We were created to work as a team. Marriage is the best example, and when things are good, life just couldn't be better! Even so, abuse can rear its ugly head. Friends, family members, and brothers and sisters in Christ suffer in abusive marriages, and we seek help from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We try to lean on The Loving Counselor in what we say, and do our best to help our loved ones, but very often we miss the mark. We can actually do damage and increase the suffering! I pray to always be protected from this.
Today, I found an author that speaks to this issue, Elisabeth Cocoran. She tells it straight about what to say and what not to say to a woman in an abusive situation. I feel very strongly the need to also extend this excellent advice to men who may come to you for help. There is no question, men also suffer in abusive relationships. The heart of the matter is that we should never do any harm when we try to help another, when we are led to offer assitance.
If you have a loved one in this situation, please read the following articles by Elisabeth Corcoran, from where the quotes below have come.
What Not to Say to a Woman in an Abusive Marriage, by Elisabeth Corcoran
What You Should Say to a Woman in an Abusive Marriage, by Elisabeth Corcoran
"You must picture working with an abused woman as if you’re putting together a puzzle, while walking through a field of landmines. Say the wrong thing and you can set her back five years in her healing. Say the right thing and you can help set her free. This is not a one-size-fits all situation. Each marriage is unique. Each pain needs to be heard and taken in and empathized with."
"Being in an abusive or addiction-filled marriage can be terrifying and emotionally paralyzing. It can take years and a multitude of incidents to even acknowledge and begin to believe your reality is as difficult and sad as it is. So to read the words of people who heard and understood and stood up for these women in their most vulnerable time brings me great hope."
Please visit Elisabeth Corcoran at crosswalk.com for more helpful and Christ-centered focus in matters of the heart, family relationships and the nature of woman.
27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28 God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
The book of Genesis has been holding my attention lately. It is back to the basics. The creation of the universe is a fascinating story, as is the lineage of man. The story of Noah a treasure, for we witness God's problem solving ability. We rise, we fall. We rise again, we fall again. We yearn for God's love, but seek it in all the wrong places. Yet, He loves us so much, He created us in His image! Would it be enough to just submit and be grateful to Our Father for the lives he has given to us? It may well be!
DR Tony Evans speaks further on this issue today. It is DR Evans' way to hit the mark. He has a deep understanding into the nature of the human being, he uses this great gift to help others. He never fails to give the glory to the Lord! Thank you, DR Evans, for your powerful testimony! You help me each and every day, today is no exception, so I'll share this little snippet here. Please visit oneplace.com to read his entire article:
A Purposeless Life, by DR Tony Evans
"We exist for God; He does not exist for us. God loves doing things for His people, but the reason we get up in the morning is to fulfill His purpose for our lives, not merely to ask Him to bless our purpose for our lives. God does not want to be our vending machine, where we put in a coin and He dispenses what we demand. Until we understand that we exist for Him, we will never know our purpose for being."
John Piper, poet and minister, gives us valuable advice regarding prayer. If we are not consulting scripture about what God asks of us in prayer, we may be missing the boat. Please visit John and his inspirational ministry at desiringgod.com for more wonderful expressions of a powerful love of God!
The following snippet and scripture are taken from "How to Pray for the Soul," found this week at oneplace.com.
"...first to pray for the soul from the way the Bible prays for the soul. If we do that, then our prayers will probably be good prayers, and in the process we will also learn about how God acts. Here is the way I pray for my soul. I use these prayers over and over again—for myself and my children and wife and for the staff and the elders and for all the church. This is the meat and potatoes of my prayer life."
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies And not to dishonest gain. (Psalm 119:36)
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. (Psalm 119:18)
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (Ephesians 1:18)
11 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. (Psalm 86:11)
14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, (Ephesians 3:16)
10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:10)
32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
"To remember some of these prayers, I use an acronym—IOUS—almost every day in praying for those I love, asking God to give us an inclination to his Word and not to money or fame or power (Psalm 119:36), and to open our eyes to see wonderful things when we read his Word (Psalm 119:18), and to have hearts united in the fear of God rather than fragmented over a dozen concerns (Psalm 86:11), and to be satisfied in his steadfast love (Psalm 90:14)."
Thank you, John Piper, for your invaluable help to the saints who are praying for their own souls and the souls of others!
Dealing with Doubt, by DR Michael Yousef
"If doubt is left unchecked, if doubt is not dealt with immediately, it can lead to greater trouble in our lives. If doubt is not dealt with immediately, it can erode the foundation of the faith, it can cause you self-comdenmation, and it can cause you depression. It can corrode your joy and your peace with God and with others. It can make you cynical and it can make you critical. And that is why the apostle John gives us ways by which we must deal with doubt as soon as it shows its ugly head."
"Only Jesus Christ Can Change a Heart."
"You keep on loving, even when your love is met with ingratitude."
1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.
7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;
8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin because he is born of God.
10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.
13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.
15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him
20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
1 John 3
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
19 We love, because He first loved us.
20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
1 John 4
Joan of Arc
There she is. Joan of Arc. Look at her fearlessness, her courage! Study how these held firm in the face of persecution and the threat of death by fire. I admire her so!
I was reading Annie's Blog last night and noticed a tone I didn't especially like. I sounded like a preacher, a lecturer, a judge. Terrible, for I am a baby christian, and have so much to learn. More than most!
Perhaps I sound like a lecturer, because I am rather stern with myself. I am drawn to writings that address issues I personally am experiencing. Just my little way of working things out. One of my great great grandfathers was a preacher way back when, and I suppose I have inherited some of his personality traits as well.
I recognize doctrine and tenet that I need to practice until firmly ingrained. Then, I spew forth and write with passion and fervor.
I ramble with excuses when I need to address one thing: I would like to apologize to all, for I am a natural born sinner who loves the Lord. I am no better, no worse then my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I backslide every single day. Faith and hope are strong; however, and these are what stand me back up when I feel like laying down in defeat. I know my redeemer liveth!
Perhaps as you read Annie working through it, there will spring forth a little help for you. It is my prayer, that One Saint will light the way for all brothers and sisters in Christ. Even if in just a small way. Kneel and Pray with me! There is so much to accomplish for the Lord, so little time. He would not want us to be plagued by a sense of urgency, however!
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
And He said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has made you well."
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
"In my teaching series, Reversing the Curses in Your Life, I go great deal into the reversal of fortune that Elisha's servant Gehazi experienced (Read 2 Kings 7:3-16; 8:4)"
DR Evans has very good advice for those of us needing to break the curse: "Keep the right perspective. Submit to God's plan. Humble yourself. Commit to do whatever God requires. Trust in the power of God. Have faith. Believe in Jesus' promises. Praise God for what He is able to do."
Don't Settle for Less, DR Tony Evans
"He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is "life eternal," and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever has sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ does satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction that the appetite is not choked, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus as the [heart] pants for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him not, for love always cries, "Nearer, nearer." Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven."
Grow in Grace and Knowledge, by Alistair Begg
Today, I read the following article by DR Tony Evans. It radiates hope and focuses on the book of 1 Kings, for a wonderful study. There is much healing available for us when we ask the Lord for His help! Even in the face of generational despair, there is healing and release from life's various curses. He "MAKES THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE."
"Everyday, people live under the curse of defeat, which takes on many different forms... For the Christian, there is always hope. Jesus came to reverse every curse and give us power to conquer anything that might hold us down. God specializes in making the impossible possible."
DR Evans asks us to be like Naaman, and "commit to see your cleansing through. God will redeem what you thought was
impossible to restore."
1 Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior, but he was a leper.
2 Now the Arameans had gone out in bands and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
3 She said to her mistress, "I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy."
4 Naaman went in and told his master, saying, "Thus and thus spoke the girl who is from the land of Israel."
5 Then the king of Aram said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." He departed and took with him ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold and ten changes of clothes.
6 He brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, "And now as this letter comes to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy."
7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man is sending word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? But consider now, and see how he is seeking a quarrel against me."
8 It happened when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent word to the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."
9 So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha.
10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean."
11 But Naaman was furious and went away and said, "Behold, I thought, 'He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.'
12 "Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage.
13 Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, "My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean ?' "
14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean.
15 When he returned to the man of God with all his company, and came and stood before him, he said, "Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; so please take a present from your servant now."
16 But he said, "As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will take nothing." And he urged him to take it, but he refused.
17 Naaman said, "If not, please let your servant at least be given two mules' load of earth; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.
18 "In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter."
19 He said to him, "Go in peace." So he departed from him some distance.
2 Kings 5:1-19
Every year I make a new year's resolution, and every year, I break it. Most every past year, I vowed not to worry so much. Then, I immediately broke my promise to myself, and backslid right back to a place of old and worn habit. This year, I have a different perspective. There is no question, I'm the kind of person that is prone to worry, not necessarily for myself, but even more for friends and loved ones who are having trouble. Once reborn, I understood that I could give these worries to the Lord, because He is there for us. He cares! I can alleviate a lot of the worry and stress when I choose to lean upon Him. It is very simple, my own problems and those of my loved ones will alleviate, once I choose to get to know Him! Once I learn without any doubt whatsoever that I can depend upon Him! This year, I resolve to lean on him in times of trouble. I intend to practice until it is deeply understood that He is at the helm. There is no need for anything other than joy at that notion!
As if to affirm my new year's resolution, two articles came to me via email. The first was the following study from Bible Study Tools.
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
"Paul is not talking about any virtue found in himself—he is actually setting aside all of his credentials and saying they are worth nothing. They are worthless. But his resolution is, “I want to know Christ more and better.” What is remarkable is that he has known Christ for thirty years, yet he is resolved to know Him better."
"That is my New Year’s resolution this year. I’ve known Christ for about forty years now, but my desire is to get to know Him better."
"...we can get to know Christ by spending time in His Word, going to Him in prayer, meditating upon Him, and asking Him for help. I resolve that I want to know the Lord by being in His Word every day—not just reading the words of Scripture, but meditating upon them, personalizing them, and making them part of my life."
"It’s one hundred percent Him, zero percent us, and all to His glory."
Philippians 3: The Best New Year's Resolution, from Bible Study Tools
The second message came from Alistair Begg. Entitled Say Good Bye to Anxiety this absolutely addresses my most important resolution this year. I always enjoy Alistair's poetic prose, and in this case, it was as if he was writing just for me, though I know his messages are addressed to all.
Peter asks us to humble ourselves before God by
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
"It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel, "He cares for me." Christian, do not dishonor religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight that your Father would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden would be to Him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to
"Lie passive in God's hands,
And know no will but His."
"O child of suffering, be patient; God has not passed you over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows will also furnish you with what you need. Do not sit in despair; hope on, hope ever."
"He has never refused to bear your burdens; He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! Say good-bye to anxiety and leave all your concerns in the hand of a gracious God."
Say Goodbye to Anxiety, by Alistair Begg
God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking.
God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.
God in my life,
God in my lips,
God in my soul,
God in my heart.
God in my sufficing,
God in my slumber,
God in mine ever-living soul,
God in mine eternity.
All Scripture at Annie's Blog
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