Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Are you BITTER?

pastor's wife, a resource article on BITTERNESS

Naomi - Embittered

There are some things that aren't supposed to happen. Like outliving your two sons. Or like watching all your plans for a better life disappear into the dust of your husband's grave. It's hard to count your blessings when you're counting alone.

Selections from Ruth 1:6-3, 19-21 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Naomi's husband Elimelech died, and she was left with her two sons. . . . She and her daughters-in-law prepared to leave the land of Moab, because she had heard in Moab that the Lord had paid attention to His people's [need] by providing them food.. . . . When they entered Bethlehem, the whole town was excited about their arrival, and [the local women] exclaimed, "Can this be Naomi?"

"Don't call me Naomi!" she told them. "Call me Mara - for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I left full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has pronounced [judgment], and the Almighty has afflicted me?"

Look At It This Way

Moab literally means ease, and Bethlehem means house of bread. Naomi and her family, scared away by famine, left the land of God - the "house of bread" - to go to the land of ease. They were hoping to find some relief from their troubles, unaware how costly life in Moab would be. Yet widowed, homesick, and alone, Naomi looked past their poor choices and saw a God who deserved all the blame. How easy it is to forget God's face in the pleasant times, only to see his hand everywhere in the bad.

You could be a devoted young mother who must watch her two-year-old child die slowly of cancer while you overhear other parents worry about their children's scratched knees and bruised elbows. You could be a 39-year-old single woman who has served God faithfully for decades and has always longed to be married, only to watch your spiritually shallow 25- year-old friend wed a wonderful godly man. Life isn't fair. Inequities hit us from all sides, prompting those wretched "I'm a victim" feelings. But Scripture presents us with a view of life from the eternal perspective. This perspective separates what is transitory from what is lasting. What is transitory, such as injustice and injury, will not endure; what is lasting, such as the eternal weight of glory accrued from that pain, will remain forever. What could possibly outweigh the pain of permanent paralysis, the pain of a life of singleness, the loss of a child from cancer? The greater weight of eternal glory. One day the scales of justice will not only balance, but they will be weighted heavily - almost beyond comprehension - to our good and God's glory.

- Joni Eareckson Tada

Final Thought
Bitterness is born when we hold on too tightly to the things - even the people - in our lives. Treasure every moment as a precious gift from God, but never claim it as a right.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Church SUED in Dallas because of Church Discipline

[Watermark Community Church]
Pair fights church on sharing confessions
Dallas Morning News, USAMay 28, 2006
Michael Grabell and Jeffrey Weiss
www.dallasnews.com

Exclusive: Watermark says telling others of sins is in bylaws

Does a church have the right to publicly reveal a person's private sins? A Dallas court is being asked to decide whether Watermark Community Church can do exactly that to a man and a woman identified in court records as "John Doe" and "Jane Roe."

Their attorney says that the pair thought they had revealed their sins to Watermark's pastor confidentially and that their behavior should not be made public.

Church officials say they are only following a process of church discipline outlined in the Gospel of Matthew and written into the church's bylaws.

"Basically, we're being sued because we're seeking to love 'John Doe' in accordance with the principles outlined by God's word," said the pastor, the Rev. Todd Wagner.

Neither church officials nor the pair's attorney would specify the behavior involved.

Leaders of the northeast Dallas church said they recently became aware that "John Doe," who joined the church more than a year ago, was "having some struggles in his walk with Christ," Mr. Wagner said.

Church elders began the process of "care and correction" described in Matthew: Confront the person one to one, then with several others, then "tell it to the church." At every step, the person is asked to stop the offending behavior.

In this case, the man refused the private interventions and said he was quitting the church, church officials said. But Watermark's bylaws say a member "may not resign from membership in an attempt to avoid such care and correction."

Watermark's next step would have been to send more than a dozen letters to people who know "John Doe" – half to Watermark members and half to members of other churches who know and have worked with him.

That's when the lawsuit was filed.

"The basis of the lawsuit was the church wanted to go outside of the church and the community at large, including potentially even their employers," said Jeff Tillotson, attorney for the man and woman.

They obtained a temporary restraining order April 28, preventing the church from releasing information about them.

But the order was dismissed May 5 by Associate Judge Sheryl McFarlin after Watermark's lawyers argued that it violated the church's right to freely exercise its religion.

The case is winding its way through appeals.
Mr. Tillotson said the case holds major implications for church members in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

"The typical notion of a Dallasite is that if you don't like a church, you can just leave, and that's that is apparently not shared by some of these churches," he said. "And then when you say I want to get off this merry-go-round, their response is you can't quit to avoid discipline."

Sidebar: BY THE BOOK

Watermark Community church says it relies on this New Testament passage to justify its policy of disciplining members:

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector." Matthew 18:15-17

Making Friends When You're a Ministry Wife

by Mary Manz Simon

Finding time to make a friend and be a friend is always a challenge. But for ministry wives, the issue is far more complicated. For some the role of pastor's wife negatively shapes and stifles the development of personal friendships. You may be among the 45 percent of ministry wives who do not have a close friend. How can you overcome all the potential obstacles?

1. Pray for discernment and wisdom. "I need a Jonathan," confides one veteran pastor's wife. Similarly, we all long for someone with whom, like King David's friend, we can become "one spirit" (Samuel 18:1).

Look before you leap, however. "Be careful about the first people to contact you," one ministry wife cautions. "In four churches over the past 20 years, we've found these people are usually trying to get in good with the new pastor for a power play of some sort." Ask God for a friend and then be patient.

2. Present yourself as a person, not a job description. Some congregations make this easier to say than they do. One Michigan ministry wife said, "When friends introduce me, they always say, 'This is my pastor's wife.' That is the kiss of death."

After more than 25 years as a pastor's wife, I know some people will never see me as a person. I can't change that, so I seek friends among people who relate to me as Mary, not as Hank's wife.

3. Search for friends outside your church. Other ministers' wives in your community, parents of your children's peers or women who share similar activities (i.e., craft classes, local fitness center) may offer great friendship, as well as an environment for non-church related conversation and fun. Friends you make here will not face the obstacle of knowing you as their pastor's wife.

4. Be realistic about friendships. "So much depends on what you are looking for in friends," another pastor's wife said. "I've never looked for a tell-all confidante. I have close friends in every congregation my husband served in from 1956 to 1994. We share recipes, household hints, church work and recreation -- but never gossip. I've always had a lot of close friends, yet there were things we didn't discuss." Don't expect that all your friendship needs will be met in one person.

The level on which we can relate to friends may have to change with the congregation. In some places, God and our husbands may be our only confidants. During those seasons, we must accept the tight limits on friendships. Staying in touch with long-distance friends via phone or e-mail can help. You may have to look beyond your situation by remembering, as one ministry wife says, "I have one standard, provided by Scripture -- not someone else's preconceived notions. Being Christlike is my goal."

As Christian women, we can help, encourage, laugh with and enjoy each other. We can offer or accept support when things are tough. None of these great characteristics of friendships need to be compromised by a ministry wife. In the lean times, we can be assured that when we sense a slight pressure on our shoulder, God is reaching out to give us a hug.

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Taken from Pastor's Family Bulletin, Feb. 2000.Mary Manz Simon is a pastor's wife and award-winning author in Belleville, Ill.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Riding the Ministry-Family Seesaw

a resource article for the frustrated pastor's wife

by Walt and Fran Becker

"When my husband, James, was called to minister five years ago,
he let the church overtake his life. I want to support him,
but I resent his time commitment to ministry in place of our family.

How can I avoid nursing bitterness about my husband's call?
Don't discount your anger; your emotions are a barometer that tells
you something is wrong.
But you're right -- harboring resentment won't help you.

Instead, use your anger to fuel an action plan:

Accept the realities of life in ministry.
Before talking with James about what should change in your home,
remind yourself of what may have to stay the same.
Yes, James needs to spend more time with you and the kids,
but his ministry demands that he sometimes be called away unexpectedly, for example.
Your goal should not be to "steal him back" from ministry but to help him
find a balance between home and work.

Talk about your feelings without attacking him.
If you blurt out, "I hate how much you neglect us!"
you will put your husband on the defensive.
Say something such as, "James, I feel hurt that we don't spend much time
together as a family anymore."

Ask your husband for a spot on his calendar.
Some ministers find it easier to say no to other commitments when they
schedule family time in advance.
Suggest that he set aside regular "dates" with you and the kids,
as well as times (e.g., nightly dinnertime) for the whole family to discuss the day.

Schedule follow-up sessions.
To keep your husband accountable (and you from growing bitter),
agree to talk every few weeks about how each of you is feeling about
the work-family balance.
If over time you are still dissatisfied with the arrangement,
discuss again how both of you can arrange your time to make changes.
For example, if James can't keep weekly dates with each of the kids,
suggest that he start off by spending one-on-one time with each
child every two weeks.
Be reasonable and flexible, but remind James that
you can't compromise on your commitment to the family.
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Taken from Pastor's Family magazine, Feb/Mar 1997.Walt Becker, Ph.D.,
and Fran Becker direct The Cottage at Coronado Island in San Diego, Calif.,
a marital retreat center for couples in ministry.
The Beckers have been married 29 years and have two adult sons.

10 Commandments for Pastor's Wives

on the lighter side :)
1. Thou shalt never have a bad attitude
2. Thou must never become sick
3. Thou must maintain total control over all children (both yours and other peoples) at all times. 4. Thou must be ready to meet all demands from thy husbands flock at all times
5. Thou must be a proper diplomat with all knowledge of everything going on in thy husbands church
6. Thou must be a gourmet chef ready to turn out any kind of food for any function without any prior notice
7. Thou must be a talented musician able to fill in on any instrument in the church with no prior notice
8. Thou must be able to feed 15 -20 people on a budget of $2 per meal
9. Thou must be able to teach all age groups for Sunday School with no advance planning
10. Thou shalt never complain

Living in Partnership with God

pastor's wife, here's a portion of a resource article from Right to the Heart

How to live in that partnership and be filled with His courage:

1. Keep studying the Word but don't just scratch the surface.
Use reputable commentaries and be prepared to dig and learn.

2. Learn to pray.
There are many kinds of prayers, some formal, some informal, some praise-oriented, others request oriented.
Learn about them and practice communicating with God.

3. Invite Him to share your life on a daily basis.
Ask Him what He wants to accomplish through you each day.

4. Invite transformation by His Spirit.
Ask Him daily to change you into the image of Jesus.

Living in partnership with Jesus is giving your life to Him as He shares His Spirit with you - forever. This is the essence of worship. This is what makes Him your object of worship. This is what makes Him your God.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

For you, what is a good mom?

people were surveyed and they said....

A good mom is someone who:

-makes you clean your room and do your chores
-helps you look neat and tidy when you go to school
-spanks you when you get out of line
-gets excited about your achievements (big or small)
-gives you hugs and encouraging words-makes you finish the food on your plate
-teaches you respect
-apologizes when she blows it
-teaches you about Jesus
-is firm but fair
-allows her children to make mistakes and deal with the consequences,
but supports them all of the time
-loves her child no matter what and is there for the child
through thick and thin.
-loving in everything she does
-does spank when necessary
-takes care of you
-teaches you right from wrong
-loves you unconditionally
-you can talk to
-actually listens to you
-is always there for you (no matter what)
-loves her children even if she hasn't given birth to them
-respects both her child's needs and wants
- helps rather than shouts
-looks at her child and prays God to give her power of making this precious gift happy and fulfilled.
-will go far beyond her means to make sure her child feels, safe, secure and loved unconditionally
-will work 2 jobs and do whatever it takes to make her childs life a pleasant one
-will instill values and morals,
-teach manners
-will teach that through God all things are possible
-will accept her child for who he/she is and will turn out to be
-someone who is not perfect, but tries her hardest to make her child think she is
-loving and always willing

How Churches are Reacting to the Da Vinci Code Movie

Decoding Da Vinci: View from the pulpit

Chicago Tribune, USAMay 14, 2006
Margaret Ramirez, Tribune religion reporterwww.chicagotribune.com
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Item 14658 • Posted: 2006-05-16 11:01:56

Christian leaders rally to curb what they fear could be a faith-shaking movie experienceWith a religious blitz of books, lectures and educational DVDs, Christian leaders are trying to defend the faith against the highly anticipated release of the movie "The Da Vinci Code."

One prominent evangelical leader, Rev. Erwin Lutzer of the Moody Church in Chicago, calls Dan Brown's best-selling novel and the upcoming film "the most serious attack against Christianity" he has known in nearly 30 years of ministry.More than 7,800 evangelical pastors across the nation have purchased Lutzer's educational DVD and study guide in hopes of responding to questions raised in "The Da Vinci Code" movie, which opens Friday. Lutzer also has organized a six-part Sunday lecture series where he dissects the novel to separate fact from fiction.For their part, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops have set up a snazzy Web site (www.jesusdecoded.com) and produced an hour-long television documentary to educate the public on the divinity of Jesus, his relationship to Mary Magdalene and the formation of the New Testament.

Lutherans, Presbyterians and other mainline Protestant churches are holding panels and discussions, partly in hopes of engaging and evangelizing nonbelievers. Church Web sites and blogs poke fun at the phenomenon, invite debate and attack fallacies in the fiction. On May 21, the California-based Church Communication Network will broadcast a "Da Vinci" discussion via satellite to hundreds of congregations.

Perhaps, most surprisingly, the orthodox Catholic group Opus Dei, depicted in the book as a secret society with a murderous albino monk, has chosen to use the negative portrayal as a chance to speak out publicly about the real Opus Dei.So, what is it about "The Da Vinci Code" that has prompted the Christian community to respond so strongly? What's so scary about a Hollywood movie starring Tom Hanks on a search for the secret of the Holy Grail?

Rev. Hilary Mahaney, pastor of St. Mary of the Angels in Chicago, the only U.S. parish run by Opus Dei priests, says the movie's threat is real. He sees possible dangerous consequences for the Catholic Church and even Christianity."I really think it has the potential to do a lot of damage to the church," he said. "This book and the movie has the capacity of destroying someone's faith because of the way it confuses historical fact with fiction."

Lutzer, senior pastor at Moody, agrees. He said the success of "The Da Vinci Code" and the media attention surrounding the newly discovered "Gospel of Judas" has fueled an attack on Jesus in popular culture that is certain to have destructive after-effects."Once the debate has died down, Jesus will probably no longer be in the news," Lutzer said. "But the long-term damage of these views will continue. Because people will now have in their minds this misconception of Jesus that they will live with, that they in turn will pass on to their children."

Brown's novel is a thriller that interweaves church history with a fictitious conspiracy to hide that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. After the crucifixion, the novel states, Mary and her daughter fled to Europe and began a royal dynasty. In the book, Opus Dei conspires and kills to keep the truth about Jesus secret. The book contends the emperor Constantine invented the divinity of Jesus for political purposes.The "code" alludes to cryptograms and clues hidden in works painted by artist Leonardo Da Vinci that allegedly reveal the true nature of Jesus, his relationship with Mary Magdalene and the alleged cover-up by the Catholic Church.

Lutzer said the public's insatiable appetite for conspiracy theories and the role of women as a pillar of the church are key to the story's success. But the biggest factor, he said, is the way Jesus is portrayed."The book presents a Jesus who's a mere man, who will never make any demands on you," Lutzer said. "A Jesus who will never confront the sin in your life. A Jesus who you can take like putty and make him into whatever shape you like. And there is a great desire on the part of people to believe that, because they want to be comfortable with what they are presently doing and believing."

Because the Catholic Church is presented in the book as the villain, those followers might seem to have the most at stake. Yet a recent poll commissioned by Catholic Digest found that 73 percent of Catholics surveyed said "The Da Vinci Code" did not affect their faith or opinion of the church.Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, director of communications for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he doesn't believe someone's faith would be shattered by seeing the movie--but it might be shaken."

Faith is a gift from God. And I don't think he's going to withdraw it because a person saw this movie," he said. "But I do think people can be disturbed by it. And get questions like: `What's going on here?'"For that reason, the Catholic Bishops view the film as an opportunity to educate Catholics."Our way of dealing with this is to get people the right information," Maniscalco said. "Maybe we've forgotten our church history, just as we forget our American history as we grow up."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Are You Ready For Marriage?

pastor's wife, a resource article on MARRIAGE

authored by lyka

With drive-by weddings and next day divorces becoming a norm, many have started to just think about marriage lightly, if not jokingly. But for the serious minded person, here are some factors to consider:

1. THE LEGAL
Although one can insist on getting married in spite of their parents' disapproval, that would a wrong way to start it, don't you think? Your parents have cared for you your whole life, they deserve the respect, trust, and obedience that you could give while your still not of age.

2. THE EMOTIONAL
One must be stable enough or consistent enough in handling his/her emotions, especially when marriage comes in. Ability to rise above the emotional challenges marriage problems and complications might bring is the key to a lasting marriage.

3. THE MENTAL
One must know what marriage fully entails. It's not a fairy tale, it's not a happy ever after. Don't even think about getting married if you haven't sat down and really thought about all the changes that will take place, and all the new responsibilities it would bring.

4. THE SOCIAL
One must have been able to know enough people, and especially those of the opposite sex, for him or her to be able to really gauge and know that this other person is the right one to marry with. If you haven't had many acquaintances and friends, then don't jump into marriage yet. Find someone that will share most of your interests and goals.

5. THE SPIRITUAL
Much fight has been happening over which church to go to, and in which faith to raise the children in. Settle this issue now, before marriage. Find someone who has the same faith as you do.

6. THE PERSONAL
People who haven't achieved much of their dreams and goals yet, and have no sense of personal fulfillment yet, should postpone the thought of marriage. Marriage changes lots of things- among that would be the pursuit of one's own personal ambitions, pleasures, and others. Sacrifices are often needed in marriage, like the sacrifice of one's career, priorites, and personal plans for the sake of the marriage. So, make sure to raise your level of self-fulfillment first and seek to achieve most if not all of your own plans and dreams first, before settling down. It's best to enter marriage as a fulfilled and satisfied bachelor.

7. THE FINANCIAL
Make sure to have enough for the wedding and after the wedding. Financial problems can put much pressure and strain in any relationship, moreso marriage. Prepare for it first. And be ready for needed financial adjustments once you get married. A spendthrift must mend his ways, else there would be no financial security in the marriage.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Some Facts about Mothers

pastor's wife, compiled from various websites...

The odds of a woman delivering twins- 1 in 33.

Her odds of having triplets or other multiple births
was approximately 1-in-539.

August-The most popular month in which to have a baby,
with more than 360,000 births taking place that month in 2001.

Tuesday-The most popular day of the week in which to have a baby,
with an average of more than 12,000 births taking place on Tuesdays
during 2001.

The youngest mother whose history is authenticated is Lina
Medina, who delivered a 6½-pound boy by cesarean section in
Lima, Peru in 1939, at an age of 5 years and 7 months. The child
was raised as her brother and only discovered that Lina was his
mother when he was 10.

On April 9, 2003, Satyabhama Mahapatra, a 65-year-old retired
schoolteacher in India, became the world's oldest mother when
she gave birth to a baby boy. Satyabhama and her husband had
been married 50 years, but this is their first child. The baby was
conceived through artificial insemination using eggs from the
woman's 26-year-old niece, Veenarani Mahapatra, and the
sperm of Veenarani's husband.

Bobbie McCaughey is the mother who holds the record for the
most surviving children from a single birth. She gave birth to the
first set of surviving septuplets - four boys and three girls -on
November 19, 1997, at the University Hospital, Iowa, US.
Conceived by in vitro fertilization, the babies were delivered after
31 weeks by caesarean in the space of 16 minutes. The babies
are named Kenneth, Nathaniel, Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Natalie
and Alexis.

The highest officially recorded number of children born to one
mother is 69, to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) of
Shuya, Russia. Between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27
confinements, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of
triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. 67 of them survived infancy.
A woman becomes pregnant most easily at the age of eighteen
or nineteen, with little real change until the mid twenties. There is
then a slow decline to age thirty-five, a sharper decline to age
forty-five and a very rapid decline as the women nears
menopause.

A baby Harp seal doubles its weight in only five days after birth,
thanks to the amount of protein in its mother's milk. It takes a
horse sixty days to double its birth weight.

A female kangaroo that has become a recent mother holds a
reserve embryo inside of her after her first baby has crawled into
her pouch. This embryo is an "emergency back-up" baby, should
the first one die prematurely.

A mother giraffe often gives birth while standing, so the
newborn's first experience outside the womb is a 1.8-meter
(6-foot) drop.

In 340 B.C., Aristotle observed that dolphins gave birth to live
young that were attached to their mothers by umbilical cords. For
this reason, he considered dolphins and related creatures to be
mammals. Twenty-four centuries later, biologists agreed with
him.

In the vast majority of the world's languages, the word for
"mother" begins with the letter M.

Kittens are born both blind and deaf, but the vibration of their
mother's purring is a physical signal that the kittens can feel - it
acts like a homing device, signaling them to nurse.

The embryos of tiger sharks fight each other while in their
mother's womb, the survivor being the baby shark that is born.

When the female embryo is only six weeks old, it makes
preparations for her motherhood by developing egg cells for
future offspring. (When the baby girl is born, each of her ovaries
carries about a million egg cells, all that she will ever have).

Saturday, May 13, 2006

'MOTHER' Quotes

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which
you will always find forgiveness."
-- Honore' de Balzac
(1799-1850)

"The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."
-- Henry Ward
Beecher (1813-1887)

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed
me. They have clung to me all my life."
-- Abraham Lincoln
(1809-1865)

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to
love their mother."
--Author Unknown

"At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home,
you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is
unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent."
-- Golda Meir

"Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers.
They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons.
Liberation was meant to expand women's opportunities, not to
limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits
can also be found in mothering."
-- Elaine Heffner

"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who
do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless
class."
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you
do well matters very much."
-- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

"I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but
as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as
any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded
the best I could bring to it."
-- Rose Kennedy

"A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make
leaning unnecessary."
-- Dorothy Canfield Fisher

"She was the archetypal selfless mother: living only for her
children, sheltering them from the consequences of their actions
-- and in the end doing them irreparable harm."
-- Marcia Muller

"If you've never been hated by your child, you've never been a
parent."
-- Bette Davis

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs...
since the payment is pure love."
-- Mildred B. Vermont

"Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings
boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too. Nothing else ever will
make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is
quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality
especially while you struggle to keep your own."
-- Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons

"Though motherhood is the most important of all the professions
-- requiring more knowledge than any other department in human
affairs -- there was no attention given to preparation for this office."
-- Elizabeth Cady Stanton


RICHER THAN GOLD
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a mother who read to me.
-- Strickland Gillilan (1869-1954)

----
A mother is the truest friend we have,
when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us;
when adversity takes the place of prosperity;
when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine,
desert us when troubles thicken around us,
still will she cling to us,
and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate
the clouds of darkness,
and cause peace to return to our hearts.
-- Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ministering to the Minister

pastor's wife, a good article for us to read ...

Ministering to the Minister
It’s the Most Important Job in the World
by Stephanie Wolfe

My husband, a pastor, is a pretty ordinary guy. Probably much like your husband, he has two legs, two arms and one head. He also breathes ordinary air, drives an ordinary car and lives in an ordinary house. He has one extraordinary wife, but other than that, he's pretty average (ha!) His hair gets messy, his clothes get dirty, he showers, wears underpants and even uses the toilet! Sorry to be so blunt, but do you ever get the feeling some people don't see this about our husbands?

He gets tired, sad and mad. He gets underestimated, undermined and even under the weather. He gets overwhelmed, overcome and overdrawn. He gets misunderstood, misinterpreted, misquoted and misrepresented. He has feelings and emotions. If you tickle him, he laughs. If you hurt him, he cries. Don't you sometimes want to scream at people and say, "Yes, folks. He's human! I know. I live with him! He is a man."? And what's wrong with that? The only difference between him and other men is a calling. He is called of God into full-time ministry.

I sometimes feel that people are shocked to discover that my husband has limitations! They are stunned to find out that he has the same number of hours in his day that they do in theirs, or that he couldn't somehow fit more into his day than they do.

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We know and accept his limitations.

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We know and accept his limitations. We're glad he's human. We even get to remind him of that every now and then, but we love him just like he is — human and all! We are his helpmate; but even more than that, we are Mates in Ministry. We serve him as he serves the church. This is a very important role. I often feel we need more education to do our job than he does to do his!

I love my job as the Head Minister to the Minister. I'm responsible for that smile on his face when he walks confidently to the pulpit. I'm responsible for that spring in his step when he heads into the church office. I'm responsible for that dapper suit and tie he is proudly wearing. I'm responsible for that good attitude that helps him to face disgruntled members or difficult counseling situations. I have a big responsibility and I take it seriously, because you see, my minister-husband isn't complete without me. He needs me. He needs my hugs and kisses, and pats on the back, and cheers, and smiles, and "amens"! Well, call me arrogant; but quite frankly, I feel like I'm important to the whole project. You see, I go with him everywhere he goes, even when I don't leave the house!

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When I do my job, he can do his.

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I can send him out the door with a joyful, happy, loved feeling, where he can tackle the tests and wrestle the enemy to the ground. Or I can send him out the door with a heavy heart, full of hurt or anger, where he will quickly be overtaken by grief and anxiety, unable to jump the smallest hurdle. I am not the Senior Pastor (thank God, or we wouldn't have a church to worry about!) and, though my input is valuable to my husband ultimately, I am not responsible for the way money is spent, ministry is done or employees are hired. My job is bigger than all of that! When I do my job, he can do his. It's easy to tell if I'm doing a good job of ministering to the minister; he gets much more done, and enjoys doing it! Mates, let's not neglect our most important role, that of The Minister to The Minister.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Taken from Just Between Us magazine, Spring 2001.
Stephanie Wolfe is a ministry wife at Calvary Christian Fellowship in Duluth, Ga. She is an international speaker at ladies retreats, conventions, marriage workshops and leadership conferences, a stand-up comedian and author of Mentoring Women. Additionally, she is the founder of a ministry for ministry wives called "Mates in Ministry" (
www.innerbeauties.com)

Psalm of the Pastor's Wife

on a lighter side...

The pastor is my husband I shall not complain.

He maketh me to teach Sunday School and the young people's meetings,

He causes me to head the women's ministry.
He entices me to lead the music so he doesn't have to.

Even though I walk through the attack of the hypocrites he stands behind me,
I will fear no gossiping tongue.
They cannot harm me.

I must stand at all dinners in the presence of mine enemies.
The food I prepare will stand the test.

Surely patience and longsuffering will follow me all the days of my life
as I dwell in the house of the parsonage.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A BILL OF RIGHTS FOR A PASTOR'S SPOUSE

pastor's wife- for us to think about...
(a resource article from family.org)

Do you think being a pastor is a benefit or a hazard to your family
life?

This question was posed in a survey of ministry couples by
Leadership Magazine a few years ago. Of those surveyed, 40%
said hazard and 60% said benefit. While everyone can rejoice
with the 60%, these responses mean that 40 in 100 ministry
couples believe they face some kind of risk.

The key to living in joy as part of your spouse's ministry is to
establish your own Bill of Rights:

* Try being yourself. Resist letting your spouse, children, or
church family push you to become someone you don't want to be.

* Use your best gifts most often. Do the things you do the best
and delegate what you don't do well - and don't feel guilty about it.

* Make your priorities obvious. Let the congregation know what's
important to you. Don't let the church squeeze you into their mold,
and don't overreact so they think you are too good to be a
servant. A delicate balance is needed.

* Don't attempt to control the church. Work alongside people in
your church. Be a happy affirming helper rather than the one who
has all the answers and influences all the decisions.

* Listen more and talk less. You help others the most when you
just listen. Do not condemn or put people in their place. Listen
and allow others to come to their own conclusions about issues
of consequence.

* Show visible love to your spouse. In your conversations let
people know that your spouse is both special and human. Keep
showing the church that you love one another and you care for
each other.

* Talk about advantages to your children. Never tell your children
they have to do something because they are the pastor's
children. Give better reasons for your family standard - there are
many. Don't expect perfection, but help them know that while they
have demands, they also have privileges. Help them see how
they have a positive part in your family's shared ministry.

* Find a prayer partner as a soul mate. Seek to be part of, or
even establish, a clergy-spouse group to hold each other
accountable. Be honest with one another.

* Take a worship break. Go somewhere every few months where
you can worship as a family. Find someone, other than your
spouse, who can be your pastor.

* Don't spiritualize everything. Enjoy life - its ups and downs-
without becoming so religious in your outlook that you're no fun to
be around. Learn to laugh at yourself and your situation. Have a
life outside of church activities.

* Schedule vacation days and date nights. See to it that your
spouse puts important family dates on the calendar.

* Encourage your spouse to find an accountability partner. Every
pastor needs a covenant partner, where "pastoral stuff" can be
talked about and burdens understood and shared.

* Don't bug your spouse. Everyone knows the heavy demands on
pastors - they don't need to be reminded all the time. However,
never let your spouse off the hook where you and the kids are
concerned. Your home and your marriage energize and stabilize
his or her ministry.

* Stay attentive to your spouse's needs. Don't back away. There
will be times when your spouse, under the weight of the struggle,
will become sullen, aloof, and depressed. This is when he or she
needs you the most. Try doubling or tripling your affection and
support.

* Commit to self-care. Take care of yourself - spiritually,
emotionally, and physically. Continue to mature spiritually.

-----------
H. B. London, Jr. is vice president of Ministry Outreach/Pastoral
Ministries at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. A
fourth-generation minister, he pastored churches for 31 years
before accepting his present position in 1991. He and his wife,
Beverley, have been married for 37 years and have three
grandchildren.

Neil B. Wiseman is professor of Pastoral Development at
Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs. A veteran of more
than 20 years in the pastorate, he also serves as director of the
Small Church Institute and editor of GROW magazine. His wife,
Bonnie, teaches English to second-career ministry students.

From Married To A Pastor's Wife by H.B. London Jr. and Neil B.
Wiseman. Copyright (c) 1995 by Victor Books, an imprint of
Chariot Victor Publishing, a division of Cook Communications,
Colorado Springs, Colo. To place orders call toll free:
1-800-437-4337.

TOP 10 ISSUES FACING FAMILIES

The Internet strategies department of LifeWay Christian Resources conducted a two-round survey last November and December on issues facing families today,with anti-Christian culture ranking as the No. 1 issue.

Utley comments: "...when we took a look at the rest of the list, we realized that today’s anti-Christian cultural mentality could be considered a contributing factor when it comes to these other issues."

More than 2,000 people from around the US paricipated in the survey.

Top 10 Issues Facing Today’s Family
10. Materialism
9. Balance of work and family
8. Negative media influences
7. Lack of communication
6. Financial pressures
5. Lack of discipline
4. Absent father figure
3. Busyness
2. Divorce
1. Anti-Christian culture

Source:
LifeWay Reveals Top 10 Issues Facing Families
Written by Staff NASHVILLE, Tenn., 5/9/06
lifeway.com/Top10

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

UFO study finds no sign of aliens

RELIGION NEWS
UFO study finds no sign of aliens
BBC, UK
May 7, 2006
Mark Simpson
news.bbc.co.uk

ReligionNewsblog-Posted: 2006-05-08 19:05:42

A confidential Ministry of Defence report on Unidentified Flying Objects has concluded that there is no proof of alien life forms.In spite of the secrecy surrounding the UFO study, it seems citizens of planet Earth have little to worry about.The report, which was completed in 2000 and stamped "Secret: UK Eyes Only", has been made public for the first time.Only a small number of copies were produced and the identity of the man who wrote it has been protected.His findings were only made public thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, after a request by Sheffield Hallam University academic Dr David Clarke.

The four-year study - entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK - tackles the long-running question by UFO-spotters: "Is anyone out there?"The answer, it seems, is "no".The 400-page report puts it like this: "No evidence exists to suggest that the phenomena seen are hostile or under any type of control, other than that of natural physical forces."It adds: "There is no evidence that 'solid' objects exist which could cause a collision hazard."So if there are no such things as little green men in spaceships or flying saucers, why have so many people reported seeing them?Well, here is the science bit."Evidence suggests that meteors and their well-known effects and, possibly some other less-known effects are responsible for some unidentified aerial phenomena," concludes the report."Considerable evidence exists to support the thesis that the events are almost certainly attributable to physical, electrical and magnetic phenomena in the atmosphere, mesosphere and ionosphere."They appear to originate due to more than one set of weather and electrically charged conditions, and are observed so infrequently as to make them unique to the majority of observers."

People who claim to have had a "close encounter" are often difficult to persuade that they did not really see what they thought they saw. The report offers a possible medical explanation."The close proximity of plasma related fields can adversely affect a vehicle or person," states the report."Local fields of this type have been medically proven to cause responses in the temporal lobes of the human brain. These result in the observer sustaining (and later describing and retaining) his or her own vivid, but mainly incorrect, description of what is experienced."There are, of course, other causes of UFOs - aeroplanes with particularly bright lights, stray odd-shaped balloons and strange flocks of birds, to name but a few.Yet, it will be difficult to convince everyone that there is a rational explanation for all mysterious movements in the sky.

Some UFO-spotters believe governments will always cover up the truth about UFOs, because they are afraid of admitting that there is something beyond their control.It is not clear how much time and effort the MoD has spent looking at the skies in recent years, but it appears there are no plans for an in-depth UFO report like the one written in 2000.A MoD spokesperson said: "Both this study and the original "Flying Saucer Working Party" [already in public domain in the national Archives] concluded that there is insufficient evidence to indicate the presence of any genuine unidentified aerial phenomena."It is unlikely that we would carry out any future studies unless such evidence were to emerge."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

8 Gifts of Parenting

pastor's wife, a resource article on PARENTING

NOTE: "published articles of authors in this blogsite does not warrant
FULL endorsement of the author's values and that of his website"

No one who has hugged their child can doubt the gift of a child’s presence in
their life. The love that is expressed in that simple act is one of the most profound
ways that we experience love in this world. In order to nurture the special
relationship of parent and child, and fulfill our roles as parents, there are number
of things that we are signing upto do. Here is a list of eight essential ways to fulfill
our parental responsibilities.

These are gifts that we should freely give to our children without thought of what
we will receive in return for our efforts.

The Gift of Life.
It is easy to forget that in the act of receiving a child into our lives we are sharing
the gift of life itself. Remembering the precious nature of life can help us to keep
the ups and downs of daily life in a proper perspective.

The Gift of Love.
The most essential ingredient for a happy life is love. There is no feeling more
satisfying to the soul, both in giving and receiving, then love. When we include
a conscious awareness of this truth and nurture it as the most basic value of
our relationship with our children, we will find that many mistakes – on both
sides – can be weathered.

The Gift of Time.
Time is the proof of our caring. When you spend time with your child you are
saying with your actions: I love you and I would rather be with you than doing
anything else. This is one of the best ways that you can objectify your love.
It is also one of the greatest blessings.

The Gift of Good Manners.
Children from a young age can be taught to behave. This isn’t an imposition on
their free will. It is a gift that will enhance their lives. The process of developing
good manners will help them to begin learning to see how others are affected by
their actions. Through the establishment of basic good manners we are giving
our children a skill that will benefit them in every other part of life.

The Gift of Self-Control.
Through the establishment of good manners from the very beginning we are
planting the seeds of a character trait that can serve as a strong support for
success in any endeavor: Self-Control. Practice cultivating self-control in your
own self first. Then attune yourself to ways that you can instill these same
values in your children.

The Gift of Positive Mental Culture.
By bringing the principles of positive thinking into all areas of life we develop in
our children the experience that all good things are possible. Positive mental
culture includes ten overarching areas of development: Non-Violence,
Non-Lying, Non-Greed, Non-Sensuality, Non-Covetousness, Cleanliness,
Contentment, Self-Control, Self-Study, and Devotion to God.

The Gift of Education.
An academic education isn’t essential for living successfully in this world.
There have been numbers of great people throughout history who couldn’t
read or write. But next to those great souls who can shine in spite of this lack
of formal training, there are millions who could advance their lives immensely
if they could but read and write. It isn’t enough that we simply send our children
to school. This is a gift that opens up a world of information and possibilities for
our children. Don’t leave this area to chance.

The Gift of Reverence for All Life.
Along with these most basic gifts we need to add a reverence for the sanctity of
all life. While we can’t make our children believe in God or appreciate the beauty
and value of the incredible variety of life forms that inhabit our planet, we can
communicate our own belief. Not to share your view on these issues is to -
by default - preach that they have no value. The communication and application
of the highest aspects of life should always be at the forefront of family life.

Given the mixture of things that we want to share with our children we will need
to mix and match according to how the soup is cooking. This is one of the beauties
of life – its variety and spontaneity. It will, no doubt, turn out different than what
we had anticipated in the beginning.

If we give our children these eight gifts we will be well on our way to fulfilling our
duties as parents and sharing with them the tools that will allow them to
experience the best that life has to offer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lawrence Vijay Girard is the author of Way of the Positive Flow and Positive Flow
Parenting.
As well as, his popular children's book, The Adventures of Harry Fruitgarden. You can find
his books at: http://FruitgardenPublishing.Com

NOTE: "published articles of authors in this blogsite does not warrant FULL
endorsement of the author's values and that of his website"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Knowing If Your 'Mate' is the One

pastor's wife, a resource for marriage counseling

Some women feel that it's really a bad thing to remain single.
Some who reach the age of 30 get overly worried about this situation.

But you know, what's worse than being single is being involved with and
or being married to the wrong person.

The following guidelines will help-the single woman in search of the 'right one'
and,the 'involved' woman in determining if this relationship is the 'right one'.

1. open communication
If the lines are open, then any relationship is 'workable'.
Being able to say what you feel at the time you feel it is important.
This ensures honesty and assures acceptance in any relationship.

2. common interests
If there is common ground to work on then any relationship will thrive.
Being able to enjoy conversations, activities, and other passions that are
held important and worthwhile by both parties will certainly cause their
relationship to flourish throughout the years.

3. intellectual compatibility
If one can communicate on a level that the other will 'understand' then both
parties will never run out of things to talk about. Being able to relate to one's
partner is key to lifelong companionship.

4. sexual compatibility
Though sex is not the reason for any marriage, it plays a vital part. Being able
to satisfy one's partner and to be satisfied by one's partner in the area of
physical intimacy is key to an AFFAIR-PROOF marriage. Couples must
be able to openly and honestly discuss their preferences and or desires in
this area.

5. spirituality
Marriage IS an institution appointed by God. He blesses it, sanctifies it,
and guides it to success. Common faith in and dependence on the Bible
and its truths will cause any marriage to survive trials and testings that
will challenge the marriage. There is peace, satisfaction, and assurance
from seeking God and His will in your marital relationship.

--lyka

CHARACTER QUALITIES

pastor's wife, one listed 49 positive character qualities. check to see how many you have!

1. Alertness
2. Attentiveness
3. Availability
4. Cautiousness
5. Compassion
6. Contentment
7. Courage
8. Creativity
9. Decisiveness
10. Deference
11. Dependability
12. Determination
13. Diligence
14. Discernment
15. Discretion
16. Endurance
17. Enthusiasm
18. Fairness
19. Faith
20. Flexibility
21. Forgiveness
22. Generosity
23. Gentleness
24. Gratefulness
25. Hospitality
26. Humility
27. Initiative
28. Joyfulness
29. Love
30. Loyalty
31. Meekness
32. Neatness
33. Obedience
34. Patience
35. Persuasiveness
36. Punctuality
37. Resourcefulness
38. Responsibility
39. Reverence
40. Security
41. Self Control
42. Sensitivity
43. Sincerity
44. Thoroughness
45. Thriftiness
46. Tolerance
47. Truthfulness
48. Virtue
49. Wisdom

Friday, May 05, 2006

Believe What God Believes About You

pastor's wife, here is another beautiful way of loooking at what 1 Corinthians 13 says

Believe What God Believes About You
I CORINTHIANS 13
Dr. Dick Dickerson

Because God loves me, He is slow to lose patience with me.

Because God loves me, He takes the circumstances of my life and uses them in a constructive way for my growth.

Because God loves me, He does not treat me as an object to be possessed and manipulated.

Because God loves me, He has no need to impress me with how great and powerful He is because He is God. Nor does He belittle me as His child in order to show me how important He is.

Because God loves me, He is for me. He wants me to mature and develop in His love.

Because God loves me, He does not send down His wrath on every little mistake I make, of which there are many.

Because God loves me, He does not keep score of all my sins and then beat me over the head with them whenever He gets a chance.

Because God loves me, He is deeply grieved when I do not walk in the ways that please Him because He sees this as evidence that I don't trust Him and love Him as I should.

Because God loves me, He rejoices when I experience His power and strength and stand up under the pressure of life for His name's sake.

Because God loves me, He keeps working patiently with me even when I feel like giving up and can't see why He doesn't give up with me too.

Because God loves me, He keeps on trusting me when at times I don't even trust myself.

Because God loves me, He never says there is no hope for me; rather, He patiently works with me, loves me and disciplines me in such a way that it is hard for me to understand the depth of His concern for me.

Because God loves me, He never forsakes me even though many of my friends might.
-------------
Father God,
Negative inner voices would love to convince me that I am a nobody, but the Holy Spirit continually challenges me to believe that I am of value to God and will be with Jesus in Paradise. Can I believe God when He tells me that I was so important to Him that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for my sins? Yes, I can! I am special to God. Let me believe it and live it. Amen.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Self Defense Protection

pastor's wife, a resource article from allwomencentral.com, on SAFETY
let's be safe at all times.

Self Defense Protection - The Top 7 Safety Tips Criminals Want Women to NEVER Learn By: Michelle Annese http://www.michelleannese.com

You can protect yourself from becoming one of this year’s next statistics.

1. Coming up to my vehicle, did I look around - aware of who is near it? Am I walking my packages in a cart or carrying them in my hand? Criminals interviewed say they want to attack the woman who is walking alone and not aware of her surroundings. Always put shopping bags in a cart. This allows you ample time to react if someone is approaching you. If you’re carrying bags, this renders your hands useless to protect yourself and gives a criminal a bonus. Remember… the buddy system. Late night shopping always needs to be a ‘girl’s night out’ affair.
2. Are my keys already in my hand before leaving the store giving me self defense protection? Again, awareness plays a huge part. Also, with a key in hand, it can be a terrific weapon if you’re suddenly grabbed.

3. Am I talking on the cell phone …fixing my hair… counting my change… writing in the checkbook…and not paying attention? Paying attention is the key. Take care of all that ‘stuff’ in the store. NOT in the parking lot, or outside of the vehicle.

4. Is there anyone loitering around my vehicle… if so… are they suspicious enough to making me go back into the store? Don’t think your being silly. NO SUCH THING. Especially when your safety is on the line. If you’re not comfortable with walking to your car, ask security to accompany you or if there isn’t security available, a store manager will do it – it is their job. That’s what they are getting paid to do.

5. Is my vehicle in a well-lit area? Is it easily visible to passer-bys? If I can’t see my car really well, who can? Criminals say they do not want to be noticed, recognized, or slowed down in any way. If you’re not easily seen by others at a mall or store, that makes you a perfect target for a criminal.

6. If I have automatic keyless entry, did I hit the unlock button twice … making it easy for someone to get into my passenger side door? Get into the habit of opening just your driver’s side door. New technology is wonderful when you’re with others, loading packages, during the day. But, at night when your field of vision is limited, don’t take any chances. Criminals are hoping that you’ll make their job easier for them.

7. If I am approached by someone – no matter how much help I need, it’s OK to turn them down. Remember, criminals will do and say anything they can to gain your trust. DON”T FALL FOR IT!!! If a stranger wants to help you with your bags, tell them no, thank you. If they still insist, tell them no again. Criminal interviews revealed that they will try to play on a victim heartstrings to get access to the vehicle, a purse, or for the vehicle keys - and move-in for the attack when trust is gained and it’s at least expected.

If you are unable to load packages into your vehicle, ask help from the store – they would be glad to help. It’s their job.

Review these seven protection techniques reguarly on keeping safe. Pass them alon to the women in your life as a good reminder.

About the author: Michelle Annese is a 3rd degree black belt with 16+ years experience teaching self defense and safety for women and children. She is a World Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee and best creator of the Protection for Women program and The SafeGuard System for Kids. For more information on how to protect yourself and your family go to http://www.michelleannese.com.
Article Source: AllWomenCentral.com

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Family VaLues

pastor's wife, a resource (excerpt) article on FAMILY
Your Family Values - Are You Walking Your Talk?
April 28, 2006

Family values - something we don't often talk about.

Your family values provide the foundation your family needs, so take the time
to teach them to your children.

Have you ever really sat down and given thought to what values you want to teach
in your family?

If someone asked you, could you tell them the five most important values to you?

How clear are your children about what the family values are?

Your values speak to what is most important to you in life. They are the foundation
of your family. Without a clear vision of what your values are, life is more challenging.
Let me explain why.

Your family values guide your decisions.
Every decision you make is based on values. Many of the day-to-day decisions are made without even thinking about them, but they should all represent what’s important to you. Sometimes, however, you’ll notice some decisions are much harder to make.
It’s usually because you’re struggling with a value conflict.

Stress is the result of not living in integrity with your values.
If I say honesty is important to me, then I better live an honest life. If I’m not,
then I’m not walking my talk. And the result is self-induced stress. How much stress
in your family can be contributed to living out of integrity with your family values?
Honoring your most important values is paramount if you are going to
live the life you want.

To have a phenomenal family, everyone needs to be on
the same page with the family values.
So sit down and make a list of what values you want to live by. Try to pick your top five.
If you’re married, have your partner make his own separate list. Combine your lists and together choose 5-7 values that you absolutely won’t compromise in your family.
Schedule a family meeting and clearly communicate your family values. Once everyone
is clear what the family values, then start walking your talk. That means your rules will
center on your values. Your decisions will be guided by your values. Each member of the
family will be held accountable to living out these values. You reward and praise each
other when those values are being displayed. There are consequences when the family
values are compromised. And most important, mom and dad must be walking models
of these values in the home.

Being clear about and honoring your values will make life easier for you. Most decisions
will be effortless. You will experience less stress in your life. You will begin to live your
life with more purpose and fulfillment. And ultimately, you will pass on to your children
the family values you one day hope will be passed on to future generations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lori Radun, CEC – certified life coach for moms.
To receive her FREE newsletter and the FREE special report
“155 Things Moms Can Do To Raise Great Children”, go to http://www.true2youlifecoaching.com

NOTE: "published articles of authors in this blogsite does not warrant
FULL endorsement of the author's values and that of his website"

How Love Dies

How Love Dies: Spot the Symptoms Now, and Get Your Love Back on Track
By: Steve Ubah http://www.smartwomansguide.com

NOTE: "published articles of authors in this blogsite does not warrant FULL endorsement
of the author's values and that of his website"

Are you starting to feel that your man has changed so much, in a negative way,
that your relationship is starting to die a slow death? In this article I will shed some
light on the kinds of things men do when they want to extinguish the flame that sizzles
their love. I will also give you some some ideas on how you can reignite the fire in your relationship.

Here are some to the signs to look out for: His love for you is losing its life-blood,
if you find that, most of the time, he behaves in the following ways:

1. He no longer makes time to spend with you on a weekly basis.
2. He prefers to go out with his friends than take you out.
3. He is easily annoyed by things that never bothered him in the past.
4. He finds it difficult to tell you he loves you.
5. He constantly talks about how fat you are.
6. He talks down to you.
7. He has started being dissatisfied with things you do for him.
8. He prefers to work extra hours so he will have less time to spend with you.
9. He has stopped doing you any favors.
10. He has told you that perhaps both of you should slow things down a bit.
11. He encourages you to go out and have fun without him.
12. He forgets your birthdays or anniversaries and makes no effort to buy you gifts.
13. He laughs out loud when he talks to his friends or family members, and never laughs out loud with you.
14. He flirts openly with other women in your presence.
15. He has started comparing you to other women in terms of how you should look or behave.
16. He doesn’t really care about sleeping with you in the same bed.
17. He seems to have lost interest in making love with you.
18. You are starting to find telephone numbers of other women in his wallet or clothes.
19.He has started staying out overnight when he goes out on weekends.
20. He has started lying about where he has been and who he’s been with.

Bear in mind that your relationship is not necessarily dying, if your guy does just one of these things just once. However, if he indulges in any of these behaviors frequently over time, then you have cause to worry. What’s most important is how your guy reacts when you bring this behavior to his attention. Does he apologize and promise to make a change, or does he just not care about your feelings? If he apologizes and seems to show some remorse, then you know you have a good chance at resurrecting your love again, and here are some things you can do:

Start with yourself.
Start doing those things that show that you can still go on even if he decides to leave.

Get in shape
It is possible that your mate’s comments about your weight gain could actually be true.
·Make sure you always look your best - Do your hair and nails, and be sure to put your make up on.

·Read books that will boost your self-esteem and self-image.

·Start doing things with your friends and family members.
When your man sees that you are not sitting home pouting, and that you are actually going out and having fun, he realizes that he is not necessarily the only thing going on in your life.

·Have a talk with him about how he has changed and how that change has impacted your relationship. Your goal here is to find out what exactly is bugging him, and once you do, you are now equipped with what the problem is and you are able to map out some solutions.

·Indulge in a romantic candlelight dinner for two at home.

·Take an overnight trip out of town, and be sure to stay in a good hotel. Go see some sights together, and take some pictures.

·Take a cruise to an exotic place – the islands or wherever you’ve both been dying to see.
·If your efforts don’t seem to be changing things, ask your mate if he is open to seeing a relationship counselor.

If all else fails and your guy is hell-bent on letting his love for you slip away, at least you weren’t sitting around doing nothing. You were taking care of yourself and improving your self-esteem, having fun with your friends and these are things that men find attractive in a woman. Good luck.

About the author: To find out how to make your man desire you like he has never desired any woman, please visit http://www.smartwomansguide.com. Steve Ubah is the author of Passion Keys – A Woman’s Ultimate Guide To Unlocking The Love In A Man’s Heart. To find out how you can make your man fall madly in love with you, please visit http://www.smartwomansguide.com
Article Source: AllWomenCentral.com

NOTE: "published articles of authors in this blogsite does not warrant FULL endorsement
of the author's values and that of his website"

Monday, May 01, 2006

7 Keys to Better Relationships

pastor's wife, a resource article on RELATIONSHIPS

NOTE: "published articles of authors in this blogsite does not warrant
FULL endorsement of the author's values and that of his website"

By: Patricia Wagner
http://www.a-to-z-wellness.com

Would you like to enhance the quality of your life and increase your personal happiness?
If you answered "yes," the information in this article could change your life!

Isn't it easy to get stuck in the everydayness of life? We can get so busy making a living
and getting ahead financially that the really important things fall through the cracks!

That can happen to all of us. However, when people come to the end of their lives,
they don't wish they had spent more time making money. When all is said and done,
we want our family and friends to be with us then!

So let's try to focus on developing better relationships instead of acquiring more things.
Think of your circle of family and friends as a lovely garden to water and cultivate.
The book of Proverbs teaches this crucial truth: "A man that has friends must show
himself friendly" (Proverbs 18:24).

Here are 7 keys that will help your relationships to bloom:

1. Spend time with your friends and loved ones.

Although this is obvious, we need to intentionally set aside time in our schedules for them
no matter how busy we think we are. Put appointments with friends and family into your daytimer or palm pilot. If you don't do this, you may forget and months and even years
can go by without seeing these special people. The sad fact is that those relationships
can dry up and wither away from neglect.

Many marriages fail for just this reason. People are often too busy to spend enough time
with each other and one or both of the partners can't take the neglect. If you want your relationships to bloom, you have to water them with quality time. How long would a
rose garden be lush and beautiful if no one watered it for days without end?

2. Genuinely appreciate the special people in your life.

Tell them how much they mean to you. Mention their good qualities and how special
they are. For example, if you need to correct your children's behavior, be sure to spend
twice as much time appreciating their positive qualities than reprimanding their
negative ones.

3. Learn to say, "I was wrong. Please forgive me."

This will do wonders for your relationships. Humility is a beautiful quality in any person. Someone who thinks he or she is always right can be impossible to live with.
If your habitual attitute is "I'm ALWAYS right," that's a poisonous plant that will
spread and ruin your entire garden. Apologizing and asking for forgiveness when
we've done something wrong does not degrade us. Instead it shows that we are
growing up.

4. Be quick to forgive and don't hold grudges.

Bury the past. Bitterness never helped anyone. It only hurts the bitter person.
Don't let the agressive weeds of unforgiveness spoil your garden. Try not to
crush tender relationship plants by being harsh and unforgiving.

5. Learn to say "thank you" a lot.

Everyone loves to be appreciated for what he or she has done instead of being
taken for granted. You may be thrilled by the vibrant blossoms of encouragement
that will result from taking time to say "thank you."

6. Listen more than you talk.

In a game of tennis it would be very strange for one of the players to bounce the
ball up and down on his or her side instead of hitting the ball back to the other player.
The same could be said for the game of ping pong. These games teach a powerful lesson.
If you are always talking and other people don't have a chance to get a word in edgewise,
you won't be very popular for long.

7. Go out of your way to help others in practical ways.

If a friend is in the hospital, go visit him. If a neighbor is going through a difficult financial
time, bring groceries over to help tide him or her through the crisis.

If you follow these simple but powerful suggestions for nurturing your relationships, you yourself will also reap benefits in the form of increased happiness, pep and vitality.
That's because our relationships are far more important to our wellbeing than how
much money we make or how well we're doing climbing the corporate ladder.

Why not take a personal inventory of your life today? Put these suggestions into
practice and become more effective in cultivating your special relationships.

Happy gardening!

(c) copyright 2004 by Patricia Wagner

About the author: Patricia Wagner offers informative tips on living a more energetic

lifestyle at http://www.a-to-z-wellness.com and through her free "A to Z Health Tips" newsletter.
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Article Source: AllWomenCentral.com