Pt. 2, about controversial things

So, I just wrote about controversial things, and a friend commented:

Please write more especially on the relation to the overlap of courage, fear, wisdom, and dying to self with that “non-person” phenomenon.

I will explain my own progression in these areas and include insights from my husband that helped me along the way. (It helps me organize by thoughts by numbering ideas, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a distinct progression.)

  1. Logical arguments mean almost nothing…. This lesson took years. I used to participate in a forum that discussed ideas, issues, etc. And the major life lesson I took away from that experience is that truth or rightness of itself doesn’t win people over. Logic has it’s limits. We are not at all solely logical beings. A winsome expression of the truth, a pleasant personality, general respect for others, self-effacement– these are the factors that tend more to win the day. Hopefully they are combined with truth.
  2. “Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
    Bind them around your neck,
    Write them on the tablet of your heart.
    So you will find favor and good repute
    In the sight of God and man.”
  3. Truth somehow becomes untruth if it’s used as a club or means to beat people down– I think because the non-verbal message is untrue to God’s nature.
  4. I went through a number of years when I was in an emotionally hostile environment due to some church issues. My husband, a pastor, became the main pastor of our church in a time of personal and public crisis for others in church leadership.
  5. During this time of hostile environment, I was personally having my most blessed insights about “opinion” matters.” However, sharing this was even openly attacked, so I became basically silent. For the sake of greater issues/hurts in our church and because certain key hearts were closed, I mostly remained silent. For years. My outlet was my former blog.
  6. However, I realized that God didn’t always approve of silence. Silence is comfortable to a point. But God didn’t make us to be creatures of silence, and there were potentially harmful opinions being loudly propagated.
  7. I wasn’t silent all the time. There were moments I could speak appropriately and I used them on rare occasions.
  8. So, I realized that my “opinion” (personal leadings/lessons/insights from God) were to bless others in my influence. That doesn’t mean others will do what I do, but as a person in leadership, I am a unique individual whom God leads in specific ways, and the cumulative effect of that will have a general influence.
  9. One lesson from Vitaliy’s evangelism: Look for open hearts. And be a person around whom hearts can open. Or a person with a skill/knack to opening hearts.
  10. I had to really clarify my opinion to become a more universal truth. I had to not become stuck on certain practices or outward showings of a truth. I had to state the truth. Example: the truth is that you should love your child. –That is a very deep and searching truth. I can’t “preach” the methods of loving because anyone can do a wide variety of actions and have love or indifference. But I can share wisdom insights, some specifics, etc.
  11. Also from Vitaliy: My opinions or ways of doing things have a particular result in my own life because of who I am, my personality, my character, my resources and situation. But just prescribing those opinions/actions to others results in a wide variety of outcomes — because those people are very different from me in a multitude of ways. They will not get the result I get by just copying me.
  12. However, I focused on my example and living out the truth: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Others should be able to look at my life and be able to copy my faith, though the external actions may and will differ.
  13. Pray. It really is the Holy Spirit who changes an opinion, assuming all sides (truths, opinions, info, etc) are known. All I can “do” is not to make my opinion or belief (or the truth itself) malodorous to others by my obnoxiousness, snobbery, self-righteousness, pride, truth-beating, etc. Prayer also changes me and re-aligns me to Jesus as the salvation of mankind, not the “salvific” (surely! right? ) effect of my opinions.
  14. And when the Spirit grants open hearts (and after years, He amazingly did this!) there will be the fruit in others’ lives that God wants. And that’s more important than just winning some type of following.
  15. P.S. I try to re-examine my opinions periodically and ask God if He wants me to change in any of these areas.
  16. There’s something I may be forgetting, but that’s it for now 😉
  17. About the loud people who easily spout their opinions: don’t assume they have an overwhelming influence because they’re loud or because they easily talk about their opinions/beliefs, and because they silence others. God knows how to limit influences. Pray He will do so, and that He will be able to do so in positive ways.
  18. If you have a major opinion/belief conflict with the/a/another leader, tread carefully. Sometimes, for the sake of greater issues of unity, there are reasons God wants us to be OK with not making a big deal out of something. It’s very situational. Like, I would probably never join the church whose pastor actively promotes something I strongly disagree with. I could convince myself, for example, that oh surely people need to hear another opinion, so I should join that church and fulfill that role…. Really? I’m not there to humbly learn, but to teach? …. Now, if it’s something I or that leader gradually grew into our out of, and we’re already both members, I don’t know what I would do. It depends on the culture and situation and God’s leading. I’m not for church-leaving. But God also extremely values overall unity in the church (in the general emphasis of the body’s glorifying Christ).
  19. Also from Vitaliy: If you are truly interested in blessing that Other Person (or group of people), ask God what HE is doing in that other person’s (group’s) life. Then pray to join that work (even if it’s only in prayer). Your Issue #1 might be issue #8 or #22 on God’s priorities for that person.

bolshoi sposob ocvyasheniya uvazheniye propovedye vashixh pastorov

Большой способ освяшения: уважение проповедей ваших собственних пасторов

В начале, я хочу объяснить контекст этого поста:

  1. я не говорю о том, что пастори не должны учится.
  2. я не говорю о том, что надо остаться в цервки где учят неверную доктрину о Боге.
  3. я говорю о ситуации, когда вы выбрали быть членами какой-то хорошей церкви.

Есть всегда причины, почему не надо очень слушать или “уважать” проповедей ваших пасторов….. Во время проповеди, мы отвлекаем себя и другим: Можно гулять, можно на телефоне быть, можно слушать но не думать дальше об этом. Можно просто находиться на собрании для компания. И так далее.

У нас разьне причины, почему мы думаем, что не надо “уважать” проподеди своих пасторов. На пример:

  • Он не научений человек
  • Он не понимает мой мир (он старый)
  • Он не проповедует в экзегетическом стиле
  • Его проповеди не меняют меня
  • Он не говорит о моих проблемях

Что еще? Пишите здесь: ________________

Я повторюсь: Во всех вермен, были верующие християние, которые придумали разьние “хорошие” причины, почему им не важно слушать внимательно и уважно проповеди их пасторов.

На сегодняшный день мы думаем, Ох, есть интернет– я могу слушать проповеди того проповедника или другого. Он такой умный, научений, и т.д.

Даже маскируем этот грех духовными причинами– “Они лучше разбирают Слова. Они больше знают о Боге…..”

Пожалуйста, слушайте их! Это полезний способ, как провести время.

Но, без услышане-c-уважением проповеди своих пасторов, вы не можете рости духовно нормально.

Бог именно дал вам этого пастора (или этих пасторов). Есть конкретные причины у Бога, почему у вас именно этот пастор. И относится к носителью Слова Бога с неуважением, это прямо так, как не уважать Бога. Звучит строго, но во всех отношениях, это так. Мы показываем состоянием наши сердца в том, как мы относимся к людям.

Я не хочу только негативно об этом писать, а позитивно тоже.

Верующие– вы хотите рости?! Менятся?! Идти прямо к пастору и сказать “меняй меня!” –без польза конечно. Но у Бога есть план. Открыть своего сердца, и прийти на собрание раз в неделью с желанием учиться у пастора– такая поза сердца, Бог ценит, и Он воздасть в сто крат! С верою, слушайте! Бог будет оживлять Своего Слова. И такое решение– это саме большое изменение!

Есть у вас дети? Они это все учят от вас! Молодцы! Как это важно для них! Мы учим им примером– наши устные инструкции естественно происходят тогда.

Хочу заклучиться с примером моего мужа. Он покаялся в 17 лет. Он жил в селе. В церкви были воснальном бабушки и некоторые старые дедушки. Как человек в том возросте и с тяжелем прошлым мог бы рости в такой церкви? … Как люди, мы были бы “умнее” Бога, да? Эх, такой человек …. ему надо что-то “лучше” конечно.

Но Бог смотрет со всем по-другому. Он спас этого человека и посадил ему именно там, где ему надо было быть, чтобы рости.

Но, с закрытым, критическим сердцем, он не рос бы.  И только по милостьи Бога, он осталься бы верным к Богу.

Но с открытым, почтительным сердцем, как он рос! На таких проповедях! Он рос, рос, рос.

Какой это ключ для роста в Боге……

Испытай меня, Боже, и узнай сердце мое; испытай меня и узнай помышления мои; и зри, не на опасном ли я пути, и направь меня на путь вечный. Пс 138:23-24

Многие благословение християнской жизни, мы не можем получить без послушаиня. Пусть Бог дает нам Свое милость, чтобы мы слушали Его в этом.

giving up my rights

Years back, I did quite a bit of reading and writing and rolling around in thoughts about gender. It’s, you know, an issue today. And being placed in this time of history, it’s something I’ve had to wrestle with in my current culture. So, I have my own thoughts, opinions, and things I’ve worked out for myself.

But what I realized yesterday, was that I also have sin in my heart about this issue. I was in a (Russian) conversation yesterday online, and a guy was joking about women’s “nerves” and “hormones.” It was belittling. And immediately, my gender red light started flashing internally.

I tried to jokingly say that maybe war is also a result of men’s hormones, no? Well, hormones may be involved, but so are our sin natures.

Anyway, I think I did an OK job of controlling my words and not getting in to the issue deeply (talking with someone who’s just going to defend his own point is pointless). But I felt yuck about the conversation. And I was praying and asking God, why do I feel this way? I don’t see wrong in my words.

But it’s in my heart, I think. Irritation and inflammation in me rose up.

and that’s a signal.

That I have let this question become more important to me than it ought to be. Because why would I even consider hurting a brother over it?

And so I’ve been thinking about that, about how our culture teaches us that we have to fight for our rights. But God teaches us to follow Christ, who laid His down and died.

And here’s the thing. It’s not until I lay down and die to my right (my right to speak the truth about this), it’s not until I die to that, that I will ever be able to speak in a way that touches this guy.

If I have defending my rights/truth as the higher value of my heart, they will all know it, and my words and tone will show it.

But if I have laid down my rights, taken on the humility of Christ, then God, if and when He wants, will make a moment for truth and love to be spoken, maybe through me, maybe not, and to touch this brother in a transformative way.

It may never happen. There may be other issues God wants to talk to him about and not this one.

But I will lay down and die to whatever rights I think I have to hurtfully speak truth, so my own heart is not poisoned and my well of love polluted by valuing this truth in the wrong level of priority.

So help me God.

baking and love

So, tomorrow (today, as I’m writing this after midnight our time on Saturday) is Zhatva at church! It’s the annual harvest celebration. This year I decided to get even more emotionally involved, in a good way.

I’ve been praying for specific ways to show love to our church. Not that they need it— I need it. I need to love our church.

So, it came together right now in baking and cooking for Zhatva. I have so enjoyed this process of making all this stuff! It’s rainy, fall weather, I turn on Christmas music, get the kids playing with flour, and here we go!

I will admit that not everything has turned out. But a lot has! … I love cooking for holidays 🙂

So, here it is in photos:

Setting up Andre to make his own flour-water dough


Here’s Una, saying hi to the world as she plays with her flour


The messy table with a thousand projects going at once


I made four chickens 🙂


I made pumpkin bread from real pumkin puree– real pumpkins are everywhere right now, so here is some, after it’s been boiled (in chunks) dripping out the excess water in the cheese cloth (like we do with tvorog).


Wow, these kids are cute!

Some pumpkin bread

20161008_140152All around, an awesome day!

learning to “like” again ….

So, you know, I talked about how I want to learn to like my church again.


A couple things I’ve noticed. Stopping the evil internal dialogue has gone a long way. A long, long way.

And you know, to do that, God got serious with me. It was like He was communicating to me: Now is the natural moment that I’ve shown you this issue (your negative internal rehearsing of sins), and you need to stop it now at this natural moment of conviction/healing. If you don’t stop it at this natural moment of growth, things will go downhill in a bad way.

(hilarious skit:)

Second, years ago, when all this negative started happening … Anne, the individual, went into hiding. It was not time to talk about my secondary convictions, to show people who I am as a person, as an individual believer, to talk about the personal ways God was leading me to do such and such. It was a time of …. some hostility. And so, I just didn’t see any point of inflaming or entangling things with other life issues. I’m an avoid-conflict person, so I just hid huge, important-to-me parts of myself because I didn’t feel safe talking about them or sharing those parts of myself with my church.

So, in order to start “liking” my church again, I need to give myself the courage to be myself openly. Not in a brash, in-your-face, do-it-my-way kind of way at all. But more of, this is the good ways God’s led me, these are the deep things my heart cares about … kind of thing.

And, I’m starting to feel the safety, in my church, to do this again. To be uniquely who God made me to be, and enjoying their unique-nesses, too.

Third …. I think God has led me in a specific way to open myself up to making personal friends in church (with other moms). So I’m putting myself ‘our there’ for that possibility. We’ll see what comes of this, but I think overall, it will help me make church folks more able to see me as a person, get to know me, mutual enjoyment, etc. It’s hard for me to do, actually, because I like being alone. But, learn and grow! Learning to give up the comfort that I want to so carefully keep around me.

So, that’s where I’ve come so far, with nurturing a more mature “like.”

this pastor’s wife’s trauma

I always imagined myself a missionary. I never imagined myself a pastor’s wife. Never. Ever.

Warning; I need therapy, counseling, etc. Until then, I’m blogging. It’s cathartic.

Vitaliy was ordained as an evangelist in 2009, and he was *one* of the 3 pastors of our church. He was not the main pastor.


But then.


We came back to Ukraine (from a visit to America) around 2010, and while we’d been gone, our church had exploded.

I can’t write details. It’s like big-legal-trouble details. And the sad/key thing is that it all involved the informal and formal leadership structure of the church.

There’s a lot I’m not going to write (you can thank me) because I have, cyclically, worked through forgiveness issues. I will just say, it was a baptism by fire into being the main pastor and his wife. It was having to do *at least something* with unrepentant or sadly trapped leaders.

It’s been six years, and the fall out is still hanging around. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m pathetic.

But here’s my today thing: In order to grow normally spiritually, I want/need to start enjoying my church again. I’ve dealt and am dealing with the forgiveness, the patterns of rehearsing their sins in my thoughts. I’ve committed to keep a guard over my mouth and stop the damaging, internal dialogue. Now I really want to start just liking them all again.

So, how to go about nurturing and re-creating “like”? 😀 It’s a cool question. …. I may be back with more.