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Maybe It’s a Wake-up Call?

Why is this happening? The world is being shut down. You can’t go to the bar, or the movies, or a concert. You can’t go to a novely shop or candy shop or sit down to a dinner in a restaurant. You can’t even go to church.

It’s a wake up call, at least that is what I believe. God has shut down everything but the bare essentials like a roof over your head and food to eat. Nations are struggly io take care of their populations whose jobs have fallen by the wayside. All nations, not just us in the United States. It is world wide.

Maybe it will cause some of you to stop and think. Now is the perfect time to be doing that because you have plenty of time with less distractions. You Sunday Christians, you know who you are. The ones who act all pious and righteous on Sunday mornings and then discuss with your friends what bar to meet up at after the service. What do you think now?

Those of you who have spent most of your life running around, doing whatever you wanted without a second thought on who you might be hurting or abusing, those of you who think that life is all about keeping up with the Joneses, accumulating material wealth, presenting yourself as a person to be envied, do you think this will have no effect on you?

What about you parents who haven’t given a second thought about your children’s spiritual health? It didn’t seem to bother you that they took prayer out of school. You haven’t even discussed who God or Jesus was and some of you have even passed on your belief that there is no God instead of letting your children choose what to believe as they get older. Remember, children are usually a product of their environment.

I’m sorry if this seems crude. Those of you who have followed my articles know that I prefer to write about something happy and uplifting, but I just can’t get this out of my mind. I am so depressed over this situation.

It hasn’t changed my lifestyle much since we have been homebodies for years due to compromised immune systems. We’ve just had to do some tweaking here and there. What is bothering me the most is the blindness of so many.

America blames it on the Chinese, the Chinese blame it on America. Many believe it is hyped up by the media and isn’t near as bad as everyone claims it is, but If you want to see the results up front, check out a rural town with a small hospital that has had to close down all it’s specialty clinics and only allows Emergency cases, chemo and IV therapy patients to enter the doors. Listen to the quietness on the streets. There isn’t much traffic and you don’t hear too many children outside playing. This is real folks, this isn’t a game. It is serious.

God said in 2 Chronicles 7: 14-15 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

But what if it he isn’t playing games anymore, what if he is finally tired of all the immorality, evil and sin in this world like he was when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? or what if it is getting close for Jesus to return?
Matthew 4: 4-8 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be ” famines, and pestilences”, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

What if the prophecies in Revelations are starting to come true? “Revelation 6:8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth “to kill” by sword, “famine and plague”, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Maybe it’s time to take stock of your life. Maybe that is why this is happening. Maybe God is giving the earth one more chance to turn to him?

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Panic in the Year 2020

Panic in the Year 2020

Yes, we have a pandemic going around. It has traveled fast, many are sick, many more will get sick, many have died and many more will probably die unless they come up with a miracle drug fairly soon.

Everyone is acting the fool, most everyone that is. Panic is wide spread. People are stocking up probably more than necessary but making it hard for others to get what they need. I see a possible large amount of waste coming our way. Those who have stocked their shelves and freezers too full may find out that they have a freezer break down or the food expires before they can actually use it.

Proverbs 11:24-25 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

You’ve probably seen movies about wide spread panic from threats beyond our control. While many of them are the result of someone’s over active imagination, some of them ring true in one way “People Panic”.

The CDC has posted the steps you need to avoid this virus. Hospitals and clinics are taking steps to insure that people who don’t need to be there are not wandering up and down their halls, screening everyone at the doors before they are allowed to enter.

Some businesses have closed their doors for the duration, others have taken steps to assure service without being in contact with the public.

Pandemics are nothing new to this world. Before they were called plagues. The first recorded one was the Typhoid Plague in 430 BC that broke out in Athens and killed 2/3 of the population.
In 165 AD there was the Antonia Plague which they believe could have been one of the first appearances of Small Pox. It also affected the Huns, Germans and Romans. It lasted 15 years and is believed to have been what killed Marcus Aurelis.

Other plagues continued as years went by, 250 AD to 440 AD there were continuous outbreaks of smallpox, TB and the Black Death. In the 11th century, Leprosy became rampant. In 1350 the Black Death killed off 1/3 of the population.

Even the Aztecs was believed to have been wiped out by smallpox. 541 AD saw the Bubonic Plague take the lives of an estimated 50 million people.

My research shows a large amount of these through the centuries. There were plagues in 1492, 1520, 1665, 1817, 1855, and 1918, 1957, 1958 and 1981, not to count all the different flu pandemics that have popped up around the globe.

All through this, people still kept their faith. Instead of cursing God, they got closer to God because they realized that they were helpless without him.

We can’t lose faith. In circumstances like this we have to realize that we can only do so much and the rest will be up to our Lord and savior.

Hold on to the truth that you know. Christ is the healer, Christ is our hope, don’t lose your faith in him, draw closer and pray constantly.

Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

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Standing on the Precipice

Standing on the precipe looking down into the blackness of the abyss below. Is there a bottom to it? What terrors might it hold? What if I loose my will to stand there and totter over the edge? Will he come to me again? Will he save me from this fall? I’ve stood at this very spot many times in my life, this is just another one of those times, or is it the final time that I will stand at this precipice and stare down into the abyss below?

I soon feel the comfort of his loving arms around me, pulling back as he whispers in my ear “no my child, I will never let you fall”. He tells me how often I have been here and how every time he has come and pulled me away, how he has turned me around and set me walking down another path that leads to the gloroius light of his love and saving grace.

We’ve all been there at one time or another in our lives, where we just don’t feel like we can go on. Some of us have been there more than others, some maybe not as much. Something happens, something devastating and we don’t see the solution or the way to solve it. We don’t see the open door we need to go through to find our answers.

It might be a death of a loved one, a broken relationship, the loss of a job. The doctor may have given you a bad diagnosis. It could be a habit we got involved it but can’t seem to get away from. That is the bondage of Satan. Maybe it is alcohol, or drugs, or binge eating, or over spending and can’t pay the bills. Maybe we are being wrongly attacked by people we thought loved us, cared for us, people that we trusted.

It doesn’t matter what the situation is, there is one you can always depend on, who will always be there; one that you can trust unconditionally, who knows you, inside and out but still loves you no matter what. He is the one who will stand at the precipice with you, put his loving arms around you, keep you from falling and set you on the path to the light of his love. JESUS

Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Years

In a few hours it will be midnight, December 31, 2019. One minute after midnight we welcome in the year 2020. Many people will be at parties, bars and family gatherings waiting to bring in the New Year.

There are those who will sit in front of the television and watch the Ball drop in New York. Then there is that group of people, like myself who don’t celebrate New Years. I will probably be fast asleep because we have to get up early in the morning.

New Years Eve brings back an important memory to me. It was New Years Eve 1992 that I took my last drink. No matter what I drank that night I couldn’t even get a buzz and as I sat a babysat my son and his friends while they were getting drunk, I asked myself “what am I doing, what is the point in this, why am I here, in this place”. It was the following Sunday that I gave my life to Christ.

A lot of people, quite a lot make resolutions on New Years Eve. Some even write them down, others just tell themselves what they plan to do and by the next morning or the next day or two they are completely forgotten because life, family, friends, work and other daily occurrences get in the way.

I used to make New Years Resolutions but was never able to follow through with them because life got in the way. I don’t make them anymore because I believe that making changes in your life shouldn’t depend on a certain day of the year, it should be a daily effort.

I want to be closer to God, I want to be stronger, more committed; I want to be kinder, more understanding, more helpful, more loving, and more forgiving, but those are things that I strive for every day of my life.

Am I successful at it? I don’t know, I just know that I try, but just like anyone else, I am human, I am not, nor will I ever be perfect. I get upset, I get angry, I get hurt and at times I get forgetful. But I try and that is the most important part, and I don’t give up trying.

You don’t have to wait until a certain day to make changes in your life. You don’t have to be in a special place to make them. You can start any time, anywhere. And even if you haven’t committed yourself to Christ, you can do that right this moment. You don’t have to try and make changes in your life before you take the most important step of your life, no, in fact he will help you with those changes.

To everyone I wish you a very Happy New Year, every day of your life. I pray for peace, understanding, mercy, forgiveness and love for all of you, but mostly I pray you will take the step to meet the one who makes your life possible.

Happy New Year 2020

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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A Thanksgiving Prayer

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Have you ever sat somewhere and looked at a carpet for a period of time. If you stare at it long enough you see different shapes, designs and even some faces. I was sitting in radiology the other day waiting on someone to finish and was just staring at the carpet, thinking. Thinking about all the stress, depression and grief that comes with the holidays because of tragic circumstances and losses and changes in lifestyle.

As I was looking and picking out different shapes and animal faces, I saw clearly see the face of my deceased child, my only child. It is still hard to fathom that I won’t get the phone call to tell me he loves me and Happy Thanksgiving. I looked at his face for awhile and turned away, but when I looked back I couldn’t find his face again. I was kind of sad about that.

It seems that every year we are another short at the holidays. It happens in almost every family and it is bittersweet if you know they are heaven, but they are not here with you. We lost another one in June. That makes 6 in 4 years!!

Lord, thank you for the 44 years I got to be my sons mother.

Lord, thank you for all the years I got to spend with my other mother

Lord, thank you for the memories of my dearly departed sisters, step-father, step-daughter and mother and father, and so many more.

Lord thank you for every morning that you wake me up

Lord thank you for providing for all of our needs, housing, food, furniture, things we like to watch, internet and phone to keep in touch with others, a car that continues to start and everything we need in town close to where we live.

Lord thank you for the medical personnel at the hospital and clinics that have become second family to us and take care of all of our needs as if we were family and not just another chart number.

Lord thank you for the family we still have here close to us, and those that we are able to keep in touch with in other states, and thank you for watching over them.

Lord thank you for all the ones who hold a special love for me and I for them, for even though we lose some, it seems that you always give us more.

And most of all Lord, thank you for your love, forgiveness and for the sacrifice you made so we could be saved.

I ask you Lord to help me remember how much I have to be thankful for and the ability to share these thanksgivings with others.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

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And It Will Be Given to You

And It Will be Given to You

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, just a few days away. The first Thanksgiving that took place in what is now the United States was organized by the pilgrims of Plymouth colony in Massachusetts in 1621. The event celebrated the year’s harvest after the first continental winter survived by the colonists (source: Yahoo)

In some historical accounts, it relates that the Indians, the natural inhabitants of the New World celebrated with the Pilgrims. It signaled a peace for a time between the Colonists and the Natural Residents .

Some of my readers may remember that in 2016 I wrote a series of articles under the main title of 366 Days of Thanksgiving. The goal was to try and show everyone that there was something to be thankful for each and every day, no matter what you might be going through or had been through.

I was surprised at the many unusual things I found to be thankful for, things that we take for granted on a daily basis. It ended up actually being a type of therapy for me as well. For many years I didn’t believe that I had a lot to be thankful for because of the 18 year abusive relationship I had been in.

Even after becoming a Christian, even after I was delivered from that situation, I still thought every day about the cruelty, the physical and mental abuse that I had suffered. I went through each day trying to act like a Christian but I still had some of the bricks left from the walls I built around my heart.

Over the years the Lord has chipped away at these bricks through the love and kindness of others. This opened my mind and heart to the good memories I did have and showed me that I had so much to be thankful for.

Each and everyday, even when something triggers the PTSD or Depression or the bones ache more than usual, I look around and start to pick out the many blessings that I have. There are so many and true to human form I often take them for granted because they are part of my everyday life.

I’ve allowed the nightmares and thoughts of the abusive past creep in only long enough to remind me where the Lord brought me from. I can clearly see each step that was taken to bring me to where I am today.

I am surrounded now by so many people that care for me, so many that aren’t afraid to claim their love for me and in return it has taught me how to love back. I am abundantly blessed and truly thankful for each and every person in my life today.

Luke 6:38 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Psalm 100:4-5 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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The Heart

The Heart

A healthy heart is important. This heart that pumps 80 beats per minute, is what keeps the body going. It pumps blood to every part of your body. If that blood flow is interrupted, major problems including death can occur. People are more health conscious today than they were 10, 20, 30 years ago. They are eating healthier and exercising, keeping check up appointments and staying in tune with their bodies.

There are all kinds of health and physical problems that can cause an unhealthy heart. Some of them are genetic, some are related to birth defects and many are related to an unhealthy life style.

But there is more to being heart healthy than just leading a healthy life style. Almost every one of us has had damage to our heart at sometime in our lives. The heart, your spirit and your soul are connected and cannot function right if those connections are broken. There have been recorded instances of people having heart attacks from fright or from devastating events such as the loss of a loved one. People have keeled over from heart attacks and/or strokes when they find that the god they served (money) was suddenly gone, that their empire had crumbled.

Our hearts need much more than just health and medical care to function correctly because they are connected to the soul and spirit. They need to be full; full of hope, love, kindness, sympathy and empathy. Love received and love given is one of the most important necessities for a healthy heart. Love of the Lord and knowing he loves you in return is the highest love to be achieved.

All of us have had heart damage at some time in our lives, whether from the loss of a loved one, a parent or sibling or from severe depression and self esteem problems where we are made to feel like we are not worthy of the love and care of others.

My last heart test was normal, which surprises me considering all the abuse I subjected my body to when I was younger. By all standards I should have suffered the consequences of my drug and alcohol use, I should have suffered the consequences of depression and mental and physical abuse, but I don’t and that definitely is a “God” thing.

Sure, I have some medical and physical problems that slow me down from what I used to be, but I am told they are age related and that most people start getting them when they are in my age bracket. But my heart is full. It is full of the love of Jesus. It is full of the love and care of those around me. It is filled with kindness, sympathy and caring from family and friends.

Sometimes it fills so full I think it might burst.

Does your heart feel emptier than it should be? Fill it with the greatest love available, that of Jesus and soon you will find yourself surrounded by others who genuinely love and care for you. There is no better feeling than a full heart.

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Stand

Stand

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Those of us that are able to physically do it, do a lot of standing in our lives. Those who are not blessed with this ability stand for many things, just not in a physical way. We learn to stand as toddlers, perfecting this talent as we get older, but as we grow in intelligence and knowledge, we learn to stand in different ways for different things.

We stand in the corner when we are misbehaving when we are young. We may take a stand against bully’s that are threatening a sibling, friend or someone unable to stand up for themselves. We stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and our National Anthem. We stand for what we believe is right and against what we believe is wrong.

We take a stand in the political arena and for what we consider our God Given and Government mandated rights. We stand against inhumane treatment of people, animals and the environment. We take a stand with others in matters concerning abuse, equal pay, health insurance and property rights.

We stand while talking on the phone, while looking out the window or inline at a counter in a store or to pay our bills. Some of us stand inline at food banks and benefit lines to get the help that we need. We stand in line at grocery stores, banks, offices and events. We stand for our right to believe and worship. We stand a lot, physically as well as mentally, verbally and emotionally.

When you become a believer in Christ you are possibly pushed to go into some kind of work or ministry for Christ. You are encouraged to do something for the Kingdom of God, to bring others into the belief of Christ as our Savior.

When I gave my life to Christ, I suddenly found myself part of the bus ministry. It was nothing that I planned on or applied for. It just happened and it meant a lot to me to help those children in poorer neighborhoods to have a chance to be introduced to Christ.

When we went to Florida, I found myself in the children’s ministry, teaching Sunday School and Children’s Church or helping those that did. I also found myself on the praise and worship team, handling the music overheads on the stage, and again I did not ask for or apply to do these things. They just happened.

As I look back, I see that there times I was put into positions of servitude, helping others in various ministries, working behind the scenes to help them accomplish what they needed to get done. I worked in making costumes and scenery for Church plays, and keeping track of attendees during vacation bible schools, and making calls to members who hadn’t been to church for awhile. I was always doing something.

As the years have gone by, many things have changed and as happens in a lot of Christian lives, I found myself going through some dry spots, where it didn’t seem like God was using me for anything. I’ve written several times about how he can use a person to just say the right thing at the right time to a selected individual or how being a good example of Christ like love can be a way he uses you to help others find Christ.

Later, I believed my ministry was writing. I keep a blog site called “More of Positive Mornings” and have written extensively over the years about Christ, his love and finding his blessings in every day life.
I’ve had a lot difficulty writing the last few months. I have at least 6 partially written articles saved on my computer. They haven’t been completed because the inspiration for them seems to have disappeared. I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard spot and I won’t publish anything that I don’t feel inspired to write. I’ve blamed some of this on so much happening in the last few months but I’m not at all sure that is the whole reason behind my “dry spot”

When mom passed away in June, I inherited some books from her, some very good books. One of them ( Experiencing God by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King) talks about this very thing. They say that many Christians rush out to do what “they” think God wants them to do instead waiting for direction from him.

They advise that unless you are sure that what you are rushing out to do is from God, you should wait, you should “stand” and wait for the Holy Spirit to show you where you need to be and what you need to be doing. So here I “stand” on my writing, with the full conviction that God is not finished with me yet.

Luke 21:19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

James 5:8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

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Peace

Peace

Standing on the back porch this morning with clear blue skies and a warm sun shining, looking out over our mini-jungle in back, I realized just how blessed I am. After spending most of my life living in apartments in the concrete jungles, living here is such a breath of fresh air.

I’ve been here for twelve years now but am always amazed at the friendly, neighborly, kind and loving environment I live in. Everywhere I lived in Ohio and Florida were lonely places. No one wanted to extend themselves to be neighborly, everyone was wrapped up in their own little world.

Even the people at the churches I attended seem to lose the basics of Christianity once they left the sanctuary. I can’t count how many I ran into some of them at the courts, the stores or hospitals, that quickly ducked down an aisle or bowed their head like they were intensely reading something rather than recognize me, make eye contact or even acknowledge that I existed in the same time and space they were in.

I pity the individuals who live in the concrete jungles, never having the means to escape to a much more peaceful, loving and kind atmosphere. Many of them are stuck there for their entire lives because of jobs, finances, family and children or specialized medical facilities.

I don’t miss the hustle and bustle wherever you went, I don’t miss the crowds or masses of humanity fighting their way to wherever they need to be, ignorant of the people or the environment around them. I don’t miss the sirens at night or the sound of traffic that went on 24 hours a day. I don’t miss the worry about crime on the streets, something I needed to watch for since I was a female traveling alone most of the time, going in and out of jails and courts.

I have found peace here. I have found love here. I have found friendship like I never had before here. It’s so nice to walk into the hospital, clinic, store or just walk down the street and have people call your name, wave at you, or even walk up and hug you. Everyone knows your name. It’s so nice to step outside and have the neighbors wave at you or holler a “hello”.

When I left Cleveland, I said I would never go back, and since my son passed away up there and the rest of the family moved back to Florida, there is no reason for me to ever enter that town or even the state of Ohio again.

The lord promises us peace if we seek his face.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the LORD of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The LORD be with all of you.

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Little Blessings

Little Blessings

The last two years have been pretty hard on us. We had the worst Winter I’ve seen since I moved to this beautiful rural town in 2007. With that weather came an onslaught of problems that we didn’t expect. Beside more emergency room visits for Rich, I was diagnosed with several other problems too and just recently Rich’s mom passed away leaving many broken hearts behind.

Thankfully the car never broke down like the dryer and freezer on the refrigerator did, causing us to have to hang clothes around the house wherever we could find a place, and buying bags of ice every two days to keep our frozen goods from thawing, until we could save a few dollars to buy a freezer.

Yet, we are people who have been through many trials in our lives, often doing with less than most people but always making it through. I learned a long time ago that complaining about your circumstances only make them seem insurmountable and have often reminded myself that no matter what I am going through, there are those going through something worse.

I’ve gained strength, patience and knowledge through all the trials in my life. Through everything it comes down to one final thought: God is in control and he has my back, all will be well at some point in time. It is my hope that my attitude, the way I talk, and the things I do or have done will bring someone to Christ or bring closer to him those who have strayed.

I love to walk out on the back deck early in the morning before it gets so hot you can fry an egg on the hood of the car. The sky is crystal clear, the sun is shining brightly and there is a gentle breeze. If it’s around 7:00, the Baptist church bells ring out a hymn and it reminds me that I belong to the Risen Lord

Missy, the stray that adopted us starts mewing from wherever she is at as soon as she sees me. She wants to make sure I feed her and pet her before I go back in. Sometimes we have long conversations, where I do the talking, she mews a little, and squirms into different positions to make sure I have petted her all over.

The squirrel in the neighbors back yard, sits on the fence and watches us. At other times the cardinals or doves fly down to the railing for a minute, as if to say, we are here too “Good morning”. In the evening, the possum makes it’s tour around the fence line, over to the garage, stopping just for a moment to look up at us before running into the garage because Missy wants to play with her and she isn’t in the mood.

The Robins and Doves over on the Radio Station Hill sit on top of the lines, looking down as we do our laps as if they were our protectors, there to signal us if something isn’t right. The butterflies and dragonflies fly back and forth, landing in the grass near us and have at times actually landed on me as if to say “we want to be your friends too”.

The flowers, the trees, the natural ponds, lakes and streams and even the grass are all part of the natural beauty that the Lord created for our pleasure and enjoyment. I’d much rather be walking down a woodsy path than through any mall in the world. It’s these little blessings, the nature, the love, the kindness of people that matter more than anything else.

Job 12 :7-10 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.