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Jesus rescued me!

Posted by on Dec 29, 2022 in My testimony | Comments Off on Jesus rescued me!

The Bible says that God is longsuffering. He patiently presents His truth to us throughout our lives in a variety of ways. He is the Supreme Teacher, and He provides individualized instruction to each of us. Sometimes we “get it” and sometimes we don’t. Still, He persists in His patient pursuit. On December 29, 1974, I finally “got it”.

My testimony, Part 2

Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins! Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin! Psalm 51:1-2, Good News Translation

Repentance is a funny thing. It demands that you recognize your own sin; but it is also accompanied, very often, by an abhorrence of what you have allowed, done, or become; and true repentance will birth a change of heart and behavior in you as well.

When I was in high school, I quit drugging and drinking after the heavenly “vision” I had experienced my junior year one night while on opium. Some may consider this to be an act of repentance, but it wasn’t. Yes, I changed my behaviors; yet I, myself, remained unchanged.

Later, in college after I had resumed drinking (and became quite accomplished at it!), I realized late on Halloween night, 1974, after hours of partying without feeling any effect of all the liquor I’d consumed, that I had become an alcoholic. I wept and grieved about the control I had allowed alcohol to gain over my life (my dad had been an alcoholic as long as I’d been alive), and I told God how sorry I was…but even that was not full repentance. I sorrowed, but my behaviors remained stuck, unchanged.

After crying out to God on November first, I continued drinking but didn’t enjoy it; I felt enchained by it and couldn’t get free. In fact, a couple of days after Christmas, once again, there I was, getting drunk in a bar while my friends partied away with glee. As I sat alone, absentmindedly watching the band play song after song, I noticed that many of the partiers on the dance floor were swaying with their arms lifted up to the sky. Just then I heard a voice in my ear: Lifted hands are a sign of worship.

I dropped my head and said, “I’m in hell.” I acknowledged my sin but had no idea where to go from there.

But God had a plan, and He came through for me in the most unexpected way.

Two evenings later, on December 29, I received a phone call. I took it in my parents’ bedroom on their princess telephone while standing next to their full-length mirror. (For those of you much younger than me, princess phones were quite the thing back then.) My friend on the other end wanted to know if I was planning to get drunk on New Year’s Eve. Now remember, I had gotten smashed just two nights earlier and desperately wanted to quit but felt utterly unable to do so.

Out of nowhere, I heard my mouth saying, “Haven’t you heard? I quit drinking.”

“You WHAT?!” she bellowed. I WHAT?! my mind echoed.

“What are you talking about?” she persisted.

I looked at my reflection in the mirror and gave myself a puzzled look. I also noticed a small smile tugging at the corner of my mouth.

“Drinking is so un-ecological! Think of it! You drink and drink and drink, and all those resources are just wasted! Trashed! It’s just not good for the environment!” I could feel my mind scrambling for some sort of excuse to cover for what my mouth had just announced.

“Oh man, are you ever messed up!” she exclaimed, and with that our conversation abruptly ended.

There I was, standing before my parents’ full-length mirror, and two things happened. First, I felt something literally leave my body, making me feel about two thousand pounds lighter. Second, as I looked into that mirror, my face was glowing. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. Something very profound had just happened to me, that’s for sure, and I had a feeling that Jesus was at the bottom of it.

I went to my bedroom and found a daily devotional I had just bought sometime in November to make sense of my spiritual condition. Instead of opening it to December 29, I opened to my birthday page. And there, in bold Living Bible terminology was Hebrews 10:19-20. It said, “And so, dear brothers, now we may walk right into the very Holy of Holies, where God is, because of the blood of Jesus. This is the fresh, new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us by tearing the curtain—his human body—to let us into the holy presence of God.

And then I saw Him. There in my bedroom, all alone, I saw Jesus opening His chest with His two hands and beckoning me to enter through Him into the presence of the Father. And as I wept in thankfulness to Him, I said, “I believe I’m a Christian now!”

And thus my journey ended; and so my journey began.

Dorothy

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:13-14a

…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation…for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-10, 13

© 2015, Dorothy Frick, and updated 2017 and 2022.

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My testimony—Before Christ

Posted by on Dec 28, 2022 in My testimony | Comments Off on My testimony—Before Christ

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Isaiah 53:1

I ran across this verse earlier this week and it hit me—the prophet was lamenting the seriously insignificant number of souls who simply heard the good news of God’s love and as a result embraced it in faith. To top it off, it seemed Isaiah was also expressing the sad fact that even when the Lord went further in His pursuit of people’s souls by “revealing His arm” (a metaphor for His intervening power), again, very few grasped the significance of His overture and then nonchalantly turned back to their own deal.

I had been one who heard the message…and scoffed. For years I scoffed those who conveyed this message—although internally I questioned, I prayed, I sought. I would listen to George Harrison singing “My Sweet Lord” as I hid away in my dark bedroom lit only by a red candle, and I’d whisper, “Come into my heart NOW!!” Nothing.

And yet, Someone was quite aware of my search despite my outward disdain.

And then one night He revealed His arm…

It was a snowy night late in January of 1972 after a high school basketball game. My date and I planned to go to a party, but he took a detour to a park where he showed me two joints that he wanted to share with me. I was game but told him that they would likely have no effect on me—I’d smoked pot eleven times before without any noticeable results. (Have I ever mentioned that one of my quirks is an OCD tendency to count things?) He assured me that these were different—they were laced with opium.

When we got back to his car after puffing them down to nothing, I said to him, “I told you these would have no effect…” And then my words echoed back at me, again and again.

As he drove to the party, I was in a virtual echo-chamber. I could see nothing but flashes and sparkles. He commented to me as he was driving, “That tree just turned into a pinecone.”

Unconcerned about having a hallucinating chauffeur driving me around the streets of our town, I replied, “Give my regards to its mother.” I was too busy in my echo-chamber to give much thought to safety.

And then a series of hallucinations happened that resulted in a type of “line in the sand” between the Lord and me. First, as I looked out of the big windshield on that dark January night, I saw my mom’s loving face filling a brilliant blue sky. I was horrified, realizing that I was breaking all of her rules, potentially hurting her very deeply. Then her face was gone, and I saw the dark expanse of the starry heavens and thought, “God can see me!” so I ducked below the dashboard in an attempt to hide from the Almighty.

What happened next forever changed the way I viewed Jesus. Immediately I was at my trial on Judgment Day (not a popular topic in the particular mainline denominational church I attended). I was about to be sentenced to Hell by a raging jury; they shouted at me with faces filled with fury, pounding their fists. I stood with my head hung down knowing I deserved no mercy. And then Jesus approached. He was robed in white with a gold cord around His waist and radiated golden liquid love. He first turned to the jury, raised both hands and then lowered them in a gesture of silence. Begrudgingly, the jury quieted as the Lord turned to me.

I will never forget the love I saw in His face as He gazed into my eyes while speaking to the jury. “This is My own dear daughter whom I love very much. She wants to be with Me. I think she will.”

With that, the hallucination/vision faded. I was back in the car, in a vehicle driven by someone who had just smoked the same stuff I had—and I was very aware of the dangerous position I was in. But a deep sense of peace and God’s protection came over me as I said to myself, “I’ll be a Christian someday.”

© 2015, Dorothy Frick, and updated 2017 and 2022.

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Frozen

Posted by on Dec 25, 2022 in Christmas | Comments Off on Frozen

Last night I heard a large THUD followed by a rattle hitting the outside wall of the house by the garage. I didn’t imagine it; Ebony, who was next to me, immediately stood at attention, ready to protect her domain.

I peeked outside from a couple of windows and saw no one. About an hour later, THUD! Rattle, rattle! Again, Ebony stood on guard, looking toward the sound. (Remmy was snoozing without care downstairs, unaware of his sister’s brave stand.) And again, I peeked outside darkened windows to see the culprit. And again,  no one was in sight.

Perhaps a tree branch had fallen. Maybe it was one of the local raccoons trying to find food in my outdoor recycle can. I made the decision to FEAR NOT and to check it out in the morning.

Well, what do you know? Multiple water bottles stored individually in the garage had fallen in battle against the conquering cold, sprawling haphazardly, deformed by the enemy chill.

And now they are propped up in the infirmary of my kitchen sink this Christmas Eve, recovering their former glory and shape, ready to serve me on a warmer day.

Maybe you feel as if you’ve fallen, frozen by the destructive harshness of our time. And yet, just as I took the time to recover those bottles, carrying them into the warmth and propping them up in my kitchen sink, recognize that YOU are far more precious than a factory full of plastic water bottles. I believe that God, your Maker, will bend down to gently lift you, carefully clean you of years of debris, and set you in His infirmary to thaw your heart from the icy blast of hate targeting you for destruction.

He is willing to do this for you. Will you let Him?

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Merry Christmas,

Dorothy

© 2022, Dorothy Frick

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A Christmas Eve Prayer for YOU

Posted by on Dec 24, 2022 in Christmas | Comments Off on A Christmas Eve Prayer for YOU

This Christmas Eve, whether your home is as colorful as a carnival, as turbulent as a tornado, or as quiet as a mouse, I want to offer up a prayer for you from my heart.

For my friends who feel all too keenly the absence of loved ones who are no longer with you, I pray for the calm and deep comfort of the Lord to well up within you and gird you with grace and strength. May you be blessed with the gift of “touch”—knowing that just as your loved ones’ lives touched yours, so too, does your life touch those around you very deeply; and may you feel the depth of God’s gentle love for you. And in the coming year as you reach out to those He brings your way, may you find grace to comfort them with the comfort with which you have been comforted.

For my friends who brace yourselves for the storm clouds of strife that invariably blow your way this time of year, I pray for the love of God to overtake you so that you will have the grace to speak blessing where there is cursing. May you be a peacemaker in the midst of strife and a refuge of safety in the midst of turmoil. I pray that He will give you the gift of “hearing” so that as you navigate through the noise and agitation, you will hear with clarity this is the way in which you should walk; these are the words I want you to say. I pray that the Lord will go before you and make the rough places smooth and that His glory will be your rear guard. And may the seeds of peace and love and life that you sow—even in the midst of the storm—be cultivated by God in the upcoming year to produce the powerful fruit of salvation and wholeness in the lives of those you love.

For my friends who feel isolated, lonely, and without a family to call your own, I pray that the presence of God will overtake you, not only in your spirit, but also in your mind and emotions. I pray you receive the gift of “taste” so that you may taste and see that the Lord is good. May you recognize the breadth, length, height, and depth of your acceptance in the Beloved, and may you experience, in a very real way, the intensity of the love that God personally has for you. May the coming year bring deeper friendships, warmer connections, and a greater number of mutually satisfying godly relationships into your life. May you learn to expect and receive these blessings; and may you, my friend, be a blessing in the lives of others.

For my friends who know you are fortunate to have all of your loved ones around the table again this year, yet who nonetheless feel let down by life, I pray that you receive the gift of “seeing”. May you see, by the Spirit of God, how precious each life really is; may you recognize the wealth of connection you have been granted; and may you receive wisdom from on high so you may further nurture and cultivate each treasured life given to you. May you see and experience how truly rich you are, and may the upcoming year bring forth great fruitfulness in your life.

For my friends who are harried and hassled and stretched to the limit by the demands at this time of year, I pray you find that place of quiet and refuge in the Lord, to take a breath, and to let His soothing presence minister rest and grace to your soul. May you receive the gift of “smell”—the ability to pause and smell the cinnamon, the evergreen, the cookies, and the cold crisp air. May you take mini vacations in your mind as you pause and think on the journey to Bethlehem, the song of the angels, or the newborn babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger. May your heart be lifted with the songs of the season, and may you find humor in the hustle and bustle and even in the superhuman expectations you place upon yourself. And may your joy increase more and more, along with your strength, in the year to come.

And to all of my friends, I pray that the grace, mercy, and peace of God overtake you and strengthen you, equipping you for all that is ahead of you in 2023. May you enjoy deep intimacy with the Lord, and may His voice become clearer, your sight more focused, and His Word sweeter as you journey with Him throughout the coming year.

And tonight, may every one of you find time to sneak away and snatch some silence on this holy eve. I pray that tonight, whether by candlelight, firelight, Christmas lights, or by the light of the stars or the moon, you take the time to steal away and to say thank You to the One who came to earth as that precious Baby so long ago. And as you do, may He fill your heart with His wonderful presence.

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.  (By Joseph Mohr, 1816)

Merry Christmas and may God bless each one of you, my dear friends.

Dorothy

© 2015, Dorothy Frick; updated December, 2022

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O Holy Night–some thoughts

Posted by on Dec 18, 2022 in Christmas | Comments Off on O Holy Night–some thoughts

“O holy night! The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”  By Placide Cappeau, 1847

God had a plan from way back, before the foundations of the earth. He created the species of man to fellowship with Him and to populate the planet. In His great wisdom and foresight—before we ever arrived on the scene—He saw that we would go our own way, fall into sin, and descend into the agony of spiritual darkness.

He gave the first hint of His plan to pull humanity out of the abyss of their own making early in man’s history. After the man and woman He created fell into deception and disobedience (see Genesis 3:1-7), God told the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel” (Genesis 3:15).

And so it came to pass. Jesus came to earth through the seed of woman; the virgin birth enabled the Savior to be both a Man—through Mary, His mother—and to be God, through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 1:35). And as history rolled on through time, God gave more hints about His plan to deliver men and women from their sinful nature through an astonishing sacrificial act. And according to Galatians 4:4, “…when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.

In due season. For millennia the world, steeped in sin, pined away in error, and tooled along on an evil course. So dark and oppressed was the race of man. The Jews, likewise subject to the permeating stain of sin, nonetheless held promise through their holy Scriptures of hope and help from Heaven that the Messiah—the stem of Jesse, the Promised One—would someday appear and set up His Kingdom.

At the right time. “…when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God, was born at the right time into the history of the human race. Angels proclaimed His birth. Wise men from the east calculated—by the stars and Hebrew prophecy—the exact timing and location of the birth of this new King.

And the world?

“The thrill of hope The weary world rejoices For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

The shackles of sin would soon be broken by the voluntary sacrifice of the Man who now lay as a baby in a manger. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:17).

Yet for so many, the chains of sin remain, two thousand years later. Darkness still seems to permeate the planet. How could that be? Again, let’s look at Scripture. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

You see, Jesus voluntarily gave His life as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind; likewise, receiving deliverance from those sins is also on a voluntary basis for every individual man, woman, and child. “Whoever believes in Him…” is a voluntary act; the one true God never coerces or intimidates anyone into submission; He states His case, He reasons with facts, He displays signs and wonders, and He woos. When religion is imposed with threats or violence, God is not in it.

Many throughout the past two millennia have attempted to force their brand of “whoever believes in Him” upon others through coercion, threats, tyrannical laws, and wars. But wise souls have always known that such enforcement was never the plan of God. God’s plan—then, now, and forever—was this: for His Son to bear the sin, sorrow, and error of our race, thus canceling out our debt of sin, and to simply receive anyone and everyone who believed in Him from the heart as sons and daughters.

This is the reason for the “thrill of hope”. This is why the “weary world rejoices”. And this is why each soul can now feel its worth—because whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. The God of all things places great worth on each human soul; He sees worth in you.

We sing, we pray, we celebrate because of who that little baby was—the Sacrificial Lamb, the Son of Man and the Son of God. In the fullness of time, that little child of Bethlehem laid down His life for you and for me—voluntarily—because He valued us.

What can we do in response to such a great and selfless act? Listen to the carol:

Fall on your knees O hear the angel voices O night divine O night when Christ was born O night divine O night, o night divine.”

Take time this season to fall on your knees and affirm your faith in the baby of Bethlehem; worship Him—the Christ—the Son of Man and the Son of God.

Dorothy

© 2015, updated 2022; Dorothy Frick

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You will not be afraid of pestilence that stalks in darkness

Posted by on Jul 17, 2022 in Prayer Perspective, Psalm 91 | Comments Off on You will not be afraid of pestilence that stalks in darkness

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
 Psalm 91:5-6

Words that seem nearly impossible to believe for some people precede a list of four truly haunting fears: “YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF…”.

These fear-inducing four include:

  • Terror by night
  • The arrow that flies by day
  • Pestilence that stalks in darkness
  • Destruction that lays waste at noon

For about the last two and a half years, the world’s population has been held hostage by the fear of pestilence that stalks in darkness. Coronavirus. Covid-19. SARS CoV-2. The atmosphere was almost electric with dread anticipation in early March 2020 as we counted down to the soon-to-be-imposed shutdown of schools, churches, restaurants, stores, even parks and public beaches. We learned to make masks. We stopped socializing. We hunkered down in our homes, some of us all alone.

I don’t need to remind you of the hopeless feeling that every death count posted on the news brought to the souls of the listeners. Every sniffle, throat tickle, or stuffy nose brought a sense of panic to many.

We’ve lived through the pestilence that stalks in darkness; we are told by our medical “experts” that there is more to come. My purpose here is to direct you to the Bible statement, “YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID…”

Fear is tricky. It can be a helpful instructor/informant—”Remember how touching that hot stove burned you last time? Yeah, let’s not do that again.” Or “I have an uneasy feeling about that party…think I’ll do something else.”

But fear that rides you and prevails over your thought-life and emotions like an evil taskmaster? That’s from Hell. When your heart races whenever you cough—or hear someone else coughing—fear is driving you. The Lord says, “YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF pestilence that stalks in darkness.”

“But so many have died!” you may argue. Yes, they have. But the truth is that there are millions of ways that people depart this life. This sickness is but one of those ways, yet you have life right NOW, and you need to live it.

How do you live without fear in the face of disease, epidemics, and pandemics?

Two things have helped me. First, I learned as much as I could about ways to stay healthy in light of covid, and I practiced those things. I learned what might harm me in my quest to stay well, and I abandoned that. Fortunately, piles of information about the current diseases floating around are relatively easy to be found, as well as methods to remain healthy. You just need to know where to look.

Second—and most important—know what the Word of God reveals about sickness and disease. Both the Old and New Testaments are loaded with supernatural healings and they both shed light on God’s healing nature. During the early shutdown, as I suffered alone from an unusually bad asthma attack (made worse, I’m sure, due to the drummed-up fear of covid), peace came, and soon, easier breathing when I repeated Scriptures concerning the breath of Life the Lord breathed into my lungs. (See John 20:22, “He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The Greek word for both breath and Spirit is “pneuma”, and I just repeated that to myself and thanked the Holy “Pneuma” for my “pneuma” flowing freely. Sounds funny, I know, but I was clinging to that “pneuma” from God…and was so glad to experience life-giving pneuma-air going into my lungs!)

A quick search online for healing Scriptures will provide you with enough ammunition to build your faith against the fear you might feel crawling up your neck or growing in the pit of your stomach. I am confident that in your search you will find one or two—or dozens—of verses that will ring true to your heart and will stir your hope and confidence. God’s power is stored inside those verses, and when united by your faith, they will produce peace, confidence, and ultimately, help and health.

I would be disobedient to God, though, if I didn’t mention the gorilla in the room—Death. I have found that the fear of death is a terrifying master, and unless that is conquered, you will never overcome the fear of sickness.

Hebrews 2:14-15 states, “Therefore, since the children [that’s you and me] share in flesh and blood, He Himself [that’s Jesus!] likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Jesus died for us so we could live eternally. That means that when I die—whether by illness or injury or passing quietly in my sleep—I merely change locations! I’ll step out of my body at death and enter my new home, sort of like stepping out of clothes at the end of the day to enter my shower or bed. I never mourn stripping off those smelly clothes! I simply toss them in the clothes hamper. How much more will I be thrilled to step out of this body and enter into the new adventure ahead of me that was paid for in full by Jesus’ bold sacrificial death? Once the fear of death is tackled through your faith in Jesus and what He undertook for you, the fear of sickness becomes so much easier to overcome.

You will not be afraid of the pestilence that stalks in darkness. 

Dorothy

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In league with the Destroyer?

Posted by on May 23, 2022 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on In league with the Destroyer?

Got your hard-toed shoes on? Hope so, because this may hurt…it sure made me yell “OUCH!!”
 
Remember the lady in the gospels who poured costly perfume on Jesus’s feet? (She’s mentioned in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 7, and John 12.)
 
What was one of the main gut-reactions of those who were there? “What a WASTE!! She could have sold this and GIVEN the money TO THE POOR!”
 
I was curious about that word WASTE, so I looked it up in my Strong’s Concordance.
 
WASTE: Greek word 684: apoleia, which means ruined, destroyed, damnable.
 
That caught my attention for two reasons. First, that’s VERY strong condemnation toward the gal; and second, it reminded me in both the sound and definition of an unsavory angel mentioned in the Book of Revelation—Apollyon.
 
Mr. Apollyon, according to that Book, is currently “tied up”, awaiting his release with his bizarre, pain-inflicting forces which will create havoc and distress for 5 wretched months—a true 911 crisis. You can find this being in Revelation 9:11, incidentally.
 
Anyway, Apollyon IS from the same word root as WASTE, or apoleia. Apollyon is the Greek word #623, apollyon, which means DESTROYER.
 
Back to that lady and her detractors. They accused her of DESTROYING precious goods and basically condemned her gift to Jesus as DAMNABLE.
 
Here’s the OUCH. Have you caught yourself condemning someone for their giving? I have. Once? Twice? Multiple times? Have you accused them of WASTING their resources on a certain ministry, charitable group, or even an individual?
 
What you were saying, then, was right in line with the accusers of that woman. You were virtually cursing the giver, the gift, AND the receiver as a waste, as damnable.
 
Hear Jesus’s take on the whole thing:
 
“Let her alone; why do you bother her?” (Mk14:6.)
 
He also declared, “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” (Mk 14:9.)
 
And you know something? Some of the most incredible miracles of Jesus were only recorded in one gospel. Others can be found in two or three of them. THIS act of extravagant giving, however, is recorded in all FOUR gospels. I believe this underscores Jesus’s passion and affirmation of what took place that day…AND exposes the hearts of all of us (myself included) who decry or bemoan the motives, intelligence, or wisdom of the gifts of others.
 
You do you. Let God deal with others.
 
And if you’re STILL uncomfortable with someone else’s giving, go before God and leave it with Him. He may give you the right to speak; but tread lightly…lest you find yourself in league with the Destroyer.
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