Obedience

When All My Strength Has Failed

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Chapter Five: Abdicating the Throne of Flesh, part I

“but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (I Corinthians 9:27, NAS).”

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1, NAS).”

Definition of Abdicate: renounces one’s throne. Synonyms: disown, renounce, give up, refuse, relinquish, repudiate, abandon, turn one’s back on, wash one’s hands of, forgo, waive, abjure

I love this word “abdicate” because it is so in line with the meaning of “deny self”, “die to self”, “take up your cross”, “surrender”, “living sacrifice” and other expressions of ridding our person of the nature of the flesh. We, mankind, have made our flesh our throne from which we rule and no one can tell us what to do – not even God.

We worship self by following our heart when we should deny the heart. Jeremiah 17:9 reads, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” No possible hope can be found in the heart of a man separate from the heart of Jehovah. This is why it is a matter of life and death that we disown the throne we have made of ourselves and abdicate to the King of kings. Do you remember the definition of “surrender” in chapter three? It is to “cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” The throne of self is the enemy of the Throne of God and must submit.

Since Christ is our only hope, it makes sense that one would have to concede unto the One who can save those who are lost. We must deny ourselves if we are to expect anything of the Lord, especially strength. It’s all too easy for the flesh to appear strong when there are no real struggles afoot but, when things begin to go awry, we can’t help but acknowledge the glaring weakness of the flesh.

Paul, a mighty warrior for the Kingdom gospel, said he “made his body a slave”. This is because he understood full well how askew the flesh of man is, no matter the man, no matter how closely that man walks with the Lord. In fact, it was because of his close relationship with the Lord that he understood the intensely sinful nature of mankind. He went on to say that he made his body a slave so that “I myself will not be disqualified”. Many a person of God has fallen away due to the fleshly nature they refused to abandon, all the while preaching salvation to others.

We read in Mark 8 that, for those who want to save their life, they will lose it and vice versa. We cannot rightly attempt to hold to this life and somehow force it into morality so as to please God. The flesh must be acknowledged and rendered as dead since it already is. This is taking up our cross – it is death to self. The flesh will never be transformed into the image of God; therefore, it cannot be allowed to thrive even when we believe it to be “under control.”

If Jesus had to give up His life due to the nature of the flesh, this tells us the flesh is defiled beyond restoration. Christ did not give up His life that we may have ours; He gave up His life that we may have His. We are to take on His life into our mortal shell. We try too hard as “Christians” to will our flesh into submission or, in other words, we try to keep it controlled, much like a pet Rattlesnake. It is impossible to control the uncontrollable long-term. It must be extinguished; it must be 100% subjected to the holiness of Almighty God. This is the only possible way to become self-controlled – subjected and surrendered to Christ’s life.

You will read this in all my writings because it is all throughout God’s Word. The Bible is clear. The flesh being forced into morality is not the solution. It is weak and we must stop pretending it is strong enough to allow us to overcome our circumstances. To get to the root, flesh is not only weak but altogether defiled and dead in the sight of God; it is irreversibly cursed. It can never produce enough strength or power to aid you in a torrential downpour of life.

Encouragement for Parents with Chronically Ill Children

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II Corinthians 10:4-7: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?

 

A major issue with having a chronically ill child is dealing with depression, theirs and ours. For the child, depression is very common and to be expected. After all, they lack the maturity to process their emotions; therefore, in their continuous illness, it can easily become overwhelming to the point of depression. Our role is to keep our children uplifted, both in prayer and in spirit. We must readily encourage them, not with falsehoods but with the hope of Christ and His promises to His righteous seed.

We cannot buckle underneath the pressure of the illness or the possible consequences of said illness. We must not allow fear, anxiety and/or intimidation to set in; anyone with a sick child can relate to what I’m saying. Properly handling your child’s depression will heavily rely on how you deal with it in yourself. First, we must understand that, when we are depressed, it means we have lost sight of our hope in Christ. That applies to me as much as anyone. When I begin to feel it knocking at my door, I must first recognize it for what it is: an enemy of God. Depression is a manifestation of one taking their eyes off God and placing them on themselves, their ability or inability, the situation, helplessness, or what have you.

Secondly, if you, the parent, do not properly assess and confront your depression, there is no way you can aid your child in their depression. Thirdly, one must turn to the Scriptures if you plan to eradicate depression with efficacy. The Word specifically instructs God’s people to “pull down (away from self) imaginations, strongholds, and every high thing that exalts itself above the name of Jesus.” In other words, we must take hold of any and every thought not of God in our minds, hearts and spirits so as to allow the hope of Christ to reign. Because Yahweh, before the foundation of the world, understood the weaknesses of mankind and our feeble faith and mindset, He scribed instructions as to how to proceed when such faithless, self-centered thoughts entered our minds.

Depression, in a nutshell, stems from godlessness; godless thought patterns, godless strongholds, godless imaginations and/or godless occurrences sent from Satan to lure us into darkness. This does not mean the person is not redeemed from hell, but rather their mind has been altered due to circumstances that have caused trauma and disillusionment. In this, it is our responsibility and our right as heirs to the Kingdom of God to take captive anything not of God, bring it into the obedience of Christ, willing to punish all disobedience until our obedience is complete. It is our duty to keep our minds sharp, clean and clear of the debris of life. When we do, we will be fully equipped to, not only encourage ourselves in Christ pulling ourselves out of depression, but our children and family as well. Keep your mind, spirit and heart stayed on Christ, not on the circumstance, trauma, sadness, depression, lack of finances, or anything other than God, His Kingdom, His greatness and His everlasting love for you and your child.

 

I Peter 5:6-11: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

Facebook Group: Encouraging Parents with Chronically Ill Children

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Navigating the Fiery Black Holes of Life

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Demonic Oppression and Possession:

Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw (Matthew 12:22, NAS).”

As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel (Matthew 9:32-33, NAS).”

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world (I Peter 5:8-9, NAS).”

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11, NAS).”

For forty days, being tempted by the devil…(Luke 4:2, NAS).”

 

Possession Definition:

     1: to have and hold as property: own

     2: to have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill

     3: to seize and take control of: take into one’s  possession

     4: to enter into and control firmly: dominate <was possessed by demons>

     5: to bring or cause to fall under the influence, domination, or control of some emotional   or intellectual response or reaction <melancholy possesses her>

Oppress Definition:

     1: archaic: suppress

     2: to crush or burden by abuse of power or authority

     3. to burden spiritually or mentally: weigh heavily upon

 

Sometimes (not always) the cause of our black holes is demonic and we need to understand how to recognize when this is happening. Without question, when we read the Scriptures we cannot exclude demonic possession and oppression, but we need to understand the difference between the two.

A born-again believer can be possessed, contrary to popular belief. This can happen from blatant sin or even veiled sin, but it cannot happen to one who is walking according to the Spirit in obedience to His commands. Possession can occur when a child of God dabbles or delves deeply into any form of witchcraft such as Ouija boards, tarot cards, psychic readings, horoscopes, séances, or things of the like. Possession in reference to demons is where a person (saved or unsaved) is controlled by a demon and they need to be delivered from such possession. Possession always comes from sin.

On the other hand, oppression is where a demon is harassing a person but is not controlling them from the inside. In like fashion, the demons can be bound away in the name of Jesus if the person surrenders in obedience to the Lord. Oppression can come from outside sources such as someone speaking witchcraft over you, generational oppressive spirits, speaking negativity into your own life (life and death are in the power of the tongue), blatant or veiled disobedience, and so on; oppression can come from personal sin or the sin of others set against you. Again, He sent His evil spirit to King Saul who was in disobedience; it overtook him only because he was not consecrated unto the Lord.

The best way to come against such oppression or possession is to pray for God’s guidance into obedience and command the spirits to be loosed from their assignment over you in the name of Jesus and then release Holy Spirit as the only spirit active as your life. With possession, often there needs to be deliverance intercessors but with oppression it isn’t as difficult to be released. The bottom line, plainly speaking, is it’s the name of Jesus and surrendered obedience to His commands that release one from possession and oppression.

If the cause of your troubles is oppression or possession, either way, the effects upon your life are detrimental until Christ is released so as to have full governing access to you. God created and owns every demonic spirit; therefore, God through His Son is the only solution. He has given power and dominion to the body of Christ over all demonic spirits. Obedience and surrender to the Great I AM will usher such power to you hence causing the proper effect. Never forget, every problem has a resolution available through Christ.

 

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Strategic Foe, Strategic Foe, part II

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All Things are Finished:

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, “It is finished” and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost (John 19:30, NAS).”

“…His works were finished from the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:3, NAS).”

Since all things were in fact finished before the foundation of the world, we too must see everything as does He. Our future is already our past, at least from God’s perspective. What is to be has already been. This is how God sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10); He literally sees the end of it before it has begun. Every trial, every heartache; every victory, every triumph – it is all finished. Our purpose is to call the things that are not as though they already are as did Abraham (Romans 4:17) and we do this by walking as one in love with Yeshua and, in such love, walk in total surrendered obedience.

This doesn’t mean we are oblivious to the things we see in the natural but we are to see that and beyond into the spirit realm according to God’s great and powerful promises. Abraham said that he recognized his natural body was as good as dead, but then he went further by accounting the promise that God made: that he would be the father of many nations, as many as the grains of sand. Yes, his body was physically too old to conceive, but because of what God had declared, he kept the faith that the promise would indeed manifest. Awesome! Seeing as does God, we will cease giving the enemy, no matter how strategic, any credit for his attacks because we will know that only God can give permission and therefore God is the one creating everything (darkness and calamity, Isaiah 45:7).

Knowing that God is strategic and so must we be, we can be so only through becoming one with His Spirit and operating in His wisdom from Heaven. In any given crisis, though we feel pain and agony of many shades, we can’t ignore what we see in the natural. But then it is imperative to go beyond that into the spirit realm recognizing the supernatural hand of God. When we know the strategies of God, we will confidently know:

  1. God defeated Satan before he was created so our foe is a dead thing
  2. We have defeated Satan through replacing our life with the life of Christ
  3. We who walk in accordance to the righteousness and promises of God (not whatever we want) have the power and authority to call the things that are not as though they already were just as did Abraham
  4. We can utilize the proper tools to be victorious in any and every black hole experience that comes our way.
  5. Because of God’s completed work before the foundation of the Earth, we realize that we are fighting from victory, not for victory

 

Navigating the Black Holes of Life, chapter 2, part 2

Alexys V. Wolf

Release date, Fall 2016

http://www.thefierysword.com

 

Bab Bosses and Irritating People, Part IV

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October 8, 2013
Standing in Judgment

““Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions…Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way…(Romans 14:1, 4, 7-13, NAS).”

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1, NAS).”

It is exceedingly difficult, nay, impossible, for the flesh of mankind to not pass judgment on those who offend and/or irritate us. However, it is through the Spirit of God exclusively that we are supernaturally capable of overcoming such judgment against others. Sufficed to say, there is no one who can honestly say that judgment does not cross their mind and heart from time to time – after all, it is human nature and we dwell temporarily is this earthen vessel. In order to be successful in this or any area of God’s commands, we must remember that we are no longer of the human race, but of the heavenly race. We are but strangers and aliens in the earth sent from heaven to bring heaven down to earth. This is so because we are dead and our only life is Christ. In other words, once in Christ, our earthly origin ceases and our heavenly origin begins.
If you’re like I, people irritate you! In our irritation, judgment can easily take hold of our hearts and grow bitter roots. Hebrews 12:15 is clear about bitterness: “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” Operating in a judgmental/critical spirit against others no matter how innocent it may seem, causes bitter roots to spring within our hearts like weeks and they taint not only our walk with God with it takes others down with us.

Because of the nature of the flesh in which we remain, it is altogether a necessity to hone in on the Spirit of God within us through our spirit-man. If we do not daily (moment to moment) purposefully tap into Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves in the midst of fleshly judgment. We can defend it all day long, but unless we, one, choose to recognize that we have indeed passed critical judgment in our hearts as well as, two, choose to repent of it and lay it at the foot of the cross, things will not change as we would otherwise hope. Pray though we may for God to remove us or the irritant, nothing will change until we allow God to transform us from the inside out and love and accept others as they are. We are not to regard a brother with contempt. This is why we are urged to go to a brother with whom we have a problem so as to resolve the matter. We are to conclude our conflicts, not simply for our selves, but for the greater good of the Kingdom of God. For this reason, there is to be unity between the brethren and we should seek peace at all times, respecting one another.

One who is rebellious, for instance, will be perpetually faced with people who “force” them to rebel because, from where God stands, He recognizes the need for the weaknesses of rebellion to be exposed so that the individual will choose to deal with it through God’s strength. Otherwise, if they continue in their rebellion, the same old obstacles and irritating people will continuously come in their path; hence, frustration remains.

Likewise, one who is impatient will continually come in contact with people who try their patience. One who is timid in their faith will continuously be put in situations where they need to be bold. One who is confrontational will be put in situations where they need to submit in both humility and silence, and so on. For me personally, the nature of the flesh in which I dwell is exceedingly confrontational! I have to be diligent with my time tapping into Holy Spirit continuously so as to be able to clearly discern when to confront a situation and when to be silent. In everything we say and do, it is a walk of balance that can only come from personal intimacy with Holy Spirit. There should never be a break in our communion with Yahweh.

Until we begin to view everything in everyday life as for the Kingdom of God instead of for or against us personally, not only will circumstances not change, but they will invariably grow worse. Since everything ultimately originates from God whether it comes from Satan’s hand or wicked men, we must say with humility instead of irritation, “What is it You, Yahweh, are trying to show me that I have not yet seen? Reveal my weaknesses to me so that Your strength may prevail in order for Your Kingdom to be advanced through me in the earth. I trust You and submit to You for Your honor and Your glory. Whatever You desire, I desire. Whatever You love, I love. Whatever You hate, I hate.”

There’s always a lesson. There’s always a God-plan. There’s always hope. There’s always growth that He desires to come forth from us, for us and, most importantly, for His great name’s sake. No situation or scenario is in vain or to hurt us. It isn’t even for punishment’s sake; it is always for the Kingdom of God. May we keep our spiritual eye open to see the bigger picture always and remember that you do not belong to yourself, but to the Lord our Great God. I remind myself of this daily so as to stay on heavenly point instead of veering away from the path of God.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).”

Bad Bosses and Irritating People, part III

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October 1, 2013
Bad Bosses and Irritating People, Part III

“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27, NAS).”

“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, AS TO CHRIST…as SLAVES OF CHRIST, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, AS TO THE LORD, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this HE WILL RECEIVE BACK FROM THE LORD…(Ephesians 6:5-8, NAS).”

“All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that (here’s the “why” of it) the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles (I Timothy 6:1-2, NAS).”

Verse after verse we read God’s instruction as to how to treat a boss, believer or non-believer. Since all authority is placed by God, good or bad in the natural, they are there to serve so as to refine us in our walk with Yahweh. We are to honor them, not for our sake or theirs, but more so for the sake of God’s great name and His kingdom. When we refuse to obey, we are refusing obedience to God; of course we are not speaking of doing that which is ungodly.

If you, for instance, have a boss that is constantly making demands of you that you feel are unreasonable, you should do it without grumbling or complaining. Certainly if you need to go up the chain of command, that is not out of the question. However, in the mean time, you are commanded of God to honor and respect whoever is in a position of authority over you. This is when you would need to rely solely upon the promise of Yahweh that says that He will repay you. When God’s people honor those in authority, we honor God. Our reward if forthcoming; it is not an if, but a when.

If you are dealing with law enforcement, they are not your boss from whom you receive your pay, but they are in fact your authority. If you don’t want to be in fear of them, it would behoove us all to obey the law. Romans 13-7, reads “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves…therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake… render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
I often think of Daniel when the law was set against him for the purpose of entrapment. He did not kick and scream and shout profanities at the king or his enforcers. He did not protest by chaining himself to a tree or hold a sit-in. He did not demand that they make things right and boastfully state, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m the servant of the Most High God! You better make things right or else!” On the contrary.

Daniel being the true man of God that he was, quietly continued to do as he always did. He didn’t change anything. He wasn’t loud or obnoxious – he remained steady and sure. He did not obey the wicked law because it was against God. However, at the same time, he did not disrespect the king who made the law, foolish though it was. By humbly conducting himself in a manner worthy of the King of kings, God protected him. Even the king who made the law did everything he could to release and save Daniel. Now that is how the supernatural kingdom of God is able to manifest itself in the earth! When we do things God’s way, solely depending upon God to render good back to His people, the atmosphere shifts in ways that we ourselves could never make happen. Because of Daniel’s humility, faith, and steadfastness, multitudes witnessed the righteous, supernatural, mighty had of God.

Let us be ever mindful of doing things God’s way as unto Him so as to preserve the good name of Yahweh whom we say we serve. Taking matters into our own hands will surely cause chaos. Hebrews 13:17 states “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13:17, NAS).”

Bad Bosses and Irritating People, Part II

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September 24, 2013
Bad Bosses and Irritating People, Part II

Treatment of an Enemy:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:38-48, NAS).”

“Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality (Colossians 3:22-25, NAS).”

Though your boss may appear as an enemy, we’re right back to being Kingdom-minded and treating them respectfully as unto God, not as unto their unreasonable demands and actions. The texts above are both about how to conduct ourselves always no matter the situation, especially in the face of adversity with a boss, family, friend or foe. Colossians 3 states, “…as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward…” The only people who can conduct themselves this way in the face of any trials is by not only believing that Christ has saved them from hell, but trusting fully that Christ has saved them from every bad situations this life may toss their way.

It’s one thing to be kind to a kind boss or person, but it’s another altogether to be kind to the unkind; loving toward the unloving; giving to thieves who steal from us. When faced with adversity, prior to taking any action, every Christ-follower should ask themselves, “Do I REALLY believe and place my faith in the promises of God? Do I know my promises God has granted those who walk in accordance to His will? Do I accept that to ‘turn the other cheek’ is for the good of the Kingdom of God as well as for my own personal good? Do I believe and place my faith in the fact that God will render good back to me in due season when I am rendered only evil from my boss of whom I well serve?”

By asking ourselves these questions and answering honestly will reveal where we really stand with God. If God promises to give the reward, why do we put so much stock in what man does or does not give? Its fleshly thinking as its worst to rationalize doing evil for evil and justify it as righteous. Evil is evil is evil no matter what our rationalization or how we may justify our poor and ungodly conduct. For those who walk according to the Spirit of God instead of the flesh, blessings will come – no questions asked. Though trials and tribulations of everyday life will come, how we respond is in direct correlation to our level of intimacy with and faith in Christ and His unfailing promises. We can only return good for evil when we are fully tapped into the Spirit of God who is within us on a deeply intimate level. Just being saved from hell won’t cut it. We must go higher and grow deeper in our salvation so as to be Kingdom-minded instead of earthly minded.