Grazing Out Of Season

Life recently has had it’s twists and turns with a dash of insult. Decisions have had to be made and goals planned out to finish. I have been able to handle a lot of it (with the Lord’s help of course) but leaving one season to enter a new season has been the hardest thing for me yet to date. I wrote a previous blog titled, “Lost In The Shuffle”. In this blog I talked about how the Lord speaks to me; how I can hear Him and I just sort of “know” what I need to do because it’s on my heart and mind everyday. No matter how hard I justify that I don’t need to do it, I know deep in my heart, I do need to. This decision was one of obedience. I have been part of the praise band at my church for years and years. Singing was (well, still is) what I love to do! And to be able to do it praising HIS name was even better. My talent is God given and I always wanted to make sure that I used it for His glorification, not my own. For 5 months I dealt with God tugging at my heart, telling me I needed to step down. For what reason or purpose, I don’t know. I have no idea actually. What I do know is that I believe He has a plan for me, and at the appropriate timing, He will open another door. While I will “knock” for a door to be open I believe whole hearted it will open regardless as long as I am doing what I should be walking with Him.

A season is a time period. For us, we are used to “Summer”, “Fall”, “Spring”, “Winter”. These are 4 seasons in a year. Every season has it’s qualities that we know start and finish the season. Spring has blooming of flowers, pollen, lots of greenery. Fall has just the opposite, leaves changing colors, falling off branches which lets you know it’s almost time for winter. While not always that easy to comprehend spiritually, it’s quite the same thought process.

Galatians 4:10
“You observe days and months and seasons and years.”

2 Timothy 4:2
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;  reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”

In 2 Timothy it says to be ready both in and out of season. For me, this means to not only listen and pay attention when you know God is watching and is close, feels close and you know your relationship is great with Him. It’s even more important to be ready in the times  you feel He is distant. It’s in those times, how you react, teach and witness is almost even more important. When you don’t feel like God is immediately there in your presence, He is in fact still there, watching from a distance to see how you will behave and act. It’s important to be confident and studied up in the word of God. God’s truth (the Bible) is your armor and you would never go into battle without armor on! (Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the  schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.)

Colossians 4:3
2 -4″Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them.”

Galatians 6:6:
Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.”

1 Thessalonians 1:6 says, “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.” The Apostles are saying this to the people of their time but it much reflects our duties today. The Holy Spirit is present, leading us daily in our lives. While bad times will come, we should be thankful in all things. The bad time you are in can always be worse. But take charge of your life and notice if the places you are at in life are because of your own decisions. Consequences of poor decisions are inevitable. 1 Timothy 5:20 20″If anyone falls into sin, call that person on the carpet. Those who are inclined that way will know right off they can’t get by with it.” God can take poor decisions and turn them to be worked in a positive way; however, for bad decisions consequences are still to be had. Don’t expect God to give you a “get out of jail” free card. Learn from your mistakes and change your way of doing things. If you know financially you are unstable… are you looking for work? Are you doing everything in your power to help your family? Or are you sitting back and taking the easy road. There is no glory in that. The lazy man will not prosper in the Kingdom of Heaven:

2 Thessalonians 3:10 10 -13“Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? If you don’t work, you don’t eat. And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don’t slack off in doing your duty.”

Proverbs 10:4 4 “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.”

Proverbs 6:9-11: A Lesson from the Ant
6 -11 “You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent house guest!”

Working hard is the one of the first things to do to begin hearing the Lord. If you are doing as He says, do it quietly and you will hear from Him. The importance of making sure you are studied up and ready with your armor is paramount to know you are hearing clearly. For me, in December of 2009, my hardest decision in obedience came in stepping down from the praise band at my church. But it was a decision I could make confidently because I knew I was doing everything as good as I could. Financially, spiritually, emotionally and physically I was at the strongest point ever in my walk with Christ. It is only with Him I could make such a decision that affected me so strongly. For you reading this, having to step down from a group of musicians will probably seem ridiculous to be a hard decision. But for you the choice you have to make may be a group of friends you hang around, having to leave a friendship even though you don’t want to but God is telling you that friend is no good for you, perhaps you are being a crutch and by you being obedient, that friend will have to spread their wings and attempt to figure it out on their own one – on – one with God. Or maybe your situation is having to make lifestyle changes. Your life is going to have different important decisions than your neighbor, another family member or a friend. Others may tell you to keep on doing what you are doing, that you don’t need to change your way of doing things or your life. Do the research for yourself. Check what God has to say about it. As long as He says it’s what you need to be doing, what others say doesn’t matter. God told Abraham to up and move, not something he was excited about doing when everyone else was telling him not to, but he did and he was blessed for it. (Genesis 12:1-9; 15:5).

Start your new season. Allow God to bloom in your life, spread life and give you His blessings. He can’t bless what is not in Him. You have to make the decision to live for Him. No one else has to answer for your life and decisions except you. It’s vital that you always remember the tests that are given to you — only you have to answer for them. Your friend may tell you to do choice A, but he doesn’t have to answer for choice A. You do! If your name is in the Book of Life that is…

Revelation 20:15
“And if anyone’s name was not found written in  the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 21:27 (Whole Chapter)
“And  nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Revelation 22:19
“And if anyone takes away from the  words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city,  which are written in this book.”

2 Samuel 22:21
“God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I cleaned up my act, he gave me a fresh start. Indeed, I’ve kept alert to God’s ways; I haven’t taken God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works, I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.”

1 Peter 2:21
This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. He never did one thing wrong, Not once said anything amiss. They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.


What you seed is what you get.

This is going to be sort of confusing, so please try to stick with reading this. What I am getting ready to write is quite a cluster in my own brain much less attempting to put it down on paper…

In June or July of last year, my husband sent an application in for a Marshall position available with Paulding Co. In August, he received a letter stating his request for the physical testing a few days from receiving the letter. He took the test, passed and received an interview. He went to the interview process in October I believe, and ended up being 2nd pick for the position. He was told only one position was available; however, they were attempting to get funding for a second position and if they got it, they would call him. In December, the Marshall Bureau called and told him, a position looked to be opening up, did he still want it? Of course, he said yes! As of this morning my husband and I had been waiting on a phone call confirming the Marshall position with Paulding Co. Well, this morning they called to tell him he did not get the job because they found “reoccurring things” in his application.

Now, I could take this blog in a completely different direction with that last comment, but that isn’t the focus of this blog by any means.

I began to get mad. I had prayed diligently and believing (Matthew 21:22
“And all things you ask in prayer, believing you will receive.”) that the Lord would bless my husband with this position, that he would give him the desires of his heart. (Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD;And He will give you the desires of your heart.) His desires were not selfish, or harmful, but rather a step in life to better himself and his family. I debated this morning with my mother on why should I pray “believing” if ultimately it’s God’s will anyways that transpires?? Why pray that way if God knows all along what is going to happen? I can just pray “in your will be done”… and leave it at that? I was lost. Angry. Felt cheated. I had done what God said to do and yet it didn’t happen. God says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you” – Matthew 7:7. If this was the case then why wasn’t it happening?

I left to pick up lunch for the office and as I was backing out of the parking space, (randomly) the reason popped in my head! God did have the Marshall position as a blessing for us originally. But a new test had been given to us, and because we passed it, through obedience, faith and/or love, we now have a new blessing in store for us. One that is more of a blessing than the Marshall position. If God had given us the Marshall position, he would have been locked into at least a two year contract — which in turn — we might not have been able to receive the larger blessing for being faithful and obedient.

I know it’s hard to follow, like I said, it’s cluttered in my mind too, but I know what I mean, so I hope I conveyed it correctly. God is always testing us. Its passing those tests that allows us richer blessings than we could ever dream. While we can’t see past tomorrow, God sees far into our future even to our death. But we have choices and free will in our life. By choosing to be obedient and faithful in all things, God is able to bestow the blessings he wants to give us. If we don’t make those decisions so wisely, he won’t reward us as he wants to.

2 Corinthians 9:8
God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

The Calm Before The Storm

2009 has come to a close and 2010 is ready to begin. Many people don’t anticipate 2010 to be any better than 2009 was which is a little nerve racking for those who don’t believe that Jesus Christ is in control. 2009 was a year of mixed emotions for me; I mean that with all my seriousness! In one year, I got married, bought a house, paid the last of $20,000 in credit card debt, my husband was laid off twice (yes in one year), worked a full time job while attending KSU online for my 7th year of college (yes, it’s not a type-o 7th year is correct), started a new venture in fitness classes, overcame some personal struggles, had training in some spiritual gifts all the while struggling in the normal financial, emotional, and physical hits life still throws at you. Some of these memories I will never remove from my mind 🙂 Others I never want to hear about again. And for some, they are still existing.

But 2010 has exciting times ahead. I will continue to have “firsts” with my new husband, a man who I swear is an angel sent from heaven to me. He is my best friend and I’m blessed to be able to wake up to see him first every morning and before I go to sleep he is the last thing I see. It’s amazing how God can bring someone a perfect mate who perfectly accentuates my good points and helps me along in my bad points.

Ephesians 5:22 (Excerpt from The Message)
Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

Ephesians 5:25 (Excerpt from The Message)
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Ephesians 5:29-33 (Excerpt from The Message)
What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

I graduate this year! Finally after 8 years I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s in Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Kennesaw State University. The next two semesters are not going to be the easiest because I’m cramming it all in to graduate, but I know the Lord will give me strength to get through it. God says to be educated, respect your parents, live well and your parents will be proud. While, I didn’t have to pay for all of my schooling, (only part of it, I was on Hope Scholarship), I still have given it everything I have. I push myself almost too hard and when I’m ready to give up my loving husband has always seemed to step in at just the right time to keep me going.

Proverbs 23:22
Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her. Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money; buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight. Parents rejoice when their children turn out well; wise children become proud parents. So make your father happy! Make your mother proud!

Having long term goals can become annoying, frustrating, feel so distant there is no point in continuing to achieve them… That is why it is so important to have positive people around you. When you feel down having someone who can lift you up is great to have 🙂 For me, my husband continues to  be that person. In Acts, Paul gave the disciples hope when they were ready to give in providing “…constant encouragement, lifting their spirits and charging them with fresh hope.” – Acts 20:1 We should do the same. Whether you are the person doing the encouraging for someone else, or you are the person receiving the encourage, respect it, be thankful for it and for the knowledge and wisdom the Lord gives you to know when to encourage someone. When you feel the urge to be a shoulder for someone to lean on, listen to it! Don’t ever ignore it. Most of the time the encourage we give is through a non-serious event; however, your encouragement to someone could keep them from taking their own life or harming another. People get depressed and think life is over… sometimes it’s because all they want is a friend.

1 Thessalonians 5:13
Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

Doubt Is In The Valley

I recently had a conversation with a friend that struck my interest on how to “argue” a point on which he is showing extreme doubt. When someone doubts something, I have to wonder if it’s because of lack of knowledge, fear of acceptance or (to put it bluntly) just an excuse (to which the next question becomes an excuse of what?). I have been a believer since 1997; granted, I have had my own ups and downs in my walk with Christ, I have always known that He existed. I never questioned whether or not “God” was really there. To hear in my friends conversation an acknowledgment of His existence, that He did in fact create us, and the world we live in makes this conversation that much harder to understand for me. He argued points like, “how can we really know the bible is truth if man wrote it? even if God told them to, man still wrote it?” This got me questioning how to prove this to someone. For me, I just accepted it as God’s word and didn’t ask questions…  It’s important that we make a decision one way or another for God says clearly,

“So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” – Revelation 3:16

A second issue is the issue of the translations. I took a scripture and looked up three different translations. Even though numerous translations exist, they don’t stray far from each other. The three verses listed above are extremely similar in wording; however, the base of the verses are still the same.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1 (New Living Translation)

“The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.” John 1-2 (The Message)

1IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word ([a]Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [b]Himself.(A)” – John 1:1* (Amplified Bible)

*Here are the footnotes with this translation:

  • John 1:1 In John’s vision (Rev. 19), he sees Christ returning as Warrior-Messiah-King, and “the title by which He is called is The Word of God… and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:13, 16).
  • John 1:1 Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People: “God” appears first in the Greek word order in this phrase, denoting emphasis–so “God Himself.”
  • An aspect to consider on the accuracy of what scripture says [even though technically written by man] would be the amount of prophecy that has been exclaimed and then came 100% true! After doing some research, I came across this paragraph which was amazing:

    A major portion of both the Old and New Testament is devoted to prophecy- nearly one third of the Scripture. Only four of the 66 books of the Bible are without prophecy-Ruth, the Song of Solomon, Philemon, and 3 John. Even the shortest book of the Bible mentions prophecy (Jude 14, 17-18, which refers to Enoch and the second coming of the Lord). Out of the Old Testament’s 23,210 verses, 6,641 contain predictive material, over twenty eight percent. Out of the New Testament’s 7,914 verses, 1,711 contain predictive material, over 21 percent.

    There are lots of examples of prophecy! Please keep in mind these are only excerpts from the Bible, for the entire story, the entire chapter would need to be read. In Deutoronomy, 15 Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you yourselves requested of the Lord your God when you were assembled at Mount Sinai.[b] You said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore or see this blazing fire, for we will die.’

    17 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘What they have said is right. 18 I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. 19 I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf. 20 But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in my name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.’

    21 “But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’ 22 If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.”

    Biblical Prophecy: Daniel 9:25 (from
    A most compelling Biblical Prophecy is found in Daniel, chapter 9, verse 25. Written 500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ (the oldest preserved copy dating 200 years before the birth of Christ), it foretells the very day Christ would enter Jerusalem. The prophecy states: 69 weeks of years (69 x 7 = 483 years) would pass from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, until the coming of the Messiah. This is according to the Babylonian 360-day calendar, since Daniel was written in Babylon during the Jewish captivity after the fall of Jerusalem. Thus, 483 years x 360 days = 173,880 days. According to records found by Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson in the Shushan (Susa) Palace, and confirmed in Nehemiah 2:1, this decree was made on March 14th, 445 BC, by Artaxerxes Longimanus. Exactly 173,880 days later, on April 6th, 32 AD, Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem upon a colt (fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9). The world celebrates this day as Palm Sunday. Four days later, Christ was murdered upon the cross. Actually, the form of His execution and even His last words were foretold in Psalm 22. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, fulfilling numerous other prophecies of our Messiah.

    A scientist picked out 48 prophecies and determined that the probability of one man randomly fulfilling them all is 1 in 10 to the exponent of 157. That is one followed by 157 zeros! Your chances of winning a typical lottery jackpot is about 1 in 108. (100,000,000) Yet, Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies! (Note: I did not put this chart together, I found it)

    Concerning his birth Prophesied Fulfilled
    1. Born of the seed of woman Gen 3:15 Gal 4:4
    2. Born of a virgin Isa 7:14 Mt 1:18-25
    3. Seed of Abraham Gen 22:18 Mt 1:1
    4. Seed of Isaac Gen 21:12 Lk 3:23+34
    5. Seed of Jacob Num 24:17 Lk 3:34
    6. Seed of David Jer 23:5 Lk 3:31
    7. Tribe of Judah Gen 49:10 Rev 5:5
    8. Family line of Jesse Isa 11:1 Lk 3:32
    9. Born in Bethlehem Mic 5:2 Mt 2:1-6
    10. Herod kills the children Jer 31:15 Mt 2:16-18

    Concerning his nature



    11. He pre-existed creation Mic 5:2 1 Pet 1:20
    12. He shall be called Lord Ps 110:1 Acts 2:36
    13. Called Immanuel (God with us) Isa 7:14 Mt 1:22-23
    14. Prophet Deut 18:18-19 Acts 3:18-25
    15. Priest Ps 110:4 Heb 5:5-6
    16. Judge Isa 33:22 Jn 5:22-23
    17. King Ps 2:6 Jn 18:33-37
    18. Anointed by the Spirit Isa 11:2 Mt 3:16-17
    19. His zeal for God Ps 69:9 Jn 2:15-17

    Concerning his ministry



    20. Preceded by a messenger Isa 40:3 Mt 3:1-3
    21. To begin in Galilee Isa 9:1-2 Mt 4:12-17
    22. Ministry of Miracles Isa 35:5-6 Mt 9:35;11:4
    23. Teacher of parables Ps 78:1-4 Mt 13:34-35
    24. He was to enter the temple Mal 3:1 Mt 21:10-12
    25. Enter Jerusalem on donkey Zech 9:9 Mt 21:1-7
    26. Stone of stumbling to Jews Isa 28:16; Ps 118:22 1 Pet 2:6-8
    27. Light to Gentiles Isa 49:6 Acts 13:46-48

    The day Jesus was crucified



    28. Betrayed by a friend Ps 41:9 Jn 13:18-27
    29. Sold for 30 pieces of silver Zech 11:12 Mt 26:14-15
    30. 30 pieces thrown in Temple Zech 11:13 Mt 27:3-5
    31. 30 pieces buys potters field Zech 11:13 Mt 27:6-10
    32. Forsaken by His disciples Zech 13:7 Mk 14:27+50
    33. Accused by false witnesses Ps 35:11+20-21 Mt 26:59-61
    34. Silent before accusers Isa 53:7 Mt 27:12-14
    35. Wounded and bruised Isa 53:4-6 1 Pet 2:21-25
    36. Beaten and spit upon Isa 50:6 Mt 26:67-68
    37. Mocked Ps 22:6-8 Mt 27:27-31
    38. Fell under the cross Ps 109:24-25 Jn 19:17; Lk23:26
    39. Hands and feet pierced Ps 22:16 Jn 20:24-28
    40. Crucified with thieves Isa 53:12 Mt 27:38
    41. Prayed for enemies Isa 53:12 Lk 23:34
    42. Rejected by His own people Isa 53:3 Jn 19:14-15
    43. Hated without cause Ps 69:4 Jn 15:25
    44. Friends stood aloof Ps 38:11 Lk22:54;23:49
    45. People wag their heads Ps 22:7;109:25 Mt 27:39
    46. People stared at Him Ps 22:17 Lk 23:35
    47. Cloths divided and gambled for Ps 22:18 Jn 19:23-24
    48. Became very thirsty Ps 22:15 Jn 19:28
    49. Gall and vinegar offered Him Ps 69:21 Mt 27:34
    50. His forsaken cry Ps 22:1 Mt 27:46
    51. Committed Himself to God Ps 31:5 Lk 23:46
    52. Bones not broken Ps 34:20 Jn 19:32-36
    53. Heart broken Ps 69:20;22:14 Jn 19:34
    54. His side pierced Zech 12:10 Jn 19:34+37
    55. Darkness over the land Amos 8:9 Lk 23:44-45
    56. Buried in rich man’s tomb Isa 53:9 Mt 27:57-60

    His Resurrection & Ascension



    57. Raised from the dead Ps 16:8-11 Acts 2:24-31
    58. Begotten as Son of God Ps 2:7 Acts 13:32-35
    59. Ascended to God Ps 68:18 Eph 2:8-10
    60. Seated beside God Ps 110:1 Heb 1:3+13

    God’s word is truthful. God’s word is full of promises. I can’t make a decision for someone, but perhaps I can help “prove” it to them.  For me, the Word of God (the Bible), is my blueprints for life. It shows me what to do, what not to do, how to act with people, how to pray, what to expect in this world and in heaven, what is expected of us, the church, how to obtain salvation and what to expect in the end times. It’s a map that is drawn out so clearly (most of the time) and yet so many people want to repel it instead of embracing it. They wonder why life is so hard and yet answers are right in front of them.

    (P.S. 2 Peter 1:20-21: 20But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”)