A FULL AND SATISFYING LIFE

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My friend was in surgery and was starting to come out of the anesthesia when she hit a distinct point of decision. She saw the male nurse walk across the room calling her name. At that moment she knew that she had the choice to wake up or just let go. Then she said to herself, “I’m not done yet. God has more for me to do.” And she made herself wake up. In Psalm 91:16 God promises: “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.

 

The word “satisfy” in this verse means to be fulfilled, to have plenty, to be enriched. Who doesn’t want that, right?

 

Where it says God will show us His “salvation”, it means His victory, His prosperity, His saving, health, and welfare. God’s welfare plan is way better than any government plan. The older we get the greater opportunities to experience more and more of God’s magnificence: more revelation, more wisdom, more understanding.

 

As we age and continue to faithfully seek the Lord, there are different levels of glory to experience. Second Corinthians 3:18 tells us: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

 

“Glory” in this verse means “splendor, brightness and excellence.” Wow, what awesomeness to look forward to! More splendor to see in the physical world God created, splendor in relationships, accomplishments, ideas and so much more. What about the promise of being able to be brighter?: Mentally? Emotionally? Physically?

 

Glory also means to be more excellent. I think about the Biblical word “dunamis,” which means excellence in our soul life, i.e. better decisions more of the time, good moral values, controlling our emotions without even trying, living a more Christ-like life.

 

The word glory also means dignity and honor. As we change from glory to glory, we become more honorable and our self-view becomes more and more as the Lord sees us, rather than how we may see ourselves at this point.

 

Glory also means grace. I’m hoping as I change from glory to glory, I have more grace and think more before I blurt out something.

 

It’s interesting that glory also means opinion, judgment and view. That changes too. Our opinions start to change to God’s opinions. We judge not according to politics or peers but more in line with the Lord’s judgments or lack thereof. Also our view of things starts to switch from old views to new ones as the Lord leads us to another level of glory.

 

And of course glory also means kingly majesty and the personal excellence of Christ. Honestly, who doesn’t need lots of years to develop into the Christ-like person we desire to be—all the time, not just sporadically, or when we try really hard?

 

I want to live a long life so I can experience all I possibly can of God’s glory to glory here on earth, like He says we can.

 

People in certain church groups have been taught that 70 or 80 years would be considered a good long life and they base it on Psalm 90:10, which says: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” But if you’ll notice, this Psalm was written by Moses. It was regarding the Israelites who disobeyed God and their lives were cut short in the wilderness. Since people in our times have believed this was concerning them, they’ve missed out on so much wisdom and great insight that comes with the ages beyond 70 to 80.

 

Genesis 6:3 tells us God’s will for mankind’s lifespan on earth after the flood: “Yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.”

 

God wants us to be satisfied with a long healthy life, so we don’t have to give up if at 70 or 80 we’re not fully satisfied yet. According to Genesis 6:3 we can certainly live longer, until we’re totally satisfied.

 

I want to reveal an amazing truth about death that many people don’t know. It’s such a great comfort and will get rid of any fears we may have about dying.

 

Hebrews 2:9 says Jesus tasted death for every man: “But we see Jesus, who . . . by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” The word “taste” is translated from the Greek word which means “feel, experience.” Since Jesus went through the physical experience of death for us, and felt it in our place, we won’t have to. We will never taste it, feel it, smell, see or hear it. Suddenly we will just be changed. We will be in heaven with Him and go on with our spiritual life there.

 

My friend has had three distinct near death experiences and in each, she never had any five senses feelings of death. It was always just a decision to live or die, and not based on any five senses horrible feeling of death. This is documented in the Word of God. For the believer, death is only a passing from this earthly realm to a heavenly realm. What a comfort and what a blessing to know that for us there is absolutely nothing to fear in death! Amazing and wonderful.

 

But while we’re here on earth, let’s believe to be Psalm 91:16 people, living a long wonderfully satisfying life, changing from glory to glory until we are as fully satisfied and ready to go see our Lord face to face in heaven.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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LAYING IT ALL DOWN FOR THE LORD

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Sometimes we have to get quiet in life and think about what’s most important to us. God has enormous physical blessings to give us but first of all, He wants us to be satisfied with Him. If all we had was God and lost everything else, would we be able to still trust Him? That’s a big question and one that needs to be considered every so often. This is the question a certain rich young ruler, living in Jesus’ time, was faced with.

 

The young ruler was rich. He was a leader. He had followed the Ten Commandments since he was young. He was a believer in God. So what went wrong? Matthew recorded:

 

“And, behold, one [the rich young ruler] came and said unto him [Jesus], ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And he said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’

 

“He saith unto him, ‘Which?’ Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt do no murder; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; honor thy father and thy mother. And, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’

 

“The young man saith unto him, ‘All these things have I kept from my youth up. What lack I yet?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’

 

“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, ‘Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly [i.e. it’s hard for him to] enter into the kingdom of heaven.’

 

“And again I say unto you, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God [i.e. God’s way of doing things]” (Matt 19:16-24)

 

There are many interpretations of this record. The following is one that I feel is significant: In the ancient cities, there was an entrance into the city where the archway was low. This was called the eye of the needle. For the camels to enter, all of the goods on the camels’ backs had to be taken off. Once all of the riches had been unloaded, the camels could go through the “eye of the needle” and then be loaded back up on the other side.

 

As you can imagine, this took a deliberate decision and trust. The owner had to unload everything, walk through empty-handed and expect to get it all back on the other side.

 

Can you see how this applied to the rich young ruler and to us? The rich young ruler had to be willing to unload all that he had, give it to the poor and trust that by following Jesus in his new life the Lord would be the sovereign source of his wealth.

 

The man knew what it took in the world’s ways to get where he was and he just couldn’t see himself giving it all up. We don’t really know how this man got his wealth. Maybe he got it by inheritance. Maybe he had worked for it. What he didn’t realize and wouldn’t accept is that God is ultimately—and was willing to be to him—the source of all wealth.

 

If the man had just done what Jesus asked, he would have never lacked another thing in his life. But he was too afraid and he stayed behind. Look at what Jesus said next:

 

“Verily I say unto you, ‘There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands’” (Mark 10:29-30).

 

In other words, if the rich young ruler had been willing to lay down all his possessions, all his riches, all that he had and trust Jesus above all else, he would have received a hundred times more than he had before. That’s not a bad deal. What people sometimes don’t realize is that the Lord is the biggest giver of all.

 

Let’s look at Job in the Old Testament times. He lost everything because of his fear. “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me” (Job 3:25).

 

But Job never gave up on God. In the end, he got back double of what he had before. “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 4:10).

 

God wants to bless us “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20), but He does require us to trust Him entirely, even if it looks like we have to give up everything. It doesn’t matter if we have a lot or a little, if we are really willing to lay down everything, most likely we will never have to. And if it’s something that we’re addicted to, the Lord will help us to get rid of it, or supernaturally deliver us from it. It’s a matter of the heart and God wants us to trust Him with all our heart.

 

The Lord is not a control freak, and He will never make us do anything. He has given us free will and so the benefits for making a free will choice to seek Him first, are manifold.

 

Moses tells us in Deuteronomy that God is a jealous God. “They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger” (Deut. 32: 16). He wants to be our source, our provider, our first love.

 

But He will never force us to accept that. We have to choose Him and decide to trust Him. If God knows He can trust us to do that, He will be there to overflow us with good: “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Mal 3:10). Not having enough room to receive, gives us the joy of overflowing it to others.

 

We don’t have to covet after what we see other people having. We just may be in the process of unloading our camels and braving the empty walk through the eye of the needle. We need to keep trusting and believing, because if we’ve been willing to lay it all down for the Lord, He’s going to take care of us and we are absolutely going to be satisfied with a long life (Ps. 91:16) and be loaded with benefits (Ps. 68: 19).

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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DIG AND DUNG?

fruit tree

Today I thought of this preach letter I wrote in 2013 and wanted to take another look at its message. I updated it and I think you’ll like it too.

DIG AND DUNG?

God often compares people to trees. And sometimes we need to do some spiritual digging and dunging to those trees. What does that mean? Jesus tells us about this in Luke 13: 6-9:

 

“He spake also this parable; ‘A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

 

“Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?’

 

“And he answering said unto him, ‘Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.’”

 

If our lives are spiritually dull and not producing the kind of fruit we desire, then it’s probably a good time for us to do some digging and some dunging.

 

I have a fig tree in my yard that I’ve had for 17 years. I started off fertilizing it every year, but for the past three years when I thought about doing it, I remembered how hard it was to dig up the ground around the tree to even be able to put some fertilizer in there. After a period of time, the ground gets so compacted that it’s a difficult job to put anything new into it.

 

That’s how our spiritual lives get sometimes—compacted and hard. We need to stir things up, breaking up some of our old ways of thinking and old ways of spending our time. We need to ask some questions as to why do we think the way we do? When a person digs around a tree, he or she aerates the ground and gets things moving. That’s what we need to do spiritually. Paul tells Timothy:

 

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:6-7).

 

We can never be afraid of digging; stirring things up a bit. It may be exactly what’s required to get rid of old thinking and boring, routine patterns. I just told my roommate this morning that I want to go to see a young Christian worship leader who’s coming in May to a church down the street from us. I may be one of the oldest one there, but I don’t care. I want to see what the 20-year-old Christians are up to and I’m excited.

 

Then there’s the matter of dunging. I thought about what it means to dung a tree. Dung is manure, a type of fertilizer. It’s organic, alive, not watered down, not genetically engineered, but good, rich, hot manure. The dictionary defines “fertilize” as “to make fertile; make fruitful or productive; enrich.” Fertilizer is “any material put on or in the soil to improve the quality or quantity of plant growth.”

 

Fertilizing a tree gives it an extra boost. The process of digging and dunging often requires one to get down on their knees.

 

Right now is the time to give our lives that extra spiritual boost of the Word of God, whether in study or application. The burdens of the world will always be there. If they are bringing us down, we definitely need some super fuel of what the Lord is trying to tell us; we need His extra energy to make a positive difference in our world.

 

The Lord gives us hope and He is the deliverer physically, emotionally and mentally on an individual basis; as well as the deliverer of nations on an international perspective. Anything on the international level still begins with the spiritual health of the individual.

 

Let’s be open to the Lord’s leading, as far as prayer goes and/or the sections of scripture He’s guiding us to; maybe a word study on some issue He wants to help us with? Just think about it and see what the Lord brings to mind.

 

How about testing out a new principle like the laying on of hands for healing, or confronting a devil spirit with the name of Jesus Christ? Whatever we see Jesus or any other believer in the Bible do, we can ask the Lord to teach us and help us to do the same and He will be perfectly willing to help and guide us into it.

 

There are choices we make every day on how to spend our time. A good gardener digs and dungs at least once a year. The man in Jesus’ parable hadn’t done either in three years, so his tree quit producing fruit. Let’s not be like that. Let’s be diligent to take great care of our spiritual trees; digging, stirring up and fertilizing the blessings God’s given us.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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LET YOUR HEART REJOICE

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I switched insurance companies and now I pay less and I’m free of the harassment I was getting from the other company. I’ve been a bulldog on this insurance switch for several months because I was on a timeline and I had to replace my roof before I could switch. I prayed that everything would happen before the next payment was due. It all worked out and now the fight is over. Did I relax and take time to enjoy the blessing? Nope. Instead I started to get depressed about all the other things I needed to do. Wow, how stupid is that?!

 

I’m sure we’ve all seen situations where someone gets their paycheck, but immediately, instead of being happy, they get depressed because they envision the money already being spent for bills.

 

It’s a matter of point of view. We get too focused on ourselves and the things WE need to do, rather than the blessings of what the LORD is doing for us.

 

Jesus gives us a great parable about the sower, that relates to this phenomenon that happens when the Lord gives us a blessing and instead of focusing on the beautiful side, we focus on the foul side (pun intended):

 

Mark 4:3-4 and 15: “Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow; And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”

 

We need to watch out for and rebuke Satan when he immediately comes to take away the rejoicing and thankfulness we have when the Lord sows blessings into our hearts. We need to cherish and hold those things dear, whether it’s the blessing of a child, a financial blessing, a moment of laughter, a new roof, a new revelation from His Word.

 

We can’t let the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) steal away the joy of any of the wonderful seeds our God has sown into our hearts.

 

Proverbs, God’s great book of wisdom, tells us: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). The Hebrew word for “keep” is “natsar,” which means “to guard from danger, be a watchman over, preserve.”

 

When we receive something good, and we immediately begin to worry about something else, or think about the next trouble to conquer or the next burden to bear, STOP. REPENT. We need to rebuke Satan for trying to steal our joy. Philippians 2:9-10 tells us that God has “given him [Jesus] a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth.”  We need to reclaim our joy and let our hearts rejoice when we get it.

 

As it turned out, the roofers had to replace a two by four at the back of the house where the phone line comes in. When I got up to look at it, I noticed there was an exposed wire. Sure enough when the phone repairman came, he said it was burned and could have caused a fire. He replaced the whole thing and didn’t charge me. Thank you, Lord! God’s always got my back!

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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TAKING TIME TO CELEBRATE

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Today my new roof was completed and I changed my insurance company for my house and car. I was a little nervous about both these projects, but they both ended up really well. Now I can celebrate.

 

God tells us, “Every man should enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God” (Eccles. 3:13). How often have we not taken the time to do this?

 

We enjoy the money we get from a job but there are lots of jobs where we don’t get paid with money and we need to take a minute to acknowledge and celebrate those too. What about the small, seemingly insignificant work we do throughout a day? God says we are to enjoy the good of ALL our labor.

 

When I was working with my friend, Wendy, there was this one guy who seemed to never crack a smile. He’s in a wheelchair and went by us several times during the day. Even when I smiled at him, I got no reaction, as if I wasn’t even there. But the very last time in the day when he went by us I smiled again and made a joke, and sure enough he lightened up, smiled and even responded to my goofy remark. Wendy and I celebrated by getting all giggly and doing a little celebration dance at our accomplishment. That was fun.

 

We aren’t supposed to just work and work and work until we exhaust ourselves. Most of us need to celebrate more. God says we’re supposed to “ENJOY THE GOOD OF ALL HIS [OUR] LABOR, not just the good from the paycheck we get from our jobs, but the good we get from anything we work at. Do we get a good feeling of accomplishment? The satisfaction of a small victory? Do we get a thank you from someone? Happiness in a new skill learned? Do we feel good about doing something we’ve been putting off for a while? There are many good results from our labors and lots of reasons to celebrate because we work at a variety of tasks.

 

Just think of some things you work at: Do you work at exercising? Eating well? Reading the Bible? Praying? Going to bed on time? Do you work at not gossiping? At paying your bills on time? Do you work at saying something kind every day? Do you work at spending more time with your kids?

 

Think of two things you worked at today. Whatever it was, God says we need to take the time to CELEBRATE. It’s His gift to us. We can say, “Hey, I did pretty well at that. Great job! I did it!” The Lord wants us to be blessed and this is just one way He’s given us to put a little more joy in the day.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

QUESTIONS AND EASY CHALLENGES

  1. Where does it say in the Bible that we should enjoy the good of our labor?
  2. Besides your actual job, list at least five things you worked on this week. For each, what was the “good” of that labor? Did you celebrate? If not, do something nice for yourself or a verbal “Hey, great job!” right now.
  3. What is the “gift of God” in Ecclesiastes 3:13?

 

 

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BE ENCOURAGED

God and moon

Yesterday I was feeling the pressure of the witches and Satan worshippers, who were revving up for their full moon gatherings tonight to curse Christians. It felt like a huge dark cloud was pushing down on me, making me tired and discouraged. But this morning, the Lord told me right away, “Be encouraged.” I knew the best way was to preach myself happy. I started quoting some scriptures. The burden left as the truth of God’s Word entered in. The more I spoke those scriptures to myself, the happier I got. Then even more scriptures came to mind. They cleared away the darkness entirely.

 

I started out with Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” Then, “For it is God who worketh in me both to will and do of His good pleasure.” Then, “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” “I am strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man,” “If God be for me, who can be against me?” “I am more than a conqueror through him that loved us,” and “I have victory through my Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Then I spoke with tongues because the Word of God says it builds up our spirits on the inside, and it’s perfect prayer.

 

I closed with “This is the day the Lord hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

Spiritually I saw and felt the lightning of the Lord crash through the dark cloud and explode it. Like in Psalm 18:14: “Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.” The definition of the Hebrew word for “discomfited” is “to move noisily, confuse, break, consume, crush, destroy, trouble and vex.”

 

I was reminded of when the four lepers outside Samaria decided to boldly walk toward the Syrian enemy camp that had surrounded the city and was starving it out.  Then “the Lord had the host of the Syrians hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host, wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, and fled for their life.” The enemy’s plans were destroyed and Samaria prospered once again. (See 2 Kings 7:3-7).

 

I also quickly reflected on the three enemy tribes who came together to destroy Jehoshaphat and his people. When the people “began to sing and to praise, the Lord sent ambushments.” And the three tribes could not be united together against the believers. They began to fight against each other instead. (See 2 Chron. 20: 15-25).

 

Then at the tower of Babel, the people were united against God and His plan. But God intervened and confused their languages so that they could not communicate with each other; they couldn’t even understand what each other was saying. (See Gen. 11: 1-9).

 

When I built myself up with the scriptures, I was no longer under the dark cloud of discouragement. The lightning of God came and broke the gloom intended for me and others of His people.

 

Then when I reminded myself of what God did for His people when they were threatened, I knew that we would be free and protected from any curse the Satan worshippers would try to put on us. Why? Because the Lord will allow strife, confusion, noise, trouble and destruction to come on any attempt they might have to unite against God’s beloved.

 

The full moon is made for God’s people, not the devil! We’re taking it back!

 

Take a moment to pray against the witches, warlocks, and Satan worshipers who are speaking curses against our Lord, our president and our people today.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

The scripture references for those first scriptures above, are: Phil. 2:13, Neh. 8: 10, Eph. 3:16, Rom. 8:31, Rom. 8:37, 1 Cor. 15:57, Jude 20, Rom 8:26-27, and Ps. 118:24.

 

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JOY IN THE MORNING

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Today was a terrible day at work. I’m glad I didn’t let my mouth say what was blaring in my head. At least I had that much self-control. I could have flattened someone in about in a minute with the words no one got the hear. I tried just about everything I could do to stay calm, be reasonable, get the peace of God working in me, but it wasn’t working. I was angry beyond the circumstances and I didn’t know why. I’m so glad it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does I’ve learned to just hold my tongue and get through the day.

 

When I get in that state, I know it’s deeper than what’s just on the surface. It affects me so that I even forget to ask the Lord what’s going on. My emotions start ruling, so I’m not in a good receiving state to get the Lord’s antidote either. But once I calm down, and I always do, He tells me why I got so upset.

 

Sometimes it’s not even so much something inside me, as it is a reaction to the bigger atmosphere around me. Have you ever noticed that when the atmosphere around you gets agitated, you tend to get agitated as well? It’s contagious.

 

But one thing I always know is that God’s favor is on me and David says in Psalm 30:5: “In his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). I’ve always found that to be true.

 

In the next verse David declares: “And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved” (Ps. 30:6). When we really trust the scripture, we will always be rich on the inside. To know that we can have a terrible day and that God will see to it that the next morning will be better, is a true treasure. A big part of being prosperous is knowing and experiencing how fast God can turn things around for us.

 

When I calm down after a particularly rough day, I pray to the Lord that He will show me what happened and why. Even if I don’t find out all the answers right away, I know that the next morning I won’t be angry.

 

David was in a much worse situation than me. Time and time again, people were after him to kill him and he not only had hope of joy in the morning, but he believed it with all his heart. He knew the value of joy in the morning after a bad day. We have so many things in our world that we can’t trust, but, like David, we can always trust Almighty God that what He says is true.

 

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

 

If God says we can have joy in the morning, then we can. Who are we to argue with God? Wouldn’t that be sin? Rebellion?

 

So my lousy day is behind me and I will be praying for answers as to why and how and what to do to avoid whatever it was that made me angry. Now I am calm, thank God. My morning will be great.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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“SONS OF BELIAL PART 5 – PETE SHOWS US HOW TO GET BACK UP,” “GOD HAS THE PERFECT ANSWER TO A PERFECT STORM,” “THE DARE-DEVIL DEMON,” “THE BATTLE AGAINST SPIRITUAL PRICKS AND THORNS” AND” JEZEBEL ISN’T JUST ABOUT SEXY SEDUCTION”

 

 

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