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Find joy in the midst of sorrow"
November 13, 2012

November 13, 2012 Issue #080

Joy in sorrow…Is this guy nuts?

November's feature article asks whether singles can find joy in the midst of sorrow. Yes, I know it sounds like a complete contradiction, but the apostle Paul managed to pull it off, and I think we can too.

I don't think you'll argue with me over this: We singles know plenty of sorrow. And if you're a single Christian, you get a double helping.

But we're all (including me) learning some important lessons on this soon-to-end journey to joy. To review, we discovered that we're all seeking joy, but we often mistake happiness for our goal, then are disappointed when happiness doesn't last. We'll know simultaneous happiness and joy in heaven, because we'll be in our true home with God, back where we belong.

In this month's article, I gave it lots of thought and realized joy may include a happy feeling, but doesn't necessarily. We redefine joy and try to grasp how our clearer definition does make it possible to experience joy in sorrow.

For just a moment

I wish for just a moment,
I had to power to see,
not the person looking in the mirror
but myself as God sees me.

I'd see a broken person
who tries to give their all,
and sees life as overwhelming
and myself as very small.

I'd see the times I tried and failed
and asked what might have been,
if I hadn't hid inside myself,
too hurt to try again.

I'd see a kind and gentle heart
with love that overflows,
that seeks the same love in return
and a home in which it grows.

I'd see two eyes that look for hope
and blink to shed a tear.
And hands that help a fellow traveler
as we persevere.

God grant me just a moment
and give me power to see,
the good things that I'm blind to,
and the love you have for me.

~ Jack Zavada, 2012 ~

November Quotorooter

November's quote of the month comes from Scottish author, poet, and minister George Macdonald:

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend,
that would be giving as the angels give.

~ George Macdonald (1824-1905) ~

One of the great truths of life is that everyone, everyone, is fighting a secret struggle in their heart. All of us try to put on a happy face and convince others we're doing all right, but it's mostly a front. When you understand that about yourself, you can empathize with the inner battles others are waging.

So give them a kind word. A sincere compliment, a bit of encouragement. When they go to bed that night, your loving thought will soothe their heart, like the gentle hug of an angel.

Before you kick yourself again…

Sometimes we wish our knees bent the other way, so it would be easier to kick ourselves in the behind.

We've all made mistakes we'd like to kick ourselves over, and spending money is the cause of a lot of them. My ebook, How to Master Your Money is like pulling aside the curtain and letting you see why you spend money the way you do.

You won't find any boring tables or charts. What you will find is an expose of advertising, the credit card industry, and retail that reveals how shoppers are taken in, turned upside down, and shaken until all their money falls out.

How to Master Your Money is an easy, quick read, it's guaranteed, and you'll even receive a report showing how to recoup its cost with money-saving tips.

Stop kicking yourself. Check out the details on How to Master Your Money.

Louie joins the family!

In late October, I got a new dog and named him Louie!

He's another rescue dog, like my last pooch, Buddy, who died unexpectedly in July. The vet isn't sure what kind of mix Louie is, but she thinks there's a dachshund in his background. I think there's some terrier in him too, judging by the way he likes to chase squirrels in the park.

Louie only weighs about 12 pounds, and his favorite activity seems to be taking a nap on my lap as I watch television. He's a well-behaved boy. As you can see from the photo, he likes his toys. He seems to be a year or two old, but we don't know for sure because he was a stray.

He's also a speedy walker, which has been a change for me. Here in Illinois, the weather can get nasty in the winter, but we walk a couple times a day, regardless of conditions outside. Every walk is a mini-adventure, and I think life with Louie is going to be one BIG adventure!

Journey to Joy Town!

We just passed milepost 11 and started the home stretch on our journey to Joy Town. It's been a rip-roaring trip, with new sights and ideas. I know I've learned a lot along the way.

Here are some quotations to make you think and make you smile. Enjoy!

God's delays are not God's denials.
Robert H. Schuller

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.
Marcel Proust

Age is of no importance unless you're a cheese.
Billie Burke

Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions.
Frank Lloyd Wright

I don't plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet.
Rita Rudner

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
Scott Adams

If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.
Johnny Carson

No sane man will dance.

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Ellen Parr

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
Tom Clancy

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
Dale Carnegie

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

How to trap an atheist: Serve him a fine meal, then ask him if he believes there is a cook.
Author Unknown

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.
G.K. Chesterton

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.
Doug Larson

Our rest lies in looking to the Lord, not to ourselves.
Watchman Nee

Why giving thanks is healthy for you

In America, we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving in November, usually with so much food it's shameful. We give thanks to God for sustaining us over the past year.

Giving thanks, not just once a year but every day, is healthy for us singles. It helps us focus on the good things we do have rather than on what we lack. It keeps us from taking our blessings for granted and shows respect for God.

And sometimes, too, it gives you hope to thank God for his future answer to your prayer. That's faith!

This newsletter and are not a giganto corporate operation. It's just me, single and singular, tapping away on my Mac in my little home office. I'm also the guy who reads and answers all the emails, so if you want to bend my ear (or is it eyes?), use our gravy-free contact form.

That's our November Inspire-O-Gram. Until December, when we wrap up our one-year study of joy,

God bless,

Jack Zavada
401 Indiana Ave
Streator, IL 61364 USA

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