Man Beyond Nothingness



A particle afloat in the ocean of infinity,
Yet, so conscious of self in profuse vanity --
Lofty though his thoughts may be, they're all profanity.
Man is nothing, made of nothing, that's his identity.

Emptiness craves for sensation beyond sanity,
Like a black hole eating anything in its vicinity,
Such is the tale of empty, chaotic, gravity;
Man is nothing, made of nothing, that's his identity.

Lost in a world of baneful, belligerent brevity,
Filled with protests of ignoramus sincerity,
Tossed between lines lacking any clarity,
He lives, dies, and is buried in utter poverty.

________________


The Son of God came down from His celestial city,
He left Heaven and donned the garb of humanity.
He lived, loved, and served in all simplicity,
Then died by the hands of those professing religiosity.
But, He arose the third day, breaking death's jaws of fatality,
Alas, the shame of those who die in their hostility!
For the Son of Man is ascended to the Throne of Supremity --
And all knees will bow before the Name of His Majesty,
Before the One who is given all authority,
Because He stooped down, emptied self and defeated vanity --
God girded His loins to serve sinful humanity!
What is man but a finite speck of futility,
Driven o'er surges, surrounded by fests of calamity;
Unless the Son of God had loved us, we wouldn't have any identity!

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

© Domenic Marbaniang, Oct 25, 2011.
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My First Prayer - Randy Stonehill (w/ Hindi Translation)




FIRST PRAYER
Words and Music by Randy Stonehill

I've been waiting for a long, long time
Hoping you're a friend of mine
If there's one thing that I need to do
Well, that's to find out more about you
I have been wandering all of my days
So if you're there, show me the way

I see people in a world of lies
Staring out through lonely eyes
Watching as the years go by
Knowing they're living only to die
There must be something missing somewhere
So if you're listening answer this prayer

I will follow if you'll lead me
Help me make a stand
If you'll breathe new breath inside of me
I'll believe you can, I'll believe you can

Well, I never really learned to pray
But you know what I'm trying to say
I don't want my life to end
Not ever knowing why it began
So if you'll trust me, I'll do my best
And I'll be trusting you for the rest

1976 King of Hearts Publishing
All rights reserved. Used by permission.




Din yu beete karte intezaar
Ki mile mujhe koyi yaar
Yadi kuch ho jo mei kar sakta
To yahi ki mei dhoondu tujhe
Zindagi bhar mere yuhi gujre
So, yadi tu hei, le chal mujhe

Jhoote duniya mein in logon ko
Sunsan in aankhon se
Dekhte din gujar gaye
Ki marne ke liye ye jee rahe
Kuch to kahi par khoya hei
So, yadi tu suntan, jawab de


Mei to chalunga yadi tu chalaye
Khada kar mujhe
Yadi mujhme naya shwans tu phoonk de
Tu ye kar sakta, ye vishwas mera



Toh, mei duwa kabhi kar na paya
Par ye koshishen Tu jaanta
Mei marna yu na chahta
Jab tak na jaanu kyu hu yaha
So yadi mujhme ho bharosa
To mera sab kuch hei tere liye



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YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

1st Prize Winning Speech by Anna Massey
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SEMINAR
New Delhi 2011

THE LITERAL meaning of the term "empowerment" is to give authority or power to someone or to enable someone. Today the main concept of our youth meeting is "youth empowerment". By this we mean to give authority or power and enable the youth of the christian community. As it is written in 1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity..." With this we must understand that by being a Christian we must set examples for others irrespective of our age. We must live our lives with love, faith and purity and set an example for others so that they might admire us. We must always obey and respect our father and mother as the Bible says in Exodus 20:12 "Honour your mother and father, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." and even in Proverbs 1:8,9 "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck..." Many quotes like this enable us to live a better life as a youth and even we can motivate others in our society to lead their lives in a more prosperous way. We must always keep in mind the Ten Commandments and lead our lives accordingly. As Christians we must empower ourselves:

by living a moral life
by making moral decisions
by considering JESUS as our moral guide

We must always love and trust our Lord and God Jesus Christ. There's one story called "CALL FROM THE ALMIGHTY". This story involves a pastor of a storefront church. The pastor's church is called the Almighty God Tabernacle. On a Saturday night long ago, this pastor was working late and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00pm, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, but she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and didn't give it a second thought. The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the Church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn't figure out what the guy was talking about. Then the guy said "It rang and rang but I didn't answer." The pastor then remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he intended to call his wife. The man said "That's OK. Let me tell you my story. You see I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night but before I did I prayed, "God if you're there and you don't want me to do this then give me a sign now." At that point my phone started to ring and I looked at the caller id and it said 'Almighty God'. I was too afraid to answer!!" Such miracles do happen and that too in real. By reading such stories individuals get empowered. Their faith in God grows and they live their lives in a much better way. At last I would like to recite a poem on IDEALS by Helen Steiner Rice which states that by following the ideals we shape our future and get empowered...
Remember that ideals
are like stars up in the sky
You can never really reach them
hanging from the heavens high...
But like the mighty mariner
who sailed the storm-tossed sea
and used the star to chart his course
with skill and certainty
You too can chart your course in life
with high ideals and love
For high ideals are like stars
that light the sky above...
You cannot ever reach them
but lift your heart up high
And your life will be as shining
as the stars up in the sky .....

© Anna Massey, 2011
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Sukhi Parivar Ke Saat Lakshan (सुखी परिवार के सात लक्षण)

7 Characteristics of a Happy Family (Hindi)

Living Word Chapel, Sanjaynagar
October 11, 2011
Dr. Domenic Marbaniang

परमेश्‍वर चाहता है कि हमारा परिवार सुखी हो। आज हम सुखी परिवार के सात लक्षण देखेंगे, लेकिन इसका मतलब यह नही की लक्षण सात ही है। जैसे जैसे आप और नई बातें सीखेंगे आप इसमें जोडते जाएं।
निम्‍न बिन्‍दुओं पर गौर करें। संक्षिप्‍त में विवरण भी दिए गएं है।

1. स्‍नेह (Love)

परिवार में स्‍नेह भावना आवश्‍यक है। परमेश्‍वर चाहता है कि परिवार ही स्‍नेह का सर्वोत्‍तम स्‍थान बनें। जब परिवार में इसकी कमी होती है तो सदस्‍य घर से बाहर स्‍नेह की तालाश करते है जिसके कारण परिवार की मजबूती ज्‍यादा नही रह पाती है।

2. समझ (Understanding)

आपसी मतभेद के बावजूद एक दूसरे को समझने का प्रयास करना अतिआवश्‍यक है। कई बार सदस्‍य एक दूसरे पर दोश लगाने लगते है कि वे समझते नही या ये समझते नही। दोश लगाने से कुछ भला नही होता। समझ प्रेम और विश्‍वास का बंधन है।

3. समर्पण (Devotedness)

परिवार मे लक्ष्‍य एवं समर्पण की भावना होना चाहिए। समर्पण आपसी हो और लक्ष्‍य पर केंद्रित हो। यहोशु को याद करे जिसने कहा कि वह अपने घराने समेत ईश्‍वर की सेवा करेगा। समर्पण एवं कर्तव्‍य निष्‍ठा साथ साथ चलते है।
घर के अध्‍यक्ष का परिवार के लिए कुछ लक्ष्‍य रखें है। ईश्‍वर भी जगत में पारिवारिक उददेश्‍य रखता है। उददेश्‍य समर्पण को निर्धारित करता है।

4. स्‍वास्‍थ्‍य (Health)

ईश्‍वर न केवल दैवीय चंगाई देता हे बल्कि दैवीय स्‍वास्‍थ भी प्रदान करता है। लेकिन हमें इसके विषय में बेपरवाही नही होना चाहिए। खानपान, रहन सहन, रख रखाव इन सारी बातों पर स्‍वास्‍थ केंद्रित ध्‍यान धरें।

5. सम्‍मान (Honor)

एक दूसरे को सम्‍मान दें। त्रिएक परमेश्‍वर हमारे लिए आदर्श है। पिता पुत्र और पवित्रात्‍मा के बीच जिस प्रकार आपसी सम्‍मान की भावना है, वही भावना परिवार के सम्‍मान को भी बढ़ाता है।

6. सलाह (Counsel)

सलाह एवं सम्‍मति परिवार में हो तो व्‍यक्ति यहां वहां भटकने से बच सकते है। भजन 1 के अनुसार परमेश्‍वर चाहता है कि धर्मशास्‍त्र हमारे घर के बुनियाद बन जाए। अकसर टीवी और सिनेमा बुरी सलाह से मन को भरमा देते है। परन्‍तु जो घर वचन पर स्‍थापित है वह़ बना रहेगा।

7. सहभागिता (Communion)

यदि सहभागिता न हो, आपसी वार्तालाप न हो तो फिर परिवार टूटने लगता है। अंग्रजी में कहावत है "The family that prays together stays together" अर्थात जो परिवार मिलकर आराधना करता है वह मिलकर साथ रहता है। परमेश्‍वर के साथ हमारी सहभागिता हो और यह एक दूसरे के साथ की सहभागिता का सही संदर्भ उत्‍पन्‍न करेगा।

परमेश्‍वर आपको आशीष दें।
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WINNER - Acrostic

W - Will to Win
I - Initiate to Act
N - Negate Nonsense (Stay Focussed)
N - Never Give up
E - Endure Hardness (2Timothy 2:3)
R - Rely on God
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What Manner of Spirit Are You Of? (Luke 9:51-56) - Sermon

Text: Luke 9:51-56
Living Word Chapel, SNGR
Sunday, October 09, 2011.

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village.(Luke 9:51-56)

Every day, from morning till evening, we go through a number of experiences that excite our emotions, that compel our reactions, and that inspire our decisions. However, every time, we are reacting to something, we need to be asking this question "What manner of spirit is it that is compelling this reaction?" James and John needed to know that after 3.5 years of training at the feet of Jesus. How much more do we?

Proverbs 16:2 says, "All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits." We usually think that our actions are right until we submit ourselves to the discernment of the Lord. We need to examine ourselves in His light.

Let's look at four categories of spirit under which people usually operate and also see what the Lord desires us to have:

1. Rebellious Versus Obedient Spirit

Regarding the Israelites, God tells to Ezekiel that they are a rebellious house (Ezek.2:5). It was their hardened heart and rebellious nature that brought destruction into their lives. Psalm 68:6 says "God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." A rebellious person will never experience prosperity and blessing, but only experience dryness and barrenness. He rebels against parents, teachers, leaders, authorities, and therefore ends up in solitariness. A rebellious spirit is blocked to the will of God.

Therefore, God says:
"If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword"; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 1:19-20)

2. Haughty Versus Broken Spirit

The Bible says that Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov.16:18). It was a haughty spirit that turned an angel called Lucifer into the devil. Pride can begin like a grain of mustard, but will grow to become a cancer and turn a good person into a wicked man. Therefore, one must guard one's heart against pride.

The Bible tells us that "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit" and that the Lord will never despise "a broken and a contrite heart" (Psalm 51:17).

We all remember the story of the pharisee and the publican. They both went to pray but the pharisee could not pray because he was filled with religious pride. However, the publican was justified because he confessed his sins and begged for mercy. The Lord resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

3. Angry Versus Patient Spirit

Let's look at a few scriptures here:
Pro 14:17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly.
Pro 21:19 Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.
Pro 22:24,25 Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.

The 70s and 80s are remembered as the era of the "angry young man" movies. History tells us that these were also the era of high violence among students, workers, and people everywhere. Bad company spoils good manners. Quick-tempered anger is a sin that the Bible prohibits. See what the Bible says:
"The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools." (Eccl 7:8-9)
"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil." (Eph 4:26-27)

Patience builds character, the Bible says (Rom.5:4), and the test of our faith is the extent to which we can allow patience to work in our lives (James 1:4).

4. Distressing Versus Excellent Spirit

We are told in 1 Samuel 16:14 that a distressing spirit came and distressed Saul. This was a spirit that produced restlessness and robbed Saul of peace. However, when David used to play the instrument, that spirit used to leave Saul. Yet, not for long; for soon one day, Saul took a spear and hurled at David to pin him to death while he was playing the instrument. David escaped, but then that was the end of Saul's days of any peacefulness. Saul gave in to the distressing spirit.

But, let's look at the testimony of Daniel in the midst of foreign rule, enemies all around, and while in exile:
"Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm." (Daniel 6:3)
Daniel had an excellent spirit; and therefore, he experienced favor and promotion in his life. People are attracted to those who have an excellent and noble spirit; who don't give in to circumstances, who live by principle, who are trustworthy, and who have the favor of God upon them.

Do we have such excellent spirit?

Rebellion, pride, anger, and distress are evils that drive away people and promotion away from us. They are carnal, unspiritual, and sinful. The Lord still asks us today what manner of spirit is it that is influencing our lives.

Let's have an obedient, humble, patient, and an excellent spirit that brings glory to our Lord. We need to have a Holy Spirit controlled temperament.

Finally, this prayer:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)
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Freedom in the Truth (John 8:32)

Published in REVIVE (formerly Trumpet Magazine), Kumbanad, Sept 11.



Of all the aphorisms on freedom ever uttered by human lips, the most liberating one is the declaration of Jesus in John 8:32: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." He further qualified it with another in verse 36, "If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

More than any other time in history, the modern century is witness to this unshakeable truth of the Scriptures. Despite the ironic failure of the 18th century Enlightenment, which, while celebrating the freedom of the human mind from the shackles of religion, gave rise to an era of cosmic skepticism, and the horrific tales of the French Revolution that produced both the guillotines and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen at the same time, the 19th century unabashedly ventured to erect a Babel of scientific and philosophical theories that attempted to redefine the meaning of man apart from the revelation of God. While the cannons kept thundering and humans kept butchering each other, the doctors of thought kept celebrating the fact that at least now, man was free to chart his destiny as he liked. Darwin wrote the Origin of Species in 1859 and Marx published his Das Kapital in 1867, the former attempting to rewrite the history of man as biologically self-evolved and best-evolved; while the latter, as economically and politically progressing towards a utopian age of wealth and liberty (though "utopia" was a term Marx disdained to use). The 20th century welcomed this optimism with the rage of war, the hatred of the Holocaust, and the earth-shaking detonations of the first atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as if it takes an atom bomb to shake the delirious world to its senses, now!). We didn’t enter the Utopian Age: we entered the Atomic Age.

The Bible never says that the world will start getting better as the Day of the Lord gets closer. That’s the false hope of human wishful thinking. Education may inform, but cannot transform the nature of men. Neither can it free one from the domain of darkness and the rule of spiritual wickedness in the high places (Eph.6:12). The whole world is under the control of the evil one, the Bible says (1Jn.5:19), and it is only because of the Lord’s mercies and His unfailing compassions that we are not consumed (Lam.3:22). If the devil had the freedom, it would have been his pleasure to suck all humanity into his whirlpool of wickedness, even as a black hole sucks every object, even light, that comes near it. But, the Son of God has come to destroy the works of the devil (1Jn.3:8), the devil is a defeated foe, and those who obey the Gospel of the Son are delivered from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Col.1.13).

The paradox of a sinful mind is that it is unaware of its own sinfulness. Sadhu Sundar Singh described this condition as similar to that of a man underwater. If a 100 kilo weight was placed on his head, he wouldn’t feel it so much; but, take him out of the water, and the weight will be very real. Similarly, a sinner sunk in his sin is unaware of the seriousness of his sin. It took a Nathan sent by God to shake David to his senses to realize the horrific nature of his crimes against the house of Uriah. Unless the Lord encounters us in His grace, we would be doomed to death in the anesthetic insensitivity of our own fatal sinfulness. Only the Son can set us free by the liberating light and power of His Truth.

1. Liberating Light of His Truth


To the Greek mind of the 1st century, light was an important category. A few centuries back, the giant philosopher Plato had described the condition of humans in the Parable of the Cave. Though juxtaposed with a different connotation, the parable portrayed vividly men as chained inside a cave facing towards the wall, since childhood. There was a great fire behind them, and in between them and the fire a walkway in which walked daily men, women, and animals to and fro. Since, the prisoners couldn’t turn their heads around nor look behind at the real people, they had always had the impression that the shadows cast on the walls and the echoes bumping off the walls were all the reality that was to be known. In course of time, however, one of the prisoners is released and he, turning around, is dazzled by the light of the fire. Led out, he sees reality, the fire, and the sun and is finally able to apprehend what reality actually is and its difference from the world of shadows. So, he returns to share this good news with his former prison mates. However, since their faces are still turned towards the wall and they are bound with chains, they are only skeptical and highly suspicious of their friend who became free. They think he has lost his mind. They couldn’t grasp reality because their faces were turned away from the light outside the cave.

In 2 Corinthians 3:13-15, Paul uses a different analogy from the Old Testament to describe how a veil over the minds of people prevents them from understanding the truth of God. Then, he says in verse 16: "Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." In other words, the problem is not that the Light is not there; the problem is that man is shackled to a position facing away from the Light. True liberation lies in repentance and turning to the Light of God in obedience to the preaching of the Gospel. Chapter 4:4 of the same epistle indicates that belief is important in order for the Light of the Gospel to shine in the heart of a person. The preaching of the Gospel is like a knock on the door of a dark room; when the door is opened, light floods in and dispels all darkness. It is like the announcement of a train on a railway station; on the train’s arrival, the passengers get in and are commuted to the charted destination. The one who refuses to come into the light, to get into the train foregoes God’s true emancipation. The Bible explains:

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:19-21).

Those who shun repentance for fear of losing the pleasure of sin are doomed to the underworld of darkness and gnashing of teeth. But, those who repent and take up the cross to follow the Lord walk in a path "which shines brighter and brighter until full day" (Prov.4:18, RSV).

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2Cor. 3:17-18).

2. Liberating Power of His Truth


There is nothing as destructive as falsehood; nothing as liberating as truth. Successful missions are accomplished on principles and actions that are accurate and flawless. "The pen is mightier than the sword," wrote Edward Bulwer in 1839. He went on to say:
…Behold
The arch-enchanters wand!
Itself a nothing!
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless!
Take away the sword
States can be saved without it!

Ideologies govern bullets and ballots alike. Even as I write this, the world deeply mourns a recent tragedy in Norway that sent seismic shocks across the globe. Before he went on the killing spree, in which some 91 deaths have been reported this far, Andres Behring is said to have posted a single-liner on his newly created twitter account. The post was an overstatement of a J.S. Mill quote and read "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100000 who have only interests." Just a few hours before the attack, he mailed to 5,700 people a manifesto of some 1,516 pages that explicated his case against the Labour Party. While the investigations roll on, the world stands bewildered at the enormous power beliefs wield over the actions of men. We don’t believe that truth is relative, anymore, do we? If it was so, everything could be justified for reasons that someone somewhere believed to be "true". Yet, the sinful heat scorches our globe with such vehement hellfire that morality is left charred beyond recognition: feelings rule and feelings have gone berserk – while some mourn the loss of innocent lives on one side, some celebrate the sanction of same-sex marriages on the other. Mankind without God is like a ship without stars or compass.

"My Spirit shall not strive with man forever," said God concerning the world at Noah’s time, "for he is indeed flesh." He said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth," and commanded him to build an ark. Then, He destroyed the earth with a flood save only eight in Noah’s ark. The wicked were destroyed, but deep somewhere the strands of wickedness lay potent. Some 2000 years later, Jesus told Nicodemus, "…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3: 3). Nicodemus found this quite perplexing because little did he anticipate that there could also be a reversal of the laws of nature. "Can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" he enquired. Jesus replied, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). The new birth that Jesus was talking about was a birth not by any natural means but by the Word of the eternal God that was living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword (John 1:13; 1Pet.1:23; Heb.4:12). Falsehood creates wreckage and fosters evil through the privation of the good; the Word creates the heavens and the earth, and all that is good, and ushers in the Kingdom of righteousness. Therefore, it is said "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom.10:15). Truth brings healing, recovery, and liberty (Luke 4:18). The witness of Truth has liberating power.

Are we being true witnesses of Christ? Are we being His salt and His light in this world? Are we being useful for the Kingdom of Christ? How sad that the Church possesses such immense restorative, liberating, and recreating power of God, and yet fails in administering the one thing that the world is so much in need of!

The Church is called the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1Tim.3:15); but, if it fails in its primal duty of supporting and lifting up the truth of God, there remains no other hope for mankind. Sadly, the devil is often successful in getting Christians do anything else than release the liberating Word of God. They fail to be true watchmen while the world collides with destruction. Let’s gird up our loins with the belt of truth, let’s put on the full armor of God, let’s bring down the walls of falsehood, and let’s bring divine emancipation to the ends of the earth.

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2011.
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