Welcome back to Unfiltered Faith podcast, this is your host, Meredith Foster. Today, we have a very special guest. Her name is Brian Ermin. And so we are very excited. We get into a lot of good things today.
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So before we get into our episode, I just really quick wanted to pray over this word. Heavenly Father, we are your servants. We are your children. We are your loves. Please help us rest in that place right now. Help us trust you fully. Search our hearts for anything that doesn't glorify you. Help us to love our neighbor and see them just the way that you see us for giving each other the way. God forgive us. We desire a purified heart and a renewed mind made the Holy Spirit come upon us and lead us closer to you.
Thank you for the abundant grace you have for us. It will never cease. It will never end. Amen. Today we have a very special guest, Brianne Ermin.
Hello. So I met Brianne or we. Well, Stoss is known brand for longer than I have, but I met Brian at a youth conference called Live Now and well, actually, I met her through her brother Sean through Instagram. It's just crazy how God connects people through Instagram. It really blows my mind. He always takes what I think the enemy uses for evil and turns it for good night. And I think there's so many positives that can come out of social media.
And it's, I think, connecting people and and having fellowship. So Brianne actually lived at my house last summer and that was so much fun. We got really close and we were able to just bond and do life together and it was so much fun. Give us your brief testimony because that your testimony is actually very similar to we all three of us have a very similar testimony and things you've gone through. But if you want to touch on that, we would I'm sure the audience would love to hear your testimony.
Also, guys, Brian has a YouTube channel where she gives such great advice and she just has such uplifting content. So I highly recommend you go subscribe to her channel to see all the videos that she has put out there.
You're so cute. I am so happy to be on. Thanks for having me. Yeah. I mean, my testimony, in short, is I all throughout my childhood, from the moment I was pretty much a toddler, I dealt with a really severe panic disorder and anxiety disorder. And as I grew up and developed my relationship with God and realized that God is good and that he's a healer and that he wasn't the one who gave me anxiety and I accepted him into my heart, I got completely free from all anxiety.
And I used to spend so many hours and days just in panic attacks and in therapy appointments. And yeah, I won't go into all of it. But yeah, God has just set me free from so much. And I live in complete peace now, which is just incredible. And so I just have such a huge heart for that because I know within our generation, especially of just young people, like anxiety is so common and depression and just mental health disorders.
And so I have such a heart for that because I know that God wants to heal everyone who is dealing with that. And that is such a scheme of the enemy to just destroy our destroy our minds and to just steal our peace away because peace is a promise from God.
So oh was so good. I love what God is doing right now, especially during a time of such unrest. I think there's a revival in the air. I've just been really trying to seek the Lord and understand where he wants me to go next and what he wants me to do.
So I've been getting a lot of messages about like on my page, on Meredith's page. How can you be silent? Aren't supposed to be Christian, like, how do you love God? And you're not speaking out. It's clear that you guys don't care about black people, so I wanted to share this post so everyone can understand where I'm trying to come from and where I am initially, like not trying to be silent about this, but I am trying to understand and educate and learn.
So this is kind of along a little bit of a long post, but I hope everyone can listen and understand. So trying to shame people. This is from an Instagram or Stephen. So, yeah, I'm going to shout to him, this is what you posted, trying to shame people into posting on social media about racism. Black Lives Matter. The George Ford incident is not fair or helpful. If someone doesn't post, that doesn't mean they don't care.
And if it doesn't and it doesn't make them a bad person. I'm really nervous about talking about this, but I just want to get this out. I just want to say this. If we all watched the same horrific video of a black man being asphyxiated to death by a white police officer as you pled for his life, it's just everyone in a deeply emotional way. However, we all we will all naturally deal with what we wash in completely different ways.
Like Meredith mentioned, she and she goes and reads the word and she prays that does not mean she is racist or just because she's not posting on social media. She's. Just because she has a bigger platform does not mean she's being silent and she's not supporting Black Lives Matter. So continuing the post, some people took to social media immediately, some people spoke to their friends privately. Some people listen and try to learn. Some people were so overwhelmed and confused that they couldn't find the right words.
We don't need everyone to talk. We need everyone to listen. Public social media posts are not the only way people process how they're feeling. In fact, public posts seem like one of the most modern, more unnatural ways to process intense, personal and complicated emotions. People that post less aren't more racist. Let's remember the goal here is to try it on social media or to be politically correct to our followers. The goal is change, and there are many important pathways to change.
One self reflection. When it's political pressure, one is protesting what is educating ourselves. Any quick and easy action, like a social media post that endeavors to solve such a complex and systematic issue is probably not going to be meaningful and effective action. So if someone's first reaction wasn't a tweet or Instagram story, maybe they're thinking a little deeper. As a black man that has experienced racism throughout my life, I don't want people to post because they feel like they have to or because they feel pressured to.
And I want to add in, that's how I was feeling first and everything that was going on, I felt like I was pressured to, but I wasn't really educating or listening and learning about what was really going on. I'm simply just reposting and that's not what I feel like I should be doing. Continuing back to the post, I'd rather they spend their time listening, learning and reflecting. After all, real change starts at home. In a moment like this, there's no correct reaction.
There's only apathy and how it inspires various types of change.
Like when we became Christians. We pledge allegiance to Christ, not to follow culture. And I don't. And I don't.
And some of the comments like, what are you doing to do your part? You what are you like? I am doing my own part by learning and educating, listening. And I'm sorry if you feel like me not posting on social media has been a reflection of me being blind eye to racist. But you have no idea what I'm doing behind the scenes of trying to obviously support Black Lives Matter. Because I do. We all do. And I was doing it fast before all this happening to.
Yeah, we were doing it fast and we're doing it fast. And then it got in the way that I would approach like silence.
Yeah, we were doing a pass actually. And the way I want to approach it is I want to learn and educate myself and sign petitions and donate and still do my part and do all that. But doesn't mean I have to prove it to everybody in the world. I would even just say for me and just advice for everyone listening, that I think the basis that we should have where social media is great, like Meredith was saying earlier, it's such an amazing platform to meet people and to stay educated and up to date on things.
But if it gets to a point where it's stealing away your peace of mind, and if you feel like you're thinking more about the current events of today than the word of God and what God is doing in your life and in in the world, and you feel like it's overwhelming you, then I think that's a good sign that you should probably just delete Instagram for a while and just seek God instead of seeking the world, because I know what it feels like to just get so overwhelmed with everything that's happening and so engulfed by everything that's going on around us that we almost forget that God is actively moving in and around us and we can become so blindsided by all of it.
So that's like, oh, my gosh, it's literally a leaf blower outside.
No, I can't hear it. But that was that was a word that was so good. Someone's mowing the lawn by my house.
So sorry I lied to you. This is I'm not outside, but I hear it.
Is there a change right now and what you guys are watching and what you're listening to? Yeah, of course, that's why I think being off social media was healthy and it is healthy, but like, the more you are content you consume, not literally, but like it really affects you, like.
Oh, for sure. You know, it's funny, OK, last summer, Brianna, I feel like you have so much to talk about with this, because last summer this was before I really started getting in the word. I had no desire really to open up my Bible and just read like I really it just wasn't there and no one could tell me to do it. It has to come from your own desire. So over this last year was when I really just just had this hunger for the word like, it just it literally feeds my spirit and and it's just it's what I desire to do.
And not everyone immediately is going to have that desire. It's just, I think, something that you can pray about and ask the Lord to have that desire increase over time. But I was watching a lot of shows and a lot of films and listening to music that just kind of reminded me of the person I used to be before I became a new creation in Christ.
So I used to listen to a lot of a lot of music that would kind of invoke lust in me and oh my gosh, we talked about this.
Yeah. But I used to just feel like when I would watch or listen to certain things, it would remind me of the person I was. And then I would kind of want to go back into that sinful nature. And I had to like, train myself and ask the Holy Spirit to help me discern between those things. But what I've really been noticing is that I just don't want to listen to those things because I know the way it makes me feel and think.
And so I've been feeding myself with more gospel music.
Now, I have to when I listen to, like, old Chris Brown songs or like songs I used to listen to, I do feel that same music like, oh, I like I don't know, like you just feel like more now horny.
I'm like I like a little like like because obviously it's unfiltered.
That is so true though literally when I listen to like Tony Lamed, like Chris Brown, like sexual songs like you're going to obviously want to go and like feel your thoughts like what you listen to then your thoughts thinking like oh my gosh, like sex, this and that. And I felt that way. And that's why right now I've been switching to worship music and I literally don't know why, but I've also been listening to jazz music. Yes, because I know how it feels.
I was in the same boat when I would listen, like when I'm driving, especially in like I turn on Drake or Chris Brown. And I just I feel this like spirit of like just like my old habits self.
And then I start thinking about, like, the boys and sex and this and that. And I'm like, man, like I think we have to realize and this is my mistake to that music.
And what you watch is so, so powerful. And I used to be so oblivious about it and I would still listen to Drake and my mom would always be like, watch what you listen to. And I just like not listen.
And now that you mention, now that I've been really seeing it in my spirit and in my mind, especially like it really does affect me and I would use to like just ignore it and like, I don't know, like I would just drive to boys houses listening to those type of things.
I would if you would, just because, like, you're not going to go, OK, I'm going to go. And before, like, you hang out with the boy or whatever hookup, whatever, and listen to worship music and feel like not it makes you feel for me driving right now to this boy's house like no, because I know you're going to feel conflicted. You know, you're going to feel convicted. I mean, it's crazy cause I guess you're talking I literally remembered I started this new devotional from Lisa Vivia.
I don't know if you guys have heard of her now, but a couple of days ago, the devotional was about the power of music and how it affects us. And so I opened it right now. And I'm just going to read like this little passage from it. It's just so good. She talks all about how music is so spiritual and has no power or whole. And I think so often we can think of it as such a surface level, like, oh, it's just music, it's fun and it is.
But it's also so much more than that because God designed music, he made us that we're able to sing and play instruments and that's a heavenly creation. And he used it for us to be able to connect with him in a deeper way and for us to experience him in ways that words or preaching or conversations can't get to us like music just cut straight through the heart.
And so it says, because music has the power to take us places emotionally, it is important that we choose our destinations wisely. If you desire to walk in purity, you must guard against any unwanted influence. Music will bypass your first line of defense and take up residence in your mind, even if you don't want it to. You might never have personally sung the songs or the lyrics, but there it is anyway, repeating his message over and over and.
Your head and I thought that was so powerful and that's kind of how I've always felt about music and don't get me wrong, like I love all kinds of music. That's kind of the post that you were talking about, Meredith, that I posted the other day. I mentioned that I listen to everything from country to like punk rock music, to worship music. I listen to, like, literally everything. But predominantly what I listen to is worship music.
And I can I can literally feel a difference between me listening to secular music and listening to worship music. I feel the spiritual difference and I can feel myself being fed by worship music and being fed by things that are infused with the spirit of God and things that are infused with the spirit of the world. I can feel it just kind of like weighing down on me and just getting me in a different mindset. And so I think I definitely used to be a lot more religious about it, where I was like, I can't listen to anything else besides worship music.
And that's so not right because I feel like God created all of us as such creative human beings. And music is such a gift from God. And I don't think that all music that isn't worship music is bad and demonic or whatever. And that's why we have to be so careful about what we're listening to, because there's even been songs that I probably don't want to list, like specific songs, but different songs that I listen to on the radio or just that are really popular.
And I don't really think much of it. I'm like, oh, it's a fun beat. But then I actually look up the meaning of the song and we're like, Prigg. Yeah. And like the meaning behind it and the writer's intent behind the music. And I'm like, what the heck? And I'm like, this is then I feel gross listening to it afterwards because I'm like, oh my gosh. Because I know it's really about so yeah.
Yeah it's crazy. Like the difference that you feel like for example, if I'm driving somewhere we're like on a long road trip with friends, usually for the first like 30 minutes our will be listening just like secular fun, upbeat music. And then we all just reach this point where we're like just kind of really tired of it. And you can literally just like you get to a point where you can kind of feel like weighing on you. And then once you make the switch over to the worship music, I feel a spiritual difference.
I'm like, oh my gosh. Like, I feel like I'm actually being fed by this.
I just feel like it's such a different state versus like when I wake up and listen to worship music, like my day is going to be like I feel so much better, like just listening to worship music and being in God's presence for waking up and like listening to, I don't know, Drake or anybody else. You're just like, OK, like cool. Like, we're just I think it sets the tone for your day or it does. It sets the tone for just like your mindset.
I don't know. Overall I've been noticing that too.
I don't know, like, OK, so I have to tell a story. I don't know if I've said it on here, but when I first this is when I first met Brianne in the Irman family, we went on a road trip to Yosemite and this is back before I was OK. This is I was before I was like renewed in my mind and spirit. So I knew the Lord and I loved the Lord, but I wasn't like I it's hard to explain.
I wasn't I hadn't surrendered the baggage in the thing. So I was still like my mind was like a battlefield. I was still struggling with, you know, thoughts of just like eating disorder and all that stuff. So I was still kind of clouded with that until I really surrendered everything to the Lord. But I was listening to Drake and I was listening to a lot of worldly music and I didn't really understand. Like I knew worship music was a thing, but I just never really cared to listen to it.
And in the car when we were driving, that's all that they were playing like they were blasting worship music in the car. And they were like singing it. And they were getting almost no one, like, crying. And I was in there and I felt so out of place and uncomfortable. I was like, I don't know, like what's going on? I was like, this is well, you know what my first thought was? I was like, this is cool.
I wish I had I wish I could feel this. I wish I could understand that connection and have that myself. I didn't think it was weird. I just kind of almost in a way, I wanted that like I wanted to have that and I didn't have that yet. And and then it took like probably a few months to really it may have taken like a year to actually want to worship and not see it, as I used to see it as like a chore, almost like something that you had to do, because I grew up going to church and that was like what you did, you worshipped.
And then you listen to a sermon. And I think the idea. Yeah. Of church right now has it's amazing to see what God is doing because he's completely changing the idea of a physical church because the way he intended it was he wanted it to be like it's the body of Christ. It's it's his body. And it's not an actual physical building.
You can worship and praise the Lord anywhere, any time it's about your heart. So I eventually like with worship music, I eventually desired to worship the Lord. And I understood then that connection because it's. The relationship with the Lord, it's not about religion, it's about your relationship. So once you have that relationship, that's all you want to do.
You just want to sing, sing to the Lord. So I think it's cool.
I think, like something that keeps popping my head is I think it's so cool because so many aspects of the Kingdom of God are so backwards compared to how the world works. And one one thing that they would say a lot at the ministry school I go to is that the more that you feed on the kingdom of God and on his word and on things of God, the hunger you get for it. And so I even just find myself, if I if I'm not feeling motivated to get in his word or to listen to worship music or it sounds more appetizing to listen to secular music, then I sometimes I have to discipline myself and just choose to start listening to worship music or just sit down and open my Bible or just start a conversation with God.
And then as I do that more and more within a couple of days, I'm like totally in the swing of things and I'm craving the word of God and I'm craving listening to worship music and the other stuff just loses its taste. And I don't really desire it anymore. So I think that's really cool. It's kind of like what you were saying you experienced.
Yeah, I find the more that I get in the word and the more it's sometimes you do have to discipline yourself. It's because when we wake up, like the our first thing is usually not like, oh my gosh, we can talk about this too. Like when we went on our social media fast, the main reason I wanted to do it was because I found myself the first thing I would do when I would wake up Instagram. And I was like, this is not I don't want to be about this.
The first thing I want to wake up and immediately start praying to the Lord and worshipping him and and getting into his presence immediately right when I wake up like so that's why I didn't want to be on Instagram, was because I was just distracted by too too many worldly things. And especially right now with the quarantine and being at home, like, I find that my screen time is up so much and it's like I'm trying to just live as if social media didn't exist.
Like, that's just I don't know, I just feel called to be away from it. So I think it's important to, like, kind of train yourself to just not look at it sometimes so that you can get better at, you know, not being on it as much.
Yeah. And I just feel like the I don't feel maybe a little bit of conviction. I don't know to myself, I'm like the amount of times I've been on social media or spending, I probably could have read through the Bible twice. Like not no.
Literally, like literally I probably will. But I think that I could have spent so much more time in the word and presence of God and knowing more.
But the social media and all that, it just consumes you. And we don't realize it. And I'm not saying I'm not trying to convict anyone else because I'm in the same boat and I'm convicting myself right now. Like, I think it just makes you realize what your priorities are. And and I think kind of God opens your eyes like you need to. It's not your idol. Like I need to be.
Number one, your life adds good social media, my idol and my being always on my phone. And it yeah, I think it's now that I'm realizing, like, you need to put the social media down the phone down and focus on what's important, because at the end of the day, God, it is the only thing that matters and it should be and it has nothing to do with your life. You should be. Yeah. So I just feel like growing up in church, a lot of times in this can go for a lot of different topics.
But I think the church so often they'll just say we shouldn't do this, we shouldn't listen to secular music, we shouldn't sleep with people before marriage or just whatever, or wear immodest clothing or whatever it is. But they don't really express why. And it becomes this religion thing where it's like, oh, I know I shouldn't do this because I was told I wasn't I was supposed to not do this, but I don't know why. And then therefore it's never sustainable because we don't have any vision for why we're doing what we're doing or choosing not to do certain things.
And for me, when especially when it comes to filling my mind in my heart with good things, the verse always comes to my mind is Proverbs twenty three seven. And it talks about and it says, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he in that verse is just so powerful because what it just talks about how powerful our minds are in our thoughts and our identities and everything from what we watch to what we listen to, to what we allow to influence us, that molds how we see ourselves and how we see God.
And that therefore molds our actions and molds how effective we are in the world. And it molds every aspect of our lives, like how we talk to people, how we love our family, how we get along with others. Our confidence like it literally affects everything. And I think just having that that vision and seeing God's heart behind why he advises us toward certain things and why he tells us why we should feed on his word, why we should stay in constant connection with him, it's all for the benefit of us and for us to be most effective on Earth.
And I think that so often churches and other people, when they don't have that vision or that like that motivation in mind, they're just thinking of it as like this religious role when in reality, everything that God talks about in his word is all for our benefit. And I think us understanding the why behind all that is so important for long term success.
Matthew six twenty two says the eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. Well, there's a dog barking. So basically the things that you're looking at, we are just supposed to be mindful of the things that we are we are looking at because it'll kind of reflect, well, it'll keep out of us what we're consuming.
So it'll affect you. I was thinking about that because I know you mentioned that we were going to talk about modesty potentially. And I was like, I don't know what I'm going to say about that because I'm not that I have these major swings and my views on it. But it's such a I don't know, like I don't know if I totally have my solidified on it or not just because I used to be. So like when I was younger, I was so anal about modesty.
And then as I've gotten older, I realized I was being a bit religious or very much very literally just wearing like turtlenecks.
You know, I had turtlenecks. I have I have something to say. OK, so basically I've been struggling with this for a very long time. It mostly started when I started to get I felt like I was dressing in a way to get the attention of men. So when I would go out to the club, I would obviously show more skin.
And I would you know, I would I would like the attention that I was getting because of what I was wearing. And so once I realized that that was a kind of a heart thing, like it was an issue that I was I was convicted like Columbia, convicting me of that. And I was like, OK, I need to work on this. Also, I had this one man come up to me, this older man who came up to me in a parking lot in Arizona.
And he said he said, Can I tell you something? And I said, sure. And I was wearing a sports bra and leggings. And he said he was like, I'm not trying to I'm not in no way condemning you. I'm just reminding or he said something that he was like Holy Spirit wanted me to tell you basically that you represent. What did you say? He said, you're an ambassador for Christ and all you do and all you like say and all the things you're wearing.
And he he wasn't even telling me like that. It was inappropriate. He was just encouraging me and saying that I was an ambassador for Christ and to represent him. And it really did strike me when he said that ever since then I've been very conscious about what how I dress. And I was in high school and I wasn't really like living my Christian life. Like, I felt like I, I dressed like a ho. I'm not going to lie.
I like I, I would wear like just crop tops and booty shorts. And I think that's the only thing that I knew, like when I was just partying and like just living off of the world and then same with college and like I just felt like I didn't know any different until like I think I've been realizing that now. Like every time I go shopping, I'm like, no, I can't buy this crop top or like I have to buy this bodysuit.
Like, I, I'm not going to dress my old past weighs like I'm not going to dress how I used to be. And and I think it is a reflection of I know there's a lot of controversy of like, well, men shouldn't be trying to call me or just like, you know, like it's their problem. Like, I can dress how I want to and that's fine. But I also believe this is my belief. It's like how you put a put down perceive of yourself, like I think wearing booty shorts and a crop top and that like, you know, showing more so of your butt or boobs, like, I don't know, what do you expect from society to react?
It's just my my thought process. And I was in that same boat like of course I went to parties and I felt like I was hot because I wore booty shorts and crop tops because that's how I felt like I was conform to into the world.
All we can do is, is glorify God in what we do. And so sometimes it shows up stronger in other places and sometimes it shows up weaker. And for me I think where it's shown up weaker has been how I've dressed over the last few years. So this is a verse in first. So this is in first. Timothy, guys, if you haven't read first and second Timothy, I highly recommend to read it. It's very relevant to what's happening right now.
If you guys have your Bibles, you can open up their first Timothy chapter.
And I'm reading out of the new King James version, and this is verse eight, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness and with good works.
Yeah, and it doesn't mean you have to wear long dresses to your ankles and long sleeves covering your everything, your shoulders like, you know what I mean. It just. Yeah.
And I think just understanding that our purpose here on Earth is to represent Christ to people who don't know him. And and I want say two things. So yeah, I like being a good representation of Christ to other people where if you say I'm a Christian and I believe this and you're trying to be polite to people, get your showing off your boobs all the time and you're dressing as if you don't really respect yourself or you don't really fully understand that you're the temple of God and that you're just not being a very good representation, then I think the world will look at you and be kind of confused because they see two contradicting things.
They're like, OK, you're saying this, but you're not really dressing like it. Yeah. And so I think that even if in our in our eyes were like, oh, I don't really see anything wrong with what I'm wearing, I think even kind of what you're saying stoss with guys and then looking at us lustfully like, yes, we definitely shouldn't mold our actions around other people's dysfunctions or their sin, but at the same time we need to meet people where they're at.
And if and also I mean, I wouldn't want guys looking at me lustfully. I don't really want some man who's not going to be my husband having those thoughts about me. So if I could dress myself in a way to prevent that and also meeting guys where they're at and not not escorting them into those lustful thoughts, then I think that that's clearly something that Jesus would want us to do. And also just thinking about the why behind what you're doing, where I think there's a lot of things where, like I've worn I've worn things and like I haven't thought twice about like what you're talking about wearing the bra and the leggings to the gym, like, oh my gosh, I totally relate to that.
And there is so many times where I would wear that and then I would just go straight to the grocery store afterwards and just like do my shopping and not think twice about it for whatever reason. And then my sister literally came to me and she was like, Brian, do you understand that if you give guys an inch, they'll go a mile? And I was like, what do you mean by that? And she was like, well, you're showing you like in your eyes, you're just showing your stomach or it's not that big of a deal.
But to them, it's like they can take that little bit that you're giving them and really take it pretty far in their minds. And that really stuck with me. And so then I just I still wear the same thing to the gym. But then as I'm leaving, I'll put like a shirt on or something over that. But I think just thinking about your why behind what you're wearing, like, am I wearing this to get attention? It it because that would point back to just your not getting full of your affirmation from God, but you're trying to seek some from the world.
And so a lot of times what we wear and how we look on the outside is just a representation of what's happening on the inside. And that's really what God ultimately cares about is our hearts. And so I think that it's always good just to take a moment to think about, like, why am I doing the things I'm doing and is it coming from a pure heart? Thank you, Brian, for coming on and giving us your wisdom and sharing with us your thoughts and your testimony.
Make sure you subscribe to Brian's channel. Also, please follow her on Instagram, because with all of all of the noise going on, it's just nice to have some accounts to follow that are constantly speaking truth. Just going to lead you closer to the Lord. And I just really think and does such an amazing job. She's such a light and such a gift. So please go follow her. Thank you. Singing And we will talk to you next time.