Tag Archives: Christmas

Before Your Loved Ones Die, Give Them Jesus… Expect a Miracle!

I can’t believe it’s been six years since my friend Donna Dehart passed away. I love this photo of the two of us giggling, trying to play the Wii (and failing miserably) on Christmas Day, 2008. It’s the only photo I have of the two of us together. 

Donna’s daughters were at their dad’s on Christmas Day, so we had the blessing of having her spend Christmas Day with my family.  We enjoyed good food, love and laughter, and the fun of playing with Christmas toys! That Christmas, Donna gave me a beautiful gift. I opened a small, delicate ceramic angel box; and what was inside, took my breath away: Donna had written wise sayings on teeny tiny pieces of long paper, and she had curled them around a pencil. Then she had lovingly placed them one by one, into the angel box… just…for…ME! One of the sayings said, “Expect a miracle… Expect a miracle…”

Even though I knew Donna struggled greatly with chronic illness, I had no idea God would take my friend home just three years later. Donna was adamant that Jesus was a great teacher, and that was where it ended. She was stubborn when it came to her beliefs, so I decided to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus for my friend; so she could see Jesus living me! We had lunch dates, painted in art class together, met at the Farmer’s Market, shared secrets, and had spiritual conversations on the phone. 

Finally,  against everything she said she wouldn’t do; she began to attend my church, where some of my friends had been loving on her and ministering to her too. We also formed a team to help her with house repairs, and another friend fixed her vintage car; which was in the garage more than out, and ran on a few bucks and a prayer! My sisters and brothers in Christ let our love speak for itself. 

Donna didn’t have much as far as earthly possessions, but she had a contagious laugh and positive attitude that filled me up. She had a fierce love for her daughters, and great empathy for animals without a home; so great, that she gave them a home at her own house! Though we didn’t always agree, our friendship was one of respect, trust, loyalty, and love. Donna did believe in Jesus and his death and resurrection, but she would only let me witness up to a certain point. I had to trust that God would reveal Himself through compassion from our church, other godly organizations, and her Christian friends. 

When she lay in the hospital, close to death, and unresponsive; I thought of the silver lining… Expect a miracle. I prayed an intercessory prayer for her. I held her hand and whispered in her ear, and I asked her to receive Christ if she had not. I told her it wasn’t too late, and she could receive Jesus without talking. While still whispering in her ear, so she could hear me above the noisy machines working hard to keep her alive, I asked God in his infinite mercy to let her hear my prayer. I asked God to lead her to say yes in her heart, and to have peace, so she could go to Heaven. I told her I would meet her there, and I kissed her goodbye. And to this day, I… expect a miracle!

We never know how much time we have with our friends and family here in earth. Tell them about Jesus while you can, even if it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do! People need Jesus, and they are more ready to receive him than we realize. Out of every act of friendship, telling someone about Jesus is the most loving thing you can ever do! 

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:11).


Here’s how I think of you, up in Heaven, my dear, precious friend! Peace be with you!

This is the poem I wrote and read for Donna’s memorial service:

Dear Donna, this is what I know;

that lots of people loved you so.

 

You truly had a heart of gold,

so kind to others: young and old,

 

Accepted people as they are;

It’s why you’re still a shining star.

 

Down on his luck, you’d find a friend,

Make up a bed, and take him in.

 

A dog or cat left out to roam

Could find your house and call it home.

 

I’ll not forget your loyalty…

You named a chicken after me!

 

Nature, music, animals, art:

Happy passions of your heart.

 

But even more, you loved your girls,

Who brought you pride and filled your world.

 

Long black hair, and a great big smile,

Always time to chat for a while.

 

Your hearty laugh would make my day,

My troubles would just melt away.

 

A flash of green erased my frown;

Your Ford Galaxy on the town!

 

 When my heart hurts, I’ll feel a tug,

and give myself a “great big hug”.

 

My friend, why did you have to go?

It’s hard, but now I think I know.

 

God must have had some extra paint.

He looked until he found a saint.

 

He thought He’d free you from your pain

And since you loved the sun and rain,

 

He’d give you something fun to do,

And make you feel much better too.

 

You’d paint His rainbows with His brush

To be enjoyed by all of us. 

 

When orange and purple clouds roll by,

I’ll know you’re painting in the sky!

 

 ~Angela Royse Pelleman

   © 2011

Is It a Gift? 

Have you ever been given a gift, only to have someone get angry with you, and take it back? Perhaps the gift was offered up again later, but you were required to do something the giver wanted you to do, before the giver would present it to you. Is it a gift? 

No. This is a game. 

Have you ever been given a gift, but you weren’t quite sure if the giver really meant for you to keep it, because the giver was making you jump through hoops in order to receive it? The hoops were on the giver’s terms. They were very small hoops, and only the giver would decide if you had jumped through enough of them to get your prize. Is it a gift? 

No. It is an offer, with strings attached. 

Have you ever been given a gift, which paled in comparison to gifts others were receiving at the same kind of celebration? It was blatantly obvious that your peers and siblings opened packages containing items of similar value, or items suited to their distinct personalities. However, your package contained something completely opposite; perhaps much cheaper, or an item which purposely misrepresented your character and interests. Is it a gift?

No. It is favoritism towards others, and a complete disregard for your feelings, and you, as a unique individual. 

Have you ever been given a gift, which came with the gong of a loud announcement, focusing attention on the giver? Or perhaps you received something expensive, but upon closer inspection the item was broken or fake. Maybe a higher-priced retail sticker was purposely left attached to an item which was actually bought on clearance. Is it a gift?

No. It is a dishonest ploy, often accompanied by guilt, where someone’s key motivation is to look good in front of other people.  

Have you ever been told you would be getting a gift, yet finally realized it was never going to delivered? You were told about this gift time and again, but the delivery date kept getting changed, along with the details as to what would be inside the box. Is it a gift? 

No. It is a broken promise. It is a manipulative tactic, used by the giver to control you, and to remain within your good graces. 

Have you ever been given a gift, yet resigned yourself to leaving the box on the doorstep, because you knew in your hearts of hearts, the box was empty? Is it a gift?

No. It is pretty packaging. It is worth nothing. It is better left alone. 

How disappointing! Does this mean there are no gifts under the tree for you to open, since so many gifts are not really gifts at all? Of course not! Many of us have been blessed to receive good gifts, and we also enjoy giving good gifts to family, friends, and even strangers! But some people are left lacking when it comes to gift giving time. Also, because life is imperfect, people are sometimes left unable to give good gifts, through no fault of their own. The silver lining is that God has good gifts for everyone, and His generosity goes beyond the borders of what anyone giver on earth can do! “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1: 17 New International Version). 

God’s greatest gift, is salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. God is omniscient. He blesses each one of us with both spiritual gifts and earthly provisions, according to His infinite wisdom; which is beyond our understanding. God is THE good and perfect gift giver. God does not play games or attach strings. He makes promises grounded in truth, and He keeps them. God loves us all, and doesn’t play favorites, which is why His greatest, most immeasurable gift, is available to everyone. God foretold the coming of His wondrous gift, by sending his angel, Gabriel, to announce the good news:  “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1: 21).

God’s most amazing gift didn’t come at all in fancy packaging, but it was completely filled with love! God’s regal gift arrived from Heaven in the form of a beautiful innocent baby boy. Baby King Jesus was born in a lowly, dirty stable, surrounded by the offensive smell of cattle and sheep. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’ ” ( Luke 2: 11-12).

But a gift, isn’t a gift, until it’s been accepted and received. Will you receive Jesus Christ into your heart today, ask forgiveness for your sins, and give your life over to him? This Christmas, will you share this eternal gift with others who need to know Jesus? Their very lives depend on it. Open your gift of Jesus, and thank God for the baby born to save you! “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).


Merry Christmas, and God bless you in the name of Jesus! 

For a prayer of salvation, visit: 

How to Have a Relationship with Jesus Christ and have Eternal Life.

Congrats to the Winner of The Silver Lining 2nd Annual Christmas Giveaway!

Congratulations to Cindy R. for winning The Silver Lining 2nd Annual Christmas Giveaway! 

As always, my family prayed for God to pick the winner, and we are so happy to share some Christmas joy with Cindy R.!

Thank you to all who entered. I appreciate your support and encouragement as I follow the ministry path God has laid before me! 

Merry Christmas, and may God bless you all in Jesus’ name!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

James 1: 17 New International Version

Christmas Shenandoah Sky

Cloud: 
A busy day filled with appointments and lots and lots of driving back and forth.

Silver Lining: 
God filled it up with little bits of joy and surprises, and perfect answers to prayers, and time alone to listen to God’s Word. Then, while finally arriving home, He painted me a breathtaking Merry Christmas scarlet sky! Afterwards, He topped it off with a delicious dinner date with my favorite teenaged twin boys; then some fun Christmas shopping with them for presents afterwards, which lasted till midnight!

“He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth– the LORD God Almighty is his name.”

(Amos 4:13 New International Version)

Oh what a gift to come home to Christmas on country roads among majestic Blue Ridge Mountains!

The Silver Lining 2nd Annual Christmas Giveaway!

JESUS is the REASON for the SEASON!

Drawing on Christmas Eve Day at 12:00 p.m.!

My giveaway is to thank my readers, and to encourage them to share The Silver Lining blog. My desire is to spread hope in the form of godly encouragement, so others can find love, truth, healing, freedom, and joy in Jesus Christ. I want others to receive the free gift of salvation which Jesus has to offer to everyone! If you want to know how you can have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and make sure you have the gift of eternal life, click here:

The ultimate and only important gift you can ever receive-Jesus Christ!

To enter: Leave a comment letting us know your favorite Christmas family tradition.

To qualify: You must be a subscriber to The Silver Lining.

or…

You must be a member of The Silver Lining on Facebook.

Please share this post with your friends, so they can enter too, but most of all, so they can hear the good news about Jesus Christ! 

What’s inside?

Over $75 worth of Christmas Joy!

Celebrations by MIKASA crystal gift tray, snow bird shelf sitter, Adult Christmas coloring book, C.R.Gibson writing journal, candy cane pen, Les Pearls PIstachio chocolates, giant TOBLERONE, white chocolate peppermint bark candle, Christmas tree ornament, fabric layered basket, blinking Christmas lights, wooden cross necklace, True Soapbox soaps; Peppermint and Gold Frankincense & Myrrh. 

God bless you!  Merry Christmas! 

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Slowing Down with God in a Fix-It-Fast World

Everything is going fast: fast messages, fast replies, fast fixes. We become fast friends, who sometimes find out we jumped in too fast, and need to get out of the relationship…fast. We are fast to start a conversation and fast to comment. We send out fast birthday wishes, and our Christmas photos go out fast, by email and social media. We are fast to post pictures of our families on special occasions. Who will post their holiday photo the fastest? There are even apologies from those who feel they didn’t post fast enough. It’s so convenient. Isn’t it great that we can do everything so fast?

Not so fast! There’s nothing wrong with communicating, fixing problems, and sharing our joyous occasions. But God isn’t the one ordering us to go so fast! It’s an expectation we have laid upon ourselves. We listen to lies from the enemy, and he laughs at us, as we run around, until we are out of breath. God wants us to slow down; He wants us to take time out by seeking Him first. When we reply, or respond too quickly, we may find ourselves caught up in a sin, such as anger or pride. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1: 19:20 New International Version).

We may rush to volunteer, when God has someone else in mind for the job. We might deprive that person of the blessing of service, and end up being burned out. Maybe God meant for you to spend that block of time with your family. God doesn’t want us to react under pressure. We don’t have an obligation to please anyone but God. When we first seek to please God, others are blessed, and we are able to grow in Christ.

Feelings betray us. Slowing down allows God time to put our emotions back into check. He may not even want us to be involved with a specific situation. He may be protecting us. Or, we may be rushing into God’s territory, where we don’t belong. We don’t want to run out the front door, blindly rushing past God, without seeing Him. He’s standing there with the perfect solution!

On social media, people can often see the exact time you viewed their message. You might have clicked on it, but didn’t have a chance to read it yet. Perhaps you’re going about your busy day, and maybe you even forgot. Regardless, we shouldn’t feel in a hurry to reply. We are free in Christ. We don’t need to worry about others judging us. God knows our heart, and that’s all that matters. When we slow down, and ask Him what to do, He will take care of us, and all the details. “ ‘I, the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve’ ” (Jer. 17:10).

God made the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. He didn’t just hurry up, make stick figures, and call it a day. He thought about each and every one of us: what our features would look like, how we’d come into being, and when we would arrive. Before that, he was painting the sky, while carefully drawing in the sun, moon, and stars. He formed clouds and flying birds for fluid motion. God’s mosaic was the salt-filled ocean. He dotted it with invisible, tiny creatures, splashed it with colorful swimming fish, and topped it off with the great blue whale!

God molded the earth with His own hands, giving us a playground to explore. He gave us air to breathe, and created us with lungs which need that oxygen in order to survive. He made green grass to tickle our feet and giant oak trees for our children to climb. He laughed as He created animals, and later reveled in the joy they would bring to us. He already knew an elephant’s trunk would make us giggle, and that we’d marvel, with mouths agape, at the length of a giraffe’s neck. He not only took his time, he even rested when He was done. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:2).

Why on His beautiful green earth, would God want us to rush through each and every day, so fast, when He took it slow? He didn’t rush when He brought His greatest gift into the world. He brought us eternal salvation in the form of a newborn baby. The Virgin Mary was pregnant with Jesus for nine months. Jesus was born, by making his way into the world, like all the rest of us. He grew from childhood to adulthood, taking his time to learn everything that his Father, God had to teach him. He took his time to pray. Yes, he performed immediate miracles, but he also took his time, and never let anyone rush him. He didn’t need to hurry; he was given the power to raise people from the dead!

God’s plan of salvation, involved Jesus growing to adulthood, in order to accomplish His will. The ministry of Jesus did not happen overnight. Jesus endured much pain and suffering over the years, and a long, excruciating crucifixion. God also allowed enough time on earth for Jesus to bring hope, healing, and freedom to vast numbers of people, who came from everywhere searching for his love. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and God raised him from the dead on the third day. Alive again, Jesus even walked around for a while on earth, before ascending into Heaven to be with God, our Father. “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).

There’s a silver lining, in knowing we can slow down, and take time to talk to God, when everyone and everything is rushing past us. If we are taking time out to be with God, a flash of lightning is no longer a threat. God can set it into slow motion or stop it in its tracks. We can pause, breathe in God’s goodness, and trust that He is in control. We can ask God to be the Lord of our day, doing only what He requires, when He requires it. We can take comfort in taking no action at all, unless we hear Him tell us to do so.

Slowing down, to spend time with God, will help us to become wise. We will learn how to filter out the things that are unimportant, and focus on the things that are. We will be more fulfilled and less anxious. Our health, emotional, and spiritual well-being will improve. Things will begin to fall into place. Let’s allow God to speak to our hearts today, and show us that we no longer have to do everything fast.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6).

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I’m so thankful for receiving this handmade nativity set from treasured friends.  It was a blessing to have it beautifully arranged by my daughter.  

THE SILVER LINING CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!

Would you leave an unwrapped gift under your Christmas tree, if the tag had your name on it, and you knew that the box contained something better than your mind could ever even imagine? People do it all the time. They are offered the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, and instead walk away, leaving their unaccepted gift on the ground. Heaven is full of unimaginable joy and perfection, where there is no more pain, and no more tears. Our minds cannot even begin to comprehend the amazing surprises God has in store for His children who know Jesus! Why would anyone choose not to unwrap such a wonderful gift?

Jesus is the reason for the season! Great kings, wise men, and shepherds followed the star of Bethlehem to worship the baby Jesus, and bring him gifts. We celebrate Christmas today by giving gifts to our loved ones, remembering and rejoicing over the greatest gift God ever gave to the world, His only Son Jesus. When we unwrap this gift, and accept Jesus into our hearts, we receive forgiveness for all of our sins. We also receive God’s security, protection, and blessings. God writes our name in the book of life, which means we get to live with him eternally in Heaven. We need to share this great gift, so our loved ones can also spend eternity in Heaven with us.

The Silver Lining Christmas Giveaway Basket is to celebrate the joy of the birth of Jesus! This Christmas Eve, December 24th, at noon, we will be drawing the name of the winner who will receive The Silver Lining Christmas Giveaway Basket! If you are currently a subscriber, you are already entered! If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe to The Silver Lining. If your name is drawn, but you have already won a basket giveaway with us this year, you will receive a copy of the book Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. We will then draw another name, so another can be blessed. Next year we will start over, and everyone will be eligible again!

You can share this post with your friends, so they can enter too!

1. Subscribe by visiting The Silver Lining at https://angelaslittleattic.com/.
2. On the home page, scroll down, and type your email address in the subscribe box.
3. You will receive an email from The Silver Lining to your inbox, with directions on how verify your subscription. (We    can’t add you without your permission.

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I write The Silver Lining, to share with you, that our hope lies in Jesus. Through him, we can find healing and freedom, which leads to JOY! So many have opened God’s gift, but have no idea of how God can change their lives. If you’ve accepted Jesus, and surrendered your lift to him, you are a privileged child of God! God’s children have special protections, rights, and privileges. We are given power and authority, through Jesus Christ. We have a direct prayer line to God, because Jesus makes sure our prayers get to Him! Christmas is the perfect time to share the love of Jesus!

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“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”    

(John 3:16 New International Version)

MERRY CHRISTMAS from THE SILVER LINING!

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Christmas Tree… Let YOUR Lights Shine!

The pre-lit Christmas tree promises “lights that stay lit, even if one goes out.” It doesn’t tell the truth. We’re all familiar with stressful holiday preparations. Everyone knows that a dose of irritation is included, for free, in every box of Christmas tree lights!

A few years ago, our family purchased a pre-lit, artificial tree with tightly wound lights. No longer would we have to face the hassle and anguish of stringing up lights. This tree would offer quick, instant set-up, and instant sparkle. But nothing man-made lasts forever. When Christmas came, we were disappointed to find multiple lights burned out on multiple strings.

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We spent several days dealing with our problem. We talked about replacing the lights, but it was impossible to find out which ones were attached to others. Our family looked for a new tree, but didn’t like the ones we found. They were either too tall, or too skinny. Almost all of them came… pre-lit. We finally found one for a great price, without lights. Yet, it didn’t seem to make sense to buy such a similar tree, when the money could be used to buy one for somebody else.

We went back home without a tree. My husband now had a migraine. This meant my teen boys and I needed to figure out what to do. Otherwise, December would be gone. One of them suggested we just cut the lights off of the tree, and put up new ones. I resisted. Couldn’t we just replace individual strings? No. It wasn’t possible. The strings were tangled, and lights were everywhere. After we unplugged the lights from the outlet, my son began cutting the crazy maze. I was wound as tightly as the light strings. We hadn’t we started this a week ago?

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Twin teenagers were doubly helpful. It took two days to remove all the light strings! Finally, we were ready to add new lights. As I began to string the bottom of the tree, I realized we didn’t have enough lights to finish! The next day, my husband was still recovering from his migraine. Yet, he headed to the store with one of the boys to get more lights, and do some important errands. During this time, I had developed severe bronchitis, and didn’t feel like doing much of anything. This was truly a holiday headache!

Discouragement breathed heavy lies into my ear. New boxes were brought home. “Surprise!” The lights inside were twinkling lights. The boxes had looked similar. How could I judge my husband, when I’d purchased garland lights only a few days prior, which didn’t match either! Ornaments were strewn everywhere. They were also disappearing… because ornaments and toys look the same to a six-year old.

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Every year, I expect the rush, and try to plan early. Each year, I fail. But new trials had been difficult, and God doesn’t see me as a failure! I began to look at the big picture. In spite of holiday stress and annoyances, my family was together. We irritated each other and argued, but we were together. My family pitched in on that last night, and decorated the tree… together. Tree decorating isn’t my family’s favorite tradition, because it’s a lot of work. But we do love the beauty, memories, and excitement of Christmas. It wasn’t about the tree. My family had cooperated, and brought me happiness, simply because of their love for me.

Our family knows to pull together, even in the small things, because God has pulled us through the bigger trials. He answers our prayers, providing us with everything we need. He draws us closer to Him, sharing wisdom about the world around us. It’s comforting to know God can make good out of everything, bringing healing and bringing us freedom in the process. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

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Old lights, which have burned out, are useless for brightening a room. To be able to see clearly, we need new lights. When we leave our old selves behind, we become born again, brand new in Jesus. We can choose to take a step of faith, believing Jesus was born to die for our sins, and that God miraculously resurrected his body from the dead. Pray to God, and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Admit you are a sinner, and ask God to forgive your sins in the name of Jesus. Go in peace, knowing you will spend eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The light of Jesus shines through those of us who belong to him. When we let our lights shine, we become hope for those living in darkness. We all have light to offer, if Jesus lives within us. We can encourage others to shine, by seeking God, and sharing what Jesus has done for us in our own lives. As brothers and sisters in Christ, our lights will shine even brighter as we come together. Others will be drawn to the light, because God is light.

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A string of lights, with a burned out bulb, needs a replacement. A lost person, living in darkness, needs brand new life, and light, in Jesus. If a light has grown dim, we need to minister to that brother or sister in Christ. We must endeavor to encourage the brokenhearted and hurting, and help those who have lost their way because of pain.  An uncooperative light string needs tending. So do stubborn people. They need love, wise counsel, and healing in Christ. Those who receive salvation will always remain plugged in to Jesus, our eternal light source.

God is an everlasting light. His light never goes out, because He is light! “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. ” (1 Jn. 1:5-10).

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“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ ” (John 8:12).