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maggiemarcum

Living Life with Purpose

Month

February 2016

Living Single

Living single is not always easy. Single, no matter if you are there because you never married, divorced, or lost a spouse, has challenges that most marrieds don’t appreciate. Sure, we have freedom to do what we want to do when we want to do it, but we live in a world  that focuses on married or coupled people and often we can feel excluded.

Single means making our own decisions. It means not having that spouse to turn to and discuss an upcoming surgery. Single means asking all our friends for their advice and then making a decision. It often means nursing ourselves when we are ill and suffering alone because we don’t want to burden our friends.

Living single has its challenges and it has its blessings.

We have so much to offer. We have so many opportunities to live a life of giving and community. We have the ability to step out of our homes and develop new relationships with other singles just for the purpose of being friends linked through a passion. We are not a sorry bunch but a blessed bunch and we need to start living the lives that God has given us.

Singles need each other. We need to hear each other’s stories and to encourage one another during those dark days. We need to speak strength into our circumstances and embrace all that we can do because of our situation.  We need to look for opportunities to meet other singles and forge new uplifting relationships.

So get out their friends. Look for ministries in your religious organizations where you heart leads you to serve. Look for sporting events where you can meet other singles. Look around you and when you see another single sitting alone, go sit with them. When you hear of a sick single, call and offer help. When someone goes through a divorce or the loss of a spouse, walk with them until they are stronger.

We all have purpose no matter our circumstances. God can use us if we are willing to get over the notion that we are of less value than coupled people because we live alone. Be willing friends, be willing.

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead (James 2)

 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 1Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,  and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless

 

Letting GO to Grow

Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the start of the observance of Lent and a Christian tradition of giving up something–fasting for 40 days. There are many historical reasons for this period of fasting and I’m not here to debate the legitimacy of one practice over another.

I was told a long time ago that the concept of giving up something is great, if it leads one to rely on God to carry them through times of temptation. So we give up coffee and we pray when we are tempted to break our fast and have that cup of java.

Fasting isn’t a punishment. It is the act of letting go of something that we have come to rely on and to turn our reliance toward the Lord instead. For those of us going to receive ashes today, we do it as a sign up our faith and we do it as a sign of humility as we acknowledge that we are here for a time that God designates for our lives.

If you are letting go of something that has become your idol or your go-to when you are stressed or in need of comfort, I encourage you to also take this fasting time to invite Jesus into those areas. Pray with others. As for a blessing of the Holy Spirit to guide you. Let go of the things that you turn to and grow in the areas that God is calling.

Easter is around the corner. Now is the time to prepare for it.

Blessings.

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