Truths or Excuses?

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It’s been too long since I have last blogged, I sure hope you all are still out there and ready to tune in 😜

I was chatting with a good friend of mine today, a former high school teacher who I keep in contact with. I was checking in on him and letting him know my family and I were thinking of him and also how I missed chatting with him through messenger. You see, I have gotten rid of my Facebook for probably a year now and he also rid himself of it as well, but I still have the messenger part. He and I used to chat on messenger regularly, but since he only has a computer and no cell phone, he can’t have messenger if he doesn’t have Facebook. This brought up the subject of Facebook and how we are (personally) completely fine without using. There was a point that I brought up in the discussion and I said, why not blog on this topic!

In the conversation I said, “Imagine how different the world could be if we used all the time, energy and passion we give to Facebook and instead put it all back out into our world.” We all crave change. We all crave a better world. We are ALL equipped with some specific and unique God-given gift to make a difference in this world, yet we give excuses for not being the change we want to see. Trust me, some of the excuses we give are legitimate. We are too tired, too busy and we don’t have enough time in the day. While all those excuses may hold some degree of truth in our lives, are they more of an excuse than a truth? If we didn’t have enough time, like many of us claim, then how can we spend hours on social media? How is it that we can binge watch our favorite shows for hours or get lost in a good book and still claim a time issue?

 

Let me speak a little truth…if we truly desire to do something, we see that we do whatever it takes to make it happen and we rise above any obstacle that may stand in our way. Therefore, if we truly desired change, we wouldn’t find as many excuses as we could; we wouldn’t contradict ourselves by claiming there isn’t enough time, yet spend hours on our electronics.

We also spoke about how we found this specific site to provoke so many unnecessary feelings/emotions. My friend mentioned how it felt as if it caused many of us to try to relive our past instead of live in the present. I added that it’s a bit disappointing to see so many people fighting with each other over such insignificant topics, when there are so many other fights worth fighting out there and in much more productive and respectful ways. Imagine all that passion and energy to win arguments on social media  being put to use in whatever cause they are arguing over.

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All of this can be said about our attitude towards our relationship with God as well! Many of us like to believe we have a solid relationship with God based on simply believing in Him and speaking well of Him to others, yet we lack that intimate connection. We use all those same, worn out excuses for not sparing an hour, 30 minutes or even 5 minutes to spend with God and His word. It goes back to our priorities and how we organize those in our own lives. Just as we can take a certain amount of time daily to devote to our own personal interests, we can just as easily take the same amount of time or even more and devote it towards bettering our relationship with God, bettering ourselves and bettering the world around us. We can dive into our Bibles instead of the newest best-selling novel. We can talk to God about our day and our problems or simply extend Him our gratitude instead of posting all of it to people who mostly won’t give it a second thought. We can ask Him for guidance in revealing our calling and showing us the way to use it to both please Him and make the biggest, positive impact in our lives and world.

So, as this New Year approaches, let’s try to spend less time on things that hold us back from growth (both spiritually and mentally) and peace. Let us prioritize more time for things that bring about positive changes in our lives and the lives of others around us, all while strengthening our faith and personal bond with God. I pray for anyone reading this, that they may think about how they utilize their time and energy and may they make necessary changes to improve not only their lives, but the lives of all those around them. I pray that everyone realize how special and unique they are in Your eyes and how much they have to share with the world. May we all look to You for guidance in all that we do, especially when it comes to using our God-given gifts to make a difference. Thank You for giving me this outlet to share my thoughts and personal beliefs with others! I pray all of this in Your name, Amen!

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Much Love and God Bless 💚

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Have you ever felt like you’ve given your all and you don’t have any more to give?

But God! How can I possibly keep going when I have put all my strength and energy into this, yet I haven’t seemed to make any progress? 

A little over 2 weeks ago I was having trouble sleeping, as pregnant women normally do in their 39th week of pregnancy, and I told my husband I am going to take this as a sign that we need to make our way to the birth house. In our state home birth is still technically illegal, so we travel a couple of hours into a nearby state to give birth (thus the term, birth house).

We made it to the birth house around 3pm on that Saturday. We unpack our stuff and started to get relaxed around the house. Besides myself and my husband, my mom and 2 young sons (6 and 2) were there with us. Around 5pm my mom started to make dinner and I went to help. About 6pm or a little after it was time to eat. I went to use the restroom before and wouldn’t you know it, I lost my plug. This doesn’t necessarily mean labor will come on right away, but in my previous pregnancy that is exactly what happened right before my labor began and this time was just the same. Later on everyone went to bed. My mom and oldest son first and then my husband and I took our youngest son to get him to sleep, however I obviously could not get comfortable, yet again; this would be no sleep just like the previous night! I didn’t start timing my contractions until about 830pm or so. I text messaged my midwife, who lives not quite an hour from the birth house (this time) and she would ask me about contractions etc. So I kept laboring on my own, while everyone was sleeping because I didn’t want to wake them lol. Maybe 1030pm my midwife asked me if I thought she should come now and I said yes that would probably be of more comfort. My midwife and her assistant arrived and she asked if I wanted her to check my dilation and I said sure. I told her I’m not certain, but from my contractions I’d say I’m about 5 to 6cm. My midwife checked me and she said you’re at 7cm! So I was in great shape. I tend to stand or crouch and rock side to side while in labor and that’s what I was doing and when my midwife got there I still continued to do so. We were talking and joking and laughing all the way up to 10cm! That whole part of labor seemed to progress quicker and easier than previous pregnancies, although this being my 3rd time, I was also more used to the process.

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Now it was about that time, my favorite stage of labor…PUSHING! Only this time the pushing would end up not as fun as usual! I pushed for about 2 hrs this time! I also pushed in almost every position imaginable! After an hour of pushing, my daughter still wasn’t able to even be seen a little bit and I knew it. Here I had been pushing for so long, running on 2 days of no sleep and despite all my efforts for the past hour, I knew not much progress was made. That can be a bit discouraging and even more so when you’re exhausted! I remember being at the end of the bed, I had just been pushing on a birthing chair, then did standing lunge position and then just plain standing. I talk to God often in my head through prayer and this time I said, ” God, please give me Your strength because I am running on empty. I have given all I have and then some and still it hasn’t been enough. I need Your strength to help me get my baby out.” Right after praying I ended up moving back onto the bed and then I felt this change in the pushing. I felt my body take over the pushing, it was now pushing FOR me! It was as if someone shook up a soda and now the built up pressure was escaping. Now, instead of me being the main source of the strength and pushing, I was now the helper! I had already given ALL that I had, but somehow I managed to gather even more energy and since my body was now pushing on it’s own, I was able to birth my daughter! I knew from the change that came over after my prayer that THIS WAS IT! I heard this voice say “she’s coming!” Sure enough she made her big debut and come to find out, she was sunny side up or face up and that’s why it was a more difficult and intense pushing! My husband is often annoyed when people say “110%” because he says there’s no such thing! After I gave birth to our daughter, he said, “Now THAT is giving 110%! From now on, you’ll forever be my example of giving 110%!”

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I KNOW, without any doubt in my mind, that God was right there in that room! HE gave me the strength and HE protected us (as always) and HE took over for me when I thought I had no more to give! How many times in life do we say,  I can’t! I have given my all and it wasn’t enough! That, my friends, is the position God wants you in! He wants you to be aware that you cannot do everything on your own; WE NEED HIM!  We can do ALL things (not just some things) through CHRIST who strengthens us! 🙌 We need only to remember to call on Him, because He is ALWAYS ready to help us! So, no matter your situation in life, no matter how strongly you feel you cannot get through something, no matter how inadequate you may feel, you can still get by with a little help from your friend 😜 He knows when we need Him, but He waits for us to come to Him and to seek his help and guidance. ❤ Don’t ever forget He is there!

I pray today that we all remember the true source of our strength and courage and that we never forget to ask for God’s help!

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Much Love and God Bless! 💚

 

 

Stand Firm

38 weeks pregnant today and slacking on my blog! 😜

I was contemplating what to write about this morning, so I went to my Bible app. Instead of looking at the verse of the day, I clicked the button to take me to the Bible so I could browse through. Interestingly enough, instead of bringing me to Genesis as it usually does, it brought me to Luke and not only that it didn’t start from the top it scrolled itself down to a specific verse and I’ll insert the screen shot if it’ll let me!

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Luke 1:45 is what I was brought to. “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” (NIV)

I found it rather curious that I should be brought to this verse when it involves pregnancy. Mary was visited by an angel who explained to her that she would carry the Son of God. Mary went to tell her relative, Elizabeth, about the news she received. Elizabeth herself was in her 6th month of pregnancy and was said to be unable to conceive and those words in Luke 1:45 are Elizabeth speaking, overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit!

At the end of pregnancy it’s natural and “normal” to feel more anxious and apprehensive. You’re tired and worn out and thinking about so much to come. I feel guilty a lot as my anxiety can get the better of my mind at times. Again, my mind works against me a lot of the time, in what can be very cynical ways; the guilt comes from my knowledge of needing to guard my mind yet too often the enemy sneaks in. I can ignore a lot but then at other times I entertain those false and negative thoughts too much which then gives the enemy satisfaction as he has now created doubt. It can be frustrating because I am a firm believer that God can do anything, ANYTHING and that nothing is impossible with Him, yet these negative thoughts cause doubt and that doubt kind of contradicts my firmly planted beliefs. I don’t mean for it to, but when you’re on the outside looking in, I’m sure one would wonder, “how can she believe so strongly, yet allow fear to enter her mind?”

Before I became pregnant this time, as with all the other times I prayed about it. I prayed to God, if I should be blessed with another baby, please only allow it if the baby and I and my family will be safe and healthy-before, during and after for many, many more years to come. I prayed this often. When I became pregnant I took that as a sign of an answered prayer and a promise from God. He heard me and this was Him saying I am blessing you and all will be well, before and during and after; you are protected. I also prayed He would lead me to the best place for me to give birth. I trust that I will end up where I need to be. My last birth was a home birth and I feel led to do this one at home as well and I am confident God will be right with me and reminding me of His promise to me.

I have had some whacky things occur towards the end of this pregnancy and it has thrown me off a bit with the anxiety and I feel as though this is the enemy hearing my confidence in the Lord and trying to rattle me and feed me that doubt. I must admit, he does sometimes get to me, but I know he attacks the most when your faith is strongest! So that in itself is a sign that I am on the right path for myself, this new baby and my family as a whole.

With all of this being said, that is why I was taken aback to have my app bring me straight to verses having to do with pregnancy and tellings of birth promises. When I have viewed this pregnancy as an answered prayer and a promise from God, to see those words and be brought straight to them (when that’s not even the norm for the app) well, I see that as just more reassurance from God who knows how to comfort me 🙌❤

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I pray today for those reading this who maybe are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, that they trust in You no matter what they may be told by anyone else.  I pray their minds would be guarded from the enemy and their faith in You unwavering. I pray also for those not pregnant who, like me, struggle with anxiety and guarding their minds. Please helps us all to trust in you fully and ignore the poisonous words planted in our minds by Satan himself. May we realize that the enemy attacks most the closer we are to God! I pray for our faith to be strong, our courage to be plentiful, our doubts to be non-existent and Your protection to be all around us, consuming us. I pray always in Your name, Amen! 🙏🙌

Much Love and God Bless 💚

 

National Suicide Prevention Day 1-800-273-8255

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1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They also offer texts and online chatting prevention services. Light a candle at 8pm and place it near a window ❤
A middle school girl locked herself in her bedroom. She often cried behind closed doors so no one else would see her. She sat there, gun in hand, finger on the trigger and gun resting against her temple. With tears flooding her face, she desperately wanted to pull the trigger, yet something tugged at her heart and for a moment she thought of all the people it would impact. All the times she thought to herself that so many lives would be improved if she weren’t alive, they disappeared in that brief moment. Scared, sad, ashamed and alone she took her finger away from the trigger and slowly moved the gun away from her head until it rested on the ground next to her. Wiping her face, she got up and unlocked her door and snuck off to return the gun to where it belonged. No one ever knew and no one would have ever known. I know she credits God for that moment of clarity in such a chaotic time in her mind. I know she would have missed out on so much happiness, happiness she never thought was possible; a wholeness she never thought attainable. I know she would have never experienced true love, marriage and multiple pregnancies/birth. She would have never been called wife or mother. I know all these things because that middle school girl was me.

Even the people who seem the happiest and always go out of their way to help others need help too. You never know what storm lies within another, so be kind and always show others that you care and they matter.

The topic of suicide should be freely discussed without judgment. It should always be a safe topic. It takes only a few seconds to truly ask someone how they are and listen to them. If anyone reading this ever needs anyone to vent to, I am always available.

There is a story that only you can finish, so please keep going and hang on because as much as you don’t believe it gets better….IT DOES!

;    Your Story Does Not End Here!

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Praising God In The Storm

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I have to start off with apologizing for neglecting my blog lately! 😣 So many things going on and time is not slowing down! As most of you probably know from previous posts, I am pregnant and actually due in another 5 weeks or so! Just trying to get things in order for go-time!

Being so close to the end of pregnancy you would assume it’s the time where relaxation kicks in and you’re just resting and waiting…maybe with the first child, but this is baby number 3 and things have been a bit wonky! It feels as if all these random little events keep happening and they all add up the stress! I know so many of you can relate to that one-thing-after-another feeling and it doesn’t treat the anxiety well!

It’s funny because every time I think what else could happen, I also think what is God keeping from happening? There’s two sides to everything and I definitely believe that many times when it feels like all these random events keep unfolding at the worst possible times, God is setting you up for greater things in the near future! Granted, in those moments when everything seems to be out of control, it’s hard to have this mindset but hopefully after things have calmed down a bit, we’re able to sit back and actually contemplate about what is happening, the actual severity of it and what good can come from it.

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I often mention Job or revisit Job in the Bible to gain perspective. I have always gravitated towards the book of Job and have many times been inspired in a variety of ways. The theme of Job could probably best be summarized in a question…Why does God let bad things happen to good and innocent people? Job had not done anything wrong, yet within one day alone he lost his livestock, servants and all 10 children! That was just one day! Can you imagine how overwhelmed we would feel if we lost even half of that in the course of a day? Even after suffering such great loss, Job still blessed God in his prayers. When we think we have it bad, sometimes it’s not as bad as we initially perceive it to be. How often far more simple things happen to us and yet we feel the need to question God’s motives.

We should be thankful in the bad just as we are in the good because we have limited understanding of our lives and what evil God is saving us from in the future. I’m sure I have typed this before but it’s so very true, God has the panoramic view to our lives, we simply see in tunnel vision. We are often focused on what is currently right in front of us that we tend to forget there is a bigger picture to behold. We cannot worry ourselves with why others who do wrong don’t seem to experience as many hardships nor do we need to question why God is allowing what seems like bad things to befall us. Our understanding of our lives and life in general is extremely limited, whereas God has the infinite knowledge; how could we lack trust when He is God of ALL? Who are we to question God’s motives? We cannot just go through life expecting only to experience the good!

Although it’s easier to praise God during those good times, we would do good to remember to praise him in the times when it feels the hardest; that’s where, I believe, the most true and deepest blessings come from. Anyone can be thankful when they’re surrounded by clear blue skies, but what about when those dark gray clouds crowd around and the challenges of life seem to rain down? Where is our thankfulness then? Let us not focus on what is happening in the moment right in front of us, but rather thank God in the midst of the storm for what He is saving us from in the future. It may be difficult to train our minds to work that way at first, but once we realize how true it is that if this bad had not occurred, our blessing could not have happened, it’ll make it that much easier to have that mindset.

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Think of several times where things went wrong in your life and I’ll wager some kind of positive came from it, in some form, whether right after or years after. A quick example for me that came to mind was my miscarriage. Maybe it’s come to my mind so quickly because I am getting closer to giving birth, but had that misfortune never  happened, who is to say I would have my other son and now this little girl I am currently carrying? Sometimes God takes from us to allow room for bigger blessings to flow, we just have to trust that He knows best! He is on our side and He does not rejoice in our misfortunes but rather hopes for us to put more trust in Him.

I pray today for anyone who feels caught up in a web of what seems like constant hard times Lord, may they know that You are for them and that You go through it with them. May they realize they may be going through a stretch of bad times now, but it will pass and blessings will be waiting on the other side! May our hearts see a different view during difficult times and allow us to have a more faithful and positive response as opposed to a “poor me” or “why me” attitude. Thank you Lord for the good and the bad because we know they work hand in hand. In Your name we pray, Amen!

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Much Love and God Bless!

Turn The Tables On Evil!

As most of you who read my blogs can tell, my faith plays a big role in my life; it always has. It helps me through even the darkest of times because I am confident in God and His love for me. I truly believe those words, speak those words and yet on some days I can’t help but feel like such a contradiction.

I know it’s days, like today, when the enemy gets the better of me and invades my mind. Satan loves to use my anxiety/panic disorders against me and he can be so relentless and ruthless. As strong of faith as I believe I have, I get so ashamed of myself when I lose those daily battles in my mind. I am aware that the enemy’s plan is just that; weaken me bit by bit until he gets the majority control over my thought process. You would assume being so aware of those facts would make it easier to fight back, yet sometimes I never see it coming until it’s too late!

After enduring anxiety and panic most of my 30 years, I can still be ambushed. It may not come as easily as it once did, as I have learned to fight back and hold my own, but still it happens more than I’d care to admit. I feel like a walking contradiction because here I am always speaking words of hope and encouragement to others who are in need of them, and yet I can’t even take my own advice when I truly need to! I also can sit and hear myself ask, “How can you call yourself a true believer if you let so much doubt consume you in certain times!?” The doubt, in any form, is probably what causes me the most remorse. You can try to call it anything else, but in all honesty it is doubt. If I have so much faith in God, why then do I allow the enemy to get me to ask myself questions like the one previously stated or to fill my mind with nothing but worst case scenarios? It truly is frustrating.

I pray quite a bit, especially in my most anxious moments. I ask God to guard my mind and allow only good and pleasing thoughts in. I often pray for overall protection, both physically and mentally. I honestly don’t know where I would be without my faith because many times I feel as if that’s all I have on my side; definitely not a bad thing to have God on my side though! When you have anxiety/panic not many people can relate personally, so you feel even more isolated. When you’re often viewed as a person of positivity, you feel like a fraud when you become lost in the disorders you have. It can truly be disheartening.

I have so many worries, fears and stresses currently that I have become overwhelmed and Satan has been lurking in the corner waiting to take advantage. Today has been a tough day for me and I contemplated what I could do to turn it around, if only just for a moment. How could I turn the tables on Satan and his lies? Blog. Share your raw feelings, emotions and thoughts with your readers and let them see you vulnerable. Allow them to see that faith in God does NOT mean you get an easy pass in life; it does not mean you will not have to endure hard times, but it allows you peace, comfort and hope for the future!

My mind can be an extremely cruel and merciless place at times and obviously I can’t just get away from myself. I have to focus more on God’s words and promises and trust that He is already ahead of me and has protected me and carried me through! He is working all together for good and He will lead me where I need to be and allow all to unfold just when it needs to, I need only to be still.

I pray tonight for anyone out there who is struggling with anxiety, panic, fear, worry, stress, depression etc, whether they’re reading this or not, may they find comfort in knowing God is on their side and He will go with them wherever they go. May we all realize, no matter how alone and isolated we feel, we are never alone!

Much Love and God Bless ❤

P.s. Use your struggles as weapons of good against evil. Use your dark times to help reach more people! Don’t be silent about your hard times; be open so that others know they aren’t alone in how they feel!

True Contentment

I had an opportunity this morning to listen to the last of the sermon series I have shared my notes and outlines on, Soul Therapy. The last sermon has to do with the topic of contentment. The Apostle Paul wrote Philippians while he was incarcerated in a Roman prison. He was writing to the Philippian church to encourage them, all while he was in prison for simply teaching and speaking about God. He had never even committed a crime, yet he was guarded and being treated as one of the worst kinds of criminals.

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The Niche of Contentment

The word niche comes from the French and Latin word which means a nest. The dictionary defines it as a comfortable or suitable position in life. In other religions contentment is said to be something achieved through the suppression of all desires, apathy and the resignation to fate and accepting whatever life offers you. For us in Christianity, true contentment in life is a contentment that comes from being right with God and knowing He supplies everything we need.

The foundation for contentment rests on these three points:

My attitude. This means my attitude towards God, my life and the events happening in my life and around me. We cannot control anything that happens around us; most things are out of our control although we do have influence over certain things. A bad thought process will never lead to contentment, therefore we must think right about ourselves, God and what’s going on in our lives and the world. Paul was jailed and treated like a criminal although he had never committed a crime and everything happening to him was unfair, yet he did not let that alter his attitude.

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My actions. We must always do what is right in any situation. Never let our situations dictate our actions!

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My adequacy or who I am in Christ! Again, Paul never stopped doing what he knew he should be doing. He had contentment through Christ and he kept persevering despite events unfolding on his life. Many of us would give into a negative thought process and grow more and more apathetic by the day; we would ask why is this happening to me, but not Paul. Paul knew that his strength came from the Lord.

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Here are some keys to maintaining contentment.

We must first make our relationship with God a priority. Our relationship with God must be the most important in our lives. He must take number 1 spot over even our relationships with our spouses, children or any family member or friend. If He is number one, all other relationships will thrive. Our contentment is based on our relationship with Him and not on worldly things such as how much money we make, the car we drive, how big our house is, how educated we are, our social status or even through our spouse. He is the biggest and most important key to contentment in our lives.

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We must view our life through an eternal lens. This spiritual lens comes from being content with knowing God. Paul is a prime example. Although Paul was enduring much negative in his life, he remained upbeat and kept spreading the word of God to even his guards in the prison. He knew that life wasn’t just about today or tomorrow, but about eternity in Heaven and bringing as many people with him as he could!

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We must also learn to live an unselfish life. We can’t just concern ourselves with our best interest but the interests of others as well. Selfish people are never content! They’re always worried they’ll lose something and usually material items. We have to learn to be generous in every aspect of our lives.

 

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Lastly, we must know that we are growing as a person. Paul was a highly respected religious scholar who had great influence yet he said none of that was of any importance compared to his faith in God through his Christianity. Although he was well-educated, he still knew he had much left to learn. He understood that there was always room for improvement and you’re never too old to stop learning and growing. Some people believe they’re old enough to have learned everything they need to learn, but there is so much more out there that we will never stop learning. We should never get to a point in life where we think we have nothing left to learn. One of the greatest cello players, Pablo Casals, was asked why he still practiced playing 6 hours a day at the age of 95 when he was already noted for being one of the greatest, he said he was still making progress, learning and improving his craft. He believed he still had more to learn, at the age of 95! May we never stop learning; forget the past and set our eyes to the future.

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I pray that all of you reading can find true contentment in life through Christ. May we ALL look at life through an eternal lens just as Paul did! May we follow Paul’s example that no matter what is happening to us or around us, that we remain upbeat and joyful because our strength comes from the Lord and He is FOR us, never against us; working all together for good for those that love Him! 🙌

Much Love and God Bless 💚