Life Outside the Institution



Hi Folks,

I initially wrote this as a response to an email I received from a person who attended a deliverance retreat this past year. While writing, I realized that it should be my first blog of the New Year.

Yeah, after my deliverance I could see all the spiritual abuse in the shaming, rather than teaching on the good news of the Kingdom and how we could walk in Kingdom power. If you find people whose “minds aren’t warped,” let me know because that is a rarity.

It is good to find a community of people with which to have relationship and encouragement, but that is a difficult order to fill. Fortunately for us, we grew our own and our grown children are our closest friends. Then we have a very small circle of friends who serve at the retreats. This holiday season, we had dinner with each of them. Then we have another circle of friends that spans the country, from Colorado to Ohio to Florida. We keep contact by FB and phone calls and occasional visits. We can call on these relationships when we need personal prayer when we need more than what we send out to our intercessors. This is our network of relationships. That is what you need is to find and build healthy relationships. Some of ours go to church. Some are even pastors who know our “non-institutional” stance. All choose to be our friends, no, more like brothers, in a healthy family.

Probably one of the reasons you “can’t stand church” is because it is not enough. It is not only food that is not filling, but also distasteful and unhealthy. Your healing soul is reacting to this revelation that you have been fed food that is substandard. The dilemma is that many in this stage then look for a source with better food. I say “dilemma” because we think that we can find spiritual feeding in a better church or better pastor. In that context, it will always be tainted with the “party line” that you have to find spirituality, healthy spirituality inside the church four walls, when that was never the intention of Jesus when he walked the earth. Where was Jesus’ recorded sermon, ON THE MOUNT? It was out there among the people. His more in depth teachings were in private with His 12 to 20 close disciples. And it was through relationship. This doesn’t mean that you have to leave your church. Church is what it is. But what it does mean is that you need to feed yourself.

In our day and age, we have the benefit of hearing teaching from many others through the internet and the books of anointed authors. With the awakening of the Body of Christ to step outside the walls of the church, there are many resources available to feed the soul. Some are outside the “church” and some are still inside the church. That is where I get my teaching. And because of my years of walking out healing, I can pick the meat from the bones and find some great morsels.




These are some of my recommendations:


OrganicChurch by Neil Cole. He presents what a healthy church experience should be like. He has many other books on this subject.

Frank Viola is a prolific writer. In Pagan Christianity he describes the twists and turns that Christianity has taken over 2000 years and the “bad habits” it has picked up along the way. He has a discipleship course to feed the hungry soul. He has a blog that presents discussion. I recommend this connection.

Our friends, Tony and Felicity Dale have long been in the house church network. Felicity’s recent book (The Black Swan Effect) is about women’s role in the church compared to the historical first century church. (One of our team members here at the ranch, Suzette, wrote a chapter.) Felicity’s blog is, www.simplychurch.com.

We love Myles Monroe’s books on leadership.

What I am currently reading, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. 

Everything that James Richards writes is read worthy. In the Wholeness Coaching I recommend his How to Stop the Pain, also Escape from Codependent Christianity. You’ll find many books and teachings on CD at his website, www.impactministries.com  

Over this next year, I am going to be blogging more to encourage those who have come through Bear Creek Ranch in their healing and growth. My book, The FiveWholeness Steps is now available. Also we will be producing our own CD’s and DVD’s of teachings which will be available on our website bookstore soon. 



So my advice, find some friends and feed on some teachings. But don’t feed on your friends...  (that’s codependency).  Then share with others what you are finding and what is impacting your life. If you found a store that had make up that made you look ten, twenty years younger, or food that gave you the energy of a 16 year old or a 50% off coupon for a car, you’d tell someone, right?

Your deliverance was surgery that removed a life sucking tumor. Wholeness Coaching was the after surgery “therapy” to expose years of unhealthy emotional and spiritual living and implement a journey of emotional and spiritual health. Now discover food that brings spiritual health and invigorates life.

To Life! 
Katie
Katie Mather
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Paradigm Vertigo



In the pursuit of upside-down thinking – standing on my head trying to focus my spiritual sight enough to actually grasp Kingdom principles – I’m experiencing a sense of vertigo. Everything I know, based upon the fifty-some-odd years of right-side up thinking, is now suspect; it’s all so temporal and worldly that the effort to seize the real deal of Kingdom thinking becomes both terribly alien and disconcerting.

All the blood is rushing to my head.

Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the process of exchanging my thinking for His thinking is as simple as His blood for my blood, and therefore, His blood rushing into my paradigms is the way for me to become brainwashed with Kingdom of Light thinking.

Kinda makes me a little nauseous just trying to wrap my brain around it.

Think about the awful simplicity: This new Kingdom is completely and utterly, every little thing, every big thing, all of it, absolutely opposite of what we know to be the way things are on this planet. Talk about the Matrix! What we think we know as truth is no truth at all. In fact, the laws of this planet are not at all what they seem.

Want to go exploring with me? This isn’t going to be the journey yet, let’s just take time to change into our Dora the Explorer clothes. The journey will begin in the next installment.

When buying into the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of Light, we move from darkness into light in every way: Spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (II Corinthians 5:17). Really? A new creation? What does that mean?

Let’s try to grasp this verse – we’ve heard it and quoted it a million times with only a cursory understanding of the implications. If those who enter into the Kingdom are a new creation there must be an old creation. The old creation is our first incarnation, born in sin, born to start dying, born into spiritual and moral darkness.

However, there was an older creation before that one. Adam and Eve were the first creation. They were perfect in every way, made by the very hand of Father. They were apparently designed to live forever; they were made mentally brilliant, physically flawless, and spiritually connected.

Evidently, perfection had its draw-backs. Eve’s perfect gullibility got her into trouble and she believed a snake – doesn’t it strike you that she didn’t think a talking snake was in the least bit odd? Well, you know how all that ended. As a result, the entire creation was changed, subjected to the dominion of dark thinking . . .

and the snake is still talking to us.

Here’s a thought: Father is omniscient so He knew they were going to blow it, so His plan was not the whole perfect Garden deal; His plan was not the whole kingdom of darkness thinking deal; His plan was obviously the whole new creation thing that will produce a race of kings to hang out with Him forever because we choose Him. Perfection with a twist!

And we will know enough not to talk to the snake.

So with time we have left on this mortal coil, we should expend our energies in worship –morphing our thought processes into Light paradigms.

Hopefully, you, like me, are as dizzy as a blond at the county fair.

Tim Mather
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The Five Wholeness Steps in a Busy Life



Why am I not using the 5 Wholeness Steps? They're so easy and EFFECTIVE!


  1. I need to keep it within view for me to actually remember.
  2. "Right click" and download.
  3. I need repetition.
  4. Everyday life absorbs my attention.



How do I implement those two things?


Keep it within view and encourage repetition by:

  1. Downloading The Five Wholeness Steps PRINT & hang everywhere.
    -Hang one on the fridge.
    -Tape one to my bathroom mirror.
    -Hang one over my desk.
    -Hang one in my closet next to my jewelry.
    -Tape one to the dog.
  2. Downloading The Five Wholeness & add to all my devices.
    -Make it the wallpaper on my computer.
    -Post it as a picture on my cell phone.
    -Share it on Facebook.

Now, every time I have a bad reaction in life (i.e. getting furious that the living room is messy) I can stop and ask the Lord what that is all about and go after EVERYTHING I find lurking in the shadows of my heart.

Now the question is... Where did you post yours?

#TheFiveWholenessSteps

The Honesty Policy



With my children, I am emulating a policy used in my own family growing up. It was about never keeping secrets. I grew up in a home where we talked about everything, all the time. Having my own children, I’ve realized why.

Secrets are Trouble


For the most part secrets are trouble and create problems where there may not have been any. It’s like building a porch without support beams. It may hold for a while, but eventually, something is bound to break. Secrets lead to lying, which leads to doing things behind parent’s backs, and hiding those actions. If they can hide small things from us, surely they have the capacity to hide bigger and bigger things, until finally they are teenagers and we have no idea who they are, what their opinions are and they are drifting farther and farther away from us.

Talk About Everything Together


We are actively teaching them to talk and to be continuously open with us. We are starting young with ours by always talking about everything with them. My childhood family did it most around the dinner table, talking about our day, sharing what happened, what we like, didn’t like and what we were thinking about.  We were never quick to leap from the table because of our conversations.

The best way to know what is going on in your child’s head and heart is to talk about it. If something happens, ask them what they thought about it. If someone hurts their feelings, talk about it. If they won a race or an award, talk about it. Talk about what is real, what is right now, about their life and their cares, good and bad. Everything. Talk while doing chores, while painting fingernails, while sitting on the porch, while driving to town, all through the day. Keep those communication lines open. Always. Regardless if it feels weird at first.

Live by Example


Openness and honesty may come at a price. You may have to sacrifice some of your own innermost thoughts to show your children how it is done. Children are mirrors. They will mimic us, whether we want them to or not. If I’m sassy, they will be sassy (no matter how many times I tell them not to.) If I say “crap” they say it too. I’m sure you have your own lovely examples of your children mirroring you too.

It may be risky to some, especially if you’re not practiced in it. Share your innermost thoughts and feelings with your children. They always know when you are upset. Tell them why. Let them love on you when you are down. Let them feel trusted with your information. (With the exception of extremely adult information, of course.)

In 2012, I was in physical pain from March to December. I would periodically slip into depression. I wanted to hide how I felt from them. I wanted to pretend to be strong so they didn’t feel like their world was falling apart. But I homeschool. They are with me 24/7. They knew when I was in pain anyway. So I was honest about it. I told them when I was hurting really bad. I told them when I was sad because I was hurting. And you know what they did? They didn’t leave me to wallow. My son gave me more hugs. My daughters kissed my boo-boo. They all prayed for me whenever they saw me in pain. I trusted them with my pain and as a result we grew closer.

Keeping a pattern of openness and honesty in the family creates a safe place for children to be themselves, not have to hide and to always feel accepted. We can be the example of openness and honesty, so they can emulate it.

Never Lie


It is kind of obvious to say “Never lie” especially after saying “Be open and honest” but somehow children figure out how to lie. They start lying around age 3 to 5. (The smarter ones learn it earlier, I think.)

I remember getting a punishment for lying in addition to the punishment for the actual crime. So with my own kids it is the same. Because it could be something little they are lying about when they are 10 years-old. For example, “You broke the vase but hid it under the end table and you said your sister did it?”

When they are teenagers it could end up being something bigger like, “You told me you were the one driving when you wrecked the car and it was actually your friend, who is not covered on our car insurance.”

Trouble.

But in the same way, you may have seen the look on your young child’s face when the great debate is occurring. To lie or not to lie. Interestingly, there are certain personalities who are prone to lie, they would choose lying over conflict or to save face. I have to encourage mine choose the right way every time so that lying doesn’t become a pattern in their life.

I am proud of my children when they choose to be truthful, especially when what they are admitting will get them into trouble. So, in an effort to promote honesty we sometimes reward them for it. (When the moment is right.) We must first deal with whatever trouble they’ve made and give out a punishment to fit the crime. I have taken a child out for ice cream for being honest with me. While we licked our ice cream cones, I talked to her about telling the truth and how important it was and thanked her for being forthright, to reinforce it. We fist-bumped and talked about whatever else was on her mind.

Openness is an endurance sport. Keep up the good work. It will surely pay off with open, honest and healthy adults.
Heather Trim
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Spiritual Welfare State



I was just having a chat with someone about the following verses:

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. 
Hebrews 5:11-6:3.

It often surprises me how needy we church people are. So, here is a rant for you to critique. Why is it the norm in the church structure that everyone must always be a subservient student sitting at the feet of the pastor-daddy or the teacher-mommy? When are we allowed to grow up and not have to sit through sermon after sermon, the substance of which we have heard a million times already?

When do we get to be grown-ups? When can we be trusted to FEED OURSELVES? And how arrogant is it to believe that one person should be responsible for the spiritual diet of the entire group of Saints?

This reminds me of the welfare mentality so pervasive in our country. Designed to provide a temporary leg-up for people in distress, it has morphed into a fulltime “I-don’t-have-to do-anything-for-myself” gravy train. So, able-bodied men and women – generation after generation, mind you – have no sense of responsibility for their own livelihood, relying upon the government to feed them and take care of their needs.

The Scriptures are quite clear on the subject: For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. II Thessalonians 3:10-12.

While these verses apply to people regarding their physical livelihood, it also applies to their spiritual livelihood. People sit dumb-faced week after week, year after year like little birds, their mouths open wide to receive the pre-chewed-food the pastor has already digested for them. Why does the clergy-class perpetuate the anti-biblical welfare state among the Saints? And more astonishing, why do we, the people, allow it to continue?

It’s like we remain little kids for the rest of our lives, relying upon our pastor-daddy to meet all of our spiritual needs. My kids are now in their late twenties to middle thirties. How dysfunctional would it be if they all depended upon me to feed them, meet all their needs, and raise their children? Once they were old enough to get out of house and marry, they were released to make their own family, to guide them, teach them and equip them to face the obstacles of their own lives.

It amuses me to ask people to tell me about their ecclesiastical baggage (church background). What I’ve discovered is almost no one was raised in one denomination and stayed there for life. In generations past, it was a badge of honor to say that was true. But now, we are consumers. We shop from church to church – some trips varying widely from Baptist to Charismatic or some mainline church to house church.

Pastors despise this phenomenon. Many have taken to forcing the Saints to not only join their church but to sign an additional loyalty statement in an effort to exercise control over their wanderings.

But I think it is indicative of good things happening in the Kingdom.

If you have been in one church with the same pastor for seven years you have heard everything he has and you will never hear anything fresh.

Most people can’t wait seven years.

Here is my thought: If you are a church-going person, move from church to church, denomination to denomination at will. Go to the Baptists and glean the good they have on the place of the Bible in life; go to the Presbyterians and find out about predestination; go to the Charismatics and have some fun; Pentecostals are all the Gift of Tongues, so go get what they have. All in all, each of them has a historical piece of the puzzle, so why not go get it from them?

But in the end, there is just you, your family, and Father. Therein lies the reality of pure Kingdom life. Outside of Sunday morning services and Sunday School, there is real life. Why not learn THAT? Just sit around and talk about Father.

THAT’S where the real joy lies!
Tim Mather
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Kingdom Anger Management PART 2


We all experience anger. Anger is a very misunderstood emotion. In my previous article, Kingdom Anger Management Part 1, I presented how it is a normal human emotion to a perceived threat. It is therefore a pain response, a symptom that there is a wound. In the case of a physical wound, we identify the wound and seek the medical care that wound needs.

But with emotional wounding what do we usually do?

Consistent with our human nature, we seek out what we perceive to be the source of our pain. It may be the person yelling to our face hurtful words or it can be the person ahead of us in traffic who is blissfully unaware that they are driving to slow for our liking. Either way, we perceive they are the threat to our greatest emotional need for unconditional love and acceptance.
But are they the actual threat?

Is what they are saying or doing actually saying that we are unworthy of love, respect and have no value? It is when we make a judgment and then use that judgment to negatively define our value, our worth and our identity it becomes a threat.

We perceive, “Oh, you said that to make me look worthless!” Then we judge, “Ah, therefore I am worthless!” Then we hop into flight or fight mode! Part of that flight or fight mode is also a choice of how to manage the wound and the pain we’ve suffered.

In flight mode, we may draw back into isolation and deny that there was any offense refusing to acknowledge any wound or pain. In fight mode we fight back and choose any weapon of choice, our words or actions to wound our offender.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26 to be angry but do not sin in your anger. We are told by well-meaning Christians that we are to just pretend that we are not wounded and go on with our lives. But isn’t that just denial—a flight mode choice?

He also tells us in Colossians 3:5 to put to death the things of our earthly nature. This means that any of the flight or fight choices are of our human, earthly nature. As children of the King, we have another choice. Rather than choosing a “sin” response, a response that is in alliance with our earthly nature, we have another option, a Kingdom of Light response. We can choose to heal.

It is hard to make a Kingdom choice. Our human nature wants to wallow in the pain and our pride wants to hide the pain. Pride is nothing more than trying to heal ourselves. And how is that working for the human race?

Like little children, we need to run into Father’s arms when we scrape our knee or when life hits us in the face. When we were very small children, we used to run to Mommy and Daddy with our hurts and boo-boos. But somewhere along the way, we learned that they were not there for us or we realized that they were the ones hurting us. We started to try to comfort ourselves with sex, drugs, alcohol, sports, shopping, codependent relationships and even church.

We need to realize that we cannot heal ourselves.

Our fight and flight responses do not heal us. Our coping behaviors do not protect, fix or comfort us. We are His children and we need to run into His arms. We need to show Him where it hurts and tell him about our pain. We need to let Him kiss our boo-boos away.

That is exactly what we are doing in the Five Wholeness Steps. It is not a ritual, but a simple healing routine to use when we find emotional wounds.

For more details about the The Five Wholeness Steps, see my blog post:When I’m Hurting.”
Katie Mather
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Kingdom Anger Management PART 1



Everyone struggles with anger, that hot under the collar feeling when someone cuts us off in traffic. But what is anger? What is anger for? How are we supposed to deal with our anger? What is righteous and unrighteous anger?

Yes, we all experience anger but anger is a very misunderstood emotion. In church we learn that it is wrong to be angry. But doesn’t it seem like God was always angry about something in the Old Testament. Is He angry now? How come it is okay for God to get angry and not us?

So many questions. First, let’s take a closer look at anger.

Anger is a normal human emotion with a wide range of intensity from mild irritation to rage. Whatever the level, it is a reaction to a perceived threat against ourselves, loved ones, our self-image or some part of our identity. It is a warning siren that goes off to tell us that something is wrong.

With a threat imminent, the human body reacts with a rush of adrenaline, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and muscles flexing for the fight or flight response. To determine the response, our minds want to search out the source of threat. Our behavior then expresses our anger.

Therefore, our anger is a pain response. If you hit your thumb with a hammer, you will have A) a sore thumb and B) anger. Sometimes the pain is in the present but more likely the pain we feel is in our store house of pain memory. All it takes is the mere threat of pain and we react.

Psychology and society says to manage your anger. Change bad behavior responses to better responses. Well-meaning Christians teach that it is OK to be righteous in our anger over injustice and sin but not to be angry when someone hurts our feelings. But is anger sin, in and of itself?

No, anger is not sin. We are told in Ephesians 4:26 to be angry but do not sin in our anger and not to give place to the devil. Paul has given us a pattern to follow concerning anger.

First, acknowledge your anger. This emotion is given to us by God our Creator as a signal that something hurts. Determine whether it is a physical wound or an emotional wound. If it is a physical wound, then tend to that wound’s needs. If is not a physical wound, then it is an emotional wound which needs to be healed. When you leave an emotional wound unhealed, like a neglected physical wound, it will fester and cause even more emotional pain and damage.

Just look at any average church. The reason Christians can’t get along is because we are reacting to the emotional wounds we carry. People bump into each other’s wounds and blame others for the pain they feel. The true source of our anger is the wound we already carry. The present conflict is just poking a stick into old wounds.

We then have a choice to make. Door number one is to choose a human reaction: fight or flight. But as a king in the Kingdom, we have another choice. Door number two is a Kingdom choice. That choice is to choose to heal. Anytime life bumps into our wounds it can become a “Wholeness Moment.” That hurtful situation can give us an opportunity to choose to run to Father to experience His healing rather than nursing our wounds and giving a place for the enemy to steal, kill and destroy.


In part 2 of KingdomAnger Management I will tell you about Father kissing our boo boos away! 


Katie Mather
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