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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #45 -- STANDING ON THE PROMISES -- September 2006)


It's so amazing to think about all the promises that God has made to us in His Word -- but it's even more amazing to stop and think that each and every one of those promises is a personal promise to each one of us! He has promised to protect us, watch over us, supply our needs, be with us always, and work things out for our best -- and all we have to do is just invite Him into our lives and let Him be our Lord!

I think that's an awesome place to stand -- and I plan on standing there forever! I'm standing on the Promises of GOD! Are YOU?

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR SEPTEMBER
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
WORD IN ACTION
STANDING ON THE PROMISES
THINK ABOUT IT!
TESTIMONY TIME
CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
CRAFT OF THE MONTH
SKIPPING STONES
BIBLE QUIZ
CHECK IT OUT!
JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH



ACROSTIC FOR SEPTEMBER
By: Denise Imbody

Surely His grace and mercy will help us
Endure through all and any trials...for His
Promises are true and we can cling to
Them all our days from now until
Everlasting...for He is our Creator,
Messiah, King, Friend, Father,
Brother, Savior and so much more than we could
Ever possibly imagine...so just
Reach out to Him, and hold to His promises!

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you have an opinion or thought that you'd like to share with JEM-Precious Stones readers? Well, here is your chance...if you'd just like to comment on the E-zine or if you have something on your mind about current events that you'd like to share...as long as they are clean and family oriented and NOT against God and His Word...please feel free to share them with us at this address, and we'll use them if we can.

Sorry there was no submission for this month's issue. Please feel free to submit something for next months e-zine through the above address...

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

What a wondrous time to be celebrating a birthday. May your upcoming year of life be as colorful as the Lord's beautiful creation, and may it be a blessed and special birthday for all our September folks...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Ü

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise Imbody

WHEN I PRAY
(9/10/98)
When I pray, I pray for you.
Something, the Lord wants me to do.
When in my thoughts, you do appear...
I whisper words, the Lord will hear.

Sometimes, I know, just what to pray.
But there are times, I have to say...
"Bless them O Lord, You know what's wrong.
Help them Father, and keep them strong."

Have faith, and trust, He knows your heart.
His love, from you, will not depart.
I love it when someone tells me...
They have prayed for my family.

I asked the Lord to help me write...
The words to make someone's day bright.
Be reassured that someone cares.
To Him, I lift you up in prayers.

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WORD IN ACTION
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

"Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God."

Standing on the promises.. what an awesome hymn and an awesome way to live. But just where can we find those promises? What are they? You need to look no further than the Holy Bible... God's Word. The Scriptures are God's love letter to us and they are full of promises we can hold to... every one true!

So let's look at just a few of the promises we can stand on today...

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19 NIV

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38-39 NIV

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me 2 Cor. 12:9 NIV

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Rom. 10:9-10 NIV

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Ps. 4:8 NIV

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death Rom. 8:1-2 NIV

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him James 1:5 NIV

When you pass through the waters,
       I will be with you;
       and when you pass through the rivers,
       they will not sweep over you.
       When you walk through the fire,
       you will not be burned;
       the flames will not set you ablaze. Isa. 43:2 NIV

These are just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many promises in the Bible, I can't begin to list them all! I encourage you to read with your eyes and heart searching for the specific promises He has for you and your circumstances. Before you read.. and as you read.. ask Him to reveal His promises to you. He will honor that prayer and open your eyes to the wonderful promises found throughout His Word.

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STANDING ON THE PROMISES
By: Barbara Lea Campbell

Hymns were a big part of my life growing up. I sang them in church and heard them around our home whether on a gospel radio program or my mother singing and humming them. "Standing on the Promises" brings back memories of singing out loud and strong in church... I can still hear that bass line reverberate! But this hymn is more than a great booming melody and strong words... it is a call to us as Believers to Stand... not fall in the face of adversity.. during the trials of life.. in our day to day activities... We are called to stand!

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matt 10:22 NIV

He who stands firm to the end will be saved Matt 24:13 NIV

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:28 NIV

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. 1 Cor. 15:58 NIV

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Cor. 16:13 NIV

To not stand firm is to disobey God. Now you may be thinking "Hey... it is tough sometimes to stand firm! I can't do it." Guess what.. you can't.. at least not on your own, but here is the great thing.. God tells you HOW to stand firm.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Eph. 6:11 NIV

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Eph. 6:13 NIV

Each one of us must decide each day "I am going to stand firm today no matter what comes my way!" We surrender our life to Him and put on His impenetrable armor and march forth into the battle.. knowing that victory is ours through Christ. Only with His armor and that victorious truth can we stand.

Rich Mullins said it so well... "If I stand, let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through..."

And there will be times when we fall... when we let out guard down, go out on our own, take off the armor and try to fight the battle on our own... and we fall. But that's ok! God doesn't say "Oh well.. you blew it.. you're own your own now." Nope! He is standing there with His hand stretched out to you... ready to lift you up and help you once again stand with His grace. Rich covered this in his song too... "and if I can't let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You."

We have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. Romans 5:2

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us 2 Cor.1:21

Are you standing firm... standing on those promises? Or have you fallen down and given up on rising again? God is standing right here... ready to lift you to your feet and help you stand. Call on Him. Decide today... right now... I will STAND firm on the true and mighty promises of my Heavenly Father!

"Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God."

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THINK ABOUT IT!

Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel. You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough to hold the little ones. Spread these nets and no others, and you need not fear the fulfillment of His word, "I will make you fishers of men."
--Charles H. Spurgeon

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TESTIMONY TIME

My Testimony: By Jocelyn Andersen

I was only six years old the day I decided I wanted to belong to Jesus Christ. I went home feeling a sense of euphoric joy at what had happened that morning. A sense of joy that was not to last...

I don't remember the sermon topic. Theology wasn't a concern at the time. I only knew that when the Pastor gave the invitation to "join the church," I wanted to. And as he counseled with me and prayed with me, my six year old faith connected to God through belief in his resurrected son, and I knew that something special had happened to me.

I would like to say that I was faithful to God after that, but I wasn't always.

My Mother made sure we were at Church almost every Sunday, and I said my prayers at night sometimes, but I never made Jesus a real part of my life. I had no idea how to do that.

As an adolescent, I went my own way and stopped going to Church altogether.

A fear of dying and going to hell descended on me and stayed there for the next thirteen years. The only thing I knew about being a Christian was that you were supposed to go to Church and live a certain way, and I didn't want to do that. To be perfectly honest; church bored me.

As a young adult, I began living a lifestyle that I could not reconcile with my conscience and with what I had been taught in Church and in Sunday School through-out my childhood.

In 1979 I couldn't bear the guilt and fear any longer, and I decided I didn't want to believe in hell anymore.

The only logical way that I could accomplish that, was to stop believing in God.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I was very serious about it. I reasoned with myself that if the scriptures were true and there was a God, then there surely was a hell, and in spite of my profession of faith at age six, I was certain I was going there.

I could not think of a single reason why I should be granted eternal life when I died. I didn't understand that it was faith in what Christ did and not my own good works that saved me.

I'll never forget the first time I announced to another person that I did not think I believed in God. The words shocked us both. But nothing awful happened, and I was encouraged to pursue my goal of becoming an atheist..

Between 1979 and 1981 I worked very hard at it. Sometimes, during the day with all its distractions, I was somewhat successful. But at night, when the silence descended, I couldn't squelch the conviction of the Holy Spirit that the scriptures were true and God was real.

In 1981 I was invited to go to church with some friends and family, and I went. I didn't go to worship God that Sunday morning. My goal was to discount everything the preacher said and prove that Christianity was a myth and a crutch for weak-minded people to lean on.

I successfully (to my own satisfaction) shredded everything the preacher said that morning. I sat through the songs, prayers, preaching and alter call untouched emotionally or spiritually. I walked out of church unchanged and very satisfied with myself.

I went back again the next week. I knew that if I could sit through one more sermon and alter call unmoved, as before, that I would be free forever from this Christianity that I found so tormenting.

I planned on walking away from God that morning and never looking back.

I sat down on the very back pew; the one closest to the exit, and waited for the service to begin. The congregation stood up, said a few prayers and sang a few hymns, then sat down.

I felt nothing - so far so good.

Then the preacher (who did not know me) raised his arm and pointed his finger directly at me and thundered the first words of his sermon.

"And God gave them up!"


When he uttered the last word of that sentence, something came out of the end of his finger and slammed straight into my heart. In that moment all my atheistic defenses were shattered, and I became acutely aware of the existence of my God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Immediately I cried out to him in my heart. I told him that I knew he was real, and I was sorry for ever denying him. I don't remember anything else the preacher said that morning, but I was the first one to reach the alter when he finished preaching.

I picked up my Bible that very afternoon and began reading the New Testament book of Matthew. I have been reading my Bible daily for over twenty five years now.

I read my Bible straight through, over and over, always picking up today where I left off yesterday. It has changed my life.

It took me almost twenty years to pick up where I left off when I was six, but I know that God allowed a little child to come to him, and then held on to her and mercifully revealed his awesome presence, even as she tried with all her might to throw him away.

***If you would like to share your testimony in an upcoming issue of JEM Precious Stones, please feel free to send it to Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. If we use it, you will get full credit, but please know that due to the number of contributions, and other concerns, we may not be able to use all submissions.***



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CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH

We really should be getting into God’s word, as much as we possibly can. We would like to encourage you with a challenge each month, to memorize a portion of Scripture. So, we will provide a passage, and hope that you will take the time to study it daily. If you are already doing this on your own, that is great--we just thought with prayer, and making it a bit easier for some folks, that we could help those who may not be doing this yet. All passages will be from the King James Version of the Bible. We do not mind other versions, and you can study it in whichever version you like. We have chosen KJV, because it is public domain. We pray that you will hide His word in your heart.

Hebrews 10
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Jan Dobens

Apple Cake

1 1/2 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda,
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 medium apples (peeled-cored and thickly sliced) delicious work best
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat oil and sugar.
Add eggs and beat until creamy.
Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.
Stir dry mixture into creamy batter.
Add vanilla, apple slices, and walnuts.
Stir until blended.
Pour into a greased and floured 9" angel food tube pan.
Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes (check doneness with piece of spaghetti)...or until done.
Cool before turning out.
Can be served with ice cream, or whipped cream.
10-12 servings.

Do you have an original recipe that you would like to share? Click here to submit it!

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QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Do you have an original Quick Tip that you would like to share? Click here to submit it!

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CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

***SIDE NOTE: This craft made it's first appearance in September, 2003 issue of Precious Stones.***

I used to do this craft with the different Sunday School classes I taught, and it was a big hit.

Materials:
A Big sheet of paper (your choice of size really)
All different colors of tissue paper
Markers or crayons
Glue or glue sticks
Scissors

Instructions:
Have the children draw a picture of a tree, with bare branches, and ground--and whatever else they'd like in the picture. (If the children you are working with, are too young to do this, then have the pictures drawn ahead of time for them.)

Cut the colored tissue paper into any size square--it's been a while since I have done this project--but I think 2" by 2" will work fine. (Again, you might want to have this done ahead of time too, depending on the age of the children.)

I think glue sticks will work fine for this project. So, have them dab the glue in different places on the picture--some on the tree, some falling to the ground, and some on the ground.

Then take the squares of tissue paper--1 at a time--crinkle it up--and put it on the glue spots.

There you have it--a nice picture of autumn leaves.

***If you have an original recipe, quick tip, or craft, that you would like to share with us, please send it in with your first and last name, and your email address to Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. If we use it, you will get full credit, but please know that due to the number of contributions, and other concerns, we will not be able to use all submissions.***

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SKIPPING STONES
(A word of encouragement)
By: Marilyn Christine

Accepting Ourselves

The Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical statue, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

We live in a world that is geared by beauty and seeking beauty. Commercials only show the perfect bodies and faces. Magazines nag us to hide or change our flaws. We are told to exercise to reshape and to buy lotions and makeup that promise to make us look younger. According to the world's view we can never be too perfect. The newest fashion in clothes is the must have. Surgery is the easy answer to fix what we don't like. We do these things at a high expense to our mental health and yet most of us are not satisfied with what we see in the mirror.

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image of God and that He fashioned us. He created us as He wanted and made each of us special.

We can try to improve our beauty by all these things but only God can create a new heart. We can make ourselves into a person of beauty when we remember that what is inside is what will show outwardly. If you want to be beautiful; believe that you are wonderfully made. "Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel, rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV

The next time the world's mirror tell you that you are too fat, too skinny, too tall. too short, or you fill in the blanks remember: His hands have made you and fashioned you. Praise Him for you are fearfully and wonderfully made. ©McmPiesse

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BIBLE QUIZ

In this section, you will find five questions each month. Scripture references will sometimes be provided, but other times you will have to seek out the answers. We pray this will help you to get to know God's Word more.

One of my favorite Bible stories about standing is found in Exodus 17. Here we see how we are to help our brother (or sister) stand.

1) In Exodus 17, what people came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim?

2) Who led the Israelites in the fight?

3) Who went to the top of the hill with Moses?

4) When Moses became tired, what did his friends do for him?

5) How long did Moses hands remain lifted?

Click here for the answers

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CHECK IT OUT!

In this section we will share, and recommend our favorite website, book, movie, or any other favorite things we can think of to share with you. These are all highly recommended.

CD of the Month: Sound of Melodies
Recommended by: Kristina

Sound of Melodies by Leeland

While listening to the band Leeland's debut album, Sound of Melodies, it is hard to believe that the lead singer (and whom the band is named after) is merely eighteen years old. His voice, along with the amazingly deep lyrics and powerful chords, has created a stir in the Christian music industry, with many pointing to Leeland as the new wave of Christian worship/rock. Listening to their cd, you see why there is so much praise: this band is talented. With Leeland Mooring leading, this group of young men has delivered an album that is full of praise and beauty from the first song to the last.

The beautiful Sound of Melodies opens the album, a great song that leaves the listener wanting to raise their hands up to worship God. "Too Much" is an honest song about needing to find a peaceful sanctuary, and about ultimately finding that peace and home in Christ. "Beautiful Lord" is one of the best praise songs out there right now, leaving tears in your eyes as you sing along to the chorus. And considered by many to be the most powerful song on the album, "Tears Of The Saints" is Leeland's most haunting ballad as they plead for the unsaved:

There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them come back home


Leeland has shown great promise with their debut release, and they have proved themselves worthy of standing with the elite of the worship/praise scene. This is a great band that can appeal to both youngsters and older fans with their mixture of rock and praise, and I highly recommend this album to all who might enjoy a talented new band.

Book of the Month: Last Light
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Last Light by Terri Blackstock

I am a huge Terri Blackstock fan and I recently read her latest novel -- Last Light -- which is the first of 4 books she is writing in her Restoration series. In some ways this was one of the oddest books I have ever read. It was somewhat surreal.. and yet, after seeing the devastation of Katrina and how quickly lives and cities can be thrown into chaos, it isn't as far-fetched as I first thought.

In Last Light something has happened... no one really knows what... but all modern conveniences are gone. Electricity, Gasoline, Natural Gas, Water Systems, Phones .. you name it.. it doesn't work. And it is wide spread... global... so it isn't going to be a quick fix.

Blackstock centers mainly around a family -- the Brannings -- in Birmingham, Alabama. They are a family with a very comfortable income. They live in a nice neighborhood with a good sized home and all the modern trappings -- cars, cell phones, computers, appliances, televisions, video games etc. It is fascinating to watch them adjust (and not adjust!) to this new life. Everyone wants it to be over and back to normal NOW!

And then there is a twist... Blackstock tosses in evil... a killer among the neighbors.. but who and why and who will be next.

This book caused me to think about our secure, easy lives. We are not as affluent as the Brannings... not by a long shot! But we have a nice house and we rely on our appliances, use our computer, watch tv or listen to the stereo, have cell phones and of course vehicles. How on earth would we manage if they were suddenly unusable with no warning. AND it is now a cash only world with no way to get cash out of the banks! I know I don't keep much cash on hand.. no need with my handy-dandy debit card!

The intrigue and mystery in Last Light are great as always, but truly just the whole premise of being thrust into a world of with no conveniences is the most intriguing thing to me. And seeing how folks do start to cope... not just what they actually do physically, like hauling water from a lake and sharing provisions with neighbors, but seeing the need for God come to focus. The Brannings are church going people... good Sunday Christians.... but this turn of events shakes them from their complacency. Dad Doug is the first to see God's hand in all this and he gently leads his family to focus more on the Lord and to seek Him as they make their way.

I don't want to go through what they go through to be shaken from my complacency. I doubt any of us do! But I fear the Lord may have something just a "drastic" planned and in the works.

I look forward to the rest of this series... it is going to be a fun ride as always!

Idea of the Month: Apple Picking
Recommended by: Matthew Imbody

It’s that time of year again – Time for pumpkins, falling leaves, hot cocoa and Apple pie! It’s time to get out and enjoy the cool, crisp autumn air – and what better way is there to accomplish this than to go apple picking!

Apple picking has become a traditional fall event here in our house – so much so, that we are planning to go twice this year! Did you know that apples don’t naturally come in those cellophane or paper bags that they are packaged in at the market? Imagine picking the fruit right off the tree instead of off the grocery store counter! It’s a wonderful experience – and I am here to recommend it to everyone!

No apple orchards in your area? Then why not pick peaches – or oranges... Anything to get you out into the fresh air! While you’re pondering your options, feel free to check out some of the pictures we took over the past few years while on our apple orchard trips!

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JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH

In this section you might find a word search, An unscramble the words, OR any kind of word puzzle. We hope you will have fun with it! Ü

Unscramble these Promises found in His Word.


AEELNR EFIL

EIMPORSS

ALPNS OT EPPRRS OUY

ADINOOPT

ENW CEHLOST

EFGINOV

ENW ACEINORT

AEEHNV

ON EMOR AEDHT

ON EMOR CIGNRY


Click here for the answers

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Please feel free to pass this along! If you would like to be added to the JEM-Precious Stones mailing list, send an e-mail to Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org requesting to be added in the message field. If you are not a member of the JEM community, and you would like your name removed from this mailing list, please send a message to the above address, and request removal in the body of the e-mail.

Please e-mail us with any comments, suggestions, or feedback, at: Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. We would love to hear from you! We would also love it if you would visit our JEM website, at: http://www.JEMMinistries.org As we continue with this monthly E-zine, you will also find a link to past issues there.

May God bless and keep you throughout this month! May He smile upon you, and show You mercy all of your days--and may You find peace in Him, and through Him! In Jesus' name, Amen






Answers for this month's BIBLE QUIZ:


1) Amalekites (v. 8)

2) Joshua (n. 10)

3) Aaron and Hur (v. 10)

4) verse 12: "When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other"

5) Until sunset (v. 12)

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:


ETERNAL LIFE

PROMISES

PLANS TO PROSPER YOU

ADOPTION

NEW CLOTHES

FORGIVEN

NEW CREATION

HEAVEN

NO MORE DEATH

NO MORE CRYING

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