F.Y.I

 

Welcome!

I’m  just writing a “welcome” blog now for 2 reasons:

1. A lot of people recently registered to this blog, and since I have no “website building skills”, there is a lot you wouldn’t know about this website unless you’ve been following me for the last year or so.

2. Things have changed recently, and I feel I should address those changes. (Yes, I’m referring to the cult)

HELLO

Hi, My name is Justine and I started blogging because I needed a place to pour out my heart. As a mother, step-mother, wife, health coach and writer, my hands were very full, my time extremely limited, and the ‘vacations” I require in my head to write or read were diminishing. Making a commitment to this blog was a commitment to myself.

You will notice that in the beginning my blogs were centered completely around health and parenting. As I have become more comfortable, I have written more personal and therapeutic posts.

HEALTH and PARENTING

Half of you are here because you are on the road to health, or you’re a parent and *hopefully* felt refreshed by my candor on the struggles with parenting. I have no shame in saying that my pregnancy was a bitch, I hated every minute of it, and think labor is the most disgusting experience of my life. I have no desire to repeat either endeavor, therefore, my tubes are tied. I was blessed with 2 amazing step children, whom, along with my daughter and my husband complete me. They inspired me to get healthy, you see I was “skinny fat”, and over the last few years have made the life style change and commitment to eating whole, real, non-GMO and preferably organic food. This was a huge change for my husband and my step-son and step-daughter (and the in-laws) *See my blog for details: http://healthymama.net/fast-food-fight/ * but it has made a huge difference in our energy, attitudes and certain behavior issues we were having with one of our little rascals.

***I used to be associated with a health company, however it would seem they do not appreciate blogs about their products so I am removing all information pertaining to this company. I apologize, it appears I was not in “compliance” when I posted that my husband and I had no wedding debt thanks to “this company”(…. It’s true, I made $9,000 in a couple months which paid for our wedding.)

THE CULT

The other half of you… actually at this point maybe more than half of you are here because you read one or more of my blogs about the International Church of Christ (ICC)/ International Christian Churches (ICC). I want to start this subject by saying that I never imagined my little blog could cause such a stir. Upon writing the first blog about my past with the ICOC, “Because The Bible Says So” * http://healthymama.net/lets-make-parenting-less-of-a-dictatorship/  * Some feathers were ruffled, but all in all, it was not a big deal, so MONTHS later… maybe a year later, I wrote “So… I Grew Up In A Cult…” * http://healthymama.net/so-i-grew-up-in-a-cult/ * and holy WOW! Facebook blew up (I am friends with a lot of members and former members) I started getting lots of emails and tons of views on this particular post. The emails were (mostly) people saying Thank-You for being the voice of those who were burned so badly by the ICOC. I had no intention or writing another blog on the subject until I was accused of lying, and to back me up, and to gain closure, a few people asked me to share their stories, too.  Although I’m a Pisces (typically a go with the flow kind of person) my moon (emotions) is in Aries, which is code for: I’m a stubborn f*ck. So, being accused of lying only ignited my Aries emotion. The more I was challenged, the more my fire was fueled. After a few weeks of compiling stories and quotes, I posted “Queen of the Damned (Recovering from Cult Life)” *http://healthymama.net/queen-of-the-damned-recovering-from-cult-life/ * and this one has been read over 1,000 times, in less than 5 days. Which is insanity to me, but, I’ll be honest, I get it. Not only was I validating hundreds of people’s pain and suffering, I evidently struck a chord with current members. If someone else had written it, I would have been sharing it all over Facebook and Twitter saying “OMG! Someone gets it! Someone else feels the way I do! See, I’m not crazy!!!”

I want you to know something, I am proud to be the voice of former Kingdom Kids. I wish someone had stepped out a long time ago, because I needed this fellowship to heal. I have decided to take my role a little further. I have started a Facebook page called ICOC Recovery *https://www.facebook.com/icocrecovery * and I encourage you to “like” the page so we can start some healthy dialogue. If you don’t feel comfortable posting publicly, feel free to private message me. I am here for you. I believe it is my calling to be support for people in need (there is that Pisces nature), if you need to tell your story, TELL ME. (I only posted stories that people specifically asked me to publish) If you need help getting out, I will help. If you disagree with me and want to tell me how the ICOC/ICC is the only way to god, go for it. I enjoy a healthy debate.

I have definitely had my character attacked by people in one of these organizations in order to discredit me, and I fully understand. They are scared. Their church is young, made up of young impressionable (sheeple) people, and I know from experience that they don’t want me to shake their young one’s faith with my facts, memories and reasons. It must be scary to see a little fish make such a huge wave, especially when you’re trying to rule the pond.

I want to make it clear here that I don’t believe in god, but I don’t consider myself a soul-less heathen. My heart is good, and I know it can be hard for Christians to see good in someone who doesn’t believe same way, it’s OK. I won’t lose sleep if you condemn me to hell. Just bear in mind, I know The Bible (as my best friend said, “You give her a book, she’ll read it!”) and YOU can’t condemn me to anywhere, Jesus said. If you are curious to know my personal spiritual views, click here * http://healthymama.net/the-god-thing/ * I also want to make it clear that I am an LGBT advocate, and I do not tolerate racism, sexism, bigotry or hate.  I believe in love, and I hope for everyone to find their other half, regardless of race, color or sex. Love is love, and it is beautiful. For more on this, read “Stop! Hating is bad” * http://healthymama.net/stop-hating-is-bad/ *

I hope this has cleared things up, and I am working on making some sort of an archive for all 60-ish blogs, and to make this website easier to navigate. If any of you happen to be tech savvy, I would love some help 😉

****If you are reading this because you have had a similar experience, have history with the ICOC/ICC, or you need help leaving, I am going to post some resources here for you. Free to email me at isahealthymama@yahoo.com or find my “recovery page” on facebook www.facebook.com/icocrecovery Here are a few blogs and websites from people who have left the ICOC/ICC and have shared their experiences and knowledge:

http://www.reveal.org/ <— This page has the truth about the ICOC.
http://www.spiritualpornography.com/ <— Don’t worry, it’s totally appropriate, she named it Spiritual Pornography because that’s what Kip McKean called it when you read anything negative about the church. They post information it might be harder to find, such as Kip’s (supposed) resignation, and letters written to the church.

http://henrykriete.com/ <— Here you can read what REALLY happened with Henry Kriete and his family.
http://ministeriolatino.blogspot.com/ <—- Here you can read a blog from a former member of Kip’s current church (City of Angels International Church of Christ). He has written actually experiences between himself and Kip, AND other “leaders”. A very interesting read. He came across my blog and actually recognized someone I had written about (I kept it confidential).
http://www.tolc.org/ <—- Here you can read Henry Kriete’s letter and other letters written to the church. You can also click “debate” and you will be transferred to http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/main.asp?webtag=ICCdiscussion&nav=start&prettyurl=%2FICCdiscussion%2Fstart where you can interact with current and former members.

 

Stop! Hating is bad.

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OK let’s be honest, how hard is it to press one for English? Personally, it’s not an inconvenience. As much as automated systems make me want to throw my phone out a window, I have never been frustrated that I have to press a number for the language I speak. I have to press a number for “technical support” and “billing” as well. It’s logical for companies to give a language option. Especially in The United States. This country, as it is today was founded on immigrants. Unless you are American Indian, your ancestors immigrated to the US, at some point. Parts of the US used to be Mexico, even, so explain to me, what’s the problem with people speaking Spanish? I have heard people rant about immigration over and over, and while I see there is a problem, I certainly do not blame immigrants for wanting to come here.  People from all over the world have immigrated here since the Americas were discovered. We even have a plaque at The Statue of Liberty that reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. If that is not inviting immigration, than I don’t know what is!

Next time you bite into a delicious strawberry, why don’t you think of the immigrant that picked it for you. Next time you order a bucket of fried chicken remember the immigrant that has the job Americans don’t want, the immigrant who has the dirty job you don’t want to do. It’s easy for you to eat the dollar cheese burger when you don’t have to get your hands dirty. Did you know that you’re supporting illegal immigrants? Big chicken and beef companies purposely hire illegal immigrants because they can pay them next to nothing, work them to the bone, then call immigration when they are done with them. Produce companies even hire children, and work them until late at night. Orchards are dangerous places for anyone, let alone a child because of the pesticides that are used on the fruits, pesticides that are not supposed to be breathed, but for some reason are “safe” to eat.

“Why is there Black History Month, but not White History Month?” This one baffles me to no end. For starters, RACISM. We need to remember the horrors that happened before us, to put these things into perspective, to give us empathy. Black History Month is not “feel sorry for black people month”. It’s education. We have all been told the importance of learning history, so it does not repeat itself. Slavery was a dark time in American history, a shameful time. A time when we were not all considered equal. Not to mention, initially African Americans were kidnapped, taken from their families and brought to America as slaves, so it wasn’t even their choice to come here. Slavery isn’t the only severe injustice, for decades even our government treated minorities as if they were “less than” white people. Humans are human, and we all deserve respect. It is embarrassing when I look through my Facebook news feed and see hatred, bigotry and ignorance. I think ignorance is the best word to describe the people who feel so entitled to be Americans, but choose to forget that a huge part of American history is the African Americans who served in our military, raised our ancestor’s children and put food on our great grandparents tables. Slaves used to do the tough, dirty jobs that we now use Mexican immigrants for.

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Thanksgiving is this month, who remembers the Native Americans? If ANYONE should feel entitled, I would say the American Indians have first dibs. Yet their populations have dwindled, they are on reservations, they have been through genocide over and over. During World War II American doctors  sterilized Indians/Gypsies  because they didn’t fit into a “normal” mold., therefore they were not allowed to procreate. When brain washing, and hospitalizing didn’t work, they used electro-shock therapy, and lobotomies. But this was their land, and yet, they are a minority.

 

We are privileged to live in a time where humans are becoming more aware, and more accepting of differences. In 2008 we elected a black president. Regardless of your political (or religious) affiliation, this was a huge step toward equality. Just a few months ago the Supreme court overturned Prop 8 and legalized same sex marriage in California. As of right now, 14 states have legalized same sex marriage! There should be no shame in loving someone, and personally I think it’s ridiculous that same sex marriage had to be legalized in the first place. Marriage should be a human right. I know a lot of people feel that marriage is Christian, I hate to break it to you, marriage has been happening LONG before Christianity, and was not always religious. Marriage is a spiritual bond. If marriage is simply a “religious right” then 1. You shouldn’t recognize any marriage that was not ordained in your religion, and 2. atheists shouldn’t be allowed to marry, Oh! and 3. The government shouldn’t have anything to do with marriage, as there is a separation of church and state. I know a lot of heterosexual couples that have abused marriage, and if heterosexual couples can marry and divorce and cheat, then marriage must not be all that sacred. So the best bet is for each of us to focus on our own lives, our own marriages, and create our own sanctity. I for one do not model my marriage after Biblical marriages. From my memory, marriage in The Bible was not always pleasant, it was arranged, it was for the purpose of making babies, men were allowed many wives, a man who raped a woman would have to marry her (how horrific!) women were expected to put out, regardless of them being “in the mood” or not. None of this strikes me as a happy marriage. Not to say marriage is always happy, it takes work, but in the very least marrying the person you love gives you a shot at a happier life because it’s easier to put effort in, forgive and apologize for someone you love.

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My point isn’t that you have to learn Spanish, or change your opinions (although racism is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself for hating someone for no other reason than the color of their skin, or the language they speak.) or even “agree” with homosexuality. My point is that we are all humans, and as humans we can simply respect each other. Not everyone has the “luxury” of being born in America, and for those of you with families, you know that you would do just about anything for your family, no mater what. I am also not saying that breaking the law, is OK, it’s not, but I am saying that until we have walked in someone else’s shoes, we have no place to judge. Try a little empathy.

***DISCLAIMER*** This is all my opinion, based on my personal feelings from personal experiences and research. I am very well aware that we are all entitled to our own opinions, as this is MY blog, it’s my space to say my piece. I could have said a lot more on each of these subjects but I chose to highlight a few points.