Monday, December 30, 2013

FROZEN, the movie & the Bible

This movie... I love it! My hubby took me to see it... actually I took my hubby to see it... and it was amazing. Singing. Princesses. Love. Funny Snowman. Can't get better. 

If you haven't seen it... I'm probably going to ruin it for you. Sorry about that...

If you don't know - it's about a princess, Elsa, who has powers.  She can make things winter-y by zapping her hands in a certain direction... like make it snow, make ice rinks, and HUGE ice castles. She was given this power when she was a babe and was told she would have to learn to control it and that FEAR would be her worst enemy. After a accident with the powers involving her sis Anna, she basically lives her life in her room because she is so terrified of how she might harm someone else. 

Well... as oldest princesses do... she became queen. In her inaugural ceremony, she had to take her gloves off (she wears them all the time because of that fear) to accept the queen-ship (fancy words there). In all the madness and chaos and flustration, Queen Elsa turns the entire kingdom into a very bad winter storm! It's dreadful. The more fear she feels, the worse the wintery curse gets.

After running away, being found by her sis, and some angry towns people (and a lot of stuff in between)... Elsa returns to the kingdom. She learns something crucial - the only thing that can reverse the icy zap is... LOVE!! 

Get outta town! I think they stole that from the Bible!! 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18

I loved it! The love literally melted icy fear away! I know it's a Disney movie... but come on... it is so true! 

Elsa also had some problems with isolation because of her fear! She refused to let people in... afraid of their thoughts, afraid of hurting others, afraid she couldn't be herself.  In her song, "Let It Go" she sings "Don't let them in, don't let them see the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know."  
How many times do we act like that? 
How many times do we put on a front because we think we have to always be that "good girl'? 
We would rather build up walls than risk people knowing us, the REAL us... the good, bad, and down-right ugly.  Sometimes it's easier to just shut everyone out... but it just drives the fear deeper and the consequences from acting on that fear to the extreme. 

What would happen if, in our fear, we CHOOSE to act on LOVE - to love our neighbor, love our spouse, love our enemy, love OURSELVES... even more. What if? What if we REALLY believed that perfect love actually drives out fear?  

What if we choose to let the fear go? What if we chose to get a tight grip on the TRUTH (because as I have discovered, FEAR IS A LIAR)?

We all have our Elsa moments at times... hiding away in our castles built of fear... refusing to love. BUT... woman up... and LOVE yourself and others. 

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Friday, December 27, 2013

A VERY Merry CHRISTmas!!! (Adoption Update)

Merry CHRISTmas!!! I hope your time with family, cherishing the Savior's birth, and eating lots was amazing.  Ours was!

Our FAVORITE gift was an email from our social worker with THE ARTICLE 5 LETTER!!!!!! Hallelujah!!! It's here!!! Now, we are JUST waiting on court dates!!!!!!! It's REALLY happening!!! Hopefully this time NEXT MONTH we will have a kiddo AT HOME!!!!! O praise the Lord!!!

It's funny though... all throughout this year I kept thinking that all the paperwork would be done on certain days. Jacob's birthday? Definitely not! My birthday? Nope! Eric's birthday? Almost... Jesus' birthday? OF COURSE!!! We received the email on Christmas Eve!!! That's soooo like our great God!!! I didn't expect anyone to be doing any work on Christmas Eve... but of course... our God was working on our behalf and delivered the best Christmas gift EVER!!!

Jacob asked me what I am going to do when we get the email with the travel dates. I said, "I will most definitely pee on myself!!!" I cannot wait to go get our Eric!!! What a great day that will be! So please pray that those dates are set QUICKLY and that I'm not in a public place when I get the email! Haha!

My heart is FINALLY ready to buy, decorate, and get things looking like he is COMING!!! We went on a massive shopping spree the day after Christmas. We spent lots of the gift cards Eric got for his birthday - so thank you all who gave!!! We got to buy him games!!!, clothes, undies, socks, laundry basket (you know a teenage boy needs his own), headphones, skateboard, shoes, and much more! It was so fun shopping for our kiddo! We can't wait for him to be here and play/see/wear everything... we'll probably help out on some of that playing!

So here's some pics from our Christmas... hope yours was just as festive:

First stop - Christmas Eve at my grandparents:

Here are my 2 favorite men in all the world - my PawPaw and my hubby! Can't get better than that! 

Here are some of my favorite women - my auntie M, Mom, and Nanny!!! Love it! 

Me & my cuzzy! We've been besties since we were babies! :) 

Some of my cousins! 

This is a family tradition - Dirty Santa! We play every year! It's super fun. 

This year was pretty vicious! Presents stolen all over the place! Jacob and I actually walked out with the presents we wanted!! woot woot! 

My cuzzy's kiddo got a cape!!! Some might call that extra-large Superman underwear. Nope... it's actually a superhero cape! BOOM! 

Fun times. 

Here's the grandparents and the kiddos.
Love these people. They care for each other like a family should - sacrifice, working together, fixing issues, and making sure their parents are taken care of. 
P.S. - I hope I still look at Jacob like my Nanny looks at "her man." Even though she doesn't know what's going on a lot of the time... she loves her man. She always thinks he's cute and sweet. 

My family.

Third stop (second stop was Christmas breakfast at mom's) - Christmas day at Jacob's parents:

We got the parentals hand-painted ornaments with their grandkids on it. Mom's says "We love Grann" with Walter, Jubi, and Eric on it.  Jacob's parent's says "We love Grammy and Big D" with the faces of Johanna, Kylie (will be born in January), and Eric on it! Love them! 

Jared and Ashley got me an ornament with Belize on it. LOVE THIS! Belize will ALWAYS have a special part in our lives! It's already hanging on my tree, which will be up until Eric gets here! 

We got Jojo a Snow White doll. It was a hit!! She loved it and smooched it a lot! 

 I like her - she's funny and awfully cute! 

Grammy got her a princess tower!!!! She loves it and wants everyone to come in it with her... so we did! 
Here's Jo and Grammy! 

Here's the grandkids! They are pretty cute! 
Jared, Jacob, Zack, Mallory, and Carly! 

Here's the whole Morgan crew

And JoJo discovered static electricity = HILARIOUS! 

Fourth stop - dinner with my brother, sis-in-law, niece, and nephew!

Love this picture! 

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

GREAT things.

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,   
 “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,   
and we are filled with joy. 
Psalm 126-2-3 


Sometimes I forget this. Sometimes I allow my lack of faith (aka my worrying and doubting) to control my mood. Sometimes my attitude reflects the fact that I don't trust. Sometimes I forget that JOY is a CHOICE. Sometimes I forget to praise and thank our God who is so good and loves us so much. 

He has surely done great things. And I am filled with JOY. Let me just have a little show-n-tell with you so that you can see all the great things He has done. I'll end it with some great things about our Eric. 

We got to hang out with these AWESOME students this week for multiple Christmas parties! I absolutely LOVE them. So honored with the privilege we've had to love on them, invest in them, and disciple them!  Would not change time with them for ANYTHING in the world! 

First thing... me and my hubby have successfully completed 4 years of marriage! WOO HOO! He took me on an ALL DAY date!!! That says something right there peeps - I know 4 years isn't too long, but my hubs still wants to spend ALL day with me! That just makes me giggle. We went to Waffle House. Shopping. He bought me scarfs because I love them... I would literally wear one everyday if I could. Movies. Smooches. And laughter. It was a great day. He has done GREAT things in our marriage. It's fun. 

One of my favorite people, Kelli (and her fam) gave me this AWESOME gift for Christmas!! Birthdays. Anniversaries. Awesomeness!!! I absolutely LOVE it. I cannot wait until I can get it hung up! He has done GREAT things with this friendship. So thankful for the Knicks. 

Today Jacob had an itch to do a puzzle... so we put Eric's puzzle together. It's complete with the names of YOU... the people who have loved and supported our boy since you heard about it! We can't wait until we can show him and tell him about each name on the back of the pieces!!! We still have a few blank ones if you are interested! $10 each. Just got to the DONATE button on the right side of the screen and fill out the info. 
The completed puzzle. 
Can't wait to hang it up in Eric's room... or wherever we decide to hang it!  

God has done great things - 
Our medical form was accepted, all of our pre - adoption paperwork has been approved, the final letter from the US/Alabama has been sent to immigration, and Eric has applied for his passport!!!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!! 
Our social worker said it is a Christmas miracle that everything was processed so quickly!  Love that! Our God is a God of miracles. Whether or not it was in MY timing, this story that God is writing continues to show His awesome power and His perfect-ness.
So now we just sit back and wait on the Article 5 Letter from the US Embassy... and then travel dates!!! Please pray for that letter (I really don't know what it is exactly... just know we need it).  Pray that the travel dates are set up QUICKLY so we can go get Eric!!! 
We certainly know the power of prayer - it moves paper work. It brings our case to people's minds. It speeds up approvals. It comforts our son. It keeps us sane. It is essential. 

Some GREAT Eric things: 
We sent Eric a package with a blanket, a shirt, and 3 lb bag of Jolly Ranchers about 2 and 1/2 weeks ago.  I thought it was lost. But... finally on Tuesday, he got it!! He was so excited about the Jolly Ranchers.  The next day, we asked him if he'd eaten all the candy. He said he and a few friends ate ALL of it!!! Holy moly. 3 POUNDS!!! Wowzers. He really likes Jolly Ranchers. 

Last night we were talking to Eric. We were explaining what we know of the process when we come get him and what we have to do once he gets here.  We told him he would be able to change his name.  I asked him what he wanted his name to be (thinking he would answer "Eric Emmanuel Morgan") and he said... "Umm... Mikey Morgan."  Haha! He said he didn't really want to be called Eric... but liked Mikey.  He said it sounds like his favorite skateboarder dude. Nice.  What do ya say??? We just told him we could talk about it 
later... maybe Mikey could be a nickname??? I just giggled. Love it! 

We've been excited to hear about what all the orphanage does/allows for the kiddos around Christmas.  Several groups of people have gone and given gifts out there. They've had several Christmas parties and were even taken out to eat at a restaurant one night. Eric has REALLY been wanting some Nike Jordan sandals (the old school kind with Micheal Jordan on the one-strap flip-flops). We didn't want to send them down there in case something happened to them, so we said we would get them for him for when he got here. He was okay with that but still really wanted them. So... one night we talked to him and he was SO excited because one of the groups that came brought him the very sandals he had been wanting!!!! Yay!! I was so excited that someone blessed my boy in that way! He was thrilled. He said Ms. Natalie from Florida brought them. So... I don't know who you are - Ms. Natalie from Florida... but I THANK YOU! You made my boy's day! 

We love finding out more bits about our Eric each night. We look forward to talking with him all day. Although we don't always know what to say, we run out of questions some nights, have super long and excellent conversations some nights, don't know how to explain how much we love him, and we are new to this whole parents of a teenager thing... I love our family. I'm beyond excited to live life with my fellas. To pray over them and with them. To play video games, basketball, arts & crafts, board games, and everything else. To cook dinner together. Whatever happens... I'm just excited that we get to be Eric's parents.  I just love him. 

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Friday, December 20, 2013

That awkward post - fUnDrAiSiNg

Fundraising... it's an awkward thing. It just is. 

Many people stay far from it, but it seems God has called us Morgans to be life-long FUNdraisers! Woopie! With the adoption... we have some experience at it! Fundraising salaries is what I like to call a HEAD-FIRST DIVE OF FAITH! Here we go... S.P.L.A.S.H.

We have discussed this, prayed about it, and gotten advice from others about this whole issue of fundraising.  I've come to some conclusions:

It's Biblical - Paul did it (asking and working), Jesus did it (working and relying on others' gifts), priests did it (relying on others' gifts and God's providence), and the disciples did it (working and relying on others' support)... just to name a few. 

It looks different for everyone - some may just rely on donations from others, some may work/sell things to raise additional funds, some may ask, some may pray, some may call, some may make personal visits, etc. 

It's The Church's job to support missionaries - The global church is responsible for supporting those in the field. Support could = financially, prayerfully, in tangible ways, visiting, sharing their stories, etc. Paul, in his letters, always made sure to thank those churches and individuals that gave and supported and emphasized that doing so was glorifying God and increasing kingdom work. 

It's ministry - If loving others, going to the ends of the earth, and serving are all considered ministry... why isn't fundraising? Because it involves money doesn't mean it's the 'secular' part of ministry.  It should be done with the same passion, motivation, and prayer that other ministry is done. It's all for Jesus in the end, right? 

It's necessary - Just because people are doing God's work full-time doesn't mean they should mope around and complain about not having any money! That's just silly! Missionaries should strive to be fully-funded! If God has given individual's goals to achieve... why wouldn't He help them honor those goals? It doesn't seem right for people who are relying on support in some way not to be fully funded - whether that's because of laziness, lack of faith, or fear. If God has called someone to the mission field... we should call of Him for our raised funds! Funds are necessary for life - for food, housing, transportation, kiddo's needs, etc. 

So... with that said, I want to give you a run down of what's going to be happening WHEN we start with Praying Pelican Missions. FYI - People can begin giving/supporting us now. The money will not be released to us until we start, but we would love to have a base of support for when that happens (AKA... when Eric arrives). Here's the dealio: 

We've truly been blessed to have Praying Pelican give us each a small salary ($12,000/year), with the possibility of earning more based on team recruitment, to help us with daily living expenses while we focus on serving.  Praying Pelican requires us to raise the remainder of our salaries directly through support of family and friends.  Financial support can be given as a one-time gift or as a monthly gift. Nugget of info - signing up for mission trips with us also supports us - win/win right there! Everything that is given in support will go towards our personal living expenses/necessities.  Without such support, we would not be able to go after this awesome task that God has put in our lives.

Jacob and I will do our part too! Jacob plans to do some major carpentry work... kinda like Jesus. He's going to make lots of furniture, pallet art, and maybe a few clocks. I plan to do some interpreting for some college classes... because that's my fav, sell Origami Owl jewelry, and help with the pallet art! Stay tuned for some of our crafts!!! 

How can you get involved? There's 3 ways to support our ministry: 
#1 GO ON an AMAZING mission trip with PPM! Check it out here!! 
#2 Pray!!!!! Please pray! 
#3 Give financially (if you feel led, instructions are below)

  • 95.5% will be given to us. 4.5% is used to cover credit card fees and processing fees by Praying Pelican Missions.
  • Give Here! 
  • Go to  
  • Scroll down until you see "Anna & Jacob Morgan" 
  • You can select Donate to do a one-time donation or select the amount you want to subscribe monthly.  You'll be asked to fill in your information once you click on the option you prefer. 
  • 95.5% will be given to us. 4.5% is to cover processing fees by Praying Pelican Missions.
  • Write check to Praying Pelican Missions (do NOT put our names anywhere on the check.) Include a note with the check stating: "Support for Jacob and Anna Morgan" and your email address to receive a receipt via email or your mailing address to receive a receipt by mail.
Mail to:
Praying Pelican Missions
4899 Miller Trunk Hwy, Suite 216
Duluth, MN 55811
  • Once the check is received by Praying Pelican Missions, it will be processed within 7 business days.  A receipt will be sent to you after the check has been processed. 

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sign Language Interpreter - Bridging the gap SELFLESSLY!

Continuing on with the Praying Pelican Missions' blog series about everyday missionaries:

"We, who have accepted Jesus as Lord, are all missionaries! Each of us may not be living abroad or leading mission trips as a career, but the truth is, everyone can be a missionary.  This blog series will span across multiple blogs from our PPM Mission Coordinators and Advocates and will serve to showcase people who are living daily with a missional mindset. We will be giving a voice to a barista, who shares the love of Christ through espresso shots each morning. We will be the platform for a tired mom next door to share how she impacts her child's friends when they come over for a sleepover. We will be the helping hand to a Pastor who wants to encourage his congregation to get involved. The school teacher who invests in his students and wants to see them succeed and know Christ. The janitor who humbly and lovingly listens to his co-workers as they vent and confess their sins to him. We pray these stories will encourage and challenge us all to live our lives as missionaries everyday, in our own unique mission fields!"

I asked my good buddy, Kira Lawson, to write about her mission mindset in being an American Sign Language interpreter... LIKE ME! Kira and I went to the University of Tennessee together - Go Vols! I have enjoyed her friendship so very very much.  Kira recently passed the big dog test of interpreting - the NIC (National Interpreting Certification)! Woot Woot.  

Praying Pelican is ALL about bridging cultures and people. Well... that's exactly what sign language interpreters do... RIGHT IN OUR OWN BACKYARD! They bridge the gap between the hearing and Deaf world by facilitating communication between the two! It's a beautiful thing! Deaf people then have access to the hearing world, and the hearing have the amazing opportunity to have a look into the Deaf culture... an amazing thing in itself! And... many people may not know, but the Deaf population, as a whole, is an unreached people group (less than 2% claim to be evangelical Christians).  So... interpreters who love Jesus are a treasure! 

With all the hype going on about fake interpreters and such and because I love her tons, I wanted to showcase Kira! Here's what Kira says about her every missionary life:

My name is Kira Lawson and I am a certified sign language interpreter.  I have a husband and two dogs.  We live in Knoxville, Tennessee. Our life is always crazy and chaotic, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Kira and her husband on date night. 

I met Anna Morgan while in college and she's one of the reasons that I chose the field that I'm in today.  During my career so far, I've seen a lot of different scenarios and had a lot of new experiences.  I'm an interpreter both in the community and video relay settings. So how am I a missionary daily?

Here are their 2 dogs - Coco Chanel (we call her a miniature black lab HA!) and Cheyenne (chocolate lab)

I think what I've learned to be one of the most beautiful things about a person is their attitude. Their heart. Their compassion. Everyday I encounter lots of people, both deaf and hearing. Co-workers, clients, people at Target, friends, family, and even the person at the gas station who needs money for milk.  I used to live a life where I thought, "well that's their problem, not mine" or "that sucks for them..." I was prideful of the life I had built for myself. And then I realized how selfish I was being and what an ugly heart I had.

So I prayed. I prayed to have the desire to be compassionate. To be positive. To be the blessing to those who may just be having a crummy day.  Here's where my heart has been dwelling lately.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others."  Philippians 2:3-4

I decided to be a blessing at all times. Am I perfect?  Of course not. But I decided to change my attitude. So how did I do this?  I took one day at a time.  It might be telling a sick client that I'm praying for them. Or remembering a client's favorite drink and bringing it by the hospital. Or making a co-worker laugh when their day isn't going so great. Maybe it's volunteering in the Deaf community and building relationships. Or it's talking about what God is doing in my life.  Perhaps it's encouraging a young new interpreter in the field. Even something as simple as a compliment. We should build each other up instead of tearing one another down. As a daughter, I want to please my Heavenly Father and show his love to others. I want to BLESS others daily with His compassion.

It's all about the attitude. In my daily mission field, my goal is to strive to be more like Christ. To bless others. To have a compassionate heart. A beautiful heart.

So thankful for Kira. Make sure to keep up with her on her blog

Check out the other blogs in this everyday mission series: 

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Belated Christmas

PRAISE THE LORD! The medical form has been received!

What's next you might ask?
to clarify - this medical form was needed to meet the state of Alabama pre-adopt requirements. It's usually (for families from every other state) not needed until after the adoption is finalized in country... but for us... we needed it before we could travel. Go figure...
Since it's been sent (and IF it's enough), the Article 5 Letter will be released from the US Embassy. Not sure exactly what the letter says, but it, I think, gives us permission to come to Belize for the adoption process.
Once that is sent, there will be some meetings with Eric, our attorney, and his caseworker in Belize within the legal system to ensure everything is ready to go.  Then... OUR COURT DATES! The dates we will be in Belize to GET OUR SON!!! Oh... what a day that will be! Can you imagine what a wreck/crazy lady I'll be in the airport???? O wow! 

So... if you haven't figured it out yet, Eric will not be here for December 25th. It is was it is. I know God is able and He is completely in control and that there are reasons. There are things going on that we cannot see. I wanted Eric to be here so bad. It breaks my heart that he won't be. It makes me mad (really... mad. I feel like a 5-year old that wants to have a tantrum) that I have to send a small Christmas present to Belize. I hate, most of all, that he has to spend yet another Christmas in the orphanage. I had imagined this Christmas, December 25th, so perfectly in my head... our whole family... including Eric... just celebrating. But... things don't always go my way.

What does that mean for us?
Well... in all honesty... I want to be the Grinch. I want to be a bah-hum-bug and just gripe and feel sorry for all of the above. I want to mope around and just be frustrated because it didn't happen how I dreamed... and prayed.
But... I can't. I won't. I must cherish everyday with Jacob... out last few weeks (God willing) as a married couple without kiddos.  I must be joyful. I must put my hope in Jesus... not in the events or delays surrounding this adoption... that's tough sometimes.
And Christmas... well Christmas will just come a little late for the Morgans this year. Our tree will be up, presents will be wrapped, stockings will be hanging, wreaths will be mounted, and Christmas music playing UNTIL ERIC IS HOME! We will have Christmas together. We will have family together... celebrating Jesus birth and Eric's arrival. We will have present time, yummy food, and good times. We will take pictures with the Christmas tree. We will find a Santa Claus (Hey... Big-D!) We may even send out Christmas cards (just laugh and hang it up if you get one in February... haha!).

On that note - please forgive me if you don't receive Christmas cards from us before December 25th... because you probably won't. Please forgive me if you don't even get a present from us yet (it's coming). Please just have some mercy on me this year... I'm a little all over the place.

I can't wait to watch Eric see his first bedroom all to himself. Can't wait to see him open presents that are all his. Can't wait to read the the Christmas story with him. Can't wait... 

Our God is good... He always is. He cannot fail us. He will always defend the fatherless. Just because I prayed fervently for our Eric to be here by Christmas and it's not turning out like I hoped, DOES NOT mean He didn't hear or He isn't faithful. He is a Good Father. He only gives good things to His children. His plans are not for evil. He is teaching us and molding us into the mom and dad Eric needs.

PRAY PRAY PRAY for quick processes, for court dates to be set up quickly, for everything to fall together EXACTLY how it should. Pray for my sanity... and Jacob's. Pray that Eric would be comforted and that he knows, with no doubt, that he is loved and wanted... that his family is so anxious to come and get him! 

I'll leave you with my favorite Christmas song... I thought this version was fun:

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Advent. More true than ever.

It's Christmas time. 
It's Advent. The waiting for what's to come...

Advent means "the coming or arrival, especially one which is awaited"

I can not imagine how Mary felt... during the advent before the first Christmas. I cannot imagine how she felt... knowing that inside her womb was the Savior of the world and He was coming.  I cannot imagine the thoughts swarming her mind of things that were to come, what life would be life once He arrived, what people would say, and how much joy she would experience holding him.

As the Word says, once Jesus was born "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).

Mary, along with the rest of creation, was experiencing advent... waiting for the arrival of THE Someone long awaited for.

Every moment controlled and planned by the Sovereign God. Every day calculated out to fulfill every prophesy... perfectly. Every promise kept. Every expectation surpassed.

We are experiencing advent too.  Yes... we are awaiting Christmas and the celebration of our King being born on this earth. We are also awaiting and expecting the coming of Eric... one which is awaited. It's exciting. It's nerve-racking. It's exhausting. It's frustrating. It's filled with hope... and uncertainty. 

Our Jesus has come. 

Although there is no way to compare anything to our Jesus coming to earth... my heart is full of expectation as we also wait for our Eric to be home. 

I want to be like Mary. I want to treasure and ponder every ounce of who Jesus is.  In a similar way, I want to treasure and ponder every moment, conversation, day, new experience, achievement, hardships, new lessons, and more with Eric. 

Waiting for our Eric...
Hoping in our Jesus.
Thankful for a Faithful and Sovereign God. 
Advent. Adoption. 

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