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Doughnut. Sweet food and red cup of coffee, tea drink. Breakfast, dessert with cake, snack. Brown wooden table. Bakery, sugar doughnut. Tasty espresso black hot morning beverage.

Oh yeah!

There’s nothing like it. Gotta have that java juice first thing in the morning to jump-start your day? Me, too.

Even better — the donut…with the coffee, of course.

Glazed donuts background image. Macro with shallow dof.
No, not this kind. Although, it does look yummy…..
Okay, I’m focused now.

This kind does your body no good at all. I know, they taste great. Really, I know! But trust me, they have zero value to your body.

What I’m talking about is the kind of donut with zero calories, zero fat and carbs, and zero sugar.

thinking women with question mark on white background

What other kind is there, you ask? This kind.

An inflatable air cushion isolated against a white background

In case you didn’t know, let me just say that THIS kind of donut is invaluable after a surgery/procedure concerning the lower body, making it painful to sit.

It’s medicinal, it’s magical, and it’s….soooo soothing. Add to this an ice pack in that area, and we’re talkin’ heaven on earth. I happen to have had surgery of this type, so I know the quality of healing this type of donut provides.

Zero.

That’s right, you heard me, zero.

Image result for confused woman

I see that look. Let me clarify.

Nobody but God —  our always faithful, all-powerful and true, living God — can heal our bodies. Things can bring temporary comfort, but our Lord of all creation brings about healing. Doctors play a tremendous part in the healing process, but our heavenly Father guides the doctors’ hands in surgery, as well as our recovery process.

Whether we need spiritual, physical, mental or emotional healing –God is in control, and He will give us what we need if we are truly His children. He is the God of all comfort. And He is worthy of praise.

Wooden cross isolated on white

Think about it.

And as always……

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Image result for images of young married couple dancing

You thought today would never come, but it’s here, and you’re ready. Better weather, you couldn’t have asked for. Friends and family are here showing their love and support for the two of you.
And now the happy couple is getting ready to leave the church to embark on a new adventure together.
Confident and a bit nervous, they are ready and willing to tackle whatever life throws at them. And all it will offer in return, knowing in their hearts that it will always be this way. That every hurdle they face will be fought together, even in their golden years. God will lead them, and they will follow and serve Him. Life is good. And so begins “the dance.”

Image result for images of just married car

 

Let me just take a moment to explain “the dance.”

With marriage, you encounter endless emotions along with the good, the bad, and the ugly. By ugly I am speaking of those unwanted, disastrous moments fraught with emotion. Or it could be times when just one of you is holding on to an irreconcilable past, not being able to let go of it, or the deep-rooted pain that slowly unfolds to reveal layers buried deeply within. Or even something worse. But when you work together, letting each other know all of the bad stuff, you are able to walk through all the turmoil, facing it head-on. Then together you conquer the ugly. You are victorious. The dance I’m speaking of here is for after getting through the tough times, and for those moments that could easily lead in another direction, one of separation or divorce. But you both got past it and moved on. This is the important factor. You didn’t take the other road. When you diffuse the bomb, and when you don’t give up on each other, you conquer the bad and the ugly. Then, you celebrate by metaphorically walking together to the middle of the floor. You see the light in each other’s eyes, remembering why you are together. You share a loving embrace, and you dance.

 

 

Your struggles will differ from those of your friends. Although you might share some of the same issues,
no couple’s problems are exactly the same. The dance is a release, a way to let go of all the stress from the bad, and the ugly. After all the mess is dealt with, “the dance” could be a euphoric feeling of letting go that leads to an evening of togetherness, holding hands while taking a walk, or to a night of love-making. The possibilities are endless, and it’s totally up to you. This is “your dance.”

 

 

 

A few years later…Image result for images of young married couple in an argument
As you count your blessings through children, family, friends, good health, and Kodak moments, suddenly, and for some strange reason, the gears shift. You both are left wondering what happened. How did our life change so drastically? And you hold each other close, even as the dance steps are a little shaky now and  afraid, you both plan a hasty retreat. Then you stop, hopefully you pray, finding your way in the dark, taking a few steps back to the floor where your steps are slowly in sync. And you conquer your fear—and you dance.

Image result for image of married couple dancing

 

 

 

 

A few more years down the road…
Again, the tempo changes.

The steps are even slower than before since you may have experienced the loss of a loved one, or something has happened to really shake your foundation. You feel like your bond together is tested. The cord holding the two of you together is twisted, yet strengthened. Twisted, because the two of you are united as one.  Like strands of rope, strong and lasting. Strengthened in love and your commitment to each other. And in time, you laugh as you regain your steps leading you, once again, to the place you began. To the dance.

 

Time stands still…
You have weathered the storms of tragedy and devastation. And along with celebrating life’s little nuances and blessings that fill you with joy—life deals you another blow. This blow doesn’t hit all at once. It creeps slowly, leaving you puzzled about your partner in the dance. A state of confusion overtakes this partner, robbing them of their memories as well as any future time together with you. As soon as you can, you persuade your partner to re-enter the dance floor, and try to recapture the moments together, and the light in your love’s eyes and smile. But the vacancy you find in those eyes only seems to take your breath…
your soul.

And now you know and are certain that this disease, this plague they call Alzheimer’s has claimed and destroyed yet another life… Your life together. As your partner inches away slowly, leaving the dance floor, and leaving you —alone. You yourself are lost. You are left standing there and staring at this person who shared their life with you. And you cringe when you see this lost soul staring back, not having a clue as to who you are now. This same dance partner you gave your heart to so long ago, will lose their way, their life, and their love. They will lose you. This is a heart-rending disease. One that is harder on the ones that have their memories fully intact. The diseased victim doesn’t know you anymore, so they don’t remember ever having a relationship with you of any kind, let alone remember they love you. So the partner left behind will never enter the dance floor again. For you,t he dance is over.

This is so hard, but it does happen , and it leaves you empty inside. I don’t want to end my post like this, so get ready for a happier ending. Okay, are you ready?

 

In your declining years…
Though the dance rarely finishes while both partners reach the end of their lives and their dance together, it does happen. There is nothing sweeter than a final embrace, having their final dance in sync, and flashing their last smile at one another as they prepare to leave this world together, a couple who have weathered the storm, raised their children, suffered loss, and served their God, with joy. This long-lasting relationship they share is now at a close. Before leaving the dance floor, they share a look that says much about their entire married life. Holding hands, they quietly slip away taking their last breaths, remembering “the dance.

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Our morning prayer was short. This is normally the case when my husband and I go out early.We meet together to give praise to God and allow for Him to make of the day what He will, with Him allowing us to serve Him to the best of our ability. We pray for our children and grandchildren to have a good day. That’s basically it for now, except when someone needs immediate prayer. Only, this morning I added one more tidbit. A request for God to keep us safe today. After I was done I pondered this. God has always kept us safe, so why did I pray this? We aren’t going anywhere that isn’t safe. Thinking no more of this, I prepared to leave.

So here we are taking the ten minute walk from Point A to arrive at Point B. You may have to help me with this part as I am lousy at algebra. On our trek, we came to a busy intersection. We stopped on the sidewalk anticipating a short wait at the crosswalk. Yea, no waiting. The little man is walking. We can cross now. This must be our lucky day.

We approached the crosswalk together. I noticed one driver slowly approaching the light. Something out her window had her immediate attention. I don’t know that she even noticed us at the crossing. She finally stopped, and we continued ahead to cross the street. My husband, who was on my right, was two steps ahead now since I slowed down a bit watching the young driver. I noticed that she was still not looking at us as we proceeded. This made me a little nervous. I should have waited to cross, but didn’t. I was directly in front of her car now, and focusing on the end of the crosswalk….when she accelerated. My husband tried to pull me out of harm’s way as the car was coming straight toward me. I screamed and she stopped, but not in time. I was bumped with her car. Apparently, she hadn’t noticed us crossing until I screamed. She was making a right turn on red. Her car made contact with my body, but with very little impact. I’m talking minuscule impact, here. I wasn’t injured. I was just jarred a little, that’s it.

How could this be? God shielded us, that’s how. My husband and I have been recipients of His powerful, awesome ways, many times. Like I said, this took place in only seconds. I can’t even recall any details, it happened so fast. All I remember is after I screamed, my husband was with me pulling me back with him, being bumped, then my hands  on the hood of her car. And for some reason I found myself pulling my foot out from under the car to balance myself. (?) This was when I made eye contact with the teenage driver. She appeared shocked. She opened her mouth a couple of times to speak, I think, but emitted no sound. I wasn’t hurt at all, as far as I could tell. Amazing!

I think she was wondering if I would report the accident. I took a quick look back at our morning prayer, and the fact that God had kept us safe determined the outcome of this situation. What would Jesus do? (WWJD) If you have never read the book In His Steps I challenge you to do so. That book is where those initials originated. That church congregation defined what Christianity is all about.

Jesus would forgive this young driver unconditionally. No doubt about it. I opted to do the same. I held my hand up and mouthed the words “It’s okay.” Then walked with my husband to the end of the crosswalk. I was fine. She may have been too scared to speak. I hope this scared her enough to pay attention more while driving. And I really think she will. If she gives herself a chance to think about it, she will possibly realize the near tragedy of hitting two people with her car, had one not screamed to get her attention.

After crossing to the other side we came across a couple that saw what just took place, but we didn’t need them as witnesses. God kept us safe, just as I asked Him to do. It took only seconds for me to ask, and it took only seconds for Him to answer.

Thanks be to God. He gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Once upon a time, long, long ago….actually it’s only been months, but I needed to get your attention. Now that I have it, I’ll continue.  Sadly, this is a true story. Some of you may not believe it. Trust me. This wasn’t easy to write. The details such as names and locations do not matter. It’s the heart of the story that needs to grab your attention.

The main characters in this story are a man and his wife, fifty-ish, and a younger man in his late thirties. The couple and younger man saw each other at the same public place, and one day the younger man showed interest in the couple conversing in bible study. He was invited to join in. He said he would like to sometime, but had some other engagement presently. So he showed up again the next day, shared a little more about himself and his girlfriend, and about how much God had blessed him. Again, he had something that took him away from beginning the study and was gone. The next time the three saw each other, the woman asked the younger man if he wanted to be sure he  had an eternal home in heaven. He countered with, “You know, that’d be great–but– I kind of like the way things are now.”  Shortly after that, he joined in the couple’s  conversation about the Lord, and the older man tried to discern where in the bible  the younger man needed to be to help him in his struggles and relationships.

Arrangements were made to meet for bible study together the following day, but the younger man didn’t show up. A couple of days later he came inside but left quickly. Just before leaving he told several others that the couple were his “good friends” because they understood him. “They get me” he said. The older man went outside and found the younger man having very angry words with someone and cursing him.

Three days went by, and the couple hadn’t seen the younger man. They next received word that the younger man was killed the previous afternoon. Violently stabbed to death multiple times in a public place. His life here on earth was over…just like that…gone. He never gave the couple an answer whether or not he had made the decision to accept Christ as his personal savior. The woman’s husband told her that had been what the younger man meant when he said that  they “get him.” That they knew he was leading two different lives. He was being pulled in two completely different directions.  He was serving two masters–and Satan was winning. Maybe he had won. This was terribly hard for the couple to accept. Maybe if they had tried harder to win the younger man over, thereby pulling him from the other side. Maybe they would have succeeded in that tug of war, thus winning a soul to Christ. This was devastating for the couple.

      In the days that followed, the couple had heard stories depicting the younger man’s lifestyle leading up to the stabbing.  People who knew him said that he lead a different way of life. The couple were disheartened and weren’t sure what to believe. It was unfathomable to think they could do no more for the younger man except pray for his soul.

The couple later found that the younger man had two grown sons who were living a life of violence as well. It made them more aware of the bible’s truths that the hairs on our heads are numbered, and that we can’t add even one day to our life. Not one of us knows the day we’re going to die. Not one of us knows if we have another day to make the most important decision of our lives. It would be good right here if I could say “and they all lived happily ever after” but they didn’t. There was a senseless death– due to the pre-conceived anger of another person. And this individual took this blinding rage into his own hands, ending the life of another human being. Yes, he was  caught and went to jail. And he still has a chance to see heaven. You all know this, right? If this man repents, turns his life around, and follows Christ–he will be saved by our loving Heavenly Father from the fire pits of Hell. He still has time to make the decision. FYI–we as christians have the responsibility to pray for this man to have the opportunity to be led to Jesus. We don’t have the right to hope or pray that he dies a violent death as well. Vengeance, in the life of a christian, is the Lord’s. He will repay. We probably won’t live to see it happen, but we have to trust that it will. The decision to accept or reject Jesus Christ as savior and Lord of our life, is ours. He won’t force us. We make the choice. He wants us to come to Him willingly. What an awesome privilege it is to serve a living God.

As sad as this story was to write, maybe you know of someone who either doesn’t know Christ, or hasn’t made the decison.”  I’m asking that you not assume there’s plenty of time for you to share your faith with others. Or maybe  you don’t know the savior of the world. Through the internet, it’s easier than ever to access all kinds of websites, download music to your MP3 player, listen to podcasts on your SmartPhone, or any number of things. I’m asking you to do yourself or someone else a favor by learning what you can, so you or a friend or family member can make this decision. But before you make it–consider the alternative of living without knowing and serving our God of love.

Hell is a real place, and it’s not pretty. Do some research. Find an online bible if you don’t own one, and search biblical passages using the keyword hell and read the descriptions in those passages. Be informed. Be armed with knowledge. There is no time to waste. Do not, please do not take this lightly. Jesus is coming again for “His church.” You or someone you know will want to be part of it.  Read the “Left Behind” book series or see the movie.

           

Make this decision yourself or tell others about the information you found during your search. Please understand that this was a tough story to write and relate to you. I wrote it with a goal in mind…to inform, and to help you or another make “the decision.”

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Ear

Ear (Photo credit: Menage a Moi)

 While listening to others talk, are you listening to their message and what they’re trying to convey? Or are you listening for a subtle message behind the message? One that tells you that they really think a lot about themselves. Hmmm. Like how many times they said “I” in their speech. Don’t get me wrong, we have to talk about ourselves some. When we are asked point-blank about how we are when someone hasn’t seen us in a while, they really want to know what’s been going on in our lives. But come on, when we see someone every day and they ask how we are, they don’t want a moment by moment itinerary. Let’s face it, some of us talk about ourselves way too much, and some people will start avoiding us because they don’t get to enter the conversation unless they butt in. And if they don’t butt in, we don’t know how they are feeling or what’s going on in their lives. Maybe God led them there today to have you pray for them and what they are going through.  We are to think of others better than ourselves. Maybe…we just talk to be talking. And when we’re self-oriented we tend to say the word “I” way too often. God can’t use us for His purpose when we don’t listen to others and put their needs before our own.

 English: Oil painting, "Praying Hands&quo...

 There’s no “I” in team. Have you heard that quote? Christians are a team, or we’re supposed to be anyway. This is an even better quote: There’s no “I” in team but there is in “win.” When we work for God–we win. Plain and simple. When we visit someone in the hospital, we can talk with other patients there, find out about their loved one, and ask if we can pray with them. Or we can simply take down the name of the patient and what they are having done, a little background on them if it’s serious, and pray on our own. We win!

Win Win (film)

Win Win (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 The bible tells us to be slow to anger, quick to listen and slow to speak. And since God gave us two ears and one mouth, maybe, just maybe we are supposed to listen at least twice as much as we talk. A lot of words are wasted in any given day. We don’t only talk about ourselves, but we also talk about others, and this in a derogatory manner, perhaps hearing it from another source. Gossip. If we hear something we don’t know for a fact is true, we need to allow it go in one ear and out the other. Again, the bible tells us to mind our own business, and not be busybodies. This is sound christian doctrine, and words we should all try to live by. Let’s do what we can to let this “me” generation fizzle out. Let’s ask ourselves how many times a day we say “I.” Then if it’s too often–we can change. Change is good. I’m  just saying.

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World – Darkness – where all manner of evil is done. The way of the wicked is like darkness. (Proverbs 4:19)

God –  Light – God is light, in Him there is no darkness. (1 John 1:15) Satan hates God and will try to win as many souls as he can to his way of thinking.

World  –  Hate – Satan hates anything and everyone having anything to do with God.

God –  Love – God is love. (1 John 4:16), A new commandment I give you. Love one  another. (John 13:34)

World –  repays evil for evil ; gets revenge (Romans 12:17)

God –  Jesus said – Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

World –  fights to be first – #1!

God –  Jesus became a servant –  emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:6-7)  The last will be first and the first will be last. (Matthew 20:16)              

World –  Satan falls from heaven – He said to them, I saw satan having fallen like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18)

God –  gives his children – grace; undeserved favor – So that being justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)    

World –  you’re known by the company you keep.

God –  Jesus ate with sinners –    It happened as he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.   When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9:10-11)

World –  worries – their health suffers because of it.

God –  The godly pray and trust God for the outcome  –  don’t be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25)     

World –  Satan brings eternal fire.

Where art Thou, Satan?

God –  Jesus brings eternal life – For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)  

           

Česky: Kříže - symbol utrpení Ježíše Krista a ...

World –  tends to abuse alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sex, and food.

God –  Apostle Paul wrote – don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

World –  says – Do it if it feels good.

God –  Jesus said we will all give an account of our actions – When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment (John 16:8)

World –  says – Kings are born in a noble realm.

God –  Jesus – our king – was born in a lowly stable –  11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”       (Luke 2:11-12)

World –  tears people down with their words.

God –  says to build people up.  For this cause I write these things while absent, that I may not deal sharply when present, according to the authority which the Lord gave me for building up, and not for tearing down. (2 Corinthians 13:10)

World –  Order of things – Me first!

God –  Jesus said – 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:3-5)

World –  wants what someone else has and never has enough.

God –   One of God’s commandments says – 17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17) About Jesus – 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:22)

 World –  Satan is the father of all lies – (John 8:44)

God –  Jesus said – I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. (John 14:6)

World –  appoints its leaders.

God –  anoints his leaders – King David – Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers: and the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on David from that day forward. (1 Samuel 16:13)

World –  is full of anger and harsh words that fuel more anger, and destroy
relationships.

God –  Apostle Paul tells us – Be angry, and don’t sin.” Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath (Ephesians 4:26), Get along with everyone – 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:12-13)

If we’re not careful, we christians can

 

act just as worldly and ungodly as those

 

 

in the world who don’t have

 

salvation through our Lord

 

Jesus Christ.

 

They’re just living a normal life in today’s world.

 

And they won’t know how to act any do differently

unless we show our faith in

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It all comes down to if we care enough.

 

Well…do we?

 

Let me know your thoughts.

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Love ? I love love love you.

You are slowly losing control. The struggles you’re experiencing now are too great, and the situation doesn’t seem to be changing. Now you’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder. Where do you turn? Do you search your bible for comforting words of truth, or do you tell your friends that God doesn’t care? Let me say this: God does care. He loves you, and He will never love you any more or less than He does right now. He speaks through His Holy Word to all of us–believers and non-believers. But we believers should already know that the Holy Spirit is always with us, and that God is always working in our lives on our behalf. He is our Comforter. (Counselor, The Promise)  (John 14:16-26, Acts 2:38-39). And filled with compassion, the Holy Spirit guides us in what we think, say, and do.

However, the non-believer doesn’t have this assurance, this comfort, this knowledge. They may become a victim of their circumstances causing their health to diminish. Their zest for life is gone. They stop caring about themselves and others. Then they fall apart. Why? Because they don’t have access to the living God. Our protector, our strength, our “go-to guy.” They don’t see the tremendous love our God has for all of us, christian and  non-christian. They don’t know His promises, or that God is always faithful. And because they don’t know God, they can’t know Jesus, God’s only son. The only one by whom they can be saved and have eternal life. (Acts 2:21, 4:12, Ephesians 1:20-21, Hebrews 7:25, Romans 10:13-14, Philippians 2:9-11) And the saddest thing of all–they won’t ever see Heaven. Why not? you ask. Because we’re not sharing the gospel. We’re not sharing Christ enough.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

That’s right…We’re not doing what God commanded us to do. The Great Commission. (Mark 16:15, Luke 24:45-47) Did we forget that Jesus gave us a mission? The root word for commission is “commit”.Are we committed enough to see the it that there are no more unbelievers, only believers? I don’t think we are. So let’s just tell Jesus “No.” And…we might as well say no to God, too. C’mon, it’s a lot easier than feeling guilty, right? We find it tough to spend time with our own families, let alone time getting to know someone in our own neighborhood who may or may not know the Lord. Does that bother us enough to re-evaluate our priorities?

Here’s a newsflash: God didn’t ask us to love others, or ask us to spread the Good News, (gospel) of His son’s life, death, burial, and resurrection. Come to think of it…God didn’t ask anybody He spoke to in the Old Testament to do anything. He told them. He commanded them. His meaning was clear. Do it, or else. And other times it was do it and I will bless you in such and such a manner.

But I think we need to be up front with God. We need to say something like God, I’m sorry, but I just don’t have the time. We need to capture His attention and tell Him No, God. It’s too hard, and I can’t do it. But I’ll pray that one of your “prayer warriors” will take on this particular task. Well–after all, we still serve God, don’t we?  Just not in this capacity. Besides, we still sing in the choir and attend church regularly. We help our neighbors at times…no, it’s too much. Everybody’s salvation rests on us? Uh-uh. WE HAVE A “NO” HERE!!

Then, a soul-searching question comes to mind: ( Holy Spirit)

 Did God say “No” when it came to His only son, who took on the sins of the whole world by dying that horrendous death on the cross so we could all have salvation, and live with Him forever in Heaven when we die?

No. He undeniably did not. So, do we have any right to tell God “No” about anything? Food for thought, huh? He doesn’t want even one person to miss going to Heaven. ( 11 Peter 3.9) And no one can enter Heaven’s Gate unless they accept Jesus into their heart. To have this happen we have to be proactive and share with people what Jesus means to us, and share our testimony of how He saved us by His Love and amazing Grace.

amazing grace

 Note:  If you do not know Christ and want to share in His love and have “eternal life” after death–please reply to this post, or talk to someone you trust who is a christian, and one of us will be thrilled to talk to you about how you can do this. It will be the easiest and most rewarding experience you will ever have in your life. Trust me…trust Him.

May God bless you all, and as aways, thanks for viewing.

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