When Trouble Finds Me

Sometimes you may feel like David, crying out in the wilderness. 

Issue after issue, time after time and regardless what the day brings or how hard you try, sometimes there is just no stopping the tears.

 

prayer of thanks for strength

 

Disappointment, discouragement and frustrations seem to pile up and heap up like a giant mountain.

Just as David did in the Psalms, you cry out “WHEN Lord?? When?”

Wave after wave of hurt comes through and you wonder how you’ll make it.  You wonder if the next blow will be the one to knock you out or not.  You continue to search through the Psalms wondering….When Lord…when.

WHEN?

May I remind you (and myself) that we will make it through “this” – whatever this is right now?

Repeat after me:

GOD is all powerful, all knowing and loves me more than life itself

God shows us miracle after miracle in the Bible…so I have to remember that HE is the same today, yesterday and forever! 

When Trouble finds me – I will remember….

  • The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:17-19
  • Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6
  • As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than you ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
  • My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word.  Psalm 119:28
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him – James 1:2-5

 

 

When trouble finds you, where do you turn?

A prayer for you –

Lord, thank you that when we are where we don’t want to be, experiencing what wouldn’t choose to experience and dealing with things that we would never consider dealing with that you are our stronghold, our refuge and strength through everything!  We trust you Lord, we Love you Lord. In Jesus Name Amen

 

What do you do? What verses do you hide closest to your heart or do you search the scriptures filling your heart with verse after verse of God’s promises?

JOYn the conversation by leaving your thoughts below.

Make a difference and encourage others by sharing on your favorite social networking site.

If you have a link to an article that relates to this one, I invite you to leave it below so that it can easily encourage others.

Have fun spreading joy!

You Matter!

 

 

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The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins

JC-3dphoto

 

Here is the summary of The Jesus Code:

Jesus was always asking questions. Whether with a small group or large crowd, Jesus opened hearts and minds by asking questions that grasped attention and made one think. In The Jesus Code, author O. S. Hawkins poses fifty-two thought-provoking questions found throughout the Bible that believers should be able to answer as they grow in their faith and share their faith with others. Each question features a devotional thought to help readers find answers and promote further reflection.

Sample questions include:

  • What does the Lord require of you?
  • Where can I go from Your Spirit?
  • Who is my neighbor?
  • What is your life? A vapor that appears and vanishes away?
  • Why do you seek the living among the dead?
  • Will a man rob God?

As with The Joshua Code, all royalties will go to Mission:Dignity, whose mission supports retired pastors and their wives (or widows) living near poverty level. <-thank you for your giving heart and for Spreading JOY.

 

You can go ahead and purchase the book here or enter to win one of 3 copies below.

 

Also – please visit https://apps.agorapulse.com/go/36467/34084and take a fun (and free) quiz to test their knowledge of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ!

 

About the author: 

For more than 20 years, O. S. Hawkins served pastorates at the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in Dallas, Texas. He is president of GuideStone Financial Resources, which serves 200,000 pastors, church staff, missionaries, doctors, and other workers of various Christian organizations with their retirement needs. He is the author of more than 25 books and preaches regularly at Bible conferences, evangelism conferences, and churches across the nation.  Follow on twitter @OSHawkins 

 

Thank you Thomas Nelson for sponsoring this giveaway. 

 

 

Here is how to enter!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Honestly Speaking

 

God is my strength and power

 

 

Honesty

A recent conversation with my daughter went something like this:

“Seriously Mom, thank you for not thinking awful things of me when I express how I’m really feeling and it’s not good.”

She also thanked me for allowing her just to “vent” about everything and the emotions she was going through, especially since some pain in her heart was front and center – rearing it’s ugly head and taking over much of the day.

I assured her that no matter what she ever said or even did that I would always love her.

I then took the time to remind her that isn’t it wonderful that we can come to God and pour out the hurts that are killing us, pour out the anger that is eating at us and pour out the many other emotions that can seem to be so overwhelming that we can’t think, see or even feel anything but what is running through our heart at that very moment.

Often when we pray we “clean up” our prayers and “nicely” come to God asking for help through our situations.  May I remind you that God knows what you are screaming in your heart?

God KNOWS and even better than that – HE CARES and loves us anyway!

Be real with the Lord.

July and August 2013 were the beginning of some awful months in my world.  After a wonderful event – an answer to a lifelong prayer, several horrid & unexpected events took place.  The tears were streaming daily, deep awful sobs of pain escaped from my heart daily and then, in a weekend of a moment of peace, I called a friend (friend of over 25 years) after seeing her on Facebook.  We chatted, caught up and had a great time laughing. I needed that more than she knew.  Did we discuss my problems? No.  We laughed.  We discussed what she was doing and how our kids were and how crazy it was that we were parents of adults.  We made plans for dinner for the following week and hung up.

My heart was refreshed during a difficult time of pain.

Then it happened.  A few days later, I get the message that my friend had just had a massive stroke and died.  Did I hear that right? That was it.  Even though I never mask my feelings with God and we have some “very frank” conversations I was in shock kept thinking/praying “Seriously Lord???” This on top of everything else?  I was devastated even further.  The only thing I could keep praying is:

God, I don’t understand – but I trust you

Over and over I prayed.  and then I reached out.  Nothing specific, just reached out and was comforted by the prayers that I knew was being poured out on my behalf.

 

life hurts right now

 

We don’t always understand and that is ok.

We don’t always come to God with poetic prayers and that is ok.

Sometimes we come to God with “Where are YOU?? I NEED YOU” and that is ok.

Satan would have us fear that God gets angry with this kind of prayer but He doesn’t.  David, in the Psalms, over and over cried out “How LONG Lord?”

It’s ok to come to God and just pour out all of your hurts that have you broken at your very core.  He knows and He cares.

It’s ok to be completely honest with God.  He knows in your heart you are screaming and the pain is killing you physically and emotionally.

It’s ok to do nothing and say nothing more than “God I need you” and then rest in Him.  Let him refresh you just like Elijah had to do.

Don’t let guilt move you from the Lords presence. 

Be honest with the Lord and watch how he refreshes you. Your trials and situation may not change in an instant, but God’s grace will be sufficient and carry you through.

Things WILL get better.  Seasons DO Change.  The tears will slow down and stop. God IS Faithful!

 

Your turn.  Who or what has God used to refresh you during a difficult time in your life?

What verses do you turn to for comfort?

 

Thank you for leaving your comments below! Thank you for encouraging others in their walk of faith! 

 

 

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Clearly See

When you love someone, you love to spend time with them.  You love learning everything about them and you love being close to them.

When you spend time with the Lord, you’ll start to clearly see Him in ways that you hadn’t seen Him before.  Your love will become deeper as you spend time adoring your heavenly Father.

 

Something else will happen too……  Others will clearly see Him in you!

clearly see Him

 

When you love to spend time with the Lord Jesus: 

  • HIS light will shine like a beacon in your life (Matt 5:16)
  • HIS joy will flood your heart (Ps 32:11)
  • HIS promises will give you great courage (2 Peter 1:4)
  • HIS strength will carry you (Ps 3:3)
  • HIS love will touch others through you (Hebrews 10:24)
  • HIS heart will be seen in you (1 Thes 5:16-18)
  • HIS power will be real to you (Jeremiah 17:7)
  • HIS will and way will guide you (Eph 3:20)
  • HIS forgiveness will free you to forgive others
  • HIS faithfulness will never end (Romans 8:39)
  • HIS goodness is daily (Jeremiah 33:3)
  • HIS mercies are never trampled on (Ps 13:5)
  • HIS grace is treasured as a precious gift (Gen 6:8)
Choose to spend some time with HIM today so that others can clearly see HIM in you
List some things that you hope others see of Christ in you.
Be His Light
Be His Love
BE a positive force for the Lord

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Turning to God

we turn to you Lord

 

Lord,

We turn to you Lord for the hope of tomorrow when today seems to drown us in despair.

We turn to you Lord when yesterday is gripping our hearts, hindering us from seeing your hand today.

We turn to you Lord when everything is going wrong and nothing will dry the tears.

We turn to you Lord we’ve prayed a million prayers for our child to draw near.

We turn to you Lord when we can’t even lift our head or utter a word.

We turn to you Lord to make us aware of the daily blessings you surround us with.

We turn to you Lord to thank you for the strength you give us daily

We turn to you Lord to praise you for the glorious gift of the Cross

We turn to you Lord to sing praises when the darkness ends

We turn to you Lord to thank you for the protection that just sheltered us from harm

We turn to you Lord to give thanks for the loved one that has returned to you

We turn to you Lord to show our heart of gratitude for the good that keeps us renewed, for the bad that strengthens our faith and the millions of things in between that remind us to keep praising and adoring you.

 

Father, may we stay so close to your side that all we have to do is turn to you and whisper a faint cry for help or whisper praises through the tears of joy you bring.  May our hearts never get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life that we go a single day unaware of the gifts that you’ve poured out on us. May we praise you daily and spend time in the Word while loving and adoring you. May we always be aware of you, by our side, in Jesus precious name Amen.

 

 

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Be A Chain of Support

We as Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ. 

We are the body! 

As long as we are here on this earth, we will all have different opinions, feel, think, see, do and believe differently.  The trouble is, how do we handle those differences?  Do we lash out in anger or hatred “all in the name of the Lord?” or do we speak with compassion?

We can express our different opinions with love without being condemning, hateful and downright ugly but we simply choose not to, plain and simple.

Do we have His eyes and heart to see the world with compassion?  Do we love like He loves?  Do we care for the weak and weary like Jesus does?  Do we have the passion to be the one person that will spark another to do right for the Lord?

All it takes is one spark!  Often we are the only picture of Christ that some people will ever see.

So, my heart wonders what picture of Christ we are showing to people every day.

Do they see us reaching out and helping or do they see us shaking our heads saying “you made your bed now stay there?”

Do they see us reaching down to help someone up or us kicking those that are already down?

Do they see us doing our part to spread the word about the eternal Love of Christ or are we keeping all of heaven’s treasures for ourselves?

Do they see us handling ourselves as Jesus would or do they see us being anything but Christ like?

 

How can we be the strong chain of strength that helps support each other, instead of the weakest link in the body?

  • Support your Pastor and let him know just how valuable his leadership is.  There is no reason why you shouldn’t let him know this monthly. Cards, gift cards etc.
  • Use encouraging words and verses freely.  Twitter, Facebook and other social media avenues are amazing to reach large groups of people at once.
  • Give your time, talents and treasures to your local church. Don’t be stingy with any part of these
  • Encourage your Small Group Leader or Sunday School teacher. They need to know that their efforts touch hearts too.
  • Pay close attention to the elderly and children around you.  Don’t just forget about them. Shower them with love and attention.
  • Give cards of encouragement freely and often!  Encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Welcome everyone into your congregation. EVERYONE! A warm smile, gentle hug or handshake will do wonders to make people feel welcome.
  • When you greet people in your congregation, greet them by name as it will help new people to remember names easier.
  • Sing out.  Sing.  When your heart is troubled, sing praises to Him.
  • Before the Sunday Service (or any service), pray and ask God to bless your heart from HIS word and then expect to receive a blessing.
  • Encourage your children to learn Bible Verses.  Learn verses with them. You never know when this will strengthen someone else.

 

Remember, WE are the body! Keep reaching, keep telling others about HIS amazing grace & sacrifice, try, daily to reach someone for the Lord and keep being the best picture of Jesus ever!

Your voice in daily life and here on the web is another chance to touch ONE MORE SOUL! Use it! Use your resources!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  How are you showing other believers the true love of Christ? What about Non-Believers?

Are you teaching your children to live and love like Christ? Or do they immediately point out the negative things they see?

 

 

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Everlasting

ev•er•last•ing

[ev-er-las-ting, -lah-sting]

adjective

1. lasting forever; eternal: everlasting future life.

2. lasting or continuing for an indefinitely long time: the everlasting hills.

3. incessant; constantly recurring: He is plagued by everlasting attacks of influenza.

Everlasting is such a comforting word. Sometimes we just let the word simply slip by us because, as Christians, we know HIS love is forever. We get comfortable in “knowing” that we truly forget how powerful and comforting this word is.

When God promises EVERLASTING, we can and should take great comfort in His Words!

When God promises EVERLASTING, we can and should take great comfort in His Words!

 

 

Everlasting Covenant: The rainbow is Gods everlasting covenant for us. What a gift! Genesis 9:15-17 Not to mention the many promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as spanning all the way to us today.

Everlasting Mercy: Mercy is simply NOT getting what we deserve. God’s mercies are renewed each day! Ps. 100:5 & Lam 3:22

Everlasting Father: You may not have had an opportunity to have a close relationship with your earthly Father, but our Heavenly Father will never leave us. (And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.) Isaiah 9:6

Everlasting Strength: When we feel we cannot take another single step, HE is our strength. Isaiah 26:4

Everlasting Joy: Joy comes in the morning! Yes, we will face trials. Yes, we will have the darkness chase us and try to keep our focus off the Lord and yes, tears of sorrow will fall often. But the JOY of the Lord comes from the one that calms the raging sea with a whisper, the one that spoke this world into existence and wants the very best for each of His children. His joy is everlasting. Isaiah 51:11

Everlasting Light: His light and love pierces through our darkest hours. When we reflect HIS light, even through our roughest times, we help to shine the light on the paths of others. Allow His light to flow through you like a beacon! Isaiah 60:19

Everlasting Love: God’s Love for us never ends. Ever! We can move away from Him, turn our backs and run as far as we can run and HE will still love us and wait for us. Sometimes in our anger and hurt we feel that God doesn’t love or even care anymore, but He does and always will. We as humans, “feel” a lot of things, but as far as God’s love goes, we need to remember He loves us with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

Everlasting Salvation: The sacrifice of our Lord Jesus on the Cross is enough! I’m thankful for this everlasting gift! Isaiah 45:17

Everlasting Life: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Everlasting Fire: While I love focusing on how GREAT God is, I cannot leave out the fact that He is a just God. He gives us every chance to accept His gift of Calvary, but many people wait or don’t see the need. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels, but one day, those that reject Christ will stand before God and face the everlasting fire. You don’t have to face God on these terms. Here are some verses that will help you receive God’s everlasting gift of Salvation.

This is just a small list of the “everlasting” from God’s word.

What is your favorite everlasting?

How does this word comfort you?

 

 

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Frustrating God

 

Galatians 2:21 – I do not frustrate the grace of God….. (KJV)

I realize there is a lot more to this verse than I’ve just written, but I want to focus on this portion of it.

frustrating God

 

“I do not frustrate the grace of God…” – ……..but  I do.

If I’m honest with myself, I probably frustrate the Lord more often than most.  He, as my heavenly Father gives me the free will to choose.  I get to choose my day, the time I spend with God, family and others.

 

I can’t begin to imagine how frustrating I can be as I make unwise choices, such as choosing good over best, choosing less over waiting for more and choosing to not try because fear grips my heart.

I don’t want to frustrate God.  I don’t want to trample all over His mercy and grace.  It breaks my heart to think that I break His heart.

What are some ways that I’m sure I frustrate God?

  • Lack of faith – I want faith that moves mountains.  According to Matthew 17:20, all I need is as much as a grain of a mustard seed to do so.  We see simple miracles often and yet like the children of Israel; we need to see more in order to believe.  We need to be reminded more often than not.    Recently, Spreading JOY Corp was asked to help out someone that needed $1000.00 to avoid eviction in a week.  I was certain that this family would be evicted as I have tried to raise money before and knew nothing short of a miracle was needed.  I searched for that grain of faith to move mountains but felt it was nowhere to be found.  Thankfully – so many heroes stepped up and gave. Not only did they help this family, but they increased my faith.
  • Lack of time – We are so busy with family, church, work, housework, errands, dinner, softball, keeping the dog clean and visits with friends in coffee shops that we tend to not make time to build and strengthen our relationship with the Lord.  We live in a Burger King world and want to have it “our” way – quick, easy and simple.  God desires us to spend time with HIM.  If our children were obedient to every single thing we told them to do and yet NEVER spent any time with us, our hearts would break.  I imagine the Lord’s heart breaking when we get to busy with “stuff” to spend time with Him.
  • Unworthy feelings – We are joint heirs with Christ, so why on earth do we let these feelings get in the way?  We feel like we do not deserve God’s love, blessings and his power.  Because His mercy and grace is renewed each day, we get to have these wonderful things, even though we feel like we shouldn’t.  God wants to bless us, use us and empower us.  We are made in His image and even though HE knows our heart, our doubts and fears , HE still chooses to love us – UNCONDITIONALLY.    How amazing is our God?

Have you ever thought about this?

There are so many other ways that we frustrate the Lord.  Will you dare list some of the ways you frustrate Him?  What are you going to do about it?

What verses will help you, motivate you and move you away from frustrating the Lord to making His heart smile?

Tell me – talk to me… or am I the only one frustrating God? hmmm?

 

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Psalms of Comfort

 

 psalms of comfort april

Working through the hardships life has to offer sometimes can be difficult at best.  Sometimes there are no words, no explanations, no reasons…only questions.

When there are more questions than there are answers, turn to the One who is the answer for every problem, the quench for every thirst and the satisfaction for every soul.

May these Psalms of Comfort bring encourage you as you seek joy for the journey.

Take some time daily to just sit at His feet, remember His promises and let Him comfort your heart.

 

30 Psalms of Comfort:

Day 1 – Psalm 73:28 – Draw near, Trust Him & Declare His works

Day 2 – Psalm 86:7 – When in Trouble, call out & He will answer

Day 3 – Psalm 89:15 – We are blessed to know Him

Day 4 – Psalm 107:28 – He will deliver us from our distress

Day 5 – Psalm 107:9 – He satisfies our soul

Day 6 – Psalm 105:43 – He brings joy and gladness

Day 7 – Psalm 103:20 – God will bless you for doing His work

Day 8 – Psalm 103:12 – Our sins are As far as east is from west

Day 9 – Psalm 102:27 – He is the same and never changes or ends

Day 10 – Psalm 91:5-7 – No matter what we face, He is with us

Day 11 – Psalm 138:7 – Even in the midst of trouble, He preserves us

Day 12 – Psalm 100:2 – Serve with Gladness & singing

Day 13 – Psalm 72:12 – We aren’t the only ones to say Hurry God

Day 14 – Psalm 118:1 – His love and mercy are forever

Day 15 – Psalm 116:5 – He is merciful

Day 16 – Psalm 111:10 – Wisdom starts with God

Day 17 – Psalm 118:24 – Today matters

Day 19 – Psalm 119:105 – He will light our way

Day 20 – Psalm 121:2 – The One who made the heavens & earth – HELPS us

Day 21 – Psalm 108:4 – His love is greater than the heavens

Day 22 – Psalm 121:7-8 – The Lord will keep you

Day 23 – Psalm 128:1 – A respectful fear of the Lord brings blessings

Day 24 – Psalm 130:5 – While waiting on the Lord, we can wait in HOPE

Day 25 – Psalm 136:1-4 – HIS love endures forever

Day 26 – Psalm 139:14 – We are wonderfully made

Day 27 – Psalm 145:8-9 – The Lord is Gracious, merciful, slow to anger & steadfast in love

Day 28 – Psalm 145:18 – God is just a whisper away

Day 29 – Psalm 146:5 – The same God of Jacob is our help and hope

Day 30 – Psalm 46:5 – God is in the Middle of it all

 

Encourage the discouraged by sharing this to those who are going through a rough time

 


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Psalms of Comfort for the Weary

psalms of comfort for the weary

Is your heart weary and your days exhausting?  Do words of comfort elude you?

I love the book of Psalms.  I love the raw emotions and how that many times I can see myself right there in the thick of the pain and then am reminded of the victory God gives.  God is gracious to give us those verses to remind us that we are not alone.

Sometimes comfort is just a verse away but yet, our minds are exhausted and we can’t remember exactly where to look.

Here are 31 Psalms of Comfort for the Weary. 

I purposely did not type out the verses for you because I want you to look at the Psalm in your Bible, on your Bible Gateway app or YouVersion app.  I want you to write it out and put it where you can see it several times a day.  I want you to print off this list and mail to someone who needs encouragement.  I want you to email this article to someone who needs encouragement.  I want you to wrap your heart around these verses each day and be comforted.

Each morning as you grab yourself some coffee and/or breakfast, get that days verse and let it bring you comfort throughout the day.

 

31 Psalms of Comfort for the Weary

 

Day 1 – Psalm 2:12 – Blessed are all who take refuge in Him

Day 2 – Psalm 5:11 – Take refuge in Him and sing for joy

Day 3 – Psalm 7:1 – Take refuge in God and be delivered

Day 4 – Psalm 16:1 – He will not abandon those who take refuge in Him

Day 5 – Psalm 18:1 – He is OUR strength

Day 6 – Psalm 18:32 – He equips us with strength

Day 7 – Psalm 18:39 – Strength for the battle

Day 8 – Psalm 21:1 – We rejoice in His strength

Day 9 – Psalm 21:13 – In His strength we can sing praises of His power

Day 10 – Psalm 28:1 – He is our strength and our shield

Day 11 – Psalm 28:7 – He is our strength, let your heart trust in him

Day 12 – Psalm 28:8 – He is the strength of his people

Day 13 – Psalm 37:40 – He helps those that takes refuge in Him

Day 14 – Psalm 46:1 – He is our strength and help in trouble

Day 15 – Psalm 59:9 – He is our strength and fortress

Day 16 – Psalm 59:16-17 – Sing of his strength – praise the hurt away

Day 17 – Psalm 61:3 – He is our strong tower

Day 18 – Psalm 65:6 – The one who created the mountains is our strength

Day 19 – Psalm 68:35 – He gives power and strength

Day 20 – Psalm 71:1 – When our strength is gone, He is our refuge

Day 21 – Psalm 71:3 – We can continually run to our rock of refuge

Day 22 – Psalm 72:13 – When our bodies fail, God strengthens us forever

Day 23 – Psalm 91:1 – Dwell in the shadow of the Lord

Day 24 – Psalm 91:2 – Trust in your refuge and fortress

Day 25 – Psalm 91:11 – His angels guard you

Day 26 – Psalm 91:15 – He will deliver us

Day 27 – Psalm 94:22 – He is our stronghold, our fortress & our rock

Day 28 – Psalm 96:6 – Strength is in his sanctuary

Day 29 – Psalm 105:4 – Seek the LORD and his strength

Day 30 – Psalm 116:7 – He is our rest

Day 31 – Psalm 138:3 – When you call, he WILL answer and strengthen your soul

 

When you are tired and worn, run to the Psalms and find comfort.

Please encourage others by leaving your favorite Psalm of comfort in the comments below. 

Here is a link to this on Facebook, so that you can share and encourage those you know are tired from the fight.

Feel free to print and mail to someone who isn’t online – Here is a FREE PDF psalms of comfort for the weary   for you to use.

 

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You Matter – Have fun encouraging the weary and Spreading JOY

 

 

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