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The Power of Hospitality

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2019 8:03 am

The Power of Hospitality

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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November 2, 2019 8:03 am

​Many in today’s world feel isolated, lonely and disconnected. On the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author Leslie Verner talks about the power of hospitality to change lives. She says there are many people all around us who need an invitation. Seeing them is the first step in connecting to their hearts. Don’t miss a challenging and hopeful conversation on the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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What's holding you back from making a huge difference in someone's life by extending hospitality and help her out of my way to find last night on my Jericho Road, no matter what I think her opening her eyes, people I got it right next to welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, the five world is an increasingly lonely place lotion of the Internet and social media were getting lonelier author Leslie Verner says that hospitality is the answer to the connection we all pray and this is a question that we would love for you to think about right now.

What is holding you back from extending hospitality program today may cause you to think of someone and maybe entertain the possibility maybe a family showing hospitality to them, even if that topic scares you a little bit and as you consider that, here's our host Dr. Gary Chapman, Gary you talked about with the way you and Carolyn opened your home up years ago you to to me seem like naturally hospitable people. Is that true history. Chris commitment to admit the Carolyn is more hospitable than I am for 10 years every Friday night we had our house open to college students and those were great years just sit around talking to college kids but that we still have folks in your home, you would love we love that.

And Carolyn is a great host. So yeah it's been a vital part of our lives.

I'm really excited about our conversation today on this topic. I am too but I will ask it, was there ever was at risk for you than to open on Friday nights me. What if you had to go and speak on Saturday and they were staying too late, did that ever happened. Oh what we do if we were out of town course I wasn't traveling that much in those days but when I was out of town we would arrange for somebody else to come to our house and be the host, but the house was always open to you. There was a place to come over Friday nights enough so yes the way we handle that love it let's me.

I guess Leslie Verner writes about faith, justice, family and cross-cultural issues, for she loves relevant the mudroom and other venues.

She earned her Masters degree in intercultural studies and are bachelors in education from Wheaton College.

She lived in China for five years were she taught English as a second language and studied Mandarin. She now lives in Colorado with her husband and three children and our featured resource. We are proud to say is her first book, invited the power of hospitality in an age of loneliness. Find out more. Five love Leslie welcome to Building Relationships. We are delighted to have you and I'm really excited about this topic. This is course we were chatting a very interesting topic, one that seems to me that you got a gravitated toward naturally tell us what you want to write about hospitality, about five years and married and travel at that and while I would've received my experience. So how many fun people in here the stranger country got me thinking differently about Connie and then we moved from Chicago to Colorado about four years ago and we had a difficult time finding community. Finding a church and not of life to because we had little kids and I think through transitions.

It's difficult that I'm asking a question like what you know what what are you look like if we packed the totality the way so many other cultures like organically and so on to that question in this book emerged.

I can look for answers in my international friends here in Colorado. The way that they naturally totality its interesting observation also sometimes and other cultures just by nature. The culture seems to be more one in which people invite people into their homes and we used to do that more here in America 50 years ago and then we do today but let's talk about loneliness because we see a lot of that in society and sometimes even in the church we see that what is your perspective on the whole aspect of like the loneliness of people that we are moving out of our breakdown and you know anybody you that even beyond yourself out there that talk about loneliness and how it actually today and people who are lonely. I earlier than people who are surrounded in community sale out of research surrounding loneliness and if I think that the variable means society today, so for my own personal experience, but then also kind of looking out to get super prevalent in our society today.

Once I was speaking a little bit with the topic of loneliness.

Single adult came up to me after I lectured and said I don't think you have any other what you're talking about what you talk about loneliness that she said you might know what it means to be lonely, but I don't think you know what it is to experience loneliness.

She said you can go away for three weeks and you might be lonely while you're away. But you're coming back home to your wife. Loneliness is when you don't have anybody come back home to said okay, I stand corrected. But she was right. That all loneliness and outlook. The people around me that help with my loneliness.

This technology helped remind us more lonely. I mean, I think it goes both ways and I found this really interesting article on the Atlantic from about how smart phone in 2012 is when more than 50% of our population had fun also when we began to see you drive might migrate and loneliness among teens and things like that so I think that you know were connected but we don't have that full level we really long fire and a lot of other studies have shown that like it's really important contact being connected on a Facebook group that meet the longing we have.

It's important that where interacting with our neighbors in our communities and things like that technology can say it but it's not the heart of what community is all about the younger generation.

Of course, is doing with this we know were seeing more anxiety, more depression, along with the sense of loneliness that is loneliness often leads to depression and so it cuts across all generations is not just a single young single adults and subjects teenagers right all of your travels you mentioned earlier that you did a good bit of traveling while you're in China were some of the places you win. What are some of the observations or things you learned yeah why a lot of my homes in the countryside, teaching English as a second language teacher, college, and a lot of them when invite me home, their villages, and a lot of units were from farming community and are often not the first person in their whole village to go to college, meaning it wasn't always comfortable because different cultures have different totality in different ways, and I found it challenging to be a gap sometimes on a play because it wasn't always that way I would use three polity like it taught me a lot about the way that a lot of cultures value people over time and lived in Uganda for about six months with the family and family and have had some opportunity to travel other so I think that's the main take away that I was able to see how other cultures really do you prioritize time with people over time, with a pretty broad elevation from nighttime living in China specially personally also taught me flexibility and humor is challenging think it was important to me. People think you influenced me in a lot of ways, maybe I don't even realize that I feel like I've brought some of those things back with me to my life here in United States and elsewhere? Is when I saw this topic I thought of the song by Billy Joel piano man. It's a story of song about a guy who plays piano in the ballroom. People put money in this jar and say man what are you doing here you knows all this longing, but he describes all the different people that are in the bar with him and theirs. At one point where he says the line there sharing a drink. They call loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone and all of these different people you know that have a certain relationship to what brings them together is the alcohol and it's a picture of you know the community you know there is a community there and I guess there's a certain amount of caring. But at the said you know that the bottom line is people go there to get rid of their troubles to you to get inebriated you really want to get drunk so that they don't have to deal with their problems anymore, and I wonder what you would say about that. Hold you know that that that meal you love the borrowing and how much that has become a staple in our world today that people retreat they want community but they really want to forget about what would you say about that.

I think what actually being honorable and I think I can admitting baloney to each other believers, we should feel like we have a place to admit those sorts of feelings that we have and so I've often have bars in places like that and it seemed like such a wonderful community of people mainly and yet obviously built around something that doesn't bring you ultimate fulfillment and so I think admitting my mommy to each other and build a bridge to one another so that we can admit that we need each other.

For me personally. That's been a lifelong struggle to admit that I need other people. I think that's one of the downsides of our Western culture is that were very individualistic, were very independent in our country. It felt wonderful things about that, and yet isolate from one another. Our country is like on the scale. It's like the most individualistic country in the world things, but then it think it builds walls between that we can't admit that we need each other and that we need to receive from one another.

So remember over 50 years ago, my grandfather's wife died and he was by himself for 20 years. Every day after he got home from work and had dinner he would go out to a place that was called go turners and it was just gossip around drinking beer and they would do that for two or three hours and he would come home go to bed.

I was his style, every every night.

They did that, and that's you know it wasn't that day and go turners is not a very nice place and I'm in terms of facilities and bars are beautiful and colorful music and all that was the same thing it's reaching out trying to connect around around the context of wasn't that was your grandfather, the one that counted showed you you know you yourself when you went out with your dad and found him at some point it out there that was that.

One night there was a man Kendra door in the wintertime and told my dad he said your fathers up there in a ditch drunk and you better go getting so my dad said to me, I was probably 10 years old. He said to get your coat on.

We got to go help grandpa so we went up there and got him out of the ditch, and he was arguing with us all the time. I don't need your help in all income stuff and we took it home and that was that was really the experience. That said, in my mind. Don't mess with alcohol and others made the decision as a kid never go get involved in this. So what it did to him. But anyway, that's another whole topic. Let's talk about the Bible you know my nose a lot to say about hospitality Leslie talk about the invitations you see in the Bible and my my working title working title and they don't end up using one really push for it because I wanted to show that really the Bible is the message of peace and from Genesis to Revelation. You start looking for invitations in the Bible that so many of them you know it's mostly God. Paulina welcoming himself and think about was important for me to kinda have that be the framework and to read member, we invite because we are invited. We are invited one.

Obviously as you look through the Scriptures Bible was written in culture. Most of the people in the Bible in the Old Testament and the minute I feel like there's like an intrinsic understanding of what hospitality should look like and wonder maybe Paul didn't spell it out when they said things like that was so understood in their culture.

I feel like we in the left as we read that we might have needed to be like will really look like the Bible you see stories of hospitality. Stories of invitation and then obviously if you read all about you that it was just this constant you know he was. He was more often than he was actually and throughout the disciples going out being sent.

They were they stayed in homes of people that were there hotels they are welcomed or they weren't welcome home the night there were people that that with tears that they weren't the colors that we like years and they were the ones who welcomed into their homes in the missionaries and I think if you start looking in the Bible. Hospitality is just everywhere you lock on my favorite part is the word hospitality and Greek and actually means love of strangers for layouts. I know that the same root word for a phobia like fear of strangers, but I think we so often think of hospitality and welcoming our friends and family home for me and yet not worried, Holly and the need is love of strangers to me that cracks open my definition of hospitality and expand that income anyway.

Talk about the Scriptures begin rolling himself once said, the labor is laden with dice and strong invitation to Seattle and the other side of that is when Jesus said if you believe in me, my father and I will come in my car home with you will come and live with you. Well I went to the negative girl into the shaker dust off your feet when Jesus comes to the man in the tombs, the man who lives among the tombs and howled like nobody could could corral. This guy, he comes for that one guy and then the whole village comes out because the pigs jumped off the cliff. That didn't work out too well for them and they want them to go away. There were upset with him.

From a business perspective, you can understand that but word hospitable to they had no idea who this was you knows Megan is big ruckus in town and look at that fella is sitting, dressed in his right mind and he hadn't been that way an awful long time. That's one of things that came to be invitations or courses you said throughout the whole of the Scriptures and you mentioned that brightly of the apostles would live in homes that would receive them, but it really the church also made in homes right for the most part he talks about the church that meets in so-and-so's house so the homes were is a very different culture. What what you say to people who feel like they don't have the gift of hospitality ever heard people say that less is not my gift. I went to church in college and time probably 10 and I believe some of the highly like one of you researching and you know really coming through the Bible, looking for what the Bible said about reality, I think it never like that is against the tide. He is only listed as a command for all of believers.

People who are exempt because they're not that Peter Sisley and first Peter 49 and that we should show totality without grumbling it out like a culture where people work here. Use the back alley. Even they needed reminders.

You know that like easy actually.yet that like I don't have the gift of the county is actually a map that we perpetuated throughout the church because some people may be naturally love cooking training where more extroverted maybe, but I think that's where you can look at how any meaning strangers in looking at the other invitations in the Bible and remember that it doesn't have to look one way hospitality and for our personality and it kind of comfort level like her comfort level no matter what we dread. Neither redefine and reframe it then you people don't like her personality is different. To be sure some people are just more more outgoing comfortable reaching out to people and others. When you have a command of God, the matter which personality is maybe harder for some than others, but God gives us the ability to do what he challenges us to do. Leslie I love everything you're saying about invited about hospitality as manifestoes. Think about what happened to me when I was a kid. I think I'm doing what I'm doing today because my grandmother opened her house. They did the same thing.

You were taught about 50 years ago we just go over we just drop in. You know there's no phone calls no nothing but stop whatever they're doing legs that you're talking and have conversation and share whatever they were having for the meal that day, but I think Leslie one of the things that you're talking about is a lack of agenda that it seems like if I'm to be a good Christian if I were to do everything God wants me to do that I'm going to be a spot hospitable and I got a have a list of people I'm going to be hospitable to and so and when I do that I have this agenda that I put over there and I got to get the gospel and as I give them brownies and whatever it is it's it sounds like the hospitality you're talking about is very organic.

It's it's very non-agenda or non-list related it just kinda springs from your life. Is that true lifestyle you know my hope that our family will have a lifestyle and how many for programs and don't think a certain way and maybe that will train us so that we could have the lifestyle that I think more than you know. For example, exhibitors at a church because we visited churches only moved to Colorado more than just having people with nametags come over and we long to have people that we know it we long for it to be organic and people can spot from miles away something if they feel like they're being a project I think it is really important to make sure not happen and the lifestyle of the tiny people living our life the way that word called to do it is to love others and love strangers and to welcome compelling. You know I am even I often think people would just read read over and over, the stories of Jesus's life is so compelling and how someone wouldn't fall in love with them and fell to try to live even a little bit of way. I think that has to be compelling to the people around us search listing outreach really as well as a minister to people inside the church. Seems like you're broadening the definition or the mission of hospitality.

Sounds like there's a lack of agenda and the kind of hospitality you're talking about, not necessarily reaching out inviting people in their homes just so we can share the gospel with them, though obviously that's always a part of our makeup and center desire, but often showing hospitality. It might take a while. You build a relationship before you would share the gospel right to be alert and aware the people around.

I think that that Leslie I love this conversation.

The book is invited. The power of hospitality and age of loneliness you find out more.

Five love you talk in the book about staying on your Jericho Road or that's what you're encouraging us to do. Stay on your Jericho road what you mean by that story. About a year ago, writing and I went overseas I wanted to do big things and not lived the white flag for know I just like when all out and another story, but God brought me back command that getting married and having kids and fell 313 for all the stories of Jesus and letting strangers and he was planning time with society and those on the margins and looking around at my Lake 1976 level home in Colorado. I like this is not a radical life. You know, if I started looking at Michael.

Maybe I said teach writing at a prison. Or maybe I should use my training and teach English language learner in our time at home like a large homeless population made.

I need to go and volunteer at a shelter or something. But in the meantime, I had a one, three and five-year-old and not a lot of time writing about. One morning I was when on Orion runner and I find it reflecting on the story of Mary 10 morning reference are fairly quick version is beaten. The left side of the road and the priest comes along and the other side and continues walking and then a Levite religious leader comes does the same thing. You know like the other side of the road and keep talking and then a Samaritan comes along and being with an Israelite. On his way to Caracol and Samaritan comes along going the same direction, and he stopped and he helped this man was running I was thinking about how that story impacted me a little that the thinking okay people are going somewhere on his way to Caracol or on at least direction and he wasn't like looking for people to help that there is here with this man. I felt like I don't know if it got her at least an impression in my mind that day on Your Jericho Rd., Leslie hearing over everyone else's road when I was I was trying to fear and do all these different things instead of 10 people that I thought everything all day and getting to know my fun preschool to Capt. She was a single mom had five kids and tiny she was struggling to find things for her youngest son to deal in lies googling you all these other places I could go and all these other things I could to help people.

Strangers love strangers.

I didn't even notice the foreman on my Jericho Road summer night that I see every day almost every day. Iron and the date of life slightly, narrowing me like everything they got married at Lake Road just feels narrower and narrower with three kids and we can't do it time you now and yet still people there. I still have neighbors that I see I still have people that I may my children school like for you know not church people like people that I hear it's not like I need to go so far out of my way to find strangers to live. I just need to start on my Jericho road and maybe 1 Day My Rd. will open up and I'll be able to go teach a writing workshop presented right now and I think it's important to remember, like her life may be more restricted far as helping people but no matter what I think you for opening her eyes like people to write and I think were just maybe not even noticing them.

Sometimes this powerful saying that concept as clearly as you dislike about hope. I hope our listeners are hearing that is not that we have to manufacture around here there people they are in our normal journey.

They are just open its powerful American went straight to people who are being Graham. It was said he was living in my going interaction the you think is probably inconvenienced someone with lies that he was willing to help them hurt the individual so you invite people over to my house or have lunch with them in a restaurant, share the gospel with them.

And if they're not interested then you know don't try to build a friendship with. Well guess I understand where they're coming from, but the same somebody building a friendship with the person who's not interested in the gospel might be the pathway to become interested in the gospel with the other thing about that.

Gary is if you visit a church and and we used to do this when I was a kid they'd have people who are newsstand up, you know, stand up everybody look at a church that the last thing you want to do it out of a group or and so there are ways that we can be sensitive to other people's you know Benson and makeup so that we we are in a sense it is more hospitable just to say if you're visiting for the first time.

Thank you very much for being here. You have a gift for you at the end if you want to go on the narthex wherever not to do something that makes me as a regular attender or a participant there that makes me feel better. I gotta think about them right from time where people can. You know about how a lot of people felt really in trouble during that time, and so you know people gave to Frank yet about maybe lengthening the time times and so that people can actually get into a deep conversation but yeah I know the church we attended in Chicago the first time I visited had a newcomer luncheon downstairs in the hot and maybe once a month you can see P and there it was a fight coming down and I went downstairs single you know new to Chicago and I never left the church because it was just this open easy place for me to a female.

I think if we can make things less awkward for visitors telling the church as a whole another segment that I think that people are more likely if they feel seen by the quality committee or something early in the book chapter on staying put, or what one group call stability stability been important in your own experience of hospital play on because I have color and have moved a lot and not one had plenty of friends that wanted to get married. I have a pipe for a long time and we bought a house in her late 30s, and two years ago really different feel to en route in a way that actually also mirrored my like beginning as a gardener, like all these metaphors but I think through as I'm thinking about things that when Frank came across as I was researching for my buck was about a guy who side with his church on and he complained to the pastor I'm sure a lot of people in church leadership different things like that you would like to hear him feel connected. I don't feel that community and that answer he's like you've been here about a year so he said you know you have about eight years worth of community day for 10, 20, 30, 10, 20 or 30 years worth of community now and I think we just forget how important I think we have to have a certain mindset you like it naturally, but I think that if were committed to a place committed to people that we live around our neighborhood and our communities.

There's a different level of buy-in where we are and it does affect her community.

That said, you know, I have about the importance of relationships with people that you know are going to move or you know it doesn't mean that you don't befriend people who are going to leave and yet I think that we when we connect to a place, it does Carver down deeper and it does make us care more about where we are in the people we live around don't have the concept of hospitality neighbors driver car in the garage or close the door and you can live there for 10 years and all you do is wait Richard you know who they are. That's that's how far we've come off like in our culture away from this whole concept of hospitality play. I think it's important that where an additional and ball and make it easy on because because we value this relationship.

We did have a on.

We had a few parties for any birds like parties when we get a block party, and every time I've been shocked because neighbors have led maybe four houses down from each other for 25 years had never met you now and I like unbelievable to me. And yet people that don't come to the parties, you know, we've seen them in few years we seen in maybe like five times we just don't tell you that you can so busy sewing think that's a question when you think seriously about hospitality. You have to think about the we car about to do this to help people in your house. Periodically, because with our lifestyle we we don't we don't have a lot of margins you mentioned, you know how to be less busy. You do that you know where you know many things about my culture that I didn't even know about.

I lived in another culture that I think sometimes the first thing is admitting that were busy and maybe that's now is a good thing that lately I've been thinking about my time in terms of like playing cards like that. I have my hand and I have a certain number of cards and when I pick up a card, card card and so you know I have a limited amount of time. So if I pick up ballet lessons for my daughter down another card and what I think it down is my time to be all you now my energy in my day that while she that way we do good on the street neighbors and our kids would ride their bike around and waited their mom or dad. Now if I pick up their activity. I don't have any in my schedule for anymore and I think it's just acknowledging the limited amount of time in our lives. What do we want to prioritize and just acknowledging that when we when we spell our hand with many activities and so much of what we provide is downtime with people running to the grocery store are just walking in the grocery store to buy a few things. If we see a person we avoid them were too busy. Plenty times, actually a few extra minutes that I stand in an island With it with somebody avoiding back to what you're saying earlier loosely about other cultures value people more than things with the schedule, I mean think of all the stories where he was on his way to do something you now and a woman touches him in the crowd anything you know where this poignant story where he he was on his way to do a certain thing someone interested him and he never made them feel like an interruption. Now, more important, I think it with the children. No no no yeah this is the kingdom, look here you go to learn something from these kids you mentioned maintaining boundaries in your chapter on solitude what what are some boundaries that we can consider so that we don't burn out. We can get the reality itself. We couldn't think of that goal of inviting people over twice a week or something. But before you know it your burnout and you don't invite anyone over for an entire year so I think what boundaries we need to cut the corner that we need to cut so that we can keep in writing so that means you have paper plate and you got grocery store prepared food.

It's just really important to remember that people just want to know they're invited and that they're welcome don't care as much about those things on site. Thinking of cutting corners is helpful, but then also to just pay attention to ourselves. Like I know I personally need to pit my motives like why am I doing my doing it because I want to feel good about myself and my doing it because I think I should because I think we can have automotive. Maybe that art the right one.

I like to feel needed. I think that's a huge one highlight I like feeling good about myself. I like knowing other people me and I don't think that's the right motive People over and I think a lot of times we do let things get in the way in preventing because they we don't feel like it, but I talked a lot of friends to say feel like it afterwards. I was so glad that I am so you know I think you just have to meet BP reflected and aware your own inner life and not be afraid to boundaries. Sometimes I think we have the energy like the narrowing sometimes maybe were on the lighter road and it's that time where we have the energy to host like when I've had babies like a time like he's in ivory. Amazing holiday from from the community and so even than life. It slips to time. We have to be at admit that we need help know that one day, when we can turn around and help others again or night but okay to just be like and just not right going different house and she had a baby and she made me that I'm combined with topic And she let me me me a couple coffee and a couch in my memory is the most comfortable concept ever felt cared for and it was so simple that I was receiving it. Even you know that introverts and extroverts because I see differently how can say husband-wife ones extrovert once introvert. Learn to support each other in the practice of hospital and that my only lived with introvert like 20 years. My roommates in college, my roommate in Chicago and felt like I can think of as little time to study the insert in my life over the years and from what people have told me that mean introvert never want to host or behind that of all I think sometimes the crowds just need to be smaller you know my introverted friends have said it's important that they know they have some alone time on either end like before you host and then after that they know they're going to get some time to themselves. I think it's important to you for marriage. Like if you have extrovert and introvert. Just being communication about like that I can see when were talking to people and my husband just like internally like disappears were all talking and then he's gone, he's married. I like more than 235 limit and so I think it is good for me to just be aware of his signals and be like, well behind the you know to him and then on the other hand for me. I think it's important that I have a lot of time, maybe not always with him like I need to get those needs.

Not like all the show already in other ways, you know, maybe not forcing him to be involved in that hour long conversation with someone. It's better to do with the person had a date of silent signal that it was okay to just wander up there in the middle of the 20 and then wander back like you now that mean that introverts don't need all my introverted friends need that connection. I think a lot of them just like Smalltalk. They would rather have a deeper one-on-one conversation than have a party just be aware of what you enjoy with people and you you know we have to be like everyone else. For those who have children at home.

What does hospitality due to children extroverted, so it makes them not for my back.

I really didn't want a certain kind of cover which says a lot about how many covers like a table with eating Brad and maybe people toasting each other and smiling like I don't want that on my book cover not what you look like for us because when you about when it gets really messy and loud you know I do think that kids who grow up in homes that are double they do carry that into their own family culture later on think it's important for them to still be involved even if it cannot mean I need to know so I think that even here on hospitality from them just watching them get excited about people you know watching them want to invite people over actually push me in certain ways the way they talk to strangers and loved people without fear or questioning. I think I think it's fascinating that Jesus told us to change and become like children because I'm constantly just watching them for late holiday responding to these people and what can I learn from my own kids. Even the totality college students are daughter was probably seven and the beginning of the sun was younger than that and I would sit in on the meeting this wander around the meeting sometime sit in the lap of students for the first time until their bedtime came and then the girl would like them put but they look back on those experiences and say what impact it had on their lives affect our daughter says the reason I got interested in medicine as I was listing these medical students talk about all the stuff you know, just in my mind I thought would be a doctor to be a doctor you know that both of our kids are very hospitable. In addition to reaching out to people all the time think a lot of it had to do because I saw demonstrated so bright, it does have an impact on the children. This been a delightful conversation and I think this is an important book and I hope that many of our listeners will only get the book but will also share with your friends. Thanks for being with us to the courtroom for the Christian community started out today asking you to think of someone who comes to mind in this hospitality topic. Maybe there's some invitingly you want to do. As a result, conversation, find out more about Leslie Brenner's book features resources five love invited the power of hospitality in an age of loan again.

Five love coming up next you trust God story. Most of her husband Robert say yes this big thank you to our production team Steve Wick and Janice Todd. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman's radio with Moody publishers ministry. Thanks for the

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