JREnsey blog September 2012

Welcome to the September blog. Please proceed with an open mind.

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Let’s start with a quote from the inimitable Thomas Jefferson: “For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”

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 I’ve had it with “hate”

 The word “hate” is now being plastered on virtually every page of our newspapers, spewed from every news outlet, and bull-horned from every political demonstration. If you don’t agree with some liberal’s political position, you are a “hater.”

Simply because the CEO of Chik-fil-A prefers to stand for traditional marriage in this country, he is called a “hater.” Because Congresswoman Michelle Bachman called for an investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood and its influence within the United States government, she is accused of hate. If preachers express opinions that line up with the Scriptures, it is called “hate speech.”

If we disagree with the President, we are haters. When his legions of blind followers condemn us in the harshest ways, I suppose it is all in “love.”

This is just more evidence of how upside down our world has become.

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God doesn’t hate gays

We are all aware of the Baptist church in Kansas that pickets soldiers’ funerals, and whose members, including the children, carry signs saying “God hates fags!” and similar slogans. That is repulsive and that attitude is a wart on the nose of Christianity.

A Provo, Utah, resident was in for a surprise when she was driving home from work and noticed a construction sign flashing with a curious —and offensive—message. “God Hates Gays,” it read, causing a woman to stop, capture the sign on camera, and post it on youtube. Employees from the Utah Department of Transportation, the City of Provo, the Provo Police Department and the Utah Highway Patrol all expressed shock and seemed to be hearing about the incident for the first time. It was established that the message was appearing on the I-15 corridor project, not far from Brigham Young University.

God doesn’t hate gays, nor do we. God hates what gays do, but He doesn’t hate gays. Jesus died for them. He loves everyone in the world that much (John 3:16). When we come to God and our senses, all of us—gays and straights alike—are called upon to repent: “God…commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:30,31).

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The last sin

I really don’t remember whether I heard someone say it, or read it somewhere—that the only sin left is judgmentalism. But it makes a point. All the rest have been discarded or relabeled by professional hypocrites. In our culture, we can’t call anything sin but judgmentalism. Think about it. That way, everyone can feel good about themselves. No sin, no guilt. What is happening to Christianity in America?

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From Ronald’s Reagan’s Collection of Quotations

 Sydney Harris: “One way to distinguish truth from all its counterfeits is by its modesty: truth demands only to be heard among others while its counterfeits demand that others be silenced.”  p. 150

“Anyone who thinks he’s going to be happy and prosperous by letting government take care of him should take a good look at the American Indian.”  p. 223

“Prosperity is something created by businessmen for politicians to take credit for.”  p. 227

“Inflation—that’s the price we pay for those government benefits everybody thought were free.”  p. 22

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Is the President America’s Pastor-in-Chief?

This is a question floating around the presidential campaigns and even in the Christian journals. It seems an irrelevant question until one looks at the facts. If you want to take the time, check out Judd Birdsall’s article by that title in the current issue of Christianity Today, keeping in mind that CT is not the bastion of conservative journalism.

The real question facing us seems to be: would we rather have a Muslim who claims some aspects of Christianity, or a Mormon who embraces some aspects of Christianity? Which of the entities—Islam or Mormonism—constitute the greatest danger to America? Romney was governor of Massachusetts for several years. Did he attempt to impose Mormon religious doctrines on the populace? I am not aware of any claims to that effect.

On the other hand, the present president has favored Islam—as much a form of government as a religion—at every turn of his presidency. He has backed off from traditional support of Israel, and has encouraged those who want to rid America of every vestige of Christianity in public life. His brand of Christianity is centered around Liberation Theology—for him, an extension of his socialistic political views.

The president is not the Pastor-in-Chief. However, his religious values will inevitably have an impact of our culture. Everyone must vote his conscience, but our conscience must look down the road at the future of our nation, our children, and our church.

PS – In a 2010 Pew Survey, Mormons scored highest on overall religious knowledge, followed by white evangelical Protestants, atheists and agnostics, black Protestants, and Jews. White mainline Protestants and Catholics scored the lowest.

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Windows vs. Ford

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

It is reported that at a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating:

If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash…twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive—but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.

I love the next one !!!

7. The airbag system would ask, “Are you sure?” before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

PS – I’d like to add that when all else fails, you could call “customer service” in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself !!

 - Anonymous

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 The folly of disarming the victims of crime

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither 
inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . . Such laws make things worse for
 the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage 
than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater
 confidence than an armed man.”

–Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794), On Crimes and Punishment, chapter 40

An even more frightening quote is from Adolph Hitler in 1933: “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.”

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The wall that Nehemiah built

Archaeologists continue to unearth biblical history in the Mideast. I never cease to be amazed at the accuracy of the Scriptures in describing that which could only have been known by someone who was there and recorded it, or was supernaturally revealed to someone hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Ongoing archaeology has uncovered the remains of the wall, the building of which is described in detail in the Book of Nehemiah.

At the top of the eastern ridge of the City of David (shown above right), Nehemiah and the returned exiles built a new city wall. Although they simply repaired the pre-existing walls elsewhere in the city, the wall just above the steep Kidron Valley was too damaged and too difficult to mend. So they relocated the eastern wall higher up the slope and, according to author Eilat Mazar, built it directly on top of a ruined wall of King David’s palace (also known as the Large Stone Structure) and its massive rampart (known as the Stepped Stone Structure). – Zev Radovan

An interesting article, which appeared in the Mar-Apr 2009 Biblical Archaeological Review, about the wall that Nehemiah built may be read online at http://members.bib-arch.org/publication.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=35&Issue=2&ArticleID=7

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Incarnational ministry—it’s all in the definition

In the wake of the kingdom now/dominion theology/emergent waves washing over evangelicalism, comes a new buzz word for our theological dictionaries: “Incarnational.” When you hear this word used, it has a pleasant, appealing sound. Perhaps that is because most do not know the theories and ideas behind it. When certain people use the word, popular in Emergent Movement circles, they likely have ecclesiastical triumphalism in mind, not God being manifested in the flesh. Just as Christ was God incarnate to the Jewish culture of 2000 years ago, the church is divinity incarnate to our current culture. We are “little Christs.” The term fits into the scheme of the church conquering the “seven mountains” of modern culture.

Here is a definition of missional incarnation contained in an online article by Steve Griffiths: “God took the initiative in assuming cultural identity through Christ and so we are to take the initiative in developing ministerial and ecclesiological forms that identify with the shifting patterns of contemporary society. It is no longer enough to assume that the world will come to us. It is no longer enough to assume that we should go to the world. The Emerging Church Movement is concerned to blur—even dismantle—the distinctions between ‘us’ and ‘them’ in an honest endeavor to present a Christ for today. This is no mere intellectual exercise. It is not enough to think as ‘they’ do: the Church must actively choose to operate beyond its own boundaries—beyond the safety of its own walls—in order to be fully incarnational.”

In other words, there should be no distance between the church and world. Thus integrated, Christians would not distinguishable from anyone else. I can immediately think of a dozen scriptures that this concept negates. But who cares about the Word?

Such rhetoric appeals to those whose Athenian thirst for “some new thing” (Acts 17:21) is never slaked.

Some users of the term tend to be preterists or partial preterists, influenced by reformed theology. To them, the “Rapture” as preliminary to the Second Coming of Christ to the earth is a myth. They tend to spiritualize the tribulation or assign its elements to some date in history. To them there is no Millennium, no thousand years of Christ’s reign (Revelation 20:1-4). No second resurrection. No judgment seat of Christ. No Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Those are merely symbolic. It is interesting that you can find a host of words together in one paragraph or article. Words like post-millennialism, preterism, Seven Mountains, New Apostolic Reformation, Dominionism, Emergent, missional, incarnational, kingdom gospel, cultural renewal show up together since they are used by many of the same people. (See links below.)

We have to be extremely wary of the adversary’s attempts to sow seeds of strange doctrines among us. Hindsight is 20-20 and many can see where past religious fads and “doctrines of the month” have led those willing to sacrifice all for a few minutes of avant-garde exposure.

Here is a link to an article that may be helpful on this topic:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/july-august/the-problem-with-incarnational-ministry.html?utm_source=ctweekly-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=11268130&utm_content=132897363&utm_campaign=2012

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=7453

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-tube/play.php?id=cwnVideo-4433

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And they criticize us for drawing a line on apparel?

Teachers in some schools in Arizona, Kansas and New York have taken a stand on certain apparel and practices for teachers. A USA Today story by Y. Abutaleb states that an Arizona school district has banned “outlandish hairstyles or facial piercings, and tattoos have to be covered up.” In New York’s PS 64, jeans are an absolute no-no. In other districts, skinny straps are banned on female teachers. Tank top straps have to be at least two inches wide.

Thinking people know in their hearts that what we try to keep off our platforms and active rolls makes sense, as well as complying with the principles of Scripture. Do not be afraid, brethren, of drawing a line and implementing a ban on ungodly attire on all our platforms.

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Does it make any difference what we wear to church?

Those who initiated the “casual look” for Apostolic congregations were Pied Pipers who led numbers of our young pastors to start sporting jeans, tennis shoes, and hung out shirts for church. Suit and tie just doesn’t fit with the barstool crowd who want nothing more than “conversation” at church. It’s the same spirit that tempted a former generation that we needed a rock band playing a new kind of music if we were to reach the culture.

Hmmmm….let’s see. How many sinners did that effort win and disciple? Probably the same number that will be won by the current emergent look. What are they thinking? Where are those who served as point men for change today? Think about it. Does history mean absolutely nothing anymore? Ideas have consequences.

In case some may think I am just an old fogey from another era, there is a current article article on this topic by a younger man, Duane Litfin, that would be a profitable read. He makes sense—if sense is of interest to modern Athenians.

Click on the link to read:

Advanceministries.org/articles/ChurchClothes

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More baptism and Oneness research now available

When we preach and teach on baptism in the name of Jesus, at least some of the presentation probably needs to focus on the history of baptism and the use of a name or titles in the formula.

Kulwant Singh Boora has provided some ammo for that message. He is the head intellectual property law paralegal at Melfi & Associates PC. Boora started his legal career over the pond in the United Kingdom where he received his education with honors from Staffordshire University, England and the University of Wales. Additionally, he studied law at Sutton Coldfield College and the Institute of Legal Executives College of Law, England, where he graduated with his professional diploma in law and higher professional diploma in law and legal practice, which included European union law. He also studied law at Hertfordshire University College of Law, England, where he completed his C.P.E/graduate diploma in law. While in the United Kingdom, Kulwant practiced civil and criminal litigation and is admitted as a British Legal Executive lawyer. Today, he keeps close connections with law practice in the United Kingdom and oversees the U.S. and international IP work for the firm. Additionally, Mr. Boora is currently completing his LL.M Master’s of Law in Intellectual Property Law focusing on copyright/trademark practice/patent law, copyright/trademark infringement and digital defamation. While he is completing his degree, he provides substantial assistance to clients on a variety of legal issues, litigation matters and research relating to U.S. and international intellectual property law as part of global risk management and protection of IP rights.

Now all of that means nothing except to say that his research skills have enabled him to uncover some startling facts about the teaching of Oneness and baptism in the name of Jesus in history, particularly in the UK. His books contain a great many quotes from prominent scholars and theologians that prove baptism in Jesus name has been far more popular than formerly realized. He has published his research in several books that are now available from Advance Ministries. Check them out at advanceministries.org/store.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

You can get arrested for expired tags on your car but not for being in the country illegally.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

Your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more of our money.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

The Supreme Court of the United States can rule that lower courts cannot display the 10 Commandments in their courtroom, while sitting in front of a display of the 10 Commandments.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

Children are forcibly removed from parents who appropriately discipline them while children of “underprivileged” drug addicts are left to rot in filth-infested cesspools.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

Hard work and success are rewarded with higher taxes and government intrusion, while slothful, lazy behavior is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, and subsidized housing.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

The government’s plan for getting people back to work is to provide 99 weeks of unemployment checks (to not work).

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

Politicians think that stripping away the amendments to the constitution is really protecting the rights of the people.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

The rights of the Government come before the rights of the individual.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

Parents believe the State is responsible for providing for their children.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

You pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor defaults on his mortgage (while buying iphones, TVs and new cars) and the government forgives his debt and reduces his mortgage (with your tax dollars).

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

Being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you “safe.”

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

You have to have your parents signature to go on a school field trip but not to get an abortion.

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You know you live in an upside-down land if…

An 80-year old woman can be virtually strip searched by the TSA but a Muslim woman in a burqa is only subject to having her neck and head searched.

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Kristallnacht coming?

Kristallnacht, literally, “Night of Crystal,” is often referred to as the “Night of Broken Glass.” The name refers to the wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938, throughout Germany, annexed Austria, and in areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia recently occupied by German troops.

Instigated primarily by Nazi Party officials and members of the SA (Sturmabteilungen: literally Assault Detachments, but commonly known as Storm Troopers) and Hitler Youth, Kristallnacht owes its name to the shards of shattered glass that lined German streets in the wake of the pogrom—broken glass from the windows of synagogues, homes, and Jewish-owned businesses plundered and destroyed during the violence. Of course, the government justified it because of an assassination of a German official in Paris. All a tyrannical government needs is a single excuse to encourage mass violence.

I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but I predict a similar experience is coming to America. Businesses like Chik-fil-A will feel the brunt of Chicago-type bullying. ( See the link below.) We are tottering on the brink of socialism and all who oppose it will feel the wrath of the powers that be. Better buckle up your faith!

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a-president-anti-gay_n_1680984.html

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You can trust the press

A Harley biker is riding by the zoo in Washington, DC when he sees a little girl leaning into the African lion’s cage.

Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.

The biker jumps off his Harley, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch.

Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter addressing the Harley rider says, “Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I’ve seen a man do in my whole life.”

The Harley rider replies, “Why, it was nothing, really. The lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as I felt right.”

The reporter says, “Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page.
So, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?’

The biker replies, “I’m a U.S. Marine on leave and a Republican.”

The journalist leaves.

The following morning the biker buys the paper to see news of his actions, and reads on the front page:

U.S. MARINE ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND STEALS HIS LUNCH

That pretty much sums up the media’s approach to the news these days.

Free the media!!

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Still more proof of biblical characters

A recently discovered 11th century seal (pictured below) from Beth Shemesh shows a person next to a leonine figure. The site and chronology have led some to associate the seal with the biblical story of Samson.

The discovery has sparked association with Samson’s lion fight in Judges 14. In the late Iron Age, the site lay in the frequently changing border territory between the Canaanites, Israelites and Philistines. It lies opposite Zorah, Samson’s birthplace, and nearby Timnah (Tel Batash), where Samson was smitten with a Philistine girl whom he insisted on marrying despite his parents’ objections (Judges 14:1–3). There Samson propounded his famous riddle: “Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness” (Judges 14:14).

The depiction on the seal itself appears too crude to identify with a specific individual. While the animal does bear resemblance to contemporary depictions of lions, the lack of a weapon in the figure’s hand challenges the notion that this is a violent scene. The excavation directors suggest that “a story was being told at the time of a hero who fought a lion, and that the story eventually found its way into the biblical text and onto the seal.”* (The educated scoffers can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the obvious.)

*A Telegraph article titled “Israeli Scholars Claim Possible Evidence of Samsondraws a closer tie between the seal and the biblical figure. Both associations between the Samson narrative and the Beth Shemesh seal rely on an implicit understanding that this is, in fact, a man fighting a lion. If this can be proven, then the seal, discovered near Samson’s hometown during the time of Judges, may very well be linked to Samson or a related hero figure.

Photo by Raz Lederman, from Ha’aretz

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Medicine in the Ancient World

Sarah K. Yeomans   •  Posted 07/11/2012

For those readers who may be interested in what the medical field was like in Bible times—their philosophies as well as their instruments—an article, title and author above, can be read in full at: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/daily-life-and-practice/medicine-in-the-ancient-world/

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Think about it

Some dogs are dumb when it comes to picking fights.

Living proof of who the real boss is.

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Talk about hypocrisy

They want to take our guns away from us because there are about 8,775 gun-related murders in the U.S. each year (2010 stat). 56% of all gun-related deaths are self-inflicted suicides, most of which are drug-related. About 4000 murders were committed by other weapons.

Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States. That is above the thousands of non-smokers who die from smoke-related cancer each year.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to go after the smokers? They are killing far more Americans, including thousands of children, than guns.

Oh, I see. It’s the money and politics—not compassion. Got it.

Stats are from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses—United States, 2000–2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2008;57(45):1226–8 [accessed 2011 Mar 11]. And:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state#data

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Parting Shots

Guns kill people the way forks make people fat. Both are dangerous tools in the hands of humans. How many thousands are dying, yes, dying, every year from unwise food choices? Cancer, diabetes, celiac, etc. Choices kill people, not tools. – Rachel Coltharp

If you think a theater filled with unarmed people against a lone gunman is scary, imagine a disarmed populace against a tyrannical government. – Michiganconservatives.net

Truth doesn’t need anyone to agree with it for it to be the truth.  – Jerry Jones

It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. – Thomas Paine

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Thanks for visiting. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.

JREnsey

 

Disclaimer: Neither JREnsey, advanceministries.org, nor any associated entity necessarily endorses or agrees with every opinion expressed in every article, cartoon or quote posted on this site.

Published in: on September 1, 2012 at 12:15 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Another great read Elder, just simply out of the park. Thanks!!!

  2. I enjoy reading your blog. I have even used some of your material in sermons! Appreciate you and your wisdom, Brother!

  3. whoah this blog is excellent i really like studying your posts.

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    can help them greatly.

  4. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve
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