Day 18 of 21 Days of Healing: Focus

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Can you tell your thoughts are changing?)Day 18:For those who are following the 21 Days of Healing, you have read and hopefully thought through Days 13, 14 and 15 – which are about letting go of all of the stuff you used to do and then thinking about – and doing – the things that you truly want to do. … [Read more...]

How Fundamentalist Christians Ruin Christmas

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser on Dec. 20, 2014Now that I am no longer a Christian, I really enjoy Christmas. I know this might be hard for some to believe, but I enjoy Christmas now more than I ever did when I was a card-carrying member of Club Christian®. The reason is simple. From Thanksgiving to New Years, there were services to prepare, food drives to coördinate, and season-themed sermons to preach. Like the Easter season, Christmas was a high stress, lots of work, time for me. Quite frankly, I found it exhausting and rarely did I have time to enjoy Christmas.And of course, Christmas was that time of year when it was my duty to … [Read more...]

“Un-Friending”

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsYesterday, I was asked to list three things that have happened in the past year that I can celebrate. Immediately, I wrote that both of my sons graduated from college and both have jobs in their fields of study – not always an easy task these days. … [Read more...]

Gently Gently During The Holidays

by Suzanne TitkemeyerI just could not take it any more after looking down and realizing in the bright winter sunlight flooding into my living room that my television remote control looked like it had been dipped in some sort of combination of Cheeto dust, coconut oil and the sands of time then sat out to dry for a decade. Yes, yes it was encrusted and gross. I'd noticed it before, but in the past I'd sighed and mentally made a note to disinfect my hands after using the remote because to give it the scrubbing it needed would surely involve ruining the electronic function of this most sacred of male totems. … [Read more...]

Leaving Before You Are Ready

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixHow easy is it to leave a cult? For me personally, the answer is "not very." I pay close attention to the stories of those who have left a religious cult. I admit I am a little envious of the females who made their escape from their family's cult by marrying a man who whisked them away from it all. I wish I had that ticket available back then. It wasn't available to me because I was terrified of men. I was especially afraid of Christian men because of the religious Christian monster my father was. And I was also scared of the so called secular, worldly men because linking up with them meant my life would be cursed with demons attacking me, an … [Read more...]

Gaslighting

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts Editor's Note: We've covered this topic before but it never hurts to revisit some of the basics of harmful practices in churches and the world.I’ve been reading a bit about gas-lighting lately and at first I didn’t think that it played a part in my spiritual abuse. Maybe that’s because many of the articles and blogs that I read assumed that we all know what gas-lighting is already and so they didn’t give a very complete description or definition. I think it was the word “crazy” that finally hit home with me. Essentially, as I started putting it all together, I determined that gas-lighting is when someone tries to make you believe y … [Read more...]

Day 8 or 21 Days of Healing: The Arena

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts“Keep your heart with all diligence . . . ” Prov. 4:23A big “aha!” moment for me came when I went to a conference based on Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly.In the book, Brene describes our lives as being lived in an arena. We all live in an arena with people sitting in the seats around us, watching.What we must determine is who sits where. Who gets to sit in the box seats – the places of honor in our lives? Who gets to sit in the cheap seats? … [Read more...]

My Story – A Heart Like Mine Part 2

by Nora Woodhouse cross posted from her blog A Heart Like MineI was raised as a “modern” Evangelical Christian. But the more I read the more subtle the distinction I find between how I was raised and Fundamentalist beliefs (such as Quiverfull).I didn't wear long dresses/or skirts like the women and girls of the Duggar family, however I still had fashion specifications I was required to follow. I was still in many ways made to be lady like and modest, even if it was in pants. I rebelled and pushed this boundary as best I could and with dramatic flair. I even won my battles with mini skirts eventually. Probably due to my parents crumbling relationship; there was something else to dist … [Read more...]

Day 7 of 21 Days of Healing: Obsession Appointments

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsKeep reminding yourself of how much God loves you. Choose a scripture, song, inspirational statement that you can remember throughout the day.While I began this practice shortly after being tossed out of the church, I must credit my friend, Jennifer Boykin, with the term “Obsession Appointments.” … [Read more...]

Food and Religion – Its Ugly Shadow

by Stephanie - a guest post at Lana Hope's Wide Open Ground. Please be sure to visit Stephanie at her blog - Stephanie Hoffpauir(Editors Note: In the wake of Thanksgiving and the build up to Christmas I think it is important to think about how much stress and unhappiness play a role in keeping us bound to some not so healthy habits. No fat shaming here, lawdy I'm the last person to be throwing fat-rocks, but just have to point out the hypocrisy in the church over weight. Where I attended we were told that being overweight was a huge sin, the sin of gluttony, which only made everyone feel guilty and eat even more. It added to the stress and seemed cruel considering the high percentage of … [Read more...]