Monday, September 14, 2015

"DEEP COUCH SITTING"


What???

Let me explain.

There is an adorable commercial on TV that I just love.

It starts with a dad, a big and strong and muscular dad.  Who talks about taking care of his small son.  And how he's always so busy chasing and cleaning up after him and his friends that he has no time for *deep couch sitting.*

The doorbell rings.

And, lo and behold, some new cleaning products arrive.  Well, clean-up chores are now greatly expedited, and the dad has extra time on his hands.  The commercial ends with big ol' dad cuddled up next to his cute son.  And he says, "Now this is deep couch sitting."  Which is adorably echoed by his son, "Deep couch sitting!"

It's a great ad on many levels.

I love the fact that it portrays a close relationship between a father and son.  I love that it shows a man who isn't afraid to do household chores!  And let me tell you, the little boy is too, too precious.

But, the thing I love the best is the phrase – deep couch sitting.

As I write this, I am doing some babysitting for my youngest son.  That means all sorts of wonderful bonding time with my favorite granddog, Marty. Last night, as I was reading my current book, just to wind down and get ready for a good night's sleep, I looked down at the furry little buddy curled up oh-so-close to me.

He was warm and snuggly, sound asleep, with his upper body draped across my legs.

"Ahhh," I thought to myself.  "Now this is deep couch sitting!"

And with a rather stunned realization, I recognized the truth of it.  I was indeed more relaxed and restful than I had felt in a good long time.


It got me thinking…

(C'mon guys, breathing gets me thinking!!)

I got to pondering the whole concept of rest, specifically as it is talked about in the Bible.

What does it mean?  

Of course, we know that it is a necessary thing.

How do we know that?  

Because both God and Jesus rested.


Let's start in Genesis.

God did His great work of creation, and on the seventh day He rested.

Ever think about that?

Did God rest because He was tired?

"Phew!  I'm tuckered out.  Making the heavens and the earth was tough. Creating all the creatures was challenging.  But, boy oh boy, making those humans?  That took the last ounce of my energy!"

God tired?

Certainly not!!


So here we come to the first concept of rest in Scripture.

The Hebrew word translated "rested" in Genesis 2:2 is shabat – which means "to cease or stop."  So, the understanding here is that God stopped His work, He ceased creating on the seventh day.

It is from His example, and His directive, that the Hebrew tradition of Sabbath came into practice.

The Law of Moses taught that there should be no work at all on the seventh day.  And in this, we have the beginnings of our seven-day week.

The interesting thing to me is that God’s *resting* was purposeful, intentional.  

I wonder – do I rest intentionally?

More often than not, I don't stop what I'm doing – be it activity or worrying or thinking – I don't stop until I'm forced to by utter exhaustion.

But God showed us by His example that we should take purposeful time to cease our work.  Time to refocus, time to ponder and meditate, time to just *be.*

God rested on the seventh day because His work was complete and perfect.

So, let's be resolute in planning time to cease what we're doing for the purpose of focusing on Him, meditating on His Word, and just taking the time to *be* with Him!


Now, what about Jesus?

We are shown by His example that He often removed Himself to spend time alone.

Don't you wonder what He did during those times?

I'm sure He spent time talking to His Father.

But, I'll bet He also did it to keep Himself from exhaustion.  To find some peace and quiet away from the clamoring crowd.  To re-group so He could face the next steps in His journey.

I wonder – do I look for rest before I wear myself out?

Maybe this could be called preemptive resting!

Taking a *time out* before that moment of sheer exhaustion arrives.

I don't think we're very good at that.

We sorta pride ourselves on a hearty work ethic.  We like to do things to the extreme.  We even approach our leisure time with full-speed-ahead gusto.  (Sometimes a vacation can wear you out more than work!)

Jesus did not do this.

Though there were still people to heal, and lessons to be taught, and multiple demands on His time, He instead pulled away for time alone.


I think this is an area where the enemy is very clever.

He can fool us in a couple of very wrong directions.

First, he can convince us that activity is serving.  

And the more we do, the better "Christians" we are.

Unquestionably, we are called to serve God and to serve the Body of Christ.  But honestly, don't we all know someone (or are you *that someone*) who does this to the extreme?  The person who is never home, constantly doing something, the perfect volunteer.

On one level, it might be tempting to admire this person.

But, can we lose ourselves in ceaselessly serving to the point of exhaustion?

The enemy would love just that.

After all, a tired disciple is an ineffective disciple.  We're no good for Kingdom work if I we're all worn out.  And the father of lies would be overjoyed if we kept busy all the time – never giving ourselves time to think of what's truly important – sometimes even too busy for God.

Let's remember this…

God is not impressed by our *works* – but all too often people are.

So, let's be careful why we're serving, and whom we're serving.


Second of all, the enemy can deceive us into thinking that taking time for ourselves is selfish.  And oh boy, we don't want that!

"Think of others as greater than yourself"oh, how the devil twists that sentiment!

If Jesus pulled away for rest-full times, was He being selfish?

Certainly not!

I once had a very wise person tell me that taking time for myself was not selfish – it was self-care.  It changed my thinking dramatically.  No longer feeling guilty about periods of *time away,* I instead gave myself permission to take care of myself.  It's so necessary to do this.

I wonderam I practicing self-care?

So, let's be wary of frenetic activity, even if it's for good reasons and better causes.

Let's take time to take care of ourselves so we can be refreshed for further service.


Finally, I have one other area I'd like to talk about.

It's about when you've gone beyond the limit.  

When you find yourself exhausted, weary, frazzled, weak, debilitated, sapped, overwhelmed and overdone.

It doesn't matter how you got there.

There are many roads that can lead you to this point.

Sometimes it's our own fault.  Sometimes it's just life.

There are just times when we collapse – physically, mentally, emotionally.

These are the times when we cannot take another step.  We cannot muster the strength to go on.  We cannot find peace.  We cannot quiet our thoughts.  Our emotions run rampant.  Our bodies ache. 

Ever been there?

Only Jesus can help us in these moments.

Remember His precious words:

"'Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Put My yoke upon your shoulders – it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves.  Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.'" (Matthew 11:28-30, THE VOICE)


I don't know about you, but those words just sound like a cool cup of refreshing water after crawling through a desert for days.

Really, this is what Jesus is – an oasis in the midst of life.

Quiet, peaceful, loving, caring, gentle, kind.

This is our Savior.  This is our Friend.

So, the word *rest* can also imply an invitation from the Lord.

A Hand held out, bidding you to step out of the fray, to step away from the clamoring din of life.

A Hand held out, asking you to join Him in a quiet place.

I wonder am I listening?

Oh dear ones, let's take Him up on His offer!!


I encourage you to ponder this concept of *rest* – and to look at all the lessons we learn from our Father and our Savior.

Let's be intentional and purposeful in seeking times of rest.

Let's not forget the value of meditation, of solitude and silence.

Let's not be fooled into thinking that activity in and of itself is any good at all – busy isn't always better.

Let's not serve or volunteer to the point of exhaustion.

Let's be more discerning in what we do and why we do it.

Let's realize when the enemy is telling us lies.

Let's be courageous enough to say "no" when it's needed.

Let's take care of ourselves.

And let's not be guilty when we do…


So today I'm planning to cuddle up next to a beagle who knows a thing or two about resting!  And I'm gonna join him in some good ol' *deep couch sitting!*

For *rest* is a good and necessary thing – restorative and refreshing to body, mind, and soul.

Let's embrace it…

For God calls us unto Himself when we take the time.






Best buddies
doing some serious
deep couch sitting!! 




"'Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations!  I will be exalted in the earth.'"(Psalm 46:10, AMP)

"The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him." (Habakkuk 2:20, NIV)

"He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.  He renews my strength." (Psalm 23:2-3, NLT)

"For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:17, ESV)

"God has told his people, 'Here is a place of rest; let the weary rest here.  This is a place of quiet rest.'" (Isaiah 28:12, NLT)

"For we who have believed enter that rest..." (Hebrews 4:3, ESV)



Is God calling you into a time of rest?!



Linked with:

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BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

47 comments:

  1. I love that commercial too, so cute. this is a wonderful post. enjoy your time with your fur baby. I love you.

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  2. Amen. I have been trying to find this balance. I feel the Lord has been telling me these words also. The enemy eats our lunch when we are tired. Thanks for the reminder...that I need so well.

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  3. ahhh ... time for me to go back and read this REST once again after I get me a couch ... to do some of that "deep couch sitting"... oh Sharon, so precious and so good and my, oh my ...how we need this reminder "to rest" the God way! Thanks! So glad that you got some and that precious beagle time with Marty helps you unwind. Of course, I have never seen that commercial however your description was so vivid ... I appreciate the sweet ad ... Excellent depictions of Biblical rest! (sigh) off to try some of that "rest" ... love and hugs Sharon ~ Peggy

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  4. Very thoughtful post. I love your 'deep couch sitting' picture. Now THAT is a way to unwind!

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  5. I bet you enjoyed every minute of your dog sitting with Marty :) It is so important for us just to rest, to take the day God intended us to rest and to take some time in it to just deep couch sit. I know people have stated they get more work done when they do it over 6 days rather than 7. I know I rest my body, but I think I need to work on that to rest my mind :)

    betty

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  6. Hi Sharon! I know exactly which ad you're talking about. Seems like it's a single dad? But you're so right, what a great choice he's making to be with his son instead of the couch (although at the end of the ad, he's snuggled in with his son, deep in the couch!).
    Rest. We all need it so desperately, but if anyone is like me, it seems like I don't deserve it. We prize work, not rest! Let's think more about regeneration, and less about working like crazy!
    Enjoy your doggie-snuggles :)
    Ceil

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  7. I’m all for some deep-couch sitting, Sharon! :) Rest is definitely a critical factor of our spiritual health. It’s so easy to push it aside, but the consequences are negative. Trying to listen to you, friend!

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  8. Oh, how adorable!! Love this post and every drop of wisdom in it. It is something we, as Christian women, do not seem to know how to do...or have forgotten how to do in the process of our "much serving"! Too much Martha, not enough Mary, I suppose. So thankful for your sweet reminder! Sending you much love and many hugs across the miles!! :)

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  9. Pre-emptive rest. I like that. :) Trying to reevaluate some things myself because I sure do need more rest and less busy. :) Thanks for sharing. :) Happy to be your neighbor at Life Giving Linkup today. :)

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  10. I've done some of my best work "deep couch sitting." So glad you shared. I've learned (most of the time) when I need to slow down. Blessings.

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  11. Hi Sharon, this is the second post i have read this morning about resting, taking time out, balancing our lives, etc. Lol! Maybe the Father is telling me something? I like how you say that taking time out sometimes needs to be purposeful! I need to do some of that purposeful timeout deep couching stuff!
    Great post as always
    God bless
    Tracy

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  12. This post needs to be hung where I can see it everyday. I need to intentionally pause in my busyness and remind myself that it is okay. I need to do some deep couch sitting with God. Thank you for these words today.

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    1. So glad you shared this at Weekend Whispers.

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  13. Looks like some good snuggling couch sitting with God and a dog. I'm praying over my daily tasks now. Didn't used to, but God needs to be the author of my daily busyness and quietness. Thanks for sharing these truths.

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  14. "God is not impressed by our *works* – but all too often people are. So, let's be careful why we're serving, and whom we're serving."

    The entire post was good, but this really hit me between the eyes -- that thought/question really can put it into perspective quickly! :)

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  15. Great words, Sharon - and that photo of joined feet!!! Rest is one that the Lord has really been schooling me on recently. Especially that idea of "intentional rest" which I love so much better than the "forced rest" He brings when I refuse to heed His warnings and rest by choice. ;) It really is a beautiful balance, but yes - resting in Him and choosing to do so brings the most amazing refreshing. So glad to be your neighbor at #testimonytuesday.

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  16. That is a cute commercial! Thanks for LInking up over at #LifeGivingLinkup

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  17. Rest-full - I love it! That puts it in a different perspective for me. Visiting today via #tellHisstory.

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  18. I will never see that commercial in the same way from now on...and it will always remind me of this great post. You are quite an intuitive and wise woman, Sharon. Love the photo :) Enjoy the REST of your week!

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  19. #intentionaltuesday Such a great reminder to rest. We do need to be intentionl about it and stop. We have to learn how to simply "be". Great job!

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  20. I was really encouraged and blessed by this. I think I will plan on being more intentional about when and how I rest, and include some "Deep Couch Sitting" each week.

    Visiting from Coffee and Conversation today. :-)

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  21. Oh, Sharon! I am writing through tears. I read this post after catching up with the garage sale post. I love yard sales. I find scope for the imagination and a sense of rest in such an activity. Don't like having them except for making some grocery money. But, you hit such nails for me between the two. I am constantly retreating to "rest" and often write about it myself. However, at every turn, I am assaulted with guilt and condemnation should I take pleasure or peace from my rest. Be it thrift stores or crafting or reading a cozy mystery simply for the pleasure of something, I feel like I am wain God's time. What an egg I must break out of. can teach the lesson, but am tripped up living it as freely as I encourage others weighed down to do so. I am coming into a busy season again of writing and craft shows. The darkness of the times make me feel like I ought not take joy in anything for sudden destruction falling upon us. Yep. It is war! I am holding fast to Scriptures and powering through. Epic fail on my "unbridled joy" word for the year thingy. So appreciate your posts, my friend! Thanks for letting me rant.
    Joy!
    Kathy

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  22. I enjoyed your message on so many levels. Resting is a Christian word I never knew the meaning of until later in life! It's fun to be young, energetic and excited to learn, grow and get involved but wisdom taught me balance. Now I have to look for that commercial!

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  23. Such good truths you share here, Sharon--many that we ignore, to our own detriment! There is much to be said for time to reflect, refresh, recharge.

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  24. This is great. I love how you talked about what he must have done on his down time. :) Thank you for sharing

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  25. The thought of the verse in Proverbs, "Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich", came to mind. I wasted so many years not heeding this wisdom.

    Just recently did I begin to rest. It's an honoring thing to our Father to be mindful of what He's blessed us with, especially this soul cage that He designed for us.

    It's still easy to tend to get up and go and forget that the best things in this life can't be seen with our head down and moving at light speed... Thanks for the reminder, Sharon. My couch isn't so comfortable... might do me some deep chair sitting!

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  26. I'll be back to read this post but for now in answer to your question on my post we were watching the NFL on Sunday. We are Bear fans but didn't get that game. However it would have definitely been UCLA since Adam's fiance got her Doctorate there!

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  27. This is great! Deep couch sitting- perfect! Yes, God gives us rest, but sometimes we forget to take it!
    Here from WOW

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  28. Love it and you are so right. It's hard to slow down when there is so much to do--they are good things after all! But rest is a choice. You either choose it when you're stronger or choose it when you're too weak to resist. That doesn't mean it's easy. I'm a work in progress. :) Thanks Sharon.

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  29. Deep couch sitting is such a good phrase - it gets stuck in the mind for sure and becomes a good reminder. First, I am so glad you experienced peace like that in your first deep couch sitting experience. Second, I was reading in Jeremiah this morning about how God was telling them that if they would just stop trading at the city gates on Sunday, they would always have people going through their gates. And if they didn't stop, they would have destruction. How often do we trade what is eternal for what is momentary. We think if we just work a little more, do a little more, etc, life will be better. But God is saying there is so much value in the rest, in the deep couch sitting with Him. This is where it's at - in our relationship with Him.

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  30. some deep thinking... and deep couchsitting! loved it!

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  31. There's nothing like spending time watching a very young child to Slow. You. Down.

    And as you watch these charming, extraordinarily busy little creatures, you absorb the things that matter. Time. Rest. Love for another.

    As you observe -- Deep Couch Sitting. Nice article.

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  32. When life gets out of balance, or maybe just US out of balance, we always have the example, as you listed, of the way Jesus lived. Never frenzied or rushed, and when he was tired, he went aside and rested and prayed. What a concept, especially in this day and age of craziness. Too often, I am THERE, before I realize it. Not Jesus! Always, His life is our example.

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  33. Just got up from a nap where I spent some deep couch cuddling with Jesus as I prayed and fell asleep. I don't usually take naps, but was tired and my legs and knees were swollen from two days working with my niece to clear my sisters place as she is now in a care home with cancer. I have turned her over to Jesus and I know even though she may have forgotten Him at times, HE never forgets us. Yes, I agree, there are times we must physically TAKE the time to rest physically, and then of course to rest IN our Lord. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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  34. I love this post! I've been thinking a lot about rest recently and how important it is and how much God desires us to have it.

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  35. Oh, wow, this is something I SO needed to hear. I am frenetically busy most of the time and generally feel guilty if I'm not doing one of the many things that always, always need doing. Thank you for this.

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  36. Oh I love that commercial too!
    Honestly though, when I read your post title I thought of our old green couch that used to put people to sleep! really...even people who came for just a short visit would end up falling asleep and I'd have to put a blanket over them and go off to bed myself, lol!
    Right now I am doing what I like to call "restfully serving"...It's like being on call for people who may need someone to help them, such as a friend who just came home from the hospital and she knows I am only a phone call away, or another friend who is dealing with stage 4 cancer and she knows I will be a shoulder to lean on...etc. The fact that I no longer work away from my home means that I have the time to be available more than people who are working or raising small children. It's a good way for me to feel valuable and useful to the kingdom, even though some folks might think I don't "do" much. I do tend to get a bit busy around the house at times though and become mentally fatigued too. This was another good post with much to make me think about!
    Oh how nice it is to cuddle up with a warm dog curled up on your lap...Mine are too big for the couch, but they like to lay at my feet and Buddy sleeps at the foot of our bed.
    Blessings and love~Lisa

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  37. I haven't seen that commercial, but I love your thoughts! Such good reminders. Thanks!!

    Found you at Make My Saturday Sweet. :)

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  38. Such a great post! I love the part about resting intentionally—why do we find that SO difficult? And I think you're absolutely right about the whole guilt thing... yikes. Fortunately, we have an English bulldog who is an expert in the resting thing, so perhaps I should take my cue from her :) Thanks for sharing... stopping by from Faith Filled Fridays.

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  39. Rest, what I needed today after a long week at work. Deep couch sitting - sounds delightful. Once again you nourished my soul tonight. Linking from Ask Latisha.

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  40. You are so well versed with the Bible. I always learn something new when I visit with you. Thank you.

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  41. Have you been spying on me? This sounds like all the revelations I have had so far this year as I pursue rest.

    So yeah. Amen X 1000. I have done more deep couch sitting in the last 9 months than probably in my last 29 years combined.

    And wouldn't you know? I am getting more done for Jesus than ever!

    PS: I have missed you friend. Glad to be back!

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  42. Thanks for linking at Mondays @ Soul Survival! Blessings!

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  43. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop

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  44. Thanks for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!

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  45. Yup. Rest is a tricky thing. I'm getting better at it though since I came back from Africa. Have stepped off the volunteer treadmill. Now I focus on serving folks in front of me as I meet them throughout the day. Nursing is serving. Ten hours a day, four days a week. It takes all my strength and focus to love all those patients in Jesus' name. And it is enough. Every time I think about volunteering at church or anywhere else, I seriously count the cost. I know the Lord doesn't need or want me to get as burned out as I did during the full on pursuit of missions. I'm so loving my life rit now. It's been quite a journey.

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  46. Sharon, I must say that this is a fantastic blog. Just so you know, I am the actual father in the commercial along with my little son. That phrase is one that I use to describe the opportunity for me to relax and enjoy good quality time mostly with my son. Take the time to talk and listen and often pray together. The commercial is an actual representation of our life together and our relationship. Your blog describes in detail exactly what I mean by "Deep Couch Sitting".

    Many blessings to you.
    Jerry Bell Jr
    #swifferdad
    twitter: @true2lif

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)