Wise as Serpents: If the Word You are Hearing Does not Set You Free, it is not the Word of God (Part 25 of Sermon Series)
A powerful read on how some church folks twist or distort Scripture to justify mistreatment.
God’s truth brings believers into freedom.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Evil distorts, perverts, twists and morphs the Word of God into a wicked counterfeit which traumatizes people and brings them into bondage. Evil loves to quote God’s Word but always does so with the method and intent of using it to deceive and enslave.
We are surrounded by phoney religion today, just as was the case in Jesus’ day when the religious establishment in Israel was corrupt. The temple was not the Temple, but had become a den of robbers. The righteous were put out of the temple while the wicked not only remained members in good standing but were preeminent in it — exalted with trumpets. When the Lamb of God came…
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In my first year of single parenting, the internet was a mere infant. Most family and parenting magazines were targeted to intact families. Women who kicked their abusive husbands to the curb were still looked upon unfavorably in most evangelical circles, especially among the older generation. [Someday I plan to blog about that tough first year.] When I did find reading material targeted at me, it made me shudder. The statistics were dire: children of single moms were more likely to drop out of high school. Daughters were more likely to get pregnant as a teen, and sons were more likely to engage in delinquent behavior. Both were more likely to use drugs.
I couldn’t win for losing.
But I also knew my sons didn’t HAVE to take the path to loserdom. Check back again for more on how, with the help of God and a support system, my sons overcame all those negative forces threatening to take them under.
How much easier if I’d had this:
The founder is herself a single mother. If you are too, I encourage you to save this link and refer to it frequently.
Blessings to all,
This mother is just a shell of a person, like most narcissists. I bet Dr. Phil wanted to wring her neck. I wanted to say, “Repeat after me…It’s clear I screwed up and I’m terribly sorry.” I had to apologize to my own kids SO many times.
It seems some people think narcissists are smarter than other people, because their mental and emotional abuse and manipulations appear so calculated and complex, and they seem to always be able to anticipate your actions and reactions. People also think you can’t outsmart a narcissist for the same reason.
While it’s true that outsmarting a narcissist means you always have to anticipate their actions ahead of time (which is difficult for a victim to do), it can be done, especially if the narcissist isn’t very smart. In fact, some of them are pretty stupid. The stupid ones are probably less dangerous, but even the highly manipulative and cunning ones who are experts at gaslighting and other mind games aren’t necessarily all that smart.
They’re more like highly trained monkeys. Some monkeys can perform very complex tasks that make it appear as if they’re incredibly smart. But this is an illusion…
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“The ACE Study tells us that experiencing chronic, unpredictable toxic stress in childhood predisposes us to a constellation of chronic conditions in adulthood.” (Psychology Today)
Have you ever wished for a way to measure your childhood adversity? If so, this is for you:
Finding your ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) score
While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:
1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
4. Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
7. Was your mother or stepmother: Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
10. Did a household member go to prison? Yes No If yes enter 1 _______
Now add up your “Yes” answers: _______ This is your ACE Score.
(downloaded from acestudy.org)
If you scored 4 or above, you definitely experienced adverse childhood conditions. To find out what your score means, go here.
Q. How many narcissists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Only one, but he has to wait for the whole world to revolve around him.
Those of us raised by narcissist parent(s) sometimes use humor to band-aid the pain. What do you use to cover the pain? For many years, I used alcohol. But I thank the Lord for the counseling I received during my recovery that opened my eyes. Twenty years ago, I hadn’t yet labelled the role I was forced into as scapegoating, one of the offshoots of narcissistic abuse. But you don’t need a label to recognize mistreatment.
How I wish abusive parents understood the following diagram:
Abused Children—> Mean, angry adults/Substance abusers—> Child abusers—> The Incarcerated.
See the vicious cycle? Abused children grow up mean and angry. They are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and even abuse their own children. Often leading to incarceration.
Instead of Imagining no more heaven (a tragic visual), imagine no more abuse. Now that will be heaven!
I’ll close with the following quote from the attached link: “..behind closed doors, all pretense falls away. Only you, their child, knows what it’s like to endure their cold shoulders for days on end over a minor infraction, or bear the brunt of constant, age-inappropriate demands for perfection and strength. You know what it’s like to be parented by a narcissist.”
Many adults were raised by one or more narcissistic parents. Were you one of them? And did life often not make sense? There’s a good reason for it.
Back in February, I was approached by a researcher, Ph.D candidate Valerie Berenice Coles of the University of Georgia, who asked me to post a survey on this site to collect data from ACONs about parental narcissism and the effects it had on participants. In June, I was asked to repost the survey again, because more participants were needed to complete the study. I promised to post the results when I had them. This morning I received an email from Valerie, with the preliminary results, so here they are.
Thanks again to everyone for helping us develop and validate a measure of parental narcissism! The response from the ACON community was tremendous and we are the envy of our colleagues that so many of you took time out of your lives to help us with this research.
We currently have a paper from the questionnaire out at an academic…
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Many years ago, my three-year-old son discovered a love for food preparation. He’d come up with all kinds of concoctions. Here’s one of them:
½ gallon of milk
2/3 quart chocolate milk powder
Approx 8 tbsp salt
¼ can of pepper
¼ jar of onion powder
½ box of petit fours
In a saucepan, mix all ingredients together on medium-high heat, stir, and enjoy. Note: In order to capture every subtle flavor of each ingredient, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to prepare before 6:00 am, before anyone else is up. I promise it will fill your home with a mysterious yet enticing scent, and will bring the rest of the family scurrying to the kitchen.
Doesn’t that look scrumptious? A half-gallon of milk mixed with chocolate powder sounds like a promising beginning, doesn’t it? Funny how life can imitate recipes. In my own case, life as a single parent started out not so bad. Once I rid my home of my alcoholic husband’s toxic influence, the atmosphere lightened as if the house itself breathed a big sigh of relief.
But then life threw a lot of salt into the mix. And way too much pepper. One of my sons began getting in trouble at school for disruptive behavior, and he was only 6 years old. His grades nosedived and his behavior grew increasingly unruly as the long year wore on. As this was happening, another son, the chef wannabe, was diagnosed with delayed development.
Sweet had turned to bitter.
I had eliminated one problem – abusive husband – but had acquired umpteen more. Child support was erratic, at best. Financial problems, like onion powder, is only tolerable in small doses.
Life had turned into a disaster that made me gag.
I decided I needed a way to sweeten up my life, and came up with the perfect solution: a delicious new romance! A purely selfish, yet pleasurable way to make life bearable again.
Of course, it didn’t work. Petit fours soaked in salt, pepper and onions aren’t so tasty anymore. Neither is romance when the rest of life isn’t working.
But here I am, twenty years later, my sanity still intact—at least, I hope it is. My son the aspiring chef is on the verge of graduating from college. My unruly son made it through school and has been on his own for many years.
So, you might wonder, how did I get from there to here?
It’s a long story, one I’ll have to save for next time. But it’s a testament to God’s grace. His merciful concern for the widow and the orphan.
Be sure to come back for the rest of the story.
~~Dawn V. Cahill~~