SSB Gathering – March 15, 2015

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

 by Kathi

Unknown trail

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Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

(1) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven;

(2) a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

(3) a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build

(4) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

(5) a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

(6) a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

(7) a time to tear and a time to men, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

(8) a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

***

***

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

***

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?

***

photo credit: Brian Bonham

26 comments on “SSB Gathering – March 15, 2015

  1. Kathi thank you I really needed this. This morning at church another church member verbally abused me in front of few of my friends. He said I had butted in when he was speaking to the church treasurer, if I had it was purely by accident. I have never seen such anger thankfully I was surrounded by people who gathered me up into their arms and the minister spoke to me later about what had happened. I still feel very upset as at most times I am pretty fragile from what the last church put me through. So these words were perfectly timed: ‘a time to weep and a time to laugh’ Rhonda

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  2. Good morning my sweet sisters and brothers in Christ. Please pray for me as I prepare to write a letter to the one pastor out of four who I think was the only one who believes me regarding my husband’s abuse. I left the church 8 months ago and he continues to reach out to me by mail. I feel I need to answer him in the form of a letter. I pray for the right words to say and also for an opportunity to meet with him and his wife. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I will be praying for both Rhondajeannie and Jersey Girl. I’m glad that you had people around you to encourage you, Rhondajeannie.

    Jersey Girl – It’s very difficult to be in a church if they won’t believe you. How can that even be a church? I’m glad at least one has reached out to you and that you likely will have a safe place in he and his wife. It’s so important to have support.

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  4. rhondajennie – What a horrible experience! Reading that makes me angry and if I could, I would give you a hug too. I’m glad that you have friends who were able to surround you. I hope the pastor’s words were kind and appropriate as well.

    Jersey Girl – I will pray for the strength and courage it will take to write out your letter. I find it sad that not all of the pastors are reaching out to you, but relieved that at least one is. I hope he will be a source of support for you.

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  5. I told Julie Anne last night that today’s post seems a bit melancholy. I know several people in my life that are going through some very difficult times. As much as I love my times to laugh, this week has seemed to be a time to be mindful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t heard from John for a while, Marsha. But I can shoot him an email. I’d like to know how he’s doing, too. I’ll let him know people are still praying for him and concerned about him.

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  7. It has indeed been a very rough week with personal friends going through very trying and life/death situations. Thank you, Kathi. You have been such an encouragement to me and the verses are so appropriate.

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  8. Kathi, Thank you for today. Rhonda Jennie and Jersey Girl-I believe this week’s verses speak to all of us! Knowing we are not alone in our suffering can help us through this journey. I wish I could hold hands with both of you!

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  9. Rhonda

    Sorry for “The Abuse” you had to endure at church. 😦

    Glad you “were surrounded by people” who cared and comforted you. 🙂

    This story of Sampson came to mind…
    When he slew a 1,000 men with **the jawbone of an ass.**

    Jud 15:15
    And he found a new **jawbone of an ass,**
    and put forth his hand, and took it,
    and slew a thousand men therewith.

    Seems to me, this church member who verbally abused you…
    Used the same weapon to hurt you… His own jawbone…
    **the jawbone of an ass.**
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. For those of you here who are comfortable with praying, could you remember me to God today? These last few days have been really taxing for me– it’s kind of a long story, but to make it very short, a “Christian” children’s theatre group which was a significant part of my identity for a long time chewed me up and spat me out. Twice.

    These last few days have been tough in general, but on Friday I was stuck with how much I gave them, and how little they gave me in return. I was ignored and pushed aside by most of the leaders because I am not petite, popular, rich, and/or neurotypical. The second time through the system (with different people) there were at least some real, loving people, but they got booted out just like we did.

    Please pray for me. That supposedly safe place messed me up worse than living with a master manipulator for 17 years.

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  11. Incidentally, does anyone know of anyone else with bad experiences with this group? It is a nationwide organization calling itself Christian Youth Theatre (CYT). The system is not set up in a way that promotes healthy leadership, so I keep thinking that there must be other families out there who share our bad experiences.

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  12. Witch Hazel,

    I’m really sad to hear you had a rough week. As I read your posts, I was struck that although you have been going through difficulties, you are seeing abusive systems as abusive systems and separating yourself from them. Yes, it is definitely painful, but your eyes are opened and you will be able to see much more clearly because of your bad experiences. It doesn’t remove the pain, however, and I will pray for you.

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  13. rhondajeannie, Witch Hazel and Jersey Girl–I’m praying for you all.

    Rhondajeannie, I am in agreement with Amos about this man using the “jawbone of an ass.” I hope the minister that spoke with you this morning will also be speaking to this man about his very abusive behavior.

    Jersey Girl, I am praying for discernment as your write this letter to the pastor. I pray the Lord rescue’s you from the abuse you have lived through.

    WH–I have never heard of CYT. Unfortunately, there are going to be abusers in every organization and in every walk of life. I pray for your healing.

    I will also pray for this group that we all do the Lord’s will in our lives and His Glory will shine. John if you’re reading, I’m still praying for you brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Witch Hazel – It sounds like a lot of us have had a rough week. I’m sorry to hear you have too.

    There is a CYT in the Portland area. I looked into it for my kids, but it was so expensive so we didn’t do it. I only know of one family that did, and I don’t think they stayed with it very long. I heard they were a bit disorganized.

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  15. Kathi, the CYT you mentioned is the one we were a part of. It was actually two sort of separate-but-related groups, one an offshoot of the other. There have been some awesome people in both, but very messed up leadership. We’re ‘blessed’ to be the kind of people who seem and can’t abide, abusive leaders – even if it’s very subtle and most can’t see it, or dismiss it, or aren’t especially bothered by it. Frustrating, but also helpful.

    WH has been pretty traumatized by those folks, though.

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  16. Julie Anne: I would like the opportunity to “converse” with you directly, if possible. I looked for an e-mail for you here, but could not find one. I can be reached through the “Contact Cindy” link on the “About Me” page of my website: Hurtbylove.com

    I hope to hear from you… Thanks for your consideration.

    Cindy

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  17. Sure, Cindy. My e-mail is on my “About Me” page, too. But I think when people click on that, they see a drop-down menu and don’t realize they can click directly on the About Me. I’ll have to add a Contact Me page so it’s not so confusing! Thanks for reminding me.

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  18. Persephone – We must live in the same neck of the woods.

    We did not participate in a lot of extra-curricular Christian children’s events. We mainly did things with our church and Awana. Otherwise, I made sure my kids were good swimmers through THPRD and they did do Upward basketball. Oh, and we had a rough go with a taekwondo place in Hillsboro. We are pretty much a one activity at a time family due to money and time.

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  19. Thank you to all of you for your kind words and prayers. Brenda R. I not sure whether the minister has spoken to him but my son saw one of the Deacons bail him up over it. And a very big thank you to A.Amos you turned my weeping into a big smile.

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  20. Jersey Girl
    I’m happy to hear that there is at least one pastor who may believe you about your spousal abuse. That is such a gift and you are very courageous to continue to reach out for help. I pray that understanding will flood his heart and you will experience grace.

    May I make one suggestion? As you write, please remember that anything you put in writing can find its way into the hands of others, potentially without your knowledge or consent. So write only those things that you envision the other pastors reading as well….or even your husband. If that doesn’t allow you to say what needs to be said, then visit him in person or at least request that the contents of your letter fall under pastoral confidentiality and that it go to NO other person without your knowledge or consent. Keep a copy of your letter.
    I’m not trying to generate mistrust of the one person to whom you are looking for hope. However, I learned the hard way that written confidences to pastors are not always kept confidential. Mine was immediately shared with another senior pastor and the contents then brought before the entire eldership ….despite the fact the pastor that I sent it to had earlier promised me confidentiality. The facts were twisted to convince the eldership that I was in error and the disclosure put my life at risk. (It wasn’t about domestic violence, but abuse from a criminal source). So be wise, dear sister, as you reach out for compassion and help.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Maryl, Thanks so much for your kind words and advice. I am not planning on putting much into the note at all, but rather just acknowledging his concern for me and then suggesting we take it offline, off campus, in person somewhere privately.My main request for prayer was for the reception of my idea to meet up. But I hear you, and I have nothing to hide. There is nothing they can use against me because I no longer attend there and am no longer under their “jurisdiction”. They pretty much gave me the left foot of fellowship in a letter so they are trying to wash their hands of me. All except the dear brother who keeps writing me. God bless him is all I can say. I really was not going to bother with anyone there, shaking the dust off my feet, but he keeps reaching out to me. I feel like the Lord is up to something here. Always exciting to be a part of what God is doing!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. rhondajeannie,
    It is good to hear that someone stepped in. If he is a real follower of Christ, he should now make amends with you. From that response from him, I would immediately think a wolf was in the sheep’s pen.

    Liked by 1 person

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