alonewomanQ. I just moved away from home for the first time, and even though it's so exciting to be on my own, paying my own bills and taking care of my own apartment, it can get really lonely too. I enjoy coming to church, but once the service is over and I talk to a few people, I still have to face my empty apartment. There's no way I'm going back to my mother's, but I wish there was some way to fill the empty feeling I have.

A. Taking on new responsibilities and facing challenges is a part of maturing, and sometimes it can be difficult and lonely. But also a part of the challenge is learning how to make the changes work for you. You may not be aware that there are many opportunities for you to be plugged into more groups and activities in the church where you can build better relationships and friendships if you want. Depending on your age you may still be able to be a part of our Youth Power Group, or see if you'd like to join the Sisterhood. We have evangelism groups going out around Houston every Saturday, we have our Kids Zone that is in need of child care and teachers every evening, and we are always in need of volunteers for our outreach to the elderly, called the Caleb Group. Ask around to one of our assistants the next time you come to church and they'll be more than happy to give you all the information you need. As you give more of yourself to God, He will give back to you much more than you can imagine.


womanQ. My friend just loves going to Christian concerts and I enjoy them too. She always invites me and though I go, I get really bothered by the way she seems to love the performers more than she loves God. I know I shouldn't judge her, but she gives so little time to her church or helping others, but spends so much time and money on music, I'm beginning to wonder if she's addicted!

A. It's sad to see but its true, Christian culture junkies do exist. There are people who love to hang onto a ministry or a Christian performer or event as if that entity gives them meaning and purpose in their life, but their actual lives are empty and unhappy. The biggest problem is that they can easily fool themselves into believing that they are actually "serving" God when all they are doing is being groupies in a sense.

Pray for her and lovingly point out what you are noticing. Good friends don't just hang out with each other and agree, but they challenge each other to grow and become better and stronger. If she needs, she can always come in for counseling with any of us here.



Q. I just found out that my husband invested all our savings into a business deal with an old friend of his that I don't trust at all. I was so hurt and angry that he did this without telling me anything, and he did it because he knew I'd complain. I feel betrayed and disrespected and on top of that I am so worried about what will become of all we worked so hard to save. That was to be invested in our retirement fund, and if the deal goes bad, we will have nothing to live on.

A. Apparently your husband does trust his friend, and believes in this deal. But do you believe in your husband? If he has had a record of making wise decisions and that he truly cares about the family, they perhaps you should back off from the criticism, as hard as it might be, and support him in this.

But if he has had a record of making poor financial choices and is easily swayed by his friends, then you both should come in for counseling to work this out. Either way, you need to be going to God about the matter. Your prayers for him can make the difference of how this all plays out. If you have been faithful to God in your tithes, you can pray against the devouring spirit that wants to steal away all you have earned. God can touch his heart to back out of the deal, and can protect your finances. Don't allow this to turn you against him.

Remember to continue loving and respecting him even when your emotions tell you otherwise.

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