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Devotional-Be Alert!

1 Peter 5:8-9

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

There are many voices in the world screaming their agendas and beliefs, all trying to get us to ‘jump on their bandwagon’ and stand with them in their ‘truth’. This is a very dangerous game that people all over the world are playing. Right now it is beginning to get very difficult to speak of real truth– the absolute truth— the truth in God’s word.

In the current time we are in when you stand on the truths in the Bible, people in the world begin to persecute you and begin to exercise the newest trend of ‘cancel culture’. Basically this is a ‘if you do not believe the way I do and do not stand up for what I believe to be truth’ you are labeled a fascist, intolerant, hateful, racist, and a whole slew more of not so pleasant labels.

The Bible warns us of such behavior that in the end days the world will not know the truth and they will except lies for truth and begin to worship the antichrist.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2 Timothy 4:3-4

With all the fairly recent laws that have been passed we can see 2 Timothy 4 playing out in front of our eyes. For instance, marriage is a covenant that God created for a man and woman to become one. The Bible has a lot to say about marriage and its divine purpose for being created. However, the world is morphing the true purpose of marriage, eliminating the divine purpose of God and the facts on what marriage TRULY is.

Another example would be our leaders trying to remove God out of everything– the pledge of allegiance, prayer isn’t allowed in schools, the talk of removing God off of our currency, and the list could go on. The Bible warns us about turning from the ways of the Lord for our own selfish desires and that is exactly what our nation is doing.

28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.
Jeremiah 7:28

The light and truth in God’s word is being snuffed out by the evil, prideful, and selfish ways of the current generations in the world. It has morphed from being about what is good and right to what makes one ‘feel good and feel accepted’.

The problem with this is that the world is teaching us all the wrong ways to achieve self happiness and self worth when in fact neither have to do with us. Our actions or feelings are not what leaves us feeling fulfilled. God created us and the ONLY way to feel complete, worthy, and accepted is to understand who we are in Him and NOT what the world says.

19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:19

The darkness in the world is attempting to fully overtake the light, but we do not have to fear or worry God is in control and knows exactly what is happening. Remain steadfast in the faith and stand upon the rock of Jesus in truth and God will ALWAYS protect and lead the way.

Be alert when reading ‘news’ stories on social media or listening to them via a news station, ask God for discernment to know what is truth and what is a lie, and be on guard to not quickly fall into the ways of the world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being the voice of truth and the light in a world full of deceit and darkness. I confess that there are times I do not use discernment and quickly fall into the trap of lies the world has to offer; Lord forgive me. I pray that each person that reads this will have an open heart and mind to receive Your message. God it is You who gives me these words and I pray each person would hear what You want them to and receive the message they need to hear through this article. I pray we would all be alert and on guard so that when the enemy attempts to deceive us we are ready to put him in his place. I pray you give us all the courage, strength, and wisdom to follow Your Truth above all else. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- New Year, New Beginnings

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The new year has finally arrived and many of us are hoping for a better year then 2020. The new year seems to be the time people choose to make an effort to change something in their life. New year resolutions for things like weight loss, to stop smoking, eating healthier, to exercise and so on.

However most of these new years resolutions do not make it passed a week or so. This is likely because people are trying to make these changes within their own will power; which rarely ever works. The Bible tells us that without God we can do nothing, but with God we will bear much fruit. With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

John 15:5-7 NKJV

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

This year I want to encourage each of you to make changes that will last. Make changes that will bear great fruit and lead you to a deeper connection with God.

The Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior that we become new creations in Him. The old passes away and all things are made new. In God we get a fresh start, a blank slate, and new beginnings.

Are you ready for a new year– new you?

God is waiting for you. Change is inevitable; the changes could be bad or good. However, even the bad changes have purpose in our life; they help us to grow and mold us into who we are.

Change is meant to polish you to make you shine brighter

When we make the ultimate, radical change and choose life over death, committing our lives to God and His kingdom we are made new in His image. His word tells us to forget the old things and focus on what God is doing in our life currently. Explaining that He can make ways when there seems to be no way.

Isaiah 43: 18-19 NKJV

18 “Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Change can be scary and uncomfortable when we are going through it, however God reminds us that His plans are for us are good and prosperous; they are meant to give us hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Often times when we choose to hand our life over to God; to renew our minds and save ourselves from our own sinful destruction; we will notice we will lose things from our former self. Things such as friends, family members, habits, and more, but God promises that He will replace these things with something far better.

The story of Job is a perfect example of this. He lost his health, his wealth, and all of his children died, but he kept his faith in God. Guess what?!? When the trial was over God blessed Job with far more than he had before.

Job 42:12 NKJV

12 Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.

This year make the ultimate change and commit your life to God. If you seek Him above all else, He will guide your path and bless your life.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

Matthew 6:33 NKJV

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your safety and protection throughout last year. Lord, although 2020 was full of uncertainties there is still a lot to be thankful for and I am truly blessed by Your mighty hand.

Lord a new year is upon us which means new obstacles, new trials, and many many new blessings. I pray that as we kick off the new year that as a nation we would dedicate our lives and future to You. That we would relay solely on Your guidance, direction, and protection. I pray as we walk through each day we would live a bold and courageous life for You.

I pray those that are lost would seek You and commit their lives to You; accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that You would remind us that change is not always easy but it is necessary to live a fulfilling and prosperous life. I pray that Your will be done in each of our lives in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- The Weeping Prophet

In our culture, we often hear ‘big boys/girls don’t cry’. This may be well-intended advice to try to toughen our children up for the challenges they will face throughout life, but it teaches them that their emotions are a sign of weakness and they should repress them.

In Jeremiah 9 you will see that Jeremiah expressed his feelings clearly and loudly. His expressions of anger and grief teach us lessons about our emotions and ways that we can communicate with God.

Jeremiah knew when to cry, he was known as the ‘weeping prophet’. He preached the message of judgement, cried and mourned for the people of God, and allowed his words to come from a place of compassion.

Jeremiah’s message offers us a great example of balancing God’s compassion and God’s character. Even God’s harshest truth is never void of His love. God directed us to love the sinner and condemn the sin.

Jeremiah offers us a view of his intimate relationship with God. He never left out the raw feelings of hurt, anger, or doubt and he did not worry that his feelings would somehow offend God. Jeremiah was in touch and aware of his feelings which made him sensitive to God’s expression of disappointment and sadness.

Jeremiah made it a point to pray and express his feelings to God, especially when he did not feel like praying at all. We can pray and express our feelings to God in the same way. Ask yourself if you are being open and honest about your feelings when you pray or do you tell God what you think he wants to hear?

Openness and honesty with our feelings and needs are essential for a healthy emotional life. The more we learn to communicate with God, the more we will be open to the Holy Spirit, sensitive to His corrections, and we will grow in compassion for those in the world.

Read Lamentations 3:22-25

Emotions are strange and feelings come and go. Sometimes we feel like we can conquer the world, other times we feel as if the world has conquered us. How are we suppose to control the surges of emotion we feel? How do we hold on to our faith in God when our emotions are up and down?

Those that have a relationship with God can count on Him in every area of their life. God will help us exercise self-control over our emotions– if we ask Him and put our trust in Him.

God will not give us more than we can handle with His help

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it

God’s mercy and compassion is new every morning

Lamentations 3:22-23 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

When life’s circumstances begin to overwhelm you- wait quietly for the Lord’s help

Lamentations 3:25-26 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. 26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your patience and forgiveness. Thank you for giving us your word to guide our paths and teach us what is right. Lord thank you for allowing us to come to you with our pure raw emotions, allowing us to express our feelings and frustrations to you. I pray that each person would hear Your message and take from it what You are trying to show them. Help us all to remain strong in our faith through life’s many storms. Lord, help us to be like Jeremiah aware of our emotions and seeking to know God’s heart. Remind us it is okay to weep when we need to weep, and that Your glory and mercy are new every morning. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

Learning to rest in the Lord

Learning to pick and choose our battles wisely is not an easy task to do- but it is possible! Every household runs differently and our home lives vary greatly. Some households are constantly on the move, have high stress levels, and often consist of bickering- resulting in total exhaustion daily. While other households look very different- peaceful through the times of high stress, making a priority of time for family, and not bickering over the “little things” in life. Accepting the unknown and living in peace while waiting for God to fulfill His purpose.

As humans we are often high strung, stressed out, and always “busy” with what is happening in life- often times- neglecting the things that matter most- God, Family, and Peace. These things should be the ultimate priorities- the ones at the top of our list- to ensure we our living a joyful and prosperous life.

Have you ever heard the saying you need to stop and smell the flowers? This is often said to someone you are trying to tell to “slow down” and enjoy the little things in life. The smallest things can be the most beautiful experiences and memories. Things we will cherish for years to come.

So how do we do this? To find peace you need to know the author of peace- God.

Then you need to build your relationship with Jesus and learn what the word of God (the Bible) says about each area in your life that you struggle with.

Resting in the Lord begins with learning to trust in the Lord. True peace and rest comes when you seek God above all else. Looking to Him for guidance and direction. Accepting His peace, that surpasses all understanding- knowing that we are not in control-He is. If we trust in the Lord with all our heart and all our might- He will always bring us through, be our strength and our refuge in the storm.

In order for someone to enter in to true rest with God they have to know He is trustworthy and reliable. God is on our side- He has a plan to help us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.

Once trust is established and one accepts and acknowledges Christ as their Savior- He begins to renew us and strengthen us through Him. This enables one to not fret or grow weary in doing good and waiting on the Lord’s will to be fulfilled.

God’s will is ALWAYS GOOD. Once we put our trust into Him- resting in His promises begins to come easier as we seek Him. Knowing and trusting that in His perfect timing we will reap what He has promised us.

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 62:8

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.


Do you want more on Learning to Trust God?

Check out the Motivational Monday Video on Trusting God

Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

God Never Fails

Have you ever felt like you have prayed and prayed about something and it just seems as if God is not hearing you? Maybe you feel like God is just ignoring you–He is mad at you– or worse, He is punishing you. I want to assure you today that God is NOT mad at you and He is definitely not punishing you. This is a common misbelief about God and His character–a straight lie from the devil himself, to keep you shackled in worthlessness, fear, anxiety, doubt, and disbelief. Satan uses many different lies to attack our minds– to entrap us in our feelings and to keep us focused on the negative.

God is one of Mercy, Forgiveness, and Unconditional Love. He is the answer– not the problem. He is the head–not the tail. He is the King of all Kings. God never fails.

How can I boldly proclaim “God NEVER Fails!”?

Here are 5 evidential reasons with scriptures from the Bible to show You are Loved and God will never fail you!

God chose you before you were born!

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

God made each of us- individually- for a specific purpose in the world. Jeremiah shows us that He has ordained (appointed) us and sanctified (set apart as or declare holy; free from sin; purify) us BEFORE we were even born. We each have a purpose that God wants to see through. Why would He fail us- when He designed us? He doesn’t. He desires we live for the purpose He created us for. He desires to fellowship with us–to grow closer in a relationship–as the good good Father, that He is.

1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

God doesn’t lie.

Numbers 23:19
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

God is not of this world-He is not human. Though people in the world may let you down- God will not. God is one who makes promises and KEEPS them. The world is full of sin, pain, darkness, and hate- it should come as no surprise that in a broken world- it is broken promise, after broken promise. People are not perfect- no matter how hard they try or want to be. Guaranteed every single person has broken a promise to someone-probably more than once. It may not be intentional but things happen-life happens.

BUT GOD- is a promise keeper! He has an untouchable track record and will always work things for the good to those who love Him.

God will never abandon you!

Though you walk through deep waters- experience seasons of turmoil and heartache-push through periods of darkness and struggle- You are NOT alone. God did not promise us we would not have troubles- in fact, He told us just the opposite. The Bible tells us in the world we will have troubles but we can still be at peace- remain happy- and rejoice- for He has overcome the world.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

God is near to the broken hearted (Ps. 34:18)-He hears our cries for help(Ps. 34:17) and sees every tear(Ps. 56:8). God promises He will never leave you or forsake you(Deut. 31:6)- He will be your refuge in the storm(Ps. 46:1)- He will hide you in His secret place and protect you from the enemy (Ps. 91).

God is our provider.

In the busy world we live in, often times we get lost in the game of cat and mouse. Chasing the next best thing- chasing the life of “success”- trying to build a life that says “I did it.” The life I am talking about looks a lot like this:

high paying job, new car(s),new home (often far larger then what is truly necessary), name brand clothing, all the newest technology on the market , etc.

This is what “success” looks like in the eyes of the world. Becoming too “busy” trying to self-serve and provide the things we want– in our way– in our timing. We are a society of impatience and pride. Which often robs us of our true purpose in life– to laugh, love, be fruitful and enjoy life-casting our cares upon God.

Don’t get me wrong- all of these things are nice to have and if we are blessed enough to have them- we should enjoy them. I am not saying you shouldn’t have nice things or desire to have nice things in life-BUT I am saying not to get so lost in chasing the material things that your never take time to rest and enjoy life.

Often times when we are caught up in chasing our career or the next best thing– other areas in our life get neglected. It’s usually the one’s that really should be priority- like our relationship with God- our spouse- our children. Satan has so many people falling into his trap and believing this big lie-

Money and Material Possessions = Success & Happiness

The Bible warns us in Mark 8:36-37 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

One excuse I hear from people as to why they don’t seek God or make time for a relationship with Him is — they just don’t have time– or they simply have some other need they find a priority over God.

I think it is safe to say our society as a whole are worriers. Stress-Anxiety-Depression are at all time highs. We tend to worry about what we will eat, drink, wear, where we will sleep and so on. God does not want us to waste our time worrying. He wants us to pray- seek Him- and cast our cares on Him.

1 Peter 5:7
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

God will supply our every need. He created everything- He knows what we need before we even ask.

Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

God will provide your every need- it may not be what you want, how you want it, or when you want it. But He always provides what we need when we need it. The Bible tells us His timing is perfect- never early, never late.

His strength is made perfect in our weakness– He provides every need physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The Bible shows us throughout the scripture that God is our provider- our comforter- our counselor- our helper- our healer, our refuge from the storm, our redeemer- our protector- our strength- our hope-our joy- the rock of our salvation- our Savior- our Father- our all in all. God is love.

God never changes.

We live in a world where change comes just as sure as the sun will rise. Though our world is always evolving- always changing. One thing remains the same and always will– Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and forevermore. Which means- the same Jesus that healed the blind and deaf- that rose the dead- that split the sea and walked on water- is still alive and still doing miracles today!

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Malachi 3:6
“For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

Society often tries to make it seem as if God is no longer relevant. That “times” have changed- the world has evolved- and there is no place for God. The enemy wants us to believe this-as a way to excuse our sinful behavior and make us feel better about doing things against God’s will- to keep us distracted from all of the blessings He gives us daily.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

The world today will twist and turn scripture to make it fit what they want it to mean–take things out of context– or even leave some parts out all together. Yet, the truth remains God’s word and God’s character never changes and never fails.

Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.


Are you stuck feeling like nothing is ever going to change? Do you feel like life has dealt you nothing but problems and misfortune? Are you ready to change your future and live a happy and fulfilling life? Perhaps you would like my book Change Your Focus Change Your Future: Positive and Negative Mindsets. Take a journey with me and discover how your thought patterns could be hindering you from living the life God intended for you. Discover how to shift your focus from the negative to the positive and fuel your future with powerful, purposeful thoughts.

Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

Invest in your eternity: Make the dash count

The day my life changed and I truly started enjoying life, was when I realized that I was NOT living a life that counted. I woke up each day just to go through the motions. I was not enjoying my life, in fact I didn’t even like my life. I was miserable. I lived to please everyone besides God and myself. I did this for years! Not just with family but significant others and friends too! Everyone and everything came before God and my own well being. This led to being used, abused, and all around taken advantage of. I was a people pleaser and lived for the acceptance and love of others.

I felt as if my value came from others as if pleasing them was the only way I was “happy” with myself. After years of disappoinment, hurt, and the feeling of utter failure, I began to accept that some people will NEVER be pleased. My value and worth does not come from them but from God. He created us each differently with a purpose and plan in mind. We are all wonderfully and perfectly made with our own gifts, trials, and triumphs!

Just as we have a birth certificate we also will have a death certificate. On our headstone there will be a birthdate and a death date along with a little dash in between- the dash is what it is all about. The dash represents the life you lived while on Earth, the dash is what people remember about you and your life, and most importantly what God holds you accountable for.

Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

Life is but a mist, a fast runner, a breath, a wisp of smoke, a shadow, here today gone tomorrow — these are all metaphors used to describe life in the Bible. Think about that for a minute, let it really sink in, our days are numbered and our time on Earth is limited. We have to understand and accept that some day we are going to die and it’s the choices and life we live during our time here that counts.

Knowing and accepting our time here is limited causes us to examine and alter what our actual priorites are. Knowing the end of something is coming, changes how we approach what is happening in the present. In a way we are all terminal once we are born but if we choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we have eternal life- not here on Earth- but in Heaven. Now that is something to be excited about!

We need to be thinking more about eternity now- I mean afterall we will spend more time there then our short lived life here on Earth. Our residency on Earth is temporary- what happens after we die is eternal.

1 Peter 1:17- If you address as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in [reverent] fear [of Him] and with profound respect for Him throughout the time of your stay on earth.

Things in this world are temporary and can never truly fulfill us. A realtionship with Jesus will, you will find peace beyond understanding, find joy in each day, and learn to love the life you live as you fulfill your purpose. Celebrate each day as the gift it is from God. Wake up believing it is imporant to live today and that there will never be another day like today.

Being “full of the world” is where waking up stressed out, overwhelmed, worried, and full of anxiety comes from. Because we are human- we often try to control cirumtances that are out of our control. We should be handing over each need, worry, and situation to God.

As we begin to invest our time into forming a realtionship with God, we will begin to feel and see the changes in our life. God isn’t in the business of knocking you out and waking you up changed. As if it were some surgery being performed. He is more the- here is the anestisia- enough to get you through but you are still awake and aware of what is happening. In fact, it is a process that you have to continually agree to as if you are “signing off” as you go. Everything in life is based on the freedom of choice.

We should be living a life with a sense of urgency. The word someday is so damaging as it robs us of today. Someday I will go to church. Someday I will finish school. Someday I will chase that dream. Why not today? We should have a set of priorities that help us stay on track and know where to properly invest our time. We need not live in a “frantic life” but one that is properly prioritized to ensure a happy, healthy, and eternally beneficial. We often hear the phrase Invest in your future- I encourage you to think deeper and invest in your eternity.

Your enemy- the devil- may know he can’t make you do “bad things” but he can make you “busy” with a set of mixed up priorities and a “someday” attitude. Causing you to be too busy to think about eternity.

I ask you today are you living a life you love? A purposeful, joyful, fulfilling life- one that you will be proud to stand before our Lord and Savior and take accountability for? Are you making your time on Earth count?

We are not designed or intended to live in shame, worry, anxiety, or fear. I encourage you to evaulate your priorities and make time for a realtionship with God. Seek Him above all things, look to Him for direction, wisdom, and clarity, ask God to provide your needs and desires. Find your purpose and make “the dash” of life count!

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- December 20, 2017

Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- October 2, 2016

Jeremiah 12:17- “But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation.” says the Lord.

 

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- August 8, 2016

Jeremiah 17:7- “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.”