Back again. . .on a tear

It’s been a good long while, apparently over a year, since I took advantage of this venue.  The reasons are various, none of which are worthy of rehearsing.  Truth is, life has been happening at hyper speed so I can’t complain.  As long as life is still moving along, it’s all good.  

I’ve been toying with getting back at blogging for a while and I read a story today online that just seemed to be the one to spur me on.  The original story was written yesterday by Todd Starnes who is host of Fox News & Commentary (Fox News Network).  Since the material is copyrighted, I cannot just copy and paste.  Instead, I’ll rehearse and quote.

It seems that a six year old girl in Temecula, California was delivering a one-minute talk at the behest of her teacher who had given an assignment to the entire class to bring something to school that represented their family’s Christmas tradition and talk about it.  This little girl chose the star on top of their tree that, to her, was a representation of the Star of Bethlehem.

Midway of her presentation, at the 30 second juncture, I suppose, the teacher stopped her dead in her tracks.  It is reported that she told the class that “. . .the three kings followed the star to find Jesus, the Savior of the world.”  She didn’t get the chance to finish by quoting John 3:16.  She was told by the teacher in front of all the other students that she was not allowed to talk about the Bible.

Of course, she was heartbroken and her mother reported that she thought she was in trouble for doing something wrong.  On behalf of the family, the general counsel for Advocates for Faith and Freedom, wrote to the  Temecula Valley Unified School district.  Robert Tyler, the attorney said, “The disapproval and hostility that Christian students have come to experience in our nation’s public schools has become epidemic.”

This same story by Starnes reported that a similar situation occurred in October 2013 when a 7th grade student was ridiculed for reading the Bible as part of a class assignment.  It seems the student was told to only read non-fiction and was told the bible is fiction.

Here’s my response. . .not in America.  Yes, in America.  Those bent of the total secularization of our country will do anything to prevent truth from being spread.  Friends, it’s not just the bible and schools.  The stuff we call news today is, in many cases, propaganda for the complete liberalization go everything “american.”  You don’t have to look far to see it happening in every part of life.

The really sad part is that all this brainwashing/programming in the name of education is beginning younger and younger.  Pre-K kids are getting it rammed down their little throats, as well.  By the time our kids get to high school, they don’t stand much of a chance unless we do one thing.  You heard me right. . .one thing.

We, parents, Christian parents, must teach the word of God to our children.  Oh, you should take them to church regularly, you should pray with them, you should model clear Christian values before their eyes, yes.  But the very best thing you can do for them is teach them the Bible, insist that they memorize portions of it, and be prepared to defend it as they grow older.  Why?

Listen to what Jesus told his contemporaries, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 [English Standard Version]

Government can’t assure you your freedom, psychology can’t free your mind from addictions, and no amount of money or possessions can free you from the pressures and challenges of this world.  Only God can do that. . .it’s not fiction and it’s not illegal!

shoes in the desert

Here we go again. . .literally.  This Wednesday, the day after Christmas, 18 missioners including me, will board a plane for Lima, Peru.  After a 4 hour bus ride south of Lima, we will begin an intense 4-day mission among the wonderful people in the Canete area.

We are going to represent our Lord and in some small way fulfill his words in Matthew 25:34-40 [take a minute to read it]. We are going to give away thousands of t-shirts that have been donated by wonderful people from all over Desoto County, MS.  We will be able to give away nearly 1,000 bibles because people gave from their hard earned money.  We will feed over 1,000 meals to adults and chidden who are hungry.  And we will wash nearly 1,000 pairs of dusty feet and put a brand new pair of shoes on them.

What a way to spend Christmas!

It truly is a beautiful picture–American teenagers, adults, and senior adults walking among the sweet people of Peru, giving them things they need and giving them the thing they need the most, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think I’ll get to preach at least one of the 7 or 8 sermons delivered.  This will be my first time to preach in Spanish.  If you look back to my very first blog entry, you’ll realize how important this is for me.

God has given me a great big vision–and He is great big God! In the near future, we want to establish a Christian bible school/seminary in the area.  We want to help supply housing for families.  We want to help establish more churches.  

Pray for us while we’re gone.  And check Facebook in the next several days for regular reports.  We are all very excited to go–come an go with us sometime!

making the legal, legal

Our world is getting stranger by the day, don’t you agree?  All over the US, during the “holiday season,” it is getting harder to celebrate the whole reason for the holiday.  In public schools, no more carols that mention Christ.  The same holds true on “public” property.  No more nativity scenes, no more Christmas trees, where is it going to end?

A Texas State Representative, Dewayne Bohac, may have the answer for his state.  He calls it the “Merry Christmas Bill” (House bill #308).  I saw this guy interviewed on a national morning news show, so this is no joke; this guy is serious.

He wants to make the legal, legal.  What do I mean?  The US Supreme Court has already ruled more than once that it is perfectly OK to have Christian themed displays and music on public property [look up Lynch vs. Donnelly, 1984).  There are others on both sides of the argument.

Here is the REAL argument, though.  Those who seek to pervert the meaning of the US Constitution continue to argue that the “intent” of the first amendment is to keep religion out of anything government.  That is simply absurd.  The language of the Constitution is so crystal clear, and without any ambiguity, that the argument is completely senseless.  And Americans are falling for it hook, line, and sinker.

Amendment #1, states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Congress, government, is supposed to keep its legislative nose out of religion and it is not supposed to restrict any American citizen from practicing religion anywhere.  The last time I checked, we are still a republic where majority rules.  Well, at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

But that’s not the way it is.  A very small, very vocal minority has tricked many of us into believing that the Constitution says something that it does not say.  The liberals will no doubt want to quote Jefferson now–wake up, folks; his letter ain’t part of the Constitution.

I applaud Mr Bohac for his effort, but it is effort in vain on two counts.  First, it likely doesn’t have a chance of passing muster in the Texas house–although Texans can be pretty solid; and second, freedom of religion is already legal in America.

Until and unless leaders in America wake up to the truth of our Constitution and the truth of the living God, the shameless, inane argument will go on and nothing will change.

Merry CHRISTmas!

sweet rivers of jerusalem

I’ve had a few heroes in my life.  In my youth, I thought President John Kennedy was the greatest man in the world.  I was a kid and he was highly promoted by my dad, a fellow navy man, so it was easy to put him up on a pedestal.  As I got older, found out some things about the man I didn’t like, but he is still one of my heroes because of all the good he DID.  Read or watch PT 109 if you doubt my assessment.

As a teen, my pastor, Willard Tallman was my hero.  He’s with the Lord but he is still a hero to me.  He tirelessly stood for God for more than 4 decades and never ceded a thing to the evil of this world.  That man, with little formal education, stood head and shoulders above the illuminati of his day.  Once, while visiting the holy land and sitting in an outdoor cafe (not in Israel) someone offered him one of the very small cups of Turkish coffee.  You know, that dark black liquid enjoyed in that part of the world. Well, if you knew Willard, you remember he had a powerful voice and an out front personality.  When he downed the little glass, he announced, “Sweet rivers of Jerusalem.” What else could a hero say!

As a young preacher, Dr. Theron V. Farris became a hero. He taught me how to think about theology without letting theology get in the way of my relationship with God. He taught me how to learn biblical languages and how to teach them.  He taught me how to weave the narrative of Scripture into  something easy to follow and easy to teach.

Then there is my dad. George Sykes taught me how to use my hands and apply my mind.  What else can I say.  I had the joy of leading my dad to faith in Christ.  Something he would later call, “the best day of my life beside the first day I saw you.”

What makes a hero anyway? Dictionaries suggest a hero or heroine is someone who displays courage and the will for self sacrifice for some greater good for all humanity.  For me, a hero is someone whose words of wisdom guide my life while they are here and continue to do so years after they die.

Well, another of my heroes has gone the way of death and into the presence of our Holy God, Dorothy Ruth Deal, my mother-in-law.  My life is better, much better because of Dorothy Ruth.  She and her husband, Hoyt, their son Steve, and daughter Debbie (my wife of 40 years), introduced me to Christianity.  That’s not to mention their other three children who have profoundly affected my life, Carolyn, Penny,  and Hoyt junior [Sonny].

Dorothy loved me when I was truly unlovable.  I was a fake Christian when I met her beautiful daughter.  I professed Christ and did my best, but I know she knew I wasn’t really saved.  She loved me anyway.  When I was saved and called to preach she told me she would pray for me every day that God would use me.  Practically every time I saw her, talked to her, or read one of her thousands of letter to me, she reminded me that she was still praying for me every day.  She was my personal prayer warrior.

Like Kennedy, Tallman, Farris and Sykes, Dorothy is a real hero.  She DID things that changed peoples lives.  With quiet grace, she stood for Jesus, never wavering.  She was smart, not because of book learning, but because of bible learning.  The very first time I taught a 10-year old boys vacation bible school class, she stood by me and taught me how to do flannel graph.  I experienced her genius first hand.

She was wise, not because she had been to so many places and done so many things, but because she walked in the power of the Spirit of God.  You could not be in her presence and not know that God was in the room. Her dignity was in her kindness.

And she was a good cook. I remember when Debbie was pregnant with Chris [who by the way posted on Facebook about his grandmother with these words, “She was the godliest woman I’ve ever known”], she gained 25 pounds and I gained 40.  How I loved to sit at her table.  Sure, I loved the food, especially the mashed potatoes and meatballs, but I just loved to sit and listen to her sage advice as she guided me without me even knowing it most of the time.

Dorothy Ruth Deal was not perfect. After all, like all of us, she was human.  That means she was a sinner in need of a savior.  She found Jesus and showed Him to everyone she knew. That my friends ain’t just a saint, that’s a hero!

o thou fool

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, has done it again.  This time on a Times Square billboard in downtown New York City.  His sign with a picture of Santa captioned with “keep the merry” and under it a picture of Christ captioned “dump the myth” has raised the ire of a lot of people.

Silverman said, “most Christians are really atheists who feel trapped in their family’s religion.” “They need not be Christian to enjoy the holiday season.”  You might be surprised when I say there is a lot of truth in what he has said.

He would have better stated his case had he said, “Most so-called Christians. . . .” Christians, people who truly have their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and the eternal promise of His presence do not feel trapped by anything, especially a fool like Silverman.

I also agree with his assessment that one need not be a Christian to “enjoy the holiday season.”  Why? For most of those so-called Christians and so-called atheists, Christ is not part of their celebration.  It is all about themselves. Oh, they claim it is about giving gifts to others and making merry when it is, in fact, about trying to fill the emptiness they have in their hearts.  Christmas, for them, is a feel-good moment just like many other moments they enjoy.

It would be very easy to be angry with Mr. Silverman and those who think like him. I feel sorry for him.  The Bible says that “only a fool has said in his heart there is no God.”  You believe Silverman and his ilk if you prefer; I’m going with God.

Christmas is NOT about giving

Tis the season, they will say as they spend their billions.  Giving gifts wrapped in shiny paper is what Christmas is all about right?  Not at all.  The complete and utter secularization of the holiday has convinced the majority of well-meaning people that the proper way to celebrate Christmas is to give presents.  The fact is most people giving those gifts are clueless about what their giving represents.  

Even Christians have lost (or never had) a clear understanding of Christmas.  At churches we sing sweet little Jesus boy and present the Son of the Living God as a baby in a manger.  And everyone in attendance says, “Oh, how sweet that is.”  

After the “holidays,” we pack up the mangers, forget the songs, and go on with a life that is devoid of the true meaning of Christmas.  OK, I know what your thinking.  If you are so smart, What is the meaning of Christmas?  I’m so glad you asked.

Christmas is about God given to man.  Swapping presents is fun; I enjoy seeing my grandkids open their gifts, nothing wrong with that.  But if I’m going to teach them, and anyone else who will listen, the truth about Christmas, I must carefully explain that the Eternal Son of Holy God came to this world to save lost mankind.

I was born lost, deserving hell and eternal punishment apart from God.  So were you.  You can like it or lump it, it’s still the truth.  God gave us the perfect gift to redeem us from that awful estate, His Son.  

When we realize our need and respond in repentance and faith, then and only then can we understand Christmas. Giving gifts, lighting lights, singing songs, and having pageants may illustrate the truth about Christmas but in our society that truth has been lost in those same bright lights and beautiful music.

Please do your best to remember why we celebrate Christmas.  God gave his Son; His Name is Jesus.


who, what, when, where

I’m not sure which makes me laugh the hardest, science or scientists.  Charles Darwin, for example, posited that through evolution one species gave rise to another.  It is generally accepted by the scientific community that human beings have not always been bipedal and did not always have the capacity for intelligent thought they have today.  [When I talk to some people, I wonder about the intelligence thing sometimes].  In other words, we came from monkeys of some sort.  The problem with that is. . .there is not, there never has been, nor will there ever be any evidence that human beings are any different than when they were first created.

I’m just as amused by some so-called theologians who want to appease the scientific community by agreeing that the earth is millions of years old, the universe is billions of years old, and the bible allows for this through a “gap” between Genesis 1:1 & 1:2.  By the way, there is a gap between the two verses.  In most printed versions of the bible, it’s less than 1/8 of an inch.

When science tries to argue their case and make bible-believers look silly, they remind us that not all that long ago, everyone thought the Earth was the center of the universe and our planet was flat.  But, not all scientists are like that, thank God.  Some of them look beyond the presuppositions of their theories and recognize that God’s truth is immutable and when they get cross ways with His truth, they are wrong and must look for answers that do not violate God’s Word.

I bring this up because I read an article today online that is based on findings reported in the November 2 issue of the journal Science.  It seems that astronomers have identified light that was emitted from the very first stars in the universe.  The article stated, “Shortly after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, the universe cooled enough to let atoms form, which eventually clumped together to create the first stars.”  I’m sorry, but I had to laugh.  I guess the .7 is to make us think they actually measured the timeframe, somehow.

I’m sorry, but I can’t help it.  The more I read this stuff, the harder I laugh.  Here are my questions to all the experts, brainiacs, NASA, and anybody else who wants to get in on the argument: Who caused the Big Bang, What actually happened when the Big Bang occurred, When did the events leading up to the Big Bang occur, and Where did it all start? I know I’m being a bit facetious. . .I don’t know and neither do they.  The theories postulated are just that, theories, not science. . .and they require a lot more faith to believe than recognizing that a timeless, immutable, perfect and holy God created all things ex nihilo.

Ex nihilo just means “out of nothing.”  And, in the beginning, that’s what God did.  He who has always been and who will always continue to be spoke–and the universe appeared.  Blind faith, you say.  Not at all.  Bible-believing faith, I say. One of these days all of us, scientists and theologians alike, are going to stand before God (just for the record, I’m talking about Jesus, who is the Christ, the one and only Son of God, Yahweh, who is co-equal with the Father and the Savior of all who accept Him as Lord) and give an account of our lives.

I don’t know when that will be, maybe tomorrow, maybe 13.7 billions years.  Whenever and wherever it occurs, He will be there asking the questions and providing the answers. Maybe, instead of looking to the stars, everyone ought to look into their own heart and try to find out why it’s so dark in there.  The light from stars on the other side of the universe do not hold the answers to life and eternity; the light of the world does.  His name is Jesus.

good intentions

It’s entirely possible that this is part two of the previous post since it was about managing time.  Very few times in our live we do something without intent. . .maybe never.  Our intentions are either good or evil.  Evil is easy, good is a lot harder.

Our lives are just a series of events; we move day to day to get this done or that, or so it seems.  Because we see life this way, we must have intent to keep us going in a direction.  Those who operate from an immoral worldview generally have evil intent.  Those who hold morality in high regard sometimes have good intent, but still have the inherent drive to be selfish, and thus, produce evil intent.

How do we get past this?  I asked myself this question when I started to write this blog today.  When I started this blog weeks ago, it was my intent to write everyday.  Then, time got in the way.  Overcommitted, over-tired, overworked (not really, that just sounds good), full of good intentions, I was unable to keep up the pace.

Maybe that is part of the problem. . .pace, or lack thereof. In a previous post, I talked about running and PR (personal record). I like having goals and working toward them because it presents an opportunity for a new PR.  The problem is too many goals going in too many directions at one time.  That’s where good intentions get in the way.

I’m the kind of guy who has no intention of wasting way or burning out.  I want to flame out. . .burn the candle at full-flame all the time giving off as much light as possible to as many as possible to somehow  impact their lives for God.  Right there is another problem.  If those I’m trying to impact only see me as a reckless, well-intended person, not following through. . .well, my good intentions become something else, don’t they.

What to do?  What to do?. . .Change.

Change is never easy, always necessary. Change what, you ask?  Focus is a good word.  My optometrist tells me that as I get older I have less astigmatism; my eyes are focusing better because their shape is changing, but they are still old, starting to get a bit more rigid (like my thinking) and still need correction, or change.

Life should never be considered merely a series of events. . .one leading to another, allowing for personal improvement or more profitability.  Life should always be about relationships. Be careful that your good intentions do not get in the way of your good relationships.

busy, busy, busy

Years ago, I took a college course called, Managing Your Time.  Apparently, I was a dismal failure.  Why? I still can’t get more than 168 hours out of a week.  I’ve learned how to save money, I’ve learned how to save paper, but for some reason I can’t save time.

I wonder why that is. . .maybe it is because God planned it that way, gave me the plan, and I just haven’t learned how to follow His plan, yet.  The Bible clearly teaches us to work hard [I’m not going to give you chapter and verse.  If you don’t know where that is taught in Scripture, get your Bible out and read it!}.  The Bible teaches us how to save stuff.  The Bible also tells us to rest.  Ah! Maybe that’s where my problem is.

I’m kind of a busy guy. I study the Bible every day. . .hint, hint. . .I listen to what it says and I talk to God about it.  In case you don’t know, and I’m not trying to be coy here, that’s called a quiet time.  I highly recommend it.  Getting-up-time for me is about 4 AM every weekday morning.  One of the many joys of my life is driving school buses in my county.  Being around kids of all ages cooped up in a big yellow school bus comes with its challenges, but I wouldn’t trade it for just about anything; except maybe a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

I spend a good part of my week studying to preach.  After 22 years in the same pulpit, staying fresh is a challenge, another challenge I love.  BTW, the Bible never runs out of new things to say to your spirit.  If you’re not getting fresh insight every day. . .the problem is not the Bible.

I hang out with my wife of 40 years, too.  There is no one in the world I’d rather be with–even if she’s laying on the couch and I’m snoring in my recliner.  I do yard work–lots of flower beds to keep clean and 2 acres to keep mowed and trimmed, not to mention being the resident “pool boy.”

And then there is the new love of my life, South American Missions!!! If you have read this blog at all, you know I’m crazy about missions.  God has given me a heart for the world, especially South America and more particularly, Peru.  New friends, new adventures, new challenges. . .what a way to spend time.

Oh yeah, then there is estudiando Espanoles, studying Spanish.  Someone in the registrars office forgot to tell me that the “accelerated class” was going to run at warp speed.  I’ve got this young teacher who assumes way too much on my behalf.  I might look brilliant, but well. . .

I also like to keep my cars clean, witness to people, and watch Perry Mason.  And did I mention planning those mission excursions.  Wow!  Busy, busy, busy.

God has given me, and you, exactly 24 hours in each day to do what needs to be done.  The key word in that sentence is probably needs.  Of course it is.  And what I need to do is rest more.  I’m trying.  Most nights, I beat the chickens to bed ’cause I gotta get up at 4.  And as sure as I don’t get to bed on time, I’m going to get behind in my rest, my work, my passions, and then. . .well, then I don’t do a very good job at anything.  What’s the moral of this story. . .

Busy, busy, busy . . . rest, rest, rest.  You need it, I need it, your kids need it, and God built us to get it.

dollars & sense

Just a few minutes ago, I launched a very scary website.  In fact, unless your backbone is strong, your stomach is not easily unsettled, and your mind is capable of thinking in terms of the ridiculous, I wouldn’t go there. . . .The US national debt is hovering around $16 trillion; yes, that’s five groups of numbers to the left of the decimal. And, that means every US citizen (oh yeah, this does not affect non-citizens who do not contribute to the US tax system but mooch off our economy), young and old, is beholding to the Federal Government for about $51 thousand dollars.  But that’s not the real picture. Total US debt, whatever that is, is almost $57 trillion and total US unfunded liabilities [programs paid for by the feds for which there is no actual money on account] are over $120 trillion.  See what I mean.  Somebody get out the strapping tape; my head is going to explode.

While it’s ridiculous, it’s not surprising.  Many, if not most Americans, believe someone somewhere has an endless supply of dollars.  Well, they sorta do–so long as you understand that when the feds print paper money, it’s no good, worthless.  We are “in the hole” so far we will never get out.

I don’t know about you, but at my house we don’t live that way.  We can’t.  Why? We’d go to jail.  Those same feds would come looking for us.  If I don’t pay my phone bill, it gets cut off.  If I don’t pay my utility bill, my lights go out and all the food in my fridge spoils.  If I don’t show up for work and meet my obligation to the tax code. . .it’s prison for me.

Actually, that kind of strikes me as a bit funny.  A local politician went to federal prison [make that, Camp Politico] a couple of years ago for taking some huge bribes.  A few days ago he got out.  Now, he’s trying to get his “rights” back so he can vote, carry a gun, and run again for office.  Sadly, he has a pretty good chance.  And if he runs for office, he’ll probably win because a lot of ignorant people will cast their vote for someone who will continue to enable them to live off the hard work of others. But I digress.

I don’t have a lot of dollars and I certainly don’t have a lot of sense, but I didn’t just fall off the tater truck either. I know what the Bible says about money. So as I try my best to follow the mandate to tithe [that’s 10% of ALL I have–before taxes] and give an offering to the work of God in my local church, God blesses me and my family in ways that to most people don’t make sense.

That brings me to the real reason for this blog.  A couple of weeks ago, I was in a local business talking to the owner about the mission work I’m doing in South America. I shared with him how, in the last couple of years, my church has moved from giving a couple thousand dollars for international work to more than $50K and this year the figure will approach $100K with an eye toward $200K in the next couple of years.  That just doesn’t make sense, does it?  In a relatively small church with a budget about $250K, how in the world, and why in the world would we spend that much on missions, domestic and foreign?

That was his question.  Why are you spending so much overseas when there are so many here in America who need the Gospel?  BTW, every time I hear that excuse for not participating in and supporting missions, I know it means that individual isn’t doing squat in America nor around the world. But I guess I ought to answer the question, shouldn’t?  First, we’re doing evangelism in America.  Our youth pastor goes to downtown Memphis on weekend nights and feeds the homeless while telling them about Jesus.  Our children’s pastor works diligently through AWANA and our bus ministry to reach kids and their parents with the Gospel.  Our worship pastor leads door-to-door and referral outreach. We do weekend backpacks of food for elementary children in our community, sending home Gospel tracts and offering other helps to families.  And that doesn’t include so many other ways we try to do what God has called us to do.

Don’t think for a moment we’re looking for a pat-on-the-back either.  It is a privilege to reach out with the love of God in our community.  But WHAT ABOUT the rest of the world?  Well, let me put it this way.  I think our annual budget is probably in line with most other average American churches.  It costs about $1,250 per year per person to “do church” in America. I’m sure that cost rises as the size of a church increases.

Here’s the point.  We can fund a church planter and his family in most South American countries for a year for less than $10,000.  While it takes hours of scouring in American communities to find a family that will admit they are unchurched and show much if any interest in hearing about God, on the foreign field it’s not like that; at least not where we’re working.

I can put 100 Gospel tracts in my pocket, go to a village in southern Peru, get of the car on a dusty street, go door-to-door until the tracts are exhausted and expect at least two things to happen in the hour or so it takes to hand them out.  About 95 of the 100 hands that gladly take the tract will stop what they are doing and read it right then.  About half of those who read it will listen to a Gospel presentation.  And at least 25% of them will respond positively to the Gospel by either accepting an invitation to church (and they will actually show up) or by accepting Christ right then and there as Lord of their life.  Oh yeah, most of the ones who show up later for church get saved!  That’s how we start churches, by the way.

Travel in and out of South America is admittedly expensive.  But beyond that expense, everything else is not only reasonable, it is dirt-cheap. It costs about $10.00 per year per person in the villages to do church.  So tell me, which makes more dollar-sense, spending more and more where people largely ignore the truth, or taking it where they will listen and respond?  I know, it’s both and.

We gotta tell our neighbors about Jesus, but we simply cannot afford to ignore the rest of the world.  So pack up and let’s go.  ‘Cause it’s just a matter of dollars and sense.Image