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Monica Lewinsky: Confronting Cyberbullying and Shame

August 2, 2015


Below is a video by Monica Lewinski dealing with the price of shame and how the Internet has taken what was typically played out in a smaller community or in the news; something that, once upon a time, was here today gone tomorrow. But, with the advent of the Internet, is now publicized worldwide and kept around for the tormenting amusement of others forever. Lewinsky also talks about the big business of getting headlines and advertising dollars at the expense of others and seeks to help people think differently about it in hopes of bringing about change.

That will only happen when people stop tolerating it. But when we, ourselves, are suffering from shame, what often feels good to us is witnessing others going through the same thing, so we click on the articles/videos/images and immediately give cyberbullying more power by reinforcing it through the dollars it gains by those who promoted it. That makes us a part of the problem. What’s worse, it dulls our heart and makes us more capable of hurting others.

After watching Lewinski’s video, below, don’t forget to read the rest of this article to find out how and why it is important for all of us to change our actions as well as our attitudes and choices regarding cyberbullying.

As readers of my blog know, the toxic shame that humiliation brings to the identity creates a condition known to psychologists, sociologists, and ministers as “soul murder.” That is what numbs people and makes their “love grow cold” as Jesus predicted would happen to people as time grew closer to His return. It dehumanizes us. The buried pain of toxic false shame creates a wall around the heart that makes young people and adults capable of atrocious criminal and socially harmful acts. When one is under threat, one has a tendency to strike back at others in their effort to survive.

Did you know that our participation in cyberbullying or online shaming isn’t really that much different than our going out and shooting someone, morally speaking? Revenge for humiliation often involves murder. Well, relishing in the shame and humiliation of another is giving power to the murder of someone’s soul, as if we, ourselves, were pulling the trigger. This is why Jesus said having the thought of an adulterous act or of murdering someone isn’t any different in God’s eyes than doing it ourselves. That is because it distorts our souls when we do.

One way to stop doing something is to understand why we do it in the first place. For the same reason we choose to watch movies that show the good guy winning against the bad guy. We have suffered humiliation, shame, and betrayal so, many times, it feels good to us to watch others suffer like we have. But the thing is, we, as individuals and as a society, will not be judged by how we treated those who are rich, popular, beautiful, and powerful. We will be judged by how we treated the poor, the destitute, the needy, the infirm, and yes, even the sinner/prisoner.

Did Monica Lewinsky sin? Yes. Most certainly. She sinned against the family of President Clinton. But she is a human being. As they say, “But for the grace of God go I;” meaning, any one of us could end up in her shoes at some point in time. I can’t tell you how many judgmental people I have watched eventually lose their heads and fall into great sin… and do under the scornful eye of the public. Like on the movie, Chocolat, they are usually upstanding citizens who lived their lives pointing the finger at others. People especially love to see this happen to preachers, don’t they? It sells a lot of advertisements. What does that say about them?

The readers of this blog know that the soul murder caused by toxic shame can drive religious people to become “holier than thou.” This is the primary thing I address in this blog and in my book Accelerated Transformation: Maturity, Intimacy, and Unity through Emotional Healing. But self-righteousness did not originate with religion, but with the wounds to our hearts. So it is not the exclusive property of those in the Church.

Pride and self-righteousness is what we all do when we want to justify our existence; to restore a sense of dignity and value after having those things (and more) ripped away from us. As you may know, there are two kinds of shame, one is healthy and one is toxic. The healthy form of shame involves a behavior, choice, or action. The toxic form of shame is perceived or taken on as an identity. Both come from a feeling of exposure. The toxic form usually involves the exposure of our vulnerability, of who we are; whereas the healthy form comes from the exposure of our poor choices.

Whether that may have come from , teasing, bullying, and harsh criticism from the people that matter or from those who made that information available to them, often through betrayal, as was the case in Lewinsky’s case; the effect is devastating and quite often ends in the suicide of the individual.

The apostle, Peter, said, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8). Does that mean we don’t deal with sin? No. But we do need to preserve human dignity in the process.

There is something basic to humanity that we have forgotten how to do. When we do something wrong, we acknowledge it and try to make it right. Then we forgive and let the offender grow from the experience.

What matters about wrong doing isn’t that you have broken some sort of rules, but that you have harmed someone. When you harm someone you create needs. We have an obligation to try to make it right the best that we can. Name the wrongs done. Address the harms that resulted from them. Take responsibility the best we can. And make amends.

All human experiences should be redemptive in nature. We are all here to grow and transform. The Native Americans say, we were born to learn how to “become human.” I like that. I believe it is true. God made humanity in His Image, which is Love. We came to learn how to love. But sadly, many hearts are born among very shaming environments. This should not be tolerated. It creates cold, and inhuman hearts subject to doing harm to others. Our society has become that sort of environment and only you and I have the power to change it.


© Tracey Nelson, M.Ed.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the previous and following statements on any distributed copy:

By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos may not be owned by author).

**Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.

Why Intelligent Design should be Okay to Teach in Public Schools

July 31, 2015

In 2005, a Dover, Pennsylvania court ruled that Intelligent Design could not be taught in public schools along side the Theory of Evolution simply because we have a constitution that says the U.S. Government cannot promote a particular religious point of view. Never mind whether that point of view is the truth or not. It just can’t be taught, regardless.


Are people really SO blind that they would rather have their children continue to be taught a lie above the truth simply because it isn’t politically correct? LUDICROUS. So, Intelligent Design, a fact that has more scientific support than the Theory of Evolution, is not allowed to be taught simply on that basis. (Of course, we all know that any teacher can get around that by having students do reports on controversial court cases involving science and presenting that as the argument he/she wants students to study. I was able to do that while simultaneously teaching about our constitution and religious freedom. But not every teacher is smart enough or brave enough to do so.)

But, I think it is important for all Americans to take a closer look at how that court decision has hurt our students. It has brought about state-sponsored censorship. Remember book burning? This isn’t the former Soviet Union or Hitler’s Nazi Regime. This is the United States of American. And as such it cannot limit the freedoms of Americans by restricting their access to knowledge or alternative points of view.

Intelligent Design is not spurious. It is a viable alternative which provides scientific and mathematical proof in its favor. It interferes with the idea that is the very foundation of evolution; that life arose from nothing by chance. That idea has finally been completely debunked by math and science. So, the only alternative left is Intelligent Design.

One cannot say that the United States Government would have to promote a religion by allowing it to be taught because no one is giving a name to who that intelligence created us is, be he/she/it alien or some other god besides the Christian god, but the fact is, the discussion is finally over. Life in the universe could never have arisen by chance.

Unfortunately, if you don’t hire a lawyer who is capable of arguing such a case, you will lose. The issues at stake are as follows:

  • Truth is not allowed to be taught to school children simply because it is politically incorrect (i.e., it may have a possible attachment to a god or intelligence)? So, what is the alternative? To teach our children a lie?
  • Does that mean science has no interest in the truth, only the atheistic version of truth? Isn’t that the same thing as a state-sponsored religious viewpoint? Ah ha! Why doesn’t someone sue the state for forcing their children to follow its state-sponsored religion when another alternative exists?

Every lawyer knows that going to court is never about arriving at the truth, but its about who has the best lawyer. I hate to sound arrogant, but when truth is on your side, it sort of sounds like you are.

Someone knows a really gifted lawyer who can get a hold of these two thoughts in order to arrive at a way to defeat the errors being taught to our children. One way to do so is to present how the US Government has been forcing public children to swallow an unproven, religious point of view of atheists. We need lawyers who can fight for truth, no matter what package it comes in. Truth is truth, period.


© Tracey Nelson, M.Ed.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the previous and following statements on any distributed copy:

By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos may not be owned by author).

**Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.

Being Comfortable in Our Own Skin

July 20, 2015
What does it mean to feel comfortable in our own skin? One of the realities of the human condition is that none of us typically feels totally righteous or acceptable enough. Fill in the blanks and you will understand what I mean: I am not __________________________ enough. Everyone has a different answer, depending upon his or her previous experiences with rejection and fitting in. For example, some may not feel pretty enough, skinny enough, tall enough, smart enough, good enough, or perfect enough.
Consequently, there is a great deal of justifying that goes on in our lives. Whether that comes in the form of a self-righteous attitude or our many attempts to accomplish a certain level of whatever it is we deem to be acceptable (degrees, positions, a certain income, title, level of fame…), it doesn’t really matter. The fact is that much energy and money is spent by individuals in an attempt to reach that level of inner peace so they can finally be comfortable within their own skin. But the cost for all of that tends to lead to an untimely death or miserable life. You see, we human beings suffer a great deal of stress, turmoil, and pain as a result of our many efforts to “be enough.”
  • Consider that endless search for love in all the wrong places and the divorces and break ups that result. They leave the children perplexed about what love really is and confused about who they are because their parentage is so undefined (i.e., step parents, unknown parents, absent parents…).
  • Keep in mind how many people search for significance in their titles or positions and the sort of stress that brings into their lives and families as they dedicate most of their extra energy, time, and attention to prove to the boss that they should be promoted.
  • Take into account the debt people get into buying things or obtaining degrees that will make them feel like they are “enough” (e.g., school loans, mortgages that take two incomes to maintain, new automobiles, clothing, beauty services and products, plastic surgery…).
  • What about the addiction, excessive weight gain, or bulimia that comes from comforting oneself from the stress that this pursuit creates and the pain that not “being enough” makes one feel?

Eventually all the self-abuse, neglect, stress and imbalance add up, becoming too much for the body to handle and it begins to wear down, producing disease in the process. Diseases such as;

  • Preventable lifestyle diseases:
    • Type 2 Diabetes
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Heart Disease
  • Mental imbalances and psychological disorders:
    • Depression from the repressed anger at the whole situation;
    • Anxiety that this inability to reach a place of peace brings;
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders in an effort to maintain some sense of control;
    • Self-rejection, self-hatred, and bitterness.
  • Inflammation in the body which is a precursor to major other diseases.
    • Cancer;
    • Autoimmune disorders;
    • Arthritis.
Then there are great many social ills caused by all of this. I have already mentioned divorce and the confusion brought to children born in the midst of this relationship hopping. But what about crime?
I imagine that much of what “criminals” get trapped in comes as a consequence of their desire to aspire to a certain level of acceptability can lead them down the wrong path. For example:
  • Many end up choosing the wrong method to attain acceptance; resorting to stealing, extortion, embezzlement, and murder to get money or to maintain their reputations.
  • It is not uncommon for young men raised in poor neighborhoods to choose the wrong person to impress (a gang member).
  • As a result of their inability to succeed in that department, they may end up giving up on trying to fit in.
  • This may cause such pain, frustration, and anger that they resort to hurting others either in a momentary outburst of rage or by choice through some diabolical scheme.

As already mentioned, trying to succeed can cause a great deal of stress. Likewise, when one fails to succeed, it can also cause much emotional pain and anger. But few people realize that obtaining success does not always give one the guarantee they hoped for. It doesn’t typically provide them with the deep sense of abiding peace they had hoped for. Again, these stressors often lead many to try and comfort their emotional pain with substances or behaviors that eventually cause addiction.

Wounds created by our need to reach a certain level of comfort in our own skin often lead to much more painful encounters for us in the future whenever we are faced with rejection, betrayal, abuse, or failure. These wounds often bring on a sense of self-hatred, self-rejection, and low self-esteem. Without forgiveness, these, in turn, can create bitterness within our hearts. Bitterness leads to hard hearts made cold and less loving. Some people respond to all of this pain by creating more distance between them and others by building a wall around their hearts. These are generally the types that will put on a mask of pride or a false-self to elevate their low sense of self-esteem. Others types tend to lack any boundaries whatsoever and turn into people-pleasers. Often these are the types that marry abusive people and/or become doormats and servants to others at their own expense.

Until a person’s heart is healed from such wounds he/she can’t reach a level of personal maturity which allows him/her to find intimacy with another person let alone an acceptable level of unity within society. Not until that individual has the sense of self-esteem that allows him/her to be vulnerable with another person without fearing, for example, the outcome of rejection.

You see, to experience rejection might mean a person is “less than” or “not enough.” Consequently, to avoid experiencing that horrible feeling, most of his/her relationships will be spent protecting his/her ego. Besides wearing false masks and protecting one’s heart with a wall, much of that process will include blame shifting. Blame shifting keeps people from being intimate with others because they can never hear what the heart of the other person is saying. Even if they aren’t under fire and put on the defense, they are constantly listening to conversations from others with an ear towards how they are being perceived. Therefore, they often misunderstand things and take offense with others.
What is the solution?
We cannot transform into mature human beings until the matters of the heart are adequately dealt with. So one of the steps in that process must include healing the heart. But healing the heart cannot happen unless several other things also occur. For example,
  • Because human beings were designed to get their sense of worth from others whom they desire a relationship with, they must understand why that is.
  • Since we can never please everyone all of the time, some people try to detach their worth from what others think of them. But the thing is, that is nearly an impossible task. One’s heart would have to be continually kept numb in order to do that.
  • So, we must learn to get along with others by walking according to universal rules of respect.

We must walk honorably with people. That means we must learn to keeps boundaries while establishing and maintaining a system of justice. Most importantly, we need to understand what love and grace are all about. Where does one begin to learn something like that? Everyone has a different definition of those things. Well, since God, Himself, is Love incarnate (in other words, He doesn’t just love others, He IS Love) that is an appropriate place to start. God is also holy and just. Whether you believe in God or not, the idea of pure love and holiness is something worth attaining. So, if you choose to follow God for those reasons, alone, you are going to be transformed into a more mature, intimate, and loving human being that is able to get along with others. Even if you haven’t reached that place of faith, you can call that your idea of Heaven. A place where you are not only healthier and happier, but because you made yourself into a better person by crawling out of your narcissistic tendencies and selfish or self-righteous attitude, you will be able to contribute something of worth and value to your family and society as a result.

Most Christian values are shared by the majority of religions in the world. But there is one thing that makes Christianity unique among others; the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Consequently, it is the only religion in the world that matches up with what the science tells us creates healthy people, psychologically speaking.

Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplished something that sets souls free from any bondage to fear. The grace and mercy that His Blood bought for us gives each of us a totally clean slate to start out with each new day. We get to trade report cards with Him. We get His A’s while He took our F’s and nailed them to the cross.

This may seem a bit confusing at first but our endless pursuit of becoming “enough” in order to feel comfortable in our own skin was taken care of by Jesus. We get God’s favor without ever having to earn it. This takes all of the stress and anxiety off of our souls. For one, it gives us a pass directly into the presence of our perfect Father, God, without any fear of rejection or punishment. As the apostle, John (I John 4:18) said, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Psychologically speaking, we need a perfect father from whom to obtain our identity. But none of us has one. Our parents may have tried hard, but in the end, they really didn’t have enough time for us, did they? And very few really understood what was required to raise a truly healthy human being. Consequently, we went around thinking some very strange and imbalanced thoughts about ourselves, assuming many lies about the world, ourselves, and others in the process.  So, besides running to and fro trying to find that magic formula to help us feel good in our own skin, we spend our whole lives obsessed with our parents, in most cases either hating them or never fully feeling as if we are able to please them. Therefore, a relationship with a perfect father that is holy and doesn’t just love us, but is love itself, goes a long way to healing our hearts and teaching us several things such as how to be King’s kids and how to love others the same way He loves us.


© Tracey Nelson, M.Ed.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the previous and following statements on any distributed copy:

By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos may not be owned by author).

**Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.

Helly Luv’s “Revolution:” When it’s Okay to Fight

June 19, 2015

Hellyluv Revolution - Stand up we are United2

Western-raised Middle Eastern singer, Helan Abdulla, whose artist persona is called Helly Luv, has released a powerful video called “Revolution” where she sounds the rally cry for people to fight against the evils of the terrorist group, ISIS.
Hellyluv Revolution - United We're Marching There 2

Despite our desire to see that our troops get to stay home to never return to the scenes of conflict in the Middle East, the dynamics of what was going on when we originally went to war and what is going on today are totally different. We aren’t deposing an evil despot for the sake of oil anymore. We are finally facing the very threat we thought we were going to war to fight in the first place; terrorism. And where are our troops? Back home.

After witnessing so many public beheadings committed by ISIS against westerners and Christians, good people cannot help but want to fight.


British citizen who went to the Middle East to help Muslim victims of war is shown here just before his public beheading by ISIS.

In fact, many Americans, like the ones shown in the photo, below, along with other westerners are so offended at these atrocities that they have spent their own money to join in the fight against ISIS. Who are they joining? The Kurdish Peshmerga, the primary army now fighting these terrorists.

Westerners Join Peshmerga 3 - no text

American’s join Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight against the darkness of ISIS.

So, why would the author of a blog dedicated to peace and unity be writing an article about fighting darkness and injustice while featuring a secular pop music artist? This video caught my eye because Abdulla appears to be calling for people of all religions to unite in this fight against evil.

Or is she?

There are a few scenes in this video when Abdulla seems to be sending a mixed message encouraging both peace and war. Are there times when it is okay to do both?

Any form of unity and the desire to maintain peace in our communities and relationships can be equally confusing at times. How does a Christian, for example, strike a balance between adhering to the truth while walking in unity amidst so much religious diversity?

This critique of Helly Luv’s compelling video will provide the perfect opportunity to discuss that very thing. I will make comparisons with the conflict in the Middle East with the basic struggle we all face as human beings and as Christians as we try to walk in loving unity with mankind while also trying to adhere to our principles and ideas of truth.

unity truth


Abdulla is a Kurd born in the Kurdistanian region of Iran. Her family would escape Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror and end up living in Finland where she was raised.

In this music video Abdulla uses song lyrics, driving rhythms, and many powerful images to communicate an important message to the world calling for all to unite against ISIS. One example of this injustice from her video is depicted here in this image of a mother cradling her dead child.

Hellyluv - Revolution Devastation

This video has a lot of powerful symbolism, such as that which is represented in Abdulla’s bold attire. Could this be meant to fly in the face of some of the values that radical Islam promotes, particularly those held against women? Or is this a part of Abdulla’s own brand of Islam? Maybe she has no religion at all. Like all art, this will be left to the interpretation of the viewer.

In this first image, below, Abdulla appears on the scene after what was once a peaceful day in a village has been shattered by an attack by ISIS. To get her message across, she uses the imagery of golden high heels, heels that are higher than your average heels, along with a gold ankle bracelet. In this scene, she can be seen walking against the fleeing crowd.

Hellyluv - Revolution Gold Shoe

The sound of clanging metal can be heard as she puts her first step forward. This may depict the strength of taking that first, all-important step against such an enemy. Without the first step of good people standing against tyranny, eveil cannot be defeated. Or maybe it just represents her own resolve to stand up against such evil.

We all know that gold represents value; the monetary value we place on things. Does this speak of the value we should place upon this message? Or is she trying to tell us that ISIS is threatening our most important human values? Consequently, we should take some sort of action and join her in taking that all important first step.

Gold also depicts royalty and wealth. One can clearly see here that Abdulla must put some value in herself. But then again, as we would come to discover, she isn’t just another burka-wearing Muslim with something naughty hidden underneath in a statement of defiance.

The next clue in our introduction of this singer is when the camera shows Abdulla wearing a veil or scarf while walking against the crowd towards the incoming tanks.

Hellyluv -Revolution AppearanceAgain, we are provided further proof that if the woman in the video is a Muslim, she is not as conservative as other Muslim women we see in the Middle East because she has on a shiny belt. But once we get to see her face for the first time we notice that something else is very, very different about this woman because she is wearing heavy eye makeup and a headband of gold with a black bandanna sporting what looks like skulls on it.

Hellyluv - Revolution Birds

The additional imagery of the dark colored doves flying close around her periphery sends yet another message to us that appears spiritual in nature; possibly meant to provide greater significance to her cause. But these doves are not pure white. White doves generally represent peace or the spirit of God. These are grey and white, could this be a foreshadow of what eventually seems like a mixed message… a message of attaining peace through war?

Then as Abdulla reaches down to reveal that she is holding a banner, you can see, below, that she is also wearing a gold machine-gun ring on her right hand and golden bullets for bracelets.  Note the long, red, fingernails and all the ornamentation or henna that is tattooed onto her left hand. Could this be representing her ethnicity, her value of herself, or even her liberty as a woman? Or is it just a way to call attention to her hands; hands that are actively doing something about this injustice?

This is also really the first time we have any clue to her message. She seems to have a militant purpose here.

Hellyluv -Revolution Bracelets

That is when she confuses us.

Hellyluv - Revolution Sign Stop Violence

We think to ourselves, “Well, yes, dear. That is an awesome message but aren’t you also wearing bullets and machine guns?!? Make up your mind!” So this compels us to watch further to see what Abdulla’s real purpose is here.

Next, Abdulla uncovers the symbol of her oppression. She removes the veil covering her head and face to reveal an audacious head-full of bright red hair! Red is a color that represents love as well as action, determination, fire, passion, severity and blood. As we listen to the lyrics and watch the rest of the images in this video, each of these are a part of her message. So she couldn’t have chosen a better color. Here, we also get another close up of Abdulla’s militant jewelry.

Hellyluv - Revolution Red Hair Exposed

In this blog we talk about how people use cover ups to mask their feelings of inadequacy. These inadequacies of the soul are created by our social connections. They are caused by wounds of rejection, abuse, neglect, humiliation, and shame.

The cover up chosen really doesn’t matter (e.g., a prestigious job title, high rank, money, social position, beauty, material possessions, or religion…). It will be different for each individual. This usually depends on what the community that the individual wants acceptance from values.

In the Muslim religion, for example, cover ups for women are referred to as hijabs. These are meant to represent modesty. This is a great value to have. But in reality, it is really a way for the society to diminish the value and rights of women with respect to men who, as you will note, do not use anything to physically cover themselves up for the sake of modesty. Veils actually repress a woman’s individuality and her identity which Abdulla also appears to be expressing here with the color of her hair. What’s more, she is insulting the values of her enemy; ISIS.

This next picture shows Abdulla as she, once again, stands resolute in her cause for peace and liberty. Our next clue proves to us that she isn’t just a peace-loving hippie placing her body in between the tank and the terrified citizens of this village when she raises a finger in defiance and strength against this heavy artillery. It is as if she is saying, “If a woman can do this boys, surely you can get your guns and join the fight with me.” And apparently there is some need for that message to get communicated. We constantly hear reports in the news of Iraqi soldiers running away from the battle and not standing up to fight against this oppressive enemy. As a matter of fact, it is the Kurdish Peshmerga (which include female soldiers) that is depicted in this video that seems to be fighting their battles for them.

Hellyluv Revolution - Stand up we are United

In this next scene we see Helan Abdulla waving a flag that many in the West will not recognize. It is the Kurdish flag.

Hellyluv Revolution - United We're Marching There

This flag came into being during Kurdistan’s bid for independence against the Ottoman Empire. For those of you not up on this important bit of history, that is basically the empire that ISIS is trying to resurrect. You have probably heard this word caliphate used a lot lately in the news, right? Well, the Ottoman Empire was a Muslim caliphate that had been in existence since the latter half of the Middle Ages until it was dissolved in 1922 just after WWI.


It should be known that the Kurds are an ethnic group without a country. They make up 10-18 percent of the people in Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. They have been fighting for independence for about a century now. They have no desire to see a radical Muslim caliphate in place.

The largest number of Kurds live in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iran. But the flag Abdulla is waving and that all Kurdish soldiers wear on their uniforms, is banned in Iran as well as Turkey and Syria because what it represents (freedom and liberty).

Once again, we see Helly Luv standing up on a tank, below, with a group of females and the Peshmerga army rallying people to stand up and fight.

Hellyluv Revolution - United We're Marching There 3

Nevertheless, there are also many messages in this video that seem confusing, with people taking up banners in hand with words printed on them such as “Stop War,” “No More Genocide,” and “Peace,” juxtaposed against the fighting and military propaganda.

Helly Luv Revolution - Different Religions

We even see scenes with people from multiple religions coming together to call for peace.

Helly Luv Revolution - Different Religions

Signs with every religion depicted are seen below.

Helly Luv Revolution - All Religions 2

Abdulla is seen here praying as she sings this lyric, “Brothers and sisters we all come from one. Different religions we share the same love.”

So what is she really trying to say here? Fight with banners or guns?

Helly Luv Revolution - Different Religions 3

Many people in the Christian faith may get upset with this because there seems to be a movement towards having one world religion. This is the religion that the Antichrist is supposed to endorse and lead.

Nevertheless, the reasoning in Abdulla’s song is sound. We all love, so why do we fight? It only hurts those we love in the end.

This may, indeed, end up being the rally cry that wins the day towards the formation of a one-world government and religion, as prophesied. After all, weren’t we told that if it were possible, even the elect might be deceived in the end? Maybe that is because uniting around the principle of love doesn’t seem to be such a bad thing. This would provide the perfect vehicle to rally everyone behind the Antichrist in his satanic agenda.

It appears, at least on the surface, that the pope is also trying to do the same thing. In his quest for peace he is seeking unity with the Muslims and other religions who are not remotely in agreement with his own faith. Below you can see one such gathering with, for example, the Hindus, Buddhists, and Atheists.

Pope Francis Unity and One World Religion

The pope’s reasons are likely the same logical, rational reasons that Abdulla is also using to call for unity; to stop fighting over religion. Much the same message of my own blog, with one exception. While I do call for unity, that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when we must bring our differences forward for discussion. We must learn to fight peacefully for the cause of truth.

Unity does not mean we have arrived at a consensus and agree with one another. Unity means rather than choosing to fight, we admit that we agree on most things. But we are secure enough in ourselves to accept the diversity that exists in others while striving to discuss our differences until we arrive at the truth. But will any of us accept the differences between us and a radical terrorist? Never! And no one should ever accept any form of injustice or darkness.

While we all want to think of ourselves as broad minded and accepting of multicultural people groups rather than being seen as prejudice, there are definitely times when we must exercise extreme prejudice against evil. And I think this is the message Helly Luv is promoting; peace through unity in war. She seems to calling the global community to take notice of the conflict and to throw their support and military might to fight this regime of terrorists. You can see her, below, waving us on, to come join her.

Helly Luv Revolution - Don't be Scared

The lyrics confirm this call to arms through the words, “People all around the world, around the world, don’t be scared. Come together let ’em know, let ’em know we’re right here. We’re marching… we’re marching there. United, united we’re marching there.”

Hellyluv Revolution - It's a Revolution Nations United - no text

This message becomes clear at the end of her video when the main character, a soldier who was fighting gets knocked off his feet by an explosion.

Helly Luv Revolution - Man being Blown Up

The soldier gets up just as Abdulla’s character in this drama, also a soldier, has rescued a defenseless baby in her arms.

Helly Luv Revolution - Rescuing a Helpless Family 2

The male soldier is then seen with a rocket launcher in his hands.

Hellyluv Revolution - Guy with a rocket launcher - no text

The rocket gets a successful hit on the tank that came to town to terrorize the people.

Hellyluv Revolution - Rocket launched tank exploding

Immediately after the explosion, you see Abdulla, who was just beyond the tank with the rescued baby in her arms cheering along with the rest of the fighters at this successful hit leaving no doubt, whatsoever, that Abdulla is standing behind her people, the Kurdish Peshmerga, in their fight against this evil.

Helly Luv Revolution - Abdulla after tank is destroyed - no text

Why is the nations of the world being so complacent? ISIS means to take over the world. This is why many westerners from America, Canada, Europe and other nations are taking matters into their own hands to join up with the Peshmerga to fight against this oppressive regime. They recognize the danger. These volunteers often bring their own guns because there is no money being sent to the Peshmerga arm them. Take a look at the flags this American is wearing on his uniform.

Westerners Join Peshmerga

ISIS isn’t a small band of terrorists. It is a well-oiled and well-funded fighting machine with what seems to some like really cool uniforms. Their self-righteous campaign of violence speaks volumes to the disenfranchised video game-playing youth everywhere; youths who would glory in such gun-brandishing, knife wielding threats. This can be seen in the photo below of these teens who brought guns to Columbine High School to commit the mass murder of their classmates and teachers.


Disenfranchised youths in the lunch room of Columbine High School where mass murders took place at their hands.

People who are wounded, fearful, and frustrated often want to gain a sense of control over their lives in some way… and what better way for some angry young men to feel justified about their anger than to join a gun-toting terrorist group like ISIS. Muslim parents beware! Keep a close eye on your kids!

Now let me briefly share the other message besides unity that I also promote on this blog, the importance of healing the heart.


Bitterness is the fertile soil of revenge and war. It causes illness, discord, and disunity. It ruins marriages, leads to crime, and promotes a blindness that comes from narcissism. We all get hurt from time to time. And most of us have suffered from injustice. So what would the world be like if we all took our revenge out on someone? You are absolutely right, like a Middle Eastern war zone. This is why the message of Jesus Christ is so important for today.

Jesus taught humanity the importance of forgiving from the heart. A heart that cannot forgive is hard and full of pride. Walls around our hearts promote distances in relationships making it harder for peaceful negotiations to occur.

stony_heart-rYou see, no matter how much we say we forgive, a heart cannot forgive until the wounds of offense, abuse, neglect, and need are addressed through healing… and only Jesus can fully heal broken hearts. Most Muslims would not be opposed to this message because they have a certain respect for Jesus, that differs from that of Christians, but He holds an important place in the Muslim faith and an honorable place in others. So, why not learn more about this possibility.


While it is true that we may all eventually get to feeling better as time goes on after we are wounded, few people realize that the damage done to our souls is just buried under other distractions until we forget the offense… that is, until it raises its ugly head in some other destructive or enslaving form. So, why don’t you search this blog further to learn more about how Jesus can heal? Also, you may want to go to my new blog as well:



Photo credits:

1) Photos of Hella Luv’s video:

Abdulla, Helan. (2015). “Revolution.” Vevo Music Video. Retrieved on June 18, 2015 from

2) Photo of Pope Francis with religious leaders:

Schjonberg, M. (2015 March 20). “Faith leaders unite with business leaders to end scourge of slavery.” Retrieved June 18, 2015 from

3) Photos of western fighters joining Kurdish Peshmerga:

I got this from a YouTube video, as follows…

Hiwa Marko Youtube Channel (2015). “American Peshmerga volunteers on the front lines against ISIS – Kirkuk 20.5.2015 English-Kurdish.” Retrieved on June 18, 2015 from

4) Other photos:

Unknown original owner, found online.

All written content © Tracey Nelson, M.Ed. Photos belong to their respective owners as credited above.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the previous and following statements on any distributed copy:

By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos not owned by author).

**Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.

Mind Blowing Certainty of Christ’s Imminent Return

April 15, 2015

Have you ever had your mind blown before? You are about to have your mind blown not once but several times after reading this article (please “like,” comment, subscribe, and share).

Most everyone agrees that we have reached the end of the end times. You don’t have to be a Christian or a Jew to recognize this. Even unbelievers around the world can sense it. Why else would there be all of the talk of doomsday in recent years?

The Certainty of Christ’s Imminent Return

Mind Blower Number One. The reason we can be certain that we have reached “the end of the end” is because the Bible assures us that we would know that we had finally arrived at that point in time after Israel had been restored to nationhood. The mere fact that we have reached this point after it being predicted in the Bible (in multiple places by several prophets) is a mind blower.

I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. (Ezekiel 37:21-27, written between 595-565 B.C.)

News - Rebirth of Nation of Israel

Mind Blower Number Two. For those of you wanting evidence that God exists and that the Bible is, indeed, God’s Word and that the Christians and Jews are His chosen people, take a look at this. Grant R. Jeffrey, in his book, Prince of Darkness, lists 38 predictions that have been fulfilled. Jeffrey calculates the odds of just six of these predictions being fulfilled as 1 in 15.6 billion. But the odds of all 38 being fulfilled is beyond comprehension. Dr. Chuck Missler said that there are not enough atoms in the entire universe to represent this number. Nevertheless, hundreds of prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled with remarkable accuracy.

Raising_the_flag_in_Eilat_1948Yet, it would be this single event, the rebirth of Israel as a nation, that would give credence to the notion that ours will be the generation to see the Lord’s return. (In 2014, a person born in 1948 is age 66, so it can’t be much longer!)

Mind Blower Number Three. In 1945, after the second world war, a remnant of holocaust survivors and persecuted Jews who had all suffered from antisemitism streamed back into their ancient homeland, Palestine, by the tens of thousands including Jews from over 100 nations.

This is God at His best and the devil at his worst playing their final game of cards together. Good and evil were joined at the hip upon the world stage once again. At this particular juncture in human history; the enemy of our souls and former god of this world had just tried to wipe out the keeper of God’s Word, the Jews, the Father’s Chosen People and Wife. The devil did all of this with the eyes of the world watching on television. Little do most people realize, that a group of Islamic leaders were working behind the scenes supporting Hitler’s extermination of the Jews. Nevertheless, God was about to put Satan, Hitler, and these Muslims in their place!

There are so many mind blowers here that I can’t even count them! Here are just a few:

  • Number Four – The mere fact that these beaten and bruised people hadn’t given up after having all of their property and loved ones ripped out from under them in such a horrendous fashion is truly amazing. That they even had any strength to start over again is remarkable, let alone fight and win a war. I don’t know about you, but the visions that come to mind here are of emaciated bodies with skin stretched over bone, not fearless soldiers; albeit they had recovered to some degree. But can you imagine the post traumatic stress they must have suffered? God must have given them supernatural strength to accomplish such a feat.
  • Number Five – Also mind blowing is the fact that Palestine would be opened up to the Jews during this precise timing, along with all of its history (very much worth studying, I will add a link later to help you learn more about the rebirth of Israel as a nation).
  • Number Six – But the most amazing fact of all was how the Jews won their independence despite being severely outnumbered by seven well-equipped Arab nations having only a handful of tanks, armored cars and bombers that were sold to them from leftovers marked as scrap metal. Many soldiers from both sides of the conflict testified to incredible miracles out in the field of battle that helped the Jews win.

As recently as July 2014 when soldiers of Israel’s enemy, Hamas, tried to defend their poor aim when providing the reason for their rockets missing their intended targets in Israel, they said this was the fault of “their God”[1] (i.e., the Jews’ God). The Jewish Telegraph also quoted David Ben Gurion, who said, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.”[2] This has been true of all of Israel’s historic battles documented throughout the Bible.


Mind Blower Number Seven – Regardless of the endless battle that has ensued against Israel ever since, they managed to take a desolate desert with unusable land and turn it into a land flowing with milk and honey. For example, they not only provide 70-95% of the food for their own nation, making their nation self-sufficient from outside sources, they are one of the world’s top exporters of citrus fruit and vegetables. Despite having been a desert for nearly two thousand years, their fruitfulness during the end times was predicted in the Bible. God’s hand is definitely upon Israel!

Vineyards in Israel's Negev Desert

Vineyards in Israel’s Negev Desert

Israel's Fruitfulness“And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: “Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,'” therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side… therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God!

Israel Farm“…I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame. But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come.For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:1-4, 7-9)

On October 5, 1998, fifty years after this prophecy became a reality, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Feast of the Tabernacles Conference (International Christian Embassy) said, “….I can tell you that for the first time in the history of the Jewish people since the Second Temple period, in the next decade and a half the majority of the Jewish people will live in the Jewish land. If this is not the materialization of prophecy, then nothing is.

Parallels Found in the Church

When something major happens with regard to the end times in Israel, there are parallels within the Church; Christ’s Bride. These parallels between the Christ’s Church and the nation of Israel are well known and seen throughout Scripture as well. Interestingly, during the year Israel was officially made a state, 1948, this was also the year that two other major, mind-blowing events happened; each of which would signal the final days of the end.

First Significant Event

Mind Blowing Event Number Eight. In the year that Israel won the war of independence, 1949, the first of a rare blood moon tetrad (4 lunar eclipses) was punctuated by a solar eclipse. Why would this be significant? We are told in Genesis 1:14 that the sun, moon, and stars were created with more than one purpose. Besides providing light and a way to understand the seasons, they were created as a communication device; to provide the world with signs from God.

signseye of god

More proof for this interpretation came from Jesus, Himself. Jesus did not leave us in the dark as to the timing of His return. He said before His return there would be many indicators. One of those indicators would be that the moon would turn to blood and the sun would be darkened. But this happens every so many months. So why would Jesus mention such a common occurrence as an indicator of His return? Because He knew His people would recognize the rare appearance of a blood moon tetrad as a sign from God after it appeared in the sky during such a momentous prophetic event as the reformation of ancient Israel into a nation.

A tetrad such as this has four lunar eclipses and usually one solar eclipse or other partial eclipses within a short period of time (generally 18 months).


Mind Blowing Event Number Nine. For this to happen when Israel became a nation would have been quite enough to announce to the world that we had entered into the generation that would see Christ’s return. But for these eclipses to simultaneously occur on Jewish holy days is even more staggering. For such a “coincidence” to occur, exactly as the Bible predicted, concurrently with the impossible miracle of such an ancient people group returning to nationhood after two millennia, is quite astonishing, statistically speaking. But wait, there is more… much, much more!


Mind Blowing Even Number Ten. These were not just any holy days. The four blood moons fell on feast days which specifically point to Jesus’ various appearances upon the Earth!

Jesus’ first appearance on Earth took place when He became the Passover Lamb. Some would call this a type and shadow pointing to the identity of Jesus centuries before His birth. So He may not have been there in the flesh, but the blood of the lamb which was to be spread on each door to signal to the death angel to “pass over” that home was meant to represent the coming Savior of the World, our Messiah, Jesus.


Ancient Egyptian wall art showing Ahmose defeating the Hyksos (assumed to be the Semitic people called the Jews). This is believed to be a depiction of the Jews escape from slavery through the Red Sea. Of course, the pharaoh would be expected to skew the story to glorify him.

The feast of Passover, a lengthy celebration, represents a time was when the Jews were slaves in Egypt. This holiday originated from the events that transpired during the Hebrew Exodus when God was freeing them from slavery through the leadership of Moses. All of this happened just before Israel would become a nation for the very first time. Do you see the correlation to the blood moons landing on the Passover feast the very year the Jews would also win their War of Independence? Independence is another word for freedom.

In subsequent years, each time the Jews were disobedient and worshiped other gods, they ended up being defeated by their enemies. If they did not repent, they were scattered to the four winds or enslaved, ultimately with Israel losing nationhood in the process. This more severe form of punishment happened two time. Nevertheless, God was always faithful, and they’d end up coming back home again, set free from horrendous circumstances and suffering; like they were during their first Passover when they were set free from Egyptian slavery. The Jews have followed this prophetic pattern over and over again throughout history. Their return to nationhood in 1948 is to be the last.

That is why nothing, absolutely nothing, would speak as clearly to the Jewish people than seeing two blood moons fall on this, of all holidays (Passover) during the very year they won their War of Independence (if only someone had pointed it out to them then). They had just completed their latest exodus from the Nazi holocaust that left them without a home to call their own.

During the Passover season in which Jesus would become the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world was to be the culmination of Israel’s ultimate purpose on Earth; to give birth to the Messiah. Through Moses, God would set up the religious structure which would help the world recognize Him. Anyone studying the Mosaic Law, the Temple ceremonies, and other aspects of Jewish culture including the lives of the Patriarchs, the history of this nation, and the prophecies would recognize Him immediately. Yet the enemy works so hard to blind us to these Truths that the few religious leaders in Jesus’ day did. Instead they crucified their own, long awaited Messiah.

This last Passover celebration in which Christ would fill the cup of the marriage covenant with His own Blood was to be the fulfillment of thousands of years of prophecy and a promise to take care of His Bride, the Church. The prophetic portion of the Passover dinner predicted the arrival of the Messiah on Earth through unleavened bread; bread that is traditionally made with piercings like His hands, feet, side, and head were and stripes like Jesus was by the cat of nine tails the Roman soldiers used to turn His back into mince meat. During the Passover Supper, this bread is then hidden away in a white cloth for the children to find later. This represented Jesus burial in white linens and His resurrection to make us all born again.

What  I am about to tell you includes many mind-blowing events. But I am going to keep all of this as mind blowing event number nine for now; since it has to do with the blood moon falling upon Passover. Nevertheless, lets count the individual bullet points within this single event:

  1. The bread in the Passover Feast was unleavened, that means there was an absence of yeast or sin. Yeast in the Bible represented sin during this feast (yeast puffs people up in pride).
  2. The piercing and stripes on the bread represented how the coming Messiah would suffer; first with a whip then with the piercings caused by the nails, spear, and crown of thorns.
  3. The white cloth represented Jesus’ burial cloth.
  4. Hiding the bread away represented His death.
  5. And the fact that the children retrieved Him represented the following:
    1. His resurrection
    2. How those who would later “find” Jesus’ and these truths about Him; then believed in Him, taking Him into their heart (eating Him; the unleavened bread) woul become new creatures and made into God’s children.
    3. Of course, all of this was predicted thousands of years earlier when Moses led the Hebrew slaves into their Promised Land.
    4. During His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus, like Moses, delivered humanity out of emotional, mental, spiritual and physical slavery.
    5. Jesus wasn’t just the deliverer; but He was also the Passover Lamb whose precious Blood would signal to the death angel to spare God’s children an eternity spent in hell.

Wow, count them. That is eleven more mind-blowing facts!

Mind Blowing Event Number Twenty-Two. The second Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles will likely have just as many mind-blowing facts as the Passover did. But the most significant thing I want to point out about the feasts is that there are seven of them in totality; four in the spring and three in the fall. The four in the spring were already fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament. There are three in the fall that remain to be fulfilled when Jesus returns, first for His Bride during the rapture when the “final trump” is blown. The belief is that this may happen during the Feast of Trumpets. The other two happen when Jesus comes back and sets up His reign on Earth for 1,000 years. The two blood moons that happened the year Israel won Her War of Independence happened during the Feast of Tabernacles when Jesus was to set up His final kingdom on Earth. So this has already been partially fulfilled, as follows:

I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.  (Ezekiel 37:21-27)

Mind Blowing Event Number Twenty-Three. A parallel landmark event for the Church, which is considered spiritual Israel, or the children of faith through Abraham. During the late 1940’s, God accompanied the establishment of the nation of Israel with a corresponding outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon the Church. This brought a revival to the world. This, too, was predicted in the Bible:

“When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.” (Ezekiel 39:27-29)

Of course there will be a similar outpouring upon literal Israel, as well. And there has been a great awakening of Jews in recent years.

Following World War II, Billy Graham led an international evangelical awakening to get people saved. He also emphasized the importance of discipleship. And others such as Oral Roberts, Kenneth E. Hagin, Jr., and Jack Coe along with William Branham led a global healing movement during this period surrounding the blood moons and the rebirth of the nation of Israel. But the one major ministry already planted in Israel at that time of Israel’s return to statehood was Derek Prince, a British scholar from Oxford who’d ended up there as a soldier. Prince (an appropriate name, don’t you think?) would come to lead a world-wide movement teaching people about how to get set free from demonic deliverance. Many of these evangelists were reported to have also raised the dead. So there you have it; the five parts of the Great Commission of Jesus:

  • Make disciples (Matthew 28:18);
  • Teach commandments (Matthew 28:18);
  • Heal sick/cleanse leper (Matthew 10:7);
  • Raise Dead (Matthew 10:7);
  • Cast out demons (Matthew 10:7).

And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. (Matthew 10:7)

In each of these cases, new knowledge about the Kingdom of Heaven exploded onto the scene. A different focus came to Christianity teaching the children of God how they, too, were expected to do the same works as Jesus. The newest technologies; the radio, television, and audio tape multiplied the understanding imparted to these anointed teachers how to execute a walk like Jesus and sent their messages to the darkest corners of the Earth. This will continue for decades even after their deaths. A fulfillment of this calling, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18).

All that I have shared here about the Church would signal the end times because Scripture teaches us that once the Gospel has been preached around the earth, Jesus will return, as follows: “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

This movement is often referred to as the Latter Rain Movement and the Manifest Son’s of God Movement; both of which I will commence to explain because they are often misunderstood due to some of the error that was perpetuated by earlier manifestations of these movements.

It is important that you understand what these phrases mean. “Latter rain” is a phrase that was referred to in the passage of Scripture referenced by the Apostle Peter during Pentecost. He used it to explain the phenomenon of tongues and the fire that had fallen down on the apostles to empower them with the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised this empowerment would last until the Gospel was preached to the ends of the earth, as follows, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) So, despite Cessationist teaching, this power of God upon mortal men would endure and not end once the Bible came into being

Apostle Peter referred to this outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the fulfillment of what was spoken of in Joel 2. But there are two harvests to be brought in. These come as the result of two different types of rain; the former rain and the latter rain. The first outpouring of the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit is often referred to in the Bible as water, rain, a river, oil, fire, honey, or wine), got the Church started. But the much more abundant latter rain will end the Church Age and bring in the greater, end times harvest.

If the verses in Joel 2 referred to only one Pentecost, it would not have verses depicting the following timing: a) The final establishment of Israel as a nation; and b) The great and dreadful day of the Lord, as follows.

Joel 2:24-25, 27, 28-32

The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

God’s Spirit Poured Out

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My men servants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
32 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

The Bible speaks of this maturity in several places referring to  God will have mature sons.

Before Christ’s return He will have a pure and spotless bride.

But let me add one more…

Mind Blowing Event Number Twelve. This mind blowing event involves how this blood moon tetrad also occurred when another prophecy was fulfilled during the Six Day War in 1967 when Israel won Jerusalem and the Gaza strip back from the Arabs. This was an important event as well because Jerusalem is a hugely significant city in biblical terms. It is also where the third and final Temple must be rebuilt. However, there is a mosque sitting upon the place where the Temple is supposed to be built. Nevertheless, the Temple Institute in Israel has everything in place to move in to the new Temple once it is. And some archaeologists believe it might not even need to go on the exact same spot where the mosque is.

Again, the Six Day War was won miraculously. And many events in the Church and the world would also correspond. In 1967 the Church would see the Charismatic movement which would bring the manifestation and gifts of the Holy Spirit into the mainline churches. What was once a movement among those that called themselves Pentecostals or other such “Full Gospel” groups would spread like wild fire and become the fastest growing segment of the Church worldwide bringing in 600 million new members.  New colleges teaching Christians how to walk in the power that Jesus did were set up during this period of time.


There would be three times in history when Israel would be a nation. The first occurred after their exodus out of Egypt. The second when Israel returned to Palestine after they had been taken into exile. The third was in 1947-1948 when the Jews returned to Palestine and fought for their establishment as a state. Each of these corresponds with the first; escaping oppression and even slavery from an enemy. Each time there were so many miracles involved that the world could not deny that the hand of God was delivering them from this bondage.

The last one which corresponds with a blood moon tetrad is supposed to be our signal that this generation will see the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Scripture tells us just before His return a blood moon and solar eclipse event like the blood moon tetrad would signal “the great and terrible day of the Lord” (spoken of over nineteen times in Scripture).

It is very significant to mention that out of the eight blood moon tetrads that have happened since the birth of Christ (of this type that coincide with Jewish holidays), almost half of them have occurred since the rebirth of the nation of Israel! There have been three blood moon tetrads in under 70 years. Is that a sign? I think so. When will the next one come around? Not for another 600 years. So we can be fairly certain this is the one being referred to in Joel 2 before the great and terrible day of the Lord.


1) Jewish Telegraph. (2014). “Israel Miracle? Gaza Strip Hamas Complain, ‘Their God Changes The Paths Of Our Rockets In Mid-Air.'” From

2) Ibid.

© Tracey Nelson, M.Ed.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the previous and following statements on any distributed copy:

By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos not owned by author).

**Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.

Shoot First and Take No Prisoners: When People Take Offense

April 12, 2015
Police Officer, Michael Slager shoots an unarmed suspect, Walter Scott, while he is fleeing the scene in Charleston, SC

Police Officer, Michael Slager shoots an unarmed suspect, Walter Scott, while he is fleeing the scene in Charleston, SC

One of the biggest things in the news lately is how Michael Slager shot an unarmed suspect, Walter Scott, as he was fleeing the scene of a traffic stop in Charleston, SC. The officer was caught on video using his authority to make the final judgment over another human being’s life. It appears, in a moment of weakness, spite, or misjudgment, this officer charged to protect and serve the public became judge, jury, and executioner in whatever way suited him at the moment. In other words, Slager did not adhere to the law nor did he follow basic human morals.

It is outrageous when such an abuse of power is perpetrated upon anyone, whether innocent or guilty. But many of us are guilty of doing exactly the same thing. How, you may ask?

bad-dayWe all have bad days. Times when we feel down, unappreciated, diminished, angry, stressed, or any number of other negative ways that make us want to take control and gain back some of our lost power. Such may have been the case in this officer’s life, too. It isn’t uncommon for men and women of the law to feel like they have just had enough.

Maybe Slager had become frustrated at never seeing any positive changes in the world despite his efforts. Maybe he felt totally unappreciated for putting his life on the line. He was probably even jaded from dealing with people who are of low character day in and day out. But that is no excuse, is it? He had a choice.


Fitting for my point though not an endorsement of Charlie Chaplin. (Notwithstanding power from the Lord and other technical forms of power or energy of course).

Nevertheless, I think all of us can relate to those feelings to some degree. We are all vulnerable taking matters into our own hands when we take offense with others. When we are having a bad day, we often feel the need to gain back some form of control in order to bring back the balance of power we have lost. So, maybe it will come as no surprise to hear that this is precisely the time when we are most likely going to abuse our power and authority over others.

Still, you may object to my claim that most of us are as guilty as Michael Slager is, sometimes on a daily basis. How can a people be guilty of the same crime, when they don’t carry around a gun?

Few of us realize that unarmed citizens have the same power to kill others as policemen do. They may not carry a gun or a knife, but people can kill through their angry, negative words and shaming, self-righteous acts. This is how human beings become fully loaded weapons in the hand of their enemy, the devil, to kill, steal, and destroy. Yet, unlike Slager, most of us excuse our actions by chalking them up to the bad day we just had. We realize little consequence for our actions until we are eaten up with cancer or our children don’t want to talk to us any longer, or worse, they get into a life of crime or drug addiction.

Hold on for a minute! The Good news is coming! There is a solution.

The reason most of us, even Christians and ministers, fail in this respect is because sin is embedded in our psyches. While the power of sin and the devil have been disabled when we come to the Cross of Christ, we hold onto patterns of reacting to others through our brain’s powerful memory banks. This can be very difficult to overcome unless the right strategy is applied.

One strategy is to help folks understand how human psychology works as defined by Scripture through supporting scientific evidence (yes, social-psychology is just one more scientific discipline that is finally catching up with the Bible). Understanding how something called toxic shame is able to distort the human identity is key. Other strategies I use employ simple tools such as worksheets found in my book; Accelerated Transformation: Maturity, Intimacy, and Unity through Emotional Healing to identify the distortions in our identity.


I also use a method of healing prayer that I can administer through pastoral counseling or coaching sessions. In this form of prayer, we seek to listen to the voice of God versus petitioning the hand of God to act on our behalf (this method is also explained in my book). Personally hearing the voice of God, versus being taught or prophesied to, is what instantly heals the heart. Articles on this website are dedicated to bringing greater awareness to the problems caused by sin and our distorted identities as well as highlighting the solutions that exist.

Since so few of us fully understand the sort of power we wield over the lives of others when we spew our angry words or become self-righteous or toxic towards others, it is important that we get a grasp on this. I cannot over emphasize this enough; by behaving in such ways, we are equally capable of causing long lasting damage to the psyches of those we love as we are to the acquaintances and strangers in our lives.

I never like to put too much attention on the devil because we need to see the potential of God in every situation to heal and transform broken lives, but it does pay off to know the strategies of one’s enemy.

10624251_1541530666082541_1774374613_aSatan and his henchmen (demons, etc…) are very real. But demons need human beings to have any power to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). As a matter of fact, I don’t think they actually have to work very hard at spreading the disease of human suffering in the world. Because once the poison of sin has distorted the human identity and diminished the human being’s sense of self-worth, the deadly mixture will go viral and spread like wild fire totally unassisted by the enemy of our souls. Embedded in the toxic words and actions of human beings who are constantly trying to prove their worth to the world through self-effort (i.e., self-righteousness, pride, people pleasing), hate and death will bury their bitter selves deep into the hearts of many of the people they come into contact with. And the cycle just repeats itself from one offended and wounded heart to the next.

It isn’t just others that we hurt, but we hurt ourselves as well. The number one thing Satan uses to derail our relationships, opportunities, and ministries is our offenses with others. Once we are offended, our enemy can usually bank on us reacting out of our flesh rather than responding to our offender in love. That, my brothers and sisters, is the key to defeating our enemy, responding to our offenders in love. However, it is much easier said than done. As a matter of fact, for some people in some circumstances it is impossible for them to gain this amount of self-control without going through some extensive healing. That is because most ministers as well as Christians, often come from deeply troubled backgrounds or circumstances

I can’t tell you how many wounded Christians and ministers I have watched fall into this trap with their families, friends, and church members despite having committed themselves to the commission to bring healing and life into the lives of those God has entrusted into their care. Instead, many times they yield to their flesh in the heat of an argument or during a moment of insecurity and inadvertently ending up crushing and destroying a heart; the very last thing any Christian or minister wants to do.

Could this be because we take such a cavalier attitude towards such actions in our satirical culture? If so, it might help some to see what Jesus had to say about it.

Jesus equated this sort of reaction to murder, as follows:

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, “Raca,” is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)

Social-psychologists refer to this as committing “soul murder.” While our offenses may be real, our reactions should be biblical; self-sacrificing, in love. Instead they are typically self-righteous or self-preserving. Then why is it that many religions including some Christian sects seem to have so many within their ranks crying out for hell fire and damnation? Isn’t justice important? First, let’s look at what Jesus had to say about all of this?

You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. (Matthew 5:38-40).

 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

It is a pretty serious matter to not be forgiven by God. Instead of forgiving others, what we usually try to do is take our pain out on the other person… demanding skin for skin, taking what we are owed from their hide by crucifying their soul. If this is difficult to understand, hang in there, the explanation is forthcoming.

But first, to complicate matters more, what does Jesus tell US to do when we offend others (such as when we react in anger to someone who has offended us)?

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. (Matthew 5:23-26)

Sounds a little bit like a double standard. Others can drag us into court but we must forgive. Well, sort of. But based upon many other scriptures, this isn’t meant to be a hard and fast rule regarding taking action against one who has broken the law. Christians are not forbidden from seeking civil justice. But, in some cases, depending on how the Lord and your conscience leads, you might have to lay down your rights. It is something we each need to pray earnestly about. Many a Christian has forgiven huge debts for horrible acts committed against them and gained the salvation of the offender’s soul in the process. But in these verses of scripture, the judge being referred to here may or may not work in an actual local court of law. Either way, it is good advice as there is both a spiritual as well as a literal connotation to this example.

Satan's Roles

Satan’s Roles

With regard to the spiritual connotation, few probably realize that spiritual court is being held behind the scenes every day of our lives. In this court of appeals Satan serves as our accuser as he did in the book of Job when requesting to sift another man of God. Who serves as our judge? God, of course. And if you have put your trust in our Lord, Jesus will serve as your Advocate (Lawyer).

But how many of us actually will choose to heed the advice of our Advocate with regard to settling our debts quickly? Have you asked yourself why Jesus would instruct us not to delay in settling our accounts let we be dragged into court?

Waiting is often an act of self-righteousness. If you have received the Gift of Grace that Jesus’ Blood has afforded you, you have no right to claim any righteousness in and of your own effort. Our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). It must come from the Blood of Jesus to keep our accuser, Satan, from taking that opportunity to put some sort of disease, disaster, or destruction upon our lives. Not only does Satan serve as our accuser, but he will be happy to serve as our tormentor as well. However, if we will but trust in the Lord’s Blood to provide payment for our sins by asking forgiveness for them, our enemy has no further right to lay anything upon us. And those things he has already managed to put upon us can be healed and our lives can be restored.

However, if we continue to hold anyone else in bondage, requiring payment for their sins by not forgiving them, our Father in Heaven won’t forgive us either and Satan will, once again, have the right to torment us. If this doesn’t already make a lot of sense to you, Jesus provided us with an excellent example that will help you to gain quick understanding of the issue through “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant” from Matthew 18:21-36.

In a nutshell, when the disciples asked Jesus how many times a person should forgive the same offender, Jesus told them “seventy times seven.” He shared this parable to help them gain better understanding as to why.

There was a king wanting to settle his accounts with his servants. But one servant was unable to repay a really huge debt. So, when the servant and his family were to be sold as slaves to repay the debt, the servant pleaded with the king for mercy. When the king had compassion and cancelled the debt, instead of being grateful and doing the same to all of his debtors, the servant began choking one of his debtors who only owed him a small sum while demanding repayment. When that debtor begged for mercy, he threw him in jail. When the king found out about this, he was outraged and he handed that servant over to be tortured and jailed until he paid back every cent.

The king being spoke of here is to represent God who has forgiven all who accept His mercy for the huge debt each of us owes for our sin; a human life. Since our lives, being unholy, are unable to satisfy the debt, we will be turned over to the tormentors unless someone with a life holy and worthy enough to pay off the debt is given in their place. Who paid for that debt? The King’s precious and holy Son, Jesus. Can you understand this now? If a Christian refuses to forgive those who have offended him/her, it is like trampling underfoot the precious Blood of Jesus basically elevating oneself above God.

So one of the big keys to our healing and restoration physically, financially, intellectually, emotionally, and relationally is to forgive all those who have offended us in the past, present, and in the future. When we respond in love rather than reacting in anger, we are able to stop the poison of sin from spreading from person to person. Our distorted identities can be restored in healing communities; churches that foster a nonshaming* social culture where individuals are safe to be vulnerable while transforming into their restored Image and Likeness of Jesus Christ.


*You may want to read other articles about how toxic shame is different from healthy shame in order to understand the different roles of each.

© Tracey Nelson, M.Ed.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the previous and following statements on any distributed copy:

By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos not owned by author).

**Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.

Jes Suis Charlie Hebdo?

February 18, 2015

Satirical art is meant to get people thinking. And a picture is worth a thousand words. But is an attack on someone’s identity taking free speech too far?

The murder of the Charlie Hebdo (CM) employees by two Muslim terrorists was reprehensible (an attack which came in response to the satirical cartoons placed on the cover of CM’s magazine mocking the Islamic religion’s founder, Mohammed). Despite the horror and unrighteous nature of the attack, we should probably ask ourselves, are there are times when our freedom of speech goes too far? If not, then why are we beginning to send people to jail for “hate speech?” Isn’t that keeping a double standard? Let’s examine this issue from both sides of the coin. Because the subject deserves a thorough investigation, this will be a longer than usual article, but hopefully an enjoyable and informative one (please like, comment, and share! Thanks!).

Western societies tolerate satirical art quite well. As Americans, we greatly value our freedom of speech and will gladly go to war to fight for everyone’s right to free speech. And I wholeheartedly agree, even if that means you will speak out against the things that I value or you hurt my feelings. Our Lord endowed us with these freedoms. It was with these freedoms in mind that our nation’s founding fathers wrote its foundational documents. For example, in the Declaration of Independence they said the following,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That is why constitutional rights should be protected even when it hurts us to hear such disrespectful things, things similar to those depicted in the cartoon, above. But it does makes one think, right? And thinking is something an educated public is supposed to do. Without education, there is no hope to maintain a free society. The repression of freedom in education and the lack of freedom in speech among Muslim societies sort of guarantees that their citizens will remain subjugated by the atrocities of Sharia Law. So, what may seem like hate speech to you may have a valuable point behind it. Never mind that it be a part of someone else’s religious or political beliefs; both of which are protected under the law. Let’s take the difference of opinion that exists about homosexuality in our society as one example.

Speaking Against Homosexuality: Homophobic Hate Speech or Reasonable Argument?


One of the issues being debated within this topic is whether or not homosexuality is truly a genetic anomaly thereby making it deserving of protected status (against criticism or discrimination). However, for those who believe being gay is not genetic but a choice, they don’t feel it is within the government’s jurisdiction to legislate such protections (not that anyone should be treated hatefully… that IS within the government’s jurisdiction). However, many people believe that homosexuals are that way because they struggle with one or more of the following issues (in other words, they simply need a strategy to help them overcome this propensity). They may be dealing with:

  • A psychological problem (e.g., not having the attention desired from the same sex parent or or being sexually molested as a child);
  • A desire for attention (i.e., it is the newest fad so kids can now become popular, pitied, and supported while simultaneously sticking it to their parents. Lots of kids who would never have considered homosexuality are going this direction now for this very reason. Some people just need a soap box to stand on while they beat their drum in order to feel okay about who they are.);
  • Nowadays with all of the attention being dedicated to gay people in the media, kids are getting confused about their sexuality. Many assume they are gay simply because they are just fearful or socially awkward with the opposite sex or really admire someone of the same sex.
  • Pornography confuses people a great deal, too. Many who think they are gay have merely developed a perverted sexual appetite due to their exposure to pornography where homosexual interactions are common.
  • Because of today’s free attitude about sex (or shamelessness), possessing absolutely no moral restraints such as being restricting sex to marital relations only, many people get in bondage to homosexuality because they have allowed themselves to become a part of  experimental sexual experiences. In the past, social mores made all of this less likely to happen.

Had you ever considered any of those reasons before? Did you even know that there is absolutely no genetic proof that a person is born gay? Did reading my words enlighten you in ways that a biased media could not?

Are you even aware that there is an intentional campaign in the American media to promote homosexuality as a lifestyle to you and your children? Albeit, the purpose may have been a noble one (to enlighten people of the prejudice against gays in order to provide equal rights), that is essentially what it is doing. While treating everyone with respect is important, is it healthy for a society to promote this as an alternative lifestyle for all people to consider? That is essentially what the media is doing with it. But sadly, we are swallowing it, hook, line, and sinker. Why not, you may ask? That is a topic for another day (in a nutshell, it creates confusion with regard to one’s identity and creates a barrier to properly understanding the nature of God).

Yet, if my words were repressed by law (the way talking about the Bible in public schools has been despite it being the very foundation of Western Civilization), you may not have gotten the chance to hear any of what I had to say today because they would have prohibited me from discussing this topic.

You see, if we begin regulating what can and cannot be discussed in public, then all potentially enlightening conversations will be stifled for fear of being thrown in jail. Pretty soon, even preaching out in public, for example, will be banned. Actually, in some places it apparently already is and it appears to be a trend that is growing in popularity. That may not be a big loss to you, but your religious group or political organization may become the next target.

When that sort of thing is tolerated and becomes accepted on a wider scale, American citizens will be no better off than those living within Communistic societies or under fascist regimes. These are environments where people can be taken away without a fair trial or shot for speaking out against their government. It goes on every day in other nations. If you don’t believe me, do you remember how last fall (2014) 43 students speaking out against the local government in Mexico suddenly disappeared? That happened right in our own neighborhood.

The Consequences of Free Speech

Nevertheless, we really do need to be asking ourselves some very serious questions regarding how we allow people to speak about others, individually or as groups. For example, what sort of messages do we send to our children when shame, humiliate, or poke fun at one another or when we allow them to watch it on sitcoms where we, ourselves, laugh at television programs that do that?

It is likely that all of us have been guilty of doing this at one time or the other. That’s because it is considered a normal part of modern American or the Western lifestyle.

Why do we tolerate it?

Because it features very prominently within our entertainment system. Does that mean it is right? No.

Tocolumbine understand its damaging effects let’s consider for a moment the mass murders committed by young students within those now infamous school shootings. Everyone really wants to say that the perpetrators were mentally ill… and sure, that may be true. However, I feel by labeling them, it takes the pressure off of us to do anything about our own behavior. I don’t think they were all that different from us.

What does it take to Create a Killer?


Columbine School Killers

An unintended consequence of our freedom of speech when poking fun at others is that people in society, particularly our kids may never feel safe showing their weaknesses or vulnerabilities to others. The world suddenly becomes an unfriendly if not a hostile place.

Ask yourself, do you really feel safe opening up to people? With the exception of the people who are close to you, do you feel you can really be you; sharing  your heart with others, your likes, your dreams, and maybe even exposing some of your weaknesses and vulnerabilities?  What about owning up to your mistakes (to those you have harmed/offended versus doing so long after the fact to other people who were were not involved)? You see? When I am speaking of our kids, I am also speaking of us, too.

When our kids learn that it isn’t safe to be human, they will stop being real. Consequently, they may completely lose their ability to trust. Or worse, yet, they may trust anyone who is willing to give them the attention they crave (often, attention will equal worth).


John Maguire, a Canadian, went to Syria 4 months after becoming a Muslim in college.

This is likely why some youths, like John Maguire (right), are leaving the comforts of home here in the Americas, the UK, and Europe to join  the likes of the terrorist group, Isis. Maguire set off for Syria only four months after his conversion to Islam. Kipling Williams professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University said:

“Being excluded is painful because it threatens fundamental human needs, such as belonging and self-esteem,” Williams said. “Again and again research has found that strong, harmful reactions are possible even when ostracized by a stranger or for a short amount of time.”

More than 5,000 people have participated in studies using a computer game designed by Williams to show how just two or three minutes of ostracism can produce lingering negative feelings.

“How can it be that such a brief experience, even when being ignored and excluded by strangers with whom the individual will never have any face-to-face interaction, can have such a powerful effect?” he said. “The effect is consistent even though individuals’ personalities vary.”


People also vary in how they cope, which is the second stage of ostracism. Coping can mean the person tries to harder be included. For example, some of those who are ostracized may be more likely to engage in behaviors that increase their future inclusion by mimicking, complying, obeying orders, cooperating or expressing attraction.

“They will go to great lengths to enhance their sense of belonging and self-esteem,” Williams said.

If they feel there is little hope for re-inclusion or that they have little control over their lives, they may resort to provocative behavior and even aggression.

“At some point, they stop worrying about being liked, and they just want to be noticed,” Williams said.[2]

bullying1Both the young and old alike harbor old wounds from being ostracized, taunted, bullied, or just never quite learning how to fit in. That will often lead them to form the belief system that gives them their low self-esteem. Therefore, people, particularly the youth, tend to become obsessed with anything that they think will prop up their sense of worth.

call of dutyBoys, for example, often wish they could become a super hero because it would give them power to take control and gain them the respect and attention they may lack. While others might enjoy taking on a powerful identity in role playing video games where, again, they get to be in control. But this time they can exert the same sort of aggression and inflict similar pain upon their enemies that many of them feel they have felt after having been humiliated or rejected.

violent_video_gamesIt really doesn’t take long for that sort of pretending to become a reality within a young person’s heart. With that in mind, is it really any wonder that this well organized terrorist group with their “can do, take control” attitude, slick media campaign, and black masked uniforms is attracting some of the world’s youth?  Williams explained how this phenomenon is related to pain:

“However, if a person has been ostracized for a long time, they may not have the ability to continue coping as the pain lingers. Some people may give up,” Williams said.

“The third stage is called resignation. This is when people who have been ostracized are less helpful and more aggressive to others in general,” he said. “It also increases anger and sadness, and long-term ostracism can result in alienation, depression, helplessness and feelings of unworthiness.”

Williams is trying to better understand how ostracized individuals may be attracted to extreme groups and what might be the reactions of ostracized groups.

“These groups provide members with a sense of belonging, self-worth and control, but they can fuel narrowness, radicalism and intolerance, and perhaps a propensity toward hostility and violence toward others,” he said. “When a person feels ostracized they feel out of control, and aggressive behavior is one way to restore that control. When these individuals come together in a group there can be negative consequences.

So is it any wonder why a Muslim youth who got his identity, sense of belonging, and worth from his extremist religion might react to the satirical cartoons of Charlie Hebdo in such a murderous fashion? No. Not at all.

Females, on the other hand, tend to focus more upon their appearance and their ability to attract the attention of the opposite sex (although males will do this, as well). Consequently, girls may develop an obsession with applying makeup, buying clothes, and following the celebrities that they wish they could be like. All of this get way out of balance if decide they will go to any lengths to change their appearance, even if that means they must undergo lots of cosmetic procedures. Another extreme women take is when they believe that guys who want to go to bed with them means they have value so they never set up any boundaries with any man who approaches them for sex. When, in truth, men believe the opposite to be true. Rather than seeing the relationship going somewhere permanent, in their minds a girl who does not value herself enough to put up boundaries is disposable; to be used and discarded.

Eventually, people living from an identity of shame will add other things to the list that signify worth to them; their achievements, their careers, the amount of money they have, the size of house, the type of car, or other objects they have, and so on.

Lost Relationships

BLack of Intimacyesides finding themselves in bondage to the endless cycle of maintaining their self-image, another consequence of hiding behind masks is losing one’s ability to be truly intimate and authentic with others.

Someone I knew provided me with the perfect example of this. One of my family members witnessed a strange phenomenon when he taught English overseas in South Korea. He couldn’t help but notice how students who reached the sixth grade would suddenly go through some sort of transformation. These delightful, open faced children who had been so easy to relate to had, at one time seemed quite happy, loving and even confident. Then all of a sudden they changed. They became the direct opposite from their former selves.

ImproveSelfEsteem_thumbThe way everything was described to me, it was as if a heavy, dark cloud was hanging over them. It became obvious from their frowning faces that they were uncomfortably self-conscious. They often walked with their shoulders slumped. Instead of looking up at the teacher in excited anticipation of the interaction, they continually kept their heads down in what seemed to be a sign that they were doomed to live in an endless state of shame. Essentially, they had become prisoners in their own skin.

I Miss you 보고싶다 kdrama 2012 episode 1 김소현 Kim So HyunYou see, when children must protect themselves against the sort of free-for-all shaming that goes on across all segments of society, they feel compelled to don masks of pride. Consequently, they will hide that part of themselves that they deem to be weak or whatever part of them that they have somehow judged to be unworthy of acceptance; unworthy in a world obsessed with power and people whose primary focus is the lust of the eyes, pride of life, and desires of the body.

This can lead to difficulties getting along with others or maintaining relationships. For example, when long-held relationships with close family members and friends begin reminding people of their weaknesses and stirring up old wounds, some feel compelled to abandon these relationships altogether; that, or keep them at a very safe distance.

This tends to happen when people grow older and finally realize that their friends and family members are human, too (i.e., weak, vulnerable, imperfect). When these folks can’t hold up to the standards they have implemented in their own lives to insulate themselves from their pain and shame, that is when their love is likely to grow cold and they often “trade up” for a new family and set of friends, as Maguire did when he left his family behind for his Muslim brothers in Syria.

Although very few people will end up becoming mass murderers, through actions like these, they inadvertently become murderers nonetheless. In fact, shame and death perpetuate even more shame and death. It is an endless cycle.

Committing Soul Murder

authentic-self-soul-made-visible2Did you know that shaming, humiliating or rejecting someone is the same thing as committing psychological murder? Social psychologists call this “soul murder” (e.g., Alice Miller; John Bradshaw). So it stands to reason why some may be pushing to outlaw this form of social violence through the implementation of hate crime laws and by launching campaigns against bullying. Might it make people think twice before insulting others through satire or comedy? Hopefully, but probably not.

Although the phrase was coined by scientists in the last century, soul murder is also spoken of in the Bible.

For example, Jesus said to call someone is a fool or to taunt them by calling them the name “Raca,” an Aramaic word that depicts someone as empty headed and shows utter contempt for that person, that puts the offender’s soul in danger of hell fire.

Why would that be?

Based upon the comparison Jesus made, doing so would be tantamount to committing murder. (It is always nice when science finally catches up to the Bible. This has been happening a lot lately… in several areas of discipline.) Here is more proof of this claim.

The Purdue professor cited earlier conducted research into how the brain reacts to or registers emotional pain. He explained:

“Being excluded or ostracized is an invisible form of bullying that doesn’t leave bruises, and therefore we often underestimate its impact,” said Kipling D. Williams, a professor of psychological sciences. “Being excluded by high school friends, office colleagues, or even spouses or family members can be excruciating. And because ostracism is experienced in three stages, the life of those painful feelings can be extended for the long term.

“When a person is ostracized, the brain’s dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which registers physical pain, also feels this social injury,” Williams said.[1]

In other words, our emotional pain feels the same to us as our physical pain. There is speculation that it may even hurt worse. Consequently, when someone perceives he is in danger of suffering an injury, it isn’t that much of a stretch to justify their angry reaction. They are merely reacting in the same defensive manner they might if their bodies were being attacked and their lives were at stake. To read more about this phenomenon, see my earlier article entitled “The Link Between Defensiveness and Shame – Part I.”

At this juncture, it is important for me to clarify one thing. I have not been talking about the sort of shame everyone ought to have for doing something wrong. That is a healthy, necessary form of shame. I am talking about another type of shame, toxic shame.

What is Toxic Shame?

Toxic shame is the sort of shame that promotes soul murder. In some respects it is a mocking, taunting kind of shame. In others, it is the act of being cut out of someone’s life. Sometimes our shame is real and sometimes it is imagined (it is what we believe about ourselves). It doesn’t have to come at the hands of a disapproving or abusive person. It can come as the result of some sort of traumatic accident, the death of a family member, or a decision we made on our own.

Toxic shame can also be used as a manipulative device by people who want to pressure others into conforming to their wishes. Peer pressure is one example of this.


Peer pressure doesn’t just happen to children. It often comes through satirical cartoons, comedy routines, and other forms of media. Husbands and wives often use it against one another to get their way. It is world’s way of insuring conformity.

On the other hand, healthy shame teaches people to respect the rights of others. If handled properly, allowing our children to experience shame for their actions can promote a sense of humility and spirituality within them while developing greater sensitivity for others. Nevertheless, just as our Lord came to heal us of our toxic shame, He also came to relieve us from the burden of guilt that so often weighs us down after having committed a transgression against others, ourselves, or God.

The Long Term Psychological Effects of Toxic Shame

Besides creating something akin to physical pain in people, how else can toxic shame or soul murder manifest itself on a psychological level?

becoming_authentic_selfAs I mentioned earlier, when it is not safe to be ourselves, we will choose to become someone else; hence, our authentic self will die, or more accurately, we will choose to bury it. The thing is, we will never be rid of it. It is still there holding all the wounds of the past.

The wounds from this sort of shame can trap adults in a perpetual cycle of immaturity, often at the age when the wounds first occurred. In other words, when society tolerates the shaming of others, this tends to create childish BABY BOTTLElittle monsters that hide inside of most of us until a wound or hot button is touched upon. Anger and rage are often the result. That is because it has reminded us of our shame; or the part of our soul that we murdered in favor of a more powerful or more acceptable persona.

Temper TantrumsPeople who do not have control over their rage or anger can be set free from this and other manifestations when they heal their old wounds and reverse the lies believed about their self-concept through a program that promotes mind renewal. The Church, by in large, is going to be helpful, here, unless they don’t know what that is. Emotional healing is really the key component in any program hoping to see lasting transformation. But  few in the Church know how to do this. Contact me for more coaching services, training in this method or check out my book, mentioned at the end of this article or to the right of my blog site.

Besides flying into a rage, which can end in physical violence for some, there are many other detrimental effects and reactions to emotional pain that could become strongholds in our lives which will need mind renewal and the healing of the heart. For example, when the wounds of shame begin to manifest, episodes of depression and anxiety often result. All of this, along with other techniques at distracting ourselves such as keeping busy all the time, engaging in obsessive behaviors or comforting ourselves with substances, are subconscious ways we try to head off the approaching pain that rising the the surface. These habits often take people down the slippery slope to destruction (poor health, alcoholism, relationship troubles, difficulty raising kids, maintaining a job, or engaging in daily upkeep).

The next two scripture verses will demonstrate the amazing psychological benefits that are hidden within the Bible. Why anyone would be offended by the Bible doesn’t make much sense when you consider all of its benefits. The first was a verse quoted from the Old Testament by Jesus Christ at the announcement of the start of His public ministry (see Luke 7). He said His reading of this verse from Isaiah 61 on that day was the fulfillment of that particular prophecy. In a nutshell, here is what Jesus is all about:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.

From the perspective of a sociologist or psychologist the New Testament, where the life and ministry of Jesus was highlighted, is full of restorative help to the broken and the self-absorbed members of our society. When one keeps in mind the tendency of society to shame others, includes most of us to some degree or the other.

The apostle, John, explains how the love in our hearts can grows cold when our focus becomes about gaining positions of pride:

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God [to love Him, ourselves, and others] lives forever. I John 2:15-17 (brackets mine)

In other words, if the world is where our greatest treasures are laid up (in an effort to prop our self-esteems up or to comfort our pain), our hearts will eventually grow cold and our lives made empty. Additionally, they will become wrapped up in their base human nature (instincts, basic needs), less likely to be able to reach for the higher pursuits of Truth, Love, and Peace.

Ripe for the Picking

Twain QuoteAs we have just seen by the examples given of young men going off to fight for ISIS and young women giving themselves over to any man who comes along, when we are dominated by our need to please others or to be somebody, we are as they say, ripe for the picking. When we depend on others for our self-esteem or when our self-esteem is based on what we do and not for who we really are, we will develop blind spots. Therefore, we may easily be lead astray. We might be taken by whatever propaganda campaign the media or government wants to promote (hence the need for education and critical thinking skills in addition to healed hearts).


But on a more personal level, we could find ourselves being manipulated by those who are closest to us, particularly if we deem them worthy enough to please.

Male Equality

This would be especially harmful to if their intentions were malicious or their motives selfish. That means we would have lost our independent, critical thinking skills, at least in this particular area of our lives. Consequently, we could easily be lead into bondage or death.

man with dummyAllowing the opinions someone has of us to determine our sense of worth for us is not only dangerous but it is what Scripture calls immature. We are easily swayed, tossed to and fro from forces outside of our own will. Here is one example given by the apostle, Paul, regarding how lacking a sure foundation within ourselves will cause us to be easily manipulated by religious leaders causing us to buy into false teaching/doctrine:

. . .that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ. . . Ephesians 4:14-15.

(This is also referring to a lack of biblical knowledge, too.)

As God Sees YouIf nothing else, whether you believe in Christ or not, you will have to admit that the Church does many good things to promote healthy societies. The goal of the Church is to promote maturity in individuals and to keep people consciously aware of and ever endeavoring to reach the higher principles of life; love, patience, loving kindness, peace. Treating one’s fellow man with respect and valuing his freedom of choice is a big part of that, too. It is a tragedy when we see people coming out of some churches who do not possess such values, but then again, there is the fact that people don’t often stick with the program presented to them or they could also be “in process” of being transformed into Christ’s likeness. Then again, sometimes, not always, the church may be off kilter. That may be because it doesn’t line up with the Bible in some way or because it is being run by someone put in office who is immature or deceptive.

So back to the subject matter at hand. Does our society, with its freedom of speech, tolerance for mocking, a media and art forms that offend could these cause the psychological harm that promote such immaturity? Yes. It certainly could; especially now that society has totally lost its sense of decorum and foundational respect for others.

And what are the consequences of living in such a society?

What all of this equates to is that our citizens of the Western world may lack the confidence (self-esteem, psychological strength) to stand up against the status quo (even when they know the score and aren’t in a state of perpetual blindness by their own desire to fit in).

The problem with this?

That is how societies are able to bring someone like Hitler into power. Being compelled to conform to the world in order to gain a sense of self-esteem is not only bondage for the individual but it turns citizens into something akin to a mindless drone (sheeple).

Posters for Spotless Bride

It is this need to base one’s self-esteem and self-concept upon what others think of them that dooms them to be trapped to forever live in a perpetual state of immaturity, easily wounded and often self-righteous. That is why the apostle, Paul, tells us the following:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . Romans 12:2

i-have-this-weird-self-esteem-issueThose with low self-esteems, for example, are more likely to harden their hearts by developing an arrogant and self-righteous attitude. They are also more likely to become overly sensitive when something that was said or done touches upon a wound that reminds them of the shame and humiliation they felt after realizing a certain part of themselves did not properly conform to the world (or whatever behavior they perceived to be acceptable to those they wanted to please) and was, therefore, unworthy. Consequently, people tend to end up searching incessantly for a sense of identity that they can finally align themselves with that will successfully insulate their hearts from their inner pain… the pain of being who they have wrongly deemed themselves to be (e.g., I am a mistake, I am flawed, I am not good enough, etc…) that is, UNLESS they can save face and conform with something more acceptable, worthy or powerful.

Parents need to be trained to recognize the damage that can be done by the assault being perpetuated against their children’s self-esteem on a daily basis so that they can teach their children of their true value and remind them who they really are. If they don’t, their children are more likely to grow up with hard hearts. With love growing cold, they could grow callous, jaded, and pretty soon your softhearted, sweet child may join in with the rest of the crowd and begin mocking those who are weaker or not like the group. In today’s world, though, this could very easily get them killed if, God forbid, one of their classmates goes to school seeking a way to make a statement to the world about the misery they have endured at the hands of their peers. Then again, your child’s heart could become so wounded by the teasing of others, growing so hard and cold that he or she could become the next mass murderer at school.

Shaming others changes and shapes human identity unlike anything else can. That is why shaming others promotes the vicious cycle we call sin. It is what has made our whole society broken and emotionally ill to one degree or the other. The only solution to this problem is the grace provided to us by the precious Blood of Christ.

The sad reality behind all of this, though, is that this incessant shaming and humiliation that children and adults tend to foist upon their peers is done in an effort to, at best, feel like they fit in or, at worst, to feel superior to them in order to salvage whatever self-esteem they can in a desperate effort to ameliorate their own sense of shame.

Should Societies Tolerate Satire?

In light of these facts, should we really be tolerating satirical cartoons or other forms of similar entertainment or art? I’d love to have you sound in with your thoughts. Here are a few of mine.

Restricting the degree of freedom we allow people to have when speaking to or about others does impose upon our freedoms, but might that be a necessary evil if we ever hope to heal the suffering that arises from the injuries that this sort of onslaught to the human identity can cause? Possibly. But that is likely to never happen.

violators_baptizedCan you imagine how our already over burdened legal system would crumble under the sheer number of cases that would be brought to the table if they tried to regulate such behavior? Every time someone felt insulted, they’d be dragging people to court. But that is why churches are so valuable to society. They teach us to “do unto others as we would have others do unto us.”

So just as the Church seems to be falling out of popularity in American or Western Society, “going out of business” so to speak, the people who turn Christians into the demented villains or clowns in their stories or make them the butt of their jokes, might want to reconsider the alternative. Either that or they need to batten down their hatches and take cover because love has already begun to run cold and the atrocities are only increasing.

1950s_family_lifeConversely, consider this. During that golden age in America before the Bible and prayer had been taken out of the schools, the Church and its ministers were held in high esteem and our society thrived. The Bible and prayer were taken out of the schools and governmental meetings fifty plus years ago despite being a part of daily life in both for 300 years. Up until that point in time, American citizens could orig_old_hands_on_bibleanever have dreamed of a time when we’d have the problem we now face with drugs, alcoholism, unwed mothers, divorce, crime, and rampant selfishness. Why? That is what happens when people lose their moral compass and “other” focus. Love grows cold when people are allowed to disrespect one another.

If something about this article has peaked your interest or you recognize the need for healing of the wounds in your own life, I would like to invite you to keep learning about this topic through the articles on this blog. Or better yet, you may want to buy my book to learn the deeper psychological aspects of the effect your wounds and the wounds of others may be having on others and upon the world. The book is called, Accelerated Transformation: Maturity, Intimacy, and Unity through Emotional Healing. It can be found at my website, http://thespotlessbride.come.



1) (6-6-2011). “Pain of Ostrascism can be Long Lasting. Featured research from Purdue University. “Retrieved on 2-10-2015 from

2) Ibid.

© Tracey Nelson, M.Ed.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos not owned by author).

*Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.


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