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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."
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    "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 5

Conclusion to “Job’s Friends” part 4

I do my best to tell each new mother that they are only accountable to God and must please Him with their parenting. I suggest they ask for advice and listen as others give it, but in the end, they must make the decision with God’s help what they are going to do with and for their child. That’s the only way they will be able to sleep at night when troubles come and know that they did their best.  It doesn’t matter what you do, you’ll always find those who judge and think you’re doing it all wrong. The thing is, you might be doing it “wrong,” but you’ll be the one who has to live with your choices.

We’ve had families tell our kids when they turned 18 that they didn’t have to listen to us anymore because they were adults now. So every one of them went off and made very bad decisions and messed up their lives at “our friend’s” suggestion. Where are they now? Did those who advised them to disregard our guidance stick around to pick up the pieces afterward? – absolutely not. We’ve even had people tell our kids that we adopted them for the money. Yeah, right. And that’s why we have a second mortgage now, because of all the big bucks that rolled in. Besides, you couldn’t have paid me a million dollars to go through what we have gone through over the years. We only did what we did because God gave us a desire to help another in need. Our world throws away kids and considers them a bother or inconvenience. We wanted to be different. We wanted to do what Christ would have done – treasure the children. Was it worth it? Was it worth all the heartache, pain and disappointments? Well, the jury is still out on that one. We’ve had many successes, but there have been many more disappointments. I suppose it will take years to see a good outcome of our efforts, but the ride would have been a lot less bumpy if “Job’s friends” had been driven by compassion.

To all of you who are real friends, thank you. You have filled in the gaps. You have had a part in loving the unlovable. You’ve help make it possible for us to stay faithful. You have let God use you in a wonderful way. God will reward you for loving our family – whether you’ve done it for 30 days, or 30 years. Those of you who have not, well, God knows.

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