Deeper Day 355: Open

I read another day of the new book I’m reading, and it focused on a practice that I have done since the beginning of our marriage. I was inspired as I read about it this morning because I had never heard anyone else mention it. I only began to do it because Holy Spirit lead me to do so. Turning toward.

I have continually turned toward my husband. No matter what has happened and how I feel, I won’t allow myself to begin to seek out comfort somewhere that isn’t God or him. I made a firm decision years ago, to always fight for connection with Chris.

Even in times when anger or frustration have threatened to cast a shadow over our union, I will force myself to go to God and seek out reconciliation. Marriage is and always will be a choice.

Every marriage has moments when you may think there is no way forward, but if you press into Christ and center yourself in His promises, then you can make it through. The key is to stay open.

Staying open is a choice. When I vowed to love Chris in plenty and want, sickness and health, through the good times and the bad until death do us part…I meant it. This is not a promise I made lightly. I knew what I was getting into. In the moments when I’ve been surprised or disappointed with him, I’ve leaned into the fact that God directed me to marry him, therefore, He knew I’d be facing whatever it is and He will provide the grace for that moment and will see me through. I’m sure Chris has had to do this for me too. I have no doubt disappointed and surprised him at times too.

He chooses me. I choose him. We remain open.

We have built a foundation firm enough at this point to know that there isn’t a fight we can’t make amends after. Actually, we usually don’t fight because we both know we’ll end up laughing anyway. Now we both know how to diffuse each other.

Our relationship with God is very similar. We each choose to turn toward Him no matter what. We choose to assume the best about His character, and rightly so. We choose to cling to Him even when we don’t understand what’s happening or feel disappointed. We cling to Him because He’s the only One worth clinging to. The Only Firm foundation to be found. If you feel like everything in your life is shaking, turn to Him and be open. Believe in the goodness of His character and remain focused on Him.

Prayer Moment: God, I choose You. Today and tomorrow and the next day, I will choose You still. You are my forever Faithful One. I trust You. I choose to turn to You in all things and at all times. I love You. You are my one true love. Oh, Faithful Father, I lean into Your heart. I press into more of Who You are. I want to be closer to You. As I inhale, let Your spirit flood my body. As I exhale, may my fears and insecurities leave. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me. Song of Solomon 7:10

Deeper Day 354: Loving What Is Yours

This morning, I opened a new book that is designed to prompt you to search your own heart and hear from God at the end of each reading. Today’s reading was about marriage. The prompt at the end was to think of the marriages that have inspired me and that have qualities that I desire in my own. When I closed my eyes and considered this, I realized that my marriage is my favorite.

No, Chris and I do not have the “perfect” marriage, but we do have commitment and each year we have grown in our affection and understanding of each other. Now, we can speak without words. The slightest look from my eye can tell him all he needs to know, and he’s demonstrated this many times. The softest touch while in a crowd, will indicate a whole conversation, without the need of words. He knows me. I know him.

We have fought for our marriage during hard seasons. There are times when I’ve fought harder and there are times when he has, but one thing is true, one of us was always fighting to maintain connection. During seasons when I felt I loved him more, I only became more determined to pour out that love while simultaneously becoming a woman worth loving. Remaining loveable. Refusing bitterness. Holding onto hope.

During season’s when he’s felt he loved me more, I have allowed it. I have learned to be where I am. Meaning, if I am struggling through something, instead of faking it or feeling guilty, I just continue to go to God and ask Him to give me what I’m missing inside. I don’t hide it, I press into it…because we are BOTH worth it.

Marriage is refining, if you let it. Marriage will grow you, if you allow it. Marriage is the easiest and hardest thing we do.

This morning’s reflection led me to one thought, “I’m so happy to love what is mine.” I haven’t always been able to say that, and it hasn’t always been true. But now, after sixteen years of falling for Chris, I can truthfully and honestly say our marriage is the main one I look up to.

Now, when I look in his eyes, I see years of covenant promise kept. I see how we’ve fought for our love and built family together. I see a man who has sacrificed greatly to provide for our family. In my eyes he sees a woman who has purposefully poured into our kids and household, creating a bond forged so soundly that our loyalty and love for one another is what we’re known for. We create family. We chose to love what we’ve been given.

Life is so full of choices. Each one has the potential to become very significant. My choice today is this, to love what I have.

Prayer Moment: God, thank You for my family. Thank You for creating this wonderful life we live. In its imperfection we find growth and commitment. Thank You for knowing the exact recipe to create this. Thank You for making us people who need people. Thank You for giving everyone a need for connection and fellowship. Lead us as we learn how to accept the fellowship we have around us. Lead us further into a heart of gratitude for exactly what You’ve given us. Let my heart never long for another’s marriage over my own. Keep me steady. Keep our eyes fixed on You and each other. Bless our union. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.                                          1 Corinthians 13:13

Deeper Day 353: Thorn in my side

As I have pondered a few relationships that are in my life right now I heard, “Thorn in my side.” Then I realized that I keep coming across these people that feel like they are a thorn in my side. Some would say, “Your spirit draws them to you.” And on some occasions, I would agree, but today what I saw was this…

I continually come across these people that serve as a thorn in my side because, each time I learn more and more about how to deal with them. They are ultimately not going to be a thorn. They will ultimately become ineffectual weapons the enemy has attempted to use to create conflict in my life and ministry. But God wants me to learn how to stand firm against opposition and He will sometimes use people to strengthen me. He will use the weakness of others to strengthen my weak places, if I will let Him. Eventually, as I am healed and strengthened, I will be able to love these challenging people. I will be able to better pour into them. I will have more to offer.

I am daily reminding my children of what the Bible says…

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:44-45

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:32-36

These scriptures remind me that in my pursuit of God, I will come across those who dislike me and those who don’t love me, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am to love them. I have no choice really. Well, I do, but if I want to grow and be continually useful to Him, then I need to learn how to love the difficult and unloving.

Today, I ask you, “Are there people in your life that you have written off as unlovable?” If so, I encourage you to seek God, and ask if there is anything He desires for you to do to show them His love. Is there any act you are supposed to bless them with as a love offering to God? Yes, there are seasons where love means stepping back and allowing distance, this is another healthy part of life. I simply encourage you to press into Him and ask, “Is this a season of speaking love to someone through moving closer, or is this a season of allowing distance?” Then have the courage to do whichever He leads you to do.

Prayer Moment: God, please keep me ever aware of the season I’m in. Help me to love those You’ve placed around me. Give me courage to build bridges when I need to, and restraint to stand back when that’s what You desire. I long to be nearer to You. Don’t let anyone or anything come between that. I am Yours completely. I adore and exalt You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Deeper Day 352: There’s An Army

While I was exercising today, I was contemplating yet another famous Christian leader who has apparently bowed down to the attempted stealing of an election. When I read his words, I could see he had grown weary, probably had faced a lot of criticism and pressure to stand down and finally relented. Again, I asked God, “Am I deceived? Do I need to stand down? What posture do You want me to take?” Right after those thoughts, I remembered one solid prophetic voice that I have been following throughout this stretching time and how his words are often a confirmation of my own. When listening to him I feel strong and supported. Then I came across two other trusted Christian leaders who are also continuing to stand.

I asked God, “Why are so many backing down? Why is the church so weak? Why is it so hard for the church to have a long-term united stand?”

Immediately, I was in a vision. I saw Gideon’s armies and they were at the edge of the water drinking. Do you remember? This was all a part of God paring down the army to a mere 300 men so that when they defeated the enemy, there would be no doubt that God had made it all possible.

Then I realized that is what’s happening now. This was further confirmed to my spirit because when I see people falling out of agreement with God right now, I only feel more firm and more bold. It’s not causing my faith and tenacity to decrease it’s causing it to increase.

So, there’s an army rising up. It is growing slimmer in number, but it’s God’s army. I do still believe that we will see the victory of the Lord in this season. I am daily, even hourly praying for our politicians to have a backbone should this ball be hit into their court.

This is our season. We must stand. I will not relent.

Are you in a season of standing firm for something? I encourage you to have the courage to stand and fight for whatever it is that God has placed before you. If He promised it, then simply believe it and live your life as if it will surely happen. Don’t listen to negativity. Don’t let others dissuade you from believing. Stand upon God’s promises and watch as He moves mountains for you.

Prayer Moment: God, thank You for all that You are. You are able. You are more than willing. I believe in You. Remembering Your words, brings me comfort and peace. I will not relent in my pursuit of You and Your promises. Give me strength to stand. Give me courage even when I’m standing alone. I am Yours completely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”So, Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So, Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. Judges 7:1-8

Deeper Day 351: No Lies

This world has become a web of lies. What is the purpose? Why would so many groups be coming together to facilitate a lie?

Power and Control.

The façade of pushing the socialist agenda is all about those who have power wanting to remain in power. They are blinded by it and satisfied only by obtaining more of it.

We are in a season of truth, believe it or not. Does that statement seem contradictory to the previous one? Well, it’s not. The reason I know we’re in a season of truth is because so many lies are being revealed. You see, for years and years the lies have been there, and people were slaves to them. One reason people were so enslaved to them was because they didn’t know they were lies. The deceptions were being woven like a web and many willingly crawled into the web because it had the appearance of something good and beautiful. It had the appearance of unity. Now that they are in the web, they can see they are trapped. What was boasted as unity is actually unrelentingly divisive. What many thought was good, now reveals it has the heart of evil.

God’s truth is the only truth. There is no such thing as personal truth. That’s a uniquely crafted deception of the enemy, bent on enticing people into that same web of lies. The web where one day they will discover they’ve been enslaved in something they never meant to be involved in.

Friends, this is a season to lean into truth and stand firm. We must be as unrelenting as the forces of darkness. We are on the side of God when we stand on truth. We have the ultimate victory, so why not act like it?

One reason the opposing forces riot, yell and demand is because the enemy knows he’s already defeated. He knows he has nothing to truly stand upon. He’s built a castle made of sand, and when the wave of glory comes, all his work will be washed away. His days are numbered, and he knows in the end God and His people will have the victory. It makes him so mad. It should make us feel so strong.

Remember what side you stand on. Remember where this is all headed. Give all you have on this earth so you can openly embrace your heavenly reward, as you finally see God face to face and hear those words we all long to hear. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Prayer Moment: God, help me stay strong to the end. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; His eyes examine them. The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence His soul hates. On the wicked He will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the Lord is righteous; He loves justice; upright men will see His face. Psalm 11

Deeper Day 350: Centering On Home

God created family. As I’ve mentioned before, God has never been alone. He has always been 3 in 1. Remember in the Bible He tells us:

For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

These words were spoken by God before any other people existed. Isn’t that interesting? God had just made Eve to become Adam’s wife and He spoke about being one flesh and leaving our parents. This was God’s original design for marriage. He spoke it before it was even happening. He gave the words in advance to set up the proper order. Isn’t God good?!

We can trust that centering on home is always a good option.

I can both reach out in ministry and center at home. Remaining centered at home means I can reach farther. It doesn’t mean I hunker down and forget everyone else.

Think of it this way: If a tree grows taller and wider, but doesn’t grow deeper and stronger roots, then it will eventually fall.

Our lives are the same. God places us in families, and we are to intentionally cultivate those relationships and press into family, so when we set out to minister, we have a solid foundation from which to reach. Also, we should intentionally bless our children with deep roots so when they transplant into a family of their own, they can take a solid root system with them from which to begin growing on their own. Centering on home is a gift to every single person in your household.

What can you do to be more purposeful in this area? It can be a definite challenge at times.

Recently, I’ve had both the opportunity to see some success in root building with my kids, and felt the difficulty of deepening roots in them. It usually ends up that we do both at once.

Today I encourage you to dig deep, ask the hard questions and let God show you how you can establish stronger roots within your family. And also ask Him if any twisted roots have taken hold, so you can let Him remove those so they don’t stunt your growth.

Over the last two weeks, God has shown me a few places where I had started to just “go with the flow” of others and had been at risk of losing our families original design. Now that I see, I am pulling back and re-establishing our family’s priorities, not basing it on others. I’ve already felt a freedom wash over me. You see, one reason I realized I’d started following the crowd was, I had become miserable and had lost a measure of grace. When you are walking in God’s purpose for your life, you will always have the grace you need, but when you stray, you will feel it. When you know what to look for, it becomes far easier to recognize when you need to pull back.

Prayer Moment: God, thank You for my family. Thank You for putting us together on purpose and for a purpose. Strengthen our bonds every day. Never allow anything to come between any of us. God, when it’s time for Chris and I to let one of our children go so they can begin their own family, give us the grace and wisdom we will need. Help us to establish and maintain healthy boundaries. Teach us how to grow. I adore You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

May the Lord make you increase, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to man. It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to silence; it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forevermore. Praise the Lord. Psalm 115:14-18

Deeper Day 349: Floodgates

Floodgates: a gate that can be opened or closed to admit or exclude water, especially the lower gate of a lock. A last restraint holding back an outpouring of something powerful or substantial.

So often as I begin to write, I think, “Should I tone it down? Have I pushed long enough?”, but in all honesty, I know that I’m leading a war cry. I was created for this moment and to lead the charge in whatever way I can. This is my voice.  My voice may be small, but I will use it to do whatever damage I can to the enemies plans.

You should do the same. What voice has God given to you? Where does your influence lie? Are you using it? I sure hope that you are.

Now is the time to declare the heavenly floodgates to be opened and for God to reveal Himself in our situations. What are you believing and hoping for? Not just in America, but also in your own life.

Today, I encourage you to write down the things you are hoping and believing for and then speak them out loud. When we speak things, we create a deeper agreement within our own hearts. When we speak truths, we solidify their standing in our hearts. God spoke to create the world. We speak to bring alignment within our hearts. Speaking is so important. Today I also encourage you to pray out loud. Go to God and begin to speak with your voice, not just your heart. Say the things that are burdening you, thank Him for your many blessings. Remind Him of the promises He’s spoken over your life. No, He hasn’t forgotten, but when you read scripture, you’ll find many instances of people reminding God of things. It’s a powerful thing to do, and actually it reminds you. It brings the older promises back to life in your own heart. It’s just a good practice.

So, go do it! Declare, pray, remember and do it all out loud.

Prayer Moment: God, open up the floodgates of Heaven. Pour out your mercy and truth over the earth. Release Your righteousness over us. Open the floodgates of Your dominion over us now. Spread the veil of revelation over our heads and hearts and remove the oppressive veil that has so deceptively enshrouded many. God, I still believe Your promises. I see right through the illusion that has been placed before us. I know I can’t be the only one. I know others must be able to see, hear and feel what I’m seeing, hearing and feeling. I know I am not alone, and even if I am, I stand with all of Heaven…so there is no being alone. Let the final restraint holding back Your victory upon America be removed now in Jesus’ name. Come in power. Come and deliver Your people from the grasp of the darkness that is attempting to overtake us. All in Jesus’ name, Amen.

How long, Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts, and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, “I have overcome him, and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me. Psalm 13

Deeper Day 348: Unshakeable

Lately I have thought a lot about the word, “Unshakeable”.

Unshakeable: strongly felt and unable to be changed.

Now more than ever, in every single part of my life, I’m experiencing the need to remain unshakeable. When I am discovering certain relationships in my life are not trustworthy, I am constantly returning to the unshakeable place of family. Family first.

In ministry as I navigate the ups and downs and relationships that surround it, I continue to cling to my unshakeable identity in Christ. God defines me.

In the world, as everything is up in the air and our future feel uncertain, I return to the unshakeable promises of God. God keeps His word.

I’m in a season of strengthening, which means that I am often face to face with my many weaknesses. I am learning every day to not be ashamed of weakness within myself, rather I am to press into those places and find God’s strength. Walking through a season of strengthening also means being ok with allowing others to see me as weak. I mean, really, does it matter what others think anyway?

What’s happening is God is guiding me into situations where I am needing to face conflict (which I prefer to avoid). He’s teaching me though, and we all know that when we are being taught, we will likely make many mistakes. It’s normal to fumble around when you are feeling awkward and new to doing something. But even though I’m like a toddler in some of these areas, I am still unshakeable. I still put myself in hard places. I refuse to hide from things that make me fearful.

This alone shows a great amount of strength. I must remind myself of that on a daily basis.

Never think that simply because something is hard, it means that you are better off just giving up because you’re too weak.  On the contrary, I now head straight into situations to discover strength that God has hidden deep within me. I am eager to learn. I am eager to grow. Are you?

Are you willing to face difficulty so you can become more complete in Him? Are you willing to look foolish to others, if it draws you closer to Him and makes you more unshakeable?

Prayer Moment: God, please continue to grow me. Never let me become complacent and lazy. Never let my fear of others dictate the way I walk with You. Lead me into a deeper walk with You. Every day draw me closer. Fill my heart with a deep passion and excitement for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For the Lord Your God is the One Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Deuteronomy 20:4

The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2

Deeper Day 347: Timing

If you are an email follower of my devotionals, then you may have noticed that I have not been sending out 7 at one time, for a while. Lately, it’s looked more like one devotional here and two there and just barely getting them all out in time.

I have pondered this a lot and have been asking God why He has no longer been giving me a 7 day download at one time. When I heard His answer, I also saw that it was a reflection of things going on in our country. He was in fact using my struggle with timing to represent a far greater event.

God showed me that my struggle was happening to remind me that even when my earthly ideas and timing aren’t working out, that doesn’t mean that I have stepped away from God or lost anointing. Remember, He speaks all of these devotionals to me. I never write until I feel, see or hear Him. So, when these are slow coming it means that I am slower to hear Him. I’m waiting on Him.

This is very similar to what is happening in the battle for America.

We are fighting for our very way of life. As we watch the picks for offices that are made by the falsely boasting former vice-president, a sad picture is being made. All Christians should be acutely aware of the corrupt people he is choosing from his mock position.

We need to remember that he was NEVER announced as president. The media did that and they had no right to do so. It is psychological warfare to claim one thing over and over again until people just start believing it. It’s propaganda. Don’t fall for it.

Just yesterday, I was speaking with someone and she mentioned how he was elected, and I firmly reminded her that he never actually was, but the media had proclaimed it. I saw what looked like a haze pop off of her and she said, “Oh yeah, I had forgotten.”

Friends, don’t forget how we got to where we are now. We are being dupped. The media and brazen politicians are all marching out like Haman and declaring their choice, not America’s.

God’s timing is perfect. His deliverance is coming exactly when it’s supposed to come. But look at what is being revealed during this time of waiting. So much darkness and evil is being exposed. Don’t forget that God said He was going to reveal a lot of evil being done and that we shouldn’t be overwhelmed by it. Rather, we should remember God is the One revealing. His timing is perfect. I’ll say it again, the God of the universe is never late. His timing is perfect.

Prayer Moment: God, thank You for always being on time. We pray for Your deliverance. We pray for justice to come and wipe away those who stand against You and Your kingdom. This is a time of war, I see it clearly. Help all of Your people see it. Remove the cloud of deception from those believing the lies. Free them from the entanglement of the enemy. Let Your kingdom come. Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Deeper Day 346: Keep the home fires burning

As I was walking and considering things with God, I heard, “Keep the home fires burning.”

One of the fun things about this covid season is that we’ve been gifted the opportunity to cultivate home. To pour into those most important to us. It’s been a unique time to take something the enemy wanted to use to destroy us, to instead strengthen our family bonds. Our time at home in the spring was so fulfilling. But now, as much returns to normal, it’s so important to maintain what God so graciously provided.

We must keep the home fires burning.

We must capitalize on what we’ve spent so many months pouring into. The most important thing…Family.

As we exhale bit by bit and return to the more normal way of life, let’s not forget. Don’t forget the glory of slowing down. Don’t forget the wonder of quality time spent with those you love most. Don’t forget doing less and “being” more. Don’t forget the joy found in not having a full calendar. Don’t forget the importance of rest.

We were forced to lean into God more and listen carefully. We spent more time worshiping and fasting. Praying and pressing in. Let’s keep those home fires burning.

When churches were unjustly closed, we gathered in our living rooms and met with Jesus at home with family. Another instance where God took something the enemy meant to destroy us and used it to strengthen us and our family units. Keep those home fires burning.

It’s good to let our homes be filled with worship. It is right to play sermons so everyone can hear them in the house. This changes the atmosphere in the home. This sets our compasses on Christ. Let’s keep those home fires burning.

All we need to do is place a little intentionality into our lives.

Where would we be without those home fires burning to keep us warm in the dark, cold nights?

Prayer Moment: God, please keep my life focused on the most important things. Remove distraction from my life. Place within me a sensitivity to the flames in the hearts of my children and husband. Keep me focused on You first and family right underneath. I desire to desire You. I require to require You. My design is to follow You, all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. Psalm 127:3-5