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The Word of God Stands by Conny Hubbard

purple-flowers-1474422Just before my sister and my brother-in-law had to fly back home to Germany, after a wonderful visit with us, my husband and I took them to the Billy Graham library in Charlotte, NC. Not long after we had entered the building my sister Lydia turned to me and said, “I can feel the power and authority of the Word of God in this place.”

Later, as we went through the different exhibit rooms I stood in front of a screen that played a video of Billy Graham speaking. He was reminiscing about the time of his calling to preach. He told of a time where he wrestled with God and he made an important decision. He said he put the Bible on a tree stump and told God that he was now receiving the Bible as the Word of God that God had said it is. I just wonder how many of us have ever made that kind of decision – one that ends all arguments and puts all doubts to death, once and for all.

 We only need to remember the millions of souls that have come streaming to the altars after Billy Graham preached a sermon in which he said many times, over and over, “The Bible says…” I’ve never had the privilege to attend a live crusade but watched in on TV many times over the years. It’s obvious to see that God backed him up. When his servant spoke the Word, God moved upon the hearts of countless men, women and children to respond to the Word.

 We live in a day and age where many enemy forces try to shake and rattle the validity of God’s word. The enemy of our souls still tries to poison our minds with this question, “Has God said?”

 I’ve been to the Billy Graham library at least three times now – I love to take my company there – and each time something different stands out to me. This time it was this statement that Billy Graham made about receiving the Word of God for what it says it is.

 The Word is unshakable and it stands forever. We are shaken when we stop believing that it, indeed, is the Word of God. But we can make a decision to accept it and to make a new commitment to God’s Word. I’m not talking about making some kind of new resolution to read the Bible more or to sign up for a better Bible reading plan. I’m talking about making a decision in our hearts to stop the arguments, silence the doubts and shut the door to the faith undermining questions.

 I encourage you, dear reader, today, to renew you commitment to God’s Word. Make that decision in your heart and let the Holy Spirit work it out in your life.

  

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8 

 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

Make Room in Your Heart by Conny Hubbard

Heart01It can get cluttered in there. You know what I mean. Cares, burdens, worries and all kinds of things can crowd Jesus out. Even good things can take up residence there. Things we’re proud of – accomplishments, goals and dreams, as well as gifts and even working for God can take up space that should only belong to Him.

My husband and I have a spare bedroom in our house. It’s a guest room but when we don’t have guests all kinds of things end up in there. If I need to tidy up the house and I don’t know where to put a certain pile it goes into that room. Then when guests come it takes me usually a couple of days to empty it of all the extra things and make it ready for them. After all, they need room for their stuff, too!

Over the years the Lord has led me at certain times in my life to hand all that stuff of life over to Him, to give it to Him, to release it so that I no longer carry it and no longer hold onto it. When I first became a follower of Jesus and He’d ask me to give Him my things or people that I cared for deeply, I was sure that it meant I would lose whatever I gave Him. I had such a distorted image of my heavenly Father. Thankfully, I have learned that just the opposite is true. When I release something precious to His care, it’s safe there, it’s kept and it can’t be corrupted.

When I worshiped Him earlier today I felt this drawing by the Spirit again to release everything to Him.

I looked over this past year

and gave Him all my pain and all my fear.

I gave Him all my yesterdays and all of my tomorrow.

I gave Him all the sins, the pain and all the sorrow,

I gave Him all the joys and blessings, too.

I gave Him all that I’d been through.

Back to Him who is faithful and true.

To Him who holds all things in His loving care,

I can safely leave them there.

I feel like I’ve just uncluttered and emptied that room in my heart and made more room for Jesus. Every Christmas I just want to give Him what brings Him the most pleasure and joy. There is not a thing I can give Him. But I can give Him my heart, uncluttered and prepared, ready to receive more of Him. Just as I want my guests to feel welcome in my house, I want Him to feel welcome in my heart. How about you?

 

©Conny Hubbard 12/14/15

There is Grace for that! by Conny Hubbard

DSC03116There is Grace for that!

I leaned heavily on God’s grace 17 years ago when my son joined the military right out of high school and was sent to Anchorage, Alaska, for his first duty station. He was just seventeen and a half years old. My one and only child! I remember visiting a friend shortly after he had left and she asked me how I was doing.
I said to her, “There is grace for that.” And it was God’s grace power that was sufficient for me at that time (2 Cor. 12:9). His sustaining grace was always available and I took all my worries, fears, concerns and heartaches to Him.

I need that same grace again today – 17 years later – as my son, his wife and their three children are moving to Germany to be stationed there for the next three years. The Lord reminded me today of that phrase I had used back then, “There is grace for that.” Even though Germany is my home country and I have family there, it is a far way off. You don’t realize how far away it is until you fly for eight hours over a vast ocean.

As my heart is aching today, I’m wondering what is it that you need His grace for? Remember, there is grace for THAT – whatever THAT is for you. Is it a sickness, a difficult relationship, financial struggles or (fill in the blank)?

Grace is God’s love and mercy in action on our behalf. It is His favorable influence and His unlimited love expressed in the gift of His son. It is His kind disposition to impart unmerited blessings.

We are saved by grace – Ephesians 2:8
We stand in grace – Romans 5:1-2
We are to grow in grace – 2 Peter 3:18
And to be strengthened by grace – Hebrews 10:29
We find grace to help in time of need – Hebrews 4:16

God promised us that there is more than enough. In fact, just to list a few of many scriptures, His grace is:
Abundant – Romans 5:17
More than abundant – 1 Timothy 1:14
Sufficient – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Abounding – 2 Corinthians 9:8

Just like a big, overflowing banqueting table, it is there, waiting for us to reach out and fill our plates with generous helpings. God’s grace is available but we have to avail ourselves and receive it. For me, just saying it out loud is the beginning, “Father, I receive your grace for ________ and I thank you for it.” After I pray that I see myself no longer lacking but I draw on His grace by faith. And somehow, I do not know how, it is there, making all the difference.

 © Conny Hubbard 2015

 

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For the Sake of the Call by Conny Hubbard

Calla LilyI know hardly anyone who doesn’t have some kind of difficulty with a relationship. Through a recent struggle and much heart ache I have found a place in God where he took my pain and where I have found so much peace. This may not be popular theology in these times of instant gratification but God’s ways don’t change. I pray God would pour his healing balm into your heart and you would find that place of unshaken peace and trust in Him.

Sometimes God call us to die to our natural affections. For the sake of the call, for the sake revelation, we need to lay those down.

That doesn’t mean we care any less for our loved ones. Not at all! But it means we trade our natural affections for God’s heart for them.

Loving our family with the love of God causes a greater blessing in their lives than anything we could give them.

2 Corinthians 4:12 says this: “So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

I die to my natural affections and bring them to the cross. And there at the cross fountains open deep and wide. Fountains of grace and mercy, fountains of love and joy.

God is after something. He could make that hard situation easily better in a flash. Although he doesn’t delight in seeing us suffer, he has a greater purpose to accomplish and a greater number of people to reach.

He says, “I could give you the answer or I could make you the answer. Which will you choose?”

If you choose to have your immediate need met at all cost – so be it. But that is like selling your birthright for a pot of stew.

If you choose to embrace the work it takes to make you an answer, it will cost you something. It might be painful. You might not see that result that you would like to see, but now you are a gate, a conduit for much grace and mercy for many, many people. And now you have his heart!

Down the road….
that seed you planted,
that death you died,
that bitter pill you swallowed,
that extra mile you went,
that price you paid

…will come back as something so glorious, so far beyond anything you could have imagined.

What he fashions out of that seed is far greater than your greatest vision for it.

Just trust him.
That’s all he asks.
That’s all you can do!

©Conny Hubbard, 2015

A Heavy Load by Conny Hubbard

BowingSunflowerRecently I went on several long trips and each time, somewhere along the way, we passed a trailer with a wide or heavy load followed by a vehicle that alerted other drivers with a large sign saying Heavy Load. Transporting half a double-wide mobile home or any other overweight or over dimensional load takes up a lot of space and it can be dangerous.

Knowing how to deal with the challenges of such a transport is crucial. This is true in the natural but also in the spiritual realm. As I thought about it I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to write down some thoughts. The first thing I noticed is the escort car or the pilot car as it is also called. Just as the driver pulling an extra heavy load depends on that pilot car so we believers depend on God’s help to guide us and help us.

It made me think of an old song called Jesus, Pilot Me.
Here is the first verse of that hymn:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal.
Chart and compass came from thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

How wonderful it is to feel God’s everlasting arms underneath us, knowing that He carries us along, safely and securely to our desired destination.

Jesus also gave us a promise in the New Testament.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. NIV

Just as there are different kinds of loads being transported on the roadways there are different kinds of burdens. Some are due to life’s situations such as a major move, an illness, the loss of a loved one, divorce or broken relationships and more too numerous to name.
Some burdens are self-inflicted and the Bible warns us in the following scripture to guard our hearts. God does not want us to carry these kinds of burdens.

Luke 21:34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; NASB

Some burdens are given to us by God Himself. As we pray and intercede for others we feel their pain and heartache and in prayer we help carry those burdens to the cross.

Galatians 6:2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. NIV

When we are carrying a heavy load, we are not meant to do it alone. We need help and we should humbly ask for and accept the help offered to us. If you are carrying a burden today, go to the Lord with it, really open up your heart and share it with Him. If He so leads, you may also need to share it with a brother or a sister. You will find that the heavy load all of a sudden is much easier to bear.

A note about the sunflower photo:  The sun flower signifies the heavy burden that it is carrying – but within the burden and through the intercession are much seeds. From that one plant carrying such a heavy load – thousands of new sun flowers will be. What a dynamic and amazing picture of carrying a heavy load of intercession. We may not always get to see the outcome – however, if we yield to the Lord when that heaviness comes upon us and do whatever it is that He is asking us – share, pray, intercede, declare, decree, testify – the outcome of that obedience only comes from first lifting our faces and voices unto the Lord – just like the sun flower and the impact is more than we could ever imagine. Just as the sun flower’s heavy load of seed.  Love Beyond Measure. Beth..

Still at Work by Conny Hubbard

AllthingsNewThe door to the workshop creaked as it opened. I looked up from my work to see who it was. I acknowledged the man’s presence with a nod and invited him in to have a look around. I had never seen him here before and I wasn’t certain what he wanted. He shoved his cap back with one hand but kept the other in his pocket. With a sour look on his face he scanned the room.

“How can I help you? I asked, wiping sawdust off my hands with a rag as I walked toward him.

“Oh, I wanted to see if I could get a small table but all I see in here is junk!” he muttered angrily. He pointed to a dresser and said, “Just look at this piece. The handles are missing and it has ugly gauges all over it. And that chair over there looks like it would fall apart the first time someone sat on it.”

He turned and his eyes stopped at the sight of a couch that was in the process of being re-upholstered.

“Who would want that piece of junk? He said loudly.

“Junk?” A voice sounded from the back. My boss, the master carpenter, came closer.

“Who is calling my work junk?” he asked.

“Well,” the man scratched his scraggly beard, “all I see is broken and banged up pieces of furniture.”

Uninvited, he walked through the shop and pointed out the flaws of each piece he looked at. I cringed with each cutting remark he made. The very things my master and I had already discussed and enjoyed planning on how we would repair them and make them beautiful and functional again.

The master’s eyes followed him and he slightly shook his head. Then he motioned with his arm.

“These are my treasures,” he said, lovingly looking upon each one.

“I’m still working on them. The work takes time. Some of the more finished and beautiful pieces have been in my workshop for quite some time and I’ve spent many hours working on them. Others just came in and I’m in the process of fixing them.

“This table here,” he pointed to an unfinished small piece in the far corner of the workshop.
“I’m working on that one right now,” he said, “it’s not finished yet, but it will be perfect by the time the woman who ordered it comes and picks it up for her daughter who is getting married next month.

“See this chair here?” he pointed to a crooked chair with a broken leg and paint splatters all over.

“This one came in like this. I will strip it of all the paint spots and put a completely new finish on it. The broken leg needs to be replaced and the others just need to be glued back in place. It’ll be better than new.

“And that couch you called junk,” he said, “has faithfully served a family of seven for nearly twenty years. It has been through babies held in their mother’s arms through rambunctious 12 year olds jumping on it to teenagers curling up on it with book for hours. It could tell you lots of stories. The family could have just put it out in the trash but they brought it to me so it could be fixed up. She still has a good many years of service left in her.”

With that the master smiled to himself and nodded happily.

The man still looked skeptical. I could feel my temper rising up. How dare he insult my master like this? It was obvious he had no clue of carpentry work yet he came in here and put down everything he did.

“John,” the master called to me, “bring me the box that came in this morning.”

“Yes, sir,” I answered and quickly turned to get the large box sitting by my master’s work bench. I picked it up and brought it over to where the man stood. Gently I lowered it to the ground and opened the top flaps to expose the pile of broken pieces of wood.

The master reached into the box and carefully retrieved a piece of wood that looked like a short but ornate and beautifully curved leg belonging to a dresser but it was obviously badly damaged.

“A lady brought this in,” he said softly, “it’s a small dresser I had made for a customer of mine. Her husband had broken it to pieces in a fit of rage. She was terribly distressed and asked if I could do something about it.”

“Of course,” he continued thoughtfully, “this kind of repair work takes time. Some parts I have to rebuild from scratch.”

Silently I wondered why my master would put up with this faultfinder and take time away from his important work to explain to this guy how things worked around here.

I watched my master as he gently put the piece back into the box. I remembered when he had made this little dresser. It grieved him when he saw his work torn apart like this. But he was not only good at making stuff, he was an expert at repair work. From watching him work, I knew that a box of broken pieces would not look like the original furniture he had made. My master’s creativity wouldn’t allow it. He had a way of using the broken pieces and making them into a work of art. The more broken and damaged something was, the more he made it into something utterly amazing. I was so privileged to be working along his side and seeing life through his compassionate eyes.

With that thought my rising anger faded away. In the past I would have wanted to call fire down from heaven upon this man who insulted my master, but now I felt only pity for him. He lacked the ability to see beyond what was right in front of him. He had no vision and was completely deficient of faith. But then – if focused on that lack in him would I not be guilty of the same thing as he was? And now I understood why the master took time to open his eyes and that he was giving him right now, right in front of me, the ability to see the pieces of furniture through his own eyes.

The man’s attitude had changed. He lowered his head and politely asked if it was all right if he came back to look around again. My master smiled, shook his hand and told him he was welcome anytime.

©Conny Hubbard, February, 2015

Photos provided by TLC Finishes – tlcalvey@att.net,  https://www.facebook.com/TammiCalveyInspirations

 

How’s your Prickle Factor? by Conny Hubbard

fp071208-37Recently, I took an online class on fibers. I love to knit and wanted to learn more about the different kinds of yarns I can use. There were several new words I learned in that class, all related to fibers. One of them was “prickle factor.” This refers to the feeling you get when you wear something made from wool that makes your skin itch. Without getting too technical, let me just explain it like this: when coarse fibers are present in wool fabrics they press into the surface of your skin. Finer fibers bend when they are pressed against skin. Pain receptors in our skin get triggered and respond to these tiny little pricks of the fibers. There is also a difference in how people react to these fibers sticking out from the yarn. Some are more sensitive than others to this “prickle factor.” The tougher ones have pain receptors that are triggered at a higher force or they have “thicker skin.” Some start to itch when they only think about wearing a certain fabric.

You can probably already guess where I am going with this. Some people are like those rough fabrics with large micron fibers in them, translated: attitudes that stick out and prick the people around them. Others are like those soft and comfy sweaters you can’t wait to wear in the cold weather. They are soothing and gentle.
We all can think of people who fit in either category. And there may be times when we are more prickly than others. I’m thinking back to the time when PMS or menopause would determine my prickle factor more than the Lord. My husband knew to stay away from me until I wasn’t so prickly anymore. I’ve also learned from experience that spending time in God’s presence diminishes my prickle factor. Can you relate? Being able to roll the whole of our care over on Him who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) and finding rest in His presence (Matthew 11:28) makes us easy to be around. We become more yielded which is a necessity in any relationship, especially in marriage.

So, how’s your prickle factor? From one to ten where are you? For those of us who are married maybe we should ask our spouses! We might be blind to our own “prickliness.”

While I cannot control the prickle factor of other people, I can, with God’s help, change my own. I can also control how I react to other people’s “prickliness.” With God’s help I can develop a thicker skin and not let it get to me. I have a sweater I like but I cannot wear it on my skin. It’s just too prickly. But I’m okay if I layer it over, let’s say, a turtleneck. Is there a prickly co-worker you can’t get away from? Maybe a little space, a firm boundary, and prayer will help you deal with their prickle factor.

Blessings,
© Conny Hubbard

Growing in Hearing from God by Conny Hubbard

fp082805-09I’ve been thinking about how my hearing from God has changed over the years. When I got radically saved out of much darkness at the age of 28 I heard God speak in my heart so clearly. I could write down what He said word by word. Then as I grew spiritually He began to teach me about listening to the still small voice. I had to learn to get quiet and take time to listen. There were often no clear distinct words but it was more of a sense of what He was communicating. Often, acting upon His direction proved to me whether I had heard right or not.

Then, it seemed there was a long time when God seemed to withdraw further. During that time He showed me that He was guiding me with His eyes. Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Whenever I heard people talking about hearing from God and I’d complain to God that I was not hearing what they seemed to be hearing, He would give me this scripture. He was working on me to make me even more sensitive to His leading.

I had a sweet time of communion with God the other day. I didn’t hear any words but there was so much my heavenly Father communicated to my spirit that it would take at least ten pages to write it all down. I felt filled up and satisfied deep within and I came away knowing and sensing a piece of His heart. God has such a deep longing in His heart for intimacy with His beloved and He longs to share His heart with us.

Lately, there seems to be more of a focus on my life on looking to see what God is saying. Dr. Mark Virkler teaches so well on this subject and it was through his teaching that I realized how a whole new realm of hearing from God opens up when we open our eyes to “see what He will say.”

Habakkuk 2:1 “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me…”

As I go through my days with my eyes open to the many ways God speaks through  nature, colors, symbols, and even high way signs, I am amazed at how much we can so easily miss if we don’t watch for it.

Hearing from God is life to me. So much healing came to my heart through hearing from Him. I put together a book with many journal entries where I recorded what God spoke to me in times of communion with Him. The book is called “So Loved – Embraced by His Love, Healed by His Word”

I will share a journal entry here. This is from page 70

 

Come To Me

My Precious One, you do well to take time often to come and be with Me. It is the joy of My heart to see My children longing for Me. I am with you. Rest. Trust. Be at peace. I will give you what you need. I will stir you and prompt you. Keep listening to My wisdom.

For those who seek after Me, I will even make their enemies be at peace with them.

My Child, let Me nourish you with My words. Receive My love.

 

Proverbs 16:7 When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, He causes their enemies to make peace with them.

Lord of the Seasons by Conny Hubbard

flower10sides04My friend Carolyn Vargas has published a book recently. It’s a companion book to her third CD by the same title: Lord of the Seasons. Reading Carolyn’s book has made me reflect on the seasons I’ve been through in my life. As she shares her heart in the book, God has been with her through every season, joyful or difficult. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us “to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

In each season of life we have an opportunity to get to know our Lord better. If I understand what God is doing in my life during a particular difficult season I can embrace and accept His work in me much better and get through it, hopefully, quicker because I’m learning my lessons and allowing the necessary changes to take place. This is the way I’m wired. If I know the purpose of what’s going on it gets much easier.

One of the more difficult seasons in life is the winter season. Maybe someone who is reading this is in a winter season right now. Everything seems to be on hold. It looks like there is no change, no growth and no fruit. Your difficulty looms like a large and unmovable mountain. One of the advice Carolyn gives – and I whole heartedly agree – is to take it one day at a time. Look ahead but don’t live ahead! Sometimes just getting through that one day is a victory.

As a corporate Body of Christ we also go through seasons. I would like to share the words of a song from Carolyn’s book that describes this season. This is a season of blessings despite of what we are hearing in the news! God’s Holy Spirit is moving in the earth. Even as difficulties around us increase there will be an increase in the presence and power of God for all His people.  I prophesy to you with Carolyn’s words: Breakthrough is on the way!

Blessings

Coming down

All around

The beautiful, wonderful

Blessings of God

Long-awaited answers to prayer

Are coming down from heaven above

 

Healing rain

Joy for tears

Mercy, and hope now abound

The heavens are open

Time of refreshing

Mighty miracles surround

 

Restoration

Hearts renewed

Power and strength now abound

The heavens are open

Time of refreshing

Mighty miracles surround

 

Coming down

All around

The beautiful, wonderful

Blessings of God

Long-awaited answers to prayer

Are coming down from heaven above

 

Words and music by Carolyn J. Vargas  © 2013/ASCAP

(Shared with permission of the author)

Blessings are available in every season of life. Even in our darkest days our hearts are being refreshed and strengthened by God’s wonderful blessings. ! Receive the healing rain, dear wounded one. God has joy for all your sorrows.

Let’s open our hearts and declare that the heavens are open, that this is a time of refreshing and that mighty miracles surround us.

If you would like to find out more about my wonderful friend, her book and her music, please click on the link below. I highly recommend her work. She is a woman of integrity who walks in close fellowship with the Lord.

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carolynvargas

Another Tree Parable by Conny Hubbard

P1020967“What is going on with our trees?” I asked the Lord after a recent storm. Violent winds had shaken the beautiful big tree in our back yard. Several large branches had broken off and fallen to the ground. This was the third storm this year. We were getting a little tired of cleaning up after our trees.

We had also decided to hire someone to cut down two old trees which stood pretty close to the house. After an ice storm this past winter that left our back yard looking like a war zone we didn’t want to take any risks of these older trees falling onto the house.

I learned a lot from the tree guys who did the work. One of them who had training in how to trim trees properly showed me how broken branches can leave a “wound” on a tree. Those jagged edges allow water to enter which can cause the tree to rot from the inside. He said it was important to cut a branch right so that the tree can form a protective ring around the “wound” allowing it heal itself.  The tree compartmentalizes the wounded area with a special type of calloused wood, like a scar, which keeps out bacteria and helps the rest of the tree recover.

The tree guy pointed out several branches to me. He told me where to look. As I did I could see that these branches were dead even though they still had leaves and looked healthy to the undiscerning eye. Storms have a way of revealing which branches are dead. They are the first to break.

I love trees and God has often used trees to speak to me (see my last post). As I pondered at all this I saw so many analogies to our lives. Like the dead branches – I don’t want to be a dead branch not able to survive the next storm.

Just as wounded trees need proper care so we need someone to help us take care of our wounds, lest bitterness festers and causes more damage on the inside.

When the tree guy cut off several lower branches that looked vibrant and healthy, I asked him why he was cutting them off. He explained to me that they were sucker branches that took valuable sap away from the rest of the tree. By cutting them off the sap would be going to the higher branches that needed it.

This made me think of activities and other things that are time wasters – like those sucker branches.  Maybe I need the Holy Spirit to cut out some of those things in my life so that the areas that need to be strengthened can get the proper nourishment.

One last thought. Since I became aware of all these “tree issues” I cannot go anywhere without seeing trees in need of care. It annoyed me until they Holy Spirit pointed out to me that seeing the trees in need was like seeing people in need of care. When we are awakened to the truth of how wonderful our heavenly Father is and how much he cares for our souls, we can no longer be blind to the hurts and needs around us.  The world needs people who are trained and equipped to care for the wounded ones among us. First, we need to go to God to let Him heal our wounds, but then He also desires us to be healers. Let’s go do it!

 

Check out my book "So Loved" at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KZK3NQ8

Check out my book “So Loved” at Amazon.com