Jesus Will Never Leave Nor Forsake You

Jesus Will Never Leave Nor Forsake You
”Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” Ps 37:3-5
Jesus Christ came into this world to reach those who feel that nobody cares.  The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him.  The Lord Jesus Christ does care and He is reaching the lonely and the desperate, the confused and the hurt, the depressed and the disillusioned.  Jesus Christ is reaching out to you. 
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:8
As we turn away from our sin and turn to Christ we find forgiveness and freedom. 
Jesus Christ is a Friend to the friendless.
He is a Helper to the helpless. 
He gives freedom to the addicts. 
He loves the unloved. 
He accepts the outcasts.
He changes the unchangeable. 
He forgives the unforgivable. 
He accomplishes the impossible. 
He saves sinners. 
He seeks the lost. 
He gives direction to the aimless. 
He gives hope to the disillusioned. 
He gives Truth to the confused. 
He gives joy to the depressed. 
He gives purpose to the purposeless. 
He gives hope to the hopeless. 
He redeems and He renews. 
He touches and transforms. 
He answers prayer. 
He works miracles before our eyes.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; all things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor 5:17
God gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him. 
Have you surrendered your life to Christ?  Pray to God and give Him all the bad things in your life: your hurts, disappointments, fears, failures and sins.  Give them to Him and leave them with Him.  Let Jesus Christ heal you inside and forgive you and cleanse you.  He will change you and turn your sorrows into joys and your fears into peace of heart and mind.  Submit to Him and He will give you a new direction in life.
“Repent and…be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38
Jesus Christ gives us a new start in life and a new life to start.  You not only need to surrender all your sins and failures to Him, but all the good things that He has entrusted to you as well: your talents and your abilities, your plans and your opportunities, your energy and your time, as well as your love. 
Give everything to Jesus Christ and determine: No longer will I do with them just what I want to do, or what other people tell me to do.  From now on I’m going to use my talents, time and treasure as God wants me to. 
I will ask: What would Jesus do in my place?  I will no longer live just for fame and fortune, for popularity and prestige; no longer will it be just for me, myself and I.  From now on I will live for Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost, to help and to love and to reach this world for Him. 
His Great Commission will be my supreme ambition.  His last command will be my first concern.  My highest priority will be to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbour as myself.
We only have one life – it will soon be passed; only what’s done for Christ will last. 
The Will of God will never lead us where the Grace of God cannot keep us. 
God’s servant is God’s responsibility.  Where God guides – He provides.  God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.
Our priority must be to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, then all these things will be added to us  (Matt 6:33).  When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart (Ps 37:4).
The Word of the Lord promises us, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isa 26:3
Do you know that peace that passes all understanding?  Does the peace of Christ guide you?  Is your mind steadfast?  Do You trust wholeheartedly in Christ alone?
“For He Himself has said: ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’  So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?’” Heb 13:5-6
If you want to revive your devotional life, turn to the Psalms.  The Psalms are the middle book of the Bible, the biggest book in the Bible, the Prayer book and Hymn book of the Bible.  If you don’t know what to pray, if you don’t even want to pray – turn to the Psalms and begin to read and pray through them.  There are 150 Psalms.  If you pray through just one Psalm a day it will guide your prayers for five months.  Make the Psalms the prayer of your heart and you will experience a revival in your devotional life.
This is God’s Word for you: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit…and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose…who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?…Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:1, 28, 35-39
Dr. Peter Hammond is the author of The Power of Prayer Handbook.  Tel: (021) 689-4480;

Are You Having a Midlife Crisis

Are You Having a Midlife Crisis
What is a Midlife Crisis? MLC is an emotional condition that can appear in both men and women, usually around 45 years old. However, latest studies reveal that the spread is more around 35 to 50. The anxiety felt usually focuses on the realisation that a person’s life is halfway over. One of the factors has to do with aging. The person may feel that by the time he/she reaches the supposed halfway point in life, he/she should have achieved more.
Marc Gerzon made the following statement about understanding the Adult Metamorphosis: “I had a war going on inside me between the voice that said, ‘You’re finished growing, you’re done, it’s a done deal’; and another voice that said, ‘You’ve only begun to explore what life is about!’”
This sums it up beautifully, doesn’t it?

What would normally be a dead giveaway that a person has entered a MLC? Here are a few SIGNS:
     ·         He dresses in ‘younger’ clothes
     ·         He chooses a younger girlfriend
     ·         He buys a sports car
     ·         He seeks ways to regain his youth
In more extreme cases, it could possibly lead to suicide.
What about the person who has not gone the route of buying the sports car and dressing quirky. Well, maybe you want to run yourself past the following checklist which should assist you in discerning whether or not you are border line. Here follows a few SYMPTOMS:
·         Boredom or Exhaustion or Frantic Energy
·         Self Questioning
·         Day Dreaming
·         Irritability
·         Unexpected Anger
·         Acting on Alcohol, Drugs, Food Compulsion
·         Greatly increased or decreased Sexual Desire
·         Greatly increased or decreased Ambition
·         Affairs, especially with someone younger
If you ticked off about 70 % of this list, then you most probably have hit the dreaded Midlife Crisis.What then about feelings? How will a MLC influence my emotions? Here goes:
·     You are discontent with life and/or lifestyle
·     Boredom with things/people who have been part of your life
·     Feeling adventurous and wanting to do something completely different
·     Questioning the meaning of life and the validity of decisions easily made before
·     Confusion about who you are or where your life is going.
You do not just wake up one morning and think this is a brilliant day for a midlife crisis. Normally there would/could have been several influences that gave lead to your situation. In fact, several conditions or circumstances can actually TRIGGER a Midlife Crisis:
·         Men/Women who marry at a young age
·         Unhappy Marriage
·         Empty Nest (when children have all left home)
·         Dissatisfaction with Work
·         Growing Older
·         Rebellious Children
·         Depression
·         Anxiety and Stress
·         Doubt
·         Debt
·         Significant Loss or Change:
o        Death of a Parent
o        Retrenchment
o        Divorce
This temporary condition could manifest itself both externally and internally.
·         Physical neglect
·         Financial miss-management
·         Social dysfunction
·         Pressure to perform
·         Correction gets viewed as criticism
·         Battle to cope with authority
·         Separated from the environment
Sometimes people in the Midlife Crisis get involved in drastic lifestyle changes which have long-term effects. For example, if you decide that it is all your partner’s fault, you could get involved in an affair or a quick divorce, only to find out, a few months down the road, that the problems were not outside of you, but inside.
·         Emotional mayhem
·         Spiritual  non-functioning
·         Anxiety/Worry
·         Fear of Rejection
·         Insecurity
·         Perfection/Pride
·         Poor Self Image
Of course there are lifestyle changes that are extremely positive. For example, you may begin to eat better, exercise, get more sleep and cut out the trivial obligations that you used to feel were so important.
Some men become philosophical about a MLC! It reads something like this:
‘Men spend their twenties NOT CARING who they are, their thirties BECOMING who they are, their forties FIGURING OUT who they are and their fifties TRYING TO CHANGE who they are…’
That is why he bought the Mercedes SLK Sports, listens to rap music and wears gold chains in his fifties!
Now what do I do?
·     Admit the truth about the situation
·     Identify where you are out of line when it comes to relationships and decide on what to do to fix, mend or abort.
·     Be realistic about your workload to prevent you from the danger of ‘burnout’.
·     Take a critical look at your health and decide how you will adjust your lifestyle to get a balance.
·     Place your home life under the microscope and devise a plan of action to take remedial steps.
Learn from your experiences and be willing to receive advice from others. It is far less painful than learning at your own expense.
Be accountable to someone.
Ask for help in terms of new goals, a path to embark on to grow and to guide you to apply wise decisions.
How do I PREVENT a Midlife Crisis?
You can help prevent a midlife crisis by re-focusing four major areas of your life:
·     Work on your relationships. By midlife most marriages are at the lowest satisfaction level they will ever be. The marriage has become dull and stale because it has been ignored. Too many pressures at work or too many activities with kids can crowd out time to understand each other and build a warm marriage relationship. Work at it! A strong marriage will help prevent a midlife crisis.
·     Re-think your career direction. Who has God created you to be? What are your gifts and talents? Are these being used in your career and does your career have a dimension of ministering to or improving other people’s lives? Doing something for others is going to become increasingly important as you age. You want to leave a legacy behind.
·     Midlife is the time to re-examine all of your values. You have three major resources: time,      money and energy. Ask yourself: ‘Am I spending my time, money and energy the right way?  Am I in line with the way God has created me as a special, unique person?’
Perhaps your midlife crisis will give you the courage to rethink your career and maybe, just maybe, do what you have always wanted to do.
·     During Midlife Crisis you need stability. If you are a Christian, follow Christ; even if He     seems so distant at times. You feel distant because you are in a crisis now. Keep on talking to God and keep on reading His Word. Read through the Psalms and let God slowly massage your heart. Get involved in a small Bible study. Most people by midlife have very few true friends. Remember, God really does care about you. If you have never given your life to God, the Bible says if you will open up your life, God will come in and fellowship with you. ( See Rev 3:20)
Food for thought
Midlife is the time when you re-examine. The Young Adult asks, ‘What am I going to do?’ The Midlife Adult needs to ask the question, ‘Why am I doing what I am doing?’

Crying Scarlet Tears – Trapped by Self-harm

Crying Scarlet Tears – Trapped by Self-harm
It is something that isn’t talked about and is usually very well hidden by those who are traumatised by this psychological disease, but self-harm is a very real problem for millions of people.  It could be your colleague, your boss, your friend at church or even your own child.  What goes on behind the closed doors of a self-harmer’s bedroom or bathroom is severely disturbing.  What would you do if someone you loved was taking a knife or razor blade and cutting themselves repeatedly and then hiding the wounds?  These wounds  are deep enough to bleed but not deep enough to kill.  This is the terrifying world of people who harm themselves to numb their emotional pain.
What is self-harm?
Self-harm (also called self-injury or self-mutilation) is the deliberate act of hurting one’s body by causing serious tissue damage in an attempt to alter a mood state.  This can be done by cutting, scratching, biting, pulling or picking the skin or head banging.
According to Childline the most common form of self-harm that they hear about is cutting, but many have reported more bizarre means such as pulling out of hair (which is called trichotillomania), burning the skin, poisoning or even breaking an arm or a leg.
It is also important to note that self-harm is not a suicide attempt.  It is a coping mechanism and, therefore, people who do it want to live (although suicides do occur, usually by accident).  It is also not a form of sexual gratification, a form of body decoration or a spiritual ritual.  Self-harm is a desperate cry for help and a way of dealing with emotional pain.
What are the statistics?
In Britain, health-care researchers estimate that one in ten teenagers may practise some form of addictive self-mutilation. There are no figures available within South Africa, but the existence of websites dedicated to self-mutilation is a huge concern.  Many cases go unseen and untreated and that is what makes this disease so much more of a concern, especially for parents.
Self-harmers are usually middle or upper class, well-educated and have above-average intelligence. It’s more common among teenagers and young women.  It usually begins in late childhood and early adolescence, while most self-harmers discontinue the behaviour after 10 to 15 years. 
Why would anyone want to hurt themselves?
Injuring oneself can be a means of communicating anger and distress to other people when there are no other ways. For some, seeing the blood from cuts gives them an odd sense of well-being and strength – the same feelings that were stripped away from them at some point in their life.
Dr Juan Schrönen, a psychiatrist at Panorama Medi-Clinic in Cape Town, says that many of those who cut themselves see self-mutilation as a coping mechanism. “Self-mutilation often becomes an addiction and is used as a form of escapism. Those who have suffered a traumatic experience may start mutilating themselves. Even living through violence could lead to the start of a self-mutilating habit,” he added.
Those who cut themselves are substituting emotional pain with physical pain. “A cycle of addiction starts,” says Schrönen. “The person experiences an adrenalin rush and feels euphoric for a while. The emotional pain becomes unbearable and the physical pain, although unpleasant, is something with which they can cope.”
Self-harm gives the person a feeling of immense control in a world in which they feel they lack control. Whatever pain is inside of the person, whether it be from family problems, sexual or physical abuse, or emotional neglect, the feelings are unbearable and can only be released or ‘forgotten about’ through the pain that comes from injuring one’s self.
Sophie’s story
Sophie Scott recently wrote her story in a book called, ‘Crying Scarlet Tears’.  She was just an average teenager when she started hurting herself and says she had no specific reason to do so.  She had great parents and was a Christian from the age of eight.  She was even a worship leader in her youth band. 
The first day she hurt herself was a fairly normal day.  She had a fight with a friend at school but they had sorted out their troubles and it wasn’t still on her mind.  Her parents had gone out that night and she was alone at home.  After taking a shower she had the strangest urge to hit herself.  She took a hanger and smacked it against her leg. Sophie says that she felt no pain but was strangely pleased by the mark it left on her leg.  That night she hit herself repeatedly with the hanger.  Later she took her father’s belt and hit herself on her legs, arms, back and stomach with the buckle, only stopping when it scratched her skin.  That was the first time she felt pain and it frightened her, so she put the belt away and went to sleep.  That night was the start of a   terrible, addictive behaviour that would only increase in severity and danger over the next couple of years.
Sophie says of that night, “It didn’t feel as though I was trying to punish myself for anything.  I didn’t feel upset or angry.  I felt nothing.  While I was whipping myself, all I thought about was what I was doing and there was no guilt or blame, no emotion at all.  It was all so matter-of-fact.”
The next day at school Sophie experimented with a compass on her arm and also excused herself from class to go the bathroom where she slapped herself in the face.  The immediate rush of endorphins quickly became addictive.  That night she used the compass again to cut her arms quite badly and over the course of a couple of weeks, she had progressed to cutting herself with razor blades and glass and hitting herself so hard with a hammer that she could hardly walk.
She was forced to hide her injuries by wearing long sleeves and making up reasons for limping or marks that she couldn’t hide.  Eventually her friends at church started noticing something wasn’t right and spoke to her about it.  Sophie shrugged them off and began avoiding them and her parents as much as she could.  Even though she was silently screaming for help, when help was available she couldn’t seem to grab hold of it.
At the age of 16, about a year after she had started hurting herself, Sophie was performing acts of self-harm at least once every day.  She felt incredibly guilty, especially because she was a Christian. Every night she would cry out to God and ask His forgiveness, but the urge to hurt herself was so intense that she felt she would never be able to stop.
One night while praying to God and listening to Christian music, she heard an audible voice that she knew was the Lord.  He said, “Sophie, say, ‘God, You love me.’” She tried to get the words out, but couldn’t.  She realised that she didn’t feel worthy of His love and even though she thought He loved her, in her heart of hearts she didn’t believe it.  That night she cried and prayed that God would help her.  That night she was eventually able to say that God loved her and it filled her with tremendous peace and joy.
Although she felt closer to God, the need to harm herself didn’t go away.  For the next year she tried desperately to stop what she knew was wrong and even found the courage to talk to a youth leader who began walking the road with her.  As the cutting became less frequent, Sophie turned to another form of self-destruction – bulimia.  She began abusing laxatives and for the next year used this form of abuse to satisfy her need to hurt herself.  When she admitted this to her counsellor and tried to stop, once again the cutting behaviour returned and she was back to square one.
This time around things became a lot more dangerous.  Sophie burned herself, took large amounts of pills and even purposefully walked alone in dangerous parts of town.  Although her destructive behaviour was less frequent, it became much more life-threatening. 
She went to university to study to become a Christian youth worker.  During her studies she went through intensive counselling and it was discovered that she was abused as a child. Gradually Sophie began to deal with her many layers of pain.  It was an intensive time of much prayer, counselling and tears.  She started to heal and her self-harm became far less frequent.
After graduating, she began working at a local church as a youth worker.  She loved her job and grew closer to the Lord.  Over the years she has dealt with her pain and found healthier ways to express her emotions.  When asked why it took her so long to reach where she is today, she said, “The main thing I have learnt through my experiences with self-harm is to trust God and His timing.  Countless times I’d prayed to Him for healing and ended up feeling frustrated because nothing seemed to change.  I wanted an instant healing and for God to stop any desire I had to hurt myself, but this never seemed to happen.  However, the truth is that God does heal and He is doing so in His own time.
“There are still times when I find myself denying what happened to me because it is easier, but as I began accepting and dealing with the past, the self-harming incidents decreased.  It was a very gradual process and is one that is still happening now.  I wish I could say that I am sure that I will never hurt myself again, but the desire to hurt myself is still with me and may always be.  The trouble with an addiction is that the addict knows that whatever they are addicted to ‘works’.  I may always be a self-harmer, that is I may always have some desire to hurt myself when things go bad, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I will.  Whenever I start to feel down or question God’s love for me, I try to read a psalm or two.  I love Psalm 121 as I find it such an encouragement to me to remember who God is. ”
As Sophie has come to terms with her past and has understood more of God’s Grace, her desire to hurt herself has diminished.  One day that desire may be so small that it disappears forever.  She says, “What I know for sure is that God is good, loving and forgiving and I know He is never going to give up on me.”
Sophie is a living testimony of the power of God’s Love.
How to help someone who is a self-harmer
1.  Unless you have very strong doubts that the person engaging in self-harm acknowledges that self-harm is a sin, try not to question why they keep sinning, because this can increase their feelings of guilt and make them feel condemned.  However, do encourage them to pray and read their Bible when feeling triggered.
2. Do not feel the need to pretend that everything’s OK if it’s not.  People have differing reactions to self-harm – some find it abhorrent, infuriating, alarming, or confusing, and these are all understandable reactions.  If you are finding it too hard to cope with, consider speaking to someone else for advice or support.
3.  Try not to make the harmer feel guilty.  Simple phrases such as ‘If you loved me you wouldn’t do it,’ or ‘Don’t do it – for me?’ are ones that every self-harmer hears often.  The only way a self-harmer can stop is for themselves and through God.  It doesn’t mean that they don’t love you or care about you.  It’s an addiction that they struggle with and has nothing to do with their feelings for you.
4.  Don’t pretend it’s not there.  Be sensitive about the subject but let them know you are there for them and are willing to help them when they are ready.
5.  Don’t be afraid to suggest professional support.  You can even offer to go with them if they are afraid.
There is no single solution to ‘save’ a self-harmer and it is important to remember that it isn’t your job to save them.  The pathway to stopping self-harming is normally long and difficult.  Simply be there for them and pray for them.  With God all things are possible.
Where to find help  Tel: 08000 55 555 – Trained counsellors are available 24 hours a day
Lifeline: Toll free no: 0861 322 322
The S A Depression and Anxiety Group
* National tel no: (011) 783 1474
* Suicide Helpline: 0800 567 567
* SMS Crises line: 31393 (SMS your problem to them and they will reply immediately)

Silent Heartache of Single Women

Silent Heartache of Single Women
Ask any single woman over the age of  40 what is the most difficult part of their life style and most will answer
“Considering that my current situation may be permanent”.  How sad to have to entertain those thoughts.  We know that it is everyone’s desire to be loved and appreciated and most importantly needed.  We also know that God did not expect for us to live a life of loneliness and singleness.   (SCRIPTURE ON MAN  SHOULD NOT BE ALONE)
Why then do single women over the age of 40, living in South Africa have to face this dilemma?  It seems  almost impossible to meet someone of the opposite sex who is suitable, someone who is emotionally stable, financially secure and most importantly who is born-again. So many prayers go out to God for comfort and help for one to find a partner.
JOY! set out to try find some practical solutions and to encourage all those ladies who are on their own.  We  bring you the stories of three ladies who fall into this category and hopefully you will be moved by compassion to  find or offer answers.  These ladies were very open with their feelings and I think that as we read their stories we will understand their pain.   Lets  all work together to exhort  and help the single ladies in our country.  There are always answers in Christ.
Scenario one: 
Divorcee – 52 years of age.  Active, slim, attractive, fun sense of humor. Self employed.
Jenny and her husband got divorced 10 years ago due to extreme financial and emotional pressures.  She has one son who lives with her and who spends many weekends with his dad.  She is on good terms with her ex-husband but there is little chance of them ever getting back together again.  Jenny lives in a small neat apartment and is self-employed.  Life is financially difficult for her and due to the nature of her type of work her income fluctuates.  She has to be extremely careful with her money and there is seldom  extra for luxuries.  “I have learnt to rely fully on the Lord to meet my needs as some months I just can’t see my way clear, yet every time the Lord makes a way.”
“The most difficult thing for me is that you seldom get invited out to social events and then on the odd occasion when you do get invited and go out alone, you feel like a wallflower with a fake smile, the feeling of being so alone is overwhelming.  I often cry all the way home.  I feel unwanted. I have married friends whom I visit but they have their own families to attend to so our visits are normally short and sweet.  I have had to learn to enjoy my own company I spend many hours and weekends alone.  I miss coming home to someone special, idle chatter, I miss the companionship of another human being, I miss not having someone to share my hurts and dreams with.  I have to face my fears on my own.  I don’t have someone to encourage me.  I have to accept the fact that I have to handle every problem on my own.  I long to have someone to ask advice from or to just  share a cup of coffee with.
Planning a holiday is horrible.  I also find it hard to accept that there is no man to give you a hug, bring you flowers, perfume, a gift for your birthday  or any other occasion.  Christmas time is very sad for me.  Even more daunting is knowing that this could go on forever till I die.
It is pretty obvious that men my age don’t want to marry anymore.  Most don’t fear God and really don’t see the moral need for marriage .  They have no desire to pro-create – so why settle down with one woman?  They are also often going through their own menopause and would rather have a “twenty something” on their arm.  They seem to treat women over 40 as if they have reached their “sell by date”.  This really erodes ones self-worth.
All this said and done I find that this is where one of the huge treasures as a Christian comes in, one is forced to find one’s true worth and identity in Christ.  No man can define who you are only Christ can do that.  
I know the Holy Spirit is my best friend and comforter and that really helps me get through each week.  I truly don’t understand how non-believers cope.  I know I couldn’t.
I believe victory is possible but it will take a momentous effort to get there.”
Scenario two: 
Divorcee 56 years of age, well groomed, slim, financially self sufficient, loyal.
Carol and her husband got divorced 14 years ago.  Her husband used to drink and became abusive and unreliable.  She says, “ I have learnt to accept my situation of singleness as I came out of a bad marriage.  I would rather be alone than have another bad relationship.   I have developed coping mechanisms like being careful what movies and shows I watch.  When I see people kiss, I normally look away.  I don’t fantasize about being in love again and when I feel I need a hug, I just ask my grown up son for one.  He understands how I feel.  This helps a lot as even though I have a wonderful relationship with God, I sometimes just need “God with a little skin on”.
I hate attending any function that requires a partner and generally decline.  To me it just seems so wrong to be all dressed up and not have a partner.  Invariably as a single woman, you get seated at a table with other single women or old ladies, all so boring! I also find it difficult just having female friends as I enjoy the company of men.  I also prefer being with married women rather than single ones.  Single ladies are often insecure, clingy and miserable.
The worst thing for me is to attend a wedding, its not being there that’s so bad but rather it’s the sorrow I experienced that my own marriage didn’t work out.  I am very grateful for my relationship with God, I would not cope without Him.
I attend a large Charismatic church and have done so for many years but I find they focus mainly on marriage and families and sadly single women are neglected, not because they don’t care but I sense because they have no idea as to what to do with us.  I would love to see churches lead in a social program of some sort whereby we could meet other single, Godly men and women.  Maybe go on outings together, picnics, movies, walks and hikes.    What about a fun day called “ Household maintenance day” we single ladies always have odd jobs and things to be done around the house, paintings to be hung up, cupboard hooks and hinges to be fixed etc.   It would be nice for the single men to also feel needed and appreciated.  If they cant fix things then could just give advice or use the opportunity to  supervise or socialize or something like that.  It would be a fun yet practical way to meet others of the opposite sex.
I would love to be part of the solution to “singles” rather than be part of the problem.  I pray God will provide JOY! with the right answers.
Scenario three:
Widow 40, 2 young children. Attractive, slim, self-motivated, financially independent, fun loving, intelligent, entrepreneurial.
Susan’s life changed dramatically 3 years ago when her young husband was killed in a car accident.  They had been happily married for 8 years.
“Life has been very difficult, I have been battling with feelings of loneliness, sadness, frustration, rejection with having to be the sole caretaker of the children. My husband was a very physical and loving man and I long to be touched again. To have someone to tickle my back, play with my hair, hug me, massage my neck when I get tension headaches etc.  I really miss the physical side of our relationship. 
We also had similar business interests and I miss our chats. We were great friends and I really miss him.  He was a wonderful man of God and we attended church together and hosted a home group at our house.  We would pray together regularly and enjoyed the spiritual side of our relationship.  It has often been said that people who have had happy marriages, when widowed, get married pretty quickly again.  Not out of disrespect to ones late partner but actually out of respect to them. Well I know I really want to be married again, and pray regularly for a partner.  It has been 3 long years now and for the last 18 months, at least, I have been ready to become involved with someone else but whom??  There is not one single man at our church and I belong to a fairly large church, +- 450 adult members.  Whilst the Pastor has been very gracious to ask regularly how we as a family are doing, it never goes deeper than that.  They have never organized any meetings or outing or anything for the single people in our church. By single I mean people over the age of 22. Oh they do have a divorced peoples cell group but it is all women!  Where are the men?
We do  have coffee time after the service but then I am left standing on my own with all the other married couples making small talk and to be honest it is not pleasant.  I also sense that often the wives feel threatened by me as I do keep myself in shape.  I am not interested in their husbands, I am a child of God and will always honour Him but sometimes-Christian women can be so insecure. It is hurtful and I battle to accept this.  The result – I ‘d rather not stay and  chat and just go home with my precious children.   Our home group came to an abrupt end when my husband passed away and has not been resusucated. Even those friends don’t visit very often, suddenly everybody is very busy with their own families. Very seldom, the children and I get an invite to lunch or supper but the emphasis is on seldom.    I have met a few single men through my work but they are not Christians, so that doesn’t help much.   I find secular men very shallow and they seem turned off when I state that I am a born-again Christian.
I spoke to one of the counselors at our church and her advice was to join a sports club – well thanks but how is that going to help me meet a Christian?  I am not looking for a date; I want a man of God.  Can’t the Pastors find a way for us to meet other single Christians –  they must be out there but I don’t know how to go about finding them.  Maybe JOY! can host a column or something for up market genuine Christians to meet. It is all so awkward.  I once called a ‘ up market, secure Christian dating ‘ out of curiosity but oh my gosh… it was pathetic. The woman on the phone kept telling me how difficult it was to find Christian men to join.
In the meantime I know Jesus is my husband and He comforts me and fills my head with kind words and affirmations.  I am grateful for my relationship with HIM.
These three testimonies are just the tip of the iceberg, there are thousands of ladies out there in similar situations.  There must be an answer so why aren’t we finding it?
We have asked a Pastor for his advice and we also offer some ideas of our own but please readers feel free to write to us with your ideas.  Together let’s try bringing some solutions to this problem plaguing the beautiful women of God who find themselves alone.