Stop The Culture of Death

I sat down yesterday afternoon after a great day with my mother to watch television and think about what was I going to write about for today. While I was just browsing for ideas for my post, I decided to check out the news from this weekend. All the news stories were related to death and children.

  • In New Orleans, during a Mother’s Day Parade 18 people were shot, 2 of them were children. It’s hard for me to understand what would make someone open fire in a Mother’s Day Parade.
  • In Valley Springs, California a 12 year old was arrested for stabbing his 8 year old sister.
  • In New Jersey, a man killed a woman and kept her three children hostage in the bedroom with their mother’s dead body until Sunday morning when they were finally released and the kidnapper was killed by the police.
  • In Kansas, the body of an 18 month old, who was missing, was found. Earlier last week her mother and two other men were found dead in a farm where they lived, but the child had been missing until her body turned up over the weekend.

I think I can stop there before we all crawl inside our closets to cry. Having said that, I refuse to allow the world of terror to paralyze my purpose. I truly believe that beyond grieving, this is a blaring call to action.

Parents, be aware of the things that your children have access to. Violent games and movies may seem innocent,but even when you tell yourself that your child knows that this is fantasy, it also desensitizes them to violence.

The rest of us should stop patronizing any company that promotes violence in the media. If we don’t buy it, they will have to change their ways. There are millions of Christians. How serious are you about what will you do to defend your faith? Will you allow yourself to be lukewarm and blend in the culture of this world or will you take a stand for what you know to be righteous?

We can also take action to those around us that we notice are dealing with mental health issues. Early intervention can make a huge difference. Sadness goes away with a change of scenery. Real depression, anxiety, anger and addictions are just as real diseases as diabetes and cancer and need to be treated by professionals. Being in treatment does NOT negate your faith.

I invite you TODAY to take a step against the culture of violence. Don’t ever think that there nothing you can do. It takes each and everyone of us, as the body of Christ, to work together in this war.

Never forget what we read in Ephesians 6:12

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Yes, we need to pray, but we also need to take action. As it says in James 2:26

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Until next time, be blessed

Remember today is the last day of my Mother’s Day Sale, get your copies now!

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International Day of Non-Violence

Yesterday was the International Day of Non-Violence against woman. It was chosen to be celebrated every year on October 2nd in honor to Mohandas Gandhi. I think it is of no coincidence that it’s the same month where we are making conscience and awareness of domestic violence issues.

The Secretary General for the United Nations said the following in his message regarding the day of non-violence, “I have made prevention a key priority in the five-year action agenda of the United Nations. But prevention means more than separating warring parties and cooling tensions. Fundamentally tackling the roots of conflict and intolerance will take a culture of non-violence and peace.”

This statement resonated with me in a great manner. In regards to violence, no matter which kind it’s more about prevention than reaction. In terms of domestic violence is knowing the signs early in a relationship to remove yourself before you become at risk.

Another way of prevention is the acknowledgement of anger tendencies within yourself and seeking help to avoid becoming an abuser.

Let’s talk about some of those early signs.

WARNING SIGNS

Many of the signs women are taught to interpret as caring, attentive, and romantic are actually early warning signs for future abuse. Some examples include:
INTRUSION:Constantly asking you where you are going, who you are with, etc.

ISOLATION: Insists that you spend all or most of your time together, cutting you off from friends and family.

POSSESSION AND JEALOUSY:  Accuses you of flirting/having sexual relationships with others; monitors your clothing/make-up.
NEED FOR CONTROL: Displays extreme anger when things do not go his way; attempts to make all of your decisions.

UNKNOWN PASTS / NO RESPECT FOR WOMEN: Secretive about past relationships; refers to women with negative remarks, etc.

MORE WARNING SIGNS

1. Was or is abused by a parent.
2. Grew up in a home where an adult was abused by another adult.
3. Gets very serious with boyfriends/girlfriends very quickly – saying “I love you” very early in the relationship, wanting to move in together or get engaged after only a few months, or pressuring partner for a serious commitment.
4. Comes on very strong, is extremely charming and an overly smooth talker.
5. Is extremely jealous.
6. Isolates partner from support systems – wants partner all to themselves, and tries to keep partner from friends, family or outside activities.
7. Attempts to control what partner wears, what she/he does or who she/he sees.
8. Is abusive toward other people, especially mother or sisters if he is a male.
9. Blames others for one’s own misbehavior or failures.
10. Has unrealistic expectations, like expecting partner to meet all of ones needs and be the perfect partner.
11. Is overly sensitive – acts ‘hurt’ when not getting one’s way, takes offense when others disagree with an opinion, gets very upset at small inconveniences that are just a normal part of life.
12. Has been cruel to animals in the past.
13. Has abused children.
14. Has hit a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past.
15. Has threatened violence, even if it wasn’t a serious threat.
16. Calls partner names, puts him/her down or curses at him/her.
17. Is extremely moody, and switches quickly from being very nice to exploding in anger.
18. If a male, believes women are inferior to men and should obey them.
19. Is intimidating, for example using threatening body language, punching walls or breaking objects.
20. Holds partner against his/her will to keep him/her from walking away or leaving the room.

The Road Home Cover (1)If you want to share your survivor story with us (even anonymously) please send us an email at therisingmuse@gmail.com If your story is chosen to be featured you will receive a copy of my new book The Road Home.  If you are currently enduring these situations and need prayer, do not hesitate to send us an email and we’ll pray for you.

Be blessed and be safe

October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence against woman.
Image via Wikipedia

Abuse is a cause very dear to my heart; all kinds of abuse. I think it’s despicable that someone will use their God’s given talents to overpower another creation and enslave it. October is domestic violence awareness month and I want to use this forum to give some hope to those who are in a domestic violence situation or recovering from it.

It may sound very basic, but there are people that have not realized that they are in a domestic violence situation. The primary causes its denial. Many people feel like their situation is not abusive because they don’t have bruises to show or their partners have never raised a hand on them. Others do know that they are being abused, but shame, guilt, erroneous beliefs, finances and fear may have them paralyzed to make a decision out of their abusive relationships. I don’t judge your choice of staying or leaving. All I do know is that God wants so much more for you.

Abuse comes in different shapes and forms. Physical abuse is more evident and not to be taken for granted. Emotional and psychological abuse is just as traumatizing and leaves permanent scars in those who endure them.

What is emotional and psychological abuse?

I want you to read the article in the link below. Basically it says that when you’re humiliated, manipulated and coerced into things that you don’t want to do. That’s emotional abuse!

http://www.womansdivorce.com/psychological-emotional-abuse.html

Regardless of the type of abuse someone is enduring, this is not what we were created for. For the most part the abuse comes from men to women, although we recognize that there are men that are being abused and it’s totally unacceptable as well. The Bible specifically states “God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.” So watch yourselves. (Malachi 2:16 MSG). In a marriage, who’s the “one flesh”? The spouse. God doesn’t approve of violence in our homes.

Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covered the mouth of the wicked” We are supposed to treat others in love, God doesn’t approve of verbally abusing each other. James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth proceeded blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” Our mouth was created to praise God, eat…lol!, and bless others…not to use it as a weapon against others.

There’s so much ground to cover on this subject. To be honest, I’m learning along with you. Join me in this journey during this month, to uncover the truth of God’s plan for our lives, which is to prosper us and give us a brighter future (Jeremiah 29:11) and not of destruction. Abuse destroys lives and that’s not the plan of God.

If you’re in an abusive situation, seek help. Even if a door doesn’t open right away, keep knocking. Yes pray, but act! Even if you’re not in a domestic violence situation, join us in this discussion and support our brothers and sisters in pain.

Be blessed.