About Me – About the Blog – Guidelines

I RAN THE GAUNTLET.

This is what I mean (www.freedictionary.com):

a. A form of punishment or torture in which people armed with sticks or other weapons arrange themselves in two lines facing each other and beat the person forced to run between them, or b. The lines of people so arranged.

My “gauntlet” was a psychologically abusive husband (now ex-husband) on one side, and the church (people, scriptures, and doctrines) on the other. For twenty years, I ran between the two, desperately wanting to do the right thing and please God and husband, while trying to protect and raise two wonderful kids in the Lord, and struggling to keep my sanity (literally).  The weapons used by both sides were words and ideas.  From my husband came words of love and also words of rage, condemnation, manipulation, obsenity and weirdness. From the church came words of admonition, conflicting scriptures, explanations of how God works, reminders of “proper” scriptural interpretation, discriptions of how Godly wives/marriages should be, and excuses for God’s silence.

Welcome to my blog.

What it is: Respectful and thoughtful dialogue about your faith and insights as they apply to real-life situations, especially those involving Psychological Abuse by Christian husbands against Christian wives and children. They might include thoughts about improving the knowledge/helpfulness of the Church, how applying scripture plays out in real life, coping with the long-term effects on faith and life skills and health (mental and physical) even when out of the abusive situation.

Why it is:

1) I hope to hear something real enough to restore my faith. I would like to express where my doubts come from and hear what others say, who think differently or the same, and who have either lost or kept the faith. I would like to  hear what WORKS for you, and what transcends “Churchianity.”

2) I would like to include your wise answers in a book that will help others as, hopefully, you help me and my readers (no names will be included without permission). Maybe we can help church members, clergy and Christian women and girls to respond more wisely and protectively toward Psychological Abuse. Maybe we can provide non-churched domestic violence professionals better insight into the issues and motivations of Christian women who are psychologically abused by their husbands. Maybe Domestic Violence professionals will have another avenue to spread the word about what works or helps and what doesn’t, from their perspective.

3) To explore what you think “abuse” is and isn’t, and to see how well you can identify with situations you perhaps have not lived. This might clarify the responses of Christians I have gone to for help. And it might help them, and others, to do better in the future. If I can express the extreme, sickening, lasting frustration of living the natural fight or flight impulse year after year when the means and consequences of either fighting or “flighting” are too uncertain or dire to perform, in such a way that someone is able to better understand the reality and be less likely to give stupid, harmful advice “in the Lord,” then my day isn’t wasted.

4) To see what scriptures and related actions you would apply to actual situations, and to allow respectful discussion of other “contradictory” or “alternative” scriptures that could also apply.  James 1:22 (NIV) “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” The word says a lot of things…what one chooses to believe and do can have devastating or empowering consequences.

Guidelines:

1. RESPECTFUL. Christians or non-Christians, I would like to hear your voices. Non-Christians, don’t be put off by the “united with Christ” part of the following verse. Christians, don’t be put off by my disclaimer to non-Christians.  All: Share, comfort, encourage, reason together with respect.

Philippians 2:1-4 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

2. CONSTRUCTIVE. No personal attacks or biting comments. Deal with the issues and questions thoughtfully. If you find your breath coming short and your heart pounding because you think God has been insulted, don’t call it “righteous indignation” and let it rip. I suspect the Creator of the Universe can defend Himself if He chooses. If you feel indignant in response to the incidents or comments related, then use it to say something that will really matter to someone – to build their faith, to save them grief, to help them be better, to add to the good in the world.

1 Peter 3:15-16(NIV) But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Again – whether you “revere Christ as Lord” or not, you are still able to give an answer with gentlness, respect, clear conscience, and good behavior.

3. REAL. NOT THEORETICAL. CAN ACTUALLY BE APPLILED. Ideally, only tell about what you have seen applied and working in real life. One of the many things I’ve been told, for example, is that a wife should submit to her husband, even to the point of allowing him to kill her, in order to obey God and allow Him room to work His will. Not only do I, having tried this type of submission, NOT believe this is right, I don’t believe it WORKS. (But speak up if you have seen an abusive husband turn into a kind husband as his wife submits to his abuse – I might learn something new).

2 Timothy 2:14  Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.

James 2:15-17  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

So talk with me.

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44 thoughts on “About Me – About the Blog – Guidelines

  1. Dennis Cardiff October 21, 2013 at 7:28 am Reply

    I know many women who have suffered from verbal and physical assault by their husbands. In my blog http://gottafindahome.wordpress.com I have chronicled, almost daily, discussions with Joy, whose boyfriend is serving two years for his latest assault on her. There were many others. Loretta was raped many times. She now has enough evidence to take her attacker to court.

    I read many books on Shambhala Buddhism, developed for western people. My favorite author is Pema Chodron. Buddhism is a philosophy that embraces all religions. The first principle of Buddhism is “Do not hurt.” In many ways this is similar to native American teachings.

    I have also read books on Neocentrism, which is a more scientific look at religion. The more I’ve studied religions and philosophies the more I’ve found how similar they all are.

    My wife left the Catholic church because, being divorced she wasn’t allowed to attend mass. She was also against their protection of pedophile priests. The stance of most churches against homosexuality and gay marriage is also very limiting. Although I don’t attend a church I often ask myself, “What would Jesus do?”

    Blessings
    Dennis

    • ranthegauntlet October 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm Reply

      Hi, Dennis! I had looked in on more than one of your blogs, read some about Joy, decided that you are somone I want to hear and thought I had e-mail subscribed already, but not so; I have now (I WAS already subscribed to your poetry). My husband and I have many times been approached for money, and afterward said that we would like to share lunch with them and learn their stories…but we never have. Timing, too much concern about appearing or being nosy for food, basically, or of getting in too deep with issues we can’t handle. Or patronizing based on our ignorance. Like millions of others, distantly well meaning, ignorant, focused on other issues so not investing a lot in being wiser about homelessness (or even a few of the related issues). Being honest here.

      Have you read anything by Gabor Mate? Just curious.

      I am not capable of believing the kind of nonsense your wife encountered, either, and have gone from utterly trashed faith to something pretty personal, open to expansion, and unavailable for analysis by religious souls. So thank you for your writing about your experiences and the input on faith and religious philosophies. I WILL check them out.

      Blessings!!

      Diane

    • Jenna Brooks October 21, 2013 at 3:21 pm Reply

      Mr. Cardiff, just to clarify: are you saying that Christianity is pretty much the same as all other religions?

  2. God is Good July 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm Reply

    PS: Jesus was one of the most liberating people around giving recognition to women and children (“let the children come”) … Giving a woman the first sighting of His resurrection and telling her to “go tell the others” when at the time the witness if a woman was not legally acceptable … Follow in His footsteps and honour and grace abounds and all are free to be all they are created to be. …

  3. God is Good July 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm Reply

    I love your passion.
    I am saddened that others have used the scripture to submit to your detriment … And that they have forgotten that husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved us … He loved us to the point of death , He lay down His life for His bride willingly …
    We are also told to submit to one another …
    To love one another …
    To encourage one another …
    Yes to forgive one another, however you can do that you you set boundaries and say “no more” …
    Kris Valotton has great sermons and books on these issues and challenges men to release women to be all they are called to be as partners in Christ with their husbands in the Church and in the home …
    Further … When the Bible uses the word “helper” in Genesis Krus pints out that the Hebrew word used refers a number of times to Holy Spirit and a less number of times to woman as “helper” and in Bible interpretation first use is important so is, in using the same word in referring to Holy Spirit and in referring to woman is God suggesting that woman is like Holy Spirit … Just a thought … Check out the pod casts from Bethel Church Redding Califirnia … Christ came to set us free (with responsibilities of course) to be all we are destined to be … Both man and woman. Blessings, and thanks for stopping by, God is Good!

    • ranthegauntlet July 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm Reply

      Very interesting input! The Christian teaching and counsel I have mostly had has acknowledged submission to one another, husbands die for wives, etc. EXCEPT where it comes to the point of divorce or challenging behavior – I guess that was too uncomfortable for them (never mind how uncomfortable it was for ME and my children!). I have never heard any word studies about “helper” other than the standard a “suitable helper” for the man. I’m open to interpretation to an extent, but have even heard criticism among Christians about which commentator they refer to, in addition to which translation. I can’t help wanting to know, if the Bible is the TRUTH…WHICH TRUTH IS IT??? Thanks for your kind and valuable input!! Blessings, Diane

  4. danasoupandcrackers July 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm Reply

    You have great knowledge of the bible. Just remember, it was written by men and not by God. It was written during a time when women played very submissive roles in society. Also, the bible went through a complete revision long ago by St. Augustine who had a political agenda of his own. Many books of the original bible were thrown out and may be worth looking at by any spiritual seeker of truths. Organized religious institutions were not created by God either. That’s right, men are the creators of organized religion, although women sometimes played greater roles in some aspects of eastern religions. Anyway, I encourage you to look far beyond Christianity and the bible. better yet, find the words in the bible that researchers feel Jesus might actually have said and follow that compassionate line of thinking in your search. I wish you blessings of peace.

    • ranthegauntlet July 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm Reply

      Hi! Thanks for the visit! It is interesting that you commented this just now. I am involved in a long, inspiring dialogue that places God and many Christian principles in a new light – far from ideas I was naively willing to believe in the past; part of that is my own evaluation about what is trustworthy and what is not – including Bible origins and translations, etc. And I agree organized religion is man-made. A lot of weird stuff to believe out there, often negatively impacting women and children! Interesting phrase: “..find the words in the bible that researchers feel Jesus might actually have said…” I’d like that. I’m wary of biased agendas of any camp, or claims of knowledge of absolutes, or the energy that goes with “proving” a point, by any camp, but very open to valid information. You have apparently done some research yourself. If you have unbiased, intelligent, genuine references to recommend, please let me know! Blessings!! Diane

  5. cate b July 9, 2013 at 6:34 am Reply

    Hi Diane – so nice to connect with you. Great post. Looking forward to reading more….. 😀

  6. Jenna Brooks June 27, 2013 at 5:59 am Reply

    Hello, Diane. Fascinating discussions here.

    Just subscribed – off to look around a bit more. Have a blessed day.

    • ranthegauntlet June 27, 2013 at 10:09 am Reply

      Jenna: A lot of good information, perspective on your site! Very impressive. Do you give contentious lessons, too? I could use some of that at times! My readers, Jenna’s site is worth looking at: http://jennabrooks.weebly.com/index.html. Thanks! Diane

      • Jenna Brooks June 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm Reply

        So nice of you, Diane – thanks so much.

        You know, maybe I could become a Contention Coach, too? 😉 I took the moniker from church people who, not liking my opinions (or the fact that I had them to begin with?), labeled me “a contentious woman.” After a few years, I figured I had achieved a Senior level – thus, the title.

        Admiring your site. Thanks again.

        • ranthegauntlet June 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm Reply

          Jenna: Hysterical! Literally a LOL. Senior Contentious Woman. Love your sense of humor! Blessings, Diane

  7. whisperingleavesblog June 14, 2013 at 12:46 am Reply

    Thank you for visiting. There is much to encourage, and much to confirm feeble knees in your posts. Thank you for sharing and writing with a passion.

    • ranthegauntlet June 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm Reply

      Thank you also. I love the fresh voice of your blog. As a matter of fact your title is one of my very favorite things – I love trees, leaves in the sun, leaves whispering. You lift my spirits. Blessings, Diane

  8. Hope Blooms in Darkness May 9, 2013 at 12:48 am Reply

    I’m nominating you for a Liebster Blog award – someone introduced me to your blog not too long ago and I am so glad they did – it has blessed me incredible amounts. If you would like to accept the award click here for the rules http://hopebloomsindarkness.com/2013/05/09/liebster-award/

  9. Heather Mertens - 40YearWanderer April 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm Reply

    I can already tell I’m going to connect in many ways with you. You might like my Open Letter to Christians – I think you will going by what you wrote above. It’s on a tab at the top of my site:
    40YearWanderer.com

    May I also share my story. Depression for 25 years did not claim my life no matter how hard it tried. Christ did in all His healing power.

    http://40yearwanderer.com/2013/02/22/a-comfort-that-shouldnt-be-2/

    God bless you as you share for the sake of Christ.
    Heather

    • ranthegauntlet April 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm Reply

      Hi, Heather!

      Yes, I did enjoy reading your Open Letter – we do agree on much! Thanks for checking in here. I am interested in reading more about your experience with Jesus’ healing power. Blessings!

      • Heather Mertens - 40YearWanderer April 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm Reply

        Diane,
        Thanks for the interest and encouragement. I have had requests to know more about my healing. It is going on my book and I plan to release and excerpt on the healing power I experienced soon. Keep an eye out. 🙂

        Without Him I’d be running around aimlessly still wandering.
        So I must tell the story.

        God bless you
        Heather

  10. Talitha Kum March 31, 2013 at 3:42 am Reply

    Hi. I have read a few more of your posts, and I was thinking a lot. See, in my case, Christ came as a deliverance in the middle of my PTSD. I studied my way out of the PTSD through the master’s program. I thought if I learn all there is to learn about what happened to me, I maybe will understand and feel better. I had a lot of angry fists in God’s face at times, and even when I definitively accepted Christ. But I gradually felt better. I think that my faith actually made the most healing impact. And probably my Christian boyfriend whose theology is remarkably Jesus centered and is very much in line with what I feel about the world. Now I’m worlds apart from a bare nerve of a person I used to be.

    In the process I maintained my autonomy with churches never giving them too much power over me. But now I actually remember hearing once the same reasoning from one church elder. We talked about sexual abuse from the people in power (like the bosses). I think I had a ‘look’ that did not allow to lay out everything the guy thought. But his point was similar to your aunt’s . And he actually mentioned husbands too. He said that if we submit and pray God will bring the deliverance. Like you, I just let him be.

    I did not come across a lot of a nasty church ‘culture’ yet. Some of it was good, some of it made me want to stay out. That is why I am probably an enthusiastic believer now. The reason I’m writing all this, is that for a split second I saw myself in you, but in the future. Nothing challenging yet happened to me while I am with Christ and around the church culture. But what if it will? On one hand, now that I’ve been through the victimization I am very attuned to it, and if any church ever will attempt to victimize me now (I mean through manipulating me with the scripture), I will fight back. And hopefully I will not put it on God’s account. I still think that Jesus’ teaching is the key to interpret the scripture. And it’s been rewarding to me so far. Anyway, I am very interested in your perspective and looking forward to your posts.
    Oksana

    • ranthegauntlet March 31, 2013 at 6:33 pm Reply

      Hi, Oksana! I think that you have a lot of insight. Several people I “hear” have had your experience, where they experienced Christ in and as key to their recoveries. Wonderful! I don’t know why I perceive God as so silent. Perhaps I had the wrong expectations of the Christian life and have not yet recognized and embraced the real deal. I don’t know. I think you, however, have all the tools (self-knowledge, life experience, discernment regarding victimization and churchianity, intelligence, religious knowledge, and fight) to not fall for the things I did. Many doubt. Many struggle. Many never lose their faith through it. It is my hope and belief that you will always be an enthusiastic believer. With experience and voice worth listening to. I’m encouraged that you have passed the angry fist stage and things have gotten better – I may see myself in YOU in the future – at peace with God. Diane

      • Talitha Kum April 1, 2013 at 5:37 am Reply

        That’s the sweetest thing. Thank you.

      • Talitha Kum April 1, 2013 at 5:48 am Reply

        In your comments you asked about the good pastors. That’s the church I attended in the US. http://www.theheart.us/listen.html
        Honestly, if there is anywhere a church that got it figured out, this is it. I listened to all the archived teachings, some even multiple times. My faith foundation is built from these teachings. Honestly, it made me weep in awe of the Creator a few times. Very healthy stuff. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not pushing. It’s just like I found where the treasure is, and now I just want to share. Give it a try someday.

        • ranthegauntlet April 1, 2013 at 8:40 am Reply

          Thanks Oksana! I listened to one about restored relationships and the names given to people to illustrate. Very interesting! I have trouble sitting still to listen to my computer, so will listen more when I have an indoor task to do. I focus better!! Yes, it is very interesting. I have read through the Bible including every name and the “begats” and appreciate learning what those names mean! Blessings!

          • Talitha Kum April 1, 2013 at 10:50 am

            Hi Diane! Yeah, that’s how I listen to them too :). Was it the Hosea 1? Seems like 02.10.2013 is the beginning on the Hosea series. They don’t mark them very well. In one of them he quotes from the Narnia book (!) and it’s amazingly appropriate. I’m glad you liked it 🙂 I listen to all of them (that’s my ‘church’ now). Let me know what you think if you decide to listen again. 🙂

  11. Talitha Kum March 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Dear Diane,

    I hope all is well with you. I decided to write you a few words of appreciation and encouragement.

    You wrote, “One of the many things I’ve been told, for example, is that a wife should submit to her husband, even to the point of allowing him to kill her, in order to obey God and allow Him room to work His will. ” Really? Someone actually told you this? Wow. This is exactly what motivates me to write my blog.

    Also, I just would like to give you some encouragement. You are trying to bridge two worlds: Christian teaching and your faith on one hand, and women’s empowerment on the other hand. Unfortunately, in many minds these are conflicting categories, but they shouldn’t be. I know it because I have the same kind of a challenge. God does not want a half of His creation to be diminished and in pain! Look at Jesus, learn from Him: He is gentle and humble. Your faith has to be built on a solid rock, that is His philosophy and interpretation of scripture. Interpreting the scripture, He said: “If you had known what it means: I DESIRE COMPASSION, NOT A SACRIFICE, you would have not condemned the innocent” (Matthew, 12:7). Now, what would Jesus likely answer to an advice to submit to the husband to the point of being killed? I don’t want to speculate too much on what would Jesus say. But it is actually said that we can have a mind of Christ, that Christ can live in us. I had the same kind of questions and even accusations on God’s account. And to get the answers, I purposefully studied all that Jesus said. True, he does not give clear-cut answers on the ‘women’s issue’. But what did He say to the adulterous woman? Did He condemn her? No. Also, what did He have to say to the pharisees, the people who interpret the law? Oh my, He was so upset about them! In fact, these were nearly the only people He was upset about, and not the murderers, prostitutes and thieves. The later ones were easy for Him, but the leaven of the pharisees’ teaching He considered as dangerous.

    It looks like God fires me up to care about the oppressed and mistreated women (this is the broad category: victims of rape, domestic violence and abuse, victims of sexual harassment at work to name a few). And I was putting off to post the final part of my series on Jesus & Gender that actually will go over these things and what Jesus has to say about women and the surrounding issues. It looks like your blog finally motivated me to do it. I thank you for your challenging work. You are a courageous woman! Blessings!

    • ranthegauntlet March 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm Reply

      Glad to hear from you! Yes, someone actually did tell me that! Only one. No doubt based on a book she read or a preacher she heard. An aunt in a blissfully happy marriage who has never had to question, or work, or doubt that she is adored by her patient and stable husband. Her thinking was that if you submit to God by submitting to your husband, God will protect you. Christian “interpretations” often sound good but create more misery, at least in the earthly sphere, that I can see and experience. I have yet to hear one abused woman say that she was divinely protected while submitting to her abusive husband, father, rapist, sex slaver, pastor, police, government official or other “earthly authority.” If we are just looking to the afterlife, then why do we bother at all with this life? I find suffering pretty real. I know others do, too. So my hope is that, since NO ONE knows for sure what Jesus meant by much of what He said, and interpretation of the Bible is as diverse as it is (rather than one clear truth) that by understanding abuse better, people would “have compassion” and not lay additional abuse on the abused by their “Godly”counsel. My aunt has changed over the last 50 years or so, and calmly rests in Christ, with a sweet spirit (though still opinionated). I would never remind her of what I’m sure she has forgotten. Fortunately, hers was not counsel I heeded. I look forward to reading your series! Blessings, Diane

  12. robind333 March 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm Reply

    Hi Diane…I found your blog through a mutual subscriber. I too have had my share of mental and physical abuse. In fact, today I put up a post explaining a very difficult time in my past. I look forward to your post and getting to know you and others. Thank you for the work your doing and many, many blessings to you…Robin

    • ranthegauntlet March 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm Reply

      Thank you, Robin! I enjoyed browsing around your blog a little! I’m so glad your abuse is in the past!! Blessings. Diane

  13. Men of One Accord February 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm Reply

    Diane, I read your comments and learned a better understanding of you. Your statement about not knowing the Will of God touched me. I am not going to try to tell His will. I shall pray that the Holy Spirit come upon and guide you in His will. The Holy Spirit will never force you He will only lovingly woo you. Abuse I know it and someday when I am brave enough I will write about how I was abused. As for now as long as that person is alive I shall not for I wish no harm to come to them and they no longer remember anything about it. If I may follow your blog I may have very little comments for sometimes I find it best to just listen or read. God Bless you for the work you are doing here looks to me as if you are doing God’s Will, Amen James

    • ranthegauntlet February 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, James, for the kind words and prayers. I believe you are so right to wish no harm to come to your abuser…forgiveness is sweet. You convey such a kind heart. You have a beautiful blog, and the concept of men praying in one accord outside of church is so great. Blessings to you! Diane

  14. Pia February 7, 2013 at 11:21 pm Reply

    I’m blessed to find a brave woman like you. Keep writing, Diane! Pia

    • ranthegauntlet February 8, 2013 at 5:09 am Reply

      Thank you, Pia! You, too! I like your blog and look forward to reading more! Blessings, Diane

  15. kingdom777 January 29, 2013 at 12:41 am Reply

    Hi Dianne, Thanks for visiting my blog and your like. Lovely to meet you! I look forward to reading your blog. Ah, that word “submission”. I wandered in the wilderness for years because of incorrect teaching on submission. Thanks to a Pastor who really knows the Lord and the Word, I finally learned what submission means. It means the man must love his wife enough to die for her, and she must respect him for that. Our Pastor said any woman would naturally respect and submit to a man who thought she was “to die for”. I hope this helps. I deal with this subject in one of the chapters of my story “The Kingdom”. God bless.

    • ranthegauntlet January 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm Reply

      Hi, K…(is it Jo?): Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry you were hit by the submission thing, too, but so so so glad you encountered someone who could give believable alternate teaching!!! I am curious a about your Pastor who was able to give good counsel, and what is characteristic of his walk with the Lord and his life experience that enabled him to do so. If you know and care to elaborate…. I have been reading “The Kingdom,” and enjoying very much. You are at chapter 8, correct? Thanks for your neat blog, and for talking with me! Blessings!!!

      • kingdom777 February 2, 2013 at 3:30 am Reply

        Hi Dianne, Yes its Jo. My pastor was Iliafi Esera. he’s the senior pastor of Faith Community Church in Wanganui, NZ. We still call it our home church even though we now live 600kms away. Here is the link:
        http://www.fcc.net.nz/senior-pastors/
        Characteristic of his walk with the Lord and his life experience, he is a big humble Samoan man. He’s not well educated, but he is discerning, knows the Bible, hears from the Lord and preaches with authority. Although he is a Pastor his mantle is Apostolic. He has a lot of influence within the AOG churches in NZ, Australia and the Pacific. He’s also done work in Russia. We were very VERY fortunate to have him as a Pastor in Wanganui. He wants everyone in the Church to understand the things of the Kingdom. You can download the sermons so I recommend you have a listen to him.
        Thanks for reading “The Kingdom”. If you get to “Chapter 56 Closure” it deals with the day Iliafi preached on submission. I wrote what he said down so I would never forget it. I heard the truth, and the truth set me free.
        At the rate I’m going (posting about one chapter a week) it’ll be a year until you get to it, so you can download the story if you like. The password is okoia.
        Thanks for your encouragement with the Blog. I’m glad you like it! It gets me away from the nerdy stuff 🙂 God bless!

        • ranthegauntlet February 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm Reply

          Hi, Jo! I appreciate the feedback on your pastor, and I will check out the site. And thanks for the preview – I downloaded. As for nerdy stuff….I’m trained as a soil scientist…what else can I say? :-D!

  16. Rick Alvey December 21, 2012 at 7:00 am Reply

    “Wives submit” is likely one of the most misunderstood passages used to abuse many women. Dr. Larry Crabb describes how the context is “submit, in keeping with God’s will.” Therefore, if a husband wants his wife to do something that is very clearly not within God’s will then the wife in no way should comply. I can’t identify with what you’ve gone through but I do understand how abusive and manipulative both husbands (people in general) and churches can be. It doesn’t deal with the husband/wife relationship specifically, but one book that comes to mind is “Soul Survivor” by Philip Yancey. Having been raised in a southern church during the 60’s that was extremely racist Yancey walked away from the church but describes how he was pursued by God and wrestled through some of his own faith issues/questions. Thanks for sharing your story. Take care!

    • ranthegauntlet December 21, 2012 at 8:40 am Reply

      Hi, Rick. Thank you for visiting my blog.

      Misunderstood, yes! It was hard for me to determine what was clearly not within God’s will, or what was! So many conflicting thoughts and feelings, and so much at stake!

      I so appreciate your kind input, and will look up both Dr. Larry Crabb and Phillip Yancey. I may have read Yancy long ago, but I don’t think the book you mentioned.

      Thank you again, and nice “meeting” you!

      Diane

      • Rick Alvey December 21, 2012 at 8:48 am Reply

        Good to meet you too Diane and I hope you have a great holiday season!

  17. Judy November 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm Reply

    Thank you for your recent visit to my blog, and I very much look forward to reading more of yours. I trust and pray that you will find the real faith that you seek. Of course, God is quite able to bring grace, truth and light in spite of the failings of his people. In faith, Judy

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