January 2017 Newsletter

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $7,100.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $3,933.00 Remaining Need:  $3,167.00

Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects: 1.) We had a guest stay with us for a few days that we were able to provide a safe and sober living environment and we are so grateful for the finished bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. We only have one shower to finish in the bathroom downstairs. We hope to hire someone this year. As well as someone to finish a deck out the basement area where we can put a hot tub for guests. 2.) Our goal is to start utilizing the ministry space more often and more vigorously for those that need a respite, a rest, or just a time of reflection. Call us to book your time of rest today! Please remember that we offer this place by donation only, so there is NO SET FEE 3.) Chris started “Journeys” a group for those who have suffered despair, doubt or grief. She has 6 amazing group members.

Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month: 1.) You will never believe this, but we got in another car accident. A pretty scary one that totaled our car. Thank God we are all safe. It’s a bit overwhelming to lose two cars in one year, but we are grateful we found another replacement in two weeks; and even over the Christmas season. 2.) We had lots of family over Christmas and New Years. What a blast!

Top Prayer Requests: 1.)Continued wisdom and direction for the vision of Mountain Haven to grow and evolve as God leads. 2.) We partner with a local ministry called Loaves and Fishes and they have a phenomenal outreach program that covers many aspects of the gospel such as housing, clothing, shelter, food, and support. They need lots of prayer to continue to offer all the services they offer. What a privilege to work with them.

 

What to do When Violence Hits Home

Domestic violence is not a phrase we often use in the church. It seems almost otherworldly. Unfortunately, violence and harm among christian relationships is just as common as violence outside of the church. There are many different types of violence, and it is not just about physical abuse.

When we adopt a superior attitude towards another person for the purposes of controlling them or gaining power over them, we are acting in violence. When we intimidate through threatening statements, or assassinate our partners character we are acting in violence. When we subconsciously believe we are superior and have more power than our spouse, and send them that message through our actions, choices, and values; we are acting in violence. When we purposely withhold sex, affection, or conversation in order to punish our spouse, we are acting in violence.

Violence can be correlated with severity, intensity, ferocity, fury, vehemence or potency. All too often we use severe and harsh tones on a consistent basis with our loved ones. Take a minute and examine your own behavior and ask yourself about your tone. Better yet, ask your kids or your spouse what they feel in the wake of your tone. The circumstances of life can be challenging but if your “go to place” is a place of harshness and severity you are letting violence creep in. The harshness doesn’t even have to be directed at a person it can be an overall tone towards life or circumstances.

It’s good to be intense right? But what if intensity turns into domination or self righteousness? There are many times in marriage our intensity, or dogma about a value, a parenting style, a way of doing things becomes more important than the relationship. We get caught up in our feelings about the matter at hand and intensity can feel violent and disruptive. Are you intense about certain things? Evaluate the importance of those “things” in light of the relationship. Is proving a point or being heard more important than cultivating peace? You may be in a pattern of violence.

Lets talk openly about the physical element of intimidation. Men have it, women do not. It is wise to understand the physical differences between men and women. In the secular psychological world we call it male privilege and I know it has been used to hurt men in the past by beating them down for being masculine. I’m not referring to the beauty and design of being male and looking to emasculate men. I’m talking about men who understand that by their nature, their physical design; they hold more power in stature and often in tone. It is a wise and circumspect man that understands this design and walks humbly. I have often heard it said “She provoked me, she went nuts” when referring to a woman’s emotional reaction to conflict. While I do not question that happens, and is very real I am challenging us to wake up and see that male privilege of being male is a powerful understanding to gain. To walk away from “hysteria” or a woman who is “losing it” is incredibly smart and loving. If you can’t see this male privilege, and you puff your chest in reaction to emotional arguments with your spouse,  you may be in a pattern of violence. If, as a female you intentionally provoke your spouse you may also be in a pattern of violence.

To understand domestic violence we must evaluate our dynamic in conflict with our spouse. If you are pushing, hitting, grabbing, or slapping continuously it is not easy to deny domestic violence. But what about these other innocuous forms of violence? The emotional violence of harshness, ferocity and intimidation? The psychological violence of superior attitudes regarding your gender? Or beliefs about roles within the home even if your spouse doesn’t agree? The spiritual violence of holding fast to a biblical dogma that causes you to be oppressive, dominant or controlling regarding money? Sex? Or the children?

Domestic violence cannot be ignored, it cannot be minimized, and it must be addressed without sugar coating it. If you see patterns of violence in your relationship, get counseling, talk about it, seek help. The most important thing to do is to break the cycle of silent acquiescence under the guise of spiritual apathy or false religious beliefs. Talk about it, educate yourself, evaluate your behaviors and chase domestic violence out of your house. If you are struggling with this, please contact Mountain Haven for further help or resources.

 

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