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70 Responses

  1. i wonder if our Lord will ask us, “show me your scars” when we get home … somehow, coming into His presence without war wounds – body and soul …? … even, tho, i’ll take all the pampering God sends my way, coming into His presence with no scars to show, i think i’d feel very much like the draft dodging man whose son asks him, “what did you do in the war, Daddy” – a bit ashamed, maybe? dunno … a ponder

    to whom and when do we show our scars now? dunno – hard to hide them successfully i think … and why do we feel the need? dunno

    Lord, bless and keep Michael Newham

  2. Lutheran says:

    Thank you, Michael

  3. Chile says:

    Point to a scar … each one has a lesson.

    A friend has a new radio show. I was asked to critique the content and delivery. There were many positives to note and a few simple tweaks. But when it came to the content of a few of his notable statements, I could not deliver. He had shown all too clearly his lack of “scars.” He was never going to understand why his comments would not be received well. I know … cause I’ve tried to tell him before. It’s just beyond his grasp based on his life experience.

    What I mean is that when a man reaches mid-life, relatively unscathed, wealthy, descent marriage, descent church, great job, successes, minimal failures, and most relationships in tact … well, he has a few holes in his education about life. He simply cannot relate to people who’ve had to struggle or recover from anything.

    This guy, a nice well-meaning guy btw, just doesn’t have a clue why someone would ever be out of a job? Or why their 401K would not be busting at the seams? Or why someone would not be totally trusting at church?

    He actually made comments that sounded like the only reason anyone would be without health care would be because they chose not to, so therefore they should suffer the consequences if they were to need medical help they could not pay for. I almost lost it right there! But without “scars” his is unable to relate. His ability to see something from another’s point of view is minimal, at best.

    I don’t wish scars on anyone, but without them we lack in ways we have no clue. God knew what He was doing when he allowed pain and suffering. I just don’t like it.

    Excuse me while I apply some more scar removal cream …

  4. brian says:

    My one prayer is that my scars remind me of my blessings, help me to heal others scars and always remind me of God’s faithfulness. As apostate as this sounds, each scar both physical, spiritual, and emotional reminds me of the cross and the resurrection. From personal experience in the faith community that makes me an apostate / reprobate at best, which I do not understand but I get that it does. In spades. It really is a rather strange religion and I do not think my carrot and stick analogy is really that far off.

    All that aside I am deeply grateful for this life and the life given me by God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

  5. brian says:

    It seems I have come to peace with so many of the things in my past over the last few days. I count that a miracle. Thank You God.

  6. here’s the missing ‘n’

    moderators, sorry about the double post – don’t know where the autopost ‘f’ went – life’s a bit hectic and my mind a bit scattered at the moment

  7. Michael,
    Good one.
    Such sharing is about timing.
    I have a friend who has melanoma, gets it removed whenever it reappears. You wouldn’t know by looking at him. Those scars are right below his shirt, only self disclosed when he was encouraging me about my wife’s bout with skin cancer. He keeps on keeping on. Now has 4 kids. Faithful to his wife who has serious bouts of depression.
    Loves Jesus.
    Cusses like a sailor with his closer friends when he’s venting.
    I’m blessed he considers me close… 😉

  8. David Sloane says:


    A genius is a person who has exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight.

    You displayed pure genius! What a great “Make your own application.”

    A man who lives with a wife who is an alcoholic can choose to become a victim and constantly cover for her, while living in solitary confinement isolation with her. Or he can let her face the consequences of her actions while refusing to stop living life himself, enjoying his friends and social life.

    The wound in one case festers under the surface while in another it scars over and heals. There are so many applications that come to mind…pure genius…

    How wonderful that our Lord Jesus Christ is a wounded healer!

    Isaiah 53:5
    But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

    “With His stripes we are healed”

    At the end of the day there is healing and all slept well…scars and all.

    Luke 4:40
    Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

  9. Most of us engineer worlds that we think will scar us the least, or we retreat into caves where we think the flashing swords can’t swing or worst of all we initiate the action creating a circle of fear around ourselves. How is it that I know these strategies?

  10. Papias says:

    Scars are proof that you had past pain and that you survived. Good one.

    Some scars….people are afraid to see others reaction to their scars….they can be a bit renching… so people don’t want to share their scars with just anyone. The person showing their scars has to made welcome to share their scars, and with that, comes understanding.

    David’s point above is well taken – Jesus’ scars prove that in this life, we will be scarred, its really just a matter of them being on the outside or the inside, or a combobination.

  11. of all who post here, i think that brian comes closest to understanding scars as he ministers to the scarred -and i swear, BD comes closest to understanding hearts (as God sees them)
    i’m sitting here amazingly calm as my house looks like a bomb hit and the movers are due any minute – grateful for Phxp to focus my mind on what is important … and sometimes what isn’t – savoring these last visits

  12. Michael says:


    Know that you are loved here…

  13. filbertz says:

    On the other side of the coin, those who have injured another need to be forgiven–the sign that ultimate healing has taken place.

  14. I can’t read about scars anymore without thinking about the huge scar that runs down the side of my face. I don’t even have hair, so I can’t cover it up. In some cases, I could wear a hat, but anything making contact with the scar tissue is terribly uncomfortable. So, I’m a guy with big ugly scar. That’s just who I am. No hiding. Take it or leave it. I am scarred.
    I’m growing more comfortable with that. It’s out there. It’s on the table. There is no surprise later on when the hat comes off, or the wind blows my hair. If we have a conversation, you cannot escape the fact that I am scarred. We will acknowledge it and move forward, on to deeper, better things.
    My scar is also a mark left on me by a miraculous healing. A sign that shows I’ve been touched by the Divine. A vehicle that allows me to play with my children everday and kiss my wife goodnight.
    Earning this scar hurt more than I can even describe. Now, I wouldn’t want to live without it. In fact, I wouldn’t be alive without it.

  15. Bob Sweat says:


    You made my day!

  16. Chile says:

    @5 Brian … wow!

  17. Alex says:

    I have no scars! I think that is obvious to all. I am the perfect picture of healing and righteousness.

    …says Mr. Denial 🙂

    I think I’ve shown you all my scar enough times…kind of similar to BG’s wang, he was naked in front of us so much I could pick it out of a line-up of 100 others, no problem. Speaking of scars…

  18. #17 is awful.

    Yet its probably the most hilarious thing I’ve read in a month.

  19. Alex says:

    Josh, sarcasm and snarky-ness and humor have helped me deal with the real underlying serious stuff. It’s a coping mechanism. You either get angry, get snarky or you cry and deny and let it overwhelm you. I did the 2nd for many years. I can’t go back to that place, it’s not good.

  20. Jim Jr. says:

    “It’s a coping mechanism”
    That’s an excuse.
    ” You either get angry, get snarky or you cry and deny and let it overwhelm you”
    If these are the only options you see, I’m not a bit surprised. Fortunately, other human beings have a wider range of response options than the ones you recognize.

  21. @ 19 – I know, man. I’ve been there too.

  22. Alex says:

    You’re right Jim Jr, the police could have arrested him for doing the stuff and the church could have held him accountable as well. Those are other options, but they haven’t happened yet, the one due to Statute of Limitations, the other…well, I guess Chuck Smith had a good reason for stopping the Group of CC Pastors who were ready to go deal with BG.

  23. Jim Jr. says:

    ” the police could have arrested him for doing the stuff and the church could have held him accountable as well”
    If he had committed a crime, I’m sure they would have.
    If you could have proven a crime in court, I’m sure you would have.
    But you didn’t.
    I wonder why that is?
    Maybe it’s because he never committed the crimes he’s accused of committing.

  24. Mark says:

    I just don’t buy into the idea that we should all be scar showers- and that we are not truly healed until we openly show our scars. Alot can be said for privacy and discretion – for asking God to heal our wounds – and then for us to “get over it” already. “but one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead”.. PH 3:13

  25. C’mon. Jim. Not this thread, too. Ok?

  26. Chile says:


    There are many types of scars. Many of them are not designed for one to just “get over it.” To try and approach some life issues with that attitude would actually be very unhealthy.

    From your response, it sounds like you’ve probably had a good life with minimal damage. I happy for you; but for those who’ve not had your experience in life, that response is usually not one that promotes health for the future … just more denial and stuffing that causes a whole host of other issues to then metastasize.

    Healing comes for different folks in different ways on different time tables. I often wonder if the reason we want others to “just get over it” is really for our own comfort to be restored?

  27. Chile says:

    I want to ignore JimWho, but his #23 is abusive once again.

    It’s so wrong that I wonder why he can continue to post? Is there a reason to allow him? If so, I can then be silent in regards to him. If not, then how can any of us be silent and not be complicit?

  28. Nonnie says:

    Mark, yes we forget the condemnation, know that sin is forgiven.
    We can remember the hurt and how He was there to comfort, how the dark nights, the fear, and the sorrow have been redeemed at the cross of Calvary. Are we completely healed? Probably not this side of heaven. There is always the memory, and if you think we can completely forget, then you are the one in denial.

    We all have different ways to deal with our pain and incredible sorrow….where we have to draw the line, however, is when in our pain/sorrow/abuse, we begin to wound others.

  29. Alex says:

    The reason I was given was Statute of Limitations, not that a crime hadn’t occurred. The laws of the State of California are clear about what constitutes Child Abuse and as a victim and witness to the crimes, I can report that if it wasn’t for Statute, if the CC Board had reported, if the Coach and Principal had investigated further, BG would have been arrested.

    Also, BG says he was a Drug Dealer and Drug Smuggler in his book, both felonies, but again, Statute of Limitations. I’m guessing JJ, that you would asset BG isn’t guilty of those crimes either? Since there was no arrest and conviction?

  30. Alex says:

    If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?

    Similarly, a crime is a crime an injustice is an injustice and abuse is abuse…whether or no there is an arrest and a conviction.

    …said OJ Simpson never.

  31. Jim Sr. says:

    Jim Jr.
    Your grounded!

  32. Grounded?
    Love it!

  33. Alex says:

    Bwuahahaha! That was a coffee spitter! 😆

  34. Paul A. Lytton says:

    When you go into the battle for being spiritually correct,
    Do not expect to come out without the trophy of a wound.

  35. Jim Sr. is practicing a little tough love.

  36. Chile says:

    So true, Paul.

    Nonnie, I agree that wounded people can wound. I also don’t think you are saying that all wounded people always wound; but some would have us to believe that. I’ve seen that used as a defense against the victims sounding the alarm bell about sin is in the camp. Instead of looking to see what dangers are in our midst, the focus gets shifted to those speaking out in order to minimize the messenger and not deal with the message.

    In those cases, I think it’s more about preserving people’s peace, so they do not have to be bothered to deal with the news. I’ve been guilty of this, myself. It’s hard to wake up from such slumber, such a comfortable place.

  37. Nonnie says:

    Chile, you are absolutely right. I am not saying all wounded people wound.

  38. Jim Jr. says:

    How long am I grounded for? Heaven forbid that discussion of alternative narratives should take place! What about the first amendment?!

  39. Jim Sr. says:

    If your going to continue to talk trash, you can at least take out the trash at home!

  40. Reuben says:

    Jim Jr, why don’t you and Alex become FB friends and have this out elsewhere?

  41. Reuben says:

    I have become increasingly aware of the fact that wounds attract sharks. Sharks, unfortunately, are always Christians. I was accused of having a critical spirit this week, for my rants here and elsewhere against CC. Like nobody has ever heard that one before. If I misspeak, I have people watching me, ready to pounce. Why? Because of my long standing relationship with CC. We all know how CC defenders can get. I am sure that within the next week or so, the “touch not God’s anointed” line will get pulled. As a result, I will desire to get wasted. Why? because people worship a system that they don’t even understand, and when that system is attacked, they get all butt hurt, and the guns come out.

    The truth is that you “bleed not in front of God’s anointed” or you get eaten.

  42. Chile says:

    Blood in the water draws sharks.-Reuben


    How one treats the one they think is bleeding tells us an enormous about about their character and lack of depth with God.

    Jesus treated religious leaders and regular folks very differently. He saved the harsh reprimands for their lack of understanding and lack of compassion for the religious leaders.

  43. There is one thing to be said about a healed scar and thinking about it now and again and maybe discussing it every once in awhile.
    But, some people love to pick at the scab and let it bleed over and over. That is truly unhealthy.
    I think some people like wounds more than scars. I think they feel that they will be treated in a way that they feel they should if they have blood flowing continually.
    Just because you have scars doesn’t mean you have to or even want to show them.

  44. yes, blood in the water does draw sharks … then there’s chickens; a flock of chickens will turn on one poor chicken who is visibly not thriving and continually and randomly peck it – for days until it dies … the compulsion to attack and the compulsion to bleed? we are interestingly wired … or rewired by a snake?

  45. Fly on a Wall says:

    “I think they feel that they will be treated in a way that they feel they should if they have blood flowing continually.”

    Yes, i think you’re right. The thing is, it works.

    Alex cries about Bob. We defend him and cry for justice.

    I cry about church abuse, people take notice.

    There’s other examples I can give, but I don’t want to offend anyone. Alex can handle it, he’s a soldier. 🙂

    Is this good or bad? I don’t know. All I can say is there’s healing. Maybe at the cost of everyone else reading, rolling their eyes, getting annoyed. But alls I can say is there’s healing.

  46. Fly on a Wall says:

    Reuben: stay strong. don’t get discouraged.

    If you’re under a lot of pressure, just take off for a bit, we got your back.

    We’re here to encourage, not condemn.

    As for your criticism, I can’t remember you saying anything too bad, so I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong.

    As for me, I still with how “I feel” or “my experience” so that no one can tell me not to write that or tell me I’m wrong. It’s a cop out, but it works. And as long as you’re not telling lies with a malicious purpose, I don’t possibly see that anything you’re writing is wrong.

  47. Fly on a Wall says:

    Jim Jr. : your exterior is cracking. You’re starting to see major gaps and holes in Bob Grenier’s story. You come here to ease your conscience and take out your insecurities on Alex.

    Ok. If it makes you feel better, go ahead.

    The CC system is flawed and God is going to deal with it, albeit in an ugly way. Just stand and watch. If you haven’t done anything wrong, then you won’t have to fear. You might get criticized for being a CC donkey, but hey, if you’ve made a good living off of it, maybe it was all worth it.

    As for CC, the days are numbered. Michael predicts a splintering, I predict something much worse. You probably already know more about it than I. People will leave as they once came, in droves. You can’t stop it, even if you con yourself into believing Bob Grenier’s story.

    You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

  48. Nonnie says:

    FTC…Thank you for blessing us with your wisdom! You are a jewel!
    Keep us posted about your move and your new living accommodations.

  49. Bryan says:

    In my 35 years of walking with Jesus, I have mostly had a pleasant experience within church life. The only disappointing experience was in a CC, and that was only in the last year of ten when I found out I had been deceived for all those years. Criticism of CC has its place. There are systemic problems that are quite obvious to those outside the “CC bubble”. The celebrity propping of some of its prominent leaders, and the irony of commodifying much of the business of the church by former surfers and Hippies, are just a few of the irritants.

    Simply teaching the Bible simply requires that those teachers have a solid grounding in the historic teachings of the scriptures. Greater men than any found within a CC have wrangled with many very difficult concepts over the centuries. It is anything but simple to teach the Bible. Learn from men like JI Packer and John Stott, and you will see the challenge of being an informed Bible student. You cannot be cavalier with scripture. The wistful arrogance of thinking so, is a bright red flag to me when I study the doctrines and positions settling into the legacy of CC.

    It seems CC is quite blind to these things, or they have erected a formulation of belief that denies the priesthood of the believers, and the role the average layman plays in keeping the church sharpened and focused and relatively pure. I am anointed, and so are you. I don’t take words from a minister lightly but I always consider them in light of what God has revealed in scripture, as well as the tone in which they are shared with me. If the words are contradictory to the life and practice of the minister, then the impact of the words will lose their compelling strength. Good character gives wings to the words, bad character clips them and causes them to fall on deaf ears.

    Much of the quibbling I witness on various blogs related to CC, reveals poor discipleship, and imbalanced teaching from the Word. When I see honesty and humility and civility within the conversation, then I see the love and reality of God bleeding through. Constantly pointing out other’s faults without constructive edification is oppressive no matter how you paint your intent.

    I love God, and his Son, and the Holy Spirit. They have been my delight most of my life. I love the Church God is faithfully building and promises to bless and use to bless others. I get distressed whenever I notice that I become indifferent toward God and treat others with distain. I am easily silenced in my older age, when God points out sin in my life as he did when he asked the accusers to be the first to cast the stone if they had no sin.

    Let’s get off our high horses and live humbly again. Let’s confess quickly to one another what we know in our hearts already, that we are despicable creatures at the core, and easily enticed by the allure of sin. Let us cling to our Savior and his Father with white knuckles, and praise his holy name from the hilltops. Let’s stop commiting idolatry by placing more importance on our pastors than they deserve. Let’s run from sin in all its shades of gray, and into the loving arms of the only perfect man. Do I hear an amen…

  50. Bryan says:

    Posted on the wrong thread…a thousand pardons please…

  51. “He knows the way that I take, and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” – Job 23:10

  52. Mark says:

    Chile please do not presume you know anything about my life. Those here who do know can attest I have plenty of scars. Yet my healing depends on my getting over it- anything less would be unhealthy for me. I’d wager the same goes for many others though they’d be averse to even try

  53. Chile says:

    I know I don’t know your life. But your response gave that impression.

    If you think that other’s scars are ones that you “just get over” then your experience with scars sounds limited.

    If you can just “get over it” then by all means do. Overlook anything that you can as long as you can remain healthy in that approach. But no need to insinuate that others are in the wrong for needing to deal with their scars in a different manner.

    To suggest that others would be “averse to even try” sounds like you are presuming to know much about them.

  54. There’s “getting over it” and then there’s “moving forward”, two very different things. Michael did a post about this very subject many moons ago, and the discussion was brilliant.

    The words we choose to describe our personal milestones and how we cope.

    “Get over it” has forever been identified with that brilliant Glenn Fry / Don Henley hook, full of anger and snark, screaming at the world in abject frustration.

    “The song is about Henley’s frustration with others (such as TV chat show contestants) placing their failures, mental breakdowns, and financial problems on those who don’t deserve it, then believing that the world owes them a favor.”

    I haven’t yet found a pop song about “moving forward”, but if I ever write my own it will be bittersweet, less angry, less frustrated.

    Like Mellencamp sings, “Life is short, even in its longest days…”

  55. PP Vet says:

    Great song, 4G, very timely, thx

  56. Chile says:

    Great song!

    When a person is ready for the next step of whatever “moving on” means to them, they make that decision themselves. It’s freeing.

    Pressure from others to “move on”, being characterized as in sin because the process is taking time, serves as a demotivater. It can be a good idea, but if prematurely executed it can be unhealthy.

    Another misunderstanding is that recollecting what happened automatically means that the person has not moved on. Not always the case.

    Bottom line: each has to make their own choices and decide when to take a next step.

    Having “moved on” is not a more spiritual state than the person “in process.”

  57. Mark says:

    My posts were in response to michaels premise that we are truly healed when we can show the scars to someone else. I have watched too many people obsessed with their scars / showing them off talking about them blaming others for them etc. despite chiles claim otherwise it is healing and freeing to “get over it” and move on. That is a healthy Christian perspective rather than seeking to make others “pay” spending years in therapy rehashing the past and never moving forward. Just my opinion and it has served me well and though tempted I will not waste time revealing my scars ( and they are DEEP and NUMEROUS)

  58. “…a healthy Christian perspective…”
    ahhh yes, that old tired canard, wrapped in an oxymoron, anointing impatience and demanding timely performance

  59. Chile says:


    Is that something like … “Hurry up and quit bothering me, because I don’t want to be bothered by your pain anymore?”

    Or, “If I can hide it, ignore it, and tell myself I’m healed, then I am entitled to be impatient with your slow process that is irritating me.”

    I wonder if someone else’s slow process bothers a “healed” person so much that it may point to the healing not being totally complete?

    I could be wrong … just wondering …

  60. In life, most scars are self inflicted.

  61. Chile,
    I’m saying that calling a demand that someone “move on” and calling it “…a healthy Christian perspective…” is just a tad rubbing someone’s nose in it.

  62. Chile says:

    “In life, most scars are self inflicted.”–MLD

    That’s not only insensitive, it’s not true.

  63. Chile says:

    Agreed, G.

  64. “In life, most scars are self inflicted.”

    Yep, especially when you allow yourself to take the abuse instead of your mom. Guess that is called “being too dumb to get outta the way”, but that’s ok. That was my experience until my father began to get a clue that his treatment of my mom wasn’t cool, hearing it from an adult son who was willing to patiently take him to task, set boundaries.

    Many of us also allow ourselves to get the sh*t end of family or business dealings to shield someone else we consider innocent. Took a few of those business hits as well, but there are other jobs to be had when an employer needs to have a point made.

    Yeah, it builds character, and we can call it “suffering for Christ” but it still sux when you cannot speak candidly about it or get told that “a healthy Christian perspective” is to be quick about your healing and move on.

    I’m thankful that Michael allows us to work thru the stuff, talk about scars, show a few in passing.

  65. Anne says:

    “I’m thankful that Michael allows us to work thru the stuff, talk about scars, show a few in passing.” I second that emotion!

  66. Chile,
    “That’s not only insensitive, it’s not true.” – BS, why do you try to control my opinion?

    Look, people just don’t understand how much harm they cause themselves. I look at my body and everyone of my scars is by my own action or inaction – I am sure that you are the same, but… you have this one CC scar and it is all you can look at.

  67. Linnea says:

    Late to the party, but wanted to say, Michael, that the Holy Spirit inhabited your post. In forming relationships, with God or with people, the greatest barrier is how honest we choose to be.

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