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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

What Is A True Christian


GraceSaved

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

An app, even.


Anishinaabe


???? You mean a phone app?

No, mine is a 400th anniversary reproduction - photo reprint of an actual first edition (I believe).

Cool it is too.
It sits on my shelf and I try to read the old writing (successfully I might add) but it is a bit hard to follow at first.
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I know an Orthodox Jewish man on Facebook who says the word "Christian" is thrown around way too much.  He says the majority of the world aren't Christians.  He makes a distinction between what he calls Confessing Christians as opposed to Professing Christians.  He says Confessing Christians read the Bible and act according to what Jesus taught.  He says that Professing Christians are "wanna be" Christians.

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A Christian is a person professing belief in Jesus Christ and on the teachings of Jesus.

 

Half of what makes a person a Christian is missing here.  Repentance.

 

LuAnne, LuAnne, people are getting off topic here...   :bleh:  :bleh:

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If they are professing Christ, then they repented by moving from unbelief to belief.

 

Is repentance moving from unbelief to belief?

 

swath, swath, when I need your help, I'll ask for it. :smug:

 

Goodness I'm just goofing around and poking a little fun!  

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Repentance unto salvation is a change of mind (that results in the action of placing one's trust in Christ for salvation). Period. You add anything else to it you're making a works salvation.
 

It's very tempting to use repentance (or a lack thereof) as a reason for why people 'believe and live like the devil'. But that isn't a correct use of repentance, and confuses salvation with sanctification. Sanctification isn't automatic. Yes, it's a work God does in us. However, if we do not cooperate with the work God is doing (obey), that stymies the sanctification process. 

 

 

"But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." Acts 26:20

 

 

"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." John 6:28-29

 

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Repentance unto salvation is a change of mind (that results in the action of placing one's trust in Christ for salvation). Period. You add anything else to it you're making a works salvation.
 

It's very tempting to use repentance (or a lack thereof) as a reason for why people 'believe and live like the devil'. But that isn't a correct use of repentance, and confuses salvation with sanctification. Sanctification isn't automatic. Yes, it's a work God does in us. However, if we do not cooperate with the work God is doing (obey), that stymies the sanctification process. 

 

I believe and like the explanation given in the Way of Life Encyclopedia:

 

“Repentance is a godly sorrow for sin. Repentance is a forsaking of sin. Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so
you will not live like that anymore. Repentance is permanent. It is a lifelong and an eternity-long experience. You will never love
the devil again once you repent. You will never flirt with the devil as the habit of your life again once you get saved. You will
never be happy living in sin; it will never satisfy; and the husks of the world will never fill your longing and hungering in your soul.
Repentance is something a lot bigger than a lot of people think. It is absolutely essential if you go to heaven” (Lester Roloff,
Repent or Perish)
 
Remember Acts 20:21 and I'm paraphrasing, we are to repent to God for it is his laws we've broken and put our trust, our faith, to surrender our will to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
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That is a very dangerous definition, as commonly understood. If repentance is being sorry for sin, how do you know when you're 'sorry enough'? I went through two years of doubting my salvation after reading that definition in one of Cloud's articles refuting lordship salvation. Repentance is not forsaking sin - except in the mind, which is that change of mind mentioned earlier. Are you suggesting that there is some action in forsaking sin required? It is impossible for a lost sinner to stop sinning. If he were to try to stop sinning as a part of a salvation process - well, you've just got a works salvation on your hands.

David cloud does not espouse lordship salvation, but his definition if repentance manages to incorporate that idea nonetheless. He tends to confuse salvation and sanctification.

That quote above seems to mix repentance unto salvation and repentance of a saved person toward later sin. I'm only speaking to the repentance required for salvation, as I haven't studied out the later yet. This definition is a hot topic in my church right now, so I stopped listening to men's definitions and studied the Scripture to see what God's definition was.

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That is a very dangerous definition, as commonly understood. If repentance is being sorry for sin, how do you know when you're 'sorry enough'? I went through two years of doubting my salvation after reading that definition in one of Cloud's articles refuting lordship salvation. Repentance is not forsaking sin - except in the mind, which is that change of mind mentioned earlier. Are you suggesting that there is some action in forsaking sin required? It is impossible for a lost sinner to stop sinning. If he were to try to stop sinning as a part of a salvation process - well, you've just got a works salvation on your hands.

David cloud does not espouse lordship salvation, but his definition if repentance manages to incorporate that idea nonetheless. He tends to confuse salvation and sanctification.

That quote above seems to mix repentance unto salvation and repentance of a saved person toward later sin. I'm only speaking to the repentance required for salvation, as I haven't studied out the later yet. This definition is a hot topic in my church right now, so I stopped listening to men's definitions and studied the Scripture to see what God's definition was.

I turned from the world and myself (repented) to God when I heard the gospel and by faith I believed on Christ finished work of the cross for my salvation.

 

I never repented of all my sins and I doubt anyone can.

 

Repentance can mean to turn from a life of full out sin to God.

 

But under the Kingdom Gospel to Israel they are commanded to believe, repent and to be baptized for the remission of sin.

 

You will notice that John and Jesus are not preaching a gospel of the the finished work of the cross nor are they pointing to it.  this is all part of the Kingdom Gospel to prepare Israel for the Kingdom had the whole nation accepted Christ as their Messiah.

 

Mt 3:1 ¶  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mr 1:14 ¶ Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mr 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

the gospel or good news here is that the kingdom is at hand  Belief and repentance (faith + works=salvation)

 

Below you see John is preaching the good news that the kingdom is at hand and he calls Israel to Repent and we see baptism as part of their repentance

 

Mt 3:1 ¶  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

 

Mr 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.  Notice here that they had to get baptized to have the remission of sins.  Today we have remission through faith alone on Christ finished work of the cross.

 

The Gospel here is the Kingdom is at hand and it was required that he who believes the gospel of the kingdom was to be baptized shall be saved.  Belief and baptism for salvation this is not the gospel of Faith alone in the finished work of Christ's cross for salvation.

Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 

 

So does a true Christian repent?  Yes they have turned form the world, its ways and their ways of sin and turn to God.  But this repentance happens the moment one believes and will continue to take place through the Christians growth as a Christian.

 

Repentance is not a requirement to get saved in this age but it will be a work in the believers life.

 

A true Christian is not identified by repentance, baptism or any other work (for only God knows for sure who the true Christians are.

 

If you want to know who they are look to their Changed lives and good works they will do because they are saved.

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Repentance unto salvation is a change of mind (that results in the action of placing one's trust in Christ for salvation). Period. You add anything else to it you're making a works salvation.
 

It's very tempting to use repentance (or a lack thereof) as a reason for why people 'believe and live like the devil'. But that isn't a correct use of repentance, and confuses salvation with sanctification. Sanctification isn't automatic. Yes, it's a work God does in us. However, if we do not cooperate with the work God is doing (obey), that stymies the sanctification process. 

This^^, I think all to often this is what confuses people. Repentance begins with a changing of ones mind, then the action of sanctification follows.

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Brothers and Sisters,

 

     The word of the LORD; Mark 4:26-29…And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.”

 

     A young man earning his degree in farming at Clemson University did a study with tomato plants. He planted three seeds in three separate pots.

 

    In the first pot he placed common dirt, the kind you’d find out in a baseball diamond. Dirt that was baked day after day by the sun. He took common tap water, ran it over and over through filtrations and degaussed it so as to reduce both its acid and ion content.

 

   In the second pot he put the soil you’d find at Walmart or Home Depot, soil specifically made for gardens with all the nutrients the makers promised. To this he added grocery store sold spring water.

 

   In the last pot he put soil he dug from a nearby forest park and to that he added water flowing from a nearby stream. Months went by before he gauged the results…

 

   The first pot produced a weak tomato plant with no tomatoes. It had obviously germinated but had starved due to the sterile environment it grew in.

 

   The second pot produced a plant with tomatoes but on examination the tomatoes were not very big. They were dull in their color and their taste was very acidic..more than the sweetness promised on the seed packing.

 

     The last one however, produced a robust plant. The tomatoes were large, full of vibrant color and tasted sweet.

 

    Why did the last pot grow better than the second? The result of the first was predictable but why did the third grow so much better than the first? The secret was found in the packaging of the second pots soil. In all the work to promise that the soil would produce a tomato of fine quality, there was just no replacing what nature and God could provide.

 

    Take this to the word of GOD and how so many confuse the word “Christian” to mean that any doctrine infused with the selfish thoughts of man will do.

 

   Take the first plant. Some churches have so made the word of GOD a sterile abomination of sinless salvation that people may think they will grow as Christians but in reality they will never come to full bloom. When you teach an empty sinless caring Christ who will not judge sins and does not call the lost to repentance? You stoke people’s feelings and stroke their feet but let them walk on right to hell.

 

  Then we have the second plant. These are the false churches, the churches of apostasy, the churches of blasphemy, the Catholics, the Mormons, The Witnesses, many Methodists, scores of Baptists and the New Age occult deceivers who add to GOD’s word and change it just enough that a person may appear to be growing and may look to be on their way but there’s just enough lie and error to discolor the work and produce a false Christian full of the acid of satan’s 1 percent lie. This is the homosexual who thinks they are saved, the pot smoker who thinks they can keep on smoking and the person falling for the prosperity gospel of wicked lies.

 

   Then there’s the third pot. This is the true Christian. The one who follows the only true word given once to all men, the 1611 King James Bible. This is the person who not only knows they are wicked vile sinner; they profess it. They rebuke the world, they preach the gospel, they don’t care what people think and they stand for GOD’s word and GOD’s gospel and they refuse to bend to the whims of men. They are Christians who love with authority, who care with authority and who speak with authority as Christ loved, cared and spoke. They speak the truth of GOD’s word and they speak it as it is written not as man adds or takes from it.

 

    What pot do you grow in? What spirit do you serve? Do you test the soil and the water to make sure your growth is not stunted nor weak? You do know that Christians are commanded to test the spirits and the soils and the waters if they be from GOD or from satan. We must always keep in mind that satan is always at war with the believers, just by blurting out the salvation message doesn’t make you saved...it makes you a bigger target.

 

   Salvation comes from knowing you’re a filthy sinner deserving of hell and damnation. Salvation comes from you realizing your lost condition, accepting Christ and doing what the LORD commands you to do. Remember that Christ said “You call me LORD...yet...why do you not do that which I told you to do? Why do you rebel?”

 

   You can not live in rebellion and be saved. You can’t be a member of a lying church drowning in apostasy and blasphemy and call yourself saved. Churches are taking their whole congregations right to hell on that 1 percent error that satan craves. Ask yourself again…”What spirit do you serve?”

 

   Christian...you are a seed among the seeds set in soil and watered; why would you not be concerned with what nourishes your growth? Test those spirits, test always what your church teaches, what your pastor preaches and test them to the word of GOD both for you and for those around you.

   Blessed be the word of GOD...Amen.

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I sow the seed of God's word and the gospel of the grace of God some of the soil is hard, some rocky, some weedy and some good soil.  Others plant, others water and others harvest but the Lord gives the increase.

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Salyan, we're talking about repentance for salvation and not repentance for the remission of sins.  Sorrow is to feel sorry for breaking God's laws; the ten commandments.  These changes all occur in the heart and mind in less than a second, no works, all grace.  Two sides of the same coin, one cannot have saving faith without repentance.   

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???? You mean a phone app?

No, mine is a 400th anniversary reproduction - photo reprint of an actual first edition (I believe).

Cool it is too.
It sits on my shelf and I try to read the old writing (successfully I might add) but it is a bit hard to follow at first.

Yes, a phone app.

Anishinaabe

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