Category Archives: Welcome

Escaping Toxic Relationships

Escape the toxic relationships that keep you bound, and are very harmful to you

How Do I Quit A Toxic Relationship?
First of all, I would like to congratulate for realizing that you are in a toxic relationship. Some people do not know their relationship is unhealthy, and they managed whatever comes their way until it is too late to go out of it.

Secondly, you need to know that your relationship does not complete you. If you have this mindset, “without my partner, I am nothing” you need to change it. It takes two “whole” persons to come together to form a healthy bond. Therefore, you should not need anyone to complete you. Most people who think they are getting fixed or complete because of their partner actually get ripped off. If you know the strength that lies within you, you would not need to be bullied into staying in a relationship.

Furthermore, it is important to note that a toxic relationship do not have to be romantic; it could be a Boss-employee, mother-daughter, friendships, or even waiter-eater relationships can be toxic. If someone’s consistently brings you down, or you always feel worse after interacting with someone, there is a fat chance that your relationship with this person(s) is toxic.

However, following these steps will enable you to start a journey of self-completion, it is the pathway of knowing to revealing the real strength, beauty, and wisdom that lie within you.

Take off the baby gloves
If you want to be truly free, you have to step out of denial. Lying to yourself about what you are experiencing will do you more harm than good. If you can sincerely answer the following questions, then you are on your way to freedom.

• Do you feel drained or uplifted after spending time with Z?
• Do you want to spend time with Z or do you feel obligated to spend time with Z?
• Do you always feel disappointed by Z’s comments and behavior?
• Are you putting more effort in holding the relationship than Z? If yes, in what ways?
• Do you even like Z? If Z and you were invited to a mutual friend’s party, would you walk up to Z and want to be a boyfriend/girlfriend knowing what you currently know about Z?

It will be of no help to you if you deny or give false answers to these questions. The answers will enable you to move on.

Identify the benefits
Everything in this life has an advantage and a disadvantage, including toxic relationships. Surprised? Well, don’t be. Knowing the good things you enjoy from the relationships helps you to understand why it is difficult in the first place to quit the relationship.

Keep records of your emotions
One of the ways to know if your relationship with Z is toxic or not is keeping personal records of the feelings after every meeting. Sometimes other people can easily detect and tell us that our relationship with someone is bad for us, because of their objectivity which we do not have because of the closeness we have with the person. However, notes do not lie; whatever you record will stay true to you. Noting your emotions after each meeting helps you to see patterns, others may have told you.

Get alternatives
Now that you know the pleasure as well as your emotions you derive from the relationship, it is to get alternative sources of wholeness, and peace. Remember that a good alternative does not depend on another person, if not it may result in another toxic relationship. You need to be whole before you can enjoy a relationship. List out things you could do instead of staying with Z that will make you happy. It could be taking your dog out for a walk, listening to meditation CDs, baking, yoga, helping someone, watching a movie, learning new skills, and so on. After listing them, indulge in them, make them your new habits, but remember to live a healthy lifestyle.

Surround yourself with the right kind of friends
Twenty friends cannot be friends for twenty years; I am not trying to be pessimistic here, but it is the truth. You are not obligated to be with friends who make you feel you are not worth their attention. Make it a habit to surround yourself with people who motivate, inspire, help, and care about you. Ensure the people you surround yourself with do not get themselves enmeshed in their own toxic relationship. For instance, “rolling” with friends who are in an abusive relationship may make you think your toxic relationship is “heaven” so be wise with whom you pick to hang out

Self-motivation
Surrounding yourself with the right kind of people is good, but you can make it better by learning how to motivate yourself. Let’s face it, sometimes your friends might be busy with their work, do not limit your happiness to your friends alone. Learn to enjoy your company, not because you do not have options, but because you just need to have a “me” time. It will boost your confidence and helps you relate to people more. If you do not enjoy your company, why do you expect others to enjoy yours? You are fantastic; so appreciate your uniqueness.

Affirmations
My break up with a friend left opened a can of uncertainties; I became withdrawn and was unsure of myself. Some of my friends tried to make me see that there is nothing wrong with me, but I waved it off and told them they are trying to play nice because they are my friends. The break up shook and reduced my confidence. However, I was able to move past the hurts, and disappointment because of repeated affirmations.

I could not believe my friends because I felt they were loyal. So a friend said something to me one day “ if you do not believe us, at least you can believe God” her word struck a chord, and I went back to the Word of God to find comfort. I got different scriptures and pasted it everywhere in my room. The more I see the words, the more my belief system changed, and there was a positive change in my life. Words you hear or read are powerful, and they can change your perception of anything. So why not take advantage of this power and paste the right things you need to see happening in your life?

Take some time off
Allow some time to rest, reduce some activities; it does not mean you are moving back to your shell, you are merely reenergizing. It may be the hardest thing to do, but rest and solitude can help you to heal faster. I know sometimes we get tempted to dive into work, meet new people, or go partying just get rid of the pain- those are temporary solutions, you need to take your time off from everything and let yourself heal.

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Toxic Relationship

When people leave a toxic relationship , it doesn't mean they don't love each other, it means they stop hurting each other

How to identify a toxic relationship. Relationship, irrespective of the kind have a way of influencing how we see life, how we interact, and how we relate with other people around us. That is why having a healthy relationship is necessary if you want to enjoy a healthy and peaceful lifestyle. However, no relationship is perfect, both in personal and business atmosphere. Unfortunately, the media, the society has carved “the perfect” relationship blueprint and if your own is not going with the plan, then it is not right.

Nonetheless, we all can agree that a good relationship makes you feel cared for, secure, happy, respected and above all, gives you the freedom to be yourself without being judged.
Furthermore, a toxic relationship is the direct opposite of a healthy relationship which it drains, depletes and brings out the worse in a person.

The last thing you want is a toxic relationship; it can ruin your business, your life and also make you distant from your friends and family who genuinely love you and want the best for you. Here’s the million dollar question, how do I know my relationship is toxic? The following signs will show you if your relationship is toxic or healthy for you.

1. One-sided
One of the glaring signs of a toxic relationship is when your acts of love are not reciprocated. I once was in a relationship where all the calling, texting, visiting, gifts were all done by me. The truth is I never saw it as anything; I felt “you do not give to expect a gesture in return.”

What I failed to understand that, you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Even in the scripture, God demonstrated His love for us by GIVING His only begotten son Jesus Christ. John 3:16.
What if he/she doesn’t have as much as I do? This question made me stay with him and believed “all will be well.” I want to tell you something that you may not like to hear from a loved one. Your partner will give no matter how little he/she has; if your partner cannot give from the little they have, they will not give even though they are swimming in a pool of money. Luke 16:10. If you/ he cannot sacrifice from the little he/she has, it is because your partner feels that you are not worth going the extra mile for. Besides, if you cannot turn to each other, what reason would you have to be in that relationship?

Furthermore, giving is not limited to money, and gifts, it also talks about quality time and services. If you are in this kind of relationship, it will leave you in the negative and can never run smoothly no matter how “okay” you think it is.

2. Lack of Trust
The only thing constant is change; humans can change, which makes you hold back. You do not have to trust anyone, but you have to trust someone. A relationship without trust is like a vehicle without gas and a vehicle without gas is for fashion (showcasing) and not for function. The bottom-line is, you can stay in it all you want, but it will not go anywhere.

3. Unconducive atmosphere
When there is constant anger, a tensed atmosphere is a sign of an unhealthy relationship; it may hurt other areas of your life as well.

4. Unreliability
We are humans, and no one is perfect. We may not be able to measure up to expectations, but there is a red flag when it gets persistent with different excuses. A relationship does not have to be an avenue where all your needs are met, but it can also help you grow, and when your partner is not ready to add anything to your life in a positive manner, or at least cheer you up when you need someone by your side, you have to rethink your relationship. Furthermore, your partner does not have to be the guilty party, if you do not find yourself going the extra mile for your loved one, then re-evaluate your relationship and communicate with your partner.

5. Constant judgment
A judgmental relationship is not a healthy one; it results in low self-esteem. A relationship is meant to be a haven, a place where you relax, recharge, and set for the next life’s battle. It is not supposed to be the other way round. If you keep changing your opinions to please someone else, you are in a toxic relationship.

However, do not mistake constructive criticism for being judgmental. There are times people do not want to be reminded of their flaws, they are knowledgeable of this information already, all they need then is for someone to believe in them. If you are not getting this from your relationship, then I suggest you talk to your partner about it because it is impossible to build your self-esteem in an environment filled with negativity.

6. Lack of respect
Everyone including little children wants to be respected. No matter how “playful” or “funny” a person can be, learn to set boundaries because mutual respect is a recipe for a healthy relationship. Furthermore, when one partner is always making the other to feel unworthiness, it is insidious; a healthy relationship should not make you think you are unworthy of your partner.

7. Mutual Avoidance
There is no point in trying to save a relationship where both parties are comfortable being apart, as a matter of fact, they instigate such situations. Once again, do not mistake “wholeness” for mutual avoidance; I am not saying it is healthy to be clingy, to your partner every second.

8. Friction in the family
Sometimes when our friends and family members are not comfortable with your partner, it does not mean “they don’t just get it” or they do not want you to enjoy the “love of your life” they probably see red flags you are too in love to see. This is the time to sit yourself down and ask questions,
Why don’t they get it? What is your partner doing that is turning them off? You can also ask some members of your family you are closest to, but remember to trust their judgment.

9. When your kids feel uneasy with your partner
Children have a way of knowing who is suitable for you, and when they are not always happy seeing your partner around it shows something is not right. For all single parents out there, you have a choice; a choice of meeting someone who will genuinely love you and your kids. You do not have to force anyone to love your kids, and if your partner sees them as unwanted or extra baggage, you have to slow things down and reevaluate your choice of partner. Whatever or whomever you beg to have; you will continue begging to keep.
Lastly, if you know you cannot be with someone who has kids from past relationship(s) then do not pretend or force yourself, because your true feelings will one day spring forth, and it will not be pretty.

10. Feeling trapped
Why are you in the relationship? Is it because you love the person or only because you do not see a way out? The latter shows you are in a dangerous relationship. Do not stay in a relationship because of pity; no one should make you feel that way. One of the beautiful things about love is FREEWILL, and when your freedom is threatened, then it is no longer a valid relationship.

11. Lack of communication
Communication is a key to any relationship; it ensures there is no misunderstanding, and that everyone is on the same page. If you are in a relationship where both parties do not share their fears, happiness, thoughts, dreams, goals, and so on. It means something is wrong somewhere.

12. When it brings out your worst
Proverbs 4:18, a relationship should make you better than you were, and not the other way round. What has changed since the inception of the relationship? Have you been more productive at work or school?

Finally, relationships are crucial, and a toxic relationship can cost your time, and energy, that you could put to better use. If not careful it can cost you your life. So, be real, stay true to your values, be careful, and be strong, if you want to leave the toxic relationship, listen to your heart, and above all love and value yourself.

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

God knew you before you were conceived , while you were yet in her womb

God knew you while you were in your mothers womb. While you were yet in your mother’s belly, God knew you.

Jeremiah, known as the “Weeping Prophet” (see Jeremiah 9: 1), was one of the greatest divine speakers in the 7th century. The main task of this man of God was to try to save Judah, the southern kingdom, from their times of apostasy and destruction.  If this fails, he will invite his people to subjugate Babylonian captivity to their deserved punishment. His message was considered unattractive, and he was persecuted.

However, biblical exegesis indicates that the clearest reading of Jeremiah 1: 5 is not the inviolable predestination that would have been the life and ministry of the prophet, but the sovereignty of God blended with the free will of humanity. This article will show that even during the fall of the kingdom of Judah, the Lord, to save his children never forced or predestined the will of Jeremiah.

His call to the prophetic ministry was recorded at the beginning of the book with his name. The Lord said, “Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you, and before you came out of your lap, I dedicated it to you: I pray you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1: 5). In this section, there are some important truths that are worth marking.

First, the Lord claims to have created a prophetic body in his mother’s womb. Modern science has just begun to explore the secrets of pregnancy development. One thing is for sure. There are laws according to which the process is structured. There are many “designs” that are characteristic of the complicated process, and this can only be explained by an Intelligent Planner.

Second, this text is a fascinating commentary on the foreknowledge of Almighty God. He can see the future, even to the extent that the knowledge of human nature and the perceptions of events that will occur in that person’s life are known. But just because the Lord “knows” the future does not indicate that he is taking away a man’s freedom of choice. The Bible shows that each person is personally responsible for their own decisions (see 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Third, this verse reveals that when Jeremiah evolved in the womb, God regarded him as a person. Personal pronouns can hardly be interpreted differently. “Before you left the womb, I sanctified you.” The idea that the “fetus” is a growing blob of tissue, and might be discarded at the comfort of some women’s “choice” is void of advantage and is a reflection of the extreme cruelty or brutality that has become so common in this age of carnality.

Encourage Yourself: “Jeremiah, I am your Creator, and before you were born, I chose you to speak for me to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

The Passing Of A Loved One, When Does The Hurt Subsides?

Be the best person you can be

When a loved one passes, when does the hurt subside? What do you do? When will I feel better?

The grief of losing someone close to you is difficult. First, no one ever thinks of these things. It is one constant thing about life that people do not prepare for. Even when we know anything can happen, and when it eventually does, no matter how strong we think we are, we are still thrown off balance. Unfortunately, the heartache is always there that is why we are human. The reason some people seem not to feel any grief is not that they are cold toward that person, it merely shows the controlled emotions.

During the early stage, the grief is much more controlled, which may cause constant emotional distress.
During this period, a lot of us tend to think the pain will never stop, but it will as time goes on. We learn to live with the loss, the emptiness, and the pain that the loss of a dear one creates.

The stages of mourning
According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, there are five stages of grief, which  are, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages are what people pass through when they are in mourning and learning a few things about them will help you understand why people act the way they do after the loss of a loved one.

Denial
It is the first of the five stages of grief, which helps us to survive the blow caused by the death of someone. The world and the whole essence of living become meaningless to someone in this stage of grief. Denial is nature’s way of allowing us to accept only what we can handle.  We begin the healing process when we accept the reality of the loss and start to ask questions. We become stronger, and the denial phase is gradually fading out. Nonetheless, as we move from this stage, all the emotions we are denying will begin to surface.

Anger
Anger is the phase of grief we all go through, but for it  is necessary for the healing process. It is okay to be angry with the loss of a loved one. The more you feel it, the more it will begin to melt away. Furthermore, there are several emotions under the anger phase, but we are used to managing anger than any other feelings. Unfortunately, there is no limit to anger; we can transfer it to family members, friends, doctors and even to your loved one who died as well as God. When you start asking questions like, “where was God when it happened”, if He loved me that much why did He allow it to happen? These are signs of the anger stage and it may come as a surprise to you, but anger is strength. It is better to be angry than to feel nothing at all.  Anger is another proof of the intensity of your love.

Even in relationships, it is better for your partner to be angry with you (for doing the wrong thing), than keeping still or show no emotion. Watch it, if your spouse stops being mad at you, something may be brewing, and you will not like it.

Bargaining
Before and after the loss of a loved one, you find yourself bargaining for your loved one to be spared. It seems you can do anything and everything for them to be saved. You say words like “please God, if…” we can say or do virtually anything just to spare their lives. We are ready to do anything just to get things to be the way they were before the loss. This period tends to last for a very long time. With the bargaining stage, comes with guilt or regret.

We start thinking about the possible things we would have done to avert the current situation. Sometimes, we bargain with pain; we will do anything not to feel the heartaches. Please note that the five stages may not occur in straight order. Humans can jump from step one to stage three so this also is normal.

Depression
The next stage after the bargaining phase is depression. This stage comes when we are, “awake.” and reality sets in causing the empty feelings  to come rushing in. This stage feels like it will last forever,but actually, every step feels like an eternity. That is why many will bargain for the pain to go away.

The depression stage is when our attention moves straight into the present. However, you need to understand that depression is not a symptom of mental illness but instead it is an appropriate response to a significant loss. The inability not to experience this stage of grief is highly unusual. The realization that you will never see, talk, laugh, eat, dance, or fight with your loved again is depressing. If you must heal, then be ready to face this phase of grief.

Acceptance
In contrary, acceptance is coming to terms with what happened. It is accepting the fact of the death of a loved one. Most people make the mistake of thinking acceptance means being okay with the loss. No one is okay losing a loved one you are merely accepting reality. This is the last and the final stage of grief. When do we leave this stage? The answer is never, leaving this stage is going back to one the listed steps above. Acceptance is learning to live the new reality, it does not mean we are okay with it. It has been changed forever; the best we can do is to readjust to the new situation.

We are at this stage when we have learned to rearrange our goals, and dreams to fit into the new norms and when we reassign the roles to others or do them ourselves. Acceptance is when we have learned to be happy again without feeling guilty about the death of a loved one. Please note that getting to this stage does not mean we are replacing what has been lost. It is a new chapter in our lives where we make new connections, making new friends, and start living our lives again.

To answer the question, “When Someone Passes, When Does the Hurt Subsides?” the pain will subside when we have successfully pass through the five stages of grief.

What can be done?
The stages of grief or mourning are typical, but we can still do something about every phase. As Christians, God is always available to sooth the pain, and to hasten the complete mourning process. He made everything possible in His word (The Bible) even when we blame Him for what has happened, He loves us still, and He understands what you are going through.
Below are some scriptures that can ease the pain of the death of a loved one; they are some of the promises of God to every believer

Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness: (Isaiah 51:11)

No eye has seen no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him: (1 Corinthians 2:9b)
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below. Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord: (Romans 8:35 – 39)

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this physical body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands: (2 Corinthians 5:1)

We would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord: (2 Corinthians 5:8b)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died: (1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 14)

Encourage Yourself: So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world: (1 Peter 1: 6-7)

I Bless Your Name – The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Say yes, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sings with a heartfelt yes to God

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with flute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Psalm 95:1-11
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

James 5:13
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Psalm 115:1
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

Psalm 24:8-10
Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah

Psalm 103:2
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Deuteronomy 28:1-68
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock.

Encourage Yourself: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.

Rev. Dr. Marcus D Cosby “Oh To Be Kept” – Wheeler Mass Choir

Pastor Cosby directs the song Oh To Be Kept, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Houston, Tx

Rev. Dr. Marcus D Cosby directing the Wheeler Mass Choir “Oh To Be Kept”.

Role: Pastor, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston, TX
Reverend Dr. Marcus D. Cosby serves as the Senior Pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. He holds the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and English from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee; the Master of Divinity Degree in Homiletics and Christian Education from Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia; and the Doctor of Ministry Degree in Homiletics from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary of the Associated Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS).

Dr. Cosby is as a member of the Board of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference; the African American Pulpit, a scholarly journal that highlights the preaching prowess of African-American preachers across the country; the Home Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and the Houston Area Urban League. He has served on the Board of Directors of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, the Texas Commission for Community Service and Volunteerism, and as an Advisory Board Member of The Gardner C. Taylor Preaching Archives and Listening Room in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and the NAACP.

Among the gifts and talents with which God has blessed Pastor Cosby, none are more meaningful to him than preaching and teaching. He has been blessed to carry his ministry across the country and seeks to uplift all humanity through the life-changing, uncompromising Word of God.

Dr. Cosby is married to his high school sweetheart, Mrs. Audrey Marie Cosby, and they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters, Adrienne Marie, Ashley Marie and Aliyah Marie and two sons, Marcus D., II and Matthew D. Cosby.

Anthem of Praise-Richard Smallwood & Vision

Richard Smallwood The Anthem

Praise Him with the timbrel and dance
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet
Praise Him with the psaltry and harp
Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord

O magnify the Lord
Magnify the Lord with me
Magnify the Lord
Magnify the Lord with me
Magnify the Lord
Manify the Lord with me
Magnify the Lord
Let us exalt His name together

O be joyful all ye people
O be joyful and clap your hands

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord

Encourage Yourself: When giving God praise, one should do it with a willing spirit. Your heart don’t have to be pure, but with sincere praise God changes the content of the heart.

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