Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bible Study Wednesdays - John 10:10

The following information has been taken directly from the book “Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman” written by Reverend Marie Fortune, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. 

For the next 12 weeks, New Life Today will study one verse each Wednesday. 

The following is a selection of scriptures and her interpretation on a variety of issues that may be of importance to a woman: roles of husbands and wives, parenting, divorce, understanding true religious conversion and seeking shelter.

Here, Jesus is saying that some people come among us to hurt and destroy others. Jesus came so that we might know fullness of life and feel safe and happy. When He promised abundant life, He was referring to spiritual abundance. Primary to this spiritual abundance is feeling safe and unafraid in your own home, knowing hat you are loved and respected for who you are. This is God’s will for you and your children.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bible Study Wednesday - 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

The following information has been taken directly from the book “Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman” written by Reverend Marie Fortune, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. 

For the next 13 weeks, New Life Today will study one verse each Wednesday. 

The following is a selection of scriptures and her interpretation on a variety of issues that may be of importance to a woman: roles of husbands and wives, parenting, divorce, understanding true religious conversion and seeking shelter.

You are valued in God’s eyes; your whole self is regarded by God as a temple, a sacred place. Just as God does not want a temple defiled by violence, 
neither does God want you to be harmed. 
God’s spirit dwells in you and makes you holy. 
You deserve to live without fear and without abuse.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Change Begins with Choice by Jim Rohn

Any day we wish; we can discipline ourselves to change it all. Any day we wish; we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish; we can start a new activity. Any day we wish; we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.

We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause. 

As Shakespeare uniquely observed, "The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves." We created our circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth. They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth.

We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.

And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life - If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life - and it all begins with your very own power of choice. 

You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life - and it all begins with your very own power of choice. 

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn 

Emanuel James "Jim" Rohn was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Testimonial Tuesday - Be Strong by Min. Michelle Goodwine

Often the perception that people have of domestic violence victims and survivors is that we are weak.  Most of the times we even have that same impression of ourselves.  And because of that misperception we remain in an abusive relationship.  We wrongly belief that we are too weak to leave-too weak to live on our own--too weak to raise our children by ourselves.  But those are all false statements.   God wanted me to tell all those domestic violence victims who believe they are too weak to become survivors and move on with their lives to be strong.

My testimonial today is that I once thought all of those false beliefs. But now I know the truth.  The reality is that whatever I lack in strength, God provides.  The truth is that is takes a great deal of strength to live as a victim in an abusive relationship.  People don't understand the level of tenacity it takes to be in a relationship with someone whose moods are unpredictable - who can go from happy to hateful in a matter of minutes. But God does not want us to live that lifestyle.  His word says that "Love is kind."  God does not want us to live a miserable life.

How do I know?  Because I survived a very abusive relationship.  And my testimony is that God will give you the strength that you need to leave.  When I finally had enough of the abuse, and decided I had no choice but to leave, God gave me the strength.  My daughter and I moved over 2000 to a place we had never been to escape.  When we arrived in this strange city, we did not have a place to live, I did not have a job, and we knew no one.

I am glad to report that four years later our lives are so much better.  Not only have we survived - but thrived.  I am proud to report that my daughter graduated high school 1 1/2 years early, and started college one day after completing her high school graduation requirements. We have friends and a church family we love.  In fact, two years ago I became a minister.  Every day I try to use my life experiences to help others.  God gave me the test of domestic violence survivors as my testimony.  And I am grateful to God for blessing and keeping me. Although it hasn't been easy, through God, all things are possible.

Inspiration Quote of the Day

Friday, April 25, 2014

Facts About Domestic Violence

vOne in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

vAn estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

vIn 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.

v Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.

v Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of        battering relationships.

If you believe you are a victim of an abusive relationship, 
you are not alone.  
For help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Feature: Survivor Profile

Are you a survivor of domestic violence?  
Have you started a New Life through Christ? 
Send an e-mail to us at and you may be selected to be featured right here.
Starting in May 2014, every Thursday will feature a Survivor Profile.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

When I woke up this morning, the word "deliverance" came to mind.  I thank God for delivering me from a very violent, abusive relationship.  I thank God for delivering me from a life of chaos.  I thank God for saving my wretched soul from sin. Thank you, God, for deliverance.

As I look back over my life, some days I shiver from realizing how many times God kept me from death.  What I am about to share with you is to not to sensationalize my life, it is just to demonstrate how good God is.  It is to show to all, especially those of us who have been too afraid to leave an abusive relationship, that God is able to deliver you.  I will share this brief testimony today to give God all the glory and honor He so rightly deserves:

The New Year of 2006 had just come in.  It was about 5 am on January 1, 2006, and I was riding with my husband in an old white Chevy Blazer I bought him.  We were going home from a birthday party a mutual friend had invited us to.  My parents, out daughter, and us, had all gone to this friends birthday party.  And at first, my husband and I were having a great time.  In fact, I would have to say that the night has started out as the best night we had in our short 5 months of marriage.  We were have fun dancing and joking with friends and family.  I was looking forward to leaving 2005 behind, to enter into what I prayed would be a brighter future.

But, before I knew it, my husband's mood changed from festive to evil.  He was mad at me for leaving the party to take my parents home.  The plan was for us to got to the party for a little while and leave there to take my parents to church for services.  Even though he and I eventually returned to the party, where he could continue his drinking, he became extremely angry and verbally abusive to me.  He tried his best to insult and embarrass me- even openly flirting with the women at the party.  I tried my best to remain as calm as possible on the outside.  Inside I was afraid of what he would do to me.  And I had a right to be afraid.

On our way home, he drove erratically.  Speeding through the city streets, in the heavy snow fall, our SUV started to swerve.  Although my husband was an experienced driver who had driven trucks and taxi cabs for years, the roads were treacherous - anything could happen.  Although I knew I shouldn't let him drive drunk, I knew if I protested the situation might escalate.  So while he was driving like a maniac, while cursing me out and putting me down, I prayed.  I prayed that God would protect me.  I prayed that I would be able to see my daughter again.  I prayed that some how, some way, I would make it home save.  And I also prayed for forgivenness of my sins.  I prayed that if I did die that night I would make it to heaven.

I am glad to report that I eventually did make it home, although not necessarily safely.  Before arriving home, my husband almost ran off the road.  He even kicked me out of the car in the snow.  I did not know what he was going out to do.  Since the road was quiet and no one was around, all I could think to do was to call my brother-in-law to tell him what was going on.  I did not want to die on that road without anyone knowing what happened to me.  Luckily, my brother-in-law picked up the phone, and I told him what was happening.

I believed that phone call saved my life.  God delivered me.  God saved me from imminent doom., once again.

Looking back over my life, I realized that God gave many opportunities to escape the abuse.  And, unfortunately, it took me many more years to leave him for good.

If you are in an abusive relationship, and God has given you an opportunity to escape, take it.  If you are a survivor of an abusive relationship, remember today to thank God for deliverance.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Testimonial Tuesday - Seeking God First

Matthew 6:33 says "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all His righteousness, and all things will be added unto you."  Lately, this has become one of my favorite Bible verses. What God has placed on my heart to share is that the reason many of us Christians, including me, have not received all God has for us.  We are not seeking Him and His righteousness enough! 

If you want a New Life Today, ask yourself, "Am I seeking God enough?"  Be honest.  Are you praying without ceasing? Are you reading your Bible on a daily basis?  Are you tithing?  Are you volunteering your time and resources to help "the least"?  Are you trying to sin less?

If you answered No to any of those questions, it's not too late. Why not try seeking God more today?

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK's Message Relevant to Survivors

Today is the 2014 observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday. And thinking about Dr. King today, I see the relevance of his message of nonviolence to the fight against domestic violence. (Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that a victim of domestic violence should allow the abuser to brutally injure him or her without defending oneself. Personally I believe the best approach is to get to safety when under attack, and stay away from an abuser - regardless of how much you love that person, and how much the abuser claims to love you.) Remember 1 Corinthians 13:4 - 7 talks about how love is kind and slow to anger. So if that person is abusing you, is it really love?

Getting back to Dr. King. He preached about loving everyone, including those people who hate us. In the same way, domestic violence victims and survivors should also love those who have abused us. I always say that hurt people, hurt people. In my opinion, an individual who hurts the person he or she claims to love, must have a heart full of pain masked by malice and abuse. Abusers need to be loved - not hated. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preached, "You have heard that it was said,‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who perse- cute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?" (Matthew 5:40-46)

That does not mean that a victim needs to stay in an abusive relationship because of the love felt towards the abuser. You can love some one from a safe distance. Only if the abuser makes the decision to change, has received the psychological and spiritual counseling necessary to heal, and time has allowed that person to demonstrate the positive changes made in his/her life, should any one ever consider slowly starting to have anything to do with that person.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Message from the Editor: Domestic Violence New Focus of Blog

For a while I have been soul searching - asking God what He wants me to do now to serve Him better.  And I believe  yesterday He answered my prayers.

About 2 1/2 years ago I started this blog.  The purpose was to provide readers with inspirational essays, prayers, and videos that helped them start a new life.  The hope was that the blog could help  all people, regardless of the  issue - abuse, unemployment, alcoholism, drug addition, etc.  The blog has tried to be all things to all people.

But for some time, I have been questioning if that was the approach that God wanted me to take.  The answer is NO.  What God has placed on my heart is that should focus on the reason that inspired me to start the blog - domestic violence.

As a domestic violence survivor, I started this blog because I was grateful to God for allowing me to escape an abusive marriage and to start a new life.  I want to inspire others to know that they could start a new life, too.  And I want to provide them with the tools, resources, and inspiration to do so.  That is why starting today, January 6, 2014, this blog will focus exclusively on the issue of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is still occurring at epidemic rates.  Here are the facts:

Domestic Violence Statistics
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute of Justice, nearly 25% of women experience at least one physical assault during adulthood by a partner.

About 2.3 million people are raped or physically assaulted each year by a current or former intimate partner or spouse.

Physically assaulted women receive an average of 6.9 physical assaults by the same partner per year.
According to a report by the United States Department of Justice in 2000, a survey of 16,000 Americans showed 22.1 percent of women and 7.4 percent of men reported being physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, or date in their lifetime.

A 2013 report by the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 26% of male homosexuals and 44% of lesbians surveyed reported experiencing intimate partner violence. The study evaluated 2010 data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which involved over 16,000 U.S. adults.

In 1992, domestic violence was the leading cause of injury for women between 15 and 44; more than rapes, muggings, and car accidents combined.

Of those killed by an intimate partner, about three quarters are female and about a quarter are male. In 1999 in the United States, 1,218 women and 424 men were killed by an intimate partner, and 1,181 females and 329 males were killed by their intimate partners in 2005.

22% of high school girls and 32% of college women experienced dating violence in a 2000 study. 20.6% of women experienced two or more types of dating violence and 8.3% of women experienced rape, stalking or physical aggression while dating.

If you are a domestic violence survivor, and would like to share your testimony about how God has helped you start a new life, please contact me.  If you have a program, organization, or book about domestic violence that can help others, please contact me.  And if you are a domestic violence  victim or survivor, please look to to provide you with inspiration to thrive!

Min. Michelle Goodwine