Jerry Root CSL Institute— Spiritual Warfare

Root is one of my favorite speakers. He has pastored, taught theology, is a CS Lewis scholar, and more. He is a gentle, introspective, charismatic, grounded, serene, and incredibly intelligent man of God. In this video he speaks of discernment, battling evil and ways to effectively share the gospel as he encourages us to walk closer to our Lord. I think this talk will bless you, including the Q & A at the end.

May God bless you and keep you.

Shalom, GR


He is so good. Thank you for sharing. When he spoke about being tired and weary of sin I was in complete agreement. Also, when he talked about spiritual struggles it was exactly what I have been dealing with for years. I have long time friends who have used me and hurt me so deeply that I stay away from them. I have gone back and forth about forgiveness and am always asking the Lord to show me if I am wrong and help me to be tenderhearted toward them. This one friend calls often, but I really don’t want to associate with them anymore because I don’t trust them. Maybe I am being too hard on myself, but I miss the friendships, not the friend. What Dr Root said gave me encouragement.


Morning Carol Anne,
I’m glad the video resonated with you. And I’m sorry you’ve been betrayed by people you trusted. Friends are hard to find… and long time friendships are rare. It’s one of the worst kinds of hurt— and difficult to recover from.

Do either of them understand or admit their trespass? That act always helps begin the process of forgiveness (for me, anyways) but it’s almost impossible to move on if the other party cannot even admit they did something wrong. Then it’s almost impossible to.

It’s deeply troubling when someone is willing to throw away a longtime relationship, especially with no regret— that leaves you feeling doubly used. I’m sorry for your pain and loss.

Perhaps Jerry Root’s explanations of life (as he explores CS Lewis’ fictional explorational dive into Scripture) might help…. Lewis’ understanding of relationships was brilliant and Root’s delivery is quite soothing.

Well, at a hotel… must go be socialable.
love, gr


Thank you for your sweet compassion. Yes, long time friendships are hard to come by. That is why I struggle with what to do. And no, she has never ask for forgiveness. She never seems to remember or I misunderstood or, or, or! I have “let go” so many times, U can’t count. The mistrust has built up so much that I just cannot be around someone so manipulative and controling. That is not friendship anymore, but a hinderence in my walk with the Lord. The gossip is so wicked and if she only understood that maybe things would get better, but she is 12 yrs older than me and has treated me as a daughter, but in a manipulative way. I love her so but cannot seem to heal my heart so I just stay away. I have let the hurts go but the trust is not there anymore. I ask God to remove her from my life unless He has a plan for us. Still waiting and trusting in Him.


Hello Carol Ann @Flamingogirl49563,
I think I understand. I have a similar relationship; probably the person I love most besides my husband. But we can no longer have a relationship… saddest thing. I’m sorry for what your friend’s heart has cost you both.


I can relate so much! The Lord has been working in me too. He is showing me “unsafe” people who are self-oriented and hurt me. No more. The book “Unsafe People” by Dr. Henry Cloud is really good! I am reading it right now and it is very illuminating.


I have heard good things about that book and there’s a support group to learn about who are your real friends and who are the unsafe people. They have this support group here in Oklahoma City at Crossings Community Church.


I will check that book out, Debbie. Thank you for sharing. I have been “bullied” most of my life and have cried out to the Lord for help in my old age. I want to be at peace with people so much that I have sacrificed my own peace. The Holy Spirit has been such a help but it still is a daily battle.


I was feeling very much that way yesterday - rejected and unloved but I LOVE that His mercies are new every day! I feel relieved of the pain today. I sometimes feel so badly (due to circumstances with people in my life) but I know that is the enemy putting thoughts into my head! I know now to take EVERY thought captive. All these negative thoughts that can lead to suicidal ideation need to be immediately rejected and given to the Lord.

I am learning to do that! We won’t be bullied anymore by the enemy either!


““But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”
Luke 6:27-28


Oh, so true dear sis. My friend tried something on me again this week and now instead of anger, I just feel compassion for her. Praying that even though she has this spirit of control her whole life, God will open her eyes so she may be free of it.


Saw this on someone’s Telegram and felt led to share this in here.


Great reminder.
I do believe that sometimes the nicest thing we can do is separate from certain people to “ keep the peace “ and not create a potential for continued hurt by or towards both sides.

Thank have read this verse many times but one day it hit me that us says “ IF IT BE POSSIBLE “…
I realized that there are times when complete peace might not happen amongst others especially those that continually hurt us and despite our best efforts to keep those relationships afloat and as healthy as possible.

The fact is there are toxic people and relationships, relationships that take and don’t give much in return which is draining and relationships that simply might not need to be.

That doesn’t mean those people are enemies or that we don’t care for them or don’t love them. Imo it means a boundary must be set with some people so not just our mental, emotional and spiritual health stays intact but so does our testimony. Sometimes the boundary is one that unfortunately has to keep them at a distance. Those boundaries might just be what keeps us at peace with some people.


This Jerry Root idea is on my list of watch this next!

The conversation and supportive advice on this thread has me wanting to get some advice if possible.

I went back and forth in hue to handle a specific incident related to my church and it was what was behind my request for prayer I posted about a week ago.

Bear with me because I’ll need to explain enough to warrant appropriate advice if anyone has any words of wisdom :sweat_smile:

So I put a post out about how I was studying how God is the Potter and we are the clay and how he uses broken people.
Well, this was actually an activity that I had put together for a church ladies gathering.

About a month before I had this thought driving one day about how we all have struggles in this life and the verses about the potter/ clay pooped in my head. So I contacted the pastor’s wife who told me to check with another lady that manages the gatherings.
I did and she said it’d be great and to text the pastor’s wife back so she could put it in the bulletin as she puts those together for church goers to have fur announcements and upcoming church events.
I sent her a text immediately as the next day was Sunday and I wanted 3-4 weeks for people to sign up.

She didn’t respond back at all so I wasn’t sure but thankfully, it was in the bulletin that Sunday morning.

The next 3 bulletins had the day and time and the pastor also verbalized it.

A couple of the women were happy I was hosting it at my house. I was excited because it would be fun but also a great time of heart fellowship given the topic. Plus, I thought it was a great nod to my husband who is Greek Orthodox and refuses to go to this church. The members ask me all the time to invite him to things and I do because God could one day prompt him to finally say yes. It made him imo seem accepting of them as I was having it at our home.

So, our church is very small. And only 2-3 people signed up. The pastor’s wife did tell me her son had a soccer game and the woman who manages the gathering was going to be on a trip.

Despite it being in a Saturday, which I thought would work good for most ( none of the ladies work outside the home and a few are older ) but there was only those few still signed up a week before it was to take place.

I decided to just roll with it because it’s really hard to plan around everyone’s schedules which I understand.

So the week before one woman said she’d be there and another one texted me 2 days before asking if she needed to bring anything ( she didn’t, I was funding it all which was my decision).

So in those weeks prior, I typed up information on 7 different women in the Bible , how they
were “ broken “ but then how God used them anyway. I included scripture to tie into each woman, her struggle and redemption and hue it could help us in a similar struggle.

The activity was going to be where each woman smashed a ceramic plate and then on a painted base that complimented the color pattern on that plate would randomly pick one a printout of one of the biblical women, read about her and then we’d each glue a piece of the broken plate onto the base. This would be done until the plate
was “ fixed “ and resembled its original self despite it being broken ( chipped , dented etc representing how life can do such to us but God still has a plan and we can still be used by him)

I had went also to a second hand store , found the bases, the plates and also purchased paint and themed stickers to adhere to the base.

I also had planned to serve a luncheon of tacos. Taco shells break but still can be eaten with the fillings and still taste yummy :yum: :joy:
So the day before I purchased all the stuff to make tacos, a fruit salad, lunch and some cookies for dessert. I made everything the night before so it was ready.

This was planned to be 3 hours long and so my husband kindly agreed to put his “ house” work on hold and go do something for those hours as did my daughter ( who lives with us ). It was to be from 10am -1 pm.

So at 10:10 on that Saturday, I was getting nervous and thought …, people run late or might be lost. By 11:30 I lost hope that anyone was coming and actually asked God to not let anyone show up at that point because I was not motivated anymore plus the time was running short for both the activity and lunch.

Ironically that morning, I saw a car roaming around about 9:45 and thought maybe it was a church member.
Well, it was a church member just not from my church who was putting fliers in doors about revival meetings at another local baptist church that I used attend about 12 years ago.

( the revival meeting were May 6,7,8 with tonight being the last one and I went to all of them. They were wonderful… also ironic was my church told members about them too )

The Sunday after the gathering I planned ( April 30 ) to didn’t have it in me to go. Not one person that has signed up contacted me to let me know they weren’t coming. I took that day to pray and work on my emotions because yes, I was hurt.

The pastor emailed me later that week because I had offered to put together an in-house VBS for July as a good friend who’s 2 daughter’s graduated from my preschool class has inquired. The pastor said there wasn’t enough help ( they nixed AWANA too for that same reason ) so I told my friend I’d try to get an ok for a VBS just fur the church kids already attending.
The pastor was emailing me back the ok after reading my lesson / activity plan for it.

He included a statement that they missed me that Sunday and hoped I was doing well. ( this was a week later )
No one has inquired about how the ladies gathering went. Until today which was from the lady manages the meetings but was on vacation and had wanted to come.
I just told her no one showed nor had notified me they couldn’t come. She commented “ that must’ve hurt and how she struggles to get women to come to these ladies fellowships. To which I was appreciative of her compassion.

Goodness, I apologize for the novel but now I have my question…
I’m struggling with not just what happened some other things too :
The pastor’s wife and the lady that texted me 2 days prior indicating she was coming have both asked me to cover for them if they ever can’t teach Sunday school. I used to teach it but my vocal cord problem became an issue and I had to step away. I agreed to fill in because it wouldn’t be that much and I love it. I have already been asked by both to cover.

Sorry ……
so this church does little to no outreach in our Mormon community and I have been shot down with excuses for why they do not. The same excuses are also given for the VBS and AWANA.

I’m feeling used and abused and an questioning the agenda of my church. I can’t understand the lack of gospel outreach especially in this area.

Am I being too sensitive? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill ? I have no animosity or ill will towards anyone there but I am sorely disappointed and am not motivated at all there to offer involvement in much anymore. But I want to be involved a church that does things , reaches people and isn’t limited to current church members with no concern for growth.

I’m really struggling with what to do. Should I stay and let go of my hearts desires for a church or should I find another church? I do think the church doing the revival would be a good fit.

Btw, my husband did not give me sound biblical advice. ( most of you know my situation with him … Eastern Orthodox, saved​:woman_shrugging:t4: , doesn’t read the Bible etc ) so he told me to expletive them. Sorry again but this is why I’m seeking some wisdom because that’s not the answer :woman_facepalming::disappointed_relieved:.

Unfortunately, my husband and daughter were very angry at how this happened and my husband I do not think will now ever come to my current church.
This has been so stressful and I do not want to make a rash decision, make a decision based on my feelings , and want to be where God wants me.

If anyone’s head exploded because of my blabbing on and on , I’m sooo sorry. I also don’t mean to tell my life’s woes here by droning on.

So for anyone who was brave enough to read all of this and would like to share anything AT ALL , I’d be so appreciative. :heart::heart:

This was one of the finished products for that gathering.


Hey Steph @Stephmerm,

I promise, I am not trying to compete for longest post, lol.

Wow, what an incredibly hurtful experience— and a lot of preparation! FWIW, you’re handling it well. It would have been difficult for me to go to church the next day. The pain would have still been in the anger stage for me. I can see where this doesn’t help in making your case for your husband to come to your church. (Most of my anger would have come from that position.)

I’m feeling really bad with allergies right now so I’m sure you explained everything well. But I need to ask for clarification about VBS and Awanas. Has your church completely cancelled these things?

As for your congregation not wanting to reach out to Mormons… that’s just people nowadays. Not excusing it by any means; rather I mourn. Some won’t admit or don’t care that Mormons are being deceived. And this group can be easily substituted by another in a different church. Some aren’t willing because helping someone might require more than a few minutes’ worth a their time and effort. And that’s too much to ask. Unfortunately Steph, most are interested in how they can be served rather than how they might serve others. If serving requires more than a few dollars or minutes— it’s someone else’s job. “Having a form of Godliness but denying its power…” comes to mind. 2 Tim 3:5-7

I can’t tell you how many times I ‘argued’ with church members about wanting warm bodies in the pews instead of making disciples. The matriarch of the family who ‘owned’ the church (yes, they believe they do) actually said, “We don’t want to become some big church,” during a church growth meeting, no less. This family is absolutely convinced they are doing everyone (including God, I think) a favor by running (or is it ruining?) the church. They are content with the status quo— maintaining that power.

Far too many are satisfied with religion because they don’t want relationship.

Perhaps our story can help you navigate yours: We were faithful, joyful servers in our church for many years. And we allowed bad behavior (really bad, but I digress) to shove us out the door (as was the intention). There are days when I’m sure the enemy counts that as a win. Sometimes I think we should have been stronger and stayed. Sometimes not… but there are many days when I regret not staying.

Of course, being leaders in the church and attending many meetings, we were aware of where the Lutheran Church was heading, especially in the area of sex/gender. And at one of the last synod meetings we attended there was even a vote on working church services around Sunday televised football schedules, synod wide— that’s Texas and Louisiana! Some days I think the decision to leave was a no brainer and getting pushed out of our local church was God’s doing. Doubt I’ll know for sure until God reviews my life with me at the Bema Seat.

I’m telling you part of my story because I think it to be a cautionary tale for where you are in your story, Steph. I see that I’ve written a book — with far too many ‘I’ statements. Please forgive me if I seem to be making your situation all about me. That’s not my intent, at all. Maybe I shouldn’t be responding in my condition (feeling really crummy). But I love you, respect you; I feel so bad for what you’ve been through in this situation and understand how it could affect your husband’s perspective on going to a different church (and coming out of bondage). I see how it could affect all those in your family who you pray will quit their prodigal ways or be born anew. I think part of your heart for Mormons comes from your love for your husband and knowing first hand his religious deception. Though they don’t realize, your family is mightily blessed by your faith and obedience to God! Everyone you know is, Steph. Thank you for being a Proverbs 31 woman. You inspire and encourage us all!

I don’t have any advice except about what I’d pray. And I am praying for you, and for all people wherever they may be in their walk— praying for us to be discerning and wise, to be strong and courageous, and to be who we were created to be: imagers of God Almighty.
:heart: gr

Lord, I want to be who and where You want me to be. Please give me Your wisdom to know what You desire. And please give me whatever I need to do Your will. Thank You Father. Thank You for being so good to us; so faithful and so loving. We are not yet fully aware of the privilege our adoption brings, but we are most grateful. Thank You for Jesus; for His sacrifice on our behalf— for His obedience to You and His love for us. It is in His blessed Name, we praise You and pray. Amen.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts Stephmerm. God bless your heart :cupid:


Hi @Stephmerm. I was so sad to hear of all the effort you had gone to for this event and as I was reading @GR’s resonse I read my immediate thoughts. Satan wants nothing more than to separate you and your husband from God.! I would approach the ladies that let you down at church in a loving and amicable way, explaining your disappointment that the 2-3 that signed up didn’t come or contact you but as you have all the equipment, would love to do it again. Perhaps share the catering…. Bring a dish?

You clearly have such a kind and generous heart that I think these ladies and the wider church can learn from. I pray you’ll get over the hurt and see this as an opportunity to minister to others. Pray too and go with your inner spirit as to whether a move is the right thing for you after you’ve brushed the sand off your sandals?

Good bless you Steph. I love your posts.

Do keep us posted on this situation.



What a splendid idea, Emma! And what a witness…. Reminds me of what Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 50:20 (paraphrased) What you meant for evil, God meant for good. And many lived…

(Not saying any of the no-show women meant any harm or evil, but I bet our enemy was hoping.)


Absolutely Georgia Ruth! We should never let an opportunity like this go to waste. I’m sure the no-show ladies will be understandably mortified and the next session an opportunity to share hearts and truths. I pray that many more will accept and enjoy @Stephmerm’s hospitality and counsel as they piece together the cracked lives of exemplar women in the Bible………inspired plan!


So they didn’t in true definition cancel VBS or AWANA. They’ve never done vbs and Awana has been in hold for over a year.

The pastor that founded the church moved 14 months ago. His wife’s sister works for Ken Ham at the Ark Exhibit so they left the pastorate and he got a job there. I was really close them , babysitting their two boys and such. I found out later some possibilities why they truly left but I don’t want to make assumptions as I’m not 100% sure. I do not think it was handled wisely tbh on both sides though. After he left he lost about 8 families and approximately 15 kids.

We currently only have 11 members but about 20 churchgoers. The original pastor had also approached me about managing the church cleaning so, I put that together soon after I became a member and still handle that as well ( bye, I hope this isn’t coming across as “ look at me and all I do “. That’s not my purpose in telling these things. It’s important to me to be involved as it’s a way to serve the Lord so I really don’t mind. But it is frustrating honestly how so few church members in some churches lend a hand in church needs and functions.

I think you have explained quite well part of the reasons. It’s a little discouraging tbh. :frowning:

The preschool family that started coming has asked about both those programs and I had inquired after the pastor left what the status was.
We were told they don’t have enough helpers so it’s not canceled but halted for now.

I told this friend who had had her 2 girls in my preschool class that maybe they’d consider an “ in house “ VBS meaning having a week in the summer for the kids that attend regularly ( about 10 ) but not a vbs open ti the community since they said there wasn’t enough staff.

I approached the new pastor and he gave the approval asking me to put together a program. I didn’t mind at all ( given my preschool teacher days, it’s right up my alley) so I did and I’m currently supposed continue arranging that. ( my friend is so excited and I’m glad to do it … hoping though that the work put in is worth it which I’m concerned about ).

Let me now say @GR I APPRECIATE your sharing your situation and praying for mine. ( no, you didn’t make my situation, yours :smiling_face:)

I am praying about what I’m to do and I see some God moments already…

I went to all the revival meetings at this other church. The first night a sweet young lady ( 36) came over and introduced herself. Thank could tell right away she was mentally slow but was still very articulate, and bright. She told me she was a member for 9 years, lived with her brother in a group home owned by Mormons about 12 miles away and that she was glad they allowed her to come to the Baptist church. She apparently gets a ride on Sundays to service by Bethel Baptist church members who rotate schedules to drive people to the church who need rides ( that touched my heart that people would do that ! ) then this sweet girl hugged me and walked off ( as I almost started crying… I was so blessed by her )

So she was at last service last evening and sat by me. We talked and she told me how she was saved at 16 and a little about her life.
We exchanged numbers and I now have a new friend :heart::heart:.
I met a few other ladies as well and one talks do to me quite a bit. After we share a little about ourselves , she asked my husband’s and kid’s names telling me she’d pray for them. She also told me this church sponsors 10 missionaries! She also said throughout the year they host some of these missionaries who are able to come to Idaho to speak at the church.
They have Sunday am/ pm services including Sunday school for the adults before the main service but also Wednesday night prayer meetings.
They have children’s programs as well.

I say all that to say that I’m being drawn to them. From what I can gather , this church participates in the very things I’m searching to be involved in. Personal spiritual growth, fellowship and church outreach are my heart’s desires and what for me are lacking and leaving a void inside.

I do need to go to my own church this Sunday because I can’t just stop going. ( gotta face the music so to speak ).

Last I want to add , I am not a perfect church member either so I’m practicing forgiveness, facing my own faults etc etc etc. because should I leave, I want to do it right and be right with God if / when I do.

This sweet girl I met and a few others asked even I’d be back. I told them I definitely wound come back because I wanted to hear the pastor
speak ( the revival sermons were by the visiting missionary ) and get more of a feel for the church itself.

So thank you for the prayers and heartfelt care. I needed that as I kind of feel alone ( I know I’m not though :wink:) Im going continue seeking what I’m believing I’m to do as I haven’t committed yet to a definite decision.

Thanks again, it’s been extremely helpful to me :sweat_smile: