Archive for July, 2010



            “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.  Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who is will commit to your trust true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16: 10-12)



            There are two kinds of riches; earthly riches, and heavenly riches.  The heavenly riches are far more valuable, for they are eternal.  ‘Mammon’ is a reference to earthly wealth (homes, gold, silver, money, beauty, careers, education, power, etc.)  Most people are seeking after this wealth rather than seeking after God, and as a result, they are serving their possessions instead of the living God who created them.  God has given the earth and all that is in it to mankind as a temporary possession.  Every man and woman is a steward of what God had given them.  A steward is ‘someone who manages property or other affairs for someone else.’   How someone handles mortal life, indicates how they will handle eternal life.  No one who abuses what is God’s should expect to inherit eternal life for themselves.

            When I was young (way before God came in to my life), I had very little respect for the possessions of others.  Whenever I got to take my mother’s car for a ride, I would abuse it; I would hit jumps, take friends out riding on dirt roads, and drive through snow banks with it.  Once, after returning my sisters car to her in a damaged conditioned she began to cry.  My dad later bought me a new vehicle; a car ‘all my own.’  I abused that car to within an inch of its life.  I smoked in it; I left garbage wrappers in it; I hit jumps with it; I rode over a bunch of mail-boxes with it (popping the tire), I had a friend kick in the side door; I got it stuck in a ditch; I had a window smashed in; the door handle was ripped off etc.  Had my Dad read this scripture, he would have known how poorly I would treat my own car after looking at the damaged I caused to others cars.

            Today, the things that we have in this life are not ours.  Our wives, our kids, our houses, our cars, our friends, our families, our bodies, even our money; it all belongs to God, and we are supposed to care for them accordingly.  If we succeed in being good stewards of the possessions of this world, we will receive for ourselves, eternal possessions from the living God.  Be a good steward of your things; take care of what is his; and your reward will be great.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask and pray that You please give us the desire to serve You rather than the possessions of this world.  And help us to be good stewards of what You have given us.  We ask that You help us in our endeavors to please You, that we may inherit Your true riches.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Pure Motives


            “Take heed that you don’t do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.  Or else you have no reward from you Father in heaven.  Therefore when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.  Assuredly I say to you they have their reward.  But when you do your charitable deed, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.  That your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will himself reward you openly” (Mathew 6: 1-4.)


            Many acts of charity were being done by the religious leaders in the days of Jesus.  Yet the majority of them were doing these works to benefit themselves, rather than to give glory to God.  Jesus identified two types of rewards (motivations) for any good action.  Some were motivated by a desire to please God and be rewarded by Him, and some were motivated by a desire to be acknowledged and rewarded by their peers.  The human heart is a deep and mysterious thing that no man can see in too, and no person can know, except God.  In fact the majority of people don’t completely understand their own motivations for doing good or evil.  God says in scripture, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it.  I the Lord search the heart.” (Jeremiah 17: 9-10.)  Nearly everyone claims to be a ‘good person.’  Only, the majority of people are good because it benefits them in some way.  Some people set out to do something selfless, but before the act is done, they have been corrupted by some selfish motive.  The heart is the battle ground on which worldly and spiritual motives war; symbolized by the left and right hand spoken by Christ in this scripture.  As soon as a pure motive arises within the heart, a selfish motive attempts to corrupt it.  What then is a suggested remedy for this corruption?  Jesus suggests that you make no provision to satisfy your worldly desires, by removing all possible human benefit.  Charity done in secret cannot possibly be rewarded by anyone but God.  Knowing this, it is easy to see why Jesus condemned those who appeared to be the most Godly in His day.  Their actions and their hearts told different stories; that is why they were called hypocrites by Jesus; everything they did was for their own benefit.  Their motives were corrupted [Important to note:  This does not mean that God wants us to do all of our works in secret.  He says in Mathew 5: 16, Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  He wants us to always be mindful of our hearts when we do a good work in front of others, and we should always make sure that God gets the credit for that deed.  We must live in this world and God desires us to be constantly doing good works, public and private.]      

            Most churches have teams of talented individuals that lead the congregation in song.  The purpose of a worship team is to direct others in focusing on God.  Sadly, being on stage can lead the pure in heart to begin to desire for themselves, the attention that is God’s.  Many performers shake their hips and dance around on stage; they wear clothing that sparkles and belt out lyrics in a manner that emphasizes their vocal talents rather than God’s worthiness.  The focus is to be placed on God and not a performer.  It is human nature to want to be the center of attention…to receive the admiration of others, but as Christians, we are never to be the center of attention; rather, we are to place all of our attention on God, and attempt to point others toward Him. 

            Christ came to put the focus back on the heart and back on God.  The good action is no longer just the action, but the heart that prompted that action.  How then can we make sure that our hearts are pure?  By practicing.  “How can I practice purity in my heart,” you might ask?  Easy; you make efforts to do things that only God can see.  You take the time to pray when no one is watching; you make giving in secret a new part of your life.  In this way you build your personal relationship with God (free from selfish motives), and that relationship then manifests itself in every area of your life (public as well as private.)

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we pray that You give us a clean heart Lord, free from the selfish motives of our flesh.  Help us Lord to desire Your rewards above all others, and give us opportunities to give, and to be charitable in secret.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we give You thanks, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Who are you rooting for?


            On the next day, which followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while he was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’  Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night and steal him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’  So the last deception will be worse than the first.”  Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”  So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard (Mathew 27: 62-66.)


            An ‘empty tomb’ frightened the Jewish leaders, who considered Jesus to be a deceiver.  Jesus had prophesied often concerning the third day of his burial.  He made his resurrection the final proof of his claims about being ‘The Son of God.’  All of the healings, all of the miracles, all of the wise words, all for nothing if he did not rise from the dead as he had proclaimed he would.  The Pharisees (religious leaders) didn’t believe in miracles, or the power of God.  They thought theft was the only means by which his body could go missing.  They faithlessly prepared a defense against earthly forces, not considering the power of a divine adversary.  They petitioned Pilate, the Roman Governor to provide them with battle hardened professional soldiers, capable of repelling even the most aggressive foe.  These leaders received their guard, and made the tomb secure.  Later in scripture we read what happened to these strong soldiers; the earth shook beneath them, and an angel appeared with such glory that they fell to the ground as if dead.  The angel then rolled the stone away from the entrance, and the Lord rose from the dead.

            American’s have made sports a part of their national identity.  One facet of that identity is a desire to see the ‘underdog’ overcome impossible odds and attain victory.  The ‘comeback’ is a term that most of us are familiar with.  In basketball, when we see a team that is losing in the fourth quarter by 16 points, with two minutes remaining, the game is all but over (some even turn off the T.V. or leave the stadium to get ahead of traffic.)  Just occasionally something amazing happens in those two minutes.  The team scores 2 points and steals the ball, they score again quickly, and again they get the ball back.  Each time they score, excitement builds in the hearts and minds of those who stayed to watch.  Finally, the game comes down to one last shot, and if the ‘underdog’ makes it, the game will go down in history; if they miss it, they lose, and all of the excitement and anticipation was for nothing.  No one remembers the ‘almost-miraculous.’  The ministry of Jesus Christ began with the miraculous, finished with the miraculous, and continues with the miraculous today.  Every miracle, every person that he brought to life, every healing, would have been for nothing had he failed to rise from the dead.  Had the body of Jesus been in the tomb, he would not be in the hearts and minds of millions of people today.  There would be no churches, no changed lives, no forgiveness of sins, no Holy Spirit, no meaning and purpose for living, and no hope for a future life with a loving God.  Jesus was victorious over his opponent in one final act.  He was raised to life; he defeated death; and all those who cheered for and hoped in him will eternally share in His victory.

            No one has ever produced the body of Jesus Christ; no tomb raider, no historian, no king, no religious leader; though thousands, if not millions have tried.   The reason they can’t find his body, is because he isn’t dead.  To those who have faith, and know the power of God, we have a hope in eternal life, with an eternal God, in a paradise prepared by Him.  To those who believe his body was stolen, they have no future, and no hope in anything but eternal separation from God.  In every generation, in every human heart, the question, “Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead?” must be answered.  The answer to this question puts you on one of two opposing sides, and only one side has a future with God!  Look to God’s power, and not human understanding, and a miracle will happen in your heart, and in your life now, and the life to come.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You Lord and we thank You for the resurrection.  We ask Lord that You increase our faith, and our hope in You.  Lord help us to minister to those who have not yet found an empty tomb, and a resurrected Lord.  Give us more of Your Holy Spirit, and help us to accept the victory that You have already won for us.  We love You Lord, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Jesus and God cannot be seperated!


            For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him because he had done these things on the Sabbath.  But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”  Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God […] “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom he will.  For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father.  He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5: 16-23.)


            Jesus healed a man on a Holy Day, and instead of rejoicing, the religious leaders condemned him for ‘working on the Sabbath.’  This was a day of rest was for men and not God.  He continued to work when the Jews were at rest.  Jesus proclaimed himself to be God, and as such, was exempt from resting on the Sabbath.  (In this culture, if one was to call God their Father, there was no mistake; this meant the person was making a statement of equality in comparison to God.)  Only God could give life, only God could judge, only God was worthy of honor.  Jesus was claiming to give life, to be able to judge, and was also making himself worthy of the honor.  The Pharisees were seeking desperately to keep Jesus and God separate; they were supposed to be ‘men of God,’ but they hated Jesus because he saw their hearts and their hearts were wicked.  They couldn’t hate God because they professed to love him.  Jesus reminded them that to love God was to love him, and as such, their hatred for him constituted a hatred for God.

            For quite some time I helped feed the homeless in downtown Santa Ana.  I was blessed to be able to serve in the line, and as people would come through, I would engage them in short conversations, often saying, “God bless you.”  There happened to be one particular man who came through the line, who replied to “God bless you” with “Hare Krishna.”  He was a Hindu Hare Krishna (They don’t believe in Jesus Christ or the God of the bible, as I understand.)  The way the man would correct me each week, suggested that he didn’t want to acknowledge Jesus Christ.  It appeared that he was not pleased that Christians were feeding him (and therefore Jesus Christ was feeding him.)  He wanted the food, but he didn’t want the one who was providing it. 

            Today, people still want God, but they refuse to acknowledge Jesus, as if the two can be separated.  Many follow false religions while they sit and receive treatment in hospitals named after Christian saints, run by Presbyterians, or Catholics.   Many have devised spiritual programs based on the bible to overcome some addiction, but to mention church, or Jesus might bring scorn or resentment from others in such programs.  Many people want to teach their children good morals, so they drop their children off at Sunday school but refuse to attend the services themselves.  Today, we as Christians can put Jesus Christ back in to the places where he has been squeezed out; we can accomplish this by doing good works in his name.  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of cold water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”  We can give money to a homeless man and say, “This is from Jesus.”  We can do the same whenever we help a friend in need, or give our time to a good cause.  When other people thank us, we can remind them that Jesus Christ is the one who deserves the thanks.  Whenever we lay down our lives for Jesus Christ, we also lift him up, so others see him in our actions, and give him and the Father the credit they so greatly deserve.  Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”  Let’s make sure he gets the praise and the glory for the good he does through our lives.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask that You give us opportunities to give You and Your Son the credit for any good works that we do.  Help us Lord to be bold in making sure that we lift You up and honor Your Son.  Father, give us more of Your Holy Spirit and help us to continue on our path with You.  We love You Father, we praise You and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

The Law of Love


            At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath.  And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat them.  And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”

            But he said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:  how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?  Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?  Yet I say to you that in this place there is one greater than the temple.  But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you wouldn’t have condemned the guiltless.  For the ‘Son of man’ is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mathew 12: 1-8.)


            In the Old Testament God gave a commandment that read, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy.”  God intended one day of the week be for rest; a day on which no work was to be done.  There were very few restrictions and limitations placed upon the activities of the day; God forbid plowing or harvesting, carrying heavy loads, or engaging in excessive travel.  The religious leaders, who were overzealous, created more detailed definitions of what constituted work, and expected others to adhere to these limitations (although God had not sanctioned them.)  They made a day of rest in to a day of restrictions.  Jesus made reference to an occasion when King David was fleeing from King Saul who sought to take his life.  David and his companions, wearied and hungry, entered a temple and ate the sacred bread from the altar.  David was justified by God in doing this, because he was God’s anointed king, and he was hungry.  Jesus also made reference to the priest’s violations of the Sabbath day.  The priests were allowed to break the Sabbath rest while serving God who dwelled in the temple.  (Serving God was then made a justifiable violation of the Sabbath.)  The Jews believed the temple to be Holy, and they revered it.  The only thing they reverenced more than the temple was God himself.  So when Jesus said, “Yet I say to you that in this place there is one greater than the temple” he was making himself to be God; he even went so far as to proclaim himself ‘Lord of the Sabbath,’ meaning he did not have to obey the Sabbath, but the Sabbath obeyed him; the laws served God’s purposes, and now they were serving Jesus as well.  He then quoted a scripture that overturned the Pharisees entire understanding of the priorities of God; he said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”

The most important characteristic of God was his capacity to forgive and show mercy.  The priority wasn’t what man could do for God, but what God had done (and was going to do on the cross) for man.  The heart of God was not a rigid thing that demanded complete obedience to avoid hellfire; rather, forgiveness was God’s preferred method of fellowshipping and relating to his children.  God dwells in the hearts of those who accept his mercy in the form of Jesus Christ.  The presence of God dwelling in you dispels guilt, and those who are walking with Jesus Christ are no longer under the harsh restrictions that cause people to trust in themselves rather than in God.  Mercy has replaced sacrifice.  “There is therefore now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8: 1-2.)

            One day as I was traveling down the road, I came across a stranger that had fallen on the bike path.  I pulled over and picked him up.  He appeared to be mentally handicapped and had taken quite a fall.  The palms of his hands were badly skinned from his attempt to avoid colliding with the pavement.  We picked up some peroxide and bandages, and drove to a place where I could treat his wounds.  When we got in to the car, his hands were so bloody and the distance to go was so short, I recommended he not put on his safety belt, which would have been painful for him.  We made it to our destination, but not before a Police Officer noticed a broken tail-light on my vehicle, and a passenger not wearing his seatbelt.  As the officer came near to the car, he inquired about the seat-belt, and the young man showed him his damaged hands.  The officer was lenient; he could see that circumstances didn’t warrant putting on the belt.  Some place in his heart he knew it wouldn’t have been right to give me a ticket because a law was broken out of love and concern.  He overlooked the tail-light saying, “Just take care of your friend.”

            Today, there can be a tendency to focus on the wrong things.  Those who don’t know God will have a difficult time adhering to his statutes.  They have no conviction, they don’t have the Holy Spirit, and their minds have been darkened.  Placing rules between sinners and God is therefore unbeneficial.  Can you imagine going to a church and being met at the door with a ‘questionnaire designed to assess your level of holiness prior to entering.’  Jesus came to make fellowship with God the first stage in a transformed life, not the final stage.  There is an old saying, “First you catch the fish and then you clean it.”  In the Old Testament, the fish had to be cleaned first.  In the New Testament, the fish is made clean because it has been caught.  Rituals, rules, and cleansings were all replaced with the Blood of Jesus Christ.  The point of contact with any sinner then, is not adherence to the rules, but an experience with Jesus Christ.  This does not mean that God wants us to throw away His commandments and not adhere to His guidelines.  It pleases Him when we do His will and obey Him.  But love for others is the trump card.  The law of love is the only law.  And the first step in obeying that law is knowing Jesus Christ.  It is because he dwells in us, that we are able to submit our lives with joy, to serving God, and others, in love.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You help us to make Your mercy the first thing we present to others.  Help us to not place rules and regulations between Your message and those who need to hear it.  God, give us strength to serve You, and walk with You.  Fill us with love, and faith, and peace, and joy; that others might see who You truly are.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Who’s in your Boat?


            Now it happened, on a certain day, that he got into a boat with his disciples.  And he said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.”  And they launched out.  But as they sailed he fell asleep.  And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy.

            And they came to him and awoke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”  Then he arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water.  And they ceased, and there was a calm.  But he said to them, “Where is your faith?”  And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be?  For he commands even the winds and water, and they obey him!” (Luke 8: 22-25.)


            The Sea of Galilee is the lowest (below sea level) freshwater lake in the world.  Because it is right next to the Mediterranean Sea, warm and cool air meet and create fierce storms almost instantaneously.  No doubt Jesus and his disciples were experiencing one of these storms.  Jesus slept while the disciples, fearing for their lives, were panicking.  This fear caused them to forget that Jesus had said, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.”  The words of Jesus were the words of God, and as such had to come to pass.  The disciples did not yet understand, or realize who Jesus actually was.  They didn’t know who was in the boat with them.  He arose, and with one command nature itself obeyed him.  Only God had the power over all of creation, but here we see Jesus wielding that same power.  So after witnessing this, they feared him, and they marveled; and they immediately questioned their own understanding.  We can also learn something here about the nature of fear.  Fear has done more damage and created more distress in people’s lives than has any other form of spiritual anguish.  Faith and fear are at war with one another in the human heart.  The presence of one signals the absence of the other, and vice versa; much as light dispels darkness, so faith dispels fear.  In Psalm 23, David writes concerning God, “I shall fear no evil, for you are with me.”  So to dispel fear a person needs only trust and know that God is with them.  The disciples feared the waves, because their faith in the one who was in the boat with them wavered.  There assessment of Jesus was incorrect.  The remedy was to correct their assessment.  He asked them, “Where is your faith?”  They reply to the question of “Where is your faith?” with “Who can this be?”

            There is a gentleman I interact with often at the coffee shop I frequent.  He is under a severe amount of stress; some days he appears visibly upset, unsettled, and distracted.  On one of these days, he leaned over to me and asked, “Can you give a scripture, or something from the bible that will help me to remember that ‘God will never give me more than I can handle?’”  My response was to quote this scripture of Jesus calming the storm.  Although it appeared as though they were going to sink, God wouldn’t allow it.  I reminded him that what is important is who is in the boat with you.  The size of the waves and the measure of desperation weren’t important.  Jesus was the one factor that would keep him floating.

            Today, our lives are like vessels floating on a sea as we travel towards our destination.  Sometimes the seas are tranquil, and sometimes the seas are stormy, but God has made a promise to all those who invite Jesus to accompany them on their journey.  He has promised that you will make it to the other side.  Jesus will not allow you to slip beneath the waves.  You will never sink, no matter how impossible the circumstances appear to be, because he is in control.  He will make your heart and mind as still as a motionless, windless ocean, when there are storms raging all around you.  He will give you a “peace that surpasses all understanding.”  When you feel fear, remember his promises, and know that the one who is with you “will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  Your faith will dispel your fear.  You will reach the destination, you will finish the race; you will keep the faith, because he is with you.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You today and we ask You for Your Son, and we ask and pray that he accompany us through this life.  Lord, please protect us from sinking; protect us from being overwhelmed by the storms that arise on our journey.  Help us to possess a faith that dispels all fear and produces hope.  Increase our faith, and help us to feel peace when the world around us is roaring.  We love You, we thank You, and we trust You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

            (If you’ve never invited Jesus Christ in to your heart and in to your life, you can do that at any time, just by kneeling down in a quiet place and asking Him to be the Lord of your life.  Ask for forgiveness, and believe in your heart that he was raised from the dead, and that through him you have eternal life.  Ask him for his Holy Spirit.  Ask this all in His Son’s Name, and a miracle will happen in your life, and you will never again face the challenges of life alone.)

Confessing Jesus is a Necessity


            “Therefore whoever confesses me before men, him I wil also confess before my Father who is in Heaven.  But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Mathew 10: 32-33.)


            This statement is fairly self explanatory.  Public profession of Jesus Christ is a necessity (Important: be kind and use discretion as God leads you.)  If we deny him, he will deny us.  Many people today are not interested in making Christ a part of their public lives, let alone their private lives.  It seems that modern social norms have made it politically correct to leave Jesus Christ out of whole sectors of society; like work, school, sports, or even recreation.  Many believe it is inappropriate to bring him in to places like coffee shops, grocery stores, banks, movie theatres, diners, and the list goes on and on.

            As we go throughout the day it isn’t hard to see that almost everyone is carrying some message by what they wear; maybe a t-shirt with a rock band’s name on it, or with a business name on it, or with a brand name on it; whatever it is, they are professing something about themselves, and about who they are and what they stand for.  If you listen to people talking in a crowded room, you’ll hear all kinds’ conversational content.  You might hear a person talking about something they love and enjoy, like working out, or shopping, or school, or some political candidate.  As Christians, our actions, our behaviors, and even our clothing can also be a means of expressing our faith in Christ, and that is okay.

            We as Christians need not be shy about what we enjoy, what drives us, and who we love.  Others may not like what they hear, but if they are offended, they aren’t offended by you, but by Him.  Don’t be shy, don’t be scared, and don’t be timid.  Profess him when he leads you, and make sure it is done in love.  You never know when God wants to use you to share about His Son.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask that You help us to be bold in sharing when You have called us to share.  Give us a desire to make You a part of every area of our lives.  We also ask that You remove any fears that we might have, and give us courage, and strength, and faith, and especially, give us love for those who are lost and don’t know Your Son.  We love You, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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