Today is September 27, 2016

william-one-month-old

Today is September 27, 2016

One month ago, today, we had a typical baby, but not in a typical way. It was one in the morning and I had just gone to bed after cleaning the house and taking a shower. I decided to try to get some rest, because I was scheduled for an inducement of labor the following morning at 7:00 am. My legs had been hurting off and on all night, normally it was just my left leg that hurt, but that night both legs were hurting. It wasn’t even an hour, when I woke up screaming. My body was in complete pain. There were only seconds between me telling my husband it was time to go and my water breaking. 2:00 am. I barely made it to the bathroom, before it would have been everywhere. My husband, Bud, had already dressed, put the cat cage outside and opened it, before I could ask him for a towel. While I was dressing, and trying to figure out if underwear was even necessary, he was already out the door, prepping the car, and loading our stuff inside. He came back to get me and we wobbled our way to the car. The only thing I had to tell him to do was to shut the gate, because he was already buckling up. He set his GPS, and we raced down the driveway and out of Liverpool. With hazard lights on we were on our way to the hospital, going as fast and as safely as we could down our pitch black country road.

With the hospital located in Galveston, an hour away from our house, he was already on the phone, with the hospital, notifying them that I was in labor and we were on our way. Bud was highly stressed, because every few minutes I would start screaming from another contraction. Somehow, though, he remained calm and focused. Just a few minutes after he hung up with the hospital, I went through my last period of no pain until the pain was so intense that I started hollering for Bud to call an ambulance; that the baby was coming. As he called 9-1-1, he had to ask me several times to try to not scream. The dispatch notified the police and called an ambulance for us. We pulled into the deserted Texaco, as we were told.

For several minutes, it felt as if nobody was going to show up. Bud stayed on the line with 9-1-1, and when it seemed like Bud was going to have to deliver the baby himself, the dispatcher was already starting to prepare him with instructions, like reminding me to breath.

I was completely contorted in my seat, clutching the seat belt holder shrieking in pain. All I wanted was somebody to show up. That baby was minutes away from coming out, and the last we heard, the deputy was stuck behind a train. Then, in the midst of all my screaming, we heard it. Sirens. Someone was about to arrive!

It was a Sheriff’s car. The officer, Deputy Gómez, already had his gloves on, and started to get his partner in position and started to talk to us, shocked that the ambulance wasn’t there yet. After he introduced himself to me, and had already told me to breath and tried to get me to calm down some, I noticed him talking to Bud, telling him to get the car seat out from behind my seat, but with the baby literally seconds away and my contractions being so close together, I yelled at him to look at me. He commanded me to breath and to lean my chair back as far as it would go. That’s when it started.

Before I knew it, I was pushing, breathing, and crying all at the same time. I found Bud with my eyes, squeezed his hand, and I yelled that I loved him in between pushing and breathing. I saw the EMS man get into the driver’s seat. By that time the baby’s head had crowned. Deputy Gómez repeatedly commanded that I breath, push, and that I open my eyes to let him know that I was still with him. “One more push!” I heard him say, and the baby was out. Staring at my newborn baby in his hands, I could tell that he was panicked, hitting our baby to make him cry, and there was a celebration of relief when he did. Frantically, I started yelling about the umbilical cord. The EMS man wasn’t confident on where to cut it, so Deputy Gómez took the scissors from him and cut it himself.

It was time to move me. The EMS lady and the other policeman had everything in place for me to get on the stretcher. Once I was on and realized my robe was soiled, I had them take it off me, and EMS belted me to the stretcher so that I wouldn’t tumble off while they were loading me in the back of the ambulance. I made sure Bud loaded all of my bags in the ambulance, so that they would be with me, no matter what. He was going to drive the car to the hospital, but I couldn’t hold the baby during the ride, because I still had to give birth the placenta, and I was still having strong contractions.

While Bud was parking the car, I asked if I could hold my baby. I didn’t get to hold my baby first last time, and I want to make sure I was the first one to hold him this time. He was so small and gentle in my arms. I couldn’t think of loving anything so small, so new, so much in my life. It only lasted for a moment, because I felt another contraction coming on, so I hand my newborn son back to the EMS man. Bud got in and we hit the road to the Angleton-Danbury Hospital where I gave birth to the placenta and where we stayed overnight, with my family, Deputy Gómez and his wife, and Channel Eleven New all coming to visit and interview us. We were an overnight sensation.

William One Month Old.jpg

William Allen Loper was born at 2:55 am, August 27, 2016, in our car at a Texaco. He is healthy and strong, already trying to hold his head up the first day he was alive.

God was with us every step of the way. It was a pure miracle that William was born safe, strong, and healthy, and that I didn’t have to give my life up in the process.

Glory be to God!

Upon Facing Trials and Tribulations

Rio Olympics 2016 image

Upon Facing Trials and Tribulations

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with the thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7

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There are two sides to every story, as there are two faces to every person. When things seem to be so bright, honest and pure in light, there is a secret lurking, hiding behind the facade that is pure and clean. The summer Olympics are in Rio this year, and as the Olympics have been viewed through rose colored lens as to hide the imposing threats of the Zika virus and ISIS, the funds that the Olympics would have brought to Rio have been cut short by the dangers that loom overhead. In short, Rio’s plans to revitalize its public sectors, so that it can pay its police force, revamp the roads, and clean-up their crime ridden streets, may not be the reality that the government had hoped for, since 25% of the tickets were not yet sold before the opening ceremony. However, Rio still clings to the hope that the Olympics will bring about some sort of positive change. Through all of this corruption and suffering, Rio still has hope, and we can take a cue from Rio and apply it to our own lives.

God said that we will face trials and tribulation in this world. He says in Psalm 34: 17-18, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” I know this to be true first hand, because I have gone through a long trial of tribulation as I was adjusting to my new life, and while there were times I wanted to completely give up on it, I had good people praying for me and, not to mention, enough sense to pray through it. While God gave us the resources in people, location, and finances to make our life better, He has also done it in His time, and as we are looking forward to the birth of our next child, we have arrived at a place where we are becoming more solid as a family and becoming more ready to take on our new addition.

Throughout it all, our marriage was strengthened, we love more and fight less. We have learned how to communicate with one another, without yelling and screaming. We have learned to let things go that bother us about the other, or to, at least, be more relaxed about them. We have become thankful that we have decided to endure the hard times, because now we know how much we mean to each other. Although, we “. . . still have miles to go before we sleep, and miles to go before we sleep,” (Robert Frost), God has helped to get us back on track and to remind us what we mean to one another, why we married each other, that His plan is working, and we are experiencing his gift of joy.

Whatever God’s plan is, Rio is going to be taken care of, just like God takes care of us, and will not be put to shame.

“Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5: 2-5

Sources

Sandy, Matt. “Amid Crises, Rio Readies for Its Olympic Closeup.” TIME 28 July 2016: n. pag. Print.

Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., renewed 1951, by Robert Frost. Reprinted with the permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Tribulation

Tribulation: It’s Not What You Think!

Robert Frost also understands the benefits of suffering now to reap the rewards later:

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

How did Jesus deal with Difficult People?

How did Jesus deal with Difficult People?

“It is one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”

Proverbs 20:3

No matter what, we will encounter a difficult person. We may be married to them, friends with them or linked to them by family ties; then they might be co-workers, associates, or strangers, and whoever they are, sooner or later we will encounter a difficult person.

Lately, the difficult person role has been switching from person to person in my little circle, and sometimes, I am the difficult one. Mostly, it seems to spur from miscommunication, other times from pride and not giving the effort to listen to the other person’s point of view, and yet we could just not want to understand the other person, because of the belief system that we have to be right all the time. When people are brought together with very different backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives, or simply when two or three people all think differently, things can get very frustrating very fast. However, The Holy Bible gives us a blueprint for dealing with difficult people, and that is to follow the ways in which Jesus dealt with difficult people.

Jesus used a variety of methods for dealing with difficult people. He used self-control, never displaying pride and putting others down or beneath him, but instead blessing them in one way or the other. John 8:47 sums up what Jesus says in John 8:42 – 47, he says, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” It is when we belong to God when we hear truth. What are a few of God’s truths?

First, God is Love (1 John 4:8) and God loves You (John 3:16, Romans 8:37 – 39, Ephesians 2:4 – 5, Romans 5:8, Zephaniah 3:17, 1 Peter 5:6 – 7, Psalm 86:15).

Second, you will be saved: “When you declare with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved,” (Romans 10:9).

Third, God does not judge unfairly: “For there is not difference between a Jew and a Gentile,” (Romans 10:12)

Taming the tongue is another way of dealing with difficult people. When Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, “. . . the teachers of the law and Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. . .” trying luring Jesus into a trap to accuse him, Jesus refuse to be a fish caught on a hook and sat down and wrote in the sand. He did this, and then again until only the accused woman was left, “. . . Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1 – 11).

When you feel like others are attacking your authority, your faith, your beliefs, just do what Jesus did and ask them an appropriate question: the teachers of the law and the elders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?” Jesus answered back with his own question, “Jesus replied, ‘I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism – was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!” (Mark 11: 27 – 33).

Looking to scripture, and reading Jesus’s parables are also very good ways to follow the ways that Jesus dealt with difficult people.

Since God is love and we were made in the image of God, we are commanded to love one another, even our enemies. We are told to pray for and to bless each other, even our enemies.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are they doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43 – 48).

Nothing will get better until we give it to God and allow Him to transform our hearts, cleanse our soul, and to be silent and still enough to hear His soft whisper. Maybe after all of the that, we can be more perfect like God, never God, but in His image, as we were made.

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References:

“What does the Bible say about dealing with difficult people.” Got Questions.org. http://www.gotquestions.org. 7 May 2016. Web.

“7 Inspiring Bible Verses about God’s Love for Us.” The Christian Post. Buzz Vine. http://www.christianpost.com. 7 May 2016. Web.

The Holy Bible

My Heart went Stone Cold

Picture 5 JPEG

Picture 5 JPEG

My Heart went Stone Cold

“I will give you new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezek. 36:26)

In the midst of my passionate faith journey, everything went dark. My desire for living entirely for the Lord dwindled, fast. I was lost, and stuck in a rut, looking at my life in fear. However, there is a moment where this all began, or, rather, a series of moments where it all began, but the biggest one attributes to my instinct and new found knowledge of a significant change in my life; something I was hoping to hold off on until my plans were set in motion and my goals were met, but, God in all His great glory had something else up his sleeve, and now my path is headed in that direction, whether I planned it or not.

We are having our second child.

Right after I saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test, I was horrified, and yet grateful. Nonetheless, I was mad. It took me two days to tell my husband, and a little longer to tell my family, and into the second trimester, I have yet to post my adorable announcement photos for all of my friends and family to see.

Picture 3 JPEG.jpg

However, this is not because of anger anymore, but out of fear. Fear of not being accepted. Fear that I won’t be able to handle it. Fear of being looked down on for not yet having my bachelor’s degree or living out my dream as an accomplished children’s book  author (I published my first book last month, Childhood Memories,and my second on Monday, Monkey Games). The Devil has been attacking me in all sorts of ways to make me fearful. He has attacked my passions, my zeal for life, my family, my spirit, etc. Nevertheless, it was time to fight back. Whatever he was doing to me, he will do no more. God is in control!

No matter how good that sounds, if I am not proactive about “letting go and letting God,” then I will be “holding on and letting the Devil take control”, thus bringing me back to a stone cold heart and an angry, empty life.

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all of your blessing. Lord, I am going through a tough time again. There is a lack of trust arising again in my family. There are accusations being thrown against me and total disrespect aimed my way. I am feeling unloved, disrespected, misunderstood, and like there is a plot getting planned against me. Lord, again, I want to run from this marriage and take my babies with me, but Lord, you know that I want to trust you too much to actually go. Our two year anniversary is coming up in a few days, and I pray that you bless that day and allow us to forgive each other of our faults. Please, soften our hearts, rekindle our spirit, and be in the middle of it all. Please, help those who do not seek you, but have loved ones praying for them. Please, create in me a clean heart and and new spirit.

Dear Lord, thank you for your many wonderful blessings.

In Jesus and,

Amen.

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Happy First Monday of the New Year!

Rick Warren

Happy First Monday of the New Year!

If you are like me, you have started a new bible study and have vowed to finally read the entire bible in a year. Seems a little typical and boring, right? Well, not with God by your side! The bible study God lead me to is one that I did about five years ago, before marriage, before babies, and before moving out into the sticks. He shed some light on me then, and He wants to do it again! Last year, and the years before, were by far a few of my most unperfected years. Many things happened, were said, and some of my foundations were shaken out of place, and then miraculously shaken back into place. However, it has taken time. God has had me under His wing, allowed me to choose my paths, and has even allowed me to stray, but His love is greater than Satan’s power. His love has shaped and molded and painted me the very color and form I am today. Without all of the life lessons, I would not have the wisdom I harbor, but you do not have to stray and make mistakes to get that wisdom. All you need is to listen to God. Through learning all of this the hard way, I can tell you that there is an easier way to learn about God’s wisdom.

So, go to your bible and open it. You can start with Proverbs, if you want to read about wisdom flat out, but, doing that, it might seem like a list of rules. God knows how to make anyone’s journey reading the bible fun. He knows you inside and outside and upside down. He knows you better than you know yourself. Just take God seriously, push Satan out of the way, because Satan is really, really good about making the bible feeling boring and chore to read, but if you listen to God, and start the reading plan that God has been whispering for you to read, it will be very fun, interesting, enlightening, and right on cue with whatever you are going through that day, or that week, or that month, or that year. For example, today my bible reading plan said read Job chapters 1 – 5, and right before that I was doing my daily bible study, and I think it literally took me almost a complete half hour to read five pages, and that was all that the bible study was. It felt like Satan had decided to play games with me, when my child would act up, and when I would attempt to calm the situation, I am pretty certain that Satan was making more distractions to escalate the situation, each time, and then making me feel like a failure as a parent, but God does not see me as failure. It’s parallel to Job.

See, my child and I have a cold. We caught it pretty much on New Year’s Day, therefore, we are suffering from a cold. Last night, it seemed as though every single time, I was comfortable and falling asleep, my son would cry, want out of his crib, or the lovely dogs would start barking at. . . nothing. With a cold, it is difficult enough to sleep, and especially when you think you took medicine that might have had caffeine in it, nonetheless, I was able to get in a couple of hours. This morning, when Jason woke up, I think he screamed and cried and screamed and cried and screamed and cried, for about an hour, no matter what I gave him, or did for him, the only thing that cheered him up, was a very long, warm bath with his two new rubber duckies, Epson salt and apple cider vinegar poured in to detox him from some of his illness. Like Job, I have felt like I have been under tests, to take care of Jason, since last night. I think that I failed some, and I aced some. Let’s look at Job Chapter one through five.

So, Job was blameless and upright. You know, Job is a good book to study if you feeling like you are suffering unfairly. God has a reason for everything that He allows in your life. For me, I have been praying to be a better mother for my son. Sometimes, God just want to test your progress. Alright, Job. During the trials of Job’s tests, Job praised God and did not sin. It was not until his three friends showed up, and openly wept for Job and,

“Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. . . After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” Job 2: 13 & 3: 1.

After Job’s rant, one of his friends, Eliphaz, calls him a fool for calling to God and cursing his own birth. God wanted to remind Job, and Satan, that a mortal cannot be more righteous than God. This is pride. Thinking that, “you got this” and you don’t, not really, because, “God’s got this,” and God is reminding you to follow him, and if you do mess up in the eyes of your friends, He is reminding them that you are not God, nor are you a god, nor are you even wise. God has his own way to teach a person wisdom. The meaning of a fool is a person who is not wise. Job was a fool. Even though Job was blameless and upright, him cursing his own birth, just proved that he was not nearly as wise as his life made him out to be. His life was pretty perfect and he praised and feared the Lord, but he was not wise enough to understand that God was testing him, not punishing him. God also wanted to prove to Satan, that no one is righteous, not one, except for God.

Each person’s suffering produces a different lesson of wisdom, customized to their specific need. Your lesson may not be the same as Job’s and mine is not the same as yours, but there is a wisdom that God wants you to know, learn, and practice. Maybe mine had to do with a gentle spirit, Job was a fool, what is God trying to show you through your suffering?

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for inspiring me to do these bible studies each day. I am on track with each of them. Thank you for providing me with two new lessons each day, and for providing a platform to share some of what you teach me. Dear Lord, I pray that anyone seeking your wisdom will open their ears, hearts, minds, and souls to you, start the bible study or reading plan that you have thoughtfully and lovingly picked out for them, and may they stick to it every day, and just be engulfed in your word and wisdom, so they can grow and mature in you.

 

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Rick Warren

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What was He Seeking?

Freedom Tools

What was He Seeking?

What was he seeking,
when he chased after all those girls back then?
Was he looking for one to replace his mother
or trying to fill a void?
Could there been a hurt so deep that he
thought pretty girls would fix it?
What is it about sex that
entice, entangle, engulf guys so much?
Is it that they are programmed from a young age
to think of women as an object
to be looked at, used, and thought of as pleasure?
Where did this start and,
how do we make it end?

In the garden it began,
When Eve disobeyed God.
When God cursed Eve and her offspring,
taking away the perfection that was promised,
making child bearing painful,
allowing Satan to roam free.
Satan whispered to Eve,
as he whispered to us,
nudging us towards a life of sin;
wanting us to waste away in pleasures
that do not satisfy,
so we seek more and more,
until we are in ruins.

However,
there is one who saves.
One who can
take it all away.

“God gave His only begotten son,
so whoever believes in him shall not parish,
but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

Jesus paid four our sins,
On the cross,
With his life,
in full,
so that all our sins
could be forgiven.

But we must ask for forgiveness
By confessing with our mouth,
and repenting our behavior.
Although, sometimes we need help,
and we ask others to pray with us;
allowing God to move within us,
opening up the deep wounds,
and healing us completely.
Reclaiming our souls,
making them pure.

We feel cleansed from the inside out,
and our lives improve dramatically.

Suddenly, things are just better for us.
Suddenly, it seems silly to not forgive.

As long as God holds our hearts
and we obey His commands,
Satan will be unable to touch us.
His influence will have worn off
and continue to do so,
as long as we stand firm in temptation,
and pass our test.

The more we love God and focus on Him,
the less we will desire what is in the world,
and we won’t feel the need to chase
all those pretty girls.

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Beware of False Prophets

Handbook of the Prophets

Beware of False Prophets

“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect.” Matthew 24:24

God has revealed something astounding to me today. He revealed to me that I have been following the teaching of false prophets. You may have seen them, and I have mention one in my earlier blog posts. I thought what I was hearing was good, but it was not. I thought it was good that my one year old son liked to watch her on television, but it was not. You see, false prophets twist the words of the Gospel to fit their own agenda. They are very popular and some of my friends and a family member, I am sad to say, teach and follow her agenda. The main problem is that, the verses are taken out of context to apply that teaching to us, as though we are “mini gods”. Everything in The Bible points us to Christ, and away from our own selfish desires. I hope I have not taken bible verses out of context in my own blog to apply it to whatever point I am trying to convey. I do not intend to be a false prophet.

Just to be clear, I started this blog with a nudge from God to minister since 2009. I made choices between the time God nudged me, to a few months before I began to write, that I believe, that some choices that I had made, are lessons in which He intends for me to use. The lesson are those that I have learned and grown from, and have become closer to God in my times of adversity and trial. I always pray about what to write, and I only write what God has put heavily on my heart. For days or just hours before the blog post is written, I am studying, learning, and listening to God’s word, in The Bible and in prayer.

When you study, interpret, and share scripture, there are three things that you need to check off your list:

1. You pray first.

2. You seek and apply the full context.

3. You realize that God has made a body of believers.

  • Each are equipped with their own spiritual gifts, and you should not rely only on what your interpretation of The Bible is. This is why God has equipped pastors and for believers form small groups, or a group of Christian friends to talk to.

 

What I am not saying is that every single word out of a believer’s mouth is false teaching or is it said on purpose, but when a teacher absolutely believes what they say is true, even when it goes against everything taught in the bible, then they are teaching falsely. Always look up the scripture, and when something feels off, when the person teaching is praised higher than God, when God gets pushed out of the picture, then note, that they are teaching lies, and there could be hidden messages of Satanism coming out of them. In other words Satan holds their heart, not God. God has been pushed out, and Satan has been invited in. When they refuse to answer simple questions about Demons, Satan, Hell, and if they are not clear that Jesus is the only path to The Father, as well as, promoting the self, then they are a false prophet and cannot and should not be followed, but they are an abomination to God.

Resources:
http://www.gotquestions.org/study-the-Bible.html
http://bibleresources.org/false-prophets/
http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2013/06/examining-beth-moores-statement-bride.html
http://www.setapartpeople.com/7-signs-of-a-false-prophet
http://churchismessy.com/

And various YouTube videos sprung of the churchismessy.com link provided.

This all started with me looking up the age of a female Televangelist.

Please do your own discerning with God about this topic. I do not believe all are evil, but may have just misinterpreted scripture.

“17 I urge you, brothers to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” Romans 16: 17-19

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The prophetic books of the Bible contain some of the most difficult passages in the entire Old Testament and can prove especially confusing for those new to this corpus. This book offers a thorough and insightful introduction for the beginning student of the Old Testament prophetic literature . . .

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