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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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Job’s Friends – Part 3

Continued from 2.7.09 posting, Job’s Friends Part 2.

Then there are the other ones – the ones who think they know and judge us as unworthy because obviously we have failed – just look at the children. They don’t accept genetics, physical and mental disabilities, prior experiences or hurts as being a factor in any of their behavior or their slow spiritual growth. After all, the Bible is accessible to everyone – they are without excuse. The children just need to be taught the Word and they’ll be fine. If they’re not, then it must be the parent’s fault. They don’t realize how far they’ve come nor have the ability to consider how far they will go in the future. They only see a small snapshot in the child’s life that isn’t so great. We have a sardonic saying around our house, “Just give them the Bible.” I don’t mean to make light of the fact that the Word is all sufficient and all we need. It is my standard. It is what I base my very being on. But I also know that people are flesh and blood. I know that our thought processes are a product of our past, our experiences, the influences around us, etc. Not all of us arrived to understanding at the same point in life or in the same way. Spiritual growth for everyone happens at different rates and through different means. I’m sure not once these “Job’s Friends” ever considered that it might have been their unloving attitude toward these children that caused them to reject our faith and practice and go to the world to seek acceptance. For after all – the world WILL accept them, only to turn around try to destroy them.

In contrast, while speaking to a director of a children’s home today, I received some heart-felt encouragement. Just before hanging up, he said, “Sister, you have nothing to hang your head about, you have done all you can in teaching him how to live for God.” Now, this man just met me over the phone today for the first time. Why is it he can offer such words of encouragement, but my “Job’s friends” can’t? We as Christians need to learn how to be compassionate and encouraging, lifting up instead of putting down. This man has seen many families despair over their children’s choices and knows these parents have been faithful and true. Another director told me that he has asked others where the largest group of children come from that are placed in their children’s homes. The answer? Pastor’s adopted kids. So, that tells me two things…there are other pastor’s families out there that adopt AND that many of their children have behavior difficulties that become too great for them once they get older. So we’re not alone in this ministry, and our experiences aren’t that different from other ministry families. Even if every ministry family failed to bring an adopted child to the point in their life where they loved and served God with their life, at least they cared enough to try. God doesn’t call us to perfection, but obedience – He’ll take care of the results. Someone said once that if we’re not part of the cure, we’re part of the problem. I think he was right. To be continued….

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