice has been served in this case. There are others who should be arrested for the cover up.

    Like

  79. You’re absolutely correct. There needs to be justice served for every leader who covered up the abuse, and who denied the rights of the victims to seek help from the authorities.

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  80. Could I please ask you all to remember everyone in the mess going on in Ferguson, Missouri? I grew up there, went to church there for over 20 years. My mom and younger brother still live there, only a mile up the street from where all the riots and looting is taking place. It’s not safe there right now.

    Like

  81. Marsha,

    Military folks have a much different mind set.  We do not see it as “occupy”.  We see it as the analogy that someone picked up the telephone, called our president, and said, “HELP US”, for which we say, “Help is on the way!”.

    Freedom is in the heart of every human being, except for those who wish to control people.  People look to America to save them from tyranny.  Now, some of those people are looking to America to save them, and we are turning a blind eye. 

    In regards to Iraq, we differ on that one, too.  Some of us are thankful that we got involved.  Some of us are thankful because we were disappointed that the elder Bush didn’t finish the job.  And back then it was Qatar that had picked up the phone and said, “Help us!”  Iraq had invaded Qatar.

    America is supposed to be there to help people in need.  I’m sorry that some see it as “occupy”.  It saddens me that they see it that way. 

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

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