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Reciting and Meditating

"Let not this BOOK OF THE TEACHING cease from your lips, but recite it day and night, so that you may observe faithfully all that is written in it. Only then will you prosper in your undertakings and only then will you be successful." Joshua 1. 8  

The Hebrew word for the term "recite" is "hagah" meaning "to meditate, talk, study, speak, to reflect." This is a command, to be thoughtful with a purpose, to obey "all that is written" in the HOLY SCRIPTURES.

Reading and recounting the HOLY BIBLE is for our own advantage, for the man who is blessed is the one whose "TEACHINGS of the LORD is his delight, and he recites that teaching day and night." [Psalms (Tehillym) 1. 2 Tanakh, Kethuvim] "I rejoice over the way of YOUR decrees as over all riches." [Psalms1. 14 "I take delight in YOUR Laws; I will not neglect YOUR WORD." Psalms 1. 16 Our happiness and success correspond to our being guided by the HOLY WRITTEN SCRIPTURES.

In the New Covenant this fact is reassured where Paul commands us to "give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all." 1 Timothy 4. 13, 15.

The importance of doctrine is vital, for doctrine is "what you believe and hold to be true." Thus, "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of CHRIST does not have GOD. He who abides in the doctrine of CHRIST has both the FATHER and the SON. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds." [2 John 9 - 11] ALMIGHTY HOLY GOD wants us to recite and meditate on "these things" for they contain life giving words and directions. Truly, the KING ETERNAL has supplied ALL our needs for which we gratefully thank and praise and adore HIM!
 


Quick Quips

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.  Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.
 


How to Handle Mistakes

The story is told about Roy and the 1929 Rose Bowl championship football game between Georgia Tech and the University of California. Shortly before halftime, a man named Roy Riegels made a huge mistake. He got the ball for California and somehow became confused and started running in the wrong direction! One of his teammates outdistanced him and tackled him after he had run 65 yards, just before he would have scored for the opposing team. Of course, Georgia Tech gained a distinct advantage through the error.

The men filed off the field and went into the dressing room. All but Riegels sat down on the benches and on the floor. He wrapped his blanket around his shoulders, sat in a corner, put his face in his hands and wept.

Coach Nibbs Price struggled with what to do with Roy. He finally looked at the team and said simply, "Men, the same team that played the first half will start the second."

All the players except Roy trotted out to the field. He didn't budge. Though the coach looked back and called to him again, he remained huddled in the corner. Coach Price went to him and said,

"Roy, didn't you hear me?"

"Coach," he said, "I can't do it. I've ruined you; I've ruined the school; I've ruined myself. I couldn't face that crowd in the stadium to save my life."

But Coach Price put his hand on Riegels' shoulder and said, "Roy, get up and go on back; the game is only half over."

Roy Riegels went back and those Tech men will tell you that they have never seen a man play football as well as Roy Riegels played that second half.

The next time you make a mistake, it might be good to remember the ABC method of handling mistakes.

A -- Acknowledge your error and accept responsibility for it. Don't try to fix the blame on other people or circumstances. When you fix the blame, you never fix the problem.

B -- Be gentle with yourself. The game is only half over. This is not the first mistake you ever made, nor will it be the last. You are still a good and caring person. Besides, later you may laugh at the blunder, so try to lighten up a bit now.

C -- Correct it and move on. Correcting mistakes may also mean to make amends, if necessary. "Those who are wise don't consider it a blessing to make no mistakes," says Wang Yang-Ming. "They believe instead that the great virtue is the ability to correct mistakes and to continually reinvent oneself."

Now, go make your mistakes. And though some may be no less than spectacular, if you practice the ABC method, you'll live to laugh about many of them.
 


Cherokee Indian Fatherhood

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage?

His dad takes him into the forest - blindfolded - and leaves him. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not take off the blindfold until the ray of sun shines through it. He is all by himself. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.  Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience. Each must come into his own manhood.  The boy was terrified. He could hear all kinds of noise. Beasts were all around him. Maybe even some human would hurt him. The wind blew the grass and it shook his stump. But he sat stoically... .. never removing the blindfold. It was the only way he could become a man.

Finally, after a horrific night, sounds of the night disappeared. He could feel the warmth of the sun. He removed his blindfold.

It was then that he saw his father - sitting on another stump next to him on watch the entire night.

We are never alone. Even when we do not know it, our Father is protecting us. He is sitting on the stump beside us. All we have to do is take off our blindfolds.
 


The Bell

I know who I am
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt. 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil.3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31-34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor.5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom.8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor.1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8: 28)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil. 1: 5)
I am redeemed: Christ died for my sins, was buried, rose again, was seen by hundreds
1 Co 15
I belong to God
Do you know
who you are!?
 


God Brews the Coffee

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this... Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.

God brews the coffee, not the cups.......... Enjoy your coffee! The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.  Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
 


A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...
You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
 


Thankful for Thorns

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks when she pulled open the florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a "minor" automobile accident stole her joy. Now it was Thanksgiving week and the time she would have delivered their infant son. She grieved over their loss.

Troubles had multiplied. Her husband's company was "threatening" to transfer his job to a new location. Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit after all. And worse, Sandra's friend suggested that her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer.

"She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder. "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered. "For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life, but took her child's?"

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk.  "I.... I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra.

"For Thanksgiving? Do you want the beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving Special'? I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong." Sandra immediately regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the her customer, "Hi, Barbara...let me get your order." She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.

"Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

"Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again." She said, as she gently tapped her chest.

Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with, uh.... she left with no flowers!"

"That's right, said the clerk. "I cut off the flowers. That's the 'Special'. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."

"Oh, come on! You can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that!" exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do, today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had just lost her father; the family business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery."

"That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk. "For the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel."

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and I NEVER questioned Him why those GOOD things happened to me, but when the bad stuff hit, I cried out, "WHY? WHY Me?!" It took time for me to learn that the dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort! You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about the thought that her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is, I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" the clerk greeted the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement... twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?"

"No... I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem. The Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny, here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from "thorny" times. That was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out. "I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first."

It read:  My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.
 


The Bigger Picture

Leith Anderson, a minister, shared this experience: As a boy, he grew up outside of New York City and was an avid fan of the old Brooklyn Dodgers. One day his father took him to a World Series game between the Dodgers and the Yankees. He was so excited, and he just knew the Dodgers would trounce the Yankees. Unfortunately, the Dodgers never got on base, and his excitement was shattered.

Years later, he was engrossed in a conversation with a man who was a walking sports almanac. Leith told him about the first major league game he attended and added, "It was such a disappointment. I was a Dodger fan and the Dodgers never got on base." The man said, "You were there? You were at the game when Don Larsen pitched the first perfect game in all of World Series history?"

Leith replied, ''Yeah, but uh, we lost." He then realized that he had been so caught up in his team's defeat that he missed out on the fact that he was a witness to a far greater page of history.

I wonder how often the same thing happens to us. We get so caught up in the "defeats" in our lives, the times when things don't turn out the way we want them to. So we're depressed because an illness continues to linger, or when people don't treat us the way we think they ought to, or when we face financial difficulties.

But we are often so blinded by the pain and disappointment of our "defeat" that we fail to appreciate the fact that we might be witness to something far greater that God is doing in our lives.

Remember when Paul was in prison? He wrote to the Philippian Christians, "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel." (Phil. 1:12)

While most of us would have focused on the "defeat" (being in prison even though he was innocent), Paul was able to see what God was doing in his life. It's not an easy thing to do. It's never easy to view things from a heavenly perspective rather than an earthly one, but it is especially difficult in the midst of pain and defeat. But it is learning how to have a heavenly view that helps us to know joy no matter what happens in our lives.
 


"Behold, I Thought"
by Tom Wacaster

They thought the Titanic was unsinkable! They thought there were sufficient life boats for whatever emergency they might face. They thought the double bottom, sixteen watertight compartments could withstand anything! They thought the ship could float even with some of hits bulkheads filled with water! They thought the three million rivets holding the steel plates together were indestructible! They thought even after the ship had struck an iceberg that there was no cause for alarm - everything would be alright! They thought all was fine and some continued dancing, enjoying the music, and partying! They thought...but they were wrong!

Naaman was the captain of the host of Syria (2 Kings 5:1).The Bible describes him as a "great man....honorable" and "a mighty man in valor." He stood head and shoulders above his peers. But the Bible says he was a "leper." The extent of his leprosy is not known, but it was bad enough that it drove him to seek relief. At the advice of a maid who was of the land of Israel, Naaman searched out the man of God that just might possibly be able to cure him of his leprosy. But when he received the instructions to "Go and wash in Jordan seven times" Naaman became "wroth, and when away in a rage" (5:11).In his anger he manifested an attitude that not only temporarily barred him from healing, but will bar untold millions from heaven's gate. "Behold, I thought!" In his estimation "Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus" were better than the old muddy Jordan. Had it not been for the advice of one of his servants, Naaman would have died a leper.

"Behold I thought!" Three very simple words. No doubt we have heard, and occasionally used these three words ourselves. A motorist stopped by the police may respond, "Behold, I thought..." Poisoned by an accidental overdose the dying victim is heard to say, "Behold, I thought..." A wrong product purchased at the local store, failure to pay taxes, an innocent violation of the law, and when the realization of our error comes to light we are heard to say, "Behold I thought." Unfortunately there are many who, like Naaman, have their mind made up. Preconceived notions can be dangerous, if not deadly. In the spiritual realm, preconceived notions are eternally detrimental. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:22-23). Those thus described by our Lord will, no doubt, cry out on the judgment day, "Behold, I thought." It seems to me, in view of what is at stake, that one would want to make doubly sure that he is on the right track when it comes to the spiritual journey upon which he has embarked. Peter stated it well, "Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1:10).When Jesus comes again, it will be too late. Don't find yourself among so many for whom eternity will echo the words, "Behold, I thought"!
 


The Invited Stranger

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger as quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... and NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name?.... we just call him, "TV."

He has a younger sister now. We call her "Computer."

**Note: This should be required reading for every household!**
 


Trials and Pain: Good In Your Sight

Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, "It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him." --1 Samuel 3:18

A determination to know what cannot be known always works harm to the Christian heart.

Ignorance in matters on our human level is never to be excused if there has been opportunity to correct it. But there are matters which are obviously "too high for us." These we should meet in trusting faith and say as Jesus said, "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."...

Human curiosity and pride often combine to drive us to try to understand acts of God which are plainly outside the field of human understanding. We dislike to admit that we do not know what is going on, so we torture our minds trying to fathom the mysterious ways of the Omniscient One. It's hard to conceive of a more fruitless task....

Under such circumstances the Christian thing to do is to say, "That thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.... Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight." A blind confidence which trusts without seeing is far dearer to God than any fancied knowledge that can explain everything....

To the adoring heart, the best and most satisfying explanation for anything always will be, "It seemed good in thy sight."

"Lord, help me today, no matter what difficult circumstances I may face, to pray with Jesus, 'for so it seemed good in Thy sight,' and with Eli, 'It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.' Amen."
 


The Difference

A minister felt led to visit a very wealthy professing Christian who was constantly piling up riches for himself. As he talked to the aging millionaire, he led him to the window and asked, "What do you see?"

The man replied, "I see a crowded street full of men and women."

Then he led him to a mirror and asked, "Now what do you see?"

The millionaire retorted, "Myself."

"Look," said the minister, "both the window and the mirror are glass. The only difference between the two is that the mirror is coated with silver, as result it allows you to see only yourself! Don't allow your silver to blot out the crowd God wants you to recognize and help."
 


The 'little' Things

As you might know, the head of a company survived 9/11 because his son started kindergarten. Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts. One woman was late because her alarm clock didn't go off in time. One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident. One of them missed his bus. One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change. One's car wouldn't start. One went back to answer the telephone. One had a child that dawdled and didn't get ready as soon as he should have. One couldn't get a taxi.

The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. That is why he is alive today.

Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to answer a ringing telephone... all the little things that annoy me. I think to myself, this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment..

Next time your morning seems to be going wrong, the children are slow getting dressed, you can't seem to find the car keys, you hit every traffic light, don't get mad or frustrated; God is at work watching over you.

May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little things and may you remember their possible purpose.

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