So, what can we do?

 Before you read this post you may want to first read Danger! Danger! Will Robinson.

If we know there are dangerous curves ahead how will we respond? 

Let me begin by saying that I am apprehensive/thrilled by the opportunities before us.  I think we are on the threshold of great change.   We may be able to make some high impact choices in a way not given to every generation.  If we have the faith to sieze them.  My apprehension stems from self-doubt.  I hope I have what it takes. 

Can you imagine what impact the church of the 1950’s would of had on their world if they had been able to think outside the box and include African Americans in their fellowship?  Instead, they allowed the culture of the day to rule them.  Like everybody else they practiced segregation on Sunday morning.  Imagine the publicity they would have garnered for being counter-cultural revolutionaries.  The attention of the press.  The attention of the politicians.  The attention of the hate groups.  The attention of God seekers.  The opportunity to stand in the bright glare of the world’s spotlight and say we do this because we believe Jesus Christ Himself would do so.  It would have hurt.  Been dangerous.  Terrifying.  But all these years later what would people be saying about us?  Perhaps they would say, “They are a church LIKE Christ.”  And how many of them would have joined us? 

We are at a crossroads.  A historical intersection constructed by God.  The question is,  will we think outside the box?  Will we allow the really REAL to intrude upon what we think is real?  Will we blow our opportunity to think and act outside the box?  Will I?

I don’t think the early church wallowed in doom, gloom and negativity.   Although, from every outward sign, it appeared to be nothing but doom and gloom for them.  I don’t think they positioned themselves as victims,  but saw themselves as conquerors.  Because we have inherited the same promise we should feel the same way.

If Jesus is in the car it doesn’t matter how dangerous the curves are.

So, what to do….

1.  We must love Jesus.  If I was asked to betray my wife I could not do it because I love her.  If you were asked to surrender your children to the state you would fight the system tooth and toenail because you love your children.   Peter and John could not fathom remaining silent about Jesus because He was the best thing that had ever happened in their lives. Their response to persecution was not a matter of dogma or doctine.  It was personal.  They loved Jesus. 

More sermons and Bible classes need to be about the life, love and ministry of Jesus Christ.  Our leaders can help us by constantly reminding us of why we love Him so.  We should talk less about ourselves and more about Him.  He is the greatest asset the church possesses, and at the same time,  if we allow Him to completely possess us,  everything will turn out fine.  Even if we have to die for Him. 

2.  We should look to the early church as our guide in living for Jesus in an anti-Christian culture.  We’ve scoured the book of Acts looking for patterns and examples to justify our theology.  Perhaps we should be just as energetic in examining the book of Acts for patterns and examples that inspire us to live for Him in the face of grave persecution.  As I’ve said, many of us have not had to pay a high price for our convictions.  So far.  That is going to change.  So, what are we going to do if we lose our jobs because we talk about Jesus in the workplace no matter what the human resource people are saying?  What are we going to do when people think we are narrow minded bigots because we refuse to let our children participate in their schools  “holiday” program because that program now pointedly includes homages to foreign gods?  Which is idolatry by the way.  What are we going to do when we are repeatedly warned, cajoled, intimidated or threatened because we can’t stop speaking and teaching about what we have seen and heard?  When I read the book of Acts my interest in when they took the Lord’s Supper, and how often,  pales in comparison as to how they dealt with these questions.  And they did deal with them.  And everything worked out fine.  Because they were head over heel in love with Jesus.  Even though many, many of them were murdered for such love.

3.  We should be able to give others clear, reasoned, objective answers when asked why we believe as we do.  I Peter 3:15 says so.  Preachers, ministers, youth ministers, Christian educators, Bible class teachers, parents – there are some things which should be common knowledge to every believer.  Do we think it was without reason James said, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1)  That not many of our brothers and sisters know how we got the Bible, know anything of Christian evidences, do not know how to objectively defend the Christian faith, do not know how to set forth the unique qualifications for Jesus, are easily outgunned in philosophical arguments is a searing indictment against all of us who have donned the robes of a teacher , or assumed the mantle of a leader during the last several decades.  Try something the next time you are before your church, or Bible class, or family…Ask them why they believe what they believe.  Ask them what the difference is between Jesus and Allah.  Ask them how we got the Bible and how is it that it is reliable.  Ask them to tell you what the significance of the resurrection is.  Ask them what historical Christian evidences are.  I daresay, the answers to these questions should be common knowledge, second nature and automatic.  If they aren’t we have a choice – we can continue to tell our people things like the “law of attraction” will give them everything they ever wanted simply by positively wanting it,  or we can help them don the full armor of God for the rapidly approaching titanic clash of world views.  What we are preaching and teaching may make the difference between being a casualty of war or a conqueror for many of our listeners.  I especially remind our elders everywhere of the responsibility you assumed when you accepted the call, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the HOLY SPIRIT HAS MADE YOU OVERSEERS, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”  Shepherds, please do not abandon us to the wolves.  Please work with our ministers and Bible class teachers to see that we know how “to make a defense to everyone who asks us to give an account for the hope that is in us.”  The lives of the questioners may depend upon on our answers.  So do ours.  So do yours.

4.  We should have a clear understanding of the differences between lost and saved.  This will be a particularly difficult issue because, as I’ve said before,  we have been conditioned to believe conviction is bigotry.  Conviction is the same thing as having a closed mind.  Conviction is the same thing as being intolerant of other people’s views.  If our American culture had its own Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not be intolerant of others views.”  would probably be the first commandment.  We are loathe to draw lines or make invalidating statements about others faith systems.  Never mind that our leader looked the pharisee’s in the eyes and said, “You travel over land and sea to make one convert and then you make them twice as much the sons of hell you are.”  Talk about drawing lines.  Talk about invalidating others.  Evangelism, personal or friendship aside, begins when we recognize those without Jesus are doomed.

5.  We should love our enemies.  Too many have been turned off by the strident, hateful tones of some in Cristendom.  Personally, I think if we were able to pull the robe off of these supposed Christians we would immediately see they are not who they claim to be.  Spitting on people, screaming at them, seeming to relish their impending doom does very little to convince them of the love of God.  We are in a spiritual war.    I don’t think we can warn our people enough that we are at war.  However, we must do so without becoming strident.  Hateful.  Vengeful.  Gleeful.  In my opinion churches would do well to have dialouge classes wherein we practice on each other how to communicate to the lost in a loving Christ-like manner.  For example, instead of marching into our children’s schools and screaming at the administration, “I WILL NOT ALLOW MY CHILD TO PARTICIPATE IN A PROGRAM IN WHICH THE HEATHEN gODS OF THE DAMMED ARE PUT ON THE SAME STAGE AS THE ONLY TRUE GOD OF THE WORLD, JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!!” perhaps it would be better said as, “It really pains me to do this because I love so many of the things you are doing for my child, for which I am very grateful to you, but I’m not comfortable with allowing their presence in the  upcoming program to condone what we believe to be false.”  Both what we said, and how we said it,  may give others pause to think about Jesus.

Whew!  I’m tired.  I’ve been blogging all day.  Now it’s time for a shower and then Amy and I are going to buy some firewood and dog bowls.  It’s a great day for a fire and the dogs are always up for a meal.  I hope your weekend is blessed.

P.S.  It would fortify my faith to hear what some of your ideas are to prepare us for the road ahead.


Danger! Danger! Will Robinson.

As the Robinson clan cavorted about space in an effort to get home they could always rely upon their robot friend to warn them of impending doom.  I especially liked the way he waved his “arms” about in floppy fashion.  As the clans of Abraham cavorted about the Old Testament era they could always rely upon the prophets to warn them of impending doom.  In both cases the warned were given sufficient time to respond in a way that could alter the doomy outcome.  Not that they always CHOSE to do so.

I wish we still had prophets.  When I say that what I mean is men and woman who were chosen by God Himself to deliever a message.  A prophets “call ” was beyond dispute.  To both friends and enemies.  Some of the prophets were popular.  Beloved.  Others were rejected.  Despised.   Yet, personal feelings and popularity aside, what they said on God’s behalf ALWAYS came to pass.  Their word was indisputable  because God told them what to say.

One of the cool things about the Old Testament prophets was that they were able to discern where religious trends were leading everybody.  They were able to make sense out of politics and how they impacted the faithful.  And the unfaithful.  They were able to accurately read current social trends and speak authoritatively as to where those trends would end.  When they examined the Old Testament version of the body of Christ they were able to pinpoint the tumors and offer a prognosis.  All of this was possible because God revealed the information to the prophets.  Consequently, when a prophet flapped his or her arms and cried, “Danger!  Danger!” true believers believed and prepared.  Everyone else was just plain foolish.

Any of us can guess where current religious,  political and social trends are leading the church, but we can’t pronounce our guesses to be authoritative.  So the ultimate impact on the current body of Christ of the aforementioned trends is a matter of opinion as opposed to divine revelation.  On the other hand,  believers should discern certain things by using the words Jesus left us.  In other words one can say that if God felt a particular way about a particular issue in Scripture He probably still feels that way.  We can read the revealed mind of God (without doubting its authenticity contrary to what others may say) for ourselves (Amen!!!) and see the dangerous curves ahead.

I said all that to say, in my opinion, there exists before us some extremely dangerous, hair-pin curves which will require caution and skill to navigate.  And John Wayne grit.  We are pitiful if we believe our ancient and common enemy is on a picnic while he awaits execution.  His hatred for the body of Christ (us) has no limits.  He is ruthless.  He is violent.  He is cunning.  He is smooth.  He is wicked.  He is charming.  He is relentless.  He is getting his way.  In my lifetime the political and social changes have been staggering.  I’m not that old and yet I can say this country is not the same one I knew as a boy.   I will be blunt in declaring  my interest is not in saving the United States, or reversing these trends by political action.  This nation is a doomed vessel in the same way many, many nations have had their day in the sun ultimately pass them by.  I’m okay with that.  I have dual citizenship and the one in this nation is quite secondary.

Here is what I am interested in doing as history unfolds around me.  I do not want to endanger my primary citizenship by committing treason.  I do want to protect my spiritual integrity, and that of my wife, in an increasingly hostile culture.  We do not want to commit adultery against Jesus.  We do not want to get caught up in the passing pleasures of sin.  And we do want to have the courage of a Moses to accept reproach with Jesus as superior to anything the pharoahs of the age may use to tempt us.

I have a question.  It is not asked in anger or accusation.  It is asked in general terms and not hurled at specific targets.  What are we doing to prepare our churches and families for the dangers which lay before every believer?  What are our leaders doing to equip us for the current war being waged against our Savior?  Against our faith?  What are you doing?  For your spouse?  For your children?

 While the Lordship of Jesus Christ is enduring a relentless and withering attack it seems to me we are fixated on ourselves.  Instead of defending the honor of Jesus many churches of all denominations offer classes and seminars on how to raise kids, balance budgets and enrich marriages.  Free psychological profiles are administered and explained.  And, in many cases these take place in  the time period once reserved for Bible study.   These are all useful, helpful and wonderful things for a church to be involved in.  However, Christians with great kids, balanced budgets, enriched marriages and a perfect understanding of their psychological profile are in mortal danger of losing their souls if they buy into the Satanic lie that Jesus Christ is not the one and only God of the entire world.  For all people of all natuions.  As He Himself claimed.  To believe or accept less is idolatry.  Adultery.

How are we preparing for the ruthless onslaught against the reputation of Jesus?   While Jesus Christ is being murdered over and over in the press, in the community, in popular media, in our schools we blithely accept the rationale that the differences between Jesus and Allah are a matter of preference.  They are not.  However, we are so busy entertaining ourselves in ceaseless church activities we scarcely have to think about it.  Or prepare for it.  We seem to believe that when outsiders come to our entertainments  they will somehow surmise via osmosis that Jesus Christ is the one and only living God while all others are lies, fakes and pretenders.  In today’s permissive culture (permissive of everything but Jesus. hmm?)  we would never say such things.  We have been expertly conditioned and manipulated.  Listen, when we keep our mouths shut, our views to ourself, for the sake of peace, it is human nature for others to interpret our silence as  acceptance and agreement.   So, we allow others to think that even if they believe in idols they’re okay.  Sometimes I feels as if I have a membership in the YM CofC A.

Speaking of the c of C, the desire to be community centers which offer member services is not limited to us.  Cristendom itself is abdicating it’s true purpose in the world.  The light of the world.  The city set on a hill.  The repository and defender of THE faith.  Just recently it was announced that the pope was making an effort to reconcile with Muslims.  I think it’s a good and godly thing to attempt to be at peace with all men.  However, when it comes to acknowledging false gods in our effort to be at peace with all men we betray Jesus.  Isn’t keeping our mouths shut the same thing as acknowledging the validity of foreign gods?  What are we afraid of?  Who are we afraid of?

When I was growing up we disagreed over various issues.  Instruments.  Women’s roles.  Mixed bathing.  Ties when you served the Lord’s Supper.  Our idea of false doctrine was whatever the Baptists were teaching.  However, whether we were disagreeing among ourselves or other denominations all of our fussing and discussing was within the arena of Cristendom.  Everybody agreed that Jesus Christ was the only true God.  Folks, those days are over.  The enemy is assailing the unique nature of our Lord.  He is calling Jesus a liar.  However, it seems that if churches are able to offer a well attended alternative to Halloween, with lots of visitors, they’re happy.  Can you imagine Jesus, the apostles and the early church letting people leave their presence without interfering in their lives?  No matter what it cost.  For the sake of the lost.

In a never ending effort to re-invent the wheel we often like to make up words and terms to re- indentify ourselves to ourselves.  I say that because the world, by and large, is not listening to us.  Yet, we persist.  So we are now seeker friendly.  A community church.  Communities of faith which are guided by an ever changing, culturally defined narrative.   We are the churched.  And the rest of the world is the un-churched.  All man made words with man made definitions.  Could this preoccupation with ourselves, and unwillingness to offend, be Cristendom’s version of fiddling while Rome burns?

And what of our kids and the influence of the culture in their lives?  Danger!  Danger!   Sometime during the last several months I asked three different youth groups why they believe what they believe.  I also asked them what the difference was between Jesus and other so called gods.  Not one person had an adequate, objective answer for the first question.  The same is true for the second.  Danger!  Danger!  How did we get the Bible?  No answer.  Danger!  Danger! 

My wife and I participated in a teen retreat where a Bible trivia type game was played.  The silence following most of the questions was resounding.  Embarrassing.  Damming.  The questions were below the level we were asking JOY Bus kids twenty-five years ago (and they knew the answer for a piece of gum).  These are our kids.  The products of faithful homes.  The product of our Bible classes.  The product of unceasing church activities.  The product of our youth groups.  And they couldn’t answer the most basic of questions.  Danger!  Danger!

I say again, it’s not just us.  At McDonalds I worked with dozens of teens over the course of four years.  I talked to them.  I asked questions.  I eavesdropped on their conversations.  Here in the Bible belt we are now dealing with a generation of kids who have been trained by the enemy to equate conviction with bigotry.  Truth is never absolute.  The eye of the beholder is what gives an object value and a faith system meaning.  “God” is real to those who choose to believe in “him.”  Whatever “god” they choose to believe in.  To express God given, God defined, Jesus spoken truth into this world view is anathema.  And you will pay a price for upsetting the cart.  Today that is possible by simply, kindly and humbly stating that you believe Jesus Christ is the one and only true God over all mankind.

My feeling is that paying the price is exactly what we are afraid of.  As I told my Sunday morning Bible class several times during the just concluded quarter;  by and large we have not had to pay a high price for faith in Jesus.  Those days are over.  For example, around the time the Iraq War began an American general stood in an American church and said some things about Allah and Jesus.  He stated what he believed.  He paid a high price in the press and in his career.  Peter and John were commanded by powerful officials to cease mentioning the name of Jesus.  They refused to do so and paid a high price.  Make no mistake, and suffer no delusions, there is no difference between the Sanhedrin and a school policy, or a work place policy, or a governmental policy which forbids Christians from talking about Jesus wherever they are 24/7.  The last thing any of us wants to do is commit treason against our true home country.

I don’t believe any of us are evil or interested in shaming the name of Jesus.  I think we’re just nervous.  I am.  The ground rules have dramatically changed faster than anyone thought possible.  However, by remaining silent in our conversations with others, by allowing others to think we think they are okay will help nobody.  A point of departure is rapidly approaching.  We can pretend to go along to get along, or we can defend the lordship of Jesus.  We can be His spokespeople, or we can remain silent.  Our silence will not save anybody.  The first century church chose to speak up.  And they were severely punished.  The first century church was agressive in promoting the claims of Jesus.  And they were murdered.

The first century church was keenly aware that a state of war existed between itself and the rest of the world.  They chose to fight.  They won!

Maybe we would do as well if we prepared our people for warfare.  If our preachers and elders presented us with a game plan maybe we could change the world instead of cowering in its shadow.  If our Bible classes equipped us with the implements of war, the full armor of God, maybe we could take a firmer stand.  If mothers and fathers made sure their kids knew the unique qualifications of Jesus Christ maybe those kids could save others.  And themselves. 

Our battle is not political.  Nor is it social.  Marching on Washington, screaming at homosexuals and blowing up abortion clinics has failed.  Boycotting and picketing might be useful as salves for the guilty consciences of people who find courage in mobs while keeping  their mouths shut in the workplace,  but they have failed to change the world.  In fact none of these things have helped, and may even have been useful propaganda in the hands of our mortal enemy.

Feeding visitors hot dogs and lemonade might make them feel good about who we are but until we are willing to risk offending them we will have very little impact on our communities. 

I’m not a prophet nor do I claim to be.  Nor do I claim to be right.  I’m only saying my guess, based on my understanding of the Word,  is that there are some extremely dangerous curves ahead.  I do know the name of Jesus is being dragged through the mud.  What are we going to do about it? 

P.S.  It makes me sad to see the reputation of Jesus being diminished and diluted.  He claimed that He was THE way, THE truth and THE life.  He further claimed that NO ONE could get to the Father except through Him.  Those are grandiose statements.  Or the truth.  I assume that true believers who have accepted the Lordship of Jesus in their lives believe He was speaking the truth.  When others say these things are not true they are basically accusing Jesus of lying or being delusional.  In either case, if I was Jesus’ dad, I’d be angry that a mere mortal had the gall to call my son a crazy liar.  In fact, I would do something about it.  And I wouldn’t wait a long time before I did it.

How the Devil Defeated Jesus and Lived To Tell About It. (2) “Break-Through”

Here’s the second part.  Remember, “work in progress.”  Sorry for the length – the next one will be much shorter.  Any input you have will be appreciated.  Thanks. 

Although the devil hates to admit this the death of Jesus and his resurrection left him permenantly disabled.  For example, to this very day his head is killing him.  A headache,  however,  is the least of his concerns.  He’s notorius for self-medicating anyway.    He was more concerned about the loss of critical powers he sustained in the garden.  Oh yes,  at this unexpected turn of events  he was very concerned.

Understand,  to an un-enlightened eye a  glance at the devil does not reveal an obvious difference between his pre-resurrection self and his post-resurrection self.  He still looks powerful.  He still looks invincible.   His acrobatic skills on the battlefield still look awesome.  And he is still devastatingly charming.   On the other hand, to the enlightened eye  the differences between the pre-resurrection devil and the post-resurrection devil are as stark as the differences between a pig and a slice of bacon.  While a pig and a slice of bacon  do share the same basic substance no one would argue a slice of bacon is as capable of doing whatever it pleases,  as is (or was) the pig from whence it came.   Would they?

Try to think about it like this.  Imagine the devil as an outlaw gunslinger from the Old West.  Before the resurrection he was free  to plunder, pillage, rape and rob at will.  Stagecoaches.  Banks.  Trains.  Whatever.  He had both the freedom and the resources to victimize whoever he wanted, wherever he wanted and however he wanted.  To the devil’s everlasting horror the death and resurrection of Jesus ended most of that.  How?  (The reader should understand the devil is like the retired athlete who prefers to remember his former glory days as being a little more glorious than they really were. In reality,  he did have some limitations.  But that’s another story which has already been told in a more objective book.)

For now , the complete answer to the question “how”  is a mystery known  only to the Marshall.  But what  CAN be known is  in some sort of magical way the resurrection zapped the ammunition right out of the devil’s six-shooter.  And the movement was so clever it took him a few minutes to figure out what happened.   Once he did he wasn’t too pleased.  A gun without bullets?  What good is that?   A  gun without bullets is useless.  Unless…

  He smells her before he sees her.  Rather, he smelled what she was carrying.  For the life of him he can’t understand why humans want to cover the aroma of death with the stench of their potions.  It galled him.  But that was nothing.  He is galled out of his head when he sees who it is.   He knows her.  This  creature had been one of his favorite slaves (he meant to say disciple).  “Had been”  until Jesus “emancipated” her.

Obviously, the devil was having an awful morning.  Seeing the woman only made it worse because it reminded him of  all the other slaves (he meant to say disciples) Jesus had taken from him.  It wasn’t fair.  He felt he had to do something.  But what?  His first thought was to kill Jesus and then he felt like an idiot because…  Anyway,  the woman would be within striking distance soon and his anger was so overpowering he had to vent or burst.   And right then sinking his fangs into an approaching leg seemed the perfect way to constructively express his rage.  If he couldn’t hurt Jesus anymore he could at least hurt the people Jesus loves.  But he never bit her.

Correct! The window of opportunity to launch a strike closed and the devil simply watched it slam shut.  He later claimed he didn’t bite the woman because of his terrible headache.  The truth?  He didn’t bite her because he already knew his fangs had been “relieved” of their venom.  His gun was empty.   He had also developed an aversion to human heels,  but that was a phobia which  came to light only after several intense sessions with his therapist.   For now,  all he could do was watch for the impending reunion and dream about what might have been.  The last thing he expected was a “break-through.”

She’s almost to the grave.  She knows something isn’t right.  The stone isn’t where it was on Friday.  The gaping hole is exposed.  Who moved it?  She stops suddenly.  She is alert.  She is suspicious.  She is curious.   Gripping the basket of spices like a weapon she again approaches the grave.   She’s arrived.  She’s leaning over to see inside the tomb.  She…

During the same time the devil  watched Jesus move into a position behind the woman.  Jesus was close enough to touch her.  But she didn’t react in any discernible way.  The devil wasn’t surprised.   He is a professional hunter.  Of humans.  As such he is intimately aquainted with their nature.   More often than not,  he knows,  the easiest prey to bring down are the task-oriented.  It’s ironic.   Their “ability to focus,”  which is a point of pride for many of them,  is the very thing which renders them deaf and blind to the reality twirlling around them.  (The walls of his den are covered with failed marriages, lost children and missed opportunities).  Here in the garden  – Before his eyes –  Different circumstances. – Same result.  She’s too pre-occupied to sense the living presence of Jesus.  But it wouldn’t last forever.

  She… knows its empty.  She’s turning.  Her countenance demands to know!  What happened?  Who did this?  Where is the body?  Jesus deserves better.  Doesn’t he?  Why don’t you ask him yourself…  You’re looking at him. 

What’s with the frown?  Why does it look like she wants to hit him with the basket?  What is going on?  Why doesn’t she recognize Jesus?  The face?  It’s the same one he was wearing when he died.  That can’t be it.

  They’re talking.  Hush! The voice?  It’s the same one he used when he said, “It is finished!”  (Ah!  That’s what he meant)  That can’t be it.  And by the way, what are they saying? 

Fortunately the devil was able to hear their conversation.  He can hear a fly burp from a mile away.  He developed this extraordinary skill because he loves gossip.  At first it was only a hobby,  but he soon discovered humans would gladly exchange their souls to hear him dish the dirt he overheard.  Some of his best customers live in Washington.  Others preen in Hollywood.  Too many worship in churches.

Church was the last thing on her mind.  She was hell-bent on completing her mission.  No matter what. She mustn’t let anyone stand in the way.  Especially the man blocking her exit.  Who does she think Jesus is?  Who?  She can’t be serious.  The gardner?  Gardner!  A lousy gardner?  Why can’t she see who is plainly in sight?  What is going on?  It’s…it’s…

Suddenly the devil’s inner voices began to chatter madly.  A gun without bullets is useless… unless…  He’s on the verge of discovery.  The pieces of the puzzle are coming together.  His internal screens are rapidly blinking and changing.  A multitude of simultaneous  images are flickering;  old memories, past hunts, human nature, reality, first garden, this garden, Jesus dead, He’s alive, task-oriented, perception, mis-perception, gardner, illusions and… Eureka!  A gun without bullets is useless unless the humans believe it’s loaded no matter the truth. 

Like a drowning man breaking the surface the devil took his first real breath since seeing Jesus alive.  And then he began to laugh (which came out hiss, hiss).  He was so happy he didn’t even bother sticking around for the rest of the conversation.  He had a lot to do.

…It’s a break-through.