This is the time of year when people think about all of the things that they have to be thankful for. We would like to share some of the things that we are thankful for. We can all be thankful for this life we have been given for truly it is a gift from God and every breath we take is not owed to us but it's a gift. Looking at the necessities in life as a gift from God can put things into perspective a little bit because there are some people that do not know what bridge they are going to sleep under from night to night. We are thankful that we have a roof over our heads, food on the table every day, clothing, and for the many things that can easily be taken for granted, such as: electricity, transportation, furniture and appliances all in a house that we call home.
We also have been given a good job that pays well and provides benefits. We live close to work so that we don't have to waste a lot of time and money commuting. We have two vehicles so that if one breaks down we can still get around. My job is one of the better jobs in the industry in which I work. Most people in my profession are required to travel a lot and are away from home for weeks at a time and if they don't do that, they are not paid very well. I am thankful that I get to spend every night at home sleeping in a warm bed and I get weekends off. Every week, my wages are deposited into my bank account and we are able to pay for all the things we need and some of the things we want. We also are able to save money.
I am also very thankful for my wife. Some people live their entire lives without finding true love or without being with the one person they were meant to be with. My life would not be complete and right now I'd be lost and doing my own thing if it were not for her. Human compassion is a gift that many people overlook. We all have a need to be loved by others. God's love is great and nothing can match it, but we all need to be loved by others. My wife understands me, cares for me and builds me up in so many ways. Sometimes I don't love myself, but I can always depend on her love, every day. It gets me through the hard times. Of everything I have in this world, I am the most thankful for the love that we have for each other and the companionship we share.
We continue to blog because we have found that many of the gifts that God has given us, were withheld from us while we were in the ntcc. We think it is important to share with everyone that follows this blog that without freedom, everything is in vain. God does not want folks to be miserable and God has promised so many things to those that love him. We used to listen to the preacher tell us about all the promises in His word that were ours. We strove to obtain those promises but we were not allowed by the men and women we loved to obtain these promises. To put it bluntly, we were used by the ntcc, and when the ntcc was finished with us we were discarded. We jumped through all the hoops and kept our part of the bargain, but the promises were kept from us. We were not allowed to share in the spoils that were accumulated in battle. We stayed in Egypt the whole time we were a part of the ntcc. We never murmured or complained and when they kept taking away the straw we continued to make more bricks than ever. We built a financial empire for people that were using our willingness to work and build for their own interests.
In spite of all this, we have had no choice but to use it all as a learning experience. Much of what we went through is in the past now but we relive it in our minds and we have to continue on in life in spite of what we did. It seems like we have warned people until we are blue in the face but much of it is to no avail. That's the way it seems, but we still think it's worth it if one person finds freedom. Freedom always comes with a price. Salvation is free, the price has been paid for us. Unfortunately there are those that want to profit from this. There always will be. So what do we do? We choose to keep our eyes on the prize that is before us realizing that the author and finisher of our faith is not someone in Graham that is collecting all our tithe and living high on the hog off of everyone else's work while being praised and worshiped by men. God's promises are obtainable and when we put our faith in the one that really cares about our future, our freedoms can be enjoyed, and we can have the things in this life and in the life to come, according to God's promises. The ntcc leadership does not have a monopoly on monetary blessings. In reality they have obtained wealth through much deception and good people have given large portions of their livelihood under false pretenses to these false prophets. I'd rather earn my living then to get rich through deception.
Where were we? Oh yeah, Thanksgiving. I'm thankful, (and I really mean this with all my heart), not to be a part of this system. We have heard testimony after testimony of people that have left the ntcc and received the promises that were kept from them while in the ntcc. I'm sure that many folks think that we should just "get on with our lives" and "let God take care of them" but this is all part of the healing process for us. We want others to be able to "get on with their lives" also and as long as they are under the ntcc cloud of deception, they will never be able to get on with their lives. So please forgive us if we continue in our "futile" efforts to warn people to avoid the mistakes we made. There are times when I want to say, "We've done all that we can do", "They have made their choice", "They have heard our warnings and chosen to live a lie". Then there are times like right now when we reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for and we realize that there are people trapped in a cult that are so brainwashed that they won't listen to reason, and you think maybe we can help someone in a small way and when that person has been used up by the ntcc and discarded after giving all they have to give, maybe they won't blame God and they can find their way back to Him as I did.
Please take the time to watch the youtube video below this paragraph. It is very moving and while it might seem like a stretch, it reminds me of what I went through in the ntcc. I had the same kind of unconditional love toward those who I trusted with my eternal soul. It didn't matter if they blasted me from the pulpit, I loved them. As their love seemed to diminish I kept hoping that the love I had for them would be returned to me. Even though I didn't understand their actions I kept trusting them and believing in them. When they were done with me, not one of them loved me enough to try to help me. They quickly forgot about me and lied to themselves and everyone we loved, even though they had pictures and memories of all the good times. As I felt the gloom and hopelessness of their rejection, I could only blame myself. What did I ever do? Unfortunately for me, I thought that their love was God's love. But I was so wrong. Their love was conditional and God's was unconditional. I've heard them say, "leave him alone", never thinking it would be me. I watched as others reached the end of their usefulness and were thrown out with the garbage, thinking that it would never be me. All of the good is quickly forgotten. We are no longer part of the "family". We are now enemies.
You wanna know what I'm really thankful for? I'm very thankful that this is not God's attitude. I'm thankful that God doesn't forget about us, like people forget about their pets. Some people keep their dogs chained in the backyard to a doghouse and they tell people "this is my dog". If the dog is lucky it might get some scraps after dinner and enough water to survive another day. I'm thankful that I'm no longer chained to an ntcc church. I'm thankful that all my endeavors in life are not being used to pay for real estate acquisitions or amenities for the elite few in Graham Washington that bind heavy burdens on others but will not so much as lift one finger to help you. I'm thankful that I don't walk around looking down my nose at the poor and crippled as the dregs of society while feeling smug because I'm being praised by people that I have used and deceived. I am thankful that my wife and I have escaped from a destructive cult and have been allowed to reunite and be together as was our desire 21 years ago. I am thankful that God has seen fit to love us and care about us and extend His grace and mercy to us in spite of everything we have been through. We are also thankful that there are many others that have taken up this cause and done their part to help others find freedom. I have learned so much from the ntcc but unfortunately what I have learned from them is how NOT to treat others, how NOT to be fake, How NOT to follow a man instead of God. We are grateful and forever thankful that "Many waters can not quench love, neither can the floods drown it". Song of Solomon 8:7