SSB Gathering – May 24, 2015

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

 by Kathi

peru

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit,out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced, burnt offerings and sin offerings you do not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – it is written about me on the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.

Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord; may your love and your truth always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to save me; O Lord, come quickly to help me. May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back to disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame.

But may those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “The Lord be exalted!”

Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.

***


***

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: Kathi

21 comments on “SSB Gathering – May 24, 2015

  1. Kathi,
    Thank you for this. I have gone through this worship lineup twice. Between this and reading passages that I meant to get to yesterday, it has been filling my heart this morning.

    It was not an easy thing for me to skip church today, but I just couldn’t sit through another ridiculous sermon as the one I heard last week. I left there scratching my head and wondering why what God says in his word is not sufficient. Why aren’t we digging into the meat of the word together? Why do preachers need to bring in quotes from someone who wrote a book as their main source of reference? Granted there were a couple of passages read, but putting it together and making a connection…….nope, hasn’t happened.

    I will listen to it online sometime this week. In the meantime, I’ll turn on an audio of one of the preachers who’s church I would like to attend if they lived anywhere near me and worship the Lord here and with them.

    Blessings, Brenda R,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathi- You nailed it for me with the song “Worn” it put words to my cry. What a week, so many triggers, tears & outrage. I am worn out, but I have hope…

    Like

  3. This past week was a bit exhausting in the evangelical world. While my gut tells me it’s far from over, I hope we gain peace in the days to come.

    Like

  4. “Worn”-what a perfect song this week. I don’t live far from Southeast Seminary ( in NC) and watching the students going through the program is so sad. My niece is getting ready to marry a seminarian who wants to plant a church in the middle of our Bible Belt with his connections! These young men (they are all men) think they can graduate and immediately start a church. They haven’t had time to develop wisdom and will continue to make the same mistakes due mostly to immaturity and wives who aren’t allowed to help guide them.
    Please pray for another niece who is dating an older man who is helping a church plant in eastern NC. He wants to head up the children’s department. Now I have never met him, but after this week I have become skeptical. I hate the cynic I have become. I guess I need prayer too. Thanks!

    Like

  5. I’m so worn out by Church that I can’t even listen to Christian music at this point, and even have trouble reading the Bible. I became a Christian after thirty exhausting years in the progressive liberal, human secularist camp.

    I thought I’d found a haven, a place where the was such a thing as truth and people who loved it. I thought the anarchy I’d grown up in was answered by a gentle and compassionate patriarchy (don’t laugh!).

    Now, years later, I’ve been through a divorce from a manipulative abuser. I’ve watched all manner of abuses perpetrated, protected, and perpetuated by a Church I had believed had the best interests of the downtrodden at heart. I’ve simmered in anger as people who should know better either turn their heads away from what they see or actively make excuses for it.

    So now I’m worn. I’m exhausted, confused, isolated. And I don’t know where to turn for the community I need so badly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m new here at SSB, but I have been in contact with JA over the last month or so. My former church unfortunately belongs to the ranks of those we heard about this week. It’s a long story, and was recently reported on at

    http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2015/05/first_christian_church_of_florissant_brandon_milburn.php?page=all

    The good news about two weeks ago the lawsuit against me and three others was dismissed. I grew up in this church, my husband used to be on staff at this church. I have done all I know I can do to hold leaders accountable for not doing the right thing when we they were told of concerns of possible abuse. And it hasn’t worked. Well it sort of has, other people are leaving the church because they get it and see that this is a big problem. But there is a senior pastor and six elders who maintain the pastor did nothing wrong after he heard of abuse concerns and did absolutely nothing about it.

    I feel a little helpless and powerless within a patriarchal machine where right and wrong don’t matter as long as you have enough power.

    **Sigh**

    Like

  7. Do we need a place to process the triggers?? (Good tweet, BTW) OH heck yeah.

    I’m home by myself w/ the kids for the week. I miss my husband so much, but he’s genuinely needed by other family right now. So, I’m also exhausted. “Worn” is a good word for it, Persephone. I felt so called to engage in this– I felt a fire in my bones, like nothing could shut me up, but I’m *utterly disgusted* by the response I’m seeing, even from people in my church. I don’t want to speak for GovPappy, but I’m pretty sure he is too. We were messaging a lot back and forth through this, and he finally told me last night that I needed to take a break. Yeah, no kidding. 😦 I was foolish to think I could write about all of this and stay unaffected. Heck, if someone CAN, then I honestly think they’re suffering from something.

    Ok, crap, I paused typing this to search for something, and found out a whole bunch of other junk. 😦

    Like

  8. XianJaneway,

    It is disgusting. Unfortunately, in a sense it is also unsurprising. And yet it always manages to shock anyway.

    Like

  9. Kari, sorry I missed your comment stuck in moderation. Welcome to this side of SSB 🙂 I’m so glad that the lawsuit was dropped, but even more sad that your former pastor and elders remain unchanged and will likely continue bad behavior. Ugh. I get it because my former pastor is still manipulating others to believe he’s all fine and dandy, but they don’t sit in his pews.

    It’s hard to know that most likely others will be harmed and there’s very little you can do about it. I think a lot of us here can relate with that.

    Like

  10. XianJaneway, This stuff can eat at you if you’re not careful. I do find relief by letting off steam on Twitter. But I’m glad GovPappy reached out to you. Sometimes it is helpful to step back a bit and let the crazy go on around you without being involved. I think this stuff affects us so much because we know the emotional and spiritual toll it can be on someone’s life. You care and care deeply. You rock!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ann says she hates the cynic she has become. Let me suggest that, though it is not desirable to be cynical by nature, there may be people and their agendas with respect to which cynicism is the most rational attitude.

    For my own part I am coming to actively *embrace* a limited and targeted cynicism. Specifically, I am increasingly inclined to believe that cynicism is the only lens through which it is sensible to view the great majority of big name, high profile, influential (supposed) Christians.

    For example, it is increasingly clear to me that these people’s motives cannot be understood without a thoroughgoing understanding of narcissism and psychopathy/sociopathy. Now, in an attempt to understand their methods, I am reading Machiavelli. Next on my reading list is Nietzsche’s “Will to Power.”

    Probably I should backpedal just a bit. A cynic is one who is contemptuously suspicious of human nature and motives. I have already stated that I am embracing only a targeted cynicism. Even as to those persons who merit our suspicions, contempt directed at these persons, as people, should be set aside. Still, contempt for their actions, for what they do to others, is appropriate.

    Like

  12. Ah, yes. Kari refers to “a patriarchal machine where right and wrong don’t matter as long as you have enough power.” Sounds like this lot would be perfectly a peace with themselves as the apply the Machiavellian precept to the effect that those who cannot be won through kind treatment must be utterly crushed.

    Like

  13. Oh, guys…Thanks for all of your honesty. No matter where you are, thanks for being trusting enough to let us in. One the of big struggles that I had by the end of my time with church was feeling like no one was willing to admit that they had struggles, doubts or dark times. There were always smiling, shiny faces every Sunday, but I knew deep down that people struggled. I am honored to be a part of a community where people are willing to say, “I’m not doing well right now.”

    There are so many different horrible stories going around right now and if they are triggering, I would encourage you to step away for a while. Your health is more important than knowing what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “There are so many different horrible stories going around right now and if they are triggering, I would encourage you to step away for a while. Your health is more important than knowing what’s going on.”

    It REALLY does help to focus on something else for a little while. I can’t always predict ahead of time what will trigger me and to what extent. Sometimes I feel like this:

    (I hope everybody can view Pinterest boards. I searched for this cartoon, and a few blogs and Pinterest were the only places it came up.)

    Everyone, take care of yourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Since this is an open forum today I would like to change the subject to honor those that have died for our freedom to be able to have a blog like this.

    Jim

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Kari:

    Thank you so much for joining us! When I read that article that you linked, my heart sank. I grew up in a non-denom Christian church in Central Illinois and your story hit close to home. It really did when I recognized someone in one of the pictures!

    While I think that most churches are not equipped to handle issues of abuse, I really think that’s true in the non-denom churches. Unless the colleges that these pastors come out of have changed over the past 20 years, there is little training at the B.A. level (maybe more at the M.A. level) on abuse and how the church should deal with victims and abusers.

    I looked on the NACC’s site to see if Steve Wingfield was slated to teach any sessions. Fortunately, he’s not. Otherwise, I was about to raise a stink about him to folks that I know who are putting together this year’s convention.

    Thank you for standing strong, calling out, and doing the right thing! If only the leaders would have done the same.

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s