Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weston's Thursday Morning Greeting

I found this on our kitchen counter when I woke up.  Yes, we are apart...we are all anxious to be together.

I'm thankful that God is Lord over all the earth...from Tennessee to Ghana.

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
1 Chronicles 29:11

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First Blanket Blessings

Last night I had the privilege of speaking to the Stars group at a local church about our homeless friends downtown.  Thirty-two fourth grade girls patiently listened to story-after-story as I shared experiences we have had serving downtown.  Their hearts were moved!  This small group of girls made blankets for the homeless last year, and last night, I left with SEVEN blankets to distribute downtown!  Praise God!  Thanks you Stars for sprinting off the starting line for this project!  Yeah!

All of the girls suggested items of their own that they could part with for others.  I realized, again, that children lead us in their faith!  Why is it this way?  Why are they so willing?

At the end of our night, God granted the opportunity to pray with several girls individually.  Some of these girls carry so much pain at such a young age.  Tears were falling from their eyes as they spoke of broken homes, sibling's lives destroyed by drugs,  father's incarcerated for crimes, and deaths of loved ones.  I was thankful there would be no more tears in heaven. 

I praise God for these young hearts who are seeking Jesus.  I pray they will understand the reality of God's power and love for them - even in tragic circumstances.

Thank you, Stars, for the blankets you freely gave to cover others with the love of Christ.

It's just starting, there's still time to get involved with the 2nd Annual Blankets for the Homeless Round Up. 

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,” 
Philippians 1:9-10

Adoption Update - Nothing new.  No news.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11
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Family Love Notes

Family love notes left on our bed...

Braden drew a picture for Godwin. I reads, "I love you Godwin." "I am Braden." "I am Godwin."
As he was drawing, Braden ran to get a brown crayon. He said he needed to color Godwin brown because it would look more like him. Precious! I can't wait to see them together!

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Want My Mummy

My Timeline Travel class enjoyed our field trip to McClung Museum.  A real coffin with hieroglyphics, several animal mummies, a 2000 year old piece of papyrus, and a cast of the Rosetta Stone kept them intrigued!  It's amazing some of these items have survived for thousands of years.

Yes, it's a real Egyptian coffin!
i was very relieved to find out this one is empty inside - no mummy!

I love my students.  Truly they teach me more than I can teach them!  I love you all!

History fascinates me.  I am so thankful I know the author of all history -

He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority."
Acts 1:7

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Required Reading

Although I've recommended several books over the years, there is now one that I believe should be required reading for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ.  The book?  Crazy Love by Francis Chan

The book promo reads,
Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts — it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.
Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

Click here to order the book for $8.99

The book has pushed my limits, but greatly encouraged me at the same time.  Weary, tired, bored living for Jesus simply doesn't cut it.  We serve a loving and holy God.  Yet, when are we challenged to really LIVE for him?  All out - at all cost - complete surrender - living?  This book gave it to me!  Mr. Chan weaves chapters laced with conviction toward the truth of God's complete grace. 

Some challenges are difficult to swallow.  However, when read through the filter of God's Word, they are unarguable.  I'm thankful for a call to rise up.  To live differently.  To give it all for the One who gave it all for me.  How can I offer Him less?

I love the ending to the challenge.  Mr. Chan writes about a life obsessed with God.  Complete devotion.  Undivided loyalty.  Passionate love.  This is really the key because a life lived for him will not be joy filled if it's done out of guilt or expected obedience.  It's lived out of a rejoicing in being a child and friend of God.

"A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is to be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying, "Thank you!" to God.  An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy.  He revels in his role as child and friend of God."
(Crazy Love, p.147-148)

Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
2 Timothy 2:7

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Second Annual Blankets for the Homeless Round Up

Last year God placed this burden on my heart, and our family moved forward in faith.

Handmade blankets were made for the homeless children and adults of Knoxville. Many of these friends live under the bridges in downtown Knoxville. This project was birthed because a young pregnant couple living under the bridge needed blankets and the only two Water Angels had on hand that day were a U-Haul moving blanket and a tattered, torn, stained quilt.  These were blankets few of us would choose to sleep under, yet, it was what this baby would probably be wrapped in upon entering this world.  Doesn't this remind you of the entrance of our King in Bethlehem?  Because of the disgusting condition of the blankets given to this young couple, my heart was burdened to show the love of God by providing warmth for our friends throughout the cold winter months.  What if God's people made blankets and prayed over each one?

Well, we serve an amazing God because He always provides!  Through the generosity of God's people, last year we handed out over 300 blankets to the homeless!  Two hundred were distributed at the Water Angels service and Shinging Stars.  Our family stood under the bridge on Christmas Eve last year handing out the remaining blankets to those outside.  There were many standing under the bridge that day in 25 degree weather.  One man who received a blanket spent Christmas day with us and has shared many days with our family since then.  You never know how God will use a simple act of love!

So, this year, we are hoping for even more blankets for the homeless.  We will be heading up this project in Knoxville, but we would love to see this ministry expand to other parts of the country.  Would you want to head it up for your town?  E-mail me, and I'll send you info.   Wouldn't it be incredible if the warmth of God's love spread across our nation?
This is a great service project / ministry opportunity for your family. It would be a great Fall Break family project! Your children will enjoy making these blankets, and last year, even our five year old, Braden, was tying the knots!  My 94 year old grandmother made a blanket, and friends at my other grandmother's nursing home tied knots on pre-cut strips.   This is something anyone can do to help their neighbors in the community.
Won't it be a gift to give them a new warm blanket for the winter? The average cost per blanket is only $10, and even one blanket will bless one person!  Last year one blanket was mis-cut and it was given to a family living at the KARM Mission with their newborn baby.  Tears flowed as we placed the blanket on the child.

Here are instructions, so you can see if it's something you would like to do...there is no pressure!

Our desire is that the fleece blankets be 2 yards long x the width of the fleece. Therefore, they will be rectangular - not square as in the photo.

Simply follow the steps. It is very simple. You can use scissors instead of a seam ripper for the holes to pull through or you may simply tie knots at the end of each strip. There is no sewing and the directions are easy enough for a child to follow.

No Sew Fleece Blanket Pattern

If you are planning to make a blanket(s), would you mind e-mailing me the number you plan to make so I can include it in the total? EVEN ONE WILL HELP TREMENDOUSLY! These blankets will be distributed on November 7th at the Water Angels worship service at 2:00 pm.  We would really like to hand them out on these dates because the cold weather is setting in.

If you would like to help distribute the blankets, I will send you the information. We would love for you to come and help give them to the homeless, but I will need the blankets in hand before then in order to be assured we can provide for everyone in attendance.
Choose any style of fleece you like!  Solid or patterned! 
Blankets are due by Wednesday, October 27th. You may bring them to the house, or I'll try to pick them up from you. If you can deliver them to me, it will help a lot! I'm running feverishly these days. :-)

Our prayer for this project is:
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
2 Cor. 6-14

Again, if I can count on you, please e-mail the number of blankets you are planning to complete so I will know the total to anticipate.   We would also like to hear from you if you might be willing to head this up for your community.  If you are unable to help right now, we understand! Please help with your prayers. That's the most important thing anyway! I know God will provide what is needed - He always does! Thank you for your consideration.

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the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.  (

Last night I was challenged.  Our Life Group met and continued our discussion on "sacrifice."  Thought-provoking points.  Sacrifice of time, energy, resources, finances, etc...  Aren't we called to this?  What does it look like?  Why do we do it?  To what extent...

I'm faced with the reality that we are wealthy.  Only a few months ago, I would have argued we were poor according to American standards.  But, the reality is, we are filthy rich!  I've become convicted that financial prosperity doesn't mean more blessing - it means more responsibility.   In the parable Jesus tells about the rich young ruler, we represent the character of the rich young ruler.  What is the condition of our hearts?  Are we willing to give everything up in order to follow Jesus?  Is that His will for us?  In this story, Jesus' concern is the condition of the Ruler's heart.  His sin is his holding on to his established wealth.

When we began this adoption journey, I did not know the actual total cost.  When I see the actual figure, it makes my head spin.  Fear has crept in from time to time and I've questioned the certainty of God's provision. "Oh, Lord help my unbelief," has been my heart's cry.  Now that we are approaching the final destination of this journey, bringing Overcomer home, I find myself looking for things to part with to help finance what is remaining.  What earthly belongings can we sell if it's needed?  God has brought to mind some significant items, and I've recognized the state of my heart is now, "Whatever it takes, Lord.  Whatever it takes."

Perhaps God will call us to do this, perhaps not.  However, I'm aware of the drastic change in my heart.  A willingness to part with things I would have kept only a few months ago.   How did this happen?  What influenced this flip of my heart?

Continual awareness of an overabundance of earthy treasures in our home pushes me to let go of more worldly things for more of a life lived for Jesus.  As I sit down for one of my three meals a day, I hurt wondering if Overcomer has enough food to sustain him.  Will his needed diet be provided?  Will someone love him today?  Will he smile?  Will he know God is with him?  Will he be comforted if he cries?  And, what about the millions of other orphaned children around the world?  What about them?  What about our brothers and sisters going without food?  Without water?  Without their simple daily needs being met?  What about them?

Can I continue to turn a blind eye?  Pretend it's not my responsibility?  Not my role on earth to care for the poor and needy?  Too drastic for our family to sacrifice for a stranger?  For a child of God?  Isn't the reality that I am called to be the hands and feet of Jesus?  What does that really look like?

Last night, Sydney gave us a gift.  She made us magnets with Godwin's name.  I cried.  It is the first thing we have with his Beebe family name on it!  When we arrived home, Weston immediately ran upstairs and placed them on the refrigerator!  A continual reminder to pray for him.  (Sydney is selling these magnets to buy her next plane ticket to Ghana.  Would you consider helping her go to Feed the Orphans?)

On our way home from Life Group, we also picked up a toddler bed God provided through another adopting family, the Littles.  (God even provided a mattress for the toddler bed this morning at church!  Thanks Resie and Ryan!)   As we loaded the bed into the van, we realized that coming home with everyone would be difficult.  For the ride home, Mason had to lay under the bed while Braden rode on Franklin's lap.  Our four kids were squished and scrunched.  Quite comical!

As I looked at the boys in their uncomfortable state, I realized this 25 minute car ride was a picture of sacrifice.  A willingness to be uncomfortable for a period of time.  Because any discomfort is only for a period of time - not eternity.  Each of the boys gave up their own well-being without complaint knowing it would benefit their younger brother.  Shouldn't I also willingly part with indulgence to help another for Christ?  Shouldn't my eyes be on my life in eternity rather than easy daily living?

Scottish pastor, Robert Murray M'Cheyne summed this up in the early 19th century when he said, "I am concerned for the poor, but more for you.  I know not what Christ will say to you in the great day...I fear there are many hearing me who may know well that they are not Christians because they do not love to give.  To give largely and liberally, not grudgingly at all, requires a new heart; an old heart would rather part with its life-blood than its money.  Oh my friends!  Enjoy your money; make the most of it; give none away; enjoy it quickly for I can tell you, you will be beggars throughout eternity."

Ouch!  Let me stop and pray here...

Francis Chan writes in Crazy Love, "The reality is that, whether we acknowledge our wealth or not, being rich is a serious disadvantage spiritually.  As William Wilburforce once said, "Prosperity hardens the heart." (p.90)

Lord, keep my heart soft to do whatever you ask with a joyful heart.  Let me be like Zacchaeus who followed you completely with regard to his wealth.  Let me approach the throne of grace aware of your forgiveness for the things I have placed above you.  Let me move forward with joy and expectation - not guilt.  Let us steward well, and to Your Glory, all that you have provided for our family.  Everything we have belongs to you.  Let us continually bring our first-fruits and not leftovers before your holy throne.  You alone are worthy of all glory, and honor, and praise.  We love you!  - Amen

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Hebrews 13:15-16
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PS - As I've been typing, Braden has been downstairs dividing up his beloved Legos.  He just called upstairs, "Mom, I've found the few Legos I want to keep.  I'm giving the rest to Godwin."  Even a six year old understands...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

T-Shirt Winners!

Huge thanks to everyone who posted about our t-shirt giveaway!  So many of you helped get the word out through your blogs, Facebook, etc...  You encouraged us so much just by taking the time to spread the word. 

Because of your postings, one boy in Illinois ordered one for his birthday!  He said he wanted his gifts to help others.  As his family walks through the process of adopting from Ethiopia, he wanted to help other families adopting.  Isn't that so cool?  I'm so encouraged to see the young in age, but mature in faith as they continually challenge me in my own faith!  Thank you!

Several more amazing things have happened recently, but one touched me very deeply.  A friend blessed our family with her birthday money - $100.  She said she had prayed about it, and God wanted her to give it to us.  The very day she gave it, we were made aware of a significant need that would cost that exact amount!  It was a great need and we felt the Lord wanted to use this money to care for these suffering, struggling orphans.  So, we gave the money to provide what was needed trusting that God would somehow replace it.  Incredibly, within a few hours, God sent the same amount to replace what we had given through another dear family!  They stopped at our house at 9:00 and gave us an envelope with the same amount of money - $100!  Oh, the Lord continues to amaze us!  Thank you for providing for all your children, dear Lord!

Now for the two t-shirt winners...  Drum-roll please...  These two beautiful ladies will be blessed with a new t-shirt compliments of the Beebes!  Congratulations to Margie Frizzell and Montgomery Barretto!  Send me your shirt sizes asap!

Margie Frizzell is one of the women who greatly impacted us to begin this journey.  She is one of the best mothers I know.  Last summer at the pool, she consistently provided for all of her seven children, played with them in the pool, and always encouraged anyone she spoke with.  I love this woman!  Montgomery is one of my students at co-op.  She spreads the love of Christ to all she encounters, and is starting a blog to share her writing.  Thank you for posting, Montgomery!  I love you too!

Finally, for those who did not win this time please continue to check back because....there may be another giveaway when our new shirt is unveiled.  The artwork should be done soon.

I saw this t-shirt recently and thought I would share what it said.  Here is what is printed on the shirt and the answers to the questions we are continually asked:
Yes, we are still adopting.
No, there is nothing new to share.
But, each passing day brings us one day closer to our child!

Thank you for your continual prayers.  We love you all!

In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.
Psalm 44:8

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Profile of the Lukewarm

Finally, I've started the book I've been wanting to read for a while, Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  This morning my fingers turned to Chapter 4:  Profile of the Lukewarm.

This quote headlined the beginning of this challenging chapter:

It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel.   It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.  
- Frederic D. Huntington

I see this life-style all around me.  I fall into it.  Sometimes my love for Christ is covered up by desires for this world.  But, guess what?  This quote was written in 1890! 

The temptations we face today are the same as followers in the past.  Choices have not changed.  Sin is the same.  What exactly am I holding on to?  Security...  Control...  Comfort...  These are the questions I'm pondering.  Am I really giving my life away? 

Francis Chan writes, "LUKEWARM PEOPLE are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control.  This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God."

"LUKEWARM PEOPLE do not live by faith; their lives are structures so they never have to.  They don't have to trust God if something unexpected happens - they have their savings account.  They don't need God to help them - they have their retirement plans in place.  They don't genuinely seek out what life God would have them live - they have life figured and mapped out.  They don't depend on God on a daily basis - their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health.  The truth is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God."

Challenging words, aren't they?  Words I'm pondering.  Not because I feel guilty, but because more than anything else, I WANT MORE OF GOD!  No more complacency or self-contentment.  No more satisfaction with lukewarm living.  My desire is to be a flame burning unquenchably for Christ!  He alone is my All in All!  Please help me, Lord.  

Will you step back from your own life to observe it objectively too?  Are you pleased with living in lukewarm devotion?  Is God beckoning you to step away from safety toward sacrifice?  From control to complete captivation with Christ?  From halfhearted commitment to the pursuit of a holy passion?

God relentlessly pursues us.  His love for us is unfathomable.  He has given us everything through Jesus to have an abundant life with him now.  Do we love Him with the same affection?  Are our hearts surrendered to Him alone?  Are we loving him with a crazy love?

"Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation."  Amos 6:1

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Adoption Fundraiser Update

Wow!  The Lord has been so gracious and provided so much.  We've been amazed!  Each person who has helped has blessed us beyond measure.  Thank you!  Your generosity has been incredible!

We are in a time-crunch for travel funds, international fees, and final adoption expenses.  There are a few things happening around here to help us raise the remaining $15,000 (approx.).  Our prayer is still for our family to travel together for one of the trips, and we are hoping for God to graciously provide.  If I could share every story of His amazing provision it would blow your mind!  His faithfulness has been astounding.  I've realized that anyone and everyone can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Here's a few fundraisers we have coming up -
Click on each link for information:

October 2nd - Portrait Session Day at Botanical Gardens by professional photographer, Stephanie Bowling!

Now through September 30th - Beautiful Handmade Bead Necklaces by a mother and daughter passionate about helping orphans!

Ongoing - Adoption Fundraiser T-Shirts. Yes, you need one! Please help raise awareness of the orphans in Africa. Now through Sept. 24th - Win One, Earn One FREE!  Just a little over one more day for the giveaway!
October 9th - Another Adoption MEGA Yard Sale - We will gladly accept anything you would like to part with!  Come shop 'til you drop!  Sorry, there's not a link for this one.  Simply e-mail me if you would like more information. 

Mystery T-Shirt will be unveiled on September 24th.  Another must-have for your wardrobe!  Post about our t-shirts on FB or a blog and you can WIN ONE FREE!  POST IT SOON - ONLY 48 MORE HOURS!

Now through September 30th - Online Pampered Chef Show.  Order online and 10% of all sales will support our adoption.  Every bit helps!

Lifesong Matching Grant - Lifesong for Orphans has selected our family to receive a matching grant from their organization.  Wow!  If you would like more information, please e-mail me for more information. 

Wow!  That seems like a lot, doesn't it?  We are working hard to make this happen, and generous beloved people have assisted along the way.  I pray we will be able to assist others in the future.  It's been amazing to see how many people desire to do something to help at least one orphan.  We are grateful for your help to bring Overcomer home.  Words are inadequate. 

"So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.  
Genesis 50:21

Adoption Update - I e-mailed our agency today to find out if there was any news on potential travel.  None.  No news is good news, I suppose.  We are praying for Overcomer many times throughout the day.  Your prayers are appreciated for him as well.  Would you specifically pray for provision of food and medical care?  Food is not guaranteed on a daily basis for many in Ghana.  Please remember Overcomer and the orphans of the world when you enjoy your next meal.  Thanks.

"One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, how much I had in my bank account, or what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child." 

Mark your calendar:

Let Justice Roll: Human Trafficking and Making Justice Matter

September 30, 2010 at 07:00 PM
University Center Auditorium, University of Tennessee
Presenters: Phillip Langford, Director of Operations, Africa for International Justice Mission
Karla McKanders, Associate Professor of Law, University of Tennessee
Rosalind I. J. Hackett, Professor and Head, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee
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Wordless Wednesday - 7:00 am this morning

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See You at the Pole

Morning Schedule for Mason and Franklin
5:45 am - Hop out of bed and prepare to leave
6:20 am - Hitch the trailer and head to school
6:40 am - Unload, set up, and perform sound check
7:25 am - Begin See You At The Pole Worship Songs
7:40 am - Begin Time of Prayer
8:00 am - Unhook and reload trailer
8:10 am - Head inside for school

What a blessing to live in a country where we have the freedom to worship.  I pray we will never take it forgranted. 

"Every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshiping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience."
George Washington, Letter, United Baptist Chamber of Virginia May 1789
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Scattered Shoes

Sunday night, our friend Resie blessed us with some adorable hand-me-downs for Overcomer to wear when he comes home.  Summer shorts, shirts, and shoes were piled in my arms as we left our church gathering. 

When we arrived home, I set the clothes down in the den by our front door expecting to put them away in the morning.  A pair of tiny red crocs and a little pair of flip-flops toppled off the pile and landed mixed up with the boys tennis shoes placed by the front door. 

The next morning, Mason was dressing for school.  As Mason was tying his shoes, he said to me, "I saw Overcomer's shoes mixed up with ours this morning.  I can't wait until he's really here and my shoes are mixed in with my little brother's.  Seeing his shoes gets me so excited!  I can't wait 'till he's home."

Tiny shoes mixed up with Mason's shoes that would now fit any man.   It's a miracle for our family to be spread over more years.  Something I would have never imagined, but now yearn for in my heart.  To have Overcomer HOME!

I'm excited too.  To me, a jumble of shoes by our front door is beautiful. Yes, beautiful...because this pile of shoes reminds me of our beautiful feet walking out the door to proclaim Christ...  Crocs, flip-flops, tennis shoes, all filled with feet to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Isaiah 52:7

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