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    GUEST POST: A Prayer for the Lonely Heart

    Thursday, September 5, 2019


    Pour yourself some coffee and open your heart to hear from my SOFH friend, Grace, as she shares what she has learned in the midst of loneliness and allow her prayer to wash love over your heart.
    There are many seasons to singleness. Sometimes we feel engulfed with loneliness, sometimes we are overcome with envy toward those who have what we want, and sometimes—I wish it were more often—we are content, simply, joyfully happy with where God has us and looking toward a promising future, wherever He may send us. But for me, anyway, I find loneliness to be the most frequently-visiting season. 
    Hard Questions
    Loneliness can be frustrating. Christ is supposed to always be with us…right? He even gave us His Spirit during our time on earth. If God is dwelling in us, how can we feel so intensely alone at times?
    Furthermore, why does God allow excruciating heartbreak? Why does He force some of us to sit on the sidelines while those around us enjoy boy/girlfriends and spouses? Why does He give us desires for marriage and families and then not fulfill them?
    Although he was by no means single, King David well understood the grief of loneliness, and he wrestled through many painful questions with God. In fact, Psalm 13 contains some surprisingly bold queries David directed to his Creator: “How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” And in Psalm 22, he asks, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? … O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer…”
    These prayers were borne from immense pain and convey raw emotions toward God—questioning what the author could not understand and challenging the Lord to answer his cries. 
    A Hard Answer
    It is okay to ask God questions like this. He wants to hear our prayers. (Psalm 62:8) But sometimes, we may not get an answer—at least not right away. Or we may get an answer we don’t want.
    Job knew this, and he responded to his trials the best way he could: without sin. “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)
    Everything is the Lord’s. All of us—our hearts, our desires, our loneliness, our pain. Jesus died for it all. It all belongs to Him. 
    A Heavenly Truth
    God does give and He does take away. But while He often takes things away, they are always earthly things. He will never take away His heavenly gifts of peace, comfort, love, joy, and wisdom. These perfect blessings we so desperately need and can’t survive without He “gives generously and without reproach.” (James 1:5)
    We may feel lonely, but we are never alone. We may feel empty, but we are never without God’s love and care, even when we can’t see it. We may feel despondent, but we always have hope. And we have the reward of Christ to look forward to.
    We must press through, dear Christian. We must pray to Him when we’re down in the valley. We must pursue His love when we don’t feel connected to Him. In fact, this is precisely when we must chase after Him the hardest. After all, He isn’t the one who moved.
    An Honest Prayer
    Dear Lord, I am lonely. I’m not always sure how to pray. There are times my faith feels nonexistent, times the sorrows of the world are crushing me and I can’t even breathe. Times I am overwhelmed.
    But at the same time, my faith is determined. I will not stop crying out to You. Holy Spirit, intercede for me with Your unutterable groanings. (Romans 8:26) Jesus, intercede for me as You promise to continually do for those who love You. (Romans 8:34)
    God, I feel defeated. I am at times consumed by my desire for companionship. Cleanse me of this obsession and turn my wandering heart to You. Fill me with Your peace, joy, and love, which You promise, and which You will never take away.
    Right now, You are withholding something I desperately want. But make me desperate for You. Turn my desires to You so that I will delight myself in You and You will give me the desires of my heart—more of You. (Psalm 37:4)
    You know me inside and out. You know my desires and dreams. You know my heart, mind, and soul better than anyone ever could. (Psalm 139) Lord, I trust You with everything. My wants, my sorrows, and my loneliness—they all belong to You. You died for them. Take them, Jesus. I bring them before You and cast them upon Your perfect love. (1 Peter 5:7) Thank You for carrying my griefs and sins so I don’t have to. I love You. Amen.
    He will answer us, dear sisters. We must fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith even when we are at our loneliest. And the God of all peace will be with us. He is by our side. He intercedes for us. And He will never let us go no matter how lonely we feel. We are never alone.
    Grace is an Indiana native and the owner of Writing Life, a writing and editing service. She has a deep love of Christian filmmaking and works on set as a script supervisor whenever she can. An office supplies hoarder, she is an organization fiend at work and a little more "relaxed" at home. She loves her Savior and she loves people, and she is always looking to make new connections. A few of her favorite things are coffee, deep conversations, and long walks.

    Guest Post: Thriving or Coping?

    Thursday, August 22, 2019



    My sweet friend, Kristen, shares some wisdom from her years of singleness. Kristen and I attended college together where I saw her thrive in contentment and pursuit of the Lord during her season of singleness. Now, married to her best friend, she is continuing to thrive in her love for Jesus. I pray her words will encourage you  as they did me. 



    A couple years ago, I spent a month reading Psalm 1. Verse 3 captured me.
    He [the man who delights in the Lord – v. 2] will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; its leaf will not wither; and whatever he does will prosper.

    Jeremiah speaks similarly in Jeremiah chapter 17.
    Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord … For he will be like a tree planted by the waters, that spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when the heat comes, but its leaves shall be green; it will not be anxious in a year of drought neither cease from yielding fruit. (MEV)

    These verses let us taste the kind of life God has for His children who delight in and trust Him: abundant life, overflowing life, flourishing life. Jeremiah goes farther than David. He assures us that we will get unfavorable and unsought circumstances and yet those things don’t have to cause us to wither. We can thrive with green leaves and succulent fruit in spite of difficult circumstances because God has positioned us by Living Water.

    Thriving isn’t our natural response to difficult things. If we know someone is having a hard week, we don’t go up to them and say, “So, how are you thriving?” No. We ask, “How are you coping?”

    What is coping?
    ·        To survive, subsist, carry on, get through, scrape by, keep one’s head above water, muddle along
    ·        Merriam-Webster: to maintain a contest or combat usually on even terms or with success; attempt to overcome problems and difficulties
    ·        Implies maintaining the status quo, just evading failure, static living

    What is thriving?
    ·         To grow, develop well, advance, profit, make strides, flourish
    ·         Merriam-Webster: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of difficult circumstances


    Summary:
    Coping is surviving in spite of difficulties
    Thriving is flourishing because of difficulties


    The difference is subtle but significant, and is founded in our expectation of what God is capable of doing in our lives. It’s easy to thrive in the things we like and are good at, in the areas we want to find success in, in the things that bring us benefit. But when it comes to situations that we don’t like, that we wish we could change or eliminate, that cross our desires and purposes, thriving in that is probably the last thing on our minds.

    Thriving was the last thing on my mind when it came to a particular area of my life that I wanted to change, that crossed my dreams and desires: singleness. I certainly did not plan or ask for years and years of being single. Singleness has its perks but no one ever caught me daydreaming about all the wonders and blessings of it. Rather, I was often tempted to just scrape by, seek false fulfillment, and use my status to excuse ineffective living. In short, I settled for coping.

    The abundant life that God wills for us is so much more vivid and powerful and effective than living in a state of just coping, however. God’s will is for our lives to be planted, not in our dreams for relationship and marriage, but in Christ’s sufficiency. We can rest in Him, our roots sunk down into His Living Water, knowing that the heat and drought will come, that circumstances and hard things will buffet us, but that the difficulty can be turned into growth and benefit for ourselves and our God.

    Psalm 1:3 and Jeremiah 17:8 imply that thriving often springs from difficulty. I would be lying if I said singleness isn’t difficult. I think what makes it difficult for most single women is that marriage, romance and companionship are good things – we are actually being image bearers in wanting those things. But, just as we are made for relationship, we are also made for wholeness and holiness; and none of those things will find ultimate fulfillment here on this earth. (That’s so hard! This is where we do some Romans 8:22-23 groaning.) Why? Because this world is not our home. God has put seeds of eternity in our hearts so that we seek the One who is eternal rather than the things that will pass away.

    Over the years, God has continued to gently wean me of myself and my ideas of what I need to be full and flourishing. He opened my eyes to many of the ways He was using my singleness for His glory – often in spite of my attitude. He planted in me a desire to see how He could use me because of my singleness. He challenged me to blossom and bear fruit when I felt like singleness justified barrenness and a survival attitude.

    How do we nurture a thriving heart like David and Jeremiah describe? How do we make our singleness profitable for God, ourselves and others? How do we flourish because of our relationship status?

    David says that thriving comes from deliberately meditating on
    and delighting in God’s Word.

    Every once in a while, I take inventory of my go-to meditations. When I have “mental free time,” where do my thoughts go? What things fill my mind? If there is any unbiblical worldview, any daydream that coddles selfish desires, any thoughts that are inconsistent with the holiness and heart of God, any patterns of thinking that take their cue from pop culture, any media messages that create dissatisfaction with what God has given me, I want to make a plan to put these off and replace them with a mind and heart that contemplates God’s Word. We become like what we contemplate, so let us all, with unveiled faces [eyes and heart that have been freed from the world’s philosophies and deceptions], behold [contemplate with scrutiny, peer at intensely] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, being transformed increasingly more like the same image, by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18 NASB paraphrase).

    I also monitor my delights. I ask myself, “What in my life sways my contentment? What do I need, or think I need, to be happy?” My affections can become misplaced so gradually that I don’t even see it happening. Colossians tells us to actively direct our affections to things above where Christ is. Yes ladies, we have to throw out the princess movie philosophies about following our heart and all that fluff. Instead, we should wisely choose the appropriate object for our affections and develop a plan to get there. Experience tells us that we develop delight in something as we nurture deeper understanding and commitment to it. Study of God’s Word develops delight in God’s Word.

    Understanding God’s nature develops delight in God’s nature. When we carefully direct what we meditate on, we are helping ourselves grow to delight in the right things.

    Jeremiah says thriving comes from trusting in the Lord.

    In our singleness, we have probably all questioned if God really knows how to manage things better than we do. Before we doubt the personal, tender, purposeful care God has for each detail of our life, read Psalm 139:14-16 (MEV).

    I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works; you know me completely. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and intricately put together in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed, yet in your book all my days were written, before any of them had come into being.

    This blows my mind every time I read it. Before I was even formed, God wrote out a description of my days. Not an outline of my years. Of my little days! Our lives are intrinsically valuable because God made us on purpose, and He made us for a purpose. This fundamental truth separates the Christian worldview from all worldly philosophies. It is the basis of our ability to trust our days and years and efforts to God’s divine ability to make them matter.

    It is easy, if something we “need” isn’t showing up, to become manufacturers and manipulators. I was single quite long enough to know how to manufacture and manipulate situations that at least got me male attention. I knew how to be in the right place at the right time so as to “just happen” to run into the right guy; the success rate of that tactic is pretty small (in my life, 0%), probably because that’s not a method that displays God’s glorious ability to orchestrate and carry out His will. Many women go to dating sites to look for a relationship. A few months after my 29th birthday, I registered for a free week on Christian Mingle. Again, I know this works for some people. Personally, I was alarmed at the level of artificiality and the endless “window shopping” without investing that seemed to go on. I responded to seven of maybe two dozen messages and maintained a few days worth of chat with the men, wondering in turn how many fires they were feeding at the same time (back up plans, you know). There just wasn’t any feeling of security, no accountability, and little possibility of building trust. In less than a week, I was scared off. All this to say: my attempts to manufacture what I believed I needed were never blessed. Sometimes I did get what I wanted, but always apart from peace and intimacy with God.

    In those times, I had to reestablish my mind and heart where I knew it should be. I had to stop all my frantic planning and problem solving to ask myself one question: “What do I really want?” What desire can I confidently pursue that supersedes these lesser, circumstantial ideals? I knew what I wanted to want. I wanted to deeply desire and pursue the thing God had already guaranteed me because it was His desire and plan for me: to be conformed to the image of His Son.

    As Elizabeth Elliot so frequently said, “we must give up our right to ourselves”: our right to romance and marriage, our right to make ourselves happy, our right to comfort and convenience, our right to earthly security. Giving up that “right” frees us from the stress of managing and negotiating our future. God has given us all we need to live godly in Christ Jesus and be in His perfect will today. In that security, we can focus on more than attaining marriage – a set of circumstances which is largely outside our control anyway.

    We can focus on living abundantly for God because of the unique freedoms and opportunities in singleness.  

    So how do you intentionally thrive in singleness? Consider and pray over these two questions:

    ·         How can I use my singleness as a tool to encourage and serve others?
    ·         How can I use this season of relative freedom (aka singleness) to grow my abilities and develop areas I am weak in so that I’m as equipped as possible for any future?

    Ladies, don’t let singleness shrivel and shrink you. You are planted by rivers of water that enable you to be a fruitful and thriving daughter of God. Redeem the opportunity.


    Kristen lives with her husband in Virginia where she seeks to build relationships with women of all ages and in all stages of life. She and her husband enjoy reading, making breakfast, inviting people into their home, and exploring historical sites. 

    Singled Out Sister Elizabeth: Financial Freedom

    Thursday, August 1, 2019


    Meet Elizabeth: a teacher, single sister in Christ, and a lover of everything yellow and fall. Read her story below to find out how she used her singleness purposefully in meeting her financial goals and how you can too!


    Over the past 2 and a half years, I paid off $40,000 in student loan debt, saved 3-6 months of expenses in an Emergency Fund, saved $20,000 to put a down payment on a home, purchased a home and filled it with furniture and decor bought with cash, and invested 15% of my income back into my retirement accounts.


    Whoa! How did I do that?


    First, Jesus Christ. He makes everything possible through the Holy Spirit inside of me. His self-control, discipline, and strength fueled me. Second, Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and his 7 Baby Steps gave me the knowledge and the plan I needed to be successful. Third, my singleness. Because of my singleness, I was able to say yes to several jobs to earn extra money. Because of my singleness, I was able to move back in with my parents to pay off even more debt quickly. Because of my singleness, I was able to say no to things that didn’t help me meet my goals. Because of my singleness, I was able to focus on my goals with gazelle intensity and accomplish them. You can do that too!


    It took me 14 months to pay off my student loan debt. In those 14 months, I stopped shopping. I stopped eating out. I stopped going places with friends every weekend. I stopped going on trips and vacations. – I started saying yes to babysitting and house sitting. I said yes to driving for Uber and Lyft. I said yes to a part time job at a bakery. I said yes to selling clothes online for Poshmark and Mercari. I said yes to figuring out how I could make extra money in every free moment I had. I had a goal, and I was laser focused on meeting that goal. It took hard work, discipline, and saying no. And it was hard. Oh, so very hard.


    My ultimate goal was to pay off my student loans, so I could buy a house. I had tried to buy a house previously, and I could not get a loan because of my debt to income ratio. That lit a fire under me to work as hard as I could to eliminate that debt.


    Two and a half years later, here I am. I have paid off all my debt. I have purchased my own home. I am using it for God’s glory and Kingdom work. I have met my goals and now get to enjoy the freedom that brings. I’m going on vacations again, shopping again, hanging out with friends again, and eating out again. That hard work and sacrifice was for a season, not a lifetime. I am so thankful for the knowledge Dave Ramsey gave me and the timing Jesus gave me. If I had not been single during this time, I would not have had the same results.

    I encourage you to meet with someone who can help you set goals and establish a financial plan. Meet with someone who can help you write a budget, who can check in on you and see how you’re doing with your spending, who is winning with money and can also help you win with money. There is no better time to get your finances in order than when you are single!

    Want to know something else really cool about Elizabeth? Because of her diligence and hard work, she was selected to be on the Rachel Cruz show. Listen here to hear her talk about being a FPU coordinator: https://youtu.be/TDy29LKGPGg

    12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke

    Thursday, July 11, 2019


    We are all aware that our phones play a huge part in our everyday life and in our every moment. But just how much does it affect us? I would say more than we know and more than we are willing to admit. Tony Reinke’s book “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You” is a convicting and informational read. He seeks to help the reader answer the question: “What is the best use of my smartphone in the flourishing of my life?” (pg. 20)

    The 12 ways that he talks about are: 1) we are addicted to distraction, 2) we ignore our flesh and blood, 3) we crave immediate approval, 4) we lose our literacy, 5) we feed on the produced, 6) we become like what we “like”, 7) we get lonely, 8) we get comfortable in secret vices, 9) we lose meaning, 10) we fear missing out, 11) we become harsh to one another, and 12) we lose our place in time.

    While I found myself guilty of each one on some level, some chapters resonated more than others. The first one being distractions. I am addicted to distraction, especially when I don’t want to work, when I’m stressed, and when I want to avoid a situation. Satan uses this as a tactic to get me from missing out on my purpose - specifically my purpose as a single woman: to be concerned about the things of the Lord. Instead, I’m concerned about how many likes I’ve gotten or seeing the latest Instagram story or catching up on all the Twitter news. Our “smartphones amplify the most unnecessary distractions as they deaden us to the most significant and important ‘distractions,’ the true needs of our families and neighbors. My phone conditions me to be a passive observer” (pg. 52).

    I was also convicted about the section on the cost of seeking human approval of our obedience to the Lord. Reinke gives the example of going on a missions trip and then posting pictures online, seeking man’s approval. “In one humble-brag selfie, the trade is made - eternal reward from God is sold for the porridge of maybe eighty likes and twelve comments of praise” (pg. 76). Am I satisfied with the approval of God alone?

    Reinke’s chapter on “We Become Like What We Like” touched a sensitive spot. He compares Narcissus and his obsession with himself to us today. “Like Narcissus staring down into the water, enchanted with himself, we bend over our phones - and what most quickly captures our attention is our own reflection: our replicated images, our tabulations of approval, and our accumulated ‘likes’” (pg. 109). I have found that I am definitely Narcissistic. I love to see good pictures of myself (taken with the best lighting and perfect angle of course). I love to be loved, liked, and commented on. Will my demise be similar to Narcissus who “noticed his reflection in the bottom of a well, jumped in, and drowned” (pg. 109). Will I drown myself spiritually in being consumed with myself?  

    The book wraps up with the conclusive chapter “Living Smartphone Smart.” Reinke couples researched facts with biblical truth and presents them in an applicable way for the twenty-first century. After reading this book, I decided to take a week off of all social media. I found FOMO really was a thing in my life. I had lost meaning in things happening around me. I felt as if what I was doing was not significant if it wasn’t posted on social media. It never really happened unless it was on Facebook, right? After reading, I also decided not to get on any social media first thing in the morning - definitely not until after I had spent time with the Lord. This is crucial time for spiritually readying myself for the day.

    So put down your phone and start reading this book! It challenged me and made me more aware of my habits and my thought processes when it comes to my digital device. I challenge you to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to use the information to convict your heart of any changes that may need to take place. There is no pressure to throw your smartphone out the window or to deactivate your Instagram for a year. Just allow yourself to wrestle with the information presented. Don't think of other people, because there are always people who are more addicted to their phones than you. Instead, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for any habits, motives, or actions that may need to change in your digital life.

    Which of the 12 areas do you most struggle with?

    Book Review: 31 Prayers for My Future Husband

    Thursday, June 27, 2019




    I will admit: this book creates controversy in my soul. I am not promised by God that I will be married, so am I wasting my prayers? I really can’t know this. Does this create longings in my soul that will be unsatisfied? If I allow it. Am I creating an “ideal man” in my mind that will never be attained by a mere mortal? The truth is, no man - except Jesus - will perfectly live up to the prayers that I am praying.  

    As I wrestled through whether or not to buy this (I bought it when there was no boyfriend in sight), I decided to at least give it a shot. I am so glad I did. As I am praying for areas in my future husband’s life (currently I am praying these prayers specific to the man I am dating since we are dating with the intention of marriage), I am seeing areas that need to be prayed over in my own life. I am praying for the protection of his mind, but what am I doing to protect my own mind? How can I be praying for him to stay out of debt when I keep spending outside of my clothing boundaries for the month? I ask God to help him resist temptation, but am I actively saying no to the fiery darts in my own life?

    Yes, this book has pushed me to pray more faithfully for my future husband. Even more so though, it has pushed me to examine my life and pray for these areas in my own walk - not for the purpose of becoming more godly in order for a man to want to marry me but so that I will ultimately glorify God and reflect Jesus Christ. 

    Set up like a prayer journal, 31 Prayers for My Future Husband has thirty-one different areas (from health to heart to humility) to pray over. Each area starts with a written out prayer and then includes two blank pages for you to write your own personalized prayer. What I did was look up verses that dealt with, say purity, and then I wove them into my prayers so that it was saturated with Truth and purpose. Now, I pray for these areas in my future husband’s life - if it is the Lord’s will - and in my own life.

    Singled Out for Him Sister Nancy: Lessons from Singleness

    Thursday, June 13, 2019




    Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and read about Singled Out sister, Nancy, and what God taught her during her season of singleness.

    We women love, love, love to make plans. And for most of us, getting married at some point in our twenties, or early thirties, is a part of that.  But what happens when, despite our best intentions, God doesn’t give us what we want? What do we do then? 

    I don’t mind telling you my struggle with this and about the times loneliness took over.  I wanted to be married. Many days I was angry because I couldn’t have what I wanted. One year after another passed by and being alone felt painful.  Women around me were getting married . . . why couldn’t I have what they had? So, I rushed things by going on dates, doing my part, making myself desirable and pushing the idea of marriage.  After all – it’s what I wanted. Looking back at all the blind dates, internet rendezvous and relationships doomed from the start – it was such a waste of time.
    Please don’t mistake me.  I’m not saying “don’t internet date” or not date at all.  But if you know in your heart God is going to bring that special ‘one’ - meant just for you - why bother with running ahead of God? Going where He tells you to go is always the best thing. Even if it means waiting. So what do you tell your heart in the season of being alone when what you want most is to be married?   

    Here are three ways you can make the most of your singleness:

    1) The most important thing you can do is - give it to God.  He hears you.  From one sister to another . . . the times I felt the most content was when I leaned fully on Him.  It was a significant learning experience. Trusting God helped shape me. And when I chose to give my loneliness to Him and the hurt of feeling like I wasn’t accepted in certain social circles, He always met me where I was at.  He met me with love; He saw my tears and comforted me.

    2) Another solution that really helped my loneliness was deepening my relationships with other sisters - women who were also single.  One of my most special relationships has been with a dear sister who loves God and has been single for thirty years.  She’s still waiting for her husband faithfully!

    3) Last but not least - I highly recommend having fun! Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do! Travel. Take a course.  Develop yourself by figuring out your own interests . . . and trust in the One who made you.  

    You won’t be sorry because sixteen years after figuring this all out, my husband did come along, and He was so worth the wait. God is so good! Do you believe you are worth the wait?

    Nancy loves home decor, a good antique find, and the joy of the little things. She is a lover of Jesus and wildly in love with her husband. She is a firm believer that life can be both beautiful and hard at the same time. Nancy has been through a lot in this life, and she can say confidently there is always hope and freedom on the other side. As a recovering CEO and single mom for 16 years, she is now mom and stepmom to 9 wild ones. Formerly an Executive Coach, Nancy found a desire to coach other women into the freedom and strength that has all along existed inside of them. You can follow along with her here: https://nancyriegel.com/blog

    Commitment

    Thursday, May 16, 2019


    Commitment. This is a HUGE struggle among millennials (of which group I am a part of). We are flaky. When the going gets tough, we get going. If we don’t FEEL like it, we don’t DO it. So what’s the big deal about commitment? Is it just important in a relationship?

    “Commitment shows signs of your maturity in God, but it also shows signs of your maturity in your preparation for marriage. The number one challenge in your marriage is your ability to commit. Before you commit to a spouse, you should be committing to friends, to yourself, to church, to God. If you’re having a hard time committing to God who is perfect, who is never going to hurt you, who is never going to fail you, who is never going to throw a shoe at you when He’s mad, how will you ever be able to commit to someone who is imperfect?” - Jamal Miller in an episode of The Heart of Dating

    Let’s look at commitment in our own lives first. Can you commit to a weekly Bible study? Attending church each week? Your time with God in the morning? A consistent workout routine and healthy eating? A job that can be frustrating? A friend who is going through a tough time? Demanding family members? What happens when you’re tired, busy, unmotivated, or distracted? These areas in your life can show signs of your maturity in God and also in your preparation for marriage.

    One of the biggest complaints among single women today is frustration in men not committing. I believe the enemy is attacking commitment BEFORE marriage and commitment AFTER marriage. So look at the man you are considering dating. How is commitment in his life? Dating can reveal your weaknesses in a convicting and challenging way. In my life, I’m very committed to working out and my time with the Lord; he is challenged by this. In my boyfriend’s life, he is very dedicated to his friends (he’ll drop anything to help them out) and to talking through his thoughts and struggles with a mentor. I see his maturity and it challenges me to be more like Christ in those areas and vice versa.

    If you’re praying for God to bring you a godly man or are frustrated with the lack of commitment in guys you know, ask yourself - how am I practicing maturity in commitment in all areas of MY life? Perhaps you are ready to commit to a relationship but you struggle committing to healthy eating choices or attending church regularly. Ask God to help grow you in mature commitment in ALL areas of your life. And look for a godly man who is maturing in his dedication as well.

    What areas do you struggle committing to?

    BOOK REVIEW: The Logic of God by Ravi Zacharias

    Tuesday, May 14, 2019



    With different religions surrounding us, suffering perpetually in the news, and questioning of God’s care for us and sovereignty over our lives, the inquiry of God’s existence and Christ’s deity of Christ will inevitably arise. We need to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (I Peter 3:15).

    Sometimes the person asking for the reason for hope is yourself. These questions about God surface in our hearts during the stillness of the night: Does God not know my longings for marriage? Why is He not giving me what I desire? He must not care about my mother who is ill. Does He even exist? Is Jesus really the Son of God who has power to do anything? Then why am I not gaining victory in this area of life?

    Sometimes the person searching for hope is the coworker, the friend, the family member: Why is there evil in the world? How can your religion claim to be the only way? How does your religion make a difference in your life? If Christianity is true, why are there so many hypocrites in church?

    Being a woman who is prepared to give an answer requires reading, praying, and seeking. Recently, I picked up the book The Logic of God by Ravi Zacharias. This book contains fifty-two short but densely packed readings filled with scripture, quotes, and easy to understand logic. Each reading ends with reflection questions and personal applications from the lesson. These are challenging questions that will provoke much thought so I, along with the author, recommend spending a week or a few days meditating on the Truths presented or in conversation with others.  


    I love the previously mentioned verse - 1 Peter 3:15. The season of singleness can be one of loneliness and darkness. If you live in light of the Truth, your singleness can actually be one that leads others into Gospel discussion. How are you so happy being single? Don’t you question whether God cares or not? You actually believe in a God who doesn’t give you what you want? And then you can give the reason for your joy. Rodney “Gipsy” Smith says, “There are five Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, but most people will never read the first four.” In your singleness, you have the opportunity to be an example of the Gospel to those who may never even open a Bible.

    The Logic of God gives answers to many questions of the heart and mind - for everything from the exclusivity of Christianity, the problem of pain, the effectiveness of prayer, the lack of morality, addressing the evil within, and so much more. If you are looking for answers to your questions, probing questions for others, or thought-provoking topics to wrestle with, Ravi Zacharias provides a great resource to get started with.

    The Logic of God Book Description:Jesus Christ alone answers our deepest questions. We all have doubts that challenge our faith. We wonder whether the Bible still matters, or whether God is truly as loving and personal as we hope. In his first ever devotional, The Logic of God, apologist Ravi Zacharias offers 52 readings that explain how and why Christianity, the Bible, and God are still relevant, vital, and life-changing for us today. To all our dilemmas Ravi says, "I am convinced that Jesus Christ alone uniquely answers the deepest questions of our hearts and minds." With a remarkable grasp of biblical facts and a deep understanding of the questions that trouble our hearts, Ravi tackles the most difficult topics with ease and understanding. But The Logic of God is more than intellectual; it is also personal, offering thoughtful wisdom on: - when Jesus draws especially near you.- the deep ray of hope found in God's Word.- how God transforms disappointments.- why prayer matters.- how genuine peace is possible.- making sense of suffering. ​Ravi makes profound biblical truth easy to understand. And if your life is busy, this book is designed for you! It addresses 52 topics that you can read over the course of one year or slowly digest at your own pace. Each entry includes a Scripture, questions for reflection, and some practical application steps. When you're struggling with questions and doubts, confused, curious, or just want a clearer way to express your faith The Logic of God has answers that satisfy the heart and the mind.

    Win a signed copy here:  https://www.blessedfreebies.com/logic-of-god-giveaway.html

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