Submission and Prison Cells: Part 2

by Melissa Permission to Live Click here for Part One Let me start by saying a sincere “I am sorry” to “Yellowbunnys” (whoever she was, and wherever she is now) and to all the other women I shamed that day. I was wrong. I was arrogant. I was hurtful. It is painful for me to even read [Read More...]

Cult of Personality – Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu

A few weeks ago I took my daughter out for an celebratory lunch at her favorite Greek restaurant. She’s gotten acceptance letters from all of the colleges she’s applied to plus we really needed to touch base, take a time out together from the busy of our lives. Over sovlaki and hummus she started talking about what she would say to our former pastor Patrick if she ran into him again. She had run into him an few months ago and had been so surprised she’d just hurriedly muttered out pleasantries before leaving him as rapidly as a man with his pants on fire would run for the lawn sprinklers.

I had to ask her what she would say to Patrick if they were face to face. She blurted out something like “F**k you, motherf**ker and thanks for ruining my f**king childhood!” before laughing. We both laughed imaging the faces of those sycophants and hanger on-ers Patrick was always surrounded by if she let the F word fly.

That’s one big marker of a cult-like unhealthy church atmosphere, if everyone treats the pastor as if he is either the world’s most famous rockstar or the big toe of Jesus touching down on the earth to be adored. We saw that, participated in the pastor-pleasing behaviors too, perhaps not to the depth that many did but we did it as a family. It’s dangerous business for the most part. When everyone is busy kissing the rear end of the pastor or bowing down to his every whim and word it starts to look like a one man show with no real room for the Lord or anyone else. Plus the pastor starts to think he’s in control or assumes control. It also breeds unhealthy competition among the members all vying for the attention and favor of the pastor.

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Sex Confessions and the Single Fundy: Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu

(or be careful who you tell your secrets to..)

Bless me Father for I have sinned… told you I’d been raised Catholic. One of the big rituals from my days in Catholic school was the time of confession. At first I found it frightening, going into that big wooden closet-like structure, sitting down with only a metal grill separating you from a priest. You usually couldn’t make out exactly which Father was hearing your confession.

It was always awkward, trying to scare up a list of all the bad stuff you’d done that week. I was a shy bookish young girl and nervously squirmed in the confessional trying to come up with my wrong doings, only to sometimes whisper out stuff I didn’t even do just to have something to say. I’d blurt out that I’d thrown a rock at a bird or told a lie because I just froze, my brain going into some sort of crazy lock up. The priest would tell me something like it was important to recognize your wrong doings, that the Lord forgave us, give me a simple penitence such as saying the Rosary a number of times before dismissing me with the words to go and sin no more.

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Cereal Killers – Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu

Sometimes you really have to measure just how far you’ve come on your journey out of harmful theology. It’s another part of your recovery, looking at how you handled a situation and then thinking back upon how this would have played out in your days of yore. Measure the difference and see where you instinctively line up now.

This week brought another opportunity to do just that. We have ants.

Here in the Virginia Piedmont it’s Spring. Glorious Spring. Beautiful Spring. Yards filled with gracefully blooming daffodils and crocus, shoots of emerald green grass emerging from the red clay earth. Birds singing, trees leafing out, all that jazz. Spring here also means ants, lots and lots of ants if you live in a rural area and haven’t sprayed recently. I always say I know it’s really Spring and we’ll not have any more hard freezes when the ants emerge.

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Thirtyone – Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu

I was driving around the other day running a few errands and when I got back to my car I caught the tail end of a some random preacher speaking about the proper role of women in The Kingdom on local Christian radio. I didn’t catch his name or the name of his ministry or sponsor but his message was loud and clear and made my blood boil. Bulls eye. Trigger hit. Buttons pushed.

He started off speaking on the subject of what his ten year old daughter wanted to be when she grew up. She’s crazy for gymnastics and he asked her that question about the future we all contemplate, what did she want to be when she grew up. Her answer to that question was that she would be a gymnastics teacher as an adult.

I had to wonder how she’s come to limiting her own scope as an adult at that young age. I thought it was rather sad that his daughter said she was going to grow up to teach gymnastics instead of saying she dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast or of winning this or that gym meet. She simply wanted to teach her passion. She didn’t dare expand her dreams to include anything like actually being in competition as a gymnast. Her own goals were limited in scope to start with.

It was pretty obvious she wasn’t going to receive the same type of nurturing or encouragement the average ‘worldly’ or ‘atheist’ parent might give their offspring. Her passion and talent would never receive the type of acknowledgment and respect it might elsewhere. It’s hard to develop to the best of your talent without the emotional support of those closest to you. I suspect that is why this child could not see any further than teaching one day.

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