Entangled in Love

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Two worlds, two lives, two souls collide
Bringing together the land and tide
Meeting on life’s rocky shores
Grace abound and love is born

From the first, we both knew
This love would grow and I’d marry you
Through ups and downs and inside out,
Our souls combine free of doubt

Outer darkness tried to come in
With diligence, we were determined to win

The music plays, the flower fades
We refused to let love slip away
With tears in the night
My heart in your hand
Our love renewed
Through a fight to the end

Eternity is not very long
Compared to my love for you
That keeps growing strong

When past loves and lives fade away
Into the darkness where they will stay
A light will shine and our eyes behold
The reason and season
For where we are now
Entangled in love
That was finally found

Remember the Alamo

My husband and I took a quick get away trip to Austin and  San Antonio.

Our trip began with the very little planning before we ever left home. Friday night we decided we would stay a night rather than doing a day trip as we had originally planned, so I frantically searched the internet for a hotel. I usually use Priceline.com and use the negotiator tool to get good hotels very cheap, so that was my starting place. I placed 4 bids for 2 1/2 star hotels and went up to $90. Even after expanding the area we were willing to stay in and dropping to 2-star hotels, we still came up empty handed. I turned to the other sites and everything was booked. This should have been my first clue about how the weekend would be. It was the end of Spring Break, the weather has been nice and it was the weekend.

We finally found a Motel 6 on the other side of town from where we wanted to go for $95. Ok, so it’s a Motel 6. Definitely not our usual by far, but it’s a place to sleep and it’s not like we were going to be hanging out much in the hotel. So we settled.

Six am on Saturday morning, we through our belongings into the car and headed out. First, stop Austin, Texas….well, after a couple stops by Buc-ee’s. We live about an hour south of Dallas, so the trip to Austin should take about 3 hours, then another hour and a half to San Antonio. The traffic was great, so those times held true.

Austin was awesome. We went to the capitol and really enjoyed it. After we passed through security, we went into the center of the Rotunda where there was a man preaching. I leaned over to my husband and whispered, “He’s practicing his first amendment rights”. We enjoyed the history and the architecture and seeing pictures of people we had only read about.

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South by Southwest (SXSW) was going on this weekend, so we didn’t want to hang around Austin for too long, so by 1 pm we were headed to San Antonio.

We arrived in San Antonio by around 2, following another stop at Buc-ee’s. We headed down 410 to the motel to check in by 3. The traffic close to the hotel got pretty congested, so we took the service road to finish our drive. My husbands sunglasses were scratched, so while we were waiting in traffic, he asked me to pull into Academy Sports to get him some new ones. You know what they say about 1st impressions. His first impression was not all that great. We visit several Academy Sports in the Dallas area on a very regular basis and they are all well kept and nice. This one was very ghetto, but it served its purpose. We left there and a few minutes later, we arrived at the motel which is not far from Lackland Airforce Base.

I went to check in and the guy behind the counter said we can’t check in till 3. I told him it was 20 minutes till 3, but we were willing to wait. Then he informed us that it may be 4 before he can get us in a room.  The second impression is also important, and it wasn’t that great. We made sure that our reservation was at least in their system, then decided to go to the Japanese Tea Garden, which was on our itinerary of things to see.

We arrived at the Japanese Tea Garden 25 minutes later. It is located next to the San Antonio Zoo. The parking lot for the tea garden was full, so we parked in the zoo parking lot and walked to the gardens.

The best place to start is at the Pagoda which is like a pavilion that looks down over the entire area. You can get some really good pictures from there. The Pagoda is made of rocks. The garden is actually a sunken water garden with koi fish and a few turtles. There are bridges and trails all over the garden. This is a great place to take pictures for weddings, proms, and such. There is even a waterfall. We really enjoyed the garden. It takes about an hour or so to walk through and enjoy all the plants and fish.

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We left the water garden and headed to the famous River Walk.

After paying $11 to park and walking 2 blocks to the let in, we instantly knew this was a mistake. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love the River Walk…when there are no people. It’s really pretty and has the potential to be relaxing. There are pretty flowers and plants all along the river. The river is lined on both sides by hotels, restaurants, and shops. There are ducks everywhere and boat tours. We would have liked to do a boat tour, but the amount of people down there and in line was out of this world. I’m pretty sure everyone in the state of Texas was there this weekend. The sidewalks at times only allow for single-file foot traffic in each direction. We decided to get something to eat. We had spotted a couple places that neither of us had ever been too. Hard-Rock Café and Dicks Last Resort. Dick’s was on the other side of the river, so we opted for Hard-Rock. We went in and the wait was going to be about an hour and a half. Naturally, we decided against it and kept on walking. Then we came upon Salt-Grass Steak House.  The wait there was 45 minutes, so while we waited we sat on the wall by the river and people watched. The service was excellent and we really enjoyed  the time together.

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Following our meal, we decided to go find the parking garage and head back to the motel. We were wonderfully and miserably stuffed. I had told my husband on the way to the garage that there is a good chance that we would see the Alamo although we weren’t planning to go until the next day. My husband was astonished, if not slightly pissed that the Alamo would be in the middle of downtown. I guess I never really thought about it. I explained to him that they built the city around the Alamo and it’s not as if they can move it, but he makes a very good point…in hindsight. They should have sectioned off several acres around it so that it could be in its natural historical setting.

We did, in fact, walk in front of the Alamo and  took a few pictures. There was a wedding taking place. Can you imagine how much it would cost to rent the Alamo for a wedding? I informed my daughter that if she decides to get married there, then her dad can pay for it.

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We arrived back at the motel just before dark and finally got checked in. Although we knew we were going to a cheap motel, we were still disappointed with our room. We swore that we would never again stay in a 2-star hotel/motel. The beds were thin mattresses on top of a plywood stand and had no box springs. There was no hair dryer or coffee pot (which I discovered the next morning), no iron or ironing board. There was a phone, a small table with an ashtray with a no smoking sticker on it, a tv, a little bar of soap and 2 towels. The bad thing is, that we had the money for a better hotel, but we were being tight. My husband got no sleep because of all the noise. Me…I fell asleep and slept heavy while he stayed up guarding us.

The next morning, we wasted no time getting out of there and headed to Duncan Donuts for COFFEE and breakfast. We then went back to downtown, guided by our trusty GPS. You gotta love it when the GPS says to turn right on a one-way street going left. Then on the times it would guide us correctly, the streets were closed. We drove around aimlessly and finally found a parking garage a couple of blocks from the Alamo, paid our $10 to park and began our walk. Let me remind you, it’s only about 10 am by this time. As we got closer to our final destination, we heard loud music and finally decided it was a live band. When we turned the corner to where we could normally see the Alamo, all we saw was a sea of people. As we entered the block, we discovered they were having a 5K race…and the finish line was right in front of the Alamo. We stood on the side of the street, cheering on the weary runners, then saw a break in the race and we ran for it. We swam through the sea of people and joined the very long line to go in. The line actually went quickly and soon, we were stepping back in time.

If you’ve never been to the Alamo, the building itself is very small, but the history is so rich. It’s definitely worth the trip, at least once in your life.  We enjoyed the Alamo itself and the courtyards that surrounded it.

Overall we had a really great time! The downtown area of San Antonio has some beautiful architecture and the feeling is healthy. From what we saw of the rest of the city, it was pretty much ghetto in my opinion, but we may not have seen a true representation of it, so it’s really unfair for me to judge.

Around noon, we headed home. Again, it’s the end of Spring Break and I35 is under major construction, at least, the northbound lanes are. Our 4 1/2 hour trip home ended up taking us 7 hours and 45 minutes.

My take away from the trip: don’t go during Spring Break or probably any other major summer holiday and if possible, go during the week, but time your traveling when it’s not rush hour. But most of all, go and see as much of the world as possible and don’t forget to visit pieces of history in your own state, even if you don’t like people or crowds, it’s still worth it.

End of the Rope

 

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Candles burning at both ends
The stress and anxiety never end
Fights and feuds
Staying up all night
Never sleeping or eating right

What good is this life, you say?
I never thought it would be this way
Reality hits and things go wrong
Making weak what once was strong
The tears I’ve cried for all the years
Can never return what I once held dear

Our love was pure
Our love was deep
It still could be,
But you sow and reap

Please turn around and see the truth
This disease is killing you
Intelligence will get you nowhere
Without wisdom its all a nightmare

You’ve turned into someone I do not know
This isn’t the way it was supposed to go
Somewhere deep inside is YOU
Find him before your face turns blue

While there is breath
There is hope
But once it’s gone
That’s the end of the rope.

The Bridges Burned

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You lost in love
You lost in life
You lost your mind
And paid the price

The things you do for selfish gain
Are slowly driving you insane

Your heart is stone
You’re immature
Swallowing your pride
Could be the cure

You’re so blind
You cannot see
This precious gift
In front of me

Too late now
You’ll never know
The love, The laughter
Of Raising a soul

You ruined it all
But who’s to blame?
You and You alone
What a shame.

Life goes on
We live we learn
And thank God for
The bridges burned

My Written Reflections

Scrubs and Beyond

Life Lessons From A Waterfall

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Every year I used to go camping at Turner Falls in Oklahoma. We would camp on the top of the mountain and walk down to the river. The river was ice cold and it took awhile to get brave enough to plunge into it. It was so cold that just putting your foot in would take your breath away.

Although it was cold, it was very refreshing, especially in the heat of the summer. The water was the purest water I had ever seen. Of course, with Turner Falls being such a high tourist area, I was always to scared to drink the water for obvious reasons. We would take our time hiking down the river. There were many small waterfalls as we hiked.  The river cut through the mountain and the walls of rock and caves climbed  high above us. There was a small tree here and there. The river bed alternated between being as slippery as ice to areas of thick silt. We hiked all the way down to where the water fell over the cliff into the pool below.

After hiking our way back up the river, we would get in the truck and head down to the pool below the fall. There were a couple of huge boulders that the water fell on and a shallow cave formation behind the veil of water. The pool was deepest just below the fall.

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As I reflect on those memorable summers spent in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, I think of the science that forms the falls. The steam often begins as a natural spring and is narrow. As the water courses down the river over resistant bedrock, erosion slowly takes place. As the velocity of the water is increased, turbulence occurs. The water carries  sediment which is microscopic silt, or pebbles and erodes the soft rock so that the streams channel cuts so deep that only hard rock is exposed.

Just above the fall, the stream becomes wider and shallower. Then there is that magic moment where the water ceases flowing horizontally and falls vertically. The water then crashes against the boulders below, which causes a back splash. The backsplash creates a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter. The pool below the fall is deep due to the kinetic energy of the water hitting the bottom and causing erosion below.

Just thinking about this amazing phenomenon gives me chills. I don’t know if you got anything out of all that, but let me tell you what I got out of it.

The first thing that completely and totally amazes me is how that much water can continuously flow at such a high rate of speed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for thousands upon thousands of years. To me, this shows that there is a never ending abundance that can come only from God. Think about the waterfalls you have seen or know about. Consider Niagra Falls, for example. Then think about the thousands of waterfalls all over the world. You would think they would dry up at some point.

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Psalm 78:15-16 He split the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink in abundance. He also brought streams out of the rock and caused waters to run down like rivers.

And here’s something to think about.  The power that it takes to cut through the rocks and the mountains, the power of the water falling over the edge of the cliff. That power is so great that nothing can live in its path. Everything is uprooted. The water is pure and clean and it cleanses. It takes all the areas of the river and breaks it down and washes it away until there is  nothing but hard rock left. It cuts deep.

We all have dirt in our lives. We have things in our past that may be deeply rooted. We have mountains in our lives that we feel we can never overcome. The good news is that the Word  washes us as clean and pure as the river that flows through the mountain, until the point that our horizontal relationship with man falls over the edge and our relationship becomes vertical with Christ. It’s not always a fun time. The Word will cause turbulence in your life, but know that’s not always a bad thing. In fact, it ultimately turns into something beautiful.

There is a place behind the veil of the fall that you can hide. A sanctuary of sorts. A hiding place. The same water that gives life can also be a deadly force if used wrong. Of course, that is a different story for a different day, but think of all the times scripture has been misused and taken out of context.

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Nature has a lot to teach us if we pay attention. The Word is alive and well and is relevant to your situation. My prayer is that you glean revelation from the Waterfall.

I want to leave you with this as you think about the power of the waterfall, think about these things:

Job 8:6-7 If you were pure and upright, surely now He would awake for you and prosper your rightful dwelling place. Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would increase abundantly.

Ephesians 3:20-Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.

John 7:38-He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water

Ephesians 5:25-26-Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word.

My Broken Soul Is Crying

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I can’t breathe.

My life hangs in the balance

Slowly dying

Tormented.

 

My soul is in deep despair

Conflict raging everywhere

My hands and feet and heart are numb

For what once was our love has  become

 

A love that started out just right

Has drifted away just like the night

My heart can’t take it anymore

You compromised

So I’m walking out the door

 

One thing can turn this all around

Joy in the morning can still be found

One thing I ask in return

Give me your all and let our passion burn

 

I won’t give in to second place

It’s all or nothing at this stage

I’ve stayed, I’ve cried, I’ve lost myself

In a world of dysfunction

I won’t be found

 

I beg and plea for an escape

But my love for you has me in chains

So here I lay, slowly dying

Tormented, outraged

My broken soul crying

 

 

 

 

 

My Love For You

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My love for you is a strange love
As strange as the weather in Texas
As long as the nights in the winter
As sweet as the tea in my mason jar cup

My love for you is deep
Deeper than the deepest ocean
Higher than the clouds and the moon and the sun
As long as the equator

My love for you is frightening
Scaring myself into silence
Alarming the depths of my heart in the night
Terrifying my soul completely

My love for you is unending
Ceaseless even in the darkest days
Infinite regardless of test and trials

Eternal in all of its ways

Life Lessons from an Eagle

There are many things we can learn from an eagle about life. The eagle is the most majestic bird ever created.

First, let’s observe a few facts about eagles:

  •  The eagle is a bird of prey
  • The eagle has a very large hooked beak for ripping flesh
  • The eagle has strong muscular legs and powerful talons
  • The eagle’s eyes are 3.6 times the acuity of the humans. A human can see three basic colors where an eagle can see 5 basic colors
  • The eagle makes its nest in high trees or at the tops of cliffs and near water
  • The eagle mates for life

We’ll be making reference to these facts throughout this article, so stick with me while I lay some groundwork, then we’ll get to the meat!

The eagle symbolizes power, freedom and transcendence.

Power: the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy

Freedom:

1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint

2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

3. The power to determine action without restraint.

4. Exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one’s will thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted

5. Able to do something at will; at liberty

6. Clear of obstructions or obstacles

7. Personal liberty as opposed to bondage or slavery

Transcendence: Going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding

There are some important characteristics of an eagle that we should know about. First of all, an eagle is towards the top of the food chain. Things in the past that should be dead and buried, we should never dig up and revisit.

Secondly, eagles only flock with other eagles when they do socialize. Where do you find other eagles? Very high up, even up to heights of 10,000 feet. You won’t find other birds at that elevation.

You won’t find eagles socializing with chickens, who do nothing but scratch at the dirt all day, complaining and flapping around stirring up dust. You won’t find eagles socializing with pigeons who deliver the latest gossip and poop all over everything. You won’t find an eagle socializing with an ostrich who sticks his head in the sand and refuses to confront the world around him. And, you won’t find an eagle talking with the parrots who mimic others, so they look and sound good, but there is no substance to them.

An Eagle Defeats the Enemy

The eagle will sit in high places observing every little detail in life. He can spot the enemy from very long distances, even up to two miles away. His keen eyes give him this impressive talent. Once he spots the enemy or prey, he will swoop in with confidence, never looking over his shoulder and snatch his prey by his powerful talons from the ground or water without ever landing, then he will take his prey up to the high places and use his beak to tear away it’s flesh and have him for dinner.

She Knows What She Wants

The male will put on spectacular aerial displays to attract a good woman. He is showing her his skills and beauty. The female eagle will then test the male to find out if he is right for her and will find out if she can trust him. She takes him high up in the air and she drops a twig. The male will then chase the twig and catch it and bring it back to her. She will then go higher and repeat the process. Each time the male catches the twig she has dropped and brings it back to her. Once the trust and love and affection are proven, the pair will mate for life.

They’ve got Mad Parenting Skills

The male will build a nest, usually on the top of a very high cliff or tree where the eaglets will be out of reach of the enemy. The outer layer of the nest consists of thorns that have been laid on the cliff as an outer shell and serves as protection. The middle layer of consists of soft grass and the inner layer consists of feathers for comfort.

Once the eggs are hatched and the eaglets mature, the mother will teach them to fly. She gathers them on her back and spreads her wings and flies high into the sky. Suddenly she swoops out from underneath her eaglet and allows it to fall and learn the function of its wings. She then catches the eaglet and repeats the process until he is able to fly on his own.

If the eaglet is slow to learn, she will take him back to the nest and begin to tear the nest apart, feather by feather, stick by stick, until all that is left is the thorns. As you can imagine, this makes the eaglet very uncomfortable. She continues to tear the nest apart until there is nothing left for the eaglet to cling too. She then nudges him off the cliff. This may seem mean, but it is really the only way to teach the young bird to survive on its own.

As human parents, we do everything we can to teach our babies while they are young. When they reach the teenage years, we give them more independence and teach them the important things in life and basic survival skills. When they reach a certain age, after graduating from high-school or college, we push them out of the nest. The eagle in it’s natural habitat, can really teach us a thing or two about parenting.

 Rise Above the Storms of Life

When a storm is raging on the horizon, the eagle will use the updrafts to rise above the storm. The eagle is very conservative of its energy. It takes very little flapping of its wings and he glides effortlessly through the air. When there is a storm, the updrafts take him high into the sky until he is above the clouds, where there is only peace. He does  not use his own energy.

Many times when the storms of life hit us, we become fearful and our natural fight or flight instinct kicks in so that we either fight the storm or run and hide from it. We can take a lesson from the eagle. The storms of life are going to come. It’s not a matter of if, but when. When the storm comes, accept it and have peace in the knowledge that you are going to get over it. Just don’t fight. Don’t try to fix it. Let nature take its course and rise above the storm.

Rest, Reflect, Renewal

As the eagle ages, around the age of 40, it’s body deteriorates. His feathers wear out and become old, thick and heavy, making it difficult to fly. It’s long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey. Its beak becomes bent. The eagle is left with two choices: either give up and die or make go through a process of change. He chooses to live, so he flies to the mountaintop and finds shelter in the rocks and then goes through a metamorphosis stage.

First, he beats his beak against the rock until he knocks it off. He then waits for it to grow back. Next, he plucks out his own talons and wait for them to grow back. Finally, he plucks out his old worn out feathers and waits for his new feathers to come back in. He never leaves the safety of the rocks the entire time. The process takes about five months. With his renewed body, the eagle can then live another 30-40 years.

There are times when we become worn out from life. We need a time of rest, reflection and renew. This process begins by noticing that life has taken it’s toll on you, and then making the choice to change. It’s not an easy decision. In fact, it’s often the most difficult decision you will ever make. But you know that you cannot go on anymore without taking the time to rest in the Lord. Beat your beak against the rock, pluck your talons and feathers. Take time to reflect on areas in your life that need to change so that you can not only live but soar. Wait. Once you are renewed, you will emerge from the mountain like a brand new person. You will be ready to take flight once again. Soar through the air with little effort and rise above the storm.

Psalm 103:5

Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits: who forgive all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

 

 

 

 

 

Bride of Christ or Prostitute? (revised 2016)

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There’s one on every corner; two or three on most. So which is it, a church or a prostitute? Or is there even a difference?

If you’ve ever taken a drive through the red light district, you know what I’m talking about.  If you’ve ever taken a drive through the bible belt, you also know what I’m talking about. The problem is when the two areas are so similar that you can’t tell one from the other.

Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world.

The Latin meaning of the word comes from PRO-upfront or forward and SITUERE-offer up for sale.

There are many reasons a person may prostitute herself. She may suffer from low self-esteem, she may be poor or hungry and does whatever she can to survive. She may have been sold into a human trafficking ring. She may even see the profit in it having the love of money.

Regardless of the reason, when a person finds herself in this situation,  it is immensely degrading

These women become more aggressive and animalistic in time, to the point of preying on men. When you see these women, most people are disgusted that they can bring so much dishonor to themselves. They are very often diseased and rather intentionally or unintentionally, they spread the wealth to the men they sleep with and indirectly to their wives.

So you may be wondering what a prostitute has to do with the church. Well, there are some very close similarities that most may not realize.  Think about some churches you may have been in. What is the vision of the church, and are the people who make up the body of the church behind the vision and working towards it, or are they working towards and unworthy cause and selling out. Maybe you feel like you have entered a social club. All the members are in cliques and don’t even notice you are there, or maybe they do, but don’t care. I’m not here to put down churches, I just want  you, the members of the church, the body of Christ to reflect, and be sure that when someone walks in, that they can feel like they are looking at the bride of Christ and not some diseased, disgusting body.

Galatians 5:25-Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

I can guarantee you that when a visitor enters the church, they are there for a reason. They are searching for something, maybe to fill a void in their life, to make a change, they may be hurting or simply looking for a friend. MAYBE they are a prostitute or drug dealer or addict or alcoholic, looking to change their life, because what they have been doing has not been working for them.

If we know what a prostitute looks like, we should probably distinguish what the Bride of Christ looks like.

Imagine for a moment…A BRIDE. Historically, she is a virgin, she is pure, she is so in love with her man and he is so in love with her. Her mission in life is to be the best she can possibly be for her husband and to give life. She becomes one with her husband and they work together towards the same goals.

So, what does the Bride of Christ look like? She definitely has the same qualities as a bride. Her intentions are pure, she becomes one with her Groom. She loves him above all others. She is the apple of His eye. She gives life and bears fruit.

Galatians 5:22-23-The Fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, gentleness and self-control.

I’m sorry, but if the Bride is not giving life and bearing fruit, then she has sold herself out and is a dishonor to her Groom. She is a prostitute.

People have such a bad taste in their mouth about the church, just as they feel dirty when they drive through the red-light district. It’s time to change that. The judging and ignoring people has got to stop. We don’t show love by our words, we show love by our actions. When a person walks into your church and weeks go by with barely anyone acknowledging their presence, we have failed

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.