‘Ending’ Is A New Beginning [v196]

JUNE 2015

Every ‘Ending’ Is A New Beginning

A week ago David Letterman ended the 33-year run of his late night talk show, with Steven Colbert slated to replace him and create a ‘new beginning’ for the show. [ FYI: In 1992, Johnny Carson ended his 30-year run, with Jay Leno taking over for a total of 21 years until 2014 ].

In the ‘world’ of one of my big interests, cars, it was a really ‘big deal’, in 1999, when Porsche ended the production of its ‘air-cooled’ engines—which they had been making for 35 years—and replaced them with ‘water-cooled’ versions (allowing them to meet the new stringent emission standards).

In the Internet ‘world’, Verizon’s recently purchased AOL ending the 26 year-long “You’ve Got Mail” era, and it will be giving Verizon a ‘new beginning’ in the mobile streaming space.

 

We are always in a process of endings and new beginnings. Good, bad, happy or sad endings are all part of life.

When one beginning reaches it’s end, it is time for a new beginning. Seneca the Younger, a Roman philosopher from the first century said, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Every new thing comes from the completion of the prior thing.

 

Our lives aren’t static—they’re dynamic. Things in them are constantly shifting, changing, moving. They are, as a result, filled with countless endings, big and small. In nature, spring comes from the end of winter, sprouts come from the end of seeds, and harvests come from the end of plants. Humans experience ‘endings’ like graduation, marriage, divorce, bankruptcy, moving, retirement, illness, injury, an empty nest, losing one’s job, a business failure, and a death of a loved one—just to name a few.

 

Beginnings and endings have a profound impact on the way we live out our lives, the choices we make, and the quality of our relationships with family, friends, and acquaintances.

Probably the most ‘popular’ ending and a new beginning comes every year in January. It’s a time when most of us take inventory of the past year and make corrective resolutions for the coming year.

There’s something exciting about starting over—new challenges, new experiences, and new opportunities. I believe that the future holds the hope for something better—though looking back over the past year, I realize there are some things I’d like to do differently.

The month of January is named for “Janus,” one of the few Roman gods without a Greek counterpart. Janus was depicted as having one face looking to the right and one face looking to the left. One face looked to the past for wisdom, and the other looked ahead to the future. How much more clearly we can see where we’re headed if we see the pitfalls and mistakes of the past, and seeing how we have been guided in the past can give us courage to face the future.

 

An ending isn’t always a ‘bad’ thing. Endings can be ‘good’. For example, ending a smoking habit that has cost you years of poor health, getting out of debt, or something that has robbed you of ‘peace of mind’ can all be freeing. Admittedly, some endings are difficult—like the end of a cherished relationship or the transition from full-time parent to empty nester. They can leave us longing for yesterday and brokenhearted.

However, probably the most ‘intense’ endings we experience in life is the death of a family member—and psychologists say that a breakup of a long-term relationship has many similarities to a human death, and is just as intense (something that recently happened to me).

 

There are many other things that make us conscious of the need and the opportunity to make a new beginning. When someone we love dies, life is never the same again. The death of a spouse or a child or even the breakup from a ‘significant other’ so radically reshapes relationships and feelings that a new beginning is essential. After allowing time for the shock to wear off and the grieving process to run its course, there comes a distinct time to gather up the loose ends and begin again.

So, how do you cope? How do you move forward? How do you resume a normal life and feel happy again?

 

Well, no one begins dating someone hoping to break it off someday. We’re all looking for love, affection, security, companionship, commitment, and intimacy. But that’s not how it ended up.

You risked your heart. You shared your life—your love, your time, your money, your hopes, your dreams, and you made memories together—and it fell apart. Now, you’re back at ‘square one’ in the quest for marriage, and it feels even lonelier than square one originally, and you’re further from the ‘altar’ now, because of all you’ve spent and lost.

You thought this love would last forever. That you could work through any difficulties. “Isn’t our love worth saving?” you cried. But it’s over and your world has been ripped apart. You feel as if you’ll never reach light at the end of the tunnel (as if you could even see any light at the end of the tunnel right now). You feel you’ll never be happy again.

 

I think our greatest fear and worry that comes from ‘endings’ is that many see the ending as ‘final’ and with finality comes sadness, worry or despair that there is nothing but ‘darkness’ on the other end. The thought of darkness provides for a bleak outlook. Who wouldn’t be afraid of that?

How many people, who feared an ending, looked back on their life with gratitude recognizing that their current situation would not have been possible if the old one had not ended in some way. Trust, courage and faith accept that an ending is ‘necessary’ for a new beginning.

 

Most people have heard the old adage “time heals all wounds.” This is true for the ending of relationships as well. In the ‘moment’ it may feel like you will never heal—but it gets easier with time. There are things you can do to get back on your feet and get back to a healthier and happier you. Here’s a few ideas to begin the healing process:

Give yourself time to grieve. Losing a relationship often involves a grieving process. If you are familiar with the Kubler-Ross model for stages of grief, you understand that the process involves denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These are all appropriate emotions, whether you experience all or just a few.

Don’t avoid the pain. Allow yourself to fully ‘experience’ it. This will make sure that you don’t ‘repress’ it, for it to ‘resurface’ later.

The last thing you need after going through a breakup is to continue to relive it. Spend your time with people who make you happy and people who can make you smile. Be around people who will give you encouragement and offer the support that you need.

Take the time to reflect on what was learned in this relationship. Whether positive or negative, we can learn something in all situations. Be grateful for the lessons learned, whether hard or easy. It’s easy to be grateful for the positive lessons, and you can learn to be grateful for the negative ones. In our negative experiences we learn the things we no longer wish to experience and we learn to be more aware and a little more careful in the future.

If your ex broke up with you, it might be tempting to imagine that everything they did was right and everything you did was wrong. In all reality, you both had strengths and weaknesses, and you both made mistakes.

 

Just because you are feeling an emptiness in your life right now, doesn’t mean that nothing good is happening, or that things will never change. Consider this period as a ‘time-out’, a time for sowing the seeds for your new growth. You can emerge from this experience knowing yourself better and becoming stronger.

You’ll need to be honest with yourself during this part of the healing process. Try not to dwell on who is to blame or beat yourself up over your mistakes. As you look back on the relationship, you have an opportunity to learn more about yourself, how you relate to others, and the problems you need to work on. If you are able to objectively examine your own choices and behavior, you’ll be able to see where you went wrong and make better choices next time.

 

Learning to take care of yourself can be one of the most valuable lessons you learn following a ‘breakup’. As you feel the emotions of your loss and begin learning from your experience, you can resolve to take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward.

Self-care tips:
Make time each day to nurture yourself: Help yourself heal by scheduling daily time for activities you find calming and soothing. Go for a walk in nature, listen to music, enjoy a hot bath, get a massage, read a favorite book, take a yoga class, or savor a warm cup of tea.
Pay attention to your needs: Honor what you believe to be right and best for you even though it may be different from what others want. Say “no” without guilt or angst as a way of honoring what is right for you.
Stick to a routine: A divorce or relationship breakup can disrupt almost every area of your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty, and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy.
Take a time out: Try not to make any major decisions in the first few months after a breakup or divorce, like starting a new job or moving to a new city. If you can, wait until you’re feeling less emotional so that you can make better decisions.
Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or food to cope: When you’re in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to do anything to relieve your feelings of pain and loneliness. But using alcohol, drugs, or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It’s essential to find healthier ways of coping with your painful feelings.
Explore new interests: A divorce or breakup is a beginning as well as an end. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on the past.
Making healthy choices: When you’re going through the stress of a divorce or breakup, healthy habits easily fall by the wayside. You might find yourself not eating at all or overeating your favorite junk foods. Exercise might be harder to fit in because of the added pressures at home, and sleep might be elusive. But all of the work you are doing to move forward in a positive way will be pointless if you don’t make long-term healthy lifestyle choices.

 

In addition to ‘feeling’ emotionally bad, brain scientists suggest that there is a bio-chemical reason behind the despair. Researchers who’ve looked at the brains of the lovelorn say that loss, especially rejection by a romantic partner, ‘lights up’ areas of the brain that are associated with addiction. This can lead to psychological reactions that cause obsessive preoccupation with your partner, feelings of frenzied desperation, guilt over what you could have done differently, and even physical pain. So, letting go is crucial for your future health!

Also, when people feel emotional pain, the same areas of the brain get activated as when people feel physical pain (the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex). In one study, the same regions were activated when people who had recently broken up with romantic partners viewed pictures of the former partner.

“The evidence is clear that the passion of romantic love is a goal-oriented motivation state, not a specific emotion,” study researcher Helen E. Fisher, PhD, an anthropologist and noted relationship scientist at Rutgers University. “Those coping with these hurtful feelings are fighting uphill battle against a strong ‘survival’ system.”

“There’s a whole pathway that becomes activated when you are rejected, just as it does with nicotine cravings or alcohol,” Fisher says. “These areas are associated with physical pain and decision-making. If you have been rejected, you’re in pain, craving this person, trying to figure out what’s going on.”

But, as was mentioned previously, the researchers found that the greater the number of days since the breakup, the less activity showed up in the brain area associated with attachment. Time does heal. So, don’t ruminate about what’s happened, because if you do, you could plummet into depression.

 

Self-esteem is also a very important thing you’re going to have to address as well.

If your self-esteem is suffering from the break-up, it’s likely that your inner voice is being overly critical of your role in the break-up. Understand that it’s possible to make mistakes and be imperfect without being self-deprecating.

Being in a relationship is comforting and convenient. But for many people, it’s also a source of self-worth and security. If you were getting your self-worth and security from a relationship or from another person’s approval of you, then you are doing yourself an injustice. Since, when that person leaves you, you will probably become miserable and possibly depressed.

Everyone has some insecurities and low self-esteem—it’s more common than you think. There is no shame in admitting you have insecurities or low self-esteem. The problem arises when you don’t acknowledge them and your insecurities and your low self-esteem determine your actions and your major life decisions.

So, seek out opportunities that will make you feel competent and successful. What are you good at? Is there a loved one you can help with certain tasks? Participating in activities where you can succeed will help you feel accepted, recognized, and supported. If you can take part in activities that develop and/or utilize your strengths, your overall self-esteem can be greatly boosted, resulting in higher emotional, social, and physical well-being.

 

There are two essential steps to a successful new beginning: remembering and forgetting.

Remembering is essential to freedom from past mistakes. The Spanish-born philosopher and critic George Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Sometimes one cannot move forward without first taking account of the past. Being willing to look at a ‘hurtful’ past is not easy, but it is essential to the healing process and to the building of a better future.

If we do not remember specifically how and why we got into a situation that makes a new beginning essential to ‘reorienting’ our lives, then we are likely to find ourselves right back where we started before long. If we take inventory of where we are and “remember from what we have fallen,” then we are ready to begin again. It is not always easy to do the emotional heavy lifting required to intelligently determine what should be kept and what should be thrown away. Not everything that we thought or did, that got us into a painful situation, from which we need to be delivered, is necessarily wrong. Frederick Buechner, in his book, “A Room Called Remember,” speaks of how we may not only choose the wrong road but can also choose the right road for the wrong reason.

In addition to remembering, some things should be forgotten so we can move on without the unnecessary emotional baggage of negative memories.

Literally, forgetting is a great ‘blessing’, but our minds are not always able to completely eliminate a particular person or event from our consciousness. It is helpful and healing to intentionally refuse to replay a harmful incident over and over. An emotional wound, like a physical wound, will properly heal if we do not continue to pick at the ‘scab’ as it tries to heal. To forget is to stop picking at the wound. When a wound heals it may leave a scar, but the pain will be gone. It is dangerous for us to repeatedly tell others (and ourselves) that we will never forget “how we were treated” or “what so-and-so did to me.” To repeat it is to peel away the ‘scab’ and reopen the wound. Although it won’t be easy, you just need to forget about it.

Forgiveness of others is important to the healing process. Holding on to bitterness or nursing a grudge only poisons our spirit. Yes, we may have been truly wronged, and, yes, the pain is real, but there is freedom in forgiveness.

Forgiveness is really about giving up the belief that you can change the past. Forgiving is not for the other person—it’s for you.

There is a story about two men who had been imprisoned and brutally tortured. Several years after their release they were reunited. One man asked the other if he had forgiven their captors. “NEVER!” he exclaimed. The first man then said, “I see they still have you in prison.”

Forgiveness is letting yourself out of the ‘prison’ of what was. Regardless of your contribution to the situations that ended the relationship, forgive yourself and learn from them. It may be forgiving yourself for letting it happen, or for whatever you did to contribute to it.

 

All of what I’ve said up to now has been dependent on what YOU CAN DO for yourself. But, there’s Someone that can help you more than you can imagine! It’s the God of the Bible, and He ‘proved’ His desire to help by creating the MOST SUBSTANTIAL ‘ending’ and ‘new beginning’ the world has ever seen! Jesus dying on the cross and then resurrecting three days later.

The good news is simply this: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth about 2,000 years ago to fully pay the penalty for all of our sins by dying on the cross and then offered forgiveness, as a free gift, with no strings attached—supplying a complete ‘pardon’ for anyone who will receive it!

When one accepts Jesus as their Savior, they have “become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” [ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ].

This means a few things: It demonstrated that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, and proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead—guaranteeing that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead, but will be resurrected unto eternal life (a Christian’s “blessed hope”!). It also means you have been given the Holy Spirit to ‘live’ inside you to be your counselor, intercessor, and guide you to all truth.

What that means, especially related to the breakup of a long-term relationship, is that God has promised to go through our ‘trials’ with us: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” [ Isaiah 43:2 ].

 

God also tells us to “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken” [ Psalm 55:22 ]. In reality, feelings come from our thoughts, so to change how we feel, we need to change how we think—just what God wants to help us do.

The Apostle Paul said, “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5), and “think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8). He also said to “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” As we do these things, our feelings of rejection will diminish.

 

Overcoming the hurt of a broken relationship requires taking one day at a time, praying for God’s guidance, and reading and meditating on God’s Word (the Bible). The healing can never come from our own efforts; it comes only from the Lord. It helps to take our eyes off ourselves and focus on God instead. He can make us whole. He can take our brokenness and make us into what He wants us to be. A broken relationship is painful, but God help you overcome it with His compassion. He can give our lives meaning, purpose, and joy. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” [ John 6:37 ]. God’s relationship with His ‘children’ is one that will NEVER BE BROKEN.

 

You will feel rejected following your breakup, but DON’T EVER FORGET that God LOVES YOU and wants to spend eternity with you—that’s how much you are loved! So, don’t base your worth on your ex’s view of you, but rather base it on God’s view of you: You are “a child of God” [ 1 John 3:1 ]; You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” [ Psalm 139:14 ]; and you are a “treasured possession” [ Exodus 19:5 ]. Since we are all made in God’s image, He has a ‘keen interest’ in giving you a hope that your will reach your fullest potential!

The good news is that when God redeems an individual, He begins to restore the original ‘image’ He created you with, a “new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” [ Ephesians 4:24 ].

 

Remember that regardless of how painful the breakup may be, God ‘wastes’ nothing and will use this difficult experience for your good. You might not want that right now. With the pain and sorrow over the lost relationship so ‘fresh’, what you might want more than anything is to just ‘wallow’ in your hurt or sadness. But, take comfort from the fact that God wants to use this experience to ‘refine’ you, using “trials of various kinds” (James 1:2) to help you become more like Jesus, and to know that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” [ Romans 8:28 ].

God can work out a new glorious future for you in the midst of your present challenges. God does know what you need, and He’s never too slow to provide it. He might reveal things to you about the things you thought you needed, or he might simply show you how much more you need Him than anything or anyone else.

God feeds the ‘unemployed’ birds of the air (Matthew 6:26), and grows the beautiful flowers of the fields, even though they’ll be cut, stomped, eaten, or frozen (Matthew 6:28–30). How much more then will He care and provide for His ‘children’?

 

While the intensity of a ‘heartbreak’ may wane over time, only a ‘child’ of God can experience a ‘COMPLETE’ RECOVERY, because they are the only ones who have access to the power of the Holy Spirit—the One who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” [ Psalm 147:3 ].

 

God wants to turn your “wailing into dancing” (Psalm 30:11), removing your afflictions (Psalm 118:5-6), and granting you favor (Psalm 5:12):

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry; He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along; He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God; Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” [ Psalm 40:1-3 ].

God wants you to ‘draw close’ to Him, so He can help you create a ‘new beginning’! Consider these promises from God:

– “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you” [ Isaiah 41:13 ].
– “I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow” [ Jeremiah 31:13 ].
– “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!  People take refuge in the shadow of your wings” [ Psalm 36:7 ].
– “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” [ Psalm 147:3 ].
– “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” [ Revelation 21:4 ].

 

New beginnings come to those who step out in faith. To change anything in your life by the power of God takes faith: “Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’ And their eyes were opened” [ Matthew 9:29-30 ].

 

So, to be able to have this ‘ULTIMATE’ HELP in getting a ‘complete’ recovery from your relationship breakup, you must be a Christian. If you are not yet one, you can become one right now.

There’s no ‘magical’ words to say, you just need to believe in your ‘heart’ that God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, is God in the flesh and rose from the dead and is alive today—and when He died on the cross, He took your place as your substitute sacrifice for your sins. If you sincerely believe this, then, right where you are, admit you are a sinner, confess your sins, believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead to give you new life, and that you will trust Him alone for your salvation, committing your life to His service.

 

You could say something like the following (in your own words if you would like):

Dear Lord Jesus,
I understand that I am a sinner, and I can’t save myself. I sincerely repent of my sins, and ask You for forgiveness and mercy. I believe that You died on the cross as my substitute, paying my sin debt in full so that I could receive Your forgiveness and have eternal life. I ask You to come into my life right now and become my personal Savior. From this day forward, I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to take control, and guide me be the kind of person you want me to be. Give me a ‘new beginning’, and help me to live for You.
Amen.

 

[ Excerpts from: Wikipedia; Bobby Murphy; Charissa; Donna M. White; Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.; Gina Kemp, M.A.; Melinda Smith, M.A.; Helen E. Fisher, Ph.D.; Annette Dodd; Grantley Morris; Barbara Alpert; David N. Mosser; S. Michael Houdmann ]

 

RESOURCES:
—————-
The Truth About Breaking Up, Making Up, and Moving On
By Chad Eastham

Relationships are like road trips. Sometimes they’re an exciting adventure. But sometimes they’re like a traffic jam going nowhere. Or even worse, they’re a wrong turn that’s taken you hundreds of miles off your course. With much-needed humor and honest advice, bestselling author and speaker Chad Eastham helps you think through tough but necessary relationship issues such as: Why some people find happiness, while others find heartache; Why pain hurts so much; When to break up; and When to make up. Chad’s conversational tone, facts, and advice encourage young people to rethink life’s conversations, even the difficult stuff like heartbreak. There is nothing in life that is too big, too painful, or too difficult that God cannot make better and use to teach us about love. Nothing.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/4405244554895739172

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Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours
By Daphne Rose Kingma

Next to the death of a loved one, the ending of a relationship is the most painful experience most people will ever go through. Coming Apart is a first-aid kit for getting through the ending. It is a tool that will enable you to live through the end of your relationship with your self-esteem intact. Daphne Rose Kingma, the undisputed expert on matters of the heart, explores the critical facets of relationship breakdowns: Love myths: Why we are really in relationships. The life span of love. The emotional and unconscious processes of parting. How to get through the ending. How to create a personal workbook for finding resolution. Originally published in 1987, and continuously in print since then, with more than half a million copies sold, Coming Apart has been an important resource for hundreds of thousands of readers experiencing the pain and stress of a break-up. For anyone going through the ending of a relationship Kingma is a caring, sensitive guide.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/9002757715897771954

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Picking Up the Pieces: Recovering from Broken Relationships
By Louis Paul Priolo

When a romantic relationship is torn apart, it can wreak havoc in the lives and emotions of everyone involved. The pain is all the worse if you were not the one who wanted the relationship to end. You can find relief even when you feel forsaken, because true healing comes from the One who will never forsake you. If you are hurting after a broken relationship, here is a much-needed counsel and biblical guidance to lead you away from heartache and into a healthier, happier, and holier relationship with Christ.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/14894993056903416274

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Kissing Breakups Goodbye
By Dr. Harrison Mungal

This book presents practical, real-life stories that you can relate to. In some cases, it might shock you that positive change was even possible. You will find helpful hints that will challenge you to make intentional adjustments in your own lives. New hope will rise within you that it is possible to have long-term, satisfying relationships by ‘kissing breakups goodbye.'” Dr. Randy Neilson and Jill Neilson, Canada “Harrison and Kathleen have walked the journey and overcome obstacles to build a beautiful and healthy marriage and family. No matter where you are in your marriage, Harrison (Dr. Mungal) shines a light on the root causes behind relationship breakdowns. From dating to the altar, to the conflicts that can tear two people apart, you’ll discover effective, godly solutions that will empower you to have a marriage that lasts a lifetime.” Alvin and Joy Slaughter, USA “Dr. Mungal has been a positive influence to us. His testimony has impacted our ministry, the church and family. The way he leads his family has been inspiring, and they are a good example to follow. Our hearts have been touched and encouraged.” Heiller Ferreira and Isabela de Souza, Brazil “We cannot think of a couple more qualified to write this book than our dear friends Harrison and Kathleen. Knowledgeable and experienced in ministry, they have walked faithfully in what they seek to share with others. “Kissing Breakups Goodbye” are words of hope for this generation.” Fred and Valarie Bennett, USA “Dr. Harrison and Kathleen Mungal are a tremendous couple, committed to the work they do. Their training methods and teachings about the family have aided many couples in restoring and renewing their relationships.” Dr. Moises De Prada Esquivel and Carmen Alicia Morales, Cuba “Dr. Mungal and Kathleen have been a blessing to us and many families in Lempira, Honduras. They have a passion for supporting singles and couples with relationship issues. Many lives have been affected and changed in a positive way. They successfully communicate this concept of ‘kissing breakups goodbye’, as it has been imprinted on the hearts of many.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/8865981687570419054

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Define the Relationship: A Candid Look at Breaking Up, Making Up, and Dating Well
By Jeremy Clark

Ken thinks he and Becky are just having fun together. Becky is already picking out bridesmaid dresses. Melissa has decided to break up with Tony. Tony thinks Melissa is “the one.” Are miscommunications like this unavoidable? What’s the best way to end a relationship—or to take it to a more serious level? Chances are, you’ve heard of “The Talk.” Every romantic relationship comes to the point where things need to be defined or redefined: Do we become romantically exclusive? Is our relationship ready (or not ready) to move to the next level? What are our boundaries and expectations? Is it possible to “just be friends”? Getting all the cards on the table. Communicating openly and honestly. It sounds like a great idea, right? The tough question is, how do you communicate in a way that significantly benefits you both—and doesn’t leave you dreading those important conversations in the future? In Define the Relationship, you’ll find everything you need to know about positively defining and redefining your current or future dating relationships. Written in light of the complexities of dating today, this long-needed resource will help you avoid painful and confusing dating dilemmas and experience instead the freedom of well-defined, spiritually grounded, and truly rewarding relationships.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/8823405956400924473

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Healing the Brokenhearted: Experience Restoration Through the Power of God’s Word
By Joyce Meyer

God Is Waiting to Rescue Your Life! God loves you and He has a wonderful, glorious plan for your life. But sometimes it may be hard to believe He has a specific destiny for you. If you have been hurt by the past or if you feel you are unworthy, it may be difficult to receive God’s unconditional love. God desires to reach out to you today. Hold on to hope…this book has an answer for you. In these pages, Joyce Meyer reveals how to change the image you have of yourself into the one God sees. When you believe what God says about you, your present and future will miraculously change to reflect God’s divine plan. You will learn how to triumph over fear and have the peace of mind that comes when you trust God with your future. Let God’s Word begin to work in you today. Start now to allow God’s tremendous love to touch you and heal your broken heart!

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=DRLVtXriqdQC

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Healing Grace for Hurting People: Practical Steps to Healing Broken Relationships
By Dr. H. Norman Wright

Many Christians live in the misery of bitterness, unforgiveness, and trauma caused by spouses, parents, grandparents, or others who have sinned against them. Although the pain can seem unending, there is hope for those who seek healing grace to cover the sins of those who have wronged them. Dr. H. Norman Wright and marriage and family therapist Larry Renetzky give readers specific practical steps to release God’s grace to forgive and to lay the foundation for building bridges of reconciliation. Some who read “Healing Grace for Hurting People” will relate to the stories of those needing healing grace, such as overachieving Mark who could not give his family love and intimacy, which he never received while growing up. Find out what happened to Mark and his family when Mark learned about the secret of the universe. God’s grace saves us and sustains us. And He expects us to pass it on in our relationships. Learn how God’s reconciling grace and power can resolve conflicts, revitalize marriages heading for divorce, and restore broken relationships in families, extended families, and the broader community.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/324458248120491046

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God Loves Broken People: And Those Who Pretend They’re Not
By Sheila Walsh

The other side of brokenness. “If I could write only one book in my lifetime, I would ask God to make it this one, the very book you now hold in your hands. . . .” (Sheila Walsh). God loves broken people. And when weary, wounded men and women find a way to open their bruised hearts and somehow welcome Him into their personal darkness, they will find a love beyond anything they have ever known. When the glass house Sheila had lived in for so many years came crashing to the ground, she began a new life outside the safety of those walls. No, it didn’t feel good, nor safe? Not at all. But it felt true. Sheila saw herself as a broken lamb limping after the Shepherd, not knowing where He was going, but knowing that wherever He went, she wanted to go with Him. In twelve stirring, insightful, and deeply revealing chapters, Sheila Walsh shows how personal brokenness can open doors of intimacy with Jesus Christ that might never open in any other way. It’s not that God loves broken people more than those who imagine themselves to be whole? It’s simply that they know they are loved. They dare to believe it…and through such trust, a new wholeness emerges from yesterday’s broken pieces.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/11139673321323690762

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The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places
By Suzanne Eller

Brokenness happens. Tragedy, sin, and the painful choices of others all have the ability to disrupt an otherwise contented life. And as a result of our heartache, we often attempt to fix our own brokenness–with disastrous results. If you’ve tried to heal, but keep ending up in the same place–whether the battle is in your heart or out in the open where everyone can see–The Mended Heart is for you. In this book, author Suzanne Eller tells it like it is: people throw quick fixes at you or tell you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps (whatever that means). More important, though, she shares the powerful truth of Jesus’s mission as outlined in Luke 4:18-21: He came to set free all those who are oppressed and in need of mending. You don’t have to fix yourself–Jesus loves you right where you are. In fact, He has already completed the work that needs to be done. “The Mended Heart” will encourage you to trust him, to give and receive grace, and to move ahead even stronger than before—even if others don’t move with you.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/6450630348084328783

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Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration
By Cindy Beall

A few days after an ordinary Valentine’s Day, Cindy Beall’s life changed forever. She listened with disbelief to her husband, Chris, a respected pastor, confess to pornography addiction, numerous affairs, and the startling news that a woman was pregnant with his child. With raw honesty and intimate knowledge of pain and of God’s power to resurrect something new out of the debris of betrayal, Cindy reveals how to: seek guidance, counseling, and prayer support when deceptions surface help the family heal from the grief and humiliation rebuild trust after porn, sex, and other addictions undermine a relationship protect a marriage from lies and unfaithfulness rely on God to pursue forgiveness and move forward in new promises. Cindy’s compassion, grasp of God’s Word, and the Bealls’ remarkable story will help wives and husbands trust God with their broken hearts and follow His leading, hope, and redemption.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/14804523523150722014

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Reconcilable Differences: Hope and Healing for Troubled Marriages
By Virginia Todd Holeman

What does it take to really make right a severely damaged relationship? When going back to how things were is not nearly good enough, is there hope for true transformation and healing? Counselor and teacher Virginia Todd Holeman weaves together biblical insight and rich theological reflection while drawing from the best of current psychological studies on forgiveness, repentance and reconciling. Out of her own research you will hear the poignant stories of married couples who tell in their own words what it’s like to seek reconciliation in seemingly hopeless situations. Complete with honest and practical help, this book will be an encouragement to married couples who dare to hope for the healing and transforming of broken relationships and for counselors and pastors who want to work more effectively with them.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/15001484143812911530

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Relationships: An Open and Honest Guide to Making Bad Relationships Better and Good Relationships Great
By Les and Leslie Parrot

Today more than ever, people long for connection. In an age marked by isolation and loneliness, they measure riches in terms of belonging, acceptance, vulnerability, honesty, closeness, and commitment. And what they most want to know is how to make bad relationships better and good relationships great. Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott understand firsthand our deep need for relationships; and as relationship experts, they know what it takes to build strong, lasting bonds. In Relationships, the Parrotts take us below the surface to the depths of human interactions—to the nitty-gritty realities, the ups-and-downs of building vital, satisfying connections. They provide the tools needed to handle tough times and to really succeed at forging strong, rewarding relationships with friends, with the opposite sex, with family, and with God. This cutting-edge book is full of the latest findings and contemporary relationship-building strategies. In a high-tech world, it offers a high-touch solution to a better life. The Parrotts share not just from their knowledge, but from their hearts and lives to help us all understand: who we are and what we bring to our relationships; how our families of origin shape the way we relate to others; tips for building friendships that last; secrets to finding the love we long for and handling sexual issues; how to handle failed friendships and breakups without falling apart; how to relate to God without feeling phony. Filled with insightful, true-life stories and thought-provoking questions, Relationships is an honest and timely guide to forming the rich relationships that are life’s greatest treasure. This book is accompanied by a workbook that contains more than 35 self-tests to help you put what you learn into action. The Relationships Workbook will help you internalize cutting-edge strategies, skills, and insights for nurturing healthy relationships.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/6516356025997484206

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Restoring Broken Relationships: The Path to Peace and Forgiveness
By Neil T. Anderson

Bestselling Author Reveals the Key to Fixing Broken Relationships. Conflict is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean we need to accept bitterness and broken relationships. But before we can properly heal our relationships with others, we must let God heal our relationship with himself. In this book, Neil Anderson invites you to see how Jesus brings about the miracle of reconciliation. Learn how to go beyond conflict management to freedom and healing by learning the basics of repentance, reparation, and forgiveness. Through true stories of people who have found reconciliation with God and with each other, you’ll understand how to identify relationship problems, find effective solutions, and guide yourself and others through the process of forgiveness and healing.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/16349090099998531473

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Hope for the Troubled Heart
By Billy Graham

Reach for the happiness that lies beyond hardship and heartache. A lost job, a shaky marriage? Loneliness, frustration, or feelings or failure? A family tragedy or a serious illness? Life is full of tough times that can leave us feeling lost and helpless. But Dr. Billy Graham, who has brought wisdom and inspiration to millions of people around the world wisdom and inspiration to millions of people around the world, shows you how to triumph over pain an uncertainty and discover an inner strength you might otherwise have never known. You’ll learn: How to turn the “why” of suffering into the “how” of faith. How to stop resentment and bitterness from stopping you. How failure can groom you for future success. How to store up strength for storms before they break. Prayers as a way of life-a first resort, not a last gasp! Life as a schoolroom for the afterlife.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/3928557644705959757

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The Love Dare, Day by Day: A Year of Devotions for Couples
By Stephen and Alex Kendrick

The Love Dare has established itself as more than a book; it’s an unstoppable marriage movement. And like the husband in Fireproof (the film where The Love Dare originated), readers know this 40-day challenge to understand and practice unconditional love with their spouse need not end when the book does. With that in mind, The Love Dare Day by Day encourages and challenges couples toward new steps in faith and love with 365 marital encouragements, reminders, and action points worth repeating year after year. Unconditional love is eagerly promised at weddings, but rarely practiced in real life. As a result, romantic hopes are often replaced with disappointment in the home. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare Day by Day is a journey you need to take. It’s time to learn the keys to finding true intimacy.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/3946168972929989619

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[P.S.: If you would like to investigate what the Bible says about avoiding pain, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q11_d6_1of10.html

 

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v196) for JUNE 2015

If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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PRAYER FOR COMFORT
Lord, thank you for being you and for your willingness to be here with me during this time. It’s been difficult lately with this break up. You know that. You’ve been here watching me and watching us together. I know in my heart that if it was meant to be it would have happened, but that thought doesn’t always mesh with how I feel. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m disappointed.

You are the one I know I can turn to for comfort, Lord. Provide me with reassurance that this was the right thing for me in my life, as it is right now. Lord, show me that there are so many great things in my future, and offer me solace in the thought that you have plans for me and that one day I will find the person that fits with those plans.

Lord, I just ask for your continued love and guidance during this difficult time, and I pray for the patience of others as I work through my feelings. Though I may have difficulty letting go, I pray that you surround me with people that help me through and lift me up in prayer, in love, and in support.

Thank you, Lord, for being more than just my God in this moment. Thank you for being my Father. My friend. My confidante, and my support.

In your Name, Amen.

[ Kelli Mahoney ]

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OLD TO NEW
An example of an ‘ending’ and a ‘new beginning’ is the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible (the old “covenant” with God, and now the new “covenant” with Him).

The old “covenant” was inaugurated by God at Mt Sinai, with the nation of Israel, through Moses, for the purpose of setting Israel apart as God’s special possession and it included ‘laws’ that promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (therefore, is was a ‘conditional’ covenant).

However, the new covenant” allows God’s way of life (‘laws’) to be internalized (put into our mind and ‘heart’). It allows for a personal relationship with God, rather than going through an intermediary (priests) like was done in the Old Testament times. It allows for ‘complete’ forgiveness of sins through repentance and accepting the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for all our sins.

It is said that the New Testament is in the Old Testament “concealed,” the Old Testament is in the New Testament “revealed.”

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THE END IS THE BEGINNING
So long, farewell
I wish you well
You gained the world and lost it all
Today is pain
To die is gain

And tomorrow Jericho will fall
And the end is the beginning
Where death makes way for living
It’s on You I’m depending
And it all begins in the end

Complexions of a Father’s love
Are veiled with shadows that you own
The ones you try to leave behind
Are deep inside your heart and in your bones

And the end is the beginning
Where death makes way for living
It’s on You I’m depending
And it all begins in the end

And the end is the beginning
Where death makes way for living
It’s on You I’m depending
And it all begins in the end
That’s where You and I begin

[ Cloverton – “The End is the Beginning” album ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZoVD6Ddm1g

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END OF THE BEGINNING
I was takin’ a trip on a plane the other day
Just wishing that I could get out
When the man next to me saw the book in my hand
And asked me what it was about
So I settled back in my seat
“A best seller,” I said
“A history and mystery in one”
And then I opened up the book and began to read
From Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

He was born of a Virgin one holy night
In the little town of Bethlehem
Angels gathered round Him underneath the stars
Singing praises to ‘The Great I Am’

He walked on the water, healed the lame
And made the blind to see again
And for the first time here on earth
We learned that God could be a friend

And though He never ever did a single thing wrong
The angry crowd chose Him
And then He walked down the road and died on the cross
And that was the end of the beginning

“That’s not a new book, that’s a bible,” he said
“And I’ve heard it all before, I’ve tried religion
It’s shame and guilt and I don’t need it anymore”

“It’s superstition, made up tales
And just to help the weak to survive”
“Let me read it again,” I said
“But listen closely, this is gonna change your life”

He was born of a Virgin one holy night
In the little town of Bethlehem
Angels gathered round Him underneath the stars
Singing praises to ‘The Great I Am’

He walked on the water, healed the lame
And made the blind to see again
And for the first time here on earth
We learned that God could be a friend

And though He never ever did a single thing wrong
The angry crowd chose Him
And then He walked down the road and died on the cross
And that was the end of the beginning

“The end of the beginning”, he said with a smile
“What more could there be? He’s dead
You said they hung him, put nails in His hands
And a crown of thorns on His head”

I said, “I’ll read it again but this time there’s more
And I believe that this is true
His death wasn’t the end, the beginning of life
That’s completed in you
Don’t you see He did all this for you?”

He was born of a Virgin one holy night
In the little town of Bethlehem
All the angles singing praises to ‘The Great I AM’

He walked on the water, healed the lame
And made the blind to see
And for the first time here on earth
And did you know that God could be a friend?

And though He never ever did a single thing wrong
He was the one the crowd chose
And then he walked and He died
But three days later, three days later
Three days later, He rose
Three days later, He rose

You see He came, He lived and He died
But that was the end of the beginning

[ David Phelps – Legacy of Love ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrhSjP5988E

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40
I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long, how long, how long
How long to sing this song?

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and fear

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long, how long, how long
How long to sing this song?

[ U2 – “War” album ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XzHlySYR_Y

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DEEP THOUGHT(s):

“New Beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
[ Lao Tzu ]

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don’t really end, anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren’t really an ending; some things are never-ending.”
[ C. JoyBell C. ]

“When someone you love says goodbye you can stare long and hard at the door they closed and forget to see all the doors God has open in front of you.”
[ Shannon L. Alder ]

“Every ending is a beginning. We just don’t know it at the time.”
[ Mitch Albom ]

“We lose the precious sense that an end is only a beginning in disguise.”
[ Craig D. Lounsbrough ]

“Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.”
[ Jonathan Lockwood Huie ]

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
[ Carl Bard ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”
[ Psalm 23:1-4 ].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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