Friday, July 19, 2019

UNWANTED: Tried, Worn, and Seasoned Saints!

"They still bear fruit in old age,
they are ever full of sap and
green. (Psalm 92:14 - KJV)
I'm generally not over sensitive when it comes to the topic of aging.  I've spent quite a few years learning how to grow older gracefully and embrace my senior years. Although some of you might disagree after reading today's post! That's okay.  I still hope that you won't miss a significant point I'm trying to make!!

In a discussion regarding the improvement of a ministry project I was involved in, it was inferred that it would be more successful if a younger face was in the forefront!  Older and more biblical saints would still be needed of course, but to attract the younger generation we needed someone that looked more like them!   This was said I believe with the utmost sincerity and respect yet it left me (what is that popular saying?)  Feeling some kinda way!

 Ageism had finally crept into my safe and sanctified church world! Subtly but deftly it left its mark not only on the Lord's ministry but on my soul!  Like the corporate culture I left behind in retirement and media marketing strategies that assault my intellect and logic daily, this worldly attitude had found its way to a place I really cared about!

In case this is a new ism for you, check out an excerpt from the article: How Does Ageism Impact More Than Just Older Adults?

 Ageism is a type of discrimination that involves prejudice against people based on their age.  Similar to racism and sexism, ageism involves holding negative stereotypes about people of different age.  
The term ageism was first used by gerontologist Robert N. Butler to describe the discrimination of older adults. Today, the term is often applied to any type of age-based discrimination, whether it involves prejudice against children, teenagers, adults, or senior citizens.
(click or past the link below to read entire article)

Put this within the context of ministry and you'll understand where I'm coming from.  The thought that age could be a deterrent to a Spirit led ministry devalues the contributions of  older saints while making unproven assumptions upon the younger generation!  Where did this all come from?  Certainly not the Bible!  

There are more than forty scriptures pertaining to aging in the bible.  Most are incredibly positive and encouraging.  (Psalm 92:12-14; Joel 2:28; Ecc. 12:1-7; I Chron. 29:28; Psalm 71:1718; Ruth 4:15; Job 11:17; Psalm 91:16; Isaiah 40:29; Prov. 16:31; Isaiah 46:4; Job. 12:12; Psalm 92:14; Psalm 71:9; Lev. 19:32; Prov. 20:20, etc.)  Yet some Christians' present obsession with youth have turned hearts and minds from multi-generational kingdom building to one-generational!  

What comes to mind is that in our desperation to reach what some have called "a morally decaying younger generation,"we've ignored a powerful force in their lives ... the older generation!  True, physically we may not be around as long, but the vibrancy and potency of our biblically rich experience and wisdom is very much needed today!  Some just don't know it yet!

It always amazes me that although there are many popular success icons among the young (entertainers, sports figures, YouTube stars, etc) that the more sustainable ones are from the older generation.  They are not the celebrities they see in the movies or on television but people they see every day! These are generally relatives, people who have influenced them personally, inspired and encouraged them over the years.

They are people they have watched and are more knowledgeable; committed, and experienced.  They have the stability, passion and discipline that only comes with maturity.  When young people look to the future and focus on the goals they want to achieve and the legacies they want to leave, it is upon an older face already there that their gaze falls upon! 

Don't tell me older people cannot relate to the younger ones simply because we don't embrace facebook, twitter, or instagram as our favorite mode of communication.  We understand that more honesty and feeling can be conveyed, face to face and eye to eye than could ever be transmitted with a contrived or cute emoji!  We are survivors of all those traumatic relationship disasters and head games they are experiencing now and we made it to the other side!  But will they be able to do the same without us?  I think not!

78 year old Bernie Sanders still holds a political advantage among young people in the 2020 presidential race.  The Obamas in their 50s remain popular although no longer in the White House.  Oprah pushing through her 60s  is still ruling among the secular entertainers. Andy Stanley at 61 years old and Tony Evans at 70 years old can still reach and hold the attention of a younger audience.  And if you're a senior saint, over the age of 50 years old so can you!

Remember the words of the Apostle Paul that is appropriate for ANY age!  (I Tim. 4:12 MSG  My emphasis added in parenthesis!)

"Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young (old or middle age). Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use."


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Friday, June 28, 2019


John 8:35 (NIV)
Truth seems nothing more than a buzz word nowadays! It can be quite confusing to understand what is factual, if you don't listen carefully to the multiple nuances one is conveying.
That's why after most interviews, media commentators do a "fact check!" to delineate true statements from lies. 

Today, we hear a lot about this idea of Personal Truth.  This is based on one's tangible experiences or even what a person believes to be true about themselves.  This particular truth is hard to debate when it comes up in a conversation.  Whether you accept it as true or not, you are not them. You don't feel what they feel.  You don't live it.  You can't know all the facets that brings them to their conclusions! Therefore no amount of logic or proof will make a difference until that person allows it to be considered.

There is Perceived Truth.  This one is tricky!  It can actually be a plain LIE!  We are quite familiar with its tentacles however as it is manifested in stereotypical attitudes, racism, ageism, phobias and fears of every kind.  Its validity comes from adhering to the rhetoric of supposed experts.  When combined with personal truth, perceived truth becomes in the mind of the proponent irrefutable!

Then of course there is the deliberate and malicious manipulation of truth! Our advance technology and desire for cutting edge,  in-depth knowledge provide fertile ground for seeds of deception, i.e.,  Fake News, DeepFakes, and Spoofing. 

Robocalls are something we all agree is a pain in the butt.  No matter how many Stop Calls websites or numbers you use, scammers still call your number!   Imagine my surprise last week when in the flurry of rob calls, I saw my own name and telephone number on my Caller ID.  It had been spoofed by a scammer!  (I  prayed I would not receive angry calls from people I knew,  thinking it was me!)

There may be little I can do about robo calls, but I do have a strategy that keeps me safe from Biblical and cultural liars!  I need only to remember a few basics principles concerning human nature or just refer to God's Word!  These are simple but powerful reminders!


1)  The Bible is the standard for ALL truth - it never changes!  What was true about sin, human nature, and consequences then applies now!  (2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17)

2) Just because you're sincere about a thing doesn't mean it is right! (Proverbs. 14:12)

3) Your feelings, as strong and heart-felt as they may be is no indicator of who
you truly are!  Feelings cannot be exalted over God's Word! They are gauges not guides! (Judges 21:25)

4) If you're saved, Holy Spirit conviction is more reliable than societal pressure or scientific data! Learn to listen to the Power within! (John 8:35; John 16:8; Hebrews 4:12)


1) If you don't recognize the face at your door...don't open it! 

2)  Never give out personal information on the telephone or on surveys to unverified solicitors!

3) If you don't recognize the telephone number on your home or cell phone don't answer it) 
4)  If it sounds too good to be probably is!  God gives even unsaved people a bit of wisdom. 

5)  Don't be swayed by emotionalism - scammers have no qualms using children, perceived handicaps, or sob stories to lie to you and exploit your kindness.



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Tuesday, June 11, 2019


When my mother and father
forsake me the Lord will 
receive me. (Psalm 27:10)

Sometimes when I am incredibly busy or not particularly inspired to compose a blog post, I'll read through older ones and do a reprint.  I tried that this time but it didn't work!

I really wanted to say something about Father's day and after six years of  blogging was surprised that I couldn't find a single post dedicated to the theme of fathers!  Not even a weak hint of sentimentality to honor the day.

I wondered if other sisters were like me.  Nursing Father wounds, having no significant relationship with their Dads and finding the celebration of Father's Day hard?  To make things worse, I didn't even grow up with a viable substitute.  No step dad, doting uncle, grand father was in my life.   I was for all practical purposes,  fatherless for many years.

Of course after awhile I learned to deflect these empty feelings to my sons,  encouraging them to remember their Dad on this day and reminding my grand children to remember their own fathers.  I also send cards to my brothers each year.  But personally, Father's day had become for me a non-event!

My father has been dead 37 years.  I've worked through the sadness of his mortal passing but occasionally grieve what he could have been in my life!  I didn't like him much when he was alive, but with maturity learned to respect and appreciate his vital part in my existence.

I've long forgiven him for his deficiencies as a loving, supportive husband, and nurturing caregiver to his children.  I have even summoned up compassion for what I perceived as his gross neglect of fatherly responsibilities.  It is true, a person cannot give what they don't have! Yet inside of me was the yearning to be a Daddy's Girl!

Well here's the good news in this sad saga!  I finally found the Father, that I've always wanted! 

  • He's Ever Present (Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 27:10 )- No Deadbeat or Absentee Dad!
  • He's a Mighty Protector (Isaiah 43:2-3; Proverbs 3:12) - No Bully dare oppress me!
  • He's a Faithful Provider (Psalms 24:1; Philippians 4:19 ) - Never missed a support payment!
  • He Delights in Me (Isaiah 43:4; Zephaniah 3:17 - I'm the apple of His eye!
  • He Loves me Unconditionally (Luke 15:20-24; Romans 5:6-8) - I never worry my faults will turn Him away!
  • He Enjoys my Company (I Corinthians 1:9; Psalm 116:1; I John 5:14) - I can call Him any time and talk to Him about anything for as long as I want!
When I stopped brooding over the biological father I had and embraced my true Father in heaven, I learned to appreciate the multitude of blessings He provides.  I celebrate the times we sing and dance together.  Our talks in the middle of the night.  Our long and glorious walks through every season and the joy He brings to what could be a dull and mundane life!  I AM NOT FATHER-LESS, I AM FATHER-FILLED (Psalm 68:5)

Now I can wake up every day, open my curtains and say to the sun,
Good Morning DAD...



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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME: Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Do this in remembrance of me.
(I Corinthians 11:24b)
good character is the best tombstone.  Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered.  Carve your name
on hearts, not marble.  (Charles Spurgeon)

Memorial day is considered the first major holiday of summer! For many it's a time of letting loose and celebrating with family, graduations, barbecues, reunions, and relaxing vacations.  Here in Indy, it's a time we find our city peppered with black and white checkered flags and signs welcoming thousands of visitors enjoying the Indianapolis 500 Parade events and Sunday's race.  We prepare ourselves to be more alert and more patient because of frequent traffic jams, reckless speeders, and inebriated revelers moving from one party to the next!

However,  some traditionalists like myself, prefer to spend this time thinking about those who have passed on from this life.  We make visits to the cemetery to spruce up burial grounds with flowers and perhaps a flag if they were veterans.  Drink in the solitude of the surroundings and just take time to REMEMBER those who still mean so much although are gone! 

Sure, there will be a moment or two of sadness but nothing like the feeling you get when passing gravesites that haven't been visited in years.  These may be overgrown with faded or tattered remnants of artificial flowers.  Perhaps the headstones are green and moldy with moss or the area simply trampled over because no marker was ever placed there.  It makes you wonder, how will I be remembered when I'm gone?  Will I be that unmarked grave or if cremated...stuck in the back of the closet next to an old bowling ball and worn out shoes?

Don't be put-off thinking you're too young for such contemplation!  You don't have to wait until you're old to start building a legacy, in fact you're building one right now.  But is it one that will stand the test of time or will it evaporate the moment you're dropped off at the cemetery!  

Our, Lord and Savior, Jesus was only thirty-three years old when He departed this world.  He had only ministered three years, but thousands of years later we are still talking about Him! His brief life is still celebrated!  His legacy is still making an impact, changing and making lives better, He is still being REMEMBERED! I want that, don't you?

A good place to start is learning the difference between prosperity and prosterity!  Prosperity is all about amassing wealth, having abundance to enjoy now and in the future.  Prosterity, on the other hand has to do with the discovery and appreciation of something valuable by future generations.  They are similar but vastly different when it comes to leaving a fruitful legacy! 

Whereas some folks work hard to leave material things to their descendants, which is absolutely biblical: 
a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children (Proverbs 13:22); a legacy that last is more than money, property, or a thriving stock portfolio.  One must consider that everyone cannot leave such tangible items to their loved ones.  I know that was true of my parents.  But they left me something much more, a precious posterity--integrity, perseverance, purpose, and most of all a love for God, His word and His people!  These are gifts that will follow me perpetually into eternity!

The second step then is deciding what you want your legacy to be.  Remember this is a gift that you're going to leave to the people that mean the most to you!  You must ask questions. Here are examples:  Out of the sum total of my life experiences and God-given insights, what matters most to me?  What positive things have I discovered that has contributed to a God-honoring and well-lived life?  Is there anything I need to stop or start doing that will maximize my influence and make a greater impact on the life of another? 

Three things that contribute to an Enduring and Memorable legacy are Your Character, Your Passion, and Your Service to Others! Read these scriptures and meditate on them:

Proverbs 20:7 - A righteous man who walks in his integrity, how blessed are his sons after him. 

Proverbs 10:9 - He who walks in integrity walks securely.

Luke 6:31 - Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Colossians 3:23 - And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

All these may be summarized in this one verse from Micah 6:8

 He has told you, O man what is good and what does the LORD require of you,
 but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God. 

Where do you want your legacy to be written?  On a fading tombstone or on the hearts of people you have touched during your lifetime?


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Monday, May 6, 2019

There's Nothing like....FAMILY!

A new commandment I give to you...
that you love one another ...(John 13:34)
It's been a whirlwind few weeks readers and I've found it incredibly hard to sit and post all that is going on in my life and in the world!  But as we grow closer to what I consider one of the most sacred days on the calendar (Mother's Day) I just had to make time to share a few words! Let me begin with...THANK YOU GOD FOR MOTHERS!  Especially so, because they are who make FAMILIES possible!

As you can tell I'm still a bit euphoric over a weekend that I spent with my own wonderful family! We had a mini-family reunion in Memphis a few days ago and although it was an unusual time for such, it was perfect for us!  Kith and Kin traveled from as far as California and everywhere in between.  We came from Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and even the deep southern state of Mississippi.  It was wonderful to get re-acquainted with all the nieces and nephews that I rarely see and catch up with the going on's in their lives  To put names with now grown up faces and their children.  We even had a new baby to coo over!

The weather was warm which was a blessing since our gathering took place in a beautiful outdoor setting surrounded by lakes.  A great way to enjoy God's beauty and welcome Spring with flowers and greenery of the new season!  It really made me appreciate all the things that we take for granted and among these is the gift of family!  I don't know where you are in your sentiments about that.  Truly, I understand that families can bring their own share of pain and chaos.  But let me remind you.....You would not be who you are today if not for the nurturing and care of FAMILY!

Now think about that!
 Your mind may automatically go to people who are your blood relatives.  Those you share some genetic material.  But that's not necessarily true! A family can be anyone you have a personal connection with and has been with you during important experiences in your life.  Someone who has seen you through good and hard times!  A person who accepts you and loves you unconditionally.  One that you can depend on to stick by you even though your differences and perspectives are vastly different!

I'm blessed to have eclectic family units!  Yes, there's my blood relatives, but I have family at my local Y.M.C.A. where I exercise, laugh, and pray with three times a week.  I have good friends that I see only occasionally but stay in touch with by telephone, text, or card but if needed would drop everything to come to my rescue! And of course I have my Forever Family, my church family!

That term Forever Family, is most often used in conjunction with foster parenting and adoption!  But  God gave me a Forever Family, the moment, I accepted Christ as my Savior! (Ephesians 1:15)  This is a bond that goes so much deeper than DNA, friendship, and fellowship circles.  It positions me eternally in a family that grows larger day by day, has no ethnic or cultural boundaries and when meeting a fellow saint,  I find an instant Holy Spirit Love connection!

My Forever Family, like my biological family comes in different sizes, skin tones, and manifest a variety of personalities. Some I can abide and others take a little more effort... but they're still family!   There is a family resemblance that cannot be missed!  Although imperfect, at our best we look and act just like our big Brother Jesus and our Father! (I John 3:2-3).

Forgiveness is a key trait of family!  At my family reunion I was saddened to hear that certain  relatives felt disconnected and abandoned by our family!  Circumstances in their lives separated us for many years!  But by the end of the weekend together, I truly believe we bridged some of those gap years and we all left a little closer to one another.  We now have an opportunity to start fresh! That's what families do! We become resilient over time!

Mother's Day is only a few days away.  It's a time that can invoke good or bad memories!  It can be a time of joy or sadness depending on the experiences you have had!  But I truly believe if you try very, very hard you will find that someone, (blood or not) took you in; loved you, invested time in you, encouraged you when you were at your lowest and treated you like family!  Celebrate them!!  

...There's Nothing Quite Like IT


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Friday, April 12, 2019

"Can't We All Get Along?"

"Therefore, as the elect of God
...put on tender mercies, kind-
ness, humility, meekness, long-
suffering (Colossians 3:12)
I woke up the other morning to some discouraging news! 
Indianapolis had experienced seven murders over a single weekend!  If that wasn't bad enough, I learned later in the day  that Chicago, where many of my relatives live had 24 murders in as many hours!

Violence of every kind, I'm sad to say, is common in America.  It doesn't matter where you live whether in the heart of the inner city or the elite suburbs!  I'm sick of it and like activist Rodney King said in 1991, I wonder: "Can't we all  just get along?"

I'm no psychologist or sociologist with answers to this overwhelming problem but I can offer some guidelines for maintaining good relations on a smaller scale.  These are geared toward brothers and sisters in Christ but will work with anyone with whom you are at odds!   They sort of jumped off the pages of a recent Sunday school lesson focusing on the "One Another" scriptures in the bible. So I'd like to share them with you here.

There are approximately 59 of these scriptures but even if you're not a Christian they bring practical wisdom and insight for living in harmony with just about anyone! However, if you are a follower of Christ, know this...dealing with difficult people is our spiritual assignment from God!  So you just might want to review a few of these.
  • Mark 9:50 - Be at peace with one another!  Don't automatically write certain people off.  Pursue a peaceful relationship with everyone. Christ said that we are salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13, 16).  We make this sin-darkened world just a bit more tolerable by just being in it.  How about taking this salt out of the salt shaker and doing a bit more sprinkling!  
  • Ephesians 4:2 - Be patient with one another!  We like things fast and convenient. But good relationships take time to cultivate.  I can't tell you how many times I almost sabotaged a good relationship because I didn't want to stop long enough to explain a task; listen to an alternate plan of action; or just simply wanted to do things quickly my way!  Humility goes a long way in producing quality work and keeping good relations. 
  • Romans 15:7 - Accept one one another as Christ accepted you!  We're different for a reason.  Ever wonder why there's so  many species of fish, variations of flowers and birds?  God specializes in using things that are unique to bring glory to Himself! We have been duped into thinking that homogeneity (being alike) is better, safer, and in some cases superior to the mainstream. From the beginning God has shown us that this is not so! (Genesis 1:20-31)  Although birds are all birds, plants are all plants, fish are all fish. Within each there are an array of spectacular colors and sizes.  I'd hate to think what life would be if we were all the same. God finds beauty and value in His creation and so should we!
  • Galatians 5:13 - Serve one another in love!  The Golden Rule still applies today.  If you wonder who is doing all the destructive, violent, and ungodly deeds in our world, look to those who have learned to be self-serving!  They are greedy, pleasure seekers, heartless, and evil in all their ways!  Yet God has commanded us to love them!  Sounds insane doesn't it? But this is just what He did for us~Romans 5:8.  This love is not the warm and fuzzy kind, but simply treating others the way you want to be treated (Luke 10:25-28).  Treat others with respect, simple kindness, and with human decency. And by the way if you can meet a need do so!
Other principles that the One Another scriptures teach are:

1. Handle disappointments from a spiritual perspective (Gal. 6:2; Ephes. 5:26; Heb. 10:24)
2. Show in your lifestyle the Fruit of the Spirit (Ephesians. 4:32: Coloss. 3:12-13; Ephes. 4:2)
3. Stay dressed for Spiritual battle and don't forget to pray for one another  (James 5:16; Rom. 12:18)

In other words:  Put yourself under God's authority, obeying His instructions, and all His commands.


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Friday, March 29, 2019

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them...

"Suffer the little children to
 come unto me...for such is the
kingdom of God." (Luke 18:16)

With milder temperatures on the horizon and the promise of Spring in the air, I am at last coming out of some winter doldrums!  Just taking a quick survey of my own family and thinking about all the sickness and calamities we've been through  this winter, I'm  praising God for a change of season! How about you?

Speaking of a change, my heart was so encouraged as I tuned into my church's 6:30 a.m. prayer line this week and heard young people, one as young as 4 years old reading God's word and praying for the needs of our community and country!  Now that's something you don't usually see kids do on Spring Break!

It certainly sparked a ray of hope in my life and a bit of optimism for this world!  With deeper thoughts on the matter, I got this insight...youth have always been in the forefront of hope and change during times of darkness. Throughout history the greatest moves of social activism and human rights have been led by young people! The civil rights movement, marches for gun control, women's education in the middle east, are just a few! 

 It sure gives credence to the many scriptures that point to youth vitality, strength, and value in the world.  Perhaps that's why the enemy is so determined to wipe them out!  He perceives them as a great threat to his evil campaign and anything he can do to deny, extinguish, or destroy their potential in Christ is on his agenda.

Even as I type this blog, scripture after scripture tells me this is so!  In the Gospels (Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:16), Christ's own disciples discounted the importance of children to His kingdom!  Incredible when you think that the Lord, Himself at the tender age of 12 was found in the Jewish temple schooling the Rabbis (Luke 2:45-50).

It's true,  present day young people are sometimes hard to understand!  Their lives are so complicated.  Their thinking is beyond what I can decipher.  Their outspoken, sometimes ill-mannered speech and conduct a bit offsetting at times.  But I still respect and honor and I am generally inspired by them for the most part. 

That's why I tend to stop and listen, even while gritting my teeth when they are passionate about something!
Psalm 8:2 (NLT) says, You (God) have taught children and infant to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. Youths can be sources of wisdom!  We may have to check our ego a bit and get beyond what we see on the surface.

We see the Apostle Paul encouraging a younger generation in I Timothy 4:12 (NLT): Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example for the believers in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.  He warns those of us who are mature in the faith to heed Ephesians 6:4 (This is after admonishing children to be obedient in 6:1) - do not exasperate (frustrate) the children by being too harsh in discipline but take them by the hand and lead them (Message Bible Translation).  It's hard to imagine isn't it that we can frustrate our children as much as they frustrate us!  Maybe that's why in Isaiah 40: 30-31, he says that that even the youth grow tired and weary...

So then maybe our prayers should become a bit more focused.  Yes!  Continue to pray for their safety and protection!  Yes!  Let's pray that they obey the voice of God rather than culture and return to the faith of their parents!  But let's also pray that we may be a voice of influence to help guide their energy and passion toward things that are wholesome and character building.  Let's help them use their passions for Christ!

Youth are not the leaders of tomorrow, we need them right now!  Our young adults are called Millennials.  This makes me think of the role Spirit anointed youth will play during the Millennial kingdom (the time when Christ returns and sets up His kingdom on earth). 

The prophet Isaiah describes a scene in Isaiah 11:6, that shows  a time of peace and harmony in the world. We are told symbolically that those with natures like wild beasts (wolves and leopards) and deadly and poisonous snakes (cobras and vipers) will be changed and under the submission of Christ. When you read carefully the text you see that children have no fear of them.  They are quite comfortable and confident in their midst.  I see this boldness and confidence foundational to the prominent role they will be playing. 

We don't know when Christ will set up His kingdom but what we can do in preparation for it is  set a godly example before our young people and continue to show unconditional love when they fail!  OUR YOUTH NEED PARENTS NOT FRIENDS, so let's make sure we're doing our part before THROWING SHADE!

Why not start by encouraging a young person you know with a kind word! Catch them doing something good and tell them so!  I'd like to start with the young people who hosted my church's prayer line this week: 


 Chris, Mason, Daniel, Joshua, Lexxus, and A'via


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