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How Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin  

Today I'm going to share an awesome worship song by Chris Tomiln. He has given us so many truly worthy praise and worship songs. The video is also lovely and as always, it's very short, so sit back and praise the Lord!

Lyrics to "How Great Is Our God"
VERSE(1):
The splendor of the King,
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice,
All the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at his voice,
And trembles at his voice

CHORUS(1):
How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God

VERSE(2):
Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end,
Beginning and the end
The Godhead, three in one
Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb,
The Lion and the Lamb

CHORUS(1):
How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God

CHORUS(2)
Name above all names
You are worthy of all praise
and my heart will sing how great
Is our God
(x2)

CHORUS(1):
How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God

CHORUS(1):
How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God

Today's freebies are pods off the Mimosa tree in my back yard. It's considered a weed here because it's invasive, but it's truly a beautiful tree, it's leaves, flowers and pods. This is a page of a book I made with pictures I took in our back yard. Each page shares something God has taught me. I'm putting it here so you can see what the tree looks like when blooming. Thought you might enjoy the "before" and "after"!
This is a pic I took in the Smokys of how they look just before the pods fall.
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PampasGrass_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

"Abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame at His coming." 1 John 2:28

"The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:17

Jesus has told us that He will return and take those who have asked Him to be their Savior home to heaven with Him, ever more to be with Him. We refer to this as "the second coming". These verses admonish us to "abide in Him" which is accomplished by "doing the will of God", so we don't have to shrink back in shame and fear when He returns.

"If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we call Him a liar, and His word is not in us." 1 John 1:7-10

This explains it clearly. God the Father is in the light. When we obey His Word and live righteously in Jesus Christ, the blood of Jesus His Son cleans us from the sin that would send us to hell. When we confess our sins, He forgives us as if it never happened as we continue to live in obedience to His Word and love Him. Since He has told us that all sin and fall short of His glory, then if we say we haven't sinned, we are calling Him a liar. Romans 3:23

This is the marvel of "abiding in Him", "walking in the light", that we love and obey Him, quickly confessing and repenting of our sins to Him as soon as we do them. This keeps us "in the light" where we are continually cleansed of sin so we stay in a state of grace and our salvation is something we can be confident about. Those who do not live this way will shrink back in shame and fear when He comes and their destruction will follow. Thank you Father for making a way of grace to bring us back to You!

Today's freebie is Pampas Grass. It was quite a challenge to extract, but soooo beautiful! My Pampas Grass didn't do well this year as we are in year 7 (I think) of severe drought. I took the picture I have extracted for you, but the image below to show you what the entire plant looks like I got from Google images since mine looks puny now. If you click the image it will take you to the source. These plants are much taller than me and the long slender blades that blow gracefully in the wind and are covered by fine barbs. There are many varieties of these ornamental grasses. You see a lot of them along the Gulf. So beautiful!

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What If I Stumble  

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

This is an awesome song. I love the music, but deem it "important" because the words address the very serious danger of those achieving worldy success in Christian music, of loosing their way and the impact they have as roll models on others. Whether singing music should make people "roll models" or not, people are human and many do look to them as roll models in Christian music. The video is so beautiful, I hope it doesn't distract from the words.

"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:6

Lyrics to "What If I Stumble"
What if I stumble?
What if I fall?

Is this one for the people?
Is this one for the Lord?
Or do I simply serenade for things I must afford?
You can jumble them together, my conflict still remains
Holiness is calling, in the midst of courting fame

Cause I see the trust in their eyes
Though the sky is falling
They need Your love in their lives
Compromise is calling

(chorus)
What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You never turn in the heat of it all
What if I stumble, what if I fall?

Father please forgive me for I can not compose
The fear that lives within me
Or the rate at which it grows
If struggle has a purpose
On the narrow road You've carved
Why do I dread my trespasses will leave a deadly scar

Do they see the fear in my eyes?
Are they so revealing?
This time I cannot disguise
All the doubt I'm feeling

(repeat chorus)

What if I stumble?
Everyone's got to crawl when you know that
You're up against a wall, its about to fall
Everyone's got to crawl when you know that (2x)

I hear You whispering my name [you say]
My love for you will never change [never change]

(repeat chorus 2x)

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You never turn in the heat of it all
What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You are my comfort, and my God

Is this one for the people, is this one for the Lord?

Now your freebie! I got to playing around with the bows and came up with three "artsy" versions that I really enjoy. They look best against dark backgrounds, but you may find lots of ways to use them yourselves! Just plain fun!

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of this post and God bless your use of it!
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GingerbreadFrame_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this finds everyone of you enjoying family, whether because it's so great or because you have grown to appreciate the eccentricities and challenges of just "getting along" with people's quirks! God sure didn't make us all the same, but if we try, we can find something to appreciate in everyone. After all, He made each of us in His image and that we can surely appreciate, even if the "trimmings" are a bit challenging at times!

I know many will not have this blessing and I wish you could all come to my house! I'm not a great cook, but it's just so much nicer when the house is full of people who had no where else to go. I think that's what it's about. Being grateful for whatever we have and sharing.

It's very special when we go around the table and share what we are grateful for, and then we thank God.

I am so grateful that God has forgiven my many sins and washed me white as snow in the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God (1), the only name by which we must be saved (2), the only way to heaven (3). I surely don't deserve it, but that makes it even more amazing and makes me love Him more! It's His free gift to me for believing in Him and taking His Son Jesus as my Savior. (1) John 3:16 (2) Acts 4:12 (3) John 14:6

There's nothing stopping any person from going to heaven except ourselves. Every one of us has the same choice to make, the same opportunity to choose life in Jesus and a wonderful eternity. I do pray every one of you will make that choice today if you haven't already...the rewards are immeasurable! And if you have given your life to Him before, take a moment to look inward and pray for Him to show you the truth. Are you still walking in Him? Have you let something become more important in your life than Him, dethroning Him? Have you slipped into living in doubt and fear without ever noticing you have left the victorious walk of faith you once had? Today is the most excellent time possible to rededicate yourself to God and repent of anything He shows you is out of place in your life, and set about correcting it. He's waiting with open arms! Be restored today - it's the only time we have!

To celebrate this special day, I'm giving you one of my two very favorite Christmas frames now. This adorable gingerbread couple and the background paper were made by Finfond, but I changed it a lot and made it into this fabulous quick page! I know you are going to love it too! Happy Thanksgiving and leave me some love at the bottom of this post! This is an 8x10 300dpi frame.

A special thanks to you ladies who have been posting comments here lately, and those who have wished me a happy holiday - I could hug the stuffings out of you!!!! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
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My Savior My God  

Here is a short video of another awesome song. Really think about the words.

Lyrics to My Savior My God :
I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior

I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me; this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

Chorus (2x's)
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be

Yes, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring;
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

Chorus (2x's)

(Instrumental)

Chorus: (2x's)

My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior loves, My Savior lives

If you download, leave me some love at the end of this post and God bless your use of it!
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SweetGumBall_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

Having been a northerner before moving south about 25 years ago, I still treasure the unique beauty in nature that God has filled the South with. To those growing up here, Sweet Gum Balls are a curse because they hurt to walk on and it's a misery to mow a yard full of them. But I see amazingly detailed stars and simply adore them! You can use these in so many ways...in real life and in scraping. What a funny idea to use them in real life scrapping...they are about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter and have spikes all around! Couldn't put them in your scraps that way! So, you are welcome for making it possible for you digitally! They are too special to pass up and make great decorations too. This is how they look on the tree...they are large trees. I'm giving you the ball as it falls from the tree...beautifully dried and brown. I got this image from Google. Click image to go to source.
People are often like a Sweet Gum Ball...they may look very unfriendly, they prick you when you draw near, but they have so much to offer if we just look deeper and appreciate them for who they are. Definitely worth the time and effort!

"By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:10

"If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." 1 John 4:20

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of this post and God bless your use of it!
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NylonBowsPnkSlvr_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

I just got this from a dear friend. I normally hate forwards as they are just a waste of time, but hers' are always worthy - either very informative or a good laugh. This made me laugh so much I thought I'd brighten your day too! Disclaimer - actual figures not verified, but it doesn't matter!

The Safest Place
How to stay safe in the world today.

1. Avoid riding in cars because they are responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents.

2. Do not stay home because 17% of all accidents occur in the home.

3. Avoid walking on streets or sidewalks because 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians.

4. Avoid traveling by air, rail, or water because 16% of all accidents involve these forms of transportation.

5. Of the remaining 33%, 32% of all deaths occur in hospitals.
So...above all else, avoid hospitals!

But,

...You will be pleased to learn that only .001% of all deaths occur in worship services in church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders.
Therefore, logic tells us that the SAFEST place for you to be at any given point in time is at church!

...and...Bible study is safe too!
The percentage of deaths during Bible study is even less.

So, attend church, and read your Bible
IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did! Now for your freebie...
Gotta keep it even with the girls! Enjoy!

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of this post and God bless your use of it!
Visit my store here.
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
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SumacBerries_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

Today is a special day. I'm going to do a random act of kindness to thank those who have left me the most comments recently. I plan to do this every once in a while from now on to thank you for taking a moment to post me.
Most comments I receive are through 4shared, though here on each post is much easier to keep up with and I don't miss any. As we've all noticed, 4shared has changed how you comment when you download a freebie. I realize many won't want to leave comments on 4shared with these changes, so I've been adding encouragement to every post for everyone to comment at the bottom of the post when they download. What has happened is that almost no one is commenting either place now, and I MISS YOU!

Since starting this blog, I work virtually full time finding things for you, doing photography, making freebies, getting them ready to put up here, getting them up and then writing you posts that are worth your time to read and hopefully will enrich your lives. I also spend time praying for each and every one of you. I do this of my own free choice in service to the Most High God and any reward will be from Him. But it is such an encouragement when you write. Instead of all this work disappearing silently into the net, you put a person into the equation and you bless me so.

THANK YOU to everyone who took a moment to say thanks!!!!!

I have looked back over recent downloads and a few names show up most often. You are the ladies I want to give a special gift to as my thank you for your saying thank you! LOL! If you would each e-mail me (found in my profile), and tell me which nickname you are on the list below, I will e-mail you your gift and no one else will get this gift. Each time I do this it will be a new gift that you can only get for free if you have commented a lot.

So now you are thinking, anyone can write and say they are one of these ladies...
Yup! Sure could. But there is One who sees everything, who we will ALL answer to one day, so you might want to reconsider doing that. After all, the only reason I do all this work for this blog is to spread the Gospel of Salvation and everything here has been free. ??? The choice is yours.

Drum roll please......
I am awarding this special thank you gift to:

  • Ajila (not to worry - Lord willing I have all 29 nylon bows scheduled to give away - just breaking it up with other things for people who don't want the bows)
  • Nana
  • Crosstown
  • C from Paris
  • Lucy
  • Elizabeth
  • Tabasco 7992
One more thing...I am very quickly using up my storage on 4shared and to continue giving you daily freebies, I will need to purchase more space. If you like getting the goodies, please consider donating any amount to my PayPal account toward the expenses of keeping the blog going. Just go to www.paypal.com, (you don't need to have an account there to do this), enter my e-mail as the person you want to send funds to lynettesmail@bellsouth.net and it will walk you quickly through the process. No donation is too small. Thank you sooooo much!

Now for today's freebie! More of God's beautiful gift of nature to us. He has created such an immense variety of beautiful things to give us joy, just because He loves us. Let's not fail to appreciate this great gift and give Him thanks and glory for who He is and all He's done for us. After all, there is no "mother nature", but there is Father God who actually made everything that is!

What is the difference between a flower and a weed?
One grows easily without any effort and the other takes work.

That said, I think it's an error that so many dismiss the beauty of many plants simply because they are considered "weeds".

I LOVE using pods and berries in LOs. They add such richness, interest and depth to our designs. I have prepared quite a few wonderful gifts of different pods and berries for your fall and Christmas LOs. This is the first one.

Sumac is shorter than most native trees and fills in beneath, seldom noticed. Their time of glory is in the fall. You start to notice them because they change their "blending in" coats for spectacular garments of yellows into oranges into reds into magnificent crimsons before they are done! Wow! They are spectacular along the roadsides and the hills! Then to top it off, when the leaves fall, they leave us with thick clusters of deep rich red berries of velvet! Irresistible!
So, today your freebies are gorgeous Sumac Berries! How gorgeous will these be in your fall and winter LOs!

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of this post and God bless your use of it!
Visit my store here.
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NylonBowLavRainbow_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

I love this one and I hope you will too! It reminds me of wonderful hours with my little girls and My Little Ponies. They were such excellent times, pure, warm and full of love. There's a big smile on my face just remembering! Wish I could hug whoever came up with them!

"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow." James 1:17

Tomorrow I will give you the first of a large collection of natural pods and berries I have made for your fall and Christmas LOs. They add such richness, depth and interest to designs. So be sure to drop by and collect them all! And for those collecting the Nylon Bows, don't worry, they will all be given out. I'm just offering other things along with them for those not interested in the bows.

If you download, leave me some love and God bless your use of it!
Leave your comments at the bottom of this post as 4shared has made it too difficult for you.
Visit my store here.
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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NylonBowYelRainbow_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

Are you having a difficult day today? I hope this brightens it just a bit. *hug*

"I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears" 2 Kings 20:5

"Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?" Psalms 56:8

Though we may feel alone, if we have repented of our sins and asked Jesus to be our Savior and obeyed Him by being immersed in water baptism, we are never alone. He fills us with His precious Holy Spirit and He lives in us. He loves and guides us and empowers us to live the abundant life He has given us.

"Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20

If you download, leave me some love and God bless your use of it!
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NylonBowRainbow_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

This one reminds me of cotton candy at a carnival!!! Remember the lights, the smells and the sounds all on a balmy night? Such warm memories!

It also reminds me of the very first rainbow. Our Holy Heavenly Father had seen "that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" Genesis 6:5 and He decided to wipe the earth clean of the evil, saving only Noah and his family. When it was over, (I paraphrase) He said, "I set My bow in the cloud as a sign of My covenant...then I will look upon it to remember the everlasting covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh." Genesis 9:9-17

I don't know a single person who doesn't love rainbows! So beautiful!! We might not think about that everlasting covenant as we ooh and ahh over beautiful rainbows, but it sure is good to know God is thinking about it!

If you download, leave me some love and God bless your use of it!
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Visit my store here.
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
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NylonBowArtsyLav_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

Take a moment to check out http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/192118676.html
Below I quote some of their article:

The Presidential Election is not Over

Contact: Janet Porter, Faith2Action, janetfolger@gmail.com

MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- There are critical issues that need to be resolved before the Electoral College makes the election official in mid-December. Faith2Action has placed a full page ad in next Monday's issue of The Washington Times National Weekly, a publication that is read by many of our nation's leaders, to address them.

The ad asks these three questions: (1) "Was Barack Obama born in Kenya?"; (2) "Is he really a citizen of Indonesia?"; and (3) "Does the Constitution still matter?" These questions point to various cases that have been filed before the U.S. Supreme Court and other Federal courts. The ad also lays out several alarming facts which question whether the Constitutional requirements for becoming President are satisfied by Senator Barack Obama.

"Attorney Philip Berg, multiple legal cases, and a growing number of American citizens are demanding answers to these critical questions," states Janet (Folger) Porter, the founder and president of Faith2Action. "The Constitution and our nation's future are too important to not fully investigate this."

"It's our hope that the American people will rise up and call for Congressional hearings and immediate court action to avoid a Constitutional crisis," added Porter. "If we are willing to ignore the Constitutional requirements for the highest office of the land, what else are we willing to forgo? That part about free speech? Freedom of the press? Freedom of religion?"

A copy of the ad can be found at www.f2a.org in the "Call2Action" section that appears in the top right corner of the homepage. Donations for the placement of additional ads in other publications can also be made at the website.

More information about the case before the United States Supreme Court can be found at www.ObamaCrimes.com. Both the ad and this website present an opportunity for American citizens to sign a petition and add their voices to the thousands who are already calling for action.

(For interview requests, please contact Janet Porter at janetfolger@gmail.com)

That ends the quote. Take heart! We are not the only ones who see the issues here! Keep praying and contact your government officials! Remember...all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing!

This is the third and last of the "artsy" group of bows. Next we go back to the remainder of the 29 bows in the preview. I hope you are enjoying them and putting them to good use. They really are nice when you see them up close. You should have 11 of them by now. Scroll back through the posts to get the rest and have a great day.

If you download, leave me some love and God bless your use of it!
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Visit my store here.
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CrazyCow_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

Now is no time to stop praying and fasting our our country. It's not over!
Please go to http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=80931 to read how almost every (if not every) state that Obama carried in the election has many lawsuits demanding the election be held up until he proves he meets the constitutional requirement of natural born citizen.

Alan Keys, a dynamic Christian Black man, former Presidential candidate and former asst. secretary of state as well as very educated, intelligent, informed and a fighter, has filed suit in California to stop the election of Obama until he produces a valid birth certificate. You would think if Obama REALLY has a birth certificate it would not be a big thing...but if this is all a fraud and a lie and a plan to deceive America and steal the Presidency...then.... let them games continue.

Freebie time! I don't know if you'll like this, but I think it's hysterical! She was looking at me over the fence and had this crazed look in her eyes...LOL! You won't believe the texture of her nose! You've got to see it for yourself! I think it could be a cute element at the bottom in front of a photo. Hope you agree! Enjoy!

If you download, leave me some love and God bless your use of it!
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NylonBowsBlSlvr_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

I copied this from Pastor Ken's blog.

Power in Praise –Part 3

Machowl. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. (2 Sam 6:16)

Dancing especially leaping is an obvious product of jubilation. You cannot stand still while you are celebrating. Back to the analogy of a football game; when a team scores people leap and jump up and down with excitement. It is natural to move your feet while excited.

This is what David did when the ark of the Lord was recovered from the enemy. David was full of excitement. He danced before the Lord with all his strength. But notice his wife, Michal, thought this display of jubilation was vulgar. It seemed crass to her.

When David arrived to his house to bless her, she blurted out, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” (2 Sam 6:20)

Many people do not appreciate the value of dancing before the Lord. Don’t be caught looking down at those who love to dance before the Lord. In fact, go a step further and join them.

I know at first you may feel embarrassed, but this shows how carnal and self-centered you have become. David told his wife, “Honey, you haven’t seen anything yet. You think I look like a fool in your eyes. Well, I am going to get so wild for the Lord that I will even embarrass myself.”

If the world can get wild on alcohol and do such embarrassing and truly vulgar things like strip for TV, then how much more jubilant we should become for the Lord. We should let down our hair and be happy to serve the Lord.
Something about dancing I have noticed. No one is a big shot in church when all dance. Lawyers and doctors become equal with teachers and janitors. If you cannot dance before the Lord, then you need a real release in the Spirit. Try dancing alone at first. Get free in the Spirit in your bedroom and when you are ready, let loose in church. David refused to back down from celebrating the Lord’s victory.

Shabach. Shout with joy to God, all the earth! (Ps 66:1)

This means to command and show your approval in a loud voice. Some are uncomfortable with a loud religion. However, I do not know how Christianity can be quiet. It is amazing how religion turned Christianity into a subdued religion, when our faith is in such things that should make us shout with joy—the incarnation, the resurrection, and the coming of the Spirit—should put a “shout” into our spirits.

When Jesus healed the ten lepers, who did he commend? He complemented the one who came back, praising God in a loud voice (Luke 17:15). This man was so grateful for his health that he could not hold back the shouts. He shouted with the voice of victory.

If you can shout when your team scores, then you should doubly shout when Christ gives you victory.

Towdah. He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God. (Ps 50:23)

The most impressive form of praise is sacrificial. Praise is called a sacrifice. A sacrifice is to give up something in order to obtain something greater.

In baseball, there is a play called a sacrifice. This is when the batter purposely hits the ball high in the outfield or bunts so a runner on base can advance. He gets out, but his team moves forward.

At times, the last thing you want to do emotionally is to praise God. How often have you been depressed and then went to church. Your flesh wanted to sit down in the chair while the music was played. You did not want to praise God. You just wanted to be quiet and alone.

It is at those times when you need to sacrifice your lips to God and praise him with all your heart. Do you know what God does in return? He exchanges your sacrifices with salvation, health and deliverance. When everything else seems to fail—your prayers, your confession of faith, your Bible reading—then try praise. Praise often works when nothing else does.

I hope this little three part Power in Praise series has helped you learn a little more about praise and worship. If I can help you anymore with this subject, let me know!

God bless!

Pastor Ken

I promised you more baby pastels and here is one! Don't you just love baby showers??? Hope you make something really pretty with these!

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SmokyMtPapers5 God's Splendor  

I copied this from Pastor Ken's blog.

Power in Praise – Part 2

Let’s Get Excited

The common Hebrew word for praise is hallal, hence the word, halleluiah. Forget what preconceive ideas you have of the word halleluiah. It literally means to be extremely excited about, to boast, rave, or to celebrate.

The picture here is of a football game. Your team has just scored the winning touch down. What is your response? You don’t with a solemn, dignified face say, “That is very nice. I’m glad we won.” NO! You yell, you shout, you jump up and down, “Yeahhhhh! We won!” You are beside yourself. You would not act that way in the normal course of the day, but this time you have reason to celebrate. Your team won! No one judges you by your jubilant celebration. In fact everyone else is ecstatic as well. This is the way you should act! No one embarrassed.

Yet, when we come to church, we assume that God wants us dignified. Let us not get too emotional. To some church goers, they dislike and disapprove of emotional outburst. They want their church quiet and reserved. But that is not praise!

How is it that we can jump and yell out loud when our team scores, but when Jesus triumphs over the devil we keep our composure? People get saved in the service; others are healed, and still more are touched. Yet, we don’t shout, or leap for joy. How can this be?

Now before someone jumps all over me and contends I am trying to make everyone like me, no I am not. You may praise God any way you want to praise Him. If you choose to be quiet and reserved that’s up to you and God.

I am just saying it is strange to me that most people can get excited and very demonstrative at football, soccer, baseball, basketball or any other sporting event but when it comes to God we are to be silent. These ball games are temporary and have absolutely nothing to do with eternity. But to think that God sent His only SON to die for me that I might live forever and not burn in hell….excuse if I get a little joyous and loud.

A football did not die on the cross for you!

Ways Praise is Manifested

Praise is something you do. Without action, you are not praising. Some complain about Spirit-filled churches, “Well, those Halleluiahs may go around dancing and shouting, but God knows my heart. He knows how much I appreciate Him.” You see, you are fooled into thinking that praise is inactive. There are other Hebrew words that describe the action of praise.

Yadah. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. (Ps 63:4)

This word means to publicly express our approval by lifting our hands. If you have ever been to a rock concert, then you have witnessed the adoring fans lifting their hands. You see that also in sports events. God designed us to express our excitement and adoration by lifting our hands.

Lifting your hands is also a universal sign of surrender. When a police officer arrests someone, he often says, “Put your hands up in the air.” Basically he does this to make sure the offender does not do anything to flee arrest.
In the same way, you raise your hands to God to signify that you surrender to His Lordship. You promise not to flee from Him. You have finished fighting. The battle is the Lords.

Barak.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; (Ps 103:2-3, KJV)

This word connotes to bless or say something good about. When we bless the Lord, then we enjoy all His benefits. Praise brings you forgiveness and health, including every other benefit we have in Christ.

Zamar. Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. (Ps 149:1)

Zamar is the word for singing. Let me admit, I do not have a good voice. However, you do not have to have a nice voice to sing to the Lord. God has a way to make our own voice sound great.

Have you notice how everyone’s singing voice sounds good to them? This is why we like to sing in the shower. I believe God enjoys our singing, even if others do not.

This brings us to a related topic, and it has to do with instruments. Some Christian denominations ban musical instruments, under the disguise that instruments are not in the New Testament. That is false teaching, bad doctrine and just wrong.

First of all, if God commands us anywhere in the Word of God to do something that was not fulfilled or set aside under the New Covenant, then we should obey Him. It is clear; the Word of God encourages—yes, even commands—us to use instruments to praise God.

But let me be clear, you DO NOT HAVE to use instruments!!! You can if you want to. It is your choice but do not try to lead others into bondage with false teachings by saying the New Testament does not allow the use of these in worship.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. (Ps 150:3-5)

How clear do we need God to get? The truth is, the banning or curtailing of musical instruments have more to do with tradition than the unambiguous scriptures. Scriptures are clear and forthright: we are commanded to use our musical talents for the Lord.

Someone might argue, “Where in the New Testament does it mention musical instruments?” People try to argue based on the “silent” theory—so long as it is not mentioned, then we should not do it. You cannot argue against instruments based on apparent silence.

I find it interesting that many religious organizations do not practice the laying on the hands, speaking in tongues, or any of the supernatural manifestations of the Spirit, yet the New Testament affirms and encourages these gifts. So what is their excuse? They can’t say it is not in the New Testament. You see, some Christians will just stick with their traditions, and pretend the Word of God agrees with them.

For those who feel they need a New Testament verse that concerning musical instruments, then consider Ephesians 5:19: “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” What is the difference between psalms and hymns? Strong's exhaustive concordance defines a psalm as a set piece of music, a sacred ode accompanied with the voice, harp or other instruments. The word is taken from the Greek psao, which means to rub or touch, to twitch or twang. In other words, it was used to describe the work of Jubal who was the inventor of musical instruments (see Gen 4:21). He invented the harp and the flute (KJV says the organ). The harp made a twang sound, thus the term psao, root meaning of psalms.

A hymn on the other hand is a song without instruments. Paul and Silas were singing hymns to God while in prison (Acts 16:25). They could not sing psalms because, obviously, they had no instruments in prison. So as you can tell, the New Testament also encourages psalms which by definition would include musical instruments.

Here is the last set of 6 papers I have made for you from my Great Smoky Mountain photos. There are 5 sets totaling 30 papers in all. Isn't God simply astounding in all the beauty He has made for us??? Remember, these are for YOUR personal use only. Send people here to get them, don't share. Commercial licenses are available from Lynette's Photo Art if you want to use them to make money.

Here is a review of all the Pumpkin Patch graphics. If you missed any, they are in the archives in the left column.
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SmokyMtPapers4Golden  

I copied this from Pastor Ken's blog.

Power in Praise –Part 1

There was no hope!

There was no hope! Judah’s army was tiny compared to the three nations that had joined together for the express purpose of annihilating them. What was Judah to do under these horrible circumstances? Maybe they should fight back! Perhaps surrender with the hope that the enemies would show mercy!

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” (2 Chr 20:21)

What a strange tactic! Instead of fighting or surrendering, the king, after hearing from God, decided to put all the people skilled in praise in front of the battle lines and have them do only one thing: praise God!

What does praising God have to do with warfare? At first glance it seems that praise has nothing to do with it, but a closer examination of the scriptures proves otherwise.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Ps 8:2) Notice that praise shuts the mouth of the enemy. Without the enemy being able to communicate, they will be thrown into utter confusion. That is what happened to the three armies arrayed against Judah.

As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. (2 Chron 20:22-23)

The enemies were befuddled. They couldn’t tell the difference between Judah and themselves. They eventually killed each other. In the end this hopeless situation proved to be a blessing in disguise for Judah.

When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Beracah to this day. (2 Chron 20:24-26)

Without this battle, Judah would not have been given so much wealth. This battle was God’s way to bless Judah. To emphasize the cause of victory, they named the battle site: Beracah, which in Hebrew means praise.

In the Midnight Hour

The Apostle Paul, also, knew the power in praise. While he and Silas were in prison, during the midnight hour, they began to praise God. While many Christians would find themselves truly defeated in prison these men praised God instead of whining. Sure they hurt. They had just been beaten. Their feet and hands were chained. Yet, they knew the clout they had with God. God gives power to the faint (Isa 40:29). Who receives power from God? Those who are about to faint—to give up; the discouraged—are the candidates for God’s power.

And why does God give them His power? But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31, KJV)

To wait on the Lord means to praise God, and what happens when we praise God? Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: (Isa 41:1, KJV) God shuts the mouths of the enemies and gives us time to renew our strength.

Concerning Paul and Silas, what was the result of their praise to God? And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. (Acts 16:26, KJV)

Just when you look like you are “stuck” in trouble—suddenly God breaks through. I love it when suddenly something happens; some breakthrough that only God could orchestrate. It looks like nothing will change. Your circumstance seems permanent. You have prayed and prayed. Others have prayed for you, yet nothing seems to change.

What should you do? Give God praise!

Here is the fourth set of 6 papers I have made for you from my Great Smoky Mountain photos. There are 5 sets totaling 30 papers in all. Isn't God simply astounding in all the beauty He has made for us??? Remember, these are for YOUR personal use only. Send people here to get them, don't share. Commercial licenses are available from Lynette's Photo Art if you want to use them to make money.

If you download, leave me some love and God bless your use of it!
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SmokyMtPapers3 Bridge  

I copied this from Pastor Ken's blog.

Let not your Heart be TROUBLED!

Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Mark 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace and be whole of thy plague.

The message is simple, direct and very powerful; do not be afraid, He is with you. Let not your heart be troubled, the Father is present in this place. By faith reach out and touch Him as He passes you by, touch Him with faith and with love and He will stop and touch you with His mercy and grace.

Let not your heart be troubled, He has not left any of us alone; He has not withdrawn His Spirit from us. He has not denied any of us access to His throne of grace. His ears are not stopped up and His power has not diminished. His hand is still ready to heal, to deliver, to perform mighty miracles and to display His wonders among us to His glory.

Let not your heart be troubled, this is not the end but this is the beginning. The sun is not setting, the sun is rising. So lift your hands and embrace the warmth of the Holy Spirit and let Him fill your hands and arms as if they were wings and let the wind of the Holy Spirit fill your wings. Rise above all circumstances conditions and every sin that might beset you or weigh you down. Let not your heart be troubled, these are exciting times if you will receive God’s word into your heart and life!

We stand at the threshold of something new, something fresh and an opportunity given to us by God. This is not the time to circle the wagons, this is the time to put on the armor of God, stand up and attack! Attack the lack, attack the darkness attack the places where we have become lazy and begin to strengthen and discipline those places and parts of us that are sorely lacking the power, the spirit and the vitality of God!

This is an opportunity which we need to seize for if opportunity passes us by and we do not respond, the opportunity is lost forever! Do we stand shivering in fear on river bank or do we dive into the river? Do we stand and watch the river flow by us or we dive in and become filled and baptized to overflowing? It is a singular and individual challenge as well as a collective and corporate challenge. As members individually and as a church body, we have responsibility as well as opportunity to walk into new fields and new ventures for the kingdom of God. Let not your heart be troubled; dive in; the water is fine!

Look around you and what do you see? Darkness and depression is on every hand and sin abounds in unprecedented measure. There are so many negatives that we can focus on and if we do, we will become depressed and negative as well.

Many feel there is no hope. Do not let circumstances and events rob you of your hope and of your joy!

Southern Tennessee and Northern Alabama needs a revival. Our nation needs a revival! And we can be used by God to spark this revival if we want to. It will take much discipline, fasting, praying and dedication. But how many would like to see thousands of people coming to God’s house to repent and be transformed into a new creation by God through the Holy Spirit. How would you like to see this and know that you had a part in it? Well you and I and all of us can if we have the courage the strength and the determination.

It’s time to shake off the slumber and rise up with the sword of the Spirit; be refilled afresh and anew with the Holy Ghost; become fire baptized, put on the armor of God and enter the fray! Who will be a bold soldier of the cross? Who will stand against the powers of darkness? Those powers are powers of destruction, deception and devastation. But our weapons are mighty because our weapons are from the Almighty! We can pull down the strongholds of darkness and it is time we as God’s people stood and began to take back the ground we have lost. Let not your heart be troubled; we are more than conquerors! We have God on our side and He is not just mighty, He is ALL mighty!

John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled; we believe in God don’t we? Then let us believe in Jesus and His words of comfort when He said you believe in God so believe also in Me.

For many the future looks very dark and gloomy and that may well be. America has made a bad choice recently. But look, our weapons of the warfare are powerful and mighty to the pulling down of strongholds!

I call the church to join together and pray against this darkness that has invaded our land. This is an opportunity for the church to unite, spread the Gospel and pull down this wall of darkness and defeat the powers of darkness.

We have the light of Christ within us, let's shine the light so all can see our Father....

Let's do (the church) what WE are supposed to do....it will all be OK...just be the church!

I call every Pastor, Teacher and Leader and Member of the Body of Christ to arms....armed with the armor of Christ.... walk in His love, power and faith.

It will all turn out good.... I promise. (Rev 20-12)

Here is the third set of 6 papers I have made for you from my Great Smoky Mountain photos. There are 5 sets totaling 30 papers in all. Isn't God simply astounding in all the beauty He has made for us??? Remember, these are for YOUR personal use only. Send people here to get them, don't share. Commercial licenses are available from Lynette's Photo Art if you want to use them to make money.

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SmokyMtPapers2 Hawk Tunnel  

I copied this from Pastor Ken's blog.

God's Justice Cannot Sleep Forever!

America is at a crossroad! She is determining which road politically and I believe, spiritually, she will take for the next four or eight years or maybe even more. Her political choice will greatly influence her spiritual temperature.

Will America return to the roots that made her great? Will America awake from her slumber and return to the God of her forefathers? Or will she, with a zombie-like sleep walk, follow after the pied piper of liberalism, socialism and denying the very God that established her and made her great?

There has been an intense, vicious attack for the past forty years against God, Christianity and the historical, orthodox family unit in America. America, her ideals, her heritage and the things that made her great have been challenged, impugned, mocked, attacked and there has been a tremendous effort to change to something completely different from what she was to something that will spell her destruction. It hasn’t happened yet but if America doesn’t awake very soon, the enemies of Christianity, capitalism and the American way of life will turn our nation upside down!

What is the answer to all of this? How can we stop this onslaught of destruction? If we look back on our history, we see America has had tough times, dark days and clouds of destruction hanging over our heads before but we made it through and we can make it through again.

It may be good to look back at the solution to the issues of America in the past. Please read the following words from many years ago:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

These words came from President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

Yes, a President of the United States said those very powerful and poignant words to our nation during a time of great trial. They could very well be spoken today by any of America’s leaders and would certainly be appropriate!

During one of America’s darkest hours, one of our greatest Presidents called upon the nation to pray to the One we had offended with our pride and arrogance, God. The time has come once again for America to bow her knees to the name of all names, Jesus Christ. It is well past time we fall on our faces and ask for forgiveness and for God to have mercy on America. It is time we call upon Him to intervene in the affairs of our nation and save us from making a very bad decision in the next election.

Noah Webster (remember Webster’s Dictionary?) over two centuries ago (that’s two hundred years) wrote these words:

“All the miseries and evils which men suffer from – vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

As you can see the early leaders of our nation were inspired to follow God’s word and gave God the credit for America’s greatness. They also warned if we left our roots, we would suffer.

We continue with one of America’s greatest founding forefathers and presidents; President Thomas Jefferson:

“Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever!”

God’s justice cannot sleep forever! Those words should strike deep into the hearts of men and women all over our nation. God’s justice cannot sleep forever.

America, it is time to wake up and come back to the Lord. It is time for all Christians, young and old alike to begin to sound the alarm. It is time for all of Christians to call for a return to God.

As a Pastor and as a Christian, I am making a National Call for our nation to turn back to God. I call all leaders on all levels of our government to bow their knees and ask for God’s guidance in all decisions they are about to make for our nation.

America! Turn back to God! Before it is too late!

It is time we restore righteousness back in our government and in our country.
Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a shame and a reproach!

If now is not the time….please tell me…when?

Here is the second set of 6 papers I have made for you from my Great Smoky Mountain photos. There are 5 sets totaling 30 papers in all. Isn't God simply astounding in all the beauty He has made for us??? Remember, these are for YOUR personal use only. Send people here to get them, don't share. Commercial licenses are available from Lynette's Photo Art if you want to use them to make money.

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SmokyMtPapers1 by LynettesPhotoArt  

I copied this from Pastor Ken's blog. It's entitled "America cried for a king."

"As the end draws near, there will be wars and rumors of wars. There will anxieties and fear and people's hearts failing for fear. The world will look to someone other than God to bring peace and prosperity back to normal. The world will worship false gods and they will follow a false ruler. They will be led by their delusion and their desire to be deceived because they do not want the one true God. Things will get worst."


"God sent prophets to warn people of what would happen if they rejected God. God has sent His prophets who wrote God's warnings of what would happen if they turned away from Him and His word. The people did not listen thousands of years ago. They are still the same. They still refuse to listen."


There is a story in II Samuel 8 where we see Israel demanding a king. God was not sufficient for them, so they asked for a "real king." They got an evil one -- Saul.


America has been in a similar mood. We want a "king" to solve our many problems starting with the economy. So Israel said to Samuel, "Now appoint a king to lead us such as all the other nations have" (II Samuel 8:5). But all the other nations had pagan kings.

God lamented to Samuel and said, "Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."

Two years ago came a charismatic man named Barack Obama who was engulfed in a cult-like atmosphere. Some have actually called him "the messiah." Shrines were built to him. A Web site said, "Obama is god." There has been a messianic fervor, adoration and a worship-like atmosphere surrounding him. At some rallies people fainted at the sight of him.


Young children recorded on YouTube sang songs to him stating he would change the world. There have even been sacrifices offered to him!

The intrigue with this man is global. Newsweek magazine had a headline recently titled, "The World Hopes for its First President." Imagine, a world president!


Newsweek states, "In country after country, polls show a record-high fascination with the outcome of the U.S. elections."


Newsweek basically said "The international audience really cared less about John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Joe Biden. Somewhere along the road to the White House, Obama became the world's candidate."


Newsweek continues, "Obama is a 21st century man with whom the whole world can identify."


In Obama's speech in Berlin, Obama said that we are all citizens of the world! Talk about a message on globalism. Will he establish the one-world system? Probably not, but we can count on him to offer America's support in this endeavor. The next four years will be very interesting.

America longs for a king to take care of us. We demanded change and change we will get! Of course along the way, something like 60 million Americans forgot to ask, "what kind of change and whom does it affect and how?" Hmmm, will America be happy with her "kingly" choice four years from now? Will his crown still sparkle in the night? Only time will tell.


There are YouTube clips of people jumping for joy that Obama will take care of them. One person says, "Obama will pay my mortgage and buy my gas." The entitlement mentality reigns and it is cross-cultural.

Jack Kinsella says in his recent Omega Intelligence Digest, "In October capitalism passed away after a long illness." He is right. Socialism now is very appealing and being implemented in America. The government is buying up many industries and turning them over to a new Socialist president!

None of the candidates who ran in "Campaign 2008" can save us! Only the Lord God of Israel can do that!

Will there be anyone who can stand up to the "king of change"? Will the loyal opposition stand tall when the time requires such or will they fold and push away from the table? Will America's citizens keep eating the pabulum of socialism or will they wake up in time? I am not sure what the outcome of this election will ultimately provide for America. But God"s word looks to be unfolding more and more before our very eyes!

In Samuel's day, Israel declared that God wasn't good enough for them. In our day it appears our citizens have said, "God is not good enough for America."

I believe it is possible God has allowed "strong delusion" to filter across our nation and around the world. It says in Isaiah 66:4, "I will choose their delusions." Thus, all has happened for a reason. God removes kings and establishes kings for His own purposes. (Daniel 2:21)

America's citizens may think Obama is a "messiah" but will find out quickly he is a very inexperienced leader with not much to offer except platitudes. They can call on his name all they want to, it will do no good!


There is only one name that can change a nation or the rivers of society or cure the ills of humanity and that name is Jesus. Man has only weak opinions that are usually wrong.


The Bible still has all the answers, the Holy Spirit is still active, God will still inhabit the praises of His people, there will still be room at the cross, Jesus will still save the lost, and Jesus will still set people free who call upon His name; not the name of Obama!

"At the name of JESUS every knee will bow and every tongue will confess HE IS LORD (Messiah)." Praise His name He STILL REIGNS!

IN THE MEAN TIME

In the meantime what will we, as the body of Christ, do? Are we going to put our heads in our hands and pout? Are we going to wring our hands in worry and fear? Are we going to moan and groan and complain?

Here's what I think. This is our wake up call. Here is an opportunity for us to wake up, take our thumb out of our mouths, throw off the blanket of comfort and slumber and become what we should have been all along!

We have mighty weapons at our disposal and they can bring down the darkness and the powers of darkness. We have the name that makes demons tremble and flee! We have power, not just power, we have THE power; the power of God!

We serve the One who created the universe, the One who is the only true and living God and He said, "I will give you power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you!"

We are more than conquerors through Christ! We are the church of the Living God and we have no reason to fear anyone or anything! No matter what happens in this world, we are victorious. Along the way, millions and billions of precious souls need to hear the message: the message of REAL HOPE and the message of TRUE CHANGE!

Have faith in God. Read Mark 11:22-24 and Matthew 18:18-20.

Come on church; wake up! Man up! Stop whining and stop sniffling!

For this time and for this season you were created.

Will you stand up or shrink away?

Now for your freebies! Here are the first 6 of 30 papers I have made for you from my Great Smoky Mountain photos. Isn't God simply astounding in all the beauty He has made for us??? These six are of historic buildings in Cades Cove. Remember, these are for YOUR personal use only. Send people here to get them, don't share. Commercial licenses are available from Lynette's Photo Art if you want to use them to make money.

If you download, leave me some love and God bless your use of it!
Visit my store here.
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