Posted by: cindybythesea | January 28, 2019

Psalm 119 and the year 2019

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Psalm 119

As we enter the New Year, I can’t think of a more appropriate Psalm for the problems and challenges we face as believers than the one that sits at the center of the Bible. The 119th Psalm (also the longest chapter of the Bible) is all about the blessing that comes from following Gods word and the folly of those who scorn it.  At a time when just about everything we have known to be true and good has fallen in to question by the culture around us it is more important than ever that we establish in our hearts and minds that which God has already established through his word. And the fact that no court of law or change in public opinion can permanently move it, sway it or otherwise do away with it. For it is as eternally fixed in the heavens as the Creator himself.

Verse 23-24 has this to say:

“Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will mediate on your decrees. Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors”. 

Some may wonder what we should do as the foundations around us are crumbling. First of all and most importantly is to know and meditate on Gods word. Remember his word is eternal, unchanging and forever fixed.  Therefore, it is a constant and reliable compass providing trustworthy counsel on which we can rely. It also provides freedom.

“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought your precepts. I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame.” Psalm 119: 45-46

There are a number of questions that currently plaque our culture. On the removal of God from the public forum over the past few decades culture has become increasingly rudderless and desperate to find new rules by which to live. Leaving us to ask (in its absence)– what rules ??? …. and by whom should they be established? A question most likely to be answered by those holding the most power ….. until the powerful become powerless and the newly powerful make new rules of their own.  A deadly cycle which perpetuates itself as the powerless unseat the powerful and on it goes.

“The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law. I remember, Lord, your ancient laws, and find comfort in them”. Psalm 119:51-52

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path”. Psalm 119:105

Yes, God’s word is ancient. It is not reliant upon the most recent study or what Hollywood celebrities or puffed up politicians think or do.  It is the guide by which we live. And is the light by which we walk. Try walking on a path in the dark and see how far you get without a light. The word of God is that light.

“You are righteous, Lord, and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy …. Great peace have those who love your law and nothing can make them stumble” Psalm 119:137-138,165

In the days ahead, we would do well to keep these things in mind and put them in to practice knowing that though we are tested we are promised not just peace but great peace by holding on to the promises of God word. It makes me think of the wise men when they followed the star. In spite of the great distance they traveled and the inherent perils along the way; they kept their eyes fixed on the star ….. not looking to the left nor to the right (figuratively speaking) until they reached their destination. May we likewise do the same.

“Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was set before him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and is now seated at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 12:2

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: cindybythesea | August 22, 2018

Uncut Stones

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“As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him, you also like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”  1 Peter 2:4,5

I came across an article from Signs and Seasons, a Christian group I belong to on Facebook that I thought was just excellent. Written by Rick Lange, it is titled: Pagans like bricks, God likes uncut stones.  An intriguing title don’t you think?  It certainly caught my eye and in reading, I was reminded how God is constantly at work in the life of a believer to shape him or her in to the image of Jesus Christ. So, without further adieu, I give you this excellent article for your edification and blessing. Just click on the link below and it should pop right up. Thank you and remember once again ….

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

https://m.facebook.com/groups/250462015323353?view=permalink&id=697658837270333

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy

Posted by: cindybythesea | August 7, 2018

Unseen Things

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“From His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth” Psalm 33:14

I took this photo a couple of years ago when we were blessed to have the opportunity to travel through Glacier National Park in Montana. Without a doubt, it is some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen. Driving from the valley floor to the top is a nail biting experience (at least it was for me) as the two lane road winds higher and higher until finally reaching the top at a place called Heavens Peak. With a guard rail more suited for protecting small rodents than automobiles it was all I could do to keep from covering my eyes and missing the spectacular scenery that was just outside my window.

Just before reaching the top there was a pullout where several cars had stopped. Wondering what everyone was looking at we pulled our car over and there among the peaks and rocky crags was a group of mountain goats feeding in the lush green grass of late summer. You could not have asked for a more peaceful or pastoral scene. Yet just months before these same goats would have been almost impossible to spot as they surefootedly made their way across the glacial terrain foraging for food. Their coats blending perfectly with the newly fallen snow. Unlike other animals that migrate to lower land or hibernate to survive in the winter mountain goats tend to stay where they are at. Which makes them pretty incredible considering the harsh conditions that living on a mountain top would present.

I think about this every now and then. The many places and great variety of creatures that live out their lives unseen by human eyes. Which is fine with them and even beneficial. They need no applause, no affirmation, no impressive credentials – to be seen and valued by the one who created them is … quite simply put ….enough.

People on the other hand are different. We have a built in desire to be seen. So much so that we center our lives around stuff that will help us in our attempt to be seen and recognized by others. Clothes, houses, cars and certificates of accomplishment – things that shape us in to who we are or perhaps more accurately into the people we want others to believe that we are because no one wants to be unseen. To be unseen is unthinkable and as near to death as one can get while still living – which is why social media thrives. And for some reason today people are more desperate than ever (it seems) to be seen. A truth I believe which speaks deeply to the emptiness inside in spite of the fact that one may have 10,000 FB friends, twitter accounts or followers.

The Bible tells us that God sees every sparrow that falls. The common little sparrow of which there are billions. Yet God sees, knows and cares about each one. Listen to what Jesus said:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”. Matthew 10:29-31

I don’t know about you but I think people are desperately in need of this simple message – God sees and cares for you. Isn’t it possible in our “throw away” world that in spite of what social media would have us believe people feel more unseen and less valued than ever before?

I think so …and it’s something I’m thinking and praying about this week. Won’t you join me?

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Waiting and watching with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy

Posted by: cindybythesea | June 17, 2018

The Tipping Point

“So when all of these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near”. Luke 21:28

A few months ago, we purchased some property in the country. One of the things we liked most about it was the dense thicket of trees that had grown along an old creek bed in front of the house. Some of those trees are enormous Cottonwoods that have been growing in the rich river bottom soil for decades. And while the trees appear mighty and strong given the right conditions these mighty trees can and will come down. And that’s just what happened a couple of days ago.

As you can see from the photo above a large limb from one of the trees did indeed come down. I would say unexpectedly if my husband had not been warning me for some time that the weight of the limb on that tree was fast becoming more than it could support. I agreed but without the means to get up in to the tree to trim it we were basically just hoping for the best. It was a lovely limb that bowed out gracefully over the yard fanning out shade that would have been delightful for sitting or eating under. And although warned by my husband I felt sure it would last for at least one more season. But, I was wrong.

The other evening we were working in the yard under the trees when we heard a loud crack. My husband immediately knew it was the sound of a tree breaking but it was impossible to say which one ….. the weather was warm and sunny with nothing more than a light breeze blowing so we were not expecting any tree or branch to fall at that time.  Suddenly, there was another loud pop and this time we just ran …..and not a moment to soon as a second later that beautiful and graceful limb that we had so admired came crashing down to the ground with a mighty thud. Blessedly, no one was hurt and nothing was damaged.

I’ve been thinking about this the past couple of days. How the signs of the end of the age and the soon return of Jesus are everywhere.  Yet most refuse to believe and are unwilling to see what should be obvious. Yes, the tree is green.  Yes, it provides lovely  shade ……  but like the tree in the photo above it is simply a matter of time before the present age collapses beneath its own God rejecting weight.

And while the fall of the tree was sudden … what caused it to fall was not …. 

Yet most will say they never saw it coming because they refused to look any deeper than the leafy green appearance of the tree. How sad.

……………………………………………………

But who can say precisely ….when that mighty limb would fall. Was it one more leaf that sprouted …. that tipped the balance of it all?  Or perhaps, it was the stirring …. of a gentle summer breeze …. that finally brought that lofty one …. from the heights …..on to its knees.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy

 

Posted by: cindybythesea | May 22, 2018

Snatched Away!

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“If He snatches away who can stop him? Who can say to him what are you doing?” Job 9:12

The pre-tribulation rapture. The blessed hope those found in Christ Jesus are waiting for. That moment when (as the scripture says) –

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that we who are still alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will be with the Lord forever.” 1 Thess. 4:17

I was reading in Job the other night when I came across the verse above. “If he snatches away …. who can stop him? This immediately drew my attention because the word “caught” in the verse from Thessalonians as quoted above literally means to “snatch” away which is the same word used in the NIV translation of Job 9:12. Snatch.

“If he snatches away … who can stop him?”

To double check myself I went to Strongs Concordance to view these words in their Hebrew and Greek translations. And sure enough they match. In Job 9:12 the Hebrew word for “snatch” is “chathaph” which means to “clutch or to take away”.  In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 the word for “caught” is harpazo which by definition in Greek is to catch (away up), to seize, pluck, pull, or take by force. So you can see the similarity in thought between these two verses. They are literally quite one and the same.

I happened to be reading Job 9 the other night due to something Ray Vander Laan had said on one of his videos from his series “That the World May Know”. He said something that really struck me (Ray does that a lot for he’s a phenomenal Bible teacher) …. but he was talking about when Jesus walked on the water and He pointed out something that I had not previously known ……that there was a verse in Job that says this very thing … that God would walk on water!

“He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea”.  Job 9:8

Wow! This verse is not allegory as I might have assumed before, but literal. For as Ray says, the “Bible does not authenticate Jesus but rather Jesus authenticates the Bible and there is nothing that Jesus said, did or will do that cannot be found in scripture.

Get that?  Read it again.

There is nothing that Jesus said, did or will do that cannot be found in scripture!

So to find a reference to the rapture as far back as the book of Job further testifies to the truth of the soon snatching/catching away of the Church. Just as it did when it spoke prophetically of something that Jesus would do (walking on water) many centuries later.

Therefore if the Bible says he will tread the waves …. and, he did. Then we can be just as certain that when it says he will “snatch away” ……  that is exactly what he will do.

The image of the hand in the photo above is pretty good, don’t you think? It really captures the idea of snatching away (I found it on Google Images). And with the rapid fulfillment of prophecy today … breakneck speed you might say, our catching away must be very, very near. I don’t know about you but I’m excited. The word of God never ceases to amaze me. We live in unprecedented times. My hope and prayer …. be ready!

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy

 

Posted by: cindybythesea | April 17, 2018

The Season of the Fig

 

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“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near”  Matthew 24:32

In less than a month Israel will reach her 70th birthday. A milestone that will be heralded around the world. For those who love her it will be a day of rejoicing and blessing and for those who do not, a day of scorn.

Today is Iyar 1 on the Hebrew calendar. And it was Iyar 5 that Israel was reborn as a nation.  As you can see from the words of Jesus (as quoted above) it is no coincidence that Israel would be reborn in the month of Iyar for the very name Iyar means rosette or blossom.

I found something interesting about fig trees while reading this afternoon. According to Wikipedia –

“although the fig tree flowers in early to mid spring, its tiny greenish blossoms are hidden from view with a dozen or more developing inside a receptacle, called a syncomium. The receptacle ripens as the season progresses, eventually becoming the tree’s fruit, or fig”.

This makes me think of what Jesus said in the Olivet discourse when he spoke of the blossoming of the fig tree. Yes, Israel would flower and bring forth tender green leaves in 1948 but like the fig tree which it is likened to would only ripen and bear fruit with the progression of the season. And I believe that season is now.

It was also on Iyar 7 that the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt almost 88 years after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar.  So as you can see, Iyar is indeed a time for rebuilding and blossoming.

What that means for us as believers is this. The time of the Gentiles is rapidly coming to a close and our departure for heaven is near. Consider these verses from the Song of Solomon chapter 2 verses 10-13.

” Arise my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit, the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.” 

Yes, the world (with the exception of born again believers) has not understood the purpose for which God has restored Israel. Like the tiny blossoms hidden from view as the tree ripens, the purpose for which Israel was reestablished has been obscured. But the day for the ripening of the fruit is near and someday all will understand. May the Lord find us ready when he comes.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy

*Photo courtesy of google images

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: cindybythesea | February 21, 2018

Just As I Am

(ifimages    Billy Graham

Just as I am, without one plea, But that thy blood was shed for me. And that thou bid’st me come to thee. O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Every Billy Graham Crusade ended with this simple but beautiful hymn.  An invitation to come to Christ. And while Mr. Graham stood at the pulpit waiting (at the end of one of the many Crusades he preached) hundreds upon hundreds (if not thousands) would respond to that invitation. Some coming from as far as the top of the stadium where they were seated while phones rang below with countless more calling in from around the globe making that same decision by telephone.

The passing of Reverend Graham is the end of an era … perhaps, a prophetic one. Born four days before the end of World War I on November 7, 1918 Mr. Graham would live and minister through some of the most tumultuous events of the times in which he lived. Confidant of Presidents and paupers alike the appeal Mr. Graham had among people from all walks of life was universal. His simple yet profound message (by the power of the Holy Spirit) unfettered by language barrier or personal status. Watching multitudes of people stream forward at the end of a crusade always reminded me of what our gathering in heaven would be like one day. People from every tribe, nation and tongue gathered together. United by one thing – the bond that they share in Christ. Can you imagine? I can’t wait! It’s going to be an amazing thing to behold!

I remember watching the Billy Graham Crusades on television when I was a child. I also had the privilege of attending one of his crusades in Denver, Colorado many years ago at which time three of my husbands family members went forward at the altar call to receive Christ. What an amazing day that was. Unforgettable! My grandmother also faithfully supported the ministry of Mr. Graham for many years and a copy of his magazine Decision was always present somewhere in her house. Needless to say, Billy Graham and his ministry had a big influence in and on our family. Still does.

The life of Mr. Graham fell just short of spanning 100 years. The work God called him to faithfully accomplished as of today February 21, 2018.  In the photo above Mr. Graham holds high his Bible. I like this photo for it is without a doubt the rock on which he stood. As I was reviewing photos of Mr. Graham I was drawn to this photo for its similarity to something my husband said as he spoke at my grandmothers funeral. Holding her treasured Bible high above his head, he remarked …. “this is the rock on which she stood“.  And indeed, it was. A similarity to Mr. Graham I think she would approve of.

As Billy Graham is laid to rest we have to wonder -will God bring forth another Billy Graham in our day? Or was he perhaps the last call to a generation who has for the most part rejected the message of Christ in these last days. Interesting, his death comes 40 days before Easter – a number which is Biblically significant for its association with testing, trial and judgment.  Only time will tell.

It is my prayer that the message Mr. Graham dedicated his life to will bring one last response from a generation who has perhaps never even heard of him. Just as I am. So, whoever you are, where ever you are. Please know this. Jesus calls you to come and he accepts you – just the way you are.

 

Thanking God today for the life and ministry of Billy Graham and as always …

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy

 

 

 

Posted by: cindybythesea | January 17, 2018

This Is Not A Drill – *Updated

 

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On Saturday January 13, 2018 the residents of Hawaii experienced a scare they will likely never forget. At 8:07 a.m. an emergency alert was sent out across the islands warning of an incoming missile attack advising citizens to seek immediate shelter the seriousness of which was underscored by these terrifying words – “this is not a drill.”  And while residents prepared for the worst in the best way they could it would be another 38 minutes before the information was received that the message was indeed an error. The longest 38 minutes of ones life, I’m guessing.  And as strange and disconcerting as that was incredibly on Tuesday January 16, the island of Japan experienced a similar warning with a full ten minutes passing before notification to the public of the error. I don’t know about you but I smell something fishy here and its not sushi.

On February 20, 2008 I was living on the island of Oahu when I was awakened from a vivid and terrifying dream. In the dream, I received a phone call from a friend telling me to look out my window – preceded I may add by one ominous and chilling word doomsday. On looking out my window as the caller requested I could see the unmistakable form of a mushroom cloud forming over the southern part of the island – the signature image as we all know of a nuclear explosion. This dream was so vivid that I knew it was unlike anything else I had previously experienced; so on awakening, I immediately wrote about it in a notebook I kept by my bed.

Over the next four years, I continued to think about this dream and what it might mean so on March 11, 2012, I took the opportunity to blog about it in a post here at Cindybythesea titled Echoes of Paradise LostIn doing so, it is not my intention to dramatize any further the horrific incident which occurred this past Saturday but I would be remiss not to engage the possibility that the dream was indeed a warning. As I was thinking about this on Sunday (the day after the Hawaii incident), I picked up my Bible and opened to the third chapter of Jonah where God gave the people of Ninevah forty days to repent. I counted the days from the incident on Saturday January 13th to the anniversary of my dream on February 20th 2018 and it is 39 days.  Would God give a dream as a warning 10 years in advance? I don’t know. Take from it what you will.

I have titled this post “This is not a drill” and whether a missile hits Hawaii, Japan or northern New Mexico where I’m sitting this much is certain – life for each of us at some point in time will end. Once that happens there will be no time to determine which side of the fence one is on regarding spiritual matters. And for that reason the Bible wisely tells us that “today is the day of salvation” … for tomorrow is promised to no one. Let me ask you friend – are you ready for eternity? If not, please read below because the Bible has some very good news for us.

The Bible declares that we are all sinners and our sin separates us from God. And there is nothing we can humanly do to correct that.  But, because of God’s great love he took on human form to do what we could not do for ourselves. He died on a cross taking the penalty for our sins … offering eternal life in heaven and freedom from the penalty of sin (hell) to all who believe.  The choice is ours to make and its as easy as ABC. 

A – Acknowledge that you are a sinner – admitting your brokenness and helplessness before God

B– Believe in your heart that Christ’s death on the cross is sufficient to take away the penalty of your sin

C– Confess with your mouth (tell someone)  that Jesus Christ is Lord and has saved you from your sin.

Friends, if you have made this decision today no matter what life throws at you (including missiles)….. you are ready for what ever comes – you are Heaven Bound.

*This article on Drudge today – “What a Nuclear Missile Attack on  Hawaii Would Look Like“.  Note the map. This would be the exact area I saw from my window in my dream. To read this article click here.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy

 

 

Posted by: cindybythesea | January 5, 2018

My Soul Leapt for Joy

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“Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.”  Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.” Psalm 118: 2-4

On December 6 of this past year President Trump made the controversial decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem effectively recognizing Jerusalem as the unequivocal capital of Israel.  In opposition to just about everyone, President Trump kept his campaign promise to do so setting the stage for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy in a way none other has. It’s my opinion that this is the primary reason the Lord placed him in office at this time and where he will remain until God’s purposes for him are complete.

Israel at the present is primarily a secular country. But that is in the process of shifting as more Israelis than ever are expressing an interest in rebuilding the temple and returning to their historical (and Biblical) roots. Psalm 118 brings this in to view and identifies a time when Israel will collectively recognize the enduring love of the Lord.

Recently, we were watching Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn on the Jim Baker Show on a program titled “Hanukkah foreshadows the Antichrist”. An excellent program by the way which I highly recommend. If you would like to watch it on Youtube you can find it here. Just as Rabbi Cahn was getting ready to light the Menorah at the end of the program, Mr. Baker assisted Rabbi Cahn in placing his prayer shawl on to his shoulders. On seeing this, my husband commented to me  “this reminds me of the scripture from Zechariah which states:

This is what the Lord Almighty says: In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe (prayer shawl) and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'” Zechariah 8:23

Here is a still shot from that program. Not the best quality as I took a picture of my computer screen with my camera. But you get the idea. A foreshadowing of the scripture above if not a literal fulfillment, in my opinion.

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As soon as my husband pointed this out to me the spirit within me leapt for joy. So exciting to see the fulfillment of God’s word. Just look around folks. It’s as much in the little things as it is the big. Yes, the day is coming when we who fear the Lord will join with them in proclaiming:

“His love endures forever”!

Amen and amen!

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee”.  Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: cindybythesea | January 3, 2018

A Year to Remember

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“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever” Psalm 118:1

I like the start of a New Year.  For me, its as if something magical happens when the clock strikes midnight and the old year passes into history and the new year begins. Fresh as new fallen snow, the newly born year waits in blind anticipation for the first imprint upon its pristine and virginal surface. And for one breathless moment in time it seems as if anything is possible. And the dashed hopes and dreams of yesterday become once again attainable.

I have long thought that the year 2018 would be special. In my mind, there is a close correlation to the present year with Psalm 118. And with the tumultuous year of 2017 behind us it is reassuring to know that the first and last verses of this incredible Psalm begin and end with these same words –

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his love endures forever”

A reminder and promise twice stated that in spite of how things may look (during this coming year) the Lord is indeed good and his love endures forever. 

A promise to remember as this world increasingly looks like a train wildly out of control. A train careening down a steep mountainside destined to end up in a smoldering heap before reaching the end of the track with no one in control and no one to intervene.  Thank God it isn’t so for Psalm 118 is as much a Psalm of triumph as it is anything else. And God’s will and purposes will prevail.

As I close this post tonight I want to wish each of you a happy and blessing filled New Year. It’s an exciting time to be alive for God is in the process of doing mighty things for his people. The year of his favor, you might say. And we have a front row seat for watching all he is about to do. Join me in watching, if you will. For 2018, by all looks will be a year to remember.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy

 

 

 

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