Better: Mixing Covenants Means You Are Lukewarm! #11

Welcome to Hank’s Place

I’ve been speaking about mixing metaphors and mixing covenants. Mixing metaphors can be humorous, but mixing covenants will rob you of the blessings Jesus died to give you, blessings that are YOURS BY INHERITANCE. You can not work for an inheritance, you simply receive it.

Scripture says we are heirs of God. Receive your gift! Where does Jesus warn us about mixing covenants? Consider the warning to the church of Laodicea in Rev 3. They felt they were in good shape, but Jesus stated He would spit them out of His mouth for they were lukewarm. COLD was good: truly follow the Law and you will be led to Christ. It is our tutor. HOT is good: finding salvation in Jesus. Mixed together: LUKEWARM—satisfied with doing the best you can with self-effort to fulfill the commandments. I call it “Checkbox Religion” Morning prayers? Check. Bible reading? Check. Praise song? Check. Church Sunday and Wed? Check? Catch the unholy drift, my friend? It’s not rocket surgery!

Since a rolling stone is worth two in the bush, listen to this Ro 8:2 – says the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. The 10 Commandments are a prime example, a ministry of DEATH according to 2 Cor 3:7, because they told you WHAT to do, but gave you no power by which to do them, and our strength is simply not up to it.

How much better to walk by faith, as a child of God, an heir by grace. Why trade that wonderful relationship as a son or daughter of God, an heir, for a set of do’s and don’ts as a mere servant of the fear inducing hidden God of Mt Sinai? You don’t want to go back there!

Don’t come one brick short of the whole nine yards—consider what I’ve said, and Come Alive!

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Better: Mixed Covenants – WORSE than mixed metaphors! #10

Welcome to Hank’s Place

Previously I shared about the danger of mixing metaphors and mixing covenants. While mixing metaphors can be humorous, mixing covenants is serious!

Let’s get all our ducks together on the same page about this!

The WORLD works the same way the Old Covenant worked: top performance gets the biggest rewards. Do poorly and be a loser. Consider the Olympics or professional sports – or high school football! There are some winners, a few also rans, and lots and lots of — losers. You have no doubt heard there is a price to pay for success. Sacrifice of training, diet, cost, 110% effort at all times.

Now, and the fan is gonna hit the roof on this one, isn’t this is how most churches work? Think about it. Inside, you will find sincere, God loving, super-hard working pastors and leaders – proclaiming a MIXTURE of the Old and New although they do not realize it. James tells us the double-minded man does not receive from God. No wonder they have to work so hard – no wonder they burn out so often! No one wants to be a loser.

How about you? Are you constantly struggling to present good works to Jesus? Hoping for some blessings? Afraid you are not good enough? Trying harder but not making progress? Oh, and if you want to be successful in ministry you must pay the price, make the sacrifices, take the journey. Right?

YOU pay the price? Get that mixed covenant thinking out of your head!

There IS a price, yes, and JESUS paid it. We couldn’t pay it. JESUS paid it ALL, then sat down at the right hand of the Father. His work was done. It allows us who believe in Him to SIT DOWN also with Him – see Eph 2. Our work is done. Our success does not depend on our sacrifices. Stop being double minded – receive your inheritance: by faith.

The work has been done, the price has been paid and JESUS did it all. And gave it all to us. Friends, it takes FAITH to stop performing – just receive what Jesus has purchased for us. If you have been working for your inheritance, STOP IT before I call you an oxymoron—and Come Alive!

It’s as easy as falling off a piece of cake!


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Better:Mixed Metaphors or Covenants – Don’t! #9

Welcome to Hank’s Place

Mixing metaphors — the results can be confusing.
“Stick these examples in your pipe and chew them over:”
“Wake up and smell the coffee on the wall.”
“Let’s burn that bridge when we come to it.”

Sure, the result can be funny but there is uncertainty and confusion about what’s really being said.

Now mix the Old and New Covenants: two good things, but when mixed they result in uncertainty doubt confusion: unbelief. We don’t know what’s true!

The OLD has the Law – which is not of faith (Gal 3:11-12). Because it relies on our abilities, it shows a person to see their need for a Savior and there is only one: JESUS.

Jesus is the end of the Law for Righteousness (Ro 10:4). The NEW covenant, in His blood, declares JESUS has done it all. We exercise our faith and call upon the Lord and receive the gift of salvation.

Mixed together you lose the power of either. Worse, you become that double minded man in James: expect to receive nothing from God. It’s that serious folks!

Are you a MIXER? You are if you think the blessings of God are conditional.

Examples: The Lord is my Helper – IF I’ve done the right things. The Lord is my Healer – IF I am prayed up. The Lord is my Deliverer – IF I have done my bible reading. The Lord will bless me – IF I’ve tithed.

Nonsense! Everything under the OLD WAS conditional

Everything under the NEW is our INHERITANCE, by FAITH.

Through Jesus Christ we are an heir of God. We HAVE been given an inheritance – by faith —  so receive it, stop trying to work for it!

In closing, don’t labor under mixed covenant thinking or you’ll be burning the midnight oil at both ends — but by faith rest in the NEW — and Come Alive!


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Better: Grace Like Rain #8

Welcome to Hank’s Place.

A decade or so ago Todd Agnew had an awesome revelation of God’s amazing grace and wrote the song, “Grace Like Rain.”

Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:
And I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see so clearly

And Hallelujah, grace like rain
Falls down on me
And Hallelujah and all my stains
Are washed away, they’re washed away

Do you see that holy rain? Well, read John’s first chapter: we find the Word became flesh, lived among us and we saw His glory, full of GRACE and TRUTH.

Of His fullness we have all received, and GRACE upon GRACE. You may wonder what God is like—well, look at JESUS! JESUS is God revealed! And He is GRACE upon GRACE!

GRACE: when the free favors of God profusely abound. In the Jubilee Year of the Old Covenant, every 50 years Israel got to cease from their labors and enter God’s rest. But we are living in the New Covenant, where God’s GRACE is falling like rain continuously! Not in times, seasons, or portions like before, but continuously! It is a NEW DAY in the NEW Covenant.

No condemnation—ever!
Sins washed away—eternally!
God’s GRACE falling like rain—continuously!

There is never a Dry Day in Jesus—
Believe this GRACE is for you, dear friend.
It is time for you to come out of the desert of your own efforts.
It is time for you to come out of the desert of judgement and condemnation.

Receive His GRACE—it’s as easy as stepping out into the rain, and Come Alive!


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Better: In Covenant to do us GOOD #7

Welcome to Hank’s Place.

Where the Gospel is simple. If it’s not simple, it is probably NOT the Gospel!

We’ve been rejoicing over the New Covenant, SO much better than the Old! What God requires, He provides through His riches in GRACE in Christ Jesus.

I’ve already spoken to you from Jeremiah 31:31-35, where God told Jeremiah that He would make a New covenant with His people – to write His laws upon our minds so we would KNOW exactly what He desired of us, and write His laws upon our hearts, so we would DESIRE to DO what He desired of us! Awesome!

And it went on to say He would forgive our iniquities and our sin He would remember NO MORE! Friend, God is not going to bring up your sins when you meet Him face to face on that day—He does not remember them—so stop your fretting about past sins, stop your navel gazing, and look up to Jesus!

Right now, let’s look at Jeremiah 32:38-41. Also Awesome! There God states, referring to the New Covenant, that we shall be His people, and He will be our God. We will be given a heart to fear Him always, and He will make an everlasting covenant with us, NEVER to turn away from us, but ALWAYS to do us good. And He will rejoice over us to do us GOOD, doing us GOOD with ALL His heart and soul. 

That’s today’s takeaway, dear believing friend: He is our God. We are His! His covenant with us is EVERLASTING. If we fail, if we sin, He DOES NOT TURN AWAY from us; but ALWAYS DOES US GOOD. And He rejoices while He does it!

It may sound too good to be true, but it’s the Good News. If you don’t believe it, change your un-believing into believing today—and Come Alive!


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Better: God requires and God provides! #6

Welcome to Hank’s Place!

Remember, the Gospel is SIMPLE – if it is not simple, it’s probably NOT the GOSPEL.

At Hank’s Place we emphasize the New Covenant – it’s BETTER than the Old. “So what,” you say? “I don’t go around sacrificing bulls and goats and taking trips to Jerusalem. What’s it matter to me?”

My dear friend, do you try to keep the 10 Commandments? Then, your head, like so many other heads, especially most preacher’s heads, is filled with a mixture of the Old and the New. Sure, the 10 were God given and holy, but they were a ministry of DEATH (2 Cor 3:7). They were killers because they presented what God demanded, but without the POWER to keep or fulfill them! God required, and you tried your best—and failed.

In 70 AD the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. This presented a huge problem for the Jews: now they couldn’t even attempt to fulfill God’s commandments about feasts and sacrifices in Jerusalem. So the leaders got together and came up with modern Jewish theology, rewriting God’s Old Covenant words to fit their situation; basically saying, “Try your best and God will reward you.”

Hey, you DO NOT go about rewriting God’s words! It WILL NOT WORK!

In the New Covenant, what the Lord requires, He PROVIDES for you, according to the riches of His GRACE in Christ Jesus!

God gave His best in the form of Jesus Christ. Jesus gave His perfect life for our redemption. Make your home in the New Covenant, my friend.

Believe it. Receive it. Rest from ‘trying harder.’ It’s time for you to  Come Alive!


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Better: Precious Stones #5

You are at Hank’s Place – in Medicine Park, OK, the nation’s only “Cobblestone Community”

The cobblestones are granite, mostly round, and everywhere. They are used throughout the town. Shops, homes, walls, walkways, even pavement.

But if you remove even a single stone, the community will fine you $500. Because these common stones are PRECIOUS to them!

Simon was given the title “Peter” meaning ‘small stone’ by Jesus. He understood he was not the only stone in town, for in 1 Peter 2 he writes of Jesus the Living Stone, the Capstone, the Cornerstone, and that we believers are also living stones, and are being built up as a spiritual house with Jesus as the Corner and Cap stone.

Peter indicates we are being fitted tightly together as God’s house, His holy habitation—each of us PRECIOUS in His sight!

My friend, YOU matter to God! YOU ARE PRECIOUS to Him. Don’t let the world or the devil try to tell you otherwise. Let the Holy Spirit complete His task of fitting you in His Body—and Come Alive!


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Better! Receive the Living Water! #4

Mary and I recently visited Medicine Park, OK. Population 400. Having a history dating back hundreds of years, the Plains Native Americans visiting to find refreshment in the waters of Medicine Creek which they believed had healing and life giving powers.

We’ve been sharing about the New Covenant and how much BETTER it is than the Old. Jesus shared with a Samaritan women at Jacob’s well. He offered her Living Water that would quench one’s thirst forever, and for those who partook it would become a well of water springing up to eternal life.

And on the great day (eighth day) of the Feast of Booths, while the priest was pouring out an empty pitcher on dry ground (for the previous 7 days he would have poured out a pitcher filled with water from the pool at Bethesda), Jesus was shouting nearby, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39

God never intended for you to live life apart from Him. Since Pentecost (Acts 2) the Holy Spirit has been ‘poured forth’ to indwell and empower us to live life to the full, in joy, the joy of Jesus. Friend, don’t delay, receive the Holy Spirit today—and Come Alive!


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Better: Time to BELIEVE the Promises #3

God made promises to Abraham – read it in Genesis chapters 12-22. Abraham BELIEVED that God would keep His word, fulfill those promises, and Abraham was counted as righteous, approved, in God’s eyes. He, and those who follow Abraham in like faith INHERIT the promises, just as Abraham did.

INHERITANCE has nothing to do with performance. You could be serving time in prison and still inherit a fortune from your distant cousin twice removed! INHERITANCE has nothing to do with you, but EVERYTHING to do with who wrote the will and testament and what they have ordered to be done.

This New Covenant is so much better than the Old. The Old stated, “if you do this you will be blessed; if you fail or do that other thing you will be cursed.” It was up to you, friend, to GET IT RIGHT!

The New, as stated in 2 Peter 1:4, says “…He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them we may become partakers of the divine nature….”

Dear dear Christian, thanks to Jesus and Calvary, we have precious promises offered us by God, who cannot lie. To receive them, BELIEVE them, that they are true, and that the one who gave them is TRUE. Because it IS True!

Let go of your performance thinking – it’s not easy – it has pervaded the church – let it go. Then, BELIEVE, and RECEIVE, as a child of God, an heir according to the promises!

Do that, friend and you will find you have Come Alive!


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Better: God’s Will? You WILL call upon the Lord! #2

A friend recently expressed fear in reading Ps 91. That’s right, F E A R. They read verse 15, “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.” And the fear? “What if I don’t call upon Him when I’m in trouble? Will He rescue me? Will I be lost? How can I be sure I will call on Him?”

Friend, the New Covenant is so much BETTER than the Old. God’s will (in this case that you call upon Him in time of trouble) is written upon our minds and our hearts. So in a time of trouble you KNOW to call upon the Lord, your heart WANTS to call upon the Lord, and thus you WILL call upon the Lord! No need to fear!

And it gets BETTER still! For He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us in our weaknesses and infirmities. There is no way you will fail because it’s not about you, it’s all about JESUS! And there is no telling what other GOOD THINGS Jesus will do on our behalf when trouble comes around, dear friend.

In Jesus you are seated in heavenly places: you rule, bro! You rule, sis!

Isn’t it wonderful to Come Alive?


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Better: God’s Will? It’s a piece of cake! #1

In the previous blog I’d spoken of Jeremiah’s prophecy: a new and much better covenant was coming!

The OLD: full of fleshly conditions to be fulfilled in our own strength.
The NEW: unconditional. God would be OUR God, We would be HIS people. A covenant of mercy and grace. He would remember our sins no more, and forever.

And there’s more GOOD NEWS! It says,
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.”

This is beyond awesome, friends! It answers those questions, “What is the will of God for my life? What am I supposed to be doing?”

Meaning what? Instead of a rulebook to follow to the best of our abilities and subject to various interpretation and application, what He desires is already IN OUR MINDS, perfectly applied to each situation. And even better, our hearts cry out “Yes, Lord! We WANT to do your will!” And even better beyond that, He has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us to accomplish His will despite the odds or demons or whatever.

I think that’s pretty good, don’t you? Forget trying to keep the Commandments; stop losing sleep over the will of God. Just do what He has written upon you – with GUSTO.

Feels good to Come Alive, doesn’t it?!!!


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Better: Want a BETTER life? Live in the BETTER Covenant!

Most Christians are aware that the new covenant in Jesus’ blood is far superior to the old. The old, aka The LAW, was CONDITIONAL. It depended upon US doing OUR part. Check out Deut 28:1 and 13. IF we did OUR part, God would bless us. IF we FAILED to do our part, we would be cursed.

Plain and simple.

The old covenant, INCLUDING THE 10 COMMANDMENTS, was a ministry of DEATH. Check out 2 Cor 3:7. It inflamed sin, gave sin its power, then condemned us when we sinned. Don’t ever say Christians should follow the 10 Commandments; you are putting a death sentence on those who hear you.

Read on.

After centuries of failure by mankind to ‘get it right,’ the prophet Jeremiah was given a hint of the future: a better covenant was coming!

“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant…
Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers….
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
“And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
“For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”
(Heb 8:7-12)

For this blog, catch “I will be their God, and they shall be My people” Do you see? NO CONDITIONS! There are no IF’s. He IS our God; He IS merciful to our iniquities, and He remembers our sins NO MORE. No wonder Paul calls it the Gospel of this grace (Acts 20:24). The Gospel is not about you measuring up to God’s standards; it’s about who He is and His nature, full of grace, mercy, and truth, who came and rescued you and translated you into his kingdom.

Call upon Jesus! He will be your God and you will belong to Him who is merciful to our iniquities and remembers our sins no more!

You are forever free from condemnation: you have Come Alive!


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Work – REST – Work – REST hmmm….

Seems like EVERYWHERE we go, Mary and I encounter sad, struggling Christians, full of sin consciousness, ever striving to do better. They are working hard, but it’s NOT WORKING!

Remember those Israelites who kept themselves out of the Promised Land? Sure you do! They could not enter because (see Heb 3&4) they refused God’s rest. They kept up with their own works.

Today Jesus has one work for us to do: “This is the work of God—that you believe in the One He has sent.” Jn 6:29

Want some peace with God? Joy? Confidence? Believe in Jesus! Here’s the part we so easily miss because our world is so caught up in performance: Jesus did His work, and SAT DOWN.

Some misinformed leaders might tell you that the rest is up to you—but wait—I am talking about THE REST of God. It is written He has “raised us up with Him, and SEATED US with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Eph 2:6

Don’t you  see? Working religious stuff to please God does not cut it. It will not give you a moment of peace, favor, blessing: NOTHING. Believe on His sacrifice: JESUS, then enter His rest.

Stop worrying about getting it right. JESUS got it all right. Follow Him; your life will fall into place. It will ALL be all right, my friend!


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Resist? Not in anyone’s best interests!

Want to make America GREAT again?
Want to RESIST all things Trumpish?

Is one right and the other wrong?


This one doesn’t take lots of prayer and intercession to find the answer. Check that Bible out, folks!

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” [1 Tim 2:1-3]

Our rulers don’t need to be saints: whoever they are: pray and thank God for them!

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” …Render to all what is due them…. Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. [Ro 13:1-2, 7-8]

Rebellion against authority: not a good idea.

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. [Titus 3:1-3]

That last verse sound like our media today: let us pray they get the real picture!

Today, why not practice Paul’s words? I bet you’ll get your joy back in no time!


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“What is truth?” Better question: “Who is Truth?”

John 8 – the Pharisees launch a malevolently conceived trap featuring a woman caught in adultery. Jesus destroys their arguments, their self-righteousness, their arrogance, and establishes once again that He condemns no one. As John 3:17 declares, “for God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world would be saved through Him.”

This is God’s honest truth. It’s who He is.

Jesus’ final words to the woman are the same He speaks to us as we stand before Him guilty and ashamed. He has absorbed the punishment for our sins just as surely as He would have stood between the woman that morning and any stone that might have been thrown at her. [“Neither do I condemn you…”]

This is God’s honest truth. It’s who He is.

Jesus then continues with four amazing promises:
1 – vs 12 – the one who follows Him will never walk in darkness (for He is the LIGHT. Walk with Him and you will never stumble).
2 – vs 32 – the truth will set them free (and He is the TRUTH. Walk with Him and gain freedom).
3 – vs 36 – they will be truly free (for He breaks chains and bondages forever).
4 – vs 51 – they will never see death (for He has come to grant those who believe in Him eternal life).

“The truth will set you free” is not a philosophical statement as so many have taken and used it incorrectly; it is a deeply spiritual truth of who Jesus is and what He means.

This is God’s honest truth. ONLY Jesus can set a person truly free.

Without Jesus we all remain a slave to sin. The Pharisees boasted in Abraham as their father. Jesus corrected their misunderstanding: they had in actuality the devil as their papa. And so does everyone who lacks a relationship with Jesus. Yepper.

If you don’t have it, then get that relationship with Jesus going today. I can think of no better words to say than,   “Jesus have mercy on me! Help me.”

He will. You will Come Alive!


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Trapped in a Witness Protection Program?


In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells His followers that we “shall BE His witnesses.”

A witness is something you ARE. So forget the odd notion that it is something you DO. It’s not.

Speaking of who you ARE, I came across this awesome pair of questions the other day:
1 – If you don’t know who Christ is in you, then what is it you are offering somebody else?
2 – If you don’t know who YOU are in Christ, then how can you help others get to that point?

Is your witness along the lines of, “Uh, come over to my church, it’s great!”

If someone is hurting there in front of you, is your response, “Uh, I gotta go,” or “Come over to my church, it’s great?”

Sounds to me that you may have self-enrolled in the Jesus Witness Protection Program!

If so, NO WORRIES! You have so much more to offer and you just don’t know it yet.

And that’s where Come Alive can help—
– Our vision is to help people fulfill their calling in God
– Our purpose is to help people come alive to the truth of who they are.

If you are in the greater Austin area, why not drop in to the Cedar Park Public Library some Tuesday evening beginning May 16th 7PM? We’ll be there in the conference room for Bible Storying, which may not sound related, but believe me, it truly is.


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A dear friend of mine recently expressed frustration with his church. He said, “I’ve been there 15 years, and for 15 years they have been great at calling out to others to accept Christ. And then when someone does, they say, ‘OK, you’re done. That’s it.’ I keep trying to tell them there’s more but no one seems to listen. All they do is tell them to read their bibles, bring the entire family to church, give money, attend groups and bring an unsaved friend if you have one.”

His disappointment was tangible.  

What’s going on? Simple: the need for the Holy Spirit. Thirsty people were remaining thirsty!

Joh 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Ro 8: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

2Co 3:6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Re 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

But the problem with the Holy Spirit is He doesn’t take orders from you – or the elders, church board, and certainly not the pastor. After all, He’s GOD.

Like many churches, my friend’s church preferred a set of rules/practices/steps/etc.etc. for the Spirit of LIFE. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m thirsty for more of the Spirit—and I bet you are too.



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