Thank you to my friend who posted this today.
Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 29:1-31:1; Acts 5:12-42
Peter and the other apostles couldn’t obey the chief priest and the religious council. They had to tell what Jesus did. It was such a miraculous thing that happened to them, they could not contain it. The message must be shared. The life changing experience transformed them so completely they could not contain it. When they showed up in the temple again preaching and teaching that Jesus was alive. They found themselves arrested and in jail.
The New Testament reading for today tells of the miraculous escape and their continued preaching. It recounts the call before the Sanhedrin, their beating, and another warning not to preach. But there is one prophetic note in the passage that cannot be overlooked. Gamaliel, one of the greatest ancient Jewish teachers made a profound statement. “…if God is in this, you won’t be able to stop it—unless, of…
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Friends ~ What I have written in-between these images today is meant to reflect how Jesus was treated throughout the entire time He walked this earth, which culminated into what happened on calvary, fufilling the Word of the Lord, and giving us the option of accepting salvation through Him and living with Him for all eternity.
I do so, primarily to celebrate Him, all He has done for us, and scream at the top of my lungs along with you all that HE IS RISEN!
But I also do so, because as we are persecuted, spit upon, mocked, ostracized, hated, and a host of other things, I want to remind you that we are here to encourage one another, as He tells us to do, and as He tells us we will need to do.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18
“Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and
reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” Luke 6:22
Yes, we can celebrate being hated. We can count it all a blessing. It is an indicator that we are His, and not of this world. And it is an indicator too, that all that He did for us is pointing towards that blessed hope – that soon, very soon, He WILL come back for us.
And when He does ~ it’s not gonna look like this.
The darts and arrows through the glares
The ignorance and derision
The presumption of what’s inside
The commitment to their stubbornness
The so blasé
The I don’t care for you to walk this way
The sneaky way a face to slap
The sentencing already unraveled
The ones whose eyes are frozen
The kings and queens
The pent up judging screams
The power to kill ability
His life for yours and mine.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Truth in a whisper, not a shout
“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
A son’s compassion
Providing a loving direction
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27
The full weight of all our sin
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46
The fulfillment as they were gloating
Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28
The final act
Ensues a new covenant
……he said, “it is finished.” John 19:30
Into His Father’s hands
Upon His sacrifice, salvation stands
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:19-25
THIS, more than anything else, is why I started this blog. Yes, I wish to share all the Lord is teaching me in my day to day life, and hopefully encourage you all through that. But primarily, I wish to find any and every way that we can “meet together” ~ regardless of the miles that may separate us, we are bound together in Christ Jesus.
You all amaze me ~ your love, desire to spread the love of Jesus Christ, and the edification and encouragement I have experienced here in the mere 3 months I have been a part of this community.
Stay amazing for Christ, my friends. Don’t allow anything to stop you from meeting here, and other places to do just what He asks us to do ~ He has proven the importance of it for us ~ I think we do well to listen.
Blessings to each and every one of you, my dear, dear friends. Let’s look forward to that day while we celebrate Him in these remaining “days” we walk this earth.
And then…..we can celebrate together ~ all of us ~ with HIM ~ for ever and ever more!
I can’t wait!!!! Come Lord Jesus, Come!
Very interesting and well said, if you ask me. Our faith is to be in Christ, and Christ alone.
1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
- Want to know what I think as a Christian about same sex marriage? Or adultery? Or cheating, stealing, pride, drug abuse, pornography or telling lies, even white ones, or hatred, or anything else that can be called sin according to the scriptures?
- Want to know what I think, as a Christian, about fairness, equality, prejudice, discrimination, laws, regulations, rules, churches, and parades?
- Want to know what I think, as a Christian about speaking the truth, love, compassion, correction, campaigns, debates, envy, strife?
Want to know? Well, here we go………
HE is where I stand.
I am with HIM.
Jesus Forgives a Woman Taken in Adultery
- Instead of getting caught up in some debate about right and wrong, Jesus drew a line in the sand and said that if someone amongst them was without sin, then they could then condemn her.
- THEN, he told her to go and sin no more (speaking the truth in love after preventing her from being condemned).
Love without condemnation first, then loving and caring correction (after you’ve taken the plank out of your own eye, of course)
- Notice: Jesus did not “condone” her lifestyle. And He didn’t get sidetracked by whether she was at fault all on her own, or was dragged into this by someone else.
- He stuck to His point. And He made that point by drawing a very firm line in the sand and standing right above it. Tall.
- He did not have to go out and say that they should make a new law to allow her to live differently, or the way she wanted to live in order to support her. He also did not do anything to go against the truth and the way the Lord would have Him deal with the situation.
BOTH things can be done, friends. We can love one another, even while standing strong in what we believe. We don’t have to condone actions, behaviors, or lifestyles, and we don’t have to condemn people either.
Don’t allow yourself to be forced to think of it any other way because someone is telling you that you have to. Jesus didn’t.
He didn’t have to support her lifestyle in order to stand for her as a sinner in need of a Savior…of someone worthy of His love and compassion….He didn’t have to speak out in that moment against that “sin” to stay true to what is right, noble, and holy, either. He chose to love first.
That is where I stand. With HIM.
I don’t need to invite someone into my house or my church and allow them to get married there just to be kind and loving toward them in spite of our differences.I don’t need to kick them out, either, if they come to me for love and kindness and support.
But, if I see them being attacked or abused, I do need to stand up and show love….toward the person versus the “issue.” Only then, would I have any chance of addressing the “issue.” But most importantly only then do I have any chance of being Christ-like.
THIS is what so many, Christians, and non-Christians alike, do not seem to wish to accept: That we can speak the truth in love. That we can believe differently, but in love. That we can love first, above all things. That we don’t have to fight one another first, and then love next. We can still be responsible citizens and fight for what we believe in without fighting and condemning the people while we are at it. And that we can share in loving ways what we may think is right or wrong, when asked, without completely ostracizing or attempting to stone or crucify that person.
Thankfully, this woman, she did accept Jesus’ love and compassion, and then decided to follow after Him. Some? They will not. And that is their choice. And, although that is a very, very sad and heartbreaking choice, it is each person’s choice to make. We can try to share Jesus with others, but then it is up to them what they wish to do with that.
I have seen the enemy at work lately through these issues in ways that turn my stomach. The endeavor is to get us to take our eye off the ball, and feel we have to make a choice that paints us into the corner of having to be for it while fighting, or go with it while loving. Hmmmmm. Is that really the only combination that will work? One or the other?
But what we are called to do, is to love first, and do so while not sacrificing the truth of our beliefs. What we are called to do, is to remain firm in what we believe in while simultaneously showing love, and grace, and mercy.
Hard to do, but it can be done. Jesus proves it.
Jesus made it look easy. It’s not so easy for us, is it?
Maybe we should ask Him for His supernatural wisdom, love and discernment? Maybe when we feel we are being painted into a corner, told we are “hiding behind love” to dodge the issue, we should stand with our heads held high in silence….right behind that line in the sand.
Sin can exist on both sides of the line – in fact, it always does. That is exactly why we need our Savior standing there right in the middle of it all.
The question is not which side of the line you are on in relation to your particular “sin”. The question is: do you realize that He is the only thing that can really ever save us?
Yah. He can save us from one another. He can save us in spite of ourselves. And He came to do so because none of us doesn’t fall short of the holy mark of perfection.
Today my Father, I stand
In awe of it all
All that you do
All that You are
And I have yet to fully comprehend.
Today, my Protector, I accept
The power of you
All of your strength
Your mighty hand
Deflecting the arrows of death.
Today my Creator, I look
The stars in the sky
The intricacy of life
The art of nature
Made manifest through your breath.
Today my Savior, I bask
In the promises in you
That gift; undeserved
Your agape love
All freely given of divine heart.
Today my Friend, I feel
Your life in me
The Spirit, inside
My Constant Companion
In the wilderness and amongst the multitudes.
Today You, You are All
The great I AM
The Author of all creation
Worthy of all of our praise
More than I can ever give.
Today- every day- all I need….Is just YOU. Jesus, you are my everything.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28
Christ is the only thing to place our faith in – we can stand up for what is right, but when it crosses over into being something we hang all our hope upon, we are in trouble. As history proves….
Generations have reflected on the moral state of our culture and grieved the decay of the Christian principles by which we were once founded.
But were we ever founded on these values?
Time and Conflict have refining qualities, and their subtle but steady presence that spans the timeline of our nation’s history have served to chip away at the foundation of our “one nation under God,” to reveal a cheap imitation disguised as Christian values: The American Dream. 200 years later, the fiscal and social issues that make up our political climate testify to this.
The American Dream and the Christian life are often sold as a two-for-one package, when in reality they contradict each other on every level- there is no overlap. One cannot pursue both. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- taken in context, one can begin to recognize the immediate divergence of these two paradigms. Thomas Jefferson…
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Today is “too’s day”.
We can be encouraged that every day, no matter what we might face, can be too’s day when we turn to the Lord and to one another for support, guidance, love, and encouragement. No matter what happens, we always have God’s truth to hold onto.
Here’s an example of how my Monday was a too’s day…….
I woke up with a headache, and I was tempted to act pretty cranky. But then I remembered: There’s this too………………
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”1 Corinthians 10:13
Then, I was running late and felt a little bit stressed. But then I remembered: there’s this too…..
“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 4:6-7
Later on in the day, I felt attacked a bit. But then I remembered: there’s this too…..
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
No matter what happens, whether it is some small annoyance or a serious and tragic event, we always have this too…..
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
Yes, we can always praise Him too. No matter what day of the week, no matter what moment or circumstance. We can always praise Him.
And He will never forsake us or leave us.
That’s good to know “too.”
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not
received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s
Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba,
Father.”For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s
children. Romans 8:14-16
I love my earthly family. But what I am most thankful for, is that as a body of believers in Christ, those who live by His word, and those who put it into practice, those who lean upon Him for our light and love and salvation – we are a part of His family.
How awesome is that?
Family matters. In the now, and in eternity once we leave this earth. Let’s take as many with us as we possibly can, friends.
For our God? He doesn’t want even one of us to be lost. Not one. He wants all of us to know Him, love Him, and be a part of His family. Then, one day, we will go to our real home – the one that will last forever and ever and in which we will be in His presence continually. The one true home in Christ, where we will see Him in all His glory. And the one eternal place where finally, we will rest in the assurance that our family, with our Abba Father, will always be whole.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that
is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we
are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already
God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ
appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he
really is. 1 John 3:1-2
I know I have mentioned this before, but I cannot seem to stop thinking about this lately. I really think that the Lord wants for us, as believers to really encourage one another in regard to how very crucial it is that we become better listeners. And I don’t mean sharpening up our hearing in regard to what the world has to say, either.
All it takes to get started is offering up our hearts to the Lord and stepping out in faith by telling Him how we are struggling to hear and asking Him for some help.
So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
Fact is, we are going to continue to be hard of hearing when it comes to God if we aren’t immersed in His word. Period.
I have to admit, this was something I resisted until about a year and a half ago – being in the scriptures daily. I had been counseled so many times by very wise Christians that if we are not spending time in the word, that we will not be able to discern the inner voice of the Holy Spirit very well at all. Especially in this confusing and jumbled up world that we live in which is full of lots of mixed messages that come at us ever-so loudly, but not very clearly!
It’s helped me to realize that the world and all the stuff we “hear” in it, is far more confusing that the scriptures are.
I think the reason I was so hesitant, is that I apporached reading the scriptures as something I had to understand with my own human mind – in my own limited capacity. And of course, it yielded frustration, and an eventual “I give up” disposition. This is because relying upon our own strength is a recipe for guaranteed failure – after all, we need some divine help to understand something that was divinely inspired. We need some serious surrender to do so as well.
But once I really asked the Lord to help me with this, through prayer and supplication, (and yes, surrender) things started to change. I am hearing Him better now and I know it is a result of being in His word and remaining committed to prayer. Even when things are frustrating, stressful, and crazy, I still can hear Him. I still can get confused at times, but that just drives me even further into the scriptures and deeper into prayer. It’s where I hear best now. It’s the vantage point from where I was meant to be listening all along.
God wants this for us, friends!
What did I do that changed things a couple of years ago? I just started reading – even when I failed to understand very much. And then I prayed some more. Then, this wonderful thing happened……..
I wanted to read more.
And more, and more, and more.
I wanted to pray more.
And more, and more, and more.
And I started to hear Him.
More, and more, and more.
I don’t know if everyone has a different experience or not, but I can tell you what mine was. I wanted more of God’s word just by being in it – even when I didn’t feel like I was fully grasping it at the time.
That evolved into more of a sense of His presence – a time spent with Him, talking and yes, listening. Exchanging.
That’s called relationship. And that, in and of itself, made me want for more.
More of Him.
As time went on, and I read more, shared more, and listened more, the Lord started to reveal a lot of things to me. I actually started to literally feel like there was a two-way conversation going on. It changed from inner self talk to something very different. This very different-ness is something I can’t fully explain with my own words, but you will know it when it happens.
You will recognize Him and His voice.
But another really awesome thing was that at a certain point, this communication was no longerlimited to the time I was actually reading in the word anymore. Instead, the word carried with me throughout the day, into the next, and the following weeks and months. And the conversations continued to increase, until they just became a normal part (but no less an awesome part) of my entire life.
Faith was necessary to begin to be in the word – faith grew from being in the word – then hearing from Him further strengthened my faith, and it all started with reading and mediating on the word of God and spending time in prayer.
Just like the verse says.
If you are wishing that you could hear from God with more clarity, start by asking Him. You can truly just say a simple prayer similar to the one below….
“Father, I admit that I avoid the scriptures because I feel like I don’t understand them, I get bored or distracted, or I just don’t know where to start. Sometimes I even procrastinate because I feel like I can’t offer it more of my time, so I don’t even bother at all. I know it is your will for me to be in your word and in relationship with you, and this is something I truly need your help with. Will you help me, Father? Will you give me the desire to at least get started, and then grow it from there? Will you help me to have faith that you can help me to hear and understand what you so desire? And will you make it easier for me to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit you have placed inside of me? I want to do your will, Father, and I want to read your love letter to me over and over again. I don’t have to understand it all – I just ask that you would help me to hear and understand what you want for me to. I want to be in your presence, and I want to have a real and true relationship with you.”
If we just tell our Father the truth (that He already knows about us) in relation to this difficulty we have, and we come to Him with a heart that is “willing to be willing” – we will see Him show up in mighty ways! And we will hear Him. We won’t have to walk around blindly looking for a signal.
Then the willing to be willing turns into just plain willing. Then that evolves into want and desire. And that, turns into need and a new normal that is anything but the norm in this world.
All the other junk is still going to be there and we will still struggle with distractions and the noise of this world. But, in a really awesome way, that inner voice starts to tell us when that is occurring – and that’s when we go deeper. He’ll take us there.
Be encouraged, friend, if you struggle in this area, as the Father can hear you.
And He wants to make it easier for you to hear Him.
Won’t you bend His ear a little bit today in prayer? Just ask Him to help you start to listen and ask Him to help you discern His voice. He has a mighty range. Let’s take advantage of that.
May His voice be a sweet, sweet sound…in your ear!
**All unmarked images in this post used with permission from Microsoft Office Images.com
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore, take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” Luke 11:33-36 NKJV
I have been meditating on this portion of scripture quite a bit over the last couple of months. It means so very much, that I have struggled as to how I wish to write about it. I decided, after a lot of prayer and consideration, that what was holding me back, was the idea that I had to be able to speak to it comprehensively all in one single blog post.
The enemy is so very sneaky.
Then, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something very important: that the Word of God and all of its truth and applications and teachings can never be exhausted. It continues to take on deeper meaning to us as we return to it again and again. And we should never try to hold anything back simply because of some mere human limitation.
Ironically, that is exactly what these verses are about: the fact that we shouldn’t hold back when it comes to the light of Jesus and His power that He has placed within us.
Not at all.
In these verses, we see that we are not to hide, try to diminish, or keep to ourselves the light of Jesus that is within us. The light of Christ and the way that He fills us and all that He does within us is not meant to be a secret. We are not to selfishly hoard Him all to ourselves. We should revel in the fact that He has fully illuminated our lives, our hearts, and our souls and minds, and allow Him to shine from the inside out – inviting all the world to see so as to experience Him, His love, and His glory to the fullest.
Furthermore, when one puts a light, such as a candle, in or under a basket, what happens? The light eventually goes out. This is not to say that Jesus can ever be squashed because He has no power. After all, He is God. But just as we have a choice as to whether or not we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we also choose whether or not we are going to share Him with others.
Next, I was thinking a lot about the fact that the “eye” is indicative of our inner spirit. Is it truth, or is it not? See, truth is not just partly truth…it is whole. But there are many “true” things, even “good” things in this world that we can fill ourselves with that aren’t going to FILL us with light. Those things may help us to be “better people”, but they aren’t going to fill us from the inside out with the light of Jesus – the kind of light that is utterly divine – the kind that leaves not one shred or crevice or splinter of darkness to be found.
Jesus is the whole truth. Jesus is the whole light.
He is truth. He is light.
Eventually, one way or another, partial truth, since it leaves room for tiny specks of dark to remain behind, left uncovered, ends up meaning we are still not filled with light in full. It means some darkness actually still remains. False light leads then to eventual darkness. It leads to spiritual blindness. And complete ineffectiveness.
“Having no part dark.” NO PART. This entails truly seeking only Jesus Christ as our source of light. He is light. He is truth. He is love. He is ALL.
Have we embraced all of the truth, all of the light, all of the love – all of Jesus? Have we asked Him to fill us with Himself – absolutely and fully? Have we asked Him to dispel every single piece of darkness within us? Do we continue to go to Him every single day to take out any dark that has tried to infiltrate, fake us out, seep in and taint or hold back that power in Him which is there – wanting to pour out of us?
And if so, are we trying in any way to hold back the light that is so powerful, that if we just stop messing with it, trying to be non-intrusive, socially acceptable, or whatever else to conform, do we ever ask Him to help us to stop doing that? We can do that, you know: ask for His supernatural help and power to overcome our tendency to hoard or hide.
We can do that.
If Jesus lives within us, friends, we are full of His power. He wants to use us to shine throughout the world for His glory, and to bring others into the light that He is, and ultimately, to salvation and eternal life with Him. We are to share Him in full, not partially. And we can do so in ways that are extraordinary…because Jesus Christ is most definitely not ordinary!
This is done by turning on the floodlights from the inside out and never holding back when it comes to grace and love. This is done by Him and through Him and because of Him.
I know power can seem scary, for we are mere human beings. But we need not fear. We need not hold back. God is big enough to handle it. We aren’t going to explode if we let that light pour out of us. People get freaked out if we dump a lot of doctrine on them all at once, but not so when it comes to light, love, and things like grace and compassion. This is why those things are to be our primary focus. God will take care of the rest in His perfect timing. But we should never withhold love and grace.
We just have to remember to stop trying to mess with the power switch. We have to remember to get rid of the fake light sources or hiding the very real, and very true ones that He has provided to us and just leave that power switch on all the time. Then He will flow. Then He will pour out. Then He will do those extraordinary and awesome things.
Turn on the power switch, friends. Join me in the endeavor to stop making apologies for being too bright in this world for Jesus Christ.
And remember: Jesus Christ doesn’t ever burn out!
Check this awesome post out by my fellow blogger!
Check this awesome post out by my fellow blogger!
Check this out, friends. Very well said!
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him…
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Thank you from my dear friend at Charms and Syllables!