Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"On Fire": A Man God Has Changed (NOT One I Have to Fix)...

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."---John 14:3(NKJV)

God and I are in a funny space right through here.

Right before I got rebaptized (actually I consider it to be more of a Jewish tradition that I was led to that caused me to do it), I sent an email out to certain people requesting prayer because what I heard, from the Spirit (John 4:24), was that I was about to enter into a "Master's class".  OK...long story short, God doesn't lie (Titus 1:2), but it *certainly* wasn't the kind of promotion that *I* was expecting! In a matter of days, everything changed---and I do mean *everything*! And yes, it has changed everything---and I do mean EVERYTHING about me!

Anyway, I'm actually on a writing deadline and so I won't bore you with all of the sordid details. I'll just say that as it *directly affects* the purpose of *this* blog, I'll let you know where my studies have gotten me to in my prayer life:

"God, I want a man that YOU have CHANGED, not one that I have to FIX."

And do you know how God responded? Almost immediately within my spirit?

"FINALLY! Now, we're actually gonna get somewhere!"

And that's why this message starts off with the familiar verse that it does. Sadly society, and on some levels even the Church, have gotten many of us to a place where we seem to forget (or is it ignore? Or is it deny?) that MARRIAGE WAS CREATED IN PARADISE. The Garden of Eden. *Heaven* on earth. Pre-sin (Genesis 2). And so, really...being that Christ left to *prepare* heaven for us, what would make us think that God doesn't *prepare* marriage as well? That he doesn't "go" and put our spouses in "proper condition or readiness"? That there isn't a season where he's doing what is needed "to make [our spouse] ready or suitable in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc."? And that with us, he's doing the *exact same thing* for them?

Yeah. Did you catch that underlined part? That he does many of these things *in advance*. That means *before* the purpose: PRE-MARRIAGE.

As I prayed more about this, the Spirit provided me the visual of caution signs. How they are there to *warn* of us impending danger. Now what's the potential of what could happen if we speed down an open road with deer signs? How often do we "chance it" by running through a yellow or (gasp!) red light? When there is construction on a street or bridge and the sign tells us "Stop Ahead" or "Rough Road" or "Do Not Enter" or "Wrong Way" or "Caution: Stay Clear" or "Slow: Proceed With Caution" or "Caution: Look Out For Construction Traffic" (you'd be *amazed* how many people unnecessarily involve themselves in "construction traffic"-LOL) or (whew!) "DEAD END", how brilliant is it to ride through there as if *the road is ready for us* anyway?

And yet so many women (people actually, but I'm talking mostly to women on here) date *just like that*. Either they're on the wrong road that's gonna lead them to a dead end (the Word will let you know if that's the case) or a road that is under spiritual construction and rather than letting God do what needs to be done, they are *all in the way*: trying to court a man before he's ready; trying to prepare a man in ways that isn't her job/title/position/right to do. Because indeed, a mission field is not usually the optimal breeding ground conducive to a healthy and progressive courtship. Meaning, if you're trying to be a witness to make someone a Christian, then don't expect the journey (or results) to be the same as if you were trying to become that same person's wife. The needs/expectations/outcomes are usually *vastly* (VASTLY) different. Remember, we bring favor (Proverbs 18:22) to purpose but we don't manifest that purpose. Adonai does. Our love/influence can *assist* God, but *no one* changes a man, but God AND a man has to change by *choice*.

I mean, do you see God forcing (or manipulating) anyone into heaven? My point exactly.

I can only imagine what it would be like to get to the pearly gates and find that the hinges were broken or step into my mansion and the walls were caving in. A heaven fixer-upper? No thanks. I'll wait.

"Yeah. Now exchange the word 'heaven' with 'marriage'", I heard God say. "You're on earth so it won't be perfect, but if you let me *change* your husband into the man I have in mind for you ahead of time, you won't have a lot of *fixing* to do with him afterwards, either."

Shoot, *these days* (LOL), God ain't gotta tell me twice!

Again, I'll wait. For the construction to be done.

So that I can enjoy the journey of my marriage (much) better that way.

Yeah. That was a good word, God! I'll proceed *with extreme caution*.



Monday, November 28, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: QUOTE OF THE DAY

All of this. Um...YEAH. Some of y'all have been prayin'. Here is your answer:

"Think about it. If you’re not living the relationship you want or the person isn’t behaving in ways that are conducive to a healthy, mutual relationship, why do you want them?

    This is how you get distracted from your values, your purpose, and basically yourself.

It’s important to stop focusing on not being good enough and look specifically at what you’re concerned you’re not good enough about because by putting yourself at conflict with you, you’re undermining everything you’re supposed to represent, desire, and need because you’re not listening and acting in line with your values so that you can do start to do what will actually make you happy, feel good, etc...

When you worry about something that’s in direct conflict with what you profess to want or be, it’s a sign that you’ve stopped listening to yourself and are not being authentic. It’s also a sign of avoidance – how can you be so concerned with something that you don’t want when the issue of what you do want hasn’t been addressed?

    Often what we don’t want is tied to something or someone beyond our control. Often what we do want is within our control because ultimately achieving what we want has us in it. When we fear putting what we want on us, it’s easier to focus on everything and everyone else.

Yeah. SOOOOOOOOO DIGGIN' THAT. You can read it in detail here.

If you would like to explore this matter further, this is a book you may want to check out:

It really is true that we often attract to us the kind of people that we are. And, some people remain in a hamster wheel because they are not moving...forward. Anyway, you can get this book here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: "A Few Christian Dating Principles to Live By"

Good stuff:

1) Must Be a Christian.
2) Must Be Single.
4) Guard Your Heart (love it when she said, "Date with your head. Marry with your heart.").
5) Be True to Yourself.
6) Dress Modestly.

Oh and how so many people stumble through life, bitterly so, because they don't get #3 down:

Must Desire Marriage - Dating can be stressful enough without the added hassle of falling for someone who you later learn has no desire of getting married. This is not to state that he is the one you will ultimately marry, but understand that just because you are looking to marry does not automatically mean the guy you’re dating is looking for the same thing.

While it may be uncomfortable to ask or you think doing so will scare him off, you need to know his reason for dating. If he’s only looking to hang out or date casually and you’re not, you are likely headed for emotional heartache ahead.

You can read it in detail here.



An Ounce of Prevention: "Ten Reasons NOT to Get Married"

#2 and #3 are...ones that really need to be prayed about rather than *preyed upon*. Feel me?

2. Your biological clock is ticking:

Tick, tock, tick, tock. Have you ever been sleeping by a clock and listening to it ticking, thinking, "That's me! Time is running out - my biological clock is ticking"?

That is a very real feeling, especially for women. You may want to get married and have a family, and it feels as though time is short. Just remember, God knows the desires of your heart. He knows if you want children, and He can make a way for you, even when it seems as if there is no way.

Marrying the wrong person just because you feel as though there's no more time left can still lead to a miserable future. I have a friend who waited a long time to get married, and she desperately wanted a family. She got married in her late thirties, and do you know what God did for her? He gave her twins! That's the blessings of God; He gave her double (Isa. 61:7).

You too can have double for your trouble. God always makes it worth your wait! Just because your answer is delayed doesn't mean it's been denied. Just because you have waited a long time doesn't mean you are not going to get it.

There are times when people experience a "divine delay." In other words, there are still some things the Lord may want you to receive where you are right now, before you move on to another season.

In my own life, there are many things I have done for the Lord that I really don't believe I could have done in the same way had I been married with children. We have to learn to trust our heavenly Father and His love for us. He knows what we need and when we need it. Father knows best! God loves you, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

3. You're lonely: 

You don't want to marry someone just to keep from being alone. There are a lot worse things than being single, and plenty of married people are desperately lonely. Marrying the wrong person won't solve the problem of loneliness; only God can do that.

Being alone does not mean you have to be lonely. Don't be so desperate that you just marry anybody to keep from being alone.

It's a pretty thorough list. You can check out the rest of it here.

Remember, we are to be a *blessing* not a *burden*.


An Ounce of Prevention: "40 Signs You're in a Healthy Relationship"

Some of these, I believe are "marriage sensitive" but #40, I think is stellar across the board:

"You CAN live without each other, but you choose each other over every alternative choice."

You can read the entire list here.


An Ounce of Prevention: "Are You Dating an Emotionally Unavailable Man?"

1) He gives you just enough attention, but not enough to satisfy.
2) He compares you to other women in a good or bad way.
3) He doesn't call you back or respond within 24 hours.
4) He makes you feel like you're overreacting.
5) He likes to keep the waters murky.
6) He likes the game of "push...pull".

Yeah. Crystal is cute to me and the few videos that I've checked out...yeah. Check 'em out (LOL).


An Ounce of Prevention: "5 Signs He's Not Going to Marry You"

And what does the Word say? That truth will make you free (John 8:32), right?

I was just talking to a loved one earlier this week about the *dire importance* of (if you desire to get married) getting into relationships with people who are *ready for marriage*. To which the person replied, "Right. Committed." No. Not quite (LOL). I've been in *committed* relationships. The person wasn't *ready* for marriage, though. That said (and Crystal really did tickle me when she said, "If he's buying things, he's probably just buying time")...

Oh, and that "three year thing" that she mentioned? It's almost like a science. *No joke!*


An Ounce of Prevention: QUOTE OF THE DAY and BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "The Love You Deserve" (Dr. Scott Peck, Shannon Peck)

"It is not egotistical to love yourself. Be very clear about that. It is Love's intention that all of us are deeply loved."---Dr. Scott Peck and Shannon Peck

"There are many excuses for not forgiving:

They don't deserve to be forgiven
They might do it again if I forgive
They may think I agree with them if I forgive
I don't want to give up my anger
Holding on to the hurt is my defense from being hurt again

This is not living the life you deserve. Holding onto anger is a decision to suffer. Let the transforming light of Love flow into your heart and release the pain that has attached itself to you. Allow Love to bring fresh, healing renewal to your heart.

Even though you may never go back to a relationship, it needs forgiveness---because you deserve forgiveness. Lack of forgiveness interferes with your ability to feel truly loved. When you let go of negative feelings, you let the hole in your heart heal through the power of forgiveness. 

It is important to understand that forgiveness does not mean that abusive behavior may continue. Forgiveness means that something changes in the relationship permanently. It means that you have made the decision to move away from the hurt and abuse. It means you have chosen to empower yourself and act on your decision for better love. Ask yourself, 'What would it take for me to let go and forgive? Do I really serve myself or the world by hanging onto bad feelings about myself or others?'"---"Healing Hurt & Abuse", pg.205

No better gift than the gift of forgiveness. *On so many levels* (Matthew 6:14-15). It may take a bit of time. Ask Adonai if you can do a lay-a-way plan. Of sorts (LOL). Anyway, I've been a fan of M.Scott Peck for some time now. You can cop this gem here.

Good stuff. GET. FREE. (John 8:32)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It is far better to be alone than to wish you were."---Ann Landers

'Nuf said!


An Ounce of Prevention: "Kermit the Frog Is a Terrible Boyfriend"


The title caught my attention. As I (initially) skimmed the piece, this quote roped me in: "He had the attitude women's magazines try to sell to its audience: that significant others are only the frosting on the cake of life. But everybody knows that cake without frosting is just a muffin."


And *then* I read all of it. There are some cuss words in it so the super-conservative, please look past the "word littering" so that you can see the overall landscape. This is a classic piece of narrative. Indeed, it is. Here's just an excerpt to sell my point:

"Remember how content Kermit was, just strumming his banjo on a tree trunk in the swamp? That's the guy I've chased my whole life, killing myself trying to show him how fabulous I am. Remember how, on The Muppet Show, Kermit used to politely laugh at Miss Piggy's pleas for some kissy-kissy, or fend off her jealousy after he flirted right in front of her? With Madeline friggin' Kahn? Kermit never appreciated what he had in Piggy, because she was just one great thing about his awesome life. He had the attitude women's magazines try to sell to its audience: that significant others are only the frosting on the cake of life. But everybody knows that cake without frosting is just a muffin.

Kermit never wanted to devote his life to making Piggy happy — he just wanted to host his show and enjoy hanging out with his friends. Anything more she'd ask of him would elicit a gulp. And just as I strove to emulate Piggy-resplendent in feather boas, lavender mules and rings over opera gloves — I wonder how many guys from my generation looked to Kermit as an example of what the coolest guy in the room looks like. How maybe they think it's fine to defer the advances of the fabulous women they know will always be there, while they dreamily pursue creative endeavors and dabble with other contenders. How maybe they learned the value of bromance from Kermit's constant emphasis on his obligations to his friends before his ball and chain. And how maybe they figured out that if you're soft-spoken and shy, but you know how to play a musical instrument, girls will come in droves. You just keep your creativity flowing and your guy friends close, and you'll have to beat the ladies down with a stick.

If Kermithood is the model of modern masculinity, it doesn't match the matehood expectations of a generation of Miss Piggys who, at least eventually, want more. Since we were little, we were taught that the only point of chasing frogs is the hope that they turn into men when you kiss them."

You can take it all in here.

Whew! And "whew!" again. It might be time to gear up for another Frog Fast (LOL). You can look at the left-hand side of the page for the details on that. *wink*


Monday, November 21, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: Life on Purpose: "15 Questions to Discover Your Personal Mission"

'Cause how can you help someone when you don't know who (or why) you are?

15 Questions:

1. What makes you smile? (Activities, people, events, hobbies, projects, etc.)

2. What are your favorite things to do in the past? What about now?

3. What activities make you lose track of time?

4. What makes you feel great about yourself?

5. Who inspires you most? (Anyone you know or do not know. Family, friends, authors, artists, leaders, etc.) Which qualities inspire you, in each person?

6. What are you naturally good at? (Skills, abilities, gifts etc.)

7. What do people typically ask you for help in?

8. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

9. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

10. You are now 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair outside your porch; you can feel the spring breeze gently brushing against your face. You are blissful and happy, and are pleased with the wonderful life you’ve been blessed with. Looking back at your life and all that you’ve achieved and acquired, all the relationships you’ve developed; what matters to you most? List them out.

11. What are your deepest values?

12. What were some challenges, difficulties and hardships you’ve overcome or are in the process of overcoming? How did you do it?

13. What causes do you strongly believe in? Connect with?

14. If you could get a message across to a large group of people. Who would those people be? What would your message be?

15. Given your talents, passions and values. How could you use these resources to serve, to help, to contribute? ( to people, beings, causes, organization, environment, planet, etc.)

I love how this article also recommends you penning a personal mission statement. Honestly? This is an exercise that I recommend you doing once a year, if not seasonally.

Alright. That's my seed for the anniversary. ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving!


An Ounce of Prevention: Signs That a Man Is Ready for a Relationship (Paul Washer)

Important signs of male maturity:

1) A personal, unaided, emotional (spiritual) devotion to God.

2) Devotion to God's purpose in the context of the family. "You're not getting married because the girl is beautiful. You are getting married because you believe that God has called you into that marriage, to lay down your life to bless a daughter of his. To care for her. To raise up a godly heritage to the Lord."

3) Knowledge and application of the Scriptures. "You're gonna have to lead a woman. You're gonna have to teach children. You had better know the Scriptures...right now you make a foolish decision and basically, you're the one who pays.You make a foolish, unbiblical decision with your family, you hurt your wife, you hurt your children and you will be called on the carpet by God...HEADSHIP AND AUTHORITY PUTS YOU IN THE LIMELIGHT OF GOD'S JUDGMENT."

4) Labor. "After talking to a young man who wants to court my daughter...after talking to him about his spirituality, his walk with Christ, then next thing that I'm going to investigate is this: 'Young man do you delight in God honoring labor? If you do not delight in working hard, get out of my house.' A man...if he will work hard, he can surpass anyone else...slothfulness is one of the deadly sins." 

5) Are you saving for your future and your children's future?

Paul Washer ends this with saying, "I would be nothing without the wife that God gave me. He gave me the exact person that I needed." And really ladies, it takes a really godly man to discern that as well and when you (they) see the favor that God has for you (them), why would you delay? Why would you need an ultimatum? Why would your rather sow oats or drag your feet? Why do you need to be convinced or coerced?

So often (ladies) energy is spent on trying to get men ready. Our prayer should be that the Lord would bring us to men who *are* ready. To receive. With a humble heart, an open mind and a willing soul. To love us by serving the Father.

You need about an 1 1/2 hours, but it's a worthwhile investment of your time.



"On Fire": We Turned TWO Today!!!

Yep! And here's hoping that the "On Fire" baby won't follow the toddler "terrible twos" stereotype (LOL)! Anyway, to all of the wives who encouraged its conception, the brides who have come to be since its birth and the ministers who continue to be in training, thanks for your prayers and support.

Words of wisdom moving forward? It's funny the verse in Scripture that has been in my head space for a couple of weeks now. I think it's for the ones in training...as they do their selecting:

"Suppose a snake bites before it is charmed. Then there isn't any benefit in being a snake charmer."---Ecclesiastes 10:11(NIRV)

Translation (in this case): "In the midst of *preparing* for your covenant partner, pray that he will be *ready* for you. For marriage. For the responsibility that comes with the blessing of both." *No one* can be *successfully* married alone. Oh, but many try. Be *exceptional*. Prepare to choose wisely.

Here's to BIG love, BIG purpose and BIG progress in 2012!!!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "Just How Married Do You Want to Be?: Practicing Oneness in Marriage" (Jim Sumner, Sarah Sumner)

Knowledge IS power:

"Entering into oneness takes faith. It also calls for patience. Our friend Tim Lentz made the insightful observation that in marriage, couples have to grow into becoming one flesh. 'It's a process,' said Tim. 'The two shall become one flesh.' Marriage is hard work because it's hard for two people to become one.

Some marriages, no doubt, seem to run more smoothly than others. I (Jim) don't know exactly why that is. It could be a matter of maturity or having less baggage from the past. Maybe some couples just gel better. Or maybe they blindly sin together and there's only an appearance of gelling. Regardless, you can't truly merge into one if your union is more fleshly than spiritual. Oneness runs deeper than that. Oneness has to do with the spiritual dynamics of marriage.

Remembering One's Oneness

A very simple way to build oneness is marriage is for the couple to remember who they are. They are one. They are not individually just themselves. When a couple can remember their identity as 'one flesh,' it changes the way they see themselves. It also changes the way they look at others. 

The same principle applies to being a Christian. If you remember your identity in Christ, it changes the way you behave. When I (Jim) remember my identity in Christ, I'm more able to walk in the Spirit and not carry out the desires of my flesh (Galatians 5:16). In the same ways, when I remember my oneness with Sarah, I feel more empowered to be faithful to her and not give in to the deeds of my flesh (Galatians 5:19-21)."---"Practicing Oneness in the Grind of Daily Activity"---pg.77


The Husband's Call to Cleave

"One of the greatest ways to strengthen marital oneness is for the husband to 'cleave' and to 'be joined' to his wife (Ephesians 5:31). When a husband cleaves to his wife, he is sexually faithful to her. He prioritizes her above his work, above his hobbies, above his family of origin and certainly far above other women.

To cleave is to 'be glued to'. When a husband cleaves to his wife, he shares his sense of self with her. He sees her as his own body. He does not fall into the trap of dehumanizing her by seeing her as his trophy or possession. When a husband cleaves to his wife, he sees her as a person with her own unique calling from God."---"Practicing Oneness in the Grind of Daily Living"---pg.87

The title alone had me hooked:

You can get this one here.

Growth is good!


BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "Left at the Altar: My Story of Hope and Healing for Every Woman Who Has Felt the Heartbreak of Rejection" (Kimberley Kennedy)

Hook, line and sinker...

"This time we decided on an April wedding, which would be exactly two years after we met. But even pushing back the date did not appease Lew after a while. He was soon finding fault with me and everything else. Small things became gigantic issues. We argued incessantly, something we had never done before. He insisted on a prenuptial agreement, which I agreed to sign, despite my attorney's very strong advice not to sign it. I now wonder if Lew was hoping that by insisting I sign a prenup, it might force me to call off the wedding. At the time, however, I truly felt he was simply anxious, as any groom would be, and that once he said, 'I do', he would be fine. So I persevered, plowed on, and continued to plan our wedding and new life. 

I should, however, have known we were really in trouble the day before the rehearsal when we went to get our marriage license, and he would not get out of the car. Not a good sign. Again and again I assured him that it was just nerves, that he knew this was right, and that we were going to be happy. Finally he agreed, we got out of the car, and we soon had the license in hand, but by then, my anxiety level was matching his own. 

Right about now, you are probably thinking, How could anybody with half a brain and one iota of self-respect not give him back his engagement ring and call the whole thing off herself? That is an easy one to explain: I was in love. It was as simple as that.

After Lew

The final chapter of my life is all about recovery from the loss of Lew and how God helped me put my life back together. It is by far the best part of the story."---"The Chapters of My Life"---pg.24-25


"That's how I know that when Lew left me at the altar that day, God was every bit as heartbroken as my mother. But he was equipped to help me deal with my pain in ways my earthly mother never could. He was with me when no one else was. He watched me every single moment, his spirit prayed for me, even when I couldn't and he infused me with his strength, even when I would not ask. He sent loving arms to hold me and tender and patient hearts to comfort me. He was close to me when my heart was breaking, and he covered me with his mighty wings so I could find refuge.

A Breath of Hope

This loving Father did something else too. When he created me, he installed the one thing every human being needs to survive: hope. Even when I did not believe it was there, it was. On my darkest days of depression and feelings of hopelessness, there was this tiny, itsy, bitsy speck of hope that still burned in my soul, a flickering flame God kept burning even when I did not think he cared. He let me mourn. He let me grieve the loss of the love of my life. He even let me hate him and yell at him. But one day he gently blew his warm, Fatherly breath on that tiny flame of hope until it flared and grew, and he said, 'Enough is enough. I have let you have your time to cry, be sad, and feel sorry for yourself, but you have mourned this man long enough. You have a life to live, young lady, and what a life I have in store for you!'

I wish I could tell you the exact moment that happened and give you a blueprint for exactly how to get there yourself. I can promise you that God has such a moment planned for your life as well. All he wants is for us, like Leah, to acknowledge his presence in our lives and to trust him. That's why he makes such a big deal about trust in his Word. Over and over he begs us to trust him and promises us the most amazing peace if we will."---"The Hole in My Heart"---pg.116-117

Amazing how many "relational ailments" AND solutions there are. You can get this particular dose of "emotional salve" here.



In reading a bullet point article entitled, "Making Healthy Choices About Your Relationships", I *really dug* this point:

"Steer away from making choices that will keep you from reaching your goals. Ask yourself, 'How could this choice affect my life?' and 'Does this relationship support my priorities?'"




“No man is worth your tears, but once you find one that is, he won't make you cry."---Unknown


I got a love package from my mom this past week. Within it, there was a book entitled, "Significance: Sometimes the Only Cure for a Bad Man...Is a Better One". Cute. But what really caught my attention is when I flipped the cover over and saw the smiling picture of *a man* as the author. His name is Vincent Mafu.

I love to read and so I'm gonna try and get through it this week. In the meantime, though, I wanted to share a few of his "feature lists" with *brief excerpts* from each of them. Now, I'm not big on calling men, of any caliber, *dogs* but I am big on Matthew 7:6(NKJV): "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." And so, I'll take Mr. Mafu's "free dog usage" as...poetic symbolism (LOL). What I *do* enjoy is his "cut the crap" approach. Knowledge comes to save us in so many forms (Hosea 4:6). Truth comes to set us free in so many ways too (John 8:32)! After reading some of his work, he definitely brings a new approach to "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men." (I Corinthians 7:23-NKJV)

Check it:

10 Questions to Ask Yourself (re: Lessons About Dogs)

1) Do You Undervalue Yourself? When a woman doesn't value herself, when a woman doesn't believe that she is a woman of worth, she puts out a strong scent to all dishonorable males. Ladies, hear me clearly on this crucial point: being a woman of worth and a woman of value is a CHOICE that only you can make. Once you decide you are worthy of love, respect and honor, you put out a scent that draws honorable men and repels the dogs.

2) Are You Willing to Have Sex Outside of Marriage? Women who are willing to have sex without the protection and benefit of a marriage covenant automatically devalue themselves. Their decision screams OPEN HOUSE to all vagabonds and sexual squatters.

3) Do You Live in a Fantasy World?  Some women make themselves easy targets  for dogs because they live in a fantasy world. They have been dreaming of being swept off their feet by a "Knight in Shining Armor" while totally rejecting the fact that multitudes of "Knights in Pining Armor" are on the prowl.

4) Are You a Sex Trader? This may sting a little, but surely you have heard about these types of females? They sex men up in return for materialistic favors. Sane people call it prostitution, but these females classify what they do as reasonable restitution.

5) Do You Intentionally Overlook Bad Behavior? Some women see and feel their man's volatile temper, lies, abuse, drug/alcohol/pornography addiction, infidelities, homosexuality and other misogynistic ways. Yet, they bull-headedly proceed forward in the relationship anyway.

6) Are You a Simple-Minded Woman? Proverbs 9:13 says, "A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing." To be simple-minded means to be easily seduced. When it comes to men, the one word to describe this type of woman is "easy"! Men don't have to do or say much to get with them. They sincerely believe all men are honorable. They prove their baseless theory by recklessly putting their faith in untrustworthy men.

7) Do You Have a Spirit of Rebellion? The scent of rebellion is like an enticing aroma to woman haters. They easily sniff out rebellious females. These women won't listen to caring family, friends or relatives. In their minds they have got life and men figured out....at least that's what they adamantly believe.

8) Do You Have the Spirit of a Strange Woman? Proverbs 22:14 says, "The mouth of a strange woman is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein." A strange woman is a woman who has altogether rejected God.

9) Does All of Your Information About Men Come from Females? When everything a woman has learned about men comes only from females she has put herself at a hazardous disadvantage. Ladies, be crystal clear on this point: no matter how intelligent you are, there are certain things women WILL NEVER comprehend about men..NEVER!

10) Do You Have Any Relationship Training? The women who answer "No" to this vital question are sitting targets for dogs. Dishonorable males bank on women not understanding: a) The current day dynamics of love, sex, relationships and marriage; b) The difference between honorable men and dishonorable males; c) The various snare, traps and tricks used by scheming males; d) When a man has mobilized himself for marriage; e) How God warns you about dangerous males; f) How to tell when a man is wearing masks; g) How to tell when a man is an abuser; h) What true love is. No woman should be dating, let alone getting married, until she has been trained to reign in the area of love, sex, relationships and marriage. Women who roll the dice and wing it, rarely win at love.

The Ten Most Dangerous Mistakes Women Make

MISTAKE #1: Betting Your Love Life on His "Potential": Do you know any women who want the man they're dating to behave differently? Of course you do. And, just like me, I'm sure you have friends who date guys who don't have much going for them or who don't treat them very well. Somehow these women always have an excuse for the guy's shortcomings. What's going on here? It's actually very simple. Women (and men) don't base their choices of men on how "nice" or "good" someone is to them day-to-day. Women choose the men they do because they feel a powerful GUT LEVEL ATTRACTION for them. And, guess what? Some women will continue to put up with a guy who doesn't treat them very well, sometimes for months or years...But why in the world would a woman do that? Well, to put it simply, they confuse the strong attraction they feel for the guy with a deeper "connection". Women who do this are doomed to end up in failed relationships with the "wrong" guys. How do I know? Because I've seen it at least a hundred times.

MISTAKE #2: Assuming You "Get" Men and Their Psychology: Men are different from women. You need to accept this fact, and deal with it...As you probably already know, men are generally more visual. As a result, they often don't understand non-verbal communication as well as women. And men often lack what women have in emotional awareness and "intuition". Women don't seem to remember this about men.

MISTAKE #3: Pretending to Be Something for a Man: In the desire to please a man, women are constantly doing things to get a man's attention, to get him to like them or to make him more attracted or in love with them. Another HORRIBLE idea. Lots of women mistakenly think that doing unusual things to try and get a guy's attention will make him magically see what a great catch they are and want to be with them. Wrong. Men YOU TRULY WANT are never attracted to the types of women who kiss up to them, make weak plays for affection or complain to get what they want...EVER. Don't get me wrong here. Things like being sexy for a man or encouraging him to share his feelings can be good, but it has to be genuine, unselfish and, most of all, timely.

MISTAKE #4: Sharing How You "Feel" Too Early with Him: Another huge and unfortunate mistake that most women make with men is sharing how they "feel" too early on. Listen...Attractive, single, successful men are rare. They get A LOT of attention from women. Most women don't realize this, but attractive men get approached in one way or another all of the time by women. And guess what? Attractive men usually have dated a lot of women. That's right. They have EXPERIENCE.  They know what to expect. And one thing that turns an attractive man off and sends him away running faster than just about anything is a woman who starts off saying, "You know, I really, REALLY like you" after one or two dates. This signals to the man that you're just like one of those stereotype women who wants to rush into a relationship and control herself from wanting a man to fulfill them and complete their lives. This does NOT spell ATTRACTION for a man. Don't do it. Lean back. Relax. There's a much better way...

MISTAKE #5: Misreading the Important "Signals" That Men Send: Men are constantly communicating how they feel about a woman and giving away big secrets about themselves. Most women don't pay attention to these signals or recognize them for what they really are. The signals men send have four main levels: a) Social: Where the man is at in his own life---stability, confidence, direction; b) Emotional: Whether or not he's "emotionally available"; c) Physical: If he's attracted to you...and for what reasons; d) Love State: If he's open to building and growing a relationship in the future. The funny thing is that men send signals in these areas completely by accident. That's the great news to women...Men can't help it! You need to learn to recognize these signals to get anywhere serious with a man.

MISTAKE #6: Relying on Your Natural Ability to Judge a Man's Character: People aren't easy to figure out, especially men...Getting the wrong messages from men causes women more pain and heartache than any other issue around. You can avoid this pain if you learn to identify a good man from a bad one.

MISTAKE #7: Expecting a Relationship to Make You Happy: A mistake I've seen women make is thinking a guy will change her life and make her happy and fulfilled. And sure, there are situations and relationships where this happens. But those are exceptions, not the rule. Nothing says "Run!" to a man faster than hearing or sensing that a woman immediately wants him to take care of her. And the men who ARE looking for this kind of situation aren't exactly the most healthy, loving, nurturing people out there. Think instead, "controlling, macho, or serious Mom Issues!"

MISTAKE #8: Trying to "Convince" Him to Like You or Love You: What do most women do when they meet a man that they REALLY like...but he's just not that interested or isn't as serious? Right! They try to "convince" the man to feel differently. Well, I have news for you....YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE HOW A MAN "FEELS" WHEN IT COMES TO ATTRACTION! Never, ever, ever. You cannot convince a man to feel differently about you with "logic and reasoning". Think about it. If a man doesn't "feel it" for you, how in the world do you expect to change that by being "reasonable" with him? But we all do it. Men are the worst at this, by the way. They're always complimenting women who don't like them and buying them gifts. Women like the behavior sometimes, but it NEVER makes the woman like the man. She might enjoy what she gets out of it, but it doesn't change the way she FEELS about him. When a man just isn't interested, women will try and chase, compliment, convince and do their best to change his mind with logical and rational approaches. Bad idea. Another one that will never work.

MISTAKE #9: Not Knowing What to Do in Each Type of Situation: A man has a clear idea of what he wants from a woman. And I don't just mean sex. I know it might be hard to believe, but if you're out of a date with a man he already has an idea of what he wants from you. And if you don't know HOW to find this out and you just sit there looking at him and flirting, or trying things you think will make him want you, he won't help! If you don't know what to do in each situation, you'll probably screw it up...and LOSE EVERYTHING.

MISTAKE #10: Not Getting Help: This is the biggest mistake of all. This mistake keeps women from EVER having the kind of success and finding the kind of man and relationship that they truly want.

The (10) Men You Need to Avoid

1) Men Who Are Cruel: Simply put, there are men who are monsters hiding behind a thin veneer of charm and sanity. There is nothing in the world as ugly or damaging as a cruel man. For some reason, there are men out there who take only joy in seeing someone in pain (I don't mean like in dull headache kind of pain---I mean like a big knock on the head pain). People say it's a power thing, but I know it's a sickness thing. It's sick to be you if you are with someone like him.

2) Men Who Only Think with Their Sticks: Well, as we well know, the streets to the courthouse are littered with broken marriages caused by men who think with their sticks and not with their brains...Know that you've got a weasel in your arms and throw him away before he puts you on the front pages of the daily newspaper for murder.

3) Men Who Refuse to Grow Up: Other than the normal guy who wants to have his ego stroked constantly and only do what he wants to do, there are those guys who really are babies---selfish, spoiled, useless little boys who don't understand the concept of responsibility or self-respect. These men are the ones who can't keep a job, who blame everyone else for their own stupidity and laziness, who are constantly outraged that the world is not giving them the respect they deserve. Clueless, they never realize that they are, in fact, getting the respect that they deserve.

4) Men Who Are Way Too Paranoid: Something about these green-eyed goblins drives them to think you are cheating, even when you are with them. They are the ones who seem to be so confident at first, flirting with you and attracted to your ability to flirt back. You date them and find they really don't like your clothes (too revealing), your car (too flashy), your friends (sluts), your family (too nosy), your job (too demanding) until you wake up one day to find the only thing you have left in your life is a miserable, paranoid, weird, violent man who can't stand you out of his sight but can't stand the sight of you.

5) Men Who Think They Are Better Than You: Have you met him? He's all about feeling superior. Nobody is good enough for him. He has a laser sharp tongue and can shred anything in sight until it lies in tatters in front of him. This cold dead fish is unable to break into a smile for fear of splitting his face. He simply takes comfort in feeling that he is better than everybody else.

6) Men Who Are Prettier Than You: It's one thing to date a sexy honey who looks like Brad Pitt; it's quite another story to be with someone who makes you feel like a manly cow just by standing next to him. You know the type, don't you? He's the "metro man" who spends more time fluffing his hair just so and takes more time doing it than you would spend painting a barn door.  Ladies, the secret to feeling pretty and feminine is to never date a man that's more beautiful than you and more delicate than you. So, stop feeling like the turd that's drying out in the sun and dump the whiny narcissist.

7) Men Who Think They Know You: These are the guys who think they are Freud. They spend all of their time thinking and little time actually doing anything constructive. They have put a big label on you after one date and one night of conversation. He's the guy who sits there watching you, with that stupid smug "I knew it" look on his hound-dog face. He's clearly thinking that by putting a label on you he has you all figured out and knows just what to do to fix you.

8) Men Who Love Sports Way Too Much: There's a fine line between a great guy who loves sports and the raging maniac that loves sports way too much. How can you love sports TOO much? men might ask in befuddlement. For most women, it's obvious. A guy loves sports too much when they would rather watch a game than spend time with them.


9) Men Who Are Damaged and Like It: He's the guy who seems so sensitive and caring when you first meet. He's able to share with you the heartbreak of a broken relationship. You only find out after a few more encounters that he's still nursing a broken heart from the relationship he had with someone over ten years ago. You'll slowly realize that he's not so much heartbroken as committed to never caring about someone again. No matter how much time you spend together you can never get through. Face it, you never will. The padding around his heart (and his skull) is so thick a neutron bomb won't pierce through it. So, give up and get going. He's like a drippy faucet that slowly wears you down with false hope until you just want to smash it.

10) Men Who Are Always Pissing on Everything: You know the type: for him nothing you do is good enough. You're too stupid, you're too fat, you're too mouthy. Well, the truth is the guy is an idiot trained from his birth by his Neanderthal dad to piss all over you and everything you do. Avoid him like you would a pounding headache.

The Differences Between BOYS, DOGS and MEN


Keep scores in a relationship
Compare you with other women
Lack patience
Resist change


Lack respect
Don't respect marriage
Use two heads
Have no respect for their mothers
Treat women like property


Embrace change
Protect their women
Provide for their women
Lead their women

Just in time for Thanksgiving (LOL)! A BIG OLE PLATE OF FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

Take it all in.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Men, you'll never be a good groom to your wife unless you're first a good bride to Jesus.”---Timothy Keller

Yeah. Well.

You know how they say that what's wrong with a lot of women is that they're married to the *wedding*? Yeah. I'm starting to think that what's wrong with a lot of men is that they are married to the *wedding night*. Both are just a few moments. Marriage was meant to last a lifetime.

Good word, Mr. Keller. Good word, indeed!


"On Fire": Do You HAVE Feelings or CREATE Them?

"If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far."---Daniel Goleman

In spite of the fact that I can count on less than three fingers how many people I've ever seen that look like me on the show (or shoot, in the city of Seattle for that matter-LOL), I am indeed a "Fraiser" fan. While flicking through the channels not too long ago, I heard one of the characters on the show say, "Failure is a result, not a cause." That caused me to pause. And watch. Further.

As I listened to several of Fraiser's past loves "talk it out" with him, the first thing I thought was, "Hmph. Just another reason to guard your heart for THE ONE instead of A ONE. *Sometimes* a multitude of counsel is mistaken for a handful of confusion." The other? That this resolve was stellar (paraphrase): "You didn't HAVE feelings for Lana. You CREATED feelings for her."

Hmph. I wonder if we respect that power within ourselves: the power to not look at what things *are* but rather *create* them to be what we want them to be. At least momentarily. Sometimes in peaks of great neediness.

That led me to do some thinking about emotional awareness in general. There is a great article that I read earlier today that stated that the benefits in having it are so that you can:

Recognize who you are: what you like, what you don’t like, and what you need
Understand and empathize with others
Communicate clearly and effectively
Make wise decisions based on the things that are most important to you
Get motivated and take action to meet goals
Build strong, healthy, and rewarding relationships

I like how the first point focuses on *self* and the last one focuses on *others*. And, I don't know about you, but I definitely think that as we come to beginning of another Thanksgiving and the end of another calendar year, it's worth exploring the question:

"In matters of the heart, what do you HAVE? And what do you CREATE? ALL BY YOURSELF?"

Oh, and it really was a good "Fraiser" episode. You can check out the portion that I was referencing in this blog here:

Definitely some food for thought. About the "root" of our "trees" (Matthew 12:33).

Lech Lecha,


Monday, November 14, 2011

"On Fire": QUOTE OF THE DAY (and Then Some!)

“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”---Maureen Dowd

I was sitting here thinking about a topic of conversation that I've been having with more and more *single women* in their late 30s-early 40s about how they are not where they thought they would be. Relationally. And then, I revisited the stats on divorce. Hmm. I wonder how many have preferred the "glass half full" perspective that they, in a good way, represent many of the *married women*, who, *in hindsight*, realized that they were *so desperate* to get married that...they settled. For less. That they are the single women who decided, "I want to be married *one time* the right way rather than one time---or three times---the wrong way." I wonder how many of them have "forgotten" that being single right now, for most, is a choice. Meaning: there were opportunities to settle. THEY. JUST. DIDN'T.

And that's a good---no, GREAT thing!

And then, as a 37-year-old woman, I thought about the times I've settled. *The many times I've settled* and how, when I did that in a relationship, it was a reflection of so many other areas of my life. Just as I was sharing with someone turning 35 earlier today, if nothing else breaks you out of the "settle cycle", let how precious time is do it. *We are to wait on God; not wait on what's less than God's best. And yes, he usually shows us signs to understand the difference*. One of them:

"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."---I John 3:18(NKJV)

This means that love is an action word. This means that LOVE. MAKES. PROGRESSIVE. STEPS. If you're in something, and it's godly, it's making *godly progress*. You're (both) *moving forward*. Time is being *mutually honored*. And decisions based on this are being *evidently made*.

Sometimes we're so busy "wanting what we want" that we don't step back to see *if we really want it*. At least in the way that we're getting it (I'm actually penning a devo on that as we speak!). And Maureen is so right: once we're in that space, we end up not just getting less than we should...but even less than that!

Anyway, if you think that's you, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) an article with some helpful advice:

"First, acknowledge what settling for less does to a person. When you settle for less, your true desires are not fulfilled. You may learn to accept where you are, but inside you will always have a longing for more and it will slowly eat away at your soul until you act on it.

Next, make a conscious decision not to settle for less. Don’t accept mediocrity. In fact, if you want to be truly happy don’t even accept 'good'. There is a saying: 'learn to say no to the good to allow room for the great.'

Finally, take the necessary actions to change your life. This means moving on from unfulfilling relationships, switching to a satisfying career, etc."

UNFULFILLING. What a fitting word being that King David once blessed us with, "May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and FULFILL all your purpose." (Psalm 20:4-NKJV) If it is indeed Adonai's will for you to be married (Matthew 19), then it is *a part of your purpose*, which means it will be something that *fulfills you*. This means that it will *satisfy* you. To "satisfy" is not just to "to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.)", but it will also "GIVE FULL CONTENTMENT TO", it will (love this!) "to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision" and it will "to give assurance to; convince". Real talk: if you're not seeing evidence of this, YOU ARE SETTLING.

You know, on here, this subject matter came up not too long ago. Adonai *must* be wanting some people to *really get this* before 2012. So often we say that he didn't warn us. When the *free-setting-from-bondage truth* (John 8:32) is...*we just didn't listen* and the "scary thing about that" is: 

"God has no use for the prayers of the people who won't listen to him."---Proverbs 28:9(Message)

Acts 1:7 (Message) indeed does tell us that "Timing is the Father's business." What I'm learning? Is what he *will not change* is what is not *within his will*. And once he makes that *abundantly clear* to keep focusing on it...that is not respecting his timing...*or my time*.

And speaking of time, I have an article to pen, so I'm out. I'll be praying in the meantime, though.

Lech Lecha. *For real*.

"You were bought with a price. Do not become slaves among men." (I Corinthians 7:23-NKJV) AMEN!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Good Exercise for Those Who Journal: "20 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Sunday"

Yep. Best way to break a cycle is to notice you are in one. Best way to make progress is to notice where you are moving forward, where you are going backwards...or if you're even moving at all (more people tread than they think they do!).

1) What did I learn last week? If you have trouble answering this question, it’s time for a change.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should learn something new every week.

2) What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week?Reflecting on your accomplishments is a healthy way to raise self confidence and contentment.  It’s also an effective way to track your progress.

3) Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why?It may open up your mind to new passions and goals, or simple pastimes worth revisiting.

4) What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? Everything else is secondary, and should be treated as such.  Nevertheless, this question will also shine light on other noteworthy tasks.

5) What can I do right now to make the week less stressful?Set reminders in your calendar, get your laundry done, fill the car with gas… organize yourself.

6) What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week? The idea here is to learn from your struggles and better equip yourself for future encounters.
7) What was last week’s biggest time sink?Steer clear of this in the future.  Setup physical barriers against distractions if you have to.
8) Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped?Physical clutter, mental clutter… eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may shine bright.
9) What have I been avoiding that needs to get done?Pencil in a time to get these things done.  For any 2-minute or less tasks, consider scheduling them first thing Monday morning.
10) What opportunities are still on the table? If it’s still available and you want it, make a concrete plan to go after it this week.
11) Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to?Regular communication can solve problems before they fester.  Always keep an open line of communication to those around you.
12) Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’?Take time each week to thank the people who have helped you.  Your kind gesture will not go unnoticed.
13) How can I help someone else this coming week?The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.  If you help them, they will remember you when you need help.
14) What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years? You’ll never make any progress in life if you don’t setup realistic goals for yourself.
15) Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? If the answer is no, something needs to change.
16) What’s the next step for each goal?Knowing the next step is the key to accomplishing the whole.
17) What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week?The answer can act as a great source of motivation.  If nothing exists, schedule something to look forward to.
18) What are my fears? Consciously address your fears each week and slowly work on resolving them.  It’s all about taking baby steps.
19) What am I most grateful for? It’s a smart way to keep things in perspective, and something you should never lose sight of.
20) If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with?Another helpful reminder… Life is short.  Spend more time with the people you care about.

I recommend actually keeping these entries in a journal and dating them every week so that you can see the growth. Or where you need to grow. Anyway, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) this exercise here.



An Ounce of Prevention: "12 Signs YOU'RE Not Ready for Marriage"

Good one, er 12, "Essence Magazine"...

1) You're More Concerned with the Wedding Than the Marriage. Often, more time is spent preparing and agonizing over the wedding details than actually considering the marriage. If you know more about the flowers at your upcoming wedding than you do about your partner’s debt situation, marriage ain’t for you.

2) The Trust Isn't There Yet. Trust Is critical. However, I find that some people don’t believe it’s possible to “fully” trust anyone, let alone a future spouse. If this is your challenge, you’re setting yourself up for a tumultuous relationship. Trust is belief in one’s integrity. No relationship can survive without trust.

3) You Can't See Yourself Parenting Their Child. When you enter a relationship with a single parent, you enter a relationship with their children, as well. I’ve heard countless stories of people saying “I love the person but just don’t love his/her kids.” This unfortunately is an unworkable situation. Children are not accessories to be included or not, they are a permanent part of the equation.

4) You Haven't Been Dating for Long. This is one category where statistics speak volumes. Most studies show a clear distinction in the divorce rate based on the number of years a couple dates. If you date and get married in less than two years, divorce rates are measurably higher than dating and marrying with more time under our belt. An interesting twist to these studies is dating too long before getting married has negative consequences, as well (anything over five years has high divorce rates).

5) Your Vitals Aren't Strong. If you’re headed to the altar without your relationship vitals in place, I call this settling. Relationship vitals are your values, personality type, and non-negotiables. These are all categories you should know and never amend for anyone. Your vitals are so important because the key pillars to a successful relationship are communication and conflict resolution. Met relationship vitals give you the optimal chance to exchange ideas and work through problems, when they arise.

6) You're Not Ready for Compromise. The pastor that counseled my wife and me before we got married told us something we’ll never forget – “You can’t have a successful relationship (romantic or platonic) unless you have a willingness to compromise.” When times get tough, there is one of two ways we react. Either we become selfish and focus on self or we become selfless and focus on our loved ones. If you (or they) are the former, marriage is not the right move.

7) You're Being Pressured. Are you getting married because of threats or ultimatums? If this is the case, you shouldn’t be getting married. Marriage should be entered by the free will of two people who love and respect one another. If you’re being pressured to get married, it’s time to reevaluate the basis of the relationship.

8) You Don't Speak Their Love Language. I’ve often said Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages” is the bible of relationships. In it, he paints a very compelling argument that an inability to speak or receive the love language of your partner is a recipe for disaster. Not giving love in a language they understand or receiving love in your language means you and your partner may never truly feel love.

9) You're Not Sexually Attracted to Each Other. Plain and simple, he can be the most wonderful guy in the world, have the potential to set the record for best husband and father on the planet, but if you’re not sexually attracted to him, your relationship will go south quickly.

10) You're Battling Addiction or Mental Health Issues. Pathology is something that does not get enough attention when we talk about relationships. Nearly 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from negative pathology. This means one in 25 people will have the disorders associated with ‘no conscience’ which include antisocial personality disorder, sociopath, and psychopath. Bottom line is that a healthy mind is a prerequisite to a healthy relationship.

11) You're Investing More Than You Can Afford to Lose. The joining together of two people is also the joining together of two families and circles of friends. Social tension is often cited as a top reason for divorce. You must ask yourself “at what cost am I in this relationship?” If you have to give up your friends, or family, the cost is too high. Reason being, if it all falls apart, you’ll be both emotionally and socially bankrupt. Like Dr. Phil said, “it is better to be healthy alone, than sick with someone else.”

12) Your Mind Still Wanders. If you’re apprehensive about marriage because you feel that someone better (looks or general attributes) could be around the corner, marriage ain’t for you. When you get married, you should feel confident that the person you’re meeting at the altar is the best for you and life without them is imaginable.

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION FOR SURE (you can read it again if you'd like here).



Thursday, November 10, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: "Why Women Should Never Ask"

Yeah. Well.

Y'all know me. I think the Lord works in a *myriad of ways* and there were some *lasting and happy marriages* in the Bible where the woman didn't wait on the man to...ask. However, this author's "method behind the madness" perspective and reasoning, I *do* support. It's definitely something to think about. *On the front end*:

"If you want to date guys you’ll be glad to marry one day, then don’t give him a pass on this first and important test. If a guy isn’t willing to take a risk, initiate and ask you out, he may not be marriage material in the first place. Do you really want to have to prod him to make important decisions for your family the rest of your lives together? You really want a man who’ll take risks for your family. If asking you out is too much, there’s a good chance marriage will be too much as well.

The converse is also true. A mature woman learns to come alongside the leadership of the men in her life; first, her father and then her husband. If she falls into the temptation of asking men out herself, not only is she letting him off easy, she’s showing that throughout their relationship she may struggle to let him lead. A woman who’ll take a position of initiative at the beginning of a relationship is demonstrating a bent toward controlling her surroundings, instead of waiting for and submitting to the leadership of her husband."

You can read the rest of "Why Women Should Never Ask" here.



An Ounce of Prevention: "Basic Introduction to Soul Ties"

How to Break a Soul Tie

Point #3 is...ON POINT:

"Any rash vows or commitments made that played a part in forming the soul tie should be renounced and repented of, and broken in Jesus' name. Even things like 'I will love you forever', or 'I could never love another man!' need to be renounced. They are spoken commitments that need to be undone verbally. As Proverbs 21:23 tells us, 'Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.' The tongue has the ability to bring the soul great troubles and bondage."

The article shows the healthy and unhealthy side of soul ties. Definitely worth a once (or twice) over.



An Ounce of Prevention: QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I have everything I wanted -- but I wanted all the wrong things."

Whew! The article entitled, "Looking for Love: Understanding What You Need" is not one that I agree with *totally* (serial dating ain't really my style), yet that quote up top was *definitely* worthy of giving it a shout out. This part too: 

"'If you are looking to a partner to make you feel worthwhile, to make you feel happy, to rescue you from a bored or unhappy life, if you are seeking someone to make you feel complete or whole -- well then you have some work to do, because these are needs that are never going to be met by any one other than yourself,' says Sugrue. 'To put those demands on someone else is to set up yourself -- and the relationship -- for failure.'"

You know, I was trying to figure out why *so much* is coming forth this month and then I looked to the left of the blog and realized that "On Fire" turns "2" this month (on the 21st, to be exact!). I guess Adonai wants us to go into the new calendar year *really clear* on a few things (LOL). I ain't mad at him!

Lech Lecha, Ladies...


"On Fire": Everything You Love. Nothing You Expect.

"For those who love what you reveal, everything fits—no stumbling around in the dark for them."---Psalm 119:165(Message)

"Expect your every need to be met. Expect the answer to every problem, expect abundance on every level…"---Eileen Caddy 

There's a verse in Jeremiah (31:3-Message Version) that says, "Expect love, love, and more love!"

Watch this...

Just now, while doing some emailing, in the background noise of the television, I heard a car commercial (not sure which one...sorry) that simply said (at the end), "Everything You Love. Nothing You Expect."

Immediately, I Googled the phrase to see which car company was using it and look at what I found instead: a married couples' blog: "Marriage: Nothing you expect, but everything you could hope for". I read a bit of it. I liked this a lot right here:

"In Casey, I have someone that I know I can talk to about what happened throughout the entire 11 months and understand where I'm coming from. When we get home I won't have to struggle with trying to explain my experiences and there being no one that I can relate. The other side to that coin is though we have been with each other for the same countries and contacts we have had two very different experiences. Because of our different experiences I have the benefit of a very different perspective than my own. I feel this is one of the greatest advantages of being married and moving on in life with one another. I'll always have Casey's point of view to combine with my own. I'll always be able to see a fuller picture of any shared experience because I get to see it with another set of eyes and one of the purest hearts known to mankind.

Throughout the race I have had Casey to speak life into me. Whether I doubted my ability to share the message the Lord had put on my heart or the effectiveness of my efforts to serve, I have my wife to encourage and challenge me. I have the Love of my life to push me when I need to be pushed and support me when I need to stand firm. I have seen God's hand at work as much in our marriage and my relationship with my wife as I have in any other ministry on the race. I have also been more challenged by what God has shown me through our marriage and through Casey's heart than anything I've experienced in my life."

Indeed, indeed...INDEED, I *love it* when a man praises his rib! However, because I wasn't totally sure what 'the race' was, I did a bit more research on their blog. Ah, they were talking about "The World" race! Here is an excerpt from one of their more recent posts (I'm assuming they are traveling because they haven't put anything up since this past July):

"So much has happened that again, even if I were skilled literary master I couldn't put it all down. Our main goal is to help our teams get to a place where they are intentionally listening for the Lord each and every day. We know the Holy Spirit is actively moving and working through our lives and we hope to help people realize that it's as easy as just slowing down long enough to hear what He has for you. We also hope that we can help our teams realize the importance of just being with the Lord. A missions trip is not a doing, it never has been. If a team goes home and all they can talk about is what they did on their trip and know nothing of what it is just to be in the Lord's presence that they will have missed one of the most important factors of what it is to know Christ and serve Him. I know for me, this has been a journey that I am still very much on and I know Christ will continue to walk me through it. I like being busy, I like to do stuff. I don't like sitting still and just listening to the Lord, at least that's how I used to be. I'm starting to see how amazing it is when you just let the Lord take control and go along for the ride. It's such a beautiful and powerful thing to know that you don't have control but He does. It's the most freeing experience anyone will ever have."

Tom is starting to see how amazing it is when he lets the Lord have control and he just goes along for the ride! *Nice*.

If you spend more time on their blog, you'll see that they're a couple called, at least in this season, to missions work. And indeed, wouldn't that be fitting for the title of this blog? The Lord saw fit to place two people together (and from their "A little about us" section, *quickly*, I might add), to be willing to travel the world and serve others.

In one another, they found love. And in the joining of that union, also so much that they didn't expect!

My bottom line? Those of us who are still waiting for the will of the Lord to *fully manifest itself* in the area of marital covenant, we have to remember what the Word, which is God (John 1:1), tells us: that he does not lie (Titus 1:2). Therefore, when *he tells us* to EXPECT LOVE, that is not a *recommendation*, that is a *command*. When *he* tells us, that when we love what he reveals, *everything fits*...that's not a *guesstimation*, that is a *promise* (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Personally, I have been a big (HUGE) fan of Proverbs 16:33(AMP) for some time now: "The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him]." And looka there: the commercial led me to the blog and the blog led me to this message. We have to be open to the miracles of Adonai's teachings (Psalm 119:18-NCV), whatever way he chooses to teach us.

We serve a mighty big God! Even in our meantime times.

Don't limit him. EXPECT HIM.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: (ANOTHER) QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Your every relationship is a hologram of your life. You cannot hide your self-awareness, your maturity, your self-control, your commitment and your integrity. In every relationship you will show how well you can listen, communicate, initiate change, follow through and deal with problems."---"Emotional Maturity and Emotional Intelligence"

Your every relationship is a "JEM" of your life (LOL). That's a winner right there!

Lech Lecha,


BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "They Were Single Too: 8 Biblical Role Models" (David M. Hoffeditz)

Hook, line and sinker...

"I am comforted to know that God is the one distributing marriage or singleness. The God who called me before He created this world, the One who knows the number of hairs on my head, and who gave His Son for me is the benefactor of these gifts. It is the Lord who has appointed---not Aunt Lilly, not my mother, not my so-called friends, nor that well-meaning church member."---"Paul: The Gift of Singleness", pg.9

Although some of the people in the book ended up married (so I'm still processing the title...just a bit), I did find some nice nuggets within it. Also, if you're someone who wonders if you have the "Gift of Singleness" over being in a *season of singleness*, this might give you *some* of the clarity you seek (personally, I feel that if you desire sex or marriage you don't have the gift. If you'd like a second opinion, check out a more thorough read on the matter here).

Anyway, if you want to see Paul, Anna, Martha, Jeremiah, Ruth, Joseph, Nehemiah and John the Baptist in the "single light", you can get this book here.



An Ounce of Prevention: QUOTE OF THE DAY

"If he's a healthy man, he will never make plans for the future that he does not intend to back up. And he certainly will not say, 'I'm not sure where this relationship is going' and then continue to call you and have sex with you. He will not send messages that are confusing and difficult to decipher."---Dr. Bethany Marshall, author of "Deal Breakers: When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away", pg.205

I mean, we are all praying for a *godly* man, right? God *ain't* the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33), right? That's definitely a 1+1=STABILITY equation.

Amen? AMEN!


BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "Cupidity: 50 Stupid Things People Do for Love and How to Avoid Them" (Hayley DiMarco, Michael DiMarco)

Hook, line and sinker...

"A lot of times when we're hurt, however, it isn't because of sin but because of an offense. When you are offended by someone else, it can feel like an attack. But every time you have trouble getting over something, you have to ask yourself, Was what they did a sin or did they just hurt me? Because last time we checked, hurting you isn't a sin in itself.  Sure, the person may not have acted in what you perceive as love, or even kindness, but there is a distinct possibility that you didn't either. Often, especially in love relationships, we hear things that aren't even said. We misread or read between the lines and project our own emotions and thought patterns onto another person. This is complete Cupidity.

When you make assumptions about people's motives, you are actually operating in deceit. You lie to yourself if you believe that your beloved, someone of the opposite sex, wants the same things you want and thinks the same way you think. That is why it is important to slow down and ask yourself about your grudge or inability to get over anything that your loved one has done. At any point you can't forgive or get over something, you first have to ask yourself, Am I unable to forgive a sin they have committed against me, or am I unable to let go of the pain that they have caused me? If your answer is in the affirmative, it reveals that your focus is inward instead of upward. If someone offended you but not sinned against you, there is really nothing to forgive, since the only thing that really needs to be forgiven is sin. Therefore, it's just a question of can you get over it? If you can't, then you are the one causing the pain in your life and in your relationship. You can't blame it on the other person's action because their action is over; it's your thought pattern that makes it continue. After all, it isn't what happens to you that hurts you but what you think about what happens to you that messes with your mind and emotions. (Except, of course, in case of actual physical pain or abuse, see #25.)

In other situations, you have the power to get over things, to move on and change the atmosphere in your home, no matter what's going on. But it will take a reassigning of your hope. If you keep it all wrapped up in the other person, then you're going to be disappointed. But if your hope is wrapped up in a more godly direction, then you're sure to keep a strong footing. The easiest path isn't always the best one, and choosing to get over something is definitely a hard path. But it is also the most beneficial. After all, "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:14-15). Clearly, if we look at forgiveness in light of this Scripture, it is for our own good. Refusing to forgive not only tortures us mentally but has an enormous impact on our relationship with God."---"Misunderstanding Forgiveness (or Refusing to Get Over It)", pg. 30-31

You can cop this path to freedom (LOL) here.



Monday, November 7, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: QUOTE OF THE DAY.

"Attempting to go from booty call to relationship is like closing the door after the horse has bolted. The likelihood is that if you did get to know the person, the sex could quite easily take a nosedive, after all if you both had such great personalities, how did you end up leapfrogging the formalities and saying screw getting to know each other, let’s just screw?"

As if that's not enough to pull the chastity belts (or purity rings) out once and for all, you can read more here.

'Nuf said. Speaks volumes.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "More Than Me: The 4 Essentials of Relational Wholeness" (Jim Petersen, Glenn McMahan, David A. Russ)

Hook, line and sinker:

"On our wedding day, in all our youthful naivete, my wife and I (Glenn) did at least one thing right: We made a decision that our togetherness would never be called into question, no matter what hardships we might face. 

Since then we've experienced the same difficulties in life that most people face---financial uncertainty, the exhausting but rewarding job of raising children, emotional ups and downs, the death of close relatives, times of loneliness, and the ever-present demands of work.

After more than twenty-one years, our marriage is still beautiful and strong. There is not an ounce of doubt about the permanence of our relationship. We're not the most exciting and vivacious people in the world, but we make a good team. We have a very peaceful relationship. There is no power struggle between us, and therefore almost no conflict. Our values and beliefs are the same. We accept one another when we fail.

But the marriage is not perfect. The struggle in recent years has been to find time to enjoy life together the way we did when we were younger. The pressures of work and raising children can steal the spark and spontaneity from life. As a husband, I love my wife and kids so much that, for fear of making a painful mistake, I often fail to be decisive in big decisions. That can leave my wife feeling like she's in limbo. And there are days when a sullen mood can get the best of me, which saps life from her.

Nevertheless, our marriage has always been a refuge for our souls. If the world around us fell apart, we know that we would be standing together, arm-in-arm among the ruins. Musician Bruce Cockburn wrote lyrics that describe well what I feel about Michelle:

If this were the last night of the world what would I do?
What would I do that was different unless it what champagne with you?

Our unity hinges on our mutual belief in God. We love because he loved us first. We forgive one another because he has forgiven us. As we each fix our eyes upon Christ and follow him, he draws us together. His presence in our daily lives strengthens us and counsels us.

When we first married, we decided that we would make Jesus and his Word the foundation and the North Star for our lives..."---"Epilogue", pg.211-212

You can cop it (for you or someone else) here.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: "The List Flip: What Makes YOU Marriage Material?"


"Make a new list that focuses on you! We are so quick to make a man list, but have you ever stopped to think what makes desirable to a man for marriage. Begin to understand and investigate you own worth. I’m pretty sure men have lists too! Stop focusing so much on the list you have for a husband and start developing qualities about yourself that you’d like to bring to the table in marriage. Perhaps you’d like to play a major role in your family’s financial decisions. Start making moves to become disciplined with money, get yourself out of debt or learn how to better manage money. Maybe you’d like to get a better job, earn more money, further your education. All of these goals will shape who you are and what you contribute in terms of your talents within a marriage. Maybe you have some old emotional baggage you need to deal with before you can even receive the blessing of a husband. Either way, get you together so that you can bring something of value to your marriage."

You can read the entire piece here.

Wonder what's up with *this month*. Lots of wisdom coming forth. In abundance.