DON’T LET COMPLAINING BE YOUR DEFAULT MODE

Stop Complaining with Light by Stuart Miles

We all know that life is not perfect, and when things don’t go our way and we encounter a hardship of some kind, it’s so natural to complain about it. In fact, complaining is the default mode for mankind. However, God is not pleased when we go into “default mode” and cater to our flesh through complaining about the circumstances in which we find ourselves. God sent His Holy Spirit so that we can have the power to refrain from complaining and refuse to give voice to the flesh. Therefore, if we want to give voice to the Spirit, we will express GRATITUDE.

In Numbers 11:1 we read the account of the Israelites complaining about what the Lord had provided for them:

And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

There are a few lessons we can take away from this passage:

  1. When we complain, the Lord HEARS us. “…The Lord heard it.” Isaiah 59:1 says, “The Lord’s ear is not heavy that He cannot hear.” God has good hearing. In fact, His hearing is so good He can hear complaining thoughts. Thoughts and spoken words are one and the same to God. He hears even if no one else does. For example, when your parent heard you grumble under your breath in disrespect, they would ask, “What did you say!?” You would quickly respond, “Nothing!” and it was over. You can’t do that with God. He hears everything.
  2. God gets angry when we complain. “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord.” How do you feel when people complain about what you have provided for them? When you have given your best, and they are still not satisfied, doesn’t indignation set in? When they fail to appreciate what you have done, anger is the natural response. Therefore, we need to empathize with God more. Put yourself in His place when you are tempted to complain.
  3. There are consequences to complaining. “The fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.” Fire was a physical manifestation of God’s anger. God set that wildfire that swept through the camp. When you complain you open the door for the forces of Hell to set your life on fire. Complaining is a glorification of the enemy and what he is doing. Therefore, refuse to complain and engage in “devil worship.”

So you see, Child of God, when you want to complain, the Lord wants you to remember to submit praise and thanksgiving instead. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Conversely, the devil would say, “In everything complain: for this is the will of the enemy concerning you.” The consequences of following the lead of the enemy can be devastating.

God is always listening. He never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121:4). He feels unappreciated when you complain, especially when He always has your best interests at heart. Furthermore, complaining attracts the enemy to your life and sets you up for destruction. Therefore, if you want to repel the devil and attract the presence of God (Psalm 22:3), try praise and thanksgiving as your alternative. If you make them your “default mode,” when things go south, you can expect the situation to turn around much more quickly. As Joyce Meyer once said, “You can complain and remain, or praise and be raised.”

 

What has God taught you about complaining? What are your thoughts?  Please leave a comment below. 

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

TOTAL DEPENDENCE ON GOD EQUALS FREEDOM FROM WORRY

Yellow Flowers in a Field

Jesus used the example of wildflowers to teach His disciples not to worry about provision. He said in Matthew 6:28-30, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Apparently, God wants us to trust Him for everything we need.

Even Flowers Need God

Do you realize that wildflowers are totally dependent on our heavenly Father? They can’t do anything but wait for Him to send them what they need to make food for themselves through the photosynthesis process that takes place in their leaves. They are anchored into the ground. They can’t go and get food. They have to stand right there and allow the Lord to produce the necessary conditions.

For example, God has to send the rain at the right time to water the soil. He has to make sure that there is an adequate amount of sunshine. Father has to put the right nutrients in the soil needed to nourish them. Finally, He has to empower them to grow a root system that will allow the water and nutrients to be taken up and used to produce food within them. They are TOTALLY dependent on God.  Without God’s orchestration of the whole process, the flower will die!

God Desires the Abandonment of Self-Sufficiency

God wants you to be like a wildflower, and recognize your total dependence on Him.  He wants you to stop your attempts to be self-sufficient and look to him for all that you need.  If you are going through a trying time right now, perhaps God is taking you through a process that is designed to eliminate your tendency to attempt to provide for yourself. Maybe He is trying to strip you of a self-sufficient attitude. He longs to hear you to say, “God, I’m no better than a wildflower; I can’t do it myself. I NEED YOU.”

You Can Experience Freedom from Worry

Therefore, if you want peace or freedom from worry, purpose in your heart to be a “Son” flower and renounce self-sufficiency today. Declare unto God, “Lord, I am totally dependent on You for provision.” As Dr. Bill Winston stated, “God never meant for you to bear the weight of your own provision.” Thus, there is no need to keep trying to make your own way. Your job is to only do what the Holy Spirit directs you to do, then look unto the hills from whence cometh your help (Psalm 121:1), recognizing that your heavenly Father will make sure you have all that you need.

KEEPING KIDS IN THE KINGDOM

Father-Son by Anissa Thompson

Father’s day is upon us once again. Happy Father’s Day to all of you dad’s out there! If you know a good dad who has been a blessing to his children, make sure you show him some love this weekend. Dads are so important to their kids’ spiritual development, and they can definitely make the difference in whether children stay on a spiritual path or stray off the beaten path.

I recently went to a church function where the question was asked in an open forum, “Why do many young people grow up in a Christian home, leave the nest, and fall away from the faith?” It is true that plenty of kids raised in homes with Christian parents leave home and want nothing to do with God. But sometimes you can be the most loving, Christlike parent in the world, and your kid will still go AWOL when it comes to Christianity. Look at God, for example. He was the perfect parent and Adam and Eve still messed up.

At the forum, I was able to listen to the opinions of other brothers and sisters in Christ who have children. After pondering on what I heard and boiling down the information, I came to the conclusion that there are three things that parents must do if they want to keep their kids on the straight and narrow:

  1. Teach them how to apply the Word of God to everyday life. When youngsters are taught to apply the Word to everyday situations they face, they will see results. The Word of God will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). When they see that the Word works in their lives and the lives of their parents, kids will get the sense that God is real and will continue to grow in their faith. They will continue to serve Him and apply the Word to their lives even after they leave home and beyond.
  2. Represent God accurately through effective parenting. Parents are the physical representation of God in a child’s life. God the Father must be portrayed as the loving, merciful, non-judgmental friend and mentor that He is. In homes where judgement, condemnation, and conditional love abound, kids get an inaccurate view of Who God is. When God is not represented properly, there is no emotional intimacy in the relationship between children and parents, and that’s the root of rebellion. In fact, Josh McDowell said it best: “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.”
  3. Encourage them to develop a relationship with Christ. When children are taught that Christianity is about “joining the church,” getting baptized, keeping rules, singing in the Choir, and participating in Sunday School programs and the youth group instead of building a relationship with Jesus, when they leave home, they will be more likely to abandon their faith. Young people need to know how to have an effective quiet time with God each day where they pray, wait on the Lord, and read and meditate on the Word. They need to be taught Who the Holy Spirit is and how to hear and obey His voice. Thus, when kids have built a relationship with Jesus, when they leave home, as the scriptures say, they will be trained up in the way they should go, and when they are old they won’t depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

In summary, once children leave the home, they are subject to hearing many worldly trains of thought and ideas that are contrary to the Word of God. That is why they must be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Young people must be firmly rooted and grounded in the Word of God, having read it, applied it to their own lives and experienced its power at work. They must encounter accurate models of God in their homes or have godly mentors outside the home who will draw them to the heavenly Father. Finally, they must have a relationship with Jesus and know Him as Savior and Friend. When children are encouraged to develop spiritual disciplines, as opposed to blindly following rules and regulations with no emphasis placed on the development of a loving relationship, they will be more likely to stay connected to the Vine, Jesus Christ, and bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God.

What are your thoughts about why kids leave a Christian home and abandon their faith? Please leave a comment below. 

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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Photo courtesy of Patrisyu via Freedigitalphotos.net

BELIEVE YOU HAVE RECEIVED!

Hand receivin house

Are you in a faith battle today? Have you been waiting on God, trusting Him to do something for a long time, and what you desire has not yet manifested? I want to encourage you today. Mark 11:23-24 says, “Have faith in God. If you say to this mountain be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea and believe in your heart and do not doubt, you will have what you say. Verily, I say unto you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and ye shall have it.”

Today, let’s focus on the phrase, “Believe you have received it and ye shall have it.” Have you ever wondered why Jesus used two tenses in that sentence? He said, “You have received” and “ye shall have.” I have often thought, “How can I receive something now (present tense), AND receive it later (future tense)?” In my finite mind, that seems contradictory at best, but in Jesus’ mind it makes perfect sense because He knows if He promises you something, it’s as good as done.

BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED

Did your earthly parents ever promise to buy you a gift you wanted for your Birthday? If they said yes, it was as good as yours, right? All you had to do was to wait for your birthday to arrive. You had no doubt that you would eventually have your heart’s desire in your hot little hands. In the same way, when you ask God for something that He has promised in His Word, you must believe you have received it, meaning that the request is granted, and the answer is “yes, and amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20)! For example, in the ninth chapter of Daniel, when the Prophet prayed for the nation of Israel, the angel, Gabriel, came to visit him and said, “At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued” (v. 23). This means that although his prayer was not answered right away, God immediately set things in motion that would allow him to receive what he asked of God. In other words, the request was granted WHEN the prophet prayed.

EXPERIENCE THE JOY AND PEACE OF GOD

Child of God, do you believe that your prayer request is answered in the affirmative WHEN you pray? If you truly believe God’s answer is “yes,” you will experience joy and peace as a result. The Bible says in Romans 15:13, “Joy and peace are found in believing.” Your belief that what you ask for is yours will cause you to have a joyful anticipation in your heart about what is to come. Therefore, believe your prayer request has been granted. Your faith in that reality will enable you to patiently wait on the Lord’s timing with a confident and joyful expectation that what you desire is surely on the way. Therefore, even in the face of delay, do not lose hope. Focus on the fact that what you hope for will be in your possession in due time because your Daddy made you a promise.

 

What are you believing God for, and how do you keep hope alive when the going gets tough? Please leave a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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SHOULD YOU PRAY ONCE, OR KEEP ASKING?

Praying hands and a bible

Have you asked God for something in prayer? Have you bombarded heaven with the same prayer request over and over again in attempt to get a breakthrough? I know that in times past, I have tried to pattern myself after the woman in the Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8. In this parable Jesus tells the story of a widow woman who was being mistreated. She sought legal protection from a local judge who was known to be unrighteous. I had always been taught that the lesson that we should learn from this passage is that we should pray about a particular issue that we are facing, keep bombarding heaven about it until God “gives up” and finally gives us what we want. But I asked the question of God, as many of you may have, if I have faith, should I pray once, or keep asking?  What does the Word of God have to say about the subject?

The Purpose of the Parable of the Persistent Widow

First, when you look at verse 1 in chapter 18 of the book of Luke, it reads:Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Jesus tells us right up front the purpose of this parable was to encourage them to pray continuously and be persistent in prayer. The verse does not say that Jesus meant for them to pray about the same thing over and over. However, the Apostle Paul did communicate in I Thessalonians 5:17 Jesus’ intent: “Pray without ceasing.”

The Differences Between God and the Unjust Judge
Second, we should not conclude that God wants us to keep praying about the same thing over and over because God is NOT comparing Himself to the judge in the story. In fact He is provides a stark contrast when He says in verses 7-8, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him… I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.” Thus, the Lord is different from the unjust judge in the following ways:

  • God has integrity and character. He cannot be comparing Himself to this judge because He is absolutely nothing like him. God is not unjust. On the contrary He is totally righteous. Therefore, we should not assume that God meant for us to interpret this story, follow the widow woman’s example, and approach him about the same issue over and over.
  • God wants to help you.  In the beginning, the judge in the story was unwilling to help the widow. Our Father is never unwilling to come to our rescue. In fact, He says in Psalms 46:1 that “He is an ever-present help in the time of trouble.” In Jeremiah 33:3 He says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” So when you approach the throne of God, do so with the knowledge that He is ready and willing to help, provide for, protect and defend you when necessary.
  • God is in covenant with you. In that passage, obviously Jesus had not died because He was the one telling the story. Therefore, since He has paid for your sins by dying on the cross, and if you have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, God is in covenant with you. That means that He has obligated himself to come to your rescue when you need help. So He cannot and does not have the same attitude toward you as exemplified by the unjust judge in this passage.

The Application for Believers

So what are the lessons that can be taken from passage?  What should you do?

  • Stay in constant contact with God. He says to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17), but that does not mean for you to pray repetitive prayers. Just stay in constant contact with Him, and He will surely show favor unto you, His beloved child.
  • Ask for what you want one time. Jesus said in Mark 11:24, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” My question is if you believe that you have received what you have asked for, then why would you ask for it again?
  • Be persistent in faith no matter what. Luke 18:7 (KJV) says, And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” That phrase “bear long” means you may have to wait for a time. But in the very next verse, Jesus said, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” That means that He expects you to be willing to stay in faith until He comes back to get you at the rapture if necessary.

To summarize, when you pray, believe that your request has been granted. Don’t continue to ask God for the same thing. It’s already done, so thank Him for it every chance you get. Don’t pray the same prayer over and over because that’s an indication that your faith is failing.  All that is necessary is that you ask in faith once, and continue to expect an answer until you get your breakthrough. God will answer your prayer as He promised in His good time.

What has been your experience with persistence in prayer? Please leave a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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A SNAPSHOT OF FAITH

Photographer Gary Tamin

During my quiet time, I recently meditated on Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The phrase “the evidence of things not seen” jumped of the page that day. I began to think about how photographs are evidence of things that actually do exist. For instance, when I see a picture of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, even though I have never been to Paris to see it with my own eyes, I know that it exists. Faith is like a snapshot or photograph in your heart which is evidence that what you desire exists somewhere. If you can formulate an image of yourself actually having what you desire and feel the emotions as if you actually have it, that IS the evidence that it exists somewhere. Where does it exists? In the Spirit realm, where God dwells.

You see, since He says He declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), this is an indication that past, present and future exists simultaneously in the spirit realm. Another way to say this is from His perspective, He is experiencing past, presence, and future all at once. He can do that because He is omniscient, He knows everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen. In His world, what we desire is indeed already done. The healing is complete. The marriage is restored. The prodigal son has come home. The stronghold of drug addiction is broken. The anxiety and panic attacks are a thing of the past. So if we can get a picture in our heart and mind of what His Word already says is true to the extent that we can see it and feel as if it’s already done, that is the evidence that what He has promised does exist in the realm where He dwells.

The question is how do we get that snapshot to formulate in our heart? Back in the day, the formulation of a picture was a process that took place in a dark room with photography paper immersed in a solution. Similarly, the development of your snapshot of faith is also a process, and in order for you to formulate a picture in your heart, you must do the following:

  1. Read the Word. You must read the Word so you can find out what God’s will actually is and what He says you can have according to the covenant spelled out in the Bible. He says if you ask anything according to his will, He hears you, and if He hears you, you know that you have the petitions that you ask of Him (I John 5:14). The snapshot of faith cannot be developed apart from the known will of God.
  2. Speak the Word. Speaking the Word out loud is imperative because the Bible says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17) As you speak the Word, it goes into your own ears and drops down into your heart. Your Faith picture is being developed, and that image is becoming sharper and clearer.
  3. Make a declaration. You must declare what you want to happen. Job 22:28 says, “You shall decree a thing and it shall be established unto you, and light shall shine upon your ways.” Speak what you want to happen, and prophesy to your own future.  The Apostle Paul said, “I believed, and therefore have I spoken” (II Corinthians 4:13).
  4. Take action. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26). If you believe, then you must act as if you believe. Start to make preparation for the blessing that is on the way. When you really believe in your heart that your request is granted, you will not sit idly by, but will do what is necessary so that when the blessing shows up, you are ready to receive it.
  5. Embrace trials. Allow God to use the “dark room” of difficult experiences in your life to build your ability to trust and believe that He is true to His word. That means the “snapshot of faith” will sometimes be formulated as you walk through “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23).
  6. Rehearse past victories. Meditate on what God has done and how He has answered your prayers in the past. Has He healed your body? Has he provided what you needed just in time? Has He helped you to mend a difficult relationship when you thought there was no hope? When you revisit these experiences of how faithful God really is, that will build your faith and help you to formulate the “snapshot” of what you want in your heart.

Once the picture in your heart is formulated, just like the picture of the Eiffel Tower, THAT is the evidence that what you want and need exists, even though you can’t perceive it with your senses right now. When you can see in your heart the image of you possessing what you have asked God for, you’ll feel the emotions as if you already have it. That’s the time to praise Him like you have lost your mind! Why? Because in God’s timing, He will cause your blessing which exists in the spirit to show up in the natural.

What are you believing God for? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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Image courtesy of Gary Tamin via http://www.freeimages.com

FATHER, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT

Jesus on the cross

One of the seven lasts sayings of Christ as He died on the cross is found in Luke 23:46, and reads, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” When I read this verse, the first thing that came to my mind is how much Jesus trusted His Father. Jesus had to have trusted God because you don’t commit things to people you don’t trust.  The word commit means to place in safekeeping. That signifies you have a certain level of confidence in that person, and you are entrusting into their care that which is important and sacred to you.

The reason Jesus could trust in God is because He had an intimate knowledge of Him. He called Him “Father,” and that signifies there was a high level of intimacy between them. The Apostle Paul says in II Timothy 1:12 , “For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” Because Paul had intimate knowledge of God, he was fully persuaded about God’s ability to keep whatever he placed in His care, and he also trusted him.

Likewise, you will only commit yourself and your affairs to God if you know Him. To know Him is to love Him. But to know Him, also is to trust Him. And the best way to know Him is to spend time with Him every day. It’s imperative that you get that time of fellowship with God daily in prayer and feeding on the Word to build your trust in the Lord.

We need to trust God to the degree that Jesus did. We need to entrust our “spirit” our entire being, our lives, everything that we are into His safe keeping in good times and in bad. While hanging on the cross, Jesus was experiencing the darkest moment of His entire life. When we face dark moments, tragedy, things we don’t understand, when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we definitely need to trust God.  That is the time to say, “Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.”

A refusal to trust God and commit your way unto Him is a proverbial “chink in your armor.” It’s an inroad that Satan will use to destroy your faith through deception, fear, worry, and overwhelm. To avoid this, you must do what the Bible says in Psalm 37:5 , “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Committing your way to the Lord is another way of saying “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” or “Lord, I trust You.” How do you commit your way to the Lord?

  • Present your plans to him tentatively,
  • Pray and ask for His guidance and direction about what you should do.
  • Don’t move until you hear from Him.
  • Follow God’s instructions to the letter when you do hear from him.
  • Do your part, but trust Him with the outcome.

We need to follow Jesus’ example and fully commit ourselves to God. In other words, we need to be willing to relinquish our self-sufficiency be willing to be totally dependent on Him. The pride that comes with self-sufficiency must be annihilated because Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Therefore, you must expect God to take you through a process where His purpose is to strip you of a “spirit of independence.” He wants you to say, “Father into Your hands I commit my Spirit. Everything that I am, my life, my affairs, I commit it all to you.” That statement says to God, “I am dying to self, and I am letting You call the shots in my life, and I am leaving the outcome up to You.” That is how we pick up our cross, follow Christ, and allow our flesh to be crucified. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it in the end. Therefore, I charge you to follow Jesus’ example and tell the Lord, “Father, into Your hands, I commit My spirit.”

What has God taught you about committing your spirit into His hands? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

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Image courtesy of Junior Gomes via freeimages.com