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Pictured: 'Bright, smiley, happy' 14-month-old baby girl who died from head injuries as man, 32, is charged with murder

    Hollie Ashurst, aged 14 months, died of her injuries in hospital in Wigan on Friday
    Daniel Ashurst, 32, was tonight charged with murder and remanded in custody
    The one-year-old's grieving mother called Hollie 'everyone's ray of sunshine'

By Tim Stickings and Connor Boyd For Mailonline

Published: 19:25, 4 March 2019 | Updated: 20:06, 4 March 2019

The family of a baby girl who police suspect was murdered in Wigan have paid tribute to the 'bright, smiley and happy' one-year-old.  Hollie Ashurst, aged 14 months, died of head injuries on Friday and was formally identified today.  Daniel Ashurst, 32, was tonight charged with her murder and will appear in court tomorrow.   The baby's mother said: 'Hollie was my dream come true. She was such a bright, smiley, happy little girl and was everyone's ray of sunshine.  'Hollie brightened everyone's day and was an inspiration and never unhappy. Fly high my princess with your other loved ones and sweet dreams my baby girl, I will always love you.'

Other relatives including her grandfather said: 'She was always smiling. She has been through operations with her clef, but she never let anything bother her.  'Hollie was the happiest baby. She struggled through her operations, and she was such a brave girl.  She had just started to crawl and was such a clever girl and she never got upset. She loved watching cartoons.  She was alert and always happy and loved watching Mr Tumble and In the night Garden.' 

Daniel Ashurst was remanded in custody tonight after being charged with murder and will appear at Wigan Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.   The little girl passed away on Saturday despite hospital staff's best efforts to keep her alive, police said.  Officers were alerted by medical staff on Thursday at around 2pm that a child was being taken to hospital with head injuries, GMP said.  A post-mortem on Monday confirmed Hollie died of head injuries, the force added.  Forensic officers were searching a property in the Shevington area of Wigan as part of the investigation.  Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Daniels, from GMP's major incident team, said on Saturday: 'All murder investigations are understandably upsetting, but when it involves a child as young as this it's particularly distressing for everyone involved.  This tragic case will no doubt have an impact on all those who knew her as well as the wider community and my heart goes out to those who loved this little girl.  We are currently trying to build a picture of what has happened in the lead up to this little girl's death and how she has come to sustain her injuries.  Specially trained officers continue to offer their support to loved ones at this terrible time.'

He added: 'While this investigation progresses we'd encourage anyone who might have information about this death to please contact us.'

Information can be passed on to police by calling 0161 856 9171 quoting reference number 1109 of 28/02/19 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Tinkerbelle on March 03, 2019, 09:21:23 pm »
Help For a Heart That Worries
Dec 27, 2018 | Gwen Smith

Today's Truth

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.  Psalm 56:3

Friend to Friend

The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor is his ear to dull to hear.” (Isaiah 59:1)

Though I know in my heart this is true, I still sometimes go back and forth between doubt and worry as if  God’s arms are short and his ears are dull. My friend Erica does too.  She came to my door with a package to deliver and a story to share. I signed for the package and we began to catch up. Her kids are grown. Mine are teens. Her daughter just got married. My oldest just went to college. Mama to mama we shared and cared.  “My daughter and her new husband might be moving to Chicago. I have to be honest, Gwen,” she said seriously, “I’m not doing well trusting God with this. I’m struggling with anxiousness and worry.”

I listened and nodded with understanding, knowing full well the strain of worry and anxiety.  Then she perked up and shared a story that went something like this.  "God impressed a message on my heart this morning that challenged and convicted me! I just have to tell you about it. I ride motorcycles. Have for years. I love the feeling of being out in the open air. It’s exciting and invigorating. When I ride, I feel vulnerable and alert. It’s risky and requires balance, it’s much more difficult than driving my car, but I ride because it energizes me and makes me feel alive.  This morning I rode my bike to work while it was still dark. I don’t usually do that because the headlight is small, so the light is dim. As I was riding, I began to thank God for allowing me to ride my bike to work. I thanked him for allowing me to feel alive and energized along the way. And as I did, He spoke to my heart. I sensed He was saying, “Erica! This is what I want my relationship with you to be like: exciting, risky, and energizing, like riding your motorcycle! But instead you take your car with me. You want to feel safe. You want to see with brighter headlights. You grasp for more control, by worrying and fretting about things you can do nothing about. In doing so, you miss out on a faith that is alive and energizing a faith that trusts me and takes risks."

She shared that story with tears and conviction in her eyes. We were both moved and challenged. It left me with a fresh longing for deeper faith.  I want to ride.  I want to take risks with the star-breathing, mountain moving, speak-through-a-burning-bush, unpredictable, and unsearchable All-mighty One!  God does not call us to a safe faith. He does not promise that we will have a clear view of all that lies ahead. He does not promise us simplicity. Instead, He invites us to embrace a vibrant faith that trusts Him. A faith that is alive and energized, in spite of the unsteady unknowns. His arms are not too short to save and His ears are not dull to hear. He is powerful, capable, compassionate, merciful, holy, just, and faithful.  These truths should hush our noisy doubts and calm the anxieties that seek to unnerve us.  God is sovereign and His ways are mysterious.  And in the center of all of my questions this one resounds: who better to trust than God?


Hardly. My paycheck?

My medical chart?

My emotions?

I might as well chase the wind.  In contemplating this, I journey back to what the Bible has to say on such things.  “Live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” (Psalm 56:3-4)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Is the Lord calling you to trust Him with something or someone today?

Decide to ride.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Tinkerbelle on March 03, 2019, 09:11:01 pm »
The Power of One Word From You
Dec 26, 2018 | Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  Proverbs 16:24

Friend to Friend

I was wandering around the tourist area of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Shelves with tacky little statues, snow globes with leaning towers, and $10 T-shirts crowed small booths for tourists.  Shifty men with cases of “genuine fake” watches swarmed like bees. Rolex, Cartier, and Infinity all for fifty bucks or less. Flashing fake gold and flaunting fake brands; their swift feet were ready to run if the authorities were to show up.  “No thank you, no thank you, no thank you,” I sang as I swam through the men hocking their wares.

Then I spotted her. She sat on a bench with colorful scarves for purchase draped over her arm. A blue, yellow and red headdress wound around her head, and a purple full length dress hung loosely from her shoulders. The bright colors shone against the backdrop of polished mahogany skin.  Tired eyes.  Tired feet.  Tired life.  What appeared to be her “handler” shared the bench with her. I walked over and bent low to look her in the eyes. “You are so beautiful,” I said.

“Deese?” she questioned as she held up the scarves for examination. 

“No, not the scarves,” I replied. “YOU are beautiful!” I waved my hand from the top of her head to the hem of her dress and back up again. “YOU, all of you!”

She turned to the indifferent man beside her for translation. When she understood, her face lit up like morning and her ivory teeth flashed like a slice of sun. She simply nodded as if to say, “Thank you.”

I walked back over to the group I was traveling with, and in a few moments I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the woman. Without words, she handed me a bracelet, one I’m thinking she had made herself.  It wasn’t anything fancy just little white lettered cubes with alternating black beads strung together with elastic. But I wonder what it cost her to give it to a tourist.  I didn’t offer to pay for the gift. That would have taken away her pleasure in giving it. I did hand her a few coins for allowing me to take her picture. I showed her the image of herself in my camera. “Beautiful,” I said once again.

She smiled with a nod. Walked back to the bench. And handed the coins to the man.  Tears filled my eyes.  I don’t know what this woman’s life is like. I pray my assumptions are wrong. But I do know this: For one brief moment in her monotonous day of pedaling scarves, she felt lovely…because someone stopped and noticed her.  Oh how easy it is this speaking a word of encouragement this speaking words of life.  As you go about your day, look for opportunities to say a kind word. I promise, you won’t have to look very far.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Philippa on February 17, 2019, 09:12:22 pm »
I’m Tired
Dec 17, 2018 | Mary Southerland

Today's Truth

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

Friend to Friend

I’m tired.  Tired of waking up each morning to face more trials more noise more chaos.  I’m tired of trying to “fix” people and circumstances.  I’m tired of dealing with angry people everywhere I turn.  I’m tired of senseless violence and the horrendous loss of life at the hands of broken people.  I’m tired of the incessant dealing with physical pain and constantly battling the darkness of depression.  I’m tired of Satan attacking my husband, my children, and my grandchildren!  What I want to do is quit. I want to give up. I want to take my computer and my cell phone and toss them in a garbage dump, cutting off my connections to so many people in the world I have carefully built. The world has gone crazy and I don’t want to deal with it anymore. I just want some peace!  And then I remember.  Christmas is just around the corner and that’s what Christmas is all about peace. We have somehow managed to lose sight of that stunning truth. We have allowed our priorities to be blown to smithereens! Frantic shopping trips, insane decorating, incessant gift wrapping, never ending baking, attending parties we don’t really want to attend, spending money we don’t really have and I want to quit!  I want to get back to the message of Christmas the simple but eternal truth that Jesus came to earth as a baby fully God and wholly man. He experienced everything I have experienced and so much more. That’s why He came. To heal the broken lambs like me. To bind up the wounds inflicted by a world gone crazy. To initiate and define the very meaning of love, spelling it out in a language we can understand.  Take hold of this truth! God asked His only Son, Jesus, to exchange Heaven for Earth, to surrender His mind blowing throne for a dirty manger, to relinquish perfection for gross imperfection, to love the unlovable. And Jesus said “Yes.”

God knows. Heaven is not in a panic nor is it surprised by the state of this world or the condition of my heart. Jesus Christ knows how tired I am. He knows I am ready to quit. And His love for me has not changed one bit!  God’s love for me does not depend on what I do or don’t do. If I never did another thing in Kingdom work, His love for me would not change. No one can take my place in My Father’s heart. And when I remember that everything changes.  It was Christmas Eve and the family was preparing to attend the special service of their local church. Everyone was going except Dad, who was an honest man, a man who could not seem to wrap his logical mind around the story of God come to earth as a baby in a manger. He didn’t want to be a hypocrite, pretending to worship a Savior he wasn’t sure even existed, so he stayed home, built a fire to dispel the bitter cold of that winter night, and began to read the paper, waiting for his family’s return.  Hearing a knock at the window, he turned to see a tiny bird trying to reach the warmth of the fire. The man opened the window, but the bird refused to come in. Grabbing his coat, the man went out to the barn and opened the barn doors wide but still, the bird refused to come in. The man thought, “If only I could be a bird, for just one minute, I could lead the bird to safety.”

At that moment, he heard the church bells ring and finally understood why Jesus came to earth as a man to become one of us so He could lead us to eternal safety.  The very heart of Christmas is Emanuel, God with us with me and with you. It celebrates the sufficiency of Christ that replaces our insufficiency. Christmas is not a date on a calendar. Christmas is a way of living that celebrates the presence of God in the simple, ordinary happenings of daily life.  So, this year, let’s refuse to quit! Let’s put on our warrior boots and stand firm in our faith. Let’s celebrate Christmas with passion and purpose!  How?

Through the smile we give the harried stranger or the patience we choose in the crowd of impatient shoppers the love that prompts the secret gift or the heart that constantly celebrates His birth through every sparkling light, every beautifully wrapped gift, each special meal, every card, phone call, and visit. God is with us if we choose to make room for Him.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Philippa on February 17, 2019, 08:59:33 pm »
Looking For Light in Days of Grey
Dec 14, 2018 | Michele Cushatt

Today's Truth

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  Matthew 6:22

Friend to Friend

A glance out the window revealed the day would be another gloomy one. Three in a row, maybe four. I wearied of it. I scanned east to west, and noted a thick band of grey rain clouds covered every bit of Colorado’s typical blue  sky, eclipsing any hope of warmth yet again. Although only mid-October, the sweet days of summer felt a million miles away. Already I missed the afternoons spent lounging on the porch with a book or my laptop as well as the occasional nap in the sun. Only a long stretch of winter lay ahead.  After living in Colorado for nearly twenty-two years, I’ve grown accustomed to sunshine more often than not. Rarely does weather make a lengthy appearance. And when it does, storms swoop in over the mountains and then exit onto the plains as fast as they came.  Even so, winter is tough for me. Not the weather or the temperature as much as the lack of light. Although Colorado boasts three hundred days of sunshine a year, winter packs the greyest days, not to mention shortened hours of sunlight. This seeps into my skin and alters my mood, making it more difficult for me to stay positive, hopeful and full of joy. It’s silly, of course, because I know in a day or season the sun will again make his appearance. But, in the moment, it seems as if the gloom will never end.  The same could be said for the ebb and sway of ordinary life. We may experience warm summer seasons packed with joy and warmth and hope. During these extended times, whether a few days or a few years, it’s difficult to imagine the weight of grey days. With the sun warming us with possibilities, gloom stays at bay.  But then the grey season comes. And too often it lasts far longer than we can bear. Months, weeks, years. One grey day turns into another, until we grow so weary we stop dreaming of the sun.  However, Jesus reminded us that wholeness emotional, physical, and spiritual wholeness begins with a good set of eyes. Eyes that  are able to see not only the obvious, but the hidden. Spiritual vision looks beyond what is right in front of us to see what cannot be seen the sun sitting faithfully on the other side of the grey, a God still present, still active, even in the middle of a storm.  If you and I want to have a life filled of light, we must develop the kind of eyes that see the truth when we can’t feel it, and believe the God’s promise to be with us when He feels far away. Although we may see nothing but gloom, the Light shines even still.
Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by The Rani on February 16, 2019, 10:05:38 pm »
An older couple is lying in bed one morning, having just awakened from a good night's sleep. He takes her hand and she responds, "Don't touch me."

"Why not?" he asks.

She answers back, "Because I'm dead."

The husband says, "What are you talking about? We're both lying here in bed together and talking to one another."

She says, "No, I'm definitely dead."

He insists, "You're not dead. What in the world makes you think you're dead?"

"Because I woke up this morning and nothing hurts."
Family and Life Challenges / 10 Habits of All Unhappy Women
« Last post by shortcake on January 10, 2019, 08:09:41 pm »

10 Habits of All Unhappy Women
Janet Perez Eckles

I stood at the kitchen counter, crumbled the paper in my hand and gritted my teeth, “Is this how my life is supposed to be?” I screamed in my heart.

“Mommy, that’s my teacher’s note. You just messed it up.” My 6-year-old son said.

Although tears burned my eyes, I took his face in my hands. “Baby, mommy wants to read this, but I can’t.” my words choked.  "Remember, mommy can’t see.”

But how could he or his two younger brothers understand that their mommy was completely blind. I couldn’t comprehend myself. How could God allow this retinal disease to close my vision and shove me in this darkness?

And why would He steal my chance for happiness?

I wonder if you too have ever been in a place like this, so painfully unexpected. Maybe blindness isn’t what barged into your life. But there is something that keeps you awake at night, and fills your heart with stress.  My nights were like that. But not anymore; yours don’t have to either. Let’s explore how some women allow these ten habits to feed their unhappiness.

Habit 1: She Focuses on the Circumstances

This was more than a habit. It was a way of life for me. How can I ignore or dismiss this unexpected blindness?

Everywhere I turned, I needed assistance. Each task to care for my three small sons was nearly impossible. More cleaning up of accidently spilled glasses of milk. More reminders of my dependence on others.  But when nights became long and lonely, desperate prayers flowed. And that’s when God whispered a new song. His promises that say His Word would be a lamp to my feet and alight for my path (Psalm 119:105). When I dwelt on His promises, my focus changed.  Blind or not, God had me secure in His hands. Why not ponder on that?

Why not fill my mind and heart on that truth?

I embraced the new habit of soaking in God’s promises like this one: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalm 30:11-12

Habit 2: She Believes Lies

Satan delights when we ponder and rehash the ugly details. The enemy of our soul, the Devil pushes those thoughts before us. And if we are in the habit of opening the door to his lies and tactics, gloom comes in and turns to despair.  And that’s when we have the choice. One, to let the Devil have a fun time whispering the ugly details over and over again, stealing our peace. Or two, silence him, and embrace a new habit of living the fullness of life by listening to the true Shepherd.  Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Habit 3: She Replays Past Mistakes

That reaction may seem a bit harsh in a Christian setting. But someone has to tell us to stop, truly stop. We need to hit pause on the recording of past mistakes. We need to fast-forward the tape and erase the junk that clogs the path to a new tomorrow.  Is it a habit?

Or is it a deeper issue that prompts us to cling to the past?

Regardless of the root, day after day, we relive past wounds or mistakes while pacing inside an emotional prison. For many, Godly counseling brings answers. God’s answer comes when we wipe our tears, take a deep breath, and look up. God has a powerful promise and a sure way out of this habit when He says:  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

Habit 4: She Blames Others

What a sorry relief when we can blame someone else for our misfortune. Doing so takes the responsibility away from us to make a change; and seemingly, it sets us free from bearing the burden to work for the solution. What an unhealthy kind of habit, don’t you think?

I tried that. I had blamed the doctors for not doing enough to save my sight. I even blamed God for being cruelly silent. For not answering my prayer. For punishing me by bringing on blindness at 30.  But that habit of pointing the finger at others grew old. God’s Word, firm and true, showed me I needed to look inwardly first. I could live as a victim, or a victor.  Choosing the path of a conqueror, of a triumphant daughter of the King brought on true, beautiful freedom.  Paul chose the same path, that’s why he said: “... in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

Habit 5: She Covers Up the Pain

Social media and our cell phones can be a deadly combination. Not-so-subtly they lure, stealing our time.  But even more harmful, the combination becomes the distraction that covers what aches inside.  And when the day is done, the ache is still there. No time to resolve it because we have to check or post one last time. Then we head to bed. Kids had drained our energy. Chores were left undone. And hubby still has needs.  So where is the happiness?

Mary has the answer. She found it. Martha was too busy. Mary was focused. Martha was in the kitchen. Mary was at Jesus’ feet.  Can you guess which one knew joy as she found the way to ease her pain?

“Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"  "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42

Habit 6: She Enters the Envy Zone

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

My bones surely began to rot. Oh, that envy, jealousy and resentment came to bed with me each night when I first lost my sight.  It visited when least expected. When my friends share their shopping trips to the mall. When they related scenes from their vacations, and commented about pictures of their families.  I longed to have their freedom to enjoy life. And I wished to have their independence.  That’s why I was envious. I was jealous. And I was miserable.  What rescued me from that destructive compare snare?

It was a Bible verse that often goes unnoticed. But for me, it blared into my heart. It woke me up. And it changed my attitude.  It said to me: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

Give thanks in all. All my struggles. All my challenges. All my fears. I gave Him thanks until my life turned a new colorful hue of joy.

Habit 7: She Concentrates on Selfish Ambition

My dreams were shattered. My goals vanished. And my expectations for a happy life were erased from my heart.  Can you blame me?

Blind at 30, none of that was available to me.  I was reflecting in all I had lost. In all I had worked for. And all I had prepared for.  Hmm ... how many times did I mention “I?”

Way too many because that reflected my attitude to focus on me, my own gain or my losses. I had been the center of it all. What a distasteful habit.  But when I echoed the words in Psalm 119:36, my selfishness was exposed:  “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”

God’s testimonies of His faithfulness ushered for me a happier life, days focused on Him and moments secure in His victory.

Habit 8: She Criticizes Others

Judging those around us, pointing their mistakes and emphasizing their flaws are the pastimes of an unhappy soul.  But when choosing to be content with who we are, we reflect a happy life. We turn harsh words into kind ones. And, best of all, those kind words come right back to us. That’s how we add happy moments to our days, and joy to our life.  “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3)

Habit 9. She Neglects Healthy Living

After my third child was born I enjoyed an innocent glass of milk and a few oatmeal cookies as a snack. No big deal, right?

But later, out to dinner with hubby, pizza delivered to our door, and more unhealthy snacks; all began a habit of careless eating.  As a result, I had to bite my lower lip each time I struggled to button my jeans. Those unhappy moments turned to unhappy days.  But they all changed when I became a student on healthy eating. Then is when I embraced the “OWN” mentality. O for oxygen through exercise. W for water for hydration. And N for nutrition.  I diligently put all three into my routine. A new habit of eating and exercising erased pounds. My disposition became brighter. And I was back to my size 4 petite.  But more than a dress size, did you know good health enhances great happiness?

And even better, joy overflows when we answer this question in the affirmative:

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 3:19-20

Habit 10: She Sinks in Self-Pity

Did you know you can count on lots of food left over when you throw a pity party?

That’s because you’re the only one who shows up.  Self-pity focuses on the “me “inside. It concentrates on what we lack and exaggerates the burdens we carry.  I did that. Being blind at 30, self-pity could have been my constant companion. But not so. I learned the secret, the path and the only way to combat that sorry self-pity. And that is, embracing a spirit of gratitude.   “Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Exodus 4:10-14

God speaks to us the same way. Like Moses, we can give excuses because of what we lack or the obstacles we face.  But when we acknowledge God’s power within us, the sorry attitude leaves, gratitude enters, and a new kind of happiness shines through.
Health Concerns / 8 Reasons Why It’s So Hard to Separate From a Narcissist
« Last post by shortcake on January 10, 2019, 07:36:09 pm »

8 Reasons Why It’s So Hard to Separate From a Narcissist
Jen Grice

Most of us find it hard to believe that anyone would have evil or selfish motives. As Christians, we’re taught to be servant hearted people while caring for others as much as we do ourselves. In Sunday school, my young children learned the acronym for J.O.Y. meant, Jesus, others, then yourself. But as hard as it is to connect extreme selfishness with a Christian, narcissists do exist, even in our churches.  “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.” (Luke 6:43-45)

When we don’t see the wolf in sheep’s clothing, missing the red flags, we can become entangled and find it hard to separate from them. As Christians who extend grace and mercy to people in our lives as an act of love, it’s even harder. We feel guilty and selfish for thinking of ourselves by asserting boundaries as an act of protection and self-preservation. And we make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior only to see the pattern of evil and abusive tactics repeating itself over and over again.  When you’re finding it hard to separate from a narcissist, these could be the reasons why.

1. We become entangled from the beginning.

Narcissists use a tactic called “love bombing” to entice and ensnarl their new dating partners. He/she often discard previous relationships in order to make room on the pedestal for a brand new relationship. The narcissist’s new victim is the best thing that every happened to him/her a “soulmate” although he/she may have stated this in all previous relationships as well.  The relationship probably moves along very quickly so the victim doesn’t have time to see the red flags or assert boundaries. Even if we do, the narcissist often manipulates to get around any boundaries in his/her way to getting what they want.  Also, many narcissists prefer to rescue his/her victims. I’ve seen a narcissist help a single mother, whom he hardly knew, purchase a new car that she couldn’t afford otherwise. Or the narcissist asks to borrow money to create a financial dependence that you may not be willing to walk away from.  After you’re emotionally and/or financially entangled, you may feel more comfortable becoming physically intimate. You owe him/her or he/she owes you, so now you have a long-term connection.

2. Our focus became all about him/her and the relationship.

Narcissists love to be at the center of their partner’s attention. They often get angry when you focus on yourself or other relationships even with God or your own children. In order to keep the relationship peaceful and together, you slowly start devoting all your attention on pleasing the narcissist and giving him/her what they want to keep the peace. We often hope that this will help the narcissist become more loving and caring towards us as well by example.  Once the relationship ends, you realize your entire life had been revolving around this other person and you’ve depleted yourself until you have nothing left to give. You may not even know how to take care of yourself anymore or to make important decisions in your own life because the narcissist held the power and control of everything.  After breaking-up with or divorcing the narcissist, you need to turn your entire focus onto healing yourself and being okay in your singleness for a season (or many years). This is to prevent you for entering the same type of relationship in the future.

4. We carry shame from things we did while in the relationship.

Often the narcissist is a very skilled manipulator, pushing you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do outside of this relationship. You could have agreed to break your own moral standards, felt obligated to ignore moral reasoning, or even did something illegal, all to keep the peace with the narcissist.  He/she may even hold that information over your head, as emotional blackmail, to keep you trapped in the relationship and/or feeling shame. You may feel pressured not to share what is really going on in the relationship especially abuse because you know he/she will share the embarrassing or illegal things that you’ve done with the people you may need for support. You may feel trapped when you have no one to turn to and emotionally process with, and the narcissist is angry that you’re talking about him/her with other people.  Not allowing you to seek relationship help or support from anyone else besides the narcissist keeps you trapped in the relationship, especially if no one is telling you that this is an abusive relationship.

5. We know he/she’s capable of lying and turning people against us.

The smear campaign may have already started. The narcissist in your life may have already told friends and/or family things or lies about you. Because of his/her charm, they may have convinced others that you are controlling, crazy, or have lost your mind. He/she may have shared your secrets so now you’re embarrassed and not sure if anyone will support you leaving the narcissist.  The narcissist usually shows his/her lying side early in the relationship. And you probably heard horrible things about his/her past relationships it’s never the narcissist’s fault. We may excuse, justify, or minimize everything, especially when younger and inexperienced in relationships. But the truth is, a person with integrity doesn’t need to lie about anything. People who have things to hide are habitual liars, protecting their image from being destroyed by the truth.  If a narcissist turns people against you, remember that your character and their true character will always come out. Just be your authentic, honest self, and allow God to protect you.

6. We stay for the children or we want to protect our children from time alone with him/her.

Many women (and probably men too) stay with the other parent because we think this is what’s best for the children. We don’t want our children to be “from a broken home” as they say. Or maybe we just don’t want to do child rearing or be alone. But the fact is we just want to keep our family together, so we hold onto hope, pray, and wait for God to fix the situation which keeps our children trapped in an environment we cannot control.  Also, we may feel that it’s safer for our children if they do not have to be alone with the narcissistic parent. They could be moral and legal lawbreakers or addicts (not seeking treatment and recovery) so we stay as a way to protect our children from the same harm we have received. Sadly, this type of environment 24/7 is not good for children. Just like many abuse victims, children do develop physical and emotional problems, caused by living in an environment where abuse (even adultery) is present.  After divorce, you can create a more peaceful environment in your own home even if you have to share custody with a narcissist.

7. We don’t know if you have God’s “permission” to divorce.

Not all narcissists commit adultery. And many Christians believe the only reason you have God’s permission to divorce is if there is proof of physical adultery. Even then many pastors say, “Try to reconcile.” Or if you do divorce, “You must remain single until your ex-spouse dies.” (I’ve heard this many times since my divorce in 2013.)

This is a lifetime punishment for the innocent party who shouldn’t be held accountable for what their spouse has done. God may hate divorce, but innocent people in the Bible weren’t punished for life. They may have had “consequences” for their actions, as most people do face many consequences after divorce, but God didn’t withhold this love, approval, and purpose from these people.  If a divorced person did not sin in their marriage or cause the divorce, why do we continue to punish them as if they did, even knowing how God forgives sinners?

8. A narcissist's conduct is his/her responsibility, not yours.

We get entangled with a narcissist and stay entangled by not understanding God’s love for the disparaged and the downtrodden. Making an evil-hearted person servant-hearted is not our cross to bear. The day I was given the title of divorced, I left the responsibility to help “fix” my (now ex-) husband at the cross.  “For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” (Galatians 6:5, NLT)

Big Drone Companies Are Terrified Of This New Drone That Hit The Market

If You Have Never Owned A Drone Before, Then This Drone Is Perfect For You!  Last week the new drone was brought into our office. Unlike those big (and expensive!) ones that we had before, this one is the same size as a smartphone and it comes with a better price. This might be the first drone that was made for the entire population.  Of course, we had to test the drone. And it was AMAZING!  What are we talking about?

It's about the new Drone 720X. A brand new type of drone designed to allow anyone to fly with it.  Drone 720X was designed by 2 engineers, who love drones. They found the ones they have already owned were very hard to control, which is why they designed this ultra compact drone. Without sacrificing the main features of the drones. It's firm, it's easy to control, and it can Livestream and record video clips in HD on your phone!  How does it work?

We were surprised how easy it was to set it up. First, you will need to install an free app (just scan the QR code from the manual), as simple as that.  Once you've done that, just plug in the battery, connect your drone and start the app. In less than 10 seconds, you will be ready to go!  And the best part is, the flying is very easy. The controls are just superb, very intuitive. Flying this drone just feels natural. Some younger colleagues were in the office at that moment and they rolled with it within a few seconds. Their first drone flight ever. It is just amazing how easy and fluid controls are!  Once you're in the air, it's time to use the built-in camera. You can take the most amazing photos, selfies and videos. Create videos from impossible angles and impress your friends with the coolest selfies!  How much does it cost?

That's what we all want to know, right?

I thought it would be around $300

PS: The drones are almost sold out. This means that the manufacturers could temporarily cut the price in half so, at this moment, you can get yours for $100! And you are getting a discount for the bigger quantity!

How to buy the Drone 720X?

It's super easy. You can buy it from the official website.

This drone is perfect because of ...
Pet walking
Height Hold
Stable flight and steady landing
Easy smartphone controls
Power outages
HD camera
Create amazing photos and videos
Blinding attack
6-axis Gyro
Self-stabilizing technology
Car problems
3D Flips and Rolls
Smooth movements and precise positioning
SOS signals
headless mode
Breakthrough remote control technology

Why is this drone so wanted?

The main advantages of the Drone 720X are its portability, price, camera and ease of use.  Drone is hardly bigger than a smartphone. Combined with its foldable rotors, you got the world's most portable drone. It will fit into every pocket or a backpack!  Small and light so you can easily carry it with you.  Absolutely everyone can fly with this drone! Its controls were designed to the perfection. The Drone 720X also has incredible hovering capabilities. You do not have to focus on height, just steer and enjoy your flight!  A drone named like this obviously comes with a high quality camera. This drone is just perfect for taking amazing pictures and videos. And flying with it is so easy so you can just focus on the landscapes you want to capture. Film nature, friends and even yourself in a fantastic quality!  And so far we have not even mentioned that the drone is made of ABS plastic, which makes the drone much lighter and stronger.  Last but not least, the price is quite low. Less than $100 for a drone of this quality. This has to be the best price-quality drone there!  Conclusion: Is it worth it?

This high-quality drone for this low price obviously means yes! Just think of all the amazing pictures and videos you can capture with the Drone 720X. Just the amusement you will have with it makes it worth ordering! If you have never flown a drone before, this is the time you start!  For us it is definitely worth it!  PS: Do not miss the offer while it still stands.  Now that you're aware of this amazing new drone, if it's still in stock, here's how to get one:

    Order Drone 720X from the official website.

    Download the selfiedrone app and connect it to your smartphone.

    Start taking amazing photos of you and your friends or family!
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Philippa on January 09, 2019, 10:48:32 pm »
The Deep Relief That Comes From Seeking Him First
Dec 07, 2018 | Jessica Smartt

Today's Truth

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

Friend to Friend

Two weeks ago, I accidentally stepped on a wooden toothpick that was lying on my bathroom floor. (Don’t ask me what a wooden toothpick was doing there in the first place.) Oh my goodness, did that ever hurt! I knelt down to  find the toothpick…missing the wooden tip. Yes, I now had a chunk of a toothpick lodged in the side of my foot. I spent hours trying to squeeze, tweeze, poke, pluck the splinter out. It nagged and hurt and throbbed. This little piece of wood was a no more than a centimeter, but I thought about it so much! It affected so much of my day-to-day: what shoes I wore, the activities I could do, what occupied my thoughts and my time. I kept thinking, “It is amazing that something so minuscule could affect your life so much!”

A splinter is a small thing, but when it’s lodged in your skin, everything gets off-kilter and uncomfortable. A small thing with big ramifications.  As the week went on I found myself reflecting on spiritual applications of this weird and unfortunate event (among other activities, like swabbing my foot with honey, baking soda, salt, banana peels…you get desperate!). One thing that came to mind as I thought about it was how a sinful habit or ungodly thought pattern can seem small but can affect your life in incredibly significant ways.  As our verse says, Jesus calls us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and He tells us that our needs will be provided for. This calling to “seek Him” isn’t an option. If we’ve signed on to follow Jesus, we are to go after Him and the way He wants us to live before anything else.  There are so many “little” ways I get this wrong. Caring more about checking my iPhone than checking in with prayer. Going to friends for advice instead of going to Scripture. These are “little” choices, but if they fester and remain, we will feel the effects. Our bodies and hearts were not meant to work this way. We were made to worship and seek Him first.  Is something off-kilter, not-quite right in your heart?

Is there a habit you need His help to remove?

Are you seeking the Lord first and trusting Him to provide?

Maybe like me, you’ve come out of a season where you haven’t been faithfully reading the Bible. Do you feel it, how life feels awkward and not-quite-right?

God is so gracious, and a week after I stepped on that toothpick, He answered my prayers. I woke up one morning and the splinter popped right out! I nearly cried in relief!  Our God is so good. Sometimes those aches and pains are reminders that something needs to go, to change. We will never reach perfection this side of heaven, but in His grace, He heals those tender and sore places and helps us to serve Him with a willing heart.
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