by Jodie (Collins) White
Posted on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - 5:05 pm:
Hello!! I'm proud to say that I am experiencing spiritual freedom for the first time in my life! It is like being saved all over again. My family and I are no longer in spiritual bondage, nor are we spiritually dependant on men who think they are, "over us in the Lord." Say it with me....HALLELUYAH!!! (Did I spell that right? I don't think I've ever written that word before.) Anyway...I am so thankful for the Lord's blessings and for the grace he gives. That "amazing grace" I sang about for so many years, but only now, understand it's meaning. How good it is to be a Christian in "His church" and not some sectarian place full of Pharacies that are so puffed up with self righteousness, they don't even have a clear picture that it's all about God, not them! Whew! I'm glad I got that off my chest!
Anyway...it is good to be a Christian and to be able to fellowship with so many Christians outside of that "bubble." I have a renewed appreciation for the "Church which is Christ body." It has been eye opening to me, how many people are saved and love the Lord! I have had so many people ask me if I'm a Christian lately, and I'm like, "well yes I am!" with a surprised look on my face. It must be the sheer joy on my face, cause it sure isn't my jean skirt and long hair! (If you get my drift.)
Anyway, just wanted to say hi to all you, "marked heathens," and say that I look foreword to meeting all of you someday! If not here, we have a date in heaven! "Oh that will be Glory for me, glory for me, glory for me. When by his grace I shall look on his face....that will be glory...be glory for me." Won't that be an amazing day? It won't matter if you were of Robert Grove or Billy Graham. Only that you loved him, accepted him and lived for him with passion in your heart!!!! I'm proud to say that I serve the almighty! He is more powerful than any sect claiming to be "the only way." He is the only way.
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 12:47 pm:
Thank you Jody for sending me those pictures from Texas. It was so good to see so many brothers and sisters in Christ who were dead to me for so many years. I'm sorry for that. I realized when we left how incredibly proud and self righteous I had been. I had been a very confused and lost person. The Lord was not real to me, even though I desperately loved him and wanted to serve him. I'm on the Hallelujah Train now, and I'm so thankful!
I would like to share a psalm with you all. This psalm describes how, I'm sure, we have all felt at times. David had been captured by the Philistines in Gath. His enemies are pursuing him, but David has amazing trust in the face of unsettling fear. He writes this song," Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack. My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God who's word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid, what can mortal man do to me? All day long they will twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me. They conspire, the lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life."
I want every one to know that no matter what is being said about you or me, or maybe someone is afraid of leaving because their reputation will be destroyed, Have faith that God knows the condition of your heart. They are only mortal men. What can they possibly do? We serve a powerful God who wants to protect us. He also test our faith. Who do you serve? But I warn you, being a free Christian is exciting. God has a purpose for you, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!!! At the end of C. S. Lewis's "The Chronicles of Narnia," The little girl says," He isn't a tame Lion, but he is a good Lion." Our Lord is not tame, We never know what he's going to put in our path to make us stronger and to better serve him. But he is good, and we receive his blessings when we trust him and follow him. I follow Christ, not perfectly, but passionately!!!!
Your sister in Christ, Jodie White
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 4:12 pm:
It does seem incredibly harsh and unloving. It's amazing to me the things people do in the name of the Lord. However, I guess I should not be surprised. Even daddy is in bondage.
If he had of opened the gift, he would have found a coffee mug that my children and I put together pictures inside of, and a note that said, Happy Birthday Papa." It will remain in the top of my closet unopened with the hope that someday we will be free together in Christ. Then he can walk around with a cup of coffee, displaying his 4 wonderful grandchildren who love him very much.
I don't write this for pity, but with thankfulness that it's not me rejecting one of my children and the joy in my heart because of God's promise never to leave us or forsake us. He is indeed a perfect father.
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 4:23 pm:
I understand what you mean by the grim look. That is a lack of Joy, but I don't think for a moment that those Christians don't love David, Shane and Julie. They are simply afraid of talking to them because of the awful things that have been said about them, including by myself. (I'm not going to pretend that I haven't gotten caught up in saying things about people that have left.)
People are afraid of people that have left because we have a whole new prospective on the Christian life and God's love. They are not truly confident in their faith, therefore, they leave all of us for the men to handle.
I do understand the grim look though. I was becoming that way very slowly. But don't mistake it for a lack of love. There are some very wonderful Christians in the group that are very loving. I'm not saying that they have joy, I'm just saying, they are in serious spiritual bondage. The truth is, they don't realize it. I didn't realize it until I was exposed to the Christians that we now fellowship with. These folks have never been in spiritual bondage, and I really think it helped us realize some things about ourselves.
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 3:36 pm:
This is a good time for me to comment. I was told after we left that it hurt a lot of people there. I believe it did because it hurt on our end as well. It is said that those of us that leave are, "taking the easy way out", and that we have, "stopped fighting the good fight of faith." It is indeed the opposite.
I want everyone to know that leaving was the hardest thing we ever did. We love everyone there so very much, and we developed very close relationships, including with our own families. The truth is, Stephen knew we had to leave because he strongly felt that some things were not right there. Such as, a spiritual dependency on leadership, etc. Stephen and I prayed together ever single night because we needed our savior closer than ever before. The pain we felt in our heart for those we loved and left behind was awful!!!! But in that time we found peace and comfort in our heavenly father. We had already been studying some things we felt were not right and we asked the Lord for help and guidance. Almost immediately, we met some wonderful Christian families and started having bible studies in their home. They, we believe, were sent to us from the Lord, and we are so thankful!
But I want to say this, no one can take the place of our Christian friends that we love so dearly, in the group. Weather it be a friend or family member, we love you and you hold a special, individual place in our heart. Don't think for a moment that we left because we don't love you or you hurt our feelings. The truth is we had to follow the Holy Spirit calling us to do what we needed to do for the spiritual growth of our family. We love you ALL!!! Marked or not marked, and we believe in Unity, not conformity. We are always here, serving our savior who saved us from bondage and sin. We are looking foreword to the day when God calls us home, and we won't be arguing over who's right or wrong or otherwise. This time on earth is so very short. We look at how fast our kids are growing and we realize how fast the years are going by. But life in eternity is infinite. So however long we have to be apart, there is coming a day when we will be together forever. In the meantime, my prayer is that each of us finds a closer relationship with the Lord and follow him to the best of our ability, but most importantly, with passion in our heart.
Your sis in Christ, Jodie W.
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