Tag Archives: Romans

ANI LO

Weather perfect. Patio swing while reading a book even more perfect. Watching the humming birds and the butterflies dart around the garden beyond perfect. Days to whisper, “Ani Lo. Ani Lo.” These are the kind of days that make one forget that the gates of the original perfect garden are locked and guarded by the flaming sword of an archangel.
 
The curse began on that day. Hiding in the bushes. Furtive glances. Rebellious excuses. Until that one special day when the curse was broken. But once again – the Bride rejected the gift. Locked, hidden gates until the Bride gathers her wits (which – even now – seem to be severely hampered by the Bride’s own selfish desires), makes the journey through the desert to the Promised Land with shouts that reverberate against the land, “Ani Lo. Ani Lo.”
 
“The entire people raised their voices and cried out,
and the people wept on that night.”~Num 14:1
 
By Jewish calendar, tonight’s sundown is the beginning of the 9th of Av. A cursed day. A day when the Jewish people rejected their Father’s gift and mourned their fate instead of rejoicing at the wedding feast of their people to a new land.
 
Actions have consequences.
 
Jewish tradition teaches that a day which should have been spent rejoicing and dancing became a day for mourning and rending of clothes for real. A day that continually brings sadness to the Jewish people. A day to fast and remember that actions have consequences.
 
There are many incidents recorded in Jewish His-story on this day.The first temple (423 BCE) – the second temple (69 CE) – both destroyed on the 9th of Av. Continuing through the centuries like a slithering serpent always striking the Jewish people on the same day. A few of many:
133 CE – final Roman conquest.
1290 CE – Jews expelled from England.
1492 CE – final date the Jewish people were allowed to live in Spain.
1914 the War to end all wars that continued into WWII and the Holocaust began on this date.
 
“…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”~Rm 5:3-5
 
Rabbi Yeshua was raised with Jewish traditions and His-story. He understood that actions have consequences. His actions broke the curse but not the people. He couldn’t demand they accept His wedding gift. After all, free will was a gift from the beginning. All He could do was offer the gift and wait to hear her response…
 
“Ani Lo. Ani Lo.” [google images]

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42 SEGMENTS

Most mornings find me walking with the dogs and Hubby busy doing something important – like earning money for us to spend on the fixer-upper or bartering for mushrooms from a local grower in our neighborhood. Each of us on our own separate journey and yet – a joint journey as well.

“I remember how eager you were to please Me
as a young bride long ago,
how you loved Me and followed Me
even through the barren wilderness.
In those days Israel was holy to the LORD,
the first of His children.”~Jer 2:2-3

Jewish traditions have the people studying the Torah and holy books every week of the year. They do it in order; each week dedicated to teaching and reminding them of the depths of the journeys – massei – that they have taken together as a people both in the past to the present day. The studies are taught the same week year after year.

The interesting thing for me is that rabbinical wisdom says these 40 years are the blueprint of each individual’s spiritual journey as well. Our own personal journey in the desert – the dry place far from the Source of Life. The blistering of feet on hot sand of choices. The parched throat from lack of not drinking from the streams of living water. A place where the physical challenges the spiritual – pushing the individual/tribe forward to fall – to find its knees of – teshuva/repentance – to stand once more in the shadow of the cross.

Jewish wisdom says that there are 42 segments of the tribal desert journey – good and bad – as there are 42 segments in our personal desert journey – good and bad – but all leading to a reunification between the Father and His prodigal children.

“But he who looks into the perfect Torah of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” ~Jm1:25

I really need to study this desert journey of the Jewish people instead of just giving it that cursory nod that I have in the past. Looking at the different segments of their journey and comparing it to my own faltering – stopping dead in the desert – throwing down the tablets of law – finding the stream of living water – energized enough to start the journey once more.

Most of the time when I am walking the dogs, I keep my eyes focused on the next hill, cars that are coming a little too fast down the our road, or how close I am to that promise land in the middle where I can sit on the swing on our neighbors’ porch and see the neighborhood world from a different vantage point.

Jewish wisdom also says that as the journey progresses, the less we see overt miracles. Hence the name – a journey by faith not by sight. As long as I don’t lose faith in that Land of Milk and Home/the Promised Land or the One who is preparing my room, I know that no matter how challenging or scary the journey is – how much my knees or feet hurt – how thick the dust storm is that clouds my sight, I will make it. The Living Waters supply the Word that keeps me from thirsting for I know ‘…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Rm 8:28

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me”~Jn 14:1

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #69

Fall is beyond wonderful. Cool days. Cooler evenings. The earth warmed with colors that wrap around each creature busily tending to things before the winter cold settles in for a season.
 
I love it, and I love watching the changes in our little house in the woods. Leaves haven’t really started falling yet in NC, but they are starting to add a little color. Pumpkins are off the vine. Garden is mostly cleaned up. However, there is still a little grass that I need to disrupt that got a foothold during the heat of the summer.
 
A new phase has started on the re-model so hubby moved most of the dirt and mulch a couple days ago, and today – I got busy. I smoothed out an area in the front. Hauled fallen limbs into a pile and started to find the shape of the earth under the leaves and garbage others had left behind. While I work I always have questions running around my mind. ‘How has the land changed?’ ‘Did slaves work this land before me?’ ‘Did Native Americans ever wonder across this piece of ground and sit awhile?’ ‘Did Confederate or Union soldiers battle here?’
 
I’m still learning about this small piece of earth. We know that we probably won’t stay here as long as we did at Covenant Woods in OH, and that’s okay. We hope we leave Eli Covenant a little better for the next family who chooses to settle here.
 
In the meantime, there is plenty to do before winter. Winter shrubs to plant. More dirt to move. A small retaining wall and fire pit to add. A Grands’ overnight or two. Laughter following mistakes. Goals to meet before the holydays really settle us in for the winter.
 
In the meantime, we try to remember to keep our eyes on the One who created the seasons and blessed us with this path to walk. Some days are easier than others. And – once again I wonder – how could this little 1942 booklet have known what I needed to read today in 2016.
 
1942 Daily Rations: “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are.”~Romans 6:15-19
 
“What contrast we have here- – – law and grace, servants and free, iniquity and holiness. Men have long debated the question, whether there is such a thing as real freedom. A man sits in an automobile or airplane. Before him are gadgets of various kinds. How much freedom has he? If he obeys the laws of the machine in their use he moves freely where he wills. If he attempts to work these gadgets contrary to their laws he ends in a crash. I had an elder once, a very meek man, whose job during the last war was to push a huge truck containing high explosives from one room to another. The pay was high but the danger was terrific. If he had obeyed the law of carelessness the thing would have blown him and the whole plant to atoms. Because he obeyed the laws of right care he and many others lived to see the war end in victory. The law of righteousness is the Creator’s plan. Obedience brings life disobedience brings catastrophe.
 
“Prayer: Heavenly Father, we love thy law. Help us to obey it, for in our own strength we are bound to fail. Work thou in us to will and to do of thy good pleasure, through Christ our Lord, and he alone can save. Amen.
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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #37 & #38

Sometimes – life just gets in the way…and that is okay. God opens our eyes in different ways and on different levels (which is always great for a Gemini who tends to wander off and get lost when she starts daydreaming).

Today and tomorrow are catch-up days since I took two wonderful days to spend with my childhood singing sister. So – 2 Rations – back to back because their wisdom is too precious too skip.

1942 Daily Ration #37: “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind [An Aramaic version translates “means” in this as well]. This is the great and first commandment. And a second liken unto it is this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’~Matt 22:37-39

“It has been written: ‘If religion ends with the individual, it ends.’ Verily. But if it does not begin with the individual, it never begins, and has no being. Religion is an individual matter in its roots but a social matter in its fruits.

“Jesus said that all the Law and the Prophets are fulfilled in the ‘law of love.’ High ad creative religion is first of all a consuming, loving loyalty to God and trust in God i the mid and soul of a person. But in the same breath Jesus directed that love outward to humanity, other persons, neighbors. Religion cannot be closed up in private experience. It must begin there, but it must grow outward, sending its branches into an understanding and loving relationship with others. This is the leave of love that will revolutionize human life.

“Read: Luke 10:25-37

“Prayer: Quicken my spirit, O Lord my God, with they holy love. Help me today to be guided by a creative and aggressive purpose to love my neighbor as myself by understanding him forgiving him and asking his forgiveness of e. So may i be faithful to thee. Through Christ, Amen.”

1942 Daily Ration #38:

“Read: Romans 14:10-19

“‘The kingdom of God (or of heaven) is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.’~Rom 14:17

“We wanted to know about the Kingdom, so we bought a book that had gone into eight printings! That had to be good. But the best part was when the scholarly author put out his smoking lamp, threw up the shades to heaven’s light, and made a confession.

“As a child he walked with his nurse a road lied with houses of poor people. From one house some children emerged, bearing little branches of sycamore, from which they had stripped all but the bronze leaves at the top, These they carried as an army with banners.

” ‘Then one of the children, with a gesture of good will, offered a branch to me but I, little snob, turned away, and trudged proudly after my nurse. As I came to a turn in the road I looked back and saw those children standing there, holding the branches in their hands, halted and frustrated by my refusal. They seemed to me very pathetic at that moment. I have done many things since far graver, in the world’s eyes, but nothing that has caused me such regret. I realize now that the Kingdom of Heaven had been offered me and I had rejected it.’

“From all snobbishness good LORD deliver me. ”

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #36

In a news article this week, 6,500 people were asked what they would do if they were President. Most of the answers fit right in with the main topics of the presidential race: economics, health care, defense, gun laws, immigration. Of course, for the print article, they included some famous personality responses as well. Some were funny – some serious, but one caught my eye.

Temple Grandin was one of the people included for a quote. She is a professor of animal sciences in Colorado who happens to be autistic. Awhile ago, I was able to hear her speak, have read articles authored by her (and about her), and have watched her TED talks, so when I read her answer, my mind began to wonder.

She said, “I would become Undercover President, just like the show Undercover Boss. To obtain unbiased information, I would call up randomly chosen people and discuss the issues and policies I working on.”

Imagine the answers she would have gotten 15 years ago on September 12th. Imagine the answers she would get today. Imagine how politics might change if this ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking actually happened – not with pollsters, or lobbying groups but by the actual President or other leaders of our country.

Perhaps – like today’s Ration suggests – we would stop ‘picking things to pieces’ and concentrate on the importance of just loving each other, serving our community with the best within us and trusting Our Father who understands what we do not..

1942 Daily Ration: “Why dost thou judge thy brethren?”~Rom 14:10

Read: Romans 14:10-12

“Someone has cleverly said ‘Men and monkeys have a mania for picking things to pieces.’ There is a lot of truth in that statement, especially in regard to the human element in it. Ever so many people spend their time picking things to pieces, and one of their favorite subjects is their fellow men.

“Why dost thou judge thy brother?’ Why dost thou spend thy time picking thy brother to pieces?

“Our Christianity grants us many privileges, such as : living in fellowship with our heavenly Father; walking in the footsteps of the noblest Man he world has ever known; resting our eternal hope in the Son of God. But, one privilege has been denied everyone of us; that of sitting in judgement upon our fellow men. That right has been reserved exclusively by the heavenly Father.

“Why has God denied us the right to judge? Simply because we can only see results and not reasons. We can see the sins of our fellow men, but we can not see the temptations that brought them to the place of sin.

“Prayer:  Merciful God, forgive us for usurping that which is the exclusive right by siting in judgment upon our fellow men. We have only ‘known in part’ and yet we have judged as if we were omniscient Grant me the ability to understand and help than to judge and hurt. Amen.”

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RATIONS 100 DAYS #24

The new house truly became a home this week. It expanded, took a deep breath, and with a few drops of love scattered around each inch of it like flowers in a garden, our home smiled for the first time.

Funny, how old habits, knowledge, and wisdom resurface when needed (such as cutting enough potatoes to feed all those extra mouths yakkinng and laughing in your ear while indulging in a hug or two and singing a song with a Grand). Things that you thought you had thrown to the back of the closet because they wasn’t needed anymore. Day-to-day activities that need to ebb and flow when there are more than two of you in the same home for a period of time.

“Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.”~ Prov 4:4

I know I’ve written about this before, but I guess talking about forgotten knowledge brought it back to my mind. The Talmud teaches that when we are starting our journey on this plane, Our Father sends an angel to teach us everything that we need to know, and when they are done, they push their finger to our lips and blow it to the back of our “closet”. That little indentation over your top lip – the philtrum – is the physical imprint of your angel’s finger.

The question – why teach us only to make us forget it?

Jewish sages believe that while it is hidden from our physical mind it is still at the back of our closet. Seeking wisdom when we need it reconnects us with the Father who didn’t want to send us without Truth to guide us through this journey. It helps us – begin new journeys again – to smile again – to become ‘made new’.

1942 Ration: “Wherefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold they became new..”~2 Cor 5:17

After yielding to sin, after once being bogged down in the mire of life, is it possible to get out and be clean once more? Can we, once having conformed to the ways of this sorry world, break loose and be remolded to fit the higher plan that we know God has for us? Can we really forget ourselves and our short comings and live nobly in our own and God’s sight?

“Paul says, “yes, Do not let yourselves be fitted into the scheme of this age, but be cast in a higher form. This you can do by having a ‘new mind’. That is the secret of new life. When we are transformed through belief in Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour, we are on the way to the ‘Land of Beginning Again’.

“And be not fashioned according to this world, but be ye transformed by the reviewing of your mind.”~Rm 12:2

READ: Romans 12:1-3

PRAYER: O thou Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, wash me and me me clean. [Here let us humbly confess those things that keep us from being our best selves.] Establish within me a new sense of thy boundless love and give me more power for living. In thy name I pray. Amen.”

25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – GIFT

csscscsToday has been a blessed day. I am still coughing, hacking and whining. I am still plagued by two choc labs who think it is perfectly okay if they jump in any lap available when they are playing (think – homebase in tag). I STILL have not gotten my Christmas cards done. But today was that special- wrapped-with-all-the-trimmings gift placed in my hands by my Father.. How awesome is that? Unbelievably, it happens every day; we just don’t notice it most of the time..

“Every good and perfect gift descends from above, from The Father of lights with whom there is no change nor a shadow of variation.”~James 1:17

T’is the season for giving. Gifts sit under my small little trees. Others sit in bags under the trees’ tables. We are lucky and blessed that we are able to do so much. There has been many years when we scraped the bottom of our coin jar to find enough money to buy our gifts. So this year has been a gift.I think when you are sick, you noticed the little things because you slow your steps to match that jerky, up-and-down pace that is occuring inside your body.

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”~Rm 5:15

If you read yesterday’s post, I talked about going to one of the houses we had put an offer on last week. I didn’t do much but pray and listen. Occasionally, I remember that is the best thing to do. So I was not surprised when we woke up this morning to find a gift awaited us in the form of a text. That houses that had been lost had been found. A counter offer. A decisionto be made. A gift to be opened.

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”~2 Cor9:15

The Christmas Spirit has made its way into our home this year. I wasn’t sure it wm485-lwould. The house is not totally decked out as it usually is. Some of my favorite Chrismtas things remain packed away. Between packing decisions, financial decisions, home decisions, and sleeping decisions (where will I cough less? Chair or bed?), I felt like i was letting the physical push the spiritual out the season. Blessings!Be! that didn’t happen.

It is time to go to that quiet stable. Bend a knee and recieve the gift. What a gift was given us so long ago. What a gift is given us every day, if we will just go to the stable.

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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – TEACHER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoTFpwHJoAjesusourjewishsaviour

The past couple of days have been filled with some teary nights. In fact the past week has been filled with some sporatic outbursts – here and there. This normally would not be a good thing, but this week has been different. It has been as if My Father has been lighting candles on the menorah within me for each day of Chanukah. And – – – as my dad said so many years ago, “…most of that light comes through the children.”

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”~Titus 2:78

This past week several of my former students have shared their memories with me about our times together. The candle they lit in this fogginess of our housing dilemma has been a blessing. A gentle light just bright enough to see the next step, trusting in a path I can not see clearly enough for myself without their gift.
“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”~Rm 2:22a
The last candle of Chanukah was lit today. Since it is also the last week before Christmas break, not many students had homework, so only my 8th graders needed some time. Got to admit, it is still my favorite age group to teach. Grown-up enough for serious conversations and yet, even the most “hardened” ones still have dreams in their eyes.
Work was finished quickly, and we spent most of the time talking. Talking about books (they had just finished the Giver). Singing a Chanukah song from a child of a mixed linage (she learned it so that she could get her Chanukah gifts) while we shared a cookie she brought as a gift. Listening about the drama of the latest cheer competition. Laughing about music notes that the trumpet player could play but not name.
Wow – I have missed these types of encounters with my students, so my candle burned just a little brighter with joy.
Being a teacher is never easy. Low pay, Lengthy in-services. Long hours. Life hazards. (Believe me – between projectile vomiting, jumping bugs, germs, angry encounters (luckily for me – only a few – yes indeed – teaching can be hazardous). Most of us chose this job for one reason or another – not knowing what all it entailed. Yet – there is One who knew all of the bad stuff that went with the job description and still volunteered.Yeshua teaching
 
“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am”~Jn 13:13
I have thought about these teaching verses in the WORD often during my career. Each one providing a little more light on the kind of teacher I wanted to be. While I did have some wonderful teachers that served as role models for me, it was a small town Rabbi that truly held me captive in the way He taught.
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”~Jn 3:2b
Those verses and a few others have kept me striving to try harder, to search longer, to pray constantly. As I listened this week to Syrian Christians express their willingness to die for this teacher,I pondered these verses again.
  • Can I not try a little harder?
  • Give a little more?
  • Pray a little more often?
I am broken once again in the simpleness of the story.  A man born long ago. Humble beginnings in a cold stable and surrounded by animals and excrement. Swaddling clothes instead of a ton of onesies and a multiple outfits.
A single candle lighting the darkness. A rabbi who walked with his students A teacher willing to sacrifice all for those who followed in His steps. A professor who waits to see if we have the courage to seek His wisdom and follow His steps into the unknown.
“Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God”~Mk 12:14
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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – ROCK

I stubbed my toe today on a rock, but I smiled through my tears. You see, there is an upside to this tiny tidbit of information that nobody really needs to know or care anything about – it is December 10th, and – cuz I’m outside in my barefeet, I get to stub a toe. How cool is that?

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This has been a week for being outside and dreaming. Hubby and I are driving our eldest daughter crazy (once again) because we’ve just turned a 180 in our fast pace forward into our journey for a new home – well – maybe – kinda – please G-d hopefully – as we continue to seek that piece of rock we need to settle our butts for the next few years.

“There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any Rock like our G-d.”~1 Sam 2:2

5387712175_be36b0393fI’m calling it our 40 day journey into a rock based covenant so that I don’t have to do this again. I am not a mover. I love curling my toes into the dirt that holds my gardens. Nourishing my gardens with daily doses of love and song. Surrounding myself with touchstones of memories and dreaming of new memories waiting to be revealed.

“For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God! “The ROCK! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A G-d of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.~Deut 32:3-4

So with a “smarting” toe and a few stumbling steps, we are walking forward or maybe slightly sideways; laughing at ourselves for once again complicating our lives, but knowing that is precisely why we joined our lives together in the first place. Idiots who like the “less traveled by road” deserve each other.

“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”~Rm 9:33

Fortunately, for humans such as we, Our Father always has a plan. 2000 years ago, He began planting a stone that would never roll away. A Rock planted so firmly that any who stand upon it “WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

In a tiny, dirty stable, after a long journey that ended on a dark and chilly night, the Rock of Righteousness planted a piece of Himself into a world that needed a more tangible Rock to stand upon. A Rock that continues to call to all who have ears to listen, saying, “Come, stand upon me and find peace to all of goodwill.”

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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – WORD

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Today is the second day of Chanukah.  Yesterday, when I wrote about Jesus being the Light of the World, the Light of Truth.  I didn’t even think about it being the beginning of the festival of Lights, Chanukah – – – – – BUT – – – – – the holy, fantasic, far out thing is – – – – –  G-d did.  That is what I totally, absolutely love about Our Father, and the way He continually works in our physical sphere. All things work together because that is the way He designed it to work.

“But we know that He helps those who love God in everything for good, those whom He preordained to be called.” Rm 8:28

John1_1-14Every weekend I go to my exercise class which has become somewhat essential on keeping my knees mobile and functioning. It works for me, and I love the people that I am beginning to know on a little deeper level.  After class, we sometimes have a meditation time using a quartz F# tuning bowl.  I usually pray and try to listen a little more to God’s voice as the vibrations flow throughout the room and through me.  It definitely cleans out my sinus among other things.

Afterwards, we spend spend some time talking.  Most of them are not believers in the WORD.  They do believe in sychronicity. They believe in some kind of “force” that exists somewhere out there – perhaps it could be God – perhaps Yoda – perhaps science.  It is interesting to listen to them because they are intelligent, kind and thoughtful people.  The know more about muscles, computers, vibrations, compassion than most people I know.  At one point I mentioned that the tuning bowl gave new meaning to the vibrations that must have rippled through out space when G-d SPOKE .  They all looked at me for an overly long second until our instructor jumped in and said something to the effect, “I know, science discoveries are amazing and how it all works together.” I felt sad.

“In the origin The Word had been existing and That Word had been existing with God and That Word was himself God.” Jn 1:1

annunciationLong ago at the beginning of my spiritual journey I percieved of all things that I read literally.  Studying Jewish wisdom has opened new vistas of thought for me.  Light has illuminated a path that has been spoken by the WORD since Our Father first breathed it into existence.  It has existed.  It exists.  It will exist. Time is not linear in the WORD. Jeremiah spoke prophecy long ago.  It would serve us well to listen once again as we enter the gates to worship.

“‘Hear the WORD of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD.” Jer 7:2

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