My Cult Experience

This is a little bit hard for me to write and I’m not really sure why,  as over the years I have been quite willing to share this strange chapter of my life.

As a child I had good discernment of who was a good person and who was bad and responded accordingly. When I got a bit older, for some reason I forgot how to use my discernment. I think it was because at 17 I gave my life to Jesus and decided it was time to love everybody, which there’s nothing wrong with that. With my new-found faith I became free to enjoy people without my shy mask and went about life being full of much zeal but lacking in some  necessary wisdom.

It had been a few years down the track when I got mixed up with a group that, at first glance had me feeling a bit cautious and instead of listening to my gut instinct about them I went along  with the ride. I was introduced to this group by friends from Sydney who would come down for weekends to stay in a house next to one of my local friend.

They had met a prophetess who somehow inspired more zeal and excitement for the Lord. Some of them even gave up surfing for six months or one of them cut his hair as a sign of his devotion to the Lord. After about a year of them praising their new prophetess the group decided to evangelise  my small town.

They decided to do this at the tail end of the Christmas holidays way back in 1993 (I think). At first I could sense that the prophetess was playing her cards carefully on my behalf because she could tell I wasn’t to be won over that easily.  When I look back she was playing a very smooth game.

I suppose that I should explain a bit of what this cult was all about? They were a Christian based cult that took one scripture about demon possession and claimed that everyone was indeed, demon possessed

I will skip to the night where I had my (so-called) deliverance where I thought that I was possessed. I wasn’t going to attend that meeting, however one of my friends who had become a hard-core convert pulled out all of  the manipulation tactics and somehow I was convinced to go. When we arrived, there was an evangelist giving a talk and then we all broke up in little groups. I had two young women either side of me praying and giving me instructions on how to breathe. “As the air that you breathe” and as I was doing funny breaths they were praying things like “COME OUT in the name of JESUS”!

Right there, the continuing of mind control which I will say was a form of hypnosis. Strange breathing along side with repeated statements is a recipe to make one suggestible for the next stage. The next stage was when the Prophetess came up to me and placed oil on the palm of my hands. When that happened, I was on the floor like a women possessed, out of control and thrashing about like a child having a tantrum. Whatever demon that they said I had, I would act it out. The process seemed to go forever and I was exhausted and when I thought it was over it I’d go to just sit up and everyone would drive more devils out of me.

After the night had finished my vulnerability to this group had increased dramatically, as I suddenly was bombarded with thoughts like, I need this group. Who else was doing this type of deliverance? No body else understands my predicament like this group does!! That’s called priming someone for isolation. I was also ready for the prophetess to tell me whom I should marry. EEEkkkkk.

The next day I was full of confusion and when I went to prayer meeting at my own church the Pastor began to warn every one of the group which only increased my confusion. I then went and sat on the stair case in the foyer. I prayed to God for help and I asked that he send to me a specific person in the church who I knew could give me clarity. The next minute that person had walked out of the prayer meeting, walked up the stairs where I was sitting and said “So what’s going on?”

The relief was like melting butter. We talked.  She said lots of good things about love and reminded me of scriptures that explain how this group was not doing God’s will.  After that, our youth pastor gave us (by then the whole group who had attended that night were gathered)  the same scriptures and reminded us how much we were loved by our church. Our then Pastor also joined us and prayed with us. The aftermath happened with love and care and I was able to overcome my experience without too much damage.

Days after my true freedom experience  I had to confront someone from the cult. It was difficult as I had to kick them out of my house but necessary as I am not a slave to man I am a child of God.

As I reflect upon this experience I know that it made me wiser, it caused me to trust my discernment, I realised that not everyone who claims that they know Jesus Christ actually knows Jesus Christ, it created a stronger desire to read the word of God and it made me more compassionate for those who are trapped in abusive relationships or situations.

I know that I follow a loving God who does not use manipulation or control as we have all been blessed with a free will. I do not give up on meeting with other believers as the bible instructs and I test the spirit with the word of God so that I will never be trapped by a man made lie ever again.

If you can identify with this story and are worried about yourself or a loved one please reach out to your local church or if you need more intense help I have connected some resources below.

Resources

Cult Information and Family Support Inc.
Cult Consulting Australia 

ReachOut.com

 

 

Planted by the River!!

I’ve had such a good day today and I consider it quite the treat. For the past couple of days I’ve been bawling my eyes about being an artist. Why???? I can’t tell you because I don’t even know why!!

But funny and interesting things happen, such as last night at the end of my home group (which is bible study group) one of the gentleman who attends asked me if I was okay as he noticed how distressed I was on Sunday. That’s when I proceeded to tell him about my sudden emotional dilemma of being an artist which is so weird cause usually I couldn’t care less about such matter’s that were reducing me to tears………uh um……….. waffling Tamar!!!!

Anyway, I went home and sat on my son’s bed so I could touch his foot (sometimes I need to do that as he can have trouble calming down to go to sleep) and as I was sitting there I got a vision of myself as a tree and all these branches were branching out. Some were musical, some had paintings, some told the story of the journey it is to raise a child with VCFS and many more aspects to my life.

I then (after the little fella had quietened)  grabbed my bible and looked up Psalm 1 with particular interest in verses 2 and 3. I then began to sing a song and was uplifted and full of joy.

This morning I went for a walk armed with my vintage methods of capturing images….sketch book and pencils!! I drew a few pictures and then decided to try and draw the vision!! this is the result below!!! I think it will become a painting and kind of reminds me of the fabulous artist Marc Chagall

Sometimes we just have to cry even if we don’t really know what it’s all about. I will take it as a healing experience and will carry on with joy and rejoice in the  breakthrough!!!!

Revelation Jesus!!


 

This is an artistic interpretation that I painted of Jesus Christ featured in the book of Revelation. It’s an image that I had thought about for a long time and after much pondering and prayer I gave it a go. When I was doing my research into Revelation I was mightily blessed as it says in the word “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. – Rev 1:3”

I started with many preliminary sketches first, as it is a common artistic practice of mine to do. So therefore armed with sketches and scriptures I embarked upon my mission to paint Jesus in the sky. It was a joy to paint and a blessing to research.

I feel like a bit of a Steven Bradbury……how I became a worship leader!!!

The best way to describe my role as a worship leader is think of that marvelous moment when Steven Bradbury won a gold medal at the Winter Olympic’s in 2002.

I hadn’t been a part of the band for some years as I’d had a child and life got busy blah blah blah blah, you know!!! Anyway nearly two years ago our church had an almighty shake up that left only two band member’s remaining. One of them happened to be my husband and the other, a young bloke who is a part of our church. During the first week where there was only two band member’s Maggie, the pastor’s wife called out to me “Tamar Tamar please come quick help me” So before you knew it I was a worship leader.

It was such an extraordinary time as our church went from having the full band with three backup singer’s and plenty of musicians to just an acoustic guitar and a singer. In spite of that nothing was missing, as our worship became raw and centered on Christ. You could hear the people singing and it felt like the worship that God was after and had been missing for a long while.

I don’t write these things with contempt for the past or the former leader’s as I know God loves them and they are precious to him. Nor can I be boastful about all this because it’s not my strength but Gods, as at the time of this shake up my Mum had passed away.

The scripture that came to me through this time was Matthew 11:29 . This word from God was very important to me as it gave me the strength to carry out the call and to press on regardless. This worship leading with all my challenges was like taking on the yoke of Jesus. His yoke is easy and his burden is light and he gives my soul the rest its needs while doing what I am called to do.

By the way just a little diversion, for many years when I heard “yoke” in the bible I thought it meant “egg yolk”. So when Jesus said “Take my Yoke upon you” I didn’t quite get the message!! So glad that I’ve since been advised that “yoke” is the object placed on a pair of oxen so they can work as  a team.

So therefore becoming a worship leader was not about how great I am, but it was the about the teamwork that exists between The Lord and I. On reflection of these past two years I am grateful for the opportunity to be a worship leader and I am constantly reminded to remain humble and not to get a cocky attitude.

The Lion of the tribe of Judah….ROARS!!!!!

The story of this painting is very interesting and a testimony of how God can use you with out you even realising it. Going back now a few years ago a former Pastor had a dream of me painting as he was preaching. At the time I didn’t really receive that as my life had recently seen a lot of turmoil and doing a churchy thing seemed out of the question!

I can say at the time I was very disillusioned and felt incredibly unloved, so why would I adventure to bare my soul painting in this kind of environment? So I did what any normal disappointed with the church person would do, I refused to do it.  Other reasons for me at the time for not participating were, concern for my Son who would run a muck in church and secondly I felt that my next spiritual painting was to be “The Lion of the tribe of Judah!!!

I could not for the life of me see myself doing this painting challenge . I wasn’t shy as I’d done this kind of thing before and I knew my capabilities as an artist. No, it just wasn’t the right time. Six months later I started to feel a challenge from the Lord that it was time to take up what was asked of me, so I did.

I did attempt to paint the Lion at home but it wasn’t working so we decided that I should paint it for the church service. I knew something powerful was happening to me as I was painting. I felt  from this experience that God was going to set me free of a lot of things. I painted with enjoyment and really didn’t think about the viewer’s or the preaching.

So the moment passed and I enjoyed myself and received a lot of encouragement from the congregation and I was given an offering of money and the pastor received the painting. It didn’t really bother me at the time that the painting wasn’t in my possession. I am a prolific painter and for me it was just another painting.

Time passed and the Church had a shake up, things weren’t right with the top leadership and they stepped down. It was a good and healthy thing to happen and as a result The Authority of Jesus Christ was reestablished. The Word of God was once again made the focus of our preaching and true worship of the Lord was made right.

So what has this painting have to do with anything? One of our church ladies had a word for me. What she said to me was  that when I painted the Lion it was prophetic for my life and for the church. You see the Lion of the tribe of Judah is about the Authority of Jesus Christ. In the book of  revelation it says  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+5&version=NKJV

The way I interpret this situation along with scripture is, that no man can take the place of Jesus.  If you are going to stand up and proclaim Jesus Christ then don’t misrepresent him. I see it as a warning to my life, as I am far from perfect and it encourages me to keep short account’s with God.

It’s a powerful reminder to not become a hypocrite and mess with people’s minds and vulnerability. To never take for granted the position of authority that The Lord has given me. To be a difference in this world for the goodness and glory  of God.

It was then to my delight that the painting made its return to my possession. Since getting it back I’ve been able to share it with other’s and be encouraged by their response. It amazes me that something so simple can affect people on a level beyond words.   I am truly blessed and I hope that this blog makes sense to you and blesses your heart too? I also pray that it gives you hope for the future.