WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Healing”

God Prunes-And Not Just In The Spring!

*Prune

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” 15:2

I view my past illness, a brain tumor that caused nearly a decade of clinical depression and near death, as an answered prayer. In days gone by, I often petitioned God to remove me from the public school system. But my prayers were never prayers of true faith. No, they were prayers of desperation and hopelessness. I never quit my job to pursue a different career because finances were always priority. I didn’t believe God would provide for my family in the same manner I was able to provide as a teacher. Relying on myself was easier than trusting God, especially when it came down to future finances. This is where my thinking fell short. Scripture says God will provide for our NEEDS…. Not for every want and desire, comfort or luxury.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

Accustomed to a certain life style, I had no desire to pursue another profession that offered less pay. After 25 years of saving, I had finally purchased my dream home. The thought of selling it in order to pursue a different career was not part of my reality. I wanted out of teaching, but only on my terms. I was not willing to make adjustments or sacrifices. Money was an idol of false security.

My wrestling match with God was long and intense. It lasted more than a night and it didn’t leave me with a dislocated hip. Instead, I end up with a non-malignant brain tumor. When I refer to this tumor as a blessing sent from God I am sincere. For you see, this illness changed my life. It became the catalyst that reignited my spiritual walk.

Thankfully, God knew the best way to answer my prayer. I believe He led me into teaching and I believe it was also God who placed a desire in my heart to leave teaching. He didn’t let my attachment to worldly possessions interfere with His plan for my life. He designed me with a purpose and there was a “next step” for me in this life. It could only happen by stepping out of the classroom.

And although sin was ruling my heart with fear and covetousness, He graciously pruned away those dead branches for they were hindering my spiritual growth. By cutting out the dead wood, I was able to recognize these sin areas that required further refinement. Every year God must prune these sin areas in my life for they are aggressive in their attempt to grow back, yet never do they bear any fruit.

So, who can understand the mind of God? His ways are so much higher than our own ways. His thoughts are just not our thoughts! Bu sending a serious illness my way, or merely allowing the tumor to grow for ten miserable years, God answered my prayer to move past elementary teaching. It was a part of His sovereign plan for my life, before He knit me together in my mother’s womb.

God was not surprised by my illness but I surely was, for It brought about a lot of change I didn’t expect or desire. Not only did I loose my dream home, but I also left a community I felt comfortable with and never wanted to leave. God was pruning and stretching my faith throughout my journey. He provided the means for a new beginning and moved me to the place He wanted me to grow.

God’s sovereign will is always fulfilled. How He answers our prayers can truly be very surprising and unexpected. And when He decides to prune His children with challenging storms of adversity, we will do well to remember that the pruning of the Lord is an act of love. For God will instruct/discipline those He loves.

Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, a father the son he delights in.”    Proverbs 3:12 (NIV)

James 1:2-4 reminds us that we are to count trials as pure joy, not that the circumstances are the joy, but the outcome they produce is the source of our rejoicing.

God teaches us not only through His Word. He also teaches us through trials that refine us into the image of His son. These times of trouble mature the fruit of the spirit within us so that goodness, kindness, gentleness, peace, love, joy, patience, faithfulness and self-control are more evident in our life. The pruning of the Lord is painful but the fruit it bears is profitable to God, others, and us.

Suffering is a part of the process by which the children of God are made holy. They are chastened to wean them from the world, and make them partakers of God’s holiness. The Captain of their salvation was made “perfect through suffering,” and so are they (Hebrews 2:1012:10). There never was a great saint who had not experienced either great hardships, or great persecutions.

 Let us try to settle this in our hearts also. The children of God all have a cross to bear. A suffering Savior generally has suffering disciples. The Bridegroom was a man of sorrows. Therefore, the Bride must not be a woman of pleasures and unacquainted with grief. Blessed are they that mourn! Let us not murmur at the cross. This also is a sign of sonship.”    ~ J.C. Ryle

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_Dec 2014

Heart Break And His Healing Balm

*Broken Heart

Our God is a healer. He is the “Great Physician,” and this means spiritual and emotional healing, not just physical healing.

“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (NKJV)

I won’t assume that all of you have suffered through the death of a brother, a brain tumor, cancer, or clinical depression. These are my bag of troubles and woes. However, I am pretty certain everyone has (or will) come to know the pain of heartbreak.

Many different circumstances cause such a malady, but one common side affect is agony. The level of torment will vary, but the discomfort it causes is one we can all relate to, empathize with, and comprehend. Jesus was a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief. Our God is not without understanding, for surely His heart broke when He witnessed the death of His only begotten Son.

So why? Why must we experience pain and broken hearts? Why would a loving God permit or even cause His beloved children to experience the sorrow of heartache? Could it be because He loves us? Is it possible a broken heart is God’s means to break apart our self-will? A surrender of self would cause a believer to lean all the more on God.

1 Peter 5:7 tell us to cast all of our anxieties and cares to God, for He cares for us. Our heavenly Father wants to take on our worries. In addition, Philippians 4:19 reminds us that God will provide for our every need. He is the “Great Provider.” God wants to furnish us with all we require.

When we are too self-reliant, we take God out of the picture. However, if we are suddenly faced with impossible odds, a cry to the heavens is often our response. Tribulation is one way God gets our attention. Sadly, it takes affliction for many of us to notice Him.

“O Lord my God, I cried out to You,and You healed me.” Psalm 30:2 (NKJV)

So, affliction is allowed to enter our lives, permitting an open door for pain and heartache to pass through. It is only after these “guests” have entered our home that we truly experience the blessing of God’s miraculous healing. The one we love may die, so where is this healing? Why didn’t our beloved recover?

God sees the whole picture at such times and His number one goal is to save souls from eternal damnation. He looks for opportunities to bring all men to their knees, hoping they repent of their evil ways. He wants every one of His children to acknowledge the redemptive power found only through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, if the one we love must suffer or die, breaking our hearts in the process, God has allowed it for some greater good. One death is able to produce a full harvest of repentant sinners and immeasurable spiritual healing. Is this not what every Christian should long for and desire; Even if it means loss and the pain of a broken heart?

There is a comfort we can cling to regarding such times of suffering. Solace is found in knowing God will faithfully heal all wounds and broken hearts, so long as we let Him. This occurs when we lay down our hardened hearts and feelings of bitterness. Submitted before His sovereignty, we can then ask God to make our hearts once again pliable and useful for HIS purpose. For it is by the stripes Jesus endured on the cross that we are healed.

Our lives are not our own. I will say this again, dear one. Our lives are not our own… they are for the pleasure and glory of God. What He chooses to use us for is His divine right. What He decides to ask of us is appropriate and fitting. His will should be our heart’s desire. Our love for Him should be so great that whatever He requires from us is our good pleasure.

If trust is an issue, will you pray about trusting God with your care once again? Let Him put a balm over your wound or heart-crack. Decide right now to move forward. If grief has bound you in chains break free, for He came to set all captives free. There are joys to be found in the remaining years of your life. There is much joy to be found in service. Use the life He has given you and totally dedicate it for His purpose. He has turned the wailing of many into dancing. Joy WILL come in the morning. There are many new wonders yet to be experienced. Your best day has yet to be lived!

God knows your frame and what you are able to withstand. You are stronger than you think, for God is your strength and He can do all things. Reach out and call upon His grace! Let go of the old and step into the new. It will be hard but it is time! Your Savior will never forget your heartbreak. It has great meaning and value; otherwise it would not have hurt BOTH of you so much. Your broken heart will serve as a lovely stepping-stone into a new and specially designed future.

We were created for service and for the act of worship. God deserves all glory and praise. Living a full life of joy and moving out of the past is a true sacrifice of praise. With each heartbreak there is a healing balm, and with each scar we don there is a badge of honor to be worn throughout eternity.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

Find this devotion in my book FACING ANXIETY: THOUGHTS OF WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISE (The first of December 2014) My other books are now on Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Cheryl%20Zelenka&sprefix=Chery%2Caps

Prayer: Brain Tumor Ashes To New Growth

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Those of you who know my story, and if you do not…. well, a brain tumor nearly took me in 2011. My life appeared to be ashes at my feet when I woke up in ICU. No home, no job, away from friends, uncertain financial issues, etc. But GOD IS FAITHFUL! (Read my testimony… on right under My Story)

Even though my future IS STILL pretty much in the dark… I am alive, healthy, working, and serving God. This is a prayer I wrote today. I hope it blesses you and makes you think….

“Lord, I praise YOU for YOUR love and stand in awe of YOUR might. I see now how there is growth coming forth from my ashes. YOUR living Word is such an encouragement to me. Help me to persevere in the new direction YOU have set before me. I know that YOU are the perfect guide and will help to move me forward on my path. Joy and gladness have already filled my heart, for I have all I need…. YOU and YOU alone.”

** Remember there is ALWAYS HOPE! God loves you and has never left your side. Keep praying and trust He has the very best for you!

” For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” Is. 51:3 (NKJV)

*6 Days aver brain surgery/ July 2014 visiting my dog Bubba.

**Me and Bubba

 

 

Overcoming Depression

*Depression

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.They are new every morning; 
great is Your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Many strong and inspiring figures of the Bible suffered from depression: David, Jonah, and Job are just a few. David had Saul breathing down his back and trying to kill him. (1 Sam. 19:1-2) God commanded Jonah to warn his Ninevite enemies to repent. Instead, he turned tail and ran away. God then sent a whale to swallow Jonah, but only after sailors tossed him overboard hoping to calm a raging sea. (Jonah 1:4,11-12, 15). God tested Job’s faithfulness by permitting Satan’s request to afflict and torment him (Job 1:8-12). Each man had a strong relationship with God and a deep faith, yet they suffered from depression. Why?

One reason for their depression is because they all faced very painful or challenging circumstances. When you are asked to do something incredibly hard, or when you face persecution, injury, or loss…. you too will find your faith tested. You may also fall prey to depression, which springs forth from roots of hopelessness. Even the mightiest of believers can tumble into this debilitating trap. The enemy is adept at spreading lies of hopelessness and fear. He schemes of ways to infiltrate our heart, which is the seat of our emotions. He persistently harasses and taunts the children of God.

Remember, he is that “prowling lion” who always watches for opportunities to devour his prey! As his intended prey, we need to remain with the flock and not isolate. Depression often causes a believer to step out of fellowship. This is an unwise and dangerous move. The times when you least FEEL like going to church are the occasions when you most need friendly interaction and support. By choosing isolation, you give the enemy a big opportunity to drag you down into a pit of despair.

Our God is a God of HOPE. Depression contradicts the promises of God, which are intended to encourage. There is always a new beginning to look forward to with each new day. Your trial might not end or improve tomorrow, but there are new blessings in every day, including the hope that the next sunrise will bring relief.

If you find yourself down and out of sorts, believing your situation is too much for you to bear….bend a knee. Ask God to send His ministering angels your way to lift you up. Humble yourself and ask others to pray for you. Offer up a petition and ask God to send cheerful advocates your way who will speak words of comfort and encouragement.

Why not ask your heavenly Father for insight and understanding? Try to change your perspective by asking God to give you His eyes and insight. Consider what His point of view might be regarding your struggle. Then, follow the directions given in Philippians 4:8. When you meditate on things that are praiseworthy, you will discover that your trust and hope in the provisions of God are reinstated. Your strength will also be restored.

Finally, consider God’s promises and how faithful He has been over the course of your entire lifetime. Because our heavenly Father knew we would walk through dark times and painful adversities, He made sure to include countless words of encouragement in His Word. Go ahead and stand on each promise you read today. Let your faith shine bright. I pray it is bright enough to guide you out of any dark pit that has robbed your joy. May His peace lead you to greener pastures of hope so that you find rest and comfort in your day.

MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURE VERSES AND BE ENCOURAGED

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, 
but a kind word cheers it up.”   Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth;Shall you not know it?I will even make a road in the wildernessand rivers in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

God Will Help You Rise Up Out Of The Ashes

Ashes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI_gXwoUcis

A few months after my brain surgery I heard this song and felt like God was speaking directly to my heart. I needed to know that I could rise up out of the ashes of my broken life. I hope this song ministers to you today and blesses your socks off!

“I will rise out of these ashes, I will rise
From this trouble I have found and this struggle on the ground I will rise. 
For He, who is in me is greater than I will ever be and I WILL RISE!”
Shawn McDonald

“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”  Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

Broken Hearts & The Healing Hands Of God

UTR Heals Brokenhearted Binds Wounds

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3 (NKJV)

“O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.”  Psalm 30:2 (NKJV)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFUHrXfuNU4&sns=em     Healing Begins: Tenth Avenue North

Our God is a healer. He is the “Great Physician,” and this means spiritual and emotional healing, not just physical healing.

I won’t assume that all of you have suffered through the death of a brother, a brain tumor, cancer, or clinical depression. These are my bag of troubles and woes. However, I am pretty certain everyone has (or will) come to know the pain of heartbreak.

Many different circumstances cause such a malady, but one common side affect is agony. The level of torment will vary, but the discomfort it causes is one we can all relate to, empathize with, and comprehend. Jesus was a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief. Our God is not without understanding either, for surely His heart broke when He witnessed the death of His only begotten Son.

So why? Why must we experience pain and broken hearts? Why would a loving God cause or even permit His beloved children to experience the sorrow of heartache? Could it be because He loves us? Is it not possible that a broken heart is produced for the soul purpose of breaking down our self-will? A surrender of self would cause a believer to lean all the more on God.

1 Peter 5:7 tell us to cast all of our anxieties and cares to God, for He cares for us. Our heavenly Father wants to take on our worries. In addition, Philippians 4:19 reminds us that God will provide for our every need. He is the “Great Provider.” God wants to furnish us with all we require.

When we are too self-reliant, we take God out of the picture. However, if we are suddenly faced with impossible odds, a cry out to the heavens is often our response. Tribulation is one way God gets our attention. Sadly, it takes affliction for many of us to notice Him.

So, affliction is allowed to enter our lives, permitting an open door for pain and heartache to pass through. It is only after these “guests” have entered our home that we truly experience the blessing of Gods miraculous healing. The one we love may die, so where is this healing? Why didn’t our beloved recover?

God sees the whole picture at such times and His number one goal is to save souls from eternal damnation. He looks for opportunities to bring all men to their knees, hoping they repent of their evil ways. He wants every one of His children to acknowledge the redemptive power found only through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, if the one we love must suffer or die, breaking our hearts in the process, God has allowed it for some greater good. One death is able to produce a full harvest of repentant sinners. Is this not what every Christian should long for and desire; Even if it means loss and the pain of a broken heart?

The comfort we can walk away with is the knowledge that God will faithfully heal all wounds and broken hearts, if we let Him. For it is by the stripes Jesus endured at the cross that we are healed. We must lay down our hardened hearts and ask God to make them once again pliable and useful for HIS purpose and glory.

Our lives are not our own. We must avoid the urge to self-protect and withdraw from life after a tremendous loss. Really consider whether you are just passing through your days, going through the motions, without truly living it for Him.

If trust is an issue, will you choose once again to trust God with your heart? Will you let Him put a balm over your wound or heart-crack? Will you decide right now to move forward, setting aside your grief and the chains that have bound you to a life of drudgery and mere existence? There are joys to be found in the remaining years of your life. There is much joy to be found in service. Use the life He has given you and totally dedicate it now for His purpose. He has turned the wailing of many into dancing. Joy will come in the morning.

Since there are still things for you to accomplish, He doesn’t want you to live every day stuck in the past. By always looking behind, you’ll miss out on new blessings in front of you. Loosing the old and familiar does not mean you can’t enjoy the new and unfamiliar. Don’t give up on living a productive life.  Shouldn’t all of us try to finish our personal race and perform the works He created us to accomplish?

God knows your frame and what you are able to withstand. You are stronger than you think, for God is your strength. Reach out and call upon His grace! Let go of the old and step into the new. It will be hard but it is time! You and your Savior will never forget your heartbreak. It has great meaning and value otherwise it would not have hurt so much. Your broken heart will serve as a lovely stepping-stone into a new and specially designed future.

We were created for service and for the act of worship. God deserves all glory and praise. Living a full life of joy and moving out of your past is a true sacrifice of praise. With each heartbreak there is a healing balm, and with each scar we don a badge of honor to be worn for all eternity.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

Depression Isn’t A Sign Of Weakness

Depression
I suffered from clinical depression for ten years. I know that black pit and I want to lift up any who are suffering from depression right now. You are not alone and God will help you. 

My brain tumor was on my frontal lobe for 10 years. It caused my depression. When the tumor was removed my darkness lifted. I wish it was so easy for all of you… cutting out some growth and then your depression is gone.

I want to say, hang in there. God sees your struggle. You’ll find your way out of the pit, but only with God’s help. He will lead you to the right doctors. God gave some of His children scientific minds. These talented and gifted minds have the knowledge to design medicines. God WILL heal you, but sometimes He works through others to accomplish the healing.

Don’t forget to ask your elders to lay hands on you and to pray over you. Prayer is powerful.

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:14-15 (NKJV)

Failing Health? Let God Strengthen Your Heart!

Health Fail=Strenth Of My Heart

Medical studies have proven that stress has a negative affect on our health.  Philippians 4:6-7 addresses this issue.  We are commanded to be anxious for nothing.  There is nothing to be gained by worry.  God is our strength and our shield.  He protects and defends us from all evil.  To cast all our cares His way could prolong your life. 

My encouragement to you today is to let God be the strength of your heart.  Let all your cares fall to His feet.  Relish the peace you find as you let go of your burdens. This peace could be yours forever, if you decided to let Him carry your baggage.  May your health be restored and the peace of Christ strengthen you now and forever more.

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”  Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

To read the full post please go to  http://facingtrials.com

 

Scars In The Service Of God

Scars-Heal

We are called to comfort others with the comfort we have been shown by God our Father.  This may mean sharing your sorrows and hidden scars with another person who is in pain.  We relate to and find comfort in others who have experienced similar sufferings as ours.  If we hide our experiences and neglect to share them, we will never know the blessed opportunities God placed before us to serve.

Does a low self-esteem or pride keep you from opening up to others?  Are you shy and unsure of yourself?  All things are possible with God, and when we are weak or afraid God will be our strength.  Remember how God provided Aaron for Moses, who was insecure about his speech and stuttering?  If you are called to do something or say something, step out in faith. You won’t be sorry and you will certainly be blessed in the end. 

Trust that God will enable the Holy Spirit inside of you to speak on your behalf.  It is by His might and power that you will be able to encourage and help others.  What an honor it is to be the pencil in the hand of God.  He is The Author Of Life. 

To read the rest of this article please go to  http://facingtrials.com

God’s Forgiveness Will Heal A Hardened Heart

Heal Yourself

Graphic found on this link:

www.Daveswordsofwisdom.com 

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; 
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) 

Dear One,

Jesus suffered many physical injuries on His road to Calvary.  The beatings, whippings, and crucifixion left him barely recognizable to His family and friends.  For love and for our salvation, He took up the cross and it is by His wounds that we are healed.  It is through His punishment that we have peace.

Why then do we wrestle with forgiveness, first in giving it and second in receiving it?  We have such an incredible Savior and role model, who loved us while we were yet sinners.  John 15:13 says,  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  There are surely believers who have lived and died this example of Christ’s love, but the majority of us have not.  Our sufferings are great in our own eyes and yet, they are nothing compared to the sufferings of the early church.

We should not compare our pains and trials to other believers, as God knows each of our frames and the measure of strength He has given to each of His children.  Rebellion and personal sin can magnify personal sufferings, so our obedience and submission is a factored in to our trials.

What really matters is that if we sin and then confess it, we are forgiven.  God never refuses our request for forgiveness and communion with Him.  Therefore, why do we withhold forgiveness when others ask it of us?  Is it due to a cold and hardened heart?

How then do you heal a hardened?  It is surely a sign of a sad spiritual state.  It is a hungry and thirsty soul who has neglected the Word of Life and the Springs of Living Waters. It is parched and weak for lack of food and water.

The first thing a hardened heart needs is the love and healing found in the Word of God.  For a time, this hard heart has not been open to the wise counsel of others and has stopped communicating with God, or listening to the prompts of the Holy Spirit.  The truth contained in the Word can break through the self-protection and remind the wounded of the truths Jesus taught.  It is after all in dying that we are set free to find eternal life.

God’s Word will not only feed the human spirit, but it will untwist the lies *satan has implanted in the heart of marble. 

Another important part to healing a hard heart is fellowship.  All of us have sinned.  There are many believers who will not throw the first stone for their own sin reminds them of God’s continuous grace and forgiveness. It is said in Ecclesiastes that it is a good thing to heed the rebuke of a wise person. When we are not walking closely with the Lord, the usual action is to avoid others of the faith.  We tend to become anti-social and isolated.      It requires humility to accept that you have travelled off the path God had you on and seek the support of the Body of Christ. However, once you decide to fellowship and honestly face what has hardened your heart, peace and joy will once again return to your life.

Forgiving yourself for the sins you have committed is also required if you want to soften your heart.  God has taken all the sins of the world, including yours, and laid them on the cross.  It is finished.  When you refuse to forgive yourself you are dishonoring what Christ has done for you.  When you confess your sin, it is cast as far as the east is from the west.  It is forgotten.  Stop reminding your Father of things He has already forgiven and forgotten.  Stop beating yourself up!  He was beaten and bruised so that you would not have to suffer His fate.  Say these words aloud:  By His wounds I am healed.

“As far as the east is from the west, 
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”    John 15:13 (NIV) 

“It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5 (NIV)

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