Truth will set you Free

Have you ever really thought about this statement?  Who’s truth? Your truth? My Truth?

It’s up to who you ask because my version of the truth is truth.   And I don’t want anyone to tell me different.  Why is that?

What am I afraid of?

The bible speaks of the truth setting you free.  But sometimes the truth is painful to accept.  Honesty of sin is scary.  Facing past hurts can be heart breaking.  But I have found and continue to find the truth will set you free to be a true statement.  I know that may not be the popular answer.

John 8:32 [Full Chapter]

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I recently sat through a sermon on sexual immorality.  In today’s world of “do what feels right for you”, sex in the way God intended it has disappeared.   I’m not throwing out judgement here because I’m as guilty as the next but Jesus freed me from that guilt.
He showed me the truth and the truth did set me free.
God intended sex to be between 1 man and 1 woman.  He designed it that way from the beginning.

Genesis 1:27

So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 2:24

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

This is nothing new.   Sexual immorality has been around since the beginning of time.

I’m a big proponent of boundaries.  But  no one wants to have boundaries these days.  Or maybe we have boundaries just some areas of our life the boundaries are more open than in others.

If you’re unsure that there should be boundaries in the sexual arena then just open you’re bible app and read Chapters 19 & 20 in Leviticus.  As I said before, this is not a new cultural issue.

Sin is at the crux of sexual immortality and those acts are the pure definition of sexual immortality.   Each of them linked to something that is missing inside the human heart.  A hole that is hollow and needing to be filled.

I was introduced to this song and find it’s lyrics interesting and on point for this topic.

Words such as zero, feel, nothing real, chaos, way out, ways of the ones before me, lonely and run away.  All words of being hollow inside.

Imagine Dragons – Zero (click to watch video)

Notice mid-way …… Maybe you’re the same as me…..They say the truth will set  you free.

Jesus came to set us free.   Forgive us of our sin.  Rid us of our guilt.  Cleanse us of our shame.

He is the only thing that can fill that hole.  Let Him fill it!

Lord I am grateful.  Grateful that you have freed me from my old way of thinking.  Cleansed me from my past and allowed me to heal from sins done against me.  I’m grateful!  Lord, I want to use my forgiveness to help others heal.   Help me to be brave.  Amen!

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One

#fmf

One God!   That is what I can come up with. Because He is the only One that counts.  He is the only One that matters.  He is the only One that is forever. He is the only One!

But in the full realm of my life One God is not all that makes impressions on my world.  There are many impressions, some good some bad, some joyous some sorrowful, some bring fullness some bring breaking down but the One, the One God, can and will handle them all.

John 8:25-30  “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.  So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The ONE who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

He is the ONE and Only One

We are constantly faced with decisions to make. With each new day there is a new decision.  New choices. New actions. New reactions. New people. New problems. New joys.  And with each of those things we sometimes have to bear the burdens of the others.  Sometimes painful choices that dig deep within our souls.  Sometimes those souls just can’t handle it any longer.

Mark 4:21-25  He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?  For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.  If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”  “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Sometimes we have to….

  • Be the one who bears that burden
  • Be the one who puts on a brave face
  • Be the one who prays and cries alone
  • Be the one who seeks wise counsel
  • Be the one who turns to the word
  • Be the one who shares the load
  • Be the one who allows HIM to strengthen us
  • Be the one who turns it over

So

The only ONE who can carry everything is able to be seen.

He is the only One, just believe.

He has made Me New

Photo on 3-20-14 at 9.52 AMKaitlyn, gentle, broken, restoring, strong and faithful comes to mind.  God is funny and wondrous.  I have a facebook page with a lot of women members that I don’t know.  There are times when HE continuously pops up faces in front of me and I continue to see them.  That’s when I know to PM them and set up a date for lunch.  That is how I got to know Kaitlyn. We hit it off immediately, I knew she was someone that I needed to be part of my world.  I’ve only seen her in body 3 times but with every conversation I see another layer of who God made her to be and watching her discover that for herself.  It’s exciting to watch!  As I said, Kaitlyn has many layers so when I asked her to write her story, the decision had to be made, “which one?”. I’m blessed to be able to share at least the 1st of many stories that Kaitlyn has for us.

Kaitlyn MacMillian:     Life is complicated. It’s often a mess and I think I’ve made a mess of mine. But God knew that about us all. He has come to redeem us from this world of sin that corners us. It seems that I had real love and faith in Christ from a young age. When I was seven, I understood my need of salvation and trusted Christ as my savior. When I look back I think, “Really? Did I really understand how to repent of sin and trust that Christ paid my sin debt so that I could go to Heaven?” I know that I loved Him. And so even though my fleshly living seems to have outweighed my Spirit-filled living, Christ has loved me through it all. His grace has allowed me to grow as a person to have a heart that is more like His. That care never ends.
My mother was a licensed professional counselor so I was psychoanalyzed from a young age. There were some serious reasons that I needed help. But I didn’t fully realize my needs until I was in my teens. When I was only 15, I got pregnant. Sexual promiscuity revealed to my mind that I had been sexually abused by a friend’s father when I was very young. I was so shocked and told my mother. She did not believe it. So when the pregnancy came and my parents made the decision that I should have an abortion, I learned that death begets death. I was responsible for my pregnancy and my abortion because if you’re old enough to have sex, then you are old enough to know what it can lead to. But I was naive. The whole episode led to more misunderstandings with my parents. They were very angry with me. My parents didn’t mean to harm me, but they just did not do a good job with this. Image was important and I came close to blowing ours. My mental health went downhill. I tried to commit suicide and so I was committed to a mental institution for five months. I took my Bible with me. When I got to my room, I opened it up and the Lord showed me:

Isaiah 43:18
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. 

This has been my life verse. Over and over again, the Lord has brought it to my mind. Probably because I am lousy at really following it. But His mercy keeps coming. And I need Him every hour.

Now I have been married for 30 years and have 12 children. IMG_6225 One dozen is a huge number and we never expected to have that many. We have three biological children and nine adopted from Africa. Wow. We have had trouble. Crazy, ceaseless trouble for about 8 years. Now my kids are grown and they are all gone. This new quiet that I had wished for is so unsettling. I home schooled for 25 years. I don’t know what to do with myself. I have a lot of physical illness from not taking care of myself. It has kept me alone too much. And the tale has many extra difficulties.

But I have to learn to live again. I have to learn to continue trusting my great God for the next step. The past does not have the answers for me outside of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But I must focus on the fact that Jesus is alive! He has made me new – every single morning, I’m new right along with His mercy.

Perfect Love casts out all fear. I just have to step out. And all the way, my Savior leads me.

Lord, You are a gracious and loving Father.  I am grateful and I know that Kaitlyn is too.  You have blessed us with family and you have blessed her with a huge heart for those that need love.   I thank you for bringing her into my life and I pray that you will guide our steps in the future.  Amen!

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Burden

#fmf
When I first think of the word Burden, I immediately go to things in life that I have had to carry.  Things/experiences that have literally weighed me down and I could not carry alone. These are things that we need others to help us with.   Or they are experiences that others have placed on us.
But then I thought of our world today.  The days of blame and not taking responsibility.  The days of no respect for authority.
Days when we as God’s children and those who don’t know Him need to live by this verse.

Hebrews 13:17

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
Was it so different in Jesus’s days?  He carried all the burden of sin to the cross for us.
And Jesus says:

Matthew 11:30 

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I now have come to understand that if I would only release my burdens to HIM, allow Him to take them, I find refreshment, my burdens are easier to carry.

So what if, the world, the ones who want to play the blame game.  The ones who feel their burdens are too heavy to carry anymore so they “sin”, in hopes to reduce the load.  What if we all looked to Jesus instead of others.

What if?

Thank You Lord for carrying my burdens.  Amen!

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Repeat

#fmf

Do you find yourself living in the revolving door?

We can find ourselves in that revolving door, over and over again.  Repeating the same thing with the same results.

Doesn’t matter what got us there, we just keep going.

We Stop and Repeat!
do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
There is a way out of that repeating cycle.
God gave us a choice.
We have to recognize it for what it is.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Once we recognize it.
We can get out of it.
Instead of continuing in the revolving, repeating cycle.
Choose a different route to repeat.
Choose God.
Choose Obedience.
Choose You.
Thank You Lord for showing me how to get out.  Thank You Lord for being there for me to turn to when that sin wants to draw me in again. Stop and Repeat a Life with You! Amen!
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My Who Moment

#fmf#2weeks

As in most days of my life, I’ve got too much going on so I needed to take a little break from writing.  Not that my brain totally shut off from it but simply the effort it took to put those thoughts on paper has been too much for me.  Hence why I am 2 weeks behind in my Five Minute Friday writing.  But then when I saw the word for this past Friday my mind told me, “this was by no accident”, God had me take a break for a reason.

So all that to say, this may be longer than five minutes of thinking/typing time.

When I thought of Who, I immediately went to who is God and who is He is to me.

Well first I had to understand that………

God is Sovereign – He is the #1 ruler of the universe.

Psalm 103:19 

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

God is Eternal – He has no beginning and no end.

Isaiah 44:6 

“This is what the Lord says—    Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

God is Omniscient – He possesses all knowledge.

Hebrews 4:13 

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

God is Omnipresent – He is infinite and everywhere present through all time and space.

Jeremiah 23:24 

Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord“Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.

God is Omnipotent – He is all powerful having more than enough strength to do all things.

Philippians 3:20 

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ

God is Immutable – He is never changing in His nature.

Numbers 23:19 

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill?

God is Righteous – He would never cause or do anything wrong. In fact it is impossible.

Psalm 111:1-3 

Praise the LordI will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.  Great are the works of the Lordthey are pondered by all who delight in them.  Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.

God is Just – He will never do anything that is unfair to Himself or to others.

2 Timothy 4:8 

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

God is Love – He loves freely and without  any thought to the loveliness or merit of the object.

John 3:16 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Who is God?  He is my Everything!  What moment did I realize this? Not soon enough!

The first decade of my christian-hood (if there is such a word) was riding on the tail of my husband and his family.  I truly didn’t know I was supposed to have a personal relationship with HIM.

The second decade of my christian-hood was spent figuring out who God was to this newly divorced, new married and newly becoming me moments.

The third decade of my christian-hood was when that moment found me and showed me Who God is in my life.   And since that moment there have been more and more of those moments.

I have seen how He has been sovereign, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, immutable, righteous, just and oh so much love.   I am seeing more clearly how He was working in my life way before I even knew that He knew who I was.  It was actually before I knew Who He was.   He has been preparing me for this MOMENT!

Lord I’m amazed with each and every new day! Thank you God.  Thank you Jesus.  Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding me.  Amen

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Possible with God

Screenshot_2018-09-17-14-17-38I’ve known Krista from a far for several years.  The whole time I’ve known her she has been in Kidney failure.  But honestly, you wouldn’t have even known it by her actions and her speech. This little lady never stopped.  She carried on her life as if she were still in her 20’s and care free.  She served others fervently and loved on them more.   Krista is a giver.  You want to know how she did that?  She knows, loves and follows the ONE God that can give you the heart and strength of a giant.  I’m so grateful that God has allowed Krista to be placed in my life.   She has only stopped serving and loving long enough to lay on a table and receive the gift of a kidney herself.  Enjoy her story.
Krista Rodgers:
My kidney transplant Journey.  My go-to Bible verse when I struggle with doubts and fears. Luke 18 27 “And He said the things which are impossible with man are possible with God.”  I have faced many fears and struggles in my life sometimes doubting if there was a God or if there is, was he listening to me. But as a small child my mother was a very Godly woman and she made sure that her children went to church, that they knew about God and how important it was for us to make Him a daily part of our life.
Eighteen years ago I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The doctors have continued to monitor them since. About 3 years ago my kidneys were functioning at 33%. Several visits later to the doctor my kidney functions kept decreasing and was at 17%.    In February of 2017 I went for a regular visit with the kidney doctor and was told it was time to consider getting on the transplant list. I gave my permission to send my information to both University of Cincinnati Hospital and Jewish Hospital in Louisville. A week or so later I got a letter of rejection from Cincinnati denying  my insurance. Several weeks later I got a phone call from Jewish Hospital telling me I was a good candidate for a kidney transplant work up. In June of 2017 my children, which would be my support team, went with me for classes, and then my blood work started an electrocardiogram, an echo-cardiogram, stress test, chest x-rays, and more blood work. I also needed up-to-date female annual check-up, pneumonia shot, a TB skin test, and then the good old colonoscopy which I put off as long as I could. I finished up all these test by December 2017. While getting my colonoscopy, I contacted the flu. I got very sick and ended up at Clark Regional in the ER where they transferred me to Louisville to be admitted. I was in the hospital for 4 days until I finally recovered from the flu.
I was supposed to see my kidney doctor February 14th 2018. She for some reason called me the week before and wanted to know if I can come in a week early. I went and got my blood work and  before I could get home she called me telling me I needed to be admitted to the hospital my labs were out of control. I was admitted on Tuesday February 6th. My doctor came in and told  me I was in renal failure and would need to start dialysis.  The next day they placed a tunneled catheter into my upper right chest. On Thursday, February 8th, late that evening I started my first dialysis treatment. I was scared, I was nervous and I honestly did not know what to expect. They hooked me up to this machine that would start filtering my blood in 3 hours, a person on their own filters their blood in 24 hours. Not long after the treatment started I became nauseous, started vomiting, a migraine started, I was hot and sweaty, you name it I got it. This went on for three and a half hours.  I was laying in the bed  asking God  why  are you allowing me to suffer like this?  Please Lord just let me die. This is horrible. After my  first dialysis treatment was complete I started, jerking, shaking and I really didn’t know what was going on with myself. My daughter asked, are you okay Mom? I said I don’t know, why did you do this to me, why did you let them do this to me. I just want to die, I’m so sick. The nurse came in to check on me we asked what was happening to me she said the machine was filtering the poison out of my system and it was like a person going through detox withdrawals, like a person addicted to drugs.Screenshot_2018-09-16-22-43-19
I was released from the hospital on Friday, the following Monday I was to report to Georgetown where I would start my next dialysis treatment. I was hooked up to the machine, I got nauseous, I threw up, I got dizzy, light headed and felt terrible for the next three and a half hours same thing again Wednesday and Friday. The doctors kept telling me the treatments would get better and I would feel better after each treatment. It took a whole lot of convincing for me to believe them. I prayed, God why are you letting me go through this?  This is horrible. I stop and I think of how cancer patients can go through chemo, I pray for all the cancer patients wondering how they can do this. I pray for each person in that dialysis room and looking at each with hope, praying that I would feel better soon. In time I truly started to feel better but struggled with a lot of migraines. Then at the end of May I got a call from Jewish Hospital telling me I had been placed on the active transplant list. June 2018 came around and now I had to restart my testing again since it had  been one year.
I  prayed for days, night after night to God for a new kidney. I prayed so much I felt God was getting tired of listening to me, so I stopped praying that prayer.
Screenshot_2018-09-16-22-42-53On Saturday July 21st when I went to bed I felt God needed to hear my prayer again.
Lord it’s me again, you know I need a kidney and I pray it will happen in your time. I pray God it will happen when the time is good for me when I’m healthy enough to receive it. Lord I pray where this kidney comes from that is from a good kindhearted Christian person. I pray Lord for a fast speedy recovery, I pray for very minimal pain and I pray for quick healing. Lord I pray that you will give me Christian doctors and staff to take care of me. Amen.
I went to church the next morning and I told my friend Debbie Johnson, as I had many times, “Debbie if I get a phone call during church I’m coming across the aisle to get you and we are going to interrupt whoever is preaching and pray and then I’m out of here”. Just so happened, Sunday evening at 5:03 p.m. I’m cooking dinner my phone rings I missed the call. A few minutes later my daughter’s phone rings she misses the call. A few seconds later my other daughter’s phone rings same number comes up on caller ID, I said somebody better answer it, she hands me the phone and says, “mom it’s Jewish.” I answer the phone and the nurse says, “Krista I have a kidney for you, it’s a good one are you willing to accept it. It’s coming from out of state so it’s not here yet I will call you back as to what time to arrive at the hospital.”  First person I called  is my kidney doctor,  she tells me she has chills up and down her spine ,  She told me  I was the quickest patient she’s had to get a kidney that fast. The next person I call is my dear, sweet, faithful, praying sister Debbie Johnson , she doesn’t answer the phone with hello she says do we have one? Do we have a kidney? Do we have a kidney?  I pause, I’m crying, I said yes, we have a kidney she starts screaming, yelling in the background Hallelujah, amen, thank you Jesus.  And she prays with me. In the meantime  the nurse calls me back and  tells me to arrive at 6 a.m. on Monday.  I’m being admitted and now it’s a waiting game. The kidney is supposed to arrive by 1 p.m. and it doesn’t get there until 3 p.m. Finally it’s 5:30 p.m. Monday July 23rd and I’m on my way to surgery. I Ask my nurse do you know if my doctor is a Christian? She says I don’t know but I know your anesthesiologist is, and I said “well that’s a good enough”. She said “I am and we will pray before you go back”. She prayed the sweetest prayer with me and a sense of calmness came over me. The next thing I know I’m waking up in my room surrounded by family.
Praying and thanking God for my new gift of life and for the person’s family where this precious gift came from.Screenshot_2018-09-16-22-44-02
I never gave up hope, I kept my faith, and God answered my prayer, in only two short months of being on the active transplant list when most people stay on there for years.
God answered my prayer, everything I prayed for.  I had very minimal pain, I’ve recovered fast and most of all I had a Christian staff, and Christian doctors. And most importantly it all happened in God’s timing. I still pray continually for the person’s family from where this kidney came from. Some kindhearted 23 year old man’s life was called home to God and he was generous enough to donate his kidney so that I may continue life. Lord thank you so much for this person and continued prayers for his family whom I know is still grieving.
1 Thessalonians 5.  In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward.
Lord, Thank you for sparing a beautiful soul.  Thank you for providing the mother, the friends and the family that she would need most in her time of need.   Thank you for loving others enough to allow her to continue her service to them.  I praise you and continue to be amazed by your love for me.   Amen!
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Praise

#fmf

Who doesn’t like a good party?

I’m not talking about some of those we see posted all over our favorite social media sites or the ones that are talked about through out the bible.  Parties where we don’t want to face the other people that we were with the night before or maybe we don’t even remember who we where with.   Parties where we did things that we, in most normal situations, wouldn’t have done.  Parties where all our morals, thoughts and cares go out the window and sin lingers in.

I mean a party full of laughter and love, smiles and hugs, sharing life and celebrating victories.  A party where encouragement is abounding and praise is overflowing.  That is what I expect Heaven to be like!

2 Samuel 22:50

“For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.

But until I get to Heaven, I want to live that party here on earth.  I want to cultivate friendships that are strong and everlasting.  Be engaged with people who love to party.

So what does that mean for me?  I need to live my day, regardless of the things I face, regardless of the trials that confront me and regardless of the pain I endure because Jesus faced those same things and still faced them with Praise on His heart for His Father.  I want to Praise like that!  I will have heart ache and joys in this life but in the end…………….

I’m gonna party like there is NO TOMORROW! 

Lord, I praise Your name and I look forward being with You forever. Amen!

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Share

#fmf

I absolutely love sharing life with others.  Laughter, tears, pain or joy!  I am not ashamed to LOVE BIG!  I have not always been like that.  I loved big those who loved big back.  I loved big those who were easy to love big.  I loved big the select group who would bring gain to my life.  It’s not so easy to love big to others. But that is who we are called to love.

Romans 10:14-15

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

About 6 years ago God pulled me out of my comfort zone.  Out of my place where loving big was easy.  Out of my place where sharing life didn’t really take any effort.  He moved me to a new place, a place where others didn’t want to share life with me.  They were like me before, comfortable. And sharing out of that love big zone was unneeded and unwanted.

God created us to share.  Share our life with those around us.  He designed us to Love Big!

I’m coming to understand that this time has been in His plan all along.  He designed me to Love Big outside of my comfort zone.  He designed me to share life.  He designed me to say “I am not ashamed”.

So I press on.  I pray hard. I question His plan at times.  I share who HE is to me. I trust.

So, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Share life with someone today. Share who Jesus is.  Share the salvation He promises.

Lord I praise Your name and Your glory in my life.  I will trust that you will guide my steps.  I ask for your ever present guidance.  Amen!

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Good News

Good news!   We all love some good news.   And you sure ain’t hearing it on the TV these days or reading it in a news paper or scrolling through it on social media.  It seems as if Satan is waging warfare on our people.  You know what I mean, I don’t have to explain myself I’m sure.

I have several audio books that I’m listening to right now but I think that I need to narrow it down to just one at a time.  So I think I’m gonna stick to this……..

“Eternity is now in Session” by John Ortberg.  He says, You can tell a lot about people from where they get their news.  If people are on one side of the political spectrum they might get their news from one source.  If they’re on the other side they might get their news from another side.  Where do you get your news?  Jesus was among other things in the news announcing business.

Are you seeking  out His news?  Do you check in with Him before  you come to a conclusion about a certain topic?

There is a lot of gray in the bible when it comes to some things but on the things of the heart and our salvation, there is no gray.   His news is our BEST NEWS!

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
If you were raised a certain way, with certain beliefs, do you seek out His truths, His good news, His direction to make sure your beliefs as an adult align with His?
If you want a good article to read, start with John.  If you want to be feed some good wisdom, read Proverbs.  If you want to see that others struggle with the same problems and need help praying, check out Psalms.  If you want to know how to walk your day to day life, ponder through Acts.   There is lots of good news and sound instruction scattered through the Bible.   But the primary Good News you need to know is Jesus! Jesus is here.  He died for you so that you would be forgiven.  He gave you the Holy Spirit, His Spirit, to guide you.
So don’t seek out instruction, guidance or Good News from TV, News papers or Social Media.  Look to Jesus!
Lord, I do not know what I would do with out Your kind of Good News.  Thank You! Amen!
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