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When Christmas isn't merry any more
December 14, 2022

December 2022 Issue 201

Agree with God: Be kind to yourself

I want to close 2022 with one simple change that will affect you positively in the years ahead. I can say this because that's exactly what happened in my own life.

Starting right after you read this month's feature article, be kind to yourself. All the time, no matter what. Never, ever go back to beating yourself up.

Do you know why this is biblical advice? Because God is kind to you and loves you unconditionally, despite your mistakes and perceived shortcomings. He is quick to forgive your sins. He never brings them up again later to shame you.

If things aren't going the way you want, don't think God is punishing you. When you go to him humbly in prayer, he'll listen and help you understand. That's what Bible reading is for. The answers are in his Word.

This matters a lot. I broke it down, from my own experience. Check out how to be kind to yourself.

What matters more?

What matters more
in the lives of men:
Where you're going,
or where you've been?

We know experience
teaches well.
But regrets can turn into
a self-made hell.

What should we keep
or leave behind?
This rule holds true:
To thyself be kind.

God's not up in heaven
keeping score.
The sins He forgives,
He remembers no more.

You can face the future
with faith or dread.
With Christ beside you,
forge ahead!

~ Jack Zavada,, 2022 ~

If you're hurting, this book can help

You can get Hope for Hurting Singles here, in Kindle or paperback versions.

December QOTM: How not to ruin your life

Typically I try to choose short, pithy statements for the Quote of the Month, but this time I read something so wise I decided to break my own rule. It comes from the book How People Grow, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend:

I have a new nature in me, one that is empowered by God to follow God and submit to him, and I have a body of people to help me to do that as well. For the first time since the Fall, I am in a position to obey God and submit to him. This gives me the power to stop ruining my life. To disobey God is basically to ruin my life, for to disobey him means that I by definition am doing something destructive. If God says to be kind to others and I disobey, I will ruin my relationships. If he says to be honest and responsible and I am a liar and a cheater, I will wreck all that I try to build. So, in redemption, I no longer have to destroy my life by doing things other than God's way. In spiritual growth, we stop doing the 'deeds of death' and begin to do the things that lead to life.

~ Henry Cloud (1956 - ) & John Townsend (1952 - ) ~

This doesn't need much comment from me. God is wisest. His way is best. We are kindest to ourselves when, with his help, we overcome our self-centeredness and live life his way.

The earlier in life we come to grips with this truth, the sooner we start being blessed.

To reconnect with Jesus, go to church

Someone reading this right now has not been to church in a long time. If that's you, please consider what I have to say.

Worshipping God is a privilege, not a burden. In many countries, citizens don't have that right, and yet they risk their lives at clandestine church services.

Look, I'm not trying to guilt-trip you. If you absolutely hate going to your church, it's time to find a new one. That's what I did, and I'm happy as a clam at high tide.

You will meet the kindest people on the planet in church, and a good sermon is like a tonic for your soul. When you come out, you'll feel like tackling another work week.

Still not convinced it can help? Take 5 minutes and check this out.

What to do when Christmas isn't merry any more

I think most singles go through a period when Christmas has run out of gas for them. It isn't enjoyable any more. When I was younger, for many years it felt like something to get through instead of something to delight in.

If that sounds like you, , these tips might help.

It's become a cliche to complain Christmas has become too commercialized and that we should return to the true meaning of the season. This year, as soon as Halloween was over, the Christmas items appeared in on shelves. In a country that has little to no use for Jesus, what can you expect?

Do something nice for somebody, even a stranger. It makes them feel good and makes you feel better. And, it makes Jesus smile.

Something helpful in 2023

The site is called, and in the coming year, I hope to provide something helpful exclusively for single people.

I've been working on this project for several months. Family responsibilities, producing these newsletters, and the usual domestic drudgery have bitten into my spare time, but I hope to get a handle on it and get it done by Easter.

More details as we go along!

Read something here you liked? Or didn't? You can reach my personal email inbox by using our secure contact form. It keeps the hackers at bay and the spammers away. Fooey on the black hats but hurray on commenters!

Again, thank you for reading Inspire-O-Gram and for your faith as a Christian. We do good, and we do it for the right reason. Being a single Christian takes a special type of tenacity. Never forget: Jesus is on your side!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jack Zavada
PS: Not a Christian? Find out how to become one!

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