Reflections

Let the winds blow
We cannot be established except by suffering. It is of no use our hoping that we shall be well-rooted if no March winds have passed over us. The young oak cannot be expected to strike its roots so deep as the old one. Those old gnarlings on the roots, and those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of many storms that have swept over the aged tree. But they are also indicators of the depths into which the roots have dived.
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon in
"A New-Year's Benediction"
(War Cry, Jan. 1, 1994)

So number your days
He that would pass the latter part of his life with honor and decency, must, when he is young, consider that he shall one day be old; and remember, when he is old, that he has once been young.

-Samuel Johnson in
The Rambler

Necessary follow-up
After a Christmas comes a Lent.

-John Ray in
English Proverbs

God with us—year 'round
[My husband] came back down from the attic for another load of decorations. "Haven't you finished packing up the manger?" he asked.

"I think we'll just leave it out this year," I answered. "Sometimes the world seems out of control and Christmas seems very far away. When it does, we can look at the mantel and remember that God is with us and that He'll make good on His promise of peace."

-Isabel Wolseley in
Daily Guideposts, 1997

I am as I am
Do not let your peace depend on the hearts of men; whatever they say about you, good or bad, you are not because of it another man, for as you are, you are.

-Thomas a Kempis in
The Imitation of Christ

Who am I? Behind much of the rat-race of modern life is the unexamined assumption that what I do determines who I am. In this way, we define ourselves by what we do, rather than by any quality of what we are inside. It is ...

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