BY GRACE…


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(Zentangle(R)-inspired art by yours truly!)

19 years ago, I gave my very own heart to Jesus Christ; In the spring of 2000, Christ came into my heart at just the right time: I had been living with my mother and stepfather at the time while had been living in Philadelphia (I now live in Dover, Delaware in the Felton area). I had been forced by my parents to go out on the street and panhandle for them, and I think that I do know the real reason why: My stepfather had been a heroin addict while my mother had been an alcoholic, vices that would soon contribute to their deaths, the former in 2011 and the latter a few years earlier, in 2004.
As the calendar changed from the 20th to 21st century in 2000, by that time I became very scared and becoming desperate in need of something that would help me pull through all the trials of life. That year, I had discovered a book called Power For Living, and this book explains how people have been saved while having a personal relationship with God through the blood of Jesus Christ; I read that book and began to feel that, well, if Jesus could save those people, then maybe He could surely save me. So I began to pray and ask the Lord God to forgive me of all my sins…
19 years later, I am still blessed for the fact that Jesus has saved me through the precious blood that He has shed on the cross. But recently, there are those in my family, especially my uncle and aunt, who have ultimately closed their ears, because, in my own heart, they really do not want to hear any of the Gospel of Jesus and instead want to go about their own lives in their own way. I really do not want for them to miss out on the most wonderfully blessed fact that, because He loves us and in order for Him to save each and every one of us all, God sent His only Son to pay the ultimate price of His life on the cross, so that all of us could be saved and have the most extravagant gift of all: Life eternal. 

Of course, there are times when Satan has tempted me to give up on my Christian faith as well as praying for my family; He somehow whispered in my mind that my family shall not ever change and that I should just give up. But God does not want me to; He whispers to me that no matter what, just keep on praying…Just be patient, and it shall happen. I am hoping for that day in which my family shall finally change and then repent of their sins shall come someday, if not very, very soon.
I am so very grateful that the Lord God has been at my side throughout good and bad times; In the next year, I shall be celebrating 20 years since I have given my heart to the One who paid the price on the cross for me, Christ Jesus. And He shall be with me always, “…even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, NLT) 

COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Have Faith in God”


Mark 11:15-17, 22-24

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“Your unfailing love will last forever…” (Psalm 89:2) (Illustration by Jenn Webster)

Today is Palm Sunday, the final Sunday of the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, thus beginning a week that is so very special for Christians like us: Holy Week, a very special week, one that commemorates the final week of Christ’s life; In that commemoration of that final week, the Son of our Heavenly Father would do something that nobody else in this whole, wide world could do: He took our place on the cross to be punished for us, to be whipped, beaten, suffer, and to die for us, so that every one of us could be saved through the blessed power of salvation that can only come from the precious blood that only the Lord Jesus Christ could ever shed for us.
     In the 11th chapter of the Gospel of Mark (NLT), shortly after making His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus entered in the Temple, and instead of seeing people praying, He sees people buying and selling things such as animals for sacrifices. So with that, Jesus completely drove out each and every person who had done this instead of praying; Afterward, Jesus said to the people, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations’, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
     Of course, shortly after what Jesus had done, leading priests and teachers of religious law began to plot how they would kill the Christ, but because the people became so amazed at His teaching, they became afraid of Him (Mark 11:18, NLT).

Later on, Christ Jesus said the following to His disciples: “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea’, and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
      Yes, Jesus simply told His disciples to just have faith in God; But what about you? Yes, you? Have you been having faith in yourself recently, only to have bad things come in your life, such as a job loss, a relationship breakup, or even a divorce? And have you also been trying to soothe those pains with nothing but vices such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, and even gambling? Do you so desperately need to have a change in your life?
     If so, then you are not alone-There are many other people just like you who ever so desperately need something that would change their lives for the very better, and do you want to know something else? I have some very wonderful news for you, in fact, Good News! In spite of all that you have gone through in your life, God loves you anyway, and He has finally found a way to save you from your darkness while showing His love for each and every one of you: In order to show His love for us, our Heavenly Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to take the place of a common criminal, allowing Himself to be forced to carry, to be beaten, to be whipped, and then to be nailed to, and then to suffer, bleed, and die on the cross for the payment of each and every one of our sins, both in the past and in the present.
     And then, three days later, our Lord God simply raised Jesus Christ from the dead and defeated death, then went out of that dark tomb, so that each one of us could very well have life eternal! Yes! Jesus died for YOU! Amen! My dearest friends, on this Palm Sunday, there is simply no greater gift than the gift of salvation that has been won for us by the precious blood that has been shed on the cross by Christ; This most precious gift is yours if you would only just fully accept it by repenting your sins and to ask Jesus to come into your heart.

 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17, NLT)
     So on this Palm Sunday, are you ready to accept the free gift of salvation that Christ has won for you on the cross? Then please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord God, Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner. I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for my sins, and that you have raised Him from the dead on the third day, defeating death as He went out of that cold, dark tomb, so that I could have eternal life. I ask that You please forgive me of all my sins and that you allow Your Son, Jesus Christ, to come into my heart, so that I could follow Him always as my personal Savior. Thank You so very much that Your Son sacrificed Himself to save me. In Jesus name. Amen.”
     If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then you are now a part of God’s Great, Big Family! And now that you have given your very own heart to Jesus Christ, the very next thing that you yourselves need to do would be to read God’s Word, the Holy Bible, each and every day of your life; And then, you must attend Sunday service at your church, not just on any Sunday, but each and every Sunday of your life, so that you can praise, worship, and to thank our Lord God for loving you and saving you by sending Jesus to die on the cross for you. I very much hope as well as pray that you would make the most important choice of your life by giving your heart to Jesus Christ, not just today on Palm Sunday, but every day, and always. I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time to read my message today, and that, Lord willing, next week I shall bring you a very special Easter message. Until then, may the Lord God ever so richly bless you.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

EASTER (An Essay)


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(Zentangle(R)-inspired illustration by Jenn Webster)

      On the 21st of April, we shall celebrate Easter; Easter is a time in which Christians such as myself shall celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ has defeated death when he has risen from the dead. For Christians such as myself, it is the most blessed time in all of the year in the calendar…
Easter is also a part of Spring, which happens to be a time of renewal; Babies of the human and animal kind are born, mental lives are to be straightened out, and we smell the most beautifully blessed flowers and fauna that the Lord God has ever given us and has blessed us with.
Easter is supposed to be a time to offer our praises to the One who has given His very own life so that we could be saved; However, there are those who have simply never taken the holiday very seriously and have used it to focus on other things…

      Things such as awaiting the arrival of the Easter Bunny to see what treats and goodies he has for them; Dyeing eggs to a most specific color imaginable…Going to Easter egg hunts while dressing to impress…
Yes, those things are fine and good, but have they forgotten about the real, true meaning of Easter? With the world the way it is as of right now, then I do believe that we need the real, true message of Easter just as much as now as ever before. Easter is not about the Easter Bunny-It is about the most blessed story of all time: The story of how our Lord God sent His only Son into earth to allow Himself to take our place on the cross and to die there, as the ultimate payment for sins, both in the past and in the present.
And do you want to know something else? The whole world should always honor the fact that we have been blessed by God through Jesus Christ, not just at Easter, but each and every day, 365 days a year.

      At Easter this year, I think that it is a very good time for you to introduce your children to the blessed tale of salvation; Read the entire Easter story, either in the Gospels of Luke, Matthew, or John in the Holy Bible, and then let those blessed words of the Lord enrich the minds of your children, so that they will know and understand the fact that God sent Jesus to die for their sins; And then, if the Lord is willing, then sometime soon your children shall learn to keep on reading the Bible and then they shall know how to do things the right way from this most blessed book.
That should be the most blessed Easter gift that you would ever give to your children.

COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Saved by Christ”


Ephesians 2:3-10

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“Those who live in the shadow of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1, NLT)

      Just about everyone has their behaviors in which they could not ever get rid of; There are those kinds of people who prefer to stay in the darkness. But if people stay in the darkness, then they would be so very much worse off than ever before, and that would be a bad thing, would it?
Just picture a neighbor who is trying to get another neighbor to stop drinking alcohol and to think about her children; But she refused, therefore angrily snapping at him to mind his own business. Then, the woman is arrested for neglecting her children because of her alcohol use…
Then, there is a man who has been in obesity for many years, and doctors have told him time and time again to straighten up, eat right, and lose weight. Then, the man still does not listen; Suddenly, he dies of a heart attack…

 You see, these are the very short examples of what could happen when people choose to remain living in the darkness; And with the fact that people choose to remain in the darkness, consequences happen. Now, suppose if you are a Christian, and that you try to get someone to listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Who took our place on the cross for our sins by dying, but that someone would not ever listen, because again, that person would rather remain in the darkness…Now, may I ask you this: Could that certain someone be you?
We are in the midst of the Lenten season; Soon, we shall be celebrating Holy Week, commemorating the final week of the life of Jesus Christ, the week that would lead into Good Friday, and then finally into Easter…You see, this season is a time to think about this: In spite of our sins, God loves us, and the only way for Him to save us and to bring us back to Himself was for Him to send His only Son, Christ Jesus, to Earth to fulfill the most perfect will of the Father: He took the place of a criminal on the cross, suffering, bleeding, and then dying for our sins; and then, three days later, our Heavenly Father raised His Son from the dead, defeating death as He went out of that cold, dark tomb, so that every one of us could very well have life eternal.
Now, when someone believes that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, then he or she has repented of their sins and asked Him to come into their hearts, so that they could have a blessed life free of sin, and free of living in the darkness.

      Just listen what the apostle Paul has to say in the 2nd chapter of Ephesians, v. 3-10(NLT): “All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
Paul has addressed something in which I think that every single person should know: Once we were lost in the darkness, so very full of our sins; But instead of deserving punishment, Jesus Christ took the punishment for us and nailed our sins to the cross, and that way, all of our debts shall be wiped clean!
My friends, are you yourselves living in that darkness right this very minute, a darkness that is filled with so much emotional pain and sorrow while being in a darkness that has you trapped by your sins? Then if so, there is the light-A very, special Light-the Light that comes from the Lord Himself, Jesus Christ! He is that Light, a Light in which can help you out of this darkness once and for all, and into a life that leads you to follow Him and to help you tell others about Him! All you have got to do is to repent of your sins, and ask Jesus to come into your heart-It’s that simple!

 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood.” (Romans 3:23-25, NLT)
And so my dearest friends, are you ready to come out of the darkness and into the wonderful light that is in the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ? Then I ask that you please pray this prayer with me: “Oh Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am a sinner. I believe that You have died on the cross for my sins, and have been raised from the dead by Your Father on the third day, defeating death so that I could have eternal life. I ask now that You please come into my heart, so that I could follow You always as my Savior. Thank You so very much for taking my place on the cross to save me. In Your most holy & blessed name. Amen.”
If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome YOU into the Family of God! Now, the very next thing for you to do now that you have given your heart to Jesus would be to read the Holy Bible, each and every day, and then, you must go to a good, Christian church, each and every Sunday, so that you can praise, worship, and thank our Heavenly Father for saving you from the darkness of your sins by sending His Son to die on the cross for your sins. I very much hope as well as pray that you make the most important decision of your lives by giving your heart to Christ Jesus today, for always. I would like to thank you for taking this most blessed time to read my message today. Until next time, may the Lord God bless you ever so richly.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Adam, Eve, and Lent”


Genesis 3

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“The LORD is King! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.” (Psalm 93:1, NLT) (Zentangle(R)-inspired illustration by Jenn Webster)

We are still into the Lenten season, a season in which Christians should put their focus on their faith, and the reason of why we have that faith in Jesus Christ in the first place, due to the fact that He has shed His blood for each and every one of us? Well, that is supposed to be the focus of Lent to begin with: to put our focusing minds on the fact that, because God loves us so very much that He has found a way to save us while showing that He loves us, has sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to take our place as punishment for our sins, dying on the cross at a certain place called Calvary, and then has been risen from the dead on the third day, defeating death when He went out of that cold, dark tomb, so that each of us could very well have life eternal.
     Yes, it is because of that sacrificial love that God had for us in which our freedom has been purchased with Christ’s blood on the cross that Lent should be a time to focus on the fact that we have been saved, and that we should share that Gospel with others. Now, there happens to be another reason why we should focus on the Lord God during Lent: Our very first parents, Adam and Eve, have tried their darndest to follow the Lord God’s orders; What happened next is explained in the third chapter of Genesis 3(NLT); the devil, in the form of a serpent, asked Eve if God really said she must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden, and Eve replied that it is only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden and that they must not eat it or even touch it, because if they do, they shall surely die. 

     Of course, the serpent became such a liar, because he is, after all, the father of lies; He lied to Eve and told her, “You won’t die…God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Eve then began to believe his trickery, and then she ate the fruit, and then later gave some to her husband; And then, you know what happens next-God learned of Adam and Eve’s sin, and then He cursed the ground as well as the serpent, and then He banished Adam and Eve from that garden called Eden, then later experiencing pain, suffering, and toil…

My friends, that was how sin had been brought into the world by Adam & Eve; who disobeyed God, thus they both have sinned; However, we would end up in this dark world of sin forever had it not been for the fact that God offered us something that would save every one of us, and to bring us back to Himself. That something is Jesus Christ. “(Jesus) humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8) That means that Jesus took the place of a criminal and died in the criminal’s place, thus while shedding His blood to wash our souls clean of sin, and to save us from the brutal punishment that we otherwise deserve. “(Jesus) canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing into the cross.” (Colossians 2:14) that means that Jesus canceled our debts for us on the cross, so that, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there.” (Galatians 5:24) So it is with that that when Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sins, He has saved you from the ultimate punishment because He has nailed all of your sinful nature in your past on the cross! My friends, this season of Lent is the perfect time to rethink your life and to make the most ultimate decision of all: Giving your very own heart to Jesus Christ!
     Now, those of you who have just started to read this message just now have been going through the most painful times in your life right now, things such as a loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a divorce, a relationship breakup, or any other such crisis, and that you have been trying to soothe those pains with every kind of vice imaginable: Drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, etc.; Let me tell you something: Those things may be temporary, but they do not ever make you happy, and instead only bring you as much more misery and pain as before!

My dearest friends, if you want to really be truly happy, then I suggest that you do not look any further than the cross of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because He is the only One who saves you, and how does he save you? By allowing Himself to be whipped, beaten, then forced to carry, and then nailed to, suffering, bleeding, and then dying on the cross and then rose again from the dead three days later to save YOU from your sins! There is no better time to reach out your heart to Jesus Christ than right now! This Lenten season, won’t you reach out to Christ?

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17)
     So, are you ready to ask the Lord God to repent, and to ask His Son to come into your heart? You can do this right now-Please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord God, I admit that I am a poor, miserable sinner. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for me, and that You have raised Him from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I could very well have eternal life. I ask now that You please forgive me of my sins, and have Your Son to come into my heart, and to follow Him always as my personal Savior. I thank You so very much from the bottom of my heart for allowing You Son to sacrifice Himself to save me. In His name. Amen.”
     If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome YOU into God’s Great, Big Family! Now, the very next thing that you need to do now that you have given your heart to Jesus Christ would be to read the Holy Bible, God’s Most Blessed Word, each and every day of your life. And then, when you need to praise, worship, and to thank our Lord for sending His Son to die for you, then I very well suggest that you go to a good, Christian church each and every Sunday of your life, and when you can, try and visit the mid-week services at church too. I very much hope that you would make this most blessed choice of all time by following Christ Jesus today, for always. I would very much like to thank you all for reading my message today; Until the very next time, may the Lord God ever so richly bless you.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “God’s Appeal”


2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

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“Because of Your unfailing love, I can enter Your house; I will worship at Your temple with deepest awe.” (Psalm 5:7, NLT)

Two weeks ago, the season of Lent began with Ash Wednesday; Now I would very much like to state that the season of Lent is not about giving up things like chocolate, coffee, shopping, or any other unreasonable thing such as those. The season of Lent is a time when we, as Christians, should re-focus on the One who took our place as the payment for our punishment for our sins, Jesus Christ, the Son of the one true God, a God Who felt that He loves us so very much and thought that the only way to show His unending love for us while at the same time saving us was that He had sent His only Son to take our place and died on the cross for all of us. Yes, we are sinners, but God loves us anyway, so He shows the fact that He loves us anyway by sending Jesus to die to save us, and by inviting us to repent of our sins because of Jesus’ blood shed for us on the cross. Jesus is the best, period!
Our Heavenly Father is making this Lenten season appeal for us, especially you, to come right back to God through the blood of Christ Jesus; In 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10(NLT), the apostle Paul makes this statement so very clear: “God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ For God made Christ, Who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ…As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.”
“We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us imposters. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

What Paul had just addressed is true: As Christians, we are the ambassadors of Christ, and we have been assigned to send His message of the Gospel to those who have yet to hear of it and be saved; Once we have trusted in our Lord Jesus Christ, then we make the life-changing exchange: He takes all our sins and then make us right with God. At His crucifixion, our sins have been laid on Jesus, while His righteousness has been given to us at our conversion. Our Heavenly Father offers this gift of salvation to each and every one of us, not just me and you; However, there are those who just simply ignore His Word and put off the decision to follow Christ Jesus, thinking that they would wait until a much later time, but unfortunately, they can miss this glorious opportunity altogether, and worse, once the day of judgment comes, it would all be too late for them to repent!
My dearest friends, if you have been embattling your sins for so many years while you have been depressed by the bad events in your own life and have been wanting to look for something that would make your life all the while, then there is no better time than right this very now to receive the forgiveness of God through the precious blood shed on the cross by our Lord and Savior, as well as God’s Son, Jesus Christ-Please do not let anything hold you back from repenting of your sins and by coming to Christ Jesus! The very right time to repent is right now!
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He makes sinners right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26, NLT)

     And so, with that said my friends, are you ready to receive that most blessed gift of all, the gift of salvation that has been won for us by the precious blood that has been shed for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Then please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I believe that You have died on the cross and have shed Your blood for my sins, and have been raised from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I could have eternal life. I repent of my sins because of You, and ask that You please come into my heart, and let me follow You always as my personal Savior. I thank You so very much for making the ultimate sacrifice of Yourself to save me. In Your most holy and blessed name. Amen.”
If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome you into the Family of God! Now, the very next thing that you need to do now that you are officially a follower of Christ would be to read God’s Word, the Holy Bible, each and every day, and then go to a good, Christian church, each and every Sunday of your life, so that you could praise, worship, and thank our Father for sending His Son to make the ultimate sacrifice for you. I very much hope as well as pray that you would make this most important choice of your life in following Jesus Christ today, for always. I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time to read this message this week. Until next week, Lord willing, may God ever so richly bless you.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.