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Archive for June, 2008


Refer to STEP 11: I made a commitment to nurture my relationship with the Lord, asking Him to reveal His will to me and to provide me with the power to carry it out.


All authority has been given to Me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end if the age (Matthew 28:18b-20).

If you ask a Christian to explain what the Great Commission is, he or she will probably say it’s to witness to people—to tell them how they can be saved. It’s popularly believed that everyone in the world needs to hear the “Good News” before the Lord can return. In evangelical churches, it’s a big deal—no doubt about it.

The emphasis is on evangelism—pure and simple. But that’s not the emphasis of the Lord’s last words. It’s just the spin on them. The emphasis is to disciple—not evangelize. Read it for yourself in any translation you choose.

In Christian churches, however, more services end with a call for the unsaved to come forward than not. Why do you think that is?

I believe it’s because churches are constantly looking for new, fresh people to “get saved,” which they consider to be the purpose for their existence. If they emphasized discipleship, they would have to look at the spiritual and emotional health of their sheep, and most churches are unwilling to do that.

It would show they are not fulfilling the Great Commission, as they should. Instead they look for new people and forget the ones they’ve ground down to nothing—those abused, rejected, discarded, and forgotten. By constantly looking ahead, millions are discarded by churches professing their commitment to The Great Commission. Much of this may be inadvertent, but it’s true, nevertheless.

This just isn’t right and, in the days ahead, I’ll spell this out in detail. Pray for me because this is going to make some people very angry, but it needs to be said. The truth hurts. You know this, right?

POIGNANT COMMENTARY: L. R. McCullough
Louisa@ByDesignCoaching.com |

I do understand where you are coming from, but the church is not the enemy of our souls. Those that fall into this kind of behavior are just pawns in the hands of our true Enemy. And His ultimate goal it to make things within the Body irreparable by sowing seeds of pain. I think one has to be very careful in dealing with this issue. And as you said, you need prayer about it. But I think you need prayer not because you might make others angry, but you need prayer so that this blog is a place of reconciliation (another ministry we are given) not further separation in the Body.

You have a very powerful voice, Jack. May God use it for His Glory and the building up of His Church which is His Bride.

From PART 1: The Great Commission—What Is It, Really?, 2008/06/30 at 7:12 AM

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Refer to Step 10: I believed that God still has a purpose for my life—a purpose for good and not evil.

If a man is going to do anything worth while, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap, and in the spiritual domain, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense and leap into what He says, and immediately you do, you find that what He says fits on as solidly as common sense.
–Oswald Chambers—

Going through an abusive situation is never something a person plans for his or her life. When it happens, it’s always considered a detour—an unwanted bump in the road. It’s unexpected, unwanted, and definitely unappreciated.

At the same time, there are no accidents with God. Everything has a purpose, including many undesirable things—even abuse. If we learn to go with the flow—to believe God still loves us and has a positive plan for our lives, we are on the right track.

It’s normal to go through a myriad of emotions after being abused, including all the stages of grief but, at the other end, we have to come to the point where we are willing to risk it all again. We have to believe God has us in the palm of His hand and nothing can separate us from His love and purpose.

God is keen on the idea of us being everything He wants us to be, and developing rich character qualities like love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness is always the end result He desires for us. Knowing God is with you, regardless of the situation, makes trusting Him your wisest option, even after a trusted religious leader has abused you.

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Refer to STEP 4: I came to believe that God understood my wounded-ness, and He alone could heal me. I chose to accept as true what God has said about Himself. He is good and can be trusted.

For most people, after being subjected to a pattern of verbal and emotional abuse—and occasionally physical, sexual or financial abuse, life never really returns to health and normalcy. Deep emotional scars cripple the abusee to the point that their lives never regain the richness, the fulfillment, or the joyousness it once had.

But it doesn’t have to be this way, and it most definitely is not God’s will or desire for it to be this way.

God loves you just the way you are—in your brokenness, in your despair, and in your uncertainty. He has not given you a spirit of fear. That comes from being abused and not from Him.

He has given you a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. It’s there just below the surface of your troubled heart, waiting for you to do the work necessary to appropriate the inner power that rightfully belongs to you—just as it does to all of God’s children.

It’s not easy regaining your composure after experiencing the deep wounds from abuse but, if you do the work necessary to heal, you will not be as good as you were. You’ll be better.

Love and joy will return to you but in a different way. It will be spiced with humility, discernment, and wisdom. When this happens—and it will, if you allow God’s healing touch to restore you, you’ll be more valuable than you ever imagined. I’m not guessing about this. I’ve seen it repeatedly. The choice is yours. You can go through life crippled by your debilitating experience, or you can use it to become everything God ever intended you to be.

The choice is yours–as good as it gets or much more.

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Refer to STEP 1: My life was shipwrecked.

Do you remember the movie, As Good as It Gets, with Jack Nicholson? It was powerful and poignant, as it showed life can be tolerable, rewarding, and even pleasant in spite of substantial character shortcomings. The main character was so flawed he had to take medication just to be normal, but he was charming, nonetheless.

That’s how most people see themselves when it comes to recovery from abuse. They see their lives as fundamentally flawed—broken beyond repair at the core of their existence. Their spirit is like a dog that has been beaten—cowed, easily intimidated, and uncertain. They suffer from perpetual low self-esteem, which diminishes their value to themselves and others. In their hearts, they believe they are broken beyond repair, and they are certain they will never be healthy or normal again.

For most, this is what life is really like after physical and emotional abuse. If it’s accompanied by religious abuse, where the person’s relationship with God is also undermined, it’s even worse. For them, God doesn’t care about them either.

My questions are these:

  • Does it really have to be this way?
  • Is partial healing as good as it gets?
  • Can someone abused ever be a whole person again?
  • Does life have to be irreparably altered?
  • Does timidity and fear have to rule an abused person’s life?

Is God really capable of raising a person up and planting his or her feet firmly on the ground? Can He renew ones spirit so a person can be a confident, healthy person again—a person who can smile at the future rather than dread it? Is there really hope, or is it all just sweet, syrupy platitudes that have little relevance to reality? Is just making it through the day as good as it gets, or is there more–much more to life?

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Refer to STEP 5: I had to repair my relationship with God.

Everybody wants his or her prayers answered. That’s no surprise, but many people, perhaps most, really don’t want what God is seeking from them—intimacy with Him. They just want what they want and for God to grant their wishes. It’s as simple as that, and they become angry when God doesn’t comply.

It’s like everything else in life. You have to do the work necessary for anything worthwhile before you achieve success with it. If you want to be a scholar, you have to read. If you want to be an athlete, you have to work out constantly. If you want to have intimacy with God, you have to become like a child.

That’s right—like a child. You must leave your complexities at the door, humble yourself, and believe God is everything He says He is. It’s not easy. It’s much more natural to try and figure everything out for yourself, make your own decision, and assume God will “rubber stamp” your effort. That’s what most people do, and they’re surprised when they have no peace, joy, or fulfillment in their lives.

They don’t get it. All they have to do is become like a little child, who has complete dependence and reliance upon their Father. It doesn’t get any simpler or more complex than this. If your prayers aren’t being answered, don’t get verbose with God. Get simple, but remember, He is God and you are not. When you have the desire to be God yourself, that’s exactly what Satan wanted, and look where it got him.

THIS COMMENT IS SO ON-TARGET, I WANT TO ADD IT TO MY POST.

-JACK-

This is so true. When my children are in trouble, hurt or angry… after we work it through, and forgiveness comes… they smile, get up and start playing again. They don’t over-think if the forgiveness is real, nor do they often pull up the past wrongs and rehash them over and over. They rest in the forgiveness and get on with life… hopefully not repeating the cause again.

Amie

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Refer to STEP 7: I wrote down my experience completely and honestly.

Now it begins. The political season is in full swing, as the spin-meisters package candidates based upon market research rather than what the candidate really believes.

Twisting reality to please the greatest number of “likely voters,” particularly in swing states, is all that the mighty political machines, which package McCain and Obama, really care about. When someone in either campaign with conviction screams foul, they are placated and assured that the ends justify the means. Perhaps they really believe this.

Unfortunately, it’s just as true in churches and ministries. The ends justify the means, and people are hurt in the process all the time—little people like you and me. If the truth adversely impacts what the perception of the church or ministry is really like, the truth is avoided like the plague—just like it is in politics.

In politics, it’s the perception of character that counts—not the reality. In God’s Kingdom, however, it’s exactly the opposite. Character, real character always matters, and there’s a heavy price to pay for deceiving the sheep with subtle lies. Best of all, His standard never changes—never. So you always know where you stand and where He stands.

If someone tells you that perception is reality, you can say,”Well, not exactly,” just like the commercial.

Comfort yourself with this.

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Yesterday, at a rally, two Muslim women, who were sitting behind Barack Obama, were asked to move because they would be in plain view of the cameras that provide shots for the evening news. Hurt and offended, the woman complied and moved.

This, of course, made more news than if they had been allowed to stay. As I watched the morning news, each news person said that Obama was not a closet Muslim but a Christian, which his twenty-year membership at Trinity Church proved.

By saying this, the media, who knows no better, has imparted legitimacy upon Trinity, Jeremiah Wright, and Black Liberation Theology. Obama’s religious experience has become mainstream, or we’re supposed to accept that it’s mainstream.

Well, it isn’t–not even close. It’s more Marxist than Christian, and Obama has been infected with its poisonous worldview. He is not a Muslim, but his Christianity is skewed by twenty years of Jeremiah Wright’s twisted theology, which is an angry, racist distortion of the Truth.

To assume Obama can “bring us all together” is naive. It simply can’t happen–not based on his belief system. His supporters want it to happen, but it won’t because it’s not in him. His Christianity is not mainstream; it’s that simple.

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