Stones of Remembrance

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Do you remember the story of the people of Israel crossing over the Jordan River from the book of Joshua 4? Just to recap it, Joshua chose 12 people, one from each tribe of Israel and told them to pick up a boulder and set it in the river. From the stones, they built a monument. He told the people many years later, when your children ask you about it, you are to tell them that it is in remembrance that the Lord kept His promises and brought us into the land of promise. Sometimes it is good to look back over our lives. Maybe that’s more for a person my age than yours. But the reason for this is to remember God’s faithfulness. So, just to take a bit of a different direction today, I would like to tell you a little of my story.

In September of 1970, I left the state of New York and drove my little Chevrolet to the small town of Alamosa, Colorado. I was 23 years old and was about to start college after having served my military duty. I was not a Christian at that time and up to that point, I had lived pretty much for myself. But in the back of my mind, I always had the notion that God was real and we should live to please him. But having that on your mind and actually living it out in the real world are two different things.

Anyway, soon after I entered college, I met this guy named John. He was a Christian and would speak up during class time and quote or defend the Bible. I had never read the Bible but I was impressed with his courage to stand up for his beliefs, even when the rest of the class would laugh or roll their eyes at him. John had a love for coffee but had no car. I had both, so we would drive three miles out of town about 10 PM to a place called the Navaho Truck Stop (the only place open at that time in Alamosa). We would sit for two or three hours and just talk. Mostly about Jesus and the Bible. Slowly, I became more interested and tried to understand what John was saying.

Fast forward to March of 1971. I drove back to Kansas with my roommate who was not returning for the next semester. I spent time with his family and really enjoyed them. Not having much of a family life of my own, they were everything my family was not. While there, I remember having a lot of excitement to get back to college. Not to start the next semester, but I had these strange thoughts that something was going to happen to me regarding God. I was totally weirded out by these thoughts. When I started on the long trip back to college the thoughts just kept getting stronger. Not having any knowledge of what it meant to become a Christian, I found all this a bit exciting and disturbing at the same time.

I got back to college on that Sunday evening, and in a short time, I heard a knock on my dorm room door. I wasn’t too surprised to see my friend John there asking if I wanted to come to a meeting of some Christians that Thursday night. He said he would pick me up and take me to the meeting room. The night came and John was there to take me to the meeting.

So, here we were, April 1, 1971, in a small room with a table and some of the “leaders” of the group came in for a time of prayer. They started to pray and I must admit, I believe it was the first time I had ever heard people pray like that. The only time I can really remember praying my own prayer was when I was in a small chapel on an air force base in Washington. I was 18, just about to graduate high school and scared to death of what was next. I remember standing in the chapel saying something like, “God if you are real, please show me how to reach you.”

There was a student from outside the group who spoke at the meeting that night. I listened to his talk and then after the meeting I went up to him and asked if we could talk. This was totally out of character for me, but I couldn’t stop myself. We got off by ourselves and talked a bit. That is, I talked and he listened. I told him about my messed-up life and what had been going on for the past several months to bring me to this point. All I remember him saying is, “Jesus Christ is the answer to all your problems.” Those words have stuck with me for 46 years now. Rich ended up leading me to the Lord that night. I had no idea what this would mean, but one thing I did know, is that I was a changed person. It was not really an emotional experience that night, but just an assurance that something within me had changed! As it turns out, Jesus Christ, in the person of the Holy Spirit had taken up residence within me. It would be many years before I really grasped that. As I think back over my life, this fact of Jesus living within me encourages me to keep going ahead, even though there are times when I feel like giving up.

So, April 1, 1971 became a stone of remembrance for me. The strange car ride back from Kansas, hearing people pray for the first time and hearing that Jesus Christ was the answer to all my problems are as fresh in my mind as when they happened. One thing, none of this was because of me. I was just a burned out 23-year-old who was already tired of life. It was, and is, all Jesus.

What about you? Do you have any stones of remembrance? I have had one or two more such experiences that are stones of remembrance during my life as a believer. But that night in April was the first. I can truly say that Jesus Christ has never let me down. Has my life turned out the way I thought it would? Not in the least! There have been truly dark, hurtful, and fearful times where I totally wanted to just go home to be with the Lord. But there have also been times where I know He was totally with me and would never leave me. All I can say is how grateful and thankful I am to Him for pulling me out of the pits into His glorious life and never giving me up. As the song goes, “Our God is an Awesome God!!” Truer words were never spoken.

A Demonstration of Grace

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

As I mentioned in my last blog I have been reading a book called the Grace and Truth Paradox. There are a couple of things that really stood to me. One is that it is easy to have a misunderstanding of God’s grace. While grace costs us nothing, it cost God everything, including offering up His Son, Jesus, for our sins because there is no way we can atone for them ourselves. The other thing that stands out is that Biblical grace is not a license to sin and live our lives to ourselves. That thinking just weakens God’s grace in our lives and takes away from the Gospel. When Jesus healed the blind man, He did it first of all because he wanted to and secondly out of His grace. But he didn’t say, “there you go. Now go and live your life and be happy.” No, He said, “now go and sin no more.” We must look at both grace and truth.

I’d like to tell you a story that is a simple demonstration of grace and truth working together. I don’t know if you have ever heard Eric Liddell. You may have seen the movie that came out in the late 70’s called Chariots of Fire. It’s the story of Eric Liddell, who was a member of the British track team during the 1924 Paris Olympics. His strength race was the 100-meter run, and he was expected to win. A problem arose when the qualifying heat was to be run on a Sunday. Eric, being a Christian, was strong against doing secular things on a Sunday. He ended up withdrawing from the race, much to the displeasure of those around him. Eric ended up giving his spot in the 100-meter race to one of his teammates and Eric ran the 400-meter race which the other man was to run and was not his strong suit. But not only did Eric win that race, he broke the world record in doing so. Thus, he became a British hero!

That is pretty much where Chariots of Fire ended. Now we need to fast forward to the 1930’s. After the 24 Olympics, Eric went to China and began working with the China Inland Mission. While there, the Japanese invaded China and many missionaries and families were put in internment camps, including Eric Liddell and a young girl named Margaret. “Uncle Eric,” as he became known, was a friend to the children. The children used to like to go out and play games like basketball and soccer. Uncle Eric would act as referee. But of course, Uncle Eric refused to referee on Sundays. But it seemed like the children would get into fights on Sundays because he wasn’t around. Eric struggled over this and eventually decided that his not being available on Sundays should not hinder the children from playing as they needed the diversion.

Eric’s decision left a strong impression on Margaret. She could see, for one thing, that Uncle Eric was not a legalist. She saw that Eric could sacrifice his own principles and glory of running his race in the Olympics on a Sunday. But when it came to the good of the children in the camp, he showed grace to the children at the cost of his putting aside his own convictions. Eric Liddell remained in the camp until 1945 when he died of a brain tumor. He was 43 years old. Having sent his family to safety, he died a prisoner of the Japanese and never saw his family again on this side of Heaven.

So, here’s a few questions from the “grace and truth paradox” that we might be able to apply to our lives. In the church, can we put aside our differences and serve one another in grace and love? Can we put aside our pride and self-righteous attitudes and serve the least of the least of these (whoever that may be in our lives)? Do we take advantage of grace and excuse our sins in the name of Grace? When talking to others about salvation in Christ, do we stress grace and God’s love and not make it clear that the person is a sinner and cannot be saved by his own power?

My prayer is that we will all have a deep gratitude for the grace that God gives us. Think of the thief on the cross. He would never have a chance to fellowship with other believers at church. He would never receive communion. He would never hear the Apostles preach or have an opportunity to atone for his sins (not that he could). But he would have GRACE! “Today you shall be with me in paradise.” Friends, may our lives exude the grace of Christ to a hurting and dying world. But may we never do that to the exclusion of the truth of the Gospel! “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10. Salvation comes by GRACE through faith. TRUTH is found in the Word of God and comes to us through the conviction of the Holy Spirit! May these two always work together in our lives for the good of the church!

Grace

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I’ve been reading a little booklet called The Grace and Truth Paradox. It’s quite a challenging little book for its 92 pages. It has challenged me to think, or rethink some of the ramifications things about grace and truth. In our daily lives, I doubt if very many of us seen grace and truth as interdependent. They seemingly have nothing to do with one another. But John 1:14 says that, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In other words, Jesus came to earth as a man to show the grace of God! But He also didn’t hide the truth either. Today, I’d like to talk some about the grace side of the paradox. Lord willing, in the next blog, we can talk about truth and how it should affect us.

If I were to ask you to define grace, I would expect that more than half of you would say it is “unmerited favor.” That’s true. In fact, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines grace as, “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their re:generation or sanctification.” That is a good re:generation definition if I ever heard one. We are all aware of this definition. Our redemption was totally made possible because the grace of God. And how did He do this? “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Another verse that talks about this if 1 Corinthians 15;3, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received; that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance to the scriptures.” This is true grace! We can take absolutely no credit for our salvation. It was all because of God’s grace and He alone should get the credit.

So how should this wonderful news of the grace of God affect us? Do we thank Him for the grace he gave us? I think one of our problems is that some of these great acts of grace on God’s part, become mundane and secondary. In fact, we even tend to change things so that we don’t look so helpless and pitiful in this. As an example of this let me tell you a story from my little book I am reading. In the book, the writer told a story of a conference he attended. One of his favorite songs is Amazing Grace,  and during the worship portion one day, a singer started to sing this song, and it was beautiful, for the first nine words. As the singer started the song, they sang, ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a SOUL like me.” The word WRETCH had been changed to SOUL. This seemingly harmless change really hurt the writer of my book because it took the power out of redemption! It changed our position from that of a total helpless and depraved individual to one that really isn’t so bad after all. It changed us from a wretched individual to one who has at least had a modicum of respectability. We just don’t like to think of ourselves as wretched or depraved, so instead, we in essence, try to lower God to our level.

Brothers and sisters, unless we come to the place where we can see ourselves in the truth of the Word, we diminish God’s amazing act of grace. As I said above, we don’t like to think of us a depraved or helpless. It’s too narrow minded. We tend to think that we have something worthy within ourselves that should make God like us more. Or worse yet, that our good works will outweigh the bad, so that God will save us.

God’s grace should astonish us! To think that an all-powerful, all-knowing or all loving God would reach down and save wretched souls like us is totally amazing as to be beyond comprehension If our response to all this is anything less than falling on our knees and worshiping and praising God, then we have missed the understanding of God’s grace. May that never be the case! May God draw us closer to Him!

Calendars, Coffee and our Minds

BingImages_3271Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

God does strange things, and at the least expected time. Our office is closed today. No, we aren’t taking the day off as such, but rather we are here as a group having a day just to relax, pray and have some fun events. So, we met this morning at 8:30 and had a time of worship, a break for coffee and fellowship and had the first of our two scheduled meetings.

Before I go into what happened at the first meeting, allow me to give you a little insight into my mind of late. I have been truly trying and asking God to “break me.” I’m sure that means different things to different people, but to me it mostly means seeking to be a nobody for God. I quoted Pastor Brandon on this a blog post recently. While I have been serious in this, I have found that my mind is in a dark place. While I truly seek to just be humble before God and people, I find that total surrender to God, to be totally difficult. The other thing I have struggled with in all of this is fear and insecurity about my future. I guess that’s a normal thing for someone at my age, but I find it to be a major stumbling block in my life. I really haven’t planned for my retirement or anything like that. I kind of gave up things 21 years ago to serve God full time. But now because of natural aging, I find things get harder and my mind goes toward thinking about these things.

So, that brings us to our first meeting this morning. I honestly felt like blowing it off. My heart just wasn’t up to have this day of rest, fun and relaxing, and I was a bit depressed. But I walked over to our chapel and decided I would at least give it a try, not even thinking that God’s hand was in that decision. Our speaker was one of our brothers from the field and we did the meeting through Facetime. As he spoke, I felt myself being drawn in more and more to what he was saying. He spoke from Matthew 16:22-23, a very familiar passage to us. “Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.’”

Peter had given up a lot of things to follow Christ. He left his family and familiar surrounds without hesitation, at the command of Jesus. He gave up his fishing career, made lots of blunders over time with Jesus and generally was out of his element. Now, here was Jesus telling the disciples that He was going to die. I don’t know if Peter was really trying to be a stumbling block to Jesus, but that is exactly what Jesus said. Peter was thinking of himself and not the things of Christ. Jesus could have taken a softer approach to his response to Peter, but as we know, Jesus said things like they were and did not mince words. Jesus told Peter that he was actually making Him miss His mark, or sin! Basically, Jesus was saying that Peter was trying to convince Him that it was not God’s plan for Jesus to die like he was describing. Question, do our minds cause other people to stumble?

Our speaker then started talking about calendars. I’m thinking, “what!! Where is this going?” Did you know there are different calendars in the world and not all people use the same one? I have heard of the Gregorian calendar which I think is the one we generally use. But there are, and have been other calendars that revolve around the sun, moon, stars or harvest time. But there was one calendar that was totally different. That was the Jewish calendar that revolved around God. “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:2) The month that God is referring to is the month that the Jews received their deliverance from Egypt. Their calendar revolved around God. Let me ask you, in our own minds, what does the calendar of our personal lives revolve around? All this begs another question: How can we make our minds to not be a stumbling block to others? Are we making others miss their mark (sin)?

Our guest speaker then told a story. It was a true story about a man who had recently retired from a high government position in the United States. He was at a venue and was in the middle of giving speech when he looked down at a Styrofoam coffee cup that he was given. He stopped his speech and started over at that point. The speaker said that last year he spoke at this same venue. He was flown into the city with a first class ticket, he was met at the airport and escorted to a limousine to take him to the best hotel. He skipped checking in, that was already taken care of. His luggage mysteriously showed up in his comfortable room. He then asked for a cup of coffee and it was brought to him in a nice porcelain cup.

The man continued speaking and told them that this year, now that he was retired, he flew in by himself in a second-class seat. He picked luggage and made took a taxi to his hotel. He checked in and carried his luggage up to his room. He caught another taxi and made his way to the event venue. He made his way in the front door and found his way to the back of the venue. He then asked an employee if he could have a cup of coffee and the employee pointed to a table down the hall. The man walked over, took a Styrofoam cup and poured himself a cup of coffee. This was the cup of coffee that made him change his speech. Here is the first point.  Don’t hold on to your identity too tightly. It’s OK to get coffee in a porcelain cup if that is what God wants for you. But it is just as OK if it comes in a Styrofoam cup. It’s OK to live well and have nice things. But it’s also OK to have nothing if that is what God wants for us. Our identity is in Christ and does not depend on how powerful we are or what man thinks of us.

The second point of our speaker’s talk was this. Don’t hold on to your security too tightly. This point really hit home with me today. You see, I have been struggling with some fear about my future. Things like, how long should or could I go on serving here? If I must leave the ministry for some reason, I have no place to go Also, what would I do? I really haven’t done much to plan for retirement, (actually I have never really planned to retire) how could I even live? As much as I would try not to let my mind wrap around this, I keep thinking about it.

I guess what I am saying is that we need to stop thinking so much about ourselves (I read that in a book by Francis Chan). We also need to ask and remind ourselves about what our mind is revolving around. We need to hold on to our lives and our future security very loosely. We are in God’s hands! I have told several people over the past year that the most important thing I learned in my year in Re:Generation was that we need to learn to trust God. I seemed to have let that slip a bit. Here is my last bit of advice for today. DON’T DO THAT!!

So, the meeting this morning was yet another one of those small miracles from God that I have occasionally experienced in my dark hours. Sadly, we often miss them. I’m not saying that because I attended this meeting that all my problems are all now fixed. But, God was so gracious to me by pushing me to go to the meeting. My desire is still the same, but maybe a little stronger. I want to be God’s nobody and to hang on to my life as loosely as possible. God bless you all!

The Faith of a Child (Eternal Optimism on the Oregon Trail)

Mark Johnston, Connections Pastor

When she was six or seven, our second oldest daughter had a game on our computer called The Oregon Trail. It was an educational game, which simulated the hardships of 19th century pioneer life. She played as a wagon leader guiding a group of settlers from Missouri to the Willamette Valley in a covered wagon in 1848.

She loved playing the game, but it always made her cry.

far-did-covered-wagon-travel-day_b5eb8c21c2663684

See, she would always name her people in the game after all the members of our family. And, as the realities of pioneer life set in, some of ‘us’ would die from various causes. One would get the measles, or typhoid, or cholera and kick the bucket halfway through the trip.

She’d come in to our bedroom, upset because her little brother or sister had died of dysentery, snakebite or drowned in a flood, and we’d have to give her hugs and dry her tears. She was heartbroken that one of her virtual family members had passed away.

We would suggest that she give the members of her party other names, generic ones that she was not as attached to, to ease some of the trauma of their impending demise. Dealing with Ron or Sandy’s death on the trail would still sting, but not as much as losing a person with the same name as a loved one in the next room.

But after that mission was over, the two or three surviving family members would settle in the Pacific Northwest, and she was right back, starting a new game with all of our same names, trying to guide us through the hardships, thinking that this time would be different and we’d all survive.

And of course we didn’t.

It’s funny now to look at how a little kid, playing a video game kept repeating the same mistake in a world that doesn’t really exist. But how many times do we play our own version of The Oregon Trail over and over and over, doing the same things in life, but expecting different results?

‘The last few times i’ve slept with someone and then tried to build a relationship around it didn’t work, but this time i just know it’s gonna be different!’

‘I can stop at one drink if i really put my mind to it!’

‘Just looking at a little porn in my hotel room on a business trip is not that big of a deal.’

‘I’m so full, i really shouldn’t finish this whole bag of chips, but i’m going to anyway.’ 

The list goes on and on. The snake bites us, the venom starts seeping in and soon our loved ones are mourning our demise on the trail. Sometimes, here in the real world it really does kill us. Maybe not all at once, but we drown in sin, slowly over time.

So the lesson here is, don’t behave like a seven year old playing a video game and things will be okay, right?

Except, when Jesus was here on earth, He spoke of us having the faith of a child, and of that kind of faith being essential to entering the kingdom of heaven.

In Matthew 18, it says “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”’ And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

So where’s the balance? How do we delineate between ‘childish and ‘child-like?’

What do little kids do? They try to do something—put a difficult puzzle together, for example, or some other task that’s ‘too big’ for them, and if they fail, cry out to mom or dad for help. They instinctively reach out to hold their father’s hand when they’re walking on rocks, knowing that dad is not going to let them get hurt. That’s the picture of faith Jesus is trying to paint for us here, that total reliance for the believer, because we know we can’t do this on our own.

If you’ve tried and failed, Stonepoint offers re:generation, our twelve-step Bible based recovery/discipleship ministry on Monday nights. People come to re:gen with all sorts of hurts, habits and hangups and find a place where they can share with a group of people with their own sin issues, without fear of gossip, repercussion or condemnation.

Look, we all mess up. We all have sin issues. We all fall short of the lives God wants for us. But we’re not one of those churches where you have to clean up before you walk in the doors. We get criticized for it, sometimes, but God has called us to embrace outsiders, the way Jesus did, call them to repentance and allow Him to clean them up from the inside. For some people it happens like a bolt of lightning. For others it’s a slow and painful process of refining, like gold in a fire.

So, are you gonna keep playing the game the same way you played it last week and last year and hoping for different results this time? Or will you realize it’s not really a game and finally hand the controls over to God, who loves you and created you to have a relationship with him and his people?

Your brothers and sisters are counting on you.

Just a Cool and Encouraging Passage

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (Titus 3:3-8)

I’m not sure why, but the above passage came to my mind about a week ago and I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. I wasn’t reading in Titus at the time and I can’t think of why it came to my mind. But it’s there. So, I thought maybe I would just look at the meaning of a few things in this passage for your, and my own, encouragement.

This passage basically talks about our salvation in our Lord Jesus and in a chronological order. It starts with our life before conversion; then moves to what God did to bring our salvation about and it ends with the result of our salvation. Personally, I believe this passage  is one of the clearest presentations of salvation in all of Scripture. First, the passage gives us a rather unflattering description of our lives before salvation (verse 3). It says we were foolish and not able to comprehend spiritual matters. We were disobedient to God, if no one else. We were also deceived by Satan and our own perverted minds. We were also given to all kinds of evil habits like envy and hatred. Basically, we were slaves to the devil and our own thinking and habits. That’s about as ugly of a description as things get! I’m glad the passage just doesn’t just leave us there. And now for the good news!!

Verse 4 starts out with the conjunction, “but” This is another time when a small conjunction has great meaning. Another one is found in Ephesians 2:4, “But God….” Here is Titus it talks about, But when….” At the perfect time, Jesus Christ appeared on the scene! God’s goodness and loving kindness appeared in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. We celebrate this at Christmas time year after year, but I doubt that it has the impact on us that it should. This was the start of one of the greatest rescue missions in history!

Verse 5 is beautiful!! It starts out with by saying that He saved us, not by works, but by the “washing of regeneration.” This is such a clear presentation, that it’s mind boggling. But it is also one of the most difficult things for man to understand and accept. Bottom line: we cannot, under any circumstances, save ourselves. Salvation only happens because of God’s mercy. If we could be saved by works, then salvation would come based on God’s justice. But no man or woman is just before God. No, it is because of His mercy that He chose to make a way for our salvation. But how does He do this? Verse 5 says, “by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” This is a picture of us becoming “new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). God doesn’t take us and clean us up. He makes us brand new! One commentator puts it this way, “THE SPIRIT OF GOD BRINGS ABOUT A MARVELOUS TRANSF0RMATION—NOT PUTTING NEW CLOTHES ON THE OLD MAN, BUT PUTTING A NEW MAN IN THE CLOTHES!” Ah! I get excited just writing about this.

Verse 6 says that God POURED OUT the Holy Spirit on us richly (or abundantly). Every real believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit from the moment he is saved. God does this “through Jesus Christ, our Savior.”

Verse 7 talks about the results of our salvation. At the time of our salvation, we were JUSTIFIED and MADE HEIRS. Our justification is already complete. God pronounced us righteous! Since we have no righteousness of our own God had to declare (if I may say it that way) us righteous. The basis for this was Jesus’ shed blood on the Cross. What a glorious salvation God made on our behalf!

Verse 8 talks about the practical results of our salvation. What is that? The outworking of our salvation is good works. God didn’t save us just so we could go on as were once were. If we profess ourselves to be followers of Jesus, then our lives should show that. Our salvation is not given because of our good works, but good works should be a result of our salvation. Ephesians 2:10 says that God prepared our good works beforehand, so that we would walk in them. I believe Stonepoint’s four connections are correct. As Christ followers, we are to connect to God, to others, in service (works) and to the world.

I feel like I’m doing the proverbial “preaching to the choir” in this post. But this passage makes me be more thankful and joyful for the salvation that God provided me. It causes me to praise Him for choosing me. That’s still a mystery to me, by the way. But in His sovereign will and grace, God chose me!! And He chose you, too!! PRAISE GOD!!! Let us worship and praise our great God!!