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First of all, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! And thanks for reading the blog 🙂

And no, I’m not getting married. You wish 😉

Despite my lack of nuptials announcement, this year will very much be the Year of the Wedding for me. It’s that time of life when you reach your early-to-mid-20s and all the Christians get married! I’m doubling the number of weddings that I’ve been to in my entire life in 2013, so (other people’s) marriage and relationships are very much on my mind. Having been pretty much a lifelong Christian Singleton, it can be as much of a struggle and heartache as it is a genuine joy and delight seeing my friends get married and be in relationships. It is so easy for doubt to creep in – perpetual loneliness, insecurity, lack of love, etc. It gets more and more ridiculous as you work yourself up, but it happens. And with the often well-meaning but unintentional obsession with marriage and matchmaking in Christian circles, it can be hard to be single beyond the age of studenthood.

BUT this is not a rant about that. No, because the important thing is not ‘woe is me, it’s so hard to be single’ or whatever, but about where our heart lies. Is having a spouse or boy/girlfriend an idol? I openly confess that I spent years with my aim in life to be married, and it was no help at all. OK, so it’s not wrong to want to have a special person and be someone’s special person; but I think that this longing for intimacy is something rooted in us. Because, at the end of the day, we all do have a relationship like that which we can look forward to. A relationship of intimacy and beautiful love that is offered to all of us. And that, my friend, can encourage both the singletons and married among us.

I hope to write more about this soon because it’s very much a theme in my life that God is using to encourage me – not just the weddings of friends, but also what God has been speaking about in sermons and talks that I’ve been listening to. And the relationship that we have, or could have, with Jesus is something utterly exquisite. I want to take time to do justice to it, but in the meantime, I’ve put what I’ve been reading/listening to below.

Song of Songs is a book that’s been fantastically opened up as a wealth of imagery and encouragement, and

Mike Reeves’ series on Song of Songs on the Theology Network website: http://www.theologynetwork.org/unquenchable-flame/the-reformation-in-britain/getting-stuck-in/the-love-of-christ-in-song-of-songs.htm

Henry Curran’s sermon series on Song of Songs on the St Mary’s Wollaton Park website (back in September 2012: http://www.stmaryswollatonpark.co.uk/podcast.html – you’ll have to scroll down to find them) have been really helpful. What you might also like is the series on Ruth also on the St Mary’s podcast page (May 2012).

I’m sure there’s loads more to put down that I can’t quite remember now! Enjoy 🙂 And watch this space!

There is a thing that we all fear, that (let’s face it) few of us understand, but we all experience.

This strikes panic into the heart.

It is the formidable Blue Screen Of Death *cue music of DOOM!*

My laptop has served me faithfully for five years. We’ve had our ups and downs. It started off with a ridiculously loud fan whir that took taking out the battery to fix. And then it had a phase of taking forever to log in, and slowly things have got worse as it’s got older, and now the poor thing is on its last legs. Most times I turn it on it’s a toss-up as to whether I’ll encounter the dreaded screen of sapphire menace. And even now, I’m wondering whether being able to post this is a race against time! It’s never a good thing when you have to pray that your computer will last just a little while longer.

Seriously, it’s getting ridiculous. It BSODs (‘blue screen of death’s) when I open the internet, it BSODs when it’s just sitting there, and even BSODs when I just turn the thing on! The poor afflicted machine is in its last days, and I can almost hear the death rattle of the hard drive spinning its final revolutions. *sigh* Bless, it tries.

I wonder what laptop heaven would look like? Probably devoid of messy humans who tinker and drop crumbs and spill drinks on the keyboard. And no dust to clog things up. So a clean, sterile place. With air conditioning. And probably no lights, either, because laptops don’t need to see – unless they use their built-in webcams. And they would all talk in that Microsoft Sam voice. Lots and lots of Microsoft Sams. And Microsoft Annas. Maybe Microsoft Sam and Anna would meet finally, after having to be two voices on one programme. Maybe, just maybe, every computer holds a silent agony of longing between Microsoft Sam and Anna, of the same machine, but forever to be absent while the other speaks. Poor Sam and Anna. So this absent romance would flourish in that cold, white, sterile room; a spark of colour in an otherwise impersonal place. Hmm…

So maybe all this BSODing is my laptop longing for that bliss, Sam and Anna fighting so hard to be together that it overloads circuits and trips up the poor machine’s function.

Maybe.

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