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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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  • Charles Spurgeon

    "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."
  • Progress through Perseverance

    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
  • Psalm 7:10-17

    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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Vance Havner

“I am certain that the Bible is the Word of God. Either it is or it isn’t, and either all of it is the Word of God, or we never can be sure of any of it. It is either absolute or obsolete. If we have to start changing this verse, toning down that, apologizing for this and making allowances for that, we might as well give up, so we must take it as it is or leave it alone.” – Vance Havner

Update 2011

With Christmas quickly approaching, I often find myself in reflection of the past months since the turn of 2011 – much like I often re-run the day’s events in my mind just before falling asleep each night. It’s been happening much more often than usual because of the changes we’ve incurred this past year. With selling our house, moving to another state and leaving off the old and thoroughly enjoying the new, it’s a chapter in our life’s book that I find to be an easy read.

They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but I have found that the lack of it can bring an awful lot of pain and suffering. Being tied financially to that house back in Michigan brought with it not only financial distress, but also a long period of being in a very uncomfortable state of limbo – I hate being in limbo! Our ministries as assistant pastor and full-time teacher as well as a dozen other jobs and titles had ended 3 years prior at the church that had originally moved us to their little church in Scotts, two hours away from our hometown of Flushing. We joined a loving congregation nearby and waited for nearly 3 years for our house to sell so we could move to Wausau. Why Wausau, you ask? Let me spell it out for you…G.R.A.N.D.K.I.D.S.

And of course, in contrast to that sadness, the selling of that house brought with it great joy. We can be at the mercy of our circumstances if we let them control us. And sometimes, let’s face it, they do control us – in our decisions, peace of mind and how we live on a daily basis. Settling up with Bank of America (hallelujah!) and walking away with enough money to move was a major turning point in our life (amen!). Not much before that we experienced the Empty Nest syndrome. Ok, I have to pause here and say, “Double amen!”. I do love my kids, surely I do, but just think, after 30 years of parenting, it was time to lose all the stress and gain the freedom.

Jillian had moved back home from college in December so she moved with us to Wausau in April, lock, stock and barrel. We moved into a cute little rental just 3.5 miles from April’s house.  It sure was different! Moving from over 4,000 feet of living space with acreage out in the country to a 900 sq. ft. house in town was definitely a change, but it has been a good one.  Though moving was difficult (especially since our big strong teenage boys no longer lived with us), it was an end of a long period of limbo and sadness. Jillian and I quickly acclimated to Wausau (as did Mark and my mom) and found it to be a fun and cordial little town. I truly enjoyed having those months with Jillian as we set out to discover Wausau. We were home!

The happiness of the much desired end of a 3 year prayer (Ok, more like begging) can be tempered a bit with the adverse affects of leaving family and friends behind. I’m a people person – those of you who know me well know that I tend to collect people. My peeps are a large part of my happiness. I feel fortunate that distance doesn’t have to separate friends.

We spent the next few months finishing up on Jillian’s wedding plans and then we were off to Battle Creek for her wedding in June.  Since Taylor’s job plans at Liberty U hadn’t been finalized, Jillian and Taylor spent their first month with us in Wausau before moving to LU where Jillian planned to finish out her college degree. I considered that month to be my wedding present from them to me. They are a great blessing to their mother (I now claim Taylor as a son). During that time we worked on making our house a home, met many new and interesting people, added to our grandchild collection, and settled into our new church. It’s been a fun ride and for the first time in years I am looking forward with anticipation to what the future has for us. My next post will be about my kids, the real reason I began this long preface to the real story I’ve had rolling around in my head all day today. This was a very long rabbit trail…


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