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Author Topic: Letters From Linda Shelton From Her Website & Elsewhere  (Read 14526 times)

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Daryl Fawcett

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Re: Letters From Linda Shelton From Her Website & Elsewhere
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2008, 05:32:53 PM »

How big is it?

Also, what file format is it?


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Re: Letters From Linda Shelton From Her Website & Elsewhere
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2011, 04:07:35 AM »

Here is another open letter from Linda Shelton:

Winter, 2005

Dear Family of God,

WARNING: The following contains some humor...not because the subject matter is at all funny. It is not, but for many it makes the truths of uncomfortable situations easier to digest.

Life is a proverbial "Lost & Found." We reach in anguish for the things we have lost, but in the process we find. We find things we would not have found unless we had experienced the loss. And as we piece the fragments of what we find together, then emerges another facet, another picture of Christ that we never saw before. If it is hung in the right spot, a picture can cover the hole in the wall, and also fill the hole life leaves in our hearts.

A host of a popular talk show recently conducted an experiment. Her cosmeticians and costume professionals modeled her slim figure into one who looked to weigh 350 pounds. Then she hit the streets. She was shocked to discover the prejudice and the rude behavior she encountered. She concluded that this particular day was not only enlightening, but also it was one of the most heart-breaking in her life. She had been a super model prior to becoming a tv host. Never had she walked in the footsteps of one who was overweight. But the experience changed her perspective forever. She gained a sympathy and tenderness never experienced before walking in someone else?s shoes. A similar experience has been mine, only it came not by choice.

I?ll never believe that God makes the bad things happen. But he does allow them. Sometimes the bad things that happen evolve into being God?s Plan A for us, at other times Plan B. But needless to say, when our lives belong to Christ He can cause the roses to grow where the tears fell. Let it be known again, that it was NOT my choice to go from the proverbial "top" to the bottom...but since I?ve landed here, ooh, there?s a lot to learn. And there?s a lot of company down here. In fact, I have found that there are many people whose lives have been hurt by bizarre circumstances. They have been struck by a strange element in society. The Bible refers to them as "the tares." I refer to them as the "joy-stealers." These are people who allow jealousy, desire for power, paranoia, fear, hatred, depression, dis-function and a general disconnection from God to steal their joy, and thus they find themselves on a mission to be "joy-stealers." The joy-stealers NEED Jesus and ministry from YOU!!

There?s another element in society who I call the "squished." These are people who have been railroaded, run-over, hoodwinked, slandered, burned at the stake or just karate-chopped by the "joy-stealers." The "squished" NEED Jesus and ministry from YOU!! There are many who find themselves in heartbreaking circumstances only to discover that their church family is NOT there for them. In fact, in some instances we find that the rocks being hurled are thrown by those who sit in the pews next to us? Sad, but true. I have discovered that many hurting people are allowed to "fall through the cracks" on purpose, to save face and to maintain the "image" of the church, ministry or establishment. After all, Christians are supposed to be "the heads and not the tails," "respected and not scandalous" and "blessed and not poor, blind, miserable and naked." Right? "Joy-stealers" sadly share the characteristic of forgetting what true Christianity is all about, similar to the Pharisees of many years ago. Because of my situation, many have written to me sharing their stories with me. I have posted some of these in a section I?ve entitled "Stories." I hope you will take the time to read them. They will open your eyes to some incredible ministry opportunities in your own home, church and community.

Christians everywhere see the signs of our soon coming Savior. We see the hurricanes, the tornadoes, the tsunamis, the earthquakes and the terrorism. With each added catastrophe, many are added to the ranks of the broken, the hurting and the utterly devastated. And here it comes it the test of our loyalty to Christ, the test of the true-blue Christian, the test of our LOVE! "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if YOU have love one to another." John 13:35 Folks, it?s easy to love when the person smells good and looks successful. But what about when the person reeks of accusations and scandal? What if it makes you look bad if you exercise love? What if you get some of the "muck" on you if you dare to get involved?

We all have heard the story many times. "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves..." The man was left half dead. When a priest came along, "a man of God," surely help had arrived. But no, he looked at the wounded, hurting fellow then he passed quickly by on the other side of the road. Then another one who claimed to worship God came along, this time it was a Levite. Now he was convicted of what "he ought" to do, but it was too unpleasant for him, so he too passed by on the other side. The priest and the Levite failed to shine during their moment of testing. But then a Samaritan came along of a tribe which was avoided like the plague by the godly people of the day. He saw the need, his heart was moved with compassion and he acted at once to rescue the man! Inspiration brings out that "the priest and the Levite neglected the very work the Lord had enjoined on them, leaving a hated and despised Samaritan to minister to one of their own countrymen." (Christ?s Object Lessons, pg. 167) "I may be able to speak the languages of men and even angels, but if I have not love my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell." (1 Corinthians 13:1)

Instead of just talking about the broken, bleeding one in the middle of the road, the Lord has allowed me to be the one hit by a mack truck experience. He allowed me to walk in the footsteps of the "squished." When I was at the proverbial "top," I didn?t notice there was such a problem of colossal proportions such as this. But when my life crashed all around me from the explosions of false rumors falling like rocks from the sky, my circle of friends became very small. In fact, I learned what it must feel like to have leprosy. When I sought for help I heard things like "Sorry to hear that. I?ll be praying for you. Bye." My losses were great including my husband, my home, my job and ministry, friends, family (Shelton) and co-workers, my reputation (worldwide), etc. Many think that in situations like this one that there has to be many people involved, much evidence and a lot of time and attention put into the matter. This was NOT the case. I really learned what the word "squished" meant. Yet I thought to myself, "At least when one is ?squished,? you can?t fall any farther." But I was wrong. The "joy-stealers" wanted to do a better job. Here?s what happened.

1) After six months of "squish-dom" I decided to venture timidly back to church. I was timid because I was still extremely tender and emotional over all of the "squish" trauma. I was thrilled with the experience. I was welcomed with open arms. They put me to work teaching Sabbath School and preaching occasionally. These were undoubtedly the "joy-givers." The ministry opportunities helped me to heal incredibly. The request was made to transfer my church membership to this caring church in December of 2004.

2) Six months later changes were made. A new pastor was transferred to my church. I heard that some "joy-stealers" from higher levels feared that I would "hi-jack this church and make it my headquarters." Thus, the new pastor soon told me that I would not be allowed to do any ministry on the platform in the church...later when pressed by others he said "For a season." In regards to my "squished" experience and testimony regarding such, this pastor was rather loose with the words "liar" and "tactical maneuvers." Needless to say I left with a new "squished" experience, but soon the Lord led me to a small black SDA Bible Chapel who welcomed me with open arms. Although they may be small in number, the Holy Spirit is there when we worship together. They are "joy-givers."

3) But then the "joy-stealers" were at it again. The end of October I received a letter from my previous pastor. The letter stated that the church board had voted "to call a church business session to recommend to the church that you be placed under censure." (This was 18 months after the fact.) I called the pastor to ask "why?" He said it was because I had abandoned my church and ministry which then led to a divorce. (Folks, one does not choose to go from the proverbial "top" to the bottom...unless they are tripped, shoved or railroaded.) Of course, I replied this was not true. But I discovered, from someone in the know, that the basis for the discussion of my church membership was this. It was said that if they transferred my membership it would make someone look right and "someone" else look wrong. To make a long story short, I either had to take the church censure (which could include getting kicked out of the denomination), or I had to appear before a very biased group of people who had been saturated in a "very altered" version of the story, and present things to them which would definitely not enhance their Christian experience. It had the potential of turning into a "joy-stealers" jam session. I did not want to participate in any such a thing. I was counseled by two pastors and other dedicated Christians to drop my membership. I have a verbal commitment from the pastor that this is what will be done at the next church business session.

Let it be known from sea to shining sea that I LOVE my Church, and by God?s grace I will indeed be a loyal Seventh day Adventist Christian until the day I die! May God bless, expand, renew and Spirit-drench my Church that it can be a SHINING witness of Who Jesus is, of What He stands for, of Where He wants His children to spend eternity and Why He left heaven to save sinners like you and me!!

I will be quite honest with you. I prayed and wrestled with the decision to post this information. I am the kind of person who wants things pertaining to God to look like a Rogers and Hammerstein movie filled with songs, laughter and blessings. But folks, life isn?t like that. People get hurt inside and outside the Church. And we find in these painful situations that there are critical things taking place on the spiritual level. Please prayerfully consider these concepts.

1) The "joy-givers" are the "wheat" and the "joy-stealers" are the "tares." Which one are YOU?

2) Salvation comes into our hearts as we accept and believe...or "be-live" in Jesus. Believing is not just a casual assent, it is an evidence of a divine Love that pervades our words and actions. From day to day this love is being tested, and hurting people are the TEST!. If God?s thermometer were placed in your heart to measure your Love for God and man, how would it read? Are you a taker or a giver?

Our main work is TO BELONG TO CHRIST, not to try to look like we belong to Christ.

3) When we actively minister to hurting people, we minister to Christ.

Again Jesus says " If you have faith as big as a mustard seed you can say to this hill, ?Go from here to there,? and it will go." (Matthew 17:20) Jesus plants the mustard seed in the DIRT to grow, then it becomes one of the largest plants in the field. While we are surrounded by broken dreams, ruined lives, and smelly circumstances, in Christ we grow. Love searches to find the so-called unlovable, untouchable and unappealing. These are those who need love the most. Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.

4) In scripture God used both the times of blessing and the times of blunder to draw His children to Himself. God can take ANY situation and use it to His glory! God is WELL ABLE to prosper His Church in the good times and the bad. Christianity will not always look like a Rodgers and Hammerstein movie.

I am praying that in response to all that has happened in this public and heartbreaking situation, that churches everywhere will make decided efforts to be "joy-givers" as opposed to "joy-stealers." I believe every church should have a "Squished" Committee designed to search out the hurting within and without of the church. This was and is Jesus? mission. This is our mission!

Folks, in all circumstances there lies a silver lining. We learn, we grow, our perspectives change and we see and understand differently than we did prior to the events. In life we will always have our "lost and found" and experiences, and with Jesus by our side, the treasures we find will always out number the losses. THANK YOU for the treasure you are to me! Your prayers, letters and emails have been such a wonderful blessing to me! May God touch your life and renew your spirit like never before!

His love and mine,

Linda Shelton

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