If there is a most important word in the previous blog it’s the word “you.”

23 “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it–not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” James1:23-25 (NIV)

The only person that can truly put the problems and bad memories of the past behind you is YOU.  Counseling, reaching out for help are all positives, but it is you and you alone that have to make the choice to move forward and to move with a new purpose and attitude adjustment.  No one can do this for you.

5” For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter1:5-8 (NIV)

The old saying of “actions speak louder than words” is certainly applicable when you are trying to make changes in your life.  It is one thing to talk about it, or even to decide that change is necessary, but until you put action to your words, they are nothing more than words and promises.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9 (NIV)

Again, this is where the word “you” comes in.  No one can do this for you.  They can tell you their opinion, they can tell you what they think you should do, but it is up to YOU to take action.  The first step may be the hardest, but you have to take that first step before you can get to the second step of a new Springtime and a new beginning.

14 “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17 (NIV)


Spring and New Beginnings

Spring and New Beginnings

Spring is the time of year when we think about new beginnings.  Leaves are coming back to the trees, the weather gets a little warmer, birds come back from their winter hibernating and there’s a freshness in the air.  When you recognize that you no longer have to live with the things that may have haunted you in the past.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

It’s like you are transitioning your mindset from winter to spring!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)


Things of the past are behind you, it may have been a tough winter for you, but hope springs eternal when you look at moving forward and making spring your starting point towards a life that is free from all of the chains and bad memories of the past.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light”. Romans 13:12 (NIV)

YOU DON’T HAVE TO RELIVE THEM ANY MORE!  Focus on what’s ahead rather than what’s behind.  You can’t change the past, but you certainly can change your present and your future.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

Men Are Abuse Victims, Too – #2

hurt boy sitting on a park bench; dove of hope at cornerMy mother had to be in control of everything and everyone. She would tell my father what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Rather than cause a confrontation, he would just comply and consider it “his cross to bear.” Things with me were not much different than they were with my father. I would do whatever, whenever she told me to do something. She controlled my interests, my friends, my free time, what I did, with who and when. My brother showed some backbone and would stand up to her from time to time, but even he, rather than enduring a shouting match would simply leave the house. He had a car to escape in while I did not.

My father would try and stay out of the house and avoid the conflict by working long hours 12-14 hours per day six days a week. My mother would have dinner cooking, and woe to my dad if he was five minutes late coming home from work due to traffic or a last minute customer. She would scream at him, throw the dinner at him or let it burn and serve it to him that way. Things were so bad I would sit and watch out the front room window waiting for my dad’s car to pull into the driveway praying he wouldn’t be late so we could have a non- violent evening.

Occasionally there would be some major blow ups. I remember one time my mother broke one of the old cradle telephone receivers over my dad’s head splitting his head open while my brother wrapped my dad’s head with a towel and rushed him to the hospital emergency room with a trail of blood all over the floor behind him. I also remember a cold Ohio winter night when my mother started breaking out all of the windows in our house and my father became so frustrated he began breaking them out with her. That night I huddled under a blanket in my room for warmth and to escape the violence.

One escape for me was playing baseball, I would play with kids in the neighborhood from morning to night all summer long not wanting to go back to the scene of violence in my house. My mother was not happy with that, and would give me a deadline that I had to be home by, and if I missed it, it would usually mean going to bed without eating. She wanted me to take up a sport she liked, roller skating, and because I’ve always been pretty athletically inclined I was pretty good at it. I did this to avoid confrontation, but the atmosphere around the skating rink was not a good one to grow up in (more about that later).

My mother would always put money away so she knew she would have enough to take her private skating lessons and go to the skating rink four or five times a week. This often meant buying junk and cheap foods so part of the grocery money would go to the skating rink. I was often told, I was an unplanned pregnancy, and that I was not supposed to happen. To this day I believe this is why my older brother always had the better things while I received hand me downs. My parents paid for his college education, but when he had to leave due to grades, they said that was it and they wouldn’t be paying for a college education for me. Fortunately for me, I was good enough at baseball that I was able to get a full scholarship and graduated in four years.

As I mentioned last week, domestic violence can come in many forms both physically and mentally. Next week, I will talk about how DV in my childhood affected me as a young adult and into my adulthood. The long-term effects of DV are extremely powerful, and often difficult to eliminate or overcome. I hope you will continue to read the remaining two weeks of this blog as I believe there are many men (and women) out there that know of someone who has a similar situation they are going through now. Perhaps this someone is actually you.

Men Are Abuse Victims, Too

hurt boy sitting on a park bench; dove of hope at cornerMen Are Abuse Victims, too.

In most cases Domestic Violence occurs in the lives of Women and is usually inflicted by a man. This could be a husband, partner, or friend. But I would like to give you a view of the other side of the coin if you will. I am now a 65-year old man, but to this day, I still suffer the effects of Domestic Violence that occurred in my case as a young child. Unlike most cases of DV where the victim is the woman and the abuser is the man, in my case it was exactly the opposite.

As a young child, I witnessed and lived with the abuse that my mother inflicted on my father, my brother, and myself. Neither my mother or my father are alive today, but even from the grave they have had and, if I’m not careful, continue to have a negative impact on my life.

In the weeks ahead on this blog, I will go over what my experience was from a small child’s perspective, growing up in a house victimized by DV, and long term effects DV can have on an adult. I will describe in detail, just what happened to our family of four that was controlled by my mother, and what the results and ramifications were and are today.

Domestic Violence is something that happens to all lifestyles, rich or poor, young or old, male and female, regardless of race, or ethnicity. It is my hope that what you will read over the next three weeks will help you see that DV is not just a male perpetrator and a female victim. In some cases, although certainly not the majority, it can be the other way around.

Next week, I will describe what happened in detail in our house of horrors. Then in the remaining two weeks, I will talk about how this behavior affected my father, my brother, and myself. I hope you will check back to this blog throughout the remainder of this month, and follow a true life event with real ramifications. It is my further hope and prayer, that if you see a man or child that is being victimized by this type of DV, that it will encourage you to take action, if it’s yourself, or direct the victim you recognize to take action in the form of preparing for a hurricane as we have discussed in previous Reach Out Speak Out posts.