DAY 26: Ideas – Or a Lack Thereof

Have you ever had one of those days when you sit down, flex your fingers, wiggle them a bit, engage your focus, and start typing only to find that every grandiose plan for writing you had that day cannot come to fruition because your mind is a maelstrom of disorganized thoughts and ideas?

Well, I’m having one of those days.

It isn’t fun. There are a multitude of different ideas I have in my head, but I just can’t get them down. Something – I don’t know what to call it – seems to inhibit my every word from leaving my mind and entering the page. I can’t describe it; it’s as if a barrier has been set between my thoughts and my fingers, hindering the flow of words from one to the other.

Even now, I’m having difficulty thinking of what to say next.

But one article I read in Writer’s Digest talked about the “inspiration” and “perspiration” days; that is, those days when everything comes to mind easily – all that you think is transmitted almost instantly into the written word, and those days when you have to strive constantly to write, pushing through the arduous hindrances that block your path. It isn’t easy.

It builds character, though, and I’m sure God intends for these kind of days to crop up every now and again. Adversity helps immensely when building strength, and I avidly believe that everything that comes our way has been set there by the Father for our benefit and the benefit of others. So, I take the “inspiration” days when they come, as well as I take the “perspiration” days when they come. For “There is a time and a place for everything under heaven”, and “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.'”

God bless!

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 25: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

I liked the first Pirates of the Caribbean. The story was fresh and novel, the characters lively and entertaining, Jack Sparrow “savvy”, witty, and incompetent all the same, and every tidbit of humor subtle in its manifestation. It was the perfect amalgamation of all these elements. It’s one of my favorite adventure-style movies, second only to Indiana Jones.

But then the second came along. I didn’t mind the second – thought it was fairly decent, actually – but the innocence and humor of the original vanished, and a certain gravity and solemnity was cast over the sequel. It wasn’t a bad change. In fact, it could have been a good change, if they had only made it a little less odd and eccentric.

Promotional poster for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

By the third, things are so out of control and strange that I could barely recognize it as Pirates of the Caribbean anymore. It was a strange mix of many incoherent elements that just didn’t work for me; it was as if they were simply trying too hard to make the movie serious and deep, and failed because the source material just wouldn’t accommodate it, and because one cannot consciously make something that they know beyond a reasonable doubt will stick indelibly in someone’s mind. They can try, but there’s never a guarantee.

Now we have Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides.

Stranger tides indeed.

This movie does not have much direction at all. Given that there is something of a plot, it’s scattered and incongruous at best, and the motivations of the characters are unknown for the most part, making everything feel more sitcom-ish and less believable. Everyone is just tagging along for the ride; it’s like a big theatrical situation drama where people die and make jokes about everything and have sword duels and find fountains of youth and woo English aristocrats.

Speaking of aristocrats…

I couldn’t stand the way they portrayed the British nobility in this movie. In the former three, they were at least intelligent and capable; in this, they were simply there to be mocked and derided, particularly King George, who was shown to be childish, trivial, fastidious, temperamental, and easily frightened. He was like an agitated dandy, really, and I wasn’t a fan of that. At least Commodore Norrington, in the first three, was respectable and believable, though he was dislikable. In this, there was absolutely no illusion that this man was a king, let alone of England! While Pirates of the Caribbean is not renowned for its realism (and it never will be), I pray that the filmmakers would at least go for some suspension of disbelief! Three cheers for Richard Griffiths, though, who, in spite of the strangeness of his role as George, pulled it off as admirably as can be expected. Keep in mind that this is the same man who played Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter movies, and who did an excellent job at that as well. His track record demonstrates that he can pull off parts such as these.

Then there’s the quality of the movie footage. This is one of the same issues I had with The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and I can’t figure out why it happens. For some reason (to my eyes), the film looks more like the raw footage does before being converted into actual film; that is, there isn’t that “movie-effect” that’s always been present in other productions. I don’t know if this is because the movie was filmed for 3D and they had to use special techniques, but whatever they’ve changed, they need to revert to the original, because I just can’t stand it!

That’s just my opinion, though. If others don’t notice it, then it’s probably not as big a problem as I’ve imagined it to be!

Now, down to the actual film itself.

First off the bat, it was very shallow. Towards the end, they tried to evoke some sort of sympathy in our hearts for the characters in peril, tried to make us care when the climax came at last, but the film didn’t earn it. We never experienced the relationships that they tried to make us see at the end, so we couldn’t believe them. What could have been a moving and heart wrenching denouement turned out just be a “plain ending” for me.

Given, Pirates of the Caribbean is not known for its profoundness, but if they’re going to try, they should at least try, instead of throwing a bit of

Jack Sparrow (portrayed by Johnny Depp) on another promotional poster for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

sadness and relationship-tensity in at the end and calling it “deep”. But the Pirates of the Caribbean source material wasn’t designed to be deep, it was designed to be witty, humorous, and pleasant to watch in a way that felt smart and savvy, all focused, in this wise, around the main character, Jack Sparrow, the epitome of stupid-smartness. If such a contradiction exists in anyone, it exists in this eccentric pirate who seems to have everything his way in the end, though how much of this can be afforded to fortune and how much of it can be afforded to his own cleverness remains uncertain to us. And that’s just the way we like it. We want to believe that he knows what he’s doing, but are not always sure, and it delights us.

They tried at this humor in On Stranger Tides, but it just wasn’t as subtle and brilliant as it was in The Curse of the Black Pearl. Everything Jack says that is supposedly funny is overemphasized and conspicuous, dashing the hopes of anyone who had wished for some measure of witty subtlety, like me. There were some funny parts, granted, but they were so contrived that they tore me out of the movie, and compelled me to think that they were trying for laughs, instead of letting Jack’s witty, inconspicuous comments provide the levity needed to make the movie work.

And then there’s the dreaded sexual innuendo, which I won’t get into here. Let’s just say that I was disappointed, to say the least. There was nothing of the sort in the first three – aside from one or two things in The Curse of the Black Pearl, which were so inexplicit that it wasn’t an issue -, and so the addition of it in On Stranger Tides is an unwelcome novelty. Why do they think that incorporating this sort of thing into movies will somehow earn the attention of millions of viewers? Hasn’t movie history shown that the sexually inexplicit movies, like The Lord of the Rings, are the most popular? People value beautiful qualities in movies, and will remember films that are true and moral, more so than those that allude to sexual immorality at every turn.

Those are the kind of movies I like to watch: The ones that I will remember for their truth and beauty; the ones that I want to buy on DVD and watch again, over, and over, and over. PotC 4 was not one of these. It was shallow, done in poor taste, and, in my humble opinion, ruined the “Jack Sparrow formula” that made the first so successful. I just didn’t like it. If others did, I’m glad; I’m always happy for those who find something likable in a movie!

2 1/2 stars.

But the music is still awesome!!

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 24: After the Storm

Then, the rain ceases. The pattering upon the roof stops. All his still.

You gaze outside, and see the sun peeking out through the massive, sable thunder clouds. Then, rays of golden light shoot from behind the beasts and grace the ground in dappled patterns, bathing the whole world in a light more precious than it was before the tempest.

The storm is over. Lightning flashes distantly, but it is of little consequence; thunder can be heard faintly, but it despairs you not. The storm is over.

A beautiful picture of streams of golden light filtering through the clouds

The clouds, once dark, dangerous and malicious, now hang in the azure expanse, suffused with golden light. They have become like an artist’s painting, picturesque above the brightening landscape. They are God’s masterpieces, beautiful to behold. Once vessels of pain, they are now vessels of joy.

Then, the sun descends onto the western horizon, and the light changes. Yellow fades to orange and amalgamates with the sky, forming complex and breathtaking shades of purple and violet. The heavens become a mural. God moves His hand across the firmament, painting a picture with pastel watercolors. Each stroke is subtle, but brilliant. Wisps of cloud drift lazily in the distance; collections of massive titans bathed in orange and purple clump together and are formed into pleasant, beautiful shapes.

The people below smile, their gazes never averting from the sight which they witness above them. They are captivated by the beauty of God’s creation, uplifted by the power of His majesty. How much more it will be in heaven!

Sunsets are beautiful things. That’s another reason I like storms; following them, it is almost certain that there will be beautiful sunsets. Often when I see the sky in such vivid display, I can’t help but look up at it and keep my eyes fastened upon the firmament. It’s a truly wondrous thing.

All God’s magnificent paintings: His creation. Amazing!

It’s also very symbolic. When we come to a stage in our lives where we seem to be without hope – a storm, if you will – there’s always a light in the darkness, a hope in despair. No storm is perpetual. Every storm has its end. And when the Son finally comes out from behind the clouds, there will never be a storm again. The beauty of His coming will be exponentially greater than that of the sunset.

Unimaginable! God is so great!

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 23: Rain

Rain. Ah, the word makes me sigh with delight!

I’ve always liked rain. Something about it makes me feel comfortable inside my house, sitting on the end of the couch, gazing at the torrents of water traveling apace down the streets, gleaming dully in the twilight, as concrete often does when wet. I feel a certain content and pleasure, reading a book, finishing schoolwork, writing a novel or playing the piano, with the rain serving to set my mood. I cannot describe it. I don’t suppose anyone could endeavor to, either, and fully succeed, for there are some things that words cannot describe nor express. God has created

Rain riddling the ground

our emotions and feelings in such a deep, powerful way that language isn’t enough to relate them to others. We can try, and may succeed, to a

certain point, but the furthest extent of our sensations cannot be described.

So, yes. I like rain. I always have. I always will. But there is one kind of rain that I despise.

You guessed it (well, maybe you didn’t)! Drizzly rain.

If it isn’t a downpour, it isn’t pleasant to me. I cannot stand such rain. Rain that seems almost undecided (should I let it all loose, or torture those pesky humans down there?) or maliciously scheming against mankind really agitates me! There’s something about drizzly rain that makes the day’s atmosphere feel bleak, forbidding, grey and unpleasant, as if someone has drawn a shadowy veil over everything so that it all seems depressing and dull. Again, I cannot describe it. But those of you who share these inexpressible feelings can probably relate 🙂

Oh, and did I mention that rain helps plants grow?

It’s a win-win situation 😀

Well, win-win-lose, if you count the dreaded drizzles. But beggars can’t be choosers, eh?

“Oh farmers, pray that your summers be wet and your winters clear.” – An excerpt from The Georgics, written by Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil)

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 22: Neptune High School

You know what has really irritated me this last week? The story about Neptune High School, the ACLU, and how ridiculous the modern interpretation of the First Amendment really is. If you need information regarding the story, check it out at this link: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/17/aclu-threatens-legal-action-nj-high-school-amendment-dispute/

The ACLU is ludicrous. The people who think that the First Amendment and the Separation of Church and State support what they’re doing here are crazy! Perhaps they ought to actually read the Constitution themselves:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Hmm. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.” Why does

A picture of the auditorium in Ocean Grove, where students from Neptune High School graduate

the ACLU think that the Constitution gives them the right to abridge freedom of religion? How does the First Amendment support them in this debate?

American Civil Liberties Union. I’ve never heard something more ironic in my entire life. That’s almost funny, actually. Civil Liberties? I hope they’re joking; really, I do.

One more thing:

The Separation of Church and State was proposed by some of the Founding Fathers when the Constitution was written, but it was never included in the Constitution. Read it all the way through. You won’t find it there. Trust me; I’ve been through the entire thing, and not a word was spoken about it.

You won’t see it in the Declaration of Independence, either. It doesn’t exist in any governing legal document. The ignorance of the ACLU and everyone who uses the Separation of Church and State is so egregiously ridiculous that I want to slam my head against a wall, slump down in a corner, and cry myself to sleep.

And what has the agreement been in this affair?

1. People will enter through the side door during the graduation, so as to not be offended by the cross hanging above the main entrance.

2. Most (or all) Christian hymns will be removed from the ceremony.

3. The student-led prayer will be removed from the proceedings.

4. Both the Christian signs (“Holiest to the Lord” and “So Be Ye Holy”) will be covered with school banners during the ceremony.

**Pulls hair out 

All because one person was offended. Now everyone has to suffer. One of my favorite ways to describe it?

It’s not “freedom from religion”, it’s “freedom of religion”.

**Pulls hair out

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 21: Little Women

I recently had the great pleasure of reading a novel entitled Little Women. Many of you have probably heard of it before, and, perhaps, even read it; if you haven’t, I encourage you to pick up a copy right now and read it. It’s an excellent book, and I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a good read.

Little Women follows the moving story of the four March sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy), as they struggle through life in the absence of their father (who is away as a chaplain for the Union Army in the Civil War) and in the clutches of party. The story opens with the four of them,

Louisa May Alcott, the author of "Little Women", at age 25

gathered around the fireplace, conversing about their terrible circumstances, how the following day’s Christmas would be terrible, and how they wished things were in the olden days, when they had plenty of money and things. This desire for more is a key aspect of the first part of Little Women, and, towards the end, the girls learn that they already have enough as it is – a family, love, a home – and that those who have more are not as happy as they may seem.

But Little Women is about much more than greed or desire; it’s about love, family unity, discipline, and faith. The girls are being instructed, without cessation, by their diligent, wise and benevolent mother (affectionately known as “Marmee”) who teaches them how to “carry their burdens”, how to love each other in spite of their faults, and how to lean on the Lord. Indeed, each of the sisters has their own fault which they improve as the story progresses, through a series of difficult occurrences and hard lessons learned.

And that’s just the first part.

The second part was originally written separately from the first. It was written in 1869, one year later (after Little Women had achieved such admirable success, it was apparent that another ought to be written; eventually, a total of four books were written about the March sisters) and was entitled Good Wives before it was combined with the first part. The book, as its name implies, follows the March sisters journeys as they, one by one, find husbands, and learn how to be good wives to them. Along the way, tragedy, of course, strikes, and there are many other hardships that plague them on their individual roads, but, in the end, everything turns out well. I won’t tell you how it ends, as that would ruin the whole experience, but I can tell you, without hesitation, that this is a very worthy read.

A 1947 edition of "Little Women", published by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.

Louisa May Alcott wrote the book, and she is a very talented writer. Her style compels the letters to flow off of the page, giving a sort of indescribable light to the peace. Every word is well placed, every character fleshed out and attended to with the utmost detail. The story is well paced, and everything seems to fit together like a puzzle. Extremely well executed; God certainly blessed this woman with a gift.

That’s all I can say, really. It’s a great novel. READ IT. You won’t be sorry, and won’t regret the time you spend delving into it. It is a book that attempts to, and commendably achieves, a portrayal of some of the beautiful things in life: Family, maternal wisdom, friendship, and tender love for all.

Four and a half stars.

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 20: Napoleon I

Napoleon Bonaparte was an interesting fellow; a tactical genius on the field, but not in the overall strategic arc of things.

The latter part I’ll explain later.

Napoleon was born in Corsica on August 15th 1769, to a noble Italian family that lived there. At ten, Napoleon traveled to mainland France and attended a religious school in the town of Autun for a time, in particular to learn French. Despite his attempts to master the language, his spelling was never as fluent as his speaking, and his Corsican accent remained with him persistently throughout his entire life. I find that interesting; often Napoleon is portrayed with a heavy French accent, but, in truth, that’s not accurate! Yet I can hardly imagine him any other way, and so continue to hear his voice in my mind as if it were a Frenchman speaking.

After attending Autun for four months, Napoleon traveled to Brienne-le-Chateau – a military academy – in the Aube department, located in northeastern France. He remained there for five years, and, upon graduating, was accepted into the Ecole Militaire. Having aspired to join the navy, and witnessing his hopes dashed across the bluffs when being admitted into this society, he considered joining the British Royal Navy, but he opted against it. Instead, he trained to become an artillery officer. When his father died, though, his income plummeted significantly, and he was forced to complete two years of study in one year. He did it, and became the first man from Corsica to graduate from the Ecole Militaire.

From there, Napoleon’s career began in the military, and he rose to prominence after several victories and a few serendipitous occurrences, such as his campaigns in Austria and Egypt. In 1799, he and two other Frenchmen orchestrated a coup that supplanted the French government and installed them as the French Consulate, with Napoleon as First Consul.

Five years later, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of the French Empire. Literally. When the pope approached to crown him, Napoleon seized the crown out of his hands and placed it on his own head.

That was in 1804. In 1803, the Napoleonic Wars began.

Napoleon, thereafter, changed the face of Europe. He stretched his hand to the east across the continent, taking control of everything as he went, reaching as far as the Russian border. The picture below gives us an idea of the extent of Napoleon’s holdings and allies.

Napoleonic Europe in 1811, at the greatest extent of the French Empire and its allies

Then, Napoleon made the most ridiculous move he could have made at the time, possibly costing him the fall of the French Empire. He invaded Russia and 1812.

Russia is massive, and the winters there are brutal. You don’t invade Russia in a land war; that’s the first rule in military command. But Napoleon obviously felt that he was invincible – that no one could defeat him in battle, no matter how strong they were – and, therefore, pressed forward to the east into Russian lands.

The campaign was a joke. Though Napoleon won at the battle outside of Moscow against the Russians, he lost the war against them overall; when the Russian army retreated, Napoleon assumed that he would be able to occupy Moscow, and procure rations for his troops. But it wasn’t so. The Russians burned Moscow as they withdrew, and Napoleon was forced to retreat his army to the west a month later.

Napoleon entered Russia with 400,000 men. He left it with 40,000.

It was the greatest mistake he had made. And he paid for it dearly. In March of 1814, Paris was taken by the Sixth Coalition, and Napoleon was forced to relinquish his emperorship.

He was exiled to Elba, but in 1815, he returned, and took control for another hundred days.

Then came the Battle of Waterloo, in which Napoleon was defeated by the British and the Prussians under the command of the Duke of

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, and  Gebhard von Blucher, respectively. Before the battle began, one of Napoleon’s subordinates said to the Napoleon, after the emperor had outlined his plan to him, “Man proposes, but God disposes.”

Napoleon, with an air of perfect superiority, replied, “Napoleon proposes, and Napoleon disposes.”

Then a rain began to fall, transforming the ground into a field of pure mud and hindering the French advance. In the end, Napoleon was defeated, and sent to the island of Saint Helena, where he died six years later of what is speculated to be arsenic poisoning.

What do I think of Napoleon? I’m not quite sure. I admire his genius in military command, that’s for certain, but I think that, in the end, he grew so arrogant and and assured of his superiority and invincibility that he thought himself greater than his Creator and Father. That, ultimately, led to his downfall. But Napoleon’s actions led Europe into the 19th century, and compelled the nations in the Congress of Vienna to redraw borders and establish the Concert of Europe, which held up, for the most part, until WWI. Some good did come of his actions, but that does not justify his high opinion of himself – his pride.

Oh, and I’m not talking about Napoleon Dynamite. If that Napoleon would’ve been in command, France probably wouldn’t exist today.

And it’s really weird to think that I’m taller than Napoleon. I guess it just goes to show that size doesn’t dictate greatness, and that God can bless anyone, no matter their appearance or physical structure, with marvelous gifts.

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 19: Grass

Have you ever thought about grass before?

I’m going to guess not. To be truthful, I haven’t really either. But in my experience, though, the most seemingly insignificant ideas – the things that no one ever contemplates, or thinks of very little importance – can be the most powerful, in ways we might’ve never conceived.

A scene, from the first Lord of the Rings movie, "The Fellowship of the Ring", of Gandalf riding a cariole up the road to Bag End

The more I think about it though, the more I wonder: What would life be like without grass?

(Before I continue, picture Mordor, that dark and unforgiving landscape. Now, imagine a world where every place was like that)…

Bland, I should say. Consider what walking through a dusty field would be like, with naught but the rocks and protrusions to cut your toes as you ambulate. Contemplate what rolling hills would look like if they were devoid of grass. Imagine the greenest pastures filled with rock and dirt, the stiles and fences companionless, standing alone in the brown and bleak atmosphere, and the whole place bereft of that wonderful verdure.  God gave us this wonderful plant for a reason!

You might be wondering, “Where did he get an idea for a post like this?” The answer to that question would be this: “From what my eyes behold!” I was just looking out the window when I endeavored to write a post, and, on seeing our backyard, I thought, “Grass!”, and this post was born.

So, let’s not take grass for granted. Let’s not forget the way it graces our toes, sways in a cool summer wind, scintillates in the morning sunlight, harbors many crystalline dew drops, and brings pleasure to those who see it. Let’s always be thankful when we set our bare feet in a tuft of grass, and say, “Ah! How God has blessed us all!”

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 18: Star Wars

Star Wars is such an old and venerable movie saga that it’s often taken for granted. It is so deeply and inextricably infused into our culture that it has become a part of ourselves, and, I often ask, why? The Original Trilogy, I own, was an excellent set of films, and it introduced the Star Wars universe in such a powerful way that people took hold of it and never let go. But what about the most recent three films? The Phantom Menace was dreadful – the confluence of terrible acting and atrocious dialogue is not conducive to an exciting or inspiring movie -, The Attack of the Clones was good, but the selection of Hayden Christensen to portray Anakin Skywalker marred what could have been an excellent film. And, before I forget to mention it, Revenge of the Sith was good, but, once again, there was the issue of acting, and some of the expressions and lines that characters make and utter in the fight scenes – particularly between Mace Windu and Darth Sidious – are so ridiculous that I shivered with displeasure.

So, why do these movies permeate our culture in such a manner? Why do we like these movies when we compare them to other, more significant works like The Lord of the Rings?

Somewhere in our subconscious, I believe that we see the beauty behind these movies, though it is hidden and rarely manifested in the movies themselves. It’s a powerful story about what evil can do to convert love into hatred, and to exploit obsessions and desires for control and dominance. But more than that, it’s a story about redemption. Darth Vader, destined to bring balance to the force, falls under the sway of the dark side initially, but the love of his son brings him back into the light at the end of it all. It’s a tale of good versus evil, epic in scope, brimming with content, and pleasant to watch. It’s the journey of a young boy who loses everything he loves, loves everything he loses, and is deceived by a maniac whose one goal is to control the galaxy.

It’s brilliant, really. It could’ve been better if someone else was writing the scripts, and someone else was directing, but the best of stories cannot be ruined by poor portrayals.

Star Wars may be imperfect – all movies are -, but it will stand the test of time as one of the classics because of the themes, the content, and the tale of redemption that many, many human beings can associate with. I personally like Star Wars. I may cringe when I see Hayden Christensen try to act like he loves Padme, uttering many pointlessly ludicrous endearments with such monotony that I want to laugh – or cry -, but when I look at the big picture, I see something sad, powerful and true.

Star Wars wallpaper, including characters from each of the six movies in the saga

In Christ,

Ryan

DAY 17: Exhaustion

Exhaustion stinks. A lot. I can vouch for that.

I’ve observed, from a very personal perspective (as one tends to do when suffering the effects one observes), that exhaustion takes a terrible toll on one’s writing, and the ability thereof. It takes me well over a few days to get back into the swing of things, and that can be exceedingly difficult,

especially when involved in a blog war with two avid competitors who are more prolific with writing than I 😀

And, as it is wth all wars, you can’t say, “I don’t think I’ll fight today. Maybe I’ll ask my opponents if they’d like to do the same,” because they won’t agree with you, and press even harder with the knowledge of your weakness.

But exhaustion is good, in some respects. Not only does it teach us to appreciate the times when we do have energy, but it also gives us opportunities to press through the most difficult and arduous of tasks, and to “do everything our hand finds to do with all our might” in spite of our weariness. Indeed, exhaustion also compels us to rely on God for our strength, which is even better. Instead of thinking, “My own energy carries me through!”, we begin to understand that the “spirit is willing, but the body is weak”, and that we “can do all things through Christ who

strengthens us”. I firmly believe that every hardship we face – every pain that we endure -, including this one, is present for a reason, even if we don’t understand it.

So embrace the exhaustion, put your trust in the Lord, and know that He’s got you in His hands! That’s something that I certainly have not perfected yet, and, I own, will not any time soon; but with a little faith, anything’s possible through the One who gives us His strength.

One of my favorite verses? “Come to Me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

In Christ,

Ryan

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