Friday, October 30, 2009

Forgive Everyone Involved

Forgiveness can seem utterly impossible. The hurt and rejection cut too deep. The pain is aggravated when it's not only your spouse who has wounded or abandoned you, but also your former spouse's parents or siblings, friends you had shared as a couple, or others who have chosen to "take sides."

You may justify your unforgiveness with many seemingly good reasons: "I can't forgive the lies and deception," "I can't forgive what he or she did to the children," "I can't forgive the shame he put me through," or "I can't forgive her for trying to turn my children against me."

"Many people," says Sabrina Black, "are sitting somewhere nursing their wounds and saying, 'It's not right. It's not fair; they should come back and make this up to me.' Those people keep getting hit. If they would get up, even though it's not right or fair, and get themselves into recovery, they will go on with their lives."

God commands us to forgive. Because He commands us, then it is possible for us to forgive, no matter what the circumstances. He doesn't promise that it will be easy, but He promises that it can be done.

"It'll take a miracle for me to forgive my husband and his mistress—well, our Lord is in the business of miracles," says Harriet.

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times'" (Matthew 18:21-22).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let Go of the Pain

"When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well?'" (John 5:6).

Are you purposely hanging on to pain, anger, or blame? Are you living off of those emotions? Perhaps you feel that your negative emotions bring you satisfaction or a feeling of control. Do you sometimes think it feels good to get angry at your ex-spouse or to share stories that highlight your ex-spouse's faults? Let go of the negativity that you are clinging to. You don't want your new identity to be grounded in bitterness and resentment.

You must build a new, solid foundation for your life. This foundation must be different, stronger, and deeper than your last. If you build your life in Jesus Christ, you will not be shaken.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash" (Matthew 7:24-27).

Face Your Problems

One of the first responses you may have had during the divorce process was denial, but the time of denial has to come to an end. Be honest with yourself. Face your problems. This process is three-fold:

1. Recognize/define your problems.
2. Admit your problems to yourself and to others.
3. Take steps to deal with your problems in a healthy manner.

Dr. Linda Mintle says, "Some people know they're emotionally stuck and that they're not moving on from the intense emotions of the divorce. Yet, they don't want to face their problems; they don't want to deal with the emotions. They know that facing their feelings is going to feel really bad. Many people don't want to face those bad feelings, and they don't want to do the work. They don't want to look at their baggage or their unhealthy patterns in relationships. Remember that you have to feel bad before you feel better."

You are making your life even more difficult if you refuse to confront the reality of your situation. We understand that this is much easier said than done, though! Facing your problems is especially difficult because, first of all, you don't want them to be true, and second, you are just plain exhausted. Now is the time to depend on the Lord's strength.

"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength" (2 Timothy 4:17).

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Practical Advice for Your Friends

Friends often mean well and sincerely want to help, but they don't know how. This can bring added stress and pain to you. H. Norman Wright had a person come to him with this dilemma:

"I'm going through a divorce. Recently, I ran into seven of my friends throughout the course of the day, and every friend asked, 'What's going on? Tell me about it,' so I went through the whole story with each one. By the end of that day I felt terrible. The reason was that with every friend I went through the situation and experienced the pain again, so I was more depressed at the end of the day. What can I do about this?"

Mr. Wright suggests: "Write a letter to your friends describing what is going on and what you are feeling. Write down the best way for your friends to respond because sometimes they give you unsolicited, undesired, inappropriate advice, and that's not what you need. As you meet your friends or fellow employees, instead of having to go through it again and again, give them the letter. Your friends will be appreciative because often they don't know how to act. You will get a greater amount of healthy support."

Consider writing a letter of this type not only to help your friends, but also to help you. Even if you never end up handing out a copy, the exercise will help you recognize what it is that you expect and need from your friends.

"A friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17).

Ubuntu readies the Karmic Koala

What do French Gendarmes, Andalucian school children, Wikipedia and San Francisco International Airport have in common?

It is not the set up for a tortuous pun. Instead all of them are big users of the free Ubuntu operating system.

The French national police force runs its operations on the open source OS; computer systems supporting Spanish schools have their own version; the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, runs its hundreds of servers on Ubuntu and SFIA's internal computer system is based around it.

Ubuntu is based on Linux - the open source operating system that is maintained, expanded and extended by legions of fans and professional programmers around the world. Thanks to their efforts Ubuntu has become the most popular of all the Linux distributions.

On 29 October, version 9.10 of Ubuntu is released. All versions of the operating system have an alternative alliterative appellation. Ubuntu 9.10 is known as Karmic Koala.

The launch comes in the wake of Microsoft's fanfare around Windows 7 - the latest incarnation of its flagship operating system.

Competition time

While Ubuntu's developer Canonical can not quite match the hoopla surrounding Windows 7 for its launch, the software competes where it matters.

Evidence that it is being taken seriously can be found in the annual "10-K form" that Microsoft files with the SEC. Every public firm must file one of these to outline the market conditions and competitors it believes pose the greatest threat to its business.

In 2009, for the first time, Canonical got a mention.

Given that Microsoft recognizes its success, it's only a matter of time before Ubuntu's 12 million strong pool of users is joined by many more.

Story from BBC NEWS

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Directions for Emotional Investments

Emotional investments. You have probably not considered that phrase before. You have invested time, money, emotions, and more in your former spouse. Your initial reaction might be "I've lost it all!" Your investments are not lost. They just need to be directed to new outlets because they are no longer profitable in the current areas.

Take care, though. You do not want to put your investments in another relationship right now. That would be an unwise choice at this point in your healing process.

New directions for your emotional investments can include building same-sex friendships, getting a pet, taking classes, journaling, pursuing a new hobby, and attending a divorce recovery support group.

Cindy shares, "The first time I attended a divorce recovery group, I thought, What am I doing here? I don't need a support group. But I did, and the support group gave me a safe place. In the beginning I was afraid that if I opened my mouth, I'd start crying, and I wasn't comfortable sharing my situation. But I saw other people sharing their stories, and we all started to become friends and nurtured each other and supported each other. It meant a lot."

You may feel that a support group isn't for you, but we encourage you to try it for a few weeks. The healing rewards of a biblically based support group can be tremendous.

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The LORD redeems his servants...

The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him. – Psalm 34:22

There is so much in life that can drag us down. There is so much that can make us question our worth. Life is not without its bumps and bruises. We all take our hits. And sometimes the bruises hurt no matter how much we want to pretend that they don’t.

But it is worth remembering the value that God sees in you. You are here for a purpose and God wants to fill your life with positive meaning. He is the redeemer of what he finds value in – and that includes you. You may not believe it – but he does.

In Christ, no one stands condemned.

Fear of God ...

Thanks to John Carpenter, a United Methodist pastor in Nashville who explains Fear of God this way:

Fear of God--it is so misinterpreted, not translated well. The biblical 'fear of God' is a respect of God that encourages us to not only receive the love that God has for us, but also to share it with friend, enemy, and self.

Embracing the Uniqueness of your Grief

The following is a reprint of an article written by Margaret Dearing. Margaret is a Bereavement Support Worker.

In life, everyone grieves. But, despite what you may hear, you will do the “work of mourning” in your own way. Be careful about comparing your experience with that of other people. It is important to take a “one-day-at-a-time” approach.

Thoughts about the journey through the grief wilderness:

#1 Your relationship with the person who died was different than that person’s relationship with anyone else. The stronger your attachment to the person who died, the more difficult your grief journey will be.

#2 The circumstances of the death. How, why and when the person died can have a definite impact on your journey into grief. Was the death sudden or anticipated? How old was the person who died?

#3 The ritual of the funeral experience. There is no right way to have a funeral. We know, however, that creating a meaningful ritual for survivors can aid in the social, emotional and spiritual healing after a death.
A funeral is a time and a place to express your feelings about death. It is also a time to honor the deceased, bring you closer to others who can give you support, affirm that life goes on. It also gives you context of meaning that is in keeping with your own religious, spiritual or philosophical background.

#4 The people in your life. Mourning requires the outside support of other human beings in order for you to heal. Healing requires an environment of empathy, caring and gentle encouragement.

#5 Your unique personality. Whatever your personality, it will be reflected in your grief. If you are quiet by nature, you may express your grief quietly. If you are outgoing, you may be more expressive.

Grief is a Process – Recovering is a Choice
“There is no ending that doesn’t have a beginning.”

Finally, let me leave you with the words of the apostle Paul:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV)

The Goal of Grieving: Rebuilding and Resolution

If you work through the process of grief, you will come to the point of rebuilding and resolution. Then your focus will shift from the past to the future.

"Rebuilding and resolution almost go hand in hand," explains H. Norman Wright. "They occur when you are starting to look forward to your life again in a new way and you are more forward looking than backward looking. You have a sense of hope that, yes, there is meaning in life, that you can go on with your life, and in spite of the fact that you are caring for the three children by yourself and you're exhausted most of the time—there is hope. You have a sense of direction for your future."

With God, there is always hope. There is always rebuilding and resolution. He will restore your life, and you will have joy in your heart again. God's promises are for you.

He sent His Son Jesus . . .

"To comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor" (Isaiah 61:2-3).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saying Good-bye to Your Losses

People in grief must learn to say good-bye to what they have lost. Saying good-bye is not a one-time experience, but there will come a day when final good-byes are said.

H. Norman Wright offers practical advice to help you say good-bye to your losses: "You have to work through your feelings—especially anger. Write a 'non-mailed' angry letter, and pour out your heart in it. Then sit with an empty chair placed in front of you, put the person's name there, and read the letter out loud.

"Another idea is to write a letter of forgiveness. It might be, 'Dear So and So, I forgive you for the way you betrayed me.' Then write the first rebuttal that comes to mind. Keep doing this, whether it's ten or twenty times, until you come to the place where there are no more rebuttals and you can say, 'I forgive you for . . .'"

Mr. Wright continues, "It's when the good-byes are said that you can turn the corner and move ahead."

You may not want to say good-bye, but this is necessary at some point in your recovery process. Saying good-bye does not mean you are closing yourself off from the other person. You are saying good-bye to what you have lost, to the things of the past, and to a relationship that is over. You are experiencing closure to the grief, blame, anger, and emotions that are behind you. A new way of living is before you that may or may not include your former spouse.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Friday, October 23, 2009


I just got an e-mail about a very cool Ubuntu related project that is happening in central Utah in Mid November.

Something wonderful happened at Snow College down in Ephraim, UT, this semester: a few energetic students formed the Snow College Open Source Software Club.

To be chartered at Snow, a club needs to provide a service to the community.

On Saturday, November 14th, 2009, from 10:00am to 6:00pm the Open Source Club is going to bring 100 DEAD COMPUTERS BACK TO LIFE! This will all be happening in Humanities 122 on the Snow College campus. 150 E. College Ave.

People in the community will bring in their five to ten year old systems (or even older?) and we are going to restore these system with Ubuntu (or Xubuntu as necessary) and introduce John Q. Public to the over 20,000 free applications available to us in the Synaptic Package Manager. (People will be instructed to have cleaned off any files they hope to keep.) The miracle of Ubuntu and Open Source Software is about to reach Sanpete County in what we hope is a significant manner.

The club should have a budget for food and the hopefully there will be live music. We’re hoping for an all day party featuring Ubuntu and hopefully the end result will be that a lot of people walk home with their older system restored to Ubuntu — or short of that, they will leave with the live CD and the phone number of a club member who can walk them through restoration of their computer. (In the spirit of Open Source, we are doing all of this free of charge, of course.)

Anger and Blame

"Anger is a defense mechanism where you take whatever is bothering you and is wrong within you, then you project it on another person and blame him or her for it. Frequently the other person accepts the blame, which satisfies you temporarily but doesn't solve the problem," says Dr. Robert Abarno.

Blame is a natural reaction to your loss. You feel as though you need to blame someone: your former spouse, God, yourself, friends, or the person with whom your spouse had an affair.

"The other woman became more and more of a scapegoat in my mind because it was easy for me to hate her," says Harriet. "So I heaped coals on her head. She might as well have been a witch riding a broomstick because in my mind she grew worse, with a forked tail and cloven hooves."

The problem with blame, though, is what it leads to. Blame and anger work together to produce resentment. When you fuel your anger with accusations and the self-justified shifting of responsibility, you will begin to burn with resentment. From resentment comes bitterness. Bitterness is a steady disease that eats you from the inside out, but seldom affects the object of your bitterness.

"Resentment kills a fool" (Job 5:2).

"Don't you realize that this will end in bitterness?" (2 Samuel 2:26).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grief Is Legitimate

Grief can be described as an overwhelming, unpredictable mass of emotions that bombard you and threaten to take over your life for an extended period of time. These emotions are your body's natural response to the loss and pain that occur in a divorce.

You will hinder your healing if you try to suppress the emotions of grief. Your losses are legitimate and must be faced. Many people say that the loss associated with divorce is worse than the loss of a spouse through death:

"In death there is closure because the person has died," says Dr. Linda Mintle. "In divorce, your ex-spouse is still out there. And, if you've had children with that person, chances are you will meet again under any number of circumstances, such as graduations, weddings, the birth of a grandchild, or at other significant events in your life. This kind of open-ended, ongoing relationship makes closure more difficult."

Wayne says, "Divorce is worse than death because in divorce that person chose to leave you. In death so many times the person did not choose to leave, and you know that he or she died loving you; whereas in divorce it's not like that. Your ex-spouse is gone, and he or she wanted to leave."

In divorce, you are mourning the death of a relationship that is no longer available to you, even though the people involved are still here. This is so difficult!

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge" (Psalm 62:8).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Grief Response

Where there is death, there is grief. You have experienced the death of your relationship, and once the initial shock wears off, you must grieve.

Jan Northington shares, "I grieved my hopes and my dreams for the future. I had always dreamed of a family. I was going to raise my children with the love of a mom and a dad, and my kids were always going to see their mom and dad love each other. I grieved the loss of my newly remodeled home that I had to sell and leave, along with my neighbors, my church family, my job, and my coworkers. I had to grieve the standard of living that I had become accustomed to. I also had to grieve the dream that one day I would be a stay-at-home-mom because suddenly it looked like that would never ever happen. Not only did I grieve the loss of my husband's love, but I had to grieve the loss of the close connection I once shared with his family."

You have so much to grieve. Don't try to tough it out and ignore this step in the recovery process. Healing comes from acknowledging and releasing your emotions.

In the Bible, people grieved freely, loudly, and without embarrassment.

"The king's sons came in, wailing loudly. The king, too, and all his servants wept very bitterly" (2 Samuel 13:36).

"While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly" (Ezra 10:1).

"Wail and cry out!" (Jeremiah 48:20).

The Initial Response to Loss: Shock

H. Norman Wright identifies six aspects of loss that you will likely experience during the separation or divorce process. The first is shock.

"The very first response that you go through in any kind of loss or crisis is shock. It's a feeling of numbness, and it protects you from the sharpness of the pain that you're going to experience."
Susan shares, "I remember the night he told me he was leaving me. I was too shocked to cry. I walked around in shock for about six weeks. I don't know when it hit me."

Harriet says, "When I found out he was having an affair, the shock must have taken over right away because there was a sense of unrealness."

The sense of numbness or incomprehension is your body's natural defense mechanism to protect you from the reality of the situation. Yes, you do have to face that reality at some point, but during the initial days of trauma, your body is specially designed to only let you deal with a small number of things at a time.

God created you to be a complex, unique individual. The Bible says you are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). God takes care of you in ways that you don't even realize. If you are in shock right now, it is good for two reasons. One, your body is protecting you and, two, you have begun the first stage of loss, which means you have already started on the road to healing.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:14).

Three Stages in Our Interaction with Money

Money Offers Survival
In the beginning of our lives, more possessions did indeed mean more fulfillment. Basic needs were met. We were fed. We were warm. We were sheltered. (pg. 24 from the book, Your Money or Your Life). The money to fulfillment relationship is very high. Each dollar quantitatively adds a lot of fulfillment to live in the survival stage.

Money Offers Comfort
When we went from bare necessities (food, clothing, shelter) to some amenities (toys, a wardrobe, a bicycle), the positive relationship between money and fulfillment became even more deeply embedded. (pg. 24) Once again, the money to fulfillment relationship is noticeable. Now the impact is less powerful than in the survival stage, but each dollar appears to add fulfillment.

Money Offers Luxuries
Eventually, we slipped beyond amenities and outright luxuries – and hardly registered the change. … we believed that money equals fulfillment so we barely noticed the curve [fulfillment] had started to level out. (pg. 23-24) In the luxury stage, the money to fulfillment relationship is lost. Dollars spent are no longer translating into experienced fulfillment. Out of frustration the person in luxury tries to purchase more expensive and exotic elements to recapture the fulfillment, but to no avail. Ultimately, the frustration leads to each dollar spent now bringing more grief and misery.

Reflecting on these three money stages, the authors suggest readers identify their “point of maximum fulfillment.” At what point does money stop offering fulfillment? What is one supposed to do once they have reached the point where there is no fulfillment in the relationship between money and fulfillment?

How Can Money Continue to Provide Fulfillment?
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35 NIV)

Using the same lingo as Your Money or Your Life, we might say, “You receive more fulfillment with your money when you give it than when your spend it on yourself.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Open Source Software -- A Way Forward

What is Open Source Software, and how can it benefit you? Open Source Software is free software that allows you to use it, modify it, or as "Nixie Pixie" says, "can do almost anything" that the more expensive software options offer. In today's economy, Open Source software can allow a family to save money and still have the latest computer software for their computer.

The concept is not entirely new. According to Wikipedia, "The concept of open source and the free sharing of technological information existed long before computers existed.

For computer software, the move toward Open Source Software offers computer users alternatives to some of the more expensive products on the consumer market. Some of the alternatives are arguably better and more secure than their commercial counterparts.

For example if you wished, you could replace your entire Windows operating system with Linux. Linux is an Open Source and free operating system. Linux is a good replacement if your slightly older computer hard-drive were to crash. In an ever environmentally friendly world, the alternative to tossing a computer in the trash, or loading an alternative operating system seemed a more friendly to the environment.

One example of what I believe is a superior product is the Mozilla Firefox browser. While many computer users are content to continue along using the Internet browser supplied with their computer, legions of serious computer users have gone to the free Firefox browser seeking a more secure and safer browser experience.

In a statement Mozilla states, "Firefox 3.5 was built through Mozilla’s global, open source development process. The Mozilla community comprises thousands of passionate contributors, including experienced developers, security experts, localization and support communities in more than 60 countries, and tens of thousands of active testers. With more than 300 million active users, Firefox is the only popular Web browser created by a non-profit organization".

Another is Open Office which is an alternative to the more popular commercial program Microsoft Office®. This program offers all of the components of its competitors, and files created on it can also be opened in the alternative program.

The Initial Response to Loss: Shock

H. Norman Wright identifies six aspects of loss that you will likely experience during the separation or divorce process. The first is shock.

"The very first response that you go through in any kind of loss or crisis is shock. It's a feeling of numbness, and it protects you from the sharpness of the pain that you're going to experience."

Susan shares, "I remember the night he told me he was leaving me. I was too shocked to cry. I walked around in shock for about six weeks. I don't know when it hit me."

Harriet says, "When I found out he was having an affair, the shock must have taken over right away because there was a sense of unrealness."

The sense of numbness or incomprehension is your body's natural defense mechanism to protect you from the reality of the situation. Yes, you do have to face that reality at some point, but during the initial days of trauma, your body is specially designed to only let you deal with a small number of things at a time.

God created you to be a complex, unique individual. The Bible says you are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). God takes care of you in ways that you don't even realize. If you are in shock right now, it is good for two reasons. One, your body is protecting you and, two, you have begun the first stage of loss, which means you have already started on the road to healing.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:14).

10 Ways To Work Together For Significant Financial Savings

I think it is important to recognize that forming small communal saving coalitions does provide significant cost-reducing opportunities. Besides, working together financially does seem to have some biblical foundations.

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. (Acts 2:44-45 NIV)

  1. Form a coupon sharing network

    Have you ever come across a good coupon for a product that you don’t use? Truth is that someone, somewhere could use the coupon. Go ahead and clip the coupon and when you get together with your group, pass coupon envelopes around. Also, you might come across multiple coupons for something that is a great deal.

  2. Create a shopping co-op

    Buying in bulk does present some significant cost saving opportunities. However, at times buying in bulk is not a good alternative because (1) not enough cash up front, (2) not enough storage space, and (3) you use the product too much if you have bulk in the house. Get together with your group of friends and agree on products you normally buy. A representative does the shopping and then the cost is split equally.

  3. Entertainment exchange

    For many families too much of their budget goes into entertainment. Things like video games, movies, books, and board games drain the budget. If, however, your saving group agreed that only one family would own each item and willingly share it, then those items could be shared, borrowed, traded, and exchanged – for everyone’s benefit.

  4. Share high cost infrequently used items

    This could be something like tools, machinery, or kitchen gadgets. Depending on location, this could even apply to items like lawnmowers and other household items.

  5. Rotate home fix up days

    What a great way to improve relationships, improve your home, have a lot of fun, and save money. Once a month everyone agrees to meet for an afternoon at one house and do some work on the house. It could be anything from cleaning to remodeling. Share your friendships and your talent.

  6. Form a deal alert alliance

    Agree that when you hear about a good deal or sale around town you will send out an email. Just add your group of friends to a contact group so anytime you hear about a promotion you can easily notify your friends.

  7. Take advantage of group discounts

    Many movie theaters offer discounted tickets to groups. Also, many community events like zoos or museums also have group discounts. Some locations will even allow you to buy group discounts and use the tickets on different days. Just call and ask about their group discount policy. My local credit union offer discounted movie tickets when you buy 10 tickets or more at a time.

  8. Trade hours

    Since we are all uniquely gifted, this can be an advantage for sharing resources and talents. One person in the group might be able to find cheap travel deals. Another is knowledgeable about financial issues. Another is a great cook. Trade services hour for hour.

  9. Create a baby sitting co-op

    Rotate baby sitting with friends. This works best if it is a regular schedule. Every second week or once a month one or two families might keep all the kids while the others go out for a date.

  10. Host a monthly Bible study

    The Bible has a lot to say about money and finances. Why not agree as a group to get together and encourage each other in our stewardship. This group is especially helpful for those seeking to become debt free.

Any other ideas for how a community can cut costs? Which of these ideas do you think are practical and which are just pipe dreams?

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Losses in Your Divorce

To help you understand why you hurt so deeply, it's important that you understand what you have lost in the breakup of your marriage. Yes, you have lost your mate, but you also may have lost your dreams, your future plans, friends, relatives, finances, your daily helpmate, and sometimes your personal or professional status. You may be experiencing many losses associated with your children.

H. Norman Wright says, "Each day you will discover new losses that you never planned on."

Recovery involves being aware of your losses.

Mr. Wright continues, "If you've experienced a number of crises in your life or a number of ongoing losses, this is another loss. If you've not yet recovered from those other losses, then this could take you longer to recover from because you're trying to balance several losses at the same time."

Your past losses directly affect how you cope with your current losses and the level of your pain. This activity can help you to recognize and deal with your past and current losses.

1. Think of losses from the past: friends, jobs, pets, promotions, family members—losses that occurred as a result of divorce, death, or other reasons.

2. Write these losses down and read them out loud.

3. Once you have written past losses down, move on to recent losses. What specific losses are you experiencing now? Some suggestions are listed above: daily helper, financial support, status, and time with children. What can you add to the list? Be specific—cook, housekeeper, driver, bill-payer, gardener, lover, friend, house, car, responsibilities.

4. Read your recent losses out loud.

"Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me" (Lamentations 3:20 NASB).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Does the earth move?

He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. - Psalm 104:5

In 1610, Galileo went public with his idea that just maybe the earth wasn’t the center of the universe. The idea was that possibly the earth went around the sun. Maybe. The church wasn’t impressed. The idea that the earth could move around sun was not possible. After all, the psalmist said that it couldn’t be moved. The earth was set on its foundations. Everything had to revolve around it.

In 1616, the Catholic Church condemned the belief that the Earth circled the sun. No one was allowed to believe it. Of course the psalmist was speaking poetically. The marvel of the earth is that it is perfectly positioned to sustain human life. It is the perfect size and has the perfect atmosphere to sustain our life.

Does the earth move? Of course it does - in fact it seems that everything in our universe is in motion. But the mystery is it that it is in perfect motion - for us. And for us to continue – the earth really cannot be moved.

And we can praise God for that.

Traumas of Separation: A Painful Soul

A "painful soul" is what's left of your soul after it has been torn apart. Here is what a painful soul feels like:

"It felt like all of my blood had turned to ice," shares Susan. "My heart was racing. I thought that I was going to get sick. I remember having this feeling that a big hole had opened up underneath me and that I was sinking down into it, and I couldn't find my way back up."

James says, "I felt like my heart and my soul had been pulled out."

God can and will heal you. Your painful soul can be mended. The Bible says, "He restores my soul" (Psalm 23:3). But how? Psalm 19:7 says, "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul." God's words in the Bible will revive your soul. Make a commitment to read the Bible each day.

Proverbs 3:8 says that wisdom will bring "healing to your body and refreshment to your bones" (NASB). Wisdom comes from seeking God, learning more about Him, and surrendering fully to Him. Proverbs 24:14 says that "wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."

The Bible has much to say about souls. If you look in a concordance (similar to an index in the back of many Bibles) for the word soul, you will find several interesting and encouraging Scriptures. Draw close to God in His Word to gain wisdom and receive healing for your soul.

What is it that your soul desires for fulfillment?

"My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Psalm 42:2).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ladies Only "Comedy Night"

Saturday November 21st 7pm

Westlock Church of the Nazarene Presents:

Anita Renfroe and her estrogen flavoured Comedy Night (via DVD) guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.

Bring your friends!

Interested in helping out... please see Cindy

Traumas of Separation: A Broken Spirit

"A broken spirit who can bear it?" (Proverbs 18:14 NASB).

The Bible says that no person can bear it when his or her spirit is broken. Not only is it impossible to bear, but it is also impossible for a person to mend. God alone can mend a broken spirit.

"A broken spirit comes from a broken heart," says Dr. Myles Munroe. "When you have had your soul torn, it affects your entire life. It causes you to have a depressed spirit. The trauma of a broken spirit is very real, and it is almost hellish in the sense that no one can save you from it. God is the only one who can repair a spirit."

Dr. Linda Mintle says, "Nothing in God's economy is beyond repair. God does His best work with broken pieces. If you look in the Bible, He takes people who are broken and wounded, and He restores them and uses them mightily. With faith and a belief in Jesus Christ, you can be totally transformed and free. That is a promise."

God promises to save anyone whose spirit is broken and bruised. Turn to Him for healing and renewal.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Traumas of Separation: A Broken Heart

Dr. Myles Munroe describes three traumas of separation: a broken heart, a broken spirit, and a painful soul.

A person's heart is broken when the bonds of a relationship are broken.

"A broken heart," explains Dr. Myles Munroe, "is actually the tearing of those bonds; it's like ripping a part of your life away and leaving these webs hanging and bleeding. A broken heart is so terrible that, according to the Word of God, Jesus Himself has to fix it."

God sent His Son Jesus to earth to fulfill a purpose. That purpose is to draw people to Himself and to save them from sin, death, and brokenness. Jesus came to earth to preach and teach and to minister to the needs of everyone He met. Jesus made it clear that He would be available to meet the needs of every person from that day forward.

A healing relationship with Jesus is available today for everyone who believes, regardless of what that person has done in the past. He alone can heal your broken heart. Read these words spoken by Jesus, and claim His promise for yourself.

"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because . . . He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed" (Luke 4:18 NKJV).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

When a Marriage Breaks Apart

When a couple marries, they are no longer two individuals. They become what the Bible calls "one flesh." Genesis 2:24 puts it this way: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

Unfortunately, people make decisions that lead to the breaking of marriage bonds. To better understand the extreme pain of separation and divorce, think about what happens when a marriage bond comes apart. The married couple does not revert to being two individuals again. Instead, they become two parts of the same one-flesh marriage, torn away, with huge, gaping emotional wounds.

Dr. Myles Munroe shares: "People will say, 'Well, my husband and I separated.' That's not true. You tore, and that's where the hurt is. You actually tear, and parts of you go with the other person. That's why breaking a relationship is so difficult because you lose a part of yourself forever."

Don says, "There wasn't an aspect of my life that wasn't torn and ripped. There was pain in parts of my body that I didn't even know pain could reach."

Jesus describes this one flesh relationship:

"So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (Mark 10:8-9).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Finding Help

When human life is threatened by serious injury, a medical system is activated to provide help. Patients are sped to an emergency room to stabilize their condition and to get a diagnosis of what is wrong. Recovery might take months or years, but a health care system is in place to help the patients each step of the way.

The emotional damage from divorce can be just as traumatic, just as devastating, as physical injury.

"I didn't sleep at night," says Sherry, "and all these info-commercials come on at three and four o'clock in the morning about anxiety. I knew exactly what it was because my heart would be racing so hard that I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Then I started praying to have a heart attack."

The help system for divorce trauma is not as apparent. There is no hospital emergency room to go to. Yet, if you read God's words in the Bible, you will find that a different kind of help system, or emergency room, exists, and it's up to you to discover more about the healing offered there. Just as God restored and healed the nation of Israel in the Bible, He promises to heal your wounds as well. Can you trust the promises of God?

"'I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the LORD, 'because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares'" (Jeremiah 30:17).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Saturday November 21st 7pm

Westlock Church of the Nazarene Presents:

Anita Renfroe and her estrogen flavoured Comedy Night
(via DVD) guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.

Bring your friends!

Interested in helping out... please see Cindy

Hope Is Found in God

"Are you feeling like an absolute total failure, my friend, because of divorce?" asks Kay Arthur.

"Oh Precious One, God has help. God has answers. God has healing. If you listen carefully and believe God, you are going to find the answer to your situation."

No matter what your circumstances are, you can experience healing and hope through Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches about a just and sovereign God, who is in control of all things and who can bring good out of all situations. Most important, God is a loving God, and He loves you just as you are. He loves you regardless of what you have said, done, or felt. You can never do anything that will cause Him to love you less. Turn to Him today and be renewed in His love.

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?

"I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35, 38-39 NLT).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Expecting Too Much Progress Too Quickly?

"If you're a marathon runner," says Dr. Jim A. Talley, "and you have open heart surgery, how long do you think it's going to be before you can jog again? How long before you can run a mile? How long before you can run a marathon? When you put it in physical terms, people know it may take four or five years for recovery.

"Divorce is open heart surgery, emotionally. Some people are not willing to give it enough time, and their expectations for recovery are too fast. When you get up and go faster than you're supposed to and you push your healing cycle too quickly, you have to do it over again and you get a relapse. What would normally take five years is going to take six or seven because you've done more damage to yourself in the process."

Relax. Breathe deeply. You have just had open heart surgery and the prognosis is good. You will recover, but be prepared for therapeutic exercises, time for rest, getting back into work slowly, and for other people to think you look healthy on the outside when you still have a lot of healing left to do on the inside.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. . . . Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit" (Psalm 147:3, 5).

Seeking Approval from Others

Harriet says, "The realization came to me a couple of weeks ago that I have been living out everybody else's expectations for me. It's human nature that my friends want me to heal, and I had tried over time to convince them I was okay. I realize now that I was trying to get their stamp of approval that I was okay and that I was healing. I did this by buying into their expected response of 'I don't love my husband anymore.' What I didn't reckon with is the fact that there is nothing wrong with me still loving my husband. In fact, a year later, a year after we've separated, I still love my husband very much."

You cannot make decisions based on the approval of others. You will only add to your stress and fatigue if you try to live up to the expectations of others. Reset your own expectations to a level you can cope with, and focus your energy on keeping within your own standards. This will help to free you emotionally.

The Lord's expectations of you are pure and simple:

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Resetting Your Expectations

You have certain expectations in your daily life. Expectations of yourself, your children, your family members, your friends, and your former spouse. Until you stop and think about it, you may not realize just how high your standards are for yourself and for those around you. To move forward into the future, you need to learn to reset your expectations.

Consider how much you are asking of yourself and how much you can actually handle. Also, do you expect more from others than is realistic under the circumstances? If you find yourself getting upset because someone does not live up to a certain expectation of yours, then maybe it's time to back off and reset that expectation.

Dr. Jim A. Talley says, "You expected somebody to do something. That person didn't do it, and you get mad. What makes you even madder is that person doesn't seem to give a rip that he or she didn't do it. Now you're really hurt, and you begin to boil on the inside. You shift at that point to real bitterness. You have to go back and reset your expectations to what you can control and deal with. You can't force other people into your expectations."

Reset your standards to a place where you can function, and examine your motivation for having that expectation in the first place.

"People may think they are doing what is right, but the LORD examines the heart" (Proverbs 21:2 NLT).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Relating to Those Close to You

Divorce affects everyone close to you—your children, parents, relatives, and friends.

Your loved ones will have different responses throughout the divorce process, depending on their relationship with you and with your former spouse. They may feel sadness, disappointment, resentment, or anger. Their responses to you can vary from offering encouragement and support to showing meanness and blame. They might avoid you out of embarrassment or discomfort.

Sabrina Black says it is important to preserve the relationships with your loved ones to the best of your ability. She says, "Family members will often send mixed messages. You need to make sure you are being prayerful before God as you communicate with them. You need to keep in mind that the relationship is the most important thing. The goal is to love the other person, and as you are loving the person, you need to be honest with him or her."

God wants you to love people even when they have been unlovable, even when they have spoken against you, hurt you, or blamed you. This kind of love can be difficult because you won't feel like loving certain people. Ask God to help you with this. As a human, you cannot do it on your own, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can learn to love with a godly love regardless of another person's response to you.

"Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8 NLT).

Rebuild Family Support System

Although there may be some people in your family who do not want to rebuild a relationship with you, do not let those people stop you from seeking out the rest of your family. You need their loving support.

Dr. Jim A. Talley suggests, "Go back to your parents and rebuild that initial relationship with your mother or father or a friend or grandparent. It takes time. I've encouraged a single mom to go to a family reunion all the way across the country with her son, to visit the family and introduce her child to the whole family structure that he's had no availability to because his father didn't want anything to do with her family.

"Constructing a family genealogy is another fun thing to do. That's an activity that forces you to increase your mental capacity because it's hard work. It doesn't allow you to spin in that pool of emotional pity all the time."

During divorce, the thought of working to rebuild relationships or going out of your way to do anything seems exhausting and impossible. You will not rebuild your life in a day or a week or even a year, but you can always take small steps forward. What step will you take today?

"Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you" (Mark 5:19).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Divorce Recovery Support Groups

"I didn't belong anywhere," says Cathy, "and that is the most horrible feeling in the world, to go places where you used to belong and you don't belong anymore. Even with my family I didn't feel like I belonged because they couldn't understand what I was going through. I got the same lines of 'Oh, just get up and get over it,' 'It'll be okay,' 'You still have us,' and 'You have your kids.' That was supposed to make it better. I couldn't make them understand what I was feeling inside, and it hurt so much.

"I got in a divorce recovery group, and it became my family. This was a place I belonged where I could tell people how I felt and they understood. They became my family because of that shared pain."

Divorce recovery support groups provide a safe place where you can share your hurts, your concerns, and your fears with other people who are in the divorce process. These people can best relate to what you are going through, and the facilitators of these support groups, who have typically been through divorce themselves, are in a position to give you spiritual guidance.

A DivorceCare group can be the "family" you need during this time of aloneness.

"God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land" (Psalm 68:6).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Six Lies We Tell Ourselves That Keep Us Financially Ignorant

This post is from Craig Ford at Money Help For Christians - personal finance articles from a Christian perspective.

Ignorance is simply something you do not yet know. Typically people are ignorant about topics that they place little value in knowing. Since there are so many benefits to a little financial knowledge, I wonder why so many people are content being financially ignorant. Financial ignorance results from at least six lies we tell ourselves.

Myths that lead to financial ignorance:

Myth #1 : “Life is more peaceful when I ignore my finances – ignorance is bliss”.

Fact: Eventually ignorance leads to stress, worry, and sleepless nights.

Those who live it up with their finances and spend because they think it is fun ultimately will not experience that easy going financial life for long. Ignorance will lead to debt, late payments, and eventually collection calls. Those collection calls will lead to unending and relentless interruptions to your life. These things produce frustration and stress. Ignorance is not bliss.

Myth #2: “I don’t need to know “x” because my financial advisor already knows all about that topic.”

Fact: Your lack of knowledge makes you susceptible to fraud, scams, and underperformance.

While there are a whole breed of individuals who are professionally educated about finances, investing, and other professional services there is not a group of individuals who are perfectly correct with their financial teachings. Each individual is responsible for weeding out the good from the bad. If you accept wholesale financial advice, in the process you will accept a lot of useless garbage.

Myth #3: “Financial topics are too complicated”.

Fact: Most financial topics have simple core lessons that can be learned with a little investment of time and energy.

Proper financial management does not require an increased IQ. It may require a few simple math equations and the ability to read and write, but it is not an elite science. Like any system there are patterns that result from causes and effects. By studying personal finances you can learn some simple lessons that will educate and motivate you.

Myth #4: “My time is better spent doing something else”.

Fact: Time invested in learning financial principals will bring solid returns.

I am a huge proponent of a balanced life. We need to be investing in our families, marriages, and churches. It is dangerous to overinvest in topics related to personal finances. Many, however, under invest their time, not overinvest. The false assumption is that God is more pleased and your personal life is better if you are financially ignorant. If you want a better family life, will it be better if you don’t budget or learn how money works? No, your family life will suffer because you did not invest time into learning financial principles. With finances, every small lesson you learn opens the door for a little more fiscal responsibility.

Myth #5: “I just don’t have the time”.

Fact: You have the time and your time is probably not being spent on better things.

It is interesting that many people devote four years to get a college degree, but cannot find 10 minutes a day to educate themselves about finances. If you don’t have the time to deal with your finances, take a piece of paper and record your activities for a week. Then ask if there is not an hour a week you could use to read, listen, or watch something to help improve your finances. True, you don’t need to know everything, but you should know something.

Myth #6: “If I can’t do it perfectly, I might as well just not do it”.

Fact: Knowing “more” and doing “better” is the goal - not perfection.

The goal is not perfection. In fact, in many ways perfection is an enemy of financial health. The goal instead is “better”. You might not know much about finances and you might know a lot, but there is still room for everyone to know more. Choosing to read an article once a week on a topic you know little about helps you know more.

The problem with ignorance is it is just so expensive! Today would be a great day to decide to learn more so you can do just a little better with your finances.

Seeking help with a personal financial plan... talk with Pastor Steve at WestlockNaz at gmail dot com

Spiritual Support

You need to build a spiritual support system to help you get through the tough times.

Marie says, "When I was a new Christian, there was a woman in my church who was my spiritual mother and my mentor. I would talk to her about everything that was going on, and she'd say, 'Whenever you feel that emotion or when you feel like you cannot pray, turn to the Psalms and read them out loud.'"

A person of the same sex who is a mature believer in Christ can guide you in building a relationship with Jesus and will help you find spiritual answers to your questions. He or she will encourage you, listen to you, and offer biblical advice.

In the Bible, Paul was a spiritual mentor for Timothy. Paul guided him to become a spiritual leader, teaching and admonishing him about how to walk as a follower of Christ.

Paul said to Timothy: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. . . . Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers" (1 Timothy 4:12-13, 15-16).

God will provide you with a spiritual mentor too. Just ask Him! He wants you to learn more about Him and to grow spiritually.

Emotional Stabilization

Stabilizing emotionally is a difficult, but important, part of your healing. Remember, about 85 percent of all of your available energy is being consumed by your emotions.

"The answer to emotional instability is friendship," says Dr. Jim A. Talley. "Opposite-sex friends lead you down the road to relationships. Same-sex friends provide you emotional stability. My advice for the emotionalist is to stop the wild ups and downs and to concentrate on building quality, intimate friendships with the same sex in order to have real emotional stability."

Laura Petherbridge says, "Same-sex friendships can keep you from making poor choices. They build you up. They teach you what's good about yourself, how you can grow, and how you can be all that God created you to be."

Building friendships is a practical, do-able step, but do not think it is an easy, quick thing to do. Friendship takes time and energy; it requires you to be a giver and a listener, not just a taker and a talker. Friendship involves personal sacrifice, but the rewards are tremendous.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

Spiritual Stabilization

Your recovery process will be much smoother if you work on stabilizing your spiritual life.

"Your spiritual life gives you the power to overcome the emotional energy that's being drained from you. It gives you an outside energy source to draw upon," says Dr. Jim A. Talley.

The following suggestions will help you strengthen your spiritual life:

* Renew or begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

* Learn about Jesus through prayer and Bible study.

* Belong to a church family.

* Meet regularly with a mature Christian who can mentor you and be a role model for you.

Yesterday's devotion talked about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. In order to build that relationship, you must talk to Him and learn more about Him. Prayer could be simply defined as "talking to God." Tell Him you need Him. Tell Him your fears, your worries, and your frustrations. Be honest. Tell Him how glad you are that He is in control of your life. Spend time with Him and allow Him to speak to your heart.

You can learn more about who Jesus is, about prayer, about healing, and about living a life that is pleasing to Him by reading the Bible. If you are not sure where to start reading, begin with the book of John, Psalms, or Proverbs.

"Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45).

Friday, October 2, 2009

Help Through the Holy Spirit

Do not think you need to find the strength and have the ability to stabilize your life by yourself; that would be impossible. You need the help of the Holy Spirit to regain a proper balance in your life.

The Holy Spirit is God living within the heart of a believer. A believer is a person who believes that Jesus Christ is God and that He came to earth and paid the penalty for sin by dying on the cross; He defeated death and lives today so that people might come to know Him personally and live forever in heaven with Him. A believer recognizes that he or she is a sinner and seeks God's forgiveness for those sins.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

If you believe and have expressed that Jesus is Savior of your life, then the Holy Spirit dwells in you and is daily at work in you. You must lean on Him to help you develop and work through a self-stabilization plan.

"The Holy Spirit . . . will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26).

Daily Choices

"Pain can drive you to a sense of hopelessness and despair or it can drive you to God. It's your choice," says Jan Northington.

"When you are in the midst of a situation like separation or divorce, you tend to think there are few choices available to you. In reality there are a million choices available to you, and the choices you make will ultimately be those that have an effect on both your immediate and your future actions."

Think about decisions you have already made that are positive. One positive action you have chosen is to search for comfort and answers through this book. Perhaps you have gone to church, talked to a wise friend or counselor, prayed, or started reading the Bible. Each day you make choices about work, finances, transportation, food, and your children. You choose what type of attitude to have as new situations arise. You choose whether or not to lash out at someone when you are angry.

Some days the choices you make may seem too small to make a difference. But if you change your course only a few compass degrees, the longer you move in that direction, the more you will see the impact of that decision.

Many times you make wrong choices, and that can bring you down. At the same time, though, you are making right choices, and they will have a positive effect. God knows your motivations, and He knows your heart. Pray today that You will make God-pleasing choices, decisions that bring you closer to Him.

"Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit?" (Galatians 5:18 Msg).

Face Reality

"The reality is you have to take things the way they are, not the way you want them to be," says Dr. Jim A. Talley. "You have to face the fact that if you're single and you're divorced, you really are single and divorced."

You may not want to be single, but reality does not cater to a person's desires.

Do not pretend you are still married if you are not. Be honest with yourself and start thinking about what kind of a single person God would want you to be.

"When a break in the marriage takes place, you have to recall that you still are whole as an individual," says Eleanor Reid. "Build yourself back up, strengthen yourself in the word of God, and then begin to focus on your new life and the new path that you have as a single individual."

Be honest with God if you are having trouble facing the reality of your circumstances. He knows everything about you, so pour out the truth of your situation and your deepest feelings to Him. He promises healing.

"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD" (Psalm 139:1-4).

Embrace Your Singleness

A person helped get you into this situation. Do not think that another person will help get you out—no matter how right he or she may seem for you.

"After people get divorced, they rush into a new relationship because they hurt," explains Dr. Myles Munroe. "They believe the secret to relieving the hurt is a new relationship, which is the worst thing a person can do. If you get remarried and you're still hurting, you are taking your hurt into another relationship, and that is going to become the foundation of the relationship, which is faulty."

When you are making decisions regarding a new relationship, do not make any decisions based on your feelings. Feelings are temporal and not always rational, no matter how strongly you may feel them. Be wise and take the time to grow and to build your life on a strong foundation.

"You must gain custody of yourself," continues Dr. Munroe. "You must begin to rebuild your life and embrace your singleness again. Use that experience to analyze your own weaknesses, the areas in your life where you were not able to cope in the first relationship. Then strengthen those areas, get knowledge, get teaching, and get information. Rebuild yourself first because your future relationship is only as good as what you bring to it."

The Bible says you should not depend on humans—yourself or other people—to be strong for you. You must only depend on God.

"This is what the LORD says: 'Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD'" (Jeremiah 17:5).

The Impact of a New Relationship

Dr. Jim A. Talley says, "Another relationship is like Novocain for the heart. It is the easiest, quickest, slickest way to do away with the pain. But it's sort of like having a broken foot. You can take a shot of Novocain in your foot after you break it, and you can still walk. You can keep right on walking. You can look around and say, 'I'm fine. Really, I'm fine.'

"One day you look down, and you see these white bones sticking through the skin of your foot, and you realize that you've done a lot more damage to yourself with the Novocain than if you had put a cast around it, protected it, and put some structure to it."

You need to protect your heart and you need structure so that your heart is supported and strong on its own. Getting involved in a new relationship will only damage a heart that is not fully healed.

To find structure and support for your heart, start with prayer, daily prayer. Then read God's Word. It is also helpful to find a mature Christian friend who will pray with you and who can answer questions you may have about the Bible. Learn to strengthen your heart God's way.

"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him" (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Fishing in the Desert

Where have you been looking for stability? Think carefully about the places and people you have gone to for feelings of assurance or acceptance. You may have searched in places you never thought you'd visit. You may be doing things that some part of you is repulsed by, but a stronger part of you can't help but keep doing in a desperate attempt to ease the pain.

"The process of alienation that occurs during divorce destroys your moral value system, and you end up doing things that you never thought you'd do in your whole life," says Dr. Jim A. Talley.

It is not uncommon for people to fall into alcohol, sex, drugs, meanness, or rage, seeking anything or anyone that will make them feel good at least for a moment.

"Finding true love in a bar," says Dr. Talley, "is like finding fish in the desert. You tend to go the wrong places first and finally end up in the right places."

Your moral value system may be buried, but it is still intact. It is never too late to change your ways. Start by nurturing your spiritual life. Open up the Bible. Visit a church. If that church does not embrace you, visit another. Cry out to God.

Pray this prayer with the psalmist:

"In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth" (Psalm 31:1-5). Amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What does Ubuntu mean?

- from Heidi Fieldston who is a priest associate at Christ Church in Needham.

Ubuntu is a Zulu or Xhosa word that describes human identity as being formed through community and encompassing a sense of caring, sharing and being in harmony with all of creation.

The central concept of, "Ubuntu", a theological concept promoted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu is:

I am because we are;
I in you and you in me;
what heals you heals me and
what harms you harms me.

Ubuntu is a word and an idea that helps us think about our connections to each other and to our community.

Wants vs. Needs: What's the difference?

Here's something I found at

Wants are nice to have but are not essentials: eating out, going to movies, text messaging, or getting the newest cell phone and ring tones.

Needs are the essentials, the basics of life that you must have to survive: food, housing, clothing. Some expenses that relate to your job (that is, your ability to pay for the basics) also are needs, such as transportation to and from work, and health care coverage to keep you well enough to go to work.

There's nothing wrong with spending on Wants, as long as you have enough to cover all the Needs. AND that it fits within your budget and you're not just slapping it on a credit card!

Welcome, new readers!

Our readership continues to grow almost every day, and I just wanted to give a quick "hello" to all of you. I think it's awesome that you are here and I hope you stick around!