Friday, March 9, 2012

Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death!

Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death! Make a personal reflection about this.....
Very interesting, read until the end..... It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7): 'Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Here are some men and women who mocked God : John Lennon (Singer): Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said: 'Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that. I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, Today we are more famous than Him' (1966). Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times. Tancredo Neves (President ofBrazil ): During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died .. Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet): During A show in Canecio ( Rio de Janeiro ), while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: 'God, that's for you.' He died at the age of 32 of AIDS in a horrible manner. The man who built the Titanic After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: 'Not even God can sink it' The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic Marilyn Monroe (Actress) She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show. He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said: 'I don't need your Jesus'. A week later, she was found dead in her apartment . Bon Scott (Singer) The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang: 'Don't stop me, I'm going down all the way, down the highway to hell'. On the 19th of February 1980 , Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit. Campinas (IN 2005) In Campinas, Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend..... The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car: 'My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You..' She responded: 'Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here.....It's Already Full ' Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken . Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer) said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written. In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle . Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus. Many have died, but only Jesus died and rose again, and he is still alive . 'Jesus' P.S: If it was a joke, you would have sent it to everyone. So are you going to have courage to send this?. I have done my part, Jesus said 'If you are embarrassed about me, I will also be embarrassed about you before my father.' Just repeat this prayer and see how God moves!! 'Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen.'

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Message for Our Youth....

A little time spent in sowing your wild oats, dear young friends, will produce a crop that will embitter your whole life;an hour of thoughtlessness, once yielding to temptation, may turn the whole current of your life in the wrong direction. You can have but one youth; make that useful. When once you have passed over the ground you can never return to rectify your mistakes.....EGW.. Maranatha..

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wendy Williams Breaks down. WHY??!

Wendy Williams breaks down! Why? Was it Guilt perhaps? I believe she was very saddened but not for the reason she stated, more like guilt. Wendy Williams, (The shock jock/TV Host) should use the God given blessings and gifts in a more positive light (She’s very talented and smart). Understand that when given that platform as an African American, there must be a consciousness and obligation to give everyone the best of you, and unfortunately, when it came to Whitney Houston she did not. As if we don’t have enough obstacles beating us down daily. Albeit, we must all make critical choices each day to make money some of us by any means necessary, some with integrity, some based on necessity or whatever reason but understand this; we all will give account to every word , action and choice we make and be ready to deal with the consequences, results and effects that follow. Maybe, and I don’t know for sure but perhaps Wendy, you felt a little guilt in joining with the many critics and people that took pleasure in someone else’s pain. You should really ask yourself that question that you ask your viewers each day “How you doing?” Sometimes hurting people hurt others and it is my wish that moving forward you will consciously come from a more positive place, you have arrived and you can take things in a different direction now. I hope that you will.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston Praises Her Mother

Whitney Houston was always a child of God

Whitney Houston was a child of God, seduced by fame and fortune but in the end, the price is never worth it.    It is important, especially as children of God that we are ALL mindful that we have an adversary that desires to kill, still and destroy.  Therefore, we must be watchful and stay in the perfect will of God.  She was without a doubt, definitely his child and her last performance lets me know that she knew him, but the adversary had such a hold on her.   Jesus loves you Whitney!!! And I know that you loved him too.  You can rest in the Saviors arms now.  May God encamp his Angels around the Houston Family...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We love you Bill ...Amazing Story

Just true, honest, raw and yet a very loving man.  Bill Withers ...Amazing Artist, I wish more of our young black men today only knew what they really came from. 

So Called Principled Conservative Leader- Allen West, Who is this Cat???! And what do you think of him?!

I believe that the fiscal security of the United States is essential to long term prosperity. As your Congressman, I will curb out of control Government spending, I will work towards across the board tax cuts, and I will fight tirelessly to bring jobs back to South Florida. We must realize that American Exceptionalism depends on a strong and robust economy, which means that the fight begins here at home.

If we are serious about fixing our economy, then we must get back to basics. First, our tax code must be redefined. Second, we must understand that the true strength of our economy lies within small businesses, and as elected leaders in Congress, we have an obligation to support small business growth through tax cuts and incentives. Finally we need to challenge the status quo in Washington and stop the floodgates of government spending.   As your Congressman, I carry the torch of conservative, small government principles with me to Washington. You can rest assured your voice will be heard loud and clear while I proudly serve as a member of the House Committee on Small Business.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friend -- I'm heading to Capitol Hill soon to deliver my third State of the Union address. Before I go, I want to say thanks for everything you're doing. Tonight, we set the tone for the year ahead. I'm going to lay out in concrete terms the path we need to take as a country if we want an economy that works for everyone and rewards hard work and responsibility. I'm glad to know you'll be standing with me up there. Barack

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The Mental Health of African Americans:

African Americans have made great strides in education, income, and other indicators of social well-being. Their improvement in social standing is marked, attesting to the resilience and adaptive traditions of African American communities in the face of slavery, racism, and discrimination. Contributions have come from diverse African American communities, including immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. Nevertheless, significant problems remain: 1.African Americans living in the community appear to have overall rates of distress symptoms and mental illness similar to those of whites, although some exceptions may exist. One major epidemiological study found that the rates of disorder for whites and blacks were similar after controlling for differences in income, education, and marital status. A later, population-based study found similar rates before accounting for such socioeconomic variables. Furthermore, the distribution of disorders may be different between groups, with African Americans having higher rates of some disorders and lower rates of others. 2.The mental health of African Americans cannot be evaluated without considering the many African Americans found in high-need populations whose members have high levels of mental illness and are significantly in need of treatment. Proportionally, 3.5 times as many African Americans as white Americans are homeless. None of them are included in community surveys. Other inaccessible populations also compound the problem of making accurate measurements and providing effective services. The mental health problems of persons in high-need populations are especially likely to occur jointly with substance abuse problems, as well as with HIV infection or AIDS (Lewin & Altman, 2000). Detection, treatment, and rehabilitation become particularly challenging in the presence of multiple and significant impediments to well-being. 3.African Americans who are distressed or have a mental illness may present their symptoms according to certain idioms of distress. African American symptom presentation can differ from what most clinicians are trained to expect and may lead to diagnostic and treatment planning problems. The impact of culture on idioms of distress deserves more attention from researchers. 4.African Americans may be more likely than white Americans to use alternative therapies, although differences have not yet been firmly established. When complementary therapies are used, their use may not be communicated to clinicians. A lack of provider knowledge of their use may interfere with delivery of appropriate treatment. 5.Disparities in access to mental health services are partly attributable to financial barriers. Many of the working poor, among whom African Americans are overrepresented, do not qualify for public coverage and work in jobs that do not provide private coverage. Better access to private insurance is an important step, but is not in itself sufficient. African American reliance on public financing suggests that provisions of the Medicaid program are also important. Publicly financed safety net providers are a critical resource in the provision of care to African American communities. 6.Disparities in access also come about for reasons other than financial ones. Few mental health specialists are available for those African Americans who prefer an African American provider. Furthermore, African Americans are overrepresented in areas where few providers choose to practice. They may not trust or feel welcomed by the providers who are available. Feelings of mistrust and stigma or perceptions of racism or discrimination may keep them away. 7.African Americans with mental health needs are unlikely to receive treatment-even less likely than the undertreated mainstream population. If treated, they are likely to have sought help from primary care providers. African Americans frequently lack a usual source of health care as a focal point for treatment. African Americans receiving specialty care tend to leave treatment prematurely. Mental health care occurs relatively frequently in emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals. These settings and patterns of treatment undermine delivery of high-quality mental health care. 8.African Americans are more likely to be incorrectly diagnosed than white Americans. They are more likely to be diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia and less likely to be diagnosed as suffering from an affective disorder. The pattern is longstanding but cannot yet be fully explained. 9.Whether African Americans and whites benefit from mental health treatment in equal measure is still under investigation. The limited information available suggests African Americans respond favorably for the most part, but few clinical trials have evaluated the response of African Americans to evidence-based treatments. Little research has examined the impact on African Americans of care delivered under usual conditions of community practice. More remains to be learned about when and how treatment must be modified to take into account African American needs and preferences. Adaptive traditions have sustained African Americans through long periods of hardship imposed by the larger society. Their resilience is an important resource from which much can be learned. African American communities must be engaged, their traditions supported and built upon, and their trust gained in attempts to reduce mental illness and increase mental health. Mutual benefit will accrue to African Americans and to the society at large from a concerted effort to address the mental health needs of African Americans. From:NCBI

Monday, January 16, 2012


Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the Department of Procurement Services (DPS) collected $3.6 million in 2011 from selling City surplus materials through its online auction system, nearly twice the amount collected in 2010. The online auctions allow the City to sell unneeded surplus possessions including fax machine toner, scrap metal, old vehicles parts, and street sweepers. "It is our responsibility to the taxpayers of Chicago to leave no stone unturned or old fax machine unsold when it comes to bringing in new revenue to the City," said Mayor Emanuel. "For each dollar we bring in through our online auction system, it's one less dollar we have to find from someplace else which allows us to preserve critical City services that Chicagoans depend on. I commend the Department of Procurement Services for its aggressive pursuit of items that can be sold online. It is an example of the type efficient, ingenuity that we will continue to strive for every day." Through increased coordination and outreach between City departments, DPS doubled the amount it collected in 2010 from $1.8 million to $3.6 million. In addition, DPS has projected that it will increase that amount in 2012 for a total of $4.6 million in revenue. Already in the first month of 2012, DPS auctions have generated over $90,000in new revenue. Recently successful auctions include 450 tons of scrap metal, several pieces of heavy equipment and a set of decommissioned Micro-Turbine power generators. Most auction items are sold at the City's salvage yard, though some equipment is auctioned onsite at the City facilities where they were used. DPS also works internally with City departments and Sister Agencies to identify any items that still may have potential use to the City. DPS has sold surplus items to buyers all over the United States as well as South America, Mexico, and Canada. Anyone interested in purchasing surplus items should visit the City's website at or call DPS at 312.744.4900.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

No Boundaries:Debra Simpson

No Boundaries! Sometimes it feels as though your pain will last forever. You know what you want, but just how do you get there, or just how long can you wait? Each moment seems to last forever when you feel that you've lost your way. Do you have a reason to fight and not just walk away? No Boundaries! shares with you my struggles of abuse, neglect, the streets, all the way through attempted suicide. let me take you on a journey so you can see how I learned to fight and tear down the boundaries that I had placed in my life. You are not alone, and you can overcome your struggles and begin to live your life of purpose. Learn to remove the boundaries that stand between you and the rest of your life. And remember, how your life plays out is truly up to you! visit Love, Debra

North Carolina May Pay Forced-Sterilization Victims $50K

eu-gen-ics: The study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discourging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed have inheritable undesirable traits(negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — People sterilized against their will under a discredited North Carolina state program should each be paid $50,000, a task force voted Tuesday, marking the first time a state has moved to compensate victims of a once-common public health practice called eugenics. The panel recommended that the money go to verified, living victims, including those who are alive now but may die before the lawmakers approve any compensation. The Legislature must still approve any payments. A task force report last year said 1,500 to 2,000 of those victims were still alive, and the state has verified 72 victims. If the estimate is correct, the payments could total around $100 million. Survivors will have three years to apply for payments from the time a measure approving them goes into effect. "We have repeatedly acknowledged and stated as a task force that no amount of money can adequately pay for the harm done to these citizens," panel chairwoman Laura Gerald said. "We are not attempting through our work to place a value on anyone's life. However, we are attempting to achieve a level of financial compensation and other services that can provide meaningful assistance to survivors "Compensation also serves a collective purpose for the state and sends a clear message that we in North Carolina are people who pay for our mistakes and that we do not tolerate bureaucracies that trample on basic human rights." She said the task force was seeking a balance between the victims' needs and political reality, noting that "compensation has been on the table now for nearly 10 years, but the state has lacked the political will to do anything other than offer an apology." North Carolina is one of about a half-dozen states to apologize for past eugenics programs, but it is alone in trying to put together a plan to compensate victims. The task force recommendations also include that the state continue to support the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation; that the compensation be awarded so that it doesn't affect victims' taxes or government services; and that mental health counseling be offered. The panel had discussed amounts between $20,000 and $50,000 per person, and some victims and their family members had reacted angrily to the proposals because they felt the amounts were too low. The panel had also considered whether to compensate family members or descendants, but ultimately decided not to. On Tuesday, some survivors said they were simply looking forward to the issue being resolved. "I just want it to be over," said 57-year-old Elaine Riddick, who was sterilized when she was 14 after she gave birth to a son who was the product of rape. "You can't change anything. You just let go and let God." Riddick, a constant presence at the task force meetings, said she was surprised that the task force recommended $50,000 instead of $20,000. Despite the potentially high price tag to compensate survivors during uncertain budget times, there's bipartisan support to provide monetary assistance. Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue said during her 2008 campaign she wanted to provide compensation and later formed the task force. Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg County has said the state should agree next year to pay victims and wants to form a legislative committee to work out details so something can be voted upon during the Legislature's budget-adjusting session in May. The five-person panel was appointed in March 2011 by Gov. Beverly Perdue and included a judge, doctor, former journalist, historian and attorney Eugenics programs gained popularity in the U.S. and other countries in the early 1900s, but most abandoned those efforts after World War II because of the association with Nazi Germany's program aimed at racial purity. More than 30 states enacted laws authorizing surgical sterilization for certain individuals, but not all of them carried the procedures out. More than 60,000 people were forcibly sterilized around the country, and some historians think thousands more were sterilized in states without official programs under the authority of doctors or local officials. Overt rationalization for the programs ranged from protecting the potential offspring of mentally disabled parents to improving the overall health and intellectual competence of the human race. Before the atrocities of World War II, it was seen by many — both blacks and whites — as a legitimate effort to improve society. North Carolina's program stood out because it ramped up sterilizations after World War II. About 70 percent of all North Carolina's sterilizations were performed after the war, peaking in the 1950s, according to state records. The state officially ended the program in 1977. More than 7,600 were sterilized in North Carolina from 1929 to 1974. A 1933 state law authorized the sterilization of people deemed to be "mentally diseased, feebleminded or epileptic." People as young as 10 were sterilized for reasons as minor as not getting along with schoolmates or being promiscuous. Although officials obtained consent from patients or their guardians, many did not comprehend what they were signing. Melissa Hyatt of Kernersville, whose stepfather was sterilized, said the task force "did what was reasonable as far as budgets and economy." "It's not really about the money," she said. "It's about the suffering and the pain." Gerald, the chairwoman, urged the Legislature and Perdue to approve compensation during this year's session. "Any state or group of people can make a mistake, but it takes courage and strength of character to acknowledge wrongs and try to right them," she said.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Concert III – The journey, the dream

Some things bring out the best in us. Some things remind us of times when our passions were ignited. And some things bring people together to share true moments of brotherhood. These things are rare and profound. The Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. concert is one of these things. Join us. Zoltán Kodály: Dances of Galanta Ludwig Van Beethoven: Fidelio: Overture Charles Ives: Central Park in the Dark Nicole Mitchell: Harambee: Road to Victory (Orchestral Premiere) Various: Gospel and Spirituals Mei-Ann Chen, conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson, guest conductor Nicole Mitchell, flute Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary Choir Concert III - The journey, the dream When Sunday January 15 at 3:00PM buy tickets ($35 – $45) Monday January 16 at 7:30PM buy tickets ($26 – $50) Where Wentz Concert Hall 171 E. Chicago Ave Naperville, 60540 Google Maps Symphony Center 220 S Michigan Ave Chicago, 60604

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Birthday FLOTUS!

We Love! Love! Love you in the Chi, Happy Birthday Michelle!
Friend -- When you become president, one thing that happens overnight is that you and everyone you love get a bunch of new nicknames. I was already pretty used to this. But "FLOTUS," short for First Lady of the United States, is really something else. I'm writing because our FLOTUS, Michelle, turns 48 on Tuesday, and I know I'm not her only fan out there. Will you join me in wishing her a happy birthday? The decision to become part of this campaign was deeply personal for a lot of people, and Michelle and I are no exception. But we both knew, like anyone else who believes in what we're trying to do here, that this was never going to be easy. This fall, Michelle and I will have been married 20 years. The next 10 months will be harder than any we've experienced together, and I couldn't do it without her. I know she'd love to hear from you today: Thanks for your support, Barack P.S. -- This weekend, people are getting together to volunteer in their communities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Find out how you can join in at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

10 ways to avoid marrying the wrong person by Dr. Nafisa Sekandari & Hosai Mojaddidi

Married Couple Kevin and Denise Sykes: Kevin and Denise are not perfect, but what they have done is perfected overcoming many challenges and building trust; through God, much prayer, restoring faith, and love.
There is a right way and a wrong way to get to know someone for marriage. The wrong way is to get caught up in the excitement and nuance of a budding relationship and in the process completely forget to ask the critical questions that help determine compatibility. One of the biggest mistakes that many young Muslims make is rushing into marriage without properly and thoroughly getting to know someone. A common myth is that the duration of a courtship is an accurate enough measure of how compatible two people are. The logic follows that the longer you speak with someone, the better you will know them. The problem with that premise is that no consideration is given to how that time is spent. Increasingly, young Muslim couples are engaging in “halal dating,” which is basically socializing with each other in the company of friends and/or family. This includes going out to dinner, watching a movie, playing some sport or other leisure activity, etc. Depending on the family or culture, conversations are either minimal & chaperoned or worse, unrestricted and unsupervised. When you consider these limitations it makes one wonder when exactly, if ever at all, would the critical conversations take place? Unfortunately, for many, the answer is never and they live to suffer the consequences. If you or someone you know is in the “getting to know someone” phase, the following guide offers advice on exactly what to look for and avoid: 1) Do Not Marry Potential: Oftentimes men consider marrying a woman hoping she never changes while a woman considers marrying a man she hopes she can change. This is the wrong approach on both accounts. Don’t assume that you can change a person after you’re married to them or that they will reach their potential. There is no guarantee, after all, that those changes will be for the better. In fact, it’s often for the worse. If you can’t accept someone or imagine living with them as they are then don’t marry them. These differences can include a number of things such as ideological or practical differences in religion, habits, hygiene, communication skills, etc. 2) Choose Character over Chemistry: While chemistry and attraction are no doubt important, character precedes them both. A famous quote follows, “Chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning.” The idea of falling “in love” should never be the sole reason for marrying someone; it is very easy to confuse infatuation and lust for love. The most important character traits to look for include humility, kindness, responsibility, & happiness. Here’s a breakdown of each trait: •Humility: The humble person never makes demands of people but rather always does right by them. They put their values and principles above convenience and comfort. They are slow to anger, are modest, and avoid materialism. •Kindness: The kind person is the quintessential giver. They seek to please and minimize the pain of others. To know if a person is a giver, observe how they treat their family, siblings, and parents. Do they have gratitude towards their parents for all that they’ve done for them? If not, then know that they will never appreciate what you do for them. How do they treat people they don’t have to be kind towards (i.e. waiters, sales associates, employees, etc)? How do they spend their money? How do they deal with anger; their own anger and their reaction to someone else’s anger? •Responsibility: A responsible person has stability in their finances, relationships, job, and character. You can you rely on this person and trust what they say. •Happiness: A happy person is content with their portion in life. They feel good about themselves and good about their life. They focus on what they have rather than on what they don’t have. They very rarely complain. 3) Do Not Neglect The Emotional Needs of Your Partner: Both men and women have emotional needs and in order for a partnership to be successful those needs must be mutually met. The fundamental emotional need of a woman is to be loved. The fundamental emotional need of a man is to be respected and appreciated. To make a woman feel loved give her the three AAAs: Attention, Affection, & Appreciation. To make a man feel loved give him the three RRRs: Respect, Reassurance, & Relief. It is the obligation of each partner to make sure the other is happy and this extends to intimacy as well. As long as each partner is fulfilled by the emotional needs of the other, the intimate relationship will thrive. When a man takes seriously the emotional needs of his wife she will feel more encouraged to fulfill his sexual desires. Likewise, when a woman takes seriously the emotional needs of her husband he will feel more encouraged to give her the affection, love and appreciation she wants from him. Working together in this way encourages both giving and receiving. 4) Avoid Opposing Life Plans: In marriage you can either grow together or grow apart. Sharing a common purpose in life will increase the chance that you will grow together. •You must know what the person is into. In other words, what are they ultimately passionate about? Then ask yourself, “Do I respect this passion?” “Do I respect what they are into?” •The more specifically you define yourself, i.e., your values, your beliefs, your lifestyle, the better chance you have of finding your life partner, your soul mate, the one you are most compatible with. •Remember, before you decide who to take along on a trip, you should first figure out your destination. 5) Avoid Pre-Marital Sexual/Physical Activity: •Recognize that there is incredible wisdom in why God has ordered us to refrain from intimacy before marriage; they are to prevent great harms as well as to keep sacred what is the most blessed part of a relationship between a man and a woman. •Aside from the obvious spiritual consequences, when a relationship gets physical before its time, important issues like character, life philosophy, and compatibility go to the wayside. Consequently, everything is romanticized and it becomes difficult to even remember the important issues let alone talk about them. •Intellectual commitment must be established before emotional or sexual commitment. 6) Avoid Lack of Emotional Connection: There are four questions that you must answer YES to: •Do I respect and admire this person? What specifically do I respect and admire about this person? •Do I trust this person? Can I rely on them? Do I trust their judgment? Do I trust their word? Can I believe what they say? •Do I feel Safe? Do I feel emotionally safe with this person? Can I be vulnerable? Can I be myself? Can I be open? Can I express myself? •Do I feel calm and at peace with this person? If the answer is “I don’t know, I’m not sure, etc.” keep evaluating until you know for sure and truly understand how you feel. If you don’t feel safe now, you won’t feel safe when you are married. If you don’t trust now, this won’t change when you are married! 7) Pay Attention to Your Own Emotional Anxiety: Choosing someone you don’t feel safe with emotionally is not a good recipe for a long-lasting and loving marriage. Feeling emotionally safe is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage. When you don’t feel safe, you can’t express your feelings and opinions. Learn how to identify whether you are in an abusive relationship. If you feel you always have to monitor what you say, if you are with someone and you feel you can’t really express yourself and are always walking on eggshells, then it’s very likely you are in an abusive relationship. Look for the following things: •Controlling behavior: This includes controlling the way you act, the way you think, the way you dress, the way you wear your hair/hijab and the way you spend your time. Know the difference between suggestions and demands. Demands are an expression of control and if the demands are implied, than you must do it or there will be consequences. All of these are clear indications of abusive personalities. •Anger issues: This is someone who raises their voice on a regular basis, who is angry, gets angry at you, uses anger against you, uses put downs, and curses at you, etc. You don’t have to put up with this type of treatment. Many people who tolerate this behavior usually come from abusive backgrounds. If this is the case with you or someone you know, get help right away. Deal with those issues before getting married or before even thinking about getting married. Beware of Lack of Openness In Your Partner: Many couples make the mistake of not putting everything on the table for discussion from the onset. Ask yourself, “What do I need to know to be absolutely certain I want to marry this person?” “What bothers me about this person or the relationship?” It’s very important to identify what’s bothering you, things that concern you, and things you are afraid to bring up for discussion. Then you must have an honest discussion about them. This is a great way to test the strength of your relationship. Bringing up issues when there’s conflict is a great opportunity to really evaluate how well you communicate, negotiate, and work together as a team. When people get into power struggles and blame each other, it’s an indication they don’t work well as a team. Also important is being vulnerable around each other. Ask deep questions of each other and see how your partner responds. How do they handle it? Are they defensive? Do they attack? Do they withdraw? Do they get annoyed? Do they blame you? Do they ignore it? Do they hide or rationalize it? Don’t just listen to what they say but watch for how they say it! 9) Beware of Avoiding Personal Responsibility: It’s very important to remember no one else is responsible for your happiness. Many people make the mistake of thinking someone else will fulfill them and make their life better and that’s their reason for getting married. People fail to realize that if they are unhappy as a single person, they will continue to be miserable when they are married. If you are currently not happy with yourself, don’t like yourself, don’t like the direction your life is going now, it’s important to take responsibility for that now and work on improving those areas of your life before considering marriage. Don’t bring these issues into your marriage and hope your partner will fix them. 10) Watch Out For Lack of Emotional Health and Availability In Your Potential Partner: Many people choose partners that are not emotionally healthy or available. One huge problem is when a partner is unable to balance the emotional ties to family members, the marriage ends up having 3 (or more) people in it rather than two. An example of this would be if a man is overly dependent on his mother and brings that relationship into the marriage; this is no doubt a recipe for disaster. Also important to consider are the following: •Avoid people who are emotionally empty inside. These include people who don’t like themselves because they lack the ability to be emotionally available. They are always preoccupied with their deficiencies, insecurities, and negative thoughts. They are in a perpetual fight with depression, never feel good, are isolated, are critical and judgmental; tend to not have any close friends, and often distrust people or are afraid of them. Another clear indication about them is they always feel their needs are not getting met; they have a sense of entitlement and feel angry when they feel people should take care of them and they don’t. They feel burdened by other people’s needs and feel resentment towards them. These people can not be emotionally available to build healthy relationships. •Addictions can also limit the level of availability of the partner to build a strong emotional relationship. Never marry an addict. Addictions are not limited to drugs and alcohol. They can be about addictions and dependency on work, internet, hobbies, sports, shopping, money, power, status, materialism, etc. When someone has an addiction, they will not and can not be emotionally available to develop an intimate relationship with you! Additional Points to Consider: 1.The fact is no one looks 25 forever. Ultimately, we love the person we marry for more than their appearance. When we get to know someone we love and admire, we’ll love them for their inner beauty and overall essence. 2.Once we find someone, we consciously or subconsciously want so badly for it all to work that we decide not to question or see what is clearly in front of our eyes: they were rude to the waiter, speaks ill of others, is rude to you, etc. We don’t stop to ask, “What does all of this mean about their character?” 3.Never separate someone from their family, background, education, belief system, etc. Asking clear questions can clarify this. Ask questions like, “What does it mean to have a simple lifestyle?” “What are your expectations of marriage?” “How would you help around the house?” Compare your definition with theirs. 4.Be flexible. Be open-minded! 5.Giving in a happy marriage should not be confused with martyrdom. It should be about taking pleasure and seeing the other person as happy because of your connection with them. 6.Morality and spirituality are the qualities that truly define someone in addition to beauty, money, and health. The morally upright and spiritual person will stand by your side during adversity and hardship. If someone isn’t God-conscience and doesn’t take themselves into account with God then why should you expect them to fulfill their rights owed to you? The ideal partner is someone who considers giving a gain and not causing a loss. Having a mutual and shared spiritual relationship will foster a successful marriage. Furthermore, a successful marriage is one that keeps the laws of family purity which require a certain degree of self-control and self-discipline, as well as the belief that the physical side of the relationship includes the spiritual and emotional side as well. Finding commonality and balance between the spiritual and emotional aspects of a relationship is a strong key to a healthy and thriving marriage.

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