supercar saturday!

i never used to pay attention to cars.  they were merely receptacles for people, pets and my cosmetics case to get around in.  then i fell in love–

i bought my car, a 350z with a chromillusion finish,  from a kid in naperville.  dude was holding back the tears when i gave him the cash.  of course, anybody would feel that way saying goodbye to this sweet ride.  but it takes a lot of tender loving care.  only the finest handwash for this baby!

i bought my car, a 350z with a chromillusion finish, from a kid in naperville. dude was holding back the tears when i gave him the cash. of course, anybody would feel that way saying goodbye to this sweet ride. but it takes a lot of tender loving care. only the finest handwash for this baby!

 

now that i’m pretty much living out of my car, i really appreciate it all the more.  the past several saturdays i’ve been taking my sweetass car to shows.

people who are just as in lust with their cars gather together to ogle each other's rides.  my car is not technically a supercar.  in fact, it's a cheap ride that has a fancy paint job.  but the folks at supercar saturdays and v12 automotive have invited me to the bannockburn show on this coming saturday!

people who are just as in lust with their cars gather together to ogle each other’s rides. my car is not technically a supercar. in fact, it’s a cheap ride that has a fancy paint job. but the folks at supercar saturdays and v12 automotive have invited me to the bannockburn show on this coming saturday!

 

 

generally, car shows are a guy thing.  but my friend carolyn quinn is coming in and we will be the thelma and louise of the joint.  minus the finale–

a friend, a true friend, might just be willing to hold your hand in the toughest times.  thank you carolyn and thank you to all my friends!

a friend, a true friend, might just be willing to hold your hand in the toughest times. thank you carolyn and thank you to all my friends! 

 


some risk of being sued

ryan is suffering.  today’s my birthday and i’m not spending it with the most wonderful ex-boyfriend in the world.

he's always sending me these messages because a perfect ex is very supportive!  my exhusband maximillian is exactly the same way!

he’s always sending me these messages because a perfect ex is very supportive! my exhusband maximillian is exactly the same way which makes him the second best ex ever!

today is my birthday.  ordinarily, i would spend it with my ex husband just because he’s wonderful.  unfortunately, it didn’t work out this year and so i briefly considered ryan. . .

ryan, really, we both have to move on especially now that you and eva are becoming parents.  think of her feelings! and the arlynn presser t-shirt isn't going to make her feel strong and confident as she should!

ryan, really, we both have to move on especially now that you and eva are becoming parents. the arlynn presser t-shirt isn’t going to make her feel strong and confident as she should!

 

one wonderful thing about facebook (and twitter!)  (and email!) and (text messaging!) is that people can say happy birthday without having to make a trip to the post office or even getting on the horn.  i’ve had so many messages that i am only sad that i haven’t been able to keep up.  but the messages make me feel loved and special and very much like i was wearing a tiara all day long!  it made me realize that i should never pass up the opportunity to send a birthday greeeting.  so thank you for making my day and this is coming to you from my heart!

i guess fifty cent now has grounds to sue me for butchering his song.  sigh.  or maybe you’re going to sue me for hurting your ears.

warner brothers owns the rights to the traditional "happy birthday to you" song and will until 2030.  in the european union, the copyright extends til 2016.  which is why the waitress at outback steakhouse won't sing happy birthday to you.  please mr. fifty, don't sue me!

warner brothers owns the rights to the traditional “happy birthday to you” song and will until 2030. in the european union, the copyright extends til 2016. which is why the waitress at outback steakhouse won’t sing happy birthday to you. please mr. fifty, don’t sue me!

 

 

 

 


christmas in july and the anna karenina principle

the anna karenina principle of relationships goes roughly like this:

tolstoy

don’t get me wrong–i appreciate a russian literary minded dude just as much as the next gal.* but i think tolstoy had it wrong.  sure, unhappy families are interesting and exotic and make for great reality television.  but happy families?  well, they can’t all be the same because my facebook friends lane and sheila wheeler and their daughter star are, well, not the same as any other happy family.

there is no holiday i know that doesn’t get kicked off without an email from lane.  he compiles and creates the best jokes and observations that whets your appetite for halloween right around october fifteenth and st. patrick’s day on march 1.  the family is the one you know at the end of the block whose halloween decorations inspire selfies on the front lawn and christmas stuff creates parking jams from people who put out a single wreath on the front porch but aspire to more.  the wheelers are happy precisely because they reach right out and grab life for a bff hug.

this july i was delighted to join the wheelers for their traditional christmas celebration. there was a tannenbaum, a viewing of frosty the snowman, seasonal sweaters, christmas cookies, revelers, and white elephant gifts.

i took home a funnel cake maker.  i had been hoping for diamonds, but i think that's the point of white elephant parties.

i took home a funnel cake maker. i had been hoping for diamonds, but i think that’s the point of white elephant presents.

and of course, there were carols. . .

i felt festive and gay as i left the joint.  and also, just a teeny bit envious.  the wheelers are happy.  and not the same as every other happy family.  i would like that for myself.  and for everyone else.

so my thank you note to the wheelers (all right you can watch it too) is enclosed herein.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj0Vl2t2p_4

 

*maybe not putin.  i’m not clear on whether putin has written any novels or plays, but he’s a bit of a rennaisance man, what with his karate and bear wrestling and singing.  just the sending missiles to ukraine to shoot down planes is not a hobby i appreciate.

 

 

 


E for everybody is protected

so american pie actor jason biggs made a joke.  on twitter.  a really bad one.  tasteless.  insensitive.  gross.  but i thought it was pretty on target.

really?  really?

really? although to be fair, i don’t want my frequent flier miles anymore.  i flew out of kuala lampur and jeez it was the scariest experience EVER!

so he’s taking a lot of heat for the tweet about malaysian airlines flight 370.  people lashing back with such erudite gems as “go f**k a pie you piece of shit attention seeking f**king whore.”  but you know what?  he can say anything he wants. ..

 

the first amendment is a celebration of the thinker, the dreamer, the artist, the prayerful.

the first amendment is a celebration of the thinker, the dreamer, the artist, the protestor, the prayerful.

 

my grandfather fritz leiber wrote over forty novels and nearly a hundred short stories.  there is no way he could have done this if he was worried that he would be arrested or sued for any of his works.

i was put up for adoption when i was three years old so i didn't actually meet fritz until i was twenty five and tracked my parents down.  but i probably read some of fritz's stories as a teenager without realizing we were related.

i was put up for adoption when i was three years old so i didn’t actually meet fritz until i was twenty five and tracked my parents down. but i probably read some of fritz’s stories as a teenager without realizing we were related.

 

me?  i’ve published twenty seven novels, three books of trivia, three regional histories, two memoirs and some plays, short stories and whatnot.  if i were to feel pressure of “hey, you can’t write about this or that” i wouldn’t be able to write about anything at all.  i have to remember that i have rights.

jason biggs, sure, you might not make friends and influence people with this tweet but okay, it's your right as an american.  to be fair, your ouevre beginning with american pie has taught you that principle already.

jason biggs, sure, you might not make friends and influence people with this tweet but okay, it’s your right as an american. to be fair, your ouevre beginning with american pie has taught you that principle already.

 

which means that i can say or write anything i want as long as anything i present as a fact is a fact or is something i reasonably believe is a fact.  unless we’re talking about nicole kidman.

nicole kidman is the nineteen year old actress married to keith urban.  oh, wait, she just looks nineteen.

nicole kidman is the nineteen year old actress married to keith urban. oh, wait, she just looks nineteen.

 

 

so we gotta ask. . . .

 


hey ryan!

we all remember exactly where we were when we heard the news.  my friend shari called me from her car.

“eva mendes is pregnant!” she screamed.  “she’s having ryan’s baby!!”

kim kardashian and i look sort of alike when we're crying, although she is twenty years younger, has dark hair and a professional make up artist on call.  otherwise, dead ringers when we heard the news!

kim kardashian and i look sort of alike when we’re crying, although she is twenty years younger, has dark hair and a professional make up artist on call. otherwise, dead ringers when we heard the news!  this, even though she’s so happy with ‘ye!

 

ryan gosling is the perfect boyfriend.  kind, sensitive, loyal.  he’s not the one who will break your heart, cheat with your former bff, or take off with the milk money.  just look at ryan–does this man look like he could ever lie to his best gal?

he's always sending me these messages because a perfect boyfriend is very supportive!

he’s always sending me these messages because a perfect boyfriend is very supportive!

but even though he’s perfection itself, it just wasn’t going to work for us.  i have to let him go because now he’s eva’s.  i guess those rumors they had broken up were wrong!

 

 

no, ryan, you have to be strong!

no, ryan, you have to be strong!


i’m possibly your most secret admirer!

a few years ago, i was at edward’s flowers in winnetka perusing a selection of tussy mussies to present to my then husband maximillian for valentine’s day.  winnetka is a small town and everybody knows a little too much about everyone else ergo i knew this much to be true:

1.  etta had never married

2.  etta had two cats

3.  etta was approaching retirement with the foreboding of one who has seen one’s fondest dreams unrealized

a tussy mussy is a diminutive bouquet and requires patience and concentratino on the part of the florist to create.  etta was the best tussy mussy emprasario--

a tussy mussy is a diminutive bouquet and requires patience and concentratino on the part of the florist to create. etta was the best tussy mussy emprasario–

while i regarded my choices, she allowed as how she hated valentine’s day.

“is it because it’s such a busy holiday for florists?”  i asked.

“no, it’s because i was asked to marry on that day,”  she said.  “i was going out with a boy and he asked me to marry him and i got so scared i said no and ran home. the next day, i regretted it and wanted to marry him, really i did.  but he had up and joined the navy and was already gone.  i never saw him again.”

at that very moment, i became etta’s secret admirer. waiting until etta was out of earshot, i asked the manager to make sure etta got a sweet something for the special day.  now, you can’t really give a florist flowers for a holiday because it’s a little like giving candy to a chocolate maker.  etta loved limoge boxes so that’s sort of what she got from her secret admirer.  a few weeks later, the manager slipped me a letter from etta.

“oh, yeah, she quizzed me,”  the manager said.  “i told her i couldn’t tell her who it was.  but she thinks maybe it’s an older gentleman.  married.  too honorable to directly approach her.”

“tell her she’s right.”

so for the next years, i made sure that etta got a valentine’s day gift, a little something for may day, a halloween treat, a christmas surprise. just before edward’s manager left her job, she informed her replacement of the unusual arrangement.

a limoges box is created in the eponymous french city.  the hinged boxes are made of kaolin clay which is native to limoges.  originally created to store snuff, these are collected world wide.  unfortunately, they're damn expensive.  i didn't buy any true limoges for etta, but there are some awfully sweet knock-offs.

a limoges box is created in the eponymous french city. the hinged boxes are made of kaolin clay which is native to limoges. originally created to store snuff, these are collected world wide. unfortunately, they’re damn expensive. i didn’t buy any true limoges for etta, but there are some awfully sweet knock-offs.

and a few weeks after every holiday, i received an envelop addressed to her secret admirer.  often she wrote about her cats and what she had been doing outside of work.  one year she even made me–er, well, the elderly gentleman who was too honorable to declare himself–a christmas ornament out of silk thread and a styrofoam ball.  and in person, etta never once betrayed that there was an admirer in her life and treated me no differently than any other customer.

i have left  winnetka but stopped in at edward’s one last time to pick up flowers and to talk to the manager about how to long distance this relationship.

“i have these for you,”  she said.

three cards were presented to me, each with a floral theme.  in one of them she wrote that she was retiring.

three cards were presented to me, each with a floral theme. in one of them etta wrote that she was retiring.

so now my relationship as her secret admirer is over, but i believe it was her perfect romance.  quiet, restrained, delicate–just like etta herself.  i hope she always and forever thinks of herself as loved.

this was a good relationship for me as well.

this was a good relationship for me as well.

 

 

 

 


mike coglan’s sermon on how to fight with the devil. . .

i am a member of a congregation in kearney, missouri.  i found the sermon this sunday to be the most interesting.  and i’d like your feedback.  i print the entire sermon as it was given to the congregation.  many thanks to my friend mike coglan. ..

Retired General Fred Franks was the subject of and the co-author of a book with the late Tom Clancy called, Into The Storm: A Study of Command.  Not to be confused with General Tommy Franks, Fred Franks was the commander of ground forces in the first Gulf War.  His leadership is given much credit for the sweeping and overwhelming victory of coalition forces had in the 1991 conflict.

Clancy focused on Fred Franks as an unlikely hero.  He is a short man with a mild temperament.  He lost a leg to a land mine in Viet Nam.  He’s one of only a very few men who were able to continue to serve as commanders after having a limb amputated.  But he is a genius in the strategies of warfare.

Two of his distinguishing characteristics are his ability to prepare his forces for battle and his ability to know and understand his enemy.  When his armies took the field, they were supplied perfectly with back-up systems in place so that they were never allowed to run out of critical ammunition, fuel and equipment.  He was a logistical genius who could foresee breakdowns in supply lines and vulnerabilities to troops being cut off.   Franks also worked hard to make sure that there was a special camaraderie in his troops —he wanted them to know and care for each other because he knew that friends watch each other’s backs.  When these men took the battlefield, they were mentally prepared; they were a team and they had all the equipment they could need.

But perhaps Franks’ most distinguishing ability was to know his enemy.  He drilled it into the men that their enemy was ruthless and cruel and would use every opportunity to kill them.  He insisted that his men make themselves believe that the enemy was resourceful, prepared, deceptive and merciless.  They will not hesitate to make orphans of your children.  They will not miss the opportunity to widow your spouse.  They will not fight according to any rules of fairness and they seek nothing but to destroy you.

He told his men that the goal of war was to win as quickly and overwhelmingly as possible.  They could not afford to be sensitive to the enemy, nor allow the enemy to regroup and regather their confidence.  Once the bullets were flying the most merciful thing that could be done was to win quickly.  Any additional time on the clock means more lost lives.  When it’s life and death, it’s not a game.

Franks drilled this into his men until he was sure that they believed it.  In this final section of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Paul gives us the same message.  Please turn to Ephesians 6.  In this short letter, Paul has explained the mystery of the church and responsibilities of each follower of Christ.  Now he underlines his teaching with a warning on the nature of war.

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. 

Paul begins with a call to duty:

Be Strong and Stand Your Ground (6:10-13)

Paul warns of an ongoing struggle throughout life.  “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power,” he says in v. 10.    Life is not easy; in fact we are going to face the “devil’s schemes” (v. 11).   In order for believers to “stand,” or hold their post against the waves of diabolical attacks, he commands us to “put on the full armor of God.”

We will “struggle” says Paul in v. 12.  He uses a word that means hand-to-hand combat.  But this combat is not hand-to-hand.  It is “not against flesh and blood.”  Human beings are not the ultimate enemy of the gospel and the church.  Humans may be the instruments of battle, but the enemy is spiritual in nature.

Paul assumes that his readers have some understanding of the enemy.  Many or most of the Ephesians are former pagans, and they don’t have a background in the Old Testament.  But he doesn’t have to convince them that there are spiritual beings in the world.  They’ve seen black magic.  They’ve seen the supernatural.  When they came to Christ, they realized that the gods they formerly worshiped were really spiritual beings called angels.

They learned that God created angels, but a long time ago some of them rebelled against God.  The scriptures describe the leader of the rebellion as an angel named Satan, or the devil.  He is a real being who fought a real war in heaven according to Revelation 12.  Jesus called him a murderer and the father of lies in John 8.  He deceived some of God’s angels to follow him, and together they deceive humans today.

These spiritual foes are strategic and organized.  Paul said there are “rulers,” there are “authorities,” and there are “powers,” and they’re all coming for us.   These “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” are disciplined and they want to kill us.  They will not hesitate to destroy your home, your marriage, your children and your career.  They will entice you to sin, and then use your sin to destroy your reputation.  They will bring famine to your fields, they will bring recession to your industry, and they will impoverish you if they can.

Just like General Franks, Paul said know your enemy.  And Peter said the same thing:

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

(1 Peter 5:8)

Your enemy is invisible, resourceful, seductive and bloodthirsty.  Don’t be lulled into thinking he’s not there.  When your guard is down is when you are most vulnerable.  Paul wanted us to believe that the devil will exploit any weakness to neutralize us and destroy us.  Ephesians has been called the handbook on spiritual warfare.  Take it seriously.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood.  When a home is attacked; when a marriage fails; when children rebel against their parents – we are not fighting against a human enemy.  Know the real enemy and be prepared.

A second time Paul warns to put on “full armor” in v. 13 so that “when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground”—that is, to successfully resist the enemy and maintain your territory.   So he says check your equipment.

Check Your Equipment (6:14-18)

In verse 14-18, Paul describes in detail the equipment needed for the battle.  Paul was in prison under a Roman guard when he wrote these words.  Every day he observed the weapons and armor worn by a trained professional soldier.  They became an appropriate metaphor for tools of a spiritual war.

As we study this passage, note the connection between the type of armor listed and the nature of the spiritual warfare.  Six specific pieces of armor are listed, including both offensive and defensive weapons.  He lists them in the order that a soldier would actually put them on.  With each of these securely in place the believer is to “stand firm”:

The first weapon is the “belt of truth.”  This belt wrapped the first layer of a soldier’s garments.  Both the breastplate and the sword were attached to this belt, which also protected the soldier’s heart and vital organs.  A soldier at ease might move about with his belt lose for comfort, but then the belt “buckled” it meant that the soldier was ready to fight.

Paul said that our “belt” is the “truth” which is found in the gospel of Christ.  The foundation of all our armor is knowledge of and belief in the Word of God.  If you aren’t confident and growing in the truth, then the rest of the armor won’t be much use.  Truth supports all the other weapons and withstands the lies of the devil that are always aimed at the heart of the follower of Christ.

The second weapon is the “breastplate,” a large vest that covered the body from the neck to the thighs and consisted of two principle parts. One shielded the front of the body and the other the back.  The soldier in Christ’s army has a breastplate of “righteousness,” surrounding us on all sides by sound character and obedience to the God’s laws.  This is a righteousness that belongs first to Christ, whose perfect obedience to God’s law is the basis for our forgiveness and transformation.  His sacrifice made it possible for us to become righteous.

The third weapon is the footwear.  Roman soldier wore heavy shoes specially designed for battle.  To have them “fitted” meant to strap them on tightly so as to guarantee sure footing.  Some soldiers would drive nails through the soles of their shoes to increase traction.  To fall in battle meant death.   Our shoes are “the gospel of peace.”   We stand firm in the midst of chaos because of the peace of the gospel.

This peace is the experience of a deep union with God and a confidence in His plans.  No soldier is more dangerous than when he is not afraid to die.  This is only the case when he or she is at peace with God and eternity.

The fourth weapon is the shield.  The soldier’s shield was an oblong piece of wood measuring 4 x 2 ½ feet.  It was designed to protect the vital organs of the body. To make it more impenetrable, it was covered with thick leather and soaked with water so even flaming arrows would be extinguished.  Romans learned that soldiers abandoned their shields when hit with fire

Ours is a “shield of faith,” and it too can withstand flaming arrows.  This faith is a complete dependence upon God.  A believer must find his or her security in the power and trustworthiness of God.  The enemy will send figurative “arrows” that flame with doubts and fears, temptations and tribulation, and a host of other such attacks.  When we get hit we cannot put down our shield.

The fifth weapon is the helmet.  Romans constructed helmets of bronze and leather flaps to cover the cheeks and lower side of the face. Inside, the helmet was lined with sponge so that its heavy weight would be more bearable.  The helmet was so sturdy that nothing short of an axe could penetrate its outer surface.

Our helmet is “salvation.” It’s the gift of eternal life from God.  No matter what happens in any given battle we face, no matter what the short term outcome is, we are secure in God’s eternal love and protection.  The victory is already won and our destiny is set.  With this helmet we face only those who can harm our body.

The final weapon is the sword. The only offensive weapon in the soldier’s possession was the famous Roman sword.  Perfected by centuries of experience, the Roman sword was shorter than enemy swords, but more mobile and deadly in the hands of a trained soldier.

Our “sword” is “of the Spirit.”  The Holy Spirit supplies and empowers this weapon, but Paul states that the weapon specifically is the “word of God.”  This is a great symbol for using the Bible.  We don’t fight like the enemies of Rome with brute force.  We rely on the power of the Spirit.  We don’t use blunt instruments like axes and clubs.  The word of God is a double-edged sword that requires study and practice to be used effectively.

When the devil attacked Jesus in the desert in Matthew 4, he used the Bible to tempt Jesus.  Only Jesus’ knowledge of Scripture was able to turn aside the blows.  But he didn’t strike the devil back.  That day will come as predicted in repeatedly in the New Testament.  This war is going to end someday.  When it does, Jesus will be the conqueror.

Each of these weapons represents an essential truth of the gospel itself.  Spiritual warfare is a battle for truth; it begins with truth and ends with the source of truth.  Satan’s most powerful weapon is the lie, more specifically, false doctrine.  He used in the Garden of Eden.  He used it in the desert against Jesus.  He uses it in churches that abandon the Word of God.  He will use it against anyone who does not take care to practice and train with the sword.

In the next section, Paul implores us that as soldiers, we need to watch each other’s backs.  He says we must pray for each other.

Pray for Others (6:18-20)

In verses 18-20, Paul calls the church to continual, consistent, and fervent prayer. We are to “pray in the Spirit,” that is, to pray under the prompting, leadership, and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

We are to pray, “at all times.”  Pray morning, noon and night; pray while you’re driving, pray in the shower, pray while you jog.  When you hear an ambulance siren, stop and pray.  When you get a prayer request, stop now and pray, not later.  Pray continually, Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Pray “with all kinds of prayers and requests.”  Don’t stop and wonder if your prayer is too small.  God won’t be bothered.  Pray for the big things and the small things.  Pray for things near and far.  Pray for the future and the present.  Don’t be frugal with prayer.  God loves the voices of his children, so just pray.

Paul said, “be alert;” be watchful for every opportunity to pray.  Paul said prayer is always urgent.  He was echoing the master’s instructions from Luke 21:36,

36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Again, the war will end someday and we’ll all see Christ return.  When he does, he wants to find us fighting and praying for the Kingdom.  So, “always keep on praying for all the saints.”  One of the great signs of a healthy church is that members pray for each other.

Finally Paul says pray for me too.   Pray that words may be given to me.   Pray that I can witness even to this big sweaty soldier that brings me my food.  I’m an ambassador in chains, you know.

Paul’s request here is very touching.  Even in prison he was looking for a chance to win someone to Christ.  And he was utterly dependant on God for the success of his teaching and evangelistic ministry. Clearly, his confidence was not in his knowledge, strength, or strategy, but in the sovereign God who called him to apostleship.

Paul wanted to speak in ways that brought glory to God and clearly communicated the message of salvation. Twice he says he wants to speak, “fearlessly.”  Why would Paul pray for courage?  This man was imprisoned three times, beaten by mobs, stoned and shipwrecked.  Few men ever showed so much courage.

I picture a man who knows he is going to die.  Paul is in his 60s now, and he’s beginning to think maybe I’m too old for this.  He probably knew that Rome wasn’t going to let him go a fourth time.  Soon he’ll be writing his last words to his favorite disciple Timothy:  “I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith. … The time has come for my departure.”

He knows the axe is coming.  He knows that sooner or later, he’ll be led out to a courtyard and beheaded.  But this is the way of war, and Paul wants to go down swinging.

Having finished the instructions of the letter, Paul turns to some final important details.  First he makes an introduction of the man named Tychicus who is to deliver the letter, and he concludes this letter with a blessing for all his readers.

As we move to communion, let this blessing be your meditation as you examine your life.  Please bow your heads and receive this blessing.  After a moment of silence, I will invite you to the table of grace.


23Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.


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