Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trust in The Potter



The first lesson to be learned and
practiced is loving patience. It requires
some time to bring any two lives into
perfect unison so that they shall
blend in every chord and tone.
~ J.R. Miller


In the 1970’s Heinz came out with series of commercials illustrating how slow their ketchup flowed from the bottle. Point being that their ketchup was thicker and richer than the other brands on the shelf. To reinforce their brand, “Anticipation, you’re making me wait” was their theme song, along with a tagline that read, “Taste that’s worth the wait!”

While watching an episode of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, I learned from a young age how centrifugal force was my ally when it came to dressing my dog and fries. Kids nowadays don’t know how easy they have it with plastic squeeze bottles and condiment pumps, but while they have it easy, they’re missing out on the simple lessons learned through patience.

Adults aren’t any better. Fast food, fast cars, fast money, and fast access to pain relief have left us weak and void of muscle tone when it comes to flexing the muscle of patience. We should exercise and practice patience daily in order to increase in strength.

What is it? We’ve all heard the familiar saying, “Patience is a virtue,” but when asked to define it, I had to stop and think for a minute. Dictionary.com defines it this way, “Bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.” That includes nagging of course.

Can you see how this would be an asset to any marriage? In a perfect marriage we’d see two people living in harmony without complaint. There’d be no provocation, no sign of irritation or annoyance, and tempers would be under control. But we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a messy world where the abundance of an angry heart spouts forth more times than we'd like. We say and do things that pierce the heart of the one we love and our heart is pierced in return.

We’d all love it if our husbands had patience like that--if they put up with our annoyances without complaint or irritation so we could experience instant marital bliss. That would be easy, yes, but instead of seeking a shortcut in hopes that our husbands will change, I’d like to encourage you to focus inward and exercise that patience yourself. Take your eyes off of your husband’s failures and turn them toward God as you allow Him to reshape and work through you. You might not understand the momentum once you step onto the potter's wheel, but centrifugal force is our ally when we're clay in His hands. Trust in the potter at all times.

You might think that you have all of the answers and need to protect your husband from making the wrong choice, but nagging, pouting, losing your temper and complaining aren’t going make him a better man.

I often hear women say things like, “I can’t get my husband to respect me… I can’t get my husband to love me… I can’t get my husband to pay attention to me, the kids, or the house!”

Here's the thing--while neither you nor I hold the power to change him, God does.

Have you ever tried to control the flow of water in a busy stream? It quickly makes it's way around to the other side of your hand. And if you've ever tried to grasp water you know that it only slips through your fingers like air. We aren't capable of controlling a river stream any more than we are of controlling a heart.

Look at this verse:


The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD,
as the rivers of water: he turneth
it whithersoever he will.
~ Proverbs 21:1


While you might not have a king in your life, what we can take away from this verse is that God holds the power to change the mightiest and strongest of hearts--we don’t.

Trying to force another person to change is like begging a seed to grow. It sprouts when it’s ready to sprout, and produces fruit when it’s of full maturity. All we can do is provide water, sunlight and patience. God takes care of the rest.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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Drawing Definite Lines for Sexual Purity

Clare from Peak313 Fitness recommended this video yesterday, saying "We are in a day where the line for sexual purity is blurred. We can't forget the standard for where God wants His people! Leavhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gife it to Mark Driscoll to tell it like it is. "How far is TOO far physically in a relationship?"

Since a number of my readers are brides in training, and another number of readers have teenagers who may be starting to date soon or are already in relationships, I thought it was a good sharpening tool so to speak.

It's not a long video at all--maybe two or three minutes. So grab a cup of coffee and listen in:



Those who are reading this through their email, might not be able to see the video, and if so, just click through to my website at Time-Warp Wife, to view it.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two Interviews This Week!


I had the privilege of being interviewed by Joyful Living this week. We're talking about some of the most valuable things I learned as a child that still have an impact on my life today, how I pursue a closer relationship with the Lord, and some of my favorite scripture.

If you'd like to read the interview, please click the image above or you can click here to follow the link.



And have you listened to my radio interview at Grace Cafe yet? I'm talking about Embracing Biblical Womanhood, with Marsha Harwood and Julie Hunsucker. We're also giving away a set of Melanie Chitwood's books What a Wife Needs from Her Husband and What a Husband Needs from His Wife to one of the listeners. (Deadline for entry is Friday).

Click the image below to go to Grace Cafe.



Continually blessed by your fellowship, as together we press on in faith.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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And He Decides To Call Me NOW !!!

And here I sit, after my series of how to get over the agony of infidelity, and guess who calls me? Yes, it was the ex-husband, right out of the blue.  I know that he doesn't have a clue about my blog, as he doesn't even know how to operate a computer, and I have never given his name.....he just called to tell me that he wanted to hear my voice because he hadn't heard from me in a while.....WHAT?  What is he thinking? After all this time, he decides to call just to hear the sound of my voice? Maybe he's thinking that if he's nice to me, that I will return, but it's been WAY TOO LONG.  There's no way that I can ever turn around. Life for me is good. I am a very strong person now and I am very happy with my life. I'm sure that he's still with his other woman, and he probably called me while she wasn't around, but it just doesn't work for me. He even asked about our daughter. Wow...wonders never cease, do they?  And just to think, after all he has put me through, I didn't even cry. YAY!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ready and Prepared for His Use

And a Titus 2sday Link Up!



My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
and come away.
~ Song of Solomon 2:10, KJV


Dear Darlene

I just found your blog this morning, and enjoying (and learning much from) everything I have read so far. You are a very wise and blessed woman. I would like to ask your insight on something I am trying to figure out.

A little background about myself: I am 18-years-old, I am in college, living at home with my parents, and I am preparing to transfer to a 4-year college to study bible/theology and counseling/psychology.

Recently, I have found myself very interested in learning about what biblical femininity and biblical womanhood really is (a subject that our present culture neglects and discourages quite a bit). I am learning about compassion, godliness, and essentially servant-hood. When I read blogs, articles, the Bible, etc on the subject of what a woman is and what her role in society is--the discussion and teaching is directed towards what a woman should do, and how they should live "as a wife and a mother."

This is where I am confused. I am somewhat at a loss regarding what my role as a Christian woman is right now...and how I can be a "biblical servant" to God and others in my life. So essentially, my question is, what are a young single woman's roles, and what can she do for God and others on a daily basis?

Your insight and advice would be greatly appreciated!

Single Servant



Dear Single Servant,

Thank you for your letter. Humbled and grateful for your encouragement. God is a wise and caring teacher, while I am a servant blessed by His incomparable grace.

I was prayerfully considering your thoughts for a couple of days, when a word came to me unexpectedly.

I received a comment from a single man. This is what he said, “I don’t have a bride – I do have the other side of me… The only way to get the one side to give way to the other is choose which way to live – and live it.”

While my blog speaks to an audience that is primarily women, and of those, many stay-at-home moms, the Biblical principles can be gleaned by everyone.

For example, I often talk about submission, and how wives are instructed to be submissive to their husbands. In much the same way, those who are single must live in submission to Christ. It’s like a traditional marriage in many ways, except rather than having a man in your life, you are the bride of an infallible groom.

In fact the Bible refers to the church as His bride. Wives were created to be their husband’s help meet, and the church—male and female, single and married--is created to honor Christ and be “meet”(ready and prepared) for His use.


If a man therefore purge himself from
these [work of iniquity], he shall be a vessel
unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's
use, and prepared unto every good work.
~ 2 Timothy 2:21, KJV


In this relationship there are no petty arguments to deal with, He doesn’t have bad habits that you need to accept, and he’s never in a foul mood. As His betrothed, you are to honor Him with your words and your life, so that His Word is not maligned.

Read this verse again with that in mind.


“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home,
good, obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed.
~ Titus 2:5


Further to submission, we need to realize that our body envelopes the Spirit and flesh, which are constantly at war with one another—both sides want to lead. Those who belong to Christ, as His bride, allow Him to rule in their life, which means that the flesh must be in submission to the Spirit.


That he might present it to himself
a glorious church, not having spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing; but
that it should be holy
and without blemish.
~ Ephesians 5:27


Biblical womanhood could be summed up in two words: Biblical Living. That encompasses all women, married and single alike.

In 1 Corinthians 7:7-8, Paul is talking about being single when he says, “I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.”

And so we see that being single is a blessing that should not be overlooked. Embrace this gift while you have it.


For thy Maker is thine husband;
the LORD of hosts is his name;
and thy Redeemer the Holy One of
Israel; The God of the whole
earth shall he be called.
~ Isaiah 54:5, KJV


Marriage is merely a shadow of the divine union between Jesus Christ and His holy spotless bride. Your role is to have an intimate relationship with the Lord being both ready and prepared for His use.

I pray that these thoughts encourage you.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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In participation with:



Today and every Tuesday, I want to invite bloggers to link-up any blog posts that will encourage women to joyfully live out their roles as wives and keepers of their homes I'm looking for posts on marriage, parenting, housekeeping, or recipes.

All you have to do is enter the direct link from your post into the linky tool below!

I'd also like to ask you to link back here with the {TITUS 2}SDAYS code (below) so that other bloggers can join in too!



Becoming A Stronger Person After Infidelity.

After all the things that I went through and suffered with that man, I became a stronger woman. I had to learn to love myself again. I had to begin a healing process that I never thought I would journey into. I had to learn that he was all talk and no action. He wanted me to be there as a convenience to him. It was all about HIM, and I had to learn that. I didn't want to believe it, but his actions spoke out loud. I never got any answers about why. I never got to find out even why we broke apart. But I can tell you, that she was not any prettier than me, she wasn't any smarter.....she didn't drive and she was more needy. Something in her, attracted him and he was unable to let go. Perhaps he felt that he could talk to her more than me....but it doesn't even matter anymore. There has to be a time when you just have to stop asking why. It's not easy, but at some point in your life, you can become a stronger person and move on past infidelity. Learn to do things for yourself. Go to college, learn a new sport, lose weight, change your hair style or color, make new friends, but do it for you. Making yourself a stronger person not only gives you a new life, but will make it easier finding a new partner or spouse that will treat you the way that you want to be treated....unless you never want to get remarried, which is fine. Becoming a more person that can take on challenges in life will make you someone who will never be willing to go through infidelity again. I know that, because I have become a very independent woman. Very happy today, by the way. It took YEARS, but I made it through.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Who Does She Think She Is?

Today I welcome guest blogger,
Gina from "Chats With An Old Lady."



As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
~ Proverbs 27:17, NIV


I was sitting at my dining room table with a friend who had come to visit for the morning. My husband had just left after spending his lunch hour with us. "May I tell you something?" She asked. "Sure." I answered. She paused and then she said, "The way that you speak to your husband is wrong."

I was 27-years-old and had been married for almost 3 years. I had just begun spending time with this young woman. She was a year older than me, but she had a walk with God that I had never observed in a woman my age. She diligently studied God's Word and sought to live it out. She was a godly example of a wife and mother, so when she loved me enough to point out where I was missing the mark, there was really nothing I could say. She was right. I knew she was right. And she had been a living example to me.

I'd love to say that my response to her was one of humility and repentance, but it wasn't. To put it bluntly, I was bugged. Yes, I was definitely under conviction! But I didn't want to admit it. My pride wanted to fight it. "Who does she think she is?" I thought!

For a short time I resisted the things God was showing me through her example and her words. I would join in the gossip about her when I would get together with my other friends. But I couldn't fight what God was doing in my heart.

Not long after that lunch visit, she invited me to go to dinner with her. I couldn't think of a good excuse not to go, so I went. We talked for awhile and then she asked, "How is your time in the Word going?" I had to admit to her that it wasn't going so well. It was hit or miss at best. "Would you like me to help you?" she asked.

"Okay..." I said hesitantly. To accept her help was to admit I was wrong. I didn't really like that. But God was working in my heart. That was a turning point for me. I began to be in the Word on a daily basis, and God broke me. I began to see how ugly my heart really is. I began to see there was a need to change.

As I think back to those days I cringe! I even have a hard time looking at pictures from that time because it is a reminder of how rude and disrespectful I was to my precious husband. One of the saddest parts of this story is, one of the reasons I had not seen a need to change before this was that I really was no different than any other wife I knew in the church. I was used to being around women who cut down, disrespected, were sarcastic, and argued with there husbands--that was the norm. So when someone came on the scene who was working so hard to honor God by honoring her husband, it rubbed people the wrong way. It rubbed ME the wrong way. But after seeing the love and peace that was in the home of a young woman who worked hard to honor God in this way, I knew that was what I wanted.

I knew it was what God wanted.

Since that time I have had the privilege of spending time with a few other women who are wonderful examples of what it means to honoring their husbands. I "take notes" when I am with them. I also "take notes" when I am with other women as well. When I hear a woman complain about their husband, cut him down, or dishonor him in public, my heart drops. I am immediately reminded of those years and I am reminded of what I am capable of. It is a motivation for me to be so prayerful and careful about the way I treat and relate to my husband.

There have been a couple of times, over the years, when I have asked for input from someone I love and respect, and whom I know have my best interest at heart. When my children were elementary school aged, a missionary couple was staying at our home. I asked the wife, who is one of my mentors, if she would observe me while she was in our home and tell me if there was anything I need to work on. She agreed to do that. Not long after that she brought to my attention that there were a few times that my husband had made a decision whereI would override it and force what I wanted. She gave me a couple of examples. She was so right. But you know what? I didn't even realize I was doing it!

I am so thankful that God used her to open my eyes to what I was doing.

I am far from perfect in this, and will always need to be tuned in to how I am speaking to my husband. But thankfully there has been growth, and it is not "the norm" for me to dishonor him. There are times when I slip and have to ask, not only his forgiveness, but my children's forgiveness. Thankfully, for the most part, my children have grown up in a home where there is an overall respect for my husband. And I give God all the glory!

As my children were growing up, there were family member's homes that they felt uncomfortable in because of the way the wives spoke to their husband, and because of the amount of arguing and disrespect that goes on. It gave them a taste of what it is like to be in a home where dishonor sets the tone and they didn't like it. There were times they didn't want to go visit because of it. Now that they are older, they just see it for what it is and it has given them a greater appreciation for their own home.

There are many ways we can dishonor and disrespect our husbands. At times we don't even realize what we are doing or we are just doing what those around us are doing. We need to pray for God to open our eyes and ears to the ways in which we are dishonoring our husbands, and thereby creating an atmosphere of disrespect in our home. Our children will learn from our example.

I will be forever grateful for my friend who was brave enough, and who loved me enough, to confront me. I am so very grateful for my missionary friend who took the time to observe me and help me see the areas that I need to work on. I am thankful for the members of the body of Christ who are willing to come alongside me and encourage me in my walk with God, by their examples and by helping me learn how to bring honor to God in my marriage.

I am thankful for a husband who has been so patient with me as I have been learning how to honor him. And most of all, I am thankful for the ways God has drawn my heart to him and opened my eyes to my areas of need, so that I might glorify him better.



It is better to live in a desert land than
with a quarrelsome woman.
~ Proverbs 21:19




Our guest today is Gina, a Christ follower, who desires to glorify God in all that she does. Gina became a self proclaimed "old lady" after reading and studying what the Bible says, in Titus 2, about the role of "older women." She prays that she will continue to grow into that role, and most importantly, to LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL and live life WITH you!

You can find her blogging at "Chats With An Old Lady" where she is continually growing and challenging readers to also grow in their faith.

For questions or comments, contact Gina through her website: click here






You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

Find Time-Warp Wife on facebook: Click here

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

How I Got Over The Agony Of Infidelity.....part 5

Things in my life were crummy, and I didn't feel good most of the time, but I felt like I had to do something to change things..and he wasn't helping any. He would go through periods of time where he would be gone alot, to staying at home. I think he was trying to work against my mind, curious as to what I was going to do about the whole thing, and I just kept on doing what I had to do to get through the entire mess. As I found a support, I began to feel stronger. I felt more in control of my situation. And at some point after trying to make things right, i finally figured out that his games were never going to end. And by the way, this was our second round of infidelity. I was tired of trying. I had to find a way to live my life without all his drama. I never thought that I would of walked out, but after much consideration, and knowing at that point, that things were not ever going to be back the way they should have been, I moved out. At that time, I had 2 children, a self-employed business, and it was hard....very hard. I got to learn how to do things alone. I learned how to survive. Believe me when I say that it's not easy. But at the same time, I felt peace. My inner being was finally at rest. I missed him but I had to go on with life. Nothing in life is easy...but going through infidelity with someone who doesn't want to change is even harder. This process took me YEARS, not months, so if your'e ever wondering if you will ever get through it, the answer is YES.  You can do this. Some of us decide to work through infidelity with our partners....and it's a good thing if both parties are willing to do the work.  However, if you are the only one interested in making things work, most likely they won't. Think about what your future holds for you. Think about what you want in this life, because life is too short to be unhappy all the time. Be true to yourself and what you believe in. All things are possible but take the time to think things through, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. I wish everyone the best and I hope and pray that you don't suffer through YEARS of this like I did.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Communication & Raising Homemakers

I have a few things to share with you today! Yesterday we talked about communicating with our husbands, when one reader asked, "Where is the place for feedback?" I think that there's so much to be said about that topic, and few people say it better than Courtney from Women Living Well. She's done a video on this topic, and has given me her permission to share it with you today:



Don't you just love her? I've had the sincere blessing of getting to know Courtney this past year, as well as her friends Janelle from Comfy in the Kitchen and Clare from Peak 313 Fitness. These women are truly a gift from the Lord. I'll be meeting Courtney and Janelle in person next fall when we share a room at the Relevant 11 Blogger's conference. Very excited about that!

You can find Janelle at Comfy in the Kitchen where she has awesome recipes. In fact today is "Feasting in Fellowship Friday!"



And finally, I'm over at Raising Homemakers today sharing 5 Tips for Raising Young Homemakers. I'm talking about ways to get kids interested in caring for the home and why. I hope you'll join me over there, and leave me a comment so we can connect and chat.

Raising Homemakers


You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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How I Got Over The Agony Of Infideltity.........part 4

I had to accept the truth....and that was, that my husband was a cheater. No longer was he considered "mine". Terribly hard to accept, but I had to find a way to get through his infidelity. I started talking to a long time family friend of my parents, who just so happened to be a pastor in a small church. He listened to what I had to say. He asked me a question...." Is this what you want in your life?" and so I began to think about it. Maybe I was feeling so down on myself that I was willing to accept what my husband was doing and I knew it was wrong and I knew that I no longer wanted to deal with what he was putting me through. The question of what did I want in my future came up as well. Did I deserve to be treated this way?  I didn't think so, but what was I going to do about it? I got online, found some resources from others who had been going through infidelity. I saw that I wasn't the only one going through this horrible mess. I no longer felt alone. Friends and family are good to talk to...they can only ease your burden by listening but you are the one who has to make that final decision. My husband was NOT willing to make things right. His words were there, but the actions were not. The pain I was going through was still very strong, but I decided that it was time that I stood up and did something about it. No longer did I wish to be walked upon. I started finding ways to make ME feel better. I started losing weight, I put more attention to my work, my home and family. I gave him less attention until I could figure out what I was going to do next.......................to be continued.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Hope That Holds No Expectation


Dear Darlene,

I just found your site and blog and can't tell you how thankful I am!

I am having serious marriage troubles and have been double minded for a long while, never being able to decide whether to keep silent or discuss issues. I live in a house that is [falling] apart and I can't seem to help from commenting on my desire for him to get things done. I think your writings are really convincing me that I am making things worse by my comments, but where is the place for feedback? In other words, when must I keep quiet and when can I say, "I can't live with this house in complete disrepair anymore, etc?"

I bounce back and forth between believing I can speak honestly to him and believing that will only make it worse. I need to give him to God.

Thank you for your help and encouragement,

Double Minded



Dear Double Minded,

Thank you for your letter. I’m so blessed that you are seeking God’s way for your marriage. Communication is important to both men and women. We don’t always see it that way because men communicate differently. Many women say that their husbands won’t talk to them, but if you stop to watch the way he expresses himself, after a while you’ll become more familiar with his method of communication.

It could be any one of several reasons why your husband doesn’t tend to duties around the house. I could guess, and guess again, but without knowing him and your particular situation I would probably be off the mark.

So the best thing that I can suggest is to keep those lines of communication open. If it’s a matter of resentment, overwork, a sense of failure, stress, or distraction, he might finally come out and say it, but not until he trusts you deeply with his heart.

You said that you weren’t able to decide whether to “keep silent or discuss issues.”My answer to that would be to approach him with your requests, but do so in love.

The Bible warns women about nagging, which tells us that this isn’t anything new. Women have been nagging their husbands for thousands of years, but through the Word, God shows us that there is a better way to communicate. We should approach our husbands with love and humility—a hope that holds no expectation. And above all, be kind, tenderhearted and willing to forgive. That’s how you’ll win his heart.

Looking to the Bible we see a prime example in Esther who approached the king (her husband) with honor and respect. She made her petition known and left it in his hands to make the decision.

Another example we see is Jesus who lived in submission to the Father in Heaven. Praying in the garden of Gethsemane He said, “Not my will, but thine be done.”

Biblical submission doesn’t mean that we don’t have a voice or opinion. If we stifle our pain and our hurt we may grow to resent the men we once loved. When bitterness sets in, it takes root and will grow over time unless it is removed and replaced with something better. Be encouraged to share your thoughts, but hold back on the resentment if things don’t go your way. Because, don’t forget, God is control and can change things at anytime. Just do your part and let God handle the rest.


Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger,
and clamour, and evil speaking, be put
away from you, with all malice: And be
ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as God for
Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
~ Ephesians 4:31-32, KJV


You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

Find Time-Warp Wife on facebook: Click here

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How I Got Over The Agony Of Infidelity......Part 3

I bet you are wondering WHY I had a blind eye, when it came to infidelity....well, sometimes its feels better to try and believe the best in your spouse...after all, isn't that what we are supposed to do when we love someone? My husband (now ex) was charming, and he knew all the right things to say. But once I started asking questions, his demeanor totally changed. He starting being ugly to me, treating me badly, starting fights and did everything that he could to make me think that all of this was my fault. Totally wanting to keep my marriage and family together, I settled down and tried to "sweep things under the rug" as they say. Who wants to leave their comfort zone? I certainly didn't. As time went on, things became worse. I started discovering love letters, personal messages to him from her.....NEVER anything from HIM to her. So, he used that to his advantage and made me think that it was HER who wouldn't leave him alone.....which only made things worse for me. It's undeniable when you find things that aren't right. He had an excuse for EVERYTHING I questioned him about. I grew tired. VERY TIRED of fighting with him over it. I was asking questions that never got answered. I felt like I had to do something. Begging didn't help. Finding her phone numbers and blocking her didn't help. Keeping him busy at home certainly didn't help either. Something had to be done and I was running out of options, so I took a stance. I had to accept the truth...................to be continued.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bible Study - Philippians Chapter 4 {And a Link Up!}


Philippians 4:1

In verse one Paul refers to the Philippians church as his “crown.”

From Wikipedia (laurel wreath):

“In ancient Greece wreaths were awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions, including the ancient Olympics made of wild olive-tree known as “kotinos” (κότινος), and in poetic meets; in Rome they were symbols of martial victory, crowning a successful commander during his triumph.”

Paul was making reference to the crown of life (Revelation 2:11) that he would one day receive for his sacrifice to the faith. It’s the prize at the finish line that he’s focused through scripture after scripture.

We also see Paul referring to them as “dearly beloved,” which shows the deep affection and close connection he had to his converts.

Philippians 4:2


By looking at verse two, it would seem that Euodia and Syntyche were dealing with some sort of conflict. Paul was urging them to be in harmony. It’s something that we still see in the church today as people seek their own interests and their need to be right.

Striving to be of one mind and live harmoniously, can only be accomplished with an attitude of humility.

What are some ways that Christians can repair relationships in the church?

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Philippians 4:3


Paul addresses the church as “yokefellow.” That word typifies oxen paired together by a wooden beam. Together they labor, pulling a cart. The word “yoke” is used elsewhere in scripture instructing believers not to be unequally yoked with non-believers. In order to accomplish our work, we must be in step with one another, rather than pulling in separate directions.

This is the first time the “book of life” is mentioned in the Bible. The Greek word for book is biblos, which is where our word “Bible” comes from.

The book of life is also mentioned in Revelation 22:19, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Do you think that your name is written in the book of life? Why or why not?

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Philippians 4:4-5

According to Strongs, G1933, “moderation” here means, equitable, fair, mild, gentle. The church is a witness to the world, and they are drawn to Christ by people who are gentle, fair, and mild as He was.

"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth." ~ Isaiah 53:7

What things might you change to let your "moderation" show? Or is it showing already?

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Philippians 4:6


Again we see the theme of joy running through this letter. The word “joy” is used six times in this letter to the Philippians, and “rejoice” is mentioned eight times. Twice in verse 4, Paul says “rejoice in the Lord,” now he is telling them not to be troubled by anything, but to bring their prayers and needs (supplications) to God.

Is there anything in your life that is draining you of your joy? If so, write those things here and bring them to God in prayer.


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Philippians 4:7

Pay close attention to this verse. I often talk about the difference between the heart and mind, and here Paul is deciphering between the two.

Here’s what he’s saying:

The ways of God, and His paths that offer eternal peace, are beyond our intellectual capabilities. They protect our passions and our thoughts by offering us a better way to live.

This is why it’s possible to rejoice in times of trials. Because when we believe in God through Jesus Christ we accept that wisdom of God over the wisdom of man. It doesn’t always coincide with our passions. In fact as one reader put it, it feels more like a bed of nails than a comfy recliner at times.

There are two paths--one is that of walking in the Spirit and the other is walking according to the desires of the flesh. One leads to peace and the other to destruction.

The biggest lie that Christians tell themselves is this, “If God didn’t want me to do this, it wouldn’t feel so right.” This is where faith separates us from the world. When we follow God’s Word, we put our trust in Him. We believe that all things work out together for good to them who are in Christ Jesus, even if that good isn’t something we can see, touch, smell or define at this moment.

This faith is what carries us through trials both big and small. We don’t have the answers as to “why” they happen, but we remain focused on God believing that His ways are wiser than ours.

Are there areas of your life that you haven't given up to God? They might be things like addiction, anger, resentment, or lust. They are things that we are holding onto rather than feeling the sting of the pain that comes with living a sacrificial life. Living in comfort only benefits us in the moment, living a sacrificial life benefits us for eternity. Take the first step in releasing your strongholds by writing them down here:

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Philippians 4:8


I always say that you are only one thought away from joy. The world can try to bring us down, but they can’t control our thoughts. He has given us the power to change our way of thinking by focusing on good and tuning out the bad. The more we focus on good things the more we tune out the bad.

List ten positive things about your life:


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Philippians 4:9

We see four ways of growing in wisdom here:

• Learning
• Receiving
• Hearing
• Seeing

We learn by reading the word, and thereby growing in wisdom.

Receiving the word is accepting that word and choosing to live by it. It’s like receiving a football as opposed to letting it bounce off of your arms.

Hearing the word is different than just listening. It denotes one who is paying attention and considering the message. Anyone can listen to the gospel, but not all are willing to hear what is being said.

Seeing is watching the way that other believers walk and gleaning from them.

Philippians 4:10-16

By these verses we see that there was a time when the Philippian church wasn’t able to support Paul as much in his ministry, but here he was thanking them because things had changed. In fact he mentions that in the beginning of his ministry the Philippian church was the only ones giving to his ministry.

Paul explains that it doesn’t matter whether they were able to give much or little, as he was content in either situation. This is the same focus that all ministers of the gospel should have. If you receive well for your work it’s a blessing, but we all must learn to be content with little as well, since God supplies our needs.

But on that note, we must also remember that those in ministry need the support of their church to continue working. If they aren’t being supported as they should be, they may have to take part time jobs that take their mind off of the work at hand.

The more we can support our church financially, we lessen the burden that it has to pay wages and that of the day to day costs of running a church.

"Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward." ~ 1 Timothy 5:17-18

Tithes: The tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God for the works of mercy, or the same amount regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church, priesthood, or the like. (dictionary.com)

Do you pay tithes? Why or why not?

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Philippians 4:17-23


It’s not as much as Paul was desiring a gift from them, but rather that he realizes the reward that the Philippian church will receive from God for their sacrificial gifts.

Our sacrifices of money, time, or passions that we give up for the sake of Christ are a sweet sacrifice to the Lord. They mirror the sacrifices made through the levitical law:

"Burning meat does not have any particular sweetness of smell, but they were called sweet because they typically represented the absolute perfection and obedience of Yahshua HaMashiach [Hebrew name for Anointed one of God]." (rabdavis.org)

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. ~Colossians 3:17, KJV

Optional homework for the week:

Memorize Philippians 4:7


Underline some of the scriptures that stood out to you and add cross references for future study.

Read the fourth chapter again with some of the lessons in mind.

That closes our study on the book of Philippians. Thank you for studying with us!!

We won't be continuing the studies next week as I'll resume my regular blogging.



If you are studying along with us this week, you are welcome to leave a link to your site in the Linky tool below. But rather than linking up with a graphic from your blog like we usually do, it would be nice if you could post your profile photo so we can all see each other. If you don't have one--not a problem, another graphic will do. The Linky tool is just a way for all of us to get to know each other, it's not necessary to write a corresponding post.

I'm also posting the button code to the Bible study in hopes that you can add it to your post or sidebar.

And don't forget, tomorrow is Titus 2sdays, so if you're a blogger, come back and link up with your post on marriage, parenting, housekeeping or recipes.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene


For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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How I Got Over The Agony Of Infidelity.....Part 2

How did I manage to get myself through all the pain of infidelity? Well, first of all, you have to be able to get past the part of the initial shock that your spouse would ever even think of cheating on you. That initial shock might take a long time, and maybe longer than you want, but honestly, some people can get through it faster than others. For me, it seemed like it took forever. I was very much in love with my husband and I didn't ever think that we had any really big or deep problems. We, in fact, used to get along extremely well, but little did I know, at some point in our marriage, he must have decided that "we" weren't as happy as I thought. I wanted to make his cheating stop. I checked his cell phone, and not only because I was suspicious, but because I ran his self-employed business and did all the paperwork, and answered most the calls. I wasn't expecting to hear his "other woman" being as intimate as she was. Actually, his infidelity hit me like a ton of bricks....only when I confronted him, his denial was very strong. I wanted to believe him, and so I did.....but I shouldn't have. They say a woman's intuition is right  most of the time.  And I should have believed in myself, but I let him tear my doubts down.....BIG mistake on my part.  ...................to be continued.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How I Got Over The Agony Of Infidelity? Part 1......to be continued

Going through infidelity is one of the hardest things to have to go through in life.  Sometimes I wonder how I ever made it through. My heart was soooooo torn into pieces and I was so out of sync because I wanted to stop all the crazyness and just stop my husband's infidelity. No matter what I did, nothing stopped it. I learned the hard way---that it MUST come from the one who's cheating....THEY have to be the one who stops it and does it because they want to. I cried all the crocodile tears that I had, begged, pleaded, and still, nothing stopped. The only thing I received for all of my heartache was him getting angry, calling me names and treating me worse than he already had. There were times that he told me that nothing was going on, and he played it cool for a little bit to make me think things were alright with us again, but it was all a game that he was playing. I wanted to believe him and I walked around with rose-colored glasses for a time, only because I wanted to pretend he was all mine again. But you know what?  After a long bit of time, I started to think about what I could do about it.  I wanted to become a stronger person. I had cried all the tears that I was going to cry, or so I thought, but I wanted to make things better.....so how did I do this?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bending, Molding, Communication, and Love

This is a letter that I received from a reader this week. Blessed by her wisdom, I wanted to share it with you...

Dear Darlene,

I was happy to see you grapple with the unaccepted (even among many Christian women) idea of the authority of the husband in the family.

So much of today's culture de-emphasizes the husband's role or, in the case of much television and movies, either the husband is a buffoon incapable of decisions or a self-contained superman who does not need his spouse.

God's intention for one-ness of two requires much bending and molding and communication and love. It requires us to celebrate the strengths and weaknesses of each partner and trust one another to want and to most often choose the best for each spouse. I say most often because we are sinful and not perfect so we will be disappointed sometimes and we will disappoint sometimes too. That would not have to be the end of the world, of course! In fact, 1 Corinthians 13 seems to indicate that the love we are to give - the love that is Christ Jesus and in Christ Jesus - deals with the realness of the person being loved.

I believe God has appointed the husband to take the responsibility for decisions simply because the husband is called, and God will equip him, to fill that role. I do not pretend to know the mind of God, but surely it is not due to our "weakness." God creates both in His image and He does not short-change women in any way. Nor is weakness a problem for God--He says He is our strength and sufficient. From cover to cover of the Word, both men and women are strengthened and used for the purpose He calls them to fill. Difficulty hits when we question God's choices of people. You see, He sees what someone can become, not just who they are.

Both spouses are called to hard walks of love--one as Christ's sacrificial love and one to the sacrificial love of the Church in response to the love we are shown. Those are both hard roads for any human - obedience is not always easy, yet we are called to it. Here is where it gets interesting to me. Our responsibility as a wife to be obedient as if to the Lord Himself does not stop because our husband does not perfectly love us as Christ loves His church. We are not absolved by our husband's failures any more than a husband is absolved by his wife's failures. I believe the message to women is not that we are weaker, but in the grace and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ who says "My burden is light..." we have the strength to follow Him. If we want to show our gratitude and love for Christ's gift of eternal life, it starts with those around us. It starts at home, heeding and being obedient to the Word at home. And that means putting trust in our husbands and in God. God's Word says He wants nothing but good for us--eternal good. So why do we not trust God that He can work through our husbands, even though we have trust issues with our spouse?

[I am not addressing abuse issues here. God does not mean for a woman to be injured nor children to be injured in the act of allowing the husband to be the head of the home. We as women are answerable for being wise and seeking God's way. That is not God's way.]

I believe we speak to the multitude of homes where distrust and bitterness and harbored anger and revenge hold more sway than the Word of God in Christian women's hearts. We need to confess and repent--turn around and ask God to transform the way we feel about our husbands. We need to pray for them, for children, for ourselves; and we need to start trusting God to be in the little things of our home for everyone's good.

I didn't mean this to be a sermon but I, too, am passionate about this. Praying for your ministry of mentoring women, and asking God's special outpouring on you and your home. May He keep you safe and secure, strong and speaking the things near to His heart. God bless you!

Crystal



For comments or questions, contact darlene at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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Soon To Follow.....5-Part Series On How I Got Over The Agony Of Infidelity

I will be starting a 5-part series of  how I got over the agony of infidelity. I know that everyone will go through their journey differently, and some of us will mend quicker than others. It took me such a long time that it felt like an eternity. Loving someone and being in a committed relationship is supposed to be  a wonderful experience, but it isn't easy when your spouse/partner decides to cheat.  What are the ways you can make things better? If you both decide to work on it, then it CAN be done. But if you are the only one working on a marriage, or a committed relationship, then it doesn't really work. Do what you have to do for yourself. And know, that you cannot make your spouse/partner do what you want them to do....they must do it because they want to.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A World Full Of " IFS"

I had to go into the city where my ex moved into with his other woman today. I got dangerously close to "their" house. I haven't seen him in a very long time so I was hoping that I would not run into him. What IF I had seen him? How would I have reacted? I honestly don't think that I would have been too upset, but perhaps if I had seen him WITH her, it might have been a different story. I know that today I am a very strong person for all that he  put me through so I don't think it would have been too much of an issue.  I know that I miss those times when we used to be good together....but I don't miss all the heartbreak and tears that he brought to my life.   Going through infidelity issues with an adulterous partner has got to be one of the hardest things in life. My whole world was blown apart over his needing other women. I honestly thought I would never get through it, but I did. I think that if I had known back then, that I would REALLY be okay after it was all said and done, I would have not held on as long as I did. I would have been able to get out of that mess much sooner. Everyone deals with heartache differently. Knowing that I did the right thing by getting out was the best thing I ever did for myself.  However, some are able to work through it.....wished we could have but he wasn't willing. Both parties must be willing to work at it, and it's super hard, but it CAN be achieved. I think it all depends on the couple. My world of "ifs" stopped the moment that he decided he couldn't give up his other woman. I have moved on....and I am SOOOOO glad that I did.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bible Study - Philippians Chapter 3 {And a Link Up!}


Today we continue our study on the book of Philippians, by taking a close look at chapter three. It might work best to open your Bible, read the passage of scripture heading each paragraph, and then study along with the notes I have made. If you don't have a Bible, you can still study along by clicking through the link to read the scripture at Biblegateway.com.

There is also a print button below the post so that you can print a copy for yourself if you like.

Philippians 3:1-2

Paul was speaking to the Greeks here, warning them to beware of those who are still teaching and living by the Levitial Law, including that of circumcision. Circumcision in itself wasn’t the issue, but rather those who put their confidence of salvation in it, thinking that their works would save them.

There are still many Christians today who mix the old law in with the new. They pick and choose parts of the old law and combine it with the new covenant.

No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles. ~ Mark 2:21-22, KJV

Salvation comes through Jesus Christ, and it is by Him that we are made righteous. Our actions are in response to our desire to serve Him, but they don’t define our righteousness.

Compare Galatians 2:11-21, where Paul rebukes Peter because he withdrew himself from the Gentiles when the Jews were present. Pay particular attention to verse 16.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. ~ Galatians 2:16, KJV

If our actions don’t define our righteousness, does that mean that we can continue in sin? Why or why not?

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Philippians 3:3-4

Circumcision was a Jewish tradition that represented a cutting away of our sinful flesh.

You may remember in previous studies I mentioned that the flesh represents our passions, desires and wants. Walking in the Spirit is following God’s desires rather than our own.

Why do you think that Paul is saying “We are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit?” Compare Romans 8:5-6

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Philippians 3:5-6

Paul establishes himself as an authority on the topic by pointing out that he had met every requirement of the Jewish Law. He also mentions here how he was one who was persecuting the Christian church. We see an example of that in Acts 7:56-60 when Paul (Saul was his Hebrew name) was standing by while Stephen was stoned to death for his faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul also describes himself as being a Pharisee:

Pharisee defined: “They sought for distinction and praise by outward observance of external rites and by outward forms of piety, and such as ceremonial washings, fastings, prayers, and alms giving; and, comparatively negligent of genuine piety, they prided themselves on their fancied good works." (blueletterbible.org)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. ~ Matthew 23:27, KJV

What do you think that Jesus meant in the verse above? How does that relate to your walk of faith?

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Philippians 3:7-8


When Paul says that he counts things as “loss” he looks at those things as damaging to his walk with the Lord, and discards them at any and all cost.

I view this term much in the same way as I do the word “jettison,” which is to cast (goods) overboard in order to lighten a vessel or aircraft or to improve its stability in an emergency. (dictionary.com)

In order to reach his destination, he is willing to throw anything overboard so that he might arrive safely at the end of his journey.

Blinded by a heavenly light on the road to Damascus, Paul began his journey of faith with a struggle. There was never a time when his Christian walk was easy one, but he was willing to reevaluate his entire life and turn from everything he had grown to know as truth, to pursue Christ.

Consider your own walk of faith. Are there things that you need to discard? Are there temptations that are holding you back? If so what must you sacrifice and how?

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Philippians 3:9

“Righteousness” is basically our right-standing before God. It’s who we need to be in order to be accepted in His sight.

Faith: Strong's G4102 – pistis – Conviction of the truth.

The righteousness that we have is given to us through faith in Jesus Christ, while the Pharisees were trying to enter heaven by their own righteousness.

This reinforces the parable that Jesus spoke of in Matthew chapter 22. We read about a King [God the Father] who prepared a marriage for his son [Jesus]. The king sent his servants out twice, inviting them [the chosen nation of Israel] to come to the supper. Rather than accepting the invitation, they killed the messengers, and mistreated them.

“Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:8-14, KJV

Jews and Gentiles have all been called to the marriage supper of the lamb, but only those who accept the righteousness that is through faith in Jesus Christ, are chosen to be His guests.

What do you think it means to have faith in Jesus Christ?

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Philippians 3:10-11

As we participate in the sufferings of Christ, we conform to who He is.

Giving up our will for His, means that we are dying to ourselves and becoming alive in Him. It is a death and resurrection of our souls. This starts here on earth and continues, each time we crucify the flesh and conform to His will. But the completeness of that transformation is yet to come in eternity.

We haven’t completed the race. That final perfection is yet to come.

“Perfect” Strong's G5048 – teleioō - to carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end.

Jesus used the word, teleō on the Cross (John 19:30) when he said “It is finished.”

There are two perfections that you will see Paul talking about in this chapter. One is the full perfection that we receive when both our body and soul is redeemed after death. The other perfection is the one that Christians receive here on earth.

When we are forgiven of sin and made righteous through Christ, we have that robe of righteousness that we read about in the parable of Matthew chapter 12. That righteousness makes us perfect in the sight of God, but we will still have a struggle with flesh throughout life that won’t be removed until our final perfection takes place after death.

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” ~ Ephesians 1:4, KJV

Philippians 3:12-14


Paul offers us an analogy of a race. He compares it to the Christian walk, encouraging readers to vigorously pursue their faith. In doing so we need to focus on the finish line and leave the past behind us.

Are there things in your past or your present that are taking your eyes off of Christ?

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Philippians 3:15-16

Paul is instructing the church to continue to walk in the faith. It is one thing to be forgiven and made perfect through Christ, it is yet another to continue the pursuit.

In what ways are you pursuing Christ?

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Philippians 3:17-18

Here Paul says, follow my example and be mindful of the example of each other so that you may grow together in faith. He is stressing the importance of good fellowship, and warning the Philippians that there are many people walking contrary to the faith that could lead them astray.

Jesus spoke about this same thing in the parable of the sower. In Matthew 12:7 He says, “And some [seeds] fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.”

Esteeming the riches of the world higher than one esteems God, and valuing the riches of this world over heavenly gifts are the very thorns that will choke out our faith. It’s important that we stay in good fellowship with believers, or as the parable puts it in good soil.

Philippians 3:19

Paul talks about people whose “God is their belly.” We see so much of this in the world today, living in a society where people desire to fulfill their own passions above anything else. The commandments of God are useless to them unless they cater to their wants. We are in a world where even “Christians” are picking and choosing the commandments of God to suit their desires.

“And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” ~ Galatians 5:24

Have you ever sacrificed your desires to follow Christ? If so, what did you give up?

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Philippians 3:20

“Conversation” Strong's G4175 – politeuma- meaning our law of constitution, or our citizenship.

Heaven is our home, and this world is just a place that we are passing through. When we realize that truth, we are focused on something eternal rather than the here and now.

Philippians 3:21

Once we pass from this world, the perfection of our body and soul will be complete. Our struggle with the flesh will be done.

How does this knowledge change your outlook on life, or does it?

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Optional homework for the week:

Memorize Philippians 3:13-14

Underline some of the scriptures that stood out to you and add cross references for future study.

Read the second chapter again with some of the lessons in mind.

That closes our study on chapter three. Come back next Monday for chapter 4!




If you are studying along with us this week, you are welcome to leave a link to your site in the Linky tool below. But rather than linking up with a graphic from your blog like we usually do, it would be nice if you could post your profile photo so we can all see each other. If you don't have one--not a problem, another graphic will do. The Linky tool is just a way for all of us to get to know each other, it's not necessary to write a corresponding post.

I'm also posting the button code to the Bible study in hopes that you can add it to your post or sidebar.

And don't forget, tomorrow is Titus 2sdays, so if you're a blogger, come back and link up with your post on marriage, parenting, housekeeping or recipes.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene


For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Creative Storage Ideas

Decorating doesn't have to cost a lot of money, in fact the creative ideas I'll show you today are either made from items that most of us have around the house, or ones that are often found at yard sales.


I have a wooden rack similar to this one above, waiting for it's place in our home. I wasn't quite sure where I was going to put it, but now that I see what hanging a few pails from the hooks can do, I'll probably hang it in my kitchen for storage. I'm going to check out the dollar store this week to see if I can find a couple of pails!

Here we see a creative use of a wine rack. I can't count the many times I've seen them for sale at yard sales in the summer. I love the idea of using it to store rolls of paper. It would also be great to store rolled up fabric, or towels


I really like this image of the forks, but I'm not sure I love the way that they are scattered on the wall. I'd probably choose a different way of displaying them. But other than that, I think that it's a creative and cute way to use old cutlery! I think this would be a clever way of holding birthday cards or Christmas cards, but again, I'm not loving the way that they're scattered.


Is this the grandaddy of creative storage or what?! It absolutely takes my breath away and beckons me to play house. I swear that if I had that laundry room I wouldn't come out until every sock was white. If I ever come across an old wooden dollhouse--it's mine.

When I'm looking for storage or decorating ideas. I always check my inventory first, and if I don't find anything useful there, then I'll head out in search of a bargain.

Just 15 minutes ago I was pulling this vintage style wine rack out of our storage room to use as a shoe rack in our front entrance. I bought this item about ten years ago, because of the unique look that it had, but we never did get around to filling it with wine.

Tonight it's sitting in our front entrance holding about 10 pairs of my shoes. I love it! The one shown here is identical, other than the fact that mine is now holding shoes.


I hope you enjoyed these ideas as much as I did. Cherish every corner of your home, and don't be afraid to give it your personal touch.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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