Category Archives: God’s will

A King a Curse and a Secret Princess (A True Christmas Story)

A king, a curse and a secret princess.

It was the last days of Judah.

(the Southern kingdom of Israel)

Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) was king.

2 Kings 24:8-15

To paraphrase…Jeconiah was an evil king.

Can a corrupt throne be allied with you–

a throne that brings on misery by its decrees? Psalm 94:20

The prophet Jeremiah was sent by the Lord numerous times with a word telling Jeconiah to straighten up and live right with God.

Hear the word of the LORD to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne–you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. Jeremiah 22:2

Jeconiah set himself against the prophet Jeremiah.

Yet, another warning from the Lord that Jeremiah

was delivered to Jeconiah :

 …”O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD! “Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.'”

Jeremiah 22:29-30

A curse to Jeconiah’s (and King David’s) blood line?

Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 2:37 that Jeconiah would leave his throne and his land in captivity.

You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them.

Jeconiah, his  son Shealtiel, and many others were taken captive and moved to the city Babylon.

The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive: Shealtiel his son,

1 Chronicles 3:17 

Some years later, after the exile, Jeconiah’s  great grandson Zerubbabel (son of Pedaiah) returns to his land and should be king but, he is not (only a Governor) due to the curse on Jeconiah’s throne and the land.

The royal line of David appears to be broken.

Years passed.

Here is a line of descendants to follow Zerubbabel

(from Matthew 24: 13 -16)

Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim,Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

What?

Isn’t this is interesting?

So, Joseph, son of Jacob, husband of Mary…should have been a Prince or the sitting King during his lifetime?

Yet, Joseph grows up poor and humble (yet righteous man)

Joseph is off of the throne due to a curse of his forefathers?

The Old Testament prophesied that Messiah and King would be from the line of David but with this blood line it seems impossible.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.   Isaiah9:6-7

Now what?

Is there another blood line of King David’s that isn’t cursed?

A secret prince …

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…or princess?

Yes.

Nathan.

Nathan’s blood line was a line not cursed by Jeconiah’s

foolish decisions and disobedience to God.

Nathan was King David’s and Bathsheba’s child.

David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there: Shammua,  Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel.

1 Chronicles 3: 4-5

Mary (mother of Jesus) was of the royal blood line that came through Nathan!

Mary, the secret Princess?

Here is Mary’s abbreviated line chronicled in Luke 3:31:

the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha,

the son of Nathan, the son of David, 

(You can read King David’s complete blood line in 1 Chronicles 3)

(You can read Mary’s and Jesus’ complete blood line in Luke 3)

(3…the number of the Trinity…interesting)

So, here we have two poor, humble, God fearing people,

(Joseph and Mary)

who will soon be married by an arrangement made by Mary’s father.

I wonder…

Did either of them realize that they were of “Royal Blood”?

Or, had everyday life and hard times erased any image or thoughts of royalty from their minds and lives?

A secret Prince.

And…a secret Princess!

Now, this is the awesome part!!

Because this was a virgin birth…

Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit, not Joseph…

There is NO CURSE!!!

This is described in Luke 1:26-35:

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

The curse is broken!

Royalty is restored!

King Jesus sits on the restored throne of David!

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Do you realize that our story is so similar?

You and I were also born under a curse.

You know the story, right?

The curse of Adam.

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 The woman, the apple & the serpent.

(That sounds like a book title)

Any way…

We too are a “secret Prince” or “secret Princess” through our Messiah and King Jesus.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.    Peter 2:9-10

Has everyday life, sin and hard times erased any image or thoughts of royalty from our own minds?

Sin does not have to reign in your kingdom and close the door to our royal priesthood.

Grace returns our crown!

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.    Romans 6:11-14

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Wear your crown with your head held high!

You are royalty!

So am I!

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Attitude Adjustment

Bad attitude approaching?

Because problems are mounting.

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Ever heard this?

 “Our problem isn’t our problem…

It’s our attitude toward our problem…

that’s our problem.”

The great thing about an attitude is that it is ours…

We “own” our own attitude.

(By the way…we don’t own anyone else’s attitude.)

So…that means we can adjust our attitude.

We can change our negative attitude

to a…

(We cannot change someone else’s attitude.)

Ephesians 4:22 -24 says, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.…

Lay aside the old self.

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

Put on the new self.

Choose the likeness of God.

(Created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.)

That sounds better already doesn’t it?

Romans 12:2 reminds us…
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When we choose to transform our outlook by renewing our mind…

We can test and approve what is God’s will for our life…

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(and stop trying to create our own)

We become aligned with His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Now that is a true attitude adjustment.

 

 

 

 

Hope

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For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,

but have eternal life.

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,

but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 3:16-17

Now, is the time to…

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True life.

True love.

True hope.

Lightning

Lightning.

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Thunder.

Storms…

They can be messy, challenging, sometimes dangerous

 and  even down right scary at times!

Recently, we have really had a great deal of wet weather.

We had five days with the same weather forecast…

more rain, humidity, gray skies and storms.

But, our local weatherman had forecasted

a cold front. This cold front would push through and

we would return to beautiful sunny weather once again.

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(Yeah!)

The downside…with this cold front, another opportunity for more strong storms.

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Fast forward to 8:15 that night.

The clouds had once again turned dark and were on the move.

Lightning could be seen in the distance and getting closer…quickly.

Just one more storm and then… home free!

Sunny days, blue skies and happy times

will be right around the corner!

(Wait…am I talking about life or the weather?)

Selah.

As the storm got closer, the lightning grew more intense.

I thought to myself…

We have hundreds of channels on our television

and nothing to watch…why not give it a rest?

 So, I suggested that we turn off the TV!!

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Then, I proposed that we turn off all the lights…

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and prepare to watch the “light show”.

We were not  disappointed at all!

It was an amazing display of beauty and power!

Our family talked and enjoyed each other’s company

while watching the party going on outside.

Purple, blue, white and yellow danced across the

electrically charged night sky.

I could not help but think about the powerful and

amazing God we love and serve.

How could I not?

He created everything we were watching…

 the night, the clouds, the lightning, the colors, the wind, the rain.

He uses them all to fulfill

His plans, purposes, signs and wonders.

It made me wonder…

What does the Bible have to say about lightning?

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In Psalm 29:7 David says, Yahweh’s voice strikes

with flashes of lightning.

 In Exodus 19:16-17, it says that lightning accompanied

the presence of God at Mount Sinai.

So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

In Exodus 9: 23-24 tells how, lightning accompanied judgment in the Bible also.

“Moses stretched forth his rod toward the heavens, and Yahweh sent thunder, hail, and lightning flashed down to the earth. Yahweh rained hail on the land of Egypt.  So there was very severe hail, and lightning mixed with the hail, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.”

 In Revelation 16:18, John tells us  how lightning will be present during future prophetic events yet  to be fulfilled.

There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.

In Matthew 28: 2-4, lightning describes an angel’s appearance at Christ’s Resurrection.

And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.…

Daniel tells us in Daniel 10:6 how Jesus appears to him in a vision.

His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

In Matthew 24:27, lightning is also used in the description of Jesus’ return to earth to establish His Kingdom.

 “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Revelation 4:5 tells us that lightning is in the

Throne Room with God.

Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder.

These scriptures are just a few references of lightning. There is so much more to read and discover about lightning in the Bible…so check it out for yourself.

Yes, there will be storms.

(life storms and natural storms)

The storm may be near and lightning may strike…

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but remember that Our Creator is also near.

Listen, can you hear His voice in the lightning?

In the vast darkness of the storm, can you see His light?

Can you meet Him at the foot of that mountain He’s waiting for you to climb? He wants to climb it with you.

Can you envision His Throne Room? He awaits your presence.

I hope this encourages you to take time to become aware that the same  powerful and amazing God who created the storms and the lightning…also created you!

You have been created at His perfect time and His perfect place!

Be brave.

During the storm, there is no safer place to be than in His presence.

The storm will pass.

Strength is restored.

Faith renewed.

Rest comes.

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Peace.

Thirst

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Do we really understand the depth of that verse?

Imagine…

A deer in the parched, dry forest.

In drought stricken country side

 on a sultry, hot, humid summer day…

and a water source in the wild,

is almost impossible to find.

Or…

An extremely cold, frigid, winter day.

Dodging bullets of skilled huntsmen and

exhausted by the pursuit of their canine companions.

Tired, thirsty …

and the water is frozen solid in the early morning cold.

Panting.

Searching.

It could mean the difference between life and death.

A spring or a puddle…

a water source is needed to

sustain life one more day.

Maybe, that is what Psalm 42:1 means.

You know, humans can only live about 3 days without water.

How many days do we attempt to live our life without God?

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I believe that God placed in the center of our very being,

( in everyone on earth )

 a deep thirst for Him.

A thirst to know Him…personally.

Can that thirst still be sensed?

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Can the parched dry heart recover?

Yes…it can.

I also believe that most people have a common knowledge

of their own personal limitations, weaknesses and

helplessness, which ultimately results in…

thirst.

But, our own “fallen” nature really dislikes for

our weaknesses and helplessness to ever be revealed.

Our “fallen” nature may try to reason with us by saying…

”Isn’t it just much easier to ignore that thirst?

“Wouldn’t that be easier than actually facing the challenge

of tossing aside our commitment to our own

independence and our own agendas?”

“Isn’t it easier to ask God to play by our rules?”

By the playbook we design.

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We really don’t want to give up those rules

that we worked so hard to create for ourselves…

 only to play by God’s design.imagesCAJIC3X5

How many times do we seem to stop just short of this thirsty pursuit because of our own independent strategies for running our own life?

Do we even realize …

that stopping short —

only prolongs our thirst?

Are we…

 Running our own life

or running for our life?

Both leaves us exhausted and panting.

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God, search the heart and uncover all the self-centered

motives that hide in dark, dry, parched  places of our soul.

God, show me where it is that I stop panting after You.

God, where are those lines I have not been willing to cross.

God, where have I failed to become more dependent on You

and less dependent on me?

God, is it possible to be drinking more from my own

self constructed, broken cisterns,

than from the limitless living waters You provide?

God, is this more than a terrible habit or is it a depleting state of sin?

I pant.

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Father in heaven

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Jesus used the words, “Father in heaven” to help us focus on not only God’s location but also His elevation.

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God is high above our worldly location.

God is above time.

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God is above space.

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Above all.

Above everything.

I recently read about an Old Welch teacher, Christmas Evans.

(What an awesome name.)

He use to call this kind of focus, “settling down with God”.

I like that term, “settling down with God”.

Just saying it brings comfort to my soul.

(It calls to my mind, being cuddled up in the middle of a

large white fluffy blanket and snuggling in for a rest.)

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Any way, Christmas Evans believed and taught

that when you get the right perspective of God,

only then can we have the right perspective

of man and earthly things.

The next time you enter into prayer,

“settle down in God”.

Remind yourself that He is God – The enough. (Genesis 17:1).

El-Shaddai has the resources to exceed our requirements.

When we get the divine perspective right,

the earthly things will fall into their right and proper focus.

God is high above our worldly location.

(But He is with you… right now)

God is above time.

(But He wants to share time with you)

God is above space.

(But He has also made “space” for you to be with Him)

Settle down…

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With His greatness.

 

 

Deer

The house was quiet.

It was early morning.

The sky was waking up.

The sky was waking up.

The sun was shooting out  it’s first beams

of light for the day on this side of the world.

I was the only one awake in the house.

I was in the kitchen, trying to be quiet, as I started to make

our morning cup of coffee.imagesCARMPT5M

I was at the sink.

Water running.

The window over the sink was open.

The morning breeze wafted the sound of song birds

as it blew in and touched my face.

Enjoying the peace of morning.

I got that feeling again…

like someone or something was staring at me.

(Read my blog called “Dove”)

I looked up and out the window to see

two beautiful young deer staring at me with

their big brown eyes. imagesCABG0Z7K

They were as still as they could be.

Not a muscle was moving.

As they cautiously continued to make eye contact with me,

 they soon realized that I meant them no harm.

They had been grazing,

(having their breakfast)

on the side of the hill just as the morning sun

had started to peek through the dense,

green, summer canopy of the trees.

Realizing that they were safe,

the two young does walked up the hill onto a path.

  They promptly went back to what

they had been doing…

Deer on path

eating.

As I watched them continue to walk and graze their way

up the  next phase of the hill,

I saw their back feet stepped precisely where

their front feet had just been.

Deer Hinds Feet

No other animal in God’s Kingdom has such a beautiful, dainty,

 secure and perfected coordination as a deer.

God offers us that same perfected coordination

to follow Him securely through life.

Psalm 18:33 tells us that, “He (God) makes my feet like that of a deer and sets me securely on the heights”.

If we choose to climb to those “higher palaces” with God,

don’t we need to have spiritually sound footing?

We must make up our mind to let nothing stand in our way

or distract us from allowing God to make our feet like

that of the hind feet of a deer.

These hind feet will allow us to climb to those

higher places with God.

We will be able to travel with not only

accuracy, speed and confidence;

but most importantly…

spiritual coordination

to always be on a

firm foundation.

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Climb.

 

Free

As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report,

all the believers lifted their voices together

in prayer to God:

“O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth,

the sea, and everything in them—

you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our

ancestor David, your servant, saying,

‘Why were the nations so angry?

Why did they waste their time with futile plans?

The kings of the earth prepared for battle;

the rulers gathered together

against the Lord

and against his Messiah.

“In fact, this has happened here in this very city!

For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united

against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed.

But everything they did was determined beforehand

according to your will.

And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us,

your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.

Stretch out your hand with healing power;

may miraculous signs and wonders be done

through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

After this prayer, the meeting place shook,

and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 4:24-31

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Man’s plan – futile things.

God’s hand and God’s plan – predestined to take place.

No one took Jesus’ life.

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 Not a Roman ruler.

 Not a Jewish High Priest.

Not a betraying, silver greedy apostle.

He lay it down to complete His (and His Father’s)

own supernatural and predestined plan

to give humankind the ultimate gift…

the eternal gift of salvation.

In John 10:17 Jesus says, “This is why the Father loves me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.”

“I lay it down on my own.”

A gift.

A free gift.

We don’t “have to” love God.

We don’t “have to” trust God.

We don’t even “have to” receive His gift of eternal salvation given to us through His Son Jesus Christ.

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But…

It should be an honor, privilege and blessing that we

“get to” love God, trust God

and receive His son,

Jesus’ precious blood stain gift…

with opened arms.

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Free.

Scars and stripes forever…FREE!

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Safe

imagesCAH45VJ5How often do we play it safe?

How often do we take the familiar path rather than

venture into unknown territory?

How often do we settle with “average” when something

much greater is at our fingertips?

In Judges 5:17, Asher remained at the seashore and

stayed in the harbors.

The same verse in a Moffatt translation reads, “Asher sat

still by the seaboard clinging to his creeks.

The commentary to this scripture says, Reuben stayed in Gilead beyond the Jordan with his sheep, and Dan remained in his ships making money jointly with the Kenites in their trade and commerce, and they also didn’t come and help in the battle.

The tribe of Asher stayed in their little houses by the sea shore, and continued in the safety behind his brothers. While all these other tribes were out making their money they were also using their varied excuses to keep from facing the enemy.

Why?

Because of their fear.

The NIV version reads, Asher remained on the coast

and stayed in his coves.

Why was Asher sitting by the seaboard?

Staying in coves?

Clinging to the creeks?

Fear.

Why did Asher not launch into the ocean,

plunge into the deep

and experience a great adventure?

Fear.

It looks like in the midst of the BIG

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Asher CHOSE to settle with the little.

Not letting go of the accustomed.

Not venturing off into the unaccustomed.

Regardless of the possibilities.

We could say that Asher is a “type” of today’s modern Christian.

The “type” of Christian who plays it safe and stays

securely in the rut. imagesCALBPPV3

Have we become a people who finish the race…

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by doing nothing and getting nowhere?

As God’s children, shouldn’t we be ocean-minded

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and not creek-minded?

Are we really fulfilled, victorious Christians while we try desperately to find inner security by clinging to those creek banks and staying in the coves (aka ruts) we have become so comfortable and familiar with?

Sometimes, God is waiting for us to step out in faith.

Stick a toe  into the River Jordan.

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Once we put our faith in Him into action…He graciously meets us where we are

and parts the waters for us to cross.

Joshua 3:7-17

Ever thought about how God created the turtle?

The turtle cannot go anywhere until he sticks his neck out.

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(Hmmm…maybe something that should be pondered?)

God created us for the BIG and we become restless with our littleness.

Try stepping away from the creek side and let your littleness sink into His “Big-ness”

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