Lessons From Taekwondo

Ben TKD 3
That is my son smiling at me.

My son absolutely loves Taekwondo.  He has been doing it for a couple years.  He is a purple belt now and he will be testing for his green belt soon.  Taekwondo is the ancient Korean art of combat.  It is very popular in our town.  Tae means to kick with the foot, Kwon means to punch with the fist, and Do means way.  So, it is literally the kick punch way.

I took this picture earlier today.  This is what they call forms class where they practice their punches and kicks, and they train by doing moves on each other and the instructors.

This is where the instructor lets the kids kick without holding back:

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My son bringing the heat to his instructor!

Yes, I am very proud of him, can you tell?

Here is my boy taking one of his buddies down.  They take turns practicing the move, and afterwards it is always cool to see them pat each other on the back.  Just another day at Taekwondo!

Ben TKD 2
That’s the way to do it son!

I’m showing you this because I love my son.  I am proud of his hard work.  He stayed dedicated and now he is in a program where he can make black belt in two years with hard work and discipline.

It has been great to see him grow as a person through the training and discipline.  He has found a great outlet for his energy and he is learning the valuable skill of self defense at the same time.

My son is focused on the prize and that prize is his black belt.  He will study and learn and train several days per week over the next two years and when he is 10, he will reach his goal.

I am focused on a prize too, but I have waited a lot longer than two years to obtain it, and I will continue to wait until my time is through on this earth.  The prize I’m talking about is Heaven.

My son envisions himself with that black belt on leading the class someday.  He imagines what it will be like, and he doesn’t lose sight of it.  In the same way, let us focus on Jesus and the glory of Heaven!  Imagine what it will be like and picture yourself there!  Press on and take heart!

Whatever you are doing in life, don’t lose sight of the goal!  If you do not know Jesus yet, come to Him today, He loves you and He is waiting for you!

God bless you all!

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:14

Beautiful shot of Long's Peak

 

 

 

Brothers

Proverbs 17 verse 17

I love that verse!  My 1984 NIV Bible says it this way:

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Proverbs 17:17

The book of Proverbs was written by Solomon who was the son of David.  It is a divinely inspired God-breathed book of wisdom on how to live a righteous life.  God gave Solomon this wisdom, and God empowered him to write it.

This is the beginning description in the first chapter:

“The Proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for attaining wisdom and discipline;

for understanding words of insight;

for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,

doing what is right and just and fair;

for giving prudence to the simple,

knowledge and discretion to the young.”

Proverbs 1:1-4

You can see how important it is to read the Book of Proverbs.  I want to live a life like that, so I read it a lot.  Just one of the many wise pieces of advice in the book is the one above about friends and brothers.  I didn’t grow up with brothers.  I have a younger sister, so I was the protective older brother.  Yep, don’t mess with my sister, you got it!

When I received Jesus is when I found my brothers, that is, my spiritual brothers in Christ.  I had a bunch of them in college, I have a bunch at church, and I have brothers all over the world that I am meeting for the first time through this blog!  One of those brothers lives across the pond from me in the U.K.

He is a strong believer in Jesus and has a mind that can tackle philosophical issues with great intelligence.  His writing is superb and his knowledge base in the Bible is strong and sound.  We met through my blog, and through email we agreed to read each other’s work.  Today I read a 27 page piece he did on a very deep theological question regarding free will and God, and he downloaded my book through my free book promo going on right now on Amazon.

Side note: If you have not had a chance to get your free copy of my eBook, you still have a chance!  The free promotion will end on Monday 8-20-18 at 11:59 p.m. PT.  Get your free copy of “One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural life” today!

Okay, back to brothers.  This gentleman, who was once unknown to me my entire 40 years on this earth, is now my brother.  We were always brothers in Christ.  We just never had the chance to meet before.  I’ve only known him for a few days and we have emailed a few times back and forth, but he is my brother nonetheless.  He is my brother through Jesus and we have the same Holy Spirit inside of us.

My brother is wrestling with some deep theological questions right now that many Christians would probably not even dare to ask.  I commend him for asking such tough questions.  I myself have asked God hard questions (see my post “Wrestling God“).  He has conflicts and questions regarding the Omnipresence of God, the essence of the Trinity, and free will.  Yes, heavy stuff.  Like I said, he is one smart dude!

He and I agree on the core doctrine of our faith, which is that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.  We just do not agree on the answers to the specific questions he is asking, but he is my brother, so I want to listen and give a perspective that hopefully helps him in someway.  If anything, talking with someone who cares is at least encouraging even if we don’t agree.  That is what brothers do.  When your brother needs help, the Bible is clear, the wisest thing to do is be there for him.  Whether you agree on theological issues or not.

I have many of the same questions and those questions, although different, do not make us any better than the other.  We both love Jesus.  We both have strong knowledge of the Bible built on years of hard study and dedication.  We both are filled with the Holy Spirit because of Jesus, and we are both just as saved as the other.

I am saying this because it was awesome how he and I could talk about deep issues that we disagreed on, and we treated each other with the utmost respect and dignity while doing it.  Brother, if you are reading this, you are a true Christian gentleman in every sense of the word.  I look forward to reading more of your work!

You know what else is cool?!  He has had some of the same supernatural experiences that I have had!  I loved that!  It makes me feel less lonely in the crazy things I have lived through.  He didn’t think I was crazy or weird.  He knows its true because he has experienced God in much the same way!  So awesome!  Isn’t it great when you find somebody who understands?  It really is!

If you are a Christian or somebody who has had encounters with the spiritual realm, I would love to talk with you!  I know what it is like to carry those kind of memories!  You are not alone!

Be there for your brothers and sisters today, and I’m not just talking siblings.  My brother and I both lived out Proverbs 17:17 today, and it was great!  Thanks for getting my book brother, enjoy!  Your essay was written in the humility and love of our Lord Jesus, bless you!

Be respectful to each other, be loving to each other (the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love),  help each other, and learn from each other.  Above all, like Proverbs says, love at all times and be there for each other!

Grace and Peace to you all!

P.S.

Be sure to grab your free copy of my book!  If you have any questions or would like to talk with me about it, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father.  Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”

1 Timothy 5:1-2

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The Callahan Fam at Daniel’s Park, Castle Rock, Colorado

 

 

 

 

The Roman’s Road

Roman Road Donnas Aosta Italia
Ancient Roman Road, Donnas, Aosta, Italia

I have always liked history.  It was one of my favorite classes in school.  It is fascinating to learn about how people from other times lived.  Take the Romans for example.  It is simply amazing that the roads the ancient Romans built are still there today!  It is an incredible feat of craftsmanship that has stood the test of time.  The ancient Romans were a people of skill and brutality.  They helped advance Western Civilization, and many of the things we know and enjoy today were because of the Romans.  The Romans also took thick metal spikes and drove them through the hands and feet of Jesus when they nailed him to a gnarly wooden cross.  Like I said, skilled and brutal.

I know many of you might not ever step foot in a church on Sunday.  That’s okay, I get it!  Church can be weird and uncomfortable for people.  I know.  You would have never found me in church before I knew Christ!  Ever since I came to Jesus, He has always used me outside the church walls, so let me take you to church today…ancient style!  Let’s do it like Jesus did chillin’ outside in the fresh air where the people were at.

I’d like you to walk with me down the Roman’s Road today.  No, not the ancient stone road you see above.  The road I’m talking about is a spiritual one.  It doesn’t lead to what was once ancient Rome or Gual or anywhere else their beautiful roads carried travelers.  Even better!  It leads you to Heaven!

The Apostle Paul bravely proclaimed the Gospel in Rome.  His letter to the believers in Rome can be found in the Book of Romans in the Holy Bible.  Within the divinely inspired pages of that letter, Paul clearly defines who needs to be saved, why we need to be saved, how we can get saved, how we receive that gift of salvation, and what the end result is.  Saved from what?  From sin and our approaching deaths, that’s what!

Let’s take that walk shall we?

Who needs to be saved?  Well, all of us do!

Romans 3:10-11

“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.”

Romans 3:23

“..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Why do we need to be saved?

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death..”

How did God save us?

Romans 5:8

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

How do we receive this gift of salvation?

Romans 10:9-10

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

verses 11-13

“As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 6:23 (full verse)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What is the end result of this gift of salvation?

Romans 5:1-2

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 8:1

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:38-39

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

That’s it, we’re here!  I love the Roman’s Road.  It is strong and it has stood the test of time!  Even after all this time following Jesus, I still enjoy walking through those verses and soaking in all the wisdom they offer!

Did you like outside church today?  Those verses sting a bit, don’t they?  They are supposed to.  God’s Word is living and active, and He is leading you toward repentance.  Better the sting of God’s Word now, then the sting of eternity without Him!

I pray you take heed of those words today.  Walk the road again if you need to.  Open your heart to God.  He will take you by the hand and lead you gently down the road…all the way to Heaven.

If anyone would like to pray to receive that free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, or you have any questions, or need prayer, please don’t hesitate to contact me!  If you are in the Denver area, I will baptize you myself if you would like!

Take a look at that ancient road of wisdom again, and let it lead you home!

Grace and Peace to you all!

Roman Road to Gaul

 

 

 

 

 

Who is the Holy Spirit?

33 things the Holy Spirit does

The fast answer to that question is that the Holy Spirit is One with the Father and the Son, so the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit.  He is here on earth, and we can have access to Him!  Incredible and a bit nutty sounding I know, but it is true!

God uses His Holy Spirit on earth to do many things, which you can read about in the poster above.  I encourage you to look through all of those verses.  You will come away with a deep understanding and appreciation of Who the Holy Spirit is, and if He does not dwell within you yet, you are going to want Him to!

The main thing God’s Holy Spirit does for us is, well, make us holy.  Before I came to Jesus I could not even conceive of how anybody could be holy or even act holy.  I had no idea the kind of power God gives us access to before I knew Christ!

Before I got saved, I thought Christians were a bunch of phonies.  I thought they were just self righteous people that wanted to act good and pretend to be holy for whatever reason.  I did not understand that God’s Holy Spirit actually indwells in every single believer in Jesus Christ and empowers them to actually be holy!  My anniversary of accepting Christ is in October (’96), and after almost 22 years, I sure know that power now though!

If you are an unbeliever right now like I was back in the early 90s, I know this sounds nuts to you.  Believe me, I know.  Read my post “Heart Poured Out” and “Wrestling God.”  I know believing in God and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior sounds crazy!  To the world it is absolute madness!

I am here to tell you as a former hard partying unbeliever that it is not madness at all.  It is joy and peace and the fear of death is conquered!  The Holy Spirit is so beautiful I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it is!  The river of joy that flows within my soul is constant and steady even through the worst storms of my life.

Think about what I am telling you for a moment.  As I sit here writing this, God’s Holy Spirit is inside of me.  He is inside a lot of us throughout the whole world!  He is empowering me to preach to you this very moment, and I absolutely would not be here doing this if it wasn’t for Him!  Do you think a guy who loved drinking, partying, and chasing girls just gives that up and starts preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and then keeps preaching it for 22 years!  No way!  I have the Holy Spirit of God inside of me because I repented of my sin and accepted Christ in 1996!

You have access to the Holy Spirit and God’s power too!  He will empower you to be holy.  He will change your heart and set you free from the fear of death.  He will give you power over sin and death!  Repent and believe today!  None of us know which day will be our last.

“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:13-16

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View of La Jolla Shores Beach from the Birch Aquarium back deck in San Diego, CA

 

 

 

Teaching Moments

Ben 8-18-18
That’s our house and that’s my son. He has his remote controlled motorcycle guy. He loves doing R/C cars with me!

This post is more relaxed today.  I’ve been hanging out with my wife and kids all day.  It is a beautiful August day here in Colorado around 68 degrees and sunny.  It’s a great day to chill with the family on a Saturday, and that is exactly what we’ve been doing, chillin’ in the Lord!  See my post “Just Chillin’” from this morning.

My son was getting cabin fever, so he wanted to go out to do remote controlled cars.  His favorite is his motorcycle guy.  It is hilarious to watch that thing go!  It balances very well and can take sharp corners with ease.  He loves it!  He lets me drive his fast replica Dodge Charger car, and we race.  It’s awesome, and I always feel like a big kid out there with him.  My daughter loves getting into the mix too.  She has a monster truck and a little Lamborghini car she loves.

We were in the garage and my son noticed that the reflector on his bike was broken.  My son has an engineering mind.  He loves to build things and tear them apart to see how they work.  He said, “Hey Dad, my reflector is broken.”

Now at this point, I could have just fixed it for him real quick and been done with it, but there is a better way.  I grabbed the phillips head from the top shelf, and said, “here you go son, rightie tightie lefty loosie,” handing it to him.  I gave him my “you can do it” nod of approval and told him he was great at fixing things (because he really is).  He smiled at me with the smile he gives when he feels respected, and he completed the task with joy.  He loves my tools and he is good at using them.

I love my kids, and I want to give them the best training I can possibly give them in all areas of their life.  The most important training I could ever give my son and daughter is training in righteousness, and that is only found in the Bible.  I have trained them how to use rifles, I have taught them how to fix things, I have taught them to fish the trout filled rivers of Colorado and stay alert in lion territory, and I have taught them street smarts and many other things.  The most important thing I teach my kids about is faith in Jesus.  The number one lesson I want them to learn is to follow Him and trust Him throughout their lives, and that is not easy.

We need to be in the Word and stay connected to Scripture, so we have that vital Holy wisdom flowing through us every day.  We need God’s Word to wash over our minds and hearts every day and teach us how to live righteously.  It’s not just about that Sunday sermon.  Every day I need to be studying the Bible and letting God work in me, so that I will be ready to teach my kids at a moment’s notice as life happens…and it goes so quickly!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in all righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17

If you want to teach your kids how to fix things, teach them how to use your tools.  If you want them to be righteous, teach them the Bible.  The Holy Scriptures will never lead them astray!

Blessings in abundance to you all!

Ben fixing bike 2

Ben fixing bike

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This is a cool study page in my Bible explaining how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament and bridged the gap of separation between us and God! Training in righteousness!

 

 

 

Just Chillin’

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I love Saturdays!  Saturday is the day I take my day of rest.  No, I am not legalistic, but I like the traditional Sabbath day, and there is great blessing in trusting God and resting apart from work.

On this day, I put away the bills and paperwork, the lawn will have to wait, and no other labor will call me away from resting.  Now that does not mean I won’t help my neighbor or someone else who needs help on a Saturday, and I will always preach the Gospel no matter what day it is.  I just mean that this is a day where I rest and I thank Him for that full day of rest.  We need it folks!

It’s not just physical rest I enjoy.  I also do my best to completely focus on God.  To pray, take time to listen, and dive into His Word, which I will forever be learning new things from no matter how many times I have read it.  I give everyday to the Lord and do those things everyday, but the day of rest is a special day set apart by God for us to recuperate and replenish our bodies and our souls in Him!

This will be one of my shorter posts because “I’m just chillin’ today” as we say here in Colorado while throwing up the “hang loose” sign.  Chillin’ in His grace, chillin’ in His love, chillin’ in His Mercy, and chillin’ in His abundant forgiveness!  That’s what it means to our family when we throw up the hang loose and shake it!  For us, it also means keeping it worry free, and giving it to the Lord.  I always tell my kids when we go snowboarding, “keep it loosie goosie!”  You don’t want to tighten up while riding the big mountains.  Tense=crash.  Remember that for life too!  Give your worries to the Lord today, let Him carry them, and just rest in Him.  He loves you.

My prayer for you today is that if you do not know the Peace of Jesus Christ and the rest that He gives to our souls, then you would come to know Him today and find that peace and eternal rest for your soul!  In the Name of Jesus who loves you and died for you, amen!

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for he grants sleep to those he loves.”

Psalm 127:2

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus speaking in Matthew 11:28-30

If you need to talk or need prayer today, I am still available as always!

Grace and Peace to you all!

Hang loose 2

St. Moritz

Boarder on moon

 

 

 

Faith

1 Corinthians 2 verse 5

I will be talking about faith in this post, but first I want to thank all of you who have downloaded my book (which is my testimony of how I came to faith in Jesus).  Many of you have taken me up on my free book offer, thank you!  I hope you are enjoying it and it is encouraging to you!  If you have any questions or would like to talk with me about it, please don’t hesitate to contact me!  I would love that!  My free book promotion is active  until 11:59 p.m. PT on Monday 8-20-18.  Be sure to grab your free copy of “One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life” soon!

Okay, back to faith.  I have often asked myself, “would you have accepted Christ if you had not lived in a haunted house?”  I really don’t know.  Probably not at the time I did as a freshman in college.  I was real worldly and I liked to party.  I was definitely scared of death before I knew Christ and I had a gut feeling that Heaven and hell were real.  I didn’t want to die and I wanted to know how to get to Heaven, so maybe I would have accepted Christ in time.  Living with a demon sure did speed up my decision making process though, I know that!  I believe God has a plan for all of us (Jeremiah 29:11-13), so if I was destined to preach the Gospel, nothing was ever going to stop that.

I love the above verse.  This is the complete section of scripture that verse comes from as quoted from the 1984 NIV (Thompson Chain-Reference) Bible I use:

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

1 Corinthians 2:4-5

That is all I know too folks!  I did not grow up as a Christian, and I never went to church.  My family lived with a demon in our house for 4 years when I was in high school, and when I went to college I met Jesus and He saved me and my whole family from that darkness!  I went from hating Christians and never believing to having absolute faith in Christ because of God’s power, and I have been following Jesus ever since!

If you read my book, then you know that my life continued to be strange and supernatural after I accepted Christ.  No, there were no more demons.  Jesus took care of that.  I had two very dramatic experiences in 1998 and one in 2012 that strengthened my faith to a point where I know without a doubt that anything is possible with God, and I mean anything!  If you read about what the Lord did for me when I stopped breathing on 4-28-2012, then you know what I mean!

Another question that I asked myself and God for years is simply, “Why me?”  Why did our family move into that house?  Why did God choose to open my eyes to angels in 1998?  Then, when I thought everything supernatural had calmed down, I stop breathing in 2012 and God does a mighty miracle in the Holy Spirit to save me!  “Why does this keep happening to me?!”

I don’t have an answer for why, so I stopped asking it.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  It all happened, and it happened to me and my family.  This is my life and these are my memories, and that’s just the way it is.  One answer I do have is that I am supposed to tell people.  God has made that clear to me, and He has empowered me to do it!

No matter how crazy it makes me look, no matter what it does to my name, I don’t care.  It is not about my name.  I gave that up a long time ago!  It is about the Name of Jesus.  Ryan never died for your sins and I never will.  Jesus Christ died to forgive your sins, and no one else ever has or ever will.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, period.  My greatest purpose is to make that known to the world.

My faith does not rest in the wisdom of men, but on God’s power!  With everything I have gone through, do you think it bothers me if somebody hates me for being a Christian or they think I’m stupid?  I know the Gospel is foolishness to the world.  I have had people call me a fool for believing.  I used to think the same thing, and I had fun making fun of Christians before I knew Christ.  I didn’t understand that I had that hatred in my heart for believers in Jesus because I was part of the spirit of the world, which is Satan’s spirit.  I didn’t understand I needed to be saved.  No, it doesn’t bother me and it won’t stop me either.  I am one of God’s soldiers in an ancient spiritual war and I am fighting it in God’s power.

With what God has revealed to me and with everything that has happened, I know 100% that Jesus Christ is Lord and that everything in the Bible is true!  It doesn’t matter what the realm of men say to me about it.  Mock me, hate me, even kill me.  I am still going to proclaim Jesus is Lord and tell the world about Him!

How could I not?!  God rescued me from real darkness and real evil, then He surrounded me with light and love and tended to me with angels.  Then after a 14 year break from supernatural events, my crazy supernatural life continued when He gave me my breath back and let me live in 2012!  Do you think He did all those things for me, so that I would hide away and keep the knowledge to myself?  No way!  He commands us to speak the truth and share the Gospel with the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20).

These events changed the course of my life, and that is why I am here today preaching to the world.  God let me live and gave me breath back, so I could use that breath for His glory!  He wants me to share it with the world to help people believe.  He knows it is hard.  I know it is hard.  Why did this happen to me and not you?  I don’t know, but we can at least learn from each other and help each other.  I want you to know Heaven is real, and I want you to be there, and most importantly, so does God!  You don’t have to live through the torment of a haunted house to realize that!  Learn from my experiences instead.

Most of us have never had to live through the terror of a real haunted house.  There is nothing funny about Halloween to me.  Those scary movies Hollywood makes are disgusting (as are most of their movies), and they don’t know what they are messing with.  They don’t even have the Holy Spirit, and they are making movies about demons.  They don’t know what they are messing with folks!  Those fallen spirits are incomparably stronger than us if we don’t have Jesus.  With Jesus though, you can overcome any evil!

Let your faith rest on God’s power.  The Lord still does miracles!  Angels still help and rescue people just like they did in the Bible.  Believers in Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit can still cast out demons (I know, I did it once!).  And Jesus Christ is still alive and well moving in power among us today!  People, hear me, that is exciting!

I know it’s hard to believe and lay down your life to Jesus.  I hope what I have gone through will help make that easier.  God loves you so much that He died for you.  He does not want you to perish.  He wants all of us to come to eternal life!  Isn’t that great news today?!  You have a Creator, He loves you, and He wants to be with you!  Mind blower!  Your sins are already forgiven in Jesus.  He paid the price for you.  All you need to do is receive that gift and that forgiveness is yours!  You can have that right now.  Let salvation and peace be yours today!

I love you all in Christ!  Grace and peace to you!

“For I resolved to nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

1 Corinthians 2:2

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

Acts 4 verse 12