Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

Sometimes You Need To Say It August 31, 2015

Filed under: Marriage — Kris @ 6:55 am
Tags: , ,

On Friday, Racer and I had the opportunity to see the movie War Room. If you haven’t seen it, GO! It was amazing and I’ll admit, I was teary eyed at the end (ahem… and at several other points too). The movie helped spur me to thinking about a lot of things – being intentional in praying for the specific needs of my children (not just a “God keep them safe” kind of thing), being intentional about praying for the Armor of God to be present in my life and the lives of my family members so that we can fight “against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

And it got me to thinking about the small things I do in my marriage that have a greater impact on my husband than I realize. You see, with five children, our communication often becomes practical and businesslike. In order for our home to function in a half-way productive manner, we plan budgets, schedule compare, pass along homework notes, talk about discipline, etc. Yes, we are being intentional about a monthly date, but I often put Racer’s daily emotional needs behind the kids.

And I realized that I needed to apologize for that.

And in conversation with him about that, I realized that I needed to apologize for a hurt that I caused several years ago, one that was still heavy in his spirit.

So I did it. I looked in his eyes, apologized and asked for forgiveness.

You see, even though we may think that our spouses know we’re sorry about something, even though we may “know” they forgive us, sometimes, we have to look at each other and say it. We have to be intentional about saying the words that have meaning and can bring healing. And in response, we can’t just nod or hug – we need to say in return “I forgive you.” We may think that our spouse knows we appreciate or value the role they play in our life. We may think our spouse knows that we are thankful for dinner, or taking out the garbage, or watching that guy/girl movie with us, or whatever mundane thing that is a part of doing life together.

Words are important. Words have meaning. Words have power. Sometimes, you need to say them.

What do you need to say to your spouse today?

 

Remembering 9/11 September 11, 2011

Filed under: Me — Kris @ 9:47 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Ten years ago, I was up in the morning, getting ready for work. I turned on the Today Show as I normally did. I was 4 months pregnant with Professor. The I watched in disbelief and confusion. I went into work, into my safe little office in the midwest. I watched some more.

A couple of things are significant here in that I worked in a Red Cross area headquarters building. I didn’t work for the Red Cross; the program I worked for simply rented space from them. It was interesting seeing first hand what is done to begin preparing for a massive event that has happened. We were nowhere near any of the points of impact, but preparations began – equipping disaster trucks, mobilizing specially trained volunteers, manning phones, helping the community make sense of what they could do. In the next few weeks, I learned what the Red Cross can do and do quickly.

Second interesting point is that the small midwest area I lived in happened to be the world headquarters of a major construction manufacturing company. Because of the nature of their work, this company was put on a higher level of alert. It also meant that new purchases came in and contracts would be had. Clean up would need to happen for a long time.

Outside of those two major points, that’s the most of what I remember. I worked for a group that dealt with violence exposure and young children, so we did quite a bit of para-professional counseling and talking with parents/educators about how to talk about the terrorist attack with their young children. We did what we could to give parents and educators tools to help children process what they were seeing and hearing on tv and in the adult discussions around them.

September 11, 2001 changed my outlook on the world.

I admit though, with a baby on the way and life as a new mom to adjust to… I wasn’t that personally affected. Sure, hearing the stories brought sadness, but I didn’t directly know anyone that died, was injured or was even in one of those locations on that day. My life just went on as normal.

On year later, September 11, 2002, as the news replayed the events of that morning just a year prior, my live changed even more dramatically than it had one year prior. I was getting ready for work – as normal – and my husband at the time was in the office. He was sitting at the desk and I remember thinking that he was in quite a funk. I asked what was wrong and didn’t get an answer that satisfied me, so I asked again. I got a response like “We’ll talk about it later.” Being the pushy kind of gal I am, I persisted.

I got this response “I don’t love you romantically anymore.”

I wasn’t expecting that.

I remember asking “So what do you want to do about that.” Him – “I don’t know.”  Me – “Well, think about it and get back to me.”

Then I went into the bathroom and cried. I finished getting ready and went into work. I remember what I was wearing. I didn’t stay long. As the media replayed planes crashing, towers falling and nation in turmoil, my marriage crumbled around me.

September 11, 2002 changed my life.

Everytime 9/11 rolls around everyone always talks about that day in 2001 when our nation changed. I remember that day in 2002 when my life changed. But just as our nation rallied and became stronger, so did I. Just as New York rebuilt, so did I. New York’s skyline will never be the same and neither will mine. We both have scars.

Somehow with time, healing and determination to become something greater than what was destroyed, something beautiful takes the place of what was. Forgiveness creates a path to grace. Hope is found. Faith is renewed.

As I sit tonight with Racer and watch footage from that day, I remember the other day. I can still replay that other morning in my head. I can still feel the emotions of it. And then I look around me – at the family I have now, at the husband I have now and I know I have been blessed beyond what imagined.

I know grace. I know beauty. I know love.

Precious Father, while we all sit here and remember, give us reminders of our emotions. Give us a grateful heart and a spirit that honors the sacrifices of those who died so innocently on that day. And while we remember, some of us have other memories too – memories of babies being born, memories of engagements, memories of car accidents, memories of marriages… memories of so many things not connected to terrorists. God, help us honor those memories without guilt for not feeling patriotic enough. For not feeling the right way on these anniversaries of major events in history. Healing God, continue to bring forgiveness, healing, reconciliation and hope in the lives of those families directly affected by the events on September 11, 2001. And God, bring forgiveness, healing, reconciliation and hope to those people whose marriages are falling apart or have ended in divorce. Only you know the beauty and grace that can rise from the ashes of life. But like the phoenix, Your Son Jesus Christ rose from the dead, giving hope to the hopeless. As we forgive those who trespassed against us, help us embrace the new life You have available for us. Help us see and know that Your ways are good. And thank you. Thank you for always being in the midst of our lives, even when we can’t see. Even when the despair and destruction seems insurmountable, You are there. Thank you for carrying us when we need it. I love you Jesus and ask in gratitude and praise, Amen.

 

Indivisible – Giveaway!! February 25, 2011

I finished reading Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann. I’m slow to post the review, but I had a hard time putting the book down! I really was a great book – mystery, crime and a little budding romance too. It is Christian fiction – so no “kids don’t read this page” parts. No foul words. There are drug references and other than those, I’d be comfortable letting my Professor read this book.

The story centers on a police chief. He follows in the career footsteps of his deceased father. When unusual animal deaths begin to appear, the investigation begins. A local shop manager, her boarder, the new vet in town, the local real estate agent, and a mysterious “germaphobe” all take part in this well-written, suspenseful story. As the police chief and shop manager’s lives continue their complicated, woven journey’s, each must learn forgiveness. A drug ring investigation also causes characters to face hard truths. Will the animal killer be found? Will forgiveness lead to healing?

To read the first chapter, click here.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Because I got it free, I’m GIVING IT AWAY!! To enter and win Indivisible, subscribe to follow my blog via email or Networked Blogs (must have a Facebook account). If you do both, you’ll get 2 entries! Just leave a separate comment for each method you use to subscribe and follow. Maximum of 2 entries allowed. I will have one of my children choose a comment number on Saturday at 5pm Central Time. Happy reading!

 

Dear Birth Mother, September 27, 2010

Dear Birth Mother,

Our daughter recently celebrated a birthday.  As we celebrated, I wonder if you remember her and think about the day she was born?  Do you remember holding her as a newborn, smelling her head, counting her fingers and toes?  As  I think about our daughter now, I so wonder what that moment must’ve been like.  I wonder what her infant cry sounded like.  I wonder if she liked to nuzzle in the crook of your arm or the space between your chin and your neck.  What did she feel like in your arms?

As I feel my own child growing inside of me, I wonder if our daughter was a kicker too.  Did she like to hang off  your rib cage?  Did she spread out wide so you could feel her everywhere, or did she like to ball up and just PRESS into one area?  What sounds did our daughter like to hear as she grew inside of you?

As I watch my smaller children play and grow, and I think about the stories our daughter tells of growing up as a smaller child, I wonder what your memories are of those same moments.  Did you smile when you saw her laughing and jumping in the surf?  Did you curse the sand that ended up throughout the house after a day at the beach?  What memory still makes you smile?  Which one makes you cry?  And now, do you wonder where she is?

Our daughter is safe, loved and part of a beautiful family.  A family that God knitted together just for her.  She has siblings again.  She’s learning a new definition of family.  She’s learning a new definition of mom, too.  Sometimes, as we struggle to define this relationship, I’ll be honest, I get mad.  I get mad that I didn’t get to help define it from the beginning.  I get mad that it even has to be redefined.  I get mad that there is this other image of mom that I compete with.  And then I have to remember, if it wasn’t for you, our daughter would never be a part of my life.  So as much as I get mad, I try to be grateful for the life you gave and the experiences you shared with each other.  Good and bad, those experiences have shaped who our daughter is today.

Our daughter is really great.  I don’t take much credit for that because so much of who she is doesn’t even come from me.  It comes from you, from early family, from foster parents, friends and people in her life today.  But mostly who she is comes from an amazing something that God placed on her while she was still growing inside of you.  From the moment our daughter was created, well really, long before that, God knew who she is and who she will be.  God has protected our daughter from the time in your womb through today.  What’s great is that she sees it and knows it too.  As we look back at her life, we both see so many times that circumstances might have been different, but God intervened and protected her from those life circumstances.

I don’t know where you are today or what you are doing.  I don’t know where your choices have taken you.  I do know that I love your daughter.  She may have been placed in your womb, but I know she was placed in my heart long ago.  I love her like I gave birth to her.  I hope you can understand that.  I want to think that I love her more than you do, but I know that there is a special love of a mom and her child.  Even though our daughter is no longer in your life, I hope that thoughts of her somehow bring a smile to your face and a hope that our daughter walks a better path in life.

Our daughter is loved.  Our daughter is strong.  Our daughter is full of dreams and visions for the future.  She is full of hope of better things yet to come.  Our daughter is beautiful – and you had a part in that.  For that I thank you.  I forgive you.  And maybe someday, we’ll be able to share special memories of her.  But for now, know that our daughter is so much more than I ever could have asked for.

 

Dear Celebrate Recovery family, September 26, 2010

Dear Celebrate Recovery family,

Today, you celebrate your one-year anniversary of ministry in the community. I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for all you have, and will continue to mean to me. While I realize that I’m no longer an active part of worship and ministry with you, Celebrate Recovery will ALWAYS hold a very special place in my heart.

No, I don’t suffer from what the world thinks of as a typical “addiction.” I’ve never done drugs, I no longer drink alcohol, nor was I ever an alcoholic. I’ve tried a cigarette or two and felt like my lungs were going to explode, so that wasn’t something I struggled with either. I don’t have a close family member that is entrenched in an addiction that adversely affects my life. I struggle with a sin that is much more insidious – and common place – that many realize. My addiction is my pride.

When I began in the Celebrate Recovery ministry, I was hurting more than many of you will know. I worked in ministry at the church. I stood up in front of two worship services every Sunday and helped “guide” worship, share announcements and even taught kids. I taught 3-4 lessons a week and I was hurting. I didn’t trust people around me. I was burnt out. I was struggling to hear God. I was yelling at my kids, my family. I was not the model of Christianity that I “should have been.” And my pride kept me continuing in that charade. Sunday morning worship was work and no longer a place to connect with and love on God.

And there I was, beginning a process to put me in leadership for a ministry that was supposed to help hurting people.
As I began to work the 12 steps, God began His work in me. Slowly, I was able to let go of the hurt that people had caused within me. I was able to forgive and let go. I was able to see that, flawed as I am, God loves me and can use me still. I don’t have to be perfect to be liked, loved and used by God. I am not God – He is the I AM – and my prideful perfection only serves to push others away from a God that loves and finds us beautiful messes.

I was also able to begin to find contentment in a life that I thought I deserved more of. I began to trust that even though I, the one who loves to make masterful plans, do not see what the future holds, the Master Planner sees, designs, plans and understands so that I don’t have to. When I realized that, the weight that was lifted off my shoulders and spirit was huge. I don’t have to have it all under control. God’s got it all.

At this point in my life, I’ve dealt with more uncertainty in the last 10 months, than I think I have in my whole life. And while I’ve had moments where I have held on tight to my way, for the most part, I have found an inner peace and contentment that I know is only from God’s Spirit at work in my heart. It comes from the love and acceptance that you all have shown me as I allowed my life to unravel in front of you. As I removed my masks of pride and perfection, you became the hands, feet and heart of Jesus to me.

Most of all, you have helped me to get back to the heart of worship. As the song goes:

               I’m coming back to the heart of worship
               And it’s all about You,
               It’s all about You, Jesus
               I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
               When it’s all about You,
               It’s all about You, Jesus

Through Celebrate Recovery, worship once again became about loving on God – not “performing” well so that others could “have good worship.” It’s your raw, open, eager, loving spirits that helped me get back to that. Seeing people awash in the Holy Spirit, simply because they love Jesus, has been so healing for my heart. I longed for what I saw in so many of your faces. Yes me, the one who “worked in ministry” was envious of you.

So, on today, when you all Celebrate Recovery, know that I celebrate with you. I also thank you. Thank you for helping me heal. Thank you for bringing me hope. Thank you for welcoming me into a family of Jesus lovers that could accept that I was not good at everything. Thank you for allowing me to not be perfect. And yet I know, that as much as I thank you, what is beautiful is that you don’t even keep the thanks. You are in turn, thanking and praising God for the work that He is doing.

Praise God for this Celebrate Recovery ministry, the leaders He raises up, the lives He changes and the hearts that are forever different because of Jesus Christ. May you continue to head God’s call, submit to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and be the hands and feet of the Jesus we love so much.

Blessings,
Kris

 

Clean up in aisle 7 January 21, 2010

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 3:21 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So there is this nasty little 24 hour bug going around that has people throwing up.  Gross I know, but so many I know have had it.  We’ve had 3 kids at church get sick (at church).  I’ve been sick.  My oldest daughter, Blue, has been sick.  It’s not fun.  Mommas don’t like it when their kids are sick.  Daddy’s don’t like it when the mommas get sick!

Sometimes, we can feel the sickness coming on.  Sometimes we don’t.  Then the sickness is here.  We throw-up; maybe it’s only once, maybe it’s a lot of times.  Sometimes the damage is minimal.  Last night, the kid at church made it to the bathroom and the clean up was manageable.  Sometimes we make a huge mess.  Then, eventually, the sickness is gone and all that is left is the memory of never wanting to do that again.  Sometimes there are reminders of the sickness, like when others tease you about your children always getting sick in church – “can’t you keep your puking kids at home?”  But eventually it all fades away until the next time we get sick.

Verbal vomit is sort of the same.  And yes, we’ve all done it.  We’ve all spewed words out of our mouth that have been ugly, nasty and hurtful.  Sometimes, we feel the gross words coming and yet we just can’t stop them.  Someone tries to share a new/better idea with us or an improved way of doing something and many times that “Oh yeah, well if you….” starts to well inside of us.  We then feel threatened and in our heads start to lash back.  Maybe we didn’t get much sleep and then the kids were loud and noisy and then supper got burnt and the poor soul who mentioned it gets 30 lashes with a sharp tongue!

Sometimes, the words just come out with no warning.  We hit our thumb with the hammer and @$*#( comes bursting out.  Someone talks smack about our kids and the momma bear comes out teeth bared.  Someone touches just the wrong chord within us and we snap.

Sometimes the damage is visible to all.  We put it out there, our lips lashed out and people are hurt.  The clean-up is difficult.  We first must recognize the mess we’ve made and then make an effort to sincerely apologize.  But sometimes the smell will remain.  Afterall, we can’t put toothpaste back in a tube after it’s been squeezed out; the words have been said and we can’t take them back.

Sometimes, however, the damage is minimal and not seen.  It doesn’t mean the damage isn’t there, just that it’s been contained.  Maybe we sought out a safe and trusted friend to listen to our “verbal vomit.”  Maybe we journaled.  Maybe we talked to God and gave it all to Him.  The damage was just contained to ourselves as we already thought the thought.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”  Matthew 5:21-22

So how do we stop the spread of the “verbal vomit” disease?  Just like we can stop the spread of other sickness.

#1 – Wash our hands after being sick.  We can’t expect to stop gossip, slander, or hurtful talk if we don’t clean up ourselves first.  Go to God for forgiveness – every time we get dirty.

#2 – Wash our hands before we prepare food and eat.  Before we teach others or learn, have difficult discussions with others or listen when others need to “talk to us”,  go to God in prayer.  Ask for forgiveness and blessing on the conversation.

#3 – Clean up the places we’ve made a mess.  Yep, that means going to the places we’ve “verbally vomited” and cleaning up.  We need to apologize and ask how we can rectify the damage we’ve done.  Embarrasement may remain, along with the stink of what we have said, but eventually it will fade.

#4 – Stay away from people who are sick.  If we hang out a lot with people who are sick, we’re bound to get sick.  If there are people who continually gossip, slander or speak hurtfully of others, we will probably end up doing the same.  We can love people, but not be so close that they become contagious.

#5 – Eat right and exercise.  Isn’t that the answer to many health problems.  As Christians, if we consume reading material, video and music that is “healthy” and good for our souls, our spiritual lives and attitudes will show that.  If we “exercise” our faith muscle and serve Jesus and others in love, we will find that the condition of our heart is much healthier.

So there you have it – my not so great analysis of “verbal vomit” to the really gross stuff so many parents have cleaned up lately.  And know that I too am guilty.  I don’t pretend to stand on a pedestal, clean from all the “sickness” below.  I’m down there too – making a mess and trying to clean it up.

 

Failure to Thrive June 11, 2009

Just this week my little guy went to the doctor.  By little, I mean that he is an infant.  He was supposed to get some shots, but in the last 2 months he has not gained any weight.  In fact, he lost 1/4 lb.  Not good for an infant.  I’d been worried about his weight.  Instinctively I knew something was not right.  The doctor officially called it “failure to thrive.”  Of course I started to cry.  When I worked in a women’s shelter, that’s what the babies whose mamas didn’t take care of them were diagnosed with.  I was feeling like a horrible mother.

There are two options as to what can be going on.  I am either not feeding him enough, or there is an underlying medical condition.  Neither is a good option.  If I’m not feeding him enough, then it’s my fault.  If there is an underlying medical condition, then my little guy is sick.  So to find out what is going on the doctor is having me switch to formula (I was breastfeeding with 1 supplemental bottle a day) and write down the what, when and how much of his feeding schedule.  I also had to take him for some lab work (which involved plastic bags and needles – not fun).

I’ve had a couple of days now to process this all.  Of course I’m doing internet research (don’t docs hate that??!!) about what medically could be wrong.  I’m writing everything down and thinking that I’m really not a bad mom – I promise, I DO feed my child.  I even had a friend take a picture as proof!

As my little guy is struggling to gain weight and “thrive” I’ve been wondering if sometimes we have a similar “spiritual failure to thrive?”  With my son, he has not been gaining weight as he should.  He’s not been growing.  Sometimes as Christians, I think we fail to grow too.  We aren’t maturing in our faith and we stay right at the place we are.

If this is the case, if we do have a spiritual failure to thrive, then there are two underlying causes.  Either we are not “feeding” ourselves enough, or there is an underlying spiritual condition.  Maybe we aren’t listening in worship.  Maybe we aren’t involved in a Bible study or Sunday School class.  Maybe we aren’t reading our Bible daily and allowing God to speak to us.  Or maybe, just maybe, we have a struggle with underlying sin that nobody can see.  Maybe we hold hate, anger and unforgiveness in our hearts.  Maybe, late at night when no one is awake, we are on the Internet looking at inappropriate stuff and connecting emotionally with people that aren’t our spouse.  Maybe, we are looking for a bigger house/car/jewelry/boat/bank account to make us happy.

In either case, there is something wrong.  Neither option is a good one.  Either we’re not being fed, or we are allowing underlying sin to keep us from growing.  So what can we do about it?

First, seek God.  Instinctively, you know if something is not right.  Find a quite place (or if your a busy mom like me, lock the bathroom door and take a long shower) and talk to God.  Ask him to reveal any sin in your life.  Listen.  Ask for forgiveness.  Accept that forgiveness that Jesus so freely gives.  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Cor. 13:5, NIV

Second, be fed.  Join a small group.  Read the Bible, study God’s Word – daily.  Keep a log of what you read and study.  Doing so keeps you accountable and lets you see any patterns in your routine – in your study.  You’ll also see any areas you’ve missed.  Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;  pay attention and gain understanding.  I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.  When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said,   “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.”  Proverbs 4:1-4, NIV

Third, find a trustworthy person and have them help you seek answers.  They may be able to see things that you aren’t able to see.  They have gifts that you don’t have.  They can help “analyze” your spiritual growth.  They should also pray for you.  As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17, NIV

Fourth, seek God.  This really is not the start, nor the end of spiritual growth.  Truly seeking God is a constant in our lives.  When we do so, we are pressed to listen and follow.  Then growth will be evident.  …pray continually…  1 Thess. 5:17, NIV

I know that my little guy will grow.  The doctor, with God’s help, will find answers.  I, as mama, will be diligent in helping give him what he needs.  I want him to grow.  As we seek answers, I know that my faith will grow too.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  Ephesians 4: 14-15, NIV

 

My prayer for Jon and Kate May 27, 2009

I, along with a friend, have felt called to pray for Jon and Kate Gosselin.  You may know them from the TLC reality show Jon and Kate Plus 8.  There has been a firestorm surrounding them lately.  Their marriage is in trouble.  I have been there.  I understand the feelings.  I understand the hurt and the pain and the disappointment.  Please join me in praying for their hearts, their marriage and the Glory of God. 

If we can overwhelm Jon and Kate with mail using this prayer (or one of your own) that would be fabulous.  At time of post, their website (www.sixgosselins.com) was down.  But feel free to copy and past the f0llowing prayer for them into a message and use the title “Our Prayer for You.”  I imagine they are inundated with ugly words right now.  If they get a lot of emails with the same title, I hope they will take notice, read, and feel loved.  Please pray with me…

God, I lift Jon and Kate Gosselin up to You.  I thank You for designing them, for bringing them together.  I thank You for their infertility that led to twins and sextuplets.  I thank You that You have used the curiosity of the world to provide for their family.  I thank You that You have been able to use the avenue of television to show the world that families can and do love You– together.  Right now, God, Jon and Kate are hurting.  Their marriage is in chaos and they don’t know what will happen and where they will go.  So God, I pray right now for Your power and love and grace and mercy to pour into the hearts of Jon and Kate and to pour into their marriage.  I pray that You reveal yourself to each of them in a mighty way.  Reveal your love, but also show them their sin.  Show them how they have turned from You.  Show them forgiveness.  Through that, God, I know that your desire is to restore their marriage and make it more beautiful than it ever has been.  I pray God, that You are in the midst of their struggle and that You remove Satan from every corner of their hearts and of their home.  I pray that through all of this, YOU are glorified.  I pray that “God moments” are filmed and that those moments make it through to the final production of the show.  I pray that Jon and Kate have the courage to publicly turn to You and then to publicly proclaim how good You are.  I pray that you use their marriage – the ugly and the restoration to beautiful – to heal other’s marriages and to bring Your beauty back into the public institution of marriage.  God I pray that Jon and Kate are overwhelmed by love and that You place a bubble around them and their family.  Let that bubble protect them from the evil words, the ugly photos, the hurtful stories.  I pray that only YOUR TRUTH is able to penetrate into their hearts.  God I pray that many others will lift up prayers for Jon and for Kate.  I thank You.  I love You.  I ask that you grant this prayer so that all glory and praise returns to You.  In the powerful name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen

 

 
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