Burning Altars by Ugbu Lois

 

“Bisola it’s 6:00am already. Are you awake, darling?” A voice called from behind the door after three rapt knocks and a pause. It was her mom.

Bisola sat up on her rumpled bed. Eyes swollen, hair scattered, lines of dried tears mapping her cheeks, she placed her hands on both temples. Her head was light. She felt empty. She remembered the previous night and was about to burst out again in tears. Her emotions a mix of confusion, anger and plain frustration, “for how long?”, she wondered.

She had heard the initial knock but was reluctant. She wasn’t in the mood at all. Out of obligation she rose and quietly walked out of the room. She mumbled a little “ekaaro ma” on her knees to her mom who was still standing by the door with a questioning look. Bisola rarely was late for devotion, at least not since her turbulent teen ages and that didn’t even last, and the hair! Bisola was the queen of bonnets, she would not even nap without one. Mrs. Akande shook her head in mild bemusement turning to follow Bisola who walked shoulders slumped to the parlour. Her dad came down stairs and the whole greeting routine went all over again. She sat numb at devotion hearing but not listening. She just let the time roll by replying “Amen” to every prayer and “Hallelujah” to every “Praise the Lord” just right in time. Her attention was far away.

Bisola Akande was a pretty and well-behaved girl, the kind everyone described as perfect. Born into a Christian home, her parents were the vibrant and zealous kind. Her dad was a dedicated and committed general home cell pastor whose walk with the Holy spirit was visible to all. Her mom, a dedicated and passionate choir leader was a role model to many. She grew up admiring and longing to be like her mom. She joined the choir as early as eight. She learnt to play the violin and was so passionate about singing to God in the church choir. She was the perfect daughter everybody wanted to have, she never made trouble, she greeted respectfully and was always willing to help. No one knew about her tingles and touching.

At around the age of 12, Bisola had begun to feel this tingling sensations in her body which would only lift after she had touched herself erotically. She didn’t understand it and telling her parents could not be considered an option, surely perfect dad and sweet mom would be mortified, so she dealt with it the only way she knew to. The tingling sensations soon became a habitual alarm for her to touch herself. The ecstasy she felt after the touching made the alarm irresistible. She hid in closets, rest rooms at home, school and church just to touch herself. But it never felt right. Somewhere in her heart she knew this was the way of death. She felt empty, confused, she wished to talk to someone about her secret but mentally talked herself out of it every time. Her parents praised her for being the perfect daughter, her friends came to her for Godly counsel. She was the exemplary kid.

Bisola was grown now, 19 years old and a jambite, awaiting admission into the University. The tingling sensations didn’t go away with time, if anything it had grown into a large monster. At 15 she had learned to explore pornography sites, now she was an addict and her mind constantly felt like a refuse dump. In the moment of the act, she greatly enjoyed interacting with these obscene materials and touching herself but the pleasure was always short-lived. After every episode she plunged deeper and deeper into despair, the pain, the light-headedness, the guilt, the shame, she always felt God must be mildly disgusted at her.

Back in secondary school, SSS2, Bisola had decided to take her relationship with God seriously. She began having consistent quiet times of bible study, meditations and prayers. There was a longing, she was excited about studying God’s Word and having Him speak to her. It was always an amazing and refreshing experience. 

During one of those her quiet times, she came across Roman 12:1, about her body being a living sacrifice, that day she had made an oath to cease from touching herself and interacting with her secret favourite sites. But soon enough the habitual alarm rang and she yielded before she could even remember she had made an oath. Overwhelmed with defeat and guilt, she made a radical decision to confide in her senior friend and discipler, it didn’t change much, maybe because she wasn’t completely honest about how deep she was in her secret sin. Discouraged she had begun to drift away from God’s presence, her guilt hung on her like a heavy cloak. She wasn’t excited about much. This continued through secondary school till now. 

Immediately after meals, she'd hurry off to her room, engage in these acts that had now made a slave of her, go on to bury herself in her bed consumed with guilt, shame, pain, frustration and anger. She felt miserable and cried all her energy out. She was extremely tired of herself. Last night was just another of those nights and as usual she woke with the heavy guilt.

Good news came in later that day, Bisola Akande had been offered admission into the prestigious University of Ibadan! The joy in the house was palpable and Bisola’s smile did not dim the whole day. She was genuinely excited about school; her expectations were over the roof. 

Two months later Bisola had comfortably settled into her dorm room with three other female students. Susan was a freshman like herself, Aanu and Gloria were in their penultimate and final years respectively. But these girls were wild, and very unreserved in their speech. From their random conversations Bisola had learned that those tingling sensations were just hormones acting up and they even boldly joked about how they masturbate as the need arise to keep their bodies in homeostasis, “Body no be fire wood!” they laughed. Bisola listening to them in silence knew deeply that it was high time she sought help for herself, else she would drown in this because now she had enablers all around.

She began attending the Jesus People’s Fellowship on campus. She rededicated herself to God and took a form to take a basic Bible class organized by the fellowship. She learnt quickly and grew fast. She began walking in the light of God’s Word daily. She also was paying more heed to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

At Bible class, there was so much emphasis laid on engaging the Holy Spirit and so she had started to pray more, study more, learning to hear and engage the Holy Spirit.

Yet, she was still heeding the habitual alarm.
 
During one of her prayers, Leviticus chapter 6 dropped in her spirit. Bisola was reluctant, generally she didn’t like the Old Testament. She tried to shove the thought away but it lingered. It was the Holy Spirit. The scripture stayed on her mind for days, eventually she heeded.

She opened to Leviticus 6 and read passively, it seemed like a long list of series of rituals and she felt bored. Old things are passed away she affirmed to herself and closed her Bible to pray. The Spirit took her back. She then calmed down and started to read from verse 1. When she got to verse 12, she was struck. The Holy Spirit opened her eyes, light shone brightly and oh! She saw! The scripture was like an act played out and she fitted in perfectly.

Leviticus 6 verse 12 and 13.
“And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall keep on burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”

She saw an altar and she stood as a priest. She was offering sacrifice and burning fat. She was confused. If she was the priest, what was the altar? The Holy Spirit responded immediately. Her eyes were opened. The altar was her personal prayer and study life. The fat was her life. Romans 12 verse 1 came up again in her heart and she remembered she being a living sacrifice but for this sacrifice to be acceptable to the owner, she needed to burn the sacrifice always. It had to be continuous because the fat could rot and spoil the whole sacrifice if not burnt daily. Prayer was the fire and consistency the key.

When Bisola had seen and understood all of these things, she broke down in tears of joy and peace, she knew she had her answer. She prayed for strength, help and grace to daily consecrate herself. She remembered she had heard Apostle Arome Osayi say, “A praying man doesn’t sin”. She also frequently heard Minister Theophilus Sunday emphasize something about staying with God.

From that moment she was always eager to preform her priestly duties. Morning and night she prayed, studied God’s Word and grew fat in spirit. She had come to an understanding of her place and power in Christ which gave her authority over the desires of the flesh. When the tingling sensations came, and they did come, she felt strengthened in her spirit to ward of the temptation by prayer and singing to herself in spiritual songs.

Years passed and Bisola still kept at her priestly duties. These days when she remembers the tingling sensation episodes, she lets out a victory laugh, the Devil had indeed lost! 

She committed to talking to young people especially those in secondary and tertiary institutions about having “burning altars”. She always spoke and taught about the tingling alarm too. With the Holy Spirit’s back up, she regularly gave expositions on Leviticus 6 verse 12 and 13. It liberated many.

She had enlarged Leviticus 6 verse 12 and 13, it hung in frames at strategic points in her home. It was made plain that anybody who sees it may run with the vision. Through Bisola’s ministrations in schools, lives were transformed through the understanding of having a “burning altar” and she never ceased to keep a “burning altar”. In her moments of weakness, God’s strength was perfect in her.

Altars have been raised, altars with burning fire to purge lives and present them as living sacrifices unto God. The fire on these altars will not die. We will keep them burning brightly, we are just getting started. We will continually tend to our altars by the help of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen!


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  1. This is really liberating. A very beautiful piece

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  2. Really thought-provoking piece

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  3. This is an interesting piece.
    This is a true picture of the Christian youths of our generation.
    It's God's mercy that will deliver a man from hardening his heart when faced with continuous failures and defeat in the secret place.
    A burning altar will go a long way to help us to be victorious and also to fulfill our mandate in life.

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  4. Burning altars must remain. πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

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  5. This sounds like a life story to me. It emphasise the fact that the Holy Spirit is our helper in-deed and can help us in all life-situations. He uses the instruments of godly fellowship and the Word to reveal the truth to us. When we know and practise the truth, then comes our freedom.

    Lois thanks for sharing

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  6. Kai πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

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  7. Flesh and blood didn't reveal this to you. This is an absolutely beautiful piece.
    I'm glad I read this.

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  8. Hmmm.... The fire on the altar must keep on burning... May I continually understand the need of having a consistent walk with the Holy Spirit.

    Thanks Lois!!!

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  9. Awesome! πŸ₯Ί
    Nice work my boss, God bless you!πŸ’™πŸ’™

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  10. I love your style and creativity.
    Nice piece.

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  11. This is great and inspiring indeed. The fire on the Altar must not burn out. The revelation of God's word is the key to victory over struggles. May the light of God's word continue to flood our hearts and eyes in Jesus name amen.
    Welldone dear, I am Super Proud of you.

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  12. This inspired me to keep trust God and never give up until I get what I seek for. Thank you Lois for this piece.

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  13. Thank you, Lois for this beautiful and edifying piece.
    God bless you, ma'am.

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  14. Kai, may our eyes be opened to SEE!!!

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  15. The place of the holy spirit in ones altar πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

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  16. Our struggles now if handed over to God would later on be an experience that can liberate others. Thanks for this ✨

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  17. I love how this profound truth have been concisely captured by you in this story, may we not fail in our priestly duty over our lives.
    Thank you Lois.

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  18. Let's keep the fire burning, may the Lord help us.

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  19. Wow mind blowing piece, very nice one ����

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  20. Wow! This is really wonderful, inspiring, lovely and heart changing. Giving hope to people who are addicts of this things. I learnt that the real solution to every form of addiction is to really engage God through prayers and his word. That is where help really lies. Thank you sister Lois for this piece.

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  21. This is inspiring. May we always keep our altars burning.
    Good work NG

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. I love how close the story is to home and the lessons in it too. Thanks for thisπŸ’Ÿ

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  24. Very wonderful pieceπŸ‘Œ
    Yielding totally to the Holy Spirit is important in keeping our altars burning.

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  25. This is so beautifully written and edifying❤️

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  26. A praying man doesn't sinπŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯
    Nice piece

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  27. Our victory is in our abiding.

    This is amazing, Lois

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  28. There's no sin one cannot be delivered from. Just hand it over to the Holy Spirit and He'll sure set you free.
    Nice piece

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  29. The fire on the altar must consistently and continually burn, it must not go out����

    Well done Lois❤

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  30. This is indeed liberating ��
    I am the priest
    The fat is my life
    My altar is personal prayer and study life


    Burning Altars ������

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  31. Wow . You write so well. This is great.

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  32. Peculiar Temitope14 March 2022 at 16:41

    This is so timely, more grease to your elbow

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  33. Wow. This piece is a blessing.

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  34. Nice piece ����

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  35. My altar must keep on burning cause that's where the victory is always gained.. Hallelujah

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  36. Hmmmnn... This is so inspiring ��. So I must keep my altar always ablaze for God

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  37. A very beautiful piece. Keep it up!

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  38. I don't know why I hesitated to read this��. Lois thank you for this timely reminder, and nice article by the way.��. I hope there would be more of this article ��

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  39. Excellent...
    Really nice ��

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  40. I love this! Keep the fire burning!

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  41. Well-done Lois. This is indeed beautiful and edifying. Keep inking!

    "There is nothing too hard for God to do"

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  42. Nice piece lois.

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  43. This is an amazing piece, thanks very much for this πŸ™‡

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  44. "The fire on the altar must not go out. " That's the line for me.

    Thanks, Lois.

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  45. Uche Innerpeace14 March 2022 at 22:50

    Wow...this is awesome Lois
    I'm really blessed.

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  46. Inspiring and beautiful, NG! Nice piece. Keep it up.

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  47. this is amazing πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

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  48. This is a beautiful piece, Lois!

    You're going places already.

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  49. This is a very beautiful and inspiring piece. God bless you

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  50. This is indeed an amazing piece!. So much to learn and glean.
    Really, no problem or situation is bigger than the WORD. That's where life dwells, that's where answers to all life situations lies.
    Thank you for the impacting piece Lois NG. Much more grace, More unction to function.

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  51. Christabel Lapinni14 March 2022 at 23:29

    This is so inspiring, Lois well done and God bless you!

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  52. God bless you ma!

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  53. Boluwatife Bello15 March 2022 at 02:29

    This is soooo liberating!! God bless you!!

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  54. Lovely piece. Hitting the nail on the head so many youths struggle with this. Learning how to cope with our desires while staying true to his words is no joke

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  55. This is captivating, and I caught the moral. Well done!

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  56. Mind blowing❤️

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  57. Wow�� you are such a wonderful writer. Keep it up dear.

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  58. πŸ‘Œ This is exhilarating

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  59. This is a great piece! The message was passed. May we continue to live as living sacrifices in Jesus name

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  60. Very inspiring and thought provoking.... Weldone Lois

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  61. Wawu.. this is so much of a nice piece. Keep it up Lois, God bless you❤❤

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  62. Wonderful... A living sacrifice ��

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  63. Oluyinka Akanni15 March 2022 at 11:15

    This is great! More grace Lois

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  64. Thanks for the reminder through the story, may we continue to shine as light and keep the altar ablaze.

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  65. Wonderful piece Lois
    Keep it up

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  66. These truths in Christ continues to set men free...

    A job well done NG,thank you πŸ‘

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  67. Thank you Father for your Holy Spirit. This is a piece indeed.

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  68. Really thought-provoking. A masterpiece.

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  69. Wow, this is an awesome piece. It is beautiful how the knowledge of God is so powerful to transform lives! Thank God for a place to learn the truth of God's word.
    Thank you Lois, i see the power of God's word to transform lives in this piece.

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  70. This blessed me in no small way. The Word truly sets us free. Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. To more edifying pieces...Lois!

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  71. This is more than a write up, it's very real and relatable. It holds the truth and answer to how to have and walk in continuous victory in our walk with Jesus.
    It is beautifully written too. Thank you Lois.

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  72. Thanks Lois. This is a secret to complete freedom...

    Hmm...so real and true a challenge for a lot of us young people and yet the never changing solution lies in SEEING and always KNOWING the victory in Jesus as we intentionally seek to create and maintain an unbroken fellowship with the Holy Spirit where He keeps fueling the fire on our altars..... Take us deeper with you Lord

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  73. The truth that set's free
    God bless you

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  74. This is beautiful and edifying really��

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  75. Wow, this is truly beautiful. Nice job

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  76. This is a very enlightening writeup...
    Thank you and God bless you

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  77. Wow....nice piece...God bless you for this

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  78. This is beautiful. You are blessed ❤️

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  79. May I keep up my priestly duties daily.
    This is a really nice piece Lois.
    God bless you!!

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  80. This is a great piece. May we all continue to keep the fire on our altars burning on a daily basis. Lois thanks for this wonderful piece. Keep the fire burning.

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  81. This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for yielding to the Holy Spirit's inspiration to write and share!

    May our lives ever be burning altars to God, in Jesus' Name.

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  82. Wowww this is really inspiring πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

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  83. Lois This is superb!!!

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  84. This is really good πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

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  85. This is deeply relative. And I connected on so many levels.

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  86. A very good piece... Well done

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  87. Havilah Emmanuel27 March 2022 at 09:14

    We will continually keep the altar burning by the help and strength of the Holy Spirit.

    Big ups Lois NG, we go higher!!!

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  88. Awesome piece of work, I must say ��

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  89. I am blessed by this... This pen in your hand would never stop, Lois. Well done.

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