And as we have the privilege today to rejoice with some of our brothers and sisters who are taking a big step of baptism, we get to see this pictured in baptism. Part of what’s happening… the water doesn’t save anybody. It’s Christ who saves by grace through faith. But when a person is buried in the likeness of his death, raised in the likeness of his resurrection, we get a picture of hesed love of God, the loyal, committed, covenantal love. It wasn’t anything that person did that earned that love. It was the free love of God committed to that individual to rescue them.


If you’re a person who doesn’t exercise at all, everything you do will be something different and it will all feel good. If you’re already athletic, you may hate the uncoordinated feeling you get when you try something new. You may see it as a setback, when it’s actually strengthening your weakest link. Free yourself from performance anxiety for forty-five days. You may like it so much that you want to try another variation for another forty-five days, and can keep switching things up, finding new ways to be happy.
Multimedia pioneer Marc Canter's fledgling Friendster-esque social networking site, People Aggregator, is built on FOAF. The beauty of the system, he says, is that personal data can be searched and assembled as easily as blog entries are now. "You can't break down relationships to the ultimate granularity," Filkins admits, but you can keep up with who's looking for a hookup.
Feeling overwhelmed with life? Take the time to write it down. Having clarity of mind can most definitely lower stress levels, allowing you to enjoy yourself and embrace happiness in your life. Next time you are utterly frustrated take a piece of paper, pen and write everything that comes to mind. You are literally taking a brain dump, but it will leave you feeling rested and with some additional space in your brain for happy thoughts!
Correctly “reading” the signs of commitment in a potential long-term partner is crucial. This is most important earlier on, of course, prior to “settling down” with someone, particularly when one partner wants to know if the relationship has a future. You can press for this information too soon, but you can also wait too long to get the big question clarified: Is this person as into me as I am into them? Can this relationship turn into a commitment? When you don’t get solid information about commitment as things progress, you can miss important signs of unequal commitment. That’s a lousy place to land.
33These exemplary analyses of three aspects of the category romance’s material packaging indicate the systematic manner in which a double codification of this materiality is created. The potential for a double interpretation is a semiotic pattern that is present in nearly every aspect of these material conditions and that is implemented in a coherent and coordinated way. This suggests that far from being a random or coincidental effect, this semiotic pattern is a deliberate strategy on the part of the category romance novel’s producers, who seek to influence the reception and interpretation of the text.
Using smart phones, Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University collected a large sample of experiences and associated happiness. They also measured “mind wandering.” Their database currently contains nearly a quarter million samples from about five thousand people from eighty-three different countries who range in age from eighteen to eighty-eight and who collectively represent every one of eighty-six major occupational categories. Their findings confirm what had been found previously: happiness is high during sex, exercise, or socializing, or while the mind is focused on the here and now, and low during commuting or while the mind is wandering.
I don’t want to suggest here that everything about the shrunken modern family unit is necessarily bad. Certainly women’s lives and women’s health improve whenever they reduce the number of babies they have, which is a resounding strike against the lure of bustling clan culture. Also, sociologists have long known that incidences of incest and child molestation increase whenever so many relatives of different ages live together in such close proximity. In a crowd so big, it can become diffi cult to keep track of or defend individuals—not to mention individuality.
And Lord, we get to watch that.  And I pray that as we hear these testimonies, as we see these baptisms that there will be many, many thanksgivings rising up to you from our hearts as we bless your name for your glory. And for those who don’t know what it’s like to be loved in a committed, compassionate way, may you draw our hearts to you today. May there be some in here who put their faith in Jesus Christ for your glory. Amen.
38Such a manifest material performance of the novel’s generic identity is functionally important not only to the vast public of non-readers, but also to the book’s target audience of self-identified category romance readers. Like the public, the romance reader recognizes the stereotype-driven public code as signaling the romance generic identity. This generic identification of the novel triggers, as has been established by Janice Radway’s seminal study of romance readers, a set of generic expectations on the part of the reader. When the text meets these generic expectations – as the strongly conventional, editorially carefully controlled category romance specifically aims to do – the reader is satisfied. This interplay between the creation of generic expectations, the fulfilling of these expectations and the resulting reader satisfaction is of vital commercial importance to the category romance novel, as it provides the core impetus for the reader to want to repeat the reading experience by reading – that is, buying – other category romance novels.
“‘Flow’ refers to activities that you get involved in, where you forget time and place,” Mramor said. “That can happen with writing, with music, with cooking. There have even been books written about how knitting causes happiness because it causes ‘flow.’” As long as you’re not throwing yourself into your chosen activity to distract yourself from other problems in your life, tapping into that feeling can produce big happiness gains. So get dancing, painting ... fill-in-the-blank.

Discover a world where sentient machines can't be stopped with weapons, only with humanity's best programmers. Join the Human Defense Department's last ditch effort to save the world: by teaching the brightest students in the nation how to hack and scramble the brains of the enemy. Follow the journey of Mina Lovelace as she seeks to prove herself worthy of following in her mother's footsteps, and tries not to embarrass herself in front of her childhood crush in the process! If you enjoy visual novels, problem solving, political intrigue and love stories, you'll love Code Romantic! Currently in Production.

2 Although academic work on the popular romance genre remains minimal in comparison to the academic work being done on other popular genres, a relatively small number of studies on the genre have been completed since the early 1980s. Academic attention has particularly increased over the last five years due to the establishment of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR) in 2009 and the launch of the academic peer-reviewed Journal of Popular Romance Studies in 2010. For more on these recent developments and an overview of the history of the burgeoning field of “popular romance studies,” see Kay Mussel’s “Where’s Love Gone?,” Pamela Regis’ “What Do Critics Owe the Romance Novel?,” An Goris’ “Matricide in Romance Scholarship?” and Eric Murphy Selinger and Sarah S.G. Frantz’s New Perspectives on the Popular Romance Novel.
Good feelings flow when the level of challenge you face is “just right.” If a basketball hoop is too low, you get no pleasure from scoring points. If it’s too high, you have no reason to try. Effort is fun when you expect a reward for your effort but it’s not certain. You can adjust the hoops in your life as one of the ways to feel happy and make things fun.

7The system of lines defines the category romance format in many ways and is perhaps more intricate than it seems at first sight. Each category romance is published in a series or line that has a particular narrative profile. Although these profiles appear to be characterized by a single defining trait (Blaze novels are erotic, Intrigue novels feature a suspense storyline, Medical Romance novels are set in a medical context), they are in fact composite and are made up of a conglomerate of narrative features. For example, Blaze novels are not only characterized by a high level of sensuality, but are also always set in a contemporary (usually North American) setting, feature a heroine who is between twenty-five and thirty-three and a hero between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty-eight and have an average word count of 60,000 words (“Harlequin Blaze”).5 Each line is thus differentiated from others via this conglomerate of primary and secondary line-characteristics. Although the lines may appear simplistic to the outside world, the finely-tuned differentiation between lines is very important within the genre’s system, as the (commercial) viability of a line depends in part on the extent to which it can be differentiated from another line.

I used to be such a starry-eyed believer of love. I thought that love conquered all – and that as long as you shared that feeling with someone, it meant that the relationship would last, In the theory of fairytales and movies, this may be the case, but in North American reality – not quite. Instead, love is only one of the many ingredients needed for a long-lasting partnership. But the concerning issue is – people put so much weight on the feeling of love, a feeling that inevitably changes, takes different forms and can get blinded easily.
14This distinction between public and reader plays a crucial role in the category romance’s materiality. As a book that circulates in a large number of widely varying cultural and commercial spaces – from the grocery store to the independent book store, from the gas station to the airport newsstand – its materiality is encountered and interpreted by a huge audience that entails both (potential) readers and (a majority of) non-readers. In order to communicate with these two types of consumers the category romance novel’s materiality adopts a double semiotic code : one targeted at the public and one aimed at the (romance) reader. As the analyses in this paper illustrate, these two codes contain two different messages about the book’s identity and its desired interpretation. The public code consistently suggests a uniformly generic interpretation of the text as a popular romance novel. This interpretative suggestion is created by the repeated invocation of a number of stereotypical images of and associations with the genre, which in turn perpetuate the public image of the romance genre as homogeneous, formulaic and clichéd. The reader code, by contrast, advocates a more specific and even idiosyncratic interpretation of the text that aims to distinguish the individual text from the generic group in which it is situated.
You don't have to be happy every day. It's OK to be sad; trust yourself that you'll feel happier soon. It comes in ups and down. There's also not always a reason. Feelings can be like wisps of cloud drifting through the streets, suddenly deciding for no discernible reason to rush into you. Just because a feeling rushes into you, though, doesn't mean you have to suffer it. You can just step aside and show it to the door.
Walk away now. He's selfish. Whenever a man tells you he can't commit or you deserve better, BELIEVE HIM and drop him immediately. No buts. Choose yourself always. "He doesn't want to lose me". Of course he freaking doesn't, but that means NOTHING. Staying would be you letting him using you. We are the ones who lose when we stick around for crumbs. It's not about you or your family life. His issues are his and his alone and they don't matter. A man (or any person for that matter) who is worth your time accepts you and your family life as is. Anything less is not what you want.
Where does independence fall in? Are you the type of woman who likes her own independence, likes to be able to have a "girls' weekend" or at least a girls' night out now and then? Do you like to go out to lunch or for coffee with your own friends once a week? What about friends of the opposite sex? Is it OK for you to go hang out with an ex (or for him to hang out with an ex)?

Find at least one or more ways each day to treat yourself. That could mean anything from reminiscing over favorite photos, to enjoying a dish of ice cream, to sitting in a park daydreaming, to watching TV or swimming or dancing. If you make a list of favorite activities and feel stuck on a particular day, pull out that list and pick one that feels good to do now. If it serves you to complete one or more tasks before your treat, that works, too. Just know that, right now, you are doing the best you know how to meet your needs. I believe that self-care, self-love and treats are good for all of us.

Vacations usually happen over the course of several days and can sometimes take several weeks, so if you’re going to take company along you’ll want to make sure you really like them. You’re also making memories that last for a lifetime. Generally speaking, people who take vacations together not only enjoy each other’s company, but are happy to make memories together, so if you take vacations together it’s a good sign that you and your love are truly committed.
Relationships, even committed and loving ones, aren't always easy. While you'll have your fair share of ups, you can also expect some downs as well. Expecting the intense passion instant love or infatuation brings to stick around may let you down in the long run. A committed relationship requires both partners to move through the good and the bad parts of the romance. Staying together when you're arguing, and not just when you're gleefully head over heals about each other, shows that the two of you have a strong commitment.
Never having written a review before, I felt I needed to say something about this book and this series. This book, the meeting, dating and romance and love of Nell and Daniel was entertaining, funny, understandably nerve-wracking, and oh so real. I love these people. As a female computer scientist, going to school in the 70's, it did not surprise me that Daniel would not take Nell's coding skills seriously. Nor was I surprised by how this hacker-jock would be tied in knots by Nell the women. But, the getting from meeting to marrying was as real (and happy and sad) as any I have known. The book was a joy. The series is so much more.
However, put yourself consistently in environments that are larger than you’re used to playing in and something will rub off. Think of sports: If you play a game with someone who’s better than you, you’ll improve quickly. But if you play someone at your level or below, you never stretch yourself. No stretch, no improvement. If you hang around people who are consistently negative and only look at the downsides of life, chances are, you will, too. Opt to surround yourself with those who are abundantly grateful instead, and see how your attitude, and life, changes.

I’ve never understood why people always consider Love as a separate entity from Commitment/Partnership/Companionship. I’ve always believed that Love goes beyond that butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling. My high school English teacher mentioned to us once that Love is a choice – much like the way that happiness is a state of mind (not pertaining to those who are clinically depressed, etc, of course). So it always upsets me when people tease the two concepts apart. Love IS Commitment. It’s a conscious process of choosing to be with someone. Anything less than that is lust of infatuation, and does not deserve to be called Love.
We have all heard the feedback of sandwiching negative feedback between two positives. I am not sure how I feel about this recommendation because it can lead to confusion. If there is a conflict in the workplace, lovingly but directly outline the problem. Do not wait until the point you are frustrated, because that is counterproductive. I have made this mistake countless times.
You probably don’t talk about your groin injury or irritable bowel syndrome around the dinner table. Those conversations are usually reserved for medical appointments and the occasional funny story. However, if you find that you can speak with your lover about intimate bodily functions, you’re probably more than casual friends; especially if you find that typically private and personal conversations become commonplace between the two of you.
    The two main characters are very likeable, but the game doesn't focus too much on dialogue, which is bad for the side characters as they don't get much screentime (although they're interesting nonetheless). This is also a good thing though since it allows you to focus more on the gameplay/programming, so you're learning something, Very YourMileageMayVary!
While we laugh at this story, it is a great illustration of what we are focused on this month – committed love. The difference here between the pig and the chicken, as illustrated, is that for one the donation was a contribution and for the other it was a commitment. This story aids our understanding of the difference between committed love and a love “contribution.” We are not called to contribute love to others, we are called to be committed to loving others.

I don’t know about you, but I hate those flights where the plane is cold, and I don’t have anything warmer to put on. She apparently does, too. But he didn’t want her to put more clothes on. I cannot read minds, but I could only guess that his motive was that he liked how she looked, and liked how he looked being with her looking that way. I was not impressed by him, and I hoped she would figure out before it was too late what her life with him might be like: Cold. 


He redeems your life from the pit. That word “redeem” has to do with buying back out of bondage, bondage to the pit of despair, the pit of sin, the pit of addiction. He buys you back.  He pays your debt. He lifts you up out of the pit. Ultimately that’s pointing to the grave. There is no grave that can hold the one whom God loves. He redeems your life from the pit. And here’s the part I want us to focus on for a few minutes.
One of the most beautiful pictures of this combination came through at the very end of the movie “The Passion” when Jesus was hanging on the cross and gave up the spirit. He was literally, there was a transactional love there. He was literally assuming the guilt of every sin you ever committed on himself and dying on your behalf. But then the camera goes up and looks down, and I don’t know if you can see it, but that is a giant teardrop falling from heaven to earth and that is a beautiful scene, communicating right there both the committed love, which drove Christ to the cross. “For God so loved the world, he gave his only be gotten Son.”
His idea is as simple - and as simplistic - as HTML. The lovelorn use Vuong's trademarked Identification Coding System to convert their every physical, intellectual, and psychological attribute into a string of characters. Then they post the code on their Web sites. SocialGridsters can surf Google for their ideal mate by typing in their most-wanted combination of codes. They can customize their searches to locate people of a particular height, religion, educational background, even level of risk tolerance. In Vuong's world humans become fully searchable, utterly logical, machine-readable data. It's an eccentric courtship strategy but it suits Vuong perfectly. "My ideal date is to go somewhere with our laptops and do work," he says with a grin.
In her research, Lyubomirsky has asked men and women to imagine that this month is the last month they’re going to live in their hometown.”People really change,” she said. “They change what activities they do — they savor their friends and their neighbors.” What might you embrace, or what nearby adventures might you finally prioritize if you were moving soon?
Jungian psychoanalysts take this idea further, and see romantic love as a “projection” of a key part of one’s inner world onto someone else. Basically when we meet someone new who “sparkles” for us, we use them as a canvas for us to place all kinds of wonderful things from our imagination onto them. This basically inflates the reality of that person into god or goddess-like status. The “perfect” person.
It’s Valentine’s Day, so love is in the air. What better time to talk about the history of romance comics? After the war, when the sales of the superhero and crime comics began to wane, romance comics filled the gap. Soon, the market was filled with hundred of “love” titles. Of course, it didn’t take long for this new genre to come under fire and fall prey to the backlash against comics.
I have read all of the Witch Central books multiple times and will continue to re-read the series in the future. With this book, we are introduced into the beginning of the story, and it makes the perfect introduction to the loving chaos. After I finished it, I went right into re-reading A Modern Witch for the fourth time and can't wait to read through the rest!!
I so agree with Centaine, Karen , and Jane. Well said ladies! This has opened my mind to search deeper within and figure out what commitment means to me. I think it is very important to also build a friendship first and like they say "marry your best friend " I encourage all women who desire love and true commitment like me to keep the faith! We have to believe we will have it and that's the excitement and motivation for me each day, to know that I will soon find my best friend/partner . I recommend the book I started reading called "The Secret" it teaches about the law of attraction. I find it so helpful and inspirational for my daily living and feeling good about finally finding the commitment I want. Another great post Jane! <3
a week to build up to a shared chuckle about traffic, and even that may stir up bad feelings that are curiously strong. But you will continue making neutral contact—neither venting anger nor rushing to please. In forty-five days, you will have built a new shared foundation upon which you both feel happier and better about. You may always need to limit your trust in this person, but you will be able to relax in his presence the way gazelles relax in a world full of lions.
Vuong is the author of an underground Internet classic, The Soulmate Manifesto, a cost-benefit analysis of romance that proposes "a mathematical model that could predict and explain all human behavior pertaining to love." Lately, he's been all over the Net with his theories about using statistical analysis to find a date. A few months ago, he launched an online dating service, SocialGrid, which he promised would "change the world." Nobody was sure if he was kidding or serious.
Do nice things for others. One study shows that people who were given a cash bonus at work were happiest when they spent a significant amount of it on other people. This doesn’t mean that you should spend all of your cash on your best friend, but it does mean that you should make a more concerted effort to do nice things for others, whether you’re helping a friend cope with her breakup just by being there or you’re volunteering at a homeless shelter. No act is 100% selfless, and it’s okay to help others while helping yourself feel happier, too.[8]

Multimedia pioneer Marc Canter's fledgling Friendster-esque social networking site, People Aggregator, is built on FOAF. The beauty of the system, he says, is that personal data can be searched and assembled as easily as blog entries are now. "You can't break down relationships to the ultimate granularity," Filkins admits, but you can keep up with who's looking for a hookup.
Romantic love vs. committed love, so what’s the difference? Definitely sharing some things, romantic love and committed love differ in a lot of places as well. Romantic love is more of being in lust, but not in love, you’re merely in love with the idea of being in love, it’s not real, it’s really just an illusion.  When they’re first in love they are blinded by everything else. They only focus on the one person that matters. But really this is just an illusion, they meet this person for the first time and they have an open canvas to place their imagination on who they think that person should be. So they fall in love with the thought of the person. When romantically in love they change your priorities, they are only focused on their partner, they also start to get new characteristics. They start to mood swings, their energy increases and also their sympathetic nervous system starts to kick in. The sympathetic system causes their heart pounds, their  hands get sweaty, they have an increased sexual desire to be with that person. start to change in many different ways.
Scrolling through social media doesn’t count. Read biographies of great people who have achieved amazing things and endured massive challenges – they will help you put your own life into perspective and gain insight. Read books about science and history – they’ll put your mind to work generating ideas. Read about concepts you’re curious about or areas where you want to improve. You should be challenged and excited by what you’re consuming. Not much of a reader? Try audio books or even podcasts to provide the same level of brain nutrition. This will help immensely as you explore ways to be happy.
Naima Ramos-Chapman: I identify as black, but I think I present sort of racially ambiguous. So a lot of the times I feel exotified by people who look at me and kind of project their fantasies of what they hope I might be ... And often I find that people kind of say, "Are you sure that you're just black?" or "Are you sure that you're just regular black?" And it kind of comes off very offensive ...
“Everyone needs something to look forward to,” Holstein said, and while dreaming about a fantasy trip, or a job you’d love to have 5 or 10 years down the road can provide a boost (as can having fun right-this-minute), there’s value in putting something tangible on your calendar within the coming weeks or months. The anticipation of having a nice experience coming up not-too-far-down-the road — like dinner at a new restaurant or a day trip to the country — breeds joy.
Discover a world where sentient machines can't be stopped with weapons, only with humanity's best programmers. Join the Human Defense Department's last ditch effort to save the world: by teaching the brightest students in the nation how to hack and scramble the brains of the enemy. Follow the journey of Mina Lovelace as she seeks to prove herself worthy of following in her mother's footsteps, and tries not to embarrass herself in front of her childhood crush in the process! If you enjoy visual novels, problem solving, political intrigue and love stories, you'll love Code Romantic! Currently in Production.
In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.
Even as children, we’re taught to recognize and celebrate feelings of happiness—and it’s no wonder. Not only is happiness one of the most positive emotions we can experience, but being happy is also the key to a fulfilled, healthy life. Plus, cheeriness is linked to living longer, how hard we work, physical function as we age, and an improved immune system, among other health benefits.
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