Tag: godly


Ireland just recently held a referendum on whether or not to repeal the 8th Amendment (Right to Life). The pro-abortion side won (66% in favour of repeal). During the subsequent days, I came across two widely different perspectives. The first comment was on Facebook and said, ‘I’m sorry. Let me get this straight. A guy walks into a classroom and shoots 20 children causing a nation to believe it’s time to re-examine gun laws? In 2012, in the US alone, 1.2 MILLION unborn children were hacked apart and discarded like trash but that’s OK? I think it’s time for our nation to re-examine its morals.’  The second comment came on my Twitter feed and said, ‘Huge congrats to #Ireland for overturning their archaic and dangerous abortion law. They will repeal their Eighth Amendment in the name of a more humane law. See U.S.A., it can be done! #GunReformNow.

What is really interesting to me is that both quotes equate abortion laws with gun laws. They just come at it from differing perspectives. The first comment is about how abortion kills far more people than guns, and yet we only care about restricting access to guns. The second comment is about how abortion is more humane than gun deaths. I guess the second person has never really thought through what an abortion actually involves.

If you read any article on either abortion or gun laws, you will see people holding very strongly-worded opinions. Each side almost vilifies the other. Rather than appealing to reason, the object seems to be to call the ‘other side’ more derogatory names than they do ‘our side’ (whatever that means). As Christians, we are not to participate in such conversations. God has called us to support and encourage those who are weaker (1 Thess. 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all), and this includes unborn children. According to Isaiah, we also need to ‘Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow’ (1:17).

So, how should we engage in this debate? First, pray. Then pray some more. Then let your actions speak before your words. Realize that social media is (usually) not the forum to hold a civil, nuanced conversation. Don’t just talk, but act (James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves). We need to be an example (lead by doing) rather than just telling others what to do (lead by telling).

Some good books on this topic are:

Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality by Nancy R. Pearcey

A Practical Guide to Culture by John Stonestreet

Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for the Family by Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet



The Boy Crisis

I just finished reading The Boy Crisis by Warren Farrell and John Gray. It is a thick book, which, in this case, means that Farrell and Gray have been very thorough in their documentation. For this week’s blog, I’d like to copy the opening few paragraphs from his concluding chapter and make some comments about them [my comments will be in these square brackets].

“It was December 7, 1941. For years, we had been in denial of the crisis that was Hitler and the Axis powers. With Pearl Harbor, our denial ended.

Transforming denial into a response meant sixteen million of our sons being willing to sacrifice their lives. Yet our sons stepped up. And our daughters and parents joined them.

The new enemy is not Hitler. It is dad deprivation. [Dad deprivation has been linked to all sorts of issues, including ADHD and school shootings. According to Farrell and Gray, all of the school shooters in the US since Columbine have suffered from dad deprivation.] It is not the Axis powers. It is a ‘purpose void.’ It is not a need for your son to sacrifice his life but to find a purpose for his life. [This lack of purpose is a significant issue for boys in terms of education, vocation, and marriage. We should have a better track record because we are a part of the church, but it has not worked out like that. According to the Shorter Westminster Catechism, ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever’. The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry defined our purpose in this fashion: ‘According to the Bible, our purpose, the reason we are here, is for God’s glory.  In other words, our purpose is to praise God, worship him, to proclaim his greatness, and to accomplish his will.  This is what glorifies him.  Therefore, in this we find that God has given us a reason for our existence, a meaning for our existence.  We were created by him, according to his desire, and our lives are to be lived for him so that we might accomplish what he has for us to do.  When we trust the one who has made us, who works all things after the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11), then we are able to live a life of purpose.  How the particulars of that purpose are expressed is up to the individual’. It seems to me that we have lost sight of this purpose: we are not effectively communicating this to the next generation (I don’t think we have communicated this well to our generation).]

How do we get our sons to step up to a crisis for which there is no Pearl Harbor? A crisis that is more internal than external?

Whether our sons step up depends on how they are brought up. In the past, boys learned ‘I exist, therefore I serve.’ Today, many boys learn ‘I exist, therefore I deserve.’ [These two statements accurately describe the shift in culture; this is not merely generational but symptomatic of society in general.]

Being needed to serve creates a sense of purpose. Being served creates a sense of entitlement. Most parents know this intellectually, but our own need to be needed seduces us into serving our sons rather than teaching him to serve. [This is true. Leonard Sax, in his book The Collapse of Parenting, explains this phenomenon by reporting that parents desire to be buddies with their children rather than authority figures. Because parents have abdicated their role, their children, sons in particular, take the easiest road which, in this case, means being served. They see this example in the media (music videos and the like). As a result, the sense of entitlement grows and creates a greater downward pressure to be served.] Which contributes to our sons’ purpose void.Once our sons value serving over being served, they are more likely to step up when we both alert them to a crisis – such as the crisis of dad deprivation and the mission to be a great dad, and therefore an inspiration to others to be the same. [This is actually our responsibility to our sons, biblically speaking.]

Boys who become a failure to launch are most frequently devoid of the two Ps: purpose and postponed gratification. Boys devoid of the two Ps are often also devoid of the equal checks and balances of the other two Ps: two parents. When your son is dad enriched, he not only avoids the crisis of being dad deprived but is inspired with the mission to become a great dad.

Becoming a great dad is not a mission for every son. [Matthew 19:12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”] Your mission is to guide your son to discover his mission. [Not quite true. As parents, it is our mission to guide our sons to find their mission, but that includes helping him understand the role of the Holy Spirit in this process (according to Eph. 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them).] No piece of cake, because there’s no precedent. Our fathers did not learn to discover their mission; they learned to fulfill a mission someone else discovered. The ‘discoverer’ was the need to survive. His mission was provider-protector. [In one sense, fathers did not ‘discover’ their mission; they were given their mission by God. We are called to provide for our families (1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. This provision also includes the idea of protection. Robert Lewis, Raising a Modern-Day Knight, Michael Gurian, The Purpose of Boys, The Wonder of Boys, Leonard Sax, Boys Adrift, The Collapse of Parenting, Steve Farrar, King Me, Point Man, Standing Tall, Eric Ludy, God’s Gift to Women, and David Murrow, Why Men Hate Going to Church, The Map all deal with the topic of the purpose of men. There are many other books and authors on this topic, and we ought to look into this more in schools, in our homes, and in our churches.]

Your dad had two options: be the provider-protector or be a loser. Which didn’t allow for questions like, ‘What creates the glint in my eye?’ He learned to be a human doing first, and a human being second. Or not at all. Which often led him to withdraw from loving himself, and ultimately from the family he loved [This process has been around for a long time, but accelerated after WW II. This also speaks to our identity in Christ and our understanding of what God has actually called us to. Somehow we need to bridge the idea of being a provider-protector AND being able to do that which ‘creates a glint in my eye.’ With the messages that society is sending to our youth, most of our youth seem frozen in terms of what their purpose is and what they want to achieve/accomplish as they move into adulthood. Dads are sometimes required to provide in ways that take them out of the home for longer than they want. One issue around this, as Farrell and Gray explain, has to do with expectations. There is a much higher expectation of a fathers involvement with his family today at the same time that there are increased obligations on a father to fulfill his work obligations. Most jobs now require a father to be on-call almost 24/7 and to bring work home.] To him feeling that his life insurance policy is more valuable than his life [This reminds me of It’s a Wonderful Life].

Your mission to help your son discover his mission begins with helping him discover himself as a human being first, and then helping him find a way of being a human doing – of making a living – that supports him as a human being” (pp. 388-389).


Farrell, W. and Gray, J. (2018). The Boy Crisis: Why our boys are struggling and what we can do about it. Dallas, TX: Benbella Books.

What If Jesus Meant What He Said? Part 4

Part 6

Suffering and Persecution Renders the Platform for His Glory

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name (1 Peter 4:12-16).

Do we try to avoid the very situations that offer opportunities to show off the power and beauty of Christ?

Peter starts off by telling us not to be surprised or even find it remotely strange when tough times come. In much of the church today, there is a strange paradox…. The very things Jesus promised would happen if we follow Him are often the things that cause us to doubt His presence and love. What if the supposed detours in our life and the most direct route to true blessing? What if the most undesirable situations are platforms for God’s glory?

Part 7

Suffering and Persecution Reproves our Enemies

Only let your manner of life be worthy[a] of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God (Philippians 1:27-28).

In West Africa, I have had many neighbors that the world might label ‘radical Islamists.’ Late one afternoon, shortly after moving into a new neighborhood, I set out to buy tomato paste at a little shack owned by a friend. I found what I was looking for. As I was about to head home, I mentioned that we would be hosting a Christmas party. I invited my friend to come join us in celebrating Jesus’ coming to earth.

Another young man in his mid-twenties overheard our conversation and asked, ‘Am I invited too?’ Quickly, I told him, ‘Of course!’ He quipped, ‘Are you sure you want the Al-Qaeda at your party?’ I told him that he was our neighbor and we wanted him there. Feeling more comfortable, he went on, ‘Do you believe the prophets?’ I quickly told him that I did, since the prophets pointed to Jesus. Knowing this game, he asked again, ‘Do you believe all the prophets?’ Understanding that he was asking if I believed in Mohammed, Islam’s final prophet, I replied, ‘My friend, I came into this shop to buy tomato paste. I found it. Now, will I continue searching for more tomato paste or will I go home and cook?’ ‘You’ll go home and cook,’ he replied. ‘Exactly,’ I continued. ‘In life, I was searching for peace, joy, hope, love, and eternal life. I found all these things and more in Jesus Christ. Mohammed came hundreds of years later and therefore is irrelevant to my faith. My search ended with Jesus. Why would I look elsewhere for what I’ve already found?’

Part 8

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12.

At times we pray against the very things that would bring us God’s blessing and reward. Jesus doesn’t merely suggest that those who are persecuted for His name will be blessed – He promises it. And as thought that were not enough, He tells us that this reward is ‘great.’ Let us not pray for persecution to stop, but for grace to endure – that Christ might be glorified.

In some parts of China, before new followers of Christ are baptized, they are asked to repeat this statement:

I am ready at any time or place to suffer, to be imprisoned, to escape imprisonment, and even to die for my Lord.

If you imprison me, you are giving me a captive audience to share the gospel with others.

If you put me in solitary, I can pray and meditate.

If you take my house and my goods, I can travel and share the gospel anywhere.

If you beat me, I’ll glorify God and it gives Him an opportunity to heal me.

If you kill me, you will send me to glory – my ultimate goal.

With that, they are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Bramsen, N. (2017). What If Jesus Meant What He Said? Dubuque, IA: Emmaus International.



As we approach Easter, we often forget one of the secondary characters that actually played a bigger role than we thought.

This boy grew up on the street. He didn’t know his father and certainly did not have a father living at home. He didn’t know where his mother was, and people generally called him ‘boy’ or ‘kid’. To survive on the streets meant petty thievery, and so he stole food, clothing, and anything else he felt he needed to survive.

As he got older, he found others that were like-minded. They formed a loose-knit gang and kept escalating their exploits. The gang of petty thieves started turning into something worse. Soldiers started looking for them as they were becoming well-known. The ‘boy’ became involved in physical altercations with soldiers and soon ended up killing one. A price was put on his head. He tried to mask his lawlessness by attacking the Romans to ‘free my people’ as he put it.

One day ‘boy’ and several others of his gang were captured and imprisoned in Pilate’s palace. He knew that one day soon he would be sentenced and executed. It was only a matter of time. Day after day dragged on with nothing to differentiate each successive day.

One day he heard the murmur of the crowd. The crowd sounded angry and he could tell more people were gathering. He could tell that someone was stirring the crowd up. There would be a pause and then the crowd would say something that he  could just not make out. This kept on for a bit until the crowd quietened down. The quiet lasted for a few minutes until he heard the crowd cry out his name, ‘Barabbas’! Then there was silence…until he heard the crowd cry, ‘crucify him’! This was it. His time was over. The long-anticipated judgment was now going to be executed. He was going to be executed.

Minutes later he heard the pad of footsteps coming down the hallway…getting closer and closer. Then they stopped…right outside his door. He heard the rattling of keys. Then the sound of one being inserted into the lock. The grinding of the lock until it opened. Then the door swinging slowly open. The jailer, with the guard patrol, walked in, faced Barabbas, and told him that he was free to go. Someone else had taken his place. He didn’t know whether he should walk or run or what. Maybe they just told him that so that they could spear him in the back. But why go through that if they could just execute him officially anyway?

He hesitantly made his way out of the citadel and then wondered where he should go. He decided to follow the crowd and see the person who had taken his place. However, he did not want to get too close to the soldiers, lest one of them strike out at him. He waited until the crowd had moved forward and then joined the back fringe.

He saw the first cross raised. It was one of his associates, a gang member. He saw the second cross being raised. Another associate gang member. Finally, the middle cross was raised. ‘So, that was the person who took my place,’ Barabbas thought. It was nobody he knew. He finally plucked up the courage to ask a soldier who that was hanging on the third cross.

‘That’s Barabbas,’ was the answer.

‘How can that be?’ Barabbas asked, ‘seeing that is my name?’

‘This is your substitute; He has taken your place on the cross,’ the soldier told him….


I don’t know how Barabbas would have responded. We know he was a rebel, a thief, and a murderer. We know he was set free at the crowd’s behest. We also know that his name means ‘son of a father’ (Bar – son of; abbas – father). What you may not know, is that one of the titles of the Lord Jesus is ‘the Son of the Father’ (2 John 3). We are all Barabbas (or Batabbas) in that sense. We are all children of our father. We all deserved to hang on that cross for our sins. And yet the greater Barabbas, the Son of the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, was our substitute and took our place on the cross. This event supports and demonstrates the doctrine of substitution as found in the Old Testament.

As we move into Easter, let us remember the ultimate Barabbas, the Son of His Father, and how He took our place on the cross.

Back to Becoming a Steward

I took a trip back to BC to be a part of my grandmother’s birthday celebration. While I got to enjoy the long layovers in Edmonton, I managed to read another book on stewardship. There was a good description of what stewardship included and so I thought I would share that with you as well.

The author, Rodin, states: “First, the term immediately identifies the steward as one who is not the rightful owner of that which is to be stewarded. Stewards are by definition not owners, but they have a relationship with the owner in order to be a faithful steward. This steward-owner relationship is of primary importance in a study of the theology of a steward.

Second, the term denotes a relationship between the steward who cares for the resources of the owner and those for whom the resources are meant. The biblical steward invested the resources in the lives of those to whom the owner was inclined. Therefore, there is a necessary relationship between the steward and the recipients of the resources being stewarded.

Third, there is a relationship between the steward and the steward’s own needs. That is, while the resources are not owned by the steward, the steward is expected to live from the resources and in that way be a steward to himself or herself. There is a self-stewardship implied in the term.

Fourth, there is a relationship between the steward and the resources themselves. Here issues of control, power, materialism, exploitation, waste, harvest and domination need to be discussed. Here the steward faces the temptation to act the part of the owner. Here is where the dark side of ownership is manifested, and stewardship is abandoned. The term steward carries the identification of one who draws clear lines between investing and exploitation, between management and control, between caretaking and domination, between use and waste” (p. 30).

These thoughts line up well with what our intentions for SCS are.


Rodin, R. S. (2000). Stewards in the kingdom: A theology of life in all its fullness. Downers Grove, IL., IVP Academic.

How Should We Treat One Another?

I’ve had several conversations with people over the last few weeks around the topic of how we treat one another. Most of the conversations have centered around people not treating others appropriately. As I thought about this, two separate passages came to mind. The first one is Matthew – ‘But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment’ (Matt. 12:36).

The second passage is found in Ephesians 4 – I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,”[e] for we are members of one another.  29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Eph. 4:1-3, 15, 20-25, 29-32).

These two passages both focus on how we use our words. In Matthew, we are reminded that we are accountable for every word we speak. When I think about that word, I think of the definition of gossip. We often say things about people that are not uplifting or helpful; we like to see how bad others are because it can help us feel better about ourselves. I wonder just how much our conversation would change if we were truly thinking about the fact that we will give an account of our words one day. I know that it makes me reconsider what I have said (and may say down the road). A good rule of thumb to go by is Phil. 4:8, ‘Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things’.

The Ephesians passage describes how we ought to talk to one another. Paul uses phrases such as ‘walk worthy of the calling with which you were called’, ‘with…gentleness’, ‘bearing with one another in love’, ‘speaking the truth in love’, ‘speak truth’, Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers’, and ‘be kind to one another’. I know I have been on the receiving end of phone calls (or emails) where parents have voiced their displeasure at what I had said or done (or what they thought I had said or done). The problem was that the call or email started off with accusations instead of questions. It is far easier to attack than to first inquire about what may or may not have happened. As every story has two sides (or more, depending on the number of participants), it is far wiser to find out the details of the event before reacting to it. Jumping to conclusions may be good exercise, but it is usually not helpful when trying to solve a problem.

Another problem when we speak is that we often do not think about who else can listen in when we speak. There is certainly a time and a place for having serious conversations. However, that does not mean that others who are not part of the conversation should be able to listen in. Parents, when talking to your child’s teacher, please make sure your children, unless they are a direct part of the conversation, cannot listen in. Please make sure that other parents or other children cannot listen in. It damages relationships to jump to conclusions and attack a person and have others standing around who witness the entire exchange. So often love, gentleness, kindness, graciousness, and edification are not adjectives that others would use about us when speak to or about them. 

This is my appeal to all parents, students, board members, staff, and admin [me!]: we have a responsibility to watch our words when we talk to others and when we talk about others. May we be known for being gracious and kind, yet truthful, with our words.

Appearance or Reality Part 3

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a student. During the conversation, he told me that God had laid a particular verse on his heart: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me (Matthew 15:8).

This raises an interesting point as far as SCS is concerned. Just as we consider where we are academically, so we should also consider where we are spiritually. Unfortunately, there is no written test that we can take that gives us the information we are looking for in an easily understood graphic or result.

When we are considering our spiritual level, we need to consider what we say, what we do, and the attitudes we display. We need to also remember, as the Lord Jesus put it, that it is not as much an outward display that God is looking for, but, rather, an inward reality. David, probably more eloquently than most, put it like this: O God,  You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water (Ps. 63:1).

So, how can we draw closer to God with our hearts? One step would be to consider what our first impulse is when we are faced with a decision. Do we think of how that situation benefits us or do we think of how that situation glorifies God? John the Baptist had it right when he said, He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30). Paul put it like this: Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

A second step would be to practice obedience. The first part of that would be to put God first, ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matt. 6:33). In Luke, the Lord Jesus adds, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’ Matt. 22:37). The second part is to put others, not self, second. Micah reminds us, ‘He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8)? The author to the Hebrews adds, ‘But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased’ (Heb. 13:16). Paul adds, ‘that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God’ (Col. 1:10).

A third step would be to honour God in our relationships. Probably the best reminder of this comes from the author of Hebrews, ‘Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you’ (Hebrews 13:17). This refers not only to students, but also to staff and administration (and, in fact, everyone who is involved in the educational process). All of us have those who are in authority over us in one form or another. Of course, there is always the one caveat, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29).

A fourth, and, for this blog post, final step in drawing near to God would be in how we conduct ourselves. Malachi talks about the focus of our words when he says, ‘Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of  remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name’ (Mal. 3:16). Peter talks about actions when he says, ‘having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God’ (! Peter 2:12).

These steps, if not acted on with the correct motive, merely result in an outward display. But, if we mediate on these verses and seek to live them out so that we glorify God, we will draw near to God in reality and will dwell in His presence.

As Fanny Crosby explains,

  1. I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
    And it told Thy love to me;
    But I long to rise in the arms of faith
    And be closer drawn to Thee.

    • Refrain:
      Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
      To the cross where Thou hast died;
      Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
      To Thy precious, bleeding side.
  2. Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
    By the pow’r of grace divine;
    Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
    And my will be lost in Thine.
  3. Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
    That before Thy throne I spend,
    When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
    I commune as friend with friend!
  4. There are depths of love that I cannot know
    Till I cross the narrow sea;
    There are heights of joy that I may not reach
    Till I rest in peace with Thee.