Saturday, January 28, 2017

Single on Valentine's Day? 5 Ways to Find Hope on the "Love Holiday"

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. So I thought you'd like this post on five ways singles can find more HOPE on the "love holiday" and every day. I originally posted this on my "Living Single" blog. Enjoy and be blessed.

Single on Valentine’s Day?

February 14, the holiday that celebrates all things love and romance, can be challenging if you don’t have a special someone in your life right now. 

I know people in the “uncoupled” stage of life who bemoan their single status and gripe to just about anyone who will listen about what they don’t have:

“I just want a boyfriend."

"I just want to be married."

"Why does she get a second husband when I haven’t had one at all?” 

You probably know singles like that. I know I do. 

Then there are the cynical ones who mock the red heart holiday with snide remarks like, “Who cares? It’s just a Hallmark holiday anyway.” 

On a positive note, I know a bunch of interesting and intelligent single women who celebrate V-Day with friends—they throw a party and just have fun. Singles look at this romantic holiday with very different attitudes. 

So if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, and you want to not only endure but enjoy Valentine’s Day, you have some choices to make about your perspective and your attitude. Here are five ways singles can find more joy on the love holiday—and the rest of the year: 

1. Know and believe the truth. First, your feelings are valid. It’s OK to be discouraged when you don’t have someone special to love (or like). But don’t set up camp there. Move forward with hope by telling yourself the truth about your identity and your single status.

• God’s Word says you are dearly loved, the “apple of His eye.” He is with you; He is for you. He cares about every area of your life. Yep, even your love life. 

• Don’t allow one day of the year, February 14, define your identity. Whether you have a significant other or not, you are still worthy and wonderful. 

• Being single doesn’t mean that you are “less than” or “not good enough.” It’s simply not true. 

• And here’s a fact: You are not alone. Nearly 50.2 percent of us (or 124.6 million American adults) are single. 

2. Surrender. Sometimes we hold on so tightly to what we think we want and how the whole dating/marriage thing is supposed to play out. I have learned that the way to find peace is to surrender, to yield to the will of One who loves me most, and allow God to reign in this area of my life. Knowing that God wants the very best for me allows me to trust Him. 

In my book, When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty, I talk about the fact that God is all about love and relationships. But sometimes we try to fill that desire for lasting love with other things, or people, and they leave us feeling empty and alone. 

“Often we try to load up our heart and fill the holes with what another person thinks, says, or does when it was meant to be filled by God. He won’t let anyone be our total fulfillment, otherwise we wouldn’t need Him. 

It’s not wrong to want a relationship. God is all about relationships…As we put God first in our heart affections, He fills up the emptiness and we are able to receive the love of others, retain it, and give it away. 

Perhaps you think because God hasn’t given you someone to love, that He doesn’t care or that He’s forgotten about your desires. God is not forgetful or uncaring. He is constantly at work in the lives of His children, and everything God does is for a reason—even His divine delays.” 

3. Prepare. Are you ready to be in a relationship? Maybe it’s time to think about getting rid of the garbage in your head and your heart—the stuff that no longer belongs—like bad attitudes about the opposite sex or a critical spirit.

Think about what you really want in your next relationship and how things can be different next time. Was the last guy you dated too serious and you want someone more playful? Did you have a hard time getting your previous girlfriend to attend church with you when that’s an important part of your life? 

4. Pray. Ask God to show you what needs to change in your own life to prepare for your next relationship. What areas of your life need work—your spiritual life, physical, social, financial and the like. Also, pray for your future husband or wife.

Prayer is talking to God and listening. And He loves talking to His kids. We can come confidently and boldly to Him and ask. 

5. Choose joy now. Don’t wait to have a man in your life or a woman on your arm to be happy. Sure, it’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. But you, single friend, can choose to have peace and joy in your life despite your circumstances.

If you get invited to a pity party, don’t RSVP! Make a plan to get together with other single friends. Celebrate love of all kinds and send a card (yep, snail mail) to family members or friends to show you care. 

Instead of drowning your sorrows in massive amounts of chocolate this Valentine’s Day, rejoice in who you are—dearly loved, special and chosen by God. Despite your feelings, you can choose joy today. 

Don’t let one candy-infused, heart holiday hijack your hope.

I, for one, choose to be confident and hopeful—on Valentine’s Day and every day of the year.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

2016 Election: Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Hello friends,

Your voice matters. And the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election is one place you need to be heard.

So I'm encouraging folks to vote on November 8. I won't tell you whom to vote for. But I will list some great quotes below about this crucial decision.

“I think it is the duty of every individual Christian at election time to study the issues and candidates and then go to the polls and VOTE.” Billy Graham (Decision, Sept. 2016)

“We simply must elect people at all levels of government who uncompromisingly defend God’s truth, because, quite frankly, we are in a life or death struggle for the future of our nation.” (Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel)
Appointing Supreme Court justices is one of the most important issues in the 2016 Presidential Election. “Those judges will serve for decades and make their decisions felt for generations.” (Jerry Pierce, Decision, Sept. 2016)
"I feel that we are going to have to meet our political obligations as Christians and make our voice known if America is to be preserved with the type of Christian heritage that has given us the liberties we now enjoy." Billy Graham (Decision, Sept. 2016)

“Anyone who says they are not going to vote in this election simply doesn’t understand what’s at stake. It’s all hands on deck. God forbid we should sit this one out.” Eric Metaxas

Our great nation is at a crossroads, and one vote can make a difference.

So GET INFORMED. PRAY. VOTE. And take action.

Your country needs you.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

6 Encouraging Verses to Overcome FEAR

Hi friends,

I'm writing about overcoming fear today. Here's a bit of it, then click the link to read the rest of it on my "Living Single" blog...

Increasingly, there are reports of shootings or bombs going off—in airports, cafés, schools, even churches. And it happens on the other side of the globe or right in your own hometown.

Understandably, that kind of news can leave some people feeling fearful or anxious.

Maybe your worries are of a different sort. You’re afraid that the money will run out before the month is over. Or you’re fearful of flying in an airplane. Could it be that you’re afraid that you’ll never find real and lasting love—or you’re anxious that the relationship you have will disappear?

Know this: You may feel fearful at times, but you do not have to live in fear.

You have a choice. I have a choice: Will I live by fear or by faith?

Click the link to

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Lessons from a Summer Storm: Finding Joy Again


Life can be like stormy weather. Instead of “living the dream,” you feel like you’re living the nightmare.

He broke up with you. She disappointed you. You got fired. Or, for whatever reason life hasn't turned out as you planned.

You never thought you'd be ______. (Fill in the blank.)

You may be asking yourself, “How did I get here? How will things ever change?”
Whether you’re overwhelmed, sad or downright depressed, hold on. Hear this and have hope:

It was a hot July day, and from my patio door I could see ominous gray clouds gathering. It looked like the end of the world.

Suddenly, the sky released pelting rain. Lightning cracked like gunfire, and thunder rolled and rolled.

Hours passed.

Finally, the clouds broke, revealing a luminous blue sky. Bright sunshine sparkled on wet grass like dew diamonds. It was clear again—so clear.

Sometimes life feels like a tumultuous summer storm. It’s dark and scary. Things change around us suddenly, swirling like the unpredictable winds of a tornado...and the sadness--like the storm--seems to stay forever.

But thankfully storms pass.

Just like a strong wind clears away storm clouds, the Holy Spirit blows a fresh and purposeful wind of hope through your soul storm.

After the rain, sunshine; after life’s storms, renewed calm and joy. 

Lord, it feels like a storm in my heart, a hurricane of emotions swirling about. I am so sad; I feel defeated. Where has my hope gone? Yet, here I am. Thank you that You hear my cries, even my unformed words. Please help me. Please heal me. You are my strong hope. I take comfort knowing You are near and You care. You have the power to blow away the storms in my life, and be my steady anchor in the midst of them. I ask for Your help. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hope and Encouragement for Today's Christian Singles

Hi friends!

Just wanted to let you know that I also write a blog for singles of all ages called "Living Single."

Check out some of the latest posts to help you navigate dating and this crazy thing called life. I think you're going to enjoy them!

How to Have a Great First Date: Essential Do’s and Don’ts

Living Empowered: Discovering the Power of God in Everyday Life

Low Self Esteem? 3 Keys to Recalibrating Your Thought Life

6 Reasons Why You’re Not Married Yet

If you'd like, share links from "Living Single" and "A New Day Café" with friends and your social media.

For me, it's all about helping people to know God better, and providing hope and encouragement to help people live with more joy, hope and peace.

Jackie M. Johnson

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Confidence Builders: The Truth About Who You Really Are

We all experience times when we lack confidence and wonder if we will ever be "enough".

What if I’m not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, strong enough? What if he doesn’t like me? What if I don’t measure up?  

What if…what if…what if? 

That’s a whole lot of fear and worry we were never meant to bear, and it can be exhausting to live that way.  

Thankfully, you don't have to.  You have choices.  

You can choose to stay in an anxious place, dwelling on yourself, and what you can or cannot do in your own strength. Or, you can choose to believe and live the truth about what God says about who you really are.

What does God say about your true identity? Here are just a few things:
You are… 

   accepted by God – Romans 15:7
   loved dearly – Colossians 3:12
   chosen - Ephesians 1:11
   blessed – Matthew 5:2-12
   a friend - John 15:15
   the Bride of Christ – Revelation 19:7
   a Child of God - John 1:12
   His workmanship - Ephesians 2:10
   a Citizen of heaven - Philippians 3:20
the Light of the world - Matthew 5:14
   His co-worker - 2 Corinthians 6:1
   victorious - 1 Corinthians 15:57

   Now there’s something to ponder.  
Instead of relying on what others say or finding confidence in yourself, you can build “God-confidence” by remembering that He can do what you cannot.  
God is at work in you and is working through you; you don’t have to do this hard and messy life on your own. 
One of the most memorable characters in the Bible lacked confidence. Remember the scene at the burning bush? God called to Moses and asked him to go to Pharaoh, the head of Egypt, to get the people of Israel of out that country.  
Instead of thinking “God can” he fretted “Can I?” and basically said, “Please send someone else.” (Ex. 4:13).
He felt totally unqualified; he wasn’t eloquent enough and was slow of speech (4:10).  Moses wasn’t looking at what God could do, he was fearful of what he was not.  
Today we read that story and wonder why Moses was so uncertain. I mean, in that dialog alone God showed him three miracles: a bush that burns but does not burn up, a staff that turns into a snake and back again, and Moses’ own hand that God turned leprous and then back again.  
God even said, “I will be with you…” (3:12).  
After all that, you’d think Moses would believe God and not be afraid. But he doubted again and again. Despite all that happened, God used him mightily.  
When we feel ill-equipped or inadequate, that’s the time to totally rely on God and what He can do through us. 
Things change for the better when we know—and believe—the One who loves us most and trust Him.  “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure” (2 Samuel 22:33).  
So immerse yourself in God’s truth and love, and you will find insecurity fading and confidence building. 
When we see with the eyes of Christ, we see who we really are.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

What Is Christmas Really About?

What is Christmas?

                                        Christmas is where it all began,

  An infant child who became a man.

Eternity came down so we could understand,

  The child of Creator, the true Son of Man.


He was not unexpected; the prophets foretold

    The events that had happened would surely unfold.

Four hundred years later the miracle came,

  The star over Bethlehem shone where He lay.


They came to attend Him from near and from far,

  The shepherds and wise men who followed the star.

  All were rejoicing that first Christmas night

At the child of a virgin, a humbling sight.


So what is the meaning of that first Christmas night?

  Simply, He came to make everything right.

  For the Child had a purpose in coming to Earth.

He came as a light and to give us new birth.


He gave us forgiveness and paid with His life.

  What kind of love would pay such a price?

For death could not hold Him; He rose from that grave.

And freedom and life were the gifts that He gave.


No longer divided, no longer alone,

  Because of His love the wall had come down.

  Live free forever! O, what a gift!

Both now here on earth and forever with Him.


Wise men and angels followed Him then.

  Wise men still seek Him, again and again.


-- Jackie M. Johnson