It’s Between You and God

God held me when I cried and struggled –He understood why.

I gave my life to God with joy and He understood.

I joined a church that seemed filled with love I had never experienced; people that paid attention to you — God took me from an agnostic to a true believer.  God knew what I needed.

God Loves youI lived and believed their doctrine and rules—God understood why.

I got married and raised my children under their strict teaching — and God knew why.

God called me to teach and preach under their banner –and He knew why.

Then one day, I realized the deep flaws in my church, it’s ways of teaching, and the hypocrisy in the way it was held –God understood that and I didn’t.

I was so blinded to these things for so many years —  God knew why.

One day, I had enough.  I asked my Pastor for a sabbatical – -God understood why.

I stopped my church activities, preaching, and positions and struggled with things we were teaching and holding people to live, I ask questions but got no response — God showed me why.

God held me when I cried and struggled –He understood.

jesus lovesI left my beloved church – God knew why.

For a while, after I left, I was just tired of religion and church after 30 years of being the “perfect” Christian –and God understood why.

For a while, I couldn’t bear committing to a church.  I would simply visit, enjoy fellowship, and go home — and God understood why.

I didn’t trust organized religion — and God understood why.

I didn’t trust myself that I would go too far with religion again  – and God understood why.

I was angry at myself, angry at God for not showing me sooner, and angry at lost time – and God understood.

I didn’t feel much like reading my Bible or praying—and God understood.

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The idea of starting a Bible study or recovery group was there and it sounded good, but I wasn’t emotionally ready for that.   God knew that.

I still had a lot to learn– about me — and God knew it.

God has brought me back full circle and ignited my love for him again and showed me how to approach him– the right way this time–He understood when.

He waited on me to recover and re-gain my bearings – He understood how.

God has kept me in love with Him; I’m a real person, a valuable person,  with the heart of a healer, and a wiser person; He showed me who I was and where I’ve been, deepened my relationships, given me true friends and a new zest for life and hope for the future.

He loves me and He understands the whys.

 

 

 

Standing Strong

I found that when I preached the actual truth of what I was reading, it conflicted with my church’s teaching. 

My son in Massachusetts has a lung infection and is at high risk in our current COVID- saturated environment. So he’s been quarantined for a month by the doctors but through prayers and good medical care, he is doing better. He had me scared there for a minute because when he called, he could barely breathe or talk. Mama was going to be on the next plane out, but an ambulance was called and got him to the ER. His friends and his landlord have been making sure he gets food and what he needs. Thank God.

On another note and the real point of this post is that I wanted to make belief statements today. In my journey to more honest Christianity, I’ve been amazed at the influence church organizations can have over how you read your Bible, how much you read your Bible and how honestly you read. I think it’s something to be vigilant about on our spiritual journey.

I used to read and preach from the Bible with my mind confined to my denomination’s teaching and not honestly reading for truth. Even though I thought I was doing just that–reading openly and honestly.

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I found that when I preached the actual truth of what I was reading, it conflicted with my church’s teaching.

Oh yeah. For real.

People would get confused and start questioning my loyalties and what I was saying. I finally realized what was wrong with that picture and finally took the step of leaving my beloved church and not trying anymore to change their system, but staying with God. When people have such a paradigm shift it’s possible that they would leave Christian life altogether, but one thing I knew was that the Lord had saved me and I held to that. Of course, to them, those two things-leaving them and staying with the Lord – could not co-exist. If you leave them, you’ve left God. But I had to get over that and move on. freedom in Christ

freedom in Christ

I Believe…

I believe God wants Christians to commune and be influenced by Him more than their Pastor or fellow Christian friends. I believe we should have our mind and heart focused on Christ and his words alone and live by them and love those principles from the heart, and I believe that is all that matters.

I believe God wants us to develop our walk with God based on his personal revelations to us from His words about our lives rather than other folks’ revelations.

blue freedomI believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is just that. One where you are not judged by the next man about your personal convictions regarding non-gospel related things. Of course, you have some that believe everything in life is tied to the purpose and goals of their church organization, but that is not what the Bible teaches. As it’s often said, God didn’t call us to church but to Christ. Having lived under strict teaching about outward things, I can say the bible is correct. This is the doctrine of the Pharisees. People create strict rules to make themselves more holy, but more often than not, those same people will tend to act fleshly in attitudes and conduct, which is the more serious offense. Those man-made rules have no value in changing or cleansing the spirit.

I believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is just that. One where you are not judged by the next man about your personal convictions regarding non-gospel related things. Of course, you have some that believe everything in life is tied to the purpose and goals of their church organization, but that is not what the Bible teaches. As it’s often said, God didn’t call us to church but to Christ. Having lived under strict teaching about outward things, I can say the bible is correct. This is the doctrine of the Pharisees. People create strict rules to make themselves more holy, but more often than not, those same people will tend to act fleshly in attitudes and conduct, which is the more serious offense. Those man-made rules have no value in changing or cleansing the spirit.

18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2:18-23

I believe that freedom in Christ is the freedom to do as Christ leads according to his words and guidance. It is grace to live as we should and submit ourselves to the will of God as he reveals it to us.

I believe God has a truth that transcends petty differences that divide men.download (1)

download (1)

I believe it takes a long time for Christians to realize that although we have truth in Christ, it is not our job to be judge and jury. It is our job to love humanity and show God’s unconditional love as much as it is in our power. That’s a hard lesson for most of us to learn.

God does not always fit into our small box of judgment, as he has proved time and again.tiny box

tiny box

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Amen to His Word

Truth Be Told

I’d like to tackle a particular scripture that says  God will not hear the prayer of sinners. Those that take a literalist view of scripture will say that it means what it says without reference to context and the character of God.   One of the greatest detriments to the gospel is teachers that don’t fully explain scriptures but simply repeat them the way they heard them.   There has to come a time when Bible teachers reconcile real Christian life with scriptural fallacies. Continue reading “Truth Be Told”

My Letter To God

Dear God,

I’m grateful for the life I have now. This one life you’ve given me. Since I handed my life over to you, it has not been easy. I feel peaceful this morning though. Leaving my beloved church behind has been enlightening. I lived that way for 35 years because I believed with all my heart that there was no other way to live but our way, but you showed me the fallacy of that thinking.

Continue reading “My Letter To God”

Ways to Heal After Leaving

Realize that you are dealing with grief–plain and simple.  Leaving means loss.  Loss of friends, reputation in the community, innocence, community, and definitely time. Don’t minimize the trauma involved in exiting and don’t minimize the loss you feel. 

Here are a few methods to heal from the anxiety of leaving a toxic, high-control fundamentalist group. Remember that spirituality has to be based on our personal relationship and walk with God and not just the practices and performance of a particular religion or even a feeling.

Continue reading “Ways to Heal After Leaving”