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Women’s March of Freedom

25 Jan

Five million women marched in unprecedented numbers all around the world during the Women’s March. It was the largest Women’s March ever, but a few Christian women claimed they have all they need and criticized those who marched and supported it.

Some of them shared a copied status floating through social media claiming they were in charge of their lives and they could do whatever they want. There was so much wrong with that post I can only hope the person who originally wrote is getting therapy and I feel sad for the hundreds who mindlessly copied it without thinking it through.

The reposted status basically called those who marched victims, but the only way former victims can become survivors is to speak the truth, so marching with a sign is a very healthy way to process and reclaim their power.

One of the more stupid things this post said was, “Quit blaming. Take responsibility.” There is a vast difference between complaining and addressing an issue. By joining the march, women were taking responsibility. They were networking and forming alliances to better carry out their mission for the future.

This post also listed atrocities around the world where women are mutilated and attacked and used for sex and ended by saying: “So when women get together in AMERICA and whine they don’t have equal rights and march in their clean clothes, after eating a hearty breakfast, and it’s like a vacation away that they have paid for to get there…This WOMAN does not support it!”

I’m sorry for the simple minded who re-posted this status without thinking. It was an egocentric rant and it shows a lack of empathy for women around the world. I can tell you something about the woman who wrote that status and why she missed the reasons women were marching in the first place–she is blind to the pain around her. She is so self-absorbed she doesn’t care about the new intern at the office who’s been puking in the bathroom because her boss is making the moves on her. She is an unsafe person and will join in victim-blaming if she is given the chance.

This march was to raise awareness for many women’s issues—both in America and around the world. The women who marched are empathetic enough to realize not everyone has it as good as they do and they are looking for ways to make a difference.

The only person who criticizes someone else for marching for human rights is someone not in touch with the pain of society all around her. So if you didn’t march and you didn’t support the march, just sit down, shut up and go back to your miserable, self-consumed life. Meanwhile the rest of us will be looking for ways to make a difference in this world for your daughter–who will be needing a therapist–because you are so narcissistic, you inflict pain instead of relieving it.

Sorry for the harsh words friends, but it needs to be said. Many have confused the democratic agenda with the march for human rights. Yes, there were many Hillary and Bernie supporters marching, but no matter who won the presidency, women’s marches will continue. What made this march so popular and why people turned out in record millions is because we have a narcissist in the White House.

There I said it. You don’t have to like me. You can even unfriend me, but I don’t think that will change our situation. People came out to march for human rights because they perceive the most powerful position on earth has been filled by a man who is a threat to human rights. And this not only affects Americans, but people all around the world.

There has been talk of removing the United States from the United Nations. This will be a huge loss to human rights everywhere. And if you think this is a conspiracy theory, consider how the National Parks twitter was threatened because the new president doesn’t approve of their tweets. This president has no respect for freedom of the press and doesn’t care about the parks or the people. You don’t have to agree right now, just mark my words, we have only seen the beginning of the end of democracy as we know it. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.

Mighty Throng of Women, Cherilynclough.com, https://www.etsy.com/listing/507350881/mighty-throng-of-women-print-womens?ref=shop_home_active_1

A pastor posted the Bible verse that inspired this art:

The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng: kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder.
-Psalm 66:11

So what does the Lord announce that the women proclaim as a mighty throng?

Freedom for all!

God’s government is based on freedom. If we didn’t have freedom, we’d all be robots. Every conflict and war on this earth is someone trying to take away someone else’s freedom.  We can either join with God’s enemy and try to control people by taking away their freedom, or we can join God in extending it to every human on earth.

These women–whether witches or pagans or rocks stars with filthy mouths or victims learning to find their voices or humanitarians like Mother Teresa and Maya Angelou, were marching for freedom. Some were Christians joining them in spirit or on foot. Regardless of their personal beliefs they understand empathy and the need for freedom.

Some of the people most against the Women’s March would be the first to quote from the American Declaration of Independence, so let’s go there:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Apparently, they see these words as pertaining to men, but not women. Women might be allowed some of these things, but as long as it doesn’t interfere with the men in their lives. Those words were penned for all of us.

The Lord God announced the word of freedom, first by creating all people to be free moral agents, then Jesus himself came to show is the only way to find freedom is by living out the golden rule of treating others in a way we would like to be treated.

Freedom, much like the American Declaration of Independence states, is our God-given right. Not just for the millionaires and celebrities and politicians, freedom is granted to everyone in God’s kingdom—even to those who don’t believe in God and those who break his laws. Without freedom, we’ve got nothing. No human rights, no relationships and no love.

If we look at all the reasons women marched, we see freedom is the answer in every case. The details may vary and what one woman marched for in Paris, might seem different from what a woman in Africa or Tokyo marched for, but the bottom line is the same–they were all marching for human rights and human rights equals freedom.

The Lord announces the word freedom, the women have proclaimed it in a mighty throng. And I don’t believe this is an isolated incident. Ezer Kenegdo is rising. Women are rising up to proclaim the basic God-given right of freedom.

This woman seems to speak for many women’s hearts:

“I marched for my son, because I want a world for him to grow in that has not normalized hate and disrespect.

I marched for my sisters, nieces, cousins and all the young girls on the verge of womanhood to show them sexism, narcissism, and misogyny won’t stand.

I marched for the young daughter of a friend who has faced herculean health issues to show her health care is a right and that people deserve to get help no matter their economic background, sex, or predisposition.

I marched for my gay friends, because no loving couple should ever live in fear their loved ones will be torn from their marriage because of fits of homophobia and prejudice.

I marched for my husband, a journalist, in a time where freedom of speech is endangered, fake news helped foment a fallacy of belief, and post-truth has become a reality.

I marched for the young adopted son of a friend, because no child should ever be terrified that he will be sent away because of the hateful rhetoric of a wall to divide this country.

I marched for my Muslim friends, because a difference in religion does not mean a difference in humanity.

I marched for my African-American friends, because no one should die at the hands of unchecked authority.

I marched because I am a child of immigrants, proud of my heritage, and understand we are a country founded on immigration and blessed with a melting pot of divergent history.

I marched for my police and fire family and friends because the drive to protect and serve believed by the majority of them should not be poisoned by the racism and fear mongering spewed by a few.

I marched because women’s rights, to our bodies, to our sexuality, to our intellect, to our future, are equal rights.

I marched because while we have come so far, we have so very far to go.

I marched because silence is acceptance.

And as I marched, I carried you with me.”

-Sue*

As an American, I absolutely hope God blesses America, but I also pray God blesses everyone on earth.

March on Women!

Rise up Ezer Kenegdos!

Let freedom ring!

*From blog by  John  Pavlovitz

Love is Resistance

19 Jan

Most of us who have studied narcissism and dealt with it in our families see lots of red flags in our new president’s character. So how can we as citizens of God’s kingdom make a difference? We might not approve of the choices of the president, but we don’t have to contribute to fear, we can find subversive ways to bring hope and love to the people around us. Sometimes love is resistance.

At this point it doesn’t matter who any of us voted for. I say this–not because I think this man will be a better president than Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, but because whoever we voted for it is now a moot point and thinking about this will only tempt us into arguments and living in the past.

In this present moment well over half of the Americans who voted are disappointed and many are afraid. People are worried about losing their healthcare, their jobs and in some cases, even their lives. We can’t fix all these issues, but what we can do is walk alongside those who are marginalized and hurting.

We have several choices–we can sit paralyzed with despair and act helpless, we can choose to be indifferent and sit on the sidelines, we can choose to sit in self-righteousness over whether we voted for the right candidate, or we can forget about self and embrace the hurting in our communities with empathy. Our highest calling is to encourage the hurting around us and roll up our sleeves to include those who might be excluded. We have an opportunity to extend kindness, love and grace to our neighbors, friends and coworkers.

There are many things we can do to encourage the people around us.

  • We can march with women this Saturday (you don’t have to go to Washington, you can even organize your own march.)
  • We can practice good self-care, regardless of what is going on at the capitol, joy and peace come from nurturing ourselves and others.
  • We can go to places we might not normally go and listen to people who are not like us.
  • We can speak up when we see injustice happening.
  • We can let our voices be heard even before things happen.
  • Whether our friends voted or see things the way we do or not, we can always be kind.
  • We can share our gifts with others whether those gifts are music or baking cookies or writing a blog or book or giving a massage.
  • We can just be there for all people we know and let them know they matter.

heart-cookies-with-words

My subversive political act for the day is sharing cookies. I’m not saying my cookies will change anything in the political world, but it’s my way to reach out and add some joy and kindness in the world. Sharing cookies is not about food as much as it is letting people know they are valued and not alone. These cookies are going to the hospital where my husband works just to spread some cheer on a rainy January day.

I’ve been thinking about how Jesus shared food while He was on earth. He broke bread not just at Passover, but every meal he ate with others. And many of those others were outcasts of society or damaged, fear-filled citizens of a brutal Roman kingdom. Jesus didn’t fix their laws, but He came to let all of us know we are all of value. He also told us not to worry about tomorrow, because today has enough trouble of its own.

So no matter who we voted for, no matter what we have to give, the most important thing we can do right now is come alongside others and let them know they are not alone. This is the way we can bring courage to our communities. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but for today, we can share what we have with those around us. Let’s all go out and spread a little love.

P.S. If you want the cookie recipe, you can find it here.

Women Pastors and Corporate Abuse in the Church

28 Oct

I’ve been in mourning these last few weeks. Not over a person–but over a church. Specifically the church I grew up in. The church that has been a spiritual home at least in name to six generations of my family. Yet even though I say six generations of family, my childhood home was far different from my mother’s childhood home. The stability she took for granted was missing from mine. Some of the rules were passed down, but my parents diverged from the path of our Adventist pioneers by accepting the false concept of male headship when I was young.

How do I know this? Well they never used those terms, but my mother never worked outside the home. She never led in a family worship except to teach little children. She rarely disagreed with my father in front me. My father put down my Bible worker grandmother who was constantly giving Bible studies. He argued with her over theology. He yelled at her over doctrinal issues nearly every time we visited her.

And there were the quirky things he did while I was young. He scolded me when I was five for handing him a purple towel to dry my baby brother. I had to go back and find a blue one. He was upset when my mom took me school shopping and we came back with plaid dresses. He called them men’s clothes. He never let me or my sisters wear denim or jeans because they were men’s clothes. My parents didn’t want me to cut my hair because it was given to a woman for a covering. They also despised women who worked outside the home and “wore the pants in the family.”

Perhaps my father learned some of this from his father because his mother never learned how to drive a car. He meant well, he told me he wanted better for his daughters, but I’m not sure he knew what that could look like. My husband taught me to drive when I was twenty-three.

Arise and Shine, cherilynclough.com, http://www.redbubble.com/people/littlered7/works/15835854-arise-and-shine?asc=u&c=541259-soul-sanctuary

Prints, Cards and Accessories Available Here

My father’s background made him vulnerable when the false teaching of male headship began to enter the Adventist church in the seventies. This concept did not come from the Bible or even one of our church founders–it originally came from Bill Gothard who has now been embroiled in lawsuits against him for sexual abuse and harassment from multiple young women who worked for him. His teachings of male superiority have taught women they are less than and must obey a male and in turn they have falsely given men the idea they are more important than women.

As the scholars at Andrews University have refuted with the Bible and prophetic quotes, this false concept of male headship flies against the one and only true head of the church–Jesus Christ. And it has caused a lot of trouble recently because people who support male headship are directly opposed to male-female equality which was God’s design at creation, temporarily lost in Eden and restored by the life of Jesus.

In the current controversy of women’s ordination in the church, proponents of male headship have argued that a woman should not be a pastor and most definitely not an ordained one because that would give her authority to lord over a man, but they have missed two important facts:

  1. Being a pastor (male or female) should never be about lording power over anyone. A faithful pastor’s job is to serve as Jesus did when he washed the disciple’s feet.
  2. The Biblical meaning of ordination simply meant to be called and while the actual word appears in the KJV of the Bible, it’s not in the original language. The early church prayed and laid their hands on both men and women who were called by the Holy Spirit to give their lives in service to God. And it should be the same today.

When we realize these two important points, this controversy over women’s ordination is ridiculous. So why am I in mourning over such an insane controversy?

While I was growing up, I saw the disrespect my father gave my Grandmother who served God. I saw how my father had the last word and it was his way or the highway. I saw how my brother was not expected to do the chores while I was used as a family slave. And behind all this subjugation was the power of the belt. When I was seven my legs were beaten black and blue for whispering in church. I could go on and on, but the truth is the beast-like power-over of another human being–in any form of abuse creates a deep and terrifying fear of God–a literal fear that made me sick and kept me up at night for most of my life.

I was terrified of the judgment and of Jesus coming. Events like Mt. St. Helens and 911 carved this fear even deeper into my psyche. It wasn’t until I discovered Jesus and the Father are one and I began to read up on the life of Jesus that I lost this fear created by a false God concept. And male headship was a part of what I was able to throw away.

When I realized God was not the way my father had portrayed him, I finally felt safe in church because I realized how God uses his power. Not like an angry, belt wielding father, but like a humble servant even submitting to let his created beings kill him.

So in the last few months I’ve been sad to see this ridiculous controversy rage on in the church. For me, one of the final straws against the establishment is this vote taken a couple weeks ago to eventually punish those who ordain women. Can you see how this demonic power-over that I felt I had escaped from my childhood home is now leading the church I love? Can you see how unsafe this makes me feel? Can you see how nothing can cover up such abuse? There is no excuse for a world leader being allowed to act as the beast power in a church where we teach the mindset of Jesus and preach against using our power over another human being! Please don’t preach to me about Babylon and the apostate church when our own church is taking on the form of beast-like power.

People have asked me why I care so much about women’s ordination. I once felt called to be a pastor, I came by this through my Grandmother’s joy in giving Bible studies and my own love of people. But I realized my parents would never support me in this choice so I searched for other types of work. Today I have no regrets. I feel I am able to answer God’s callings in different settings most recently through my art and blog.

But here’s the thing–as a friend of Jesus, I owe it to him to honor his example of letting Mary sit at his feet as a rabbi in training. Remember Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” So why should we allow men who have these two false beliefs of male headship and power over ordination keep women from serving God?

Apparently the General Conference President Ted Wilson disagrees with me. In Australia a few years ago, Wilson refused to lay hands on a woman pastor who was being commissioned. Unlike our world leader, the Adventist church both approves women pastors and uses a ceremony exactly like ordination–except they call it a commissioning. This month Wilson pushed a policy through to potentially punish those unions who have decided to go ahead and ordain women.

Wilson did this recently by asking the church to vote on a policy which seeks to punish outliers and those out of compliance. The first irony was the number of people who voted. There were nearly 300 people, but only nine were women. Talk about unfair representation!

The second irony is this document also aims to punish those who don’t subscribe to all twenty eight of the church’s fundamental beliefs, but get this–fundamental belief number fourteen states all are created equal and through Jesus restored to equality–including male and female. So by the GC’s own standards, this attempt to punish goes directly against fundamental belief fourteen. What a mind warp!

And how abusive is it to threaten punishment for a woman following the voice of God? What kind of false religion is this? It’s not the religion of my ancestors who treated women equally. It’s certainly not the religion my husband and I endorse.

I’ve had several conversations with women in my church. Several are leaving and not coming back. And I am left standing with very little to encourage them. Another conversation was with a woman elder who said, “I don’t care about women’s ordination.” It was sad to discover a woman who acts as an elder has no empathy for other woman who are called by God. As long as we have apathy like this, any woman who obeys that call will stand alone and be treated as less by the men in the church. I wondered if her opinion would change if her own daughter heard such a call.

Some people say “We don’t need to worry about what happens at the GC level–just deal with the local church.” Well that might sound nice, but when a vote has been taken to persecute women for accepting God’s call on their life and it aims to punish the faithful, God serving men who ordain them and support them, something is rotten at the top and the stench is trickling down to let all of us know that following conscience is no longer acceptable, we must now conform to the GC’s version of God. And right now, that God represents power over much like the kingdoms of this world.

Others say “Just focus on Jesus and don’t worry about this other stuff.” Really? You don’t think Jesus cares about women who are following his call and being persecuted? And if we are really following Jesus, then won’t we have an eye single to his glory for all?

So what can we do? For starters we need to stop allowing this corporate bullying. Women need to step up and stand up for other women. If nothing else, we need to maintain the golden rule. And the golden rule tells us to treat others as we wish to be treated. Male headship fails the golden rule. Punishing documents fail the golden rule. And sad to say it, but apathetic people fail the golden rule. Each of these mindsets are contributing to a crisis which is splitting the church.

Equality affirming male pastors need to step up. They can preach against this false doctrine of male headship. They can preach on our fundamental beliefs which state equality. They can preach about the godhead. Multiple sermons could cover the true headship of Jesus, the role of the Holy Spirit in calling people and the equality of the Godhead. They could preach on how Jesus treated women. They could also preach on how the true kingdom of God endorses freedom and does NOT use power over. They could preach on how true unity is not conformity, but can only come about by having a free conscience and being led by the Holy Spirit.

My husband and I listen to multiple podcasts every week. This keeps our marriage alive and we are never bored because it gives us lots of ideas to talk about. It also reminds me that I am part of a global movement to embrace Jesus and his freedom promoting lifestyle. It shows me I am not alone. That I don’t have to settle for sitting in church going over the same ol’ same ol’ where people keep their heads in the sand while this corporate abuse is being set up to destroy lives. I’ve heard sermons by very courageous pastors who are willing to stick their neck out for their female colleagues and their example has been refreshingly Christ-like!

I would embrace any local church who is preaching on the topics above. If you live in Southern Oregon and hear such a sermon please message me the podcast, I’d love to hear it!  For now, I’m hanging on and glad to know George Knight still preaches occasionally at my local church because he, like Jesus, supports women leaders in the church whether these elders have empathy for other women or not. And if George should fail me, then I will cling to Jesus! I don’t need to allow abusive and apathetic people in the denomination to discourage me from following Jesus.

If you can go off script and think for yourself, if you like discussing ideas about God, if you are not so stuck in your beliefs that you can look outside the boxes, then I would be thrilled to call you friend. We need to find like-minded people because we are the church!

If you want to hear a great sermon on the current crisis in the church, check out this sermon from Alex Bryan. The choir is great, but if you are in a hurry the message starts about 35 minutes in.

http://livestream.com/accounts/7962515/events/5049907/videos/137763786

George Knight on the Biblical Meaning of Ordination

Andrew University Unique Headship of Christ Statement

Five Myths of Male Headship

Women Sue Bill Gothard

Re-Framing Our Pain

22 Mar

Mariah survived a violent childhood, but she’s still dealing with the aftermath of abuse today. Sometimes people tell her to just get over it and move on with her life. These same people wouldn’t think of telling her to get over a broken leg. We all carry our childhood wounds with us–either in denial or in awareness until we find our healing.

I am all the ages I have ever been.
-Anne Lamott

These wounds might fester for decades before we wake up and realize our lives are not working. The only way to open these wounds is to re-frame the pain. To be able to do re-frame, we must find safe people who are non-judgmental to walk with us on this journey. Perhaps it would help if our friends understood the statistics of childhood trauma.

As the number of traumatic events experienced during childhood increases, the risk for the following health problems in adulthood increases: depression; alcoholism; drug abuse; suicide attempts; heart and liver diseases; pregnancy problems; high stress; uncontrollable anger; and family, financial, and job problems. (1)

People who have experienced trauma are:

  • 15 times more likely to attempt suicide
  • 4 times more likely to become an alcoholic
  • 4 times more likely to develop a sexually transmitted disease
  • 4 times more likely to inject drugs
  • 3 times more likely to use antidepressant medication
  • 3 times more likely to be absent from work
  • 3 times more likely to experience depression
  • 3 times more likely to have serious job problems
  • 2.5 times more likely to smoke
  • 2 times more likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • 2 times more likely to have a serious financial problem

These statistics came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They confirm what happens in childhood, never stays in childhood.  Yet whenever someone tells a sad story, someone is sure to say “She is stuck in the past.” Perhaps she is not stuck in the past as much as the past is stuck in her. Perhaps her pain occurred at such an early age that it effects everything in her life today. If she is an Adult Child of a Narcissist, chances are the person who abused her in childhood might still be in her life today causing even more trauma.

Reframe Butterfly, CherilynClough.com, http://www.redbubble.com/people/littlered7/works/21112144-butterfly-reframe

Print Available Here

Emotional wounds are just as painful as physical wounds, but the problem with emotional wounds is we can’t see them. If someone has a piece of nail in their body and the wound is festering, we clean it out. We don’t say, “That old nail wound is twenty years old, so why can’t you get over it?”

We have empathy for someone with an gaping wound because we get a visceral reaction, but we should have empathy for emotional wounds too. Pain is pain. So I think it is time we re-frame emotional pain to stop the stigma that people who talk about their childhoods are mentally ill or in some way unhealthy. As a matter of fact most families are dysfunctional in some way. Some families just hide their sins so well the members are not aware of why they feel bad.

People who join recovery groups, share their stories, observe their pain and are working on their junk are actually healthier than those who accuse them of living in the past. We are all only as sick as our secrets. Apathy kills. Denial kills. Our past relationships and especially childhood affects our health every day so we owe it to ourselves to get to the bottom of why we struggle with good self-care, why we have no family to celebrate with on holidays or why we feel sick when we enter a church.  This doesn’t mean there is no hope for healing, but the pain we have must be addressed and re-framed if we are to heal and move on.

Whether you are a believer or not, I have found comfort knowing Jesus was a man of sorrows. He knew what it was to endure pain. He entered into our human misery to bear it with and for us, so no matter what you are going through, consider that you are not alone. Jesus came so we can re-frame our pain and find our healing.

God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction,

so that we may be able to comfort
those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which
we ourselves are comforted by God.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Want to read more about how childhood might be affecting you today?

(1) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.samhsa.gov/children/social_media_apr2011.asp)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201104/the-lingering-trauma-child-abuse

http://www.asca.org.au/WHAT-WE-DO/For-Survivors/Resources-for-Survivors/How-can-abuse-affect-me

http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/dr-laura-berman-childhood-abuse-and-adult-relationships.aspx

https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/the-deleterious-effects-of-child-abuse/

 

Go Where You are Celebrated

22 Jan

Kylie’s mother is not the kind that celebrates her daughter’s accomplishments. When Kylie decided to go to graduate school, her mother told her she would get too educated and never find a husband. When Kylie found the love of her life, her mother warned her that he was not the kind of man she had envisioned Kylie marrying and she figured they would be divorce in seven years. When Kylie had a baby, her mom wanted Kylie to have it baptized in her church, but since Kylie was now choosing a different belief system, her mother refused to come to the baby’s first birthday party.

When Kylie decided to write a book on happy parenting, her mother snorted that Kylie had no clues about parenting let alone happiness. When Kylie celebrated her tenth anniversary, her mom said she didn’t know what there was to celebrate because as far as she could see Kylie’s husband was a loser. Through all of her mother’s criticism, Kylie politely listens, but as soon as she gets off the phone, she snacks on anything she can find. Kylie is locked into a relationship with her mother where she is not celebrated.

Go Where You Are Celebrated, cherilynclough.com, littleredsurvivor.com

Prints and Accessories Available Here

Who dreams of NOT celebrating their child when they bring them home from the hospital? Most mothers are in love with their baby and imagine all the wonderful events in the future where they will be celebrating and supporting their child. Narcissistic parents might do the same, except the focus is on them.

Narcs hope to look good at their baby’s parties. They want to be thought of as the super mom who has the smartest kid so they will force their child to study to get good grades in every class. They want to have the picture perfect family at church, so the narc makes sure all their kids dress and act like models. Such celebration from a narc’s point of view is for maintaining their reputation. This is because narcs care more about what strangers think than how their fears of not looking good enough might affect their own children.

The narcissistic parent sees their child as a mirror to reflect their self and will tear down anything they see in you that contradicts their own values. As a matter of fact that is a game you can never win. Nothing is more damaging to the soul than trying to reflect someone else’s values and dreams. The only way we can live wholehearted lives is to live authentically and we can’t do that if we are constantly berated for being different than our parents.

A few years ago, I told a relative that I was going to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless. This relative is a firm vegan and had a lot to say about my mission. They felt I should be serving tofurky to the people under the bridge instead of offering them turkey. I realized this person was not interested in celebrating my cause, but preferred to criticize rather than help.  They were more concerned with being right, than serving people. I have never asked this person for advice or shared my projects since because it’s obvious they are more interested in being a critic than a support.

If your parents can only criticize you and refuse to acknowledge the good you are doing in this life, then make sure you find friends and family (and possibly new family) who celebrate you—not their image of what will make them look good, but who you actually are and what you dream of accomplishing in this world.

If you have suffered a lifetime of criticism from a narc parent, here are some comforting words:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

One thing we know about narcs is they like to project their issues on us. Someone’s mother is saying that to be celebrated is selfish. If you grew up in a church, you probably know one of the narc mind games includes saying anything you do for yourself is selfish. God himself celebrates (sings) over us depending on which version we read:

The Lord your God is with you.
He is a hero who saves you.
He happily rejoices over you,
renews you with his love,
and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.
-Zephaniah 3:17

If you have been in the arena and have brushed off the dirt and stood back up only to be pummeled with snarky comments, it’s not unchristian to go no contact, it’s time to go where you are celebrated. Start with God (if you are a believer), then look for God-like people. The kindred spirits who love to read the same books or people who act, write, sing or serve the homeless–whatever you like to do. Look for people who care about the same causes that you serve. Find the people who even when they disagree with you, are still willing to cheer you on. The world is full of narcs, but the world is also full of loving and good hearted people who are looking for someone to celebrate and it might as well be you.

‘Tis the Season to Cookie Bomb

28 Nov

Here’s my cookie blog from last year. Enjoy!

Hi ACoNs*, Are you having trouble finding the joy this season due to lack of love in your narcissistic family? Make some new traditions with people who respond in love. Try doing some random acts of kindness and cookie bombing. Call it karma, intrinsic law or the circle of life, but life was designed for us to give in order to live.

Giving is a natural law like gravity is a natural law. Such laws are not arbitrary or forced, but in reality just the way the universe works. Trees give us oxygen and we give carbon dioxide back to the trees. Rain becomes snow and melts into rivers and flows to the ocean where it completes the cycle and returns to the clouds. Autumn leaves give life to the soil and contribute to life in the spring. Electricity and even the blood in our bodies runs in a circuit.

We were all created to give. That’s why the life of a Narc grows so stagnant because they think in terms of taking without giving back. The natural illustration of the Narc’s pattern is the DEAD sea. Narcissism disrupts the life-giving cycle because for those who desire narcissistic feed, giving only goes one way.

Upclose-cookies
There are many ways to give—encouragement, love, support, acceptance, unconditional love—all of these are free. It’s easy to get discouraged about giving when the people you love (and who you thought loved you) have been taking from you without giving, but don’t give in to the Narc’s patterns–give whatever you can and live–just don’t contribute to the dysfunctional cycle by providing narcissistic feed.

There will always be some people who misunderstand the debilitating nature of serving a narcissist and they will tell you Jesus says to love our enemies. Yes, love for our enemies can be manifested in different ways and in the case of the Narc it is best to let him go. Even God lets people go. When the crowd wanted to crown Jesus king because He gave them food, He disappeared from their sight instead of feeding them everyday. Giving too much creates dysfunctional relationships.

When we give to those who are not expecting it, we experience joy. This is what Christmas is about–giving freely in love for those who will appreciate it. So your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to go out cookie bombing.

Cookie-Bombs

What You Need:

    • A few extra dollars for drive through
    • The ingredients and ability to make cookies
    • Curly ribbon and party bags
    • Your favorite Christmas tunes
    • Follow the recipe below to make some bright and fun cookies.
    • Let the cookies dry thoroughly. It might be best to make them the day before bombing.
    • Fill party bags with cookies, tie with curly ribbon and crank up the tunes and head out to cookie bomb.
    • Start at your favorite drive through and give away a couple bags of cookies to the cashier while paying for the drinks for the people in the car behind you.
    • Enjoy your drink and head out to your friends’ houses to cookie bomb. Make sure you bomb as many people as you meet along the way–especially strangers! Whether they are a homeless, young or old, rich or poor, working or playing–just give them a bag of cookies and let the joy begin.

SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE

2 sticks butter or margarine

2 C sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

4 C flour (sifted)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp pumpkin spice (optional)

PREHEAT: oven to 350

BEAT: butter and sugar in mixer until creamy

ADD: egg and vanilla and beat until smooth

STIR: flour, baking powder and salt in separate container

ADD: flour mixture gradually to butter/sugar mixture

ROLL: dough into a ball and wrap with wax paper

Cookie-Roll

CHILL: dough in fridge for one hour or overnight

 

Cutting-Cookies

ROLL: out dough and form into cookies

Baking-cookies

BAKE: for 10-12 minutes or until very slightly brown—Do NOT over bake—some smaller cookies may only take nine minutes

Cooling-Cookies

ROYAL ICING

1 lb confectioner’s sugar

5 T meringue powder

Scant 1/2 C water

Wilton food coloring pastes of choice

BEAT: all icing ingredients with paddle in electric mixer until mixed—don’t over mix or it will cause bubbles in icing

SPREAD: immediately on cooled cookies with icing spreader or store in airtight container

Icing-and-Cookies
You can get squeeze bottles for the icing at a craft store to flood the cookies. Just  make sure the first layer dries before adding the second.

 

Flooding-Cookies

 Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over,
will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use,
it will be measured to you.
-Jesus (Luke 6:38)

Cookie-Plate
*ACoNs-Adult Children of Narcissists

Enjoy this Christmas song by one of my favorite groups Pentatonix :

Peace Through the Storms

20 Nov

This world is full of storms–emotional storms, health storms, financial storms, political storms and violent storms. For most people on this earth, life is a constant struggle to survive. I’ve heard someone say faith is like a boat to help us ride out the storms, but when terrible things happen, sometimes it feels like our faith has been capsized. What does it take to hang on when life is tossing us to and fro?

As I’ve been reading stories of refugees this week, my heart questions Jesus, why are you letting this happen? Of course I know Jesus has nothing to do with their suffering, but I want God to stop it already. There’s too much death and terror in this world and it seems to get worse every day. The only explanation I’ve been able to find for such evil is that we were born into a great war between God and his enemy. Because of that war and the logistics of it, all choices must be played out so that no one will ever have to run from a bomb again.

Peace be Still, CherilynClough.com, LittleRedSurvivor.com

Prints Available Here

I marvel at the compassionate doctors who are helping refugees this week. My heart has been thrilled again and again to see the beauty of their selfless love. The stories of young children who have been bombed out of their homes and lost parents and been shot at only to get on a dingy and ride out huge waves in terror. Their trauma is so bad that some scream for an hour after strangers pick them up on the shore. When they finally calm down and get fed and held and have their wounds cleaned, it is the most Christ-like thing I can imagine.

We are all refugees in this war zone, but for the moment, some of us are safer than others. I’m sad to see so many Christians who are so ruled by fear they want to shut all the doors and leave these children outside the gate for the wolves to devour them–wolves that at times have been funded by our own nation.

God’s kingdom is not one of self-preservation, but of self-sacrificing love. When politicians justify their choices to turn away innocent people and call their ideas Christian, it truly bears false witness to God’s name because Jesus loves all the little children–Jewish, Muslim, Pagan and Christian. Jesus has asked us to welcome children in his name.

So how do we survive in a world with constant shootings and bombings and attacks? How can we be helpers when they are not yet on our shores? How will we know where to be safe tomorrow? These are hard questions and we can only rely on God’s Spirit to lead us. There is really no safe place on earth except living with God’s Spirit as our guide. We have no safe course but to live by the Spirit. But Jesus longs to gather us all under his wings. He wants to protect all of us from a greater evil than this temporary death.

It is not death we should fear, but lack of love that is our greatest danger. We either get filled with God’s Spirit of Love, or other spirits–spirits of fear and hate and violence will terrorize our souls. I believe these horrible events are the result of God’s Spirit being withdrawn from the earth. The Spirit dwells in our minds and when humans and angels shut God’s love out, they are filled with fear and hate. In contrast, God’s Spirit always brings freedom and love.

Living in the Spirit of Jesus might seem like an abstract concept, but it really means to be in relationship with Jesus and live in harmony with his law of other-centered love. When we treat others as we would like to be treated, we live in the Spirit of Jesus. When we risk our lives to bring kindness to a hurting world, we are living in the Spirit of Jesus. When the power of love overcomes our need for power and we stoop to serve others, we are living out the Spirit of Jesus. To stand up for the marginalized and mistreated, is to live in the Spirit of Jesus. To risk our lives to help others, is truly living in the Spirit of Jesus.

One of my favorite stories about Jesus is when he was sleeping in the bottom of the boat, while all his fisherman friends were scared for their lives in a terrible storm. Jesus had no fear because he trusted the Father in heaven, and so he slept in peace despite the violent storm that was throwing the boat around. When someone finally woke him up Jesus calmly stepped up to the surface and held out his hand saying, “Peace be still.”

It is the Spirit of Jesus that calms all of our storms and carries us through them. The Spirit allows brave people to work in danger and sleep in peace—and it’s not just for those on the front lines, it’s for everyone who calls on God for help.

Let’s intercede for our nations and our world. Let’s pray with Jesus, “Peace be still.” And then, let’s live out that prayer with one person at a time.

If you are struggling with questions about why God allows terrible things to happen, here is a link to free audio downloads for Servant God, a book I helped to edit and write. The download is currently free.

Free Audio Download for Servant God Book 

Note: For my ACoN friends, I will have a new narcissism blog up at the beginning of the week, for now I wanted to talk about the trauma going on in the world. All of this misery comes from the ultimate abuser who is God’s enemy. I wish peace for all.

Life is Short–Spend it With Kind People

23 Oct

It’s the coziest time of the year–time to grab a pumpkin latte, get acquainted with your favorite sweater and head out on a road trip to enjoy the autumn colors with someone you love. It would be fun to chant over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go–unless grandmother is more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

If you are like my friend Tiffani and thousands of other ACoNs, this exhilarating season can bring on the twin enemies of life–anxiety and depression. That’s because the holidays are just around the corner and for the ACoN* soul, the holidays are anything but cozy.

Tiffani was a people-pleaser who did her best to try to make everyone happy. She was often pitted between her narc mother and narc sister at family dinners. Every year when she began to think about the holidays, she got sick and missed work for days before the holiday even arrived.

One year on a whim, Tiffani’s husband convinced her to go to Hawaii instead of meeting up with her family. It turned out to be the best holiday she had ever had. No sickness, freedom to express herself and enjoy the special meals and time with her children and husband. That was the year she and her husband decided to start their own traditions. It’s been five years and Tiffani has never been healthier or happier, but every year about this time she is inundated with guilt and shame producing memes and emails from her family members.

This is the time of year when the Narc sends out the flying monkeys to say “Life is short, don’t stay away because you never know who will be alive next year.” I fully understand this sentiment. I’ve lived by this sentiment my entire adult life. I’ve tried for decades to let everyone I love, know I love them. This has been a pattern my entire life, but I noticed a few years ago this is NOT a pattern in narcissistic family member’s lives.

Friends are the Family We Choose, CherilynClough.com, LittleRedSurvivor.com

Prints and Accessories Available Here

If it seems crazy that spending time with family could bring on an illness like Tiffani experienced or an anxiety attack, then you are lucky. Most ACoNs struggle to be themselves around family at the expense of their own health.

When we feel obligated to hide who we are because we feel threatened or bullied to comply with the Narc’s design for our lives, there’s not much to celebrate. Eating a dinner with people who constantly criticize and belittle you and tear down what you believe, is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

Because the Narcissist shows no respect for people who don’t do things their way, it’s always up to ACONs to bend and morph to meet the Narc’s needs. The Narcissist will never give in because life is a control game for them. Narcs
see life as a game where they must always win and being right is more important than having a relationship. So when people say “life is short, come hang out with the family,” this concept of life being short goes both ways. Here are at least five things to take into consideration:

1. Is the Narc Hosting the Meal?
If the meal is in neutral territory, there could be a chance for peace. OTOH–if the meal is at your house, but you will end up being the slave to the Narc’s high expectations, this is where you need to consider because this could turn out to be the Worst Thanksgiving Ever.  Life is indeed short—too short to live up to other people’s expectations.

2. Has the Narc been talking about you?
Has the gossip of the Narc affected your relationships? Have family members stopped speaking to you? Do flying monkeys call to give messages from the Narc without any empathy for how you have been treated by the Narc? Does the Narc say, “Oh for Pete’s sake, get over it!” Despite never apologizing for their rude behavior in the past? Then this is where life is too short to put yourself through such emotional abuse.

Going to dinner could go either way–you might find yourself shut out or outnumbered by a flock of flying monkeys or you could go, be yourself and prove the Narcs wrong. This is where you will need to decide how much your relationship is affected by the Narc and how much you care about the other people at the table. Another option is to invite people over to your place another time–without the Narc so you can stay in touch and clear up some rumors.

3. Do you end up feeling as though you were torn by shrapnel?
Could you be seeking some Walton fantasy while ignoring the foreshadowing that your family is more like the Borgias? Trust me, life is too short to allow yourself to be shot emotionally over and over and over. If this happens you will eventually end up like the walking dead.

4. Do you have somewhere else you would rather be?
When we simply feel obligated to spend time with the Narc, it’s important to remember obligation is not a good reason to spend time with anyone. The excuse that life is short just doesn’t ring true when it comes to being shunned or belittled vs. laughing and enjoying yourself with friends who care. Go where you are celebrated.

5. Does being around the Narc affect your health in any way?

If being around the Narc makes your heart race and gives you panic attacks, this is a no brainer. None of us can’t afford to waste our health by trying to please an impossible Narc. Remember the Narc only cares about his or her health, they have no concern for how they might affect yours. Life is short and you only get one trip around. Now is the time to take care of yourself both emotionally and physically.

Some of these people who claim life is short have made life seem very long for the rest of us. Their desire to control others is shortening lives around them every day. So yeah, life is short—too short to be bullied and shamed for not living up to other people’s expectations. Too short to be gossiped about and belittled for not obeying the Narc’s commands.

While the Narc and their flying monkeys might try to persuade us to come to their abusive family dinner by claiming life is short, if they really believed this, they would accept us for who we are instead of worrying about the food we bring or the way we spend our money or who we date or who we might vote for. Life is just too short to put up with all the gaslighting and mindwarps.

It’s really that simple. If they really want us around, they can start by treating us better.

*ACoN Adult Children of Narcissists

Worst Thanksgiving Ever

A Game We Can Never Win

Is It UnChristian to Go No Contact?

 

Standing in the Gap

21 Jul

Some sweet, kind soul at church last week expressed how glad they were to see my face because they thought I might be too upset to come to church now that the Adventist Church has voted no to allowing divisions to decide on ordaining women. I couldn’t help but chuckle because they must not know me very well.

Virginia Davidson, Davidson Originals, http://www.davidsonoriginals.com/

Buy Ampersand Pins Here

Of course I disagree with the vote and no, I don’t believe it is ever God’s will that anyone be discriminated against for their gender or race. But I’ve also seen all kinds of crazy in this church and I am mature enough to not be swayed by what anyone else does in the name of God. My faith depends not on any conference structure made by humans—but on Jesus alone.

My family tree has many broken branches where people have taken detours or walked away from God altogether. When I realize how much religion is abused, I can hardly blame them.

My great, great grandfather Arthur Mellish studied to be a clergyman in the Anglican Church. His father was a rich banker and the family had friends in high places. The family and many important dignitaries came to Arthur’s ordination at St. Paul’s Cathedral. All went well until Arthur was asked if he had any questions. Suddenly he wondered out loud why the church kept Sunday instead of Saturday—which caused the ordination to come to a complete halt. Later that night his father knocked on his door and gave him a one way ticket to America on a ship named “The Baltic.”

Arthur Mellish had shamed his parents and now was disowned by his family and exiled to America in 1883 at age 21. He never went back home to England. It must’ve been a sad journey not knowing if he would ever see his family again or have someone to understand him, but he moved in across the street from a beautiful young woman named Sedora who caught his eye. He soon discovered Sedora and her family were Seventh-day Adventist Christians. His family may have abandoned him, but God had been standing in the gap for Arthur and he was soon married to a woman who celebrated the Sabbath with him every week.

These wonderful people were my grandma Veronica’s grandparents. When she was eight years old, Veronica’s mother asked her to attend a séance with her, but Veronica was convinced it was wrong, so she walked a mile to Arthur and Sedora’s home which she found full of love and music and great talks about God. When her mother returned, Veronica said her mother’s eyes were hard and she knew her mother’s love for her had grown cold.

Arthur Mellish stood in the gap, between the Church of England and Adventism. Between those happy with the status quo and those who had inquiring minds. Between England and America. And He and Sedora stood in the gap between their daughter-in-law’s beliefs and God. By standing in the gap, Arthur and Sedora represented God’s love and truth to Veronica.

Decades later, when I was young and bounced around by my family’s dysfunctional habits, Grandma Veronica stood in the gap for me just like her grandparents once did for her. Her memory still stands between the struggles of last generation theology and the gospel of grace. She stood between men with frail egos and women of God. She stood between misrepresentation of God and the love of God. Veronica (and my Grandpa Don) stood in the gap for me between fear and faith, instability and trust and between false beliefs and God’s love.

Even though Arthur & Sedora and Veronica & Don are all gone now, they all stood in the gap and their faith is why I am here today. And in case you thought I would break this tradition, even though there is no merit to being a sixth generation church member, the blood runs thick to say I would not walk away from the church and message I love, but it is now my turn to stand in the gap.

I will continue to join with my brothers and sisters around the world who plan to show up to church wearing black to signify our mourning with yellow scarves to show our faith that Jesus is indeed bringing the dawn. And I will continue to write about our mission to show God’s character and how is has been maligned by this vote.

I read a friend’s post saying “I’ve never left my church, but it feels like my church has left me.” This seems true. In a church founded by a woman preacher who supported women preachers, this idea of women preachers being less than their male counterparts is a strange concept and does not resemble our pioneers or our Savior.

Whether people can see it or not, our world church family has a gap—more like a gaping wound, but if you are thinking of leaving, please don’t.

Now is our time to stand in the gap—

Between controlling leadership and grassroots believers.
Between male headship and the headship of Christ.
Between hierarchy and the golden rule.
Between exclusion and inclusion.
Between the tares and the wheat.
Between the elite clergy and the priesthood of all believers.
Between distortions of God’s character and God’s character of love.
Between the church militant and the church triumphant.

Jesus Himself is our peace and He has come to stand in all of our gaps. Even now, Jesus is bringing the dawn and no one will be able to hold it back.

I looked for someone among you who could build walls
or stand in front of me by the gaps in the walls
to defend the land and keep it from being destroyed.
But I couldn’t find anyone.
-Ezekiel 22:30

I am willing to stand with Jesus in the gap, are you?

Good Girls Get Angry

15 Jul

While I was growing up, I was taught never to show my anger. My parents didn’t allow children to throw tantrums, so I watched my younger siblings being beaten with a belt over and over until their wills were broken. I believe this happened to me too, because for most of my life, I have been unable to access my anger.

Growing up in an environment where I was told that “good girls don’t get angry” only caused me to absorb all kinds of abuse starting with the physical and emotional abuse doled out by my parents. I have been on a journey of healing. As I write out the stories of my childhood and reframe them, I have finally discovered my anger and my voice.

When I write about my childhood, and most ACoNs* say, “Yeah me too.” All narcissistic families have similar patterns. No matter how much we love some people there is nothing we can do unless they are willing to be honest and treat us with respect. Most ACoNs realize this will never happen because narcissists care more about being right than having a relationship and they don’t change when they get to church. This is why many church leaders wield power over others with an appalling lack of empathy.

I grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Last week they held a vote over Women’s ordination to decide if different world divisions could decide for themselves about ordaining women. People from all nations voted, but some nations voted in blocks due to their local politics. The air was charged with politics and hate even to the point of booing a former president. Not only is our current world president firmly against women’s ordination, he used his position to push his own agenda on the rest of the church.

Of course the vote was no. Considering all the nations represented, I see no way it could be yes, because we are talking about nations where female mutilation is practiced and male headship is common. Such cultures ridicule the thought of woman leaders. I just had higher hopes for our American church leaders. Unfortunately, the false doctrine of male headship appears to be swaying a lot of votes despite the fact that our seminary has refuted it. For those of us who believe women are equal to men this has been a travesty.

I personally believe the vote and all the politics around it have misrepresented God’s character to the world. I believe the God who created women, also calls them. We see this in the life of Jesus from allowing to Mary to sit at His feet like a disciple, to His calling of the Samaritan woman at the well who brought her entire town to meet Jesus. When Jesus rose again, He gave the first message about the resurrection–not to John or Peter, but to Mary and ordained her to give to the men who were hiding in an upper room. It’s obvious for those willing to see that God calls women.

Can't Hold Back the Dawn, Virginia Davidson

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Since the vote a week ago, we have been told from the top down to stop talking about women’s ordination. They say the vote is over and now it’s time to get on with our lives, but that leaves a crippled church limping along by respecting only half of the members. I don’t believe it’s over until the church endorses women with equality.

This affects more than women pastors, it affects every woman in the church who has gifts to share but has been accused of usurping a man’s role for sharing Jesus. It trickles down to the little girl who wonders if God loves her as much as her brother. Despite how our leadership acts, it’s important to note God is not a narcissistic Parent–Jesus showed us by kneeling down to wash dirty feet that God cares about every person and if the Father sees a sparrow fall, how much more does He care about how a woman pastor is treated?

This last week, many of us wore black clothes and ampersands to church. The ampersand represents men & women working together–not men over women, nor women over men, but a complete and equal partnership. We wanted to show our mourning and solidarity because through this vote, fringe beliefs have hijacked our church and distorted God’s character to the world. The Seventh day Adventist church has NEVER supported male headship. It came into the church from Bill Gothard and most never dreamed this could happen.

So this week, we are regrouping. We who understand that God created Eve equal to Adam before the fall. We who understand that Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work and restore us back to equality. We take joy when we read Paul saying there is no male or female in Christ, yet we are now subjected to a splitting and often abusive church family who condemn us for following Jesus and our own conscience.

Several TV preachers are so against women pastors that they have been writing books and posting videos proclaiming women’s ordination is a tool of the devil. One after another of my friends–including myself, have been told we are being deceived just like Eve and under satanic influence merely for serving God with the gifts He has given us.

Jimmy Carter and the Elders who have studied this around the world say that male headship contributes to the abuse of women all over the world. Our own church seminary has refuted the practice of male headship and our historian George Knight has given us a rundown on what exactly ordination means in the video below, but few seem to be listening to his logic.

There are people who would rather see men in power than work beside women and this includes our president. Ted Wilson has gone so far as to avoid being on the platform when a woman pastor was commissioned–something already approved by the church. If he truly wants to represent Christ, then why not pray over a woman who has dedicated her entire life to serving God? Jesus laid His hands on children and blessed them, should we give women less?

Suddenly people who haven’t spoken to us for months feel a need to set us straight on our Facebook statuses. They call accuse us of being selfish or led by the devil. It would be funny if it was not real and many are relatives or old friends who feel they have the right to condemn us for not seeing it like they do. It doesn’t help that our church president is calling for us to stop talking about this and embrace unity, but how can there be unity when any part of the body is hurting? Does it not affect the rest of the body too?

The worst part is we have been told it’s over—to stop focusing on how we treat women because we need to be ready for Jesus to come. Once again, it’s God they use so they can abuse. Most ACoNs see these patterns of power over and control and recognize them for what they are, but this general lack of empathy for women is a shame for a church that says it represents Christ to the world.

In all of these attacks on women’s value, I have not lost my faith, but I have found my anger.

I am angry when Christians raise themselves above others by using the steps of Satan instead of the Steps of Jesus.

I am angry when dishonest people write books that are the 21st century equivalent to a 17th century witch hunt.

I am angry when corrupt politics invades God’s church and people are allowed to manipulate the vote and then leaders call it God’s will.

I am angry when we have a church president who shows little empathy for the pain of women and tells us to have unity while he continues to ignore our pain.

I am angry that family members have been suckered into this male headship deception and feel it is their religious duty to condemn women pastors and all who support them.

I am angry when ignorant people try to stop women from serving Jesus.

I am angry that the most important event in history (the second coming of Jesus) is being used to manipulate hurting women into silence.

And I am most angry because this vote of my church–the Seventh day Adventist church has misrepresented God’s character to the world.

So no, Elder Wilson, we will not be silent. You might have control over your cabinet, but you cannot control our hearts and thoughts. If you wish for unity, you must care about the part of the body that is hurting.

And God, in case you haven’t heard, is exactly like Jesus in character and Jesus loves and calls women.

The surge is only beginning to rise. We are many “Ezer Kenegdos”–designed, empowered and called by God.

Good girls and women get angry when we see that God has called women and our leaders will not do unto others as they would like to be treated. Yes, this misrepresentation makes us angry—the way Jesus got angry when He cleansed the temple. Mark my words. Jesus is coming physically in the future, but He has already come into the hearts of many and He is cleansing temples right now. The question our leaders need to ask themselves, is does God really see me more important than women?

Allow me to repeat this, we will NOT be silent. We are half of the army God has called and enabled to serve and even if the GC president withholds his blessing, God will continue to empower women. I have many friends around the world who are standing with us—some pledging to wear ampersands and black until this is set right. Heaven’s angels gather around us as a great crowd of witnesses.

Sure, we are staring into darkness right now, but we can see a gleam of light on the horizon. Our hearts burn within us and no one–not the president of our church, or fanatical TV preachers or the self-righteous members of our families, can stop what God ordains. You can’t hold back the dawn.

*ACoN Adult Children of Narcissists

God Calls Women

Jimmy Carter TED Talk On Women’s Abuse

Andrew University Headship Statement

Healthy Anger Sermon by Seth Pierce

The Biblical Meaning Of Ordination by George Knight