Category Archives: Uncategorized

Don’t Go To Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight by Deb & Ron DeArmond


Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Price: $14.99
Purchase: Amazon | CBD | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

We’ve all been there. He doesn’t understand what she’s really upset about. He thinks she blows things out of proportion. Neither of you can agree on the right course of action. In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace?

In Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Marriage is worth fighting for. Conflict isn’t the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Combining a healthy dose of personal experience with relationship-affirming biblical wisdom, Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can lead to greater insight and understanding of thoughts, feelings, and perspectives that can safeguard–and even strengthen–your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets, discussion questions, callouts, and prayers make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting–together–for your marriage.

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Review

Wow! I have read books on marriage, and I have to say, this book takes the cake. There is so much to like about it. Seriously. You would think for a short book, it wouldn’t contain so much relevant information, but it does and then some.

The main premise of this book is how to communicate in a marriage and tools on how to resolve conflict effectively. I honestly wish this book existed before I married my husband thirteen years ago. I pretty much did everything this book advises against.

I have gotten into conversations with friends about how there isn’t a guidebook on what to do when you get married. Here you have two people coming together, from different worlds, upbringings, and communication styles. You know the saying, the “honeymoon is over?” Well, when you start living with your spouse, stuff starts coming up and if you don’t know how to fight fairly, or resolve conflict, you are going to find yourself in a very precarious situation. Don’t God To Bed Angry can help as it is a guidebook on how to do marriage successfully.

So, for any of you who are thinking of getting married or are married, I highly, and I mean HIGHLY, recommend this book. It doesn’t matter how many years you have been married, or how many problems you have had, or even if you are at the brink of divorce, you need to get this book. The information contained in this book alone, if practiced and applied, can revolutionize and save your marriage. Guaranteed.

This is by far one of the best marriage books I have read in years. I give five stars, but if I could give it more, I would. I will be referring to this book and recommending it to everyone.

In conclusion, I want to thank authors, Deb and Ron DeArmond for sharing their lives by helping me and other married couples. I also want to thank Abingdon Press for publishing this gem of a book, and last but not least, my Litfuse Publicity Group family for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review. Thank you, it truly blessed my life.

Deb DeArmond is an author, speaker, and coach with a focus on communication, relationships, and conflict resolution. Her writing explores marriage, parenting, in-law and extended family relationships. She is the author of “Related By Chance, Family By Choice” and “I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last.” Deb is the founder of Living-Write, where she coaches aspiring authors. She’s monthly columnist and feature writer for Lifeway’s “Mature Living” Magazine, and has published more than 120 articles online and in print publications. Ron DeArmond has a hungry heart for the Word, and has studied the Bible for 45+ years. Ron’s call to serve men is evident in his previous ministry positions with Christian Men’s Network under Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole and Faithful Men Ministry. Ron is currently the Associate Pastor of men’s ministry at Catch the Fire/ DFW and has ministered around the world. The DeArmonds live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Precipice Of The Impossible

I am standing on a precipice of the impossible.

by Rafaelll90 in Manipulations

On the edge, ready to free fall into the unknown.

If you have been following my posts recently, you will know that I’ve been involved in advocating for someone who has been wrongfully convicted. I’m trying to help as best I can, but I am continually reminded of my own limitations.

This is probably the biggest test of faith I have ever experienced. This situation is like climbing the Mt. Everest. It seems impossible!

Having faith and believing God has taken on a whole other meaning.

As doubt invades my consciousness like a cancer and a war wages in my heart, I feel impotent to make a difference.

I don’t have money, I don’t have connections, I don’t have prestige.

However, I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to help bring awareness or attention to a gross injustice.

Patience is not one of my virtues. I want everything yesterday. This type of thinking comes with living and working in a fast paced city. A city where everything is dependent upon results.

Day in and day out, I’m not seeing any results. It’s beyond discouraging.

I’ll be honest, sometimes I want to throw in the towel and give up. But then I think, what if tomorrow is the day things change?

I am an ordinary servant dependent upon an extraordinary God, who has the ability to change the impossible to possible in an instant.

I would love nothing more than to see God move on this man’s behalf.

But, what I’m learning the hard way is that it’s not going to happen when I want it to. It will happen in His timing, not mine.

I am not in control, He is. I don’t call the shots, He does.

I am a co-laborer with God. (I Corinthians 3:9)  I just need to do my part and leave the rest to Him.

I’m desperate to prove this man’s innocence and have other’s see what I see. However, only God has the power to move on man’s hearts, open blind eyes and deaf ears.

It is “not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6)

As I stand on a precipice of the impossible, I may not see the results, but God sees everything. He knows this man is innocent better than I do and in His perfect timing, justice will prevail.

It’s just a matter of time. When it does happen, may the Lord receive all the glory, honor and praise.

Have you ever faced something that was bigger than you? A situation that seemed impossible? Did God come through for you?

 

Racism, Injustice and Innocence

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a thing about injustice. Especially racial injustice.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

I am against racism, prejudice, inequality and injustice that black and hispanics are faced with everyday.

White people turn away and pretend it doesn’t exist, but it does. You would think in 2014 we would be past all this. But unfortunately, racial injustice is alive and well.

I haven’t been blogging as I’ve been busy and advocating for a black man who was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit. He’s sentenced for life without parole and is in SHU (Special Housing Unit, which is just a fancy word for solitary confinement).

This man is one of many who are kept in a 9 by 12 cell, (which is a little larger than your average bathroom or elevator), for 22 hours a day. He is allowed two hours of recreation daily, which he takes advantage of, rain or shine.

It pains me to know he and many others are innocent and paying for crimes they didn’t commit.

Our politicians, judges, district attorney’s, and law enforcement are all in it together to continue incarcerating the poor, blacks and hispanics. So long as they get their promotions and money. Everything is motivated by ambition and greed.

There are many in prison right now who should have been released a long time ago, but because they are trapped in a backwards and draconian system called Rockefeller drug laws, they remain incarcerated.

The average statistics show the racial disparity that exists in prisons across America. They seem to find any excuse to put a black or latino man behind bars.

Inmates across America are treated like animals, instead of human beings. Our flawed justice system is more focussed on penalization, than rehabilitation. And people wonder why the rate of recidivism is so high. There is nothing in place to help rehabilitate those who are incarcerated or programs offered when they are released.

How are things suppose to improve if there is nothing implemented for change to take place? They think they can turn a blind eye at the problem that exists. They continue the vicious cycle of putting someone’s father, son, uncle, brother, and pregnant mother behind bars. They have deluded themselves into thinking things will improve on their own accord.

The system is set up for failure.

Our society has forgotten those in prison. The mentality is “lock them up and throw away the key”. Not only by society, but by family and friends too.

How can friends and family disassociate themselves from their loved ones and act as if they don’t exist or died? Those in prison are stripped of everything, and are no longer considered human.

What happened to redemption and second chances?

Can you imagine those sitting on death row right now waiting for their execution or serving life sentences who are innocent? Imagine these same people not having the financial means to afford proper legal representation to help prove their innocence? Even when they reach out to The Innocence Project, they get no response and are ignored. What hope do they have of ever getting help?

Furthermore, how many innocent people were executed or rotting in prison?

It’s a sad situation and those who are black or hispanic are victims in this flawed and corrupt system. They are subjected to penalization and are at the mercy of “whatever”, if they don’t have the money to hire a good lawyer to help them.

I can tell you from personal experience that it’s impossible to get a lawyer willing to help. They will not get involved unless they are paid a lot of money. There is no such thing as pro bono anymore.

So, what chance do they have in a system designed to keep them there? Once they exhaust all their funds, they are stuck and unable to get out of the vicious cycle.

I agree with Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

Something needs to be done to set change in motion. Those who are innocent, need access to proper legal representation, even if they don’t have the money. There needs to be more help for organizations such as The Innocence Project. There are solutions, but our government and politicians are not interested, they are only fixated on their own interests, instead of advocating for change.

How do you think we can mobilize change for those stuck in our broken justice and prison system? How can those in prison get the help they need? Please share your comments below.

 

 

 

Web of Lies

We want life to be predictable. All nice, neat and tidy. Not messy.

We want to believe life is fair, justice prevails and everything happens for reason.

We strive to build our worlds, our little kingdoms here on earth, only to find ourselves spinning a web of lies.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

We want everything to be black or white. Not gray. Where everything makes sense.

What if I told you life is messy? Would you believe me?

We grope around like someone finding their way in the dark. We’re reluctant to face our own mortality because it’s frightening.

Toiling for meaning, we spin our web, creating pseudo realities, convinced we control our destinies.

Weaving idyllic fantasies. Subtle urges vying for our attention. Secret longings tugging and desires dancing upon hearts.

Warm breezes caress our faces like a gentle hand, whispering sweet nothings in our ears of what once was.

Enticed, seduced, we plunge further into an abyss, a quick sand of hopelessness.

We are like that butterfly caught in a spider’s web, fighting to be set free.

 

Art, Pigeons and Derrière’s

I’m done with the politics. Let me just put it to you straight. I don’t brown nose or kiss people’s derrière’s. I am real and when I compliment or do anything for anyone, it isn’t to earn brownie points.

I’m not good at following the crowd either. I’ve been a loner for most of my life and learned to be independent. I’m not into social clubs, cliques, societies, sororities, or pigeons.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

I’m not of the mentality,  “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine.”

The false pretense of political niceties for the sake of gaining something. The manipulative use of the word “generous” makes my stomach turn.

I am an artist.

If I have to die with only a small following, so be it. I’m not going to compromise and sell out for recognition.

I want my art and work to stand for itself.

So long as I know I am creating work I am proud of, that’s enough for me.

But, I’m not willing to prostitute my art for the sake of pigeons.

Pigeons will flock to you when you’re giving them food, but the minute you stop, they move on.

People be pimping their art for a buck. They’re willing to settle, compromise and sell out.

I have no time for that, life’s too short.

I don’t know how many years I have left on this earth, but I refuse to waste whatever time I do have by earning favors.

To me, that’s not art.

I’m not knocking those who do, if others feel the necessity to do this sort of thing, hey, all the power to them. I can only speak for myself.

The herd mentality isn’t for me, it has an eery familiarity to that of a cult. Some people refer to it as “community”, which I believe is a bunch of crock.

If you pay close attention and look passed the façade, you will notice everything they do is based on their own gain through manipulation and the exploitation of trust.

This my friends is not art nor the prescription of success.

If this is what it means to succeed as an artist, then I don’t want any part of it. I’ll work in Corporate America the rest of my life, it’s way more honest.

I rather success be earned through hard work. I want my art to stand on its own merit, rather than favors, contacts and connections.

For me, art is not about politics, pigeons and posteriors.

It’s about using the gifts God placed inside me, and waiting on His perfect timing.

Where do you stand on this matter? How do you define art?

Fear Not

God keeps telling me this over and over again…

Courtesy of Arno Design

Yet, I still seem to fear. I guess I should cut myself some slack because it’s not like everything is hunky dory lately. Between Korea threating to nuke us and the recent tragedy in Boston, well, we are definitely living in shaky and uncertain times.

If I’m honest, which you all know I aim to be, I have been sensing a tidal wave coming for years now. My husband and close friends have heard me refer to hard times coming when there didn’t seem to be any evidence of it.

I guess this is the reason why I related to the late Reverend David Wilkerson. Some mocked him as a “doom and gloom” preacher, however, this was furthest from the truth. 

I can tell you firsthand as I witnessed this humble and prayful pastor weep over his congregation and New York City for years. I watched in awe how God used this simple man to preach powerful sermons and use him mightily for this generation. 

I believe the mantle which was upon him was passed on to Pastor Carter Conlon. Much like Elijah with Elisha in 1 Kings 19:19. The Word coming forth at the pulpit lately has been powerful indeed.

Pastor Carter came out with a book a few months ago entitled, Fear Not: Living Courageously in Uncertain Times. He also just came out with a new book which he is encouraging every Christian to read, Unshakeable: Trusting God When All Else Fails.

He is not making any profit off of his books. One hundred percent of the proceeds goes toward helping feed children.

I need to read these books, sooner than later. I need the encouragement. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m not sensing peace lately. I’m uneasy, restless and feeling tension in the atmosphere for quite sometime now.

Needless to say, I have been praying a lot. Not sure, what is coming, but God knows and continues to speak to me by saying, Fear not. So I am holding on to His promise for dear life and I hope you will too.

In conclusion, I wanted to ask those of you who are reading this post, if you wouldn’t mind praying and interceeding for this country. May we all draw closer to the Father and each other in the days ahead.

Thank you for praying, interceeding and standing in the gap with me. May the Lord receive all the glory and His name be lifted high. For I know that my Redeemer lives. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

It’s About Giving

Courtesy of Creative Commons

This week while walking to catch my bus after a long hard day of work. I noticed something folded on the dirty asphalt street.

I looked down and discovered it was a twenty dollar bill. I stuck it in my left coat pocket and ran to catch my bus.

The following morning I was commuting back to work and reading a book I am reviewing. The author was discussing how he struggles with giving money to the homeless. He felt as a believer, he shouldn’t hold back in giving to someone in need.

I felt convicted because I thought about how many times I pass homeless people on the streets of Manhattan and don’t give anything. I hesitate because like the author, I tend to think they will just spend it on alcohol or drugs.

However, I realize when I give, I’m giving unto the Lord. What they do with the money isn’t really my concern. God knows and that’s all that matters.

I got off the bus and walked my usual route to work. However, this time while I was walking, I see this young teenage girl sitting on the cold concrete sidewalk with a sign saying she is homeless and needs thirty dollars by the end of the day to sleep in a motel.

What struck me about her was that she wasn’t the typical homeless person. At least, not the ones I have come across on the streets of New York City. She was young, dressed in clean clothing and reading a book. She was different.

I walked past her. Until the Lord brought to my remembrance what I read on the bus and the twenty dollar bill stuck in my coat pocket which I had completely forgotten about it.

It struck me odd that I would find a neatly folded twenty dollar bill in the middle of the street on a busy intersection during rush hour. I wondered why I was the only one who saw it.

God knew I would be passing this homeless girl and wanted me to give her the money.

So I quickly turned around and walked back to her. As I handed her the money, I told her I found it on the street last night and Jesus wanted me to give it to her.

She thanked me and I continued on my way.

I could have missed it, but thankfully, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me.

*****

This incident made me think about the meaning of Christmas.

I believe the true meaning of Christmas is about giving to those in need. Those who are less fortunate, especially the children.

Which is why I blog for Compassion International. I believe in what they are doing in helping the poor, hungry and homeless children around the world.

Won’t you join me in helping and giving to children in need? Please click here to see the ways in which you can help a child this Christmas season.

Letting Go by Dayna Bickham

“In the moment.”

I love that phrase. It makes me feel like twirling around and around like a little kid. Why? Because it is so freeing to live “In the moment”. It means I have let go of the constraints of others. It means I have given up trying to control everything. It means that I am not living full of anxiety or worry over the future. I am in the moment.

In this moment I can choose to rest. I can choose to risk, I can choose to reach. I can choose to create. I can choose to pray. I can choose to listen. I can choose to serve with an ordinary life in an extraordinary way.

There are times in our lives when planning and working toward goals are necessary, but we cannot let our lives become overcrowded with “to-do’s” that we forget that our lives are not our own.

Bought with a price, we now belong to God. His vision for us is far reaching and He has plans. Our job is to live in the moment: obedient to Him.

His ways are perfect, and by living for Him in the moment, and exchanging my plans for His, I live and breath in His freedom. I delight in His ways.

So I will live in the moment. I will let go of my plans and my ways and I will follow His plans and His ways. I will choose to delight myself in Him. I will not be a self-obsessed control freak and I will go where my Father leads me.

What is your favorite “live in the moment” memory? 

 

P.S.

Hey ya’ll, (yep I am a Southerner)

I have a new book out! Actually, it is my first one! I have never been so happy and so scared all at the same time! The reason I am telling you this is because I know how much you and Pilar love books! The Purpose of Chosen is a fresh look at the story of David and Goliath. There is so much to learn about our purpose in this world, and this book explores these themes:

1) Who You Are
2) The Value of Preparation
3) The Value of Work
4) The Value of Your Testimony
5) The Importance of Knowing Your Camp
6) Learning to Recognize Opportunity
7) How to Build Your Arsenal and Overcome any Giant

Filled with 30 insightful and heart searching questions, this short book is perfect for book clubs and small groups. It is available in paperback and in Kindle formats. This full color book is illustrated and easy to read. Perfect for younger people and for people who have a hard time reading a longer book, The Purpose of Chosen is designed and written to encourage and challenge you.

What you believe about yourself affects ever aspect of your life: often in ways you don’t even realize. You may be convinced that “this” is all there is, but there is more for you. You were made for more than a mundane life, you were made to live with purpose. You have been chosen, like David, for more than even you know.

When you discover who you are designed to be you can see that life is not just a random stream of evens, but opportunities for greatness– in the moment–and you will also see that if you arm yourself properly, no giant can stand in the way of what God has for you.

Click here to buy my new book, and be sure to drop me a line at ayearinthespirituallife@hotmail.com  to tell me what you think!

 

Gratitude

Yesterday I was griping and complaining.

Poor ole me had to stand on a long line at Port Authority. I was annoyed because I had left early from work to get home and do laundry. I was beside myself because “my” plan wasn’t working out.

While I was waiting for the line to move, I started scanning through Facebook. I came across a status update regarding someone in another country who works seven days from 8:30am until 8:00pm for only $3.00 a week. I was immediately convicted. 

Here I was complaining, but I have so much to be grateful for. 

Courtesy of Creative Commons

This morning I started thinking about how big God is. I had this moment at rush hour where I saw humans as little specks or ants. We don’t want to see ourselves as small. Our ego and pride gets in the way of allowing us to see our true state.

We think we are bigger and mightier than we are. But we are not. We are frail, we are weak and we are powerless. 

I can see your grimace…  It hurts doesn’t it?

Yes, it hurts our flesh because we long to matter, to have significance and make a mark in this world. The fact that we don’t have as much control as we think, terrifies us.

The Apostle Paul says, “for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

What a contradiction from what the world tells us. The world tells us to be strong and not to show weakness. 

However, the truth is, when we surrender and reach the end of ourselves, is when God’s power is made manifest. (Romans 8:11)

Let me give you an example. While I was in physical therapy today. I started trying to help out my physical therapist. He starts laughing and says, “Hey, stop being so independent, you are messing things up here.”  I have a bad habit of meddling and trying to help, instead of allowing others to do their job.

Guess what? This is exactly what we do with the Holy Spirit. We try to help Him out. In the process of trying to help Him out, we mess things up. We get in the way of allowing Him to do what He does best.

Today I am grateful for Jesus, all His blessings and provisions. 

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.  

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.” (Philippians 2:13-15)

In conclusion, I am remembering and praying for all the families today.

What are you grateful for?

Right Where You Are by Tammy Helfrich

I am honored to have Tammy Helfrich guest post today.  She is a remarkable and godly woman whom I have had the pleasure of meeting on the Micheal Hyatt Platform Launch Team.  I really enjoy reading her posts as she never fails to bless me.  Please be sure to follow her Blog | Facebook | Twitter.

A theme has continued to come to my mind over and over lately.

You can make a difference right where you are.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

You don’t have to become a missionary and move to Africa.

You don’t have to start a nonprofit.

You don’t have to save the world in one day.

After years of fighting with God, I finally gave up the illusion of control I thought I had. I surrendered everything to Him. But shortly afterwards, I was conflicted. I wanted to do something that mattered. I wanted to do something BIG. I wanted to change the world!

As I wrestled with this, I kept hearing God’s voice.

Make a difference here.

Right where you are.

Stop and pay attention to the people I’ve placed around you.

That was eye-opening for me. I started thinking hard about that and spent lots of time talking with God about it.

Where was the first place I started?

In my family. With my spouse. I started paying attention. I also listened when God told me to “be quiet & back off.” My frustration and irritation with my spouse was not helping what God was trying to do in his heart. In fact, I was in the way. (Ouch!)

I started paying more attention to my kids and trying to be present when I was with them. I tried not to be distracted by my phone or on Facebook or Twitter.

Where else did I pay attention?

At work. To the people in the cubicles next to me. I started listening and asking them about their families, their lives, their dreams. I took the time to get to know them.

I started truly listening to God when He prompted me. If I felt led, I would reach out to someone at church. Someone I didn’t know and typically wouldn’t reach out to. I started obeying God faster. Even when it didn’t make sense, or I felt uncomfortable.

I started doing more random acts of kindness. Without telling anyone about it. I started helping when I saw a need. Sometimes it was incredibly simple. Other times, it requires some sacrifice.

But, guess what happened?

God started blessing me just as much (if not more) than those I was paying attention to. And people started opening up to me. Other people weren’t paying attention to them. They felt they could be transparent with me. And all I did was listen.

I am still learning when it comes to obeying God and learning to make a difference where I am. But I am now encouraging others to do the same.

It doesn’t require heroic effort, usually. The majority of the time, I am amazed at how God uses the simplest acts of obedience to bless someone else.

How has someone made a difference in your life recently?

What can you do today to make a difference for someone around you?