Heed the warnings … “lest you die”

When you got your wisdom teeth out, the pain medication prescribed had many warnings. One of those warnings was: “Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.” Percocet makes a person drowsy and a sleepy driver is a dangerous driver. Doctors and pharmacists do not put the warning on the bottle just to be mean. It is not on there to prevent their patients from having fun or going about their normal daily activities. They put it there to protect the patient and others from serious harm or death.

When you and I read God’s Word, and read something that is “restrictive” to our current lifestyle or our desires, it would do us good to think about medical warnings. No one likes to be told what to do. We naturally do not like to be prevented from doing something we desire. But, none of us complain about or disregard the warnings and restrictions on prescription drugs. In the same way, we shouldn’t complain or disregard God’s warnings and instructions either.

Am I exaggerating by using this comparison? You tell me. Look at today’s verse in Leviticus. This verse ends a chapter regarding purification rituals about the tabernacle. God tells Moses to tell this to the Israelites so they will not die. We are talking death here. Unsure? Ask Aaron, whose 2 sons were killed instantaneously for not following the instructions given by God. God does not kill people on a whim, or because He likes to punish people. This entire section of Leviticus is explanation for the people on how to purify themselves because impurity CAN NOT stand in God’s presence. God is not just looking at people and has decided he only likes “pure” people. It is a fact, just like a fish will die out of water. It is a mere truth. Unholiness in the midst of a holy God results in immediate death.

We are no longer required to sacrifice a bird and be examined by a priest if we have an open wound on our skin, thank goodness, but there is still clear instruction from God about how we are to live. Sometimes, God’s instruction is easier to follow due to our gifting and personality. For instance, I would say I have seen the 3 of you are hard workers, obeying God’s instruction in Col. 3:23 which says “whatever you do, do heartily as unto the Lord…” This seems to come naturally to you, so I doubt you struggle to obey that instruction. But, there are other commands from God that we will have to choose to obey and obedience will be hard. They will require us to sacrifice something-our time, our money, our desires, or something else. The key and a helpful motivator to do what is right in these circumstances is to remind yourself that ALL of God’s instruction is for our good. It is to protect us, to bring us through to something better than what we think we wanted and to bring God glory through it all. God is not out to be a killjoy, though Satan will try to deceive you that He is.  God’s intention is for good, not evil, as Joseph tells us. God does not want us to die, as he reminded Moses and the Israelites in Leviticus. He gives us warnings and commands for the same reason dad and I did not let any of you drive while taking Percocet (the pain medication); “lest you die”.

Grab the stain remover!

Keeping whites white is no easy task. I am talking about white shirts, white sheets, white towels and so on. I have tried every conventional suggestion as well as the strange suggestions one can find on Pinterest or Facebook. The reason I try to do this is because no one wants to wear a white shirt with a stain in it, or use a kitchen towel that looks dirty due to stains. Stains can ruin the entire item. It is no longer considered clean.

In today’s chapter of Leviticus, we read about all kinds of regulations for people with skin diseases. God was laying out guidelines as to what “defiles” a person and would ‘disallow” them from entering His sanctuary due to “uncleanliness”. In other words, these diseases were like physical “stains” that made them no longer “clean” enough for God’s presence. Spiritually, sin does that exact same thing, except to our soul. Sin keeps a person eternally separated from God. That is the result of life in sin without forgiveness.

Along with definitions of clean and unclean, we see the priests  in Chapter 13 repeatedly making a “pronouncement”. They let the rest of the people know publicly if a person was clean or unclean. Over 10 times in this chapter alone, the priest has to observe someone or something and then “pronounce” it clean or unclean. I only chose one example for today’s devotion, but look at this chapter and see for yourself. What did anyone who came to the priest hope and pray for? That hoped to be declared “clean”.

We live in a day and age far from the days of Leviticus. Pastor Curtis does not stand at the door of church and examine our skin before allowing us in to church. But God is there and he has completed the examination and made the pronouncement public.  Romans 3:23 states; “For we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We failed the examination. Of course, the problem is, God still desires that we enter His presence in a “clean” state. As believers, we thankfully can do this. We were pronounced “clean” the moment we decided to allow the blood of Christ to cleanse us from our sins. This does not negate the “filthiness” of sin though. It can still get on us, stain us (just like my white shirts) and defile us. We need to continually be repenting of our sin, making sure we are not in a “chronic” state of sin (habitual sin) that is dirtying us. It is a good practice to go ahead and ask our priest, Jesus, to examine us with his Spirit daily, to reveal our sin and cleanse us from that. Why? Because just like stains on a white shirt ruin the whole shirt, sin in our life will ruin our lives. It will ruin our witness for Christ. It can ruin our personal fellowship and prayer life with God. It can ruin friendships. It is always a stainer and destroyer. God does not receive any glory from our lives when we are living in sin and not repenting of it. Each day that we are living in Christ, we are having our sin “stains” cleansed, and we are learning more about how to avoid those “stains” in the first place.

Can you or I think of a sin we were struggling with a year ago or 5 years ago, that we have repented of and God has helped us turn away from? Being able to look back and see how God is transforming us can be a great encouragement to continuing to press on in the faith. It is like pulling the terribly stained shirt out of the washer and finding that the stain-remover did its job. It is finding the stain is no longer there. Clothing is much more useful when the stains have been removed. We are much more useful to God too, as each of the stains of our sins are removed from our lives and we better reflect Christ’s pure image to those around us.

Consider the long term cost…

This year was a rough year for Ezekiel Elliot to say the least. I don’t know much about it, but I know two things: He did something wrong and because of that, for a number of games, he was not allowed to play. This affected him, his family, his team, and anyone who had him on their fantasy football team as well. His choice to do something wrong was very costly. The cost was long term and painful. He was punished for doing wrong.
We all are familiar with the Old Testament punishments for doing something wrong in God’s eyes. Today’s verses are just one example. Disobedience regarding what the Israelites ate could cost them to be cut off from their people. That was God’s instruction. It was a harsh punishment. In this case, it would have also been immediate. The Israelite offender was cut off from his people and from God. This means unless he was restored and that sin was atoned for, he was no longer a part of “God’s chosen people”, the promises were no longer his and the blessings God would be giving his people would not be his to partake of. This was a high cost.

Doing wrong still has a cost. Ezekiel Elliot’s cost was not quite as immediate as the Israelites, but it eventually came. He was “cut off” from “his people”. His punishment became very public. But not all “doing wrong”, or sin,  is made public and not all consequences are immediate. I do want to make a quick distinction here between punishment and consequences:  All sin has consequences. As believers, Jesus took the punishment for our sin, but we will still suffer the consequences of that sin. Keeping this in mind, what can we learn from this portion of Leviticus that shows God’s character and teaches us today?

Sin is still serious. This is not new news. Because our consequences may not be made public like the Israelites or Ezekiel Elliot’s, it may seem like we won’t experience any. Don’t be fooled- they are coming. The sowing and reaping principle always holds true. The habit of speeding will eventually end up with in a speeding ticket. Sitting under the influence of coarse words amongst friends or media will eventually creep into our own language patterns. A careless word “misspoken” or “mistyped” will destroy a friendship. These things will most likely not be on the front page of ESPN, but they will fracture relationships and cut us off from others. It will cut us of from “our people”, just as sin and impurity cut the Israelites off from their people.

The saddest piece to this equation? Who is the loser? You and I. The sinner. Sin breaks trust and relationships. Sin keeps us from God. Sin causes guilt. Sin separates us from believers-someone walking closely with Christ will not desire or choose to be with someone walking in habitual sin. They won’t be BFF’s for long and their idea of favorite “activities” will differ greatly. There will be a separation of friends.

Today’s stark words from Leviticus should resound in our hearts as a warning. Pray God keeps us from sin. Walk closely with God and His instruction so we can hear His still small voice warning us of danger. Obey that still small voice immediately. Where there is no sin or disobedience, there are no consequences. We have nothing to fear if we start each day and ask for the Spirit’s help to “walk in His ways” all the days of our lives. This is the life of fulfilled promises of God, blessing and healthy, vibrant relationships that will extend into eternity. It is then that we can be certain not to be a headline on ESPN or anywhere else, and we can enjoy all the blessings and privileges of being on God’s “team”.

Stay away from the mud…

When you were little, I sometimes let you go outside to play in the rain or mud. What is the first thing I said to you before you came back in the house? It was probably something like: “Don’t come in” or “clean off first” or maybe even just “take your shoes off before coming in”. I certainly wanted you back in the house, but you had to clean off first instead of coming in a complete mess and getting the whole house dirty!


If you can get that mental picture in your mind, it will give us a hint of the feeling or meaning behindwhat we can read in Lev. 5. Keep in mind, this analogy is only a hint, because a clean house falls WAY short of a holy, pure God we read about today. In Lev. 5, God lays out sin and guilt offering instructions. At the end of each section, we see today’s verse or something similar. It speaks of atonement and forgiveness. Atonement is not the most common word for us. I found my german Bible helped me understand this a little better. This is probably more of a paraphrase, but goes something like this: “With this offering, the priest gets things straight (or pure) again, and he is freed from his sin.”  Two key thoughts here: purity and sinlessness. God prescribes pages and pages of instruction for his people to get them “pure” and “free from sin”.

Why is that? It is because they can not come into His presence unless they are in that state. We can not either. At the most basic level, God will not and CAN not let us “in his house” is we are “covered in mud”.

Have you ever read through Leviticus? Do you know how much instruction is given to the priests, what they must wear, how to preform these sacrifices and offerings and all the rules to follow? If you haven’t read it, just skim it for a couple of minutes and start counting pages. There is a LOT about what is to be done for atonement and the sins to be forgiven. Everyday. These things were bloody, costly, animals died, and it was a full time job for these priests. Why is all that there? Why did God bother with all that?

It is because HE WANTS US IN THE HOUSE. As he stated in Exodus, God desires to dwell with us. If he didn’t want to be with us, He would not have bothered with any of this. Where the muddy child analogy falls short is with God’s holiness. Walking in a dirty house just makes more mess for a mom to clean up. Approaching a holy God covered in sin is completely different. There is no entry, only death.

Leviticus was the start of what Jesus finished. Leviticus showed that really, no matter how much we try to follow those instructions, we continue to be covered in sin. We need an outside source to wash all the sin off and to do it so that we can dwell with God. Jesus was our atonement and through him, we are forgiven forever. He was both the priest and the sacrifice. The door is open, we are no longer muddy, and our father desires that we spend as much time in His presence as possible. Now that we can come in the house, He can teach us and give us the tools for us to learn how not to get “dirty” in the first place. So, come on in. Spend time in His house, and let’s learn to stop playing in the mud, moving on to the much better things our Father has for us!


Where are you on the “org chart”?

Aaron will probably run for a position in student council for next year. The structure of student council at school is SGA president, SGA VP, Class President, Class VP and then numerous other positions along with those. Companies have something similar with CEO’s, vp’s and so on. These are most often called organizational charts. Companies and schools were not the first to come up with the idea of structures or “org charts”. God was.

We see it in Leviticus 4 today, as instructions are given regarding the sin offerings. The priest was the “top level” so to speak in God’s org chart. He goes from the top down. The responsibility also goes from the top down. The priest is responsible for making sure he makes his offering if he sins. As the priest, he is responsible to make sure he is in a right standing with God, to seek restoration to God through the offering, and he will set an example for those under him as well. From there, the same is done at each level; someone is responsible for others, they are to model restoration in their relationship with God and set that example for the rest of the people.

Lev. 4 shows us our God is a God of order. He does have set roles for people. It started in Genesis when he created man and woman, and set roles for them-men are to lead the family, and wives are to be their helpmate. God expands that order for his people in regards to offerings and worship. It continues to the description of how God’s church is to run in the New Testament with teachers, elders and believers. With structure, order and position comes a plan that can be accomplished. God’s plan. The leaders have a responsibility in their given positions and are to model proper behavior. Every person has their role serving those they are given responsibility for and this includes us.

You and I also have a place in God’s organizational chart. He has placed us in a role there we are responsible for some others in some way. Right now, as a mom, I have a God-given responsibility to lead you all, my kids, well. I am responsible to model godly behavior and let you see what it looks like for me to repent from my sin. I should be modeling godly behavior, what it means to spend time in God’s word daily, and how to obey God’s instruction in every day life. I am also in the role of wife, to be a helper to dad. I am to show him great respect and to honor him in my words and actions, loving him unconditionally (which is easy to do since he is so kind to me!). What is your role? Aaron may have the role of SGA president next year. If he does, he will be observed by the others in the school and he should set an example on how to lead well, respect authority, not speak poorly of others. Jordan has a new role of leadership with youth at church. What suggestions or life styles will he live out that are examples to them? Miriam has held positions of leadership in school and in sports. What characteristics could her friends and teammates model that would be pleasing to God?

Our God will always be a God of order. Remember, God does not change. He has set this world up with order and structure from the most basic building blocks of husband, wife and family to the highest level of churches and government. Without order, chaos reigns. Know your role. Pray frequently that God would show you the role he has chosen for you in each season. Take your role seriously as far as the responsibility you have amongst friends and others, and remember the influence you have. That influence does come with responsibility and a calling to be the example God wants you to be. 1 Timothy is a great reminder for this where God tells youth (but really all of us) to “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Bubba burgers and saltines…

I picked up some of the bacon and cheese “Bubba burgers” last week when I was grocery shopping. On Sunday, we had communion in church and that consisted of the usual cracker pieces and a small portion of juice. Bubba Burgers, saltines and grape juice can all be easily purchased at Giant or even through Amazon, so in and of themselves, they are not particularly “holy” foods. The crackers and juice served a completely different purpose though than the Bubba burgers will, didn’t they?

While the items are, on the one hand, really all just food, their usage distinguishes them and makes them different. I thought of the Bubba burgers today when reading about the “meat” burnt offerings and grain offerings in the first couple of chapters in Leviticus. Instruction was clearly given as to what to bring for these offerings. What happened to these every day food offerings after they were presented as offerings, though, altered them. The meat offerings were burnt and said to be a “pleasing aroma” to God. Does this mean all meat when it is on the barbecue is a pleasing aroma to God too? I don’t think so. The “pleasing” part came in the heart that willingly gave the everyday food to God, recognizing the need for forgiveness in some area and cleansing. It was the offering of a willing repentant heart recognizing a need to be changed.

Offerings are such a foreign concept to us really but the New Testament can help us. References in the New Testament about offerings change it from meats and grains, to much more personal things. In Philippians, Paul speaks of his life as being “poured out like a drink offering”-Paul’s life was given as an offering. 1 Peter 2:5 says as believers we can now offer  “spiritual sacrifices”-so not grain and meat, but spiritual sacrifices that please the Lord. And of course in Romans 12 we are told to present our bodies as a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

We have no altar, and don’t need to burn Bubba burgers or saltines  as offerings to God. But that doesn’t mean we are unable to still make choices as offerings that please God, that are a “sweet aroma” to Him. We can and should be doing these things. Somehow, there are ways, that our everyday lives, the most common pieces of our lives, can be used in a way and offered to God that change them from ordinary to a service for God and pleasing to Him. Such modern day offerings might include the way we do or do not use  our bodies. It might also include actions we take that are spiritual in nature like a spiritual discipline we commit to. That would be a pleasing aroma and become an offering to God. Maybe we are called to take one path in life instead of another because of where we see God leading, instead of just our desires. Offerings require a sacrifice of some sort. A willing giving of something to God out of our love for Him and desire to change our ways and/or repent of sin. Consider today if you and I have made any offerings to God lately or if perhaps He is calling us to do so. Our sins are already all forgiven as believers, but if we want our lives to be pleasing to the Lord and a sweet aroma, I suspect offerings and sacrifices in life will still be involved for the rest of our lives.

We should be better than Alexa…


I was just talking with Mrs. K. about how the Alexa (Amazon Echo) would be helpful and useful for seniors like her dad or her aunt. Part of the discussion included the fact that AI still is not quite where it needs to be in understanding and fulfilling our verbal commands. It has a long way to go.

In terms of doing as commanded, Exodus 40 today shows us the opposite of an Alexa.In Chapter 40 the phrase “all that the Lord commanded” or a similar phrase is written multiple times. I only listed one of the many verses here, but if you look at the chapter you will see this idea is repeated 7 times.  Moses and those assembling the tabernacle are described as doing “as the Lord commanded”. God’s commands regarding the tabernacle were very, very clear. Moses and those he was working with diligently did what was commanded. In fact, if we were to describe these people just based on this chapter, a fair description would be that they were people who “did just as the Lord commanded.”

I wish that is how I could be described as well. Just as we desire Alexa to do what we command her, God desires we do what He commands us. He has stated very clearly, using language we have no trouble understanding.  We don’t have the excuse that Alexa has of not understanding due to being AI (Artificial Intelligence). We volitionally make a choice, day in day out-whether to do what God says or not. In fact, our natural “inclination” is to not obey. But, this can be changed and it doesn’t take the latest software update to do so. It takes the Holy Spirit working in our lives. God tells us that day by day He is sanctifying us and that, in conjunction with a consistent daily intake of his Word, we are being transformed into His image. We become more obedient children who follow His commands. If we find our desire to obey God’s commands increasing daily, we can be sure we are on the right track. If we don’t see ourselves desiring this, or loving what God loves and hating what he hates more each day, than we need to check what we are allowing to influence us in our daily life. Joyful, fulfilling obedience does not come naturally, it comes through transformation of the heart. Transformation of the heart comes from godly disciplines in our lives getting us into His Word daily. To be described as a person who lives “as the Lord commanded” is the best description we could ever have. It would be a wonderful prayer to pray that we might respond like a more “perfect Alexa” when it comes to God’s commands on a daily basis.


“All the money in the world…”

The price of gold today, March 2, 2018 is $1,321.50 per ounce. A rough estimate of the value of all the gold and silver items in the tabernacle per google ranges from 28 million up to 50 million dollars, depending on amounts and current prices. That was some fancy tabernacle, wasn’t it?

Let’s do a recap of this week thinking about the tabernacle. God wanted a tabernacle built so he could dwell with his people and be amongst them. As their God he was leading them to a land of “milk and honey”. In other words, it was a REALLY nice, lush place to live. He was going to protect them. He was going to bless them as his people. He then gave awesome abilities to some men in the area of craftsmanship to build the tabernacle and every item to be placed inside. Exodus repeats that the items were made and God had it all recorded down to the weight of the gold used for specific items. Using the materials and talents given to the men, the tabernacle was built and God dwelt with his people during this time.

Fast forward 700 years. Israel is disintegrating morally and physically. The temple that replaced the tabernacle and had many of the tabernacle items in it, like the ark of the covenant and much gold and silver. Another Israelite, Hezekiah, king of Judah, decides to raid the temple treasuries and strip the gold. He does this to give to Sennacherib, an enemy king, hoping it “buy” his country protection from them. It didn’t.

Now in 2018, about 2,700 years later, we are reading these historical accounts. God preserved in his Word all of the details. We are given details on the measurements of poles and candlesticks, Bezalel’s talents and skills, gold used in the tabernacle and finally, details about the end of the temple. What can we learn from these details? How to use what God gives us. Bezalel used his gifts to God’s glory. The result was God’s presence and dwelling with the people and his protection. Centuries later, a sinful king misuses these very same things: the king’s life ends tragically and the “protection” he had hoped to buy with what God had given his people, never materialized. Had Hezekiah turned back to the God who gave him the gifts and had already promised protection, it would have been there all along. The misuse of the gifts ended in destruction.

As we consider the ways God has gifted us, I think there is a warning here about misuse. My God given gifts and talents, and yours, if used effectively with all our might, can bring about great gain and glory of some type. The question is, glory to whom? Gain for whom?  Bezalel used his gifts to obey God and further God’s glory amongst His people. Hezekiah tried to use his to buy security and comfort for himself. Only one of these men successfully reached their goal. As Jordan continues his work and seeks the right career path, as Miriam looks for internships, and Aaron, as you look at colleges-keep all of this in mind. Consider your gifts. Consider and pray about how God wants you to use them. Be very careful that you don’t only consider how to make the most money. Hezekiah would surely warn all of us that all the money in the world will never buy the protection, comfort and joy God offers us when we are obediently seeking His will and walking in His ways with every talent and skill that we have been given.


“Just do it!”…

Time for a slogan guessing game. Whose uses the slogan “Just Do It” in their marketing? Nike. Ok-that was too easy, but it fits. There is no question as to what is meant. It means action. No procrastination. No dilly-dallying. Just do it.

Ex. 36:1 could be very roughly translated “Just do it”. Remember good old “Bezalel” that we talked about earlier this week? He was the God-gifted craftsman. His ability and skill were spelled out as from God and for a purpose. It was not just Bezalel who got the way above average skills but others were also gifted with both skills and intelligence in the same areas. Today, Moses tells them to   “work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.” In other words, do the work.

What about the materials to do this stuff? What were they to work with? Remember yesterday all the ornamental and expensive metals given up? Not only did the people give these things up to stay out of sin, they also continued to give things as offerings to God. It just so happens that much of the tabernacle pieces and items were to be “overlaid” with gold and other fine metals and jewels. Those are now available. So, the people with the skill and intelligence are available and the materials have been provided.. It is time to get to work-and do what the Lord has commanded.

We talked about the fact that just as Bezalel was gifted in certain ways, we are too. Today, I suggest we follow in Bezalel’s footsteps and get on with “doing it”. Hopefully you have taken time to consider some ways God has gifted you this week. Look around for the “materials” God has given you and get started. Do what God has commanded and lets get to work. Let’s “build” whatever is our piece of work to his glory to build. If you don’t know what I mean, here is a simple, but clear example you may not be aware of in Gege’s life of how she follows the Nike motto to “Just do it”. Gege is gifted in the area of knitting. She has an extensive knowledge of it and due to many other projects as well as the generosity of others, she has a lot of excess yarn. She is constantly making infant hats for orphans and pregnancy centers. She also ministers to God’s glory weekly by teaching some women at GSV who do not have the skill or yarn to knit. She has been given the ability, God provided materials, and she works with those every week, using her gift to the good of others and to God’s glory. God has commanded us to look after the widows and the orphans. (James 1:27) God commands us to not forget to do good and to share with others. (Heb. 13:16). God tells us that whoever is kind to the poor (orphans, unwed mothers) lends to the Lord. (Prov. 19:17) Gege is “doing” God’s commands through her “knitting” ministry in this way as well as many others I have not mentioned.

What about you and I? Are we? Let’s just “Do It” too, if we haven’t already started. No Nike’s required. No excuses. No procrastination. Take your gifts and the materials and Just do it!


Give up that “jewelry”!

Imagine you must make a trip  to go to N. Korea. You have hired a bodyguard and know with that bodyguard, you will be 100% safe. Without the bodyguard there is a high probability you will not come out alive. Now, imagine at the last minute, the bodyguard cancels, but you still MUST go on the trip. How would you feel?

That is the closest comparison I can come to for what we read in Ex. 33, when God told his people He would not go with them. It is hard to fully understand the implications of this, but death was certainly one. God was their God and protector. They knew they needed Him and when they found out He wasn’t “coming”, they went in to mourning. As part of this mourning, they did exactly what we would do: they did not put on jewelry or “ornaments”. Wait! What? What in the world does that have to do with anything?

I could not figure this one out myself, so had to look it up. Soniclight.com proved helpful by explaining “They willingly gave up the use of and stopped wearing the “ornaments” that they had used in the rebellion, and that were therefore an offense to God.” Context is key here-this happens right after the whole Aaron-golden calf-major-sin-party incident. What is really happening here is God calls them out for their sin, and calls them stiff-necked because they keep disobeying and disregarding his laws. The people have come to a real point of repentance, realizing and being willing to give up the items that are contributing to their sin. In their case, it was ornaments or jewelry, some of which were used previously to create a false idol which they had worshiped.

God throughout this section in Exodus makes it extremely clear He will not allow
his people to worship anything but him. Here, we see, there can be items that actually contribute or “help” people (read: “us”) worship false idols. The Israelites realized worshiping God alone required them to give up some things that were leading them astray and being used for sinful purposes. For them, it was jewelry or “ornaments”. What is it for us? What are some things in our life that “aid” us in worshiping idols or consistently draw us away from God and/or towards something else? The Israelites knew that above all else, they needed God with them every step of the way.  They came to the point where they were willing to give up anything that was in the way of this protection and relationship with God. I believe we too should continually be coming to this point: examining our lives, identifying our own sin, and recognizing those items that may be influencing us to sin more. Once they are identified, get rid of them. You and I in the end, just like the Israelites, do not want anything to stand in the way of God being with us, do we? Then get rid of your jewelry, or whatever it is for you and me that is causing us to be “stiff-necked” towards God. There will always be “deathly” consequences if we don’t.