Archive for the ‘Scripture Paraphrases’ Category

The King Who Fights For His People

davidandgoliath2

Main Passages: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13, 1 Samuel 17: 20-26, 33-37, 45-51

Part 1a: 31min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-12-the-king-who-fights-for-his-people-part1a-1samuel16-17-tah-guest-vinson.mp3”

Part 1b: 36min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-12-the-king-who-fights-for-his-people-part1b-1samuel16-17-tah-guest-vinson.mp3”

Full Message: 1hr

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-12-the-king-who-fights-for-his-people-1samuel16-17-tah-guest-vinson.mp3”

“In the story of David, we see that God does not judge people based on worldly expectations. David’s battle against Goliath is an example of a king’s trust in the Lord’s deliverance and of God’s faithfulness to accomplish a decisive victory for His people. God’s people needed a warrior-king to defeat the enemy on their behalf, and in the story of David, we see glimpses of the promised king we need, as well as an example of obeying God from a heart on fire for Him.” – the Gospel Project

Theological Theme: God – Father, Son and Spirit’s people need a warrior-king who will defeat the enemy on their behalf.

Christ Connection: In David, we see a picture of courageous faith in God’s power. We also catch a glimpse of the bigger story of the Bible and the coming King- Jesus Christ – whom no one would have expected or picked to win the victory, but through His death and resurrection, He is mighty to save.

Missional Application:  As God’s people who have been forgiven through the power of the cross and by the Holy Spirit, we don’t pursue the nations in judgment but with the message of grace, that all may hear the good news and be swept up into the glorious love and grace of God.

“What is required—what Jesus Christ continually requires—are rocks like this who are certainly not perfectly untainted people, who are perhaps seriously objectionable in many ways and will have much to answer for, but are nevertheless ready to do something quite specific, to render obedience to a specific word by undertaking a specific service. In the church of Jesus Christ, there is not only waiting, there must also be those individuals who are continually hastening, watching, rising where they are called to, with all the perils that entails. The church could not do without them, and the church cannot do without them today either. And now in this hour, the text puts this question to each and every one of us: And you, are you not also called to obey in a specific way? To be sure, we must examine ourselves to see whether we are ready to obey the orders of Jesus Christ, or whether the appeal we are now hearing might not come from some chimera within our hearts. But equally, let us examine ourselves to see whether it is not the result of our cowardice and unbelief if we not assume this specific task, this specific act of obedience to which we are summoned! (55)” – Karl Barth – Reading Karl Barth: The “Bremen” Sermon

Photo Compliments: http://www.lds.org

 

How Jesus Transforms The Downfall Of Israel’s First King

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Part 1a – 26min:

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-05-how-jesus-transforms-the-downfall-of-israels-first-king-part1a-1samuel-15-10-31-tah.mp3”

Part 1b – 31min:

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-05-how-jesus-transforms-the-downfall-of-israels-first-king-part1b-1samuel-15-10-31-tah.mp3”

Full Message – 57min:

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/2017-02-05-how-jesus-transforms-the-downfall-of-israels-first-king-1samuel-15-10-31-tah.mp3”

Main Passage: 1Samuel 15: 10-31NIV

Theological Theme: God- Father, Son, and Spirit, requires total obedience to all of His commands. “In King Saul’s story, we see the failure to obey God completely leads us to rationalize and justify our obedience, a sin that is compounded by the desire for human approval rather than divine grace. Halfhearted obedience is just another form of disobedience, and so, God-Father, Son and Spirit calls us to renounce our hypocritical displays of righteousness and to submit fully to his purpose and plan.” The Gospel Project

Christ Connection: Saul’s kingship could not last because he rejected God’s word. Israel needed a lasting kingdom ruled by Someone who would obey God fully. Through the perfect obedience of Jesus, God would establish His rule over His humanity forever. “Jesus is standing in for you representing you as one before God even when you’re not obeying. One who is making a great and awesome decision for God even when you are not making a great and awesome decision for God”…..”In light of who Jesus is – The Vicarious Man – and who we are in Him, we can see that the downfall of man (and sometimes YOUR downfall in life) is your failure to obey God COMPLETELY!” TJBrassell

Missional Application: God the Holy Spirit calls and empowers us to renounce our hypocritical displays of righteousness and to submit fully to His purpose and plan in Jesus so that the world will see God’s redemption. “The gracious call of Jesus now becomes a stern command: Do this! Give up that! Leave the ship and come to me! When a man says he cannot obey the call of Jesus because he believes, or because he does not believe, Jesus says: “First obey, perform the external work, renounce your attachments, give up the obstacles which separate you from the will of God. Do not say you have not got faith. You will not have it so long as you persist in disobedience and refuse to take the first step.  Neither must you say that you have faith, and therefore there is no need for you to take the first step. You have not got faith so long as and because you will not take the first step but become hardened in your unbelief under the guise of humble faith.” It is…malicious…to argue like this, a sure sign of lack of faith, which leads in its turn to a lack of obedience. This is the disobedience of the “believers”; when they are asked to obey, they simply confess their unbelief and leave it at that (Mark 9.24). You are trifling with the subject. If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don’t believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, 73-74

 

 

When God- Father, Son and Spirit Speaks

 

God speaks

Part 1a 19min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-when-god-father-son-and-spirit-speaks-part1a-1samuel3-tah.mp3”

Part 1b 22min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-when-god-father-son-and-spirit-speaks-part1b-1samuel3-tah.mp3”

Full Message 41 min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-22-when-god-father-son-and-spirit-speaks-1samuel3-tah.mp3”

Main Passages:  1 Samuel 3,  1 Samuel 4:1

Theological Theme: The Holy Spirit illuminates the meaning of God the Father’s Word so that we can understand, trust, and obey God. “We are learning and we will hear in this message that God- Father, Son, and Spirit loves US and He wants to relate to us because God is himself a relationship….God speaks his love and acceptance over us. He is drawing near to relate with us.” – tjbrassell

Christ Connection: As a prophet to Israel, Samuel listened to God and used God’s words to tell the people what God is like. John 1:1 says that Jesus is the Word, sent by God to show the world what God is like. “In our day- this Word of God is all pointing to The Word- God the Son – becoming a fleshly human being and showing up as the Word in living flesh, so that anything we are misinterpreting about what God has to say will no longer be so misinterpreted……You should look for God’s living Word – Jesus- these days. If you’re going to know yourself and find your identity, you have to look outside yourself, and you’re going to have to look to Jesus Christ- The living Word”-tjbrassell

Missional Application: God through the Holy Spirit, calls us to be receptive to whatever He may have to say to us and then deliver the truth of God’s Word to others. “The first service one owes to others in a community involves listening to them. Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for others is learning to listen to them. God’s love for us is shown by the fact that God not only gives God’s Word but also lends us God’s ear.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

A Glimpse Of God’s Love

ruth6

Part 1a, 21min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-01-15-a-glimpse-of-gods-love-pt1a-ruth-1-4-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Part 1b, 21 min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-01-15-a-glimpse-of-gods-love-pt1b-ruth-1-4-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Full Message, 42min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-01-15-a-glimpse-of-gods-love-ruth-1-4-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Main Passages

Ruth 1:1-9,16-18, Ruth 2:1-3,8-12, Ruth 4:13-17

Theological Theme

The steadfast love of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is seen in the love of Ruth for Naomi and in Boaz’s kindness to redeem his family.

Christ Connection

Boaz was a family redeemer who showed undeserved kindness to Ruth, a foreigner. In a similar manner, Jesus is our Redeemer who has shown unmerited kindness to us and adopted us into His family.

Missional Application

God, through The Holy Spirit in us, calls us to respond to His love toward us by extending the same kind of unyielding, welcoming and redeeming love to others.

So Why Not Say You’re Gay, or…?

 

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…Black, White, Asian or Hispanic??? Or Republican, or Democrat? Or why not say you’re a Millennial, Boomer, or a Gen X’er??? (After all everyone else calls themselves by their age, too?) Why not call yourself ESFJ, or INTJ – for those familiar with the Myers Briggs personality inventory?

Because, simply put but complexly true, according to Jesus Christ and the God Revealed in Him, you are not any of those things! You certainly may exhibit some of those traits but…

 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

– Colossians 3:3-4 (The Msg)

According to Jesus, from the Father and through the Holy Spirit in the Apostle Paul, that’s why you shouldn’t identify as just any old “thing”, or even as your own thing! So if you’re struggling with your identity, it is probably because you’ve forgotten, or never knew the Truth God points out  through this scripture:

1.) Your identity is not in some thing (your sexual attraction, your skin color, your political party or age), it is in Someone outside yourself, namely, in Jesus Christ, in God. You’re going to have to look outside yourself in the first instance to discover your identity! You should receive and look to Jesus because your real life is hidden in him. Your true humanity is hidden in him. He is your life! (By the way, what largely remains hidden to you now is the glorified humanity Jesus has for you; the humanity that will never die and is incorruptible. What isn’t hidden is all of the other stuff revealed and witnessed to about Jesus in the bible!)

2.) If you’re going to receive who you really are, you’re going to have to follow Jesus and let him show and tell you. Because he is a Person and you are a person, that means discovering your identity is not static but dynamic, or relational and active. Identity is not a thing that can be discovered in isolation from others (as in “I’m a hermit”). Your identity is a discovery that comes in relationship with Jesus and the God Revealed in Him.

3.) One of the greatest and common places Jesus is pleased to meet you is in the scriptures! Perhaps you, personally, are having more clarity about your identity through the scripture just quoted. It wouldn’t surprise me! This Relational God – Father, Son and Spirit is the one who inspired and left us these books we call the bible through which he would encounter us and witness to himself! If you like reading books, he left you quite a few to catch up on! Lol! If you are getting clarity about your identity through the scripture notice that we went to a passage through which God has been pleased to witness to himself (though He’s NOT the bible!) Through that passage he was pleased to speak to you not only about who he is but also about who you really are!

4.) Notice also that this isn’t a scripture only about you, it’s about every one of us! Because of who we are speaking of, Jesus, the God/Man and One who created and sustains every single person, your fellow human beings also have their identity in Him! Jesus is literally the One Human for all! Pointedly, this means you should seek to see your neighbor also for who they are in Jesus who represents all humans in his humanity, namely, your brother or sister, or neighbor in Christ!

Imagine for one moment how transformed our world would be if we referred to all others as “brother” or “sister” or “neighbor” “in Christ” rather than the things I noted in my first few sentences? Can you see the difference that would make in our treatment of each other? Can you sense the other-centered love in humility that could thrive, and the self-centered pride that could die? Wow!!!

By the way, none of this means that you become Jesus or that he becomes you! No! He will still be Jesus and you will still be distinctly you. It does mean that Jesus intends to share with you his awesome and glorified human nature so you can relate with God and each other in a way that partakes of the divine nature, as one made in the image of his image in Jesus (2 Cor 4:4)! His life reveals what it really means to be human and those who trust him get to participate in that!

Here’s the link to a GREAT read through which I was encountered by God – Father, Son and Spirit and got stirred to write this article:  http://www.livingout.org/why-not-say-you-re-gay-

As author Jonathan Berry writes in his last paragraph:

“We’re often warned of the dangers of identity theft in an increasingly digital age. As a Christian I feel passionately that I don’t want to allow myself to be robbed of the enjoyment of these great blessings, by falsely embracing any other identity. In his letter to Christians in Rome, Paul urges his readers not to “conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). For me, a really important aspect of that mind-renewal process involves ditching any unbiblical labels and securing my true identity as being in Christ.” (underline emphasis mine!)

Amen!

– tjbrassell

*photo courtesy of rhemafromgod.blogspot.com

 

Yes – Barack, Hillary and “the Donald” are Better Than You!

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Or, at least grace is given, from Jesus, to consider them better than you! Right? Right? Right?

I know. It almost doesn’t seem like that kind of grace is true for us after seeing or participating in all of those political rants on Facebook this year (and received even in my mailbox today!). But thank Abba Father for helping us to receive this grace, through Jesus, in the Spirit, and written by the Apostle Paul in scripture:

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves.” Phil 2:3 (AMP)

I’m not saying, and the Apostle Paul isn’t saying, that people aren’t sometimes bad and don’t make bad decisions that suck. They do! We do! You do! Paul did! All do! Paul considers himself to be “the worst of sinners”, 1 Tim 1:16, (as you should be regarding yourself, right?!) Paul is just admitting that, after an encounter with Jesus and receiving Who Jesus says he is, we see that we all suck badly enough with our sin nature that we rebel against God (and you really can’t get worse than that – I don’t care who you are! Can you?)

If for some reason you can’t receive that, then can you at least receive that however far you perceive yourself to be away from Barack, Donald and Hillary in your supposed sin and ethical behavior, you are wayyyyyy to the infinite power closer to them than you are to Jesus, WHO NEVER SINNED! Hmpf! It’s ONLY in Jesus’ humanity that your humanity is perfected, AND, you’re not Him and he’s not you! He sends the Spirit so that we, you, sinners, might be conformed to him, not just in his humanity, but in ours! As Dr. Gary Deddo says “What Jesus does for and to us, the Holy Spirit works out in and through us!”

So, if you’re going to give us a Christian political rant, have at it! But have mercy (the kind you want the political leader to have on others! Ha!). We should be able to sense some of Christ’s humility in your rant, not simply political hate, if you’re a Christian! Can you at least get a word or two in about Christ? It is a “Christ”ian rant, if it’s coming from you, right? Politics are tainted with darkness, so why not leave people with a witness of the hope of Christ in politics, the Light the darkness cannot overcome?

And in case you’ve forgotten Who Jesus is (and we DO forget), he is the Son of Abba Father, who sends the Holy Spirit, through Jesus, bringing Jesus to our remembrance! Yes! Ask Father for the Holy Spirit before your next political rant, because there’s nothing more God would rather give you than the Holy Spirit! Luke 11:9-13.

As the Holy Spirit grants you growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, be political because you’re Christ-centered, not just mentioning Christ because your political-centered! Ha! Proclaim Jesus as the Sovereign of the world and don’t just be concerned with the sovereignty of this or that nation!

Perhaps you think I’m overly spiritualizing things, but I’m actually not! Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” – John 8:12.Whatever spiritual means, it means God in flesh and the ordinary things of life! To say Jesus is to say “flesh” and “Spirit”. Therefore, Jesus IS the spiritual Light on politics, in flesh, and politics really matters, and we ought to wrestle with and talk about it, and all subjects, in the Spirit.

As Christians we’ve not become so poisoned with hate, so sin and policy-centered, that we can’t (or won’t?) write a political rant that leaves us more with the Christian hope than hate for a human brother or sister (political leader), have we?! If we’ve become like that, we need more grace to become more Christ-centered in our spiritual journey. Can’t you use at least 4 of your 150 characters to characterize Jesus and (dare I suggest) request P-R-A-Y-er FOR the political leader as Christ holds them, rather than praying for them to “go to hell” as we hold them. Haha

By the way, if you aren’t claiming to speak or write in Christ’s name, or as one in whom His Spirit dwells, then of course this post wasn’t written for you except as a witness to you of Christ – Who loves and has mercy on you too! (wink wink) And who knows (God knows!) maybe Barack, Hillary and Donald REALLY ARE BETTER THAN YOU, considering Who they know versus Who you know! Hmmmm…

– tjbrassell

 

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.3

Spiritual Gift 2

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/06-12-16-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-3-matthew-3-11-eph-4-tah.mp3”

This message of Good News leads to an attempt of a congregation to participate with Jesus as he inspired the Apostle Paul to write in Ephesians 4 :7-13 (The Message):

“Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.”

 

*picture courtesy of made2bcreative.com

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.1

Making Things New 1

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/05-29-16-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-1-acts-1-2-tah1.mp3”

In part one of this new series on God’s Good News at New Life Baltimore, walk with a congregation preparing to participate and go with Jesus more “Outside The Walls” of the Church by asking the three most important questions of Christianity:

Who is Jesus Christ?

Where is Jesus Christ today?

What am I to do as a Christian?

Check it out!

 

*picture courtesy of pinterest.com

How to Ask God Meaningful Questions and Get Meaningful Answers!

Who do you say I Am - Luke 9.20

As you’re encountered personally by God, Father, Son and Spirit, there’s no question that He loves to ask and/or stir up questions! UNDERSTATEMENT! (See God personally, or see him speaking and acting in the scriptures from Genesis to maps! Ha!)

In one sense, it probably appears crazy to even approach this subject. After all, when approaching any human authority there is an “intimidation factor” in questioning or answering them. You often think before asking: “Am I worth listening to?”, “Have I earned enough position power to ask this question without getting fired?” You often think before answering questions: “Is he REALLY asking me a question he wants me to answer or is he actually encouraging me to shut up and listen?”, “Is she asking because she really doesn’t know or is this a trap?” “Am I going to reveal that I’m smart, or dumb, or that I have completely forgotten what I promised to write down and remember (Gulp!)?”, etc.

Can you identify?! hahaha…  I can!

As I continue to relate to Jesus and the God Revealed in Him, I’m beginning to get clued in a little more about asking him meaningful questions and receiving his meaningful answers.

Let’s face it. It seems I must ask questions! That’s simply how relationship works. Unless I get to know the other, I can’t get to know the other. Good questions are ways I open myself in love to the other, to receive from them in self-giving, and encourage their self-giving. I learn about God by asking questions! On the other hand, God’s questions demand answers! I mean, is He not the most compelling Person in the room whether speaking or not? When God speaks, a response is demanded! Scripture says that “His word does not return void but accomplishes all that he sent it forth to do” and that “He spoke and earth existed”. Talk about compelling speech! BUT how do I respond to God – as living dirt?! How could living dirt like me possibly fill the gap between the question and answer of God, Who IS Life Himself?

ahhhh… That’s where the “One mediator between God and man, the Man Jesus Christ” steps in! Whew!

If you think carefully about how human life works, you would have to admit that you must be taught how to ask meaningful questions. Without being taught how to speak and think (whether formal or informally), you would have no clue as to how to form meaningful words and sentences, let alone ask meaningful questions with them! You must be taught how to answer or search for good, meaningful answers. That’s what school is all about, right?

And can we agree that, with the exception of some type of mental disability or involvement of evil, most of us are interested only in meaningful questions and answers? After all, if questions and answers aren’t meaning-full then they are meaning-less, and who wants meaning-less anything? hmpf!

Hint hint: It works similarly in our questioning and answering with God, only different and way better! God, Father, Son and Spirit must teach you how to ask Him meaningful questions AND He must teach you how to receive his meaningful answers, and how to search for them! Even more straight up and to the point, God must give you the meaningful questions to ask AND give the meaningful answers to receive, in your place and on your behalf! As he does all of this, graciously, you get to participate and cooperate with him in truly meaningful questions and answers – relationship!

The most clear Revelation of this is Jesus Christ because He is the fullness of God, Father, Son and Spirit, in flesh, and the one mediator between God and Man. Holding that together, let’s see how this works:

Jesus said “But what about you – who do you say that I Am?” Matt 16:15

Do you see in that wording God questioning and answering in a meaningful way, while at the same time teaching man how to question and answer too? You should!

Because of Who Jesus is as both God and Man in one and the same Person, without division or confusion, we can understand in this passage that:

1.) Jesus is God graciously giving man the right question to ask! 

2.) Jesus is Man receiving and asking the right question!

3.) Jesus is God giving man the meaningful answer to respond with – “I AM” 

4.) Jesus is Man receiving and responding to God with that meaningful answer – “You are ‘I AM'”

Wow! Can you see how Jesus, as God in our sinful flesh, corrects the meaningless questions sinful man would bring to God apart from God’s help? Can you see how Jesus, God in our sinful flesh, corrects the meaningless answers sinful man would give to God without his help?

This all means that it is no exaggeration to say that Jesus is literally all your Questions and Answers!

Let’s conclude by putting this into practice:

Jesus: “But what about you, who do you say that I Am?”

You and Me: “Ahhhhh, now I see! You are the Christ, the Son of the living God! You are telling me that the meaningful question for me to ask is “Who are you, Jesus?” You also just told told me that the meaningful answer from you is that you are God, the “I Am” – God, Father, Son and Spirit. Sooo…THAT is Who you are! You also told me who I am! You are God in union and relationship with man, sharing your love and life with me! You are INtimately with me and for me! That is so full of meaning! I now know my identity is safe and secure only in you! I used to ask my job, dead parent, money, and hobby, to give me security and meaning! Those questions, and their answers, were so meaningless! I now know to turn to you for my questions and answers regarding life’s meaning where I am truly secure! THANK YOU!”

Jesus: “You have asked and answered well! Yay!”

You and Me: “You have asked and answered well! Yay!”

In the Light of Who Jesus is, can you see why Jesus, in scripture, many times “appears” not to answer people’s questions directly as they asked? Jesus asks and answers only meaningful questions and, if they aren’t grounded in Who He is, they can’t truly be meaning-full! In fact they may even be non-questions! How can he answer those?! haha

Can you understand more clearly why Jesus responded to Peter’s answer with: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”? Matt 16:16-17

“Do you see why we often stumble in our questions to God and in receiving his answers to us?

Can you understand better why the Apostle John simply said to Jesus: “My Lord, you know!”? hahahaha

– tjbrassell

Let’s Get TWO-gether With Jesus And Go!

Two by Two Going Out With Jesus

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/15-12-06-lets-get-two-gether-with-jesus-and-go-luke-9-10-tah.mp3”

In this message of God’s Good News New Life Fellowship of Baltimore. MD. is being moved in the Spirit to hear from Jesus as He sends forth His disciples to live and share the Good News with as many people as possible. Specifically we are reading Matthew 10, Mark 6, and Luke 9-10, and asking “How is Jesus speaking to us through these scriptures and directing us in His mission for our congregation, today?”

You’re invited, and encouraged, to listen in! Maybe He’s talking to you and your congregation in this way too!

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