Fear the Table for One

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Fear is an interesting word. Its use invokes emotion from all who have known its grip. The sensation of helplessness is all too often the motivator behind fear. After a horror movie, fear comes from thinking about not being able to control things like you saw on the screen from happening to you as you drive home alone. In finances it comes from instability of knowing the future and wanting to control your financial future. In life fear often appears as worry of what is going to happen in the future.

As a single adult there is a lot to fear or worry about. There is sometimes pressure from friends and family to find someone and settle down, worry over finances with only one income, and how to balance a social life that honors God and does not break the bank. Then there is the dating scene if you choose to be in it! What clothes to wear or where to even look for a potential date play a small part. Then you feel pressure to have nice things to impress the other person to make a “good first impression.”

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25 NIV

God’s word tells us all of the worry is completely useless. It takes practice to ground this good habit into your life. But we must in order to show our trust in Him.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

God desires for us to rest in Him and for Him to be in control. There is no reason to fear or worry about a table for one scenario as a single adult. Go out and enjoy life and do not worry about eating a meal alone or thinking you need someone by your side to enjoy life. As a Christ follower you are complete in Him. You have nothing to fear or worry about when you completely trust in Him.

Pushing Through

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At times God places a vision inside your heart, or permits some difficulty into your life for your own good, or tells you to move to an unknown land (Genesis 12:1), or tells you to sacrifice your eldest son (Genesis 22)? (Well, not you. Abraham in this case, but you get the idea). Yeah…my instructor did that.
I like the instructors that tell me how many reps or sets I have left, the ones that scream encouragement the entire time. Oh, and when I get really close to quitting, my favorite instructor will shout over the loudspeaker, “Don’t quit! Hang on in there! Summer is here! Remember your goals!” as though she can see me about to give up. I always make it through those workouts with no problem.

A new instructor, however, explained the exercise but didn’t tell us how long we had left, nor how many total were in the set at the beginning. She merely demonstrated the exercise, and said, “go!” The next thing I know, the music started to play, and I started moving. I went, and went, and then I got tired. And when I got tired, I started to rethink the activity.
I entertained the idea of quitting. “I can’t do this! If I stop, my muscles would stop burning. I could breath easier…oh, and the water!” Stopping sounded great. This instructor didn’t scream encouragement. She just said, keep going. What I really want is for her tell me how long I have left. Tell me how many reps. Tell me the time is up. Tell me something.
She didn’t though, and just when I decided I couldn’t do it anymore, she told me I had 30 seconds left.. then the activity was over.

When I arrived home, tired after the hard workout, I thought about God’s relationship with the Israelites. He led them out of Egypt (Exodus 13:18). Next, Moses led them through tough situations, but each time, they did what I did, or rather, I did what they did. Moaned, groaned and whined the entire time.

Moses, we are tired of eating this bread! Moses, where is God? We are thirsty! Why did He bring us out here to kill us? Exodus 16:2 (_____) Moses, Moses, Moses! Numbers 14:12 (Paraphrase mine) version)

In that gym class, I didn’t shout, “Moses!” I just stopped, which is likely worse. When the Israelites shouted their complaints to Moses, God’s anger “kindled” against them (Numbers 32:13).
Yikes. The anger of God is not something I want to experience. Fortunately, it looks like I don’t have to because Jesus accepted all of God’s wrath against sin on the cross. The thought of wrath is sobering. It communicates God doesn’t like grumbling. He doesn’t appreciate constant moaning and groaning in spite of the difficulty. In the face of physical, emotional, or mental distress, God prefers we simply trust, endure to glorify Him for His faithfulness. Then thank Him.

Even when He doesn’t tell us how much longer we have in the difficulty, or what the entire staircase in the climb looks like, when we just move forward in humility, in the light of His love, in respect of His sovereignty, He is glorified.

When the hard workouts of life hit, and you are being moved from milk to meat (Hebrews 5:12), remember God’s goodness and His previous display of love every step of the way, for He will deliver you from them all (Psalms 34:19).

El- Roi: The God Who Sees You

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And I will make my mountains into level paths for them. Yet Jerusalem says, ‘The Lord has deserted us, the Lord has forgotten us.’ Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? See I have written your name on the palms of my hands. All the world will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. Isaiah 49:11, 14-16, 26 (The Living Bible)

You are not forgotten as a single. Sometimes, when she gets engaged or when he finds his princess…just sometimes… it’s easy to let the mind roam. “What about me?” You wonder.

Bring back your attention the truth: God has not forgotten you. You are in the palm of His hand.

You are seen by him. He knows your desires for love or for singleness. Your hopes for a family or for independent adventure. Your affection for another or your appreciation of solitude.

God is with you in each of these moments.

13 So[a] she called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, “You are El-Roi,”[b] for she said, “Here I have seen after he who sees me.” Gen. 16:13 (Lexham English Bible)

Just as God saw Hagar and her child alone in the middle of a desert, He sees you.

Having A Heart Ready for His Word

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John Piper’s article, “Satan Takes the Word” from DesiringGod.org resonates as it explains the parable of the sower.  In the explanation detailed in the above article, Piper tells his audience how to prepare their hearts for the Word. It is tremendously valuable; I advise you to read it. It is in reflection of that article that I pose the following question: how do you prepare your heart for God’s Rhema Word? If you follow the reference link, you will find that rhema is the insight/knowledge/message that the Holy Spirit would like to speak directly into your heart personally to direct, lead and encourage you. How does one prepare for such personal communication from the Holy Spirit and when it comes, are you willing to be led?

I am like a donkey, I kick my heels in and find myself “kicking against the goads” pushing against the very One who loves me the most in this season of singleness. Sometimes when my heart has not been properly watered, lacks nutrients and hasn’t been recently tilled, my heart refuses the One I love, Jesus. Yet, during this season, nothing is more important than leaning into the comfort, the love, the affection and the validation of the One who loves me more than everyone on the planet combined.

In my exploration of what it means to have a tender heart to the Lord, to be willing to obey, to have the desire to please Him and to say “yes” every time His beckoning calls, I must have a tender heart. (My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” Psalms 27:8 NLT).

Here are a few things I’ve noticed about permitting the tenderizing process of my heart- from stone to flesh:

  1. Worship – When I find myself grumpy, or silent in spirit, I need fertilizer. There is a drastic difference between the atmosphere in my heart when I have been listening to worship, and not secular music or nothing at all. Worship stirs the affections of the lover toward the loved and should not be taken lightly. What is the difference between a pastor getting up to speak first, instead of worship first? The atmosphere! To change the atmosphere of your heart, try worship music. After turning on the style of your choice, your heart will tilt towards your Beloved King of Kings and the dull moments of your life will turn into extraordinary meetings with the divine. Turn it on, leave it on, watch your heart grow!
  1. Community– Sometimes it’s nice to stay in. Sometimes work is hard, and you are tired, and there is this and that to do, but community life is vital! Through the fellowship of other believers, we are made strong. When we are weak, we have prayers from our brothers and sisters. When we are discouraged, we are encouraged! “Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.“ (Proverbs 18:1 NLT).  Community is the kneading done in the heart. It is the massaging, the tilling and it works the Word past the tough rocks like unforgiveness, bitterness, and unanswered questions of your heart. Without tilling the soil, the fruit is hindered.
  1. Word – The Word is the seed. If it does not go in, nothing can grow! In times of intense discontentment and frustration, the cause is often missed my Bible reading. When we read/listen to the Word, we find ourselves thinking of how to apply the Word through various situations. Scriptures that respond to everyday concerns pop into our heads and tell us to press on. The Word is as critically important as food, and we need it every single day. As in the natural, in the spiritual, there are many ways to get your daily Bible allowance.

We were all born into iniquity. None of us are righteous. Since we still live in the flesh, we have to daily choose our spirit man over our flesh (refer to Galatians 5:17 below). The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  

To win the fight, obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading is required, and to achieve a transformational obedience, a fertile, ripe, and ready heart’s is necessary. When we have a tender heart, we are most ready to receive the rhema Word of our Heavenly Father who leads, guides and orders our lives.

Galatians 5:16-18 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. (NLT)

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (NLT)

Maybe It’s Your Fault You are Lonely

My account with Table for One Ministries

We all see the Facebook posts of a lonely person.

Whether married or single, you have friends who post and post, and then post some more. It seems every time you check your feed, you know the last meal the ate and how food was!

Then there are posts of loneliness and clear cries for attention and help that break your heart. You want your friends to not feel alone, so you try to get them to engage in activities but to no avail.

For singles this is more common as they often live alone and even those with a roommate spend time alone. Alone time does not equal being lonely. Being lonely is the feeling of abandonment or low self worth that makes a person feel like no one else knows how they feel.

Here is the thing with loneliness: you have to own some of the responsibility yourself. To be a person who is not alone, you have to be the instigator to say yes more often to social engagements and sometimes that means spending money to make things happen. It is not a matter of being an introvert or extrovert.

To avoid feeling alone, you need to be proactive to stay engaged in life.

Below are a few ways you may be responsible for feeling alone.


Not connecting with friends.

Friends are a great base of social interaction and companionship for anyone. Some friendships, like David and Jonathan’s in the Old Testament, can be deep and meaningful. (1 Samuel 18:1-4) You have to own half of the responsibility to establish relationships that can be deep friendships. Connect with others that share a common interest and resist the urge to stay home all the time.


Not doing social things with others.

We hear the uproar to this comment. Yes, we know it can be difficult to afford being social all the time. Singles are on a tight budget and every dollar is important. But, social things are important. Even for the introvert. You need to find social things to do. They do not have to always be a singles event. Sites like www.meetups.com offer a way for you to find a interest and share with others. Go out with co-workers. Say yes to lunch on Sundays, even with that married couple that asks. Being connected is worth every penny.


Not reaching out to others in time of need.

Nothing is more frustrating for a leader or minister than to find out a person in their group was in need and did not let anyone know. It is hard for anyone to admit they need help. But, if you are fighting against being lonely, not reaching out will not fix it. People may offer to help you from time to time. If you say no every time you become more distant from others, which leads to our next point.


Not allowing people to love you.

In his book The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman believes everyone has a “love tank.” We agree! Singles, you have a love language and you need to know how you prefer to be loved so you can allow people to love you. You have to let down some guards and take a risk from time to time. Friends are there to help you and love you. It is hard, but it is worth it! (Click HERE to take a test to find your love language.)


Not establishing a FRAMILY.

Friends who are family, Framily! You need to have a few 1 a.m. friends, framily, or whatever you call them in your life to walk with you. Unfortunately in this fallen world, the older we get, the more family is lost to tragedy. The principle here is to surround yourself with people you love and who love you enough to invest in your life. That way when hardships comes, you have a network of people to call–not just one or two family members.


Lastly, leaders to singles, never stop reaching out to those who are lonely. One day they may let you into their Framily. It may take years to break down their walls and let you into their world, but it is worth it.
Singles ministries that thrive are ones who create a sense of community for one another and those that flourish are based on the Word of God. That is why our missions statement is to Build Community for Single Adults Through Discipleship. Keep loving the ones who fight your love the most. These people are the reason we started this blog. The one on Facebook who is lonely and looking to connect with others.

Dating by the Numbers

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There are over 54 million single people in the U.S. Let’s take a look at dating by the numbers.

— 50% of New York state adults are unmarried, making it the best state for single people.

— 48% of singles say they have Googled someone before the first date.  

— 2% of men and 9% of women have found a relationship in a bar.

— 40 million Americans have tried online dating.

— 80% of men will date someone 5 years younger.

— 48% of breakups in on-line relationships happen via e-mail.

— 15 minutes is the average amount of time it takes to make a first impression on a man. For a woman it takes an hour.

— 12% is the chance a guy will call, if he hasn’t called in the first 24 hrs..

*Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc.


Knowing some of these should also encourage you as you look to date someone. The statistics of so few people finding someone for a relationship in a bar is yet again evidence that clubbing and drinking do not equal relationships. Also, men, it seems to take less time to decide whether to continue pursuing a woman than time needed for a woman to decide on her interest in a man. So, men, give her time to “get there” if she is interested!

So what do you think?

Single Myths: They Fear Commitment

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She has a commitment issue. He has a phobia and can’t commit.

If you’re single you’ve either heard it once or a million times. Or, perhaps you’ll admit that you’ve thought it about another single–that guy or gal who says no to marriage, no to a long-term relationship or who seems to jump from one relationship to another without a care for the feelings of others.

For some singles, this may be true. But for the majority, their life has shown otherwise.

Every one of us knows at least one single who is on a mission, whether local or abroad. Maybe you are part of a singles group that spends its free Saturday giving time and effort to bagging groceries at the Food Bank. You’re the single mowing the neighbor’s lawn because they are sick or on vacation for a long period. You may be the single who is willing to pitch in where needed, even if you have a long list of personal errands that needed to be done. These lives reflect Galatians 5:13:

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (ESV)

Serving takes commitment.

Singles commit to jobs, some requiring more than a full-time schedule. We purchase houses and cars that require a monthly payment schedule. We commit to a budget that includes fulfilling God’s calling to tithe to our church, to give to the needy, to support a child in poverty.

Living takes commitment.

We connect with others and develop friendships that call us to work hard to treat one another with kindness. And, to keep healthy family relationships, we commit to nourishing one another, supporting and loving one another just as Christ commands us in John 13:35.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (NIV)

Relationships take commitment.

And, most importantly, Believers commit to God’s plan for His kingdom. We adjust when He calls for change. We say Yes, when he calls us beyond our four walls of comfort. We commit to make a difference. We run the race He calls us to in Hebrews 12:1b.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,… (NIV)

Faith takes commitment.

The lives of Christian singles reflect that not only are we committed, we’re open to God’s plan in our lives. Don’t fall into the trap of believing you aren’t or that another single isn’t committed. It’s a myth.

6 Ways to Know if You are Ready to Date

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Six Signs You are Ready to Date!

  1.  Are you Completely satisfied in Christ? If you feel like you need someone of the opposite sex to complete you, you are not ready.  If you are seeking someone to make you happy with material things, you are not ready. If you are hoping someone will improve your lifestyle, you are not ready. If you are seeking a mate to occupy your time, you are not ready. You need to be complete in the one that brings real life and truth.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6

  1.  If your heart is open to heartache, you are ready to date. It will happen.The first person you date after the divorce or death of a spouse or the first person you date in your life is not likely to be your forever mate. Finding someone to spend the rest of your entire life, finding someone willing to support you when you lose your job, someone to nurse you through cancer, someone to pitch in when they are too tired to keep their eyes open, someone willing to think outside themselves–it’s just not that easy.
  1. If you look beyond physical and material attributes, you are ready to date. If the first thing you do when you meet someone is judge their physical appearance, then you are limiting the relationship before the person speaks. When you aren’t willing to seek the heart of a person, you aren’t ready to treasure it.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.  1 Samuel 16:7

  1. Do you have people in your past that you haven’t forgiven? Have you left a trail of people behind you that you need to say “I’m sorry” to? Bringing bitterness into any relationship will show up at the most unexpected times, in the most unwanted ways.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Col. 3:13

  1. Is the relationship between you and another focused on God’s plan, rather than fun? Is there a clear focus of where God wants to take the two of you in the next few months, few years? Is there support for one another’s goals? Do the goals connect where God begins?
  1. If you are not willing to lay down your life and change your life for someone else, you are not ready. There’s a common misconception that after marriage things will toodle along just as they were when you dated. Don’t be fooled. Things will change. Bringing two people into one household changes the dynamics of a relationship. And we won’t even talk about adding a child.

All these questions cannot be answered in the span of a few dates. Hopefully, you’re praying for the relationship and looking for God’s direction on whether to continue pursuing the relationship. As you spend more time with a potential mate, have an open heart but be mindful of “red flags.” Don’t brush them aside. Be proactive in obtaining the answers you need to find a lifetime partner.

3 Reasons Your Singles Ministry is Failing


Years ago singles ministries were everywhere. Every church had one, and it was seemingly exciting and attractive to the community. Then something happened–they all started to disappear.

First there were no new people entering singles groups. Many married from within the group and simply by attrition the ministry dwindled in numbers as it failed to reach new singles. Secondly, others fell into the trap of not looking outward but inward finding that they struggled too much with themselves to even reach others. A third type of single ministry was a hybrid of the two, creating the ultimate singles ministry collapse resulting in only “single for a reason” folks remaining in the group. You all know what we mean by that! The group was left with unhealthy people and healthy people do not want to join unhealthy groups.

So, here are three things your singles ministry may be doing to set the group up for failure.

# 1 It is not about Christ

  • When social events become the base of any group, the focus is less about Christ. Groups like these focus more on providing environments for people to meet one another thus creating a “meat market” of sorts.
  • The Solution: Focus the group on the Word of God. Home groups, Sunday School, cell groups, whatever you call them–make them the center of all you do. Secondly, make missions fun and schedule them just as much, if not more, than social events. More about this in #3

# 2 Singles have no community

  • Gone are the days of throwing together a meal once a week and expecting community to happen. While that is a vital part of community, when you are targeting all the various backgrounds of singles added with their multi-generational nuances, you have to be intentional about building community through discipleship means like Bible Studies and Sunday School.
  • The Solution: Ensure your primary teaching times involve group interaction with both co-ed and gender specific groups. A mix of these groups often will help build community more broadly than just a master-teacher time that occurs at the same time, same place every week.

# 3 Singles do not serve, they are served

  • A singles group that lack missions will lack the ability to see outside of themselves. Mission based events direct the attention of people away from their struggles and “singleness” towards helping others. When singles are being served social events constantly they forget Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28.

The Solution: Have mission events often. Really. Often. Your singles group needs to be just as aware about the next mission event as they are aware about the fun retreat you have planned. Share pictures from the event and personally invite individuals to your upcoming mission event. Delegate an event to someone and watch your group take charge to reach the lost and show love to others in need.

Singles Lose at Christmas


Where will your family celebrate Christmas this year?

As the days zoom past before Christmas, families across the country start discussing where Christmas will take place. For some, this is easy. There is a set location and family gathering time regardless of any other circumstances. For others, a tug-of-war begins between single and married siblings.

Singles often lose at the holidays when they have a married sibling in the family. It’s likely that Christmas is where the married sibling is or it could be whoever has the most children. These conditions often leave the single adult with nothing as a leverage chip for family to travel to the single’s house. Family members may say it’s less expensive for the single to travel to the larger majority. Sure it is “cheaper” for one person to fly, but proportionally as a single adult a plane ticket can mean a big hit to the budget with one income vs two. The expense can impact for months leading up to and after the gathering.

Singles, be encouraged that even if your family doesn’t travel to you and your budget doesn’t allow you to go to them, you have Framily, a family of friends, who are eager to gather for the holidays. And even if your budget allows the travel, there’s nothing that says you have to wait for blood relatives to celebrate.

Don’t save all the holiday cheer for only the relatives. Decorate and invite your friends over. They’ll appreciate your effort, especially during this time of year, which can be lonely for many.

Organize a white elephant gift exchange and invite your friends for a dinner, or even simple snacks. It is a great way to give other singles a taste of the holidays at your home and opens your ability and opportunity to minister to them. Often, the non-Believer will enter the hospitable house of a friend before they enter the doors of the church.

Have Christmas at your place! Even if it is not with your immediate family. You and your Framily will have a blast at your place!