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Introductions and Testimonies Please tell everybody something about yourself. Tell us a little. Tell us a lot. Its up to you!

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Old 08-21-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
coalsoffire
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New to the forum. Any other sisters here? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense more yang than yin here. (And if you ask me... Hmm... Perhaps... Just perhaps... It is the male ego that is the most damaging element to the Recovery.) My parenthetical statement is causing my heart to race... But my temporary password encouraged me to forge ahead despite the old fears...

I am a past member and a recently returned member of the LC. I see nothing wrong with this forum. I have only attended one meeting after a 16 year absence, so I am a newbie, in a sense. I'm from Texas originally, but I moved to a new state, PTL! My only suggestion, for now, speaking of foreign languages, is a cheat sheet for all the acronyms. I do not have the time, nor desire, to seek out their original source word.

Thank you brothers & sisters, all of you, now & forevermore! For what? In the words of Mr. Rogers, "By just your being you." (If I recall correctly, I read a beautiful statement once by Brother Lee: "To function is to be who you are.")
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
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Dear Peter: By no means would I call your response a feeble attempt! The ears may have been feeble that heard your corrective response, but I would call it a courageous and heroic articulation of the truth.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:14 PM   #3
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Welcome coalsoffire. (Now that's a name I wouldn't have thought of.)

You are correct. The forum is much too male-oriented. That's not by design. We used to have more sisters join in, but I think the intense doctrinal discussions bored many of them. That's our loss. But I think the doctrinal stage was something some of us needed to go through in order to figure out what we really believed.

I would hope the pool of contributors becomes more balanced between the sexes.

As for acronyms, point out a few that confuse you and I'll translate.

Also, tell us. Why rejoin the LC after 16 years?
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coalsoffire View Post
New to the forum. Any other sisters here? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense more yang than yin here. (And if you ask me... Hmm... Perhaps... Just perhaps... It is the male ego that is the most damaging element to the Recovery.) My parenthetical statement is causing my heart to race... But my temporary password encouraged me to forge ahead despite the old fears...
coalsoffire, welcome to the forum!

Love that name ... great admonition to us all ... one of the Bible's great oxymorons ... an old proverb the Apostle picked up in his exhortation to the Roman believers. (12.20) Looking at its numerous ramifications, it's pretty incredible to consider. Here it is ...
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
-- Proverbs 25.21-22
Referring to the conclusion to the Great Commandment "to love your neighbor like yourself," here the instruction to love your "enemy" brings the Lord's promise to personally reward us. Isn't that incredible! One would think that "coals of fire" dumped on your enemy's head would upset him further, but in the ancient saying, this referred to loving him and caring for his needs. In man's final days, the Lord refers to this again in the parable of the sheep and the goats, (Matt 25.31-46) with the punchline -- "in so far as you did this to the least, you did it to Me."

In the context of the many conflicts which frequent the Recovery, I am reminded of the Lord's heart of love, and how it seems far better to just "give him a drink," than to remind him of his many failures and shortcomings which made him so "thirsty" in the first place.

btw, I think you are on to something when you mentioned the destructive powers of the male ego ...
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
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It is the male ego that is the most damaging element to the Recovery.
I have to agree with you here.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #6
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Ohio, Truth & Igzy: thank you for the warm welcome & comments. As for my username, well you know how "superstitious" the Catholics can be :P --my Catholic friend told me of his habit of using Proverbs by randomly pointing to a verse... I modified this method and do it electronically. When asking the Lord for a username (queenofkudzu was not resonating with my spirit) I was lead to the verse in proverbs that Ohio quoted. I thought it was a wonderful verse, and it was a verse to which I have subscribed in the past. BTW, thank you for the the comments you shared on the verse, Ohio--very nourishing.

Igzy, it appears to be my habit to change religions every 10 to 14 years or so. Born and baptized (age 6, then later age 12) a Baptist, converted to the church of Christ at age 14--did a correspondence study, then called up Oak Hills Church of Christ (same church where Max Lucado now preaches) to come get me to be baptized "for the remission of my sins." They did so, and my parents were quite disturbed with me, but eventually they let me continue in this vein. Hmm... Vein--a good word! I met my husband at that church of Christ, got married there by the elder who had baptized me.

Met a sister later down the line--age 25 now--we bought raw milk together. Started meeting with the church & it was a good experience for me: I learned to be hospitable (a skill at which I was originally unlearned), developed better boundaries, began to "exercise my spirit" (an 'organ' severely underused before), enjoyed some very warm & kind human relationships, expanded my horizons... Never went to a training, always babysat instead--I knew that, psychologically, I would not be able to make it through such an intense experience.

I walked away one day, embarrassed by the behavior of the group as a whole--their ridicule of other believers. I'd had enough of that. Watched Babette's Feast and shared it with some others--great EXIT movie. I remember an elder taking to me about some turmoil in Anaheim & something about Philip Lee needing something like a whirlpool bath or something for some health condition. I had never even heard of Philip Lee & I did not know what his health condition had to do with the price of tea in China... Really disturbing (to my spirit) conversation.

Plus I was dealing with some issues that needed more than "just Christ and the church" to address and resolve. Boy did my saying of that very admonition ("You just need Christ & the church!") to one poor, struggling believer come back to bite me!

I resolved I would go nowhere else until I heard God's marching orders. Age 46 now, still married to the same man, 4 children. Returned to college. Met a philosophy professor (the Catholic friend I mentioned earlier) who took me to a Cathedral one day. I sensed the presence of God in there! Surprise! Surprise!

Graduated in 1999, moved from Texas to Georgia, where my husband was now employed. Converted to Catholicism, age 50. I remember this, as I turned 50 on Ash Wednesday that year. Momento Mori doubled! Or tripled even, considering I was becoming a Catholic in earnest. One good thing from this experience was seeing the good things about the Catholic church from the inside out, versus seeing the bad things from the outside in.

I am not sure why I am now a "lapsed Catholic," but that I am. It may be when the precious La Salette priest, Father Pete, had to leave & was replaced by a diocesean priest. Due to: church politics.

I was drawn, for awhile, and up to not too long ago, to Eastern religions & philosophies, and, eventually to nondualism, which I never "grasped," but to which I was inexplicably attracted. I was even on a forum for this topic, but some little Christian something inside me never went away. My youngest, but now grown, son was interested in "going to a meeting," as we talked about the church-life from time to time over the years, in comparison with the churches he had attended here and there.

So I looked on the Internet & there was one about an hour's drive from us & we went. The Lord's table meeting was much like I remembered, and it was enjoyable. It was a positive experience for me. My son, who was about 10 years old when we quit going, thought the meeting was "strange," but there were things he enjoyed about it as well. My husband will have no part in it, but that's fine. Or maybe not. I have been lonely in all the churches, usually attending without him, even at the church of Christ. He was never much of a church goer after we got married.

Perhaps that is why I am drawn to these types of forums (well just this one, and the other one I mentioned). I feel more connected on them than in person. Here we are not seen in a visible social context, but in a more mysterious, universal one.

Thank you, everyone.
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Last edited by coalsoffire; 08-22-2012 at 07:32 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by coalsoffire View Post
... it appears to be my habit to change religions every 10 to 14 years or so. Born and baptized (age 6, then later age 12) a Baptist, converted to the church of Christ at age 14--did a correspondence study, then called up Oak Hills Church of Christ ...

Met a sister later down the line--age 25 now- Started meeting with the [local] church & it was a good experience for me...

I walked away one day, embarrassed by the behavior of the group as a whole--their ridicule of other believers. I'd had enough of that. ...I resolved I would go nowhere else until I heard God's marching orders.... Converted to Catholicism, age 50. ...I am not sure why I am now a "lapsed Catholic," but that I am.

I was drawn, for awhile, and up to not too long ago, to Eastern religions & philosophies, and, eventually to nondualism, which I never "grasped," but to which I was inexplicably attracted... but some little Christian something inside me never went away...
I appreciate that line "some little Christian something inside me never went away..." I too wandered in and out of verious groups (including the Lord's Recovery assemblies), even venturing into various non-christian approaches and philosophies. But the touch of Jesus Christ never could be completely extinguished. Like a memory, no matter how repressed, ignored, or forgotten, that kept resurfacing in my consciousness... a "still and small voice" that couldn't be silenced.

Today I find myself as a self-professed "fundamentalist evangelical" who is somehow inexplicably "one" with anyone that is even vaguely christian. At the same time, my journeys -- physical, spiritual, and intellectual -- have impacted my thinking so much that the only thing I seem to have in common is the name of Jesus Christ. But that may be enough -- the vast majority of christians would gladly give me a cup of cold water, or the shirt off their backs, were we to meet "out there" on the road.

Similarly, I found this forum to be a good place to work on ideas. What currently constitutes reality, to me, and what is just dross. I like the fact that there are other believers out there that care for what I think. My voice matters. I like that. Though my ideas often get sliced and diced by others, I still am grateful to the Lord for the mutual exploration that our conversations have produced. I like the give-and-take nature of it -- and by contrast, in the Lord's Recovery I ultimately realized that my ideas were not welcome. The constant put-downs of anyone who wasn't "absolutely identical" (Mr. Lee's words) made me realize that my journey was to continue elsewhere.

Welcome aboard and thanks for posting.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:30 AM   #8
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New to the forum. Any other sisters here? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense more yang than yin here. (And if you ask me... Hmm... Perhaps... Just perhaps... It is the male ego that is the most damaging element to the Recovery.)
I think you are close: the male ego is the second-most damaging element to the Recovery. The most damaging element is when we think that since we've read a few spiritual books we are "spiritual" and our egos are firmly under the cross. Wrong. Nobody is safe on this side of the Bema. If you think you are free from your ego you are instead the most deceived. "You think you see; therefore your blindness remains (cf John 9)."

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Thank you brothers & sisters, all of you, now & forevermore! For what? In the words of Mr. Rogers, "By just your being you." (If I recall correctly, I read a beautiful statement once by Brother Lee: "To function is to be who you are.")
Yes, but eventually I found that "to function" in the Recovery churches means to repeat, verbatim if possible, whatever "the ministry" has been recently merchandising. The new members may self-indulgently wallow in whatever voices they hear, but "mature ones" are supposed to be "tape recorders" for the voice of Mr. Lee, and only Mr. Lee (even Watchman Nee et al are to be filtered through Lee). So while it was fun, initially, to function in the Recovery churches, eventually the cost of functioning according to the Ministry Plan (Lee uber alles) was too high for me.

In general, however, yes; "To function is who you are". For example, look at John 13: "It was just before the Passover Feast... Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father....Jesus knew ... that he had come from God and was returning to God" And also look at John 16: "I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father"

Jesus did what He did (i.e. functioned) because He knew that He was from the Father, and was returning to the Father. And in His functioning, Jesus has unoquivocally showed us who He is; and when we see Him we see the way (John 14:4). In seeing who Jesus is, we recognize our Father. Now we can function. We know who we are. We know why we are here.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:46 PM   #9
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Well, it's already beginning... One ex LC sister told me that a current LC sister did not read something I had emailed her; I guess because it was a quote from non-LSM material. I dont know for sure as I was not told by this sister of her objection--why she did not read it. It would be helpful for me to know the truth from the source. Then a corrective dialogue might occur, or not.

Then I receive a requested HWFMR (I am beginning to learn the acronyms), which seems rather dry, or something, like something is missing, but I am going to give it a try.

Probably this little experiment of mine will fail. In some sense, I am ashamed of my 'complaining' as surely others on our earth have far greater sufferings than the ones I am describing here. Really--disturbed that another person rejected something I thought was worthwhile + receiving a dry book?

Here in America I am free to do as I please. The question is: What do I please to do? I please to make confession on this forum, exposing my words to the light of whomever might read them.

Hallelujah for the body. I open myself to adjustment here. I am not sure why I am opening myself thusly; I feel safe here, in a sense, even if disagreed with. Forum addiction has been described: I am adding my thoughts: not to feel alone in my thoughts and a willingness, no, actually a desire, to be tempered.

It is my pleasure to know the truth.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by coalsoffire View Post
Well, it's already beginning... One ex LC sister told me that a current LC sister did not read something I had emailed her; I guess because it was a quote from non-LSM material. I dont know for sure as I was not told by this sister of her objection--why she did not read it. It would be helpful for me to know the truth from the source. Then a corrective dialogue might occur, or not.

Then I receive a requested HWFMR (I am beginning to learn the acronyms), which seems rather dry, or something, like something is missing, but I am going to give it a try.

Probably this little experiment of mine will fail. In some sense, I am ashamed of my 'complaining' as surely others on our earth have far greater sufferings than the ones I am describing here. Really--disturbed that another person rejected something I thought was worthwhile + receiving a dry book?

Here in America I am free to do as I please. The question is: What do I please to do? I please to make confession on this forum, exposing my words to the light of whomever might read them.

Hallelujah for the body. I open myself to adjustment here. I am not sure why I am opening myself thusly; I feel safe here, in a sense, even if disagreed with. Forum addiction has been described: I am adding my thoughts: not to feel alone in my thoughts and a willingness, no, actually a desire, to be tempered.

It is my pleasure to know the truth.
Just be open and read the HWMR. If it helps, it helps. If it doesn't, it doesn't. It also depends on what topic the HWMR is covering. Sometimes I find the topic helpful with the HWMR; sometimes not. But it is unnecessary to make an issue out of it. Even if my LC is using the HWMR, it doesn't mean I have to use it. I can use other materials to cover the same topic. Use whatever material helps you.

This may be a shock you all: when I was in the FTTA, a sister was having a hard time with using the HWMR for her morning revival, so she went to Bro Ron Kangas. You know what he told her? He said, don't use it for morning revival. He said something to this effect: Read it another time so that you are on the same page with the saints when the material is covered on Lord's day. But you can use other materials or just the bible if that helps with your morning revival. We were all surprised at the answer.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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Just be open and read the HWMR. If it helps, it helps. If it doesn't, it doesn't. It also depends on what topic the HWMR is covering. Sometimes I find the topic helpful with the HWMR; sometimes not. But it is unnecessary to make an issue out of it. Even if my LC is using the HWMR, it doesn't mean I have to use it. I can use other materials to cover the same topic. Use whatever material helps you.

This may be a shock you all: when I was in the FTTA, a sister was having a hard time with using the HWMR for her morning revival, so she went to Bro Ron Kangas. You know what he told her? He said, don't use it for morning revival. He said something to this effect: Read it another time so that you are on the same page with the saints when the material is covered on Lord's day. But you can use other materials or just the bible if that helps with your morning revival. We were all surprised at the answer.
For all the things brother Kangas had said on stage and invited critique, I have always had a respect for him - if only because of the way he has interacted with me.

I have spoken to him on a few occasions, but one in particular stands out. It was at a college retreat and he was the speaker one evening. I talked to him afterward for a while.

Essentially, I laid out to him some very intractible difficulties in my spiritual life. I told him that "calling on the Lord" wasn't helping. Indeed, I was a little antagonistic regarding the "solutions" the LC often offers.

He said (paraphrased): "Brother, I don't know. I know that you can't just decide to fix things. We're all flawed. I don't know what to tell you but to pray. Talk to your brothers. But pray. I don't have a specific solutiuon. But our Lord does and its bigger than our thinking about it."

That meant a lot to me. It still does. Even as I could critique his speaking on other issues.

We are complicated creatures.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:52 AM   #12
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Thank you, Truth & Peter for your balanced responses. I will take them to heart. I actually had some bad "church-life" dreams last night, but today is a new day. I realize I have a lot to learn in this return to Christianity and to Christ. I put the two things together. I suspect they are not separable, as there is both a head and a body. More insight--let the head lead? Hence the advice to pray that Peter was given?
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:19 AM   #13
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I realize I have a lot to learn in this return to Christianity and to Christ. I put the two things together. I suspect they are not separable, as there is both a head and a body.
My thought is that if you return to Christ (i.e. to the recognition/awareness that God exists, and in love He sent His Son Jesus) then you are automatically in Christianity. You are automatically part of the group of Christians here on earth. So yes, the two are together; they are not separable.

If you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ you will find yourself exactly where you belong. You will find yourself walking along the south road out of Jerusalem and a voice will tell you to run up to that chariot and an Ethiopian eunuch will be there reading the scroll of Isaiah, confused. You'll have a marvelous conversation. Etc. Yes, you'll make mistakes, but the mistakes will be small, and God will cover them, and if you repent you'll learn from them.

If you focus on the head, everything else (inc. the collective experience) will surely follow. But if you focus on the collective as a way to get to the head, you will end up someplace funny. You will find yourself in some organizational setting and they will be talking about something that bothers you, and you look around and realize God is nowhere in sight.

So stick with Christ and you'll do fine. He has plans for you, and those plans surely involve fellowship. But that fellowship may surprise you. Remember that story where Jesus said, "Go into the city and you'll see a man walking around with a pitcher of water. Follow him." (Luke 22). Weird, huh? That's the way God is. Let yourself be surprised. Just let go and follow God.

Conversely, I have found that when I'm among people who have the plan, the organization, the teachings, the doctrines, everything spelled out to a 't'; I have little room to spiritually breathe. I love the mystery of following Christ. "The Spirit moves where it wills; and you hear the sound of it but don't know where it comes from or where it goes, so it is with everyone who is born from above." The way home is to find that Spirit today, and hold on, wherever it is going.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:06 PM   #14
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Thank-you Aron for the wonderful fellowship. It is so encouraging and new and fresh.

I remember once, in my early 20's, a church of Christ college minister who had an answer, via a tract, for everything. It really seemed strange to me at the time.

What a journey! I am ready to relinquish control--to the Spirit's leading. The Spirit whose intersection with my life I could never deny, in fact.
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