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Barely hanging on?"
February 09, 2016

February 9, 2016 Issue #119

If you're barely hanging on, know hope is possible

All single people go through times of crisis in their life. If, right at this moment, you don't feel as if you're barely hanging on, trust me, that time will come.

We're emotional creatures and the world can be a very troublesome place. When problems pile up, you sometimes feel as if you just can't take any more.

Lots of things can push us to the brink. How about unemployment? Someone picking on you? Breakup of a promising relationship? Loneliness? Death of a loved one? Life-threatening illness?

I've gone through every one of those, but here I am today. My life proves you can make it through. Look, I'm no genius or guru. The value of these newsletters and my web site is I had a 30 or 40 year head start on you down this path. I've already had to deal with the things that are still coming up for you.

Quite honestly, I didn't handle some of those turning points very well. But I did learn from my mistakes, and I try to pass both my smart and dumb moves on to you. I try not to lecture, but if that's how I come across at times, you'll just have to bear with me and remember--it's all free!

This month I put some thoughts together on lessons I've learned about life's most stressful situations. I'm still learning, but at least I know more than I did at 25.

I think you'll find this helpful if you're barely hanging on.

Take the hand that's offered

Every day you go through life
convinced that you're alone.
Weary from the battle
with the trouble you have known.

How foolish not to look above
when here on earth you stand.
For help is always ready
if you just reach out your hand.

Take the hand that's offered,
It will guide you through the storm.
It will hold you on those lonely nights
and keep you safe and warm.
You must take the hand that's offered,
or you'll sink beneath the sea.
It's God's own hand that's reaching down
to rescue you and me.

You're not as strong as you believe.
The waves will batter you.
'Til you are weak and helpless
and you don't know what to do.

Don't be too proud to take the hand
extended from the throne.
It's your chance for salvation,
You won't make it on your own.

So take the hand that's offered,
It is comfort in the storm.
It will hold you on those lonely nights
and keep you safe and warm.
You must take the hand that's offered,
or you'll sink beneath the sea.
It's God's own hand that's reaching down
to rescue you and me.

~ Jack Zavada, 2016 ~

February quote a nugget from Mrs. Stowe

For our February Quotation of the Month, we turn to abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, who penned the book Uncle Tom's Cabin:

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) ~

Bad times only seem to last forever. A minute in pain feels longer than an hour of happiness. But nobody's life is all chocolates and roses. Even cheerful people go through trials.

The key to persevering, as Mrs. Stowe notes, is to never give up. Whether it's illness, unemployment, or heartache, you can keep on keeping on, knowing eventually things will get better. Do what you can to change things then pray for God's help.

When you feel God's hand on your shoulder, you can get through anything. He gives you courage to do what's needed and strength to keep doing it until a breakthrough comes.

How to beat loneliness with smarts

If you feel lonely, where do those feelings come from? That question is answered in depth in my ebook, Outsmarting Loneliness.

You've learned to control your anger. You've learned when to keep your mouth shut. Did you know you can control your loneliness too? Through the use of cognitive therapy, a scientifically proven method of monitoring your thoughts, you can stop loneliness before it goes too far.

And, by turning loneliness into solitude, you can grow spiritually and emotionally as well. It's all explained in simple, layperson's terms in Outsmarting Loneliness..

What's more, this $7.97 ebook comes with a money back guarantee. That's one doozy of a deal, fellow singleton.

This skill will serve you well the rest of your life. You can get all the details at Outsmarting Loneliness..

Quotations on overcoming

There's a good reason for breaks during the work day. They give you enough rest to start fresh, to break the monotony, to regain your enthusiasm. We all need to take breaks in life, too.

If the going has been too tough for too long, take a breather. Do something different. Get some recreation. A good night's sleep and a good meal can work wonders.

Then pray and ask God to help you overcome. He wants you to, you know. Face your challenges knowing the power of the Holy Spirit is inside you, making you an overcomer.

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
Booker T. Washington

If you expect life to be easy, challenges will seem difficult. If you accept that challenges may occur, life will be easier.
Rob Liano

God’s grace gives strength to overcome any situation.
Lailah Gifty Akita

A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.
Ray Davis

Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
John Wooden

Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is in every woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.
Washington Irving

Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.
Author Unknown

Every flower must grow through dirt.

Here's some Valentine's Day encouragement

Funny how we let our culture manipulate us. We can feel guilty when we've done nothing wrong and ashamed because we supposedly don't "fit in." That's why I have mixed feelings about Valentine's Day.

If you could use a lift for this coming holiday, take a look at a couple past articles:

On Valentine's Day, remember who you are

Dateless on Valentine's Day? Don't panic!

Wake up happy on Valentine's Day

Don't judge your entire life by Valentine's Day, okay? On the 15th, you'll wake up and say, "Well, I got through another one. Time to get back on track!"

I hope you found this issue of Inspire-O-Gram helpful. If you have a friend or relative who might enjoy it, please forward it on to them. And, as always, you can send me Valentine's greetings (or a virtual onion bouquet) at contact form or email me at

We're plowing through winter here in Illinois in the USA. My little dog Louie and I are taking our walks in near-zero wind chills this week. But Lent starts tomorrow and Easter isn't far off. It'll be spring before you know it!

Until March, hang tough and love Jesus,

Jack Zavada
401 Indiana Ave
Streator, IL 61364 USA

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