Jon Gibson offers this song free at: http://www.jongibson.com/the-storyteller.html
"Now, the whole thought in prayer is to get the will of God like that done in our lives and upon this old earth. The greatest prayer any one can offer is,
"Thy will be done." It will be offered in a thousand different forms, with a thousand details, as needs arise daily.
But every true prayer comes under those four words. There is not a good desirable thing that you have thought of that He has not thought of first, and probably with an added touch not in your thought. Not to grit your teeth and lock your jaw and pray for grace to say, "Thy will be endured: it is bitter, but I must be resigned; that is a Christian grace; Thy will be endured." Not that please. Do not slander God like that.
There is a superficial idea among men that charges God with many misfortunes and ills for which He is not at all responsible. He is continually doing the very best that can be done under the circumstances [that He designed] for the best results. He has a bad mixture of stubborn warped human wills to deal with. With infinite patience and skills and diplomacy and success too, He is ever working at the tangled skein of human life, through the human will. (pg 202)"
To read more about prayer, go to the book, Quiet Talks on Prayer by S.D. Gordon
BE A MAN.
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed
Reflecting on how to increase possibilities while reducing personal and spiritual challenges in my ministry in the marketplace, I often wonder if the man Jesus could have managed his earthly ministry responsibilities without the discipline of praying. In the figurative sense, some of his battles were not so far removed from my personal experiences in our highly dynamic yet pressurized, at times unpredictable and inhuman corporate playing fields.
I simply cannot imagine Jesus engaging in his earthly ministry without drawing the physical, spiritual, and emotional strength from prayer. Without Jesus’ reliance on the source of power found in prayer, I believe that his "human side" may have signed up for a “mission-impossible.”
Jesus’ resilience in his ministry guided me to study his recorded prayers in the Bible more closely. I wanted to find out what enabled Jesus to surrender completely to his Father’s will and mission that inevitably led him to the Cross. I limit my results to 3 characteristics that helped me improve my personal approach to prayer in order to fill it with more impact.
1. Jesus prayed with authority that gave his prayers unequalled power. As Christians we have the rare privilege that Jesus passed that authority to us. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can pray with the greatest self-confidence for the ministry God has called us into.
2. Jesus prayed for other believers.When I studied John 17 (v. 13-15), I made the interesting discovery that Jesus narrowed the circle of those he prayed for. First of all, he prayed for those God had given to him (v. 6,9). In a second step, Jesus lifted those people up who would believe in him through the message of the disciples (v. 20, 21). I believe that this approach adds quality to my prayers for new believers and their “spiritual survival” in the sometimes harsh realities of corporate life.
3. Jesus prayed in solitude and silence. Jesus preferred and recommended prayer in solitude: “But when you pray, go to your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” He often withdrew from the crowd to solitary places like the mountainside, sometimes even without the knowledge of his disciples. To have that exclusivity of solitude and silence, Jesus even chose a specific time of day: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."
I discovered the benefits of his disciplined approach purposely seeking solitude and silence for prayer:
I conclude that prayer has the same non-negotiable component for us as for Jesus Christ. There are many things we can easily do without in our daily routine, but we cannot and must not do without prayer!
But how do we incorporate prayer as a non-negotiable habit into each day before we venture out to be witnesses? Jesus’ prayer life suggests that this habit is in some measure connected with one’s personality and life-rhythm, one’s specific personal needs and ministry requirements. Therefore I would find it somewhat presumptuous to define a “ready-to-wear” solution for someone else. Yet I can at least share two important factors from my life that made it much easier to make prayer a non-negotiable part of my daily agenda: the issue of “time” and the aspect of “location.”
1. Time - I had to “make time for God” in my increasingly busy work schedule. To set aside that exclusive time slot for prayer and studying the Word of God, I eventually had to sacrifice some sleep. My best chances are the very early morning hours. I never regretted this step! I am convinced that the quality of my performance at work and serving our workplace small group “Christians@telekom” depend largely on my dedication to prayer and Bible study during those early morning hours.
2. Location - I designated a special corner in my living room for my private conversations with God. Others might find that needed solitude in their cozy kitchen or study, or they commune well with God in nature. Depending on one’s personality and ministry situation some might even fall into that exceptional category of people who hear God’s voice in the craziest humdrum. Well, I don’t! I need that biblical solitude and silence to pray, contemplate, and listen to God.
How do I manage ‘time” and “location” in light of my business travels? That usually requires some creativity. Two examples: The early hours in hotel rooms work by and large quite well. I have also discovered that our international airport in Frankfurt has two chapels that have become a little safe haven prior to an overseas’ trip. Seek out chapels in airports.
After recollecting my thoughts on the importance of prayer for the workplace, the four examples from Jesus’ prayer life, and my personal experiences, the question of whether a habit of praying based on Jesus’ model is really worth the effort may remain. I cannot ever answer that satisfactorily for other Christians. But in his book Life from the Up Side, J. Ellsworth Kalas says something that may encourage us to try following Jesus’ model: because Jesus "once said a very daring, almost outrageous thing about himself: ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.' That is, he was saying, ‘I am the plot. Without me, life is flat and thin, and dreadfully ‘realistic,’ but I give it purpose, meaning, and eternal value.”
Purpose, meaning, and eternal value come into our lives, when we truly celebrate this discipline of praying by making it our daily habit. That can be challenging and frustrating at times. More often than that praying is a glorious and joyful experience. We must remember: Jesus himself often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Jesus’ commitment to this intimate exchange with the Father serves as our model. His dedication to this spiritual discipline enabled Jesus to surrender completely to his Father’s will and mission. He received unequalled power, resilience, and authority to fulfill his earthly ministry that ended at the cross. There and then the door opened for us to embrace purpose, meaning, and eternal value, a life with a plot. So allow nothing in your earthly ministry to keep you from making prayer and contemplation your daily habit!
This post was written by Dr Baare. You can find the original post here: http://seedbed.com/feed/the-habit-of-prayer-in-the-workplace
BE A MAN.
Have you ever noticed that Christians speak normally to one another, but when they speak to aloud to God they lapse into a strange language and tone? I call this “prayer-speak” and it’s epidemic in evangelical churches today.
Prayer-speak is especially prevalent among worship leaders.
Prayer speak silences men. Guys who might otherwise pray aloud are intimidated because they don’t know the “prayer code.”
A guy might be tempted to open his mouth and say, “God, I got a problem.” But he keeps quiet because his oration doesn’t sound holy enough.
The other problem with prayer-speak is that it makes our prayers sound rather wimpy. Here is a prayer I heard recently from a musician as he closed his first set:
Dear God, we need you. God, we just need your love. God, we just need your presence. Father be with us in this time of worship. Lord just send your spirit so that every heart is touched. Father, that no one would go home the same.
Lord, I just pray that we would run into your arms and seek safety there. Father nothing compares to your love for us.
Father God we just pray that we would honor you in all we do. Lord, give us boldness to proclaim your word to every nation. Father make us your witnesses unto the ends of the earth. We just pray that your Word would go out into the world and change lives.
Father we just ask all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Does this sound familiar? You probably heard something like it last Sunday.
I don’t really have a problem with what the prayer said. It’s how it was said.
Notice the prayer invoked the name of God twelve times – at the beginning of each sentence. This is just odd. Did Jesus instruct us to repeat God’s name over and over when we pray? When we speak to a flesh-and-blood person do we say their name each time we open our mouths? “Jeremy, thanks for having lunch with me. Jeremy, what will you be ordering? I’m thinking about the tilapia, Jeremy. Jeremy, can you pass the salt?”
And what’s with the frequent use of the word just? Placing a just before a verb softens it. It gives our prayers the sound of a beggar. Would you just give me a crust of bread, God? Lord, I’m just a miserable sinner, just begging you for some little thing.
We are God’s sons, not his slaves. John Wesley said, “Storm the Throne of Grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down.” We should enter his presence with appropriate confidence. The tone of our prayers should reflect our place as God’s beloved children. Jesus was bold and familiar with his Father; we should be too.
Let’s reimagine the prayer above:
Lord, in the next hour we’re going to set aside all our worries and burdens and ask you to take care of those. We want to focus on what’s really important, but we’re so easily distracted by things that don’t matter. Forgive us for that.
We’re a needy people. We are nothing without you and your Spirit. We get beat up by life all week long, and we need this time with you. Thanks for loving us.
And we know you have a mission for us. You called us to be your witnesses, but we’re scared. We shouldn’t be – but we are. Next time we have an opportunity to speak up for you, fill us with your power.
We really look forward to this time in your presence. Speak to us now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Feel the difference between the two prayers? They say basically the same things, but the second prayer sounds confident. You feel it in you gut. It’s not repetitive, hesitant or sing-songy. It’s surprising in its candor. It’s not stuffed with the usual churchy phrases.
Guys, we need to start modeling boldness in prayer. The next time you have an opportunity to pray aloud in a group I challenge you to do three things:
This post was written by David Murrow. You can find the original post here: http://churchformen.com/discipling-men/how-to-pray-aloud-like-a-man/
BE A MAN.
WE NEED IT BECAUSE (Luke 11:1):
- Human wits have an end (Ps 107:13; 29, 27-28)
- Human wills have an end (Romans 8:26)
- Human wisdom has an end (James 1:5)
Prayer alters ME
WE MUST DO IT (Luke 18:1):
- If we would know God (Matt 6:8)
- If we would help others (John 14:12-13)
- If we would do God's will (I John 5:14-16)
Prayer alters OTHERS
WE CAN DO IT (James 5:16):
- By asking (John 15:17)
- By seeking (John 15:7)
- By knocking (Matt 7:7)
Prayer alters CIRCUMSTANCES through me
This post is taken from the book, If You Will Ask: Reflections on the Power of Prayer by Oswald Chambers
BE A MAN.
Pray for the families and communities of Christian martyrs.
“Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-5
Pray for the families of refugees displaced by the violence.
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” Exodus 22:21
Pray for the wisdom of political leaders and their policies.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Pray for journalists who are reporting on the situation.
“Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.” Proverbs 25:13
Pray for Muslims around the world.
“And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh…?” Jonah 4:11
Pray for the soldiers engaged in combat.
“For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Romans 13:4
Pray for those committed to peacemaking and relief efforts.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
Pray for the lives and souls of terrorists.
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:44-45
This post was written by Andrew Dragos of Seedbed. You can find the original post here: http://seedbed.com/feed/8-things-to-pray-for-related-to-isis-war-and-terrorism/
BE A MAN.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself prays for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26
When we are alone, when our private terrors have left us without the ability to speak, when even the simplest of prayers ["Help!"] is more that our weary hearts can muster - those are the times we need God's Spirit most of all.
It is life itself to know that God pays attention to us. The Spirit of the Living God is with us and is attentive to our weakness. God does not shame us for our weakness. Our weakness is not a bad thing to God. Our weakness is simply a reality. The Spirit's response to our weakness is to help us. God is on our side. The Spirit knows us and loves us. God knows the pain that crushes us. God helps us in our weakness.
In those moments when we have been silenced by life, the Spirit prays for us. The Spirit prays with groans for which there is no language. When we are not able to pray we can find comfort and hope in the promise that the Spirit is praying for us.
I need to be reminded when I feel so absolutely alone
that you know my pain,
you know my weakness.
When I come to the end of words,
when my mind is full of confusion,
help me to remember that you pray for me.
When I am overwhelmed with despair,
when I want to give up,
when I want to run away in fear,
it is only your presence,
gentle, powerful Friend,
that gives me hope and strength.
I need your help today.
I need you to pray for me.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery
BE A MAN.
Each week men and women all over the world give their time, talents, and treasures to the work of God’s kingdom. They sweat, bleed, cry, and give all so that God’s mission is fulfilled on the earth. “On earth, as it is in Heaven…” would be a more exact representation of the mission’s call. We, who have committed ourselves to this commission, often face significant road blocks, and conflict regularly arises. We tell ourself two lies, depending on the situation…either God wants us to bust down proverbial doors that are locked shut, or He wants us to walk away from opportunities that seem insurmountable. We try our best to follow God’s will, but sometimes the tempation of our own comfort steers us in a different direction. Whatever the case may be, if we were honest with ourselves, those of us involved in church leadership can admit that often unhealthy trends emerge from our efforts. Currently, there are many unhealthy trends that I have observed, but let’s just talk about a few of them today.
I think there are 6 Unhealthy Trends in Church Leadership that must be discussed.
1. Inconsistent Priorities
As pastors and church leaders, we have to be in the habit of constantly evaluating our priorities. Do we really want God’ will to be done, or are we more interested in what is marketable? Sometimes these things go hand in hand, but sometimes they don’t. If we say we are about God’s business then we have to be willing to take the risks that prove God is in control. All of us want to see God’s glory powerfully invade our churches, but how many are willing to make decisions that would require Him to create possibility out of the impossible? Seeking God’s priorities will get us farther than we could ever imagine. Sometimes the actions taken with be frightening, but if God is in control then we will see blessing.
2. Addiction to More
In today’s Christian culture, what happens when our churches grow in number? Well, we build bigger buildings of course! This is because the unhealthy addiction to more equates to that of human or financial hoarding. We want bigger so we can have more, so we can influence the masses, and persuade even more people, so we can continue to get bigger. The cycle seems pointless overall. Sure, we justify it by saying we are trying to convey the life-giving message to more people, or that God is simply blessing because of the right leadership, but we have to ask ourselves the hard questions. Questions like…If God called us to do something bold like plant a new church, or restart a dying one. would we be open to that idea? Do we care more about what our work looks like than what God can do through us? I am not against bigger churches…but let’s not default to a mentality that God is not calling us to.
3. Competitive Mentalities
Sometimes it is hard to lead a church as a spirit driven leader instead of a team coach, or CEO. Sure there are coaching and business aspects to this vocation, but if God were the center of our ministry then we would realize that our mission includes helping the worship community across town as a brother or sister would look after their sibling. Even though I love my church, I don’t profess to have the secret that gets people to Heaven any faster than the megachurch down the road. We will be more effective united as opposed to seeking to be offended when another church is being blessed. Rejoice with our brothers and sisters…They are God’s children too. You will have to stand before God one day and account for why you didn’t…if that is the case. Give your all to bless other churches. You will see the increase.
4. Destructive Arrogance
No pastor, leader, or person sitting in the pew is above one another. There are some that have studied scritpure more and understand the languages it was originally written in, but we have to eradicate arrogance if we are going to grow. Even though I came from a Christian home, my sin is the exact same as yours…my past was riddled with instances in which I decided to seek my own path and do things my own way. This is all sin is…so the next time we are tempted, as church leaders, to be arrogant remember that it is destructive. People need grace, and guidance…not a know-it-all who thinks of themself as higher than another.
5. Constant Worry
God’s got this under control. You don’t have to be in constant worry over whether or not this is true. As a pastor, it is easy to worry (to the point of paranoia) about things like finances, church attendance, efffectiveness, or if so-in-so is mad about if the piano was moved 2 feet to the left. We worry about our building. We worry about the future. We worry about whether or not people want to stay at our church. We worry about other churches taking our people (side note: they are God’s people not ours…). The concerns are endless. Meanwhile, people, outside of our walls are dying and we have a chance to provide them with an antidote. They don’t care about any of that…they just want the hurt to go away. Take that worrying energy and convert it into serving energy.
6. Aversion to Learning
I once asked an older pastor if he was going to a certain seminar. He looked at me and said, “probably not…I have been in ministry a long time, and they probably can’t teach me anything I don’t already know.” WHAAAAATTTTT???!!!!!?? Pastors and other church leaders should have a hunger to learn more not an aversion to growth. We owe it to God to have the desire to grow in Him. Don’t miss the opportunities that present themselves.
When we embrace unhealthy trends in our leadership we are defying the mission of Christ himself. I pray that we are no longer held hostage by our own limitations but embrace the fact that God can do all. Allow Him to lead you today.
This post was written by Rev DeCrastos. The original post can be found here:
The Normal Christian Life is Watchman Nee’s take on the book of Romans, just as Sit, Walk, Stand was his journey through Ephesians. Nee uses these pages to remind his readers that everything depends on our resting in Christ’s completed work. On that basis he calls Christians to live holy and upright lives, not in their own strength, but in the Spirit. And he calls his fellow believers to realize that God is not content to simply undo the results of the fall. There is much more in view.
He does a wonderful job of bringing home theological truth, though I found a few pieces of his thought process difficult to swallow. I must admit I found the last third far better than the first two. But as a whole it is rich in material you will want to go over more than once, and full of imagery that brings the subject to life.
While Sit, Walk, Stand was full of moving personal stories and interactions, The Normal Christian Life stands out for its use of analogies. Simply, they are brilliant and succinct.
Not only am I in Christ, but Christ is in me. And just as, physically, a man cannot live and work in water but only in air, so, spiritually, Christ dwells and manifests himself not in terms of “flesh” but of “spirit.” Therefore, if I live “after the flesh,” I find that what is mine in Christ is, so to say, held in suspense in me. Though in fact I am in Christ, yet if I live in the flesh – that is, in my own strength and under my own direction – then in experience I find to my dismay that it is what is in Adam that manifests in me. If I would know in experience all that is in Christ, then i must learn to live in the Spirit. (p.176)
In this way he presents the difference between what we experience and what is objective reality, and shows that if we are to live as disciples, we can only expect to do so by breathing in the right medium. Or his grappling with the nature of the two “laws”, of sin and death and of life:
If we will let ourselves live in the new law, we shall be less conscious of the old. It is still there, but it is no longer governing and we are no longer in its grip. That is why the Lord says in Matthew 6: “Behold the birds…Consider the lilies.” If we could ask the birds whether they were not afraid of the law of gravity, how would they reply? They would say, “We never heard the name of Newton. We know nothing about this law. We fly because it is the law of our life to fly.” Not only is there in them a life with the power of flight, but that life has a law which enables these living creatures, to overcome the law of gravity. Yet gravity remains. (p.192)
His dealing with the nature of the church and its relation to the creation of Eve out of Adam’s side is beautiful (p.213). As well, his treatment of the normal source of our strength (pp. 230-231) will make you rightly question every spiritual gift inventory you have ever taken, encouraging you to drink from the well of the Spirit.
I did find his treatment of our sinful nature lacking (p.35), as it calls into question how we should take the humanity of Christ (though I don’t think that was his intention). I also think he takes 2 Corinthians 4:11 out of context to prove a point on p.228. And as I already suggested, I found the early parts of the book more tedious than the latter due to his incessant reminders that everything is the work of Christ; nothing is to our credit. I got the point early, and was ready for some balance before he was ready to provide it.
The best way I can think to end this review is with a story involving a biscuit, from near the end of the book:
I was sitting one day at supper with a young brother to whom the Lord had been speaking on this very question of our natural energy. He said to me, “It is a blessed thing when you know the Lord has met you and touched you in that fundamental way, and that disabling touch has been received.” There was a plate of biscuits between us on the table, and I picked one up and broke it in half as though to eat it. Then, fitting the two pieces together again carefully, I said, “It looks all right, but it is never quite the same again, is it? When once your back is broken, you will yield ever after to the slightest touch from God.” (p.265)
This book review was written by George.
BE A MAN.
Bruce Olson’s autobiography Bruchko contains much more than his life story. Olson’s work with the primitive Motilone Indian tribe of South America brings up missiological questions of utmost importance.
– What does the Gospel look like in a culture that is radically different from ours?
– What traditions and customs can a culture preserve while maintaining a Christian identity?
– How much do missionaries need to be immersed in a culture before they can effectively share the gospel?
Bruchko tells the story of Bruce Olson’s difficult journey to the dangerous Motilone Indian tribe of South America, his assimilation into Motilone culture, and his role in the entire tribe’s conversion to Christianity. The book begins with Olson’s conversion experience. Raised in a legalistic Lutheran church with parents who were cold and indifferent to the Gospel, Olson embarked on a quest for genuine Christianity. He studied Greek and Hebrew and began reading the Bible in the original languages. Olson feared the judgment of God and was eventually driven to his knees in repentance and faith. His Lutheran church offered no support for Olson’s newfound personal faith, so he began to attend an interdenominational church.
Touched by missionary reports, Olson felt God’s call to minister to Indians in South America. When he was nineteen, Olson embarked on the journey that would change his life forever. He headed to South America with little more than the clothes on his back. Olson’s first contact with local missionaries was disheartening. The missionaries looked at Olson as an outsider and refused to include him in mission work because he had come without sponsorship. Instead of doing mission work from the beginning, Olson attended a university in Venezuela and began learning about the South American Indian tribes.
Months later, Olson set off into the jungle looking for the Motilone Indian tribe. He first came across the Yuko Indians. After spending a year with the Yukos, he ventured deeper into the jungle to find the Motilones. His initial encounter with the Motilones was frightening. He was pierced by an Indian arrow and later almost executed by the Motilone chief. Olson endured dysentery, hepatitis, and a chronic problem with parasites during his first few months in the jungle. However, none of these trials convinced him to turn back. Instead, they emboldened him to continue his work and to take joy in this time of “suffering” for the Lord’s work.
Upon his return to the Motilones, Olson received the name “Bruchko.” He began to accompany the men on their fishing and hunting expeditions. He slowly adjusted to the Motilone diet, and he began to pick up on the tribe’s tonal language. Still, he faced periods of discouragement as he did not know how to share the Gospel within this foreign and difficult context.
The turning point of the book comes from Olson’s befriending of a young Motilone warrior – Bobarishora (“Bobby” for short). As Bobby became a leader of the tribe, Olson’s influence expanded and his opportunities for service were multiplied. One such instance took place when an epidemic of pink eye hit the tribe. Olson obtained antibiotic cream for the Indians, only to find out that the witch doctor refused the outside help. In an ingenious attempt to win over the witch doctor, Olson purposefully contracted pink eye and allowed the witch doctor to treat him with his own antibiotic cream. From that time on, the witch doctor began to use Western medicines and the tribe took steps to better sanitation.
Olson’s opportunity to share the gospel came shortly after the experience with the witch doctor. In the jungle, he came upon several Motilone Indians who were digging a hole in an attempt to find God. Olson began to teach them about the incarnation and Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross. In order to drive home the biblical teaching about God becoming man, Olson told the Motilone fable about a man who became an ant. Bobby was the first Motilone to convert to Christianity, but it took several months before the rest of the tribe would make their decision. Bobby, as the tribe’s leader, sang the Gospel story as a chant, and his testimony influenced the other Motilones to put their trust in Christ.
From the moment of the tribe’s conversion, Olson speeds up his account and skips over years with very little detail. Bobby married and had children. Olson met and dated a girl named Gloria, who decided to work with the Motilones. Tragically, she was killed in an automobile accident shortly before they were to be married. Olson was also involved in international organizations as an advocate for the Motilones and their traditions. Olson’s discipleship of the Motilone tribe continued through his efforts to translate the Gospel of Mark and then the New Testament. Olson records his difficulties in translating the Bible into a tonal language and oral culture.
The final chapters take on a solemn note, as encroaching civilization begins to threaten the Motilone way of life. The book ends with the tragic death of Bobby at the hands of outlaws. An epilogue provides additional information on Olson’s work with the Motilones and the tribe’s preservation of its ancient traditions.
This book review was written by Trevin Wax.
BE A MAN.