Tuesday, July 23, 2013


10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and put a new and right* spirit within me. 
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
   and do not take your holy spirit from me.  (Psalm 51)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Seven Quick Takes: July is my Favorite Month

July is the month the Church has designated to devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.  You can read more about this important and salvific devotion at this post on the Community of Catholic Bloggers.
We had a brief family vacation to New Glarus, Wisconsin.  Here are some scenes from that trip:

Enjoyed seeing my son make a tree swing from a branch: 

The number of students participating in our twice a month Witness for Life events has dropped off a bit in the summer.  Think part of it is the sleep-over parties and such that have them going to sleep between 2 and 4 in the morning.  Still it is a continued blessing to be part of this as I wrote about earlier in the month in this post.  Well the majority of the post is about the Name of the Lord, but there is a story in the midst of it about a young woman that was driven to a Chicago Abortion clinic for a surgical abortion and she would not go in, to the anger of her mother who drove her there.  The young woman was stuck without a ride home and I was blessed to talk with her for a while.  She is hoping for a boy!  It goes to a point I made in a post once that while "choice" is the slogan, there are many brought into the clinic under pressure, coercion by parents, step-parents, grandparents, boyfriends.  Some are in the midst of suicidal depression.  That occurred at the Planned Parenthood in Aurora on June 22.  A young woman texted her boyfriend, "I want this baby inside of me killed, and then I want to kill myself."  You would think the Planned Parenthood "counselor" would find it unethical to allow this woman to sign and have a life ending "procedure" in this state of mind.  Unfortunately, I don't know what happened next, but I think the woman was allowed to have that child inside of her killed despite her being of unsound mind.
Here are two videos put together for our school's pro-life club. They might not be viewable on iOS devices.
If you can't see the video, try this link:

If you can't see the video, try this link:

In case anyone wants to make a small donation to help with gas and getting more signs, here is a link - please select the "Live Pro Life Group".


I was blessed to take part in the Pro-life Action League's Face the Truth Tour.  Here is a video that explains what the tour's purpose and methods are about:
My husband encouraged me to assist with our school's Pro-life club, but he is not a fan of the graphic pictures campaign.  The campaign occurs once a year, and I remember when I had young children and the pictures were on display in the Wisconsin Dells where we were vacationing.  I looked but I told my children not to look.  I was not going to take my two older children unless they wanted to go.

If you can't see the video, try this link:
I participated in 5 of the sites during this year's tour.  Personally I experienced feeling a bit nauseated during the first event I held a sign, to then arguing for their importance during an event in front of the Art Institute of Chicago three events later.  Here's what I posted on Facebook after the Chicago events: 
Great experience participating in the Face the Truth Tour today. I still am disgusted by these graphic pictures but you'd be surprised how many thank us...even buying cold water for us, for showing the truth of what happens to an unborn baby in an abortion. I had really mixed feelings about doing this but when you think most know about Hitler and the Holocaust because they saw pictures of thousands of emaciated dead bodies stacked like wood, but few know that Stalin killed 10 times as many because they never saw pictures. Attending a Ukrainian Byzantine Church, and only learning after attending there of the 25-30 million Ukrainians, starved by Stalin, convinces me showing pictures of the truth is critical. How do folks vote for politicians who call crushed skulls and limbs torn from baby bodies without anesthetic women's health and a reproductive right? I hope they don't after they see the pictures. One black gentleman said our signs just turned him Pro-life. Another said seeing the signs 13 years ago (during the 1st Face the Truth events) saved his daughter from being aborted. He couldn't believe he and his girlfriend were planning to do that (what was portrayed on the signs) to their beloved daughter. Praise God for giving me the opportunity to participate. God bless all those who organize and participate and all that support us.

This isn't for everyone, and personally, I still think it is most important to reach the women going into the clinics by being there praying and sidewalk counseling, and by contributing to the funds of Crisis Pregnancy Centers and those that provide residency and medical care to women in crisis pregnancies.  As the woman who argued with me repeated (and to which I did not disagree), "You reach people through love."  Those women walking in need to know that God loves them, and that we his children will provide evidence of his love and care so that the woman and her child can experience that love through our gifts.

It is important though.  It is just once a year too, and these pictures do stay with people to be a counter to the lies of the other side. 
If you want to donate to provide water to those participating and gas for the trucks carrying the signs around, they welcome even a donation of $5, here is the link.

(Only read this next paragraph if you are able to stand graphic description of the most horrific of the pictures displayed)

The most awful image displayed in the tour is that of a severed head of an infant.  There were two of these images about 20 feet from each other on the opposite side of the street from me in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.  In between there, three counter-protestors had a spray-painted sheet that said "Abortion On Demand Without Apology".  They also chanted this.  As shocking as the graphic images are, to see those words---"without apology" and hear the chant between two images of a baby's head, with hair on it (must have been 22+ weeks I think), with the brain stem there, but the lower jaw not - that awful image of the reality of late-term abortion, and then to hear "without apology" . . . well it is inhumane, and perhaps, if you are "in the light" (see 1 John 1:7) evidence of the power of darkness and what happens when a person's heart is hardened.
My favorite Bible Verses this week, as I was preparing to go participate in the Face the Tour Events:

"Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

"But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. 

 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing."
(1 Thessalonians 5:4-5, 8-11)

Join Jen and friends for other Quick Takes!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Name of the Lord

Jesus taught, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life . . . but seek first his (your heavenly Father's) kingdom and his righteousness . . . . Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you will get. . . . Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."  (Matthew 6:25a, 33, 7:1-2, 24-27)

This past Sunday the Lord impressed upon me the need to get to know him and his name more and to make that name of his known.  The scripture he led me to seemed to indicate to me that talking, writing on this blog, in any way that causes hearers, readers to forget God's name is a way of leading people astray.  The scriptures I was reading were from Jeremiah.  It was God's word towards self-declared prophets, but still I found some food for thought in these.

How many times had I read something in the Bible about God's name, wondered: what is up with God's name?; what is God's name?; and then did nothing to seek for the answers.  So first the convicting readings, and then the answers.  Emphasis added by me.

"I did not send these prophets, yet they ran!  I did not speak to them, yet they prophesized!  How long are there to be those among the prophets who prophesy lies and are in fact prophets of their own delusions.  They are doing their best, by means of the dreams they keep telling each other, to make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name in favor of Baal.  I have a quarrel with prophets who make prophecies out of lying dreams, Yahweh declares, who recount them, and lead my people astray by their lies and their bragging. I certainly never sent them, or commissioned them, and they serve no purpose for this people, Yahweh declares."  (Jeremiah 23:26-27, 21, 32)

"And let him who receives a word from me, deliver my word accurately!  Had they been present in my council, they could have proclaimed my words to my people, and turned them from their evil way and from the wickedness of their deeds!"  (Jeremiah 23:28b, 22)

Humility is something that we can learn from the Lord and only grow in by the grace of God.  After all pride, which in essence is idolatry, was the cause of the original sin, and its residual is still strong part of our human nature now.  I think the way the Holy Spirit preserved Mary as sinless was to teach her early about the primacy of being humble, and clothing her in grace to perfectly grow in this virtue! 

Some of us, me for example, require more of God's grace to grow in the virtue of humility than others.  Many saints have mentioned how humility is primary in order to grow in intimacy with God.  I think humility is also necessary in order to hear and be led by God in whatever way he chooses to communicate with us.  Studying and meditating on the name of the Lord gave me a peacefulness in my soul.  I started a Bible study on the name of the Lord Sunday, and I'll probably be still in that study until the day when I can no longer read or listen to the Bible.

Just reading the passages on the name of God turned into praising God.  Praising God and humbling oneself before God in praise is unfailing way of defeating anxiousness, and any efforts by the unseen evil spirits to distract me from my God-given purpose in this life and the next.  Before I go to those verses, I want to relay what happened last Saturday at the Witness to Life at an abortion clinic in downtown Chicago.

I was blessed to actually get to talk with one of the young women that was brought to the abortion clinic for a surgical abortion.  I've been going twice a month for over 1.5 years and this was the first time I've had such a conversation.  I totally missed her, and was distracted by some other dramas that were occurring around the clinic.  Another counselor noticed her standing alone under a tree and went up to talk with her.  She needed a phone to call for her step mother, because her mother had brought her to the clinic demanding that she have an abortion.  It was an iphone 5 that I particularly like, so I told her, "I am not going to listen to your conversation, but I need to stay close you know, because it is my phone."

I didn't try to listen, but I did hear a few things and in general was hearing the emotion in the call.  The girl was upset and on brink of tears several times.  She mentioned that her mom was calling her names as part of the pressure to have the surgery.  She needed someone to get her out of there.  After she was done she stepped over to return my phone.  Neither of us moved.

I found out that she was homeless, just graduated, played small forward in basketball, and was pregnant.  Her mom was pressuring her to do this, and she didn't want to.  I said many things to try to connect with her, and I was very nervous the entire time.  Some things I said were probably unhelpful "Oh, I played guard because I was considerably shorter than you."  Something I said that I think was helpful was, "You are God's Beloved child, and you do not need to dwell on anyone calling you a slut or saying mean things in order to get you do this.  Your baby within you is God's Beloved child too.  You are beautiful, and I am sure this baby is going to be beautiful too."

She said, "I hope it is going to be a boy."

Me, very encouraged, "Trust God to provide for you and this baby.  God's providence is like a parachute.  Until you pull the string you have no idea how well it works.  I think you know God, and I encourage you to call this number (pointing to the center address and phone number on the sheet).  They have residential care, and funds to provide for you during your pregnancy and for caring for the baby after.  Also, please find a Bible read, and pray.  Trust God." 

I noticed I was nervous up until the time I mentioned the unseen, but most important reality, "You are God's Beloved child."

Now for the scriptures -

"God is both refuge and strength for us,
a help always ready in trouble;
Yahweh Sabaoth is with us,
our citadel, the God of Jacob.
Be still and acknowledge that I am God,
supreme over nations,
supreme over the world." (Psalms 46:1, 7, 10)

* citadel:  fortress, stronghold; Sabaoth:  of Hosts, as in angelic army inclusive of powers, principalities and all the other orders of angels.

"Blessed are you, Yahweh our God
from everlasting to everlasting,
and blessed be your glorious name
surpassing all blessing and praise!

You, Yahweh, are the one, only Yahweh,
you have created the heavens,
the heaven of heavens and all their array,
the earth and all it bears,
the seas and all they hold.
To all of them you give life,
and the array of heaven worships you." (Nehemiah 9:5b-6)


Praise, servants of Yahweh,
praise the name of Yahweh.

Blessed be the name of Yahweh,
henceforth and for ever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
praised be the name of Yahweh!

Supreme over all nations is Yahweh,
supreme over the heavens his glory.
Who is like Yahweh our God?
His throne is set on high" (Psalms 113:1-5)

"But from farthest east to farthest west my name is great among the nations, and everywhere incense and a pure gift are offered to my name, since my name is great among the nations, says Yahweh Sabaoth." (Malachi 1:11) 

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (130?-200?) explains that this is the Eucharistic sacrifice foretold (The New Jerusalem Bible, Saints Devotional Edition, p. 1197).  For indeed when the pure, immaculate and holy body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are offered from the farthest east, to the farthest west, incense and a pure gift are offered to God's name.

What is God's name?  The Blue Letter Bible has a great page on the Old Testament names of God.  Yahweh Sabaoth is used over 285 times in the Old Testament and especially in Malachi.  Over 43.6% of the verses in Malachi reference the name of God as Yahweh Sabaoth.  Why?

From the English Standard Version Study Bible, p. 1775:
There is no greater comfort than the fact that the Lord has his invincible heavenly armies standing at the ready.  It is like the comfort that Elisha prayed for his servant at Dothan when they were surrounded by the Syrian armies: 

"'O Lord (Adonai), please open his eyes that he may see.' So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha" (2 Kings 6:17).  Perhaps it is like the comfort felt by Jesus before the cross:  "Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt. 26:53). 

Have you ever read 2 Maccabees?  It is an exciting book of the Bible.  In it Judas Maccabeus leads a rebellion against the Hellenists that were oppressing the Israelites, he said, "They may put their trust in their weapons and their exploits . . . but our confidence is in almighty God, who is able with a single nod to overthrow both those marching on us and the whole world with them." (2 Maccabees 8:18)  Judas and his followers humbled themselves before God, prostrating themselves in the Temple, and begging for his mercy and kindness, "they and the populace with them begged the Lord with lamentation and tears to send a good angel to save Israel." (2 Maccabees 11:6)  What happened? 

"They were still near Jerusalem when a rider attired in white appeared at their head, brandishing golden weapons.  With one accord they all blessed the God of mercy, and found themselves filled with such courage . . . " (2 Maccabees 11:8-9a)

I found this beautiful explanation of God's name of Yahweh Sabaoth:

The name of God is "the God of Hosts".
"Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of hosts" is one of the frequent titles or names of God in the Old Testament. It is cited 260 times according to one scholar, 285 times according to another (cf. Theol. Dictionary of the OT [German edition], 6, 876-892). Though used less in the historical books, it is found very frequently in the prophets.
"It is the most sublime and magnificent proper name of God" (ibid., 692). 

Every day at Holy Mass we call upon God by this name, uniting ourselves with the holy angels when we sing: "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth–Lord God of hosts", as it was formerly translated.
I pray this mediation on God's name was a blessing to you as it was to me.
Three more scriptures, for the road:
"Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like us."  John 17:11b
"The name of Yahweh is a strong tower;
the upright runs to it and is secure." Proverbs 18:10
"And now war broke out in heaven, when Michael (God's champion whose name means 'who is like God') with his angels attacked the dragon.  The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated and driven out of heaven.  The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan, who had led all the world astray, was hurled down to the earth and his angles hurled down with him.  Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, 'Salvation and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now the accuser, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.  They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word to which they bore witness, because even in the face of death they did not cling to life."  (Revelation 12: 7-11)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What unites the extreme Gay Rights and Pro-abortion Activists?

We were having a graduation party for the graduating 8th graders and their families at a community church.  It was a wonderful event inclusive of a praise and thanksgiving service in the church worship area itself.  After the dinner and service we had fire pits going outside so the kids and parents could continue to talk with each other.

The church's pastor and I were two of the last adults around the fire pit.  He asked me, "Do you know what unites the extreme Gay Rights and Pro-abortion Activists?"

Do you?   What do you think unites them?

During the service part I put in a little pitch to get some more of the students active in our Prolife club at the school, of which I am a chaperone, adviser.  The Pastor had been active in the prolife movement many years ago.  I had heard many stories about being active in the eighties during the Clinton era.  These were the days of Operation Rescue, when prolife activists tried to block access to the clinics and block the abortionists, whether their cars, or the abortionists themselves from entering the clinic.

Some of these events ended in prolife and proaborts being in jail together.  In one such jail experience, my friend's mother and her friend, whom he described as resembling the church lady from Saturday Night Live, were in with a goth looking woman with a super-short black haircut, and the numbers 666 tattooed on her forehead.  This woman began using crude gestures and language toward the prolife women.  They gave her a look that said the equivalent of today's expression, "Really?!"  Then one said to the other, "We need to pray for her."

So they did.

And then, this 666 lady began to scream!  My friend was in the male side of the jail and he could hear this screaming.

"Get me out of here, NOW!  I need out of here right NOW!"

He yelled over to his mother, "Mom, are you OK?"

She yelled back, "Yes, Son.  We are just praying over here.  Everything is fine."

And the screaming continued.

Reminds me of a verse from my reading on the back patio at sunset last night:

Let us lay traps for the upright man, since he annoys us
and opposes our way of life,
reproaches us for our sins against the Law,
and accuses us of sins against our upbringing.
He claims to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a child of the Lord.
We see him as a reproof to our way of thinking,
the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
for his kind of life is not like other people's,
and his ways are quite different.
In his opinion we are counterfeit;
he avoids our ways as he would filth;
he proclaims the final end of the upright as blessed
and boasts of having God for his father.
Yet people look on, uncomprehending;
and it does not enter their heads
that grace and mercy await his chosen ones
and that he intervenes on behalf of his holy ones.

When the count of their sins has been drawn up, in terror they will come
and their crimes, confronting them, will accuse them.
Striken with remorse, they will say to one another
with groans and laboring breath,
Clearly we have strayed from the way of truth;
the light of justice has not shone for us,
the sun has not risen for us.
We have left no path of lawlessness or ruin unexplored,
we have crossed deserts where there was no track,
but the way of the Lord is one we have never known.
What good has arrogance been to us?
What has been the purpose of our riches and boastfulness?
All those things have passed like a shadow,
passed like a fleeting rumor. -- Wisdom 2:12-16, 4:14b-15, 4:20, 5:3, 5-9

You must of heard this week of how in Texas, after the blue-shirted prolife people finished singing "Amazing Grace", and remarkably after finishing the line, "I was blind but now I see" (IRONY!), an orange-shirted proabort for killing babies after 20 weeks gestation came into the camera and said "Hail Satan!" and stuck out her tongue.

So let us not be blind!  Let us see!  And let us pray, and let us praise and thank our God who intervenes on our behalf, who if we are holy, or pray, or praise, or bear any fruit it is through his grace, his loving and powerful inviting presence among us.

The answer to the pastor's question?

"Do you know what unites the extreme Gay Rights and Pro-abortion Activists?"

You know don't you?  It is Satan and the evil spirits.  If you think I am a loon, I would disagree and quote Billy Graham, "I've never seen the wind, but I've felt the effects of the wind."  Satan and evil spirits are part of unseen reality.  They can be denied, just like gravity.  But when you jump off a building you come to realize the reality of both.

When God's children, created in his image to know, love and serve him are murdered it is only Satan that is served.  If you venture into comment land on some of the proabort blogs you'll soon notice some of the screen names like "BrazenQueer".  Some of these folks are not gifted with amazing logic or rhetorical skills.  Some compare getting a baby killed in a violent, dismembering, unaestheticized murder to getting treatment for cancer.  Seriously!  One woman, who said she is a lawyer, asked me why I didn't have our students picket outside of a cancer treatment facility.

It is easy for me to be a prolife activist.  I had a personal need to do something to bear fruit.  I love praying, reading my Bible, attending Mass and making holy hours, but I thought I was on the very low yielding side as far as a disciple of Jesus Christ was concerned. 

"It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit
and be my disciples." -- John 15:8

Prolife activism now is not like the Operation Rescue days.  We go to be a prayerful presence to give the women entering the center pause.  We go to be a prolife presence praying and holding signs that give the passer-bys pause.  We pray that God will intervene in the hearts and minds of the women, the men who are the parents of the unborn babies, in the hearts and minds of the clinic workers and the NARAL affliliated volunteer escorts, several of whom are recruited from college campuses and are in their late teens or early twenties.

This "Hail Satan" moment is not isolated outlier event. It is just a moment when the veil is lifted, and some in the broader population have a chance to have an epiphany ah-ha moment.

Please join us in the prolife cause.  We are going to witness for life in downtown Chicago today, in approximately one hour.  It is tense down there, and the spiritual warfare is actually palpable. 

Please pray for all involved. 

We trust in our Sovereign, All-Powerful, Merciful, and Loving God to intervene on behalf of his little ones and behalf of us, his praying and grateful children who place all our trust and all our efforts and our whole lives in his providential hands.

"The retribution of God from heaven is being revealed against the ungodliness and injustice of human beings who in their injustice hold back the truth.  For what can be known about God is perfectly plain to them, since God has made it plain to them:  ever since the creation of the world, the invisible existence of God and his everlasting power have been clearly seen by the mind's understanding of created things.  And so these people have no excuse:  they knew God and yet they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but their arguments became futile and their uncomprehending minds were darkened.  While they claimed to be wise, in fact they were growing so stupid that they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an imitation.
That is why God abandoned them in their inmost cravings to filthy practices of dishonoring their own bodies--because they exchanged God's truth for a lie and have worshipped and served the creature instead of the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
That is why God abandoned them to degrading passions:  why their women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural practices; and the men, in a similar fashion, too, giving up normal relations with women, are consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameful things with men and receiving in themselves due reward for their perversion.
In other words, since they would not consent to acknowledge God, God abandoned them to their unacceptable thoughts and indecent behavior. . . .  They are well aware of God's ordinance:  that those who behave like this deserve to die--yet they not only do it, but even applaud others who do the same."  --Romans 1:18-28, 32

The quote "ever since the creation of the world" struck me, because there is also a correlation there, haven't seen the study, but have seen the slick Darwin fish with feet on the back of one of the male escort's cars parked at the abortion clinic.  Those who are not blind are keen to the history that the half-baked theories of Darwin on the origin of the species were their ticket to help indoctrinate many that the invisible existence of God and his everlasting power are not to be seen clearly in the creation of the world.  Surely there are adaptations, and mutations among plants and animals that result in classifying new species, but there is no amount of magical thinking that could lead me to accept lightning hitting organic soup to create life, etc., etc.  But if it justifies living lawlessly and worshipping the creature (oneself, one's friend, one's lover) in place of the Creator, then better publicize, and defend and teach as many children as possible this theory as fact and declare anyone that believes God created the world as an uneducated fool.

"So no matter who you are, if you pass judgment you have no excuse.  It is yourself that you condemn when you judge others, since you behave in the same way as those you are condemning.  We are well aware that people who behave like that are justly condemned by God.  But you--when you judge those who behave like this while you are doing the same yourself--do you think you will escape God's condemnation?  Or are you not disregarding his abundant goodness, tolerance and patience, failing to realize that this generosity of God is meant to bring you to repentance.  Your stubborn refusal to repent is only storing up retribution for yourself on that Day of retribution, when God's just verdicts will be made known.  He will repay everyone as their deeds deserve.  For those who aimed for glory and honor and immortality by persevering in doing good, there will be eternal life; but for those who out of jealousy have taken for their guide not truth but injustice, there will be the fury of retribution."  -- Romans 2:1-8

That being a very useful reminder.  If I seem in any way to be judging proaborts or homosexual activists, I am not.  I do need to repent and make reparation and persevere especially in praying so that I can do good:

"Remain in me, as I in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
unless it remains part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is thrown away like a branch
--and withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on
the fire
and are burnt." --John 15:4-6

I am actually hopeful and will pray that if anyone happening to see this blog post at some point that they will come to repentance and prayer and for standing for the life of the unborn, and above all for lives conformed after Jesus Christ, following his teachings and the truth of God's commandments.

God's mercy is there for all of us!  Praise be to God!

"So, my dear brothers, keep firm and immovable, always abounding in energy for the Lord's work, being sure that in the Lord none of your labors is wasted." -- 1 Corinthians 15:58