Monday, June 29, 2020

Where She Stepped Over The Edge (But Pulled Herself Back Up. Whew.)

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"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them."   ---James 4:17


Weekly we get home grocery delivery from Aldi and always? Always I order either sorbet or ice cream bars. One box. It's our weekly treat, our best comfort food while the world-as-we-know-it burns down.

Tom and I are only human, after all.

Well, 2 weeks ago the shopper/delivery guy brought no ice cream bars. Unbelievable, right? He'd even ignored my order note: "If the ice cream bars and alternate choice are out, please bring ANYTHING similar."

(The previous week I'd written, "Don't even show up without the ice cream!." I've returned to writing that.) シ

We'd had problems before, but I knew this was a special test. Knew it! But I didn't care. The day was hot, humid, people everywhere were behaving badly and there's that aforementioned thing about the world burning down.

Well. I stormed, muttering, past Tom at his desk and on up to this computer where I left the guy a 1 star ('terrible') rating and halved the tip (yes, I did that). Then I clicked on 'Report a Problem' and wrote something like:

"Your delivery person brought our order without our ice cream! No mention of it was even made. I want our ice cream. Now. Today. And I will be waiting at our window until he brings it!"

An email came. "We're sorry you didn't have a good Aldi experience. We've given you a $2.49 credit for your next order."

Gah. I saw red. Purple. Green, too. I sent another email saying, "You people are a major disappointment to me."

Normally? I'd not act that way. But these 'unnormal times' had all, well, just piled up. (Anyone else been there?)

Then I changed into some nice clothes (being from that generation who still cares about such things), told Tom what had happened and that I'd now have to walk the 2+ blocks to 7-11 through the glaring sun to buy us some ice cream. Then return and cook lunch-which-is-actually-dinner.

So I left and of course carried my (stupid) mask because--even tho' I'd not visited 7-11 in months--I knew what I'd spy on the door. Yep, I was right. A sign which pretty much said:

"Don't even think of stepping inside without a mask plastered to your gullible little face."

Man, and here I'd just promised you that I'd only wear a mask at the cafe or in an emergency situation. But technically? I guess I stuck with that. If ice cream during a pandemic and riots isn't an emergency, what is? (But I'll skip the part where I stood on that 6 foot marker circle, fuming beneath my mask, and mad at the world.)


I made it home. Calmed down. Ate ice cream with Tom after lunch and felt better.

Then I pulled myself back upstairs where I saw a new email from a different Aldi rep. This one said, "We want to make this right. I saw you have a $2 credit for a forgotten item. Is there something else I can do to help?"

I rolled my eyes. Chuckled, actually, and wrote back: "So now my credit has gone from $2.49 to $2?! No thanks. I don't need anymore help like that. Thanks anyway." (Heh. She did write back and say the $2.49 credit had been restored.)

Yet by this time, conviction was kicking-in. Majorly--and I felt sorry about my overreaction.

So I did one other thing: the right one. I returned to my online Aldi receipt and sheepishly switched the rating to 4 stars ('Good') and restored the full tip. The guy had only forgotten 1 item and how could he know that--if he'd skipped half of our order--I'd not have even blinked as long as ice cream sat in the bag?

Whew. Did I ever feel better after making those changes!

And you know? Since that day I've felt awesome. Forgiven, stronger, more hopeful for us all. This experience reminded me there's huge redemptive power in choosing the right, godly response, (the quicker, the better), especially when it's difficult and you'd much, much rather slap somebody, instead.

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When we serve God with our whole heart, our peace will be whole. Just serve Him partially when it feels right and we'll have only a less-than, partial peace.

When God forgives us, it then becomes an act of obedience when we forgive ourselves.

"Do the right thing even when the right thing isn't happening to you."   --- Joyce Meyer


Mandating masks has erased our smile, the psychological effects that no one is talking about


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Happy Retro Cooking Music

Oh! And before I forget: the preppers are getting restless. Many are saying things only appear as though they're improving, but they aren't, not to mention times may become too dangerous to venture out to your local stores or delivery trucks can't travel through mobs or everyone in late July will freak out over the loss of their unemployment or CO2 shortages or ---.

One Christian minister/prepper advocate of 30 years, suggested we be stocked-up on food and water by July 15th.

Just passing that along. Do with it however you feel led.


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Oh! And I keep forgetting to tell you that the robin couple finally built a nest in the crabapple tree outside of our kitchen window. Trees. A much better place for a nest than a piece of window molding! Anyway, it was fun watching them feed their babies. Happy sigh.


Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'This is what virologist wear to protect themselves from a virus. Don't worry, though. Your bandana probably works, too.'

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Social Media. It's A Gift, People. A Gift.

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"Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body."   --- Proverbs 16:24


So at Facebook, Naomi posted a birthday wish to President Trump and one of her friends (I'll call Biff) wrote this:

"I hope Donald Trump dies and his death comes soon."

Wow. My eyes rolled. I sighed. Immediately I tried thinking of a witty, but strong-worded comeback for this guy I don't even know.

But I paused (always a good choice), glanced below his comment and spied one from my nephew (who I'll call Mark)--

"Lord I ask you to just reach down and touch Biff's life in a way that only You know how to. Let our hopes be set on good, and not evil, and for Grace and Forgiveness because we know not what we do sometimes. Thank-you for the things you do for us that we don't even realize. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen!"

Oh. My. Goodness. Conviction City. Mark's was the perfect, God-inspired reply and it stayed with me all day. His words reminded me of sermons and teachings about patience, love and extending Grace. After reading that prayer? I behaved better. No, really.

For 20 years I've heard Christians whine declare, "Social media will waste your time! It'll make you lazy, bitter and depressed. Speak to people in-person; that's what makes a real difference."

Gah. I hate ignorance.

Our written words don't count, don't matter for eternity? God doesn't use our own story, our hard-won lessons to inspire, encourage or change minds if it's written online? Seriously?

What about the books we read years ago (or online), but still often recall mind-blowing lines? The books which molded us into a better version of ourselves? How about the articles (online and otherwise) of heroic tales which challenged us to 'come up higher'?  What about the testimonies of change we read, the encouragement that kept us standing moments before we'd have fallen?

What about--

"Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances."   ---Proverbs 25:11

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."   --- Hebrews 4:12

"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."  ---Romans 15:4


After 20 years online I've had it. Color me exhausted with the 'if it's online, it won't deeply affect anyone' lie. Color me especially weary when the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon our words is not even considered as a real thing(!) How grievous to forget, deny, His power.

This blog? This form of social media? I wish you could read the heart-felt emails I've received when my God-breathed words made readers view something in a brand new way. When the words helped blast down the brick wall between people and a God they'd been taught was scary or aloof.

Written words matter! Always they will and how good of God to provide these online platforms to help us fulfill this--

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."   --- Matthew 24:14

And how gracious of our huge God, in these last days, to provide us with computers. To give our voice, our words, wings upon which to fly and to light upon the confused hearts, the angry ones, the lost ones anxiously waiting for us to share our life-saving, blessed hope. 

May our words continue flowing from our heart as it's touched by almighty God, Himself, for as long as we're allowed, as long as our fingers can tap our stories, our lessons, upon a keyboard.

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Spread your words like seeds. The ground they fall upon is not up to us, neither is the water or the sun unless God specifically asks this. But rather, keep sowing seeds. Keep believing God, Himself, is doing a deep work upon the hearts where your seeds landed. Leave the results to Him and rejoice in your obedience to plant.

If you're wishing the times were different and you didn't need to speak, to push back the darkness? This might help--

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says '"I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo. "So do 1," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the the time that is given us." J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings'

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"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

So You Don't Know How To Fight?

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"And let us not grow weary in doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not give up... I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." .."  --- Galations 6:9, 2 Timothy 4:7


Last Friday? For the first time in nearly 3 months I sat at 'my' 1950's Formica table at our local cafe. 

Wow. With a coffee and raspberry scone I pretended to read my book while dream-gazing out the huge windows to the river, trees, flowers and the many-storied hotel across the street. How incredible, this return to a partial normalcy. (Amy is allowed to open her shop just 2 days per week.) 

Yet knowing that I helped fight to keep this tiny, independent cafe open--oh, how wonderful that felt, as well.

During those virus months whenever Amy offered take-out? I bought baked goods. Always handed over extra money. Spoke words of encouragement. Hope.

Whenever something you love is threatened, you fight for its survival! If your heart still cares, that is. And in this post I'll make two very controversial statements, this being the first--

Lately I've wondered how many Christians actually love our Country and appreciate their freedoms. How many are awake to what we're losing?

I'm curious because I spy so few fighting for truth, speaking aloud (while we still can), pushing back the darkness. Yet many just silently watching our country burn, being destroyed and run by mobs--and our personal freedoms vanishing.

Yes, I'm also hearing this: "I don't know how to fight! Or what to do or say or where to go or ---." And I'll confess: it's horribly hard not to roll my eyes. This sounds way too much like all the 50, 60 and 70-year-olds I've heard say, "I can't figure out my gifts or callings. God skipped over me when He handed them out. I don't know why I'm here. I don't have specific help to give"


But now? Let's move on to courage and decisiveness and a preparedness-for-battle spirit! For, if not when our Country is being destroyed, taken over, then when? 

Here, below, are some ideas, ways to fight so that when God later asks us, "What did you do during that huge, historic opportunity to overcome evil and show My power?" we won't have to whine, "Uhm,  I had no clue what to do, so I stayed home, hid actually, but I did pray and hoped it would all go away."

Heaven forbid! 

How about let's be 'bold as a lion' as God says we're to be and step out and ---

Use our online platforms to:

Expose evil and lies masquerading as truth,
Share powerful Bible verses,
Encourage folks battling on the front lines (even if they seem famous, we all grow weary and need uplifting words),
Warn, teach, instruct in all things practical.
Keep-up with what's happening so we know how to pray and what to warn against,
Share inspiring words, videos, books which encouraged our own hearts,
Vocally stand-up for heroes who are being maligned,
Discuss what's happening, break out of fear and silence,
Blog, share the words God asked us to, ones He gave us to speak.

Use our money to:

Support businesses which support families and keep our town running smoothly,
Bless people, families struggling,
Buy groceries for neighbors, others,
Donate to public food pantries,
Boycott businesses which push agendas contrary to your beliefs,
Support the front-line fighters.

Use our hands, eyes, mouths and feet to:

Smile at the weary (tho' it's hard when we're wrapped-up in a stupid, useless mask),
Write emails or letters to our local government,
Wave to neighbors who're probably having a rough time,
Prepare our family in all physical, mental and financial ways. Learn survival skills,
March peaceably for what we believe,
Do a prayer walk around our neighborhoods,
Give our children hope,
Grow a Victory Garden. Share our bounty.
Thank police officers for keeping us safe,
Read the histories of socialist countries (and learn what not to do),
Start a prayer group in our home.
We can repent for our own sins, receive forgiveness and then do better.

Is this all? Of course not. I'm just one blogger, and these are only a few ideas God gave me.

No one is meant to do it all. No one is called to speak out against every single evil, donate to every worthy cause, battle against every thing gone badly. God places specific burdens upon specific people so that everything will, in turn, be covered. 

Individually, we'll only be held responsible for what God specifically asked us to do.

But uh-oh. Already people tell me they're battle-weary. Tired of fighting and are just gonna wait it out. But, I say, this is only the start! And that brings me to that second controversial statement:

Every Christian had the opportunity for battle preparation. God knew what lay ahead and daily we had the choice to obey Him right up into that preparedness of a strong heart.

Basically, we are left without excuses. 

If we were in the Word, we were warned. In the spirit, we were led, made ready for what we knew not. But in the flesh, we dilly-dallied and are now found wanting.

But in our merciful God? We can find a second chance, at least while we still have breath, and may we make the most of that before it's too late.

For only those who fought will someday receive a reward for the battle victories won or those sought, but lost, but not through hiding. Through godly, consistent obedience we win either way.

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And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.—Matthew 24:12-13

"The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate."   ---Proverbs 8:13


Someone battling on the front lines? Glenn Beck. Personally, I see the spirit of Elijah all over him in this video--

Dennis Prager is another front line fighter who I respect so very much. Here is his latest article--

America's Jews and Christians Are Failing The Test of Their Lives


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"When you feel like you are losing hope, find boldness. It will fill the empty space and open doors you never thought possible." --- @mitchellvii


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Monday, June 22, 2020

Whisked Away

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"Let us encourage one another, help each other to show love and to do good."   --- Hebrews 10:24


Next month I'll celebrate 16 years of blogging. And through these recorded adventures, 3 of you have faithfully read along and encouraged me from that first year, another 2 from the year after. 

But I've lost one of you. On Saturday I learned my friend, Betty, passed away--and I am still reeling.

Betty and I met because of Maud Hart Lovelace and Gladys Taber, favorite authors. I think our belief that one could still live a vintage lifestyle in a modern world drew us together amongst those peopled reading groups. 

Her emails? They made me feel as though a 1960's Erma Bombeck had befriended me. What a joy, Betty's self-deprecating sense of humor, what a comfort her paper cards in my mailbox, especially those which came during her 22 months of her cancer fight. 

These days when it's rare to receive a paper card, Betty still believed in their power to encourage. Always, she assured me she still read my blog with anticipation, even wishing I'd write a book she could hold in her hands at a beach.

Though via emails with cute images I consistently thanked her for those cards, now I wish I'd have sent her more paper cards. Though I've not the grace for snail mail as I once did, still, it's important to recognize our friends' favorite forms of love currency. And do what we can. 

But now Betty's earthly journey is over. She led a full life, created a wonderful family, laughed much, encouraged many, exercised faith and left us all smiling with gratitude of knowing her.

Also? Betty never assumed my 100+ followers regularly send me emails and paper cards of encouragement. She somehow knew I mostly have silent 'secret readers' so I must rely upon God for a daily type of nudge and approval.

But Betty was God's partner in encouragement for me and sorely I will miss her part in keeping me writing. 

There'll be no more sweet paper cards from her in my mailbox, no Erma Bombeck-like voice still speaking. And no one who gives to me exactly what God did through my old-fashioned friend, Betty.

With each friend whisked away by death, may we again fully appreciate God's gifts while they still, as treasure, dwell down here amongst us.


" ... that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine."   --- Romans 1:12

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"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Thursday, June 18, 2020

June This And That

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1.) Earlier this month I began a What's Better Since March 2020 list. Oooo, how encouraging is the length of it! These were personal, local and national things which have improved since this covid-19 insanity began.

I highly recommend this activity. シ

2.) So. Last week I discovered a video titled, 47 Vintage Photos Showing Young People During the 1970's. The first photos made me smile and remember the clothes, the hair, the friendships, our innocence back then! With much happiness I recalled it all.

Yet that's exactly what saddened me as the photos went on. I became all teary-eyed. It all felt so far away, so lost, so gone. Gah.

3.) My friend, Susan, sent me a photo of a mask I might like. Heh. I'll certainly consider one like this! ツ

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4.) Finding yourself getting mad at the rioters these days? For years this verse has calmed me down so I can pray with some compassion and understanding, instead, for anyone acting idiotic. Really, this one works well:

Image may contain: one or more people and cloud, text that says '+ In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God Corinthians 4:4'

5.) Western New York is in Phase 3! 

And that means my dearly loved cafe opens this week. Hooray! But alas, just 2 days and only half-capacity which means, like, only 5 people can sit inside. But Amy is still doing a pre-order pick-up on Saturdays. 

Oh well! One day, one week at a time. It's progress, not to mention answered prayer. I'll take it. I've helped fight for it.

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6.) Now, I've recommended Homestead Tessie's videos before, but this one from March which I spied this week? It made me gasp! (Her husband is speaking at first.) Just think about it, consider the date (and the events since) and then read Revelation 6:1-4

Wow. Still blowing my mind. (But again, it's just something to consider, ok? Personally, I enjoy considering wild biblical ideas.) シ

7.) Does this look incredibly inviting, or what? Often since March I've used my mind to imagine myself in such places. It's still legal to do that, you know.

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(Thanks, Tracy, for sharing this at Facebook from A Hygge-ish Life.)

8.) How are your gardens coming along? I get excited every morning just walking along mine, noting the previous day's growth. Happy sigh.

9.) Oh, and if that 1970's video, above, also bums you out? You can zip over here and be cheered. Now, this is how a girl's 13th birthday should be!

10.) And this. Do this. If not now, then when?

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You can do this! You can, with Christ you can do all things. With joy, even.

No, really.


Oh and color me still so grateful for Open Library. I've used it often during these turbulent times to be all, 'Calgon, take me away-ish.' Currently I'm reading this book.

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"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."   --- Isaiah 41:10

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"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Monday, June 15, 2020

A Rebel At 61--Or--No, I'll Not Sear My Conscience, Thank-you

"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."   ---1 Timothy 4:1,2

(Oh, and to be clear, this isn't just about wearing masks, but rather, much more than that.)

This morning I hung laundry on my 30-year-old wooden clothes rack out on our front porch. Glorious out there it was, sunshine-bright, 67 breezy degrees.

Hanging laundry outside. That's a major reason I refuse to live under the thumb of a Home Owner's Association.

I'm here at my HOA-free, rather-tacky-looking 'hood because I want to--

Paint my house any (sane) color.
Plant any type flower.
Grow any size garden.
And hang lighted crosses in my windows.

I'm 61 and I love freedom. Oh, I know. People these days say we've only ever had quasi-freedom and perhaps that's true. But I know this: before Covid-19 that quasi-freedom felt good.

What we've instead had since March? A nightmare. One it's been hard shaking from my head (tho' I'm closer now).

Friends tell me, "Just accept this. It's no big deal." Former friends, that is. シ

Local government insists I wear a mask to every indoor place. Even have my temperature taken by strangers. They say I must play by their rules, these God-resenting, we-know-best-you-know-nothing-and-who-cares-if-you're-jobless? people with an agenda.

But I have an agenda, also. Mine? To not sear my conscience by consistently doing what I feel is wrong.

"Whatever is seared is burnt and is not the same as it was before, and so it is with the conscience."   --- Jack Wellman

I've worn a mask only 1 place: my dearly-loved cafe. Amy bakes things on Saturdays and we pick up our pre-orders. My desire to fight for this cafe's survival is so strong, I slip on a mask at the door, then 2 minutes later rip it off outside.

But I cancelled a dentist appt. because of the mask thing and about 5 other hoops they wanted us to jump through.
I've not visited one supermarket since covid-19.
Tom went to Goodwill alone on Saturday. He'd made the mistake of giving away his 'fat pants' after he lost weight and well, now.... (Don't tell him I mentioned that. heh.) And altho' I need spring and summer clothes? I'll wait or buy online. Tom had to not just wear a mask there, but have his temperature taken.  You, as a stranger, do not want to try taking my temperature. Er hem.

Go consistently doing what makes your conscience a bit sick and--

Suddenly you're watching movies that used to disgust you, 
Using language that would horrify your mother,
You're constantly complaining,
Living lazy in a sloppy house,
And snapping at your poor ol' spouse
Or worse--

Not for one moment have I pretended our Country's changes are fine with me. But I'm thankful for 2 things, especially. 1.) I'll never take freedom for granted again and 2.) I've become a much stronger person who'd rather obey God than man.

I'll not sear my conscience. I'll no longer do anything I feel is wrong just because powers-that-be tell me I must.

If that means I stay home forever, so be it.

And yes, many of you must wear masks at your jobs. I totally get that and am fine with it! (If I had a real job, I'd either wear one or use the opportunity to quit. Again, that's just me.) Please note I said I'll not do anything I feel is wrong for myself. I'll not sear my own conscience.

If I must take Sam The Cat to the vet and wear a mask? I'll do it because I'll run out of his life-saving pills if I don't. But I won't like it.

Many doctors say wearing masks is not only foolish, but unhealthy. I feel the same.

So I'm currently seeking a freer lifestyle where I don't wear a mask until the insanity is over (but then, yeah, it'll just be something else. That's our world today, especially in an election year).

But to keep doing what I feel is wrong for me? That's the kind of thing that will get me this: one morning I'll get out of bed, walk over to a mirror, then feel horrified by the stranger I see there.

And I can't risk that.

  And again, I'm not just talking masks here! What have you been told to do lately that your heart rebels against, but does anyway? What is making your soul uncomfortable?

"But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men."   --- Acts 5:29

Image may contain: text that says '"Just wear the mask" *time passes* "Just let the government track your location" *time passes* "Just let them inject you" *time passes* "Just give them your guns" *time passes* "Just get in the boxcar"'


Oh, and here's a link to a short film version of George Orwell's 1984. Scary, but familiar stuff.

And speaking of George, I had to smile at this:


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15