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Author Topic: Needed Prayer!  (Read 12443 times)
Robb Middleton
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« on: October 03, 2006, 03:28:05 am »

There are those of you who know me and know what I'm going through, so please bear with me.  I'm going through a very nasty divorce, and have been since the first of the year.  I have three sons: Joel, 8; Jordan, 5; and Jacob, 3.  We just (Finally!) got the full custody evaluation back about a week or so ago, and the report recommends that I have primary legal and residential custody of the boys, with their mom getting visitation.  Please pray that I'm granted Sole Custody, for the strength to continue to stand up against the abuse and so forth, the wisdom to know how to proceed in the final stages of this terrible thing I go through.  Please pray!  There is so much more I need prayer for, but suffice it to say that prayer for the judge and the lawyers to decide what's right for my boys.  The evil one (sorry to use assembly verbage, but you sometimes don't know how true that word picture is) is really hounding around this, and I've learned that he has no right, no authority, no place in my family, in anything.  But, sometimes, my confidence, my self-esteem, slips back to what it was and I have self doubt.  I've come so far in gaining the confidence and self-esteem back.  PLEASE PRAY!  and I thank you for your support! Grin
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Oscar
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2006, 02:03:09 am »

Robb,

Praying for you!

Tom Maddux
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vernecarty
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2006, 06:40:33 pm »

Hi Rob:
I have seen you a few times at Robeson where our daughters are also attending.
I also am standing with you in prayer my friend.
Is your wife a believer?
Feel free to e-mail me if you don't want to respond on the forum. I ask the question so as to be able to not only pray, but with the Holy Spirit's help to do so with spiritual intelligence...
Verne

p.s the rate of divorce among professing Christians currently is indistinguishable from non-believers. It is the enemy's most potent instrument for undermining the command to Christians to raise children in the fear and admonition of the Lord... Cry
« Last Edit: October 05, 2006, 06:45:04 pm by vernecarty » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2006, 09:21:18 pm »

I married late in life and it is clear to me it was nothing short of the mercy of God. I know so many people my age (including relatives) who have been married and divorced multiple times. God knew I was not ready and kept me from making a mess of my life.
While I did not cite the statistic to in any way discourage anyone Robb, it is certainly a startling one is it not?
It did not always used to be this way so clearly some things have changed in the ways Christians choose their mates and conduct their marriages.
God will honor your committment to those precious children - they are indeed the priority.
I used to think that if only one of the partners in a marriage did God's will, God would always save the marriage. I have now learned enough and seen enough examples to know this to be a false presumption.
Sadly, the way in which He ultimately accomplishes his purpose in the lives of His own, is via this tragic, rendering and impoverishing fragmentation of the institution He Himself created, and whose dissolution He states that he hates...
I am praying that He causes it to work for good, as He has promised.
Verne
« Last Edit: October 06, 2006, 09:22:58 pm by vernecarty » Logged
Mark C.
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2006, 12:25:34 am »

Hi Robb!

  I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties you are going through and I most certainly will be praying for you.

I have never been in the situation you find yourself, but I can imagine (and from what you wrote) that you are feeling very stressed out.  A lot of that stress may be misplaced in the form of wondering what you may have done wrong (as in: marrying too early, mistakes you made in the relationship, etc.).

  How we as Christians deal with failure in marriage (especially from our Assembly background where failure is not allowed) is more important than the actual statistics involved.  Marriage takes two and we can't crawl into the heart of the other and make decisions for them--- no matter how hard we try to make the relationship work.

  As an example:  Is Betty a better Christian for staying married to a philandering and unrepentant GG?

  But, back to the statistics that Verne mentioned: I still say it is more important what the response of a believer is when it is obvious that the other member of the relationship is not interested in doing their part (or as in your case, a detriment to healthy family life).  Divorce, though causing pain, sometimes is the only good choice. 

   You display in your posts what the statistics do not show:

1.) You are looking to God for help.

2.) Your concern is for your children.

3.) Your hope is for the defeat of evil and the triumph of good.

  So, even though Christians may have the same percentages in regard to divorce as the unsaved you can bet the character responses to that fact are not going to be the same.

  I say all this because I don't think that you should feel guilty for being less of a Christian than you should be, for failures in relationships are inescapable as we have the same human weaknesses that the World in general contends with. 

  The only way to truly avoid all failure is to never take any risks--- and let's face it, marriage and family have a ton of risk!  I'm not saying that waiting to get married is necessarily a bad idea, or that even not getting married at all is, but too much caution in trying to avoid risk can make one's life pretty bland.

  Hindsight is always 20-20, but I think that God allows us to try to make our way through life and make our mistakes.  He is always there to help us when we fail (which we most certainly will at some point).

  You have shown good character in your response to a very difficult situation and can take solace in the fact that God, while not creating the problem, can bring blessing out of it.

  BTW, you need not apologize for using "Assembly-speak", as long before GG twisted some of these truths there was a proper and good use for these words/phrases.  Just consider that you have wrested them from the wrong context and are now using them as God intended!

                                                                 God Bless,  Mark C.
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vernecarty
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2006, 07:28:51 am »


  So, even though Christians may have the same percentages in regard to divorce as the unsaved you can bet the character responses to that fact are not going to be the same.

I sincerely hope you are right about this Mark.
I would argue that Robb's response is atypical, much to his credit.
Sadly, I suspect the fact that so many Christians find themselves indistinguishable from the rest of the unbelieving world in this regard has more to do with attitudes prior to the dissolution of this sacred institution marriage and not so much after.
Divorce used to be viewed as a terrible and tragic failure among believers.
Its frequency now among so many believers reflects a substantial change in that point of view, and I would dare say evinces a somehat cavalier attitude more typical of the unsaved.
I am watching a case in a fellowship of friends in which a couple with three children and recently divorced a few short weeks, are now busily engaged in the pursuit of other relationships, while remaining in fellowship at the same church.
The lady has been coming to services with her new love interest.
My heart goes out to the elders in that kind of situation. What a heartbreak to observe something like that going on while there are precious children involved.
I watched in dismay as my own brother failed to make any effort whatsoever to secure custody of his teen-aged boys when his wife walked out of the house.
Even after the cops had to be called to the wife's new residence because of an altercation in the street (over curfew) between her and the youngest son, seventeen at the time.
They were both professing Christians.

 
Quote
I say all this because I don't think that you should feel guilty for being less of a Christian than you should be, for failures in relationships are inescapable as we have the same human weaknesses that the World in general contends with. 

  The only way to truly avoid all failure is to never take any risks--- and let's face it, marriage and family have a ton of risk!  I'm not saying that waiting to get married is necessarily a bad idea, or that even not getting married at all is, but too much caution in trying to avoid risk can make one's life pretty bland.

  Hindsight is always 20-20, but I think that God allows us to try to make our way through life and make our mistakes.  He is always there to help us when we fail (which we most certainly will at some point).

  You have shown good character in your response to a very difficult situation and can take solace in the fact that God, while not creating the problem, can bring blessing out of it.

I have to say a hearty amen to this.
All in all, I think the really critical matter is the original choice we make.
The greatest antidote to divorce is a conviction in the minds of both individuals that God intended them for each other.

Verne
« Last Edit: October 09, 2006, 07:35:39 am by vernecarty » Logged
moonflower2
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2006, 05:43:05 am »

I watched in dismay as my own brother failed to make any effort whatsoever to secure custody of his teen-aged boys when his wife walked out of the house.
Even after the cops had to be called to the wife's new residence because of an altercation in the street (over curfew) between her and the youngest son, seventeen at the time.
Verne, an altercation in the street between a mother and son regarding curfew is hardly cause for the other spouse to seek custody. The legal "tug of war" with kids in the middle could cause more grief for the children and more stress on the parents than just leaving them with the mother, unless the children are being physically abused. The boys are teens. Maybe they could be given a choice to live with their Dad, if they think it would help. My guess is that they are acting out the problems resulting from their parents divorce, and would have the same problems if they lived with Dad.
Quote
All in all, I think the really critical matter is the original choice we make.
The greatest antidote to divorce is a conviction in the minds of both individuals that God intended them for each other.
Going beyond the conviction that God intended two individuals to be together, each individual has to realize that the issue is what we do in each situation that we are in, regardless of who we marry. I've heard a lot of "the Good Lord surely wouldn't want me married to....." and off they go to the courts. There are plenty of people who thought God wanted them together, but don't want to do it anymore and off they go.....

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vernecarty
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2006, 09:55:44 am »

Verne, an altercation in the street between a mother and son regarding curfew is hardly cause for the other spouse to seek custody.

If only that were the only issue.
That incident was the tip of iceberg so to speak, but of course you do lack details.
That entire basis of my comment in this regard had to do with the best interests of the children concerned, and clearly in some cases they are better off with the Mother.
Knowing what he did about his ex-wife, I remain amazed that my brother made no effort to secure custody of his boys. He is now remarried so I guess a new wife was his priority.

While you would not know this moonflower, my viewpoint on this is heavily influenced by the work of psychologist Spencer Holland, on the plight of young black men in this country, owing to a lack of adult male role models in their lives...
Until that cycle is broken, along with the seventy percent unwed birth-rate,  they will continue to be the majority population in this country's prisons.

Quote
The legal "tug of war" with kids in the middle could cause more grief for the children and more stress on the parents than just leaving them with the mother, unless the children are being physically abused. The boys are teens. Maybe they could be given a choice to live with their Dad, if they think it would help.

His wife made more than he did and his lawyer advised him that he could easily get both custody and alimony under the circumstances. He choose, for whatever reason, not to have them live with him. Perhaps he deferred to their wishes, a mistake in my view.


Quote
My guess is that they are acting out the problems resulting from their parents divorce, and would have the same problems if they lived with Dad.

The research shows clearly that young black men suffer far more from the absence of a father's influence...

Quote
Going beyond the conviction that God intended two individuals to be together, each individual has to realize that the issue is what we do in each situation that we are in, regardless of who we marry. I've heard a lot of "the Good Lord surely wouldn't want me married to....." and off they go to the courts. There are plenty of people who thought God wanted them together, but don't want to do it anymore and off they go.....

While I see your point here, the fact is that once in the situation, we clearly have no control over what the other person does.
I would be very interested in finding out how many people who get divorced, would contend that God wanted them to be together.
I am not talking about the kind of idle drivel you hear from some folk, employing spiritual language to justify disobedience to the clear teaching of Scripture (for example marrying an unbeliever).
J Vernons McGee used to contend that what we have is not so much a divorce problem, as it is a marriage problem.
I think he was on to something... Smiley
Verne
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Oscar
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2006, 11:17:22 pm »

Verne,

You said:

Quote
While you would not know this moonflower, my viewpoint on this is heavily influenced by the work of psychologist Spencer Holland, on the plight of young black men in this country, owing to a lack of adult male role models in their lives...
Until that cycle is broken, along with the seventy percent unwed birth-rate,  they will continue to be the majority population in this country's prisons.

After 33 years of teaching, much of it in the inner city of LA, I would say that Spencer Holland is quite correct.    Cry

8th grade seems to be the point of infrequent return.  The boys realize that their mother cannot physically control them, and the peer society becomes their source of aculturization.  The schools are hideously guilty as well.  They allow these boys to learn that rebellion has no consequences worth caring about.  Then the juvenile justice system reinforces this illusion. Then they go too far and find out that the California Youth Authority are excellent schools for criminals.  Then they graduate from the CYA and enter the "big time".

 Cry

I do not personally hold the view that God has a particular wife/husband for every individual.  I believe that there are many women that I could have had a good marriage with.  (Probably a much smaller number that could have stayed married to me.)   Wink

What I do believe is that as a Christian I must obey God, and if both partners hold that belief we will have a very successful marriage.

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux

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vernecarty
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2006, 07:30:50 am »

Verne,

You said:

After 33 years of teaching, much of it in the inner city of LA, I would say that Spencer Holland is quite correct.    Cry

8th grade seems to be the point of infrequent return.  The boys realize that their mother cannot physically control them, and the peer society becomes their source of aculturization.  The schools are hideously guilty as well.  They allow these boys to learn that rebellion has no consequences worth caring about.  Then the juvenile justice system reinforces this illusion. Then they go too far and find out that the California Youth Authority are excellent schools for criminals.  Then they graduate from the CYA and enter the "big time".

 Cry   

One of the little known facts that Holland's research uncovered was that until these boys began to be aware of their matriarchial world (he said around third to fourth grade) - mostly female teachers at work, only a mom or grand-mother at home etc., their academic performance is virtually indistinguishable from their peers.
He surmised much of the tendency to agression and violence is an over-reaction in an attempt to compensate for absence of a male authority figure or influence.
Thanks Tom for your input. I realise without a little bit of backgroun how my comment could have been misunderstood.
No man in his right mind (particularly Black men) would not fight tooth and nail to maintain as much influence as possible in the lives of his own sons - unless he were woefully ignorant or uncaring of the very high stakes...

Quote
I do not personally hold the view that God has a particular wife/husband for every individual. 

I used to believe this...until I met Montse!  Grin

Quote
I believe that there are many women that I could have had a good marriage with.  (Probably a much smaller number that could have stayed married to me.)   Wink

What I do believe is that as a Christian I must obey God, and if both partners hold that belief we will have a very successful marriage.

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux




But seriously, I think you are right about this. With probably very few exceptions, any man who truly loves his wife (and I am not talking about a way of feeling) will in all liklihood have an at least satisfactory marriage relationship...same for the ladies... Smiley
Verne

p.s. Anyone else with insights regarding social learning theory and the African-American educational experience in the inner city please comment!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2006, 07:14:09 pm by vernecarty » Logged
moonflower2
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2006, 07:46:09 pm »

If only that were the only issue.
That incident was the tip of iceberg so to speak, but of course you do lack details.
That entire basis of my comment in this regard had to do with the best interests of the children concerned, and clearly in some cases they are better off with the Mother.
Knowing what he did about his ex-wife, I remain amazed that my brother made no effort to secure custody of his boys. He is now remarried so I guess a new wife was his priority.

While you would not know this moonflower, my viewpoint on this is heavily influenced by the work of psychologist Spencer Holland, on the plight of young black men in this country, owing to a lack of adult male role models in their lives...
Until that cycle is broken, along with the seventy percent unwed birth-rate,  they will continue to be the majority population in this country's prisons.

His wife made more than he did and his lawyer advised him that he could easily get both custody and alimony under the circumstances. He choose, for whatever reason, not to have them live with him. Perhaps he deferred to their wishes, a mistake in my view.

The research shows clearly that young black men suffer far more from the absence of a father's influence...

 
I'm not saying that this is the case, but sometimes, if given the choice, the children will choose to live with the more lenient parent, in which case peer pressure becomes the dominant factor in the choices that the children make.
It could be possible that your brother deferred to his new friend, or was simply, unfortunately, distracted from the issues at hand.

My experience was different than what you describe, Verne.
I was fortunate to get sole, legal custody of my children, even though I was threatened with, "I'm divorcing you and taking the kids with/putting you out", and on and on, ad nauseum and stress. And even with the opposing lawyer working to get "joint custody", I hardly had to open my mouth during the short-lived mediation meeting in order to keep the children with me. It was for the best of all concerned.

I will still say that unless the children are being abused and/or neglected, there is more stability in leaving them in the custody of the mother who has been raising them up until that point.

What do you think goes on in the minds of children when they know there is the "tug of war" going on between mom and dad, and they don't know who they will end up living with?

Speaking in more general terms, I have seen "joint custody" arrangements that totally screw up any stability in the lives of the children. They now have TWO homes, are shuffled back and forth to share 1/2 the week with one parent and 1/2 the week with another.

Fathers can be very involved in the lives of their children even without living daily with them. And I think that children can and should be involved in custody issues when they are older, as in the case of your brother's children. From what I have seen, even grandparents can't make up for the loss of a father's influence in a child's life.
Quote
While I see your point here, the fact is that once in the situation, we clearly have no control over what the other person does.
I would be very interested in finding out how many people who get divorced, would contend that God wanted them to be together.
I am not talking about the kind of idle drivel you hear from some folk, employing spiritual language to justify disobedience to the clear teaching of Scripture (for example marrying an unbeliever).
J Vernons McGee used to contend that what we have is not so much a divorce problem, as it is a marriage problem.
I think he was on to something... Smiley
Verne
I don't know if the point I was making came clear here: Even if we marry someone that God intended us to marry, it is no guarantee that the marriage will last.

M
« Last Edit: October 14, 2006, 11:55:42 pm by moonflower » Logged
moonflower2
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2006, 09:59:31 pm »

A couple of quotes, if I may:

My wife is from the Philippines, and although a few of the guys are decent, they tend to be pushovers to their stronger, more dominant wifes and counterparts.  It may be that it's cultural, but I don't think so. 
My experience with my Thai sister-in-law has been quite different.   Grin   She had to be taught to be assertive, and was told by another sister-in-law, "...we don't do it that way here.....", in reference to behavior assertiveness issues.  Grin It was good advice for her regarding her marriage relationship. Her entire family still lives in Thailand (and they are very happy with the results of the recent Coup.  Grin

M
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EricFoy
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2006, 07:13:52 am »

Robb:

Having been away from the assemblyboard for a couple of years, I just wanted to say that your posts in this thread are an immense encouragement to me. In a world so filled with bitterness and pride, your attitude is truly a great breath of fresh air!

I hope to meet you one day. And, of course, I'm sure we will meet, sooner or later...

-Eric
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2007, 09:13:15 pm »

Just in case anyone is interested, there is an organization called "Operation World" that prints a book every few years which methodically prays for the world, country by country, day by day. This in many ways can seem overwhelming (I mean, where do you start when praying for a whole country?) But, I think the fact that many Christians in one day are all "agreeing" in prayer for that country, and for salvation of souls, is a great thing. Even just a short ejaculatory prayer (like Nehemiah did before he spoke with the King--see Nehemiah 1) for the "country of the day",  in agreement with other Christians ("if two of you agree on earth touching any thing, it shall be done for them in heaven"-Matthew-paraphrase), can accomplish mighty things. It's exciting to think that God has given us the privilege to labor with Him in the fields that are "white onto harvest" in things as simple as a small prayer.

http://www.gmi.org/ow/      go to "country of the day"
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 09:33:06 pm by Joe Sperling » Logged
Joe Sperling
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2008, 03:22:07 am »

Some Christians in the world don't have it as easy as we do in America. If you get a chance, read
this and if you have time please pray for these people. This e-mail was sent out by India Gospel Outreach
(their link is below):

Yesterday, I heard from Pastor John Mathai, the director of IGO's ministries in the state of Orissa. Personally, he knows two pastors who were killed by radical Hindus--one who was cut into six pieces, the other who was hacked to death.

According to Pastor Mathai, the attacks have been worse than reported. Pastor Mathai reported 92 different organized attacks taking place in dozens of villages in almost every district of Orissa. More than 600 churches have been demolished, 4,000 Christians forced to flee from their villages, and at least 25 killed as a result of violent persecution in the state of Orissa in eastern India. Over 3,000 took shelter in the jungles fearing attacks from the radicals. The government of the neighboring state of Chhattisgarh has helped to send militants against Christians in Orissa. It is also suspected that radicals have come from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

All over Orissa come reports of severe beatings of pastors, priests, nuns, orphanage workers, and others associated with Christian churches and charitable institutions.
In more positive news, a key appeal was heard and approved in the high court of Orissa to offer more protection to the victims of attacks. But the state government is saying that not every village will be able to receive police protection. 

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh has described the violence as a "national disgrace." Pope Benedict has also condemned the violence, and the Italian government has also expressed its concerns. These statements indicate that the persecution in Orissa is beginning to come under international scrutiny and pressure. More than 600 Catholic schools throughout India closed down in protest, and many other non-Catholic Christian churches did the same.

Six students at India Bible College and Seminary, in Kerala, come from Orissa and have family and other relatives who live in the affected areas. Of the six, four report that their parents and families are safe, presumably living in the forest. But two have not been able to make contact with their families and are very concerned as to what has happened to them. Pray for these two students and their missing families.

Continue to pray earnestly for all of our Christian brothers and sisters in Orissa. Pray that peace will prevail throughout the state. Pray for the safety of all our evangelists, pastors and believers. Pray for the faculty and students at IGO's Bible training center in Bhuvaneswar, the capital of Orissa. 

Again, thanking you for your prayers,

T. Valson Abraham,  India Gospel Outreach     

http://www.indiago.org/



 


 


 

 

 


 


 


 



 


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