Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Where am I Blogging?

Hello Friends

I've changed my blogging site! Feel free to look around but you can now find me blogging on my WEBSITE

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recap of Study: Wounded Women of the Bible

Chapter Two
Abigail: From Abused to Adored

Listen as Dena shares about Abigail's story. We are not alone in our suffering and Abigail's beautify resonates inside and out. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Recap of the Bibe Study: Wounded Women of the Bible

Hello Friends,

Thought I would share a recap of the Bible study my co-writer and I did at my website.

For more pictures and quotes of this week's study, visit my site.

Chapter One: From Friend to Foe
When we have been betrayed by someone we have trusted, it hurts. The hurt runs deeply through our veins and attaches itself like a tight-fitting glove. It’s not easily removed. The pain is ever present and strong.

Have you ever been betrayed by another woman? How did you handle it?

Who knows what happened to the relationship between the two (biblical) women? Some might say that the wound was too deep to mend. Others may say that a true friend would offer forgiveness.

What do you think? 

Sometimes friends hurt us. What we do with the hurt matters. Psalm 147:3 says “God heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” That binding is like a tightly-wrapped turban.
Think of a broken arm and having a cast placed on it so the arm can heal. God promises to do that for us, but here’s the secret to freedom: we must be willing to hand our wounds over to Him.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Battling the Darkness: Living with Depression

Robin William's suicide devastated America. We will miss this talented and gifted man. His suicide has raised awareness, sparked conversation, and opened doors for others to make phone calls to help lines.  Many of us have no idea how depression leads to such a place.

We do understand depression can be the result of a chemical imbalance. That alone is difficult to battle, but what happens when depression occurs from a direct result of our thought process, daily struggles, difficult battles in relationships, addictions, and so on?

Though not every person who struggles with depression is facing a spiritual battle - and I'm not one who believes that every bad thing that happens to us is from the devil - I do believe in spiritual attacks. How we battle them, or not, impacts the outcome of our daily walk on this earth.  

For those of you who feel your depression might be a spiritual battle, below are a few things we can do when facing the darkness. 

#1 - Keep Your Strength Up: The enemy attacks when we are weak. Like Ahithopel said to Absalom when trying to fight against David. “I would choose twelve thousand men and set out tonight in pursuit of David. I would attack him while he is weary and weak. (2 Samuel 17:1-3). The enemy understands where we are and will attack us in the midst of our weakness.  

·         Make Sure You Have A Good Support System in Place: It's important to have friends cover you in prayer when you are struggling. In order for those friends to take action, we must also be active in letting others know how we're feeling. When depression takes over we often feel alone. Make sure you keep a log of names and numbers of people you can turn to when you start to feel discouraged and troubled. The problem occurs when we don’t reach out right away. The key is to not allow yourself to fall too far down the black hole before reaching out. Rather than feeling as if you can handle it, can you reach out to someone when your depression starts?

·         Stay in God’s Word: We gain strength in our mind and soul when we come to understand what the scriptures tell us. It’s difficult to battle the enemy if we don’t understand how he might try to deceive us. Jesus battled the enemy by speaking God’s word. The enemy will try to scar us and instill doubts and darkness into our life. The only way to battle against that is to speak a truth of what God’s word says. God says you are valuable, you do matter, you are loved, you are good, and you do have people who care about you. The enemy will have you believe those are lies. Battle the enemy with a truth.

#2 - Be Alert and of Sober Mind: Why? Because “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) It’s easy to let ourselves go – physically, emotionally, and yes spiritually. There are four areas of our life we need to keep working on to make sure we’re healthy: Relationships, Body, Spirit, and Mind. Unfortunately, many of us work really hard on one or two areas and forget about the rest. To conquer and master all four areas is a difficult task and something we cannot do alone. It takes God walking with us, the Holy Spirit pointing out those areas, and our “want to” to make it work.

But if we are to become alert and clearheaded (of sober mind), then we need to step back and look at the areas in our life that need our attention: 
  • Assess - Asses where you are.
  • Action - It's not enough to say, "Hey I'm feeling really crummy right now" We need to take action - move - step - tell someone.
  • Alleviate - Lighten your load by taking your medication, seeing a therapist, seeking pastoral counseling, joining a support group, getting involved in a Bible study, attending Celebrate Recovery (which is a great way to have accountability, support, and others facing the same issues as you), and so much more.  

Below is a great site about depression. 
Praying for you and together we can make a difference. You never have to step alone.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wrestling with Life

This morning, as I opened my Bible, I came across a wrinkled note card. My mind was immediately taken back to those days my son wrestled in middle school. Though I loved the sport, as a mom I was a nervous wreck!

Perhaps my heart would have been more settled if my son's team stood on the mat with him, but that isn't wrestling. Wrestling is when two people face each other and battle it out - just the two of them. With that said, my son was never alone. His entire team stood on the sidelines and shouted words of "You got this! You can do it!"

One day I came across a scripture and decided to write it down for my son. Before his match I read this passage to him. I never thought this scripture would prove to strengthen me as well.

"Get up and get dressed. Go out! For see, today I have made you immune to their attacks. You are strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar, or bronze wall. None of the Kings, officials, priests, or people of Judah will be able to stand against you. They will try, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the Lord have spoken."  Jeremiah 1:17-19 (NLT)

Of course I changed the ending of the verse to sound something like this:

"None of your opponents will be able to stand against you. They will try . . ."  and my son's response was, "But they will fail."

My son didn't win every match but he stood without fear and overcame difficult challenges. One of his greatest victories came when asked to wrestle up from his weight category in a varsity tournament. As a sixth grader he had never wrestled before this year.

His opponent stood taller and weighed more. But before facing the giant, my son had to work his way up to the big guy. He had to win every match to get to the championship.  He dug deep and pulled out strength we didn't know he had. He fought hard. The battles were tough and tiring. But in the end, my son stood tall, undefeated, and with a championship victory medal around his neck.

Life can be very much like that. And there are days we need to say to our self, "Get up! Get dressed! you can do this!" Our strength comes from Christ - but it is also a battle of the mind and heart. If my son didn't believe he could do it, he probably would have failed. Had he feared his opponents, he probably wouldn't have fought as hard as he did.

My encouragement to you today is to rise up in the name of the Lord. Set your thoughts upon Christ's strength. The battle has been won. The enemy has been defeated. The victory is ours. Greater is He [God] who is in you, than he [Satan] who is in the world.

Through Christ, you are stronger than you think . . . and God says, "I will take care of you. I, the Lord have spoken."

Three Things to Set You on the Path to Victory

  1. Get in the Word:  Come to understand the power of God's strength. We do that by reading about Him and His victories. God is our coach. 
  2. Change your thinking: Believe God created you with purpose and passion. He will turn your pain into something far greater than expected. God will use your pain to change you and others if you will allow it.   
  3. Build Strength: Just like those who work out to build muscle strength, the same could be said for us trying to live in a dangerous world. We need to strengthen our hearts and minds. We do that by memorizing scripture, posting passages around your home, car, and office, and by meditating on God's word. Believe that through Christ you can rise up from a defeated position to a victorious stance.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Where Are You Looking For Help?

A Van from God

Carolyn Counterman’s world turned upside down by her family members’ problems, as well as her own. She had had to resign from her job because she couldn't work and deal with post-traumatic stress disorder at the same time. She says, “We thought God would surely get us through—but then the family fell apart. My son went to prison. My daughter-in-law lost custody of the kids because of her drug use, and because she had covered up my son’s crime.”

Carolyn and her husband suddenly had four grand-kids living with them. They wondered how they were going to feed, clothe, and transport the children to appointments and church.
“We didn't mind asking God for food. We even asked Him for clothes, though it made me a little uncomfortable,” Carolyn says. ”But when a woman suggested to me that we pray for a van, I balked. Sure, we were having to take two cars everywhere we went with the kids, and it was an inconvenience. However, I had been taught as a youngster not to ask God for material things. We had three cars already. One of them was not paid for, and another needed repairs, but we had them. This woman was insistent, though, that we pray for a van.”

The couple didn't have anything to lose by asking, so they prayed for a van: “It wouldn't hurt our feelings if God said no, because we never expected Him to say yes.”

Then things got worse. Carolyn’s father, who lived with them, began to have major problems with his car, so he borrowed their slightly broken car. Without her husband’s income, Carolyn’s daughter-in-law lost her van because she couldn't pay for it. So her in-laws lent her another of their cars. Says Carolyn, “We were down to one unpaid-for car—and sharing a broken car with my dad. Then the call came, while I was standing in the middle of Wal-Mart looking at socks. Some old friends had seen me joke on Facebook about needing a van. They wanted to know if anyone had solved my transportation problem. I said no.”

The friends told Carolyn they wanted to buy her a van. She was floored. “They apologized—actually apologized—that it was not new and not the model I wanted!” she says.

Her friends bought the family a van, paying the tax, title, and license fees. They transferred it into Carolyn’s name and handed her the key.

She says, “God had said ‘Yes!’ when I expected Him to say no. With our family so messed up, I expected God to be displeased with us, but He decided to bless us instead. He gave our friends a heart for our family and the money to buy a van. I know that God is not short on cash, but I still get surprised when He spends it on me.”

Excerpt from Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts
Written by: Dena Dyer & Tina Samples
This excerpt was written by Dena Dyer

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Women Who Abuse: Break the Cycle

We’ve come to a place in today’s society where we no longer tolerate women living in abusive relationships with men. There are countless shelters for women, counseling centers, and help for the abused woman. But what about men living in abusive relationships? How do men break the cycle of abuse from their partner? 

The world is filled with men who live in abusive relationships, yet never report it. We can understand how a man may feel embarrassed and ashamed of that.

Men in abusive relationships dates back farther than we imagine. We’ve all heard of Jezebel and even used her name to describe women in today’s world. Ahab married Jezebel, a controlling, powerful, and abusive woman.

Jezebel was the dominant force in their marriage. The moment Ahab stepped into that relationship, he succumbed to the queen's authority. Any religious boundaries Ahab had went out the door when he submitted to Jezebel and began worshipping her false idols.
Not only did his submission cause him to worship her gods but he set up “an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria.  Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.” (I Kings 16:31-32 NIV)
If anyone asked, “Ahab, why did you set up those false gods and turn to worshipping them?” He may have answered, “Because Jezebel wanted it.; because Jezebel said to do it.” Ahab wasn’t a dominant figure, but had a more passive personality when it came to his relationship with Jezebel.

Later on we see Elijah, the Lord’s prophet, confront Ahab and tell him that a famine was coming and no rain would fall. This was God’s way of trying to get Ahab’s attention. During the famine, Jezebel turned to murder and began killing off the Lord’s prophets. (I Kings 18:4)

Again we see Jezebel’s dominance rise in the relationship as she tries to control the situation through murder. Nowhere in scripture do we find Ahab giving the order to kill God’s prophets. We also see in scripture that Ahab does nothing to intervene. Ahab becomes passive and allows Jezebel to carry out her angry mission. Does this sound familiar? If the roles were reversed could we see it?

Women in abusive relationships often submit to their spouse’s criminal behavior. Due to fear and intimidation of the abuser, they choose not to intervene. The same could be said of men in abusive relationships. In order to keep the peace, they submit, walk on egg shells, release any rights they may have in the relationship, have a difficult time standing up for what's right, lose their ability to speak truth into their partner, justify the wrong as being okay with them (even though it's not), and work hard to please their partner by doing whatever she asks.

A female’s verbal abuse can be just as powerful as any man’s abuse toward a woman. Abusive women attack a man’s character, his ability to perform as head of the house, as a father, or provider.

During one of Ahab’s pitiful moments, Jezebel, his wife, said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel?” Such phrases have been said from abusive women in today’s world, “Is this how you act as a man? Is this how you act as the leader of our home?” An abusive woman may demand the man in her life to step up, but then she sabotages his ability to do so (unrealistic expectations, hurtful acts, lack of ability to share in responsibilities, lack of respect for any authority he may try to assert, and so on).

Jezebel’s abusive personality came through her incredible ability to intimidate. Elijah, who just had the power to stand in front of all of Israel, call on the name of God to come forth, and slay all of Jezebel’s prophets, could not stand against Jezebel’s intimidation.(I Kings 19)

 This passage gives us a clear view of the control Jezebel had over others, including Ahab. After Elijah destroyed the false prophets, Ahab ran all the way home and told on Elijah. What was really going on in Ahab’s mind when he did that? “I didn’t do it? I had nothing to do with it? Victims fall into that trap. They can align with the abuser just to feel affirmed and to receive some kind of attention from them.

When Jezebel heard what Elijah did, she swore to do to him what he had done to her prophets. Elijah was so intimidated by her words that he ran for his life. Elijah understood Jezebel's dominant personality and took the threat serious. Not only did Elijah run for his life, but despaired! Her abuse led him right to the desert and under a broom tree crying out to God to take his life. Now that is intimidation. Elijah was a strong mountain man, prophet of the most High King, and one who understood God’s power. But this picture gives us a clear picture of the strength and personality of an abusive woman, as well as the effect it can have on a man.
The good news is, God came along and saved Elijah. God fed, strengthened, and breathed new life into his scared soul. God also showed Elijah that he was not alone. God will do the same for the abused man in today's world.

If you know of someone in an abusive relationship, encourage them to get help. Pray for those women and men hurting in abusive relationships.