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Do you ever feel like this?

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An Acceptable Diet
We live in one of the most diet-conscious societies that has ever existed. Some of them are more realistic than others. Here's one that has been called The Stress Diet.

Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, 1 slice wholewheat toast, 8 oz. skim milk.

Lunch: 4 oz. lean boiled chicken breast, 1 cup steamed zucchini, 1 Oreo cookie, herb tea.

Mid-Afternoon Snack: rest of the package of Oreos, 1 quart Rocky Road ice cream, 1 jar hot fudge.

Dinner: 2 loaves garlic bread, large cheese and mushroom pizza, large pitcher of pepsi, 3 Milky Way candy bars, entire Sara Lee cheesecake eaten directly from the refrigerator.

And here are some helpful diet tips that go with the regimen:
1. If no one sees you eat it, it has no calories.
2. If you drink a sugar-free can of pop along with a candy bar, they cancel each other out.
3. When eating with someone else, calories don't count if you both eat the same amount.
4. Food used for medicinal purposes NEVER counts, such as hot chocolate, brandy, toast, and Sara Lee cheesecake.
5. If you fatten up everyone else around you, you look thinner.
6. Movie-related foods don't count because they are simply part of the entire entertainment experience and not a part of one's personal fuel, such as Milk Duds, popcorn with butter, and candy-coated almonds.
Enjoy your diet!

 

Christian Bumper Stickers
Soft answers turn away wrath.
If you're living your life like there is no God, you'd better be right.
Jesus,don't leave home with Him!
My boss is a Jewish carpenter.
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Are the rules you live by God's commands or man created?
"Read The Bible...It will scare the hell out of you!"
Say YES to Jesus and saying NO to drugs will be easy.
Every time the devil reminds you of your past...remind him of his future.
"If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again."

 

What Would Jesus Do?
WWJD? What do those four letters mean to you? You see them on wristbands and T-shirts, and you wonder, is that just another gimmick to sell wristbands and T-shirts? Or is there something to it?

WWJD? Stand for "What Would Jesus Do?" And it just may be the most powerful question you will ever answer. It's a simple question, really, but the implications are profound- and potentially life-changing.

On the most basic level, WWJD? can be a guide for making decisions with moral implications. Obviously, you don't need to ask yourself, "What Would Jesus Do?" if you can't decide what to wear in the morning. But let's say you're faced with the choice between telling a lie or being truthful. When you compare your initial answer to how you think Jesus would respond, you'll either know you're doing the right thing, or you'll have a guide for change. Jesus is the perfect example because Jesus lived a perfect life. He experienced all of the pressures, temptations, and anxieties that we have, but He never did wrong.

This brings us to a deeper level of WWJD? questions. Even though Jesus is a perfect moral example for us, it isn't enough. Because none of us is perfect. None of us can do what Jesus did all the time, in every detail of our lives. We need help. More than that, we need forgiveness when we sin, which is failing to live up to God's standard of perfection. But who will help us?

In a word, Jesus. You see, even though Jesus did many things to show us how to live, He did something we could never do. He sacrificed His own life for our sins so that when we accept Jesus by faith, we satisfy God, who then gives us eternal life.

Doing what Jesus did in all situations will make you a better person here on earth. Accepting what Jesus did on the cross will secure your eternal future. Why not do both? The decision is yours.

 
I recently wrote to a young lady visiting our website. And as I was writing, God put it in my heart that others might be able to use this message also, and so I'll share it with you:

I spent 30 years of my life without God. It wasn't a very good life, as a matter of fact it was filled with a great deal of heartache, stress, physical pain, life changing mistakes and a great deal of unhappiness. Looking back, I wish I would have had Jesus to turn to. In this crazy world we spend so much time making the wrong decisions, and searching for love, peace and contentment.

When God created us he left a space in us that only He can fill. Many people try to fill that space with material things, success, wealth, accomplishments, friends and love ones. But it doesn't work! So they constantly are searching for something new to make them happy and content. Little do they know, it is there all the time- Jesus. Oh, He keeps calling, but they won't listen. And so, they go through life longing for something they never receive. You see, man has taken on such a strong "I can do it, I can get it, I don't need anyone's help attitude that God has no place in their lives. Usually the people who are totally down and out, have tried every thing they know of, and have no other place to turn to, are the ones who will accept God the easiest. After all, they have nothing to lose. How horribly sad. Why can't we recognize, even when we have everything money can buy, and success, and great friends and family, that we need God.

I don't know why God kept calling me to Him. It was certainly nothing I did or deserved. I guess He just loved me. Our God is a living God! He is not just an observer. He wants to be part of our lives; He wants to help us through this worldly life. God, however, will not force Himself on us. We have free will and unless we ask Him for help He will not interfere. You might be saying, "You mean he lets us make bad decisions?" Absolutely! Unless we keep seeking His will, our will prevails.

I still go through trials and tribulations, but God is there helping me through. Since I accepted Jesus in my life, I have the peace that he promises and the joy that is incomparable to anything the world has to offer. I know that our life on earth is just a puff. It is very short and insignificant compared to the perfect eternal life we will have with God. This is what I, and anyone who accepts Jesus, have to look forward to. No more sickness, heartache, hate, or struggling- just perfect peace, joy and contentment forever.

If you have a friend or relative that hasn't accepted Jesus, do them the biggest favor of their life and let them know that He loves them and wants them to repent and turn to Him as their Lord and Savior.

 

A Great Rabbit Story

It was a nice Sunday morning after church in Ramona. My brother and I were playing separately in the back yard. There was a frantic thrashing of bushes that grabbed the attention of us both. Out bounded our dog "Matt," ferociously shaking a black and white lop-eared rabbit.

Matt could not have cared less, but my brother and I knew the rabbit belonged to Mrs. Clausen, the widow next door. There was nothing to do but tell Dad. We knew he had little talent for mending fences, fixing screen doors, or changing spark plugs, but faith and history had taught us that he never encountered a problem that he wasn't up to.

"Everything is simple, don't panic, don't get excited. Take a second look at situations!" he used to say. He never knew disappointment, never experienced despair, and never acknowledged failure (according to the world's interpretation).

We took our rabbit problem to Dad. He studied it in his usual unconcerned manner and told us not to worry. "Just hose the little fellow off real well so he looks nice and clean. Brush him down with this towel, and stick him back in the cage. Mrs. Clausen is still at church. When she comes home and discovers her rabbit, she'll be a little upset but she'll figure he just died a natural death. Oh yes, be sure and tie up the dog."

We did exactly as we were told and then hid in the bushes to get a good vantage point to observe the widow when she noticed her rabbit. Sure enough, just as Dad had promised we saw her come out the back door and head for the rabbit cages. All of a sudden we heard the worst screaming you can imagine. Mrs. Clausen went on and on hollering, shrieking, crying, yelling, and asking God all kinds of questions.

My mom and dad came running out of the house and into her back yard, pleading with her to stop and tell them what had gone wrong. They finally got her to calm down a little and again asked her to explain what had happened, In between sniffs and sobs she finally got it out, "I buried that rabbit three days ago!"

To Fix The World

One day when a father came home, he sat down to relax and read the paper. His son had other ideas. The playful boy continually pestered his father. The frustrated father tired of his son's nagging and took a page of the paper with a picture of the world and tore it into pieces. "Son, go into the other room and put the world back together." Moments later the boy returned. He had taped the world back together. The surprised father asked, "How did you do that so quickly?" "It was easy," said the boy. "You see, on the other side of the world was a picture of a man, and as soon as I got the man straightened out, the world was OK too!"

Perhaps the way to fix our broken world, a world that has been shattered into a million pieces by the deadly hammer of sin, is to put the broken man back together first.


 
Omniproblem

A young boy was accompanying his mother to church. They stopped for a quick sandwich along the way. The child ran out of time before he ran out of sandwich. His mother insisted that they had to leave or they would be late. He stuck the sandwich in his pocket to be finished later.

That evening the preacher spoke about the ability of God to be present in all places at each and every given moment. The boy bowed his head during the sermon and prayed, "God, if you are in my pocket, please don't eat my sandwich!"

 

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When we come to the end of ourselves, it is the beginning of Himself. "If God be for us, who can be against us." Thanks, Lord, that it is not our strength but Yours that sees us through and over.

 

The Simple Life

Do you long for the simple Life? Many people do. It seems as if we're all too busy, have too much stuff, and owe too many bills (mainly because we have too much stuff). If you've ever said to yourself, "Stop the world, I want to get off," then you're probably a good candidate for simplicity.

But what does that mean? You may hear the word simplicity and right away think of self-imposed poverty or lowered ambitions. You may think of the simple life as an empty, boring existence. Think Again.

Simplicity doesn't take away from your life. A simpler lifestyle may actually add quality and contentment to your life. When it comes to life, simplicity doesn't mean poverty. Quite the opposite, when you identify those things and those people who are really important to you, your life takes on more meaning because you pro-actively choose to do those things that will increase the quality of your life. The end result is that your life is richer, not poorer.

For most of us, our problem isn't that we need more. What we need is better. Do you have things you no longer use or wear because they no longer add value to your life? Get rid of them (give them to people who don't have stuff). Is your schedule so overloaded that you don't have time for those people and those activities that add to your life rather than taking away from it? Learn how to say "no." Learn to prioritize.

While you're giving stuff away and learning to say no, keep this profound thought in mind: The reason our lives are so complicated is that we're too self-centered. Richard Foster writes that "simplicity means moving away from total absorption in ourselves...to being centered in...God."

God isn't the one who leads you to a more complicated life (and more stress). You get there quite well all by yourself. God wants you to give the small stuff and the stress of your life over to Him. When you trust God and let Him take the lead in your life, you will find that your life will be more peaceful and more productive. You will naturally want to clear out the clutter to make more room for God.

Thomas Kelly wrote that our deepest need "is not food and clothing and shelter, important as they are. It is God."


 

Pearls of Wisdom

*Appreciate simplicity.
*Learn to have a good time without spending a lot of money.
*Satisfaction begins when comparison stops.
*Your needs will always outweigh your energy.
*While the poor dream of having riches, the wealthy long for simplicity.
*Anything can last more than one year.
*Don't throw money at problems.
*If you can't afford it, you don't need it.
*Never let your yearnings exceed your earnings.
*Be as satisfied with what you don't have as with what you have.
*Your wealth is measured by the lack of your wants.
*Never buy something for the purpose of impressing others.
*Being deprived of something you desire is better than having something you despise.
*If you can't live without it, go home and sleep on it.
*Make it a lifelong goal to remove clutter.
*What you are bears little resemblance to what you have.

 

When God Made Moms

By the time the Lord made mothers, He was into his sixth day of working overtime. An Angel appeared and said, "Why are you spending so much time on this one?"

And the Lord answered and said, "Have you seen the spec sheet on her?" "She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 200 moveable parts, all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that can hold three children at one time and that disappears when she stands up, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart, and have six pairs of hands."

The Angel was astounded at the requirements for this one. "Six pairs of hands! No way! said the Angel. The Lord replied, "Oh, it's not the hands that are the problem. It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers must have!" "And that's just the standard model?" the Angel asked. The Lord nodded in agreement, "Yep, one pair of eyes are to see through the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though she already knows. Another pair in the back of her head are to see what she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair are here in front of her head. They are for looking at an errant child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even saying a word."

The angel tried to stop the Lord. "This is too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish." "But, I can't!" the Lord protested. "I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick and can feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger and can get a nine year old to stand in the shower."

The Angel moved closer and touched the woman. "But, you have made her so soft, Lord." "She is soft", the Lord agreed, "but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish." "Will she be able to think?" asked the Angel. The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason, and negotiate."

The angel then noticed something and reached out and touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like you have a leak with this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one." "That's not a leak," the Lord objected. "That's a tear!" "What's the tear for?" the Angel asked.

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her disappointment, her pain, her loneliness, her grief, and her pride."

The Angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything- for WOMEN are truly amazing!"

By Erma Bombeck

 

 
Greatest Pitcher

A boy, playing baseball alone, was heard to say, "I'm the greatest hitter in the world." He tossed the ball into the air, swung and missed. "Strike one!" Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, "I'm the greatest baseball hitter in the world," and he swung at the ball again. And again he missed. "Strike two!" He paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. Then a third time he threw the ball into the air. "I'm the greatest hitter who ever lived," he said. He swung the bat hard again, missed a third time. He cried out, "Wow! Strike three- what a pitcher! I'm the greatest pitcher in the world!"

We all need that kind of attitude, don't we. We are all great in God's eyes; we just have to know what it is He wants us to do and be able to change to be in His purpose, not ours.

 
Letter From Grandma

Got a letter from Grandma the other day. She writes...

The other day I went up to a local Christian bookstore and saw a "Honk If You Love Jesus" bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting; so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

Boy, I'm glad I did! What an uplifting experience that followed!

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection just lost in thought about the Lord and how good He is...and I didn't notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed!

I found that LOTS of people love Jesus! Why, while I was sitting there, the guy behind me started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, "For the love of God! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, Go!"

What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!

There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a "sunny beach"...

I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. When I asked my teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant, he said that it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I've never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My grandson burst out laughing... why even he was enjoying this religious experience!

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed, So, I waved to all my sisters and brothers, grinning, and drove through the intersection.

I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared; so I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away.

Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!

Christian Bumper Stickers

Give God what's right..., not what's left.

If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns.

Jesus is right for whatever is wrong in your life.

Fragrance

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

Encouraging Words

"Could I speak to the manager?" My friend's sudden query to our waitress startled me. Our dinner at a popular pizza restaurant had seemed uneventful , and I wondered what Eileen was up to.

The manager appeared at our table a few minutes later. "What can I do for you?" she asked hesitantly, as if she were expecting yet another reprimand from an angry customer.

"I just wanted you to know that our waitress tonight has really been exceptional," Eileen began. Then she described several things our server had done that impressed her.

The manager was obviously relieved- and delighted. So was the waitress, who was standing nearby. The four of us laughed and chatted for a few minutes. Eileen had made the day of two hard-working women...and left an indelible impression on me of the power of positive words.

When we think about our words, it's easy to focus on the ones we'd like to retrieve. Fortunately, however, there are certain phrases that are almost always the right thing to say- words that communicate love and encouragement. Here are just a few:

"You do that really well."
"How are you, really?"
"What you said, helped me."
"I was wrong."
"I appreciate the way you __________."
"What can I do to help?"
"Tell me about your day, job, kids....."
"Please forgive me."
"I still love you."
"I'm proud of you."
"I missed you."
"I'm so happy for you."
"That must be very difficult."
"I'll be glad to!"

In short, if there are words you'd like to hear, it's a good bet they would encourage others, too.

 
Pearls of Wisdom

*Enjoy happiness; treasure joy.
*The best time to relax is when you're too busy.
*Beware the barrenness of a busy life.
*Cherish tranquility.
*Learn to relax without feeling guilty.
*Live somewhere between complacency and crisis.

Contentment

Like so many words, we've lost the meaning of contentment. We've somehow come up with the notion that contentment is the opposite of success. We believe contentment is attainable only if we stop striving, and who wants to do that? We're afraid that if we stand still for a moment, the world is going to pass us by, so we make up our minds that we'll be contented someday, perhaps when we retire.

If you're an average person trying to get ahead in the world, contentment is probably the last thing you're striving for,yet there's a good chance that you long for it. Why? Because at its core, contentment is peace of mind. contentment is happiness. The person who is content has little or no stress.

Yet we forge ahead like a soldier going into battle. We dive headlong into society's raging river and get caught up in a cycle of overspending, over-committing, and over-working. And all for what? Happiness. Peace of mine. Satisfaction. But we're only kidding ourselves. Striving, consuming, and accumulating will never bring happiness. What they bring is anxiety, worry, unhappiness and- in the long run- ineffectiveness.

 Even as you read this, let your mind slow down and reflect on some qualities of true contentment. First of all, being content doesn't mean being lazy. Discontentment affects the rich and poor alike. What they have in common is that they both want more stuff.

Second, don't equate contentment with being lowly or meek. There is tremendous power in contentment, because when you are content with what you have, you are free. You are free from pretense, free from concern over having it all now, (and in most cases) free from stress.

Third, it's not only possible but desirable to be both content and ambitious. If your ambitions come from a desire to serve God, to help others, and to improve yourself so you will have a greater impact in your world, the the fulfillment of your ambitions will bring you much happiness and contentment.

Kid's Concerns

Here are some letters kids wrote to their ministers:

Dear Minister: I know that God loves everybody, but he never met my sister.

Dear Minister: I like to read the Bible, but I would read it more if they put it on TV.

Dear Minister: I would like to go to heaven someday because I know my big brother won't be there.

 

The Devil Made Me Do It!

I had been hounding Nick, my 5 year old son, to clean his room all day. Finally, he came out to me and said he was having a battle between God and the devil. He said, "God wants me to clean my room and the devil tells me not to. What should I do?" I told him, "That's simple. God wants you to do what is good and the devil wants you to do what is bad. If you do good things, good things will happen to you; if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you." So he thought and said, "Well my room is a mess because the devil made me do it." You can imagine all the explaining I had to do because if I let him get away with that excuse once, the devil would be the only trouble maker in this house. Kids come up with the cleverest excuses. Wow, I wish I would have thought of that when I was a kid. Blame it on the devil. Out of the mouth of babes!


FAITH IS...

Remembering I am God's priceless treasure when I feel utterly worthless.

Hope

There are no hopeless situations in life...
only men who have grown hopeless about them.

Give Him Some Time

If there's one thing we need in the midst of our busy, loud, and nervous lives, it's the inner peace and quiet and assurance that only God can give. It's the only way to see God's purposes for us, let alone keep our sanity.

The thing is, God doesn't yell out and say,"hey, you're neglecting me. Sit still for a moment so you can hear me." Oh, He is fully capable of getting our attention when we really need it, but you don't want to make a habit of giving God a reason to chase you down (and He will).

Rather then waiting for God to whack you over the head with a spiritual two-by-four, wouldn't it be far better to Give God some time each day to quietly speak to you? Actually, this is God's preference. "Be silent, and know that I am God." He says (Psalm 46:10). Being still may be the hardest thing you will ever do, but it may be the most important. Look at it this way. When you give God time, you show Him respect. In effect you're saying, "God, You're important enough to me to set aside some time each day. I want You to teach me, and I want to learn."

Will God talk to you if you let Him? Most definitely. Not in an audible voice, but through your thoughts and emotions. God also talks through His Word, the Bible. Remember, the Bible is God's voice for us. The only way to hear it is to read it.

The doorway to letting God into the details of your life- into your concerns and dreams- is time. We know this won't be easy. Many other voices will call our for your time and attention, and many of them are worthwhile. But if you want to hear the one Voice who will make all the difference in your life, you'll need to let God in...quietly.

Ask God to give you the desire to set aside a place and a time just for Him. The details of your life will wait. More than that, they'll take on more meaning when you give them over to God.

Our Christian Walk

Upon completing a tough climb, our first reaction is to enjoy the view; then we immediately look back down to where we used to be. This habit of looking back gets us into trouble. Although it is important to remember how far we have come, the spiritual vertigo caused by focusing on the past can make us lose sight of the goal. Paul wrote "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark" (Philippians 3:13,14). The view behind may be intriguing, but the view ahead can be breathtaking!

Don't Let Them Rain On Your Parade!

I was sitting and reminiscing about when I was first saved. I had such joy and enthusiasm; I just knew I had to get everyone feeling the way I did about Jesus. I could hardly keep my mouth shut. I'd go to church and raise my hands high and praise the Lord. One time I got so excited at something that was said, I yelled out "Yea God." When my husband and I got out of church I remarked that I couldn't believe that came out of my mouth. And I couldn't! I attended a bible study at a neighbors house and guess what, I couldn't keep my mouth shut. I was just like a little kid. I got so excited about every verse of scripture, I usually remarked, "Isn't that beautiful!" Of course I used every possible opening to tell of what God had done for me since I had been saved. I tried not to disrupt the study, but everything was just so new and exciting. These people had been Christians most of their lives and by the looks on their faces, I thought they just wanted me to be quiet.

Since then I've heard different preachers say that in the first year of a new believer, God gives them extra grace. In other words he puts a protective hedge around them and tells the devil to keep his hands off. That first year everything in my life went great. I received revelation after revelation from God. It was such a spiritual high. I was so close to Jesus, we talked every day; I just sat and enjoyed his presence and all his creations, I was in awe of him. I had a child-like faith that I wouldn't have given up for anything. Everything was new or better: the sky was bluer, the trees were greener, the birds sang more, the flowers were beautiful, the animals so cute, and people- wow, how could God make so many people and have each one of them totally different.

I have continued to be enthusiastic, but now God has let me go through many trials and tribulations that the demons and my flesh come against the Christ in me. We can't stay baby Christians forever and I guess I had to grow up sometime. But boy, that first year was terrific.

So don't let religion, stale Christians, disheartened believers, relatives, unbelievers, or anyone else rain on your parade. Enjoy that first year no matter who tries to put the damper on you. It's wonderful to be a new believer in Christ. And you know, that's how he would like us to be all the time. Stay happy. Love in Christ, Diane.

Even For Ice Cream

As they prepared to eat dinner at a restaurant, Kim's six year old son asked if he could say grace. As they bowed their heads he said, "God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food. And I would even thank you more if mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty and justice for all." Along with laughter from the other customers nearby, Kim heard a women remark, "That's what's wrong with this country, kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking for ice cream. Why, I never!" Hearing this, her son burst into tears and asked, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?" As Kim held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer." "Really?" my son asked. "Cross my heart," said the man. Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started the whole thing), "too bad she never asks God for some ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes." Naturally, Kim bought her kid ice cream at the end of the meal. What happened next came as a complete surprise. "My son stared at his ice cream for a moment and then did something I will remember for the rest of my life," Kim explains. He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes and my soul is good already."

 

Send us in your little story, we want to hear from you. Just e-mail us and let us know if we can put it in our website. Love in Christ, Diane.