Patriotic Quote 1/26/2023

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059 henry ward beecher 26

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Food For Thought 1/26/2023

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Length of A Generation

A generation is defined as a length of time it takes for a father to be succeeded by his child. It is popularly considered to be 33 years.

A Bible generation is sometimes regarded as 70 years (Psalm 90:10). Others believe it to be 40 years, saying that all the adults of the generation which left Egypt died during the 40-year wilderness wanderings.

Perhaps the strongest identification is found in Job 42:16 which says that “Job lived a hundred and forty years . . . even four generations.” Dividing 140 by 4, the result is 35. A Bible generation could very well be 35 years.

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Christian Quote 1/26/2023

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258 thomas de witt talmage 26

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Look Again and Consecrate

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Thursday January 26, 2023

Matthew 6:30
“Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, . . . will He not
much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us if we are not simple. How are we going to be simple with the simplicity of Jesus? By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, obeying Him as He brings the word of God, and life will become amazingly simple. ‘Consider,’ says Jesus, ‘how much more your Father Who clothes the grass of the field will clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him.’ Every time we have gone back in spiritual communion it has been because we have impertinently known better than Jesus Christ. We have allowed the cares of the world to come in, and have forgotten the ‘much more’ of our Heavenly Father.

“Behold the fowls of the air”—their one aim is to obey the principle of life that is in them and God looks after them. Jesus says that if you are rightly related to Him and obey this Spirit that is in you, God will look after your ‘feathers.’

“Consider the lilies of the field”—they grow where they are put. Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere. Jesus says that if we obey the life God has given us, He will look after all the other things. Has Jesus Christ told us a lie? If we are not experiencing the ‘much more,’ it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us, we are taken up with confusing considerations. How much time have we taken up worrying God with questions when we should have been absolutely free to concentrate on His work? Consecration means the continual separating of myself to one particular thing. We cannot consecrate once and for all. Am I continually separating myself to consider God every day of my life?

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Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year (Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986)
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Reflecting With God 1/26/2023

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Thinking, praying, reading, studying the Bible – when we do these things, we are reflecting on the Word of God. To reflect is to contemplate and/or consider, and God wants us to deeply reflect on His Word so that we can better understand Him.

Thursday Reflecting

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. – Psalm 91:13.

Let us not be afraid of Satan. We may be but as atoms in the feet of Christ, but even then we are above the devil, for it is written that God has put all things under His feet. Let us not look up at Satan from below, but descend on him from above. He matched his power against Christ and failed, and he will fare similarly in conflict with all those in whom Christ dwells.
~ F. B. MEYER

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Illustrated Message 1/26/2023

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Daniel 3:17

If it is so Even if death is the consequence of noncompliance, they will still hold fast to their religious commitments and trust God for deliverance.

Our God A courageous proclamation of faith. God is both able and faithful to deliver His people.


Faithlife Verse of the Day Art, © 2023, Faithlife / Logos Bible Software.
Faithlife Study Bible © 2012,2016 by Lexham Press
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Daily Prayer & Praise 1/26/2023

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Lord, hear our prayer:

Father, you have shown us that the only sacrifice you want is a humble heart that is open to you and your will. We confess that we allow our neighbor’s needs to be sacrificed on the altar of our convenience. We permit the hungry to go away empty-handed at the cost of our possessiveness. We turn our backs on the lonely and the broken, the empty and the lost and those far from you. The price of our time and energies in helping others is a cost we are often not willing to pay. Father, forgive us, touch our hearts and change us, cleanse our minds and make us new. Renew our lives and set us free. For the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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Some minor adaptation on some prayers.
David Clowes, 500 Prayers For All Occasions © 2003 by David C Cook Publishing
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Bible Verse of The Day 1/26/2023

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INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER:
First Peter is about maintaining hope in the midst of suffering. Because Jesus Himself suffered, and because God can be trusted to put all things right, Peter counsels believers to maintain their faith in Jesus. Believers should do so even when they are being persecuted, mocked, and misunderstood; they should also imitate Jesus by enduring unjust suffering with grace. Hardships are bound to come in this life, but they do not have the last word.

Taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation for ease of reading:

1 peter 2_24

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Christmas Is Coming – Soon!

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While they [the disciples] watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:9-11.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

By the time you are reading this, Christmas Day will be approximately a month past. So why, you are asking, am I saying that Christmas, now past, is coming soon?

Let’s consider what Christmas is. When Jesus was born, we are told by the prophets and angels alike that the Son of God, whom shall be named Jesus, will come to earth, and visit humankind to fulfill a mission of salvation. He was born exactly as the prophets of old and the angelic messengers foretold.

Now today, the world has chosen this time period to celebrate Christmas. As Christians, disciples who follow Jesus, we designate this day as a day to give thanks for His birth and ultimately His mission of salvation. Most of us realize that He wasn’t born on this day, but through history, we have maintained the tradition.

Now the world for the most part, especially unbelievers, do not worship His birth or His mission of salvation, but rather are enamored with the idea that this is a time to celebrate love with one another and especially in a commercial way, without recognition of the Gift of Love that was given.

The world emulates the gift-giving wisemen, most often not realizing they came approximately two-years after Jesus’ birth, but that doesn’t interfere with the giving of “precious” gifts to one another. Of course, the business world has jumped upon this tradition and actually base the majority of their commercial success on this small window of opportunity.

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Families gather together, have joyful reunions, exchange stories and gifts, attend happy galas set aside for just this time of year, most often oblivious to the reason (or downright rejecting the reason) for this seasonal celebration.

Not so with true Christians. Not so with those who are part of Christ’s Church and a part of Jesus’ soon-to-be Bride. We look forward with anticipation for the return arrival of the eternal Messiah, our Bridegroom and our Redeemer. No longer a helpless baby in swaddling pieces of cloth, but Sovereign Lord, King of kings and Lord of lords!

We know, that no matter the date or day, this will be TRUE Christmas for all believers, those dearly departed and those alive and awake and ever vigilant for the adult Bridegroom. There will be a grand and glorious reunion with loved ones known and even those we don’t know personally. For our family has been enlarged by the grace and mercy of the Almighty Father!

There will be a banquet unlike anything ever imagined, with no lack of rejoicing, singing, praising and giving thanks. My heart leaps even now with just the little bit that my mind can imagine.

Yes, there will be gifts exchanged also. Rewards given for works well-done out of love, selflessness and obedience. There will be crowns placed at the feet of the Bridegroom in honor of all that He did for His Bride! Oh yes indeed! This world cannot even begin to imagine the Christmas we are about to have, if we are reading the prophetic signs correctly.

It is like our Beloved left us signposts along the way, clues and hints that He is on His way and all we have to do is be vigilant and alert to His soon arrival. Oh, brothers and sisters, to celebrate Christmas in its truest sense, in its purest form, what an eternal joy that is going to be.

We won’t just be one with our Bridegroom, we shall be one with the Father because of the Bridegroom. I could go on and on about the spiritual blessings awaiting us and even then it would be a drop in a large bucket. It wouldn’t even make a dent in the tip of an iceberg what our Lord has in store for those who are awaiting Him and expecting Him!

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It is no wonder that the angelic hosts sang out, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” – Luke 2:14. I love the way the NIV says it,  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Peace to those who have favor with the Father! What a thought, what a blessing! What joy fills the heart who is basking in that blessing even now!

Can you now see why I say Christmas is coming soon? Can you feel the excitement in the air around us, the exhilaration and joy at the expectation of His soon return? If you cannot, I beg of you, dear friend, get by yourself and cry out to the God that already knows you and knows your heart. Cry out to the Father that will most assuredly answer your plea and I guarantee you, you will not miss this great Christmas celebration that is soon coming.

Look to the sky, look to the clouds for the Word says our redemption is getting close (Luke 21:27-28). Keep your eyes peeled and your heart expectant, for when He comes, it will be like He first left, the only difference is that He will remain in the clouds and we, His Bride shall ascend out of view of the rest of the world until the seven years on earth is past and He places His feet on the Mount of Olives once again!

In the meantime, Christmas is coming. No need for decorations except within our hearts. He is bringing His gifts with Him and we are soon, going home! Glory to God! Amen and AMEN! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Where noted, Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV © 2011 by Biblica, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Patriotic Quote 1/25/2023

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058 henry van dyke 25

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Food For Thought 1/25/2023

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What Generation Did Christ Mean?

What generation? Obviously, in context, the generation that would see the signs: chief among them the rebirth of Israel. A generation in the Bible is something like forty years. If this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so of 1948, all these could take place. Many scholars who have studied Bible prophecy all their lives believe this is so.
~ Hal Lindsay in The Late Great Planet Earth

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Christian Quote 1/25/2023

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257 smith wigglesworth 25

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1 Thessalonians 5:21

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Wednesday January 25, 2023

1 Thessalonians 5:21
Hold fast what is good.

It is a great thing to be able to receive new truth and blessing without sacrificing the truths already proved, and abandoning foundations already laid.

Some persons are always laying the foundations, and they present at last, the appearance of a lot of abandoned sites and half constructed buildings, and nothing is ever brought to completion.

The fact that you are abandoning to-day for some new truth the things that a year ago you counted most precious and believed to be divinely true, should be sufficient evidence that you will probably a year from to-day abandon your present convictions for the next new light that comes to you.

God is ever wanting to add to us, to develop us, to enlarge us, to teach us more and more, but it is ever in the line of things which He has already taught us, and in which we have been established.

While we are to “test all things,” let us “hold fast what is good,” and “to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind” (Philippians 3:16).

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A. B. Simpson, Days of Heaven upon Earth: A Year Book of Scripture Texts and Living Truths (Christian Alliance Pub. Co., 1897)
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Reflecting With God 1/25/2023

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Thinking, praying, reading, studying the Bible – when we do these things, we are reflecting on the Word of God. To reflect is to contemplate and/or consider, and God wants us to deeply reflect on His Word so that we can better understand Him.

Wednesday Reflecting

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12.

Ignorance and inoperative knowledge divide mankind between them, and but a small remnant have let the truth plough deep into their inmost being and plant therein a holy fear of God. Therefore, the Psalmist prays for himself and his people, as knowing the temptations to inconsiderate disregard and to inadequate feeling of God’s opposition to sin, that His power would take untaught hearts in hand and teach them this—to count their days. Then we shall bring home as from a ripened harvest field, the best fruit which life can yield, “a heart of wisdom,” which, having learned the power of God’s anger, and the number of our days, turns itself to the eternal dwelling-place and no more is sad, when it sees life ebbing away, or the generations moving in unbroken succession into the darkness.
~ MACLAREN

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Illustrated Message 1/25/2023

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Colossians 1:10

Live in a manner worthy The purpose of having knowledge, wisdom, and insight is not to boast or brag, but to love God and others, thereby reflecting His image in the world.

Knowledge of God Refers to experiential knowledge, not just intellectual understanding. As believers trust and obey God’s will, they become more acquainted with God’s ways—and with God Himself.


Faithlife Verse of the Day Art, © 2023, Faithlife / Logos Bible Software.
Faithlife Study Bible © 2012,2016 by Lexham Press
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Daily Prayer & Praise 1/25/2023

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Lord, hear our prayer:

Father, we thank you, not simply for making us, but for giving us life; for the sheer joy of being alive; for the pleasure of real friendship and for the opportunities to enjoy your wonderful creation. We praise you that you have so made us that we can find renewal and satisfaction and a sense of completeness, not only in the world around us, but also in the love with which you have filled our lives. We thank you, not only for making us, but for making us your special people. You have done this, not because we are worthy, but because we must bear a special responsibility. Thank you for giving us a world to care for; for other people whose needs are our opportunities to show your love and kindness; for helping us to see even the hard times and the times of difficulty as opportunities to rediscover your strength and power. We praise you for the faith with which you have filled our lives; for the growing certainty that you will never fail us; that your peace, love and mercy are the things that really matter. Thank you for Jesus Christ, through whom we are made your special possession.

Amen.

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Some minor adaptation on some prayers.
David Clowes, 500 Prayers For All Occasions © 2003 by David C Cook Publishing
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Bible Verse of The Day 1/25/2023

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INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER:
First Peter is about maintaining hope in the midst of suffering. Because Jesus Himself suffered, and because God can be trusted to put all things right, Peter counsels believers to maintain their faith in Jesus. Believers should do so even when they are being persecuted, mocked, and misunderstood; they should also imitate Jesus by enduring unjust suffering with grace. Hardships are bound to come in this life, but they do not have the last word.

Taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation for ease of reading:

1 peter 2_23b

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The Lighthouse

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The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? – Psalm 27:1.

“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. . . . If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” – Luke 11:33, 36.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” – John 8:12.

Back in the beginning of 1971, just a couple of years after I gave my heart to the Lord, a Southern-Gospel group, the Happy Goodmans did a live release of a song written by Ronny Hinson the year before in 1970. It was entitled, “The Lighthouse” and it became a number one song in the hearts of Gospel music fans all over the world.

Chorus:
There’s a lighthouse on the hillside that overlooks life’s sea.
When I’m tossed it sends out a light that I might see.
And the light that shines in darkness now will safely lead me home,
If it wasn’t for the lighthouse, my ship would sail no more.1

I loved that song and soon took up my guitar and started singing it in church. As time went by, I still loved that song, but the theology behind it started to change in my mind a bit when I started studying the Word of God and becoming more personally intimate with the Lord.

I want to briefly share with you some of those thoughts in the hope of encouraging and inspiring each and everyone of you to let the light of Jesus Christ shine out to a storm-tossed and chaotic world.

Part of that song as it goes along tells us that Jesus is the lighthouse and that is the part I want to center on for a bit. It will always be a great and inspirational song to me as it has truly become a Gospel classic over the past fifty years.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the light of the world as shown in the Scriptures given at the beginning. He is the light from the very beginning and I could go on with a lengthy lesson just on that fact alone. However, keep in mind that fact; Jesus IS the light of the world.

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Think back now to what Jesus told the disciples concerning His followers and light. We aren’t the light, but we have the light, and since we have the light, what are we to do with it? Jesus tells us that if you truly have the light, you don’t hide it. You don’t place it under a bed, in a clay pot or cover it with a basket. Rather, you take that light and you place it on a stand so that it lights the whole area, thus chasing away the darkness. I gave you the Scripture from the gospel of Luke, above, but Matthew states it slightly different:

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16.

Jesus said that you, speaking to His disciples, of which all believers are, are like a lighted city on a hill, simply put, at a vantage point allowing all to see the light. In other words, we are to carry that light and allow it to shine from the most advantageous spot for all to see.

Now we all know that lighthouses are always constructed right where the greatest storms have a tendency of passing by. They are constructed, not so that sailors can see the lighthouse itself, but rather, the light reflected from the lighthouse. When a ship is going through a ravaging storm, the waves are crashing all about and the lightning is illuminating the clouds above, the sailors don’t see the actual lighthouse, but they do see the light. Especially if it sits high or on a hill.

So consider this; when a lighthouse is constructed, it has to withstand gale-force winds and crashing rain. It has to stand solid, so many lighthouses are constructed on bedrock, the stones that are nearly impossible to move or shift. Who is our bedrock? Who is it that is our rock on which we stand and are built? The Psalms tell us specifically:

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:2.

It is God, through Christ Jesus, who is our bedrock. He is our firm and steady foundation on which we are to build our lives. He is the foundation that cannot be moved no matter the storms that life sends our way.

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Now here is the thing. We are built on that foundation, but what kind of structure are we to be? Jesus said that we are to be the vessel to shine His light to all the surrounding area. We are the vessel, the construction, built by Him on His solid foundation to reflect His light to the world and especially through the storms of life. We aren’t built so that others can see what grand constructions we are, rather, we are built upon Him, to shine His light so that as we raise Him up, His light will draw all peoples through the storms of life to a safe haven (John 12:32).

So, in essence, we, as disciples and believers are the lighthouse. We are built upon the solid rock, the foundation built upon the Chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ. We are the vessel or construction built to shine forth His light to all those around us.

One last thing I have to point out; the light, for it to shine forth at its brightest has to have a power source. Jesus Himself is the power source, but, for us to shine it forth, the power has to come from within the vessel or construction itself. Think about that for a moment. Jesus is the powerful light, but for the lighthouse to reflect that powerful light, the power has to come from within and that power necessary for us to shine the Light of the Lord has to come from the Holy Spirit. The power source, within us. (Acts 1:8) Only when we are tapped into that power source do we as vessels, as lighthouses, have the power to reflect to the world the light of Christ Jesus. We can’t do it within ourselves, but on Him the solid rock, we are built to house His power in the form of His Holy Spirit and shine forth His light to a world tossed with storms and chaos.

In closing, I have to ask, are you tapped into that power source? Is that  power source abiding within you so that you can reflect the light of Christ Jesus throughout the whole world? Don’t be like those abandoned lighthouses that we sometimes see, with no power, no light and therefore no use. They can’t help anyone through the storms that do come by them.

Jesus is the Light, but each of us can be the lighthouse that He constructed us to be to reflect His light to others.

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1 The Lighthouse © 1970 Ronny Hinson. All rights reserved. (Lyrics free for non-commercial use)
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Patriotic Quote 1/24/2023

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057 henry cuyler bunner 24

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Food For Thought 1/24/2023

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The X Generation

“Jesus said there would be a future generation with certain characteristics to indicate that the end is near. In other words, there is an “X generation” at some point in history where all the signs converge . . . Today it would seem that those signs are indeed converging for the first time since Christ ascended to heaven.”
~ Billy Graham

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