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What Is the Great Commission? — Charisma Magazine

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Conversations Priscilla Du Preez Unsplash
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Have you heard the term “The Great Commission”? It’s a term that has been used fairly recently in church history, and it’s often equated to missions. If you’re like most U.S. churchgoers, according to Barna Research, you may not know the term or be able to recall what it means. That’s OK; I’ve got your back. Here are the verses that contain what’s known as The Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20.

When I first read these verses, I thought they were a special calling for super-Christian missionaries to go overseas to share the gospel. I didn’t think it meant I should share my faith here. (In my defense, when I was a kid, 93% of Americans identified as Christian.) Then the world changed. And I didn’t notice the mosques, gurdwaras, stupas and temples multiplying in small towns and big cities across North America. The mainstream churches I attended never talked about reaching these new neighbors of other faiths for Jesus here. There were no classes for how to share my faith with people of other faiths and cultures. Life in my suburban Christian bubble was filled to the brim with raising a family, growing my career and volunteering. I never noticed the growing number of people from other faiths and cultures around me. And it never occurred to me to intentionally seek them out or to share the good news of Jesus.

It crushes me now to realize that in one generation, the percentage of Americans who identify as Christian in America has slid dramatically from 93% to 65%, per Pew Research. Where I live now in the buckle of America’s Bible-belt, just 48% identify as Christian. There are eight nations represented in my cul-de-sac alone. It’s ironic. We are free to share our faith here, yet most Christians aren’t, and Christianity is declining fast. Meanwhile, in parts of the world where you can be killed for sharing your faith, such as China and Iran, Christianity is growing fast.

This is a wake-up call for our generation. If the trajectory of Christianity’s decline and Islam’s growth continues unchecked, Muslims are projected to outnumber Christians within just a few generations in Europe, Canada and even here in America. This is a problem. Christians and Muslims alike who live in modern-day Islamic-ruled nations lack religious freedoms and face extreme difficulties. I don’t want this kind of a life for my children’s children. Do you?

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Jesus called us to be His witnesses and tell non-believers in our suburbs, our nations and the world the Good News (see Acts 1:8). If we believe what the Bible plainly declares—that our sovereign God is calling a great multitude of people to be His own—we must also embrace the wonderful, breathtaking privilege to proclaim the hope of Jesus so that “all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Num. 14:21, AMP).

So what holds you back? Here’s what held Paige back: distractions. She grew up in the church yet struggled to understand the heart of God. She knew she should love her new neighbors from other faiths and cultures yet wrested with insecurities. Then she discovered two simple things that put everything into place. Now she’s experiencing more joy and adventure living as an authentic Christian witness than she ever imagined. You can have this too. Paige’s story will inspire and embolden you to see yourself in God’s story right now. Listen to this podcast episode of iHOPE Empowers on Charisma Podcast Network here. Torch1

Karen Bejjani is an author, co-founder and executive director of iHOPE Ministries, a non-profit ministry that is changing the way Christians think about sharing their faith with people of other faiths. Since 2011, iHOPE has empowered tens of thousands of Christians to cross religious boundaries and extend God’s transformative love.

As a fearless, relatable visionary and empowering coach, Karen has trained, coached and mentored thousands of entrepreneurs to build successful businesses as a senior corporate executive. Now she uses those skills to lead a movement of everyday Christian women who are crossing religious boundaries to share the hope of Jesus.

Karen is writing a book called The Blue Cord to change the way everyday women think about sharing their biblical faith with women of other faiths and cultures. Her powerful stories and practical coaching have emboldened believers around the world to change lives for eternity. When she’s not empowering others to cross cultural and religious boundaries to share Jesus, Karen spends her time hiking through forests and enjoying good Lebanese food with family and friends. Connect with Karen through Instagram or iHOPEministries.org.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.



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Ring The Bell

How We Should Live in This Season of Jesus’ Return — Charisma Magazine

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Ring The Bell
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The arrival of the global community introduces the season of Jesus’ return. As Jesus gives us these signs of His Second Coming in Matthew 24, He then teaches us how we should live in this season. He begins with the parable of the fig tree in which He emphasizes that His followers should know when they have entered into the time of His return. It is obvious and clear He expects us to be aware the season has begun.

The next parable instructs us that we should be alert and watchful, looking for Him to come again and not be like those who were unaware as in the days of Noah. The third parable teaches us the difference between the wise and faithful servant as opposed to the evil servant in the Master’s house.

The fourth parable contrasts the wise virgins and the foolish virgins in who will be welcomed into His wedding feast from those who will be shut out. The last parable inspires us as to how we are to use our God-given resources to prepare the way for our coming deliverer.

In the next articles we examine more closely what these parables mean for us.

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Jesus then completes His prophetic teachings with His judgment of the nations. He divides them into the sheep and goat nations. Those who have obeyed His command to minister to the least of these contrast against the nations who have failed to help those in need. This judgment is also tied to whether the nation has blessed or cursed Israel.

All of these prophetic words we will glean in depth as to how we should live in this season of Jesus’ return to prepare the way for our King to come. As the old hymn says,

O the King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

When I was in Zambia several years ago, we were holding crusades across the northwest part of the nation as well as planting churches. We left Chief Kanyama and his kingdom full of fire and faith as we witnessed numerous miracles and prophecies come forth from heaven. We traveled to our last town called Kabompo, a beautiful village on the magnificent Kabompo River full of crocodiles and hippos.

I was exhausted from several weeks of preaching and ministering with our team. I lost my voice, but every time I went to preach it came back to life. God continued to do miracles and save souls and baptize many in the Holy Spirit.

Since there was no power in the newly constructed but half-finished church, we held our final service in the daylight of the late afternoon. Before the service I was extremely blessed to see one of the elderly ladies sweeping the church.

When we first arrived and were greeted by the people, I remembered that she had been hunched over and in great pain. Yet now she looked like a teenager full of joy and spry as a young woman.

I was amazed at her sparkling countenance, so I asked her what happened? With a broad smile as wide as the Kabompo River, she said Jesus healed me, and she began to dance. What joy filled our service that day!

Many came forward to repent of the double lives they were living to give their full surrender to live for Jesus. Many others were healed and even more baptized in the Holy Spirit.

When it ended, I was so tired I had no more to give. Then the leader stood up and said the presence and power of God had been so evident they needed to hold one more service that evening in the dark.

He looked at me for affirmation. My flesh said no, but the Spirit said yes. We would hold one more service before we would head home.

That night God continued to move to transform lives for Jesus. His light drove away the darkness. By the end of the ministry time we saw so many more miracles of life come forth from the hand of God I knew it was well worth holding another time of worship. Now I could go to our little room to rest for the night.

I was so spent all I wanted to do was sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow within the mosquito netting I was out.

Before sunrise, I was still asleep, when suddenly someone started ringing the village bell that woke me up. It had not rung all week. Now someone was ringing it, and he would not stop, as though it was his job to awaken the entire village.

I pleaded with God to make him stop, but he kept on ringing and ringing. I cried out, “Please cease ringing the bell,” but he went about his task as though his life depended on it.

I just wanted to go back to sleep. Then the Spirit spoke clearly to me that He wanted me to hear this bell and be awakened. For I was just like His church wanting to stay comfortably asleep while His Son prepared to return. He commanded me to ring the bell to awaken His people and to awaken the nations, sharing with them that Jesus was coming.

From that time forward I have shared that message across the globe to hungry men and women who stood on pews and shouted, “I will ring the bell! I will ring the bell! Wake up; Jesus is coming!”

Will you join us to ring the bell, announcing the King is coming?

Author’s Note: The Presence of God lives in us. The Word tells us the Holy Spirit comes into our lives the moment we are born again. We also know that the Father and Son abide in us as they have made Their home in us. This life we have in Jesus is a glorious one. We are being changed from one degree of glory to another to be like Jesus. We hunger for less of us and more of God to fill us completely. There are also moments when God’s presence fills the atmosphere where we worship as our Lord did when Solomon dedicated the temple or when Isaiah saw Jesus, the Lord of Hosts, in the temple, or when the Holy Spirit was poured out in Cornelius’ house in the book of Acts. When God acts in His glory, lives are transformed to live for His purposes and plans to redeem the world.

We have set our hearts on God to come in His glory at our “Hosting His Presence” event on Sept. 9-12. We do not want only an encounter with God but for Him to remain, so it is not just a visitation but a habitation that draws us daily to Himself. This glory moment will inspire us with dreams and visions to go into the world as Jesus sent His apostles and disciples to the nations of the earth. Begin praying now for this Holy Spirit gathering, that Jesus will be exalted, and we will see a nation transformed for Jesus.

Our gathering is free. You can register at eventbrite.com.

Once a professional baseball player with the Chicago Cubs Organization, Blake Lorenz was called to Asbury Seminary after a radical encounter with Jesus, where he received his master’s degree. He has pastored in the Orlando area for 33 years and has been blessed with the opportunity to evangelize globally, visiting five continents and preaching the gospel to tens of thousands. Blake has also helped plant 500 churches. He has been working in Israel for the past 20 years, includes serving on the board of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast in connection with the Knesset. In 2020, blakelorenzministries.com and the Awaken podcast launched to teach and challenge others to join him on a journey of anticipating the return of Jesus. He has used the three books he’s written in his seminars and conferences. He and his wife, Beverly, share three children and six grandchildren.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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Lessons From the Scariest Day of My Life — Charisma Magazine

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Prison Tuyen Vo Unsplash
(Unsplash/Tuyen Vo)

It was the scariest day of my life. My heart felt like it would explode out of my chest. I tried to run through scenarios of how to escape, but I couldn’t focus on anything other than the excruciating pain of the handcuffs digging into my wrists. In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined that I would be shackled to a chair in an underground room in Iraq wondering if I would live or die. Yet there I was—and I needed Jesus to be my deliverer.

In the newest episode of the AIMS.ORG Podcast, my wife and I recall the day I was taken and beaten by a group of angry men in northern Iraq, and the lessons God taught me in the midst of it.

As you listen to my story, please remember the partner missionaries of AIMS.ORG who live in regions of the world where “scary days” are all too familiar. Here are a few of their prayer requests:

— North African missionary. “Pray for grace to continue to bear persecutions and for protection from Boko Haram kidnappers.”

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— East African missionary. “To preach the gospel is not allowed. If somebody tells the police, I will be in jail, so I am ministering secretly in a home church by changing the prayer house weekly.”

— Southeast Asian missionary. “Our government threatens to put us in jail if we do a religious conversion. Hinduism is getting stronger by force, and they threaten to kill us and torture us. There are many risks in doing ministry, but because of God’s grace we are able to do it.”

Living through a global pandemic, the words, “your safety is our top priority” have been preached so repetitively that many people have adopted the idea that “safety” really is the top priority.

May we challenge that idea. When you’re called to be a difference-maker in the world, safety cannot be the highest goal.

I pray my story will challenge your ideas about godly risk, while drawing you deeper into the heart of the merciful and loving God who sets captives free! Listen to the full conversation here.

AIMS.ORG is a ministry dedicated to training and sending native missionaries to establish church planting movements among ethnic groups who have no access to the gospel. Discover how your life can impact nations by visiting aims.org. Torch1

Joshua Bold, president of AIMS.ORG, is a missionary mobilizer and advocate for unreached people groups. He is known for his passion, big vision, humor and ability to blaze new trails. In 2005, Joshua attended Bible school after being supernaturally delivered from drug addiction. Three years later, he and his wife moved to northern Iraq as missionaries, where they planted a house church, baptized former Muslims and opened a cafe. Joshua now spends his days mobilizing the church to send native missionaries to the remaining unreached tribes of the earth. A loving husband and father, he enjoys spending time with his family in the mountains of Colorado, where they currently reside.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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In His Name Ambo Ethiopia Resized

What Happened When God Called This ‘Closet Christian’ to Crusade Evangelism — Charisma Magazine

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In His Name Ambo Ethiopia Resized
In His Name crusade in Ambo, Ethiopia (Courtesy of In His Name Ministries)

I have a confession to make.

When I heard the call of the Lord to be a crusade evangelist, I had not won one soul for Jesus. I confess this to my eternal shame. I was a closet Christian.

Yet, when the Lord spoke to my heart and appointed me to the mighty task of mass evangelism, I instinctively understood something: He could not use me to preach the gospel to the masses until I could witness to the individual. And so, I started—albeit awkwardly and messily. But, in spite of my inexperience and nervousness, the Lord used me to win the lost, soul by precious soul. Today, He uses me to win both the one and the many!

Why do I share this with you? For two primary reasons. First, when the Lord calls you to do something, I guarantee that you will feel unqualified for the task. You will feel insufficient, unprepared and unable. This is completely natural, dear friend. Our God wants you to step out upon the waters. He wants you to be completely reliant and utterly dependent on Him. He wants you to cling to Him fervently and draw from Him desperately. Why? He wants you to achieve the impossible—and the impossible is only possible if attempted hand-in-hand with Him! In my case, He called a young woman who had not yet won one soul for Jesus to win the masses for Jesus. How typical of the Lord! After all, He called uneducated fishermen to lead the early church and teach ceiling-shattering doctrine. He called a murderer and church-hater to pen the gospel of peace and write a prolific portion of the New Testament. He called a herder of sheep to be the king of His people. In short, He calls us to become what we most certainly are not and then makes us to be what we could never dream of becoming. This is the delight of the master of the universe and the prerogative of the architect of all creation! And so, embrace the uncertainty, push past the fear and take that first step of faith. This leads me to my second point.

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Dear friend, whatever dream the Lord has laid upon your heart, whatever purpose He has called you to accomplish, the important thing is for you to get going. Take the first step, regardless of how small it may seem or how poorly you take it. The Lord will grow you, advance you and, when the time in right and your character is steadfastly grounded in Him, He will raise you up! Take the first step … and then the next … and then the next. For me, starting to evangelize one-on-one was the first step. Perhaps your first step is registering that dream business, applying for an online course, volunteering at your local church or simply spending more time with the Lord in prayer and His Word on a regular basis. You know what that first step is, and if you are unsure, take the most logical one. God loves action. If you take an action step with a sincere heart, doing your best to follow His leading, He will use it for His glory and redirect if necessary. The Lord works with workers and moves with movers. Go forward, and go for it! The Lord is with you.

Listen to the first episode of In His Name on the Charisma Podcast Network, Getting to Know Tamryn and learn more about how the Lord called me to crusade evangelism and how I went about taking that first step of faith. I know it will be a great encouragement to you in your own walk with the Lord. Torch1

Tamryn Klintworth is an evangelist and the founder of In His Name Ministries, an organization winning Africa for Jesus through mass crusades and empowering believers around the world to be used by God. Connect with @tamrynklintworth on Instagram and Facebook.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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Are You Devout or Dangerous?

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“Are you devout? Or are you dangerous?” That is the question Pastor Mike Signorelli of V1 Church poses in his latest teaching from Pentecost Sunday.

Signorelli takes us to Acts 2 to set up the scene for Pentecost. There we see the fire of the Holy Spirit come upon the believers in the upper room, which led the devout men dwelling in the city around them to be amazed and astonished at those who to them were mere Galileans, simple, uneducated men. The difference between the devout men and the dangerous ones was that the devout had a spirit of religion, whereas the dangerous ones were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Signorelli reminds us that Satan does a lot of our devout practices too. Satan read the Bible. Satan knows Jesus, and he attends most local churches every week! So what takes you from devout to dangerous? Doing the will of the Father.

In Mark 16:15, Jesus gives us a mandate to “go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Signorelli points out that it doesn’t say go to church or a Bible study, or go post a carefully curated video on Tik Tok—but go into all the world. He says this will then make you desperate to go to church so that you can be refilled and equipped!

He goes on to make a bold statement that, “Being a Christian who doesn’t tell non-Christians what Christ did for them makes the most miserable existence possible.”

So we’ll ask again, “Do you want to be devout, or do you want to be dangerous?”

For more teachings download the V1 Church app or follow Mike Signorelli on Facebook or Instagram. {eoa}

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This Divine Encounter in a Bar Led a Lost Soul to Salvation — Charisma Magazine

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I often tell the story of a group of friends and I going to a restaurant with Dr. Nick Gough. We had to walk through the bar area to get to our table, and as we were being seated, we noticed he was no longer with us. Looking around, we finally found him.

He was in the bar speaking with a woman and her brother. He was prophesying to her about her abusive broken relationships and the love she desperately wanted to find. Though she rejected his offer of Jesus, her brother was drawn in, saying there was no way Nick could have known those things about his sister. He knew God must be real and accepted Christ in the bar.

Prophecy is a powerful tool for evangelism. I have seen it in action and can tell you it is one of the most effective tools I have ever seen. I have witnessed it in actual real time practice with my friends, pastors Nick and Robin Gough, who are some of the best prophetic evangelists I know. They are pastors of a growing church in Apex, North Carolina, called Hope Chapel.

Listen in on the powerful conversation I recently had with them on my podcast Move Forward With Dr. Kim Maas on the Charisma Podcast Network. Hear their stories and be inspired, encouraged and empowered to step into this exciting and powerful season with this incredible tool. Then let God use you to bring the lost into the kingdom!

If you missed our first podcast of the season with Special Guest: Dr. Randy Clark. You can listen here as he discusses revival movements and prophecy in our church history. Torch1

For more information and more resources visit kimmaas.com.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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Has the Church Lost Sight of Kingdom-Minded Evangelism? — Charisma Magazine

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(Unsplash/Vince Fleming)

Recently, I’ve been profoundly stirred about evangelism. Now, just before your eyes glaze over at the mention of the “e” word, take a moment to hear me out—or, read me out, as it may be. The new kingdom era that we’ve just entered is an era of unprecedented harvest. The prophets have been saying for a generation that this time was coming, a time when the global harvest would come in. I think they’re right. But I think, since they are right, we need to align our hearts with the chief evangelist as He teaches us how to do evangelism in a new, kingdom-centered way.

I have a thousand things to say about this, but I’ll offer just three.

First, we need a new model. The two primary models of evangelism in the past were No. 1 soul winning (hard sell, cold call, salesman-style personal evangelism) and No. 2 church growth (a crowd draws a crowd, pack ’em in and let the “wow factor” win them). Though both are rooted in noble motives, both tend toward performance-based evangelism. Since both are numbers-based and results-driven, people tend to become incidental to the mission.

Second, the church needs a new release of the Spirit of “The Evangelist” Himself—the Lord Jesus. Evangelism must not be detached from the person and presence of Jesus. We must not reduce evangelism down to a technique or a method. Evangelism is the Spirit of the living Christ who was “moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes.” The one who cried out so passionately so long ago, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers!” is still crying out today.

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Third, evangelism must become again, as it was originally meant to be, “kingdom evangelism.” And I mean by that we must see evangelism as heralding the good news of the kingdom. Evangelism is so much more than merely saving the lost so they can go to heaven when they die. No, evangelism is recruiting people for kingdom influence and world transformation right here, right now. With kingdom evangelism, success is measured in the transformation of people and families, cities and nations, not in the size of crowds we gather.

The old tricks won’t work anymore. The COVID-19 shutdown has made it painfully obvious to many Christians that church-as-they-knew-it is completely irrelevant to their lives. Many have found they don’t miss it, thank you very much. But there is a groundswell of lost people being swept into the kingdom by the inexorable drawing of the Father’s heart. And, if we are to partner with Him for this harvest, then we must shake off the old methods that were designed mostly to secure our success in the eyes of others, and we must embrace kingdom evangelism once more.

Listen to Kingdom Strategies on the Charisma Podcast Network to learn more about the three evangelistic efforts Jesus came to implement in the church. Torch1

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.




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