For the Best in Christian Influence in the Home upon your children… or possibly a wayward spouse?

One of Two Best resources for “best practice” in Christian Family Living! ( 2nd is Family Life Today) Both in our listening area, found on WFIL 560 AM dial, as well as WBYN 107.5 FM dial, look at their program schedule. I thank God we still have freedom to choose what we wish to listen to in America. There is little excuse in America for not hearing the “truth” when radio is so accessible. Do you know about air-wave censorship across the ocean? Of course if you are Following someone else or absorbed in other media, one may miss out on the treasures found here!


Focus on the Family
Call 1-800-232-6459 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459)

Awesome Gift Idea All Year for the Young & Elder too!

Last Sunday I heard this program… there are so many mom’s who are Spiritually sensitive, and a few Dad’s too… and I wished I could connect immediately with you and say, you have got to hear this guy! But, I couldn’t. So I have gone to great lengths, trying to search the radio programs for this in the archives, and finally I wrote to the speakers company itself. I not only heard from a worker there within less than 12 hours, today I received a note from the speaker himself. (you may read it below) This human knows the Word, and feels that “the day” is very soon coming for Jesus return…. This non-profit company is printing books and making CD’s to get God’s truth out there NOW… It is urgent! Pay attention to his definitions of words! This is most fascinating. We are like sheep! we are so easily lead by the “crowd”! We are allowing this Culture to take us into the la-la land of amusement, exactly as some of you have heard me say before…I am not gonna tell ya! YOU, have got to take a listen!! Hey there Grandma’s! …..Here is a low cost gift for the kids at Christmas this year but it is worth its weight in spiritually influential gold! And if you know any book lovers… get it for them too! As I said.. I am gonna read these books too! and wait until you read what Mark says to me in the end of his note! GO AHEAD… LISTEN NOW… TURN IT UP SO YOUR WHOLE HOUSE LISTENS!!!!!
HEY RICK! I have something here I want you to hear!

De Etta:
Thank you for contacting us. Someone may have already gotten back to you but I wanted to personally send you a note. We are not sure what program you listened to, but my hunch is that is was the broadcast from thie following link:”
This second link is from our daily radio broadcast. If it isn’t either of these, please let me know. The first one, I believe is the one you will want to share with you people.
Blessings to you! ps. if you ever need any recommendations about the books or audios, let me know. I love to connect people with the right story. And btw, most of our readers are adults!

Mark Hamby

Signs Your Partner is Too Controlling

Lisa Aronson Fontes, PhD Become a fan

University of Massachusetts Amherst SeniorLecturer & author, Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in YourIntimate Relationship

Signs YourPartner Is Too Controlling

Posted: 07/21/2015 8:57 amEDT Updated: 07/21/2015 8:59 am EDT

You have concerns about the qualityor health of your relationship. Maybe you feel bossed around, not as free asyou’d like, sometimes even insulted or humiliated. On bad days, you wonder whatyou’re doing together. But you remember good times and even now, on occasion,you feel loved. Your partner has probably told you thatyou are the problem, and you may wonder if it istrue. A careful assessment will help you see what’s going on–then you candecide what to do about it.

Below are a series of questions aboutsome of the controlling behaviors you may have experienced. (For a morecomplete list, please click here). Unhealthy domination by a partner is called coercive control. It’s more thanjust occasional nastiness or bossiness–it affects several areas of your lifeand causes you to change your behavior to keep the peace. You may be soaccustomed to some items on this list, they just feel like “the way itis.” Other items may seem extreme, and you may be relieved to realize thatyou do not face all of them:

• Does your partner try to isolate you and keep you away fromother people?

• Does your partner try to keep you from leaving the house,joining organizations, working, or furthering your education?

• Does your partner limit or monitor your phone conversations,social media use, email, or mail?

• Does your partner try to find outwhat you have done and where you have been in a way that feels like “toomuch?” Does your partner spy on you or stalk you?(Drawing by LizBannish)
• Does your partner try to control your personal activities, such as yourhobbies and interests and what you wear?

• Does your partner try to control your access to resources suchas money or transportation?

• Does your partner make you feel afraid by shouting, swearing,name-calling, or insulting you? In coercive control, this is one-sided andfrequent or extreme.

• Does your partner try to control aspects of your health orbody in ways that are harmful to you, such as making demands regarding your:eating or weight, sleeping, bathing, or using the bathroom? Does your partnertry to block you from taking prescription drugs that you need, going formedical care, seeing a therapist, or exercising?

• Does your partner push you to use substances such as street drugs,prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons, or more alcohol than you want?

• Does your partner push you to change your body in ways you’drather not, such as getting tattoos or piercings or cosmetic surgery?

• Does your partner push or force you sexually, and are youunable to speak your mind about sex? Does your partner push you to avoidpracticing safe sex? Does your partner push you to take sexual pictures orvideos?

• Does your partner block your efforts to separate or leave therelationship?

• Does your partner block your efforts to speak about thingsthat matter to you?

• If you have children in your lives, does your partner try tocontrol or harm your relationship with the children?

• Does your partner throw, kick or punch things, slam doors orstomp around to intimidate you? Does your partner grab or push you, get in yourface, corner you, or pin you against a wall?

• Does your partner refuse to speak with you for long periods oftime?

• Does your partner threaten you?

• Does your partner hurt you physically? Does your partnerthreaten you with guns or other weapons? Does your partner threaten suicide?

• Does your partner punish you or deliberately harm you?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions,which ones are the most upsetting to you? Which frighten you the most? If you haveanswered “yes” to some but not all, you may still be in arelationship of coercive control. For instance, some people control theirpartners without physical violence.

Not all the questions on this list are created equal. Responding”yes” to one question, such as “Does your partner threatenyou?” may be enough reason for you to end your relationship today.Responding “yes” to a question about whether your partner tries tocontrol what you eat or how you spend money may not. Or it may. Only you candecide the reasons to maintain or end the relationship.

There is no one right way to score this list. Unfortunately, youcannot simply add up the items, arrive at a total and say to yourself, “Myrelationship is okay” or “My relationship is overly controlling and Ihave to change it” or “I must end this relationship.” Thesedecisions are too individual for that kind of numerical process. But I hopethese questions help you think about whether you’re a victim of coercivecontrol. Then, you can decide what to do next.

Many people stick with their partners for months, years anddecades, waiting for them to change. Remember, past behavior is the bestpredictor of the future. Without some intense intervention, most controlling partnerswill not change. Try to be hopeful about the possibility of freedom in your future, whether thatfreedom takes the form of improving or ending the relationship.


RelationshipsDomestic ViolenceCoercive ControlCouplesVerbal AbuseIntimate Partner ViolenceDatingViolence Against Women

This Blogger’s Books and Other Items from…

Niceness Isn’t Always Nice!

The price of always being nice …

  1. The “nice” person tends to create an atmosphere that keeps others from giving honest feedback. This limits growth.
  1. The “nice” behavior leaves uncertainty in others in that they can not be sure of support in crisis situation that demand candor or in confrontation with others.
  1. “Nice” behavior stifles growth by depriving others level feedback and a “real” person to relate to.   This tends to force others to turn their aggression inward against themselves.   Guilt and depression can follow.
  1. The chronic “niceness” leaves others uncertain whether the relationship could withstand a conflict or sustain angry, spontaneous, confrontation.   Intimacy is limited by a felt need to be constantly on guard.
  1. “Nice” guys are more subject to periodic rage explosions, which erupt unexpectedly when others are unprepared for it.
  1. Physical ills can abound!

Therefore, it’s not nice to play nice!!!

Wired For Love part 1, like it? Listen at:

MESSAGE PART (below ) part 2 on this video link:

Wired For Love – Part 1, Wired for Relationships
Return to the Message Archive

This week marks the beginning of a new series entitled, “Wired for Love,” in which Pastor Miles will talk about how God created us to love and be loved.

In Genesis, God creates the earth in various stages, after which He states, “It is good.” But there was only one thing during creation (prior to sin’s entry into the world) that God claimed was “not good.”

And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18

It is not good for man to be alone because God created man with the capacity and desire for relationship.

1. God designed or ‘wired’ us to enjoy what He enjoys – loving relationships.
Why did God create man? He wasn’t lonely; He had the Trinity. He didn’t need us to worship Him; He had the angels worshiping him long before we came into the picture. He didn’t create us to glorify Him; He already had glory. God created man so that we could enjoy what He has – loving relationships.

God models loving relationship for us in the Trinity, the three persons of God who all have different functions and roles, yet are united in One God.
In John 17:21-23, Jesus prays to the Father, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

God models loving relationship for us in the Trinity, the three persons of God who all have different functions and roles, yet are united in One God. (See Genesis 1:26, John 3:16, John 7:16, John 16:13, John 17:1, John 16:14.) The Father sent the Son and the Son sends the Holy Spirit. Together they design and execute the plan of salvation, and they all point to each other and give one another glory.

God desires for us to have loving relationships with each other and with Himself. We can miss this fact if we get caught up in religion. Life with God is about relationship, and He wants to be involved in all of your earthly relationships, everywhere you go, in every area of your life.

2. Our design or ‘wiring’ actively seeks to live in loving relationships.
A relationship is defined as an interdependence between people where equal give-and-take exists…

If God commanded you to love, he must have designed you to love. We seek out what God created for us.

The human body has many different intricate systems (digestive system, skeletal system, endocrine system), including various brain systems. One of these is the relationship/bonding system, which constantly asks two questions:

Am I loveable?
Is love available to me?/Am I accepted by this group of people?
As a child you develop a sense of how to give and receive love, and sometimes this develops a pattern of falseness because you have learned that you will not be loved or accepted unless you do certain things or act a certain way. Whatever you learned in your relationship system, you will have the same pattern and expectations with God, because that’s what you know. (That doesn’t mean you can’t improve or re-learn how to love and be loved with God’s help.)

Our relationship system works in a very specific way because we were creative to love and be loved. Unlike animals, who can live among humans and never encounter another of their kind, people cannot live without love and human interaction; humans left to themselves will die. Don’t take these systems for granted. They have been given to you for a very specific reason – to enable you to have relationship.

3. God Himself is the ultimate satisfaction of our search for a loving relationship.
Pastor Miles shared that when he and his wife Debbie started dating, their relationship was a mess for the first few years. Miles finally came to a point where he realized that he needed to love Debbie better than he was able to, and only God could help him with that. We all have relationships that are not reaching their loving potential because we have not fully tapped into God’s love.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8

God not only loves and gives love; He is love. If you want to get back to the way God wants us to love, just start giving it selflessly! Don’t give out of selfish ambition or to get credit for how great you are. Relationships are not meant for manipulation, but for selfless love. You can’t get to that point unless you have the love of God in you. Ask Him today what relationships you need to surrender to Him and allow His love to flow through you.

A Mess Worth Making by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp

Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
By Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp – Your best friend is suddenly cool and distant. Your spouse can’t stop complaining about your bad habits. Your son refuses to talk to you. What are you supposed to do?

Plans A, B, and C might be to shut down, lash out, or get out. But consider Plan D: Recognize that God has the last word on those messy, conflict-ridden relationships. He can use them to make you into someone who can give and receive love—with God and others.

In their book, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, authors Tim Lane and Paul Tripp explore the stubborn problems that plague many close relationships. They offer these eight observations to help readers understand relationships and how God uses them in our lives.

You were made for relationships.

This fact takes us back to the beginning. It asks the basic questions, “Who are we, and how important are our relationships?” In Genesis 2:18, God says that it is not good for man to be “alone.” God created us to be relational beings because he is a social God. God lives in community within the Trinity as Father, Son, and Spirit, and he made humanity in his image. Genesis 2 is not speaking primarily to Adam’s experience of being lonely as much as it is revealing his nature as the person God created him to be. Because God created a communal being – someone designed for relationships – creation is incomplete without a suitable companion. While Genesis 2 does address how male and female complement each other, the implications are broader to include all human relationships. In addition, the word “helper,” used here for Eve, speaks throughout scripture of the complementary nature of all human relationships. “Helper” is used primarily to describe a companion, not a fellow laborer.

The reason we know this is true is that the word “helper” is often used to describe God’s relationship with his people. When used this way, it does not refer to God as our coworker or employee, but God as our ultimate companion, who brings things to the relationship that we could not bring ourselves (Ps. 27:9; 33:20-22). So God is not addressing Adam’s workload but rather the fact that he is a social being who lacks a suitable companion. Just as human beings were created with a vertical need for God’s companionship, they are also created for the horizontal companionship of other people.

In some way, all relationships are difficult.

While the first fact is exciting, we still have to deal with reality. All of our relationships are less than perfect. They require work if they are going to thrive. Quickly on the euphoric heels of Genesis 2 comes Genesis 3, where the entrance of sin brings frustration and confusion into relationships. In Genesis 3, man and woman engage in accusation and slander. Genesis 4 gets even worse, with a man murdering his own brother.

While many of us have not committed murder, we still live on the continuum between murder, accusation, and blame. No wonder our relationships are so messy! Our struggle with sin is constantly revealed in them. If you want to enjoy any progress or blessing in your relationships, it will require you to admit your sin humbly and commit yourself to the work they require.

Each of us is tempted to make relationships the end rather than the means.

When we reflect on Genesis 1-3, it becomes clear that the primary relationship Adam and Eve were intended to enjoy was their relationship with God. This vertical communion with God would provide the foundation for the horizontal community they were to have with each other. Everything God made pointed Adam and Eve to the primacy of their relationship with him. All of creation was to function as an arrow pointing to God. But in our sin we tend to treat people and creation as more important. The very things God created to reveal his glory become instead the glory we desire. We settle for the satisfaction of human relationships when they were meant to point us to the perfect relational satisfaction found only with God. The irony is that when we reverse the order like this and elevate creation above Creator, we destroy the relationships God intended – and would have enabled – us to enjoy.

There are no secrets that guarantee problem-free relationships.

We all look for strategies or techniques that will free us from the pain of relationships and the hard work good relationships demand. We hope that better planning, more effective communication, clear role definitions, conflict resolution strategies, gender studies, and personality typing – to name just a few – will make the difference. There may be value in these things, but if they were all we needed, Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection would be unnecessary or, at best, redundant.

Skills and techniques appeal to us because they promise that relational problems can be fixed by tweaking our behavior without altering the bent of our hearts. But the Bible says something very different. It says that Christ is the only real hope for relationships because only he can dig deep enough to address the core motivations and desires of our hearts.

At some point you will wonder whether relationships are worth it.

At some point, each of us will become discouraged and disappointed with a relationship. The health and maturity of a relationship are not measured by an absence of problems, but by the way the inevitable problems are handled. Because human conflict is the result of the spiritual battles in our hearts, wise relationships always seek to be aware of that deeper struggle. Even in times of peace, you must be vigilant regarding the way your relationships can be hijacked by the underlying desires of your hearts, which are subtly and constantly shifting.

How do you deal with relational disappointments? Do you blame, deny, run away, avoid, threaten, and manipulate? Or do you speak the truth, exhibit patience, approach people gently, ask for and grant forgiveness, overlook minor offenses, encourage and honor others? Let’s admit that these questions touch us where we live from day to day. True Christian maturity does not get any more practical and concrete!

God keeps us in messy relationships for his redemptive purpose.

This sixth fact reminds us that the very thing we would naturally seek to avoid is what God has chosen to use to make us more like him! Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t just make your relationships better overnight? We often think that if God really cared for us, he would make our relationships easier. In reality, a difficult relationship is a mark of his love and care. We would prefer that God would just change the relationship, but he won’t be content until the relationship changes us too. This is how God created relationships to function.

What happens in the messiness of relationships is that our hearts are revealed, our weaknesses are exposed, and we start coming to the end of ourselves. Only when this happens do we reach out for the help God alone can provide.

While we would like to avoid the mess and enjoy deep and intimate community, God says that it is in the very process of working through the mess that intimacy is found.

The fact that our relationships work as well as they do is a sure sign of grace.

One of the biggest impediments we face in relationships is our spiritual blindness. We frequently do not see our sin, nor do we see the many ways in which God protects us and others from it. God constantly protects us from ourselves by restraining our sin. We are a lot like Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6:15-22. He was overwhelmed by the enemy army that surrounded him until God opened his eyes to see the far more formidable army of angels God had sent to protect him. Why was it that the servant could see only the enemies surrounding Israel but not “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire” from the Lord? It was the spiritual blindness of unbelief.

How do you measure your potential in relationships? Do you measure the size of the problems or the magnitude of God’s presence in your midst? Considering our sin, it is amazing that people get along at all! Each night, the evening news begins with a litany of murders, rapes, and robberies that suggest that your community is a very dangerous place. Yet it fails to cite the thousands of good things people do to make that same community livable. Our view of our relationships can be just as slanted. We tend to see sins, weaknesses, and failures rather than the good things God is accomplishing. If you look for God in your relationships, you will always find things to be thankful for.

Scripture offers a clear and attractive hope for our relationships.

Does the challenge and mess of relationships leave you discouraged? Does the biblical honesty about human community shock you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the hard work relationships require? If so, you are ready for this last fact: The shattered relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the cross provides the basis for our reconciliation. No other relationship ever suffered more than what Father, Son, and Holy Spirit endured when Jesus hung on the cross and cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was willing to be the rejected Son so that our families would know reconciliation. Jesus was willing to become the forsaken friend so that we could have loving friendships. Jesus was willing to be the rejected Lord so that we could live in loving submission to one another. Jesus was willing to be the forsaken brother so that we could have godly relationships. Jesus was willing to be the crucified King so that our communities would experience peace. In his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus brought reconciliation in two fundamental ways. Jesus reconciled us to God, which then becomes the foundation for the way he reconciles us to one another. When God reigns in our hearts, peace reigns in our relationships.

This work will only be complete in heaven, but there is much we can enjoy now. The New Testament offers hope that our relationships can be characterized by things like humility, gentleness, patience, edifying honesty, peace, forgiveness, compassion, and love. Isn’t it wonderful that God’s grace can make this possible even for sinners in a fallen world! This hope challenges whatever complacency and discouragement we might have about our relationships because there is always more growth, peace, and blessing that God’s grace can bring, even here on earth.

Purchase your copy of Relationships: A Mess Worth Making

Adapted from Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp. Used by permission of New Growth Press, Greensboro, North Carolina, Article provided courtesy of The B&B Media Group.

6 Ways Your Divorce Is Harder Than It Needs to Be

6 Ways Your Divorce Is Harder Than It Needs to Be

Posted: 06/29/2015 6:19 pm EDT Updated: 06/29/2015 6:59 pm EDT
 Divorce is generally unpleasant. Oh sure, we all have that friend who sails through it with a smile on their face and a spring in their step, never exhibiting an outward moment of hesitation as they move through the divorce with an almost unicorn-like dignity and grace. Then there are the other 99.999 percent of us. I have been in the ugly tear-stained trenches of it all as my little one was ripped from my arms screaming for his Mommy. I have made some stupid mistakes, more than once. Sometimes I wonder if all the difficulties I have been through are the reason I am effective in this line of work. I promise I will not ask you to do something I haven’t done before, and I really understand how you feel when you sit down in my office overwhelmed and in pain. Real, excruciating, pain that feels as if you have been punched in the gut. Not sleeping. Not eating. Feeling as if you are in a daze and as if all this is happening “to you” without any input, without any control. Your spouse may get your house, your children and steal your financial security, but the process may be more difficult than necessary. I am aware that I am not always easy on my clients. It is my job to tell you what you sometimes do not want to hear. There is no reason to pay someone thousands of dollars to just agree it’s not your fault, unless, of course, that someone is your therapist. There are many different ways to get through this time, some more effective and healthy than others. After 21 years of practicing law, I would like to say I have seen it all, but just about every week we see new forms of additional self-imposed misery. So here are a few tips and what to avoid doing to make this divorce process a little shorter, less traumatic and maybe a little less expensive too.

1. You want what she/he is having.

In divorce, as in life, if you spend the days lamenting over what is going on with your ex, or anyone else for that matter, this will not lead you to your happy place. There will always be someone richer, younger, thinner, smarter, more accomplished along the way. No good comes from worrying about the things others have, material or otherwise. Your ex has a new significant other, a new house, a new car. Your ex is traveling the world (and they never did this with you). Your ex is spending your child support payment on their nails or golf. They are now father or mother of the year, and they never even changed a diaper! You cannot control someone or their actions, but you can control your reactions.

You can choose instead to be happy they stepped up to the plate with the children like they never did before, or that they have a nice house or car for your children to enjoy. You can just be happy they are not your problem anymore. These worries are serious “time wasters” that take the focus away from our own lives and happiness. They also make really crappy conversation starters with a new friend or love interest. Bitter and jealous are simply not fun to be around. As a big believer in Karma, wish them well and then move on to more important issues like your own happiness. Make sure your own glass is half-full or even better overflowing with new love, new friends and a happy home, even if it is a town home.

2. You believe you are not accountable for the failure of your marriage.

You were the kindest, most loving, nurturing spouse that ever was there — I believe you, I really do. Are you at fault? Yes, you married someone who did not believe in your fabulousness. Most of the time, if we are really honest with ourselves, (not always easy or pretty, I know) we might admit, albeit reluctantly, we knew the very thing about our soon to be ex that now leads us running to the divorce lawyer. Of course, there are exceptions to this observation but so very often the signs are right there, the pink elephant we chose to ignore. They were mean to other people, you had wildly different views of the world and life goals, they were financially irresponsible while you saved every penny, and the list goes on. You thought you could “fix them” or perhaps maybe just give up an essential piece of your soul and what matters, to make them happy. Then one day we wake up and realize the marriage is over, or perhaps they decided enough is enough, but we all play a part. When there is no singular fault and when we all accept our piece of where and how it all ends, we move on faster, we fight less, we spend less on lawyers and most importantly, we are less likely to make the same mistake again.

3. You can’t forgive.

Well of course you can, but you just don’t want to. I am NOT going to tell you that you have to forgive — you don’t. It is certainly your prerogative to hold on to that anger and hatred with all the passion and love once directed at your former beloved. You want to hold on to it tightly because it was a really awful horrible thing that was done to you. It is, after all, the reason you are in this mess in the first place, right? Someone else did this to you (see number two above). There are some things that are unforgivable after all, are there not? Someone slept with your best friend, beat you, left you or lied to you. So don’t forgive, but be prepared to pull out your checkbook for your lawyer and the therapist for you and maybe your kids too.

Anger and hatred have a direct correlation to a longer, messier divorce and higher attorneys fees while we punish the wrongdoer. Maybe you can change the dynamic with a little change in perspective. People who hurt us are often broken themselves with complicated stories and reasons that may have little to do with us. Maybe we should feel sorry for them instead of angry? Maybe we should realize how sad it is they will never know how they were loved, or be capable of giving love the way it was intended. The truth is forgiveness is not a favor to others; it is a favor to you. It frees up a space inside you for significantly better things. Think about the words “angry” and “bitter” and think of an image. Do they make you happy, do they look light and beautiful? Sometimes I wonder about the moments of our life. Would our moments be different if a clock was running down the moments left in this life on our new Apple watch? Would we choose to waste them rehashing the harms done to us, or choose moving forward towards more moments of joy? There is huge power in not allowing someone to steal more minutes of your life with anger or regret. So go ahead and stay mad or take back your power, forgive and lower those attorney’s fees, after all.

4. You believe you are entitled to the same life.

I often work against expectations so huge that Cinderella’s fairy Godmother could not deliver them (and don’t get me started on her; that girl has lead more people down the path to divorce, but I digress…). If you come to me or any lawyer believing you can have the same life you had before you divorced, you will be sadly disappointed and will spend unnecessary time and unnecessary fees. The math of divorce is simple division. Divide by two, your income and assets, and multiply by two, the amount of bills. Sounds great, right? I don’t care if your lawyer wrote the book on divorce, the story always has the same ending, everyone will have less. Even in the biggest cases it applies. I call it “park the plane,” everyone will tighten their belt or maybe just give up a house or two, but nobody gets to have it all. You simply can’t believe, you might have to give up your custom decorated 10,000-square-foot apartment in Tribeca, and will pay any amount of money to avoid this travesty of justice. Your righteous indignation is blood in the water and the sharks are circling. Have a low-calorie alcoholic beverage and save those attorney’s fees to put a down payment on a nice new penthouse on 5th Avenue.

Feelings of entitlement are costly and set us up to be disappointed in this life. You are both entitled to a life at the end of this mess but it will be a different life for you both. Maybe I am a cynic, (after all these years, who could blame me?) but there is no way to ensure your happiness other than to make sure no one else is responsible for it. Work hard, own your own destiny and be grateful for what you have, even if it is 50 percent less that you used to have; it is so much more than many others.

5. You surround yourself with “yes” men.

They might be your best friend from summer camp who you have known since you were 10, your parents, your sister, your brother, and all too often, your lawyer. Your “yes men” are the ones that support whatever you do no matter what. They nod in agreement whenever you call your ex a complete jerk, they agree you deserve to “get it all” for what the other party has done to you. They encourage you to fight for things you are not entitled to, they encourage you to use your children, hide your assets, fight for unreasonable positions and generally condone your bad behavior. They never see the other side, never hold you accountable for your actions, sometimes just because they love you unconditionally. Some of my dearest friends and family however, have been those who have held me accountable for my own piece of some fairly tragic “life detours” (people seem to really dislike the term mistake). Sometimes we need the people around us to tell us to get our shit together, to toughen up or lighten up. We say “no” to our children everyday because they need to know there are limits and expectations. No is not a bad thing. Be aware of those who agree with everything we do or say. Listen to those who show the real mirror to the not-so-pretty behavior. We all need to be reminded that this is not the end of the world, that no one is guaranteed a particular life unless we create it for ourselves and that who we are at the end of this crazy ride is what really matters.

6. You think too much about you.

There is nothing that makes people feel worse about themselves than being singularly focused on what is wrong with their day, their life, their kids, their job, their appearance. Perspective is the greatest gift we can allow ourselves to move toward being happy. I can focus today on my broken faucet, ice maker jamming up, piled up laundry, my daughters four cavities (no, that is not a typo, and yes, I brush her teeth). This which will now require us to fly back from vacation for the procedure because her Reactive Airway Disease makes sedation too risky now with her recent Bronchitis. In the alternative, I can focus on a friend who just lost her young husband with two young daughters and think about her. Today her pain is bigger than any pain I can imagine, her strength and courage fills my heart with awe that life is hard and people are so very resilient. These people and stories are a gift to remind us this too shall pass and there is more life to be lived. Look outside your pain and your struggles. Your house is not big enough or nice enough? You have a home. You have family that loves you but are driving you crazy? There is someone alone tonight. So try to focus on doing something that is not about you at all. Stop for a whole day and try not to complain about anything. Say out loud “someone has it worse, I should be grateful.” You will be better prepared for this little bump in the road we call divorce.

I know divorce sucks, it is not supposed to end like this no matter how it ends. Someday you will be through it, hopefully sooner rather than later. Don’t torture yourself or your spouse unnecessarily, you will make the lawyers rich, the judges annoyed and your children cranky. This divorce is a gift, a new life, different but better than ever, if you let it be. Get there as fast as you can, that clock is ticking.

© Krista Barth 2015


Get Dressed
Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. (Romans 13:13-14)

Marriage and Divorce Resources

DivorceCare People: Check out these links below for more information before you move forward.

click down in paragraph below or cut and paste into your browser please.

Divorce is such a hot topic in our society that it is often hard to ignore. We have data that shows the divorce rate is as high as 50%. Whatever the reasons, divorce is a decision that should be made independent of emotions and with all implication considered, from financial to child custody. For this reason, my team of researchers and I have developed a guide to help those faced with divorce to take control of their situation and to make best choices. You can see the entire guide along with some of its features here:


Many publications and businesses use our guide as a trusted resource for their consumers. Here are a few examples:
Newport County Chamber of Commerce,, listing us as “Expertise Guide to Local Marketing”
Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce,, listing us as “Rank In Google and How to Fix Your Local Listings”

Shared with us by,
Sherry Matamorosa

Saw a great prayer on Facebook

Saw a great prayer for our past, current, participants and all those currently married. Today’s Prayer Dear God, I praise you today for who you are. I come to you on behalf of all married couples. You instituted the family. You made a precious connection when you created Eve from Adam’s rib. They would be mates and help meet one another’s needs, raise a family, and oversee your creation. I pray for a hedge of protection around every married couple today. Please work in their hearts and guide them to think of one another as they should. May their priorities be straight, with you at the center and their marriage above other relationships. May they guard their families and be good stewards of all you have bestowed–and will bestow–upon them. Strengthen the marriage relationship and give power, wisdom, and guidance to each partner to stay on guard against the temptations of the world–the things and people that Satan would throw at them in an effort to destroy their marriage and the family. Bless the union. Work in and through these couples and families to minister to one another and others, exhort the body of Christ, and glorify you. May we be godly examples to the world. In the name of Jesus Christ, the husband and head of the church, I pray, amen.


I was thinking on my drive to work the other day…

…divorce is a “cross roads” in life that can be a  dramatic drastic Good Godly used change or a devastatingly terrible change… it all depends how a person responds to this ‘thing’.  It is horrible… it can be deadly or it can be a gift that jettisons a person into a whole new realm of contacts, surroundings and thinking, which unfolds into a whole new world of good! 


“My husband has pornography addicition. How can I help him?” – Melissa, GA

Remember that you did not cause this, you can’t control his actions, and you can’t cure this, only God can. You start with prayer and follow with a day-to-day commitment to love your spouse the way God loves you. You will be having all sorts of feelings that may come up: hurts anger, rejection and betrayal.  Don’t try to make it through this on your own. You’ve been deeply hurt and need other women to express your pain to; women who can provide support and comfort, and pray with you. Once your husband starts down the road to recovery, don’t expect him to become completely free from all sexual sin overnight, especially if he’s spent years saturating his mind with lust. I’m convinced that a man’s wife is his greatest asset in the battle against lust.


“My wife wants a divorce but I don’t. What can I do?” – Tracy, OK

You must know that you can’t manipulate or make someone love you or change their minds about divorce.  However, your actions can greatly contribute to them wanting to change their minds and wanting to save the marriage.  First, check to see if your behaviors or attitudes are pushing your spouse away.  If your negative emotions are all being released on your spouse it can serve to push them away.  Try to get them out another way.  Secondly, go back to the way you acted when you were dating.  You probably won’t feel like it but fake it till you make it.  This is not kissing up.  It’s biblical.  Ephesians 5:33, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Lastly, persist and don’t give up.”


“How should I prepare myself for marriage?” – Mandy, Santa Rosa, CA

A person who is spiritually mature and walking with God is more prepared for marriage than anyone else. Marriage demands commitment, passion, humility, love, and respect. These traits are most evident in a person who has an intimate relationship with God. As you prepare yourself for marriage, focus on allowing God to shape you and mold you into the man or woman He wants you to be. If you submit yourself to Him, He will enable you to be ready for marriage when that wonderful day arrives.  It is very important that you get pre-marital counseling before you get married by your pastor or Christian counselor or if you can find a couple to be your mentor. That is the preparation every believer needs to be ready for the great gift we call marriage.


“How should I prepare myself for marriage?” – Mandy, Santa Rosa, CA

A person who is spiritually mature and walking with God is more prepared for marriage than anyone else. Marriage demands commitment, passion, humility, love, and respect. These traits are most evident in a person who has an intimate relationship with God. As you prepare yourself for marriage, focus on allowing God to shape you and mold you into the man or woman He wants you to be. If you submit yourself to Him, He will enable you to be ready for marriage when that wonderful day arrives.  It is very important that you get pre-marital counseling before you get married by your pastor or Christian counselor or if you can find a couple to be your mentor. That is the preparation every believer needs to be ready for the great gift we call marriage.


“How do my boyfriend and I get past feeling guilty for “wanting” each other?” Belinda, FL

God created us to be attracted to each other and to desire physical intimacy; it’s a wonderful part of marriage. However, giving in to physical desire outside the protection of marriage is dangerous. To have a healthy, God-honoring relationship there must be accountability. Accountability means you are responsible or answerable to something or someone. The first thing I would suggest is group dating. Go out with a group rather than just the two of you. The chance of you getting into a compromising position in a group is unlikely and will hold you accountable. It is also a great way to really get to know someone. Next I would suggest avoiding at all cost being in a home together when no one else is around. This only sets you up for failure. In Philippians 3:3 Paul tells us to, “have no confidence in the flesh.” The final step would be for each of you to find an accountability partner. The accountability partner should be the same gender and mature in their faith in Jesus. That person should care about you enough to ask the tough questions and pray for you.

Just how ‘humble’ are you?

in the trials of divorce… we are sometimes so focused on the difficulty our spouse has put us through… “why?” We even think how we would never do that!  We, after all were “committed”…. we even agreed that we weren’t perfect! We are even now traveling this new committed path to get healthy.

I am going to ask you, what about your walk tells others that this is true? Do you brush your teeth so your mouth is healthy? Do you try to take vitamins and eat somewhat right so that your body is healthy? Do you wear something good for your feet so that they get you where you want to go? What about your Spirit, Soul and your Mind?  When you come to DivorceCare, you are courageously seeking to take care of our Soul your Spirit and your Mind. This is vital for even those who are bound to beds and wheel chairs…,  just thank the good Lord if you are not there!

A friend of mine offered up a class for get more healthy food for their Souls. Only a few people sign up for this class. On the morning it was to start, my friend, set the lighting to comfort, put on the warmth, and prepared the place for sharing. None of the small group of three showed up.  Not a one of them called, emailed, texted, or came.  My friend figured that they probably forgot, slept in, or made other plans…. Well, perhaps on the other hand, these who wanted this were too busy for “commitment”. what do you think?  My friend offered  a new start to all via email. No one responded.

I think God feels like this all the time! How humble are you with Jesus in this sam kind of plight? Could you kneel at His feet and say.. “I am sorry…. I screwed up!”  Would you say to Him.. lets give it another try. Would you admit.. I need this!

Do you think the people of this above story, so proud that they can’t be humble enough to say, “I am sorry, I do want what is good for me! Please, lets give it a go again!”?  Or, will they cut off their noses to spite their face?   If the answer to this question is yes….. They have so much the more pain and much Jesus character to learn.

I affirm the ones who commit to self growth and healing, and commit to a group, and don’t let anything less important become the devils lair.  In ‘humility’ we find release, freedom and forgiveness, along with commitment to growth, when Jesus and humility become number One!

Ouch rejection hurts

Life in it’s daily turn of events , is full of teaching and learning events. How much are you aware of them?

Do you tune out the pain or the embarrassments and keep plunging full speed ahead?  Do you why God allows these issues in your life? Come really, do you have an answer? Do you think everything is the Enamy of our Soul doing this to us? Or do you turn to your TV to get away from it, or your food, or bury your nose in Face Book and constantly hunt and gaze  at emails and other social media? Or, maybe you are like me.. I shop!

Today I learned I did not get the extra job I wanted. Yep, I feel like crying a bit…just because my feelings are hurt that I was not “picked”.  However, my mind’s eye has turned it eye upward… to God the father whom I work for first. I feel that He is saying it is really OK…  You must curb your spending, you must rest better, you must take time to think of me and relate to me…and yes, have a healthier mine to work for me… I have other plans for you.

And so, I feel the pain…  the dissappointment and re-adjust my sails for the next appointment he has for me. I feel better… I am not being having a fit because things aren’t going my way…. matter of fact I am feeling more calm… I ake a deep sign and realizwe I will be happier about this later on tomoorw and even more so next week.

Thank you Lord that You control my future and want what is best for me.  amen.

A L I F E S T Y L E O F S E R I O U S N E S S . . . . . PAUL TRIPP

Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc.


This is the fourth and final devotional from Hebrews 10:19-31. If you’ve missed any in the past, you can always catch up at

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins […] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:26-31)

I don’t have the space to unpack all these verses, but it’s crucial that we see how sin is talked about in this passage. Sin is not described as a breaking of some abstract law; sin is presented as a direct affront to the Triune God.

Look at the words used in these verses: “trampled underfoot the Son of God” […] “profaned the blood of the covenant” […] “outraged the Spirit of grace.” That’s serious language.

We live in a culture that doesn’t take sin seriously anymore. We call it “powerful advertising” – we ignore, minimize, laugh at, and sometimes even praise what God calls sin. We’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that sin isn’t so bad after all.

Brothers and sisters, we need to take sin incredibly seriously. Yes, the penalty for sin has been paid, but you can still be a Christian and ruin your life because you don’t take seriously the consequences of your sin.

Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” There is a direct correlation between the choices of your heart and the quality of your life.

Perhaps even more importantly, you can’t celebrate the beauty of the gospel until you recognize the ugliness of sin. Jesus becomes so much more precious when you realize just what He has rescued you from.

I would encourage you today – take seriously the consequence of your actions, and take seriously the ugly nature of your sin. Your life and your Savior grow in beauty as you do.

God bless

Paul David Tripp

Why might a law feel “easier” to break if its abstract instead of personal?

How does our culture ignore, minimize, laugh at or praise sin?

How did you ignore, minimize, laugh at or praise sin this past week?

How have you seen a direct correlation between the choices of your heart and the quality of your life?

How does Jesus become more precious as you take sin more seriously?

T R O U B L E . . . .

Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc.


Two weeks ago I wrote to you about trouble. I may not know who you are or what your life has been like, but I can almost guarantee that trouble has paid a visit, is currently visiting, or will visit your life in some capacity.

When trouble comes, it’s vital that you talk to yourself. I teach this principle all the time – no one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you as much as you do. What you say to you in moments of trouble will impact the way you respond.

David was a man well acquainted with trouble. Poor David; if you read the Psalms, he always seems to be in trouble! But in these moments, David was always talking to himself. We saw this in Psalm 27 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

There’s something else David did in times of trouble that’s very helpful; it’s found in Psalm 4 – “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!” (Psalm 4:1, ESV, emphasis mine)

In the midst of trouble, David remembered the acts of God. Notice how the above phrase is in the past tense – “you have given me relief when I was in distress.” He’s not thanking the Lord for currently relieving his distressing circumstances.

What can we learn from David? In times of trouble, it’s helpful to remember with specificity the past acts of God’s relieving mercy and grace.

You and I have such a short-term memory. Because of sin, we’re all about the gratification and pleasure of today. When trouble comes knocking, we get absorbed in the immediate, forgetting what God has delivered us from in the past and what he’s transforming us into for the future.

David speaks gospel sense to his soul: “Remember, this is not new. I’ve experienced trouble in the past and God was good to me then. He remains good to me today, and what I’m facing is not out of his loving and wise rule.”

I would guess that David learned this theological skill from his ancestors. In the Old Testament, God stops the rushing waters of the Jordan River so the nation of Israel can cross on dry land. The Lord tells Joshua to set out 12 memorial stones. Why? “So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty.” (Joshua 4:24)

I would encourage you to take notes from Joshua and David. Remember, with specificity, the good things God has done for you. Journal, take a picture, or do whatever else can help you, so when trouble comes knocking, you can say like David, “You have given me relief when I was I distress.”

God bless

Paul David Tripp

How often do you talk to yourself?

Reflect on some of the things you’ve said to yourself in the past week. What were you saying to you?

What, or who, are some influences that can shape what you say to you?

What are some examples from your life when God has given you relief from distress?

How can you create “memorial stones” to remind yourself that the hand of the Lord is mighty?