SSB Sunday Gathering – November 2, 2014

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

 

photo (16)

 

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…He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil,

for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.…

Psalm 23: 3-5

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Feel free to join 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?

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photo credit: JA at the farmer’s market

19 comments on “SSB Sunday Gathering – November 2, 2014

  1. This is a very reassuring message, Julie Anne. A very good way to start the Lord’s Day. God never let’s go of us even through the dark times.

    Matthew 18:20 “Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there will I be in the midst of them.” I wonder how many buildings this morning with “church” on the outside label actually have 2 or 3 gathered in “His Name” and not on the person doing most of the talking.

    Like

  2. Julie Anne,

    Your picture is stunning…..the details of the wood grain, the nails hammered into the boards, the lumps on the pumpkins, etc……loving it all!

    And that precious Psalm; one that I sang in the heat of the night at the hospital, on my back in a panic of anxiety, alone in the flesh but not in the Spirit……….Jesus was and is there throughout every beautiful word of the 23rd Psalm.

    Your timing is wonderful, Julie Anne, and His Love is made perfect.

    God be with all of you today as you live in Christ.

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  3. He restores my soul…
    I am struggling this morning. I want to fellowship with other Christians but I feel defeated. I hear the same thing over and over. There is redemption for the drug addict, rapist and murderer, but not the woman who divorces her husband. I cling to my belief that God loves me. Me, a woman. Me, a mother who did what she had to to protect her children. Me, who lies in bed at night scared, but determined to keep going on. But, this morning the condemnation seems overwhelming. I am struggling to work up the courage to walk into church and face those who would tell me that I was wrong. That God has no compassion for me and sentences me to be alone the rest of my life for committing the unforgivable sin of leaving my abuser. My phone sits silently on my bedside table mockingly reminding me that my pastor moved on long ago to more worthy causes. This morning I feel vulnerable and weary. Not quite sure I have the strength to plaster a smile on my face and go to church. Ironic that the church seems to have given my husband the revenge he wants. That I will remain alone and without support. I WILL get out of bed and go. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. He restores my soul…

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  4. Minervasue – I’m so glad you commented and did not want to face this alone. You are not alone. There are so many who have also done exactly what you have done. I applaud you for making that difficult step to protect yourself and your children. God does not want you and your children to be living with an abuser. You did the right thing. I get very angry about those who hold an institution higher than the people whom God created. He didn’t send his Son to save the institution of marriage, but to save people. God loves YOU, His creation. Having you considered trying a new church, one in which you will be loved unconditionally?

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  5. I’ve been to a handful of different churches. The valley I live in is ultra conservative. The rhetoric is so mingled with God’s word that they are indistinguishable from one another. Heck, I myself bought into it for decades. I’m still searching. I haven’t given up hope yet! I wish there was a Google search for “local churches that accept those recovering from spousal abuse.” 🙂

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  6. And, thank you for the encouraging words. They are very comforting. I am grateful that you don’t let your critics silence you. I have had many tell me that it’s unChristian of me to speak out against my husband who mistreated me. That I am somehow sinning by speaking out against injustice. The fact is, those that perpetrate injustice would rather we keep silent. Thank you for being the voice of those who may otherwise not be heard.

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  7. minervasue

    Thank you for telling us your story and your struggles.
    And for trusting God in the midst of these dark times when you repeat…
    “He restores my soul…”

    Psalm 23:1-6
    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me to lie down in green pastures:
    He leads me beside the still waters.
    He restores my soul:
    He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: for You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.
    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies:
    You anoint my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
    Surely goodness and mercy
    shall follow me all the days of my life:
    and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
    ——–

    Psalm 23:1-6.
    The LORD Jesus is *minervasue’s* Shepherd;
    And, *minervasue* shall not want or lack – For anything…
    The Lord God Almighty offers to *minervasue* peace and rest.
    To lie down in green pastures. To rest in Him. To cease from her own works.
    Jesus, the Prince of Peace desires to lead *minervasue*…
    Beside the still waters. Filled with His Joy and His Peace and His Love.
    The Lord our Healer is restoring *minervasue’s* soul:
    From those nasties who have torn it apart, and tampled on it…
    The Lord is healing *minervasue’s* broken heart…
    From ALL the hurts, pains, rejections, abandonments and hurtful words…

    The Holy Spirit leads *minervasue* in the paths of righteousness
    For His name’s sake.
    Yea, though *minervasue* walks through the valley of the shadow of death,
    The Valley of Abuse, The Valley of the shadow of being alone,
    *minervasue* will fear NO evil: Because He will Never leave, nor forsake…
    Because, You, the God of all comfort, Is with *minervasue*, Always…
    Your rod and Your staff they comfort *minervasue*.
    With Your LOVE, Your acceptance, appreciation, respect, for *minervasue*.

    You prepare a table before *minervasue* in the presence of her enemies:
    Your enemies. Enemies of Love.
    You anoint *minervasue’s* head with oil;
    And *minervasue* is a King and a Priest unto you Lord,
    An Ambassador of Love. Your Bride and Your Friend.
    *minervasue’s* cup is truly overflowing. With your Love.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow *minervasue*
    All the days of her life:
    And *minervasue* will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
    ————–

    Thank you Lord that you have restored, and are restoring, my soul.
    “He restores my soul…”

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  8. minervasue,

    We that have been married to an abuser have all heard the same garbage from clergy and even other Christians. God will save a murderer, rapist etc. IF they repent and ask for forgiveness. It doesn’t mean they will not face consequences. The abusive spouse also has consequences to face. They no longer have us to abuse. The church often does side with the abuser instead of the victim/target. They may have other people hoodwinked, but they don’t fool God and that is far more important than unforgiving humans.

    Hold your head high. You have done nothing wrong. God hates the sin that caused the divorce or separation. He loves us just as we are and does not condemn us for walking away from such treatment. You may want to consider another church. I stay with mine to fight the way of thinking and misinterpretation of scripture that prevents those who are going through abuse from coming forward. There is plenty of good being done in my church, but there are things that I openly speak against. No one has tried to kick me out yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Minervasue,

    I am really, really thankful that you have aired your struggles publicly. I was ignorant of what so many wives were dealing with on a weekly basis until blogging. Now when I listen to sermons, I listen with different ears. I can see how many in your shoes seem to be forgotten in church. We who are aware of this shameful oversight can be proactive in our churches. We can go the extra mile to check in with single moms. We can remind our pastors to include them in their messages. I actually have spoken to my pastor and elders about these kinds of things.

    Here, at SSB, you are valuable to us and among friends. Feel free to share your ups and downs. That’s what this place is for. No need to carry that burden by yourself. I know there are other single wives saying “yup, she’s speaking my language.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you, Brenda. At this point in my life, I feel led to find another church. I am ready to let go of unhealthy relationships and move forward. I am so done letting others abuse me in the name of God.

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  11. minervasue,
    I pray your search is over very soon and you find a group of believers where you can find support and truth.

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  12. Dear minervasue, you are definitely not alone. The church is completely ignorant and commits spiritual malpractice when it condemns those of us compelled to leave our abusive mates. God does not condone abuse, the Scriptures are twisted and misrepresent the heart of God for marriage. I would like to offer a piece I wrote on this very subject, if Julie Anne wouldn’t mind. It is entitled, “I Know How the Blind Man Felt,” and shares how Jesus restored the sight of the blind man, who was then judged and essentially excommunicated from his community for receiving the gift Jesus gave him. But the man certainly didn’t reject the gift, and our Lord deemed his self-righteous judges blind for their arrogance.

    http://www.hurtbylove.com/i-know-how-the-blind-man-felt/

    Be strong and stand on the truth of God’s grace. No one can take that away from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Minervasue, have you been to the Cry for Justice site? It’s on Julie Anne’s blogroll. It’s all about the right of the abused spouse to divorce her (or his, as the case may be) abuser.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. cindy burrell, I read your link and found it to be right on. I would highly recommend reading the link. A little long but well done and worth the time.
    Jim

    Liked by 1 person

  15. @ minervasue,

    Two things:
    1) When Jesus and his band were harassed by the religious authorities about picking grain to eat on the Sabbath, he said: “…The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:…”
    Now use your own common sense of right and wrong in a given situation and ask yourself if marriage was made for humans or if humans were made for marriage in an absolute and binding sense regardless of circumstances.

    2) My daughter in law works in social services and she’s seen everything from black eyes to broken ribs in women who stay with their abusers. She says the most heart-wrenching cases by far are the ones in which a woman stays with a monster because she’s been taught by her preacher, pastor, elder, or what have you, that she cannot leave him under any circumstances because it’s against the Bible
    Jesus has a scathing indictment for these individuals too:

    “…And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers…”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you, Muff. To your item #1, when you put it that way, it does make common sense. And that is the crux of the problem with the bad advice I received. The ideal of marriage was held in higher esteem than the well-being of me and my kids. To your item #2, surely those that counseled me that it was my duty to stay “neglected justice and the love of God” (v.42). I often wondered if I was their daughter, sister or even mother, if the advice would have been the same. Ultimately CPS was called, and I moved out for fear for my safety, and that of my kids. While it was a difficult time, I thank God that someone cared enough to report to the authorities what I did not have the courage to. Ultimately, social services did not want to get involved and closed the case without taking it any further. But, it was the catalyst that forced me to realize that I had to leave, even if I did so only for my kids.

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