Transforming Water to Wine? Or to Tea?

I was just reading Billy Graham’s Decision magazine for July – August 2014, leaving my favourite part until the end, the very last page called “Ruth’s Attic.”

Ruth and Billy Graham

Ruth, of course, was Mr. Graham’s late wife and she had a collection of some of the most interesting and moving stories from average every day people.

The one that I read today is of particular interest to those who may not have exactly what they want in life, or who feel that they’re lacking in something. Please ponder the following story.

In one of F.W. Boreham’s books, he tells of an old Scottish woman living alone and very poor.

But she carefully tithed what little she had and gave to the church. When unable to attend service, she expected a deacon to drop by and collect her offering. The deacon knew well she could not afford it, but knowing also that she would be deeply offended if he did not collect it, he was careful to stop by.

It was late afternoon one day when he made his visit.

Old Mary was sitting near a window having tea.

“The tithe is on the mantel,” she said, greetings over. “Won’t ye sit and have a cup of tea?”

The deacon sat, and when Mary passed him his cup, he looked down in surprise and exclaimed:

“Why, Mary! It’s only water ye have!”

“Aye!” said old Mary. “But He makes it taste like tea!”

“Tea Time,” Taken from “Legacy of a Pack Rat,” By Ruth Bell Graham. ©1989, The Ruth Bell Graham Literary Trust.  I found this article on http://www.billygraham.org (http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/july-august-2014/tea-time/)

Oh, that we might have the faith of that old woman!  To be content regardless of our situation!

Keep up the good fight!

Discontentment Can Be…Good?

Contentment makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
Benjamin  Franklin

I could talk on forever about contentment.  It really is so important for each and every soul, not just for singles.  The beauty of contentment lies in it’s peace, it’s lack of fear, it’s lack of striving after the newest thing, it’s confidence, it’s selfLESSness.  The eyes of the contented look to God with a knowledge of His goodness and a trust in His grace.

But there are some situations in which it would be bad to be content.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking–make up your mind!

Well, there are certain things that we should never be satisfied with–our knowledge of God, our gratitude to Him, our love of His will and His people, our sharing of our experience of Him with others. These are all things that we should only wish have more of, to do more.

Religion promotes the divine discontent within oneself, so that one tries to make oneself a better person and draw oneself closer to God.   Cyril  Cusack

So to continue to build our faith in God requires both contentment AND discontent–contentment with His leading and discontent with our knowledge of Him.

Wow…now that’s something to think about…

God is looking for imperfect men and women who have learned to walk in moment-by-moment dependence on the Holy Spirit. Christians who have come to terms with their inadequacies, fears, and failures. Believers who have become discontent with ‘surviving’ and have taken the time to investigate everything God has to offer in this life.
Charles Stanley

Single…and Content?

Yes, I am a 40 year-old virgin.  No, I’ve never been married.  There’s some debate about whether I’ve actually ever REALLY dated…

No, I am not a lesbian.  Perhaps I should start here with an initial point for you non-singles to remember:  please do not challenge the single Christian women or men that you know with the implication that they must be gay.  Would you have suggested that Jesus, a single male over the age of 30, was gay?  Point made.

Why am I writing about this?  There do seem to be a lot of single blogs out there already.  Well, I really feel strongly that single Christian women in particular (being a woman myself) do not get the support they need from the Christian community.  Yes, you non-singles do try in your own way, but you are not really supporting the single person.  You are supporting our society’s ideal of marriage.

“Don’t worry, Mary!  I have a friend who got married for the first time when she was 39.  It’ll happen!”

Firstly, I’m already 40–oopps.

Secondly, who said that marriage is the ONLY happy ending?

In Philippians 4:12b, Paul says “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want”…whether single or married…  What is the secret?  “I can do all things through him who gives me strength!”  Phil 4:13.

Singles and singles’ friends and Christian community:  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Singles–your job is to be content in the situation that God has put you in.  Community–your job is to help support your single friends’ contentment.  NOT to try to distract them about stories about other people getting married–this is NOT supporting contentment.  This is encouraging discontent.  You wouldn’t encourage a swimmer by giving them a new pair of running shoes, would you?

“Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase”

John Balguy

Also, it is important to help encourage each other in this narrow way that we walk.  I have seen some beautiful Christian women get involved in some sad situations, I think partly due to lack of support, encouragement and advice from fellow single Christians.

Let us work together to encourage, uphold and share God’s blessings with all our single friends!