Archive for December, 2008

A Jewish Gospel?

A Jewish Gospel?

Most people who are in Hebrew Roots promote a “Hebraic mindset”, whereby one cannot fully comprehend the Bible unless one sees them through Hebrew “glasses”. To compound this issue, a new twist has surfaced: a “Jewish Gospel”.

Although it is clear in Scripture that Jesus came through His Jewish bloodline, and the Hebrew Scriptures of the Tanakh [OT] tell of His coming, His birth, sacrifice, and resurrection, Scripture also tells us that the Gospel is not based in “Jewishness”, but Jesus “slain before the foundation of the world”. In other words, the Gospel came from the mind and heart of God. He chose the Jewish nation as the “vehicle”, but the Gospel is not “Jewish” in understanding or acceptance. The Tanakh speaks of “how” He would come and “why” He came, but that does not make it “Jewish”.

Revelations 13:8 And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

John 17:2 As you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

John states that Jesus is God made manifest in the flesh – the Word made flesh. He did not have a Jewish mindset. He is God. His wisdom and teachings were from the Father, not from a human system of understanding.

John 8:28 Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of myself; but as My Father has taught me, I speak these things.

John 15:15 From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known to you.

John 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatever You have given Me are of You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You gave Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from You, and they have believed that You did send Me.

Going through Scripture, it’s interesting to note that a Jewish or Hebraic mindset is not different than any other culture. Sin is still sin. God made Himself known to Jew and Gentile alike. If the Gospel was truly “Jewish”, then the obvious question would be: Why didn’t Israel recognize their Messiah?

A follow up question is: Then how did the Jewish disciples and the non-Jewish gentiles understand the Gospel? The answer is in the NT:

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered to Me of My Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.

John 6:32 Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.

John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I to you, that no man can come to Me, except it were given to him of My Father.

John 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with My Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to Him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me.

Exploring the Hebraic mind set in the Tanakh, working forward through the NT, post NT, and finally into the 20th century perhaps we can see exactly what it’s perceptions really are. Here is a “sampling”.

In the Tanakh – some Hebraic mind set issues:

* Israel was given the “original” Hebraic mind set having heard God personally and given the Laws first hand – then they disobeyed and broke the covenant based on their Hebraic mind set.

* Israel’s long and arduous history of evil kings – all born and bred of the Hebraic mind set. Jeroboam even changed the feast day of Tabernacles to a different month [oops].

* Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived – given measureless wisdom directly from God, in the culture of the Hebraic mind set. He gained many wives and concubines, and a vast fortune – he worshiped other gods and built altars to them. He ended up compromising even with a Hebraic mindset.

The NT:

First century Judaism did not recognize the Messiah.

* Judas Iscariot – full of the Hebraic mind set, believing that Jesus came as reigning King, but in his Hebraic mind set betrayed the Son of God for a few coins because he did not understand why Jesus really came – his concept of a Jewish Gospel was not God’s plan.

* Peter didn’t get it when Jesus said He had to suffer and die, allowing satan to speak through him and refusing to accept the truth. Interesting how he understood that Jesus was the Christ via the Holy Spirit [Father in Heaven – not his Jewish mindset], but later when his Hebraic mindset kicked in, he stood against what Jesus needed to do.

* The disciples, trained personally by Jesus, did not understand any of His parables until Jesus revealed it to them, and told them that no one but them would “get it”. So much for the Hebraic mindset training since birth.

* The Pharisees plotted Jesus’ death – steeped in Hebraic mind set.

* The Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection – more of the Hebraic mind set.

* The Jews who tried to kill Jesus by stoning Him because through their Hebraic mind refused to recognize that He was God manifest in the flesh.

* The Sanhedrin – schooled in Hebraic mind set – succeeded in having Jesus crucified – obviously their Hebraic mind set was off that day.

* Paul, who was a Jewish scholar of scholars with Hebraic mind set, not accepting the “Jewish Gospel” – chased, arrested, and persecuted, hundreds of followers of Christ, and even consented to the deaths of some, before His conversion to the Holy Spirit mind set.

* Paul, who was a Hebrew of Hebrews had to correct much error in the Corinthian and the Galatian churches. Did he forget to teach them the Hebraic mindset first?

* When Paul presented the Gospel to the Geeks on Mars Hill, he simply presented Christ crucified and resurrected – there was no mention of a “Jewish” Gospel or a Hebraic mindset. [Acts 22:17+]

* John said that He wrote his Gospel so that all would know that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God – by the works and signs that Jesus did, not because His message was Hebraic or that the Kingdom of God was Jewish [John 20:30,31].

* On the Day of Pentecost the disciples spoke of the wonders of God in many languages as the Spirit gave them utterance – the “forerunner” of the Gospel that Peter preached. Perhaps they missed the newsflash on the Hebraic mind set.

* Paul told the jailer, when he asked what he should be do to be saved, told him that he should believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and he would be saved. Did Paul forget to mention that the jailer needed a Hebraic mindset or that the Gospel was Jewish?

* Jesus had some very interesting things to say about how the Pharisees thought:

Matthew 23
13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

Luke 11
44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

Matthew 23
1 Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3 All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do
not you after their works: for they say, and do not.

If the Pharisees had such a godly Hebraic mind set, I wonder why Jesus told them that all they had to offer anyone was hell? Not to mention that they constantly tried to trap Him with questions, and continually plotted His death. Reading Torah was not a spiritual endeavor for them, it was a forced rendition by the letter of the Law; and then taking the Law, twisting it, and making it an abomination before God. This was the 1st century “Hebraic mind set”.

Beyond the NT – more Hebraic minded men:

* Rabbi Meir [Illuminator] or Reb Meir Ba’al Ha-Nes (literally Rabbi Meir Master of the Miracle) considered the greatest 2nd generation teacher of the Talmud. The name Meir was given to him because he enlightened the scholars and students in Torah Law. He also referred to himself as the “God of Meir – answer me” by which miracles allegedly happened. Thousands of Jews still pilgrimage to his grave to receive blessings for health and success. More Hebraic mindset.

* Moses DeLeon – 13th century – wrote [or uncovered the manuscripts in a cave] the book of the Zohar, which is the “ground work text” of kabbalah.

* Sabbatei Zevi [1600’s] believed himself to be the Messiah. He eventually converted to Islam under duress. The Jewish gospel?

* Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson – a 20th Century Chassidic Rabbi – was believed to be the Messiah. He died in 1994. Many of his followers are still waiting for his resurrection. The Jewish gospel?

So, I am curious just which Hebraic/Jewish mind set I should be using to interpret the Scriptures?

Which Jewish skirt should I take hold of? Maybe the “Jew’s skirt” belongs to Jesus?

Of the 15,000,000 Jews in the world, how many are believers – what percentage would that be?

Paul tells us in Romans 10 & 11

Romans 10
1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.

7 What then? Israel has not obtained that which he seeks for; but the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 (According as it is written, God has given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hearWink to this
day. 9 And David said, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense to them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always.

The point is that the Word of God is timeless, eternal, infinite, ageless, and culture-less. It is a Living Word for the spiritual man, not based on man’s intelligence, ethnicity, culture, language or gnostic interpretation, but by the work and will of the Holy Spirit.

The Word of God is so simple a child can understand it, and so complex that wise of this world cannot.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; 24 But to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

John 14:16,17,26 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 16:13 Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, [that] shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.

One last thought. In all the discussion on the Hebraic mindset we must remind ourselves that the authors of the Brit Chadashah [NT] while mostly Jews (except for the proselyte Luke) were also largely hellenized Jews. Hence many of the concepts found in the Brit Chadashah including the Logos, the primacy of Pnuema (Ruach) over Psuche (Nephesh) (actually derived from Platoian philosophy) and the charismata (Spiritual things/gifts) are derived not from eastern philosophy as is in the Tenakh but from the hellenistic philosophies of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle. The reason is that these apostles were koine speaking hellenized Jews. The Hebraic mindset is a myth … scripture indicates only two mindsets – the natural man who is dead in Adam and the renewed mind of Messiah, which is alive in Jesus Christ.

Messianics and Hebrew Roots teachers want to promote a Hebraic mindset so that they can sell more books… but the only book we need is Davar Elohiym [The Bible], which is life itself. Some also promote kabbalah, based in the Jewish books of sefer zohar and billed as “Hebraic understanding” [ie: PaRDeS], which is nothing more than a pathway to hell through occultism.

Hebraic mindsest? A Jewish Gospel? God’s final answer is “NO”.


Please read through the comments below – more clarification is included in my responses 🙂

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Come on over and give us your thoughts as we present factual evidence through Scripture and Historical documentation!


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For the Love of Truth,

sheep wrecked


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It’s time for Hanukkah (Chanukkah) again.  Not that most people are overly aware of it within most venues of Christianity, but in Hebrew Roots it’s pretty much a given to celebrate it.

Some of the statements I have heard expressed are these:

“Of course He celebrated Hanukkah, it’s a blessed holiday remembering a wonderful miracle in Israel’s history. Why not celebrate it? It has very positive religious overtones too. It’s among my favorite holidays”.
“I think anyone wanting to use the text of John 10 to prove He wasn’t in Jerusalem celebrating Hanukkah is really looking a little desperate theologically.”
“Hanukkah is the celebration of the destruction of the Greeks religious abominations and the purging of the Temple to prepare for the coming of the true Messiah.  The worshippers of the One True God – the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – celebrate Hanukkah on the 25th day of the ninth Hebrew month – just as Yahshua did.

After the defeat of the Greeks and the purging of Jerusalem of the vestiges of their abominations, we dedicated a new altar according to the precise specifications prescribed in the Torah.  It takes exactly eight days to dedicate a new altar.  On the ninth day, the morning and evening oblation sacrifices began anew.  This is the Feast that the Messiah was commemorating and endorsing this celebration with his prophetic stamp of approval.  WWJD? It is Written! DWYD!  Keep the Feast (I Cor, 5:8) or Be a Feast! (Rev. 19: 17-18).

The Feast of Hanukkah was a reality in Israel 613 years before the birth of Yahshua, but it is also a shadow picture of that which is going to take place after the Messiah confirms the Covenant that was made in his blood.”

The actual Scripture used to support that Jesus celebrated Hanukkah [The Feast of Dedication] comes from John 10.

John 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

My question is:  Would Jesus be concerned about going to the temple knowing that:
King Herod was appointed by Rome, and was an Edomite brought into Judaism through a forced conversion, was not from the lineage of King David, and therefore probably not a valid King by the standard prescribed in the Torah:

Deu 17:15 You shall surely set him king over you, whom the LORD your God shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set king over you: you may not set a stranger over you, who is not your brother.

The priesthood and the scribes/teachers were probably not valid according to Torah, or at the very least questionable due to the fact that the Maccabees had instituted their own priestly system in place.  They also usurped the throne of David, which God had proclaimed at an eternal kingship by anointing themselves as king.

John the Baptist (a Levite) knew. He declined to serve in the priesthood (his father was Zacharias Luke 1:5), and instead chose to prepare the way in the wilderness, and then offered them stern correction when the pharisees and saducees appeared there where he was Baptizing people for the REMISSION OF SINS (unheard of).

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Jesus also knew:

Matthew 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not according to their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5 But all their works they do to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost places at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 But you be not called Rabbi: for one is your Teacher, even Christ; and all you are brothers.
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you travel on sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

The house of prayer had become a den of thieves.

Mat 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.

Because Jesus had come through the tribe of Judah
as prophesied, the Levitic line would now be broken, because of Him now becoming the Great High Priest. (Cohen Ha Gadol)

Heb 4:14 Then having a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast the confession.

Jesus knew that after His crucifixion, the veil would be torn by an unseen hand (God) and that the acceptance of sacrifice would now cease, even according to Jewish writings.

Mat 27:51 And, behold! The veil of the temple was torn into two from above as far as below. And the earth quaked, and the rocks were sheared!

Jesus also knew that the destruction of the temple was to be fullfilled in the near future. (70 ce)

Mat 24:2 But Jesus said to them, Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, There will not at all be left one stone on a stone which in no way will not be thrown down.

Not only the temple, but the parts of city as well:

Luk 23:28  But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

Jesus made this statement:

Mat 12:6 But I say to you, One greater than the temple is here.

It should be noted that Jesus was on Solomon’s porch, a place where gentiles congregated (outer court).The Temple built by Solomon did not have a court of the Gentiles. The great court/porch referred to in 2 Chronicles was for the Israelites to worship God, and surrounded the inner court. This is not the same porch that is mentioned in John 10.
When Jesus was in Solomon’s Porch as written in John 10, He was not there to celebrate the Feast of Dedication, but was walking in the court of the Gentiles that was built by Herod. It was built so that non-Jews could access a view of the Temple without defiling the Temple

proper, which had signs warning of imminent death if the area was entered by any non-Jewish person. Solomon’s Porch was also where the money changers set up shop, as well as where they kept the animals and birds that were sold for sacrifices. This is where the tables were that Jesus overthrew when He chased the money changers from the temple.

Would Jesus be celebrating with the same Pharisees and Sadducees and others who were plotting to kill Him when He was there as it is written?

John 10:22 And the Feast of Dedication took place in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
23 And Jesus was walking in the temple, in Solomon’s Porch.
24 Then the Jews encircled Him, and said to Him, Until when do You lift up our soul? If You are the Christ, tell us publicly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you did not believe. The works which I do in the name of My Father, these bear witness about Me.
26 But you do not believe for you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
28 And I give eternal life to them, and they shall not perish to the age, never! And not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand.
29 My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck out of My Father’s hand.
30 I and the Father are One!
31 Then again the Jews took up stones, that they might stone Him.
32 Jesus answered them, I showed you many good works from My Father. For which work of them do you stone Me?
33 The Jews answered Him, saying, We do not stone You concerning a good work, but concerning blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Has it not been written in your Law, “I said, you are gods”?
35 If He called those gods with whom the Word of God was, and the Scripture cannot be broken,
36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You blaspheme, because I said, I am Son of God?
37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me.
38 But if I do, even if you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may perceive and may believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.
39 Then again they sought to seize Him. And He went forth from their hand.
40 And He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John was at first baptizing and remained there.

According to the Scriptural account, Jesus went to the temple, possibly to teach, and then ended up schooling the Pharisees and Sadducees in front of a large crowd. He never went to where the Jews congregated, as the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Him and then circled Him at the court of the Gentiles, sought to kill him, and then again tried to seize Him. After this incident  is written that He then left the temple.
And then there is this passage and the statement that Jesus made before He went to the temple:

John 4:20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary to worship.
21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me that an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeks such, the ones worshiping Him.
24 God is a spirit, and the ones worshiping Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Does anyone believe that Jesus had a chanukkiah (nine branch menorah) which was devised by men, and not commanded by God as the seven branch menorah was. The miracle of the oil is merely a legend, and is not historically accurate. There is no mention of it in the apocryphal- historical writings of either Maccabees 1 or 2 (63 bce – 25ce). The legend was first introduced into Judaism in the talmud. (200-500 CE).
Solomon built the first temple, but here is what Jesus had to say in Matthew:

Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south will be raised in the Judgment with this generation and will condemn it. For she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and, behold, a Greater-than-Solomon is here.

Chanukkah was a celebration of the Jews (Maccabees) kicking the tar out of the Greeks. Does anyone think that Jesus went to celebrate this with the gentiles who ancestors were defeated? This would be like going into the deep south and asking the people there to celebrate the defeat of their ancestors in the civil war. He probably went there to teach, and to reach the gentiles who would hear.
I like gelt as much as the next person, but does anyone think that Jesus was spinning a dreidle which has kabbalistic connotations? The Chanukiah, the legend of the oil, the dreidle, the gelt, etc are all late rabbinic additions that occured after the time of Christ, and have noting to do with first century Judaism.. To think that He celebrated Chanukkah in the modern sense as we know it can not be proven historically or Scripturally.

If you remove all the modern day practices from Chanukkah that had nothing to do with the celebration at the time of Jesus, then all you have is left is to go to the temple………but that is gone too.

As a recap then, there is no Biblical proof that Jesus “celebrated” Chanukkah. He was at the temple in the court of the Gentiles for a time debating with the pharisees, and then He left.
For more info on Hanukkah:

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I saw this poem on the Internet a long time ago, but I have it taped up by my desk.  Sometimes we all need reminders that life is not about ME, but about practicing what we believe with the love of God.  If we don’t reach out to the lost, needy, and desperate, our words are nothing but noisy racket in their ears.


I was hungry …
And you formed humanities groups to discuss my hunger.

I was imprisoned …
And you crept off quietly to your church and prayed for my release.

I was naked …
And in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.

I was sick …
And you knelt and thanked God for your health.

I was homeless …
And you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.

I was lonely …
And you left me alone to pray for me.

You seem so holy, so close to God …
But I am still hungry … and lonely … and cold …

~ author unknown ~

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Watercolors by Pamela

I ran across a wonderful website awhile back and wanted to share it with my readers.  What I find so remarkable about this site is not only the beautiful artwork, but the stories of the simplicity of living in and for Christ. 

Many of the watercolors have a story that goes along with it.  They are touching stories of Pamela’s life, her family, their struggles, their victories and their undying faith and devotion to God. 

Whenever I visit her site to view her watercolors, the peace of Jesus is reflected there in the beauty of nature and the children that she so wonderfully captures in gorgeous color with expertise.

Please take a moment out of your busy day and visit her site.  It is a place of serenity in real life with someone who faces life with courage and hope in the Lord.



sheep wrecked


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