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 NewLifeTodayBlog.com 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 NewLifeTodayBlog.com to provide you with inspiration to thrive!

Min. Michelle Goodwine