Sheryy's

Three things bloggers need to survive.I have questions that I need you to answer as honestly as possible. As a blogger do you strive to dish out the best content to your readers? How much time do you spend on your site upgrading it and making it appealing to visitors?  Are you willing to break the bank and invest in your website? After you hit the publish button are you excited and looking forward to happy readers or are you nervous that the post will not really make a mark? As a blogger and entrepreneur, I have been in the game long enough to know that there are certain important aspects that need to be followed for survival and for a profitable journey. I will just mention the three most important things that have proven to be very vital in my blogging journey.

CONTENT

As a blogger strive to have blog content that is unique. Many might think that the only thing that matters in blogging is the content (the words that people read on the screen). Yes, strong, engaging and life changing  content is hugely important,  – but if your blog’s design shouts “unprofessional,”at first glance and your post looks hard to read, then visitors may not even get to the first line or peruse further. Often times, I have visited sites that look overrun by ads: one thing you should know is that it is  not only the blog design that suffers, but the overall visitor’s experience as well. If you add your banner make sure you do it in a way that it does not over shadow or get in the way of you content.

Banners and links should be  put in such a way that they co-exist with your content instead of being distractions. I do not like cluttered sites and I bet you do not either. You may not know what makes a cluttered site, but your readers and customers know when they are trying to navigate one. I have met with flashing ads that give  headache, loads of links with ambiguous titles, all on one page!. Your audience would sooner go to another writer’s site that make site navigating a good experience and that does not give him a headache!

TIME

Blogging is such a wonderful yet complex experience and vicious circle. The more time you put into your blog, the more successful it becomes. The more successful your blog becomes, the more it demands of your time. Interesting isnt it?

Here you are, you have done everything right.

Check List

  • Grown your email list.
  • Networked on many bloggers platforms
  • Promoted on all social media
  • Probably were fortunate to guest blog on some awesome websites and you are rocking it.
  • Responded to every single blog comment.
  • Did every other thing on your secret list to make your blog successful.

Everything is going great but it’s OVERWHELMING. You can’t handle the pressure anymore.  Time, which was never on your side in the first place, begins to mock you, it is just not on your side . As your   influence in your niche and blog grows, it may feel as though you have 80 hours of work to do and only have a few hours to work on it. You have to keep up with hundreds of comments, come up with new juicy content, promote, live a life, do other side hustles and at the same time stay sane. The day is only 24 hrs!

Before it was easy to respond to only a handful of comments but now you are faced with comments and emails that are streaming in from all corners of social media and mailing services. As your blog grows and you have more demands of your time, it’s imperative you use that time the most efficient way possible. You can no longer afford the pleasure of being disorganized. For more tips on time management check out.. 6 Time management tips for bloggers

MONEY

This one is a bit personal for me. I am still on the Personal WordPress package for I am still deciding on whether I should go full time and monetize my blog or not. I know some bloggers, I included, hate the idea of spending money on advertising. It’s a real shame and disadvantage on our part. Just think of it this way, how many competitors are there, that are doing better than you in your niche?   A lot, right? Well, one way to improve your authority is to devote a little bit of money promoting your work to a targeted group of people who are likely to be interested in your work. In my ongoing research I have noticed, much to my delight, that sponsored posts and advertising on Facebook and other social media is relatively cheap and very effective.

Here is where you can spend money on your blog

  • Good Web Hosting example include Dreamhost , Hostgator, Siteground etc
  • Buying traffic through advertisements (Social Media)
  • SEO
  • Good Branding
  • Hire a freelance writer to guest post on your blog, creating targeted backlinks for you.
  • Premium themes and Plugins.

Most bloggers work from home and need a comfortable and convenient place to work from so you can invest on home office equipment too.

There are various pros and cons to working at home but here are guides to help you get through it. Tips to work from home

While we’ve all heard that “it takes money to make money”… the more accurate way of saying this in terms of your online business, is that “it takes money to be taken seriously online.” Ryan Biddulph

What I have learnt so far

  • It takes money to make money *this applies to all aspects of business whether online or offline
  • Blogging can be a very lucrative business if done well. That is why you need proper preparation and goals0
  • If your goal is to take your blog and business to greater levels you need to invest more time, more effort and indeed more money.

I am learning every day and will update the list as the knowledge comes.

It all started when I blogged about a newborn baby with complex congenital heart disease and a teenager with acute myeloid leukemia. That particular post did not generate much discussion in terms of comments but the satisfaction I felt was indescribable. I did not know how much my post would influence the baby and the teenager but I knew that I had done whatever I could at that point in time — to raise and spread awareness about them and their diseases. Then I realized that I enjoyed doing it. I enjoyed spreading awareness on issues that needed the attention, and I enjoyed sharing with my readers the many ways that they could help the needy. And over time, that particular post grew into a category by itself and then a website by its own! Pelf Nyok

 

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Posted on: July 12, 2017

6 time managementBlogging is one way that you can generate passive income from. It can also help you generate more referrals for your projects and business. It may seem like an easy way of earning money, at least for some it is but getting to point where everything is smooth sailing can be a very hard way. One of the hardest things about blogging is finding the time to practically put pen to paper. In this article I will cover time management tips. Hopefully they will help you and other bloggers find the time to blog even when you are also on a full-time job. If you have been finding it difficult to balance your time in blogging then this article is for you.

Set specific goals for your blog

Having specific goals as you approach your blog each day or week helps you cut out unnecessary things that will not help you achieve what you want. It helps to write out a number of goals for your blog for the month/year and keep them at hand from where you work from. I have made my goals as a wallpaper for my phone! Refer to them often. It can also help to make your goals public, in order to help put some pressure on you. I always share my goals with my Husband and children. (My seven y.o is very good at reminding you of what you have said). It is always good to start small, make sure your goals are attainable and will not leave you burnt out for the whole year.  Goals are a huge motivation to doing something. Work progressively, step by step and as you attain that goal set another one.

Create an editorial calendar

Do a brainstorming session where you come up with a list of blog post topics that you would want to work on. From your brainstorming session, transfer your topic ideas to days you will publish your blog articles and plug those topics into an editorial calendar. This will help you determine what day you will publish a specific blog post. The calendar helps you when to write your blog post and what topic exactly you are to write about. You can also add other bits and pieces to your editorial calendar, such as keywords, an outline for your blog post. Editorial calendars come in various formats, you can choose a wall/ desk calendar or Google calendar. Choose the one which works best for you and your style of work.

Limit social media

We all know that having a blog isn’t just about the writing. After writing we PROMOTE our content. It is very important to promote your blog and normally bloggers do that by networking through social media. Social media is good but it can swiftly waste all of your time. Spending too much time on social media can leave you all hyped up, feeling like you have accomplished a lot with hardly any work done. I can work more effectively and come out with good and well researched content when I limit my time on social media. It’s very hard, but I think we can do it. Good, well placed comments and encouragements may come via the mediums you have used but do not get caught up glitz and glamour of social media! When I started blogging and promoting my content I got carried out away by the traffic and feedback I was getting that I spent time monitoring my stats and the comments. It’s important to interact with your readers but set a time in a day for that.

Schedule and stay organized.

Scheduling is setting up your posts to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, and wherever else you want. I have noticed that, in terms of readership numbers, the more you publish posts the more your readership will grow. This however should not force you to do hurried and low quality posts. Yes, frequently give new and exciting posts to your readers. Scheduling your posts can be helpful on this one.

What has helped me to schedule my posts:

I use

  • Hootsuite to schedule my twitter status update.
  • Facebook to schedule my Facebook posts.
  • Tailwind to schedule Pinterest and Instagram

There are other apps like  scheduler

Also, remember you can schedule for today, tomorrow, next week and even for the whole month.  Please, please go right ahead and schedule a few posts over the next several months and do not forget to come back and thank me.

Use a timer.

 A timer has helped me a lot and I have grown to love my timer! I use it to keep myself on track when I need to get specific things done. I set my time for every task I have to do on a day. I set a timer every morning to check email. I have loads of mail coming in so I give myself  45 minutes to deal with them, then I check my mail every 2hours for 5 minutes. It will be very helpful to use your timer when you are on social media so that you do not get carried away . For example on a day that promoting your content on social media is not high on the priority list. Set aside 10 minutes for every hour and a half to check posts that needs your attention and replies.

Focus on one task at a time

As women we pride ourselves in our ability to multi task. I recommend that you put our focus on thing until completion. It is good to jot down your ideas as they come, even if they are for another post scheduled to release in a month. When it comes to blogging, whilst it is good to have a few outlines on various post, when it comes to completion, work on one, polish it and finish it. By putting half the amount of effort on two tasks, put 100% of your effort into one, this will help you dish out good blog post.

Extra thought: Think of blogging as making a family meal plan. You plan your menus in advance, making sure you have the right food items in your kitchen, it will be much easier to plan and prepare fo meals. The same is true for blogging: plan and you will be able to serve up a blog post that will satisfy your readers — all while saving you valuable time.

I would also like to know how you manage your time as a blogger. Please get in touch!

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©Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

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6 Time management tips for bloggers

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Posted on: July 8, 2017

By Sharon Chihaka Chanyau

riter (2)Working from home may be fun as you do it at your own time and schedule. It is common knowledge that the joys of working from home are equally threatened by the joys of procastination and the temptations of lying on the couch and watching telly. I can think of a lot of good things and advantages of working from home but one disadvantage is that it tends to distort the boundaries between work and personal life.

So how do we stay productive, and at the same time stay sane?

Set your working hours.

Commit yourself to office-like hours routine just like you do when in full time work, that way you are more likely to get work done during those hours. Working from home is really cool and one good thing is you can set your own working hours. For instance I mostly work in the night to correspond with the USA and Canada time zones. I live in Cyprus btw, and most of my clients are in the USA and Canada. Clients? You ask. Yes, I am a Virtual Assistant and Blogger. (Enough of me) Routines differ, some people work effectively in the morning, others in the afternoon, still others at the witching hour. If you work better at night, and the kind of work that you do permits it, start work at 7:00pm. But whatever your hours are, make yourself a routine, and be committed to it.  Read more about my Journey (Virtual Assistance).  

Take short breaks

These are important! Short breaks like making and eating lunch, can recharge you to do better work. It is wrong to assume you need to be working 100% of the time while you’re home to be more productive.A MAN'S GUIDE ON HOW TO.png

Exercise

Light exercise like standing up to stretch, going out for walks, popping into the garden and, once or twice a day. On the other hand  a more vigorous workout will keep your mind more alert and your body less desk-shaped. Taking some time to exercise will also ensure your relationship with the home office doesn’t feel constricting and claustrophobic.

Get goals

Working from home means there is no line manager who will come for appraisals so you need to invent your own checking systems. Plan out what you’ll be working on ahead of time. Schedule, if possible, around your natural schedule. Make sure you follow the laid out plan. Believe me at the end of the day you want to feel like you are going somewhere and ensure that years don’t pass by without any noticeable achievements  in money or, especially, job satisfaction.

Me-time

Take some time to do something you love which is not remunerative, something for you. In your schedule allow time for self-improvement and self-care, whether that’s painting, reading, creative writing. Work can feel like fun at times, but it’s rarely the real thing. You can take on something useless – as in not remunerative or take some time to reward yourself – for example visit a Spa or a Nail Bar to get your nails done. Me time is essential for mental health.

Choose a dedicated work space.

Have a place dedicated space to working (it doesn’t have to be big). It could be a certain table, chair, local coffee shop. That way, when you enter it or sit down, you know straight away what you are there to do. Having a dedicated working space helps you get into the right frame of mind. On that note if you choose a room make your environment clean and bright.

Interact with other humans.

This may sound funny but this is very important. As a human being you need to interact with other people. I know there are deadlines and big goals to achieve but just take an hour or two during the day to talk to other people. Answer emails, call and a have a chat with a friend. This may also boost your level of creativity and energy as it may relax you.

Know when to stop.

When I started blogging I would work long hours as the pressure to perform was upon me. This may make you feel like you have worked hard and done a lot in a day but it may take a toll on your body and health. Avoid working late into the night. If need be, set defined times when you are going to work, and then when it passes, STOP. You can allow a leeway of an hour or an hour and a half but make sure that you do not end up letting work run your life.

Cheers and happy working from home.

»»I may have made you think of hiring a Virtual Assistance. Before you do that check out Before you hire a VA.

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid


 

 

 

© 2017 Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Tips to work from home

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Posted on: July 5, 2017

Picture: Simple ways to drive traffic to your blogA lot of people when you talk about how to drive traffic to a website or blog think mostly of on-page SEO techniques and Google Analytics. Well, these are all very important aspects, but much take time to learn and master. How about for beginners and for new bloggers who are just starting?  Don’t get me wrong, SEO is not dead. Optimizing your content for search engines is still a valuable and useful practice.  You should always make the most of image alt text, create internal links to new content and use meta descriptions.

However, it is important that you know how to grow the traffic that is coming to your website, and not rely entirely on search engine optimization. Otherwise, if your primary traffic source fails you, it could be a disastrous end for your business. To formulate great content for your blog please read this: How to create great content for your blog

Want to know 20 ways to make money online?  click here

In this post, we’re going to take a look at how you can increase web site and blog post traffic without having to rely only on SEO. You may be already doing some of the techniques already but I urge you to brace yourself for what’s coming.

Go social!   facebook 1.pngtwitter

Advertising and content promotion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other networks is relatively cheap. These social platforms also allow you to segment down by demographics or target by keywords so that you reach your ideal audience. Some other people have started Facebook groups that drive traffic to their sites. This is where they target a niche-specific group where members get support and also the privileges of networking with their colleagues. The trick here is mainly pointing back members to your site’s content thus improving your traffic.

Create and promote boards and pins on Pinterest

Pinterest is one strong domain that you can use to boost traffic to your blog. Carefully created Pinterest boards can rank very well but you need to promote the content, you cannot just create content and expect it to flourish and drive traffic to your blog. Conduct a typical keyword research for your website, then take some of those keywords and target them on Pinterest. Another successful tip is to link your other online resources (website, Instagram, etc.) to get your pins and boards indexed faster. Rankings are influenced by engagement stronger than ever before, so use some budget to promote pins on Pinterest to your target audience.

Here are 10 easy ways to make 10k per month.

Submit your blog posts to StumbleUpon – This works wonders!

Engage Google+

Content shared through Google+ often ranks in regular search results, available to everyone who uses the web, regardless of their social affiliations. What people should know is content shared on social platforms like Facebook and twitter basically stays there. Shocking, right? Your network will only access that information when they are looking at Facebook and Twitter. On the other hand, when you share content on Google+, your network can see it every time they search Google. Take time out to expand your Google+ network and share good content at regular times.

Join a blogging community

Becoming member of blogging communities like Stackstreet ,ProBlogger and CopyBlogger is a great way to network with other bloggers, and to cross-promote each other’s content. Other bloggers network sites include

Use them!

Build and maintain relationships with others in your niche

This always works out!! Building and maintaining personal relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your niche will often result in organic inbound links. You can also benefit from traffic referred to your site by other bloggers.

Write and accept guest Posts

Guest posting is not just about receiving backlinks. It is also a great opportunity to target new audience, increase subscribers, and grow your online audience. You can also use it to build relationships with other niche influencers. Accepting guest posts brings more traffic and popularity for your blog; you will be able to put out decent amount of posts on your blog in the form of guest posts on regular basis. This in turn can help with getting more pages from your blog indexed by the search engines.

The more pages indexed in search engines, the more traffic and popularity for your blog. Many people will be able to know about your blog when they find your blog in search engine results for their searched terms. Guest bloggers are automatically removed from the direct competitors’ list. A guest blogger has invested in your blog and will promote the content that they have produced, which also gets you in front of their own audience.

Create a Better Content Marketing Strategy

This right here is where many people and business alike miss it. They either don’t have a content marketing strategy, or if they do they do not have a proper one. You can try utilising all the SEO hacks, but without a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll be playing with your time. Your content marketing strategy is your “why” guideline. Why you are creating the content, who you are creating it for, and how you will make their lives better in a way no one else can.

 Internal Linking (important!)

What is it?  An internal link connects one page of a website to a different page on the same website. In an internal link, the source domain and target domain are the same. This can mean you’re adding links from one blog post to older posts or from certain pages to other pages. These types of links are useful because they keep your readers navigating your website and help improve the search rank of the pages you link to. Internal linking strengthens the overall search-optimized value of a website. Inner linking provides clear website navigation paths and prolonged sessions for users.

Check out $100 a day with social media

Make Sure Your Site is Responsive and is fast

In April, 2015 Google officially claimed that responsive design will affect search rankings on mobile devices. Responsive design is a web design and development technique that creates a site or system that reacts to the size of a user’s screen. Today, more people than ever before are using mobile devices to access the web on the go and most users do not want to use webpages that take minutes to load. An unresponsive site is one good way of telling your visitors to go away. If your site takes forever to load, your bounce rate will be sky high. Ensure that your website is accessible and comfortably viewable across a range of devices, including smaller smartphones. Make sure that your pages are as technically optimized as possible, including image file sizes, page structure and the functionality of third-party plugins.

 


Up next :   Boosting blog traffic via social media

How to boost traffic to your website

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Posted on: June 29, 2017

by Sharon Chihaka Chanyau

How to create great content for your blogDid you know?

What you put on every page on your blog is very important, when you create a page it will be indexed in the SERPs (search engine result pages) every time you publish a blog post from your website. Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com spread your materials and content to the world wide web for you for FREE, thus your brand is out there for everyone to see and evaluate. Blogging alone places and markets your content and brand out to the public thus it is very important to create worthwhile and authentic posts. How? You ask. Below some of the tips you can use to create great content for your blog.

Do Your Research

Blogging about a certain niche does not make professional bloggers experts. Your audience deserves quality information so please do your research! Professional bloggers (myself included) are not keen on their audience knowing that they don’t actually know everything. But to be honest, most of the great stuff that you see and read in blogs come from hours of research. Sometimes we don’t know anything about a topic before we sit down to write about it.

It is always good for one to use various sources of information to do the research. It almost goes without saying, but relying solely on Wikipedia as a primary source is almost always a bad idea. It is very true that Wikipedia does have a wide range of brilliantly researched articles, but is it dependable? Unfortunately no! There are many sources out there that you can use to do your research depending with your audience.re

Well-researched blog posts can differentiate your content from your competitors. Being known as a reference point or a trusted source of information  in your industry will help make your blog and brand stand out. I find that utilizing a variety of sources helps with gathering. It may sound outdated in this day of the World Wide Web but libraries are a great source of good information too.

Create Strong Headlines

The headline, or title, of your blog post must be created to capture the interest of potential readers and your intended audience. Keeping in mind that thousands of headlines and topics flash by in social media newsfeeds or in search results. Make use of great keyword phrase so that people searching on that particular subject will easily find that topic in your blog. Make sure the keyword phrase is included in your headline. A strong headline will sell the whole article to your audience; it will communicate the full message to your intended reader plus an added bonus of grabbing and keeping their attention until they finish reading the whole body text. Read the rest of this entry »

How to create great content for your blog

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Posted on: June 26, 2017

By Sharon Chihaka Chanyau

Fear is one of the biggest enemy of progress. It cripples and clouds your judgment. One easy definition of fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined. Most of our fears and anxieties are just things that do not really come to pass but they leave an unconscious and powerful effect on our state of thinking and modus operandi. bi

What the Bible says about fear!

The Bible mentions two specific types of fear. The first type is beneficial and is to be encouraged. The second type is a harmful and is to be overcome.

This article talks about the second type of fear. The one which paralyzes and hinders manifestations of success, greatness and positivity in life. This is caused by the “spirit of fear” overcoming and dominating us. To overcome it we need to trust in and love God completely. A solid and correct view of God is needed to deal with fear.

Rest easy!Microsoft Word - Document1

The future and what it brings can be one scary story just to think of but the Word of God in  Isaiah 41:10 encourages us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” What a promise!

In Psalm 56:11 the Psalmist writes, “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” This is an awesome testimony to the power of trusting in God. Regardless of any uncertainties we should keep our trust in God understanding the power of his great love to us. John 3:16 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. This is just perfect love that should cast out any fear, anxiety and doubt, 1 John 4:18. This trust comes from knowing God and knowing that He is a good and  protective Father.

If we find ourselves worrying, fearful and anxious, chances are that we are failing to recognize the capability, power and the willingness of God to keep all His wonderful promises. Meditate on these truths:

God is faithful; He will always be there for you.

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22–23)

God is all-powerful, and His power works for our good.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. (Isaiah 40:29)

We should always ensure that our ideas about God our protector match what He says about Himself in the Bible. Why be fearful and anxious when the Creator of the universe is watching over us?

Which network gets you paid whenever you want cash? Click here and find out

Bibles verses to meditate on when faced with fear problems

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Hearts

 

Images courtesy of Google

 

Adopting the correct view of God to deal with fear.

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Posted on: June 24, 2017

By Sharon Chihaka Chanyau

The questions!

What is praying and how do I pray? The Word says I should pray without ceasing?  Does it mean I have to be kneeling, bowing down or lying prostrate as some would want all the time? Eyes closed and audibly talking to  God all the time? Growing up, some of us praying meant folding up and bringing our hands together just below our faces and closing our eyes tightly so as not to miss God. So does 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and all the other verses in the Bible mean all this? You ask.

What I say!

Beloved, engaging in prayer is that attitude of God-consciousness and surrendering to God that one carries or exudes steadfastly. Being aware that God is with us and He is the Father and is actively interested and involved in what we think and do. But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD, Nor remember iniquity forever; Behold, look now, all of us are Your people. (Isaiah 64:8-9)Dear You (1)

Prayer should be an effortless activity something that comes naturally like breathing. No one has ever reminded themselves to breathe.Also, prayer should not be a daunting task; it is talking (a conversation) with our Heavenly and beloved Maker, our Father. What if I do not find the right words to say? You ask. Beloved, if you engage in prayer through your head, it’s going to be a tough experience. Rather let your heart and spirit pour out and connect to the One who knows all your secrets, needs, cares and wants. Do not hold back. Tell him everything and anything, He loves to listen and talk to you and He is a good Father. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. (Jeremiah 29:2)prayer 3

When times get hard *worry, fear, anger, discouragement* and in need of relief and hope the Word encourages us stop worrying and being anxious. (Philippians 4:6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. As troubles and uncertain situations come, your first response is prayer and supplication.

Not only do we pour our hearts and ask of the Father all that we need, we also receive wisdom and revelations. Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)

Beloved our relationship with the Father is strengthened by spending time and talking to Him. Praying is one way to guarantee your growth in the Christian walk. And one more thing, you can pray anywhere, anytime!

prayer 2The Lord’s Prayer

“Jesus said, “Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

‘Your kingdom come Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’

Hearts

 

Images courtesy of google

 

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