Trusting when it doesn’t make sense

Almost two weeks ago now I blogged about not fearing what you don’t yet understand. Going along with this theme, I talked about being out of control and how we really cannot be in control of everything (really anything!) in our lives.

365 days free from fear is really becoming a journey to understanding more and more that no one in the Bible really understood God and His ways and methods of working things out. I think this is a lot of where we are as well. God reminds us through the prophet Isaiah that “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Basically, it totally makes sense that we don’t understand why things happen, how they happen, when they happen, etc.

There is this dad in the Bible who experienced one of these times firsthand. He had gone to Jesus to try to get help from Him, but Jesus had taken too long to get there. The man’s daughter was on her deathbed. But, on the way to her, the man receives word from one of his servants that the daughter is dead. Having received that news, the dad thinks now that all is lost and Jesus shouldn’t be bothered by his request anymore. Instead, Jesus responds in Mark 5:36:

“But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.'”

Just believeThe man’s daughter is gone and he had tried everything he could. It wasn’t enough. He had lost his daughter. He gave up and considered all hope lost at this point. But Jesus told him not to be afraid. The father did not need to be afraid of what he did not yet understand, he simply had to believe in Jesus and believe in the power of God.

The same is true for you and for me. When we are overwhelmed, afraid, stressed, anxious, freaking out, overworked, lacking sleep, pulling our hair out, we should remember Jesus and trust in Him. We should turn to Him and take our focus off of our situations and place our eyes on our Savior, gracious Redeemer, mercy-giving Lord, and Heavenly Father.

Because of what Jesus has done we can live a life free from fear and full of belief in Him. We can read the promises of Jesus in the Bible and believe that He will fulfill them. In fact, 2 Corinthians 1:20 says that all the promises of God find their yes in Christ. Jesus Christ fulfills the promises of God. We can claim those promises, especially in our fear and insecurity and self-centered focus.

Trust GodSo after reading this, you will go back to doing what you had been doing, you will go back to whatever “normal” life looks like for you. But as you go, take with you a new perspective. A perspective laden with the reality that no matter what, you can trust and believe in Jesus. First, for salvation from your sins. And second, to fulfill all the promises God makes in His Word. I hope and pray this encourages you.

What does it take to get started?

Research papers are not the most fun thing in the world. There is so much work involved, from picking a topic, to trying to find research about that topic, to studying that research, and then to spreading that research out for pages and pages just trying to reach that minimum page requirement set by the prof. Knowing all of the work required to actually finish a research paper, one of the biggest hurdles to cross is actually starting. I’ve found that even opening a new Word doc and putting the title headings for the paper is enough of a small start to get me going on the rest of the paper. It puts an outline, a framework to go with, for the paper and makes it easier to move forward.

Two of the biggest hurdles in life involve actually starting something new, and then actually finishing something off. When something new comes our way, sometimes all the variables and risks and tasks pile up and it becomes a daunting beginning that we put off as long as possible. Sometimes it’s not even a bad thing. Sometimes we are just afraid to take a new step forward and beginning a new journey, so we delay. This can be like delaying to ask your girlfriend to be your wife because you’re afraid of taking that next step and moving toward marriage, even though you want to be married and have a family and be with this person you love for the rest of your life; it can still be a daunting step because of the magnitude of the decision.

Actually finishing something off can be hard because it is the end of an era, the end of a chapter of life. It can be hard to move on from a job because of the people you worked with, the history you have with the company, or the clients you are leaving behind. Or finishing something off could look like moving to a new city or state and leaving behind friends and family (this is an ending and a new beginning all at once).

Beginning and ending. They are hard.

Well, in this 365 Days Free From Fear trek we are on, today focuses on Genesis 46:3-4 where Jacob is getting ready to head to Egypt to reunite with his lost son Joseph. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers many years before, and rose to prominence in Egypt. Now he is saving the life of his family and has forgiven his brothers and renewed that broken relationship. He invites all his father’s family to come live in Egypt. Before they get there, Jacob has this vision where God says,

“I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.”

God comforts Jacob and reminds him that God will go with him and he doesn’t have to be afraid to begin this journey. Once he begins this journey, he will reach the end of his “journey” (i.e. life) and his lost son will be there to help bury his father. Beginning this journey will reunite him with his son and will make the family whole again. Before the father dies he will be able to witness this. God gives Jacob comfort and hope so that he can go ahead and start on the journey.

In the same way, when we are facing new beginnings and hard endings, we can remember that God is with us. Even better, when we know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, the Spirit of God lives inside of us and goes with us wherever we go so that we have an even greater realization of God’s presence with us than Jacob and his family did.

Be encouraged and don’t be afraid. We all face new beginnings that are hard to start and endings that are hard to finish, but we can take hope. No matter where we are in this, even somewhere in the middle, we can take courage to know that when we abide in Christ, He is there with us (John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”).

Don’t always fear what you don’t yet understand

Lost and Confused SignpostThere are a lot of things in this world we don’t understand. Many things are happening all around us, almost daily, that just don’t make sense. Where is the logic? How could the scientific method answer questions like why do bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people? How could reason and intellect answer why an 18-year-old, recent high school graduate died in a tragic car crash?

The problem is, we are finite. We are incomplete. We are not all-knowing, all-powerful, or really in control. When things happen that we don’t understand, it seems natural to rebel against these facts. We can rebel against the notion that we are finite and are not invincible. “What do you mean I won’t live forever? I mean, I know at some point I will pass away, but I have so many years left! I don’t have to worry about facing death!”

Or maybe we rebel against not being all-knowing. When something happens we don’t understand, we seek an explanation, because there has to be one, right? If we can’t figure it out, then we don’t rest until we have an answer. If we don’t find an answer, we use clever verbiage to develop an answer that delivers us an escape from the reality that there is no answer.

Maybe we rebel against not being really in control. Everything in our lives is neat and orderly. We have all our i’s dotted and t’s crossed and we know what to expect, how to handle it, and we always know what to do. But then something unexpected happens that places us in the backseat because it is something beyond our control. Someone does something to us or to someone we love, and we weren’t able to stop it. So we spend the rest of our lives devoted to never letting this sort of thing happen again.

What if our negative impulse to being out of control, to being incomplete, not all-knowing or powerful or invincible, is really just a fear-focused reaction? It really does seem like when we are out of the drivers seat, not in control, that decisions come from the fear instead of the faith inside of us.

Matthew 1:20 comes in the middle of the proclamation that Jesus is going to be born from the virgin Mary. Joseph, Mary’s husband, who has not had sex with her, finds out that Mary is pregnant and is going to react in a way full of integrity and grace. He decides to divorce her quietly. The situation is beyond his control. But, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph, as recorded in Matthew 1:20, and says,

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

The angel tells him to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Taking Mary as his wife must have brought the fear of shame and fear of rejection and fear of bad reputation and fear of a difficult life because of marrying a woman who was already not be afraid

The angel gives advice to Joseph that I think is very applicable to our lives when we feel out of control, afraid, and uncertain: “Do not fear…” Even though we may  not understand what is going on right now, “that which is conceived…is from the Holy Spirit.” Trust in Him. Believe in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Follow God’s Word. We may not get it, we may not know why, we may have no answers, no solutions, no clue… but what we can know is Jesus Christ as our Savior (1 Timothy 1:15), God as our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1-3), and Jesus as our burden bearer. We can lay our burdens down at His feet (Psalm 55:22), and He will walk with us through it all (Psalm 23).

3 things I learned from a personal trainer

Last Friday I was able to witness a personal trainer in front of a large group of student athletes give training and instruction, and basically run these students into the ground. Throughout the course of the two hour long workout, the trainer said some inspirational things. Three specific things stuck out to me that I wanted to share with everyone:

1. Give 100% every single time. f5413f56dad093593d05fa0edc2febc3

Okay, the personal trainer actually said to give 110% every single time, but you can’t give more than you have, can you? So we will stick with 100%. Give it all you’ve got every single time! He said this during a jumping drill. The athletes would be working on squats and jumping for the entire 2 hour session. During this portion of the workout, the trainer had already taught them the form of how to jump properly, and now was having them practice it. He had every athlete line up on the base line of the basketball court and jump out five jumps. Then, he asked all of them to turn around where they were. He told them they now had five jumps to get back past the base line. He threatened (or motivated?) them by saying they wouldn’t want to find out what would happen if even one of them didn’t make it back across. You can bet they all jumped with all they had and everyone got back across the line! After they all made it back across, he talked to them about how they should give that kind of effort every single play, even without the motivation or threat of not making it. They should be able to internally motivate themselves like he had externally motivated them, every single play.

2. Even if you’re the last one, own the drill as yours

This was more of a reprimand than an inspirational quote, but I think it suffices. There were a couple athletes who were the last ones through the drill, and they were obviously just going through the drill as fast as possible with the purpose of just completing the drill, not learning what the drill was trying to teach. The personal trainer commented on this and basically said that if you’re not going to do the drill right and for the purpose of learning what the drill is trying to teach, then you’re wasting your time. Even if you are the last one through, the last one finishing up, own the drill. Own whatever it is you are doing and take pride in your work. Do it with excellence.

3. Your team is only as good as you are

At the end of the workout, when everyone is dragging and exhausted, they still had more work to do. As the athletes are lunging across the length of the gym, stopping every so often to do squats and other leg-killing exercises, the trainer reminds them why they shouldn’t give up when they are exhausted and everything inside of them is screaming to give up: “Your team is only as good as you are.”5 When the going gets tough, your team needs you and you need your team. Every player is vital to the success of a team, whether they realize it or not. Because you are vital to your “team,” make sure you give it your all (even, especially, when you don’t want to) and that you do things with excellence (even if it would be faster to take the easier way out).

If we could take these three principles and apply them to marriages, to jobs, to schoolwork, to sports teams, to our faith in Jesus Christ, I think we would change the world. There would be fewer broken homes, happier work environments, better educations, and more genuine followers of Jesus Christ representing His love and grace and mercy on this earth.

Hope makes a difference

Hope is an intriguing concept. I read this story one time about an experiment some graduate students did with lab rats and light. The first phase of the experiment was simply putting rats in a tank of water in a room of absolute darkness. There was no light sneaking in, just complete darkness and no chance of the rats climbing out of the tanks. These rats in darkness swam for 6 hours before giving up. What was most interesting about this experiment is that, when these Hopegrad students tried the experiment again, they experienced a different result. This time, the experiment included having a small light in the room. The rats are still placed in a tank of water with no chance of escape, but with the light in the room, a little pinprick of hope, the rats swam for almost 17 hours! Hope makes a difference.

There’s this passage tucked into a minor prophet in the Old Testament book of Zechariah. This part of the narrative comes after Israel’s many ups and downs and twists and turns. Israel was chosen by God to be a nation set apart; to be a nation that shows every other nation the goodness and glory of God the Father, our Creator.

But there was just one little problem…that whole “being human” thing. The Israelites failed with incredible resilience. Even when it was hard to fail, they found a way. They were obstinate, moody, “stiff-necked,” ungrateful, whiny and selfish, among other things. Remind you of anyone you know? Checking the mirror, I can definitely be all of those things (more often than I’d care to admit).

God was not pleased with the way His chosen people had been acting, especially worshipping created things rather than the Creator, and so He allowed His people to be enslaved, imprisoned, and unfairly treated…for centuries. All throughout the history of Israel, there is this history of the nation doing well for a few years, and then going back to what they had always done, pursuing idols and false gods and believing and putting their faith in weird things that didn’t make any sense compared to the God who talked with them.

But, this story in Zechariah, is a ray of light. This piece of the narrative shines a light into the darkness and provides incredible hope that God is not done, the Israelites will not be discarded and thrown out, but in fact God has a greater plan (if they follow Him). After all, a guide may have a great route to take and may know very well how to get you from point A to point B, but unless you follow that guide, you may never reach your destination.

Here is the hope-filled piece of the narrative in Zechariah 8:13, 16-17:

“And as you have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong… These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.”

The houses of Judah & Israel used to be used as a curse because of the destruction and calamity they had faced…but now God would save them! Now God would bring them blessing and peace! If they will follow His guidance.

I think the same is true for us. No matter where we have been, no matter what we have done, no matter who we think we are, God loves us. God loves us so much He sent Jesus Christ, His only Son, to die on a cross, to be tortured, crucified and buried, for our sins. Three days later God raised Christ from the dead so that we could have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the ray of light in the midst of darkness.

God is our refuge and our hope. Let’s be honest, if things in your life are crazy and horrible and hard, and you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, the situation is pretty hopeless. There is not much you can do. But if you choose to follow Jesus Christ and His guidance, there is hope for you today. See the light and run toward the only real hope–the hope we have in Jesus.

Louis Upkins Leadership Notes from #LeadMichiana

Louis Upkins took the stage as the author of Treat Me Like a Customer. He has worked with many well-known stars, from Whitney Houston to Oprah.

Leadership Principles from Louis Upkins:

  1. It takes courage to lead differently. It takes courage to sit down and listen.
  2. COURAGE is something EVERYONE needs.
  3. How is the family?
    • This is an important question about what really matters, but isn’t asked enough and is usually answered with surface level activities.
  4. How can you add value to your family?
    • We can set up mission statements for our family


Question asked in a video from Centier Bank:

  1. What do you appreciate most about leaders? The responses:
    • Example
    • Passion
    • Character
    • Coaching
    • Lift people up
    • Clarity
    • Give opportunity
    • Learn
    • Let others leader
    • Authenticity
    • Courage
    • Honesty
    • Focus
    • Encourage
    • Communication
    • Failure is an option
    • Open
    • Personal
    • Caring
    • Present
    • Invested
    • Humble
    • Safety
    • Real
    • Challenging

Invest in your people and get out of the way. Give people the opportunity to lead, fail, get back up and lead.

Tommy Newberry Leadership Notes from #LeadMichiana

Tommy Newberry is a leader and author of multiple books. He wrote books such as The 4:8 PrincipleI Call Shotgun, and Success is Not An Accident.


Leadership Principles from Tommy Newberry:

  1. We all want things, but we have to get up and go get it. Only the magnificent minority get up and go get what they want.
  2. Our best decisions and our worst decisions all started with a thought…all future decisions will too.
  3. Think 4:8
    • What are you thinking? Look ahead at your thought life.
      • We often think more about what we don’t want than about what we do want.
      • The average person thinks 50,000 thoughts per day (the vast majority are repeats from yesterday)
      • We want to change, but we want to stay the same. We want to change but we aren’t willing to change the way we think.
      • We have to line up our thinking with our hopes and goals and dreams. Every thought is a seed. Random negative thoughts won’t yield much, but consistently bad, negative thinking is of great concern.
    • Every moment is a new beginning for us to begin thinking in a new way.
    • Our emotions allow us to feel what we’ve been thinking about, giving us the opportunity to reevaluate what we’ve been thinking and dwelling on.
    • We feel what we dwell upon (if you feel rotten, what have you been thinking about?)
    • We soak up our surroundings
      • It’s so hard to pull someone up to your level
      • It’s so easy to be pulled down by the negative people around you
        • The one who is negative and cynical always has the leverage on you
  4. Think Huge
    • Think beyond where you are, who you are, what you’re doing, etc.
    • Where do you want to go?
      • Using today we can shape tomorrow
      • What are you shooting for?
        • There should be an urgency here
        • Be concerned with your future because you will live all of your life there
    • In life there are a bunch of options, like in the grocery story. At the end of your life you will have a cart full of stuff. If you don’t have goals (a shopping list) you will end up with things you didn’t want in your cart.
    • Like with a GPS if you don’t get moving, you won’t get any instructions (a.k.a. You can’t steer a ship that isn’t moving)
      • If in doubt, take action!
    • SDIMJWT — develop goals on this
      • Some Day I Just Might Want To
        • (develop this with a team or in a marriage and make it Some Day We…)
    • Be intentional
  5. Tomorrow Changes Today
    • If you want tomorrow to be different, today must be different.
    • Your decisions determine your direction which determines your destination.
    • Ask yourself: What’s been working, what has not been working, and what am I going to change?

John Maxwell Leadership Notes from #LeadMichiana

I had the opportunity this weekend to attend the Lead Michiana conference in South Bend, IN. This event was put on by Justin Maust in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the City of South Bend. The following will be some of my notes from the John Maxwell segment of the conference.

Leadership Principles from John Maxwell:

  1. “If you will spend one hour a day on the same subjective for five years, you will be an expert on that subject” – Earl Nightingale
  2. The better the leaders are in your organization, the better your organization’s chance for growth
    • Leaders develop daily, not in a single day. As leaders in an organization, we need to spend our resources (time, money, etc.) on improving our leaders.
    • The people in our organizations are the most appreciable resource we have, but we have to train and equip them.
    • There is no room to “microwave” leaders; we must “crockpot” them.
  3. 5 Levels of Leadership:
    1. Position — as a level one leader, people follow you because they have to
      • 80% of leaders stay in this level
      • Being a level one leader does not make you a leader. A person may have a position, but the position doesn’t make you a leader.
    2. Permission — as a level two leader, people follow you because they want to
      • Followers of level two leaders give a significant amount more of energy to the organization because they have a relationship with the leader and want to be there.
      • In order to be a great leader you have to connect with people.
      • If you are going to lead, you have to listen (listen, then learn, then lead).
      • Most leaders lead by assumption, assuming they know where their people are, what they are passionate about, where they are going, etc. Leaders need to walk slowly “through the crowd” in order to know their people.
      • Level two leaders are servants.
      • True leaders don’t need to be introduced.
      • There are three questions followers ask their leaders (leaders should ask themselves these same three questions):
        1. Do you care for me? (Do I care about others?)
        2. Can you help me? (Can I help them?)
        3. Can I trust you? (Am I trustworthy?)
    3. Production — as a level three leader, people follow you because of what you have done for the organization
      • This level is where you really get the credibility to lead. People want to follow successful people.
      • Leaders cannot send people where they have not gone. As leaders we have to be tour guides instead of travel agents.
      • You reproduce what you are, not what you want.
      • Level three leaders lead by example.
      • You attract who you are, not who you want. The better producer you are, the better people you attract (on a scale of 1 to 10, if you are a 5, you will not attract levels 6-10).
    4. People Development — as a level four leader, people follow you because of what you have done for them personally
      • Level four leaders are good recruiters.
      • You can only raise a person’s skill level one or two levels, so recruitment is essential. If someone comes in with a skill level of three, then you will most likely only be able to raise their skill level to a four, or at most a five.
        • Recruit with care. Don’t hire the wrong person for the job.
      • After recruiting, you must train and equip your leaders
      • Five steps to equip people well:
        1. I do it.
        2. I do it and you are with me.
        3. You do it and I am with you.
        4. You do it (and I hope you are better than I am!)
        5. You do it and somebody is with you (you’ve never equipped someone until they equip others).
    5. Pinnacle — as a level five leader, people follow you because of who you are and what you represent
      • When you do levels two, three, and four well, for a long time, level five happens naturally as a result

I hope these notes help you grow as a leader! I know there are some challenging concepts in here. Work your way through them, take the time to do them well, and strive to always improve as a leader.

Does God answer prayer?

Have you ever wondered this? It is likely that whether you are a Christian or not, you have asked this question at some point in time. Maybe you thought it during a rough family time when you found out that someone you love has cancer. Or maybe you thought about it during a stressful personal time when you wondered if life is worth living.

Does God hear me? Does He care about me? Does God answer?

Is God ListeningThese questions are hard and they are real. The answer is is a resounding yes. God hears, God cares, and God answers. I think where the hang up so often comes is God answers in a differentway, on a different timetable, and with a different response than we most often want. It could be that we too often pray with our own selfish interests at heart, not understanding fully what prayer is supposed to be like. Prayer is communicating with the Creator of the Universe, the Father who sent His only Son to die for you and for me, the Son who gave His life willingly, the Holy Spirit who guides and directs and dwells in us when we are saved.

Luke 1:13 records this:

But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.

Zechariah and Elizabeth were “advanced in years” and “Elizabeth was barren” (Luke 1:7). They didn’t have children, because Elizabeth was barren. They were also “both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord” (Luke 1:6). The Bible doesn’t record how long they had been praying for a son, but I would be willing to make a strong suggestion that Zechariah and Elizabeth prayed more than once for it. I would be willing to make a strong suggestion that they prayed over and over for an extended period of time, probably even many years.

Doesn’t this sound comforting? God answers prayers, but it may take decades to receive the answer. Not the kind of thing we want to hear or believe, is it? And yet it is the truth. Because prayer is not about my wants and my desires, but it is about God’s glory and God’s kingdom and me having the opportunity to come alongside that for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel, that Jesus Christ came to this earth, lived a sinless life, was tortured and crucified and killed, buried, and rose again from the dead three days later to conquer sin, death, and hell!

woman praying silhoutteThe next time you pray, pray with passion and purpose and perseverance. Do not give up in prayer. Keep going at it. God always answers. Sometimes He answers right away, sometimes a short time later, other times many years down the road; He might answer with a yes, a no, or a not yet, but He always answers. Don’t give up. Be faithful in prayer and be faithful in relationship with Jesus Christ.

God hears you. God cares about you. God loves you. God answers prayer.

You’ve still got work to do

Life is perpetually moving forward. Even as I’m writing this right now, life is moving forward, not backward. We can use our memories, photos, scrapbooks, journals, Facebook, Timehop, to Moving Forwardremember things in our past, but life will never move in that direction. Everything that has happened to us or that we have experienced or that we have done is in the unchangeable past. What we do with what happened to us or what we have experienced or what we have done makes up our present and our yet-to-be-determined immediate future. There are some things that are determined to be in the future, but even the normally safe assumption, “I will wake up tomorrow morning,” is not a guaranteed truth.

Sometimes our circumstances can become so overwhelming that we develop a narrow tunnel vision. We begin to lose perspective. We begin to fear, to doubt, to question, to lose sight of what is most important. I think that if we focus too much on our circumstances we become self-focused and have a hard time seeing the bigger picture..seeing the purpose behind pain, difficulty and suffering.

Keeping a broad view doesn’t diminish the acuteness of agony that pain and suffering bring, but it does help us to understand that Jesus Christ endured torture, beatings, mocking, and horrific crucifixion so that you and I could have a right relationship with God. This doesn’t take away the present hardships and difficulties but I think it gives us a hope and joy that this is all worth it. This is all worthwhile to serve the risen Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what we endure, he is there to walk through it with us.

God may not take us out of the circumstance or choice or situation, but He is faithful to walk with us through it. Guiding, directing, leading, loving, caring, restoring, healing, conforming, drawing.

Acts 27:24 reveals God’s response to a crazy situation the Apostle Paul found himself in:

and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’

Paul was in the middle of a storm, at sea, in a boat that was getting ready to sink. An angel of God appeared to him and told him not to be afraid because he still had work to do for the Lord.

When I am in the middle of a storm in life, I know it is my normal reaction to focus on the stormstorms-of-life, to see how big the waves are, how strong the wind is blowing, how cold and dark everything around me is. But, I also know that my normal reaction is not a reaction based in faith, but is a result of my flesh. So my encouragement to you is to keep pushing forward, to keep strong in your faith, to trust in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, to walk with you and trust in God’s Holy Spirit to guide and direct the way you are going.

The way out of a storm? Moving forward through the storm through the power of God available to you when you trust in Him. Put away insecurities and fears and trust in God. Keep moving forward because if you’re still alive, you’ve still got work to do.