How to Make Your Dreams Come True: Five Lessons from Watching Kevin Durant

I will be the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of the game known as Basketball, and I will also admit that I could care less about who wins or loses the NBA Finals. However, I do stay in the loop of things for conversation purposes. I never want to be the lady that is clueless when people are talking sports. With that being said, I remember the rage that was shown by Oklahoma fans around the country when Kevin Durant announced he was headed to Cali. He left his royal throne in Oklahoma and settled for being on the King’s (Steph Curry) Advisory Board. Many called Durant a traitor. In their loyalty as a fans, they failed to see the NBA as the business that it is and “loyalty” is not a business practice of the organization. Kevin made a decision to do what would make his dream come true. Watching Kevin Durant’s transition in the last year has provided me with some nuggets for life. Here they are:
1. Never forget the vision. Last night KD shared during a Postgame interview that he told his mom at eight years old that he would win a NBA Championship. Since the age of eight, he saw himself as an NBA Championship winner. Although, a team would be required to win a championship, it was a PERSONAL goal for Durant. No matter how much success you are having in a place, if it keeps your from the vision for you life, leaving is necessary.

2. Be courageous enough to make the move. Kevin Durant took the same heat that any great player takes when opting to leave a team. The same people who praised him quickly turned into persecutors as he chose to play for a better team. With all that would be said about him, he packed his things and left in hopes of fulfilling the vision he had for his career. Your next move may leave you in the hands of persecutors for a moment, but the reward will outweigh their words.

3. Take Humility with You. There is no way that Golden State Warriors would be 2017 NBA Champions if Kevin Durant chose to be a thorn in the flesh of GSW instead of a team player. He could have made things about himself, but he got with the GSW program and added to their greatness. With every great move you make in life, take humility with you. Be willing to adjust, learn, and add to the greatness of the people you are serving.

4. Loyalty at the cost of your life’s vision is death. Kevin Durant gave nine seasons to OKC before deciding to go to Golden State. Nine years of his life was devoted to a team that he tried to ensure a NBA Championship, and it did not happen. There are some places and people that you cannot afford to remain loyal to solely based off the principle of loyalty. Kevin Durant gave all he could to OKC, and it was in his best interest to try to win with another team. When choosing to be loyal, one must ask themselves, “Would this decision cause me to forfeit my dreams?” If the answer is “yes,” you may need to reconsider the decision. Life without fulfilling your dreams is a slow and painful death that you have chosen for yourself.

5. Everyone won’t appreciate your accomplishment. As previously stated, the man gave nine years of his life to OKC, and he was absolutely deserving of winning MVP last night. However, some of the “crabs in the bucket” could not get pass the route he had to take to accomplish his dreams; or they could not get pass his hair being uncombed during a basketball game. Side note: He’s a millionaire, do you really think a haircut is beyond his reach? Back to the topic, there will be people during your moments of victory that will focus on everything except the effort you put into accomplishing your dreams. To that I say, let them enjoy their misery as you partake in enjoying the fruit of your labor.

There are many more things that could be said, but I  am tired of typing. I will say this, please do not be afraid to do what it takes to accomplish your dreams. As long as your decisions are producing peace in your life, continue on that path. People may not understand every decision you make, and that’s okay. People will go back and forth with their praise and criticism of you. KEEP GOING!!! No matter what keep the vision in front of you. It is your roadmap to keep you on course when comfort tries to convince you to become stagnant. Your life is a summation of all the choices you have made, and at any moment you can choose to change its course. Why settle for being a king, when you can be a god? God meaning one of the greatest to ever live in your field of expertise. Last night, Kevin Durant became one, and I hope you will too. Thanks for reading!-Charity Israel

P.S. GO COWBOYS!!!! LOL

 

 

Photo Credit: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/kevin-durant-mvp-speech-2017-nba-finals/

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Happy Birthday Mr. Godiva: 38 Reasons to Love You

On this day 38 years ago you were born, and eight years ago God allowed our paths to cross briefly. Two years ago, I believe he gave us the okay to go ahead and see what life could be like alongside each other. #mybestfriend Next to you, I have learned about the depths of love, and the great challenges it will produce in a selfish heart that longs to know its beauty. #talkingaboutme I think it is only fitting that on your birthday I share at least 38 Reasons Why I Love You:

  1. Your love for God produces a genuine love for others inside of you.
  2. Your wisdom has guided me in moments of uncertainty.
  3. Your laugh makes me feel like i’m the funniest person on earth.
  4. Your compassion for others challenges me to give more away daily.
  5. Your patience never cease to amaze me.
  6. Your passion. You manage to put it into everything you touch.
  7. You protect those you love.
  8. You are a visionary.
  9. Your leadership can be trusted.
  10. You are a humble man.
  11. You are pleasant to the eyes and nice to touch.
  12. You are quick to listen and slow to speak.
  13. You are an over-comer, and you manage to make the best out of adversity.
  14. You are straightforward, and there is no guessing where you stand on a matter.
  15. You are a giver, and you do not mind helping when you can.
  16. You love my family as your own.
  17. You are a family man.
  18. You are an amazing chef!
  19. You are a wonderful teacher.
  20. You are gentle with those who need it.
  21. You are bold when the time calls for it.
  22. You are absolutely comfortable in your milk chocolate skin.
  23. You have the best walk I have ever seen! LOL
  24. You are willing to admit when you are wrong, and you are not too prideful to apologize.
  25. You are strong.
  26. You allow me to be myself, and you challenge me to be better than I was the day before.
  27. You do everything with a spirit of excellence.
  28. You are driven, and your dreams will manifest because of your drive.
  29. You are a hard worker.
  30. You are great at solving the problems I cause. LOL #computerstuff
  31. You have the heart of a warrior, and you fight for what you believe in and what you love.
  32. Your voice. It make my heart do strange things when you speak.
  33. Your food is amazing.
  34. You are a good steward of your body. #musclesandstuff
  35. You are not comfortable with being average, and you make every effort to be a better man daily.
  36. You are a man of great faith, and this year will be a great year for you.
  37. Your arms! They are my favorite place.
  38.  Your story. Everything I have learned about you is further proof that God exist. The fact that you are all of these wonderful things in spite of your past makes me so excited about your future.

Mr. Godiva my prayer for you is that God would cause the uncertain parts of your life to make sense now more than ever. I pray that as all of the pieces come together, you will find yourself overjoyed by His goodness, favor, love, and kindness in your life. Your life has definitely been a gift to mine, and I pray that it will be a gift to all who encounter you. You are an amazing human being, and I’m truly grateful to know you!!! I cannot wait until the world experiences your A.R.T!!!! Happy Birthday!!!-Charity Israel

The Wedding that Didn’t Happen

Today is August 5, 2016 and it is has been a year since my beautiful grandmother on my father’s side passing. However, today I mourn for a different reason. Today, if things had gone as planned, I would have burned my Single Woman card forever. Yep, today is the day I would no longer be a Porter. Instead I am single once again and telling my story to complete strangers. For those who have not been following me on Social Media, on Christmas Eve 2015 I reconnected with someone, and from that moment we were inseparable. Considering that fate brought us together again, we were both pretty sure that this meant marriage.

This man took great care of me. He made it his business to make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. He was kind. He enjoyed a good laugh. He had a career. He was a Christian, and he was fine!!!! Tall, dark, and pleasing in my sight was the man I fell completely in love with! He knew everything about me. He managed to accept those things about me that I wrestled with accepting about myself. I was hooked on that Milk Chocolate man, and he was hooked on me. Then March 3, 2016 came and my little fairytale ended. The united front we once were had become divided. The vision of life we had together started to look better apart from each other.

Things were not bad. He did not cheat and neither did I, but we both felt that it was in the best interest of each other that we go our separate ways. It was the sweetest breakup ever, and I could not be mad because I felt the same way. But after a few days of sitting alone and coping with the fact, us breaking up included there being no wedding, I became furious!!! I read over every text message of him declaring how excited he was about us getting married. I kept having flashbacks of us going shopping for rings, checking out venues, and how gorgeous I looked in the gown I tried on. I was pissed that I spent money on Bridal magazines, fabric samples, and anything pertaining to weddings. I was highly upset that I introduced this man to absolutely everyone important to me. More than anything I was ashamed that I would once again be single at all the family functions and have to dodge conversations about my Relationship status. I was on the brink of marital bliss, and instead I ended up drowning in tears full of disappointment, anger, and shame.

I was highly annoyed with God that he would permit my heart to know this kind of pain, and I kept quiet about it for almost four months until I could speak about it without falling apart. To be honest, this was my greatest fear realized. I never wanted to be the woman who knew what it was like to be with “The One” at a family function and have to do the walk of shame at the next family function. I never wanted to know what it was like to give your all to someone only to hear “let’s go separate ways!” It was one of the greatest blows to my heart even though I agreed it was truly the best decision for both of us. This was the most painful moment in my experience with love, but the beauty that came from living through this nightmare was worth every tear. You’ll have to wait until Monday to hear that side of the story. Have a wonderful weekend beautiful people.-Charity Israel

P.S. I made it through typing this blog without a single tear. It appears my days of mourning have ended!!!

 

 

 

Photo Credit: http://weddings.lovetoknow.com/wiki/African_American_Wedding_Clipart

 

Declaration for May 2016

 

 

blooming-flowersI woke up early on May 1, 2016, and I found myself writing this declaration out. Life has been a little busy so I’m just finding time to post it. If it agrees with where you are in this season of your life, feel free to make it your own. If it does not agree with you, feel free to disregard. My prayer is that we will all hear what God is saying to us individually, and I pray this encourages you: 

This month will be a time of Divine Enablement and Acceleration. It will be a time of victory and an opportunity to see some of the results of the work accomplished in the first quarter of the year. I declare this month to be one of provision, prosperity, and purpose. I thank God for every divine connection and I will meet the prophetic voice of this season in my life. I thank God for divine appointments and increased discernment (Ps.119:66). This month will consist of laser beam focus as it pertains to doing what God has called me to do (Prov.4:25; Col. 3:2). This month a revealing of the Sons of God will take place (Rom. 8:12-14). I thank you that you are providing strategy to get the job done (Ps. 32:8). I thank you for an increase in my capacity for the Word (Matt. 4:4). I will have a hunger for it (Deut. 8:3). I thank you that I will live a disciplined life and that nothing will Lord over me except You, oh God (Ps. 119:9-11). I declare this month of May to be a time of spiritual promotion that many of us would gain access to certain authorities, revelations, and insights that were not privy to us in the last season of our lives (2 Cor. 3:18). This month will be a time of reward for those who have been faithful over the few things (Matt 25:21). We cannot afford to walk blindly in this next season (Matt. 13:11-17). We will get before God and find out what Heaven desires to be done on earth through us (Matt. 6:10). I declare this month to be a time of revealing concerning the relationships in our lives. May every lie, ulterior motive, and hidden agenda be exposed in Jesus name (I John 4:1). This month will be a time of access being granted and for those who have wrestled with God expect favor (Gen. 32:24-32). I declare a stirring up of the gifts and a desire to mature the gifts inside of us (2 Tim.1:6; Prov. 22:29). I declare that wisdom, knowledge, and understanding shall accompany you this month as never before (Prov.4:5-9, 9:10; Eccl. 7:12). I declare this month that your prayers will match Heaven, and that you will be found only desiring what he wants for your life (Ps. 119:9-16). I declare the strategies of demonic forces have been discovered and destroyed (Eph.6:11). I declare that you will become skilled in using the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (2 Tim.2:15). This month is a time of courage (Ps.27:14,31:24). You will step out and do what God has requested of You (Jer.1:17-19). The spirit of rebellion has been casted out of your soul and you will walk in obedience at a level that you have never known (Heb.12:5-12). Your “Yes” this month will be the difference in eternal gain or temporary pleasure (I Cor. 15:58). I declare this month to be a time of blossoming (Isa. 35). Your identity in Christ will bloom before your eyes (Col. 2:6-3:17). Your success in this season will be contingent upon your service to God and his people. This month we will come into the Truth of who we are and we will boldly operate in that truth (1 Pet.2:9;ICor.12). The scales have been removed; the clouds have cleared; and the haze is gone. You have divine permission to pursue what God has placed inside of you to do. Go forth in God’s love, grace, wisdom and favor in Jesus name.-Charity Israel

 

 

 

 

 

Picture Credit: https://illegalbriefs.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/blooming-flowers.jpg

I’m the Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Thanks Prince for the Reminder!!!

"Prince"

“** FILE ** Prince performs during the 6th annual BET Awards in this June 27, 2006, file photo in Los Angeles. Prince will headline the ninth annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, festival promoters announced Wednesday, April 9, 2008. The Purple One will be the featured act on day two of the giant summer music festival, a three-day affair that runs April 25-27 in Indio, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, file)”

 

 

Usually when the death of a celebrity occur I give my condolences via the internet, and I move on. Yesterday, I assumed would be no different as I sat in silence for a moment trying to wrap my mind around the news of Prince’s passing. Honestly, i’m still like I won’t believe it until the funeral.#noLordnotPrince After getting over the initial shock, I went on Youtube, and I found a video that would convey what I wanted the world to know that I appreciated about Prince. I typed out my little tribute:

Rest well to the beautifully weird musical genius, Prince. Many appreciated his voice, but I appreciated his musicianship. I’ll never forget the first time I heard him play the guitar. He made me feel as if I could too!!! Thanks for giving this world what you could. Your gift of music helped make the world a better place for a moment as we all danced our troubles awa.

I had fulfilled my Internet duties, and I started to look through my timeline to see how others were paying homage to this musical genius. I chuckled at how some felt a righteous indignation to condemn people for honoring his influence on their lives and the world. I rolled my eyes at “Super Fans” who made self-righteous post declaring how the rest of us were not true fans because we did not know his favorite eyeliner or designer. I smiled at how cities and meteorologist around the world used Purple to light up the city or represent the rain. He was indeed a gift to this world.

I will admit I was not a diehard fan. Matter of fact, I would not consider myself a fan of anyone I do not personally know.. However, Prince’s music has had an amazing impact on my life. It’s no secret that my father opted to leave my mom with the responsibility of raising me, and my stepfather was not the best replacement for the job. He did not affirm me as a young girl. My mom always assured me I was beautiful, but it was not until 1995, at ten years old that I heard a man declare just how beautiful and special I was as a girl. I was listening to the radio, not really paying attention to the new song being played until I heard the chorus. I gave my undivided attention to the second verse so that I could hear these words again:

Could you be the most beautiful girl in the world? Could you be? It’s plain to see. You’re the reason that God made a girl. Oh, yes you are!

To this day, I cannot describe what happened to me in those moments, but I felt confident  and appreciated by the end of the song. To some this may be a moment you would like to give me your pity, please DO NOT. LOL God uses whomever and whatever he needs to get the message to us, and that day God used Prince. I did not run out and buy the single, but the chorus was engraved on my heart.

Of all the Women Empowerment songs this song celebrates being a woman in a way that does not diminish the value of a man in the process. Being a lyrical genius, he reminded women to take delight in being the object of a man’s affection. In my opinion, there is nothing more beautiful than giving all your love to another.

Prince will truly be missed, but his music has made him immortal as long as we have a means of listening to it. I’m sure he had no clue that his song would be a tool used to instill confidence in a 10 years old girl in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is just a reminder to those who are living to use your gifts because God knows the lives you will touch by doing using them. Prince was unapologetically Black, unapologetically an artist, and unapologetically himself. I wonder what greatness we would achieve if we decided to stay true to what is inside of us no matter who told us that we should change to make them feel comfortable.

Thanks Prince for helping me realize that because God created me, BEAUTIFUL is all I can be, and forgive me for showing my appreciation a few days too late.-Charity Israel

 

Forgive Them!!!

intercessorForgiveness is one of the greatest jewels of the Christian faith. It is what God graciously extends to us through Jesus Christ, and it our Christian response to others. Intercession is also a jewel. God in his kindness was often times willing to forgive a nation because of the prayers of one person (Exo. 32:32, 34:7-9; Deut. 21:8; Ps 79:9; Isa 2:9; Dan. 9:19; Amos 7:2) Throughout the ages, people have selflessly stood in the gap for those who had no desire to please God. They have been a saving grace to our human race, and all their prayers are appreciated.
In the Old Testament, we find that those being persecuted by pagan nations often prayed for the destruction of their enemies. They did not just pray for their destruction, but they fought many battles to ensure it. In the New Testament, however, there is a new response to those being persecuted by their enemies; and that is praying that they are forgiven. Many of us would not consider forgiveness as a form of intercession. We do not consider it intercession because we often focus on the offense instead of the proper response to it. We often let the hurt fester, and we adopt it as a new chip on our shoulder to stay angry at the world. It is the bitterness from unforgiven offenses that operates as a toxin in the Body of Christ (Heb. 12:14, 15). In the New Testament, we discover the proper response of an Intercessor when the offense becomes a physical attack instead of a spiritual one. We must forgive, and that forgiveness becomes an intercession for those who attack us.
There is leader in the Bible who used forgiveness as a form of intercession. This man led a small core group of 12; fed over 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread; and he gave up his life so that everyone would have an opportunity to know God. This man is named Jesus. It was Jesus who spent his life exemplifying what it meant to love God and your neighbor only to be, at the end of it, wrongfully accused and sentenced to death. It was Jesus, who while visiting one city, heard the crowd shouting “Hosanna, Hosanna!” one week and chanting “crucify him!” the following week. It was Jesus, the one who healed the withered hand and crippled feet, who had to have his hands and feet secured to a cross by nails. It was Jesus, the one possessing eternal life, with his last breath uttered these words in Luke 23:34, “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Jesus who had every right to be upset, offended, furious, and betrayed made his last words an intercession. I would assert that if Jesus was praying “Father forgive them,” that he had already forgiven them (us) in his heart. He made an “allowance for our offenses” as Paul admonishes each believer to do in Colossians 3:13, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Jesus showed us by example how we should respond to those who would love nothing more than to see us dead, FORGIVE THEM.
In the book of Acts chapter 6 and 7, we find the story of a man named Stephen. The bible described him as “a man full of faith, the Holy Spirit, grace, and the power of God. He performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:5, 8) He was loved by the brethren and hated by religious leaders because of his wisdom and the Holy Spirit in him. These men conspired against him and found people to lie on him. Their lies led to Stephen’s arrest and a meeting with the Council (vv. 6:9-7:53). It was during this meeting that he spoke only what the Spirit told him to say. His words of truth made those living a lie furious. Out of their anger, they drugged him outside of the city and began to stone him (vv. 7:54-58) This man who was obedient to what the Holy Spirit asked of him was now facing death by the hands of those claiming to know God. His response to their actions was a prayer. Acts 7:59, 60 says, “As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.” Stephen like Jesus interceded on behalf of his murderers so that their sins would not be counted against them.
As intercessors it is important that we are found, even in the face of death, interceding for our offenders. It should be the desire of every intercessor that all come to know God, including those who hurt us. The story of Jesus and Stephen proves that we can be completely in the will of God and have to suffer persecution. They show us that the very people we are called to help may bring us the greatest harm; but we must forgive them. In our humanity, holding an offense will always be justified, but our call to “live according to the Spirit” nullifies that human right (Rom. 8:5). The life of an intercessor will present us with moments to be greatly offended; but we have to be wise intercessors and keep “allowances for offenses” in stock. The enemy would love nothing more than to hold you hostage, from you assignment, by the offenses you refuse to let go. Effective intercessions are those wrapped in love, grace, and forgiveness. Reinhold Niebuhr says “Forgiveness is the final form of love.” It is my prayer that if any of us are found having to surrender our life for this great Gospel that our last prayer would be, “Father forgive them!”

Kill Those Fools

This blog came back to my mind while working today. I hope it encourages you as it encouraged me!!!

Love Lives Free

take them out

I have not lost my mind I don’t believe. I just desire that we all come up as believers; and stop getting entangled in the dumb stuff over and over and over again. I believe this one is worth reading, if you’re up for the challenge of Killing dem Fools(A Reflection/Challege from Judges 3:1-4)!

These are the nations that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. 2 He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. 3 These are the nations: the Philistines (those living under the five Philistine rulers), all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the mountains of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath. 4 These people were left to TEST the Israelites—to see whether they would obey the commands the Lord had given to their ancestors…

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Single Men, Can We Talk???

Throwback Thursday!!! #enjoy

Love Lives Free

Happy couple holding handsI come in peace!!! This blog is not an attempt to rip you a new one. It is my humble attempt to inform you of ways to help you acquire and maintain a lady of high moral standards, a virtuous woman. Let me be clear, I am NOT trying to help you “smash and pass,” but I am trying to help you secure something solid and worth having. If you are not interested in a woman of substance and have an obsession with the ratchet, STOP READING! If you are a man who enjoys living the lies you have created, I CANNOT HELP YOU! If you are a man who is a “good guy” or trying to become one, this may help in the process of dating quality women:

  1. Choose the right bait. When I talk to good single guys, they often complain about ending up with the same kind of woman. I…

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Single Women, Can We Talk???

Throwback Thursday Blog! #enjoyandshare

Love Lives Free

Hey ladies, I hope you are having a lovely day. I come in peace. 😇 Yesterday, I wrote a blog to the Single Men enlightening them on how to keep the interest of a Good woman. I think it is only fair that I write to the women who desire to keep a good man’s interest. This blog comes from a place of both love and lovebeachesfrustration because I am tired of my girlfriends being single; and I am tired of them doing stupid things to lose quality men. I get nauseated every time I hear women say, “There are no good men out there.” Earth to ladies: DO NOT DISCREDIT  ALL MEN BASED ON THE KIND OF MEN YOU KEEP CHOOSING. If you were more selective instead of desperate, men of substance would make themselves available to you; but I digress. Here are five things that will keep him interested:

  1. Go out

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Farewell Precious One

164303_565017658712_3407982_nAugust 5, 2015 will be marked as one of the saddest days of my life. It was the day I found out my grandmother, Mildred Evans, had transitioned into Eternity. Sitting alone in a hotel room in Buffalo, New York I sobbed trying to face the reality of  her death. She was 94 years old, and my tears weren’t those of wanting her to stay, but more so of love being taken from me.

My father opted to be estranged from my sister and I; but my grandmother provided enough love to soothe the pain of his absence. She was the All-American Grandmother! She always had fresh cookies, new ceramics, toys, or an amazing hugs to give. She reminded us of how beautiful we were, and she gave us complete access to her pool anytime we needed it. #bestgmamaever She loved God as if her life depended upon it, and she made sure we knew about Him. She played the piano, and in between swimming and a snack break, I would catch her playing and singing hymns, the Blues, or whatever genre she wanted to hear. She was a gentle woman, and she never had to yell to get your attention. She accepted my relatives and friends as if they were her own grandchildren. She accepted my sister and I as if we were her own children. She loved us so, and it was no question about it.

Alzheimer and Dementia came and robbed of her memory and quality of life. She put up a fight longer than most, and even in her affliction she displayed great strength. I’ll admit I didn’t visit often because my heart couldn’t handle what had become of the sweetest woman I had ever met in my life. So for that Grandmother, I apologize for being a coward and not having the emotional strength to come see you anyway. I just wanted to hold on to wonderful memories you effortlessly provided years prior to becoming ill. Thank you for your unconditional love and acceptance. It was great knowing someone loved us on our father’s side.

You were an amazing woman, Christian, grandmother, and friend. Thanks for having time to entertain my random conversations. Thanks for every cookie. Thanks for every prayer! Thanks for every dollar. Thanks for always picking up the phone and making your house available to us. You madame were love personified, and you will be truly missed. You fought a good fight Mildred Evans, REST WELL! You deserve it!!!-Charity Israel

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.”-Psalms 116:15