Lately, Holy Spirit has taken me down a road of re-disovering community. Last week, that road lead me to Carol Kent's Speak Up conference. It's a Christian conference for men and women who are speakers, writers or both. The story on how I ended up there was a "magical Jesus moment"
A little over two years ago I found myself searching the national sex offender registry. I held my breath as I typed in Frank’s name. Every few years or so I would look on the registry and find peace in the fact that his name wasn’t on it. That meant he had gotten the help he needed and he wasn't hurting anyone. On this day particular day, there was no peace, just his mugshot.
Frank went through a grooming period with Stacey. He invested months getting to know her, caring about her life and counseled her through her teenage problems. He showed her what a Godly man looked like. After he had gained Stacey’s trust, he would prey on her vulnerability.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A CHURCH MEETING WHEN THEY HAVE TO ATTEND TO “FAMILY BUSINESS”?
It’s gut-wrenching and hard to be apart of. You sit there fearing the worst. Every horrible situation that can happen flashes in your mind like a bad lifetime movie. Did the Pastor steal millions of dollars to support his drug habit and run away with the church secretary? Does the youth pastor have a rare form of blood cancer and only has two days to live ...?
Dating Frank, I got a glimpse into a world many didn't see - the Pastor and his daily home life. The Smiths were the first Christian family I had been close to, so I was intrigued by them.
Mrs. Smith took pride in extravagant Sunday meals and would eat in community with other church families. She worked hard to prepare a feast and to listen to people who sat at her table. Prayers before meals and talk of heartache, dreams and passions would follow. More often than not, the buzzing of the telephone would put the vulnerability on hold.
This isn’t just a story about throwing an ex boyfriend under the bus. It’s a love story of deception, Christ, church wounds and other hot messes. It’s my story about how God transformed my pain so I didn’t become a bitter old lady filled with a house of smelly cats.
This has been something I've wanted to share for months now. With my best friends, husband and through prayer, I've spent time processing through if I should actually write this. The ramifications of posting this topic or staying silent are outweighed by the freedom that God can bring through sharing my story.
The goal of this blog series is to motivate people to find redemption in Christ and to believe in the local church again.
Have you ever been stuck working on a project … and you just can’t get it right? In this article, you will pick up tools to help you spark your creativity. I've been creating "stuff" professionally for over twelve years and this creative process helps me go next-level in my craft.
Who or what are you letting label you? Let's shift our perspective off of what we were and on to what God says we are. My desire is to challenge us to examine ourselves and learn to walk in wholeness and purpose. We'll learn the 5 Steps to redefining ourselves and rip off those hurtful labels and stick God's thoughts to us instead.