Friends,
Rom. 15:10 says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.” This is a quote from Dt. 32:43 which says, “Rejoice, O nations, with His people.” Thus we see that God’s Word equates the word “nations” with the term “Gentiles”, and that it separates the words “His people” from the word “Gentiles”. Consequently we can see that the term “Gentiles” is in contrast to the term “Jews” or “Israelites”. In other words, God’s people are the Israelites.

And why are the Gentile nations to rejoice with the Israelites? The rest of Dt. 32:43 tells us: “…for He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will take vengeance on His enemies and make atonement for His land and people.” Do we hear this? Do we accept that God is going to avenge the blood of His servants and that the term “His servants” refers to the Israelites? This is the context. Do we accept that God will make atonement not only for His people, but also for “His land”? If “His land” actually means “His people”, then the word “land” would be unnecessary in this promise.

God’s inheritance consists of both a land and a people. He chose a particular piece of real estate to be His own (Lev. 25:23 // Isa. 14:2 // Ezek. 36:1-15) and He chose a certain race to be His own –those who have descended from Jacob. (Dt. 7:6 & 14:2 & 32:9,10 // Ps. 135:4) Both the land and the race were what God separated from all others to be holy unto Himself. (same verses // Ps. 78:54) This chosen nation of people was commanded to possess the land God had chosen for Himself. As God promised the Israelites through Moses: “I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God… And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.” (Ex. 6:7,8) It was through this people group that God chose, and will choose again, to bring salvation, justice, and righteousness to the earth. (Gen. 12:1-3 // Isa. 9:6,7 // John 4:22) In this land God decreed that He would set up His sanctuary in which His Spirit would dwell and His Son would return to live and rule physically. (Isa. 9:6,7 // Acts 3:21)

Numerous passages in God’s Word state the Lord’s promise to the Israelites concerning His physical land. It is the land He swore to their forefathers to give them (Ex. 13:5), doing so with an oath. (v. 11) As Gen. 15:18 says, “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.” God told Abraham again in Gen. 17:8, “The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” God confirmed the covenant with both Isaac and Jacob and in Gen. 48:3,4 we see Jacob reminding Joseph of it, saying, “God Almighty appeared to me… and said to me, ‘…I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.'”

In David’s psalm of thanks to the Lord found in 1 Chron. 16:15-18, we read, “He remembers His covenant forever, the word He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant He made with Abraham, the oath He swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.'” Is this difficult to understand? God made a covenant, He swore an oath, He commanded and confirmed an everlasting decree.

Unfortunately, there are those who teach that God later changed this promise to something like this, “Abraham’s descendants have rejected their Messiah so My promise to Abraham is now null and void. Instead, ‘this land’ has become ‘a spiritual land’, and the recipients are those who do accept the Messiah.” Thus they go on to twist multitudes of Scripture verses to support their blatant contradiction of God’s Word.

Are born-anew individuals also God’s people? Of course. But we have been grafted in (Rom. 11:17) and we are not to be arrogant toward the Jews (v. 18,20,25) who are experiencing “a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” (v. 25) Must a Jew accept Jesus as the Messiah in order to be saved? Of course they must –just as any Gentile must.

But does the present unbelief of the majority of Jews wipe out God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants? It does not. (Rom. 11:1,2, 25-29) There will be a remnant delivered when the Lord returns with judgement on the nations (9:25-29), and that remnant will all turn to their Messiah (11:26,27) who will then rule –both physically and spiritually– over the whole earth, with His headquarters in Jerusalem. (Mi. ch. 4 & 5 // Rev. 11:15 & ch. 21) And “the remnant of Israel will do no wrong.” (Zeph. 3:13) For the Lord will purify them (v. 9-11), restoring them to Himself and granting them peace, prosperity, and safety forever. (v. 9-20) “‘In those days, at that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare.'” (Jer. 50:20) Since Israel is still guilty before God, this verse refers to the future; and if anyone wants to claim that it refers to the church, they are wrong, for in verse 19, while promising that Israel will come back to his own pasture, God names specific geographical places. (See also Jer. ch. 30-33)

Over and over in God’s Word the promise of redemption –both spiritual and physical– is given to Israel. Over and over it is stated that it will be when the Lord comes with vengeance to rescue them from the nations who scattered them, who divided up their land, who oppressed them, who insulted them, and who have gathered against them for war. (Joel ch. 2 & 3 // Zeph. ch. 2 & 3 // Zech. ch. 12-14)

Isa. 14:1 prophesies that “once again He [God] will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land.” God does it. He does it through people –through other nations who bring the Jews to their own place (v. 2) and through the deliverance, salvation, and security He brings them after helping them defeat their oppressors. (same verse // Zech. ch. 12) The Lord Himself will fight against those nations that attack Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2,3) and He will defeat and judge them. (Ps. ch. 2) He will rule those nations with an iron scepter (v. 9), and “reign over the house of Jacob forever.” (Luke 1:33) For when “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One” (Ps. 2:2) the Lord rebukes them in His wrath (v. 5) “saying, ‘I have installed My King on Zion, My holy hill.'” (v. 6) And the nations will become His inheritance, the ends of the whole earth His possession. (v. 8) For as Zech. 14:16 prophesies, “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty.”

So “on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance.” (Ob. 1:17) “And the kingdom will be the LORD’s.” (v. 21)

Though God has repeatedly, and throughout His Word, stated His promises concerning the physical people and the physical land of Israel, there are people who disbelieve. One individual is Israeliteindeed, and she has spent the last six months, in post after post, stating the opposite of what God says on this issue. I can only conclude that her continued efforts stem from her need to actually convince herself. However, in doing so, she has strayed far from “correctly handling the Word of Truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) so that it would now take pages to address all of her errors. Moreover, it is truly grievous that while calling others ill-informed, racist, arrogant, wicked, and blasphemous, she herself could be in danger of such labels.

Though I do not wish to bring up all of Israeliteindeed’s misinterpretations on this subject, I will comment on something that especially struck me: That sometimes she interprets “Israel” in Scripture to mean all who are Christ-followers, and other times she admits the name does refer to the nation of Israel. She teaches that God’s promise of bringing the Jews back to their ancestral land was fulfilled in Ezra and Nehemiah’s time (see her 9/2/14 and 9/7/14 posts in particular) and that after they were dispersed again in 70 A.D., God rejected them (as a nation) with finality, meaning that their present national status is not the Lord’s doing. She reasons this by pointing out that the nation presently does not acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. Furthermore, though she quotes from Ezek. ch. 37, she apparently does not consider it significant that the body parts in that passage come together after the bones are prophesied to (v. 4), and that it takes another prophecy –to the breath (Breath / Spirit of God –v. 14)– for them to come to life. (v. 10)

Oddly as well, while teaching from Ezek. 37:1-14, Israeliteindeed does not include the rest of that chapter –verses 15-28. And why not? Because these verses make it plain that verses 1-14 are about the physical nation and land of Israel. So once she has said that the first fourteen verses are about the Jews’ return during Ezra’s time, she cannot switch and say that the rest of the chapter refers to the church. However, for her to admit that it does not refer to the church, means she must refute her own foundational view.

For God says, “I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel…” (Ezek. 37:21,22) “They will no longer defile themselves with… any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be My people, and I will be their God. My servant David [meaning Jesus] will be king over them… They will follow My laws and be careful to keep My decrees. They will live in the land I gave to My servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David My servant will be their prince forever… Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when My sanctuary is among them forever.” (v. 23-28) I left out some wording, but it is because it is repetitious. It is repetitious because God is stressing His promises. –The promises about physical land to the physical descendants of Abraham. And it is the same promises He makes multitudes of times in His Word.

For the Lord will let the nations advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat where He will judge them. (Joel 3:2,12) Thundering from Jerusalem, the Lord will protect the Israelites (v. 16) and make desolate those who committed violence against them. (v. 19) “Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, My holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.” (v. 17) After Ezra’s time foreigners did invade her and demolish her, so this can only be future. It cannot be about the church, since in the chapter God tells particular cities and nationalities of His judgement coming on them for what they committed against “My inheritance, My people Israel.” (v. 2) “For they scattered My people among the nations and divided up My land.” (same verse)

Thus the chapter, and the book, ends with God declaring, “‘Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem though all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.’ The LORD dwells in Zion!” (Joel 3:20,21) “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Rom. 11:26,27) Those who teach others that this will not happen and that it refers to the church (even in light of the fact that verse 25 distinguishes Israel from Gentiles!), should remember that teaching contrary to God’s Word is to teach rebellion against the Lord (Jer. 28:15-17) –a dangerous thing! (same verses)

Therefore, “Rejoice, O nations, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will take vengeance on His enemies and make atonement for His land and people.” (Dt. 32:43) Are we like the world’s people who try to befriend the enemies of God (the unrepentant / those rebellious against God / those who belong to Satan), or do we rejoice that God will one day silence His enemies?

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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Friends,
Last night as my husband and I, my parents, and my brother’s family sat around a Christmas candlelight dinner of lamb that my mom had cooked, we discussed the kindness and greatness of the Lord for having come, in the flesh, to this earth. When I alluded to John 1:1,14 about how wonderful it is that the Creator of the universe became a human baby to grow up to give us God’s Truth and to save mankind, my brother (Steve) responded in telling us about the discussion he instigated with his Bible study group this week. It went something like this:

To one person, Steve assigned this task: Decide how you would explain the color red to a person born blind. To another, he asked them to figure out how music could be described to a person who had always been deaf. To another, he asked, “How would you describe love to Siri?”

The simple answer, of course, is this: To use words. Using words is the best avenue for bringing any explanation, message, information, or proclamation to people. Modeling is excellent too, as Jesus certainly modeled God’s Truth for us, but to use words is the most direct and concrete form of communication. Jesus –His life and His words– was God’s way to communicate Himself to us –to explain His mind, heart, perspective, laws, expectations, love, and Truth to a world that previously could not really comprehend. This, my brother reminded us, is why Jesus is called “The Word” (John 1:1,14), “the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1), and “the Word of God.” (Rev. 19:13)

How amazing it is that God came as a human to earth! How precious and kind and merciful our God was to lower Himself from All-might King to human baby! (Isa. 9:6 // Mt. 1:20-25 // Phil. 2:6-8) May we all ponder how glorious and gracious God is, and continually honor and thank Him who can do all things, and who indeed does them so incredibly wonderfully!

So, in all the bustle –the giving and getting– let’s remember who the One is who is truly worthy of our love, attention, and worship.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
“Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in His sight? …Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me… I am going to bring calamity upon you.” (2 Sam. 12:9-11)

Let’s look carefully at these words which the Lord spoke to David through the prophet Nathan and take warning ourselves. Let’s recognize that to do evil is to actually despise the word/Word of the Lord, and that to despise His word/Word is to also despise God Himself. What foolishness it therefore is to do that which is evil in God’s eyes! It is to place oneself and one’s family under severe punishment from the Lord.

“Oh, I can just ask God for forgiveness when I get ready to repent,” many sinning ones say to themselves. But they do not understand that their sinful choices have already set in motion the consequences of their actions, and that most of these consequences they will find incredibly undesirable. Even when the sinning one acknowledges that he has sinned against God (2 Sam. 12:13), and even if he pleads before God with fasting and weeping (v. 16), the Lord will very likely not remove the fall-out. Yes, the Lord may soften the blow if He sees that the sinner is genuinely repentant and has truly turned away from sinfulness, but aside from a miracle, whatever has been sown will become the harvest. (Pr. 5:22,23 // Gal. 6:7,8)

Therefore God warns, “‘Your wickedness will punish you and your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of Me,’ declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.” (Jer. 2:19)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Yesterday I wrote about the command in 1 Thes. 5:17 to pray without ceasing, and how important and powerful it is to do so. Praying is a privilege, and continued faith-filled prayer can move God to bring about miracles for us. However, is this privilege awarded to those who practice rebellion against God? It is not. Yet many who consider themselves Christians do not seem to understand that their sinfulness separates them from God (Isa. 59:2) and that He refuses to hear the prayers of the unrepentant. (same verse; see also v. 1-8) In fact, all who continue to sin will not know peace (v. 8 ), but will incur upon themselves ruin, disgrace, and destruction from God. (Ps. 52:1-5 // Eph. 5:5,6 // Heb. 10:26-31)

God says to the wicked, “What right have you to recite My statutes or take My covenant on your lips?” (Ps. 50:16) You have no right, God says, for by your hatred of discipline and casting My words behind you, you have forgotten Me. Thus I will tear you to pieces with none to rescue you! (v. 21-23) Those who have kept company with adulterers (v. 18), those who have exercised an unbridled tongue, using it for evil and harm –boasting, hostility, slander, and deceit (v. 19,20 & 52:1-4)– are those types of whom God refers. Their prayers will not only not be heeded by God, but He will uproot them (Ps. 52:5), bring them terror (78:33 // Jer. 49:4,5), and pour out His wrath on them like a flood of water. (Ho. 5:10) All who forsake the Lord will be revealed for the fools they are (Jer. 17:11,13) when God casts them down to the dust (v. 13) and assigns them a place in Hell with the hypocrites. (Mt. 24:51)

The privilege of prayer is only for the righteous –for those who turn their backs on their disobedient ways (Isa. 1:15-20), wash themselves till they are clean (v. 16), and learn to do right. (v. 17) But for those who resist and rebel, God states that He finds their prayers and offerings detestable (v. 12-14), their mouths and hearts disingenuous. (Ps. 78:34-37) If they do not repent, they will, one day, be rejected by God forever. (Luke 13:1-9 // John 15:6 // Rev. 21:8,27)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
The Lord does so many kind things for us –to encourage us, uplift us, help us, instruct us, and to remind us of what is important. He often does these things in such seemingly natural ways, though when we really think about them, we realize they hardly could have happened by mere chance.

Earlier this week I was at a vehicle inspection garage getting my car inspected. It is in a busy part of town where the boulevard has commercial buildings on both sides, not homes. So understandably, when I saw a white-haired Caucasian man about 75 years old walking up to the inspection garage from out of nowhere, I was surprised. He seemed so out of place that I quickly prayed, “Lord, give me a divine appointment.”

The guy opened the glass door, looked around, and smiled. “Hi!” he said.

“Hi!” I answered, smiling back. The young woman in jeans with her back to the window didn’t even look up from her iPhone. In fact, I never did see her face the whole time because she kept her head bowed and her hair hanging down like a veil.

Maybe a bit nonplussed by the other woman’s unfriendliness, the man turned his attention back to me. “How are you?” he asked me.

“I’m fine,” I responded. “Are you an angel?”

The guy laughed and asked, “Are you?”

“You’re the one that just came walking up from out of the blue,” I said jokingly. “There’s not even any houses around here.”

“I walked from home. It’s not too far –just across the freeway.”

“Oh, okay,” I said. “You just come here to get coffee.”

The guy laughed again and poured himself a cup. Then he stood near the counter, facing me. “Angel or not, I see you have the Spirit. Am I not right?”

“You are right,” I said, my tone no longer teasing. “I love the Lord and His Word with all my heart. And I serve Him.”

We smiled at each other, both knowing why we had had the instant connection. The Spirit in him was the same Spirit in me. It truly is a preciousness hard to explain.

“Pray without ceasing,” the man said suddenly.

“Absolutely,” I said, and I knew he was speaking the Lord’s message to me. I knew I needed the reminder. I knew God was reminding me that prayer does change things but that we need to pray them through. I knew God was gently and kindly reminding me that He has ordained that our prayers move Him to action and that our continued prayers move the mountains. I knew God was reminding me to keep on praying about those things I was burdened about and to remind certain others to do the same and not give up.

At that point a garage worker told me that my car was ready. But before I left, I said to the angel, “I’m Rachel. What is your name?”

“Bill,” he answered as we gave each other a side hug. “Don’t forget,” he said. “Pray without ceasing.”

“I won’t forget,” I promised solemnly. “Thank you.”

I had tears in my eyes as I drove the few blocks home thinking about the kindness of the Lord… thinking about how He gave me a divine appointment as I asked… how this time it was for my encouragement from another servant of His… how important prayer truly is, how vital, how powerful… how I need to have the faith and strength to keep praying, all the time, everywhere, and about all sorts of things.

The story doesn’t end just yet, though. Two days later –yesterday– I was in a store and found myself talking with a woman who was confiding to me about the suffering their family was going through due to the trauma of one family member. Another stranger joined our conversation and she happens to be a counselor at a Christian church. So the Lord sent two encouragers to the hurting woman, and as He did so, He also confirmed Himself, His presence, His Word, and His specific message to us. For just as we were parting ways, I said, “Pray without ceasing.” The counselor turned back toward me, stared at me, and said, “Someone just quoted that to me a few hours ago. I haven’t heard that verse in a good while and now, suddenly, twice in one day? It’s God speaking to me!”

I stared back at her, acknowledging with thanksgiving God’s confirmation to me too concerning His reminder about prayer. The hurting woman, seeing the other two of us so amazed, seemed to also have a rise in faith, and when I suggested we pray right then for her, she welcomed it with tears. Afterwards, we hugged, gave our phone numbers to the hurting woman, and went on talking for at least another ten minutes about the Lord and the comfort, peace, and guidance found in His Word. And about how praying continually brings deliverance and healing.

Divine appointments? Certainly. And God is able to bring beautiful ones our way. –When we ask, and often even when we forget to ask. But, if prayer really changes things, then let us put 1 Thes. 5:17 into practice. For just think how different so many lives, including our own, would be –if we would really “Pray without ceasing” every day and everywhere we go.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
It’s been a busy few weeks for me. A lot of it has been visiting those who are sick. Yesterday my mom and I visited a 91 year old missionary at the mission’s apartment building where she (“Aunt” Vivian) has been living, and actually thriving. With joy she cared for her ailing husband there until he died while she also has continued to nurture all the beautiful plants in and around the building. “And to think everything is running just fine without me!” she said, laughing. “Yes, isn’t that how it is?!” I responded. “We’re reminded we’re not the savior of anything.”

It’s true. We often envision ourselves as so necessary. But God has other willing servants besides us and He brings them forward at that time when He chooses to put us on the sidelines or to take us Home.

Still, we’re going to miss my “Aunt” Vivian, for she found out last week that she has two fast-growing tumors in her stomach that can’t be operated on. “Well,” Aunt Vivian said happily yesterday during our visit with her, “The Lord has to take us somehow.” I was sitting next to her, patting her as she lay on her couch, and my mom and I both exclaimed about how wonderful it is to see her still exhibiting her usual cheerful attitude. Aunt Vivian went on to tell us how kind and attentive the other missionary residents have been to her –some bringing meals, others checking on her even in the middle of the night, and some offering to sleep on the floor beside her some nights. “It is truly beautiful,” she said several times.

After leaving her room, we saw another friend in the hall –Mr. D.B. I was so sad to see him still very hunched over, a condition he’s had for years. We asked about his wife who also has been bad off for about a year, and being that he said she was up, he welcomed our request to visit her. So we did. There too we had a nice visit as we sipped the cranberry juice Mr. D.B. gave us, and, as we had with Aunt Vivian, we had a time of prayer with them. Later, after leaving, I told my mom how heart-breaking it is to see that Mr. D.B., even in his condition, is obviously doing most, if not all, of the care-taking for Mrs. D.B. In fact, I’ve seen him at the grocery store –reaching for groceries, all bent over… Oh, that we had more time in the day to help all the hurting people!!!

Then there is my “Aunt” Jean –the 81 year old who I wrote about on Nov. 17. Well, she passed away this morning at about 4:30. I’m glad that I, my husband, and my parents took time to visit her last month in the hospital. May the Lord comfort her family.

Then there’s my “Aunt” C. She had a massive stroke a few days before Thanksgiving and is not doing well. My brother gave some money for the youngest daughter to drive the five hours here, which she did and was able to stay a few days. Aunt C’s other children live nearby, thankfully, but it is still very hard to see our friends going through such suffering.

One of our missionary friends who was 94 asked me a while back when we visited her at her Assisted Living Home to be praying that she would go to be with Jesus. I did pray it and when she told my dad on one of his last visits to see her, “Please ask Rachel to pray that I die,” I prayed it even more –that the Lord would relieve her soon of her suffering. A few weeks later He did –on Oct. 29th of this year. She had been a missionary in Peru with her late husband, leaving behind a beautiful legacy, including that of influencing one of their sons who chose to carry on the Gospel work there.

Last Friday I drove back out to the country to attend a funeral (which is now appropriately called, for those who followed Christ, “A Celebration of Life”). My friend, Darlene, from the Sabbath church I sometimes went to, and who was only 68 years old, passed away, due to cancer, the Monday before. The Celebration of her life was so nice, and we were all comforted in knowing that she had stated that she was completely at peace about dying. Apparently she was even more wonderful than I thought –never to hold a grudge, always forgiving, so full of joy and fun, and also wise and responsible with home and church affairs, as well as her managerial job at the local newspaper. I found out that she had been the one who boarded the Sunday School bus as a child and led the way for her siblings to also seek God’s Truth.

Darlene left behind her preacher husband, who seemed to be doing well, four kids and their spouses, and several grand-children. Though it was a happy time in seeing so many of my friends again, I did shed tears during some extra touching parts of the very lovely service. I kept thinking of Darlene’s sweetness, her consistent kindness to me (even though I had often expressed to them my disagreement in some of their beliefs), and how everyone recognized that her outward elegance and beauty came from her inward holiness. It made me wish I had known her even better. It made me think again about what people will say about me when I die. It made me more determined to be a sweeter, better person…

Maybe we all should think about it: When we die, will people attend a funeral, or will they be attending, truly, “A Celebration of My Life”? In other words, who of us are living lives that others can celebrate, that others consider to be a life well spent, that others receive warm and joyful feelings as they think about us..? Or, do they have sad thoughts as they think on us? Sad because there was a lot of strife, cruelty, inconsideration, rudeness, unfairness, dishonesty…? Did our life cause others remorse? Did our life point others to Jesus and His ways, or did our life point others away from Jesus and His ways?

Hopefully, no matter where we are at in the level of goodness, sweetness, holiness, and overall Christ-likeness, may we, right now in the present, “be living wisely and making the most of every opportunity as we are careful to walk in God’s will.” (See Eph. 5:15-17) May we be allowing all suffering, sickness, hospital visits, and death to remind us to make every day count. –To make it count for what is right, and good, and holy. To make it count for salvation –others’ and our own.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Zoo Day With Fun Ian

December 1, 2014

Friends,
Our family had a really good Thanksgiving Week last week. One of the highlights was that my dad and I took Ian to the zoo on Wednesday. (Not only do all three of us love animals, but we also very much enjoyed taking the Dart train there and back.)

Ian is my brother’s youngest son and my parents’ youngest grandkid. He is at that age where everything is exciting and because he is such a good boy, he is tons of fun to be with. What a great day the Lord gave us! –Not only interesting animals to see (like the baby giraffe, the baby chimpanzee, the elephants, and the large male lion outside the window of the Serengeti Grill where we ate pizza), but we were also surrounded by absolutely lovely weather amid gorgeous Fall leaves.

Below are some photos of our wonderful zoo outing.

I thank the Lord over and over for all of His abundant blessings, as well as for His great goodness, His kindnesses, His care for us, for who He is, for what He has done for us, and for all the more-than-remarkable creatures and world He has made!

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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