Revival From Within

Going to many youth conferences and large church events when I was young influenced the way I thought God moves. I have heard many times about revival and how God will pour out his spirit and tangible presence on multitudes of people to bring thousands to the kingdom… But I subconsciously always believed it would be an event that happened outside of my influence and I would simply join in to what was happening. However, my heavenly Father has completely changed my understanding in this! I have come to realise that revival is not an external event, but rather, an internal process.

It was a beautiful spring day that I was working from home. I had so much work to do, and not enough time to get it all done. There was a little outreach event happening in the city that day and I was invited to go. I hesitated several times and nearly didn’t go. Finally, I decided to go and arrived in the city with my mind on a dozen things.

After some time passed with the usual events happening, I saw a homeless man stop and watch the event about five meters away from where I was standing. I went up to him and started talking. After the speaker finished, I talked more with him and asked to pray with him. As I prayed, the tangible presence of our heavenly Father came so strongly I started to get emotional. I looked at the man I was praying with, and he was already crying, tears flowing down his weather-worn cheeks.

After prayer, I talked to the man about the Father and his love for a while, then asked if he wanted to surrender his life to Jesus. He wanted to, so we prayed through a prayer of repentance and surrender! It was incredible how the Father took care of everything. It was so easy; The man wanted to be saved.

This all happened only days after a discussion with friends about how God works in us, then through us, then around us. I know the Father’s love and his presence, so I wanted to move on to the next part, God working through me! I expressed this desire in the conversation, and only three days later was able to lead a man to Christ!

I realised that God wanted to use me to bring about a revival. It wasn’t an external event that “just happened”. No, it’s a process that goes on inside of me, (healing and transforming me) until I am ready to step out in faith and advance the kingdom of God!

Psalm 51 points to this reality of looking at the heart first, and being revived there first.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you.

Psalm 51:10, 12-13 NLT

The progression here is firstly being right before God, then from that place teaching his ways to the ungodly and bringing them to salvation. This makes sense because how can we save someone if we ourselves are not saved? Jesus said it this way in Matthew:

So ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.

Matthew 15:14 NLT

If a teacher is teaching something he does not know, how will the person hearing be helped? There is another verse that talks about the heart:

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

There is certainly a pattern here of working on the heart first, then from that seeing God at work around us. Are you willing to start the process of revival from within you? Will you open your heart to the Father for him to work in it?

God Promotes the Humble

A few years ago, I was learning to trust God with my finances. Things were tight, but I still felt led to tithe and give generously despite my situation. Each dollar made a difference, and it was hard to learn to let go of the money I had. I had to learn that my father in heaven is my provider, not myself. I had to let go of the pride in being my provider and let him take control of my finances. It was much harder to do than I thought, and to be honest I still make mistakes in this area.

However, after some time of financial struggle, I was promoted at work and my hours per week were also doubled, meaning my income quadrupled. I was now making four times as much! It was an amazing lesson for me to learn, trusting in God for everything I need. I had to be humble and let the Holy Spirit guide my finances so that he could then bless me.

There are many verses on humility, but I just wanted to include a few of them so you can see the Bible’s perspective on humility.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

James 4:10 NLT

True humility and fear of the Lord
    lead to riches, honor, and long life.

Proverbs 22:4 NLT

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6 NLT

Humility results in being lifted up, and not just that, but also riches, honor, and long life. How amazing is that?!

I pray that you learn what Godly humility is and are blessed from that place. Have a great week!

The Holy Spirit as a Helper

There was a time this year when I was at the end of myself. I had cried until I had nothing left to cry. I felt hopeless and weak, wishing I could disappear from all my problems. It was late at night and I was in my bed, laying there helplessly. I prayed for strength and fell asleep. In the morning, I woke with a spring in my step! I felt the presence of God inside of me and I had a strength and determination about me! It was like chalk and cheese comparing the morning to the night before.

I realised that day that God deeply cares for me and sees me in my weakness, helping me when I cannot help myself. The Holy Spirit taught me to trust in him, even when everything seems unlikely, even impossible. The Bible explains some of the Holy Spirit’s characteristics in John 14 and Romans 8:

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

John 14:26 NLT

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Romans 8:26 NLT

The Holy Spirit will often remind us of truths we already know of, but don’t understand in our heart. I have found that when I read something, it doesn’t stick with me until it lands in my heart. Getting something from my head to my heart is hard by myself, but with the “helper”, the Holy Spirit, I am reminded of the truths in God’s word at crucial times when I need it most.

The best part of all is how the Holy Spirit is given to us permanently, and lives inside of us. I often hear him speak like a still small voice of wisdom. He always lifts me up when I am down, and always encourages me when I am weak. In the morning after my night of despair, I felt the presence of God so powerfully! The Holy Spirit truly lives inside of us as 1 Corinthians 6 says:

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,

1 Corinthians 6:19

I want to encourage you to listen to him when you are feeling low. He truly cares about you and will help in times of trouble. The Bible promises this, and when God says something, he will be sure to fulfill his word.

Have a great week!

Growing In Relationship with God

It was in 2017 that I had a dream I felt was significant, and a direct revelation from God. In the dream, I was driving my car down a road. The road disappeared and turned into rough ground. As I kept driving, I could see a large desert up ahead with a lot of rough terrain. As I got closer to the rocks, cactus and other obstacles, the car I was driving lifted up several hundred feet into the air!

In the air I was able to see very far ahead of me, and I saw many other cars that were still driving on the ground. Some were very expensive exotic cars, and one in particular was a Ford Mustang. It looked brand new and was speeding along at easily over 280 km/hr (174 miles/hr). Because of the speed, it couldn’t slow down when it entered the desert. The vehicle smashed into a large rock and instantly burst into flames. I knew that the driver (and potentially passengers) had died. The dream continued with other events, but I won’t go into detail here.

At the time of the dream, I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant, but I wrote it down and mostly forgot about it. It was only this year that I remembered it and reflected on my relationship with God. I realised that at the time of the dream, my relationship with God was like a car driving on the ground. I was moving forward in what he wanted me to do at a steady and sustainable pace, but I couldn’t see what was happening around me. It was in 2020 when I desperately sought God that I was raised up and shown many things around me. God started talking to me daily about what he was doing in my life, my friend’s lives, and the world at large.

So I realised that the dream had come true. I was in my own world, going at my comfortable pace, when I was lifted up and shown what was happening all around me. A Bible verse that confirms this transformation is Isaiah 40:31.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
   They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 NLT

It is when we wait upon the Lord (being still in his presence for extended periods of time) that we will rise up. I simply love how this verse is so close to the dream I had!

I also love the following verses from the books of Revelation and Jeremiah because they reveal God’s heart for us.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

Revelation 3:20 NLT

Jesus is standing at the door of your heart knocking. It is up to you to let him in. It is in that place of friendship that he will communicate to you as a friend. When you eat a meal with him, (metaphorically), he will share with you. That simply blows me away!

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Jeremiah shows more of God’s heart by revealing that he already has a plan and purpose for you. He wants to give you a future and a hope, but it’s up to you to let him do that by waiting on him and letting Jesus into your heart.

The remarkable thing I find in all of this is that I was a Christian the whole time in the dream I had. It wasn’t as if I was unsaved while I was driving, and when I accepted Christ I was taken up and my vision expanded. No, I was already saved. However, I wasn’t being intentional enough with my time with God to allow him to take me where I needed to go.

If you are “driving” and not seeing what God is doing, (as shown in Revelation 3:20 when Jesus shares a meal with you), I want to encourage you to spend as much time with God as you possibly can in the coming weeks. If possible, set aside large portions of time, up to four hours at a time, or more, to really go deep into his presence with praise, worship and prayer. If you do this, I promise you your life will start to transform!

Be blessed!

Fighting Dragons

Dear friends, From a young age, as young as I can remember, I have been in the middle of a spiritual battle. Most of my earliest memories are nightmares of evil creatures coming to torment me in my dreams. I have already spoken of some of these horrors in previous posts, so I will not go into detail here. However, I want to revisit this topic because there has been a significant update to this story.

I have slept peacefully for many nights since dealing with those demons of the past; However, over the past months I have had multiple dreams in which Satan came to me to kill me. The first two dreams were especially intense, the first of which he was in the form of a dragon, breathing fire, flying around, and using several different tactics to attack me. In the second dream he was in the form of a man and he used smooth words to trap me. In both of those dreams I was shown that I needed to face him myself instead of relying on other people to win this battle for me. I couldn’t depend or rely on my spiritual leaders to set me free; God would give me the strength to face him myself.

In each instance I prayed into the dreams and sought God desperately because of their intensity. After prayer each time, I felt a powerful peace come over me that couldn’t be penetrated. Some time passed, at least a couple of months, before I had two more dreams in the same night.

In these next two dreams, I could see that God the Father was watching over me. I again faced a dragon that wanted to harm me. However, this time things were different. A brother stood by me and submitted his heart to God. He truly lay himself down in the presence of God. His heart was in complete worship to God. I could see that God the Father was looking at my brother and me standing there, facing the dragon. Then my brother started forcefully praying against the dragon! He started asking God to rebuke it, curse it, and smite it!

Well, it’s safe to say God wasted no time in doing the very things asked of him! He struck that dragon down right where it stood. That wretched thing couldn’t move after only three strikes! I stood there amazed. I was just given the key to win the fight against dragons!

Again, I was facing another dragon. This one was much like the first, intending to harm me. I felt fear start to creep in until I saw God appear again. He turned and looked at me. As soon as the father looked at me, I felt peace come into me. I remembered the previous dragon fight and submitted myself to my Father, right before the dragon in front of me. I truly surrendered everything, holding nothing back. Once I had entered that place of worship (I felt a change in my spirit), I started praying against the dragon. God responded promptly and struck the dragon down. It was utterly defeated!

Once I awoke, I put this prayer into practice immediately. I felt the results immediately in my spirit and I was soaring! I felt so free and so powerful. I knew I had a huge amount of authority, given to me by God.

I remembered the verse in James that says:

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

Over the years of facing spiritual battles I have prayed James 4:7 many times, but never with the success I recently had. I believe there is a grace that God gives when he reveals something specifically to us. The verse was no less true before my dreams as it was after, yet it was only when I held the revelation of the verse for myself that it was truly effective.

When I had the revelation of James 4:7 I realised that it is far more powerful than what it seems. The verse doesn’t describe the level of humility required, how far the heart needs to go to submit to God before you are in a position to resist the devil. I also didn’t realise that I needed to pray from that place of submission and ask God to take down the devil. I thought I had to resist him in my own strength.

So as you can see, there is a big difference when you understand something in your heart. When God showed me how James 4:7 works, I no longer came to incorrect conclusions. I got the essence of the revelation, not just the idea of it. It went past my head and into my heart. I pray he will show you too.

I want to encourage you to face your dragons, whatever form they may come in. When you are faithful to keep fighting and praying, our father hears you and will give you the specific strategy to defeat the enemy.

May the God of peace richly bless you.

The Power of Prayer: A Testimony

Following on from my last post where I wrote about the power of God working through prayer, I want to share a testimony.

I felt God lead me to a remote church to help them while they started up. This church was less than six weeks old when I first visited, and at the time of this story, I had attended a handful of times. One Sunday night, after a regular service, I started talking to a young woman who was there with her partner. I found out that they used to attend church, but it was very dry and didn’t operate in the power of God. As a result, they left God and were very sceptical about connecting back into a church.

While I was talking with this young lady, my spirit inside of me felt like it would jump out of my body with excitement! I felt such a joy and connection to her. I have never felt this way before, and not since. One of my friends had organised to catch up with them after the service at a cafe, so we left the church and went to the cafe.

At the cafe, there were three friends and I talking to this young couple. As we talked about God with them, I again felt a strong connection to them. As I shared my testimony with the young man, he said he had gone through very similar life circumstances. He could easily relate to me and the struggles I went through. By this point, my spirit was just about to jump out of my body with joy and excitement for what God was doing in me! Wow! It was truly amazing.

After some time of discussion, the cafe was closing due to it getting late. We all went outside and kept talking in the freezing cold. After ten minutes or so, one of my friend asked to pray for them. After he prayed for them, he suggested I also pray. Well, safe to say no one expected God to move so powerfully!

As soon as I opened my mouth and started praying, the power of God hit everyone forcefully! One of my friends yelled out from the shock and staggered around, while I started weeping uncontrollably! I kept praying through the tears, desperately asking God to reveal himself to this couple that they might be saved. I heard myself prophesying over them, speaking of their faith-filled future.

After the prayer, I felt so alive; I truly felt used by God in the best way possible. Speaking to the couple, they also felt something, and they were very grateful for the prayers. Although they didn’t choose to accept God as their saviour right there and then, I know without a doubt that God is working in their lives.

This story is just one where God moved in me through prayer. I have seen him move through me more since I shifted my focus to what he wanted me to be doing: praying! I know I have a call to pray with and for other people, and as I walk in that, God uses me powerfully. The best part about this is that I didn’t do anything extra special. It was all God! He worked through me and did everything. There was no special prayer beforehand, and I wasn’t fasting. God simply used me as I walked in his purpose for my life.

There are some verses I want to highlight that show how God uses us when we are willing vessels:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:13 NLT

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10 NLT

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:16

As you can see from these verses, God works through us, not requiring us to produce the good works. For God planned long ago what we would do. How incredible!

Knowing these verses, do you know the call God has for your life? Are you walking in it? If you are, I would love to hear your stories of God’s power working through you. If you don’t know if you are walking in God’s call for you, I encourage you to read my last post and ensure you are in God’s will. From that place, there is no striving, no trying to make things happen. It just automatically works.

Have a blessed week, and may God be with you.

Operate Through Your Calling

A couple of weeks ago, God put a message on my heart. It spoke to me directly because it’s something I’ve been working through myself. The title says it all: Operate Through Your Calling. However, this isn’t always straightforward! I have often wondered what my calling is. Or, how am I supposed to walk in it in a complex world?

Let’s go.

A few years ago, I felt God put on my heart to share the gospel with others. I wanted to learn to preach and speak to believers to answer the call I felt from God. However, try as I might, I couldn’t get many speaking engagements, even after directly speaking to pastors and offering to share my testimony. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. I felt that I must have misheard God. Did he really want me to preach? Why was nothing working?

Throughout this time of questioning, I led three different bible studies, all of which only lasted some months before numbers dwindled so low it was only leaders attending. Although I hid it, this had a significant impact on the view I had on myself. Was I even capable of ministry? I was not a magnet that attracted; I felt like a magnet facing the wrong way. Everyone left!

I don’t know if you’ve felt that nothing you did (ministry-wise) succeeded, but if you have, I get it! The good news is that God has a way out! He showed it to me when I eventually started praying about this issue. He showed me that there are three things needed to find my calling and walk in it.

The first necessary action to take is to spend time seeking God in private. Take this opportunity to get close and intimate with God. Cultivate your relationship with him. You won’t get anywhere on your own.

The second action is to ask him for your calling. By directly asking God to show you his calling for your life, he will reveal it to you in a personal way. You will know his plans for yourself. You won’t have to rely on a pastor or prophet to show you the way to take.

The third step is to operate out of your calling. This action is the last step to ensure success in what you do. It is crucial to work in your calling and not someone else’s.

Now, to continue my story.
After seeking God and following his lead, I realised that although he has called me to preach, the timing is not right yet. What he has called me to now is a prayer ministry. God showed me that I needed to open my home to other believers and create a space to pray. When I did this, wow! The power of God MOVED!!
Every week, there would be people weeping as God healed their hearts! Many words of knowledge and prophesy were given to encourage one another. And most of all, the presence of God was so strong and tangible every time we met!

One time, I was disappointed because only one friend came to the meeting. But even then, God showed up powerfully, and as I was praying, I saw in a vision a place that looked like heaven! Colours were moving around in the air that were too beautiful to describe. I cannot explain how they moved because they were so bright and full of life, unlike colours in this world. I am not colour-blind, but when I came back and looked around, even the brightest colours on earth looked grey compared to the colours I saw in the vision. The amazing thing about these colours was that they moved and had a life of their own. They were living, moving, and a pure delight to watch!

Heavenly colours aren’t everything, though. It’s incredible to see, but the power of God changing lives is more important. And that’s exactly what’s been happening every single week for me. It seems normal now to have at least one powerful testimony of God showing up when praying, turning another life around.
Praise God! He is working through me finally, and I feel alive when I pray!
I will share more testimonies in the coming weeks because I feel it on God’s heart to share them as an encouragement.
Have a blessed week, and may you operate out of your calling!

Who Is The Stronger Man?

I was resting when a scene played in my mind. I saw a very strong and muscular man protecting his house. Next, I saw another stronger man overpower the first and take ownership of the house and all that was in it.

After seeing this I was disturbed – why would someone take what isn’t his? Why did one man overpower the first?

I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what this meant. Later the same morning as I was reading through my Bible devotion for the day, I came across this passage:

 For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe—  until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.
 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

Luke 11:21-23 NLT

The strong man Jesus talked about here sounded exactly like the picture I saw. I looked up what it meant to understand more of what this meant. It seems that Jesus is saying he is the stronger man who is overpowering Satan and taking back what was stolen. This makes more sense as to why the second man would attack – he was taking back what was stolen and rightfully his!

So, what does this mean? I think it’s a pretty cool reminder that no matter how muscular Satan looks, Jesus is stronger and has already defeated him! We can trust in Jesus and his strength.

Generosity Revisited

I want to talk about generosity again, now that my perspective has changed since I last wrote about it. There are a few points I want to address:

  1. Your heart attitude is more important than the way you give
  2. Percentage matters more than the dollar amount
  3. Our Father wants your heart, not your money
  4. Real giving has no strings attached

Your heart attitude is more important than the way you give. A few weeks ago, Jesus appeared to me in a dream. He told me a few things, but there is one that I need to share with you. He told me that my heart motives are more important than my actions. What does this mean in the context of generosity? The gift you give is not scrutinised by God the same way your heart is. Here are some questions to ask yourself before giving. Are you reluctantly or resentfully giving the gift? Do you feel forced to give because of tithing expectations? Do you hold unforgiveness in your heart toward a brother or sister? If you or I answer yes to any of these questions, we must examine our heart to ensure we have pure motives. Pray on each issue that arises and ask Jesus to change your heart.

Percentage matters more than the dollar amount. Whenever I think about generosity, I am reminded of a particular Bible story (Luke 21:1-4). Jesus is with his disciples in the temple, watching various people give offerings. Many rich people gave large sums, but when a widow put in two small copper coins, Jesus declared that she had given more than the rich before her. The poor widow had given all she had to live! There was a direct pain in giving those coins because, for that week, there was no money for food, accommodation, or other expenses. In the same way as that story, God knows your financial state, so larger dollar amounts do not always equal a more generous gift. If you desire to give more, do so based on your money percentage rather than thinking in dollar amounts.

Our Father wants your heart, not your money. God is infinitely rich because he created all things, so he has no need for you to give. However, he wants you to give because by giving your money, he gets your heart. Jesus stated that where your treasure is, there your heart is also (Matthew 6:21). He warned against storing up treasures on earth because they do not last. When you give to God, you get treasure in heaven, and when you have treasure in heaven, your heart is in heaven. Therefore, following this progression, when you give God money, you are giving him your heart.

Real giving has no strings attached. A genuine gift must be given in whole with no expectation of return; otherwise, it is a transaction. Imagine the following story as an example. You are close with your best friend, and he gives you a gift every birthday and Christmas. One day when you are both walking together along a road, a car swerves toward your friend, but you see it fast enough to push him out of the way. Tragically, you are killed instead. At your funeral, your friend is giving a speech. At the speech, he complains that he wasted a lot of money on gifts for you, because you didn’t give enough back.

This story has likely never happened between two best friends, but is it possible to happen between God and us? God gave his life so you and I can live in freedom with him, so why should we give with a motive behind the gift that expects some kind of ‘return on investment’? God is the investment! God has already given more than you or I could ever possibly hope to repay!

May you have a blessed week.

2020: A Year of Vision and Growth

If you have been following my journey for a while, you will know I wrote early last year about some of the difficulties I faced. Although the year started rough, I learned many lessons and ultimately came out better than before. I firmly believe that my growth happened because I decided to start seriously praying.

At the start, the prayer increase was partly due to not having anything else to do, and not desiring to find anything else to do with my time. I heard a sermon at the start of the year about being equipped for battle by spending time with God, and I realised that I’d rarely spent more than an hour at a time seeking God. So I made it my goal to spend longer amounts of time with God to see what would happen.

The result of increased prayer was spiritual alertness and vision I had never experienced before. As I grew spiritually throughout the year, I saw most things differently; My perspective changed dramatically in only 12 months! The most obvious change to me was that I became more aware of the spiritual health of myself and those around me. I have realised that gifts (in and out of the church) do not equal spiritual maturity. In some cases, I saw that people with gifts had become spiritually dry over time as they started to lean on their gifts rather than their relationship with God! However, those who were healthy all had one thing in common – a close relationship with God and regular prayer.

Seeing things the way I do now, I find it quite interesting that most christians I talk to do not see the need for much intentional prayer, if any at all. I agree that subconscious prayer is incredibly powerful and should be practiced by all christians, and the bible backs this up in Thessalonians:

Never stop praying.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

Buuuuuut, there’s more to prayer than the inner prayer. It’s the intentional prayer, when time is set aside specifically to address concerns and talk with the Father. I believe Jesus was talking about this kind of prayer in Matthew 6:

“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Matthew 6:6 NLT

And also in Luke 11:

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Luke 11:9 NLT

There are many other verses on prayer, but these three already start to show what a healthy prayer life looks like. I want to encourage you to work towards this kind of prayer life. Although I am the one talking about this, I am also still learning to pray more and make sure to be intentional about it.

What are the results of increased intentional prayer? For me, it was the following:
– Wisdom in difficult situations
– Less fear of man
– More reverence for God
– Increased communication with God
– Less insecurity
– More love for people

In addition to these answered prayer points, I noticed increased spiritual activity around me. Jesus has visited me multiple times in dreams and visions. In addition, I notice more angelic and demonic activity. Demons have specifically targeted me to bring me down and cause me to stumble, but the Father has rescued me every time. Crazy things happen now, some of which I have shared, and many which I haven’t. I am incredibly blessed, and I have had opportunities open to me that would have taken me many years to see. These are only some of the benefits of a closer relationship with God.

If you struggle with anything at all, I want to encourage you to write it down and create a list of things you want the Father to develop in your life. As Jesus said in Luke, keep asking and you will receive what you ask for. I personally focused on character development and prayers around growing spiritually and maturely, but you may want to broaden your prayers to your work life, family, friends, and other areas. 🙂

May God be with you as you pray.