Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

Seeking God

Posted: July 14, 2013 in Faith
Tags: , , ,

Happy Sunday! Thanks for sharing this wonderful message

From the Inside Out

Seeking after God.  It’s a concept we come across frequently in scripture.  But God is Spirit; he’s invisible to us.  How do we seek after someone we can’t see?

Perhaps we can answer that question by considering the ways we seek a person, who can be seen.

Example #1:

When my husband, Steve, and I are separated in a crowd, it’s quite amazing how quickly I can spot him.  Beyond height, hair, and eye color, I know the breadth of his shoulders, the way the hair grows on the back of his head, the shape of his ears.  In fact, it’s such nuances as these that draw my attention, even more than the descriptors listed on his driver’s license.

Perhaps our first step in seeking God is to get to know what he looks like, although not his physical Being, since he’s chosen not to reveal himself that way.  But as…

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Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read: Isaiah 66:7-13

When I stuck my camera into the bush to take a picture of the baby robins, they opened their mouths without opening their eyes.  They were so used to having mama robin feed them whenever the branches moved that they didn’t even look to see who (or what) was causing the disturbance.  That is the kind of trust that loving mother instill in their children. That is the kind of mom I am blessed to have.  Growing up, I could eat whatever she put on the table without fear that it would harm me.  Although she made me eat things I didn’t like, I knew she did so because they were good for me.  If she cared only about what was easy for her, she would have let me eat junk food.  No matter what Mom told me to do, or not to do, I knew she had my best interest in mind.  She wasn’t trying to keep me from having fun; she was trying to protect me from being hurt.

That is the kind of relationship we have with God, who compared Himself to a mother: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you” (Isa. 66:13). As His children, we have no reason to fear what happens to us nor to envy what happens to others: “Do not… be envious of the workers of iniquity” (Ps. 37:1).  When we trust His goodness, we are fed by His faithfulness. –Julie Ackerman Link

Lord, we’re thankful for this example of motherhood.  But even more, we’re grateful for Your faithful “mothering” of us displayed in Your compassion day by day.  Help us to find rest in You.  Amen.

God’s care surrounds us.

[Source: Our Daily Bread, 12 May 2013]

LOVE

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong-doing but rejoices in truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endure all things. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

[Source: Holy Bible – English Standard Version]

I came across to this topic in wikihow.com and find it helpful to those who are in a long distance relationship. This is  quite long but a good read :).

Long-distance-relationship

Tips

  • Avoid temptations, the best and easiest way to be faithful would always be to not put yourself in a situation where you would have to be tested. Temptations would always come your way, but avoiding certain things would let your partner know that there’s nothing to worry about.
  • One of the hardest parts of a long distance relationship is connecting when one person gets busier than the other. If this happens in a relationship, it is important to maintain communication. If you are the busy person, try to warn your partner ahead of time that you will be working many hours and may have limited time. If you are the not-as-busy person, take advantage of the time by picking up a new hobby, getting in shape, reading a new book, etc. Flexibility is very important.
  • Living far apart gives you both a chance to grow as individuals. Some couples break up to “find themselves”, but in a long distance relationship you both have enough space to do your own things and still have a connection.
  • A long-distance relationship is no different from a proximal relationship in that they both require a great deal of work, excellent communication, patience, sacrifice and understanding. But you will have to work extra hard to maintain the communication and to stay focused enough to not let your daily life interfere with your desire to be with the other person. Don’t forget them or you can forget the relationship and it will all be over.long-distance-relationship
  • Sometimes phone/email/IM communication can get bland. Don’t forget there are other ways to interact! Use the internet and find things you both can do together. It takes the pressure off, it gives you a break from constant talking, and it can be fun.
  • Buy a webcam so you can chat “face-to-face” and see each other, so when you meet you will remember how your partner looks.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about the “boring” parts of your day. The trickier, almost subconscious part is maintaining the feeling of being intermingled in your partner’s life, a state the experts often refer to as “interrelatedness.”
  • Make a creative countdown and mail it to your partner to enjoy until you see each other next. For example, create a photo calendar, with something you add for each day to describe what you love about them.
  • It’s important to talk about the future. If you’re not sure how long you will be apart, try to make goals for when you can move near one another again.
  • Spice things up by meeting halfway (if it’s within a reasonable distance) to grab a bite to eat or get some coffee. This is a great alternative if you’re not able to dedicate an entire weekend with your significant other.
  • Remember “Always toward absent lovers love’s tide stronger flows.”
  • Don’t talk on the phone TOO often. Since most of your relationship is based off of phone calls, you don’t want to run out of things to talk about for the whole day. Calling one to two times daily will allow you to talk to each other without having repetitive conversations.
  • Do not set unreasonable expectations for your visit and/or future plans. Fantasizing about the visit is fine, but not out loud verbally or by email to your partner. Instead, enjoy the excitement of the surprises to come. By stating that a surprise is coming can allow to much thought time for the receiver and leaves both of you open to disappointments.
  • Mail each other scented clothes (or even clothes smelling of your sweat—pheromones are a great way to establish intimate contact). If you can see each other once a week, leave a t-shirt splashed with cologne for your lover before you leave.
  • The Long Distance Relationship Guidebook is a well-balanced, practical book for couples in long distance relationships who need some guidance.
  • It helps to have a solid time in the future for when the long distance part of the relationship will end, no matter the time length. Without it, the relationship can begin to mold into something that is always distant—even with great communication. With it, each person can see the point at which the distance will end and work harder to keep emotions readily available.
  • When talking to your partner, take note of things they enjoy the most (hobbies, day-to-day activities, etc.), and do a little research on it so you have more to do when you see them next. For example: If your partner likes to dance, find the location of different clubs where you will see them next. If you don’t know how to dance, take lessons and you will impress them by your willingness to make an effort on their behalf.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
  • Send each other spontaneous e-cards.
  • Choose a game that you can play together over the internet, whether it is a MMORPG (massively multi-player online role playing game) or something more traditional, such as chess or Scrabble. You will be able to chat while playing and it will give a greater feeling of togetherness.
  • Express yourself to free up emotional weight. One poet who’s written poetry as a result of a long-distance relationship is Tony Berndtsson – look him up.
  • Trust is the key.
  • A surprise of balloons flowers or a special gift mailed or sent to them
  • Sometimes when you are together, try to do domestic, seemingly mundane things that couples who live together would do- grocery shopping, spring cleaning the closet, rearranging furniture/redecorating, etc. It gives the feeling of creating a home together, something you both surely look forward to.
  • Always try to be happy when talking or texting each other; make sure to always be positive about them and the things she/he does.
  • When getting to know each other, show the real you, not the person you think your partner wants.
  • Don’t be too anxious or jealous that you don’t always know what they are doing. A little space is good and will definitely keep things calm.
  • Always listen to your partner on what they think will make the relationship stronger. Also ALWAYS be there for them no matter what.
  • Don’t be afraid to voice your fears.

Warnings

  • Long distance relationships are difficult, as you are emotionally attached to a person you cannot touch or comfort and this can wreak havoc with your emotions. You may have negative thoughts or feelings that are not true, you may doubt your love feelings, or, because of some fights over the phone, you may feel that you don’t feel the way you did before for your partner. But try to keep these feelings in perspective as distance can aggravate them.
  • Long distance relationships can and will test you and your partner; you need to trust him/her entirely, lest paranoia play a major part in the demise of your relationship.
  • There would always be people that would say that long distance relationships don’t work, just remember that they are not the people who are in the relationship. Making it work surviving the long distance cannot should not be determined by them.
  • When you are alone, take out time to see the photos of your love, any gift that he/she has given, or letters written. At night, before sleeping, try to recollect those wonderful moments.
  • Remember, fights are a part of any relationship, and it’s up to you to deal with it or to succumb to it.
  • Long distance relationships are not for the faint of heart. They can be very trying, but so can proximal relationships.ldr
  • Try to make every possible effort from your side. Initially, love/passion can be the driving force. As time goes on, it’s commitment that is most important.
  • It’s easier to get into arguments in a long-distance relationship, because you can’t always discern what someone’s actual tone is through text. It’s also a lot easier to say hurtful things when you’re not face-to-face, but the words can hurt just the same. Take special care to watch how you interpret their words (for it might not be what they meant), and what you say when you’re angry.
  • Remember, every kind of relationship takes hard work and dedication to your loved one or partner, whether it’s long distance or proximal. If you and your partner are willing to take these steps, then expect bumps and turns in the road. These bumps and turns will only help contribute towards a relationship.tumblr_m33t6be6yk1qipt9v

[Source: WikiHow.com]

Life is all about love.

Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like him, so love is the foundation of every command he has given us: “The whole Law can be summed up in this one command”:  Love others as you love yourself.”

Learning to love unselfishly is not an easy task.  It runs counter to our self-centered nature.  That’s why we’re given a lifetime to learn it.  Of course, God wants us to love everyone, but he is particularly concerned that we learn to love others in his family.  As we’ve already seen this is the second purpose for your life. Peter tells us, “Show special love for God’s people”, Paul echoes this sentiment: When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it.  But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers.”

Why does God insist that we give special love and attention to other believers? Why do they get priority in loving? Because God wants his family to be known for its love more than anything else.  Jesus said our love for each other– not doctrinal beliefs- is our greatest witness to the world.  He said,”Your strong love for each other will prove the world that you are my disciples.”

In heaven we will enjoy God’s family forever, but first we have some tough work to do here on earth to prepare ourselves for an eternity of loving.  God trains us by giving us “family responsibilities,” and the  foremost of these is to practice loving each other.

God wants you to be in regular, close fellowship with other believers so you can develop the skill of loving.  Love cannot be learned in isolation.  You have to be around people-irritating, imperfect, frustrating people.  Through fellowship we learn three important truths.

The Best Use of Life is Love

Love should be your top priority primary objective, and greatest ambition.  Love is not a good part of live; it’s the most important part.  The Bible says, “Let love be your greatest aim”.

It’s not enough to say, One of the things I want in life is to be loving,” as if its’ in your top ten list.  Relationships must have priority in your life above anything else.  Why?

Life without love is really worthless. Paul makes this point: “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”

Often we act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into your schedule.  We talk about finding time for our children or making time for people in our lives.  That gives the impression that relationships are just a part of our lives along with many other tasks.   But God says relationships are what life is all about.  Four of the Ten Commandments deal with our relationship to God while the other six deal with our relationships with people.  But the ten are about relationships!  Later, Jesus summarized what matters most to God in two statements: love God and love people.  He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart…” This is the first and greatest commandments.  A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” After learning to love God (worship), learning to love others is the second purpose of your life.

Relationships, not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matter most in life.  So why do we allow our relationships to get the short end of the stick? When our schedules become overloaded, we start skimming relationally, cutting back on giving the time, energy, and attention that loving relationships require.  What’s most important to God is displaced by what’s urgent.

Busyness is a great enemy of relationships.  We become preoccupied with making a living doing our work, paying bills, and accomplishing goals as if these tasks are the point of life. They are not.  The point of life is learning to love – – God and people.  Life minus love equals zero.

Love will last forever.  Another reason God tells us to make love our top priority is that it is eternal  “ These three things continue forever:  faith, hope, and love.  And the greatest of these is love.”

Love leaves legacy.  How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.  As Mother Teresa said, “It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.” Love is the secret of a lasting heritage.

I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity and I have never heard anyone one say, “Bring me my diploma! I want to look at them one more time.  Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.” When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects.  What we want around us is people- people we love and have relationships with.

In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about.  Wisdom is learning the truth sooner rather than later.  Don’t’ wait until you’re on your deathbed to figure out that nothing matters more.

We will be evaluated on our love.  The third reason to make learning to love the goal of your life is that it is what we will be evaluated on in eternity.  One of the ways God measures spiritual maturity is by the quality of your relationships.  I heaven God won’t say, “Tell me about your career, your bank account, and your hobbies.” Instead he will review how you treated other people, particularly those in need. Jesus said the way to love him is to love his family and care for their practical needs.  “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,”

When you transfer into eternity, you will leave everything else behind.  All you’re taking with you is your character.  That’s why the bible says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Knowing this, I suggest that when you wake up every morning, you kneel by your bed, or sit on the edge of it, and pray this: “God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving other people- because that’s what life is all about.  I don’t want to waste this day.” Why should God give you another day if you’re going to waste it?

The Best Expression of Love is Time

The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them.  The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you. If you want to know a person’s priorities, just look at how they use their time.

Time is your most precious gift because you only have set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.  When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back.  Your time is your life.  That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

It is not enough just to say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them.  Words alone are worthless.  “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E.” The essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.  Men , in particular, often don’t understand this.  Many have said to me, “I don’t understand my wife and kids.  I provide everything they need. What more they could want? They want you! Your eyes, your ears, your time, your attention, your presence, your focus-your time. Nothing can take the place of that.

The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate.  It is focused attention.  Love concentrates so intently on another that you forget yourself at that moment.  Attention says. “I value you enough to give you my most precious asset- my time”.  Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice, and sacrifice is the essence of love.  Jesus modeled this: “Be full of love for others, following the examples of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins.”  You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. “God so loved the world that he gave…” Love means giving up-yielding my preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy, or time for the benefit of someone else.

The Best Time to Love is Now

Sometimes procrastination is a legitimate response to a trivial task.  But because love is what matters most, it takes top priority.  The Bible stresses this repeatedly. It says “Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone.”   Use every chance you have for doing good.”   “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it.  Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.”

Why is now the best time to express love? Because you don’t know how long you will have the opportunity.  Circumstances change.  People die. Children grow up.  You have no guarantee of tomorrow.  If you want to express love, you had better do it now.  Knowing that one day you will stand before God, here are some questions you need to consider:  How will you explain those times when projects or things were more important to you than people? Who do you need to start spending more time with? What do you need to cut out of your schedule to make that possible? What sacrifices do you need to make?

The best use of life is love.  The best expression of love is time.  The best time to love is now.

[Source: The Purpose Drive Life, Rick Warren]

What is love? A lot of people have their own definitions of this four letter word. I saw a humorous definition which said “Love is a heterogeneous conglomeration of absurdity calculated to bamboozle the anatomy of the individual who become intoxicated with its abominable and irresistible power.” Whoa! Could that ever be love? Another one, Love is a feeling you feel when you feel that you’re going to get a feeling that you never felt before.” Whew! Whatever that is, it surely isn’t love! So how do we know if this is true love or not? Well, love has its counterfeit called infatuation. Now, let’s discern the counterfeit from the genuine.

Infatuation is ruled by feelings, but love’s feelings are ruled by principle. In the field of infatuation, the feelings are in charge. But the problem is that our feelings are fickle. They change easily. Today I feel great, so I kiss her. Tomorrow I feel terrible, so I kick her. That’s no love! True love has feelings, tender feelings which are put in the human heart by a caring God. But love is not composed of feelings only. It is feeling plus principle. Moreover, love is not controlled by feelings. It does not do anything and everything it feels. Rather in true love, the feelings are under control of principle.

Infatuation is blind, but love sees & examines. It cannot see and does not wish to see! Example, when a girl recognizes that her BF is hooked on drugs, but still proceeds with plans for marriage or when a boy observes his GF flirting continuously with other men but still goes ahead with the love affair, infatuation has blinded them. True love uses its eyes to see and to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the prospective partner. It is not afraid to ask hard questions nor to do difficult examinations.

Infatuation is in a hurry, but love takes time. Everything of permanent value in life takes time. We can build a shack overnight, but if we are building a house that will stand fury of a typhoon, that takes time. We can put up an artificial Christmas tree overnight, but to grow a real tree, that takes time. It has to be planted, watered and nourished for weeks, months, or years. Love is like a plant- a tender precious plant. Infatuation is ever in hurry: see her today, court her tomorrow, and marry her the day after! It’s “love at first sight”. It’s “puppy love.” And someone has rightly said, “Puppy love leads to a dog’s life.” But while this “puppy love” is in hurry, true love takes time- time to know and time to grow. Knowing a person always takes time & there is no “shortcut”.

Infatuation is obsessed with externals, but love is concerned with internals. “Puppy love” is obsessed with the figure, is a slave to the fashion, and is intoxicated with sex appeal. In fact, where infatuation reigns, sex dominated the relationship. True love admires the figure & appreciated sexual intimacy. But these are not the greatest concerns of true love. It is more concerned with the personality, the kind of person the partner really is. Love examines the habits, the inner virtues or vices. True love pays attention to the character, the inner self. While we cannot read a person’s heart, our concern should be more what the beauty of character rather that the beauty of figure.

Infatuation is childish, but love is mature. Childish & selfish, “puppy love” says “Give me,” with a little or no concerns for the other. It is self-centered. But true love is other-entered. It is concerned with the welfare of one’s partner. Childish and irresponsible, infatuation says, “I don’t understand the word tomorrow; give it to me now.” It cries for gratification today, regardless of the consequences later. On the other hand, true love refrains from enjoying today that which it will regret tomorrow.

Infatuation is a human ditch, but love is a divine ladder. One goes down, the other goes up. Infatuation is a ditch into which blindfolded people fall, but love is a ladder onto which wide-eyed people climb. In a certain sense, we do not “fall” in love; we climb on to love. True love does not come by accident; it involves effort. It takes thinking & working & caring. So while infatuation is a human pit, true love is a divine ladder. And every person has a freedom to choose between the tragedy of one and the triumph of the other.

[Source: I Love You by Gordon Martinborough]

Be fair and say good-bye

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Live & Learn
Tags:

They have been sweethearts for more than a year. Their involvement with each other had been very intense emotionally, intellectually and even sexually. They had been making plans to get married when she suddenly began to worry about their relationship, their love.

She noticed that he was seeing less & less of her, calling/texting less often and talking more & more about things that didn’t matter much. When she confronted him & asked him to explain, he simply said he was very busy with his work & needed more time for himself (hmm…in other words, starting to make lame excuses). Long after the relationship effectively ended, he had never said good-bye. He simply faded out of her life without even giving her a satisfactory explanation.

Is this story familiar? You bet! Far too often, relationships end without even a whimper. Lovers don’t say good-bye. Instead, they simply disappear quietly into the dark night. The lover who wants to end his relationship this way usually does so for any number of reasons.

First, he may feel guilty about walking away after having made a promise he evidently has no intention of keeping. He may not want to hurt the woman and hopes that by quietly sneaking out the back door, she will just forget about him. Or perhaps she does not want to be the one to end the relationship and thus refuses to put a period at the end of the chapter. Instead, she leaves without any formal finish to the relationship.

Lovers who use the “fade-out” technique believe it gives them less pain. Perhaps, but it isn’t fair. When a lover slowly backs out of a relationship piece by piece, he or she cuts away the partner’s self-esteem. More than that, when the relationship isn’t clearly ended, the partner may believe that there is still a good chance of patching things up and going on. This, even if the one leaving has no intention of doing so. Often, the one saying good-bye will create false expectations by saying things like, “Perhaps we can try again in a few months’ time.” Or, “This isn’t a break up, only a pause in a relationship” or others calls it “cool‒off” ‒ when you know very well that its’ over.

Often, the one wanting to leave will ask for impossible conditions for staying, believing those conditions are completely unacceptable. There is surprise when they are sometimes accepted.

It isn’t fair to play with one’ feelings, especially someone you once claimed to love deeply. You owe it to that person to be honest and clear about your intention.

Some advise:
1. Don’t use the “I need more time” excuse.
2. Encourage your partner to find a life independent of you
3. Let your actions reflect your words
4. Tell it as it is
5. Don’t make excuses

If you went into a relationship SINCERELY, you’re duty bound to leave it in the same manner.

[a re-post from my old blog]