It turns out that the story of Lazarus is indeed a powerful story of Jesus deliberately making people wait, long past their comfort zone, so that God would be glorified in and through their lives. They were looking for a healing, but Jesus was planning a resurrection! In the same way those of us who have waited long can trust that the Lord is about to do something amazing in our lives too...a resurrection if you will!
A wonderful book written in the 1990s called Metaphors We Live By speaks about how so much of how we understand the world is conveyed through the metaphors (or expressions) that we use to describe our lives. One common metaphor is talking about love as war, for example 'Love is a battlefield' or 'All's fair in love and war'. But further to just being descriptors of people or circumstances these very metaphors actually have the power to shape our lives, for better or for worse. What metaphors are you using today and how do they match up with the metaphors we find in the Bible?
Have you ever thought that it would be so much easier to reach the people around for Christ if you were married? Or has it not even crossed your mind? What role should singles play in fulfilling the great commission? Do we have a role at all? if you have ever thought or wondered about this...read on!
So it is the New Year and you, like me, might find that this is the time when ex-boyfriends tend to reappear. Perhaps it is the cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere or the really hot weather in the Southern one. Perhaps it is the nostalgia that surrounds Christmas or the thought of not having had someone to kiss on New Year’s Eve, or the impending Valentine's Day, regardless it does seem to be the season of the ghosts of boyfriends past. When I received a new year's text a couple of weeks ago from an ex who I have no interest in rekindling any flames with, I started to think about the year ahead and what I might do more of in order to move away from Mr. Wrong and towards Mr. Right.
We singles have a wonderful opportunity to bring Christ back to the forefront of Christmas, to share more of Him with everyone we can around us and to be actively engaged in hosting as well as attending celebrations with friends and family. I thought we shouldn’t be thinking only about surviving Christmas, we should be thinking about thriving at Christmas. More importantly we should be thinking about how we can use the season to share the reason. So with that in mind here are my five ideas for thriving this Christmas.
Although I have shied away from writing about this topic I think that this blog will not be complete without an honest discussion of loneliness. There is such stigma and shame attached to loneliness that most of us, myself included, struggle to admit it even to our friends let alone to anyone else.
The other day I had one of those mornings where I woke up and the first thought that entered my mind was that everything was still the same and how was I going to get through another day with no answer to prayer in sight. I felt so discouraged and in essence I prayed ‘Lord where are you, why am I still waiting, why are you taking so long?’. I think that one of the hardest things in life as a Christian is unanswered prayer. How, when the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months and the months turn into years and the years into decades, do we keep on hoping?
What do you think of when you hear the word hope? Does it speak of promises yet to be fulfilled, of a long wait, of a seemingly impossible dream? Does the word hope fill you with dread or with expectation? For me, the word hope is often accompanied by a slight feeling of anxiety; I hope this will work out, I hope my colleague isn’t angry with me, I hope I make the flight, I hope he will get in touch. Hope relates to what is not or at least not yet and as such it is a word that is both potentially full of promise and yet can be also full of fear.