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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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Ring in the New Year

Today I am considering my New Years resolutions. They aren’t going to be the typical ones like exercising more, giving up chocolate, etc. I’m leaning more toward being more efficient and productive. My resolutions are more like goals this year. I would be interested in hearing from you all to see what you have determined to do (or not do) in 2013 to make your life happier, healthier and more productive.

I’ve not completed my list yet, partly because I need to pin down my husband. I want to do them together and separately this year. But to get started, I’m going to list a few here and now to get me started.

1. Spend one hour a day working on church stuff – I want to set aside a time to work on my church publications at a set time so it doesn’t take up my entire day. I tend to sit down with my laptop and lose 3-5 hours in a blink! I am trying to do this first thing in the morning.

2. Spend one hour a day writing my book. I’ve put this off too long! I started it a year ago, but stalled because I wasn’t sure which way to take it. Should I do one book combining my ministry experience and parenting of special needs children or should I split it into two? I took some time this year to ask others and the general consensus is to split it into two books because one would get muddled and contain too much for my reader to process. So that’s the deal. I’m now working on two books.

3. HOSPITALITY…my new house has been given to me because God wants Mark and I to focus on the service of hospitality. Too often we forget to let people know how valuable they are to us. So, here we go. We started with a New Years party to ring in the new year and plan to ask people over to our home in order to get to know them and let them know we love them. This is going to be fun!  It is also my goal to be ready to take visitors at any time of the day – kind of an open house type existence. This one is going to be hard, but I am going to make myself change my way of thinking.

4. Mission work for small churches…I’ve already begun this one, but need to plan and execute this ministry in a more organized way. My desire to to provide quality publications for small churches that can’t afford to hire a graphic designer. I’ve already worked with a few churches and have found it to be a much needed ministry. It is also my goal to be enough financially solvent that I can afford to travel to these churches to work with them face to face. This make it easier to get a real feel of the ministry in order to suit the publications to them personally.

5. Set up a photo studio in my home and work on getting some pay jobs. I’ve done photography over the years for church and family, but haven’t worked much on making it a business. I need to supplement our income and see this as a good way to bring in a bit of cash here and there. Our new house has a space I can use for an indoor photo studio, so I won’t be limited to just outdoor photography, though it is my preferred method. We’ve been working on the room for a couple of months now, but still have to get lighting, backgrounds, and props.

6. Work on my blog for a half an hour a day – this is going to be a hard one since I tend to put it off because it takes me over sometimes. That’s partly why I’ve not kept up on it because it takes a lot of time out of my day. Time management is a priority for me this year and I am determined to master it.

7. Learn my Adobe products – Jillian brought me some of her college books when she was home for Christmas. I intend to go through them a page at a time and learn my craft.

8. Write more letters to my kids – I have kids spread all over the country; my goal is to write a letter a month to try to re-connect my kids to one another. It’s not  enough that I desire a close family. Everyone needs to make an effort. Perhaps if I share tidbits of family news it will cause some to think inward. Family is where it’s at!

Let me know what goals you have for the new year. We need to inspire one another!

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