All posts by Reach Ministries

I am an assistant Professor of Economics and a Minister of the Gospel. I am married with 4 grown children, I live in the Greenville, South Carolina, area of the US. God has called me to start a ministry in South Carolina, 'Reach Ministries' Int'l. This is my passion: To promote personal success at life to all I come in contact with: how to win at life itself is more than just about money, wealth, fame, and power (although these would be nice for anyone to have)! With or without these, you can still achieve personal goals, enjoy meaningful, lasting, fulfilling and positive relationships, and experience 'freedom' over the outcomes in your life. Some of these are internal to you (your gifts, your faith, the choices you make, the way you think, the way your feel); others are external - taking full advantage of the opportunities in your family, community, and those that your country affords you: education and training, sound financial planning and investing, and engagement in the lives of others. The Three Pillars are: "Reach for God - He is reaching out to you in love!" (how you can know God through Jesus Christ, how you can experience the peace, joy, fulfillment, hope, intimacy, and miraculous answers to prayer in your walk with God). "Reach for your Goals" (You can do it); we teach, counsel, guide, and encourage you to reach your personal, career, and financial goals; "Reach out to others (to give and to receive); we are created for relationship; you can be blessed and you can be a blessing to others. We teach you how to have successful family, community and citizenship relationships. I am also interested in Economic Development, Political Economy, Music, and Tennis. I'd like give back to Africa, to do more travel, and teach about the intersection of Faith, Economics and Politics; I play (amateur) acoustic guitar.

How Do You Know He/She is the One!

Seriously,

  • How do you know he/she is the One

  • with whom you can have
    • a long lasting, mutually fulfilling, and happy relationship?

Physical Attraction:  What you ‘see’ in the other person says

  • ‘Go ahead, he/she is the one!’
  • This means that their
    • looks, fashion sense,
    • body type, posture and manner of walking
      • showing self- confidence, humility, focus, …;
    • attitude and presence,
    • voice and manner of speaking, etc.,
      • will meet your individual threshold/preference
        • for physical attraction,
        • throughout the relationship.
  • Ignoring this is why I believe that
    • (the TV show)
    • ‘Married at First Sight’ does not appear to work well
      • especially without the necessary cultural history and
      • without a network of supportive and influential family dynamics
        • to support it.
  • Western Culture emphasize/glamorize this far too much
    • when there other equally
      • or more important factors
        • to consider.

Shared Core Values and Approach to Life

  • You observe that you share similar views about
  • the most basic things you believe about life:
    • God, faith, and prayers,
    • money, life and death, family,
    • friends, science, the law, culture,
  • all say ‘Go ahead, he/she is the one!’

BEHIND THE SCENES‘ Real Life Experience(s) say,

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
  • ‘Yes, Go ahead, he/she is the one!’
  • ‘Behind the scenes’ experience concerning
    • earning and spending money,
    • interactions with siblings, parents, relatives,
    • co-workers, bosses, detractors and opponents,
      • (how he/she treats them is how he/she will treat you eventually);
    • leisure and entertainment activities,
    • loss, illness, heartaches, and outstanding joys,
      • all say ‘Go ahead’, he/she is the one!
  • However remember
    • people can and do change.

Sound Logic and Reasoning Confirms it!

  • Please see my last post
  • Use Your head to guard your heart
  • Your heart can guide you
    • but not against objective facts and logic.
  • Remember, you are committing yourself to
    • seek that person’s happiness without precondition
      • in the hope that they will do the same for you.
  • Warren Buffet: 
    • “Buy a stock the way you would buy a house. Understand and like it such that you’d be content to own it in the absence of any market.”
    • Me :  “Enter a long term relationship the way you would buy a house. Understand and like it such that you’d be content to own it in the absence of making any profit off it.”
  • Why have a brain if you do not use it to make important decisions in life?
  • If sound logic and reasoning say “Go ahead, he/she is the one” then
    • do it, He/She is the one.

What about ‘chemistry,’ ‘instinct,’ ‘live in the moment’ or ‘take a risk’?

  • Chemistry‘ is mutual physical attraction and a shared approach to life,
    • (see above), unfortunately,
    • will not be enough for the long haul.
  • ‘Instinct’?
    • You would not invest in the stock market solely by instinct;
      • you need additional information to inform your ‘instinct’;
      • why then would you invest your life based solely on instinct?
  • ‘Live in the moment’?
    • Only if you have only one moment to live.
  • Take a risk?’
    • Would you jump out of an airplane
      • without a parachute and/or
      • without being reasonably sure it works?

We can do this; Let’s do this!!

Note:  I apologies for the gap between the last post and this, Apologies for the gap between the last  post and this.  My excuse? Life Happened (Work, car crashes in the family, etc.).  Email me your questions at reach4himwdray@gmail.com

What Makes Long Term Relationships Work? Really!

Fulfilling, loving, mutually satisfying, meaningful, and long lasting relationships boils down to one thing:

  • both partners in the relationship, without pre-conditions and with 100% sincerity commit themselves to make the other person feel
    • safe, loved, happy, accepted,  appreciated, understood, and
    • cared for.

Be “…like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  [Apostle Paul]

To do this requires

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  • maturity,

    • (from both sides),
    • (psychological, social, and emotional);
    • children are innocent and beautiful to behold
      • but they can also be incredibly selfish, foolish, insensitive and unstable;
    • ‘man-child’ partners, and ‘baby-girl’ ‘diva’ personalities
      • find it hard to focus selflessly on others, and
      • often ruin the chances for long term happy relationships;
  • trust, and vulnerability, because

    • to love without pre-conditions is risky, and
    • to open up to real love means to open up to deep hurt;
      • those who hurt us the most and
      • those we hurt the most,
        • are the ones that are closest to us;
          • they give the most happiness and/or cause
            • the deepest pain;
  • open and effective communication meaning

    • willingness to speak
      • about your fears, wants, and feelings
      • in a way that your partner can understand
        • without being pushed away(!), and
    • willingness to ‘listen’, and
    • willingness to learn(!)
      • from the other person;
  • the ability to forgive and overlook your partner’s fault(s):

    • (a generous spirit/heart);
    • ‘The teeth and tongue will get in each other’s way sometimes,’ and
      • it’s not pleasant when they do, but
      • they must find a way to work together
        • for the greater good of the body(!)
          • (in this case the relationship);
    • An ever growing record of hurts in a relationship
      • will crush it.
      • Let your relationship be like a room,
        • a pleasant place  where you both like to relax
          • and savor each other’s company; one
        • that is swept clean daily,
          • of the dust/dirt
            • (hurts of past days, weeks, and months),
        • whose windows and doors are constantly open
          • to allow sunlight and
            • fresh breeze through.

“When Somebody Loves You Back”
(Teddy Pendergrass [1979])

It’s so good lovin’ somebody;
When somebody loves you back

To be loved and be loved in return
It’s the only thing that my heart desires
Just appreciate the little things I do
Oh, you’re the one who’s got me inspired
Keep on liftin’, liftin’ me higher

We can build a world of love, a life of joy
Make our goal each other’s happiness
I will do for you anything that I can
Oh, everyday I wanna do a little more
Do a little more, just a little bit more

Said now 70-30
Now 60-40
Talkin’ ’bout a 50-50 love, yeah

More tomorrow!  You Can Do This, Let’s Do This!

Note:  I have been married 36 years, with 4 grown children, and have spent 30 years in ministry including counselling many couples, at all stages of their relationships. You can say I have been ‘around the block’ a few times. 

Email me your questions on relationships and I will answer them as best as I can.

 

 

Why I (As a Bible Believing Christian) Cannot and Will Not Be Voting for Donald Trump (2!)

In my last post, I argued that

  • the perceived benefits of the Trump presidency
    • from a biblical perspective,
      • are temporary and earthly, not eternal.

Now: The continued Trump presidency

  • from a biblical perspective, will be
    • damaging, and
    • of eternal significance
      • for the Church, for America, and for the world.
  • Under the Trump Presidency
  • Truth/Facts/Reality and our attitudes towards them have suffered.
    • The Trump administration is “An Administration of Lies.”
      • The president is a proven, pathological, and an unrepentant liar.
      • His supporters repeatedly offer “alternative facts”
        • to explain the administration’s actions and statements.
      • Getting more people to believe a ‘narrative’
        • (by retweets, ratings, polls, ‘likes’, ‘going viral’, soundbites, etc.)
        • in modern America
        • is now more important than the facts and
        • has been exacerbated by an administration
          • that peddles lies, obfuscation, spin and/or misdirection.
    • Truth is a Biblical and Christian ideal.
      • Truth is eternal!
      • Deceivers will be eternally punished.
    • Truth is reality and reality is truth.
      • Science deals in facts and objective Truth;
      • without truth and objective facts,
        • normal living is not possible;
          • to live in alternative reality is insanity, and
        • the progress of human civilization is hampered.
      • Justice for all depends on establishing
        • what is true and what are the facts (evidence!).
  • The Image of God
    • present in every human being;
      • (along with a sinful fallen nature) that is,
    • everything that is noble, pure, selfless, and admirable in man suffers.
    • Instead of the image of God:
      • humility, selflessness, love, harmony, peacefulness, self control, patience, gentleness, holiness, mercy….
      • Trump models the sinfulness of Man:
        • pride, narcissism, hate, division, quarrelsomeness, short temper, impatience, meanness, ‘fight back’, vengeance, impurity and indecency….
    • Trump undermines our common human dignity by 
      • choosing to divide instead of bringing people together
        • in order to harness political power.
  • The Direction and Fate of the World May Change Forever
    • The Bible predicts that history is marching towards the ‘End Times.’
    • America is the only economic, military, and cultural superpower.
      • Trump has stated he acts based on his guts instincts
      • Trump who appears willing to take unnecessary risks
        • (economic, military, cultural, political)
        • without strategy or clear planning;
        • he can therefore plunge the world into an ‘end times’ scenario
          • predicted in the Bible.
        • This can also weaken America from within.
  • America as
    • a moral beacon in the world,
    • ‘the city on a hill that cannot be hid’
    • a clear voice for universal human rights,
    • model of freedom of the press, and as
    • a model of human dignity,
      • will be lost forever;
        • making the biblical ‘end times’ scenario that more certain.

So count me out, I will not be voting for Donald Trump in 2020!

Why I (As a Bible Believing Christian) Cannot, and Will Not Be Voting for Donald Trump!

All the benefits of my Vote for Donald Trump Appear to be
Material, Temporal, Earthly

  • More Conservative Judges

    • Inasmuch as I want a society
      • where conservative values are respected, this
    • pertains mostly to America, not the Kingdom of God,
      • when judges are appointed
        • by both sides
        • solely for partisan control of the judiciary,
          • and it will ultimately corrupt justice
            • for everyone, forever (!);
    • will not prevent the ongoing moral decay of humanity
      • predicted in the Bible, as we move toward the end-times!
    • Deuteronomy 1.16:  “‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him.” 
      • That is, justice must be blind to even the closest earthly affiliations.
  • The Possibility of Overturning Roe vs. Wade

    • Inasmuch  as I am pro-life
      • (in Church and personal life
      • and I will work to reduce abortion in society
        • in other ways other than using the force of law)
      • I am also pro-choice (as a matter of law in society), and
    • inasmuch as I will like to reduce abortions in the US,
      • the church will do a better job to impact society for God
        • by modelling selfless, holy, and cross-bearing lives as people of faith,
        • than to try to wield the corrupting tools of political power
          • to force social change; that is,
      • making abortion illegal
        • constrains action by force of law, it
        • does not change people and
        • is only a temporary fix, to the eternal problem of the
          • sinfulness of man, and it
        • does not address immorality within the Church itself;
      • I also have hope that God has a plan even for unborn babies
        • as I believe he does for infants who die early!
    • Matt. 18.10:  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
  • A friend of the (mostly white) Church in the White House

    • is temporary, of this earth, not the kingdom of God
      • if the Church cannot criticize that ‘friend’,
      • if the Church must always praise that ‘friend’,
      • if the Church must explain away, excuse, and lie (‘spin’),
        • when that ‘friend’ lies, divides, and is unrepentant of
          • deceit, meanness, pride and boastfulness, narcissism, and adultery,
        • and thereby abandon its basic mission to a lost world:
          • faithfully proclaim the truth and will of God
          • that we must be
            • true, loving, meek and lowly, selfless, and faithful to the wife of our youth, welcoming, be wronged instead of wronging others, give vengeance to God instead of always ‘fighting back.’
    • Faithful prophetic witness
      • to powerful (and sometimes corrupt) political leaders (kings)
      • is clear in the Bible.
        • It usually involves truth, rebuke, courage, and great risk:
        • Samuel (Eli), Samuel (Saul), Nathan (David),
        • Elijah (Ahab, Jezebel, Ahaziah), Elisha (Ahab), Micaiah (Ahab)
        •  Isaiah (Manasseh), Jonah (Nineveh),
        • Jeremiah (Zedekiah), Daniel (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar),
        • John the Baptist (Herod)
        • Jesus (Pilate), Peter (Sanhedrin);
        • the Early Church (the Sanhedrin); and
        • Paul (Agrippa).
        • It is never a cozy relationship as the one we see between
          • the White House and white evangelical American leadership.
  • Strong Economy?

    • As good as that sounds,
      • a strong economy is of this earth, not eternal
      • Mark 8.36: “What does it profit a man [nation]….”
    • What if
      • (as the signs are beginning to show, and
      • as Donald Trump continues to gamble
        • with the economy and
        • with the livelihood of millions of Americans,
        • using trade wars),
      • the economy takes a downturn,
        • as is expected every now and again?

black-hair-child-eye-1098769

  • Strong Immigration Enforcement?

    • This excites those
      • whose primary concern is America
        • not the Kingdom of God,
      • who may be driven by
        • lack of knowledge and compassion, fear, distaste, and/or
        • indifference towards
          • those who are different, who are weak, and destitute;
      • who have forgotten, who ignore the fact,
        • that the Kingdom of God is all tribes, tongues and nations
        • that everyone ‘came from somewhere else’,
        • that the Bible overwhelmingly teaches love and welcome
          • for the weak, the widow, the fatherless, the alien ,strangers (!)
        • that Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus were themselves refugees
          • to Egypt from political violence!
    • Matthew 24.44:  “Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’”
    • Revelation 7.9 “…from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb….”
  • Strong Military and National Defense,

    • pertains to only America, not the Kingdom of God;
    • is material, temporary, and earthly.
    • Ephesians 6.  “For we do not wrestle not against flesh and blood…”
  • Second Amendment Rights

    • Is only of this earth, and temporary,  and
    • when promoted unreasonably and at all cost, it
      • UNDERCUTS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS:
        • selfless love,
        • sacrifice,
        • give instead of taking life,
        • “turning the other cheek”,
        • “Nevertheless, let your [God’s] will be done not mine”
          • not my right(!)
          • [Jesus!]
      • lacks any sound biblical and theological support.
      • Matt. 16.24: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
        • The choice between a gun and the cross is easy
          • I CHOOSE THE CROSS!

Next PostWhy a Vote For Donald Trump has Negative Long Term/Eternal Consequences for America and the Church.

The Minimum Monthly Payment Trap 2!

In my last post, I told you two ways your loan balance can continue to increase.

Even when you are making your minimum monthly payments, 

  • if you miss your minimum monthly payment, and/or
  • whenever you are allowed to pay less than your minimum monthly payment
    • your loan balance may continue to increase.
person writing debt on paper
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Other scenarios in which your loan balance will continue to rise:

A ‘debt relief’ program promises you can make ‘smaller payments’

  • than the standard/reasonable minimum monthly payments, and
  • used by some unscrupulous lenders to trap you
    • into perpetual debt.
  • Some government and/or education loans repayment plan are also
    • income driven, i.e. based on
      • how much you earn not
      • how much is required to pay off the loan
        • in a reasonable period of time.
  • Example 1: you owe $25,000, at 15% annual interest rate computed on the balance each month
    • The minimum payment is 2% or $500.
      • “That’s too high”,  you say,  “can you help me?”
      • “Can I pay $200 per month please?”
      • Sure”, the lender says, “just for you!”
      • What you may not realize is that
        • $200 does not cover your monthly interest ($314).s
        • The difference ($314 – $200)
          • is added to your loan balance
          • (the interest has been ‘capitalized’)
            • which continues to earn interest.
  • Example 2: The Education Department Income Driven Repayment Plan (IDRP)
    • provides relief to people allowing them to make payments
      • based on how much they earn
      • on loan balances that earn interest each day
        • until the to total balance is paid off.
    • As above, you may be making all regular required payments
      • but your actual loan balance could be increasing!!

You make regular minimum payments but

  • if the interest rate is high and if
  • the loan balance is continually earning interest,
    • your loan balance will continue to increase; in fact
    • the loan balance will double approximately
      • every 70/(interest rate) years
        • according to the ‘Rule of 70’:
          • an amount that grows at the rate of ‘x’ per period
            • will double approximately every 70/x periods.
      • Example, a credit card balance of $25,000 at 15% annual interest rate
        • will double every 70/15 = 4.7 years (4 years and 8 months)
        • If you make every minimum required payment of 2%,
          • The balance will double every 70/13 = 5 years and 5 months.

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Note: 

  • Some credit card loans will have lower/higher interest rates.
  • Some loans (some mortgages, car notes)
    • have interest calculated over the life of the loan.

Final Take Away

  • If possible, avoid loans
    • for which the interest rate is calculated frequently
      • on the outstanding balance.
  • Make sure your minimum payments at least cover your interest
    • in each period.
  • Make sure your minimum payments covers some of your principal each time
    • If not the make additional payment to cover
      • paying down your principal.

Please follow Reach Ministries on twitter, Facebook, and YouTube (coming)

Email me at reach4himwdray@gmail.com

You Can Do It!  Let’s Do This!!

The Minimum Monthly Payment Trap!!

As a general principle, debt is bad unless

  • It’s an investment debt, examples of which are,
    • education loans in an area and, in an amount that makes economic sense
    • a mortgage,
      • a loan to purchase a house or real estate,
        • for which at least you have a real asset to sell off later,
        • it can be viewed as a form of saving at the least;
        • you may be able to build equity over time, and thereby
        • to increase your net assets position; or
    • an asset that will produce returns
      • greater than the cost of servicing the debt,
        • i.e. your earnings on the asset is greater than interest paid on it;
      • for example, a business or some form of an investment instrument
        • that produces an additional and an ongoing stream of income.

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Long Term Loans,

  • credit cards, education loans, business loans, mortgage loans etc.
  • even for ‘good investment loans’ (debt) have one trap:
    • the ‘Minimum Monthly Payments’ trap.
  • ‘Minimum Monthly Payment,’
    • is the amount you are required to pay on your outstanding balance
      • at regular periods (usually monthly, but also quarterly, yearly, etc.)
      • over the life of the loan;
      • meant to at least cover the interest on the loan.
    • But it may not cover your total monthly interest,
      • which means the amount you owe could be increasing
        • even while you are making regular payments!
  • When you take out a loan, your loan balance
    • which is your total debt on the loan,
    • continues to earn interest,
      • by the day, month, etc. depending on the loan details; it may also
    • increase when you fail to make a payment
      • because you get charged a penalty for late or non-payment,
        • which is then added to your loan balance!

 If your minimum payments do not cover the interest,

    • in each period,
    • the unpaid interest is usually added to your outstanding balance
      • (this is called ‘capitalization’ of the interest)
      • that is, it’s like you took a larger loan in the first place;
    • future interest payments may be calculated on
      • the unpaid interest plus the original balance (‘principal’);
      • which is now the new and higher ‘principal’,
      • therefore your debt is growing, even as you are making
        • regular payments towards it!
  • Example, say you hold a balance of $25,000 on a credit card/loan
    • at 15% annual interest rate computed on each month’s balance, you must pay
      • $3750 per year in interest (25,000 x 0.15) or
      • $308 – $312 per month (3750 /365 * 30 days; or $3750 /12 months) or
      • $500 per month if the minimum payment required is 2%
        • ($25,000 * 0.15)
    • If you miss one minimum payment,
      • the $500 may be added to your balance of $25,000
        • at the end of the period
        • to become $25,500.
        • Your annual interest at 15% is now
          • $3825 per year (25,500 * 0.15) or
          • $314 – $318 per month (3825 /365 * 30 days; or $3825/12 months) or
          • $510 per month if the minimum payment required is 2%
      • Additional fees (penalties) may also be added to your loan balance.
    • If on the other hand
      • you are in financial difficulty and ask for reduced payment
        • that is less than your interest payments,
          • say you want to make a $100 payment,
          • instead of the minimum payment of $500
        • you will be paying less than the interest payment
          • (of $308 – $312 per month);
        • your outstanding interest may be capitalized
          • i.e. added to the initial balance of $25,000:
          • which is $208 – $212: the difference
            • between your monthly interest
              • ($308 – $312) and
              • the $100 you paid
          • will be added to your balance;
          • other ‘late penalty’ or ‘non-payment’ fees
            • may also be added to your balance
          • other ‘finance’ or ‘financing’ charges
            • may be added to your balance and
          • the total loan balance will increase.
        • Then what looks like a relief (less than the minimum payment)
          • turns out to be bad for you in the long run

There’s more. Check back tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and (soon) on YouTube;

Email me at reach4himwdray@gmail.com

About Reach

A little introduction about Reach Ministries Int’l!

Beginnings

  • After much prayer, I began activities for this ministry in March this year
    • when my family finally joined me in Greenville Area of SC.
    • This blog was started in 2017.
  • Right now it is
    • me, my wife of 36 years and our children,
    • my good friend Elvis Muhabwa from Uganda,
    • former colleagues, friends, and well wishers, disciples, etc.
      • from around the US
        • in Illinois where I was a pastor for 13 years and
      • around the world who are praying for this ministry, and it can be
    • anyone who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior or who wishes to have such a relationship with him, and who identifies with the Vision, Mission, and Profile of the ministry below.

More About Dr. Ray please also see the link at the home page.

  • In addition, My gifts are
    • church planting,
    • teaching,
    • prayer and intercession
    • prophecy
    • faith
      • I am a dreamer!
      • I believe in miracles (both:
        • the one-of-a kind, all-at-once action of God, and
        • the slow, over-time irresistible favor of God,
          • in answer to prayer!)

The Vision

  • Reach Ministries:  Army of Worshipers whose ultimate prayer is that God is glorified in and through each of them, who are passionate about achieving their God-given dreams and aspirations, and who promote and enjoy healthy, meaningful, and fulfilling relationships in community.

The Mission

  • Through God-centered worship, sound biblical teaching, practical training in important life skills and by creating diverse opportunities for healthy interactions, relationships and service to others, Reach Ministries will raise an Army of Worshipers to fulfill the vision.

The Three Pillars

  • Reach Upwards to God (He is always reaching down to us in Love!)
  • Reach Forward to your goals (Everyone one can achieve their God-given goals)
  • Reach Outward to Others (To give and to receive; to bless and to be blessed in community!)

architecture-beach-clouds-1386700

  • Why “Reach”?

    • Because we need to respond to God’s invitation to a relationship with him
    • Because we need to keep moving, keep growing, keep getting better
    • Because we need to seek others, see, listen to, serve, and help others
      • which is the  greatest source of fulfillment:
        • we can receive in life;
        • a meaningful and positive impact on others,
        • the greatest legacy ever!

Interested? What can you do?

  1. Share, pass the word around about the following opportunities
  2. Email me at reach4himwdray@gmail.com to join small/prayer group(s)
  3. Follow Reach Ministries on Twitter at reach4himwdray
  4. Follow Reach Ministries on Facebook at reach4himwdray
  5. Check this blog for updates, encouraging, positive, and daily posts
    • (except Sunday).
  6. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Reach! when it comes online soon.
  7. Pray
  8. As the Lord leads!