Post-Election Reminder – by Jay Ferris

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The body of Christ on earth, as distinguished from the one already perfected in heaven, has been fractured organizationally by the work of man’s hands. The unbelief of the believers has kept it from being manifested here on earth.

There is such a profusion and confusion of institutional forms presented to us in the name of the Lord, and demanding our submission, that it is very difficult to see the heavenly Jerusalem. I was not able to see it until I was brought to the end of my carnal resources. By God’s grace, and the faithfulness of those He has brought into my life, I have finally managed to be still enough to catch a glimpse of it.

The body of Christ has been broken because we have tried to organize ourselves according to human understanding. Human understanding is the enemy of God.[2] Our heavenly Father wants to put us together according to the life of His Son. Flesh and blood cannot accomplish that; only the Father can. He wants to put us together in a way against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.

As we must know who Jesus Christ is supernaturally,[3] so we must discover supernaturally who we are in Him. I have begun to discover who I am in relationship to others supernaturally. It is “joy unspeakable and full of glory… ”[4] It is not of works, not even of relational works, “lest any man should boast.“[5] I have been saved, and continue to be saved by grace! I am being placed in the body by grace! I am a man under authority by grace!

The Lord will build His house. He holds the measuring line. The measuring line is unity that is rooted and grounded in love.[6] It is not the spirit of unity, but rather the unity of the Spirit. We cannot build with a measuring line, we can only determine whether or not what has been built is plumb, straight, real and sincere, (without wax).

The New Jerusalem looks like a new creation. Like the old one, it is structured according to life. Unlike the old one, it is built on better blood, better promises, and is never going to pass away.

The Lord has put me in a family. Whether or not you are a member of an “institutional church,” the Lord wants to put you in a family. That is where the Lord commanded the blessing.[7] All that old creation families ever promised, the Lord wants to give you a hundredfold in this present age in His new creation.[8] Without necessarily moving into the same house, the Lord wants His people in any given place relating to each other as though living under a common roof. Whatever it is that is at work in our hearts that keeps the body of Christ from being reconciled is false religion. It is idolatry.

“I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”[9]

Jesus Christ is not only the coin of the realm in the Kingdom of God. Jesus is Lord of relationship.

[1] Hebrews 11:10
[2] Romans 8:6‑7
[3] Matthew 7:23
[4] 1 Peter 1:8
[5] Ephesians 2:9
[6] Ephesians 3: 4‑21
[7] Psalms 133:1-3
[8] Mark 10:29-31
[9] Romans 12:1-2

P.P.S. Professional Christianity is by its very nature predatory. It has an agenda other than love. It is fueled by the cares

By Jay Ferris [The postscript to his money book, “Inflation: The Ultimate Graven Image” Published in 1982]

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Waking up to the Meaning of Inflation – It’s More Than Meets the Pocketbook

inflation-book2The events of today’s world in the area of monetary affairs provide us with a most graphic confirmation of the truth of the Bible – that there is a war going on for control of the world. One way or another, all of us are involved. According to Scripture, the long-term outcome has already been determined, but the short-term outcome has not, though it has very real bread-and-butter consequences for each of us every day. This war cannot be ignored or avoided; it affects all of us worldwide. The battleground is economic. It is over the control of individuals. It has to do with how we relate to each other.

It is at the point of relating – or relationship – that money or, more precisely, a “medium of exchange”, comes about. The medium of exchange is the way that we relate to others for the fulfillment of their needs and desires. If the “kings of this earth” can control our medium of exchange, then they can control us.

This is what inflation is all about. Inflation is nothing more than the monetary manifestation of a grab for power, to run lives and to later dispose of them. It is a form of corruption. As our ability to exchange is corrupted, we become controlled. We are controlled at the core of our being by the things we value: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

The final outcome of this fight has never been in doubt. It was determined from the foundation of the world. But this knowledge does not alter our responsibility to be a part of the battle. If those who have understanding don’t get involved, the battle is lost. Even though this loss will only hold for the short run, the Biblical short run can be a long time.

It may be long enough to include another Dark Ages.

  • Jay Ferris
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The Love Patent Letter … Adapted for you!

 

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Dear You,

I would like to tell you a true story that revolutionized my understanding of God, the “good news,” and my relationships.  In fact it has been so life-changing, that I felt the Lord command me not to speak anywhere new, that I do not share this story!

Simply put, there is nothing I deem more important than this message in order to have intimate, and yes, unshakeable relationships that come from God Himself.

In 1987 I was in a patent office in Düsseldorf Germany for a fairly important business meeting.  My German at the time was weak, which was all for the good because I was in a rather desperate place. Up to this particular day I had walked with the Lord for about 15 years, and had gained a greater understanding of God’s love.  But I was still struggling in many areas.  I had heard a gospel that basically said, “Jesus laid His life down for His friends,” but frankly this wasn’t doing me much good.  Not for the state of turmoil I was in.  I was feeling like my expectations had become my greatest enemy, and every time they weren’t lived up to I became part of the problem.

As I sat there in this patent office, a certain verse out of the Bible kept cycling through my consciousness, “Perfect love casts out fear.” ¹ When I finally became aware of it (you know, kind of like the moment you finally become conscious of a melody which was continually playing in your mind), my awareness took the form of, “That’s interesting – love casts out fear.”  But suddenly I felt inwardly rebuked, “NO! Love creates fear. Perfect love casts out fear!”

It then came to be that “perfect” love was explained to me, right there, in the parable of a patent. Now I don’t know if you know anything about patent law, but in general a couple of things are required to get a patent on a new idea, device, or process. The first thing is to describe what is called, “the state of the art.”  This is the prior art of something, or that which is already known about it. This makes the existence of something “as good as it gets,” or perhaps more accurately, “as good as it has gotten.”  Next, comes a description of what the patent applicant thinks he has that’s new, something never done or practiced before. This is called the “abstract”. Finally the clincher is the reduction to practice, or the “demonstration” of what is new.

Now there’s more, but at this point my mind was racing!  I had to ask for a pen so I could write as fast as I could.  What I was understanding was that previous to the Cross there was a “state of the art” love that was understood, and like patent law, was “as good as it gets.”  Jesus described it as, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” ²    Paul too spoke of it, saying, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man (i.e. for a friend) some would even dare to die.” ³

But then I was reminded of the whole of Paul’s message.  “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrated) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”, and again, “if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

I was blown away.  Jesus is God’s love patent, and He demonstrated a love that was previously not known until He came and died for His enemies.  This means I was qualified! I was qualified not because I “deserved” His love.  Jesus gave Himself to me on my most ignorant, weakest and sinful worst day.  He extended love and forgiveness to me when I was the one putting Him on the cross!

Suddenly the gospel – and it’s relational implications – was opened up to me in a whole new way.

Now I had never seen anything like this before, and I had to ask the question, “How is that possible????” Then I heard His voice again, “The day I said I love you, I nailed my expectations to the tree.”  My mind was still racing. This time it came to rest at another passage from the Bible, “And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” (4)

In that patent office, Jesus finally went on to say, “… And if you are going to love like I love, you too are going to have to nail your expectations to the tree.”

A Redemptive Love, not a Reactive love

From what you have written, my friend, I’m guessing that you have mostly seen, and have been on the receiving end of the kind of love that’s only good for friends.  Sadly what has been calling itself “church” is full of it. It is the kind of love that is based on – even reactive to – the perceived value of its object.  But as demonstrated by Jesus, there is another kind of love, and it is based on the value of God: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” – “This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for each other.” (5)

Now obviously it gets really tricky when we have to love others on our worst days, especially the worst days of those we claim to love.  It’s those days that no one really feels like they deserve love, or are able to give it.  But for me this has become the most important understanding of taking up my cross daily.  Because of what He did for me, I don’t have to be alienated from those I disagree with.  His love empowers me to be lovingly redemptive toward them.  It is capable of loving those who are bad, and making them good if they can believe it.  And it is capable of opening up door to walk in true intimacy with them.

Are we up for it?  Without this kind of love my friend, the family of God is bankrupt.

Love!
Jay Ferris

(1) 1 John 4:18  (2) John 13:38  (3) Romans 5:7  (4) Col. 2:14  (5) 1 John 3:16

Posted in J.Ferris: Reposts with Notes, J.Ferris: Top Posts | 1 Comment

The Unlimited Liability of Jesus’ Home

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Where the “cost” of following Jesus is concerned, you may remember He once said to a young man who wanted to follow Him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”(1)

Surely, having no place to live is a great cost, so great that most of us can dismiss the idea as not having relevance for us today. In seeming contrast to this verse, however, how many of us noticed that Jesus DID have a home?

“… Jesus … went and lived in Capernaum…”(2)

“When Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (3)

“… They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house…” (4)

Whether or not Jesus or His family owned the house, rented the house, or were more or less extended house guests, it is clear that there was a place in Capernaum called “home”, and it apparently included a house.

Now before Jesus went to this location, however, He was in next door Nazareth where He was raised. It was here that He announced His anointed purpose in the local synagogue.

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up … ”The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (5)

It was after this that Jesus went to the next town, even to the house where He was then living.  And it was here that the man was lowered through the roof.

Broken People Break Things

Obviously Jesus’ agenda of bringing the good news and setting people free was one that He not intend to accomplish in an institutional context. His lifestyle, and that of the early Church gave evidence that it was not His heart to institutionalize people, but to meet them in their brokenness and transform their lives in a vital community of faith. He brought His work home with Him, one consequence of which was that the roof was torn off of the house where He was staying.

Institutional ministry by its very nature is limited liability ministry. The ministry of Jesus was unlimited liability. Where having a place is concerned, an unlimited liability mindset is one which does not claim even bird’s nests or fox holes. It is capable of occupation without possession or grasping.

Our point for present purposes is that having a home does not disqualify us from following Jesus. The important thing is our attitude about the things we possess, even the place where we live. If our homes are not going to be off limits to the agenda of Jesus, then we must face up to the cost. Jesus wants to accomplish His purpose from house to house. This means opening our homes, our families, and our lives, to poor, broken and oppressed people, and broken people break things. In their desperation they, and/or their friends have even been known to tear the roof off.

Are we ready for this? Are we ready for unlimited liability? Or would we prefer to go on touching lives at the relatively safe distance of our institutional programs, churches, and buildings?  I need to confess that I do not lose much sleep contrasting my own ministry to that others, that of Mother Teresa, for instance. My problems of conscience come from what I am doing or not doing in my own home.

Having flirted with His purpose in the past, it is clear that isolated individuals and families are quickly overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and the world’s response to even limited success.   As a result there are more broken people than occasional even semi-sold-out saints can handle. Making the effort, one quickly discovers why, in so many cases, those who take The Lord seriously do so by appointment, some place else, and for earthly compensation.

It is still my hope that a vital community of faith could both risk, and actually walk in the heart of Jesus.

Isn’t it time for the nets, torn by our institutions, to be mended, and the limits of liability be removed from the Church? Isn’t it time for “church” to cease being something that we do some place else?

1. MAT 8:19,20, 2. MAT 4:12,13, 3. MAR 2:1-5, 4. MAR 9:33, 5. LUK 4:16-24

Jay Ferris,  2/14/91

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A Kingdom of Honor

By way of introduction, this is one of the posts by the late Jay Ferris that has a special place in my heart. As anyone who knew Jay, knew he loved conversation and sought it at every turn. Often he was grieved with distractions that prevented conversation from getting past “news, weather and sports,” as well as the kind that happens when people do not want to be relational, but in control. I remember one such time, and from across the room seeing his face light up when he got a revelation for why the conversation was not getting off the ground. Later he pulled me aside and excitedly got me helping him with a video to illustrate a point. (Yes, that is my finger in the video below.) :-)
So without further ado, I present the following. Keep in mind this is a re-post, so I took the liberty of reprinting the reader comments that came in afterward. These are very rich, so I would encourage you to read them as well!   – Pamela

A Kingdom of Honor

In our last post we spoke about the priority of being over doing. In this post we want to explore the difference between the ‘authority of doing’ and the ‘authority of being.’

I’ll begin by cutting to the chase. Authority of being works by honor. Authority of doing works by imposition. One is passive, and the other is proactive.

Jesus said in His kingdom that we don’t rule as the Gentiles do: “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:24-27.

In short, there is a difference as to how authority works.  Authority of being is authority for living more than doing.  It is perhaps best seen in families or households where the first commandment with promise is normative, “Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you and your days be long upon the land.”

Honor releases the best that is in a person.  That being true, “the commandment with promise” has an even broader application than just between parents and children. The following 12 second video provides a graphic demonstration of how it works:

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The drop of water represents the best that is in another person.  Just as with the bead of water which is contained by the surface tension of the water, when we touch another person with honor, their tension is released and their content flows in the direction from which the touch has come.  When we touch another person with honor, we release the best that is in them to flow in our direction.

“Jesus left there and went to his home town, and when the Sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who heard him were amazed. ‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked. ‘How does he do miracles? Isn’t this the carpenter, Mary’s son? Are not his brothers and sisters here with us?”  And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, ‘Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.’ And he did not do many miracles there, except to lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” Mark 6:1-5 — also see Matthew 13:56-58

While Matthew attributes his unwillingness to do miracles in this context to their lack of faith, the greater context of both Mark and Matthew is lack of honor.

The kingdom of God is best seen in how we relate to one another – how we are with one another. The kingdom of God does not look like a lecture hall so much as an intimate conversation among those who love each other.  It is in the context of speaking the truth in love (i.e. ’being in love”) with one another that we grow up into Him who is the Head, even Christ. This conversation can be as numerically small as two people, where Christ, (the best within us) is in the midst, or a gathering of many people. In either case, it is the honoring of one another that releases the best that is in the midst of them.

Kingdom authority operates in such a way as to release that conversation, and not to replace it with a lecture by doing all the talking, or imposing its will or perspective on the gathering, or on another person. For this to happen, however, those gathered together need to be sensitive to, or discerning of the authority that is present in their midst for such a conversation to take place.

A conversation full of people who are preoccupied with their own agendas never gets off the ground.

As an illustration of how this works, lets take a look at 1 Corinthians 16:15, 16: “You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it.”  

You see, authority in the Kingdom of God is not about over doing, but over seeing.

Please note that the above passage is not an admonishment to the household to Stephanas to lord it over the saints at Corinth who are younger in the Lord than they are.  Rather it places the responsibility on those who are younger in the faith to be aware and yielding to those who are senior in time, experience and service.  It is this recognition, submission, and honor that releases the authority of the kingdom to the benefit of the saints in a place. In this context it is not about titles, like elder or overseer, it is about the facts of life often inherent in spiritual seniority of time and place.

This operative principle of Kingdom authority works, not only in this larger sense, but also in the smaller sense of the Truth present in a very small conversation. Each of us who are a party to a conversation brings something of Christ to that conversation, and can discern this Christ who is in the others present – from the least to the greatest. Each one has something to contribute of Him, Who is the Head, and each one of us has a responsibility to discern and submit to the others present in the conversation. Otherwise the result is simply a conversation that is usurped by a lecture, a lecture coming from the one who is least sensitive to the presence of Christ in the midst, and so steps in by placing himself or herself in that place of preeminence – that place that belongs only to Him.

This kind of over doing authority has been the rule in what’s been calling itself “church” for thousands of years by now, beginning, at least with the “leadership” or authority of Diotrephes, in 3rd, (4th) John.

The most sure and certain way to spoil a small group or any conversation, for that matter, is to talk too much. This is a life killer, just like one who takes the Lord’s supper without discerning the body of Christ present at the table. This not only results in meetings that do more harm than good, but also in judgment, 1st Corinthians 11:17-34. For present purposes, let’s just call it “conversational gluttony,” even pollution.

As lovers, even lovers in training we are sensitive to what’s in the hearts of those around us. Love listens!

Love!

Posted in J.Ferris: Church, J.Ferris: Reposts with Notes, J.Ferris: Top Posts | 8 Comments

A Smile for Your Day – in Memory of Jay Ferris

Jay Ferris Memorial Page

“We are all Lovers In Training” – JF

To all those who knew Jay Ferris (or not).. I wanted to break the silence and do something different here, by sharing a little something that happened. Yesterday my husband and I were invited to a small town breakfast that was for charity. All the servers were volunteers. One of the volunteers that was serving tables was an elderly man that was a smitten image of Jay! He was a little shorter, but His facial features and eyes were the same. He didn’t say anything to me, or anyone. He just walked around and served people.

I found out something interesting – funny even – about this old man. He actually is known for being a little bit of a troublemaker. Even going in and out of jail. Guess what for? For helping people! He wanders around the neighborhood and picks up trash – even if it means trespassing on people’s property to do so. If he sees a dirty car he starts to wash it. The police are always coming to remove him from people’s yards. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t understand this and puts ups some resistance, and ends up at the police station.

Here he was at this event, however, quietly and humbly making sure people had coffee, picking up their plates, etc. When he picked up mine, I tried to engage him. “Thank you for your great service,” I told him. For the first time since watching him, he showed a little smile. :-)

I’m not saying this man was an angel – or Jay – but I was blessed to be served by this unique man, and be reminded of Jay’s heart to be a “garbage collector” for those people in his life who the Lord gave him.  He had a servant’s heart, and was also misunderstood for His love, even as Jesus was. But it never discouraged Him from going back again and again to those places in the hearts of people that were broken and in need of validation and healing. I was one of them, and I’m very thankful for that!  :-)

Love!
Pamela

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Behind the Scene “Battle Plan” Letter

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Dear ________,
tower-babel .
Recently I was impressed with a question:
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What does it mean that is written,
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome
them”
? Revelation 13:7
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That was the question, and the following passages came to mind as I
wrestled with God for an answer:
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“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may
reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered
abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” 
Genesis 11:4
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“Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they
want is to alienate you [from us], so that you may be zealous for them.”

Galatians 4:17
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Here the beast, (man as Satan’s agent) was given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome them.  How can this be, since the saints are “more than conquerors” in Christ?  Surely the “new man” cannot be defeated by the beast.  It must, therefore be the “old man.”  The “new man” reigns with Christ, but to do so, he must first be “beheaded.”  How can Christ be our head, if we still have our old one?  So Satan is in the business of beheading the “old man.”  As it was with Christ, so it is with us, if he had known the result, “he never would have crucified the Lord of Glory.”  The beast can only do what Satan empowers him to do, and he only says what Satan says…This war against the saints is Satan’s idea. Whose idea was it to build the tower of Babel? It was Satan’s idea.  They did it because they thought that they would be scattered if they didn’t have a name and a building. It was a variation on the same lie that the serpent told the woman in the Garden.
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It was the wrong name and the wrong building. It has something to do with builders. It does not say, “the stone that some of the builders rejected…” Jesus is the stone that all of the builders reject, because it is either His building or theirs. He is the only one who can build His building.  All man can do is submit as building material or mess it up when we try to help. As soon as we build anything, we have something to lose, and so are compromise.
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The war against the saints is a war against God’s building. God builds with living stones, and He builds by placing them in right relationship with one another. It is right relationship under God that is the focus of the beast’s attack or warfare against us. “And because iniquity abounds, the love of most will grow cold.”  It is the Love of Christ that binds us together in right relationship. Iniquity is a weapon against love.
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If we claim to be lovers but have not love, we are dead meat or if the love that we have is not God’s kind of love, i.e. the love that was redefined at the cross, then our love cannot overcome iniquity. The “old man” is incapable of God’s kind of love. Only the “new man” of Christ in us is capable of a love that is more than a conqueror in the face of iniquity. It can only be that the beast has the power to make war against the saints to overcome them because the saints are trying to muddle through with the wrong kind of love. We must be beheaded of that muddle-headed kind of love, and the beast, inspired and energized by Satan, is God’s instrument for the completion of that task. It is the task of the cross, and He who began this work in us, to finish it in us.
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Relationships that come from God are the enemy of Satan, and the builders are his agents against such relationships. They make war against relationships that come from God. You have heard that the beast is coming, even now many beasts have come. What else could Paul be talking about, that he “fought wild beasts at Ephesus”? 1 Corinthians 15:32
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If our being one, “as Jesus and The Father are one,” is the way He has chosen and prayed “that the world may know..,”, then our loving one another in that oneness is the greatest possible threat to Satan.  It is no wonder that the builders do everything possible to alienate us from Christ in each other,  They want us to be zealous for them and their buildings.
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In my experience, the war is horrendous.
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Yours in Christ,
Jay
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P.S. “The Wild Beasts of Ephesus” … That is where they tested them that say they are apostles, wasn’t it?? :-)
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Posted in J.Ferris: New Releases, J.Ferris: Warfare against Intimacy and Conversation | 4 Comments