Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, December 31, 2011


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

      How many of you have put together a list of New Year’s resolutions for the new year? When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, some of us are like Barney and think “I can do it,” and some of us are like Harold and think “No way”.

     It was late in the afternoon on the first day of January and Barney was working hard trying to memorize the 23rd Psalm. Back and forth and round and round he would walk as he would try to memorize and recite one verse after another. After several hours of hard work he finally shouted out in triumph, “I DID IT! I DID IT!”

     Upon hearing Barney’s excitement, Muffy, thinking he was missing out on something came running in to Barney’s backyard, plowing into Barney, knocking him over and than of all things, he sat on him. “HAROLD!” came a some what muffled yell, “GET YOUR STUPID DOG OFF OF ME!”

     “Here, Muffy. Come here Muffy!” Harold called out as he came in to Barney’s backyard and suddenly Muffy got up and ran off in the opposite direction. “Harold!” Barney yelled at him, “Why don’t you teach that dog some manners?” “Sorry,” Harold replied, “Muffy heard you yell with excitement and had to come see what you were doing. By the way, what are you doing?”

     “I’m working on one of my New Year’s resolutions.” Barney told Harold. “A New Year’s Res... Roos... Ra.. A new Year’s what?” Harold asked with a confused look on his face. “A New Year’s Resolution,” Barney repeated, “They’re goals you set to accomplish during the coming year. Memorizing verses is one of mine.”

     “I could never do that.” Harold told him, “Memorizing is boring, besides I don’t have time, I’m too busy chasing Muffy.” “Well,” Barney suggested, “Maybe you would have time if you trained Muffy to obey. Maybe you should make that YOUR New Year’s Resolution. You could train Muffy to obey.”

     “Yeah, right! Tell me another one.” Harold laughed, “I could never do that. Muffy doesn’t listen to me.” “Maybe Muffy would learn to listen,” Barney told him, “If you did, besides if you put yourself to it you can do it. Philippians 4:13 says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

     “You really think I could say - ‘Here Muffy,’ and he would actually come?” Harold asked Barney but before Barney could answer Muffy came running at them. “It worked!” Harold shouted and than boom, Muffy ran over both of them and kept right on going. “Than again” Barney laughed, “Maybe not.”

     Which is easier, setting goals or fulfilling them? Starting a task or finishing it? Often times we look at a task or a goal and say I can't and it never gets done. What if Nehemiah had said “No way!” when it came to the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem? His story can be found in the book by his name “Nehemiah” I'm just going to highlight a few points and let you read the story for yourself.

     Jerusalem's walls had been destroyed and its people taken, one captive named Nehemiah eventually became a cup-bearer to the king. He is saddened by news of Jerusalem and how it lays in ruins and sets himself a gaol to restore it.

     In reaching his goal he starts where many of fail, he starts by fasting and praying and than with God's help he secures permission from the king to go and rebuild Jerusalem's walls. Once he arrives at Jerusalem he spends 3 days surveying the walls in secret and than gathers together a work force and starts building the walls.

     Once the work is under way, the goal stoppers come out in force to try and stop Nehemiah from accomplishing his goal. In response Nehemiah shifts people around and eventually arms some of them but the work never fails and 52 days after the project got under way there was a 23 foot thick wall surrounding Jerusalem and the enemies became afraid saying this was a work of God.

     An important verse to remember when it comes to getting things done is the only verse I'm using this week - Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV) Yet, despite such a great promise we often fail to accomplish what we set out to do.

     What is it that hinders you form accomplish a task or reaching a goal? Could any of the following be a problem for you?
  • Is the goal or task too big or too small?
  • Is the goal or task too hard or too easy?
  • Do you find there isn't enough time or maybe too much time?
  • Do you find there isn't enough money or resources or maybe too much?
  • What about friends and family – do they encourage you or discourage you?
  • What about past failures or triumphs?
     I'm sure the list could go on as well as a list of potential goals for the year ahead. Whatever the task or gaols you may have for the new year or even for the next week always remember I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you set goals with a goal of failing?
  • Is Christ a part of the goals you do set?

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace - Luke 2:14a

     A passage that is often read at Christmas comes form Luke 2:13-14 where it says And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." (NAS) While one of the many themes of Christmas is that of peace, at the Peterson household peace was hard to be found the Christmas they were told a baby was on the way.

      Ever Since Martha had told Harold and Stella that a baby was on the way, fighting and arguing had become the rule of the day. “IT IS NOT!” Harold would yell at his sister and than Stella Would yell back “IT IS TOO!” and after a few rounds of shouting at each other the fists would start to fly until Dad stepped in to break up the fighting.

      Before Their Dad ever had a chance to say anything to them about their fighting, Stella would start in trying to blame Harold, “It’s all Harold’s fault.” she would say. Of course Harold wasn’t going to stand by and take the blame and would quickly try to pass the blame back onto his sister “It’s her fault, she started it.” He would say. And the next thing you know, the shouting, and arguing and fighting would start all over.

      “Started what?” Bill shouted trying to get the kids attention. “Harold thinks we’re having a baby brother.” Stella yelled out. “That’s because it is.” Harold yelled back, “We don’t need another girl in this house, one is too many.” “Oh, Yeah.!” Stella shot back, “If you ask me we have too many brothers in this house and that’s why it’s a sister.” and than for the next half an hour Stella and Harold kept trying to out do each other with their yelling. Harold yelling “IT’S A BOY” and Stella Yelling “IT’S A GIRL”

      As the kids started to quiet down, Bill started to tell them about Mary in the Bible and how she responded when she found out she was going to have a baby. “That’s right.” Harold said , “God told her she was going to have a boy just like we are...” but before he could finish Stella started shouting “It’s a girl” again. And that started the shouting match all over again.

      Before long they started pushing and shoving each other around and the yelling kept getting louder. Finally Bill went and got some duct tape and cotton balls. He taped the kids mouths shut, sent them to their rooms and than put the cotton balls in his ears And at least for a couple hours he had some peace and quiet.

      How sad it is that in many families Christmas time becomes a time of contention as family members fight with one another as Harold and Stella or even worse. Imagine for a moment that first Christmas and how much fighting took place between the shepherds. Can you see them sitting around a fire yelling at each other about how lazy they are and how bad they smell and arguing over who's turn it is and using their shepherds staff to hit each other in the head while wolves are slaughtering their sheep.

      Suddenly the sky lights up and they start arguing with each other as to what is causing the light only to be interrupted by an angel and a message. As soon as the angel leaves they turn to arguing again and a fist fight breaks out. Suppose it had been like this on that first Christmas. What we read is quite different.

      Luke 2:8-20 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (ESV)

      The message of that first Christmas was not one of contention but of peace. In Isaiah 9:6-7 we read For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (ESV) Jesus was to be the Prince of Peace – no wonder the angels sang of peace on earth.

      When it comes to peace we should:
  • Love it - Zechariah 8:19 This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: “The special days when you give up eating in the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months will become good, joyful, happy feasts in Judah. But you must love truth and peace.“ (NCV)
  • Look for it - Psalms 34:14 Stop doing evil and do good. Look for peace and work for it. (NCV)
  • Pursue it - 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (HCSB)
  • Live it Romans 12:18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. (HCSB)

      I hope your Christmas goes better than the Peterson’s. Merry Christmas and don’t forget who’s Birthday we’re celebrating - Jesus’, the Prince of Peace.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Are your actions bent towards contentions or peace?
  • Are you willing to be at peace?

Saturday, December 17, 2011


And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid,...” Luke 1:30 (ESV)

      It was the last night of practice for the big Christmas play the Pupperville Church kids were going to put on the Sunday before Christmas. The practice had gone very well and the kids were ready for the big night. Soon the parents would be dropping by to pick up their kids but tonight one of the parents was going to need to be picked up.

     As Randy was putting away the props from the play, Bill Peterson met him with a bit of a scowl on his face. “I need to talk too you.” he said “I want to know why you told Stella she needed a baby sister and why you’re teaching my kids songs like ‘Christmas Time In My Heart.’”

     “Oh, boy,” Randy said as he shook his head, “She didn’t really ask for a baby sister, did she?” “I’m afraid so.” Bill answered, “And it’s going to cause some problems.” “Well,” Randy started to answer, “It all started about a week ago as I was putting together a song list for Sunday School. Mindy and Stella had written a new song and they wanted me to include it in my list but it wasn’t a good song. As I tried to convince them to think about sharing instead of getting, Mindy told Stella how great sister’s were to share with and, well, you know the rest of the story.”

     “Oh.” Bill said in response to Randy’s answer, “I guess that explains that, but, how am I going to tell Stella she can’t have a sister for Christmas? As it is now, she’s not only asking but telling everyone that she’s getting one.” “How do you normally tell her she can’t have something?” Randy asked, but Bill just stuttered “I always get her everything.” “I suppose you could tell them what sisters are really like.” Randy told Bill, “Maybe that would change her mind.” “Can’t.” Bill answered, “I never had any sisters.”

     As the two of them stood there trying to figure things out, a giggling Martha came walking up. “What are you two up to?” she asked. “Randy and I are trying to figure out how to tell Stella she can’t have a sister for Christmas.” “I wouldn’t even bother.” came Martha’s reply. “Why not?” Bill asked as his lovely wife started giggling again.

     “SURPRISE!” Martha shouted back “We are going to have a baby.” Upon hearing that Bill started to stutter and than fainted falling flat on his face. Seeing her husband laying on the floor, Martha said “I think he took that well, now to go tell Harold and Stella.” and she stepped over Bill and left.

     As Randy helped Bill back to his feet, he thought about another surprise pregnancy, one that took place in Luke Chapter 1 for it is there we read these words The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus and he wondered if Joseph fainted when he found out as well.

     How many of you like surprises? I suppose it might depend on the surprise. Like Bill in our story, my wife has surprised me seven times but unlike Bill I never fainted at the news. Sometimes God surprises us. As we close in on Christmas Day I think of Joseph and Mary and the surprise God gave them. Maybe we can learn something form them on how to react when God surprises us.

     Fist we'll read of Mary's surprise from Luke 1:26-38 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (ESV)

     Do you see the surprise – Mary was to have a child – and her response - let God's will be done – How many of us would respond in such away?

     But let's not forget Joseph in all this for while he was to be married to Mary he was not the one who got her pregnant. We can read about him in Matthew 1:18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). hen Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (ESV)

     Just imagine the surprise for Joseph when he learns his bride to be is pregnant an he had nothing to do with it. How did he react – Under the laws of the day he could have had Mary put to death but instead he wants to quietly call things off so as not to publicly disgrace her – he responded with mercy in love. Than an angel shows up in his dreams and tells him the rest of the story and that he is to go ahead and marry Mary and with out hesitating he does what God asks of him – he responds with obedience.

     Next week we'll look at Harold and Stella's response to Martha's surprise but until than...

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • In what ways has God surprised you?
  • How have you responded to the surprises God has sent your way?

Saturday, December 10, 2011


It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35b (TLB)

      As the Apostle Paul prepared to leave the town of Ephesus for the last time in Acts 20 he told the people there in verse 35 that Jesus had said “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” At Christmas time we often get that verse mixed up like Mindy and Stella did.

      It was a few weeks before Christmas and Randy Smith was putting together a list of songs to sing for Sunday School Since it was almost Christmas he wanted to include several Christmas songs. As he sat in his office thinking about which ones to use, Mindy and Stella came bursting through his office door all excited about a song they wanted to sing.

      “Randy, Randy.” they hollered, “We have a new Christmas song we wrote and we want to sing it this Sunday. Can we? Please, Please, Please.” “Maybe,” Randy told them, “What is it?” He went on to ask them. “It’s called Christmas Time in My Heart, and you sing it to the tune of “It Is Summer Time In My Heart.”

      “That sounds like a great song.” Randy told them, “What are the words? “They’re real easy to learn,” Stella told him and than Mindy proceeded to sing it for him. “It is Christmas time in my heart, I want everything in the shopping cart, Every toy and every game, Just for me yes just for me yes just for me.” And when she was done singing Stella piped up and said “That goes double for me.” And than together, with big smiles on their faces, they asked Randy “Please!?”

      Upon hearing their song, Randy just shook his head “That’s not a good Christmas song,” he said, “It’s a selfish, greedy song, and no, I’m not going to sing it.” “But..” Mindy said, “That’s what Christmas is all about.” “Yeah,” Stella added, “It’s Christmas and why wouldn’t you want everything in the shopping cart, I know I do.” “So do I!” Mindy added, “I’ve already got my Christmas list up to 37 pages.”

      “At Christmas time we should be focused more on giving and sharing than on getting.” Randy told the girls. “But who do we share with?” the girls asked in return. “How about you sister, Cindy?” He asked Mindy “I don’t have a sister.” Stella injected, “All I have is.” she started to say and than she got a big grin on her face and turned to Mindy and asked her “Do you want to trade?”

      “No way!” Mindy told her, “ Nobody in their right mind would want to have Harold for a brother. Sorry, but you’re stuck with him.” “That figures.” Stella responded. “Maybe,” she continued, “Maybe.” and than she ran out of the office yelling at the top of her longs “MOM!!, CAN I HAVE A BABY SISTER FOR CHRISTMAS?” All Randy could do was stand there and shake his head.

      How many of you have parents that act like Mindy and Stella wanting everything at Christmas? More often than naught – Parents want to give, I know I do. For a long time now I've enjoyed giving gifts to my children at Christmas and before that my siblings and other people's children. When it comes to giving and Christmas we are often reminded of some wise men. Even though there story takes place sometime after Jesus was born, it is connected with His birth. We find the story in Matthew 2 where we read...

      Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: " 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.' " Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Matthew 2:1-12 (ESV)

      When we think of these wise men we might note that they payed attention to prophesy and recognized the sign of Jesus' birth
      They went out of there way to see Jesus and it wasn't just a trip to the other side of town they traveled to a foreign country.
      The gifts they gave had great value and meaning but that's another story.

      There are those who think that the giving of gifts by the wise men inspired the modern day giving at Christmas but giving to other goes beyond Christmas. And, while giving is good for others it is good for us.
  • Psalms 41:1-3 Happy is the person who thinks about the poor. When trouble comes, the Lord will save him. The Lord will protect him and spare his life and will bless him in the land. He will not let his enemies take him. The Lord will give him strength when he is sick, and he will make him well again. (NCV)
  • Psalms 112:5-9 It is good to be merciful and generous. Those who are fair in their business will never be defeated. Good people will always be remembered. They won’t be afraid of bad news; their hearts are steady because they trust the Lord. They are confident and will not be afraid; they will look down on their enemies. They give freely to the poor. The things they do are right and will continue forever. They will be given great honor. (NCV)
  • Proverbs 19:17 When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back. (TEV)
  • Hebrews 13:16 Don't forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God. (NLT)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • How much of what you get will truly make you happy?
  • How often do you bless yourself by giving?

Saturday, December 3, 2011


God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well Romans 12:6a (TLB)

      There was only one more week before the Pupperville Church’s annual talent show and the puppets were very busy getting ready. Bernadette was practicing her piano, Barney was practicing several passages from the Bible he planned to recite, Mindy, Cindy and Stella were practicing a short play, Tracy and her dad were working on a funny skit of their own, Daisy was practicing a new song she wrote, and April was writing a new poem.

     It seemed like everyone was having a good time preparing except for one little boy. “It’s just no use” He kept mumbling to himself, “I’ll never be good at anything. I might as well quit trying.” That little boy was none other than Louie Blackwood, the red headed, freckle faced orphan boy who lives with the Smith’s.

     “Why aren’t you practicing for the talent show?” some one asked him as he was sitting in the nursery, staring off into space. It was Harold and Stella’s grandpa, who had come to pick his grand kids up from practice. “I’m not going to be in the show.” Louie told him “I’m just no good at anything so I’m not even going to try.”

     “No good at anything?” Robert had to ask Louie, “Are you sure God didn’t give you any special talents or abilities?” “No.” replied Louie, “I think He missed me. I’ve often wished I could be like Barney or Bernadette, or Daisy or even Randy, but I’m not. I’m just plain old Louie. No talent, No abilities, No nothing.”

     “Now, that’s just not true.” Robert tried to reassure him, “God gives all of us special talents to share with others.” “Not me.” Louie complained, “I don’t have any talents and every time I try to do something it turns into a big failure.”

     “Just because you don’t not know what your talents and abilities are now,” Robert said as he continued to try and encourage Louie, “Doesn’t mean you should give up trying to find out what they are. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:10 that we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works. We are created to do good things, but sometimes it takes time to figure what it is we have been created to do.”

     “Maybe I can be like Harold.” Louie said as if he wasn’t listening to Robert. “No, I don’t’ think that would be a good idea.” Robert quickly replied “Why not?” Louie quipped in return, “At least he’s good at getting in to trouble. I think I’ll go and find him.”

     Well, it took some time, but eventually, Louie did find one of his talents, but that’s another story.

     How many of you have ever felt like Louie? In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus gives us the parable of the talents. Starting in verse 14 we read - For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. "In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. (NAS) The story goes on to tell how the three servants had to give an account of what they did and how the master treated each one accordingly with the third servant losing all he had and be cast out.

     Many years ago I did a twist on this parable substituting talents for talents. The talents in Jesus' parable were sums of money – I switched it for abilities and handed out to my listeners papers with various abilities on them and when the story was done they turned their paper over to see what they did with their talents. While I no longer remember everything I wrote down, I do remember that the one who had one talent was given the abilities to listen and all he did was sit in front of a television listening to sitcoms while the others used theirs talents for the good of others.

     The Bible reminds us more than once that our God is a God that gives. Two such reminders are:
  • Matthew 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (ESV)
  • Romans 8:32 Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? (NLT)
     Amongst the things that God gives us are abilities and talents. When you look yourself and those around you, you may notice how somethings come so easy to some people and to others they will always be hard. Some people are talented speakers while others stutter to no end if they even get that far. Of course the list could go on and on. When it comes to our abilities and talents the Bbile has more to say.
  • Romans 12:6 God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. (NLT)
  • 1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God's many kinds of blessings. (TLB)
     Some of us know what the talents are the God has give us, some of us are still learning, some of us need to remember that are talents are to be used. James 4:17 reminds us it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • What are the talents or abilities God has given you?
  • Are you using them as God would have you use them?