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“Hardship has one of two effects: it either hardens or softens our hearts.”

A thought by Mark Batterson, (2015-10-06) from his book, If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God's What If Possibilities (Kindle Locations 3675-3676). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Hardship is a fact of life.And how we handle it tells us a lot about whether we will enjoy or endure our life.As Mark says, “And it’s that hardening or softening that makes us or breaks us.”
Mark says, “I’ve seen some marriages come apart at the seams when tough times hit, but I’ve also seen hardship form a bond like no one’s business. It can turn men into a band of brothers, and women into a ya-ya sisterhood.”
So what are you going through right now?Mark says, “If you’re in a tough place, a place where it’s hard to even ask what if, take heart. No one likes tough times in the present tense, but those tests add tenor to our testimony. And those are often the memories we cherish the most. Our great-grandparents loved telling stories about …

“Our love tends to be reactive, but God’s love is proactive.”

A thought by Mark Batterson, (2015-10-06) from his book, If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God's What If Possibilities (Kindle Location 3657). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
For too many of us we say, “I’ll love you if...”you meet a certain condition.Or “If you really love me you will do this…”  Or, "You don't really love me because..."
But God’s love is not like that. Marks says, “His love is unconditional. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more or less because He already loves you perfectly, eternally. Even when we don’t reciprocate His love, it doesn’t deter, deflect, or diminish His love. It accentuates it.”
There is a verse over in Romans 5:8 in the New Testament that says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”That is true love.
Mark says, “It’s easy to love someone when they’re at their best. When they’re at their worst? Not so much. But that’s the test of true love. O…

“Eye contact is a powerful thing, and not just as a truth serum.”

A thought by Mark Batterson, (2015-10-06) from his book, If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God's What If Possibilities (Kindle Locations 3600-3601). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
What Mark says following this is great.It may be exactly what you need.
Think of this.Mark says, “So Jesus— the Truth, the Whole Truth, Nothing But the Truth— leveraged the power of eye contact with Peter at a critical moment. If you had just denied Jesus three times, wouldn’t you think your career as a disciple was over with? Peter would have given up on himself, save a look. It was the look that changed his life. I know I’m reading between the lines, but there wasn’t one wink of condemnation. After all, Jesus could have simply called him out. If He had used words, He would have outed Peter, and Peter probably would have ended up on a cross next to Him! So Jesus gave him a look— a look of utter love, a look of absolute forgiveness. With…