SSB Gathering – April 5, 2015

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

 by Kathi

 trilium flower

Luke 24: 1-12

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

***

***

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

36 comments on “SSB Gathering – April 5, 2015

  1. Happy Easter to my brothers and sisters in Christ!

    Happy Passover to my Jewish friends and relatives by marriage. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this blog Julie Anne (and Kathi who has been helping out now that Julie Anne is in college and very busy), your support, as well as that of Deb and Dee over at The Wartburg Watch as I recover from a spiritually abusive church.

    I have been coming out of my funk from it all, and the losses of friends I’ve had for 8+ years. And life goes on! I am preparing, with other folks, for a couple of long distance races, doing new things, taking up Latin dance, learning cake decorating, listening to all kinds of music (very healing…and I do love me some Earth Wind and Fire and Southern Rock when I’m baking, things forbidden at my legalistic church and that you had to ‘hide’ and be ashamed of if you listened to).

    The Lord has put people in my path to minister to, most recently a woman from a neighboring business who was smoking outside and crying. And I asked her what was wrong. She’s struggled with a life-long major illness, is divorced, has a child, a mother she supports, and her conditioning is worsening. I listened to her, supported her, offered to donate my blood for her surgery, prayed with her, baked a cake for her family for Easter, and am starting to cook weekly meals for her and to organize others to do so. She is overwhelmed, tired, depressed, and afraid.

    I am finding ‘church’ and the Lord’s work all over, and I am glad to be free of the legalistic church language of what we must hit others over the head with.

    Here is Fernando Ortega singing the hymn “Stricken, Smitten, Afflicted”

    The hymn was written by Thomas Kelly in Ireland (who lived from the 1700s to 1800s). The son of a lawyer, Kelly planned to become a lawyer too. He was then saved by Christ and went in to ministry.

    http://www.centennialwels.org/home/180004026/180004026/docs/Stricken-%20Smitten%20and%20Afflicted%20CW%20127.pdf?sec_id=180004026

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  2. And y’all know that I love The Mississippi Mass Choir…and so here’s “Grace and Mercy” (sung by the late Frank Williams, a gem of a man, who founded the choir):

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  3. Michaela – Thank you for sharing how you are doing. I love that you are finding church wherever you are!

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  4. Thanks Dash for posting those songs. I listened to all of them! Ray Stevens…I forgot about the song. Thank you for posting such an uplifting song.

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  5. Thank you sweet Kathi!

    Leaving an abusive church is like leaving an abusive marriage/family. Bitter sweet. But I feel FREE! (And people around me at work which is male dominated and from other businesses in our building who know me keep saying, “We are so lucky to have you, to know you!” OK, it helps that I love to bake. And so I made pound cakes from scratch and delivered them to totally stressed out colleagues and folks at other offices. And they were touched and wowed! I told them, “I can’t change your work load and your stress load, but I can at least be kind to you.” (And that has landed me job offers from other businesses who have been begging me to come work for them!)

    Now, I am making hole-in-one cupcakes for my boss’s birthday tomorrow; he destresses by golfing. I’m using those white Lindt chocolates for golf balls, used a small biscuit cutter to cut out the holes, the Sprinkles recipe for white frosting which I tinted green, bought a ‘grass tip’ and have been teaching myself to frost and ‘make grass’. And I used straws cut in 3 1/2 inch pieces and found the flags online and printed and cut those out. Super cute and super fun!

    Life goes on…and is surely sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. @Kathi,
    When I was baking for coworkers I was listening to Southern Rock on youtube (which I hadn’t listened to years because of my legalistic church). When the Texas songs finished…I heard something beautiful come on. It was a Blues band in Latvia! (By Sweden and formerly part of the USSR before it broke up.) The Latvian Blues Band’s “Learning to Live” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUSSh8Oqeik

    The LBB has competed at the Blues competition in Memphis, TN and the Euro Blues Jam. Beautiful.

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  7. Happy Easter, everyone. I love the song contributions. Dash, I hadn’t heard the last 2 songs in a long while. Thank you!

    I’m mindful that this could be a difficult day for some. I know it’s difficult for me – – seeing people so happy that He is risen, yet many Christians are currently living in so much pain due to spiritual abuse. My heart is with you.

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  8. Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!
    We will be celebrating a Greek Easter dinner today with my son’s inlaws and the greeting we will receive is at the top of my post.
    He is risen! He is risen indeed!
    Jim

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am truly thankful for this blog. I’m feeling very guilty about not being at church today, or for the last couple of months. It’s just too much lately, too many triggers after two decades of marriage to a narcissist (ending that now), a few years in a hard core neo-cal church, and seventeen years of hearing how I’m essentially a second-class citizen because of my gender.

    I loved reading the resurrection account above, love the women beings the ones to discover the empty tomb, love how some things have been the same since forever (the disciples totally dismissing the women’s story), crazy, passionate Peter breaking with the boys club and dashing to the tomb to check it out…

    Yet I feel guilty that my young teen son just doesn’t care about Holy Week at all, that my middle daughter is pining to be at church while I feel I’ll lose my mind if I’m there. I feel anxious about my own need for community: I deeply need others around me, worshiping and connecting to God together, yet I can’t stand church.

    Sigh.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Persephone, I’m glad you moving forward in your life, making healthy boundaries. It sounds like you are in a better place than you have been. You are alive in Christ. And you are communing with the saints here. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello, Persephone.

    I can wholly appreciate where you find yourself, as I was in a very similar situation years ago. If I may, I would like to encourage you to consider allowing your daughter to attend a church where she is comfortable, even if means dropping her off and picking her up…

    I ended up doing that for my daughter, or she would get a ride with friends. Church was a huge part of her social life, and she wanted to be there whenever any youth function was going on. Like you, I couldn’t handle it as I walked through my divorce process (from an abuser), and just had to stay away from church for a long time. You might be able to find a balance that works for both of you, assuming she is old enough. And I also appreciate that your son needs some distance from the whole God and church thing for a while. My sons dealt with that too, and over time, they all found their own way back. They got to know Jesus without church and now they can go to church without losing Jesus… (Sad that it so often works that way.)

    I just want to encourage you. You and your kids are all in different places, and every position is valid…

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  12. Happy Easter to all. I too was unable to spend Easter with part of my family due to unsafe interactions. However, my husband and I were able to spent time with a man in hospice care. Our interaction was like worship to me. God was in the room. Our friend said the first thing he wants to do in Heaven is stand. (He had just lost his mobility). No sermon in the world has ever blessed me as much as this dying man.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Ann, How moving & beautiful. I believe God places us on Holy Ground outside of the church building. Your words always bless me, I love that you are my sister in Christ, and someday, I will meet you. He is risen.

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  14. Ann,
    What a wonderful way to spend Easter! What a blessing for this man to be imagining what he will be doing in Heaven that he has no ability to do here. How awesome the transformation must be. Also awesome for you to be aware of God’s presence in your small gathering.

    I went to church with a friend to the church she has been attending who has a woman pastor. Two things I thought I would never do: go to a Methodist church or any church with a woman pastor. Nothing against any Methodist here, it is the remainder of my Missionary Baptist brainwashing. I enjoyed both the church and the messenger. I haven’t been in a church for a while that the presenter did not have notes and stand behind a podium. She was on fire for Jesus and his accomplishments on the cross.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brenda says: “Two things I thought I would never do: go to a Methodist church or any church with a woman pastor.”

    I hear you. In the small town where I live, my choices are limited. I can go to one church where I learn that I am saved by baptism. In another church I can find assurance that I am saved not so much by Jesus as by the legal fiction of His imputed righteousness. In another church I can join in the pursuit of the supernatural gifts of the Spirit.

    But if I wish to go to a church where the pastor imparts an intimate knowledge of Jesus, flowing from the pastor’s deep relationship with Him, I must go to the Methodist church. The Methodist pastor of whom I speak is a woman.

    Still, I must say that I am in the company of those who stayed away from church on Easter.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Last time I was out of work, I actually bought most of my family’s produce at a farmer’s market by trading cinnamon rolls. So I can heartily endorse baking. It’s also a great way to make friendships with coworkers. At least those who haven’t gone paleo or aren’t trying to diet. :^)

    Happy Easter to All!. (belatedly)

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  17. Julie Anne, Christ is risen! Thank you so much for this blog. We need voices like yours that expose the abusive churches and cults. Your site especially resonates with me, having once be a member of an abusive Christian sect. Healing from that experience was slow and difficult. Having emerged with my mind and faith in tact is itself a sort of miracle. Continue doing what you’re doing. God be with you!

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  18. By the way, Julie Anne, I noticed your reference to “healthy boundaries.” I knew nothing of the sort while trapped in that abusive sect. Every part of our lives was fair game to be exposed and dealt with by the leader/pastor and those who unquestioningly followed him. When one is in such an environment, they have no idea that boundaries should even exist. Even after a person has left such a toxic place, it takes time to process the effects of the damage. In my case, it seemed as though I was unwinding my mind like a twisted pretzel, trying to make sense of it all. Thankfully, I can say that the unwinding process has ceased, along with the disturbing voices of self-doubt and fear. There really is a light at the end of the tunnel!

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  19. Thank you, Darlene.

    Having emerged with my mind and faith in tact is itself a sort of miracle.

    Thank you for sharing. Your brief comment can give many people hope!

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  20. I know we’re a few days out from Sunday, but this seemed like the best place to put this. Please pray for my boss, Linda, today. She is going in for a mastectomy today on one of her breasts. She is in her early 70’s and even though she hasn’t been “nervous,” I’m sure she is today. Thanks friends!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. As we are going to prayer requests, I also have one. A dear woman, age 42, who has been going through cancer treatment over the past few years is about to loose that battle. Many of us from the church have been taking meals to the family over the past year. Last week when I was there, she was smiling and her eyes glowing. There was nothing that would stop the spread of cancer and hospice was called in yesterday. She will leave behind a husband and 2 daughters; one has special needs. She is packed and ready to go to meet Jesus and her family has expressed that they want whatever God wants. God is good in all things. He knows how many days we all have.

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