It’s not about me

My husband is struggling with addiction right now.  He is upset with life and is taking anything that will knock him out.  Ambien, klonopin, seroquel–whatever, it doesn’t matter as long as it knocks him out and makes him sleep.  When I talked with him about this he said, “Well, sad people do sad things.”  And it’s true.  They do.  And so he hates his life right now and wants to “check out of life.”  At least that’s what I call it, “checking out.”

Every day I call him, and he answers the phone, half asleep.  I think last week he was normal for one day–only one day did I call him and he wasn’t all messed up on something.  I was so happy that one day!  But the next day he had obtained some klonopin, and so he’s been on that for the past few days.  I just talked to him earlier today.  “What are you doing?”  I asked him, thinking that he was probably asleep before I called.  “Nothing, hanging out,” he said.  And I got sad.

He should know how much this is hurting me, I thought after we hung up.  And I began to cry.  If he loved me, he would stop.  Then I stopped as a flashback of living with my father and his alcoholism popped into my head.  That’s exactly the things I had told myself as I grew up with my father and his drinking, as he tore himself and our family up from the inside out.  He drank, regularly, every weekend and usually into the week.  It was awful.  Like most people who drink to excess, he started out fine…but after too many drinks, he turned into a monster.  He never beat me or sexually abused me in any way, but he was emotionally abusive and at the same time, neglectful.  (You can’t lovingly nurture a child when you’re drunk out of your mind.)  So at some point during his drunk he would get mad at me (usually because I had a lot of boyfriends hanging out, at least when I was older,) and start to accuse me of being loose and promiscuous and would start yelling at  me that I was a good-for-nothing slut and a floozy.  Do you know what the does to a 14 year old?  Nothing good.  And when I was younger and he didn’t fight with me like that, he fought with my mom and I would cry, heart and mind jumbled with mixed emotions and praying to God that they would stop, that he would stop.  Just stop drinking and be normal.  Please.

But still he was my daddy, and I loved him dearly.  We were always close as I grew up–I would sit on his lap and stroke his cheek and he would sing me lullabys and soft, slow songs.  He cuddled me and hugged me and I would kiss him and we loved each other so much!  Gosh it felt good.  How many girls can say they have a daddy like that?  “You are the apple of my eye!” he would say.  And, “You’ve got me wrapped around your little finger.”  And he was happy to be wrapped around my pinky!

But his drinking!  Oh God, his drinking.  How many nights I would end up crying because my wonderful, sweet daddy would turn into a raging monster, full of anger and profanity, with a black hatred of life and everything in it in his eyes.  During his sober times, he would read the Bible.  In fact, he wanted to be a preacher when he was a young man, before alcoholism got him and wrapped its cruel grip around him like a vice, squeezing the life and spirit out of him.  He was a “Pentecostal holy-roller.”  But every bit of Christianity and Christian  behavior flew out the window once he started drinking.  (The Bible calls drunkenness one of the “works of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:21.)  Who can be Christian and be drunk?  Darkness and light do not mix.  So my father was awful when he drank, and very far from Jesus.

And I remember thinking, although the thought wasn’t actually voiced or put into words in my head–but it was in my heart:  Doesn’t my daddy love me enough to stop drinking?  Am I not good enough that he will stop?  What else can I do to make him quit drinking?  What more can I be?  Funnier, prettier, sweeter, smarter?  Or maybe if I just ignore him he will understand how bad this hurts me when he gets drunk and calls me names…Why is he hurting me?  Why is he doing this to me??  And, as I said before, it had nothing to do with me.  I wasn’t even in the equation.  And in my dysfunctional thinking, I thought maybe that if I were a part of the equation, he would stop drinking.  But anyone who has dealt with addiction in themselves or another knows that this sort of thinking is not the way it works.  That sort of thinking is a form of distorted reasoning and illustrates a dysfunctional thought process.  Addiction is within the person addicted, not blamable on the outside for any reason, although sometimes the addict wants to think otherwise and blame someone else.  But when it comes right down to it, drinking and addiction is an internal process with an internal reason, and with outward manifestations.  So it had nothing to do with little Winnie Spencer.  And so, neither does my husband using drugs to “check out.”  This is between himself–and God, I suppose.  No, Winnie, you don’t factor into the equation.

So?  So I really need to grow up and quit blaming myself for his use.  Let him be him.  Love him through this time.  Let go of anger and blame, guilt and internalization.  Don’t take it so personally.  Love him.  Pray.  Commit it and him and yourself to God–let Him handle hubby.  Give Him your broken, 14-year-old’s heart and allow Him to replace it was the mature heart of Jesus Christ.  Who can heal?  Only God heals, only He can heal broken hearts.  So give him yours, little girl.  He’s glad to take it and give you back one renewed.  “Behold, I make all things new.”  And He does.  Try it…you’ll see.

 

Rings

I looked all over for the Legacy Women’s Gold CTR ring, and everywhere I looked it was sold out. Finally I found it from CTR-ring.com and purchased o e for myself. Then I purchased a men’s gold CTR ring from them for my husband, so we could have matching rings. I am quite pleased, and will use them in the future for any other quality gold CTR/LDS purchases I want. 

Baptism December 31st, 2016 / Confirmation January 1st, 2017

Well, it seems that things are going extremely well. I am being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on December 31 of this year, and confirmed the next day. What a perfect way to end one year and the beginning of the next! There is so much to learn and to write about, so much that I won’t be able to write about it in one post. And I am savoring the time I’ve spent learning and growing about the LDS Church. 

On Sundays I go to church. First Sacrament meeting. How beautiful it is. When we take the Sacrament there comes a quiet hush over the congregation, and the church is quiet as the Sacrament is passed to each person. It is a time for quiet reflection and a renewing of the covenants we have made with the Lord. (Because I am not actually baptized yet, I have not made any formal covenants, but I spent the time renewing my commitment to continue learning and participating in the life of the church.) The Sacrament is blessed and passed and even the children take part in it. Then the water is blessed and passed, and again, all take part of it. We remember to take His name upon us, and to remember Him always. Beautiful. Then the songs are sung and some members from the congregation speak about different topics, and bear their testimony of the truth of the church and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The hour is then concluded with a song and the members are dismissed to their classes. I go to Gospel Principles for an hour, to learn the basic doctrine of the church. The next hour is Relief Society for the women of the church, while the men go to their priesthood meetings and the children go to their respective classes. The three hours you spend at church really does fly by, and we go home, refreshed and renewed for the week. It’s lovely. 

This week I am going to meet with the Missionaries who have been instructing me, and with the ward’s Mission President, Brother Anderson, and his lovely wife, and we are going to discuss and prepare for my upcoming baptism. We are also going to discuss tithing, which I am excited to take part in. The Lord has been very generous with me this season, and I am anxious and eager to give back. It is a privilege and an honor. I shall be briefed on the particulars of the baptism and the confirmation. So happy.

On a different note, I hope to be buying a house soon. I must take the proper steps to clean up my credit first, so to better qualify for a good loan, and then pick out a house. Personally, I will be quite happy to leave this situation I am in right now, but no more will be said about that. I hope to find something close to Aydric, but really, anywhere I the valley is fine with me. 

Although these posts are brief, I will try to post more often. The days and evenings have been busy, and I am enjoying every minute of it. My life is blessed.

LDS??

So…now, of all things, and of all things most astonishing, I have finally decided to quit messing around, and ask for baptism in the LDS Church. What?! Yes indeed, you read that right. I have asked for baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (That’s where the initials “LDS” come in.) The LDS are otherwise known as “Mormons.” Gasp! The Mormons?! You are astonished. (I knew you would be.) Seriously?? Yep, honest–the Mormons. Me, one of them. My baptism date is tentatively set for December 31st, 2016. And my confirmation date will be the next day, January 1st, 2017, which is a Sunday. I’m excited! Actually, this is a journey that began in 2012. I will tell that story in another post. It’s definitely worth sharing. (Right now I’m on my tablet, and I think it would be terribly difficult to write that all out by pecking with the index finger of my right hand, which is exsctly what I am doing right now. So that will have to wait. Perhaps I will post it today.)
Anyway, that’s my latest. There are some issues I’m working on, the two biggest right now being my smoking cessation, and the elimination of coffee and tea in my life. (Part of baptism preparation is keeping the “Word of Wisdom,” which is a Church regulation of abstinence from coffee, tea, all forms of nicotine, and any and all other mind-altering, mood-altering addictive substances.) I actually have a solid plan for smoking cessation, which I implemented yesterday, and I have cut my coffee intake by roughly 66%. (I was consuming about 6-8 cups of coffee a day, and now I am down to 2 or 3. Quite proud of myself, but will not take all the credit.)  And there has been another huge breakthrough, which I don’t at all mind sharing. About 3 years ago, in the spring of 2013, I picked up using kratom. (No, I don’t want to go into a lengthy explanation of what kratom is. Suffice it to say that it is a mild mood-altering plant, with mild energetic and pain-relieving properties, related to the coffee plant.) Well, as with any substance, my addictive personality almost immediately became psychologically, and then physically dependent upon it. I then struggled for the next 3 years, up until last month, to quit using it. Everyday I would begin and end my day with using this mild habit-forming drug, and everyday I became more and more despondent and depressed about it. Finally, at the end of last month (October 2016) I decided enough was enough. I had started studying with the LDS missionaries again, and desired to really get clean and be clean, so that I could move forward with baptism. So I checked myself into one of the psychiatric hospitals andhere in the valley, and under the care of my regular psychiatrist, I detoxed from kratom. (I couldn’t have done it without Dr. A., who readily helped me with medication that eased the physical withdrawal, and subsequent cravings.) So finally, after being very addicted to kratom, Iam finally off of it. Thank God! (And I mean that literally.) And so, now I can move forward with the baptism. I am finally 100% completely off the kratom, have drastically reduced my coffee consumption, and have begun a solid plan for quitting smoking. If Heavenly Father helps me, I can be ready for baptism at the end of next month. I think that to be baptized at the end of one year and then to be confirmed at beginning of the next is quite a special thing, maybe even a sign for me, because God knows how much emphasis I put on specific dates and such. This particular baptism date gives me a great deal of motivation, which is why I’m doing my best to truly prepare myself for this sacred ordinance.

And so, all is going well, and I ask God our Heavenly Father to keep the Light of Christ shining in me, and also to continue to rightly influence me by the power of the Holy Spirit. I thank Him with my whole heart and soul, and look forward to the day that I am received into the Church that bears His name and carries on His work: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. May I one day join them in spirit and in name. I say all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The Will in One Who Is Newly Saved–from “Confessions” by St. Augustine

I promised myself I would post this blog on “The Will of Man In One Who Is Newly Saved” from “Confessions” by St. Augustine.  (Title mine.) I read this yesterday (it’s an assignment for a class) and it described me completely–especially when it comes to issues of addiction and recovery.  I was going to post the quote all at once, but I think I will post a part of it, then comment, then post another part, comment, and so on, on to the end.

The background is that St. Augustine had recently made his profession of faith in the Catholic Church, but was not yet baptized.  He was struggling with his “two wills”: the one to do right and the one to continue living in sin and indulging in his lusts and desires of the flesh.  Here he describes being bound by an “iron chain”, which is his own will:

“For this was what I was longing to do, but as yet I was bound by the iron chain of my own will.  The enemy held fast my will, and had made of it a chain, and had bound me tight with it.  For out of the reverse will came lust, and the service of lust ended in habit, and habit, not resisted, became necessity.  By these links, as it were, forged together–which is why I called it a chain–a hard bondage held me in slavery.  But that new will which had begun to spring up in me freely to worship you and to enjoy you, my God, the only certain joy, was not able as yet to overcome my former willfulness, made strong by long indulgence. Thus my two wills–the old and the new, the carnal and the spiritual–were in conflict within me, and by their discord they tore my soul apart.”

I love what he has to say here.  As Christians and addicts, or anyone else who struggles with bad habits and difficult behaviors, this pull in two different ways is of great conflict.  Often in the beginning, pleasure is associated with the occasional use or light indulgence…and we begin to crave that good feeling more and more until we become quite used to it.  Then, before we really realize what is happening,  we begin to engage frequently or habitually to capture that good feeling or relief continually.  We don’t want to be without it.  The more and more we reinforce this habit, our dependence upon the behavior and pleasure grows to become necessary–and then the addiction is firmly in place and we are bound as “in chains.”  It is at this point that we either seek out help, or feel ourselves as lost causes, hopeless and helpless, and give in to the necessity on a continual and regular basis, grounding it into our very being.  This realization is debilitating and it rips apart our soul.

“Thus I came to understand from my own experience what I had read, how “the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.” (Galatians 5:17)  I truly lusted both ways, yet more in that which I approved in myself than in that which I disapproved in myself.  For in the latter it was not now really I that was involved, because here I was rather an unwilling sufferer than a willing actor.  And yet it was through me that habit had become an armed enemy against me, because I had willingly come to be what I unwillingly found myself to be.  Who, then can with any justice speak against it, when just punishment follows the sinner?  I had now no longer my accustomed excuse that, as yet, I hesitated to give up the world and serve you because my perception of the truth was uncertain.  For now it was certain.  But, still bound to the earth, I refused to be your soldier; and was as much afraid of being freed from all entanglements as we ought to fear to be entangled.”

Excellent description of the superiority of the Christian life and the results it produces in a person.  The lust became habit, the habit became necessity, and the necessity bound our souls in chains, and we know this in the depths of our being–that a war is being waged inside of us, as well as in the flesh–for where does this war take place but in our bodies, which are in the world?    But, if we are saved in Jesus Christ, and in his Church, then we know that the longing we have to be good is little by little stronger than the longing to sin, and we have, through Christ, power to resist the sin and favor the holy.  In the war being waged, we are at this point, less willing participants than casualties of warfare–the war, of course, between Jesus and Satan, between God and the devil.  But we who are believers know in our hearts who wins this war and is the ultimate victor of life.  Yet we carry with us the fact that was our OWN SELVES who put ourselves into this position by the process referred above.  And so the result being only the just punishment of a completely just and holy God, for He does not discriminate in his punishments to discipline His children.  This, of course, is where Jesus Christ steps in, for he and only he makes atonement for our sins, and appeases the wrath of God.  At any rate, by this time in our Christian walk our perception of the truth had changed or was still in the process of change; nevertheless, changing it was, and we are of two desires: to give up that weakness of sin, or to move on to rational and holy behavior.  See the next quote for the apt description of “the baggage of the world.”

Thus with the baggage of the world I was sweetly burdened, as one in slumber, and my musings on you were like the efforts of those who desire to awake, but who are still overpowered with drowsiness and fall back into deep slumber.  And as no one wishes to sleep forever (for all men rightly count waking better)–yet a man will usually defer shaking off his drowsiness when there is a heavy lethargy in his limbs, and he is glad to sleep on even when his reason disapproves, and the hour for rising has struck–so was I assured that it was much better for me to give myself up to your love than to go on yielding myself to my own lust.  Your love satisfied and vanquished me, my lust pleased and fettered me.  I had no answer to your calling to me, “Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14)  On all sides, you showed me that your words are true, and I convicted by the truth, had nothing at all to reply but the drawling and drowsy words:  “Presently; see, presently.  Leave me alone a little while.”  But “presently, presently,” had no present and my “leave me alone a little while” went on for a long while.  In vain did I “delight in your law in the inner man” while “another law in my members warred against the law of my mind and brought me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”  For the law of sin is the tyranny of habit, by which the mind is drawn and held, even against its will.  Yet it deserves to be so held because it so willingly falls into the habit.  “Wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death” but your grace alone, through Jesus Christ our Lord?  (Romans 7:22-25)

This, the conclusion of my quotes, describes nicely how we put off making the right choices and doing the right thing–making the decisions that would bring us profit, for we are lazy and used to living in our sin.  For, using the description of the sleepy man, isn’t the man who hesitates to wake up and put off his getting up, counted in a sense, as lazy?  He is allured still by the delight of sleep, and we are allured still by the delight of sin–even if at times we dread ourselves and our behavior.  Habit firmly placed, as a tree in the ground is difficult to uproot, and it is only through the strength of the Lord we can truly choose the right.  For our procrastination would have no end, except long after we had anticipated; our “presently presently” is actually, “not yet, not yet.”  Our minds, which delight in the law of the Lord, are situated directly opposite from the hearts, which are stuck on the world, both with equal, or nearly equal strength and influence.  But we can take assurance and comfort from the fact that we HAVE a savior, the man Jesus Christ, who strengthens us and brings deliverance to those who sincerely seek the Lord.  Also, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6.)  Let us therefore then, go fully and wholeheartedly unto the Lord, for “No man, having put his hand to the plough and look back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9)

And so ends my meditation.  What do  you think?

Catholic and Alcoholic/Recovery Blogs

Ah, what did I stumble upon last night as I was doing laundry and being “bored?”  Two very cool blogs about being Catholic and being in recovery.  The first one is “Catholic Alcoholic” at http://www.catholicalcoholic.com, and Sober Catholic at http://www.sobercatholic.com  How refreshing these two discoveries were!  Yes, I deal, on a daily basis, with being Catholic (and religious in general) and being alcoholic/addicted/in recovery.  My “drug of choice” right now isn’t actually any illegal drug, or even alcohol, but I still must fight it.  (Kratom, if any of you want to know, which is actually going to be illegal to purchase in the USA as of October 1st.  And THAT really is an answer to my prayers.)  I have kind of a deep, dark past that I will probably share bits and pieces of (hiding nothing) as time goes on, but one doesn’t blurt them out all at once, all on the first post–we must temper ourselves, after all.  But being in the recovery scene seriously in the past few years, and having at least KNOWN about AA since I was 23 or so, AND being Catholic, holds its own unique facets and challenges.  For instance, does one actually go to AA, and do you mean the Trinity when AA speaks of “Higher Power?”  Also, are there specific practices of the Catholic faith that have helped me, or helped keep me, in recovery?  (Mass, rosary, Divine Mercy devotions, novenas, etc.)  Also, does one think of the Bible and the Alcoholic Anonymous book (the “Big Book,”) as being compatible?  Also, and more specifically, what are some different strategies that have been used to continue on in sobriety?  Catholics are historically known for their guilt, confessions, and penances, so how does that influence my own thinking about being in recovery (and Step 5, which refers to confession of wrongdoings and harms in the program.)  Has that sense of guilt been exacerbated by the 12 Steps, or has it diminished?  I could go on…but I think you get the idea.  And so discovering those sites mentioned above, and other related ones, was really a nice surprise.  I sort of drift in and out of the recovery scene, but have found a lot of help in different aspects of the program.

Actually, the most helpful and spiritual recovery program HASN’T been AA or NA, but has been the LDS (Latter Day Saints/Mormon) Addiction Recovery Program (ARP.)  You can find more information about their program at http://www.addictionrecovery.lds.org  Really a nice adaptation of the 12 Steps to a more Christ-centered and religious/spiritual bent.  Their recovery meetings do NOT have the same “feel” or atmosphere as a regular AA/NA meeting, and it’s quite refreshing.  Of course, if one isn’t prepared or accepting of the peculiar LDS theology, one might find the ARP stifling or “too religious,” or even “too weird,” but I personally very much enjoy them.

Anyway, as I was reading through the blogs that I discovered on the WordPress reading list, I came upon a post that reminded me of something I had JUST read from “Confessions” by St. Augustine, having to do with the will and redemption.  It is taken from Book 8 of the Confessions, and I find it applicable enough to write a separate post on it, probably after this one (and after prayer this morning.)  I want to reproduce the whole quote in the post, and it’s somewhat lengthy, but absolutely worth typing out and posting my thoughts on it and how it can relate to recovery–and the spiritual life in general.  So!  That’s my agenda for this morning, but the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer is waiting for me.  ( I try to be faithful to the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours.)  Adieu until then!

Finishing what I start

My first blog post on my newly acquired website, http://www.mylife4jesus.com .  I am really not used to blogging at all, and so don’t know  how to begin or how to create a website or blog that is interesting and helpful, especially for the public domain, but one begins at the beginning, and so I commence.

I am notorious for NOT finishing what I start.  I’ve been quite undisciplined pretty much my whole life, and my adulthood is no exception.  Yesterday was my 43rd birthday, and of course I have plenty of aspirations for this coming year.

  1.  To begin with, my biggest goal is to continue my just-started studies with Nations University. (www.nationsu.edu)  It’s a “non-denominational” school of religious studies, and I would LIKE to complete my Bachelors of Religious Studies (BRS).  Their tuition is extremely affordable, which is probably the biggest reason I decided to go with their school, and the fact that I school online and study even up to my Masters in Divinity.  (Whew, that’s a huge goal!)  I am at the absolute beginning; I’m taking my very first class, BRS 16.6, “A Search for Spirituality.”  There are 5 modules for this class, and I have completed Module 1.  Right now, the assignment is to read “The Confessions of St. Augustine” before I continue to Module 2.  There was one written assignment to complete for Module 1, and I got 100% on it–very encouraging, I must say!  Thankfully I am in a very good place in my life right now to continue this course, and this degree.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!  And that’s the strategy I’m taking for this degree.  Class by class, assignment by assignment, book by book.  I must keep on keeping on if I am to accomplish anything at all–whether it’s in school or in life.
  2. I am also beginning to study the Rule of St. Benedict with the Oblates here in the city. (www.osb.org) I have long wanted to be a part of a Third Order in the Roman Catholic Church, of which I am a member (lol, like it’s a club!) and the OCDS (Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites) didn’t fit well, and neither did the Third Order Dominicans.  I tried a long-distance association with the Brothers and Sisters of Penance (www.bspenance.org), and studied with them for a few years many years ago–has it been 10 years now?  But that didn’t pan out either–either because I truly don’t finish what I start, or that I didn’t have a “true vocation” to the charism.  I must say, the BSP gave me many blessings, and I was fortunate to be a part of their Association.  After that I thought of joining the Secular Franciscans, but didn’t feel any sort of pull to them.  I also recently checked out the Ecumenical Order of St. Franciscans (www.oeffranciscans.org), but again, didn’t feel like I had a vocation to them, either.  I do love St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, but I feel that the time for my studying with them has passed, and I was blessed to have learned so much from that charism.  Now, with the Order of St. Benedict–there has been a monastery in near-by Jerome, Idaho since the 60s, and of course I knew about the Oblates, but never felt, until recently, that the time was right to study with them and consider becoming an Oblate.  Now it feels right, and I began this month.  I have a couple of books of the Rule of St. Benedict, and a couple books on the Oblate life, and am still working through them.  The thing with these different Orders and charisms is that your SUPPOSED to “try them out” and see if they jive with you, in order to know in your heart of hearts whether you have a vocation or not.  So I hope to be writing more about the Rule of St. Benedict in the future, and to elaborate on the Oblate life and my own journey.
  3. I have recently moved in with my husband.  Now, without going into too much detail (for this is a public blog and website, after all), I have been married for 5 years, then divorced him in May and remarried him in June, on the 6th.  This is my 3rd husband and my 4th marriage, and we are both looking into the annulment process within the Catholic Church.  My husband is going through the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) with the Catholic Church, and the annulment process is necessary if our marriage is to be sanctioned and blessed by the Church.  I am going to the RCIA classes with him, although I am already a member of the Roman Catholic Church.  But as I said, I recently moved in with him after being separated since 2011, and we are making a go of it again.  This time we are both clean and sober, which makes a GIANT difference in our lives and in our marriage.  I WON’T go into detail about our past, (at least, not that I anticipate), but suffice it to say we have been separated for legal AND personal reasons.
  4. Hmm…I think that’s about it.

So! Three large “projects” going on in my life right now, all of which will require perseverance and discipline to finish.  “One bite at a time.”  More on my journey in a later post.  This website is http://www.mylife4jesus.com for reason.  I have given my life to Jesus, now more in earnest than ever, and I dedicate this blog and this website to Him, in all His glory, and for His glory, and because of the glory He has bestowed upon us by His death and resurrection.  I am quite into the Bible, and into the Catholic thing, so I also hope to post some reflections on passages I find helpful or even difficult, and to elaborate on the practices of my faith.  I also love religions of all sorts of colors, and have studied a couple of them in-depth.  But I am a Roman Catholic, and committed to the Church.  To the glory and honor of Jesus–may He be blessed forever, amen.