Archive for September, 2013


Your world is about to change – but only if you let God get involved.

I want to put you into a certain frame of mind to get you ready for the message this morning. I want you to picture church people a little differently today. I want you to see a picture as I paint it for you, that church people here today are something like this:

It’s late at night; and there’s nothing on TV, you are as bored as anything and now like a pack of restless teenagers you are wandering around town looking for trouble. There’s a kind of crowd confidence that overcomes normal inhibitions, anything can happen. You will follow a leader if that person shows any sort of confidence. You might end up wet or covered in dirt or miles from home, but one thing’s for sure you will have a story to tell for the next few years. And what’s more it’s been a heck of a lot more interesting than staying home and doing nothing.

Think like a bored teenager for the next hour. Think about how much you want to experience life and energy and change. Think about how much you have let caution, shyness, fear and playing it safe, keep you limited for the last few years. When was the last time you were outrageous? When was the last time you sang Karaoke? When was the last time you did something for the first time? – Hold that thought. Hold that mindset.



Read 1 Sam 14:1-16, (MESS)

1Sa 14:1  Later that day, Jonathan, Saul’s son, said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the Philistine garrison patrol on the other side of the pass.” But he didn’t tell his father.

1Sa 14:2  Meanwhile, Saul was taking it easy under the pomegranate tree at the threshing floor on the edge of town at Geba (Gibeah). There were about six hundred men with him.

1Sa 14:3  Ahijah, wearing the priestly Ephod, was also there. (Ahijah was the son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, who was the son of Eli the priest of GOD at Shiloh.) No one there knew that Jonathan had gone off.

1Sa 14:4  The pass that Jonathan was planning to cross over to the Philistine garrison was flanked on either side by sharp rock outcroppings, cliffs named Bozez and Seneh.

1Sa 14:5  The cliff to the north faced Micmash; the cliff to the south faced Geba (Gibeah).

1Sa 14:6  Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on now, let’s go across to these uncircumcised pagans. Maybe GOD will work for us. There’s no rule that says God can only deliver by using a big army. No one can stop GOD from saving when he sets his mind to it.”

1Sa 14:7  His armor bearer said, “Go ahead. Do what you think best. I’m with you all the way.”

1Sa 14:8  Jonathan said, “Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll cross over the pass and let the men see we’re there.

1Sa 14:9  If they say, ‘Halt! Don’t move until we check you out,’ we’ll stay put and not go up.

1Sa 14:10  But if they say, ‘Come on up,’ we’ll go right up–and we’ll know GOD has given them to us. That will be our sign.”

1Sa 14:11  So they did it, the two of them. They stepped into the open where they could be seen by the Philistine garrison. The Philistines shouted out, “Look at that! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!”

1Sa 14:12  Then they yelled down to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up here! We’ve got a thing or two to show you!”

1Sa 14:13  Jonathan shouted to his armor bearer, “Up! Follow me! GOD has turned them over to Israel!” Jonathan scrambled up on all fours, his armor bearer right on his heels. When the Philistines came running up to them, he knocked them flat, his armor bearer right behind finishing them off, bashing their heads in with stones.

1Sa 14:14  In this first bloody encounter, Jonathan and his armor bearer killed about twenty men.

1Sa 14:15  That set off a terrific upheaval in both camp and field, the soldiers in the garrison and the raiding squad badly shaken up, the ground itself shuddering–panic like you’ve never seen before!

1Sa 14:16  Saul’s sentries posted back at Geba (Gibeah) in Benjamin saw the confusion and turmoil raging in the camp.

1Sa 14:20  Saul immediately called his army together and they went straight to the battle. When they got there they found total confusion–Philistines swinging their swords wildly, killing each other.

1Sa 14:21  Hebrews who had earlier defected to the Philistine camp came back. They now wanted to be with Israel under Saul and Jonathan.

1Sa 14:22  Not only that, but when all the Israelites who had been hiding out in the backwoods of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were running for their lives, they came out and joined the chase.

1Sa 14:23  GOD saved Israel! What a day! The fighting moved on to Beth Aven. The whole army was behind Saul now–ten thousand strong!–with the fighting scattering into all the towns throughout the hills of Ephraim.


Here’s the background to the story.

King Saul had been king for a while and not doing a very good job at all. He disobeys God and offers animals as sacrifice when he should waited for the prophet Samuel. Jonathan his son is a bit of a hothead, but he wants to make some progress. Saul started off with three companies of soldiers but most of them left him in fear and he has now only 600 left and they don’t have spears or swords. Sounds like a crack fighting force right?


Now Jonathan thinks, “I’ve gotta do something!” He decides to pick a fight with the Philistines. Something has got to change! Somebody has got to move out and do something, and that person may as well be me!

He takes his armour bearer with him – just two of them. They go right up to a garrison of the enemy and this is their unique strategy: Let the enemy dictate the terms of the battle – that way we know God is in it!!

Think like a teenager now: He’s off on his own, he hasn’t consulted the king, his father, but look at this boldness, this seemingly misplaced confidence! There’s initiative, there’s a bit of craziness, there’s thinking outside the box; but above all there’s an expectation on God!! Jonathan says God can save by many or by few (Vs 6) This is the key to his outrageous adventure.

He decided – GO PICK A FIGHT WITH A PROBLEM – but believes God is with him no matter what!

What have you done different this month? What have you changed or applied or given up to create momentum in your situation? Have you given God something to work with to give you your Spring Breakthrough? If nothing changes then nothing will change.

Are you doers of the word or are you just hearers only? Will we be a powerhouse church that is so passionate about God’s word that we listen to the word preached and we apply it straight away? Are we built on Rock or sand?

Here’s your check point….

In August our theme was Living Word. – How much change took place in your life so far to build the word of God in because of those messages?

Don’t fool yourself that you can just come along to church every week and listen to messages as though they were just interesting information and not change and expect to be an effective Christian. God is looking for His people to be salt and light, that’s influence. Standing out not blending in.

We need a Spring breakthrough, the church needs a Spring Breakthrough and Melbourne needs a Spring Breakthrough! We probably judge ourselves too kindly. It’s just too easy for all of us to say, “I’m a good Christian!” But we measure things like being honest, loving others and being good. When God is doing the measuring He looks from heaven and says,

Eze 9:4  “Walk through the city of Jerusalem and mark the forehead of anyone who is truly upset and sad about the disgusting things that are being done here.” (CEV)

And this: Mat 28:19  Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

If we want to reach our city of Whittlesea for God and we keep going at the rate we are going it will never happen! The church here and elsewhere looks a lot like Saul and his army, not making any headway and not having any weapons of substance. But it can all change with one bold move from a person of faith.


1Sa 13:15  At that, Samuel got up and left Gilgal. What army there was left followed Saul into battle. They went into the hills from Gilgal toward Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul looked over and assessed the soldiers still with him–a mere six hundred!

1Sa 13:22  So when the battle of Micmash was joined, there wasn’t a sword or spear to be found anywhere in Israel–except for Saul and his son Jonathan; they were both well-armed.



1Sa 14:23  GOD saved Israel! What a day! The fighting moved on to Beth Aven. The whole army was behind Saul now–ten thousand strong!–with the fighting scattering into all the towns throughout the hills of Ephraim.


Come on you reckless teenagers, bored with hum drum life. What will your move be?

For Carole  – it was to obey the voice in her heart that said share your faith with your father again even though he’s been antagonistic for years.

For Andrew  – the bold move was to continue to believe God for a job long past the due season for answers.

What about you?

What’s your bold move to create an opportunity for God? What does it look like? Ask the Holy Spirit. Step out and obey God. Pray and seek Him.


1. What inspires you about Jonathan in this story?

2. Describe how he talks about faith in this story.

3. How are you going with being a doer of the word and not just a hearer only?

4. If our church has a vision to impact the local area, then what kind of activity is required from the members?

5. What will your bold move be?


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In my back yard I have a paved area. Sometimes weeds grow in between the paving stones. When I looked at my paving this week it seemed as though they grew up overnight, but in reality I didn’t notice them growing over the last few weeks. Isn’t it true that sometimes undesirable things creep ever so slowly up around us and it’s not until something jolts us that we realise that things have changed and we must take action to remedy the situation?

Let’s take a look at this interesting story in the Old Testament.

READ 2 Kings 6:24-25 & 7:3-9

2Ki 6:24  Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria.

2Ki 6:25  And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.


2Ki 7:3  Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?

2Ki 7:4  If we say, ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die.”

2Ki 7:5  So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians. But when they came to the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there.

2Ki 7:6  For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us.”

2Ki 7:7  So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp as it was, and fled for their lives.

2Ki 7:8  And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent and ate and drank, and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and went and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent and carried off things from it and went and hid them.

2Ki 7:9  Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household.” (ESV)


The King of Syria besieges Samaria resulting in famine.

A donkey’s head sells for 80 shekels of silver and Dove’s dung (Could be translated a bowl of greens) for 5 shekels of silver.

Each day got worse as the famine continued.

At first people looked out and saw the enemy surrounding them, and wondered what would happen. Gradually things began to change. Prices started going up. Pressure started to mount. People began to get short with one another. Finally they were fighting over tiny amounts of food.

People got used to having less. At times over the next few moths life took on a form of normality – This is how it is now. The new normal.


Have you grown used to not having all that God has promised to you? Do you live in a place of lack that you have come to call normal? What’s your situation? Do you have sickness that won’t go away? Financial Constrictions that you have put up with now for too long – That’s just the way it is…

What about those broken relationships that you’ve tried to fix over and over all to no avail. What about reaching that loved one with the gospel, you know, the one you have shared with over and over again.

Look outside the walls, the enemy is still waiting there.

When I look at our church – I see we need a Spring Breakthrough. The vision is clear, it’s 500 in 5 years. That’s the breakthrough. To accomplish that we need to see more people coming, more visitors, more people being saved, more life change, more finance pouring in. The enemy wants to besiege you and this church.

He wants to stop the supplies getting in or out. We can get used to seeing what we see now and it becomes the new normal. But God has so much more for us.

Like the 4 lepers, we must take action. The 4 lepers were 4 people robbed of life. Living in less than what God had for them.

At least they were at the city gate. They could see God’s people coming and going. And they can see the enemy. They had awareness and they had perspective. These were possibly the 4 most unlikely men to deliver the city from the enemy.

They make a great statement: Why should we sit here until we die?

Why should we just sit here in the midst of a problem and do nothing. If we sit here we die, if we go inside the city we die (of starvation), if we go down to the enemy camp then they may give us food or if they kill us we will only die.

Look at this wisdom in the 4 leprous men.

  1. They realised the gravity of the situation
  2. They decided to do something to change
  3. They faced their fears and took action.
  4. God took over and did the rest.

Here’s a great example of that this week – let me read out this testimony from Carol one of our members who lives in Flowerdale:

“I had to ring my Dad as he’s going in to hospital today and so many times he is not interested in God or religion – it’s for those who need it or he tells me some jokes about Jesus or religion that are downright offensive and not really funny at all. So I was reluctant to bring it up again having been met with so many knock backs and “no” answers but something kept pressing on me… The conversation went like this.

After an hour of talking and feeling that pressing need to ask but not wanting to hear a negative “So before I say goodbye Dad, have you thought about giving your heart to Jesus” – “Yes”
I shook the phone and tapped it to make sure it was receiving the signal right. “Would you like to give your heart to Jesus now?” – “Yes”
So he did hear me! And that’s 2 yes’s.
“I have this thing to read out to you and you repeat it after me word for word and you give yourself to Jesus” – “Yes”.
That was 3 yes’s and what’s more, when I had been tidying up on Saturday, I found the card, left over from John Mellor’s visit, with the words to give your heart to Jesus on it and put it over our Bible so I knew where to find it. God knew that I would need it.
Dad repeated the words after me and gave his heart to Jesus right there and then. Wow, what a breakthrough and I wasn’t even thinking of Dad when we were praying. And what’s more, If I hadn’t of asked him if he wanted to give his heart to Jesus, we would have just said our goodbyes and missed the opportunity but as I say, I kept feeling pressed to ask that whole one hour conversation and wanted to put it off but kept being pressed.”

Spring Breakthrough is about you breaking through personally, and it’s about the church breaking through too. Do you have an appetite for change?

Why sit here till we die?

Have you put up with the new normal? The enemy wants to close you down, and shut down the church vision too. We are at the gate, it’s the place of perspective, we see what’s going on, what will you do to bring change?

Will you face your fears and take action. Here’s what I’m doing…

I’m fasting 2 or 3 days every week in spring. I’m finding new times to pray and seek God, I’m reassessing all that I do to chuck out activity that is not producing; I’m reaching out to people and inviting more than ever.

What will you do to create change and give God something to work with?


  1. What three things have you decided that you want to believe God to do for you this Spring?
  2. What changes will you make to your normal routine to give God something to work with?
  3. What price would you pay for change? For example, fasting? Give up some time wasting activity? Leave unhealthy relationships that pull you down?
  4. Write down your three goals. Read them every morning and night. Now find a picture that illustrates them if possible. And look at them every morning and night.
  5. How will you hold yourself accountable for change?

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SPRING BREAKTHROUGH #2PM Spring Breakthrough

You can have religion….   OR     You can have a God Encounter.

Jesus reacted strongly against religious people.

–         you know, the people who put on a good show.  (God show)

The message bible puts it so well …

Mat 3:7  When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference?

Mat 3:8  It’s your life that must change, not your skin!

Mat 3:9  And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen.

Mat 3:10  What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.

Or what about this one….

Mat 6:5  “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?

It gets better, look at this….

Mat 15:7  Frauds! Isaiah’s prophecy of you hit the bull’s-eye:

Mat 15:8  These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it.

Mat 15:9  They act like they’re worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy.” (MESS)

Jacob the grandson of Abraham in the book of Genesis had a God Encounter.

Gen 32:24  And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak.

Gen 32:25  And when [the Man] saw that He did not prevail against [Jacob], He touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob’s thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him.

Gen 32:26  Then He said, Let Me go, for day is breaking. But [Jacob] said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me.

Gen 32:27  [The Man] asked him, What is your name? And [in shock of realization, whispering] he said, Jacob [supplanter, schemer, trickster, swindler]!

Gen 32:28  And He said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [contender with God]; for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed. [Hos. 12:3-4.]

Gen 32:29  Then Jacob asked Him, Tell me, I pray You, what [in contrast] is Your name? But He said, Why is it that you ask My name? And [the Angel of God declared] a blessing on [Jacob] there.

Gen 32:30  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [the face of God], saying, For I have seen God face to face, and my life is spared and not snatched away.

Gen 32:31  And as he passed Penuel [Peniel], the sun rose upon him, and he was limping because of his thigh. (AMP)


Jacob had cheated his brother out of his father’s inheritance. After being away in another country for a long time Jacob was forced to come back to his home town; and that meant facing his brother. Jacob knew his brother would be very angry to see him. Faced by that fear he took off to be alone.

The true test of a man’s soul is when he is alone with God.

He wrestled with God, this is about prayer. It’s the anguish of calling on God in time of great stress and asking for His help, because no one on earth can help you.

Jacob had purpose – he wanted to find assurance of safety for all that he had; wives, children and possessions.

He had determination – I will not let you go till you bless me.

He had an Encounter – a realisation of who he really was, and God changed him (his name).

He walked differently from then on – everyone could see on the outside what had happened on the inside due to that limp.

Every person needs a God Encounter. – That’s what SPRING BREAKTHROUGH is all about.

In a God Encounter – God changes you.

In being religious, you’re putting on a show for others, but on the inside you’re no different.

Mat 23:27  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure.

Mat 23:28  Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretence and lawlessness and iniquity. [Ps. 5:9.] (AMP)

Some Politicians think they can put on a good show. They show 10/10 for rhetoric, but 0/10 for character. In the end character shows through – that’s authentic.

What I read about Gen Y and younger is that they are seeking real, authentic leaders and churches.


You need a God Encounter to change you. You see – God knows who you really are on the inside. Jesus died to bring you forgiveness and to break the power of sin that messes you up on the inside.

What is your name? And [in shock of realization, whispering] he said, Jacob [supplanter, schemer, trickster, swindler]!

Jacob sought God. Fear drove him to find an answer because of the future that lay before him. The fear of confronting his failure took him to desperation and desperation is the door to a God Encounter. See you there!


  1. How much do you personally feel you need a God Encounter in your life?
  2. Can a person have more than one God Encounter in their life?
  3. Where would you go and how would you seek God in this God Encounter?
  4. Ask yourself privately, “What is it that you need God to change in you?”
  5. When will you make the quality decision to seek God for an Encounter?

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Anybody want to live a long life?

Well there’s a promise God has made to you that if you do one thing, you will live a long life. Here it is:

Eph 6:2  Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise–[Exod. 20:12.]

Exo_20:12  Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.

When you honour your Father and Mother you open up God’s authority to bless you.

The principle of Honour in the bible is very important. In each place where honour was missing there is a corresponding lack of God’s favour and provision.

For example, When Jesus visited His own home town we read.

Mar 6:1  JESUS WENT away from there and came to His [own] country and hometown [Nazareth], and His disciples followed [with] Him.

Mar 6:2  And on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue; and many who listened to Him were utterly astonished, saying, Where did this Man acquire all this? What is the wisdom [the broad and full intelligence which has been] given to Him? What mighty works and exhibitions of power are wrought by His hands!

Mar 6:3  Is not this the Carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here among us? And they took offense at Him and were hurt [that is, they disapproved of Him, and it hindered them from acknowledging His authority] and they were caused to stumble and fall.

Mar 6:4  But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among [his] relatives and in his [own] house.

Mar 6:5  And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people [and] cured them.

Mar 6:6  And He marvelled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him). And He went about among the surrounding villages and continued teaching. (amp)

Familiarity is the first step away from honour. Then comes contempt, then judgement then dishonour. Where there is no honour there is no divinely established authority for blessing and favour. God says a lot about Honour in the word.

Exo_20:12  Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.

Psa 105:15  Saying, Touch not My anointed, and do My prophets no harm. [I Chron. 16:8-22.]

Rom 13:7  Render to all men their dues. [Pay] taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due. (AMP)

The Lord extends the principle of honor found in the Ten Commandments to other God-created relationships. In the name of the Lord, we are commanded to honor the king (I Peter 2:17), employers (I Timothy 6:1), shepherds (I Timothy 5:17), the elderly (Leviticus 19:32), and widows (I Timothy 5:3). In fact, our mouths are to be filled with honor and praise all the day (Psalm 71:8).

What does Honour do?

Honour recognises God at work. Honour recognises the rightful place of God’s authority and His flow of command. The picture that God conveys of honour and authority in the family is clear:

1Co 11:3  But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.

In God’s house the principle of Honour is also clear: Heb 13:17  Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either].

The man of God must walk in humility, so he may never ask for Honour, for it is not demanded but given by obedience to revelation. Where there is dishonour the purpose blessing and favour of God is blocked.

When Ham did not honour his father Noah his punishment fell upon his son Caanan.

In 2 Kings 1 when King Ahaziah of Israel dishonoured the prophet Elijah 100 of his best soldiers died in a rain of fire.

When Absalom, David’s son dishonoured his father he was killed by David’s captain while hanging by his beautiful hair in a tree.

The first call to honour for all of us is to honour our father and mother. It may seem to be hard to honour your father if you believe he has not acted honourably. What are we to do about this? Honour is defined in the New Testament as: to value, to prize, to revere, glory, to esteem in the highest degree, to hold in the highest regard, to show respect. This is not respect for what our father does or did, but respect for who they are. When God commanded us to honour our fathers, surely you must believe that He was aware that many fathers would live far from perfect lives.

When we give honour to our fathers it empowers them. When we honour our fathers we give place to God’s ordained path of blessing and authority. Lack of honour for fathers and for leaders is very disempowering. Very few men are strong enough to stand in the face of contempt, judgement and dishonour for long periods.

What would happen if you honoured your father and other God appointed leaders in your life? You would be saying to God, I accept your leadership of me through these godly appointed leaders. David honoured King Saul even when Saul was backslidden, far from God, consulting witches and physically threatening David’s life. David’s mindset was, “Saul is King, God made him King and if anything is going to change, God will be the one to do it, not me. For me, I will not touch the Lord’s anointed.” In other words, God is in control no matter what it looks like on the outside. That is giving God control and access and leadership.

Today I want to inspire you to honour your father. Whether he has done right or not. Whether he is inspiring or not.  To honour is to refuse to criticise, to speak with respect, to obey them when the command does not cause you to disobey scripture. To honour is to recognise that God has appointed them to lead you. That God is ultimately in control when you go with His plan.

  1. If your father has passed on, and you believe you dishonoured him in any way – it’s time now to repent and ask God to forgive you. Now speak well of your father for whatever good was in his life.
  2. If your father is alive, speak to him respectfully; ask forgiveness if you have shown dishonour over time.
  3. If your father has deeply hurt you, seek God for the strength to forgive and refuse to speak evil of him any longer. If you are able, speak respectfully to him and seek God to bring healing of this relationship.

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