Free Yourself From The Shackles

Jesus humbled himself to the point of death to give us life. We should be able and willing to humble ourselves and, honestly, repent for our sins (stating what they are or were) and start anew (fresh). It is never too late, God forgives us when we repent, allowing us to move-on shackle free. Christ gave us the opportunity to rise above who we (presently) are. It is time to change our home location,  we are in this world, but not of this world. 

Go to a quiet place and speak to God, ask Him to forgive you. You choose the place. It could be in the midst of a train station, bar, standing on the corner in busy traffic. Just still yourself and pray. He will receive you wherever you are at the moment.

We belong to Christ. New Beginnings.

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RePost – Naked Without the Armor

The Bible offers everything we need to be active Christian Warriors. It gives us spiritual authority and is our manual for living a Godly life. While in prayer this morning, something came to light. Many of us may read parts of the Bible from time to time, But we do not study what we have read. We understand what we read intellectually, but there is so much more. To understand the spiritual intent, we have to study what was read. When reading Ephesians 6:10-18, we understand we should clothe ourselves in the armor, but do not necessarily understand why we should do so, or what each piece represents. This Post will explain the what and the why. The most important point is that we are naked and vulnerable without the armor. As the adage says, ‘don’t leave home without it.’

In reading the Book of Ephesians, particularly chapter 6, we see Paul wrote to Ephesus alerting them that the enemy is always near and ready to attack. In Ephesians 6: 12, 13 NASB, he warned:

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” our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

There is no question that our struggle continues to be a war against the rulers of darkness. We can see it in our daily lives, on the news, and social media. The evil forces are in play, we see violence and hate in every aspect of life. We are in the midst of an invisible war, one that works through people. We struggle with uncertainty, fears, and doubts. Scripture makes it clear that much of our self-doubt, our difficulty in keeping healthy relationships, and many of our fears are rooted in the efforts of those same ‘spiritual forces of evil’ that plagued the Ephesians. Paul warned that we cannot be passive Christians. We cannot use the term ‘Christians’ without acting Christ-like. Christians have to exude Christ-like behavior through our actions. We must actively change our position and become Christian Warriors because we live in a time of full engagement against the evil forces of darkness. The evil one is present and works through people, he will not back down and neither can we. We are in the war, like it or not, there are no deferments. God calls for peace, and the evil one calls for chaos in all that we do. We cannot go quietly in the night, we have to rage against the evil forces that try to debilitate, paralyze and destroy us.

‘The evil one continually tries to infect us through our wounds inflicted by sinful words and actions that warp and twist our self-image’. He tells us we are unlovable, useless, hopeless, frail, weak, not good enough, and failures. He intentionally places difficulties, trouble, and chaos in our paths. He tries to destroy our inner peace and distort our harmony that should exist in our relationships with others and our surroundings.

Always be alert. It is important to recognize that we are prey to the evil forces of darkness and as in other parts of our daily living, must protect ourselves, and put on the Amor of God. The Armor of God is our invisible clothing Each morning when dressing for the day, putting on our visible clothing, is the perfect time to also put on our invisible clothing. In fact, we should begin the day with prayer and put on the Armor before getting out of bed.

The Armor

The Helmet of Salvation covers your head, mind, and eyes. 

The helmet is our invisible filter and keeps evil out of our mind. It helps our focus on the Lords will and not on sin. It helps ward off and reject harmful words and actions directed at us by others. It protects us from evil. It deflects hurtful things people say and do to us. It protects us while we live out our ‘true identity in Christ’.

The Breastplate of Righteousness protects your heart.

Righteousness is the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit that lives in us; it is a gift from God, and cannot be earned. Righteousness is much like a filter that strains out unGodly things and reinforces our desire, to be honest, trustworthy, kind, good-hearted, loving, and joyful. (Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23). It guards our mind and emotions.

The Belt of Truth holds us together. 

It keeps all the armor in place. It is like a belt or a girdle-like support strap. It supports our core. It helps keep our heart and mind focused on Christ. Without the belt of truth, we are not prepared to stand and fight. The belt represents living a life of honesty and integrity. It supports our total commitment and devotion to God Almighty.

The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace (the Good News) weaponry covers our feet.

Everywhere we walk, we walk in peace. Our footwear keeps us from hurting our feet. The gospel of peace is the Word of God that we share with others as we walk in His Word. Without the Gospel of Peace, we are barefoot and cannot walk without fear. The footwear brings ‘inner and interpersonal peace when we commit to living by God’s Word, which means forgiving those who may have harmed us.

The Shield of Faith protects us from the weaponry of the enemy. 

God gave is faith to protect ourselves from the things we cannot see and may not understand. It enables us to advance, despite adverse circumstance.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.  

Gives us boldness to reject and attack misinformation. We can use it to defend ourselves from things we may or may not know are wrong. The sword cuts through everything the enemy can send our way. It is the only defensive weapon we have. Everything else wards off the offensives of the evil one. The sword is the way, the truth, and the light. It is the Word of God. This sword is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise. When wielded by us, nothing can withstand its ability to cut straight to the core and uncover the truth.

We are naked when we do not wear the Armor of God. Never go out without it. We put on a coat to protect us from the cold and our armor to protect us from the evil one.

Faith, Hope, Love, Dependency, and Obedience Synopsis

Finally, our March theme is affirmed by this Post. To be Christian Warriors we must have faith, hope, and love. When we are in a relationship with a loved one, we have faith in them, love them, are in a dependent relationship with them and are obedient to the values and intent of the relationship. Putting on the Armor of God is a faith move by which we are dependent upon the fact that it works to protect us. We are obedient in that we put the Armor on every day. We have hope that our armor will hold up and invite others to live as Christian Warriors, and for non-Christians, to receive the Lord’s salvation and join our family. Love, the most important of these, operates in faith and dependence upon the Word of God and his relationship with us.

Sources

Books:
The Full Armor of God, Larry Richards
Waging Prophetic War, Jennifer Claire

Websites:
The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. Bible.org, Mar. 3, 2018
The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Freebiblestudyguides.org, Mar. 3, 2018
Helping Children Put On Their Armor Through Prayer, Lisa Blair, Youngchristianwarriors.com

Images – Google Images
Scripture-Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Lips Expose the Heart

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The things that proceed out of our mouths are the things of our hearts. These things defile us.

Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fortifications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” Matthew 15:19

Jesus was speaking to the disciples about the Pharisees who questioned Him about the actions of his disciples. They wanted to know why his disciples did not wash their hands before eating bread and why they transgressed the tradition of the elders. Jesus, in turn, asked the Pharisees, why did they transgress the commandment of God because of their tradition.

He further shared with the disciples that tradition is not bad, religious customs and rituals in themselves are not bad unless they take precedence over the clear Word of God. If these things begin to replace the Word of God, they become a problem because they sever the connection with God, who wants our hearts.

When we speak, when our lips move, do they speak of the things of this world that have become our idols, things of our flesh, or do they speak of the things of God: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, products of a Spirit-filled life? (Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23)

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Our lips expose who we are. Our outward appearance may suggest that we are followers of Christ. We go to church, honor our religious rituals and customs, quote scripture, and tell the world we love the Lord, but our lips betray us and expose us to the world. God sees how we behave. He hears what we say. And, is often displeased because all He asks of us is to give Him our hearts, to earnestly and honestly worship Him, and stop displaying actions that express our flesh and not his Word.

Ask yourself, am I more like the Pharisees than Christ? Am I a vain worshiper? Have my lips exposed me? What can I do to change who I am and how I act? Am I willing to repent and turn away from the things of the flesh today, and give my heart to the Lord?

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Today is the best day of your life. Give your heart to the Lord and enter into a relationship with Him. We must deny your flesh every day and pick up your cross to become more like Christ.   Working to become mature, intentional Christian Warriors is a daily process and often a challenge to put our old man down.

My cousin summed it up – “Wonderful words don’t let your mouth profess one thing and your heart another ❤️”

Images – Google Images

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resource – Life Principles Bible. Charles F. Stanley. NKJV

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Related Posts:
YoungChristianWarriors.com
~Use Your Words, June 7, 2018
~God’s Promise – The Lord Determines Our Steps, April 27, 2018
~Thoughts as I work on Part 3, God’s Will – God’s Promises, April 19, 2018
~Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice, February 22, 2018
~Core Values Early In Life, September 23, 2017

Dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com
~Let the Spirit Lead-June 29, 2018
~God is With Us Even When We Feel We are Drowning, June 8, 2018
~The Lord’s Light Shines Through You, May 9, 2018
~Lack o Discipline, Part of Growing Peace and Holiness, May 5, 2018
~Free Will, Water Cooler Talk, and Responsibility, April 4, 2018
~Dying To Self, March 24, 2018
~Who Directs Your Steps? March 13, 2018

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Be Strong, Do Not Waver

It is important that we do not waver in our faith, even when we do not feel like it, or when things are not going our way.

The Lord is our rock, shelter, healer, teacher, advocate, counselor, guide, friend, and Father. He is always by our side. He is always with us.

We are secure in the hands of the Lord, when we waver, we enter uncharted waters.

Images – bible.com

Scripture – YouVersion, Bible.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Use Your Words

As we tell children, use your words. Words have creative power. Speak to yourself. Speak to the Lord, and believe what He promises you. Stay in agreement with the Lord, hang all hope on His Word. God will never leave you or forsake you.

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5, NLT

Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.
Deuteronomy 31:6, MSG

It is comforting in knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us. This truth allows us to stay in faith when we are suffering through whatever circumstances are prevalent in our lives. Always focus on the truth – God will bring you out. Through faith, even if we do not see what He is doing, we know that He is working behind the scenes for our good. God orchestrates the outcome long before we are aware of the prevailing circumstances.

Don’t wallow in despair, which is what most of us want to do in times of stress. It is important to continuously stir up our faith, especially when you want to give up. Remember God is always working, especially when we are weary. Faith reinforces our stamina, it girds us up. Jesus carries us when we cannot take another step. This is the time to stay in prayer and use our words to verbally seek our Lord.  Which words you ask? The Word of God, the scriptures in the Bible. God enjoys our relationship with Him. Feel free to speak His words back to Him asking for guidance and deliverance.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

Our future is always greater than our expectations

Expect a supportive outcome, it may not be what you expected, but it will be one that moves you forward. Speak to the expectation/outcome, whatever it is. Don’t speak failure or despair. In other words, do not harp on being fired, speak to the next step, a new job or career path. Ask God to show you the way and put you in the right place at the right time. Be open to new adventures. Give God your attention and He will reveal how his promises operate in your life. You ask, when will I see my next step, when will I have a clear vision? You may see it either through revelation before it manifests or after the manifestation when you have the opportunity to look back over the given episode in your life and you are able to say ‘ah-ha’, that is where God moved in my life.

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In review, this post began with Romans 8:18 and covered the entire chapter. Take time to read Romans 8 after completing this post and reviewing the summary below. Ask God to show you how He supported you in your life to this point, how opportunities arose, health was reclaimed, spiritual maturity developed over time, how your family prospered, and your career took a turn that led to a success that you could not imagine.

The entire chapter directs us to keep our mind centered on the things of the Lord. These points will help you on your path

 

  • The Holy Spirit resides in us and therefore lives in us.
  • It highlights that we have been adopted into God’s family, which leads us to spiritual maturity, and is our inheritance.
  • We are no longer orphans, God adopted us into His family.
  • Belonging to God’s family means we should no longer be frustrated when suffering through our own experiences, or by what we see in the world. because we have hope, which is part of our inheritance.
  • God’s purpose is for us to succeed here on earth. He gave us the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us and guides us as we pray, and He ensures that life’s circumstances work out for our good, no matter how painful they may be.
  • God always sees us through the dark days.
  • God’s love is real and manifests in us in the form of the Holy Spirit, who is the very life of Jesus Christ.
  • Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

USE YOUR WORDS

Tell yourself, I have God’s favor, nothing can hold me back. I am standing fast to my faith, even in the darkest hour. My God is still in control. If God is for me, then who or what can be against me and succeed? My God is a good and faithful God. His glory in my life is His promise to me.

Images – YouVersion, Bible.com; LAB Photography

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resources – Hayford’s Bible Handbook. Jack Hayford, General Editor, 1995. Nelson’s Quick Chapter-by-Chapter Reference: Bible Commentary. Warren Wiersbe,1991.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Showing Goodness

As humans, we often become frustrated when the person on the other end of a business call cannot assist us. The reality is that we are not angry at the person but the representative of the company. The problem is that during work hours the person on the other end of the call is the representative, they are one and the same during working hours and are simply responding according to the company script.

Christ tells us to exhibit ‘goodness’ in all we do, that includes being kind to all people. The person on the other end of the phone does not deserve a curt response or defamed in any way. They, like most of us, are working to earn a living.

So, let’s agree that we can all do better. I can do better. Before speaking when we do not agree with or do not like what is being said, we should quickly think – would Christ respond in the way I am planning to proceed? The answer is an emphatic, ‘NO.’ One of the God’s gifts to us is goodness.

For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalm 107:9 NKJV

O, my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
Psalm 16:20 NKJV

The Lord gave us ‘goodness’ so we could become more like him. Our responsibility is to [try to] purposely display goodness in all that we say and do.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

Our goodness is connected to the Lord, it fills our soul. Without goodness, we are left with exhibiting meanness, and on occasion, wickedness. Absent goodness, we become hosts of evil residing in this world, and cannot proclaim ‘we are in the world – but not of the world’.

We can all do better, we can show goodness in our conversations, actions, and deeds.

Images – Google Images; LAB Photography

Scripture References – Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

God’s Will, God’s Promises, Part 2

My intention this past week was to move deeper into God’s Promises, categories for classification purposes, and how we apply them by yielding free-will to God’s Will for our lives. But after discussions about Free-will and Satan’s deceptions in our lives, it became clear that most of us do not clearly understand the magnitude of Satan’s scheme and deceptions, including me. I do not profess to know everything about them, but want to share what I do know  Why? If we cannot establish that his schemes exist, the magnitude of his deception, then we will never understand how free-will can adversely affect our lives or lead us to believe and accept God’s Will for our lives.

We live in layers of Deception

Deception is diabolical and innocent people fall prey to it daily, that includes you and me. When we fall prey, we fall into sin and thus temporarily out of God’s Will. I say temporarily because as we become more aware of Satan’s (schemes) deceptions, we are better able to stay in God’s Will and trust His Promises.

‘Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. ‘ Eph. 6:10-12 

Satan controls the airways and the things of this world. Eph 6:10, stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 2 Corinthians 4:4, ‘Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.) I believe we can extend this to those who don’t believe and those that do not stand by the Word of God, those of us who acquiesce to the draw of this world.

Satan controls the way people think when we are not alert and focuses especially on Christians. How often have you become angered by a leader’s’ path that seems to have gone astray? Any leader, political, corporate, spiritual, or for that matter, anyone you know. When we are at odds with them, philosophically, ethically, or spiritually, we often become disgruntled by their intentions and perhaps, begin to hate their very existence. It is at this very point that we unknowingly are drawn into Satan’s camp.

Let’s unpack what happens when we hate

Many of us are or have become unsettled when our leaders, or those that impact our lives, seem to inspire behavior that we deem unacceptable. We dislike what we see, dislike what we hear, and we develop a hateful attitude and behavior that is inauthentic, misguided and perhaps even evil. When we allowed hate to dwell in us, we immediately separated ourselves from God’s Will. When we hate, we focus on the person and not what is guiding them. The adage, ‘hate the behavior and not the person,’ speaks to our failings as we find ourselves in the midst of the deception. Now, I’m not saying that we have to agree with the person or persons, I am simply saying that we have to discern who the real actor is manipulating the person, and most often it is Satan. Acting our of free-will is often Satan inspired. Yes, sometimes we humans act independent of the principality war, choosing to exercise our free-will rather than God’s Will, but regardless, we must stay awake and alert, our enemy walks the earth looking to devour us. He sets the stage to create chaos, battles, and war. He does not want us to examine ourselves. He wants us to exercise our free-will which leads to eventual destruction. We must be aware of the rise of destruction in our lives.

When lies, manipulations, bigotry, and hate become our acceptable norm, we fall from grace. We are no longer abiding by God’s Will. If we do not abide by His Will, we will not consider His Promises as Truth.

If we look into the heavenlies, we would see the principalities warring and would know that the above is counter to His Word which includes the Ten Commandments, the Fruit of the Spirit, God’s Will for our lives, and His Promises to us.

If we begin to naively believe the deceiver by accepting the deception, Satan has separated us from the Will of God. How does this happen? We feed the deception through our anger, our words, and our actions. Greed, access, control, and power cloud our thinking. We walk around with blinders on. We listen to the ‘nay-sayers’ and join the choir.  Our mind is home to spiritual warfare. When we relax, we open ourselves to the onslaught of the evil one.

The Trap

Do you know who gets caught in this trap? Believers get caught in the trap. It was designed for us. Believers often feel that as God’s children, we are immune to the wiles of the evil one. We are subtly persuaded to let down our guard, accept a little white lie, accept something we have not rightfully earned, spew harmful gossip, become intoxicated by flattery, manipulate people to do our bidding, go along with what is expedient and lucrative, and slip and slide trying to avoid getting caught. We wear our disguise as believers pretending to hold fast to the Word, but in reality, we are so intoxicated by deceptive values we begin to believe our own rhetoric, the rhetoric of the evil one.

Crossing The Line

We unwittingly cross the line. For example – when I was a child, my friend said, let’s steal some candy from the candy store. (One kid in your neighborhood always tried to get everyone else to join him in stealing candy.) I refused for a long time, but then the other kids said it’s easy, you can’t get caught, we do it all of the time. You’re just a scary-cat. I finally gave in, or I should say, caved in. I knew it was wrong but was tired of being on the outside. I stole some candy, but during and after stealing the candy, I felt so guilty that I could not enjoy it. But I knew that it was morally wrong to steal. I knew God’s Commandment, ‘do not steal,’ and I was convicted. I couldn’t rest, so I told my parents. They reprimanded me. My father took me to the store to tell the merchant what I did. (My Dad had spoken with the merchant earlier and they decided to ‘scare me straight.’) I thought I was going to jail. But the merchant accepted my apology and my $.25. My Dad and I went home. I thought it was over, but to my surprise,  I was punished for a week. (Just like our parents, God often chastises us for wrongdoing to help us learn the lesson.) Now, suppose I continued at this pace, the guilt would have subsided and this would have become my new norm. I would have unwittingly fallen prey to the deception – no harm, no foul. Fortunately, Sunday School and my parents prepared me for battle, and while I slipped (ah, free-will), the Holy Spirit helped me self-correct. You see, the soft, quiet voice was alive and active, and most importantly, I was in tune and could hear His voice. What experiences have you had that when you look back, you’ve been suckered into immoral, unethical situations? Think about them and identify where you faltered.

The Soft, Quiet Voice Speaks

People who ignore the quiet, soft voice of the Holy Spirit eventually become deaf and stop hearing His voice. When we stop hearing his voice, They fall into layers of deception: the loss of self-control, gentleness, kindness, honesty, peace, joy, love, and faithfulness(the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23) leaves the void that is filled with the desires of this earth. The void is filled with new norms – greed, access, control, self-righteousness, power and camaraderie with those sharing the same belief.

Responsibility

It is our responsibility, as Christians, to pay attention to everything going on around us, to stay in the Word, and by being alert, ‘stand firm.’ Oh, if it was only that easy. As humans, we relax and let our guard down. When discomfort overwhelms us, we completely cave in, or we come to attention, get back up and realign ourselves with the Word. Some are able to take immediate action, others awaken much later, and still, others remain in the catatonic state of deception, all the while believing the lie that they are faith-filled Christians. Do you know how to get your footing back?

We do not have the luxury of being naive. The world is filled with unbelievers, misdirected believers, and wicked people; to think otherwise is to fall into deception. Our world is in great chaos, and we must make a decision as to where we stand.  I for one will stand and share the Good Word. Now that I know that free-will is not free but can lead me into the lake of destruction I relinquish my will in favor of God’s Will for my life. I fear being enticed by the world, forgo praying, and letting Satan escalate his plans for my eventual destruction. What do you fear? On whose side will you stand?

We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by what we see or hear, remember the things of this earth below to Satan, and he intends to give this world an HD TV effect, brilliant lighting and effects. If we are going to discern the Truth, we must read and study the Scriptures in the Bible, pray and meditate on the Word on a daily basis. We must wear our spiritual (x-ray) goggles and view the deception for what it is, Satan’s failing attempt to kill, steal, and destroy.

In times such as this and especially in times of crisis, it is important to put on our battle gear, stay in prayer, and bombard the atmosphere with the Word, in the belief that we are the victors through Christ Jesus who died on the cross for us.

Websites – lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com; youngchristianwarriors.com;
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.