Healer, Redeemer. Lord, I need you.

Healer, Redeemer. Lord, I need you.

I remember once, as a child, I was goofing around in the house, and I broke a figurine that belonged to my mother.  I knew that I was going to be in ALOT of trouble.  She was at work, and I used the time to my advantage.  I carefully matched up the pieces, applied some fast drying glue, and held the pieces in place.  Crisis averted.  You couldn’t even see the crack; as if the piece was never broken.  Within a matter of months, I had knocked the figurine over a second time.  Unfortunately on this occasion repair was impossible.

There are some instances from my past that have left me broken, and I thought I was beyond repair.  In fact, I believed that there was no saving me.  Surely these mistakes and poor choices collectively were too much for God to see me as worthy.  In my brokenness, I had lost all hope and continued making mistakes.  Finally, someone was able to bring me to that place where I understood God’s mercy and grace.  I understood forgiveness; I learned that Christ died on the cross for not only the sins I knowingly committed… but even the ones I didn’t know were on the horizon.  He died for them all.

I was so desperate to walk forward in that freedom. Freedom from the mantle of grief and shame.  I had forgiven those whom others would deem as unforgivable.  I even forgave myself, which is sometimes harder than forgiving others.  I was trying to walk in victory. I stumbled often.  There was this one thing that kept haunting me, this one moment in a sea of others that I couldn’t seem to shake.  This one event that had such a hold of me that I would find myself crouched in a corner crying out:

LORD, take this from me!

I wanted so much to be like the figurine that I broke.  I wanted God to fix me to the point where the trauma was invisible.  However, the Lord didn’t heal me.

A few years ago, at a Women’s Retreat, a speaker shared that sometimes we hold onto a trauma as if it is too big for God to redeem.  She stated that by holding on to it we were in sin, and God couldn’t bless us until we stopped hanging on to it.  In retrospection after the retreat, I believed this must be my situation.  I confessed to the Lord about holding onto this trauma; I wanted to heal from my brokenness; and I prayed that He would give me the strength, courage, and peace to let it go.

It continued to haunt me. I cried out:

LORD, take this from me!

The Lord didn’t take it; I was becoming discouraged.  I convinced myself that it was Satan trying to hurt and distract me.  He was whispering memories of this in my ear.  It was his attempt to make me doubt myself, disqualify myself as worthy, and hold me back from the good work the Lord would have for me.  I rebuked Satan’s hold on me and waited for the freedom of healing.

The Lord didn’t heal me.  I cried out:

LORD, take this from me!

I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I felt defeated.  Terrified that this trauma was going to hold on to me for the rest of my life.  I wasn’t the entirely pieced together figurine, held together by God’s strength.  I was in pieces all over the ground, shattered.  Or, so I thought.

Last week, I attended a Women’s Event hosted by Authentic Intimacy.  It was at this event Dr. Juli Slattery shared a revelation that would rock me to the core. She shared that some women are healed of their past trauma.  These women are fully recovered and restored, living out their lives as if the trauma was wiped from history and their memory.  These healings are MIRACLES and miracles are RARE.  For the majority of us, God instead chooses to REDEEM our trauma. The process takes time, and for some of us we will not see full victory this side of Heaven.  Victory, however, is still ours because as the Lord redeems us, He will make beauty from ashes.  Our redemption becomes His story of hope to others just like us.

The Lord uses our redemption from our trauma and past to say to others who are broken…

Look to me, the Lord your God, for I can heal and redeem you.  I will make you a new creation, marking you as my own, and your testimony is the seal of my covenant with you.  I am the Lord who hears, sees, heals, restores, and redeems those who seek me with all of their mind, heart, and soul.  This child is not who she once was, and the same is the gift I gave to you on the Cross. 

An enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders that day.  I was no longer carrying a mantle of shame or guilt but instead burdened with a purpose, unlike anything I had ever experienced.  Instead of weight that pushed me down, this difficulty pushes me forward on the path He has set before me.  Each step I take, He walks ahead of me. A Good Shepherd leading the way to green pastures.

The Lord heard my cries, and he answered them by gifting me a purpose from my pain.

The Japanese have an art form known as Kintsugi. In Kintsugi, an artist takes a broken object and repairs the pieces with a lacquer mixed with gold, silver, and even platinum.  The point behind this art form is that the repairs are visible, indicating that the object had a past or history.  It honors the trauma that happened to the piece, honoring the brokenness as part of the object’s history instead of trying to hide it.  The piece is considered more beautiful because of these veins of precious metal that run throughout it, holding it together.

There are times the Lord chooses to heal completely and restore our brokenness, however for most of us the Lord instead pieces us back together with Himself.  We do have a past or history. However when others look upon us, they will see the blood of Christ holding us together.  He binds my broken pieces with the blood He shed for me.  Blood that is more valuable than gold or silver.  We are more beautiful because of Christ in us, on display for all to see.

For you know that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

1 Peter 1:18-19

At His Feet

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Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2

With our lives growing and practically consumed with busyness, it’s important that we make time for God. He is the lamp to our feet, and He lights our path. But how can we know where He is telling us to go if we never step out of our mundane tasks and into the Most Highs presence? Are we willing to come under God’s discipline and learn what He wants to teach? We can do this by sitting at His feet.

But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power, and strength. – Charles Stanley

Spending time with God is what cleanses us from our worries and replenishes our strength for what lies ahead. Christ renews us; He is our guide through life. Ever felt like nothing you do is working? Maybe you feel stuck, like everything around you is moving and you’re not.  Or even find yourself going backward. We won’t make it on our efforts alone as Christians Christ is our power supply and a lot of Christians are running on E because after they take off, they never come back to the power supply (Christ) to stay filled.

Early in the night, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there. – Mark 1:35

Sitting at His feet is challenging at first but as you make it a habit you will see your appetite and awareness of His presence grow.

Here are some tips to help you spending time at His feet:

Invite God into your day as soon as you wake up and close your day with God. Spending at least 15 minutes in the morning and at night in God’s presence.

  • Praying– Tell God what you have planned and then surrender your plans to Him. Then telling Him about your day and how it went.
  • Reading His Word- I recommend a verse of the day that you meditate on throughout the day.
  • Silence- After you have prayed let Him do the talking. Let Him speak to you. I find that my most memorable times with God are times when I haven’t said a word. BE SURE TO WRITE DOWN THE THINGS GOD REVEALS TO YOU!

Being at His feet is a place of comfort and renewing. God wants to speak to us, but often we are too busy to hear what He has to say. For the next 7 days, I challenge us to spend at least 30 minutes at His feet at day. I believe at the end of these 7 days God will have revealed some amazing things to us. I also believe that we will experience God in a new way. Be sure to come back after you have completed the challenge and share your testimony in the comments below!

Related reading: Luke 10:38-42

Prayer: Father you are the creator of all things, we thank you for another day and the desire to hear from you. Help us not to be conformed to the ways of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Help us to first seek the Kingdom of God and let us find comfort in knowing that you will provide everything we need. Lord let us not worry about the wrong things, help us to focus our sights on you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

 

Praying knowing the Power of God

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Peter Freed from Prison

But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it.14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” 

Acts 12:5,13-15 NLT

This story of Peter is great encouragement on why we should keep praying regardless of what the situation may look like. Herod had just killed James, the brother of John. When Herod saw that killing James made the Jews happy he arrested Peter with the intentions of putting Peter to death too. Peter got arrested during Passover, so he was held in prison. They kept Peter in what we would call a maximum security prison. He also was under heavy guard so escaping was not an option. The Church knew that Herod’s plan was to kill Peter. They began to intercede on Peter’s behalf praying earnestly for him.

It’s important to understand what earnestly means because this is essential in prayer. According to Dictionary.com earnestly means:

  1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous
  2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling
  3. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention

This means that they were praying for a purpose, sincerity, and serious intention. They were pleading for a move of God to set Peter free. They knew that this was a situation in which only God had the power to provide a resolution. 

While they were praying, an angel of the Lord came to free Peter. Peter thought it was a vision then he realized that the Lord had sent an angel and saved him from Herod. Peter then went to the home of Mary, the same place where the Church gathered to pray for Peter. Peter knocked on the door, and Rhoda was amazed. How could Peter be at the door? Instead of opening the door Rhoda ran with excitement to tell everyone that Peter was there. They were all in disbelief and thought she was crazy because they were praying for Peter. Peter kept knocking, and they finally opened the door, and they were overjoyed and amazed at how God answered their prayer.

Peter’s story shows us the power of prayer. No matter what your situation looks like nothing is too hard for the Lord. I urge you to keep asking, keep praying and believe that God is able! As in Acts 12 literally, while you’re praying the answer may show up at your front door, and you too will bask in the incredible power of our Lord. What a mighty God we serve!

Prayer: Lord you’re mighty and worthy of all the praise. Father, we ask that you increase our prayer life that we may pray earnestly. Allow us to pray with expecting hearts. Let us not limit you Father God. We know that you are a God, who can do all things. I pray that we open the door when you answer our prayers. Let us continually lift the body of Christ in prayer by interceding for one another. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks, Amen.

I want God to Hear my prayer!

I want God to hear m prayer!

How do I pray and know God hears me? I honestly have to remind myself of the answer  sometimes when it seems like God isn’t there. The great thing about the God we serve is that He is always there, and He has not left us without direction. God has provided us an entire operations manual about life, The Holy Bible! The More that we read God’s Word, the more we will understand and learn what God expects from us.

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

Forgive We can’t expect God to forgive us of our sin if we don’t forgive others.(Matt 6:14-15) It’s also important that we try to resolve any conflicts with someone who may be upset with us. The Bible says in Matthew 5:23-25 if someone is angry or upset with us we must go to them and try to resolve the situation before we come to God. So if someone gets offended by something that you did or if you had a blowout with a neighbor make things right with that person. We don’t want anything blocking our prayers and preventing God from answering. If you’re not sure if you’ve done something to offend someone, I would recommend asking God to bring it to your remembrance so you can make it right. Doing this is a humbling experience because sometimes people get offended even when you think you have done nothing wrong. Before approaching that person ask God for the strength to be gentle, loving, kind, and patient with that person.

“We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” John 9:31

Confess All Sin It’s important that we confess all sin to God and ask Him for help. Let Him know that you want to change and you need His help to live a life free from sin. It’s important that we humble ourselves before God and honestly check our lifestyle and actions.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” Hebrews 5:7

Reverence God Humble yourself when you come before God. Acknowledge Him for who He is. Tell God how powerful and mighty He is and how thankful you are for His grace and mercy. The book of Revelation helps me to remember who God is. I think about how God’s described and that the angels in Heaven are worshiping Him this very moment, and it humbles me.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6

Thank God Tell God what you need and thank Him for what He has done. Make sure you thank God for the things that He is already doing and has already done. Don’t be ungrateful! We all have a reason to thank God. He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have eternal life. We should never stop thanking and praising God for that!

If you’re asking for something in prayer, let God know how what you’re asking for will bring Him glory. This helps prevent the “I want because I want prayers”. I urge you to memorize Scriptures. This will allow you to claim the promises of God in prayer. For tips on how to learn Scriptures Click Here.

It’s important that when we pray we have:

  • Forgiven others and have tried to resolve all grievances.
  • Confessed our sin
  • We thank God for all the things that He has done for us.
  • Most importantly, we must reverence God for who He is and come humbly before Him.

These steps do not guarantee that God will answer your prayer on your timing or at all. God is sovereign, and He knows what we need and when we need it. These steps can help make sure we are in right standing with God before we make requests to Him.

Is Singleness Your Calling?

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Like me, you may still be getting those unsolicited lectures from relatives asking: “When are you going to get married?” “When are you going to have children? We won’t be alive forever.” Don’t let society’s view of relationships and singleness discourage you. Some people are called to be single. While that may sound like bad news to the world, the Bible states it as ideal.

“He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife” 1 Corinthians 7:32-33 NKJV

“But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 NKJV

The benefit of not being married is that you can focus your thoughts on the Lord and what pleases Him. When you are married, you have the worldly obligation to care for your husband or wife. This is not a bad thing for those who are married. The Bible says it’s far better to marry than lust after someone.

Being a single young Christian woman with the desire to get married I understand the struggles that many women face. Make God your priority in your single season. Use this time to build your relationship with Christ and serve Him wholeheartedly. I urge everyone who is single and wants to be married to consult God. Spend time praying, fasting and sitting at God’s feet. If marriage is God’s plan for you, it will happen in His perfect timing. If we seek God above all else, He will provide all the things that we need. Let’s stand on the promise of God’s Word!

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 NKJV

Tips for memorizing Scripture

Tips Scripture

Memorizing Scripture has been an area in which I’ve struggled. I came up with a process that has helped me a lot. I wanted to share this because someone else could be struggling with the same thing.

It’s important for Christians to know the Scripture. We need to arm ourselves with God’s Word and speak life to ourselves and others. The Bible lets us know how important it is to understand God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 11: 18 NLT So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7,9 NLT 6  You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children…. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Somethings that helped me memorize Scripture are:

  1. Flashcards: I make flash cards of key Scriptures that I want to remember. So when I’m in a waiting room, on break/lunch, or when I have free time I pull them out to go over.
  2. Scripture of the Day: I take one of my flash cards and make it my Scripture of the day. My goal will be to have the Scripture memorized before I go to sleep for the night.
  3. Post Scripture: I take Scripture and post it around my home or desk at work. Examples: My bathroom mirror, my bedroom, my computer monitor.
  4. Record Scripture: I voice recorded all my flash cards and repeated each flashcard more than once. My recording is an hour-long. I listen to this when driving, cleaning, walking the dog, and getting ready for bed. Sometimes I play this while I’m in the bed.

I hope some of the things I do can help you in memorizing Scripture. If you have any other tips for memorizing Scripture, please post them below in the comments section. Stay Blessed.

Friends, how many of us have them?

 
Friends2k 
 
“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:18-20 NLT
 

This story about the paralyzed man speaks to how important it is for us to have what I call Kingdom minded friends. We all need someone to keep us accountable, encourage us, fight for us, and have our best interest at heart. Having someone, you can depend on that wants the best for you spiritually is important.

This story in Luke shows us how friendship should look. Have you ever told someone about something you were struggling with only for them to say “man that’s a shame?” The paralyzed man’s friends didn’t say “Oh well you’re paralyzed.” They heard about Jesus, a man who could heal and took their friend to see Him. We know these were real friends because when they got to the house, there was a  large crowd, and they were unable to get through, however,  this didn’t stop them. They took their friend to the roof. Can you imagine how strenuous this task was? There was a sea of people around the house where Jesus was. They made their way through the crowd to the roof of the house carrying their paralyzed friend. I can assure you that couldn’t have been an easy task to complete. After all of that, they then removed part of the roof so they could lower their friend down right in front of Jesus. Because of their faith and determination, Jesus healed the paralyzed man. I believe this was also because He wanted to let us know this is how we should care for one another.

When you have a spiritual support system, you know they care about your overall well-being. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not, they love you for who you are. Like in this story, they will fight for your healing. These kinds of friends won’t be throwing their good deeds in your face later. They do things for you because they care, not because they’re expecting something in return. I’m sure we can all use some friends like that.

The Bible gives us several scriptures that reference having support.

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”-Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT

You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoys its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” James 3:18 MSG

“If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Galatians 6:1-3 NLT

The Bible makes it clear that we will need help from other believers. We won’t always be able to go at things alone. I’m still praying that I can experience this type of community for myself, and I know God will provide. Let God lead you to the right people. He led Jesus to His disciples; He can surely lead you to a community that you can do life with.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for all that you have done and all that you’re doing. We know that we are nothing without You. Help us strengthen our faith in You. Give us discernment before we enter into relationships. Lead us to people who will have our best interest at heart and will love us for who we are. Protect us from the evil one and keep us in Your arms. It’s in the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Are We really living for Christ?

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“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”
Romans 12:1-2 NLT 

What is sacrifice?

The surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having higher or more pressing claim. (Dictionary.com, 2014)

The Bible says that we need to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Meaning we have to live for Christ. We need to make it a habit to consult God in the choices we make.

I faced a tough decision recently and was unclear on what choice to make. Terrified of making the wrong choice. I wanted God to audibly tell me what to do. I had to make a choice and doing nothing was not an option. So I prayed a prayer of desperation.  I came to the Lord and said “Father you know my heart and that my desire is to please you. This is a tough decision and I want to make sure that I am moving in the direction that you would have me to go. Please give me discernment and a peace that surpasses all understanding around the right choice.”  I’ll be honest I still didn’t feel like I knew what to do. So I made my choice based on what would bring God the most glory. The choice that would allow me to serve the Lord the best way possible. Looking back I see that God’s silence allowed me to remember what I’ve learned about Him and apply it. Had I been looking in a worldly perspective it’s likely I would have made a completely different choice. Sacrificing my will for the will of God truly gave me peace. Psalms 32:10 tells us that we’re protected by the Lord.

Knowing the promises of God helped me make a tough decision. It’s important that we stand on the promises of God and speak them over our lives. Know that if you make choices to glorify God He will protect you and give you peace! He will not put more on you than you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13) All things are possible through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13)

If you’re in a situation where you’re not sure what the right choice is, tell God! Let him know why you’re apprehensive about preceding and ask Him for discernment and peace around the right choice. 

Prayer: Father God you’re more than worthy of all the praise and honor. We thank you, Lord, for being our protector, comforter, and provider. Father, we believe but, help our unbelief. Let us consult you and follow your direction in the choices we make. Provide us with discernment. Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Protect us from the evil one Father God. We love you, praise you and worship you. It’s in the matchless name of  Jesus we pray Amen.

You gotta have faith!

Gotta Faith 
  
“Take control of what I say, O  lord,
and guard my lips.
Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.” Psalm 141:3-4 NLT
 

 I love this Psalm written by David; it shows the power of prayer! This Psalm is written by David, and if you read Psalm 141, you can see it’s a prayer for safe keeping from wickedness.  I’m sure we have all been in situations where we have wanted to say or do something that we knew was contrary to God’s will. Sometimes it can seem as if people just want to test out your faith by pushing your buttons. David is my encouragement in those moments. I look at the life of David, and I see a man who truly had a relationship with God. David knew he could not go through life without God. He needed the power of God to help him in those tight situations. We can truly appreciate David’s example of relying on God in situations cannot handle in our power.

Can you imagine showing the love of God to someone who talks about you behind your back but, smiles in your face? Someone who attempts to slander your character with lies? What about someone who steals from you? What about someone who hates you enough to kill you?

I believe that the prayer in Psalms 141 was during the time where David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. Saul was very jealous of David. During his time on the run, David had two opportunities to kill Saul. Even David’s men were encouraging him to kill Saul. Their theory, God, was delivering Saul into David’s hands for payback. However, David being a man of God refused to kill Saul even though Saul was trying to kill him. This prayer in Psalms 141 could have been what helped David remain faithful to God and not kill His anointed one. We also see how God protected David during this time because Saul never captured David. God is faithful. He will provide. David’s story is proof that God will answer prayer and provide in our hour of need.

I thank Jesus for dying for our sins and sending us the comforter who can help us be like David when we run into trouble. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) tells us about the fruits of the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  We should be excited this means we don’t have to rely on our strength when faced with trials and tribulations. Galatians 5:22-23 is another one of my favorite passages in the Bible, it’s so encouraging! It reminds us that we are human and apart from God we are imperfect.

We can all recall a time when we found it hard if not impossible in our strength to love or be gentle with someone, remain joyful in the midst of pure chaos and confusion, show kindness to someone whom you may not like, or maybe you’re like me and struggle with patience. I have good news; God will provide! So next time you’re in a situation where you see yourself lacking in one of these areas before you react pray! Ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome the situation. As with David God will give you the strength to overcome!

Prayer:  Father God, we just want to thank you, Lord, for your protection, faithfulness, and guidance Lord. You’re so worthy of all the praise and glory. Guard the words of our mouth oh Lord and let us not partake in evilness. We thank you, Father, for the fruit of the Spirit that allows us to get through trying situations. Please remove anything in us that’s not of you Father. Continue to mold us Father into the faithful Christian men and women you’ve called us to be. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks. Amen.