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God's Immeasurable Love

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May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.

May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should,

how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.

                                Ephesians 3:17b-18 NLT

 

 

 My love is wider than your mind—it is universal.
     Reality transcending E = mc2 is greater than your ability to comprehend.
     I am energy’s Source, faith’s Center of Gravity, and light’s Creator.
     My love reaches out to people of all nations—not just people like you.
     My love is no abstraction, it is actuality—more than an idea, it is truth.
     My mercy and compassion for the undeserving extends even to you.
     You cannot fathom why I care for you, but you can experience My love.


My love is longer than your lifetime—it is unending.
     No force can separate you from My love—
          death’s terror, life’s trouble, demons’ distraction, today’s fear,
          tomorrow’s worry, hell’s power, height’s dizziness, sea’s chaos—
               nothing can come between us.
     Believer, we are inseparable.
     When you are finally free from death, you will sing of My love forever.

My love is higher than your soul—it is unlimited.
     My love cancels despair with hope, and cares more than you imagine.
     Infinitely beyond earnest prayers, intense hopes, and grand dreams—
          My work inside your being gives you joy too wonderful for words.
     The place My heart is preparing for those who respond to My love
          is more beautiful than paintings, symphonies, or poems can express.


My love is deeper than your heart—it is unfailing.
     Betsie ten Boom is right—no pit is so deep, that I am not deeper still.
     When you experience depression, do not lose your hope in Me.
     My heart empathizes with you in your pain and problems.
     My promises guide you through the maze of perplexity.
     My Spirit holds you together through your darkest night.
     I am your Face-healer—smile through tears until I wipe them away.

 

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© By Pastor Johnny R. Almond                

Day 344, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Deut. 18:18

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

  • Sent by the Father to speak His word (John 8:28, 29 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Deut. 18:15-16

15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

  • "This is of a truth that prophet." (John 6:14 )
  • "Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me." (John 5:45-47 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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The King's Censure

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“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees!  Frauds!

You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun,

     while the insides are maggoty with greed and gluttony.  Stupid Pharisee!

Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.

You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright,

      but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh.

People look and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.”

                         Matthew 23:25-28 THE MESSAGE

 

I’m giving you fair warning—heaven’s judgment fell on first-century pretenders,

     and it still falls on the heads of all who repeat their folly.

 

Pride always receives My severe condemnation.

     Religion means nothing to Me—relationship means everything.

     My Son put an end to religion, making heartless ceremonies obsolete. 

     Status nauseates me—servanthood receives My smile. 

     Payola piety turns My stomach—sincere worship melts My heart.

     Sermons without words are what I’m looking for, not hollow lectures.

     Fall to your knees because of your sin, then you can get to your feet again.

     I am your Teacher—sit at My feet as a humble student.

     Learn My lessons before you presume to teach others how to live.

 

Pretense always meets My heavy disapproval. 

     Pharisees practiced payola piety, trying to win human approval.

     They got what they wanted, nothing more—they were paid in full.

     They learned verses in their head, but did not know Me in their heart.

     They loved the attention of the masses, but did not love the Master.

     They acted spiritual to cover up their evil, but hid nothing from Me.

     They painted a veneer over their sin, but changed nothing inside. 

     Do better than the play-actors—take off your mask and avoid theatrics. 

     I am your Leader—stay near My heart and walk in My steps.

     Get real with Me before you attempt to lead people.

 

Superficiality always merits My intense judgment.

     Peripheral issues detract from nobler matters—equity, kindness, fidelity. 

     Looking good is no substitute for being good.

     I see right through you—you can’t fool Me for a minute.

     Reputation is what others think of you—character is what I know you are.

     Externalities may impress people and gain you wide recognition;

          but what pleases Me is a clean, wise, joyful, loving, obedient heart. 

     Keeping up appearances, with a heart rotten to the core, angers Me.

     I am your Savior—be pure inside and your public persona will be authentic.

     Be right on the inside before you try to influence the world.

 

     Be a fake, and you’re sure to receive My harsh censure.

     Be My authentic follower, and you’re certain to receive My commendation.

 

      © By Pastor Johnny R. Almond               12271416497?profile=RESIZE_180x180

      Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Num. 21:9

9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

  • The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up (John 3:14-18; 12:32 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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GUEST POST ~

GUEST POST ~ "They just don't know how"

But How?

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By Mike Glenn

Every parent has made the mistake of asking their children to do something the child wasn’t quite ready to do. Maybe it was bringing in a bag of groceries before the child was quite strong enough to carry it by themselves. Maybe it was getting dressed before they understood the tag always goes in the back. The child understood what needed to be done. They just didn’t know how to do it. 

I’m afraid this is true in most of our churches. Every Sunday, our members leave the worship service, inspired by the sermon, committed to doing something differently in their lives, but not knowing how they are to do the new thing they want to do. 

The pastor said in the sermon we need to pray more. The members want to pray. They just don’t know how. 

They’ve heard a sermon convincing them they need to read the Bible more. Again, every member wants to. They just don’t know how. 

Discipleship, for most of us, has become a matter of information. Our depth of discipleship is determined by how much trivia we know about Jesus and the Bible. If someone can rightly point out the wise men visited Jesus in a house and not the stable, they are considered to be a serious student of the Word. In other words, they are real disciples. 

This knowledge, however, never seems to transfer to the way these Bible quoting disciples  actually live their lives. During my ministry, I have been repeatedly surprised to find my Scripture quoting members were some of the meanest people in the congregation. Why this disconnect?

Because we saw success in the church as people being able to quote the text, not necessarily live the Way. If someone could quote 1 Corinthians 13, they didn’t necessarily have to love their neighbor. They just have to know the words. 

This happens when we become overly concerned about good works actually saving us. So, we focused on “belief” which means being able to repeat the discipleship lessons we’ve learned. To be able to say it meant we obviously believed it. True belief is confirmed in the doing, not the talking. All of us would agree good works don’t save us, but we forget good works are the evidence of our salvation. What we know and believe about Christ blossoms into the choices and actions lived out in our  lives. We love our neighbors because we do loving things towards them. We love Jesus if we do what He teaches us to do.

That brings me to my point. How much time do we spend talking about how we do the disciplines of the faith we talk so much about? How many of us have spent time working with someone teaching them how to pray? How much time do we spend working with a class teaching them to read, study, understand then apply the learned truths to our actual living? How many times have our people left the church after hearing an inspiring sermon and realized they have no idea what to do with what they’ve just heard?

Paul reminds the Philippians to do whatever they have seen him do. I used to think this was an arrogant boast on behalf of Paul, but when I became a father, I understood his statement. I can’t remember the number of times I would say to one of my boys, “Do it like this. Watch me.” They learned to wash their hands, brush their teeth, tie their shoes, comb their hair, read their Bibles, love their wives and yes, become fathers to their own children by watching me. I had to show them how to do the things I wanted them to do and how each desired action should be done. 

Why  are we surprised we would have to be shown how to love our neighbors, pray, or study the Word? After all, we should remember, none of these actions come naturally.

I guess the only thing more surprising is realizing how little of our time is devoted to helping new or young believers actually do what we’re asking them to do as followers of Christ. No one is born being good at being a disciple. No one is born knowing how to pray or study Scriptures. All of us have to be taught. 

Every good teacher I know is very patient. None of this stuff is easy. There will be days when our young disciples are brilliant. There will be other days when they don’t have a clue. Teaching – and learning– these skills takes a long time. In fact, learning them well takes our entire lives. The second quality good teachers have is intentionality. They have a goal for their student and they are determined to get their student to achieve that goal. 

To know and not do, a wise man said, is the same thing as not knowing. Knowing the Word is proven by living the Way. Discipleship happens when disciples live out the teachings of Christ, not when we have memorized the words. 

So, ask yourself, how well are you teaching the application of the teachings of Christ to those you are discipling? (You are discipling someone aren’t you? Every disciple makes a disciple…but that’s another blog). If your disciple can’t do what they believe they should be doing, it may be because they don’t know how. 

Most people are living the best way they know how. The great thing about Jesus is He has a better “how.” Make sure your friends know how to do His “how” the way He would do it. This makes all the difference. 

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Num. 9:12

12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.

  • Not a bone of Him broken (John 19:31-36 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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The Horrors of War

A Thought for Today (c) by Pastor Johnny Almond

 

     You will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  Matthew 24:6-7a NLT

 

     Hamas’ attack on Israel October 7th killed over a thousand people. Israel’s response of a daily barrage of missiles into Gaza has reduced buildings to rubble and killed over four thousand people. Iran is using proxies to fire drones and missiles toward Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu says if Hezbollah launches a war against Israel and invades, “it will make the mistake of its life.” Terrorists are targeting American forces stationed in the Middle East. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the United States is ready to get involved in the Israel-Hamas war if “a line is crossed.”

 

     Images of the effects of war are heartbreaking—widespread carnage; innocents, many children, killed; apartments, homes and hospitals razed; mourners grieving loss of family and friends. Martin Luther wrote “Cannons and fire-arms are cruel and damnable machines. I believe them to have been the direct suggestion of the Devil. If Adam had seen in a vision the horrible instruments his children were to invent, he would have died of grief.”

 

     In Ukraine and on other battlefields today death is rampant. Human history is tarnished by the blight of combat. Benjamin Franklin said “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Deep in our heart we know that our world cannot be patched up, that shuttle diplomacy only brokers a temporary truce. Leaders try their best to end chaos of unsettled nations, but calm is perpetually elusive. Romano Guardini, Catholic priest, wrote: “After we have done our utmost to defeat war, the realization breaks through that only God can truly do something about it. And the longing swells for the coming of that which not only can turn all things to the good, but also leads into the new: the end of time, which is the breakthrough of the eternal.”

 

     “After that the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after abolishing every ruler and all government and power. He must be King until He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be subdued is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26 MLB) The King of kings alone can obliterate war (Revelation 19:11). Finally swords will be hammered into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, and “nation no longer fight against nation nor train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) The Prince of peace promises to come very soon (Revelation 22:20). God speed the day!

 

          

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Lev. 23:36-37

36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.

37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything upon his day:

  • The Drink-offering: "If any man thirst" (John 7:37)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Lev. 16:15-17,27

15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:

16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.

27 And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung.

  • Prefigures Christ's once-for-all death (Hebrews 9:7-14 )
  • Suffering outside the Camp (Matthew 27:33; Heb. 13:11, 12)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Lev. 14:11

And the priest that maketh him clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:

  • The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood (Luke 5:12-14; Acts 6:7 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Lev. 1:2-9

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

  • His sacrifice a sweet smelling savor unto God (Ephesians 5:2)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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The King's Commands

 

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You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. 

A second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself”

                                     Matthew 22:37-39 NLT

 

You need to get over and beyond yourself—

     self-love shrivels your soul and detracts from allegiance to your King.

Falling in love with yourself leads to a fall and a difficult recovery.

Falling in love with Me leads to fruitfulness and a delightful relationship.

 

If you doubt that I really love you, remember what I have done for you.

     God became a man; the Creator became your Savior;

     the King of kings became a slave; the Shepherd became a Lamb.

If you ponder My unfailing love, you will love Me with all you are.

 




Love the King of hearts with all the passion of your innermost being.

Avoid false gods of the heart—allow Me to completely captivate you.

I have made your heart My home—permit Me access to all the rooms.

 

Love the Lord of all with your entire personality and conscious life.

Make living for your King your number one goal and noblest purpose.

Take a heavenly perspective—do not obsess over transient matters.

 

Love the Master of wisdom with all your intelligence and thoughts.

You are not what you think you are; but what you think, you are.

Do not misuse your mind—do not dwell on thoughts that dishonor Me.

 

Love the Manager of the Universe with all your strength and energy.

Your body is a temple of My Holy Spirit—keep it clean and strong.

Love Me wholeheartedly—never get over your love for Me.

 

Love others like you do yourself—care about someone other than you. 

Start with your family—they are heaven’s gift to solve loneliness. 

Have a heart—neighborliness is nicer than narcissism.

 

I am love—I proved it by sending Jesus to the world to die for sinners.

Do you love Me? Prove it by giving Me your entire heart and soul.

 
  

 

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© by Pastor Johnny R. Almond                Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Ex. 33:19

And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

  • His Character-Merciful (Luke 1:72 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Ex. 17:6

Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

  • The Spiritual Rock of Israel (1Corinthians 10:4 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Ex. 15:2,11

 “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

  • His exaltation predicted as Yeshua (Acts 7:55, 56 )
  • His Character-Holiness (Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Ex. 12:3-6, 13, 21-27, 46

  • 12:3-6 - The Lamb presented to Israel 4 days before Passover (Mark 11:7-11 )
  • 12: 5 - A Lamb without blemish (Hebrews 9:14; 1Peter 1:19)
  • 12 : 13 - The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath (Romans 5:8 )
  • 12:21-27 - Christ is our Passover  (1Corinthians 5:7 )
  • 12:46 - Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken (John 19:31-36)

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
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When Heaven is in Charge

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         When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
                                       Galatians 5:22-23 NLT


Sacrificial love results when serious disciples set out to walk in My steps.
    A compassionate life toward others is the way Jesus lived on earth.
    Why be content with merely going around? Go around doing good.

Invulnerable joy results when believing souls draw near My heart.
     A cheerful life is the surest sign of My presence with you.
     Why be satisfied with cheap thrills? Celebrate My inexpressible joy.

Incomprehensible peace results when desperate people kneel before Me.
    A calm life is the consequence of letting God do what you cannot.
    Why wring your hands in panic? Fold them in prayer.

Enduring patience results when trusting hearts believe My promises.
     A courteous life keeps your light shining when you have blown a fuse.
     Why rush like it all depends on you? Resign from My job and relax.

Empathetic kindness results from getting in synch with My Spirit.
    A cordial life reflects your humble gratitude for My love for you.
    Why run people down? They have battles to fight, just like you.

Lavish generosity results from sharing My resources with the needy.
     A charitable life is what I expect of all who receive My care.
     Why be stingy? The more you give, the more you are blessed.

Tenacious faithfulness results from focusing on My cross.
     A consistent life is possible if you will rely on My reinforcing grace.
     Why quit? I never give up on you—do not ever give up on Me.

Christlike gentleness results from accepting My invitation.
     A considerate life is the hallmark of those who serve Me.
     Why be harsh with others? I treat you with tenderness, so pass it on.

Supernatural self-control results from yielding to My Holy Spirit.
     A controlled life is only possible if I am in the driver’s seat.
     Why crash and burn? Surrender to My guidance—get safely home.

 

 

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© Pastor Johnny R. Almond             

Day 343, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

  

 

 

 

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Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day: Ex. 3:13-15

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

  • The Great "I AM" (John 4:26; 8:58 )

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Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God - Hebrews 13:16
There are two ways to donate:

 https://www.clsoionline.com/donation/

 https://www.givesendgo.com/yourgenerositychangeslives

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