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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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    "Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence."
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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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    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
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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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Livin’, Laughin’, Lovin’

April and I ran out to Walgreens early this morning in anticipation of snatching up some of the great register rewards deals they had advertised for Thanksgiving day. We got out the ad, made our list and braved the 16 degree snowy weather after the rolls were safely in the oven. We were determined to put the finishing touches on our already too long Christmas lists and arrive back home with stories of our own personal annual conquest. Those of you who have never done the WAGS deals will never understand the challenge of rolling over your register rewards without spending too much of your out of pocket dollars that you really shouldn’t be spending in the first place.

After three trips to the cash register and a couple of conversations with other died in the wool deal hunters, we dashed back home to make the mashed potatoes, baste the turkey, dress the kids and set the table. We even roped Jillian (my daughter in Florida in her junior year of college) into our adventure giving her the ins and outs of rolling over Register Rewards.  In the end I pronounced this day to be a success. Having spent $15 to get $55+ worth of personal care products was just the icing on the cake, or in this case the Cool Whip on the Pumpkin pie. We ended up going back to Walgreens one more time after dinner while the family took their Thanksgiving afternoon snooze.  It has to tell you something when you walk in the door and the cashiers nod their head at you like they’d been expecting you.

Turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn, garlic mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, stuffing, deviled eggs, pear, apple and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip, and of course ORANGE STUFF!  Add one husband, a mother, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandsons laughing, chatting and enjoying the moment. Top it with a bag full of free products and you can call it a good day. I’ve decided the simple life is for me.  Livin’, lovin’ and laughin’.

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