9 things (October 13)

Some beatings take longer to recover from. Beatings accompanied by ill-will administered by those one mistook for friends are the hardest ones.

I know it has been several months since I have written. The day may come when I can talk about it. Today isn’t that day.

I was looking for 4 gallon water jugs for my dispenser. They were not in their usual spot at Sam’s. I checked several other aisles. I found an employee and asked her. She said, “Did you check the furniture aisle?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Did you happen to notice if there were any there?” I gawped. Paused. I think she understood what she just asked. It will come to her in the middle of the night when the movie of her life runs through her head.

I sympathize with her. I often speak before I think. Maybe I want to be just as surprised as you are at what comes out of my mouth. I don’t know where I read that, but I felt it deeply.

The beatings mentioned above are even harder to recover from when they were administered for the sole purpose of hurting you.

They reviled Jesus by calling him scornfully a “friend of sinners”. We should ask ourselves how he conducted himself around sinners to keep getting invited to their feasts.

Normalize going a whole day without telling someone what you think is wrong with them.

How did we get here? How did the church devolve into this? We are suspicious of compassion, of joy, of rejoicing, of laughter, of love, of empathy, of tears, of emotions…the only thing we aren’t suspicious of is the false doctrine that takes away our humanity and the possibility of redemption. We’ve turned into cold slaves, offering our heartless service to an angry God, trying to convince him to get off our backs by rebuking everyone around us. It isn’t working.

When we think that the blessing of God is connected to how well other people are keeping the law, we become heartless, cruel, suspicious, restless, angry and vindictive. Maybe we should strive to be known as the friends of sinners, rather than the inquisitors of sinners.



Filed under 9 things

14 responses to “9 things (October 13)

  1. Annette Sikkema

    Oh, Sam. My heart is broken for you. I will be praying that the LORD gives you peace. Wounds of betrayal are so cruel. Our Saviour understands. May He hold you in His everlasting arms always!!
    Thank you for writing again, and reminding us to be more Christ-like to those around who are also mired in sin. O God, be merciful to us sinners!!

  2. Jill

    So sorry to hear this, Sam. Praying for you.

  3. FreshGrace

    Thank you for your powerful and thought-provoking words, Sam. I am sorry for what you are going through. I am always gladdened to see a new post that you’ve written.

  4. Kathryn Annis

    Prayers for you. Glad to hear from you again. 🙏

  5. Missed you-had to read some of your older posts-fabulous too! I am so sorry for your pain, you never have to give details. I love the fact that our father sees our pain and collects our tears, because He always cares. Pray that you feel His love.
    Can be harsh myself-don’t like that. Am praying that God will help me love everyone, be discerning and keep my big mouth shut. Miracles needed.

  6. Kay O.

    Pastor Powell I often feel like a stray dog that curled up on your doorstep and found peace in a cruel world.

    The “rescue shelters” that promised new life and relief from suffering – but provided a yoke into legalism, coercion, shaming and slavery were way worse than life in the “wild”. (What sadness to call these places “church”!)

    But I know that the reason you are gentle is because you are covered with your own bites and woundings. You have run your own race and walked your own gauntlet.

    Thank you for your wonderful spirit in the midst of your own sorrows. I wish I could ease them for you. Thank you for being you. I wouldn’t have made it this far without your “doorstep”. – you are precious, valued and appreciated.

    I’m sorry that there are those who seem to have missed the blessing altogether – and apparently need to be harsh about it. Please know that they are not the only voices. Not by any measure!

    I pray that the aches will heal and that memories of those ignorant voices will fade … and that you will just be able to carry on being the very best thing there is – the reason we come here …

    You. Yourself.


    • Thank you so much. Those words are a balm to my soul.

      • Kay O.

        P.S. A note for any eyes of venom and malice – I realized as I pushed send that the last portion of my previous comment could perhaps inflame the fire of poisonous tongues.

        Yes. I come to Pastor Powell’s blog because of Pastor Powell.


        Here I meet Christ. Through Pastor Powell.

        Naysayers – until you have mastered the art of writing so that people start reading YOUR words, but somehow in the process end up in the presence and arms of God, no longer bound by YOU any more … please be careful not to desecrate a gift which you neither appear to have, nor do you understand.

        For some of us that gift is the sweetness of life.

        And it is here. Offered by someone who does have it.

      • Thank you. I needed to hear that today

  7. Bill Everson

    I thank God for you, brother.

    I add my voice publicly, to those who have posted here.

    your words are solid and true and filled with grace, hope and the love of God made plain in Jesus.

    May God sustain you, as He promises to do, and may you stand firm in His Strength.

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