Tag: Spiritual Abuse

The $50,000 Cup of Coffee

Have you ever been hurt in church? I know I am not the only one.  This morning God spoke to me that I need to share some things that have hurt me that have happened in church.  Now I am not doing this to bad mouth people. There are good and well meaning people that go to church every week.  There are good Shepherds.  And then, there are others who are not helpful at all.  I know, we are all people, and hurting people – hurt people.

I have a new category on my page, “Hurt in Church”.  This is a place where I share what happened and how I am seeking healing and forgiveness.  I know I have hurt people, and people have hurt me.  We are all human.  But I pray that I can use these hurts as ministry opportunities – and healing opportunities.  Not only to bring attention to what we are doing to each other, but to release God’s healing in all of our hearts.

In many of my stories I may use the 3rd person. And I will not reveal names or places – just situations.  Names will be changed as well. God knows who they really are – and God will take care of it.  But I know for my own healing I need to let these things out – and release them, instead of hanging onto old hurts.

I know I have been deceived – by Abusers in many arenas in my life.  Maybe that is why I always gravitated towards the Charismatic leaders.  Many are good.  But others like to abuse their power.

 

THE $50,000 CUP OF COFFEE

She was living in the shelter with her two kids.  Lynn had recently left the 1969 broken down trailer she had called home after years of abuse.  She was trying to protect her children and start a new life.  She went to the church every Sunday morning looking for hope – and healing.  She walked away from all of her things – left with the clothes on her back and no money.  Seemed wrong – he was the abuser and he got the house – but she was grateful she was alive and her kids were safe.

At night Lynn worked as a part-time waitress at a local diner.  Mostly senior citizens and families were her customers.  She would make on average $30-$40 a night in tips.  Well, except for the Friday Fish Fry.  Then she might make more. A great Friday was worth $75 or so. That’s where she met him.  His name was Tom .

Tom was a widower.  He would come to the restaurant 3-4 nights a week.  He had his favorite chair at the counter.  Being that Lynn was the newest waitress, she usually worked the counter.  She liked it there.  She could talk and get to know whosoever sat down.  Most nights Tom would come in for the special. He really liked the Swiss Steak on Thursdays.

Tom was a Christian too.  Even though he went to a different church, he and Lynn would talk about what last Sunday’s sermon was on.  His eyes lit up every time Lynn asked him what God was doing in his life.  She knew he was sad and lonely and the restaurant was his only place to have a regular conversation. Tom would sit at that counter for a good 2 hours every time he came in.

And Lynn would pull out her little index cards.  One of the ways she kept her wits about her was to write a verse from the Bible on an index card.  She would keep them in her apron and pull them out every time she started to worry about how she would make it – being on her own with the kids, and living in the shelter. “What’s the verse of the day?” Tom would ask when he sat down at the counter. And Lynn would pull out the index card she had written on that morning. She was desperately looking for hope in a hopeless situation.

Then one night Tom asked her, “Hey, what church do you go to?”  Lynn told him, and asked, “Why do you want to know?”  Tom said, “You have such a freedom when you talk about God. I want to come visit.”  Lynn poured him another cup of coffee.

It was a few weeks later that Tom finally showed up.  He looked ragged and beat down.  But he came.  The next Thursday he came back to the restaurant.  Lynn poured him his usual coffee and ordered his Swiss Steak.  Then he told her.  “Hey Lynn, did your Pastor tell you what I did last week?”  Lynn looked at him sort of puzzled.  “No, He didn’t say anything.”

Tom hesitated, and then took a breath. “Well you see, I recently lost my business and I had to sell a building I owned.  I don’t want to pay the capital gains tax so I chose four churches to split the money with.  I just gave your Pastor a check for $50,000.”

Lynn was speechless. She stood there a moment with the coffeepot frozen in her hand.  Her mind was spinning.  Finally she spoke, “Really Tom, that is absolutely amazing!  What a generous gift.  I can’t believe you did that.  You see our church has been renting space for the last um-teen years, maybe now they can build.  Thank you so much Tom. Here, have some more coffee – on me!”  Lynn bought his dinner that night – just to say thank you.  It was a small gesture, but Tom appreciated it.  Who knows the last time someone bought him dinner?

That Sunday Lynn went back to church.  She expected the Pastor to make an announcement and thank her for bringing Tom to church.  She thought the $50,000 check would finally bring her some acceptance into the ‘inner circle’.  Being that it was an independent church only the Pastor and his chosen men knew the finances.  There were no open books there. Yet the Pastor didn’t say a word.  So she waited, and waited.  And Lynn kept working, making $30-$40 a night.  And bringing Tom coffee when he came to the restaurant.

After about a month Tom came back to Lynn’s church.  It was then the Pastor took him up front and thanked him for his generous contribution.  The applause rang out and we were all grateful.  Such a generous gift. There were promises of getting a new building, promises of supporting missionaries, promises of how they could now help so many people.

Lynn sat in the congregation fuming.  She couldn’t believe it.  She was the one who had poured the coffee – for months.  She was the one who fed this man night after night. And the Pastor was acting like she didn’t even exist.  He never even told her thank you.  He never acknowledged her. He never told her that her pouring coffee and listening to Tom had helped him and his church. The Pastor took all the credit for bringing Tom to church. He said he knew him, and there was no mention of Lynn. The Pastor and the men had their private meetings and Lynn has no idea what they did with all that cash.

Lynn was disappointed.  I mean really. A$50,000 cup of coffee. The Pastor wouldn’t even acknowledge her or say good job. Lynn wasn’t looking for a hand out.  She was working hard to make her own way – without help from anyone.  She didn’t ask for help her with rent, or gas, or food.  Oh occasionally one or two people would give her a $20 bill on Sunday.  Maybe they thought that would do it.

Lynn got a second job, and then a third.  All while she went through the divorce.  And lost everything.  She got help from the Salvation Army and they helped her get into Section 8 housing.  She moved into an apartment with her kids and a blanket and a pillow.  Her and the kids didn’t even have beds.  After a while she had to quit the restaurant. Her second job started at 6 am and she had to have the kids at daycare at 5 am.  Working until 11 pm just wasn’t feasible anymore.

She told Tom on her last night, “Thanks again Tom. You have sure been a blessing to XYZ Church.  I pray that God restores to you everything you have given 30, 60, 100 times over. God bless you my friend.”  She turned in her apron and walked out of the restaurant – and out of XYZ church.

 

Source: Pinterest

 

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Don’t Believe Everything – NaPoWriMo Day 28

ok, kind of a rant today.  This is not true of all the Shepherds/Sheep I know – some are surrounded by the love of God and share with others. Some would give you the shirt off their back if they knew you needed one.  Maybe I just have a bad attitude today, idk. Might just be me – so if so, forgive my rant.

But then there are those who like the power and control.  And maybe it’s me – I know I am overly sensitive to that spirit.  Yeah – paid the price for welcoming that thing into my life. But then again, that’s why it makes me so mad.  It is such a destroying spirit. Tears down everything good to be on the throne.  Wants everyone to worship it.

ugggh!

 

I have found that just like in the world, there are those in the church that thrive on power and control.  And there are those who abuse it. Who take advantage of people when they are at their lowest.  Those who kick you when you are down. And use religion to justify their ‘holier-than-thou attitude’.  Maybe you have run into a few?

So, here’s my rant:

Sometimes the ‘religiosity’ of people in church drives me nuts.  There, I said it.  I have been beaten down by people, the world, my flesh, Satan, his demons, men, bosses, etc…and I am sure you have had your share too.  And yet it infuriates me when other “Christians” insist that what Jesus did is not good enough.  Like I could add something to that perfect sacrifice. Yeah, right.

You hear it..

You need to read your Bible more (How much is enough?)

You need to pray more (I do pray, I didn’t know we were in a contest)

You need to repent, again and again cuz you are such a screw up (I thought Jesus took care of that – yesterday, today, and even my mistakes I do tomorrow.)

You know, not everyone is getting into Heaven – implying they are, but none of us ‘sheep’ are. (Oh, I guess I better pay for the upgrade…)

You need to tithe more (Wow, guess I’ll stop paying my mortgage and electricity – yeah cardboard box, that will work.)

You need to go knock on some doors and bring those people here (I think they know they live next to a church)

You need to … blah, blah, blah

Newsflash –

  • I know I have sinned, do you need to beat me over the head with it?
  • How can I repent and come to the alter when you continually kick me when I am down?
  • I came to church to be forgiven – by Jesus, not by you.  You are not my God, God is God all by himself. He really did do it without you.
  • While you are busy fighting with the other Shepherds about whose doctrine is right/wrong – your sheep are being eaten by the wolves.  Yeah, that would be me. And other sheep I know.
  • If you don’t stop beating the sheep up, they are not going to keep coming back.  Starving sheep don’t do well.
  • If you don’t guard and protect the sheep they will continue to get hurt buy the wolves. If you don’t lead, we won’t follow.
  • It really isn’t about you, or me. I am ok with that.  It’s about HIM.
  • This is not your church. This isn’t your kingdom. That is not your money – It belongs to JESUS.

 

Source: Pinterest

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING

©2014 Diana Rasmussen

Learned my lesson long ago

Don’t believe everything

someone says but to

test and see if their

words and actions match

I’ve been led astray

too many times to

believe everything I hear

What is the fruit

of their words?

Do they bring confusion

or seek peace?

Do they name it, claim it

or trust God in things?

Is there  personal gain

attached to their words?

Or are there selfless acts

with no microphones

applause or accolades?

Is it always about flesh and sin?

And the shortcomings

of everyone?

Or do they build you up

restore and  rebuild

the things the world

has torn down again?

Do they fan the flame

He died to give?

or quench the Spirit

with words of doubt?

Tearing apart

your faith

and hope?

Is Jesus Lord

Above all things?

His sacrifice enough

to pay for your sins?

Or is there more you

need to add?

More you should do

to be accepted

into His family?

Is there peace or confusion?

Is there rest or business?

Is there strife or joy?

Is there hate or love?

Is there arrogance

self-righteous

condemnation

fault-finding

gossiping

distractions

causing disharmony

and division?

Or is the fruit of their words

peace, harmony, and unity?

Dear Jesus,

Please help us to

test the spirits and

discern the hidden

things behind the

curtain as the

price is paid

The veil is torn by

Your blood alone Lord

and we come boldly

to Your Throne

to receive

grace and mercy

and Your help

in our time of need

 

 

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!

My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception. (1 John 4:1-6 The Message (MSG))

 (P.S. Yes, I have been kicked out of places – me and my big mouth.  I know, I need more healing here. What do you think?)