Abuse, Info & Help

We need boundaries! We need fences!Premium Content

1 Peter 1:13-16 NRSV Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when He is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as He who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

We have dogs. Currently, we have one dog, but often we have more than one. People know that we rescue poodles, and we are often called to see if we will give a poodle a home. In the past two years, the "yard" that our dogs have enjoyed has changed considerably. First, it was the portable yard that we use for our RV. We bought two units and attached them together, so it was about 6x4 feet. Not very big, but for small dogs, large enough to walk around. Last year, when we moved into the trailer, the yard was considerably larger. There was room to run and play a bit, certainly lots of room to nose around and smell (which the dogs loved to do). In this house, the yard is huge in comparison to anything we've had previously. It's a big lot and the back yard goes from edge to edge. It's possible not to be able to see our little poodle just looking out the back door; the yard is that big.

One thing every yard had in common was some kind of a fence. The fence is both a protection from at least some of the predators getting in (though there are still those, like snakes, that can get in under the fence) and a protection from the dogs getting out of the yard and being at risk of being hit by cars or stolen by thieves.

The fence is a protection.

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When Only One Spouse is Willing to Work on the Marriage - Part 2Premium Content

See Part 1

What do you do when only one spouse wants to work on saving the marriage; or what can you do when your spouse wants a divorce and you don't? Or how can you save a marriage when a spouse says they are not in love with you anymore?

Don't give up on the marriage!

Don't give up just because someone tells you to find someone new or thinks you should leave your marriage. They don't know what you need—only God can fill your needs. No matter what, you'll still be married to your first husband or wife, so don't get any funny ideas in your head such as remarriage because that is not going to solve the real problem. Divorce does not solve hardened hearts or a faithless walk.

Sometimes the spouse that thinks they want out of the marriage is going through troubling times at the moment and regrets ever saying that or doing things that are damaging to the marriage. Don't give up! Pray about it and ask Jesus Christ to bring you contentment and peace.

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Can Jesus save... that person, that situation, that problem?Premium Content

Hebrews 7:21-22, 24-25 NRSV
"The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind,‘You are a priest forever' " -- accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant. . . . He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. Consequently He is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Can Jesus save... that person, that situation, that problem, that illness, that sin? Can Jesus save? I think the answer ("yes") is something I believe intellectually, but not always something I believe in faith. I do have the choice of trusting (having faith) or observing (looking at what I believe are the facts) and often I choose the "facts" over faith.

I like optical illusions. But I have to admit, sometimes I don't get them. I look and look and just can't see what it is I'm supposed to see. It's the same with jokes. Often I listen to them and then... nothing. I just didn't hear the humor (while my husband is bent over laughing). Both are, in a sense, illusions for a reason. They take "fact" and twist it for a purpose (to amuse). So, I think, facts are not static. Facts are not, then, the same as truth because facts can obviously be manipulated.

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Resting in His Righteousness

Have you been struggling with feelings of despair, fear, and anxiety? Do you think you let God down so He cannot possibly love you anymore?

I remember when I was so paralyzed by fear that I could not get out of bed in the morning. What seemed like endless nights tormented me as I lay awake through torturous hours filled with anxiety and loneliness. Yet the shafts of early morning light were only painful reminders to me that another long, empty day was ahead of me. I had lost the ability to look at anything through a positive lens, and my incessant negativity had driven away the few friends that I had known. I longed to be near the Lord, but I did not know how to reach Him. For I had given up on the promise of God found in Hebrews 13:5 Amplified Bible:

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!].

HealingPremium Content

Healing. Just saying the word conjures up a mountain of images and thoughts for every person. And every person's thoughts on healing are going to be different. We can think of physical healing, emotional healing, spiritual healing, family healing and so on. According to The Complete Christian Dictionary for Home and School, the definition of heal is:

1. To cause to become healthy: Jesus healed every disease and sickness among the people (Matthew 4:23).
2. To cause to become productive: If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
3. spir. To cause to become spiritually healthy: Be he [Jesus] was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed…The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:5,6). Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil (Acts 10:38).
4. To comfort the afflicted: He [God] heals the brokenhearted… (Psalm 147:3)

In today's world, there is so much sickness and new illnesses revealing themselves almost daily. We definitely need the healing hand of God to be upon us. But healing doesn't always come in the form of a miraculous sign like a leprous hand being healed right before our eyes. Sometimes it comes in the form of taking medication, surgery, therapy, counselling, physical therapy and so on. But in any of these cases and those I have not listed, God is always present, for without him, there would be no healing. It is because Christ suffered so greatly before dying on the cross that we are even able to be healed. It was because of his great sacrifice that we are able to go before him with our petitions for healing.

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Freedom for Prisoners: You Can be Set Free from AbusePremium Content

I'd like to start by introducing myself. My name is Sheri, I am currently 42 and have been a Christian since the age of 13. I am a survivor of more than 20 years of sexual abuse and rape. I have been abused by both men and women, but the one woman scarred me more than all the men together. However, I am NOT a victim, but a survivor. I am not being abused anymore. I may have the occasional flashback or other issue that arises when you have been abused, but it is just the memory of the abuse, not the actual abuse itself. I am a SURVIVOR, not a victim. I am not fully healed, but am steadily working on my recovery and healing with the help of Jesus Christ and good counselors. I know what it is to be in bondage and I know what it is to be free. It is my prayer that you learn the way to freedom through this message.

I have had this message rolling around in my head and my heart for quite some time now. Just down the road about 30 minutes, maybe less, is a Federal Maximum Security Prison that holds only 3 types of offenders: rapists, murderers and armed robbers. For the longest time now, every time I go past that prison, I have a longing and a desire to go in and tell the prisoners that are there that there is hope for them and forgiveness of their sins. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. That though they may never receive the forgiveness of those they hurt, they CAN receive God's forgiveness. There is another way to live that holds hope, peace, joy and truth. But after speaking to my pastor, who is very wise, he suggested something I have never thought of. Perhaps I am being called to minister to those in prison, but not necessarily those in a prison building. Perhaps I am to write this message so that those who are imprisoned in their past, pain, misery, sorrow or other such prisons and chains. This message is for you.

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Be a Friend to an Abused Woman

1. Please listen to the abused woman.

2. Please don’t blame her for the abuse.

3. Please avoid interrupting her.

4. Please don’t act shocked or doubtful of the truth of her situation.

5. Please pray for her.

6. Please offer her Scripture that comforts and strengthens her.

7. Please let her know that she can call or visit you again.

8. Please share tea or coffee with her to put her at ease.

9. Please find out if she is danger.

10. Please give her the name of the nearest shelter.

Forgiveness Workshop TranscriptPremium Content

Obie-HostIt is my great pleasure to introduce to you today Yvonne Ortega.She serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery and leads her own ministry which she will tell you about. Today she will be speaking on Forgiveness.

Every time Yvonne leads a workshop we are all greatly blessed by her insights. Let us open in prayer.....

Heavenly Father,
We pray for our workshop leader Yvonne today.Anoint her with the Holy Spirit. Give her Your words of wisdom to share with us --
words of healing. Open our ears, hearts and minds that we are teachable and also open to the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus we all pray. Amen.

Yvonne will speak for several minutes and then we will have a question and answer period where you will be able to ask questions. Yvonne, you now have the floor!

Yvonne Thank you.
What does it mean “to forgive”?
It means to give up feeling angry or wanting to punish, to show mercy, to pardon.

Countless adults have told me they can’t forgive themselves. One woman had an abortion and said, “I’m a murderer. I can’t go back to church.”

An alcoholic lost his wife, his children, his job, his car, and his home. His children refused to have anything to do with him. He said, “It’s all my fault for drinking like I did.”

A married woman got drunk and had sex with a male acquaintance. She was beside herself with shame and guilt.

A man fell asleep at the wheel and hit a guardrail. His daughter was thrown from the van and died. He was overwhelmed with grief and beat himself up repeatedly for the loss of his daughter.

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Fear and What to Do About It Premium Content

Everybody in this world who has any understanding of the world, experiences fear, likely everyday. There are the common fears such as: living in a safe city - you don’t want to be murdered, raped, robbed or beat brutally. These are understandable fears. But who controls the fears you have? Do your fears control you or are you in control of your fears? This is a huge question and one that needs to be discussed and clarified. Because there are actually 2 different types of fear for those who walk in the way of God, we need to differentiate between the two. The fear or reverence of God is a good fear, but not the one we will discuss here. Daily fear and fear that burdens us is the fear we will be discussing.

The Bible contains dozens of people who were afraid. Some of them experienced more fear than others, but just because someone does not fear as much as another, does not mean their fear is any less legitimate.

A small list of people who feared in the Bible include, but are not limited to:

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When is it Right to Trust Other People? (Part 2)Premium Content

See Part One

One of the hardest issues for many people, especially in today’s society, is to know when to trust other people. What I am about to write comes from the books, Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, and Safe People by the same authors. It is what I have learned along my healing journey, and I can assure you that I am by no means anywhere near the end of it. I believe healing is a lifelong journey. I highly recommend reading ALL of their books. Believe me when I say they have an endless supply of good Christian books that will help you grow and mature both spiritually and emotionally.

Many people teach that we are to trust nobody. After all, look what it gets us a lot of the time. Girls, boys and women raped because they trusted somebody enough to simply speak to them. Now, not every encounter is a bad one, but we cannot guarantee that any meeting will be a safe one. Who is willing to risk their life on a chance meeting?

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