Who Shall Ascend?

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 

Psalm 24:3-5ESV

— We don’t approach God with good works so that no man can boast. 

We approach Him with clean hands (innocent: – blameless, clean, clear, innocent, free, guiltless)

We approach Him with a Pure heart

Matt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

In the Old Testament before the high priests were able to walk in the Holy place God required consecration. And He still requires it! A setting apart, lets face it, we are not of this World! We are to be salt and light to this generation.

This is living the Christian way; keeping a pure heart.

But thank God that through Jesus we are clothed in His Righteousness!

2 cor 5:21

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

How to Have Success

Many people strive for success, but are we striving in the right direction?

For some it’s all about selfish ambition, doing anything to reach the top, being the most famous, getting the most sales, having the fanciest car, having the biggest house in the subdivision, most followers on social media, etc. These are the ways of those who are striving in a different direction to get to the top. The challenges they face will be fought in their own power and will.

  • HOW TO HAVE SUCCESS

There is a God who knows our every need and wants to bless us. He sees our weaknesses and struggles and offers help everyday. Whether it be with our job, our family, our business. In Him there is no striving but resting in His Grace, knowing that whatever challenges you may face, He has already gone before you and by faith we will overcome.

In Joshua 1, God tells Joshua, who is now leading the people after Moses’ death, to “Be strong and courageous” and then He says ” Being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.” This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

God gives us two ways to have success

#1 – OBEDIENCE

Actions speak louder than words, are we who we say we are? Our obedience to God says all.

#2 – READ/MEDITATE ON THE WORD

The Word of God is our roadmap our instructions on how to live a life of success.

SEASONS OF adversity

When was the last time you had a season of adversity? Of hardship, of pain, of loss, of loneliness, the list goes on. What do you do in that particular season? It’s difficult for what I’m about to say but we need to not just go through them we are to grow through them.

2 Corinthians 12:10

10 “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In our own lives we to go through seasons. Seasons of fear, loneliness, doubt, heartache, despair, pain, depression. ALL OF THESE ARE Seasons of hardships. In these times we want to hide and run from those problems. 

Here are just a few examples who had seasons of adversity:

Saul chased David for some time, David hid in caves where he wrote most of the Psalms. 

Moses who wandered in the wilderness forty years

Joseph who was sold in slavery

Ruth lost her husband

Nehemiah had to fight off naysayers

Daniel was thrown into a lions den

Paul who while in prison wrote most of the New Testament

Each of these had adversity, but had the choice to let fear and doubt and depression hinder them.

What season are you going through? If you’re on the mountain top soaring high, then awesome. But remember that it’s in the valley of adversity where vegetation grows and where the flowers bloom. There is no growth on top of the mountain but only find rocks and boulders there. On top of the mountain is no place to put down roots, that happens in the valley below. Don’t rush the season you are in child, learn to rest in Him.

SEASONS WILL COME AND GO BUT HIS LOVE FOR US WILL NEVER CHANGE, HIS PROVISION, HIS PROTECTION, HIS CHARACTER OF WHO HE IS WILL NEVER CHANGE. AND HE MEETS US RIGHT WHERE WE ARE AT.

Why is it that we have to go through those tough times in life? If we always experienced the good times we would never be able to know what it means to say “… For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Choosing freedom instead of religion

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

-Galatians 5:1

The Galatians began to forget the freedom they received when they accepted Christ. Paul is writing to them to challenge them to walk in freedom once again.

In the letters to the Galatians, Paul has to remind the people that circumcision is no longer needed. Jesus had introduced the new concept of Salvation by grace through faith alone. Paul was reminding them that there is no other replacement that would take place of salvation, other than faith in Jesus.

Prior to the arrival of Jesus, every Jewish man had to be circumcised as a symbol of the covenant between God and the people of Israel.


Much like today, some try to achieve good works and kind gestures of earning favor and approval and salvation from God but don’t be deceived. “It was for freedom Christ has set us free”. There is nothing more that we can do to earn more of God’s love or do less to not earn His love. His love was this, He sent His only Son to die a horrible death, “he was led like a lamb to the slaughter…” to bear our sins, past present and future, but He rose on the third day, declaring victory over death, Hell and the grave so that you and I could have eternal life. For this we must choose Him, everyday.

————–Question to ask ourselves

Are there any kind of religious ritual, rule or practice that you engage in as a means of earning approval or favor from God?

————–Reflect

Just as Paul was reminding the Galatians, that it is through a relationship that we have this freedom. Have you invited Jesus into your life?

Romans 10:9 “ If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

A TIME FOR EVERYTHING

From the time that we were knitted in the womb (psalm 139:13-16) to when our life is over, God will have orchestrated every move, every challenge, every part that we had faced. But the most assuring part is that He has a plan for everyone. Not just for salvation (2 Peter 3:9) but He has given us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

He knows the plans for us, plans for welfare not of evil, to give us a future and a hope.

Solomon tells us that there is a time for everything. No matter what season that we are in, God has also given us provision for that time.

Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

WE ALL KNOW WHICH SEASONS WE WOULD LIKE TO BE IN. 

EVERYONE DESIRES TO BE IN THE GOOD AND COMFORTABLE SEASONS, PREFERRING LAUGHING TO MOURNING, LOVING TO HATING, GETTING TO LOSING; BUT WHATEVER SEASON GOD HAS PLACED US IN, WE MUST ALSO RESOLVE TO FAITHFULLY SERVE HIM THERE.

ARE YOU IN A SEASON OF FRUITFULNESS? A SEASON OF TRAGEDY OR GRIEF? KNOW THAT THE LORD IS WITH YOU TO GIVE YOU STRENGTH!

Growing in Christ Part 3 of All Things New Series

All Things New Series Part 3

God all made us for His Glory, we are His creation and He has made us with intricate intent. We may think at times and question God concerning the situation we are in. You may feel like you are at a dead end but God sometimes has to bring us to the end of ourselves for us to acknowledge the only One who can get us out of the mess that we have made ourselves to be at times. We were wired and designed to grow in Christ. But this World is constantly trying to persuade us to give, to grow not in God but in our passions, our own desires that are not of God.

Galatians 5:24 " Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" 

So what does it take to “Grow in Christ” Paul says it in Galatians 5:24 “Crucify the flesh” The only way that we can grow in Christ is when we are dead! Not physically speaking but to put off the flesh, Ephesians 4:22-24 says it better…

22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

To “put off our old self” meaning to not live that life anymore. 

To throw it out!

God is saying be Holy!

To be set apart from sin and evil.

The Road to Growth is Holiness

We have to make intentional choices in order to grow. There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss without pain. If we are going to grow, you will have to change, and change means you let go of some old things and grab hold of some new things.

“Put off your old self”

24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

LET IT GO

> Old habits

>Old hurts

>Old patterns

>Old sins

Throw them off and trust that God is working in you because without holiness we are unable to see God. We are made holy through the finished work of Christ. 

Holiness has to be continuously followed, put on and lived out in our daily lives. It is a work of God in us through the Holy Spirit that enables us to demonstrate holiness outwardly.


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Do You Have Room For Him?

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Say you're taking a trip last minute out of no where. Not a good idea, for some, it's a great idea. If you remember the important parts of the trip that is, the motel room. But hey, we all make mistakes like that, right? You've planned for everything else but the room, the most important part of the trip! You've realized that every motel and hotel you go to has a "no vacancy" sign on the outside. Have I made this mistake? Why of course not. Say you’re taking a trip last minute out of no where. Not a good idea, for some, it’s a great idea. If you remember the important parts of the trip that is, the motel room. But hey, we all make mistakes like that, right? You’ve planned for everything else but the room, the most important part of the trip! You’ve realized that every motel and hotel you go to has a “no vacancy” sign on the outside. Have I made this mistake? Why of course not.

You’re begging to the attendant at the service counter, “Please make room for me!” But every attempt goes unheard of. You go from hotel to hotel and motel to motel, still no room can be found.

She brought forth her firstborn Son…and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7 NKJV

In the gospel of Luke we read that Mary and Joseph having this same ordeal. Their trip was planned though, much anticipated and I’m sure Mary was anxious to get the child labor out of the way. But why couldn’t they find a room? Really? The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Messiah, The Chosen One, Son of God, the Creator, they were told to go away. Jesus, Mary and Joseph got rejected at every Inn (motel) they came across. They came to one Inn and all they had was a stable, a stable for animals. Not the best amenities but it worked.

  • Do we make the same mistake of the innkeeper? Do we tell Jesus that you have no time for Him today, ignore the prompting of the Spirit because its not convenient?
  • This Christmas, give to God your life, your time, and especially your heart. Listen for that urgent knock, and every time you hear it, move aside and make room for Him.

Hope Has a Name Part 2

THE INVITATION OF HOPE

THE CHRISTMAS STORY IS A BEAUTIFUL INVITATION. IT’S AN INVITATION FOR ALL TO COME AND SEE THE HOPE THAT HE HAS FOR ALL THOSE WHO COME TO HIM. IT’S AN INVITATION FOR ALL WHO ARE HURTING, WHO ARE HOPELESS, WHO HAS FEAR, WHO HAS SICKNESS AND WHO DOESN’T HAVE A SAVIOR.

THE NIGHT JESUS WAS BORN, THE HEAVENLY HOSTS WENT TO THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN TO LET A GROUP OF SHEPHERDS KNOW “A SAVIOR HAS BEEN BORN.” THE ANGELS MARVELED THAT CHRIST HAD COME TO RESCUE AND REDEEM, AND THEY LIT UP THE SKIES WITH THE THUNDEROUS PRAISE OF GOD. THAT NIGHT AN INVITATION WENT OUT: GO INTO BETHLEHEM TO SEE THE ONE WHO WILL BRING PEACE TO THE WHOLE EARTH.

LUKE 2:8-20

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 

“Glory to God in the highest,

    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over too Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

THE INVITATION FOR US TODAY IS TO COME ADORE THE ONE WHO BROUGHT OUR HEALING, OUR WHOLENESS, AND OUR PEACE WITH GOD.

COME, ENCOUNTER THE COMPASSION, COMFORT AND KINDNESS OF OUR SAVIOR.

COME, APPROACH WITH HEARTACHE AND BROKENESS WITH OUR WOUNDS AND OUR SCARS.

Hope has a name

Peace has a name

Joy has a name

His name is Jesus, Immanuel, God with us.

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">COME, JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT FOR OUR VICTOR OVER SIN, HURT, AND PAIN HAS ARRIVED!COME, JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT FOR OUR VICTOR OVER SIN, HURT, AND PAIN HAS ARRIVED!

Are You Acknowledging Him?

JOHN 1:1213

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

How great it is to be called a son or daughter of the Most High. Every season of Christmas I am reminded of not only the Promise of Jesus but the invitation that He gives freely to everyone to receive Him. It is an invitation for all. “That no one should perish”


I’d like to mention that we can receive many things in life and people without actually acknowledging them. We take everything for granted at times, I know I do. Anyone who is of God has already received Him, but are we acknowledging Him? In our everyday? Are we showing it with our actions, on how we treat others, show love and our lives presenting Christ?

Receive definition: be given, presented with, or paid (something).

Acknowledge definition: accept or admit the existence or truth of.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

When we received Him, we had said “God I can’t do life on my own, I need your help, forgive me of any wrong in my life and help me everyday to live a life for you.” That is acknowledging Him!

Our victory, hope, healing, peace and joy is in acknowledging him for what he done at the cross.

SO ARE WE DECLARING WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST EVERYDAY? ACKNOWLEDGING THE POWER THAT IS IN HIS NAME WHEN WE RECEIVED HIM AS LORD OVER OUR LIVES?

OR ARE WE DECLARING WHAT OUR PROBLEMS ARE INSTEAD OF WHO WE ARE.

WE ARE WHO HE SAYS WE ARE:

WE ARE: 

Victorious.

Righteous.

Holy.

Blameless.

We are royalty.

<p class="has-text-align-center" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">We are his.We are his.

Through it All

2020. From here on we will think of 2020 as a bad dream, a nightmare, a year of setbacks and unforeseen challenges, but it’s not over yet. For me it was a year of issues one after the other, especially my health. Looking back I couldn’t imagine not having the Lord by my side. The hope I had, the joy I’ve had after a fearful night. Through it all it has strengthened me.

The Israelites was in a similar situation – setbacks. In exodus 13:17 we read that God could’ve led the Israelites a different route, an easier route. But He chose a route that had an obstacle that would be placed between their enemies and the Promised land. the Red Sea.

We can only imagine the fear and uncertainty they were facing at that moment. Their enemy, the Egyptians, were closing in on them from behind. The Red Sea, an immovable obstacle, was before them. They had no other options.

But God.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, He split the Red Sea. He decimated their enemy before their very eyes. And on the other side they rejoiced. Moses wrote a song of celebration and God gave strength to His people.

Do you believe God can part the Sea that’s in front of you? All He is wanting you to do is just stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Wait and see what He is going to do next. He will get you through it, He will see you through it and He will guide you through!

Who Will You Choose?

IN THIS CHAPTER, BEFORE JOSHUA’S PASSING, HE CALLS FOR ALL THE ELDERS, JUDGES, & LEADERS. HE BEGINS TO REMIND THEM OF THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD. HE REMINDS THEM OF EGYPT,  PAST BATTLES THAT GOD GAVE THEM VICTORY OVER. THE MANNA THAT WAS GIVEN EVERYDAY IN THE WILDERNESS. 


14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” — Joshua 24:14-15

We have choices everyday. What to wear, what to eat that day. But everyday we make a conscience decision to choose Him in everything.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

ii. Joshua could make this statement because he had lived a life that continuously chose to serve the LORD.

· Joshua chose to fight against the Amalekites – choosing when it might cost everything.

· Joshua chose to reject the golden calf – choosing when the flesh might be satisfied.

· Joshua chose to serve the Lord by serving Moses – choosing a humble place.

· Joshua chose to believe God’s promise about the Promised Land – choosing against the majority.

· Joshua chose to recognize the leadership of the Captain of the LORD’s army – choosing surrender to God.

· Joshua chose to take leadership of Israel and lead them into the land – choosing faith instead of unbelief.

iii. God gives us choice. God is a choosing God; we are made in His image. He wants us to also choose.

————————————————————————————————————–

So who will you choose?

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. — Matthew 6:24

Obstacles

Isaiah 40:3-5

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”


In everything we do there is always preparation. Preparation to start a new job, preparation to getting married, preparation to having kids. You get the picture. And there is also another kind of preparation that God is calling us to do. This kind of prep is ongoing, it’s not only for a season of our lives but everyday.

There are obstacles that we can put before God, and those obstacles can be a hinderance to our relationship. What we might think is good for us on the other hand isn’t pleasant in the eyes of God. God can do anything, right? His power is limitless, we all know that. But it’s up to us, as obedient children of God to surrender those obstacles to Him. I like the prayer that David prayed in Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”

I don’t need to give examples of the obstacles that can get in the way, we all know those obstacles that we need to make flat. It’s all in the prep work to make every “mountain and hill low; the uneven ground shall become level…”

Right now, where you’re at ask the Lord to reveal those obstacles in your life, ask Him to make a way in the wilderness. Ask for help in preparing your heart for His soon return.

The Power of Intercessory Prayer

2. Taking hold of God’s will and refusing to let go until His will comes to pass.

__________________________________________________________________

In the book of John 11 we read the story of Lazarus.

It wasn’t Lazarus TIME TO DIE JUST YET.

SO MANY TIMES WE LOOK AT THINGS IN THE NATURAL AND NOT THE SPIRITUAL.

WHAT WE THINK IS DEAD TO US CAN COME ALIVE AGAIN IN HIM.

IF WE LET THE ENEMY PUT OUR DREAMS, 

OUR PROMISES FROM GOD IN A BOX BECAUSE WE HAVE LIMITED THE POWER OF GOD IN OUR LIFE BY REFUSING TO BELIEVE. 

THAT BOX WILL BECOME A COFFIN.

THE ENEMY WOULD LOVE TO SHUT US UP! AND PUT THE LID ON IT.

LET GOD OUT OF THE BOX!

AND LET HIM BE GOD!

BELIEVE FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE

21 “Lord if you had been here…he would not have died.” …Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you. 

JESUS waited 2 more days after he died, why? It was jewish superstition that the soul could return to the body within 3 days of it being dead but on the fourth day there would be no hope for resuscitation.

There is still a rescusitator 

There is still a redeemer

THERE IS ONE WHO IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER WHO IS INTERCEDING FOR YOU AND I THIS MORNING. 

HE KNOWS WHATS AHEAD, 

HE KNOWS MORE ABOUT US THAN WE KNOW of OURSELVES, 

HE HAS THE PROVISION FOR OUR LIVES EVERYDAY!

————————————————————————————-

Sometimes we may think He is delaying 

THE  promise, 

THE HEALING, 

THE BREAKTHROUGH but in reality He knows the hour to visit you in your state of hopelessness.

Martha said “But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”

Before Jesus raised Lazarus

She was expecting a miracle because the one who performs miracles was in her presence. 

Matthew 18:20

“WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED IN MY NAME, THERE AM I WITH THEM.”

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE INTERCEDE?

When you intercede for someone you are declaring truth in that persons life, whether it be healing, deliverance, salvation etc. you are canceling out the enemy’s plan, binding the work of the enemy and declaring the promises of God on that persons life…

Purpose of His Presence

There is nothing like going on vacation to see those who you haven’t seen in such a long time. Knowing the activities and adventures that you will embark on are priceless. The time that you will spend together laughing, maybe crying about stories that you have experienced in the past are priceless. Maybe it’s just a phone call to hear their voice that you haven’t heard in a long time. That time together is priceless.

That is how it is with the Lord, David says in Psalms 63:5

“Daily I will worship you passionately and with all my heart. My arms will wave to you like banners of praise. I overflow with praise when I come before you, for the anointing of your presence satisfies me like nothing else. You are such a rich banquet of pleasure to my soul. – Passion Translation

Q: So What is The Purpose of His Presence?

A: He, the Holy Spirit keeps you from wandering and causes you to separate (consecrate) anything else that is trying to take His place.

Matthew 4:18-22

18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”[a]20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

There was something about Him that made these men leave behind their lives their livelihoods all that they have ever know they threw it away for the cause of Christ. What was it? They saw His Presence so valuable.

Psalm 16:11

“You make known to me cthe path of life; 

in your presence there is dfullness of joy; 

at your right hand are epleasures forevermore.”

Do you see His Presence so valuable and so priceless?

Calvary’s Shadow

calvarys shadow.jpg

When I was younger, I loved playing hide-n-seek. I don’t mean to brag but I was a great hider. Whenever me and my sister would travel to my grandmothers house for the weekend, my grandmother would always make sure to sneak in a game of hide-n-seek. I was the best at it because I had a sweet spot that no one could find me in.

Years later and I’m grown up and not much has changed. I’m still great at hiding. I’m just not as great as finding my sweet spot. There isn’t one human on this earth that doesn’t know how to hide. We just often fail to hide in the right place.

Where we choose to hide will either lead us to a place of Victory (Jesus) or a place of Defeat.


The Psalmist, David, made huge mistakes. More than once he failed God. He could have hidden behind all of his mess, but he knew where to refuge. He hid himself in the Lord, he hid himself in Calvary’s Shadow.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

  • Psalm 91:1,2

 

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