SSB Sunday Gathering

SSB Sunday Gathering – September 21, 2014

Spiritual Sounding Board  – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.



photo (1)


Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who
loves is born of God and knows God.

Whoever does not love does not know God, for
God is love.

God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into
the world so that we might live through him.

In this is love, not that we loved God but
that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another,God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

John 4:7-12: 7



Feel free to join in the discussion.
You can 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: Gail, Lake Charlevoix, MI

27 thoughts on “SSB Sunday Gathering – September 21, 2014”

  1. Thanks so much for all that you do Julie Anne! This week, I’ve been singing this song over and over, and trying to press into Jesus.

    I’m realizing more and more that this is going to be a much longer recovery than I expected. I’m shell shocked from “church”, and even the most sincere efforts of others trigger bad memories for me. I’m just trying to not let it affect my relationship with Jesus, which is not that easy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Once again, I am so thankful for this place to join my heart with other believers. I can ask questions and not be blasted! I do not have fear the fiery darts from the pulpit, as the narcissistic pastor struts his stuff, as he pedals his brand of “truth” and builds his little kingdom of patriarchal, quiver full followers. Grateful also for the peace and joy that comes from finally seeing the lies that have guided our family for over 16 years. May God bless each of you with HIS presence today, as you walk with a Shepherd who would go after the one sheep, because HE loves us. I don’t always “feel” loved because I still have the “rules” in my head. May today be a day where another lie is replaced with TRUTH>
    Gonna listen to Julie Anne on blog talk radio and be informed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mixmastermerks,

    Glad you could join us. You are right, it really is a process, and not always a smooth one.

    Thanks for posting the song. It’s a new one for me. We need to find that safe place, free of distractions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Erik

    Nice to hear from you…

    You write…
    “this is going to be a much longer recovery than I expected.”

    Well, at least you know you are in “Recovery.”
    You’re a lot smarter than me… 😉

    It took me a few years after leaving “The Religious System”
    before I realized what had happened. “Spiritual Abuse.”
    All I knew was I could NOT do that anymore. “Church.”
    Recovery was NOT in my understanding.
    Just living, day after day, was a challenge.
    Go to work. Go home. Cry a lot.

    After 3-4 years, I learned to sing this song – a lot…

    I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
    I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
    There’ve been times
    I didn’t know right from wrong:

    But in every situation
    God gave blessed consolation
    That my trials come
    To only make me strong.

    Through it all, through it all,
    I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
    I’ve learned to trust in God;
    Through it all, through it all,
    I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

    I’ve been to lots of places,
    And I’ve seen a lot of faces,
    There’ve been times I felt so all alone;

    But in my lonely hours,
    Yes, those precious lonely hours,
    Jesus let me know that I was His own.

    Through it all, through it all,
    I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
    I’ve learned to trust in God;
    Through it all, through it all,
    I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

    I thank God for the mountains,
    And I thank Him for the valleys,
    I thank Him for the storms
    He brought me through;

    For if I’d never had a problem
    I wouldn’t know
    That He could solve them,
    I’d never know what faith
    In God could do.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What perfect verses to carry me this week. I have stopped reading my Bible, so here on Sunday I take whatever verses are used and hold them in my heart. It is less overwhelming and are not being manipulated by one man’s opinion or motive. Mixmaster: “Safe Place”, what a simple and soothing song. Thank you for posting it! How do you find this stuff? Ann

    Liked by 2 people

  6. @Erik

    “I’m realizing more and more that this is going to be a much longer recovery than I expected. I’m shell shocked from “church”, and even the most sincere efforts of others trigger bad memories for me.”

    I know exactly what you mean.
    Yesterday, I listened to a talk given by a woman recovering from a cult. Her name is Elizabeth Esther. (And she was speaking in Texas just a few hours from me! I wish I’d known.) She titled it “You are ALREADY Free!”

    Julie Anne has told me a few times that I’m free now. Sometimes, when I feel bogged down with the baggage of spiritual abuse, I’m not sure I understand what “free” even means. What I heard yesterday was an epiphany for me.

    Elizabeth told of a situation that happened at her daughter’s 1st birthday. She was celebrating with her parents, grandmother (her grandfather led the fundamentalist cult she grew up in) and uncles. Her daughter did something that her grandmother deemed worthy of discipline. The grandmother fetched a wooden spoon for spanking, and handed it to Elizabeth. She took her daughter to the bathroom and closed the door. But . . she made a FREE will decision, right then and there, to not raise her daughter the way she’d been raised. She did not spank her. She was ALREADY free just in being able to make that decision.

    It still took a while for her and her husband to leave that cult.

    I suddenly “got” what Julie Anne meant when telling me I’m free. Yes, I still have lot of baggage to work through. At least I can do it in a safe place with people who understand. If something makes me uncomfortable, I am FREE to not participate.

    I am sorry you had an abusive church experience. I don’t wish it on anyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Deb

    “I don’t always “feel” loved because I still have the “rules” in my head.”

    Yeah – Rules sucketh!!!

    Just another word for “Law.” And the “Law” sucketh!!!

    It, rules, law, will suck the “Life” right out of WE, His Sheep, His Kids.
    Rules distract us. Cause us to look at us. And what we have to do.
    And NOT look at Jesus. And what he is doing for us.

    I NO longer desire to live under the law.
    Even my own rules, that I make up.

    WE, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Sheep…
    NO longer have to “Live under the law.” Under Rules.

    1 – We are – Delivered from the law. Rom 7:6
    2 – We are – Dead to the law. Rom 7:4
    3 – We are – Not under the law. Rom 7:2
    4 – We are – Free from the law. Rom 8:2
    5 – The law is NOT of faith. Gal 3:12
    6 – We are – Redeemed from the curse of the law. Gal 3:13
    7 – We are – No longer under a schoolmaster. ( The law.) Gal. 3:25
    8 – The law is NOT made for a rightous man. 1 Tim 1:9
    9 – By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified. Rom 3:19
    10- The law worketh wrath. Rom 4:15

    Wow – “The law worketh wrath.” – In me…

    Now, when someone, some doctrine, trys to put the “Law” on me…

    I get pissed, wrathful, angry…

    “You go live uner the Law”

    I’m hangin with Jesus… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Today is National Back to Church Sunday. Well to mixmastermerks/Erik and to all the others here who have been betrayed by institutional “Christianity” I say,


    Because we are the Church.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It is, Gary? Well, I guess today my church is with you all. I typically go to church, but woke up with a headache. What’s cool about my church is I never ever feel guilty if I miss. That is very different from our former cult church. I felt like I had to have a reason to justify missing any of the services. My current pastor and a few of the people know my history and they give me my space and have never said a word. I have to go in this afternoon for choir practice and when I go (hopefully if this headaches subsides after a nap – probably will), I will go in guilt-free. I think I’m going to thank him this afternoon for being so gracious about church attendance. It has been freeing for me. (There’s that word again, BTDT!) 🙂


  10. Sweet stuff going on in here today. I’ve had a rough few days and really weepy and just thinking that so many of us have gone through sucky church experiences and can still hang on to a thread of Jesus brings tears to my eyes.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I sometimes think that I have been blessed by things that God has given me, and it just could not get any better. But there have been many setbacks through my life as a Christian. I have come to the conclusion, if not for God lifting me up, I would never have made it.
    I was grieving the loss, a few weeks ago, of my younger sister Mary. I received a link to a wonderful song that made me cry but also by interjecting God into the song, lifted my spirits. A six year old sings the song showing me the newness of life and contrasting her with my sister who was only 61, the song made me think that God and only God can lift one’s spirit to make it through the hard times. To God be the glory. And yes, I realize the song probably isn’t about God but when one is grieving, by interjecting God in a song like this, God does give comfort. He lifts us up and carries us on His shoulders. Thank you to God to see us through the bad times.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m on the board of our community’s semi-professional choral group and last night I attended their opening concert. Sometimes the music is secular. Last night, it was sacred. We have no performing arts center, so they have to sing at host churches in the area. Last night’s concert was at a Catholic church with beautiful acoustics. A lot of it was sung cappella (without the aid of instrumental accompaniment). What a wonderful gift music is – the human voice as an instrument singing praises (even though some of them are probably atheists). The words of God are true. They can speak through individuals who do not love Him. His words were alive and touched my heart, melting my weary soul.

    His words can speak in dead churches, His words can speak through a donkey. Where do you find God speaking to you?


  13. Our family also left the church to rediscover the heart of God. Without the heavy hand of churchiosity pressing down on us, we are free to know Him who loves us with an everlasting love, to serve and encourage one another in Him, free from the dictates of legalist conformity. What a joy! Our Lord and Savior be praised, for HE is the author and perfecter of our faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. J.A. asked “Where do you find God speaking to you?”

    I hear the Lord speaking to me through the people who have shared here today.

    There is so much love here, that I wept when I read what y’all were sharing. The good, sweet, kind of tears, that soften some of the hardened ground in my heart. Thankful to be gathered here with all of you.

    I was trying to post a comment when I lost my internet connection, jic, it shows up.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Jimmydee, what a beautiful performance! JA, I am sorry you have had a rough week. You do so much for your readers and hope you are practicing some self-care. I love you and the ways you have given a voice to hurting people.
    Where do I hear God speaking? JA may reach through my screen and strangle me, but I have a hard time with church and worship music. My mom when to Eastman School of music in voice and my husband has a Master’s in piano performance. Me-I love hip-hop. So I felt such relief when I was told that music wasn’t the only way to worship!
    I hear God the most clearly when another person opens up and shares their pain and fear with me. It is a tremendous honor to have another trust me enough with their personal struggles and know I will not shame them, give advise or repeat their secrets. I experience God in that exchange. It is an intimacy that is beyond words. All can say is in these encounters, I know God exists and that He is love.
    I believe we all have individual ways to know God that may not line up with “Biblical” explanations. I would love to hear other’s experiences!


  16. No strangling from me, Ann, each person’s triggers are uniquely theirs and I respect that. There are songs that trigger me, so I avoid those like the plague.

    It’s been a while since I have mentioned it, but when I was in the midst of the crazy time with the lawsuit, didn’t have an attorney yet, was living 4 hours away from Portland and needed to get an attorney in Oregon, I had one weekend in which to find an attorney. It had to coincide with other scheduled events (my daughter’s volleyball, dinner with fam, etc). I had only 2 slots open to interview attorneys. One of the attorneys had one last spot opened – the same time I had available. The other attorney said she had family from out of country visiting and couldn’t make it. At the last minute, she sent me an e-mail when I was en route. She would have one hour in which to meet. Guess what time it was – – yup – the last opening I had.

    Ok, if that was not a Master Conductor directing an orchestra on my behalf, I don’t know what it was. That was God speaking to me in a very clear way – the way I needed it. Gives me chills still thinking about it. The appoint with the female attorney was the one who represented me and won my case. God is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I realized this morning that I have a long way to go in my recovery also. I thought I was getting better, but when I was afraid to speak to a pastor about my concern with a bible discussion we had, I ran from the church, even though it really is a wonderful church, and I never had any reason to fear this man. This was 6 months ago. But some friends I made there stayed in contact, and I went back this morning. The sermon was on fear. For me, ever since I was a child, fear has been a constant companion, and sometimes it rears it’s ugly head in strange ways. Couple that with suffering spiritual abuse….you get the idea. So I have an appointment to speak with the pastor next week. A friend that goes there has gone through similar abuse issues tells me that that church has been a very healing environment for her, but she understands my trepidation. I am tired of “chasing God”…I need healing.


  18. Gracie – Fear is a big one. Have you considered asking your friend to go along with you for moral support? I’ve done that before. Praying for you, Gracie. I’m glad you’re going to meet with your pastor. That’s a big step – trust issues, and all of that are such a challenge.


  19. I just saw a video this morning that reminded me of the comments here of folks feeling the Lord move through “different” types of music.
    Listen to this priest sing his version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for a couple’s wedding. It made me smile.


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