Monday, May 25, 2009

psalm 23 Memorial day tribute

The Courage of Our Heroes

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 NASB

"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." —John Stuart Mill

Today is Memorial Day. I just heard the testimony of Col. Leo Thorsness. He was an Air force pilot shot down over North Vietnam. He was held captive in the Hanoi Hilton for 6 years. For 18 days he was tortured non-stop before being held in solitary confinement and intermittent torture for 3 years. Then he was put in a group cell with 42 other American POWs. They tried to hold a church service by gathering together and reciting the Lord’s Prayer. They had just started when the guards came in and violently broke it up. The next week their highest ranking officer asked the men if they were committed to having a church service. He asked each one individually if they were committed. (Each one knew what it was to be tortured so they were aware of what was possibly in store for them.) Man by man they made the commitment. Their commanding officer said that when they hauled him away then the next ranking officer was to take his place leading the prayer until none of them were left if necessary.

The next Sunday they gathered with the commanding officer leading them in prayer. They barely got our “Our Father,” when the guards broke in and violently snatched him away. Immediately the next ranking officer took up the prayer with “who art in heaven,” and he was beaten and dragged away. In all the confusion the 3rd officer took his place “hallowed be Thy name.” By this time the prisoners were shouting the prayer over the violence and commands of the guards. When they laid hands on the 5th ranking officer suddenly out of the chaos came a deep stillness as the guards realized the men wouldn't quit. From that Sunday forward those men held their church service without interference. That privilege came with a cost they were willing to pay.
I have to ask myself am I made of such stuff? Peter thought he was but his flesh failed him. Through the love, example and power of His Lord he did become the man he thought he already was.

I get a glimpse of why the Apostle Paul asks us to, “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3 I believe the church of Jesus Christ is in desperate need of good soldiers. I was made free spiritually by the exertions of the Lord Jesus Christ who laid down His life for me. I have been kept physically free by the exertions of the American servicemen and women who have laid down their lives. I am profoundly grateful for both. Their example inspires and humbles me to stand and if necessary die for what I believe in.

MY PRAYER: Father, thank you for sending your Son to set us free. Thank you for the men and women who have laid down their lives for our liberty. Help us to follow their example and help us to thank them at every opportunity.

MY CONFESSION: For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
2 Timothy 2:10

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"The Servant King" by Maranatha Singers

Have This Attitude in Yourselves

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:4-8

In a quick perusal of the New Testament I found eight men who call themselves or are described as bond-servants of Jesus Christ. Both of Jesus’ brothers James and Jude describe themselves in this way. The Apostle Peter and Paul called themselves bond-servants. Bottom line a servant is someone whose will is caught up in the will of another. They live a life of servitude. Usually some life altering misfortune brought them to that state. But a bond-servant was in a totally different class. In Deuteronomy 15:12, 16&17 we read the description, “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. And it shall come about if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever.” A bond-servant was a love slave. They knew that they fared far better with a master and with his house than when they were free to do as they pleased. Wherever the bond-servant went, the mark in the ear showed he had a wonderful master and had chosen to serve him forever.

Of all the forms Jesus could have taken upon himself, He took the form of a bond-servant. Paul asks us to have this same attitude in ourselves. Listen to Paul’s plea. “When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others”. NCV One of the most devastating descriptions I’ve ever heard given of a person was this, “If it isn’t happening to her family, then it isn’t happening.” People who are genuinely concerned for the welfare of others and put it into shoe leather are rare even in the body of Christ. The old nature resident within us just has that tendency to seek after our own interests and not those of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:21

How can we obtain to this kind of attitude living in a “me first” society? I believe in part it is to remember that we are serving Christ when we serve others. Anything we do for Him is small repayment and should reflect that we have a wonderful master. Motivated by our love for him we will do whatever He bids us to do. Nothing is a greater reproach to His goodness than to see a child of God going about in joyless servitude merely doing “their Christian” duty. It is the Lord Christ that you serve.

I am throwing this in to give you something to think about. Several years ago I had a very intense dream. In the dream I was battling a very strong demonic force. I took action; I came against them even though I felt somewhat intimidated. I moved toward them singing a song of victory declaring my God the Victor. When I left their presence, I left by backing out. The reason I had to back out of the room? My only attire was an apron that covered my front but left my back exposed. When I awoke from the dream, my first thought was, “God gives us no armor for our backside because we are never to retreat and never turn our back on the enemy.” But after pondering that my armor was an apron I asked God why I was wearing an apron in my dream. Into my spirit came this thought, “A servant’s heart IS your greatest protection.” Bill Gothard made a profound statement that should hang in every home and in every church, “The true test of a servant is if I act like one when I am treated like one.” Remember, it is the Lord Jesus Christ that you serve.

MY PRAYER: Lord, you define greatness as those that serve. It is the form you chose for yourself and your disciples. Develop in me a heart that is fixed on serving you and thereby demonstrating to others I have a wonderful Master. In the Name Above All Names, amen.

MY CONFESSION: I will have this attitude in myself that was in Christ Jesus. I have the mind of Christ. I stand on your word. 1 Corinthians 2:16

Monday, May 18, 2009

Resurrection danced by Selah Warriors

A Dead Body and an Occupied Land

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great." And Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Since Thou hast given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir." Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir. And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:1-6 NASB

God called Abram to go deeper into his walk of faith. He asks Abram to believe that his descendents will indeed come from his and Sara’s aging bodies and will be innumerable. God tells him to lift his eyes to the heavens and look at the stars. The Lord knows that we need to refocus from our own deficiencies to His creative magnificence. As Abraham looks up, he believes the One who put the stars in place and God, in His incredible grace, counts Abram as righteous.

God speaks to Abraham again in Genesis 15:7-8 and He said to him, "I am the LORD (the self-existent one) who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it." Abraham’s reply is a cry, "O Lord GOD, how may I know that I shall possess it?" When I looked up the word “possess” I found the meaning shed light on Abram’s need of assurance. It means, “To occupy by driving out previous tenants and possessing in their place.” It was a term of possession by aggression. Those living in the land are named in verses 19-21 and they will have to be driven out.

Here is the paradox:
On the human level we see Abraham's body described “as good as dead” in Hebrews 11:12, but God promises him fruitfulness beyond comprehension. He is promised a land that happens to be occupied by ten groups who were there first. No wonder Jesus words in Luke 1:37 “Nothing shall be impossible with God,” are recorded five different times in the gospels. The mysterious ways of God are always calling us to believe Him for the impossible.

There seems to be a pattern in Scripture that God makes a promise and then allows them to turn to ashes. A few examples that come to mind:

· God gives Joseph dreams of such prestige that his whole family bows in honor to him. Thanks to his family, Joseph ends up a slave in Egypt unfairly accused and thrown in jail.
· Moses is told that God will use him to deliver Israel out of Egypt only to see their burdens increased when he confronts Pharaoh.
· David is anointed future king of Israel. He spends years being chased by the current jealous king; living in caves and constantly fleeing for his life.

Why does God work this way? James MacDonald’s words ring in my heart. “God’s love is a perfecting love, not a pampering love.” As the old hymn writer says, “Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease, while others fought to win the prize, and sailed through bloody seas?” Hebrews puts it bluntly, Hebrews 5:8 “Although He was a son; He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” God is perfecting our character and developing humility in our hearts. He wants to open the heavens and pour out every spiritual blessing into His children who, “Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.” Psalm 100:3 There are no self-made men in God’s kingdom; but there are heroes described for us in Hebrews 11:33-34 men and women, “
who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, (and) put foreign armies to flight.”

We know that all the stories listed above end just the way God promised because we’ve read the “rest of the story.” Can we trust His mysterious ways even though we have not reached the end of our story? Do His promises to you seem to be receding instead of proceeding? Take courage; you are not alone. You are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) cheering you on to stand firm, look up, and believe the One who is believable.

MY PRAYER: Lord, I know that without faith it is impossible to please you. Though any promise should tarry, I will look up in anticipation to the Faithful One. You are the fulfillment of every promise. In Jesus' name, amen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Shield and Great Reward

Gen 14:11-12 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food supply, and departed. And they also took Lot, Abram's nephew, and his possessions and departed, for he was living in Sodom.

I love studying Abraham's life. He was a man of peace and is typically seen in the role of a peacemaker. In this incident we see a whole different side of him. Abraham’s nephew, Lot, moved his tents as far as Sodom. Wars break out among the tribal chiefs and those defending Sodom and Gomorrah are defeated. Lot with all his family and possessions are carried off as spoils of war.

Abraham is still living in the same place and his neighbors have become allies. He must have been a good and wise neighbor. When Abraham receives the news about Lot's fate, he immediately swings into action. Scripture does not give any indication that Abraham ever fought another physical battle, but he's prepared for this one. He had 318 trained men who had been born in his house to help him. The growth and the might of Abraham's entourage are impressive. Abraham didn't look for a fight, but he was ready if someone should pick one.

He went after the marauding kings at night and soundly defeated them. Actually the word used to describe the victory in Genesis 14 and in Hebrews 7:1 is slaughter. This was hand to hand combat and it was brutal. Not only was Lot delivered, but Abraham brought back all the women, the people and their goods. To the victor go the spoils. The king of Sodom told Abraham to give his people back and keep the spoils. However, Abraham wanted nothing for himself. He had in deep conviction sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that he would take nothing for himself. Abraham didn't want the king saying he had made him rich by letting Abraham keep the spoils. He wanted God to have the full credit for the blessings bestowed on him. As conscientious as Abraham was not to touch the spoils of war, he did take a tenth to give God's priest. He also made sure that his neighbors, who went with him into battle, were allowed to take a fair share of the spoils.

What can we take away from this time in Abraham's journey? Life doesn't usually throw us opportunities of this magnitude, but it does happen. Think of those who responded so heroically and selflessly on 9/11. Maybe they would have considered themselves unlikely heroes. We are made in God’s image and often it takes dark times to illuminate that this is still true. Abraham went after Lot with no guarantee that he would win or come out of it unscathed. I believe he "did it afraid" because in Genesis 15:1 immediately after these events God told Abraham to "fear not." It would seem Abraham was fearful that word of what he had done would provoke other tribal leaders to take vengeance or put him in his place. We are vulnerable to emotional and mental lows after we have experienced an intense high and this seems to be the case with Abraham. God tells him in 15:1 that "I am a shield to you; your reward will be great." I will be your protection; I will reward you. What soothing words to someone who has just put himself in harms way for another and turned down great spoils. In John 15:13 Jesus tells his disciples, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." Abraham was beginning to look like the One who had called him.

MY PRAYER: Lord, how often do we go after those taken captive? How often do we put ourselves on the line for others with no thought of reward? Help us to believe you are our Shield and our Reward so we can be like You and your friend Abraham.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mac Powell/Fernando Ortega - Our Great God

Avoiding Strife by Trusting God

Gen 13:8-9 Then Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. "Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me: if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left. "Gen 13:10a-13 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere-- So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD.

In Genesis chapter 12 we see the weakness and failure of Abraham, but here we see his strengths. He knew what the book of James tells us in chapter 3:16 “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Abraham generously gives Lot the choice. “If you go right, I’ll go left, you choose.” How many of us fight and jockey for positions or possessions with self-interest foremost in our minds? What a study in contrasts:

· Lot lifted up his eyes
· Lot chose for himself
· Lot moved his tents toward Sodom
· Bad neighbors/bad choice

Genesis 13:14-18 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. "And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. "Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you." Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

· God lifted Abraham’s eyes
· God chose for Abraham
· Abraham moved tent to Hebron and built altar
· God focused/good choice

I have often heard it said, “God gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him.” Surely this must be the proof text of that proverb. With the renewal of the promises we see Abraham responding with gratitude and worship by building an altar.

We may think there are no lessons to be learned from this story, but we would be wrong. I live in an area where once cheap rural farmland skyrocketed in value. It isn’t uncommon to hear of siblings feuding over the division of property and possessions. In the church and community I have seen people jockeying for prestige and position. What a bad choice. Let God lift your eyes and show you what He has for you. It will beyond what you “could ask or think.” You will be freed from strife and striving and that’s a good choice.

MY PRAYER: Lord, your word says that "fights and battles among us come from wrong desires in us." Lift our eyes to the real and lasting rewards that you have for us. Help us to lay down our right to choose, and embrace your best. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Voice Of Truth - Casting Crowns

Fear, Failure, and Finding the Way Home

Genesis 12:10-20 Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. And it came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and it will come about when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you." And it came about when Abram came into Egypt; the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And Pharaoh's officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. Gen 12:16 Therefore he treated Abram well for her sake; and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, "What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? "Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go." And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.

This episode in Abraham's life reminds us that even the most favored of God's children have feet of clay. It should also remind us that we have an unseen enemy. There is no mention of the devil's presence in these passages, but as I have meditated on what is at stake here I see his fingerprints everywhere. God promised the serpent in Genesis 3:15 that Eve's seed would crush his head. Galatians 3:16 makes it clear that the seed was Christ. Satan is not all-knowing and he had no way of discerning whether it was Sarah or Abraham who was barren, but he did know that God was establishing the line through which the seed would come. God has a plan for your life, so does Satan and in subtle and cunning ways he is working his plan to thwart your God given destiny.

As the famine forced a temporary move to Egypt, fear began to rise in Abraham's heart. Can’t you hear the enemy floating thoughts into his mind, "Your God isn't taking very good care of you in this land He says He's giving you is He? Look how beautiful your wife is, you're a dead man when the men in Egypt see her." I have a friend who is a Vietnam veteran. He gave me a great acrostic for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. Jesus calls the devil the "Father of Lies" in John 8:44 so we continue to pick up his fingerprints in this sad scenario. Abraham asks Sarah to obscure the true nature of their relationship so that it will go well with him. He abdicates his role, leaving her vulnerable, to protect himself. We know from Genesis 20:13 that lying about Sarah became a way of life for Abraham and lying became a character flaw in his son (see Genesis 26:6-7) and his grandson. (Genesis 27:18) When we open a door of opportunity to the devil, he always overstays his welcome. Satan makes sure Abraham’s fears come upon him. Pharaoh takes Sarah as his wife and rewards Abraham. I'm sure the devil was strutting thinking, "I've wrecked the plan or at least slowed it down until he finds another wife. God's picked a real charmer to make a great nation." I love these words, "But the LORD." Pharaoh and his household are plagued with sickness and Sarah's true identity is uncovered. He gives her back to Abraham and as a rule kings don't give things back. Pharaoh's fear of God checkmates Abraham's fear of man. Mr. "Blessing to the whole earth" is "escorted" out of the country. God is so amazing, "He watches over His word to perform it," even though we, on our side, can really mess up.

We should be encouraged and warned. 2 Peter 1:4a tells us that "He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that we may participate in the divine nature." We have great promises from a great God. We have fierce opposition from an unseen foe. He loves to float thoughts into our minds to move us from faith to fear... from trusting God to self-preservation. The outcome is seldom pretty. God in His faithfulness stepped in and delivered, but not all the consequences were removed. We always reap enough of what we have sown to motivate permanent change in our character.

Gen 13:1, 3-4 So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, he and his wife and all that belonged to him; and Lot with him. And he went on his journeys from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been AT THE BEGINNING, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar, which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

In chapter 13 we see Abraham returning to where he had been at the beginning. He's back at the altar, calling on the name of the Lord. This is a beautiful picture of finding the road home after we have lost our way.

MY PRAYER: Lord, help me to stand on your promises and not give place to Satan’s lies. Help me to walk in faith with you and not fear.

MY CONFESSION: "You have given your peace to me. I will not let my heart be troubled, nor will I let it be fearful.” John 14:27 I stand on your word!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

11. Michael Card - Things We Leave Behind

Abraham Obeyed....Will We?

Gen 12:1-4a Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him;

The word of God is astounding on so many levels. It is utterly consistent from beginning to end. God chose Abram to begin to develop a people for Himself. In the New Testament we see the exact same pattern displayed. Whenever I read passages of God's interaction with mankind I know why the Psalmist David wrote, "What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him and the son of man that Thou dost care for him?" God is looking for relationship and obedience. God calls Abram to follow Him and of necessity leave some things behind.

his country
his relatives
his father's house

He gives him some promises:

A land which I will show you
I'll make you a great nation
I will bless you
I will make your name great
You shall be a blessing
I will bless you and protect you
In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed

In the New Testament we see Jesus walking the shores of Galilee and calling his disciples to come and follow him. In Matthew 4:18 he calls two sets of brothers and immediately they left some things behind.

their nets
their boat
their father

In Mark 10:29-30 Jesus tell them that no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for Jesus sake and for the gospel's sake but that he will receive 100 times as much now in this life:

brothers and sisters, mothers, children
In the age to come....eternal life

Like Abraham we are called to a new land.

Phil 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven,

Abraham was promised to become a great nation and so are we.


God said, "I will make your name great," our name is great too.

Acts 11:26b "and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."

God told Abraham, "I will bless you." So are we.

Eph 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,"

Abraham was promised that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him. The world is blessed through us.

Mat 5:14a "You are the light of the world.
Mat 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth;

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever. The unchanging ways of God are comforting and discomfiting at the same time. Is there anything that we are refusing to leave behind in order that we may inherit all that he has for us? If you don't know, then ask him. Abraham and the fishermen obeyed. Because they obeyed God could use them to change the world. Will we?

Friday, May 1, 2009

09. Michael Card - The Basin and the Towel

I Gave You an Example

"You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. "For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. "Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” John 13:13-17 NAS

We were building a new home because we were going to need more space to care for my husband’s parents. His father had been an invalid for 25 years and my mother-in-law could no longer take care of him because she was increasingly fragile herself. Before we started building she had fallen and hurt herself, so I traveled the nine hours there to help. Taking care of my father-in-law was a daunting task. Because of partial paralysis and poor circulation he would get me up several times a night to rub his feet and then many times during the day. I knew that God had clearly put it on my heart to take care of them, but as I got back home and the reality drew nearer I began to think about being a slave to his feet. Slowly dread and depression began to stalk me. It was nearing Christmas and our work on the house was in full swing. I took a lunch break and turned on the radio to listen to Moody hoping for some Christmas cheer. Erwin Lutzer came on with a word that they played several times during the Christmas season but this was the first time I had heard it. (Of course this isn’t word for word but the best I can remember) this is what I heard Erwin Lutzer say:



I sat there in stunned silence knowing that the Lord had spoken. I was going to follow His example and “do feet.” For the next year and a half until my father-in-law died I did his feet. With a doctor’s advice, we set a better schedule so his feet stayed healthy and so did we. We cared for my dear mother-in-law for seven years. It got wearying at times and I didn’t always do it perfectly, but His presence was never stronger in my life. We knew what He wanted us to do and we were blessed by doing it. If you know that God is calling you to follow His example in a specific but difficult task, don't hesitate. His grace will be sufficient and His presence sweet.

MY PRAYER: Lord, you gave us an example. Though you were God you humbled yourself and took on the form of a servant. It is not in my nature to think or act like a servant. Help me to cultivate a servant’s heart.

MY CONFESSION: Lord, I choose to follow your example. I know these things and I will be blessed as I do them. I stand on your word!