Monthly Archives: July 2016

My Aim-My Mission-My Dream.

(Galatians 5:6) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 

13th century prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

st. francis of assisi – 13th century

Although this was written by a Catholic believer and I may not agree with all the teachings of Catholicism yet this is such a beautiful prayer, full of mercy and truth. I do not have flawless theology either but the greatest attribute is “faith expressing itself through love”- for a man of wisdom is good, and a man of solid knowlege of the truth of God is good, yet we ought to grow in the love of God, for this is the best! The highest and noblest call of the believer in Christ is love-

Imagine being so controlled by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ that you can look a totall stranger in the eye and feel God’s love for them and the Savior hanging on the cross crying out in agony, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do”

Imagine the heart of the Savior longing through you for this stranger’s greatest good and ultimate wholeness and blessing and eternal happiness in heaven. Imagine even the bleeding suffering of Christ for even one’s enemies. What a impossible aspiration yet in Christ the impossibilities can become realities!

Oh I believe it is possible! Oh I dare to believe this! Although I will never be sinless this side of heaven my hopes is to achieve such a glorious reality that Christ consumes me to the point where I can rejoice with the ones who have the blessings I long for, and rejoice their lives are blessed when I am afflicted, may the Lord remove all envy and selfish ambitions from our heart so His glory can adorn us and His righteousness clothe us!

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The Man Whos name translates “Stupid”

Nabal: He was rich but his name translated stupid

1 Samuel 25:2-26 A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite. While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours! “‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’” When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited. Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?” David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies. One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them. Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.” Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them. David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!” When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. 

Observations- Nabal was rich

-Nabal was not well liked by even his servants nor his wife.

-Nabal was underhanded

-Nabal was unappreciative for what David’s men did by guarding his livestock

-Nabal returned evil for good

– Nabal was self indulgent
Observations: Abigail was patient and a kind woman, Nabal did not deserve her.

-Abigail seemed to have a way with words, she talked David out of his plan to take revenge.

-Abigail was both intelligent and beautiful

Observations: David felt unappreciated for his kindness

-David got angry

– David was tempted and almost took revenge but had a wise heart that could be reasoned with, although David had his many flaws he had a heart for God and was able to be disuaded from revenge.

– David acknowleged God kept him from bloodguilt by sending Abigail to talk sense into him

– David then trusted the Lord to deal with his enemy

Observation: God was just and dealt with Nabal.

Reminds me of a parable Jesus taught
Luke 12:13-21 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” 

What became of Nabal?

1 Samuel 25:36-38 When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died. 

The Gospel Is For Both the Right and the Left.

(Matthew 27:38) Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 

Look here, as Christ lie there dying on the cross there were “Two rebels” along side of him “one on his right and one on his left.” 

The truth of the Gospel is Christ died for sinners both on the right and left, if we die holding on to a false political gospel we die in our sins together along with those who are our rivals unless, like one of the thieves on the cross you respond in brokeness-

Luke 23:39-41 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 

These two thieves had this in common, they were both guilty- only differences were their geographical position and also one repented and put his faith in Christ, the other died in his sins. The lost sinners on the right cannot condemn the lost sinners on the left, neither can the lost sinners on the left blame those on the right, the only response, and the wisest response is to look at our broken souls condemned to die but in home look to Him who dies in our place.

What Length Will You Go to See Men and women Saved?

(Mark 2:1-5) A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 
These men cared and loved their friend, there was no way the disabled man could get to Christ on his own. But his friends made sure he got to the feet of the Savior, they would not take no for an answer when an obstacle presented itself, they went to the trouble of making a hole in the roof and lowered the man down right in front of Jesus. 

Dear Christians, what are you willing to do to see your lost loved ones know the love of Jesus, what price tag will you pay? Inconvenience, ridicule, resistence or sacrifice of time? How bout fervent effectual prayer?  Keep knoccking and pounding of heavens door till your hands are broken if this is what it takes to save their souls from death. Exhaust yourself and lose sleep if this is what it takes, bombard the throne of grace with your heartfelt cry, be earnest, for “The Lord rewards those who earnestly seek him” Hebrews 11:6

If they do not have enough faith of their own to believe then excercise your earnest persitent faith for them.

For “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 

“Their faith” not that of the paralyzed man, but his friends/ and so it is sometimes with the non Christian, we must intercede on their behalf so God might honor our faith by granting them faith!

The Broken Woman Who Loved Much and The Self Righteous Pharisee who loved little.

-The Broken woman that saw the face of God-

Psalm 2:10-12 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 

The woman in our story was what the religious of Christ’s day would call a “loose woman” – She was from what many scholars would suggest the “lady of the night” or the “town prostitute” but look into God’s heart through how His Beloved Son Jesus treated this woman, Jesus did not drive her off, but he knew every sin she commited and how broken and bleeding her heart was. Being a woman in these days was not easy, and women were not treated the way God intended but were often the marginalized class, if you were crippled, or orphaned or a widow or woman life was very hard but Jesus loved this woman- he knew her struggles, maybe she felt the sting of a society that trampled her womanhood, or maybe she had never tasted what a man of the Lord really looked like- in that culture even godly men of God had their shortcomings and women were not always treated according to God’s original design but we know for a fact in the scripture following that Christ let her come to him even though she lived a sinful life.

Luke 7:39-47 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

This woman could not contain how moved she was in her heart by the love of her Savior, she couldn’t hold it in but kept kissing his feet and took a very expensive perfume and broke it and poured it on his feet and wept tears and wiped His feet with her hair- She saw the face of God, she saw the man Jesus Christ who loved her beyond comprehension when know one else showed her this.
Christian we ought to do the same, let us through Christ be the face of God others need to see whether in the Church or in the world!

Christian Sunflower

THE SUNFLOWER:
The Sunflower has been known to turn toward the sun, and that is how a believer should be, there should be an inward thirst for the light of God’s presence drawing them back into fellowship with Him. “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all, if we claim to in the light yet walk in darkness we lie and do not live by the truth, but if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ, his son cleanses us from all unrighteousness”- 1 John 1:6-7

Why God Told Israel To Wipe Out the Caanenites

It may seem harsh until you consider what the Caanenites were capable of, think of ISIS for example. They are not a bunch of fun fellows to be around and neither were the people of Caanen. They were savage and barbaric, for example, when the people of Philistia captured their enemies it often did not mean just death but torture, or what about the Ammonites and their god Molek? 

Well, before you feel too sorry for this sad bunch of people just consider that they commonly practiced child sacrifice by fire.

Leviticus 20:1-2 The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. 

If they did not wipe them out, then later on they would do the same things- which they did infact. 

Fast forward, 

1 Kings 11:5-6 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. 
Fast forward again,

Isaiah 57:9 You went to Molek with olive oil and increased your perfumes. You sent your ambassadors far away; you descended to the very realm of the dead! 

Jeremiah 32:35 They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molek, though I never commanded—nor did it enter my mind—that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin. 

As God already warned before way back in the book of Numbers –

Numbers 33:55-56 “‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’” 

So next time someone says God commanded genocide in the Old Testament, throw this at them. 
God is has not commanded people to kill anyone today like then infact Jesus says, “Love your enemies” not kill them, however if anyone wants to bring up ancient Jewish history to disprove God’s goodness or existence then do your research before you bring up stuff long long ago to justify your stance for the 21st Century. It might clear things up fairly nicely.

Overcomplicating the Gospel?

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 

What if our approach to sharing Christ let God do more talking then we do? I think it is so easy to get hung up on extrapolating on truth we do not let the truth speak for itself. My dad always said, “Don’t dominate the conversation.” 

How profound? Hit me tonight that maybe in my attempts to try to help people see Christ I may not be letting Christ get a word in edgewise! 

Well, when sharing the Gospel I think it is good to keep it simple as often as one can unless a non Christian asks a complex question and it needs explaination but usually His Word is in most parts simple enough for children to understand. To mature as a Christian involves more indepth study but I would venture to say that simply sharing the faith and witnessing is so simple- not always easy- but simple enough it needs no long winded exegesis. 

Remember Gideon, the Lord did not use his army till he scaled it back to only 300 fighting men. They did not win the battle by sword either but jars and lanterns.

The walls of Jericho fell not by sword, spear or lance, but God’s simple directions to march around the wall for seven days.


The battle is not ours but the Lord’s so when we rely to much on our own wisdom and explainations we may be stifling the Holy Spirit’s desire to speak! We need to let Him have the floor until He tells us to say this or that.

Biblical Psychology.

The Best Psychology Book I read, the Bible

Much of Psychology is man’s way to make sense of a fallen world- what we refer to as psychiatric disorders are to the Christian referred to as stronholds- deeply ingrained defective patterns of thinking deeply rooted in lies about ourselves, others, life and God.

Im not saying all conditions from a psychiatric standpoint are just mind over matter, there are some that do require medications, so not all but a large handful.

Take for example excessive rage or constant aggressive mindsets- or prolonged anxiety. Alot of people do not have a diagnosis except for they have believed things that cause them fear for so long that their brain has formed a well worn path called anxiety through their minds.

These mindsets are not good for one’s health, From an actual medical standpoint according to actual research they validate what is already written in scripture without realizing it. 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

“The wages of sin is death” both physically and spiritually.

1.)
Wrath

http://www.m.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/rein-in-rage-anger-heart-disease

Anger is a terrible stronghold, Im not referring to all indignation and all anger but if the constant undercurrent of one’s life is anger then it is a deadly prison that can isolate and trap, I used to be a bitter person, like a rattlesnake I was alway coiled and poised to strike anyone I thought might step on me. I often perceived danger/threats where people really were not out to get me and I would strike and inject my liquid rage into hapless victims who never really intended me harm, the Lord helped me so much not to be as combustible but it was a slow process and involved my cooperation.

Past hurts contribute to infectious rage, undealt wounds become infected and spill poisonous puss of self righteous rage. Some offenses in my past were not done with premeditated malice or ill intent but by people who meant no harm if they could have avoided it but were in situations where they did step on my toes. I had been rejected alot in life, by girls, job opportunities, exct- not only this but I carried my own preconceived insecurities that were only reinforced by painful incidences. This is why someone who is struggling in this way can be very easily unsettled or angered by certain topics, if you are talking with someone who is in this mess we all probably find ourselves at one time you can actually be talking to them and they can be set off by the “trigger” which is in essence a detonation switch that will set off all their anger and negative recolections all at once like a grand finalley at a 4th of July parade. You may have to be very careful with these people like you would an injured pitbull that is hyper sensitive to the slightest touch.

Alot of their issue is not just anger- its deeper, anger is the byproduct and symptom just like a chicken pox or shingles outbreak is caused by the underlying virus- the lies they believe will trigger these episodes.

For me it was “Austin look at you, your in a wheelchair and are weird and I know you like yourself as you are but women wont want you- the ones that will are so hard to find that someone else will get to them before you can, your not that attractive man and you have all these things against you really. The odds of you meeting a girl are very small and plus you do not make much money, women do not like guys who cannot make enough money”

Well it took a while but I had to confront these with what God says- 

Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 

Not to say a spouse is guaranteed but the truth is God loves to provide for His children’s needs and often he does give them the desires of their hearts as well. 
Another is:

Psalm 127:1-3 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 
And their are many rich promises in scripture that open a window into God’s loving heart.

2.)
Worry

http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/how-worrying-affects-your-body
People who worry all the time are from my standpoint people who love to control things, I know because worry is one of my biggest strongholds in this point of my Christian life-if we worriers feel like we cannot control a possible situation that might go bad we panic, yet Jesus taught us we cannot change much of anything through fretting. 

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 

Jesus basically says, we cannot add to our life by it- —-no, we only suffer the health affects of it really. Also worry does not decrease any future problems and adding trouble is the essence of worrying, each day has a sufficient set of problems. We are to “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (making his goals for saving lost sinners and bringing them into his family as well as growing more into who he wants us to be) and he will provide for what we need to get through life.

3.)
Guilt-Prolonged guilt is not good for your health, it can really drain and suffocate a man or woman. We have all done things we know are wrong. Guilt is healthy if it gets us to effectively deal with our sin but being soaked in it all the time is not good.
Guilt is a “check engine light” in your heart, false guilt is like a check engine light that wont go off if there is no actual problem or if an actual problem has been fixed. My check engine light once came on and stayed on just because the gas cap was not on tight enough and then did not go off until I got the code cleared- but if there was a problem and I kept going and did not get it looked into then this too would be serious!

Conviction from God’s Spirit shows us specifically what wrong we did or harbored in our heart. How do we get this dealt with, only one way, coming to our soul mechanic, the only trained One who can fix our heart and forgive our wrong actions.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

To confess is to acknowlege our problem and then Jesus Christ forgives us and moves in us to not just keep damaging our heart engine but rather do what it takes to rectify the problem through repentence- repentence is a change of heart and ways. If I were a thief and I acknowleged I sinned before God then I would receive His Cleansing through Christ and repent by aiming to live differently!

2 Corinthians 7:8-11 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 

So being weighed down all the time by guilt after we have made ammends with God and also those we wrong can be a drain, Christ washes away all our sins when we genuinely turn to Him and as a Christian He corrects us through His Spirit when we need it but to constantly feel “Woe is me!” Is a very caustic way to live and damages your witness for Christ.
Its one thing to be authentic and let the world know your not perfect and still make mistakes but if you were like me not terribly long ago you carried a sense of weighiness and constant feelings of condemnation which is not how God calls us to live- we are called to take sin seriously but not beat ourselves up for what Christ is willing to forgive. Be serious but not so serious your bruising yourself all over and blackening your eyes. Christ has already took that beating and died in your place and mine so we can live as “New Creations”

The Paper Mache Christian

What Are You Being Molded to Look Like?

Jeremiah 18:1-10 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it. 

Consider this, when a pot is on a wheel being made it is pressed to take a certain shape. I think back to art class whenI made a paper mache pig but I first put the ballon underneath so the paste and paper would conform to its proper shape. Now if we are in Christ and Christ is in us, the shape we ought to take more and more as God presses on our lives should conform to him who dwells in us, right?

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

When God presses the Christian he is perfecting Christ in them, for as John the baptist said, “He must increase and I must decrease”

So if all our pains and sufferings help us love more like Christ we have not become losers,

If all our disciplinings and corrections help us follow closer and fall into sin less we become winners,

If our hardships shape our compassion and teach us to serve better and humble ourselves more then we become more and more like the light Christ calls us to be to shine in the darkness, we win!