Update on the situation for AMY’S Heart

From her:   “Got the call from Temple’s Transplant team today. They are putting together a testing schedule for me. First all the tests, then it goes to a committee for approval. ( I feel like i’m on American Idol haha)
Need a support person with me at each visit. And a lot of the testing will be in Philadelphia. (Open up your couch Stacey I’m camping out.
In addition, I have to make Dentist appointment, OBGYN appointment, Vision appointment, Nephrology appointment ugh!”

Thank you for your prayers for her situation. I can imagine some of you saying… wish He would answer some of my prayers as fast as that…..  Am I right? Hey I have thought like such myself, -get Real!  Jesus wants us to be loving… thus be happy for her.. not envious or jealous. We have no idea who watches our walk and wonders why we continue to believe as the Enemy continues to throw muck at us. Never forget Job and he had no idea of the conversation between satan and the Lord God! His life was rewarded for trusting God through it all.  Time here is very short even though we suffer much at times. Remember this, Eternity, where the promise told is that there will be no more tears, no more emotional or physical pain or loneliness,  time here, in retrospect from there, will then even more so be a vapor of remembrance. Better to suffer here, for choosing “RIGHTNESS” regardless rejection, regardless doing without, regardless the desire to hurt those who hurt us, if we be a testimony that brings onboard someone else, heaven will be a very fine reward….,  far better than spent in hell for reason of making our “self” come first in the place of God,  forever,……………………………. Yes?

 

It is scary..thursday 3/15 715am. My heart stopped. When reality hits. I would not be here right now without my icd (jump starts her heart) need prayer for a heart to transplant.

To all my faith believing friends: Amy Voshell Snider is an alumni of DivorceCare back around 2008 or 2009. I know Rose Reigner and Kim Colletti would know Amy I am sure. She is newly married in the past year I believe to the “perfect” man! Thats what she says, I am telling you! Wouldn’t it be interesting to meet him /them! I don’t know how public her FB page is but she needs prayer as often as the Holy Spirit brings her to your mind. She is laying in the hospital, I believe waiting for a heart for transplant. Her heart is stopping completely these days and something similar to a pacemaker starts it up again. Without this, her new husband would be with out her. Praise God for the miracles of science in medicine today or she wouldn’t be even on a waiting list. Somewhere we hope that if its in Gods plan for someone else to graduate to heaven, who days are slso numbered soon to be leaving this time on earth, that maybe the heart will be the right fit for Amy. She requests prayer. I am sure she would appreciate a reach out to her from some of you who remember her as well. I know that

This Word about numbered days is found in Job 14:5-7. A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set. So now look away from him that he may.

psalm 39:4-13. 4 “ LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude 6 We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. 7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. 8 Rescue me from my rebellion. Do not let fools mock me. 9 I am silent before you; I won’t say a word, for my punishment is from you. 10 But please stop striking me! I am exhausted by the blows from your hand. 11 When you discipline us for our sins, you consume like a moth what is precious to us. Each of us is but a breath. Interlude 12 Hear my prayer, O LORD ! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest— a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. 13 Leave me alone so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.

An invitation to support “$Love Costs Money$”

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DeEtta would like you to support
$Love Costs Money$
by making a donation and helping spread the word.
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Monday night 1/22/18 I called my vet and made the appt. I cried all day. I knew Samson was so miserable. He had let me know like two weeks ago he couldn’t go on.
I extended his life took him to University of Penn to learn the virus destroyed bone in his sinuses and had finally lead to nasal bone lymphoma that had spread to his liver, spleen and was affecting other things. (To learn this we are in debt to the tune of 7 grande, can you imagine? Pray for us on that bill to pay ) I have cried off & on since, almost hysterical because he was so sweet, so communicative so affectionate so intelligent smarter than all the others…

I told him throughout the day I was taking him to the Vet tonight, and I was going to set him free of his misery and pain.
He came to my chair at work desk around 5:30 pm looking like he might want to come up on my lap. I brought him up he jumped down, so I just reached and petted his soft haired head. GavinLaRue came over and licked him a bit. When it was time to leave I put him in a high walled bed and carried him to the car.

In the car he started purring and rubbing his face on my neck and face and hands. The whole drive he did this n in the office he did this. I think he knew this was goodbye? They put us in a room alone with him. He would stand up n head butt Ricks face then back to me the whole 15 min till vet came in.

She stooped down on her haunches and said there were a couple ways she could do this No on ever have me this choice before. She gave him an IM injection that fairly slowly put him to sleep while I held him. But he was still breathing and I still petting and holding him. When his tongue was sticking out eyes open, she said he might be like in dentist chair drugged can hear but don’t care.

I didn’t want to be there for the last deadly needle so she took him lie handing over a towel with outstretched baby on it and left to take him to another room while we went to the car. It hurts so-very very bad. I want to awaken from this nightmare. But I know I will not.
He is gone.. freed from the pain in his facial bones his body from misery of the virus & lastly the the lymphoma.
Here is my story,… the history to this painful night.

I was looking for a kitten, I like long hair, reached into the pet shop window box and touched the back of this tiny mite, the purr rang up out of this little thing and he raised his back for more, more more… I had to have him!

I brought him home in 2002. He was a character! A little terror at times as he teased and corner Silka in a litter box! At other times as I sat at the kitten table working on a project, he would come to my chair and let out a little cry for help up, I reached my hand down and he would clmib into my palm and wrap his upper paws around my wrist holding on tight as I lifted him up. He would nestle in for a love session until curiosity took him elsewhere.

I had a work table near my kitchen sink. It wasn’t too much of a jump for him and the first time he did it he gave me quite a fright as he leaped from the table to my shoulders, swaggered himself around into a comfortable shawl around my neck, with rear paws over the left shoulder, one to the back and one to the front, his face snuggling up to mine on the other side, breathing sniffing and purring, all at the same time.

He was the smartest kitty in the house! There came a time over the years that I needed to put the food away behind cabinet doors. He figured that right out. All he had to do was stand on his hind feet and curl two little furry paws around the handle and pull! His eight little pounds were just enough to make that door give. Of course if the door was open, this meant that Samson ate for sure, and probably some that should have only eaten their speciality diet instead.

In the fall of 2014 he got sick with some sort of sinus infection. He was about 13 years old then. I took him to the vet and they gave him antibiotics, not a big deal. Only,… he got sick again in about two months. And back I went. This became the continum. Why, I wonder aloud to the vet. “Ah, more than likely he has the herpes virus.” he said. He shrugged his shoulders with a communication about for his age he has lived a good life and it won’t be so long till he’s dead, after all he is thirteen. I could not afford the test. Not all of us who love animals, actually have the money to afford it. But that dosesn’t stop us, does it?

I took him to another Vet. She was willing to help me fight for his little sweet life. He was such a very good little patient. tolerant of the doctors pokes and probes and needles. I on the other hand, I took to the internet.
I went hunting for anything and everything to help him fight. I even asked the pastor at our that time church to pray for him, after all, God made this sweet little creature. I was always doing what I could to make life better for him. I put normal saline drops up his nose to help keep it wet enough to blow out the mucus. He learned to “blow” when I told him to, I said it so often!
Sometimes at 3Am in the night when he could hadrly breath he would come wake me for a couple of drops, by standing on my chest, turning around laying down, stand up and do it all over again. I kept saline drops at the bedside.

By Spring 2017, things were getting worse. It was time my vet said to get him a rhinoscopy. How much does that cost? $2500.00! I cannot believe my own ears. Since when did medicine for animal cost as much as it does for humans? All I could do was keep putting charges on the “cards”. I was always asking for antibiotics, or more prednisone, I was ordering Famciclovir which is not cheap, Anything I could learn of to help his immune system fight, anything to keep his from going to a wall and laying there unsocial and in misery. We learned it was the Calicivirus and some other germ. Agin, back to the interent.

I bought higher protein foods, liquid vitamis, gave him L-lysine , Vit C, even some of the homeyopathic stuffs like Colloid Silver, Aloe Juice, someone said it fights cancer, …… In the fall of 2017 he had some really good weeks finally. I took him on vacations with us to be sure he got what he needed. I felt all the vitamins were helping. Then he started bleedling from the nose, and getting swollen places on his face. A different antibiotic would throw out the ous and take the swelling down. It was very irritating to have various vets at these 24/7 places touch his face and say, oh that feels like tumor.. despite my telling them, “tumors don’t go back down to normal after giving antibiotic”. But some of them you cannot tell them anything.. and they weren’t there after the treatment to see what I mean, nor were they likey to believe the photographs I showed them.

Novemebr 2017 he was doing so well I thoughtI would try to wean him off the predisolone. Maybe this was the worse thing to do but he got sick within two weeks sick like never before. I return to a 24/7 vet hospital place, because don’t these things always happen when your vet cannot be there, its the weekend. The female who was on that night was for some reason a bitch! All I wanted was for someone to help him feel better. Help him breath better, help him be rehydrated. It seems her ego was totally threatened by the fact I knew so much about his illness that I was switching his antibiotics, I was determining for him what he needed or what wasn’t working. She didn’t think that after treating and caring and searching and seeking over 27 months, I actully might know something? How dare I not being a vet be determining these things? With her arms crossed in a haughty manner she said, So what can I do for you?
I said, well I think he is dehydrated, he isn’t eating and he isnt drinking, and he is hanging out by the stove. well I can do that for you she said smartly.
I added, his face is beginning to swell. She touched his face gently, Well looks like tumor to me……. You need to make an appointment in the morning with the pulmonary doctor you have seen before. I said, well I tried to today, but (on a wednesday) they told me that the software is down and that they would call me on Monday to make an appointment. To this she had nothing to say. I knew if I didn’t do something different he wasn’t even going to make it till Monday if there was help for him.

Sure enough the next day his nose started bleeding again. He was looking quite miserable. I called around trying to find the best way to go for him. Someone to,d me to take him down to the University of Penn. They are the best around.

That they are….. they are tried to do “a diagnostic workup”.. after all they are doctors still in school but high up the ladder. I was too tired mentally to take charge, to see to it that they only did what was necessary, for him. One of the sweet doctors there told me , “You have taken very good care of him.” I am still not sure what she meant, was it length of life? His appearance? .. (It took me half an hour a day to prepare his vitamins crush, put in a sweet high cal mix, clean his nose, and sweet talk him, and eye dropped into the side of his mouth, right down to his favorite part.. giving him some-make-him handsome-again-brushin. If he got to far out of my reach, I would say… come back here if you want more brushin…. and he would come back around for another stand still sweep. Now and again I got a little head butt in the knee, I guess expressing some appreciation yet for me despite the yucky tasting vitamins given he.

I don’t know why it seems these things so often happen to me. I took him to HUP Thursday. evening. They called Friday morning to ask me what they could do. They said they wanted to do the facial CT.. I said go ahead… but they didn’t somehow get that. and so it was prolonged until the following Wednesday. They found other things to do to make my bill run up. We think we should do more lab tests, we should really do an ultrasound of his belly and see why some of his liver enzymes are up.. his calcium is too high, maybe we should do an FNA on the nodule on his liver…NO! When they finally did the CAT scan of his face. Guess what…NO TUMOR. However, they did another rhinoscopy and took bx’s of his nasal bone tissue……Large B- cell Lymphoma. And now you know the basic story. I am crying again as I miss my smart little smart…..loving….. purring…… huggy…….. buddy.
I woud have told you two years ago that there is no way I would spend this kind of money on and elderly pet. But then, I didn’t know I would be so enthralled with his personality, I didn’t know that he understood so many things, I didn’t know he was so smart he knew he needed me nd the help of the doctors to keep going on… He understood my love for him, and he knew before I did, it was time for him to go. So I have spent us into great debt more than we can afford over these three years making some bills missed and some later being paid. My husband wondered about bankrupcy, but we would losing the housing for not only us, but the rest of our pets. And besides that, the bills really are my responsibility, not his. So, I thought for all the other cat lovers who know how it is and understand, perhaps you would help me with this final hospital bill that filled up my Care Credit Card, which I paid off once when my elderly aunt died, a blessing in itself, otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten any help, insight, extensed days or answers, for my sweet Samson dear. May he greet me at Heavens gates and ride my shoulders round heaven forevermore.
If you do, I do Thank you forever so much.

PS. I recommend this wonderful book called
“Cold Noses At the Pearly Gates” by Gary Kurz

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MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!

Very soon now, Thursday Feb 1 st @ 7PM we will begin the next round of 13 weekly seminar series of videos. To reserve a seat please sign up as we only have room for twelve, this keeps it comfortable, easy for all to share & know each other.
email: luvcuddlecats@verizon.net or go to
http://www.DivorceCare.org plug in Pottstown zip code 19464, search for DivorceCare on the Sunporch or tell folks to go to go to FB search @Sacrificed4Selfishness and email from there!

There are videos here that I that I am not sure if they copied over to FB page or not. Which ever sight works, send anyone in need to the page!  Thank you I am sure all will be glad to learn more about this National Organization of DivorceCare.  Hope to hear from all who want to come soon!    Rick & DeEtta   A workbook will cost you $20.00, please come prepared!

 

 

Stop Vomiting on People by Leslie Vernick 

 

These days we are influenced by a culture of talk and tweets. We’re told to express our feelings, hold nothing back. We’ve all seen in national news how people’s unrestrained talk and tweets get them into public hot water. Every day I see the relational fallout that comes from thoughtless, foolish, deceitful, and cruel words.

But there are times we ought to keep our negative thoughts and emotions to ourselves and refuse to give them a voice. The Bible warns us that our tongue can be a mighty weapon, for good and for evil. (James 3:6-10). Proverbs says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword” (Proverbs 12:18). We can damage a person’s spirit, family, or reputation by blurting out negative thoughts and feelings without any thought or prayer. Yes, it might temporarily help you feel better when you’re mad or hurt to blurt them out, but I liken blurting to vomit. It does feel better to get vomit out, but vomit belongs in the toilet and not on another person.

It’s not only good for the other person that you learn not to blurt your negative thoughts and feelings during moments of great intensity. It is also good for you.

Proverbs 21:23 says, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.”

Proverbs 13:3 says, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

1 Peter 3:10 says, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.”

Imagine how much better you would feel if you weren’t always complaining or critical of something wrong in your life? How would your relationships be improved if the people in your life weren’t wary of your reckless or deceitful words? How different would you feel about yourself if you weren’t so captured by your own negative feelings and thoughts?

Here are three things you can do to stop blurting.

  1. Decide: No matter how negatively you feel, make a conscious decision that you will not vomit your toxic emotions out on others. (Don’t get me wrong – you may have to speak some hard words at times, but hard words need not be harsh words). The psalmist determined, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence” (Psalm 39:1).
  2. Acknowledge the struggle: In Psalm 39 despite his vow to keep silent, the psalmist found keeping quiet tough. Silence didn’t bring the psalmist satisfaction but more anguish (see verses 2 and 3). During a time of anguish and temptation, write a no-send letter venting out your feelings or praying them out to God until you can get a better perspective and calm down.
  3. Remember the big picture:It’s crucial that you understand that YOU are much more than your temporal thoughts and feelings. We all have negative thoughts and feelings but it’s important to not allow them to have us. Instead of getting stuck in your mood or negative thoughts, remind yourself that you are more than your feelings and you will have to give an account to God for how you handled yourself during times of adversity. Remember your goal (I don’t want to vomit on people), your deeper desires (I want to be a godly person, or I don’t want to have regrets later) or your core values (I want to treat people as I would like to be treated). This practice helps us develop the muscle of restraint and self-control so that we don’t become a slave to our emotions.

Dietrich Bonheoffer said, “Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words…It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.”

Decide today that you will no longer let your negative feelings get the best of you and hurt other people.

 

7 Signs Your Partner Is Too Selfish For A Relationship

Go to this link if not found below

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_575f18d0e4b0e4fe51436087

DIVORCE 

06/14/2016 06:10 pm ET

7 Signs Your Partner Is Too Selfish For A Relationship

If you’re only there to stroke his or her ego, it’s time to leave.

 

By Brittany Wong

JACQUIE BOYD VIA GETTY IMAGES

“Wait, could you stop so I can get a selfie?”

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Not everyone you find yourself attracted to is necessary cut out for a relationship. Unfortunately, some people have a long way to go until they’re compassionate and selfless enough to give out genuine love.

Below, therapists and other relationship experts share seven signs the person you’re seeing is too self-centered for a long-term relationship.

  1. They care more about your career than your character. 

If you never feel quite good enough for your partner — and she’s much more interested in what you do than who you are — consider it a big, glaring red flag, said Karyl McBride, a therapist and author of Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family.

“The ‘what you do’ may be status-oriented qualities, like looks or career accomplishments, but often it is about what you ‘do’ for her,” she said. “You will find that your partner is not as interested in who you really are as a person because she lacks the capacity to emotionally tune in and provide empathy. In this situation, you don’t feel seen or heard and often feel invisible.”

  1. You feel controlled by their many rules.

People with narcissistic personalities put high expectations on others — and when you fail to meet those expectations, judgement almost always follows, said Jan Hill, a Toronto-based counselor and author of Happy Sex: Putting Passion and Play Back into Your Relationship. 

“To help you meet those expectations, people with big egos establish rules,” she said. “For example, one narcissist I know wanted his girlfriend to give him 24-hour notice if she was going out with her friends and he wanted to know where she was going. Meanwhile, he maintained spontaneity in his own social life.”

Relationship rules that aren’t applied equally “create resentment, anger and shut down any possibilities for real, respectful and honest love,” Hill said.

  1. Your partner prioritizes “me” over “we.”

Your partner should value your opinion, embrace a team mentality and consider the collective couple when making decisions, said Samantha Burns, a Boston-based relationship counselor and dating coach. When you’re with a quality partner, your happiness matters just as much as hers.

“If she doesn’t stop to think about your preferences, she likely won’t be able to prioritize your happiness at any point,” Burns said. “This can lead to dissatisfaction, disconnection and a potential breakup.”

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  1. They sabotage your success.

A narcissistic personality will share the spotlight, but only up to a point. The second your success starts to overshadows his there’s bound to be trouble, Hill said.

“If you have your own career aspirations and your success could take the spotlight off him, he will sabotage you,” she said. “One classic sabotage technique is this: just before your big interview, your partner will make a demand of your time or have an emotional fit that will distract you from your goal and you will fail to achieve to the best of your potential because you were too busy helping out.”

  1. They never ask, “How was your day?” 

Getting home and ranting to your partner about subway outages and your crappy workday is one of the great joys of life. You deserve someone who not only asks, “how was your day, honey?” but actuallylistens to what you have to say, even if your response is 90 percent complaining, Burns said.

“It’s hard to feel like you really matter to someone who always dominates the conversation — it’s as if you’re only there to stroke his ego,” she said “To be with someone who never stops to ask about how your day was is a red flag. The one-sided dynamic can leave you in the shadows and unhappy.”

  1. They talk over you.

Good luck getting a word in edgewise; a self-centered partner seems to enjoy the sound of her voice a lot more than yours, said Debra Campbell, a psychologist and couple’s therapist in Melbourne, Australia.

“And when you disagree, your partner is more concerned with defending her position than acknowledging your point of view,” she said. “Feeling heard is a vital part of feeling loved, so the result is usually to feel emotionally sidelined when a partner consistently doesn’t listen well.”

  1. You have to beg your partner to do things you want to do.

Compromise is essential in any healthy relationship. It should worry you if your partner doesn’t care about your opinion, isn’t willing to take “no” for an answer or guilt trips you into making decisions, Burns said.

“You shouldn’t have to beg, nag or pull teeth to get your partner to participate in your activities, whether it’s the vacation spot you’ve been dying to get to, or the restaurant you want to try for dinner,” she said. “Your needs and wants are just as important as hers and you will likely grow resentful if your mate can’t create a healthy balance of compromise.”

 

How do you soothe the pain?

What do 'YOU' do when you are in 'emotional' pain? Recently, someone said to me, "You have to find something different to use to 'soothe' the pain." Hummm, well I love to look up definitions, so check this out. To soothe means several things, but in this case I am specifically using this definition: to exert a soothing influence; bring tranquillity, calm, ease, or comfort.

Quite frankly, I use 'sugar' or better said, eating, sipping, picking, nibbling, tasting, snacking, sweet,
sometimes salty, always yummy items on the taste buds, roast a marshmallow over the stove burner, all usually while mulling over things. You know, past the lips straight to the hips… or belly, no matter, it is very poor care of my 'temple' not to mention addictive and rather unsightly in my full length mirror at times! So, Yes I must change this! Furthermore, I realize that after all my years of living, "pain" just isn't going away! Matter of fact it seems as I am getting older, it is even more frequent a visitor. 'Age' brings knowledge that hurts, well really knowledge of all kinds. I do trust the Lord! He is going to use the hurt, the stress, the upheaval, the illness, the job loss, the changes I am not prepared for,… to move me forward towards my eternal destination and continue to shape my character to be more like Jesus. However, this does NOT annihilate pain!

This internet thing can bring some interesting options to mind fast when all one has to do is "Google it"! So that is what I am doing in my spare time, looking for ideas people have written and floated out there on this. So what you got to offer up?

Since many of you are experienced at this, (feeling pain) I am putting out the question to you! What positive action or choice do you know is good, right, and works well for you much of the time? Thank you right up front a while, because I am sure I am not the only one who will benefit, but many others here will too!

We Told Our Friends “We’re Getting Divorced”—Their Response? Changed Everything

{This is TRUTH, I have been bold when a couple we knew were fighting and one was ready to leave…. I said, you aren’t going any where if you want to please God. Furthermore, you walk out that door, you are telling her you give up, and you aren’t fighting for anymore.’ No one wants to think they aren’t worth hanging in with the fight, until it comes to some kind of resolution! And not one ofgiving ip on love. This story is beautifully accurate. So get to it and READ!!!!!! If you know marriages that are struggling or headed towards separation or Divorce, send to each person! Send to acquaintenances you don’t know well, so they know you know & you care! Lastly, perhaps post to your page where maybe a situation you don’t know about, is quietly unfolding badly, pray for strength to be HONEST, KIND, & LOVINGLY firm, should you enter a conversation that calls for this kind of genuine, authentic, real, caring, LOVE. Then PRAY for them. We live in a cultural environment that essentially says, “If it feels good, do it!”, or, “Hey you deserve Happiness, after-all doesn’t God want you to be Happy?” !!! That, people, is the Snake talking! Do not be decieved! ~Dee}

For Every MomMenu

We Told Our Friends “We’re Getting Divorced”—Their Response? Changed Everything

Ours was a fairytale wedding, but after two years we announced we were getting divorced. Then our friends and family did something we did NOT see coming.
Tammie Haveman By Tammie Haveman
Ours was a fairytale wedding. Madly in love, tears of joy streaming down our cheeks, we promised unwavering devotion to each other for better or worse.

When we were declared husband and wife, I thought my happily ever after was about to commence.
Only it didn’t.
It turned out that marriage was not what either of us expected. We brought into it two imperfect people who struggled to find our footing as we navigated old baggage, misunderstanding and conflict.
We said things we shouldn’t have said and each demanded our own way. We doused every argument with fire and allowed selfishness to seep into the fabric of our relationship.
And though we read all the books and prayed all the prayers, we nearly buckled under the weight of the perfect image we’d created for our relationship. After all, we were the quintessential Christian couple. We loved Jesus. We were supposed to be nailing this marriage thing.

IMG_3592
Our fledgling marriage quickly spiraled downward. And within two years, as young and defeated adversaries, we stood at the edge of divorce ready to jump.
Sometimes I’m haunted by how close we came to walking away from our marriage. By the world’s standards of a happy marriage, no one would’ve blamed us. Because we were miserable and had grown apart in every sense of the word.
But we were given a gift of immeasurable value: truthful words spoken by faithful friends.
As we slowly revealed the impending devastation of our marriage to family and friends, we were met with one overwhelming response: not on our watch.
I logged countless nights sitting cross legged on the floor of my bedroom, forehead pressed against the mattress, sobbing as I poured out our troubles to my friend Kim. She listened for hours at a time, wisely coaching me to love my husband and walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord. She always reminded me that my behavior was my own responsibility and advised me to treat my husband with respect – regardless of how I felt about him.

When Dave lamented to Kim’s husband, Dan how unfortunate it was that our marriage was ending, Dan pointedly told him no, it wasn’t. He reminded Dave of the vows he made before God and family and clearly stated that he expected Dave to live up to the commitment he made.
Dave’s parents stepped in with unwavering encouragement and gentle admonition to keep our covenant before God. My mom, having been down the road of divorce, offered endless compassion and urged me to fight for my marriage knowing divorce would be far worse.

Other friends and family who knew our marriage was crumbling covered us in prayer and love but didn’t stop there. They weren’t afraid to hold us accountable to our vows and our own behavior.
Looking back, Dave and I marvel that no one … NO ONE … told us what we wanted to hear or let us off the hook of the commitment we made. In fact, we laugh today at the choice words we wanted to fire back when hard words were spoken to us in love.
We are grateful that after supporting us through the storms of our early marriage, key friends and family continued to walk with us for the next eighteen years, speaking Godly truth through seasons of trials and joy.
friends
Real love has the courage to say hard things.

The world tries to tell you that happiness is simply a matter of putting yourself first. A true friend will remind you that selfishness is the cancer of relationships, especially marriage, and that love always puts others first.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
The world tries to tell you that a good marriage is full of romantic feelings. A true friend will remind you that feelings are fleeting and a good marriage is full of commitment and hard work.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
The world will tell you to run when the going gets tough. A true friend will remind you that your vows matter and encourage you to keep walking through the fire. Because there will be deeper love and great joy on the other side if you don’t give up.
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Numbers 30:2
Had we given up, we would’ve thrown away the most treasured relationship in each of our lives. We are by no means perfect, and neither is our marriage, but we are best friends. We are closer, stronger, more committed and far more in love now than we were twenty years ago as naive kids looking for a fairy tale.
I realize that there are grave issues that can lead a couple to divorce and not every marriage can be saved. But the most cited reasons for divorce are things like communication problems, arguing and unmet expectations. And studies have shown that most couples regret their divorce in the long run. Still our society is quick to usher couples down the path of divorce towards a mirage of happiness. This ought not be so.
Maybe you know someone who is struggling in their marriage. Have the courage to speak gentle truth over them. Always with tenderness and covered in prayer, wade into the weeds with that weary couple to encourage them in their marriage. Let truth drown out the lies that the world doles out about marriage and happiness. And point them to the Lord every step of the way.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:6

photo credit: alisonleaphoto.com
photo credit: alisonleaphoto.com

This article originally appeared at Twenty Shekels.

Tammie Haveman

By Tammie Haveman

Tammie is the wife to a gem of a husband and mama to four of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet. She chases her kids and a menagerie of horses, goats, and chickens around her little hobby farm out in the Minnesota countryside. Tammie is passionate about God’s command to love and serve others in community. She plays an active role in women’s ministry at her church and serves as assistant director of a nonprofit that wraps around isolated kids and families. Tammie blogs about hospitality, faith, and serviceat http://www.twentyshekels.com. You can also catch her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This article by Leslie Vernick could have been called: “I lost myself in this marriage” Leslie speaks on what to do about it.

I Am Lost. I Need Help.

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Morning friends,

Whew, I’m glad I’m in Arizona and not in Pennsylvania. This week the East Coast was hit with a March blizzard and friends back there are sending me their pictures digging out of the snow. Here in Arizona, we are in an unusual heat wave. Temperatures are in the high 80’s and the sun is hot. But I love it. I’m so glad I don’t have to battle the snow anymore.

Just a quick reminder. There are many people who read this blog who never post or respond. But I do want them to gain the value from all of your responses. So many of you are so kind to give so much of your time and wisdom to one another and I deeply appreciate it. Just keep in mind that when you respond to a particular person, especially over and over, it may feel a bit awkward to others who are reading your responses, as if they are listening in on a private conversation.

I 100% support and value your personal responses to others on this blog. Please don’t stop. They have been meaningful to those who have received them. But let’s not forget that we are also a group. I don’t know about you, but I still have lingering insecurities from when I would go to a party or dance in junior high school. I’d stand there, trying to fit in, and a few girls were talking to each other while the rest of us stood around watching.

After a while, my negative self-talk would take over and I would tell myself that I wasn’t wanted, I had nothing to contribute, and I might as well go home. I know we can’t control what other people think but I do want to remind all of us to be mindful of the larger group, even while we are encouraging a specific sister.

 

Today’s Question: I need guidance…

I got married at the age of 21 to my husband who is 7 years older than me. It’s been 10 years now. He is a workaholic who cannot organize his life. We have 3 children together. Since I married him he has always been rude, belittling me, not supporting me and allowing his family to also disrespect me.

In my first year of marriage, I graduated university with a bachelor’s degree with honors and ambitions to strive further. I was threatened by my husband that he would leave me if I pursued further education. His father told me that my husband would cheat on me since he is a businessman and that I should be by his side with his business. So being a naive newlywed I listened.

Throughout my marriage my husband has been obsessed with work, I never know what time he will come through the door, I take all the kids to their activities. He’s hired me a nanny so that she can assist me with the kids since he works so many hours. He would reject me in bed, numerous times.

I try and focus on the positive. I say thank God he hasn’t physically abused me, or is not an alcoholic… but then I don’t want to ignore everything else.

He would get in arguments with me if I tried to put the kids to bed early. He has told me I am stupid, I’m a bitch, and that a stranger’s slippers are worth more than mine will ever be. He let his father crack jokes about our marriage, saying that if I don’t sit beside my husband another woman will come and take him.

I used to be a strong female. I used to be tough, I used to be happy…. it’s hard for me to be a good mother when I am dependent on him financially and have 3 little children.

Does anyone have any advice???? Please help me, I am lost. I have always been religious and prayed, I was even a virgin getting married, he was my first ever encounter and I feel so crippled.

Answer: You have come to the right place. In addition to my response to you, there are many women who have been in your shoes who will reach out to you and help you take your next steps forward so that you aren’t feeling so lost anymore.

The problem isn’t your husband right now. It is you. You are lost. You have allowed yourself to be diminished and squashed so long that you no longer feel like yourself. The strong capable woman who graduated with honors at 21 now feels like a crippled, unhappy, scared and dependent person.

So what can you do to get un-lost? To revive yourself? For so many women, they get stuck right here, expecting that their husband should change or their marriage should change so that they can be fine. But you have no control over your husband changing. You do have some control over your marriage changing once you learn to change your own dance steps in the marriage. But the only person you have any real control over is you. So change must start with you.

One of the things that happen to many women in destructive marriages with husbands who are like yours is that they isolate. They get busy with children and trying to be a good wife and mom and they neglect themselves and/or developing strong relationships with other women. Other times, their spouses control how often they go places by themselves or with who. They do this to isolate their wives.

Isolation is a strategy of control. It is one of the most dangerous things that can happen when someone is in a destructive marriage. Let’s look at why. In our country we have the freedom of the press, but lately, there are two very different camps of press coverage. The conservative bent and the liberal bent. Both are saying very disparaging things about the other. Both are polarizing. Both cast the other as the bad guy. If all you watch is the conservative channel or the liberal channel, your thinking becomes limited. You only look at things from one vantage point. You only see things the way the media wants you to see them. However, if you watched both, read various perspectives, prayed and thought about what you believe, you would have a much better chance of understanding what’s true.

In the same way, when all we hear day in and day out are the rants and remarks of a person who believes he’s always right we start to question ourselves. And, when we regularly hear that we are stupid, incapable, foolish, crazy, selfish and worse and there is no other input to counter those statements, we start to believe them. We lose the person we thought we were and may even become the person the other person accuses us of being.

That’s why children are so vulnerable when they have a parent or parents who regularly tell them that they are incapable, stupid, ugly, evil or a loser. When you have only one voice regularly defining who you are when you’re a child you usually believe it. You may even become that person. That’s why it’s so important for you to stretch out of your box and start to connect with other women. This blog is a good start. You may want to join CONQUER when it opens in May. Please look for a good church to attend and find women you can be real with and talk to.

Just last week a friend of mine wrote me an email, He had gotten skewered on another blog about some things he wrote about wives ministering to husbands. Someone accused him of awful things, none of which were true. It rattled him so much he reached out to me to ask for feedback. This was only a short encounter with a caustic person but it rattled his sense of himself for a moment. What helped was reaching out for more input. He needed more information so that he could put what he heard in its proper place.

In the same way, you need other people who will remind you of the gifts and abilities that God has put inside of you. You need women who can encourage you and challenge you in a good way not to allow yourself to be diminished by an insecure and difficult person (or his family). In fact, the only possibility for your marriage to be any different is for you to regain your strength. That is one of the things that attracted your husband to you in the first place. Now you must work hard to build it back.

What does that look like? It might mean you start to read books that help you grow and not be so impacted by your husband’s harsh words. It might mean that you get involved in a support group for women in destructive marriages. It might mean that you get a part time job to start building back your confidence and become less dependent on your spouse. Since you have a nanny, you might even start taking some on-line classes to further your education so that you are preparing for a career that uses the gifts and talents that God has given you once your children are older.

If you were lost in a large shopping mall, the first thing most people do is either ask for directions or head for a map of the mall. You’ve done that by asking for help. The map says you are X (here) – in a destructive marriage, feeling squashed, diminished, flattened out and depleted.

The next question you have to ask yourself is where do you want to go? You said you want to go to a place where you feel less dependent, stronger as a person, more resilient to his negative comments.

You also said you’ve always been a religious person and sexually waited until marriage. But this problem in your marriage is testing your faith. I believe God wants you to know him in a deeper way. Not just believe in him, which is what religion teaches us to do, but to actually believe God, which requires a deeper relationship with him.

For example, we can believe in God’s existence but not ever really have a relationship with him. God wants you to know him and to trust him with what’s going on. He loves you. He created you. He wants your good. He hates the way your husband treats you and he longs for you to see yourself as his daughter. It pleases him to make you strong and capable and wise. He doesn’t want you to allow the words of one person, even if he is your husband, to determine your value or worth.

Only God can give you the wisdom to handle this situation with strength and dignity. Only God can teach you how to overcome evil with good. Only God can show you how to forgive when you don’t want to or don’t feel like it (Click To Tweet).

Part of moving from lost to found is finding yourself in a deeper relationship with Jesus, even if not your husband. That is where your healing will come from, not your marriage or your man. That is where you will learn how loved, precious and forgiven you are. That’s where you will learn to handle disappointment and anger and hurt in a way that doesn’t damage who you are and who you were meant to become. And that’s where you learn how to love the unlovely and forgive the one who hurts you. Those things don’t come from human efforts, but from our security and trust in God and his love for us. From that new “found” place we become wise. We gain courage, and we grow strong so that we can change our own dance steps in our destructive marriage as well as invite our partner to change his.

Friend, when you felt lost, what helped you to find your way back to spiritual, emotional, and mental strength?

Five Indicators Of A Evil Heart! (Everyone, take five minutes to read this now, No excuses! Take a break.)

Five Indicators Of A Evil Heart

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As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin.

I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist. We can’t imagine someone deceiving us with no conscience, hurting others with no remorse, spinning outrageous fabrications to ruin someone’s reputation, or pretending he or she is spiritually committed yet has no fear of God before his or her eyes

The Bible clearly tells us that among God’s people there are wolves that wear sheep’s clothing (Jeremiah 23:14Titus 1:10; Revelations 2:2). It’s true that every human heart is inclined toward sin (Romans 3:23), and that includes evil (Genesis 8:21James 1:4). We all miss God’s mark of moral perfection. However, most ordinary sinners do not happily indulge evil urges, nor do we feel good about having them. We feel ashamed and guilty, rightly so (Romans 7:19-21). These things are not true of the evil heart.

Below are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart. If so, it requires a radically different treatment approach.

  1. Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention. They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information (Exodus 2:1Psalms 5:8; 10:7; 58:3; 109:2-5; 140:2; Proverbs 6:13,14; 6:18,19; 12:13; 16:20; 16:27, 28; 30:14; Job 15:35Jeremiah 18:18Nehemiah 6:8;Micah 2:1Matthew 12:34,35Acts 6:11-132 Peter 3:16).
  1. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words. But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors (Psalm 50:19; 52:2,3; 57:4, 59:7; 101:7; Proverbs 12:5; 26:23-26; 26:28; Job 20:12Jeremiah 9:34; 12:6; Matthew 26:59Acts 6:11-13Romans 16:13,182 Corinthians 11:13,142 Timothy 3:2-5; 3:13; Titus 1:10,16).
  1. Evil hearts crave and demand control and their highest authority is their own self-reference. They reject feedback, real accountability and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance (Romans 2:8Psalms 10; 36:1-4; 50:16-22; 54:5,6; 73:6-9; Proverbs 21:24Jude 1:8-16).
  1. Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card. They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust (Proverbs 21:101 Peter 2:16Jude 1:4).
  1. Evil hearts have no conscience, no remorse. They do not struggle against sin or evil, they delight in it, all the while masquerading as someone of noble character. (Proverbs 2:14-15; 10:23; 12:10; 21:27,29 Isaiah 32:6Romans 1:302 Corinthians 11:13-15).

If you are working with someone who exhibits these characteristics it’s important that you confront them head on. You must name evil for what it is. The longer you try to reason with them or show mercy towards them, the more you, as the Christian counselor, will become a pawn in his or her game.

They want you to believe that:

  1. Their horrible actions should have no serious or painful consequences. When they say, “I’m sorry”, they look to you as the pastor or Christian counselor to be their advocate for amnesty with the person they have harmed. They believe grace means they are immediately granted immunity from the relational fallout of their serious sin. They believe forgiveness entitles them to full reconciliation and will pressure you and their victim to comply.

The Bible warns us saying, “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord (Isaiah 26:10).

The Bible tells us that talking doesn’t wake up evil people but painful consequences might. Jesus didn’t wake up the Pharisees with his talk nor did God’s counsel impact Cain (Genesis 4). In addition, the Bible shows us that when someone is truly sorry for the pain they have caused, they are eager to make amends to those they have harmed by their sin. (See Zacchaeus’s response when he repented of his greed in Luke 19.)

Tim Keller writes, “If you have been the victim of a heinous crime. If you have suffered violence, and the perpetrator (or even the judge) says, “Sorry, can’t we just let it go? You would say, “No, that would be an injustice.” Your refusal would rightly have nothing to do with bitterness or vengeance. If you have been badly wronged, you know that saying sorry is never enough. Something else is required¾some kind of costly payment must be made to put things right.” [1]

As Biblical counselors let’s not collude with the evil one by turning our attention to the victim, requiring her to forgive, to forget, to trust again when there has been no evidence of inner change in the one who has been practicing evil. Proverbs says, “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips” (Proverbs. 25:19). It’s foolishness.

The evil person will also try to get you to believe

  1. That if I talk like a gospel-believing Christian I am one, even if my actions don’t line up with my talk. Remember, Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). He knows more true doctrine than you or I will ever know but his heart is wicked. Why? Because although he knows the truth, he does not believe it or live it.

The Bible has some strong words for those whose actions do not match their talk (1 John 3:17,18Jeremiah 7:8,10James 1:22, 26). John the Baptist said it best when he admonished the religious leaders: “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God (Luke 3:8).

If week after week you hear the talk but there is no change in the walk of that person, especially if you are also receiving feedback from the person who has been sinned against that there is continued covert harm, deceit, and manipulation, you have every reason to question that person’s relationship with God.

Part of our maturity as spiritual leaders is that we are to be trained to discern between good and evil. Why is that so important? It’s important because evil usually pretends to be good and without godly discernment we can be easily fooled (Hebrews 5:14).

When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light (John 3:20) and the foolish and evil heart reject correction (Proverbs 9:7,8). But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that “he’s not that bad” or “that he’s really sorry,” or “that he’s changing” when in fact, he is not.

Daniel says, “the wicked will continue to be wicked”, (Daniel 12:10), which begs the question, do you think an evil person can really change?

[1] Tim Keller, Jesus the King, page 172

Here is Leslie’s web site. You may be interested in these subject and want to go read.

http://www.leslievernick.com/five-indicators-of-a-evil-heart/ 

HERE ARE SOME MORE SUBJECT ON LESLIE’S WEB SITE !
DivorceCare.org (for souls in a body cast injury)
http://www.DivorceCareontheSunPorch.com
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To get your mind into something else!

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READING LAWYERS…

I took an interest in this when I read all the many many explanations with in this email that was sent to me.  I like the “aggressive” words! If anyone uses them, let me know if you were or are happy with their aggression on YOUR behalf.

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Recommeded Reading: Loving People How to Love & be Loved

Loving People: How to Love and Be Loved by [Townsend, John]

Your personal guide to learning how to love.

When you say or hear the words “I love you” it can change your life forever.   Love is one of God’s most important gifts to anyone, yet there are many misunderstandings about how to make love work in our families, friendships, marriages and dating relationships. In Loving People, best-selling author Dr. John Townsend shows you that love can actually be learned, and gives you the steps and tools to become skilled in love.

Using his trademark stories and illustrations to flesh out the important principles, Dr. Townsend covers:

  • receiving love
  • connecting love
  • healing love
  • confronting love
  • romantic love
  • surrendering love

Through his teaching, readers will discover – and start enjoying – the words, actions, and experiences of authentic love.

Recommended Reading: WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?

What Is My Purpose?: 8 Simple Steps to Find Your Purpose and Live a Life You Love (Finding Your Purpose Book) by [Foster, Simon]

What Is My Purpose?: 8 Simple Steps to Find Your Purpose and Live a Life You Love

Have you ever wondered if life has any meaning? Are you here just to survive a little? Is this life meaningless for you?

What if we were created for a purpose?

The ambition to discover the purpose of life is nearly as old as mankind. You have the striving desire to demonstrate yourself and others that you actually do have a purpose and that you are very good at it.

Unfortunately, many of us just waste our time wondering but never doing anything to discover life’s purpose or the true meaning of life.

Start taking action now and get the benefits of discovering your life purpose, the true meaning of your life and discover your personal mission.

By doing it you will start finally moving on the right direction to enjoy every second of a new self-designed meaningful life.

Recommended Reading: RUNAWAY EMOTIONS by Jeff Schreve

Runaway Emotions: Why You Feel the Way You Do and What God Wants You to Do About It by [Schreve, Jeff]

If we pay attention to the alarms in our lives, they could save us.

Worry. Anger. Loneliness. Negative emotions are uncomfortable by design. Like any good fire alarm, they alert us to a greater danger. But they won’t help us if we try to cover them up, hide them behind excuses, or assume they will always plague us.

The only healthy way to manage negative emotions is to find their source and address the problem that set them off. As pastor Jeff Schreve says, “A specific and compelling message can be found in each of your negative, painful emotions. God Himself is trying to speak to you through those emotions—right now.”

So what is God saying? How can we understand our emotions—even change them? Schreve shows how the truth of the Bible can make sense of our confusion. The power of the Holy Spirit can lead us to freedom, and Jesus Christ can give us true peace in the midst of any crisis.

You don’t have to let your emotions run away with you, your family, or your future.

Where Is God?: Finding His Presence, Purpose and Power in Difficult Times

Where Is God?: Finding His Presence, Purpose and Power in Difficult Times by [Townsend, John]

Hard times make us look for God.

Everyone has problems. But if we could solve all our difficulties ourselves, would we ever search for God? Psychologist John Townsend says “It is actually the very unfixability of our problems and our powerlessness to bring right results that keep us asking, ‘Where is God?'”

With a compelling narrative, Townsend offers new insights into the pursuit for God’s help and presence. Designed to give readers hope and meaning, he divides the discussion into three parts:

  • Why does a loving God allow us to experience difficulties?
  • How is God active in the middle of our hard times?
  • How can I find God?

With powerful stories and practical applications, Where Is God? assures readers that even when it feels as though God is absent it is his nature to be in relationship, to connect with, love, and guide us. And when we seek him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, he shows up in ways that transform us forever.