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28.5.13

Being a Friend - Who is a Friend of Jesus

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I  have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
- John 15:14-15

To be a good friend we need to have a good friend.  Having Jesus as our best friend, is the most amazing thing imaginable.  He is our example and experience of what being a friend really means.  Jesus’ friendship is based on mutuality and love and if He, the Son of God, is able to have that sort of friendship with us mere mortals, then we should be able to offer that sort of friendship to each other too.  There is nothing that Jesus has done that is not possible for us to do.

In the verse above we see that there is a condition to Jesus friendship with us.   He says that if we want to be His friends we have to do as He says.  He then qualifies this by saying that he is not saying this as a master would to a servant but that He is saying it to us as friends.  So this condition is to friendship with him is not a demand for obedience as an employer would expect from an employee but rather as a friend saying, come with me this is the way we should go.  

So what is Jesus commanding?  What is the requirement of His friendship?  The verse preceding the ‘if’ says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”. - John 15:13 and then before that He tells us His commandment, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” - John 15:12 and the verse before that tells us why he says all the things He says, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” -John 15:11

We can see from these verses that Jesus is saying that we can be His friend if we love another as He has loved us and His reason for wanting us to live a life of love so that our joy may be full.  His ‘if’ is only for our benefit.  His condition is so that we will get the most out of our friendship and that our friends get the most out of us.  Friendship is designed to be mutually beneficial where we can all find joy in love.  When Jesus is our friend we are able to experience what that level of love feels like so that we can offer that sort of friendship to others.   

Wikipedia defines friendship as a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people.  Being a friend of Jesus, enjoying the mutual affection between you and Him, means that you will be able to offer your friendship to others in a way that you could not have done before being His friend first.  To be a great friend, start by being His friend.  He is our ultimate example and He did everything that He expects from us first.  Jesus demonstrated how to lay down one’s life for his friends. He does not expect us to do anything that He hasn’t already done.  And His motivation is that our joy may be full!  

Is your joy full?  Are you a friend of Jesus?  Give it a try and see a whole other way to live life and have friendships.  

Find out more about Being a Friend here or about using our material to host your own Girl's Night here.
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21.5.13

Being a Lover - Who Plans

Great sex very seldom just happens!  Maintenance sex happens regularly I am sure and occasionally great spontaneous sex might happen.  To enjoy regular and consistent great sex, planning is required.  Why not plan sex dates?  It's a great way to set aside an allocated time where you will focus on pleasing each other sexually.  
    Men seldom plan in this area, they are often instantly on just like a light switch - on and off - simple.  Women, however, are more like irons, they take time to warm up which is why a woman will benefit greatly from planning.  When planning a sex date, you will begin to release hormones that start getting you in the mood way before you even begin to get physically sexual. This means that when you do get down to the physical side of things you will be ready to explode!  There are several things that you can plan:

Anticipation
There is nothing quite like anticipation.  Anticipation is the action of expectation, an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety.  Expectation is the strong belief that something will happen in the future.  Great sex is the result of anticipation, in fact, the anticipation is what fuels all the plans that you make in preparation for your sex date.  As you make plan as anticipate what is to come you will become aroused.    

Time
Setting a time is essential to the success of your plan.  There is no point anticipating great sex without actually setting a specific time. It can be a regular time in your week that you both agree to block out in your diary or it can be a random thing that you do from time to time.  The great thing about a weekly set time is that psychologically you will quickly associate the time with what is to come and your body will have no problem with quickly switching from work mode into sex mode.  You don't have to do the same thing every time but have a set time can have huge advantages.  No matter whether you have set times or prefer occasional random times for you sex date, make sure that you put time aside for great sex.

Location
Decide on a location too.  Some couple like changing location to keep things interesting and you can be very creative with setting different locations and different moods.  There is so much that can be done with location and it can be really fun.  Have you ever considered taking some blankets into the garden on a warm summers night?  Just make sure it's properly dark so the neighbours don't get a good show!  Or how about setting a romantic scene in the living room or bathroom or on the beech (is that legal?) or..... well you get the picture.  It's doesn't always have to be in your bed in your bedroom you know.

Children
If you have children it is important to have occasional sex dates when they are not in the room next door and if you want to get creative in a room that doesn't have a key definitely be careful of getting busted!  Take time for just the two of you, either let them sleep out for a night or go away to a nice place where you can spend the night uninterrupted.  It's important to have children free time occasionally and go a bit wild!

Atmosphere
Light candles, put clean soft sheets on the bed, bring in some fresh flowers and play romantic music.  Atmosphere is essential.  Create an atmosphere in the bedroom that will remind both of you that what you plan to do is sacred and well as erotic.  It should feel like a safe space for you to play together sexually.

Dress 
Naked is good but it is also fun to dress up to get in the mood.  Prepare yourself physically for your sex date by bathing, shaving and doing whatever preparations make you feel sexy.  Dress in lingerie or whatever makes you feel sexy and consider what turns your husband on too.  What you like might not do it for him, so find out what he likes best.

Food
My husband always says that the best thing I can do for him is to pitch up naked with food!  I did that once and he actually laughed.  Seriously though, you don't want to be having an intense sex date on an empty stomach, prepare a nice dinner before hand or take some snacks to your location especially since you might spend some time talking first on your sex date.   Some foods are known aphrodisiacs so if you need a little help, eat something like. The jury is out as to how much scientific evidence there is that any foods really do make sex more attainable or more pleasurable, it could just be the the placebo effect, but here are a few that could be fun to try:

  • Chocolate - contains a lots of feel-good chemicals including phenylethylamine, the "love chemical," which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain and peaks during orgasm. It is said that phenylethylamine helps to induce feelings of excitement, attraction and euphoria.
  • Chilli - increases circulation and stimulates nerve endings so you'll feel more turned on.
  • Avocado - the vitamin E in avocado helps your body with the production of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, which circulate in your bloodstream and stimulate sexual responses like clitoral swelling and vaginal lubrication.
  • Oysters - are rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones.
  • Bananas - its levels of potassium and B vitamins aid your sex hormone production and are also a great source of instant and long-lasting energy.

Mindset
Just thinking about sex will get you in the mood for sex.  All of the above prepare you for your sex date but there is nothing more powerful than your mind.  Once you have done all you can do to plan make sure you take care to leave all your troubles far away from your special location and allow some time before the time you have set aside to wind down.  May sure your mind is fully in the game and then enjoy yourself!

Here are a few useful tips from our Being a Wife book too.
 
Find out more about Being a Lover here or get in touch to host your own Girl's Night.
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14.5.13

Being a Woman in Business - Who Has a Purpose

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1

Having a business can be draining or liberating and the difference often is found in the purpose.  Are you in business just to make money?  Money can’t satisfy, the more you have the more you want.  Yes it is good to make money and I would be puzzled if a woman were in business without the desire to make money.  However, money cannot satisfy so it can’t be the driving factor.  Are you in business because you want to freedom of having and managing your own time?  This is another great reason to work for yourself rather than an employer but again you will quickly discover that having a job is a lot less stressful that being self employed.  Too often the very reason you set out in business is the one thing you never attain – free time!  With a lot of discipline and clear boundaries it is possible to free up your time and is a worthwhile pursuit, but alas it doesn’t fully satisfy. 

    You will find that even after making money and with free time to spend it in, something will still be missing!  So what satisfies?  I believe that having a purpose for what you do will completely satisfy your soul and a business built around a purpose will ensure success. 

Your Purpose
Purpose is the reason why you do what you do.  It is the reason your business exists.  Most people make money and time their purpose which is why they either fail or end up miserable as these things cannot satisfy so they lead you on a lifelong pursuit of something that cannot be attained.    Take time to have a honest look at your current purpose.  What is the reason you are in business?  What are you striving for?  What makes you smile when you wake up in the morning?  Do you smile at all when you wake up in the morning?  To find your purpose you need to consider three very important things:

Who are you?
What do you love to do?
How can you make money from who you are and what you love to do?

Once you have answered those question then you are ready to start building a business.  You see, being you completely satisfied and the result of being you is doing exactly what you love to do.  This might seem obvious but I know far too many people that are trying to be who they think they should be rather than actually discover who they are.  These people are tired and drained by the constant effort to be good enough. 

I know other women who are oozing life and freedom.  Even on their difficult days you can still feel the energy flowing from the core of their being.  Everything in their life seems to make sense and seems to be prospering.  If you observe these women closer you will see that their purpose is to be themselves.  That is it, plain and simple.  They are confident in who they are, they do not attempt to be anything other than who they are and make no apologies for not pleasing everyone all of the time.  They are authentic and their purpose is blatantly obvious – they love who they are and what they do! 

Purpose in Ecclesiastes 3:1 comes from the Greek word chephets which means to delight or pleasure.  In a nutshell it means there is a time for every delight and pleasure here on earth.  Having a purpose is to have pleasure and delight in something.  Is your purpose giving you delight and pleasure or does your purpose for business drain you?

Purpose is a really important part of life and people without purpose are often feeling lost or confused about life.  Many people long for purpose but struggle to figure out what their purpose is.  Your purpose should be in who you are, you should delight in who God made you to be, you should thank Him for His delightful creation known as you.  Out of that delight comes your work here on earth which will be delightful too.  The final step is to create a business based on these delights so that you can make money.  You see the money isn’t what you delight in; the money is the end result of your purpose.          

Finding You
Here are some tips on how to start finding out what lies inside of you:
  • Ask yourself what you excel at naturally now or perhaps when you were young? 
  • What subjects did you enjoy at school? 
  • What do you find yourself defaulting to now in any given situation?  For example, for me it was organising things, in any situation I will always see a system that will make things neater and more efficient! Bingo, I must be a manager.
  • Have a long, hard, honest look back over your life up to this point and see if anything stands out to you that might define you.  This may help you find out what God has put inside of you, which will help you find your way to your purpose.  For me it is also writing, I have loads of notebooks in my home full of my writings and ponderings. I have always been this way; I am not content if I can’t write.  Often, if I need to process something that I am going through in a season of my life, I write a short book about it. Even if it never gets published, it helps me process what I am going through.
  • Most importantly ask God to show you who you are, after all He made you and He is so faithful and if we ask He won’t let us down.

Once you have found some clues to who you are start to assess what you do.  Is what you do a delightful overflow of who you are or is it a daily stress to make money?  For example, if you are an introvert who enjoys painting and solitary time you will most likely find a sales role that involves a great deal of people time draining.   Alternatively, if you are a very outgoing people’s person and are spending most of your days working at home alone on an admin based project then you are probably miserable.
To find your purpose you will need to find you.  Once you have found you and matched it to what you do then you will begin to realise that there is more to your business than just making money, it can be incredibly fulfilling too.

Bigger Than You
The final stage of having a purpose in business is to have an element of what you do that is not for you but for the benefit of others.  Although this might seem like an unselfish act, and it is, it still benefits you as giving, being generous and living for others, is the most satisfying thing you will ever experience.  Once you have figured out who you are built a business based on what you love to do, why not find a way to help someone else through who you are and what you do.  Your purpose cannot be complete if it ends with you.  This is like having crisp, clear water flowing into a pond that has no outlet.  It becomes stagnant and is of no use to anyone and certainly not satisfying.  Make sure you keep a flow in your life and as you receive keep giving.  Whether it is love, kindness, money or knowledge, do your part to live for something bigger than you, to live for the greater good.  Now that is a purpose that will completely satisfy!

Find out more about Being a Woman in Business here or host your own Girl's Night.  We also have a monthly business networking event called Women in Business, find our more here
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7.5.13

Being a Mother - Who is Involved

Modern technology has its advantages but also comes with many disadvantages too and if we are not careful can fall into the trap of these disadvantages.  Family time with a mobile phone or computer present can lead us to believe that we are investing in our families when in fact we are not. Being available to our children is essential but in addition to merely being available we also need to be fully involved.  It is so important to set aside time regularly where you can be fully involved with your children.  Have you considered leaving your phone at home when taking them to the park?  How about having time in the living room without any TV, computer, phone or anything else on?  Observe your family time and honestly consider whether or not you are present and involved or are you merely in the same room together.   
    Being involved means that when you spend time together that you are interacting, discussing, thinking, and processing life together.  It means that you are interested and fully present when you spend time together.  Take time to chat to your children about their day, ask them questions and allow them to ask you questions about your day too.  Model how to have a conversation but sharing your day with them and include details about what you did and how certain things made your feel.  Teach your children to be involved by modelling what involved looks like and by being involved in their life.  Few parents are truly involved in their children’s lives these days as we are all so busy.
    Take a long, hard and honest look at your lifestyle and judge for yourself how much of your busyness is really necessary.  Is what you consider to be important really important? 
    Imagine yourself as an older lady with grown up grandchildren.  Consider that all the years of your life have passed and only few remain.  What would you like to remember about your life?  Decide now to make the memories that you want to have when you are in your last years of life.  You only get one shot at it and I can assure you that you will not remember all the money you made, you will also not remember all the bills you did or did not pay or the Facebook status updates.   I have heard over and over again that the memories that you cherish in old age are the memories of time spent with loved ones.  As you flip through a photo album, what stands out to you?  This is what should guide your involvement with your children.  What do you want to remember and what do you want them to remember?
    A great way to be involved with your children’s life is to ask them how they would like you to be involved.  Ask them if they feel loved and what makes them feel loved?  This will give you a big clue about how to be more involved.  Some children need quality time while others need kind word.  Children could also need you to do things for them to express love, this is called acts of service, while other children might need lots of cuddles and physical touch.  One other expression of love is gifts and this is not the same as materialism, it is a genuine need to feel loved and if you child needs this then occasionally bring home little treats for them so that they feel that you understand them and are involved in their life.  The kindest way that you can be involved in their life is through teaching them about the Bible.
 
Find out more about Being a Mother here or use this material to host your own Girl's Night.
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