Tag Archives: Jesus

Facebook Oozed Fading Rainbow Colors

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Have you ever  seen an up close and personal rainbow? One that was so close to you ,well, you thought you could reach out and touch it?

I remember the first time I saw one! It felt so up-close, and so vibrant it brought tears to my eyes. I was in Hawaii. I dropped to my knees at its beauty. No! I was not worshiping the rainbow. Relax! I only worship its Creator.

The descent of my knees to the pavement was an involuntary response to something God created. The only other time I experienced this response, this drop to my knees, occurred the first time my eyes fell on the beauty of the Grand Canyon. When a true believer and follower of Christ Jesus sees God’s artwork, well, our response is one of worship!

On June 26th, 2015 a different type of rainbow starting appearing amongst social media, specifically, on Facebook. Facebook provided a tool for its users to celebrate the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision on gay marriage.  The tool was a filter which placed a rainbow tint, well, actually a resemblance of rainbow colors over the users’  profile picture to show their support for gay marriage.

Did you know Facebook also sponsors gay pride parades? I often wonder if supporters of gay pride parades go to the parades they sponsor? Do they not see the public lewdness that is displayed. Are sponsors so into wanting their product make more money that they do not see the impact upon the hearts and minds of the kids that attend these parades?

I have always wondered why the rainbow has been used by a political movement to represent a sexual choice.  As you probably already know, the rainbow is a sign of the covenant God made with all of mankind. A covenant which basically meant that God would never destroy all of the Earth with a flood as He did in the book of Genesis.

How is it that this sign of the covenant represents sinful behavior between folks of the same gender?

Did the Boy Scouts Make the Right Decision?

Boy-Scouts-Pledge

For me, the main thing to ponder upon is that these young boy scouts are still young and still impressionable . . .

Right now, the culture they are in, basically, the world, is telling them that if you have same gender attractions you must be gay . . .

But, we know this is not true, we know that young boys, will not mature until about age 25, right now the world is telling them they are gay because of their un-chosen attractions so they think they must be . . .

so, part of me sees the move as a positive one for the boys who want to be scouts who identify as gay . . . again, they probably have not acted out on the attractions, they just are identifying themselves as gay because that is what the culture is telling them . . . or if they have acted it out there is still hope they will not believe the lies that they are born gay . . .

so, if they get in with some strong men, the boy scout leaders, who are not gay, who are comfortable in their own skin, and their emotional needs are met by these leaders, basically I see gay identifying youth coming out with strong male identifies and no longer attracted to the same gender any longer . . .

yes, they may have caved in . . . or perhaps they are thinking they can make a difference and actually meet the emotional needs of these gay identifying youth . . . thus turning them back to God’s intended design

the reason these young boys are identifying as gay is because they do have same gender attractions . . . and the culture tells them they are gay . . . but the real reason they have the attractions is because somewhere in their childhood their same gender parent did not meet an emotional need . . . now this emotional need that was not meet is not the same gender parent’s fault necessarily . . . it may be a matter of the child’s perception of it not being met . . . or it could have been something out of the hands of a predator . . .

I see this whole thing as we see the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his 11 brothers in the book of Genesis, in the Bible. What Joseph’s brothers intended for evil, God turned it around and used it for good, God used Joseph to save God’s people . . .

What gay activists intend for evil, a furtherance of their agenda, God can indeed turn around and use to bring these young boys back in line with God’s intended design.

Thoughts?

Gay and Christian?

Yes, you can be in Christ Jesus and also identify yourself as lesbian or gay, however, if indeed, you are in Christ, the Holy Spirit will eventually, if not already, be convicting you of your homosexual identity. The two can’t exist in you without struggle. Sin has received an eviction notice and can not dwell in you long if you are in Christ. You are a work in progress! Let the struggle begin!

What is this book, “Lesbian No More” actually about anyway?

What is this book, “Lesbian No More” actually about anyway?.

What Happened To Me In Vegas Has Not Stayed in Vegas or Born in the “City of Sin” and Born Again in “Sin City”

December 1958

My Parents Charles and Norma holding me

It was December of 1958, my mom lay on the delivery table in Lynn Hospital. I was ready to come out and meet her face to face however a blizzard was keeping the doctor from getting there. As the nurses told my mom not to push she told them there was no holding me back. Out I came! It was time! I had waited long enough, you see I was supposed to have been born on the 22nd of November yet I waited until the 5th of December.

From what I understand, Lynn Hospital is no longer there, how sad! I read on Facebook that it is now a grocery store. I wonder what aisle the delivery room turned out to be?

A little history on the City of Lynn. It’s about  seven miles from Boston and is quite a historic town; it also has the dubious honor of being known as “The City of Sin” given its history of crime since it was industrialized.

Mom was a waitress at Becky’s Diner which was right across from the original General Electric plant, she also waitressed at the Pioneer Club in downtown Lynn, and a large hotel restaurant whose name escapes me at the time. Mom also worked as Cook at a Rest Home close to Tracy Elementary School where I attended. Oh yes and she also worked at the Lynn School Department. Needless to say Mom worked several jobs as well as attending night school in an effort to obtain her GED as she quit school in order to help support her family.

My Dad had died when I was about three years old. He and his brothers had a band, his nickname was “Rocky” and he played the guitar and I believe the bass. Dad also worked at the famous Lynn Shoe Factories. I want to say he was a “tanner” however I am not 100% sure of this fact.

Mom was a single mother who worked several jobs in order to support herself and her two young daughters. Regretfully Mom also enjoyed her drink and many a time my older sister and I had to experience her in her drunken state. Yet you must know this, Mom loved us very much and she cared about us otherwise I do not see her working all of these jobs, trying to better herself with obtaining her GED, and wanting to set a good example for her girls in not taking welfare. Mom was her own woman and a fighter.

Mom’s needing to work so many jobs and her drinking did not allow much time for her to spend with her daughters. She did spend time with us, I have pictures of the three of us at Lynn Beach, and several other pictures of the three of us together. We even went to the World’s Fair in New York in 1965. As I look at these pictures trying to remember the moment I only get glimpses. I want to remember her and times we spent together. I know she loved me yet I just do not remember much about my childhood mainly because she really was not there that much. This is one of the reason I attribute to my same-sex attractions. No, I am not blaming my mother at all, I am merely mentioning how I see this as one of the many factors that merged together which created a void for me.

There was always a boyfriend with us otherwise who would take the pictures. Smile! I do not remember who they were except one and he seemed to like my Mom. His name was Phil Petronni. He was either a grocery store manager or a butcher. He would bring Joanne and I gifts which included some delicious Ice Cream Sundaes along with many other things. Funny how I remember the Ice Cream Sundaes. Ice Cream is one of my comfort foods along with submarine sandwiches. We got our sandwiches from Dotties on Boston St. These are the foods we would eat when mom was not home to feed us. Though you must know she was a great cook and when she was home she made us great meals, my favorite being her chicken and dumplings, made from scratch of course.

Goodness, thinking about my Mom and my hometown brought back some memories. Thanks for visiting them with me. So let’s get back to the subject of this particular blog.

There is a ‘poem’ or a ‘ditty’ that goes with Lynn being the City of Sin. It goes like this:

 “Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin, you never come out the way you went in”

Well, regardless, the city is where I was born and so I am proud of being from there. I mean, come on, I could have been born in Las Vegas, right? Well, actually you see I was actually born there as well but not until November 5th of 1995. No! I am not crazy. You see the term “Born Again” means that I came to realize that I was a sinner, and it had nothing to do with being born in Lynn, City of Sin! And this realization came not from myself but from the conviction of reading and hearing God’s Word.

You see if you do not repent of your sins and turn to God then regretfully you will not be with God in Heaven when you die. God and sin can not exist in the same place so if you have not turned from your sins and then you die you can not go to Heaven. Click on this “THIS” and it will explain it better than I can. Smile!

Believe it or not I was actually in Las Vegas, Nevada also known as “Sin City” when I heard the Word of God. I was attending a Southern Baptist Church that my parents, Mom and my Step-Dad were members. Yes, there are actually churches in Las Vegas and not just wedding chapels. Here is the website of the church I attended as did my entire family that lived there. http://collegeparkbaptist-lv.com/default.aspx

Part of my life-changing story which I like to share is that my parents, myself, my kid sister, and my kid brother were all blessed to beat the odds in Las Vegas. No I am not talking about beating the odds in the gambling casinos. Ha-ha, you see according to Barna Research, a well know research organization amongst Christians, once a person has reached the age of 18 and has not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Born-Again) there is less than a 1% chance that this person will ever come to be “Born-Again”!

Well, my step-dad was 60, then my mom was 65, then my kid sister was 30, then me at age 35, and finally my kid brother at age 30. ( these ages are rough estimates with the exception of my age and my mom’s). My older sister came to Christ as well, as a matter of fact she was the first in our family to be “Born-Again” and she was over age 18 as well. She beat those same odds she just was not in Vegas though she too was born in Lynn the City of Sin. I think she was in Gilroy, California when she came to Christ. Gilroy being the Garlic Capital of the World. Ha-ha!

So you see I like to say that my entire family beat the odds and all of us but one beat the odds in Vegas . . .  Praise God we all came to Christ, we all came to God.

Also, one last mention, God, over a 15 year period healed me of my same-sex attractions. It was one of the sins I turned away from at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Change is possible folks. If you or someone you know struggles with unwanted same-sex attractions, know that there is hope, those unwanted attractions can go away but it is not easy. Start with prayer, which is basically talking with God, just imagine He is sitting right there with you and tell Him what is on your heart. And keep up the conversation okay? Every time you have these unwanted same-sex attractions, stop and turn them over to God in prayer. Ask Him to help you to understand why the attraction is there . . .  again, do not give up, keep talking with God . . . He took the feelings away from me, again, it was not easy, but all things are possible with God okay?

If you need to talk you can call or email me, just let me know.

You can email me at charlene@bridgingthegapsministries.org

You can call me at 415.465.0517. If you call it is best to leave me a voice mail. I will call you back I promise.

Have a blessed day now!

Charlene? Why Do You Identify Yourself As “Ex-Gay” ?

You would imagine that I receive a ton of questions in my line of ministry and one of them is this question. Charlene? Why do you call yourself “‘ex-gay”‘?  Should you not identify yourself as a “Christian”?

Know that I personally do not like the title or label  of  “ex-gay” yet I use it for one reason and one reason only.  That reason is because calling or identifying myself as “ex-gay” is a great witnessing tool. “Ex-gay” is a term that is quite easily understood. Well, at least at first. It is also a term that brings up many questions such as aren’t people born gay? How could you be “ex-gay” if you are born that way. You see what a great little witnessing tool it can be?

The other night I was blessed to be on a panel of  “overcomers”. There were four of us “overcomers” who had come out of the homosexual lifestyle. We were attending a group meeting of Christian parents whose children identify themselves as lesbians or gays. While I personally like the label “overcomer” know that at the same time I realize that it was through my personal relationship with Christ Jesus that I now can be labeled an “overcomer”.  Jesus really gets all the praise here!  Without the healing power and strength of Jesus I would still be a prisioner to the sin of homosexuality believing that I was born that way.

My identity is in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I am God’s child whom He loves so much that He gave up His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place, to forgive me of my sins, to make me into a “New Creation”. The Holy Spirit convicted me that homosexuality was not something I was born with but something I had got lost in and must repent of it.  I did repent of it, God forgave me of it, Jesus’ blood washed me clean of it. Praise God for healing me of  it.

My identity is no longer in what I once was but is now in who I am through the healing power of Jesus Christ!

Witnessing To A Gay Friend

In today’s day and age of gay equality rights and in a culture that is affirming of homosexuality, most of us know someone who identifies themselves as gay or lesbian.  This person may be your closest friend or perhaps a neighbor or co-worker. One question that is often asked of those whose ministry is to work with the issue of homosexuality is, “How do I witness to the gays and lesbians that are in my day to day life?” The answer here is quite simple: You witness to the gay or lesbian in your life the same way you would witness to anyone else in your life. You witness by sharing God’s truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 Here are some thoughts to consider:                            

  • See beyond their self-labeling of “homosexual.” See this person as your friend, be they woman or man, who, just like you, has fears, hopes, and needs.
  • Be willing to listen to your friend. Let them see that you are not going to be like all the other “Christians” they have encountered who have deeply wounded them.
  • Since there is no hope for your friend to come out of homosexuality without the power of God in their life, introduce them to Jesus Christ, not heterosexuality! It is through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that the healing begins.
  • Remember that you can not argue your friend out of their homosexuality.
  • Once the discussion starts on their homosexuality remember that you do not have to be an expert on the subject matter. If you do not know an answer say so, then tell them you will come back with an answer; then do it.
  • Be as gentle and loving as you would want to be treated.
  • Allow God’s love to shine and work through you, and be patient.
  • Change will come!                                                                                            

 Charlene Hios is a licensed minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is also the founder and president of Bridging The Gaps Ministries which provides direction both corporately and individually to those affected by unwanted homosexuality.  

Charlene can be contacted through Bridging The Gaps Ministries.

Phone:  415.465.0517

Email:  Charlene@BridgingTheGapsMinistries.org

Check out Charlene’s free access on-line book here at the Earthen Vessel Journal. (Go to search website and type in the name “Hios” to bring up the free chapters)

Follow Charlene as she shares with us her life-changing experience out of homosexuality.

Lesbian No More:  One Woman’s Life Changing Experience

Buy Charlene’s DVD–a discussion with Kent Philpott:
Homosexuality from a Christian Perspective

Pride Parade SF 2006

Back in June of 2006 I was a student at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. I was drawn to experience the gay pride parade of San Francisco from the perspective of one who was no longer a lesbian. I also wanted to interact with the parade participants, to get a feel for what their thoughts were on some issues.

A good friend of mine at the time, Tanja Guerrero, went with me. I also made sure I told the dean of students of my plans to attend the parade and what my reasons for doing so actually were. This way if I should some how get on the news or was spotted by protestors I might know, they would not have the wrong idea.

Let me stop for a moment and say that I am not a big fan of the signs protestors hold up at the pride parades. Unless a person knows Scripture, they are not going to know what is meant with a sign which reads : Romans 1:26-27, Lev 18:20 . . .  you get the picture. If a sign is used that reads: God Created Adam and Eve Not Adam and Steve, well that just appears hateful and mean. If I ever personally see a sign that reads “God Hates Fags”  I promise you I will tear it out of the hands of the holder. I promise you! Yes, I will probally go to jail for inciting a riot. That is okay.

If you are to hold up any sign at a pride parade it should read:  God LOVES You and I Do Too! This will certainly provide a loving response, and it may also get some much needed conversation. It will certainly make the gay and lesbian reader curious.

Okay, back to my main thought here!

Tanja and I went to the staging area of the parade where we, in prayer, asked God for some divine appointments. We were blessed to have six of them. Here is what I did with Tanja there for prayer support.

At God’s prompting we walked up to six different people over the course of an hour. We did a cold interview with one woman, one man, a male couple, and a female couple pushing a bicycle built for two which sported a cute sign on the front which read “Dykes on Bikes Rejects” Smile. 

With my little Samsung digital DV camera in hand I asked each of the six these same three questions: 

“What type of spirituality did you grow up with, if any? What type of spirituality, if any, do you now practice? If you  could give a message to the Church, what would that message be?”

As I asked these questions and filmed their replies my heart broke as each of them shared their answers. I wanted to reach out to each of them and let them know how sorry I was for their experiences.  The first person was a vendor, a young man from Ireland. He was not gay, he was brought up in the church and he still attends church. The second person was a woman close to my age who I believe volunteered with such social issues as feeding the homeless and clothing them, the third and fourth people were the lesbian couple, one had her PhD and her girlfriend was a dancer, and finally, a gay couple,  one of whom would not be video taped.  All of them had been involved with the Church growning up. Only the vendor still attended church. The others expressed how the Church had hurt them and though they believed in God they now identified with other spiritualites such a Paganism.

What was their message to the Church you might be asking?

Interesting enough what made me cry was that although none of them knew each other,  these six divine appointments all seemed to have the same message. The lady who has her PhD said it best when she said: 

If ever there was an organization who has hurt more people, its the Church, they need to be more like Jesus!

Time and time again I have heard those in the LGBTQ community state this and I am torn. Being a former lesbian I still have a hard time with it but mainly because that was not my experience with the Church. I was blessed to have a loving and healing experience with the Church as a whole. I am told my experience is unique. But I do not believe this  to be so. The very fact that I experienced a church who was willing to accept me just as I was, a church who focused on telling me about Jesus and a church who did not focused on my personal sin, then one would think there are more experiences such as mine.

Either way, how do we, as the body of Christ Jesus, reach out to those who have felt pushed away by the Church. Usually when someone is hurt by the Church they want nothing to do with people who identify themselves as part of that organization.

I believe the answer is one on one relationships. Members of the Church need to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ to those in their lives who identify themselves as lesbian or gay. Invite them to lunch or for coffee. Maybe go shopping with them, or perhaps catch a game? Invite them over to your house for dinner or perhaps a barbeque. Eventually invite them to attend church with you and your family on a special day such as Easter or Christmas, or to a pagent put on by your church for such Holy Days.

Yes, there is always going to be that question asked of you by your lesbian or gay friend. “Do you think homosexuality is a sin?”  Or, “do you think I am going to hell because I am a lesbian or because I am gay?”

How do you answer these questions? I will be back in a day or so with some answers that may help you answer them. Until then, if you would like to post your thoughts on how to lovingly answer these questions, please do so!

Also I will be posting the raw video of these cold interviews soon.

Lesbian No More: One Woman’s Life-Changing Experience (Part 1)

http://www.earthenvesseljournal.com/archive/issue01/articles/Hios/Hios%2001.html

After twenty years as a lesbian, Charlene Hios was converted, left the gay life, and has developed an outreach to those who struggle with same sex attraction as well as being a consultant to churches who wish to reach out to the gay community. Her ministry is presented at http://www.BridgingTheGapsMinistries.org.

Here now is the introduction to her book, Lesbian No More:  One Woman’s Life-Changing Experience, and each month following the rest of the book will be serialized.

WHO ARE YOU TO SPEAK TO THIS MATTER?

An Interview

During my seminary years I had the opportunity to speak with a nationally known freelance journalist. Toni was going to do an article for the San Francisco Chronicle in which she would talk about Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. I was one of the students chosen by the school’s dean to be interviewed by the reporter.
When Toni and I met at a local library I began by sharing with her the purpose of my ministry, Bridging the Gaps. First on my list was to come alongside the Church and help them reach out to the homosexual population with the love of Christ Jesus rather than pushing them away with judgment, perceived or otherwise. The second purpose for the ministry was to reach out to those who struggle with their same sex attractions.
As Toni and I talked she seemed to be irritated. She stopped me at one point and asked,   “Who are you to speak to this matter?”

I was surprised, given my assumption that the dean would have shared some of my story with her. When asked about this she said the dean had not explained anything beyond telling her a bit about my ministry and providing my contact information.
So, I recounted to her that for almost twenty years of my life I lived and identified myself as a lesbian. And more specifically I was a self-avowed butch.  I also told Toni that I had had a life changing experience and over the course of several years had come to understand that I had been living a lie and that God had not made me a lesbian. I expressed clearly that I was convinced that I had not been born homosexual. Indeed, through the healing power of Christ Jesus, my eyes were opened to the fact that for those many years I had been living in a manner that was not what God intended, that I was, in fact, living a life of sin but believing there was nothing wrong with my life.

As Toni and I continued our conversation she seemed to relax somewhat as she understood that I had some authority to speak to the issue of homosexuality. Many publish their thoughts on the subject, but have not had the experience of actually living and breathing the life of a lesbian or gay person.  Toni could see such was not the case with me. And it was not as though my exit from the gay life was something quickly or easily done, but that I had struggled mightily in leaving that life and moving on into the life of a follower of Christ Jesus. Part of that following meant that I felt called to a work of helping others who struggle with same sex attraction.

A difference
Many books on homosexuality are written with males in mind. This book, however, focuses on the female homosexual.  In my research, I have found that lesbianism is often viewed differently than male homosexuality, to the point it is sometimes not considered to be sinful behavior at all.  Astonishingly, some writers will have no problem with female homosexuality; it is male homosexuality that is repulsive to them. To many, female homosexuality is merely interesting, even exciting or sensual—this largely coming from a male, heterosexual point of view.

By no means am I dismissing those efforts that speak more to male homosexuality, because they are tools to help us eventually understand what the core issues are.  Each person’s experience is unique to some degree, but male or female, there are similarities, so this book is really for all who struggle with homosexuality—in other words, same-sex attraction.

Words of encouragement and comfort
As a biblically-oriented Christian I have at my disposal a vast array of literature that has proven helpful to people who have confronted their same sex attraction. The apostle Paul, who possibly dealt with our issue (and it does not matter one way or the other, but there is nothing to indicate he did), nevertheless in his second letter to the Corinthian Church wrote of a God who comforts us in all our troubles so that the comforted ones may comfort others.

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
(The Message Bible – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

A survey of the book
This book is written with four groups of people in mind:

  • Those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction.  Of considerable importance, these must know that having such attractions is not a sin. At first I did not understand this, and it caused me much confusion and discouragement.  Just because a person is sexually attracted to another of the same sex does not mean she or he is lesbian or gay. Additionally, it is only sinful behavior if the attraction is acted upon.
  • Those who have loved ones involved in homosexuality. There is always hope that there will be change. Since there are people like myself, and many of us actually, we learn to never give up on loved ones—we continue to trust God and pray. There is power in prayer. My older sister Joanne prayed for almost twenty years that my eyes would be open to the lie that I was born a lesbian. How thankful I am to my sister for her prayers and to all who prayed for me to come out of that life of lies. Remember, never give up, there is always hope.
  • Those in the Church who come in contact with homosexuality.  We can reach out to everyone with the love of Christ Jesus rather than push them away by judging and rejecting them. The perception that the gay community so often has of Christians is that they are doing harm and not good by not accepting homosexual behavior as normal and acceptable.  At the San Francisco Gay Pride parade in 2006, I captured this quote on my tape recorder: “If ever there was an organization that has hurt more people and pushed away more people, it is the church. Why don’t you just be more like Jesus?” And we can be more like Jesus all the while standing by the biblical truth that homosexual behavior is wrong. While he told the woman caught in adultery that he did not condemn her, he also told her to go and not repeat her sin.
  • The gay activist.  I have encountered more than my share of people in the gay community, through my blogging primarily, who question whether or not I have left lesbianism behind, and my guess is that they cannot bear to think that change away from homosexuality is possible. It is safe and comforting to think that the homosexual orientation is present at birth, built in or hard wired, genetically or in utero. These people like to tell me I am hurting myself by not living as God created me. The very ones who demand tolerance cannot seem to give it to someone who views things differently.  Indeed, former lesbians and gays must be a threat to the gay activist. If there are those who have come out of the homosexual life, then the “born gay” concept may not be actual. It seems to be a version of attacking the messenger rather than the message.

The content of this book comes from someone who lived the lie for almost twenty years.  I will speak openly, I will not hold my punches, and please know my words come straight from my heart.

Charlene Hios
December 1, 2009

How Does Same-Sex Marriage Affect The Prison System?

During Bible Study last night, my pastor made mention of this very question.

What does same-sex marriage look like in the prisons? Let’s take California for example. If indeed the federal courts allow same-sex marriages what happens when two inmates of say San Quentin fall in love and desire to express their love by marrying each other.

Hmmm?

What is involved here? Okay, first there is the need for someone to perform the marriage. Well, one would imagine there are plenty of prison chaplains at San Quentin. So will any of them be willing to perform the marriage? What if one or several of the chaplains say they will not perform the marriage because is goes against their Faith, against their Beliefs?

Will the prison chaplain be given an ultimatium? Officiate the marriage or resign your position?

Okay, what is next? Oh, housing? Where shall the new same-sex couple reside? Will they be allowed to be celled together? Will they demand privacy? What does this look like.

I am sure one could go on and on with the different scenarios.

What is your take on it?