Archive for August, 2011

Thanks for Hanging Out with Me Today!

Hey Siestas! How are you darling things? You are really on my mind today especially since I got to hug about 25 of your necks after the Salt Lake City Living Proof Live. I woke up wanting so much to write to you today but wasn’t sure where I wanted to head in theme so I’ve decided to do something a little different. I’m just going to take you with me all day long until late this afternoon when the time comes to launch this post. You and I are going to hang out on a fairly unusual weekday when I’m not writing any kind of study material or preparing any kind of message. It’s one of those days when appointments stack sky-high because they’ve been long-awaiting a window. The James project is complete (except for the final read-through that I’ll do this week) and Salt Lake City is behind us. (One of our darling attendees updated her status on Facebook by saying how much she enjoyed Living Proof Lice. And indeed the entire group seemed to be itching for a fresh revelation. I’ll try not to nit pick here.) With those events behind me, I’ve thanked God profusely and already turned my attentions toward the simulcast material for next weekend (Sept. 10th). I’ve heard from God about my text and jotted down a few main ideas and will start getting very focused toward it tomorrow afternoon. But, until then, it’s a day of appointments and it will be all the more bearable because you’re tagging along in my thoughts.

Our day together begins as I pull out of my driveway. It’s a little later than usual due to my appointment schedule but don’t get the idea that you can kick back and daydream. Stay alert here. We have a fair amount to do.

9:30 AM – We (you and I) drop Queen Esther off at the groomer for her beauty appointment despite her obsessive-compulsive reluctance to have us out of her sight for the splitiest second. She will get a sudsy bath and a good sheep shearing with #4 clippers to keep her from having a heat stroke and traumatizing us to no end. (If any of you are new to the blog, perhaps you need to know quickly that Queen Esther – AKA Star – is my Border Collie and not my mother-in-law. We have a strict policy around here never to have our in laws sheered with #4 clippers.) We have to keep Star’s hair short in the summer even though her full mane is among her very best features. Keith and I are outdoor people so she has to be able to tolerate the heat and that means one thing: a crew cut. Yesterday it was 110 here in Houston and, actually, it had cooled off from the weekend if that tells you anything about August life in Houston, Texas. Considering all that the East has been through in the last five days, I’m not complaining. While at the groomer, we learn that groomer’s teenage son is going to have heart tests done over the next few days and she breaks our hearts by letting tears spill over her cheeks. We want to hug her but we don’t get that hug-some vibe. This woman is no wimp so we are particularly moved by her show of emotion and we promise to pray for her and her beloved son. I already kept my promise. Since I’ve thrown you into today, would you do your part and please pray for his heart? God knows who he is and is looking straight at him with indescribable endearment. He also sees his mom and cares so much about her pain and fear.

9:45 AM – You and I pull into the first parking place we can find at the North Cypress Medical Center and only have to walk about three miles to the front door. (Ever so slight an exaggeration.) Huffing and puffing and, yes, carrying our laptop with our big, fat purse because we’ve committed to spend the day together, we sign in at The Women’s Br_______st Center because it’s time for one of us to have her annual M______ogram. (I know. For someone with such a big mouth, it’s absurd that I pick times like these to get all clammy and modest but I just can’t bring myself to actually type out the words. Maybe some of you remember 20 months ago when I told you that I had been hospitalized for something that sounded a little like “tonsillectomy” only it started with an “h.” I’m just not that big on body parts.)

10:00 AM – We surrender up our insurance card and our driver’s license, sign our releases and are called back right on time for our procedure. We are told the drill – where to change into our hospital gown and such – but we already know it well because at least one of our mothers died of breast cancer. We don’t get the luxury of skipping out on what, until after my tonsillectomy with an “h”, has been a twice-annual barrel of monkeys. We love the fact that our hospital gowns are kept in a warmer because the extra touch eases some of the anxiety but we do wish that they fit a little better as they do tend to gape open in the front since they only tie at the waist. This is unfortunate for all concerned.

10:15 AM – We are called back to our room by a really sweet woman-technician but she is not one of the ones we’ve come to know. So, we feel some of that familiar dread because…well, because we are modest. On the way to what we’ll affectionately call the press room, we see a very familiar face and she’s happy to see us, too, and we have a small group hug, the three of us (only she doesn’t realize you’re there). At this point it becomes obvious to the newer technician who led us back there that Hope is our annual BFF and she asks if Hope wants to take it from there. We are very relieved when she says she does. (Don’t you think that “Hope” is the most wonderful name for a woman who performs those life-altering procedures for women every single workday? Here you are, all apprehensive, and maybe even coming in for a recheck because something looks suspicious and we stare at that name tag and find “Hope.” I have told her many times that she, too, does women’s ministry.)

10:20 AM – Happy though we may be to have fresh Hope, we proceed into the meat grinder. Now, this is where you’ll need to shut your eyes because this part is just between me and Hope. I will forego painting a picture for you but let’s just say that, had the fire alarm gone off in the medical center, I would have been in decided peril as even the skin around my ears appeared to be stretched vociferously between a rock and a hard place. When we are done, we feel like we need to be put into an upper body cast but, alas, we are told to have a seat and wait and not to take off our gown yet in case we have to recheck anything. We are surely hoping not to be called for a recheck because, right about now, we are feeling like someone has closed an elevator door on one of us and taken us up to the 26th floor of a high rise and back. I busy myself by talking to you. You don’t say much back. I think you are scared you’re up next.

10:45 AM – We get called back to see the radiologist who we are nuts about. God gave us joyous favor with this staff and radiologist years earlier when we had a couple of serious cancer scares. The first thing he did was ask us about Melissa and Amanda, if that tells you anything about how wonderful he is and about how often they’ve been there with me and gotten all mangled up in their mother’s health dramas. Close your eyes again because he has large X-ray images of each of our – well, you know – on the screens. They look very ugly inside like they always have, which is precisely the reason for all the drama. Calcifications and the like. We can only visit with him for a minute about Amanda and Melissa because we need to be put out of my misery and told if everything looks okay. He tells me what he’s often told me. “I could biopsy you all over the place but, the fact is, these pictures are exactly like the ones from 2009 and 2010. I never like how they look but they look exactly the same so I’m going to let you go another full year (only the second time in my adult life) but, Mrs. Moore, DO YOUR MONTHLY EXAMS!” I promise that I will and maybe God wants you to promise that you will, too. Maybe that’s why you tagged along today. This is women’s ministry too, you know. We’re not ghosts. We have bodies. And they need stewarding. Maybe you need to do a few things for your health, too, but you think you’d rather take a sharp stick in the eye. I won’t hound you. I’ll just let God hound you. Otherwise you might think that misery just loves company. And let’s admit it. It does.

11:00 AM – Even before we’ve completely changed back into our clothes, we text Amanda and Melissa because they love us so much and they’re always relieved, too. We end up talking to both of them on the phone because we’re nuts about them. Our Amanda is having her first day with both kids in school in a good, long while and is celebrating a friend’s birthday over lunch. (AB is back in Mother’s Day Out and our big, fine boy is in his second week of Kindergarten.) Melissa is under the books, studying Coptic. We smile because we love these girls and their different worlds so much.

11:10 AM – One of our dear sibling in-laws needs to tell me something on the phone so we decide to take the long way to work and drive through Starbucks.

11:30 AM We pull up at Living Proof Ministries and we smile because we love those people who work within those walls so much we can barely stand it. We go inside and get and give many hugs because they haven’t seen one of us since last Wednesday. They can hardly wait to hear all about the Living Proof Live in Salt Lake City because they prayed so hard. We brag like crazy on the group God gave us and boast in His fresh graces and mercies. We’re only there for an hour and a half because, remember, this is appointment day.

12:00 PM – We gather for staff prayer time in the break room at LPM, most of us on the floor. We usually have staff prayer on Mondays but, if my schedule allows, I take Monday off after a Living Proof Live so Tuesday, it often is. I give a devotional then we pray together and specifically for one another. Most of the staff members write down their prayer requests on designated sheets of paper then Kimberly Meyer copies them off just before prayer time and passes them out to us. While we are praying, I realize that something pretty big has happened in one of my coworker’s lives while I was out of town and I am distraught. I lean over and write notes on her prayer sheet and tell her to call me the second we break. She nods her head. I can see the tears in her eyes.

1:00 PM – We have to scoot straightaway to make it on time for our next appointment so we end prayer time, say our goodbyes and one of us says we’ll see them all tomorrow. We call my friend before we make it to the car because we are so unnerved for her. She and I talk for the next 15 minutes while I’m on my way to the next stop. I feel badly about leaving you out of the conversation but, alas, some things are best kept confidential. I wouldn’t tell her some of the things you’ve told me either.

1:20 PM – We pull up hurriedly into the driveway of the groomer and run inside to get Queen Esther. Our next appointment is at 2:00 and not close by so we have no time for lollygagging. We’ve already paid in advance so it’s just a matter of fetching our best little buddy. We head off to the car. We really wish Queen Esther would t___t___ before getting in the backseat but she is traumatized by #4 clippers and, hence, her bladder is frozen solid. She barks “Run for your life!” and so we do.

1:25 PM – We pull into our old familiar driveway of 27 years (conveniently close to the groomer as you can see from our timeline). We let the Queen out of the backseat, nod with approval as her bladder thaws out in the grass, and we scurry our little beloved into the house since she can’t go with us to our next appointment. We haven’t eaten any lunch so we spread us a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a half and stuff it in a Ziploc because we dearly love Ziplocs. And peanut butter and jellies.

1:35 PM – We make sure Queen Esther is all settled in the house – even if she is royally ticked that she’s once again being forsaken – and we (you and I) head out the door and jump back into the car. We eat our PB&Js before we make it to the second traffic light. We leave one of our husbands a voice mail and tell him what we’re doing then we head on our 15 minute trek to our hair goddess for fresh highlights and a trim. One of us is having her annual photo-shoot tomorrow and, lest the other one think it sounds glamorous, the one of us having the photo-shoot enjoys it almost as much as she enjoys her annual m________ogram. We do indeed like seeing the photography staff once a year but, truthfully, this half of we just wishes we were seeing each other over bagels. So much smiling and not a grandbaby in sight. What a waste.

2:00 PM – We are in the chair of the Miss America of Hair. We LOVE this woman. I mean we absolutely L-O-V-E this woman. I’d tell you her name except that my staff would hang me upside down by my little toes because she’s already so booked that most of us make our appointments a couple of weeks in advance.

3:25 PM – We are still in the chair of the Miss America of Hair. She is very accustomed to us working hard on our laptop while in her chair. In fact, one of us put the last period of the final day of the James study sitting right here in this chair two weeks ago. One of us also wrote a chunk of GOOTP and SLI in this very chair. Right about now our big hair is in about 47 foils that could provide enough electric current for ET to call home.

4:00 PM – The Miss America of Hair unfolds one of the foils and nods her head. One of us leans back and puts her head in the shampoo bowl, but, alas, while holding the laptop up in the air so that the same one of us need not waste any time. God forbid that she’d just lay her head back and do nothing. We get a trim and The Miss America of Hair takes the blow dryer and blows all the hair off my computer keyboard and we laugh and thank her. We tip her well because we love to sit in the chair of the Miss America of Hair and we want her favor.

And we get back into the car, you and me.

Exhausted.

But so happy.

Because we’ve spent the day with a good sister-friend. We’ll stop by the chiropractor, get adjusted, thank him again for being used of God to get our reluctant (nearly rude) selves out of 24/7 pain a year ago then one of us – I said just one of us – will go home and kiss my husband.

Thank you so much for coming along today, Sister! You made me smile. I love you and think of you every day.

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LPL-Salt Lake City

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Living Proof Live Salt Lake City, UT – Ticket Giveaway!

Hey Siestas!
Anyone able to come to Salt Lake City this weekend?   Siesta Mama is about to head west and can’t wait to put her eyes on you!  We are sure praying for you all!

Gratefully, we are again able to offer 20 scholarship tickets for this weekend!  Thanks to the Siesta Scholarship Fund we are able to offer these scholarships for those that want so badly to go, but just cannot afford the ticket.

We will offer them to the first 20 of you who call during regular business hours at Living Proof (8:30-4:30 Central time).  Ask for Kimberly at 1-888-700-1999.  If you call over the lunch hour, or you go straight to voice mail, just leave a message with your phone number and she will get back in touch with you just as soon as possible.

May God sovereignly hand them out just as He sees fit.

KMac

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Humility, Anyone?

Hey, Sweet Things! I am back to my desk for the first time in almost a week and a half! It was called “Time Off” and I savored it like I do the last foamy sip of a grande dry cappuccino while I’m patting on the bottom of the cup. At first I was just going to stay home for the whole week since Keith couldn’t leave town right then and neither could my main running buddies, AJ and Melissa. Then, my coworkers, Sabrina and K-Mac, conspired on some possible flight arrangements, hotels and even show times if I were willing to take a jaunt to New York City. Last Tuesday, I mentioned it almost in passing to Keith and Lis and both of them said, “GO!!!!” So, I did! I couldn’t even believe it myself. I had plenty of frequent flier miles so the flight didn’t cost one red cent. I called a friend whose daughter happened to be at church camp and she was able to drop her schedule like a hot potato and meet me there. We landed within an hour of one another on Thursday afternoon and hit the ground running. I bet we walked 12 miles in Central Park over our 3 day/2 night stay and talked a hundred miles an hour. It was such an immense treat.

THEN, I flew home on Saturday evening in time to spend the last few days of my vacation with my family. We had our Bayou City Fellowship core-group church service Sunday evening (we open to the public September 11th!!! So exciting!) THEN the biggest thing of all happened: JACKSON STARTED KINDERGARTEN YESTERDAY. Amanda and I had planned for the last several weeks to spend that day together so I headed over yesterday morning and stayed until he got home from school. We made memories that I will treasure in my heart forever and replay in my mind about a zillion times. I am not going to go overboard on it right now because I’m hoping AJ will send me some pictures so I can share them with you. If you’re like me, you don’t just want to hear about a big occasion. You want to see it. SO, hopefully I’ll be able to pitch you a few pictures really soon.

OK, so change tracks with me because I’d love to hear from you about a subject. I’ve been thinking about what a gift a fresh humbling can be. Needless to say, I don’t like one any more than you do. In fact, I can’t think of many things I like less but, if we’re Biblical thinkers, we can have a whole different perspective when a humbling comes. In fact, if we really assimilated what the Scriptures say about it into our belief systems, we wouldn’t wait to be humbled. We’d go right ahead and humble ourselves as fast as we could. Why? Well, for starters…

Luke 1:48 says that God is mindful of the humble state of His servant, so we’re especially full in His mind in our humble condition.

Matthew 11:29 says that Jesus was humble in heart so, with fresh humility, we’re vastly more reflective of the Savior. And, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re doing here.

1 Peter 5:5 says that God opposes the proud but He gives grace to the humble, so, fresh humility not only puts us on the same side of the situation as God (note to self: never a good idea to invite God to oppose you), it also drops open the invisible hatch over our heads till we’re buried alive in grace.

1 Peter 5:6 tells us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and trust that He will exalt us at the proper time. Of course, seeking to humble ourselves so that we’ll be exalted is just pride playing dress-ups but here’s the bright side of the proper vantage point: Sometimes when God humbles us, it’s because He is preparing to exalt His Name through us in some elevated capacity. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)

So, I was just wondering: When was the last time God really humbled you? Second question: Has enough time passed for you to get some insight from Him regarding His purpose for it? If so, let’s hear it. Limit your responses to a good, meaty paragraph so we can read as many of them as possible.

I’ve missed hearing from you! Testify, Girlfriends! You are so loved and appreciated here.

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Living Proof Live – Columbus, Ohio

Living Proof Live – Columbus OH from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

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2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 16!

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**Siesta Celebration is January 20-21, 2012**
Hey, Darling Things!

I’m writing you from about 28,000 feet in the air, glancing out at a sunset heavy with steely thunderheads and striped in army blues. I am on my way home the long way from Columbus, Ohio. After our Living Proof Live ended and we ate lunch at the arena, we all headed to our various vans so we could make our ways to the airport. I hopped in the front seat with Rich because Ron and his darling wife Nancy had already headed home. Several of our other buddies were in the back chattering away when Rich overheard me say to my man on the phone, “Honey, I won’t be late! My fight is at 3:47 and I’ll pick back up an hour so I’ll have a nice long evening with you.” Keith was feeling poorly with a chest cold and laryngitis and I really wanted to get back to him.
(Rich) “Beth, you have a layover.”
“A what?”(Like I don’t know what that word means after nearly 30 years in thin air.)
“A layover in Denver on your way home. I think you get home kind of late.”
“But I had a nonstop flight to Columbus!”
“Well, you don’t have a nonstop flight home.”
And he was right. I hadn’t even looked at my arrival time in Houston. So, this afternoon I flew from Columbus all the way to Denver and now I’m on my Denver flight making my way to Houston. This weekend I’ve lost an hour, picked up two, then given one up again. Try to do that math.

But to say it was worth it is an understatement. We had 7000+ women in Columbus, Ohio who were in the mood to lift up some high volume praise to the God who is worthy. We knew we were going to love them within 15 seconds flat. And they were my favorite kind of group in Bible study, too, because they got involved the way a small class would. Super interactive. God so graced us in Ohio and we will remember the time we had with those believers for a long time. I knew God was up to something good when I looked at the stat sheet that K-Mac prepared for me and noticed that the six biggest groups attending the events were six different denominations. There are no words to express to you what that means to us. To God’s credit alone, that’s becoming more the rule than the exception in this season.

I’ve had a very interesting flying day. If you’re on Twitter, I tweeted that the people watching had been extraordinary. You know, I struggle a tad with eavesdropping as it is but when everyone is sharing very big feelings at a very high volume, what is a woman to do? But stare? And so, I nearly cried while a young 40 something Dad with shoulder length hair hugged his varsity baseball-type looking son goodbye as he took off for college for the first time. Both of them had tears streaming down their cheeks. It was a most moving scene and one that I had to restrain myself from joining. Of course, I don’t know if the young man was going away to college or not. I made that part up because it was the best possible scenario to fit the high EQ. The part about the long-haired dad and the varsity baseball-type son was true, however. And they were both crying. If I wouldn’t have to stop and explain when I’m making something up, my posts would go smoother. But somehow I feel an obligation toward confession.

What is indeed an absolute fact is that there was a little girl about six years old that nearly made people punch the windows out of the plane and parachute to Beulah Land while her mother chatted with a friend. Mind you, a six year-old little girl would have to work hard to push me over the edge. I love that age in the largest way. But I was nearly overwrought with the teeming desire to give that darling child a spank offering. But, of course, I wouldn’t have. Goodness knows, I have a deep commitment to all things politically correct.

Well, guess what day it is? August 15th and you know what that means! Spit out your next Scriptures, young ladies, and do it with some fervor. His words are Spirit and life to us. Let’s give them some respect and expect them to do the kinds of things He promised they would. Here’s mine:

Beth, Houston. “Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober, and set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13 The NET Bible

A loved one and I are memorizing this together as he seeks to take the next step in a victorious life that demands sobriety. For some of us, it’s all or nothing. Jesus is the only reason some of us are not passed out in an alley with a newspaper over us. If you have struggled to stay sober and the enemy is doing everything he can to suck the life out of you and steal everybody you love, one by one, don’t stay in the shadows. Get out in the light. Own up and let some people cheer you onto sobriety and victory. YOUR GOD IS ABLE TO DELIVER YOU. Do what you have to do so that you can do what you want to do. You have a calling to fulfill.

I never want to get where we’re playing church around here. The salvation of Jesus Christ is real and it has huge practical ramifications in everyday life here on this fallen planet. Let’s not just talk it. Let’s do it.

Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober.

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Living Proof Live Columbus, Ohio – Ticket Giveaway!

**UPDATE 8/12/11**  Hey Siestas!  Our 20 scholarship tickets are now gone.  If you are able, tickets can be purchased at the door.  The event will be held at the Ohio State University Value City Arena at Jerome Schottenstein Center.  The doors open tonight around 5:00pm, and the Conference begins at 7:00pm.

 

Hey Siestas!
Who is coming to Columbus, OH this weekend?  Your Siesta Mama is preparing to head that way and can’t wait to see each one of you!

Thanks to the Siesta Scholarship Fund, we are able to offer 20 scholarship tickets for this weekend. We understand times are tough, and these scholarships are for those that want so badly to go, but just cannot afford the ticket.

We will offer them to the first 20 of you who call during regular business hours at Living Proof (8:30-4:30 Central time).  Ask for Kimberly at 1-888-700-1999.  If you call over the lunch hour, or you go straight to voice mail, just leave a message with your phone number and she will get back in touch with you just as soon as possible.

May God sovereignly hand them out just as He sees fit.

KMac

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A Few Fun Things To Show You

Checking In! from LPV on Vimeo.

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2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 15!

weeks
-14
-4
days
0
-6
hours
-1
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minutes
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**Siesta Celebration is January 20-21, 2012**

Hey, Sweet Things!

Finally, August 1st! I’m always so glad to see it come so that it can GO. But it’s not just the end of a long, hot summer for everybody. It’s also the last couple of weeks of summer vacation. Those of you with school-age children will soon find yourself back in carpool lines and going over spelling words. In just a couple of weeks, Jackson will start kindergarten and will catch our whole family by surprise even though we’ve known it was coming for five and a half years. We just cannot fathom it. We have a picture framed in our bedroom that I see everyday with Keith and I cuddling him between us when he was just a few hours old, and we brand-spanking-new grandparents are kissing over his head. Something was reborn in that couple of 25+ years that day. Our interests have always tended to be different and were getting increasingly so, but, that cold February afternoon in Dallas, Texas, we somersaulted right back into one another and tumbled into a well of love with a seven pound man-child.

Keith and I got to have Jackson and Annabeth Friday night while Curtis and Amanda went to dinner and a movie. They’d been gone for 10 days to Wyoming and, even though we’d seen them at a Mexican food restaurant the day they got home, we’d not had them to ourselves yet. We made a date right away. They delight us to no end and cause us to laugh until our sides split. Don’t get the idea there’s no work involved but investments don’t get better than this one. We have real, live conversation over dinner these days and, when you’re grandparents, not a single word gets wasted on you. All of it’s solid gold. Jackson told us at the dinner table Friday night while stuffing a piece of warm French bread into his mouth that butter is his “temptutation.” And, sure enough, it was dripping off of his chin and looked so good that we all shared that same temptutation and gave right on in to it.

We have an empty room in our house right now because we wanted Melissa and Colin to have her bedroom furniture and it’s turned into the perfect playroom. Nothing like an empty room to fire up the imagination. Jackson and I built an obstacle course Friday night that ended with a dizzying spin in my swiveling desk chair. It was so much fun. Amanda and Curtis walked through the door at 10:15 and we were all four still up in the kitchen, Paw Paw popping popcorn on the stove. It’s so good to have the Jones’s home. Melissa and Colin have been out of town for a week, too, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on them. They’re flying home from California this very moment. Most of the time they were out of cell phone range so we’ll have plenty to catch up on.

On to the business at hand! Our year is flying by! It’s time to check in with our fifteenth verses for our Siesta Scripture Memory Team. For some reason I’ve seen the word “gentleness” turn up a number of times in my Scripture reading lately so I’ve decided to choose a memory verse that makes especially important use of it. Here goes:

Beth, Houston. “Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too.” Galatians 6:1 The NET Bible

Restoration is one of the most powerful, intentional works of the Cross of Christ. Let’s never refuse anyone his or her right to be restored. Here’s to a little gentleness in a harsh world. Everyone could use some.

Stay in the Word, Siestas! You are so loved here!

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