15 GREAT MARRIAGE PRINCIPLES TO ALWAYS REMEMBER

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*Don’t “overfeed” your children and “starve” your marriage. Make sure your children know that your first loyalty is to your spouse. Always back each other up in front of your children. If you don’t agree with a rule that is enforced with the children, talk about it privately rather than undermine each other. My husband and I started this fun idea that we recently heard: set a time that is just for you two. For us it is 8:30 after Kinley is in bed. This is a time to sit, snack, whatever…but without distractions. This is a time to just talk and hear about each other’s day.

*This goes along with the first, but continue dating after you are married. Take time away just the two of you each week. It doesn’t have to cost money, but plan for it and make sure it always happens!

*We have this mistaken idea that the best way to “help” someone improve is to criticize them. The opposite is true. We are motivated by praise. When we were first married, I remember I was having a bad day and I proceeded to say, “I’m sorry for complaining…” and my husband responded with the words, “complain? Yeah right. I’ve never heard you complain about anything.” He was sincere in his compliment and it motivated me to want to stay that way; whereas, if the statement had been, “why can’t you stop complaining?” there would have been little motivation present. That’s how we are as humans. We want to continually do what makes others happy.

*distinguishing between preferences and principles takes humility. Just because you like something a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the only way to live.

*Pray for your spouse. Not only is it special for your spouse to hear you pray about them, it helps you remember all the reasons why you love him/her. In your personal prayers, ask, “what can I do to make my spouse’s life less frustrating?”

*Communication is more an attitude than a skill. Too many people say things like “My husband comes from a family that doesn’t know how to communicate” and continue to blame the problems on him. Good communication more often comes from two people ready and willing to find a solution than from two people with a communications degree.

*Rather than feeling shame for our weaknesses, we can rejoice as they lead us to true humility and greater dependence on God. Rather than try to defend yourself, delight in the opportunity to learn and become a better person. There should be no shame in recognizing an area in our life that we can improve on.

*Always say “I Love YOU.”

*Do something EVERY DAY to express genuine affection and appreciation. Appreciation is the gas that keeps marriages going. Let your spouse know how much you love and appreciate them often. Don’t let what’s missing discolor everything

*Love your Husband and you will love yourself! (Ephesians 5:28)

* Make it a goal to never attack or call names. Be hard on the problem and easy on the person.

*Remember that crisis is composed of two symbols: one representing danger, and the other opportunity. Trials and challenges can either harm or help marriages, depending on how you react to them. Treat each challenge as an opportunity to grow closer to one another.

*Remember that giving up is not the same as compromising

*Agree to disagree!

* Instead of nagging about things you want your spouse to be or do, try becoming it yourself.

*Focus on WHAT is right, now WHO is right.

Now it’s time to hear from you! What would you say is your “best” marriage advice? What skills/principles have most helped you?

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fight….

If there’s someone or something worth fighting for, fight with all you have. Believe that you are worth fighting for as well. You deserve all the happiness life can give you despite the horrible pains and disappointments that will be handed to you along the way. Without the dark we wouldn’t have light. Without the bitter we wouldn’t have the sweet. Without pain we wouldn’t have the relief of eventually collapsing into love and finally, for the first time, feeling like we can catch our breath and be ourselves.

IN GOLD, OR IN WOOD.

It was a normal day.. or at least started like one. Only difference was, all these people were late to work.

It was one’s turn to bring in donuts. One lady’s alarm didn’t go off. Someone was stuck in traffic. One person missed their bus. A young lady spilled some breakfast on her outfit and had to change her clothing. Someone’s car would not start. Another’s child didn’t get up in time to get ready for school. One just could not get a taxi at all. One guy wore a new pair of shoes that gave him blisters, and stopped at the drug store to get band aids. Someone just simply turned around to answer a phone call.

It was a normal day.. or at least started like one. Only difference was, all these people were late to work… at the World Trade Centre. It was September 11th, 2001.

Where is Your miracle?

That’s a good place to start. Besides, aren’t the people around you making it? Don’t they have what you want? Aren’t things just working out for them? And you’re stuck in the same old place; with everything you’d rather not have, and a life you’d give up in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, nothing seems to go your way, and every time you get on your knees, you ask one question: “Where is my miracle?”

Yes, turning water into wine sounds appealing and a blind man regaining his eyesight at the dab of spittle isn’t of natural power. Miracles. But whoever said we’d love every miracle? No one. A miracle doesn’t have to be huge and extraordinary. It doesn’t have to call for celebrations and fiestas. However, miracles always come forth from a place of positive intention. The miracle may not be what we want, but the result may be what we long for.

When you’re going through something tough, and it seems like God is silent, try to focus on what he’s already done, what he’s doing, and what he’s going to do. God is never silent. He’s always working in your favour, and remember, he creates only master pieces. A master piece goes through a lot to be made, and sometimes the process may not all be beautiful. That process, may be your miracle.

On that bright morning of September 11th 2001, someones miracle was buying donuts. Someone’s was a car that would not start. Another’s was an alarm that never went off. One’s was missing a bus. Another’s was a new pair of shoes. One’s was some spilled breakfast, another’s was a late child. One person just couldn’t get a taxi, and for someone, it was a single phone call she turned back to receive. These people, who all worked at the World Trade Centre were late for work. Why? Because that morning, God gave them a miracle.

Stop looking for something extraordinary. Stop looking for something the world will notice. Stop looking for a huge experience. The next time you seem to get caught by every traffic light, or rip your pants on your way out the door, look up and say “Thank you, Jesus.I know I’m just where you want me to be.” It may be harder than just some traffic lights, or ripped pants. It could be a job you didn’t get, a messy love life, or a shaky financial situation. It could be a few seconds, or many years; all these little or big annoying things. But with everything that happens, huge and extraordinary, or tiny and customary, it could just be God giving you a miracle! Just trust the author of your life.

Miracles come. In gold, or in wood.
Don’t step over the wood looking for a miracle in gold. You may step on yours and find someone else receiving theirs.

Where is your miracle? Now, you answer that.

that’s in gold, or in wood… as i do it.

The 4 secrets to a lasting relationship

You can become the change you want to see in your partner and in your relationship. You’ll find it’s easier to create change when you lead by example, and that starts with simply being aware.

When a relationship becomes a one-way way street, it ends up at a dead end sooner or later. Learn to keep the traffic flowing both ways with conversation, forgiveness and mindful awareness to keep your relationship growing well into the future. It all starts with that inner conversation you have with yourself. Be aware of it, and find how easy it is to nurture your relationship in the direction you want it to go.

At one time or another, we all transfer the frustrations from our day onto our partners. Don’t get upset, it’s natural. People turn to the ones they trust, to those closest to them, to vent. The problem is your loved one doesn’t always know that you’re venting and can take it very personally.

That doesn’t mean you have to stop venting. It just means you need to be aware that you are venting. That way you can take the guesswork out by telling your partner why you’re venting. When you are mindful of the person across from you, it’s easy to help them understand the “why” behind the “what,” so they’re not left guessing if they are the one you’re angry with.

Just acknowledging that you’ve had a bad day can help you change your tone from exasperation to understanding. Being aware of how short your fuse has become means you can keep yourself from escalating a harmless comment into a full-blown argument. Being aware of your own volatility also puts you in a better place to show your partner how to do the same.

It doesn’t have to be a bigger deal than that. When you feel yourself escalating, take a breath, step back and explain why you’re upset. Take a moment to see where an issue came from. Let them know it’s not them, it’s the world.

If you feel defensive, ask yourself what you’re afraid of. If you are angry, ask yourself where it originated. Then explain it. Because when you are aware of the issues you brought in the door, you can ask your partner where theirs came from, too. You can become the change you want to see in your partner and in your relationship. You’ll find it’s easier to create change when you lead by example, and that starts with simply being aware.

Un-Filter Your World

The world you know is filtered through your hopes, dreams, fears and worries. The beauty and the ugliness you see in the world is not how the world is, but the world viewed through your emotions. It’s not good or bad. It just is. That’s how the brain works. The moment each of you becomes aware of your emotions is the moment you start to see how often egos can undermine your relationship. Then you can move past them so that you can build the world you want to build together.

Forgive the Imperfections of Life

Forgive yourself for not getting everything done in your day. Forgive yourself for the faux pas you made at the office. Forgive yourself for letting someone get under your skin. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Now, forgive the one you love for exactly the same things, and see how that changes the energy of the room you are in. Don’t let your fears ruin your relationship. Let your relationship be the foundation you need to overcome your fears.

Sow the Seeds of Love

Love doesn’t disappear in a cataclysmic fireball. It gets choked behind a wall of doubt and indifference. The seeds of doubt are planted when you realize that your partner doesn’t like to get their hands as dirty as you. Or maybe it’s when you realize that they don’t enjoy the level of sophistication that you do. Those are the seeds that grow into thoughts that only you can hear. If left unattended, they twist and turn around each other, growing into a knotted bramble. You don’t have to let them grow, though. You can clear that bramble up by sharing your hopes and concerns. You can rely on the love and understanding that created your relationship to sow the seeds you want through compassion, forgiveness, honesty — oh and yes, lots of talk. With those tools you can grow a garden that bears wonderful fruit well into the future.

Be Perfectly Imperfect

You are perfectly imperfect. So is your relationship. Don’t let someone else’s idea of how your life should be, ruin the life that is. Everyone has their ideas of love, life and connection. Always remember that this is your relationship. Don’t allow the dreams others have for their life shade what you want for yours. Be honest, be open, and allow yourself to experience and explore what you have without judgment. Give yourself permission to laugh and be silly, and to enjoy. Allow yourself to love and be loved unconditionally, no matter what others may think. Let your love flow back and forth, because that is what creates a two-way relationship that lasts.

Most important breathe slow and smile. That’s the first step to diffusing, redirecting and keeping the traffic flowing.

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12 Things Men Want In A Woman

Freezing temps can leave even the biggest commitment-phobes craving someone to snuggle with. So we got guys to open up about just what they want in a Little Spoon they’d love to curl up with long after the seasons have shifted.

1. A Woman Who Will Let Me Impress Her
“I kind of want the opposite of most guys I know: I’d secretly love a girl that’s bad at cooking-all the easier for me to wow her with some of my home-cooked specialties.” -Christian B.

2. A Woman Who Can Hold Her Own
“I want to be with a girl who, if she’s on a different page from me on something, can hold her own in a debate about it. Disagreements can keep things fun.” -Andrew H.

3. A Woman Who Goes With The Flow
“I want a woman who doesn’t act like a child when things don’t go her way. You’ve got to be able to lose occasionally and show grace and poise in those moments (And I do too).” -Brady C.

4. A Woman Who Motives Me
“I want to get serious with a girl who pushes me to have a successful career. It motivates me when I talk to my girlfriend about work and she calls me out on being complacent or not doing everything I can to be the best at what I do. It really helps me to stay focused, especially since the whole reason I’m working is to be able to one day provide for a family.” -Ryan G.

5. A Woman Who Wants to Try New Things
“I want a girl with a sense of adventure-it keeps things interesting. No matter how fun a routine might be, it can get boring eventually. Whether it’s taking a cooking class or going skydiving, it’s great to be with someone who’s open to new things. Dates with my girlfriend can range from trips to the zoo to checking out musicians at a weird, random warehouse party.” -Alex R.

6. A Woman Who Let’s Me Have Guy Time
“It’s important to me to find someone understanding who realizes and respects that there are certain things that make guys, well, guys. We might not always be interested in the same things as women and might sometimes need our own guy time. As we move closer together in our relationship, certain things will begin to happen as a unit and we’ll be a team, but it’s still key to me to have someone who allows and understands those differences.” -Marlon J.

7. A Woman Who Trusts Me
“I need a woman who’s trusting and doesn’t get jealous easily. Above all, it shows me that she’s confident in our relationship and in herself.” -Dennis R.

8. A Strong Woman
“I really fall for someone who has gone through their own trials or tribulations and come out on top as a better person. It’s a real test of character.” -Oliver M.

9. A Woman My Friends Like
“I want to lock down a girl that gets along with my friends. It’s really important because friends can see through the BS that you can’t when you’re too infatuated with someone. So if she can sway my boys and have them eventually tell me, ‘Dude, she’s pretty cool,’ without my asking them, I would definitely call it a win.” -Blake S.

10. A Woman Who Loves Me For Me
“Above all, I want a girl who can deal with my faults and love me for who I am, even on my worst days.” -Alan A.

11. A Smart Woman
“Smart is sexy, so knowledge that eclipses my own would be amazing. I want her to humble me in a way that makes me legitimately appreciate her intellect and approach to conversation.” -Max S.

12. A Woman Who Supports Me
“More than anything, I want support. I don’t need tons of commonalities-I’d rather a woman back me in the things I’m passionate about that she doesn’t have in common with me. She doesn’t need to love motorcycles and MMA or breakdancing and cooking, but if she understands and gives unconditional support despite our differences, I think that can really make a relationship.” -Luan N.

Eight Redemptive Names of God

JEHOVAH-JIREH

“The Lord our provider” – This is also the name Abraham gave to the place where the Lord provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac. (Gen. 22:14).

JEHOVAH-NISSI

“Our banner, a banner of love and protection” – Also the name Moses gave to the altar he built after defeating the Amalekites (Ex. 17:15).

JEHOVAH-SHALOM

“Our perfect peace” – Also the name Gideon gave to the altar he built at Ophrah (Judges 6:24)

JEHOVAH-TSID-KENU

“The Lord is our righteousness” – The name is applied to a future Davidic king who would lead his people to do what is right and thus bring peace (Jeremiah 23:6) and to the restored city of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 33:16). The name is possibly a play on the name of Zedekiah (“Righteous [is] the Lord”) who reigned from 597 to 587 B.C..

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH

“The One Who is with us everywhere for He is Omnipresent” – The Jerusalem of Ezekiel’s vision (see Ezekiel 48:35 margin) was known by this name. Compare text at Isaiah 60:19-20 and Revelation 21:3.

JEHOVAH-SABAOTH

“The Lord of Hosts, our Protector.” C.H. Spurgeon said this about the phrase “The Lord of Hosts:

The Lord rules the angels, the stars, the elements, and all the hosts of Heaven; and the Heaven of heavens is under His sway… [the Lord] is on our side — our august Ally; woe unto those who fight against Him, for they shall flee like smoke before the wind when He gives the word to scatter them.”

See text at Psalm 46:7.

JEHOVAH-RAAH

“Our Shepherd Who tenderly leads us, loves us and will keep us safe.” – the famous Psalm 23 tells us that “The Lord is our Shepherd and we shall not want….” Being illustrated as a shepherd implies a relationship with His sheep (His believers). The term shepherd appears approximately 80 times in the Scriptures, denotating meanings of: feeder, keeper, companion, friend, pastor and herdsman.

JEHOVAH RAPHA –

“I am the Lord Your Physician or I am the Lord Your Healer – this name especially was a Name God prophetically spoke about Himself, not one that someone gave Him. Exodus 15:26.

Holman Bible Dictionary and the book All the Divine Names And Titles In The Bible by Herbert Lockyer used as source for certain material.

A Step In The Right Direction? Baby Born With HIV Apparently Cured, Say Scientists

A baby born with the virus that causes AIDS appears to have been cured, scientists announced Sunday, describing the case of a child from Mississippi who’s now 2 1/2 and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. There’s no guarantee the child will remain healthy, although sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus’ genetic material still lingering. If so, it would mark only the world’s second reported cure. Specialists say Sunday’s announcement, at a major AIDS meeting in Atlanta, offers promising clues for efforts to eliminate HIV infection in children, especially in AIDS-plagued African countries where too many babies are born with the virus. “You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we’ve seen,” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who is familiar with the findings, told The Associated Press. A doctor gave this baby faster and stronger treatment than is usual, starting a three-drug infusion within 30 hours of birth. 

That was before tests confirmed the infant was infected and not just at risk from a mother whose HIV wasn’t diagnosed until she was in labor. “I just felt like this baby was at higher-than-normal risk, and deserved our best shot,” Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi, said in an interview. That fast action apparently knocked out HIV in the baby’s blood before it could form hideouts in the body. Those so-called reservoirs of dormant cells usually rapidly reinfect anyone who stops medication, said Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. 

She led the investigation that deemed the child “functionally cured,” meaning in long-term remission even if all traces of the virus haven’t been completely eradicated. Next, Persaud’s team is planning a study to try to prove that, with more aggressive treatment of other high-risk babies. “Maybe we’ll be able to block this reservoir seeding,” Persaud said. No one should stop anti-AIDS drugs as a result of this case, Fauci cautioned. But “it opens up a lot of doors” to research if other children can be helped, he said. “It makes perfect sense what happened.” Better than treatment is to prevent babies from being born with HIV in the first place. About 300,000 children were born with HIV in 2011, mostly in poor countries where only about 60 percent of infected pregnant women get treatment that can keep them from passing the virus to their babies. In the U.S., such births are very rare because HIV testing and treatment long have been part of prenatal care. “We can’t promise to cure babies who are infected. We can promise to prevent the vast majority of transmissions if the moms are tested during every pregnancy,” Gay stressed. The only other person considered cured of the AIDS virus underwent a very different and risky kind of treatment – a bone marrow transplant from a special donor, one of the rare people who is naturally resistant to HIV. Timothy Ray Brown of San Francisco has not needed HIV medications in the five years since that transplant. The Mississippi case shows “there may be different cures for different populations of HIV-infected people,” said Dr. Rowena Johnston of amFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. 

That group funded Persaud’s team to explore possible cases of pediatric cures. It also suggests that scientists should look back at other children who’ve been treated since shortly after birth, including some reports of possible cures in the late 1990s that were dismissed at the time, said Dr. Steven Deeks of the University of California, San Francisco, who also has seen the findings. “This will likely inspire the field, make people more optimistic that this is possible,” he said. In the Mississippi case, the mother had had no prenatal care when she came to a rural emergency room in advanced labor. A rapid test detected HIV. In such cases, doctors typically give the newborn low-dose medication in hopes of preventing HIV from taking root. But the small hospital didn’t have the proper liquid kind, and sent the infant to Gay’s medical center. She gave the baby higher treatment-level doses. 

The child responded well through age 18 months, when the family temporarily quit returning and stopped treatment, researchers said. When they returned several months later, remarkably, Gay’s standard tests detected no virus in the child’s blood. Ten months after treatment stopped, a battery of super-sensitive tests at half a dozen laboratories found no sign of the virus’ return. There were only some remnants of genetic material that don’t appear able to replicate, Persaud said. In Mississippi, Gay gives the child a check-up every few months: “I just check for the virus and keep praying that it stays gone.” The mother’s HIV is being controlled with medication and she is “quite excited for her child,” Gay added.