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Traits of a Long and Happy Relationship

images (11)We all want to know the secret of a long and happy relationship. There is an excellent study of adult development that examined people continuously for six to eight decades. This Aging Well(1) study focused on three groups. First is sample of 268 socially advantaged Harvard grads born around 1920. The second group is 456 inner city men born around 1930. The third group is 682 middle-class intellectually gifted women born around 1910. The study involved eight initial in-depth psychiatric interviews to establish a baseline. The follow-up study involved interviews with them, their parents and teachers to get more objective information. Most of subjects were then followed continuously until they passed away.

To bypass all the statistics, the task of generativity was the best predictor of an enduring and happy marriage in old age. Generativity is basically how involved we have been as parents. We generate and raise our children with a varying degree of involvement. The top four traits from the study for a long and happy marriage are generativity, commitment, tolerance and humor.

Generativity is a measure of our caretaker abilities extended into retirement. The skills we use in child rearing certainly include dedicated care-taking, especially when children are young. We make a long-term commitment to our children as a matter of course, and we all know how much tolerance we need when they become adolescents. Humor is a good coping mechanism that helps relieve stress and lighten the intensity of the situation.

Good care-taking starts with an attitude of embracing the importance of relationships in general. Those who had a positive and supportive role model from their parents tend to emulate those behaviors when they become parents. But, those who did not develop basic trust with their primary caretaker tend not to be good caretakers themselves.

Relationship skills learned in childhood are usually transferred to marriage and other emotional relationships as well.The study mentioned above may suggest that if your partner was not involved with child-rearing, did not bond in childhood, or is not involved in a care-taking role at work, he may not be involved with the care-taking demands of your relationship going forward.

 

About Promise Rings

download (9)A promise ring is a symbol of commitment and most people give it as a pre-engagement ring. If you are buying the ring to your loved one to show that you are committed to him/her, you need to be specific as to what you are promising.

Tips To Consider When Buying The Ring

You need to know the purpose that you have with the ring. If you are giving the ring as a sign of friendship, you should buy something that is simple and inexpensive. If on other hand your partner is looking for a marriage proposal, you should go for a traditional ring. To avoid misinterpreted surprise, you should be clear to your partner as to why you are giving the ring.

For your partner to like the ring, you should ensure that it’s something that he/she can wear. This calls for you to know the right size that you should go for. You should also know the career of your partner. If he/she is involved in a job that involves a lot of manual work, you should go for a ring made from hard material such as titanium.

Ways Of Giving The Ring

Although, you can go directly to your partner and give him/her the ring, it’s wise that you present it in a special way in order to create the impact that you want. Here are some of the ways in which you can present the ring:

Rose bud: red roses show that you are romantic. You should take a single red rose and hide the ring inside an unopened bud. You should put the bud in a vase and place the vase in a prominent location such as office desk where your partner will easily see it.

Chocolate box: you should buy a heart-shaped chocolate box and place the promise ring inside it. You should then wrap the box in a beautiful paper and tie it with a fancy bow. You should then give the box to your partner who will see the ring.

Dessert tray: here you should take your partner to dinner in a fancy restaurant. For ideal results, you should always make arrangements with the restaurant manager in advance and share your plan to present the ring. After you have taken your meal, you should ask the waiter to give you the dessert tray. One of the desserts should be topped with the ring and your partner will see it.

What Is Grace and Where Can I Find It?

images (10)The word Grace is the basis of all my understanding of a Christian belief and an American value system that I hold dear. Yet, only the unmerited grace of God can save anyone anywhere in the world of any religious background. No one can have a claim of entitlement to God’s grace, Christian or Non-Christian, and it is only by his generosity that salvation is even possible for any of us.

Grace is the love and mercy we are given by the Creator of Heaven and Earth because we are thought to be worthy to possess it by his holiness. We primarily refer to God as our Creator and Muslims refer to Him as Allah. Pre-Islamic Christians and Jewish people referred to Him as Allah long before this however so I personally believe He is one and the same. I’ve known many Muslims having been in Iraq and Kuwait for nearly nine years during both war and peacetime. Grace is something open to all people on this planet earth regardless of religious affiliation. It is not just for Christians only but it is given to all the earth’s inhabitants. Many do not accept this thought pattern nor accept the Christian viewpoint. Our Creator gives us this today even though we are not even close to being as he envisioned us and created us to be. It is an unearned gift. I’m not really worthy but neither are you as hard as you might try to prove you are. God loves you and that’s not a bad thing. That is all you need to know. Accept what you’ve been given and try to appreciate what you have and give back to society in whatever way you know how. Go to Temple, Church, Mosque or whatever is your choice and be thankful while both there and at home or any place in between. God deserves some respect from his children. You don’t need to be disrespectful until such a time when it is too late in your short life. Yes, it is a lot shorter than you might think. It is never too late to begin a Graceful existence from this day forward.

Why not Worship at a church called Grace? “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God and not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

In Bangor Maine, Grace Church is located at 193 Union Street today! You are Welcome to go there and see Grace UMC doing God’s Work in serving the poor and less fortunate in our immediate neighborhood. Some say that “It is the Heart in the Heart of the City”. You may know another church like that. It may not be called Grace but it may have a graceful approach towards the city or community nearby. You could contribute and make a joyful noise unto the Lord. You can accept the graceful gift you have been given. Yes, you were also given a special gift from God. Everyone has something special and many people spend their whole life and not know or even realize what it was. How about you? Start thinking about what it is and unpack your gift and use it wisely. It is never too late to discover it and hopefully not too late to start taking advantage of it. Imagine receiving Grace as well as a special gift from God. The Lord may be your best friend and you either don’t know it or appreciate it if you do.

When you think about the term Grace, what comes to your mind? You might think about an unearned mercy that was given to you by God because you are loved and appreciated as a child and regardless if you are good or of a wayward spirit, you are deeply loved still.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. It is a spontaneous gift from Allah God to man. I believe Yahweh, Allah and God are one and the same. Grace is “generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved”. It has been afforded each of us by the Master of the Universe.

Grace Church in Bangor does the Work we are expected to be doing. Many other houses of Worship do the same I’m sure. If you go to Grace or another like it, you will learn how you can get involved and help in ministry to the poor and less fortunate in our city and neighborhoods or in your neighborhood.

John Wesley believed this about Grace. the believer who repents and accepts Christ is not “making himself righteous” by an act of his own will, such as would alter his dependency on the grace of God for his salvation. Faith and repentance, rather, are the believer’s trust in God that he will make them righteous. Wesley stated that God makes the initial move in salvation, but human beings are free to respond or reject God’s graceful initiative.

John Wesley believed that God provides three kinds of Divine Grace. Prevenient grace is innate from birth. “Prevenient” means “comes before.” Wesley did not believe that humanity was totally “depraved.” He believed everyone is born with a bit of divine grace. It is enough to enable the individual to recognize and accept God’s justifying grace. Justifying grace today is what is referred to as a “conversion” or of being “born again.” God’s justifying grace brings “new life in Christ.” Wesley believed that people have freedom of choice. They can accept or reject God’s justifying grace. Wesley also believed that after accepting God’s grace, a person is to move on in God’s Sustaining grace and toward perfection. He believed people can make sinful choices that will cause them to “fall from grace” or “backslide.” He said it is insufficient to claim God’s salvation and then stagnate, return to sinning deliberately, or not produce any evidence of following Christ. I like the Wesley definition but as you can see it is complicated.

It is time to get back to the basics regardless of what religious affiliation you have chosen or considered. Grace is definitively a good thing to seek out. It may be time to attend a church or house of worship of your choice. You are Welcome to join us at Grace or at any other place. We all need a graceful life even if we don’t understand why. Hope this paper has helped you understand the importance of God’s gift of Grace and your own special gift just for you alone. Two gifts and no two are exactly alike. Truly, it is Amazing Grace.

 

Keys That You Are With The Right Person

images (9)Many people have asked about how you would know that you are with the right person, the one that you were looking for a long time. Some even ask married people how they knew that they met the right one. Here are the things that you should remember, you will meet a lot of people but only one will spark and start a fire in you and become yours for life.

Comfortable

One thing you will feel when you are with right person is that you are more than comfortable with him, you talk about random things without staggering,, confide in him without hesitation and do things you don’t do around others. Getting comfortable with your partner is essential, for both of you will be transparent with one another, no pretensions because you can be YOURSELF with your significant other.

You are not left hanging

No guessing game, you don’t have to ask yourself when he’s going to call or text you, nor when he’s going to turn up and ask you out to spend some time. He will not leave you with all those questions to yourself, he’ll show how valuable you are, call when he says he will and will make a reservation for two on a Saturday night, that’s because he won’t give something to make his girl something negative to think about and he will make a way to get in touch even in the middle of his busy days.

Knows you more than anyone else

Knowing you more than anyone else is a jackpot, because it means that he takes and remembers every detail of you, even the tiniest detail, like how you pick your nose or even your morning routine, that’s the most wonderful thing a man could ever be to his girl.

Respect

You don’t marry nor be with someone who doesn’t respect you, forget loyalty, if he doesn’t respect you then you must let go. Respect is vital in a relationship, because love without respect is useless. For example, he’s asking you to do something you don’t want to do. Moreover is when it comes to privacy, even if you’re married, both must respect each others’ privacy. Respect each other in every terms at all cost, they maybe small deeds but it all means a lot, and respect is much.

Trapped by Love

images (8)Over the past ten years, I’ve worked in a predominately male environment, so I’ve heard one or two men mention the fact that they’d gotten “trapped?” by women. Trapped? I found it very interesting that grown men would use that terminology when describing a consensual relationship between two adults.

I thought that “trapped” was too strong of a word to be used by grown people who had entered relationships at free will.

One day I had what I suppose that you may call an epiphany, I was talking to the Animal Control Officer and he was having a hard time catching a pack of wild dogs. I asked, “Why don’t you put out a trap and catch them?” He shook his head in dismay and said, “I can’t catch them. I’ve put all types of food in the trap. They just will not get in the trap. As a matter of fact when I’m in the area that they are roaming in, as soon as I turn the corner, they look at my truck and run!”

I started laughing. I said, “Do you have your siren or flasher on when you turn the corner?” He said, “No.” I remarked, “Now wait a minute, from everything that I’ve ever read, dogs are color-blind and I doubt that they can read. If your siren isn’t on and you don’t have your lights flashing; how would a dog know your truck from anybody else’s truck?” He said, “I don’t know, all I know is that they do recognize it.”

That told me that even a dog can recognize a trap and once he recognizes that a trap is a trap; the trap no longer effective. Dogs have enough sense not to get into something that they know is detrimental to their freedom. Young men, old men do yourselves a favor and don’t ever tell anyone that a woman trapped or tricked you into doing anything!

That goes for women as well, I’ve even heard women use that lame excuse for relationships that have gone bad. Don’t be so quick to blame someone else for your poor choices. We are blessed with the power of choice. Exercise your power.

When grown people make bad decisions, they should be man or woman enough to be prepared to suffer grown folks consequences and not be so quick to try to put the blame on someone else.

Making Promises to Please People – A Nasty, Harmful Habit

images (7)I frequently give this example and it is potent.

You leave for a trip and your seven year old child reminds you that Friday is her big game. “Will you be back, Daddy?” She asks.

You promise her that no matter what happens, you will be there. You know full well your flight arrives late at night. Yet you promise her.

What just happened?

Three things. One, you made a false promise to someone who trusts you more than anything she knows. Two, you lied to yourself. Three, you felt nothing since the promise was not that important–and even if you did feel a tinge of guilt you are supremely confident you will “make it up to here.” I may add that a fourth thing that has happened is that you may actually feel good that you don’t have to think about it.

All three are devastating to a relationship and fatal to earning someone’s trust, even someone as innocent and immature as a seven year old.

You see, we make many promises that are worthless but may make us feel good momentarily. Like when you promise your wife you will take care of that little handyman job–and never give it a thought.

Why do we do it? There are many reasons.

  • We like to be liked. So it is hard for us to say no, even when it is staring us in the face.
  • We have the best of intentions of keeping promises we have made.
  • It get us away from the hard choices we have to make to keep the promise. Like in the case where you promised to come back early on Friday. You have to reschedule your meetings, rebook the ticket for an earlier flight, etc. etc. Much easier to pacify a little child with a simple lie.

How does it impact your commitment? You see promises that are kept and kept consistently become commitments. When it becomes a part of your lifestyle and your behavior, your word becomes a bond.

So here is my advice.

1. Take all promises seriously.

2. Do not try to “pacify” people with little white lies.

3. Treat unkept promises as a character flaw. Only then will you take your promises seriously.

4. Be discerning in making commitments—saying no may hurt, but it will do far less damage than a promise that is not kept.

Pay special attention to making promises to little ones. They are not only very sensitive, they are more mature in receiving and interpreting signals from their loved ones than we give them credit for.

Marriage and The Fear of Intimacy

download (8)Marriage and the Fear of Commitment

Many years ago my wife and I were surprised when a friend announced that she and her long time boyfriend broke-up. They were together for fifteen years. During that time, each lived in their own apartment, moving back and forth between apartments as it suited them. She asked that he move in but he never did. During that fifteen year period of time she discussed marriage with him many times. He always reassured her that they would marry but that, for one reason or another, they must wait. Finally, they decided to marry and set a wedding date. He then promptly broke off the relationship and she never saw him again. It was rumored that he married someone else but that was never confirmed.

Commitment phobia or the fear of intimacy is all too real. The rate of divorce in the United States is estimated to be about fifty percent. While there are no statistics on how many of these are due to fear of intimacy, there is no question that at least some are. An interesting article in the Huffington Post explains some of the reasons for divorce.

Stefanie Stahl wrote a book entitled, Yes, No, Maybe: How to Recognize and Overcome the Fear of Commitment, that delves into the reasons why some people fear closeness. Stahl points out that marriage does not mean the absence of fear of commitment and that individuals who are married for years can harbor this fear, ultimately spelling the end of the marriage. She goes on to explain some of the many ways intimacy-phobes escape commitment. Here are just a few:

1. Escape through work: As Americans we respect the work ethic but fail to recognize that it can be easily be used to escape from serious relationships. This happens with some medical doctors, lawyers and other professionals. Simply, life can be filled with so many work and volunteer projects that there is no time for intimacy. It’s a good excuse for putting off dating, coming home early, truly being in a marriage, getting married or even getting to know available people.

2. Escape through infidelity: What better way is to get out of a marriage or a serious relationship than to cheat. In effect, it destroys the relationship. One has to wonder how many divorces happen because of just this strategy.

3. Avoiding any kind of relationship: There are those who never get close to intimacy because they make themselves utterly unavailable. For these people and many other commitment-phobes, being in a committed relationship feels too confining and even claustrophobic.

4. Escaping through illness: The “phobe” suddenly develops a toothache or some other problem when it’s time to meet so that the meeting with the supposed lover never occurs.

5. Escape through the loss in sexual interest: In this scenario the “phobe” starts off a relationship very passionately and then totally loses interest so that the partner becomes extremely frustrated and leaves the relationship.

These are just a few strategies that Stahl discusses in her book.

The Causes of Commitment Phobia:

The causes of commitment-phobia are as varied as the people who suffer from it. Typically, many people with commitment issues have complained of having experienced poor romantic relationships in the past or witnessed, first-hand, disastrous relationships such as their parents’ acrimonious relationship. Other common causes of commitment phobia may include:

Fear of, or having had, the relationship end suddenly, without notice or warning signs.
Fear of not being in the “right” relationship.
Fear of, being in an unhealthy relationship (characterized by abandonment, infidelity, abuse, etc.)
Trust issues because of past hurts inflicted by those close to the person.
Childhood trauma or abuse.
Unmet childhood needs or attachment issues.
Complicated family dynamics while growing up.

One of the most profound reasons for the fear of intimacy is what psychologists refer to as attachment. From the time we are born it is important that we are nurtured, held and caressed by our mothers.

However, there are mothers who bring problems to their infant that go back to when they themselves were infants and how they were treated by their mothers. For example, a mother who has been traumatized or is a very insecure and depressed person may not be able to provide the kind and type of nurturing that will help that infant grow into a secure and confident type of person. What this translate into is that this individual will not be able to attach to a significant other in ways that feel safe and assuring. Another way of stating this is to say that our childhood experiences stemming all the way back to infancy, determines how we interact with others and how well we can enter into committed relationships.

Going back to the situation described at the beginning of this article, it is safe to assume that both of these individuals feared intimacy. The boyfriend could sustain the relationship so long as they had separate apartments and had no final date for marriage. Once it was decided they would marry, fears of intimacy took over, probably having to do with loss of control, being swallowed up by the other, and being stuck in a “forever” situation from which there is no escape.

On the other hand, she also had commitment problems. Her’s were manifested in the fact that she could wait around all of those years in the hope that he would marry. As long as he was nearby, she could tolerate what seemed to be his logical reasons for waiting.

In the interests of being fair to her, many people like her are seduced by the promise of marriage at some time in the future only to discover that the future never comes. There are those people who break-up and come together again, always with the promise that they will make it permanent.

 

How to Know If He Loves You

images (5)So here you are, but before you get your hopes up… I need to tell you that there is a 99% chance that this guy isn’t in love with you if you haven’t had sex with him yet.

STOP! Hold your horses, this information doesn’t mean that you should immediately go out and sex him. Before you do that you need to assess a few things like:

– Is he compatible with you?
– Are you attracted to him?
– Is he attracted to you?
– Do you have an emotional bond/connection?
– Is he mature enough to commit?
– Can you see a future with this guy?

In the event that you do have sex with him you need to have ticked all of the above boxes especially the emotional connection box. If a guy doesn’t have an emotional connection to you and the sex is bad to average he will hit the road like Road Runner – beep beep!

He loves me, he loves me not?

It is always hard to tell and the signs vary from man to man but some of the most common ways he will show that he is in love with you is if he…

Replaces I with we.

If you are featuring in his future projections then something is definitely going on.

Treats you with respect.

It may not seem like the most vibrant sign but respect is King to a man. If he respects your opinion and doesn’t belittle you, he values you and your opinion.

Shows you that he cares.

A man who is in love with you won’t make you wonder if he is in love with you he will leave no room for doubt. If you are reading this article, it’s probably a sign that he doesn’t love you.

He introduces you to his friends and family.

If a man doesn’t invite you to meet or socialize with his friends and family then he isn’t at that stage where he wants to be in a relationship with him. Men usually take longer to get to this point than women do.

He wants to protect, provide and take care of you.

He isn’t a PDA (Public Displays of Affection) phobe.

He let’s you know that he is thinking about you. A man who is in love with you will call and text you on a regular basis.

He tells you he loves you. Pretty obvious right!

4 Easy Ways to Capture His Heart

images (6)If you’re a woman who loves your man too much, what are the things that you can do for him to reciprocate your feelings? Or if you are the type who has the tendency to be obsessed with a man, how can you be in a healthy relationship and finally meet you’re Mr Right? These are the questions that women who love too much asks every time. Although they seem really complex and difficult, there are actually a few things that we can begin doing or practicing to get the lifetime partner we desire. And it all begins with ourselves.

Here are 4 easy, realistic ways to capture his heart and make him love you forever.

  • Analyze yourself. Your traits and attitude towards men in general.

Face the mirror and ask yourself, are you desirable? If your answer is No, then your answer is Incorrect. Ask yourself the same question over and over until your answer becomes a YES. Because you are indeed desirable. The problem for women who love too much or at least for those who thinks they are, is the big word Confidence. We tend to cling to men because we feel that nobody else will love us when they leave us. Little did we know that they leave us because we push them away with our possessive attitude. No man would want to be with a girl who thinks they are ugly.

One trick that I learned from a former colleague is to face the mirror as soon as you wake up in the morning. Tell yourself YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL several times until you really feel beautiful with your messy hair, hanging eye bags, puffy cheeks, pale skin, bad breath… Imagine if you can feel beautiful with this look then no other look or situation can mess up your attitude towards the day. DO this and notice change.

  • Analyze the traits of the man you desire. His education level, his likes, and basically what will take him to look up from his phone and take a good look at you

What does he do? What are his hobbies? His family background? Is he the macho or sensitive type? Is he closer to his mom or dad? You might think I am kidding but this is really important. My husband is closer to his dad than his mom. Good thing his dad puts his family first that’s why my husband is the family man that he is.

I believe this is an important question as it might also make you rethink on the “man that you want now” compared to “the ideal man” that you want to spend the rest of your life with. This will also make you in a sense “adjust” your values, your hobbies, your likes with him. If he likes watching basketball like my husband, then you might want to read/research on basketball stuff. If he’s a gamer, you might want to install the same game app in your phone. Sometimes you must meet him halfway without changing yourself completely.

  • Show him you need him while keeping your independence.

The Yin Yang of a woman in a relationship. How to do this exactly is the biggest question. I came to know this after I begin to notice that my guy friends marry single mothers. What is it with single mothers? One, they have a child/children who completes their being. In short, they don’t need a man who can complicate things. So they are very, very independent. But then someone nice will come along. Maybe a guy who accepts her, her situation and her children. And so her happy ever after has arrived. A woman must be independent enough to identify herself as an individual apart from the one she loves too much. And yet make him know that her life would be more meaningful when he’s on it.

  • Make him realize that you “complete him”. Only YOU.

This is the last advice that I have, and this is also the easiest. Being a woman who love too much, this will come naturally for you. I assume that when you say that you love a guy too much means that your favorite song is Cater to you by the Destiny’s Child eh? If you don’t know it then this is part of the lyrics: “Let Me Help You