2019 LAUNCH SINGLES WEEKEND

Initial info: 

WHEN: February 15-17

WHERE: Niceville Church of Christ, 801 E. John Sims Parkway, Niceville, FL

HOW MUCH? …$49 covers meals and entertainment

WHY?  Faith! Fellowship! Food! Friends! Fun!

Questions??? Call or text Jim Miller (251) 284- 3793 or e-mail xybatt@gmail.com

CHECK UPCOMING EVENTS FOR UPDATES —-MOTEL LIST —SCHEDULE —

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One is the Loneliest Number…

Humans are by nature social animals. When isolated the alarm bells go off as they would for hunger, physical pain or thirst. An isolated place is the breeding grounds for negative thinking to take effect. Thought processes become literal in our minds as we beat ourselves up, only to remain isolated.
Our inner thoughts become our worst enemy. Constantly putting one’s self down and creating monsters in our head. Our inner thoughts must be treated as though they are external and must be dealt with.
It is inconceivable and extremely difficult to relay feelings and pain to others. So, the vicious cycle of negative self-images can paralyze. The intrusive thoughts must be dealt with as I stated above. To me “quick fix” advice is nonsensical. Just read your bible someone may say. I think that is great advice but in reality, the intrusive thoughts are just too much for reading the bible for some people.
Spirituality can sometimes complicate your inner voices. There are far too many legalistic, right-wing nuts who want to control you and your thoughts. And if you don’t take heed to their advice the inner thoughts can really make you feel bad as a person. On the other hand, there are many good-willed Christians who have a great deal of balance and to me, that is a huge gift to have.
I believe the first step is to not criticize yourself and tell yourself it is okay if you are lonely and to tell yourself you’re not a bad person. Because loneliness has underlying problems and beginnings such as heredity, divorce, loss of loved ones, abuse, abandonment by friends, etc..
Where I live I see so much loneliness and it breaks my heart. So many people with fascinating pasts but are alone now. Loss of family members, abandonment by family and friends. I often times call them the “invisible people” or the “throwaways of society” in some instances. Let’s just hurry up and throw them in the “somewhat functional nursing home.”
It really is one of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed.
I think after decades of loneliness it just becomes a way of life for some. It sucks, but it is a part of life and life is a struggle for all of us. I think the best things you can do is to help yourself and others around you.
It is an unfortunate way of life because you miss out on so much of life. Vacations, girlfriends/boyfriends, not sharing your talents. I believe loneliness strikes us all at different points. However, if you don’t have chronic loneliness. Consider yourself blessed.written by John Harper

Why Every Church MUST Minister to Singles

Have you noticed that most churches cater to the “traditional” family? You know, Mom, Dad and the 2.2 kids. And, these persons should be ministered to! But, what about the 51% of the population who are not married? That’s right, over half the population is unmarried! And, most don’t go to church (About 15%) It would seem that churches that want to succeed in evangelism would seek out the lost and not care if they are married or single.
Of course, there are rational reasons to avoid the unmarried.
Many are “needy”. Especially, single mothers and widows. Too much trouble! Funny how the Bible (James 1:27) calls this pure religion.
Financial strain. (James, again, 2:1-7) condemns this thought process. And while some unmarried individuals are short of cash….. we remember that others (like Bill Gates who was a BILLIONAIRE long before he married) have financial stability.
Statistics show that (some) kids of single parents are difficult and undisciplined. Yes, this group needs more mentoring. Couldn’t you be part of the solution? After all, the church is to save the lost.
What about “shacking up”? Yes, many people are co-habitating without marriage, even raising children. Many SENIORS are doing the same. And it is not in God’s plan. But, providing support, encouragement and understanding is in HIS will. Only with patience and a good example will Christians make a difference to the unchurched.
We must accept that their is an issue!

Statistics show that……

* 40% of our children are in a single parent home

* 40% of newborns are born to single parents

* 15% of single parents attend a church on a regular basis

* 90% of church attending adults never attend regularly after a divorce

Statistics are from the U.S. Census (2010) and The 2015 Rutgers University Marriage and Family Forum with influence from Christianity today.

Marriage is Ugly (revisit from the past)

Marriage is ugly, you see the absolute worst in someone. You see them when they’re mad, sad, being stubborn, when they’re so unlovable they make you scream. But you also get to see them when they are laughing so hard that tears run down their face, and they can’t help but let out those weird gurgling noises.

You see them at 3am when the world is asleep except you two, and you’re eating in the middle of the kitchen floor. You get to see the side of them that no one else does, and it’s not always pretty. Its snorting while laughing, its the tears when it feels like its all crashing down, its the farting, its the bedhead and bad breath, its the random dances, its the anger and the joy.

Marriage isn’t a beautiful thing, but it is amazing. It’s knowing that someone loves you so much, and won’t leave you even though you said something nasty. It’s having someone have your back no matter what. Its fights over stupid things, like someone not doing the dishes or picking up after themselves. And it’s those nights you fall asleep in each others arms, feeling like there will never be enough time with them. It’s cleaning up their throw up, or just rubbing their back when they’re sick. It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding job there is.
Because at the end of the day you get to crawl into bed with your best friend, the weirdest, most annoying, loving, goofy, perfect person that you know. Marriage is not beautiful, but it’s one heaven of a ride.

Thanks to Briana Delano for sharing this excellent article of reality! ❤️

Who are you when you are alone?

I watched an “Ask Alyne” video on Facebook and she talked of her 30 day trip ALONE to Albania and of the things she learned about herself. Great lessons learned and great insight!

Who are you when you are alone?

Who are you when you away from your family and friends? Do you sleep in? Stay up late? Where do you go? What do you do? Are you more careful or do you cut loose? Are you more intent on pleasing the others and neglecting yourself?

What do you believe? Are you religious because you are supposed to be? One person at “church” and another at work or leisure. I have to tell you that this is something I have to improve on. I am much better with strangers in the community than I am with family. More patient and kind. My “religion” looks nice from a distance but up close it sometimes stinks. Too much bickering over unimportant issues and not much nurturing those I love. And what is my ‘religion” anyway? would I pray more alone? Read my Bible more? Depend on God?

Where would you go and why? Would you go to the casino more if nobody was watching? Drink more? Smoke more? Without accountabilities would your addictions own you? Or would you read more, dance more and travel more?

As a single Christian you already know the churches have neglected you at times. But when you are alone to make decisions, do you set aside the time and money to make the Singles weekend? To fellowship with others who may be alone? Do you call another and go to lunch, birdwatching or for a walk? It seems money and time are not issues for most to go to ballgames or Disney! Just saying what I see.

Alone? Do you like yourself? How will you know until you know yourself?

When the Bottom Falls Out!

                               ——————————————————

When my daughter Jessica was born, there were 20 babies in her “cradle roll” at church. Twenty beautiful infants and toddlers! A sight to see! A smile or cry a minute! Being a realist I know that today (she is 18) only about 5 are attending a church of Christ today. Why? Sadly, I know that at least four of the couples we knew are not together anymore. And with single parents and remarriage come different needs and preferences. Many are discouraged and don’t take their kids to church. Or the new spouse is a different religion. The average church attendance is about 60 members. Many do not have children’s church (to entertain children?) and many were bored to rebellion or apathy. More kids gone…. The lucky ones make it to the youth group and stay engaged through high school. Thanks to the awesome youth ministers who have worked with my kids (Sean, Seth, Jared). A few teens actually have a relationship with Jesus! But many quit getting out of bed and coming to church. Some go to college and are engaged with a great campus ministry (Donny is the best at UF! Wish Jessica wanted to be a Gator). And then………….one day you wake up and you have outgrown the youth group…campus ministry…a bad marriage…a failed career…. Sometimes people who inspire you die …. The BOTTOM FALLS OUT! The rug is pulled out from under your feet! The car is on empty!

What to do? What to do?

Look in the mirror and take inventory! Who am I and what do I have left? No money! No honey! No skills! No light at the end of the tunnel. On a slow ride to the wrong side of the tracks? On the desolation highway? Or that Highway to hell? Have no friends in low places? Skating on thin ice? Living on a wing and a prayer? Went out for a ride in Baltimore Jack? Be honest! And then find people to INSPIRE you!

One day you will find yourself sitting alone (in or out of a church building. The youth group or campus ministry is gone! But, have you met Gary and Pat? That unassuming couple has been visiting prisoners (yes, at prison!) for the last 30 years. They have room for one more on their team! Have you met Joe? The guys at the homeless shelter don’t really know Jesus but they know Joe! And Joe is kind and accepting. Have you met Robby? He had an addiction! Lost a sports career and his family! All his money. Now he teaches AA meetings and has a sponsor.. and is one!

I have been blessed in my efforts to minister to SINGLES through the concept of LAUNCH!

Two weeks ago I had the honor of driving FOUR college students NINE HOURS to a college retreat so they could be encouraged. While I was there I crashed (literally, got in a 2 am) with a couple who were two of my long term singles years ago.

Saturday 5 of my single ladies accompanied Rachel and I to the Mt. Dora Children’s Home Benefit Dinner. My guests were amazed how much the Single Parents program does for a few who are willing to put Jesus and family first. And how the (orphaned) kids find a place to belong and be loved. And educated!

We do everything out of the box….I would love to have a job with a nice church and take care of the unmarried, widowed, divorced and lonely… but it won’t happen at this point. So, I wait for a church to host our annual singles conference…. we host singles church for a handful in the community… drive a few college students here and there… ANYTHING to encourage them to keep Jesus front and center in their lives.

Because we need to keep the few kids that are left and find a new one here and there…

                                   

A Single Parent Solution

     October 6 @ 6 PM several of us will gather for a dinner and fund raiser for the MT. DORA CHILDREN's HOME at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pensacola! A nice meal, time with friends and information gathered will be beneficial.  So, what's the big deal?
     (about) 40% of American children live in a single parent home...
     (too many) children are in foster care
     (too many) children do not have good male role models
     (too many) children are missing meals
     (too many)………………………..you get the picture!

There are (not enough) resources that minister to single parents and their children. There are (not enough) 
places that take in the orphaned and provide a place to live and a good education with a Christian Foundation. 
Mt. Dora Children's Home is one of those places that "makes a difference". 

     Join us if you are local (let me know). Join us in financial support if you feel a need. Join us in prayer
for a continued success in this mission!