Monday, October 30, 2017

The Pursuer.... October 30, 2017

I tried to keep you awake by playing your music - it lulled you to sleep. I had to take the wheel Cletis! You are one of a kind. Fame is not your pursuit, making someone shine, making someone further walk into their destiny - this is what keeps you awake. This is what I so appreciate about you. Honoring your family - this is what jacks you up. To pursue that illusive cloud of fame, somewhere along the way you worked that through your heart, mind and soul and your game plan is an all out pursuit of the Glory Receiver. You are captivated by the One and Only, not wanting to go the way of the one who couldn't appreciate but wanted it all, wanted to dominate. You actively reject that pursuit.

My prayer for you is that you will continue to pursue the One and Only and in that pursuit you will find more and more fulfillment in Him. My prayer is that you will continue to help unlock the resources and talents of those around you whether it be in the Body of Christ or out in the waiting rooms. You have helped usher life into weary souls, you have given of your time, your talent and your resources. You will always have an open door in towns and cities all over the world and not because you are somebody but because you know the Somebody of all bodies.

It is with extreme honor that I continue to not only pray for my brother in Christ but my son in the flesh. This is what I consider a double whammy! Keep on keeping on.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Glory Revealed - October 29, 2017

Lynne, do not take any of my glory.
Lynne, DO not take any of my glory.
Lynne, DO NOT take any of my glory.
Lynne, DO NOT TAKE any of my glory.
Lynne, DO NOT TAKE ANY of my glory.
Lynne, DO NOT TAKE ANY OF my glory. 


It felt a little much. Had I been? Was I doing it on the sly? I'm liable to do that but I didn't feel like it warranted such an onslaught. And then it would start again...

"Lynne, PLEASE! Do not take any of my glory.
You do not understand, LYNNE.
You can not handle it. Lynne.
I'M SERIOUS! Please! Do not take any of my Glory.

This was going on for days. And then the visuals started coming - His glory likened to a gigantic menacing black smoldering pit of lava.

"Lynne, you put your hand in the pit, and it will never come out. These are the consequences of taking my glory. Your flesh and spirit will not survive."

Ok, that seems a bit much. God. I get it.

But the Spirit was relentless and continually pled. Over and over, again and again and again. Then on our family vacation as I am kayaking back to the dock, having spent two hours on the lake listening to the book of Revelation, I hear him say one phrase. "Lynne, It is all for my glory and it is because I love you." (And just so you know, listening to Revelation on a lake is a bit of a challenge.)

In one split second God surfaces something I have wrestled with for years, something I have always seen as a discrepancy. It is this - He asks us to give Him all the glory yet he tells us to remain humble. It seems as if He is asking us to do what He will not do. Like, do what I say but not what I do. I have been bothered with this for years and at this moment God decides it is time for this girl to get some clarity, a redirection of stale thoughts towards brilliant light.

"Lynne, I want you to come see what I do with my Glory." My interest peaks. Where is He taking me?

The confusion immediately leaves as I stand at the foot of the cross. Everything swirls into extreme perspective. And now, It all makes sense, good extreme loving sense.

"Lynne, I am the only one who can handle all the world's Glory. The. Only. One. I will, I did, and will continue to always handle it with love, humility, servanthood, faithfulness, compassion, grace and mercy. When you give me Glory it spills out in acts of kindness, it spills out in mercy triumphing over judgment, it reaches deep and wide to save the lost. This Lynne, is what I do with your glory. Lynne, it is all for my glory and it is because I love you." The cross covers completely, explains perfectly and dispels what I thought was a  discrepancy forever.

So, In one statement following a series of extreme warnings on taking any of God's Glory, My God and Savior provides me with a lesson, a sermon of sorts, and unpacks and explains a concept that had you asked I would never have been able to articulate or even identify the discrepancy that has niggled me on a subconscious level for all these years. But God knew and He wanted me to think clearly.

I stand corrected and all I want to do is give Him glory.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday's Seminar - We Must Be Informed - Deadly Topic - September 30, 2017

My eyes are opened. My ears hear differently.  My heart hurts.

Twenty-five percent of marriages are abusive.
One in four women report being in an abusive relationship.
Twenty-four percent of women and thirteen percent of men report experiencing severe physical violence from an intimate partner.
Every nine seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten.
Fifty percent of men who assault their wives frequently assault their children.
Forced sex or sexual assault occurs in forty to forty-five percent of battering.
Mothers in abusive relationships said that their children witnessed twenty percent of the sexual violence the mother experienced.
Eighteen percent of Intimate Partners of Sexual Violence (IPSV) said their child witnessed their rape at least once. 
(Source-Darby Strickland's Notes) 

I will never let bad-awful, uneducated advice come out of my mouth ever again to any woman who is struggling with abuse. I have learned way too much.

Two weeks ago in Lancaster on a Saturday, with my soul-friend, Pam Hopkins, I attended an Abuse Seminar at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lancaster. Here is a smattering of what Darby Strickland had to share.

Smattering of Saturday's Seminar:

Emotional abuse is a heart problem, stemming from an abusive person's un-Christlike drive to attain and maintain dominance.

God designed marriage to be a place of mutual trust, sacrifice, care and honesty.

Your calling is not to submit to and accept rampant destructive behavior. The opposite is true. God cares about safety.

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling, or abusive behavior that is used by one individual to gain or maintain power and control over another individual in the context of an intimate relationship. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, exploit, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound an intimate partner.

It is not that the perpetrator of the violence is 'out of control' it is quite the opposite. They are using violence to maintain control. 

It is not about anger management. When a man is selective about when , where and to whom he is abusive, the problem is not he looses is that he takes control.

The oppressed experience being owned, confused, enslavement, crushed, alone, physically ill, feels responsible, devalued, angry, guilty.

Oftentimes what we see is not what is! This is the kicker for me. This is where I failed so many.

Do you have the freedom to be yourself, make decisions, give your input and to disagree?
Do you ever feel fearful around your partner?
Have you ever been threatened or physically hurt?
Have you ever been an unwilling participant in a sexual act?

Violence only escalates and it always picks up from where it left off.

One Love is an app and it is all about safety planning.

You might know just enough to be dangerous and put a victim at more risk - 1.800.799.SAFE (7933)

The Bible does not say to stay and suffer abuse and violence.

Sex Abuse: Rape - Unnecessary Roughness when you clearly say something hurts and it does not stop - Unwanted actions - Causing damage - Duration and or frequency with insistence and punishment.

Marriage does not equal consent.

Hyper-headship is a satanic distortion of male leadership...

Does he exhibit control-oriented leadership?
Demand submission and unquestioning loyalty or obedience?
How does he utilize Scripture in daily life and in conflict?
How does your spouse pray for you?
Are guilt, fear and intimidation used control and manipulate you?

Is he closely watching what you buy? Hiding assets? Using your social security number to obtain credit without your permission? Running up debt? Refusing to give you money? Not including the victim in investment or banking decisions? The list goes on...

Abuse doesn't start out looking like abuse: whirlwind romance, gifts-obligation, jealousy, show up unexpectedly, check your phone, see you all the time, sexual pressure as can't help myself.

What happens when you give negative feedback? When you have needs? When you have a different preference? When they are disappointed? When there is conflict? When he interacts with his family? When there is physical intimacy?

You, the oppressed, you are not responsible for another's sin. Your oppressor will blame you for their anger and rage. But God clearly says it is never your fault. You do not deserve this. You are being oppressed not because of your part or current sins but because of your oppressors current sins.

The oppressor needs to admit fully to all past patterns, admit behavior was wrong without blame-shifting, understand it was a choice not lack of control, recognize effects and show empathy, identify in detail past entitled and controlling attitudes, develop respectful behaviors, replace his distorted view of spouse, make amends, accept consequences, commit to non repeating, give up past privileges, understand lifelong process...

Signs of not changing - he tells you that you are the one that is abusive, uses counseling sessions or info against you in any way, pressures you to to go therapy for yourself, he is minimizing the abuse, he demands a second chance, he says it is impossible to change without your support, he expects something in return from you for attending counseling, he is pressuring you to make up your mind about the relationship or to move back in together, he is pressuring you to drop criminal charges.

~Bancroft, Lundy. Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men -2003
~Holcomb, Justin and Lindsey Holcome, Is it My Fault?: Hope and healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence - 2014
~Strcikland, Darby Entitlement: When Expectations Go Toxic Journal of Biblical Counseling - Winter 2015, p. 19-33
~Vernick, Leslie. The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, - 2013

Zephanaih 3:19 - Psalms 119:34 - Psalms 11: 5-6 - Proverbs 22:3 - Luke 4:18-19

And to help us distinguish between God's voice and Satan's voice here is an excellent list:

God stills you, 
reassures you, 
leads you, 
enlightens you, 
forgives you, 
calms you, 
encourages you, 
comforts you.

Satan rushes you, 
frightens you, 
pushes you, 
confuses you, 
condemns you, 
stresses you, 
discourages you, 
and worries you.