Sunday, April 29, 2007

Morning worship with Dan Forrest

This morning our church had the privilege of meeting Dan Forrest and his wife, Addy. My only knowledge of Addy has been through Sharper Iron. However, I’ve felt for some time now that I knew at least the heart of Dan. I’ve gotten to know him a bit through his choral arrangements. Our choir has sung a number of his arrangements, and they all share a couple of things in common. First, they are beautiful! Although they are sometimes difficult (I sing bass and have become comfortable with the standard 3 or 4 note part in a song…Dan incorporates a few more notes than that), these arrangements have a wonderful sound. Secondly, Dan has arranged these pieces in such a way that they really “tell the story” that the lyrics are conveying. The music compliments and adds weight to the words. Now, having said all that, I wasn’t sure what to expect this morning.

I didn’t know if Dan sang, preached, or played the accordion. I didn’t know if this was going to be some sort of a “concert”, or “Christian music 101”, or if there would simply be a couple of songs and a sermon. What we got, however, was a wonderful time of being led in worship by an incredibly humble and gifted young man.

Dan began the service by giving us a bit of his philosophy of music, composing, and worship. He was careful to point out that, as a composer, he attempts to “paint the text” of the songs he composes and arranges. He challenged us to pay attention to the lyrics of the music he was going to play (provided to us via PowerPoint), and to engage ourselves in complete worship. He challenged us to not be lazy, but to worship actively with our minds, heart, and emotions. He then played three sets of three songs – all familiar, doctrinally rich hymns – which focused on Christ…his majesty, mission, work, and supremacy.

I was seated in the back center row of the auditorium with my family. Half way through the first song, I noticed something interesting…nobody was looking at Dan. This dear brother had successfully diverted all attention from himself and to the message of Christ. This was something I’d not experienced in a "concert-type presentation" before, and I must say it was wonderful. I found myself enthralled as I focused on the lyrics, and Dan’s music just added to it – it turned out to be a wonderful time of corporate worship.

As a “worship leader” Dan Forrest is immensely gifted. As a composer, we will be talking about Dan Forrest for years to come. But what most impressed me was his spirit of humility. He didn’t have a desire to be front and center….he simply wanted to lead us in a time of worship. It was absolutely marvelous!

At the end of our time together I spoke very briefly with Dan. He mentioned that I was a much larger man than he had anticipated (at nearly 6’4” and 250 lbs., this is something I’m accustomed to hearing!). He then mentioned that he’d gotten a mental picture of me from reading me at SharperIron. This led me to the conclusion that I must come off as rather puny and wimpy in my writing…I may try to correct that!
My wife comforted me tonight by telling me that when people read highly intellectual articles such as I write, they aren’t going to typically walk away with the impression that a dashing, strong, athletic, and remarkably handsome person such as I was also gifted with mental abilities to write in this manner….she’s really a wonderful woman. A terrible liar, but a wonderful wife!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Don't worry!

It’s overwhelming to me that God loves me enough to protect me…meet my needs…sustain me. Sometimes I allow life to become “stressful”. I’ve found myself “stressed” at times about things like finances, job security, vehicles, my children…

A case could be made that I am righteous in my concern about these things, but the reality of it is that when I find myself experiencing anxiety about things, I am most likely guilty of attempting to usurp the authority of Almighty God. Let me explain what I mean.

In Isaiah 43 we find these words:

“…Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

While these words were written to the nation of Israel, there are principles here that apply to me as a redeemed child of God. You see, He created me and He did so for a specific purpose. Furthermore, He redeemed me. He redeemed me with blood from the terrible punishment that my sin deserved, and then He goes on to demonstrate His love to me by sustaining me. I like the reaction that the Apostle Paul had to this realization…he called himself a bondservant – a slave – of Christ (Romans 1:1). As a slave to God, I have nothing – I am nothing – in and of myself. It’s all His and I’m all His. When I worry about the struggles of everyday life, it’s usually the result of my seeking my own rather than submitting to God’s way, God’s timing, and God’s plans.

I read Psalm 3 this morning and these words have been with me all day:

“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and
the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me
out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD
sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have
set themselves against me round about. Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for
thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the
teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon
thy people. Selah.”

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My wife makes me better

She really does. She's made me a better husband, a better father, and a better man. I often get "lazy" in my approach to my roles of husband and father. I don't think I'm alone in this, either. There's a natural tendency to think that we are doing our job simply because we are making enough money to pay the bills, and to keep everybody fed, clothed, and educated. That's just a portion of our "jobs" though.
When my wife and I got married nearly 10 years ago, I took a vow to, amongst other things, love, honor, and cherish her. This isn't just something we say at's biblical language! Ephesians 5, 1Peter 3, and Colossians 3 all speak to this fact. This idea of loving and honoring my wife is something that should come easily if I view her properly. Ephesians 5:25 is one of the more remarkable verses to digest concerning this: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for her." What a remarkable thought - what a great responsibility! In a previous article here, I wrote these words in describing what Christ did for the church:

"I cannot understand this amazing love. For centuries men have pondered the question…. “Why would One such as this suffer and die for one such as I? ”Why would He trade in His kingly crown for a crown of thorns? Why would He give up His place in the Heaven of heavens shrouded in glory to be wrapped in this putrid flesh? Why would He exchange angels worshipping at His feet for men pounding nails through them? The angels sang His praises. Men mocked Him and spat upon Him. In His former estate, the entire heavenly host gave to Him…worship and adoration. Here, the creatures of His creation took from Him….always wanting food, or a miracle, or health.... They took everything they could from Him…even His life."

Is this really the example that I am to follow? Am I really to love my wife with this love that will give everything I have for her? The short answer is...yes! As incomprehensible as the love of Christ is, it's the example I am to follow in my love to my wife.
Now the Bible also speaks to the responsibilities that the father has toward his children - raising, discipling, and disciplining them - as well as the responsibility of the man to provide financially for his family. However, I think that if I get my arms around just how I am supposed to love my wife, all the rest comes easy!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus, Sanjaya, and Britney, oh my...

It’s amazing to me what makes news. The custody battle circus over the child of the late Anna Nicole Smith is still getting daily coverage on all the major news networks, even given the fact that the results of the paternity test are out. Britney Spears’ weekly rehab stints and irresponsible behavior have served to offer several strange – although brief - reprieves from all the Anna Nicole news. But now we’ve moved to something else….Don Imus.

The man who’s made his fame and fortune by spouting out controversial, over-the-top, insensitive, derogatory, and often racially-charged words has gotten fired for doing exactly that. Not only has he lost his job, but he has stirred up a major media feeding frenzy. His name and face are more known now than at any point in his 30+ year career – amazing! And you would think that, now that the media has “won” and Imus has lost both his jobs, that the “All Imus, All the time” coverage would stop. You would be wrong.

Still today you can’t go to any of the major networks without hearing about Imus and the “fallout” of the three words he wishes he could take back. It’s a sad commentary really. Our culture is driven by this sort of thing. “Celebrity” news is the most important type. We live in a culture that really wants to know all the details – from every conceivable angle - about Imus’ racial mis-statement, or Tom Cruise’ latest display of insanity, or whether or not Bobcat Goldthwait will set another couch on fire, or if Britney Spears is getting a tattoo on her freshly shorn head, or if Barbara Walters is going to finally fire Rosie O’Donnell, or….

We may say that these are just “side issues” and people don’t really care, but I think that’s simply untrue. If people didn’t really care, then the major news networks wouldn’t spend so much time covering it. But the fact is, the average American is more prepared to discuss whether or not Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie will ever regain their friendship of old, or if Sanjaya will win – and ruin – American Idol, than things that really matter.

I would be willing to wager that there are more Americans who can properly pronounce Sanjaya Malakar than there are that have any idea what the Fair Tax Movement is. I would also be willing to wager that there are more Americans who could tell you who Anna Nicole Smith was by simply looking at a photo than there is who could identify any of their State Senators by looking at a photo. We don’t know the voting record of any of our State Representatives, but we know all the pertinent stats on Kobe Bryant – or whoever our favorite sports superstars might be.

I can’t help but think that a culture that is so “hung up” on celebrity and entertainment cannot survive for very long. There was a point in the Roman Empire – the most powerful and advanced nation on earth at the time - that entertainment moved from being something for mere distraction and amusement to becoming a way of life. We all know how that story ended….

My date with Ash

It seems that I rarely get to go on a "date" with my kids. We'll hop outside and play football on occasion and we'll wrestle every now and again, but I don't get a lot of one-on-one time with them - particularly during the school year. Last night, however, I got to spend a couple of hours alone with my daughter, Ashleigh. I first took her to her Girl Scout meeting (I've rarely felt more out of place than I did during that hour!), and then we hit Dairy Queen for some ice cream and "conversation". I'd like to share with you a bit of the "table talk" we shared over ice cream cones.

Me: Is your ice cream OK, Ashers?
Ash: Yep!
Me: How's school going, hon?
Ash: Fine. Trey's (our oldest son) really annoying, though.
Me: He is?
Ash: Yeah. He's the most annoyingest big brother in the world.
Me: What's he do that's so annoying?
Ash: He pokes me all the time.... Hey, is that our van? Mommy must be here!
Me: No, Ash...we drove the van, remember?
Ash: Oh yeah!
Me: So why is Trey so annoying?
Ash: Daddy, do you think that Trey and Ligers (Elijah - our youngest son) know that we're here?
Me: I doubt it.
Ash: Good, because they would be jealous!
Me: Maybe.
Ash: Daddy, how many stars do you think there are?
Me: I don't know, hon. But God sure made a....
Ash: Hey, there's mommy!
Me: No it's not, Ash. Remember...WE drove the van tonight.
Ash (slapping forehead): Oh, yeah!

The conversation continued like this for the rest of our hour together. Right as we would start talking about something, she would get sidetracked by something else. It reminded me a T-shirt I recently saw that said, "I started out to change the world, but then I got distracted by something sparkly." Ashleigh's mind - and mouth - never stop moving, but she melts her daddy's heart!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Ever notice....

...that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and David Letterman look a lot alike?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

He is Risen!

He is risen!

Can you think of more wonderful words than these? The blood-soaked cross and the blood-stained ground beneath it both look magnificently different today than they did yesterday. For yesterday they reminded me of a dead man and the death wherewith he died. Today however, they serve as witness to what a living Savior endured out of total love for me and total devotion and obedience to the Father!

Alas, today I have a new emblem! There is an empty tomb! An angel sits atop the stone that once sealed its’ entrance and proclaims, "He is no longer here, for he is risen – just as he said"! His death gave me hope – his resurrection gives me life! His last words on that cross, “It is finished”, hinted at victory. His resurrection gave credence to his claim of being “the Resurrection and the Life”.

Yet, as beautiful and victorious as this empty tomb is, my eyes keep glancing back at that wretched cross. The prophet said that I would be healed by His stripes, but I never expected those stripes to cut so deep.

I cannot understand this amazing love. For centuries men have pondered the question…. “Why would One such as this suffer and die for one such as I?”

Why would He trade in His kingly crown for a crown of thorns?

Why would He give up His place in the Heaven of heavens shrouded in glory to be wrapped in this putrid flesh?

Why would He exchange angels worshipping at His feet for men pounding nails through them?

The angels sang His praises. Men mocked Him and spat upon Him.

In His former estate, the entire heavenly host gave to Him…worship and adoration. Here, the creatures of His creation took from Him….always wanting food, or a miracle, or health.... They took everything they could from Him…even His life.

Why art thou cast down, oh my soul? Do not mourn the crucifixion…hope thou in the Resurrection! Oh, what a glorious thought is this! My Lord has risen and He reigns in majesty! He sits clothed in glory, angels worshipping Him in His righteousness! And wonder of wonders, His very presence at the right hand of the Father perpetually satisfies the just judgment and punishment that my sin deserves!

My risen Lord and Savior hath clothed me in His righteousness! My soul leaps within me! Death hath no power! The cross is no longer a picture of horror, but one of beauty! HE IS ALIVE! HALLELUJAH! I will shout with joy this day! As long as I have breath, let me not forget to praise thee, oh my Lord! And when I’ve breathed my last…oh, how I long to be in thy presence and at thy feet, and sing glory, glory, GLORY to your wonderful name!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday?

By no means will this be a scholarly effort, but I want to give a little "spiel" about Good Friday (since I work for a "catholicish" company that has given me a paid day off in celebration of this day, I have a little extra time!). The first time I ever preached an Easter sermon, I told the entire story - from Gethsemane to the Resurrection - in narrative form. During that time, I kept bringing up that Christ was crucified on Friday. After the service was over, a pastor that was there came up to me and told me that he had thoroughly enjoyed the message, but that I should study out the chronology of things a bit more. He told me that if Christ had been crucified on Friday, and if He arose on Sunday, then He was liar. He told me to study out what constituted a "day" to the Jews, and to simply "study the entire thing out" a little better. He was very gracious and I thanked him and took his advice. What follows is a "not so organized" summary of what I found in my study some years ago. This probably isn't big news to any who will read this, but since most of you still have to work today, you probably won't have time to read it anyway! Now, I don't claim originality for all of this information. Honestly, I don't really recall where all the information below came from. I looked at many sources (more than 50 articles, sermons, etc. as I recall - both pro and con) and took notes. I then somewhat "organized" them when my study was completed. I trust it makes sense and helps toward the understanding of a difficult subject.

To my knowledge, there is very little dispute over the fact that Christ rose on Sunday - at least amongst those of us who believe in the Resurrection. However, the day of His Crucifixion is a matter that is debated. In Matthew 12:40 Christ claimed that he would be buried for three days and three nights - if He was crucified on Friday, how could this be? Now, a common explanation, albeit an ill-conceived one, is a view that makes the claim that any part of a day is counted as a whole in Judaism. If this were true, than Christ could have been crucified and buried on Friday, and risen sometime on Sunday and still get "three days and three nights" in. But it must be noted that the Jews didn't view time in that manner.

The Jewish day ran from sunrise to sundown (6am - 6pm). Their regular Sabbath Day began at sundown on Friday and ended at Sundown on Saturday. The term "day" refers to a literal 24 hour unit of measure. If Christ was crucified on Friday and rose anytime after 6pm Saturday (the point where the Jewish Sunday would have began) He could not have been in the earth for three full days and nights. If you count backwards (According to the way the Jews counted a day) from Saturday at 6pm, we find that Christ had to buried by Wednesday at 6pm. But then we have an apparent conflict, don't we? Mark 15:42 tells us that the evening had come and it was the day of the preparation for the Sabbath - i.e., the day before the sabbath. So that begs the question, "How on earth could Wednesday be the day before the Sabbath?"

The answer to this very important fact lies in the fact that the Jews celebrated more Sabbaths than just the weekly Sabbath. In fact, they had a number of feast days that were "High Sabbaths," or high days. In John 19:31 we read, "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away."

The Jews observed several "high" Sabbaths during the year. Leviticus 23:3-6; "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread."

The first Jewish month (Nisan or Abib) is our April. The Feast of the Passover (a high Sabbath) and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (another high Sabbath) were celebrated on April 14th and 15th respectively. The day Jesus died was the preparation day (Wednesday) of the Passover celebration on Thursday (John 19:14, 31: "And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he (meaning Pilate) saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!" This was the morning of the crucifixion day. Verse 31 states, "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away."

Therefore, Passover (Nisan 14) was on Thursday, that year. The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on Friday (seven day feast last to Nisan 21), and the regular weekday Sabbath was on Saturday. Jesus was crucified in the morning on Wednesday and placed in the tomb before 6 P.M. He arose from the grave sometime after 6 P.M. on Saturday, which would be early Sunday morning, the first day of the week, according to Jewish time-keeping. This explanation fits Jesus' prophecy in Matthew 12:40 that He would be "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
If Jesus was born in 5 BC (The Bible Almanac, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980) and if He died about at 33 years of age, that would fix his death around 29 AD. The first Roman calendar was off four (4) years. Today's calendar is a product of the Julian & Gregorian calendars. There was a 1 BC and a 1 AD but there was no "0" between BC and AD. Counting 33 years forward from His birth in 5 BC would fix his death in 29 AD. Those special Sabbaths, Feast of the Passover and Feast of the Unleavened Bread, occurred on the 14th and 15th of the first month of the Jewish calendar (about our April). Leviticus 23:5, 6 states, "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread."

According to Encyclopedia Britannica the 14th day of Nisan corresponding to parts of March and April in the year of Christ's crucifixion was the same as our April 7 on our calendar. ( Julian and Gregorian calendars) The Perpetual Calendar [also from Encyclopedia Britannica] shows that the 14th day of Nisan, 29 AD (Passover), fell on Thursday. Hence, it would be followed by the Feast of the Unleavened Bread on the 15th (Friday), and the regular weekday Sabbath (Saturday). Jesus would have therefore been crucified on Wednesday the 13th. For more information on these Sabbaths, see the following passages: Exodus 23:15, 34:18, Deuteronomy 16:1, Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 9:5, 28:16, Joshua 5:10, 2 Chronicles 35:1.

To conclude this brief overview, this seems to be the view that would fit with the biblical account most accurately. Christ was crucified on Wednesday and buried between 3pm and 6pm of that day. The Jewish day began at 6pm which was the Passover (Nissan 14). So this Passover - and high Sabbath - began after 6pm on Wednesday which was, according to the way the Jews reckoned time - Thursday. The women brought the spices on Friday, rested on Saturday and went on Sunday morning after 6:00 AM and found the Lord was resurrected. This would correlate with Christ's words that He would spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. I believe that this view is in accordance with both biblical evidence, as well as historical data.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Resurrection and the Life

I hope over the course of this week to examine the Cross and the Resurrection from several different perspectives. However, in this brief article I wish to focus on just the facts.

It had been a long, sleepless, prayerful night and it was about to turn into the longest day of Christ's brief life. Earlier that evening he had observed the Passover meal with his inner circle of disciples: Andrew, Bartholomew, the brothers James and John, Judas and Judas Iscariot, Matthew, Peter, Phillip, Simon, Thomas, and Thadeus. These men had gone from being his mere students to becoming his closest friends...his family. Yet, even at this time, one of them was to betray him. Christ had known all along that Judas was going to turn him over to the authorities, but he loved Judas all the same. We may never know what all was going on in Judas' mind. He had been empowered to work miracles - heal the sick, cast out demons, etc., - and he had done those things. He had broken bread with Lazarus after witnessing Lazarus' resurrection from death - a miracle performed by Christ. He had helped gather the remaining food after two miraculous feedings. After so much, Judas still betrayed him. While Christ knew all along that this would happen, it still must have broken his heart to know what his friend was about to do.

Judas made an early departure from the meal that night and Christ shared an intimate meal with the remaining 11 men. They fellowshipped with one another and they sang together (oh, how I would love to hear the Savior sing!). At the end of the meal, Christ rose up and did something rather odd. He washed the feet of these 11 men. This demonstration of humility and love still affects us today. I imagine that the eleven men never forgot the emotion of that moment as they had their feet carefully cleaned by the Almighty. That example of love and humility probably stuck in their minds for the rest of their lives. But all that was a mere foreshadow of the example of love and humility that they were to see unfold during the next 18 hours so.

Christ was betrayed by Judas within a few hours of the exit from the upper room. His friends looked on helplessly as they watched the soldiers march him off into the darkness. They were afraid to be sure, but they still hadn't come to fully understand what was about to happen.

The long drawn out trials end with a confusing verdict. Although the magistrate, Pontius Pilate, was unwilling to pronounce Christ as guilty, he was also unwilling to pardon him. The sentence was passed. Death by crucifixion - a horrible punishment reserved for the worst offenders of the law of Rome. A most humiliating, agonizing, slow, painful death. But before Christ would see his cross, he had more humiliation to face.

The beating he took with the Roman cat-of-nine-tails at the hands of a man who was very skilled in its use must have been horrific. His flesh was ripped open. Some have said that these floggings were so severe that it wasn't uncommon for a man to die in the midst of it. Christ survived this incomprehensible beating, but it wasn't all over yet. In addition to the horrible scourging he endured, he was humiliated even further. Men lined up and spat on him. Some beat him with their fists as he was blindfolded. They would yell to him to predict who was about to hit him, and then they would strike him. Some grabbed his beard and ripped it out of his face - presumably, chunks of his flesh followed. They wove together some branches of a thorn bush into a "crown" of sorts. These thorns were thick and more than an inch long. They took this makeshift crown and beat it into his skull - the thorns not only penetrated his head, but he likely suffered a concussion as a result of the beating to get the crown embedded into his skull. Yet, he "opened not his mouth". Somehow, Christ maintains consciousness, but the worst is yet to come.

He endures the laborious trip to Golgotha, bearing the cross-beam section of his cross across his shredded back. Then, he was crucified. Nailed and hung high for all to see. For the next 6 hours Christ would bear our sins in all its ugliness. To Jesus, the worst part of this entire episode - worse than all the physical pain, abuse, and suffering - was the moment where he was ripped apart from the Father. The agony he must have felt at that moment is beyond anything we can possibly comprehend. For all eternity he had enjoyed perfect union with the Father. During his life on earth, he still enjoyed that constant fellowship, but now he found himself battered and torn, bruised and bloody, and for the first time....all alone. For the first time in eternity, Christ was completely separated from the Father. He was now torn inside and out and we hear him scream, "Eloi, Eloi, lama, sabachthani?". Almost immediately after realizing that he had been torn from the Father, he was able to utter his last words on the cross..."It is finished."

This is a moving story and worthy of reflection. It's good to look at this gruesome scene from time to time and remind ourselves of what the Lord did for us that day. It's profitable for us to see just how ugly all of this vulgar that our sin demanded this. Let us not forget the blood of the Holy One that was poured out for our salvation. The ugliness of it all should put into mind the ugliness of our sin. No, my friends, let us not look away from the cross - take it all in. But remember, it's all meaningless if not for what happened 3 days later.
Wednesday night Christ's lifeless body is carefully wrapped by a few of his closest friends and carried to a tomb. A great stone is rolled in front of it and some Roman soldiers are placed there to guard it. But that wasn't enough to contain the one who claimed that He was the Resurrection and the Life!
This picture of an empty tomb should garner up stronger feelings and emotions in the Christian than anything else we can imagine. While the cross is beautiful in that Christ bore our sins there and he became the only sacrifice that was sufficient to satisfy God's just wrath, the empty tomb is even more beautiful! For the empty tomb points us to the reality that our Savior defeated death. He is Life - He was able to resurrect himself from death. Nobody else has ever done that and nobody else ever will. There is victory in that tomb, dear friends! If not for the resurrection, the birth, life, and death of Christ is of no more effect for us than the birth, life, and death of Moses or one of the prophets.
Ah....but here's where it gets real exciting! His resurrection gives us life! The incomprehensible part of all this is the fact that Christ literally became sin for us so that we might become his righteousness. Dear friend, if that doesn't put a little more spring in your step, you've got a real problem!