Sunday, July 1, 2007

Blogs and Articles on My Sidebar - What They Are

Sometimes when you link to another blog you will see scores of links to other blogs or web sites. The problem with this is there is no information as to why the writer links to them or what you would find if you read them. If you do not have tons of time to sit at your computer and read, it is impossible to sort through and find the ones that you may find helpful or insightful.

In my purpose of mostly having this blog be an encouragement to those who are either considering coming out of their churches due to some form of abusive practices or disillusionment with the established system, I have referenced some blogs and web pages that have been helpful to me on the sidebar of my web page.

Today I want to tell you why they are there. As I add more in the future, I will also tell you what I found. Some I referenced in my blog, My Heroes from June 1, 2007.

Battered Sheep Ministries. This was the first website that actually my husband found. He would tell me of things he read on this site and I would refuse to look at it. It felt like spiritual porn. BUT…..when I did start reading it started taking off the blinders I insisted on wearing. Not all articles are necessarily beneficial but some were life changing. One was the article They Told Me that If I Left. It did not describe our situation accurately, but to hear that the cults use some of the same arguments that we had levied against those who had left was eye opening. I also read a lot about leadership in the church, abusive authority practices and covering.

Being Martha. This is a lady who started blogging about her leaving experience about the same time as I did. I felt as if I knew her. When she wrote about what she had experienced, I felt that she did and would have something to bring to the discussion and help to those who were also going through this particular journey. She is blogging anonymously also.

Brother Maynard – not is real name. He has a site called Subversive Influence and despite the name is not as rebellious as it sounds. There are people in this blogging world that seem to have their fingers in everyone’s pie. They can link you to all kinds of worlds outside the few you can find. I think the book Tipping Point calls them Mavens. Brother Maynard has been key to this. His balance and bringing people together for a discussion has been invaluable to read. It is far more eclectic than the personal blogs but that is what makes him valuable. Check out his Subversive Bookshelf at Amazon on his sidebar and you will get a picture of what I mean.

Detoxing from Church was one of the second websites I encountered on my journey out. Robbymac (I could probably find his real name but in this blogworld, that is how I think of him) is a YWAM leader and trainer. He is probably much more but I have never researched it. (Sorry Robby if I under-title you.) Anything I have read on his site has been worth the read. I am really anxious to read his new book about Post Charismatics. He lists 4 reasons that Charismatics are pulling away from their Pentecostal, Charismatic or Third Wave roots. They are l) Abuses and Elitism in Prophetic Ministry, 2) The excesses in the Word of Faith teachings, 3) Authoritarianism and hierarchical leadership structures and 4) An approach to spiritual formation (discipleship) that depends on crisis events see link here to an online article from Next-Wave about his research.

Emerging Grace. I have gone back and read about 2-3 years of her blogging. At one point I said to her, I either know you or I am you. Her journey out of the institutional church and beyond helped me more than she will ever know. It was through her writings that I figured out that maybe I wasn’t crazy. I cried through her experiences and gained hope through her healing. She has gone on from that experience to truly become, what I consider, a teacher and true thinker in this field – with one exception. Teachers and thinkers are usually not able to really relate to the normal person. Grace can take what she knows and is thinking about and disseminate it to you where you sit in your living room, where your kids are playing, where the phone is ringing, and the laundry is waiting and you understand it. That is the mark of a really exceptional teacher.

Jesus the Radical Pastor. John Frye is a pastor in Michigan and also brings to the table a great perspective of Church life, structure and leadership that has been just good to read. He wrote a post to add to the People Formerly Known As The Pastor which is a wonderful addition to this meme. His latest series on Ruth has been life-giving.

LifeStream. If you read nothing else on my list of blogs and sites, read this one. I cannot tell you enough how you need the message of Wayne Jacobsen. His message is one of grace and following the lead of the Father in your life. It has truly changed my life and will take a lifetime of living in this grace to even start to understand it.

Live With Desire. I loved Heidi from the moment I read her blog. She wrote a part in the People Formerly Known as series and her heart and life have been a joy to read. Her writing gave me permission to not have everything together. Thanks Heidi.

One Thing is Needed. Mary is also a new blogger to this venue. She has started writing about the same time as I did and I find it great to see what she is dealing with day to day as well as reading her story as she is unfolding it. Husband said the other day as I was reading from her blog that he could swear that I had written it. The stories are so similar. She comes highly recommended.

Super Apostles. Cultwatch is the name of the site. It is a bit reactionary in its scope but really helped me look at the various teachings in our former church and evaluate them. It was from this site that we actually looked at tithing, covering, authority and such. For a tongue-in-cheek exercise, you can take the Super Apostle quiz. This was scary in its accuracy to our former church and the things said.

Wayne Jacobsen’s Blog. This is the blog page to Life Stream. It has really been good to keep up with what is happening weekly.

So there they are. Please use the above as a reference for what might help you as you are on this path.

6 comments:

Mary said...

I think it's a great idea that you explained why you chose these blogs and web pages. It can be a bit overwhelming to sort through them on your own. There are a few you mentioned that I didn't know about. I'll check them out. Thanks!

grace said...

Thank you for your kind words. I am always blessed when my experiences can help someone else who finds themselves in that situation. I remember how desperately I needed to hear other voices that understood at the time.

You and I are living the same story. I know that others are already beginning to find hope and healing through your writing.

Brother Maynard said...

Former,

Thanks much for your kind words - Tipping Point (great book btw) does indeed describe that as the "maven" and I'm honoured to be called one!

Robbymac is Rob McAlpine, I've known the guy for 20 years. You've got some great blogs in your list there, many like me who have walked the path you're on and some I didn't know... for example, I'm off now to do the Super Apostle quiz.

just me said...

So... How did you do? Our score was off the charts!

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Great list. All well deserved.

Peace,
Jamie

Robbymac said...

Former Leader,

Thank you for the encouraging words, and I'm very glad that you've found something helpful in my blogging verbosity. :)

I'm not interested in "titles", so saying I'm with YWAM is certainly enough. If you're curious about the back story, Robbymac's Journey provides a bit (plus some lamentably retro pix of me over the years...).