Why you should read Made New – A Hippie Chick’s Journey of Forgiveness

Many people have told me how much Made New touched their life profoundly. Unfortunately, I’ve also been told that the subject of incest is a word that’s not nice to think about, let alone talk about it.
I’ll be the first to admit that the word is ugly. It doesn’t leave you with the same feeling more comfortable words do, like abuse, trauma, or personal assault. Whether you agree with this statement or not, in my opinion they’re all the same. Especially for a victim who has survived this kind of abuse.
I would like to spend a little time to help you in making the decision to read Made New and tell you a little bit about my story.
First, I would like to make it clear that this story wasn’t written for the purpose of dragging my family’s name through the mud. It’s written in a loving, graceful, matter-of-fact style and it helps you get some idea of how this type of abuse has the potential to devastate somebody’s life.
Made New – A Hippie Chick’s Journey is a personal walk through my life and what some might say was a normal military home during the 1970’s. Personal responsibility was ingrained into my thinking for as long as I can remember. But, by the time I reached thirteen years old my father crossed a moral boundary that should have never been permitted. His forceful personality engrained so much fear in me that I feared, and felt as my life was different from my siblings, schoolmates, friends, and anyone I perceived as normal.
Soon, the sexual violation that was forced upon me impacted every decision I had to make for the rest of my life. My poor choices affected my behavior, my first marriage, how I viewed my own sexuality, marital submissiveness, parenting skills, and ultimately the ability to trust in God. This list is small compared to the reality of enduring such a degrading experience. The list actually goes on and on.
Although I mentioned how much Made New has touched the lives of many, those who know me personally actually have difficulty reading it, because of the reality of what I had to endure. My advice for them is to keep reading, because this story gets so much better than I could have ever imagined.
Today, I believe that God allowed this to happen in my life for the sole purpose of helping other victims of domestic violence to find the courage and take a stand against this scourge that has devoured our country.
According to statistics, in 2013, one in 10 children will be sexually abused and ninety percent will be abused by somebody they know. Thankfully, awareness is finally beginning to make an impact.

• “About 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18”
• “About 1 in 7 girls and 1 in 25 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18”
• “It is estimated that 7-12% of children are sexually abused”
• “As many as 400,000 babies born in the U.S. this year will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday unless we do something to stop it.

Next week I will address what we can do to help victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

It’s Not About Me!

A friend, named Cheryl Lutz, posted this on her blog the other day, and as I read it this morning, I was reminded of the fact that this is how God wants each of us to live our lives. I pray that you enjoy it, and it touches your heart, as much as it has mine.

It's Not About Me!.

Sharing our testimony for God’s glory

I absolutely love it when hubby picks up our evening devotional, Morning and Evening, by Charles Spurgeon.

He began to read, “I have yet to speak on God’s behalf” from Job 36:2, and I knew this reading would be exactly what I need.

We should not desire to be known by others for our virtue or for our zeal. But at the same time, it is a sin to always try to hide that which God has bestowed upon us for the good of others. A Christian is not be to a village in a valley, but a city set upon a hill. He is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all. (See Matthew 5:14-15) Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one’s self in modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified. The keeping back of truth which is precious to us is a sin against others and an offense against God. If you are of a nervous temperament and retiring disposition, take care that you do not indulge in this trembling tendency too much, lest you become useless to the Church. In the name of Him who was not ashamed of you, decide to ignore your feelings. Tell others what Christ has told you. If you cannot speak with the sound of a trumpet, use the still, small voice. If the pulpit is not your platform, if the press does not carry your words say with Peter and John, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee” (Acts 3:6). Talk to the Samaritan woman by the well if you cannot preach a sermon on the mountaintop. Utter the praises of Jesus in the house, if not in the temple; in the field, if not in the city; in your own household, if you cannot speak in the middle of the great family of man. From the hidden springs within let sweetly flowing streams of testimony flow forth, giving drink to every passer-by. Do not hide your talent. To speak for God will be refreshing for ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honoring to the Savior.

This devotional seemed to impart words I hadn’t considered in quite some time, yet I’m so thankful for the reminder that sharing my testimony doesn’t mean keeping silent and hiding out of fear. Instead, it means that wherever God directs my steps I’m to share the testimony that He has blessed my life beyond measure.

What about you? Do you boldly proclaim God’s praises in your house, in the field, in the city, or on the mountaintop? Speaking for myself, this devotional is a true wake-up call and a feast for my soul.

Worship Must Go On!

Worship Must Go On!.

Thanks-Living By Cheryl Lutz

Thanks-Living By Cheryl Lutz.

Coming to Jesus

I adore Oswald Chamber’s classic book, My Utmost For His Highest.

Last night, hubby read the following words, and I knew the Holy Spirit spoke to my stubborn heat.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Isn’t it humiliating to be told that we must come to Jesus? Think of the things about which we will not come to Jesus Christ. If you want to know how real you are, test yourself by these words-“Come to Me…”

In every dimension in which you are not real, you will argue or evade the issue altogether rather than come; ou will go through sorrow rather than come; and you will do anything rather than come the last lap of the race of seemingly unspeakable foolishness and say, “Just as I am, I come.” As long as you have even the least bit of spiritual disrespect, it will always reveal itself in the fact that you are expecting God to tell you to do something very big, and yet all He is telling you to do is to “Come….”

“Come to Me….” When you hear those words, you will know that something must happen in you before you can come. The Holy Spirit will show you what you have to do, and it will involve anything that will uproot whatever is preventing you from getting through to Jesus. And you will never get any further until you are willing to do that very thing. The Holy Spirit will search out that one immovable stronghold within you, but He cannot budge it unless you are willing to let Him do so. 

How often have you come to God with your requests and gone away thinking, “I’ve really received what I wanted this time!” And yet you go away with nothing, while all the time God has stood with His hands outstretched not only to take you but also for you to take Him. Just think of the invincible, unconquerable, and untiring patience of Jesus, who lovingly says, “Come to Me….”

Now, I must make a decision…what about you?

How can truth set us free?

Ephesians 1:3-9 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance to his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. More

Trials and Joy

Re-posted from InTouch, by Dr. Charles Stanley, September 16, 2014

My pastor is currently preaching from the book of James and Dr. Stanley’s message today is a perfect reminder that through out our lives we all suffer under a variety of difficult trials and hardships. But, if we consider that those times of suffering can be used as a catalyst to help us be mindful that the Lord uses them to mold us into what His desire is for our lives, they’re so much easier to bear.

Trials and Joy

James 1:2-4,12

“Consider it all joy . . . when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2)—what a preposterous statement! How can that make sense when joy and trials don’t fit together? But James is presenting a divine vantage point, not a human one. There are some surprising benefits in suffering, which aren’t easy to discern.

First of all, we need to understand that these verses are not telling us to be happy in our pain, but rather to rejoice in the blessings that accompany suffering. The word consider is an accounting term that means “to evaluate.” When we look at hardships from God’s perspective and place the proper value on them, we can rejoice in the beneficial outcome, even while experiencing pain. Humanly speaking, trials hurt; but from the Lord’s point of view, they help.

The only way to rejoice during trials is to understand what God wants them to accomplish. Regardless of the difficulty’s source, we can know that the Lord wants to use it to test our faith and thereby produce endurance and spiritual maturity. In every trial, He has hidden a precious character gem, but whether we receive it depends upon our response. Those who want to be transformed into the image of Christ can rejoice in the many benefits that accompany suffering.

How about you? Does your hunger to know the Lord and be transformed by Him exceed your dread of suffering? None of us want to experience pain, but since it’s an unavoidable reality in this fallen world, why not respond in a way that produces eternal benefit? Let’s not waste our suffering.

Book Launch Invitation & two reader comments…

 

Made New Book Launch flyer

…I laughed, I cried, my heart and soul ached for all that you went through and I felt boundless joy reading about how your relationship with Christ has evolved and is continuing to grow daily. When you asked questions, you asked the hard questions that require soul searching for answers. Thank you for doing that as I don’t think we ask enough hard questions in this present age. Thank you so much for obeying God and telling your story. This book has the potential to help so many people who are hurting because of choices they have made. ~ Patty

I spent the weekend with you and your friend, Judy!! What a journey – what courage – what a faithful God to bring you to this place!! It has given me such insight into who you are and how God has brought you here – for such a time as this. I found myself in parts of your story – the me I had forgotten even existed. Your journey was a tough one, but look at the victory!! Amazing grace, no doubt about it. ~ Cathy

Voices

A parental voice from my childhood repeats, like a broken record. “You’re nobody!” or, “You’ll never be anything!”

I answer, “Don’t listen Child of the King! God knows who I am.”

I’m reminded of the scripture verse in 1 Corinthians 2:12.

I’ve have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that I may understand what God has freely given to me. And, verse 15, “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgement:
For, in verse 16, God’s Word says “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But, I have the mind of Christ.”

Take that, evil one! Flee from me! My mind belongs to the One who created me.

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