Today starts a new day; I realize that I have been abused by religion. It took me through Day 8, 9 before I realized this, but I am glad I did. You can go back to see my comments on Day 8 and 9 to see what I am speaking of. I am taking the time to do the exercises as outlined in the book; Recovering From Religious Abuse, 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom written by: Jack Watts. While I know that hurt and abuse as described and presented in the book are two different things, I have come to the understanding that in regards to taking advantage of me I have in fact been abused. I will admit, one of my greatest concerns is I may have at times abused religion. I don’t think I have but this journey will help me understand where I am at and in the process help others as I journal each day with the steps outlined in the book.
I have to tell you, as of late, life has been hectic, and at times, almost more than I can handle. I can say that this has come about since my desire to dedicate myself to God, but there were times of building and growing that wasn’t so bad and was even enjoyable. Lately though; let me tell you, being the pastor of a church, promoting a book, finishing the production of a short movie, dealing with personalities, looking for a new building for the church and raising funds for it, running a homeless program through the church, and I could go on, to help illustrate the point but it just seems like more than I can manage.
Dealing with the relationships I am involved in carries a weight, especially the broken ones. I find myself leaning on God in such a way as to let him support all of the difficulties I bear. I sometimes forget, or find reason to not lean on God, but thankfully I seem to always come to the point where I do. Sometimes it is after I have bore more than I needed or got to the point I just couldn’t do any more. I have found, God is there every time.
I am grateful that as I have grown in this area. I have learned to turn things over to God sooner. I have realized he is there to care of me, love me, and keep me from unbearable pain. That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard, it just means he is there to help me endure the pain.
I know God will continue to bless me. While others intend to do harm, I am amazed how God always comes through. My relationship with God is at the best place in a very long time. I look at my surroundings, situations, and provisions, and know God is there, not just in these things though, my emotions, thoughts and reality. God is real, I stand by him and he takes care of me. For that I am grateful, God is always there, standing by me.
We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~ Romans 5: 3-5
Just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for our comfort and salvation; as if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:5-7
I have always enjoyed this song, have played it so many times, but this rendition by Darrel Mansfield is among my favorites.
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Today there is a special video for those who would bring others down:
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