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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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    "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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Trip to Virginia Travel Log #1

The Mark and I trip turned into a “just I” trip. We’d planned it for months and when it came right down to it, we couldn’t afford for him to take work off and Jillian couldn’t come back with us and fly back either. So, off I went, by myself for an 18 hour trip by car. Fortunately my mom let me use her car and we were able to dig up the needed gas money from saving change, extra surprise $80 in Mark’s check, and a generous gift of $50. Then at church someone gave me another $20 anonymously. I had what I needed to get to Fort Wayne for two days to see some of my kids and then on to Virginia to see Jillian and Taylor, and hopefully a couple of my other kids on the way home.

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A couple of things went south and I lost my first stop that would allow me to have a half way stop off point – I certainly wouldn’t be able to drive the whole 18 hours in one sitting. But Lauren came to my rescue and she reserved two nights at the Super 8 motel she worked at for her and me. We had a great time in Fort Wayne! I got to see Devin as well, and Carol, and old friend, came down for the evening and bought us dinner at a fab Chinese restaurant. Good times! I left Lauren early Wednesday morning and drove all the way to Madison Heights, Virginia that day. I arrived at Jillian and Taylor’s church right on the dot for the Wednesday night service. It was an enjoyable trip and my trusty GPS didn’t let me down. It was the first time I’d driven so far alone – and without a map or written directions. Since this is my year to focus on proving God – not only are we making a major effort to trust our finances to God, we are also trusting God to see me through in my travels to see my kids. Like I told Isaac, my 7 year old grandson, “If you trust God 100%, then you will never fear.”