25 Encouraging Scripture Verses for Those Who are Single

ffb0a3722265e7f578f381dcd06d01b6In my church there are a large number of single adults, several widowers and many couples and families who are facing divorce or have gone through divorce.  I know many young adults who do not see marriage in their future and are totally okay with that.  If you are a single adult, a widower, or someone who has been through or going through divorce, know that God has a plan and a purpose for you.  God cries and intercedes for you so that you will find that peace that surpasses understanding after the loss of a spouse either through death or through divorce.  He loves and cares for you.  These verses are for you.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35  “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.  I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 6:14  “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

Isaiah 41:10  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Hosea 2:19-20  “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.  I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”

Mark 12:25  “When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”

Song of Solomon 3:5  “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

Matthew 6:33  “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Isaiah 54:5  “For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

Isaiah 34:16  “Look in the scroll of the Lord and read: None of these will be missing, not one will lack her mate.  For it is his mouth that has given the order, and his Spirit will gather them together.”

John 15: 5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:16-17  “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”

Hebrews 13:5  “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

1 Timothy 6:6-8  “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

Isaiah 43:1-2  “But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.   When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Matthew 28:18-20  “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Joel 2:25  “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.”

Matthew 20:25-28  “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

James 1:5  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Isaiah 55:8-9  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 30:18  “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him!

Isaiah 40:31  “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. “

Lamentations 3:25  “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

Numbers 6: 24-26  “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

2 Peter 3:18  “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever! Amen.”

Unless stated otherwise all scripture used on Journey Thoughts is from: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

Back in the Day

I-miss-the-good-old-daysI don’t like to admit it, my husband is in serious denial of course, but with him having celebrated a birthday “milestone” – he calls it a “millstone” hahaha…we have to accept the fact that we are not “whippersnappers” anymore!  Born in the 50’s, children of the 60’s, teens of the 70’s, young marrieds of the 80’s, survivors of the 90’s and parenting teens in the new millennium…yep…we were once “Baby Boomers” but now we’re looking forward to our retirement years.

I remember MY parents talking about the “good ole days” and my being bored to tears hearing how they played with a tire rim and a stick for fun; Ice cream sodas and cherry colas that cost less than a quarter; poodle skirts and bobby socks, all the fashion rage.  Now I find myself reminiscing about my childhood to my kids, and I see their eyes roll and they zone out in the same respectful boredom.

A friend sent this to me the other day and I couldn’t help but smile.  To those of you who are reluctantly heading into those middle aged years, enjoy!  To their children and mine…go ahead and zone out for awhile, but one day you’ll be looking back and it will be YOUR kids tuning YOU out.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, ate tuna from a can and did not get tested for diabetes.

We were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids, locks on doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we wore baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants and children we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.  We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar and we weren’t overweight…Why?

Because we were always outside playing…that’s why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day.  As long as we were back when the streetlights came on and in time for supper, our parents didn’t worry about us.

No one was able to reach us all day, and we were okay.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps of lumber and then ride them down the hills and forget we had no brakes.  After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem…or we didn’t care because it was just as much fun to crash into the bushes!

We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, and X-Boxes.  No iPhones, iPods, or computers.  There were no video games, cable T.V., PVR’s, DVD’s, surround-sound, internet, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, and made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode our bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell or just walked in to talk to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.  Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.  They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past sixty years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We have known freedom, failure, success and responsibility and we learned how to deal with it all.

If you are one of them, Congratulations!  Consider yourself lucky to have grown up during those years before government regulated everything in our lives “for our own good”.

Tell your kids so they know how brave and lucky their parents were.  Better yet…tell them to turn off their X-Boxes, computers, and iPods for a couple of hours and go out and toss a ball with them.  Don’t be ashamed to tell them of the “good ‘ole days”, because they were some of the best years of your life!

 



A Tangled Web Indeed

“Oh what a tangled web we weave,

When first we practice to deceive!”

Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.

“You have eyes in the back of your head, Mom!” my daughter complained when I caught her in the act of doing something she knew I would not approve of.  She was only a child then, but my kids have many times complained that they could not “get away with anything” and often wondered how it was that I could discover so quickly any of their little acts of rebellion or wrong-doing.  I told them that God answers prayer, particularly my one prayer that He would catch them in their “sin” before they would be irreversibly harmed.  God honoured that prayer through each of my children’s lives as they grew into adulthood, however I discovered that there were still times that God allowed them to wallow awhile in their rebelliousness to teach them valuable life lessons.  He taught them that there are always consequences to sin.

My kids know that one of the worst things they can do is to lie to their father and me.  No matter how much they may try to cover, bend, sway, misdirect, make excuses etc., their lies always seem to come to light, and there are always consequences.  Our family values honesty and all of us know that it is better to admit up to it right away rather than add dishonesty onto it.  Committing a wrong is one thing, lying about it is far worse!  We are all very aware that once caught in a lie, it will take a VERY long time for trust to be restored.  It is one of those consequences we must face when we choose to deceive.

I am convinced that no one can get away with lies and deceit…whether they believe in God or not.

I am amazed that in a world that is so interconnected through the internet and social media that there areProverbs 6 16-19 still people who think they can “get away” with sin and attempt to cover it up with lies and deceit.  Cases in point: the Ashley Madison scandal, and Josh Duggar’s most recent confession as a result of that.  There is also the discovery of the Subway spokesperson, Jared Fogle possessing child pornography.  Recent marriage breakups by celebrities who have knowledge their spouses were cheating on them.  The Duffy trial here in Canada that has politicians caught in a political web of lies and deception.  If we haven’t figured it out, “Big Brother” is alive and well and watches our every move.

As Christians we are watched by those who want to see if we are indeed the hands and feet of Christ as we claim we are, or are we fakers that show false witness to the world around us.  Oh, we can admit (confess) our sin before God and man but there are always consequences to sin and if the world discovers our falsehood, deception and hypocrisy it will take a VERY long time to regain their trust…if ever.

Sin leads to death.  Repenting and turning from sin leads to life.  (Romans 6:23)  It is hard to admit wrongdoing.  It is hard to say sorry or I was wrong or I messed up.  It is hard to turn from sin and repent but that is needed to know freedom and gain forgiveness and salvation from God.  There are consequences when one sins.  God will not rescue you from those consequences, but He will forgive you and be with you through those consequences.  God sees the heart of a person and He roots out lies and deceit.  You can’t “get away with anything” with God, and for that I am truly thankful.

 

THE CARD is 40!

It started as a lark in 1975.  We were in Gr. 11.  We didn’t have a lot of money, and what little money we had, we didn’t really want to spend.  We called it being “basically cheap”.  So my friend bought me a cheap birthday card, a “Peanuts” character – themed card with Linus on the front standing under a sign that reads: “No Littering” and inside: “This is the age of Ecology..don’t throw this card away…Recycle it to a friend!”.  Believe it or not, recycling wasn’t even a craze then.  It was a funny expression that was used sporadically amongst local David Suzuki followers but truly nothing more than that.  So when I received the card from her I laughed.  What an odd concept…recycle a birthday card!?

I have not sat down and calculated how many miles THE CARD, as we have affectionately come to call it, has traveled these many years.  Jean and I have exchanged THE CARD in person quite a few times, but we have mailed it back and forth more often between Calgary, Alberta (where I live) and Victoria, B.C (where she lives).  In 1990 I laminated the original card as it was showing some signs of falling apart and we inserted a new card.  When that card was  filled with b.day well wishes, we added a third card in 2006.  All three cards, the original and the two “inserts”, are fondly referred to as THE CARD, and twice a year we mail them to each other; in April to celebrate her birthday and in August to celebrate mine.

THE CARD is a unique symbolic expression of our lives together as friends and briefly describes what has happened in both our lives over these many years.  In 1984 I signed the card, “Happy Birthday, Jean from your pregnant friend, Lynn”; in August 1991 Jean signed, “Happy Birthday, Lynn! from your friend Jean! (gotta run, the baby’s crying); in 1995 (THE CARD was twenty years old) I wrote “from one pregnant friend to the other”; in 1998 “Happy 40th to us both!”.  In April 2001, I wrote, “Happy Birthday, Jean, from your soon-to-be hairless friend, Lynn!!” and she returned the card in August with “Happy Birthday to my soon-to-be non-hairless friend!!”  That was the year I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  In 2008 we exchanged THE CARD on the same day with the “Babes of ’58″…five friends together for the first time since high school celebrating our 50th birthdays together.

THE CARD is 40 years old this year and has become one of my most prized possessions.  I have learned to keep it in a safe place, both Jean and I are almost paranoid that we will one day misplace THE CARD.  I know on one occasion I was in a near panic trying to find it after a house move so now it gets safely tucked away in a keepsake box right beside my bed.  Still and all, we are equally paranoid if Canada Post should somehow lose it.  I’ve thought about sending it by courier but that would defeat the purpose of being “basically cheap”.

Someone asked if our card exchange might be a worthy candidate for the Guinness Book of World Records and I suppose it might be…perhaps there is actually a category that would fit sending the same Birthday Card back and forth for so many years, I don’t know.  That’s not what this is all about anyway.

THE CARD commemorates friendship and life!

…oh, and being basically cheap!

The Trials and Tribulations of Bathing Suit Shopping

I ran across an article recently that described an ordeal I face every summer…the quest for a new bathing suit.  Now I know I might be speaking to young women out there and you may not relate to this experience as well as some ladies in my “season of life” but bear with me as I read:

“I have just been through the annual pilgrimage of torture and humiliation known as buying a bathing costume.  When I was a child, the bathing costume for a woman with a mature figure was designed for a woman with a mature figure – boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.  They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.

Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure chipped from marble.  The mature woman has a choice – she can either front up at the maternity department and try on a floral costume with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped from Disney’s Fantasia- or she can wander around every run-of –the mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer ranged of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have?  I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room.  The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.  The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks.  The reason for this is that any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place, I gasped in horror – my bosom had disappeared!  Eventually I found one bosom cowering under my left armpit.  It took a while to find the other.  At last, I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.  The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups.  The mature woman is meant to wear her bosom spread across her chest like a speed bump.  I realigned by speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full-view assessment.  The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately, it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it.  The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom, and sides.  I looked like a lump of play-dough wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtains, “Oh, there you are!” she said, admiring the bathing suit.  I replied that I wasn’t so sure and asked what else she had to show me.  I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral piece which gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serviette ring.  I struggled into a pair of leopard skin bathers with ragged frill and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane – pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.  I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.  I tried on a bright pink high-cut leg one and I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally I found a costume that fit…a two-piece affair with shorts-style bottom and a halter top.  It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly.  So, I bought it.  When I got home, I read the label which said, “Material may become transparent in water.”  I’m determined to wear it anyway.  I’ll just have to learn to do the breaststroke in the sand.”

Praying Scripture

b419e4d6e3d1aa46c3c8cc010b8192e9Some of my most popular blog postings this year have been 25 Encouraging Bible Verses on Stress, Peace, Families, Rest and Relaxation etc.  Readers of my blog from around the world have taken the time to comment or send me emails that on some of their more challenging days, God led them to read those blog postings and be encouraged through scripture.

I will admit there are days that I need to “put my money where my mouth is” and stop trying to do things on my own and just lean on God’s Word for guidance, wisdom, strength and hope.  I need to read those particular postings just as much as my readers do!

Lately I have also felt dry in my prayer life.  I spend concerted amount of time praying for my children, grandchildren and family but there are times I come up thirsty.  It is in those dry times when I honestly don’t know what to pray that praying scripture helps direct my focus entirely on God.  Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is alive and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword. When praying the Scriptures, we are coming into agreement with God, and His power is released to answer our prayers.

There are some excellent books and online resources to help you practice praying scripture but a good place to start is in Psalms.  Read each Psalm aloud and allow God’s Word to impact your soul!

Psalm 23 – The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 30:6-12 – Help

Psalm 42 – Hunger for the Lord

Psalm 51: 1-12 –  Confession of Sin

Psalm 63 – Focus on the Lord

Psalm 86 – In Need of the Lord

Psalm 91 – God is My Refuge

Psalm 136 – Giving Thanks

Psalm 139 – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 145:1-16  – The Lord is Worthy of Praise

And I like to close with this: Psalm 138:2-3 “I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.”  Amen.

 

 

 

No God – No Fruit; Know God – Know Fruit

fruits-of-the-spirit-LOVE“Christians are no different than anyone else in this world!” she said and I felt the sting of her words like a slap to my face.

Unfortunately in her experience she had encountered more than her fair share of those “Christians” who talked a good talk, but never walked the good walk.  People who claimed to be Christian but their behaviour was no different than any other person and in some cases even worse than a non-believer in a similar circumstance.  People who claimed their “Christianity” based on their attendance at church, the fact they were baptized, and tried to involve themselves in church activity as much as possible thinking that “doing” good would earn them a place in heaven.

It was hard to argue with her.

A former Pastor of ours had a saying and I think it’s a good one.  “Hurt people, hurt people.”

This is true in life and in the church.  Our church pews are filled with “hurt people”.  Some of us hurt because of life circumstances.  Some of us hurt because of unmet expectations.  Some of us hurt because of bitterness, envy, malice, and unforgiveness and a host of other selfish attitudes that make us strike out at anyone just to vent our frustrations.

The sad truth is that being Christian does not guarantee that we will be free of strife or worries, in fact scripture tells us that being Christian is wrought with hardship.  “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)  Our humanness hardens us and at times Christians are guilty of doing the most “ungodly” of things.

That said, we are called to resist the world and to act contrary to what may be expected when faced with trials and temptations.  We are to bear fruit in the midst of suffering.  It’s an impossible task without God.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  (Galatians 5:22-23) 

Christians are known by their “fruit”.  If we do not display those qualities in our daily walk then it is true to say that we are not following God as closely as we should be: No God – No Fruit.  However, to try to harvest the fruit of the Spirit, we are entirely dependent on God: Know God – Know Fruit.  We must fully rely on God to help us love, find joy, be at peace, have forbearance, show kindness and goodness, remain faithful, display gentleness and be self-controlled.  We can do none of this on our own strength.  If we try, we will fail and the world will accuse us accordingly, but if we lean on God in all circumstances, the world will notice and be astounded.