Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Experience more of God’s power and presence


Sheryl Giesbrecht leads readers to explore
God’s character through His names

What’s in a name? Names are more than groups of letters that represent a person or identify objects. Names are powerful. A person’s character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. When it comes to God, His attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names.  In Experiencing God Through His Names (Bold Vision Books/June 17, 2016/ISBN: 978-0692743010/$12.99), author Sheryl Giesbrecht leads readers in a study to discover truths about God’s character by a study of His various titles and names.

Understanding that each of God’s names reveals something about His character opens our spiritual eyes to see His perfect purposes and to recognize His commitment to us. If we can grasp the meanings of His names, we can know God more intimately.  Giesbrecht not only covers some of the well-known titles, such as Father, Ancient of Days and “El Shaddai,” but some of the lesser-used designations, including “El Bethel,” “Jehovah Sabaoth” and “Jehovah Maozi.”

Experiencing God Through His Names invites readers to interact with God about the truth behind His names by studying one each day for 31 days. Taking time daily to meditate on one of God’s specific attributes increases the desire for intimacy with Him and will help readers:
  • Understand 31 of God’s names
  • Explain those names to others
  • Worship God using His various names
  • Experience His power in new ways
  • Apply this experience with God to other areas of life

Giesbrecht encourages readers to look at God as vast and expansive as the Grand Canyon — impossible to encompass all the grandeur and nuances in one glance. Studying His names is like examining the beauty and detail of a single snapshot on a postcard. “When we observe one individual name of God at a time and consider the cross section of His personality traits associated with it,” Giesbrecht explains, “we can access strength, wisdom, patience, grace, love and much more of God’s presence for our needs and the needs of others. We can understand the reality of His presence and apply the capability of His character.”

Through this study, readers will be exposed to a more personal view of God as they become better acquainted with Him. Experiencing God Through His Names can strengthen every believer’s walk with God through meditating on His qualities, thus enabling the reader to know Him better, which leads to transformation into a greater likeness of Christ.


Advance Praise

“Sheryl is a woman who has lived depending on God by having a deep, abiding understanding of His names. If you want a solid foundation to build a life on, dive into the pages of this book.”
~ Pam Farrel, author of 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together

“What better way to know God more intimately than through learning and studying His names? Sheryl Giesbrecht has written a beautiful devotional every believer needs. She helps us experience God on a deeper, more compelling level, ultimately enabling us to know Him more.”
~ Julie K. Gillies, author of Prayers for a Woman’s Soul



About the author

Exchanging hurt for hope is Sheryl Giesbrecht’s focus — a message she shares with audiences as a radio personality, author, speaker and global influencer. A dynamic teacher and motivating leader, she has endured many changes and challenges, moving her to a deep faith, trust and dependence on God.

Giesbrecht served as Focus on the Family’s columnist for Pastor’s Wives for four years. Hundreds of her columns and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Focus on the Family Magazine, Just Between Us, CCM and others. She is the author of three books, including Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down and her newest release, Experiencing God Through His Names.

Giesbrecht’s radio show, “Transformed Through Truth,” is nationally syndicated and heard daily by more than 21 million listeners on networks around the world. Giesbrecht also founded Transformed Through Truth, Inc., a nonprofit specializing in mentoring through transformation discipleship.

The joys of Giesbrecht’s life are her adult children, their spouses and her grandchildren, plus the new beginning she shares in her marriage to Dr. Jim Turner. She holds a bachelor of arts from Biola University, a master’s in ministry and a doctorate of theology.



Learn more about more about Experiencing God Through His Names and Sheryl Giesbrecht at www.FromAshesToBeauty.com, or follow her on Facebook (AuthorSherylGiesbrecht) and Twitter (SGiesbrecht).

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

If Ashley ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

There is so much reality TV on tonight that I'm really looking forward to watching. Honestly, Bachelor in Paradise is on the eh, let's-get-it-over-with train tonight. I watched the first 5 or so minutes while finishing my dinner, and it went a little something like this...

Caila goes to Jared after talking to Ash Kardash, and basically says, "I've had enough. It's too hard being here with Ashley. I am going home." Jared volunteers to go with her, but says he needs to talk to Ashley first. Caila says something along the lines of, "I don't need to talk to anyone else. I'm outta here."

Jared wastes his time talking to Ash who is making up stuff about Caila for no other reason than Caila is with Jared and she isn't. Cuz if Ashley ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. She thinks Caila is the kind of person who just wants attention. Pot calling the kettle black. Ash just wants to protect him, blah, blah, blah. Villain. You don't want to "do it out of the kindness of my heart." Ash lies again to him. She starts bawling after Jared tries to tell her off. He comforts her, then, says, "I'm going right now." She wants one last hug, but he doesn't have time for that because he has to chase down Caila's car. He does, leaving his stuff behind. 

So, now after I inhaled my dinner, dumped some stuff in the kitchen, piled up stuff in the sink and typed that out, I'm 20 minutes behind on the show. 

Evan evidently witnessed what went down because he recaps for Nick and Jennifer. Ashley, of course is snotting everywhere. "I lost one of my best friends." Amanda assures her she didn't. Ash decides to redirect her attention to Wells because it's all about her now. (Hasn't it always been?) She thought she had gotten over the lunacy. Evan declines to comment.

That night is stormy. I forgot Wells and Jami were still on their date. They come back in while Ashley gives them dirty looks. They recap their date. Wells asks what happened while they were gone. Nick recaps without mentioning Ashley's role that Caila and Jared left. 

Ashley heads out, and Wells realizes he owes her a conversation. He says he feels bad for not talking to Ashley before going on the date with Jami. Ashley says it hurts her more that they walked in holding hands. Ashley gives him a hard time, asking mean questions. Yet, Wells finds her rational and mature when she tells him he has to spend time with Jami to find out if there is something.

Jami tells Jen and Nick how great their time was and how much she really likes Wells. 

The next morning Izzy and Brett are working on their connection. She tries not to compare Brett to Vinnie, but she's never been so physically attractive in her life.

Jami is feeling a little awkward because Wells is sitting closer to Ashley than to her. 

Soon a new arrival comes on the scene. One of the Lauren's from Ben's season. There were three or four, but not the one he got engaged too. She is warmly welcomed by Jami. The men are eyeing her. 

Jen and Jami take Lauren off to talk and get a lay of the land. Wells hopes he isn't asked out since he's trying to balance two women.

And Shushanna shows up immediately following. She has her sights set on Wells. When Lauren and Shushanna open up their cards, they read them together, and it's a double date.

Ashley calls Shushanna "Euro Trash." Most of Russia is in Asia, but ok. Shushanna pulls Wells off. 

Izzy tries to keep Brett distracted as Lauren and Shushanna compare notes and plan for their dates. When the women come back up the bar, Shushanna asks Wells out and Lauren asks Brett out. Both men accept. 

Izzy, Ashley and Jami commiserate. All are now pouty. 

Meanwhile, the double dater are learning to surf. Lots of falling off surfboards occurs. They all think each other are hot. Brett strikes me as a user and into the latest thing to come along. He and Lauren are bonding.

Izzy decides she cares more about Brett now that he's off on another date. Oh, and Lace and Grant are good for the moment. 

At the house Nick is giving Ashley sanity advice which seems odd given how neurotic I found Nick on seasons past. He also looks like he's sporting a bandage over a gunshot wound to the gut. Nick says with Wells time split, it's a toss up as to who gets the rose.

On the date, Shushanna is sinking her claws into Wells. He finds her exotic, but seems a little scared by her too. 

In an odd moment, Evan slaps Carly's butt. Then things get a bit R rated.

On to Nick telling Evan he's spoken his peace about Josh. (Cue scenes from last night.) Josh talks about the people of the world who will always try to tear you down. Voice over of Amanda being confused about what the twins said. Nick and Jen talking about Josh and worrying about Amanda. Lots of back and forth and such.

Josh hands Amanda a date card that belongs to her. "You deserve this." It's not clear if Josh wrote it out or not. Anyway, Amanda has to decide if she is ready to get engaged after this.

Josh refers to negative and jealous people as they talk on their date. Amanda says she isn't worried. I'm so over Josh. I need to go read old blogs. I don't recall thinking the same things about him on Andi's season that I do now. 

Amanda says, "Josh may not be perfect, but he's perfect for me." Be a responsible mother, Amanda. Don't be so blind. That's something that drives me nuts in real life. 

Have I mentioned in the past 5 minutes how much I hate Ashley? She says Wells has to choose between her, a random girl from Canada, and a Russian hooker. 

Jami feels like it's an episode of The Bachelor since Wells is pulled three ways and they are all vying for his attention. Jami makes her move on him. 

Ashley can't believe this is happening. She should take a hint that every man is more interested in another woman than her. Ashley tries put a bigger move on Wells.

That's where the night ends.

Previews of next week show Josh and Nick both looking at engagement rings. Neil Lane asks Nick how many times they have to go through this. That's hilarious.

Monday, August 29, 2016

This season of #bachelorinparadise is getting old.

Another night of Bachelor in Paradise, another day with Ash Kardash drama. 

Caila wants to talk to Ash after having a conversation with Jared. Caila says Jared questions her feelings, which Ash says is Caila's problem. Caila says she gets that Ash and Jared are close, but she loves him like a sister. That's the most low-keyed dig she's ever heard. Caila is like, "the two of us don't have to talk for the rest of our time here."

That's going to be awkward, but hey, Ash is the one who can't be mature enough to take a hint.

Jared talks to Ash next. "You talk to Caila?" Jared is like, "I don't think you want to see me hurt, but there's more between me and Caila..." Here comes Ash's tears again. "It's demoralizing. I can't go on."

Jared's such a nice guy, he says, "you shouldn't feel stupid. Here's the point of everything, for better or worse, I need to figure this out on my own. I'm going to be really honest, I want to try to work things out with Caila."

Ash is frustrated there is no one there to distract her from Jared.

Cue the next arrival. But not before Ash orders vodka shots from Jorge. 

Anytime she gets sad about Jared, she asks herself it is her worse week of her life. She decides it isn't because it's not as bad as when her dog, Lucy, died. Cue more tears.

Ash hopes the spirit of Lucy brings her a man. Suddenly, there are lots of dogs barking, then Wells shows up.

Ash's attitude changes immediately.

"Wells, sometimes prayers are answered. Choose a woman who shares your passion." 

Grant takes Wells off to talk.

Ash is attracted to him. The guys, Daniel included, try to lead Wells to Ash out to relieve some of the anxiety. The women, including one of the twins, Caila, and Lace, tell him Ashley.

Wells asks Ashley to talk. Wells likes her Instagram account, but doesn't really know her. Ash likes his Instagram account full of dogs too.

Everyone is gathered in the pool, he extends the invite in front of everyone. (Amazingly, Ash is next to Caila at the pool.) He asks Ashley. The pool erupts in applause. Wells asks if that happens every time.

I don't know what Wells that everyone wants to stick him with Ashley other than they've just had enough of Ashley.

While Ash is away, it's all smiles and laughter. Sunshine and roses. Rainbows and unicorns. At least with Caila and Jared.

However, on the date, to kill the buzz, Ash talks about her tumultuous year of longing after Jared. Oh, and how there's been no one else around until now. Eating their tacos is awkward. Awkward date food.

They talk about their favorite music. Her favorite band is Hanson. What year is this?

Then, they feed a dog. Wells starts answering the questions Ashley asks the dog in a silly voice. Ashley is stoked at how well their date has gone. He moves into a kiss faster than he did with JoJo. Ashley thinks she may be more attracted to him.

They see a lighted lantern floating away, so they go make their own wish and set one off. Their lantern gets set on fire and large chunks fall from the sky.

In other news, Grant is still really into Lace. However, she's getting flirty with some of the other men. Grant takes it personally when she says, "good luck getting a rose this week." He says something to her, and marches off.  

Nick says they are always fighting.

Grant finds Lace again and confronts her. She was disrespectful hitting on Carl. After a blow-up, Lace ends up in tears.

Ashley goes to check on her and tries to quiz how it's going. Amanda comes along too. She hates relationships.

Later that night, Amanda and Josh are sucking face again. They're boring. 

Back to Lace and her drama. She's all "like whatever" upstairs with Jennifer. She comes downstairs where some people are gathered. She gives Grant the cold shoulder. The room gets silent. Then, she gets up sand says she's ready to go home. Grant follows her out. Grant asks if she means it or if she's just emotional. Lace asks why he cares. "Because I love you. I over reacted earlier. I'm sorry." She tells Grant she didn't mean to hurt his feelings earlier. Evidently, they are ok again.

So, Nick and Jennifer. Amanda offers them the fantasy room because she's going to sleep in her own bed tonight. Josh catches them and says, "we're sleeping up there tonight." Jennifer tells him what Amanda said, but he disagrees. Josh will do anything to keep Nick from having a good time. Amanda is out asleep in her room.

Josh asks the producer where Amanda is. "Asleep." Josh goes, wakes her up, and tells her everyone is making a big deal about it. Amanda doesn't know what's going on since she's still half asleep. Josh walks off in a huff.

The next night is cocktail party/rose ceremony night. 

Since Daniel doesn't have a woman, Daniel claims as a Canadian, he is close to Santa Claus and had help making some of the ladies some jewelry. He hands out some flowery bracelets.

Grant and Lace have a little chat. They are all good again.

Evan and Carly have some time to talk. They exchange, "I'm falling in love with you."

Daniel, in desperation, has to try to reconnect with one or more twin. He "flew in" her favorite food from Vegas.  Then, a little wooing of Izzy. He finds a lamp to try to up Brett.

Izzy tells Brett they need to talk because Daniel found a better lamp. Brett woos her back with a kiss.

Amanda tells Josh she has missed him. Other than last night, I don't know when their lips haven't been touching. Josh tells the camera last night was a problem with their communication. Now, Josh is feeding Amanda line after line. I don't recall Josh being such a schmoozer. He doesn't seem genuine.

The twins pull Nick aside. They ask how Nick is doing, but then tell him that they are starting to doubt Josh. Nick tells them, "anything coming from me would seem like bias." They all agree he has a bit of a temper, even with last night and the sleeping situation. Nick brings up Andi's book and how there are some concerning things. They believe Nick.

Before anything else can be said, Chris comes in clicking the glass that it is rose time. The twins don't have a chance to tell Amanda that Nick thinks Josh is there for the wrong reasons. Or maybe it's what all three believe.

Since Vinnie already left this week, only one man is going home.

  1. Carly presents her love, weirdo Evan with a rose. 
  2. Ashley finally is able to give a happy recipient a rose. Wells.
  3. Jennifer chooses Nick.
  4. Izzy gives hers to Brett.
  5. Caila and Jared happily share a rose. 
  6. Lace is back good for the moment with Grant. 
  7. Amanda and Josh.
  8. The twins haven't really found love. They are more worried about Amanda. It's Haley's turn. Emily lets out a deep breath. Haley asks Emily to come up with her and sets the rose down. They have been here five weeks, and in tears, they say it isn't fair to give out roses because they haven't found love. Emily breaks the news that they are leaving. 
With that, Carl, Ryan, and Daniel have to say goodbye too. There's one more thing they have to do before they leave though. 

Haley and Emily tell Amanda they need to talk to her. They drag her away. "What we are about to tell you is going to upset you." The twins are super emotional. They say they doubt Josh's intentions. They think the show is good timing for Josh to try to counter what Andi wrote. The twins say they trust where this came from. Does Amanda trust them? Amanda is sweet and has a good image, that could be why Josh honed in on her. Josh appears to be watching from afar as the twins head off. 

Amanda takes Josh off to talk though he doesn't want to talk. She's confused. He's confused. The twins are her best friends, but they question his intentions. The book. The book. The book. Josh says that is like looking at the gossip magazines. He hasn't done anything for 6 months because his dog has cancer. Where did that come from?

Amanda says she needs to think about it. She doesn't know the twins source, but they believed it. Josh calls everyone down so he can ask around and see who it was that made the accusations. He wants to get to the bottom of the hate that has come up ever since he arrived. He calls them out on being disrespectful and trying to ruin the great relationship he has. He doesn't have time for this. His dog has been sick. Anyone think he's not for real and going to speak up?

Nick says he's not sure. Speaking for himself, he doesn't know if he's genuine. Finally. Some excitement to this evening. 

Nick brings that he keeps talking about "be a man, do the right thing," yet he swooped up Amanda. Josh says, "Just because Amanda doesn't like you..." They squabble while a couple of the women go check on Amanda. 

Nick says that was just one thing, but he just answered the twins question. He also brings up that while Josh says Andi's book is fiction, Nick's part was not fiction. 

While Josh tried to play it cool, signs of anger and the temper were coming out. He tells Izzy and someone else - Lace maybe - I looked down - that he's there for Amanda. Jared quizzes Nick, and says since the twins thought the same thing, they should have gone to Amanda direct. Amanda starts naming off everyone who warned her about Josh. 

Josh tells Amanda he's packed his bags and they can get to know each other there or elsewhere. The twins are like her sisters, but she's tired of people telling her who she should and shouldn't be with. However, now she completely trusts Josh. She promises not to question him ad will stick up for him regardless of what anyone says. "It's not fair that there are other couples, but no one bothers them." She wants to stay there (forget the kids back home!), and they should only leave because they want to, not because of people interfering. Yes, she saw his temper, but he had a reason. Oh, this woman is going to get trampled. 

The next day, Wells is on the beach alone. He must have woken up on radio time. Everyone else is sleeping.

The next new arrival is Jami, set on meeting Wells. It's a good thing because he's the only one awake right now. She's a broadcast journalism major in Canada so they bond. Too bad Daniel is gone.

"Jami - Paradise giveth. Your date is today." She asks Wells out, and he accepts. Still, no one is around. 

Now, Jared and Caila are a little miffed since Ashley is going to wake up and find out Wells is on another date. Ashley finds Nick and Jennifer on the booth. Nick breaks the news to Ashley. Everyone watches from afar. Ashley shrugs it off and says, "that's fine." Jennifer and Nick are amazed.

Everyone is shocked. Yet, now Ashley needs to go talk to Jared. She walks up to the bar, hungry and tells everyone she is fine. Nick asks her what will happen if Wells comes back happy after a date with Jami. She thinks their date will suck because hers was so good.

On the date... Wells and Jami are exploring on an ATV. They hike and explore waterfalls. They discuss her Batman tattoo before sharing their first kiss. Wells thinks he has a lot in common with Jami.

Ashley is still having issues watching Jared and Caila. She still feels backstabbed and doesn't think Caila is genuine. She goes to talk to Caila. "Don't flaunt it in front of me, especially if Wells comes back tight with Jami." Ashley says she's good mentally now, but she's acting really odd. 

Caila asks Ashley if she wants her to go home. Now Caila is in tears. She just wanted to get to know Jared. She didn't want to hurt anyone. 

Caila goes to Jared and tells him it is really hard to be there with Ashley there and that she is going to leave. Jared has to decide to stay or go. That's where tomorrow's episode will start. 

If you aren't getting your way, threaten to go home. This season is getting OLD. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thy Word


Thy Word
Based on Psalm 119:105 by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

When I feel afraid,
And think I’ve lost my way.
Still, you’re there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus by my guide,
And hold me to your side,
And I will love you to the end.

Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
And a light unto my path.
You’re the light unto my path.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

A little of this, some of that

I have a little of this and a little of that going on this week in The Crafty Dad and Daughter land. We're prepping for nine shows for September - December plus getting a booth in a store locally.

I need to update the website, but I have more photos up (or going up next week) on the Facebook page.












Friday, August 26, 2016

The Things We Knew by Catherine West

Lynette doesn’t remember that tragic day her mother died, but her nightmares plague her and remind her of her unraveled family. When Lynette’s family’s tragic past begins to resurface, can Nick help her remember the things she can’t? Add Catherine West’s new book, The Things We Knew, to the top of your must-read stack. Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.

{MORE ABOUT THE THINGS WE KNEW}

(Thomas Nelson, July 2016)
A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.
After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.
But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother’s best friend and Lynette’s first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can’t.
But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.
As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.

{MORE ABOUT CATHERINE WEST}


Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.

Find out more about Catherine at www.catherinejwest.com.

Check out the reviews here

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Janine Mendenhall’s ‘Starving Hearts’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Will Annette's search for love and acceptance replace the loss and hurt in her heart? Find out in Janine Mendenhall's book one, Starving Hearts, of the Triangular Trade Trilogy. Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Join in the search for love and acceptance with Janine and Starving Hearts by entering to win the Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway.

starving hearts - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
starving hearts - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 12. The winner will be announced September 13 on Janine's blog.

starving hearts - enterbanner



{MORE ABOUT STARVING HEARTS}


(Heritage Beacon Fiction, May 2016)
Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage.
She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .
Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.
Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

{MORE ABOUT JANINE MENDENHALL}


Janine Mendenhall teaches teens English, of all things! Sometimes she sleeps, but most nights she reads, writes, or watches movies like Pride and Prejudice and claims she’s researching her next book. “Splickety Love” and “Splickety Prime” have published her flash fiction. She and her husband, Tom, live in North Carolina where they and their two golden retrievers help gratify the needs of their five children and two cats.
Find out more about Janine at www.janinemendenhall.com.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What’s really keeping you from enjoying a better marriage?

Part 2 of an interview with Rhonda Stoppe
Author of If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy


“If my husband would change, I’d be happy” and “I’m falling out of love with him” are among several common myths that lead women to search for marital happiness in all the wrong places.

In If My Husband Would Change, I’d be Happy (Harvest House), author Rhonda Stoppe shares, with candor and humor, how to enrich the relationship between husband and wife (even if he doesn’t change). Along the way readers will find many helpful stories and real-life examples from other couples and discover:

  • How to deal with unfulfilled longings
  • The secret to keeping your husband’s attention
  • 10 keys to a happy marriage


Q: What is the biggest problem with believing our partner is responsible for our happiness? Where should we be looking to find happiness?

We are all created to long to find our happiness and significance in relationship. Every happily-ever-after princess story affirms this longing in our hearts. But we were made to find true joy and worth, not in relationship with another person, but in relationship with our Creator.
           
In the Garden, sin stole away the intimacy with the Lord we were created to enjoy. In our sinful state, we look to a person to do for us what only God can do. When we look to our husbands to make us happy, we are asking them to be our god. When we surrender our hearts to Christ and spend the rest of our lives learning to love Him with all our being, we will enjoy true happiness and will learn to love our husbands — and our children — with His perfect, selfless love. And we will have no regrets.

Q: How would you respond to the wife who is beginning to believe she married the wrong person or would be happier married to someone else?

God created you with a need to be loved and feel significant. But He never intended you to fulfill those desires through marriage. Rather He wants to fulfill the longings of your heart with Himself. The problem is that sin stole mankind’s desire for intimacy with the Creator. And now, because of your sin — and mine — we focus on self and struggle with self-worship. In this state of self-love, you are susceptible to think, “I deserve to be happy. I would be happier with someone else.” In this vulnerable state, when one relationship fails to make you feel complete, there is a temptation to replace it with another — and often yet another.

The only way to guard against having a distorted sense of love and self-worth is to have a healthy personal relationship with Jesus. When you determine to find your joy in Christ, you will be set free from looking to others to fill the void only God can satisfy.

Q: What are some of the other myths about marriage you explore in the book?

I address ten myths wives believe about marriage. A few of the highlights include:

- I’ll respect him when he earns my respect
- If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy
- Our marriage would be better if bad things would stop happening
- More money equals less stress
- All he wants is sex when you long for romance 

Q: A term sure to ruffle feathers with some women is “unconditional respect” for her husband. From a Christian perspective, what does this mean within a marriage?

Just as deeply as wives long to be loved without condition, husbands desire to receive unconditional respect from their wives. And it is God who made us with these unique longings. Women tend to nurture and mother the people they care about. But your husband doesn’t need a mom. He wants a wife who believes in him, relies on him and celebrates his accomplishments.

When a man feels disrespected by his wife he tends to pull away and not show her the love she craves. And when a wife does not feel loved by her husband she will respond by being disrespectful to her husband. All it takes is one person in the marriage to make the first move toward meeting the other’s God-given need. My husband and I have watched failing marriages be turned around when a wife determines to obey God’s mandate to show her husband unconditional respect.

Q: Does humor play any kind of role in a healthy marriage? If so, how?

Remember when you were dating? How did you spend your time together as a couple? I imagine your courtship hours were spent talking, laughing and playing together as a couple. While the talking and listening you experienced likely filled your romance tank, laughing and playing together would likely have ranked number one on your husband’s romance chart.

Why is it when we get married, we take off our playful hats and put on the “there’s work to do” hat? I know there is a lot of work that needs to be accomplished — especially after having children — but don’t forget the importance of a home filled with laughter. When was the last time you laughed out loud at a joke your husband told, even though you knew what the punch line would be? Determine to grace your husband with your laughter. In turn you will raise children who enjoy laughing. Your home will be characterized as a place of joy to your kids. And they will want to bring their friends home to enjoy your laughter as well. Laugh out loud. You won’t regret it!

Q: Explain what you mean when you write, “The key to loving your husband does not lie in how well he measures up to your expectations but in how well you love God.”

In Mark chapter 12, Jesus said the ultimate priority of life is to love God with all of your being. When you do so, you will find yourself enabled to obey the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). In this case your neighbor is your husband. I am confident pursuing intimacy with God was the most important influence in transforming my marriage, and that can be true for you too. When your love for God is right, He will help you love your husband for who he is and not who you wish he would be.
           
When wives learn that the secret to their happiness is not found in how their husband measures up to their expectations, they have discovered the first step toward building a no-regrets marriage.

Q: What are the three steps to a happy marriage?

1)  Realize that the longing you have to be happy and valued can only be satisfied in a relationship with your Creator.

2)  Seek godly mentors to help you learn to love your husband the way God intends for you to love him. Look for women whose marriages have grown more loving throughout time — marriages you want to emulate — and then make friends with those women. Spend time with them as a couple. Ask for help.

3)  When you make the priority of life to love God with all of your being by knowing Him through the pages of Scripture, and spend time in prayer, you will have discovered the secret to loving your husband with God’s perfect love. When you love with God’s love you will enjoy a marriage that reflects true joy and happiness.

Q: Why is it important for young married couples to have older couples in their lives as mentors?

As a young bride, I knew I was not the wife I had hoped I would be. I would buy books about being a better wife, but I soon learned the books did not have the power to change me. My husband and I were in youth ministry, so I looked to the marriages of the parents of the teens for help. The Bible calls the older women to teach the younger how to love their husbands and their children, so I asked women with marriages I wanted to emulate to be my Titus 2 mentors. What I learned from these women transformed my marriage and my parenting.

In answer to God’s mandate to be a Titus 2 mentor, I now write and speak to help women build “no-regrets lives.” Imagine if you had your own personal marriage mentor. In If My Husband Would Change, I’d be Happy, I pass on the biblical principles toward a happy marriage I learned from these Titus 2 women.
           
Make friends with couples who have their hearts set on eternity and learn from their example. In one of the chapters, readers will find a list of eight insights to a happy marriage that I learned from these godly mentors.

Q: Each chapter contains wonderful love stories. Which one is your favorite?

There are so many wonderful love stories woven through the pages of If My Husband Would Change, I’d be Happy: Spurgeon, George Mueller, Priscilla & Aquila. But I think my favorite (besides mine and Steve’s love story that is all through the book) is the story of the Apostle Peter and his wife on the last day of their lives together, as it was observed by the Roman historian Eusebius.

“The blessed Peter, seeing his own wife led away to execution, was delighted, on account of her calling and return to her country, and that he cried to her in a consolatory and encouraging voice, addressing her by name: ‘Oh thou, remember the Lord!’ Such was the marriage of these blessed ones.”

Can you imagine the final moment between Peter and his wife?  How their eyes must have communicated volumes to each other as she was marched toward her execution? What courage she must have received to hear her sweet husband proclaim, “Remember the Lord!” as she was escorted along the path to her death. Did Peter’s words remind her that in a few moments the Lord would be waiting to receive her into His kingdom?


Learn more about more about If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy and Rhonda Stoppe at www.NoRegretsWoman.com, on Facebook (RhondaStoppeLiveDeliberately) and on Twitter (@RhondaStoppe).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Enough is enough! #bachelorinparadise

Tonight's dramatic new episode of Bachelor in Paradise. Some of these people need to be weeded out. Ashley needs to be really sent home and no one let her come back.

It's morning, and everyone is talking about Izzy. Everyone thought she and Vinny were the tightest couple there, but Izzy wants to see if anything is there with Brett.

Here's Carly in her infinite wisdom reminding viewers that she was caught off guard way too late last year with Kirk.

Vinny goes and finds Izzy to have a heart to heart. He thought they were on the same page, but the look on her face is saying, "oh, please." Izzy said she was on the same page until Brett, a guy she doesn't know, walked in. Now she thinks maybe they weren't after all. Now they are both crying. Everyone on this show cries. Vinny tells her that he is going home. She wants him to stay. Let's see if the crowd talks him into it. 

Izzy loves him and thinks he deserves more than what she just did. 

He does get in a car and leaves. 

Evan believes now that they have all witnessed the first big break-up, things are getting real. Josh and Amanda tell Izzy they are there for her. Jared reflects that this could happen to any one of them.

The next arrivals are actually Jade and Tanner, there to show them how love in Paradise can work out. 

The two love birds hope others can find the same happiness that they did. They are going to talk to each couple and see how they are all doing. The couple they think has the best potential to make it last after the show will get the date card they have.

First up, Carly and Evan. I still think Carly lost her mind, and I liked Carly. She tells them the two of them are different than her relationship was last time. She's been way more cautious. Tanner observes that Carly is trying really hard to like Evan because Evan really likes her. Nice observation Tanner. I don't think she really likes him either.

Then, Grant and Lace. They haven't had an official date that wasn't a double date. They talk about Grant having already said, "I love you," while Lace isn't ready to say it yet. It's very obvious they aren't in the same place right now. The two talk more when they get through with Jade and Tanner and it is awkward. She's not convinced they should be together. Grant wonders if their fate is the same as Izzy and Vinny's. 

They ice past Carl and his twin. I seriously can't keep them straight. Emily, right?

Next, Josh and Amanda come up for air long enough to have a conversation. Amanda explains he was the first to arrive (so was Jade), she dated Nick first, then connected with Josh. Tanner points out Josh beat out Nick again. Josh and his big smile talk about how great Amanda is. Josh begs for a date. Tanner thinks he's putting on too much. Jade shrugs.

Nick and Jennifer take their turn. Their whole four-day relationship. Nick talks about how before he had intense feelings though he realized it worked out for the best. He's approaching it different this time. 

Jared and Caila go to talk to Jade and Tanner while Ashley tells the camera how much she hopes they don't get the date card. Jade says they are glad to see the two of them together because they looked like such a good match on paper. Caila says it's working out so far. They talk about their horseback date. It's only been four days they have been together. It seems like a lot longer than that. It's been four episodes. 

Ashley goes to talk to Jade and Tanner by herself. Jade asks what her biggest hope and her biggest nightmare this would be. Her biggest fear, of course, is Jared ending up engaged. Ashley tells them she thinks Caila is a fake and that Jared is more into her than she is to him. Sabotage. 

Backfire.

The date card goes to Jared and Caila, hoping that they will fall in love where they (Tanner and Jade) did.

That night, Jennifer wants to know what Nick is thinking. She notices a wall today. Nick didn't think there was a wall. What does the woman expect after four days? 

Ok, so the date. Caila in her voice over says she's ready for Ashley to go if she's going to try to mess everything up. Jared brings up Ashley and assures her that though they are friends, that's it. He isn't interested in Ashley and doesn't want her hindering things. It's raining, so they seek shelter. No, wait, they decide to strip to their underwear and go swimming. Or wade out in icky water. 

Ashley is back at HQ whining and crying to herself. "Oh, I'm so not sexy and ugly and wah, wah, wah."

The next day, Carly and Evan are chatting by the pool. Carly thinks they are still very friend zone and that even exudes zero swag. She needs him to try to be sexy. That would scare me, quite frankly.

The twins find a date card. They read it in unison, "Evan - Choose a woman to join you for an ancient ceremony."

Evan turns to Carly and asks him to go with him. He thinks Carly wants him to be chill. He can probably put more enthusiasm in it.

As they walk up to the location of their date, it's a village and the natives perform a ceremony to release negative energy. Carly says it's right up Evan's alley because he loves weird stuff. As the drums are beat and the smoke floats up in a really small brick hut, they are urged to tell the truth. He loves that she accepts his crazy. (She's trying.)

Carly is impressed with how he looks at her, like she is the most beautiful girl in the world. She says she falls for him more every day. They poor steamy water on each other.

Back at the house, Ashley is still obsessed over how she could make out with Jared's mind. For some reason he talks to her amidst the group. He needs to run. Ashley tries to plant seeds of doubt about Caila's sincerity in his mind. Jared runs upstairs to talk to Caila. Caila starts to realize Ashley tried to get to Jared by saying that he may be more into Caila than Caila is to him.

Caila has had enough. She was friends with Ashley before, but isn't going to let her get in middle of what she's trying to have with Jared. Caila is like, "quit trying to get in middle." Ashley is like, "Jared may always trust me more."

I wish they would get in an actual cat fight.

That's it for the week!  There needs to be more rose ceremonies. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Go home! No, you go home! #bachelorinparadise

So, I get in from having dinner out with my parents and sit down to start Bachelor in Paradise forty minutes late so live Tweeting is out. That's ok. One less thing to pull my attention away and I can fast forward through the commercials.

Suddenly, my head starts to ache. It must be the mere thought of watching. I'm into self-inflicted torture, obviously.

Tonight starts with Ashley I aka Ash Kardash crying her eyes out because Jared's just not that into her. Jared has his head in his hands, probably crying himself. Ash is going on about a glimmer. Jared angrily asks, "so why did you come?"

"To get over you."

Jared is ready to go home, letting her know that this is unfair to both of them to have to go through all this. Ash tells him that every time he walks out of a room she misses him.

Pathetic.

Jared tells Ash Kardash that he likes Caila, he's been as blunt as he can, he cares for her, but not romantically.

"Are you sure you're never going to care for me more?"

Will he go home to escape Ash or will he stick around to get to know Caila. He tells Caila, "don't worry about Ashley. I want to be here for you."

Now she's laugh crying saying she'd rather be in a body cast than watch Jared with Caila. Whether it's edited in or not, you can hear crying in the background. It's so annoying.

Finally, we get attention away from Ash, we see the twins doing their Riverdance routine.

Now, on to Carly and Evan. Carly says something about her boobs might possibly fall out at some time. She realizes that she had been pushing him away when she shouldn't have. She doesn't mind kissing him so much anymore. Or she just wants a rose and she is faking it, just like he faked his injury last week. He just admitted it to the camera in his interview.

Carly proclaims it an odd rose ceremony. Daniel is pretty much the only one with a rose up for grabs. He's going to let the women come to him. Sarah does come to him with a half birthday cake she made for his half birthday.

After licking her frosting off her fork, Sarah asks Daniel if he wants to lick frosting off of her. In what my third grade kids at church would say, he burns her by saying, "it depends on if you took a shower."

The twins don't want to leave, so they are going to have to work some magic. They don't think they can top the cake, so they debate which of them has to kiss Daniel in an effort to save them both. Haley draws the short straw. She has a look on her face that isn't convincing when she says she wants to get to know him more. Haley says she would ask him out if she got a date card and to prove her interest, gives him a quick kiss.

Ash is still crying. Now she's crying to Jorge. He looks like he'd rather pass a kidney stone. Daniel goes to talk to Ashley, ay. (So Canadian.) He tries to give her a pep talk. He's also crude in his interview to the camera about why he wouldn't mind getting with her.

Daniel comes back, squeezes in between the twins, and Sarah says, "you know what would be nice from a guy that likes me? That he would come sit by me."

He doesn't move.

Finally, it's rose time!

Ash wants earplugs so she doesn't have to hear Jared's words. So immature.

  1. Grant is still with crazy Lace.
  2. Josh and Amanda (GO HOME TO YOUR KIDS!)
  3. Nick and Jennifer (That's her name, right? I still don't remember her.)
  4. Vinny and Izzy
  5. Evan and Carly
  6. Jared chooses Caila.
  7. Daniel is up last, and everyone is waiting to see if he's still playing around. Is he good with Sarah? He went on a date with Ash. Haley kissed him. He picks Haley, and by extension Emily. 
Sarah should have stuck with Christian last week. Wrong move. She needs a man not on this show to accept her instead of sticking her neck out on Paradise. She rides off in tears.

Ash Kardash loads up in her car. She ugly cries the ugliest cry and makes awful noises. She asks the driver to stop the car. She can't leave like this. 

Ash walks back in. Nick groans. No one is excited, to say the least. 

"Tonight I had a conversation that should have been had a long time ago... Would you all let me have a second chance to come back with an open mind?"

The look on Josh's face is hilarious. The twins say, "yes." Everyone joins in agreeing. 

WHY?

BECAUSE THE SHOW IS SCRIPTED!!!

The next day, Nick isn't buying what Ash is selling. She needs a guy to come.

In walks Carl. I have no memory whatsoever of Carl, and neither does anyone else. They say he's from Andi's season. All the women think he's hot. I'm old, I guess.

Emily is convinced he is her type. She tells him she is the only one who has not gone on a date. Carl doesn't even read the card out loud. Emily has done his convincing.

Next, Brett shows up with a lamp, just like he did on Andi's season. I didn't remember that, but thank goodness for clips from the past.

Now everyone thinks he is hot. Even Izzy who has Vinny. Brett talks to the guys with his date card in hand. Brett was interested in Caila and tries to decide if he's going to make a snag. He asks Caila to talk. (Jared looks defeated immediately.) Brett asks Caila if she came in with any expectations or wanting anyone in particular to be there. As a hairstylist, he likes her hair. 

Ash tells Brett to ask out who he wants to ask out. She thinks if Brett asks Caila out, she might get Jared's attention. Jared sees this coming when Brett makes the invite official. He can't make it off set fast enough. 

Caila does want to talk to Jared before they go. He admits that he doesn't want her to go on the date with Brett, but it's up to her to make the best decision for her. Caila decides she wants to stay and hang out with Jared. Whoops, no, she changes her mind. She wants to go on the date after all. 

No, I was wrong. She goes back to the bar and tells Brett she thinks she wants to stay here. "Wanna talk?" So, she goes off with Brett and tells him she is unsure. She's back to wanting to go. Then, she swings back the other way again. 

Everyone listening is confused. 

Jared asks Carly if he deserves all of this. After all, he went out with a few girls last season and broke it off every time.

So, the double dates... Emily can't remember her date's name. A fun time seems to be had by all on the dance floor. Then a booze cruise. 

Nick and Carly talk about the Ashley/Jared/Caila situation. Suddenly, I think Nick and Carly should be a couple. 

Ashley tries to comfort Jared while Caila is away. "How can I distract you?" Like a novel, she thinks she can gain the love of the guy who isn't into her. 

The date... Emily and Carl are getting their dirty dancing on. Caila isn't enjoying the the cruise. Brett starts to think that she is not only not into the cruise, but isn't into him either. She tells Brett she thinks she may have made a mistake. 

Upon their return, Caila wants to talk to Jared. Ashley thinks Jared is going to get dumped. Caila just wants to not have pressure on herself. Caila says she wished she had stayed behind and got to know him better.

Ashley is crushed. Again. The whole, "how can people be so close yet not able to be together," bit which she's done numerous times during this one episode. 

Later that night, one of the twins, Haley this time? I still can't tell them apart. Anyway, Haley is talking to Brett about how weird Daniel is. The two may end up together. 

Next to arrive is someone else no one remembers, Ryan from Kaitlyn's season. Even Ryan knows he isn't memorable. He arrives with a date card and goes off with Jared to talk about what's going on. Ryan was looking for Sarah (sorry, she left) and Haley. Jared talks him into talking to Ashley saying their personalities fit. Jared must not be the friend Ryan thought he was. 

Ryan does talk Ashley off to talk, and all she talks about is how obsessed she is with Jared. Ryan figures out what Jared was trying. He walks away from that conversation and goes right up to Haley to see if she wants to go on the date. Daniel calls Ryan a "silver fox," and is none too happy that someone is swooping in on Haley. (Yes, there is some silver in his beard, but that's it.)

Haley is glad to get away from Daniel. They have a horse date. This is brand new for her, but Ryan knows what he's doing. Haley may be in love already.

In other news, Grant is realizing how much he is really falling for Lace. He's going to take her on their own special date. He arranges for a couple's massage. Then, hot tub time. He drops the L word. After all, they practically live together now. Happy tears from Lace. She's not quite to the love point yet though she is falling for him.

Meanwhile, Vinny thinks he and Izzy are strong. Izzy has certain doubts, especially with Brett on the scene. The barber vs. the hair stylist. Later in the evening, Izzy pulls Brett off to talk. After talking, she pulls off Vinny for a conversation. She tells Vinny her heart kind of flipped when she saw Brett and wants to be honest. She doesn't know how she feels. Vinny may be in tears now. 

The next morning, Vinny is crushed and about to start crying when someone rubs his back. (Carly, in her ever present wisdom, thinks it's shady Izzy might change her mind just based on a guy's looks.) Brett and Izzy barely talked, and no one has broken anyone up yet. Vinny is ready to leave. He wants some closure. He hunts Izzy down and asks to talk to her in the treehouse. 

And with that... it's to be continued until tomorrow night. 

Except closing out the show with a blooper of Carl talking to the wrong twin about their date.