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Catch yourself before it goes too far"
August 21, 2018

August 21, 2018 Issue #149

Catch yourself and shut it down early

Whenever I can’t come up with a topic for Inspire-O-Gram’s monthly feature article, I dig deep into my diary of personal mistakes in life. There’s enough material there to last several decades.

This month we’ll be looking at singles’ confounding tendency to grab onto an upsetting thought and let our mind race with it like a runaway roller coaster. Whether it was worry, anger, or every single’s favorite, self-loathing, I became an expert at this mental turmoil, until I worked myself into a splitting headache or digestive distress. Sound familiar?

I read a lot. A lot. One day I read something — I can’t even remember where — that said I didn’t have to live like that any more. Really? It had become such a habit with me I had never considered there was a saner way to exist. I began doing more study, research, experimenting, and praying. Over many years, I gradually learned how to take control of my thoughts. There was no overnight success and sometimes I still struggle with it. But I’ve made real progress.

I discovered I can recognize dangerous patterns when they’re just starting. I can put the brakes on my roller coaster before it takes that first downhill plunge, and if I seize it right then, I can save myself from another frantic episode.

It’s not a cure-all for sure, but if this is a problem for you too, I’ve put the steps together on how I deal with runaway thoughts:

Read the article on how to 'catch yourself.'

It is better

It is better to be kind to yourself than to run yourself down.

It is better to be honest and to struggle than to lie to get the things you want.

It is better to appreciate whatever you have than to complain about what you lack.

It is better to forgive and live carefree than to be a slave to a grudge.

It is better to have one true friend than to have thousands of social media followers.

It is better to be wise than to be good-looking.

It is better to believe what the Bible says about you than to believe what advertising says.

It is better to be loved by Jesus than anything else in the world.

~ Jack Zavada, ~

Nope. This book will not solve all your problems

If you pay close attention to these newsletters and the articles on, you know that like you, I’m still wrestling with my singleness, even at age 67. I don’t have it all together. I’m still growing.

That’s why Hope for Hurting Singles: A Christian Guide to Overcoming Life's Challenges will not give you a perfect life. It cannot solve all your problems.

But I do sincerely believe it will lead you toward a happier life. I wrote it with the goal of helping younger Christians see how I dealt (successfully and unsuccessfully) with common challenges all single people face. I tried to detail what worked for me and what didn’t.

I think there’s real value in that, a much greater value than the $10.99 cover price plus shipping.

Friends, Hope for Hurting Singles: A Christian Guide to Overcoming Life's Challenges is practical, in-the-trenches tips on the problems we all face, gathered from my 40+ years in the single life.

No, it’s not about dating. Would a never-married 67 year-old guy be an expert on dating? Hardly. You want a dating book? Hey! Don’t look here. Instead, you’ll get the best guidance I can give you on such common problems as

  • Loneliness
  • Shyness
  • Rejection
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem
  • Fear
  • Bitterness
  • Peace of Mind
  • Faith

Whether you’re looking for that special someone or not, Hope for Hurting Singles: A Christian Guide to Overcoming Life's Challenges will simply help you enjoy life more. And who doesn’t want that?

Watchman Nee is August’s QOTM guy

You've got to pay attention to a guy whose first name is "Watchman," right?

Chinese missionary and author Watchman Nee has our August Quote of the Month. Nee spent the past 20 years of his life in prison in China, but his spirit was too big to confine to a cell:

Actually, only God can satisfy a Christian's heart; man cannot.
 ~ Watchman Nee (1903 - 1972) ~

We singles, especially, may think a spouse can satisfy our hungry heart. That’s too big a job for any human being. Only God can accomplish it. If it’s not a spouse we’re looking for, it’s the approval of other men and women. Ultimately, that doesn’t work either. Once their approval fades, so does our feeling of importance.

You were made by God for God, fellow believer. He made you to love you. The sad folks who never come to Jesus search their entire lives for what’s lacking and never find it. No mansion, fancy car, high-powered job, or even trophy spouse can take the place of God. They’re modern-day idols.

The sooner you accept this truth, the sooner you will reorder your priorities to pursue the One who not only saves you from sin, but saves you from pointless wandering.

Be smart. Know what matters. Don’t settle for anything less than the all-powerful love of God.

And now, for something really encouraging!

Quotations are popular on for a good reason. They make you feel better. Without further ado, here are links to some of the best wisdom nuggets on the site:

Encouraging quotations

Inspiring quotes for women

Odd quotes

Quotes for men

Christian quotes

More quotes for women

Are we obsessed with our singleness?

This may be a strange question in a newsletter for single people, but I think it’s relevant. Are we obsessed with our singleness?

I don’t wake up in the morning thinking, ”I’m a single person.” I don’t identify first with my singleness any more. I identify with my Christianity. I don’t identify first as a Christian single, just as a Christian.

You may be Christian, you may not be. What do you think of yourself as? Is your self-identification moving you forward or holding you back?

I hope that you, with God’s help, move toward the good things you want in life. I want you to be strong and confident. I want you to achieve worthwhile accomplishments. I want you to view your singleness not as a handicap, but as an incentive that moves you in the direction you want to go.

That, my friend, wraps up our August newsletter. I hope you found it useful. To email me with your comments, please use our secure contact form.

The world is changing. How much should we change with it and how much should we stubbornly cling to old ways? That’s one of the topics we’ll look at in future issues of Inspire-O-Gram.

Thanks once again for reading, and until September, live like God loves you — because He does!

Jack Zavada
401 Indiana Ave
Streator, IL 61364 USA

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