Sunday, July 3, 2016

Singleness at a glance: Understanding the life of the single Christian. The Simple Truth

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:26-27 KJV

It just hit me. I am 41 years young and still single. Jesus take the wheel! Heaven have mercy! With that being said, I must confess something: I personally do not believe that the average church knows how to deal with single Christians within their church walls. (Yes, I am ducking over here because I am certain that someone is going to throw a stone at me.) So let me explain. I have been blessed to have visited several different church denominations in my years. For many churches programs dominate the church body. But this does not describe every church, only a few. There are programs for everything that your heart can imagine. These programs consist of ministries for those who like to cook, those who are gifted in hospitality, song leader, youth groups, so on and so forth. However, for some churches it is difficult to know just where to start to develop a singles gathering. Did you notice that I intentionally did not refer to it as a “singles ministry”? Interesting! I’ll come back to this point later in this blog post.

Prior to my grandmother’s death in 2013, she used to always ask me certain questions. When are you going to have children? When are you going to get married? I would often roll my eyes in the back of my head or laugh under my breath. She caught it every time. I never could fully communicate to my beloved grandmother that there are some things that are out of my control….and these are the things that are out of my control. In essence, I have been purposeful about doing other things. For example, I purposefully did not want to have children outside of a marriage. I purposefully chose to obtain two master’s degrees. I purposefully chose to move back to Tennessee. But I did not choose to be single. I believe that being in this state of singleness is by God’s design, definitely not my own. If it would have been left up to me, I would have been married for twenty years now with six children. But God had a different path and plan. So I praise Him for His plan.

“Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3 KJV

In my many years of being single I have heard the cry of many single Christians as it relates to singleness. I want to share some of these heart-pressing issues here. So here goes:

1.       Single Christians desire love and affection just like anyone else. Can we all agree with this statement?

2.       It is often difficult to hear someone say “Just wait on the Lord” in referring to waiting on God to send him or her a mate. (Let me pause for a moment and insert some humor here: Often times when I hear this comment, I can guarantee you that it is coming from a woman who has been married to her husband for at least 150 years. It is easy for someone who either just got married or have been married for 75 ½ years to make this statement. Have you considered that for many singles, they do not want your pity but your prayers? I am not saying that this statement should not be made. I believe that in many instances, this statement is needed. However, let us strive to connect with singles on a deeper level.)

3.       Not everyone who is single is battling with loneliness. Can we all agree with this statement?

4.       The gathering of singles (notice again that I am not referring to it as a “singles ministry”) is not a place for you to play Matchmaker. It should be, however, a place of like-minded Christians to gather and celebrate one another in the spirit of Christ.

5.       We understand that whoever we marry, for those who desire to marry, he or she will not be perfect. (And for those who are single and expecting to marry a perfect spouse, please remain single. There is no such thing as a perfect spouse. I am sorry to break this news to you.)

6.       It is okay for the married folks to find unique ways for us as single Christians to meet. There is nothing wrong with this at all and is very much encouraged.

7.       Lastly, just because we desire to marry does not mean that we are sexually burning or our loins are on fire. That may be the case for some, but not all. Let’s be honest, even Paul stated that not everyone is meant to be single. So please do not assume. Some of us want to be married so that we can share our lives with others. It is just that simple.

Here is the Simple Truth:

As you noticed I strictly stayed away from calling the gathering of singles a “singles ministry”. Let me explain why. It is everyone’s responsibility to minister to singles, thus we are a singles’ ministry within the Body of Christ. We are all called to share love, fellowship, and enjoy those around us who are single. That is the true essence of a singles’ ministry. And we all have it. We all can make time to get to know our single friends who labor among us. This is what a singles ministry is about: reaching in, reaching out, and reaching throughout the Body of Christ to share His love to others.

Let us pray:

Our Heavenly Father, thank You for this life that You have given to us. Thank You that we are single for a purpose. In Your timing, You will bring those Christians around us so that we can fellowship and provide a greater fulfillment in their lives. Thank You for this. Thank You for every opportunity You give to us to reach out to others as part of our own singles ministry. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for ordaining this very moment. It is always my prayer that this blog touches someone’s life to the glory of Christ. May You fill us with more of You so that we can continue to share Jesus Christ with others. We love You, Father God and we seek to be more like You every day. Forgive us of our sins and grow us in Your Word and in Christ. We pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Reference Scriptures:

Genesis 2:18; Psalm 37:4; Jeremiah 29:11; Luke 1:37; Luke 1:45


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The beautiful blessing of Christ-honoring friends. Why friendships are so important. The Simple Truth.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

I have to tell you about a dear friend of mine. I am positive that since this post, in part, will be dedicated to her….I may come up missing because she definitely does not like fanfare at all. However, this friendship deserves to be recognized in so many ways.

Many years ago, the Lord blessed me to meet a beautiful Christian woman by the name of Kimberly. We met at a church in Nashville shortly after I moved to the city. We share so many things in common. She has taught me what a true friend is. We share the same birthday month. Actually, the Lord designed our birthdays just nine days apart. How beautiful! She has a sincere love for animals and people; but more importantly she has a love for God.

I remember the time back when I lived in south Nashville, the apartment building next to me was on fire. I lived on the second floor in this apartment complex. When I tell you that the apartment fire was contained, please believe me. There was no threat to my actual apartment at all. Nonetheless, Kimberly drove down the street….through all the fire trucks….backed her truck up to my balcony and told me to “jump in”. I laugh to this day. Now that is a TRUE friend. Then I am reminded of the time I threated her at the carnival in Antioch. The carnival came to the area several times a year. So on this particular occasion, the only money either of us had was my laundry money. Well we decided that we would ride some of the carnival rides. I was against this from the start. But my dear friend encouraged me to ride; so I did. And when the carnival ride started, I remember telling her in no uncertain terms….”I am going to kill you.”….all while laughing, playing, and having fun. Thankfully we both lived through the carnival ride and we still laugh about it today.

God has blessed Kimberly and me to have lived in two of the same states. We both moved to Texas in December 2004. To this day, we are each other’s bff’s (best friends forever). To be honest, she is my sister from another mother. This is how we refer to each other. We make a beautiful blend of a Christ-honoring friendship.

I shared all of this to say that when God places friends in our lives, we should hold on to them like Kimberly and I held on to that carnival ride. We would not let go. We were spinning around in the air for what seemed to be an eternity but it was only a few minutes. So let me say how important it is for us to strive for God-honoring friends. Kimberly and I have been through many trials but we have remained friends. We are sisters!

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NKJV

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 ESV

I cannot express to you just how important friends are. They comfort us when we hurt. They console us when we grieve. They bless our souls. They pray for us and with us. They are there in times of trouble. They forgive us when we are wrong. They carry our burdens. A true friend will be there regardless of the circumstance or situation. Friends are ordained by God. Let us cherish every moment we have with our friends.

So today I want to encourage every woman reading this blog post to go out and meet and make a new friend.

Here is the Simple Truth: We have been richly blessed by God. He sent His Son here to save us from eternal damnation. We have so much to be thankful for. So on today, I praise You Father God for my dear friend Kimberly. I thank You God for all of my friends. They mean the world to me. So let us strive to be a true friend to others. Be there for others and share Christ with others. Let us ever desire to esteem our friends higher than ourselves. Make a new friend. Share Christ. But most importantly be that friend that you would want also.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, You have blessed Kimberly and me with so many beautiful years. Thank You for Your love, grace, and mercy. Thank You for many more years of a beautiful friendship and sisterhood with Kimberly. May You touch each friend that is in our lives at this very moment. Let every person who considers me as their friend know that I love them and am earnestly praying for them. Father God enrich our lives with more of You, so we can share Christ everywhere we go and with our friends. Thank you for each person you add to my life. May they know the love of my Father in Heaven. Bless us this day to be more Christ-like in Jesus Name. Amen.


By the way: June 20 was Kimberly’s birthday. Happy birthday Kimberly. Happy birthday month. I love you my sister.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Driving forward while looking back. Simple Truth Devotion

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth until those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 KJV

Have you ever tried to drive down the street while constantly looking in your rear view mirror? If you have tried this with success, then there is a high probability that you wrecked your car. It is very difficult to do. And if you are anything like me, I get distracted so I must pay attention to the road at all times. I have a small confession to make….there are some driving maneuvers that are difficult for me to task. Let’s face it; I am sure that I am not the only one who struggles to parallel park or back into a space. So, don’t laugh at me just yet. To be honest, when driving we must remain focused on the task set before us. Driving truly does take a lot of skill.

So let us go back to my original question: Have you tried driving down the street while constantly looking in your rear view mirror? I wouldn’t suggest this. Why? Because the rear view mirror is only made for you to see behind you for a few seconds at a time. It isn’t meant for you to constantly be looking through your rear view mirror while driving down the road. Such is life. How often do we try to maneuver the tasks ahead while thinking about our past failures? The Bible states the following:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

So my question for you today: How much time do you spend thinking about your past failures? In other words, how much time do you spend looking in the rear view mirror of your life? Let’s face it…we have all failed at something. I can tell you about the numerous diets I have been on and lost not one meager pound. Failure! The word failure has been misused in so many ways. The word failure is looked at so negatively that there are those super-spiritual people (you know who they are) that do not want you to even mention the word failure. Not all failure is bad. Let me explain. There are some relationships that need to fail as they are not producing fruits of righteousness. There are certain acts that we do that need to fail. Why? Because they are not producing fruits consistent with our walk with Christ. Again, please do not misunderstand my point here.

I want us to take a good look in the mirror and drive the car forward. Do you remember driving school? What is the first thing the teacher taught you? 1. Adjust your mirrors. 2. Look in your rear view mirror. 3. Let’s drive! We must stop looking in the rear view mirror and move the car into the drive position. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5 KJV

Here is the Simple Truth: Let us not get caught up in failed relationships, failed opportunities, failed anything. Some things need to DIE in order for Christ to LIVE and to live richly in us. Besides how do you know that God hasn’t prepared for you a rich, growing, vibrant relationship? How do you know that God hasn’t prepared a new opportunity that will allow you to lead souls to Christ? How do you know whether God isn’t preparing a place for you amongst your enemies, so that you can be a witness? There are countless opportunities, in Christ, when we move forward.

Therefore, my sisters let’s move forward. Let us be busy with the work of Christ while it is yet day. Let us learn from our failures but not bathe in them. Let us be ever willing to trust God for our needs. Let us keep striving and moving forward.

Ladies let us pray.

But before we pray, let me share my desire for all of us. My desire is that our bellies will be full of the living waters that flow from having a deep relationship with Christ.

John 7:38 states, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’”. NJKV

Ladies let us pray:

Our most gracious Heavenly Father. Thank You for Your forgiveness of our sins. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. I pray for each lady that may read this, that she may be touched by these words to move forward in Christ and thus desire a full, growing, and vibrant relationship with You. Thank You for loving us, caring for us, and for sending Your Precious Son for us. I praise Your Holy Name, in Jesus Name. Amen.


On a personal note: I want to say thank you. Thank you to those who live in Houston, Texas who encouraged me to start this blog a few years ago. Thank you to those who have stated that you miss my writing. That truly touches my heart. Thank you those who have expressed such joy in reading my post. May God be glorified forever.