Women- Exploitation, Manipulation or Taken Advantage of by Workmen?

I am tired of being taken advantage of. I know men get taken advantage of what in the world of work I think women, particularly taken advantage , get taken advantage of much more. 

At this time of writing, I am waiting for workers to refurb my bathroom and install the new one. This guy has cancelled me several times, and I understood because we are coming out of COVID-19 lockdown is and trying to get work people to try to come to do work is difficult because many of them are book up six months of the head trying to cope with the backlog of work. So, I understand that and being very patient. But this guy had promised me that he would come this morning and I had not heard from them yesterday. I have texted him and phoned him, and left a message. He was not available on the phone, and for an hour or so, I have not heard from him. Given that all my dealings with him, he has answered the phone immediately I’ve never left a message, and my text message has always been answered within 10 minutes, but this morning it’s different. I sourced this guy through a reputable online platform, so they are vetted, so I’m presuming that this guy is reputable.

 In South Wales UK, it is common practice that when you employ someone with hundreds and perhaps thousands of pounds worth of materials to purchase, you will pay the sum of the materials upfront. Then the person can purchase your materials, and then on completion, you paid for the other half of the materials and the work done. So, I have paid him for some of the materials, and I am still waiting for him to contact me. 

 TWO WEEKS LATER 

Writing this paragraph, it is now a few weeks since I last wrote that last paragraph, and the work has started, but he is extremely slow and doesn’t turn up every day. Nor does he turn up on the time he says he will be here. He doesn’t seem to care about being paid; I bet if I were a man, the work would have been done by now!

I have many friends who are single women, some the result of widowhood, others divorce and one friend that has never been married. Speaking to these women, I hear the same story echoed time and again. The stories are distressing, and it makes me angry that they have been taken advantage of by workmen time and gain. 

Whether it’s mechanics, decorators, handymen, or builders, this seems to be a common thread that these men think women don’t know what is going on. Therefore they can be taken advantage of either momentarily or messed around with times and appointments like I am today. Workers performing shoddy work for women is quite common, and I have experienced that recently myself. 

A few years ago now, I bought a rundown cottage which is 100 years old. So, you can imagine the renovations and repairs that need to be done. The back garden or the yard, which is only very small, had a big stone shed upon it that was dilapidated and leaking water, so I employed a couple of guys to pull it down and take away the rubble.

 That was 18 months ago. It costs a lot of money, and it’s taken me this long to be able to renovate the backyard. I have a friend who is also a single woman, and she uses a particular handyman who happened to be a carpenter. So I employed him to build a back fence to cover the old stone walls falling the dilapidated and quite disgusting and needed to be hidden. I also asked him to cement the yard because the old stone shed coming down the ground was exceptionally even and broken up. He duly cemented the area that I wanted him to, but it didn’t quite look right, but not knowing anything about cement, I thought that it might drive the next day fine. It didn’t. It had big deep grooves and troughs in them, and I wanted a smooth service surface. It was apparent he didn’t trowel it smooth! At least that’s what I thought I was paying for.

I missed the cement by hand, which was a true feat, and I have lost partial use of my right arm due to an injured shoulder in an accident. But I prayed for God’s strength, and my Lord indeed came to the rescue, and my shoulder held out Okay. So, I learnt how to use cement and cover it up with a fresh layer. It still doesn’t look smooth but certainly looks better than it did! The project has cost me more money than I budgeted for, and I had to take out a bank loan. 

I am so sick of been taken advantage of that I have. I decided that I would learn all I can do what I can as my disabilities allow. One could take a builder to the small claims court. But there are costs to pay upfront, and the time’s ad stress to see the process through is considerable. Therefore, many, including me, usually don’t take that route to sort out these difficulties. 

I don’t’ know if this article is very different than I usually write, but I want to share my real-life difficulties with you. It may resonate with one of you. If you have had a similar happening, please comment below or email me as I would love to hear how you have dealt with it.

On an Another Note ………..

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Domestic Violence -Shattered Dreams

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Safe, he felt Safe, very Safe, he felt like Home. But that wonderful feeling was about to be Shattered!

  Rocky relationships of the past left me in fear. Fear of the future, fear of making the wrong choices, fear of another abusive relationship. I shared with him my experiences, how devastated I was. How I lost everything in the process, I shared with him the secrets of my pain and grief – He listened intently. He understood- he comforted me and he felt my hurt and pain. He promised that he would be different, I will take care of you he said. I truly love you and I want to look after you-you’re my soul mate he said and I believed him. Why wouldn’t I? After all, He is so kind, a real gentleman, and that is a rarity these days, it was evident he loved me. He is every women’s dream, he’s attentive, generous and downright charming to boot!  Months past and in a vow of marriage, we pledged our hearts and lives to each other. We promised to love, protect and care for each other for the rest of our lives- we were truly together- forever.

 And then it happened. Right there on our honeymoon, (as pictured above) totally unprovoked, he pushed and shoved me accompanied by the filthiest name-calling imaginable. He then made me sleep on the couch.

Numb with shock my mind raced to search for what had provoked my lovely new husband to take this action toward me. Was it my fault? He called it- beer talk. It didn’t make it any easier, it was as if he took a knife and cut open my heart with it and I was bleeding profusely and I physically felt the searing pain. Later, in our honeymoon it happened again without any provoking. and no beer was involved either, so it wasn’t beer talk!  This time I admitted to myself I’ve made a dreadful mistake! He refused to accept that it was domestic abuse and was very offended and upset with me that I had made such a suggestion -still is.

He pleaded with me  that didn’t mean it he said, it won’t happen again. Don’t give up on me, he said. Just a hick-cup in our marriage, all marriages have problems, he said. But he wasn’t a person of his word – broken promises, it did happen again and again and again.

Over time the abuse became more frequent, more violent, confiscating my phone was commonplace. Our honeymoon was the beginning of the end for the both of us. Fear replaced security, it was the end of him being my safe place – my home. The numbness I felt accompanied by fear was an unwelcome companion in our relationship. My safe place, my cwtch (Welsh for a safe place) had become a place of violence. The lovely man I fell deeply in love with, the one I invited into my heart and life, became an unpredictable stranger.

He was offered help and counselling time and again, he did try- for a while – and things were wonderful for a time. Then he said he was bored, then out of the blue, it would all start-up again, exactly the same pattern of behaviour would emerge once again, dashing any hope of a happy marriage. 

Can you relate to this? Did you find a safe place within a relationship only to find that you were mistaken? Perhaps you are constantly feeling numb? You can’t express any feelings and you hide within yourself somehow. It’s impossible to laugh or smile, and crying does not come easy. You switch off somehow, you just get on with it and switch off from what is happening around you to cope and to try to make sense of the violence perpetrated against you. But what we don’t realise, is that we also switch off from life. We switch off from family, friends, social life, we switch off from our dreams and our plans for a happy future, depression sets in and we wonder why. We walk zombie-like through life feeling nothing. Numbed to the harsh words, the pickiness, the moodiness. We are numb to the physical violence, numb to the loss of control over our very selves. We mourn, we do it quietly, we do it privately, we feel very alone.

We never press charges. We protect our abuser out of loyalty and fear.  So no-one will know what is happening behind closed doors, hoping that somehow, he would come to his senses and see the consequences of his abuse. We love them and want things back how it used to be, so we take responsibility for his behaviour, masking excuses for him. We pray and hang on for him to want to change, want to seek help, to be back to that wonderful person that we fell in love with. And we remain numb in the meantime. But with numbing-out, as I call it, which is a coping mechanism, the doors of our hearts eventually closed also, and we struggle to feel any love for ourselves or anybody else for that matter.

Living year by year within a violent relationship shuts us down.

Did you find a safe place within a relationship only to find that you are mistaken? Perhaps you are constantly feeling numb? Have you switched off from the thought of ever being happy?

 Here at the beginning of the New Year, you have an opportunity to switch on that light and get rid of the darkness once and for all! You can swing open the door of your heart and let your spirit soar and to heal. An opportunity to take courage and let that numb-ness go, to return from that zombie-like state, to come alive and to realise that hey I’m worth it- I don’t deserve to be treated with such hate and contempt!  2017 is an opportunity for you to regain who and what you once were and all that you have lost in the process. Even if you do it singing to the tune of These boots are made for walking

Proverbs 12:18 – The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.    Proverbs 16:24  – Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bone.

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By Paula Rose-Parish

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Paula Rose has a Bachelor of Pastoral Counselling and Theology, Vision Christian University, USA

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The Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Acts: 1: 1- 8   &  2:1-4

This subject often worries people.  I’ve actually had people say to me that they are scared of any moving of the Holy Spirit. Why?  Because they do not understand it. But that it is the great deception of the devil. It is satan who will make us scared and sceptical of the moving of the Holy Spirit.

The Cross defeated the devil so he’s out to defeat you through his lies. The devil would render us powerless as a Church because it is the Holy Spirit that gives us the power of God to be witnesses in the earth. No Power, No witness, No Church! 

Therefore, if there is no power of the Holy Spirit in the believer, there is no power of the Holy Spirit in the Church, because the Church is the people, then there is no true witness of God. Then what is left, is a form of religion without power to save and set free!

 Fear is our enemy.

There is no need for us to be frightened of the things of the Holy Spirit because Jesus told us that he would send another comforter in his absence. The Holy Spirit therefore is a comforter, in fact, there are over 21 wonderful attributes, attributed to the Holy Spirit throughout Scripture for our benefit and none of them is scary. And one of those attributes is a leader and another is our guide,  READ John 16:7

The comforter READ John 14: 16-17, the one that comes along beside us. So what is there to be frightened of? It is only when we are held in ignorance of what the Holy Scriptures tell us and our imaginations run wild.  All we hear stories of great excesses don’t we, and we get concerned and scared we then reject the moving of the Holy Spirit in our Church and in our life. The devil then has succeeded in his mission! And we become poorer for it. So let us now approach this with an open heart and an open mind towards the Spirit of God and what he would have us to know this morning.

First of all, let’s pray…..

Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead- nothing spooky!

First of all, we need to understand that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a greater revelation of God that was manifested in patriarchal and mosaic dispensations. In the patriarchal dispensation, we see God appearing to people at long intervals of 20 and 40 years apart. In the Mosaic dispensation, there are deeper and clearer manifestations of God. The pillar of cloud and pillar of fire. In the Tabernacle is the Shekinah glory of God that overshadowed the mercy seat which is the abiding revelation of God.

In these dispensations God appeared outside of the human being, God was doing something TO the human race, and not IN the human race. But under the Christian dispensation, the New Covenant, things are different. A New Covenant has been born which is a much deeper and personal revelation of God. God was not only doing something TO the human race, but God was living  IN humankind.  READ John 11:25  (KJV). READ Ephesians 2 .22  this reveals God purpose in our salvation. We must be prepared by the blood of Jesus Christ to become the habitation of God, and what an amazing privilege and opportunity this is!   READ John 16: 7-15.

 Unction’s of the Holy Spirit

  1. Born again – / Adam God breath made him alive / God breathed new birth – the new creation. (Gen 1  & 2. John 3.) 
  2. Baptism in Holy Spirit makes us God-empowered people. (Acts 1 & 2)
  3. Baptism Sanctifies our language so may pray according to His will. (Jude)
  1. Dove. (the Ark, Gen 8.11. & Baptism of Jesus  Matt 3.16) 
  2. Wind and fire- is what the church is, sweeping through the nations empowered by God to bring the full Gospels’ light to a dark world. It’s for the Church to be the Church!

 We as New Covenant people are to live in the Wind and Fire of the Spirit, speaking the truth in love. We are wise as serpents but gentle as Doves (Matt 10.16). But for some of us, we don’t get past the Dove stage. We always speak of love and peace- and so we must! But we tend to remain, creating traditions around the nature of a Dove,  we become Dove people and never influence the world with Wind and Fire. And so, The Church becomes powerless in its mission.

The more we use our language in tongues, the more we pray Gods’ will to earth getting the job done. Jesus told us because he rose and ascended to heaven and so we will also, being partakers of his righteousness and his glory and of his saving power. The crucifixion was necessary and now we are children of God, we are crucified with Christ and freed from sin. Our old nature is nailed to the cross and we are dead to sin and alive to Christ and just as Christ died, he arose, he is a living Christ, not a dead God. We are baptised (fully immersed)  with power (dunamis =explosive) power from on high with the Holy Spirit, the Church goes forth!

God the Holy Spirit Lives IN YOU by your resurrection into the new birth according to John chapter 3.  We have left this old sinful life buried to the old nature in baptism and are partakers in the new resurrection life.  The life of power (dunamis =explosive) where the exercise of the power of God is made possible TO us and IN us through the Holy Spirit. We are Wind and Fire people!

Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit for today?

Yes!  There are 20 scriptures referring to this in the New Testament

The baptism is evidenced by tongues. 1 Corinthians 14: 22.  Mark 16:17-18 READ

To speak with other tongues is to speak languages never learned. They are either a known human language or a heavenly one, enabled by the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. ‘Initial physical evidence’ is the term used to describe the first outward sign of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is manifested in a physical way as the Spirit-filled believer’s physical voice is used. It is initial in that it comes immediately with the infilling. It is important to point out here, that there is no single declarative sentence in the Bible that states that everyone who is baptized in the Holy Spirit will speak in other tongues. Even if we had only Acts 1 and 2, we understand the doctrine, for there we have the definition of the baptism in the Spirit.

 Jesus said, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence” (Acts 1.5) The scriptural definition of that baptism is, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2.4). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Luke clearly intended to define what Jesus promised. 1Corinthians 14: don’t forbid tongues when meeting together for worship.