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Monday, June 30, 2014

People Pleasers

I have a friend in Brazil who sent me this picture recently. He said it reminded him of me. I hope he meant Tayrone (like Tyrone), and not that I'm a "hotdog"!

While it is important what others think about us it is more important how God views us. In a world full of "people pleasers" the Bible is clear on where our focus should be.

 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.Galatians 1:10

Today focus on pleasing and serving God. It is the best gift you could give to the world around you.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Life and Death

“Life without purpose is empty, futile, and hopeless.”

What do you think was the most painful part of Jesus’ suffering?

Christ forgave even as he was tortured and killed. That’s the ultimate example of love.

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” Luke 18:31-33

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
            yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:4-6

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

Jesus has told us to pick our cross and die to self. What part of that mandate do you need to work on today?

Saturday, June 28, 2014


In our relationship with Christ and God's family we find comfort. God is a comforting Father. - 2 Corinthians 1:3 says, Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who gives tender love. All comfort comes from him. Therefore, God’s family should be a place where we find comfort. The world is often an uncomfortable place, but in God’s family there is comforting care.
God want us to take care of the family. - 1 Thessalonians 5:14 reminds us to behave like His children, Brothers and sisters, we are asking you to warn those who don’t want to work. Cheer up those who are shy. Help those who are weak. Put up with everyone.

Which of the elements of being part of God’s family do you I need to work on most? 
By the way we have a family gathering tomorrow - see you in church!

Friday, June 27, 2014


In God's family just like our human family there are always expectations. Jesus has given different talents to different people, & He expects those talents to be used. Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, ’Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Jesus wants us to grow. 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

 He wants us to mature. Colossians 1:28  Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. God wants us to realize our potential. He expects us to do our best.

What expectations do you need to focus on to be a vital member of God's family - the church?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Faith and Friends

My church family helps me grow in my faith and helps with making lasting friendships. The bible is clear on the fact that Christ followers are to spend time with one another in worship, discipleship, and encouragement.

Magnify (Honor) the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! Ps 34:3
Let us go on ... and become mature in our understanding, as strong Christians ought to be. Hebrews 6:1
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

My church family helps me with my friendships. It gives me a sense of belonging and part of God’s eternal plan.

You belong in God's household with every other Christian.  Ephesians 2:19
Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved ... (but) how can they believe if they've never heard? And how can they hear unless someone tells them? Romans 10:13-14

Thank you God for my wonderful family – the church.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Facing Life

Two great ways my church family helps me is with my focus and in facing life. Let’s take a look at what God’s Word has to say on the subject.

If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
Love the Lord your God with all your heart ... and soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38   

We all need encouragement, prayers, guidance, and help in various ways in this life. My church family helps me with facing life and all its challenges.

Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him ... So encourage each other and give each other strength  1 Thessalonians. 5:10-11
You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts ... 1 Peter 3:8
In Christ, we who are many, form one Body and each member belongs to all the others.  Romans 12:5
It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. Ephesians 2:10 

There are different kinds of service ... together you form the Body of Christ and each one of you is a necessary part of it. 1 Corinthians.12:5,27 

Make sure you are an active participant in this great family called the church!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Church - God's Family

Being a Christian is about believing in Jesus as Savior, and belonging to His family (the church). Peter said, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3 So we’re talking about two important relationships here. The first is vital: accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Redeemer from your sins. What you do with Jesus determines your eternity. Christ followers spend a lot of time on this. It’s called evangelism and witnessing. It’s how people hear God’s truth and are saved.

The second relationship is vital to the believer – becoming part of God’s family, the church. Acts chapter talks about the “behavior” of Christ followers. (They) were baptized(1) ... and joined the other believers ... they worshiped together regularly at the Temple (2)... and met in small groups in the homes (3) for communion... Acts 2:41-42, 46

Our spiritual family should be important to us. The Bible uses words like “they continued to meet”. They remained connected. The word connect literally means fused together.

How would you rate your “connectedness” to God’s family? Make changes to your schedule and prioritize family time. Amen? 

The next few days we will take a look at how the church can help you grow as a Christian.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Beat It

Today consider the heart of David as he praised the Lord in Psalm 103:1-6: I will praise the Lord. Deep down inside me, I will praise him. I will praise him, because his name is holy. I will praise the Lord. I won’t forget anything he does for me. He forgives all my sins. He heals all my sicknesses. He saves my life from going down into the grave. His faithful and tender love makes me feel like a king. He satisfies me with the good things I long for. Then I feel young and strong again, just like an eagle. The Lord does what is right and fair for all who are beaten down. 

Open your heart to praising God today. It will change you and change the people around you.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Most people answer the question, What’s most important to you? Is to Live life well. There are two ways to live life well and lead a legacy. One is honoring God and one is honoring self. The world does a good job showing us how to honor self, so let’s look at what God’s Word says about honoring Him. This is the account of Paul leaving the church in Ephesus. Let's look at several characteristics of one who does life God's way.
Keep watch over each other, and follow your leaders.
27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers(vv. 27-28a)

Leaders follow God and care for the flock.
Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. (vv. 28b-29)

Remember the truth.
30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. (vv. 30-31)
         Live a life of worship
32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  (v. 32)
Give of yourselves, and take care of the poor and needy.
33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (vv. 33-35)

Pray for and love one another. Cherish each day as a gift from God. 
36 When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. (vv. 36-38)

It’s not in the physical things you leave, but the effect you have on each other’s lives. - Live Life Well for God!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I Just Want to Be a Sheep

The word sheep is name God uses throughout the Bible describing mankind. There are Several Principles About Sheep You Need to Know to Understand Why We Resemble Them.

1. Sheep are dumb.
- You will never see sheep  at the circus because they are untrainable.
- They wander around, get lost, heads down being led by their appetites.
Every man has an somewhat intelligent opinion about things until the topic turns to discussing God’s plan of redemption and remedy for sin (we’re just dumb).

2. Sheep are directionless.
- Sheep wander aimlessly, meandering about with no sense of direction. This is not true with other animals. They all have a sense of dricection.
Many men go through life like that w/o any real sense of direction. Many simply exist and have never learned how to live a life of purpose.

3. Sheep are defenseless.
- Almost every other animal is equipped with some way of defending themselves.
- Not sheep. They cannot fight, out run, or hide from a predator.  They are virtually helpless.
A man without Jesus Christ is helpless on his own to fight the devil.

The Good News?  Jesus Loves Sheep!
- He comes to our rescue (bearing our sins and God’s wrath).
- He suffered the hurt and humiliation, of our sin (agony on the cross).
Jesus died our death so we could live His life.

Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He is the only remedy for our sin.
John 10:11 - “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Is Jesus your Good Shepherd?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Remedy for Sin

Since the beginning of time animals have been used in God's plan for forgiveness, reconciliation, and remedy for sin.

In Genesis 3 God sacrificed animals for their skin (clothing) because of Man’s original sin.

We see in Genesis 22  Abraham being instructed to sacrifice his son Isaac only to be stopped. God provided a substitutional death by a ram who was sacrificed.

Exodus 12 tells us about the Passover Lamb.  It represents deliverance from death and freedom from slavery.

Sheep is a name God uses throughout the Bible for man. A prophetic word is found in Isaiah 53:6, We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 

John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That's why He came to earth because of God's great love.

Thank you Jesus for becoming a "sheep" and taking our place.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Won't Let Go

When life is at it's hardest, when it's hardest to pray then it's time to pray your hardest. Do not be consumed by your trial. Turn to God! Praise Him! Glorify His Name! Don't let go - cling to Jesus like you've never have before. He will never leave you.
Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can do that. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done. - Romans 8:39

There is a great song out right now. Meditate on the words to:

 You Won't Let Go:
No shadow comes without the light making a way
No raging storm can ever defy one word of faith
My heart remains sure in the wind, sure in the waves
You are the anchor for my soul
You won't let go
You won't let go
No matter what may come I know
You won't let go

No valley low, changes the truth
So I'm not afraid
You hold me close
You lead me through and light up the way
Neither life, neither death,
The highest high, the deepest depth
Nothing can
Nothing can separate
Neither tears, neither trials
Certain as the sun will rise
Nothing can
Nothing can separate

You are the anchor for my soul
You won't let go
You won't let go
No matter what may come I know
You won't let go

My heart remains sure in the wind, sure in the waves, always.
Michael W Smith -

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Forever Love

We know the first verse of the Bible tells us that God made everything. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. - Genesis 1:1. His plan for creation is an overflow of His great love. Take in God's handiwork around you today, and marvel in His greatness and faithfulness. 

Psalm 136:1 - 9
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. 
His love endures forever. 
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever,
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord today. Praise and magnify Him - not the world, not someone else, not your trials - His love endures longer than any of those.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Taking Care of Business

My mentor taught me years ago, "minister to the people God puts in front of you". This is Godly counsel. Too many times we miss these individual opportunities to be Jesus to someone.  

Today be aware of those God puts around you. 

Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28

Monday, June 16, 2014

Be Transformed not Affirmed

God's House should be welcoming and transforming by the power of the Holy Spirit. When church leaders decided that it should be something other than that Jesus got mad.

Matthew 21:12-13: 
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.

Be transformed - Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Our Father

"Our Father, which art in Heaven "Hallowed be thy Name"
Thy kingdom come "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"
Give us this day our daily bread" And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"
And lead us not into temptation" "But deliver us from evil"
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen 

"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name"Jesus begins this prayer with a plural word “our”. This is not a “me and Jesus” prayer. Instead we are united with others throughout the globe, people who pray in a variety of languages and hold customs far different than ourselves. We seek ways to keep God’s name holy, by using God’s name for prayer, praise and thanksgiving. But, we may need a push here. We also keep God’s name holy as we proclaim God’s wonderful deeds. God’s holy name is not intended to be kept silent.

"Thy Kingdom come"let us pray to be open to ways God might use us to bring God’s reign to this earth. How might we proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to those who do not know of the love of God? How might we be part of God’s team?

"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"Much hinders God’s will, but we pray that we might not be ones who prevent God’s will from happening. We pray that we are not stumbling blocks for others to hear of God’s love made known in Christ. Let us pray for wisdom and open spirits to allow God’s will to be done in and through us.

"Give us this day our daily bread"Evangelism is proclaiming good news in word and deed. How can someone hear the Good News of Jesus when her children are starving? How can someone hear the Good News of Jesus when he is exhausted from thirst?

 "And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" By the grace of God, we let go and embrace the day. Slowly our hardened hearts yield to a life with joy and hope. By God’s grace, we witness to the freeing power of forgiveness in Christ.

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. We pray we might not be deceived by all that draws us from God. It is so easy to confuse our busy schedules with lives which truly serve Jesus Christ. For our sake, Jesus kept it very simple: Love one another; Tell everyone about my love. Yet, we succumb to the daily temptation to not be a witness to Jesus. 

 "For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen" We give God glory by offering our lives to follow Jesus Christ. 

Happy Father's Day

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Action Verse

Give Thanks

To The One True God

Who Is In Heaven

His Love Never Fails

His Loves Endures Forever

And Ever


Let's put this verse in to action today and every day. Thank and praise His Holy name! Accept His promises of enduring love, grace, and mercy. Share them with the world around you.

What will thankfulness and praise look like in your life today?

Friday, June 13, 2014

God's Plans

I love this quote from Pastor Louie Giglio. It really puts in to perspective the trials we face in life.

God is bigger, stronger, wealthier, wiser, and more powerful than anything the world can throw at you.

Keep looking up to God, following His plans and purposes for your life. Don't let the "horizontal" things trip you up. Remember: No matter how big they appear God specializes in bringing down giants!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Thing

God wants us to be and do His thing! If not we’ll go back to the vision-less life like He warned against in Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV) When we follow in obedience not only will that make us happy it will lead us to an exciting life in the Lord. 
The Lord says, See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

Allow this vision to be birthed and grow in your life.
What "new thing" does He want to bless you with?

Seek the Lord – you will find Him. He will be with you during the "trials" of life. Remember you can't have a testimony until you've been tested. You can pass the test that's in front of you with God nothing is impossible. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Discover Your Vision

Before every great undertaking in life there is someone who has a vision for the task ahead. Every Christ follower needs to discover God’s vision for their life.

Vision will bring five things in to your life.

1. Vision brings definition. Vision defines our decisions on life. Can you form a one-sentence vision statement for your life?

2. Vision brings design. Just like the steps in life: conception, gestation, birth, growth, maturity, and finally reproduction. Previous visions are reproduced into newer and expanded visions – the dream goes on.

3. Vision brings about doing. Nothing happened in the rebuilding of Jerusalem until Nehemiah’s vision took on definition and design. This brought about the motivation to rebuild. Doing the vision serves as a witness to other believers and to the world who is watching.

4. Vision brings direction. Where are you headed? Personal vision guides your life.

5. Vision brings dependence. Visions should be God-sized so there is no way for them to be accomplished without Him. The Lord sees our potential.

What vision has God placed on your heart?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Look Ahead

Vision is vital to Christian living. Those who grew up memorizing KJV remember this translation. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)

The word vision (revelation) means “to mentally perceive or to contemplate”. The word translated perish (restraint) is used in the OT as “to go back”.  In Numbers 14:3 God’s wandering people wanted to “go back” to Egypt. 

He said, “I am the Lord your God. Listen carefully to my voice. Do what is right in my eyes. Pay attention to my commands. Obey all of my rules. If you do, I will not send on you any of the sicknesses I sent on the Egyptians. I am the Lord who heals you.” - Exodus 15:26

Those who have no vision, no perception of what they could be, seem to have no clear direction in their Christian journey.

Moving on Toward the Goal (Philippians 3)

12 I have not yet received all of those things. I have not yet been made perfect. But I move on to take hold of what Christ Jesus took hold of me for.
13 Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider that I have taken hold of it yet. But here is the one thing I do. I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me. 14 I move on toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.
15 All of us who are grown up in the faith should see things that way. Maybe you think differently about something. But God will make it clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already reached.
17 Brothers and sisters, join with others in following my example. Pay close attention to those who live in keeping with the pattern we gave you.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Happy, Happy, Happy

Today let's take a good look a well known Bible verse, Proverbs 29:18 using several translations in order to have a better grasp of it's teaching.

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. (NIV)

If people can’t see what God is doing, They stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. (Message)

Where there is ignorance of God, crime runs wild; but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep his laws.(LB)

Where there is no word from God, people are uncontrolled,  but those who obey what they have been taught are happy. (NCV)

Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint, but happy are those who keep the law. (NRSV)

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)

What is the problem in each version? - no revelation, can't see God, ignorance of God, no Word, no prophecy, no vision.

What is the result of the problem? - cast off restraint, stumble over themselves, crime runs wild, people are uncontrolled, people perish

How does “But God” change the outcome? You'll be blessed, have knowledge, be wonderful, obedient and happy, keep His commands and be happy, happy, happy!

We all have problems that lead to bad results "BUT" praise God that He always has a better plan. Amen?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I Am on the ROCK

When I rededicated my life to Christ in 1987 one thing I didn't want to let go of was my rock music. Then I was introduced to a Christian band that could rock with the best of them. Today's verse, on the Lord being our protector and foundation had to inspire a Petra song titled, I Am On The Rock. 

The earth is shakin' It's like a bad dream

This world is crumblin' Comin' apart at the seam but

I am on the Rock

Everywhere I'm turning it's only bad news

This bomb is tickin' and we're getting to the end of the fuse but
I am on the Rock, the sure foundation
I am on the Rock, His revelation
Though the winds may blow
And though the floods may grow
I shall not be moved, 'cause I am on the Rock
The storm's approaching, I'm standing high and dry
Firmly planted on the Rock that is higher than I
I am on the Rock
Kingdoms failing, they fall around me
Plans eroded, and washing away to the sea

There is no Rock in this world but our God

Take a stand and Keep rockin' for Jesus!
CLICK or paste for Petra video -  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Praise Through the Storm

I saw this in a post from Greg Silverman yesterday. It really helps to be reminded when you are going through the storm who to keep focused on. Amen?

Our God is not only greater, but He is the absolute greatest. Even in the midst of trouble, instead of praising your problem and magnifying it, give praise to your God, magnify Him, and watch Him stand up and step in on your behalf. Hallelujah!  

Like the old hymn reminds us:
  1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!
    • Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
      Look full in His wonderful face,
      And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
      In the light of His glory and grace.
    • Thank you Jesus for never taking your eyes off of us, and walking with us through the storms of this life.
Our God is not only greater, but He is the absolute greatest.  That's why we praise Him!  Even in the midst of trouble, instead of praising your problem and magnifying it, give praise to your God, magnify Him, and watch Him stand up and step in on your behalf.  HalleluYah

Friday, June 6, 2014

Keep Looking Up

I talk about looking up a lot. You know vertical. It really is the type of relationship God wants you to have with Him. By keeping your eyes on Him you will not be distracted, you'll understand His will better, and you'll hear better.

You don't have to be in trouble to look to God. Just keep your eyes on Him. There is no better thing  on earth to watch, and it will probably keep you out of trouble as well.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Time to Get Your Praise On

Sing to the Lord a new song! Sing of His mighty work and loving hand! Praise the Lord - Shout Glory to His Name!
Guess when you are suppose to have a thankful heart and praise for God on your lips?

Yes that means not only church but work, home in your yard, at school, in a traffic jam, when you don't have money, a good Dr's report, bad news, when you are away, etc.... Yes always.
Let's practice this today. It will change your attitude and probably brighten someone else's day as well. It will also put a smile on God's face - well done.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mighty God

Years ago when I was a kid my parents took my brother and I to Niagara Falls. It is a magnificent example of the Creator's majesty and power. The raw power of the Falls and the millions of gallons flowing over it is awesome. I was shocked to hear that a boy (my age at the time) had survived going over the Falls. How is that possible? At the bottom lay boulders and jagged shards of rocks. 

The truth is it would be impossible without God. The same God who created it's might is powerful enough to catapult a child beyond the base and in to a pool of water to be rescued.
Maybe today you feel like you are headed over a falls in your life. Maybe you think that there is no humanly way to escape. Then cry out to Jesus! He is an expert of making a way where none exists - all things are possible for Christ our Lord. 

He is mightier than all the noise in your life. He can bring peace in to your world.