I'm not exactly sure when it happened originally but somewhere when i was around 13 or 14 years of age the happy and secure church that I grew up in began to show signs of not being so happy and secure. The Pastor's daughter had become pregnant out of wedlock and the church was divided on if she should be made to stand before the entire church and "repent" or if a private repentance would be good enough. This split the eldership down the middle as it did with the congregation. Before it was all said and done, nearly 500 person congregation was down to about 200 and I had my first taste of church politics that started a very long journey of soul searching for me.
Friends sometimes warn me to not post so much about my bad experiences with the church because they feel it paints me as "wounded" or like someone who just can't let go of the past. of course, they know better, which is why they are friends... :) but I do understand that it's always a risk when you blow the whistle that others will ignore what you say and instead try to blame you as when you expose what is really there, it will often mess up their perfect illusion that they often hold about their given church. My heart is to cover people in love... but the same scripture that tells me to do that also tells me to have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness but rather expose them...so somewhere there must be a balance. I pray that makes sense.
I have kept many online blogs, this one since early 2014 and the primary reason I do is because I often want to say much more than Twitter or Facebook lets me say. I share much more freely and deeply here as a result so buckle up, I'm about to really unload my heart once again and as I do, I pray the lord uses it as He has done countless times before.
I have recently discovered some unchecked bitterness in my own heart dating back to 2014 and it was a direct result of me not being more keen and aware of offences and bitterness sneaking in as myself and my family were drug thru the mud somewhat publicly by a couple of local church messes from 2014, 2015 and 2016. I am avoiding the temptation to namedrop on these people because in my flesh I feel that they so richly deserve to be humiliated just like they tried to do with us... but instead I will just say that the Lord is my Defence and as more time goes by, more and more people who were in those circles with us are seeing the truth for themselves, namely that we were completely lied about, misrepresented and thrown under the religious bus because we knew of sins that had gone down within the leadership of those churches and that made us dangerous to those same leaders. ...and when I say we knew about sins, I mean we were first hand eyewitnesses to the craziness. So to protect their reputations, they felt it smart to try to get ahead of the potential exposures by slandering and soiling Lori and I. That way if we ever did expose them, we would not have any credibility and would not be believed. What's more crazy that that is these same leaders actually believe that God led them to tell the lies in the first place. They claim it is how they "protect their flock" from what they don't feel they should know.. so they twist that passage out of Timothy and justify their own sins even further.
The bottom line is that I did not emerge from those situations well at all. I was flanked by hitting the empty nest with our two oldest boys, finding my birth mother for the first time, learning that my adoptive parents had early onset Alzheimer's, Lori losing her mom and having her family largely demonize her through that whole process, having the local school system declare their version of a holy war on our youngest son prompting me to run for the local school board and oh yeah.. I helped run our online ministries, our home business efforts and in the shadow of all of that, here are local church leaders talking all of their smack... yeah, it was everything I could do to not really lash out hard against all of them... but I didn't. I was largely successful at processing it and giving it the Lord. Largely, but not entirely.
In recent days I got word that a prophetic friend of mine had passed away. When Apostles and/or Prophets leave the Earth, that is a big deal... and I had felt it was coming but to get the news was still rough. In the shadow of those losses I have also recently found out I have some new half brothers and sisters thru my birth parents that I never knew I had before...so my head has been spinning to say the least.
I am seeing patterns in my own life that have required me to pull back a little bit and climb up in Papa's lap for a little while. I've taken parts of June here to "spiritually detox" if that makes sense. I am being wooed back to playing worship again, something I had laid down completely for a few years for many of the reasons I listed above.
Many around me want me to run for the school board again in November. Others want me to continue the rapid advancement pace of our home business efforts (which have been significant and wonderful to be sure)... and still others want me to do local meetings and gatherings to minister to them and others... when right now in this season I just want more than anything to cleanse my own heart and mind of the trauma and drama of church foolishness along with the other cares of the world. I don't like the bitterness I have found in myself and I am going to try and make it a priority to get rid of that more sooner than later.
Pray for me in this time.. and no, I don't mean feel bad for a minute and move on.. I mean really take a few minutes and call my name out before God. I need great wisdom in every area including future focus and direction... and thank you for doing it!
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