8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “The Good Sporting Life” by Stephen Liggins

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I want to grab this opportunity to tell you that I’m involved with another ministry. Gospel of Grace Ministries aims to provide Christian literatures and Filipino translations of Christian books. As of today, we are able to provide Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook and The London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689 in Filipino language on a daily basis on our FB Page for free. Once the lockdown is lifted we will have a meeting to lay the plans and direction of this ministry. For now, you can check the ministry FB Page.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from the book, The Good Sporting Life by Stephen Liggins published by MatthiasMedia. If you like these quotes, please get the book by clicking here.

“Living as a Christian in a sporting context–or any context, for that matter–involves struggle. The stronger our relationship with God, the better we will do.”
 
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7 Ministry Lessons We Can Learn from John the Baptist

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In the gospels, John the Baptist had shown us the weight of ministerial work. In what would take a lifetime experience, looking at John’s brief ministry we can learn alot, that can help us in our own church and ministry. Here’s seven lessons we can learn from John the Baptist. For an in depth treatment of John, head over to this link.

He had one message to preach- (Matthew 3: 1,2; Mark 1:4) In our time when Christians are reaching people through blogs, Youtube videos, podcast, Zoom webinars and Facebook Live, we should make clear what is our main goal. That is, we should preach the gospel. This is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. But a few years before Jesus gave this monumental task to His disciples, John was already preaching the gospel. We can be busy in every aspect of our ministry but we shouldn’t forget our message.

“John came baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” — Mark 1:4 (CSB)

We as believer are carrying a message. The message is not about us, our church or denomination. Nor programs, methods, traditions or music. Our sole message is Christ and Him crucified. Our message is the most important message that everyone should hear. So lets be clear and proclaim it in our ministry.

He clearly knows who he is and his role (Matthew 3: 3; Matthew 3: 11)

When ask who is he is and who gave him authority to perform him his works, he response is sure and clear:

  “In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea  and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!”  For he is the one spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, who said:

A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way for the Lord;
make his paths straight!”–Matthew 3:1–3 (CSB)

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” — Matthew 3: 11 (CSB)

Not only does he know who he is and his role but he knows his only duty he needs to perform. Having no clear path to take shouldn’t be the mark of our ministry.  In the midst of this multi-tasking culture, the church should not follow.  John is specifically doing one thing and that counts.

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8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Progress” by Adrian Reynolds

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Are you carving some spiritual habits while quarantined at home? If you want to pursue to be a good reader, you need to find good materials that you can read on. I have articles about creating a digital library full of books and also setting up a rack of digital magazines. All of these resources are free.

Here’s some quotes from the book, Progress by Adrian Reynolds published by 10 of Those. If you like these quotes, please get the book by clicking here.

“Most of those going into ministry set themselves the goal of making early academic progress, predominantly measured through exams or supervision. Fewer apply the same rigor to their godliness, but even supposing some do, this desire to progress is quickly lost in the maelstrom of ministry.”

“The godliness of a gospel worker is therefore worked out in how he or she relates to others alongside relating to God himself. We must not ignore one at the expense of the other. This also means that active participation in the life of the church is implied.”

“It is not enough, then, to make some progress, although that is a really good start. Our aim is to grow more and more into the likeness of our Saviour, so – depending on his grace and strengthening – we want to keep progressing in those areas where we are weak.”

“The man or woman who hides himself away, investing everything in loving God but giving nothing to love others is, ultimately, a fraud (as is, so it happens, the pastor who claims to love others but is cold towards the Lord).”

“The stakes could not be higher. Gospel ministry is a high calling which demands much. But it is also a glorious calling with the great privilege of seeing men and women bow the knee before Christ Jesus.”

“Our identity as gospel workers is very often wrapped up in our teaching ministry. An admission that we need to keep making progress, therefore, seems remarkably close to an admission of failure.”

“supernatural appointment and human endeavour are natural companions. In fact, they are both necessary if progress is going to happen.”

“Progress also means cultivating and seeking opportunities to demonstrate love to others and doing so more and more. “

The Quotable Round Up #13

As I have said last week, the recently concluded Manila International Book Fair proves that Filippinos love books and spirituality. It’s a great venue to share the gospel and let Christ shine. Although that is the case, I also observe that majority of teens and young adults go for romance and anime themed books. Adults are more geared towards anything spiritual. With this observation, I think Christian publishers should further strengthen their reach for teens and young adults. I hope and pray they produce more books that are gospel driven. Now for our weekly dose of quotes:
“Every believer is called to ministry. We’re called to see that all of the tasks of the kingdom take place-that the poor are ministered to, the gospel is proclaimed, the Word of God is taught, and worship takes place.”
–R. C. Sproul
“A means of grace is a tool or instrument that God uses to strengthen and nurture us so that we grow in conformity to Christ. We don’t always think about service as a means of grace, but we grow as we serve. The more we are able to serve in the kingdom of God, the more Christ like we become.”
–R. C. Sproul

“We know that God is not restricted to the building, but we are aware that this is a sacred hour that God has set apart and declared to be a holy time of visitation between Himself and His people. So we leave worldly cares and concerns for a while and focus on God. We come to hear a word from God, and it is the pastor’s responsibility to make sure what we hear from the pulpit is the Word of God, not pop psychology. The power is in the Word, for it is the truth.”
–R. C. Sproul

“The primary reason to be in church is to worship the living God, and for this we must bring a sense of reverence and adoration for His transcendent majesty.”
— R. C. Sproul

“Once we believe into Christ and embrace Christ, then we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who is, in reality, Christ in us. So the mystical union is that once we are born of the Spirit and are given the gift of faith and move into Christ, then we are in Christ and Christ is in us.”
–R. C. Sproul

“The whole basis for our relationship to God is grace. It is not something we earn or deserve or purchase. It is a gift.”
–R. C. Sproul

“The atoning death of Christ gave us a new, freer kind of access to the Father. Christ won for us peace with God and the end of estrangement.”
— R. C. Sproul

5 Indispensable Truths Youth Leaders or Pastors Must Know

For those youth pastors or leaders these are some truths I’ve learn in just a few years as a youth leader in our church. They always reinforce me to seek God and depend more to Him in ministry:

  1. You can’t please everyone- there is only one you should please and that’s our living God. Be an audience of one today.
  2. Problems won’t go away – Problems upon problems may come to your ministry but Christ is always there for you.
  3. Your identity is not your ministry – Christ is your identity and what He has accomplished for you as his follower.
  4. People change – that is a very true. Some will give you headaches; some will leave you and go back to you. But be sure God’s promises will not.
  5. Don’t forget your personal time with God – don’t sacrifice your personal dealings with God in the altar of ministry. It is the most essential thing to be able to have a strong standing before God.

Anything you can add to the list? Please use the comment section.

Book Review: What Shall This Man Do? by Watchman Nee

Since being a new Christian I (like others) has this sort of an appetite to find his or her own niche in the ministry. We try and try various things to know what we will do in the ministry. But still their is hanging question to me: What is the will of God for me? How do I fit in the kingdom of God? What can I do for the church?

“What Shall This Man Do?” provides a biblical perspective on your calling from and your place in the ministry. This book draws up bio sketch from leaders used by God in three areas of the ministry namely evangelism (Peter/Way), teaching (Paul/Life) and discipleship/mentoring (John/Truth). The book tackles not just what they have done in the ministry but also how did God revealed their place in the ministry which is crucial to a believer. Nee calls the Christians not just to know his place in the ministry but to have a personal knowledge of God in their life.

Please bear in mind that this book (or collection of writings) were from the pre-WW2 times. This doesn’t mean that its irrelevant for our time but still strikes the very heart of the believers inquiry on his place in the ministry. Pure and raw, far from books coming out today with all those strategy stuff that you can dismiss it as business management book rather a Christian book. This volume resembles like those vintage books of the late J. Oswald Sanders, which is meaty with biblical insights that you wont crave for quick fix.

Finally a book that will answer your question, “How can God use me?” Watchman Nee’s book “What Shall This Man Do?” will give refuge for that question and much more so that you can built and carry God’s calling to your life.

Book Review: Calling Christian Leaders by John Stott

There is one thing that I want to say when reading a thin book by John Stott: don’t be deceived! Yes, don’t be deceived!  Don’t be fooled by the thinness of the book your reading. Just because you’re reading a short book it doesn’t mean it lacks content or it cries for a follow up. I have this secret principle that works like a charm:  “The shorter or thinner the Christian book is, the more powerful and high impacting it is.” But of course, it sometimes depends on the author.  Like in many other books he crafted, gifted Bible teacher and author John Stott proves that he is one of the greatest Christian writers of our time in “Calling Christian Leaders.” He calls every Christian to take leadership by calling them to see it straight from the Bible and the Bible alone.

The basic premises of the book is Christian leadership that doesn’t get the shots from culture.  But as you read this book, page after page solid biblical lessons drawn from 1 Corinthians. And when I say solid it means steel solid. When I say it’s biblical it is iron clad biblical. This short book is not a fast read nor is rough to go on to. It is meant to be digested slowly. You might forget this is for neither leadership nor a stab on culture because of its tremendous amount of expository that will leave you breathless. Stott doesn’t jump into bashing secular influence that permeates the church nor throws what leadership is by his own experience like most author does.  Well he injects it along the way without getting off what he is trying to convey God’s wondrous in this collection of talks. After discussing it with you, John Stott will take you a mountain top view and shows you that Christian leadership is not about the leaders itself but how leaders relate with the church, gospel and ministry. Also he will let you see that those components of leadership is not a just a human institution which he states need to go away. Then you’ll decide. Well you know who you will pick.

You will be humbled and floored by God’s enduring Word unraveled by John Stott for the Christian. You’ll finish the book with a great respect to the biblical model of leadership. A holy fear on what God’s view on the church, gospel and ministry will grab hold you to think and examine your convictions. Undiluted, pure, raw and no holds barred look at the Scriptures on leadership that will swept you away with this masterful work from Stott. You shouldn’t miss this one. OMF has done it again. Highly recommended.

Teen Level Up! Delighting Grace Interviews Rachel Blom of Youth Leader Academy

 

Isn’t time for teenagers in your church to be leaders? Do you want their voices be heard? If your answer is ‘yes’ then read on. Delighting Grace caught up with Rachel Blom of Youth Leader Academy. Rachel graciously answered our questions about youth ministry, empowering teens and more:

 

Delighting Grace: Rachel, tell us why youth ministry matters to the church?

 

Rachel Blom: I think youth ministry matters to the church for several reasons. First of all, each person matters to God no matter how old or young you are. Society tends to see young people as kids, but they can contribute so much. Look at how God uses teens in the Bible, like David, Mary and Timothy. I’m convinced teens and youth can play a crucial role in the church – if we let them and help them in this. Secondly, it’s proven that it’s important to solidify your faith when you are a teenager. People who have a strong faith as a teen tend to keep their faith as an adult. That’s why we should invest in youth ministry to bring young people to Christ.

 

Delighting Grace: What can you say about churches that somewhat undermines youth ministry? How do we show that youth ministry is important?

 

Rachel Blom: I think the Bible should always be our starting point. It’s important to show how God has used teens throughout the Bible. God can use teens and young people in a mighty way if we allow Him. Often, current testimonies of teens about the impact of their youth ministry do wonders as well.

Most of the times churches who are somewhat against youth ministry are afraid of something. They may be afraid youth ministry will become its own church, that they will preach a different gospel, that the teens won’t come to church anymore, etc. In such occasions it’s very important to just talk with each other and get a clear picture of what these fears are. Youth leaders need to be understanding here and need to be humble and submissive to the ‘big church’.

 

Delighting Grace: What are the common problems do we encounter when we minister to teens?

 

Rachel Blom: I think the most important problem is to help them realize what truth means. Teens often pick and choose their own truths based on all the info they get, but we need to show them the only Truth who can save you. Also, I think that as witnesses, we often have the problem of not practicing what we preach. Our life, our actions, has to match our words otherwise our testimony and ministry is powerless.

 

Delighting Grace: Is there a way to determine that this one teen will be big someday? If I bring you to our youth ministry and line a group of teens, if you have to choose, who will it be? Is it possible to do that?

 

Rachel Blom: Most of the times it’s fairly easy to pick out the leaders, but that doesn’t mean they will be the ones to be ‘big’. God has a funny way of picking unlikely candidates for big jobs, people who at first glance don’t seem to be a good fit at all. So I don’t think you can make such a prediction, it really is up to God. But often those who have servant’s hearts will go far…

 

Delighting Grace: Do we need to really empower teens because for a fact they are young for it?

 

Rachel Blom: I think teens aren’t too young for anything. I wouldn’t entrust them full responsibility and they may need

adult supervision, but I’m convinced they can do much more than we often think. The Bible tells us that God gives spiritual gifts to each and every believer. It doesn’t say these are only given to adults, so teens who are committed to Christ have them as well. So yes, we do need to empower teens and install in them a great sense of purpose, a knowing that God can and will use them if they are willing to obey and follow.

 

Delighting Grace: Personally, how do you shape teens fit for leadership?

 

Rachel Blom: This is a tough question. I think it’s a combination of knowledge, practical skills but above all character that you’re going for. You can teach certain practical skills, like leading a Bible study or holding a meeting. Those aren’t that hard to teach. You can also share knowledge about leadership, the Bible, etc. But the most important part is character, because without a servant’s heart a leader isn’t any good. Character is hard to teach, that’s a matter of discipleship and mentoring in small groups, preferably one on one.

 

Delighting Grace: What about the parents? Some will take this leadership thing as a burden? How can someone avoid this assumption?

 

Rachel Blom: I think it’s about convincing parents of God’s calling. Again, look to the Bible for examples of parents like the parents of John the Baptist, Samson, or Samuel. Their child received a calling by God and as parents, we need to obey. The parents need to support their teen or youth in this and help them become the man or woman God wants them to be. In that way, parents can share some of the burden.

 

Delighting Grace: As a mom, how can someone employ leadership to their own children? Is there a difference in strategy for that kid from your church and your own?

 

Rachel Blom: In your own home, being a good example is of even more importance. Your kids will do what you do, not what you say. So as a parents, as a mom, you need to be very aware of this. My son is four years old and I’m trying to model the kind of relationship with God to him that I want him to have. So we don’t just do standard prayers, we talk with God and about God and involve Him in everything. I’m trying to show him who God is from a very early age on.

 

Delighting Grace: Before we end this interview, please invite our readers to your blog. Your blog is such a blessing especially for those of us who are ministering the youth.

Rachel Blom: I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share what God has taught me throughout the years with others, especially with regards to youth ministry. I’d love for you to come and visit my blog on www.youthleadersacademy.com May God bless you where ever and how ever you are serving Him!

 

Delighting Grace: Thank you Rachel, God bless you too!!!

Reformed Children’s Books

Just recently I had this taste for children’s books. I’m interested on how to deliver the story and where the pictures will fit in that kids will easily understand important doctrines like salvation. I’m fascinated on how God uses simple stories and songs to reveal His love for them.  It started when I got involved with children’s ministry. Attending a Sunday School workshop (hosted by our main church) and being a trainee of Sis Wennie as she handles children’s Bible study fueled me up to try Children’s ministry. Also having a privilege to preach to our Children’s Sunday School Christmas Fellowship gave me a boost in considering this ministry. If I haven’t mentioned it yet I have a goal this year to have a children’s library for my church. So I’m soaked with the idea in children’s ministry. So far it was a blessing from God and lot’s of lesson learned. It opens me as a Christian that children:

1.) Are loved by God.

2.)  A constant reminder that entering God kingdom we need to have a child like faith.

3.) To show love and care for them for the gospel sake.

Anyway, so much for that. Last year, thanks to a couple of blogs, I found two unique audiobooks of Reformed children’s books. The books are available in hard copy on Amazon. It’s free to download and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.

One is from Ligionier Ministries titled “The Barber Who Wanted to Pray” by R.C. Sproul. I was quite intrigue with the title it made me try download it anyway. R.C. Sproul himself narrates this 13 minute tale of Luther about prayer that for sure kids will appreciate it. Nice flow of the story.I love Sproul’s voice. I find it superb and older kids will be glued to it (and adults too). You can download it by clicking here.

Another is The Quest for Comfort: The Story of the Heidelberg Cathecism by William Boekestein. This book got me thinking hmmm…a children’s book about the history of a catechism? That’s so odd for me. But all of that diminished when I heard the audiobook. A children’s book that is not only entertaining but informative. A true to life story of the 3 authors (Caspar Olevianus, Zacharius Ursinus, and Frederick III) and their journey in writing the catechism. Also let me shout it out: the artwork is excellent! It blew me off. Evan Hughes illustrations are amazing. You can watch the book trailer here and download the 16 minute audiobook here.

I hope you guys like these free audiobooks for kids. Buy the hard copy and give it to your kids. Make it a part of your children’s library. If God tugs your heart to serve children, heed to His calling.  Do it for your spiritual growth and for God’s glory. God bless you!!!

The Glorious Hope in Prophecy: Nathan Jones of Lamb and Lion Ministries talks to Delighting Grace

It’s our joy to interview Nathan Jones of Lamb and Lion Ministries. Nathan serves as the Web Minister of this prophecy ministry which is lead by Dr. David Reagan. You can check their magazine, articles, and products over Lamb and Lion Ministries. But before you go there, enjoy this interview first:

Delighting Grace: So tell us Nathan, what is prophecy and why is it important?

Nathan Jones: Prophecy, specifically Bible prophecy, is the study of God’s word concerning future events as foretold in the Bible.

Sometimes we look at Bible prophecy that has already been fulfilled, like when Jesus came the first time to earth in fulfillment of 300 general and 109 specific prophecies. Other times we are looking at Bible prophecy as it is being fulfilled today, like Israel becoming a nation again and the Jews returning to Israel as Isaiah 11:11-12 and Ezekiel 37 and other verses said would happen. And, we also look at Bible prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled, like the 500 verses concerning Jesus’ Second Coming.

The gift of prophecy is not the same today as it was when the Apostle John completed Revelation. Today, people with the spiritual gift of prophecy have a passion to share the Good News of Jesus Christ’s salvation with others in the time we have left. They also can discern what the Bible is talking about concerning the end times. They cannot predict what the future is, as God has already given us a full account of what will occur in the Bible.

Delighting Grace: We know the trademarks of cults are false prophecies. Why do they employ prophecies and how did they eventually fall to error?

Nathan Jones: We once interviewed James Walker of Watchman Fellowship. His whole ministry is about dealing with the cults. He was actually a fourth generation Mormon until he studied and realized that Mormonism is a cult. James listed four ways to define a cult:

1. They add to God’s Word with new Scripture.

2. They subtract from who Jesus is.

3. They multiply the requirements for salvation.

4. They divide their follower loyalty.

When it comes to prophecy, cults love to make predictions. I’d say the reason being is that prophecy unites people towards a common goal, and Satan knows how to use false predictions to twist people into keeping their focus away from the one true God.

According to Deuteronomy 18:21-22, a true prophet could be discerned from a false prophet based on the accuracy of their prophecies. A prophet of God will always be 100% accurate.

Cults are formed around false prophets who use Christian terminology to sound Christian, but then redefine the terms to fit their own man-made theology. Cults are easy to spot in that they deny the Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, that Jesus is divine as the Son of God, the resurrection of Christ, and promote a works-based salvation. They espouse prophecy and predict times that seldom result in fulfillment. They place man on God’s throne, promising man’s eventual rise to deity which is Satan’s old lie from the Garden of Eden.

Satan and his cults best method of leading people astray is to take a lie and wrap a little truth around it.  “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Mat. 7:15).

Delighting Grace: A follow up question: are their guidelines to interpret prophecy correctly without ending up like the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Harold Camping?

Nathan Jones: Yes, for one, stick to the Bible and a literal interpretation. Cults love to make extra-biblical prophecies. Stick with the prophecies found in the Bible and not on any prophecies made by man today.

Secondly, take Jesus at His word in Matthew 24:36. When He says concerning His return, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” then that means NOBODY can predict the timing of Jesus’ return. Cults are notorious for predicting the day of Jesus’ return and the end of the world, and they always end up being proven false.

Delighting Grace: I love Lamb and Lion Ministries. You’re a blessing to me. You’re balanced in the treatment of different subjects. You don’t employ over the top sensationalism on prophecy. You just don’t talk about prophecies but also apologetics. How do eschatology (study of prophecy) and apologetics go hand in hand?

Nathan Jones: I’m so glad to hear Lamb & Lion can be a blessing to you. We try to stay away from anything but the Bible, so avoid sensationalism. There’s no need to sensationalize the Bible, for it’s already filled with fascinating wonders.

Eschatology is the best apologetic. There is no book – none – that has any prophecy that has come true other than the Bible. As I stated earlier, Jesus alone fulfilled 300 general and 109 specific prophecies concerning His First Coming.

 

Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one person is 1 in 10 to the seventeenth power. That’s 17 zeros! That’d be like filling the entire state of Texas two feet deep in quarters. Mark one and throw it in. Next, drop in a blindfolded man. The odds would be that the very first coin he picks up, that’s the one with the mark. Impossible, right? Well, not if the Bible is truly God’s Word.

That’s the power of Bible prophecy – it proves the Bible is God’s only Word which we can base our faith and life on.

Delighting Grace: How can Christians benefit from prophecy in other aspects of their Christian life say in discipleship or evangelism?

Nathan Jones: Great spiritual riches await anyone who studies Bible prophecy. For one, we know that the Lord can return at any moment to take up – to rapture – those who have accepted Him as Savior to Heaven. How will the Lord find us when He arrives? Will He find us diligently serving Him as were created to do as Ephesians 2:10 says, or will He find us living for ourselves? The study of Bible prophecy convicts us then to live holy and productive lives.

Secondly, by knowing that Jesus is coming soon and that afterwards the world will plunge into the worst time in all of human history called the Tribulation that should motivate Christians to share the Gospel. We don’t want anyone to have to live through the Tribulation, and certainly not go to Hell. Christians need to get out there and give a desperate world the Good News of Jesus Christ. So, Bible prophecy motivates us to evangelize.

Delighting Grace: Your magazine “The Lamplighter” is awesome. I can’t wait to read the next issue. Dr. David Regan’s articles are worth reading. How did your magazine started?

Nathan Jones: It’s great to hear such positive feedback on the Lamplighter magazine. It’s truly a labor of love on Dr. Reagan’s part. The ministry originally produced the publication as a few pages stapled together, and by 1998 began running it in a 20-page magazine format.

 Delighting Grace: Also I’ve noticed how enthusiastic Dr. Reagan in writing and speaking about the subject. How does he influence you being part of the ministry and as a Christian?

Nathan Jones: Spreading the good news about Jesus’ soon return is Dr. Reagan’s passion in life. You can’t help but hear him preach and teach about it and not get excited yourself about the Lord’s soon return. That passion is infectious and has helped so many get excited about our life in Christ.

Delighting Grace: What can we look forward to Lamb and Lion Ministries? I know lots of our readers will be excited to know it.

Nathan Jones: We’re rather hoping not to be here in the coming years, anticipating the Lord’s soon return. The signs of the times show that the time is nearly here.

But, should the Lord tarry, Lamb & Lion Ministries will continue going strong preaching that message until the very last minute through our television show “Christ in Prophecy,” through the Internet, through publications, videos and conferences. We’ve even created a special message called “Jesus Came. What’s Next?” to share the Gospel with those who will be living in a post-Rapture world.

Delighting Grace: Thank you Nathan. More power to Lamb and Lion.God bless you!