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Our Daily Lives / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Anon on August 07, 2018, 09:39:48 PM »
Always Remember This One Truth
Aug 06, 2018 | Gwen Smith

Today's Truth

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.  Psalm 56:3

Friend to Friend

Each day brings fresh possibilities and opportunities for us to trust God. As I think of what lies ahead today I’m reminded of a trust lesson God taught me long ago.  Our arms were braided across each other’s and our hands were locked tightly. As the young girl stood on the tall tree stump above us she looked over her shoulder and saw with her eyes that our formation was tight…that we were ready for her. She heard with her ears that we would catch her that we would not let her get hurt. Yet the fear that screamed in her head told her not to do it. Not to fall backwards.  Her legs shook and lips quivered. Other campers had gone before her. She and her cabin mates had successfully caught each one. But this camper hesitated allowing the looming possibilities of failure and pain to paralyze her from action. The risks just seemed too great.  She trembled.  We encouraged.  She cried.  We encouraged.  Then, finally, with determination in her heart, she took the plunge. She fell straight backwards onto the safety net of our arms. We bent low to the ground giving way to her fall and caught her with cheers of excitement.  She did it!  As her trembling legs regained their confidence, she stood tall and beamed from ear to ear realizing that she had faced her fear. Joy was felt from heart to heart as each of us rejoiced with her. Mission accomplished.  Early in the day, we had trekked across the campgrounds to the “Trust Fall station” as a group of counselors and campers who didn’t have a shared experience among us, an unconnected strand of strangers. Now our wooded team-building time had come to an end and we left the trust fall station having bonded deeply as a group of new girlfriends prepared for a fresh journey of fun and adventure.  Each of us took turns at the trust fall that day. We all faced a set of scary circumstances and were forced to work through our doubts, tremblings and fears. As a result, we learned valuable lessons and strengthened our relationships.  Since my days of being a camp counselor, I’ve faced many scary life trust falls: financial trials, relationship strains, relocations, sick loved ones, loss and difficult family matters. I’ve trembled and I’ve cried. I’ve been paralyzed by “what ifs” and “whys.” We all go through difficult seasons and trials; times when we want to see the invisible arms of the One who says He will catch us; times when we are afraid to fall into them.  Wherever you go and whatever you face, God is with you yesterday, today and forever. He bids us to live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). He wants us to trust Him. He catches us when we trust fall, when we live by faith. And to encourage us along the way, He spurs us on by sending a cloud of witnesses who testify of His faithfulness. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Today, whether you identify with the shaky young camper on the trust fall stump or with the cabin mates who were filled with encouragement for another, God wants you to trust Him… right where you are. It might be scary. Tears might be shed. But God is faithful and can be trusted.  Like the Psalmist, let’s choose to say, “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” (Psalm 56:3-4)

When we trust fall from our struggles into the faithful arms of God, we are freed from the fears that paralyze us. Trust Him today, friend. I’m cheering for you.
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Church Life / How the Church's Hospitality Showed Me How to Live with Courage
« Last post by Anon on August 07, 2018, 09:20:44 PM »
https://www.ibelieve.com/food-home/how-the-church-s-hospitality-showed-me-to-live-with-courage.html?utm_source=iBelieve%20Daily%20Update&utm_campaign=iBelieve%20Daily%20Update&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=2528177

How the Church's Hospitality Showed Me How to Live with Courage
Michelle Lazurek

Growing up Catholic, my grandmother took me to church every Sunday, and I enjoyed going with her. I also went to Catholic school my whole life. But around my junior year of high school, I began to have questions about my faith. God, in his sovereignty, placed people in my life who were excited about their faith. One of these people was a co-worker, who would talk with me about the differences between religions.  What drew me to him was that, although he did not come from an overly devout background, he read his Bible often and memorized Scripture verses, many of which he recited to me. He invited me to church, and it was there I met a woman who had also been Catholic, and she invited me to her home for a weekly Bible study.  One week, we studied John 3:3: “No one can come to the Father unless he is born again.”

After I asked questions about the verses’ meaning, she told me to go home, get out the Catholic Bible that I had received for my confirmation and read the same passage and see if it is the same. And it was. I drew close to God during those several weeks of talking with my coworker and studying the Bible. One day at church, during my senior year of high school with just two weeks before my prom, I went to the altar and gave my life to Him. The same woman who had showed me those Bible verses hugged me with delight and said, “your life’s going to change. You don’t know when, and you don’t know how, but it is going to change.”

I didn’t feel any different, so I didn’t believe her at first. But little did I know that the day I accepted Christ, He would be inviting me to live courageously for Him.

"When I finally did tell people, my parents were furious."

When I gave my life to Christ, I didn’t tell anyone until several months later. When I finally did tell people, my parents were furious. They felt like I had abandoned the family and its traditions, and every interaction ended in harsh words and conflict. We couldn’t speak to each other without an ensuing shouting match.  Two years later, I was a sophomore in college and still embroiled in conflict with my parents. In one conversation, I told my mom I could not longer speak to her until she treated me like an adult. Six weeks passed and we stopped communicating altogether. Soon Thanksgiving arrived, and my boyfriend invited me to dinner with his family since I hadn’t heard anything about my family’s plans.

"Without a word of goodbye, my father threw my bags onto the driveway..."

Two days after I didn’t come home for Thanksgiving, my parents stormed into my workplace and asked me to step outside into the busy plaza walkway. Once outside, my father told me that when I got home, I needed to pack my things and leave my childhood home. They drove me home and when I got there, my garage revealed a neat line of black trash bags filled with stuffed animals, clothes, and the belongings of the first 19 years of my life. I went upstairs to find the remaining unpacked items thrown in a heap on my bed. I crammed them into a few more trash bags and hurried downstairs where my father was tossing the bags onto the truck bed. He tossed the last of my belongings into his truck and we headed to my boyfriend’s house. Without a word of goodbye, my father threw my bags onto the driveway, got in his truck, and drove away, leaving me on my knees sobbing with my entire life in a set of black trash bags.

"God, in his faithfulness, showed up in big ways after that day."

From then on, I had to make the choice to not just believe who God was, but to live it out everyday, trusting him and allowing him to increase my faith in a day-by-day, moment-by-moment encounter with him.  God, in his faithfulness, showed up in big ways after that day. A married couple with two children with whom I attended church learned of my situation and offered to let me live with them rent-free in exchange for watching their children. I had to withdraw from living in the dorm rooms at college because I could no longer afford it, but my boyfriend found me a car so I could commute back and forth to college. I often had people in my small group pray for me or give me small monetary gifts or gift cards to treat myself because they knew I had been going through a rough time. Through my church’s generous display of hospitality, I understood what living bravely really means.

Courage and Hospitality

I didn’t know that God would use this event to teach others not only what true hospitality means but also what it means to live with courage. Years later, God called me to begin writing books, and my story became the impetus for my book on the important role hospitality can play in our lives.  Luke 9:1-6 became a verse I lived out: “He told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.  If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.”

Courage is a part of being a disciple. In fact, it is essential to our growth and development as disciples.  Here are three things I learned about courage and hospitality during that difficult time:

Living with courage means taking risks.

Hospitality is not just something to tack on to a busy schedule at the end of a long workweek. It’s something we embody it’s who we are. It’s who Jesus was. Jesus didn’t have a home or a place to offer people to have dinner with him, but he was a master at receiving hospitality from others. He calls us to practice hospitality in our daily lives. From a simple invitation to your home for dinner or meeting the physical needs of a friend, we all can practice the spiritual gift of hospitality.

Living with courage means asking for help.

The disciples had to believe and trust that God would provide at least some people in the towns to offer their homes and feed them. I lived this out in my life when I had to rely on the generosity of other church members to provide for my physical needs and ultimately my spiritual needs as well. It takes courage to be willing to ask for help because it often means laying your pride down in the process.

Living with courage means living in community.

Even Jesus didn’t conduct his ministry alone. Sometimes He took James, Peter, and John (and other times all 12!). Jesus was often surrounded by other people.

We need our brothers and sisters to spur one another on, to sharpen each other, to bear each other’s burdens, and to encourage each other. Without those church members, I don’t know where I’d be. My boyfriend (now husband) graciously provided a car for me after I had to move out of my dorm because I could not longer afford to live there. Other people from church gave me gifts and money as a show of support.

"[God is] calling us all to take a step of faith for him."

God may not be calling you to take such an extreme leap of faith as he had called me. But he’s calling us all to take a step of faith for him.

What might God be calling you to do in order to live with courage?

What steps do you need to take?

Who can you call on for help?

Are you living in the community that is necessary to live the courageous life God is calling you to?

This article is part of our courage theme for the month of August on iBelieve. What is courage?

Usually, we associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences good and bad. We believe this kind of “ordinary courage” is what God calls us to live into every day of our lives.  Check back each morning in August for a new story of courage as our writers tackle what it means to be faithful, courageous women in a culture that values comfort and conformity.
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Church Life / How to Break Free From Church Politics
« Last post by Anon on July 28, 2018, 07:50:46 PM »
https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/329433-how-to-break-free-from-church-politics-dan-reiland.html?utm_source=outreach-cl-daily-nl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text-link&utm_campaign=cl-daily-nl&maropost_id=&mpweb=256-7145689-729722000

How to Break Free From Church Politics
By
Dan Reiland -
July 24, 2018

Workplace politics are frustrating.  Steve and Jennifer were up for the same promotion and Jennifer was clearly more qualified for the position. But Steve got the job. It turns out that Steve’s father-in-law was the CEO of the company. Enough said.  Workplace politics is the process and behavior within human interactions involving power and authority.  When this influence is used to promote personal agendas over the mission, it divides the organization’s mission. Divided interests cause the organization to become “political” in nature, and its effectiveness quickly declines.  Church place politics are similar and equally frustrating.  A church of about 500 in attendance was in a building campaign. Everyone had agreed on chairs in the worship space instead of the pews they had always known. Except for one board member who had personally pledged an amount equal to all the rest of the pledges combined. The board member threatened the pastor and board to remove his pledge if they didn’t install pews.  Not all politics are negative. In a positive nature, politics are how you get things done in your church. Politics are the lubricant that oils your church’s organizational gears. It’s about people working together and setting their preferences aside for the greater good.  When this process becomes corrupted, that’s when trouble begins, and your culture can become divided and even toxic.  Indicators that the climate has become political:

    People work hard, but sideways energy wastes time and erodes progress.
    It’s difficult to get a decision because of divided interests.
    Gossip overtakes open and honest conversations.
    Trust is low.
    Perspective overtakes truth.
    Personal agendas compete with the purpose of the church.
    Staff begin to look out for themselves and volunteer leaders become discouraged.

Politics are agenda driven, meaning somebody wants something.  The major complication is that the agendas are often personal and sometimes selfish, but get communicated as if they are purely about the cause of Christ.  This is further complicated because it’s rarely malice that drives the personal agenda. It’s more often good people who genuinely believe that what they are doing (what they want) is right.  The problem is those good people who are attempting to do good things can lose sight of the big picture and begin to justify their idea (their part of the mission) as the entire mission.  5 things you can do as a leader help break your church free from politics:

1) Never put your leadership up for sale.

It’s obviously not always about money, but “selling out” is easier than it may appear.  The pressure may come related to hiring someone, starting or stopping a ministry, or looking the other way when it comes to one of your biblical convictions. The possibilities are endless.  When the leaders around you sense that you don’t hold firm to your convictions, you open the door to church politics because options are now up for grabs. When you stay firm, even if leaders don’t always agree, trust increases because they know where you stand.

2) Insist on a culture of no pretense.

The founding and senior pastor at 12Stone, Kevin Myers, has done an incredible job to lead the element of no pretense into the culture of our church.  If you or I pretend to be something or someone other than who we really are, we present a divided authenticity. Let’s assume pure motives; we still must burn energy to keep up two fronts.  The same is true with the church. When reality is covered up, and you pretend everything is fine, the church is no longer real. This invites a divided agenda. One that invests energy into communicating everything is fine, and the other frantically working to make things better.  We know there is no such thing as a perfect leader or perfect church, but it’s startling how many attempt this pretense anyway. This divided energy is a door to side agendas taking over.  The first step is authenticity among the key leaders.

3) Refuse to engage in gossip.

If you refuse to gossip, others around you will get the message. You don’t have to be militant about it. Kindness is always appropriate.  You can lead the way or at least be a significant influencer toward a gossip free culture.  The first step is that you don’t take part in any gossip. Second, you gently but firmly call it out when it happens. Just say something like: “Hey I’m not sure that’s true, and if we’re going to have this conversation, we need to go have it with the person you’re talking about.”

It need not be more complicated than that. This also increases trust and a healthy culture.

4) Commit to being part of the solution.

Solve the problem rather than make it worse.  Gossip is like gas on a fire; it makes the problem bigger. A solution not only helps you put the fire out, but it’s also the foundation for regaining progress.  Anyone can spot a problem, and unfortunately more than enough people can cause a problem, but leaders solve problems.  The unity required to solve problems, get things done and make progress shuts down the time-wasting effect of politics.

5) Remain fiercely aligned to the mission.

It’s healthy and natural for people to have different opinions, ideas and passions for specific ministries. But you won’t make progress unless the church and staff agree and fully align together in one direction.  This begins with a shared commitment to God, then to each other as a community of believers, and finally a willingness to practice mutual voluntary submission (MVS).  MVS essentially means that individuals set aside their personal agendas for the sake of the greater good, seek alignment as a team, and ultimately measure success by reaching more people for Jesus.
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Our Daily Lives / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Anon on July 28, 2018, 07:40:39 PM »
Why Your Redemption Story Isn’t Yours
Jul 26, 2018 | Gwen Smith

Today's Truth

‘Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching’  John 14:23

Friend to Friend

There is a feature on my cell phone that allows me to decline an incoming call. There are a thousand reasons why I might choose to hit the “decline” button when my phone rings. Sometimes I’m writing  and have a deadline to make. Decline. Sometimes a call comes in when I’m mid-conversation with a friend or when I’m connecting with my family. Decline. At times, true confessions here, I decline a call simply because I don’t have the energy or desire to talk to the person who’s calling me at that moment.  Similarly, there are times in my life when I try to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit as if I were declining a cell phone call. Times when I just don’t feel like doing what I know God wants me to do. Times when I don’t want to hear the still small voice that whispers to my soul: “forgive him” “release your anger” “humble yourself and ask for forgiveness” or “focus on my plan for you not on my plan for another person.”

One such time took place several years ago in Tennessee. It was after the final session of a three day ministry event. I was focused and fervent, determined to head home to my husband and three children as quickly as possible. I busied myself wrapping microphone cords, loading products from my resource table, and prepping to leave. While I was mid-busy, a friendly thirty-something woman came up to me with her friend. I was courteous to them, but in a “see you later, girlfriend” kind of way.  Not getting my subtle clues, this woman inquired excitedly about the book I was in the middle of writing. I lifted my head with surprise as she announced, “I can’t wait to read your book! Your enthusiasm for the Lord is so contagious, and I just know you have an amazing testimony!”

Then she and her friend stood there expectantly. Decline.  Okay, feel my pain here. It was day three of a three day event! I was exhausted. I was done. Yet this woman and her friend wanted to hear my testimony. So, I did what any normal fleshy woman would do. I told God, Not now, Lord. I’m going home. I’ve done what I came to do and now I’m going home to my family. I’m tired, slightly grumpy, definitely hungry, and done. I can’t tell these girls about my abortion right now! Nope. Not going to go there. Please don’t ask me to!  So I looked up at these two sweet women and, with a forced smile, said, “Yeah, I’ve got a doozy of a story, but don’t we all?

Thank God for grace.  There! Now they should leave me alone, I thought.  But God kept nudging my heart. Tell them, Gwen.  Before I had a chance to continue my dialog with the Lord, another couple of women came to join our conversation. I was so not amused.  God, are You kidding me?

We are done here!  But He kept nudging.  So I finally conceded and shared my testimony with the six women who had gathered to speak to me. Within minutes, two of the six were crying. They’d had abortions as well and for years had lived under the weight of shame. We instantly became a bonded band of blubbering sisters. The story of my redemption from brokenness and the beauty of healing I found in Christ had become a tool in the hands of God that afternoon.  What had once been a wound became a weapon but only because I accepted the call. (Even if it did take me a while to concede.)  Jesus told his disciples that if they loved Him, they would obey His commands and His teachings (John 14:15-27). A simple if-then statement. If you love me, then you will obey. He also told them that when He returned to the Father in heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to teach, to guide in truth, to convict of sin and to remind believers of what Jesus taught (John 16:7-14). To help us. To empower us.  The Spirit of God lives within every Christ follower. He equips us for each task as we yield to His leading. When God prompts us to do something on His behalf, He is faithful to lead the way and to bless our obedience for His own glory. It’s all about His glory. He simply wants our willingness and our obedience.  Friend, God’s plans need to be our plans even if His plans seem to “interrupt” our plans. Let’s be women who accept His call. Are you willing today?
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5986035/Woman-abused-stepfather-four-17-wins-right-compensation-landmark-ruling.html

Woman abused by her stepfather from four to 17 wins right to compensation in ruling which means victims who shared address with their attackers will now be eligible for payouts

    Woman sexually abused by stepfather from age of four has won landmark ruling 
    She applied to Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which pays damages to victims of violent crime, but was refused payout because of 'same-roof' rule
    Rule denies compensation to those who lived in the same home as attacker
    Senior judges today said that the rule is 'incompatible' with human rights laws

By Keiligh Baker for MailOnline

Published: 11:52, 24 July 2018 | Updated: 13:01, 24 July 2018

Victims of crime who lived at the same address as their attacker will be entitled to compensation after a landmark Court of Appeal ruling.  Senior judges said that the so-called 'same-roof' rule, which denied compensation to those who lived in the same home as their attacker before 1979, is 'incompatible' with human rights laws.  The court made its decision in the case of a woman who suffered serious sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather.  The woman, identified only as JT for legal reasons, was denied the right to compensation because she shared a home with him even though another victim of her stepfather received compensation.  JT's stepfather, who abused her when she was aged between four and 17, was convicted of eight offences including rape and sexual assault in 2012 and jailed for 14 years.  But when she applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which pays damages to victims of violent crime, she was refused a payout because of the rule.  Lord Justice Leggatt, who heard the appeal with Sir Terence Etherton and Lady Justice Sharp, said the rule was 'arbitrary and unfair'.  He said: 'A scheme under which compensation is awarded to (the other victim) but denied to JT is obviously unfair.  'It is all the more unfair when the reason for the difference in treatment that JT was living as a member of the same family as her abuser, whereas (the other victim) was not is something over which JT had no control and is a feature of her situation which most people would surely regard as making her predicament and suffering even worse.'

The rule was originally brought in to ensure that abusers did not benefit from compensation paid to victims they lived with.  It was varied in 1979 so that any future child victims of domestic crimes could claim compensation, but the change was not applied retrospectively.  Reforms were made in 2012, but the same-roof rule was maintained amid fears that scrapping it could see an increase in the number of claims.  JT's case was brought in England and Wales and there are separate challenges to the rule in Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse recommended in its interim report in April that the rule should be scrapped.  Lawyers representing the CICA had argued that the Government's decision not to extend the compensation scheme to pre-1979 victims was 'justified'. 
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Fun Stuff / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Anon on July 24, 2018, 08:46:00 PM »
-Wrong Date-

One of my customers at the department of motor vehicles wanted a personalized license plate with his wedding anniversary on it. As we completed the paperwork he explained, "This way I can't forget the date."

A few hours later, I recognized the same young man waiting in my line. When his turn came, he said somewhat sheepishly, "I need to change the numbers on that plate application."

-Business Trip-

My husband and I had been trying to have a third child for a while. Unfortunately, the day I was to take a home pregnancy test, he was called out of town on business. I had told our young daughters about the test, and they were excited. We decided if it was positive, we would buy a baby outfit to surprise their father when he got home. The three of us stood in the bathroom eagerly waiting for the telltale line to appear.  When it did not, my thoughtful seven-year-old gave me a hug. "It's okay, Mom," she said. "The next time Daddy goes out of town, you can try and get pregnant again."

-Final Farewell-

Following a funeral service, the pallbearers are carrying the casket out of the church when they accidentally bump into a wall. From inside the coffin they hear a faint moan. Opening the lid, they find the man inside alive! He leaps out, performs a little jig, and lives another ten years before eventually keeling over.  Once again, a ceremony is conducted, and at the end, the pallbearers carry out the casket. As they head toward the doors of the church, the wife of the deceased leaps to her feet and shouts, "Watch the wall!"

-Second Marriage-

'If I were to die first, would you remarry?" the wife asks.

"Well," says the husband, "I'm in good health, so why not?"

"Would she live in my house?"

"It's all paid up, so yes."

"Would she drive my car?"

"It's new, so yes."

"Would she use my golf clubs?"

"No. She's left-handed."

-Enduring Love-

My granddaughter asked why I called my husband Hon.  "It's a term of endearment," I explained.

My husband mumbled, "After more than 40 years, it's a term of endurement."
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Fun Stuff / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Anon on July 24, 2018, 08:39:12 PM »
A popular motivational speaker was entertaining his audience.  He said: “The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who wasn’t my wife!”

The audience was in silence and shock. The speaker added: “And that woman was my mother!”

There was laughter and applause.  A week later, a top manager trained by the motivational speaker tried to crack this very effective joke at home.  He was a bit foggy after a drink.  He said loudly to his wife who was preparing dinner, “The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who was not my wife.”

The wife went: “Aahhhh!” with shock and rage.

Standing there for 20 seconds trying to recall the second half of the joke, the manager finally blurted out “... and I can’t remember who she was.”

By the time the manager regained his consciousness, he was on a hospital bed nursing burns from boiling water.

MORAL: The moral of the story is don’t copy if you can’t paste! LOL just share it with your loved ones.
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The Diary Room / Re: Child of God
« Last post by Anon on July 22, 2018, 10:16:17 PM »
Not only am I angry with the way my husband has been treated I am angry with the way I have been treated.  The way the letters were worded was horrible with no thought towards how we would feel.

Last week I sent an email to my minister to let him know that I know longer want to be a member of the Methodist church.  I am still going to the Methodist church but as a non member.  My husband had a chat with our friend who is the senior steward of the church we used to be members off,  The superintendent and our now ex minister went round to see our friend yesterday.  They are now concerned as now they are two members down now and in a position of knowing that the chapel is falling apart as we were the two that always got jobs done. 
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The Diary Room / Re: Child of God
« Last post by Anon on July 20, 2018, 09:53:10 PM »
I am so frustrated as I typed up a post and have lost it so this will be an edited version of it.

We got to a point where a new covenant of care group was formed and the first two meetings were in October and December.  It was basically on the same basis as before so we had a good idea what to expect.

My husband has also been put forward for the local preachers course as the group agreed that he could be put forward.  Our chapel members agreed to it as did the local preachers when they had their meeting.  The 'but' is my husband was fobbed off about the next meeting and at the end of May we found out the reason for this.  He received a letter that a decision had been made to move his membership to another circuit, he can't visit the chapel we have been going to and there is no guarantee that he will be able to do the course.

There people who are very angry at what's happened and some have written letters as they can't understand why this is happening.  We are thankful to have such good friends.  It won't stop us from meeting up and we have had a meeting with the current chair of district who gave good advice.

I am also unhappy with the way I have been treated by the Methodist organisation but I will come to that next time.
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The Diary Room / Re: Child of God
« Last post by Anon on July 17, 2018, 10:28:43 PM »
The past two years have been hard on us due to a false allegation made about my husband.  The police quickly knew there wasn't any truth in the allegation but they had to follow procedure but it didn't take long for him to get a N.F.A. letter from the police. 

In the meantime he let our superintendent know what had happened as he needed to have support.  Our superintendent immediately informed connexion - they deal with safeguarding as part of their work.  That is when the real living nightmare started.

Our superintendent did the opposite to what we expected and told my husband he had to remain neutral because of his position.  We were shocked by that.  My husband had been on a covenant of care due to his DBS check as he had been in trouble with the police - the last time in early 2012.  Our previous superintendent and minister (husband and wife) had been very supportive and encouraging so the meetings had gone well until the new team started.  The new superintendent needed to get to know my husband so it felt as if he had to start from the beginning again.  With the previous team he was told he would eventually get on the local preachers course but the knew superintendent said it would never happened.  That stung but he was determined to prove that Jesus had already forgiven him and he had repented for what he had done in the past.

The Methodist district safeguarding officer seemed to take an instant dislike of my husband even before the false allegation but that made the situation worse.  Her attitude was just because he knew the investigation would end up as a N.F.A. it didn't mean he wasn't guilty.

After the false allegation there weren't any covenant of care meetings for about 18 months so our lives were in limbo.  It was much worse for my husband obviously but it affected me as well as I am married to him.  My husband wasn't getting any support as such and I didn't get support from my minister - we were members of different chapels in the circuit.  However, I was fortunate to get support from two ladies at my chapel.  My minister avoided me as much as possible.

To be continued ..... 
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