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Weekend Encouragement! 

Photo source: Pinterest 

Morning Devotion: Strengthening yourself in the Lord. 

Peace is not the absence of challenges or pain. Peace is the presence of Jesus.” 

David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,”~1 Samuel 30:6. 

The greatest weapon we have against disappointment, despair, unrest, distress, and spiritual attacks is relationship with God and reception of His word, love, comfort. 

There are dark nights in this life where no one will answer the phone to pray, no one will come sit with us, and no human being has the answer. These moments can be strengthening if we choose to use the tools God gave us. 

A person can drown in a small amount of water if they panic. Jesus responds to every storm, “Peace be still.” God did not say, “You will have no troubles, no pain, no heartache this side of heaven.” He did say, “In this world you will have trouble, yet take heart-I have overcome the world.” 

Learning to know God and cultivate intimacy with God in every day life prepares us for fierce storms with God. Having God’s word in us gives us a deep well to pull from when facing great challenges. What does His word say? What is true of God? Feelings try to hijack truth. Yet feelings are in no way an indication of truth. Feelings are fickle, unstable, and not to guide our lives. Feelings are indicators, not actual truth. 

Rather than jumping on the phone, our greatest weapon is going to God’s throne. “Here I am God. Life has presented some incredible challenges. I need you.” People can provide some relief yet none can do what God does. None can provide the solutions and wisdom or comfort of God. God is the strongest being on the planet. Our greatest strength lies in intimacy with God. 

Some, not all, of the most profound miracles in my life and encounters happened with just me and God. No one came to hold me, sit with me, love on me, care for me, pour out wisdom, or help me. It was me and God. Those moments taught me so much about who God is. I am thankful for community, my tribe, framily (friend family), and some support-yet they are not God. They are not all knowing, always present, their love is not perfect (nor is mine). God is God. He is our strength and our portion forever. 

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever,”~Psalm 73:26. 

Favor is not a feeling. Sometimes favor looks like being thrown into a pit by your siblings, sold into slavery, thrown into prison, and being lied on like Joseph. Sometimes it looks like facing Goliath or being outnumbered like David. Sometimes it looks like the Garden of Gethsemane, betrayed by your people/closest friends like Jesus. 

Favor does not always look or feel good. It cannot be measured by the chapter we walk in on or are currently experiencing. Favor comes from God and He fulfills His word to work ALL things together for a greater good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Hold fast to truth over feelings or circumstances. 

Joseph, David, and Jesus gained Kingdoms! Do not give up in a temporary situation. Life here is temporary; heaven is eternal!

Papa for every hurting or discouraged person I ask for your incredible love, comfort, peace, and joy to saturate each heart. I ask for time alone with you and deeper intimacy with you. Any unhealthy emotions and thoughts to come into alignment with your truth. Lord may we find our strength in you and you alone. In Jesus powerful name. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Weekend Devotion (Repentance)

Weekend Devotion: Study of Repentance. Repentance is a gift. 

Repentance: In the New Testament, the key term for repentance is metanoia [metavnoia]. It has two usual senses: a “change of mind” and “regret/remorse.” In the Synoptic Gospels metanoia [metavnoia] indicated “turning away from sin” ( Mark 1:4)-Source Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 

The ability to know God’s truth and turn from darkness to light is a gift. 

There is not as much talk about repentance today as there was in the time of Jesus and early apostles. There is a teaching of “You just do you, God must accept whatever you do and approve because He loves you.” This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said, “Repent or you will perish (Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5). Stop sinning lest something worse comes on you (John 5:14).” The bible clearly states the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). It also says those who live according to the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-6). 

Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance [not fully aware of what you were doing], just as your rulers did also. And so God has fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (Messiah, Anointed) would suffer. So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];”~Acts 3:17-19. 

Grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) empowers righteousness, not lawlessness. Holy Spirit reveals truth and empowers believers to walk in truth. If being saved was just about professing Jesus then living like the devil, well that means Jesus died for nothing. Part of His death was to atone for our sins so we could be free of the bondage of sin and shame. He gave His life to FREE us from bondage, not leave us in bondage. 

Think about the ridiculousness of these statements: 

I know I beat my wife during the week and scream at my kids, yet Jesus loves me. I am clothed in His righteousness. There is no condemnation for me. You can’t judge me.” 

Oh yes, I have many sexual partners and live with one of them. I am so glad Jesus set me free to be me. Grace, amazing grace.” 

Both these people have misguided beliefs as to what it means to be in relationship with Jesus. Jesus never, ever clapped when someone sinned. He never placed nor places a stamp of approval on immorality, abuse, or partnership with satan. He told people, “Go and sin no more.” 

Love and approval are not the same. God loves everyone. God does not approve of everything humans do. If He did, God would cease to be holy and just. God is 100% love. God is also 100% holy.

Thinking we are not responsible for our choices blocks repentance. It keeps us in a state of perpetual immaturity and we do not grow to look/behave/love like Jesus. We stay in the shallow kiddie pool eating our mud pies, shouting, “You can’t judge me! No condemnation for me,” playing in the devil’s field Monday through Saturday…jumping up for a quickie date with Jesus on Sunday. 

Let us not mistake conviction for condemnation. 

Conviction: an awareness something is not right and needs corrected. A warning signal to turn around. 

Condemnation: sentencing someone, a final judgement. If you stand condemned before God it is a sentence to eternal life separated from him. “Go to hell,” is a condemning statement. 

People quote there is no condemnation for those in Christ without reading/quoting the rest of that passage (Romans 8) which says, “God did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit (Romans 8:4).” Paul states after there is no condemnation verse 4 which is above…we who no longer follow our sinful nature but follow the Spirit. A person who proclaims Jesus then lives completely independent of Him is not the objective of salvation. Screaming, “I am in Christ,” to bypass responsibility for my choices or to live a sin filled life is ungodly. 

True believers are not condemned if they are in Christ because their eternal fate is wrapped up in Jesus. This does not mean their poor actions are excusable, they are no longer accountable for bad choices, repentance is not required, or God approves of their sin. If so, the New Testament letters to churches would be meaningless. Why address sin within the church which Paul and others did if God pretends believers are perfect? 

God does not pretend we do not need repentance. God encourages renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), making amends when we mess up (Matthew 5:24), humility (1 Peter 5:5), loving one another (John 13:34-35), sexual purity (Ephesians 5:3), and seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Most of all Jesus invites us into intimate relationship with Him. Knowing Him, abiding in Him, is transformative. It becomes, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me and through me (Galatians 2:20).”

It is not about striving to be good. It about abiding in the One who is good. Union with God, through relationship, leads to good fruit (John 15:4-5). 

It not about legalism-trying to obtain right standing with God through works. It is about abiding in Jesus and receiving grace-Jesus paid for my freedom. Since I am free in Him, I will not become a slave again to bondage. Sin will not be my master. I am empowered by God to follow Jesus. I abide in His truth. Believing His truth sets me free.

Papa I ask any place in our minds not aligned with Your truth be set right today. Help us to renounce lies and turn from darkness to light. Help us to abide in You. Saturate our minds with Your truth. Anything not like Jesus, may it be laid before You. Thank You for the gift of repentance. 
Love, 

Erin Lamb 

📷: Pinterest, Repentance

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Holy Spirit Series Coming Soon! 


There is a new series coming and it’s about one of my favorite members of the Godhead. Gosh, love them all. We will talk about Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit is incredible. I want to spend some time discussing what I call Holy Spirit University. When were you enrolled? You and I become students of HSU upon conversion. Repentance and accepting Jesus as Savior opened the door for enrollment in HSU. 

Holy Spirit works to teach, train, and empower believers. Holy Spirit also comforts, encourages, convicts, reveals truth, loves deeply, provides insight, and reveals Jesus. 

Holy Spirit is so vital to an empowered life! 

Without Holy Spirit we will not grow into the likeness of the Son (Jesus), grow to know the heart of the Father, nor produce the fruit of the Spirit in abundance. 

I am quite excited to embark on this study and exploration of the work, purposes, and life of Holy Spirit. I hope you are excited too! 

Let’s settle into the word of God, feast there for awhile, and invite God to teach us more. There is always more to learn about God. 

Papa thank You for the opportunity to know You and enjoy You. Teach us all about glorious Holy Spirit. Thank You for all You are and all You have done. We are want to know You more. In Jesus powerful name, amen! 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Thriving with God 


Weekend Devotion: Stay connected to the Vine and thrive baby thrive. Spiritual growth is a byproduct of intimacy with God, not self effort and striving. 

I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you remain in Me you will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing,”~Jesus (from John 15:4-5). 

The miracle plants that have thrived in my house focus on their source. They grow towards the light, they respond to being watered/fed, they stay connected to their source. Any vine that disconnects, shrivels up and dies. Why? It has no source of it’s own. We each have a body. If you cut off part of your body from the blood supply, your beating heart, and your nerve ends are depleted of oxygen-guess what? That part of you will decay, die, rot, atrophy. 

Spiritual growth is similar. God is the Source. We are pretty special to God. We are not God. He is the all sufficient One. He knows exactly what is needed to grow us up into tall thriving vines. We can yield and grow or buck Him and stay the same size. 

God loves multiplication and growth. Stagnation is not His speciality. You read in the parable of the talents God likes to reproduce what has been given. Why? If we are blessed, displaying His glory, then more people can be blessed. We can pray for God to bless people, yet He empowers us to be a blessing. 

How do we grow….

1. Stay connected to God. 

One of my morning routines is, “Morning Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit. Love You. Thank You for everything. What do You want to do today? What’s on Your heart. I invite You into my day.” It’s not every day or I feel bad. It’s a habit of letting God know He is welcome in my life. 

God is always there. He is not always invited to participate. He is sometimes relegated to the back seat. He is spoken to for needs, complaints, everyone else is busy, boredom, obligation, or never. God likes to be included. Not for control purposes, because He loves connection with humans (This I do not fully understand). 

Growth occurs through relationship. 

2. Eat 

God’s Word is food for the spirit and soul. His presence is living water. Digesting the Word with God (key word is with God) is life giving. I am not talking about obligatory reading. I am talking about inviting God in to feast on His Word together. It is great to go to a local assembly and be spoon fed the Word. It is far better to eat on a regular basis with God. You can live eating once a week, yet strength comes in daily feasts with God. “Lord here I am, speak to me through Your Word.” 

3. Listen 

God speaks. Sometimes His voice is missed due to unbelief, “God does not speak, those people are crazy.” 

The unbelieving will continue to miss God. For everything in the Kingdom works by faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Sometimes His voice is missed because we are too busy. “Lord I will be right back, I got this, I know what to do.” 

I LOVE consultations with God. Why? He sees everything. He sees the heart, motives, past, future, impact, everything. God’s view is not tainted nor one sided. He sees it all. 

Seeking God grows us up in wisdom. The counsel of God is unparalleled. I highly value godly counsel from wise Christians, yet they never trump God. I take what they say to God. “Hey Papa, what are we keeping? What are we throwing in the garbage?” 

4. Worship 

We become like the gods we worship,~Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Worship is more than singing songs. Worship is a lifestyle of adoration. Worship is love. Who or what do we love? Where is our identity rooted? Only God is worthy of worship. Why? He alone is 100% good. Worship pleasure, become an addict. Worship beauty, become vain. Worship food, become glutton. Worship money, become greedy. Worship power, become a dictator/tyrant. Worship self, become grossly selfish. Worship people, become a people pleaser. 

Worship of God takes our eyes off ourselves and places them on God. Looking inward, navel gazing, leads to self defeating behaviors and pride. We are either looking inward and seeing all that is wrong or looking inward and patting ourselves on the back for how awesome we are. The truth is we are not the source of light, God is. Our true growth comes by basking in His light, not looking for our own. 

One of the greatest tools of the enemy is getting humans to turn their gaze away from God. He will even use good things like relationships, family, ministry, serving. If he can replace activity for intimacy, then he knows eventually that person will run out of steam. 

The power and growth is not in self, it is in God. Look up. Look at Jesus. Focus on who God is. Focus on what God has done. The devil since the beginning has been trying to put a wedge between God and humanity. He knows God is good. He is also jealous of the connection between mankind and God. He wants to be worshipped, if not directly he will settle for false gods. Anything to keep people from knowing God and loving Him. 

5. Yield to pruning 

Plants need pruned. Our hearts do too. Weeds can sprout and grow…weeds such as bitterness, fear, unforgiveness, selfishness, lust, pride,…they come to choke out love. We were created by Love (God), to be loved, then to love others. 

Trials come sometimes as tools of pruning. We need more patience so God allows some challenges. Every challenge or storm is not the devil. God allows some things because we need to grow up. Let me give you an example. I am the “Let’s get this done, we have plan A, B, C. What is our contigency plan? Early is better than late. I will do what I said. Let’s be efficient, excellent,” type personality. God allows me to be connected with others who have no plan, are not organized, everything is last minute, oh I forgot-was that today, always late, no concerns about efficiency-what’s that?, just go with it…type people. At first it caused frustration. Then I learned to yield to the challenge. 

I learned to set boundaries, invite tardy people earlier than they needed to be there, cast vision, inspire planning, and go with the flow when it’s unnecessary to map it all out. I learned to love those very different from me and appreciate their personality. They are looking to have fun. I am normally seeking to build, develop strategies, multiply, and be efficient/excellent. I have fun. I also like building. 

That challenging person may be God’s way of producing greater patience or love. That season of waiting is not God is doing nothing. If we yield we see a seed is hidden in the dirt a long time before it pops through the soil. I baby is in the womb 9 months. We prefer trees over a field of seeds, and fully developed babies over fetuses. 

Yielding to correction is also a way to grow. 

The, “You can not tell me anything,” attitude leads to immaturity…it leads to a plant covered with weeds, not producing good fruit. Even correction in the wrong spirit can cause growth. Over my life I have been exposed to lots of Holy Spirit polices. They feel it is their job to police everyone and their issues. God did not give them a badge. They are self appointed officers of the law, like the Pharisees. One can be angry with the Pharisee or take their verbal lashing to God. “Is any of this true? If so, help me. If not, garbage.” 

People who buck correction fail to grow. Feedback can be such a helpful tool. Pride says, “I know it all, you cannot correct me. I do not need any help.” Humility says, “What can I learn from you?” 

God created us to be fruitful. Being fruitful is more than having children. Being fruitful is taking the seeds God has sown, the gifts, talents, skills, and putting them to use for His glory. Being fruitful is yielding to God so the fruit of the Spirit is on display for the world to see Him. Being fruitful is being faithful to whatever and whoever God placed in front of us. Being fruitful is abiding in God so we are a loving blessing. 

Lord help us to stay connected to You, to live out of Your heart, and thrive through the work of the Holy Spirit. Help us to cease trying to be our own light or looking for others to be our source. You are our Source. Deepen our connection with You in 2017. Take the focus off insignificant things. Help our gaze be fully on You! In Jesus powerful name. Amen. 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Why Love? (Listening to Papa God)


Morning Devotion: Why Love? 

When I first started blogging/writing about the love of God it upset some people online. I have had people I care for deeply offline say, “The problem is not God, it’s people. People need to hear about the wrath and severity of God. They need to repent.” 

There is a severity to God, repentance is required and needed. I do not negate the holiness of God. No one comes to the Father except through the Son. He is not a cuddly, mushy, people pleaser. He is a Consuming Fire. He is also 100% agape love. Our view of love is sometimes different from His. Everything God does is motivated by love, even correction. 

I talked to God; He is the One who inspired me to write about His love. This was His reply. 

Many of My children know of Me, they do not know Me. They know of My love, what was taught to them, yet so many lack reception of My love and true understanding of My heart and character. They have created Me in their own image. Love has not been received or it has been perverted. One can only give away the love that has been received. One can only represent who and what they know. 

My heart greatly desires for My children to know Me. Everything I do is motivated by love, even the things they can not see or understand. I love them. Oh how I love them. Once they know My heart, the words written on the pages of their bibles will come alive in a new way. They will have more confidence. They will walk in My Son’s authority with love, grace, mercy, and power. They will live and love above their circumstances. They will not worry or fear, knowing that I love them. Oh how I love them. 

The world is suffering from a love deficit. The deficit is not because I do not love the world. The deficit is because the world has not fully received all My Son paid for on the cross. He paid for abundant life. 

Abide in My love. Demonstrate My love. Teach and model My love. My love is a love that is both pure and holy. My love does not enable sin or wink at unrighteousness. My love stands to empower righteousness, justice, and purity. 

I want My children, the whole world, to know what My love is and then give that love away. My love is a love that is concerned about the outcasts, poor, widows, orphans, invisible people, and downtrodden in society. 

I love the ENTIRE world, not simply one country, people group, or ethnic group. There is no bias or preferential treatment in My love. I love them all. I created one race of people, My people. My Son gave His life so any person could be redeemed through relationship with Him. He came to save the entire world. I love every tribe, every nation. I love both male and female. All have 100% of My love. 

My love is not divided up into portions. It is given out in whole pieces. It is possible because I AM. I am the all sufficient One. I can give all of Me to each one and never be depleted. They do not have to compete for My love, receive My love. Believe. Receive! 

How I long to see creation redeemed and living/loving from their renewed estate. My Son paid for restoration and redemption so each person who follows Him can stand in their heavenly identity. Love, My love, is the most powerful force in the Universe. They desperately need to know in their hearts, My unfailing love.” 

So…love it is. I have met people who have been Christians longer than I have been alive who do not know nor recognize God’s love. They know scripture. They know how to go to church and pay tithes and serve. They do not know the unfailing, uncompromising love of God. Therefore, they can not give agape to anyone else. 

Agape is God love; unconditional, unselfish, sacrificial love. We can only give what has first been received and release what we carry. I am still learning His love. My heart cries out, “More Lord. Deeper intimacy with You!” 

Papa God, anything hindering reception of Your love, I ask it is removed. Any views of You tainted by experiences with Christians, parents, or the spirit of religion I ask it be bound, healed, and removed. Help us to know You intimately. You are love. Redefine love from Your perspective, from Your vantage point, from Your heart. God may we know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of Your great love! Thank You for loving us. In Jesus mighty name, amen.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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God Wants to Connect with You (Devotion) 

Photo Source: Pinterest

Morning Reflection: He is an everyday kind of love. Grow in intimacy with God. 

I love gathering with other believers to celebrate Jesus and love the Body of Christ. Yet following Jesus is more than going to a building on the weekend. 

Following Jesus is being with God Monday through Sunday, chatting with Him daily, communion with God, intimacy with God, hearing His heartbeat, responding to His incredible love. It is a habitation not a visitation, immersion in His glory, partnership with God, being a conduit of His love and power in a dark world. 

The Gospel is not a me centered story or a church centered story. It is God’s story. He is the Author, Finisher of our faith. Jesus is central in the Gospel. 

Following Jesus moves far beyond activity into profound intimacy (knowing God, being with God, and being known by God). Activity will never surpass friendship and sonship. God is after heart, why we do what we do. He is more interested in connection and relationship than our busyness to try to please Him. 

Being with God is far more important than doing for God. Being leads to doing with the proper motive and the grace to accomplish the activity. 

Being with God is not about laziness or passivity. It is about love. Love seeks to give. We surrender all of who we are to all of who He is. He does the same. Can we simply sit for a moment each day and love the One who loves us most? 

If we are driven by activity instead of intimacy and abiding with God, our source is flesh. Only what flows through His Spirit is pure. Apart from God there is not abundant good fruit (John 15:4-5). May you and I continually invest in knowing God for who He is and not the God made in our own image. May we pursue Him for who He is, not for what He has to offer. May we surrender and worship because He is worthy, not so He can bless us. God is good. He is worthy of it all. 

In every season may we dive deeper into God’s love, and get to know Him. 

God bless you! You are SOooooo deeply loved.

Love in Christ, 

Erin Lamb 

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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I See You Poem-Love Letter from Papa God (Book Excerpt) 

  
I have not posted anything from the book lately, so I thought it might be time. In a busy world one may feel invisible or that God’s love is a blanket love. Both are false. God sees you. He loves you. He cares about every detail of your life. He also loves each of us as if there were only one of us. His heart cries out, “I see you. I know you. I love you. I will always love you.” 

I See You

Written by Erin Lamb (Copyright 2011)
Original pen date July 29, 2010

“A Love Letter from Abba.”

I see you,

when the walls have closed in,

the winds have raged too long,

and your heart is tattered and worn.

I see you

in your moments of desperation,

when all else has failed you

and your heart says, “I just can’t 

take it anymore.

I see you,

when your tears are so great

they have drowned out faith

and left their stains on your face.

I see you,

when you feel isolated and alone.

I see you,

when the doors have slammed

and you don’t know where to turn.

I see you,

when others seem to look away.

I see your distress

and your shattered dreams.

I see the aches and the distress

that you carry from day-to-day.

I see you.

I know you.

I am near to you.

I see you.

I love you,

and I can heal your every pain.

I see you.

I desire you to know;

My love can fill every vacant area in 

your heart.

I have been here to love you from 

the start.

I see you;

the things inside you

that even you can’t see.

My love pierces into the depths of 

where you need mended,

your heart tended,

and the places where the healing 

needs to take place.

I see you,

and only I can make you fulfilled in 

Me.

There is no other love that will take 

you to the highest heights,

so you overflow

and continue to spill over with love, 

joy, and peace.

The sincere desire of My heart is for 

you to know

that I will never let you go.

My love for you will not fail.

My love for you will not end.

My love for you is here for the 

taking.

So when your heart aches,

look up and notice My arms 

reaching for you.

I am here waiting to hold you in an 

affectionate embrace.

I see you,

and I love you.

I will love you, always.

Copyright © 2011 Erin Lamb. Excerpt from, “I Thought I Knew What Love Was.”

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

To read more…Books are available via: http://www.westbowpress.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com http://www.amazon.com

You are so deeply loved! 

Erin 

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2016 in From the Author, From the Book, God's Heart, Poetry

 

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