When Your Best Isn't Good Enough

                               By Phil Scovell

          Being in  a religious mood,  I flipped on the  satellite channels
     and began  thumbing  the  scanning  button through  the  Christian  TV
     channels.  After all, it was Sunday, and why not find a good sermon to
     boost  my  feelings  of  Christianity.   You  know  that  old  saying;
     "Christianity is like driving a car with a busted gas gage.  You never
     know when you might run out so you  need to pull in more often."  I've
     always believe that was true so I try to practice what I preach.
          So, again,  I'm surfing the  Christian TV channels,  jumping from
     one to the next,  listening for awhile, and then skipping  to the next
     channel in line.  Oh, by the way, I had heard T D  Jakes, about a week
     before, preaching  a super  sermon on marriage.   He  was saying  that
     women think in circles and men think in straight lines.  That might be
     the name of a book he wrote; I don't know for sure.  Anyhow, it was so
     good and  so down to  earth, I thought I  would set my  alarm watch to
     listen to him  again the next Sunday.   He was preaching  on something
     that I didn't feel was all that applicable to where I am at the moment
     in my relationship to God, although I have heard him before and always
     enjoy  what I hear,  but this time,  as I keep  trying to  say, I went
          Suddenly, I  landed on a  channel with a very  interesting sermon
     being preached by no one I recognized but I stopped to listen.  He was
     preaching right down where we all live, I always like that, and he was
     using the idea of different colored flags to illustrated and emphasize
     his points.  I like his method so I focused on what he was teaching.
          His basic theme was, regardless of  circumstances life has dealt,
     we,  born  again  Christians,  can  overcome,  and  otherwise, not  be
     controlled by, the  effects and woundedness such life  events may have
     brought our way.
          As the sermon progressed, and  each flag was identified, I became
     more  interested.  I even commented to myself  how this was one of the
     very few times I felt somebody  was down on my level and was  teaching
     something that would  set people free, even Christians,  who are still
     living wounded  lives due to tragic  experiences in earlier life.   It
     was his conclusion  that saddened me but  I still gave him  credit for
     the teaching he offered because it was good.
          For  example, he  said  that we  could  consider trigger  points,
     things that upset us emotionally in current daily living, as flags the
     pop up to warn us.  He meant, and said as much as  he preached, that a
     current experience, say  a bad day at work, where the boss climbed all
     over you  for something you didn't even do,  or your feelings get hurt
     due  to  a  misunderstanding   with  a  good  friend,   could  trigger
     woundedness  from the  past.    Then, all  of  the  sudden, those  old
     memories  and  bad painful  feelings  surface  and  you find  yourself
     discouraged or depressed, or worse, and tears result.  Those  who know
     me  and  what  I do,  will  understand  why  this teaching  caught  my
     immediate attention.  I pray with  people who are suffering from  such
     earlier life  experiences.  So I  really listened because I  thought I
     had found someone  I could  gleam more  instruction from  in order  to
     improve my prayer sessions with others in order for them to experience
     liberty in Christ since their born again salvitic experience.  Let  me
     explain more explicitly about what he was teaching.
          For example, as I said, something happen at work.  You are blamed
     severely for something  and that unjust accusation  triggers emotional
     pressures, perhaps  even a unpleasant memory, and  a red flag pops up.
     In this case,  he suggested,  perhaps it  was an abortion.   You  were
     young, others put abnormal pressure on you due to your age,  to get an
     abortion.   Perhaps  even from  your  parents, who  are Christian  but
     believed at the  time, it is the  best for their daughter  personally.
     Maybe you  were only 14 or 15 years of age and they felt you could not
     handle  maturing into adult hood  as well with a  child as a full time
     responsibility so they pushed for  the abortion.  This preacher wasn't
     condemning a person in this situation, not even the girls parents, but
     he was just trying to explain a helpless and out of  control situation
     that could happen to anyone, born again or not.
          Then  he describe  yet  another situation  and  identified it  as
     another flag popping up to warn us  that woundedness is just under the
     surface, with roots buried deep, and is going to effect us spiritually
     in very painful ways.
          He repeated this, each time changing the color of the flag  which
     popped up  due to  a circumstance  beyond our control  but results  of
     painful memories being  triggered in current time, that  is, every day
     life experience upon  which we have no control.   These various flags,
     therefore,  were indicators of  woundedness from other  earlier events
     which had not  yet been  healed simply  because of the  nature of  the
     events.  So far; so good.
          Finally he said, we, as Christians, can hold up these flags, when
     they pop up to warn us of impending old wounds and pain that are about
     to  surface, and taken  them collectively,  or individually,  and hold
     them  up to  the Lord, relating  the event  that has cause  us so much
     suffering, and turn them over to the  Lord once and for all.  This was
     when my spirits fell.  I continued listening  to see if he would cover
     what  we do  when,  after offering  up the  flags  that indicates  our
     woundedness from the past, the pain  doesn't go away.  He didn't  even
     refer to such  a thing happening,  which is quite  common, but  rather
     concluded his message.  It was good but not good enough.   He left out
     what Jesus can really do about just  such life experiences.  So let me
     briefly tell you what Jesus  can do.
          In  most   pastoral  and  psychological   therapeutic  counseling
     approaches, basic human  philosophies would be employed  to assist the
     suffering person  from the emotional  and mental pain with  which they
     have been living.   This woundedness may be a year old,  10 years old,
     or literally decades old.  I have prayed with many who have lived with
     their woundedness for  well over 50  years and although they  are well
     Biblically  grounded Christians  of faith,  they have  lived with  the
     guilt and fear  and grief and shame and confusion, nearly their entire
     lives.  "Why," you may ask, because  I most certainly ask, "hasn't the
     church addressed  these people?"  We have.   We have told them that we
     cannot help them and that they must see a professional in order to get
     at the root of their pain.  So off we send them to, at the least, a so
     called Christian counselor and at the most, a doctor, psychologist, or
     preferably, a psychiatrist.  If none are available, we send them  to a
     doctor who doesn't even  believe in Christ as His Lord  and Savior and
     expect  them  to  help this  "Christian."    God for  give  us.   Then
     treatment, as it is called, begins.
          The first  session of psychological  therapy is conducted  so the
     counselor  can get an idea  of why, and  where, they are  hurting.  Of
     course, if the wounded person has been  traumatized to the degree that
     actual memory events has been suppressed, just talking won't find that
     hidden event.   Oh, sure,  after several therapy session,  talking may
     tap around  the outer edges of something we can't see, normally making
     the emotional suffering of the person worse, and it might even totally
     mislead the  counselor into  diagnosing the wrong  problem.   That, in
     fact, happened to me once.
          The therapist I went to,  due to just talk,  led me into an  area
     where I  was nearly  convinced, after having  a completely  normal and
     happy  childhood, that  all my  current adult  issues were  due to  my
     mother molesting me.   For  three long  weeks, I  was emotionally  and
     mentally  trashed  out   and  everything  got   worse  at  the   time.
     Fortunately, he was wrong  and Jesus was able  to show both of  us the
     absolute truth.  This was when we focused more on praying  together in
     agreement than psychological methodology.   I had not been molested by
     my  mother as a child; I  have been lied to  by a demonic infiltrating
     lying spirit.  That lie was allowed to be buried in childhood memories
     for literally 50 years before it was exposed for what it was, a lie, a
     diabolical lie.  Strangely  enough, the lie was allowed  to surface in
     my life 25  years after it  had been implanted  in my mind,  due to  a
     tragic  event of  total  rejection,  and it  nearly  destroyed me  for
     several years.  By the  way, that is what the Enemy does;  he is there
     to kill,  steal, and to destroy you.  Oh,  sure, you will go to Heaven
     as  a Christian,  but the Enemy  is going  to do everything  he can to
     destabilize your  relationship with God,  robbing you of  any possible
     happiness, and  making you emotionally,  the most miserable  person on
     the  planet.    You  will  receive lots  of  help,  too,  mostly  from
     Christians and self appointed called church leaders.
          Let's  return  and  expand  upon  the  deep  woundedness  of  the
     leftovers of abortion of our imaginary woman.
          The pastor illustrated such a woman's situation, as I  mentioned,
     by using  a  red flag  to explain  how we  could, and  should, be  set
     totally free upon  being triggered emotionally from  something current
     but has its roots in the past.
          Now,  let say, the  young lady who  had the abortion  is 48 years
     old.  She has had several children, by two or three  husbands, and now
     even has some grandchildren.  Yet she still finds the guilt, at times,
     more than she can handle.   Her pastor is only theologically  trained,
     never took a  psychology course in his life, and has  only read one or
     two  such books  by  Christian psychologists  since  taking his  first
     pastoral position.  He, thus, feels incapable of helping this woman to
     obtain some  semblance of  normality in her  life because  it isn't  a
     spiritual problem or so he believes.
          Hearing  about a Christian psychologist, he recommends this lady,
     from his church, go to him instead.  After  all, he, the pastor, isn't
     trained.  Right?   Apparently we must resort  to psychological therapy
     when we think the Bible has nothing  to say about what the Holy Spirit
     can, and cannot, do today.
          The woman, now feeling worse than ever  in her entire life, makes
     an appointment.   They naturally  cover all  the same  ground she  has
     covered with the  pastor, and the pastor  before him, and even  one or
     two licensed Christian therapist along the way.  They all did the same
     thing,  that is, they talked.  They  offered lots of encouraging Bible
     verses and Christian literature that is available by others who suffer
     from the  same,  or similar,  woundedness in  order to  help lift  her
     spirits.  Although  the psychologist helped, somewhat,  she eventually
     stops going.  After all, the  cost of all this talking is  busting her
     bank account and  she'd rather be spending money  on her grandchildren
     than her  mental and emotional,  maybe even  spiritual problems,  too.
     For that matter, it  is beginning to appear that nobody  really cares,
     or if they  do care, they can't seem to help her get anything resolved
     or even point her in the right direction.
          As things worsen, she finally somehow is able to find a Christian
     psychiatrist.   Maybe  he  can  help.   He  pretty  much begins  where
     everyone  else did so  it is a total  repeat of all  the facts, as she
     recalls them, to  the current  time.   The guilt is  still there,  the
     shame, and the utter confusion.  This doctor, however, has a leg up on
     the others  that came  before him; he  can prescribe  medications that
     may, or may  not, help alleviate her  emotional problems.  So,  due to
     her  poor ability to sleep  well at night, he first  gives her a sleep
     medication.   Due to her  sadness and lack of  emotional stability, he
     prescribed an antidepressant  because it is obvious that  she has some
     type  of chemical  imbalance.   This is  based upon  his psychological
     training   by  secular   humanist,   political  left   wing  liberals,
     UFOlogists, believers in the Bermuda Triangle,  Atlantis, Adam and Eve
     were space  travelers,  and in  short, none  of whom  were born  again
     Christians with Christian  principals, unless, of course,  he obtained
     his degree from a Christian  university.  In that case, unfortunately,
     after  all the  Bible reading  and  references to  other Christian  so
     called psychological professionals to which  the woman is required  to
     read, and believe, he informs her that this is something she will have
     to deal with throughout the rest of her life.  Well, no fooling, Jack!
     Thanks for nothing except the bill.  I mean, the poor woman has so far
     lived most of her  entire life with this same painful  guilt and fear.
     She then is told the antidepressant will work but if it doesn't, there
     are literally hundreds of others to try that will, or should, work for
     her.  Ain't  that wonderful?   Praise God!   Be patient, she is  told,
     because it  takes three to  four weeks for  the antidepressant he  has
     prescribed, to get into the blood  stream.  She will, therefore,  have
     to be patient and just live with her suicidal feelings until the drugs
     start to  work.  Yes, there may very well be side effects but if there
     are, we will adjust your  medications accordingly so don't worry about
     a  thing.  Easy for him  to say; he isn't  depressed.  "Wait a minute.
     How many  antidepressants did  you  say I  might  have to  try  before
     hitting the  right one  that works  for me?"   No  wonder the  highest
     suicide rates  in  the  United States,  besides  police  officers,  is
     psychologists and  psychiatrists; they  don't believe  what they  have
     learned any more than their patients they are trying to  convince what
     they have been taught  is the truth, the whole truth,  and nothing but
     the truth, the Bible notwithstanding.
          About this time,  I am reminded of  the woman who came  to Jesus,
     after spending all she had, in order to experience healing.  So, let's
     read about her life in Luke 8:43-48.
     "43   And a woman  having an  issue of blood  twelve years,  which had
     spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
     44    Came behind  him, and  touched  the border  of his  garment: and
     immediately her issue of blood stanched.
     45  And Jesus said,  Who touched me? When  all denied, Peter and  they
     that were with him said, Master,  the multitude throng thee and  press
     thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
     46   And Jesus  said, Somebody hath  touched me:  for I  perceive that
     virtue is gone out of me.
     47  And when  the woman saw that she was not  hid, she came trembling,
     and falling  down before  him, she  declared unto him  before all  the
     people for what  cause she  had touched  him, and how  she was  healed
     48  And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath
     made thee whole; go in peace."
          So where are we now with our imaginary woman?  The woman is still
     in church,  still crying  by the  end of  every service,  living alone
     because  being married  and having  children has  not worked,  getting
     drunk far  too many times in years passed  hasn't helped either as she
     tried treating herself, and  then she had  to pay to attend  alcoholic
     classes twice a week and was forced to stand up and admit, "My name is
     Jo Ann and I am a recovering alcoholic,"  even though she hasn't had a
     drink for 19 years.  She still has the desire though, and always will,
     according to  the professionals teaching  and leading the  classes she
     attends, and she is getting to the point she believes God just doesn't
     really love her any more; if he ever did in the first place.  Is there
     a God?  After all this poor woman has faced in her life, I'm beginning
     to  wonder  myself.    She  has  spent   all,  emotionally,  mentally,
     financially,  and spiritually,  but has  not found  the answer  she so
     desperately needs.
          One day, in desperation, and  after smashing right through her 19
     year sobriety, and getting  so drunk, she passes out, she awakens with
     the worse  headache and hangover  she ever experienced.   Hours later,
     after a  bottle of aspirin, and a roll  of antacids, she finally feels
     half alive.   Sitting  down at  her computer,  she dials  up a  search
     engine, types in some words,  forgetting instantly what they were, and
     a very strange website shows up that looks suspiciously new age to her
     as a fundamental,  Bible believing, born again Christian.   She begins
     to read all the personal  articles and testimonies; some even sounding
     a lot like her own situation she has suffered.   Could it be possible?
     Could she have hit the mother load?  She picks  up the phone and dials
     the number.   As  she dials, she  wonders how much  they are  going to
     charge for their  "services," although the website insists  they don't
     put a price on prayer, she finds that impossible to believe.
          In her first  prayer session, she learns the  sessions are called
     prayer  sessions, because the man  prays with her  and isn't trying to
     figure out a diagnosis.  In fact, the man even says right up front, he
     doesn't care about a diagnosis because Jesus already knows her problem
     and all he does his pray with her.  She's told him  her story and from
     that point, they talk and pray and talk and pray and talk and pray.  A
     lot of it is based upon how she  feels at any given moment of the time
     they spend in prayer.  In other  words, the prayer session moves along
     on an  invisible track as  the man continually punctuates  the session
     with prayers, stopping occasionally to ask  how she feels, and then he
     keeps asking Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as if he is relying  upon the
     Lord to do the impossible work instead of his educational training, to
     show  them both what  He, Jesus, sees  and knows.  As  more prayer and
     feelings  change, so does the focus.  No, they don't get it all settle
     in the  first prayer session  but the  woman hangs up  feeling lighter
     than  ever before and determined to return to  find out the rest.  Can
     it  be true?  Does she  feel different?  Is  that truly hope she feels
     inside?   Does the Holy Spirit  really play that  sort of a part  in a
     person's life?  I thought the Holy Spirit just came to dwell inside  a
     Christian to confirm that person was save;  born again.  Right?  Sure,
     that's all.   Yet she feels different and that bothers her because she
     has been  taught  not to  live by  her feelings  because feelings  are
     misleading.  Funny, though, the Enemy has feelings and emotions and he
     thinks  and tries scaring the  crap out of  even strong Christians, so
     why is the Holy Spirit, and  even Jesus, for that matter,  feelingless
     and emotionless?   It beats me  but just maybe, she  thinks, something
     real is going on.
          In subsequent  prayer  session with  this unskilled,  uneducated,
     layman,  she eventually  discovers the  truth  about her  woundedness.
     Although she was 14 years old at the time and new better, she had been
     groomed, and  consequently seduced, by  the youth pastor in  the small
     church she  and her family  attended.  Her  father was well  known and
     well liked in  the church as  the head  of the board  of elders.   Her
     mother directed the choir  and all of the rest of  the music performed
     in the church.  Her oldest brother  had just gone off to Bible college
     and her entire  family was well respected  and admired as some  of the
     most spiritual Christians  in the church  ministry.   No one knew,  of
     course, that the married young man who became their  youth pastor, had
     done  the same thing in the last  three churches, that he had now done
     again  in this church  and again,  with a 14  year young girl  whom he
     groomed slowly over time and then began having sexual intercourse with
     her.   When she  realized she  wasn't feeling  well, she  went to  her
     mother and  told her everything because the  guilt was just too great.
     When her father learned of it,  he and his wife both were  devastated.
     Their  daughter seduced by  a youth pastor  of their own  church?  How
     could that have  happened.  Was  their daughter sexually  promiscuous?
     Why did she give into to this man.  How much of a part, after all, did
     their daughter  play in  this tragedy?   Besides everything  else, she
     wasn't old  enough to become a mother, drop out of school, and try and
     get a job.  What would the neighbors think?  Forget that.  Besides, we
     don't hardly  know our neighbors.  What would  the pastor and the rest
     of the church  think about their daughter  and about them.   They were
     leaders  in the church.   Sure, they  could let her have  the baby but
     they'd  have to  send her  away  because if  people here  saw  she was
     pregnant,  well, it  would ruin  their Christian  testimony.   So they
     couldn't send her off.  There was only one thing left to do; she had a
     quiet, hushed,  abortion.  Nobody but  her family would know.   Except
     the Enemy, of course, but he never bothers Christians because they are
     born again Bible Believers.  Right?  Sure.
          Now, for  50 years, she doubted  her salvation.   She doubted the
     Lord could  ever loved her for what she had done to her baby.  She was
     the only divorced person in her family out of five children.   Neither
     of  her two sisters  had succumb to  such a  horrible shameful plight.
     Her  dad often  reminded her  of that  until the  day he died  and Her
     mother  just always looked sad  and rarely could  think of anything to
     say to her daughter  until the day she died, too.   Not much different
     treatment than what she received from various pastors, church members,
     and so called friends.   She had ruined her own life  and she knew it.
     Now,  however,  something  made  her   feel  as  if  all  that  wasn't
     necessarily true.
          Over a handful of  prayer sessions, this now  64 year old  woman,
     discovered that she had believe a lie all of her life, that is, it was
     her fault.   She knew better.   Right?  She should  have resisted this
     older young man's advancements and  enticements.  Right?  She learned,
     through the  intercessory ministry and  prayers of the Holy  Spirit in
     her behalf, that the young man never did love her; that was a lie, and
     a lie which, at her young age, she truly  believed.  When the question
     came up  during a prayer session, "But why did I do it?  I knew better
     as a  Christian," the  man with whom  she had  been praying,  who also
     called  himself just a  witness of God's  grace, prayed and  asked the
     Lord to  give her  an answer  that she  could understand.   The  woman
     laughed out  loud when she heard.  "Of  course," she said, "that makes
     sense.  Jesus said I was deceived by the Enemy from beginning to end."
     That was true,  of course, and the  bondage she had been  living under
     for 50 years suddenly vanished  in a single thought of transformation.
     Her mind was renewed.
          Still, there was the abortion itself.  She was guilty, after all,
     wasn't she?  I mean, she hadn't been raped by the youth pastor, or had
     she?  She had been so confused at the time her parents pushed for  her
     to get an abortion, she had no idea what was right and what was wrong.
     During a prayer session, therefore, she learned from the Lord that the
     youth pastor had been responsible and he had deliberately confused her
     so he could  get what he wanted.   Of course a 25 year  old man didn't
     love a 14 year old girl more than he did his own  wife but that's what
     she had  been led  to believe.   Fear  and personal shame  by her  own
     parents had  caused them to make the wrong  decision.  After all, they
     had  a spiritual  reputation to  protect and  if that  was true,  they
     needed to protect their daughter  as well.  So they did the only thing
     they knew  to do and  pushed their daughter  into having  an abortion.
     Besides, she was still a minor.  She was given no choice.
          Finally the  day  came  when  she  saw what  Jesus  saw  in  this
     situation.  He had  truly forgiven her all  those many years ago as  a
     little girl when  she had prayed and asked for forgiveness of what she
     had done.  He  shared with her His eternal and infinite  wisdom in why
     her parents reacted the  way in which they did and  she felt sorry for
     her  parent  then.    Strangely  enough, she  even  felt  sorrow,  and
     forgiveness, for  the young man  who had deliberately misled  and used
     her for his own purposes.  She didn't know how but the forgiveness and
     release was more real than anything she had ever experienced, out side
     of her salvation, that is.
          I have  been walking with the  Lord over 50 years.   I have heard
     over 50,000 sermons in my life, and  preached a few of those, too.   I
     have traveled and met thousands of Christians.   Some have listened to
     me  preach  in  person, some  on  the  radio, and  some  have  read my
     testimonies of my own  healing through my website.   Others have never
     met  me  but we  have  literally  prayed hundreds  of  hours over  the
     telephone; some  even from overseas.   I have read and  seen Christian
     counselors, so  called, using  all the  psychological techniques  they
     have learned and  even some that pushed hurting  Christians into worse
     emotional and  mental  shape than  they  were before.    I have  heard
     Christians using new age techniques, mystical methods, hypnosis, forms
     of self hypnosis, theatrical methods whereby you picture yourself on a
     stage, with  all the players  on the stage,  and you walk  through the
     memory with the Christian counselor and then you modify the memory and
     make it  turn out perfect.   Bingo!  You  are emotionally healed  as a
     result.   Yeh, sure.   I  have  seen, so  called, Christians  teaching
     substitutionary  techniques whereby you trade the pain for God's grace
     and visualizing such images in your thoughts.  I have personally tried
     all of these methods trying to gain freedom from my own emotional pain
     and   suffering.    I'm   talking  about  daily   creative  meditation
     techniques,  Transcendental   Meditation,  (TM),   positive  thinking,
     pastoral  counseling, positive  affirmation, Bible  confession up  the
     ying yang, self  help programs  that would choke  a horse, LSD  usage,
     theatrical   modification  techniques,   Christian  spiritual   visual
     methods,  dream therapy,  Alpha wave  control  techniques, even  total
     Scripture saturation procedures, and I  even went to Bible college and
     became  involved  in  the  ministry  as  an  adult,  traveling,  later
     pastoring, and even, believe it or not, Christian counseling, God help
     us, in order to bury my fears and guilt.  Nope, they didn't work; none
     of them.   Some claim  they feel  better after such  techniques but  I
     don't want to be better; I want to be healed.  Isn't it supposed to be
     done when  Jesus is finished?   I always thought  so but I  was taught
     otherwise.  Besides, some  things Jesus and the  Holy Spirit, and  not
     even  God Himself,  can do any  longer in  this world because  all his
     mighty works died out with the last apostle; whoever that was.  What I
     have  discovered, is  prayer which  puts you,  the hurting  person, in
     touch with Jesus  the Christ; The Healer.  Sure it sounds scary.  That
     is because of all the garbage you have  heard over your life by people
     you trusted but who didn't know even what you knew nor did they really
     care.   They  can't, you see,  because they,  too, are afraid  of what
     might surface in  their own life if  they get to fiddling  around with
     people who are wounded and weak and  next to worthless Christians.  Of
     course nobody  ever says it that way but you know it is true and so do
     they.  It is time to stop screwing around and time to pray; submitting
     ourselves one to another in the fear of God.
     "18  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be
     bound in  heaven: and  whatsoever ye  shall  loose on  earth shall  be
     loosed in heaven.
     19   Again I say unto you, That if  two of you shall agree on earth as
     touching any thing that they  shall ask, it shall be done  for them of
     my Father which is in heaven.
     20  For where two or three are gathered together in my  name, there am
     I in the midst of them," (Matthew 18:18-20).

     Safe Place Fellowship
     Phil Scovell
     Denver, Colorado
     Mountain Time Zone

                            End Of Document

Go To HOME: SafePlaceFellowship.com