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By Evangelist Barbara Colbert-Brooks
  “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.
  It is an undeniable fact that we all need someone to bear our burdens. Not just the burden of trials and troubles that life brings our way, but the inherited burden of sin. We are all yet transgressors, having breached the boundaries of God’s standard of good and evil. If we think we have not, then we have, just by thinking that we have not. We all require a burden-bearer who will take our transgressions, wipe our slate clean, and remember them no more. Ergo, the Savior.
  The bible says that the Lord knows our frailties and that He takes pity upon us for He knows that we are but dust; here today and gone tomorrow. We need someone to take the pain of our human errors and omissions. As we stumble through life, sometimes blinded by just the business of it all, there must be a divine catch-all who watches out for us. One who will gently steady us in our tracks, pick us up, dust us off, and set us back on the straight and narrow road. If not, we will be consumed by the journey, fainting and failing to rise again until it’s simply too late.
  We think we can navigate through this life fueled by our own energies. Our hopes and wishes often rooted and grounded in formulas created by the world and its ruler, the Adversary himself. We foolishly forget that we did not create ourselves, cannot breathe the breath of life into ourselves, and have no power over a spiritual wickedness that defies carnal weaponry. Howbeit, if we live long enough, and take heed to the stripes that we ourselves receive throughout life’s journey, we will understand why it took a God-sent scapegoat to pay the price for our sin, purchase our souls, and provide a blessed assurance policy of Salvation that covers every need from the cradle to the grave.
He took the punishment rightly imputed to us and exchanged it for a perfect peace that only He can give. He purchased us for the price of His blood shed on an old, rugged cross, perched high on a hill, for all the world to see. The motive was his love for us. The means was his sacrifice of a pure and holy lamb that would pay the debt once and for all. The opportunity was provided by all who are lost in sin, in dire need of a Savior. 
  By his stripes, we are healed. There is nothing that can come through life or death that can take away our inheritance of abundant life in and through Him. While we are only here in this world for a short time, we are in eternity for forever. By his stripes we are healed. There is no pain, no sickness, no sorrow, we cannot overcome for all these things are temporal, designed to make us stronger as we continue our journey to completion. By the Savior’s nail-pierced hands, His blood-stained body, and His humble heart to bear the sin for all humanity, we are healed. 
When the pain is so deep, we can barely breathe. When the darkness of despair seems to be our constant companion, look to the cross from where our healing comes from, granted and guaranteed by the precious blood of Jesus. 

By Evelyn M. Bingham
  The economy, along with it’s accompanying dwindling finances, skinny wallets, exorbitant gas prices and hectic family schedules, make the idea and the necessity for Staycations, particularly
attractive during these trying times.
  Staycation, is exactly as the name implies, a vacation, where you and the family members stay at home, instead of making reservations at hotels, motels, airlines, rail or bus transportation, all of which are extremely expensive. There are many different reasons why the Staycation, is so 
attractive. Many families have children who are in college ( thereby, an extra expense), children who are in summer school, or summer jobs or camp or just not wanting to leave their friends!  
  A Staycation, allows families to connect together, which in turn, tightens their bond, provided, it is well, and, carefully planned, otherwise, it can be a chaotic nightmare!! Much care and preparation has to be paid in planning activities, excursions and short day trips which offer a sense of adventure and wonder for everyone, as well as an educational experience.
  Parents are provided an opportunity to plan and execute an array of camping experiences, from backyard camping to nearby parks and campgrounds. These are less expensive forms of entertainment, but which provide lessons for learning and experiencing nature that will last a lifetime! I remember our kids kicking and screaming at the thought of camping OUTSIDE IN A TENT!! How dare we remove them from civilization and their friends, games, & TV, poor things, they could barely get music or reception on the battery operated radio, and certainly not the music they were accustomed to hearing! It was also a rare occurrence to see anyone who looked like them.
  Of course forty plus years ago, there were no fancy motor homes, generators, microwaves. portable televisions or cell phones, no video distractions and No, fast food restaurants every few feet. They learned creativity, ingenuity and the fact that hard work resulted in a warm campfire, food, shelter and recreation. They actually experienced bears sniffing around their tent, yes, they were wild bears, and witnessed real Yogi Bear types stealing our neighbor campers food and picnic hampers and actually carrying the cooler away as though he was picking up a discarded piece of paper. In these instances, the Park Rangers hunt them down and remove them to remote areas of the park where they will be less likely to encounter humans. Our kids quickly learned what all campers in the wilderness know! Leave No Food Items In Your Tent or Campsite----only Tightly sealed containers, or High in a tree!  
  Although they were upset at the time, all four of them still remember the trip with fondness, even the hard job of learning to portage our heavy canoe over land from one stream or lake to another. The vastness of thousands of acres of wilderness in a Canadian park, provided our family with many unforgettable and adventuresome memories!
 Staycations, offer and beckon to us to explore the beauty and wonder of our city and its surrounding areas. Check our Belle Isle Park and its history, its history and contents are fascinating. Don’t forget to include our River Walk, Festivals, The Detroit Zoo, The Henry Ford, The Art Institute, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, The Childrens Museum, Cranbrook as well as our Detroit Library. These gems are only a stones throw away. And, if you should venture north, visit Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island And let the children experience what it feels like to be in a place where no cars are allowed!
  If you should find yourself in the Grand Rapids area, Do Not miss a trip to Meijer Gardens, you, Will Never forget the trip, nor will the children!!

The Healing