| The wounds of a friend|
Brothers and Sisters at SI,
I have come to respect many of you at this site and thank God dearly for you all. I love to encourage people and perhaps wear my heart on my sleave.
I so desperatly want to be who God wants me to be and always tend to be on fire for Him. Yet today i feel like the nine year old back in school being bullied for sharing with my classmates my favorite interests with passion, being mocked by my parents and close family for being 'weak', being excluded from school activities because i was born with a 'defect'. Now in church it's happening again.
This may sound like a bit of a pity party, maybe it is :-o
I find myself having to contiually forgive a sister who keeps stabbing me with her words and i in turn seek the Lord and pray He would stop any bitterness from taking root. I have just recently shared with a good friend about my application to the evangelism bootcamp to gain experience to evangelise using principles i believe will be an eefective tool. Yet i have recieved a stark and sobering warning to avoid that kind of legalistc teaching fearing i will bring it into our church. I thank God for her honesty and words of warning 'The wounds of a friend...' But i now feel like a stranger in not only my family but also in my church.
I am going to turn to God and His pecious word like never before, i need His guidence, His wisdom in everything i do as what ever i do doesnt seem to be right in mans eyes anyway.
I would appreciate any words from anyone who knows what it is im going through as i feel im going to have to guard my heart with all diligence tommorow at church.
Ron baily and Mike Balog i appreciate your wisdom on this one :-)
In His love, Geraldine
| 2005/4/30 16:12|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: The wounds of a friend|
Yet i have recieved a stark and sobering warning to avoid [b]that kind[/b] of legalistc teaching fearing i will bring it into our church.
Could you tell us more about it?
Saw this earlier and have been praying sister, a couple of thought's and one of which came to mind was this from Chanin, truly just a testament to the Lord working through His own, there is just no other explanation. Thinking that other than letting it be something to 'compare' to, but to ... [i]Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus[/i] as you read through it.
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=5414&forum=44&post_id=&refresh=Go]A Testimony for the Lord (An Affair 'not' to Remember)[/url]
| 2005/4/30 18:24||Profile|
I am sorry to hear of these trials, but I think they are normal. With some amazement I read in September, in a uccf newsletter, that there is skepticism within the church towards evangelism. It does my head in to hear such things. Leanne Payne, also describes opposition from friends, family and spiritually, during most of a year when she was preparing to take up the ministry to which she felt God calling her. He is faithful. I believe your roots will deepen as you receive from Him what you need, to endure.
| 2005/4/30 18:50|
Chanins thread was very humbling. My circunstance paled in the light of her testimony yet the pain is there.
In the end I would just like to say that without God growing and changing me into His likeness more and more each day- I don't know how I would have handled this. I really didn't even think about any "choices" I had. My only choice was to act as Christ would have. I let Christ rule in me and where flesh wanted to rise up occasionally, i just chose to let God be the sole voice in me. It was nothing of me, only Christ. It is the testimony of "He must increase, but I must decrease." (jn.3:30) That's it. If we are willing to be a vessel for Him to have His way- then no matter what situation comes up- He will have a vessel to shine through. To give a testimony through. But that vessel does have to be broken and emptied many times before much of Him can come shining through without our old self getting in the way.
AMEN! I will be applying these truths as i go to church today.
I was reading Galations last night as i was feeling sorry for myself eating a huge bag of crispy M&Ms!
Mike you wrote;
Yet i have recieved a stark and sobering warning to avoid that kind of legalistc teaching fearing i will bring it into our church.
Could you tell us more about it?
This whole thing has been going on for some time now so i've been very brief. but for some time i've had a real desire for the lost in my town and i know it has been put there by God for a reason. I've wanted to reach out to the lost and recently God has laid it on my heart to go out and evangelise. I've had little experience but know if im obedient and go out there and surrender myself to God He will do the rest. When i watched the principles being used by Ray comfort i thought it was an effective tool to use (altough i know the holy spirit is all we need). Then i saw the evangelism bootcamp at the great news web site (www.thegreatnews.com)and thought to myself if i wasnt so terrified of planes i could go to that and then forgot about it. Until i was led there again through a testimony and then the thought of seriously applying for it wouldn't go away. After much prayer and an attempt to talk to my pastor about it i (with my husband supporting me in prayer) applied. My pastor wouldn't take me seriously and my friend says that Ray comforts principles using the law (with Grace i have to add) is too much of a legalistic approach i musn't get into it as she felt a check in her spirit. I appreciate her concern and words of warning and i have meditated and prayed on them but i still feel at peace with these principles. I see how easy it is to get into legalism and i know this is what she must have been implying. It just feels like everyone is laughing at me at times and wont take me seriously. My pastor always laughs at me when i attempt to share anything of the Lord with Him. Im not sure weather or not he knows i've applied.
I knew when God put it on my heart to witness in our town i would come up against oposition but i didn't think it would come from the church i attend, i thought they might have embraced the idea of reaching out to the lost.
In His love, Geraldine
| 2005/5/1 2:35|
| Re: My story......|
You know the bible says to bare one another's burdens. It's like a stick one would drive along side a tomato plant to help support burden of the branches. Could I share a burden with you that has really wounded my heart? If you would just allow me this awesome privilege, I promise an invaluable counsel at the end that will open your eyes to some truth, just the way it did to mine.
I love people who do ministry of anykind. I'm especially drawn to pastors who have "the right stuff". What is the right stuff? Yes they are men of God. But more, they are outstanding in every way. They are men of character and integrity. They are model husbands and fathers. They are deeply compassionate to all without regard to personal stature (no respector of persons). They follow Christ, and it shows by their example in almost every thing they do.
I had a pastor friend, more a dear brother in Christ at who is like that. It grieves me that I do not even measure up to this man, much less Christ, yet he loved me. We had some intimate fellowship. We've went places together. Oh how I loved to be with him. Our theology was on the same page right down the line. He even asked me to preach in his absence, an honor that will forever thrill my soul. This man was not lazy. Far from it. He rarely took time for himself, but was continually giving his life and his labor to his family and his church. I love this man. I'm thrilled to have been known as his friend. (Sadly, he and his 21 year old son drowned over a year ago while fishing to support his family..literal fishing in a lake near New Orleans.)
This pastor invited one of his pastor friends to from out of state to come and conduct some meetings. My pastor friend gave this person a great build up. I couldn't wait to have fellowship with this visitor and hear him preach. He came and was here for 4 or 5 days. He preached 5 messages that were wonderful...good stuff. In his messages he revealed some experiences he had in Africa as a missionary. If you know me, you know that I love missionaries and I cherish their fellowship.
The pastor friend of my pastor friend came and went. I went to all his meetings. I introduced myself. Not once did my pastor introduce me to his friend pastor as being his friend. I was not invited to some special things that were going on that other people were invited too. I was completely overlooked as "close" friend. I was wounded deeply.
When it was all said and done, I went to my pastor friend and shared with him in love my wound. He assured me that it was not by intent and that he had intended to have me involved in the fellowship. I of course forgave him. Yes our relationship had a dent in it, but time would heal it. I know this man. He is not the kind that would hurt anyone intentionally, much less his close friends. He apologised to the max, I forgave him of course, even before I spoke to him about it. Now we will move on.
Well, .......then the Holy Spirit began to deal with me. He probed my heart with this question. "How many times has Jesus been left out of your fellowship with your friends, Lahry?" Oh agony upon agony. Countless times no doubt. I've been with people I cared about and failed to introduce them to the Holy One I "claim" to love most of all. Oh God! Oh please forgive me. Oh the agony of this is almost more than I can bare. I am a man of unclean lips. I proclaim to some how much I love Jesus and how close we are. But with others, I never mention His name.
In my pain of injury from my pastor friend, I was able to see a deeper wound, a wound that breaks my friend Jesus' heart. He laid down His life for me. Too often I treat Him as if I didn't know Him at all. I claim to have a "personal relationship" with Christ, but I keep Him at a distance far too often. Oh God! Please forgive me.
Broken and spilled out,
| 2005/5/1 9:05|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Fear and Faith|
Hope you get the tense of this but, this is wonderful...
It is a testing of sorts to strengthen your faith without a doubt.(To interject something here, when you get a chance, do read this outstanding post Manfred put up from TA Sparks [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=5457&forum=31&post_id=&refresh=Go] Maturity - The Lord's Desire for His People[/url])
Had a hunch and had hoped that it was Ray Comforts BC that you were alluding to, being where you are was unsure, it could have been any number of things. That those around you are implying a jump to 'legalism' sounds like either just ignorance or maybe assumption, not very encouraging to hear that a pastor would be laughing at the sharing of your heart.
A brother from this site gave me Ray Comforts autobiography awhile back and it was fascinating to read his life thus far, besides his great sense of humor and poking fun at himself. Some may or may not like his particular 'methods' as it were, but that is besides the point. Just as in everything, ultimately it is the Lords will that we are after and that you have a desire to reach the lost and get help in finding ways to do so from those who have 'been there/done that' to such a great extent and with the support of your husband...
Sister, what has been breaking on me over the last many months is this uncanny almost sense of [i]it just doesn't[/i] matter anymore what goes on circumstantially as far as my 'self' is concerned. Along the lines of a Ravenhill quote I recall (paraphrasing), he was referring to;
Act 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
And Len was stating that Paul never said '[i]none of these things [u]hurt[/u] me[/i]', but that 'none of these things [i][u]move[/u][/i] me'.
It's always ongoing of course and how the Lord will bring each of us to an end of ourselves will be by different ways and times and seasons. No 'how to' that I know of other than [i]through[/i] it. Through difficulties and hardships and various trails and [i]circumstances[/i], all the things that TA Sparks mentions in that fine article. After awhile it becomes just a completely different way of seeing everything. What matters and what doesn't 'matter'... to Him and by the same way then to you, to us. How to put it? The 'offenses' that come become less of something to chaff over and the want to jump to defend ones 'self' gets subdued, nor does thought of some kind of 'superiority' or high mindedness come in to the picture. It's back to the paradox's of this life of faith. The further you go on the less you become, the more you think you 'know' the more you realize you have just begun. The more honest you become with your own shortcomings the more you grieve with others and see them in a different light... It gets you away from the measuring scale or closer to 2Co 10:12 [i]For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise[/i].
Oswald Chambers has been a great schooling of late;
"The only way to learn to swim is to take the plunge, sink or swim; that is exactly the idea here. Will I cut loose from all moorings and plunge straight into God? It is what the New Testament is continually urgingLet go. Life goes on in a series of coveting the best gifts, but, Paul says, a still more excellent way shew I unto you (rv)take an absolute plunge into the love of God, and when you are there you will be amazed at your foolishness for not getting there before. It is not the question of the surrender of a soul for sanctification, but the unreserved surrender of a sanctified soul to God. We are so reserved where we ought to be unreserved, and so unreserved where we ought to be reserved. We ought never to be reserved towards God but utterly open, perfectly one with Him all through. After the experience of sanctification we have to present our sanctified self to God, and one of the greatest difficulties in doing this is considering the conditions other people say we have to observe. They themselves, . . . comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding (rv). Watch how tied up we are with other peoples notions of what we should be. The only way to get rid of it all is to take this plunge into the love of God. We have to form the mind of Christ until we are absorbed in Him and take no account of the evil done to us. No love on earth can do this but the love of God."
What I wanted to find that so well captures the thought is alluding me here but if you like there is much to be gleaned from [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=4882&forum=34&post_id=&refresh=Go] Oswald Chambers ~ If Thou Wilt Be Perfect . . .[/url], the expression being that it is not the force of the argument from others, even well meaning brethren that [i]"we ought to be doing"[/i] thus and so but seeking what the Lord would have us do individually, not exclusively but again it's that same line of "[i]What is that to you? You follow Me[/i]". Taking things under consideration of course, but ultimately it is just dying to everything but what the Lord would have you do, regardless of how odd, or how much forced compulsion you feel is coming from those around you.
"The only sign that we are new creations (rv mg) in Christ Jesus is that we know all things are of God. When we are in difficult circumstances, when we are hard up, when friends slander us, to whom do we go? If we know that all things are of God, then we certainly are new creations in Christ Jesus. The things that upset the external life reveal where we live. If we are in Christ the whole basis of our goings is God, not conceptions of God, not ideas of God, but God Himself. We do not need any more ideas about God, the world is full of ideas about God, they are all worthless, because the ideas of God in anyones head are of no more use than our own ideas. What we need is a real God, not more ideas about Him. Immediately we get a real God we find that old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new; we are so absolutely one with God that we never think of saying we are, the whole life is hid with Christ in God."
I know this is likely a lot, but just something to glean from, hopefully that is what we all can get from what is available here, from each other, from all these tremendous resources. Some things we are not ready for, some things upon re-reading will floor us at a later time with revelation that alluded us the first time round.
Share(d) your fear of flying there as well Geraldine, sort of. A couple of years ago would have been panic stricken at the thought. And up until just 6 months ago had only flown once, many years ago. In this recent change of employment have already earned a free rewards round trip for all these trips back and forth. One thing for sure, found it very easy to be praying :-) and it was more of a 'trepidation' than panic or anything and besides it really helped force home the argument of being ready and willing to go home and be with the Lord, one thing to say it and dwell on it, but another to be confronted with it. Of course the other realization is that your so called 'odds' are greater navigating the Mario Andriette's of the world on the highway than meeting your demise from some mishap on a plane. "Be not afraid" are the felt words of comfort each and every time and be sure that prayers for the pilots where always at the fore. Even with the familiarity now, still am amazed that those lumbering giants even get off the ground. More amazing is the incredible view of Gods great handiwork from that perspective, get a window seat for sure! It is just awesome to see the curve of the mountains and the sea of clouds and always makes that vivid reality of how immeasurable and incredible God is, the beauty and the wonder of it all. Hard to do anything other than to worship and praise Him! Have become rather fond of it just for that reason. It's that wide-eyed little kid wonder. The creator of the universe...just [i]look[/i] at it all!! Awe inspiring!!!
I appreciate her concern and words of warning and i have meditated and prayed on them but i still feel at peace with these principles. I see how easy it is to get into legalism and i know this is what she must have been implying.
Certainly you know what's going on sister and even with learning these principles they are still just means to be drawn from and your own experience and trusting in the Lord will be what He gets out of you in drawing others to Himself.
Keep us posted sister on how it all goes, will keep you in prayer.
| 2005/5/1 11:38||Profile|
Wow, Guys thank you for your edifying replies.
I got home very late last night and read your replies and knew there was much to be gleaned from them. So before my prayer time i read 'Maturity - The Lord's Desire For His People' by T.Austin Sparks. When i read that and your replies there was much the Lord revealed to me that needed to be dealt with in the prayer closet.
I had to confess to my Father that i have been relying on my good friends opinions of how i should be.
After the experience of sanctification we have to present our sanctified self to God, and one of the greatest difficulties in doing this is considering the conditions other people say we have to observe. They themselves, . . . comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding (rv). Watch how tied up we are with other peoples notions of what we should be. The only way to get rid of it all is to take this plunge into the love of God. We have to form the mind of Christ until we are absorbed in Him and take no account of the evil done to us. No love on earth can do this but the love of God."
I would say i have seeked out God in something, been at peace with it and then when a friend gives me their opinion i would push aside what i beleive The Lord has taught me and rely on my friends opinion no matter how much i wanted to disagree with them. I would take their principles as my own instead of what God has taught me.
but seeking what the Lord would have us do individually, not exclusively but again it's that same line of "What is that to you? You follow Me". Taking things under consideration of course, but ultimately it is just dying to everything but what the Lord would have you do, regardless of how odd, or how much forced compulsion you feel is coming from those around you.
Another great sin i have confessed numerous times and have told the the Lord i so desperatly want to repent of, to completly turn from is criticizing the sister who continually hurts me. As T.Austin Sparks put:
We know the widespread immaturity; we know that there are multitudes of saved ones - those who are the Lord's people, yet living in the shadows of immaturity - who will not pay the price of going on with the Lord; and we might be tempted, like one of old, to say, "What shall this man do?" And the Lord would say, "What is that to thee?" In other words: "It is not for you to make the immaturity of other people your standard, but what I desire is to be the thing which governs your own thought and occupies you entirely."
I forever question this individuals maturity, her total disrespect for people etc Im always doing it as she continues to hurt me but i really really don't want to do it anymore but it has been so hard. Yet,
"What is that to thee?"
I see i have along way to go with this one but i know now what it is i must do.
The right attitude to take toward every trial which the Lord allows to come upon us - every fresh and difficult thing - is: What is it that the Lord has in view for us to attain to by this experience? It is not to destroy, but to build up; not to take from, but to increase; not to restrict, but to enlarge. Down in the deep place is some treasure of the Lord to be discovered. Some of us can say, "Yes, we have found it like that." We have gone into deep places, found fulness there, and come to know the Lord.
We have to form the mind of Christ until we are absorbed in Him and take no account of the evil done to us. No love on earth can do this but the love of God."
Yes there is much to be gleaned here and much for me to learn.
In His Love, Geraldine
| 2005/5/2 5:44|
| Re: church opposition|
I knew when God put it on my heart to witness in our town i would come up against oposition but i didn't think it would come from the church i attend
Geraldine, the following is a post which I made on two other threads. This is the second time I have copied and pasted it to another thread:
"I believe the judgement is against the false church or religion, if you will. Here in North America, there's a huge, I mean huge amount of churches filled with religious people who are going to hell. They proclaim that they are Christian, but they are pharisees. I believe the judgement of God has already been issued to separate the false from the true, and those who do not respond to the call of God to examine themselves, but resist him because of spiritual pride, will be left to their own deception, and great will be that deception. The deception will be so great, that they will think they are doing God a favor when they kill those who oppose them. It will actually be this false church who will persecute the true believers. What may look like a judgement because of our suffering persecution is actually a blessing because Jesus said, "Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matt 5:11 & 12.
We all need to prepare ourselves for this. Praying for you, Sister. Love, Dian.
| 2005/5/2 6:35||Profile|
I knew when God put it on my heart to witness in our town i would come up against oposition but i didn't think it would come from the church i attend
When I first started witnessing, I was banned from a bible study that I enjoyed because they said "your going to give the bible study a bad name". Being wounded in the house of your friends. (Zec 13:6). Those are deep wounds.
Ps 55:12-14 "For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng."
Continue waging your warfare! Never give up! Never surrender! Never retreat! The devil is playing for keeps, so keep fighting! "Though none go with me, still I will follow."
| 2005/5/2 6:46|
| Re: The wounds of a friend|
Brothers and Sisters at SI,
I have just recently shared with a good friend about my application to the evangelism bootcamp to gain experience to evangelise using principles i believe will be an eefective tool. Yet i have recieved a stark and sobering warning to avoid that kind of legalistc teaching fearing i will bring it into our church.
This might sound kinda basic, but have you considered giving your friend a copy of "Hell's Best Kept Secret"? I say this, because I spend a vast majority of my time, being the "church leper", due to my continual attempt at exposing the lies of modern evangelism. I've been called legalistic, insensitive, heartless, and a trouble maker by many if my congregation.
The amazing thing is, I've discovered that while people won't listen to me (after all, I am a bit of a crackpot :-P), they will listen to Ray or Kirk (if your worried about their response, give her Kirk's version, it's much softer).
I had one guy, who is a serious skeptic about everything questionable, argue with me that an atheist wouldn't listen to the Law, and that you would need to understand evolutionary theory so as to be able to prove the existance of God first. After finally listening to Ray (and several debates on the issue between me giving the CD to him, and him getting to listen to it), he couldn't stop raving about it, and has distributed the CD to everyone he knows.
I had another friend who called me a nut, when I told him I wanted to go street preaching (no, I haven't gone out yet). He told me, "It's a waste of time.", pointing me to "the wackos" who preach at the Burke Street Mall (in Melbourne). The following day, the brother called me, all exited because he caught "Way of the Master" on his satelite TV.
I have a phrase I say often, "I've been listening to [b]way[/b] too much Katz!!" (and I do :-)) But one thing I'll say is, I've learned to appreciate rejection and persecution since listening to him. I literally go thought daily cycles of being branded "heretic" and "flavour of the month", constantly. The trick is to recognise that it's safer to be the former than the later, that's why I love being despied, and am truly humbled by praise. Wanna keep your eyes wet, keep going the way your going, and don't deviate, after all, "a broken and contrite spirit, oh Lord, you will not despise".
I'll be praying with you though. Rejection is always hard to swallow, but what's bitter going in, is sweetest going out.
| 2005/5/2 6:46||Profile|