Faith Messages to build your faith

Sunday, November 30, 2014

One Who Understands

David Roper shares with us that his friend's husband was in the last stages of dementia. 

"In his first introduction to the nurse who was assigned to care for him, he reached out for her arm and stopped her to introduce her to his best friend—one who loved him deeply.

Since no one else was in the hall, the nurse thought he was delusional.

But as it turned out he was speaking of Jesus. She was deeply touched but had to hurry on to care for another patient.

When she returned, the darkness had closed in again and the man was no longer lucid.

Even though this man had descended into the darkness of dementia, he knew that the Lord was his best Friend.

God dwells in the fathomless depth that is our soul. He can pierce the darkest mind and assure us of His tender, loving care.


"Indeed, the darkness shall not hide us from Him" (Ps. 139:12a).

We do not know what the future holds for us or those we love. We too may descend into the darkness of mental illness, Alzheimer's, or dementia as we age.

But even there the Lord's had will lead us and His right hand will hold us tight 
(v.10).

We cannot get away from His love and personal care." David Roper


God knows each winding way I take,
And every sorrow, pain, and ache;
And me He never will forsake
He knows and loves His own. Bosch

Jesus loves me. This I know.

Our Daily Bread
10/22/14

(Google image and emphasis added)



Pray with me:

   F
ather, thank You for the assurance that You'll be with me no matter what I go through in life.

   I'm glad that You can pierce the darkest mind and assure us of Your tender loving care.

   It's good to know that You'll be holding my hand, and that I'll never be away from Your love and personal care.

   I pray for Your peace to always be mine . In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

   
Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 16:5 "The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot."

Today’s quotes: Phyllis Freeman – “God can help us overcome the enemies—sin, fear, anger, and doubt. At the point of need we’re given enablement beyond the powers of our enemy as we trust in a faithful God.”

Gwen Smith – “So whatever you face today, friend, run. Run to win the prize. Run like the wind. And when you fall; don’t throw in the towel, don’t point fingers, don’t stew, and don’t quit. Get right back up and run again… in the mercy, strength and grace of God."

Speaker / Author / Worship Leader / Songwriter
Inspiring Women To Live Fully in Grace and Truth 
Co-founder of Girlfriends in God

Some thoughts today: Apart from Jesus Christ, we are all lost. 

People are in flagrant sin, but Jesus saves! 

- Jesus' death, resurrection, and rising from the grave provides a way to be rid of our sins. He took the punishment that we deserve...Do we understand how great a blessing Christ's sacrifice is on our behalf? Not really!

- As God the Father is holy, He cannot allow sin to come into His presence. We need to be cleansed, my friend. Whether we were guilty of great sin, or have lived a "good life", we 
are all in need of the salvation that Christ provides. 

12/2- Tuesday’s post:  #21 The Threefold Cord
C. Peter Wagner

4th- Thursday's post: 
#22  The Living Parable
C. Peter Wagner


6th- Saturday's post:  I am Broken
Debbie McEwen

7th- Sunday evening's post: Only Him

James Cagle

A popular post: Some Interesting Quotes Devotions for MORNING and EVENING with OSWALD CHAMBERS 
Inspirational Press New York.

“Every element of self reliance must be slain by the power of God. 


Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power.” (pg 260)



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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Our Friends


Jean Oathout shares with us some pros and cons of friendships.

Have you considered how important your friends are to you? Do they have a good influence, or a poor one?

When we give it some thought, how are they influencing our lives?

If all of your friends were just like you, what would that look like? No doubt, it would become quite boring. They would not challenge you whatsoever, nor would they influence you to improve how you think and feel. They would have the same convictions as you.   

As God means for us to get acquainted with several "types" of people in order to broaden our understanding of life, and also cause our characters to improve due to their involvement, we are to reach out to those around us. 

The hope is that they'll actually be a good influence on us. Reaching out to young children can challenge us, and to older folks as well. There's a world of difference in these relationships, but always good for us to make every effort to show the love of Christ to each one.

When we have some accountability to friends, we'll tend to try harder to improve our manners, thinking, actions, and etc.

If our friends give us words of encouragement and affirmation, we tend to try harder to accomplish what we do. It seems logical that the kind, and even correctional words, can help us do better in life.

When you are friends with 
someone, you enjoy spending 
time together and you care 
about each other.  

There is caring and concern, a sense that you can depend on your friend, that they have your back. 

Become a healthy part of someone's life by giving encouragements. 
What you say can become what you, and they, believe. We need to guard our tongues to give only positive proclamations.

There are elements of love demonstrated in friendships. The ultimate friend is Jesus, you know: “What a friend we have in Jesus”.  He is always there for you.

It seems to be true, that there will be various kinds of temperaments 
that will challenge us, and cause us to think outside of our own "boxes". 

These folks may very well help us develop more of a God-like character, as we'll have to learn how to deal with them, too.

At times of inner turmoil, it's 
good to have a few praying 
friends to give us support. 

Their praying for us can make all the 
difference in the world, as we will sense God's presence and be able to handle the situation so much better. We'll know it's Him helping us!

There may be some "difficult" friends in our lives, and it may be a challenge to show them the love that God asks of us. Dealing with them will strengthen us, and hopefully be a witness of God's love for them, as it is demonstrated through us.

Knowing that we're not "perfect", will help us remember that we are a "work in progress". If we'll remember this is also true of others, may we learn to be gracious, as our heavenly Father shows us His grace.

If there are friends in your life who seem to have a bad influence on you, maybe it's time to distance yourself from them, or they'll effect your thinking negatively, bring confusion, and in some cases, frustration.

We are to work (make an effort) at being good friends, and as it 
may take years to accomplish that, give yourself time to develop 
meaningful friendships.

God has a good plan for each of us, as well as those we know. It is important to realize that He is well aware of everything about us, and that He is extremely concerned about us. 

He wants us to grow in grace, so He will guide us to be aware of good and bad friends that come to us.

 (Google images added)





Destination: Home

A pastor's wife fears car trouble will prevent her son from making it home from college for Thanksgiving.
By Marilyn Harbin, Franklin, Tennessee

Our quote today: Cindy Sproles – “For every palm you grace with friendship and love, a palm is turned toward you. The repayment is not always in wealth. It’s in the amazement of being used by the Father to complete His plan. It’s helping others. Serving with a heart of willingness. It’s being there even if it’s inconvenient.”

Consider the following link, as a valuable lesson that can be learned by us all:


Lies Shatter Relationships By Brenda K. Hendricks Spiritual Warfare Part 2  

"Several years ago, I caught a new acquaintance and her daughter in a bold-faced lie. Not only had they lied, they looked me in the eye and did so. 

Maui Blue 4 webI’ve always heard that a liar can’t look a person in the eyes while telling a lie unless they are compulsive liars and are no longer capable of discerning the truth from the lie. 

That incident destroyed all hopes of developing a healthy, godly relationship with those women. We are cordial to one another. 

We smile and chat about superficial topics. But our relationship has little chance of evolving into a deeper, more meaningful friendship. 

Bottom line: I don’t trust them and have no desire to risk being hurt."



Be A Kind Friend - Jewell Utt
 By Jewell Utt 

"Insecurities surface and guilt takes hold when we place too much importance on what we can't do rather than what we can..."

(Excellent message)


 Naomi and Ruth 
A popular post: Friendships Mary 
Southerland tells us, " Friendship is the catalyst for every other love and the foundation of every healthy relationship. 

God created us to need each other. We need friends and we need to be a friend..."


Pray with me:

   Father, we need Your help in selecting and maintaining good friends.

   I see that this is very important, and I do want to be able to discern who are the ones You direct into my life to be good influences.

   May I make every effort to be a good friend to those I have a close relationship with presently, and may I be friendly to the others I meet, both in church, and in the community.

   Thank You for helping me in this endeavor to be a blessing to others. In Christ's name I pray, Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

30th- Sunday evening
’s post:  One Who Understands
Dave Roper

12/2- Tuesday's post:  #21 The Threefold Cord
C. Peter Wagner

4th- Thursday's post:  #22  The Living Parable
C. Peter Wagner

6th- Saturday's post:  I Am Broken
Debbie McEwen


Friends



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Thursday, November 27, 2014

#20 Learning About the Battle

C. Peter Wagner shares again today
with us from his book, WARFARE
PRAYER:

Around 1980, I began sensing from
God that I needed to concentrate on
the spiritual dimensions of church growth.

Because of my close friendship with John Wimber, who at the time was being called "Mr. Signs and Wonders" by some, I knew that power evangelism would be the first item on my new agenda.

I also sensed that after this, prayer would be my next agenda item although, I must admit, at the time I had no clue how prayer might relate to effective evangelism.


I shared the research I had done on signs and wonders in my book How to Have a Healing Ministry (Regal Books), which was published in 1988.

A year earlier, in 1987, I began to seriously research and teach on prayer. But not until the treat Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Manila, in the summer of 1989, did I fully learn about the real battle.

I was in a position to integrate these new insights with the Lausanne II Congress because I happened to be a member of the international Lausanne Committee, which was sponsoring the congress.

As I prayed about relating intercession to evangelism, God impressed me with the thought of attempting to identify 30 to 50 of these gifted, world-class intercessors and challenging them to go to Manila at their own expense, bypass the established participant selection process, put up in the Philippine Plaza Hotel across the street from the Convention center where the congress was to be held, and pray together 24 hours a day throughout the congress.


The Lausanne leaders agreed, and I asked Ben Jennings of Campus Crusade's Great Commission Prayer Crusade to organize and lead it. Ben did a magnificent job, and 50 intercessors showed up, fulfilling our highest expectations.

Through the Manila intercession team God gave us what I like to call a "living parable," to show us clearly what the underlying issues for world evangelization really are.

Before I describe the living parable one more crucial factor needs to be explained. {Peter's sharing the more crucial factor will be in my next post on 12/2: The Threefold Cord}


 #20 Learning About the Battle
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 39-40) Regal Books



Mark I. Bubeck shares with us from his book The Satanic Revival (pg. 169): "God never intended that warfare with darkness should be relegated to a mental nod of friendly assent. Evil supernaturalism must be faced directly and boldly by using the spiritual weapons of warfare. 

The Epistles clearly set forth the believer's day- by -day battle with Satan's kingdom: 

    James 4:1 'Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.'
    1 Peter 5:9 'Resist him [the devil], standing firm in the faith.'
    1 John 4:1 'Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test
the spirits to see whether they are from God.'
    1 John 5:19 'We know...that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.'
    Ephesians 6:11,12  'Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.'

This sampling of texts from the New Testament Epistles speaks plainly of the believer's authority and responsibility...If we ignore Satan's work, we will never over come his schemes against a revival awakening. Our only hope is to aggressively apply Christ's victorious work over Satan. That's a truth we must not ignore."


God's Blessings

As we gather round the table
We bow our heads in prayer
To thank You, Lord, for loving us
And for Your constant care.

We thank You for our houses,
Our friends and families.
We thank You for Your guidance
And for Your perfect peace.

Thanks for all Your blessings,
The big ones and the small,
Especially for Jesus
Who gave His life for all.


©Frances Gregory Pasch



Pray with me:

   Father, help us remember that if we
resist the devil in the name of Jesus,
he will flee from us.

   May we stand firm in the faith of God's enablement to deliver, guide, and protect us!

   It is to our advantage to put on the full armor of God, we can stand against the forces of evil, which come against us for living for Christ.

   It's in Your Name, Jesus, that we pray. Amen.


Today’s Bible verse:
 Prov. 28:13 "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth them shall have mercy."

Today’s quote: 
Cindy Sproles – “When Paul shared about his thorn of the flesh, he wanted us to see our successes weren't where God’s power would shine brightest, rather through our weaknesses. He said this gift of grace was sufficient. It’s all we really need. When hardships, decisions, and frustrations attack, God’s power becomes evident to those around us. We rest in the promise of His care because He’s got our backs. God’s might is lived out through these rough patches. From hard to difficult, to resolved, to peace -- His power shines.”

Some thoughts today: It's not just what God, or we do, but the power behind it. God so loved us! It's His power that is rooted in it. It was love that held Jesus to the cross.

- When we are held by love, we can endure what God has called us to do.

- Jesus could have called 10,000 angels to rescue Him, but He humbled Himself to die for you and me. Love is powerful!

29th- Saturday’s post:  Our Friends
Jean Oathout

30th- Sunday evening's post:  One Who Understands
Dave Roper

12/2nd- Tuesday's post:  #21 The Threefold Cord
C. Peter Wagner

4th- Thursday's post:  #22 The Living Parable
C. Peter Wagner

A popular post:  #7 God's Best: Moses and Samuel
C. Peter Wagner tells us "If I am not mistaken, the two greatest intercessors in the old Testament were Moses and Samuel

surmise this from Jeremiah 15:1 where God says, 'Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be favorable toward this people.'

The main point was that intercessors are not manipulators of God and that some things God has set in concrete."




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Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse 

Bridal Shower Devotional
Bridal Wisdom for Women
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My book in paperback $7.95
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God's Blessings  

As we gather round the table
We bow our heads in prayer
To thank You, Lord, for loving us
And for Your constant care.

We thank You for our houses,
Our friends and families.
We thank You for Your guidance
And for Your perfect peace.

Thanks for all Your blessings,
The big ones and the small,
Especially for Jesus
Who gave His life for all.
  ©Frances Gregory Pasch


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#19 The Real Battle


C. Peter Wagner tells us "The basic
lesson Alberto Prokopchuk learned
was that the real battle for effective
evangelism is a spiritual battle.

He learned it in his way: others of us
are learning it in our own way.

The Church Growth Movement, which I represent, has been blessed by God and has been used to stimulate fundamental changes both in local church ministry and in world evangelization.

The movement began in 1955, and for the first 25 years or so under the inspiration of its founder, Donald McGavran, worked on developing the radical new technological aspects of church growth and evangelism, which have been so widely acclaimed.

Around 1980, a few of us started to explore what some of the spiritual dimensions of church growth might look like.

This is not to say that any of the technology is now regarded as bad or that the spiritual will substitute for the technological.

No. The technological has been extremely helpful to churches and missions and we continue to work vigorously to improve and update it.

What we have discovered, however, is that all the evangelistic technology in the world will have only a minimal effect unless the spiritual battle is won. It is like a brand new automobile with all the latest engineering.

It may be beautiful and perfectly constructed, but it will do nothing until gasoline is pumped into the tank. The same thing applies to spiritual power in evangelism and church growth.

To illustrate, look at the decade of the 1980s in America. This was a decade of the mushrooming of some of the largest churches the nation has ever seen.

Almost every metropolitan area now has one or more megachurches it did not have previously.

Church growth seminars and evangelistic resources have multiplied. Private Christian schools and the Christian use of the media increased dramatically. 

On the surface it looked like Christianity was making great progress in the nation. 

But statistics paint another picture. At the end of the decade church attendance was the same as at the beginning, and Protestant church membership had decreased.

I believe God wants us to do a better job of evangelizing our nation in the years to come. And we will do it, in my opinion, to the degree we understand that the real battle is spiritual.


 #19 The Real Battle
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 37-38) Regal Books



Prayer for your pastor: "Preaching. Anoint my pastor with the truth. As ___________preaches, may he/she proclaim Jesus Christ in the energy of the Holy spirit. Let people be cut to the heart and accept Christ. Confirm ____________'s message with signs and wonders. Heal the sick, and set the oppressed free (Mat. 16:17; Col. 1:28; Acts 2:37; Mk. 16:20)". (Scripture-Based Prayers to Pray for your Pastor by Terry Teykl)



Pray with me:

   Father, I believe too, that You want
us to do a better job of evangelizing our
own churches.

   I understand that the technological advancements are to be used to further the Kingdom, but please help us not to be guilty of
substituting the technological for the spiritual.

   May we remember that all the evangelistic technology in the world will have only a minimal effect unless the spiritual battle is won.

   Therefore, I ask for You to divinely lead our ministers and leaders to seek what it is You desire for us.

   In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Today’s Bible verse: Is. 38:19 "The living, the living he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth."

Today’s quote: T. D. Jakes - "Christ wants to go from being around you, to being in you!"

Some thoughts today: If you need to receive for your needs, begin sowing into someone else's need.

- You'll never find your life until you take up your cross that God has given you.


- What are you willing to do? Will you show the love of God to others because of the love He has given you?

27th- Thursday’s post:  #20 Learning About the Battle
C. Peter Wagner

29th- Saturday's post: Our Friends
Jean Oathout

30th- Sunday evening's post:  One Who Understands
Dave Roper

12/2nd- Tuesday's post:  #21 The Threefold Cord
C. Peter Wagner


A popular post: #8 Intercession in the New Testament C. Peter Wagner shares with us, "In the New Testament, Jesus is the intercessor par excellence..."






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Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse
Kindle $2.99

A great gift for someone!

Bridal Shower Devotional
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My book in paperback $7.95
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

7 of 12 Ways to Love your Wayward Child

Abraham Piper continues togive us pointers to love our wayward child:


7. Connect them to believers who have better access to them.


There are two kinds of access that you may not have to your child: geographical and relational. If your wayward son lives far away, try to find a solid believer in his area and ask him to contact your son. 

This may seem nosy or stupid or embarrassing to him, but it’s worth it—especially if the believer you find can also relate to your son emotionally in a way you can’t.

Relational distance will also be a side effect of your child leaving the faith, so your relationship will be tenuous and should be protected if at all possible. But hard rebuke is still necessary.

This is where another believer who has emotional access to your son may be very helpful. If there is a believer who your son trusts and perhaps even enjoys being around, then that believer has a platform to tell your son—in a way he may actually pay attention to—that he’s being an idiot. 

This may sound harsh, but it’s a news flash we all need from time to time, and people we trust are usually the only ones who can package a painful rebuke so that it is a gift to us.

A lot of rebellious kids would do well to hear that they’re being fools—and it is rare that this can helpfully be pointed out by their parents—so try to keep other Christians in your kids lives.

8. Respect their friends.


Honor your wayward child in the same way you’d honor any other unbeliever. They may run with crowds you’d never consider talking to or even looking at, but they are your child’s friends. 

Respect that—even if the relationship is founded on sin. They’re bad for your son, yes. But he’s bad for them, too. Nothing will be solved by making it perfectly evident that you don’t like who he’s hanging around with.

When your son shows up for a family birthday celebration with another girlfriend—one you’ve never seen before and probably won’t see again—be hospitable. She’s also someone’s wayward child, and she needs Jesus, too.

9. Email them.


Praise God for technology that lets you stay in your kids’ lives so easily!

When you read something in the Bible that encourages you and helps you love Jesus more, write it up in a couple lines and send it to your child. The best exhortation for them is positive examples of Christ’s joy in your own life.

Don’t stress out when you’re composing these as if each one needs to be singularly powerful. Just whip them out one after another, and let the cumulative effect of your satisfaction in God gather up in your child’s inbox. God’s word is never proclaimed in vain.

10. Take them to lunch.


If possible, don’t let your only interaction with your child be electronic. Get together with him face to face if you can. You may think this is stressful and uncomfortable, but trust me that it’s far worse to be in the child’s shoes—he is experiencing all the same discomfort, but compounded by guilt. 

So if he is willing to get together with you for lunch, praise God, and use the opportunity.

It will feel almost hypocritical to talk about his daily life, since what you really care about is his eternal life, but try to anyway. He needs to know you care about all of him. Then, before lunch is over, pray that the LORD will give you the gumption to ask about his soul. 

You don’t know how he’ll respond.  Will he roll his eyes like you’re an idiot? Will he get mad and leave? Or has God been working in him since you talked last? You don’t know until you risk asking.

(Here’s a note to parents of younger children: Set up regular times to go out to eat with your kids. Not only will this be valuable for its own sake, but also, if they ever enter a season of rebellion, the tradition of meeting with them will already be in place and it won’t feel weird to ask them out to lunch. 

If a son has been eating out on Saturdays with his dad since he was a tot, it will be much harder for him later in life to say no to his father’s invitation—even as a surly nineteen-year-old.)

11. Take an interest in their pursuits.


Odds are that if your daughter is purposefully rejecting CHRIST, then the way she spends her time will probably disappoint you. Nevertheless, find the value in her interests, if possible, and encourage her. 

You went to her school plays and soccer games when she was ten; what can you do now that she’s twenty to show that you still really care about her interests?

JESUS spent time with tax collectors and prostitutes, and he wasn’t even related to them. Imitate Christ by being the kind of parent who will put some earplugs in your pocket and head downtown to that dank little nightclub where your daughter’s CD release show is. Encourage her and never stop praying that she will begin to use her gifts for Jesus’ glory instead of her own.

12. Point them to Christ.


This can’t be over-stressed. It is the whole point. No strategy for reaching your son or daughter will have any lasting effect if the underlying goal isn’t to help them know Jesus.
Jesus.

It’s not so that they will be good kids again; it’s not so that they’ll get their hair cut and start taking showers; it’s not so that they’ll like classical music instead of deathcore; it’s not so that you can stop being embarrassed at your weekly Bible study; it’s not so that they’ll vote conservative again by the next election; it’s not even so that you can sleep at night, knowing they’re not going to hell.

The only ultimate reason to pray for them, welcome them, plead with them, email them, eat with them, or take an interest in their interests is so that their eyes will be opened to Christ.

And not only is He the only point—HE'S the only hope. When they see the wonder of JESUS, satisfaction will be redefined. HE will replace the pathetic vanity of the money, or the praise of man, or the high, or the orgasm that they are staking their eternities on right now. Only his grace can draw them from their perilous pursuits and bind them safely to himself—captive, but satisfied.

HE will do this for many. Be faithful and don’t give up.


12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child 
by Abraham Piper: Parenting  
Www.desiringgod.org

(Be sure to check out Piper's first 6 of 12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child)

Shared by Christine Wyrtzen of Daughters of Promise Ministries in the USA.

(Google Images added)

   Pray with me:

   Father, help me remember that
it’s not so that the child will be a good kid again, but that he/she will come to know Jesus in such a way they'll want to please Him.

   May I find the value in my child's interests, if possible, and encourage him/her.

   When I read something in the Bible that encourages me to love Jesus more, may I write it up in a couple lines and send it to my child.

   Let me find ways to love my wayward child back to You, Father. In Jesus' name I ask this. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 119:158 "I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word."
Some thoughts today: Represent Jesus to your child at all times. What He would do, consider doing it too.

- God will not let imperfection into heaven. Let's not defend ourselves, and think we'll be accepted, unless we've made Jesus the Lord of our lives. We would be most unhappy there, otherwise.

- Heb. 11:1 tells us what faith is... We can have a hope for eternity with God! The other choice won't be pleasant at all!


25th- Tuesday’s post: #19 The Real Battle
C. Peter Wagner

27th- Thursday's post: #20 Learning About the Battle
C. Peter Wagner

29th- Saturday's post: Our Friends
Jean Oathout

30th- Sunday's post: One Who Understands
Dave Roper


A popular post: Masterpiece in the Making  
Gwen Smith tells us, "It took four years of fresco painting for the Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.







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Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse
Kindle $2.99

A great gift for someone!

Bridal Shower Devotional
Bridal Wisdom for Women

My book in paperback $7.95
Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse