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Below the surface, living with lupus can mean days spent in bed, missed appointments, and alternate days when we seem “fine.” There’s so much more to lupus than meets the eye. We know that lupus comes with hundreds of possible combinations of symptoms, many of which appear invisible to outsiders. Most people don’t see the many symptoms we experience.

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On MyLupusTeam.com, the social network and online support group for people living with lupus, members discuss the chronic nature of the disease and its hidden symptoms. We chose the image of an iceberg to represent lupus symptoms because the life-impacting implications of a lupus diagnosis aren’t obvious on the surface. Please share to spread lupus awareness!

Migrants Were Observed Crossing Border As Arizona Governor Was Criticizing Biden Admin On Immigration Crisis

As Arizona Governor Doug Ducey criticized the Biden administration for failing to halt the flow of illegal immigrants, individuals were observed walking over a crack in the US-Mexico border barrier. Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls talked to the media while a reporter for a local NBC station videotaped a group of “nearly a dozen” migrants entering.

According to Nicholls, they’re seeing a lot more drug trafficking in our neighborhoods, affecting our schools. He claims that “drug trafficking affects our schools and the entire community. We appreciate the governor’s assistance, as well as the National Guard and Border Patrol officers.”

Moreover, Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona held a news conference in Yuma, accusing the Biden administration of “upending logical, successful measures like the Migrant Protection Protocols” and then reinstating them months later only when a court ordered it. He added that “thousands of migrants have been pouring into the United States every day along the Mexican border for many days.”https://lockerdome.com/lad/13456309840218726?pubid=ld-6133-2018&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fthecongressionalinsider.com&rid=&width=280

Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona has urged President Donald Trump not to restart the Mexico-US Population Protection Program (MPP), which forces asylum applicants to wait in Mexico before appearing in immigration court in the United States. In October, Border Patrol officers encountered 164,303 migrants at the southern border, bringing the overall number of interactions for the fiscal year to 1,734,686.

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Dr. Fauci Should Be Held Responsible For ‘Deceiving’…

Illegal Migrants Are Now Flying Without ID

The Transportation Security Administration is being investigated by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas). TSA Administrator Pekoske was contacted by Gooden, along with Reps. David McKinley (W.Va.) and Mary Miller (Ill). Gooden was concerned that the TSA actively aided illegal aliens traveling across the nation without appropriate documentation.

Representatives from both parties have written to Transportation Secretary Pekoske, requesting an explanation of how the TSA screens non-US/Canadian people who do not have passports or travel papers issued by the United States. It accepted additional forms of identification, including a Notice to Appear (NTA) in court, the TSA wrote in an email to Gooden’s office. Agents scan a migrant’s biometrics, take pictures, and run their fingerprints through immigration and NCIC databases before issuing an NTA.

Moreover, by permitting these unknown and unvetted migrants to board aircraft and fly across the nation, the TSA and non-profit organizations are putting millions of Americans traveling for Christmas in danger. The TSA claims to have found other forms of identification for use in certain instances, such as when non-US citizens or non-nationals do not have an approved form of identification. TSA contacts the National Transportation Vetting Center (NTVC) for travelers under typical situations, seeking to verify a traveler’s identification.https://lockerdome.com/lad/13456309840218726?pubid=ld-6133-2018&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fthecongressionalinsider.com&rid=&width=280

Furthermore, the TSA says it seeks public input on adequately screening persons who enter the country without valid identification. That’s excellent, but remember that nearly none of the 82,000 Afghans who arrived in the US before August were screened beforehand. There may be jihad terrorists and other criminals among them, but there’s no way of knowing until they conduct crimes.

Once again, the Biden administration wholly opposes the American people’s interests. Biden’s managers are opening the door to all kinds of criminal and terrorist activities by permitting illegal migrants to travel without appropriate identification. And it begs the question: Are they truly this stupid? Is it possible that the safety of Americans isn’t a top priority for their handlers?

According to Joe Biden’s managers, millions of illegal migrants fly the friendly skies without ID, paid for by who knows who and might be very explosive. If they had forgotten since the Obama administration left office, they now see what it means to have an America-Last administration.

WE have Enough Problems In America; Human Trafficking In Pennsylvania

I wish Josh Shapiro was around when I was trapped in human trafficking in Scranton Pennsylvania the was 1992 when my life was turned upside down. I did go to the Scranton Police Department and the Lackawanna Sheiffs Department. At that time i was told by both departments it was my fault. For 30 years I was caught in this horrable crime without help for any government. I have true stories to tell and I will be writing more about the unlawful government of Lackawanna County Pennsylvania. There are also a few judges I can write about as well. I am Praising the Lord for saving my life and never leaving me. My faith in Jesus has helped me as well. God bless everyone who reads this post, in Jesus name Amen.                                                    HARRISBURG — Two men who coerced six victims into prostitution with the false promise of easy money and then used drugs, violence and threats to control them have been arrested for human trafficking. Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office worked closely with the Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement agencies to build the prostitution and trafficking case.                                                        Crowell was taken into custody by authorities outside Chicago over the holiday weekend, and Schiff, currently incarcerated in York County, was arrested as well.  The men are charged with trafficking in individuals, corrupt organizations, involuntary servitude, conspiracy, possession with intent to deliver, prostitution and related offenses.              Kenneth Crowell, 34, and Barry “Bear” Schiff, 50, coerced six women into a forced servitude as prostitutes in a human trafficking ring that operated in Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties and southern New Jersey from 2014 until October 2017.                                      “This is a horrible case where women were lured into prostitution by the false promise of easy money,” Attorney General Shapiro said.  “When the victims tried to leave, these criminals used violence and threats of violence to keep them working as prostitutes against their will. Law enforcement collaboration and the use of a statewide investigating grand jury built this case.  We will use every tool at our disposal to prosecute these kinds of human trafficking cases.”                          Click here for a video of Attorney General Josh Shapiro.                          The arrests mark the second human trafficking case brought by the Office of Attorney General and Pennsylvania State Police in recent weeks. Earlier this month, two defendants were held for trial on human trafficking charges in Montgomery County in a case broken open with the help of an Uber driver who alerted police to the existence of a trafficking victim.                                                                                                                     The charges against Crowell and Schiff stem from a joint investigation by the Office of Attorney General and Pennsylvania State Police, with assistance from Northern York County Regional Police, Dallas TX police, Millville NJ police, the North Star Initiative of Lancaster, and the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking Program. The ring was uncovered when a woman reported to police that she was a victim of human trafficking during an undercover prostitution sting.                                                                                                            “The Pennsylvania State Police are committed to investigating individuals and criminal organizations involved in the trafficking of humans for financial gain,” said Cpl. Gregg J. Kravitsky. “This investigation shows that by working cooperatively with law enforcement and other partners, we can bring those who commit these heinous acts to justice.”                                                                                                        On April 4, 2017 two undercover Pennsylvania State troopers responded to a prostitution advertisement on the website Backpage. Using the listed phone number – later linked to a second number tied to nearly 350 similar ads over two months – the troopers arranged a meeting with the victim at a Lancaster hotel.                                                                                   After the troopers identified themselves, the victim told police she did not feel safe and wanted to “get out.” She said she was recruited by Crowell and Schiff as an escort while she was working at a York gentlemen’s club. The victim told the troopers Schiff bragged about selling opioid pills and heroin to the women working for him as a means of control. When she told Schiff she didn’t like him buying and supplying heroin in the hotel room where she worked, Schiff threatened her with a knife.                                                                                               A second victim testified before the grand jury that she needed money to fuel her addiction and began working for Crowell and Schiff believing they ran an escort service, not a prostitution ring. She testified she rarely slept and was sent in an Uber to buy large amounts of heroin for Schiff multiple times.                                                                                                    According to the grand jury presentment, a third victim testified Schiff told the women his name was “Frank Luchese” and impersonated a mobster to intimidate them. She said she joined what she believed was an escort service run by Crowell and Schiff to pay off a drug debt to Schiff. When she tried to leave, Schiff told her he would “chop her up into little pieces and throw her in the river.”                                                               Victim four worked for Crowell and Schiff at various times between 2014 and 2016 as a way to obtain heroin and support her addiction. She testified Crowell tried to strangle her on several occasions, causing her to lose consciousness during one confrontation.                                             A fifth victim who began working for Crowell and Schiff in 2015 testified that Schiff controlled her with prescription opioids and heroin. This victim testified that one time, after she refused Schiff’s demand for sex, Schiff slammed her head into a bucket of dirty water containing shards of broken glass. The victim suffered severe cuts and scarring on her knees and legs.                                                                                                                After that incident, the victim sought help during a “date” from an undercover police officer and gave a full statement to police before being taken to the hospital for treatment.                                                                   Because of the complexity of trafficking cases and the importance placed on them by Attorney General Shapiro, the office has specially designated Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather Castellino to prosecute human trafficking cases.                                                                                  

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Many at Galatia had been influenced by the “Judaizers, ” Jewish Christians, or at least Christians in name, who sought to be justified through keeping the Law of Moses. But Paul tells them that the true function of the Law was not to save but to be a “schoolmaster” or “teacher” to bring them to Christ. Once they saw the impossibility of keeping the Law and the great culpability of breaking it, they would see their need to be saved by faith alone.

Lord, that schoolmaster (your Law) that revealed our need of a Savior is still revealing to us our shortcomings. As love is the fulfilling of the Law, and to love God and neighbor is the sum of it, we see the Law is a helpful guide for Christian conduct. Use it to test us and show us our flaws, then turn us by grace to the keeping of it through love. Amen.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

To remove the curse of God for breaking his Law from us, Jesus took our guilt upon himself and suffered that curse in our place. God cannot demand “double payment” for sin, so that he cannot justly condemn those whose sins were paid for in full on the cross. That is why there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

O Lamb of God, it is your blood that takes away the sin-debt of the world, even of every one who believes on your name. We could not bear the punishment of our sin, nor endure the day of God’s wrath against sin. We praise you for your work of love on the cross, where you redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Amen.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

It is in God’s design of things that children should grow up and leave the home. It is normal that they should go out and begin their own home. For our families to be strong and healthy, unlike the “fractured” if not broken families the world is so full of, husband and wife must remain in close, intimate union. And this union is a picture of the union between Christ and His Church.

God, help us to work at our relationships with others so that they will be all you intend them to be. Let my relationship with you be the foundation for a good relationship with spouse, children, parents, all family and friends, and every acquaintance. Amen.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )

Perhaps the two sweetest words in the whole Bible are found here, “But God. ” In the verse just preceding, it is stated that believers were “children of wrath even as others” before their conversion. But God had a great love for them, which led him to “quicken, ” that is “raise to life, ” those who were dead spiritually. Paul then adds emphatically, “by grace you are saved. “

May we say with conviction, O Lord, that old Christian saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I. ” May we recognize that it was your saving love that made the difference with us. We were dead to God, unable to respond properly to him. But your love laid hold on us, Lord, and you imparted to us life. And we know that yours is a love that “will not let us go.” Amen.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

The Holy Spirit is here called the Spirit of Wisdom, using a grammatical construction that in the Greek indicates the Spirit is the “source of” or “giver of” wisdom. In 2 Timothy 3:15, we learn that the Scriptures are “able to make you wise unto salvation. ” When God opens our understanding to see the truth of the Gospel, he enlightens us and imparts to us wisdom to know and act on the truth. He then gives us hope of future glory and assures us of that hope by “the working of his mighty power” in us. That is the very power that raised up Jesus from the dead.

Open our minds more and more, we pray, to understand your truths. Let the “resurrection power” of God that raised Jesus Christ’s body from the grave raise up our spirits to live more and more a “resurrection life” of obedience to you. Amen.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Faith is a gift from God, but it is also a thing that we are called to diligently work at and improve. In fact, these verses on diligence are further informed by verse 10 of the same chapter where our diligence is said to be the means of making “our calling and election sure. ” That is, when faith, virtue (moral fortitude), knowledge (gained through experience), self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love abound in our lives, it is fruit of righteousness that helps assure our hearts that indeed we are God’s children and will enter his everlasting kingdom (verse 11).

Lord, we take seriously your command to strive diligently after godliness and all Christian virtues in our daily walk. We know that you do not desire our faith to remain “alone, ” but that it should be accompanied by all Christian graces. We are encouraged to know that you will help us and guide us as we grow in all of these areas, step by step. Amen.

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

There will be days when you are tempted and days when you need protection, but you are a child of God. God will never leave you or forsake you – you will never have to walk through these challenging times alone. He is always faithful. He offers his protection and will help you stay away from evil. He has given you his Holy Spirit as a guide. Trust the Spirit to alert you when you have stumbled into trouble and call on him for protection.

Dear God, when I am fearful and need courage, I know you will strengthen me. You are always faithful and you will never leave me – thank you! Help me to trust you to guide me through difficult situations and protect me from any evil the evil one tries to use against me. O Lord, make my faith stronger so that I do not have a spirit of fear. Thank you for rescuing me time and time again. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Open it!

Lord, I thank You for Your Spirit, who intercedes for me in my time of need. When I don’t know what to pray or how to pray, Your Spirit steps in and takes my petition directly to You. I am not left floundering for words and praying ineffectively. Your Spirit knows what I need and makes sure that my petition reaches You. Amen.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven. 5 And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground; 6 but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth in front of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 18 And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him. 21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: 22 and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Moses is giving the Israelites his final teaching and advice before they enter the Promised Land. He is reminding them of all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on them from the time he rescued them from Egypt. Moses knows he will not be entering the Promised Land with them because he has displeased God. He also knows that it is important for them to remember these blessings so that they might remain faithful to the commandments. We know from reading Scripture that the Israelites did forget, did disobey, did not remain faithful to the commandments. Jesus commented that the Pharisees of his day obeyed the human laws more than God’s laws. What of us today? Do we keep the commandments? I have mentioned before, that many of us consider the commandments “suggestions” or commandments for only the time in which they were given. But think of the discord caused by dishonesty, greed and abuse of authority. Moses’ advice to the Israelites is just as true today as it was millennia ago. Following God’s law is just as important now as it was then. As we proceed through Lent, let us read again Moses’ address to the people in Deuteronomy.

This is not an easy commandment to live up to for any man. Any comparison to Jesus is one that we can never live up to, but should always be our goal. Love your wives as Jesus loved the church. She will certainly be a lucky woman!

Lord in Heaven, Jesus Christ, I am so lucky to be a member of your holy family. My only wish in this prayer is that I can create a family in your image, and love each member as you have loved me. Amen.

When we’re going through storms of life, hurricanes of emotion, and waves of wallowing, we need faith in God’s power in order to stay calm. God can still the storms and hush the hurricanes in our lives if we trust him and pour out our hearts to him.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Our human vocabularies are vast. Most adults know 20,000-35,000 words in their native language. Avid readers probably know substantially more. That’s a lot of words! But even with those vast vocabularies, there are moments when words elude us. Sometimes this happens when we pray. Sometimes our need is so great that we cannot find the words to express it in our own language. That is when the Holy Spirit steps in and intercedes for us. He searches our hearts and our minds and sees what we need. He translates that need directly to God, in a language that only God understands. In a sense, the Holy Spirit becomes a “code talker.” His transmission by-passes our human brain and his code–the “wordless groans”–is unintelligible to the Adversary. In this way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we don’t know how to help ourselves.

If we hang our hopes only on this temporary world, we are pitiful this world is full of disappointments. We are bound to be let down time and again when we place our hope only in this world that we live in. Everything on this earth will come to an end. Nothing here lasts. There has to be something more. Something greater than what we know in the here and now. Something that endures. There waits for us a hope greater than anything we know on this earth and that is the hope we find in Christ and in our place with Him in eternity. His resurrection has paved the way for our own. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we set our hopes on the world beyond this one.

Today, Christianity is divided. I’m not necessarily speaking about denominational differences because as long as a denomination is accurately presenting Jesus’ message of the Good News, there is no problem. The problem comes when people who call themselves “Christian” preach and teach a false gospel. Just as there were Jewish leaders who tried to challenge Jesus in his own time because they didn’t like what he was teaching, there are people today who don’t want to follow the totality of his message. We learn from Paul that there is “One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism, One Lord of All.” If this is true, then why do we consider one baptism more valid than another? If the Lord is Lord of all, then why do some claim to belong more to the Lord than others?

Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chastises them for their divisions saying, “I am of Paul and I am of Apollos,” etc. Paul reminds them that if they were baptized into Christ, that should be the end of it. It doesn’t matter who led you to Christ, it’s more important that we came to him. Let us work together to help end a spirit of division among all of us who are blessed to be baptized into Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Lord, I know You have a plan for my life. Before I was even born, You knew me and made a plan for me. Help me follow Your plan and not my own. When I stray from the path You intended, help me to find my way back. When I am stubborn and want to have my own way, remind me of why Your way is best. Shut doors that I have no business walking through and open doors for me that You would have me enter. Thank You for taking care of me and setting me on a solid path for my life. Amen.

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Man is a fickle creature. It is not unusual for him to flit from plan to plan. Never really having a destination and changing with the wind. We see it even with people who root for professional football. One year they will start out as huge fans of a particular team. By mid season, when that team is no longer winning, they will begin to root for another team which has more wins. We change our minds on a whim. When we make plans in our own hearts, they are very changeable. When one dream gets too hard for us, we chase after another. When that one dead ends, we are off to yet a third endeavor. So it is with man’s plans. God’s plans are different. When God has a plan for us, it is steady. He knows the beginning and ending, as well as every bump on the road in between. So many people have left the path ordained for them by God only to wander from dream to dream and then to finally end up the path God had intended for them from the beginning. How much time would save if we just did it God’s way from the beginning? How much pain would we spare ourselves if we didn’t give in to our fickle nature? God’s plan will always be the best plan.

Dear God, it is easy to be enticed by the things of this world. When I am tempted by earthly goods or earthly status, remind me that they are not eternal. The only thing that is eternal is your love. Help me to do your will and to follow the path you’ve laid for me. Give me the courage to turn away from the things of this world and follow you with my whole heart. Thank you, O Lord, for the gift of eternal life. May I spend my days following you and serving you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

What can the world offer you that lasts? Nothing. Everything in this world will pass away. Therefore, it is hopeless to cling to material possessions or earthly status. In the end, none of these earthly things will matter. However, those who love God and do his will shall have eternal life. Rather than invest in earthly goods, invest in the Lord. Where your time and money are, there your heart will be. Spend your time and money investing in doing God’s will and you will never be separated from him.

Let’s read this again. It gives lie to the attitude present in Jesus’ time, and sometimes in our own, the children should bear the shame of a parent’s transgression or that the parent should be blamed if a child does something wrong. It also lets us know that there is always room to change the direction of our lives and that God will gladly welcome us back. We are not always as generous as God. Families can be ruined if a member is sent to prison. Parents can be blamed because a child turns to alcohol or drugs. The woman who suffers a miscarriage is often asked what she did to cause it. For a long time, anyone who was HIV positive was thought to be condemned, and isolated along with either parents or children – a modern day leper. In Jesus’ time it was the man born blind who was asked whose sin had caused it, his or his parents’. If we steal and are fired, that’s reasonable. If we steal and our children are fired, that’s not reasonable. If a child goes to jail, the parents need to be consoled, not blamed. Our sins are our own, our punishment is our own. At the same time, God waits. God doesn’t want to lose any of his children. He pursues us with his grace and gladly welcomes us when we repent and return. May we do the same.

Dear God,I come before You to lay my panic and anxiety at Your feet. When I’m crushed by my fears and worries, remind me of Your power and Your grace. Fill me with Your peace as I trust in You and You alone. I know I can’t beat this on my own, but I also know that I have You, Lord, and You have already paid the ultimate price to carry my burdens. For this I thank you, All of us struggle with anxiety and stress. For every person living on earth there are life situations outside of our control that lead to worry and fear. If you are in the middle of an especially stressful situation such as financial burdens, troubled relationships, or health issues, you know that it can become easy to let worry take over. This can lead to physical symptoms, insomnia, and more. We encourage you to memorize some Bible verses that overcome worries and stress so that you can speak to yourself, say it out loud, or write it out when you have an anxiety attack. Amen.

Support Our Enemies in Pray, Revenge Belongs to the Lord.

Prayer for your enemies is one of the deepest forms of love, because it means that you have to really want that something good happen to them. You might do nice things for your enemy without any genuine desire that things go well with them. But prayer for them is in the presence of God who knows your heart, and prayer is interceding with God on their behalf. It may be for their conversion. It may be for their repentance. It may be that they would be awakened to the enmity in their hearts. It may be that they will be stopped in their downward spiral of sin, even if it takes disease or calamity to do it. But the prayer Jesus has in mind here is always for their good. Our hearts should desire their salvation and desire their presence in heaven with us and desire their eternal happiness. May God give us grace to pray like the apostle Paul for the Jewish people, many of whom made life very hard for Paul.

Therefore, in view of Your mercy, transform me by renewing my mind with Your word. Cause me to see (name of person) as you see them, to have a heart of love for them as you love them to understand them through Your eyes and to have speech seasoned with wisdom when I speak to them. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Father, Help me see myself as your workmanship, crafted on purpose with love by You. I am not less than. I am not worthless. I am a work of art that You chose to create and that makes me special. Amen.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God made me and God don’t make no junk! This slogan found its way to t-shirts several years ago. It may not be grammatically correct, but it’s true, nonetheless. Paul tells us in this verse that we are God’s “workmanship”. We are made by His hands. We are not “accidents.” We are works of art, crafted by His loving hands. Therefore, we have value. Nothing can take that away from us. Ugly words, insults, snide remarks…they are meaningless in the face of the fact that we are His workmanship. If we could only truly believe that about ourselves, there wouldn’t be a bully anywhere with any kind of power over us.

Father in Heaven, You are the great teacher. You know all and You teach others Your truths. Help me to grow and mature into a good teacher of Your truth. Instill wisdom in me so that as I age others benefit from knowing me. Help me to have character that is worthy of Your calling and reflects Your holiness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

This is great advice for anyone, but here it is specifically given to older women. They are to have holy character reflecting Jesus. They are not supposed to drink too much or falsely accuse people. Lastly, they are to teach good things. It is interesting that older women are instructed to teach. Knowing they have a lot of wisdom, they are instructed to pass that wisdom on.

I find this passage interesting. Hate goes against God’s laws. God is love, so there is no hate in God. Even in the story of Cain and Abel, God marks Cain so that no one will kill him. So how can we hate? It’s okay not to like someone, we all do that, but hate implies that we wish someone evil. That’s not okay.

To love our neighbor means that we don’t wish him any evil. This doesn’t mean that we have to approve everything our neighbor does. No, not at all, in fact this passage tells us it’s okay to rebuke someone, even a friend or family member and not get involved in behavior contrary to God’s law. Going back to Cain and Abel, revenge is also contrary to God’s will for us. So much violence would be avoided if people didn’t seek revenge.

As I mentioned the other day, today, a person who feels disrespected often gathers friends to “get even” with that person. This leads to a larger group of friends getting even with the others and so on and so on. Feuds of this sort have become commonplace among many groups of young people as we have become such a “them” and “us” society. Some feuds seem to last one generation to the next and often people don’t even remember when the bad feelings began, nor do they know the cause. How do you want to be treated? How do I? If I want to be treated kindly, with respect, then it is my responsibility to treat others the same. It’s not always easy to love those we don’t like, but that’s what God not only expects of us, but commands.

God created both male and female in his image. From the beginning, he made both man and woman and caused them to fellowship with him and with each other in the garden. And God gave Eve to Adam to be his wife, and this was for a picture of the Church, the bride of Christ, whom the Father would give to the Son.

O Lord, we know you have created men and women both in your image and for your glory. You have given them each their proper strengths and roles. Some you call to serve you as singles, and devote fuller time to your kingdom. Others you call to marriage, and this is a picture of your love for your Church. May we all be content with the calling you have called us with.

God dwells in us as a result of His Love. How does He dwell in us? Through His Spirit. We have accepted the Spirit of God to reside in us and this means that we are subjected to his counsel and his guidance. We are not slaves to our selfish cravings or desires. We are now able to rise above them and live according to the way of the Spirit.

Dear God, I thank you that I am now one with you as a result of your Spirit living within me. Father I ask that I will always pay attention to your will for me and not what my selfish demands. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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