So, it’s Wednesday morning already, and how are we progressing in our commitment at Blanchard Warrenville this fall to memorize all of Ephesians chapter 1? Yup, get used to it:  I’m invading your personal space.

At home, we’ve started the work at dinnertime, breakfast and bedtime with our kids.  I think I’ve got verses 1-2 down, the preamble of the letter, so to speak, where Paul introduces himself to the people in the early church he’s writing to.  Many biblical scholars believe the letter to the Ephesians was more of a “circuit letter”, a letter Paul wrote from his prison cell in Rome to the churches in the area of Ephesus who would read it in their local context, then share it with another church in the area–it might have even been written to the church in Laodicea, because the earliest copies of this letter don’t reference Ephesus directly–and were probably added later.

Either way, I hope to more directly relate my blog posts this fall during our study of the book of Ephesians to the homework I’m inviting to you to take with you Monday through Saturday at home, at work, while training for your next marathon…wherever!

I hope my mid-week letters to you can help to break down the compartments we build in our lives which make it so difficult to position Christ in His rightful place in our lives, reigning over every aspect of our everyday human existence, not as a burden or “buzzkill”, but as the awesome, loving, purposeful Creator who from before the creation of the world had His redeeming purpose in mind to rescue anyone who might dare to believe in His incredible, life-giving authority to rule over all things.

As I raised the trouble with our compartments during my sermon last Sunday, have you been honest about yours?

Which compartment is the most difficult for you to cede control to Jesus’ reign and rule?  If you’ve forgotten or weren’t in church on Sunday, you can stream my sermon here:

Here’s the list of compartments I asked you to think about:  children, Church, job/career, health/fitness, fun (anything we do to entertain ourselves…the media choices we make from music to TV to movies…), money, neighbors (how are we purposefully demonstrating Christ’s rule over our lives with our neighbors?), spouse.  I asked you to evaluate if any one of these compartment pull or tug your heart more than your worship of Christ.  And if they do, I believe that’s a clear indicator of our need for realignment.

We have to be so careful as Christians to not like our lives worshiping at the altar of self-rule rather than Christ’s rule.  This is in fact one of the primary reasons why secular culture and even our children are so skeptical of Christianity in North America today.

We don’t look any different than they do, we just happen to have an extra box in our life–the Church box (which they think is pretty weird, to be honest).  Like Mark Ashton said,

There are two types of human beings on earth, followers of Christ and normal people.

Unfortunately, I’m way too normal for my own liking.  I know I have a long way to go in ceding control of my life’s compartments to the majestic power of Jesus Christ.  That’s where the “homework hymn” comes in from my sermon.  I won’t attempt to match the scope of Paul’s hymn to Christ in Eph. 1:3-14, but there’s wisdom in disciplining myself to write an honest hymn of praise to Christ. So here’s mine for today…

“For Your infinite patience with me
For Your never-ending pursuit of this lost sheep,
You amaze me, Lord Jesus.
Your kindness does lead me to repentance, O Lord.

That Your plan had me in mind before you created this majestic world steals my words, stills my tongue.
What can I say to You in return?
‘Glory, glory, Lord Jesus Christ,
You deserve all the honor!’

With my Ellie at bedtime, we can’t wait for that day in heaven
When you’ll be our light at the center of that great city forever.
Hold us fast till that day by the power of your life-giving Spirit within us.
I can’t believe I’m your son and she’s your daughter.
What an awesome God You are!”

As you are part of the Blanchard Warrenville congregation (or wherever you are when you read this…), I’m calling you to envision our future together as God’s people at Blanchard Warrenville by:

  1. Believing Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God
  2. Naming your life’s compartments
  3. By the Spirit’s power, ceding complete control of them to Jesus
  4. Out of profound gratitude, writing a hymn of praise to what Jesus means to you (maybe even as a response to this blog?)
  5. Living like you mean it–as the tangible “not normal” expression of Christ’s Kingdom everywhere you are.

Can’t wait to see what else God has in store for us this fall as we move further in to the Book of Ephesians!

At Blanchard Warrenville tomorrow morning, we’ll be looking at Paul’s amazing challenge to the Philippian church in Philippians 3:7-14.  As a small, start-up church, we’ve had our fair share of challenges–as all start-ups do–to get moving in the same direction and focused clearly on our future together.  We’ve been stretched by significant leadership changes (Pastor John’s upcoming transition as our senior pastor notwithstanding…), along with people coming and going for all kinds of reasons, volunteer fatigue from the burden of wearing three or four hats to staff the various ministry needs required for our weekly worship gatherings, and the list goes on…

I think Paul’s letter from prison to the church in Philippi can really encourage us at Warrenville today.  Stuck in his chains in Rome, his firm confidence and conviction in the gospel of Jesus Christ is breathtaking, summarized no more succinctly than in the verse which powerfully captures the theme of the entire letter,

being confident of this, He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6)

His imprisonment preventing Him from completing the missionary work God had called him to, ever-determined Paul affirms his affection for the Philippian church by reminding them that the Church is never dependent on people to complete the work, but Christ Himself.

He goes on in chapter 2 to encourage them to let “likemindedness” characterize their relationships with one another, led by the gracious, humility of Jesus Christ.  (2:1-18)

The crescendo of Paul’s confidence in Christ builds into chapter 3 as he powerfully refuses to claim any credit for any trophy or prize he could take pride in as “a Pharisee of Pharisees”, considering them all as a putrid, rank pile of manure, casting all the titles, power and accolades aside in exchange for the pursuit of knowing Christ.

With his vision set upon Christ and fully mindful of the incredible grace bestowed upon him, a murderer and persecutors of Christians, he forgets what’s behind him to strain with all his might for the finish line ahead of him…

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

In remembering Paul’s words to the young Philippian church, I understand Jesus’ plan to meet treacherous Saul on the road to Damascus.  Just looking at his ruthless determination to fulfill Christ’s mission is so humbling, revealing my own lack of focus on my calling as a much-to-learn pastor of  a church start-up.  While Paul had a “thorn in the flesh”, my brain cancer and the fits & starts of helping a young church find its footing has nothing on the true nature of suffering.  There are many days I need to be reminded of the encouragement that Christ will not be denied–he will complete his work of making me and us like Christ.  When I want to belly-ache and complain because the race I’m on is just too hard to keep straining for the finish line, Paul’s words quiet my heart and still my tongue to remember that Jesus is trustworthy and will do what He says He will do.

It might seem funny to you, but in this stillness, I’m reminded of an old Steve Taylor song, which captures Paul’s sentiments in Philippians perfectly.  In “The Finish Line”, Taylor sets up a comparison of a runner in Christ’s race with two different outcomes, sort of like those books I used to read as a kid where you could choose the story’s path at the end of each chapter.  On the first path, the boy on the race starts strong, but gets distracted and tempted along the way only to become “deaf and joyless and full of it”.  On the second path, the boy stays focused, despite the odds and the “gilded gods” and falls into the arms of his Father at the finish line.  You can stream the song with lyrics on YouTube here.  As you listen and ponder your own race, which one are you?

I have faith that all of us, like Paul, can remember Christ’s sure promise to complete His work in us, dust ourselves off and strain for the finish line.

 

Before you read my latest post, please read two verses from the Bible:  Numbers 23:19 and 2 Peter 3:9.  I don’t even want to quote them so you have to find them in your own Bible for yourself.  They’re more important than anything else you’ll read from me today.  My words might change or affect you…

But I have faith God’s Word will change you.  Simply read it out loud.  I hope that’s your soul’s main course today.  

You now have my permission to read on…

It’s been forever since I’ve blogged. I’ve been stuck on 97 posts for too long.

So here’s #98

I’ve been busy on lots of fronts–much of it in my role as Campus Pastor at Blanchard Warrenville (I’m also just back from an amazing family vacation to South Dakota, which coincided with the two-year anniversary of my brain cancer surgery…). I’m so encouraged to see our Warrenville Leadership Team taking shape, making good decisions for our future, helping us to become a church that is thriving for Christ’s Kingdom and glory.

But as we work together to talk about our long-term vision, I’ve become more aware lately of a dangerous trend in the contemporary American Church which we on the WLT need to address in our planning for Warrenville’s future–a significant point of disagreement in what I perceive to be shifting in a growing core of young evangelical thinkers in the Church today who are published, blogged, tweeted and otherwise “technologically significant.”

They echo Billy Graham’s conviction that our North American culture has become “inoculated” to the gospel–that nonbelievers and Christ-followers alike know just enough about the teachings of Jesus and the Bible to dismiss them. They might not say it as bluntly as I do in this post, but they also seem to imply that Scripture is culturally “out of touch with the times”–that we need to find ways to “massage” the text (and, in particular, Paul’s writings) to make them more inclusive–that what really matters are the teachings of Jesus and the Great Commandment.  It’s clear that both young Christians and non-Christians are equally disenchanted and skeptical of the authority of Scripture.

Here’s our problem (and it’s not a new one, this latest iteration just has trendy 21st century clothes): we allow polls and cultural pressure–and especially our own experience–to subtly wear away our core convictions about the inerrancy of Scripture–a long held cornerstone of evangelical Christianity. We don’t even realize it, but we stop believing in faith that Scripture is “God-breathed, living and active”–able to transform people merely through hearing it–that it’s not good enough on its own to miraculously transform us without our own editorial comments (I’m especially aware of this temptation as I preach).  Paul teaches that just the simple reading of the Scriptures out loud is a sacred and powerful spiritual discipline–an exercise to grow our faith.

We deceive ourselves into believing that our ideas about cultural relevance and missional presence are the primary keys to resurrecting the Church’s impact to restore our culture today. And while these issues are important–and always will be–they don’t capture the essence of the gospel as written in Scripture.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.   Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:1-5 NIV)

In our desperation to reverse the trends of a shrinking church, our implicit curriculum teaches that God is “off” his stated mission, that the inerrant Scripture is losing its efficacy–as evidenced by the droves of disenchanted young people leaving the church.  It temporally appears that Jesus has changed his commitment or is, at best, slow in keeping his promise of not wanting anyone to perish due to lack of repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Evangelical pastors like me suddenly find ourselves in the dilemma of leading a movement (the Church) that appears to be both failing AND losing ground (at least in North America and Europe..), so we’ve got to do something different RIGHT NOW and RIGHT AWAY to change things.  The devastating implication of all this worrying and hand-wringing is this: we subtly suggest that God is, in fact, changing or lying (by not keeping His commitments) to grow the Church by the power of Scripture.  Numbers 23:19 bluntly rebuts this weak, trend-obsessed thinking.  Unlike me, God is never shackled by time’s ticking bonds.

“God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act, does he promise and not fulfill?”

The grim statistics of the state of the Church in the West suggest otherwise, so from our human perspective, we get impatient and subtly begin compromising or back-pedaling on the long-held “non-negotiables” of our faith.  But the gospel message from the inerrant Word of God hasn’t changed.  God’s still on mission and mysteriously chooses to use people like you and me to partner with him to complete his saving work. As Paul affirms in Ephesians 2:10, “we are God’s ‘masterpiece’ (NLT), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

And if faith truly comes from hearing God’s Word as Paul teaches in Romans 10:17, why don’t we get the Bible into lost people’s hands first, before they read the latest books and blogs and get all stirred up?

Let not our methods and perceptions supersede our Message.  

As theologian Thomas Oden once wrote, as Christians, let’s dedicate ourselves to unoriginality. The power of the living Word will never be irrelevant to any culture.  Let’s recognize that even the most scientifically accurate polls from the Barna group and the latest, greatest thoughts of trending Christian authors in the “blogosphere” are simply that–editorial snapshots, human opinions and sometimes helpful analysis and commentary (just like this one you’re reading…). Instead, let’s start by encouraging people to find a rich faith in Christ through engaging the living words of Scripture and trusting God’s powerful, transforming Word for those eternal results.

While I have the sense that my old-fashioned position on the inerrancy of Scripture is increasingly lonely in the evangelical Church, I still believe that God will finish His mission as the Scriptures say He will. I trust them to be as true and transformative as ever. Let’s be on guard then to screen any teaching which implies otherwise as we navigate the challenging cultural issues of our day and not lose heart.

Let God’s Word speak plainly and may we continue to accept it with the faith that comes from hearing. I’ve quoted these Charlie Peacock lyrics in this blog before (from “Genius In the Details“, Kingdom Come album), but they’re worth a repeat:

You can smell the poetry, you can eat the word, dine on the rhyme…
But I wouldn’t read between the lines, there simply isn’t time,
Instead, look at all the bread floating on the water,
Hurry, cast your net, eat without regret.

In a world of taste and pleasure, it’s good to know what you can trust,
What you can trust you can treasure, and what you can trust is that there’s…

Genius in the details and in the sum of all creation,
There is a mind, not hard to find,
A mind not concealed,
In the word, the mind revealed: Jesus, word divine.


As I sat in The Stupe with our youth intern from Wheaton College this past Monday during our bi-weekly meetings, I checked in to see how she was doing with the recent devastating news that one of her profs had been arrested.

She quickly affirmed her surprise, her profound sadness and disappointment that one of her teachers had apparently run afoul of the law in such a fashion.  As the coffee brewed and the lively conversation buzzed all around us, she solemnly shared observing two primary reactions from her fellow students–either indifference or condemnation–both of which bothered her.  As she prayed for her prof and thought about his predicament,

out of compassion for him, a part of her just wanted to bake him some cookies and deliver them to him in jail.  She shared that although she didn’t endorse his behavior, she hoped the Church wouldn’t abandon him at his greatest time of need.

The thought of those fresh-baked cookies reminds me of when I was a student at Wheaton and my favorite prof, Dr. Lyle Dorsett, often hosted what he would call “cookie pushes” at his house just off campus–an evening where he and his gracious wife, Mary, would open their home, to welcome his students with the warmth of Christ’s hospitality, good conversation and fresh-baked cookies all around.  I loved those gatherings at the Dorsett’s!

In the case of this young student’s beautiful, impulsive reaction to the news of her prof’s apparent fall from grace, warm cookies from the oven certainly can’t cover the devastating consequences of sin, but they do quietly affirm what we believe to be absolutely true of Christ:  his restorative, forgiving heart of compassion for all of us sinners–“he emptied himself of all but love” (Charles Wesley, “And Can It Be?”).   Dallas Willard once wrote that we don’t need bigger churches but bigger Christians, “flush w/ Christ’s character.” (Foreward to The Renovation of the Church, Carlson & Lueken, IVP, 2011; p. 10)

I’m so pleased to see God graciously at work in this young intern, filling her to the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13 NIV).  Given the same set of discouraging circumstances, may I be as mindful of what Christ’s reaction would be to those in need around me.

And please pass (or “push”) those cookies.

I hope I’m as vital at 80 as Eugene Peterson is.  I’ve been enjoying the two interviews which Gabe Lyons had with him on qIdeas this past week.  One is on the discipline of Sabbath and the other is on immersing ourselves in Scripture.

During these rich, insightful conversations, Peterson shared the process he went through in writing his paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, and explained how intimidated he was at the beginning of his work, starting with the book of Psalms.  Two other men in the 20th century who wrote paraphrases, J.B. Phillips and Ken Taylor, were criticized–even vilified–for their efforts to translate Scripture into  everyday colloquial English–so much so that Phillips never finished more than the New Testament.

Peterson went on to say that, without much intense criticism like these men, he went on to translate the whole Bible at the slow and steady pace of

five pages a day for twelve years!

It’s in light of Peterson’s “long obedience in the same direction” that I consider my own journey with Christ as His follower today.  Unlike Eugene, I readily recognize my fits and starts, my unpredictable lurching toward maturity in Christ.  Still, whether I wait for Him or not, the Holy Spirit will not be denied His work in me–He has promised to make me more like Christ–even if He’s just writing a sentence or two in the book of my spiritual journey.

I’m instructed by Eugene Peterson’s steadfast, steady discipline to complete the pastoral work of finishing the Message, page by page over twelve years.  I need lessons from my elders like Eugene because, unlike him,  I’m often in too much of a hurry for God.  My hurry leads to impatience.  My impatience certainly leads me to miss the proverbial “Samaritan on the roadside” whom God puts in my path to slow me down, steady my pace and recognize His faithful, daily empowerment to lead and guide me where I need to go.  But the apostolic in me–the urgency of my self-imposed burden to equip the Church to be more matureinstantly (let alone within me as Christ’s disciple…)–tends to push me too far out in front of God’s good people.

I can tell the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about being patient with his process of perfecting me because I got irritated when I first listened to Audrey Assad’s new song, “Slow”, on her lovely new album, “Heart”“Why can’t my faith just grow faster?” I gripe subconsciously. “Get me to the head of the pack!”, I mentally push people aside as Audrey sweetly sings in the background…

You’ve drawn so close
That it’s hard to see you
And you speak so softly
That it’s hard to hear you
And I guess that’s what I get
For inviting you in
Because you took me at my word
And now I know

Faith is not a fire
As much as it’s a glow
A quiet lovely burning
Underneath the snow
And it’s not too much
It’s just enough to get me home

I heard that faith moves mountains
I know it moves my feet
To follow you
And maybe I’m a mountain
Because it’s moving me
To follow you.”

So, in the hurry of your life, I encourage you to slow down and savor the good conversation between Peterson and Lyons in the next couple of days.  It’s so rich, I actually created a file for all the memorable quotes shared.

Maybe you’d like to note some of your own and add them as a comment to this post?

So let’s slow down today and, like Peterson, savor the goodness and the favor of Christ as he graciously makes us more and more like Himself.

A dynamic praying church must be built from the inside out, employing all four levels of prayer: the secret closet, the family altar, small group praying and finally, the congregational setting. (Developing your Secret Closet of Prayer, Richard Burr, p 19.)

The members of our Warrenville Leadership Team have been asking a great question lately:  What is a biblically effective church?  

How might you answer that question?  And how would you ground your answer from Scripture?

Today’s post is my attempt to unpack one key marker of effectiveness in a biblical church:  a belief in and commitment in the power of corporate prayer…

A few weeks ago at our Blanchard Warrenville campus, I preached a sermon on Jonah 3, which I believe God is directing us to apply not just in the near term but out of the ancient Christian conviction that  “devotion to prayer of all kinds” is a defining character trait of effective churches.

With prayer being our chosen spiritual practice during Lent this year at Blanchard, I’m hoping we’ll be able to grow particularly in the discipline of corporate prayer.  I believe corporate prayer has the potential for so many positive impacts on a young congregation like Warrenville which, although we’re over five years into our development, we’re still trying to articulate an inspiring corporate identity.

With Lent upon us and our annual Solemn Assembly gathering fresh in our minds from this past Sunday night, I’m thinking about my own commitments to prayer as a follower of Jesus and a pastor.  I’m also wanting to ask more boldly for things in prayer through the lens of the beautiful example of the Ninevites compelling and radical reaction to Jonah’s harsh prophecy from God in chapter 3.  Jonah’s “message from the Lord” reminded those “wicked” Ninevites (and all of us who, in reality, are far more like them than we choose to admit…), perhaps for the first time, of the awesome greatness of God–our need to fully believe his Word and obey it–humbling ourselves in desperation before Him and asking for his grace and mercy that God might stay His hand of destruction due to our wickedness. James instructs us to “confess [our] sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (5:17)

Like prayer, humility is a great source of power in the Christian life.  Quoting Paul as he speaks of his great Savior, Jesus Christ, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

So, like “weak”, powerful Paul, let’s devote ourselves to corporate prayer as God’s people at Blanchard Warrenville in this Lenten season, believing our great God hears us and will transform us by His power.

Here are some additional reasons I believe corporate prayer is so powerful for us as Christians:

  • It’s inconvenient (breaking our selfish cycles of doing what we want when we want to do it!)
  • It’s countercultural (instead of feeding the well-fed beast of self-indulgence and the “me first” mentality coveted all over the U.S., we put other’s needs before our own when we choose to be in prayer with Christian community over personal satisfaction and fulfillment)
  • It encourages “like-mindedness” (when we agree with each other in prayer—not even having to say it out loud; see Phil 2:1-4)
  • Historically, it is a way God has moved His people and started revivals all over the world.
  • It’s an opportunity for corporate confession, another humbling and empowering spiritual discipline (James 5:16)
  • It’s a source of great power in the Holy Spirit’s work of forming us fully into Christ’s likeness (Lk. 11:9-11; Eph. 4:11-13

I’m really looking forward to our joint prayer service at Living Water Alliance Church with Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Warrenville on March 14 at 7pm.  Pastor Mitch Kim from Living Water recently shared with me how his leaders regard their weekly Wednesday evening prayer service as a critical way for them to find rest, empowerment and restoration for their lives and work in ministry at Living Water Alliance.  What a lovely perspective on the power of prayer within everyday laypeople using their gifts to equip the church!

One last thought:  as I prepared to publish this post, my friend, Jon Graf, of Pray!  magazine, posted these challenging, rich comments from A.W. Tozer (through the Prayerconnect magazine) on what prevents revival from sweeping through the Church once again.

It’s an important concluding caution that prayer–without obedience–is just more Christian busy work.

Therefore, as James challenges us so beautifully in his letter, “You do not have because you do not ask God”.

Let’s put that good advice into practice and become more effective churches and Christians by praying and asking boldly.

On this Ash Wednesday, as a missionary kid growing up in the Christian & Missionary Alliance, following the liturgical Church calendar simply wasn’t a primary way I understood the practice of Christianity (other than celebrating Christmas and Easter…).

For the next forty days, Lent will be practiced by millions of Christians around the world:  a stripping away and simplifying of the “muchness and manyness” of our earthly existence–particularly for those of us in the Western world who have so much–in order to devote more time to consider our own neediness of Christ’s gracious forgiveness of our sin.   (There’s a challenging Lenten question:  What’s a Syrian Christian to give up these days?)

Whether it’s fasting from food (or entertainment, or meat or alcohol…), we purpose to be filled instead with Living Bread & Water–Christ and the Scriptures.  We desire to be more intentional, more confessional and repentant about our own attitude toward sin.  I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the biblical need for this difficult, costly behavior as we prepare to remember Christ’s death on Good Friday and his amazing resurrection that Easter morning.

But, to be honest, the forty days of Lent wear like that irritating, itchy, too-tight, unbearably hot wool sweater I wear only once a winter in Chicago when its -20 outside.  These “mourning clothes” just fit funny.

It’s almost as if I’m regressing in my progressive sanctification.  

I serve a risen Savior, whose Spirit fills me to give me life, set me free and is on mission to transform me more and more every day into “the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”(Eph. 4:13).  I wish we would spend just as much time in church encouraging one another to celebrate the transforming power of Christ within us to make us holy, pure and powerful–shining “cities on a hill”.  [According to the rest of the 325 days on the liturgical calendar, you could argue that we do, because after Easter we’re on to Ascension Day through to Pentecost, then celebrating Christ’s incarnation at Christmas, then finally back to Ash Wednesday…]

I just don’t want to get so caught up in the past that I fail to thrive in the life-changing, joy-filled Real Presence of the Risen Christ with me today (Lent or not).   So at Blanchard Warrenville this year, we’re going to do our best to model this very present spirit of celebration during Lent.

Did you know Sundays don’t count in the forty days of Lent?

Praying, mourning, repenting, confessing and giving up Monday through Saturday; but come Sunday morning this year, let’s throw off those old, mournful graveclothes and colorfully dress ourselves with  the celebration of gathering (we’re even doing a baby dedication on March 4!), proclaiming Christ’s tranforming presence to forgive, cleanse and empower us to give us the hope to become like Christ.  I long for a God-drenched spirit of Joy to define our gatherings at Warrenville during these five Sundays of Lent.

I’ve probably just offended a whole bunch of you with this post today:  that’s really not my intent.  I can’t wait for the Solemn Assembly this coming Sunday evening at 5:30pm at our Wheaton Campus.  It’s one of the highlights of my spiritual journey every year.  I need to mourn this Lent–to truly confess and repent of my very real sin.  But I won’t get stuck there.

You’re welcome to wait till Easter to put on your “Sunday best”, I just can’t wait that long…