Monday, January 31, 2011


How should we as Christians react to the current issues surrounding
homosexual marriage? A clear understanding of God's purposes for
marriage helps us understand what's at stake if our culture redefines
what He originally created.
If you feel flustered when someone asks you to explain your views on the
issue of homosexual marriage, you are not alone. Many Christians may
perceive instinctively that gay marriage threatens the "sanctity" of
marriage and the world their children will live in, but what does that
Let's start by recalling God's blueprints that we find in Scripture.
When we speak of the "sanctity of marriage," we mean to say that
marriage is a holy and sacred institution created not by man, but by
God. That means it's not ours to tamper with or redefine.
Our authority is the Scripture. Two different passages in the first two
chapters of Genesis tell of the purposes God set forth for marriage. The
first is Genesis 1:26-28: Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness ... God created man in His own image, in the
image of God He created him; male and female He created them ... and God
said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth ..."
1. Mirroring God's Image
The first critical purpose for marriage described here is to mirror
God's image. The Hebrew word for "mirror" means to reflect God, to
magnify, exalt and glorify Him. We are to be God's representatives to a
world that desperately needs to see who He is.
The union of a man and woman reflects the image of God by forming a
picture of the intimate relationship between Jesus Christ and His
followers. This is a theme that appears throughout the New Testament in
passages such as Ephesians 5:22-33. A husband's love and sacrifice for
his wife, for example, are pictures of Christ's love and sacrifice for
the Church.
Homosexuals have suggested for years that their practice is an
acceptable alternative lifestyle. Yet God makes it clear in Scripture
that homosexuality is not part of His design - it's actually rebellion
against the Designer. Romans 1:21-27 tells us that, as humans failed to
honor God, "God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women
exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the
same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and
burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing
indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of
their error."
2. Multiplying a Godly Legacy
A second purpose for marriage is found in Genesis 1:28 when God commands
Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth ..." The
most obvious aspect of this command is that God designed male and female
to join physically and reproduce children. Procreation is an integral
part of God's design for marriage.
In addition, God set up the family as a nurture center where children
grow up to learn character, values, and integrity. Psalm 78 instructs
parents to teach their children to "... put their confidence in God and
not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments ..."
Male-male or female-female relationships cannot produce children unless
something is done to assist them. While it is true that gay couples can
raise children, and can adopt needy children ... they will not multiply
a godly legacy when they are living in rebellion to God.
3. Mutually Completing One Another
Another of God's purposes for marriage is found in Genesis 2:18-24: Then
the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make
him a helper suitable for him." ... The Lord God fashioned into a woman
the rib which He had takenfrom the man, and brought her to the man. The
man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She
shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." For this
reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his
wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Adam was in isolation in the Garden of Eden, and so God created woman
for him. In 1 Corinthians 11:11, the Apostle Paul echoes the teachings
in Genesis 2 when he writes: "However, in the Lord, neither is woman
independent of man, nor is man independent of woman."
Male and female were created to be complementary to one another in every
way - from their emotional and spiritual needs to their anatomical
structure. The physical act of a husband and wife becoming one within
marriage is easily understood. They were designed by God for one
However, two men or two women were not designed by God to become one
flesh with one another. The physical joining of two men or two women is
not a natural act.
Speak the truth in love
As you interact, balance truth with love and compassion.
No doubt you have joined most of America in watching news footage of
homosexuals coming out of the courthouse doors- new marriage license in
hand - and celebrating their "marriage" with a big kiss for the cameras.
How did that make you feel?
Now read instructions from Colossians 3:5-8: ... consider the members of
your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things
that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in
them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you
also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive
speech from your mouth.
This passage makes it clear that God's wrath is coming one day on those
who are the sons of disobedience, those who practice immorality, and
those who indulge in lustful passion. But without skipping a beat, it
also instructs us to not respond to those practices with anger, wrath,
malice, slander, or abusive speech.
The Bible doesn't stop there. Colossians 3:12-14 tells us: So, as those
who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with
one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against
anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all
these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
To be honest, the Christian response to the homosexual movement in our
country has often not been Christ-like. Not only is God displeased, but
also our views are easily dismissed when our opponents see anger and
disgust rather than kindness and compassion. Try these two steps before
you speak out on this issue:
Step One: Look in the Mirror
Before engaging homosexuals, ask for forgiveness for the things
Christians have said, done, or thought about homosexuals.
Jesus is very clear in His instructions to us. Before we stand to
address the sin we see in the life of another person, we need to spend
some time in front of the mirror (Matthew 7:4-5 and Galatians 6:1-2).
The reality is, there is enough sexual sin present in the church today
that we may find ourselves disqualified from being able to address
sexual sin in others. A fresh look at our own sexual sinfulness should
drive us to the foot of the cross, where we can again find hope and
forgiveness. Now, as those who have received the grace of God, we are
ready to offer it to others.
Step Two: Cultivate Compassion
Remember Jesus' encounter with a woman who was guilty of sexual sin?
John 8:1-11 tells the story of the religious leaders who brought a woman
to Christ who had been caught in the act of adultery. How did He
First, He rebuked the self-righteous religious leaders; He knew that
they were not motivated by compassion or kindness. He then turned to the
woman and with humility and gentleness, granted her forgiveness, and
exhorted her to holiness.
In the place of hearts that are full of anger and contempt for those who
practice homosexuality, God wants to cultivate in us a heart for those
who are living broken lives - whether they realize it or not. We are not
ready to speak to this issue until our hearts are broken for the person
who is caught in the snare of homosexual sin.
Remember the parable of the unmerciful slave? In Matthew 18:23-25, Jesus
tells of a man whose master had forgiven a huge debt. This man then
refused to forgive someone who owed him a little. Christ has forgiven us
of our great sin. How can we do anything but to humbly hold out the same
grace to others who are caught in sin?
In the months and years to come, some people who have either sampled or
participated actively in homosexual activities will be looking for a way
to deal with their shame and their guilt. They are going to be looking
for a way out of the lifestyle. Would these people even think to look to
the church for help?
Would they think of us as "kind people who really care about me" or as
angry, hate-filled men and women who will only make them feel more
ashamed of where they have been? Let's make sure that as we stand for
truth, we do it in a way that honors Christ.


Friday, January 28, 2011


"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ
Jesus." - Romans 6:11

What are the things that arouse the strongest emotions in you? Perhaps
it is a rude motorist who cuts you off in traffic. Perhaps it is the
anger you feel when you are wrongfully accused. Perhaps it is
frustration that results from not having enough money to meet perceived
needs. When do emotions turn into sin?
Whenever our peace is upset over events and circumstances in life, we
have moved past emotions into sin. Sin says that circumstances of life
now dictate anxiety, worry, fear, or anger. Consider the attributes of a
dead man. He does not get angry when slandered. He does not worry about
the future. He does not fear what can be done to him. Why? Because he is
dead. Nothing can harm a dead man.
Christ said we are to live as if we are dead - dead to the temptation of
responding to stimuli in our life that are designed to stir up the
sinful nature that resides in each of us. We do not have to respond to
that nature; we can consider it dead. Christ said He is enough. When He
is our all in all, nothing can move us. If we are moved, then Christ is
not our all in all.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his
staff. - (Numbers 20:11)

Will you fulfill the destiny God has for your life? Perhaps you
have never thought about it. God had a perfect plan for Moses to
lead the people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. It's
been said the hardest place to score a touchdown is from the goal
line. You're almost there. But there is something about crossing
over that makes those last few yards the most difficult. Moses
failed at the goal line, and it prevented him from finishing well
a glorious life of service for God.
The people of Israel were complaining that they did not have
water to drink. It was another of many tests for Israel. Moses
inquired of God and God said, "...Speak to that rock before their
eyes and it will pour out its water" (Num. 20:8a). Moses, in his
frustration and anger with the people, began to act on his own
and made a strategic mistake. Instead of speaking to the rock, he
struck the rock twice with his staff. In spite of his
disobedience, the rock poured forth water.
God was calling Moses to a different dimension. Moses was to use
his words to speak the miracle. However, he not only lost his
temper, but he also took credit and dishonored God. He used his
staff, the symbol of his work life as a shepherd, to force the
When we become callous, we can use our skills and abilities to
force what we believe should happen. We take control. When we do
this, we are in danger of failing to enter the Promised Land of
blessing from God. Living in life's spiritual dimension requires
patience and obedience. Beware of solving problems in your own
strength. God wants to bring you into the Promised Land of His
blessing. But it will require walking in the spiritual dimension.

Monday, January 24, 2011


"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of
them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the
behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your
lives." - 1 Peter 3:1-2

"I am having a real problem with something that I need input from you
guys," said the lady in our fellowship group. "My husband wants to make
a major purchase that I am opposed to. We cannot afford it right now. I
understand what the Bible says about headship in the home, but what do I
do when I totally disagree with his decision?" The men in the group
looked at each other, realizing the sensitive nature of such a question,
especially in today's society.
Then someone said, "You really only have a few options if you adhere to
the principle that God has entrusted the man as the leader in the home.
God has placed you under the umbrella of His protection as well as your
husband. There are times when he will not make the right decision. Does
that mean God is not protecting you? No. There may be several things
working here. God may be testing your own obedience to this principle.
He may use you to open up your husband's spiritual life due to your
obedience and submissive spirit. Your obedience may cost your family
something, but it will be beneficial in the long term. Your alternative
is to rebel and pay him back for his decision by withholding your love
from him, which is often what a wife does in this situation. It becomes
a vicious circle of paybacks. My suggestion is to tell your husband how
you feel about his decision and the impact you feel it will have on you
and your family. If he still wants to make the purchase, you must let
him do it and support him. What happens next will rest in God's hand as
your ultimate protector."
A few weeks later our sister in Christ came to our meeting. "I have some
wonderful news. We did make the purchase. However, we were able to make
it in such a way that we did not go into debt and I was able to support
my husband. I have already seen a change in his attitude toward me by
the way I responded to him in this. It has been a real lesson for me. I
see him much more open to spiritual things since I made this decision
and supported him, even though I disagreed with it."
God has made man and woman equal in His sight. Yet He has given each a
different role to play in marriage. Husbands must answer to God for
their leadership in the home. They will be judged for that leadership.
When a wife submits to that leadership, God protects her from wrong
decisions of that husband, although sometimes it may not appear that way
at first.
You can trust God to protect you in your decisions that are made in
obedience to His Word.
The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it (1 Thessalonians

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13

What does it mean for workplace believers to live for a cause greater
than themselves in our day and time? Jeremiah Lanphier was a
in New York City who asked God to do this in his life in 1857.
In a small, darkened room, in the back of one of New York City's lesser
churches, a man prayed alone. His request of God was simple, but
earth-shattering: "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" [John
Woodbridge, ed., More Than Conquerors (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press,
1992), 337]
He was a man approaching midlife without a wife or family, but he had
financial means. He made a decision to reject the "success syndrome"
that drove the city's businessmen and bankers. God used this
to turn New York City's commercial empire on its head. He began a
businessmen's prayer meeting on September 23, 1857. The meetings began
slowly, but within a few months 20 noonday meetings were convening
daily throughout the city. The New York Tribune and the New York Herald
issued articles of revival. It had become the city's biggest news. Now a
full-fledged revival, it moved outside New York. By spring of 1858,
2,000 met daily in Chicago's Metropolitan Theatre, and in Philadelphia
the meetings mushroomed into a four-month long tent meeting. Meetings
were held in Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati, Chicago, New Orleans,
and Mobile. Thousands met to pray because one man stepped out. Annus
Mirabilis, the year of national revival, had begun.
This was an extraordinary move of God through one man. It was unique
because the movement was lead by businessmen, a group long considered
the least prone to any form of evangelical fervor, and it had started
on Wall Street, the most unlikely of all places to begin.
Could God do something extraordinary through you? Take a step. Ask God
to do mighty things through you.

Monday, January 17, 2011


"The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of
your neighbors-to David." - 1 Samuel 28:17b

When God anoints a person, a pattern of testing appears to take place
at specific times in the leader's life. God often takes each leader
through four major tests to determine if that person will achieve God's
ultimate call on his or her life. The person's response to these tests is
the deciding factor in whether they can advance to the next level of
responsibility in God's Kingdom.
Control-Control is one of the first tests. Saul spent most of his time
as king trying to prevent others from getting what he had. Saul never
got to the place with God in which he was a grateful recipient of God's
goodness to him. Saul was a religious controller. This control led to
disobedience and ultimately being rejected by God because Saul no longer
was a vessel God could use.
Bitterness-Every major character in the Bible was hurt by another
person at one time or another. Jesus was hurt deeply when Judas, a trusted
follower, betrayed Him. Despite knowing this was going to happen, Jesus
responded by washing Judas' feet. Every anointed leader will have a
Judas experience at one time or another. God watches us to see how we will
respond to this test. Will we take up an offense? Will we retaliate? It
is one of the most difficult tests to pass.
Power-Power is the opposite of servanthood. Jesus had all authority in
Heaven and earth, so satan tempted Jesus at the top of the mountain to
use His power to remove Himself from a difficult circumstance. How will
we use the power and influence God has entrusted to us? Do we seek to
gain more power? There is a common phrase in the investment community,
"He who has the gold rules." Jesus modeled the opposite. He was the
ultimate servant leader.
Greed-This is a difficult one. Money has the ability to have great
influence for either good or bad. When it is a focus in our life, it
becomes a tool of destruction. When it is a by-product, it can become a great
blessing. Many leaders started out well-only to be derailed once
prosperity became a part of their life. There are thousands who can blossom
spiritually in adversity; only a few can thrive spiritually under
As leaders, we must be aware when we are being tested. You can be
confident that each one of these tests will be thrown your way if God calls
you for His purposes. Will you pass these tests? Ask for God's grace
today to walk through these tests victoriously.

Friday, January 14, 2011


"Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly
together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its
water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they
and their livestock can drink." - Numbers 20:8

Moses and the people had been traveling for days without water. The
people were thirsty. They were complaining and grumbling about their
plight, and Moses became the object of their complaining. Moses sought
the Lord for wisdom on how to handle the situation. The Lord instructed
him to speak to the rock and water would flow. This would be a sign that
God was still in control, that Moses was still the leader, and that God
was their provider.
When it came time to speak to the rock, Moses' disgust with the people
became so great that instead of speaking to the rock, he angrily
addressed the people and then struck the rock twice. The water came out,
in spite of Moses' disobedience. But the Lord was not pleased with
This was a time for Moses to operate at a higher level. No longer was he
called to touch things with his staff to perform miracles; it was a time
for him to speak to the problem. His very words would have changed the
situation. Moses' staff represented two things-his physical work as a
shepherd of sheep and his spiritual work as a shepherd of the people.
God was calling him to move into a new dimension of using his staff. Up
to now, Moses had always been commanded by God to touch something to
perform the miracle. Now it was time to speak God's word to the problem.
However, Moses made the mistake many of us make. He used his instrument
with force to accomplish something for God. He took something God wanted
to be used in a righteous manner and used it in an unrighteous manner.
He used force to solve the problem. This disobedience cost Moses his
right to see the Promised Land.
Have you ever been tempted to use your power, skill, and ability to
force a situation to happen, perhaps even out of anger? God is calling
us to use prayer to move the face of mountains. The force of our ability
is not satisfactory. God is calling each of us to a new dimension of
walking with Him. Pray that God will give you the grace to wait on Him
and not take matters into your own hands. Then you will not be in
jeopardy of failing to move into the Promised Land in your life.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,
because,"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." - 1 Peter 5:5b

I'll never forget the first time I discovered what a feeling was. It
was in my early forties. Surely not! .you may be thinking. Yes, it is true.
Since then, I have discovered many men still live in this condition. It
took an older mentor to help me understand the difference between
information and a feeling. Wives are frustrated because their husbands
share information, but not their feelings. They want to know what is
going on inside their man. The fact is, most men have not been taught
to identify feelings, much less how to share them. It is something that
men must learn to do because it is not a natural trait. If they do share
their feelings, society often portrays them as weak. No man willingly
wants to be portrayed as weak.
In order to become an effective friend and leader, one must learn to be
vulnerable with others and develop an ability to share feelings. It is
a vital step to becoming a real person with whom others can connect
emotionally. This is not easy to do if your parents did not teach you
to share your emotional life with others. Emotional vulnerability is
especially hard for men. Author Dr. Larry Crabb states,
Men who as boys felt neglected by their dads often remain distant from
their own children. The sins of fathers are passed on to children,
often through the dynamic of self-protection. It hurts to be neglected, and
it creates questions about our value to others. So to avoid feeling the
sting of further rejection, we refuse to give that part of ourselves we
fear might once again be received with indifference. When our approach
to life revolves around discipline, commitment, and knowledge [which
the Greek influence teaches us] but runs from feeling the hurt of unmet
longings that come from a lack of deeper relationships, then our
efforts to love will be marked more by required action than by liberating
passion. We will be known as reliable, but not involved. Honest friends
will report that they enjoy being with us, but have trouble feeling
close. Even our best friends (including spouses) will feel guarded
around us, a little tense and vaguely distant. It's not uncommon for
Christian leaders to have no real friends.
If this describes you, why not begin on a new journey of opening up
your life to others in a way that others can see who you really are? It
might be scary at first, but as you grow in this area, you will find new
freedom in your life. Then, others will more readily connect with you.

Monday, January 10, 2011


"He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases
fantasies will have his fill of poverty." - Proverbs 28:19

Webster's defines entrepreneur: "one who organizes, operates, and
assumes the risk in a business venture." [Merriam-Webster's Collegiate
Dictionary, Tenth ed. (Springfield, Massachusetts, 1993),
"entrepreneur."] Entrepreneurs can smell an opportunity a mile away.
However, what is often their greatest asset can become their greatest
downfall. The road is littered with entrepreneurs who have been
successful in one venture only to fail in countless others. Is this the
natural way for an entrepreneur, or is there a better way?
King David was an entrepreneur. He grew up as a shepherd boy and later
became Israel's greatest warrior. He responded to opportunities, like
the time when no one would fight Goliath. He saw this as an opportunity.
He ultimately became king of Israel and faced many opportunities placed
before him. David learned an important lesson somewhere along the way
that each of us as workplace believers should learn.

As an entrepreneur the greatest danger is engaging ourselves in
activities in which God never intended us to be involved. This is poor
stewardship of what God has entrusted to us. When the Philistines
attacked David, he always inquired of God as to if and when he was to
counterattack. When he was attacked a second time on one occasion, David
inquired of God as to whether he was to attack yet. This time God said
yes, but with a condition, "Wait until you hear the sound of marching in
the balsam trees" (see 2 Sam. 5:24). This story tells us that David had
learned an important lesson about staying vertical in his relationship
with God at all times. David had learned the important principle of
staying focused on what God wanted for him, not what seemed logical. He
was an opportunist, but only through the filter of the Holy Spirit in
his life.
How do you approach opportunities? Do you consider the merits of the
opportunity only? Or do you inquire of God as to whether He desires you
to pursue? It may be a wonderful opportunity, but it may not be God's
will for you to be involved. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you as you
seek to use the skills He has given you.

Friday, January 7, 2011


"They trusted in Him and defied the king's command and were
willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any
god except their own God." - - (Daniel 3:28)

Have you ever known someone who lived an outcome-based Christian
experience? What I mean by this is that their decisions are made
based on the positive or negative outcome, not on absolute
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were three men who lived an
obedience-based life. When King Nebuchadnezzar passed a law that
said all were to worship his idol, these young men determined
they would not worship anything other than God. You can be sure
these men did not make this decision at the time of the decree.
Their decision actually had been made years earlier. Their
convictions were already in their hearts.
Each of us must come to a place of knowing what our boundaries
are in given situations. What will you tolerate from your
employer? What situation crosses the line for you? Where are the
boundaries for questionable practices in your life? If these are
not worked out ahead, you will live a life of situational ethics,
determining what decision to make based on the merits of the
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were willing to die for what they
believed. In this case, they were delivered from the fiery
furnace. God used their faithfulness to impact a king, and they
were promoted to higher positions.
Are you an obedienced-based Christian? Or are there situations
that can move you based on the outcome? God wants to know that we
will stand firm on the issues that are important to Him, no
matter what the outcome may be. God is looking for those who are
radical in their obedience. Does this describe your commitment to
Christ? If not, pray for this kind of conviction. The Lord will
honor you for this.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


"This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that wrath
will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them". - Joshua 9:20

Joshua and the people of Israel were in the Promised Land. They were
winning battles and were feeling good about their progress. One day a
band of Gibeonites came by dressed as travelers in order to fool Joshua.
They wanted to make Joshua believe they were merely travelers instead of
enemies. The Gibeonites asked Joshua to make a peace treaty with them.
Since Joshua chose to believe their story, he did just that. That was a
mistake on Joshua's part. The Bible says Joshua did not inquire of the
Lord about the Gibeonites. This forced Joshua to uphold the peace treaty
with the Gibeonites, even though it was made under false pretences.
Keeping our oaths before the Lord is a serious matter. One might think
that Joshua had every right to consider the agreement with the
Gibeonites null and void since it was done on false pretense. However,
Joshua knew how God viewed oaths. He knew that a man's word, once it was
given, should be good as done. There was no reversing it. He also knew
that if he did not keep his oath, he was subject to God's disfavor,
which meant his ways would not be blessed.
Whenever we become a child of God, we represent Him. When His children
follow unrighteousness, He takes this personally. Unrighteousness opens
us up to satan's attack. God's protection shield is removed. So Joshua
knew that if he did not honor his oath, he would be subject to God's
Is there any unfulfilled oath you have made to anyone? Ask God this
morning if you have not fulfilled a commitment to anyone. Then, if there
is, go and fulfill. Otherwise, you will be subject to God's judgment for
your unrighteousness.

Monday, January 3, 2011


"God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any
who understand, any who seek God". - Psalms 53:2

"Are you coming to the conference?" I asked my friend.
"I really don't understand why I should come to this. How can I really
benefit?" was his response. At that moment, I realized that I was
wasting my time with this man on whom I had invested much throughout his
Christian walk. He was often like a roller coaster-up one minute, down
the next.
"You simply aren't hungry enough," I commented to my friend.
Whenever someone must always rationalize and examine whether the things
of God are beneficial to them, you know that they are not hungry enough
for God. I recall one time when I was in a difficult place. I received
an audiotape from a man who gave me some insights into my problem. I was
hungry enough to book a flight to a city 500 miles away just to meet him
and find out more. My finances were at a very low point, so it took some
real faith to do this. That meeting turned out to be a divine
appointment and became a turning point in my life.
God is looking for men and women who hunger to know Him. When we believe
that we know all we need to know, we are in a dangerous place. God has
placed men and women in the Body of Christ who have had different
experiences and gifts that can be helpful in our own spiritual
pilgrimages. It requires humility of heart to realize that we can learn
from others. We can easily rationalize our business pressures and time
commitments to discount such opportunities.