Donna Michele Watford, RN was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has degrees in Sociology and Health Studies; and currently attends Drexel University Graduate School. She’s married and resides in the Metro Atlanta area.
Donna realized a void in her life after the loss of her mother; it was then she asked God’s permission to share her experiences to offer others encouragement. Embarking on a new journey involving a closer walk with Jesus the Christ, she now shares her journey with Him through writing poems, songs and books. Donna’s goal is to first and foremost give God glory, provide hope in the face of despair, and be encouraging.
About the Book
Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us is the author’s memoir. It’s a spiritual journey of a mother and daughter; the conclusion is peace, be still. A journey anointed with the potential to revolutionize the thoughts of mankind. This inspirational book focuses on social challenges including senseless killings and substance abuse. It has a subtle political twist that considers the sacrifices of Martin Luther King; unforgettable change. Their time together echoes the sentiments of President Barack Obama by depicting the effects from helping; circumstances change. A story offering the only love capable to change lives: John 3:16.
It's easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon EVERYTHING for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily...
"Now to him who is ABLE to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" ~ Eph 3:20-21 NIV
Why do we hurt the ones we love?Everyone is guilty of doing this at one point or another. We all have done this. I just can't figure out why. There is not a clear cut answer the reasons are as different as we are, each situation and with each person is unique.
I was told once, that 'we always hurt the ones we love and trust because we'll always trust that they will love us back', We can basically be selfish and stupid and cruel sometimes. We easily can begin to think it’s all about us and our needs. We can easily come to take them for granted, which is a very dangerous thing to do.
I don't think it is always intentional or conscious, but because of the close emotional connection and tie, what we do that might not bother a friend as much or a stranger at all, can be devastating to someone to whom we are the closest in every area of our life. I think those we love are so much more vulnerable and easily hurt that if our intention is to get a reaction and really hurt someone deeply, they are unfortunately a close target and easier to hurt than a stranger.
Sometimes we do it because we hurt before we can be hurt. This happens because of our own fears and insecurities. Believing the lie that we are not good enough, we don’t deserve the person we're with, and they will soon realize it too.We might think we are going to lose them anyway, and we might as well go ahead and get it over. We try to be proactive and beat them to the punch. We figure if we walk away first it won't hurt as much. For example, I have been through times where I thought I was just an inconvenience to someone I cared about. Or when I was causing problems at home, and would argue with my parents. I begin feeling that I'm not "good enough" for them and I don't make them happy.' We're angry and frustrated with ourselves.We think we don't deserve anything good,so we aim at the good things we have in life and unconsciously try to destroy them.
At times like these, I've said mean and hurtful things that I didn't mean at all, do I do it as a way of testinghow much my they loved me or not?Maybe I wanted to see just how far I could push them away and if they would leave. Maybe I was trying to give them plenty of reasons to leave. I wanted to give them full permission to leave me but not feel guilty about it or blame themselves about it. Rather, they could just blame me for being so hateful by saying such mean things.But the simple truth is in trying to hurt them, we try in fact to hurt ourselves.
. We expect too much from them. We nurture the secret hope that they can help us, that they can do all the things we are not capable of doing; moreover, that they have to do them, because of the love we invest in them. When they don't, we feel disappointed and the natural instinct is to make them regret it. They are the ones who have the courage to be honest and tell us the truth, even when it hurts.And even though we know it is the truth, it still hurts and the pain can cause irreversible reactions.
. We feel misunderstood.We wish they could make a journey inside our head and see things the way we see them, just because we think it is the right way. We simply can't understand why they think differently and how they can miss something that seems so simple and obvious to us.
We misunderstand them because we're not always willing to try to understand them.When we feel tired and tormented, burdened with our own faults and deficiencies,we find it difficult to deal with theirs. We're not willing to make the investment it takes to get to know them deeply.
We love them but in the same time we hate them because they know our weaknesses and there's no way we can hide. The mask we wear in relation with other people is put aside and all the things we usually try to hide come to the surface.
We may hurt them to give them comfort later. We all have the inner need to cuddle, to protect the ones we love and we feel we have the right to hurt them for the very reason that we love them so much and we'll make up for it later. There in lays the basis for the statement "making up is so much fun"
We trust them and we mistakenly believe deep in our hearts that, no matter what we do, they won't stop loving us. We feel safe to take our frustrations on them because we think there will be no consequences. We hurt them most of the times because they let us hurt them.But from personal experience, people have a breaking point, there is a spot, a line we cross, and a point at which they will walk away.
Yes, we love them dearly but there are things about them that annoy us terribly and we know we're never going to be able to change them. It's like living with our own body. Sometimes it is a blessing, other times a nuisance. Sometimes it gives us a lot of satisfaction, other times it drives us mad, but there is not much we can do about it cause it's ours.
How can people sometimes say such cruel things to their loved ones--partner or best friend or parent or sibling? They treat strangers so much nicer. Why are we much more polite with people we don't know than we are to the people that we need?
Then there are people out there that actually TRY to make someone feel miserable, and they feel good about doing so. What a miserable existence.
We all experience various degrees of emotional hurt and trauma growing up. Unfortunately, we form part of our identities around whatever we experience, be it love, distance, drama, or verbal or physical abuse. As adults, we may feel most alive or most like ourselves when we are feeling the same way we did as children,and so we may do things unconsciously to get our partner to trigger those feelings. For example, a person who grew up with a lot of distance may feel uncomfortable with closeness, and may sabotage it by picking fights or avoiding intimacy. Or a person who grew up in a chaotic, dramatic home may be uncomfortable with harmony and quiet and always seem to trigger chaos or drama in their relationships.
Also, as adults, our fantasy is that we will find a person who will finally give us the love we never got as children. If we can’t get the love from our original parent or caretaker, the next best thing is to get the love from someone who has a very similar personality to the person we originally feel wounded by. We’ll generally feel a lot of attraction, chemistry and intensity in our love with such loved ones, due to the interlocking nature of our emotional baggage.
But what we may not realize though, is that this person that we fall love has the perfect tools and personality to emotionally re-create ourchildhood hurts. After the initial attraction wears off and we are in a deeper, committed relationship, their fears (and ours) often get activated. And when they get afraid, they will strike out in exactly the same way that our parents or caretakers did. The result? We get wounded again.Only now it’s worse, because the very person who we hoped could give us the love we never got, is hurting us. Not because they ‘love us most of all’, but because they are unaware of their own unconscious defenses.
Many of us lack the knowledge and skills of how to communicate our feelings constructively - many people may realize how they hurt their partners, andfeel like they want to change that behavior, but simply don't know how to change, or how to communicate what they are feeling in a constructive manner. Our culture does very little to teach us how to relate to our own feelings, and how to communicate those feelings to others in a safe, healthy way. Men especially may feel uncomfortable dealing with feelings of fear or vulnerability and may feel safer expressing anger or control when they are really scared.
Sometimes it may just be NOTHING. Everything could be going great, and then one day, all of a sudden, something happens. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding, just plain ol' miscommunication. We make assumptions and perceive things in a way that they were never meant or expressed. Instead of clarifying and working on a problem if one exists, we respond out of fear or anger. We blow things up and make them something there that’s not. Maybe it was something that they didn't mean. And then just like that, everything is gone...for good. And all that love we had for that person just disappears.
So what can we do to stop hurting the one we love?
We all have to take responsibility for getting clear and resolving our own emotional hurts from the past.We need to learn how to make it safe for our partners to express how they feel. We need to learn how to create a loving presence where we genuinely listen and validate our partners’ experience. We need to learn how to express feelings in ways that bring us closer, not in ways that create more distance and hurt.
We may need to do some work togetherto understand how and why we trigger each other to lash out in hurtful and destructive ways. We need to respect the fact that in an committed relationship, we have access to the most private and vulnerable aspects of each other’s lives. We need to treat that as a sacred privilege that we relate to with the utmost respect, not as an entitlement to trample upon for our own ego gratification. We can’t make ourselves look good at their expense. We can’t use those intimate secrets, their weaknesses and vulnerabilities at weapons when angry or frustrated. Those secrets should be maintained even if we are no longer with our loved one. Our responsibility and our implied promise to hold their most intimate thoughts are not released simply because we are no longer a in the same type of relationship.
Are we totally blind to the pain that our words may cause? I don't think so, so then why do we do it? We need to use words that build up and not tear down the other person.
We are all on a journey of discovering who we are, and intimate relationships provide us with a powerful opportunity to see ourselves and our psychological and spiritual lessons more clearly.We can hide from ourselves, from our therapists, from our bodies, from our spiritual teachers and from our friends, but we cannot hide from the one we love and who loves us. All of our stuff will eventually come to light through this mysterious and wonderful process we call love.
If a relationship becomes abusive, verbally or physically, and or the relationship begins to put our well being in jeopardy it is not considered running away, it’s more like escaping. We need to do this for our own self-preservation. You need to set personal boundaries, express them, and stand by them, when necessary, don't let the other person control who you are, don't let them diminish or prevent you from fulfilling God's purpose for your life. But don't expect the other person to know what you’re thinking, you need to communicate your boundaries and you expectations, or they will not be aware of them. You should never lose yourself in the relationship. Above all else be true to yourself.
If we look deeply we may clearly see that any part of ourselves that hurts others is simply a part of ourselves that needs more love.
Excerpt from: Hiding in the Shadows
A book by Michael Clark
Copyright 2009 Shadows of the Cross Ministries
* May be utilized and copied as needed as long as credits are attached.
gmclife.com will be your only source for complete Doves coverage, with winner predictions by our senior music editors, exclusive video interviews with nominated artists, and backstage access the night of.
Can you tell us something about your Christian testimony?
I was reared in a Christian home. My parents were active in church, my father an elder, my mother a deaconess. I attended Christian summer camps, youth group and said grace at every meal. I thought being born into a Christian family and raised in the faith made me a Christian. It didn’t. Each person makes their own choice, and it took me years to surrender to Jesus – not until after I’d gone through college, married, had children and started a writing career. Rick and I went to church, but came away dissatisfied and knowing there must be something more. We both had personal issues that brought us close to divorce several times. We wanted our own way and to have control over our own lives. Having control is an illusion. As a child, I’d asked Jesus to be my Savior. What I didn’t understand is I needed to surrender my life to Him and allow Him to be LORD of my life as well.
Our marriage was on the verge of collapse when Rick started his own business. We moved to northern California to be closer to family. We made many outer changes, but no change of the heart. As we moved into our rental house, a little boy came over to help and said, “Have I got a church for you!” We weren’t ready to listen. The lady on the other side of our fence also invited us to the same church. Out of desperation, I went a few weeks later. It was my first experience with “expository teaching.” The pastor taught straight out of the Bible, explaining the historical context, what the scriptures were saying, and what they had to do with me in the present. I drank it in! I took my three children to church. They loved it. Rick resisted (after having a somewhat disheartening experience with a denominational church in Southern California). I asked the pastor if he would be willing to teach a home Bible study. He agreed -- if Rick agreed, which he did. Studying the Bible changed our lives. Our hearts and minds opened to Christ. We both accepted Jesus as Savior and LORD and were baptized in May 1986. Since then, God has been changing our lives from the inside out. The Lord also healed our marriage. We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this year.
Tell us about your current work.
I have just completed the second in a set of two books about mother-daughter relationship over four generations. This was intended to be one long novel dealing with the different ways generations have lived out their faith – but became so long it needed to be divided. Her Mother’s Hope was released on March 16, 2010. Her Daughter’s Dream will follow in September. There are numerous family and personal details woven into both books and I plan to share those things on my blog. You may find out more about my new book and more by visiting my web site at www.FrancineRivers.com.
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Her Mother's Hope
The first part of an unforgettable epic family saga about the sacrifices every mother makes for her daughter and the very nature of unconditional love. On the eve of the First World War, fiery Marta Schneider leaves Switzerland and her difficult childhood behind, determined to find a new life on her own terms. Barely out of her teens, Marta is haunted by a devastating loss that fuels her ambition to one day own a hotel. From the cramped quarters of a French housekeeping school to the portrait-lined halls of a stately English manor, Marta becomes a hard working domestic who has little time to dwell on what might have been. Instead, she draws her strength from what could be. Then, Marta meets Niclas Waltert, a man just as determined as she to forge a better life in a new place. Niclas captures her heart and together they endure the harshness of life as tenant farmers on the vast prairies of Winnipeg, Canada, before following the promise of the American dream and migrating to the agriculturally rich Central Valley of California. Marriage and motherhood bring both joy and heartbreak, as Marta must surrender her long-held ambitions for the sake of her husband and children, including her daughter, Hildemara, upon whose shoulders her own hopes now squarely rest.
Only the strong survive and Marta is determined to raise a daughter as strong as she. But as Hildie reaches young womanhood and another war is fast approaching, those hopes become too heavy a burden for Hildie to bear. Born with a heart to serve others, Hildie pursues her calling as a nurse, something Marta can’t understand. Marta’s years of hardnosed parenting have left Hildie still hungry for her mother’s love…and now for her mother’s respect. Amid the drama of WWII, Hildie falls in love and begins a family of her own. She wants her daughter, Carolyn, never to doubt her love—but the challenges of life conspire against her vow and the only person who can come to her aid is the person she remains so desperate to please: Marta, her mother. With hallmark touches of brilliant prose and gripping characterizations, Her Mother’s Hope is a rich, moving epic about faith and dreams, heartache and disappointment, and ultimately the resilience and tenacity of love.
PLEASE NOTE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to the me as a blog tour host by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com for more information about blog tour management services.
Secrets of Happy Home Lifewas written by J.R Miller in 1894 and it's been edited by Nicki O'Donovan. The beauty of this book is that the truth within it's pages is as true today as it was back then because it comes from the Holy Scriptures. You will see that obedience to God's word brings His blessing into your home and makes it a haven and sanctuary for God and all the family that dwell therein.
Again, youMUST subscribe to His Heartbeat for Womenin order to receive this FREE e-book, as well as stay informed of up-to-date news, events, encouragement and podcasts to help equip you to be a Godly Proverbs 31 woman.
~ ~ Inspirational Drama Premieres Sunday, April 25 at 6 PM ET
before the 41st annual Dove Awards at 8 PM ~ ~
On April 25, gmctv will have the U.S. television premiere of FIREPROOF, the wildly popular Christian film starring Kirk Cameron. This will be the first time the feature film will be shown on U.S. television.FIREPROOF premieres on gmctv at 6 PM on Sunday, April 25, prior to the 41st annual Dove Awards, airing from 8-10 PM.
From the creators of Facing the Giants, FIREPROOF tells the story of a firefighter (played by Kirk Cameron) who uses a 40-day experiment known as “The Love Dare” to save his marriage. Upon its release, FIREPROOF quickly rose up the charts ranking as the #1 independent film of 2008 and iscurrently ranked in the top five highest-grossing Christian films to date, along with The Chronicles of Narnia and Passion of the Christ.
GMC can be seen in 47 million homes. The channel’s rapid growth has made it one of the fastest growing networks in television for the past three years. GMCTV is available on various cable systems around the country, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224. For more information visitwww.watchgmctv.com
(c) Gospel Music Channel
* This event information was shared on facebook. If you are on facebook, please invite your friends to tune in to watch this amazing LIFE-changing movie; or feel free to send them a link to this post.
Are we preaching freedom to the demonically oppressed?
The church today is weak, anemic, sick and in bondage. We are just like the unsaved when it comes to sickness, divorce and other areas of bondage. I believe the reason is that the message of freedom from demonic powers isn’t being preached.
Pastor, what will you do when your members start to come to you for help in this area? Sure, you can send them to a counselor or a Christian psychologist. But Jesus didn’t say, “Counsel them out” or “Medicate them out.”
He said,“Cast them out,”and that is the role of the church!
(c) Don Dickerman - is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and former pastor. He has directed a global ministry to prisons since 1974 and in 1995 received a powerful anointing for healing and deliverance.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 NIV
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: TAKE YOUR EVERYDAY, ORDINARY LIFE
~ your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life ~ and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, FIX YOUR ATTENTION ON GOD. YOU'LL BE CHANGED FROM THE INSIDE OUT. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity,
GOD BRINGS THE BEST OUT OF YOU, DEVELOPS WELL-FORMED MATURITY IN YOU. ~ Romans 12:1 Message
Can you rebuild trust after a marriage is shattered by infidelity?
Get the truth about adultery recovery from a couple who’s been there.
Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—Statistics show that one in every four marriages is impacted by infidelity. If you haven’t experienced the searing pain of unfaithfulness, odds are you know someone who has. The affects of infidelity are devastating and have destroyed many families, but adultery doesn’t have to be an automatic death sentence for your marriage. You can trust again. You can restore intimacy. You can have a relationship that you will both cherish for a lifetime.
Fifteen years ago, Gary and Mona Shriver experienced the devastation caused by adultery. After saving their relationship, the Shrivers wroteUnfaithful (David C Cook, November 2009), the true story of how God restored their unraveling marriage. Raw and transparently honest, the Shrivers’ story alone is an inspiration, offering hope and practical strategies for healing. In this revised version, the authors add new information on emotional affairs and share real life stories of betrayal and complete healing.
As co-founders of Hope and Healing Ministries, a Christian peer support ministry for couples in adultery recovery, the Shrivers have seen countless broken marriagesrestored and transformedinto intimate relationships built on love, respect, and trust.Unfaithful is a lifeline for couples with no hope in sight. It is also a useful resource for ministers, counselors, as well as friends and family of couples struggling to recover after a spouse has strayed.
With updated content and new discussion questions, Unfaithful is an ideal resource for small group studies or support groups. This revised version also offers a recovery timeline from a couples’ perspective, a helpful addition for couples wondering what the healing process will look like.
“We can now say with absolute sincerity that we have fully healed from the adultery,” the Shrivers share. “Our marriage is strong and mutually satisfying. We have love and trust. And we can only encourage you with the fact that it is worth the journey.”
After going through therapy to save their marriage from a devastating affair, Gary and Mona Shriver searched in vain for another couple who could offer them tangible hope that they could heal. Responding to this need in their community, the Shrivers cofounded Hope & Healing Ministries, Inc., an adultery recovery peer support ministry. They are members of the Association of Marriage andFamily Ministries (AMFM) and participants of the AMFM ministry team for Reconciling Troubled Marriages. The Shrivers are also members of the Stanislaus County Healthy Marriage Coalition in California. They have shared their story of hope many times on The 700 Club, Focus on the Family, and RBC’s Words to Live By. Gary, who owns an audio and video production facility, and Mona, a former nurse active in women’s ministries, have been married thirty-three years and have three grown sons. They reside in Turlock, California.
Tim Morey (M.Div., Bethel Seminary; D.Min., Fuller Seminary) is founding and lead pastor at Life Covenant Church in Torrance, California. He also serves on the Evangelical Covenant Church’s national church planting team and as an adjunct professor teaching practical theology at Talbot School of Theology.
Renee Johnson is a nationally known speaker & writer for her 20-somethings generation. She is passionate about the struggles she has experienced through her own personal sufferings and has over 400 blog posts to prove it. Renee’s new devotional book, The Faithbook of Jesus is both relatable and inspiring, written for 20-somethings by a 20-something. Each devotional will have a daily verse, commentary, prayer, and a quote from a real 20-something. Learn more atwww.devotionaldiva.com
Whose heart has not been thrilled by Elijah's exploits, his proclamation to King Ahab of the three-and-a-half-year drought, his ministry to the widow of Zarephath, and his victorious battle with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel? Elijah was greatly used of God.Yet this is the same manwhom we find later under a juniper tree in the wilderness—suffering from burnout.
Burnout can occur in the physical, emotional, and spiritual areas of life. Sometimes it affects only one or two of these areas, but it often takes its toll in all three, as it did with Elijah. He was physically exhausted from running before King Ahab’s chariot some 25 miles from Mount Carmel to the entrance of Jezreel (I Kings 18:46). He was emotionally drained as evidenced by his wish to die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life” (I Kings 19:4). He was spiritually distraught, which was shown by his words, “I, even I only, am left” (I Kings 19:10).
Priceless treasure is within your reach. And with it, liberating joy. In Randy Alcorn's The Treasure Principle, you'll unearth a radical teaching of Jesus - a secret wrapped up in giving. Once you discover this secret, life will never look the same. And you won't want it to!
For a limited time (until April 16th, 2010 at noon PT) you can download Randy Alcorn's The Treasure Principle for free when you add the download to your cart and use the coupon code TREPRIN10 during checkout!
Randy Alcorn is the best-selling author of over 30 books (4 million in print), including the novels Deadline, Dominion, Deception, and Safely Home. His nonfiction works include Money, Possessions and Eternity, The Treasure Principle, The Grace & Truth Paradox, The Purity Principle, Why ProLife, and Heaven.
Be sure to visit Eternal Perspective Ministrieswebsite to learn more about the ministry and Randy's books, and to access many free resources. Eternal Perspective Ministries, founded and directed by author Randy Alcorn, is a Bible-believing Christ-centered nonprofit organization with two goals: to teach the principles of God's Word, emphasizing an eternal viewpoint; and to reach the needy in Christ's name.