Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Man vs. Wild

The Discovery Channel has a show called "Man vs. Wild" starring a guy name Bear Grylls. Each episode finds Grylls in some remote location where he must survive using only his wits, a bare minimum amount of supplies, and whatever he can glean from the location. I have seen only one episode. He was dropped onto the snow-capped, mountain region of Patagonia in South America. He made a make-shift shelter by digging a hole into the snow along the side of a slope of one peak. The second day, he hiked down the slope and repelled down the face of a waterfall. Then he continued through a dense thicket, slopped through a chilly bog, and attempted a lake crossing on a raft he constructed from driftwood (the raft began sinking so he made a cold swim back to shore). For nourishment, he ate bugs, weeds, and worms. Yummy, huh?

The show was fascinating but painful to watch. Obviously, he is well versed in survival techniques. He has experience and knowledge that the average person does not have. Even with his ability to live off the land, Grylls' task is not easy. In fact, it is potentially very dangerous. The harsh environments he visits are not too forgiving. A small lapse in attention or a minor misstep can literally mean life or death.

I have no desire to be thrown into the wild to see if I can stay alive. I doubt there are many people who would sign up for that. If you ever hear that I am away alone in some desolate area, know that I was forced there against my will. Call the police, the FBI, the Texas rangers, even the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, if you have to, but come get me! Oh, and bring a sandwich. I'll be hungry.

We like comfort. We like having plenty of stuff to make life easier. Life is tough enough even with an abundant store of resources. Grylls' show serves as a warning against trying to do what he does and a reminder to be thankful for what we have.

God has not left us in the wild to fend for ourselves. In II Peter 1:3 tells us that we have been given all things pertaining to life and godliness. That means God has an endless supply of everything we will need to successfully live the Christian life and He has made it all available to His children. It is our job to take advantage of all that the Father offers. We can choose to live abundantly or to face the wild on our own.

Let us consider a few things to which we have access. We, as God's children, have relationship with God through Christ. We are part of the Lord's family and are never truly alone. We can talk directly to the Father and He speaks back to us by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:16 says that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit. We have the Bible. In it we find God's will concerning so much of our life and how to live it in a way that glorifies Him and benefits us. We have the body of believers from which we can learn and be encouraged. Those are a but a few supplies for you as you travel life's road. I urge you to read God's word so you can find many many more.

When I catch myself attempting to face life unarmed or when I see a fellow Christian doing the same, I ask why. Why would we try to survive in the harsh conditions of an unfriendly world living off the grubs and weeds when we could be in the comfort of God's resources? It may be fascinating to watch such fetes but it is also painful. Go to God's storehouse and claim the supplies He said are yours. Don't face the wild with an empty backpack.

Because He lives,


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vintage Value

My wife and I spent an hour or so today rummaging through an antique store. We bought a few things and admired many others. Some of the items were beautifully preserved and some showed the wear and tear of daily use from days gone by. So many of the items reminded me of Grandma and Grandad's house. There were several long cylindrical water buckets used to draw water from a narrow deep well. I loved pulling the chain to lower and then hoist the one beside their old place. There is a release at the top that you pull to let out the water. That always seemed fun to me as a kid. The store had old plates and kitchenware, tubs, tools, furniture, and so many other articles from decades ago. Much of that stuff is prized now for its decorative value but it is also still valuable for the practical use for which it was crafted.

Tomorrow my family and I will visit another place filled with vintage valuables. Those valuables are not really prized for their decorative value. Sadly, neither are they still being utilized for that which they were designed. Many of them need professional care. We are going to a nursing home. Each week we provide a church service at a local nursing home where my wife plays piano while I lead singing then I preach and have prayer with the folks who attend. I like to linger there too because they also remind me of Grandma and Grandad.

People will ooh and aah over the patina of old metal or wood finishes even if rust or decay is present. The patina authenticates the age of the article and increases its value. When we see the marks of age on our older folks, too often we shy away from them. They have a glow about them too but one has to spend time near them to see it. We forget or fail to consider the years of toil that produced those wrinkles and age spots. Those are badges of honor.

We are rapidly losing what Tom Brokaw dubbed "The Greatest Generation." As they slip into eternity we are losing more than mere memories. We are losing teachers who, if consulted, could tell us a thing or two about gumption, determination, faithfulness, and sacrifice. The generation who lived through World War II knew how to take less and make it go farther. They made things that lasted. They unashamedly loved their God, their families, and their country. They may have been less educated and enjoyed fewer technological advances, but they were no less intelligent and their level of morality shames the wayward culture of today.

In your family, or your church, or even at a local nursing home you can find folks who would absolutely love for you to take but a few minutes to spend with them. Talk to our older generation. Listen and you will find wisdom that comes only from those who have travelled farther down life's path than you have. They will be blessed. You will be blessed. And maybe, just maybe, you will come away the wiser for the time spent. Their signs of age will seem like the prized patina from other vintage valuables. They are worthy of your time.

Because He lives,


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Power Outage

Saturday, Hurricane Ike blew through town. The eye crossed directly over Mount Pleasant around 6 or 7 PM. Rain fell in sheets and filled rain gauges to over three inches. Winds blew knocking down trees, limbs, and scattered debris. Sustained winds were 40 MPH making the large trees on my street sway like grass in a meadow. The effects of the storm were much worse farther south and, of course, near the landfall site, but for my money things were tough enough right here where Ike was downgraded to a tropical storm.

Amy and I had planned a small gathering at our house on Saturday evening. We made those plans earlier in the week before we knew that Ike would come screaming across our skies. Not wanting to disappoint our guests (or me), we decided to go ahead with the get-together as planned except for a menu change from grilled meat of some sort to chicken taco soup. (Note: this is really good soup and if you would like the recipe just email me. It is easy to make and oh so satisfying on a cold blustery autumn evening) Ok, the evening was not cold but Ike surely covered the blustery part.

Ten minutes before our guests were scheduled to arrive, the electricity, like Elvis, left the building. We had no power. Thankfully everything was cooked. People showed up to a dark house, so we lit candles and for two hours enjoyed each others' company by candle light. Actually, it was rather nice. We joked about the romantic evening we were having. Two hours into the party, the power was restored. We were almost sad to have the lights but I do think everyone was glad to have the air conditioner working again. A small gaggle of Baptists can produce a large quantity of hot air. For those of you who were there and are reading this, you know who you are.

For two hours we visited without the benefits of electrical power and we truly barely noticed that the power was gone. I wonder if the average Christian is much the same. Are we walking through life with little to no spiritual power? Sadly, I believe we are. We, Christians, seem to be having little influence on our society in general. Violence fills the land. Abortion rights remain the law upheld by our Supreme Court. People look to the government first for help since the Church, by and large, has abdicated its potential to render aid. Many other examples could be named and remember I am speaking in general terms. I know that there are still faithful churches doing great work through the power of the Holy Spirit.

How do we restore power? What must change? Change begins in my life and yours. It begins in individuals who will decide to once again seek God's power to course through our veins and change us from the inside out. Then those living by the power of the Spirit bind together and the effect is magnified exponentially. I read an article not long ago that related a story of Thomas Aquinas. The story goes that he had an audience with Pope Innocent II. As Aquinas entered the room, the Pope was counting money and stated, "Thomas no longer can the Church say silver and gold have I none." To which, Aquinas replied, "Yes, and neither can she say rise up and walk." I am afraid that exactly describes the average Christian.

We have Earthly resources but precious few Heavenly resources. The worst part is that many may not even realize their own lack of spiritual power. Jesus told the church at Laodecia to buy of Him gold tried in the fire that they may truly be rich. He was speaking of eternal riches. We have been given all things pertaining to life and godliness Peter told us in II Peter 1:3. First make sure you are connected to the power source, Jesus Christ. Then ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and trust that He will. Life will be more electrifying once you are fully connected to the real power of God.

Because He lives,


Friday, September 12, 2008

Worry Who I?

I have let worry chase me in circles for the past two or even three days. I did not realize what was going on until today when it hit me that I had been withdrawn. There were no fusses or tantrums. No cross words were exchanged but I have just not been my usual self. I like to think that I am typically a happy guy who is kind of fun to be around. This afternoon talking to my wife, it dawned on me that I had hidden in my own little world for a few days. The culprit was worry.

Several important events are all taking place today and subconsciously I let myself become consumed with figuring out how to make all the pieces fit perfectly together. But as I looked at Amy I realized that all my mental anguish was not worth compromising one moment of my fellowship with her. Truth be told, my fellowship with the Lord was similarly affected. I was taking on everything and leaving nothing for God. That is a recipe for disaster.

Worrying means that I am not truly living by faith. It flies in the face of our trust for God and what He will do in and through us. Worry lures us to take our eyes off the Lord and place our focus on the circumstance. Remember when Jesus and the disciples were on the boat during a raging storm? Jesus was asleep while the winds howled and the waves rolled. The disciples were all afraid for their lives and rushed to wake the Lord to spare them. I think He was disappointed because they were consumed by their fears. He said they had little faith. They forgot who was in the boat with them and that He is greater than the storm.

I felt like I was in a storm these past few days and I was caught wave watching. My wife's peaceful expression reminded me that God is in control and that He is bigger than the raging seas. When I once again set my gaze on Christ, the waves calmed. The storm passed. I still have several things to get done today and I will get to them. The difference is the peace in me that comes when my trust is fully in Jesus rather than in me trying to be life's little helper.

Hurricane Ike will hit ground around midnight tonight. We have evacuees already here in Mount Pleasant. Gas went up 30 cents this morning and Wal-Mart is more of a madhouse than usual. A storm is coming and people are preparing. Some are making extra profits on the hysteria. The storm will come and then it will go. There are always storms on the horizon. That is simply part of life.

Worry will neither prevent nor slow down the storms. Worry will lead you around in unproductive circles and leave you right where you started. You will feel drained and might have a few extra gray hairs. Faith, however, will point you toward the only lighthouse in the night. Worry makes you look down at the terrifying circumstances. Trust and faith says "look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28) The storm is coming and has even arrived but this time it will find me not worrying because I am looking up to Jesus.

Because He lives,


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

John Tesh

John Tesh is my wife's favorite musician. She loves his music and has several of his CD's. He is performing a concert this Friday night in a town only 45 minutes from where we live. He will not be returning to this part of the country for the foreseeable future. Friday is my wife's birthday. For her birthday we had planned to have a few couples come over for dinner and an evening of fellowship (Baptist lingo for fun). Today we changed those plans so I could take my wife to see her favorite artist live in concert. We have front row tickets. Being handicapped sometimes has its advantages, though not very often. I should note that while my wife adores John Tesh's music, I do not. It's just not my style but the evening is not about me. Friday night is about my wife and doing something that she will love and possibly not get the opportunity to do again.

If I had my preference, we would stay with the original plan of having folks over Friday night. I could have pushed for that and gotten my way. I could have used guilt over ticket prices and told her that it would be rude to our guests to change our plans. It would have been easy and even though Amy would have been disappointed, she would have gotten over it. But I was reminded that we are taught to put others before ourselves. We are not supposed to just think of us.

Paul's letter to the Philippians spoke a great deal about joy and rejoicing but another major theme to the letter was how to get along well together. He said in chapter two that we should esteem others better than we do ourselves. He explained that as not just thinking of ourselves but to always consider others as well. There was some conflict among two of the believers in the church, Euodias and Syntyche. He urged them to be of the same mind. I believe he was asking them to each treat the other's wants and needs as they would their own desires.

Jesus is the supreme example of considering others over one's self. He left His glory in Heaven and abased Himself by taking on human flesh. He did not make Himself to be a big deal while He lived on Earth. Everything He did was to fulfill the Father's will and accomplish His purpose. Completely selfless, He bore the shame of the cross to pay the penalty for my sin and yours. Now that is putting others ahead of self.

So, while I could have nudged Amy toward what I wanted for her birthday, I was reminded that sometimes I really must consider others ahead of me. I'm not bucking for husband of the year or a pat on the back. I just believe that the right thing to do was to think of my wife and esteem her ahead of me. Our relationships would sure benefit from more selfless acts. Guys, our wives are precious. Let us be the leaders in our homes and set the example of putting others first. I promise it will be reciprocated. I am going to see John Tesh in concert....for Amy.

Because He lives,


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Keep It Fresh

Do you remember the old coal oil lamps? They gave off quite a bit of light when properly maintained. But if the chimney was allowed to become darkened by soot, or if the wick was left untrimmed then the light became significantly dimmer. Light still shined but not nearly so brightly. Impurities hamper the light. A dim light is functional but its scope of usefullness is limited, whereas a bright light serves a far greater area.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:14 that we are the light of the world. In the next verse He noted that a light is not placed under a basket but rather is put on a candlestick so that it benefits all in the house. When we shine brightly we not only receive benefit from the light but we also provide helpful light to others.

Let us consider the parts of a lamp and relate them to our lives. First is the flame, the light itself. Jesus is the light and He never goes out in a believers life. Upon salvation we are born-again into Christ. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. That is a precious promise from Jesus. So we always have the Light.

Next is the oil. It is the fuel for the flame. Impurities mingled with the oil will affect the amount of light. Oil represents the presense and work of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 tell us that when we were saved we were sealed with the Holy Spirit who is the earnest of our salvation. He is the down-payment, if you will. That means that we always have fuel. The Light and the fuel are given to us. We do not earn nor can we purchase either. Salvation is the gift of God as Ephesians 2:8-9 says. Sometimes we try to use our own abilities as fuel but it only gets in the way of the true Oil. As I heard evangelist Gene Williams once say, "I never did one good work before I got saved and I never did one good work after I got saved. The good works done through me after salvation were all performed by the Holy Spirit." He was right. Even when we mean well, our efforts amount to impurities mingled with the Oil.

We come to the wick. It is where the heat of the flame, the air, and the fuel combust into light. When the wick is clean, the light is bright. The wick represents us. We shine brightly when we remain in right fellowship with the Father. When we allow sin into our lives then we, like a dirty wick, grow dimmer and dimmer. To clean a wick, we trim off the sooty black end down to new white material. God has to trim us from time to time. In John 15:2, Jesus said that we will be purged (pruned) so that we can bear more fruit. For our example of a lamp, that means that God trims our wick so we can give off more light. Also, we must be mindful of sin to confess and forsake it. God said in I John 1:9 that He would faithfully forgive and cleanse us when we do.

Lastly, the light is enhanced by the chimney. Again, soot negatively affects the ability of the chimney to function properly. To me, the chimney is those near us that our light influences. Cares for this world are like soot in a chimney. We can get so caught up in daily concerns, worries, and struggles that they cloud the the light we were meant to display. Sometimes we need to wipe the chimney clean. We may have to look at our lives for built up clutter and remove it.

The light, that Jesus said we are, was meant to light the whole house. We and everyone in the house are supposed to be blessed by the Light. I am reminded of the old song "Give Me Oil in my Lamp."

Give me oil in my lamp, Keep me burning,
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, Keep me burning,
Keep me burning Till the break of day.

Take a close look at the light you give. If it has grown dim because of sin, or the cares of this world, or even your own well-intentioned efforts, then do some trimming. Keep it fresh. Someone may need your light to show them the way to God.

Because He lives,


Monday, September 8, 2008


For the past hour, I have been tweaking this blog page. You may have noticed that I added some links, listed a way to subscribe to this blog, and at the bottom placed a box denoting events that happened on this day in history. I had also added a polling question but I decided not to make the page too busy so I deleted it. There are many items offered that can be added to these blog pages. If one is not careful there could be so many add-ons that the intent of the page gets lost in the mix. An old adage came to mind, "keep it simple sweetheart." I know, the last word is supposed to be "stupid" but that seemed harsh, especially since it was me that sensed the need to simplify things.

Have you noticed that life seems to get more and more cluttered with add-ons? Life is not just work, school, and church any more. Civic organizations abound that one can join. Kids can play sports year round, especially if they excel. Besides sports, kids can enroll in scouting, martial arts, gymnastics, and no telling what other types of good activities. Schools offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities. And every group or club we and our kids can join all need to have fund raisers. We are urged to hit up all our friends and family to buy $5 candy bars and $40 tins of popcorn while we are expected to buy our fair share or more to make up for cheap Uncle Joe who won't buy anything from anyone.

We get so busy and spread ourselves so thinly that areas of our lives can suffer. Sadly, the first to feel the strain is often our spiritual lives. It becomes easy to miss personal time with God. That leads to guilt and feelings of failure. Even our church attendance can suffer. Or we pile everything on our backs and onward we trudge. Either way, the most important parts of our lives can get lost in the jumble.

What is most important? Solomon, near the end of his illustrious life, concluded that the whole sum of man was to fear God and keep His commandments. Jesus said we must first love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Then He told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. That is just two things to remember.

Now, God knows we must work to pay the bills. God never said to not play baseball or join the Lions Club. What He does expect and, yes, demand of us is that we never leave our first love, which is our love for Him. Whatever add-ons we attach to our lives whether they be in the secular world or even in the church, we must always keep God first. That makes life much simpler to me. I have two preset priorities and the rest is optional.

So when you feel overwhelmed by the stress and strain of constant activity, you might want to step back, take a deep breath, and remember to KISS.

Because He lives,


Saturday, September 6, 2008

For Solomon

My head was shaved today. It looks funny. It feels funny. I will get teased about my bald head for a while and that too will be funny to some. The humor ends there though. I did not allow my hair to be clipped to the scalp on a whim. It was no stunt or attempt to get attention. A Christian brother who is a member of my church and attends my Sunday School class has cancer and, medically speaking, his prospects are bad. He is 40 years old and has a wife and three kids. Today, folks from our church assisted in a benefit to raise money to help the family. As a part of the benefit, I and two other guys (the brother's boss and his boss' boss) let a barber take his electric clippers to our heads when a certain amount of money was raised for each one.

To us it was simply hair and some good-humored teasing. To his family the money donated will mean so much more. We made a choice that was not afforded to him. Chemo therapy has taken his hair. Our choice was based on our love for him and his family. We can not take the cancer from his body but we can stand beside him and demonstrate our love.

His circumstance is not unique. Many people fight cancer every day. His is not the most tragic story one might hear, though it is heart rending. He has hope that so many do not have. He has One who sticks closer than a brother. He told me a while back that two years ago he would not have been able to handle what he is facing. He now can because within those past two years he came to faith in Jesus as his Savior. He still has cancer, but he is not alone. He would much rather be healthy but he understands that God has a plan and is in control. I believe that God can use a testimony like that to reach the hearts of others.

While I can not make a difference for the masses, I can do something for those near me. Literally hundreds of people demonstrated their love today in a very tangible way. They gave of their time, efforts, and money, but mostly they gave of their hearts. They allowed themselves to be a blessing right where they live. I so strongly believe that God places us where He desires to use us. The choice falls back to us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's call and then to be obedient.

My friend's name is Solomon. I let my hair be cut today because I love Solomon and it was what I could do here and now. I love him because we have the same Father, our Heavenly Father. I love the Father because He first loved me. Jesus hung on a cross and loved me right where He was. Will you love right where you are?

Because He lives,


Friday, September 5, 2008

Notice the Little Things

This morning we had a minor catastrophe. Today is trash day. As our older son carried a trash bag filled with yucky spoiled food from the refrigerator, it burst open just before he got to the curb. What a mess. Befuddled as to what to do and horrified at the thought of touching the awful spillage, our son in tears stood paralyzed in the driveway. My poor wife had to clean up the mess. She sure was not happy about it but it had to be done.

A ruptured trash bag is not the end of the world (unless you are a traumatized 11 year old). Though unhappy at the prospect of handling the garbage, my wife's day was not ruined. The incident is a little thing in the grand scope of life. There was no fanfare save for the few tears of a young boy. But the clean-up needed to be done. She immediately did what she needed to do. Now the mess is gone and she and our 11 year old can get on with their day. By the way, I did take a moment to let her know how much I appreciated her taking care of the matter and that it meant a lot to me even if no one else noticed. In life, even the seemingly little things need attending. If left undone, those small matters grow into a heap ripe for decay.

In our Christian lives if we fail to tend to the "little" things then we may soon find ourselves standing on a mountain of rotting filth. Are we quick to deal with sin as it rears its ugly head or do we let it remain and stink? The Psalmist, David, said in Psa. 66:18 that if I regard sin in my heart that God will not hear me. The Apostle John tells us in I John 1:9 that if we will confess our sins then God is faithful to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. A particular sin might seem like a small thing to you and I but to God it is not small. Sin hinders our fellowship with the Father.

Do we guard our relationships or do we allow wounds of hurt feelings or unkind words to fester? Paul told Timothy that the tongue is wicked and asked the rhetorical question as to who could tame it. Oh, how easy it is to offend with words. The childrens rhyme "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is not true. Words can cut deeply. A thoughtless remark can severely damage a relationship of not quickly addressed. Let us go to an offended brother or sister quickly seeking restoration and asking forgiveness. Proverbs 25:11 says that words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of silver. They are precious. So are our relationships. Make sure a "little" thing does not ruin something precious.

Eternity rests on one little thing. What have you done with Jesus Christ? Do you believe Him? Have you placed your trust in Him? Have you asked Him to forgive you and save you? He does not ask us to perform great and glorious tasks to win His favor. He does not ask us to self-actualize into the very best person we can be before we approach Him. He simply asks us to believe. It seems so easy, so simple, so small. Yet, your eternity depends on whether or not your faith is in Christ.

Do the small things while they are still small. If we ignore them, we will find ourselves in the middle of a garbage dump without a shovel.

Because He lives,


Thursday, September 4, 2008

First thoughts

Many of us computer users have spent years searching, reading, admiring, and internally commenting on other people's web pages. We have wished for a way to express our thoughts without spending gobs of money publishing a website. Blogging now gives us that long sought after venue.

As a Christian, I want whole-heartedly to share words of encouragement with as many people as I can. God's word speaks to every person and to every situation that will arise in each person's life. My aim is to comment on many of those life events and share insight into them as I keep the Bible's perspective in mind.

A bit of background on who I am and how I came to be here:

I am a native-born Texan (for better and/or worse). My family began attending South Jefferson Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, Texas, when I was 10 and I placed my trust in Jesus Christ at age 11. I surrendered to the ministry when I was 16. My life suddenly and drastically changed at age 22 on November 5, 1984 when a pick-up truck struck me in the back as I walked along side a road. Since then I have been paralyzed at the waist. The most amazing part of my injury is the abiding peace of God that continues to afirm to me that He is in control, He has a plan for my life, and that life is still good.

I spent four years at the University of Texas at Arlington cramming two years worth of study into those four years. I took my time because I was a member of the university's wheelchair basketball team, the Movin' Mavs. During that time, we won two national collegiate basketball titles and were received at the White House by President Clinton. After graduating in December, 1995, I moved back to Mount Pleasant. Even though many neat things had happened for me, there was something missing from my life. I had stopped listening to the word of God and allowed my fellowship with Him to grow cold and distant.

In 1997 as I visited a friend in the hospital, I was urged to come visit church at South Jefferson Baptist. I did. And, praise God, I knew I was home. I knew God had plans for us but I figured I had messed everything up by living just for me for a dozen years. Thankfully, God's plans are bigger than we are. I was happy to be in church again and to again be right with the Lord and in close fellowship with Him. Late in 1999 our associate pastor left for full-time evangelism. I told our pastor, Bro. Tommy Oglesby, that if he ever needed help checking on our sick folks then I would be glad to go visit them in his stead. Some weeks later, Bro. Tommy approached me and asked me to join the staff as the Minister of Pastoral Care. I was thrilled. God really was not through with me after all. I joined the staff in January, 2000.

In August 2003, I met a Christian lady online and began chatting to her. Those chats led to a date. A year later those dates led to a wedding. I had been single for 17 years and had nearly given up hope that God would allow me to be married again. He not only answered my prayer for a godly wife but He threw in two great little boys to boot. She is my best friend and is more than I ever asked from God in a wife. Ain't God good?

God is so wonderful to me and my family. I owe Him all I am and ever hope to be. He is everything and I am nothing. I have no trouble admitting that truth. In the coming posts I want to share thoughts of God's goodness as expressed in His word and as demonstrated in life. I hope those who read will get a blessing and I hope to have blessings shared back with me in comments and discussion.

God bless you real good. Come back and answer back often. Let us grow together in the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Because He lives,