By Guest Indiana
A sign that we are living in the last days is the fact that love is cooling off. Sadly, the pressures and demands of this cold world has effected many marriages. Close relationships that are full of love and warmth, can easily become cold and distant . This situation can be likened to a large mountain with each mate standing on the opposite side. How can a couple draw close again in this situation? They have to climb towards the top. In a spiritual sense, mates that have allowed some mountain to come between them have to “climb” toward Jehovah. They can do this by reading the Bible, praying and doing family worship together. When a couple puts forth the effort to draw closer to Jehovah, they will also draw closer to one another. It can be challenging, painful and exhausting, but those who put forth the effort will have a stronger marriage as a result. (Ecc 4:9-12) Indeed, drawing closer to God is the key to drawing closer to your spouse.
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By Guest Indiana
Before deciding to date it is important you pay close attention to the person you are interested in. How do they treat others? Are they spiritually mature? How do they handle money matters? How do they handle responsibility? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? There is never a reason to settle for less. We don’t need to look for perfection, but when it is clear that they require a ton of assembly or when they don’t have very important qualities or skills needed to make a marriage a success, we would be wise to hold off from pursing a courtship. Normally, when purchasing an item we do research to make sure we are getting the best quality. Why would we do any less when it comes to something as life changing and important as choosing a marriage mate. Also, if I am aware that I have a ton of assembly required and lack in many areas of life, why not work on those things first before trying to date. If we really like someone we should want them to have the best, right? “Patience is the key”. (See YPA Vol 2 Chapter 1)
By Guest Nicole
tie_bros(REPOST) Covering Sin: Psalms 32:3-5 David tells us that when he hid his sin he felt miserable. However, once he confessed his sins to Jehovah he felt relief. Though it may be embarrassing, confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness will give us peace of mind and help us to remain close to Jehovah.
By Guest Nicole
Diamond tells her old friend Lynn about what happened with Blue. Lynn thinks she should get revenge. Diamond strongly disagrees. (Lynn is from Diamond's old congregation @bow_tie_bros_comics or see #bowtiebroscar) Proverbs 14:17 "The one who is quick to anger acts foolishly..." Ecclesiastes 7:22 "for you well know in your heart that many times you yourself have called down evil on others. Psalms 103:10 "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor has he repaid us what our errors deserve." How do we react when faced with rejection or when a brother or sister may do something thoughtless or hurtful? (This is an example of a courtship stopping before it really gets started but what if you were in a longer relationship that ends? Awake 7/15 p.10 "When a Courtship Ends" has great advice.)
By Guest Nicole
Often in the bible the God's word is compared to life giving water. How important it is that we keep taking in the water Jehovah provides and keep it in our hearts.
By Guest Nicole
Isaiah 5:20 applies greatly to today's world. Should Halloween be considered to be good or bad?
Consider just a small part of Halloween's origin: "The American Halloween tradition of Â“trick-or-treatingÂ” probably dates back to the early All SoulsÂ’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called Â“soul cakesÂ” in return for their promise to pray for the familyÂ’s dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as Â“going a-soulingÂ” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money... "The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago...on Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter." (http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween)
By Guest Nicole
El mundo piensa que esto es extraño
Â¡Ay de los que dicen que lo bueno es malo y lo malo es bueno
Pero creen que esto es normal
Â¿Truco o trato? : IsaÃas 5:20 se aplica mucho al mundo de hoy. Â¿Se debe considerar que Halloween es bueno o malo? Considere solo una pequeÃ±a parte del origen de Halloween: "La tradiciÃ³n estadounidense de" trick-or-treating "probablemente se remonta a los desfiles del DÃa de Todos los Santos en Inglaterra. Durante las festividades, los ciudadanos pobres pedÃan comida y las familias daban los pasteles llamados "pasteles de alma" a cambio de su promesa de orar por los parientes muertos de la familia. La iglesia alentÃ³ la distribuciÃ³n de pasteles de alma como una forma de reemplazar la antigua prÃ¡ctica de dejar comida y vino para los espÃritus itinerantes, a la que se referÃa como "ir al souling", eventualmente fue ocupado por niÃ±os que visitarÃan las casas de su vecindario y recibirÃ¡n cerveza, comida y dinero ... "La tradiciÃ³n de vestirse con disfraces para Halloween tiene caracterÃsticas europeas y raÃces celtas. Hace cientos de aÃ±os ... en Halloween, cuando se creÃa que los fantasmas volvÃan al mundo terrenal, la gente pensaba que encontrarÃan fantasmas si abandonaban sus hogares. Para evitar ser reconocidos por estos fantasmas, las personas usarÃan mÃ¡scaras cuando salÃan de sus casas despuÃ©s del anochecer, para que los fantasmas los confundieran con espÃritus similares. En Halloween, para mantener alejados a los fantasmas de sus casas, la gente colocarÃa tazones de comida fuera de sus hogares para apaciguar a los fantasmas y evitar que intenten entrar ". (Http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history- de-halloween)
By Guest Indiana
Narcissism is a tricky concept. Although most people intuitively understand why narcissism is toxic to be around (the superiority complex that makes a person treat all others as beneath them, the aggressive need for control, the inability to take responsibility for their actions, and many other harmful behaviors), many still often find themselves ensnared by a narcissist's charm long before they actually realize the person they're with suffers from a serious personality disorder.
If you find yourself dating a narcissist, it is possible to make the relationship work with a lot of strength, patience, and self-love—as long as the relationship hasn't turned abusive. But for many, narcissism is unbearable in the long term, and a breakup is absolutely necessary. The challenge, then, will be to get out safely.
If you have decided that it's time to leave your narcissistic partner, you are likely in for a big challenge on multiple levels. Here's what to do to protect yourself.
By Guest Nicole
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Since the Society does NOT recognize Civil Divorces if there is no adultery, and considers a couple to STILL BE MARRIED ... if a man and wife get divorced civilly ONLY ( perhaps for some economic reason, like bankruptcy, or estate management .... or they cannot stand each other more than a few hours a week .. (health reasons (?)) ... and they still shack up (friends, with benefits..) does the Society sanction these ones in any way?
( For those in Rio Linda ... "friends with benefits" means friends that have sex ...) ....
By Guest Nicole
Being widowed, divorced or never married increases the risk of heart disease.
Being married may reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular death, a review of studies has found.
Researchers pooled data on more than two million participants in 34 studies carried out in the United States, Britain, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Greece and eight other countries.
They found that compared with married people, those who were unmarried — whether never married, widowed or divorced — were 42 percent more likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease and 16 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease. The unmarried also had a 43 percent increased likelihood of coronary heart disease death and a 55 percent increased risk for death from stroke. Stroke risk was increased for the unmarried and divorced, but not for the widowed.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/well/marriage-heart-married-divorced-single.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/well
Do homosexual acts on the part of a married person constitute a Scriptural ground for divorce, freeing the innocent mate to remarry?By Srecko Sostar
This is real controversy. But just one among many that came from Watchtower GB spiritual food table. JW living in "spiritual paradise" under rules like this one. :((
Questions from readers - WT magazine January 1 1972
Do homosexual acts on the part of a married
person constitute a Scriptural ground for
divorce, freeing the innocent mate to remarry?
Homosexuality is definitely condemned in the Bible as something that will prevent individuals from gaining God’s approval. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10)
However, whether an innocent mate would Scripturally be able to remarry after procuring a legal divorce from a mate guilty of homosexual
acts must be determined on the basis of what the Bible says respecting divorce and remarriage.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ said: “Everyone divorcing his wife, except on account of fornication, makes her a subject for
adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matt. 5:32) On a later occasion he told the Pharisees: “Whoever divorces
his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery." —Matt. 19:9.
Thus “fornication" is seen to be the only ground for divorce that frees the innocent mate to remarry. The Greek word for fornication is porneia.
It can refer to illicit sexual relations between either married or unmarried persons. The ancient Greeks, in rare instances, may have understood
this term to denote acts other than illicit sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. But the sense in which Jesus used the word porneia at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9
must be ascertained from the context.
It should be noted that in Matthew chapters 5 and 19 “fornication" is used in the restricted sense of marital unfaithfulness, or illicit relations with another person not one’s marriage mate. Just before bringing up the matter of divorce in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ pointed out that “everyone [married] that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28)
Consequently, when he afterward alluded to a woman’s committing fornication, his listeners would have understood this in its relative sense, namely, as signifying a married woman’s prostitution or adultery.
The context of Matthew chapter 19 confirms this conclusion. On the basis of the Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus pointed out that a man and his wife became “one flesh,” and then added: “What God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matt. 19:5, 6) Now, in homosexual acts the sex organs are used in an unnatural way, in a way for which they were never purposed. Two persons of the same sex are not complements of each other, as Adam and Eve were. They could never become “one flesh”־ in order to procreate. It might be added, in the case of human copulation with a beast, two different kinds of flesh are involved.
Wrote the apostle Paul: “Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, and there is another flesh of cattle, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.1— ״ Cor. 15:39. While both homosexuality and bestiality are disgusting perversions, in the case of neither one is the marriage tie broken. It is broken only by acts that make an individual “one flesh” with a person of the opposite sex other than his or her legal marriage mate.
By Guest Nicole
HereÂ’s what they are:
1. Be together for the right reasons
DonÂ’t ever be with someone because someone else pressured you to. I got married the first time because I was raised Catholic and thatÂ’s what you were supposed to do. Wrong. I got married the second time because I was miserable and lonely and thought having a loving wife would fix everything for me. Also wrong. Took me three tries to figure out what should have been obvious from the beginning, the only reason you should ever be with the person youÂ’re with is because you simply love being around them. It really is that simple.
Before we even get into what you should do in your relationship, letÂ’s start with what not to do.
When I sent out my request to readers for advice, I added a caveat that turned out to be illuminating. I asked people who were on their second or third (or fourth) marriages what they did wrong. Where did they mess up?
By far, the most common answer was Â“being with the person for the wrong reasons.Â”
Some of these wrong reasons included:
Pressure from friends and family Feeling like a Â“loserÂ” because they were single and settling for the first person that came along Being together for imageÂ—because the relationshipÂ looked goodÂ on paper (or in photos), not because the two people actually admired each other Being young and naive and hopelessly in love and thinking that love would solve everything As weÂ’ll see throughout the rest of this article, everything that makes a relationship Â“workÂ” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.
The other Â“wrongÂ” reason to enter into a relationship is, like Greg said, to Â“fixÂ” yourself. This desire to use the love of someone else to soothe your own emotional problems inevitably leads to codependence, an unhealthy and damaging dynamic between two people where they tacitly agree to use each otherÂ’s love as a distraction from their own self-loathing. WeÂ’ll get more into codependence later in this article, but for now, itÂ’s useful to point out that love, itself, is neutral. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending onÂ whyÂ andÂ howÂ you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself,Â love is never enoughÂ to sustain a relationship.
Read more:Â https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/
By Guest Nicole
Thought this would be a fun way to explain how pride can become fatal. Jehovah's spirit can help us to get though or endure any challenge we face. It can also help us to accomplish amazing things for him in this race to the finish. However, if we allow fear or pride to cause us to rely on our own strength, we may not make it to the final leap to the end. We would even lose out on all the "points" we got along the way. Humbly relying on Jehovah's spirit to the end is the only way to win this awful game Satan has created. Proverbs 16:18 "Pride is before a crash." 1 Corinthians 10:12-"So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall."
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
This applies more to young ones, but can really apply to any one of us. In the world we live in today there are many people looking to take advantage of us by means of social media. There have been many sad stories about people who were robbed or worse because they gave away too much personal information on social media. Some may give out their information that it becomes like posting your private info on the screens in Times Square. Young ones with free and unmonitored access to smart phones and computers have at times found themselves speaking with strangers who seek to do them harm. It's so important that on our personal private accounts we are careful about who we allow to follow us and who we choose to follow. Parents should regularly monitor their children's Internet use and set rules to protect their children as well. Even those claiming to be Witnesses may not be what they seem. Proverbs 22:33-"The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself,But the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences."
By Guest Nicole
If you’ve been through a rough breakup, where you've been mistreated in any way—cheated on, emotionally or physically abused, having had to deal with a narcissist, psychopath, or sociopath—you probably have the urge to exorcise those demons by talking out the bad stuff. And, while venting to a close, trusted companion or a therapist can be cathartic, you need to be careful about how and with whom you do it. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Many people prefer not to take sides.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say, "You just weren’t a match." That’s what they say when they don’t want to take sides or get involved. Even your best friends might say this, especially if they’ve heard the same story too many times. They’ll give you a sympathetic ear for a while, but then they brush it off with "he/she just wasn’t right for you." Aggravating, yes, because, to you, it doesn't feel like a blameless breakup—but you’ve got to let them off the hook. They just want to see you happy and are hoping leaving your relationship that "didn’t work" will help you find your well-being again.
2. Some people may need to keep interacting with your ex.
Perhaps your ex still haunts the places where they socialize, maybe they see the person at work, or they just want to keep them as a Facebook friend. There's no need to create drama with the friends you still have, unless your ex was abusive and the only way to keep yourself safe is to cut all ties. In those cases, it's absolutely your right to expect your close friends to sever their connection with the ex as well.
3. You can't save the next victim.
This is often one of our strongest rationales for spreading the truth about an ex who turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing: to forewarn their next victims and save them years of misery. The only problem is that those conquests are not going to believe you. They’ll just chalk up your remarks to bitterness while continuing with their infatuation. As hard as it is, you just have to let them learn their own lessons, even if it has to be the hard way.
4. Preoccupation feeds attachment.
Whether you decide to speak out or not, limit the amount of time you spend talking and thinking about your ex. Even this potentially empowering act can perpetuate your unhealthy attachment if you give it too much power. And the longer you stay attached, the less able you are to move on. It’s unhealthy, it’s unattractive, and eventually, even you will find it boring.
5. You'll be best served letting a therapist or support group be your open ear.
There are places for venting—support groups, coaches, or therapists. If you were at all abused, reach out to counselors and support groups specifically intended for survivors. That's where real recovery begins.
Read more: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/venting-about-your-ex-cathartic-or-toxic?utm_term=pos-1&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily1&utm_campaign=170723
By Guest Nicole
Ruby encourages Opal to take a difficult step in order to get her mind off of Blue. Jesus tells us at Matthew 5:30, "Also, if your right hand is making you stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you. For it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to land in Ge·henʹna." Jesus didn't mean we should literally cut off our hands, but rather take drastic measures to remove anything that may cause us to stumble. Maybe it's a certain movie, TV program, the Internet or game. Maybe it's an associate (family, workmate, schoolmate) that brings out the worst in us or tries to get us involved in wrong doing. Maybe it's social media and the amount of time we spend on it or possibly jealous or hurt feelings we get when we see other's posts of them having fun that we may not have been invited to. Whatever it is that causes us to feel or do things God hates we should be quick to remove it from our lives. This may require drastic measures, but it will be better for us in the long run. In any case we should be understanding of those who may refrain from certain things or activities so as to keep from stumbling. (This comic is not implying that if we have an issue with a brother or sister that we should cut them off. We want to at all time demonstrate love toward our brothers and sisters and keep peace in the congregation. In real life If we have an issue with a brother or sister we should lovingly try to solve the issue.)
By Guest Nicole
By Leah Scott
Breakups suck no matter how you spin 'em. But acknowledging the uncertainties and seeking out the positive in the tough moments can help you turn yours into an experience that's illuminating rather than embittering. Ending a relationship is never not painful, but it ended for a reason, right? Whether you were with someone who didn't treat you well or who wanted to be with someone else, you are free from that toxicity. So, why not focus on the good?
Your mindset during this time is absolutely crucial to remaining positive and healthy. With that in mind, here are seven things I believe are essential to maintaining a positive outlook and turning your breakup into a blessing:
1. Practice gratitude.
Each morning when you wake up, think about what you’re grateful for. It can be as simple as the bed you sleep in, your children, or the fact that you have a roof over your head and a family that loves you. This period of your life will be tumultuous. Some days, everything will seem wrong, and you'll feel indescribably sad or angry. Some days you won't be able to think straight. It’s as if you’re in a fog. And some days, you'll be filled with hope and a sense of freedom. Gratitude will help you to see the beauty that's emerging from this storm.
Learning to breathe in the good and breathe out the bad is a crucial tool in navigating rough emotional waters. Take deep, cleansing, calming breaths before dealing with stressful situations like court dates, arbitration, or dividing your belongings: 4-4-4 breathing is great for providing structure to this practice when you feel out of control. It is breathing in for 4 seconds, holding that breath for 4 seconds, and exhaling for 4 seconds. Just focus on those breathing techniques until you feel ready to tackle whatever's coming.
3. Let go of expectations.
Whether it's a custody agreement or a conversation about how to deal with the holidays, not having any expectations will save you endless disappointment. According to the Second Truth of Buddhism, desire causes suffering. The desire for a certain outcome is what creates our expectations, and unmet expectations lead to inevitable disappointment. Let go of them, and embrace the uncertainty of this phase of your life. Whatever happens, you'll be able to handle it. Trust yourself.
4. Enjoy your freedom.
You are free to move, to travel, and to date and meet new people. Embrace that freedom. William Butler Yeats said, "The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." This is a whole new chapter. What do you dream about doing? Does your work feed your soul? Find out what does, and go after it.
5. Learn to forgive.
The end of a relationship is inevitably painful, and it may be difficult to forgive your ex. It starts, believe it or not, with forgiving yourself. You are your worst critic, and when things like this happen, we tend to focus on what we did wrong. Reflecting on the past is only beneficial insofar as it helps you make better choices in the future. Learn the lessons, then let go. I’ve been going through a divorce for two years, and I still struggle with forgiveness. I am a stronger person because of what I've dealt with. Knowing that empowers me to forgive.
6. Be present.
Our lives are continually disrupted by text messages, phone calls, and social media. It's becoming more and more difficult to just be present. Think about what being present means to you. For me, it means communing with nature. It means going for a walk and noticing the bright sky, the trees changing colors, or the birds chirping. I try to look at the world the way my children see it. They see the ocean in a puddle, a forest monster in a pile of leaves, a valiant fortress in the boughs of a tree. Try to sharpen your sense and see the magic around you.
7. Shed the toxic people.
You can't make a toxic person happy, but they will likely succeed in bringing you down if you keep spending time with them. The end of a major relationship should be a time of cleansing, getting rid of the debris of your life. Reconsider your relationships in this new phase, and distance yourself from anyone who drains you. It is OK to distant yourself from people not adding value to your well-being. If you want to make the most of this next period in your life, you need to surround yourself with positive people who will uplift and support you through the hard times and the good.
By Guest Nicole
Cancer Does Not Stop Local Jehovah's Witness Couple
Leslie and Jim Donigan attend the Jehovah's Witnesses conference today at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
At happy moments, Jim and Leslie Donigan often find themselves dancing to “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,” the Andy Williams hit that has been their song since they first met at a pizza joint in Mission, Kansas, decades ago.
One of those dance-worthy occasions took place late last year, at the end of a long medical journey. The memory remains strong, even though they have hit a recent bump in the road.
As Jehovah’s Witnesses, they plan to attend the Midwest convention that runs today through Sunday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. Organizers believe few attendees embody this year’s theme, “Don’t Give Up,” more than the Donigans, who are both 71 years old and live in Kansas City. About 5,000 people are expected to attend, said Craig Cochran, the convention’s media services coordinator.
The ability to be part of a global experience of faith is important to the Donigans, as they once again face medical uncertainty. “It’s like a spiritual family reunion,” Jim said.
A website for the religion says there are more than 8.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in 240 countries. According to the Pew Research Center, fewer than 1 percent of American adults are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“Don’t Give Up” is the them of this year’s Jehovah’s Witness conference. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in God, who is called Jehovah. As Christians, they believe in heaven and salvation, but they do not believe in hell or eternal suffering.
Witnesses, as followers are called, believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. However, they recognize some parts are symbolic and do not believe all parts of the Bible are to be understood literally.
Jehovah’s Witnesses also do not believe in blood transfusions, based upon their reading of passages in both the Old and New testaments. They cite Genesis 9:4, for example, where God says, “Only flesh with its soul — its blood — you must not eat.”
No ‘Cowards in the Foxhole’
On Oct. 1, 2004, Leslie fainted. That was abnormal for her, a runner who lives a healthy lifestyle.
Doctors could not pinpoint a cause, and later that month they understood why: They found a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, a rare cancer that leaves no blood marker. The tumor was growing on a section of the small intestine and was also threatening her pancreas.
The belief about blood transfusions was an obvious complication when it came to surgery.
So, the Donigans worked through a Jehovah’s Witnesses group in Brooklyn to find Dr. Marvin Romsdahl, a surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who performed a modified version of a common surgery to remove pancreatic tumors. The modified version did not require a transfusion.
The night before the surgery, the anesthesiologist backed out because of the risks of doing surgery without blood transfusions. “That’s good,” Jim told Romsdahl. “We don’t need any cowards in the foxhole.”
The surgery lasted 13.5 hours, but it was successful.
Yet further treatment included a prescription for the chemotherapy pill Gleevec. The cost of the therapy, which Leslie said at the time cost $2,500 per month, brought them to the breaking point, even after using Social Security and Medicare.
“It’s always been more than we could swallow,” Jim said, “and progressively over time, it took everything.”
More bad news hit in 2008, when Jim lost his banking job during the recession. They had to sell the house they had built nearly four decades before, the same house where they had raised their three children.
But in one sliver of good news, a neighbor approached them during their garage sale and told them he would buy another house for sale on the block and then rent it to them.
Things began to look up, as Jim found another job, Leslie qualified for a hardship program that allowed her to take Gleevec for free, and then got off the medication altogether when her cancer went into remission.
The cancer returned, however, and Leslie must remain on Gleevec for the rest of her life. Now, Gleevec costs $13,000 per month, she said.
In April 2016, the family was tested again, when Jim started having shortness of breath.
Their first thought was a heart problem, but the first diagnosis was multiple myeloma, a form of incurable blood cancer. A second opinion was different, but not any better: a form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which causes tumors to grow in the lymphatic system.
A PET scan revealed 100 tumors, and Jim started his own costly round of chemotherapy.
The Donigans vist with their son, Joel, and his wife, Carrie, at the conference. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
His lymphatic system failed during treatment, causing fluid buildup around his stomach and lungs. Jim suffered malnutrition when draining the fluid removed electrolytes and proteins.
By October, doctors gave him two months to live. Leslie got it in writing.
Yet as he sat in the hospital, saying his goodbyes, Jim had a thought: “Why couldn’t we take those fluids from my stomach and put them back into my heart, where they need to be?”
The question sparked an idea for one of Jim’s doctors, who inserted a shunt normally used to treat cirrhosis. Within two weeks, the fluid buildup was gone.
On Dec. 27, when he was home filing paperwork, Jim came across the letter telling him he only had two months to live. He did the math, and then they had an “I ain’t dead yet party.”
At the party, Jim sipped his first glass of wine in a year, and the couple danced once again to their favorite song. The luster remained up until this week, when an infection flared up around the shunt, and the fear of cancer returned.
This most recent medical challenge has shown Jim and Leslie how important their faith is in preparing them for the troubles that can lie ahead. The convention, and especially its theme, is coming at just the right time to help guide them through this newest trial, Leslie said.
“No one is shielded from the human experience,” Leslie said. “But personally, we find it better to be prepared to keep these types of relapses in their proper perspective.”
— Catherine Wheeler is a multimedia intern for Flatland. She is a graduate student studying journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Catherine has a bachelor’s degree in English-Writing from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She currently lives in Kansas City. You can reach her at email@example.com
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By Guest Nicole
When we find ourselves interested in a certain job or person our initial inclination may be to only focus on the things that we like about it. We zoom in on those aspects of the job or person and this can cause us to miss out on the bigger picture. That great job that pays very well may cause you to miss meetings or service. That guy with the dreamy eyes or that girl with the beautiful smile could have disgusting habits, may treat others poorly or may lack spiritual qualities. It's important that we learn how to back up and look at whatever we may be interested in objectively. Even more important it is to not make costly decisions without relying on Jehovah. Proverbs 3:5,6-"Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, And he will make your paths straight."
By Guest Nicole
Jeremiah 17:9- The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it? Proverbs 6:27-Can a man take fire to his chest and not burn his garments?The heart can cause us to make unwise decisions when it comes to dating. It can also cause us to develop feelings for more than one person. Our heart may even convince us that we are just being kind to those of the opposite sex when in reality we may actually be flirting with others and leading them on. Thus causing them to develop feelings toward us that we have no intention of reciprocating. It can happen to anyone ( even those with privileges) and without us even noticing it. It's important we identify where to draw the line. Also it requires honest self examination as to our feelings and relationships with others. (Check out the article "Are We Just Friends-or more?, Parts 1 and 2" g 6/12 pp.15-167)
By Guest Nicole
Friday's parliamentary vote in Berlin to recognize the right of same-sex couples to wed was a long-awaited victory for German liberals. But the vote was a defeat for the woman who seemed to have emerged as one of the country's most popular icons of liberalism: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
She welcomed over 1 million refugees, abandoned nuclear energy over safety fears and has urged President Trump to respect human rights.
On Friday, however, Merkel voted against same-sex marriage, despite having paved the way to its recognition only days earlier.
The anti-marriage-equality party line of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had long prevented the law from being passed. But on Monday, the German chancellor cleared the way for the issue to win approval in the German Parliament by allowing lawmakers to choose according to their personal convictions after being pressured into a vote by the Social Democratic Party. “I would like to steer the discussion more toward the situation that it will be a question of conscience instead of me forcing something through by means of a majority vote,” Merkel said earlier this week.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/06/30/why-angela-merkel-known-for-embracing-liberal-values-voted-against-same-sex-marriage/?utm_term=.b6ce6745071c
By Bible Speaks
The marriage bond is strengthened when each partner behaves as a lesser one.
"Let us pursue the things making for peace and the things that are upbuilding to one another."—Rom. 14:19.
By Guest Nicole
Did you know that one out of every five people is predisposed to experience higher levels of mental, physical, and emotional sensitivity? They're called highly sensitive people (HSPs) and I'm one of them. Many, but not all HSPs are empaths as well—meaning they can feel and absorb the emotions of those around them.
Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. was one of the first to study and bring awareness to the unique needs and behavior patterns of HSPs. Aron found that highly sensitive people interact with their environments and approach relationships in a way that’s slightly different from the rest of the population. You can read more about her findings in her book, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, or take this test on her website to determine if you are an HSP.
A few attributes of HSPs are that they're more likely to cry and become overwhelmed by sensory input; they also notice and respond to changes in lighting, sound, speech, and body language that others may not notice. Changes in plans, violent television shows, and even strong odors can completely throw HSPs for an energetic loop. This may cause a seemingly unwarranted emotional response or create a need for withdrawal on the HSP’s part. Sometimes when a highly sensitive person has reached his or her "limit," (s)he will begin to find ways to turn the noise down without explaining why to those around them.
As I mentioned, many HSPs are also empaths. Empaths have the ability to absorb other people’s emotions and feel them as if they are their own. HSPs are more responsive to environmental stimuli—information coming to them from their environment and perceived by the five senses—while empaths are more responsive to energetic stimuli. An HSP can usually pinpoint exactly what’s triggering their response while an empath may be vaguer, citing that they just "know" or "have a feeling."
As an HSP and an empath, I’ve found plenty of information about managing my responsiveness, sorting through what is mine versus what belongs to others, and what I call "pulling back to center," or grounding, after interaction with others. However, if you happen to be in a relationship with an HSP or an empath, then you're dealing with a unique kind of person, and you may be wondering what you can do to be a better friend, lover, and support system for them.
Here are a few pointers:
1. We need you to choose honesty.
Here’s the thing with HSPs and empaths; if we ask you what’s up it’s because we already know something’s up. We respect your privacy and understand that you may not be ready to share or talk about something we’ve noticed or sensed, but it’s better for you to say that instead of pretending that there’s nothing going on.
2. We need you to support our cleansing and grounding routine.
Both HSPs and empaths know their limits, and most of us have learned what helps us reset our energy. That may be yoga, music, alone time, a break from talking, a particular art or craft, or time outdoors, etc. It helps for our friends or partner to take notice and support us by giving us space to reset, or joining us. It means a lot for a loved one to change speed, come to yoga class, or just walk in silence with us. We appreciate that and will repay you as soon as we move back into the emotional space to do so. That brings me to my next point.
3. We need you to take no for an answer.
When an empath or HSP is already vibing low (needing to reset or clear energy), it can be massively draining for a friend or loved one to "force" us to go out. We’re not depressed; we’re recharging. We’re not boring; we enjoy a different kind of adventure. So if you’ve asked an empath or HSP to go to the club or to a public event with you, and they’ve said no, simply leave the offer on the table, and let it be.
4. We need you to make sure things don't get one-sided.
Empaths understand and care about your feelings and well-being; often we will compromise or move things around in advance for the sake of those around us. For this reason, our relationships can get one-sided rather quickly. We make amazing sounding boards and support systems, but don’t forget that we need that in return, especially from those who are closest to us.
By Brittany Jackson