"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Monday, April 8, 2013

FOREVER ALIVE

 
One year ago today (it was Easter), Jerry and I completed what God had assigned us to do at GBC, to "stay and stand" for the church which had been dedicated to Him and His gospel in Long Beach in 1913, to bring the deeds of darkness which had diverted its purpose since 1990 into the light for His judgment.

He released us to leave but He is still enlightening the eyes of people attending GBC. He is bringing them out by ones and twos and by families, many of them dazed as they hear the Bible preached and realize (like lobsters in a pot) how they were gradually seduced away from the truth and duped for so long, how they filled in the gaps in the sermons with their own assumptions that the gospel was still being preached there.

The darkness has gone underground, covered with a happy, thriving facade now that those calling the leadership to account have all been banished. God has more to expose and to judge, in His own time and through other means. But we thank God that we were faithful through tremendous spiritual oppression and attack and that our part in all this is over.

Jerry and I are grateful new members of Cornerstone Church, Long Beach, where the Bible--including sin, repentance, salvation, heaven, hell, and prophecy--are openly and unashamedly preached and where Jesus Christ is joyously worshiped in three services every weekend. Altar calls bring people to forgiveness, restoration, or healing at every one of them. So many refugees from GBC are joining the church, Cornerstone is having to expand to include 175 new seats!

We appreciate Pastor Jerry Rueb. You can listen to his Resurrection Day sermon (3-31-13), "Forever Alive" at http://www.cclb.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=126127&id1=592&id1t=c&id2=5421&id2t=i You can also watch each Sunday's service live from anywhere in the world at 10:45 AM. We welcome you to worship with us in person or online!

NOTE: This blog never had more than 15 people following it publicly and it hardly ever has new posts anymore. Yet it is still averaging 30 hits per day. Last month it had over 1,000 hits--and the total count is 72,630! I don't know who you are* or what brought you here (frankly I hope some of you are from the IRS), but we pray each of you will receive truth, wisdom, courage, peace, joy and every spiritual blessing from the Lord Jesus Christ!

*Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
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Ukraine
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Mexico
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

I forgive you

In Neil Anderson's "Seven Steps to Freedom in Christ," Step 3 deals with "Bitterness vs. Forgiveness." I have led many people through this step. Now it is my turn.

I choose to forgive the pastors and elders of Grace Brethren Church for hurting us. I choose to forgive you for hurting so many of our friends. I choose to forgive you for continuing to hurt those who do not agree with you, who agree with the Bible instead. 

I choose to forgive those friends of ours who still believe the leaders at GBC. 

Forgiveness doesn't mean what someone did to you was all right.

"Forgiveness is a choice, a crisis of the will. Since God requires us to forgive, it is something we can do. [Matthew 6:12-15; Ephesians 4:32] However, forgiveness is difficult for us because it pulls against our concept of justice. We want revenge for offenses suffered. [In my case, I have wanted vindication.] However, we are told never to take our own revenge  (see Romans 12:19). You say, 'Why should I let them off the hook?' That is precisely the problem. You are still hooked to them, still bound by your past. You will let them off your hook, but they are never off God's. He will deal with them fairly, something we cannot do.

"You say, 'You don't understand how much this person hurt me!' But don't you see, they are still hurting you!  You don't forgive someone for their sake; you do it for your own sake so you can be free. Your need to forgive isn't an issue between you and the offender; it's between you and God. [Matthew 18:34]

"Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person's sin. You're going to live with those consequences whether you want to or not; your only choice is whether you will do so in the bitterness of unforgiveness or the freedom of forgiveness.

Forgiving someone doesn't mean we have to put ourselves in a position to be hurt by them again.You must set up scriptural boundaries to prevent future abuse. 

"Decide that you will bear the burdens of their offenses by not using that information against them in the future." [God called Jerry and me to "bring the deeds of darkness into the light for My judgment." When he released us to leave Grace Brethren Church, He released us from exposing their deeds.]

"How do you forgive from your heart? You acknowledge the hurt and the hate. If your forgiveness doesn't visit the emotional core of your life, it will be incomplete. . . Let God bring the pain to the surface so He can deal with it. This is where the healing takes place."

"Don't wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving; you will never get there. Feelings take time to heal after the choice to forgive is made. Freedom is what will be gained, not a feeling." 

Forgiveness is dealing with your pain and leaving the other person to God.

'Lord, by an act of my will, I choose to forgive (name the person) for (verbally share every hurt and pain the Lord brings to your mind and how it made you feel).'

"'Lord, I release all these people to You, and my right to seek revenge. I choose not to hold on to my bitterness, anger, and self-pity. I ask You to heal my damaged emotions. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.'"

                              
[Note: The way I look at it, we are all going to spend eternity together in heaven--so I'd better start learning to love you down here!]




Sunday, December 2, 2012

Not Janus

There was one who stood out from all the rest. He made a point of quietly coming up to us and giving us hugs, asking how we were, really caring. He sent us emails now and then--just a line or two--wishing us a happy Thanksgiving or a merry Christmas.

At first I thought he must not have heard the accusations, must not have been aware of the ogres we were. But he must have known because he was--still is--an elder. Yet he did not look through us or away from us. He greeted us not as Judas but as Jesus. 

Of all the others, from those who set themselves against us to those who were deeply troubled and didn't know how to view us, he still stands out in my mind. This man did not judge us. This man exemplified Christ's command to love his enemies. I know he did not even consider us his enemies.

This man, Jim Siler, was walking in the sandals of his Lord. And I want to thank him: Jim, you kept me from utterly losing faith in the Church. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Peace (written after church this morning)

"Don't pray!" they told us. "We're praying!"

"Don't sing!" they told us. "You're not worthy of worshiping God!"

"Don't speak! We will tell people not to listen!"

"Don't write! We will tell people lies about you

that will taint what you post."



"We think you'd be happier at another church,"

they told us firmly (two elders, standing before us)--

and to make their meaning clear,

they stripped away our 36+ year membership,

stripped us naked

in front of everybody.



Part of the diaspora,

we followed nearly 200 other dazed people

and limped elsewhere.


Our new pastor opened his arms to embrace us.

He told his congregation,

"We are expanding our worship center,

with seating for an additional 175."



Through him

the Lord whispered,

I love to hear you pray!

I love to hear you sing!

When you speak of Me,

I am exalted!

When you write of Me,

your words delight My heart!


You  will  be  happier  here!






PTSD

Another Sunday morning. Again I wake up tense, disturbed.

I sit on the edge of the bed, tears welling up.

"This is not that church," I say to Jerry. "Remind me the church we are now attending is not like that." I am breathing hard. "Not all church leaders are like that. These men will not treat us like that. They will not publicly denounce us. They will not humiliate us. They will not lie about us and turn our friends against us. Not all men are like that."

Jerry puts his arms around me. "No," he says gently. "He is not Lou."


Monday, October 8, 2012

New blog

Hopefully, a breath of fresh air after this one: www.hiddeninjesus.wordpress.com


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

To those of you who prayed Todd through--

Dear friends who prayed Todd Raynesford through his catastrophic head-on collision April 19 (see HisScribbler, April 30 and May 1):

You were such a blessing when you prayed for Todd-- Would you now please pray for Rhonda Miller (niece of our good friend Tom Hawks), a single mom, mother of two teenagers, schoolteacher, in Chico, California, who had a horribly similar head-on collision July 28. Both femurs, left tibia or fibula, all bones in right foot, left elbow, left hand--all broken, compound fractures. Both knees crushed and fractured. Plus punctured lung. Doctors just recently decided not to amputate both legs. Rhonda was transported to a hospital 19 miles away by Life Flight, which alone will cost her $31,000.

Hit head-on by a drunk man who passed out--both drivers going 55 mph. The man had his 12-year old son in the car with him and is now in jail. He has only $100,000 liability insurance.

God did miracles for Todd and Tish in response to your prayers. I know He will again.

Thank you from all of us.
Jessica