Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 9: Draw Near to God

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow

by Shelly Cruz

It was not until a period of distance was placed between my family and Cecilia’s, that I began to see the blessing that Cecilia gave me. It was an ABUNDANT blessing in disguise! At the time, I felt sad, lonely, depressed and even angry with her and with her whole family. I felt that Cecilia divorced our friendship, and I had no idea why.

I went from being a babe in Christ, to a woman, desiring nothing more, than to love my Savior Jesus. God was changing me little by little each day. I began to pray for specific things, and within weeks, sometimes days, prayers were being answered.

As I spent time in prayer, I started hearing the Lord speak directly to me. I became sensitive to hearing his voice. Good things began happening in my life. It felt amazing! I felt on fire for the Lord, and wanted to scream it from the rooftops! I felt that I had been lost, walking around in limbo for so long, but now I was found.

I clung to this verse: “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
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Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 8: Somehow, I Lost My Entire Identity

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow

by Shelly Cruz

There was so much to read about this man; I didn’t even know where to begin. I stumbled across a message board that had a whole bunch of people who grew up following his teachings. They were adults now. The thing that perplexed me the most, was that these folks were calling him a religious cult leader, and that did not seem right to me.

Cecilia and her family were very strong, mature Christians. They would never get involved with something cultish, would they? The time I spent reading about this man, seemed so déjà vu to me. Everything I was reading from these strangers, was stuff I had heard before, from Cecilia herself, and it all began making sense.

Some of the things I was reading were things that I had no idea about. Things such as: there were 100+ chosen ones that were taught under this man back in the early 70’s. They signed up voluntarily, and some paid a small sum of money and were ministered too. They were given books, and literature to take home and study with their children. This was the first generation of Bill Gothard followers.

A lot of these former followers were very anti-Christian nowadays. Some were even atheists! This did not make any sense to me. Some were confused, and just strayed from religion altogether, yet some, managed to find their way back to the Lord, and were ministering to the ones that left the warped teachings of this man.

I could not spend more then several minutes at a time reading all this. I kept taking breaks, and then would go back and read some more. My heart wept so much while reading the stories. These poor helpless children had been taught that God was harsh and unloving. Who would ever want to worship a God that demanded such harshness? Who would want to remain faithful to a God that was just waiting for his children to mess up, so that he could punish them?
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Quiverfull Daughters: The Making of a Helpmeet

TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting: The Duggar Family on How To Prepare For Courtship & Marriage

by hopewell

“Helpmeet” is such an odd-sounding word to modern ears! But it resonates well in the lingo of the King James Bible. Girls born to Quiverfull families begin their training for the life’s calling as a Helpmeet [aka wife and homemaker] almost at birth.

Girls are born for one and only one reason: to serve a husband. In that capacity, as his helpmeet, she will bear and raise his children, feed as many children as God sends on whatever income he earns, may raise a garden and animals or run a home-based business [with his approval], may home birth and will certainly homeschool all of her children.

Becoming a successful, multi-tasking helpmeet is not something you just “do.” Something that important cannot be left to chance. The training starts almost at birth with “child training.” Moms have a number of helpful “ministries” to turn to for child training guidance. For infants and toddlers two of the best known are Ezzo and the Pearls—both of whom are very controversial to the secular world. We’ll briefly look at each.

Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo developed the popular and often criticized programs “Babywise” and “Growing Kids God’s Way.” As with any program there IS some good and helpful information as well as a lot that many people find abhorrent. “Babywise” teaches new parents to adhere to rigid schedules and rules for bedtime, breast feeding on a parent-friendly schedule and bedtime rigidly enforced with few, if any, interactions with parents after “lights out” no matter the tone of the child’s cry.

“Growing Kids God’s Way” is a huge undertaking for parents. Both parents must attend each session and both must complete weekly homework. This program met tremendous success in conservative churches and megachurches during the late 90s and on. [They also do offer a single-parent version now.] Parents are taught to take back their lives by having a parent-centered, rather than child-centered home. [For the gist of the controversies see www.ezzo.info, but please note this IS a biased site.]

Michael and Debi Pearl of “No Greater Joy Ministries” are some of the most controversial child training advocates in the world today. Several deaths have occurred in homes following the Pearls advice. [NOTE: I am NOT saying in any way that the Pearls are responsible for the deaths, just that the parents were known to follow their methods.]

Their book, To Train Up a Child, advocates corporal punishment to a degree seldom seen today. The idea is to compel instant, willing and cheerful obedience at all times from even the youngest children. Failure to comply results in physical punishment. Parents are taught that children are born with a sinful nature and that they must begin early to “train” the child in the “way he should go” as is taught in Proverbs 22:6. Therefore, it is appropriate to even “chastise” babies with a switch—even one made of plumbing supply line. Parents are told

Training does not necessarily require that the trainee be capable of reason…”[Pearl & Pearl, Chapter 1.]

With this background in mind we can now try to piece together the “training” of a future helpmeet. In her infancy the girl we will call “Jerusha Faith” may be enticed with a toy and swatted for reaching for it. She may be fed only when Mama says and not when her tummy says she is truly empty and hungry. She may be left in the throes of colicky insomnia to cry it out alone for hours on end. In short, she is learning, like a Nun, to deny her “self.”[Note: it is important to remember that ALL families are different not all my use these practices and some may even agree with the critics!]

This dying to self will include seemly innocuous phrases like the one the Duggar family uses which is summed up by the acronym “JOY”—Jesus First, Others Second, Yourself LAST. (Duggar family website, FAQ) Even in infancy little Jerusha Faith is learning that she is not important as herself. She is merely important when she is doing the will of her authority figures—in this stage her parents. [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 7: A Godly, God-Fearing Man

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow

I was feeling inadequate as a wife and mother lately, but had no clue why. Maybe it was because Cecilia called her husband Sir, and was always hanging on his every word. This had been making me nervous for a while now.

I remember asking her about it one day and she only shared, that Sarah called Abraham “Lord.” It was a matter of respect.

I took a moment, trying to imagine myself, calling my husband Lord, or even Sir. I could not help but chuckle each time I said it to myself. Is this something that a Godly wife was suppose to do? Should I be asking my husband if he would prefer I call him Lord, or Sir?

I have always been a laid back sort of wife and mother. My husband never complained about anything. We were both genuinely happy, and so were our four children. I tried hard not to butt in, as our husbands continued speaking. Cecilia’s husband continued to share the details, of this so-called trip, with my husband.

I kept hearing Cecilia’s husband repeating himself that we “REALLY” needed to go to one of these week-long marriage and parenting conventions. That it would change our life. It kept sounding amplified in my ears… I knew my husband though, and knew he was already feeling red flags with this sudden rash conversation. I could feel it, and see it in his eyes.
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Ignorance, Stupid Error, and Willful Intent: Vision Forum is still guilty of objectifying women and children

Vision Forum Ministries (the not-for-profit arm of Vision Forum) capitalizes upon connotation and summarizes their family and Pro-Life oriented Mission Statement by describing themselves as Christians who follow patriarchy as well as their created concept of “multigenerational faithfulness.” Trusting people often fail to recognize the darker doctrines beneath the pleasant pictures connoted including “Protestant Exclusivism,” [Read More...]