11.20.2017

[ just a reminder #2 ] Come Before the Throne

{image via unsplash.com}



Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect Plea
A great High Priest whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me


My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upwards I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin

Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless Righteousness
The great unchangeable I Am
The King of glory and of grace

One with Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God

One with Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God
- lyrics by Charitie Bancroft 



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// click here to listen to the song //

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Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. // Hebrews 4:16

11.11.2017

A Bookish Tag

Hello! Kara Lynn and Libby both tagged me for the A Bookish Tag a while back. I finally got around to answering the questions and thought it would be nice to take a little break from the usual post topics.  Thank you both for tagging me!


++ RULES ++   
You must be honest
You must answer all the questions
You must tag at least 4 people


1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest? Hmm... I'm not exactly sure, but the set of classic 19 Boxcar Children books that I've had for years would be among them. 

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next? I'm currently reading A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot, and Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, my last read (besides the Bible) was Perelandra by C. S. Lewis, and my next read will most likely be King's Arrow by Douglas Bond. 

3. What book did everyone like but you hated? I'd have to say The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I haven't actually read the entire book, but enough of it to not really want to finish it. 

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read but you probably won't? I'm not really sure....




5. What books are you saving for retirement? Probably certain "classics" like the complete works of Shakespeare, or maybe Les Miserables or something like that. xD

6. Last page: Read it first or wait until the end? Normally I'll never read the last page first, but occasionally I might skip forward if I'm just skimming a book or want to know the basics.

7. Acknowledgments: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside? I love reading acknowledgements in books! They're a whole story in and of themselves. 

8. Which book character would you switch places with? I wouldn't switch characters with anyone for good, so I'll change this to what book character would you like to spend the day with? And of course, who could answer that? I suppose I would have to say Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia. Because she's so sweet.... and then I'd probably see Aslan too. *smiles* 




9. Do you have a book that reminds of you something specific in your life? Yes, several. Either they were gifts for a special occasion, or it was a book that prompted a significant event in my life.  

10. Name an interesting book that you acquired in an interesting way. I'm not sure if it would be called interesting or not, but the only thing I can think of would be books I've won in a giveaway or as a prize for a contest. 

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person? I've given away quite a few books to people. I can recall once when I gave someone a book they really wanted to read and hadn't been able to find. 

12. Which book has been with you most places? My Bible. 




13. Any required reading in high school that wasn't so bad two years later? Certain classics that I read (or tried to read) one or two years ago and didn't really like, I've found that they're usually better now. 

14. Used or brand new? Both, actually. Brand-new books are really fun to get and usually I'd prefer to get a new book over a slightly used one. But there's just something about really old books that I love as well.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book? No.

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more then the book? The Princess Bride. As I said above, I didn't really care for the book. The movie's not my top favorite, but I liked it better than the book.




17. Have you ever read a book that made you hungry (cookbooks included)? Oh, yes... cookbooks pretty much always do if they have good photos. 

18. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take? I have a couple of close friends whose reading tastes are very similar to mine, and I'll always take their suggestions and advice about books. 

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving? Counted Worthy by Leah E. Good. It's a YA dystopian-sort of novel, and I normally don't read from that genre. However, Counted Worthy is outstanding: the writing, the message, the plot. If you haven't read it, you should. You can check it out on Goodreads here.


I tag ||  Anna Casady || Anika Joy || Sarah Keatts || + you. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you answer these questions- I'd love to read your answers!
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For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. // Romans 15:4 

10.24.2017

Members of the Body of Hope

{all photo are mine}

 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. // 1 Corinthians 12:12-27  





























A face you glimpse as you pass by,
And you can't help but wonder:
What put the heartache in their eyes 
And turned their path asunder?

A little glimpse revealed so much
That they would never speak of-
The pain, the sorrow, and the hurt,
The heart that never felt love.

You long to stop and pull aside
The person whose face you saw.
And tell them of the hope that's near,
And of the love that broke the laws.

But it's too late- the face is gone,
And you realize with a start
That your opportunity has passed on by
There goes another broken heart.

Oh, Lord, you pray, please help me
Next time not to just pass on by.
Not to be a priest but a Good Samaritan,
And go seek them where they lie.

I will, you hear Him answer now
For you are my hands and feet.
The body's members should be going out
With My words of hope to repeat.

A face you glimpse as you pass by,
And you can't help but remember.
You take a breath and smile bright,
And think Yes- right now I'll be a member. 
- written 10.23.17





 // click here to listen to a powerful song about this topic //


10.04.2017

Be Overwhelmed by God


We hear it quite often now. Those simple, helpful words.
"Don't let it overwhelm you. It will be fine."
What's it?
School, or work, or just  l i f e  in general and the stress that comes with it.
Anything that's ongoing and hard to see too far ahead "becuase of the bend".
And who knows what's around that bend?

They're right. Those things don't need to overwhelm us.
We just need one thing to overwhelm us.
God.

Yes, we should want- need- God to overwhelm us.
He's the very definition of overwhelming personified, in the absolute best way possible.
Stronger than us.
Bigger than us.
Over every part of us.
And we need that.

Deep down, who really wants to be in control of their lives?
No one.
We all know we're not big enough.
But He is.
He's bigger than school, work, and life itself.
He created life in the first place (along with all the joys that enhance it).
He knows what's around the bend.
He planned it from the beginning.

So as long as we're overwhelmed by Him, it will be okay.
We'll be focusing on the only thing that really matters.
Our little problems will fade when we're overwhelmed by Him.
He's got it.
He created it, He sustains it, and He'll fulfill it.

And in the meantime, we'll remember. Those simple, amazing words.
"Just let Him overwhelm you. It will be fine."

And it will be.

9.29.2017

Book Review || Where Dandelions Grow

Author: Lydia Howe
Series: None
Genre: Fiction 
Published: 2017
Publisher: Lydia Howe Publishing 
Pages: 120
Age Group: YA 

Cousins are forever, or at least they’re supposed to be.
What happens when your world falls apart and your dreams are mocked by those closest to you?
Destiny’s idyllic childhood full of laughter and cousins abruptly ended when her mom uprooted the family to move them across the country with strict instructions to never talk about Swallow Ridge again. Eleven years later Destiny moves back to her hometown, determined to find her cousins… and answers.
Plagued by generations of bitterness and manipulation, Destiny hides her life-long goal - unwilling to let anyone else trample her fragile dreams. But life in the cozy town full of dandelions teaches Destiny there’s more to life than what she’s been taught.
Is it possible Swallow Ridge not only holds the answers Destiny so intensely searches for, but also the hope?



Where Dandelions Grow follows Destiny, a budding young writer who returns to her childhood hometown after eleven years to take a job at a local bookstore. While there, she undertakes the task of locating and reconnecting with her three cousins- her childhood best friends- and discovering why the family ties within her maternal family are stretched so thin. While on this journey, Destiny discovers more than she bargained for about the importance of reconciliation, dreams, and most of all, faith.
Where Dandelions Grow is a sweet story about hope and second chances. Telling the story in first person suited it well, and it was told in a casual style of writing. The story did jump around a bit, being very detailed and imaginable at times, other times moving pretty fast and a lot harder to connect with the characters and events.
The message of the story is great, especially for such a short work, and I loved the piece Loss and Restoration included in the book. The picture it paints is beautiful.
In all, Where Dandelions Grow is a nice quick read with a great message attached. My rating: 4/5 stars
**I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*


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As you may have noticed, there's a few changes going around on the blog recently, and I'm still in the process of getting everything in order. Some things are still a little out of place, so thanks for bearing with me! xx

9.20.2017

Wednesday Words [2]- How Many Times

{image mine}



how many times
has He wiped our slate clean
how many times
 has He called us redeemed
even though we 
will not ever be worthy
to even be called His slave
how many times
has He forgiven our sin
how many times
again and again
even though we
will not ever be worthy
to even be called His slave
how many times 
has He called us His child
how many times
has He given that title
even though we
will not ever be worthy
to even be called His slave-
He calls us His child instead
~written 3.25.17


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I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. // Isaiah 44:22

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight... // Ephesians 1:7-8

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. // Galatians 4:4-5

9.12.2017

[ just a reminder #1 ] His Deep Deep Love

{image via unsplash.com}




O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! 
Rolling as a mighty ocean 
In its fullness over me! 
Underneath me, all around me, 
Is the current of Thy love 
Leading onward, leading homeward 
To Thy glorious rest above! 

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Spread His praise from shore to shore! 
How He loveth, ever loveth, 
Changeth never, nevermore! 
How He watches o'er His loved ones, 
Died to call them all His own; 
How for them He intercedeth, 
Watcheth o'er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Love of every love the best! 
Tis an ocean vast of blessing, 
Tis a haven sweet of rest! 
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Tis a heaven of heavens to me; 
And it lifts me up to glory, 
For it lifts me up to Thee!
~lyrics by Samuel T. Francis 


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...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. // Ephesians 3:17-19

9.06.2017

Isolated Blog Tour


I'm so excited today to be able to participate in the blog tour for Isolated, Jordy Leigh's recently published debut novella! Jordy is a fantastic author with an amazing heart for God, and I was thrilled to be able to read and review Isolated recently in preparation for this blog tour, which will feature a selected portion of the novella in the spotlight as well as some of my reflections.


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About the book:
Fourteen-year-old Louise Stella flees into the forest to escape an intruder who would take her hostage. But by the time she returns to her house, her country has broken out in war and her home island has become a military base. Sharing the land with enemy soldiers, Louise’s only goal is to stay alive one day at a time. Having no food or water, and little knowledge of how to survive in the forests of Quebec, her biggest adversary is “the Unknown”. Her pride crumbles and she realizes that she can’t sustain herself. She must depend on someone else... but Whom?

Isolated is a Young Adult suspense novella with uncertainty lurking at every turn. It will have you asking the big questions about life and death. Will you come to the same conclusion as Louise?




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There are so many portions of Isolated that I could share, and I wish I could highlight all of them! Jordy has done a beautiful job of weaving Biblical, lifechanging truths with action-filled suspense that will keep you reading. {Warning: My thoughts and the excerpt below are slight spoilers}.
One of the main messages of the novella is that God will never give up on us- ever. Nothing that we can ever do, think, or say can change His plans, as Louise learns all too well!



....She knew everything there was to know about the Bible. But I don’t know God. And now she couldn’t help but feel that He was chasing her down; that He was after her soul. Will He ever give up? God, I don’t want to give you my life, so won’t You just stop… please? She threw her arms up in frustration.

Well, I’m not going to give up either. He can chase me down all He wants, but He won’t have me. Louise stuck out her bottom lip. She would show Him how fast she could run. Besides, He doesn’t know what I’m going through. Louise briefly considered the contradiction of her thoughts. How could a God Who didn’t know her situation chase her down so relentlessly. But in that moment of frustration, it was a detail she was willing to overlook. A few days ago, she didn’t even believe that God existed. It was much easier to resist Him then, but she could no longer deny Him.


This particular portion stuck out to me, as it reminded me of several Bible verses dealing with this very topic. Louise, although she is resistant to the things of God, feels like she is being "chased down" by Him- and she's right! God essentially"chases down" and brings to Himself everyone whom He has chosen. Romans 3:11 says "No one understands; no one seeks for God". It has nothing to do with us at all, as Ephesians 2:8-9 shows us. It has everything to do with God. John 6:65 explains: "....This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to Him by the Father", and John 15:16 says "... You did not choose Me but I chose you...". 
It's pretty useless to argue with God, and I'm sure we're all quite glad that we don't always get what we think is best- becuase we usually have no idea what that is. As Louise is gradually learning throughout the novella, we can resist all we want but that changes nothing. God is always in control.
I think these paragraphs illustrate what a lot of people think about God -whether all the time or just occasionally. Also, knowing what the Bible says is not the same as knowing God, as Louise figures out at the beginning of the paragraph. Unfortunately, I think that's a common mistake that many make today. Knowing God is vital to knowing everything else we need to know!
Again, this is just one of many amazing parts of Isolated that encouraged, inspired, or really got me thinking. We need more books that do just that!


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Isolated will be officially published on September 11, but there is plenty you can do in the meantime!






About the author:
From as young as seven years old, Jordy Leigh filled exercise booklets with stories until her hand hurt. She loves a good book, but ultimately she hopes that hers will offer something of greater value than short-lived entertainment. In reading them, may you learn more about the God of the Bible.

Jordy Leigh hopes that Isolated will at once quench your desire for compelling fiction and nourish your soul with wholesome truth.



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I hope you enjoyed learning more about Jordy's new novella and that you'll take the time visit and follow her blog, read Isolated for yourself, or support this wonderful author and her commitment to writing God-honoring fiction in some other way.
Have you read Isolated? If so, what did you think about it? If not, does it sound like something you'd like to read?

8.24.2017

The Hardest Thing

Okay. This post deserves a little bit of explanation. About a year ago, I came across this post from the blog On the Other Side of Reality. The author's most recent post was titled The Hardest Thing and described a deep, sad, picture of life and its end. As I read it, I realized that indeed, a lot of people believe that and live like that every day... and my heart felt so heavy for those, those who essentially have no hope.
The author has allowed me to write something based of off her original work, which is intended to show another "hardest thing"- in my opinion, the hardest thing that can happen to a believer in Christ.
Please understand- this post is in no way is intended to hold anything against or put down the the author, what she writes, or what she believes. Since she identifies as an agnostic, I would not agree with most of her beliefs, but in this case my point is not to disagree or argue anything- I only wanted to share my take on a heartfelt glimpse of what the future holds for a person. Again, go ahead and read the original post before reading my spinoff, and thanks again to the author for allowing me to share this.


{image mine}


....is when you know you could have done more, done better, done it well. You knew how to sing, to dance, to write, draw, and speak- but you didn't do it for the right reason. You had money and power, influence and skill, but what is left of you? What is there to show in the light of eternity? The only thing that just kept you going on- just barely hanging on, day after day- was that secret hope that one day you might find out the real reason for life. You didn't bother looking into it then, although it would have been the only thing that would have smoothed away the tears and stress and emptiness of life and let you see the world like it is.

And so you learned to live your life that way. You kept it all inside, but finally, nearly at the last minute, you found out. You gave in to what you knew must have existed all along- that gentle voice that tugged at your soul. And when you finally exited this world there was Someone on the other side to comfort you. However, there were no loving arms and gentle reassurances in this one as you slowly exited this life, there were no grave performances or dramatic memorials as you returned to the dust where you came. And you know it's all your own fault. All there is is Him- suddenly the only thing you ever knew was ever enough, as you are swept away for eternity. In that final moment, there is peace. There wasn't what you expected, though- no congratulations on your earthly accomplishments and successes, only Him and that overwhelming wave of remembrance of what you could have done with your life but didn't, and then everything else fading out and a new life beginning forever. 

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If you are a believer in Christ, would you agree that the thought of a wasted life- with nothing left to give Him- is the hardest thing? Of course, we can never come to Christ "too late", as everything is in His timing, and we know that He alone is enough -that we can never do anything to earn heaven- but our love for Him in this life is proved by our actions. How sad to have nothing to show.
I would love to know your thoughts about this. What do you think is the hardest thing? 

8.12.2017

Not Based, Just Placed

{image mine}



 Some common things in life
that we all need to survive
are often taken for granted
and even overlooked.
And sometimes, when we get them,
they're accredited to the wrong.
We didn't do anything for them.
We just got them.

Grace- it means gift
but few understand that.
After all, nothings's free, right?
And we just can't fathom
that it has nothing to do with us.

Love- it's really a verb
but few understand that.
It's not just about feelings.
And we just can't fathom
how God could continually love us.

Mercy- it's our prepaid ticket
but few understand that.
God's mercy is daily.
And we just can't fathom
how we can even need it.

What we're forgetting
is a really big deal.
But it all comes down
to just two letters.

God's gifts to us
(which is everything)
are not based on us-
just placed on us.

So let's remember this 
as well as all those other things
so common, yet necessary
in our everyday lives.
we didn't do anything for them.
We just got them.
Because they're not based on us,
just placed on us by Him,
who loves His children
by His goodness and grace.

And let's be sure
to let others know
that these blessings we have
are not based-
just placed.

-written 8.8.17

7.21.2017

Encouragement from Romans 5 + A Brief Announcement

Hello, readers!
I hope you are all having a lovely summer. I know that posts on A Purpose and A Promise have been rather erratic lately, but honestly, I've been okay with that. Before, I would have been all stressed out that my posting schedule got messed up, but God's been teaching me a lot lately, and that's included the real meaning of peace. Peace isn't always calm and quiet; it's isn't always the feeling that everything will turn out alright for you. To a degree, peace is knowing that God is in control and trusting fully in that promise, no matter what. At least, that's what God has been showing me about peace lately. 
Reading in Romans 5 has been a real encouragement lately- not only about peace, but about the hope we have as children of God, why there are trials in our lives and how they actually are for our benefit, and a reminder of the best news of all- how Jesus gave His life so ours could be reconciled to God. The first eleven verses are below, but you can read the whole chapter here.


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. // Romans 5: 1-11 

That said, I do have a small announcement. I will be taking an official break from posting on A Purpose and A Promise for at least three weeks, perhaps a little more. At the moment, I'm not planning on stopping indefinitely, but I think hiatuses are good for everyone. =) I wanted to say it in an actual post, instead of just abandoning the blog for a month. No, I haven't come close to doing that this month.

Thanks again for reading, following, and commenting on A Purpose and A Promise! I have been so blessed by my wonderful readers for this year and a half, learning and growing on this adventure. 

Have a wonderful remainder of your summer, blessed with peace that can only come from Jesus. ♥

7.04.2017

Freedom





O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea! 

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! 
God mend thine every flaw, 
Confirm thy soul in self-control, 
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! 
May God thy gold refine, 
Till all success be nobleness, 
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! 
God shed His grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea!
~America the Beautiful, words by Katherine L. Bates 



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And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. // John 8:32

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself // Galatians 5:13-14

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. // Romans 8:1-4


















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To those of you who are Americans- Happy Independence Day! God has blessed us with remarkable freedom for nearly two and a half decades in America, and we should never forget what He has given us.
To all believers- no matter what country you live in- we are all blessed with the true freedom found in God's Word, though Jesus! He gives us the ultimate freedom, and may we never forget that as we strive to tell others about this true Freedom found in Christ.





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O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heaven rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

-The Star-Spangled Banner (fifth verse), words by Francis Scott Key