When it Comes to Music…

Beat-Songs

Nothing beats this simple little app. I have been using it for a couple years. (Thanks Brent, for the recommendation) Download it today, but first you might want to see it in action below.

Beat is a beautiful, gesture based, simple and easy to use music player for iPhone. It contains 11 (or 12?:) different themes, to give you complete enjoyment while listening to your favourite songs. Intuitive gestures allow you to feel your music, and go through the application with ease.

Beat on AppStore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/beat-…
Beat website: http://www.beatapp.cc

Empty Shelf Challenge // #04

(Via: http://wendesgray.com)

(Via: allisonvesterfelt.com)

I’m not reading as much as I started to at the beginning of the year. I’ve had a lot going on. That’s not a good excuse though. After thinking about my goal of wanting to read 40 books this year. (Yeah, you read that correctly) I decided I would take a break and change things up a bit. I have a few copies of audiobooks in my iTunes library that I have downloaded for free over time.I thought I would go through a few of those and see how they turned out.

Some of them I just downloaded because they were free, while others looked very interesting. The first of which that I listened through in 6 hours. It’s called Packing Light by a girl named Ally.

I went to Charlotte ONE on Tuesday night and met a friend there. Charlotte ONE is a local gathering of college aged kids every week in downtown Charlotte. It was a wonderful time of worship and speaking. Ally Vesterfelt spoke on life’s journey and shared her testimony with us. This story I would later find out is one that she went into much detail in the audiobook. If there was anything that I missed during the time she spoke, I would pick it up later during my listen through her book.

As she spoke I listened intently, and took notes. Once I got home, I opened up MacBook Pro and then iTunes to see if I had the audiobook and I began to dive into it! I really enjoyed the book, and as a fellow 20 something it was a story that I could relate with. Trying to find purpose, road trips, relationships, baggage, hardship, loosing things, and at the end of the day living life to the fullest. She shared the story of the rich young ruler, and said gave us permission to dream.

This year one of my goals from the outset has been to live intentional. I really think Ally does this well. She shared that night at CharlotteONE, and in the book as well, “You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: “Every year I pack heavier.” The measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels. – Rick Steves.” After hearing her story, it encouraged me to live my story, and to be more intentional in the every-day. Now and then, and not just to dream, but to live my dreams out.

Title: Packing Light

Author: Allison Vesterfelt

What’s it about: Planing for something that you can’t expect. Living with less.

Why did I read it: I really love the publisher that published this book, and thought this would be very relatable.

Favorite idea: 

“…maybe the healthiest way to form expectations it to expect less in the specific and more in the general.”
― Allison VesterfeltPacking Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage

“You don’t have to go. You can stay home. It’s up to you. But if you let fear stop you from doing what you really want to do, you’ll regret that forever.”
― Allison VesterfeltPacking Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage

Where can you buy it? http://www.amazon.com/Packing-Light-Thoughts-Living-Baggage-ebook/dp/B00C2ZT8L8/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

– See more about this challenge at: http://acuff.me/2014/01/empty-shelf-book-2-live-dangerously/#sthash.M7iivc3p.dpuf

*Featured Image: (Via: http://wendesgray.com)

Lent To Maundy Thursday Preview

Lent To Maundy Thursday Cover

I was asked to review the new album from Page CXVI called Lent to Maundy Thursday. It’s the second installment of Page CXVI’s Church Calendar Project! Lent to Maundy Thursday available for sale March 4th! At pagecxvi.com and iTunes, as well as other digital stores.

Also, check out behind the scenes footage from their studio here.

When I first turned this album on in my iTunes app. I was thinking about all of the great things that have happened to me over the past year. I joined a church, moved out on my own, and have continued to work at CRI. Although all this has happened to me, I serve a God who has done so much more than I can ever imagine.

This time of the year we begin to emphasize the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for us during Easter. It’s a great time of year. People who never step foot into church any time of the year, walk through our doors. We don’t need to take that lightly. This album for me reminded me of all of the wonders of our atonement for sin. I think it will do the same for you. The mood of this album is perfect. It’s great driving music, it’s thinking music. It’s coffee drinking kind of wake up music. It’s evening music. I think you get the point. You will not be disappointed with this album.

Thanks for reading and listening!

Empty Shelf Challenge // #03

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18845417Title: What is The Church? (Crucial Questions #17)

Author: R.C. Sproul

What’s it about: In this booklet, Dr. R. C. Sproul carefully and clearly explains that the church is a body of people saved by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit who live to glorify and enjoy God. Beginning with the ancient Nicene Creed, which affirms that the church is “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic,” Dr. Sproul provides accessible teaching on one of the most misunderstood of all Christian doctrines.

Why did I read it: I read this book because I have been studying the church lately and wanted to see what R.C. had to say about his view of church. I wasn’t told his view, but instead the biblical view. Going back to church history is something that R.C. does quite a bit, but it’s in the old that we learn to appreciate the current. Amazing insight on what it means to be the church.

Favorite idea: The greatest thing about the church in worship is that the church is in the presence of Christ. Christ comes to his bride, and every time the bride assembles, the bridegroom is there. That’s why you don’t ever want to miss it. That’s why you never want to forsake the assembling together of the saints. If I put out a news bulletin and it said, “Guess who’s going to be in church next Sunday? Jesus Himself is coming!” what appointment wouldn’t you cancel to be there?

Where can you buy it? http://www.amazon.com/What-The-Church-Crucial-Questions-ebook/dp/B00FRF82EO

– See more about this challenge at: http://acuff.me/2014/01/empty-shelf-book-2-live-dangerously/#sthash.M7iivc3p.dpuf

#Passion2014 // Session 5 – Smith

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Judah Smith is the Lead Pastor of The City Church in Seattle, Washington. The City Church is a thriving multi-site church noted for its cultural relevance, commitment to biblical integrity and faith, and love for Jesus. Weekly attendance is over six thousand, and many thousands listen in each week via online video and audio broadcast at thecity.org.

Judah is known around the US and the world for his preaching ministry. His fresh, anointed, humorous messages demystify the Bible and make Christianity real. Judah is a popular conference speaker and the author of several books and resources, including his most recent New York Times best-selling book, Jesus Is ____.

Judah and his wife Chelsea have three children, Zion, Eliott, and Grace; they live in Bellevue, Washington. Judah is an avid golfer and all-around sports fan. He believes the Seahawks are God’s favorite team and is praying for the Sonics to come back to Seattle.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JudahSmith Website: http://www.thecity.org/

Opening Set:

  1. Sing and Shout – Matt Redman
  2. We Are The Free – Matt Redman
  3. You’re Worthy – Matt Redman
  4. Mercy – Matt Redman
  5. Bless The Lord – Matt Redman

Louie introduces the next guests for this session. Today we are going to change destiny for Iranian people. This living breathing word of God is that we hold in our hand precious.

Leanna Lucas of the American Bible Society walks out on stage and shares how she got involved with this wonderful ministry as they are known today around the world.

Louie introduces Bobby Gruenewald of YouVersion from LifeChurch.TV

Bobby shares how YouVersion got started, and where they are headed in the future.

Bobby: This device is 2,000 times more powerful than the computer that put the man on the moon. When you place god’s word on a device like this (iPhone) it is infinitely more powerful.

Judah: Turn with me to 2nd Corinthians 5:17.

Topic: What Just happened?

I want to try to articulate what happens the moment you express faith in Jesus.

When we leave events like this we still feel the same.

What is Paul talking about in this letter? Corinth is a crazy and wild society. There is no moral compass there.

The Possession of the believer rather than the practice of a believer.
His favorite term – We are in Christ. (Used 72 times in the Bible)
What has God done? (v.9)
If God was not in Christ this is a glorified wast of time.

His goal was to Reconcile – Go from hostility to friendship. I’m going to bridge the gap. God came to expand a hand of friendship to bad people.

He took our place. He became sin. We are righteous and now accepted. I am as righteous before God as Jesus is. My life is hidden in Christ.

What happens when I believe what He did?

He’s not talking about the practical life of a believer but the position of a believer.

Practice dictates position. This is what we are taught all throughout life.

The language that Pau is using is so dogmatic. You are redeemed. The new is upon you. Behold. Do you live in it?

Don’t practice for position from from position.

Ephesians 2 – I am seated with Jesus in heavenly places. How high is that position? What is the best term to describe your practice?

The problem is that I am so aware of what’s in me. It seems to eclipse what I am in Christ. My inconsistency of my practice is the way I think His love goes. I keep working.

We believe that the power to change is to scrutinize ourselves. If I can change me I can be in Christ.

You are too busy earning what you have already been given.

In me or in Christ? Where is the power?

If we are not careful we will take the most powerful message on the planet and make it a new form of humanism.

The power in the equation is in Christ.

Where you stand has the power to determine where you talk. From where you talk can never determine where you stand.

I am what I am by the grace of God – Paul

The power has always been in Christ.

Lean into his power. It’s Yours.

Closing Set:

  1. Only Jesus – Matt Redman

Brad comes out and closes this session in prayer and explains how Passion loves to honor people.

#Passion2014 // Session 4 – Moore

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Beth is an incredible storyteller and a passionate teacher of the Word of God. She has written numerous books and Bible studies that have encouraged many, particularly women, to love and live on Scripture. Beth is the Founder of Living Proof Ministries based in Houston, TX where she lives with her husband Keith.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BethMooreLPM Website: http://www.lproof.org/

Opening Set: 

  1. The Lord Our God – Kristian Stanfill, with Chris Tomlin, Brett Younker, and Christy Nockles
  2. His Love Endures* – Brett Younker, with Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin, and Christy Nockles
  3. Callin’ on Your Name (Love Came Down)* Christy Nockles, with Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, and Brett Younker
  4. God of Angel Armies – Chris Tomlin, with Brett Younker, Kristian Stanfill, and Christy Nockles
  5. Let it Be Jesus (For Me to Live is Christ) – Christy Nockles, with Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, and Brett Younker

Brad: That’s the heartbeat. Let it be Jesus. We are live streaming this. People from 119 countries have tuned into what is happening in this arena. We have people in this arena from 30 different countries.

Message:

Jesus Christ is the lone star in the lone star state. Louie and Shelly have I have known each other for years. We have always had one heartbeat to help people know Jesus.

I think there is one reason why we come and minister here. We were that age when we were transfixed by Jesus. I felt Jesus say to me that you will proclaim My name.

The power of Christ grace is that He holds his calling sure in His hand.

Prayer: We have come to experience You, Lord. Father we can’t bring anything to the mix and it matter. All that matters is that your spirit falls on us in this day. We look to you because you are our everything. Loose your Holy Spirit in this house and cause Him to fall. You are love. You are breath. Take these words and make them matter. In Jesus name, Amen!

1st Timothy 6:11-16

Isaiah: The glory that he was seeing was christ Himself.

Time: Technically the first thing that God created.

  • Genesis 4:27
  • History will show when the story is said and done.
  • Linear
  • We are appointed one time to die. – Hebrews
  • Has a beginning and an end. God knows the difference.
  • Always comes and does not go.
  • Luke 2:6, Galatians 4:4, John 7:8, Daniel 7:22
  • Working towards one huge event.
  • Getting Anxious for the big event.

1st Timothy 4

We are running toward an event for which all time was created. One ultimate end.

Before the sun-dial there were only two times. Day and Night, then about 600 years before Christ there was a water clock, and then there were portable clocks. In 1577 the minute hand on our clocks was invented.

What would this mean if we weren’t on a countdown, but a count up?

Beth invites everyone to get out a pen and paper where she tells everyone to write their name and then under that their date of birth, and then a dash, and then leave it blank.

Your name Here

(Your Date of Birth) – The Revelation of Jesus Christ

When time comes, we will have had our own dash. Time is complete. This trust called time is always earth bound. It is something that has to do with the goings on of planet Earth. The later the date the greater the trust. That’s why we believe that the later we get into the kingdom calendar that the more important the word is handled correctly.  (Romans 13:11)

2nd Corinthians 6:2 – If you can saw now, then it’s time. Favorable. We are to make the best use of time. Eph. 4:5,

Fight (1st Timothy 6:12) – Good Translated as Beautiful.

  • You are going to have to pick your fight. You are I were born with a fight in us. One of the most important things we can do, in this moment is to come to a place when we pick our fights. 1st Timothy 6:12-13
  • Sound or Healthy doctrine.
  • There is a good fight and a ugly fight. We are either going to fight for people or with them. The fight has two fists. It’s Ego and self-control.We are going to fight the beautiful fight. Fight the kingdom of darkness in our day. There are things worth fighting for int his day. I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for devision and debate, but what is done in Christ is done with love and mutual esteem.
  • Isaiah 16:32, Acts 9:31 – Gospel math is multiplication. Anti-gospel math is always division.

Confession (1st Timothy 6:12) – To say what Christ says about us. Same as before, beautiful.

  • To Speak in agreement with.  – Sin

Stake our belief in what we know to be the truth.
You only have one dash. One time on this planet. One time for this to matter. One time, take it!

Closing Set:

  • My Heart is Yours (Take it All) – Kristian Stanfill, with Chris Tomlin, Brett Younker, and Christy Nockles
  • I Surrender All – Kristian Stanfill, with Chris Tomlin, Brett Younker, and Christy Nockles
  • My Heart is Yours (Take it All) – Kristian Stanfill, with Chris Tomlin, Brett Younker, and Christy Nockles

Louie invites everyone to put their faith in Jesus. This is your time.

#Passion2014 // Session 3 – Chan

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Francis Chan is the best-selling author of books, Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Erasing Hell and the host of the BASIC.series (Who is God & We Are Church). He has also written the children’s books Halfway Herbert, The Big Red Tractor and the Little Village and Ronnie Wilson’s gift. Francis is the founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, and is the founder of Eternity Bible College. He also sits on the board of directors of Children’s Hunger Fund and World Impact. Currently, Francis is working to start a church planting movement in the inner city of San Francisco and also working to launch a countrywide discipleship movement. Francis now lives in Northern California with his wife, Lisa, and their five children.

Website: http://www.francischan.org/

Opening Set: 

  1. Born to Love – Capital Kings
  2. Oh Praise Him – Crowder
  3. My Beloved – Crowder
  4. Heaven’s Got a Plan For You – Crowder
  5. I Saw the Light / I’ll Fly Away – Crowder
  6. I Am – Crowder
  7. How He Loves – Crowder
  8. Here’s My Heart Lord – Crowder

Shelly Giglio comes out and prays over Passion and for God to speak truth over our lives.

Shelly welcomes Mark Brunet and Roma Downy to share and give thanks to the Passion team. Louie prays that God will use the message of their movie, “Son of Gd” to have a huge impact around the world.

Louie asks everyone in the arena to pray out loud in Jesus name for this film and it’s reach.

Louie prays that God will use us all in some way for the same cause and the same end.

Message: 

When Louie was talking about Jesus in the garden I pictured mercy. When he was describing that scene…i’m picturing my daughter on the ground, sweating drops of blood crying out to me like three times for Jesus to look at the father saying is there any way! Not my will but yours be done. For the father to look at the son and go it’s my will to crush you. As a dad, I can’t even comprehend that kind of love.

Do you understand that? It’s so huge! So often when we pray we throw words up in the air. We don’t just trow words in the air, we are taking to a person.

You keep saying his name, but you don’t understand how holy He is. I want to be like one of those angles. We are talking to an amazing being. He dwells in unapproachable light. This has gotta be all about his name, so right now I’m not just asking for you to close your eyes and listen to me a say a few words. I want you to be in this with me. We are going to be speaking to this same God. Thanking him for crushing His son. Making Him who knew no sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.

Francis – You are so far beyond us. What are we? You are holy. No one will hold a candle to your love. God I can’t believe what you did, that you redeemed us in that way. Thank you Father, God. May our whole lives be about telling people how Holy You are. God make us like Jesus. Let us love Jesus more.

Francis tells a story about a friend of his that runs a marketing firm. He goes on trips. Francis joined him. He goes and finds people that are not being reached and uses his resources to help people all while doing his full time job.

He shares about his friend that is making a difference where trafficking is rampant.

What cooler than can you do on Earth?

What if we woke up every day saying that this is going to be the best day of our life? That’s actually possible. According to scripture. We have control over our prayer lives, our relationship with Jesus. The next time you pray could be the best time alone you have ever had with the Lord.

2nd Peter 1:1-8

You have a faith of Equal standing. Peter is saying this to you.

We are so used to limitations. He hasn’t given you everything to be the most intellectual person in the room. That pertain to life and godliness. There is no cap on that for you. God didn’t call you to mediocrity he called you to His glory.

Have you ever just wanted to see one of the miracles in scripture?

We don’t understand the Holy Spirit.

Ezekiel 36 – There will come a time where everything will change. God will put His spirit within you.

The people back then were like “I Wish”

Chapter 37 he takes them into the valley of dry bones. If this happens we would all freak out. What the bible says is that is what people should be thinning about you. They should be freaked out. When people meet you they need to know you know Jesus.

He says you do some work. Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue. Virtue means moral excellence. This takes work. Are you making every effort to know God?

Make every effort towards self control. – Just like scripture says. It just doesn’t happen to you..it’s making every effort. We work and make every effort towards these things.

Steadfastness

Godliness – Worship all day long. This is something you guys have to learn so badly.

V.8 – They will keep you from being ineffective.

V.9 – Some people are so near sighted they are blind. You will never fall if you never lack these qualities. 1st Corinthians – Everything is transient. 2nd Kings 6.

Chan invites everyone to forget about everything you can see. His promises are still there. Equal standing with Peter. Forget about everything you can see, and just worship Him.

Closing Set:

  1. Come As You Are – Crowder

#Passion2014 // Session 2 – Worship & Justice

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Capital Kings start off the night session with their original music and then their own version of Our God.

Louie: Passion believes that worship and justice are two sides of the same coin. God doesn’t just want songs. He wants us to run to those who have no voice and be their voice. We believe college students when they band together they can do amazing things.

A video is shared that tells the story of a muslim woman who has come to faith in Christ, but has to leave Iran because of this. Her burden to tell people about Jesus is real. She wanted to give the message of Jesus to people. She left Iran and was very worried at the journey ahead. She carried a bible in her bag, and guards were asking her about it.

Louie: We are going to change the destiny of the people who have never seen the bible. We are going to be a part of that story. She is actually here. She’s filled with a passion if the Iranian people. 77 million. Less than 1 percent. We are partnering with Illam ministries. We’ll have a time to give. We want to do something significant. Our goal is $250,000. You can do the math.

Worship and Justice two sides of the same coin. We would like to welcome Hillsong United.

  1. Relentless – Hillsong United
  2. Go – Hillsong United
  3. Hosanna – Hillsong United
  4. Scandal of Grace – Hillsong United
  5. Stay – Hillsong United
  6. Love is War – Hillsong United
  7. Oceans (Where My Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United
  8. The Stand – Hillsong United
  9. With Everything – Hillsong United

#Passion2014 // Session 1 – Giglio

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Louie Giglio is Pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Ga, and the Founder of Passion Conferences, a movement gathering collegiate-aged young people since 1997 in events across the US and around the globe. Most recently, Passion hosted over 60,000 people at Passion 2013 in the Georgia Dome, uniting students in worship and prayer, and raising awareness for modern-day slavery. In 2008, Louie and his wife Shelley led the team that planted Passion City Church, a local community of faith with the DNA of the Passion movement. Their desire is to inspire this generation to live for what matters most.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/louiegiglio Website: http://www.passioncitychurch.com/

Session starts with a spoken word piece on fresh starts, and God making all things new, and then a video is played telling the creation story.

Opening Set:

  1. God’s Great Dance Floor – Chris Tomlin, with Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Christy Nockles
  2. Don’t Ever Stop – Chris Tomlin, with Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Christy Nockles
  3. Love Never Gonna Let Me Go – Kristian Stanfill, with Chris Tomlin, Brett Younker and Christy Nockles
  4. Your Love Never Fails – Kristian Stanfill, with Chris Tomlin, Brett Younker and Christy Nockles

Louie walks out on stage. “If there is one thing we can bank on right now..it’s that you can find Jesus here. His love will never let you down.”

Louie: It doesn’t take a giant amount of faith to move a mountain, it just takes faith. We just have to believe that He is big enough to do the work. We don’t have to pray a prayer that’s big enough to do the work, we just have to pray and do the work.

Brad comes out on stage to explain what it means to pray “Passion Style.”

  1. No One Like You* – Chris Tomlin, with Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Christy Nockles
  2. Our God – Chris Tomlin, with Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Christy Nockles

Message:

He has to assist us with new eyes to see.

Isaiah see’s who god is and understand he is for the very first time. He says woe to me. “I am ruined!”

Have you seen a glimpse of the Lord almighty? Has there been a moment in your life..where it froze you in your tracks and you were undone by the presence of God?

In the holiness of God we always see the grace of God.

We need a glimpse of the true risen God before we can ever enter into the work that God is calling us into this world.

Louie shares a story about coming to grips with the assurance that Christ was crushed for him. He saw Christ and his eyes were opened to see that Jesus did this for him. He couldn’t take it all in. Somehow it was the most horrible and most beautiful thing all mashed up together and it took his breath away.

How do you know if you have seen Jesus?

  • When you understand it’s not the cross, but your cross. You are not the victim of the gospel story. There is one victim in the gospel story and that’s Jesus. I am the perpetrator that crushed Jesus on the cross!(Isaiah 53) The reality is this..that my sin crushed Jesus on the cross.
  • When you see that God wasn’t standing by that he was doing the crushing.
  • We understand God’s wrath pour out on christ obliterated our curse.

Nobody here is too good or too bad because God obliterated self-righteousness. You cannot do enough to keep God from loving you. When the blood ran red everything changed on the cross of calvary. Seeing the cross doesn’t just leave us stunned recipients of the gospel.

If the gospel ends with me I don’t really have the gospel. The gospel says that I am brand new because of the grace and mercy of God. I became way less interested in I, and became way more interested in we and what Christ did for us.

I will never boast except in the cross of Christ. – Paul

A seeing generation can say to a fading world, I enjoy you. I’m done with you. I’m done with being infatuated with you. I have been made a brand new creature in Christ. Christ is everything and grace crushed Him on the cross, but that same grace crushed me to life and there is no more self. No more self agenda. No more self centered. There is only Jesus and He’s the only one for me.

Closing Set:

  1. In Awe of You* – Chris Tomlin with Christy Nockles, Kristin Stanfill and Brett Younker
  2. I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) – Chris Tomlin with Christy Nockles, Kristin Stanfill and Brett Younker

Louie invites people to join the grace of God. He prays for the people of passion.

Bonus Set:

  1. Don’t Ever Stop – Chris Tomlin, with Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Christy Nockles

*Song title is based off lyrics and could not be final title as released on the passion CD when it comes out.

Making Good Strides

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So far I am doing pretty well at keeping my New Years resolution of reading the bible every day. For those of you who didn’t know I’m reading D. A. Carson’s “For The Love of God” and it’s taking me through each chapter of the bible and some chapters twice. I am really enjoying this plan because it connects passages of scripture together which I would have never read in the same sitting. For example Genesis and Acts. The beginning of the world and the beginning of the church.

It’s been great to have Carson providing excellent exposition of the word of God as well. He’s a brilliant soul and I’m thankful for him.

What about you? It’s a month into the new year. Are you struggling through your resolutions or making good strides. I would love to know.