Second Chances

Are you angry with anyone? Holding a grudge?

Wow! That’s so human of you. One thing I can say for sure, It’s definitely not divine. That’s the great thing about God. He’s not in the grudge business. He gives second chances. As a matter of fact, He gives third and fourth chances, too! One of my favorite Bible stories is Jonah. If you don’t know it and don’t have a Bible handy for a quick read, let me share the short version.

-God called Jonah to preach repentance to Nineveh, a wicked city. 

-Jonah didn’t want to go, and ran away (by ship). 

-God sent a storm. 

-Jonah got thrown overboard and swallowed by a big fish.

-He repented. 

-The fish spit him out. 

-He preached at Nineveh. 

-They repented of their sin.

-Jonah got mad that God didn’t destroy Nineveh.

-He sat outside the city, and waited for God to change His mind and do the “right” thing (which meant bringing destruction on the city).

Let’s stop right there for a second, because these few lines contain our BIG lesson!

God Gives Second Chances

He gave Jonah a second chance. When Jonah ran away, the storm and fish were God’s call back. What? Being thrown overboard during a storm and swallowed by a fish is a second chance??? Sure! Have you ever considered God disciplines you for your own good; a chance to turn back and repent? God disciplines those He loves. He’s saying, “No, that’s wrong. Turn back to me.”

Also, God gave Nineveh a second chance. He sent Jonah to preach repentance and the people listened.

You know what? God even gave Jonah a third chance. When the silly prophet sat outside the city, waiting for destruction to come, God caused a vine to grow over him, to offer him shade. Jonah liked this. Then God sent a bug to eat the vine, and Jonah was left in the sun, angry.

Here’s what the Bible says happened next.

Jonah 4:9-11. Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”          And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”    But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”

Boy, Jonah was a whiner! Yet God tried to explain why He gives second and third and fourth chances. To paraphrase what God said-  “I created these people. I love them. These people are lost. Shouldn’t I have pity on them and call them back?”

The Christian’s God does not change. He still offers second chances. Your sin (wrong doing) causes a rift between you and Him. God is always calling you back. He is always willing to forgive.

So, how about it? Is there some sin separating you from God? He is a God of second chances, a God of forgiveness! Turn to Him.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


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Things I Hate! Really! I’m Not Making This Up!

Lots of hate flying around today. Dems and Reps calling each other nasty names. People refusing to go to the inauguration. It all seems a little crazy to me.

I have to admit, during the election cycle, I got swept up in the political war; might have said things that some would consider nasty.

You know what amazes me? I was chastised during that time for my somewhat less than Christian attitude. Yet some of those chastisers are still caught in the battle, making nasty comments and posts. I guess it’s all right for them, because they’re from the other side.
Probably think their rants, putdowns and less than stellar language is all right… maybe even ordained by God.

But wait! This is not meant to be a political post.

Since the term hate and hater are bantered about so much, I thought I’d mention some things I truly hate.

My Hate List

  1. I hate liver! The very thought of it, sitting on my dinner plate makes me quiver! Now that I think about it, my hatred might border more on fear. Imagine a horror movie- THE LIVER THAT ATE NEW YORK CITY! A big blob of liver oozing down the street, sucking up everything it touches.

2. I hate when someone sits right behind me at the movies. IT ALWAYS HAPPENS! My wife and I will take our seats in an almost empty theater. I eyeball the door and check the time. She knows what I’m doing, hoping no one else is coming. It never fails, though. A couple will appear. My reaction-I’ll try to make myself look half crazed (Maybe drool a bit), throw my arms over the backs of the seats, maybe growl, hoping they’ll avoid my area. BUT NO! They choose the seat right behind me . . . I hate that.

3. I hate when a waitress is too talkative. My wife says it’s my fault, I’m too friendly. Maybe I am. But sometimes you get a waitress who won’t shut up. I’ve heard stories of their surgeries (things I never want to hear again), had baby pictures pulled out, childhood memories brought up. I think waitresses should be fitted with shock collars. If they stay in one spot too long, ZAP! They know it’s time to move on.

4. I hate when my socks are pulled too tight around the tops of my toes. They get claustrophobic. Don’t you hate that?

5. Speaking of toes, I hate stubbing my little toe. I’m cringing, thinking about it.

6. I hate the dark. Walking around in it is when I usually stub my little toe.

7. I hate when my wife and I fight over which one of us is right. The answer is obvious, isn’t it?

8. I hate eating wood chips covered in chocolate. . . It’s a long story. Don’t go there.

9. I hate when people pronounce the word HEIGHT as if it ends in a “th” instead of an “ht”! Get with the program people! It’s height as in bite; not height as in . . .  I can’t think of another word that ends in a th that would rhyme well. So just don’t do it. OK?

10. I hate when people call you a hater simply because you disagree with them. That’s one of the main problems in our country today. We seek diversity of opinions as long as it doesn’t diversify too far from . . . NEVER MIND. I don’t want to get caught up in that conversation, because it borders on the political.

Well, that’s it. A list of ten things I hate. How about you? What do you hate?

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Turning the World Upside Down

Many people are weeping over this presidential election. “O woe is me! Our world is doomed!”
Okay, so maybe I’ve moaned a tad, myself. But, you gotta understand, my candidate is a very flawed human being?
Will you say that? Frankly, if you won’t, you’re fooling yourself. If you believe your candidate is above reproach, and that the other guy’s candidate is the incarnation of evil, you are living in a fantasy world. You’ve given yourself a “Political Party Lobotomy”, and are walking DownloadedFilearound like a Zombie (with a little drool dripping from the corner of your mouth), saying, “My candidate is wonderful!”

Frankly, what kind of people did you expect would run for office? Our society is down the toilet, we are producing more and more gutter trash, therefore the quality of candidates has plunged to new and as of recently unseen depths.
America has gotten the products of what we have become.

What’s a Christian to do? Listen to what was said of the followers of Christ just a few years after Jesus’ ascension.
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” (Acts 17:6)
The early church made such a difference in their society that they were world changers!
Have you been turning your world upside down for Jesus?
Christians (churches, you, me) must work to transform society. That is not done by legislation. NO! It’s done by living for Christ in such a way that others will want what we have. Then Jesus can transform the individual.
img_1379Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14)
Frankly, the light in America is kind of low. The church has become too much like the world. It’s almost as if we want to be twin brothers to the trash. Here’s a couple of things to consider.
1. Our Light Shines in the Manner We Choose to Live. Are you living a Godly life, reflecting the Holy Spirit? Does the way you spend your time emulate God or the world?
Imagine if Christians would take to heart the fact that they are representatives of the kingdom of God. Would that change the way they live?
2. Our Light Shines to Attract Others to Jesus. The Christian church has not grown in the United States in a number of years. I don’t want to be a downer, but Christians are failing at evangelism.
Imagine what the change in our society would be if each Christian would bring one person to Jesus in the next four year. That’s all. One. Wow! Would the next election be different. It would help to transform our society.
I always hear people grumbling about the country going down the tubes. But it didn’t get there by itself. We kind of pushed it.
If you are a Christian in name only, stop moaning about a wicked society. It’s time for you to turn to God and ask His forgiveness for your failings, rededicate your life to His task and purpose. God’s given you the answer to all life’s problems. Be a part of the solution. Be a part of the exciting task of turning the world upside down!
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

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It’s All About the Potpourri

image      The other day while I was in a local coffee shop, my friend Henry came running up to me, all excited. “I figured it out!”
“What?” I asked.
He slid into the seat across from me, sipping on some frilly coffee and whipped cream concoction. I personally don’t touch the stuff and can’t tell a frappe from a pile of guacamole.
Wide-eyed, he exclaimed, “All this bathroom fuss.”
“Bathroom fuss?”
“You know! Who uses girls’ and who uses guys’ room.”
I groaned. Frankly, if we went back to using outhouses all of this would be dealt with.
He smiled and sat back. “I wondered why in the world would a guy want to use the ladies’ room?’ The only way to determine the truth was to check it out.”
“Er . . . check it out?”
He nodded. “The ladies’ room. I tried it.”
“At the —–”
[For legal reasons and fear of getting my friend in trouble, the store’s name has been omitted. Kind of like, “The names have been changed to protect. . .”]
“You went in the lady’s room at —-?”
“Sure! Hey, I’m not a ‘perv’ or anything. I waited until it was empty, then I crept in.”
He had my attention. “What did you find?”
Henry leaned forward and spoke, almost awestruck. “It’s a whole new world . . . They got potpourri!”
“Right there by the sink. And guess what? The floor around the toilet was clean.”
[For those of the female persuasion, this is a big deal. Some men are . . . target-challenged. And, YES!, it is disgusting.]
I dismissed him with a shake of my head. “I don’t think one bathroom with potpourri –”
“No wait! I did my research.” He pulled out a small notebook and flipped though the pages. “I checked out fifteen bathrooms in all.”
My mouth dropped open.
“I found ten with potpourri, twelve with fancy air freshener, six with actual flowers, and . . . get this!” – he paused for effect. “Four of them had couches and magazines!”
This last revelation actually took me by surprise. “What?”
“Mind you, the magazines were out of date, but at least they had them. We don’t have those things in the guys’ room. The closest is newspaper pages over the urinals.”
“Why do they need couches?”
He shrugged. “For meetings, I guess.”
“Meetings? What kind of meetings?”
“Beats me. I tell you what, I can see why some guys want to use the ladies’ room.”
“Sure, but what about the ladies that want to use the mens’ room.”
He didn’t even hesitate. It was as if he’d already thought about this. “They’re stupid!”
“They gotta be. Have they ever seen the inside of Guys’ rooms? They got no potpourri. No couches!”
I had to admit he was right.
“So I’ve come to a decision. I’m gonna start using the ladies’ room.”
“You can’t do that.”
“Why not? I’ll become trans-whatever it is.”
“I don’t think it’s that easy.”
“Sure it it. Look at that white lady who told everyone she’s an African-American. Or that other one who says she’s Native American. People fall for that stuff all the time.”
“But you’re not talking the same thing.”
He ignored me and waved a finger in the air. “I got it! I could be trans-alien! You know, say that on the inside I feel like I’m from Mars.”image
Hmmm. This idea intrigued me. “You certainly act like you’re from another planet.”
“Thank you!” His face brightened. “Do you think I could get my own private alien bathroom.”
“I don’t know if–”
“I’d only accept it if it had potpourri.” With a sly smile, he gave a nod. “All the bathrooms on Mars have potpourri.”
“Henry, my friend. The way things are today, I’m sure some people will protest on your behalf . . . Some politicians will fight for your rights to have a trans-alien bathroom.”
Henry straightened up. He had a far away look on his face, a confident smile on his lips. “Trans-alien. Yes! Potpourri here I come.”

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Spiritual Amnesia- The Deadly Sickness

Recently, I’ve been chastised for some of my Facebook posts. Knowing I want to publish books, a friend’s advice was meant to stop me from sounding too angry. I wouldn’t want to alienate future readers, now would I?

Creepers! It’s sooooooo difficult. There are so many things to react to. So many people who need to be straightened out. On top of that, anyone who doesn’t agree with the flavor of the day is labeled a hater! I could tell you a thing or two . . .

Whoops. I was doing it again, wasn’t I?


But, please let me explain why I do the things I do. It isn’t hate.

If it helps you to not think of me as being angry or bitter, think about rainbows and unicorns while reading this. Here’s some pictures to help.

thHere’s my main concern-

We’ve developed Spiritual Amnesia.

It’s like one evening the vast majority of Americans went to bed and something happened. An evil fairy clonked them all on the head or they fell out of bed, cracking that part of their brain that stores their God-memories. Now when making life decisions, it’s all- “What I want is what I want!” or “I have a right!” People don’t care what God says anymore. His opinion doesn’t seem to matter.

Oh no! Spiritual Amnesia has kicked in.

There’s stories of this happening in the Bible. One is about King Josiah. Some Temple remodeling going on, and they found these scrolls– the Word of God– which had been lost.

How in the world do you lose the Word of God? I don’t know, but somehow, they managed. Somehow, we’ve managed.

On reading the scrolls, the first thing King Josiah did was rip his clothing. This was a sign of repentance. He realized he and the nation had turned from the Lord. Spiritual Amnesia. After rediscovering God, King Josiah led a reformation.

How about you? In the issues cropping up in our society, how do you decide what is right and what is wrong? Do you seek God’s way or your own?

We need to get over our spiritual amnesia. There is a God! He is not make believe like the Easter Bunny; not the product of man’s mind that we can change whenever we want.

He is God, the creator of all that is. God, whose Son died for your sins on the Cross. God who is being very patient with us, but that patience will not last forever.

Like amnesia victims, hopefully, one day people who’ve forgotten God will wake up and say, “Hold on! I remember!”

Meanwhile, those who do not suffer from this malady must stand for God’s way even if they are called haters or some other foolish term.

Let me tell you, I pray for friends and family members who are living outside the will of the Lord, who have spiritual amnesia. It’s not hate. It is a deep loving concern.

I hope the unicorn and rainbow helped. But I suggest the following verses may help more than silly pictures.

2 Timothy 3:12-15 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

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Which Heaven are You Going to?

Sad, sad news. My wife and I are going to different heavens. At least different areastom-cheney-two-doors-at-the-gates-of-heaven-loved-the-stooges-and-hated-the-stooge-new-yorker-cartoon of heaven. If heaven were a skyscraper, I’d be up in the penthouse (where I belong of course) and she’d be . . . Somewhere else.

How did I come to this conclusion?

It all started a couple of days ago, as we were eating our supper. Meatloaf by the way. I wonder if they’ll be meatloaf in heaven?

I hope it won’t be a vegan place. Blech! That would not be heaven! Unless the carrots are made out of chuck roast or hot dogs. Yum! That would be both good and interesting.

Anyways, I put some background music on. It was a southern gospel station. Wonderful old hymns, sung by full voiced men, with deep blends of harmony.

“Isn’t this good stuff?” I said to my wife.

Her response. “Hmmm.” She stuffed some butternut squash in her mouth.

Butternut squash. Double Blech! I’m telling you, heaven better have Big Macs.

“What’s the matter?”

“The music is okay,” she said. “I just prefer more modern music.”

I was appalled. I dropped my fork into a pile of gravy to show how appalled I was. It splashed on my shirt. “More modern? But sweetheart. Listen to the way the voices harmonize.”


Again with the hmmm. What was wrong with her?

“What’s wrong with you?” I figures I’d ask. Here’s some sound advice for young husbands. Wives always like their husbands to point out their flaws. Helps them to improve.

She sighed. “Nothing’s wrong with me. I just like more contemporary Christian music.”

“Like those praise songs with all their la-la-las and drums.”

She rolled her eyes. My wife is a champion eye roller. I think she studied it in school. “They don’t all have la-la-las. And what’s wrong with drums?”

“You probably like the volume up at earsplitting volume, too!”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

I peered deep into her eyes. “Who are you? I don’t know you any more.”

“Eat your meatloaf.”

After a couple minutes of silent meatloaf chomping, I stated. “You know, there aren’t any drums in heaven. It gives Moses a headache.”

She smirked. “There are drums in my heaven.”

I was aghast. So I put on my most aghast face. “Well, I guess we’re not going to the same heaven then.”

“I guess not.” She resumed eating her squash.

“My heaven has carrots made out of steak.”

“Eat your meatloaf.”

So that’s my story. She’s going to the heaven with music blaring so loud you can hardly make out the words, I’m going to heaven where Peter, Paul, and I will sing four part harmony. I always figured Paul to be a tenor. Peter a baritone. Me? I’m a bass. Now we only need to find one more singer. Any ideas?

PRODUCT ALERT Jeremiah Peters does not in any way believe there are multiple heavens. That’s just plain stupid. This post is just a bit of fun and silliness. Entrance into Heaven does not depend on what type of music you like, but on Jesus Christ, and your believing that he died for your sins. 

It is sad though, in a world filled with so much sin and misery, that many in the church of Jesus Christ expend so much energy arguing over music choices.

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The Churchyard Shuffle

imagePentecostal, Methodist, Congregationalist. . . It doesn’t matter what church you go to, you’ve dealt with the Church Yard Shuffle. It’s a particular dance that transcends all denominational lines and even reaches deep into independent churches.

This is how it works. A person gets upset with their church and shuffles off to another one. That new church considers this tremendous growth for the Kingdom’s sake. Hallelujah! Pass the mash potatoes! We’ve added to the Kingdom!!
Obviously there are REAL reasons to leave your church. For instance, If your church or pastor has stopped teaching or believing salvation through Christ and Christ alone, don’t shuffle, RUN! Seek a Bible believing congregation.
Frankly, I believe if your church or denomination has left sound biblical beliefs for more liberal or progressive notions (They now call sin, “life choices”), they’ve ceased being a Christian church. Stop supporting them. You’re feeding the enemy. RUN!
Also, someone may leave a church simply because of a disagreement over the ministry and direction of the church. In that case, if reconciliation cannot be found, go where your gifts and ministry can be better used.
Unfortunately, many shuffle off for less than admirable motives. They imageget upset with someone, either the pastor or another member, for one reason or another. Worship service ran 15 minutes late, someone sat in their pew, the pastor offended them, the church was painted the wrong color. It’s amazing the infinite list of reasons people leave a church for.
Being in the ministry for over 35 years, I’ve dealt with it. People have accused me of some of the most outrageous things as an excuse to shuffle off. Thin skin Christians who want a perfect church or pastor.
I’ve been on the other side of it, too. Several years ago, a group of “saints” wanted to leave a sister church and join mine. They complained that the Pastor had done evil things. To listen to them talk, imagehe spat out pea soup and his head spun around. Being young, I did a foolish thing. I let them join my church. HEY! It was church growth, wasn’t it? Unfortunately, a couple of these people never ceased to be a source of frustration to me. It didn’t take long to realize they themselves were the pea soup spitters.

One of my main concerns about the Church Yard Shuffle is this-

We call it “church growth”. It’s not.

True church growth is not plucking the discontent from other churches. It is bringing the lost to Jesus Christ. Through the Church Yard Shuffle, spiritual battles aren’t fought, souls aren’t won. People just shift around.
So, if you are tempted to do the Church Yard Shuffle, don’t. If you want to help your church grow, go to the lost. Share the Good News with them. Don’t shuffle! It does not proclaim the unity of the Body of Christ, nor does it teach on God’s forgiveness and love.




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When to Throw in the Towel

Ever been tempted to throw in the towel? You’re not alone. Who hasn’t been so disheartened they’ve said, “Forget it Lord! I’m gonna become a monk.”
If you can relate, I want you to consider George Edward Arcaro, otherwise known as Eddie Arcaro. He was probably the best jockey of all time. According to the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame he won more American classic races than any other jockey in history and is the only rider to have won the U.S. Triple Crown twice. Here’s the million dollar question.  How many times did he lose, before winning one race?
Anyone want to guess ten or less? Would you give up if you lost ten races?
How about Thirty? Hey, if I lost thirty races, I’d stay in bed for a month, and be very embarrassed to even show my face at the track.
How about fifty? Nope.
Let’s end the suspense.  Eddie Acaro lost 250 races before winning. HOLY MOLEY, BATMAN! 250!!!
I don’t know about you, but I’d be tempted to change professions; become a circus clown or something where I could wear face makeup so no one would recognize me.
He didn’t, though. The rest is history.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

It’s easy to give up, and to justify our defeat. “Oh Lord, if this is your will, the road would be paved with roses and lemonade stands.”
It isn’t.
Victories aren’t won without adversity. Whatever you are attempting to achieve, PERSEVERE!
God has called the Christian, not to back down or give up, but to battle on! Keep going. For the one who does not lose heart, there is the promise- You’ll reap the reward. So if your plans have failed a couple of times . . . twenty times . . . thirty? Hey, remember Eddie. Keep going!

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Tattoos and Heaven

So I overheard something at Barnes and Noble cafe that made me cringe. I couldn’t see who was speaking. She was on the other side of a partition.

“I can’t go to heaven because I have tattoos.”

Just to let you know, she wasn’t being serious, simply stating in a sarcastic way what someone told her. Then she said, “I don’t care anyways.”

Wow and Wow.

Got me thinking about the silly things some Christians are passing off as God’s word. Maybe the girl misunderstood. It’s possible. Or maybe she had a tattoo covering her whole face that said, I ‘heart’ satan. But even that shouldn’t matter.  To tell someone some ink on their body can keep them from God . . . Again- WOW!

I fear whenever we add anything to God’s grace.

You know what? I don’t drink alcohol. Nope. And guess what? I take criticism from both sides- Christians and non-Christians! “You’re being legalistic!” “You’re a kill-joy”. Truth of the matter- It’s a personal choice. Sufficient to say I’ve never told anyone, “If you drink you can’t go to Heaven!” I’d be adding to God’s Word.

GRACE! That’s the key. God shows His love to us, even when we don’t deserve it. Salvation IS NOT “I’ll change my ways and maybe I’ll please God and He’ll accept me”. NO! That would be you trying to get there on your own.


SALVATION IS “Jesus died for me! He loves me despite my weaknesses, my sins, my quirkiness and my idiosyncrasies.”

One other thing she said that made my liver quiver. “I don’t care anyways.”

Sad to say this is the way many people feel. But I believe she’s fooling herself. Deep down everyone  cares. That’s why self-help books are such a big seller. That’s why cults and false religions are so attractive to people. They have a deep-felt need that must be met.

News bulletin! Jesus is God’s answer (and ONLY ANSWER) to that need.

So share God’s love! People have an inner aching only He can take care of. Remember you’re sharing God’s Grace, not your views, opinions, or cultural beliefs. Don’t add to Grace.

And yes, people with tattoos can go to Heaven. And people who drink, and people who own cats, and tall people, and short people, and rich people, and poor people, and people who . . . You fill in the blank.

Not by our actions, but by God’s grace!

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.


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Strength from the Mountain

Every once in a while I find a verse that pops out and says WOW to me. The other day a verse did just that. I hope it speaks to you, too.

Psalm 125:2 “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.”

mountain-pasture_00450519Two points I want to make about this.

1. Mountains Offer Protection.

In ancient times, cities surrounded by mountains were less vulnerable to enemy attacks. Obviously the bad guys had to traverse the difficulties of mountains to get to the city; fight and struggle to get over the peaks and rocky terrain. God is like a mountain. The enemy has to battle Him to get to the Christian.

2. Castle_mountain_2003Christians Should Gain Spiritual Strength in the Knowledge that God Is There

One of my favorite vacation spots is the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There’s nothing like going to the top of one of the ranges and looking out over the beauty, majesty, and awesomeness. It’s inspiring.

Here’s a sure fact. In life difficulties will arise. Trials will come. Sometimes we can feel small in the midst of them. That’s when we need to look to our Mountain – Our God. He’s bigger than us and bigger than any of our troubles. We need to know He is before us, beside us, and ALL AROUND US! Don’t take your eyes off the mountain that is God.

Remember! Psalm 125:2 “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.

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