SSB Sunday Gathering – December 28, 2014

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

Big Mac Winter 2013 taken from the North side2

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All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.

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.

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you.  They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.

1 Peter 1:3-12

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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: Richard Jakus “Mackinac Bridge taken from the North side of the bridge.”

20 comments on “SSB Sunday Gathering – December 28, 2014

  1. I am (once again) struggling with church. A women from my former church shared a very disturbing blog post by the women’s ministry leader. The blogger went into detail about how divorce is wrong and that she regrets it. Mind you, her husband was very abusive. She cites the fact that she lost “the opportunity to be a beautiful reflection of Christ and the covenant of marriage”, and that she lost her “earthly provider and protector”. Her attitude is a reflection of the toxic teachings of the pastor. He protects and supports a drug addict and convicted sexual predator, but refuses to take a stand against domestic abuse. It made me realize two things. 1) That I really need to make an appointment to talk with the pastor of the church I have been attending to clarify what his position is regarding my situation. I know many can attend churches who still teach that a woman is under the authority of her husband, even an abusive one. But, I cannot. There are just too many painful memories of decades of church-enabled abuse. And, 2) that I have to remove the people associated with my former church from my social media. I know it sounds extreme, but I feel like they are pulling me down. When I see posts such as described above, it brings back guilt where guilt should not exist. I remember my pastor calling me the day they helped me move out, after CPS was called, and asking me for my husband’s phone number so he can assure my husband that they aren’t encouraging me to leave him. Seriously? It brings back the feelings of betrayal and despair.

    Please pray for me today, that I have the strength to do both of these things.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The pic up top has a link name that includes “big_mac”. As there is no sorrel cartoon draft pony stallion in sight, is that “Da Bridge” between Yooperland and Da Mitten?

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  3. Minervasue – Removing people associated with your former church from your social media is not an extreme thing to do at all, especially if they affect you the way they do. It’s a good thing – and one that I have done myself. Thinking of you and praying for you this morning.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I agree with Kathi about removing from social media. If you are unsure, you can always change the settings and “hide” them just in case.

    With regard to talking to your pastor, that’s a tough one, especially if you have felt safe there. So sorry you are going through this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathi,
    Thank you for the prayers. I already took a deep breath and went through my Facebook and unfriended those that have been a negative presence. Just another hard thing (in a long list of things!) that I’ve had to do in my journey to becoming emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy.

    Julie Anne,
    I feel as though if I don’t qualify his stance on domestic abuse and marriage, that it is a false sense of safety. I’d rather find out now than months, or years, from now when I am firmly established. The hardest part of leaving my husband was doing so with virtually no support, since my church was my main source of social interaction.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. minervasue,
    People can be brainwashed into almost anything. An abused woman is not being “a beautiful reflection of Christ and the covenant of marriage”. The covenant is broken. Of course, if you are John Piper you will tell this woman that she just has to do her portion of the covenant–keep up her end of the bargain no matter what. Whether her scars are internal or external John Piper’s version is a load of manure.

    The pastor at the church I am attending and I do not see eye to eye on this topic either. I believe my divorce was scriptural and if I chose to marry again, which is unlikely, I would be free to do so. In recent days, I spend a great deal of time locating shelters and organizations with the intent of distributing information regarding Biblical divorce. I have had no one from the church offer to help. I have had a couple cheer me on, but I could actually use the help more. All in God’s timing I know.

    I will pray for you as you do what you feel you must do. It is very difficult to find a church that whole heartedly agrees with my definition of abuse. Internal scars from fear, mental, emotional, spiritual abuse go just as deep or more so as physical abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “The pic up top has a link name that includes “big_mac”. As there is no sorrel cartoon draft pony stallion in sight, is that “Da Bridge” between Yooperland and Da Mitten?”

    Ya it be one and the same.
    One of the nurses my wife worked with was on vacation in the UP and the conditions were just right for that picture. They hiked back through the snow to get this picture. Actually, on that day one could have walked over to Mackinac Island across the ice and that’s where one would find the draft pony stallions. My wife asked how he made the picture so beautiful and I responded, a $5,000 camera. 🙂
    Jim

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  8. This is such a beautiful picture of the Mackinaw Bridge. I see it fairly regularly in all sorts of weather conditions. This has got to be my favorite.

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  9. Brenda R, I’m not looking for wholehearted agreement. Just a pastor who hates abuse more than they hate divorce. However, that’s beginning to look like a pipe dream in this valley. But, I haven’t given up yet! And, kudos to you for being an advocate for other abused women. I have seriously thought of doing the same.

    Jim, that picture is stunning. Makes me wonder what kind of pictures I could take with a $5k camera! 🙂

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  10. Love the picture! The last verse of Peter is something to ponder upon: Think about it!—“It is all so amazing that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen”!!!
    Minervasue: I am so sorry about your struggle. If you do talk to your pastor you might want to bring a diplomatic third party. Hopefully your pastor will hear you out, but you may not get the response you would like to hear. An empathic third party may help you decompress from a potentially loaded discussion. Let us know how it goes. Hope everyone has a peaceful week.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. minervasue, I have no words of advise, just that I will pray that God’s grace will be sufficient for all you must do. I went through a terrible time in my 35 year marriage 2 years ago, and I was very near leaving. Years of brainwashing from my church would not approve. I soldier on, things are a wee bit better, but I medicate now. Depression was a result of a difficult marriage.

    Here is a link to an interesting blog that may be of help to someone.
    http://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/tenets-need-go-too-part-1

    Liked by 1 person

  12. minervasue wrote:

    There are just too many painful memories of decades of church-enabled abuse.

    Love doesn’t hurt, and if it does, it ain’t love.

    Liked by 1 person

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