Tag Archives: God

“How Do You Define Yourself” – Lizzie Velasquez

What defines you?
So how do you define yourself?
By your status?
Or by your influence?
Or by your family name, influence?
Or by your acumen?

Here’s one of my favorite videos, I hope it challenges you and force you to start defining yourself by the purpose, gifts, calling and intentions that God has deposited inside you.
Thank God it’s Friday!

“Alone in the City”

Sometimes, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done to get something you’ve never had.

A few weeks ago I challenged a single lady…to stop complaining and doing the same things she did in 2013. I was adamant that she had to do something different in 2014. Well, well…what came out of it surprised me. She offered to share her ramblings including mode swings, prayers, expectations, fears, challenges, concerns, questions and stories weekly while offering the public a chance to weigh in as well.

She’s educated, matured, 30-40ish, christian lady and believe me we’ve decided to talk about anything. Nothing is off limit, or too sacred…and the kicker is there is absolutely no scripting whatsoever. She has the benefit of anonimity to be herself and so without much ado, I know each week will present it’s own share of fun, challenge and insight. Honestly, I can’t tell you how this ends…because I don’t know so why don’t we go on this journey together? I hope you tag along…it starts next week, Wednesday January 22nd. Excited? Absolutely, you should.
@PstFlo

Her Introduction –

Hello dear friends of Relationships Do Matter (RDM) -
Recently, I decided to take Pastor Flo’s advice to stop doing the same things regarding my dating life in 2014. I mean, if I want to get out of living single and into marriage, I might actually have to leave my house, right? So far, The One hasn’t crashed through my roof so I guess he’s out there somewhere, waiting for me to meet him halfway or he has been searching for me, who knows.

Me: I am a spontaneous, witty, funny late 30ish lady currently based in one of the cold regions in the US and and things can get really slow around these parts. I think I’m a decent-looking girl with some fashion sense. So I don’t understand why weeks go by, and not even a wink from a guy, any guy! Like a friend once said, “I don’t understand. It’s like I’m a ghost”. I know that being single is not a status and really means being content with the life I have but I have struggles.

This column is about me taking the bull by its horns this year. I’m going to try different things since the everyday “girl bumps into guy, they fall in love” scenario is not quite working (where I live, I’m more likely to bump into a snowbank). I will try online dating, I will not say no to any friends, family or strangers who want to play matchmaker, and I will not judge any guy until I’ve been out with him at least twice.

Your role, my dear readers, here is to help me along this journey. I will need your opinions and your advice. You will help me spot the red flags. You will tell me if I’m being overly picky.

I’m excited about this next phase of my life and look forward to sharing it with you. Pastor Flo (@holyflo) will be the voice of wisdom on this forum/exchange/conversation and will help us all tie our loose ends together. If there is a heated debate, his will be the calm voice that will bring folks back to order.

I look forward to the next few months and invite you to be a voice on this journey.

Connect with RDM, here:
Follow Blog: www.relationshipsdomatter.com
Like us RDM on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/relationshipsdomatter
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/relationshipsdm

It will be fun, I hope !?!
Bye for now.
I am “Alone in the City” (c)

Relationships Do Matter, 2014

No 2014 resolutions for me.

I am done with resolutions so there will be no 2014 resolutions for me.

Let me explain, ever since I realized that most of my typical ‘end of year resolutions’ (most, not all) make me feel like a failure rather than a success and guess what they also leave me with some guilt trips. So I’ve given up on that approach as a means of tracking and measuring my progress, now I have a VISION.

I can’t even explain why I found it so hard or was so tough on myself over missed gym appointments or devotionals or reading assignments. Fortunately, I have since adopted a simpler process that works perfectly for me and I hope for some of you with similar feelings or sentiments will find the typical resolution approach.

It’s so simple and yet so powerful, I call it the three things. These 3 questions allow me to cut to the chase and focus on my growth/development and purpose.

So every year, I find a quiet place and assess, critically assess everything – what worked (successes, achievements, completed goals) and those that are still pending, failures which are simply learning opportunities as well as those goals I’ve ignored or abandoned and I ask myself these 3 questions.

In 2014 -

What will I continue (keep) doing in the new year?
What will I stop doing in the new year?
What will I start doing in the new year?

Let me share with you an example for the new year.

In 2014 -

I will continue to read the book of Proverbs every month.
I will stop over loading my schedule.
I will start an appreciation log and celebrate family and friends at least once a month.

So here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year filled with precious blessings.

God bless and the indeed, the best is ours in 2014.

‘Flo Falayi, Ph.D (c)
Founder, Relationships Do Matter
www.relationshipsdomatter.com

2014 is going to be our year.

 

No Sex, It’s Over! A candid response to a common problem. (Must Read for Singles)

I was searching for an ideal title for this post and contemplated on the following, thanks to all who shared tips.

  • Seriously, You’re Not Having Sex?
  • Fact: Abstinence is Impossible in 2013.
  • Abstinence/Celibacy will keep you Single for the rest of your life.
  • No Sex, No Thank You!
  • No Sex, It’s Over.
  • Without Sex, There is no future in this relationship.

OK, anyone of these titles would work. By the way, let me warn you…
if you hate stories that really get to issues and do not tend to hide or pretend then you won’t like this one. So please don’t read on.

If you rather act the part, maintain the facade, then absolutely this story isn’t for you. This is a real story, the frequency of which, honestly is alarming especially with the associated silence from many. Honestly, the silence is literally ‘killing’ many people. So this is a ‘wake-up’ call-kinda story; it is more than wake up actually it has a “DO-Something-Now” component to it and we must start within our walls.

Background:
“James and Sophie have been an item, romantically linked for less than six (6) months before the first sign of sexual tension surfaced, needless-to-say despite James best intentions…his raging hormones like an inferno wanted an outlet. Those desires eventually became to intense to bear or ignore…silently James had hope this relationship would be void of this tension considering both parties are committed Christians and really love the vision and mission of their local church yet when the chips are down, the struggles continue.

Eventually, James seemingly incapable of hiding those feelings mentioned to Sophie that they should do what is ‘necessary’ and ‘common’ to many to keep their relationship going and hopefully move it to the next level. That particular evening, as James uttered his sexual desires/feelings for Sophie and his rationale for compromising his stance, Sophie caught off guard could barely speak. Crying, sad and confused she drove home and a placed a call to a pastor for help.

Her Story:
Why are men so predictable? Why can’t even the best of them honor, appreciate a lady’s vow of celibacy. She lamented further that she had been very cautisous about her dress style, her actions, their interactions, disposition etc so as not to lead James on.

Further more she blurted, what is wrong with me? Or is something wrong with me for choosing to be celibate? I just want to please God…”

I was the Pastor she called and here is my response. Coincidentally, this was this week’s feature of “Ask pFlo” on Relationships Do Matter. (JOIN/Sign Up today)

My Initial Response:
Sophie; do not think for a second that you are alone or think that those who maintain a vow of celibacy are literally digging their ‘graves’ as some would have one believe in today’s culture. I am aware that this invariably sets a ‘soft’ limit on potential suitors because many guys today want to literally ‘eat’ their cake and have it.

Celibacy is commendable, spiritual and pleasing in God’s sight. It is indeed the fruit and choice of a disciple/faithful follower and I agree it’s not an easy choice.

As we spoke I realized that Sophie’s vow of celibacy has been an admitted challenge, a taboo of sorts and personally a source of pain because of two failed relationships due to the same sexual overtones and demands. What Sophie didn’t anticipate was a similar occurrence by an ‘insider’. She had hoped celibacy would be easier to manage with like minded friends and fellow believers. Coincidentally, what attracted Sophie to James was his strong stance on this issue during bible study. If there was anyone who could ‘stand’ and resist this prevalent temptation that is endemic to this generation it had to be James. His passion is contagious and humility amazing. So how could it be? James was handpicked…he is the ‘chosen’ one!!!

The story (modified slightly to protect identities) captures one of the most popular question I am asked during teaching sessions, conferences, workshops online and offline. So when this question was posed ‘again’ on Monday privately, I know it is the right time to speak up again. We’ve spent some hours expounding on this issue already on the Relationships Do Matter Facebook and Google Page (click on the links to follow/join in)

Sophie’s question is valid; “why me? What can I do ? Why are some of these Christian guys like the others? I don’t want to compromise my stand please help!

Now, More Comments:
If your initial response is the generic ‘dump him and God will provide your own, you are not saying anything new. She’s heard that 2 times already, recall she’s moved on from 2 previous relationships. So let me ask a rhetorical question, can we blame the other ladies/girls who so readily and easily give it up in hope that the guys will be satisfied and never leave? Or is it the guys fault that there are many girls willing to give it up? Hence preying on easy women ?

Or perhaps, the fear that by demanding celibacy, many will run off has paralyzed many ladies? I am aware that many who have taken a celibate stance especially ladies get laughed at by others who ‘give it up’ and are heading to the altar. Valid questions, real issues so what shall we say ?

Culled from the conversations (RDM chat conversations) -
Some have been unequivocal in their stance and position below -

Just keep praying to God to bring her a genuine born again Christian guy. A guy that will not make her to fall. A guy that will lead her spiritually. I CAN CONFIDENTLY SAY THAT, there are genuine Christians guys out there, she just need to pray more and God will lead her to the right guy for her.

PRAYER IS CRITICAL, BUT THERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT ALSO REQUIRE WISDOM, COUNSEL and in some cases RUNNING SHOES.

Another said, while some guys profess to be Christians, they probably lack understanding of what it means to be truly saved. They need more teaching on what is acceptable and appropriate in relationships. A BIG AMEN TO THAT, LET THEM US CALL WE CAN HELP.

Someone said, it’s the society’s fault as well as the Church and the men in general. WELL MAYBE!

To respond to the issue of the Church, as a Pastor I know what that entails: The church is a ‘laundromat’ of sorts – everyone is welcome but it is a place where many are trained, developed, disciplined, built up in righteousness. I must state that there is a direct correlation between study and approval. Paul (a mentor) told Timothy (2Tim) to STUDY God’s word so that he could SHOW himself approved. However length of duration required varies, some who arrived heavily soiled/stained indeed need more time, treatment, mentoring etc and there are some who are less stained and do not deal with some of the other ‘issues’ others might have…but regardless we all must come to God for cleansing, healing and restoration since we are all sinners saved by GRACE. So what or who or where do we go from here?

Honestly, we are living in precarious times…
These times are challenging times with diverse variables: a permissive culture, easy women, desperate women, open society which are all products of time, changing time.

In this case, I will ask the lady to do the following:

  1. Remain hopeful and prayerful.
  2. Join Relationship Do Matter Global Network (details below on how to connect on Social Media)
  3. Remain committed to her stance to be celibate.
  4. Remain faithful to the Word of God and service in God’s house.
  5. Tell James he should attend the next Relationship Matters Workshop (Inquire further) to be mentored in accordance to Titus 2; “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”.

When I get the opportunity to chat with James,
I will remind him on some of these truths:

  1. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 – Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
  2. James 4:17 – Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.
  3. Ephesians 6:10-18 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
  4. Hebrews 4:15 – For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.
  5. Each man must learn to possess his own body with wisdom.
  6. Do not fall for the lie that your manhood is tied to how many women you’ve conquered.
  7. Obeying God (being celibate as a single) is very sexy.
  8. And ask him to memorize the popular song, “If you love me, you will wait for me”, because TRUE LOVE waits.

So do you agree, what else will you say to Sophie, James and others…
pFlo

Website/blog: http://www.relationshipsdomatter.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/relationshipsdomatter
Twitter: http://twitter.com/relationshipsDM
Google+: http://www.gplusid.com/+RDM

Pic: http://pinterest.com/pin/67694800621694414/

 

 

Turning Point By Kelechi Okeahialam (Guest Contributor)

Kelechi Vera Okeahialam, is an HR professional, who loves God passionately, enjoys singing and expressing herself through creative writing, ballet and liturgical dance. She is passionate about inspiring people, especially young people and women to “find their voice”, and has found a deep satisfaction in mentoring and coaching women and young people. 
 

Turning Point

 Often times I came to you
In haste and in a flurry
Asking for this and for that
Harried and rapidly working out a plan B
Just in case You didn’t give me what I wanted
I would ask you impatiently
Tapping my feet and consulting my diary
Giving you ultimatums
As if you had nothing better to do
Than to satisfy my every whim
I never thought to ask
Why the Master of the Universe
Waited patiently
As I went through a tirade, a tantrum and a sulk respectively
I never questioned why he didn’t call me to order
And exercise his divine will over mine
Time and time again as I came to Him
With one cosmetic need or the other
He gently tried to woo me
Court me; turn my attention away from the toys
Which were really the only reasons I needed Him
He would watch me in church
Screaming in ecstasy as the preacher preached my kind of message
Full of razzmatazz and why I had a right to the finer things of life
Speaking christianese as if I really knew God
Quoting scripture in rapid succession
A fake at best and this is not a jest
One day I came into His Presence
Broken, torn and bleeding
Gone were my arrogance and tirades
As I wailed in His comforting arms
I lifted my face for the first time
To behold His Weeping face
And encountered a love that blew me away
His eyes were warm and tender, so full of love for me!
As He His hands gently wiped my tears away
I saw the God who had waited so long
For me to realise I was made for Him
And all of a sudden, everything I ever thought was necessary to life
Faded into oblivion
I beheld the lover of my soul and my fire within
I gasped in wonder, touching his scared face
I wept in joy, as He sang over me
Rivers of healing power washing over me
Renewing, re-validating, re- directing
I saw myself as He created me to be
Gloriously living for His Praise
I saw the pain and trials on the path He set before me
Yet I rejoiced over the majesty I saw after the pain
I knew then
That I would walk across hot coals for Him
If that would bring Him glory
Now and then and again,
I would come in a tantrum and sulk
Forgetting how far I’d come with Him
Immediately I’d hear Him call my name
That voice that shakes the foundations of the universe
The voice that causes the oceans to flee in awe
And everything would become clear again
As I run into the arms of He who loved me first and best

© Kelechi Okeahialam

A Glass of Water

Hello All,I got this interesting story from a friend and it comes filled with an insightful truth ready for use. So go ahead and make this week a great one and may it exceed all your expectations.
Remember Relationships Do Matter. Enjoy!

A GLASS OF WATER

A Professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see and asked the students, “How much do you think this glass weighs?” ’20oz!’…’30oz!’ …..’32oz’ the students noised.

“I really don’t know unless I weigh it,” said the professor.

“But, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?”
‘Nothing’ …..chorused students said.

‘Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the professor asked.
‘Your arm would begin to ache’ said one of the students.

“You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?”
“Your arm could go numb; you might have severe muscle stress and paralysis, probably required a visit to the hospital for sure!” ventured another student and all the students laughed.

“Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?” Asked the professor.
All the students chorused a ‘NO!’.

“Then what caused the arm ache & the muscle stress?” The students were puzzled.
“What should I do now to come out of pain?” asked professor again.

“Put the glass down!” said one of the students.
“Exactly!” said the professor.

Moral of the story:
Life’s problems fit the same profile. Hold them for a few minutes in your head & they seem OK. Think of them for a long time and they begin to ache. Hold it even longer & they begin to paralyze you that you will not be able to do anything. It’s important to think of the challenges or problems in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT is to ‘PUT THEM DOWN AT God’s FEET’ at the end of every day before you go to
sleep.

That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh, strong and ready to handle any issue or challenge that may come.

So, friends, remember to ‘ALWAYS PUT THE GLASS DOWN!’
- Author Unknown.

Image Source: http://blog.chron.com

Love Unmatched – 143 Million Orphans

Friends, This is love unmatched, when we love others not for what we can get in return.

My dear friend, Jason (Executive Director of Precious.org)…in his own words said this – “I recently had the opportunity to  speak at First Christian Church in Champaign, IL Chosen for Life Adoption Conference . . . Their purpose and passion is to walk alongside God’s people and seek to fulfill God‘s mandate to care for the orphan.

Watch the clip here: Click Here

Find out more about Jason and the work at ‘Precious.org’, here.

Marriage = Hard Work; So Roll Up Your Sleeves.

It has been an interesting week and just before the weekend kicks off I wanted to stir the pot. For many who so desperately long for marriage, let me break the news to you as gently as possible.

Marriage requires a lot of hard work. It’s indeed a ‘what you put into it, is what you get proposition’. Don’t panic! I didn’t say Marriage is impossible, I simply said it demands your commitment and that’s hard work. By hard work, I am simply stating the obvious and preparing you for what lies ahead. Hard work doesn’t eliminate the fun, passion, excitement and fulfilment but it means ‘children’ should be barred from engaging in it until they are matured enough to appreciate and enjoy working hard for marriage will not work for the immature, lazy, selfish and self absorbed.

Manual:
If you’ve ever bought a piece of furniture that requires assembly especially those in multiple boxes then you can probably relate. Within those boxes (holding your beautiful pieces of furniture) are instruction booklets. Here’s the obvious, your beautiful furniture is dependent on your adherence, strict adherence to the series of instructions (including recommended tools, sequence etc).

If you trivialize the assembly process, you create a ‘monster’.
If you second-guess the instructions, you waste time.
If you outsource the instructions, you display your lack of knowledge.

Actually, your absolute adherence doesn’t make you dumb, it confirms your wisdom. It saves you time, it makes you happy and fulfilled. I can see you smiling already.

So why don’t we apply the same approach to these ‘marriage’ instructions?
Roll up your sleeves.
Make some room.
Place a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door.
Now read below.

Here are the four ‘Must Dos’ for Every Husband. (Single Men, take note and confirm if you are ready)
Using the perfect allegory from Eph 5:25-28 (MSG)

Husbands, go all out in your LOVE for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—

  1. A love marked by GIVING not GETTING.
  2. A love that makes the bride WHOLE (proud, bold, confident and assured).
  3. Your WORDS must EVOKE her beauty consistently.
  4. Everything you do and say is designed to bring the BEST out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness,

That is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Wives surprisingly, here is the one ‘Must do’. (Single Ladies, read below to confirm if you are ready)

Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise SUBMIT to their husbands (not to another man, only your husband please).

Let’s agree to disagree, but these are non-negotiable.
Now are you ready for hard work, oops marriage?
pFlo