Tag Archive | Jesus

A Word from the Lord Jesus to whoever will listen……..


Who will hear what has been said?

Who will yield to fulfill My Word?

Who will stand when I bring this test?

Do not lean to the left or to the right!

Do not hide within the pit of shadows~

Come out from the shadows-

Stand before Me and walk!!

Walk in My Light, I am the Way~

Pick up your pace to follow Me.

Look up and behold ~ I make all things new!

The shadows vanish before the brightness of My Light.

Walk into My Light.

Do not stray to the left or to the right.

Follow Me!

Do not delay~

Who is worthy to be My servant?

Who is able to come to Me?

He who doesn’t bend his knee nor wink his eye to the shadows~!

Do not turn to the left or to the right!

Do not turn back into the shadows.

Walk into my light.

I make your path straight and narrow- it’s true-

I gird your loins with strength.

I give you sight to see My path.

I make your lameness vanish.

You hear My praise in your heart.

You hear My Words pass your lips.

You see My works by your hands.

Your labors will not be in vain.

Vanity for all who stray from My Light.

No striving after wind as you follow Me!

Don’t look away-

Who will swing his sword to defend My word?

Who will stand with Me and speak My glory?

Who will carry his brother into the chambers of My court?

Who will take the hand of the blind and say , “This is the way, let’s walk in it, together.”

Carry My brother, shout My arrival as I come & I come soon.

I am coming for you who have not departed from the way, who have not strayed

into the shadows.

Keep looking to the light , My light.

Keep walking on My path. My Way is the only Way.

I will lead you, I protect you.

Do not turn to the left or to the right.

Do not be frightened of what You see along the way

and in the shadows.

I have brought you and paid the price of your passage.

Discard your burdens for I have lifted them.

Let go , let go of your troubles as they will not come with you.

They hinder you from your walk. They draw you back to the shadows.

Do not lean to the left or to the right.

Do not look into the shadows.

Follow Me~! Seek Me~! Look to My Light.

Do not yield to the taunting voices.

Do not call upon the past~

I am the same , today, tomorrow and forever. I know My sheep .

Know me~! Come to Me~!

Take My hand~ Do not resist My Holy Spirit!

Do not delay. Do not wait to bury the dead,

I am alive forevermore. Where I am My servant will be also.

Be with me~

Do not look away- trust in Me.

Hear My voice- Listen to no others~

Shut the door to the shadows.

Let night not overcome you.

I have overcome the shadows……

I have looked into the Light.

I have not strayed from the path.

I have not bowed my knee to trials.

I have run the race and passed the finish……

I know the Way and am showing you, calling you, leading you , guiding you.

I protect you . My angels encamp about you.

Do not listen to the voices of the shadows~…….

There is a way that seems right to a man, BUT….


Proverbs:[1:17] For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird;

Looking back over my life  I see that we have free choice but ultimately are lured and enticed by our own desires over shadowed by our commitments made both humanly and spiritually.

Passage 1 John 3:20:
20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Put Jesus first is the ideal but we can be side tracked or deceived when first starting out on our Christian walk and there are pitfalls along the way.

Proverbs 12:15 NIVRead this chapter
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 14:12 NIVRead this chapter
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

[Twice emphasized in the bible]

Proverbs 16:25 NIVRead this chapter
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death

In some ways it is like we really run very little in life as we are influenced and controlled by our circumstances, thoughts and peoples reactions to and about us. Sometimes it makes that movie the Matrix have more meaning to me concerning the reality we all live in…

We can be self deceptive and thinking we are doing God a service when in fact the devil is laying out the red carpet to our destruction….we just have to follow the yellow brick road, off to see the wizard, but then the reality hits and we become trapped by circumstance forced to make decisions we wouldn’t make otherwise. Still sometimes we get lucky.{?}

Titus 1:10 NIVRead this chapter
For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group.

I am reminded of ” Be-watchful, your adversary the devil walks to and fro on the earth seeking whom he may devour…’ or onto another thought…how does this lion seek us out and lay that snare before the Fowler?

Chapter
Book

1 PETER 5:8: Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.

How can we know we are on the right path and know when it is the Holy  Spirit guiding or a religious spirit drawing us away? some thoughts ensue..

“A little birdie told me”…..a saying  even referred to in the Bible as a lying spirit…

1Kings 22:22 NIVRead this chapter
” ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. ” ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. ” ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’

1 Kings 22:23 NIVRead this chapter
“So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.”

2 Chronicles 18:21 NIVRead this chapter
” ‘I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. ” ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’

2 Chronicles 18:22 NIVRead this chapter
“So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.”

So bearing in mind that the battleground we face unceasingly is our own minds…these spirits are very clever in suggesting things that will appeal to our flesh, especially if we are estranged from God.

1 Kings 22:22 NIVRead this chapter
” ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. ” ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. ” ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’

2 Chronicles 18:21 NIVRead this chapter
” ‘I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. ” ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’

But with that in mind, I know better now than I did when I was young. Hindsight is 20-20 so now I can look back and honestly recount my time in COBU. I am wondering how many others may have been deceived as I was and perhaps walked in my shoes at one time or another and at what stop they got off the train and re-entered life…and then what happened to them in that ‘life’ and where they are at as a  result.

It is my hope and prayer that all have found their way back to living in right relationship with Jesus, no matter how hard or easy their lives had become.

I am picking this story up around Christmas of 1975 onward while I was already in COBU for 8-9 months and had moved several times breaking off family and familial ties in NYC…

The way I saw it back in the day,  was that rumors went out that Stewart was  going to marry Gayle after his divorce was final to Shirley and that he planned on getting into a Marriage Bible Study that was going to redefine marriage and it was promising that even divorced  people can remarry.

Although most of the fellowship was perhaps still too young to want to be married,  I welcomed that news. I was older already older than most Center Leaders and most of them were already married. I had left my fiance  just before my wedding  when I joined the FF and was told that as soon as I grew in Jesus that I could get married to an older brother in the Lord .
I cor 7:2: But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

So after Stewart’s  announcement I started to look around the fellowships to see if there were any older brothers that would be available.

Paul Davis had been somewhat promised to Millie Brocco but they had broken up before I met either. I was friendly with Millie and since she was an older sister  I asked her how would I go about meeting an older brother without seeming like I was getting into the flesh.  It was also important not to be a ‘tank’ in those days.

She had told me that all I had to do was to tell a brother  I was interested and that if he shared the feeling, then it could be made known and if it was Jesus’s will that it would happen. Sounded simple enough. There were a few brothers that I considered but they didnt seem like good choices so I just began working harder in fellowship and became a group leader.

Jim was in his early 30’s and a group leader in Pine St.,   and seemed  to be working really hard to become a Center Leader, so he seemed like a  very good prospect  to me early on .He had been in the FF for a few years, a   fellowship leader in Reading and a few other places, was more mature than most of the brothers and if ever there would be someone in fellowship that I wanted to spend my life with it would be him. He struck me as being someone that could surpass Stewart in his bible knowledge. He seemed so spiritual  to me .

1 cor 7:28: But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a girl marries she does not sin. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.

He also seemed to be a Christian version of the man I left behind at the altar when I joined the FF. I thought he was everything I was looking for in a man, so I hoped that someday Jesus would work out a way that we could be together.

Meanwhile I knew that I had to become the best I could be as a Christian and worked and witnessed hard, helped around the fellowship as much as possible.  I thought if I channeled all my energies into pleasing Jesus that eventually all my dreams would also come true, but knew that my wants were secondary and serving Jesus came first .

Psalm 37:5: Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

I wanted things to be the right way but secretly liking Jim gave me a vision of hope for the future. I was older than most of the girls in fellowship  and he was older than the other brothers, so who knows someday Jesus could have him ask me to marry him and I would be ready! or so I thought.

WE were just friends as he told me ,of a bad divorce he went through and how bummed he was that he hadn’t been able to see his daughter since she was seven. I felt bad for him yet very attracted to him. When talking to him once, he told me he liked JoAnn Donahoe, so my hopes were dashed. He asked me to tell her he was interested in her and so I did. She went out with him briefly and then later  left fellowship to go to Texas to see her dad. She later left  Cobu, but came back to Phili and joined a regular church.

The day came when Rem had to tell us something from Stewart. It was no longer a rumor. He announced that he was doing a study on marriage and someday would reveal it to us. He also said that since Shirley had done all that she did over the past several months that she was like Queen Vashti when she refused to come to the 1000 Meeting last July and that  he now needed to replace her and place his own house in order so he could be a right shepherd to the flock.

Not surprising the Queen Ester of his choice was Gayle, [rumor had it out earlier]the same 19 yr old girl that accompanied him alone once he started flying the new fellowship airplane. It was said it was too small for his family so he would leave Shirley  home with the kids and fly off with Gayle to the various fellowships.  Shirley even accused him of messing around with Gayle and this disturbed some of the Center leaders and older  of the fellowship that were not so naive.

PV 18:1: He who is estranged seeks pretexts to break out against all sound judgment.

Soon after the announcement, Rem left shockingly, using  the rent money collected from everyone at Pine St and hopped a plane to California .He was one of the first ‘originals’ to leave.

Stewart made a fuss about it and that he was going to get Rem to come back. they took up a collection at the next Big Meeting so Stewart could go and talk to Rem and bring him home.We all missed Rem. He was a good leader.

This left Phili with no Center leader so at Pine St., Jim stepped in unofficially and we all worked together to keep it together until Stewart sent in a new Center Leader from Detroit. who was a hardliner, loyal to Stewart and the fellowship was getting pretty shook up when he came to town. He had clashes with Jim shortly after his arrival and Jim left. I disliked how this guy ‘ disciplined ‘his baby daughter.Many in fellowships spanked their children excessively and he was one of them.I stood up to him one time and he told me to mind my own business.

Stewart visited that month and came down to the kitchen area one night while I was up and reading and was actually cordial to me and  asking me what I was reading and what I thought about it. I told him. Then he asked me about why was I making large pots of food for everyone. He had heard I was on a sort of “Mother trip”. Dave Rizzetto used to ask me that when I was in NYC. Rem on the other hand never thought anything of it or at least wouldn’t ask me in the kind of  tones  Stewart used, but then he agreed it was a ‘good idea’.

PV 1:14: throw in your lot among us, we will all have one purse” —

Although Jim  left the commune he stayed  in touch. WE received an another announcement from Stewart. We were to turn in our salaries so we could take advantage of the new tax exemption we received when renaming the church.

WE would then have one person buy food in bulk and everyone would benefit. Once the money started rolling in,they started buying warehouses and said that we would renovate them and live in them.

They closed the Center City fellowship and we had to move to surrounding fellowships. I had some lambs in South Phili, a married couple who owned and store and the wife needed help running the store since she was having a baby soon.They had a small studio apt in the back of the store and offered it to me in exchange for working there. Since CC was closed and I had some furniture that I brought when I moved into the FF, I accepted and moved in. It was a mini fellowship and yet big enough to hold bible studies.

Terry Allen a young lamb, came with me as she was one of Jim’s lambs that I was looking after at the time. She stayed overnight a few times but then went to Upper Darby . She had asked one time to see Jim again. She knew where he lived and her way around Phili, so I took her there one afternoon. We had a nice visit and tried to persuade him to come back to fellowship. He was hanging out with Mike Romanoski who also left the fellowship. He warned me that the COBU was getting out of hand and that I’d be better off severing ties. I gave him my address and told him that he and Mike were welcome to come over any time and also about the Saturday night meetings in Camden. I told them that  things were changing in COBU and will be getting better.

I didn’t have a phone but had use of the one in the front store  for quick calls to the Camden headquarters fellowship  while working to give and get updates and arrange for rides to the Saturday night Center Meetings..

My boss’s wife was soon to give birth and so I was on my own with the store. It was a small corner convenient store, sparsely stocked but had a game room and young people came to shoot pool. It gave me a a chance to witness while working. The place had potential for spiritual growth.I had lambs meet there on Saturday evenings and COBU would send a van to pick us all up to go to the Center Meeting now being held in a dingy dirty old warehouse in Camden.

At one such Meeting, the new Center Leader from Detroit commenced imparting Stewart’s new rules which included no longer trusting older brothers and sisters and that all older brothers and sisters were no right with God so they were making changes and sending them to this place in NYC referred to at the time as the PIT make them crucify their flesh, saying that all had become too comfortable and not as on fire for Jesus as they once may have been and that we all needed to be retrained.

This was very disturbing not only to me, but to my lambs who began defending me and some others and saying that we all shouldn’t be judged without being heard. He was saying how the fellowship  leaders were backslidden and needed to go to MTC or the PIT.  He quickly countered that to have such support belonged to no one other than Stewart and that proved why the lambs needed to be shown not to trust any fellowship leaders. I was a group leader but they hadn’t sunk to that level yet of forced compliance to go. hey were trying to sell the NYC location saying it was going to also be for training those faithful to better be able to serve Jesus, but that the older ones were going to be separated till they were retrained and could be made trustworthy.

When we were on our way back home several new lambs told me that they didn’t want to go back to the warehouse for meetings but wanted to remain saved.  Some said they weren’t able to relocate to NYC and that they wanted to know if they could remain faithful in any Phili area churches, so I contacted some youth ministers and found churches they could go to check out and gave them the contact info.

They didn’t like the Center Leader’s message and that we should all go to see Stewart , that he couldn’t possibly have sent out such an order since it was not biblical. We thought this new leader was a megalomaniac and that it was him and not Stewart making all the sudden changes. We were still giving Stewart the benefit of the doubt and hoped to reclaim the Phili Center which had been in upheaval since Rem left. We didn’t realize that this Center Leader was only following orders .

I got a call at work that this leader wanted to see me and talk to me. I thought that maybe this was going to be a chance to talk things out and perhaps come to an understanding . He sent over a man & wife & children, the former fellowship leader of Atlantic City to bring me to Camden.This former fellowship leader didn’t want to move into the Camden warehouse. It was discussed between them before bringing me that they could get me to take their place and move into my apartment.

When we arrived in Camden the C Leader informed me that there was a decision made that my mini-fellowship was doing well enough but that I was needed to move to the Camden warehouse. I told them that I couldn’t since my boss was about to have a baby and I was obligated to stay where I was since that was also my job and home. He told me that this F leader and wife  could take my job and apt over and that the obligations I made would be met by them instead of me. I told them that I had to think about it as I didn’t want to go to the warehouse and pointed out that when I among several others were left to fend for ourselves as homeless when he closed the Pine St. Center City fellowship we had shared together. I said it wasn’t fair that what I had to go and work for on my own be taken away from me  and that it wasn’t biblical either. He then got mad and told me that I didn’t have to move into the warehouse in Camden, that instead I was now having to go to the PIT , the following morning.  I refused and said I was going to keep my apartment and my job and that they were my lambs not his… He said they were Jesus lambs and not mine~!

He then told the the AC fellowship leader and family to leave and go to my apartment that he would take care of everything. I was forced to stay in Camden while everything I owned was back at my apartment! He stopped talking at me and went to bed. I sat up for hours on the front steps, devastated , penniless and wondering what to do. It took all the strength I could muster to walk away. I didn’t even know my way around Camden or how to get back to S.Phili to my apartment, but finally all I could hear in my mind was ,”Rise and walk!”… so I did.It was fearful, late at night, my mind was racing, that this was rebellion and therefore witchcraft… that even if I was right, I was wrong for leaving… I was turmoil as I wandered the streets of Camden.

A police car stopped me since I was alone and it was so late at night, asking me where I was going and I told them back to S.Phili but I had no money for a bus or train since I was brought by car and didn’t know my way home. They gave me a ride and began questioning me about the COBU saying that had all sorts of reports on them about kidnapping and brainwashing. I told them that was not so and defended it with the exception of some people  like this c Leader which to me at least supported my deluded concept that there was no brainwashing going on at the time because people could still think and decide for themselves, just as I did by leaving. They let me go and placed me on a train that went to Center City. From there I walked down to S Carpenter St to my apt.

It was about 2am and I arrived home. My door was locked so I knocked. Rick[the fellowship leader from AC] answered my door but wouldn’t open it. It was the middle of the night, dangerous for me to be outdoors but still , he told me to ‘go away’ and that I was not welcome there!

I couldn’t believe it. He was in my apartment locking me out. After  I repeatedly knocked and he kept telling me to leave and go to NYC , I called the police and my landlord.

Rick told the police that I was backslidden and rebelling and that I  belonged in NYC and that this was now his apt that Bob, the C Leader told him so.

The police verified with my landlord that it was my apt and told Rick they didn’t care what my religious beliefs were, that they were there to settle our dispute over the apt.

Rick  still  insisted then that it was his as he and his family were living there and his children were fast asleep inside. Janice his wife stood by silently as he was in control not her.

I told the police that I could prove it was my apt and proceeded to show them all my belongings in there and that if it wasn’t my apt then why would pictures of me and my family and my clothes be there! The police looked around and saw that even my twin folding bed was obviously not big enough for 2 people and that all the surroundings were that of a woman with no signs of things that belonged to a man or children.

The police told Rick they didn’t believe him and asked me what I wanted to do since this had something to do with my religious leaders.

I said that Rick wasn’t my leader nor was Bob and that I cant trust either, told Janet I was sorry but she was going to have to take their children and they had to leave.

Rick pleaded with the police saying that they had no where to go and that they needed to stay and that the C Leader  would come in the morning and straighten it all out . The police said it was up to me and I felt sorry for the children  but had to tell them to go back to Camden, that they couldn’t stay with me, after locking me out and lying to the Police.

I told Rick they shouldnt have any trouble getting into the Camden fellowship as the door was unlocked.

I knew that with Police involved I had burned a bridge . I was sickened by everything that took place. I called Jim H and told him he was right about them and what they did overnight. He said not to worry that he would get a hold of Mike and they would be right over. They came and we talked all day. They were trying to show me that I could still serve Jesus but didn’t have to do it in the COBU and that the COBU  had changed for the worse and was not biblical anymore.I told them I wasn’t sure if Stewart was behind it or not since Bob the C Leader was so maniacal, I needed further proof and that  it meant going to NYC and finding out for myself. They said they would come along if I was going to Stewart.

We all agreed to go to the upcoming Big Meeting that was going to be held in NYC  a week later in July of 76. I stayed in contact with the Center Leader in Camden giving him the names and addresses of those who needed to be picked up at places other than my apartment/mini fellowship.  I told him that before considering moving to NYC  I needed to see what I was getting into or not.

I also told him that I got Jim and Mike Romanoski to agree to come to the Big Meeting and they came over at the specified time.We had no address as to where this BIG meeting was taking place but waited for the fellowship van to come so we could convoy with them. They never showed up and we had no way to get to the Big Meeting. Mike left and went home and Jim said he wanted to go to the Bicentennial Parade. Another girl with us Mary came along but left us at the parade. the Phil Bicentennial parade was the most talked about in the nation. It was huge! We did some witnessing and headed back to the apt. Jim brought his stereo and said that it was OK to listen to music and that since we were  out of the COBU we needed to realize that allot of things were OK and not sin or indulging in the flesh. I was not sure but started to realize just how many self restrictions I was willingly living under and in fact as the days passed just how enslaving those restrictions were.

Several days later, some of my lambs returned to visit that had gone to the Big Meeting but were told that I had backslid  along with Jim Hurley and Mike Romanoski ! I couldn’t believe it. I felt so betrayed and wanted to clear it up, but no one in Camden would listen. Bob & Rick had lied to NYC about me and to the others in the center.I was out…Looking back now, they did me a favor!

I left a few weeks later as well and returned to NYC  top my parents home and told them what had happened in Phili and that I had to go straighten things out with the COBU and so I left and went to NYC to plead my case. I went to a meeting and then another and at a third I had hoped to talk to Stewart but didnt. Instead he was made aware  that I had been coming  but-living home on Staten Island at my parents, having not ‘moved in’ and I was pointed out to him.the meeting commenced and he occasionally glared at me from across the room filled with about 300 people.

The he spoke to me, or rather at me, like a thunderous voice of the almighty pronouncing sentence on me. I thought he would be fair, but instead without ever talking to me he pronounced sentence and told others not to be like me and that I was not to fool them and that I was heading to commit suicide if I didn’t return and submit.

He then said it again, more personal that I  had to know that I was going to commit suicide!…I thought to myself , what had they told him? How could he be so misinformed? I needed a chance to talk personally but it wasn’t granted. I left and took public transportation home to Staten Island.

I wasnt finished yet, thought I needed to talk to some old center leaders from NYC , ones that kew  me. I thought  if I could talk to Dave Rizzetto that I could find some justice and if I were to rejoin it would only be under ones I knew from the beginning.

I contacted a fellowship in Staten Island and went over to ride along to a center meeting being held in Jersey. It was there that I found out Dave was also in the MTC and Jeff was speaking in his place. I didn’t know Jeff and he only knew what he heard about me. He was cordial at first and listened to my whole account of what happened in Phili.

I tried to explain to Jeff at the Cobu why I wouldnt surrender my apt to the Center Leader and Rick , and that the rumors about me were untrue at least at that time in my life… he listened as though he was ‘listening’, but when all was said and done, he spoke the words that pierced my heart…

I had at that point remained faithful  to Jesus , even though I had quit the Cobu in Phili, I was still looking after my lambs and was not backslidden, but had been tried and convicted in abstention.

I admitted that I had previous mental trials concerning Jim back in the Spring as I was attracted to him but he simply wasn’t attracted to me…. but now to hear Jeff say to me that inspite of your ‘reputation’..it was as  though all the rumors were believed to be true!….I think you should come back!…’

I snapped inside. I was devastated, hurt, insulted, justified, angry and knew I couldn’t return to COBU, that I would be treated like all the ‘others who were untrustworthy’ and was disappointed.  I saw the end of an era in my life, the end of ever living in fellowship again.

Col3:21: Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.


I thought to myself, ‘yeah I will come back…sure .. but not until I have lived out that labelthey put on me and might even have a baby along the way since they probably would never let me marry anyone anyway …. since developing relationships was nearly impossible in the Cobu let alone having a baby, since we celibate and …still I thought I had a better chance of making a life on the outside.Eph6:4: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Fueling my indignation and  justifications  I remembered how some others had left , got married and then went back… that I too was going to go ‘my’ way and hope then to be forgiven later, but for the moment I was going to go back to the life I knew before I  was saved.

I didn’t think I could lose my salvation by leaving COBU and I couldnt. It took sin on my part.

But I could lose it by being alone and without the direction of the Holy Spirit and falling prey to the lures and enticements of this life, the pride of life and giving into  my own fleshly desires. I didn’t give in all at once, it was a gradual process of decay.

Genesis 3:1 TNIVRead this chapter
[ The Fall ] Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Genesis 3:2 TNIVRead this chapter
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

Genesis 3:4 TNIVRead this chapter
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

Genesis 3:13 TNIVRead this chapter
Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

In my mind, I was  rebelling from COBU  as not rebelling from Jesus. At first I began giving myself little liberties that were no guilt, like buying a small piece of steak to cook at home instead of liver or hamburger. Gradually I would eat out in restaurants, picking other than value meal items. Then I began to drink , since after all Jesus drank. trying to fit into the main stream proved very difficult as I was away from the world for nearly 2 yrs and didn’t fit in.

Looking for jobs, initiallyI took on housecleaning jobs and waitressing. My mother, of all people, reminded me of what a good ‘bar tender’ I used to be and suggested that as a way for me to make money faster, so I could get myself an apartment. Although I was appalled initially at the idea, I simply wasnt making enough money to save for my own place, so I started out in working in bar/restaurants settings with female owners thinking it safer. That was the beginning of  the end to being faithful.

Proverbs 16:25 NIVRead this chapter
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death

Soon I looked up my ex fiance and tried to pick up where we left off when I joined the FF. He was secretly bitter and wanted revenge but acted like he was glad I finally came to my senses and returned to him. I was gone nearly 2 yrs and he waited for me. He couldn’t believe however that life in the FF/Cobu was celibate and had all sorts of rage issues and jealousy. I thought I could just wlk back into this man’s life pick up and get married but he had other ideas.

Suffice to say, it ended with him leaving me for another woman , both she and I were pregnant and he chose to stay with her and married her saying the Cobu ruined me and I simply wasn’t ‘fun’ anymore. Ten days later I had a miscarriage.

My so called Christian life now came full circle, I was like a dog returning to my own vomit…I achieved a totally backslidden state and accepted the fact that I was going to hell and no one could tell me otherwise.

Although I no longer saw Jim, we kept in contact by mail as friends and I  could occasionally seek his advice. Jim  hadn’t displayed any attraction towards me, so I went on with my life, getting involved and engaged twice  with unsaved men over the next few years, had two children, both relationships gone bad, both related to my confusion over my new Christianity and parameters in re-adjusting to the world after leaving the COBU.  So  there I was a  single mom working all sorts of hours and no longer dating, alone, condemned , guilty as charged.

Why did I do it? In trying to break the grasp in my mind from Cobu…I was hurt, confused, angry, bitter, as well as enticed and lured by my own desires to be married and have children….

3] You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

I wanted a life in this world that  I  felt I wasn’t entitled to, but was going ahead anyway, like trying to take the kingdom of heaven by force…

My Christianity was a roller coaster ride  in those early years. I am writing this account to show how bad it got and later how wonderfully God delivered me from all my mistakes and trials. For now I will focus on my  life early on and the mistakes I made. Back then I couldn’t consider that Jesus loved me and so I went my own way into darkness.

I eventually started going back to church ‘for my kids sake’ but was an outsider both because of the type of religious training I had had in the commune and my shame at being a single mom.I didnt fit in as a parent since I wasnt married, nor as a single as I was a parent.

I tended to stay in the nursery with my kids to listen to the services.Even though many didnt know me or my circumstances , no one ever reached out to me neither.I felt like I was still going to hell, but maybe if I continued going to church and renounced the sin in my life that God would save my children and I was willing to settle for that.

After a few yrs Jim started showing interest in me and telling me not to try to ever go with an unsaved man again unless I wanted to keep having children by men who didn’t understand me and would leave me, like their fathers had done and then he began making jokes about getting married.

He said my kids needed a father and as a friend , he had stood by me during both pregnancies and breakups. He said he knew me better than anyone else did in my life. I started to think about how much I liked him back in the COBU and thought it would be a dream come true if he would come and marry me and that I would be happy and feel  ‘right’ with Jesus.

He’d tell  me to come back to Phili and he’d marry me. I told him to come to NYC and I’d marry him… I was afraid to go to him but I did see hope for a future and started going back to church ‘religiously’…

Our friendship continued but his interest peaked when I met a guy at a church that asked me to wait for his divorce to be final and wanted to marry me.

This peaked  Jim’s interest in me fro afar. I wasnt convinced that waiting for this other guy was right or wrong, but he was the only one that reached out to me while I was attending church and never acted inapppropriately towards me and was very interested in my children.

Seemed once Jim knew I might be getting married, he made a decision and came to NYC and started seeing me every day, always dazzling me with his vast knowledge of the bible and how important it was for people with similar beliefs to be married as opposed to ones that had different beliefs, citing our common roots in the commune . I also knew being an X-boo was a bond we shared already. It didn’t take much to convince me that he was a man of God , even if life was hard on him.

He told me I owed it to my kids to only marry a man that would ‘accept the whole package’ and that the other guy I was sort of waiting for, could never understand me the way he did.

The guy told me that he didnt like Jim & Jim told me he thought the guy was a phoney. I was wanting a father to my children and acceptance at church by not being a single mom anymore. I had several homeless people living with me and we all were going to an Assembly of God together. I hoped that when Jim came that we would have our own church group and everything that was wrong would be made right.

[ Shortly after arriving in NYC  it was obvious that Jim was actually depressed ,by his behavior,  but since I had been depressed til recently & rededicated and going to church,  I thought he would be restored soon and then we would have a fellowship and serve Jesus together  and get married.

I didnt want an unsaved man, but thought that once stopped  drinking that he would be ready to serve Jesus and that I could help him in doing so.

Initially, Jim wouldn’t go to church with me or even on his own. He would tell me that church was a waste of time and that they never could understand scripture or witnessing right.I went to church less and less.

It took almost a year of listening to Jim and his views. He  had a personal relationship with Jesus, was living under grace but had trouble with drinking making him arrogant, sometimes rude, condescending.

It was a bit  confusing however since he deliberately acted contrary to everything  he knew to be right. He had discernment but was leading us in a new direction without a ‘religious spirit’ and that perhaps his unusual behavior was to show me that Jesus didnt want me to try to be ‘religious’.

I was a bit  double minded in my heart as I still was very much drawn to Jim and felt I was in love with him. It was over a year in passing  before we became intimate after drinking wine heavily one weekend. We blamed it on the drinking we had done.

I was about to go away on Monday   upstate NY on prearranged vacation to see some old friends and left the day after our encounter.

He called me every day up there and wanted me to hurry home. [We shared a 2 family house, each our own apt]I told my girlfriend upstate that although I knew it was wrong to have gotten intimate with Jim, but that I had thought he was ‘the one’ and only for me. [ I also felt considering all the sin I had in my life to date, that God would ‘fix it’ for me] How I regret those decisions!

http://www.webedelic.com/church/accuser.htm the devil is the accuser of the brethren, throws our sins in our faces to bring us further into despair and towards our destruction…

I was in love.

James 1:15 NIVRead this chapter
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Jim was  good with my kids and they loved him too.

I thought God would ‘work out the details’ and that once we were married, everything would be alright.It didn’t occur to me that we wouldn’t get married,  for another few years.[the devil waves bait but doesnt deliver!] I had convinced myself that our troubles  were secondary to his drinking and that once he stopped drinking that we both could get our lives together.

Passage 1 John 3:20:
20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Well that week apart for vacation affected me much differently than it had Jim. I  was more willing to overlook my guilt on the hope it would be forgiven by marrying Jim.

By the end of the week he felt so badly that he told me that it had been a mistake and that we should go back to being ‘friends’, which hit me kind of hard. I was already pregnant but just as soon as I had the positive test, within a week I had miscarried. [I wrongly felt was God’s judgement against me]

This caused more problems, more guilt, bitterness and confusion as he seemed detached and said he didn’t believe I was ever pregnant in the first place but trying to trap him.He was drinking heavier and didn’t want to discuss the weekend we sinned together.

He continued to live in the apartment upstairs but had a lot of guilt and got  into more drinking, couldn’t hold down  a   job and felt  that it was  my fault he was there, that he had come to NYC ‘for me’  but that as a Christian he wasnt sure that Jesus wanted him to  remarry since he was divorced [and yet he didnt leave].That was way back in 1981. The kids were attached to him and he missed his own daughter from his previous marriage.

I helped him get a few odd jobs, but he seemed less than enthusiastic about working and got more into avoiding work and hadn’t paid rent for several months. This was getting really difficult for me, as I paid for the whole house and sublet to him, so I had to pay his rent but he wouldn’t move. I wanted to go back to church but I felt like such a hypocrite.I was a hypocrite.

PV22:24: Make no friendship with a‘> man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,

PV 29:22: A man of wrath stirs up strife, and a‘> man given to anger causes much transgression.

He  became more reclusive and screened every person who came to my apt, isolated himself and eventually me from my few friends and was becoming a real burden, making me feel obligated to support him.

I started going to college and he didn’t like it that I wasn’t around for him to talk to as much.

He  loved to talk, but it was always kind of  one sided, like lectures, however he had some interesting ideas from the Bible and I felt that even being depressed, that if he stopped drinking and got committed more to God that perhaps he could make a great teacher or evangelist and make our relationship right by getting married.I  knew once I had been with him that I  was bound to him since he was a Christian,even if he wasnt following Jesus the way most would have expected.

He used to tap my phone line  to his apt and began making a lot of long distance calls trying to figure  out what he should  as to whether to go back to Phili or stay in NY .

He said it was all my fault for’ inviting’ [nearly 21 months earlier] him to NYC and the calls he was making to Phili were to try and arrange to get a job and work down there so he could leave.

I felt bad for his emotional plunge and guilt from that one encounter we had the year before, but was tired of having to ‘take care of him’.

I couldn’t move on as long as he was there and just the thought of dating anyone else was out of the question, so he was subtly taking over my life! [with no emotional benefits etc.]

We talked a long while and I tried to stay cold towards him telling him it just didn’t work out between us and that I couldn’t live the way he had established our relationship. Then he reminded me that I was the one who told him years ago I liked him and that I had invited him to NYC and that I was the one who fell in love with him and how that had changed his life and that he didn’t want to lose me.

I attributed his  behavior to his drinking and conflicting religious beliefs, that haunted him most of his life, although he continued to seek to understand the Bible until the day of his death in 2009

Passage 1 John 3:20:
20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

I have learned that you cant take the kingdom of Heaven by force. You cant indulge in the pleasures of sin for a season and not reap the consequences.

It is true that what you sow, so shall you reap. I have also learned that God is just and merciful and that when you truly repent as did the prodigal, the Lord welcomes you back and restores the years that the locusts have eaten.

I have experienced the love and mercy of God in my life and praise Him for granting me repentance and forgiveness .

[End this chapter. not sure when I will continue along this train of discussion…]

Bottom Line: Through it all, I have learned more about the nature of Jesus, His mercy, compassion and care for mankind including me. I rely on Him , trust in Him and live through Him. I no longer am swayed by various doctrines and man made gimmicks or arguments. I am content to take one day at a time and have that peace that surpasses understanding. Know Jesus & Know Peace.

Seek Him and He will find you 🙂  GBU~! Ave