A Gift

Did I tell you I am the most blessed of women? 

Believe it.

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I am excited about the newness of this day. 

It’s better than opening a Christmas present. 

I don’t know what the day will bring…

what I know and therein lays my joy….

is that it is a gift. 

What I know and herein lies my joy…

is that only someone who cares for me…

will present me with a gift.

Who gives the gift of this day?

Someone who loves me.

Thank you Jesus!!!!!

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Because I am Chosen I can Promise You This

The first scripture I ever received from the Lord many many years ago was John 15:16

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,

that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:

that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

One special morning I was lovingly wakened with the words “John 15: 16” playing over and over in my head like a broken record.  I immediately grabbed my bible to find out what accompanying scripture this was.  I wanted to receive the message God was sending me. When I read those wonderful words. I was so excited to know I was chosen of God.  I had no clue what it meant to be chosen until I read the next verse.  It was then I realized that there was a tremendous responsibility in being chosen.

These things I command you,

that ye love one another.

I am chosen for one reason only; To Love You.  Please don’t make my job more difficult than it is.

But just so you know, I’m asking the Father to pollinate the seeds of love that I plant in you, that you might trust the spirit within me, that you will trust my motives, that you receive the gift that I bring, that you will recognize that what I bring is good and that this good gift will bring you joy, and that you too share that which you have been given.

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Listen to my heart as it speaks to you my child.  I am chosen to love you and my love for you will never deceive you.

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I PROMISE.

From my heart to yours,

Mother

That’s Love

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Love comes in many forms and through many sources.  You can’t always recognize it until you step back and look at your life.  I remember something about love.

God and I would meet each morning on the front porch after Momma went to work. He watched while I played with the only doll I had.  When God wasn’t around, my big brother was.  Butchy was my big brother.  Five years older than me, Butchy was my hero and he was my first love.    After God.

Butchy and his friends all hung out in front of the old raggedy house we lived in when I was four years old.  The grass that was supposed to be in the front yard had been worn into a dusty baseball diamond by Butchy and his friends.  Home plate was right at our front door.  They used cinder blocks from the dilapidated vacant house down the street that they had pilfered for the bases.

Each day, beginning with the first day of the summer, they would play for hours and hours from first light until the street lights came on.  They had nick names like Mantle, Robinson, and Pepitone.  They were serious about baseball.  The games were loud and for a little girl watching from the porch, very exciting. All these big guys, every size and color, nine, ten and eleven years old, sweating, cursing and spitting, sliding into base, slapping their baseball glove with balled fists, and hitting home runs in our front yard.  It was the most exciting thing in my whole young life.

I wanted to play.  I wanted to wear a baseball cap and run around the bases.  But I was a girl and girls were not allowed.  It was the rule.  Each day I watched the games from our porch. Me and God and Dolly.  I knew all the players both by name and nick name.  I knew the positions they liked to play and their particular stance and baseball idiosyncrasies.   Butchy always chewed gum.   He batted left-handed and always spit out of the right side of his mouth while hitting his left foot with the end of the bat before he settled into position to hit the ball.  For some reason, Billy Nelson, would always stretch open his mouth into a wide side like yawn before he would pitch.  The guys would tease him about catching flies with his mouth.  David kept his left gloved hand behind his back.  He played left field, bending over from the waist, his right arm rested on his right knee.  He never smiled.  Dave played shirtless each day.  From the waist up, that skinny white boy was the same color as Butchy, but he had a blond crew cut and blue eyes.

One day, one very special day, my big brother, called a time out in the ninth inning.  Butchy called me to the plate, and put the bat in my hand.  With his big hands over mine, Butchy moved my hands into place on the bat and showed me where and how to stand at home plate.  Once he was comfortable with how I was positioned, he removed his navy blue baseball cap with the white letters from his head and placed it on my head.

“Okay Billy,” he said, “Roll the ball on the ground so my sister can hit the ball.“

God said, “That’s love. “

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Look for Him in the simplicity of life. He is there, He is waiting for you.  Look for love and you will see Him.  You will know truth.  You will experience love.

 

It takes the God kind of love

           One winter day in the early morning hours when darkness surrenders to light, the demon of bi-polar disease came and stole the gift of life that was my sister. My sister died alone, sitting on the edge of a dirty old mattress, riddled with cigarette holes, in the oldest house on the block, down the street and around the corner from mommy’s house. “Maybe,” they said, “She had been dead a week before she was found.”

           Old and ugly, decrepit and scaring looking, the house is still there, my sister is not.  But if you had walked by it last summer, you would have caught a glimpse of who my sister was.  In the front yard, growing around an old rusty light post whose light has long ago ceased to shine, bloomed big beautiful star-shaped white flowers attached to a chaotic arrangement of green vines. The vine of flowers was breathtakingly beautiful.  My sister told me it was a clematis vine.  My sister planted it.  My sister said that a clematis vine is the most aristocratic of all flowers. She said with all its queenly beauty, the clematis vine is very delicate. She said a clematis vine has to have support to bloom and grow properly, or it will die.

          If you walked past the oldest house on the block with the breathtakingly beautiful clematis vine, last summer and the window was open in the living room you would have seen the delicate white lace curtains my sister had hung, seductively dancing in the gently breeze. You would have heard the sweet melodic yet melancholy sounds of my sister’s flute.  You might have stopped to listen. Many often did.  My sister played so well.  You would have felt something pure and good, rich, and beautiful stir your soul. The music might invoke a sense of sadness but you would have left with a good feeling too, because each note resonated beautifully from the depth of her heart.
I loved her.  It was not easy.

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             I miss her more now than I missed her when she was living even though we lived over eight hundred miles apart.  That’s the kind of distance I thought I needed to continue to love her. That’s the deception of bi-polar disease. In order to continue to love someone you believe you have to put distance between you. Either that or you must have an extraordinary amount of the God kind of love inside of you.

             If my sister were alive, I would wash and comb her hair again.  I did that the last time I saw her, a year ago.  I wanted to do it.  I braided it too.  It needed to be combed and braided. Her hair stopped being a priority many years ago so it always looked like that.  It was matted and pressed to her head on the side she slept on.

              I would bathe her, if she were alive.  I did that the last time I saw her.  She let me bathe her.  She didn’t let me touch her very often.  Sometimes touching made her mad.  I didn’t want to touch her very often.  It made me mad. I didn’t want to be around her very often.  She made me mad.  But the last time I saw her, I wanted to bathe her.  I wanted to clean that nasty rusty bathtub and fill it with clean fresh water.  I knelt on the black tile that was supposed to be white and washed her back.  I rubbed lotion all over the rubbery skin that clung to her frail thin body.  I put baby powder on her and a little perfume too.   I did that, the last time I saw her.  I slipped a clean fresh cotton gown over her head and gently bent her frail little arms to help her get the gown on.  I did that the last time I saw her.   I touched her face.  I looked into her eyes.   She looked into mine.  There were no words spoken, none that you could hear.  I loved my sister and she loved me.  It was not easy for either of us, without God.

           The last time I saw her, I packed up thirty-eight large trash bags of dirty filthy clothing that had accumulated in that old house and Son and I threw them in the trash. I threw out bottles too numerous to count that was once filled with alcohol. I turned over the filthy sheet less mattress she slept on, the last time I saw her.  I saw that her cigarettes had burned clear through to the other side but I didn’t tell her not to smoke in bed.  I put the clean fresh sheets that Mommy had bought for her on the bed.  I sprinkled baby powder on the sheets and I told my sister to lie down now and get some rest.  She let her big sister boss her around, the last time I saw her.  I pulled the covers up and tucked them up under her chin.  I kissed her and I told her I loved her.  She let me.
I went into the filthy kitchen and tried to figure out where to begin to clean.  I rattled some of the dishes in the overcrowded sink.  I needed to remove the dishes and clean the sink before I could begin to wash the dishes.  I had brought Lysol and bleach, baking powder and Greased Lightning, so I could clean that old house, the last time I saw her.

            “You’re making me nervous,” I heard my sister call out from the bedroom.  Her voice was low and sweet sounding. This time.  Kind of rhythmical, sing songie, like.  I never heard her talk like that before.
“I’m just gonna clean your kitchen, then I’ll head back to Mommy’s,” I called back to her.

            When she replied, in that sing song like voice, “You’re making me nervous”, the second time, I froze for a second, my soapy hands suspended in time, over the sink. Fear crept up and down my spine. Recovering, I tilted my head to the side to listen for the muffled sound of footsteps, scurrying across the hardwood floors coming from the direction of the bedroom, sounds that would signal danger. The last time I heard the sound of footsteps sliding across hardwood floors, my sister tried to push me down a flight of stairs. Hearing none, I quickly dried my hands on my jeans and grabbed my purse from the doorknob where I had hung it when I first got there and I left my sister all alone.

             Therein lays the deception about bi-polar disease.  You hear the things that are not spoken, or things spoken but might not mean what you think it means. You learn to hear and interpret what is really being said. You learn or you might get hurt.  You learn to listen to the sounds and interpret the movements.  I heard my sister the last time I saw her. In that sing song like voice, she told me she loved me but she might hurt me.  She told me she didn’t want to; but she might. In that sing song like voice, she loved me enough to warn me. That’s the God kind of love.

          We did not understand the forces that would cause a beautiful intelligent talented woman to walk naked down a darken street.  We did not understand the forces that made her rant and rave one minute then cry uncontrollably, with such a heart wrenching sorrowful wail the next.  Bi-polar was two opposites fighting against each other, in thought and behavior, within the frailness of my sister’s body.  This disease progressively wreaked such havoc on her thinking process that alcohol was the only medication she believed would weaken the process and bring a form of stability to a mind that would not keep still.  Not meant to be a cure-all, alcohol, overtime, too, deceived her and eventually, eroded her liver.  My sister died alone.

          We did not understand what she tried to make us understand because her actions so often offended and assaulted every sensibility that we possessed.  She stopped trying to tell us.  When communication failed, she went away from us to her own little hole, a place where she could go and lick her wounds and not embarrass us anymore. My sister retreated to the oldest house on the block, down the street and around the corner from mommy’s house. There she planted, around an old rusty light post whose light had long ago ceased to shine, a chaotic arrangement of green vines that brought forth big beautiful star-shaped white flowers. She retreated to the only place she could freely communicate the vestige of her heart through her music.  She loved us when she was unlovable.  She loved us when we were unlovable. That’s why she went away. To the oldest house on the block. She played the flute and planted a clematis vine. She never asked for anything more. She died alone.

          I loved my sister and I miss her.  Like the clematis vine, she was beautiful and delicate. Like the clematis vine, without support, its pattern of growth is chaotic. My sister needed my support to live. But it takes the God kind of love to love someone unlovable. I wish I could have had that extraordinary amount of the God kind of love inside of me that I could summon up when I needed to, when she needed me to.

           I finally cleaned her house but she was no longer there.  I wanted to do it.  I wanted to do it alone.  I brought Lysol and bleach, baking powder and Greased Lightning. I opened her closet. Unlike the madness evidenced in every room in her house, the clothes in her closet, were arranged neatly and orderly by color. That’s the deception of bi-polar disease.  If only we could have seen behind the closet of her mind, beyond the chaos of her actions; we could have seen the order that was there to see. But, it takes the God kind of love.

         Among the dirty filthy clothing that once again had accumulated on the floor in her bedroom, I found a reminder of who she once was. I found her gold charm bracelet with a solitary little gold heart with her initials and her birthday inscribed thereon. It dangles from my wrist now. I never take it off. I found her flute. She played so well. I took her collection of CD’s. Surprisingly, I found only songs of praise and worship. Now, eight hundred miles away from the oldest house on the block, down the street and around the corner from mommy’s house, I play them, and I raise my arms in gratitude to a holy and merciful God because I know He knows.  I loved my sister and I miss her.  I wish I could have had that extraordinary amount of the God kind of love inside of me that I could summon up when I needed to, when she needed me too.

           Down the street and around the corner, from Mommy’s house, there is a solitary grave among many where my sister rests.  You cannot miss it. Look for the vine with little white star-shaped blooms. It is a clematis vine. It is the queen of all flowers. There is no light post to support the vine, only a tombstone.

It takes the God kind of love.

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English: Puawhananga (Clematis_paniculata) flo...

Less we forget

 I want to remember your smile

Not your tears

I want to remember your smile

Not your fears

I want to remember

before                         

   The madness

     I want to remember

before

 That there was joy

       In your life

before

Then I will not forget

           As it was in yours

So it was in mine

Because you were there

before

Jesus said:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 15: 4,5

                                                                                

Launch into the Deep

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I was told that if you want different results, you have to do something different.  I am getting ready to do just that.  Different for me is leaving behind the big cities of Atlanta and New York that have been my place of abode for the years that I have lived on this big earth.  Different for me is going to a place where I know no one.

Why – why – why – why ??????????????

To find my life I have to lose my life. 

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I did everything I was told to do.  I have the degree’s – I have raised very nice kids – I have raised plants, dogs, cats, fish, birds, children, men.  I helped many along the way, opening my home to others, feeding the homeless, community and church work, cooking and cleaning, working on jobs that left me emotionally drained and physically exhausted. I have closets full of business suits, coats and heels but only three pair of jeans. I have accumulated a lot of stuff that I have to take care of and keep clean, most of which is in storage.  Everything society said to do to have a successful fulfilling life, I did.

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Now an opportunity has come  it appeals to me at this season of my life.  I want simplicity.  My life was starting to feel so complicated.  I need to sort out what I want from the wants of others.  I want to find out what is relevant to me as opposed to what I’ve been made to believe is relevant.  I have sacrificed me to others so long, I don’t even know what I like or need separate from the opinions of others.

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I’m launching into the deep.  Sink or Swim; are my only options. I am going to swim.  I have to. I have to save my life and lose it to the life God intends. After all these years, it’s about time.

Come on Jesus, Come on Holy Spirit, let’s do this.  Together.

You lead, I’ll follow. I’ll do it Your way this time.

I trust you.  Completely.

Luke 5:1-11  King James Version (KJV)

5 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

I Will Stand for You

Do you remember when you first left God?  When you believed you stood all alone?

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I do.

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Do you remember the price you had to pay for doing so?

I do.

I remember the subtle hints that I ignored.

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First, there was a devastating situation that I thought I had to go through on my own.

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I believed that no one could possibly know how I felt. Who could possibly know how much it hurt.

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When or if I tried to discuss the matter with my loved ones, I didn’t  accept their advice.

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They were too old. Too spiritual. Too lame.  Too Dumb.  Too something.  They just didn’t know nothing about nothing.

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I believed they were clueless.  They had never experienced what I was dealing with and couldn’t possible understand.

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Second, I began to look around in my circle of acquaintances to find someone to commiserate with. 

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I looked for and gravitated toward someone who would validate my feelings of  “It’s me against the world.”

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Finding others who were as  hurt and angry and broken as I, who echoed my sentiments and resentments, they became my source of support. I thought they could relate to my experience. We could get through the madness together.

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Third, I sought a antidote for my pain.  It could have been drugs or alcohol, sex or pills; anything that I could physically hold on to, to help make it through the day.

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Fourth, I kept my family at a considerable distance. Deep down inside, I knew they loved me.

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But it was’nt enough. I didn’t want them to know how far I had strayed from the values and principles I learned as a child.

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I no longer believed as they did. The world was not a good place. Only the strong survived. I had to fight my way through.

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Together with my cronies ….

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who were wise to the ways of the world and was fighting what I thought was the same fight;

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I begin to formulate my own strategies to make it because I thought I was so smart. I thought I had all the answers.

Fifth, as I begin to sink lower in the abyss of life; I begin to question the nature of God.

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He couldn’t possibly love me because if He did he would have stepped in and untangled the mess of my life. He would have changed my situation. He would have stopped the hurt and pain. He would punish all those people who hurt me and did me wrong.

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If He didn’t love me no one else could.

Six, as my journey of deception completed its cycle; I began to hate who I had become.  

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Seven, I felt empty, unable to feel for anyone or anything.

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Satan thought he won.

But God said…

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NO!!!

Someone stood in the gap.

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Someone was praying for me.  Someone was interceding on my behalf.  Someone told me God loved me.

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Someone who would not give up on me. Someone who would not give up the fight.

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Someone stood by me through it all.

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Someone clothed with the helmet of salvation and the breast-plate of righteousness. Someone whose loins were strong with the truth. Someone who held the sword of the spirit in one hand and the shield of faith in the other.

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Someone whose feet remained steadfast, forging on until the victory of peace was won. For me.

Covered by the blood….

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Now, I can stand for you.

I will stand for you.

Now I have power to tread on serpents. I have power over the enemy of your soul.

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I stand for you.

I will fight for you.

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Don’t you worry. God already told me, I WON!!!

Walk with me in victory!

I’ll hold your hand……

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because I stand for you!!!

So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.       1 Thessalonians 2 – 8

For ye are our glory and joy     1 Thessalonians 2 – 20

Keepers of the Dawn

The clarion call of the Maker awakens me and summons me to come and witness the dawning of the day with Him.

DSC_0054-002It will be a day like no other; when the Artist of artistry will paint His finest masterpiece across the sky for one showing only.

DSC_0002A premier of preeminence reserved especially for those who respond early to the special invite He has sent to witness His creative genius.  The air is cool and crisp. The wind gusts sting my face, causing tears to fall from my eyes; still I stand at the pier waiting.

DSC_0032-009 - CopyI see the keepers of the dawn compete for a prominent place on the pilings.  They eye their audience of one with curiosity and suspicion.  Too few come to hear the silence in the of the rising of the sun. Too few come to observe  this dance of first light by the keepers of the dawn. They question my presence. Will I act accordingly?

DSC_0085-005 - CopyOr with eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear will I become an unwanted intrusion on the horizon of peacefulness on this stage set in perfection for the upcoming production.

DSC_0070-002 - CopyRespectfully I position myself quietly and slowly to center stage, camera ready to capture this once in a lifetime artistic production.

DSC_0003With a nod of his head, the keeper of the dawn signals and the show begins. I stand, in awe by what I see.

DSC_0071-002 - CopyHow graceful are the dawn’s dancers …

DSC_0016 - Copyas they cover the dimly lit stage of sky soaring upwards and out over the gently moving waters .

DSC_0024 - CopyAs the dancers take flight, the Artist rises and silently begins to paint the first masterpiece of the day.

DSC_0008In the predawn hours of the morning, something mystical and magical takes place.

DSC_0010The heavenly hosts descend; light overpowers the darkness and my heart is fill with joy.

DSC_0031-007 - CopyI wish for you.  I wish you could witness the majesty of His hand… to see what I see and feel as I feel.

DSC_0105-005 - CopyI have seen the refreshing of a new day.  I feel the reassurance that today will be different than yesterday.

DSC_0096-005 - CopyThe sun reveals the Son. Although I stand alone, I am not alone.

DSC_0170-001I feel the glory of His Presense.

DSC_0037-001 - CopyI follow the sun for it is the pathway to the Son.

DSC_0033I am refreshed, rejuvenated and restored as the dawn of a new day lights my way,

DSC_0058-007 - CopyNo longer alone, absent of despair.

DSC_0284In His light

DSC_0286-001like the keepers of the dawn, I dance,

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But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.

1 John 1:7