Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2014


I’m close to half way with Unholy Seduction. Here’s an excerpt:

My enlightenment came with a heavy price, as each of his words sank deep within my heart, disillusioning me in the process. By the time our conversation ended twenty minutes later, my spirit was broken. I had left Believer’s Crusade emotionally—never to return. It was no longer even a consideration. My life’s purpose had been dismantled in one, thirty-minute phone call.

Being young, I had no idea how difficult it would be to find a renewed sense of purpose. Such thoughts were too lofty for me and never entered my mind.

Devastated and appalled, in one day, I went from being a Crusader to being an anti-Crusader, with equal fervor. Embittered by what I had learned, like my mentor, I began throwing stones at Crusade, as well as organized religion in general. I called dozens of friends nationwide in the days that followed. When I informed each about what had happened, they abandoned Crusade as well.

The ministry, which had enjoyed yearly growth since its inception, experienced a significant dip that year. Nevertheless, Crusade never acknowledged its duplicity. Instead, it doubled down on its deception. Nearly a half a century later, there are millions who continue to believe in the Miracle of Escondido—a miracle that never occurred.

For a while, a long while, bitterness consumed me. I had trusted Crusade and Hixson’s leadership completely, so the wounds produced by Jonathan’s revelation nestled deep within my soul, taking firm grip. I was angry. My sense of fairness had been offended—big time.

I also lost a great deal of respect for Jonathan, who only divulged the truth when it served his purpose to do so. I felt like he had betrayed me as well—at least somewhat. The discovery, coupled with having to be disingenuous with people like Governor Maddox, just to survive, made me question everything I was doing. By not repudiating the Governor’s distorted worldview, choosing instead to take his money, I had also been deceptive.

Having to admit this to myself was a difficult, but it was the truth. I came to the conclusion that I could never live like this again, which meant I would have to alter my career path dramatically.

Almighty God never honors duplicity. How could He? My life’s purpose had been shaken, and everything concerning it came crashing to the ground, shattering my carefully constructed reality. What I didn’t understand at the time was how difficult it would be to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


Raise up Men and Women of Character

Lord,

Where are Your mighty men—Your men of old?

Those who want to serve from a willing heart—

Never for sordid gain, exploiting the helpless and weak.

Why are men like these missing from our public life?

Where are the women of integrity and honor?

Women who would rather die than be disloyal to You?

Why do we have to settle for representation that can do

Nothing more than lead by doing what seems expedient,

Seeking wisdom from polls rather than from Your will?

These miscreants smile reassuringly, always playing the role,

But in their calculating hearts, they seek nothing more

Than personal fame and fortune—all at our expense.

Their duplicity is astounding, as they seek an advantage

Over those they have sworn to serve and to protect.

Lord, raise up a new generation of leaders—

Men and women who will bow their knees to You and You alone,

Never choosing Evil over Righteousness.

Jack Watts

Read Full Post »


Father:

We may not be many, but we are strong and resolute.

Empowered by You, we will not fear the wrath

Of those who currently rule our nation—

Those who support darkness and deceit,

Rather than the truth they have sworn to embrace.

You are Almighty, but the Prince of this world is not.

Although our victory is assured, our enemy remains strong,

As do those who govern perversely, mocking Your Name.

Despite their ridicule, castigation, and mockery,

We remain true to You and to Your ways.

We have no alternative, nor do we desire one.

You are the one true God; there is no other,

And we are Your people—despite having failed to abide

By Your Word and Your Will so often.

 

There are those who have bowed to the false god

Of Progressivism and to cultural Pantheism. The fruit of their

Damnable “group think” dominates our landscape,

As right becomes wrong, and wrong becomes right.

They rule unjustly, championing Evil and perversion

Over truth, righteousness, and justice for all.

Father, our lives, and the fate our nation, are in Your hands.

Multiplied millions have strayed from You,

Accepting falsehood over truth, abandoning the ways

Of our forefathers and those who have died since,

To preserve truth, liberty, and the American way of life.

 

Progressives have squandered the accumulated wealth of generations,

As they pursue a worldview that denies Your existence.

Their regulations repudiate Your Will and our traditions.

Yet they smile arrogantly, believing their way

Is superior and the enlightened way to fulfillment.

Their foolishness has become obvious to millions,

But they refuse to admit it, choosing instead to revise reality,

Making it suit their fanciful and fallacious beliefs.

Professing to be wise, they have become fools,

But in their pride, they cannot admit their failures.

They lack the character necessary to do so.

Father, expose their Evil deeds for all to see,

And let their perversity be known to all.

Use them as an example of error, as an example

Of the ways of the foolish, for the entire world to see.

Jack Watts

Read Full Post »


Father:

As I watched them and listened,

Remember when I was young, naïve, and shallow—

Unable to discern the ways of a deceiver,

Never realizing their hearts were devious,

Self-absorbed, rapacious and cunning.

They harbored trickery and treachery,

While maintaining a facade of godly humility.

In my innocence and naïveté, I knew no better,

Believing they had been sent by You

And they had my best interest at heart,

But they never did—not once.

 

Journal: How were you deceived? Try to write about the things that drew you to embrace the ways of a deceiver.

 

 

Invite God to join you exactly where you are. Even if it’s into the deepest, darkest emotional pit, He will join You and, once that happens He will never leave you. After you have opened yourself up like this, thank God for everything He will do to do to make you into the person He wants you to be.

Journal: Write about the emotional pit you were in. If you are still in it, write about that as well.

 

Because of their “profound experience” and their elevated leadership stature, in their eyes, anything they do is okay. After all, they’ve “been chosen” to lead. They forget their walk is moment-by-moment, with the Lord providing illumination for the next step forward and nothing else. They forget they need grace and mercy just like everyone else. Because they believe they are superior, they treat others with less importance. Although they would not admit it publically, to those chosen to lead, they believe that being a follower is an inferior calling.

 

Question: Was this how your abuser thought of himself or herself? Were you treated as someone with a lesser calling? How did this make you feel? How does it make you feel now?

 

 

Reasoning that the ministry goals supersede the need to be fundamentally fair with those who labor for them, they cheat people out of what they are owed and think they are being obedient to the Lord when they do it. Often, they applaud such decisions, counting the money saved by their penurious behavior as a sign of godly stewardship.

 

Journal: Write about an experience that comes to mind.

 

 

Part of spiritual abuse is being falsely accused. As you can imagine, it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Everything in you screams out for vindication and revenge. You want to let the entire world know that you have done nothing wrong. In spite of your embarrassment, everything inside of you insists on setting the record straight—immediately, not later.

Question: The normal, healthy, appropriate thing to do is to fight back, and that’s exactly what you intend to do. Does this sound familiar? Is this how you feel? The idea of turning your other cheek isn’t something you would ever consider, right? You want retribution—not forgiveness. If this is true, admit the exact state of your heart to God.

Jack Watts

Read Full Post »


Abandoning Self-Vindication

 

 

Refer to Step 9:I humbly ask God to change anything He wishes, and I ask Him to heal my pain. Because God forgives us as we forgive others, I forgive my abusers.

 

 

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.

—Josh Billings

 

Part of spiritual abuse is being falsely accused. As you can imagine, it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Everything in you screams out for vindication and revenge. You want to let the entire world know that you have done nothing wrong. In spite of your embarrassment, everything inside of you insists on setting the record straight—immediately, not later.

The normal, healthy, appropriate thing to do is to fight back, and that’s exactly what you intend to do.

  • Does this sound familiar?
  • Is this how you feel?
  • The idea of turning your other cheek isn’t something you would ever consider, right?

You want retribution—not forgiveness. But that’s not how the Lord operated, is it? He was so focused upon doing the will of the Father; He never defended Himself when falsely accused. He never lifted a finger, and He certainly could have. Could you do something that selfless? Would it even occur to you this might be what the Lord wants from you?

In recovery, choosing to forgive is as difficult as it gets, and it’s hard to think about the future when everything inside of you wants to fight back. Vindication can be obtained, but it’s best left in the Lord’s hands. Let Him be your advocate.

Reflect back and think about what would have happened in your own situation if you had not focused on vindication. I know this is difficult, but just imagine—what if! What did acting on your anger accomplish—other than making you feel good for a very short period of time? Long-term, it probably did more harm than good. If you reflect upon the alternative, outcome it may help you in the future.

 

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (I Peter 2:21-23)

Jack Watts

Read Full Post »


 

 

 

Refer to Step 6: I made a commitment to turn away from my pride and refused to become just like those who abused me.

 

 

He who is false to present duty breaks a thread in the loom, and will find the flaw when he may have forgotten its cause.

—Henry Ward Beecher

 

Much of the spiritual abuse, which debilitates thousands, comes from leaders of non-profit Christian ministries. Part of the problem stems from a mind-set that validates the belief that the ends justify the means. Because the ministry is doing God’s work, many leaders have myopic vision and a cavalier attitude about financial compensation for work that they’ve contracted. In an effort to be wise and frugal with “God’s money,” they authorize work they never pay for—not completely anyway.

Reasoning that the ministry goals supersede the need to be fundamentally fair with those who labor for them, they cheat people out of what they are owed and think they are being obedient to the Lord when they do it. Often, they applaud their decisions, counting the money saved by their behavior as a sign of godly stewardship. Forgetting that a workman is worthy of his or her wages, they may even smile with self-satisfaction, considering their actions laudable.

This attitude, which is deeply resented by those who have labored in good faith, is sinful and never God’s will. In my three decades of working with ministries, I have seen hundreds of people abused this way. It’s wrong and there’s no way to make cheating people out of what they are owed God’s Will. Nevertheless, ministries nationwide do it everyday, leaving emotional carnage in their wake.

Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. (Romans 12:7-8)

Jack Watts

Read Full Post »


When Your Life Isn’t Going Well

 

 

 

Refer to Step 2: I commit to stop living my life in pursuit of self-defeating behavior.

 

 

At the origin of every action is a thought.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

It’s okay to be exactly where you are, regardless of where that might be. It doesn’t do any good to pretend you are something you’re not, either. You’re only fooling yourself. Remember, denial of the truth is never an appropriate option in recovery, so stop making excuses about where you are in life.

Instead, tell God exactly where you are in each area, being completely honest. You can’t be where you aren’t. Remember, you’ll never get out of the hole you’re in until you stop digging. The best place to start is by praying about your situation. Try this prayer:

Lord, I want to do Your will, but most of the time I don’t know what that is. Right now—this very minute, I put myself into Your hands—totally and completely. I choose to believe the changes You are making in me will transform me into the person You want me to be. Please, help me keep my heart and my eyes focused upon You. I know that if I do, I will not be disappointed.

Invite Him to join you exactly where you are. Even if it’s into the deepest, darkest emotional pit, He will join You. Once this happens He will never leave you.

After you have opened yourself up like this, thank God for everything He will do to make you into the person He wants you to be. Then, hold on to your seat because it is going to be a wild ride. When you consider backtracking, remember, God’s goal is to fill your life with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control.

 

When my heart was embittered, and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before Thee. Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. (Psalm 73:21-24)

Jack Watts

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »