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Stepping out in faith makes things happen
March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020 Issue #168

Stepping out in faith brings more good things

You won't find the phrase "stepping out in faith" in the Bible, but you will certainly find Bible characters doing it.

As far as singles go, eh, not so much. We like security. Safety. And there's nothing wrong with that except most of the good things that we experience in life come as a result of trusting God then taking action.

It takes real effort to avoid being a couch potato single, watching life happen around us while we stay comfortably ensconced in whatever rut we've chosen. This is the voice of experience talking here, friend. Let me add that the older you get, the easier it becomes to sit on the sidelines.

As somebody who has been guilty of hiding in my turtleshell but also courageous enough to step out in faith, I feel qualified to give you a few tips on this problem.

You'll find them in this month's feature article on stepping out in faith.

Trust in the Lord and be bold

Some days I wish I could go to work
Wrapped in my cozy fleece throw
To protect me from all of life's scary things
But I think my co-workers would know.

'Cause most of them are all wrapped up
In invisible fleece throws too.
We want to do what we know we should
But can't find the courage to do.

I decided to put my faith to work.
You must exercise it or lose it.
What good is having any faith at all
If you're too petrified to use it?

I said some prayers and thought things through.
I threw off doubt's stranglehold.
I gave myself a simple command:
Trust in the Lord and be bold.

Be fearless like David and plucky like Paul.
Step out like the heroes of old.
Now is the time; this is the place.
Trust in the Lord and be bold.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2020 ~

What surprises are in this book?

Hope for Hurting Singles is jammy-packed with surprises, the kind of life-improving revelations that will make you shake your head and shout "YOWZA!"

How did I come by these gems? By making mistakes—but also by being smart. In my 45 years as a single adult, I went down plenty of dead ends but finally got on the right road, the road to contentment. All the while I was paying attention and taking notes.

I didn't know at the time that these lessons would turn into a manual on how to cry less and laugh more. But that's what happened. A few years ago I organized all these treasures into 200 pages of advice to help you overcome some of life's biggest aggravations.

Many of the insights in Hope for Hurting Singles came only after looking back with 30 years of perspective and unemotionally reviewing what I should have done. Too late for me but in plenty of time for you! Hope for Hurting Singles is the next best thing to having a time machine that lets you acquire instant maturity.

Here are just a few of the eye-openers that will make your life easier:

  • The 3 best ways to beat loneliness. (p. 6-27)
  • Whose approval matters most. (p. 33)
  • The hardest part of the Christian life. (p.51)
  • The real truth about your past. (p. 93)
  • The key to a great retirement. (p. 141)
  • The biggest myth about faith. (p. 155)
  • The true goal of every Christian. (p.186)
Stop slogging through life like you're wearing mud-caked boots. The paperback edition is $10.99 and the Kindle version is $3.99.

QOTM wisdom from Jennifer L. Lane

March's Quote of the Month comes from writer, podcaster, mom, and minister Jennifer L. Lane:

We don't have to be afraid of stepping out. We don't have to be afraid of failing. We only have to be afraid of not trusting God.
~ Jennifer L. Lane ~

What would life be like if we trusted God completely, all the time? First, we'd have a lot less stress, but even better, we'd all be bolder. We'd step out in faith more, knowing that even if things didn't work out, God would be there to pick us up, dust us off, and give us a big hug for trying.

Life as a Christian single is as big as our faith in God. Little faith, pygmy life. Big faith, giant life. All of us have envied those people who plunge ahead after what they want, seemingly unconcerned about the obstacles.

Let's do something different this year. Let's act as if God is on our side, because he is! Then, tempered with common sense, let's each go after something really important to us. There's excitement for you!

Be shrewd and anticipate obstacles before they happen

I find that putting things down on paper helps me plan better. Yeah, I know computer software is available that lets you create snazzy outlines and such, but I prefer an old-fashioned pencil and three-hole sheet of notebook paper. Past experience and a bit of imagination can make possible obstacles more obvious. When you know what the hurdles will be in advance, you can figure out how to avoid them or how to deal with them. This little bit of planning will pay off big time and will give you a sense of confidence as you go forward.

One of the ways we get bogged down is by trying to accomplish too much too fast. Achieving your goals is easier in small increments. I wrote all my novels in manageable 5-page nightly sessions. Eventually they added up to an entire book.

Use the mind God gave you. You can avoid a trainload of problems in life by being shrewd.

Spiffy new look updates the website has a new, updated look. The site has been completely redesigned, with better readability and horizontal navigation for mobile devices. If you haven't visited in a while, I think you'll like it.

By the way, I don't know the name of the woman in the header photo. She represents single people looking for answers, like you and me. More changes are coming to the site in 2020.

On another subject, here are a couple quotes from a recent editorial in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about cell phone usage:

"Recent surveys show the average American spends three to four hours each day on their cellphones. That’s more than a month a year, depending on an individual’s usage…We’re looking at our phones and frittering away hours of our lives each day that would be better spent talking with friends, families and children. Or working. Or writing the great American novel."

Ironically, many of you are probably reading this right now on your cell phone. But if you're constantly texting about your every move or checking your social media every few minutes, it's time to get a grip.

Here's a real-world example from my own sometimes-pitiful life. In the 1990s, I watched lots of dumb Charles Bronson and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies on DVD. Now, 20 years later, I ask myself, "What was I thinking?"

Don't do what I did! Be discerning. Realize that every single minute is precious. Don't waste any of them.

As usual, if you want to comment on this newsletter or ask a question, our secure contact form will rocket your email right into my personal inbox at the speed of something-or-other.

Finally, we're in the middle of Lent, and Easter's on the way. You'll appreciate life more if you remind yourself of all Jesus has done for you.

That's it for March. Remember to live wisely every day, single friend. In 20 years you don't want to be asking yourself, "What was I thinking?"

Jack Zavada

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