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Domestic Violence In The Church!? 

Domestic Violence In The Church - A Video Blog with LJ and Novica Olinger, Jr. of Marriage Matters


Did you know that domestic violence occurs more frequently in Christian marriages then in secular marriages? In this video blog, Elders LJ and Novica Olinger share the stats, stories and vital information about this growing problem in the church today. Watch the video below for more information and an engaging insight on this troublesome topic.



Elders Larry and Novica Olinger are powerful and anointed marriage mentors - for more information about their work or to seek assistance on marital issues, contact them here:

I'm Dying Here... 

I’m Dying Here… 

One of the problems with reading a lot of books, watching educational videos, listening to good preaching sermons and enjoying podcasts, is that you often hear a nugget of wisdom that profoundly shakes your world.  I jot those little scraps of wisdom down and they exist on napkins, in my phone notes, on church bulletins, my desk top and on random pieces of paper scattered around my home. 

I pull them out often and review them.  Sometimes they spark a song or lead me to do a more in-depth study of the topic. Classes have been created from these gems, presentations and sermons birthed from the little notes to Naima that I keep in a system that only makes sense to me.  I write these notes and quotes because they resonate with me, they challenge me or change me.  Sometimes I write these notes and quotes because I totally disagree with the premise of what has been said and want to examine it from all angles. 

I can’t remember where I got this one from, but there it was was tucked away in my phone notes with no attribution. 

It said, “You don’t win wars by giving up your life.” 

And I can totally understand how that makes sense… when you are perceiving things in the natural.  But the spiritual realm is a whole different story.  As a matter of fact, the way to win the war, the path to achieve great victory, is in fact, giving up your life. 

Jesus illustrates this point when He won the greatest war ever, the one that made Him champion over death, hell and the grave.  He got up on the cross and gave His life and He won the war – and we are always expected to follow His example. 

I am at a cross roads right now, a place where I have to decide what is my number one priority, what am I willing to give my life up for? It’s a difficult, gut wrenching decision, one that has caused me to re-evaluate, reconstruct and listen more closely then ever for the voice of the Father. 

This battle that we fight is unseen, subtle and can make us a casualty of war for the wrong side if we are not paying attention to life.   We can get easily sidetracked when we begin to think about what we want, and not what the Lord wants.  And often what He wants requires us to give up our lives for His glory and purpose.  I don’t mean to physical death of course, but it may mean dying to our own selfish desires, our own plans and dreams. 

How do you reconcile that? Well, I’m thinking that giving my life up to Jesus is much better then trying to hold on to it and finding at the end I’ve been a dead woman walking all along.  I’m going to die in this war – die to myself so I can live for Jesus. 

For whoever would save his life,  will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.  Mark 8:35 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, shoot me a note or leave a comment on my FB page at


#dyingtoself #spiritualwarfare

#thepowerofprayer #layingdownmylife #naimajohnstonbush

A Great Hope 

A Great Hope, Guest Post by Beth Jones 

Has something great happened in your life, when all of a sudden everything turned totally upside down and you're like, "What?!" 

As of this writing, it is Palm Sunday--the time of year when Christian believers celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey and the people waved palm branches shouting, "Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" (John 12:13-13) 

By the time you read this blog post, it may be past Palm Sunday, but this post's message is still relevant, no matter what day or month it is. 

One minute the people are making such a happy brouhaha, and next thing you now they're crucifying the guy. Typical human behavior. Man is fickle. None of this took Jesus by surprise; He came to earth for such a time as this. He knows what is in man's heart and mind. (John 2:24) 

But wait, hold on a minute! When you're going through a dark storm, all is not lost. You don't need to despair. Easter is on its way! Jesus, after being tortured, dying on the Cross, and buried in a borrowed tomb, rose from the grave three days later, just as He said He would to His disciples! (Mark 9:31) 

We can read this true and powerful story with a great hope. Life can be so busy, hectic, and challenging. It can hurt deeply. You and I can get hit by Satan and his minions suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere. The devil often uses those closest to us or other believers to cause us the most pain, confusion, and doubt about God and ourselves.  

While I've experienced Satan's demonic attacks my entire life, the last few years the attacks have been coming against me more frequently and are much more intense than ever before. You wonder what in the world is going on here? 

Personally, I believe we are living in the end times and that is why. Satan knows his time is short. While many people have been saying for hundreds of years that Jesus is coming back soon and nobody knows the day or hour but God (Matthew 24;36), Jesus said we will know that His coming is near by the signs. (Luke 21:5-31) Today's headline news are the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. We see Revelation coming to pass before our eyes.  

So Satan is increasing his attacks on Christian believers, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) If he can't kill us, he'll do everything he can to distract, discourage, and derail us from our faith in Christ. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) 

But there is GOOD NEWS! We know that Easter is not about cute little bunnies or candy (although as a child, I always enjoyed my Easter basket and chocolate is good any time!). Easter is about Jesus dying for your sin and mine, and Him resurrecting from the grave so we'd be forgiven and live with God in Heaven forever.  

Easter is about the power of the Living, One and True God, the great 

I AM, the King of Kings, to whom all glory and praise and honor is due, forever and ever, amen! 

Jesus died so that you and I would live His abundant life. In our family, health, church, business, ministry, job, at the movies, on the road or in a plane, wherever we are and whatever we are doing. In church and in the marketplace. In the nations where God says, "Go," and sends us. (Isaiah 6:8) 

Are you living that abundant life right now? Are you fully using the spiritual gifts God has given you for His glory? Are you fulfilling your great purpose? 

Selah. Take a pause. Reflect and think on these things today. 

"The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over, no matter what my circumstances."--Robert Flatt

Answered Prayer Awaits You 


Answered Prayers Await You By Ramelle T. Lee ©2012 

Meditation Scripture: (Psalm 138:3 NLT).  "When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need." 


What does it take for God to answer your prayer?  What are you afraid of?  Do you think He will not listen to your plea?  Do you think that when you cry out to Him that He will not come to your rescue?  Do you think that you are so self-sufficient that you can do it by yourself?  Do you have a crystal ball that can give you the answer without seeking God first? 

Well, it's time that you awaken from your sleep.  It's time you face the truth and understand that God is standing at attention to hear you pray.  You don't need a crystal ball.  You need to rely on God, for your very existence in this world.  You have been sitting there in your unresolved situation, and not believing that you can get a prayer through to God. 

The enemy has clouded your vision and you are far off track.  The enemy has caused you to revert back to your old ways and not believe that you must rely on God for your answers to life's issues.  Prayer changes things.  Prayer is the key to the kingdom of God. When you realize that God holds the world in the palm of His hands you can shake off the weight, and stand firmly, believing that your situation can be fixed. 

Your heavenly Father has the right course of action for you to take.  He has the right answer to your prayers.  Will you yield to the Voice of the Holy Spirit and relinquish the control to resolve your problems by yourself?  You have been given a wide open window into the heavenlies.  But it's up to you to take up your cross and follow the Master of the Universe.

God will deliver you from the hands of the enemy.  He will deliver you from the storms of your situation.  He will cause you to be strengthened in your inner man daily, as you walk by faith and not by sight.  Can you believe God for your breakthrough?  Can you believe that God will turn your situation around?  Can you believe that God will give you the ability to face the giants in your life? Can you believe that God will provide you with blessed hope to defeat those battles in your life that cause you to mistrust? 

God wants you to be strong in the power of His might. He desires you to believe that you can have mountain moving faith. However, you must firmly stand on His Word and rely on Him to help you conquer fear, that attempts to defeat your spirit and keep you from having victory in your life. Pray for guidance daily and seek the Lord to deliver you from a spirit of selfishness.  Release your cares to your Heavenly Father and allow Him to show you the way to truth.  God will show you how to resolve your issues that have come to defeat your spirit.  God answers prayer!  Believe it and walk daily in the revelation knowledge that you are given everlasting hope. 

Walk in the assurance that God will be there to guide you every step of the way.  You will not fail. You will not fear!  You can climb that mountain of hope and believe that God will hear you when you pray.  God will deliver you and give you the liberty to walk in total victory. Follow His leading one step at a time. Stretch your faith and move towards the promise that has already been established in heaven just for you. 

Thank God for answered prayer and stand in obedience with your head held high.  Watch God show up and rescue you. Give your appointed heavenly angels their chosen assignment to deliver your soul from trouble.  You will receive miraculous blessings, as you believe God for your breakthrough.  Stand and see the salvation of the Lord this day, says the Spirit of God. 


Ramelle Lee is a poet, author, radio host and the founder of Touching Your Heart Ministries. Her first book, Step Into His Greatness is filled with 35 refreshing meditations to encourage and transform.  You can contact her at: 


This Is Not A Punishment 

This Is Not a Punishment by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush, Founder, The Refreshing Life

How do you reconcile praying for something and feeling like the answer is no, and will always be no? I have tried my best to handle my infertility with grace and most importantly with faith. Walking through the stages of mourning from questioning, to anger, to bitterness and grief.  Finally making peace with my empty arms despite wanting to hold on to the dream with mustard seed faith. Trying to believe and receive the prophetic words that still come declaring that there will still be a child. 

But at forty-seven all I can do is say, “I believe, help my unbelief, let Your will be done!” 

We always planned to adopt so bringing foster children into our home with a husband who was adopted was just part of the dream and we shared with our Social Worker that we only wanted to foster children that were ready to be adopted, those already in need of a forever home. 

When they plopped a two-year-old and a two month on our doorstep we were ecstatic. And then we got to court, and we met mom and much became clear.  She had no intention of giving up her children, she didn’t appear to be a drug addict or unwilling – rather she seemed like a young mother who had fallen on hard times and needed some help.  What were we suppose to do in that moment when the Social Worker asked if we wanted to keep them while she got things together? And even more alarming to me, we were asked if we wanted to keep them both. I was appalled, we were already in love with them and they were siblings, we don’t separate siblings, no – we don’t rock like that. 

I have to be honest, I was heartbroken, but I wouldn’t admit it.  It looks like I will love and raise them for a season and then give them back. My gut twists even writing the words. With so many people clamoring to tell us congratulations, to give us helpful items, to step in and help us care for them, makes the burden all the harder to bare. 

These are not my children, although I am charged to love them like Jesus loved them, and quite honestly, I would give my life for them.  I already mourn the day when I have to pack them up and send them on their way.  And I must admit it is really difficult not to let bitterness creep in while the devil is whispering in my ear… "God made you infertile, now He's given you children that can never be yours." that's enough to allow bitterness more then a foothold in my life.

I wrestle with the perception that the Lord knows my mother’s heart, He knows the grief of my infertility. He knows how I’ve cried in the middle of the night and felt like less then a woman because I could not birth a living legacy. Children are a legacy of the Lord. That’s what the scripture says. 

This denial often teases me to think that I am being punished.  Have I done something to offend the Lord that He would allow me to watch my former youth group kids have numerous children, or the young ladies who I prayed with in Nashville for husbands now having beautiful additions to their families? Or what about all the women who take this enormous gift from God and destroy it? 

I have cried out to the Lord seeking the answer, asking how have I offended You? Have I not loved enough or served enough or given enough? And the heavens remained silent. Until I came across the following passage of scripture: 

 “What a wonderful God we have—He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more He will shower us with his comfort and encouragement. 

 We are in deep trouble for bringing you God’s comfort and salvation. But in our trouble God has comforted us—and this, too, to help you: to show you from our personal experience how God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings. He will give you the strength to endure.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-8 

It’s a hard pill to swallow but His word never lies. The Lord must really want to comfort, strengthen and help me walk this broken road. This isn’t a punishment. Somehow my infertility, the potential loss of these babies that have nestled under my heart, are burdens that I must let Christ carry through me. These are seasons I must walk through so that someone else might be comforted in their own time of questioning, uncertainty and grief. 

When I accepted the call to be an encourager of God’s people, I never knew when or where I’d have to encourage others. I choose to accept in this moment, infertility as a blessing, not for me but for someone else who is walking through this shadow. And if I should pack these children up and send them on their way, I choose to believe that this is not a punishment either, but somehow this part of the journey will be one more opportunity to run into the arms of my Father, who sometimes makes decisions that are in my best interest, but I won’t understand until I’m older.

And later on, I’ll be able to encourage someone else to do the same.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to share your comments and questions below.


#adoptionstory #adoptionjourney #fostertoadopt #infertility #copingwithinfertility #infertilityandfaith

#fostermom #griefandfostering


Photo Credit: Image by MorningbirdPhoto from Pixabay

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