Archive for the ‘Verse of the Day’ Category

Renewing the mind is the key…

January 27, 2023

The Verse of the Day for January 27, 2023, is found in Ephesians 6:12-13, which is part of the most celebrated passage related to putting on the whole armor of God, beginning with verse 10 and continuing through verse 20. The New Living Translation renders the passage this way:

Ephesians 6:10-14:

The Whole Armor of God

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[a] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.

In addition to its use in this passage, the expression “to put on” is used in various other places in the New Testament. Note this reference to putting on something other than specifically “the whole armor of God”

Romans 13:12 (NKJV):

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 (AMP) speaks of similar elements of the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6:

But since we [believers] belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope and confident assurance of salvation.

Romans 13:14 (NKJV) mentions something else to be put on:

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

References in Ephesians and Colossians in the King James Version mention “putting on the new man” as part of the renewing of the mind: In Ephesians 4:22-25 (KJV) we find this exhortation:

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another

Colossians 3:10 continues with these words:

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Colossians 3:12-14 elaborate in terms of what believers are to put on:

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

The discussion of the above Scriptures reveals that the phrase “to put on” is connected to renewing the mind, whereby Paul encourages followers of God to “put off, put on, and put away.” We are encouraged to change our minds and develop new thinking patterns. We are to put off the old man and put on the new man, as we put away lying or any other ungodly practices.  This transformative process is ongoing in the life of every believer and becomes the topic of the following original poem:

The Key to Renewing the Mind

Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off

 your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.

10 Put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn

to know your Creator and become like him.

Colossians 3-9-10

It has been said that the key to power is renewing the mind,

But Father, reveal this ongoing process, and clearly

Show us how to walk in power, excel, and not fall behind,

As we strive to know deeper levels of intimacy.

With laser precision, we target the old-man nature

And put to death all of our carnal members once and for all.

We respond in obedience in answer to God’s call;

Not conformed, we transform ourselves, being made new, mature.

In the secret place of the Lord who ever inhabits

The praises of His people, here we desire to abide,

To put off the old man, vile, corrupt, wrapped in sinful pride

And put on the new man, as one changes garments, habits.

Above all, we put on compassionate love from the start

And abide in our hiding place, filled with a grateful heart.

We conclude with another Scripture Memory Song: Put on the Full Armour (Ephesians 6:11-12)            

Wrapped in swaddling clothes: What does that mean?

December 23, 2022

As we continue reading Scriptures related to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior, we recognize that a series of awe-inspiring circumstances intersect in a miraculous manner. In one such account, we find a more complete unfolding of the narrative in Luke 2:11-14. Taken from that passage, the Verse of the Day for December 23, 2022, is revised and re-posted here:

Luke 2:11-14 (NKJV):

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

This concluding passage contains a reference to an ancient custom associated with birth, that is, Mary wrapped the child in “swaddling cloths” or as the King James Version renders “swaddling clothes” or “swaddling strips” in the New Living Translation. The practice was for a child, particularly a child of royal lineage, to be salted and swaddled. Shortly after birth, the child would be washed with water into which a pinch of salt had been added, symbolizing a covenant of salt, whereby the words spoken by the child would be words of truth, always seasoned with salt. The child would then be wrapped in swaddling bands or swaddling clothes, strips of fine linen to represent that the child would grow up to walk straight and tall.

Bishop KC Pillai, a converted Hindu who embraced Christianity, wrote extensively on Eastern customs and manners, known as Orientalisms, as revealed in the Bible. He points outs distinctive features of the custom of swaddling and notes that when Israel strayed from the precepts of God and walked in idolatry, their abominable practices were described in this way in Ezekiel 16:1-4, indicating how far they had strayed from the precepts of Jehovah:

Ezekiel 16:1-4 (NKJV):

Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

And say, thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite.

And as for thy nativity, on the day you were born thy navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water to supple thee; you were not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.

Swaddling continued to be practiced beyond Biblical times, as a blog entry from needleprint.blogspot.com commented on the elaborately embroidered bands made for young prince Federigo, Duke of Urbino, a notable 15th Century figure from the Italian Renaissance, pictured here:

In addition, when the angels announced to the shepherds that the Savior had been born, they were given a sign that established the truth of their words:

And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12 AMP).

The timing of the arrival of the shepherds had to be precise since the swaddling clothes were left on the child for only for a few minutes. The shepherds could not arrive on the scene before the swaddling had begun, nor could they arrive after the custom had been completed. They had to be in the right place at the right time.  As we so clearly see, the account of the birth of Jesus Christ abounds with “signs, wonders, and miracles,” one of which involves his being “wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.”

“He’s Here” by Eddie James offers a powerful, musical rendering of the account of the Savior who was “born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes. . .”

Emmanuel (God with us): Song of the season and every day

December 11, 2022

The Verse of the Day for December 11, 2022, is a revision of a previous blog entry.  This verse relates to an Old Testament prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus, the Messiah found in Isaiah 7:14 (NLT):

All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us).

In the Gospel of Matthew, the focal point is a portrait of Jesus Christ, the King. Chapter 1 provides an account of his birth, opening with the genealogy or record of the ancestors of the Messiah. The following section discusses the birth of Jesus, the Messiah:

18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

  Matthew 1:22-23 (NLT) establishes the fulfillment of that prophetic word spoken in Isaiah 7:14:

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
    which means ‘God is with us.’”

The two passages from Isaiah and Matthew related to the birth of the Savior by a virgin are only two of the more than three hundred prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and his first coming to earth, all of which came to pass with pinpoint accuracy. The odds of one single word coming to pass are astronomical, let alone more than 300.

We recognize, of course, what was said to Jeremiah, that God will hasten to perform His Word, so we see that when God speaks a word prophetically that it always comes to pass. Remember these words of the Lord spoken in Isaiah 55:11 (in the Amplified Bible):


So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

One of my favorite songs of the season celebrating the Savior’s birth is “O Come, O Come, Immanuel.” The popular Christmas song is a translation of the Latin text (“Veni, veni, Emmanuel”) by John Mason Neale and Henry Sloane Coffin in the mid-19th century, offered here by Selah:

A variation on the theme of the coming of Jesus Christ is this song “Emmanuel,” offered by Norman Hutchins:

The songs of the season are constant reminders that, indeed, God is with us.

Second Sunday of Advent: Celebrating Jesus, the Light of the World

December 4, 2022

The Verse of the Day for December 4, 2022, provides another metaphor Jesus uses to describe himself occurring in John 8:12 in the New Living Testament:

[Jesus, the Light of the World] Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

A number of biblical references speak of Jesus Christ in terms of light. The first chapter of John opens with this reference to light:

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (John 1:6-9)

One of the remarkable aspects of light is that light dispels darkness. If the smallest candle can dispel or penetrate the depths of darkness, how much greater is the light provided by “the light of the world.” Concerning the coming Messiah, it was prophesied that “those who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” Indeed, those who follow Jesus will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

Today, November 4, 2022, is the second Sunday of Advent, the season celebrating the Earthly birth of Jesus Christ, as well as preparation and anticipation of the second coming of Christ. During this time of year, I think of the following poem, an original psalm, dedicated to a group of missionaries who were sent to local areas to carry the light and introduce Jesus Christ:

Light of the World

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on

 a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp,

 and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand;

 and it gives light to all who are in the house.

 Let your light so shine before men, that they

 may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”        

Matthew 5:14-16

A call comes ringing. . .     

The light that from creation split the dark

still shines today.  The same sun that once graced

Eden’s green place still warms the earth each day.

Without the light, there is no life, no hope

For growth, no power to live and give birth.

Without the light, there is only the night

To swallow the land and smother all life.

Somewhere someone sits in darkness, crying. . .

Send the light. . .

The love of Christ constrains us to go forth,

To shine as beacons and carry the love,

To offer shelter from stormy places,

To light the path of everyone who longs

To be at home in God’s family room.

 Send the light. . .

With torch held high, let us stand upon the Rock:

a lantern, a lampstand, a beacon, a lighthouse,

a city set on a hill that cannot be hid

Let it shine. . .

Though the darkness thickens, let our lights shine.

Let us speak God’s Word and echo God’s voice that

First spoke light into being, commanding it to shine

So let it shine. . .

So let it shine. . .

So let it shine. . .

forever more.

The lyrics to the familiar gospel song sung so often during this time of the year also come to mind: “Jesus, the Light of the World.”

Isaac Cates and Ordained offer a moving rendition of this classic gospel number featuring Margaret Rainey and Kami Woodard to close out the second Sunday in Advent.

In the midst of trouble and anguish, we delight in the Word of God

November 15, 2022

The Verse of the Day for November 15, 2022,  makes reference to two inseparable traveling companions that so often overtake us, particularly in the midst of the turbulent times in which we live.

Psalm 119:143 (New Living Translation)

As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.

The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

Trouble and anguish have found and taken hold of me, yet Your commandments are my delight.

Despite the most intense pressures that come with the perils that we face each day, we can say along with the Psalmist that the Word of God brings us delight. A previous blog entry spoke of  my delighting in the Psalms, as I pointed to other places in Psalms 119 and elsewhere that echo this same sentiment:

Psalm 119:24

Your laws please me; they give me wise advice. 

Psalm 119:47:

How I delight in your commands! How I love them! 

Psalm 40:8 in the Amplified Bible makes this statement:

I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.

In Psalm 1, the first passage of scripture that ever I committed to memory as a pre-teen, we find this striking portrait:

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalm 94:18-19 provide yet another reminder that God is the source of our comfort and delight, rendered here in the Amplified Bible:

18 When I said, My foot is slipping, Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, held me up.
19 In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!

Verse 19 is the inspiration for this original scripture memory song:  

In the Multitude of My Thoughts  

In the multitude of my thoughts within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.
You soothe my mind and strengthen the depths of my heart and soul.
I delight myself in the abundance of Your peace.  

You are my God. I know You love me.
You are my God. You’ve set me free.
You are my God. You will never leave me.
You are my God. I long to be all you’ve called me to be.  

In the multitude of my thoughts within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.
Your comforts delight my soul.
Your comforts delight my soul.

From time to time, we all may lose focus and become anxious regarding our ever-fluctuating circumstances. During times of uncertainty when our feet seem to slip, and we are about to lose our grip, we can turn our thoughts toward the promises of God, assured that just as He has been with us through the stormy trials of the past, so He will be with us now. Along with the Psalmist, we take comfort in this knowledge that delights our souls.

Christy Nockels expresses the essence of this message with the song “My Delight is in You.”

After the mid-term elections and every day: It is better to trust in the Lord. . .

November 9, 2022

As the results of the mid-term elections continued to come in this morning, a verse from the Book of Psalms came to mind, and this will serve as my personal Verse of the Day for November 9, 2022:

Psalm 118:8 (Amplified Bible)

It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

Some people say that this verse is “smack dab in the center” of the Bible, meaning that if you open many Bibles to the center with the same number of pages on each side, you will find yourself in the vicinity of Psalm 118:8. Others say that it is not the center verse of the Scriptures. In any case, it was the inspiration for an original psalm with these lyrics to remind us we should not put our trust solely in elected officials to resolve the critical issues that confront the nation and the world.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

Cast aside your own selfish schemes and follow His perfect plan.

Focus your eyes on Him and stay centered in His will.

Keep seeking the Lord with all your heart, stay prayerful and be still.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

The power of man is limited, though he may do the best he can.

Put all your trust in the Lord, for righteousness shall prevail.

Keep putting your confidence in God, for He will never fail.

Other  verses from the Psalmist echo the same sentiments:

Psalm 20:7 (Amplified Bible)

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, But we will remember and trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Chariots and horses represent the power and strength of a nation, where some individuals may choose to place their confidence, but as Christian believers, we choose to place our confidence and trust in the name of the Lord. We stand resolute, in the facing of opposing forces, knowing that God Almighty never fails, and He alone is worthy of all our trust.

We conclude with this joyful exhortation that “Some May Trust in Horses” featuring Lynn DeShazo:

As we pray, November 7, 2022: 1 Timothy 2:1-2

November 7, 2022

The Verse of the Day for November 7, 2022, encourages believers to pray and introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God. This previous blog entry certainly has application today, as we acknowledge the truth: “There is always something to pray about”:

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (New Living Translation)

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.

Supplications
With these prayers, we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it.  White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking, supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

Intercessions
To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provides protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)

Prayers
As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion.  Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his  disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:18)

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. “Giving of thanks” is an expression of “showing oneself grateful.”  It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)


This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

In closing, we offer the following poetic reminder of the importance of prayer:

As We Pray

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

as we pray always for you,

Colossians 1:3

During these dark times, we focus on the Kingdom,

Established and grounded on a sure foundation.

As we diligently pursue Godly wisdom,

New paths of this Apostolic Reformation

Unfold as the sun rises on the horizon.

Even in turbulent times, we must stay the course.

Aware of the consequences of each decision,

We look to God our Father, bountiful resource.

As we renew our minds, we are transformed and change:

With a “kingdom mindset,” we now see with new eyes.

Beyond past narrow limits, our view is long-range.

We number our days with each sunset and sunrise,

As the Word commands: pray without ceasing, night and day,

Knowing that God always fulfills His will, as we pray.

Gateway Worship offers a musical selection with the same title, featuring Walker Beach: “As We Pray”:

Open the eyes of our understanding: God’s desire and ours

November 1, 2022

The Verse of the Day for November 1, 2022, comes from Ephesians 1:18 in the New Living Translation:

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Actually, verse 17 is part of a prayer, an expression of God’s desire for His people written by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1: 14-23. Verses 17-18 are part of the introduction, as indicated in the Amplified Bible:

17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),

Verse 18 brings to mind the words of the hymn “Open My Eyes that I Might See” which is, in essence, a prayer expressed in song. The lyrics to the hymn are displayed while Nathanael Provis plays the melody on piano:

Another contemporary song offering with a similar request is “Open My Eyes,” performed by Jesse Manibusan and Patrick Loomis:

Not only is our prayer that God will enlighten us and illuminate our lives by means of the spirit of wisdom and revelation, but God‘s prayer for us is the same, as is expressed so powerfully in Ephesians 1.

With God, all things are possible or nothing is impossible

July 11, 2022

The Verse of the Day for July 11, 2022, comes from Jeremiah 32:17 in the New Living Translation:

“O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!

This verse offers encouragement and assurance in the midst of the challenging times in which we live, times described as perilous or difficult to deal with, where the nation and the world seem to be entrapped in a tangled web of impossible situations.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind two other scriptures that speak of the awesome power of God and His Word. Both say the same thing but in different ways, that nothing is too hard for God.  In one place in the Gospels, Jesus Christ states “. . . with God all things are possible.” In another place, the Word declares, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

The Amplified Bible renders Luke 1:37 in this way:

For with God, nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

As I acknowledged that the two verses express the same concept but in different ways, I thought of a principle from Geometry: “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” These two verses also inspired this original psalm:

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them said,    

With men it is impossible, but not with God:    

for with God, all things are possible

Mark 10:27

For with God, nothing shall be impossible.                                                                                             

Luke 1:37

There is none like God who never fails to come through:

Whether you say “With God all things are possible”

Or say, “With God, nothing shall be impossible.”

No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.

As those who observe the times, we wisely surmise

That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,

Leading captive even death to release new life,

Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise.

We boldly declare the Word of God and assert

The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes

Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.

With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.

We seek to walk in wisdom and number our days,

Humbly discerning that His ways are not our ways.

The line “Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise” brings to mind the verse which says, “God gives beauty for ashes.” Did you know that ashes under extreme heat and pressure form gemstones, and that diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and such come from ashes?  You see this when many of the volcanoes erupt, and when they settle and cool, you find beautiful gems at the base.  

In a similar way, watch God turn around what seems like a total disaster. No matter how challenging the situation may appear to be, He can turn it into a magnificent triumph.

The Verse of the Day and the accompanying poem reinforce a similar message that “Anything is Possible,” words also echoed in these vibrant lyrics offered by Bethel Music featuring Dante Bowe:

Encourage one another

May 23, 2022
The word for the day taken from “The Verse of the Day” in Biblegateway.com is “Encourage.”

Once again, I begin my day by looking at today’s  Verse of the Day for May 23, 2022, according to Biblegateway.com:

Romans 15:2 (New Living Translation)

 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.

The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition puts it this way:

Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].

The Verse of the Day also brought to mind I Thessalonians 5:11 as rendered in the identical versions:

New Living Translation:

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Amplified Bible, Classic Edition:

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.

These verses inspired me to write words of encouragement, expressed in this original poem:

  Encourage One Another

So encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)
.

Don’t stop now—keep on pursuing

Keep seeking His face

Don’t get weary in well-doing

You must keep the pace

Seek and you shall find

The strength to be transformed–

Renewed in the spirit of your mind

Encourage yourself

And encourage one another

Build each other up

Every sister and brother

Speaking the truth, we grow up

Therefore, encourage one another

I found the accompanying video “Encourage one another” which is a compilation of the same verse from I Thessalonians 5:11 and other scriptures and words of encouragement from Kimberly Culpen. May we all be strengthened and encouraged today.