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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Church Hurt

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Take me to the King.

Lord I pray that all who have pain, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual that you will give that one Almighty touch and bring healing. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

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Fighting That Inner Critic

We must stop listening to our inner critic and believe what Christ says. “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME”

Perry Stone – Cracked Pots

All of us have flaws in our character or have been hurt in some way that causes a  “crack.”  With Christ’s help, He being the Potter, we can be transformed into the “pot” He created us to be.

“And the vessel that He (Christ) made of clay was marred in the hand of the Potter; so He made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the Potter to make.” Jer. 18:4

 

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A Fist Raised in Anger

11342215-a-man-angry-over-the-whole-world-is-screamingIn going through some of what the Lord has spoken to me through the years I ran across one writing from last year and it made me think about how we get so angry at God and tend to blame Him for those things that have hurt us or things that have gone wrong in decisions we have made.

For many years I blamed God for not stopping the abuse I suffered from my family and later for an abusive marriage and, just to be honest, for a lot of things. The abuse I suffered within my family was not my fault, I thought God was supposed to stop it. He’s all-powerful so how come He let it continue for years?

I didn’t need the Lord in choosing my first husband! I had decided the man was good-looking, I was twenty-seven years old and ready to settle down, and this guy was fun to be around. I learned very quickly after the “I do’s” that he was an alcoholic, a womanizer, and wife beater. That may not have been the man the Lord wanted me to marry so why didn’t He say, “Stop! Don’t marry him!” Maybe He kept quiet because my anger slammed that door in His face and the fist was raised and maybe He had and I ignored Him.

I am convinced that those that vehemently claim to be atheist’s have turned their back on God because of hurt, rejection, abuse, or something else that happened early on or at some time in their life that they felt God should not have allowed. The fist flies up and suddenly “there is no God!” They have rejected the all-powerful One and have deemed themselves god. They claim there is no God yet their god is Satan.

We can blame God for those things that are not our fault and blame God for the poor choices we make. Some have felt “led” to do something, thinking God is the One leading them only to learn later it was either our own soul or the enemy that was in the lead and yet we blame God. “If it wasn’t you, God, then why didn’t you stop me? You knew it was going to turn out like this.” or “You knew what they were going to do and yet you said…..”

We humans, some of us anyway, are quick to shake our fists at God instead of focusing on His will and trusting that even if we mess up He is there to bring us through. He knows what we are going to do, think, and say before we even do, think, or say anything! His love is so great, His grace so abundant that maybe, just maybe He lets us make the mistakes so we will eventually learn to turn to Him about all things. Some of us have to learn the hard way and I’m more than sure, being one of those, that the Lord is more than willing to let us have our own way. And in having our own way, not seeking or following God’s will we have allowed the enemy access.

So let me share His words that I found that caused all this deep thinking:

“The Almighty God which art in heaven sees all that is within heaven and earth and even beneath the earth. His Grace is poured out for all who will accept it yet there are those who refuse and will even blasphemy His name. Those who love Him have the assurance of an eternal home with Him and those who reject Him shall see the fires of hell for all of time and beyond.

God’s love goes beyond human understanding and it is a shame that although He gave His only begotten Son for the sins of all mankind they reject that shed blood. It is a shame that the enemy of God has such powerful influence in men. It is a shame that so many have turned fists to heaven and swear by their own gods. Their god is self. If they refuse the Son of God there is only one alternative and he has been on the prowl more so now than ever before because he knows his time is short.

Those who follow the Son of God must stand strong and bold. They must watch for the ploys of the enemy and not be sucker-bunched by those who follow the enemy. For if they do not follow God through His Son Jesus Christ they are following Satan. They may not realize their self-righteous attitudes are those coming from Satan but they are. I pray to My Father that all will see My light and that none should perish. I come to the Father with love for all even though they reject and defy Me.

My children, you must be strong. You must focus on Me day and night for the times are about to change and things are not as they have been. My strength I give you if you will follow in My footsteps and let Me lead you through the turmoil. Trust Me as you have never done before. Pray for the lost but do not compromise My truth for any. Many shall belittle. Many shall call you atrocious names and throw the fiery darts so as to turn you from Me. That is the fiery darts of the enemy. Put on your armor and stand firm!
I am the Almighty I Am. Go with my love, joy and peace for I am with you.”
Given by the Holy Spirit 8-7-15

~~~~~

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Pope’s efforts to stop child abuse appear to unravel – “smoke and mirrors”

Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A member of a commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on child abuse says the group is a “token body” exercising in “smoke and mirrors” that won’t help children stay safe from abusive priests.

Peter Saunders, the commission member, is now on a leave of absence as he considers whether to continue with an effort he says he has lost faith in.

Meanwhile, new Catholic bishops are still being taught they’re not obliged to report cases of child abuse by priests to the police.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which Francis set up with much fanfare in 2014, was supposed to issue guidelines for the Vatican on how to deal with child abuse. But the body was never consulted about the training for new bishops on exactly that topic.

These are just some of the signs that Francis’ reform efforts, and his pledge to clean up the Catholic Church’s most damaging crisis, seem to be unraveling before they’ve even really gotten started.

The problems come as Pope Francis pays a visit to Latin America, a region where, as GlobalPost has reported, the church is accused of reassigning and protecting many alleged predator priests. Among the latest scandals in the region, Chileans are outraged that the pope appointed a bishop accused of shielding the country’s most despised pedophile priest from investigation.

That the pope’s efforts are faltering comes as no surprise to critics of the church, who have long claimed that Francis isn’t serious about reform, and that his proposed changes are more cosmetic than concrete.

“I think Pope Francis enjoyed a longer and deeper honeymoon period than any leader I’ve ever seen,” said David Clohessy, national director and spokesman for theSurvivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. “But I think that’s eroding, and justifiably so, and more quickly than many church officials would hope.”

GlobalPost recently spent a year investigating the international movement of predator priests. We tracked down several priests who were accused of abuse in the United States or Europe, and later transferred to South America, where they continued to celebrate Mass in poor, remote parishes.

The Vatican never responded to GlobalPost’s requests for comment during our investigation. But we examined Francis’ proposed reforms in detail and asked several experts what the pope should do if he’s serious about cleaning up the church’s sex abuse problem.

Back in 2014, even the pope’s critics lauded the creation of the pontifical commission, expressing hope that it represented a real opportunity for change. Saunders, one of the lay members on the board, was among the cautiously optimistic ones.

A prominent survivor of child abuse himself who runs a support organization in the United Kingdom, Saunders told GlobalPost last May: “I have to remain hopeful until my hopes are dashed … This is a new future for the church.”

His optimism didn’t last long.

Reached by phone in London this past week, Saunders said the last meeting of the commission was extremely heated and culminated in the group essentially forcing him to take a leave of absence. Saunders said he had lost confidence in the commission’s mission, makeup and sincerity.

“I very quickly realized that I’m surrounded by a group of lovely, kind, caring people whose primary loyalty is to the church,” Saunders said. “When Jesus walked into the temple 2,000 years ago and found people trading, gambling and up to all sorts of no good, he didn’t form a committee and say ‘let’s discuss this,’ he just picked the bastards up and threw them out.”

A spokesman for Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who chairs the commission, directed questions about the group to the Vatican. An email to the Vatican Press Office received no reply.

However, Marie Collins, another member of the commission who is also an abuse survivor, took issue with Saunders’ comments.

Collins said the commission is working extremely hard on complicated policy changes that, once put into effect, will have a tangible impact on child safety. That work is incremental in nature and therefore takes time to do right, she said. Saunders doesn’t seem to be willing to put in that time, she added.

Collins also stressed that the commission isn’t supposed to be looking into individual abuse cases, something Saunders has been pushing for. But she said she still believes in the overall mission of the body, and she thinks tangible change can come out of it.

“I wouldn’t stay there for five minutes if I didn’t think so,” she said. “I would have liked things to happen overnight, but I realize that this is such a global issue that if we’re going to make any progress towards change, we have to have policies that, once they’re put in place, will stick.”

One recent policy the church has put in place has been generating its own headlines.

Earlier this month, the Vatican released its training guidelines for new priests at a press conference and asked for feedback on them. Veteran Vatican reporter John L. Allen Jr., an associate editor of the Catholic website Crux, wrote about the guidelines in a column last week.

The church official who outlined the rules argued that bishops have “no duty to report allegations [of sexual abuse] to the police,” Allen wrote in his column. Furthermore, the commission — which was set up to advise the church on these matters — wasn’t involved in the creation of the guidelines. Allen wrote:

“What’s the point of creating a commission to promote best practices, and putting one of the Church’s most credible leaders on the abuse issue, Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, in charge of it, and yet not having it address the new leaders who will have to implement those practices?”

The exact role of the pontifical commission has always been unclear. Further clouding the issue is the fact that O’Malley doesn’t appear willing to talk about the work of the commission or its plans going forward. GlobalPost has tried on numerous occasions to interview O’Malley but has been turned down.

Clohessy said the news regarding the commission is just the latest version of a long line of promised church reforms that have gone nowhere.

“There literally have been hundreds of church panels, and there have been thousands of incredibly smart experts and law enforcement officials and psychologists, and victims, who have wasted countless hours advising bishops who pretend to listen and care,” Clohessy said.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost. Its content was created separately to USA TODAY.

Full and Satisfying

As survivor’s we have a choice as to how we will live; as a survivor or as a victim.

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Tree decorated for Valentine’s Day, San Diego, CA, Source/Author Johntex (GNU Free Documentation License/CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported, CC BY 2.5 Generic)

Can the victims of abuse ever lead a full and satisfying life? That depends, to a large extent, on how we define “full and satisfying”.

There is no question that abuse can kill. Those of us who survive may be left with lifelong physical and emotional scars. Abuse can leave victims struggling with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Abuse can turn sex into a weapon, in the desperate search for love. Abuse can lead to self-medication, with drugs or alcohol.

But that is not the whole story. Not by a long shot.

“…even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by so doing change himself. He may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph.”

–…

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How come Nobody’s Singing?

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A little break from abuse issues is always good for the soul.

Sue's Pen2PaperBlog

Why They Don’t Sing on Sunday Anymore

Looking around the church last Sunday I noticed that the majority weren’t singing. And most of those who were singing barely moved their lips. The only voices I actually heard were those on stage with microphones.

That’s been the case for years now–in churches large and small. What used to be congregational singing has become congregational staring.

Even when the chipper “worship leader” in contemporary churches bounds on stage and predictably beckons everyone to “stand and worship,” the people compliantly obey the stand command, but then they turn into mute mannequins.

What’s behind this phenomenon? What happened to the bygone sounds of sanctuaries overflowing with fervent, harmonizing voices from the pews, singing out with a passion that could be heard down the street? I suspect it’s a number of unfortunate factors.

Spectator set-up. Increasingly, the church has constructed the worship…

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Falling Knives, Part 2

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ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

“Self-Injury Awareness Day – Open Your Eyes. Open Your Heart.” Photo by AndyCandy94 (CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication).

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5: 5) [1].

For many abuse victims, assaults on ourselves are more than an emotional echo of earlier trauma, more than metaphorical.

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury or NSSI (commonly known as “cutting”) is generally viewed as an attempt to deal with emotional pain [2]. Estimates suggest that as many as 14% of teens engage in cutting, at one time or another [3].  But adults are not immune.

In sexual molestation and rape, the violation involves the body. Therefore, the body becomes the “enemy”. Self-inflicted injury is one way this can manifest. But negative feelings ranging from loneliness, worthlessness, and shame to stress, rage, and racing thoughts…

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Unhealthy Soul Ties

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February 3, 2016

SOUL TIES

Sex is a tridimensional experience: spirit, soul, and body. Anytime you have sex with a person you bond with them. Dr. Daniel Amen writes in his book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” “Whenever a person is sexually involved with another person, neurochemical changes occur in both their brains that encourage limbic, emotional bonding. Limbic bonding is the reason casual sex doesn’t really work for most people on a whole mind and body level. Two people may decide to have sex ‘just for the fun of it,’ yet something is occurring on another level that they might not have decided on at all: sex is enhancing an emotional bond between them whether they want it or not. One person, often the woman, is bound to form an attachment and will be hurt when a casual affair ends. One reason it is usually the woman who is hurt most is that the female limbic system is larger than the male’s.”

This is what we call soul ties. Sex is like gluing two pieces of wood together and the next day ripping them apart. Of course, wood from the opposite board remains on each board. A piece of your sex partner (the good, bad, and ugly) stays with you (and vice versa) for the rest of your life. You can only imagine what it looks like when you bond with multiple partners.

Unhealthy soul ties are often the ramifications of having partners that you create a life-long bond with through a sexual encounter(s), but with whom you only have a short-term relationship with. The bond (soul tie) remains long after the relationship is over, leaving both sexual partners longing for wholeness.

THREE REASONS UNHEALTHY SOUL TIES TAKE PLACE:

1. People are misinformed and therefore convinced that sex is strictly a single-dimensional, physical act with no emotional or spiritual connections. Yet after sex they find themselves mysteriously longing for the person they may not even like.

2. A person (usually the woman) gives him or herself sexually to someone expecting that the intensely intimate act of intercourse would create a bond that would lead to deeper levels of commitment in their relationship. But soon she discovers that her sexual partner was taking advantage of her need for intimacy and used her vulnerability to get laid. Of course, this leads to a person being emotionally and spiritually bonded to somebody that they deeply resent!

3. Two people commit to marriage and therefore surmise that the covenant vows are only a formality. So they live together and enjoy a sexual relationship outside of a life-long commitment. But later they decide (for whatever reason) that they don’t want to live in a covenant relationship and eventually break up. They usually don’t realize how deeply they have wounded each other as their souls are ripped apart, tearing the very fabric of their being in the separation.

I understand that there are hundreds of other reasons why unhealthy soul ties take place, but I am simply trying to give you a few examples.

7 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE AN UNHEALTHY SOUL TIE:

1. You are in a physically, and/or emotionally, and/or spiritually abusive relationship, but you “feel” so attached to them that you refuse to cut off the connection and set boundaries with them.

2. You have left a relationship (maybe long ago), but you think about the other person obsessively (you can’t get them out of your mind).

3. Whenever you do anything – make a decision, have a conversation with someone etc., you “feel” like this person is with you or watching you.

4. When you have sex with someone else (hopefully your husband or wife), you can hardly keep yourself from visualizing the person you have a soul tie with.

5. You take on the negative traits of the person that your soul is tied to and carry their offenses whether or not you actually agree with them.

6. You defend your right to stay in a relationship with the person that your soul is tied to, even though it is negatively effecting or even destroying the important relationships in your life (husband, wife, kids, leaders, etc.)

7. You have simultaneous experiences and/or “moods” as the person your soul is tied to. This can even include sickness, accidents, addictions etc.

1 Corinthians 6:15 – Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”

THERE IS HOPE

There is hope if you find yourself in an unhealthy soul tie. You can never fall so far that you can’t be restored. New life is available to you by simply repenting and asking Jesus to forgive you. Forgiveness restores the standard in our lives, and you can live in freedom and hope again.

For more on this subject, check out my book Moral Revolution.

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~~~~

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Blessings to you.