Longing For God’s Warm Embrace

I’m sure by now, most of you reading this have heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages. It was all the rave 10 years ago and is still very popular today. Dr. Chapman’s book captivates the attention of readers because we seek to know the best way to love our partner, our children and our friends. We desire to know how we can serve and love them better, and The 5 Love Languages is an instrument that provides valuable insight into how to do that.

For those who aren’t familiar with Dr. Chapman’s book, he writes about the five primary ways people show and receive love: receiving gifts, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation and physical touch.

As I was thinking about the five love languages, I realized that while the Lord is able to show us love through most of these ways, it can sometimes be difficult for those needing physical touch to feel God’s love.

In May of this year, I received news that a client I had been working with for three months made the choice to take his life. For three months I fought desperately to keep him out of the hospital, keep him off drugs and keep him alive. He was doing so well, and I had hope he would continue on the path to success. But sadly, that was not the case. He chose to end his life, and I was unexpectedly torn to pieces with grief over this loss. I wrestled with taking on the responsibility of his death and blaming myself. I cried myself to sleep for days in a row, not knowing how to deal with the emotions I was feeling.

In those moments of intense emotion, all I wanted was to lay in the arms of someone who loved me. To feel the warmth of their embrace. But as a single person whose family is more than three hours away, that just wasn’t an option for me.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – Longing For God’s Warm Embrace

Is It Possible to Evangelize Without Sharing The Gospel?

This weekend I had the pleasure of listening to Greg Koukl speak. Koukl is the founder and president of Stand to Reason, a radio talk show host, and the author of Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions (1st Edition by Koukl, Gregory, published by Zondervan, 2009. Paperback).

Knowing absolutely nothing about Greg Koukl beforehand, I signed up for “Training Day” after reading the words:

“Greg Koukl will equip you to share your faith!”

Having struggled greatly with this over my years of being a follower of Jesus, I eagerly anticipated what I would learn. The intent to share my faith is passionately burning inside of me. I desperately long to tell others about our wonderful loving Father and how He mercifully forgives our sins through the payment His son made for us with His own life. The desire is there, but the fear of rejection and chastisement by the receiving party has often left me feeling crippled by defeat before I’ve even begun.

In the forward he wrote for Koukl’s book, Lee Strobel says, “We live in a day when militant atheism is on the march, Christianity is coming under attack, not just from best-selling books, skeptical college professors, and television documentaries, but increasingly from neighbors and co-workers.”

Strobel’s words are the very reason I was finding myself feeling inferior as I thought about evangelism. In my own right, I knew what I believed and why I believed it, and could easily articulate the central truth of Christianity, but the anxiety and fear that crippled me kept me in my own pit of trepidation.

But the words I heard Greg Koukl speak left me thinking about things from a different point of view and took away the pressure that was keeping me feeling trapped with no resolve. This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – Is It Possible To Evangelize Without Sharing The Gospel?

A Single Woman’s Plea To Married Men

Recently, a girlfriend of mine posted the following status on Facebook:

It’s a sad day when your wedding ring no longer fits. It becomes a better day when your husband proposes again with a cheapo ring from Target.

She and her husband are expecting their first child soon and, due to the lovely woes of pregnancy, her ring no longer fits. Her husband’s sweet gesture earned him many accolades and “likes” on Facebook that day. His natural expression of love for his wife got me thinking about just how important that tiny symbol of love really is.

While reading at a local coffee shop, I overheard a conversation between two overtly expressive men. The conversation went something like this:

Single Guy #1: “Wedding rings are stupid. I don’t understand why girls expect you to spend so much money on some stupid symbol of love. Why should I have to fork out all the cash?”

Married Guy #2: “I know! My wife doesn’t even wear her ring. She always complains about her finger being swollen. I told her, “If you don’t wear yours, then I’m not going to wear mine!”

At first, their conversation entertained me. I laughed a little, wondering about the other topics men vent to each other about. But the laughter quickly faded as I soaked in what Married Guy #2 said. Both he and his wife had made the choice to forgo wearing a simple piece of jewelry that acknowledges to the rest of the population that they are spoken for.

This piece of jewelry, while modest in size, represents something so grand in significance. To continue reading this article, follow this link – A Single Woman’s Plea To Married Men

5 Reasons To Live Abroad

It’s been 6 months since I landed back on American soil. A lot has happened in those 6 months. My taste buds have been reunited with American cuisine. I’ve been able to use a grown-up sized towel instead of one most of us are used to using in the kitchen, and I’ve been able to communicate.

I’ve gotten an array of questions over the last 6 months. Questions like, “Were you able to communicate with the natives?”, “What was the most exciting thing you did?” and the oh-so-popular “Did you eat dog?” But one question has definitely been the most popular. Increasingly popular the longer I’ve been back.

“Do you miss living in Korea?”

At the 6-month mark, my answer has yet to vary: “I don’t miss living in Korea as much as I miss living abroad.” While Korea definitely has its perks—amazing shopping, adorable children, cheap and good tasting food—I feel I experienced most of what the country had to offer.

While I know some ask this question because they want to live vicariously through my experiences, few ask because they have always desired to take the leap to live abroad and have yet to do so.

To those who have ever considered living abroad, my advice to you would be DO IT. Embrace adventure, take a risk, jump off the cliff (well, the metaphorical cliff, not an actual cliff).

Here are a few of the not-so-obvious reasons I think you should live abroad.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – 5 Reasons To Live Abroad

 

 

Being Intentional And Dating With Purpose

Being a single Christian in today’s world continues to be increasingly difficult.

It hurts my heart every time I hear one of my single friends say, “I’m enjoying being single right now.” If we’re not careful, those words can be decrypted to mean “I’m enjoying my life of selfishness.” Part of the reason many people are choosing a life of singleness is because some singles ministries make being single fun and exciting. Commitment and intentionality are inadvertently being discouraged by increased opportunities to go on group dates and see members of the opposite sex without pursuit.

Another reason people are choosing a life of singleness is because of the difficulty, confusion and frustration that comes with dating.

When I had dinner with a married girlfriend in her late 30s, she asked about my current, non-existent dating life. I filled her in on some recent, very confusing behavior from a guy friend that was leaving me wondering if he was interested. As I shared, she responded by saying, “Hearing you share about the challenges you are having in your singleness makes me so glad I am married.”

In that moment I was also feeling very glad that she was married and didn’t share the same continued frustration I often feel. This is an article I wrote for Single Matters Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link Being Intentional and Dating With Purpose