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March 2020

31 Mar – What Love Is

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The world has a view of love which is understood to be an intense felling of deep affection or fondness for a person or thing. A great liking. This meaning is taken from the Latin and Greek words – eros and amore’. It is speaking essentially of a “love of the worthy”.

Love is also mentioned 735 times in the Bible. The word love in the bible however has a different definition. It is when someone is loved no matter what, even if totally unworthy!

1 John 3:16 explains love this way, “This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us”.

If we speak of God; of His greatness, His power and His righteousness, but omit to say He is Love we miss what matters most of all!

He is Love and the most important thing we can grasp is to know and experience that love for ourselves. God encourages us to earnestly pursue and seek to know His love and to make it our aim and greatest quest. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

It’s a love which holds nothing back, is always giving and overlooks cultural, economic and class boundaries. It’s a love demonstrated in action when Jesus gave His life for all mankind on a wooden cross.

Look for yourself at Jesus as He loves the women who was sentenced to death for adultery (John 8:3-11), or the raising from the dead of the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11-15). Of the acceptance of Zaccheus, a previously despised thieving, little man (Luke 19:2-10), or the demon possessed man who lived in the cemetery, whom Jesus loved and set free to live a new life (Mark 5:2).

Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. How he loved then, is still how he loves now. It doesn’t matter if you think yourself invisible to everyone else, He still sees you. It doesn’t matter what you have or haven’t done, how successful you are, or if you feel a complete failure. It matters not! Jesus loves you.

“Love was demonstrated to us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.(Romans 5:8)

Jesus says you can know that kind of love. He says “You will find me if you seek me, when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Today I encourage you to really seek to know and live in God’s love for you, and that as you do you will have the power to understand how wide, long, high and deep His love is, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

Prayer: Lord please help me to know what real love feels and looks like so that I don’t settle for anything less than your best for me. In Jesus name Amen.

 

30 Mar – Persevere

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Perseverance is persistence, tenacity and the effort required to do something and keep believing even when it’s hard. It’s something I think we could all benefit from focusing and growing in right now as many people are shut in, bored, afraid and have had their jobs, livelihoods and families affected by what is going on in the world at present.

Learning to persevere and endure in life and in our faith is an important part of living the life God has planned for us. The bible talks about perseverance and that persevering in our faith produces steadfastness. This “steadfastness has its full effect so, “that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4;12)

When we fail to persevere through difficulties, setbacks or things we may be afraid of and find challenging we will be far more prone to keep giving up, which is not something God wants for us.

He doesn’t give up, He remains faithful and He always says, “Keep going, keep running your race, keep believing and keep moving forward with me.” That’s because He wants us to fulfil the purpose for which He made us, so that we would be able to live the full life that He has planned and desires for us.  Plus we also have a great cloud of witnesses in heavenly places who cheer us on and encourage us to keep persevering with endurance. We will often be amazed by how strong we actually are if we do not give up.  (John 10:10 Hebrews 12:1-2)

Today I encourage you to hold steady and to keep running your own particular race in pursuit of your dreams. Take the extra time you may have at the moment to lean into what God has to say to you; make the most of the opportunity to reflect, refocus and readjust and to get onto those things you may have been putting off doing. God has a destiny for all of us and will strengthen us to persevere with endurance and get to the other side of any challenge we may be facing. Hang in there, keep the vision before you and just keep moving forward in any way you can.

Prayer: Lord please strengthen and encourage me today to persevere so that at the appointed time I will reap the reward of not quitting. Thank you that I can do all things because you give me strength. In Jesus name Amen.

29 Mar – Trust Me

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God frequently says, “Trust me” and actually promises He will not to let us down. We may not understand all the time what He is doing but He does promise He will be 100% reliable and our ever-present help in time of need. He is the one who actually has the power to be completely trustworthy. He doesn’t say anything He can’t or won’t do. If He said it, He will do it! 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

That sort of trust in God does not mean an indifferent, “Oh, I guess it might come out all right.” That is not trusting. Instead trust is a real and definite attitude and confidence that Gods faithfulness will see us through as we acknowledge our need and God’s ability to meet it.

Trust does not mean ignoring the facts but looks and sees the dangers, the need, the challenges and assesses them. Then upon seeing all this, trust looks beyond and sees God, whose name is also “El-Shaddai” – the all-sufficient one who has everything we need. Trust sees that God is greater than the challenges, dangers and difficulties and trust enables us to face them.

Trust makes us strong as we cease to operate alone and we draw on God’s strength.

In trust there is peace; the peace of God which goes beyond understanding. There is calmness as we are no longer overwrought with fear and worry as trust brings confidence, calmness, peace and we gain assurance because God loves us so much.

Three Hebrew young men; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trusted God and the fiery furnace could not even singe their garments. (Daniel 3:16) Daniel trusted God, and the hungry lions could not touch him. (Daniel 6). Abram who God renamed Abraham trusted when God asked him to leave his relatives, his country and his home to go into a land he did not know. He trusted that God would bring him to a new land and that He would protect, bless and be faithful to His promises. God spoke and Abraham trusted that what God said, He was well able to do. (Genesis 15)

God still asks us to trust and rely on Him to do what He has promised. He wants us to trust Him to lead and guide us every day. Not because He wants to control us but because He knows the way and the best route to get there. He knows what is going to prepare and grow us to be all that He has made us to be, and so He asks that we don’t just lean on our own often limited understanding of the situation but trust in His unlimited knowledge of the past, present and future.

Today be encouraged to rely on God. Trust Him for He is able to get you to where you need to go. He knows the way and He will willingly show you if you choose to trust and listen to Him.

Trust Him to speak. Trust Him to protect you. Trust Him to heal and deliver you.  Trust him to help you fulfil the dreams in your heart (Ephesians 3:20). Trust Him because there is no shadow or changing in Him, for He is not a man that He should lie or promise things that He then cannot deliver. (Numbers 23:19)

Today trust God and have confidence and rest assured in the firm reliability and ability of who He is and His great love for you! Even when you don’t understand and things don’t make sense know He has a way through and knows the end from the beginning and everything in between. He is good and so if it’s not good yet He hasn’t finished His work yet.

For, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

“In God, whose word I praise in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?“ (Psalm 56:4)

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture”. (Psalm 37:3)

Prayer: Lord thank you that I can trust in you. Forgive me when I rely on myself instead of choosing place my confidence in you. Please help me when I forget just who you are and how much you love me. I choose to trust you today. In Jesus Name Amen.

28 Mar – Hygge

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I read an article a while ago that talked about a particular country being rated as having the happiest people in the world and it made me think everyone can learn something from what they do.

Interestingly the country rated with the happiest people in the world is a place where the sun shines fewer than seven hours during the height of the winter solstice, which no doubt can stir depressive and shut in feelings. In the midst of this, the concept of a cozy place, full of love and enjoyment seems to what they recommend as the the antidote to people’s feelings of sadness and dreariness.

They call this concept hygge and it’s considered the major weapon in combating the dreary darkness that befalls countries over the winter when everyone is shut in, cold and often isolated.

Hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) translates into English as ‘cosiness’. The term comes from a Norwegian word meaning “well being” In essence it means creating a warm, comfortable atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life. The warm glow of candlelight, or my personal favourite – fairy lights is an example of hygge.

“Hygge could be enjoying a meal with the lights dimmed or time spent on your own reading a good book, playing or listening to music, a movie at home snuggled up or enjoying a hobby. “Hygge works best when there’s not too large a space around the person or people.” The idea is to relax and feel as at home as possible; forgetting life’s worries.

Eating home-made cinnamon pastries. Yum! Watching TV under a doona, tea served in your best china, your favourite coffee in a mug, family get-togethers; they’re all hygge (cosiness) too.

In a time when many are in isolation and quarantine I think practising Hygge is especially important. It’s all about being creative and finding ways to bring cosiness and connection when it may not be easy or even obvious how. To stay connected and in touch with what makes you feel cosy, and to make an effort to generate and be purposeful about enjoying and making special our connections and occasions, even in extenuating circumstances. To be kind to ourselves and others and essentially expressing love; and so I think Jesus himself loves the idea of Hygge. – cosiness.

All through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) we see Jesus sharing meals together with others. We see Him feeding everyone at a picnic, of telling stories and doing life with others. He embraced and loved every single person He who came to Him, and desired them to know Him and be part of His “family”. Sounds pretty Hygge to me.

Jesus said it this way, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Today why not embrace the concept of “Hygge”. Get cosy and adopt Jesus’ way of love and doing life. Give yourself a hug, eat something yummy, spoil and be kind to yourself, and then be kind to someone else too.

Prayer: Lord we may feel disconnected right now from others but we are never disconnected from you. Please show me some creative ways to bring some hygge into mine and others world today. In Jesus name Amen.

27 May – Faith vs Fear

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I decided a long time ago that I wanted to live a life where I was not afraid and actually learnt to be able to walk out my faith rather than merely talk about it. That decision has taken my husband and I on some wild, crazy adventures where we have chosen to simply stand upon God’s word, and what we believe to be true, even if that flies in the face of convention and what everyone else might be saying and doing around us.

One of the wonderful outcomes of choosing to live out your faith in an uncompromising way is the abundant blessings you get to experience. One of those for me is to have had six babies with no pain. Not because I had any pain relief, but because I took God at his Word, soaked in it’s truth, renewed my heart and mind with what it said and then walked it out.

When sin entered the world the blessing that God had planned and released was overshadowed by the curse of sin and death. Women from that point forward had the curse of, “in pain you shall bring forth children;Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” to deal with. (Genesis 3:16) That was until Jesus died and redeemed us from any curse, sin, sickness, disease, pain and evil.

“Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” )” (Galatians 3:13)

That means that the curse of pain in childbirth, which pretty much everyone experiences to some level without medical intervention, has been borne by Jesus. No more fear, no more pain, no more toil – just muscles and energy at work to bring forth a baby.

Initially that was walked out as a newly married 20 year old, when I took hold of the promise that Jesus has redeemed me from every curse and pain, and I chose to run with it. Actually I ran with it six times. Six big babies -( No 5 was a lovely cuddly 4.3kg or 9lb 8 onz in weight), each born with no pain and a lot of joy and victory.  Even the midwives at my deliveries would say, “I’ve never seen a baby born like that before”.  Jesus is faithful and He and His Word are one. What He promises and what He has done for us is right there for the taking for all who will be bold and determined enough to grab hold of it and believe.

Interestingly the one painful contraction I ever had was when I was in the early stages of labour with our second daughter. I was walking along the road trying to get things to move along a little when a large dog barked at me. I don’t particularly like big dogs and so I got a fright. Fear gripped me for a moment and next minute I had a contraction that hurt. I quickly realised the fear/pain connection and got back into faith and peace.

Today I encourage you to begin to cultivate an uncompromising, curse eradicating, disease, fear and pain obliterating faith that will literally change the outcome of every situation and season of your life. But don’t bother looking around at everyone else – I would have had the same pain and toil experiences as everyone I knew if I’d done that. Look instead to Jesus and His Word, and then determine everyday, repeatedly as much as you need it, to read, speak and meditate on what Jesus has done for you so that you would begin to live out by faith the victory you have in Him.  For, “we have overcome by the blood of the Lamb – (what Jesus did for us on the Cross), and the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11)

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Prayer: Lord thank you for all that you have done for me and that every curse has been broken. Please help me to walk out the victory I have in you today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

26 Mar – Taking Back 2020

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Today’s post is written by guest blogger Rebekah, our 21 year old daughter. Rebekah only a few weeks ago moved to a new job in a large city 4000 km from home; is living in a share house with people she doesn’t know, managing public transport, full time work and a double major full-time study load, new people and places and now a pandemic with both wisdom and grace. This is her response to what is going on all around the world, from one who is both young and brave. I think if she is a reflection of only a portion of her generation we are all going to be okay.

From Rebekah…

“We have been given the words to speak yet we speak out fear. The devil has no power other than what we give him.

After the words spoken over this year – of big visions and dreams, of breakthrough, revival, and things coming to pass- it should come as no surprise that the devil would want to distract and destroy. Not only is it destroying people’s livelihoods, and putting people in horrible situations, it is also distracting people enough to pass through laws that have no place – of abortion, of infanticide, of euthanasia.

It has gotten everyone completely distracted and speaking words of fear and worry. We have every right to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. God gave us that dominion.

Go in the opposite spirit. Where there is fear, release joy. Release what God has to offer. Release healing, release prosperity over individuals, families, and businesses. Release peace into every household. Release rest.

Know who you are in God – you have the power of Heaven behind your words, written or otherwise. So next time, before sharing, before making a comment, before instilling fear for children, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, colleagues, to pick up on…take a second and really think about the weight of what the Bible says – we have the power of life and death on our tongue.

So I’m calling it – let’s take 2020 back for visions, dreams and all the clarity and amazingness God has for each of us. I, for one, have seen this in abundance over the last 3 months!”

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7 NLT)

“Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!” (Psalm 103:20 NASV)

25 Mar – Get A Heavenly Viewpoint

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There was an ancient South American tribe that flourished from 100 BC to 800 AD beside the arid southern coast of Peru. They were called the Nasca and they left behind one of the strangest mysteries of ancient times. Nearly two thousand years after the Nazca’s lived, an air plane was flying over Peru and the pilot looked down and saw a drawing of a monkey that was kilometres long . The lines of the drawing were clearly scraped into the earth, yet down on the ground the drawings couldn’t really be seen – the lines just looked like gashes in the ground or old roads and trails. However from the air these lines formed pictures. Soon over 300 pictures were discovered, such as a spider, hummingbird, spirals, flowers and a pelican. Because of the low rainfall in the region where the drawings were made the Nasca lines had lasted for thousand of years.

The best guess at how these drawings were made is that the Nasca were either brilliant mathematicians and able to calculate out how long each line should be, where it should intersect and where each line should turn, or that the artists used the position of the stars to help them map out their drawings.

However what impresses me about the Nasca drawings is that these enormous pictures and lines upon the earth had largely gone unnoticed or appreciated from those on the ground for years. In actual fact many of these ancient reminders of the past had been damaged when cars had driven on them, people’s feet had scuffed them and highways were built over top of them. From the ground they’d been missed for their significance, artistry and ingenuity. It took someone flying from a height, up above the everyday activities on earth, seeing with a clear view and perspective to recognise what had been there all along. 

How similar we can be in our approach to life. We miss so much because we look and discern life from an earthly vantage point, buffeted about by the latest news, new thought or great revelation and the opinion of the loudest voices, when we can in fact see and hear from a much higher place. Because just like the Nasca drawings, how different things look when we really see what is there and what is unfolding before us. It changes our whole perspective, mindset and understanding of situations.

God has put his intentions and plan clearly in His Word and all of creation talks about his goodness and the story that He is unfolding. It’s just that when we remain always on the ground – in the trenches so to speak with no higher view, we end up believing that what we are seeing and experiencing down here is the only reality, when in actual fact in God there is always a higher reality and plan unfolding. It’s why God says “come up here, give all your burdens to me and set your mind on heavenly things. That we are invited to come to “Mt Zion” and to step in and up above the world to see and hear from heaven.” (Matthew 11:28-30; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 12:22-23)

Today with all that is going on around us and the noise, chaos and attempts to drown out anything that God is saying and has always said, I encourage you to “Go up”. Take a heavenly view and see with God’s wisdom and perspective what is going on, and then release heaven on earth.  The air is clear up there and there is definitely no fear! 

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead…For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-6 NLT)

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1 NIV)

Prayer: Lord thank you for the ability to ascend into heavenly places and to see and hear what you are saying and doing. Please help me to disconnect from the things that would try to drag me back down so that I “come up” and see what you see and be part of what you are doing. In Jesus name Amen.

24 Mar – 5 Steps We Can Take In Uncertain Times

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Whenever there is uncertainty it is very easy to be consumed by the loudest and most predominant noise. As the days and weeks drag by this noise can literally take over our lives and threaten to overwhelm us. But there are some steps we can take to survive and thrive in uncertain times.

Here are 5 steps to take when the world and life looks uncertain:

1. Keep the vision before you. If you have a vision board or specific goals written down take the time to put them before you. If you don’t have a vision, dream or know what you want in life, then take the opportunity to spend some time finding out. (See https://daylekinney.com/2019/12/01/1-dec-write-the-vision/ or https://daylekinney.com/2020/02/04/4-feb-you-can-do-it/ for more info on setting a vision)

2. You do may not be able to do everything, but you can do something. Think about what can you do to make use of your time so you can keep moving forward even in the midst of uncertainty. If you’re shut in, can’t go to work or unable right now to do the normal everyday activities then adjust and make this time work for you rather than against you.

“God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

3. Shut off the noise. It’s usually other people and circumstances telling us what we can’t do, peddling fear, discouragement or their point of view. Go to reliable sources of information, seek God and His word and shut out and turn off the rest. Use your efforts and mental and spiritual strength on what is truth and to focus on what you desire out of your life, rather than merely sitting back and waiting for your circumstances to improve or for people to change their behaviour. Control what you can control healthily, and give God the care of the rest.

4. Remember to Breathe. If you find yourself getting stressed and anxious:

  • Breathe in for the count of 3 and out for the count of 3. Repeat that exercise 4 times.
  • Regularly take at least 20 mins to do something fun and find different ways to relax..
  • Do some type of exercise – YouTube and many people on instagram and other social media platforms have posted exercise routines if you are shut in right now. Be creative and think outside of the box and give it a try.

5. Connect with God. He wants to and is our our rock in uncertain times and the one who steadies and strengthens us. Take some time to check your foundations in him, and if you realise you are not secure or you feel a bit wobbly in your confidence then make the most of the opportunity to put down some roots and foundations in the one who holds the universe in the palm of His hand. Shut off the T.V, radio, social media and all the external noise and take time out with God; read the bible and get to know Him and who He is a little more.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

If you do these things you’ll find that while everyone else is running around in circles or stressing in their houses in lock-down, you’ll be the one able to remain calm and grounded, finding strategies and energy to keep moving ahead in some way.

Today adjust if you are needing to, keep your vision clearly visible and trust God to take care of you. Then when the uncertainty passes and the world gets back on a more even keel, you’ll have continued to be productive, whilst also being far more rested, peaceful and ready to continue running your race well. 

Prayer: Lord thank you that even in uncertainty you are in control. Please help me to make the most of every opportunity to keep moving forward, to draw close to you and to remain steadfast and consistent in who I am. I ask for your peace to fill my heart today. In Jesus name Amen.

23 Mar – The Battle In Your Head

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Considering the onslaught on social media, most news feeds and pretty much everyone you have a conversation with at the moment, I thought this was a good reminder to watch what is going on in our heads.

Our right thinking is a necessity to living a peaceful, joy- filled, victorious life. “For as he (a person) thinks in his heart, so is He” (Proverbs 23:7), or “as a man thinks in his heart so does he become”. Primarily because our actions, emotions and beliefs are a direct result of out thoughts. If we have a fearful, negative mindset there is a pretty good chance we are going to have a negative. fearful life.

Which emphasises the point that God wants us to really think more carefully about what we are thinking about because He knows that our minds are both a powerful resource and a battlefield.

Our minds under authority of our spirit’s are a resource to think, speak and believe for amazing, wonderful things which God reveals to our spirit’s, so that we can declare what he shows us and see them come to pass. However our minds can also become the battlefield where the devil and his demons attack by whispering and murmuring unbelief, doubts, fear, strife, anger and anything else they can think of to get us off track and thinking upon negatives, evil and hopelessness. Unfortunately the devil also often uses people around us to do his work for him as they knowingly or unwittingly speak his type of words – of death, destruction, lies, gossip, fear and lack. (John 10:10)

To combat this assault to our minds God has given us keys. He instructs us in His Word to take every thought captive which rises up against who God is and what He has said about Himself, our relationship with Him and our future’s. We are called to discipline our minds to have authority over every, and He means every thought, which is not grounded in Him and His Word.

Unfortunately most of us spend far too much time entertaining thoughts which are not of God and which then cause us to have problems with issues such as fear, doubt, anger, and anxiety. Instead of struggling under these negative forces God wants us to challenge and take captive every thought that disagrees with His Word and the revelation He has given us. We must be smart and realise that our enemy the devil subtlety and often slowly uses our negative thoughts to  trap us into fear and doubt, which then leads to an array of other problems.

To fight back we can be firm and uncompromising about what we are allowing ourselves to think about. We take captive our contrary thoughts and go on the offensive and start to declare what God says about us, rather than what the negative thoughts in our head have been saying. We stand and declare what God says about our life; about our finances, our relationships, our children, our homes, workplaces, city, nation and futures. We do our homework and dig into the word and find out if we don’t know. We learn to think upon and speak only the truths found in God’s Word, and in the process make the devil and his cohorts shut up, as we shift and replace old negative thought processes with truth.

Today I encourage you to use the God given authority you have been given to bring the battle in your mind under control. Take every negative, fearful, unbelieving, contrary word captive and make it bow to what God says about you. Consider whether you need to delete, switch off, disconnect, and/or step away from any relationships to do so. But most importantly don’t stand for the assault on your mind a minute longer, and take hold of what Jesus has done for you and kick that stinking thinking out of your head today.

“The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10”4-5)

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

Prayer: Lord I’m taking captive every negative thought that rises up against the knowledge and truth of who you are, and who I am in you. Help me to stand today on your word and that I would begin today to think and declare only what you say about my circumstances, the issues the world is facing, my relationships and future. In Jesus name Amen.

 

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