The Name of Jesus

trilogy-68582_1280Crosses Luke 24:6-7 says, “He is not here; He is risen! Remember how he told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners. Be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”

After watching a recent news segment, a young man is asking people to connect with Jesus by attending a rally in Washington DC (I believe at the mall) in July called, Reset 2016. Keep your eyes open for this event.

I admire him for asking people to connect with Jesus because it seems as though we don’t hear the name of Jesus much except when we’re around like-minded people.

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It seems society has tried everything it can to ban God and Jesus from our schools and the market place in generalbut they’ve failed miserably. The Bible is still around and so is God and Jesus.

God isn’t dead. (The movie God Isn’t Dead, Part II is out now).

Christianity is about Jesus, the only One sent from heaven to die for us in order to set us free from the law of sin and death, and the only One who has risen from the dead who is now at the right hand of God.

Those who don’t know Him, fear Him and want to wipe any reference of Him from society. But they can’t do it because He is the cornerstone of Christianity. He is the only One who claims to be God’s only Son. In the history of time, no one has claimed this because they can’t claim it. There is no other name under heaven or on earth whereby we must be saved except in the name of Jesus.

And this is what sets Christianity apart from the other religions.

Jesus is Savior. Jesus brought the message of hope that we can have eternal life in/with Him. No one else can promise this truthfully.

The US Constitution’s job is to protect us from having our religious freedom taken away. We have the right to speak openly about our faith–it’s the basic moral fiber of our heritage–and we need the courage to do it.

It’s all about Jesus…the One who gave His life to set us free from the bondage of sin and death so that sin couldn’t have dominion over us. His death has freed us to live a life that glorifies Him.

Let’s talk more about Jesus: who He is and what He’s done. 🙂

 

 

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Thanksgiving And Freedom

schooner-487800_640The Mayflower, captained by Christopher Jones and born in Hurwich, England in the late 1500s, was one of the most important ships to ever come to America, bringing settlers from England to the New World where they landed at the Plymouth plantation. They suffered bad weather during the last half of their 66 day journey, but when the ship finally landed safely at Plymouth Plantation they gave God thanks.

A stately looking bird, the turkey has become an American icon and a symbol of thankfulness that began with our early ancestors.

turkey-802234_640Every year, families across this great land of America celebrate Thanksgiving and give thanks to God, our Creator, for the freedoms He’s so abundantly given to us. Thousands risk their lives trying to flee dictators and tyrannical rule to enter “the freedom gates” of America because they understand the value of freedom. But America must remain a land of laws that must be honored and obeyed because law brings order and keeps chaos from thriving. Without laws, we devalue our country, and freedom becomes extinct.

Our early settlers knew that freedom was like a precious jewel to be cherished. They understood its value and the impact it would have on humanity.

May the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving never become extinct, and may we always be clothed with thankful hearts each day. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and if it’s in your heart to do so, and if you are able, consider helping those who are less fortunate.

Thank you for following this blog. May God bless you, and may He continue to bless America.american-flag-1020853_640

 

 

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“The Substance Of Things Hoped For…”

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It’s getting close to that time a year…Christmas; angels singing, bright lights glowing, and stars shining, all to remind us of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I’d like to talk about something that’s difficult for some, and easier for others, and that is, to have faith to believe in Jesus.

The difference between those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and those who do not is summed up in one tiny word but has the strength of a lion, and that is faith. Those who choose to walk by faith and not by sight have the key to God’s heart and the key to salvation. It is my prayer and my desire that many more would learn to step out on faith and trust in our Lord for their salvation.

For some, finding faith in troubled times is difficult, but it is still available to all. When we can’t see the road ahead, it’s hard to keep going. Do we stay on the well-lit path, the path that most seem to travel nowadays, or do we step out in faith and go down a road less traveled? Or, do we keep going or turn back? It’s hard to know. And it’s hard to trust in someone other than ourselves, whether it is God, or a loved one. But each time we step out in faith and walk down that shadowy road, the road becomes a little easier to bare.

What is faith?  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~Hebrews 11:1.

In Romans 8:24, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why doth he yet hope for?”

Once we can see something and/or touch something, than we no longer need to hope for it. Therefore, faith becomes evident when there is something to hope for; something to look forward to and wait for. And it is possible to believe in something even though we can’t see it.

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Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh [hope], it is a tree of life. I had lost hope many years ago when I was facing some really troubled times. I had lost my desire to function and the dark cloud of depression overcame me, causing me physical illness. I felt as if I was dangling by a thread in the dark universe, yet I knew God was holding on to the other end, which helped me to not give up. Thankfully, I was able to overcome those trials and hope was restored because I knew that God was my only hope. If anyone could help me it would be Him for sure. David, who was a shepherd and a contributing author of Psalms, was known for being a “man after God’s own heart.” I wanted to know how and why this could be when, after all, he had done some pretty bad things. But David loved God, and God knew it. I read the book of Psalms a lot during those dark days, especially Chapters 86 and 102 because they helped restore my hope. God’s mercy flows throughout the book of Psalms.

But how can we receive faith when it’s hard to sometimes believe in things we can’t see? One way is this: “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  ~Romans 10:17

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Day by day, as we allow God’s Word to pour into our hearts, our faith grows and becomes stronger. Faith has the power to move our mountains of troubled times, and give us strength to face our daily trials.

Seek faith, and you will find it. When you find it, hold tight to it.

~blessings to you

 

 

 

 

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Samaritan Ministries

I’m a member of Samaritan’s Ministries. It’s a Christian Health Care organization that I discovered.

It isn’t health insurance, but rather a sharing ministry by its members. When you have a claim, you turn it into Samaritan and they send your need to those in the network. Everyone pays their share amount to the ones who Samaritan chooses and they send you the need and you send your payment to that individual along with a note and a prayer.

It’s a good organization. If you’d like to check them out you can call 309-689-0442. Toll free at 877-764-2426.

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I’m thankful for Samaritans Ministries.

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Keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and He will give you strength.

Samaritans may be just what you are looking for: Samaritansministries.org

~blessings

 

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How is Your Faith?

Jesus is the Word come to life . . .

Jesus is the Word come to life . . .

Ephesians 6:10-18 in the New Testament says, “Finally, my brethern, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints . . .”

I love these verses. They are so encouraging. They touch on my middle grade fantasy novel, Secret of the Golden Heart that I’m in the process of self-publishing. My main character is swept on a journey where he must find the secret to the golden heart before time runs out. He discovers that he must fulfill his mother’s destiny. He believes the heart holds power and he wants it for himself. He’s quite surprised when he discovers the kind of power it really holds.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is the foundation for salvation. But walking by faith and not by sight is sometimes not an easy task. I think it’s easier for children to trust. And faith keeps us strong in the Lord. Sometimes we must go down the road less traveled . . .

Step out on faith and see where it leads.

Step out on faith down a path less traveled and see where it leads.

Take a leap with something you’ve been struggling with. If we don’t try, we’ll never know how the story will turn out.

Writing is one of my passions, and I enjoy encouraging others to find their passion.

May He receive the glory in all we say and do!

 

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Why Doesn’t My Life Matter, Mom?

Hmmm . . . sure looks like a human being to me.

Courtesy Flickr drsuparna

Courtesy of drsuparna on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

A Story . . .

Mommy, I heard you say that your best friend just had a baby girl. I can’t wait to meet her! We can have so much fun together! Did you tell Daddy about me yet? I bet he’ll be so happy to hear the news!

Mommy, even though I’m only twelve-weeks-old, I can still sense things. I can especially sense when something’s wrong. And I sense that something’s wrong, Mommy. I heard you tell Amanda that you were troubled, and that you didn’t know what to do, and how mixed up your life seems to be. I’m worried about you, Mommy. You told her that your pregnancy couldn’t have come at a worst possible time. I’m your pregnancy! Why is it such a bad time to have me?

If you can just hold on. Don’t do anything until I arrive. Then everything will be perfect. I can’t wait to see your face, Mommy, or squeeze your finger. I’ll smile at you when you’re giving me a bath. And I really can’t wait ’til you kiss my face all over and snuggle my neck with your nose!

You can’t wait for those things either, right Mommy? What could bring bring a mommy more joy than having a baby? I think you’ll be the best Mom EVER! And I’ll try so hard to be the best daughter ever. I’m going to rest now, Mom. Talk soon.

***

     “Miss Stockton, please, have a seat on that table. How far along do you think you are?”

     “About twelve weeks, I think.”

     Does the baby’s father or your family know you’re here?”

     Silence.

     “Oh, that’s not important. Are you familiar with the procedure?”

“Not really, I guess.”

“Okay, well, read this, sign at the bottom, and then lie back. Doctor will be in shortly and can explain the procedure.”

     ***

 Mommy, why are you quivering? Is this our monthly checkup? I know the doctor will tell us that everything is going to be great.

 ***

     “Hello,” said the deep voice as the door clicked shut. “Just relax. This won’t take long.” The pain will only last a brief time.”

     “But–“

     “You’ll be up and around in no time.”

     Mommy, why does it feel like I’m being sucked out of your womb? Ouch! That hurst! Mom, what’s going on?”

     “Almost . . .”

     “Mommy, are you getting rid of me? You might just need me someday. Mom, please, I promise I’ll be the best daughter ever! Mom, you have to talk to someone. Get help! Don’t let them do this to me…to us! You’ll feel so empty inside, Mom. The pain and sorrow will never go away no matter what anyone has told you. Ouch! And you know why, Mom? Because the bond between a mother and her child is so strong that NO ONE can sever it! I’ve been created by God, just like you. I know He’s speaking to your heart right now, I just know it. He’s the One who places truth in our hearts. Can you hear Him, Mommy?”

     Ouch! I want to live, Mom. Why do I deserve to die? Don’t I deserve a chance at life like you? I bet I could make a difference in the world. Mom, I’m begging you, please, take me home.”

***

Evening

     “Ted, I . . . I have something to tell you. Sit down, please. I almost did something today, something horrible . . . but . . . I decided against it. I kept hearing a voice speaking to my heart. It told me not to do it.”

     “What were you going to do?”

     “That’s not important. What’s important is that, we’re going to have a baby.”

     Oh, Mom, thank you! I love you so much . . . I can’t wait to see you and dad! I’ll show you, I’ll be the best daughter EVER!

Curtousy: Pixabay

Curtousy: Pixabay

©Debbie Erickson

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Urgent: Abortion and Planned Parenthood vs Online for Life and Pregnancy Care Centers

Courtesy Flckr Quinn Bromkowski

Courtesy Flckr Quinn Bromkowski

King David lifted his voice in Psalms 139:13, (NAS) “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14) For I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth it well. 15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” (The monument above is for the Sanctity of Life. Kneeling there is Jesus.)

I, like many, are disturbed and disgusted at the video that surfaced recently regarding a doctor/senior official associated with Planned Parenthood, discussing selling body parts of aborted babies, and haggling over a price while eating lunch in a public restaurant. According to one statistic, they are receiving over $540 million dollars of taxpayer funding–$1.47 million a day!

After this disturbing video, I thought that a post was necessary.

The “deeds of darkness” were brought into the light, and I hope the dastardly deeds never go back into the darkness. But before I go further, I’d like to say to all of those who have had an abortion(s), and have felt the effects of guilt, and the physical and emotional pain you’ve endured, there is hope with God’s amazing grace. God can provide healing and help and lift  your burden. Our sins are never too great that God’s grace can’t cover, and His arms are big enough to wrap you in His loving care. If you’re suffering from the effects of abortion, there is help.

We must spread the word that Planned Parenthood does not care about the welfare of millions of women who seek abortion as an alternative to their “problem.” Millions walk through Planned Parenthood’s doors every year needing help, but they are walking through the wrong doors. They are being deceived. With Planned Parenthood, It’s  about money. It’s a multi-billion dollar business. Since Roe v Wade, women have been caught in the web of deception–in Planned Parenthood’s lair. According to society and our government, it’s okay to murder babies half out of the womb under the guise of “women’s choice.” It’s the greatest lie of the century.

The other lie is, “You have a right to do with your body as you choose. It’s your body!” Oh, really? Well, let’s see what God’s Word says about that. I Corinthians 6:19, (NAS) “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Our bodies do not belong to us. They belong to God because He created us, He is the Author of creation, and we are created in His image. One statistic is they are receiving over $540 million dollars of taxpayer funding–$1.47 million a day. Your tax dollars at work!

The Family Research Council (FRC) is calling for a moratorium on all federal taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood. Also, you can also go to ACLU (American Center for Law and Justice) and sign their online petition.

I believe that this latest video is a wake-up call to America/Americans. A wake-up call to step out of our comfort zones and do something to protect our preborn children. For those who don’t know what partial birth abortion is, you need to know exactly what it is. I believe there are many who don’t know, or they don’t want to know. It’s a savage act of murder while the head is out of the womb. I won’t go into any more details here. It’s a horrid act of violence, and it needs to be stopped. It’s gone on for too long. I, like many others, have probably tried to ignore it, or whatever the reason, but it can no longer be ignored. It’s time to speak up if you find it in your heart to do so. I also believe (and it is my prayer) that it’s time for those who have had abortions to help others who are seeking abortions, to take courage, not stay silent, and help them. Think what the outcome of that could be!

Our government as a whole has not fought hard enough to stop this atrocity. They’ve stood silent and have given up the fight with protecting our precious babies, with the exception of a few who have put forth an effort. It hurts to think about doctors who destroy these tiny lives after they have taken an oath to do whatever was in their power to save a life.

I was a peer counselor at a Women’s Pregnancy Care Center, and I’ve learned the physical and emotional consequences of those who’ve had an abortion. The physical consequence is bad enough, but the emotional consequence is worse. And it is this: The bond between a mother and her child begins at conception. As that human being grows, so does that bond. That bond is stronger than any other human bond, even the bond between husband and wife. And this is how it is meant to be. It is what God intended. And a mother’s job is to protect her child. There have been mother’s who have given their lives to protect their child. It’s a mother’s natural instinct. Unless they’re coerced and deceived into thinking something else.

Our job, however, is not to pass judgement on those who’ve sought, or who’re seeking abortion, our job is to pray for them, to love them, and patiently persuade them to seek counseling, and to see their pregnancy to term. We must offer them a choice–to keep their child, or to allow hopeful parents to adopt their child. Abortion should never be an option. We must wrap our arms around them and gently lead them in another direction; offer them another alternative, and tell them that there is always hope no matter the dire situation.

FRC reports, “Dr. Ben Carson told Megyn Kelly on Fox News that the real shocker isn’t the video. ‘”What’s really disturbing,” he said, “is the fact that we have become so callous that a lot of people don’t even realize that this is shocking. To see the callousness with which we are treating human life… [T]here are so many people who are concerned about little spiders and things, and yet, the human being inside the mother’s womb… is much more sophisticated than many of these creatures that they’re trying to preserve.”‘

Make a phone call. Write a letter. Call a Pregnancy Care Center to ask what you can do. However, I must tell you that not all Pregnancy Care Centers are the same. If you need help, or know someone who does, or would like to see what you could do, I suggest starting here: Pregnancy Care Center in Niles, Michigan. They can help guide you to some centers in your area. You can also go here, Online for Life, to learn more.

Yes, Roe v Wade needs to be overturned, but the real solution is changing the hearts and minds of women who find themselves in a hopeless situation of an unwanted pregnancy. They need our love. They need to know that nothing is hopeless. When a women walks into Planned Parenthood, or a Pregnancy Care Center, they are seeking immediate answers and solutions. They are seeking hope. Planned Parenthood offers them none of the above. Pregnancy Care Centers do.

We need to be giving our tax dollars to organizations who support life, not to those who destroy lives. We need to hold our government accountable for staying silent on this issue for too long.

EVERY LIFE MATTERS . . . Even one such as this.

Courtesy Flickr drsuparna

Courtesy Flickr drsuparna

(There is a list of businesses who are supporting Planned Parenthood. After I check the validity of this claim, I may post them here in the near future.)

May God bless you all.

Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in U.S., unto Him be the glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout the ages, world without end. Amen.”

 

 

 

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What Freedom Means To Me . . .

Courtesy of Wikipedia EdwardMoran-UnveilingTheStatueofLiberty1886

Courtesy of Wikipedia EdwardMoran-UnveilingTheStatueofLiberty1886

Most people have heard Lee Greenwood’s song, Proud to be an American, and what a great song it is. It resonates with many Americans. But there’s another song that you may or may not be familiar with that I’d like to share with you called The Statue of Liberty, written by Neil Enloe. I first heard this song years ago from a quartet at our church congregation that I attended, and the lyrics still touch my heart whenever I hear it or even read the words. This particular version was sung by Ivan Parker on a Bill and Gloria Gaither telecast and presented on this youtube video.

Please take a moment and listen to a version sung by Ivan Parker. Statue of Liberty. It will chill you and hopefully touch your heart, too.

We must keep America great. It breaks my heart to see people burn and stomp on our flag. We can’t stay silent. Despite the troubles that America now faces, she is still the greatest country on Earth. The American Flag stands for many things: freedom, blood, battles won against our enemies, etc.

Courtesy operationlegacy

Courtesy operationlegacy

The American Bald Eagle is also a symbol of this great land. Strength, courage, and freedom rides on the wings of this great and mighty bird. And I believe that America will stand to keep fighting her enemies because the body and the spirit of America can never die. Why?

Courtesy, flickr

Courtesy, flickr

 

“We The People” is why. It is The People who make America–people devoted to keeping America great despite its enemies. We are America–you and me–and the millions who have died to save her because they knew that the cost of losing freedom would be a cost that was too high a price to pay.

America is great. Period. And it is for this reason hundreds of thousands are risking their lives and their fortunes to find refuge here in order to experience FREEDOM; a freedom they’ve never known, only heard about. Yes, people have sacrificed and paid the ultimate price for freedom, and others who will continue to risk their lives to grab hold of it, but, like the lyrics in the song, the ultimate price was paid on Calvary by Jesus Christ when He died for our sins that we might be set free from sin and death.

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this post. I would love for you to follow my site. May God bless you, and may you have a safe and wonderful 4th of July holiday in celebrating our freedom!

 

 

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He Is . . .

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He’s beyond the deepest valley,
Across the widest sea,
He’s in every star that twinkles,
And He reaches out to me . . .

He’s the Man on the Moon,
Above the heavens so high,
Always looking down on us,
Giving us no reason to ask why . . .

When I gaze into the universe,
I see a God who cares,
Enough to give us sight to see,
The Cross He had to bear . . .

Some believe He doesn’t exist,
And those who can’t decide,
They fail to see the beauty,
In these hard and trying times . . .

When I stop to realize,
How much of Him I see,
I give my thanks to Him alone,
Down on bended knee . . .

So, when you see your spirits lifted,
Or a smile upon your face,
It’s only God’s undying love,
And His wonderful, AMAZING GRACE!

                                          ~Debbie Erickson

 

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His Life Inspired Him To Write One Of The Most Famous Songs Of Our Times

John Newton Image

In the first half of the 18th Century, England was in a state of religious and moral decay. The National Church was not faring well and only added to the national corruption. If the church was to survive it would need revived.

Born in London on August 4, 1725, John Newton’s mother, who was a God-fearing woman, died before John was seven-years-old. John had no choice than to go with his father, a sea-captain, to sea, where he was forced to grow up without a motherly influence.

Later, he became an English sailor for the Royal Navy and traveled across the Atlantic where he almost died on the Coast of Guinea before a friend of his father found him.

In 1743, on his way to become a slave master on a Jamaica Plantation, he became pressed-ganged and later tried to desert. He ended up on the coast of Sierra Leone where he endured the abuse of a slave trader.

But my post isn’t really about the slave trade in the 1700’s, or the high seas, but about a boy who grew up in the worst of conditions, who had experienced many storms in his life. What else could a young lad do except rebel? And rebel he did. But he would’ve surely ended his life had it not been for his loving wife, Mary Catless, who kept him from committing suicide.

Though John was too young to remember most of the things his mother taught him, he remembered someone telling him how his mother had prayed many nights on bended knee for his salvation.

One night, he faced the worst storm of his life on one of his voyages. A fierce storm ravaged the ship. Fear wrapped its ugly tentacles around John. I imagine those tentacles tried to strangle John of hope. He didn’t think he’d survive the night. And that night, John Newton did something that probably surprised even him: he cried out to God.

We now know the effect that night had on John Newton, as it comes to us in the words of one of the most famous, inspiring songs of our time, “Amazing Grace.”

John Newton had a major role in the survival of the National Church of England and preached throughout England. Many came to hear him, and to seek his counsel. Those who couldn’t travel to him wrote him letters. John Newton will not only be remembered for his song, but also for calling out to God after reaching the end of hope and discovering  God’s mighty grace.

The original words as written my Newton:

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be for ever mine
.

The above verse was removed before the hymn became really popular and replaced with the verse below:

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

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