One of the largest dating web sites for singles has an ad campaign showing the excitement experienced by men and women who share the news that “I found someone.” Many romance novels and films create tension and intrigue by keeping audiences in suspense until the final scene when true feelings are revealed. And if you believe the storyline, they live ‘happily ever after’ – at least until the sequel. Whether you are single, dating, married or dealing with various degrees of separation, relationships seem to give us the greatest joys in life. And they can also give us the greatest disappointments. God has answers for all our relationship struggles. In the third part of our series, we take a hard look at our expectations of relationships.
Break ups are tough. There’s that awkward conversation where you try to lessen the blow. And the words come out: “It’s not you, it’s me.” On the other hand, gone are the days when you might actually have a face-to-face conversation. There’s the digital dump. In one study a few years back, more than 56 per cent of young people who experienced a break-up said their relationship ended digitally, either through text message, social media or email. The percentage today might be significantly higher. Relationship experts are quick to point out the common reasons why couples break up – whether it’s control issues, continuous disagreements about finances, to the number one reason – poor communication. What does the Bible say about the challenges we experience in connecting with others? We’ll talk about this in the second part of our series on Relationships.
An ongoing debate today is whether social media networks help us or hinder us in making and keeping friendships. They promise us the ability to connect with others anytime, anywhere, so that we’re never more than a click away from the people in our lives. We can continually monitor what’s happening socially with any number of friends and family. Interestingly enough, studies are starting to show that as our social networks grow, so can anxiety and loneliness. We become susceptible to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, fear of being left out, not measuring up to what others are doing, and even depression. In our increasingly digital age, have we lost the art of making and keeping meaningful friendships? Why is it that we’re all wired with the basic need to connect deeply and emotionally with others – yet it is often so difficult to do? Friendship and relationships are a central theme in the Bible. Join us as we look at these and other questions that will help us to navigate the world of relationships.
One slogan made famous by a bank says – you’re richer than you think. But being rich doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to do with it. You can say the same thing about the talents and skills that you possess.
You could have an amazing singing voice, but if you decide to do nothing with it, what’s the point? You could dance circles around the best chefs in the city or have a knack for organizing events, but if you don’t explore what you could do with that…well, it’s like having a brand new car but never taking it out of your parking space, or buying a new outfit and letting it sit in the closet.
Some might say that you have a responsibility to yourself, and the world around you, to explore, expose and exploit your strengths. Why is that? That’s what we’ll talk about in the third part of our series on Stewardship. It might give you a whole new perspective on what you do with your life.
What is your first memory of receiving money for getting a job done? Is it the allowance your parents gave you for doing chores around the house, or money you received for baby sitting or mowing a neighbor’s lawn? Did you spend it right away, or save up to buy something you wanted? Or maybe you shared it with a brother, sister or friend, or used it to buy a gift for someone else? Regardless, your first experience earning money and owning something probably felt pretty good. And your pattern of handling your money and possessions probably started back then, too. This Sunday, we’ll look at how earning money and owning things is actually part of God’s plan for showing us how to take care of his world. Join us for this second in a four-part series on Stewardship.
The parking lot is full of shoppers caught up in the Christmas rush. You wonder how far you’ll have to walk. When suddenly you see a parking space open up near the door to the mall…and it’s yours! You’re carrying several parcels and the streetcar is packed during rush hour. As you struggle to keep your balance, someone gets up and you get their seat. You’re late for your reservations and it’s possible you’ll have to wait indefinitely for another table, when the hostess tells you they’re clearing one that’s by the window overlooking the harbour and you can have it. You’re counting your lucky stars. Others might call it ‘favour.’ For Ruth and her daughter-in-law Naomi, they experience favour of a different kind which goes far beyond luck or chance and shows us the heart of God. Join us as we continue in the book of Ruth as part of our 4-part Christmas series.