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Are you normal?"
November 16, 2022
November 2022 Issue 200
Doubts prove you're normalIf you're a single Christian, is it normal for you to have doubts? Should you be 100 percent sure about every part of our Faith?
We live in a world that promotes doubt with a firehose of contradictory information. No matter what you believe, somebody is eager to tell you you're wrong and they're right. How can we get to the truth?
This month's feature article explores our doubts about God. I think it's good to ask questions. I believe God wants us to know him. Through the Bible, circumstances, and other people, God teaches us who He is and what He's like.
Let's take a look at those doubts that are nagging you and see why doubts are normal.
It's all goodI thought I was right,
but I was wrong.
I thought I was home,
but I didn't belong.
I thought all the pain
And so I sought comfort
How many years
Then I hung on
Oh my stubborn heart
Now a thousand years later,
When I was back there,
~ Jack Zavada, www.inspiration-for-singles.com, 2022 ~
Why is Jesus's love so unexpected?Because when you finally experience the full power of it, Jesus's love is jaw-dropping. You just don't expect it to be so intense, so intimate, and so fulfilling.
I'm not the hero of Hope for Hurting Singles. It's Jesus, and the unexpected love he has for you.
For longer than I want to admit, I was sleepwalking through life. Intellectually, I knew Jesus loved me, but I had never done what I needed to in order to open the floodgates.
Look, I'm nothing special. Jesus's passionate love is for everybody, including you. Hope for Hurting Singles shows how a few simple truths can bring his love into your life as well.
It's not hard. It's not even a secret. These steps have been around for centuries, but most believers don't climb out of their rut to follow them. We get comfortable in our routines, and sadly, we can miss out on the most enriching adventure there is.
Hope for Hurting Singles is $10.99in paperback at amazon.com and $3.99 for the Kindle version.
It happened to me. It can happen to you, too.
QOTM: Yancey's eternal perspectiveNovember's Quote of the Month is from bestselling Christian author Philip Yancey, from his book Where is God When it Hurts?:
~ Philip Yancey (1949 - ) ~
Frequently, life stinks (see this month's poem). I know it and you know it, so let's not lie and say everything's wonderful all the time. So what should we do during those times when we're miserable?
Philip Yancey says we have to remember where we are and where we're going. This isn't home. It's not even a nice motel. It's one of those crowded rest areas on the Interstate, with filthy restrooms and overpriced vending machines.
Sometimes it is swell. Occasionally you find a parking spot or you eat a good hamburger, or somebody really loves you. By and large, though, we'll never find what we're looking for here on Earth.
Heaven is where Jesus lives and that's our future. We can make the
best of it while we're here by loving God and our neighbor. Heaven puts here into perspective. That's when the real party begins.
The overwhelming relief in admitting you're weakOh, that apostle Paul. We imagine him as a sort of Superchristian, preaching the gospel, starting churches, getting the stuffing beaten out of him for Jesus.
What we tend not to notice is Paul, by his own admission, wasn't much different from us, except in one regard: He admitted he was weak.
Boy, what a relief it is to admit that. When I finally stopped trying to do things in my own strength—well, you talk about a load off!
Hey, forget about the world and all that strong, independent nonsense. It may sound flashy on Instagram, but what's real about that world? I know, huh?
Take a little break with me for a few minutes and relearn Paul's lessons about rejoicing in our weakness, because it forces us to turn to God. Here's how to let God do the heavy lifting.
Celebrating the 200th issue of Inspire-O-Gram!Whoopee.
In case you didn't notice, and I'm sure you didn't, this is the 200th consecutive issue of Inspire-O-Gram. Who'd have ever guessed in 2005 that this newsletter would still be around 17 years later? I didn't, and I'm the guy doing it.
Even more surprising to me is the number of site visitors who go to the archives just so they can read the poems in the back issues. Yep, that's actually a thing. If you're a poetry fan, you can find all the back issues here.
BTW, that jolly fellow to the left is NOT me. He's an Inspire-O-Gram subscriber thrilled about our 200th issue.
Let's not forget ThanksgivingAlthough this newsletter has an international audience, I'd like to remind our U.S. readers to give thanks to God on our annual Thanksgiving Day, November 24th this year. And hey, you singles in other countries can do the same!
Some years we just don't feel like giving thanks. I get it. When you're mourning the loss of a loved one or are ill or have seen an important relationship collapse, you feel as if there's not much to be grateful for.
But our salvation through the atoning death of Jesus Christ is a profound gift that can never be lost. To be chosen to spend eternity with God in heaven is the hope that remains in spite of our sorrows.
The Holy Spirit is an ever-present Helper and Comforter to bring us through hard times. Thank Him, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. I couldn't make it without Him, and neither can you.
Thank you for subscribing to Inspire-O-Gram. One of the great joys of my life is visiting you every month. I'm working on something special for you in 2023, something I hope will bless and inspire you.
As always, if you'd like to comment on this newsletter or the site, our secure contact form will forward your message directly to my personal inbox.
Until December then, I'll leave you with the words of Australian evangelist Christine
Caine: “Life is too short, the world is too big, and God’s love is too great to live ordinary."
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