God’s Waiting Room — Have You Ever Been There?

Have you ever done your best praying and it still did not seem to get you anywhere?

1. When you pray, do you tell God what you need, how He can fill your order and when you need it?
2. Do you expect God to deliver immediately what you asked for?
3. Do you ever wonder if God is really listening?
4. Do you ever find yourself thinking of ways to get God’s Attention?
5. Do you think praying in church may be more effective than praying at home or on the go?
6. Do you believe God will speak to you through His Words, as recorded in The Bible?
7. Is The Bible just a History Book?

Come along and share the struggles of a Christian, who’s trying to pray … but encounters some difficulties. You might have met her already in “God’s Waiting Room!”

To view the video, click

Here

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:3

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If You Only Knew …

God knows you! What is it like to be known by God? Read a portion of Psalm 139. David’s Words are true for you too.

You have searched me, Lord,
and You know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue
You, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,
and You lay Your Hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your Presence?

If I go up to the heavens, You are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there Your Hand will guide me,
Your Right Hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to You,
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.

For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your Works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your Eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in Your Book
before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are Your Thoughts, oh God!
How vast is the sum of Them!

Were I to count Them,
They would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with You.
Psalm 139:1-10

During a time of prayer, while I was reflecting on God’s Presence, He gave me a song. It is His Song to you too!
To view the You Tube video, and share in The Song, click 

Here

 

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I’ve Got A Secret! Don’t Tell Anyone!

If you had a big secret, who would you tell? Who can you trust with your deepest feelings?

Did you know you already have Someone who shares in all of your secrets? God was with you from the beginning when you were made “in the secret place.”

“My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place …”
Psalm 139:15

God knew you from the beginning. He has been with you for every moment of your life. He knows everything about you, even your thoughts.

“Before a word is on my tongue, You, Lord, know it completely.”
Psalm 139:4

Everything you believe you have done completely in private is known to God. While you may hide some things from public view, nothing is hidden from God.

What is it like to be known so completely by God? For many of us, it is startling to have The Full Light of God shine in our lives.

His Light illuminates dark corners where we may have hidden bad memories, secret sins, or fears that are too much to contemplate. We may react as did Adam or Peter.

Adam said, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 3:10

Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man.”
Luke 5:8

Why are we afraid? Because darkness cannot stand in The Presence of Light. It must go. We may fear that our sins are a part of us and we must go too.

We may fear God will punish us severely before banning us from His Presence. However, The Truth is God sees us as He created us. He thankfully does not see us as the person we or anyone else tried to create.

He says to us, as Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery,

“Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
John 8:11

Being known by our Creator is a wonderful Gift. We can be secure in the knowledge that He knows all our secrets and He will hold in Trust All He knows.

It’s time to tell Him all your secrets. He already knows, but He wants to hear it from you.

You may find you want to tell Him some hurtful secrets. He can help you let go of them forever. You no longer have to fear that secret sin is attached to you. You don’t live there anymore.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17

He may help you see that some things don’t have to be hidden any more. He may reveal to you that your secret fear is nothing to fear. You can step out in new confidence, knowing who you were created to be.

“You are God’s Handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10

Best of all, you can experience the Joy of being completely known and completely loved.

“Let us then approach God’s Throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive Mercy and find Grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to Face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12

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Praying and Napping

Does your mind ever wander when you try to pray? Or even worse, do you ever just fall asleep?

Many of us have fallen victim to today’s overstimulating life. There are any number of things that keep our mind constantly humming.

When we attempt to be still and pray, satan sees a major opportunity. His playbook never changes. He begins with distraction.

Satan might whisper,
“Oh you are going to pray? Aren’t you tired? Did you remember to add that one thing to your grocery list? What about that Birthday greeting to your sister?

“I know you’ve got a lot on your plate. You better get your 40 winks now. Here, let me sing you a little lullaby. You’re getting sleepy. Don’t worry, God knows everything you were going to say anyway. Don’t worry about Him.”

Jesus’ Disciples were tired. Sitting quietly in a dark garden, after a good meal, they waited for Jesus to return from His Private Communing with God.

He had only asked them for one thing.

“Stay here and keep watch with Me.”
Matthew 26:38

But … when Jesus returned …

… “He found them sleeping.”
Matthew 26:40

The question Jesus asked them, He could easily ask us.

“Couldn’t you men keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter.

One hour? Many of us couldn’t make it 15 minutes!

It is interesting that Jesus directed His question to Peter, who was about to face temptations beyond anything he had ever experienced.

Jesus told him, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41

Watch? Who are we watching out for? Remember that other being who is watching you. Peter later wrote,

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8

Satan would very much like to be able to capture your soul. But first he must get through your flesh and then convince you to choose him instead of God.

So his first target will be your flesh … your body … your mind. What can you do to stay alert?

A good soldier trains for battle. Soldiers learn how the enemy operates, so they are not surprised by his tactics.

A good soldier knows when to expect a battle and prepares. Read Ephesians 6:10-17 to see how to dress.

And then … focus. Begin with thanking God for being God. Thank Him for all the ways He has blessed you. When we turn our focus to Him and off of the world and its troubles, we enter into His Presence.

When we think of all He has done and enjoy The Wonder of His Presence at this moment, praise naturally follows. Satan will not want any of that. He will retreat.

Is it ever ok to fall asleep in prayer? Yes. Falling into a peaceful sleep in prayer assures a beautiful rest!

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

“In Peace, I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8

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Lord Help My Unbelief!

We are being watched at all times. Does that make you feel good or unnerve you? Many of us might say, “It depends on who is watching!”

Well, there is good news and bad news.

First the Good News: If you want a sense of how Ever Present God is, read Psalm 139.

David was amazed when he realized God was with Him all the time. There was literally no place He would ever be without God.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your Presence?
If I go up to The Heavens, You are there.
If I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your Hand will guide me. Your Right Hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139:7-10

Jesus promised,
“Surely I Am with you always.”
Matthew 28:20

Now for the unsettling news: There is another being who is also watching us. It is revealed in Job what satan does every day. When God asked him where he had been, satan said,
“Roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Job 1:7

Satan tempts us every day. There may be times when we feel he is gone. But he isn’t. He is watching and waiting to make his next move.

(Referring to all the tempting of Jesus in the desert),
“When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him until an opportune time.”
Luke 4:13

When you have moments of True Faith, when you move beyond ‘I think” to “I believe” to “I am convinced” to “I know” and you step out in faith, things begin to happen.

The Holy Trinity and All the saints and angels of heaven and earth rejoice … and every alarm goes off in satan’s kingdom.

There is nothing worse for satan than to see a Christian discover there is really God Power available to them through prayer. He sends out immediate orders that this is the opportune time to grab them back before they go any further.

Have you had the experience of stepping out in faith and then almost immediately thinking, “This can’t be real.”

When you experience something that is not usual in the world you know, it is a good idea to do a reality check. Don’t be deceived. But remember to use The Truth as The Standard.

Ask God, “Is this You?” Wait for His Answer. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. This was so far from the reality they knew that they were very afraid.

Jesus reassured them.

“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Matthew 14:27

Peter was still not so sure. He said,

“Lord, if it’s You, tell me to come to You on the water.”
Matthew 14:28

Satan could have jumped right in there at that point. After all, he had tried to get Jesus to jump off the top of the Temple. (Luke 4:9)

But something in the way Jesus said, “Come,” sounded just like Jesus’ Voice had sounded when Peter first heard Him say, “Follow Me!” Peter knew it was Jesus.

What step of faith have you taken before? Do you remember the certainty with which you stepped forward when you knew you were responding to God?

“Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
Matthew 14:29

Satan loves it when we take that step of faith and then fall. He knows it is a slam dunk because he gets the one who stepped out in faith as well as any observers.

One of Satan’s chief techniques is to distract us and cause us to doubt.

I can imagine him calling out to Peter, “Look around. This is a lake, for goodness sake. Have you lost your mind, man? You are just a human. You know you can’t walk on water.”

When Peter saw the wind, he became afraid and began to sink.

Satan probably said, “I told you so. Jesus doesn’t love you. He made you get out of that boat and now He’s laughing when you fall. Sucker!”

But Peter did exactly what we should do when we feel ourselves falling.

“He cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'”
Matthew 14:30

As committed as we might be, we all have those moments when we have to learn The Lesson all over again of “He is God. We are not.” We cannot do the task to which He has called us in our own strength.

We must remain focused on Him and surrendered to Him.

Did Jesus cause Peter to fall just to teach him that lesson? No! Jesus did allow Peter to feel what happened when he looked away and doubted.

But when Peter called out,
“Immediately Jesus reached out His Hand and caught him.”
Matthew 14:31

Notice Jesus answered Peter immediately. (And satan slunk off in a funk to wait for another opportunity.)

I like The Living Bible Translation of what Jesus said to Peter. I believe Jesus said it with a great deal of tenderness.

“You have so little faith,” Jesus said, “Why did you doubt Me?”
Matthew 14:31

When we discover we don’t have enough power to carry out what we have committed to do, it is simply a reminder of who is God and who is not.

But what comes next is important. We can call out to The Lord in confidence that He is Ever Present, ready to help us and willing to help us. Don’t doubt!

Jesus told the father of man who was ill,
“Everything is possible for one who believes!”
Mark 9:23

He, like many of us, wanted to believe, but he also knew how difficult it could be to continue to believe.

His plea may be ours too.
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24

Take that step of faith. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

“Don’t be afraid; just believe!”
Mark 5:36

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Can I Have Another Plan For My Life Please?

In my last blog post, we talked about surrendering completely to God’s Plan.

What if we have some reservations about The Plan? Is it ok to ask God to change it?

In The Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed,

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me.”
Matthew 26:39

Then He added,
“Yet, not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26:39

There may be many circumstances in our life that would tempt us to say, “Oh Lord, I want to serve You, but this plan is not working for me.”

We see life from our very narrow view. However, God sees everyone and everything in the larger picture of His overall Plan.

He is with us always, through every challenge we have. We have constant and direct access to Him. But He will not always change our circumstances.

The three men referenced in my last post were thrown into the blazing furnace. Daniel was put in the lion’s den. Moses did go through the Red Sea.

They may not have chosen that way to be witnesses to The Lord’s Power, but they were, in fact, part of God’s Plan. And we remember their witness today.

After Jesus requested that the cup be removed from Him, He waited for a response from God.

Interestingly there is no recorded answer from God to Jesus’ Request. When God has already laid out the Plan, Silence may be interpreted as, “No change.”

Sometimes God is simply present with us, as we are still and know once again He is God. He loves us and The Plan still stands.

After a time of waiting, Jesus prayed some more. And then He said,

“If it is not possible for this cup be taken away unless I drink it, may Your Will be done.”
Matthew 26:42

He fully submitted to The Will of His Father. He went to the cross. The Father’s Will was His Will.

What are you praying about right now? Are you praying with the openness of Jesus to say, “Lord, if this is possible, will You do it? Yet, not as I will, but as You will.”

And if His Answer leads you onward to places you do not want to go, can you say, “If it is not possible to change this to the way I want it, then what I still want is Your Will. If all I have left is You, that’s all I want … You are all I need.”

If you are not sure yet that you can speak those faith filled words, then be sure to read my next blog posting about a man who wanted to believe. But He needed help to keep believing. He cried out to Jesus.

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24

“My Grace is sufficient for you. For My Power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

” My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14

“I AM with you always …”
Matthew 28:20

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Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Most of us like some level of control of our world. We are willing to have God make some adjustments, but rarely do we want to turn everything over to Him.

Why is that? Could it be that we do not trust Him completely? It seems that service to the Cause should be rewarded, but it doesn’t seem to work that way for God’s Team.

Those who follow Jesus still get sick, injured, attacked and even killed. Bad things keep happening to God’s People.

God could intervene, but it seems He doesn’t. One would think His Son would have gotten a little preferential treatment, but He didn’t. Can we trust God with our life?

First thing to know: the life we are living is not “our” life alone. It is The Life breathed into us by God and maintained under His Watchful Eye.

He is watching to see how His Whole Good Plan is coming together. We are not here to claim earth for ourselves. We are here as a part of a God ordained Mission to bring earth people to Heaven.

“For we are God’s Handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10

Do you believe God’s Promise of a Good Plan for your life?

“For I know The Plans I have for you,” declares The Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, Plans to give you Hope and a Future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Are you willing to accept that your definition of “good” and God’s Definition of “good” may be different? God actually confirmed that Truth.

“For My Thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My Ways,” declares The Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways and My Thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

Do you see God’s Promise of a Good Plan through your earthly eyes or your heavenly eyes? Many of us claim to believe Heaven is a wonderful Place and we look forward to going there.

But truth be known, most people would do practically anything to stay on earth. As long as we look at our life as only “our” life, it becomes harder to let it go.

As long as we see death as an end instead of a beginning, we will continue to be preoccupied with how to stay on earth longer.

But when we look through God’s long lens of Eternity, we gain more perspective. Trusting Him becomes easier.

We become more able to face the challenges of this life with steady confidence in The One Who created us to live forever with Him.

Daniel records the story of three young men who were true to their faithful witness of God. The king was not pleased. He sentenced them to die by being thrown into a fiery furnace.

What was their response?

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, The God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Daniel 3:17-18

They knew their God was able to deliver them. They were totally leaving it up to Him how He would do it.

Either on earth or in Heaven, they knew they would be safe with The One Who knew His Plan for them. They also knew that God had a Plan for the king. They trusted God to carry it out and He did.

You can read the whole story in Daniel, chapter 3.

What does this have to do with prayer? Being still and knowing He is God is preparation for being willing to surrender to His Will.

When we know we are a part of God’s Plan and we know it is a Good Plan because it is a God Plan, we can move forward in whatever circumstance.

In my next post, we’ll talk about the Greatest Prayer of Surrender of all times. We’ll join Jesus in The Garden of Gethsemane.

Are you willing to say with Him, “Not My Will but Yours be done?” That may sound risky, but it’s actually the most secure Prayer you’ll ever pray.

“When you walk through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I AM The Lord your God!”
Isaiah 43:2-3

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In God’s Name!

In my last post, we reflected on how many people end their prayers, using Jesus’ Name.

Many begin their prayers, using God’s Name. Do you? God told Moses what His Name is.


God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”

Exodus 3:14


God said this would be His Name forever.


“This is My Name forever, the Name you shall call Me from generation to generation.”

Exodus 3:15


God was very protective of His Name. In the The Third Commandment, God said, 


“You shall not misuse The Name of The Lord your God, for The Lord will not hold anyone guiltless, who misuses His Name.”

Exodus 20:7


We may think taking God’s Name in vain is using His Name to direct Him to damn someone. However, we more often use His Name wrongly by attaching our negative feelings to His Name.


A typical prayer might begin with “Oh God, I am so depressed.” Or “Oh God, I am sick” or “I am so mad.” And I can imagine God saying, “Who goes there, misusing My Name? I don’t know you!”


Not a good way to start a conversation with God!


But when we use God’s Name in connection with His Truth, The Power of The Trinity lines up with us.


God, The Great I AM lines up with The Holy Spirit, Who is The Spirit of Truth and Jesus, The Word, brings Life to you.


You will see The Way. You will know The Truth. You will have Life!


Choose to disregard your feelings. Choose to receive what God has promised you.


Combine gratitude with God’s Name and His Truth. Speak it out loud from your own lips. Release The Power of His Word to work in you and through you.


His Truth: “I have loved you with an Everlasting Love.”

Jeremiah 31:3


My Truth: I thank You, Lord, that I AM loved by You with Your Awesome, Everlasting Love.


His Truth: “My Peace I give you … Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27


My Truth: I thank You, Lord, that I AM filled with Your Peace. I will not let my heart be troubled. I AM unafraid.


His Truth: “I have told you this so that My Joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

John 15:11


My Truth: I thank You, Lord, that I AM filled with Your Joy. I thank You that I AM complete in Your Joy.


Jesus asked a key question of the blind man, who sought healing. He asks us the same question.  


Jesus asked

“Do you believe that I AM able to do this?”

Matthew 9:28


The blind man could choose to believe his own feelings or He could choose to believe Jesus.


Do you believe God can take His Name, attach it to His Truth and let you speak The Words that will bring you Life? Trust Him. He can and will do it!








Jesus — Password or Lord of Lords?

Sometimes we tend to look at The Bible in sound bites. We love to find the uplifting verses that encourage us.

Even more, we love finding those verses that seem to prove exactly what we thought all along.

And if we can find something that seems like a sure fire formula for getting what we want, we are thrilled!

One of those verses taken by itself sure does sound like a way to get “the keys to the kingdom.”

Jesus said, “You may ask Me for anything in My Name and I will do it.”
John 14:14

This has led to millions of people signing off their prayers with, “In Jesus’ Name.” Some believe Jesus’ Name is like a password that will gain them entrance to the place where everything they want is kept.

But let’s look a little closer at something else Jesus said about the use of His Name.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord,’ will enter The Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does The Will of My Father Who is in Heaven.

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name drive out demons and in Your Name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evil doers!'”
Matthew 7:21-23

If you go to the bank and want to withdraw some money from Joe Smith’s account, you cannot just walk in and say, “I’m Joe Smith. Give me my money.” The bank will want verification that you are indeed Joe Smith.

If you cannot produce proof you are Joe Smith or have a legal right to transact business for Joe Smith, you will not get the money. Not only that, you may get arrested for trying to impersonate Joe Smith or steal his money.

We can pray with confidence, using Jesus’ Name when we are His. How are we identified as His? We are identified as His when we do The Will of Jesus and His Father God.

As we have discussed in previous posts, when we agree with God, He always agrees with us.

But if we are using God’s Name or Jesus’ Name for any purpose other than reverent worship, we are misusing Their Names.

Before you just tack on “In Jesus’ Name,” to your prayers, stop and feel His Presence. Let The Light of His Word wash over you, exposing anything that is not Him.

Pray as David The Psalmist did,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10

When your spirit is in line with God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit, you will want what They want for you. And then you can ask Them for anything and feel assured it will be done.

“Seek His Kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well …. your Father has been pleased to give you The Kingdom.”
Luke 12:31-32

 

SOS! Need Prayer Partner!

What do you do when you are so shaken you don’t even know how to try to pray?

You don’t have time to try to remember scripture. You are in crisis. Nothing is coming to mind but panic.

Or honestly you’re tired of praying. You’ve tried every way you know to pray, and you’re hearing nothing back from God. You may think “prayer doesn’t work.”

Even worse you may begin to believe God doesn’t work. There are scriptures that say “Wait upon The Lord,” but come on. You did wait and nothing happened.

There is help available. Jesus promised The Holy Spirit would live in you and be with you forever. He remembers everything Jesus said and He will remind you.

He will comfort you. He will counsel and guide you. He will even take that mess of disjointed thoughts you are having, and connect them in perfect order with God’s Thoughts.

Jesus said,
“I will ask The Father and He will give you another Advocate to help you, and be with you forever — The Spirit of Truth … you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.”
John 14:16-17

“When He, The Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all Truth. He will not speak on His Own, but will only speak what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He makes known to you.”
John 16:13-14

“But The Advocate, The Holy Spirit, Whom The Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”
John 14:26

Paul described very well how The Holy Spirit helps us when we can’t pray pretty, coherent prayers. When all we can do is groan or just say God’s Name or Jesus’ Name, The Holy Spirit will speak for us.

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but The Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He Who searches our heart knows The Mind of The Spirit, because The Spirit intercedes for God’s People in accordance with The Will of God.”
Romans 8:26-27

If you don’t know how to pray (or even if you think you do), turn to your Personal, Ever Present Guide and simply say, “Please show me how to pray.”

He is The Truth and He will guide you into all Truth!

“Whether you turn to the left or to the right, your ears will hear A Voice behind you, saying, “This is The Way; walk in it”
Isaiah 30:21

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