Friday, June 28, 2013

LEARNING TO WAIT

WE WILL WAIT UPON THE LORD


It's hard to wait. It's not easy to wake up one morning and have everything you knew disappear before you. Like an open water faucet allowing water to pour out, our present success can pour out and when the faucet is closed, it is all gone.

Families that have gone through recent natural disasters know this best of all. Their homes, their belongings, everything is gone. Sometimes it seems like a natural disaster has come through our lives as well, and we are found empty, helpless, all is lost.

What have you lost lately?
Your job? Your so called friends that used to come and hang out in your house? Your savings?

What has you feeling like you're in a no recovery zone?
The loss of all hope?
Maybe you were active in church, singing, playing an instrument, preaching and teaching and now you are not even there because it was taken from you, like a hurricane, gone up in the wind.
Maybe it was someone you loved dearly and thought you were going to marry them and start a family and now, they're gone.

I don't know what you've lost. Can you rise up in the middle of the flood and pick up the pieces a little at a time? Yes, you can. Will you fold up the bottom of your pants, and push back your sleeves, wrap your hair in a ponytail if it's long, and get yourself cleaning up the mess so you can find your life again, start living again, start hoping again? You can if you allow a song of hope to be on your lips.

It's not easy. Oh my goodness, if you even think it will be easy, it's only by God's grace and provision that I can write what I write. So, believe me. I've been in that place where all seems lost, but God is a God of not only new beginnings, but He allows change. Our dreams can change and we can start again, brand new. He will be there to help us accomplish those things we have started in our lives.

Lord, help us move forward. Too many of us are stuck on stand by. We're waiting Lord, waiting for you to be in us as we tell the mountains to move. Lord, be our strength. Give us direction as we dare to step out into the unknown, testing the waters of new dreams and ambitions.

We are learning to wait upon you, Lord. Your will be done today and always.

 
As I finish writing, I'm thinking of you who will read this. Do not think this is all about me. I am thinking about you and your situations as I write and I pray for you. Each time I write, I ask the Lord to show me what to write. Yes, sometimes, I have gone through the stuff I share, but it doesn't mean it's all about me. I'm writing hoping I encourage you and motivate you to rise up in the Lord and be all you long to be with God moving in your life in a new way.








Be blessed. Your comments and prayer requests are always welcomed. 



When We Were Friends

A letter 

WHEN WE WERE FRIENDS

I don't know how exactly it all happened or when, but somewhere along the line of time, our friendship ended. We used to be friends. I remember planning events together, setting dates apart to  go out.We use to go to the movies and hang out late at night, breaking night for no reason at all. We'd put on music and try the latest dance. We talked about our lives, our future, our ups and down. We shared so many things together. I remember those times as if so very far away.

Many of us got busy. This I can relate to. We got married and our life with a family started quickly. But, I never pushed you out of my life. I continued to be here for you. I reached out for you.

Then, there were the things people said. Oh, the people and their conversations. How foolish we are to listen or accept foolish words. You see those words caused great division between us. I never knew what they were. To this day, I still don't know what was said. And, I don't really care either. But, somehow, you did. And you closed the door in my life and walked away.

Friends come for a season. My brother has said on many occasions, "People come into your life for only a season." and it is true. But, somehow we continue to end up in one another's path and I was just wondering, Were you and I meant to walk our lives together, just a little bit longer?


I am sorry. Sorry for maybe not understanding or being like other people. I only know how to be me and being me can be very hard sometimes. I put God first in all I do. That has caused an exodus of almost everyone in my youth. I made a choice to live a life that shows I have Him in my heart. This news really scared off some of you. But, the truth is, I am still me. I will still be here when you need to talk. I will never push you away if you knock on my door.

If you need a hug, I will give you two. If you want to just walk in silence, my sneakers are under my bed, waiting for your call. I'll walk with you, even in the rain. I don't know how it happened, or when, but the we that we used to be is broken. When we were friends, life was fun! I always had something to look forward to. My kids are grown, but oh, they know so  many stories about us. I've shared almost all of them with them. So, although they've never grown up with you around, they know you, and I think they love you, too

When we were friends, I decided to live a little different, by receiving a new friend, Jesus Christ, into my life. How I hope one day you will understand what a difference His friendship has made. I have gone through such hopeless situations and He has been there to get me through each one.

I apologize with all my  heart for times I've been angry. I'm sorry for giving up and deciding to leave things as they are. But, the truth is I strongly feel there is something wrong and you need a friend in your life that you can talk to. If that is true, if something is going on and you need a friend then I am here, still here. You know where to find me. I will laugh with you, walk with you, stay up all night and cry with you. I am here praying for you, dear friend. Yes, you know who you are. I will pray for you so that your days are filled with joy and love and lots of sunshine. And, I hope that one day, before our last breath, I can see you and let you know, in my heart, you and I were forever friends.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DID YOU CHECK FOR FINGERPRINTS?

IN THE BATTLE ZONE

Many of my friends have been out in the forefront of the battle lines. I'm sure many in my family have worn out their fatigues in some way, because it just seems they keep getting pulled in for battle after battle. The attack is never ending.

What am I talking about?

The battle. The warfare. The attacks that keep showing up at your door when there is no welcome sign for it. You didn't open a door to invite opposition and hardships in, but hey, they say, it's a free country and they walk right in.

*Sickness came into your body, unannounced, undetected, and attacked you. ( BOOM!)

*Your fell to the ground as your heart and lungs gave up on you. (BOOM!)

*The headache embraced your entire head in such a way you had to crawl into bed. (BANG!)

You got news someone is dying and they might not make it past the night. (KABOOM!)

The pink slip you saw earlier ends up on your desk at the office. (BOOM!)

Your child is rushed to the emergency room. (BANG!)

The peace in your house suddenly feels heavy, dark and everyone is angry. (KABOOM)

I can go on with the list.It's easy to understand that we are in a battle that rages on forever against us because we have chosen to taste and see that the Lord is good. We have decided to walk by faith and not by sight. We have committed to memory that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. And for this we will be tested, attacked and run through the fire!

GOD IS THERE...I'M TELLING YOU....BY YOUR SIDE....AS YOU BATTLE....WITH YOU! The MIGHTY ONE IS THERE.

If you take the time to evaluate what I claim, my claim is true. God is with you! Evidence will show billions of fingerprints, heavenly fingerprints, all over your life, your situation, your family and your home. God's fingerprints will not be seen by the natural eye, but you who understand the things of the Spirit will be able to identify God's mark.
His Divine Presence is visible as is present, intervening, entering to demolish strongholds, to remove sickness, and command the darkness to run!


DID YOU CHECK FOR FINGERPRINTS? 
Do me a favor and go check now, please. I'm sure God is at work in you right now.


He promised to never leave you or forsake you
Never means, well, never. That means He shows up at your office, at your school, in your house, in the hospital room, and in your heart. 
But you need to invite Him and allow Him to come and face it all with you.

The battle belongs to the Lord! HE is the LORD of HOSTS! We are not alone.


Let us unite in any way we can to be a force of prayer and praise that can change every situation.

Your comments and prayer requests are always welcomed.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T READ THIS ONE

Maybe this part of my blog is not for you. If your life is perfect and you can keep it right all the time, then please don't even bother to keep reading. You see, the truth is, we all feel messed up every now and then. I know I do. I get tired, I mean exhausted. I also get frustrated and angry. And, maybe that's a little too much information for you. You are not ready for that because you are always on fire, you keep it real, nothing ever gets you down, and you can't believe a believer, a real Christian would ever say what I'm saying.

There are days when I just wonder, "Lord, where do I belong?" or, "What steps do I take next. I'm here. Stuck. I want to go forward...I do. I'm ready. Ready to be released into what your divine plan is but each time I go forward, life, yes, life, pushes me back."

Life can do that sometimes. I know. Not you. You have never been in this kind of moment. Your life is different. You have it altogether. Maybe you are one those persons that even feels they can actually brag about how well things are going, because maybe, just maybe, you're one of those people that live their lives making sure other people stay down. You walk around with this look as if everything you do is for the glory of God, but in reality, you're a big fake.

I don't want to be fake. I've never played the role and don't plan on starting to act it any time soon.

Life hurts. People get sick. We pray. Many times God heals and some times, He calls them home.
Life isn't easy. We wait upon the Lord for a financial breakthrough. God blesses some with abundance and those that do not have more than enough are always made to feel like there must be some sin in your life that keeps heaven's door closed to you when it comes to prosperity.

People let you down and sometimes hurt you with the things they say and do.
That's the reality of this life. Things will not always go our way. But, what if, in the midst of feeling crappy, we can lift our head and let our eyes climb their way up, and remain on the Author and Finisher of our faith?

Just because I'm not feeling super amazing today, doesn't mean my life with the Lord is shattered and that I've opened a door to allow sin to come and hang out. The reality of my pain, my lack of material things, and the reality of my distress at the moment does not give you permission to analyze me and try to figure out where I've messed up or walked away from the Lord.

We have all been in a broken place where we can't pray or just don't feel like it. I have been there and I'm not afraid to share it. It's what we choose to do to not stay there that makes all the difference. See, we are called to pray. But, when you pray, do you pray for people like you're reading a prayer book or reciting a rosary? Or do you ask the Lord to show you what people around you are going through? Do you call on the Lord and ask God's provision and help for those that you know in your heart they are being oppressed, even though they walk around with a big smile, but God lets you know it is time to do warfare on their behalf?

Maybe you shouldn't have read this...But, if you made it to the end, then our prayer life has to change. I know too many people struggling and it seems no matter the preaching, the reading, the prayer, something is not changing. I believe God is calling me back to my days of when I first gave my life to Him. An intimacy I haven't had in a long time. Times of prayer and surrender, even if I stand alone. I'm tired of just existing. There is more. And if He promised things in our past, He is not a man to say, "Aw, man, you know, Sorry, I forgot, I just can't do it now, because well you know." God is not one to back down and leave us in the pit.

Will you allow your life to hunger for God's presence again, in a greater way?
Will you make a decision to seek God like never before?

This is where my life, my journey is taking me and I thought maybe someone out there has been where I am, or maybe you understand because you are here too.
Let us take our brokenness and lay it at the feet of the Cross and not give up. God is not done with you or me. Just because the answer has not come the way we want or when we expect it doesn't mean He is not at work in our lives. Let us stand together and wait. Let us pray for one another. I believe He will do a great thing. Why? I have seen too many miracles in my life to begin to doubt.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

CELEBRATIONS

We all love celebrations. 

      Celebrating is a part of life we all enjoy! We celebrate our children passing difficult exams, Graduation ceremonies, birthdays and weddings. Perhaps you celebrated a promotion, the wonderful arrival of a new baby, a new apartment or the the purchase of a home, new furniture or getting ready to go away on vacation. These are all great reasons to celebrate! We love getting together, eating, listening to music, eating some more, and celebrating!

     There's a lot of talk about a celebration that is being prepared as well. You and I have been invited. You didn't get an invitation? Of course you did. Maybe you don't remember.

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”  Revelations 19:9

You don't think this was meant for you?

John 1:12 - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name.

I'm telling you the truth. You have been invited to be part of a celebration that will top any Hollywood party, any inauguration, any world event that has ever been or will be. Heaven's plan will blow them all away.

Can't find your invitation? Think you're not going to make it? Can I prove to you that you can go, if you choose to ? Only you can decide to stay away.

 John 6:37 - All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

First, you have to believe and receive God's invitation to a new life that is filled by Him. He calls you out.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 - And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Next, make a decision to walk each day with God's invitation in your heart. Trust in Him. Read His Word.
Know He has a better plan. Let your hope be renewed.

Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2 
                        Click on Video to View

So, will you trust Him today? Will you say, "Yes." to His invitation? He will celebrate your victories on that day! You and I just have to get ready. Heaven has been preparing this event for a while. I can't begin to imagine what a great moment it will truly be.

                       Click on video to enjoy


Your comments or prayer requests are always welcomed. Have an awesome day!




Friday, June 21, 2013

WHEN I JUST CAN'T .......




Fill in the blank:    When I just can't _____________.

You know, the first word or words that came to your mind.
Mine was pray and go on. Maybe yours in believe, hope, trust, start over, keep going, love, forgive.
Only you know the rest of the sentence.
There is a phrase that has been like a broken record in my mind for many years.
"When I don't know what to do, I turn to You..."

Somehow those words became a song in my head. 
When I just can't pray, I just turn to the Lord and say it like it is. Lord, I don't even know where to start. I've learned to just be silent and wait. I've learned it is not my timing or my way of doing things, but His.
When I just can't forgive, I turn to you, Lord.

You have forgiven things that in my strongest moment, I don't know if I ever could.
You forgave those that mocked you, hurt you, beat you, whipped you, cursed you, and killed you.
Yet not once did you see them while they were doing wrong.
You chose to see who and what was behind what they were doing.
Heavenly eyes saw the demonic powers at work, manipulating every move.
That is why you were able to forgive.
You looked past their wrong doing, my weakness, their mess, my mess, and your forgave.
When I just can't love because it hurts too much, I turn to You.
I ask You to take my heart, that has turned cold, bitter, angry, and spiteful.
Hold my heart in your pierced hands and burn the ugliness only You can see. Remove it all.

When I just can't try again, I turn to You.
You open my eyes to see heaven's host cheering me on through the most difficult moment. You reach down and pull me up, out of the deep sinking sand. You wrap Your arms around me and carry me out of the wreckage, and put me upon The Rock.
You carry me away and give me refuge so that no one can hurt me.

Today, I struggle to get on my knees before You, Lord. But, I will turn to You and believe.
I will surrender to you and hope beyond what my natural eyes can see.
Today, I feel like I'm so tired that I don't want to do anything else, I don't want to fight, I'm so tired of waiting. But, I know this is not what the destination you have asked me to stop at.

I choose to write....
I WILL TURN TO YOU........I WILL TURN TO YOU....     I WILL TURN TO YOU...



I don't know if you have been in this place before or find yourself here right now. Can we hold hands in prayer and come before the Lord, who hears us, who is able to do great things, today.
I will be praying for you. I will. For I cannot and will not stay as I am and neither can you.

Your comments and prayer requests are always welcomed. God bless you.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WILL YOU STAY DOWN FOR THE COUNTDOWN?


Have you ever felt like giving up? Have you thought of quitting?

 Perhaps you have been in a place in your life where you felt like you were cornered and there was no way out but down, as the knockout blow came and you felt yourself plummeting downward, waiting for the final count down. 3, 2, 1……..You know the words that come next, don’t you? You said them in your mind as you were looking at the numbers. I refuse to finish the countdown. I just can’t do it.


You see, I know what it feels like to be in a desperate situation where your world has crumbled at your feet, nothing is going right, and as the world goes on without you, all your heart knows is defeat.


Defeat over what didn't happen or over how things played out in your life.
Defeat and despair over the situations that have appeared before you and there is nothing you can do quickly enough to change any of it.
Defeat that reminds you how everyone expects more from you and these words should never be uttered from your lips, but you have held them in your heart.
Defeat that knocks you so hard, that you head hurts, your body aches, and you feel without the strength to get up again.


So are you and I going to stay down for the final countdown?  Are we going to hear the bell that declares our situation is greater, stay down, knock out, don't get up and fight?

There’s a referee calling out your name and giving you his hand, saying, “Get up!”

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

There is a lawyer, an advocate, standing before you, saying, “Let’s walk through this together.”

Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.



Can you trust in God and believe that what you are going through will not be forever? Have you felt like throwing in the towel, like they say, and not trying anymore? Please don’t. Can we believe for restoration together?

Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

I can speak boldly for I have been in that dark place of doubt and wondering if anything would change for me. At times, I just wondered if my prayers would even pass my bedroom ceiling. Today I need to remind you that there is a reason to go on, to believe and keep holding on. God is not done with you or with me. The answer is coming. You help is on the way. The solution is around the corner. Assistance has been sent your way. Angels have been dispatched to your side to watch over you so you don’t lose heart. God’s Spirit is not gone. He is there. God is not done with any of us. Believe the best is yet to come. We have to keep our faith in His Word. It's the only way.

Your comments are always welcomed. Be blessed.






Saturday, June 15, 2013

FEAR CAME TO STAY


Fear arrives unnoticed and is diligent to remain unsuspicious during his stay. No one sees the amount of luggage Fear carries. When Fear shows up, it comes to stay. Fear comes quietly and listens to your morning conversations and takes notes, nodding his ugly head and tapping his pen on his paper. Fear stands at the door as you try to pray and begins to device his plan.

Fear whispers into the air around you every time you voice your ideas. “It cannot be done.” Fear writes on the walls of your apartment so that you see it the moment you sit down for coffee. “Not today, you will leave it for tomorrow.”

Fear listens to your concerns and agrees with you. It sits at your bedside, holding your hand, comforting you with a sinister smile and says, “Poor darling. Are you feeling hopeless?” It grabs at your heart with icy fingers and sends cold vibrations throughout your body, numbing your strength, and pushing you back on your pillow. Fear stands at the window and observes you through the night, as you remain awake, unable to sleep for the sounds that surround you and the imaginations of your heart increase.

Carefully he comes when you finally shut your eyes, and it binds your feet, binds your hands, covers your mouth, and then stands back to admire his work. Morning comes with all your plans and responsibilities commanding your attention. Courage and Assurance of heart have been strapped down. Your heart is racing, you feel dizzy and as you attempt to stand and get out of bed, Fear laughs and punches you so hard you fall back on your bed.




Fear smiles and shows you his previous notes. “Here are your dreams.” He takes a black marker and scribbles on them. “Here are your hopes.” It scribbles once more. “This is what you prayed for.” Laughing loudly, he scribbles a dark line across these. You are frozen in time and cannot move. Fear has taken residence.

What will you do?

I’m going to tell you what you’re going to do, and do it now.

Get up! If you get knocked down, push forward and get up. Get up now! One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! Acts 18:9 NLT 

Today, the Lord says to you “Don’t be afraid!
 Speak out! Don’t be silent!” 

You see, Fear is going to hear it today. So get ready!
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, 
and he delivers them. Psalm 34:7 NIV

You are not alone. Won’t you call out to the Lord who has promised to show up? He’s all around you cheering you on as you begin to fight against Fear.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NLT

I know Fear doesn't want to leave, but you are going to have to open up your big mouth and speak out because up to now, Fear just hasn’t seen the side of you that can command an army when you put your trust in the Lord.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3 NIV
Get up and walk around your home. Every room that has ever made you tremble at the thought of taking one more step, every area that has ever frozen you as you walked in the dark and made you feel you couldn't breathe. Get up and awake the Word of God in your heart and bring it forth into your home and heart.

In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:4 NIV

Fear has to leave! It cannot stand in the presence of a Holy God. It cannot stay in the presence of perfect love. God is encouragement and Life. Open all those doors that have allowed Fear to live in: the door to your mind, your heart, your dreams, your future, your prayers, and your life. Open those doors and take a dark marker and begin to scribble what the Lord says to you today.


He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. 
Psalm 91:4-8 NLT
One last verse:
 I am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? Isaiah 51:12 NLT

WHY? Why then, are you still afraid?


Your comments are welcomed, positive or negative.

Friday, June 14, 2013

SILENCE

Silence. 
Silence is a weapon strategically used to control a situation. Silence is used to dominate the conversation. Silence shouts and says, “I am superior! I am in charge! There is nothing for you to question in my presence!” Silence is a tool that slowly but forcefully cuts into the wood to shape it to its desired form. It tells you when to stand and when to sit. Silence is a drum that pounds mercilessly upon your mind, forcing you to question everything you have ever said or done. At the end, Silence declares you, “Guilty!”

Silence is company to many and defends not one. It visits most unexpectedly and knows when to leave. Silence knows when to force you to pretend as if everything is fine, inviting you to laugh at the jokes and be part of the group. The truth is, as much as you want to pretend, Silence never left the room. You see, Silence reminded you to remain quiet through this act of false joy and certainty. Silence reminded you that you better play your part in this game correctly or when everyone was gone, Silence’s presence would even be greater.



Silence comes to overpower. The effects of constant water falling upon rocks are seen in dents, holes, and breaking away. Silence is the waterfall, the rainstorm, and the sea that washes away the laughter. It comes to numb reality and forcefully hush your pain.


Silence is present and resents you for questioning the reason for its existence. It is angry and then falls asleep. Silence breathes on your bed and reminds you that if you go away, it will follow.  Silence needs to disappear, to go away, to find another home. The door is ajar and your eyes are on it. Will you close it or will you open it and run? Will you slam it shut or will you quickly jump to your feet, in the midst of the weight of Silence’s presence pushing you down, and will you escape?



Silence reminds you of what and who you will leave behind. It says, “Worthless one. I knew you would quit! You see, they will blame you if you leave!” Your heart pounding like the sound of an oncoming train constrains your voice once more. Silence has been residence here for too long. You place your bags down. You walk away to the corner of the room that has become your escape. You lay on your bed wishing for immediate sleep. Defeated and broken, still, you think of what you heard and know that Silence has won. 

There is no escape. No way out! You hold your blanket close around you and try to pray for strength for one more day. For you never know when Silence will be present or when it will pretend to hide, disguised in the image of love and companionship, for just a while, until it has what it wanted and then, when it is done, Silence returns.

Get up, I'm shouting at you, Get up and run! Run to a place of refuge where silence is no longer holding your voice and speak, shout, cry out for what you need, for what you know to be true. There is a way out if you can believe it. There is hope if you can open your heart to find the answers in God's love for you. He is hope and more.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

IT'S YOUR CHOICE



You need to know that the choice is yours.
Are you ready to take a stand and make your faith known if you were told to choose?
Are you sure of what you believe and do you really know what you believe?

It's your choice.
You either know why you call yourself a Christian or you don't.
You either walk the walk or you don't.
You either believe a little because your family taught you to believe so you do it all out of respect or you have challenged yourself to draw closer to the Lord and test it all out for yourself.

No one needs to tell you why you believe what you do.
No one needs to prove it to you because you've experienced it in flesh and blood.
No one can take it away because you have the scars to prove that yes, you may go through the fire, but the Lord shows up in the midst of the fire with you, all the time.

Living for God is not easy in today's world because it is not a popular thing to declare. Too many are easily embarrassed to be associated with the Bible. Christians are ridiculed by the Media, mocked by magazine articles, depicted as uneducated and ridiculous people in social circles, and made to feel inferior for believing what they believe.

People of other faiths are not tormented, mocked, or attacked the way Christians are. Other walks of life and faiths are protected, applauded, and seen as enlightenment, the way and path to peace.


It's your choice. Who will you believe?
On which side will you stand when it all comes down to making a choice?

As for me, I will serve the Lord. I will not back down. I've lost most of my so called friends anyway so I don't have anything to lose. But, In Christ, I have everything to gain.

Are you ready to take a stand? In your home, at work, at school, in your life?
The choice is yours.

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LET ME BE YOUR PEN

  By Angeline M Duran Santiago I know  your story. You have shared some of the most difficult moments of your life as a child. I know...