Friday, December 18, 2015

What Being Poor in the "Christian" churches is really like

[picture source]

This one is going be written in kind of a personal tone, it's to tell you what I have gone through. In this one I do expose some vulnerability in that some sin struggles came with what I faced. I still face some of those struggles today. In some odd ways, I realize the ability to even do this blog came out of my sufferings and "outcast" position in American society.

I hope more understand the message I am trying to convey. I am not saying every church is bad to the poor or has these attitudes, but I do think most [in America] at least are treating the poor in the way I was. There are good Christians who treat the poor with real charity out there too but there are bad attitudes out there growing.

You see those looks of pity. The shakes of the head, some roll their eyes. Others seem embarrassed of you such as when your husband drives your 12-13 year old van up to the front of the church with it's rust spots and broken windshield to drop you and your walker off at the door before parking. You are dressed simply but very humbly.  Their looks made you turn away in shame too long. Sometimes you wondered why can't I be one of those other people with their prosperous large families and nice homes, and close knit family and friends? Then you worry about the sin of "envy". You worry God would be angry at you. You repent of this sin but then the feelings sneak back.

At the same time you wonder why has the 9 years of struggle lasted since your husband lost his last job? You moved to this wealthier community leaving a small town you never wanted to leave, so he could move to that job after an economic lay-off from another.  Your household never recovered from two men behind desks deciding to destroy your economic life. There's a certain age where the age discrimination begins. He was thrown out the door the day you went on the insurance with all your medical needs even though he had a good review the very month before. He has caretaking responsibilities for you, his own health has declined over the years. You know his health declines have affected the outcomes too. He works at home and works hard but it's piece meal work. People in his field used to be middle class. Not anymore.

The preacher that particular day preaches, that "God blesses those who obeys Him". Does that mean in this world and not just in the next? You have thoughts like "Why isn't God blessing me?" I have no family outside my husband, no money and my health is long ago gone. You tell yourself be content in the Lord, there is food and shelter and medicine for you. You have gone without all those things in the past and take nothing for granted. Verses from the book of Job, and Psalms that warn the wicked will prosper in this world give you solace, but the troubling feelings still burble under the surface and those around you make them WORSE.

You get the feeling, you are not accepted. You are not loved, you are merely tolerated. One nice lady talks to you but you are in the church for a year and no one else moves beyond the "weather" and "hello". They hold social events they forget to "invite" you too and claim are only for those 55 and over even though you are in spitting distance of the age cut-off. One can be rejected by people who keep smiling at you. You feel "JUDGED" in all the bad ways that word can convey.

The church does nothing for the poor, you notice no poor people there attend. You both are it. You don't fit in. Even in your old rural church when you were a new Christian, they'd help the poor in the church there but you were always an "outsider" when the ladies took their two annual trips and retreats where the hotel and cost of the trip alone was $100. This place however doesn't help the poor not within. There's never any shared meals or bible studies. Even the liberals in the UU used to offer you a donut and a cup of coffee.  This is a church in a long line of other visited ones, all with too many false teachings. This one because it uses the KJV and is not ecumenical, you want to give it a chance, but they never give you a chance.

The only gatherings in the church are for wedding dinners, for one family that almost equals the Duggars in population, whose children automatically marry by age 21 into just as secure financial households and a present is expected.  Rarely a gift is given to those who ask, but it seems not encouraged.  The rest of the people in this IFB are all married and with children. There isn't one person under the age of 21 in the entire church who is single, they are all homeowners. Not one is child-less or unemployed. Not one has been divorced, not one has grown up outside the church which you find odd. Hasn't anyone else converted in as an adult? Why don't "conservative evangelical" churches have any single or child-less people? Did they chase them all out?

The churches I have visited and attended seem all full of the same demographic. Not outsiders, not people who have faced hardships but people who all have "nice families" and "proper" lives whose lives have rarely deviated from a certain formula. No one on the fringes dare apply. Any problems if they do exist are to be hidden. Prayer sessions are odd, I learn quick admitting any weaknesses is a bad idea. "Saving face" matters the most. It's being lonely in a crowd. I am not sure what to think but it seems in poorer rural areas, conversation is more open, here it's far more stilted. I never adapted to this culture here.

The pastor preaches, "Those who will not work, will not eat".  This is always tied to complaints about the poor who supposedly all according to Fox news want to use and abuse the system. Your husband cringes in the pew, he knows he is looked down on for not making much money. It's the last thing he wants to hear. He's going to church to begin with out of love and support for you.

 Then the demands for tithing begin. Where is the 10 percent of income supposed to come from? We barely can afford the food we buy and rent. I never had it. I used to feel guilty in the old church for never paying a tithe, only a little dibble and dab here and there, but of course I learned that tithing is a false teaching. I find myself thinking, "Why do we have to hand this guy money to live at a upper middle class level while we struggle to keep our car running and food on the table?" My medical needs mandate that a certain lifestyle is kept too. I can't return health wise to the rented rooms in boarding houses of my youth and hiking to the bus.

The pastor who has a new huge shiny truck parked outside, believes in the Republican system and has adapted the attitude like many other IFB pastors, that the poor are "lazy" and their immorality has earned them forever poverty. Even the last nice pastor, was Republican to the hilt, but back then it didn't affect me so much though I warned him about what George Bush was really about.  We were both young and expected life to keep improving. I was sick but expected to get better. This pastor's opinion of the poor seemed to be that God is not blessing them because they are wicked. He rants against welfare. He rants about the poor who are burdens on the system. You think, "What world do these people live in?" "It's not my world." Later he praises war like war was a fun time at camp for all involved. Every IFB church I've ever been in has that false patriotism married to a love of war at some level. It now makes me puke.

You get the feeling that even though this latest church does not teach the prosperity gospel, that it has infused into the atmosphere anyhow. Someone like yourself who has had too many "bad breaks", "bad health" must be wicked. A spiritual abuser enters your life too, who seems to share beliefs with you about the apostasy of the churches from online and is new world order aware. She tells you that you are "cursed" though you protest at times and you do not have God's favor and that you are facing immense health troubles and other poverty because of this. You think she is a Christian friend who "cares" even though some of her beliefs you don't agree with, but you are wrong. She has a large family and is more financially secure.

You find out you have an extremely rare medical condition that took years for the doctors to figure out. A nurse begs you to go to Mayo Clinic only two months before diagnosis. The disorder is not curable only treatable. For years this person tells you, your health problems are spiritual and "your fault". You are promised God's blessings and miracles, she grows impatient with you as your health declines. She sees her "spiritual work" as ending in failure. Still others give out the attitude "Why isn't God answering your prayers"? If I believed in the "best life" now stuff I warned about on this blog for years my faith would have been nuked from orbit. They definitely all believe it. The message is "You will never be good enough."

In the "new" community that is far more affluent then your last finding other "church" ladies for friends, while some are nice and sincere, some surround you like wolves. They want to "fix" you. They know you are doing something "wrong" too. Everything is about "correction". They speak to you like a child. The few that see your home judge it's meager belongings. They seem to gossip about others, that one is a "loser", that other "hoards", "so and so can't keep a job to save his life". The busy-bodies elect themselves as judge and jury. They never admit any vulnerabilities.

Most come from the Baby-Boomer generation, your kind Silent Generation older friends from a rural community have died off. For much of the "me" generation, good jobs and suburban homes came easily to them. They judge you by their easy roads in life, knowing you are failed, bad and wrong somehow. Some decide it is their job to "fix" you. No one offers real help. They make a long list of "shoulds", which all take money to get done. They are clueless. "Christianity" to them is "conformity" and living a "proper" life and your "improper" life offends them.

"Well if only you told your husband to get a good job, he would".  "You must not be trying hard enough!" One or two tell me I should divorce, because he is such a terrible provider and that I "could do better". He is a faithful husband and there's no biblical reasons for divorce, it's all about money to them. They wear me out. My own family had rejected me for poverty too and our religious division came as well. The voices join in a cacophony of rejection in my head.

You meet other poor people who told you in your last rural community, they stopped having anything to do with churches except to show up at a food pantry once in a while. Others here avoid churches like the plague except to show up for charity. They know they can't afford the place. This all hits home. The last church holds a dinner, they expect 25 dollars for two people. We don't have it.

What did Jesus say about the poor?

Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

You find this book for 10 cents at a thrift store and decide to read it:

I am one of the "hard-living" people the book discusses, but the prejudices are rife.  He sees poor people as all uneducated and drinking their way through life.  Both I and my husband have college degrees and don't drink. The prejudices against the poor are extreme. My eyes opened, realizing how I was really seen in these churches I left and how my husband was seen too. With pity and disdain. I was still a human being in my old rural IFB, the first good church but I was not in the ones to come. I was seen as the "OTHER", and not even as a human being.

David Ramsey has been busy filling the head of the affluent "mainstream" Christians with hatred and judgment for the poor.  He holds the same prejudices. His classes filled the churches here and in my other community. I have read his books where expendable income is already a given and jobs can be plucked off trees. You can see here his nasty attitudes for yourself.

20 Things The Rich Do Everyday

Most churches today defend the power system. Even most IFB churches serve the powerful with their false patriotism, war mongering,  and betrayal of the poor. The power system can't afford for the truth to be told about poverty ANYWHERE or how the USA economy is being purposefully destroyed or that life in the entire world has been under the "prince of this earth" with many Satanic servants to do his bidding. They have become inadvertent slaves of the bankers and controllers of this world.

Many of the churches now also tell people poor people in America don't matter and only focus on the third world. Third world people have become almost defacto pets for globalist busy bodies who are actually helping to pave the way for megacorporations and globalists to take over. They brag of their righteous deeds and plaster the church walls with their pictures of their far away projects. Many church hallways now resemble travelogue museums of their pastor and youth groups going overseas to "help the poor". They'll ignore the people in shacks two miles away while taking their religious vacations instead. These places are always in warm locales, and never anywhere cold.

The church world is not a comfortable place for a person of lower means. Sure some get charity from the churches, I have, but we know as a "member" its a whole other story. To be honest out in the world, I am more wary of "Christians" when it comes to my own socioeconomic status then I am of unbelievers. That says something doesn't it? These issues are untouchable taboos, I can only dare to even talk about with most close of friends and anonymously on a blog.

However, I don't want anymore false pity or jaundiced eyes looking down on me with this air of superiority. I'm tired of people who think they are better then me.  I don't want false do-gooders who want to look good to others either or to elevate themselves.  This is the real world of the churches for the poor. I have an apartment and live very simply but have seen treatment of people a few notches down be even worse.

One part of the wicked done to people is they will be lied to. Many people who are not financially prospering now, are being called failures. My own relatives called us both failures for years. This is one way spiritual destruction can lay for many, as they submit to despair and bitterness. I've had my own intense spiritual battles in this way too.

 I even heard one false pastor say that anyone who is poor in America is poor via their own fault.  I commented to another commenter today. I and my husband faced this. I believe there are many true Christians now, who are in this position, who while we have love and faith in God, the world hates us for it and this has included the false church world which pushes the same wicked standards as the society we live in. Remember the wicked push their own version of MORALITY which is a corruption of God's and part of the "morality" is the picture perfect wealthier lives they expect all to conform to.

We all have to work on uprooting the lies they will tell us about ourselves and other people. The system wants to destroy us on every level. This includes punishing those with a conscience and love for God.

If you see poor people, make sure you see them how Jesus does, not Fox news, not the "Proper Christian" set. They are caused enough pain in this world. They don't want pity or correction or people looking down on them. They want to be treated like human beings. The false Babylonian churches have no love for the poor.

Do What Jesus Said About the Poor Not the Religious Political Right


Joy said...

BB, I am glad you and your husband have each other. It sounds like you are a good team. Sorry your life has been so hard. I am glad you have a good man to share it with and truly, the advice to divorce was evil and would have separated you from one of Gods greatest blessings in your life. There is nothing wrong with helping your husband with job searching. I've done the same. It is just being a help to your spouse as God wants us to be.

The Dave Ramsey link - wow! First, there is the pop-up for their $100,000 Christmas cash giveaway. How is that different from gambling? Then, so many of their points were condescending. The stress of poverty is real, and can be crippling. It can lead to depression and apathy and illness. It is hard to excersize, read two non-fiction books, and get up three hours before your job in those conditions.

Bible Believer said...

Thanks Joy I appreciate it. Thanks for saying I and my husband are a good team. :) Well we grew closer after the adversities of the last few years, and I agree the advice to divorce was wrong. I have known women who divorced their husbands when they lost their health or their careers suffered major set-backs or they simply got older and changed. Getting away from wicked relatives too and their false messages about life, helped as well. He has the pressures of a very ill wife and I've been very sick since my 20s, and well he is a good man that has deserved better treatment in life.

I agree one is supposed to help a spouse. He has not given up though we struggle and we have better periods then others. He has found more work to replace even one freelance job that ended. Agree about being a help to the spouse. Some marriages can grow stronger and deeper in love even if one has had a very hard life. He expected to lose me years ago to my health problems. Please pray for us that we can continue on, and manage. I will pray for others here too, I know many are quiet and facing immense struggles and poverty themselves. There may be homeless and other people reading this at the library knowing and feeling some of what I have talked about at a greater level.

The Dave Ramsey link is awful. Are sweepstakes gambling? I think they are. :( #1 on their list is against gambling. Christmas and greed for money go hand in hand. This is a greedfest that wears on the poor. With #5 more money means getting more things done. #11 well I don't think its good for people to be secretive and explains some of the cultural differences I struggle with. #15 is dumb, if you can saunter into the office at 10am, sure waking up three hours before work, will work. But what if you have to be at the factory at 6 am? Yes it is so condescending. I found the comment about how poor people not reading to be insane, a lot of people who work a lot don't have time, but we have lots of books, I got mine very cheap, or even for free a lot of the time. We loved to read. The exercise and healthy food, doesn't go with the low money and long hours many of the working poor are forced to work.

When he wrote this he did more of the third world patronizing tear-jerking, and put down every poor person in America:

"If you are broke or poor in the U.S. or a first-world economy, the only variable in the discussion you can personally control is YOU. You can make better choices and have better results. If you believe that our economy and culture in the U.S. are so broken that making better choices does not produce better results, then you have a problem."

So nasty.....but part of the planned messages out there.

Anonymous said...

Your summation on the world and the church building system is spot on. My wife and I have always felt more connected when being with the homeless then the pew sitters. There is no pretense as the atmosphere is open and honest. My bottom line is to be treated as an equal member in the body of Christ and do the same, otherwise there is no true fellowship. As we grow in Christ we are able to see clearer the world in which we live, how people are affected and are separated the more from it. Romans 12:1&2 - Don

Bible Believer said...

Thank you Don. I agree, I have felt more connected with the homeless then the pew sitters too. In one community I was judged for befriending the homeless. You can be open and honest and the conversations are free instead of stilted. Yes if one is not treated as an equal member or brother or sister in Jesus Christ, it is a waste of time and there is no true fellowship. Yes we will be shown things as we grow in the Lord, some not so pleasant. This social disconnection I posted about years ago on this blog, has grown worse, people going to a building once a week to talk about the weather and watch one man tell them to give him money with no connection and no truth, it's a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to stop being angry with God?

Bible Believer said...

I guess all the poor are "angry" at God. This proves some of what I am talking about.

Some patronize and even tell you over expressing any emotions over a situation, you are sinning and "angry" at God.

Sorry I'm not a "perfect pod" person. Seems that's all some want around them. Robot-land.

Anonymous said...

I would have ask Anon when they are going to stop being fake with God. Lamentations and 2/3 of Psalms are examples. - Don

Blizzard of Bugs said...

What the so-called church in Canada and the rest of the world do not realize is that they are fulfilling scripture. They are "lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…" The lukewarm church think they are little islands unto themselves not realizing that they themselves are looked upon by God as they themselves are looking upon the poor. When I was an elder, what ever that means out of the context of biblical eldership, I experienced a situation that left me awestruck. There was a man that came driving into our city. He came to a service and needed help. I later found that he had been sleeping in his vehicle for a few days, and had very little money and no food. I also later found that he was a little mentally unstable, which caused him to be very confrontational. He was turned down by the Salvation Army because they could not handle talking to him. It just so happened that there was an elders meeting a couple days later and I asked the board if we could do something. The chairman of the board says to me "this is a social service issue". I must admit I was a little taken back and a bit upset with the response. During this time the man was eating lunches at my house and I was able to talk to him about the Lord. He even made it to a few bible studies. He has since moved away but remains in contact with me periodically.
This is the condition of the so-called church, which is sad. There is no fear of the Lord anymore. Do we not remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus?
Stay strong BB. Know this that all who are born again and true believers in Jesus Christ will be "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints". God is good.

Anonymous said...

Bible Believer, I am sorry your husband was caught in a corporate squeeze due to the financial burden your health put on their system. Companies make these kinds of decision based on economics and their bottom line.

I was wondering if you have ever applied for SSI disability? You would certainly be entitled to it as would be your husband in his declining health. Also, there are surely places in your area where you can get help with food stamps since your income is so low. Also, many times there is assistance with housing.

Many companies are going to hiring people with reduced hours so they will not have to pay for health insurance. There should be some public assistance available for your health needs as well. There is no shame in applying for these benefits that tax dollars go for that purpose. Yes, some people who scam the system give it a negative reputation, but that is not your fault. Some people in need won't ask for public assistance because it hurts their pride, but there should be no shame in it.

Yes, the churches should step up to the plate and offer help in the name of the Lord and in love and compassion without passing judgment or making people feel bad.

On another note, there are people who stand along the street with their cardboard signs begging. Many times work has been offered to these people and they decline. Others have been followed and proven to be fakes. This is shameful and an insult to those who are truly in need.

Sad to say, the Catholic charities feed many many people and do good work. As you said, there is good work going on in various places and surely in your city there is such a place. I have not been in your position so I hesitate to comment, but I don't know of any believer who has looked down their nose at a poor person and even the unbelieving have some compassion.

I hope you get the assistance you need. And that your husband gets gainful employment. It is especially painful for a man not to be able to provide for his own household.

May the Lord provide your every need. Every source of help for the believer no matter the source is by His hand.

In Christ Alone my hope is found said...

BB I hear what your saying...i am a firefighter and run calls on a lot of homeless people...I have not had a church in a while and felt led to help one homeless man in particular...I would bring him clothes and food and take him to the store and get him things he heart broke cause I couldn't do more...I know he is an alcoholic but I wasn't there to judge...I gave him a bible and would talk to him about scripture often....I know longer see him around so I pray he is doing well...I feel that the Lord has given the Christians a responsibility to seek if they can those in need around them.

To the anon that thinks because you speak of struggles your angry with God..wasn't Paul in despair and expressed it? I guess that doesn't fit the current days doctrine of self, and of best life now.....

8For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

Anonymous said...

Neither the psalmists or Solomon were mad at God.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous on December 19, 2015, at 7:17 AM,

Don makes a good and godly point, "When are you going to stop being fake with our LORD?" There is much wisdom in his assessment and should be received with mercy and grace to your heart and mind.

There are many, Anonymous, who have suffered similar situations as Bible Believer here, in various church systems, where the cornerstone is men/women in leadership who place themselves as overlords instead of Jesus, Who is the true Cornerstone of his Ekklesia/Assembly. When I was ill for three years which finally ended with surgery, I too, was told that I should keep praying for a miracle healing as a testimony to my 'great' faith. I was given advice and tons of books and tapes on homeopathy treatments by a couple of homeschooling mothers who insisted that having surgery would be horrible for my body. Instead of having a mind of my own, I listened to these overpowering women.

In church, I tried to share my hurt, pain, and fears with the woman 'leader' of the church prayer chain. As I began to share, her arms went flying up into the air, and as she waved her arms, she exclaimed, "Oh no, we DON'T speak those things into the air here." (NOTE: This prayer(?) chain leader at that time was attending a Joyce Meyer women's bible study held at the church, receiving the false teachings that Meyers promotes). So, this great spiritual leader, in her own eyes, shut me down and did not want to even hear the cries of my heart, let alone give me a hug as the word "fear" was written all over my face. I needed ministering too, and this church system did NOT give one ounce of care for me during my sickness.

One man from that conservative, Republican church, told me point blank, "The reason you are sick is because of your own sin." I too, like Bible Believer here, was indoctrinated and manipulated into believing that my illness was because of something that I did, therefore I must repent, repent, and repent, so that I could receive that miracle healing from our LORD Jesus.

How can this be in the Body of Christ, dear Anonymous. Bible Believer here in this post, is NOT angry with God. Nor am I "angry" with God because of the illness and all of the doctoring I had gone through, nor am I angry with the wolves in the sheep's clothing that attended church every Sunday or any other time the church building doors were opened, with their wicked hearts full of uncaring words and actions towards those who are sick and poor.

And yet, these same pseudo individuals, when they are sick, continuously "share" the details of their illnesses in receiving special attention; they too, rely on doctors/medications/medical procedures just like the rest of us for care and healing, instead of relying totally on prayer and homeopathic methods, and they arrange for meals to be made and taken to the important people, such as themselves, during times of need, and neglect to help those of us who are deemed unworthy of such help and care, let alone pray for those with whom they hate. The personal paybacks and rewards from the power brokers/rich and influential people within the church are far more important, so we must all bow down and wait on their needs first, instead of equally addressing the needs of everyone.

Power structures within churches always leads to much abuse, sexual perversions, and corruption. And Bible Believer here, in this post, has spoken the truth in every word, that most wish to sweep under the rug in our churches of affluence.

In reading Scriptures for myself, allowing the Holy Spirit to minister and speak truth to me personally, I have found the true treasures of Jesus, in understanding how he loved, treated, and cared for the poor, the down trodden, and the broken hearted. There is no other who can remotely compare to the depths of His great love.

I feel sorry for you Anonymous.

Bible Believer said...

I agree Don. So many require the closing down of all emotions, they think worldly coldness and stoicism is "holiness". "Keeping sweet" for the wicked is a big thing out there isn't it?

I agree Buzzard, they look upon the poor the same way. They are naked and blind spiritually. They trusted in their world goods and appearances. I am glad you helped that man. Many do the "let the social workers deal with them" instead of providing real help even for the homeless. What use is the church then if it can't even help a man like that? Agree about the rich man and Lazarus. Most churches around here if a homeless man showed up they'd be shooing him out for not being "properly dressed". I have met and known homeless people who have lived in cars and RV campers. Some have parked outside of the local grocery store.

Thanks Anon, I agree many people need those benefits, they pay into social security even while working. This is one issue I take with the right, they blame the poor and shout about welfare and the rest and then give out this fantasy the churches will take care of people. Whose going to pay thousands in medicine or medical bills? It's not realistic. Some people do not have families either. Yes the corporate squeezes have been horrible. Most people can't even get full time work and only part time. Within the churches it is tough for those on any kind of disability, as Republican pastors shout against these things more than sin itself.

There are some scammers but they are not the majority. We see people on the highway here all the time with cardboard signs. I think some may be fakes or those "traveler" people [modern day hobos by choice but many are real or desperate.

The ones who scam the system do the others injustice. I have met the compassionate believers and even unbelievers. The churches I've been in it has been bad experiences. My old IFB in old town was kind to the poor even unemployed, disabled and widowed within in. Some mainstream Lutherans here seem the most compassionate to the poor. Where I live now or at least the particular places I've gone, the culture is all wrong, it's a far more affluent area.

Thanks for your prayers.

Bible Believer said...

Hi InChristalone, I am glad you help those homeless people too. Yes a lot of homeless are out there. Yes I understand the bad feeling of not being able to do more too. Its good you gave him rides and helped him with food and clothing. Hopefully you planted a seed for the gospel. Yes Paul was in despair and expressed it, the doctrines of self and best life now insist on "no emotions", keep stoic, and with a false smile plastered upon the face. I believe God wants real people not pods. Paul wrote in that verse "he despaired even of life", that's heavy stuff. I can see anonymous condemning him.

Bible Believer said...

I feel for you last anon, yes I was told to have faith and deliverance and more for miracles. My good IFB wasn't heavy on this stuff and the last one well, it seemed because I was sick, and lower on the socioeconomic scale I must be wicked. They were all busy showing themselves as perfect. I get the feeling if any real tragedy strikes anyone in that church, they will be forced out. Some really can hurt sick people telling them that inner wickedness or their lack of faith has led to their lack of a miracle. Yes they tell you to hold out for a miracle healing. The longer you are sick the worse it gets. I warned of homeopathy treatments on this blog, so be careful of those....oh and I was told too, to try alternative medicines and other things that did not work. Even a bunch of "Christians" in my old small rural town went to this naturopath and they recommended her. I was so sick and desperate but was too low income even when working class to afford her treatments. So I have been there too.

I listened to people who told me because of things in my past, I needed deliverance and the rest. It's ironic to me how the people who were scapegoated and abused always turn out to be re-scapegoated and told they are the wicked ones by the deliverance types as their abusers prosper due to a multitude of evils.

Bible Believer said...

I am sorry you were shut down. :( Yes I have had those painful times too. I told some at a prayer service where you pray personally, I was worried about some medical things. I also made the HUGE social mistake of admitting I was estranged from the family without going into detail. [departure from wicked, etc] I realized fast these things marked me as a "bad" person within these circles. So yes she was trying to shut you down. The whole focus is to close down all people who may speak the truth of what is going on and what life is really like. Most of America lives in Disney land dream time where illness and poverty and even death itself does not exist. And if you speak of anything relate to those things, you are told to be quiet. Yes Joyce Meyer false teachings are so evil. She was affected by them. The extended prosperity gospel. Showing pain in these circles means being ushered out of the room. What I saw is people who were smug in an air of false "holiness" who wanted all the appearances of looking good and that is what they cared about. They felt like they would be untouched by any of the turmoils like brings to all eventually. So I am sorry you faced these things too. It was so painful for me. If my faith had been less intact this could have delivered a tremendous blow. Yes I have been told too, that the reason I am sick or my husband is sick or we are poor is our sin. It's horrifying isn't it? I was told too over and over, and these were IFBS and a Calvary Chapel I attended for a short time before I started exposing them on here, that with enough faith God would bring me a miracle and I would no longer be down cast. One thing I struggled with is that I would become like them if I was as "good" as them. I was told repent, repent, repent as well. Because my illnesses are RARE and some show, it opened the door for more weirdness too.

I sometimes think we are told we are angry at God, and well, it's easier for some to think they are above all tragedy and loss, throwing the "angry at God" line at us, because this explains WHY we got sick to people who can't contend with the fact that bad things can happen to anyone including themselves. We live in a fallen world.

I have come to the conclusion for these wicked people that they are AFRAID and it is easier to condemn those who suffer then to face the facts suffering is a reality in this world. This is why people shrink away from the poor and the disabled or dying. They don't want to be reminded it could [well when it comes to dying and growing old] it will be them one day. The illusionary bubbles of this culture have worsened all these ideas too.

Bible Believer said...

Yes sadly there is the social status even with the illnesses and power structures, some are treated differently and they will go to doctors and pursue modern medical care. This is where you see the differences among the power brokers. Even my husband noticing in the last church how some were paid far more mind then others and sadly it was the people with the highest level of donations to pay into the church.

I am thankful the Holy Spirit got me through all this too, and finding my "treasures of Jesus" too. I know being told I was wicked and there fore suffering so much very well could have delivered massive blows to my own relationship with God. How many does this do it too? I meet so many who have renounced God simply from their sufferings, who tell me things like, God did not bless me or I am not like those "perfect" Christians. The self righteous formulas are taking people away from God. The "best life" now garbage has driven giant wedges between God and many a person.

Yes I have shouted to God, "Why God? "Why so long?". I have had grief over friends dying, and even over what my husband has suffered, and the losses of even that came from departing from the wicked and their choices, Jesus reached out to the hurting, the lonely, the down and out and loved them. Those whose "Christianity" is invested in self righteousness and being a "perfect" pod person lost the plot somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've posted s total of about 15 words, and I've been tried, convicted, judged, and excommunicated for them, without anyone here knowing the merest first thing about me. The responses didn't discuss the point made, but simply directed criticism, pretty sharp criticism and judgement at me instead. Along with character attacks which were uncalled for.

The first post was an attempt to help. This article seems to be mere gossip, judging, murmur and resentment simply disguised nearly as a blog post. It does nothing to glorify God, being peace with others, or spread the good news of the Gospel in any way.
I'll leave you with Matthew 5:22-24

I'll leave myself with Proverbs 23:9

I'm sorry I was unable to help.

Good day, and best wishes.

Bible Believer said...

Your lack of empathy exposes you last anon.

That was no attempt to help and you know it.

Self righteousness on display for all.

Some abuse scripture trying to claim God wants perfect pod people. Robots on the march, always "keeping sweet". You are on the wrong blog if this is what you desire of people.

There was no help meant here. Only condemnation. In some odd way you served as an example the article was pointing out to be begin with. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The worse part of it all is the separation between believers. The great chasm begins with those who truly love Jesus and those who say they love Jesus but do not demonstrate it. I see this not just between the poor and rich but those who walk with God and those who proclaim Christian faith but are engulfed with the world. This is what makes the separation. Persecution comes when a believer is walking with the Lord. It conflicts with the norm of today in Christian circles. Exposing darkness by shining the light of Christ does not go well in Christian arenas. You become the outcast and odd one. The part that is most grievous is the lack of all discernment. The Lord did say many offenses will come along with hate. I believe many believers will be among those who will throw stones at their fellow believers who choose God over this world. It is happening today. Believers are drowning in deception, adopting our Babylonian system and the ways of this world. This is why Jesus calls us out, but will anyone listen?

KJVmom said...

Been following with interest all these comments. BB, I am still praying for and your husband, and I pray that I may be as compassionate as Jesus was. We have been blessed so far, but I still hope my husband won't lose his job because of his age or because of my health issues, which have increased, and our youngest will need work on her teeth. Also, in thinking about Christians who shun the poor or who would rather hang out with the rich, I'm seeing this with my son, who does a lot with Young Life. He mentioned a fancy home he visited owned by some folks involved with YL as well, and he is impressed. I almost feel he looks down on me and my husband because our home isn't fancy enough or well decorated; he even told me we should have a beach house. It is sad that he seems more impressed with wealthy Christians than those who are not BTW, BB, did you get my email about getting some help? If not, I can resend it. Stay strong in the faith, everyone's; we need each other.

Anonymous said...

Hi BB,
The attitude of those Fundamentalist churches that condemn the poor, that refuse to help them, that look upon them as inferior demonstrates that they do NOT love God.

"How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?" (1 John 3:17 NRSV)

"My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? ..." (James 2 :1-7 NRSV)

It's impossible to love God whom we have NOT seen unless we love those whom we have seen. Most Fundamentalists who show the attitudes towards the poor and sich which you describe in your post, though they believe in the supposed inerrancy of the bible. either do not read it or willfully refuse to show the compassion and loving kindness that Jesus showed towards the poor and the powerless whom are often treated as outcasts by the conservative religious establishment, instead of being treated with dignity and welcomed into community as Jesus welcomed them.

I am so sorry to hear of the treatment you and your husband received. Those who have the attitudes which you describe do NOT know the God of the compassionate, caring and tender Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus' harsh words were not for the poor and the sick but for heartless religious zealots who think their doctrine matters more than a heart of compassion towards others.

Peace and well-being to you,

John Arthur

Unknown said...

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth, Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you,and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.Rejoice and be exceedingly glad,for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
I think keeping things in light of the eternal can help us to put our pain in context. It is not for nothing, He is glorified in it, he sees our struggles, he is aware and ready to send the comforter to us, he intercedes for us, and will never give us more than we can bear. He is familiar with our sufferings, and His opinion is all that matters. We are to pray for those that are our enemies and that despitefully use us. We are not to compare ourselves by ourselves. You have no idea about the sufferings of others, but you can be compassionate toward them as you know what is to suffer through your own. We are to rejoice with those that rejoice, and weep with those that weep. We are to judge nothing before the time. Social justice often replaces the gospel, and as Christians we need to be careful that we are generous to those of the household of faith first. In reading these posts on poverty, I have to say it sounds like complaining. I can say that, as I too have been very poor, sometimes with little to eat, sick, and unable to get good medical care, outcast, laughed at, discounted, minimized and forgotten, overlooked, ignored. But the Lord sustains me, and my family. I have driven 3 color rustbuckets, I buy my clothing at the thrift store, I know many uses for duct tape. Paul said "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where and in all things I am instructed to both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
By the way, nutrition is often the root cause of many diseases. The veterinary side of medicine knows and understands this. Things like muscular dystrophy are cured by providing minerals ( selenium specifically for md). My own struggles I manage with inexpensive herbs. Modern medicine is wonderful for emergencies and accidents, but managing a chronic condition usually falls into the pharmaceutical realm of using drugs to manage symptoms rather than heal the underlying cause. I do not know your health condition, but it may be that there is something that would mitigate some of the symptoms and give you relief. So often we are conditioned to think that God has left us like orphans, when in reality He has given us all things! I am praying for you, be encouraged, because great is your reward in heaven!

Anonymous said...

John 7:24, Galatians 6:2 - Don

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who stated from your heart, "When are you going to stop being angry at God?"

Definition of pure, unadulterated anger; your response on December 20, 2015, at 1:42 PM.

How do I know this to be true? The last abusive church I literally ran from (it was a charismatic/Pentecostal type of religious system with an Assembly of God 'pastor/overlord') consisted of people just like you who assumed and presumed to know what others were thinking and feeling WITHOUT understanding the true context of situations. There was and still is NO measure of love, compassion, nor understanding amongst the attendees at this particular church, and yet, their claim to fame is 'they know god better than the rest of us, therefore we should heed and follow their council instead of the One True Councilor, Jesus.

The 'anger' of your response speaks volumes to the true nature of your character.
Praying our LORD gives you a heart.

Anonymous said...

Amen Teri!! I pray that BB would be encouraged.

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Our Lord will sustain us!!I too have been in times of need. And having a large family to feed, you have to get creative. We have foraged at times ( I known that may be difficult in the city) But chickweed grows everywhere and is really nutritious. Dandelion also. And we have taken a head of leettuce and soaked the stem that would usually be dicarded, in a bowl of water. Within a week new leaves started to grow on it!!
Amen!! You can do this with other leafy veggies too. I also shop at thrift stores, and drive an old model vehicle. I praise God I have transportation. If others are offended by my car, it doesn't bother me. It's paid for and suits our needs. I am praying for you BB. I know you are in pain, and your health is bad.
I pray that God would ease your pain. Don't lose hope. I know you are skeptical of natural treatments, but I know people have had amazing results from essential oils like frankincense. Accompanied by other herbs that help with the specific illness or overall health. You don't have to go to a Nature path Dr. I learned from studying books, and online what herbs to use for what illnesses, and how to use them effectively. A lot of problems arise from parasites. Most people with cancer and chronic illness have parasites. I have studied herbs for 4 years, and we have not needed a Dr.for the past 3 years. And we used to go often. Always having strep and here in Louisiana we have had to deal with severe illness from the oil spill.



Anonymous said...

The nasty anon made a big contradiction too.

First calling BB out on Matthew 5:22-24, which is actually speaking of him.

And then reaffirming himself with Proverbs 23:9, in which the commenter says "fool" to the blog owner, thus condemning himself by Matthew 5:22-24 for calling his brother or sister a fool / raca. He got it back to front and condemned himself.

Some people can spend a life going to church and studying Scripture and never understand a word, and never be saved.

It's one thing to contend for the truth of the faith earnestly and to resist the enemy, which is biblical.

It's another thing entirely to speak with a forked tongue, with guile and animosity towards others whom are supposed to be our brothers and sisters in Christ, whom we are commanded to love. This is the second most important law there is.

Matthew 22
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Any time anyone who claims to be a brother or sister speaks with hatred or animosity toward any other person, whether the other person be a believer or not, we have an enormous contradiction of the faith. And such people should be considered outside the faith or an enemy of the faith because their own words and actions prove them as such.

Sometimes the most hateful places one can visit on the internet are Christian spaces, which so often become degenerate into spitefulness, and of words of malice and animosity one towards another. Why? Because the number one target the enemy needs to scatter and conquer are the last remaining sheep of the fold which are entering in through the strait gate, and Christian spaces are their battlegrounds to conquer.

The commenters on this blog are no different sometimes, I have seen the most beautiful words of the most humble, regenerate, and Christ loving people on this earth, with hearts so pure. I have also seen those who say Lord, Lord, quote Scripture and spew forth venom onto the sheep.

Beware of anyone who speaks with hatred and venom in their speech and call themselves Christian. Its an impossibility.

You will know them by their fruits, and you will know them by their words.

Anonymous said...

Those who treat the poor with disdain in the buildings they call churches would do well to read Matthew 25 with a contrite spirit full of repentance!

Matthew 25:31-46King James Version (KJV)

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what happened to my continued comment but I will try again :)...

After the oil spill we became very ill. I didn't know at the time that it was the oil and dispersant causing the illnesses.
The oil and dispersant evaporated and got into the air we breathe, it's in our water, and soil. I had a miscarriage, and broke out in huge blisters. I was in severe pain and diagnosed with shingles. We had rashes all the time and our hair started falling out (even the children). Our immune system was shot, and we caught everything. Studies suggest that our life span will be cut in half due to the exposure to the oil and disperant (which is probably worse than the oil) It is disheartening to know your children have been exposed to such things. We are sick often, and we wake up with migraines more often than not. But, I praise God for He sustains us.
And I know that herbs have been part of His provision for us.

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man:

With the use of herbs and learning how to detox. Our hair is growing back, and we are not as sickly as we once were! Praise God!!

Be encouraged sister.

Colossians 3:1- If he then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth in the right hand of God.
2- Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth.
3- For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4- When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Let us watch and pray awaiting the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Who will return and destroy those who have destroyed the earth.
Who will give us a new body, and eternal life!
And even if my life is cut in half, I rejoice knowing I am closer to being with Him!

As for the " Christians"who dispise the poor, they are not Christians they are lost. And their churches are not churches, but cults.
We need to fervently pray for such people knowing the wrath that is to come.


Bible Believer said...

Yes there is separation between worldly Christians and the others.

Even leaving the church system, there are sacrifices, especially social ones. People know you are "different". You don't fit in. Even mild discussions seem to upset people, there is too much focus on appearances. Yes you become the outcast and odd one. I have a few close long distance friends but IRL, there's no family left, the few I have any contact with, its minimal and I have not seen anyone in ten years. It can be hard, maybe this is what Jesus meant about the offenses. It's not just the being hated. I know I upset many "Christians" in the church world. Even if you keep things gentle, or you do not push your not celebrating Christmas on them, just the fact they KNOW how you believe is enough. Very few are listening to the call to "come out". I pray for all who are struggling with these things we are facing.

KJVMom thanks for your prayers. I pray your husband keeps his jobs, and your children can have work on their teeth and your health issues will be provided for. I know the health issues can be serious, I have slide between the cracks before unable to afford medicine. Now I am provided for but I know that can be scary.

Yes many of the "Christians" shun the poor. Some may talk to you but you won't be invited into their home. There's a bible verse in proverbs about the poor not having many friends and its true. I sometimes feel bad, I have not been able to afford presents [not Christmas ones] or more for friends who have bought them for me for years. They don't begrudge me but that is a pain inside. I have done homemade cards for them but its not the same. There's a whole world you get left out of.

Yes the Christian world definitely has those Middle Class expectations. I know a poorer woman who was rejected in Intervarsity too. Some of those religious leaders are being well paid and expecting that others match their lifestyles.

I agree those who reject the poor do not love God. Even the ones who do "help" with a few crumbs but look down with an "the poor are inferior gaze" don't either. Pray too for me, this society unloads so much shame and isolation on the poor

Most of the fundamentalists have listened to the gospel of the Republican party and Ayn Rand over Jesus. Just notice how they worship war and power at the behest of their fallen leaders.

It's hard, my own family ditched us over being poor [and not being part and lovers of the wicked system] and to have a church treat us this way was very difficult. I pray to God to change things for us, even to be in a place where we can have some community again, would be nice but even then we were working class, and I wonder if things would be different, if we came back in our present condition.

Bible Believer said...

Its true one has to think of the eternal. LOL about the three rustbuckets and thrift stores and duct tape, I relate to all of that.

Thanks for the good scriptures. I agree one has to be mindful of nutrition and keep away from the "processed" food often pushed towards the poor that will ruin health. Yes with the complaining, we have to seek to be content in all things, though pouring our heart out to God there is nothing wrong with that. We can see where poverty can lead into sin via envy and strifings. It is a danger. We can't compare ourselves to people who are in the world and being given prosperity by this world.

I have read books on food foraging. I have dumpster dived in my past, but not done a rural foraging though I have books on what is edible. I think we have more purslane here then chickweed. I have kept seeds from vegetables too. An old rust bucket that runs is better then a car payment. Thanks for your prayers Faith.

Agree about those who speaks with hatred. This whole "tough love" attitude or I'll kick someone in the face to get them to "submit" or do what I want attitude is of the devil. Often the poor are shamed by those who tell them to buck up, the bootstraps are used to slap them in the face. It's not Christian.

Oh so sorry about the oil effects, praying for you Faith and you lost your baby too. :( I believe they kept a lot of those things out of the news.

Anonymous said...

3 min. audiosermon - 'Trials Are Appointed' I pray this message blesses you, BB, and those who are going through their own trials.

Anonymous said...

BB, it is so important that we do not compare ourselves with others, that is, comparing our 'lot' with others, especially Christians- that will get us into trouble real fast. BB, your true family is the family of God (all your brothers and sisters in Christ) not your earthly family. That chapter should be closed for you and you just continue to lift them in prayer PERIOD. You had a taste of wealth without the Lord Christ Jesus growing up and found that it was not good, and now you have the taste of being poor with afflictions and having the Lord Christ Jesus...that is good. Yes! your difficulties and frustrations are absolutely justified and I couldn't agree with you more; however, in ALL of our afflictions we are to thank God. He is Sovereign; He does not make mistakes. And that can ONLY come in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Do not allow the enemy to pull you backwards, do not give him a stronghold. You have been given a powerful platform (your blog) to witness and share God's glory (in good times and in bad times) and that is a huge privilege and responsibility. If the desires of the flesh are not crucified, they will pull you, and each one of us, down. 1 Peter 4:12-13, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." BB and others, stay the course. The enemy (and his army) is ramping up against God's people. Be sure you are suited up with the full armor of God. Gen. 50:20, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good." Where God is working there will ALWAYS be provision! I realize that I am not sharing anything you don't already know. Lifting you and your husband in prayer.

Bible Believer said...

Thanks for your post last anon. I agree about not comparing ourselves with others. That one can be a challenge. One thing I believe more real Christians are suffering in a world where some have prospered via wickedness. yes my true family is the family of God.

It sometimes can be a struggle to be thankful in all afflictions, I'll admit that. Please pray for me. We even lost power for a few days where I live and it can be dangerous for someone who sleeps on a machine and has few financial resources. I am okay now, but it was very wearying and I almost ended up in the hospital. I think Satan has been trying to work on me and yes there can be strongholds so understand. Thanks regarding my blog, and yes it is a responsibility. I was so shamed over my poverty, I know this is a stronghold that is on me and I am praying and seeking to work on it. Many of the wicked who shame me prospered from evil workings in their specific case. Yes we had provision too, I'm home and okay. Thanks for your prayers.

Unknown said...

Hi BB, just food for thought, but humor can help take the edge off, because usually our feelings are based on perceptions. A good laugh can easily push away a good cry!
Sometimes it is good to cry, but I would much rather laugh. Our car broke down the other day.( It used to be a regular occurrence with us. When my children were small, I kept a wagon in the back so I would be able to walk them home easily.) No body was hurt, we had snacks, and we had rather a good time as my daughter kept us in stitches while we waited. The trip had been a long anticipated one, and we were not able to go after all, but... we still had fun. And that is what I would say, for most of us, life is more about learning many ways with hamburger ( or really eggs now) and dollar store shopping sprees than living the high life. The Lord colors my hair platinum, (I'll never fire my hairdresser!)and we make all of our own toiletries ( much healthier too). I praise God that my husband is a handy man, because he can fix literally anything, and he has too. Our life is much simpler, and therefore much happier and less stressed. Keeping up with the Joneses is complicated, hectic, stressful, and unfulfilling. The clothes at the mall are priced 300 percent markup, and anyone wearing them will shudder when they see themselves in photos 20 years from now. ( Think... at one time satan had everyone thinking polyester pant suits looked good!) My youngest daughter has autism, but don't feel sorry, she is HILARIOUS, and a huge blessing. We try to use herbs and diet to help her, but really, any improvement and all of her development can be attributed right back to God. He has been so faithful. She is amazing, and quite the artist. It has been tough at times, but praise God, he has always sent a good laugh to make it bearable. "The joy of the Lord is my strength!" I appreciate your blog, it is encouraging to me, and I pray that you will be encouraged to keep on encouraging your readers! Hope you laugh today... Teri

Anonymous said...

Teri, thank you for your words of encouragement. What a witness you are to our Lord's faithfulness. You are truly blessed, sister! Life can get overwhelming at times, and that is when we can tend to get discouraged and tired, focusing on everything that is wrong, when in fact, there is so much that is right - God's blessings, that are right in front of us, if we just turn our attention and focus upon Him and not on our circumstances. Sometimes we can become spiritually fatigued, and that can make us worldly. To have an "attitude of gratitude" needs to be exercised. It doesn't come easily for everyone, but if we keep at it, the easier and more naturally it comes. It is a lot easier to laugh or make light of our situation/circumstance when we have a heart full of thanksgiving (gratitude) no matter the circumstance. Phil. 4:11-13, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need. 13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Again, thank you Teri for your words of wisdom; and blessings to you BB. You have a family of brothers and sisters in Christ who love you, and appreciate your ministry.

Anonymous said...

BB, I pray this commentary from Truthkeepers blesses you as much as did me.

“Usedmore” or Useless

Posted on December 31, 2015 by C.H. Fisher — No Comments ↓

“…and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:2

So we bear some fruit and look up to get a commendation or a blessing. Nothing. Heaven is like on the other side of a sheet of brass. God is silent.

What did we do? Did we do it wrong? Are we being judged for pride in our achievements? Why do we feel so chastised and even worthless?

Blessed is the soul who reaches that point in their relationship with God. It is the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. When He had given all, paid the ultimate price, He felt that God had forsaken Him.

Someone may ask, “What do you mean by “blessed”? I know, it doesn’t seem blessed, but don’t worry. No one will ever reach that point in their experience with God unless they have been faithful in bearing fruit.

Think of it this way. What do you do with a glass when you wish it to be clean? (The wrong answer is, “Put it in the dishwasher.”) You take a dishrag or sponge and you scrub and purge the inside of it. You want it to be clean and fit for use. (Psalm 51:7)

The fact is, when you become fruitful God will prune and purge you so that you will bear more fruit. Having been raised with a peach orchard a few feet from our house, I have seen the pruning in action. It doesn’t feel good to us spiritually. It is not happy time in victory camp, but there is joy.

But why doesn’t God reward us? Have we not read His word? He has promised us a reward in eternity, but down here we are His vessels. We are on this earth to be used by Him. The first Christians recognized this fact and rejoiced when they were beaten and imprisoned for doing His will.

The blessing is in knowing that God is going to do a greater work through you. That is why He is pruning and purging you. Besides, a pruning and purging do not always follow a significant bearing of fruit. (Proverbs 10:22) But there are those moments when you are ready for it. God knows that you are submissive and faithful, that you trust Him with your life. Like Job, you may not understand it, but you refuse to deny Him.

Therefore, don’t pray to be used if you have not counted the cost. If you are unwilling to suffer, or to have things removed from your life by pruning, or to endure the painful process of purging, you are not ready to be in service.

But what other choice do you have? If He can’t use you, are you “usedmore” or useless?

I remember reading a biography about a man greatly used by God. He was coming down the stairs after a morning session of prayer. Tears were streaming down his face. They were tears of joy. But his friend asked him what was the matter? He replied, “God said, ‘Smith, I’m going to break you’”

He was rejoicing even though he knew he was headed for suffering. Blessed is the individual that will rejoice in suffering because he or she knows that God is making him or her into a more productive vessel. Such a person is as focused as one can be on what really matters in this life.

It is not about my comfort, my satisfaction, accolades of people, or any other thing important to the flesh. It does not matter if I am rejected, thought a fool, or demoted to the bottom of the social heap. It only matters if I am pliable and malleable in the hands of God. The reward of being the piece of clay He chooses to use for whatever task, lofty or menial, must be the blessing and reward. All else is froth and stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hi BB - I came across James 2:1-6 the other day and thought of your article...
I think it can be hard if you came from money; to then be poor or struggling with it. Even if you had wickedness in your home, a lot of stress can be relieved with money. I had a terrible house growing up but I am thankful I lived in such a beautiful place by the sea..It did help.. I too struggle with being resentful toward the wicked who have money. It is something I struggle with and pray I overcome..
I also struggle with some of the basics and am praying to be more grateful for what I do have instead of looking at what I don't have..
It can also be hard when you are ill. Illness can make coping with things a little harder..But Jesus is faithful. The other day I was so weak and my husband forgot to bring in wood. He does so much that this is not a complaint.. I turned to Jesus in total humility and he strengthened me enough to go out and carry some in..
I know a lot of people would think that was in my head;but there is no way I have that kind of subconscious power to give myself that strength.
I really think it was humbling myself and turning to him in my sorrow that he gave me that strength.
May God Bless you and I will think of you in my prayers - Sue

Anonymous said...

Dear Sue,

Praise Jesus for His strength. Oh thank-you for sharing your story for it inspired me in strengthening my faith in Him. I am so sorry that you are suffering and will be praying for your health condition. God's Word is true, while many are weak in their bodies, they are growing stronger in their faith in the Great Physician, Jesus our LORD, and encouraging the rest of us who are growing as well.

May our LORD be with you and protect you Sue.

Anonymous said...

Anon - Thank you so much for your response to my comment! I will pray that your faith will be strengthened.
God Bless you - Sue