Saturday, October 04, 2014

Life Is Not Always Easy

October 5, 2014II Corinthians 4:8-11

Life Is Not Always Easy

Intro.: Some people seem to have all the luck.i
  1. True for Christians and non-Christians.
  2. Horatio Spafford was such a man
  3. A great deal went right for this man
    1. Here is a lawyer and businessman – a successful business man
    2. Besides being affluent he was also influential in his hometown of Chicago
    3. He had invested in the land along the Lake Michigan shoreline and what is now known as the miracle mile. Real estate was his thing.
    4. He was a solid Christian -
    5. A family man with a wife, a son, and three daughters.
    6. - and though he lived in a previous century, he was a close friend of D. L Moody.
  4. I'll say it again, some people have all the luck.
  5. But there is a problem – luck comes in two forms – Good Luck and Bad Luck
  6. To this point, Horatio Spafford had experience good luck.
  7. But in the year 1870 life took a turn – a wrong turn some would say.
    1. Spafford's four year old son contracted scarlet fever and died
    2. A year later Mrs. O'Leary's cow tipped over a lantern and destroyed much of metropolitan Chicago, in the great Chicago Fire
    3. His family lost everything – their investments and their home were gone.
    4. Spafford and and his wife spent the next three years working to rebuild Chicago ...
  8. but as you might guess, it was tiring and they needed a break and a change of scenery.
    1. It was decided to take a European vacation
    2. a vacation that would include working alongside their friend D. L. Moody during a London crusade and his favorite song leader, Ira Sankey.
  9. Plans were made
    1. They would travel to NYC and plan to catch a ship to England – the Ville de Havre.
    2. They arrived in NYC as planned; but before they could depart, the father received a telegram asking him to return to Chicago to complete a transaction.
    3. It was arranged for the rest of his family to leave as scheduled, Horatio Spafford would travel to Chicago and return to catch a later ship for England.
    4. Nine days after returning to Chicago, Horatio received another telegram “Saved Alone”.
      1. Their boat had been struck by another passign ship
      2. 226 people were lost at sea – including the Spafford's four remaining girls: Annie, Maggie, Bessie, and Tanetta all drowned.
      3. Anna the wife had grabbed hold of a plank and managed to stay afloat until a rescue could be made.
      4. She sent the telegram - “Saved Alone.”
  10. Horatio started back to NY and caught the first ship he could back to England.
    1. As Horatio's ship approached the site where his family's ship went down, the captain called Horatio up to the bridge
    2. He stood silently with the captain for a short time ..
    3. and then returned to His cabin.
    4. In the solitude of his cabin he pulled out a notebook and penned the words to the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”.
  11. I hope none you, I hope that none of us have to go through an experience like Horatio Spafford and his wife Anne had, but I do expect that each of us will have days or times when we may feel like we have gone through such an experience.
  12. But you are not alone – listen to Paul's words...
Read: II Corinthians 4:8-11


Trans: I have always found Corinth to be an interesting site.
  1. Actually, the town still exists today – about three miles away from the site that Paul had visited
  2. That site was destroyed by an earthquake in 1858 – providing a well-known site and for archaeologists to explore.
  3. In some ways Corinth stands in stark contrast to the city of Philippi – Sometime next winter or spring I want spend some time exploring the book of Phillipians – my favorite book.
  4. Why is Philippians my favorite book – because it was the letter that Paul wrote to the healthiest church that we know of – not perfect, but healthier than chruches that we know of elsewhere.
  5. At the time that Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthian church, it was by far the unhealthiest church to which he wrote.
    1. Sexual sin was rampant in the city
    2. The city known to Paul had dozens of temples and shrines dedicated to the Greek gods that we are familiar with - as well as others: Apollo, Athena, Aphrodite, Demeter and Kor.
    3. There were also sites sit aside for worship the Egyptian Gods of Isis and Sarapis.
    4. It was also a center of wealth – that seemed to be stumbling block to the early believers of the area.
  6. But there were changes between the time of the first letter and the time of the second letter, that we read this morning.
  7. Paul could celebrate their growth as they sought to follow Jesus -
  8. They were not perfect, they still had to grow, but they certainly more closely resembled the body of Christ that was Paul's ideal.
  9. Paul's first letter was one of correction and warning; his second letter was a letter of praise and support.
T.S. In this short passage, Paul challenges two misconceptions that Christian or other might have about the church.
  1. Mistake #1 – The Christian's life is going to be easy.
    1. Paul has a list of problems still faced by Corinthian church.
      1. We are afflicted in every way
      2. Perplexed
      3. Persecuted
      4. Stuck Down
    2. Eugene Peterson created a translation for adults that had either not spent much time in God's word or had spent so much time in the Word of God that it had lost its vitality, its power. Listen to Eugene Peterson's translation:
You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.ii
    1. If the early church could not avoid trouble, if Paul could not avoid trouble, what makes us think we can avoid it.
    2. The story of Horatio Spafford is not unusual – it could be any of ours.
    3. But in the middle of whatever difficulty life throws our way, we can know that God will be there.
  1. Mistake #2 – The Christian's life is going to be overwhelmingly hard
    1. There is another mistake that people make about Christianity.
    2. There seems to be this unwritten rule that says, “God will make like life tough just to test me.
    3. Or, on a similar theme, there are those that are convinced that if they say “Yes” to Jesus, they have started a journey
      1. to the jungles of Peru
      2. to deepest Africa (or even Ebola crazed Africa)
      3. to some remote island in the Pacific filled with hungry cannibals
    4. God has sent the church … that does not mean every one of us is called to go.
(Ill.) I am reminded of Jesus' words, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” I do not know what God might ask of each of us. I do know this, he will give me, he will give you, no more than we can handle.
  1. The Truth – The Christian serves God whatever the outcome
    1. And that is really what Paul is trying to communicate to the church in Corinth – God will see us through whatever comes, He will be present wherever He sends us, We will never be alone.
(Ill.)   Theodore Steinway was a well known philatilist from the 1950s. He was also a piano craftsman from the Steinway family. He noted that it is the ten to twenty tons of pressure exerted on the two hundred thirty strings of a piano that creates beautiful harmony. Sometimes, it is only the pressure, the persecution we undergo that causes a song to resonate in the hearts of those with whom we share. Paul knew this.

          That is why he could say, We are “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”iii
    1. The bottom line is this
      1. God does not call us to make life easy
      2. God does not call us to make life hard
      3. God does call us to serve Him and then gives us what we need to do what He asks.



iMuch of this story is taken and modified from Beach, Shelly (2012). It Is Well With My Soul. “Section 1: Devastation, Doubt, and Deliverance”. Discovery House. Grand Rapids, MI.

iiPeterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.

iiiCourson, J. (2003). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (p. 1115). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

A Prayer For The Saints

September 28, 2014Colossians 1:11-14
A Prayer for the Saints

Intro.: Oswald Smith

The year was 1920. The scene was the examining board for selecting missionaries. Standing before the board was a young man named Oswald Smith. One dream dominated his heart. He wanted to be a missionary. Over and over again, he prayed, “Lord, I want to go as a missionary for you. Open a door of service for me.” Now, at last, his prayer would be answered.
When the examination was over, the board turned Oswald Smith down. He did not meet their qualifications. He failed the test. Oswald Smith had set his direction, but now life gave him a detour. What would he do? As Oswald Smith prayed, God planted another idea in his heart. If he could not go as a missionary, he would build a church which could send out missionaries. And that is what he did. Oswald Smith pastored The People’s Church in Toronto, Canada, which sent out more missionaries than any other church at that time. Oswald Smith brought God into the situation, and God transformed his detour into a main thoroughfare of service.i
  1. During the next few minutes I want to spend a few minutes speaking about a prayer – a specific prayer.
  2. Let me read to you a passage from the book of Colossians that includes Paul's prayer for that local church.
Read: Colossians 1:9-14


Trans: I sometimes like to read prayers.
  1. Most often this will be the short prayers found at the bottom of the page of a devotional.
  2. But sometimes I like to thumb through a book of classic prayers from some of the world's great believers – men like Augustine, St. Francis, John Calvin, John Wesley, or Billy Graham.
  3. Many believers have said they would like to have heard Jesus, Peter or Paul preach. But it would have been awesome to hear them pray as well.
  4. We can't hear them pray, but they have been kind enough to include some of their prayers in their letters to the churches.
  5. Such is the case for the passage we just read.
  6. Colossae
    1. was a small agricultural village in what is now Southwestern Turkey. As best we can tell, Paul never had the chance to visit, though he writes to Philemon a bit later that he really would like to.
    2. Their major commodity were the unique woolen textiles that came from the region.
    3. The town no longer exists, but archaeologists have discovered ruins that are certainly part of the infrastructure that was part of the community.
    4. But to Paul it was not the agriculture or the textiles that made Colossae stand out – rather it was there faith.
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,
    1. So as we open up Colossians 1:9-14, we look at Paul's prayer for this group of Christians
    2. let's see what it can teach us

T.S. Let's look at the three main parts of Paul's sermon.

  1. Part 1 of the prayer – asking God to fill the church with His will
(Ill.)     David Slagle, a pastor in Atlanta, GA, told the story of a friend of his. few years ago, I got a call from a girl in my church who said her car had broken down and left her stranded about two miles from the office. So I drove over there and found her leaning against her car, looking flustered.

            I asked what happened.

            “Well, I was just driving down the road, and the car quit running,” she said.

            “Could you be out of gas?” I asked.

            “No, I just filled it up.”

            Well, that one question pretty well exhausted my automotive diagnostic abilities, but I persisted. “What happened? Did it make any noise?”

            “Oh, yeah,” she replied. “As I was driving down the hill, it went brump, brump, brump, POW!”

            I asked, “When was the last time you changed the oil?”

            She said, “Oil?” As it turned out, she had owned the car for a year and a half and had never changed the oil.
    1. Just as our cars need to be kept full of oil, we too need to be full.
    2. Normally we think of the word “full” when we speak of the Holy Spirit
    3. But here Paul's prayer is that the church will be full of God's will
    4. My prayer for you, as was Paul's for the church at Colossae, is
that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
  1. Paul also wants the Colossian church to experience God's power – all of it.
(Ill.) Are You At Wit's End Corner?ii

Are you standing at “Wits End Corner”
Christian, with troubled brow?
Are you thinking of what is before you,
And all you are bearing now?

Does all the world seem against you,
And you in the battle alone?
Remember at Wits End Corner
Is where God’s power is shown.

Are you standing at “Wits End Corner”
Blinded with wearying pain
Feeling you cannot endure it,
You cannot bear the strain.

Bruised through the constant suffering
Dizzy and dazed, and numb
Remember at Wits End Corner,
Is where Jesus loves to come.

Are you standing at “Wits End Corner”
Your work before you spread.
Or lying begun, unfinished
And pressing on heart and head.

Longing for strength to do it.
Stretching out trembling hands
Remember at “Wits End Corner”
The burden bearer stand.

Are you standing at “Wits End Corner”
Yearning for those you love,
Longing and praying and watching,
Pleading their cause above,

Trying to lead them to Jesus
Wondering if you’ve been true?
He whispers at “Wits End Corner”
I’ll win them as I won you.”

Are you standing at “Wits End Corner”
Then you’re just in the very spot.
To learn the wondrous resources
Of Him who faileth not!

No doubt to a brighter pathway
Your footsteps will soon be moved
But only at Wits End Corner
Is the God who is able, “proved.”

    1. Paul said it this way:May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
    2. And that is my prayer for you as well.
  1. The third part of Paul's prayer is a prayer of thanks
      giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    1. And it seems to me that this is where this morning's hymn comes in.
    2. Charles Wesley is saying thank you for all that God has done:
(Ill.)     The hymn that we know as Amazing Love or And Can It Be was written by the prolific hymn composer Charles Wesley. I read varying accounts to the number of songs attributed to him, but it appears to be well over 5000.

            Charles and his brother John were both ordained ministers and founded a holy group called "The Methodists" because of their methods of rising early and strict Bible study. Yet they were both caught in the trap of legalism. A mission trip to the American colony of Georgia proved to be disastrous and Charles came home broken and ill. After his return, both he and his brother made the acquaintance of Moravian Peter Bohler, who urged Charles to look more deeply at the state of his soul and who taught them about true evangelical Christianity.

            In May of 1738, once again ill, Charles read Martin Luther's book on Galatians and was convicted. He wrote, "At midnight I gave myself to Christ, assured that I was safe, whether sleeping or waking. I had the continual experience of His power to overcome all temptation, and I confessed with joy and surprise that He was able to do exceedingly abundantly for me above what I can ask or think."

            He also journaled, "I now found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in hope of loving Christ. I saw that by faith I stood." Two days later he began writing a hymn that many believe to be And Can It Be (Amazing Love). The hymn's words bear this theory out, especially the words of verse four.

            Let me add one more fact about this hymn – it is said that “And Can It Be” is also known as Billy Graham's favorite hymn. Perhaps it is yours as well.
    1. As we sing our final hymn, we, too, need to be thankful for what God has done for us when He sent His son to the cross.


i Brian L. Harbour, "Rising Above the Crowd" quoted in Galaxie Software. (2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.Page 3. Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:46 PM September 26, 2014.

ii Galaxie Software. (2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Seeing, Listening, and Speaking

September 21, 2014Psalm 119:17-24

Seeing, Listening, and Speaking

Intro.: I can almost remember back to 2nd or 3rd grade when I first learned about my senses.

  1. Did you know that there are five senses.
    1. Smell
    2. Touch
    3. Taste
    4. Hearing
    5. Seeing
    6. There is a sense of awe as I remember the day I put those together – WOW!
  2. I felt the same way as I learned about communication – except it took more time.
    1. For most of us it was our voice – the cry
      1. Feed me
      2. Change me
      3. Hug me
      4. Let me sleep
      5. Turn me over
      6. Yep – I first learned to communicate with crying
    2. I suppose then came a word or two
      1. ma-ma
      2. da-da
      3. NO!
    3. As our muscles developed, we learned to point
      1. It is a wonderful way to communicate
      2. At RIT the deaf community use American Sign Language
      3. And most of us point or invent our own sign language to get our point across
    4. We might use our eyes to communicate
      1. a wink
      2. close eyes
      3. questioning eyes
    5. Eventually we learned to talk and write in complete sentences
      1. please and thank you
      2. communicate ideas
      3. though that can take awhile.
  3. These themes are the same ones that form the core of today's hymn
Open My Eyes That I May See


Trans:During the next few minutes I want to turn our focus to each of the three verses that were originally written for this hymn.

Born in Illinois, Clara Scott attended the first Music Institute held by C.M. Cady in Chicago, Ill., in 1856. By 1859, she was teaching music at the Ladies' Seminary, Lyons, Iowa. She married Henry Clay Scott in 1861, and published in 1882 the Royal Anthem Book, the first volume of choir anthems published by a woman.i

Psalm 119:18 is a prayer for spiritual insight.  It asks God, "Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law."  Reading that verse inspired Clara Scott to write the hymn "Open My Eyes."  The opening verse of the hymn asks, "Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me."

But Clara was not satisfied to pray for open eyes.  She also wrote, "Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear." 

And she was not satisfied to ask God to receive blessings.  She also prayed that God would make her a blessing by helping her to speak to others about what God had revealed to her.  She wrote, "Open my mouth, and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere." 
Clara understood, and helped countless others to understand, that it is more blessed to give than to receive ––and that we, as Christians, are called to share the good news that we have received.

Clara wrote a number of other hymns, and even published a book entitled, Truth in Song for Lovers of Truth –– but "Open My Eyes" is the hymn for which she is remembered today.
Clara published "Open My Eyes" in 1895.  Two years later, as she was riding in a carriage, her horse was spooked and began running crazily through the streets.  Clara was thrown from the carriage and killed.  Reflecting on that, one of her biographers commented that she never knew how popular her hymn, "Open My Eyes" had become.

But I believe that one of her heavenly blessings will be to know just how many people have been blessed by the hymn that she wrote so late in her life.

In hymnal published in 1997, the editor added two additional verses to those we traditionally sing. When we sing the hymn we will have the opportunity to sing all five verses that are known today – the first three by the originally author, Clara Scott, and the last two added in 1997.ii

T.S. The themes that Clara Scott used in her hymn are found throughout scripture.

  1. We start or journey with Psalm 119:18: Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
    1. There is nothing magical in reading God's word, but it will do nothing if we are not spending time in his word..
    2. God's word will influence our life because we allow it to come within reach of our lives.
    3. Time for a quiz – I know you love my quizzes, they make each of us look at or own lives. I don't want to necessarily know your answers. Those answers are between you and God. And what changes you make after taking the quiz is between you and God. But making the changes that God asks of you, will change your life and how you see your world.
      1. Are you in God's word daily?
      2. Do you have a plan – a chapter a day, ten verses a night, etc.?
      3. Do you take notes – in your Bible, in a journal, or in a separate notebook ?
      4. Do you share some of what you read with at least on other person?

(Ill.) When there is a beautiful sunset, you want to share it with others. If you see something wondrous in the word of God, you will want to share it with others. That's the basis of that last question.

  1. Jesus would often say at the conclusion of a story, “He who has ears, let him hear.“
    1. Closed ears become a metaphor for a lack of understanding:

(Ill.) In the middle of His ministry, Jesus once said, "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (Matthew 13:15).iii

(Ill.) When Jonathan was a four or five years old, he suddenly became hard of hearing. It concerned us as parents and we took him to the doctor. The doctor took out his tool to look at his ears and found something. It seems that he had been stuffing his ears with small pellets of Styrofoam used to fill beanbag chairs.

    1. May we not have our ears so stuffed with the world's input that we stop hearing what God has for us to hear and do.
  1. The Eyes and the Ears receive information – the mouth is different.
    1. While the eyes and the ears are receptive organs, the mouth has the capacity to project.
    2. The mouth may project "cursing and deceit and fraud" (Psalm 10:7),
    3. Or it may be an organ that projects praise, as Psalm 51:15 exhorts us: "O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise."iv

(Appl.) My prayer for each of you, today, is that even as your eyes and ears discover what God wants from you, that your mouth will be able to let others know about the faith that has formed you over the years. May we not live a silent faith, but a faith that others can see – and want for themselves.
Conclusion: Our eyes, our ears, and our mouth – these are the three senses that Clara Scott originally wrote about in 1895.

  1. But by 1997 two additional verses were added.
  2. The first is a prayer that my mind would be open to reading of God's love
  3. The second is a prayer that I may be used by God to serve Him.
  4. As we sing today's hymn, I hope that all five of the prayers that have become this hymn are yours:
    today, tomorrow, and for as long as God needs you to serve Him here.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

James 4:1-12 - Responsive Reading

James 4:1-12
(English Standard Version)

Pastor: What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?

People: Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?

Pastor: You desire and do not have,

People: so you murder.

Pastor: You covet and cannot obtain,

People: so you fight and quarrel.

Pastor: You do not have,

People: because you do not ask.

Pastor: You ask and do not receive,

People: because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Pastor: You adulterous people!

People: Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Pastor: Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

People: Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says,

Pastor: “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

People: But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Pastor: Submit yourselves therefore to God.

People: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Pastor: Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

People: Cleanse your hands, you sinners,

Pastor: and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

People: Be wretched and mourn and weep.

Pastor: Let your laughter be turned to mourning

People: and your joy to gloom.

Pastor: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

People: Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.

Pastor: The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother,

People: speaks evil against the law and judges the law.

Pastor: But if you judge the law,

People: you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

Pastor: There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy.

People: But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Saturday, May 03, 2014

James 2:1-26 - A Responsive Reading

Faith and Works

James 2:1-26 (ESV)

A Responsive Reading

Pastor: My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

People: For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Pastor: Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man.

People: Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

Pastor: If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

People: But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

Pastor: For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

People: So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Pastor: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

People: If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

Pastor: So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

People: But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.”

Pastor: Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

People: You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

Pastor: Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.

People: You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.