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Depression and singles"
August 15, 2017

August 15, 2017 Issue #137

Depression: Part of the single life

Depression seems to be an inescapable part of being a single person. If you haven't experienced it yet, the odds are likely something will happen in your future to trigger it.

This draining condition is one of Christianity's dirty secrets. Frequently you'll run into those happy-face Christians who are cheerful and bubbly 110 percent of the time. They're the kind of folks who praise God for a toothache and wouldn't complain if a nailgun misfired and nailed their foot to the floor.

But you and I live in the real world. We may not be as miserable as the Old Testament character Job, but when we look in the rearview mirror, our dreams look like flattened roadkill behind us.

August's feature article takes another look at depression. I can't solve it for you and I don't recommend you try to solve it yourself. Get some professional help. Start with your medical doctor. This is a serious problem and nothing to ignore. Untreated, it can get worse.

There's good news, though. Depression can be managed. You can take control of your life again. Here are some thoughts on the steps to take to defeat depression.

Rocks everywhere

Drifting free, dancing on air,
up, down as the breezes blow.
Sailing lightly
here and there.

Rocks everywhere.

Trapped in a crevice,
wedged in tight.
Stuck in the shadows
away from the light.

Waiting. Waiting.

One drop, now two,
now a steady rain.
Digging deeper
despite the pain.

Finding a way.

A wisp of green,
a sprout breaks through.
Hope for me.
Hope for you.

~ Jack Zavada, 2017 ~

Rick Warren has August's QOTM

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and author of The Purpose Driven Life has August's Quote of the Month.

Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time? One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It's what enables us to grow. Remember, earth is not heaven!
~ Rick Warren (1954 - )

One of the words used to describe heaven is "rest." Rest from what? Life on earth! I don't know about you, but sometimes I think the single life is like a boxing match with Muhammed Ali -- and I'm on the ropes.

At 66 years old, I still struggle to control my thoughts. Too often they take me down dark alleyways in my mind. Fortunately Jesus is the light I follow to get back to right thinking. The light of Christ clarifies. It exposes the truth.

When we grow, we also outgrow immature ways. We leave childish behavior and thoughts behind. Heaven is our home and our goal.

How fear causes loneliness

Ironically, some of the nicest people are also the loneliest. Even though there's nothing wrong with them, they're afraid of what other people will think of them.

This fear keeps them from asserting themselves. They sit at home rather than seeking opportunities to make new friends. They turn down invitations because they're afraid they won't fit in.


Outsmarting Loneliness, my self-guided ebook, deals with that fear and how to beat it: small steps.

Each of the four steps in this process encourages you to reach out more. Most importantly, you proceed at your own pace. By choosing your own comfort level, you build on past success. You use the simple logic of Cognitive Behavior Therapy to overcome your misgivings.

In other words, you use your brain to outsmart fear, and along with it, loneliness.

Can it work for you? It worked for me. And because this ebook is delivered through the online distributor Clickbank, it comes with a money back guarantee. It's true!

This instant download comes right to you in PDF format for only $7.97.

Want to learn more? Get all the details at Outsmarting Loneliness.

When stubbornness is a good thing

For most of my life, I've been absolutely stubborn in one area. Normally that would not be a virtue, but it's not my own opinion I'm stubborn about. It's the things of God.

I learned long ago I can be wrong. I often am. But God is never wrong, and he makes himself perfectly clear in the Bible, although there are many different interpretations of what he says there.

Christians are routinely accused of being intolerant. If you search Scripture, you discover it's God who is intolerant: intolerant of sin. As a follower of Jesus, I must be intolerant of sin as well. Now that's a problem, because I am a sinner too. As I cooperate with God to try to rid sin from my own life, I urge others, even unbelievers, to do the same. They don't like to hear that. I'm not superior to anyone, but I know sin is wrong and I know it's bad for you. It's self-destructive. Sin usually disguises itself as pleasure. That's why people don't want to give it up.

But sin is more than just a bad habit. It's deadly. It's like heroin addiction times 1,000. So if I seem preachy at times in these newsletters, it's not because I think I'm better than you. It's because I know in my heart God is wiser than all of us, and God hates sin.

We can never be perfect. We can never stop sinning altogether. That's why we need a Savior. I believe with all my heart that everybody needs Jesus, and I won't apologize for being stubborn about that.

Don't let being single wreck your goofiness factor

In an issue about depression, it seems fitting to remind you how important goofiness is to the single life.

This spouseless thing can knock the living snot out of you at times. I have come dangerously close, myself, to losing my sense of humor. Not good, friends. Not good at all.

That's why, when depression or singleness in general makes you somebody you're really not, it's time to put on the brakes before it becomes a permanent situation. Martin Luther, one of my heroes, had a bounty on his head and was known to get down in the dumps big time. But he also said, "If there's no laughter in heaven, I don't want to go there." My kind of guy.

Goofiness is a swell tension-breaker. It puts things in perspective. It lightens a situation up. It's a reminder that a year from now, things will probably be a lot different, but even if they aren't, goofiness can help.

Remember, if you get the urge to take five minutes and comment on these newsletters, you can do it using our jiffy-spiffy contact form

Finally, design and layout work are wrapping up on the print version of my book, Hope for Hurting Singles. This completely revised and expanded paperback will be available for purchase on sometime this Fall. More news later!

Well, fellow singleton, summer's nearly gone and autumn will be here before you know it. If you haven't taken the leap of faith yet, it's always a good time to be a friend of Jesus. Here's how!

Until our September issue, get your goofy on!

Jack Zavada
401 Indiana Ave
Streator, IL 61364 USA

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