Friday, October 24, 2008

Enter the Story: Advent Conspiracy

Wow, Love this! SOOO Convicting! Every year, Eric and I say we are so going to do Christmas differently....I think this year just might be the year that we radically change our focus. More to come on this subject....

Tired of It

  • I am tired of the liberal media...they make my blood boil.

  • I am tired of the endless jabs, remarks, punches at Sara Palin
  • Iam tired of the remarks about Sara Palin's wardrobe. If you are going to make a big deal about the amount of money being spent on stuff like this, than disclose it on ALL sides. Definitely, it is ridiculous, but make a big deal about ALL of the money WASTED on stuff like this.

  • I am tired of the media's ability to go in and try to destroy a plumber's life in one day just because he had a different opinion and questioned the policies of the candidate they endorse.

  • I am tired of the media that will probe and prod into the life of a plumber, an ordinary guy just trying to make a living, going to all lengths to try and discredit him, yet won't even consider looking into the background of someone running for president.

  • I am tired of a media that won't seriously investigate and question relationships that a person RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT has had with a person who bombed our country and is still glad he did it.

    • I am tired of what both the Democratic and Republican Party have come to represent.
    • I am tired of all the time spent yelling back and forth about who stands for what and the twisting and turning of verbage until you have to be a law professor to even know what they are talking about.
    • I am tired of the corruption in our government and the money that is WASTED while 143 million orphans are going hungry each and every day
    • I am tired of this post.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Picture This

    Okay, what if these guys dress up for Halloween as Scooby and Friends? The little guy, second from the left, could be Velma--doesn't he have perfect Velma hair? He could wear wide rim glasses and a thick turtleneck sweater. And Joshua could be Fred, Sophie could be Daphne, Owen could be Scooby and lanky Wes would make a great Shaggy. We could make a cardboard Mystery mobile...Wouldn't this be great? They won't cooperate, but I think it would be hilarious.

    GO SOX!!!

    SO inspired by Boston's tenacity and ability to come from behind----again! This team is the picture of NEVER giving up! I am so inspired I just might wear my Red Sox hat to church :) Hope you have a great Sunday!

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Happy Birthday, Theo!!!

    We are looking forward to celebrating with you!
    And break a leg in your performance today! Steal the show! (have your mom explain these to you...we don't really want you breaking or stealing... :) )

    The Greater Work

    "...I say to you, he who believes in Me,...greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father" John 14:12

    • Prayer does not equip us for greater works--prayer is the greater work. Yet we think of prayer as some commonsense exercise of our higher powers that simply prepares us for God's work. In the teachings of Jesus Christ, prayer is the working o fthe miracle of redemption in others, through the power of God.
    • Prayer is the battle, and it makes no difference where you are. However God may engineer your circumstances, your duty is to pray. Never allow yourself this thought, "I am of no use where I am," because you certainly cannot be used where you have not yet been placed.
    • There is nothing thrilling about a laboring person's work, but it is the laboring person who makes the ideas of the genuis possible. And it the laboring saint who makes the ideas of his Master possible. When you labor at prayer, from God's perspective there are always results.

    Taken from Oswald Chamber's, My Utmost for His Highest, October 17th

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Christ and Christ Alone

    'He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.' Colossians 1:15-20

    We are sinful. God is Holy. God sent His one and only son to earth. He died upon the cross for all of our sins--past, present future--so that we could have eternal life. Jesus is holy and blameless...He took upon Him all of our sins so that we could have a relationship with a Holy God. Jesus is the 'bridge' between all mankind and God. To have a relationship with God, all we have to do is recognize who we are (a sinner in need of help), who God is (Holy and Perfect), and believe in the bridge (Jesus) that will bring us to God. We have to believe in this 'bridge'! That's it! How simple. How life changing.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    This Friend is MY Hero

    So I see Eric and the kids at mile 10.5 and I run up to the curb to slap them high five and about fall out! My friend, Nicole is standing there with them cheering me on! WHAT IN THE WORLD????? I spent the whole rest of the race trying to figure out how in the world she got to Chicago and wondering what the story was.

    I got the scoop after the race. She drove up the night before and spent the night with a friend and then met up that morning with Eric. WOW! What an AWESOME FUN surprise! My kids had a super fun time with her and having her there sure did make the weekend extra special for me. I had SO much fun hanging out with her afterwards!
    My, oh my, I am once again speechless and beyond knowing what to say. ...except, girlfriend, you out did yourself! Thank you seems like such a small word....but thank you for making my day on Sunday! You are one in a million! Love you, sweet friend!!!

    This is just so like God!

    Oswald Chamber's 'My Utmost for His Highest' is my favorite devotional ever. It has a reading for every day of the year. This past Sunday, October 12 (the day of the marathon), the title of the reading was 'Getting Into God's Stride'. How cool is that?!! I love how God gives you just what you need when you need it! I am sharing the whole thing with you because it is just soooo good!

    "Enoch walked with God..." (Genesis 5:24)
    The true test of a person's spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening. a person's worth is revealed in his attitude toware the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight (see John 1:35-37 and 3:30). It is painful work to get in step with God and to keep pace with Him--it means getting your second wind spiritually. In learning to walk with God, there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride, but once we have done so, the only characteristic that exhibits itself is the very life of God Himself. The individual person is merged into a personal oneness with God, and God's stride and His power alone are exhibited.

    It is difficult to get into stride with God, because as soon as we start walking with Him we find that His pace has surpassed us before we have even taken three steps. He has different ways of doing things, and we have to be trained and disciplined in His ways. It was said of Jesus--"He will not fail nor be discouraged..." (Isaiah 42:4) because He never worked from His own individual standpoint, but always worked from the standpoint of His Father. And we must learn to do the same. Spiritual truth is learned through the atmosphere that surrounds us, not through intellectual reasoning. It is God's Spirit that changes the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and then things begin to be possible which before were impossible. Getting into God''s stride means nothing less than oneness with Him. It takes a long time to get there, but keep at it. Don't give up because the pain is intense now--get on with it, and before long you will find that you have a new vision and a new purpose.

    Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

    I love the beginning of this, where he talks about that what we do in the ordinary moments is what counts...not the extraordinary moments....I don't think it was a coincidence that I read this the day after the marathon--not the day of. It reminds me that every day I have to get into stride with God. All of those ordinary moments in life are what really matters. Life is a marathon...each little step counts...and I could go on and on but I have to go now and get into the 'ordinary' moments of my life with my five children! :)

    Somehow--I finished!

    I finished in 4:17:31....not exactly what I was aiming for....

    I hoped to finish in 4:00. I was running my training runs right at 9:00 per mile, so I thought, 'sure, no problem'. I've put in the miles...I can do this thing....Right? WRONG!

    HA! I have to laugh on this side of the race at my niavity.

    I was so unprepared for what laid before me...I had absolutely no idea how difficult this race would very hard those last six miles would be....

    It was brutal. It was excruciating. All I can say is that God's grace pulled me through it.

    I have friends who have ran this race and withstood those last six miles to finish strong and within their desired time. My admiration and amazement of them went up ten notches on Sunday. They are my heroes :)

    This has been the biggest learning experience of my life. I hope to write about it over the next couple of days.... Whatever 'race' you are in this week, may you find strength through the Lord to endure and experience God's grace like never before!

    "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace"
    Acts 20:24

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    WAY TO GO, GIGI !!!

    This special guy got inducted into the Murray High School Hall of Fame tonight for his outstanding football history...Way to go, Gigi!!! We love you and are so proud of you!

    Marathon Training Lesson #3

    My training schedule called for one 'long run' a week. Long runs are so unpredictable. You can start out feeling great and just suddenly 'hit a wall'. The wall can be caused from lack of planning--not allowing time for adequate digesting of food, for example. It can also be caused by just pure physical problems such as cramps, shin splints, you name it. Other times, you just hit a wall for no apparent reason. I think these are just simply 'mental'. So much of running comes down to your 'mental game'. When I hit these walls, the only way I ever recovered was to refocus my thoughts. Halfway through my long runs, I began carrying scripture cards. When my mind would start to weaken, I would start praying scripture. Wow! This made a huge difference! I also began to shift my prayers to others rather than the 'me' prayers of 'give me strength, help me not be weary...' Refocusing worked; it worked every single time. It worked because I quit relying on myself and began relying on God. It worked because it quit being about me and started being about Him and others.

    As I have been learning how to cope with 'the wall' in my training, I've thought about how much 'the wall' affects my daily life. I want so much to live my life focused on God first, others second, me last. Just like my runs, I can start off well. I get up and spend time with the Lord--I get filled up with Him with the hope that what I get filled with will flow out on those around me throughout the day. Just as physical 'training' is making me stronger to run a marathon, my daily time in God's Word and prayer is 'training' me spiritually to think and be more like Jesus. Starting the day off with God at the forefront is a great plan and gets that mentality of 'God first, others second, me last' in order. However, somewhere along the way--sometimes early on in the day--my mind shifts, these priorities change. 'Me' starts to creep up to the front. I hit the wall--the wall of 'Me'. I have found the wall of 'Me' to be the biggest challenge of my life. The wall of 'Me' disguises itself in all different ways, including what I have began to call 'emotional tizzies'. I can get worked up into an emotional tizzy in no time flat. And then my mind can become consumed with it. I've realized that I have to refuel my mind throughout the day with God's Word, not just in the morning. I've got to reframe and refocus my mind moment by moment. Just as running a marathon is a moment by moment battle, so is life. Focus, focus, focus. Where is my focus? What am I thinking on? Am I thinking about what I am thinking about? I don't want to be stuck behind the wall of 'me'. I want to climb it and conquer it and I know the only way to do that is through God's supernatural power.

    'Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.' Psalm 26:2-3

    'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself' Philippians 2:3

    Finally, brothers, 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

    Thursday, October 9, 2008

    GO MOM!!!

    WOW! My husband and sweet family pulled off a huge one last night! I still can't believe it. Supposedly, Eric was taking me out to dinner to celebrate my training/fundraising for Worldvision for the marathon (which is Sunday). Eric's sister and family came over to babysit and we left for my favorite restaurant (Chang's). So, we get to the restaurant, get out of the car and Eric says, 'Oh man, I forgot a gift card my manager gave me; we're going to have to go back and get it.' Now, knowing we have an expensive weekend coming up, gift cards are of upmost importance right now, so I didn't think it strange that we would drive back to our house to get it. So we get back in the car to drive to our house. I did think it strange, however, that he was driving mighty slow (he NEVER drives slow). As I was beginning to think he was acting strange, we rounded the corner to our house and pull up in front to a multitude of friends and family, yelling, 'SURPRISE!!!!'

    I was in complete shock. The first thought to go through my head, 'Oh no! My hair is a mess!' :) At first, I was overwhelmed and I only saw a crowd...then, my eyes began to focus in on faces...first I saw several of my sweet neighbors, then other precious faces came into view--old friends and new friends...

    I got out of the car...they had a huge banner painted in orange, saying 'Run, Maria, Run!'. Then, my niece Piper yelled, 'give me a G' The crowd: G!'
    Piper: give me a 'O'
    Crowd: 'O!'
    Piper: give me a 'M'
    Crowd: 'M!'
    Piper: give me a 'O'
    Crowd: 'O!'
    Piper: give me a 'M'
    Crowd: 'M!'
    As they yelled each letter, each of my children ran out with the letter on a bright orange shirt.
    Piper: What's that spell?
    Crowd: GO, MOM!!!!

    Oh my goodness! I was speechless. I was floored. I was overwhelmed by feelings of love. Now, I didn't cry because I never cry in the moment (HATE this about myself, by the way! Wished I cried in the moment). It always spills out later, at the strangest time. Probably, today, while I'm going through a drive through or at the library, it will hit me and spill out all over the place and people will think I'm weird.

    Anyway, back to the party! They had a big spread of food, a huge cake with orange letters saying 'Run, Maria, Run!', orange napkins, orange everything! (Worldvision's color is orange, by the way). People brought cards.... wow, it was so encouraging!!!!!! I have never felt more loved. I was just, well, overwhelmed. I felt like I was being enveloped in one, gigantic hug last night. (okay, so now I am crying). I don't even know how to thank all of these incredible people. What a pep rally! You will never know how this has spurred me on! I just feel ....tingly. (Tingly? Is that all you can say?) I know, I know, I just don't know what to say! As my mom would have said, 'I'm just flabbergasted and beside myself!' :) Okay, there--I am flabbergasted and beside myself! Seriously, my husband and sweet mother/father in law and sister/brother in law are just over the top! Eric scored some major points tonight :) !!!! I just love you guys so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel so loved today. and READY TO RUN!!!!!!

    Pics of the 'instigators':

    'And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching' Hebrews 10:24-25

    I LOVE YOU GUYS---I am adding this verse to my scripture cards for Sunday! I will be praying thanksgiving over you guys as I run!
    Other pics:

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Ephesians Scriptures

    This week I am reading through Ephesians. These are the scriptures God hit me over the head with today :)
    • "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds (emphasis added); and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24

    Am I daily putting on Christ in the attitude of my mind? Or am I defaulting to the habitual way of thinking that still marks the 'old' me--the person I was before Christ? If the attitude of my mind does not reflect Christ, than I am allowing an old thought pattern to have its way. I can get control of the attitude of my mind if I intentional 'think on what I am thinking on' and pray immediately when my attitude begins to go sour in my mind!

    • "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:29-32

    Oh, that part of my body that gets me in trouble far too often--the tongue! This is something that is spoken about daily with one of my children, in particular. However, I believe this is a weak area in my child's life because God knows I SO need it too!!! Everytime I ask my child, 'Did those words you just chose to speak build up or tear down?', I feel the burning conviction of the Spirit wash over me anew! Also, thinking upon the 'bitterness' part this morning. If I allow frustration to 'hang around' in me over particular people or circumstances in my life, I am allowing a root of bitterness to grow. This will grow and grow and grow until it takes over. Instead, I need to pray at once over that person or circumstance and ask God to give me His heart for it/them.

    • "Be very careful then how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." Ephesians 5:15-17

    Oh, I so want to make the most of every opportunity! I do not want to be foolish!

    • Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving." Ephesians 5:4

    While obscenity is not a weakness for me, sarcasm sure is! Oh, I am being convicted over my sarcasm, lately! I have been thinking about how 'humor' has changed so much over the years. Everytime I watch a 'classic' --movies from long ago--I am amazed at the contrast of the humor than vs. now. It used to be funny to watch someone get a pie thrown in his face, or trip over something. Now all of the humor in entertainment is directed at someone else (usually berating men, which is another post for another time). Sarcasm is everywhere today. Sarcasm is cold and cynical. Sarcasm is critical. It has erected a stronghold in my life and I want get rid of it!

    These are the things the Lord is speaking to me about today--how about you?

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Marathon Lesson #2

    About half way through my training, I became so tired, bored and burnt out with my 'route.' I was running the same route over and over, with minor variations to adapt for the mileage my training schedule called for. Simply put, I was in a 'route rut'. While I was aware of my 'route rut', it took weeks of 'pounding the same pavement' before I finally took action. Maybe this is because I can be the queen of procrastination. Maybe it was fear--it can be intimidating to change things up, when things are going along okay. FINALLY, one night before a long run, Eric and I charted out a new course for me. Wow, what a difference it made in my running the next day! I felt like a new person! I felt like there was spring to my step that wasn't there before! I felt renewed and refreshed. My running went to a new level as I left that 'okay' and 'ho hum' stage.

    So often, I get into a 'route rut' in my life. You know, the same old, same old. I stay in my comfort zone. I don't change things up--I stick with the 'comfortable'. I put God in a box, expecting Him to work in the same way over and over and over. I put my head down and do my tasks for the day and miss out on seeing God in a new way because I am so caught up in my 'route'--my agenda. I get 'comfortable' among my group of friends, hanging out with the same people over and over and miss out on God working among other relationships that God brings in my circle. If God is working in our lives, we should not be stagnant; we should not be 'ho hum'. We should be ever changing, moving to a new place and a new level of intimacy. I should embrace the changes God brings into my life and seek the adventure, excitement and new energy that accompanies that.

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    Marathon Training Lesson #1

    Throughout my training, some days of running were great and some were awful. Some days I felt I could keep going forever, other days I just willed myself through it, counting down the minutes until my run was over. Now, if I had began 'focusing' on those down days too much, I would have gotten in a discouraged state of mind and this would have began affecting all of my runs. then, I would have felt defeated before I ever began running, because discouragement breeds discouragement. Instead, when I had a bad run, I had to let it go and remember the next day was a new day full of new hope. Marathon training is up and down; it's a process, full of successes and full of failures. Every run is definitely not going to be perfect. In fact, often the hard runs are where I learned the most about 'coping', and those lessons will probably be what gets me through the real race.

    All of this made me reflect on my own life. I have and will have many successes and failures along the road of life. I am a flawed, imperfect human being who is going to make many mistakes. Even as I try to live my life for the Lord, so often I am going to get it so wrong, even if my heart was to get it right. But God does not want me to stay focused on and 'sit in' those failures. He wants me to learn from mistakes but than move forward, focusing on what lies ahead and live life to the best of my ability--for Him. And if I let them, those failures are going to help shape me into a person with more character and wisdom for the next curve in the road of life. I also can't live in the successes, or I am going to become puffed up and full of myself and start relying on myself and not Him. The point? I've got to keep on, keeping on, not focusing on the circumstances of the moment, but choosing to keep my gaze on Jesus every step of the way.

    Lamentations 3:22-23: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness.

    Philippians 3:12-14: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

    6 days to Go!

    Six days to go until the Chicago Marathon! I cannot believe it! Each day this week I am going to try and post things I have learned throughout the past three months of marathon training. Lesson #1 I hope to post later today....Happy Monday! :)

    The life of a Saint

    Thinking upon this quote from Oswald Chambers today:

    "Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in the bucket--to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served? Some saints cannot do menial work and remain saints because it is beneath their dignity."

    Am I okay with being insignificant? Am I okay with not being recognized? I have to admit that I have SUCH a long way to go in this regard!!!

    Friday, October 3, 2008

    Faith and Prayer

    Taken from the works of E.M. Bounds:
    • Faith is an operation of God, a divine illumination, a holy energy implanted by the Word of God and the Spirit in the human soul--a spiritual, divine principle which takes of the supernatural and makes it a thing apprehendable by the faculties of time and sense.
    • Faith gives birth to prayer, and grows stronger, strikes deeper, rises higher, in the struggles and wrestlings of mighty petitioning.
    • What an era of glorious achievements would dawn for the church and the world, if only there could be reproduced a race of saints of like mighty faith, of like wonderful praying! It is not the intellectually great that the church needs; nor is it men of wealth that the times demand. It is not people of great social influence that this day requires. Above everybody and everything else, it is men of faith, men of mighty prayer, men and women after the fashion of the saints and heroes enumerated in Hebrews, who "obtained a good report through faith," that the church and the whole wide world of humanity needs.
    • Many men, of this day, obtain a good report because of their money-giving, their great mental gifts and talents, but few there be who obtain a "good report" because of their great faith in God, or because of the wonderful things which are being wrought through their great praying. Today, as much as at any time, we need men of great faith and men who are great in prayer. These are the two cardinal virtues which make men great in the eyes of God, the two things which create conditions of real spiritual success in the life and work of the church.
    • We need, also, to guard against unbelief as we would against an enemy. Faith needs to be cultivated. We need to keep on praying, "Lord, increase our faith," for faith is susceptible of increase. Paul's tribute to the Thessalonians was, that their faith grew exceedingly. Faith is increased by exercise, by being put into use. It is nourished by sore trials.
    • Faith grows by reading and meditating upon the Word of God. Most, and best of all, faith thrives in an atmosphere of prayer.
    • The pastor who succeeds in changing his people from a prayerless to a prayerful people, has done a greater work than did Augustus in changing a city from wood to marble. And after all, this is the prime work of the preacher. Primarily, he is dealing with prayerless people--with people of whom is said, "God is not in all their thoughts." Such people he meets everywhere, and all the time. His main business is to turn them from being forgetful of God, from being devoid of faith, from being prayerless, so that they become people who habitually pray, who believe in God, remember him, and do his will. The preacher is not sent to merely induce men to join the church, nor merely to get them to do better. It is to get them to pray, to trust God, and to keep God ever before their eyes, that they may not sin against him.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    I Care. And So I Run.

    Up on Team World Vision!

    Oh, this so resonates with me and gets me excited for October 12!!!! :) This gets at the very heart of why I am doing this marathon...well, it didn't start out that way, it started out as me just wanting to accomplish a goal, to be able to say, 'I ran a marathon.' But, it has turned into something so much more than this. Read this link below--she says it better than I could ever say it.
    Oh, I am so very excited to be running on the same team as these people!!!!

    Thoughts on Prayer and Resting

    I have been reading 'George Mueller, The Father to the Fatherless' to my children. This man was such a great man of God because of his prayer life. We have been learning so much by studying the life of this man. He took care of over two thousand orphans, all the while not asking for one penny from anyone. The Lord always provided in response to his prayers to God. That is amazing to me! He never let anyone know what was needed; he only let God know. And God came through every single time! I have not been able to get out of mind some of what we read last night: 'Mr. Mueller taught people how to pray. "Once I am sure that a thing is right and for the glory of God," he said, "I keep on praying for it until the answer comes. I don't give up! The great fault of the children of God is, they don't continue in prayer. If they would, they would see great things from God."

    How often do I not tarry in prayer? How often do I give up? One of the many lessons I have learned through training for this marathon is perseverance. I hope to write more about this later, but the perseverance I have learned in the physical realm of running is something God wants to spill over into my spiritual life in the aspect of prayer. I so want to have the perseverance George Mueller had!

    Secondly, I read a great article about 'resting in God'. It said this:

    'Homeschooling, raising children, living a godly life--none of these are purely human jobs. In a nutshell, the task is bigger than you are. This is where sleep comes in. God wants us to remember that the task is ultimately His. We work for Him but we have the freedom to rest in that work. It takes a whole lot of pressure for a human being to forgo sleep--the kind of pressure that comes when we decide to shoulder a load God never meant us to carry. Our joy is to come alongside God and labor under His direction and power--not to take His work on ourselves'

    "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrow; for so he giveth his beloved sleep."