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ENTHUSE FEBRUARY 2009—MY MONTH OF RELATIONSHIPS


EDITORIALVIEW

elationship is an issue relevant to everyone, whether it is between parents and children, employer and employee, a romantic relationship between a husband or wife, or even the relationship between people and their environment, we all have to relate to something or someone. It is therefore important that we understand and have good relationships skills if we are to co-exist with fellow humans and indeed other species in this world. For example, sex which was meant exclusively for the marriage bed is being used in a way that has become detrimental to the person and the society at large. In this issue we look at relationships from the physical, emotional and spiritual perspectives, touching on domestic violence, sex, negotiating, loneliness, marriage and singleness etc.

CONTENTS FEBRUARY 2009 Editorial

2

Teen Sex

4-5

Relate -

6-7

The Art of Negotiation

8

The Makings a successful Marriage - Pt. 2 Book Review/ Birthdays

9

Singleness vs. Loneliness

13

9 Reasons why sex is good for you

14-16

If you are affected directly or indirectly by any 4I Small Groups of the issues discussed in this edition, please write to us and share your views or if you just need Domestic Violence some to talk to or ask a question on someone’s behalf, you can give us a call and a trained counsellor will take your call in the strictest confidence. The Month in View Let me use this opportunity to thank all those that grabbed a copy of last month’s edition - we literally ran out of copies by the second day. Thank you.

17 18 19

Again thank you for your e-mails, letters & phone calls of encouraging words as well as your financial support. We definitely wouldn't be here without you. Watch out for future editions when we publish some of your comments, questions and inspirations. Finally, put a date in your diary for some of the events lined up this month, like the Valentine Showcase ‘Get a Room’. Enthuse will be there taking will be there taking photos - hope to see you there. Have a good read and remember to keep in touch . 10-11 COVER STORY

Get your copy at

ENTHUSE gives a behind the scenes account of UK’s inspirational speaker, teacher and writer, Kunle Oyedeji.

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PARENTALCARE

The Sexual habits of adolescents have a huge impact on the well being of individuals, families and societies. FMJ tells us why. ukky* had very strict parents. In her home, sex was not discussed, and boys were not welcome until it was time for marriage. Bukky couldn’t live with that, so whenever there were parties, she would lie about spending the weekend at her friend’s house. She started smoking and drinking, and had one sexual encounter after another. At 19, she had an abortion. Ten years later, she wishes her parents had been more approachable. “All I had were rules with no explanations. There was no one to talk to about my feelings and what I was going through, or what I should do,” she laments. Bimpe’s* story is a contrast. She was fortunate to have parents who were rather liberal. “My father encouraged us to bring our friends to the house, boys and girls. I never felt under pressure to have sex or hide anything from my parents.” Her first sexual experience was when she was 21 and she says: “I knew exactly what I was getting myself into.” Susan Mayor writes in the British Medical Journal that 13 million babies are born annually to teenagers worldwide. It seems that sporting a bump in your teens has become a sort- of must have accessory; or at least, that’s what 17 students (none older than 16) at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts thought. The teenagers, according to Time magazine had made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. They reacted to the news of their pregnancies with high fives and talks of baby showers. Don’t they just make motherhood sound like getting ready for the prom? This is a far cry from the way things were back in the 20th century. Then, if you got knocked up, you’d be on your knees praying and dreading the day that your pregnancy would be revealed, as you faced the risk of being disowned, beaten or sent packing.

4

Today’s average teen is a passionate follower of pop culture, TV, film, music, magazines and romantic fiction. They have been indoctrinated to believe sex is fun, risk free, cool and hip. Remember the media hype of the pregnancy of 17-year old Jamie Lynn Spears, and films like Juno and Knocked Up, which more or less give the OK to teenage and premarital sex? It’s no wonder that the girls at Gloucester High School were on “mission irresponsible” to get pregnant. Moreover, sex is portrayed as the key element of any romantic relationship. Teenagers believe they must jump into the sack with everyone they get romantically involved with: sex starts to define love. An important factor in the prevalence of teenage sex is the family structure. According to a study led by Gail B Slap on adolescent sex in Nigeria in 2003, teenagers from polygamous homes were the most likely to engage in early sexual activity. In contrast, the study showed that the closer the relationships between adolescents and parents/teachers, the less chance there was of early sexual activity. Patricia’s story lends credence to this theory. Patricia* started having sex at 16. She was from a polygamous home, where her mother was the first wife. There was no parental supervision while she was growing up. “My dad’s attention was focused on the other wife and her kids, while my mother was usually out all day at the market,” she recalls. Patricia was pressured into sex by some of her older, sexually experienced class mates. Once she started having sex, she lost control. She was always changing sexual partners and often fell pregnant. “I didn’t see it as a big deal. I had several D& Cs. One doctor told me not to come back to his clinic again.”

Teenagers believe they must jump into the sack with everyone they get romantically involved with: sex starts to define love.

Now married with a child, Patricia is thankful that her promiscuity has had no adverse physical effects – but admits that she would feel quite different if she were unable to have a child. And if she could do things differently? “I’d abstain,” she says without hesitation. Dr Ngozi Osarenren, a counselling psychologist with the University of Lagos, says a lack of guidance leads teenagers into early sexual experimentation, >

ENTHUSE FEBRUARY 2009—MY MONTH OF RELATIONSHIPS


PARENTALCARE they end up getting involved in activities that are harmful to them, such as sex” she says parents and other adults do not always help teenagers realise that adolescence is a normal phase that must be lived out with caution. Exposed they may be, and ignorant also – as in the case of Sandra*, a 16-year old student who started experimenting with sex with a much older man. She had no knowledge of contraceptives or condoms and did not try to protect herself. She had entertained hopes that the man would marry her, but had her dreams crushed when he said he wasn’t interested. By then she was pregnant. Alone and scared, she resorted to having an abortion. Her story is one of countless others. Allowing teenagers to date without communicating the expectations of such a relationship or setting limits to it paves the way for premature sexual activity. It is unwise to assume that adolescents can make the right decisions concerning appropriate behaviour and attitudes in relationships. You have to spell out the limits and teach them the outcome of certain actions. How physical should one get in a relationship? The reality is that if you let a boy kiss and fondle you, he will probably eventually get into your pants. Dr Jennifer Connolly, director of LaMarsh Research Centre at York University in Canada, defines healthy dating as the transition from same-sex groups to groups containing both sexes. This setting gives teenagers a safe way to learn about interactions with the opposite sex. Parents, however, are reluctant to talk to their children about sex. At best, they blurt out a safe sex lecture, and then leave it up to the child to navigate the stormy waters of sexual experimentation. Truth is that teenagers can’t really make a rational decision about sex; their hormones – and a desire to fit in, to be loved and accepted – are much stronger than logic. Chichi’s* story is a case in point. Chichi was a straight 'A' student until she started dating a young boy. She began to skip school, sneaking off to spend time with her boyfriend, and soon became pregnant – at the age of 15. Even though she was advised to abort the baby, she refused. Her family disowned her but the parents of the baby’s father agreed to support her financially. A year later, she got romantically involved with a much older man, and became pregnant again. Apparently experience was not her best teacher. This time there was no support, as the man refused to take responsibility for the baby. Where much of society holds on to traditional views, a pregnant teenager is seen as a disgrace to herself and her family. Her education grinds to a halt as the demands of motherhood take their toll. She struggles to understand the premature changes to her body; and is deprived of normal teenage life. What teenage girl wants to swap her trendy, size 6 clothes for maternity robes or sacrifice a teen movie for an antenatal appointment? Teenagers often go for the abortion option – due to social stigma, educational concerns, fear and lack of financial and moral support. A number of these abortions are performed by unqualified doctors or people with no medical qualifications, in non-sterile conditions. These factors place the life of the teenager in terrible danger. Kenya Casey’s report on adolescent Reproductive Health A, published in 2001 for Advocates for Youth, cities hospital based figures showing that about 80% of patients with abortion-related complications were adolescents. In addition to unwanted pregnancies, teenagers are at risk from sexually transmitted disease that can permanently damage normal reproduction. Tamar Lewin’s article in the New York Times of December 2000 raised concerns about the sexual practices of boys, especially those involving in anal and oral sex. Teenage boys who believe that these methods are not “real sex” do no appreciate that the health risks are equally grave.

Parents often do not realise that they have quite a bit to say in their teenagers’ sexual habits. An online survey by the Canadian Association for Adolescent Health came up with results that astonished parents. In a population of 1,100 teens, 45% of the teens identified celebrities, and 32% their friends; 63% of the teens said their parents were their primary source of information on sex and sexual health. Brenda*, a 48-year –old mother, says when she was growing up without a father, there was a lot of pressure to have sex, especially from older men who offered her money and gifts. “But I always remembered the words of my mother, who raised us well. She told us everything about sex, the good, the bad and the ugly, and I’ve never forgotten her warnings.” Survey has shown that sex is better enjoyed and free from emotional baggage when in a stable and committed relationship like marriage that affords security and should not be just as a quick release for fun. *Not their real names

KNOW YOUR TEENAGERS Many adolescent children are having sex, even though we may not know when. Rather than resign ourselves to doing nothing, it is worth trying to do something. These suggestions are helpful: As an adult, you need to be clear about your own sexual values and attitudes.

♦ Build up a close and caring relationship early in you children’s lives. Talk about sex with them often, and bring them into your confidence so that they will feel free to discuss anything with you, including sex.

♦ Explain why it is best to abstain from sex as a teenager and be gentle in your explanation. Don’t make it sound like a standing order, or you may be faced with rebellion.

♦ Abstinence should be promoted as an effective measure to guard against the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy and abortions.

♦ Explain to your adolescents what they stand to lose if they engage in premature sexual activity. Make them realise that there are better options for their future than early pregnancy and parenthood.

♦ Early, frequent and steady dating should be discouraged. Instead, encourage teenagers to move around in groups and ease them into the process of dealing with the opposite sex by helping them understand what normal dating behaviours are. When they get older, they will be better equipped to handle relationship with the other sex.

♦ Encourage them to bring their friends home, and observe how they interact.

♦ Get to know the families of their friends; a first-hand idea of the kind of home they come from will help you determine if their friendship is one that should be encouraged.

♦ Monitor what your offspring watch, listen to and read.

5


LIFESKILLS

YOUR WAY OUT OF ANYTHING - THE ART OF NEGOTIATION Whether it’s avoiding a parking ticket or getting a raise, we all need to negotiate now and then. Thankfully, there are some time-tested rules that can be applied to any negotiation situation, big or small. By Felix Makanjuola Jr. egotiation is a dialogue intended to resolve disputes, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests. In life we often run into situations where a deal is negotiated; buying a car, buying a house or perhaps even getting married. Whatever the situation, it is useful to know how to negotiate a good or even a great deal. A while ago, I attended a seminar on the art of negotiation that was conducted by Randy Shuttleworth, an Edmontonbased professional guru who operates something called The Training Company. (His business card actually calls him a training guru.) He conducts seminars and programs on a variety of topics, one of which is negotiation.

Negotiation, according to Shuttleworth is an art, not a science. Understanding what negotiation is and some of the strategies that go with it will help you come out ahead. Why? Because most people, unskilled in the art of negotiation, don't always get the best deal possible. Top negotiators exhibit certain common characteristics. First of all, they know what they want out of the deal before going into negotiations. They are shrewd - they look for a win-win situation. They are good listeners - they're open to hearing what the other side is looking for and trying accommodate that. They identify key issues quickly. They are creative, patient and seek common ground. They have empathy for people.

because of these differences, a win-win situation is the desirable outcome. Take buying a car, for example. The dealer wants a sale and to make a profit. If business is slow, the dealer may have a cash flow problem and be willing to settle for less, or even no profit, in order to generate cash. The customer, on the other hand, wants a vehicle. Factors that affect him, besides the cost, are style, ease of maintenance, warranty, gas mileage and other factors that the dealer doesn't really care about. The art of negotiation is to find the common ground on which a deal can be made.

The Forces of Negotiation There are four distinct forces acting on negotiations. These are Time , Information, Options, Approach .

Time The person who has the most time wins. If you have a tight deadline, the other side can wait you out to get the better deal. You feel pressure. The other side is calm, collected and patient. For example, if you're buying a car and your current car is quite serviceable and you are in no hurry, you will likely get a better deal, however, t if you just had your car checked out and the garage says you will need a major, expensive repair in a month, and you decide to buy a new car rather than have the service done, you are under a time constraint. The closer you get to the end of that month, the more urgent it becomes to get a new car.

Some people go into negotiations with the idea that there is a limited pie and, of course, they want the biggest slice. But are Another interesting thing to note is that 80% of concessions these assumptions true? Shuttleworth maintains that they are are made in the last 20% of the time. not. Not everyone wants the same thing out of a deal and 6 ENTHUSE FEBRUARY 2009—MY MONTH OF RELATIONSHIPS


LIFESKILLS

Information

annoying people." So be nice! Be friendly!

They call this the information age and certainly, information is money. The more knowledgeable you are, the better a deal you will get. Consider renewing your mortgage. The bank will offer to renew it at a certain rate. If you are aware of the competition's rates, you are in a better position to negotiate a better deal for yourself.

They, on the other hand, may not be nice., however, don't let their style distract you. Keep focused on your goals and priorities.

Hmmm... 7% Mr. Bank Manager? The bank down the street is offering the same mortgage at 6.5% and they are willing to give me a £500 cash rebate to boot. You're going to have to come up with a better offer.

Be aware that hope comes into play here. Have high expectations and you will achieve high outcomes. Some negotiating tactics and counter-tactics are quite fascinating in themselves and may form the basis for another article. Meanwhile let's conclude with a few key tips.

Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Then if a better offer comes, you can probably still get a better deal, particularly if you are a very good customer.

Never let your ego negotiate.

Always let the other person save face.

It also helps to have a good understanding of what the other side really wants and what their priorities are.

Don't name a price first.

Never accept the first offer.

Also know when to fold.

Options Always keep your options open. Have a fallback position. At the same time, don't give the other side too many options. It helps to negotiate one issue at a time.

Approach This is really a common sense approach to people skills. As the saying goes, "People like to help nice people. They like to hurt

A deal may just not be in the cards. Know your bottom line and be prepared to stick to it. At the same time, never walk away from a deal with a "Take it or leave it" ultimatum. Always leave room for a re-opening of talks. Walk away with "Looks like we can't agree today. Let's sleep on it and talk again later." Remember, it's all a game. Approach it as a game, and negotiating a deal can be both fun and profitable.

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7


MARRIEDLIFE

The Makings of a Successful Marriage - Part II 6 HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR Laugh a lot; loosen up a tense situation with a good laugh. A friend with very deep dimples told me her heart softens when she is angry and her husband tells her he is sorry but loves the way her angry face shows off her dimples. Learning to laugh at yourself and at others can lighten up a tense situation.

7 HAVE GOOD SEX One of the couples I spoke to said “have lots of sexxxx”. When the bedroom is vibrant, less effort is needed in other areas. While I sympathise with exceptional circumstances that can hamper good sex life, most couples can maintain a healthy sex life but both husband and wife must make every effort to ensure their sex life is kept alive. For the benefits of sex see article on ‘9 Reasons why sex is good for you’

8 HAVE realistic EXPECTATIONS Have you set unrealistic goals for yourself? How realistic is it for a man with a vibrant career (involving a lot of travelling worldwide) to expect his wife and children to relocate with him every 6 months? This is likely to soon become a source of frustration for the whole family because of the difficulty of finding new schools, settling down & making new friends and leaving old ones behind. A lady narrated to me how she looked up to her dad and several uncles who were very careerminded with white-collar jobs and a briefcase.8To her dismay, it turned out

that her husband was not so careerminded and his kind of job was less formal, permitting jeans daily. This lady said she lost something very important to her. The expectation was very unlikely to be met her husband. Another guy told of the disagreement he had with his wife over who should baby-sit the baby. She earned more than him and so expected that he did, it made more sense that he should stay at home. I find a lot of newly weds have the illusion that their husbands will always fulfil their need for significance in their life. This is a very unrealistic thing to demand of a human. Only God can make a human complete. The key thing with expectation is that they should be discussed. This will ensure things are brought out in the open sooner rather than later. When expectations are made known to the partner, it allows for adjustment of what is expected and minimises disappointments.

9 DON’T ABUSE In successful marriages the partners work towards minimising hurts on each other. A lady wrote about how her husband emotionally abused her so much with belting words and threats that it brought back all the emotional pain and insecurities of her childhood. Physical abuse cannot be tolerated in marriage and help must be sought immediately if you are abusing or being abused in your relationship

see article on ‘Domestic Violence’. Trust should not be abused. Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral”.

10

KNOW WHAT MAKES HIM/ HER TICK

There are five ways each individual can feel loved, they are 1) Words of affirmation, 2) Gifts, 3) Physical touch, 4) Quality Time, 5)Acts of service. These 5 ways are described as the five love languages by a renowned marriage counsellor – Gary Chapman. Have you discovered what makes your partner tick? That is what makes them feel most valued and loved? Knowing your spouses’ primary love language empowers you to demonstrate love to them the way they feel valued. A person who feels valued is guaranteed to respond by showing love in return.

The summary of these practices can be summarized in the Bible verse that concisely defines how love in marriage should be. I Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered and it keeps no record of wrongs.” I pray God continues to bless your marriage. Amen.

ENTHUSE FEBRUARY 2009—MY MONTH OF RELATIONSHIPS


BOOK REVIEW/BIRTHDAYS

Book /CD Review by Mojisola Solana “The Lady, Her Lover and Her Lord” By T.D. Jakes speaks to women about "Three relationships that must be balanced in order to achieve some semblance of fulfilment" which is with herself, with her man and with God. He illustrates how society requires women to be perfect, submissive, pristine and everything but the one thing God wants them to be which is “REAL”. This book is a must read for women who desire to reach their aspirations, make the most of their God-given potential, and still have someone with whom to share them.

“Gospel Love” is a must listen for Valentine day. The songs have been carefully selected to create a CD packed full with a collection of powerful and uplifting romantic and spiritual love songs. It includes soulful; and inspiring songs from Michael Brooks “Love isn’t Love”, William Becton “Show me how to Love again”, Nina Llopis “He Love” and Many more.

Birthdays in February Happy Birthday !!! Name

Date

Bassey Uno-Asuquo

2nd

Jumoke Sanusi

2nd

Daniel Durowaiye

19th

Felix Makanjuola Jr

19th

Ifeanyi Anthony Igweike

23rd

Flora Nwafor

24th

The Place of Victory Family celebrates you. Have a wonderful birthday.

Are you useful

?

Do you want to make an impact in your community but don’t know how? Do you want to stand out? Sharpen your gifts and skills. Get empowered at the Empowerment Workers Training 23rd - 28th February ‘09 For details email: placeofvictory@yahoo.com

9


COVERSTORY

Page 10

Kunle Oyedeji gives us a behind the scenes account of making an impact in a world full of cynics and the faith that keeps him going. By Binta Waya. unlé Oyedeji is a motivational and inspirational speaker, teacher and writer. He is the founder and leader of Kunlé Oyedeji Ministries and Jesus For Life Youth Ministry (www.J4L.org) These ministries are designed to spread the Word of God through drama, music, performances, teaching and much more as well as conferences and evangelism. It is to see the youngsters of today live a better life by deciding to follow Jesus; and to encourage the ones who have made the decision for Christ, to remain focused and steadfast. Crossing and breaking denominational barriers Kunlé became an international speaker in 2004 where he was invited to the “Dare to be different” conference in Czech Republic, which hosted an influx of young people from all across the globe. Since then Kunlé has received invitations from Africa and the United States of America to share his passion and to be used as an instrument of God. He addresses thousands through speaking invitations every year, in churches, conferences, youth events, rally’s, universities, schools and more.

uses his age, and God given wisdom to be able to relate and communicate to young people where many have failed. Kunlé is also a graduate of Roehampton University where he gained his Bachelors Honour Degree in Theology & Religious Studies with Sociology and Psychology. Kunlé is also a Skills coach and the founder of Life Solutions. Life Solutions is a people dedicated based company, making people aware of how they can address circumstances that life brings, in a positive manner. Personal development means developing yourself to the point where one can display maturity to take responsibility for their life in areas such as health, career, finances, relationships, emotions, habits, and spiritual beliefs. Life Solutions achieve this through school programs and seminars and for all (www.lifesolutionsweb.com).

"I’m not searching to be famous but significant"

Having achieved so much, Kunle believes he hasn’t achieved anything yet but that he is still work in progress. Not only is Kunle ambitious, he is also modest, ‘how humbling’. I was privileged to take a quick glimpse into the twenty five chapters of his life. Kunle hails from West Africa, Nigeria to be precise; born into a family of four brothers and the youngest of them. Although our chat was relatively short I was given a lot of insight into this gentle-

Kunlé is10a young man himself and ENTHUSE FEBRUARY 2009—MY MONTH OF RELATIONSHIPS


COVERSTORY

man who God has not only blessed but has been a blessing to so many people and left an impact in the lives of both youths and adults alike and I must make mention that he has personally touched my life as well.

Kunle Oyedeji is a Bible believing gentleman, who believes God has been his greatest motivation, "I’m not searching to be famous but significant", Kunle believes if you are significant then you will leave a lasting legacy. Whilst growing up, Kunle had a couple of dreams, first to become a footballer...maybe an international one...who knows??? and to publish a book. Many get visions and have dreams but sometimes they never come to fruition, well the latter has become a reality.

No wonder all roads lead to the auditorium of New Wine church in South London where Kunle will be launching his latest release, ‘Relationship Matters’ on 28th of February. Kunle’s book has been described as not just a book on relationships, but a manual for life”.

As every reputable man should, Kunle Oyedeji has many mentors that inspire him, the list includes to mention a few, his pastor Dr. Tayo Adeyemi, the Senior pastor of New Wine Church who pours into him daily, entrepreneur extraordinaire T D Jakes, businessman and pastor of Potters House Dallas a leader in business and one who manages ministry with finesse, also in the list is Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United Football Club whom Kunle says, “he inspires me by demonstrating leadership with constituency”. No guesses what football team Kunle supports.

It is popularly said that, 'when the going gets tough, the tough gets going', Kunle has been through this tunnel as ministry comes with a lot of challenges, sometimes people question his credibility, for instance, they ask what gives him the right to talk about relationships being a single man? He comments that “ministry gets so challenging that sometimes you probably just want to step back", however, despite all the challenges, he is still striving strong.

COOL AND CALM: “He unwinds by mainly going for a dinner...did I hear you ask with whom? (Wink wink)...well I sincerely apologise I forgot to ask him. Alongside dinner, he enjoys going to the cinema, and has a good chat on the internet with friends”

rdering at a nice restaurant, Kunle unwinds by mainly going for a dinner...did I hear you ask with whom? (Wink wink)...well I sincerely apologise I forgot to ask him. Alongside dinner, he enjoys going to the cinema, and has a good chat on the internet with friends (don't bother to turn on your laptop, he's always signed in as invisible... (only joking), finally, he likes to hang out with friends. Kunle Kun is single and not searching but intends to settle down soon. I wonder how? ‘When I asked him when and how?’ he said “by won God's grace” (I suppose God does work miracles).

11


n Prophecy

12


NO STRINGSATTACHED

As a single person, have you discovered the key to living alone without being lonely? If loneliness is a daily struggle, know that many others are going through the same thing. In fact, according to our ongoing singles survey one of the worst things Christian singles find about single life are the lonely feelings that go with the territory. iving alone is viewed in different ways by different people. Many people in their twenties have the desire to live alone - at least once - before they start a family. Especially if you lived with roommates during university, you may be eager to have your own place to do your own thing. And, living alone can be fun and liberating, but it can also be cause for loneliness and boredom. Here are a few tips on fighting those feelings while living alone, especially if you’re living alone in a new town where you don’t have any social networks. One of the most important things when living alone is to have a hobby. If you don’t already have one, think about what you’re interested in and do some research on activities that appeal to you. Many hobbies like writing, reading, crafts, etc. are solitary hobbies that you can do from the comfort of your own apartment. However, because they are solitary they often increase the isolated feeling you may get from living alone. Take your writing to the library or to the park. Take your book to a café or quiet spot. The more time you spend in your apartment alone, the more likely you are to feel imprisoned and solitary. Sometimes, just leaving the apartment helps you feel less alone, even if you have no more social interaction than a quick thank you to a cashier. It’s important to get out, even if it is alone. Getting up and doing something will help you feel productive. Just by getting out of the same four walls, you are changing stimulation, which can be exciting even if you don’t meet anyone new.

take the reins with the friends you have rather than try to make new ones. Even if you enjoy your solitude, it’s important to maintain physical contact with people (not just email or phone calls). Even the most reclusive people need to have real life contact once in a while. If you’ve moved to a new town and don’t really know anyone, take the opportunity to learn. Join clubs or groups. The YMCA often offers classes in a variety of subjects as well as exercise classes. Local community centre, church or universities will also have classes or activities to enjoy. Community centres or libraries will often have fliers for classes, lectures or other gatherings that you may be of interest. Since you’re taking a voluntary class or voluntarily attending a lecture, chances are you will meet people with similar interests. Try to be cheerful and approachable and make sure you really enjoy the subject (in other words, you’re not just going to meet people). You aren’t guaranteed to make friends, but you will enjoy learning something new and at least having some contact with a variety of people. You can join or start a 4I Small Group (SG); it is the getting together of at least three people with the primary purpose of fostering purposeful & meaningful relationships. Volunteer. Keeping busy is important to battle boredom, but loneliness can still pervade busyness. By volunteering for an organization or cause you feel strongly about, you are using your time in a way that will make you feel good. Again, you may not meet friends, but by doing something valuable with your time you feel better about yourself and are less likely to feel lonely when working toward something important. It is a lot harder to feel sorry for yourself and lonely when you are helping an important ideal.

You can join or start a 4I Small Group (SG); it is the getting together of at least three people with the primary purpose of fostering purposeful & meaningful relationships.

If you do have a social network nearby, make sure to maintain a social schedule. If you have friends in the area, try to set up weekly get-togethers. Don’t leave social outings to chance, plan ahead. If you have a particularly open spot on your calendar, contact friends and family to plan activities together. If you are somewhat shy or don’t like making plans, it’s very easy to sit around and wait for other people to call you, but don’t let that happen. It’s so much easier to

At the end of the day, take time to realize and enjoy certain things you will only be able to do while you live alone. Decorate in an outrageous style; sing at the top of your lungs. Remember, in the future if you live with someone else you lose some of the freedom to make all of your own choices. Try to enjoy that freedom of choice while it’s possible. 13


ENTHUSE FEBRUARY 2009—MY MONTH OF RELATIONSHIPS

Image: www.wechealthunit.org

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MEDICALREPORT

Everyone knows that sex is fun and enjoyable - but did you know it can also improve your self-esteem and mental health? Or that regular orgasm cut your risk of cancer? Dan

Roberts

reveals the surprising health benefits of sex. 1 IMPROVES SELF-ESTEEM AND MENTAL HEALTH Boosting self-esteem was one of the 237 reasons people have sex, according to study conducted last year by researchers from the University of Texas and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. This is no surprise to Julia Cole, author of How to Have Great Sex for the Rest of Your Life. She is convinced that a healthy sex life with a loving partner does wonders for the way you feel about yourself. “After a bout of sex the body releases endorphins, which are known as ‘happy chemicals’ because they improve mood,” she says. “Purely from a physical point of view it’s similar to enjoying a good workout or going swimming – but if you are having sex with someone you love it also makes you feel cared for and promotes self-esteem.” The proviso of course, is that if your sexual experiences are unhappy ones, they will have a similarly negative impact upon your psyche. But assuming the sex is good, it is thought to improve body image, as well as reducing anxiety and the incidence of psychiatric illness, depression and suicide. A 2004 study of men from four different cultures found that sexual satisfaction was directly associated with an increased frequency in sexual intercourse, as well as being inversely related to depression.

Text: Dan Roberts/Planet/Pan Media

2 AIDS SLEEP During orgasm the body also produces oxytocin, a hormone linked with a range of physical and psychological benefits. Chief among these is its beneficial impact on sleep. “There’s no doubt that sex is very relaxing and so helps tackle insomnia,” says Dr David Delvin, a GP and specialist in sexual medicine. “Lots of people use sex, as a way of getting to sleep. That’s down to the surge in oxytocin during arousal and orgasm, which is a natural sedative.”

3 COMBAT STRESS One of the main health benefits of sex is its impact upon stress. In a study published in the journal Biological Psychology, 24 women and 22 men kept records of their sexual activity. The researchers subjected themselves to stressful situations, such as public speaking and doing verbal arithmetic. Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviours or abstained. According to Julia Cole, this may be down to the soothing effect of another person’s touch. “A great deal of research has shown that touch naturally calming effect on human beings, whether it’s linked to sex or not. Of course, being touched by someone you care about will double the calming effect,” she says. Apart from the obviously pleasurable sensation of being touched or stroked, it is thought to have a biochemical effect, reducing the levels of cortisol – the hormone that is secreted when you’re under stress.

4 BOOSTS IMMUNITY Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, or IgA, which can protect you from colds and other infections. Scientists at Wilkes University in the US tested IgA levels in 112 participants who reported the frequency of the sexual activity. Those in the “frequent” group had higher levels of IgA than those who were abstinent or had sex less than once a week. Paula Hall, a psychosexual therapist with ‘Relate’, also thinks that sex’s impact on our general well being helps boost immunity. “All the psychological benefits do have an impact on your physical health, such as your immune system,” she says. “We know that when you’re feeling good about yourself your body fights off illness and disease better – so the health15 we ier we are psychologically and emotionally, the healthier


MEDICALREPORT

are physically.”

5 REDUCES CANCER RISK Frequent ejaculations may reduce the risk of prostrate cancer for men later life, according to study by Australian researchers reported in the British Journal of Urology International. When they followed men diagnosed with prostrate cancer and those without it, the researchers found that men who had five or more ejaculations weekly in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostrate cancer by a third.

Research suggests regular sexual activity may help women avoid breast cancer.

Research also suggests that regular sexual activity may help women avoid breast cancer. A study conducted in 1989 examined 146 French women and found a higher risk of breast cancer in those women without a sexual partner or who had sex less than once a month.

having sex eases period pain and PMT.” Oxytocin is also linked with pain relief. In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapour and then had their fingers pricked reduced their sensitivity to pain by half.

In 2001, two studies of orgasm and migraine headache in a woman and man found that orgasm resulted in pain relief. And an earlier study of 83 women who suffered from migraines reported that orgasm resulted in ain relief for more than half. Although this form of pain relief is less reliable and effective than the use of drug therapies, the effects of orgasm as an analgesic are more rapid.

8 BURNS CALORIES

6 IMPROVES INTIMACY Having sex and orgasms is a key part of improving intimacy and ensuring a healthy long-term relationship – which has been linked to a longer lifespan in a number of studies. It’s all down to oxytocin again. “Oxytocin, also called the ‘bonding hormone’, is released when women give birth, so is part of the bonding process with their baby,” says Julia Cole. “It’s also released in people who are in secure or long-term relationships as well as during sexual contact. This bonding effect is one of the reasons people continue to have sexual relationship long after they have ceased to be fertile.” This was backed up by a study conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. They evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their partners ended with hugs. The study found that the more contact the women had, the higher their oxytocin levels were. And studies in which couples were asked to go without sex for long periods found that their general relationship declined, indicating that sex has a powerful bonding effect for couples. “There’s also the slightly more indefinable feeling that you are thought to be attractive and someone your partner wants to be with and touch,” adds Cole. “That’s very important – often when I see couples who are in trouble they have stopped having sex, and one of them will say their partner no longer thinks of them as attractive.”

7 EASES PAIN Sex has been linked to pain reduction for a wide range of conditions, including lower back pain, migraines, arthritis and premenstrual tension (PMT) symptoms. It’s all down to those hormones again. “Sex increase endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers,” confirms Dr Delvin. “So there is evidence that 16

Sexual activity, like other forms of exercise, burn both calories and fat. Thirty minutes of energetic sex burns 85 calories or more. This may not sound like much, but it does add up – 42 half hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, which is enough to lose a pound. “Sex does burn calories, so it’s comparable to moderate exercise like housework or swimming,” says Dr Delvin. And it is clearly, a great deal more fun. But there s a chicken-and egg element here, as people with active sex lives improves sexual health. A 1990 study that followed 78 men over a nine-month period found that with consistent aerobic exercise, participants had an increase in frequency of sexual activity, improvement in performance and an increased ability to reach a “satisfying” orgasm.

9 INCREASES LONGEVITY One of the most extensive studies into the relationship between sex and mortality was carried out in Caerphilly, South Wales, from 1979 to 1983, with a 10-year follow-up. In the study, 918 men were given a physical examination and asked about their frequency of orgasm. After 10 years it was found that the mortality risk was 50% lower among men who had frequent orgasms – defined as two or more per week. The study also found that, even when adjusting for age and other risk factors, frequent intercourse was associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and stroke. “There has been a great deal of research into whether people in relationship live longer,” adds Paula Hall. “We know that having a strong relationship is a good indicator of longevity – and a healthy sex life is a big part of that.”

ENTHUSE FEBRUARY 2009—MY MONTH OF RELATIONSHIPS


COMMUNITYTOGETHER

Beyond tomorrow is Vision; being able to see the future and move into everything God has ordained; not just today or tomorrow, but for years to come to help towards achieving the vision of the church for the next 5 - 10 years:

Hi, welcome to the 4I small study groups at Place of Victory. A 4I Small Group (SG) is the getting together of at least three and no more than twelve people to study a specific subject matter generally referred to as the curriculum. Apart from the obvious primary purpose of fostering purposeful & meaningful relationships, these groups have been created to help towards achieving the church’s vision. The next Small Groups Semester starts in April 2009. Register early to avoid disappointment.

Imagine

Ignite our passion

New Possibilities

Imagine using your gifts and creativity to fulfil God’s plan for the church

Imaging having unlimited resources to meet the needs of our com-

If you are interested in joining a Small Group immediately please email the group you wish to join as the subject line and include the following details below in the body of the email.

If you are interested in starting a Small Group, please email Start a Small Group as the subject line and include the following details below as well as what the group will entail in the body of the email and you will be contacted shortly.

SG REGISTRATION FORM Please pick 1 or more groups you wish to attend this semester:

Group 1 - How to become a better you Group 2 - Every woman’s battle - (ladies only) Group 3 - Every man’s battle - (men only) Group 4 - Being a contagious Christian

Invest in the Future Imagine being a part of something significant that impacts future gen-

Inherit the Promise Imagine taking bold steps and achieving your heart’s desires

Group 5 - Doing life together - (married/couples) Group 6 - City keepers (call to pray) Group 7 - Fashion Focus Group 8 - The Financial Clinic Group 9 - No strings (Singles)

First Name: Last Name: Email Address: Mobile Number:

For further details or information of our initiatives, please email placeofvictory@yahoo.com 17


SELFAWARENESS

Despite what many people believe, domestic violence is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over their behaviour, writes

FMJ. f you think your spouse or partner is abusive, or you suspect that someone you know is in an abusive relationship, review the red flags and other information on domestic abuse and violence covered in this article. Not all abuse involves physical threat; emotional abuse can also leave deep and lasting scars. Recognising the warning signs and symptoms of spousal abuse is the first step, but taking action is the most important step in breaking free. Victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence may be men or women, although women are more commonly victimized. This abuse happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. Except for the gender difference, domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate. It happens within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and financial levels. The abuse may occur during a relationship, while the couple is breaking up, or after the relationship has ended. Despite what many people believe, domestic violence is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over their behaviour. In fact, violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to take control over another. 18

Spousal abuse and battery are used for one purpose: to gain and maintain total control over the victim. In addition to physical violence, abusers use the following tactics to exert power over the victims: Dominance - Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his/her possession. Humiliation - An abuser will do everything to make you feel bad about yourself, or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you're worthless and that no one else will want you, you're less likely to leave. Insults, namecalling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your selfesteem and make you feel powerless.

Isolation - In order to increase your dependence on him/her, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. The abuser may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.

Threats - abusers commonly use threats to keep their victims from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. He/she may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.

Intimidation - your abuser may use a variety of intimation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don't obey, there will be violent consequences.

Denial and blame - abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behaviour on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his/ her violence and abuse is your fault.

ENTHUSE FEBRUARY 2009—MY MONTH OF RELATIONSHIPS


F e b r u a ry 2 0 0 9 o u r m o n t h o f r e l at i o n s h i p s PH - 110 Pearl House, 43 Princess Way; DH - Dolphin Hotel (opposite Primark); All Sunday services are held at the Dolphin Hotel TBC - To Be Confirmed

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun 1

“Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the person you think you can’t live without”

“Get a life”

- James Dobson

@11.30 am

2

3

4

Fasting & Prayers

9

16

5

6

7

8

Fasting & Prayers

Victory Night

Holy

Remove Baggage

Communion

How to have a romantic

@7.00 pm

@7.00 pm

(PH)

(PH)

10

11

12

Fasting & Prayers

Fasting & Prayers

@7.00 pm

@7.00 pm

(PH)

(PH)

17

18

FMJ

19

Fasting & Prayers

Fasting & Prayers

@7.00 pm

@7.00 pm

(PH)

(PH)

In Relationships @ 7.00 pm

relationship” FMJ

(DH)

@ 7.00 pm (DH)

@11.30 am

13

14

15

Get a room “7 Things you need to know about Valentine women” Showcase FMJ @ 7.00 pm @11.30 am (TBC)

20

21

22

Intercessory “7 Things you need Prayers to know about men” FMJ

@7.00 pm (PH)

23

24

25

26

27

28

Empowerment Workers

Empowerment Workers

Empowerment Workers

Empowerment Workers

Project/Study leave

Empowerment Workers

Training

Training

Training

Training

Training

@7.00 pm

@7.00 pm

@7.00 pm

@7.00 pm

@1.00 pm

(PH)

(PH)

(PH)

(PH)

(PH)

@11.30 am “How to have a

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Enthuse February 2009