A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
BTW ….There are two articles on here about prayers …go to the index , I thought they were very well done and helpful. I think your idea for a space for prayer requests is a good one. I saw a side bar with that but I am not sure I trust sidebars …sometimes they are like a popup …my limited computer knowledge showing now! Hahaha…..Thank you for the exchange here Cat ….it is comforting to know someone is caring about others so much! Bible Scripture Images
What are these gifts of the Spirit? How can you know that you have particular gifts of the Spirit? Can others give us an indication of what our gift is? What does the believer do with these gifts in the church? Are some gifts more important than others? Are the gifts of healing still being accessed today by believers? Is the gift of miracles still existent in the church today?
These days it is difficult to hear how many believers have married those who they thought were of equal devotion to the Lord but due to wrong teaching, lack of knowledge of the Word and time applying it, often because we now have GENERATIONS not trained up in the things of GOD by parents who GOD ordained to do so ..and even if they were kids in church the churches have long since fallen away from godly right teaching in many instances….SO we have a lack of knowing what to look for and how to determine the true devotion of anyone who claims the Lord …until there has been sufficient time in study and right doctrinal instruction for a person newly entering into Christ.
These days it is difficult to hear how many believers have married those who they thought were of equal devotion to the Lord but due to wrong teaching, lack of knowledge of the Word and time applying it, often because we now have GENERATIONS not trained up in the things of GOD by parents who GOD ordained to do so ..and even if they were kids in church the churches have long since fallen away from godly right teaching in many instances….SO we have a lack of knowing what to look for and how to determine the true devotion of anyone who claims the Lord …until there has been sufficient time in study and right doctrinal instruction for a person newly entering into Christ. Bible Verse Wall Art
And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns. People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns. As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample. Bible Verse Wall Art
While many white musicians gravitated toward country, folk, and old-timey music to express their spirituality outside of traditional Christian hymns, Black Gospel music drew heavily upon the traditional spirituals that had been passed down from the days of slavery, picking up its more driving rhythmic emphasis from blues and early jazz. Composer and singer Thomas A. Dorsey crystallized the style in 1932 with his epochal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and went on to compose a great many songs that later became standards. When performed in the churches, the music was traditionally sung by a choir, with individual soloists sometimes taking the spotlight; this often happened in a form known as "call and response," in which either the choir or the soloist would repeat and/or answer the lyric which had just been sung by the other, with the soloist improvising embellishments of the melody for greater emphasis. As the music developed, these soloists became more and more virtuosic, performing with wild emotion (and, in the South, physicality) in order to properly express the spiritual ecstasy the music was meant to evoke. The music was quite egalitarian in terms of gender, as both male and female performers -- Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, etc. -- gained wide renown among both black and white audiences. The small-group format was also prevalent, with major figures including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, and the Dixie Hummingbirds; in general, these groups placed a greater premium on smooth vocal harmonies, although some performances could approach the raucous energy (if not quite the huge sound) of a choir-with-soloist group. As the years progressed, black gospel and black popular music influenced and borrowed from one another, reflecting the gradual change of emphasis toward R&B; black gospel also had an enormous impact on the development of soul music, which directed gospel's spiritual intensity into more secular concerns, and included a great many performers whose musical skills were developed in the church. As a recognizable style unto itself, black gospel music largely ceased to develop around the 1970s; progressing racial attitudes had helped black popular music reach wider audiences (and become more lucrative) than ever before, and tastes had turned towards the earthy hedonism of funk and the highly arranged, sophisticated Philly soul sound. The former wasn't quite appropriate for worship, and it wasn't all that practical to duplicate the latter in church services. However, the traditional black gospel sound survived intact and was eventually augmented by contemporary gospel (an '80s/'90s variation strongly influenced by latter-day urban R&B); plus, singers like Whitney Houston continued to develop within its ranks. Bible Verse Wall Art
Thank you! I took both tests and found that Faith was very strong on both. I also had a strong aptitude for Mercy on both. Is it possible through study, prayer and training to strengthen a particular gift? Or does the Spirit fill your cup up only so much? There is an area in which I feel I have been receiving a calling and yet I didn’t score high in that category. I want to follow God’s Will and do what He wants me to do. I am earnestly seeking. Bible Scripture Images
1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Biblical Verses Image
I was not even aware that there was a NAME for this kind of thing until more recent years …it was “Higher Criticism’ that was one of the key elements along with many other ‘isms’ added to the faith …going back to the most basic way that the Serpent used and still finds most effective to deconstruct people’s hope in learning truth from the Bible , the scriptures that are GOD breathed and trustworthy are being ripped apart by anti christian ‘scholars’ who are nothing more than skeptics and workers of evil intent upon destroying the faith of those who are unstable and unlearned at the earliest age possible. Bible Scripture Images

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So the situations of these kinds of debilitating and destructive sins in this day and time , where adultery is not only tolerated but encouraged in our society AND rewards are often offered to women who have children out of wedlock , the victim of such sinful crimes is left to try to figure out what is the way to go on in life as Christ would have us do. Bible Scripture Images
Hi Jerry, Thank you for your great response. I have no doubt that the Spirit moves you in your prayer to speak in tongues. Paul said he spoke in tongues more than all of them. I just don’t happen to have that gift. I also don’t think that I have a gift of miracles either. I have some other gifts that are very strong, however, and I am prayerfully seeking His will. That is not to say that at some point God might bestow a gift of tongues upon me if it was His will and was for His glory. I read Pastor Jack’s response as well and will restate that not all people have all gifts. Paul was very clear about that point. A day may come when God needs me to speak to someone whose language I don’t know, I have no doubt that He would use me as He needed me and I would speak in tongues, as I am His willing vessel.
As for having a forum or website that allows discussions for Christians to grow, there are several but some problems occur where readers differ and sometimes argue over non-essentials (to salvation) issues that are needless to debate. What I sense you want is to grow and many churches have Sunday school programs (such as the church I am under-shepherd of) that allow the class to have input (which we do). Others have Sunday night services that are dedicated to a more intensive Bible Study and still others have Weds. night studies of the same magnitude. There are many Christian forums but you will find that frequently they are taking about issues that do not have to do with doctrine but about personal beliefs in grey areas that sometimes lead into wrangling which the Bible commands Christians not to do. Please note that our website allows comments on all of the articles and you can ask or comment with other readers and even the authors of these articles and to me, it is one of the greatest tools for growth. The vast majority of our readers and commentators who reply with comments have so much to add that I grow too in the process. I hope this helps. We have over 300 articles about various topics. You can type in a key word or question at the top of the webpage Homepage where it says “Questions? Need Answers? Ask Us.” and type into the search box. Happy hunting and growing in grace and knowledge Cynthia. Biblical Verses Image

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:7-13
What source did you find to say that these men talked about tongues as necessary? I have never found these sources. You said that they called down the Holy Spirit on them…and it is EXPECTED that the converts should speak in new tongues but the word tongues in the New Testament is Greek for “languages.” Even so, I emphasize the fruits of the Spirit as evidence, as Jesus said you will know them by their love and by their fruits (John 15) and not by their gifts. That is the real evidence of conversion, right? We can therefore move on to something else my friend. Bible Scripture Images
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” ... Bible Scripture Images
Gospel music is one of the oldest forms of music. With its origins being traced back as far as the 17th century, Gospel singers have preached the words of the good book for centuries and are making some of the best gospel and Christian songs of 2018. Gospel singers for a long time had to sing without musical accompaniment outside of clapping and stomping - black gospel music has a strong tradition of using the human hands and feet as instruments. More recently, these hymns and songs feature the same strong harmonies, but also organs to tambourines to electric guitars. Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, gospel artists became some of the most popular singers in the world. The best gospel singers are wildly popular in the Christian community are closely associated with other Christian singers. Today, within the Christian community, gospel singers are as, if not more popular than Christian rock bands, which is saying a lot.

Well stated Cynthia. Truly, the gifts are important but I don’t think the gifts, as some say, are evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. Some say it is THE evidence by the real fruit is evidence to me and that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit revealed in Galatians 5 and Jesus said you shall know them by their fruits, not by their gifts and by their love for one another and Jesus said in John that “by this (love) all men will know)” and He never indicated the evidence was by gifts but by the fruits of the Spirit. John 15 I believe it is that we can do nothing of ourselves but if we abide in His Word and He abides in us, then we will produce fruit revealing that we are His and He is ours. Thanks for such a deep and revealing comment.
I apologize if you think what I said was accusing you of teaching anything contrary to the gifts of the Spirit. That was not my in tensions. I was just trying to emphasize the importance of learning from the Holy Spirit using whatever vessel He chooses or even when reading the Bible. For instance I will give you two examples of the Holy Spirit teaching me.
Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the LORD delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.
The next gift of the Spirit Paul mentions is the gift of faith (v 9). Those with this gift are truly amazing in how they see things. They tend to exude confidence in all situations. For example, our church deacon has said about our church growth “when” it grows we will need more Sunday school books, while others say “if” we grow we will need additional books. I met an evangelist once that spoke about things as if they already had existed or had come to pass. He spoke about finances that God would provide while simultaneously have nothing to show for it in the church’s bank account. He would always later prove to be right. This is a person more like God. He sees things that aren’t as if they already are! Biblical Verses Image
Dreams are just random and so you don’t want to put too much importance into what you dream. Frequently, if you pray and read your Bible before bedtime, there is a tendency to have better dreams and more peaceful sleep. Instead of focusing on your gifts, focus on the fruits for Jesus said that they will know you by your fruits and not by your gifts. The fruits of the Spirit are often overlooked and these found in Eph 5 among other places. Thank you Tam for your comment.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Biblical Verses Image


In my life as a Christian for the past 30+ years, especially during the early years; I have heard various different doctrines and teaching about the word of God, the Bible. Because I was being taught by people who were very sincere in what they were teaching, but often very sincerely wrong in their understanding of the word of God. This caused much confusion. And I confess that even with the gift of teaching upon my life I can fall into the same category.
NOw he is deeply damaged and I petition the Lord to continue to work in my own walk and for the soul of my husband …and that of the OW and those children …OUR own children have been deeply wounded too …they have been raised in the Word so I thank the Lord for keeping them in His care despite the way that my husband’s choices have indicated that he did not even think of how this would hurt them as well. Bible Verse Wall Art
The next gift Paul mentions is the gift of interpretation of tongues (v 10). This gift is someone who is able to interpret another tongue or language. I am bilingual and can speak English and Spanish but I would not say that I have this gift necessarily. Some have a natural gift or ability to learn a foreign language. It was not natural nor did it come easy for me. For those who this is easy, then they may be imbued with such a gift. If anyone was speaking in tongues in the church, there absolutely had to be someone there to interpret or they were to be silent. And no more than one person was to speak in tongues because there is only one interpreter available to translate at a time. If several were speaking in tongues at the same time, there would be confusion and God is not the author of confusion, but He is the God of order (1 Cor 14:33). It would not be edifying the church to have several speaking in tongues at the same time and with no one to interpret. Tongues are a sign for unbelievers and not for the church. Paul writes, “In the Law it is written: ‘With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’ Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14: 21-22). Isaiah 28:11-12 is where Paul quotes Isaiah the prophet, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, ‘This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.’” This clearly indicates that the gift of tongues (Greek for languages) and the interpretation of them is that of a known language as a witness to unbelievers. Scripture Images
I was saved at the age of 4 and yearned to receive the gift of speaking in tongues since I was around 12. I would ask God for it, but He had His own timing for me to receive the gift. I received it in the beginning of huge trials I’ve been going through for the past 2 years (I’m now 30–finances, buying a home that the inspector lied about and the home was unhealthy to live in, in turn creating marital struggles, and dealing with severe depression in my spouse and the way he treats me because of his depression). I know it has different uses, but I feel God gave it to me in order to pray and speak to Him about what I’m going through. I definitely run out of things to say and when I’ve run out of words, I begin speaking in tongues—I’ve found that when I have spoke in tongues it’s always been when I’ve hit my breaking point in my situations and I’m crying out in desperation to the Lord. Many times I will pray in tongues for awhile and then it turns into beautiful worship songs. As it goes on my tears and crying calm down and I feel more and more calm and at peace. It’s been a real blessing and I’m trying to learn more and more about uses, but for now its been a way for God to help me through these hardships and hurt.

All the more needed for parents to learn from the Lord the scriptures and teach them to their children. The devil , the enemy of our souls is intent to gain the teaching of children now younger and younger , taking over what GOD ordained father’s to do . The ongoing programming of young minds has ‘rewarded’ our society with a bitter crop of those who are more and more only concerned with getting what they ‘need’ in terms of feelings, lusts and lives lived independently without any accountability to anyone.
This is not an exhaustive list of the gifts of the spirit, for example some are said to have the gift of mercy which is a person who is quick to forgive and not judge others who have sinned while others are not so quick to do so. God gives these gifts as He sees best and not what we think they are for (v 11). We can not receive gifts we are not intended to receive but we can desire certain gifts, indicating that we can receive gifts of the Spirit that may fulfill the desires of our hearts while still fulfilling God‘s purpose for them (v 31). Let’s examine what these gifts are and what is their intended use is for in the church today.
NOw he is deeply damaged and I petition the Lord to continue to work in my own walk and for the soul of my husband …and that of the OW and those children …OUR own children have been deeply wounded too …they have been raised in the Word so I thank the Lord for keeping them in His care despite the way that my husband’s choices have indicated that he did not even think of how this would hurt them as well.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. ...
Paul wants to make clear that we should not elevate one gift over another but esteem each and necessary for the completeness of the Body of Christ as Paul says in I Corinthians 12:12-23, “Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. Bible Verse Wall Art

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3. I believe, as I am sure you do, that Scripture teaches us about the “now” and the “not yet” of the Kingdom of God, as our Jewish counterparts were taught, and therefore until Jesus returns, as you know, not everyone we pray for to be healed is healed IN OUR TIMELINE of experience. Does this mean we should not ask? Does this not mean that we are not to be expectant, obedient? Does this not mean we should start with the small (headaches, aches) and build into our lives an expectation that he is interested in our illnesses before we visit drugstores or look in our well-stocked medicine cabinets rather than knocking hard on his door when serious illnesses draw near? Biblical Verses Image

How true this is.  You can put lipstick and earrings on a pig but inwardly they’re still a pig so Peter writes that “the hidden person of the heart” is precious to God and the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit” to God is “very precious” and that’s all that matters eternally.  We’ll all get new bodies someday anyway and so why should we be so preoccupied with what we look like when God only cares about what we are like on the inside? Bible Scripture Images
I remember one powerful message God gave me to teach at church titled “The Unholy Trinity”. There is no such statement like this you can find in the Bible. But God had me teach the church that the unholy trinity of “me, myself, and I” is one of the greatest things that hinders our walk with God. I was able to teach them that taking up our cross and following Jesus was the way to get rid of that “unholy trinity”. I could only have learned this by the Holly Spirit. I don’t claim to always hear from the Holy Spirit. I have heard from Him, disobeyed, and suffered the consequences.
Its been a while. My wife and I are doing so great! I pray all is well with you! I have a question about tongues. Is my perception of tongues correct, in that, it would only be used (by God through the gifted person) in a crowd of which the gifted person does not natively speak their language? I do not see how we can benefit from going into a church where all speak English, and yet, people are speaking a jibberish type language, with and without translation. I love your write up on the gifts. Very detailed. My wife and I are studying it right now.
I was saved at the age of 4 and yearned to receive the gift of speaking in tongues since I was around 12. I would ask God for it, but He had His own timing for me to receive the gift. I received it in the beginning of huge trials I’ve been going through for the past 2 years (I’m now 30–finances, buying a home that the inspector lied about and the home was unhealthy to live in, in turn creating marital struggles, and dealing with severe depression in my spouse and the way he treats me because of his depression). I know it has different uses, but I feel God gave it to me in order to pray and speak to Him about what I’m going through. I definitely run out of things to say and when I’ve run out of words, I begin speaking in tongues—I’ve found that when I have spoke in tongues it’s always been when I’ve hit my breaking point in my situations and I’m crying out in desperation to the Lord. Many times I will pray in tongues for awhile and then it turns into beautiful worship songs. As it goes on my tears and crying calm down and I feel more and more calm and at peace. It’s been a real blessing and I’m trying to learn more and more about uses, but for now its been a way for God to help me through these hardships and hurt. Bible Scripture Images
I agree, Pastor Jack. A number of years ago, I’d say about 15, I was in a transitory time in my life and seeking answers from God. I had reached a point of asking the big WHY? Why are we here, why did you make me, what am I missing? I had been feeling distressed and anxious about my life for a while. One day, I cried out to Him, in my car, and clearly, as if just a whisper, I heard “It’s the love.” Wow. Of course. It’s like something you know, just like you know you have a nose on your face and yet you don’t really notice it all that much in the mirror unless it has a zit on it. In front of me the whole time, interwoven in my life and yet for the first time I really understood that God IS love, God created us because He loved us and He wants us to love Him. He never forces anyone though. Before that, I had a hard time understanding God’s love and how He could possibly love a sinner like me. That was a break through moment in my faith walk. It was a deeper understanding of the nature of our loving God and every day I just keep falling deeper in love with Him. He’s amazing. Biblical Verses Image

The next gift is that of prophecy (v 10). Prophecy has several different interpretations and it is clear that in this context, within the church at Corinth, prophecy is the gift of teaching and/or speaking. The literal translation here is that it is “publicly speaking” or “speaking forth” the Word of God. This gift is associated with those who are teachers or pastors since God would not gift someone in the church to teach or preach without having an ability to do so. It is not inferring that they know the future or know what is to come since only a sovereign God alone knows the future.
Hi Jerry, Thank you for your great response. I have no doubt that the Spirit moves you in your prayer to speak in tongues. Paul said he spoke in tongues more than all of them. I just don’t happen to have that gift. I also don’t think that I have a gift of miracles either. I have some other gifts that are very strong, however, and I am prayerfully seeking His will. That is not to say that at some point God might bestow a gift of tongues upon me if it was His will and was for His glory. I read Pastor Jack’s response as well and will restate that not all people have all gifts. Paul was very clear about that point. A day may come when God needs me to speak to someone whose language I don’t know, I have no doubt that He would use me as He needed me and I would speak in tongues, as I am His willing vessel. Biblical Verses Image
Since D Day he has been on the downward slide in every aspect of life. Depressed , hopeless, continuing to see the children he had with the OW but ‘hates’ her and himself for what they did ….14 years of lying ,cheating , stealing as he bought her a house and new Lexus and has drained all of our savings and gone into deep debt ,..which also was a result of the economic crisis of our country.
Went to ER and of course five hrs later after sitting still I was much better. Dr could hear wheezing comming from throat but said that while I may have asthma, that would not cause me to loose voice for this long. Ordered chest and throat xray which were clear. Said that something is causing airway obstruction/swelling which is not good, we need to find cause because they hospitalize people for airway issues. Ordered me to see specialist so he can scope my airway and determine the cause…it can be as simple as reflux disease, which I am not having symptoms of, or it can be much more serious. In meantime, I was put on double dose of steroids for five days. Plus reflux meds in case that the case until I can see specialist. Scripture Images
What happened next truly changed my life. As I was working up the courage to do what I knew I had to do, I felt in my presence beside me, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit said to me; “If you do this I WILL take you home to be with me. But, before you do, think about the impact on your two sons. Who will finish raising them? My ex-wife is an unbeliever, and I KNEW that they would grow up without the knowledge of our Jesus and our Father. Through many tears, I gently laid the pistol back in it’s drawer, laid down in bed, and proceeded to speak to Abba in a spiritual language I had never heard before, for the space of about two hours. Never had done this before. I speak in tongues quite a bit since. I received the gift of speaking in tongues, and interpreting spoken tongues that night. I didn’t seek the gift, but if Abba wanted me to have it, I will certainly not reject it. Bible Verse Wall Art
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