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How to be more Christ-like

How to be more Christ-like
This entry is part 1 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

The main goal in every Christian’s life is to become more Christ-like. That’s not easy. Today’s devotional from Rod Parsley tells us how. 

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ~Romans 8:17

Many people wonder why they suffer, or why things seem to get worse once they have come to the Lord. I’m sure Job wondered why he kept losing family and friends—even while remaining faithful! The Bible says that if we share in the sufferings of Christ we will also share in His glory. 

God wants to refine us—to develop a Christ-like character in us. God will use adversity to prune us so that we can bear more fruit. He wants us to be the best that He created us to be. If life was easy, would we need to follow Him? The things in our lives that are hindrances, stumbling blocks, or openings for the enemy prevent us from reaching our potential and purpose…and need to be discarded. But how many of us would discard them without the discomfort or the test? 

Pray to become more Christ-like. God in His infinite wisdom will transform your life into one that reflects more of the glory of God in Christ Jesus. When you are faced with tests—do not complain or murmur. Continue to praise God, for you know that His glory is about to be revealed in you. 

Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.~James  5:10-11

God Bless
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
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WWJD the Revival

Can we really do this? Live like Christ?

Can we really do this? Live like Christ?
This entry is part 2 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. ~Philippians 1:27

“What ever happens”, no matter what, in all circumstances, at all times. Please memorize that passage. If you repeat it enough, it will stick in your head and hopefully also in your heart. 


What Would Jesus Do?

“Suppose that were the motto not only of the churches, but of the businessmen, the politicians, the newspapers, the working men, the society people– how long would it take, under such a standard of conduct, to revolutionize the world?”*

Wow, what a concept. 

Put away selfish ambition, greed, pride, and bring out Integrity, Ethics, Morals, Values and Compassion. 

“I promise Him [Jesus] that I will strive to do whatever He would have me do.”*

Can we all say that? Is is that difficult to leave our selfishness at foot of the cross and put others first? 

Would God smile at what you’re about to do or say or will it break His heart? He’s watching, you know. 



God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar

Walk in the light – follow Jesus

Walk in the light – follow Jesus
This entry is part 3 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~John 8:12

 Darkness is the absence of light. Jesus is light. If you don’t follow Jesus, you live in darkness. So, what does it mean to follow Jesus?

It means living righteously, doing the right thing. not succumbing to temptation, not being greedy, prideful, angry or vengeful.

Easier said than done, right. No one said it would be easy. But Jesus didn’t leave us alone in the world to combat our sinful natures and the devil’s temptations. He gave us the Holy Spirit who we can count on and call on to give us strength, patience, goodness, kindness, love, peace, joy, gentleness, faithfulness and most importantly self-control.

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. ~Galatians 5:16-25

God also equipped us with clearly written instructions to follow in the Bible. That is God’s will for us. For us to OBEY His Word.

Is that so hard to comprehend?

What would Jesus do?

Think about it, then do it.

God Bless
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd
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Don’t just pretend to love others

Don’t just pretend to love others
This entry is part 4 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.~ Romans 12:9

Yesterday I wrote a message to the Christians in Neo-Nazi group that as true Christians, we are called by Jesus to love one another. That God created all people equally. There’s only one race, the Human Race and we all are a part of it.

But the other group involved in the protest and rioting was wrong in what they did. The Neo-Nazi group – however wrong their beliefs, had a right to peacefully protest and march to the courthouse. The protesters – and there were Jews and Christians, among others, were also wrong. They instigated the fight and hated just as much as the Neo-Nazi group.

What they should have done is not try to stop them, but stand on the sidewalks with their signs and maybe hand them water.

Jesus told us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:43-44, Luke 6:35-36)

Paul wrote:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21

Overcome evil with good. So simple. Why is it so hard to obey? Kill ‘em with kindness, people.

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
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Holy and Godly Lives

Holy and Godly Lives
This entry is part 5 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives. ~2 Peter 3:10-11 


“Holiness is that forgotten character virtue that is the Christian’s reflection of God, his or her holy and righteous Father. In a day of cheap grace, when anything goes just as long as we want to be buddies with Jesus, Peter’s words should shock us into reverence – the commitment in life to set our lives apart from the evil and sludge that defiles our hearts and to offer our bodies, hearts, and minds to do his will and reflect his character.”


MY PRAYER…


“Holy and Righteous Father, teach me to do your will and reflect your character while offering your grace. May the movements of my heart, the thoughts of my mind, and the actions of my life be pleasing to you and reflect your holiness and grace. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. “ 

This was Tuesday’s devotional and prayer from Crosswalk. It should make you stop and think. If in the next few minutes I found myself face to face with Jesus, would He say to me, “you were a good and faithful servant.”?

How did you live your WWJD moment today?

Live a WWJD life everyday.

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd
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Starting A-Fresh

Starting A-Fresh
This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.~ Philippians 3:13-14 

It’s over! Yay! 2010 was a rough year for many folks, including myself. Unemployment, foreclosure, moved twice, leaks in closets, heck, so much bad stuff happened, I already forgot most of it. I had to. If I dwelled in the past, I’d get depressed and you can’t go on a job interview if you’re depressed.

The advice in the passage from Philippians is what we all need to follow. No matter what mistakes we made last year, what things we said that we wish we could take back – it’s time to forgive and forget.

Look at 2011 with anticipation.

Dedicate this year to God –that you will put God first in every aspect of your life. Look up for strength and wisdom.

Do you have some New Year’s Resolutions? Did you keep the ones form last year? The Holy Spirit gives us patience and self-control – two of the fruits needed to keep resolutions and goals. Call on the Spirit when you are tempted. The Spirit is a gift that Jesus gave us when we accepted Him into our hearts. This is one gift you don’t want to return.

Happy New Year!
Feliz Ano Nuevo!
God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd
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Behave like a Christian

Behave like a Christian
This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. ~Philippians 1:27

Whatever happens – no matter what – at all times – constantly – consistently… get it? Not just on Sundays! We as Christians should ALWAYS conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do we? No.

It’s not easy. Stuff happens and we get angry, annoyed, impatient, frustrated, bitter. At those times we need to think WWJD in this case? What would He say? That first line of Philippians 1:27, it’s easy to memorize. We all should memorize it and live it – daily.

God knows we aren’t perfect. He created us that way. But we need to strive to be perfect. He’ll forgive us when we’re not, but we need to recognize when we’re not acting like Christians and ask for forgiveness.


God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
www.giselleaguiar.com

Christ in you, the hope of glory

Christ in you, the hope of glory
This entry is part 8 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 nkjv

It would be nice if every person who claimed the name “Christian” truly lived their life striving to be like Christ. At the very least, it would be helpful if the person who cuts others off in traffic and gestures rudely would refrain from placing Christian-themed bumper stickers on his or her car. The bottom line, though, is that you are responsible for you. Regardless of what others are doing, Christ can–and will–use you to demonstrate the hope of His glory to others, if you choose today to intentionally live what you believe.
Don’t be discouraged by others’ failures today. Chose to intentionally think and act like Christ, and He will use it for good.
from Family Life Radio Daily Devotionals. 
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria!

Do we have to be reminded to pray?

Do we have to be reminded to pray?
This entry is part 9 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Are we so distracted by daily goings on that we can’t find the time to stop and talk to God?

Yes.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:4-7

I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. ~Psalm 121:1-2

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”~ Matthew 7:7-8

Why just one day?

We should pray every day. More than once a day.

Thank God for a new day and ask Him to guide you through it.

Thank God for your food. He allowed you to have it.

Thank God for the small things like running water and a roof over your head – the things we take for granted.

Pray for our leaders.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.~ 1 Timothy 2:1

Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.~ 1 Peter 2:17

Love your neighbor as yourself. You don’t need to like everyone, but you must respect them as human beings. You may not like your government leaders, but you must respect them. We’re stuck with them till the next election.

Even if you haven’t talked to God in a while, NOW is a good time to start.

America Needs Your Prayers
God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
www.giselleaguiar.com
Soli Deo Gloria!

How to pray

How to pray
This entry is part 10 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

When was the last time you had a conversation with God?

Was it when you were a kid, kneeling beside your bed at night saying, “Now I lay me down to sleep…?”

Or maybe mindlessly rattling off 10 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers as your penance after confession?

Maybe it was the last time something went wrong and you yelled up to sky, “Why me, Lord, why me!”

Actually, it’s very easy. There’s no set formula, just some guidelines. But you need to know that God is a loving God and you are His child. You can speak to Him like if you’re speaking to a loving parent that cares for you and does not want to see you suffer.

Just talk to God no matter where you are. He doesn’t care what the words are, just that they are sincere – from the heart.

Here are some guidelines based on the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:6-14 when Jesus’ followers asked him, “Teach us how to pray.”

Jesus replied, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (Praising God)
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Acknowledging that God is in control and it’s His will not yours.)
     
“Give us today our daily bread. (He is the ultimate provider, but you still have to ask.)
Forgive us our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (those who have sinned against us).

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (“The evil one” is Satan, the Devil, whatever you want to call him. Satan and his demons are all around us – tempting us. Evil is the absence of God just as darkness is the absence of light.)

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

You need to thank God for what you have – food, a roof over your head, a job if you have one, etc., because everything you have came from God. You may think you worked for it, but God created everything and he allowed us to work for what we’ve got. Everything belongs to Him and we are just the caretakers while we are on earth.

Then you can ask Him for things, help, whatever is heavy on your heart for yourself or a family member or friend in need. The more open you are with God, the better.

But if He supposed to know everything, why do we need to ask? Yes, he knows you and what’s in your heart, but He wants us to recognize His power (“For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever…”) and to lay your needs at His feet. When you do that, He takes them off your shoulders and you’ll feel the weight lifted. That is what trusting God is all about.

Read this post: Up the Down Escalator – When-Tough-Times-Get-You-Down

Remember, praying is just talking to God, your Father – “Daddy”. He loves you unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done – God loves you.

How to Read the Bible

How to Read the Bible
This entry is part 11 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike
What would Jesus do? The only way to know what Jesus would do in any given situation is to read the bible. But let’s face it, pick up and dust off a bible and you stare at it thinking, “Where do I start?”

“In the beginning, God created” Yes, that’s a good place to start, but the Old Testament is a bit daunting for the bible novice. Eventually, read Genesis and Exodus to learn about the old bible stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Jonah and the whale and Moses.

Don’t play “Bible Roulette” — opening the Bible and reading wherever you land. You should read it systematically.

The place to start is the New Testament. The Gospel of Matthew is the first book of the New Testament, but it, too can be a bit daunting. It was written for the Jews of the first century explaining how Jesus is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for, thus the genealogy of Jesus in the first chapter.
Mark is more a no-nonsense story of Jesus’ time on earth as an adult. Luke starts with the Christmas story then tells more or less the same stories as Mark. The Gospel of John, on the other hand, is different. 
The other Gospels focus on events and facts of Jesus’ life, John tells of Christ’s nature — the meaning of what Jesus said and did — how God spoke in the only way we could understand — by becoming one of us. It clearly explains the basics of the faith.

Then read 1 John. It describes the nature of God’s Love for us humans.

The Apostle Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament in the form of letters to the churches of the first century. Even though it was writing so long ago, he could have been talking about today and what we got through in our lives.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians talks about the joy of believing in Christ. In Romans, Paul describes the whole scope of Christian doctrine, convincing readers that Christ holds the answers to all of life’s important questions.

What version of the bible is best? The King James Version (with all the “thees” and ‘thous’) is hard to read, but if that’s all you have in the house, start there then get yourself a newer version like The New Living Translation or the Good News Bible. They are written in plain English.

Don’t have a bible at home? Here are 2 websites that offer bible studies and a variety of versions in different languages:

As you get deeper into studying the Bible — find a Bible-based church, join a bible study group and get into the habit of reading a bit every day, you’ll find a version that’s comfortable for you. Here are some more tips on reading the Bible. 
  • Read a chapter of Proverbs and one Psalm a day. Proverbs are the wise saying of Solomon and they show us how God wants us to live. Psalms are songs and prayers to God. Some praise Him, some ask for help — they all make you feel better after reading them. 
  • Take notes as you read the Bible and don’t be afraid to ask questions at church. That’s what the pastors are there for. 
  • Reread the passage a few times and ask 
  1. What does God want me to know from this passage?
  2. What is God trying to say to ME that will help me grow? 
  3. What does He want me to do?
Life is a wonderful journey and the Bible is God’s road map so we don’t get lost. 


God should be your GPS not your spare tire!

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Novelist
Soli Deo Gloria

Love Your Neighbor

Love Your Neighbor
This entry is part 12 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

A man does not choose his neighbor; he must take the neighbor God sends him. The neighbor is just the man who is next to you at the moment, the man with whom any business has brought you into contact. ~ George MacDonald

During our lifetime, God sends us many “neighbors.” Even the person standing ahead of us in the supermarket checkout line is our neighbor, briefly. Though doubtless Jesus passed by many people with whom He had no direct encounter, He was very aware of the “God-appointments” that prompted conversation. Examples include the woman at the well, Zacchaeus and of course, the disciples as He called each of them to follow Him. In the same way, He has called us; and we have thus became His neighbors. 


From 365 WWJD: Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do? 

Many blessings, 
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Get on the list to get her novel
Soli Deo Gloria!

Are you righteous enough?

Are you righteous enough?
This entry is part 13 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

I love it when I turn the TV on Sunday mornings and the evangelist that I happen to catch has the perfect message for this blog. 


This morning it was Dr. David Jeremiah. I like his style because he doesn’t yell at you like some others. He just conveys a good message and a lesson that we need to learn to live as Christ wants to us to live. 


What stood out for me this morning was when he stated the main reason why Christians don’t openly tell others about Christ. It’s not that they’re afraid, or feel like they don’t know enough. It’s not that they don’t have contact with non-believers. It’s because they don’t feel like their life reflects the life of a Christian. 


They’re ashamed of they way they act and live. They know that they’re not following God’s directions. 

That’s where the “breastplate of righteousness” comes in. We’re to put that on on a daily basis. Every morning. 


Click here to watch the whole message.


The armored breastplate protected the soldier’s heart. We are to protect our hearts with righteousness each and every day so when we face the enemy, usually temptation, we are protected. We have a defensive shield. We’re clothed with the righteousness of Christ. 


Sanctification: the process of growing in holiness – growing in Christ. Becoming in practice what you already are in position. We became sanctified when Christ died and took our sins away. 

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. ~Philippians 1:27 

…and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. ~Ephesians 4:24

…having on the breastplate of righteousness ~Ephesians 6:14 kjv

Wear righteousness every day of the week not just Sundays. Each morning, ask WWJD?, what would Jesus do to protect himself from the world – he’d wear the breastplate of righteousness – all day long.

Many blessings,
Giselle Aguar
www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
Solid Deo Gloria! 
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You become like who you hang out with

You become like who you hang out with
This entry is part 14 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Does this sound like you or some people you know?

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Admit it – you found yourself described here and I’m sure you saw some friends, family members, co-workers, even some people who profess to be Christian mentioned.

Sounds a lot like today’s world, but this was written around 64 A.D. by the Apostle Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome. He was writing to young missionary named Timothy who was Paul’s protege. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Paul ended this passage with, “Have nothing to do with them.”

If you’re feeling depressed, the last thing you need is to be hanging around negative people.

If you’re trying to change your ways and become a better person, find like-minded people who will encourage you. People who were where you are and managed to change their lives for the better. They may not be prosperous and living in the lap of luxury, but you’ll see that they are content with who they are and how they live.

Paul also wrote in his letter to the people of the church of Philippi who were concerned about Paul’s welfare while he was in jail,

“I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him [Jesus] who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:10-13)

You, too can be content simply by inviting Jesus into your life, striving to be like Him and hanging out with other Christians.

Become a friend of Jesus. 

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
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The ‘what if’ syndrome

The ‘what if’ syndrome
This entry is part 15 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

The “What If” syndrome can be categorized into two:

Past “what ifs” and future “what ifs”.

Future “what ifs” are good because they help us plan for emergencies and the unexpected.

“What if my car breaks down?” Well, then you have to save up just in case and have a backup plan for transportation.

“What if I lose my job”? Well, then you have to save up just in case and have a backup plan for income. Figure out what is the worse-comes-to-worse scenario and plan NOT to get there. Do everything you can to avoid it.

Get the picture?

“What ifs” of the past are only good for helping us learn from them.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

“What if I had gone there instead of here?” Too late now. Can you go back? Probably not. If you could go back, what would you have done differently? Do that the next time you come across a similar situation. Forget about it and move forward. Thinking about what could have been is dangerous and can only lead to depression.

A Phoenix Examiner, Sonny Craig, the Phoenix Religion & Society Examiner once wrote:

“If Adam really had a Free-Will choice, and didn’t sin, if there was no Fall, what would Human History have looked like?”
He then wrote, “Traditional Christianity has no answer to that.”

Actually, it’s logically very simple. We’d be living in an Eden-type world in love and peace with God as our friend and we would obey God.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” ~Genesis 1: 27-28

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”~Genesis 2:15-17

But Adam did eat of the tree and, well, the rest is history. God tried over and over again to get man to obey Him, but man still preferred sin to goodness. (The Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah)

Then God sent Jesus to save us from those sins so we wouldn’t die and we will live in love and peace (just like Eden) with God forever and ever.

So, what if Adam hand’t sinned? That didn’t happen. Live with what did and move on.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:13b-14

To become part of the chosen, click here for direction

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
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