Bible Reading Plan
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Weekends: Read any passages of your choice or catch up if you’ve fallen behind 🙂

 
 
 
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How To Soul Journal
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Journal Entries
Every weekday you will find a journal entry here from someone different in our church family. 
 
Click the scripture title and scroll down to see a comments section where you can ask questions, share insights and post your own SOUL Journal entry for the day!
 

Revelation_6

Scripture

Revelation 6:15-17

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide usf] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of theirg]wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

Observation

In Revelation 5:1, it reads “Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.”
 
Now, Chapter 6 is the opening of the seals – 1st-4th (vs 1-8), 5th (9-11), then the 6th (12-17).

I had challenges pulling anything out of the actual scripture but the commentary was helpful to me in getting a sense of what was meant by all this…

When the sixth seal was opened, there was a great earthquake. The foundations of churches and states would be terribly shaken. Such bold figurative descriptions of great changes abound in the prophecies of Scripture; for these events are emblems, and declare the end of the world and the day of judgment. Dread and terror would seize on all sorts of men. Neither grandeur, riches, valour, nor strength, can support men at that time. They would be glad to be no more seen; yea, to have no longer any being. Though Christ be a Lamb, he can be angry, and the wrath of the Lamb is exceedingly dreadful; for if the Redeemer himself, who appeases the wrath of God, be our enemy, where shall we find a friend to plead for us? As men have their day of opportunity, and their seasons of grace, so God has his day of righteous wrath. It seems that the overthrow of the paganism of the Roman empire is here meant. The idolaters are described as hiding themselves in their dens and secret caves, and vainly seeking to escape ruin. In such a day, when the signs of the times show those who believe in God’s word, that the King of kings is approaching, Christians are called to a decided course, and to a bold confession of Christ and his truth before their fellowmen. Whatever they may have to endure, the short contempt of man is to be borne, rather than that shame which is everlasting.

[Source: http://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=66&c=6]

Understanding

Christians are called to a decided course, and to a bold confession of Christ and his truth before their fellowmen. Whatever they may have to endure, the short contempt of man is to be borne, rather than that shame which is everlasting.

As I shared yesterday, my faith has been tested recently; but I’m reminded that I am called to a “decided course…a bold
confession.”  That the “contempt” is short, but the impact everlasting.  So I get to choose.  To allow the temporary circumstances of today shape my confession – whether changing it or making it bolder or quieter.  But, in choosing, it’s important to remember the consequences have potential to affect other people’s eternity. 
 
If I believe I’m called to be God’s hands and feet in the world, that I’m made for missions and to be used by God to “go” [Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit], how I choose to walk forward from this moment will affect something greater, something larger than just me. 

Life Application

God, thank you for making yourself real to me, even in my doubt.  Thank you for reminding me that you see me, know me and love me…that you’ve called me to do great things in your name. 

Embolden my confession, give me strength, build my faith…all that you may be glorified.  Help me to see the ways I can be your hands and feet in the world today and set right in my mind where you would have me go from here. 

Thank you for the family that you’ve placed me in.  Bless those who have prayed for me and loved on me, even as I’ve tried to isolate.  May their investment be returned ten-fold.  And help me to keep my eyes open to see where I can invest in those who may be struggling as well. 

In your name, I pray. Amen!

– Rei

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.



Revelation_5

Scripture

Revelation 5:9

And they sang a new song , saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and break it’s seals; for you were slain, and purchased for God with your blood men from every tribe and tongue and nation

Observation

In chapter four, John talks about God as the creator of the universe.  In chapter fiver, he talks about Him as the redeemer.  He describes Him as a lion, strong and fearless, whose anger is both frightening and destructive.  The lion, our king, is the only one who can overcome the seven seals. 

Understanding

Our redeemer is worthy to be praised in truth.

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.  -A.W. Tozer

I want to think of God as he ought to be thought of.  Which I think encompasses so many things all at once, that it is nearly impossible to comprehend.  God is all at once loving, forgiving, compassionate, jealous, full of wrath and justice.  All things that make him perfect. 

When I think of God on a day to day basis, I have the flaw of thinking of Him as more of a repair man.  The person I call, when I have exhausted my knowledge and skill, and have completely fouled up whatever it is I am trying to fix.  Essentially, a last resort.

However, I need to be thinking of God in much higher terms.  He is the one who not only created the world, but He can also make it complete and new.  A repair man does not make my plumbing new, he only fixes the hole that he finds.  God sees the hole in our life, and buys us a whole new house. 

When we praise, it helps us to bring our focus back to who  God is.  But it is imperative to think of God in the truth of who he is.  Not only as our creator, but also as our redeemer.

Life application

When I lose focus on you, help me to bring it back to your truth.  I want to have my life be defined as a life of worship to you.  I love you my redeemer.
 
– Tyler Galloway
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Revelation_4

 
 
Scripture
 
Revelation‬ ‭4:8-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
”Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “ ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.””
‭‭
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
The book of Revelation was written in a four fold type of communication (God, Jesus, the Angel and John). It was to reveal what would soon take place. Although John wrote it with his hand, he was essentially the secretary who wrote down everything that was communicated to him through visions and prophecies. In this chapter, the throne in Heaven is revealed to John and all that can be seen is praise and worship to Jesus. First there are 4 living creatures who are singing, then 24 elders, then both, then an innumerable host of angels, then a universal worship of the lamb of God!
 
(Source: Notes from Pastor Parker’s Revelation class in Higher Learning.)
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
The one thing we can be sure of in eternity is that unending praise and worship will erupt to the One who sits on the throne, which is Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and King!
 
Imagine John’s wonder and amazement of being given the privilege and honor to see a chorus in Heaven shouting their unending praises to Jesus…it’s purely out of awe for who Christ is and because He alone is worthy. That must have been so humbling and overwhelming which is how I would’ve felt (in a good way), yet the most beautiful sight and powerful sound because it’s worship at its best with Jesus sitting on His rightful throne to top it off! Truly amazing!!
 
Life Application
 
If we were to picture Jesus sitting on His throne, how would that change the way we worship Him today?
 
When we speak about worship, we are not only talking about on stage worship or in the congregation worship, although that’s part of it. We are talking about our worship in our everyday going about at work, in our marriages, with our children, in our relationships, in the way we spend our time and money, in the way we share our faith?
 
Let’s always be in a mindset of worship, prayer and praise because as the 4 living creatures, 24 elders and hosts of angels taught us in this chapter, He is worthy of it 24-7.
 
We give You honor and praise Jesus for the pure fact that You alone are worthy of all of it! Amen.
 
“…They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.””
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭4:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi 


Revelation_3

Scripture
 
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NLT
 
“Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.”
 
ObservationWhat does it say?
 
Jesus tells the church of Sardis to, “Wake up, and stay awake.” He told them that there were certain aspects of their faith and practice that were still alive, but they needed to be more serious about their worship, devotions, and ministry. Jesus was tired of the church of Sardis  just going through the motions. He was calling for a spiritual overhaul. The church had received a revelation from God. Now it’s up to them to put it into practice…before it’s too late!
 
UnderstandingWhat does it mean?
 
When God reveals to you a problem you are having, it would be a wise of you to fix it.
 
Jesus revealed to John His analysis of the church in Sardis. It would be wise for anyone who receives advice from God to make sure they follow it through. It reminds me of that television show Kitchen Nightmares. In it, a restaurant business isn’t thriving the way it can be. It has potential, but for some reason it’s just not working for them. In comes world renown chef, Gordon Ramsay. He doesn’t hold any punches back. He tells the owner of the restaurant exactly what’s wrong with their establishment, and what they need to fix. Sure the owner of the restaurant is set in their ways and are stubborn of change. But they understand the life of their restaurant depends on it. For the most part, the restaurant owners take the advice of Gordon Ramsay. They begin to see the business flourish. Then months later the show follows up with the restaurant to check up on them. The ones who took the advice and continued to follow through with it were the restaurants who succeeded. Then you have the restaurants who stuck with the advice for a short time, then fell back on their old habits. The same habits that put them in that mess to begin with! Needless to say, those restaurants either continued to struggle, or they flat out died completely. 
 
So are you going to take heed to what God reveals to you in His Word or through His people? Our lives depend on it.
 
Life Application
 
Pray to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you things in your life that may be causing a rift between you and God. Spend a couple of minutes in silence to listen and see what He shows you.
 
“Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭6:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
Be obedient to the Holy Spirit and follow through what He asks of us. Have faith that He knows what’s best for us, and watch “our business” thrive the way it should.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Revelation_2

Scripture

Revelation 2:7

 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.

Observation – What does it say?

As I “walk” slowly and deliberately through the book of revelation I want to pause and observe the “unveiling” or “disclosure” of Jesus Christ.  “Revelation” or Apocalypse” can mean 1) by or from Jesus Christ, 2) about Jesus Christ, or 3) both (NIV text note).  Either way I am assured of “more pixels” as I proceed.  In the digital realm more pixels equates to more detail in the final picture . . . the majesty of the heavenly scene and its chief protagonist Jesus Christ.

Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe on this terrestrial ball.  To Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all.  To Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all!  (“All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name” Edword Perronet 1779)

Chapter 2 introduces the reader to 3 of 7 historical churches addressed by Jesus in the form of letters that follow the general pattern of commendation, complaint and correction.

Understanding – What does it mean?

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full John 10:10

To be proactive in my reading I want to be continually aware of additional detail in the sense of the character, heart, purpose and plans of the One who sits on the throne of all creation.  As I read the letters to the churches I am somewhat convicted. Is it just me or does anyone else like a little commendation from time to time; especially, from your spouse, parent, teacher, boss or anyone else in authority?  The first century church operated amidst extreme testing and required great wisdom and perseverance.  The very core of sound doctrine was being perverted by “false apostles and wicked men.”  Jesus commends the church of Ephesus for enduring hardships for His names sake and for not growing weary in the process. This is followed by the complaint.  Notice I did not say condemnation.   The spiritual environment of the church was missing the extravagant joy and gratitude that characterized their “first love”.   Persecution was taking its toll.  Regardless of the situation the Head of the Church is not impressed by a congregation resigned to a form of church that is void of the power of His presence.  Ever gracious and ever compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, Jesus calls the church of the first century and today to a course correction; a U-turn in the direction of their first love.  The challenge to overcome is a foretaste of the perfect fellowship that existed before sin entered the world – and will continue in eternity.  Look for this three-fold pattern of commendation, complaint and correction as you read the letters to the six churches that follow. 

Life Application

Lord Jesus, you are a good Father.  I have tasted your grace and compassion.  You have lavished my life with your love and called me your son.  Search my heart and see if there be any offensive way about me.  Call out anything that does not draw life from You, my first love.  I can only respond in praise because you have overcome this world and its tribulations. 

-Warren Vivian

 

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.



Revelation_1

Scripture

Revelation 1:8

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Observation

“The book of Revelation is a loving message from Jesus Christ to His precious bride, the church, revealing the things that must soon come to pass. It is meant to be understood by His people, with a blessing promised to those who read, hear and keep the things revealed in these prophecies.

The word “Revelation” comes from the Greek “apokalupisis” (Strong’s # 602) which means: “an unveiling of”. The very name of this book disproves the common assumption that it cannot be understood. Despite the many different interpretations of Daniel and Revelation, the Bible says that the wise “will” understand them. (Matthew 24:25; Daniel 12:10)

This book is said to be the “Revelation of Jesus.”  He is its author; it is a message straight from Him. Revelation continues where the four gospels and the book of Acts left off, and shows us what Jesus has done since then, is doing now and will do for His church in the future. (Revelation 1:19)

“The time is at hand.” This book of prophecy contained messages needed by the Church in John’s day, by the Church throughout its history and for us as individual Christians today. The message for today is especially relevant, for we are living in the “time of the end” and “the time is at hand” when the final events portrayed in the book of Revelation will sweep over the world and bring the great controversy  to a spectacular conclusion.”

http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception-Revelation-1-Commentary-Jesus

Understanding

“Alpha and Omega” are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet. Jesus calls himself the A to Z, “the First and the Last.” Jesus Christ is God Eternal. His love is constant and sure. He is everything we need from beginning to end. (see website reference above).

Isaiah 41:4

Who has done such mighty deeds,
    summoning each new generation from the beginning of time?
It is I, the Lord, the First and the Last.
    I alone am he.”

Life has felt big lately.  And these words are a reminder to me that regardless of how big life gets, God is bigger.  He’s been here long before I was even thought of by any earthly being…He knew me then and He knows me now – inside and out.  He knows and loves the people I love…even better than I do. 

Therefore, He is trustworthy.  He is worth pursuing.  His messages of love, grace, discipline are just as true for today as they were then. 

Life Application

May I live right and honor God in all that I do…in the way I speak, the way I think, the way I talk, the way I treat others. <3 

God, I’m so grateful that you are in control.  Thank you for watching over me and my family…it sometimes frustrates me because it’s not in my timing or in my way but I know you know better.  Help me to be mindful of that. 

Please provide healing in the people I love and use me as you see fit to be a conduit of your love, your grace, your mercy and your healing truth.  Help me stay open to be used by you and for your glory.

In your name, I pray. Amen!

– Rei

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.



James_5

Scripture 

James 5:13

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.

Observation

In this chapter, the author starts out by warning us to be mindful of our riches.  He gives an admonition that we will be held accountable for what we do with our resources.  He continues by encouraging us to wait patiently for the Lord.  He states that we need to wait while God completes the work that he started. 

As he is wrapping up this letter, James reminds us that we will face both affliction and prosperity in this life.  He encourages us to act in accordance with the season that we are in.  If we are suffering, we should take this as an opportunity to draw near to God.

Understanding

Be present in the moment that you are living in, God is doing something in you.

Life is full of peaks and valleys.  Sometimes the valleys can seem never ending, dark and scary.  Sometimes the peaks appear as if they are brought on by our own abilities, and we forget about God’s kindness and love.  Whether we are in a peak or a valley, God wants us where we are for a reason and He wants us to rely on him or praise with him.

When I was 18, I got myself in a horrible car wreck which put me in the hospital for some time.  And as I recovered, I went through times of depression.  I remember asking God, “Why did you let this happen to me?”  I asked this question a lot.  Instead of taking the time to draw near to God, I took the time to feel sorry for myself.  As I look back on that time, I know that I let something slip out of reach because of a bad attitude and a poor perspective.

God wants us to be looking to him in all life’s situations.  When we are low we cry out, “God I need you!”  When we are high we sing, “God I love you.”  No matter what it is, He is the center of attention.  Just like the author of Ecclesiates told us in chapter 3 that there is a time for everything under the sun, whether that be weeping or singing.  But God is the center of it all.

Life Application

God give me the grace to change my perspective.

Jesus I need your grace to change my focus from being Tyler centered to being centered on You.  Help me to be present in the season that I am in.
 
– Tyler Galloway
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.


James_4

 
Scripture
 
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
‭‭James‬ ‭4:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
ObservationWhat does it say?
 
James is said to be the brother of Jesus, who did not become a believer until after Jesus’ resurrection (gotquestions.org). In this chapter, he speaks on the issues of submission and humility.
 
UnderstandingWhat does it mean?
 
Submission and humility to God are the ingredients needed to make the devil flee.
 
Submission and humility go hand in hand, yet it is easier said than done. We are essentially saying, “Not my will Lord, not what I want, but what You want.” We are essentially losing our lives for the mission.
 
 
Just like God doesn’t discriminate when it comes to His love, grace and forgiveness (John 3:16), the enemy doesn’t discriminate either when he sets his traps. We could have a perfect testimony and be a Christ follower for 20 years (which was my story), yet still be susceptible if complete submission and humility are not present.
 
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
  
Life Application
 
The #1 way to destroy any relationship is pride. We serve a God who is very relational, so a prideful heart will naturally destroy our desire to live out the 2 greatest commandments of loving God and loving others.
 
What are we guilty of being prideful of in this life? Are we prideful that we are not like “those other sinners over there? (Luke 18:11)” block them from our lives, and as a result discourage them from being part of the family of God? The devil has a foothold.
 
Are we prideful because we’ve never rebelled against the Lord and feel like we are unaffected by sin, so we keep our guards down? The devil has a foothold.
 
Are we prideful with our plans for the future, and as a result, we don’t include the Lord in them? The devil has a foothold.
 
Are we prideful with our current status in this world, yet behind the scenes we don’t make it a priority to read the Word, pray, and love and forgive others? The devil has a foothold.
 
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
The good news is that we can make the devil flee by submitting to Jesus and humbling our heart toward Him. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV
 
Dear God, thank you that you are stronger than the enemy, have already defeated him and that Your light can penetrate through any darkness. Please forgive me for the many times I’ve fallen into the enemy’s traps due to pride. I pray that I (we) would all continue to be connected to You, the source of everything loving, good, righteous and just. Holy Spirit keep our hearts humble and submitted to You alone and as a result, cause the enemy to flee. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi
 


James_3

Scripture
 
James‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭NLT
 
“And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Although a small muscle, James writes about the power of the tongue. One analogy James uses to describe the tongue is it being like a small rudder on a huge ship. Although small in stature, it has the power to steer the huge ship, wherever the pilot chooses to go (vs.4). In verse 5 he points out the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But James also reminds us that even a small spark can set a great forest on fire (vs. 5b). So he warns us about the evil the tongue can bring. It is an untamable part of our body. If it is not controlled, it can set our lives on fire! James writes how something so small has the power to either bless or curse people. It can be used to bless our God, or curse the people who are made in His very own image (vs.9). And it shouldn’t be that way! If we are one with God, and filled with His Holy Spirit, there is no way we should be contradicting Him by spewing words that are evil from our mouths.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Am I using my tongue to bless or curse?
 
It’s easy to get caught up in a world that is so negative. In today’s society, it is common for people to bash our president or other people in authority. It’s common if someone hurts us, we have to hurt them back (even if it’s just with words). But our words have the power to carry on a long way. Think about the father or mother who will tell their kid they are worthless and will never amount to anything. Or the parents who speak highly of their children, who encourages them, and tells them how good they are. These are words that can stick with them for a lifetime! It has the power to either influence them to live their lives in a negative or positive manner. So before we speak, we need to think about the impact our words may have on someone. We have the power to either build up or tear down. And if Christ truly dwells within us, shouldn’t we be “building up” His kingdom and his children?
 
‬ ‭“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”-Ephesians‬ ‭4:29
 
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”-1 Thessalonians 5:11
 
Life Application
 
Find someone to encourage and bless with your words today.
 
With DSC’s Grateful Gathering around the corner, (by the way, please make sure to RSVP on the website), what a great time to use this passage and help bless someone this month of November. Time to write out some “Thank You” cards for some people and thank them for the people they are and for the wonderful things they do in life.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, please click here
‬‬
-Moses Gaddi


James_2

Scripture

James 2:1

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

Observation

“The book of James is full of practical wisdom for everyday living.  Genuine faith will manifest itself in righteous acts that come out of a pure heart.  This study will take a close look at how our faith is worked out in everyday life by understanding the principles of godly wisdom.”    

https://bible.org/series/living-what-you-believe-study-through-book-james

Understanding

“In this chapter the apostle condemns a sinful regarding of the rich, and despising the poor, which he imputes to partiality and injustice, and shows it to be an acting contrary to God, who has chosen the poor, and whose interest is often persecuted, and his name blasphemed, by the rich (v. 1-7).”

https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/james/2.html

How often do we make snap judgments?  See people a certain way just because of where they live, how they live, how they look, how they speak, etc. 

About a year ago, I remember sitting on a plane.  I spent the entire plane ride sitting next to a guy who’s look made reminded me of people I knew that were hard drug users.  I didn’t avoid talking to him; but I didn’t engage with him either.  Towards the end of the plane ride something caused us to begin a conversation.  I learned that he was a yoga instructor that teaches yoga and meditation in jails as part of non-profit or business…and I really enjoyed our conversation.  He gave me tips about best yoga and meditation for the kids.  Shared some cool stories. 

I walked off the plane a little ashamed of myself.  I had judged the book by its cover, so to speak.  But it was a learning lesson…to be conscious of how I view people. 

Life Application

What if we were to see EVERYone as valuable creations of God?…and treat them that way. <3  

God, thank you for leaving the 99 to chase after me.  Thank you for your heart for the lost.  May I see each person I meet today through your eyes and share your love with them.

In your name, I pray. Amen!

– Rei

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.