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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.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Philippa on January 09, 2019, 10:37:30 pm »
Green with Envy
Dec 06, 2018 | Mary Southerland

Today's Truth

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

Friend to Friend

We all know what it is like to be green with envy. We all struggle with jealousy at some point in life. Let’s be honest. How often do we look at another person and covet their success?

How many of us are not content to serve  God with the gifts He has given us while whining about the fact that others have the gifts we want. We convince ourselves that our longing for a bigger platform is to further the Kingdom when, in reality, that longing is for self-promotion, fame and recognition. Ugly, isn’t it?

Jealousy is one of the most dangerous emotions because it is one of the most destructive.  “Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but who can survive the destructiveness of jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4).

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (James 3:13-16).

James asks, “Who is wise and understanding among you?”

The word “wise” describes one with moral insight and/or skill in the practical issues of life. The word “understanding” means “intellectual perception.” James asks these pointed questions and then calls for a spiritual “Show and Tell” when he says, “Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”

James is sending us a strong message that wisdom and understanding are not measured by degrees, but by deeds. It is not how much we know that counts, but how much we are living that matters. We can talk a great spiritual game, but if we have a jealous heart, if we harbor envy, allowing it to creep into our lives, and taking up residence, then we have no wisdom and are living a lie.  James defines jealousy as “bitter envy and selfish ambition” (James 3:14). “Bitter envy” means, “a nasty jealousy” while “selfish ambition” refers to “a contentious selfishness” or “a hostile ego.” “Selfish ambition” can also be translated as a “party spirit,” and was a term used by the Greeks to describe a dishonest politician who works the crowd, using every opportunity and every method to draw attention to himself in an effort to win votes. James is painting an ugly picture of jealousy.  “You are still not spiritual. You have jealousy and arguing among you. This shows that you are not spiritual. You are acting like people of the world” (1 Corinthians 3:3).

People of the world secretly cheer when their enemy fails.  People of the world are driven by ego.  People of the world are suspicious of everyone, trusting no one.  People of the world are taught by envy and jealousy to take care of self above all others.  John and Dave were hiking when they spotted a mountain lion staring at them. John froze in his tracks, but Dave sat down on a log, tore off his hiking boots, pulled a pair of running shoes from his backpack and quickly put them on. John looked at him in amazement! “You can’t outrun a mountain lion!” he said.

Dave shrugged and responded, “I don’t have to! I just have to outrun you!”

I am so glad that God’s people are not like that, aren’t you?

Actually, Paul is writing to God’s people, warning them that jealousy is deadly to the unity of the church. Jealousy springs from a heart of insecurity and bubbles out in self-centered actions, arrogant words and divisive attitudes. We must realize that jealousy and envy are in direct opposition to the very nature of Jesus Christ and as a result, produce ungodly results in our lives.  Jealousy is a spiritual cancer that will invade and destroy whatever it touches. Everything we do from the motive of jealousy is empty and does not count in Kingdom work. We need to brutally and honestly examine every heart motive and choose against anything or anyone who promotes jealousy and envy.

Revealed: The most dangerous places to live in England and Wales - so how bad is YOUR area for violent crime, sex offences, theft and robbery?

    West Yorkshire came top of the list with 101.7 victim based crimes per 1,000
    Despite a rise in knife crime and acid attacks London came 10th on the blacklist
    Dyfed-Powys in Wales was found to be the safest place in the UK to live

By Terri-ann Williams For Mailonline

Published: 13:56, 29 December 2018 | Updated: 19:57, 29 December 2018

Britain's most dangerous places to live have been revealed on a map showing how peaceful suburbs are hit by soaring rates of violent crime.  West Yorkshire is revealed as the most dangerous county in England and Wales, with more than 100 victim-based crimes per 1,000 people.  London is only 10th out of 42 counties despite the wave of murders and stabbings in the capital this year, data from the Home Office shows.  Kent is a victim of the spread of violent crime away from city centres with an increase in homegrown gangs and 'county lines' networks, as knife crime in Kent soared by 40 per cent last year.  Where are the most dangerous places to live? 

According to how many victims of crime per 1,000 people in each area

1. West Yorkshire 101.7

2. Greater Manchester 98.6

3. Cleveland 95.1

4. South Yorkshire 88.4

5. Northumbria 88.4

6. Kent 87.6

7. Humberside 87.0

8. Durham 84.9

9. Lancashire 84.1

10. London (Met) 81.4

11. Nottinghamshire 76.3

12. Merseyside 75.5

13. West Midlands 

14. Gwent 73.3

15. Leicestershire 69.4

16. Hampshire 69.2

17. Northamptonshire 68.7

18. Cambridgeshire 68.6

19. Avon and Somerset 68.0

20. North Wales 67.6

21. Staffordshire 67.2

 22. South Wales 66.0

23. Bedfordshire 66.7

24. Essex 66.0

25. Warwickshire 65.6

26. Cheshire 65.3

27. Hertfordshire 61.0

28. Suffolk 59.5

29. West Mercia 59.0

30. Dorset 58.6

31. Thames Valley 58.6

32. Sussex 56.5

33. Wiltshire 54.4

34. Cumbria 53.8

35. Norfolk 52.9

36. Devon and Cornwall 52.0

37. Surrey 52.2

38. Lincolnshire 50.1

39. Gloucestershire 49.6

40. Derbyshire 48.4

41. North Yorkshire 44.4

42. Dyfed-Powys 43.1

Source: Home Office

West Yorkshire comes top of the list with 101.7 victim-based crimes per 1,000 people living there in the year up to June 2018.  London is 10th on the list despite a high-profile series of stabbings across the capital during 2018.  With the lowest number of Metropolitan Police officers since 2001, there has been a worsening of the violence on the capital's streets.  Senior figures have blamed the drugs trade as one factor fuelling the violence, with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Justice Secretary David Gauke hitting out at middle-class cocaine users.  However the spread of London gangs into the outer suburbs has meant that criminal networks continue to move into untapped territories, pushing up violence across the rest of the country.  According to the Home Office, the findings are proportional to the amount of people living in each police force's area.  This is while the data found that Kent is the most dangerous area for violent crime as youth crime in the area nearly doubled last year with knife crime soaring by more than 40 per cent.  Children as young as 10 having being found to have been involved in gang activity.  Elsewhere areas in the north of England such as Greater Manchester, Cleveland, South Yorkshire and Northumbria made up the rest of the top five regions.  Dyfed-Powys police force in Wales covers the safest area on the map, with just 43.1 offences per 1,000 people in a largely rural part of the country.  Other areas such as Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire were also among the least crime hit.  It was also revealed that people living in London are more than twice more likely to be robbed than almost anywhere else in the country.  Over the last year the capital has been hit by a surge in violent moped thefts with 19,000 attacks.  Robbery offences in mid Wales were more than 35 times lower than the English capital.  One blackspot for both theft and criminal arson offences in Cleveland in the north east of England. This is while the region continues to slash local police in the area with forces such as Hartlerpool have to content with 10 officers to cover around 90,000 people.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Hannah on December 26, 2018, 08:59:54 pm »
Why His Strength is Our Victory
Nov 16, 2018 | Kelly Balarie

Today's Truth

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.  Psalm 127:1

Friend to Friend

There are two ways champion athletes act. Consider the game of football. The guy who runs the winning touchdown either kneels on the ground, pounds his fists against his chest, and yells, “I’m Da’ Man!” or  he runs to the 10-yard line, points up to God, and says, “All due credit goes to You, Jesus.”

May we do all things to the glory of God.  A girl can hope, right?

Sometimes I misplace due-glory. It’s not that I don’t want to thank, praise or give credit to God. I do. It is just that I get busy, distracted, and focused on all that I need to do. All the people who need me. All the happenings around me.  Are you at all like me?

Consider, when you (work, help others, do a job, want something, are after a dream), do you:

1.   Work really hard, yet feel disappointed that you don’t get what you want? (Yes/No)
2.   Put your best effort in, yet feel reliant on the outcome? (Yes/No)
3.   Get upset when people don’t acknowledge what you’ve done? (Yes/No)
4.   Become worried that other people will look better than you? (Yes/No)
5.   Wonder if you’ll be put to shame if you don’t perform well? (Yes/No)
6.   Hope that people see you and notice all that you are doing? (Yes/No)
7.   Work yourself to the point of being extremely tired? (Yes/No)
8.   Say yes to everyone even though you know you should say no? (Yes/No)
9.   Expect people to give you the things “due to you”? (Yes/No)
10.   Become resentful towards the “many” people who demand things of you? (Yes/No)

If you answered yes to a few of the above questions, this is a good sign you’re working by your own strength. Strength that leads to discouragement, disappointment and a depleted spirit.“Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” (Psalm 127:1 NIV)

Our strength = Our defeat.  His strength = Our victory.  Where do you need to move out of the way, so that you can find a new, restful and restorative way Jesus’ way?

Relying on God’s victory doesn’t mean we do nothing. Here are some things we can do, while trusting God as we wait on Him. We can:

1.   Pray
2.   Lean on His promises
3.   Wait to understand what He wants us to do.
4.   Move out and love others
5.   Rest
6.   Pray and give thanks.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Hannah on December 26, 2018, 08:46:27 pm »
Serving Your Husband When You Don’t Really Feel Like It
Nov 15, 2018 | Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other”   Romans 12:9-10

Friend to Friend

Carley and Dan are a couple who have gone the extra mile not to go the extra mile. They constantly keep score as to who put a new bar of soap in the shower last or who replaced the toilet paper roll last or who opened a new tube of toothpaste last.  “It’s sort of a contest to see who can use the smallest sliver of soap or use the last drop of toothpaste,” Carley boasted.

The contest, as silly as it may seem, boils down to who is going to serve the other. Imagine how adored Dan would feel if Carley began to get out a new bar of soap before the sliver war began or replenished the toilet paper before it was totally out.  If you want to try a contest in your home, how about seeing who can out-serve the other! The apostle Paul encourages: “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:9-10 NLT).

When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17), it wasn’t simply an act of kindness. He was actually fulfilling a need the other people had refused to meet. It was customary in those days for the host of a dinner party to have a servant wash the guests’ feet.   There were no Reeboks or Nikes in those days. Men and women wore leather sandals as they walked the dusty, often muddy, roads of the Holy Land. Nothing felt better than to sink callused, throbbing feet into a cool basin of water and rinse away the cares of the day. However, at Jesus’s last supper with His disciples, no servant was available to wash the guests’ feet, and no one volunteered.  So God made man wrapped a towel around His waist and did what no one else was willing to do. He washed the disciples’ feet.  Afterward, He sat down and said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15 NIV).

In Philippians 2:4, Paul tells us to look out for the interests of others, not just for our own. “Look out for” is from the Greek word skopos, from which we get the words telescope and microscope. It means to pay close attention. Whether we are using a telescope to get the big picture or a microscope for close examination, the wife of your man’s dreams pays close attention to his needs, desires, dreams, joys, and sorrows. She looks closely at his heart and thinks of ways to serve him.  Serving doesn’t mean the bondage of slavery. As Jesus put on the towel and served His disciples, He proved to us conclusively that God’s kind of serving love flows from choice, not coercion; from strength, not weakness; from gladness, not guilt.  Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV).

It may be entirely possible for you to serve your husband and not feel you are receiving anything in return. However, your heavenly Father is always watching, and the measure you use to bless your husband will be used by your heavenly Husband to bless you in return.

Furious Duchess of Cambridge 'fell out with Meghan Markle before the royal wedding after the former actress "b*****ked" a member of her staff'

    Meghan Markle allegedly berated a member of the Duchess of Cambridge's staff
    Kate Middleton is said to have told her it was 'unacceptable' to target her aides
    It comes amid rumours of a rift between Kate, 36, and the Duchess of Sussex, 37

By Tim Stickings For Mailonline

Published: 08:49, 1 December 2018 | Updated: 13:56, 1 December 2018

Kate Middleton had a furious row with Meghan Markle after the former actress 'b*****ed' a member of her staff, it has been claimed.  The Duchess of Cambridge allegedly told Meghan, 37, it was 'unacceptable' to target her aides before May's royal wedding in Windsor.  Kate, 36, is reported to have told Prince Harry's bride-to-be: 'They're my staff and I speak to them,' The Sun reported. 

The reported row comes amid rumours of a rift between the two Duchesses, which have emerged since it was announced that Harry and Meghan would move out of Kensington Palace. 
A source told the newspaper: [Meghan]  and Kate fell out when she b******ed Kate's staff.  'It's a tricky situation but it was a one-off and they are determined to maintain a positive relationship even though they are obviously very different in their approach.'

Kensington Palace has reportedly denied the claims.  Kate is also claimed to have been left crying in a stressful dress fitting in the lead-up to the wedding in May.  In addition sources have also told the Mirror that insiders are concerned about Meghan's 'authoritative' and 'abrupt' style.   It comes after claims from royal sources that Meghan clashed with Buckingham Palace over the smell at St George's Chapel, where she married Prince Harry.  Insiders claimed that Meghan wanted air fresheners to be used in the 15th-century chapel but was told it was not appropriate.  The Palace is said to have told her that the chapel was a regular place of worship for the Queen and that it would be good enough for Meghan.  The source said: 'Apparently Meghan didn't like the smell of the chapel, which, as you would expect, is a little musty.  It's not unpleasant at all, though. It just smells how you would expect an old building to smell. And that's something the Royal Family are particularly used to.  Meghan wanted staff to go around with these atomisers, like spritzer guns, and spray the chapel with scent before anyone arrived.  Royal Household staff stepped in and told her office politely, but firmly, that this was the Queen's Chapel and it simply wasn't appropriate. I don't believe they said no because they thought it could affect the chapel in any way. It was simply the principle of the thing  This is a place that has held royal weddings, funerals and even contains the Royal Vault. I don't believe a request of that nature had been made before.'   
Addiction / What is alcohol abuse disorder, and what is the treatment?
« Last post by Freaky Friday on December 01, 2018, 03:04:59 pm »

What is alcohol abuse disorder, and what is the treatment?
Last updated Tue 29 May 2018
By Christian Nordqvist   
Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP   

Definition Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Complications Treatment

Alcoholism, now known as alcohol use disorder, is a condition in which a person has a desire or physical need to consume alcohol, even though it has a negative impact on their life.

In the past, a person with this condition was referred to as an "alcoholic." However, this is increasingly seen as an unhelpful and negative label. Health professionals now say that a person has an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), in 2015, 15.1 million American adults (6.2 percent of the population) had an alcohol use problem.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, 3.3 million deaths every year result from the harmful use of alcohol.


Alcohol abuse disorder refers to a long-term addiction to alcohol.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) describes alcohol use disorder as "problem drinking that becomes severe."

A person with this condition does not know when or how to stop drinking. They spend a lot of time thinking about alcohol, and they cannot control how much they consume, even if it is causing serious problems at home, work, and financially.

Alcohol abuse can be used to talk about excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol, but not necessarily dependence.

Moderate alcohol consumption does not generally cause any psychological or physical harm. However, if who enjoy social drinking increase their consumption or regularly consume more than is recommended, AUD may eventually develop.


A person who drinks excessive amounts of alcohol will often not be the first person to realize that this is so.

Some signs and symptoms of AUD include:

    drinking alone or in secret
    not being able to limit how much alcohol is consumed
    blacking out and not being able to remember chunks of time
    having rituals and being irritated if someone else comments on these rituals, for example, drinks before, during, or after meals, or after work
    losing interest in hobbies that were previously enjoyed
    feeling an urge to drink
    feeling irritable when drinking times approach, especially if alcohol is not, or may not be, available
    storing alcohol in unlikely places
    gulping drinks down in order to feel good
    having problems with relationships, the law, finances, or work that stem from drinking
    needing more alcohol to feel its effect
    experiencing nausea, sweating, or shaking when not drinking

Some people experience some of these signs and symptoms but are not dependent on alcohol.

Alcohol consumption becomes a problem when it takes precedence over all other activities. Dependence can take several years to develop.

The problems linked to alcohol dependence are extensive. The effects can be physical, psychological, and social.


Causes and risk factors include peer pressure, drinking from a young age, and depression.

Alcohol dependence can take from a few years to several decades to develop. For some people who are particularly vulnerable, it can happen within months.

Over time, regular alcohol consumption can disrupt the balance of:

gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain   
GABA controls impulsiveness and glutamate stimulates the nervous system.

Dopamine levels in the brain rise after consuming alcohol. Dopamine levels may make the drinking experience more gratifying.

Over the long- or medium-term, excessive drinking can significantly alter the levels of these brain chemicals. This causes the body to crave alcohol in order to feel good and avoid feeling bad.

Possible risk factors

Some risk factors may also be linked to excessive drinking.

    Genes: Some specific genetic factors may make some people more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol and other substances. There may be a family history.
    The age of the first alcoholic drink: A study has suggested that people who start drinking alcohol before the age of 15 years may be more likely to have problems with alcohol later in life.
    Easy access: There appears to be a correlation between easy access to alcohol such as cheap prices and alcohol abuse and alcohol-related deaths. One study registered a significant drop in alcohol-related deaths after one state raised alcohol taxes. The effect was found to be nearly two to four times that of other prevention strategies, such as school programs or media campaigns.
    Stress: Some stress hormones are linked to alcohol abuse. If stress and anxiety levels are high, a person may consume alcohol in an attempt to blank out the upheaval.
    Peer drinking: People whose friends drink regularly or excessively are more likely to drink too much. This can eventually lead to alcohol-related problems.
    Low self-esteem: Those with low self-esteem who have alcohol readily available are more likely to consume too much.
    Depression: People with depression may deliberately or unwittingly use alcohol as a means of self-treatment. On the other hand, consuming too much alcohol may increase the risk of depression, rather than reducing it.
    Media and advertising: In some countries, alcohol is portrayed as a glamorous, worldly, and cool activity. Alcohol advertising and media coverage of it may increase the risk by conveying the message that excessive drinking is acceptable.
    How the body processes (metabolizes) alcohol: People who need comparatively more alcohol to achieve an effect have a higher risk of eventually developing health problems related to alcohol.


For AUD to be diagnosed in the U.S., the individual must meet the criteria laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APS).

The criteria include having a pattern of consumption that leads to considerable impairment or distress.

At least three of the following criteria should have been present during the past 12 months:

    Alcohol tolerance: The person needs a large quantity of alcohol to feel intoxicated. However, when the liver is damaged and cannot metabolize the alcohol so well, this tolerance may drop. Damage to the central nervous system may also reduce tolerance levels.
    Withdrawal symptoms: When the individual abstains from alcohol or cuts down, they experience tremors, insomnia, nausea, or anxiety. They may drink more to avoid these symptoms.
    Beyond intentions: The person drinks more alcohol, or over a longer period, than they intended.
    Unsuccessful attempts to cut down: The person is continuously trying to cut down alcohol consumption but does not succeed. They may have a persistent desire to cut down.
    Time consumed: The person spends a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from alcohol consumption.
    Withdrawal: The individual withdraws from recreational, social, or occupational activities that they previously participated in.
    Persistence: The person continues consuming alcohol, even though they know it is harming them physically and psychologically.

Some signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse may be due to another condition. Ageing can lead to memory problems and falls, for example.

A person may go to the doctor about a medical condition, such as a digestive problem, and not mention how much alcohol they consume. This can make it difficult for a doctor to identify who might benefit from alcohol dependency screening.

If a health worker suspect alcohol may be a problem, they may ask a series of questions. If the patient answers in a certain way, the doctor may then use a standardized questionnaire to find out more.
Tests for alcoholism

Blood tests can only reveal very recent alcohol consumption. They cannot tell whether a person has been drinking heavily for a long time.

If a blood test reveals that the red blood cells have increased in size, it could be an indication of long-term alcohol abuse.

Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) is a blood test that helps detect heavy alcohol consumption.

Other tests can indicate whether there is damage to the liver, or in males reduced testosterone levels. Both of these might indicate chronic alcohol consumption.

However, screening with an appropriate questionnaire is seen as an effective means of reaching an accurate diagnosis.

Many people who consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol deny that alcohol poses a problem for them. They may tend to minimize the extent of their drinking.

Talking to family members may help the doctor understand the situation, but they will need permission to do this.


Complications of this condition may include memory loss, confusion, mental health issues, and problems with work or home life.

Drinking alcohol usually elevates a person's mood at first.

However, a person who has been consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol for a long time is likely to become sedated when they drink.

This is because alcohol depresses the nervous system.

Alcohol may undermine a person's judgment. It can lower inhibitions and alter the drinker's thoughts, emotions, and general behavior.

Heavy regular drinking can seriously affect a person's ability to coordinate their muscles and speak properly.

Heavy binge drinking could lead to a coma.

Eventually, regular heavy drinking may cause at least one of the following problems:

    Fatigue: The person feels tired most of the time.
    Memory loss: Alcohol affects the short-term memory in particular.
    Eye muscles: The eye muscles can become significantly weaker.
    Liver diseases: There is a higher chance of developing hepatitis and cirrhosis, an irreversible and progressive condition.
    Gastrointestinal complications: Gastritis or pancreas damage can occur. These will undermine the body's ability to digest food, absorb certain vitamins, and produce hormones that regulate metabolism.
    Hypertension: Regular heavy drinking is likely to raise blood pressure.
    Heart problems: There is a higher risk of cardiomyopathy (damaged heart muscle), heart failure, and stroke.
    Diabetes: There is a high risk of developing diabetes type 2, and people with diabetes have a high chance of complications if they regularly consume more alcohol than is recommended. Alcohol prevents the release of glucose from the liver, resulting in hypoglycemia. If a person with diabetes is already using insulin to lower their blood sugar levels, hypoglycemia could have serious consequences.
    Menstruation: Excessive consumption of alcohol can stop or disrupt menstruation.
    Erectile dysfunction: There may be problems getting or sustaining an erection.
    Fetal alcohol syndrome: Consuming alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects. The newborn may have a small head, heart problems, shortened eyelids, and developmental and cognitive problems.
    Thinning bones: Alcohol interferes with the production of new bone, leading to a thinning of the bones and an increased risk of fractures.
    Nervous system problems: There may be numbness in the extremities, dementia, and confused or disordered thinking.
    Cancer: There is a higher risk of developing several cancers, including cancer of the mouth, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, breast, prostate, and pharynx.
    Accidents: There is a higher chance of injuries from falls, road traffic accidents, and so on.
    Domestic abuse: Alcohol is a major factor in spouse-beating, child abuse, and conflicts with neighbors.
    Work or school problems: Employment or educational problems and unemployment are often alcohol-related.
    Suicide: Suicide rates among people with alcohol dependence or who consume alcohol inappropriately are higher than among those who do not.
    Mental illness: Alcohol abuse increases the risk of mental illness, and it can make existing mental illnesses worse.
    Problems with the law: People who consume alcohol are significantly more likely to spend time in court or in prison, compared with the rest of the population.

What is Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome?

Alcohol consumption can affect the way the body absorbs vitamins, and this can lead to further complications. In Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, low levels of vitamin B1 can lead to a range of problems.


The first step toward recovery is to acknowledge that there is an alcohol dependency problem.

The next step is to get help. This is available from a range of support groups and professional services.

The following are recognized treatment options for alcoholism:

    Do-it-yourself: Some people with an alcohol problem manage to reduce their drinking or abstain without seeking professional help. Free information is available on websites, and self-help books can be purchased online.
    Counseling: A qualified counselor can help the person share their problems and then devise a plan to tackle the drinking. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is commonly used to treat alcohol dependency.
    Treating underlying problems: There may be problems with self-esteem, stress, anxiety, depression, or other aspects of mental health. It is important to treat these problems, too, as they can increase the risks posed by alcohol. Common alcohol-related issues, such as hypertension, liver diseases, and possibly heart diseases, will need to be treated too.
    Residential programs: These can offer expert professional help, individual or group therapy, support groups, training, family involvement, activity therapy, and a host of strategies for treating alcohol abuse. Being physically away from access to temptation is helpful for some people.
    Drug that provokes a severe reaction to alcohol: Antabuse (disulfiram) causes a severe reaction when somebody drinks alcohol, including nausea, flushing, vomiting, and headaches. It is a deterrent, but it will not treat the compulsion to drink or solve the problem in the long term.
    Drugs for cravings: Naltrexone (ReVia) may help reduce the urge to have a drink. Acamprosate (Campral) may help with cravings.
    Detoxification: Medications can help prevent withdrawal symptoms (delirium tremens, or DTs) that can occur after quitting. Treatment usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Chlordiazepoxide, a benzodiazepine medication, is frequently used for detoxification (detox).
    Abstinence: Some people complete detox successfully, but they start drinking again either soon after or some time later. Access to counseling, medical help, support groups, and family support can all help the individual avoid alcohol as time goes on.
    Alcoholics Anonymous: Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have faced problems with alcohol. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to stop drinking.

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