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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sabbath Keeping - Gaelic Blessing


"The Lord gives strength to His people,
He blesses His people with peace."
~ Psalm 29:11 ~

"Peace is not the absence of conflict,
it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means."
~ Ronald Reagan ~

"Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness
but because you deserve peace."

"Sometimes peace is better than being right."

"When the power of love
overcomes the love of power,
then we will have peace."
~ Jimi Hendrix ~

"Peace is our gift to each other." ~ Elie Wiesel ~

"If you're at war with others, 
you're not at peace with yourself."

"What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children...not merely peace in our time but peace for all time." ~ J. F. Kennedy ~

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." 
~ Thomas Jefferson

"If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another."
~ Winston Churchill ~

"Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ, the Light of the world, to you.
Deep peace of Christ."
~ Gaelic Blessing ~

"Peace I leave with you
My peace I give you
Not as the world gives do I give to you
Let not your heart be troubled
Neither let it be afraid."
~ John 14:27 ~

Please pray for ~ Gina ~ Tim ~ me ~ and don't forget to tuck yourself in prayer ~ new school year, teachers, students, staff , bus drivers ~ 

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Sabbath Keeping ~ Grief


"Precious in the sight of the Lord 
is the death of His saints."

"Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness.
It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity,
the price you pay for love.
The only cure for grief is to grieve."
~ Earl Grollman ~

"The death of a beloved is an amputation." 
~ C. S. Lewis ~

"Those who have suffered 
understand suffering and
therefore extend their hand."
~ Patti Smith

"Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone."
~ Fred Rogers

"Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them." ~ Leo Tolstoy ~

"We rejoice in spite of our grief,
not in place of it."
~ Woodrow Kroll ~

"Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope." ~  Elizabeth Gilbert

"She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts." ~ George Eliot ~

"Joy is best sown in broken ground."
~ Jack Wellman ~

"The cross is a one time, visual representation, of God's grief over sin."

"Blessed are they that mourn 
for they shall be comforted."
~ Matthew 5:4 ~

Please continue to pray for Max's family and friends as we journey through the shadow lands ~ 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

MAX'S HOME GOING (my eulogy and memories)

[Max's struggle is over; God took her Home without the horribleness that brain cancer would have rendered her body. It was my privilege to say these few words at Max's funeral. Only one name is used as I want to protect the family's privacy. My heartfelt appreciation for your prayers over the past three months.]

"I remind myself of television evangelists! Earlier this morning, as I was getting ready, I could only find this dinner napkin. Apparently, my handkerchiefs are still packed in boxes, somewhere, and I could almost hear Max laughing that great laugh of hers ---you know the one--- and saying, "Well, at least it's not the entire tablecloth!"

She always told me I could talk to the President of the country or the janitor at the White House. She didn't realize, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, "I can talk to anyone about nothing because that's what I know the most about".

It's impossible to tell her story without my story and for almost 50 years we have been knitted together like David and Jonathan, sharing laughs, tears, good times, not so good times, life in general but always friendship. Always friendship. Maxine was, usually, Max to me and I was always Sandy to her. Our stories are strikingly similar...we're both the oldest sister, a brother in the middle and a beloved baby sister as the opposite bookend. We were taught the value of hard work, honoring your word and honoring your parents, respect for yourself and others and good stewardship over what God has entrusted to you. Her word was her bond; I never knew Max to go back on her word but if she ever did, there were most certainly compelling reasons.

Family, friends and pets meant everything to Max. She was steadfast, loyal and true north. You never worried the Max you met on Monday was a different Max on Friday. It would have been easier to believe Mt. Everest would slip into the sea. Max gave unconditional love and acceptance but she wasn't above telling me, gently and with love, when she disagreed.

We met when Max worked at Falling Creek Apartments and I wanted to live there. We became friends and partied together...jazz clubs in Jackson Ward (not a good idea then and probably not a good idea now...), discos on Broad Street and Shockoe Slip. We did stuff I'm ashamed God and Dennis Proffit know about but at least God forgave us. I'll need to check with Dennis later, it's been a while since I've seen him.

Max and I were two little blonde haired girls who were, as my Daddy likes to say, "Going to set the world on fire just as soon as we found our box of matches!" We were free spirits who didn't have a clue we were really just two more of God's daughters making our way back to Him.

Max was strong: physically, mentally, emotionally. She once walked around for a solid week on a broken knee cap because it didn't really hurt "that bad" but when it did hurt "that bad" she went to the doctor who put a brace on her leg. I told her, "Heck, Max, I could have bought you a brace and it would have been a lot cheaper!" Again with the Max laugh.

Not many people know Max saved my life. She called, out of the blue, on a Tuesday and said, "Something told me to call; what's wrong?" She and I didn't call each other twelve times a week to talk about "nothing" (even though that was my expertise as mentioned earlier). When we talked it was deep, meaningful, special and often about God. So, when I picked up the phone and she said, "What's wrong?" it all came out in a torrent.

For decades, probably my entire life, I went through periods of deep, dark depression but had no idea it wasn't normal. When all you know is what you know, it becomes your normal. By the time Max called, the latest bout of depression was so terrible, I was seriously considering suicide.

Max said, "OH NO YOU DON'T! You're going to talk to my counselor. You hang up the phone and do nothing except wait for it to ring. PROMISE ME!"

I did as she said and Maurice Graham, her counselor at Bon Air Baptist Church, called and spoke with me. Long story short, I saw him and then someone else who prescribed medication which kick started the serotonin production in my body. Literally, a week after starting the meds I woke one morning with the one thought in my head, "So this is what normal feels like!"

Later, Max and I talked about what happened and how it happened. We marveled at how God used her and her counselor to help me on the very day I needed help most. We were both crying as I told her how thankful I was for her friendship and willingness to help. She said, "Sandy, I just felt like God wanted me to call you. So I did. I kept telling her thank you and she finally said, "Oh good grief! You'd do the same for me!"

No muss. No fuss. No fanfare. Just Max doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do.

When I moved next door to Dave, I called Max to tell her about the house and the new neighbor. Dave's story was Cathy, the beloved wife of his youth, died almost a year before and, while Dave wasn't going very well, there was still an attraction; he was the smartest person I'd ever met. Max laughed that outrageous laugh and said, "You always did go for the brainiacs."

I told her, "So and So said to me, "How can you like him? He smokes too much, he drinks too much and he stinks." Max started shaking her head. "Oh for Pete's sake! He can stop smoking, he can stop drinking and he can take a shower. What is wrong with people?!"

By this time, I was rolling in laughter. "Max, that is exactly what I said!" There were times our friendship was a little eerie we were so on the same track.

A couple of decades later, on a Monday morning, when Dave made his peace with God, Max was the first friend I called. She'd joined me in praying for Dave and it was only right she celebrate with me when he made his peace with God.

Saturday morning, five days later, when Dave literally dropped dead of a heart attack, Max was the first friend I called. I can't remember what she said but I remember her presence was rock solid, steady and true. When Dave was buried at Hollywood Cemetery, Max was there; when we went to O'Toole's Pub to celebrate Dave's life, Max was there. I'm especially grateful for her going to O'Toole's because my parents were there and I'm pretty sure it was the first (and probably last) time there were ever in a pub. Max sat with them and Jerome Hancock who was the pastor of the Nazarene Church they all attended; my parents still speak of her kindness.

SO.

The age old question arises: why does God allowing suffering? Do you think Jesus could answer that question? I've never met anyone who could truly give a satisfactory answer but I do know, beyond a showed of doubt, God had a plan for Max's life. He had a good plan for Max and, ultimately, for His glory. God began a good work in Max, He saw it through to His completion and then welcomed her Home. Just as Christ's suffering was not in vain, neither was Maxine's. She accomplished what God asked of her; she stayed the course, she didn't waver, she finished her race. She joined that great cloud of witnesses, gathered around God's throne, joining in on a celebration we can't even imagine!

She will not return to us but we, those who share her faith in Christ Jesus, will go to her. In the meantime, my hard earned advice is...in the days to come, allow yourself to grieve and remember, grief takes as long as it takes. There's no time limit so take all the time you need. Grief is personal and individual; it can't be rushed or gotten around or under or dismissed. Please, don't even try to dismiss it. Take it one day at a time, don't forget to breath and breath deeply.

Breathing is good!

Be patient with yourself and others; be gentle with yourself and others. Tuck yourself in prayer and pray for others, especially the family...Max's Daddy and Mama; Lisa, her sister; Jimmy, her brother and her cousins, aunts and uncles. Take someone out for coffee or tea or a meal; remember Max and share your stories. Keep her alive in your hearts and thoughts as long as you need; as long as you want. God will let you know when you're healed; don't rush. Don't rush.

You've heard the poem:

"No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thy own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee."

As much comfort as that poem brings me, the wise words of a Willie Nelson song bring even more comfort and I paraphrase...

"Maxine's death isn't something we'll ever get over
But it is something we'll get through."

In my mind, there's no doubt when Jesus presented Max to Abba God, she heard Him say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant!"

If you're unsure God will speak those same words to you, talk to one of the pastor's here today. OR, talk to me; I'd love to put you on that glory train!

Like Max, you can have the certain hope and knowledge that "absent in the body is present with the Lord." Please, I beg you...today is the day to make your peace with God. The bell is tolling; no one knows when it will stop.

For those who are Believers in Jesus Christ...if I die before you, Max and I are standing on the other side to welcome you Home."

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sabbath Keeping - storms


"He calmed the storm to a whisper 
and the waves of the sea were hushed."

"My boy, one small breeze doesn't make a wind storm."
 ~ John McGraw ~

"A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor."

"God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks onto the stage, the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream  and something else - something it never entered your head to conceive - comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we have really chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side, God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"We men and women are all in the same boat, upon a stormy sea. We owe to each other a terrible and tragic loyalty." ~ G. K. Chesterton ~

"You feel pain because inside you are transforming." ~ S. Ajna

"Doubt swells and surges, with swelling doubt behind!
My soul in storm is but a tattered sail,
Streaming its ribbons on the torrent gale;
In calm, 'tis but a limp and flapping thing:
Oh! swell it with thy breath; make it a wing,
To sweep through thee the ocean, with thee the wind
Nor rest until in thee its haven it shall find.

Roses are scentless, hopeless are the morns,
Rest is but weakness, laughter crackling thorns.

But love is life, to die of love is then
The only pass to higher life than this.
All love is death to loving, living men;
All deaths are leaps across clefts to the abyss.

Weakness needs pity, sometimes love's rebuke;
Strength only sympathy deserves and draws -
And grows by every faithful loving look.

Ripeness must always come with loss of might."
~ George MacDonald, The Diary of an Old Soul

"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship." ~ Louisa May Alcott ~

"All who sail the sea of faith find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark and gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water pounding on your soul
But still we sail on knowing that our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm with a whispered 'Peace be still' 
He can settle any sea but it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close 
lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child.

He has a reason for each trial that we pass through in life
And though we're shaken we cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down on those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always be a quiet peaceful place.

"Sometimes He calms the storm with a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea but it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child. ..."

"The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer but why some do not."
~ C. S. Lewis ~

"Heaven is full of answers to prayer for which no one ever bothered to ask."  ~ Billy Graham ~

"No one tells you when you get born here how much you'll come to love it
and how you'll never belong here." ~ Rich Mullins  and here (a wonderful monologue)

"That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, "let us go over to the other side." 
Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. 
The disciples woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" 
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" 
Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to His disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 
They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!"

Please pray for ~ Maxine who is drawing close to going Home; her family, especially her Dad; her friends, neighbors ~

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Sabbath Keeping


"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.
Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the
floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room
enough to store it."

"One is not born into the world to do everything
but to do something."
~ Thoreau

"Go the extra mile. It's not crowded."

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." ~ Nelson Mandela ~

"Money often costs too much." ~ Emerson ~

"Scientists have discovered that the small, brave act of cooperating with another person, of choosing trust over cynicism, generosity over selfishness, makes the brain light up with quiet joy."
~ Natalie Angier ~

"Let Christ be your example in your giving. In heaven He possessed everything, and yet He sacrificed it all - even His life - so we could be saved." ~ Billy Graham ~

"When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous."
~ Wayne Dyer ~

"I am only one,
but I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do
interfere with what I can do."
~ Edward Everett Hale

"Help one another; there's no time like the present and no present like the time."
~ James Durst ~

"I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little." ~ C. S. Lewis

"You are blessed to be a blessing."

"Forgiveness is the giving and so the receiving of life." 
~ George MacDonald ~

"But my God shall supply all your need 
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:19 ~


Please continue praying for Maxine as the situation worsens ~ please put me on your prayer list ~

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Sabbath Keeping...and a little bit more ~


"I said, I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin,
I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked."

"A smart person knows how to talk.
A wise person knows when to be silent."
~ Roy T. Bennett ~

"Live your truth.
Express your love.
Share your enthusiasm.
Take action towards your dreams.
Walk your talk.
Dance and sing to your music.
Embrace your blessings.
Make today worth remembering."
~ Steve Maraboli ~

"I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about." ~ Oscar Wilde ~

"Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact, do little. Others do a lot but don't talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live." ~ Jean Vanier ~

"Great minds discuss ideas;
average minds discuss events;
small minds discuss people."
~ attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt ~

"Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools." ~ Philip K. Dick ~

"One ought, every day at least to hear a little song, 
read a good poem, 
see a fine picture, and, 
if it were possible, 
to speak a few reasonable words."
~ Goethe ~

"Remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now,  you would strongly be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"I would never speak about faith, but speak about the Lord himself - not theologically, as to the why and wherefore of his death - but as he showed himself in his life on earth, full of grace, love, beauty, tenderness and truth. Then the needy heart cannot help hoping and trusting in him, and having faith, without ever thinking about faith. How a human heart with human feelings and necessities is ever to put confidence in the theological phantom which is commonly called Christ in our pulpits, I do not know. It is commonly a miserable representation of him who spent thirty-three years on our Earth, living himself into the hearts and souls of men, and thus manifesting God to them."
~ George MacDonald ~

"Quit playing, start praying.
Quit feasting, start fasting. 
Talk less with men, talk more with God.
Listen less to men, listen to the words of God.
Skip travel, start travail."
~ Leonard Ravenhill

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray (talk) to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This then, is how you should pray (talk to God):

"Our Father, who are in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen."

Please pray for ~ Maxine's family. Max has been given six months; at this point in time, she's being kept as comfortable as possible. Please pray for her sister as she oversees caregivers for Max as well as their Mother who has been in nursing home care for years. Please pray for Arial, the primary CNA (who is studying for her nurse's exam), and other caregivers, family, friends, neighbors. Max and I have been friends for 47 years but last week, she didn't appear to know me and she has totally stopped talking to everyone. 

If you've read my blog for the past few years, you know Dave's story and my story. You know I've said I'm only smart enough to know God has good plans for our lives and for His glory.  His purpose and design are mysteries but I do know He can be trusted. This brief life is over so quickly and I firmly believe each and every thought, word and deed here has enormous ramifications in eternity.  God, who created Creation, has designs, plans and purposes for all eternity and we cannot begin to comprehend this side of the veil. He loves US so much He sent Jesus to bring us back into the fold, but we must accept Jesus and, through Jesus, make our peace with God. You may rant and rail all you like. You may choose not to believe. The fact remains: Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and NO one goes to heaven unless they say 'yes' to Him and accept God's free gift:

"Lord Jesus, I'm sorry for my sins and want to spend eternity in heaven with you and God." 

Find a Bible believing body of believers; go to church to seek and worship God, read the Bible every day and, if possible, be baptized. As importantly, keep your eyes off other people and keep them on God.



A little bit more...it's hard to believe on July 31, it'll be a year since I signed the papers and bought this new to me farm. Someone told me it would take me a year to unpack and, as it turns out, they are correct. There are still dozens of boxes to unpack, things still have to be hung on walls, Dad's garden is coming in which means food to can and freeze and my raised beds are coming along nicely.

Before I could hook up the trailer and pick up, Ronnie delivered fifty sacks of top soil and each of the three raised beds received twelve sacks. The other sacks were used for flower beds and pots. My little patch has tomatoes, herbs (lavender, rosemary, basil) and flowers to attract bees and birds. I must admit, it takes more strength and energy to dump the dirt and, as well, takes more time to recover. Gosh, I hate to admit that!


If I'm on the farm, I usually have a shotgun and handgun close by; there are critters who aren't welcome here...snakes, muskrats and a few miles up the road, Ronnie's employees' horse was attacked and killed...possibly by a mountain lion or, some call it panther, cougar or puma. Whatever it's called, the horse was violently attacked and subsequently died so I'm not taking chances; guns are always at hand, just in case.


Another reason to be safe...one of the Inkspots, reclining his bad self as he watches me work.


Awww, you know I've always run a loose household! When the dining room furniture was delivered (after the Epic Mess of 2017), I turned to answer the phone (or some such foolishness) and when I came back to the job, Gypsy Rose Lee was overseeing.

As we ease into July, it's hotter than you know what and yet another reason to spend eternity in Heaven! I try and finish outside work by 10:00 (sun time and not that dratted DST!), come inside to work or take lunch to Dad and visit with him a spell. My attitude regarding work is, it'll always be here so no need to try and set records. I've come to terms with being behind but every now and again have a good telephone visit with folks.

I'm still working toward a new blog...I want to do a "brain dump" while I've still got a brain and a memory and there's a ton of stuff I know that might be useful to folks. The learning curve is tremendously steep and I've only put up the beginning of "The Story", here, which might be of interest. If nothing else, it'll make you chuckle!

Take care, be safe and remember what's important, truly important, in life. It's over ever so quickly; please know as God brings you to my mind, you're tucked in prayer. Some of you I know how to pray while others I simply say, "Please, God, bless ____." He knows and that's enough.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sabbath Keeping


"For He will command His angels
to protect you in all your ways."
~ Psalms 91:11 ~

"They talk like angels but they live like men." ~ Jerome ~

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." ~ Michelangelo ~

"It was pride that changed angels into devils
it is humility that makes men as angels."
~ Augustine of Hippo ~

"Angels have a much more important place in the Bible than the devil and his demons."
~ Billy Graham ~

"If a man expects a woman to be an angel in his life, he must first create heaven for her.
Angels don't live in hell." ~ unknown ~

"Angels descending, 
bring from above,
echos of mercy,
whispers of love."
~ Frannie Crosby~

"Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God's will- even if it means you will suffer- is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God's will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. And no saint should ever dare to interfere with the lesson of suffering being taught in another saint's life.
The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God. But the people used to strengthen us are never those who sympathize with us; in fact, we are hindered by those who give us their sympathy, because sympathy only serves to weaken us. No one better understands a saint than the saint who is as close and as intimate with Jesus as possible. If we accept the sympathy of another saint, our spontaneous feeling is, "God is dealing too harshly with me and making my life too difficult." That is why Jesus said that self-pity was of the devil (see Matthew 16:21-23). We must be merciful to God's reputation. It is easy for us to tarnish God's character because He never argues back; He never tries to defend or vindicate Himself. Beware of thinking that Jesus needed sympathy during His life on earth. He refused the sympathy of people because in His great wisdom He knew that no one on earth understood His purpose (see Matthew 16:23). He accepted only the sympathy of His Father and the angels (see Luke 15:10)."
~ Oswald Chambers ~

"I have God, Jesus and two thirds of the angels on my side, what do you think I am going to do? Sit down and cry?" ~ Leonard Ravenhill ~

"The sermon which does not lead to Christ, or of which Jesus Christ is not the to and bottom, is a sort of sermon that will make the devils in hell laugh, but make the angels of God weep."
~ C. H. Spurgeon ~

"Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe have no power over me." ~ Martin Luther ~

"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve
those who will inherit salvation?"
~ Hebrews 1:14

Please pray ~ Max (a friend of 47 years who has cancer. Recently, I visited her but she didn't appear to know me) ~ Mom (continues to improve but fell today, no broken bones - thank God!) ~ RB ~ RA ~

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