Hope After Abuse & Betrayal

Overheard:

“I don’t want to hurt anymore!!”pexels-photo-268533.jpeg

 

The following is by a young woman who has been healing in the gentle and steady redemptive relationships of God’s people.

Dry. Parched. Lifeless.

The wild animals blazed through my delicate branches, stripping me of my bark. The wind came and went and my base toppled over. The blazing sun came out. With my roots exposed my soil dried out and my leaves withered, my branches dried. I was without hope. My pot was cracked. My branches on the ground. I wept. Cried out for help, but no aid came. For days, months, years I laid there. I withdrew inside and lay there. Lifeless.

One day, the Master of the garden came. He saw my broken leaves, my scarred flesh, and my exposed roots. He wept. He then scooped my little, broken body, that was so close to death and planted me by the stream. He nourished my roots, surrounding the soil around my roots with rich food. He propped me upright. Patiently he waited. He continued to tend to my needs, coaxing my mangled and pain-stricken self, to come out of hiding.

Flickers. No longer alone and neglected – hope flickered. Dare I hope? Dare I begin to trust? Time. I need time.

Time is what He gave me. Faithfully tending to my unresponsive arms, roots, and soil.

One day, without realizing it, a bud sprang forth. How? When? Where? Did this truly come from my dead self? The Master of the garden saw this and delighted in my new growth. He continued to care for me. Reviving me gradually with His tender care.

As time went on, new buds and shoots continued to appear. I could hardly recognize myself! I had new life! I had the hope of a future! I could barely believe it!

The Master of the garden saw this and was pleased, there was life in this little tree. But, now that there was life it was the appropriate season to begin shaping and molding. He painfully pruned the branches that were overburdensome and sucking the nutrients away from the parts of me that needed nutrients. My pain was difficult, my trust in the Master wavered. Why would He coax me out of my hiding from the pain and hurt and mend that brokenness, only to hurt me Himself?

Little did I know, He knew better than I and had a plan. As time went on He continued to prune me. I grew and grew. And I no longer feared His shaping tools.

Foreign and new to me, buds formed on my branches. Flowers bloomed and fragrant aromas filled the garden. He was delighted!

Fruit! Fresh, sweet fruit! My once barren branches THRIVED under the Master’s hand. All along He saw the beautiful and majestic tree I was designed to be and the fruit that I would bare!

Crystal C

And, fully in keeping with 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, God is mightly using her to bring this same comfort to others so deeply wounded.

Abuse and betrayal occur in relationships; healing and hope are found in Redemptive Relationships rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Abuse and betrayal are redeemable. After all; God brought redemption into the world through abuse and betrayal.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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A Moment of Clarity: Idolatry and American Christianity

Dave Miller has done such an excellent job in a recent blog post of providing a powerful real-life word-picture of what is ailing American “Christianity,” that I feel compelled to share it here:

Idolatry and American Christianity Article

Picking Through the Rubble

Doug has captured well the dissonance and incoherence of those who rail against the Bible alone as God’s Word to mankind. Well worth the read, I say…

the sanctified muse

image006I was trading e-mails with an old friend the other day when, quite unintentionally, I declared myself to be “the supreme authority on the meaning of Scripture.” Really. That’s what he said.

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Pro-Life Laws Will Make Abortion Possible

The following is being re-blogged, by permission of the original author, because it eloquently articulates my own views. I fully anticipate people on the pro-life side of things being unaccepting of the message, in spite of its truth and import. They will have to sort that out with their Creator.

“Dear Pro-Lifers,
Please seriously and prayerfully consider this message. I am not trying to ruin your party, rain on your parade, or burst your bubble. I am trying to help you. Come, let us reason together.

When hospitals all across America start paying doctors to perform abortions within their walls, it will be the triumphs of pro-life legislation which drove them there.

Let me explain.

Passing laws that temporarily shut down abortion clinics because they are not close enough to hospitals only strengthens the abortion industry and inadvertently acknowledges the practice of child sacrifice as part of our nation’s healthcare system.

Abortion is not health care and we should not be fighting it by passing health-code rules and regulations.

1. Abortion is not any less murderous when it is carried out within 30 miles of a hospital.

2. The abortion industry will meet these regulations.

3. They will clean up their acts and build new killing centers.

4. Some “clinics” will close, but those remaining will pick up the slack.

5. Shutting down clinics doesn’t halt abortion; it just makes people who choose to sacrifice their children drive further.

6. People who choose abortion will only be comforted by the knowledge that the “service” they are seeking is that much safer.

7. They will perform abortions within hospitals if you pass laws against performing them everywhere else.

8. Once child murder services are being performed in hospitals on a widespread basis, the fungibility (sic?) of funds, facilities, and equipment becomes yet another obstacle to abolition, as now the aborticians and their staffs will be further protected by the legitimacy and reputation of the hospital.

Do you not see that the abortion industry only gets stronger as they build bigger and better clinics to meet your pro-life standards? Do you not see that they (like you) just raise money from their so-called defeats? Have you not come to realized that no matter how many clinics you shut down, millions of babies are still being aborted every year? Do you not see that the devil himself would allow you to take a few pieces off the board so long as he constantly has you in check mate?

Pro-choicers have long stated that they believe abortion should be kept “safe, legal, and rare”.

Pro-lifers are positively helping them make it more safe (for the women murdering their babies) and inadvertently keeping it legal because they are focused on making it more rare.

Temporarily shutting down clinics by regulating (and thereby strengthening) the abortion industry might give you

We’ve been regulating abortion for forty plus years and it is time that we focus our attention on REPENTANCE, RENEWAL, and REVIVAL. A revival of true Christianity alone holds the key to abolishing human abortion. Repentance will precede revival and revolution will follow it. Abolition will be the fruit of providential revolution. It will not be the gradual end result of pragmatic incremental regulation.

Repentance and revival alone will enable us to sway the country against the practice of child sacrifice. These regulatory schemes are actually delusive distractions.

The abortion industry itself may fight against these rules and regulations… but in the end, they will play by your rules so long as their bloody practice is not brought under the law against murder.

We are at war with powers and principalities and they are more powerful than you are when you try to fight them within the carnal system they have set up for themselves – abortion as healthcare. If you go to war with these spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places using worldly wisdom (incremental legislation), you will be losing even when you think you are winning.

But when we fight by the spirit of God now dwelling richly within us and bring His Word against the evil of our age, triumph is inevitable. We will conquer abortion by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. We will not conquer it by regulating it.

Thank you for reading this message. I hope and pray that you are able to see it for what it is and assess it with the mind of Christ.

Something to celebrate for a short time, but for those of us who do not want to celebrate “victories” against legalized child sacrifice for the next 40 years, we need to rethink our strategies and focus our work on calling the nation to total and immediate repentance for the national sin of abortion.”
Thanks to T. Russell Hunter for permission to re-blog!

 

Hello, My Name is Church (Re-Blog)

Hello my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…

Boring

Shallow

Cheap

A waste of time

You’ve heard that I am full of

Hypocrites

Clowns

Greedy people

The self- righteous

Maybe you have visited me before and discovered

Horrible music

Passionless singing

Dry preaching

Rude congregants

Maybe you needed me and I was

Too busy

Too “righteous”

Too broke

Too blind

Maybe you joined me and found I was

Distant

Demanding

Dull

Preoccupied

Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by

Business meetings

Committees

Teams

Bureaucracy

Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody

Called

Cared

Noticed

Invited you back

Perhaps your experience has driven you to

Speak negatively of me

Swear to never come back to me

Proclaim that no one needs me

Believe you’re better off without me

If this is true, I have something to say to you

I’m sorry

I was wrong

I blew it

I made a huge mistake

But remember, I never said my name was

Perfect

Flawless

Complete

Arrived

My name is church. I welcome the

Hypocrite

Dry

Self-righteous

Shallow

I welcome the

Sincere

Passionate

Forgiving

Selfless

I cannot shut my doors to the people who make you

Angry

Uncomfortable

Impatient

Self-conscious

But I would remind you that we couldn’t always worship in the same room. In the Old Testament there was a division between the

Gentile

Jew

Man

Woman

In order for us to all worship in the same room Christ was

Shamed

Beaten

Killed

Resurrected

Which is far worse than being

Bored

Uncomfortable

Embarrassed

Ignored

So why not come back to church and let all of these messed up people

Challenge you

Sharpen you

Strengthen you

Humble you.

I can’t promise you that the people will be great. This is church. It’s not

Heaven

Paradise

Beulah Land

The Celestial city

Come back.

God wants you here

The body needs you here

The world needs your witness here.

You belong here.

Hello, my name is church

I miss you

I love you

I’m sorry

Can’t wait to see you.

The Unappreciated Pastor

 

Hello my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…

Boring

Shallow

Cheap

A waste of time

 

You’ve heard that I am full of

 

Hypocrites

Clowns

Greedy people

The self- righteous

 

Maybe you have visited me before and discovered

 

Horrible music

Passionless singing

Dry preaching

Rude congregants

 

Maybe you needed me and I was

 

Too busy

Too “righteous”

Too broke

Too blind

 

Maybe you joined me and found I was

 

Distant

Demanding

Dull

Preoccupied

 

Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by

 

Business meetings

Committees

Teams

Bureaucracy

 

Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody

 

Called

Cared

Noticed

Invited you back

 

 

Perhaps your experience has driven you to

 

Speak negatively of me

Swear…

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