Father?


Father? Are you there? (Silly boy, I am always here)

I just need to talk to you. (I am listening)

My day…hasn’t gone very good today. (Why do you think that?)

Well, it just doesn’t feel quite right. It seems that most of the things which I tried to get done today took longer or just didn’t work out like I had wanted them to, you know? (Yes, I have been with you through every minute of your day, but you didn’t ask Me about any of it until things didn’t work like you thought they should)

Yes, I know and I’m sorry about that. I should’ve started my day with You and asked You to help me through the day with all of the things which I needed to do. (I’ve been telling people this for thousands of years and it seems that it takes a few missteps and scrapes before they learn to do it right)

Sometimes, I think I can do it myself, you know? (Yep, I’ve heard that same sentence thousands of times)

Father, help me to remember to include you in my day from the beginning when I wake up and all through the day until I go to sleep again. (I will gladly do that…but you have to listen to my Voice and include Me, I will not force My Presence into your life. You have to invite Me in every day, can you do that?)

I will try, Father. (In the words of another wise teacher, “try not, do or do not, there is no try”)

Father, that was a quote from Yoda in a Star Wars movie. (Well, if it makes sense to you then I use it)

Thank you, Father, for listening and being there when I need you. (I am always here, you just need to live your life like you know it well enough to feel my Presence in your life. Try not to shut Me out because when you do, I let you. That is when you feel alone.)

This is the relationship that I want to have with Jesus and His Father and the reality of it is this: it will be this way when we are there in Heaven. How wonderful will that be?

Prayer for help in time of trouble


Psalm 13

How Long, O Lord?

{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.}

(Habakkuk 1:1-4)

1 How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

2How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

3Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

4Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

5But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

6I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

When David was being chased by Saul and having to hide in caves and in the desert, he asked God “How long, O Lord?” Sometimes, when we are going through troubles and hardships it is the same feeling. How long, Lord? How much longer will I have to go through this?

It seems at times that God isn’t listening, but He is. He is just trying to teach you something or show you how strong you are as long as you and I depend upon Him in our weakness. If we try to do things on our own or make it through the tough times without leaning on Him, those tough times may last longer than they would have otherwise.

God’s not angry with us exactly. He doesn’t like the way that we are treating each other and ignoring Him. God loves us. Yet, we don’t care about His Son’s sacrifice nor does much of the world even acknowledge that He is God. He watches over our world and keeps everything going the way it should regarding our life-giving planet.

Satan is the prince of the air here on Earth because Adam gave it to him by disobeying God. Much of the destruction and hatred that we experience is because of Satan and his minions causing havoc all over the world. Not because it is fun but because they are trying to keep as many people from becoming Christians as they possibly can, in order to cause God pain.

Lean on Jesus in your hard times and don’t turn away from Him. Life is too short to be on the wrong side at the end, don’t you think?

Miracles


MiraclesIn everyday life we see them but we may not recognize them for what they are. Some of them are little miracles that don’t seem like God had anything to do with them at the time. Some that we hear about are easy to recognize as a miracle because the healing or the shrinking of a tumor just doesn’t happen on its own. God works like this, in the background doing little things which will accomplish His Work and His purposes even when it seems that things aren’t going very well.

Our lives are like that too. Some days they are very good and some are, well not so much. Do miracles happen in your life? Occasionally you may notice something that couldn’t happen that way otherwise, but I would bet that many of our miracles happen when we don’t know about it. A guardian angel slips between you and someone intent on robbing you or maybe they redirect a car or truck from slamming into you. If you don’t think that God uses angels to do this kind of work, I imagine we will be surprised when we do get to Heaven.

We are His adopted children after all and if you have not given your heart to Jesus and asked Him to forgive you for waiting so long, then you need to get it done! Whether the world believes it or not, this age of grace which we have lived under for almost two thousand years is nearly over. A lot is going to happen in the next decade or two, maybe less, who knows? God does. He knows the day and the hour of your death as well as the time when He will send for all of His Church to be brought to Heaven.

The signs are in the heavens but many people are just saying that this is just astronomical signs and nothing more. The Bible clearly states that God intends to use the heavens to declare seasons and times and we are coming up on one of those times, the end of days or the Tribulation. Whatever you want to call it, it will be a time of war and disease and death as well as the judgement of God, all of it spelled out in prophecy.

Choose today who will be your Savior because your tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

Prayer…does it work?


Does prayer work? Yes, it absolutely does work! Praying for healing or comfort and just a better day or week than you had last week all work and God answers them IF you have faith that He will answer your prayers. Faith and belief go together, you can’t have one without the other and when your belief and faith are strongest is when your Christian life is usually better and more productive.

Jesus prayed every day. Many days He prayed more than once, whether it was for a healing or for strength or even for lunch, He always prayed to God for these things. Thanking Him for His gracious mercy and love and asking for something specific, not just a general blessing. If you read the gospels, Jesus never prayed in a general way. He always asked for something specific, such as multiplying the fish and the five loaves or for a blind man to receive his sight.

We tend to ask God to bless us, but we don’t ask for a specific blessing such as health or prosperity. Most of us just ask for His blessing on our life and then wonder why we didn’t get what we wanted or needed at the time. God knows what you need but He wants you to ask Him for it. Also, God bases His answers on needs more than wants, necessary things rather than luxury items.

He gives us our air and water and the ability to earn a living wage so all of this is part of the blessing which we already have from Him. Prayer is our link to the Creator for our comfort and our blessing in ways that those who don’t know Him can’t understand. It is the most reliable wireless service available to us and yet many people don’t make use of it.

We muddle our way through life, thinking that we can make it without God or His help. But, when life or some other circumstance throws a curve ball in our direction then we cry out to God. Sometimes we do it the first time this happens, sometimes we wait until there is no human alternative and we have to seek Him for our help. If you are wondering what the point of this missive is, it is this: God listens to your soul, if you belong to Him but He would like to hear from you too.

Just as human parents know what their children need, we would like to hear their dreams and their ambitions, their aspirations for a life away from home but we would like to stay connected to them too. That is the kind of relationship which God desires from us. Not a once per week visit for an hour or so. Not a once every year visit on the day that the resurrection of His Son is celebrated. God desires to be in your life, in your day and your nights, in your family, in your business and in your work!

It is a daily walk with Him that is most fulfilling, not just a weekly or yearly visit. I mean, how would you feel if that is all your wife or husband was around you or if that was the only time your children came to visit? It would not be much of a relationship at all, would it?

Seek His Kingdom and His presence daily because that is the best way to live a life of love and compassion toward others and with your Creator too.

Kneeling in prayer


There are many places in the Word of God, where a man or a Savior, bends their knees and gets down to the business of faithful prayer. It is something that many in the Church seem to have forgotten about. We stand and pray, we sit and pray, some of us bow our heads with eyes closed, some don’t close their eyes during prayer.

PrayerPrayer..is talking with our Savior and our Creator, if you don’t revere Him enough to close your eyes and bow your head then I am sorry for you. God loves you more than you realize, but He expects some respect and reverence from His Creation.

When he had thus spoken, he knelt down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more.

And they accompanied him unto the ship.  [Acts 20:36-38]

They took him down to Caesarea and by journey to Jerusalem—his last visit to that city in which he was arrested, imprisoned, and taken to Rome in trial for his life. But the word that describes this last meeting with the people in Ephesus is most poignant and meaningful. “And when he had thus spoken, he knelt down and prayed with them all.”

What does this say about Paul? He desired that they would continue in the faith that he had taught them before his arrest. Paul knew that his time there was over. He knew that he may not see Jerusalem again, so he knelt down and prayed with them all. What did he say? We likely won’t know until we can ask him face to face in Glory! The point is that, as Christians and ministers of Jesus Christ we should pray for our families and our country. We should pray for our friends and our students and those who need God’s healing touch.

Prayer can bring about many things, good and bad. It just depends upon who is doing the praying and what they are praying for. In a parched, drought-stricken land, they may pray for rain, in a world on the brink of war they might pray for peace, even if it would take a miracle for that peace to come. Once there was a man who believed in prayer in our country and you may have heard of him. His name was George Washington. Here is a small picture of something that he did early in our history whenever it was called for.

There was a visitor to the Continental Congress of the American Republic from Great Britain.  And as he stood in the chamber of that august assembly, he turned to the man standing next to him and said, “Which one is General George Washington?”  And the man standing next to the visitor turned to him and said, “When Congress goes to prayer, the one who kneels will be General George Washington.”  Kneeling in prayer.

It happened that this was the way that Congress used to begin each meeting and some say that they still do this…but are they truly sincere about what they are saying and to Whom they are praying? In our society today I doubt it.

Daniel knelt and prayed for God to show him the meaning of his dream and although it took three weeks for the angel to come and give him the meaning, Daniel still prayed. In the eighteenth chapter of 1 Kings, Elijah said unto King Ahab, “Get thee up…for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”  So Ahab went up.  And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and he said to his servant, “Go, look toward the sea.”  And he went up and looked and said: “There is nothing” [1 Kings 18:41-43].  And Elijah said, “Go the second time, the third, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh.”  And it came to pass, after Elijah had prayed, down on his knees for the seventh time, that the servant said, “Look, there is a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.”  And Elijah said unto Ahab, “Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.”  And it came to pass… that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain [1 Kings 18:44, 45].

Elijah was the prophet who had prayed for the drought and he prayed that it would abate as well and his faith was rewarded to the glory of God.

There are many other times in Mark and Luke where we read that “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35)

Why do I bring this up at this time? Because we are at the doorway of a time that has not been in history before. We are at the very threshold of the prophecies of the book of Revelation! This is the time that we should be on our knees in prayer every day! Not just for our country or for the person who may be elected to be the next President, but for the entire world and its collective salvation.

I pray that all of us will be in prayer for our world and those in it, especially those who have sickness or may be dealing with treatments for cancer or surgery or the recovery from either. There are also many who are living in areas where there is very little to eat and no clean water to drink, so be in prayer that someone can bring them food and clean water soon. Life outside of America is hard but there are also people here who live in poverty and wonder where their next meal will come from. If you can help them, even in a small way, I am sure it would be appreciated.

God loves all of His children even if they don’t love Him or show His love to others, but that doesn’t mean that He will not hold them accountable for any suffering or pain that they may cause to others.

Life is worth…Living!


I just finished reading one of the last entries on a blog which was written by an atheist. I didn’t know him personally, but then I read a post from a few days later which his wife wrote and he passed away four days after writing the post that I read. It was…a post which showed the thoughts of someone who was giving up on life. He was depressed and had seemingly decided that it was his time to go. I don’t know for sure if he killed himself, but he knows for sure, where his eternity is. He had asked me before to prove the existence of God and whether the Bible predicted WWII, I told him that I could not prove the existence of God and that the Bible did not predict WWII.

You cannot prove the existence of God because He is. It is a question of faith and if you don’t have faith or you don’t believe anything in the Bible, then there isn’t any proof which would prove that God exists. Even if He came to us today in human form like He did when Jesus walked with His disciples, nobody today would believe in Him except for those of us who already believe. The problem with this is, of course, that He said in the book of Revelation that He would come back as a King of Kings and with the armies of Heaven. Jesus would not come as He did 2,000 years ago.

God loves each of you, and if you can open your mind a little and read the Bible for the history and culture that is there then you will see Him. Although, reading it as a history book is good, that is not all that is in it. There are so many things which God can reveal to you if you will have faith and believe. The problem with this is that there are many people who only read it as a book which has history and poetry and lots of stories in it, reducing it to just words.

The problem with doing this is that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Inspired by His Spirit so that the history and the stories told in it would have a line which winds from the beginning of the Earth to its end. It doesn’t go into detail about every nation or every war which happens, but it does point to your Savior and the only way to salvation and eternal life! Give your heart to Jesus, the Spirit will touch you at some point in  reading His Word, then you have to listen and open your heart to Him.

That place where you have always felt…empty. That is where the Spirit is supposed to live in you! He is the only One Who fits in that space and once you realize this and ask Him into your life, then you will finally feel whole! No more time alone. No more feelings of incompleteness. Satan will come and try to steal your joy at finding this, finding Him, but if you lean on Jesus and seek His strength to get through it then you will!

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and since life itself is temporary make sure that you ally yourself with the Creator and your Redeemer, Jesus the Christ!!

What?


I hear this a lot! If I had said that to my father, I would’ve paid for it and I doubt I would’ve said it again!

It seems that in today’s world, many people are saying the same thing in reference to God and His Word and the so-called “rules” that are preached in the pulpit of many churches today. Why do I say many and not all? Because there are many preachers who are not preaching from His Word like they are supposed to.

There are no “rules” in Christianity to keep, other than the Commandments of our Lord. We are not required to study His Word a certain number of hours a day, we aren’t required to wear certain clothes, we aren’t required to do anything. But, consider this: God sent His only begotten Son to give His life as a sinless offering for all of our sins. Then, He was raised from the grave on the third day and appeared to many people until just before the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came to His disciples.

God didn’t have to do this, but it was His plan from the beginning where He mentioned this:  “I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel” (Genesis 3:15).

That “seed of the woman” was Jesus Christ!

rules-for-christian-living-1024x613The reason that I said that there are no “rules” in Christianity is because once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you have the Holy Spirit living inside your heart. When that happens, you begin being changed from the inside and you want to do those things which so many people call restrictions or rules. You are changed from the person that you were into a new creation in Christ!

Before I truly accepted Jesus as my Savior, I still liked to smoke a cigarette once in a while, now I don’t have the craving to do so. A long time ago, I drank whiskey almost every weekend along with smoking illegal drugs like marijuana. That was more than 37 years ago, I don’t want to do those things anymore. I still have cravings sometimes for a smoke or a beer but God says that He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond that which you are able to bear, and He is true to His Word!

Why do some preachers preach messages which don’t go by God’s Word today? Oh, they use some passages from it, but the message doesn’t necessarily follow the meaning of those passages sometimes. Understand now, I am not picking on preachers in general, there are just a few who have done this. Some of them you have heard of in the news, some are local to me in the area that I live. My point is that if you are truly called to be a preacher for God’s Kingdom, you need to preach from His Word.

I know that some of what I write I don’t include a scripture every time, it is just the “wisdom” that I have learned from reading the Bible for the past ten or fifteen years from Genesis to Revelation. Each time that I read through it, I find something new that I didn’t understand before or maybe the Holy Spirit reveals to me something that He didn’t the last time.

That is the kind of study that God wants from His adopted children. There isn’t a rule that you have to do it, but how else are you going to get to know God if you don’t learn His voice which is revealed in Scripture? Does that make me a “super Christian”? No, just a forgiven and redeemed one! God loves the whole world, which is why He sent His Son into it so that He could live a sinless life and be the blameless, spotless, Lamb of God which would take away the sins of the world!

The offer of redemption is available to each of us, regardless of race, color, or nationality. It doesn’t depend upon your religion or your willingness to be a missionary and there are no requirements of denying yourself of food or water or anything that is available to you. The only part of you that God wants is your heart and your obedience to Him. When He calls you, answer Him. If He leads you to go somewhere to be a missionary, go without question.

This is the God that led Moses through the wilderness and helped him to defeat Pharaoh and release Israel from bondage. God also went with them through the wilderness and fed them manna and gave them and their animals water from the Rock (a type of Jesus). All of this is there to be learned. Sixty six books in the Bible tell the story of God’s love for mankind and show you the Savior Who was to come and Who did come to die for your sins. He will come again, only this time He will be King of Kings and Judge the whole world, those who haven’t accepted Him as their Lord.

What? Is an expression of surprise and sometimes frustration, but it is also used disrespectfully as well. What should you do? If you have felt His call, a small voice or a touch in your heart telling you that you need Him, don’t push Him away. Don’t run like Jonah did, because God is everywhere and He can find you. If He has something for you to do, it means that nobody else can do it….just you! Think about it while you can.

Faith…do you have enough?


When we are saved and we are accepted into the family of God, we are granted a measure of faith. Even though many of us feel as if we don’t have enough faith, it is because we aren’t using our faith in our lives. It isn’t that we don’t have enough, because Jesus said if you have as little faith as a mustard seed, you can do all things and more BUT you have to use your faith in order for it to work!

Faith is like money in that regard. We are given a measure of faith when we become Christians but if it is not used then it just sits there and eventually it gets dimmer and less effectual than it could be. Just as with money, you can have thousands of dollars but until you use it for either paying bills or investing it in something to make it grow, it just sits there doing nothing.

Being a Christian takes faith, which today seems to be in short supply in all areas of life but especially in the church. The church is where you come to worship God and learn of Him and His Son, Jesus, but it is only a building until the people, who make up the church, come in and begin to worship and praise God. If there is no spirit of praise, no spirit of God coming with those who come to the church, then the gathering is just a group of people listening to a speech.

Sadly, in America today many churches are in that shape. The fire of the Holy Spirit has gone out or it is smoldering at a point that it couldn’t be brought to a flame without a fuel being poured on it, like gasoline or alcohol. Our churches and the people of America have come to this point because even though over seventy percent of people in America claim to be Christians…once you get to the point of proof like attendance and Bible study on a regular schedule, the figure drops drastically to around fifteen or maybe twenty percent.

We have walked away from God, turned our backs on Him and decided that we would have to take care of our own problems without any help from Him. Our independent spirit at work and at home is killing the church and many people are celebrating. God will not strive with us forever, He will take His hands and His blessing away from our country and then we will find out exactly what it feels like to be without God. I have prayed that day would never come, but it seems that it is happening right now.

Pray for our nation and our leaders because they need God in their lives and our nation needs Him in many other areas too.

Doctrine, differences, or ?


We are inundated with differing beliefs and factions in the Church. They are called “denominations” and the list is like this, there are 217 denominations listed in the 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. In actual truth, those are broken up into over 30,000 all over the world and those are just the Christian religions, that is not counting all of the religions. Why are Christians so fractured and broken? Because we are human, that’s why.

We can’t agree on how to pray or what to wear or whether we should have communion every week or every month or just a couple of times each year. Our humanity has leaked into the gospel that we teach and preach to those who come to hear the Word of God until much of our sermons are our words, our interpretations of God’s Word and not His Word. There have been so many saints of God that have gone before us until, those of us that are left feel empty at times. Why? Because we are not sure of our own salvation, our own position in Christ, our place in His Kingdom, even though we believe we are His…there is still a smidgen of doubt. Likely put there by Satan, but it is still there.

It is like trying to be in a room that you don’t want any light from outside to be in during the summer, and unless you happen to live in a bomb shelter made of concrete and all of the cracks between the door and the structure are sealed, it is nearly impossible to be in total darkness! Light will find a way in. That is the way that we should preach and teach people about Jesus. No matter what they try to put up around themselves to keep your sermon from making a point or a dent in their life and their heart, at least one word or one phrase should prick them to their core. So that the Spirit can get in and convict them of their need for God.

We have allowed, over the centuries, our thinking processes to change some of the meaning of the Word. Oh, it is very subtle, a small nuance here and there, nothing very big so it won’t be noticed. But, the meaning and the effect of God’s Word is dusted with our wisdom and our thinking. That is not the way that the Church which started on the day of Pentecost is supposed to be, even after two thousand years, it still should be the Word and Wisdom of God, not man! That is why I cherish the copy of the Complete Jewish Bible that I have. They have been the keepers of God’s Word for more than four thousand years and they will NOT allow a jot nor a tittle to be out-of-place when it is being copied or translated.

There are a few words in Hebrew which don’t translate well and those you have to look up to make sure of the meaning, but they are few compared to the whole of the text. The point of this is this: if we were so particular about our Scriptures then why can’t we consult with God about the divisions in the Body of Christ so that there won’t be so many? The answer to that is just one word referring to someone who has been at this since the beginning: Satan. He and his cohorts whisper into the ears and minds of “Christians”, who have been in the church since they were wearing diapers, and they in their turn will say something to others in the church and before you know it there is an argument and a split forms and another church denomination is born.

My reason for the quotation marks around Christians in the previous writing is because they are those who have gone through all of the motions of being a Christian. They have done everything right in their eyes, but they have neglected to truly wash themselves in God’s Word. They bring a Bible to church that you could kill a mule with, but most of its pages have dust from 1995 still clinging to its pages.

 

There needs to be a true revival in the Church, the Body of Christ and I mean one that goes down to the bone! Not one that is a stirring of the waters on the surface, or everyone doing the “happy dance” and shouting “Praise God!” Those are nice, but the change needs to be and go further than that! The change should go all the way to your soul!!

How do we do it? I don’t know. We can’t do it on our own, but God can. Our pitiful revivals are mostly on the surface, like stirring the water in the pool of baptism with your hand. It lasts for a few seconds, maybe for a week, but it’s gone soon after. Nothing really changed, nothing happened down at the heart and soul of the church, the body of believers. Everyone, from the pastor on down to those who haven’t accepted Jesus yet, needs to give their life to Jesus or at least re-dedicate their life to Him. Not just saying the words or going through the motions, but really asking Jesus to cleanse your heart and your life!

Then, take your faith in Him with you from that building, to where you work, to the restaurants that you go to, anytime that you meet someone, one of your first questions should be, “Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” Yes, this is being radical as a Christian, but if we don’t you can be sure that those who do not believe in Christ will be!

 

Walking like He walked..


Have you ever heard that we are supposed to do this? We are supposed to be representing Him in this world, showing His Light to others. Do you do this? Do you try to do it every day?

As Christians, we are truly supposed to be examples of His Love in this world where people seem to hate more than they love. Oh, there are good people and people who do good things for others once in a while, but Jesus did things for people everywhere He went. Sometimes it was a healing, sometimes it involved making water into wine, sometimes it had to do with giving someone their sight back, even if they had never had it.

Granted, we don’t have the complete faith, the kind which doesn’t doubt, in order to do these wonderful miracles. Some people say that those were done only to fulfill prophecy and to get people’s attention on the Messiah. It is true, those miracles were done by the Savior and our Creator as well as the disciples in the beginning of the church. But…we can do things for people in need, if we have the means to do so. Do you?

The only thing that I can do most days is to pray for their health and for their healing, asking for all of the people on my prayer list and all of those who ask for prayer on my Facebook page. I don’t know many of them personally, but God knows who they are and what is happening in their lives. He knows what is wrong and what can be done for them and what HE can and will do for them.

God doesn’t answer prayers in the ways that we want ALL of the time, but He does answer them. Sometimes it is a “maybe” or “wait”, sometimes it is “no”, but the reason behind these is because God knows what He has for you and what you are asking for is not His best, nor is it what He has in store for you. Of course when we get those kind of answers we think that God doesn’t love me. God loves each of us far more than we can imagine and He is NOT like us! His love is a kind of love that we can’t understand in this life. We won’t get to that point where we can understand it until we are in His Presence!

“Walking the walk” as some put it isn’t hard to do, but it has to be practiced and done on the basis that we intentionally do it every day. It is not natural to wake in the morning and thank God for opening your eyes, but that is what we should do. Getting up and walking to the kitchen should be a thankful process as well, we should take nothing for granted because none of us are guaranteed tonight or tomorrow. Truly, God loves us, all of us because of His Son’s sacrifice for our salvation. It is something that we should be eternally grateful for, not something that is taken for granted.

Please, seek Him out so that your eternity is sealed and in His Presence. If you keep telling yourself that you will get to it later, then one day, later will get to you. Then, you will stand and give an account of every word and deed done which was done in your own strength and without Jesus. Your righteousness, like that of the Pharisees, is worthless in God’s eyes unless your heart belongs to Jesus and He lives in you! If that doesn’t describe your salvation, your righteousness, then your eternity will be in a place that was not made for humanity..but for Satan.