The Last Post for this blog

My dear friends, 

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The Lord is leading me to yet another ministry and that is to reach out to Hispanics with the truth. Next week I’ll be participating at Luis Palau’s Arizona City Fest as a bilingual counselor helping people who want to give their lives to Jesus. 
I’m also going to start a new blog: En Espanol: La Verdad (In Spanish: The Truth). My goal is only to tell the truth of Jesus Christ in Spanish. Mostly I’ll be translating articles I’ve already written. 
I feel that the articles in this Joy of Single Living Blog have covered most all of the issues singles may face. Though there will be no more new posts, the blog articles will remain, archived in cyberspace eternity. 
I do want to leave you singles out there with this message from 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8:
For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice, that each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor, not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will…… For the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we have already warned you solemnly and told you plainly.For God has not called us to impurity but to consecration [to dedicate ourselves to the most thorough purity]. Therefore whoever disregards (sets aside and rejects this) disregards not man but God, Whose [very] Spirit [Whom] He gives to you is holy (chaste, pure).
As the Lord said, “I will not leave you as orphans in the night…” there is another blog for you to follow with great articles and advice for singles and that’s Boundless.org. I especially like their last article: Called to Singleness.
If God has called me to be single to better service Him, then I’ll serve in a state of sexually abstinent singleness.
Soli Deo Gloria!
To God Alone be the Glory!
Giselle Aguiar
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What is a Soul Mate?

I’ve read many books on dating, relationships, what men want, what women want—you name it. Only one stood out and made the most sense to me— Mars and Venus on a Date, by Dr. John Gray. (Harper Collins) He’s the genius that came up with Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. All of his books emphasize the differences between men and women and give brilliant advice on how to live with them. I like Dr. Gray’s definition of a soul mate: “A soul mate is someone who has the unique ability to bring out the best in us. Soul mates are not perfect, but perfect for us…” A soul mate has all the right chemistries – spiritual soul chemistry that conceives love, mental that kindles interest, emotional that generates affection, and physical that sparks desire. A relationship with any one of these chemistries alone is short-lived – especially physical chemistry. Some of us have learned that lesson the hard way. (But it seems that we are sometimes helpless in overcoming temptation.) The soul is the part of who we are that is most lasting. When the soul is attracted to someone, and we experience a “soul chemistry,” then the mental, emotional, and physical chemistries can also be sustained. The bottom line is—lasting physical attraction must find its source in our souls. Your Shopping List What happens when you go to the supermarket without a shopping list? You end up buying what you don’t need and you spend too much money. The same thing applies when shopping for a mate. If you don’t know what you need and want from the beginning, you waste time wading through profiles and meeting people that just don’t appeal to you or aren’t right for you. You need to keep the basic chemistries in mind. The person needs to be compatible in these areas: Spiritual – You need to have the same beliefs. The attraction has to start with the soul.
Mental – You need to be able to communicate with the person. Have things to talk about; have similar goals and interests.
Emotional – Are you passionate about the same things?
Physical – And, of course, there has to be that spark. The Perfect Mate Soul mates are never perfect. You can imagine your perfect mate, but in reality, no one is perfect. Everyone will have one or more things that don’t match—a few things that you can compromise on.    How many times have you heard—“You’re too picky!” “Your requirements are too high, be realistic,” or “What you want doesn’t exist, be willing to compromise.” Basically, they are saying that if you lower your principles, you will be successful. But, successful at what? In getting into a relationship that is less than what you want? That isn’t success. It’s like reaching the top of the ladder of success only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall. Lowering your principles is impossible anyway. Your ideals and values are what make you who you are. It’s not possible to alter them. You can’t all of a sudden say, “Well, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t care if the person is not religious.” Now, you’re probably thinking “Didn’t I just read that soul mates aren’t perfect?” Yes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t meet your standard requirements. So, instead of lowering your principles, figure out what you really want and make that your standard. Set specific goals—high goals—for what you want in a relationship and stick to them. Then believe that you will achieve what you desire. It’s funny—if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. The secret of success is to start from scratch and keep on scratching. Soul Searching Before you unleash your dreams, you need to consider what is important to you in your life right now. Let’s look at those chemistries in more detail: Spiritual
Religion—does it matter to you? (Hopefully, yes.) Where are you in your spiritual journey? Would you prefer this person to be: Protestant or Catholic? Christian or other? Liberal or conservative? A Bible study or prayer partner? A regular church attendee or is it okay that they’re a C & E’s (Christmas & Easter only) Or is it ok if they are “spiritual, but not religious?” (whatever that means – that’s another blog). All Christian are not alike. Be aware of the differences in Christian denominations. They are assorted “brands” of Christian churches with what I see as different “levels” of beliefs as well as different styles of worship. To help you sort through them you can do a search in Yahoo.com or Google.com for Christian denominations and you’ll get a list of links to their individual websites or you can check out this website: http://www.geocities.com/pastorkeith/ecumenical.html or ask your pastor to explain the differences. But then, shouldn’t all Christians be united in one basic belief? “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” ~ John 3:16-17 Mental
These are the things that stimulate your mind. What type of personality do you want this person to have? Here’s a list of personality traits that you can use to describe yourself and the person you seek: active, affectionate, aggressive, ambitious, articulate, assertive, beautiful, brave, caring, charming, cheerful, confident, considerate, creative, dedicated, desirable, devoted, dynamic, energetic, enthusiastic, extroverted, fashionable, feminine, flexible, friendly, fun-loving, funny, generous, gracious, honest, humorous, independent, intelligent, introverted, joyful, kind, lively, loving, loyal, manly, mysterious, neat, nice, nurturing, open, optimistic, organized, outgoing, passionate, patient, philosophical, religious, sensual, serious, shy, sincere, sociable, spiritual, spontaneous, supportive, sweet, temperamental, trustworthy, vivacious, warm, wise, witty, youthful     I’m sure you can add a few of your own. Remember the Seven Heavenly Virtues? Faith – belief, trust, fidelity, loyalty, conviction;
Hope – desire, a search for a future good, reliance, expectation, confidence;
Charity – generosity, benevolence, helpfulness, mercy, compassion;
Justice – impartiality, fairness, righteousness;
Temperance – moderation, self-restraint, sobriety, frugality;
Prudence – wisdom, vigilance, carefulness, thoughtfulness, discretion, foresight;
Fortitude – “The guard and support of the other virtues” (Locke) strength, courage, bravery, endurance, firmness of mind, resoluteness; “Extolling patience is the truest fortitude.” (Milton) These are things you should look for in a potential mate. Some other qualities to consider: Intelligent or Intellectual? Sense of humor Ambition Social skills; Communication Community oriented Education—does it matter to you?
There once was a woman who wanted a well-educated man as her top priority. She said she wouldn’t settle for anyone with less than a Ph.D. As it happened, the man she married only has a high school degree. However, he’s well-traveled and well-read and life is a great adventure for him. He’s a successful businessman and adores his wife. She would have never met him at a Harvard alumni function. Emotional
These are things that move you. Family – Are you family oriented? Is family important to you? Do you have a large family to whom you are close?
Children – Do you have any? Are they grown or still at home? Would you like to have more? Is it okay if the person you meet has children at home full-time or part-time or living elsewhere? Nurture – Are you the nurturer or do you need to be nurtured? Nurture should be evenly balanced. Passion – What are you passionate about?

Integrity – Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. Keeping your word. Meaning what you say.
Compassion – Deep awareness of the suffering of another along with the wish to relieve it. Physical
Race – Does it matter to you? Which races would be okay? Races are usually categorized as Anglo/White/Caucasian; African American/Black; Hispanic; Middle Eastern; Asian/Oriental; Native American Indian; Caribbean or Pacific Islander. Remember that there are mixed races also. Height Range – Our societal ideal is having the man taller than the woman. However, remember there are a lot of nice short people also. Lisa, who’s 5’8”, always said she only wanted a tall man—until she met Mike who’s 5’5” at a dinner party. They were standing next to each other and she was wearing heels. Somehow, Mike’s wonderful personality blinded her to the fact that she was taller than he was. Age Range – Another societal ideal is to have the man older than the woman. Lately, with all the “look younger” products and treatments available, people don’t look their age. On paper, it’s best to be honest. Let people later on say “You don’t look your age!” My guidelines on age bracket choosing: Men should go 10 years younger to two years older. Women should go two years younger to 10 years older. With an age difference more than 10 years, you won’t have much in common other than physical attraction. Characteristics – blonde, blue-eyed or tall, dark and handsome? Shouldn’t what’s inside matter more? Affection – Are you a “touchy-feely” type of person? Do you like public displays of affection? Do you feel you need this early on in a relationship? I do. That’s what I miss about not being with someone. I see hand holding, casual kisses as a sign that a person is interested in you. Habits – smoking & drinking. Is this important to you? Smoking is a turn-off to the majority of people out there. Heavy drinking is also a problem. Both should be addressed before you start dating. I met Sunil when I hosted a Christmas party at my apartment when I was leading the singles group in Miami. He was a smoker and spent most of the evening on the balcony exiled with the other smokers. The following week, he kept calling me asking me out. He was very persistent and I was hesitant because of the smoking. I finally agreed to go out to dinner with him. We started seeing each other when he agreed to try to quit smoking. After one month, he still hadn’t even made an effort. I’d be at a bar or at his place coughing and he’d have the cigarette at arms length trying to keep it away from me. I told him that he wasn’t making an effort and that I couldn’t stand it anymore. I broke it off. Once, a guy named Ron interested me when I saw his ad online. We had a lot in common and enjoyed many of the same things. Only problem was, he indicated that he was “trying to quit” smoking. I wrote him that we had a lot in common, but explained that I am highly allergic with asthma and that he would need to be clean before we met. He wrote me back that he had lost his wife two years ago. While he felt he was ready to date, he admitted that he was using smoking as a crutch. I suggested he talk to his pastor and then contact me once he quit. So, if you smoke—quit. What better reason is there than it will save your life and increase your chances of finding a soul mate. If you don’t want a smoker, make sure you indicate that and stick to it. Don’t think that he will quit if you ask him to. You can’t go by “trying to quit” as a good-faith attempt to stop smoking. Smoking is an addiction and the smoker has to really want to quit for his/her own good not for anyone else. If a non-smoker is a top priority for you, make no exceptions. Of course, people look at physical attraction first. But those focusing primarily on physical attributes don’t understand themselves and their long-term needs very well. It infuriates me when I see a man my age indicate that he only wants to date women between the ages of 20-40. Or the ones that want someone slim or fit and they themselves are average or “need to lose a few pounds.” Get real! This shallowness only leads them to choose attractive mates, without assessing spiritual, personality and character concerns. That will lead to a bad relationship, a miserable marriage and a resentful divorce. Nonetheless, if you are on the athletic side and active in sports—biking, hiking, running, etc., you’ll probably be happier with someone who enjoys the same things. Keep Your Standards High If you don’t find your ideal mate for quite a long while, you know it means only one thing: remember the 3 P’s! Patience, Persistence and Prayer. To achieve any goal—whether it is to find a soul mate or a companion—you need to work at it, pray, put out a little effort & think positive! Seize opportunities with passion and persistence and a positive attitude. Enthusiasm rubs off. There will be obstacles and negative forces along the way towards your goal, but no matter how impossible it seems, it can be accomplished if you ask God for help! No matter how long you’ve been single…no matter what you’ve been through…trust in the Lord. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13 Get a relationship with Jesus before you try to get a relationship with someone else. Click here for help. God Bless,
Giselle
www.giselleaguiar.com
Phoenix Singles Examiner

Setting Goals for Your Dating Life

Exercise 2: How to Achieve Your Goal
What is a goal? It’s a desired outcome; something you’re striving for; something you want; something you are willing to lend energy to—a result, an achievement to which you can point—real and unmistakable. You want to improve your quality of life by reaching your goal. Get a piece of paper and search your soul for answers to these exercises then write them down. 1. What is your overall purpose in getting into the dating scene, your long-range hope for yourself? Is it to get married to a person you really love—and like—unconditionally, who, in return, will love you in the same way, enough to make a life-long commitment?When I started writing the singles book in early 2004, my attitude towards dating changed from passive to active. I had been on an 8-year hiatus from dating. I am actively making an effort to find a spouse. My goal was to get married before I turn 50 (June, 2005). Time-wise, it was doable. I felt that if I found the right person, I would know it and if all worked well, I’d be engaged in six months and married in another six. It wasn’t impossible, just a challenge. I knew the type of person that I wanted and I was going to the best places where I have the greatest chances of finding him. I was being creative on ways to meet new people and opening myself to the people around me who may be potential dates whom I had never considered before. Yes, it is frustrating at times, but I look to the Lord for guidance and strength and I hope and pray that I will recognize my soul mate when I find him. (2009 Update: I’m 54 and still single.)Or is your goal to find a person you can love who loves you also, who wants to share companionship but not live together or get married?At the same time I decide to get back into the dating scene, friend of mine, a widow for two years, finally decided she was ready to start going out and getting into the dating scene. Problem was that she married her husband of thirty-something years right after high school. She never had any “dating” experience. Many women in their 40’s and 50’s are finding themselves in similar situations—whether it is from the death of a spouse or divorce. You feel like a 20-year-old, dropped into this strange world called the “dating scene.” Plus, you are just starting to discover who you are as a single person and enjoying it. You’re thinking of yourself as “I”—no longer a part of a “we.” You’re finding new things to enjoy, but you also feel the need to share it with someone—exploring and experimenting on who you are, what you like and don’t like and what you can do, what you need and don’t need. As you become more independent, you begin looking for more in your relationships. But, then you say, “I don’t want to get married, yet. I just started to live as a single person.” You want companionship, but not commitment. That’s fine, if you express that when you first meet someone. When you place an ad, you need to indicate that you want a casual dating relationship or just friendship. That way, only people who are looking for the same thing will contact you. 2. Accept life as it is and try to make it better. Learn from the mistakes you have made in the past by making a statement regarding each mistake that you wish to correct. What are your personal goals? Here are some suggestions:
To increase my own personal chances of finding love.
To meet more people no matter what.
To take note of my hesitancy and how it affects what I do.
To start doing things right now to search for love and not wait until I’m in a better place.
To believe that somewhere out there, God has the right person for me.
To stop my fears from manipulating my love life.
To work enthusiastically on my self-esteem.
To stick to my principles.
3. Rank your goals in the order in which you believe they will help you obtain your overall purpose. Common sense will tell you that certain goals must be reached before you can tackle others. For instance, you need to go out and start meeting new people if you’re going to run into that person that God has waiting for you. All goals are important—don’t eliminate any of them. Now, write each of your first three goals at the top of a clean page. These are now your main objectives. 4. Goals are attained by creating stages of specific transitional objectives—one step at a time. To attain your aspirations, these objectives must meet certain conditions: Each objective must be:Manageable – The objective must be realistic for you. Choose a small step that you know for sure that you are willing and actually able to do, and that, knowing yourself as you do, you believe has a good chance of actually being accomplished—like going to a church singles group before diving head first into the online dating scene. Meaningful – Each objective must be significant enough that accomplishing it makes you feel good and gives you a sense of progress. Don’t set up a task so irrelevant that it is meaningless. Attach positive values to each task.Measurable – Your objective must be both explicit and attainable in a certain period of time so that you will know with certainty when you have or have not achieved it. Like “I will try to go to at least three singles events by the end of this month.”Monitored – You need to put your objective deadline on your calendar and check it often to see whether you have achieved your objective. You can also get friends, family or members of a support group to help you do this. In addition, you need to evaluate your progress and have a friend who will encourage you in your efforts. However, don’t allow negative people to hold you back. Surround yourself with friends who think positive. If you have a bad day, stay focused on what your goal is and where you want to be. Think of where you’re going, not where you are today. Consider the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.Get Enthusiastic! This is the first day of the rest of your life! Pray. Have faith. Go for it! Success comes in cans; failure comes in can’ts.Read RiskIf you want to be able to hear what God’s will for your life is, you need to have a relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus.Click here to learn how to have a relationship with God and Christ.God Bless, Giselle
http://www.giselleaguiar.com/

Phoenix Singles Examiner

Know Thyself

Note: This is an exercise in getting to know yourself and what you want. If you haven’t read the previous blogs on What Marriage is Not, please do so before you start this. Exercise 1: Know Thyself and What Thyself Wants. Now that you know what marriage isn’t, you need to understand why you no longer want to be single. And it had better not be for the reasons mentioned in the previous blogs! Yes, I know you’re busy, but you need to take time each day to pray and to go over your day and examine yourself quietly and calmly giving yourself a space to grow, to change and to find different ways to get what you want.Some things to think about are: Who am I? What am I doing here? What is the purpose of my life? What is God’s plan for my life? (That is sometimes not so obvious – I keep asking him and I still don’t know – but I think I’m getting close.)Is there a reason why I am living, and is there a reason why I am living single? How much of this is my own creation, and what can I do about it? This is silly, you may be thinking, “I know who I am.” But, do you really? As mentioned before, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. And you have to know yourself before you can love yourself.Some other questions to ask yourself:Did I achieve everything I wanted to accomplish today? What did I do to today to accomplish what I want? How did other people see me today? How did I see myself today? What did I do to improve myself or understand myself better today? How do I feel about myself today? Did I take time for myself today to plan and then review my day? If not, what got in the way.Where do I see myself a year from today? Where do I see myself five years from today? Where do I see myself ten years from today? What do I really want, short term and long term? What am I doing everyday to get it? What does the future hold for you? God only knows, right? While I lived in Florida, we had some visitors named Andrew, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Needless to say, these hurricanes got in the way of the plans and goals of many people. Everyone had to accept the fact that their world was literally turned upside down and they had to manage to turn it right side up again and get on with their lives. You may think, “Why should I have plans and goals if life’s going to turn it upside down?” Life is a journey not a destination. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to end up somewhere you don’t want to be. If you need help in getting to know God and in turn, discover what His will is for your life, first you need to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. Visit this website for answers.God Bless, Giselle
http://www.giselleaguiar.com/
Phoenix Singles Examiner

Planting and Reaping

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
If you plant hard work, you will reap success
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
If you plant faith, you will reap a harvest

God Bless
Giselle
http://www.giselleaguiar.com/
Phoenix Singles Examiner

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What Marriage is Not – Part 3

Why do people marry the wrong people for all the wrong reasons? Before you start looking for marriage, you need to know what marriage is not.

Marriage is not servitude. One person is not there to completely take care of the other. It has to be a mutual nurturing of each other. If one person puts more into it than the other, then that person will burn out and wonder what happened.

Marriage won’t solve all your needs. If you’re a needy person, don’t expect your spouse to fix that need. You need to fix it yourself before you make a commitment.

Paul, a guy I met, had been married three times and each time to a needy woman. They saw him as their “night in shining armor.” But, when he was the one in need, they were not there for him. Once their needs were met, they left him. He was attracted to my profile because of my independence and self-sufficiency. He had learned his lesson, but it took him three failed marriages to learn it.

If you can’t take care of yourself before you get married, don’t expect someone to take care of you after.

Marriage is not a gamble. “If it doesn’t work, we can get divorced.” That’s what I used to hear back in the 70’s and 80’s. That’s why the divorce rate got so high. Divorce is not an “out” for something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Marriage is a forever thing. You need to take your time and not be in a rush. Ask God for direction. Never speed up and jump ahead of Him. Relax and let God’s plan come to fruition in His time. Don’t be in a hurry, because if you are, you are likely to make a mistake. Besides, you’ll look desperate and that’s a major turn-off. God may not always deliver in our timeframe, but He always delvers the best. You need the 3 P’s—patience, persistence and perception.

Marriage is not a cure for lust. Don’t think that once you’re married you can have all the sex that you want. You cannot expect your spouse to “perform” every night and he/she should not expect it from you. If that’s what you look forward to in marriage, you need to resolve the issue before you hit the dating scene. One-night stands go nowhere so, if you start dating with that mentality, you might as well remain unmarried and enjoy casual sex forever. But don’t expect a deep, meaningful relationship based on lust. It just doesn’t happen. (Read: Avoiding False Intimacy.)

Marriage is not a cure for dating. In one of the greatest romantic comedies, When Harry, Met Sally, (Nelson Entertainment, 1989) Harry, played by Billy Crystal, is telling Sally, played by Meg Ryan, that he’s getting a divorce and he tells her, “I got married so I could stop dating.” That’s exactly how I feel. The problem with this attitude is that you become desperate. You think that when you find the right person, you want the relationship be solidified and committed. But you can’t be in a hurry. You need the relationship to take its natural course. And some will go quicker than others—as Harry said at the end of the movie when he finally understood that Sally was the right person, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Independence Day
You can be married and still be independent. Independence means you can set sail on your own and manage not to sink the boat. You don’t need anyone to survive, but it’s nice to have someone around to lend a hand so you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Independence is good and a quality people seek in a mate.

Next time: An excercise: Know Yourself.

But before you can know yourself, you need to know God. Click here for guidance.

God Bless,
Giselle
http://www.giselleaguiar.com/
Phoenix Singles Examiner

Trusting God

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from the desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. ~ Thomas Merton (Life-Changing Prayers , p 62).If we have a sincere desire to please God, we cannot go wrong. Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6How to Know God PersonallyGod Bless,
Giselle
http://www.giselleaguiar.com/
Phoenix Singles Examiner