In my World Religions class today, we were talking about Animism. How it can be present in all religions - for instance, Christians who carry their Bibles around with them, not because they're going to read them, but because they feel like as long as they have their Bible with them, they'll have a good day. If they forget it or leave it someplace, then it's going to be a bad day, because they don't have their Bible with them. It can be subtle, and I don't think a lot of people realize they're doing it.
Anyway, this reminded me of a little book I got when I first arrived at Mercy. (I'm sure anyone who's gone through the program knows exactly what book I'm talking about!) I vaguely remember being told something about how this booklet would become the most important book to me while I was there (second to the Bible, of course).
This little booklet is called God's Creative Power Will Work For You
I've seen a few other people mention it, but haven't seen anybody really write in depth about what this book contains and its role in life at Mercy. And I think this is an important part of Mercy life that people should know about, so I will be going through the book, talking about it in relation to Mercy, and give my own views on it. It will take me more than one entry, I know that - I'm not sure just how long it will get, though! I can say a lot on this subject. When I mentioned the word of faith movement and this book to my World Religions professor, he said, "Let's not even go there!" There's just so much there that can be talked about. My professor actually called it heresy, which surprised me a bit. That's a pretty strong word to use, and although I agree, I've never actually said that myself for fear that I was overreacting. It's nice to know I'm not! I feel like every person who backs up my thoughts about Mercy and different beliefs and practices there helps me get a little closer to really truly believing it and being better able to speak the truth about Mercy without being ashamed. Helps me get a little closer to, "Oh! It really wasn't just me!" There's a difference between knowing something and truly believing it. I'm not there yet, but I'm slowly making my way towards believing it with confidence and assurance that it is the truth.
So, I arrived at Mercy and got this booklet. I soon learned that we were supposed to read the section of affirmations out loud twice a day (?) and sign this sheet saying we had done it. And we were encouraged to read it more. Some girls carried their GCP book with them most, if not all, of the time. I would see and hear other girls reading their GCP at different times of the day, in the living room, in the hallway, in the library. My roommate read them before bed every night. Reading the GCP out loud was a big key to healing from our issues. And the more we read it, the more we would believe it, and be healed.
I suppose I should probably explain what it is about before going any further! From the back cover of the booklet:
Words are the most powerful things in the universe today! They are containers of power.
Many people have been defeated in life because they believed and spoke the wrong things. They have allowed the words of their own mouths to hold them in bondage.
God created the universe by speaking it into existence. He has given that same ability to you in word form. To be effective in life you must speak words of faith. Every faith principle, every spiritual law, every promise of God was set forth for your growth. He has designed His Word to put you over in life.
Learn how you can release the ability of God by the words of your mouth.
Fear-filled words will defeat you, but faith-filled words will put you over!
On my first read through the book, I didn't quite know what to think. I wrote about it in my journal, the entry is dated 11/20/06, so I had only been there for five days.
Something about those "God's Creative Power" books just doesn't seem right. And I'm frustrated, because I don't know what it is. I don't know if they're Biblically sound or not ... My critical thinking skills are coming in handy, yet also being kind of frustrating, because I feel like I don't know enough to know if these things are Biblical or not.
There's quite a bit more to the entry, but that's the relevant part. I didn't write about negative things in too much detail, because while something didn't seem right, I felt like I shouldn't be thinking those things. I believed that maybe it was just Satan attacking me - trying to get in the way of my healing, trying to turn me away from God, trying to get me to leave Mercy. I now know that it was actually God, not Satan, trying to get me to leave Mercy! That feeling I was getting about something not being right? Pretty sure that was the Holy Spirit nudging me to do some critical thinking and realize that this was not a good place.
I couldn't make up my mind, the whole time I was there. One day, I'd feel sure that Mercy was a great place, and that I just needed to be more open to what they were teaching. The next day, I'd feel sure that there was something not-quite-right, and I needed to figure out what it was, so I could know what to do. It was very confusing.
And with that, I think I will have to take a break. More on God's Creative Power soon!