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How faith leads to joy"
October 16, 2012

October 16, 2012 Issue #079

Faith and joy for singles

We're getting closer to the finish line of our year long study on joy, and this month we look at the role faith plays in getting where we want to be.

Faith is an elusive quality for us singles. When things are going well, we have a lot of it. When our lives hit the skids, our faith seems to dissipate like smoke.

I think the truth is that we're going to struggle with faith all our lives. We live in a fallen world and have a fallen nature. We sin and get disgusted with ourselves. Even though we know it's all about grace, we can't get over the feeling that we don't measure up. We feel unworthy, even to have faith.

But there's hope for everyone reading this. God knows your name and he tells you to have faith in his love for you. See how even a little faith leads to deep, inexpressible joy.

I'm good enough

Picky old teachers
and pulpit-pounding preachers
with all of their hoops to jump through.

"Say this!"
"Do that!"
"Too thin!"
"Too fat!"
Entirely too much hoopty-doo.

But lately I'm cruising
at a pace that I'm choosing
on a road that is leading somewhere.

I'm feeling much better
in my out-of-style sweater
and my mood is exceedingly rare.

I have learned I'm forgiven
and I'm headed to heaven.
Why shouldn't I feel brand new?

Jesus paid all my debt,
the high standard's been met.
He did something I never could do.

It's not works but grace
that reserved me a place
in the kingdom of God, don't you see.

No more hoops to jump through,
'cause He's righteous and true.
Now I'm good enough just being me.

~ Jack Zavada, 2012 ~

A pick-me-up for when you're feeling down

I benefit from the wisdom and experience of my Christian friends, and one of them is Mary Fairchild. From time to time in Inspire-O-Gram I've mentioned the web site she serves as Guide for,

Now Mary has a new blog called Revel in the Rubble. No, it's not about Jack's housekeeping. It's about brokenness, the kind we all experience from the trials and disappointments of life. We singles know about that, eh?

But it's encouraging, and that's why I'm recommending it to you. Mary has been a missionary, church secretary, and for the past several years has written one of the most popular Christian sites on the Web. She has a powerful faith in Jesus that has brought her and her husband Bill through some really tough times.

You'll get a chuckle, a boost, and a better outlook on life. See what Mary has to say at

October Quotomania

October's quote comes from Victor Hugo, French poet and novelist, the author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame:

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
~ Victor Hugo (1802-1885) ~

Sometimes all you can do is take one day at a time. But that's enough. If you can make it to bedtime, God will take over from there. Give your worries to him when your head hits the pillow, trusting that he's constantly working on your behalf, whether you can see it or not.

Being single forces you to lean on God more than a married person does, and that's a hidden blessing. God can do things for you that a spouse can't. Let his love tuck you in at night and make you strong throughout your day.

Where do lonely thoughts come from?

The human mind is a wonderful thing, an organ so complex that it has given us the automobile, a cure for polio, and the Mona Lisa.

But it has also given us loneliness. Every person on this planet, single or married, battles this unseen enemy. When lonely thoughts intrude, how do you deal with them? Do you fight them? Give in to them? Or do you outsmart them?

Outsmarting Loneliness, my ebook, combines my personal experience as a single with cognitive therapy. This scientifically proven method of "aware thinking" lets you take a step back and observe yourself. You learn to monitor your thought process, and then you learn to take charge of it.

You literally outsmart loneliness.

This ebook is in PDF format, costs only $7.97 and comes with a money back guarantee.

Intrigued? Learn more at Outsmarting Loneliness.

Journey to Joy Town!

Hey, fellow singletons! That blur you just saw was milepost 10 on our Journey to Joy Town. We're getting close now. Take a break and enjoy these quotations as we fine-tune the GPS for the home stretch!

If you never want to see a man again, say, "I love you, I want to marry you, I want to have children"--they leave skid marks.
Rita Rudner

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Robert Benchley

There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.
Han Suyin

Dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give us unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
Gilda Radner

Charm is the ability to make someone else think both of you are pretty wonderful.
Kathleen Winsor

We cough because we can't help it, but others do it on purpose.
Mignon McLaughlin

Coffee, according to the women of Denmark, is to the body what the Word of the Lord is to the soul.
Isak Dinesen

What could be moister / Than tears from an oyster?
Felicia Lamport

The more you kick something that's dead, the worse it smells.
Barbara Stanwyck

Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.
Margaret Miller

Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.
Kathleen Norris

I was so surprised at being born that I didn't speak for a year and a half.
Gracie Allen

Macho does not prove mucho.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

Nobody, but nobody, is as fat as she thinks she is.
Cynthia Heimel

What you don't do can be a destructive force.
Eleanor Roosevelt

True self-respect, being very different from false pride, leads inevitably to respecting others.
Virginia Moore

Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
Corrie ten Boom

The seasons of a single's life

Have you ever noticed how the seasons of the year are like the times in Jesus' life? Summer is like his birth and ministry, a time of miracles and joy. Fall begins with beauty, his triumphant entry to Jerusalem amid shouts of "Hallelujah," then grows dreary and frightening, like his trial and crucifixion. Winter is the time of the tomb, cold, waiting, dismal.

And then comes spring! It explodes with new life like the Resurrection, with hope, wonder, and the promise of amazing things to come.

Our lives as singles go through seasons too. Maybe you're in a winter, waiting time right now. You don't see anything happening. Don't give up. Spring always comes.

We can't rush our seasons and make them go faster. The timing is always up to God. But we can grow and learn, no matter what season we're going through. Be open to God. Let Him speak to your heart today.

I hope you found something worthwhile in this Inspire-O-Gram. We have two months left in our Journey to Joy Town, then in 2013 we'll dance around again from topic to topic.

If you'd like to comment on this newsletter or the single life in general, use our compost-free contact form.

Thanks for reading! It's always a privilege to visit you with Inspire-O-Gram.

Until November, make the most of every day!

Jack Zavada
401 Indiana Ave
Streator, IL 61364 USA

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