Monica: a quiet faith that shouted loud

File_000 (1)On Tuesday evening a group of my contemporaries gathered in a ‘mini-wake’ ahead of her funeral to celebrate the life of a friend, Monica Brewer. After a short, valiant journey (she didn’t like to call it a battle), she passed away early last week from a cancer that had been diagnosed a fast six months before.

She is not my first friend to die of cancer. She likely won’t be my last. But I wasn’t able to meet them to celebrate on Tuesday night. I was off doing something else. Something Monica played an instrumental role in my undertaking.

I was at my Bible College class. Should I wish, and most importantly should God wish, by the end of this course (a Graduate Diploma in Divinity) I could become an ordained minister. Which I’m certain God, Jesus and Monica are now having a jolly good laugh about in heaven. I don’t think that will actually happen, my being an ordained minister. I still swear waaay too much for that. But God does have a strong sense of humour, so I’ve learnt just to wait and see.

I met Monica through the She Business group many years ago, long before I became a Christian. Christianity was not what I expected in my 40s, and it took much wrestling and cage-fighting to figure it out. One of my wrestles was being a business owner and integrating my faith and work.  Soon after I was baptised in the river, I retained Monica as a business coach – totally unaware she had a Christian faith herself.

Monica mixed a no-nonsense planning approach, thanks to her background as an accountant, with a matriarchal firmness I enjoyed. As I said to her at the time, “I don’t need you to talk to me about positive thinking mindset, I need you to call me on my sh*t,” and she did.

She and I worked on developing and rebranding my communications agency. But as GJ&HS swept relentlessly through my life, she could tell my heart wasn’t in it. I wanted a Kingdom-business but I was a new Christian still figuring out the Kingdom for me, let alone a business. It’s like I didn’t know enough about my own faith then to work it all out.

One day – after one of those dangerous crazy prayers – an executive role in an international not-for-profit Christian mission presented itself.

I remember turning up to my next planning meeting with Monica, totally conflicted. We had spent months, after all, planning and structuring this new agency. I told her about the prayer, and what had happened 24 hours later. “I just got goose bumps,” she told me. “Follow this. The agency will always be there for you to pick up. God will do the rest.”

Of course, she was right. He did. With spectacular results. From her encouraging me to walk through that first door, I now find myself studying, writing and preaching. Plus a new opportunity that saw me launch the Ministry of Sex. Yes, you read that right. And no, I’m not administering that sort of pastoral care. Everyone calm down.

The agency has also been prepared for me to pick it up again. Whilst working in the mission, I ran it remotely with an awesome team. Was it a juggle? Yes. Am I ready to focus on it fully, now? Yes.

Monica was part of that too. Three years ago she helped show me how to run a Kingdom business that integrated my faith – I just wasn’t sufficiently mature in my faith to recognise it at the time. During our meetings, our laptops open at her wooden dining table, an overseas visiting pastor (staying with the family as he studied at Bible college) would wander in and out. There was my Kingdom business model. Love God, love what you do in business, serve where you can and do it for His glory. He looks after the rest.

Today was her funeral. I love that they read Proverbs 31, as it encapsulates her perfectly. A woman of Godly character, in successful business, full of energy, with strength in her arms. Facing a cancer diagnosis that she called a gift from God, her faith assured her. I don’t doubt she was clothed with strength and dignity – and she may not have been laughing at the days to come, as the Psalmist writes, but she would have been fearless.

Thanks Monica. The biggest blessing is knowing I get to spend eternity with you in heaven. Dancing, just as we all did leaving the church today, just as you asked.

God bless.

 

 

 

The testimony blooper reel

I love the bloopers at the end of shows. I think it started as a child watching Smokey and the Bandit movies. I loved how I could move from pure fiction to authentic reality. There was also a massive lesson about failing fast and failing with fun. All these people getting it wrong, stuffing up lines, enjoying it, trying again and succeeding. d5e933bd4c28f20cd1ac927e8a14a7cf38935364324fa876f2d56730d5a0e7a6.jpg

Upon reflection, my getting up on stage to give my testimony almost two years ago was a fairly interesting exercise on the SAP’s part. He’d observed me pinging around like meerkat on speed as I wrestled and questioned with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And whilst he knew I was more than solid with what GJ&HS had delivered – I’d not have been lipton’d otherwise – he’d also had plenty of insight into my, um, somewhat colourful communication methods.

I wonder if pastors ever have a moment when they wish for the same nine-second delay button that allows live broadcasters to dump any content that’s off-piste before it goes out to air?

After all, live testimony is a fairly public litmus test of a pastor’s efforts in the soul-saving funnel. Yes, yes, I know, God is sovereign, it’s not really the pastor’s fault if someone doesn’t get it 100%….but, still, you’ve surely got to feel a bit of the pressure.

Something has prompted the newbie to come to (or call) the church, they’ve asked lots of questions, likely attended the gospel 101, Christianity Explored course, totally gotten with the program that Jesus’ grace is an underserved gift and are ready to publicly give testimony. But imagine if something has been lost in translation, and, up on stage, there’s some major faux-pas.

Like the live testimony where the person expressed hope they had done enough.

Whoops. I imagine it caused the pastor a mental forehead-slap, a quick grab of the microphone and a, “Ahem, right, well, actually, before you continue let me quickly open up to Ephesians 2:9.”

Testimony is a funny thing. There are the big, headliner, “Jesus turned my life around saved me from drugs/drink/prostitution” testimonies. Or the no less headlining, but somehow less attention-getting, “I grew up in a Christian home, with happy parents, their solid marriage and embrace Jesus as my saviour because I have seen so much joy in him throughout my life why on earth would I put anything else above him?”

Why don’t churches do more ‘where are they now?’ testimonies and report on some follow up stories? I think many congregants would be greatly encouraged by how and where the newbies are growing in their faith. It would also spread some colour and awareness of how gloriously different everyone’s faith walk can be. Hints and tips could be shared. Honest bloopers too.

Imagine sharing all those lessons about failing fast and failing with fun. Grabbing grace. All these people getting it wrong, stuffing up lines, enjoying it, and trying again through faith. Real life, real church.

Bleepin’ awesome.

 

Hello, Bunny-Boiler Christian

I think if God and Jesus had a ‘restraining order, dodgy stalker’ list, I’d be on it.

No, I’ve not uncovered some seductive ancestor of mine who snuck around Nazareth with her bunny stew-pot as a result of being jilted for Mary Magdalene (if that well-known theologian Dan Brown is to be believed) – no. It’s just that the shift in my behaviour over the past 12-18 months could be classed as somewhat Glenn Close, ‘Fatal Attraction’esque if you look at it through a secular, modern-day (tongue firmly-in-cheek) lens: imgres

Girl meets new boy. Catches her eye. Suddenly she wants to know all about him, so reads every book she can find written about him and his Dad. Just to understand his family history and have something in common.

She discovers there’s a certain type of music he likes. So she starts listening to it too. A lot. She even ends up dancing and clapping along in front of him (so he knows that she likes the same things he does).

She begins to follow him. Works out his routine and figures out that he regularly goes to a certain place on a Sunday morning. She casually turns up there too, “Oh, fancy seeing you here!”

Gets to know a LOT of his friends. He can’t have a quiet bit of bread and wine with a few of his mates without her having a reason to sit down next to him.

She starts to talk about him in a really familiar way. Hangs off his every word. “Oh, Jayson said this. Jayson said that.” Takes every opportunity to be part of his family: “I’m going to have a coffee with Jayson’s Dad this afternoon.” Wrangles invites to family holidays: “Oooh, I’m so looking forward to this Christmas. Jayson and his Dad are having a special lunch and I’m going to go along.”

Plus she tries to call him virtually every spare moment she has. His phone is constantly pinging with SMS messages and gushy voicemail. “Hi, how are you? I’m just driving ten minutes in my car so thought I’d tell you that I’m thinking of you and I love what you wrote about sex and relationships in that middle book.”

Anyone else have the ‘Psycho’ theme tune in their head right now? If your son started hanging out with some girl who behaved like that, you’d be hiding the pet rabbit and changing the alarm code, right?

Then, to add a twist, she’s just as head over heels with his Dad as she is with him….and to really make it a bit odd, he chooses to be falsely imprisoned on her behalf, takes the blame for the mess she’s been making and accepts a death penalty because he loves her so much – all with his Dad’s blessing.

Weird right? I mean, you really couldn’t make it up. Yet, in this Days Of Our Lives story of passion, love, lies, lust and betrayal…

…They all lived happily ever after.

Disclaimer: Anyone who sends comments saying this is eerily reminiscent of some full-on, evangelistic, bible-thumpers may I say: cool your jets. You have probably met a religious nutter, rather than someone who’s head over heels with the Jesus fella. 

Chastity fail. Getting back on top….

I’m getting back on top…of purity, that is. What were you thinking?

So I’ve looked at why Christian Girls Are Easy, and how, despite purity pledges, true love is struggling to wait for marriage. Your comments have been hugely helpful, thank you, as have been the snippets of dating advice from the smart-alec pastor (SAP). I’m particularly impressed by his entrepreneurial thinking. festisite_costa-coffee

Forget purity pledge rings, he has lined up a range of DIY bundling & tarrying kits, with the SAP logo embroidered on them. The branded beans, for those important ‘getting to know you’ coffee chats are an inspired touch. Shortly followed by the new coffee chain, SAPbucks, opening near churches nationwide…

It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it

There’s a misconception that Christians should be pure and chaste (including no sex) because it’s ‘in the rules’ And by ‘following the rules’ you get into God’s good books. This misunderstands the Good Book. That we are loved more than we can possibly imagine by God is shown by Jesus’ death and resurrection. There’s nothing to do. No ledgers. No self-flagellation. Jesus washes it all away.

Yet that doesn’t means there’s a hall pass for sinning over and over. God asks us to be confident in our relationship with Him because of the gift of Jesus. And it is a relationship. Draw closer, He asks. Read my words. Observe (follow) them. Not from legalistic obligations or “do what I say or there’ll be trouble” but simply because they are His words and we are motivated to out of love. Not to tick the ‘good deed’ box but because, OMG, I am so loved, how can I not?

I liken my relationship with G&J to first love on steroids. It’s eye-rollingly ridiculous to describe it thus at 40-erm years old, but after close to a year I have not yet found a better descriptor. Remember that somersaulting tumble in your stomach of first love? You want to hang out with the object of your affection all the time. You get a buzz out of being in their company. You want to do stuff for them. You enjoy making them happy. Seeing them smile at something you have done for them lights you up. You derive joy in the offering.

Sex as the wedding gift

So Christians are called to remain pure until marriage because God commanded it. Three times in Song of Songs the Bible says to ‘not awaken love before it so desires’. Which means ‘save it for later’. Words from the SAP:

The Bible refers to marriage and that sex is God’s wedding gift – so to speak – and that sex is this wonderful, fun and exciting thing God has given a married couple. We’ve spoiled what God intended to be a great thing – by taking the wedding present early – by abusing it and treating it as a trivial thing.

Not all Christians succeed in that very difficult task. But many do. And on the dating front, perhaps young Christians are grinding (or not) to a halt because they are really trying to honour God with their bodies and keeping Christian sex where it belongs, within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.

No point in beating yourself up over it

The tricky bit comes (ahem) when Christians fall off the chastity wagon before marriage and feel they have ‘failed’ in their relationship with God. Yet, like any relationship fracture, it comes down to asking forgiveness and ‘making it right’ as soon as possible. A very tongue-in-cheek (or elsewhere) example:

Dear God,

I’m so sorry. I’m trying my best here but that final slow dance just did me in, his aftershave sends me weak at the knees, and, oh, did you see the way his forearms flexed nailing the boards when we were building that charity hut together earlier? I never imagined missionary (work) would be so tempting.

It was a balmy night on the deserted beach, the moon was high, one thing led to another….and, well, I guess you saw…which is actually weird in a modern-day voyeristic way, don’t You think? Anyhow. Epic chastity fail. So I’m sorry, I’m asking your forgiveness, and for the strength to resist those forearms again when we work on the deck for the charity hut tomorrow… I’m really going to need Your help there. But I don’t like feeling like I’ve let you down, so with Your help, I’ll brush myself off (literally, because You know, God? Sand gets in everywhere. Everwhere!) and give it another go. The chastity I mean. Not him of the sexy forearms. 

In Jesus name… Amen.

Call to action: get out there and go a courtin’ with care

As one wise woman commented about the Christian Girls Are Easy post, “I think there is a bigger generational issue at play here. Teenagers lives these days are much more open than when we courted. Coffee enabled you to chat and find out more. Today if you want to discover more you check out his/her Facebook page or follow him/her on Instagram. I do think an element of the excitement and fun has gone with a lack of courting – potentially this has less to do with the lack of going out for coffee and more to do with social media and messaging.

I actually see young people today taking others feelings more into account before deciding to date and that cannot be a bad thing. I watched many Christian girls – myself included – bounce from youth group to youth group in search of Mr Right Christian Boy and leave behind a wake of hurt feelings and cold coffee!”

I love her honesty.

So the suggestions are: enjoy your G&J relationship. It’s not what you do, it’s why. If you fall off the purity wagon, dust yourself off and turn to G&J (and your friendly pastor, hopefully one with smart-alec stripes) for support and advice.

Have coffee, have fun and be respectful of each other. Ease up on the social media stalking to preserve some of the mystery and keep the excitement of pheromones alive. You can still enjoy a pheromone buzz whilst observing purity.

Instead of watching each other on social media, watch each other, I don’t know, on the sports field! Guys, get all gallant and carry her tennis racket. Girls, any bloke, from 16 to 60, loves a cheer squad. Go watch him be a gladiator on the rugby field. I myself am a fan of the roller disco. Gives you an excuse to tangle legs and fall in a heap on top of each other without anyone raising an eyebrow.

One final piece of advice: if you do happen to find yourself on a moonlit beach with Mr Right Christian Boy / Girl remember this: sand gets everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Better to wait.

No victims or survivors here, move along

How does one follow a couple of blogs on family violence (FV) and safe ministry?

Carefully. Nothing-to-see-here-630x286

Before I return to blog posts poking fun at myself on this Christian journey, I wanted to share a couple of lessons that have popped up for me in the responses to both.

I am not a victim. Please let’s stop using that term.

Yes, I may have been harmed or injured as a result of family violence. But I am not a person who has come to feel helpless and passive in the face of misfortune or ill-treatment. Whilst I was physically sick after publishing that post, it wasn’t from any feeling of helplessness. Instead it was because I dreaded someone looking at me differently in the present day. Treating me differently. Like a victim. To be named a victim is to somehow remain stuck in the language of fear.

Nor am I a survivor.

Gloria Gaynor has a lot to answer for. Surviving something feels so limiting. Slightly static. I don’t continue to live or exist in spite of FV. In fact, I rarely think about it. Why survive when you can bust through and grow?

Show compassion, sorrow or anger on my behalf, but, dear God, don’t pity me.

The parents who split messily, the mother who attempted suicide, the step-father who used his fists, all those experiences made me the woman I am. Whom I love. A resilient, strong, sassy, kind, fun, loyal warrior. Sarcastic, dry-humoured, yet compassionate and empathetic. (The latter two are less my default feelings. Thankfully Jesus reminds me to access them more each day). So please don’t pity people for the very experiences that forged them. If they value what they see in the mirror, your pity only devalues the experiences that gave them worth.

Love, forgiveness – ‘turning the other cheek’ – can achieve miracles.

Rosie Batty responded to a hateful, vile act with love. As a result she placed FV far higher on our nation’s agenda and was instrumental in the instigation of a Royal Commission into family violence. It’s early days, and I look forward to seeing how our leaders and our society as a whole tackles it.

There’s more to do, to pray for.

Yes, call for increases to budgets for family violence support services. Safe havens are necessary. But rather than parking the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff as abusees tumble over, let’s start fixing the underlying issue: why men (and some women) perpetrate family violence. What messages are being sent in our culture that perpetrate it? That cause confusion? Such as:

  • We tell our boys it’s never okay to hit a girl. How often do we teach our girls that it’s never ok to hit a boy?
  • Advertising that portrays women as passive objects that any amount of muck can be done to.
  • Porn. Rape porn.
  • Laws that leave Fathers battling for fair access visits to their children, with little recourse. Yes, there are times when that limited access is necessary. But (and I write from personal experience) there are also times when good men, great Dads, are punished by their ex-wives for the relationship breakdown; via making access visits incredibly difficult to secure.

This isn’t going away.

Ending family violence requires massive societal change; results need to be measured across generations. I’m impressed by the many clergy who have been vocal in calling for change and appear willing to shine the light in the dark corners. I’m also hopeful because of another massive societal shift that spread across the world incredibly quickly, back in the first century, and continues to support the weak and stand up for the oppressed today.

Church doctrine & domestic violence. Stop blaming. Start fixing.

41646jpgVeLBefore I turned fourteen years old, I had defended myself with a knife against a forty-something year-old male who liked to use his fists in places it didn’t show.

I had watched a tea-tray thrown from the top of a three-storey house because his cup was not placed on it – and it wasn’t a leap of my imagination to suppose he would push my mother out too.

I always, always invited people over to stay on the weekend. Because then, possibly, the man of the house, this second husband who professed love for my mother, would keep his societal mask in place and keep his fists off her.

One night I crept downstairs to see her crying in a chair. She said to me: “What will I do if he hits me again?” Again? My brain could not compute that she did not have an answer. All that I saw, every school anti-violence message, every teen-pop magazine I had read told me one thing: there is always an again. No matter the tears, the apologies. So the answer was quite clear: “We leave,” I told her.

Yet still it took months – I suspect now he had her financially isolated – and in the time between my articulating it and the reality of our departure, I lived in a ratcheting high tension.

My grabbing that kitchen knife was a turning point. Perhaps my mother saw murder in my eyes and finally, finally, saw the motivation for change. A 6′ 6” (198 cm) bully turning tail, scampering up the stairs, locking himself away in the bathroom, with me, far shorter, far lighter, in pursuit. After rattling the door knob for good measure, I went back down the stairs, calmly put the knife back in the knife block and walked to school. Shortly after my Mum and I moved in with friends.

All this whilst attending an prestigious private school, where no-one had a clue. He was a fine, upstanding Rotary club member, after all. We were acting out the perfect blended family.

I can’t speak for my mother. I have no idea why she stayed, and why I, the child, had to encourage her to leave. Why it took teenage fingers wrapped around a carving knife hilt to prompt action. What I know is this: as soon as people knew, we were helped and supported. Which is why the recent finger pointing at church institutions for ‘condoning’ domestic violence, for encouraging wives to stay with abusive husbands through some warped reading of ‘biblical headship’ has pressed a few of my buttons.

If a pastor has ever intimated you should stay, he is wrong. For anyone who points to ‘wives, submit to your husbands’ as a biblical directive to stay in an abusive marriage, please respond: ‘love your wife as Christ loved the church.’

All the pastors and Christians I have met in the past year would be helping you pack your bags and more. God certainly does not wish for you to stick it out. As  articulated in 2012 (bold type is mine):

“While the Bible calls upon the wife to submit it never calls upon the husband to subjugate or subdue his wife. It is never his prerogative or responsibility….All forms of coercion—physical, economic, social, psychological, spiritual—are inappropriate and wrong for a husband to use on his wife. Some, such as physical abuse, are criminal and should be dealt with by the courts. The Christian husband’s duty and solemn vow is to follow the example of his Lord and lay down his life for his bride. This will always put her interests before his own at whatever cost it is to him. This will mean never using or even threatening force. To subjugate his wife is a complete denial of what he promised.”

There is no reason to believe that the rate of family violence within Australian churches is any lower than in the general population. It is the leading cause of death and injury in women under 45. The Easter period last year marked the deaths of six women and children in a single week. One in three women is affected by family violence, one in four children, and one woman a week dies.

Please re-read my bold type above. Coercion rarely starts in the physical. It’s the wearing down – “you stupid cow, can’t you even sort the laundry properly?” – the gradual, dangerous dismantling of a woman’s sense of self-esteem. My step-father would be apoplectic over a coloured shirt in the white wash.

Physical violence is the escalation. Your husband or partner may never have raised his hand against you, but if you spend many hours of the day thinking about how he might possibly react to everything you do, second guessing how some of life’s simplest choices might upset the balance at home? Get help. Plus – as I chillingly read in another article on family violence – if you are reading this, recognise these signs and share a computer with your husband or partner: please delete your browsing history.

Abusers abuse. To blame it on Christian doctrine narrows the lens too dangerously. As does saying it could never happen in a church.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

The SAP ain’t heavy. He’s my…oh, c’mon, really?

The Smart-Alec Pastor (SAP) has thrown a furfy into my creative mix. Remember the ‘Who shot JR?” cliff-hanger in Dallas? It’s kind of like that. I’m debating whether to write him out this blog script via some nefarious misdeed. Then I might have to deal with resurrecting the character, like Bobby Ewing stepping out the shower after it all being a dream.

LovepeopleWhat has he done to deserve such script-writing acrobatics? He and Mrs SAP have gone and prayed themselves into a new gig. Which is awesome and shows the brilliance of God at work. He will, I’m sure, based on my own brief experience, be an absolute blessing to his new congregation.

But, God, just to be a little bit selfish, I do have fun making up SAP adventures (or exaggerating them loosely on real-life examples). Whilst a part of me prays for ongoing SAP story lines, God’s bigger, insistent voice is saying, “Time to go it alone.”

Many times over the past nine months on my new Christian journey, I have asked: “God, Jesus, is this me? I am getting it? Or is the SAP just good at his job?” That’s the danger of new Christianity. You need to connect with God and Jesus and the Bible, not just the SAP delivering it. But you also need the training wheels that someone like the SAP provides to make sure you correctly connect with God, Jesus and the Bible.

Plus there’s the power of personality. The SAP is good at his job because of who he is: a supremely honest, Christian bloke who embraces the imperfection of life. I have wept at his kindness, laughed at his irreverence, and enjoyed a sense of humour that echoes my own.

How many pastors could you immortalise in a global blog under the nickname ‘smart alec’ and have him take it happily in his stride? Then somehow flipping it to laugh at me and teasing that it is my brand of evangelism? Or, better, dealing happily with my response when I told him to go himself and fornicate under carnal knowledge?

Based on all that, I figure he’ll be OK if I do decide to kill off the SAP. Just as he’s off on a new journey, I will be too. SAP training-wheel free. I have no idea what God has in store, but I do find it amazing that literally the week before the SAP made his new job announcement, God delivered two wise UHT Christians to me, both offering to be my mentors. Not one, but two.

I’ve also been introduced to a church looking to grow; the pastor is seeking help of a professional kind to market Christianity in this changing world. Plus, just quietly, I’ve had a hankering to do some distance education of the bible-study kind. But no rush. God’s got the reigns on this. I’ll just pray and step forward as He guides me.

So, in case I do decide to greatly exaggerate the rumours of the SAP’s demise, here’s my kind of epitaph to him:

Dear SAP,

Thank you. You, God and Jesus have all helped me become a better person. I know you will humbly respond that it is not necessarily in that order, but please accept the compliment gracefully.

Not only did you help me become a Christian, you also helped one of the most important people in my life join me along this road. Priceless.

Thank you for being there. For the random emails you would field as this writer processed whatever God and Jesus were pressing her to unpack. I am humbly cognisant that mine was not the only email, the only text message, the only Facebook message that your flock fired off. I only hope that my black humour kept you entertained rather than overwhelmed.

You have known when to push, when to shut up, when to compassionately hold the space, and when to congratulate me as I wobbled along on these Christian training wheels. You say that you always ask God to keep you out the way so He can do His work, but I suspect He tells you when to get in the way too. Thank you for listening to Him so well.

I pray your new congregation sees just how uniquely the spirit of God works in you. It’s not a typical brand of spirit. It’s rare, refined and aged nicely in whiskey barrels. Let’s hope there are not too many Puritans in your new parish.

Whilst writing this has required a tissue box, the awesomeness of what you and your family are about to do eclipses any tears of quiet sadness at your departure and turns them into joy.

There have been a few highpoints. Meeting G&J being major ones, obviously. Picking up the phone after Easter and being told you knew how this would end. Being hauled safely back up out the water during my Lipton-ing. And then, the other day, hearing you were grabbing this God-given opportunity to again lead a church.

But the biggest and best highpoint? Knowing that even if I do write the SAP out these blogs, I have the blessing of a SAF in real life. Stepping out from behind the keyboard now: I am honoured, blessed and grateful to have you as my smart-alec friend. I love how we can joke around, have fun and then have deep conversations without it getting weird at all.

So blessings on your new Godventure, SAF. You ain’t heavy, you’re my brother. And that’s about the shiniest Christian language you are ever going to see me use.