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Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tuesdays Torch week 450

Tuesday’s Torch

08/29/17

By: Tim Sader

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)

When my parents grew tired of churches failing them they found fun and friendship in the worldly lifestyle. Somewhat taking their eyes of the Lord had a lot to do with their growing apart and getting a divorce. When this happened I was a little upset but not as devastated as some people get over their parents splitting up. For a while well things were spiraling out of control for them I started living right after the conviction of being a good example to the youth got to me. During this period of time I completely stopped using bad language, managed a Christian band and lead a bible study group. Before this I had experimented some with alcohol and smoking pot but decided to completely leave it alone for a while. I’m not real sure about what made me decide it was ok to start drinking again. My parents were surrounded by it, unchurched friends were doing it, I was out of school turning twenty-one and life between church and bible studies was boring. Throw in the emotions of the divorce, looking for a relationship, disability and no big plans for my future in the mix it’s easy to find reason to drink. I won’t say I was a steady alcoholic but when I took the notion to drink I was going to get my fix. Unless something spontaneous happened I would binge drink once or twice a week. In the beginning it only took four beers to have enough but before I quit again I was drinking up to a twelve pack at a time. I wasn’t big on drinking hard liquor but sometimes would switch up the beer for mixed drinks. I must admit I had some good times while binge drinking and have many funny stories from being stupid while intoxicated. On the flip side it was never fun waking with a hangover and not remembering what I did because I drank so much I blacked out. What I regret most is how I talked to certain people if they wanted me to stop drinking or if I felt hostility toward them for any or no reason at all. Though it wasn’t all bad I am missing moments from my memory that I will never get back and more than anything that bothers me.

It is not good when we let any substance control us the way binge drinking was controlling my life. Drinking and drugs makes us act foolish, it takes away inhabitants and makes people braver than they then they should be. If they want to fight chances are they will find one even if they are disabled and could easily be beat up (Pr. 20:1). Getting drunk leads to debauchery which is any kind of sin or wickedness we can get into. We may think we are having fun while intoxicated but is it really fun or just temporary satisfaction to our flesh. Very rarely did I accomplish anything good when I passed the point of losing inhibition. We must be careful about the decisions we make in life especially in matters of the heart. We don’t want to be full of carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life because those things will lead us directly into a trap (Lk. 21:3). It is only by the grace of God that the traps I set for myself never had greater consequences than embarrassment, hangover, bumps and bruises. Drinking didn’t put me there but I ended up in the hospital and seriously examined my lifestyle while fighting for my life. I decided positive changes needed to be made before it was to late for me to do so. The dark deeds we used to do in the cover of night we must set aside and put on the armor of light. We must behave right not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. The only way to do this is to clothe ourselves with Christ, and not worry about gratifying the desires of the flesh (Rom. 13:12-14). At times it may seem like we have to give up everything fun to follow Christ but really the great adventure only begins when we surrender all to Him.

The mistakes we have made in the past do not have to be a source of guilt and shame to us. If we are no longer in that place obviously it was an experience for us to learn and grow from. If we are still there than we can have hope because it presents us the opportunity to take a negative and make it a positive. We must walk away from the traps we set for ourselves or they will be our undoing. We pain the Lord more if we fall and stay that way but it makes Him happy when we rise from our own undoing.

Lord help us to learn and grow from the places in our past that we are not proud of so we can grow past it. We have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light so we want to let it shine for you. When we are tempted to only satisfy our flesh help us to remember the clothes we wear look a lot like Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

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Posted by on 08/29/2017 in Torches

 

Tuesdays Torch week 449

Tuesday’s Torch

08/22/17

By: Tim Sader

You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ (Matthew 5:31)

While learning to mentor teens at Central Baptist my parents were growing tired of attending church only to have them fail. They still had faith in Christ but had gotten sick of church leaders letting them down. To fill in the space that used to be reserved for church activities my parents started finding non-church friends from work and in the neighborhood. My dad retired early from the National Guard after twenty some years of them influencing many of his career and private decisions. This new found freedom he felt made it easy to go out with friends to bars dabbling with alcohol and drugs. He seemed to be having fun going to races, being out late and feeling young again. He never did anything super horrible while intoxicated but made some bad decisions and started spiraling out of control. His business went under, he lost good jobs, failed a drug test to get back in the military and ended up getting a DUI. Mom was going along with him, hanging out with the same people and dabbling some but she never was out of control and remembered her responsibilities to us at home. Dad was always a hard worker and did anything necessary to provide for our family but wanted to have fun with any money left over. As his business failed I think he felt like a failure in life as a provider. Things seemed to get better when he found jobs but he never seemed fulfilled by them like he used to be. On a whim he decided it would be better for him to be alone so he told my mom he wanted out of the marriage. He admitted it wasn’t because he didn’t love her, he just wanted out so he could find himself again. I knew he’d be unhappy so I told him it was a stupid decision and that he would regret it. Never the less he moved out and regretted it after a few months so they tried getting back together. Despite their best attempt the day he walked out the door mom gave him what he wanted and let go of any feelings she had in regards to being married to him. It was too late, the damage was done and after being separated a year or so they got a divorce.

This was not a great situation to deal with in my early twenties and my brother a senior in high school but I am glad it happened after our childhood and adolescent years. Things between my parents were not good when distractions outside of the Lords will began to influence their lives. With the help of God they made it through problems in their relationship in the past but just a small shift from that and it couldn’t be salvaged. According to the law getting a divorce is just a matter of paperwork being submitted to the other spouse and a few signatures. To God the only real reason for divorce is unfaithfulness to ones husband or wife. If for any other reason it leads to forcing your ex to commit adultery, yourself commiting it or both partners if they choose to marry again (Mt. 5:32). That being said sometimes divorce happens when people feel unhappy, neglected or unfulfilled in a marriage. This turns their heart hard toward their spouse and in our human understanding divorce will fix it. Divorce is not a respecter of religion, race or social class it can affect anyone who is married. Moses made it law that a person could give a written notice of divorce and separate themselves from their spouse but that is not the perfect will of God (Mt. 19:7-8). There was a certain level of unfaithfulness as things spun out of control; one of my parents gave into it making everyone guilty of the sin. In their case both of my parents are believers but where their marriage was concerned at least one of them felt that even God couldn’t save it. In circumstances similar to these the believer is not obligated to stay with the one who don’t. There is no way to know if one can save things for both of them so if there’s no agreement it is better to part on peaceful terms (1 Cor. 7:15-16). After many years of being apart my parents live at peace with their divorce. My dad has remarried and mom gets along well with his new wife, she calls her a spouse in-law and even feels she is a better wife for him.

Divorce is always messy and someone almost always gets hurt but what matters is how we handle the aftermath. His word on this topic feels harsh and condemning when only seen through the microscope of us being divorced. These words are not to condemn but to protect his children from getting hurt or hurting others in a failed attempt to love like they should. In a world where marriage is not taken seriously we need to remember that if God is our focus there is a better hope than if we let distractions keep us from our mutual commitment. Divorce is often caused by sin and leaves guilt but God is faithful to forgive when we call on Him. Here is a great resource for anyone struggling with a seperation or divorce www.divorcecare.org .

Lord please help us if we have been, are getting or will get a divorce. Help us also who are married so we will not kick you out of our relationship by getting distracted in the world. When we sin in anyway Lord help us to be quick in confessing them to you and allowing your forgiveness to take away our guilt. Help us to love others and especially our spouse by remembering how you love us and hate to see when we hurt eachother. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 
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Posted by on 08/22/2017 in Torches

 

Tuesdays Torch week 448

Tuesday’s Torch

08/15/17

By: Tim Sader

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. (Philippians 3:17)

Alicia was only sixteen when she was murdered the funeral was difficult but I learned the importance of loving everyone I care for. Somewhere between the end of Living Waters and this tragedy another friend of mine Jamie invited my brother and me to youth group at his church. Central Baptist was a block from our house but other than once for vacation Bible school we never attended there. For me going to youth group felt strange because I had already finished high school and was planning my future. One Wednesday I was bored and needed a new spiritual outlet since the other groups I belonged to no longer existed. Finally I got over my preconceived ideas and accepted the offer from my friend. The group was close and well established with about ten devoted teenagers who had mostly grown up attending that church. Warming up to outsiders wasn’t easy for them so things were awkward at first but after a few weeks they were acknowledging me and making small talk. I might not have made it that long if Jamie wasn’t there and I thought their youth leader Skip was a cool guy. I think he had a gift of looking at a young person and knowing how to minister to them with a simple conversation. I think he noticed me struggling with being between high school and adulthood but still in youth group. I don’t remember the conversation we had but at some point he gave me some responsibility and made me a mentor for younger teens. After a while I would lead one of the groups to answer questions and discuss the topic of the night. Around that time ThornHead had their first gig there and started leading praise time every week. Skip had been wanting to let teens in our group lead the message with assistance from a book he used. I think I was first to do this and was nervous but despite the uncomfortable silence from the group not cooperating I made it through. The next time I used no book, we played prank games from my old youth group and did a study I wrote on spiritual gifts. The games were a hit but the message was a bit foreign and boring for this group of teens who hadn’t heard much on the topic. ThornHead ended, a lot of youth graduated and went to college leaving a few junior high kids I didn’t know. I figured out my higher learning path so my time at Central Baptist sadly came to an end while I worked on growing up.

When I was made to be an example for others to follow I cannot say I was the best one for them. I mostly followed Christ when they saw me but I was drinking with friends outside of church. I know many of them were doing the same but what could I say when my example was no different. It is my hope that they were only watching what was pleasing to the Lord but I’m not sure of that (1 Cor. 11:1). When following our example the perfect model is Christ so what’s important is to live our lives like Him. When we are the example we need to set a good one by showing others who Christ is. Part of doing this is by being willing to work to earn our keep, we don’t only expect handouts so we are a burden to noone. We might be entitled to the help of others but to show we rely on God we do not so others may model their lives after us (2 Thes. 3:7-9). We need to set an example by doing what is good, showing integrity, being serious and saying the right things that will not condemn us. This gives no fuel to those who are looking for dirt on us because there is none to find (Ti. 2:7-8). We who believe are called to shepherd those who God has surrounded us with. We don’t do it because we have to but it is our desire, not for our gain but we are eager to serve those who need help. We do not lord our faith over anyone instead we give them an example to follow (1 Pet. 5:2-3). At Central Baptist I learned what this looks like by doing what I shouldn’t and eventually after being tired of setting the wrong example I was convicted to set things straight.

We may not have paparazzi following us to capture all our juicy gossip but our world is watching the kind of person we have become. Are we the example that we want the world to see or are we hiding dirt while pretending to be clean? All of us have done things we are not proud of so what do we do to fix it? We wake up in the morning and except the forgiveness of God and allow Him to do a work in us. We may have to own mistakes that we made in the past and we may always be a work in progress but if we try a little each day we are a better example than we were before.

Lord help us to model our lives after the design of Christ so that the flock we shepherd may see you in us. If we screw it up help us to not delay in making it right so that noone may stumble from our example. Each day help us to be a greater example of you than we were the day before. Highlight to us those whose example we have followed and those who we follow now. Help us to follow Christ in the ways that we see them following him and do likewise. Also help us to have grace for them when they mess up and give them a fair chance to make it right. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 
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Posted by on 08/15/2017 in Torches

 

Tuesdays Torch week 447

Tuesday’s Torch

08/08/17

By: Tim Sader

Their young grow up in the open fields, then leave home and never return. (Job 39:4)

At the time I was sharing my life with my new neighbors the Rodríguezes the little church of misfits we were attending had fizzled out. One of the families we connected with at church was the Jones family. Ray and Donna moved to South Carolina from Texas with their son Brad and daughter Alicia who were near mine and my brother’s age. I got to know them better at church and youth on Friday nights and we became friends. Brad had recently dropped out of school so he was working on getting his GED and looking for some kind of job. Once he worked for my dad’s business when he needed to hire a helper for one job. A few times he got dropped off at our house so we could hang out for a day or two. We watched movies, played video games and listened to the Bose surround sound system because he was into audio video equipment. I was very awkward with girls and Alicia was a little younger than me so it took a while for me to have a friendship with her. We connected one night at a church lock-in where we were the only two who stayed up all night. She went school for a while but didn’t go long until trying home-school. That wasn’t her cup of tea either so she ended up dropping out and trying for her GED also. After I graduated her mom and mine would go out for Mexican food. That was my favorite food so I started tagging along and sometimes Alicia would come and we’d get to talk. She was a beautiful young lady; looked a lot like Angelina Jolie and could have been a model. After a while she stopped coming to lunch and was getting into all kinds of trouble at home. She was wanting to spread her own wings and could no longer deal with the rules first at school then at home. She felt like a caged bird and she only wanted to fly so she could be wild and free.

All kids go through this to some extent but for her it seemed far worse. She was growing up way to fast and waiting for college or marriage to be on her own would never work. Her parents used the as long as she lives here she will follow our rules mindset but she wanted to do it her way. Alicia found a way to get what she wanted. She got a full time job at Sonic Drive-In and next door to it was an apartment complex so she rented an apartment of her own. I cannot remember whether she had been emancipated but her parents saw her being responsible and gave her the space to fly. She was sixteen living on her own, soon she had a boyfriend who was in his early twenties and he moved in with her. All of this happened quite quickly probably in the space of a six month lease so these weren’t mature adult decisions. Many people thought her parents were irresponsible letting this happen but those who knew Alicia understand that it was the only way or they might lose her forever. As a matter of fact it significantly improved her relationship with them because they were more like friends. However they didn’t know or trust the guy she was living with not that he was bad to their daughter but thought he was a shady character. One night while Alicia was home alone his past caught up with her and his beautiful young lover took the fall. She put up a good fight as they pulled her down the stairs and into their car. Noone knows the horror she faced that night to pay a debt owed to a drug dealer. A day or two after she disappeared a man was fishing at the lake when he snagged something on his line. Come to find out it was Alicia and the only way her mom could identify her was the color of her fingernails because they had them done together. Everyone was shocked that something so terrible would happen to this young girl who could have done anything she set her mind to do. This prodigal daughter grew up way to fast but never was able to run back home after her life had been wasted (Luke 15:11-13). She broke the heart of Father, Mother, Brother, family and friends. This loss affected me like nothing else had; it made me thankful for all my loved ones and showed me to love them like they’ve already returned to my open arms.

In life there is no way to know when or where tragedy will happen and I don’t think we can ever be fully prepared when it hits close to home. The only comfort to be found when this happens is our faith in something bigger than us. On our own we see no reason for undeserving people to suffer at the hands of great evil. However unfair this may seem God is in control and He will not let evil of this magnitude go unpunished. The final authority is the Lords so there is a great benefit when we make Him our life.

Lord God help us to see you are the answer to every problem situation in our lives. You care when we shed tears of pain and rejoice with us when life is going smooth. When tragedy hits close to home help us to be grateful for the parts of life that are a blessing from you. Be with us Lord like you said you would and protect us from the evil in the earth that accuses you for causing it. Help us to be full of you so that we can have comfort even when our world is falling apart. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 
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Posted by on 08/08/2017 in Torches

 

Tuesdays Torch week 446

Tuesday’s Torch

08/01/17

By: Tim Sader

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. (Romans 15:2)

While being manager of ThornHead our friend Joseph went through some relationship problems and took a step back from the BH. His sister Erica fell for Roger and they were dating; it drove a wedge between Joseph and him. At home the Whitlock house was falling apart relationally between their parents and it ended in them moving out of the house next door. When they moved I had no idea what kind of neighbors we would get and if we would get to know them like we did the Whitlocks. Right before they moved out David was in the neighborhood with my friend Steven and his family was looking for a place to live. A few days after Whitlocks moved out Jamie and Natalie Rodríguez met the owner and after seeing house decided to rent it. Over the next few months we became friends with David when him and Steven would hang out. Soon my brother and I were hanging out at their front steps talking with Jamie about the island where he was born. Their family moved from upstate New York to South Carolina to be near Natalie’s mom, step dad and her sister’s family. Natalie or Nat is from a typical large Italian family and all of them love to cook delicious food. After moving in there once again was always activity at the house next door. David had friends who they would take in under their roof when they had troubles at home. It seemed like a constant flow of family and friends from New York were coming and going all the time. Some people move in and ruin a neighborhood but Rodríguezes moved in and affected every life for the better. No distance was too far for people they knew to move away from home and set up their lives near my new neighbors. When I witnessed this I knew being friends with them would be in my best interest and I was never disappointed. My brother was forty years younger than Jamie but the two of them were the closet of friends.

Rodríguezes impacted my life in an equally positive manner as the Whitlocks. They moved in and were just my neighbor but after almost ten years living there they became family. Their family loves Puerto Rican and Italian food and would get together often to celebrate things and to eat. Usually they would invite us to join the party and we did but if not they would bring us a tray of food. Whenever they cooked we got a big bowl full and sometimes we got the leftovers as well. It wasn’t the lamb in a Jewish feast but whoever came to their house wouldn’t leave there without getting full (Ex. 12:4). Through the years we rejoiced with them in birthdays, holidays and weddings. We also faced the lowest of lows through divorces, hospital stays and the death of friends. When there were parties sometimes people enjoyed drinking a lot of alcohol but it was all fun loving and there was respect for the celebration (Lk. 15:5-6). Everyday wasn’t a party but Jamie and Nat were always there to help or open up their home to the needs of others. If our mom wasn’t home or needed to get away we knew there was help next door who would do anything reasonable we asked. This was them loving their neighbor like themselves and love is worth more than offerings and sacrifice (Mk. 12:33). Jesus tells us to do good by keeping the commandments the greatest of which are loving God and other people (Mt. 19:17-19). Thinking of Nat and Jamie I am reminded of a story Jesus told us. A man was beat up and left for dead; the most righteous walked by but the good for nothing Samaritan had mercy and saw to his every need. The Samaritan was the neighbor because he showed him love and cared for him as if he himself was beat up and in the ditch (Lk. 10:30-37). Having great neighbors made us want to be good neighbors and whenever given opportunity we have been. One goal we should strive to achieve is to please others for their good, to build them up. Loving ourselves is where it starts but in the end love is not about us; it is about making better the lives of others.

Those who are there for us in life may not always be the one that we thought would be there with us. This is why it is important to be a good neighbor to everyone we happen to make contact with in this life. It is by us showing the world the love of Jesus that makes them want to know more about him and how he changed us. There is a sad epidemic of hate alive in the church today to where sometimes the world is more appealing than the church because they treat them better. This needs to change!

Lord help us to love others the way Jesus opened Himself to the world and loved them. He ate at the table with drunks, sinners and prostitutes without being judgmental toward thier misguided ways. There is a generation of none’s in the world today because they are deathly afraid to set foot in church so they have no religion. Lord God help us to reach a culture that doesn’t know you by loving them like we love those we stand shoulder to shoulder with on Sunday morning. Help us to love all our neighbors like we love ourselves. In Jesus name, Amen

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.com we enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, on Facebook as Tuesdays Torch or Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 
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Posted by on 08/01/2017 in Torches