Monthly Archives: April 2011

Changing Sexual Orientation Does Not Matter

The main goal of my ministry or any ministry to the gay community should NOT be to get people to “change” their sexual orientation. If this is the main goal of ministries then its worth is nothing because in Christianity that is no where near the central mission. If I have ever made it seem that this is the goal of my ministry, I beg for forgiveness from God because that means I have miss placed priorities. If any person changes their behavior but does not receive forgiveness from Christ, it is worthless. How can we strive for sanctification without receiving justification? It cannot happen. Without being made right with God through repentance and forgiveness of sins, no character can truly change. They will simply be changes upon the surface with the same dead heart. A body cannot begin to live again until it has been brought back to life!! Without Christ, every man is condemned to hell. It is not straight people that go to heaven. Both straight and gay people go to hell unless they are redeemed through Christ.

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ,….” Philippians 3:7-8

Nothing in life matters until Christ has entered the scene of our lives. Solomon found what happens when we strive for sanctification before finding justification.

“Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness….And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. Then I said in my heart, ‘What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?’ And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 4:8

When a man is give the gift of repentance and believes in Jesus as his Lord and Savior, his life will naturally be transformed. Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ, who I know, that have left the gay life did not do so till after they became Christians. Many of them became Christians either still believing homosexuality was not a sin or not knowing what to think on the issue. Does this mean their repentance was not sincere? Of course it was sincere. This I am sure of because God does not reveal all of our sins to us at the moment of salvation. If He did, I think it would scare us from trusting Him with our lives. Instead, He reveals our sin gradually as He transforms us into the image of Christ. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

The hardest part of course is not realizing our sin but giving over our sin to the Lord to become more like Him. We must always remember that we do not work in order to be saved but that our works come forth from being saved. As David Platt said at Secret Church, “We must not be legalistic which leads to contamination and condemnation. Work that is fueled by the flesh to earn favor before God is negative and unholy. Work that is fueled by faith to bring glory to God is the product of our salvation.”

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Examine Yourself

Friday night I was able to be part of an event called Secret Church, a six hour sermon by David Platt which was sent on a live feed on the internet to multiple churches and bible studies around the country. It was both the most heart pierceing sermon and six hours I have ever experienced. He spoke on the doctrine of salvation and no one could ever have felt comfortable as he talked. Of course in reality it was the Lord and not David that truly brought conviction. Platt even said, “If you have not been saved, the last thing I want is for you to be is comfortable. Instead, I hope you are convicted. If you have been saved, I hope you are encouraged during this time.” Truly no one could feel comfortable as he began speaking though encouragement for believers came later. He began with Matthew 7:21-23 which says:

Not everyone will say to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

Jesus was talking to religious people here. Earlier Jesus said in 7:13-14,

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

The wide gate is a religious road and what makes it scary is that many are on it thinking they are on the narrow road. Conviction by this verse is a good thing when it leads you to examine your soul. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

What is this test? It is to examine the doctrine of salvation and hold your life up against the doctrine to see if you are saved.


Good Friday and Earth Day

It is very interesting to me that this year Good Friday and Earth Day are going to be celebrated together. Well you do not really ‘celebrate’ Earth Day but you know what I mean. You probably wondering what I am trying to get to with this. Let me explain. There is a huge connection in the Bible (especially the Old Testament) between the obedience of humanity and the state of the Earth. When God created Adam and Eve, His second command to them after the command of reproduction was to take care of the Earth. Many Christians take that to mean that the Earth was created to our benefit and this is true. But we are also the protectors and maintainers of it. There is another link we have to the Earth. When our father and mother ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, what was God’s punishment for the man? “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall ear of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.” One of the consequences for their actions was the cursing of the earth.

It goes on throughout the Scriptures continually making connections between our obedience and the state of the Earth. In Dueteronomy 28, Moses tells Israel, “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today,… blessed shall you be in the field.” He then goes on later saying, “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today,…cursed shall you be in the field.” The Earth, including animals, plants and everything, was taken from its perfect state at the beginning because of our sinfulness. In no way am I going to say anything about today such as that global warming is because of the modern world’s sinfulness. This is not exactly the case. All imperfections of creation are there because of the sinfulness of humanity as a whole. Not just those who live today and not just those who lived in previous ages. We are all responsible.

Paul says in Romans 8:22-23, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” All of creation groans in agony because it longs to be remade at the Second Coming. This is where Earth Day seems to fit in so well with Good Friday. All creation ‘knew’ the Messiah had come. A star itself pointed to his birth. So when Jesus was killed and then rose again, all of creation must have been rejoicing because it meant that it would be remade soon. Therefore when we celebrate Good Friday this week,  let us think about the fact that all of creation was rejoicing at his death and resurrection because it meant that glorification was not far away. The day was soon coming when “[The Lord will] create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind….The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall no hurt or destroy in all [the Lord’s] mountain.”


Hate and Openness

Last week, I interviewed Wayne Besen for a school article which went very well. Anyways, I was looking at his blog (well his organization’s blog) today (I was hesitant to put the link on but there you go) and they had an article by Evan Hurst about a new survey which claims that more Democratic communities have less teen suicides and suicide attempts (both straight and gay). He says on the post, “[The Religious Right is] not just hurting gay kids, which is their goal, but also straight kids.” Now let me clear up something before going ahead. I could care less about who is right, Democrats and Republicans. I want truth and sometimes Republicans are wrong, and sometimes Democrats are wrong. My political view goes after “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is commendable.” So he is right in some ways about there being less suicide and depression in liberal communities, but that has more to do with them being open to talk about their issues not really about being more pro-gay. Liberal communities seems to usually be more open and honest with each other than conservative communities and I think we can learn something from this. It does not mean we have to believe homosexuality is right, but at least make a place that kids and people do not have to be bullied or put on a mask. At times, we want our paradisaical utopia so bad that we push down any problems. Life is messy and we need to admit it. Christians sometimes have a hard time being real with one another. We need to change this.

The problem with the post is that he says that the goal of the “Religious Right” is to “hurt gay teens.” Well, I could care less about the “Religious Right” but I know for certain that neither I nor the true Church are trying to hurt gay teens or the gay community. I love the gay community more than any other group yet I do not love them enough because I want to love them and all people as Jesus would. I would be willing die if I had to in order for them to be saved. I cannot imagine how powerful the Church would be if we had the drive of those individuals in the gay community. If you are gay-identified and think the Church hates you, I cannot speak for self-proclaiming “Christians” but those people who are truly Jesus’ followers do care about you and Christ cares about you more than I could ever explain. If he didn’t care about you that much, He would not have died and taken the sins of the world upon Himself.


Is The Balloon Really Red?

Here is an awesome way to see the problem of relativism. Is this balloon really red?

Everyone holds to universal truth on some level even if they believe in complete relativism. If a person believes that all truth is relative, what they really believe is that the only universal truth is that there is no truth. This is a logical contradiction. No man can escape knowledge and truth even in very denial of them. Learning something different than truth does not mean that truth does not exist. I may learn that 2+1=4, but I am wrong. It is not a matter of perspective. It is logically impossible! How could anyone not see the importance of this issue. Truth is the very essence of existence. Because without truth, we would not exist because our very existence would be relative. How then would I be able to stop a person from committing suicide? How would I even be able to say he is committing suicide? It would simply be my perspective.

Many people call themselves ‘relative activists.’ They believe morality is relative yet they push for civil rights and such. This is a contradiction. If a person believes in civil rights and human dignity that transcend the government, then they believe in universal truth and morality. In this case, God is the source of those rights and dignity. If civil rights and human dignity are not real until they are given from the government, then why should we even fight for them. You are fighting for something that does not exist. Let me give a real historical example. Did the slaves have rights and dignity before acknowledged by the government? If so, then relativism could not be true. If they did not have dignity, worth, or rights before issued to them by the government, then why did we fight such a bloody war and go through such tough times in the 60’s to bring equality? It would have been for no real purpose. The abolitionists of the civil war were stirred by Christian pastors who proclaimed that the black community was being denied their GOD-GIVEN EQUALITY AND RIGHTS. This was something the North felt was worth dying for. This was something the Christian pastor, Martin Luther King Jr., was willing to deal with death threats over and was eventually assassinated over. Humans were denying truth but not just any truth. They were denying God-given truth.

Am I being intolerant of relativist? According to today’s idea of ‘tolerance’, which is that you must accept all views as true, I am not be tolerant. According to the actual definition of ‘tolerance’, which is putting up with error and what is disagreeable in a civilized manner, I am tolerant of their view. Just because I am saying that their view is wrong is not judgmental. Real judging is thinking that you are morally superior to another person. I am no better then them, but neither of us can change the truth that truth does exist.


Evangelizing to the Gay Community

It seems that the Church has such a hard time reaching out to the gay community. There are a lot of reasons. While the Church has got better over the past few years, there is still A LOT of room for growth. Especially as hostility arises towards anyone who does not agree that homosexuality is a godly lifestyle. Churches has even stopped their support of ministries that reach out to the gay community because the churches are afraid of persecution. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it persecution. They are afraid of the world hating them. Well isn’t that what Christ said would happen? Of course! He said that we would “be hated by all for [His] name’s sake.” We need to show love to the gay community and evangelize to them as Christ would. I understand that many do not even know how to talk to people of the gay community about Christ or anything. You do not need to have struggled with same-sex attractions to relate with them. In some way, you are probably a more powerful tool to the gay community because you never struggled with it. The reason is that many in the gay community hate those who have come out of the lifestyle. They think of us as “brainwashed,” “bigots,” and “enemies.” Those labels are not put as harshly on Christians who have never struggled with the attractions.

So I wanted to give some advice from personal experience onevangelizing to the gay community. There are certain things you need to remember, understand, and implement when talking with the people of the gay community. Many of these things apply to encounters with almost all nonChristians. First of all, you need to remember that…

  1. they have fallen short of God’s glory just like all of us. They are not worse sinners because they deal with homosexuality. We were in the same boat as them before we were saved by Christ. Do not think of them as being completely different from the rest of the world. Instead, think of them as a section of the world. Show them that you do not think of them as any different from any one else. This will make a greater impact on them.
  2. they probably already know the Christianity believes homosexuality is a sin. You do not need to always tell them that you think homosexuality is wrong. Many homosexuals come from a Christian background and therefore have heard many times before that homosexuality is a sin. They need love not condemnation.
  3. they are not attracted to every person of the same sex. I cannot tell you how many (guys especially) that get so worried about being friends with a homosexual of the same sex. I promise you that people with same-sex attractions do not have a desire to sleep with every person of the same gender that they know. Give them more credit than that. By hugging them, you won’t be making them lust. They are not animals completely focused on their sexual appetite. I promise you.
  4. you are most likely not going to win them over in a conversation. Unlike what many people such as Todd Friel would say, a majority of people do not come to Christ through open air preaching and one time conversations. If they do, it is usually because God has been working in their life, a long time before that moment. Usually, people come to Christ through their friends and family. Relationships are the key to reaching the unsaved. Sometimes on the spot conversations do work but usually they only work when God has been working on the person through relationships.

Along with all of this, here are a few things to implement and practice in your relationships with same-sex strugglers.

  1. Let your actions proceed words. Arguments and debates are a favorite of the gay community especially with Christians. While words and discussions help at times, you need to make sure your primary tool of evangelism is your actions. Be there for them when they need you. Then when clear opportunities arise for discussion, use it tell them about God’s amazing love.
  2. Show them God the gracious and merciful before anything else. I was wondering how accurate this point would actually be simply because the gay community are extremely bent on justice and equality. Yet, after thinking about it, I think it is extremely true. They have been taught to understand God as this judge who sits on the throne simply condemning people. They need to see him as gracious, loving, and merciful. Then they need to understand that God’s judgment is not unjust. Some of this they will learn on their own, but show them God love through your actions. If they desire to talk about God, reveal to them that everything He does is just both His mercy and punishment. He loves everyone and desires no one to be separated from Him.

Last but not least, I wanted to point out that even within the gay community there are people at many different stages of life. Here are some worth noting. Not everyone fits into one or any of these.

  1. The Relative Activist is usually the main one you see behind the activist campaigns and such. They usually call themselves relativists but their position as activists kind of counter it. By being activists for civil rights, their actions show that they believe in a universal truth and right. These people have usually grown a sore on their heart towards Christianity. Your actions need to show them that Christians are not always the hateful hypocrites they think.
  2. The Gay Christian usually has had problems in the past in making peace between their sexuality and faith. He could not discount either because he felt he was born gay and his faith was too foundational in his life. I would not automatically say that the Gay Christian is not actually a Christian. It depends on whether his acceptance of homosexuality is through ignorance or denial. I cannot speak on it myself. Only God knows for certain. They need to see that God does see homosexuality as a sin but that does not mean he hates the homosexual.
  3. The Struggler has almost always already accepted Christian and decided he does not want to live as a homosexual anymore. The main thing the Struggler usually needs is a brother or sister in Christ (preferably of the same gender) to come along side and support him. He needs accountability, love, and affirmation. We as the body of Christ are called to give that to each other.

Dream 1: Ignorance vs. Innocence

Let me explain myself before you read this post so you do not think I am some freak. Well I am a freak but still let me explain myself. My dreams are really weird compared to most people’s. They are usually very philosophical and stuff. This is one of the less crazy dreams. Usually they make me feel like I’m dreaming inside the book The Great Divorce. The dreams keep going through my mind during the day so I decided to start writing them out. Of course, I doubt this is exactly how my dreams went. Some of it is most likely from my daydreaming as well. Also, I want to clarify that in these dreams I talk to God but I do not think these are prophetic visions from God or anything. If they are visions from God, they are either for two reasons. First to give me story ideas, or second, to tell me personally something. My own opinion is that they are my mind trying to process everything from the previous day since I am taking philosophical classes and always reading C.S. Lewis.

The only person you need to know if it is the one named Search. If you are close to me, you have probably heard me talk about him. He is the picture in my head of Jesus that has stuck since I was a child. I saw a picture of a young man in red robes riding without a saddle on a red horse through the woods searching for something. Ever since then he comes to mind when I think of Jesus. Anyways, be warned that you are about to enter the weird things that go on in my head.

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Suddenly, the river and valley began to melt away or blow away in the wind. It is hard to describe. It was like when wet paint on a painting is smudged by the artist or the wind. The landscape went blurred all around me until all the colors mixed together. They finally began to separate again but this time with greater brilliance and beauty. I found myself in what appeared to be a garden or orchard. Blossoming trees surround Lewis, who I continually checked to make sure he had not disappeared, and I. They seemed to be naturally cultivated as if Gaia herself tended to them. The fruits upon their branches made my stomach growl. What really struck me though was how everything looked like the perfection of its form. I finally knew I had never seen a true tree until that moment nor a true river till then. I began to wonder if my life had been a dream and this was the true reality. I turned to Lewis and was about to ask him something when I noticed he looked like a ghost. It took me back. I looked at myself then and found that I looked the same. I thought I had become a shadow. Finally, I was able to ask Lewis my question, “Is this heaven?”

He softly laughed and replied, “Of course, not.”

“Then where are we? What is this place?”

“This is a world much like what earth would have been if it never fell.”

“But everything here makes our world look like a dream. It could not be anywhere on earth or in our universe.” I said.

“You are right.” Lewis replied, “It does make the world look like a dream. At least it does so to the world at the point in history you live in.”

I became very confused as Lewis continued, “As sin grows in the world, it steels from reality till the world is little more than a dream or thought compared to what it was or could have been.”

“How could someone’s actions actually change reality? That does not sound logically possible.”

“Sin is more than a person’s actions.” Lewis explained, “It is a spirit of disobedience which lingers on the human race. When a man commit adultery against his wife, the action is sinful meaning it is sin-full or filled with sin. It is not sin itself. Sin has been at that man’s door longer than he had even been thinking of cheating. So when sin penetrated into humanity is destroyed everything even their reality.”

“Are you saying that sin is an actual being? Do you mean Satan?” I asked trying to understand more.

“It is not a being of intelligence as you are thinking of it. It is no angel or demon or god. It controls Satan like a paw but only exists as long as it is fueled by those it controls. It is the very essence of being apart from God, and apart from God their is no reality so  this is why it eats away at reality as it does. But let us put off this discussion for a time. I have something for you to see.”

He led me through the orchard which became more beautiful every moment. I began to forget the dream of a world I came from. We walked for some time. I looked around but trees were the dominating feature of the land. No mountains stood in the distance and the ground in the orchard was flat. This was the one and only feature of it that reminded me of home. We finally walked into a clearing which was partially surrounded by flowers and plants to one side, which I believe was the north compared to where the sun was shining. The sun was odd there. It was bigger and brighter than ours, yet you could look strait at it without it hurting your eyes. A river ran straight through the clearing with rocky banks. I was about to go up and get a drink mostly because I wanted to feel it and taste it. Would it taste more real or more soothing on the throat than the water of our world? I wanted to find out, but suddenly, I stopped in my tracks as I noticed a naked woman sitting on the banks of the river. You would think I felt awkward randomly seeing a naked woman in the woods, but it all of a sudden felt like the naturalist thing in the world. I do not mean that I wanted to take my clothes off or anything. It just felt like when you look at the picture of a naked infant on a birth announcement. I could not see her face at the moment but she truly embodied the essence of beauty to the point that since then this woman has become my test of beauty for all things. I do not think I could tell you what race she was because it seemed as if she was of a race I had never seen before. She was fair skinned but you could tell by her face when she turned that she was not Caucasian. It was something you had to see for yourself in order to understand. As everything else in this place, she seemed to be more real than anything. I began to feel like a ghost as I looked at her.

“Who is she?” I asked Lewis while still looking at her.

He replied with a smile, “Go ask her yourself.” I could tell by his expression that he knew the answer but wanted me to find something out for myself. So I began to approach the woman. I thought she surely had already noticed me before, but as I approached and she turned around, you could tell she was surprised to see someone else. She looked confused, probably because Lewis and I looked like ghosts and had clothes on. “Hello.” she said as I approached, “Who are you?”

“I’m a stranger here, but don’t be afraid. I am not going to hurt you.” She looked puzzled by my answer.

“Why would I think you would hurt me?” I did not know if she was serious, but the look on her face seemed sincere.

Unsure of how to answer, I said, ” Well, it’s just that sometimes people get worried when a stranger comes up to them.” Her face made it seem like I was speaking a different language. I continued though, “Who are you?”

“I am Psyche and my husband is named Bardia. He is somewhere in the forest.”

“Are you the only two that live here?”

“Yes. Search comes and visits daily but he does not live here.” I looked to Lewis who remained quiet. She knew Search. How?

“How do you know Search?” I asked her.

“Well he created us of course.” She answered as if I asked an question with an obvious answer.

“You mean, neither you or your husband have parents?”

“Parents?”

“Yeah, like who gave birth to you and raised you.”

She was very puzzled and stood quiet for a second. It seems she had never heard of the concept. “I guess you would say, we were ‘born’ from Search. He created us.”

I could not believe it! Was this Eve I was talking to? But if she was, how did she not know what a parent was? Wasn’t Adam and hers first command to populate the earth? “You are so blessed to live here, Psyche?” I said.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Well you don’t have to deal with fallen humans or sin or the devil.”

“What are you talking about? You aren’t making sense.”

“Meaning no evil or motivations contrary to God.”

“If something is contrary to God, it does not exist.”

“It does in the world I come from.”

“What is there except the will of God? Nothing.” She replied. I began to think she was sounding ignorant. I looked over my shoulder to glance at Lewis, but he was gone. Then I turned back to Psyche, but she had disappeared as well.  Suddenly, Search appeared in front of me from among the trees. He was dressed as always in his red robes leading his horse by the reins. “Search!” I cried out.

“Hello.” he replied in that calming voice, “How was your conversation?”

“Confusing, but where did Lewis go?”

“I sent him away. He did his part.”

“Was Psyche actually Eve?”

“Of course not. Two flowers cannot be one and the same.”

“Who was she then? You created her, right?”

“I did create her but not for your world. Bardia and Psyche are of this world is far different from yours.”

“But didn’t Lewis say this was the world before it fell?”

“No he did not.” Search said. I was getting confused. We sat by the stream and it seemed like our conversation was only two seconds long yet a thousand years at the same time. Search continued as he took let his horse go graze in the clearing, “He said it was like your world if it had not fallen. He never said it  was your world. I created more creatures than those of your world and more universes than the one you live in.”

“Why? I thought you loved humanity more than anything.”

“I love them great but I am free to love who I wish and to whatever degree I wish.”

“So Psyche is the Eve of another world.”

“You could say that.”

“She seemed pretty ignorant.” I said.

“In what way?”

“She can’t even see that their is existence apart from you. It may be evil but it is there.”

Search then said, “She is not ignorant but innocent.”

His statement made no sense to me as I asked, “What’s the difference?”

“In your world, ignorance and innocence are thought to have unified. To be ignorant is to be unaware of truths around you. Innocence may include ignorance such as in your world, but it does not require it.” I was officially confused and Search could see it. So he continued, “You see, when a child does not know what lying is or even of it’s existence, that does not mean he is not able to lie. Therefore, he is innocently ignorant. He does not choose to be ignorant but is ignorant by nature. His ignorance is part of his innocence. Here in this world lying does not exist.”

“This makes no sense. How can lying not exist?”

“Easily. It once did not exist on earth. Lying is a form of sin which did not enter earth till after your father and mother rebelled. So you see since sin has not entered here, the ignorance of it has not either. Therefore, the creatures here are innocent without ignorance.”

“I do not completely understand it all.”

“You are not meant to understand it all.”

“I’m just curious.”

“And I created you with curiosity but do not let it harm the contentment you were meant to have with what the Lord gave you. Curiosity mixed with pride is what led your father and mother into sin.” Search explained. I felt I was finally starting to understand.

“Yes, but may I ask another question?”

“Of course.” he said with his soothing voice. I realized why John said in Revelation that His voice was ‘like the roar of many waters.’ His words tasted fresh as spring water but also resounded commanding as the great waterfalls.

“You said that Adam and Eve were innocent without ignorance but how will mankind be innocent in that way after death?”

“Mankind won’t be innocent as they were.”

“Why not, Lord?”

“When the allowed sin to enter, could never enter the Garden again even after they return to the Father. That era of history is gone and will never return for humanity.”

“Will it stay like this here or will they fall as we did?”

“It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

“So what will humanity be like after you return if not as we were before?”

“Have you not read the Scriptures? Look in your own life. I do not just take things back but make them new as well. There is a reason I allowed humanity to go through the fall. Let me show you.” He stood up and put out his hand to help me up.

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I will pick it up again later. For now, let me know what you think. Glory to God.