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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Creation Vs Evolution




Special thanks to Hank Hanegraaff of the Christian Research Institute for his insight into Charles Darwin, Evolution and Creation! 

Here's a litte excerpt from his book: 
Can we be certain that evolution is a myth?

Dr. Louis Bounoure, former director of research at the French National Center for Scientific Research, calls evolution “a fairy tale for grown-ups.” I call it a cruel hoax! In fact, the arguments that support evolutionary theory are astonishingly weak.

First, the fossil record is an embarrassment to evolutionists. No verifiable transitions from one kind to another have as yet been found. Charles Darwin had an excuse; in his day fossil finds were relatively scarce. Today, however, we have an abundance of fossils. Still, we have yet to find even one legitimate transition from one kind to another.

Furthermore, in Darwin’s day such enormously complex structures as a human egg were thought to be quite simple—for all practical purposes, little more than a microscopic blob of gelatin. Today, we know that a fertilized human egg is among the most organized, complex structures in the universe. In an age of scientific enlightenment, it is incredible to think people are willing to maintain that something so vastly complex arose by chance. Like an egg or the human eye, the universe is a masterpiece of precision and design that could not have come into existence by chance.

Finally, while chance is a blow to the theory of evolution, the laws of science are a bullet to its head. The basic laws of science, including the laws of effects and their causes—energy conservation and entropy—undergird the creation model for origins and undermine the evolutionary hypothesis. While I would fight for a person’s right to have faith in science fiction, we must resist evolutionists who attempt to brainwash people into thinking that evolution is science.

(Adapted from Fatal Flaws)

For further study, see Hank Hanegraaff, Fatal Flaws: What Evolutionists Don’t Want You to Know (Nashville: W Publishing, 2003); Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial, 2nd ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993).


“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1–4:









Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Faith Baptist Church Freeburg

You know, I'm pretty proud of my little church in Freeburg, Illinois.  

I always call us "small but mightily driven by the Lord" !  Below is an article I wrote about Faith on Fathers Day.  

There are many Sundays I am moved to tears in worship service.  This was one day.

One of the most positive things you can do for your family is to take them to worship God. If you're around Freeburg, IL, some Sunday at 10:15 a.m. , come on in.  We meet in the historic school building on the corner of Alton and High Streets.  I provided the link to our website: www.faithbaptistfreeburg.org  or look us up on Facebook: Faith Baptist Church Freeburg.  


Fathers Day Thanks 
 
    I guess I'm just a sap.  My eyes easily cloud with tears. 
 
    Father’s Day got me going.  They all gathered in the front of Faith‘s sanctuary.  Every man came forward -  fathers, sons, fatherless sons.   Old men and young men stood in a circle in front of God and the rest of us.
 
   "Let’s pray," Pastor Dennis said.  Great men and little boys huddled close in prayer.  They prayed for guidance. They prayed for strength.  It was inspiring.  Thanks, dads,  for  prayers.
 
    Richard plays the violin in church.  His little boy, Jacob,  sat next to him today. 
 
   I noticed Jacob from the corner of my eye.  His short legs were stretched straight out before him.  He held two sticks.  He rested one stick on his shoulder.   
 
    Jacob watched his daddy.   He took his other stick and drew it, like a violin bow,  back and forth, back and forth across the stick on his shoulder. 
 
    Jacob was playing the violin…just like his daddy.   Thanks, dad,  for setting an example.
 
     Lt Colonel Chris Lanier held his sons’ hands in our prayer circle at the National Day of Prayer.  He held fast to his boys. He prayed  out loud for them with fervent dedication.  Thanks, dad, for demonstrating your faith.
 
           I guess I’m just a sap.  My eyes easily cloud with tears, especially when I see dedicated fathers.     
       Today is a good day to honor those fathers.   Thanks, dads…for everything.
 

Kirk Cameron Link

If you are as old as me (or maybe even younger!), you remember Kirk Cameron on TV.

I've added his link to our resources.  There are some great family-friendly ideas in his website!

Enjoy!  http://kirkcameron.com/

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Need a PhD to Go Back to School




 

 Back to School Lists...


I navigated through the school supplies aisle. My head ached.

  
 I was buying school supplies for friends in need and, to tell you the truth, I was confused.

The lists were mind-boggling! I felt woefully inadequate to complete my mission of deciphering school supply lists for eight children.

As I angled my way between spilling notebooks and bulging bins of crayons, I asked myself burning questions:
 
 “Where in the world am I going to get red and green half-inch plastic binders?

“How much is 24 glue sticks times three kids?”

I wished one of my children had a calculator on his list so I could use it to figure out the number of pencils, markers and crayons I needed to chuck into my cart.

I began to muse as I grabbed ten boxes of Kleenex. Sometimes, I feel I need a PhD to plow through this back-to-school process. The lists and instructions can bog me down.

My daughter’s a Senior this year. That means she doesn't need a lot of school supplies. She needs money.

Last night, I wrote checks. I wrote checks for fees, checks for T-shirts, checks for decals, checks for fundraisers.
  
Back-to-school for my older university student does not require checks.  It requires checking accounts.

Checking accounts must be full to pay for rent and tuition and food and books.
  
-Does back-to-school ever end?
  
I calmed myself a bit and pushed my cart to the check-out aisle. I began to consider what I'd put on my own “Back to School Checklist.” Here’s what I came up with:

Laurie’s Back-to-School List
(Be sure your kids don’t go to any school without these items in their backpacks.)

___1. YOUR time. Children spell love T-I-M-E. Please don’t get yourself or your children
         overbooked. Spend quality time with them.

___2. YOUR attention. Pay attention to what your children are up to. Check what they’re  
          watching on  TV or computer. Know what they’re doing with friends. They will be annoyed  
         about this, but I don’t care. They will understand one day.

___3. YOUR discipline. Chet Cantrell, who takes care of hundreds of children as the director  
           of the East St. Louis Christian Activity Center, says children need to know two things:
           “Who loves me?” and “Who is in charge?”  
         Children are more secure when parents keep them safe with limits

So far, my list is not making my head ache! It is easy to remember and requires no math at all.
    
 I’ve got to go and start packing these items. Maybe next week I’ll add some more.

Romans Chapter 9 -


Have you ever tried to explain the difference between religion and relationship to your family or friends?

I have.

When I first committed my life to Jesus, I talked, I wrote letters, I shared, I explained.  I wanted so badly for my sweet relatives and friends to understand the depth of my new relationship with Jesus.

I tried to show my wonderful church-going friends that faith is more than checking all the right boxes off on our religious to-do list.  

I would look at the people I love and wish I could help them understand the simple, yet beautiful concept of falling into the arms of a Savior who loves them. 

In Romans, Chapter 9, Paul is doing this very thing. He's trying to tell the ones he loves about Jesus.

Just listen to Paul's emotional plea:

   I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—  I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,  the people of Israel. -- Romans 9:1-4

The Jews of Rome were having trouble grasping the simple concept of Christ's love and sacrifice.  

I have found people have trouble with this concept today.  SIGH....... 

Paul continues through Romans Chapter 9 to explain and talk about the challenge of helping Jews and Gentiles understand that Jesus died to save them.  

As you know, "Gentile" was a term used for anyone who was not Jewish.  I am, in fact, a Gentile.

As a simple human being, trying to reach out to others, I am encouraged by Chapter 9.

Why? Well, if Paul struggled a bit to help others know the Truth -- I will, too.

So will you.... God understands.

Paul refers to Jesus as a "stumbling stone"  in the end of this chapter.   He talks about the difference between trusting Jesus through faith and desperately trying to please God by following laws and working.

He even quotes the Old Testament - the Torah -- which would have been very familiar to his Jewish friends:

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;  but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame"
-- Romans 9:30-33

Jesus is the cornerstone -- the foundation of our faith.  We cannot build a house (no matter how hard we work!) unless the perfect cornerstone is in place.  

Don't just stumble over the stone, embrace it (HIM) -- Believe in Jesus.  Invite Him into your life.  Place him at your very foundation.  

Then, you will be RIGHT with God.  

Here's a sneak peek at how Paul expresses this in Chapter 10: 9-10

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Woohoo!  Thanks for hanging in there, Paul and helping me understand!  I will try to follow your lead!  


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Keep Praying!


 Thank you soooooo much, Family Life Today, for giving me insight!  Today I read an article that spoke to my heart.

The article noted we should be praying for our children - intentionally, continually and specifically. 

Wanna read more?  Take a look at Family Life Today Online:  www.familylife.com.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Romans Chapter 8 - WOOHOO!

Oh, my gosh, folks!  I just read Chapter 8 and I am pumped!

So....stop right now, pray for God to reveal His message to YOU and read Romans 8:  www.biblegateway.com.

There - all done?  Let's take this apart:


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. -- Romans 8:1 - 4

Remember back in Chapter 7 how I told you the law is a mirror to show me what I do wrong (the dirt on my face) -- but only Jesus can clean me up?  Welp, the above verse says a lot about that.

We are set FREE from sin only through Christ Jesus!  If you have committed your life to Christ, you don't have to be pushed around by that "fleshy" stuff:  i.e. - emotions, habits, anger, bitterness, guilt, ego, selfish desires, etc...

If you're like me, however, you slip up and forget you've been set FREE.  So- let's create a reminder!  How about making a refrigerator magnet that tells us:

I have been set FREE by Jesus! 

As I read Romans 8, I could not help but think of our nation.  Are we a nation ruled by the flesh or WHAT?  


Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. --Romans 8:5 - 8

No wonder everyone seems so hostile toward Christian views these days. The mind set on the flesh (i.e. me - self - whatever I want - don't tell me what to do - everybody is doing it - there are no moral absolutes - do what feels good.....) is hostile to God.

Take a look above at the person directed by the "Spirit."  What does Romans 8:6 say about them?  They will find life and peace.

WOW - that is just what I am looking for!!!!

I've given it all to Jesus, but I get sidetracked and distracted.  That's when it's time to get back in the Word of God.  That is where I find life and peace.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. -- Romans 8:14

OK -- to quote a famous saying:  "Who's your daddy?"  

When you commit your life to Christ, God is your daddy! 

I don't know about you, but I am glad I have an extra dad -- One who loves me no matter what.  Because of HIM, I can face all challenges.  That's what the rest of Romans 8 talks about.  

 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. -- Romans 8:18

Life throws us some pretty difficult curve balls, doesn't it?  Romans 8 tells us we don't have to be defeated by them.  As a matter of fact, Romans 8 tells us we can CONQUER the curves!

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? - Romans 8: 35 

Wanna take a guess at the answer to the above question?  Is it bills?  Is it mean children?  Is it bad bosses? Is it bumpy marriages?  

ANSWER:  NONE of the above!  Take a look at the answer.  It's in THE BOOK:  

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -- Romans 8:37-39 

Woohoo!  Take that, you daily aggravations!  Take that, you awful illnesses! Take that, you obnoxious people!  Take that, you stupid habits!

I am a conqueror! 

Thank you, God, for reminding me, through Romans 8, that YOU give me the power to conquer anything.

Thank you, God, for reminding me I can never be separated from your love, as long as I commit my life to YOU. 

Let's march onward to Chapter 9!   











Parents Television Council - Keeping us informed

  1. I am so happy to have groups keeping me informed about media and the dangers lurking there!  Take a look at Parents Television Council's website -- www.parentstv.org.  Here is a sample of some information they share!  Let's get involved in praying for and trying to change the face of the Media! 

From PTC Newsletter: 

Director: Violence in Entertainment is “Out of Control”  
Entertainment industry executives consistently deny that the violence, sex, and profanity present in their products should be matters of concern to parents and viewers. Instead, they endlessly proclaim that “it’s just a TV show” (or movie or video game), implying that what people see and hear in entertainment has absolutely no influence on their behavior. But Oscar-nominated writer and director Peter Bogdanovich disagrees.

This week, The Hollywood Reporter quoted Bogdanovich as saying that “Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It's almost pornographic. In fact, it is pornographic. Video games are violent, too. It's all out of control.”

Bogdanovich, who directed acclaimed films like The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, and Mask, continued, “Obviously, there is violence in the world, and you have to deal with it. But there are other ways to do it without showing people getting blown up…There's too much murder and killing. You make people insensitive by showing it all the time. The body count in pictures is huge. It numbs the audience into thinking it's not so terrible.”

The entertainment industry cannot be held directly responsible for the actions of individuals. But by continually exposing millions of viewers, especially children, to violence, promiscuous sex, and other harmful actions – and even glorifying them – the industry plays a major role in shaping the attitudes toward such behavior.
► To help the PTC in our fight for greater responsibility by Hollywood, click here.

► For more on this story, click here.
Study: Six-Year-Old Girls Want to Be “Sexy”   
Further proof that what viewers – especially children -- see in media influences them was offered last week, when a new study found that girls as young as age six equate being “sexy” with being popular.

In the study by psychologists at Knox College and published in the journal Sex Roles, girls were shown two dolls, one dressed in tight and revealing "sexy" clothes, and the other wearing a loose outfit which covered it. Researchers asked each girl to choose which doll looked the way she wanted to look, and which she thought was the popular girl in school. Overwhelmingly, the girls chose the doll in the revealing outfit, with 68% of the girls saying the “sexy” doll looked how she wanted to look, and 72% saying it was more popular.

"Girls wanted to look like the sexy doll because they believe sexiness leads to popularity…Although the desire to be popular is not uniquely female, the pressure to be sexy in order to be popular is", said Christy Starr, the study’s lead researcher. The study also found that girls were more likely to say the “sexy” doll was popular if they were heavy consumers of television and movies. ► More
Media messages don't just inform children's attitudes and beliefs about what it takes to be popular, they also inform teens' sexual choices. A recent study to be published Psychological Science found that adolescents who are exposed to more sexual content in movies "start having sex at younger ages, have more sexual partners, and are less likely to use condoms with casual sexual partners

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Focus on the Family Broadcast - Don't Miss This One!

Check out the Focus on the Family website: http://www.focusonthefamily.com and listen to Frank Peretti in a DYNAMIC presentation that involves a Single Wooden Chair AND Acts 17:24!

Hollywood Prayer Network - A GREAT IDEA!


I am delighted with the concept of praying for Hollywood!  

Our culture hangs its hat on the images developed in this region -- Why not pray for the people who make the TV Shows and Movies???  GOOD STUFF!

Thank you, Hollywood Prayer Network (HPN)!  If you'd like to join them, take a 
look at their website and START PRAYING!  www.hollywoodprayernetwork.org

Don't miss this month's story about the miracle in Aurora,  Colorado.  
In the midst of this terrible tragedy - there is a glimmer of hope.  

Here's more good stuff from HPN: 

SUMMARY:
 -Praise God for Radiance International - a 24/7 Prayer Room
 -Praise God for the joy of watching the Summer Olympics on TV
 -Thank the Lord for a great 2 hour prayer walk around Hollywood last month
 -Thank you so much for praying with us for the victims in Aurora, CO
 -Praise God for Petra Anderson’s miracle in Aurora
 -Pray for the new TV season starting in September
 -Pray for Sylvester Stalone and his family as they grieve the death of son, Sage
 -Pray for Comcast, the owner of Universal Studios
  -Pray for the surge of Bible stories becoming TV shows and Hollywood films
 -Let’s pray for the non-believers who are working on these biblical stories
 -Pray for Christians across America to take back the Arts
 -Pray for comedian, John Fugelsang, as he launches a new TV series
 -Pray for the character of believers and those with no faith in Hollywood
 -Please pray for HPN’s first donor and dear friend Ava, who is very sick
  -Pray for the people who are suffering from supporting Chic-Fil-A 
  
 -Pray for the exciting growth and the current needs of HPN

-----------------------------------
QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
“The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.”
 -- William McGill

VERSE OF THE MONTH: (This is why we’re excited to see so many films and TV
shows coming out, based on the Word of God:) "For the word of God is alive and active. 
Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, 
joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."  Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Romans Chapter 7

Check out Romans, Chapter 7!

Have you ever made up your mind not to make the same stupid mistake again and then turned around and done it?  Yikes!  We human beings are such creatures of habit. 

I can really relate to Romans, Chapter 7!  Paul talks a lot about the law, but tells us we can't get our act cleaned up just by following every little rule we may have established for ourselves.

Paul is saying we get a lot of good guidelines from the law, but the law can't clean us up.  Jesus can. 

Law is like a mirror that shows me my face is dirty.   I can't use the mirror to clean my face.  -Gotta use that cleansing power of Jesus!

Our Christian walk is a process.  We commit.  We fail.  We run to Jesus.  He cleans us up.  Thanks, Jesus! 

A smarter person than me said:

"Failure is a part of the process of sanctification."

So - do not be discouraged. 

Take a look at Romans 7:14-24 and count how many "I's" "me's" and "my's" are in the eleven verses. 

These verses illustrate the struggle between our old and new natures.  Paul gets real here.  I love it.  Read Verse 19:

 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

Thank you, Paul, for keeping it real.  I can relate. 

I counted 37 personal references in these verses. What is Paul trying to say here?
Maybe, our struggle is linked to focusing on ourselves rather than God. 

This is where my YIELD sign comes in.  I need to let go, trust God and YIELD - allow HIM to work in my life.

Romans 7:24-8:4 teaches us that to yield to God is the only way we can have real victory. 

But - wait!  I am getting ahead of myself!

Maybe I better read Chapter 8 and get this all straightened out. 

See you in Romans, Chapter 8! 



Friday, August 10, 2012

The Importance of a Godly Legacy



Fri, 10 Aug, 2012

Don't miss this! 

Go to Familylife.com to listen to this inspiring broadcast of Crawford Loritts. 

Fathers - don't miss this recording! 


Success for some can be attributed to “standing on the shoulders of giants”. For pastor and speaker Crawford Loritts, those shoulders belonged to his great-grandfather, Peter Loritts.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Romans Chapter 6

STOP!

Read Romans, Chapter 6 :)

*********************************


"Sin can take you further than you ever wanted to go.
Sin will make you stay longer than you ever wanted to stay."

Someone told this saying long ago.  I'm too senile to remember who or when. 

Romans Chapter 6 asks an important question (my paraphrase) : 

If you've turned to accept the love of Christ and give Him your life, why would you EVER want to go back to the stupidity of sin?

- Want the short answer?  We are creatures of habit. 

Romans 6 talks a lot about death.  Don't let that freak you out.  Death, with Jesus in our lives, is really not freaky at all.  -To lose a bit of our "yucky" selves can be quite freeing. Loss gives us more room to grow. Think about it.

Jesus said:

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." - John 12:24-26

Sometimes, to bring new life, you just gotta let some of that ugly stuff die.  Let Jesus help you bury it and shovel a few extra piles of fertile soil on top. 

You never know what will grow in its place.

When we give our lives to Jesus, we really don't need that bad stuff any more.  Jesus gives us a better way.

Of course, just like the ruts our wheels slip into on a muddy road, we can slip back into sin ruts - even after we have given it all to God.  That's unavoidable -- just let Jesus pull you out and teach you how to avoid the ruts.

It is soooo cool what Jesus can do for us.  HE can make us ALIVE:


"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.  For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." - Romans 6:11-14

OK, dear readers, did you catch that "Don't not offer ANY part of yourself to sin...." ?  Sorry -- but, just like my saying at the beginning of this article -- dabbling in sin will simply suck you under.  You can't be partially in sin and act like that's "not so bad".  RUN away from sin.  

Romans 3:23 is famous for us Bible markers -- I personally have my tab in place at Romans 2:23:

  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in

Christ Jesus our Lord.


Sin = Death 

but if Jesus = Our Lord, 

we get a Gift = Life 

We deserve death.  Jesus died for us.

When we believe and accept Jesus' gift, we live.

Jesus is our new boss, not sin.  Jesus is our Lord.  I am lovin my new Boss!



I'm curious about Chapter 7 -- May take a sneak peek.  






Daily Prayer

For those of you who are praying through the month, here is a list of dates and prayers.  For more information about The American Prayer Initiative, check out www.AmericanPrayerInitiative.org.
-One prayer each day of the month, repeated every month until November 6, 2012....or keep going!


7: Domestic Tranquility: We ask You for law enforcers, first responders and law makers of integrity, and for Your direction,  correction and protection for them and their families. Psalm 122:7

8: The Common Defense: We ask for Your protection against all enemies foreign and domestic, seen and unseen,  and pray for Your abundant protection and provision for those in overt or covert service and their families. Psalm 18:2

9: The General Welfare: We ask for Your guidance in how to best promote the well-being of our citizens. I Corinthians 10:24

10: The Blessings of Liberty: Thank You, Father, for guiding our founders in securing the blessings of liberty for us.  We ask You to guide us in reclaiming those blessings for ourselves and our posterity. II Corinthians 3:17

11: Rights: Thank You for founders who established this country on the fact that our rights come from You.  We ask for your divine intervention against all attempts to re-define those rights on man’s terms. I Timothy 1:8

12: Life: Thank You for founders who established this country on the fact that You created all of us equal.
We plead for You to lead all Americans to respect and protect the sacred right to life at every stage. Psalm 127:3

13: Liberty: Thank You for our founders great respect for Your gift of free will, and for pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to establish a government which would protect our God-given right to freedom. Galatians 5:1

14: The Pursuit of Happiness: Thank you for our founders foresight in establishing our God-given right to pursue our own destiny. Please forgive our futile attempts to pursue happiness apart from You. Psalm 68:3