Dealing with Stress and Insomnia (alone)

     Feeling overwhelmed? I am. I work very hard and am in NJ by myself for at least 6 more weeks. I have a good job. It is fulfilling, pays well and has good benefits. But my loved ones are in Florida. So, I worry……

     Prayer helps. It is a good start. Sometimes I feel petty talking to God about the RV repairs needed when kids are hungry around the world. I want a job near Pensacola that meets my needs as well as this one does. Others are unemployed. I have performed ministry for almost 20 years as a lay person but even with a counseling degree from a Christian college, I am not employable at a church it seems. I miss my family. I need to be home with the kids….

     And I am not sleeping. So, my mind races. I know thought stopping techniques but the thoughts haven’t stopped. The repair bill will be too much…I have to take and pass ACLS so I will be more employable but have not interest in the subject matter….I have filled out applications and sent resumes but only the wrong people are calling back…morning comes and I am planning for a nap…

     It is very hard being alone. I have good support and friends at church. People care. And it still hard.

     So, prayers are appreciated!

     I don’t for a minute forget how hard it is for those who are single, single parents or those grieving a divorce or death of a spouse. It’s hard! God is good! We need to be good to one another and support, encourage and pray!

Time to pray!

Remember when the guy stole and hid the treasure under his tent? (Joshua…..) I know you do. God let Joshua know that until the sin was rooted out, he didn’t want to hear prayers for success. Read the story!

In your Christian walk as a single, are there “issues” that God needs you to “root out” before you find a mate? Or would you rather keep the issue and be single? Here are a few thoughts… I may be wrong or I may be right…. What do you think?

  • “I am so set in my ways that I couldn’t live with someone else” -do you like being alone?
  • “If God wants me to have a spouse, he will send them to me” – do you pln to marry the UPS man?
  • “Relationships are too messy” – Yes, that is true!
  • ” I am not mature enough to share my life” – you probably should be single….
  • ” I have to establish my career” – job before marriage
  • ” I don’t like children” – don’t have them!

So, what can you add?

Single and in the Church………..

     Rachel and I have been married for 15 years now. Jessica is 14 and Jameson is twelve. I am away with work often but have someone I can trust to raise the kids and manage the house. A blessing. I still remeber when I was a single dad with a young daughter.

  • My daughter was with her custodial parent (mother) and went to church with me as a visitor.  Things were different. Because her school dismissed for the summer in late June she missed most youth activities. Many events took hiatus when (southern) schools broke. The big summer event was camp and since we only had a few weeks and she didn’t know the kids………….
  • Single dads were (somewhat) suspicious creatures in Mobile, Alabama. Most churches didn’t want to deal with the “stigma” of divorce.
  • I remember a couple of church ladies (my age) who acted very “perculiar” around me. I learned later that I was like a rash or something. I made them uncomfortable because of my failed relationship. Funny, I didn’t want to be part of their life other than Christian family.
  • as a divorced man, I was a liberal…
  • I couldn’t hang out too much with the college age (too old) and couples were kind but…couples. I started a ministry and recruited peers.
  • Our minister then received unwarranted inquiry as to why we doing “whatever it is you do”.
  • Flyers for events were mailed and passed out. Most went to the little round file…..
  • I learned that there are 3 kinds of singles. 1) Singles 2) Singles again 3) Singles for a reason
  • Only about 15% of church memebers are unmarried. Alot of widows/widowers, divorcees and younger singles. A few never married.
  • Most churches do NOT budget for singles.
  • If you visit a church as a single, you have a greater chance of being overlooked. Even if unmarried if you bring a friend of the opposite gender, you will be accepted more readily.

So, I know you are there. Keep speaking up! Go to retreats and outings. Find one another and sit together. Support one another.

Great events coming at the Pigeon Forge Retreat and the St. Augustine weekend. See upcoming events!

Attracting a Good Woman

Traits of Attraction (the Lure)
“It is the same in love as in war” -Marguerite de Valois
Men, thing about hunting or fishing. How do you attract (or lure) the game to you. You have to have the right bait. Works the same when you are meeting and women. You must be attractive! Not just the shallow “big muscles, glib tongue” but depth that a good woman can hold on to. Let’s talk about it.
• Mental strength- a women wants someone to talk to. She wants you to be sharp enough to understand where she is coming from (yes, I know we don’t really understand women) and stimulating enough to keep her going.
• Social strength- women are attracted to men who impress a room. Period. If you are the alpha male at the party, she notices. She will notice if you have friends and relationships.
• Strength of character- A woman wants to know that you can lead. She needs a man who can make good decisions for the relationship. Who will do what is right over what he wants. The key is do what is right. Not always what she wants. It is attractive when you are the person she met and you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just to please her every whim. Plus, she will know when you have given up the things you want to keep her content. And she won’t like it. Nobody wants a milk toast man.
• Loyalty- If you are loyal to your friends and family, she will want to be first one then the other. A good Christian woman wants to see loyalty to God and family. She will know that if you are not respectful to your mama or your sisters, you can’t be respectful to her.
• Fearlessness- A double edged sword that can get you hurt but…your woman wants you to protect her. You are to meet the home invader at the door. Find and vanquish the spider or snake in the garage. Negotiate with the car dealer. This is why women are attracted to policemen and firemen. Step up. Use your BRAIN and figure out a good ending but STEP UP.
In summary, use your brain and social skills, show some backbone and be a
keeper.

Tactics

“the good fighters of old put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat” –Sun Tzu

The Approach – You have to know when and how to approach a good woman!
• Body language- Check your posture. Stand up straight. Your ace should look calm, cool, collected. Happy to be alive.
• Respect personal space. Don’t intimidate. Don’t stand over a person . Don’t be overbearing. Just be the nicest person she ever met.
• Have an opener. If you want to talk to someone, have something to talk about. Nothing lame! Ask her opinion about……
• Tell a story. If she is from Tulsa, tell about something that happened to you in Wichita, Lincoln, anywhere.
• Small talk doesn’t have to be small. Be fun. Give info. Make her happy.
• Don’t whine about work, complain about church or find fault with her ball team. Be positive.

The Art of War (Dating) -

The Art of War for Dating
(Dating from a male perspective- week 1)
“Most of us are pawns in a game of love we don’t understand” -Leo Buscalia
“You have to learn the rules of the game and play better than anyone else” –Albert Einstein
“Love and War are the same thing, and stratagems and policies are the same in the one as in the other” –Miguel Di Cervantes (author of Don Quixote)
History’s most influential thinkers have built philosophies around it. The greatest writers have devoted books to it. Poets have penned sonnets to honor it. Even Pat Benatar sang about it!
Love?
If you haven’t figured out that dating is like war, let me hit you with some shock and awe. It is a strategic battle of sexes and frequently it resembles the presidential election. Nobody wins. This battle has been raging since Eve dropped the “Adam Bomb” , that apple! It has been contentious every since.
Women like “romance”, intrigue and suspense. They want a man to be tall, dark and handsome. More importantly, they want a man with a roll of cash and a willingness to please! And they find those men daily…..in the romance novels. Real men aren’t like that. Men struggle with work, emotions, cash and believing in themselves. And many are neither tall or handsome.
Men want someone to share life with. Someone to admire them, play with them and appreciate the sweat of their labor. They don’t want to change anything…activity, attitude, clothes. We like our women too. Christy Brinkley, Daisy Duke, the Cowboys cheerleaders…..yep…we know the women in our lives aren’t like that but …..
Dating is complicated. A lot of rules to follow:
*moral law
*friend law- cover your friend’s back, don’t talk bad about your friend’s love interest, don’t fight over the same person
*reality- too tall, short, rich, poor, old, young…..
Let’s learn to relate with the opposite sex in a manner pleasing to God. Until next week boys and girls, get a haircut and change your socks. Can’t go wrong!

Preparing for War (Week 2-Dating from a male perspective)
“We owe to the middle ages the two worse inventions of humanity- romantic love and gunpowder”-Andre Maurois
Why do soldiers go to basic training? To learn to march in unison? One body in action? Teamwork? Stamina? To finely tune the body into a killing machine?
Really? Shows that we don’t know much about the military. Basic training is for the MIND! If a person’s mind can be retrained, that person can walk 25 miles with a pack in the back. The motivated mind will drag the resistant body through the woods for hours AND help others to do the same. The mind will allow the besieged body to sleep soundly in a tent the size of a child’s wagon. The brain will calibrate with others to allow a company of soldiers to coordinate and march in a parade. The brain will put the needs of another before your own hunger and thirst. It will allow you to push your body for one more mile or one more push up. It’s all about controlling the brain!
Brainwashing? How will that help the Christian to date?
Here’s my answer! What you are doing isn’t working! Time to change strategies. Think about Issac. His dad, Abraham, sent a servant to find a nice “wife candidate” for him. If he had the attitude of most, he might have blown off Rebecca as a peasant farm girl and continued to live his lonmely life. But he gave it a shot! And the story was written.
So, here’s to thinking new thoughts and trying new approaches…..
Myth #1 dispelled: What women want isn’t what they want. Surveys say that women were asked what is the most attractive trait that a man possesses. The answer? A good sense of humor! Ask them. They will tell you. A good sense of humor. Also, caring and sensitive, listens to what I say, kind to dogs (or cats). Oh, and maybe taller than them…So why aren’t these guys racking up on dates? Because what women say they want isn’t necessarily what they are attracted to. A big difference! So, you have to attract them first, then listen to them, have a sense of humor and like their cat…Hmmm!
So, here’s how to “attract” them first. Get out there!
*Be available! Good marketers know that 4% of the general public is interested in a given item. So, ask 100 girls out and 4 (4!) might have an interest in you. FOUR! Interested! Less are intrigued. So, sitting on the couch waiting won’t work.
*Be entertaining. DON”T be an entertainer. The difference? It is great to be amusing. Bad to laughed at….Go to the party but don’t BE the party. Got it?
*Learn to compliment without expectation. You might say, “the sunglasses frame your face in a way that is very attractive” or “you have the nicest smile” Then walk away. Don’t ask for a phone # or e-mail. Just hit and run. Practice awhile. “Nice dress”, “you remind me of Veronica Lake, the star” or “you made my day”. Here is the key. After awhile, you will enjoy approaching to compliment so much that you will be irresistible.
Remember, it’s the mind that is retrained in Basic training!

SGW wrap up!

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What a joy to see all of you at the Spiritual Growth Workshop!
We have accomplished many things over the years. We are still educating our leadership on the needs of the single Christian. I want to thank Lance Morgan for his assistance introducing our class to various singles: the educated minority male, the never married middle age woman, single parents, the vocational young adult, the widowed too early and those livng today for for financial reasons….We feel that all should be welcomed to church. GOD loves each as they come to him. With time, he will expect progress and improvement.
The class about divorce/ grief recovery went well. There is so much pain and suffering related to both. Our responsibility as the church is to be a shoulder to cry on, an encourager to build others up and someone to share little victories as well as the pain of failure. We are family!
“The Dating Game” was a chance to teach and infuse humor as we explore the enigma of dating. GOD didn’t tell us to date….just to either enjoy singleness or to find a mate in marriage if needed. So…be careful as you explore computer dating, speed dating or blind dating.