Tag Archives: God

Why Is There So Much Evil?

Hello my friends,

I haven’t been blogging or vlogging much and the first video will explain why.

In the second video entitled “Does God Still Heal?,” I share some personal experiences which I hope blesses you.

Please feel free to subscribe to my channel and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

God bless you and thanks for watching.

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Life’s Unfamiliar Terrain

I can’t believe this year is almost over. I apologize for not blogging, but this year has been full of changes. I seem to be in the process of transition and walking in unfamiliar terrain.

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You may have been wondering of my disappearance, and this is an attempt to fill you in.

From 2014 through 2015, I sort of fell away from my Christian faith. There were many reasons for it, which I won’t go into. But what I learned from the dabbling, experimenting, and indulging, is no matter who I was with, where I was, or what I was doing, God was with me.

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.¹

At the time, I was making bad choices, which grieved the heart of God as well as the people that care about me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking much about this while I was out there, painting the town, and being self-indulgent.

The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.²

I was a faithful, fervent and zealous Christian prior to falling away. So you could just imagine the amazement to all those who knew me.

Sin is like being on a raft that gradually drifts out to sea.  One minute you are near the shore, and the next, you are in the middle of the ocean.

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.³

All the things I was choosing to do, weren’t the things God wanted me to do. I was refusing to die to self. I still didn’t want to surrender ALL to Jesus. It wasn’t His will be done, it was my will be done. Until everything came crashing down on January 2, 2016, and a light bulb went off. I suddenly realized what I was doing, and immediately repented.

Through it all, I learned how much God loves me, and how faithful He is. He never gave up on me, and kept pursuing me.

Today, I am grateful for all that God has done in my life. I am still in an unfamiliar terrain, a place of a transition, and in a process of restoration. But I can honestly say, that I’m at peace. Jesus saved me, rescued me, delivered me and set me free. Praise Him! No one could have done it, but Him.

If He did it for me, He can and will do it for you. He is no respecter of persons. He loves us, which is why He died for us. There is nothing you or I can do that will make Him ever stop loving us. He is a good, good Father.

¹Psalm 139:8
²1 John 2:16
³James 1:14

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Author Interview: Dutch

It began several months ago, when I wrote a letter to Dutch telling him how much I enjoyed reading his book, Above The Law.  Little did I know it would blossom into a beautiful friendship. I have a deep respect and admiration for him. Not only is he a phenomenal writer, he is a genius and wonderful person. I am blessed to know him and call him friend. It is with great pleasure to introduce to you, Kwame Teague, aka Dutch.

1. Where did you grow up? How was your childhood?

I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Normal ghetto story, grew up too fast. DJ’d, stole cars and sold drugs. Cliché.

2. What is the most memorable event you experienced as a child?

When I was three, I ditched my babysitter and went to the store. Everybody thought I got abducted. I came back and got my ass whooped.

3. What was your dream?

To be Scarface (lol). Who else? I also wanted to go into politics and be president.

4. Do you remember a teacher encouraging you in school?

Yep. My third grade teacher, Ms. McGeorge. She’s the one who said I’d be president (she may’ve told us all this).

5. Who had the greatest influence on you growing up?

My Uncle Hakim (God bless the dead). He was cool and didn’t take no shit. He spoke six languages and when he died in his 80’s, he looked like he was 50.

6. When did you realize you were a writer?

When I was twelve. I wrote a story about selling drugs.

7. Were you into reading books as a child? What book stood out for you?

Yes, a lot! Still do. I think that is the most important thing for kids, reading. My favorite book is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

8. How were your teenage years?

I was selling drugs, State to State. Delaware, Baltimore, Virginia and North Carolina. I wasn’t a king pin, not even close, just young and wild.

9. Was Dutch your first book published?

No. Ghetto Sam is my first book.

10. What did it feel like to be a published author?

To be published gave me a sense of accomplishment.

11. How did it feel to become an award winning, critically acclaimed and Essence #1 best selling author?

To win awards kept me humble.

12. What is your philosophy in life?

Act as if you are right, but know you can be wrong.

13. What gets you through difficult times?

My belief in myself.

14. Who are some of your favorite authors?

Wahida Clark, Al-Saadiq Banks, Eyonne Williams, Stone Ramsey and DC BookDiva (who is just so damn sexy).

15. Besides being an incredibly gifted writer, and prolific author, you are currently fighting for your innocence. Can you share how that is going?

I’ve been incarcerated for twenty-one years, and trying to prove my innocence. I’m currently raising money for a top notch lawyer, but I need all the help I can get!

16. What do you believe constitutes good writing?

Good writing paints a picture, takes few words and makes you think.

17. How did you become the talented writer that you are?

Working hard and eating Wheaties. No really, I love life, so I see the beauty and the ugliness in it.

18. What did you do to hone your skills?

Live, love and learn.

19. What is your principle goal when you began penning books?

To make you think, challenge what you think and make you wet…

20. What is your writing process?

Listen to music and then ask what if…

21. Do you use an outline?

Very rarely.

22. Do you write every day or only when you are inspired?

I write ten pages a day.

23. How long does it take you to write a book?

Thirty days on average.

24. How did you develop the confidence as a writer?

Because I’m confident as a man.

25. What is your vision?

To be free and free minds along the way.

26. Was there a particular book that you enjoyed writing the most?

Good question… I have a book called God that I haven’t released yet. God is my favorite.

27. Lastly, what would you tell a novice writer coming up in the industry? What advice would you give them?

Build your brand and open up the overseas market! The American market is saturated.

Bio: Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, Kwame Teague is the award winning, critically acclaimed, and Essence #1 bestselling author of the street classic Dutch trilogy. His other novels include Above The Law, the Dynasty trilogy, ? (pronounced Que), The Adventures of Ghetto Sam and the Glory of My Demise and Thug Politics under the pseudonym Dutch. With a passion for writing, Kwame is hard at work on his next novel.

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Why Affairs Happen

You see it all around you, in commercials, advertisements, billboards, movies and books. Everyone is looking for love.

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We search here, there and everywhere for the “one”, the one who will complete us, and finish our sentences.

I am one of those people who searched for love her entire life, only to find myself in jacked up situations. Instead of finding love, I got a whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t want.

What is it that we long for? What is it that we want? This proverbial love we all desire, seems elusive and out of reach.

You would think that when you get married this tug or yearning would go away, but it doesn’t.

Why do you think romance novels do so well? Most of the readers are married women. This should tell you something.

You meet someone, you fall in love, you get married, you have children and then all of a sudden, you wake up to find… where did the love go?

I don’t know about you, but when I look back over the course of my life and the various relationships I’ve had, I see the same pattern repeat itself.

In the beginning, everything is fresh, new, and exciting. Slowly, but surely, the excitement dwindles down to nothing and you are left with the usual monotony.

This is when affairs happen. But, what people fail to realize is that affairs are never a solution, they only complicate matters, and destroy lives.

Think about it a minute… you are in a miserable marriage, you meet someone and connect with them, you start messing around to get what you think you need, only to find out that what you need doesn’t come packaged in a human being.

No, unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. There is no quick fix solution in filling the void and emptiness you feel.

I’m not religious, so I won’t ever preach to you, but I can tell you this… God is the only one who can get into the crevices of our hearts and give us the love we long for.  No human being will ever be able to do it because we are broken and imperfect.

In the short term, you may think you are getting your needs met or your desires fulfilled, but in time, the illusion lifts and you see the truth for what it is. Affairs become routine and monotonous too, so instead of having one problem, you’ll have two.

So if you are contemplating a quick fix to your misery, do yourself a favor and think twice before indulging.

Have you ever contemplated having an affair? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Be Original

This generation seems focused on being someone other than themselves. I don’t know if it’s movies, music, social media or all of the above. But people want to be someone they aren’t, instead of being original.

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Yes, I am aware of the fact that there is a risk involved in being “yourself”. But why would anyone want to be a carbon copy of someone else?

God created us in His own image. He knit us in our mother’s womb. He made us an original, not a duplicate. There is no other human being on earth like us. That’s powerful.

But, instead of basking in this truth, we try to emulate others.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve struggled with this in certain respects. In that, I was always different. So I struggled with wanting to fit in and be like everyone else, so I wouldn’t stand out.

However, now that I’m older, I see that God didn’t create me to fit in or be like everyone else. He made me different for a reason. He created me to be exactly the way I am, an original.

Artists don’t look at the world around them in the same way as others, which makes them creative. We have our own slant on things, which makes us unique.

There is beauty in uniqueness, and in not being like others. Originality and creativity are attractive qualities to possess. But it takes courage to allow ourselves to be who we truly are.

Think about it? What would it be like if every butterfly you saw looked exactly the same? Wouldn’t that be boring?

Well, the same goes for humans; variety makes life interesting and diverse.

We need to embrace ourselves, and even accept our imperfections, because even our imperfections are unique and original.

Part of living on earth is discovering who we are, what our divine calling, destiny and purpose is. So as we are in the discovery phase, we should allow ourselves to express our unique flair or signature in whatever we do.

We can’t look at what others are doing better than us or more successfully. We have to focus in on honing our own skills, gifts, talents, and all of which encompasses who we are. The discovery process won’t happen if we are too busy comparing ourselves to others around us.

Everyone has their own lane. Take the time to discover yours and be original.

Do you struggle with being you? Do you find yourself becoming discouraged because you compare yourself to others and how well they are doing in comparison to you?

 

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Love, Don’t Judge

I’ll be the first to admit, I am fed up with all the “holier than thou” Christians in this world, who point their fingers at everyone else around them. Do they know what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?

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Wouldn’t it be better to use their energy and focus on themselves?

I never understood why people gossip and talk negatively about other people behind their back.

Unfortunately, this happens in the Christian community as well, and it’s hypocrisy. Aren’t we suppose to be a light in this world and salt of the earth? (Matthew 5:13)

How is it possible that Christians are tearing each other down?

If you have been following me or my blog for any length of time, you know what I’m about.

I have never been the type to judge other people. I don’t care who they are or what they’ve done. I accept people for who they are. I respect the Word of God, and as I age, I realize I’m no one to point my finger at anyone. I do not care who they are.

The job of a true Christian is to love others.

There was a time I didn’t get this. I didn’t get the importance of loving others. But God in His grandiose, gracious, merciful way, was patient enough with me to allow me to learn this vital lesson.

The lesson happened this year, while I have been in the process of advocating for someone who was wrongfully convicted.

I’ve learned that passing judgement is reserved for God alone. Jesus didn’t die for perfect people. He died for flawed and broken people.

Christians are sinners saved by grace. How dare we think we are better than anyone else.

How can we point our fingers at anyone?

I don’t care if they are murderers, serial killers, rapists or pedophiles. The only way they are going to see Christ in us, is if we stop judging and start loving.

I know this may sound cliché, but love is the force that changes the hardest heart… not judgement. Judging others doesn’t lead to any change.

If you are a Christ follower, the only way to truly reach others for Christ is by loving them.

What do you think is stopping you from loving others?

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Everyone Deserves A Second Chance

Last week I was on vacation. We were able to get away for a few days, which was nice.

What I found interesting was that by changing my environment and routine, I was better able to connect with my creative side.

I still woke up early for writing practice and as I wrote, ideas flooded my consciousness. I realized I need to do this sort of thing on a regular basis. I need to unplug and change my environment to be able to get in touch with myself; to think, write and create.

One of the things that came to mind on my vacation was the concept of second chances.

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I believe people deserve second chances. Yes, even those who may have done atrocities.

Look at Paul in the Bible, before Jesus appeared to him, he was killing His followers.

So what makes Paul different than anyone else in God’s eyes?

Humans are the only ones who seem to put limits on God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy.

We are the harshest critics and judge of others.

Why do Christians believe they can get on their high horse and be self righteous of others they “deem” as unforgivable?

Christians forget where they came from. They get cleaned up and then they begin noticing the dirt on others. All the while oblivious to how dirty they were before God pulled them out of the mire.

Excuse me, but what right do we have to judge those who are in prison for instance?

As Christians, we shouldn’t be uttering under our breaths how they deserve everything they get or how they must of done something bad to be where they are in the first place.

We mock, we criticize and we judge. We act as if we are better, and have attained some high moral standard which allows us the right to point our fingers at others.

We read our bibles, pray, attend church and tithe, yet, we are not Christ like in the least.

We preach a good game, and mastered Christianese. However, we are so far from the heart of God and loving the outcasts of society.

We look down at and snub the homeless, the drug addicts, alcoholics and prostitutes. We look at those who are in prison like they’re lower than animals.

This grieves me. I see Christians all around me convinced they are living out the Bible. Meanwhile they can’t even control their tongues as they pour out their unrestrained and thoughtless criticism on others around them.

Their attitudes are far from what it means to love others as Christ does.

And we wonder why there are so many Christian marriages failing today.

This sums up the equation: Christians + Church = Hypocrites.

I want to assure my readers that I love Jesus. However, I don’t love religion or judgmental and religious people.

My vision of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is much greater than the limited and legalistic Christians who I see a lot of nowadays. I have no interest in mixing with them. I’ll pray for them, but I’m not playing religion. I’m also done pretending, it’s not for me. I’d rather walk this walk alone than be fake or phony.

I’m not the type to preach at people or tell people what I think they should or shouldn’t be doing. That’s not me. I will be the first to admit I have not arrived and am a work in progress. I refuse to walk around high and mighty, like I have my stuff together and have all the answers, because I don’t.

Nor will I look down my nose at anyone, not those selling their bodies, not homosexuals, not criminals, not murderers, not drug addicts or drug dealers, or alcoholics.

God loves everyone. He loves the sinner, but hates the sin. And guess what? We are all sinners, even those who have been saved by grace. We still contend with a sin nature, even after we get saved.

What I’m saying is there is no one better than the next guy. We are all the same in God’s eyes.

I know it’s a hard pill for some Christians to swallow, but it’s the truth. The reason why some have a hard time grasping this truth is because they feel the need to be superior or important.

God loves the humble and lowly.

Yes, I love Jesus, because Jesus is the only one who loves us in a way, no human is able to emulate. His love, compassion and forgiveness is all encompassing and far from our limited reach.

We want to put Jesus in a box and project what we think His love should be. All we’ve managed to accomplish is forming and following a god of our own warped understanding.

God is greater than anything we can come up with. Our vision is clouded to see Him as He truly is.

Jesus is loving and invites everyone, especially the outcasts and rejects of society.

He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Mahatma Gandhi said it best — ‘I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.’  Truer words were never spoken.

Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

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Mad Faith

You’re probably wondering why am I using the word “mad” in connection to “faith”.

The word “mad” is commonly used in New York City. The urban dictionary defines “mad” as “extreme” or “a lot”.

I decided to connect the two; mad faith.

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I’ve been thinking madly about faith. What makes one have more faith than another, and that sort of thing.

It’s a mystery.

My desire has been ever increasing for my faith to be authentic.

In Christendom, I see many chasing after signs, wonders, miracles and manifestations, to the point of idolatry.

I’m not judging, but merely making an observation.

Truthfully, I used to be one of those people. I would chase after God here, there and everywhere.

I was seeking some kind of sign or experience and chasing after Him as if He couldn’t be found.

Frankly, I had it all wrong.

It sort of reminds me of Moses, when He went up to the mountain to get the Ten Commandments and left the people behind. In time, they all started making physical idols to worship instead of worshipping the God who miraculously parted the Red Sea and delivered them from the Egyptians.

What is it in us that inclines us to chase after other gods, instead of Him? Why are we restless and unsettled in our faith? Why must we chase after experiences? Why isn’t Jesus enough?

These are the questions which gnaw at me daily. I don’t have the answers. All I know is that I’ve already tried it all. I’ve traveled around the world in search of Him.

I am certain of this, it is not by signs and wonders that our faith increases, not in the least. I tell you this from personal experience. This doesn’t deepen our faith.

One thing that does though, is adversity.

My faith was strengthened, when I shook with fear, felt hopeless, thinking God wasn’t going to deliver me out of something, and He did.

To me, that’s miraculous. Not manifestations of angel feathers, gems or gold dust appearing at some gathering, where the attention turns to man and not God.

This is where the confusion begins. Everyone starts worshiping and idolizing the creation instead of the Creator. The credit for these so-called manifestations becomes attributed to man, instead of God. If something is going to take the focus or pull you away from God, you should run the other direction and don’t look back.

I’m sharing what I’ve gleaned from all of the mistakes I’ve made in my life.

I’m not claiming to be an expert or have it right. I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t have all the answers. All I know is my heart longs for the authentic. For the living God of this universe to be real and present in my life.

I don’t want my desire for signs, wonders, miracles and manifestations to take precedence over Him. He already gave and did it all by dying on the Cross for me, what more do I want?

I want to have mad faith which is undeniable and unshakeable. I want to experience more of His love and presence in my life. Not experiences, sensations, imitations or cheap substitutes. The real deal.

What about you?

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Microwavable Art

Recently, I’ve become bored with blogs. I find myself yawning as I read blog posts by popular bloggers. Yes, even bloggers with huge followings.

I started to think about why I’ve become bored with their writing and blogs.

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While reading this morning’s post by Seth Godin (which sparked this post), he mentions, “everyone is making noise and there is generally useless stuff being written.”

What I call “useless stuff” is microwavable or recyclable writing.

There is just so much I can read about “Five ways to do this” and “Seven ways to do that”.

Reading their blogs is like eating stale bread.  It is bland, boring and dull.

There is no originality anymore. Forgive me if I sound like a snob, I don’t mean to.

Who knows, perhaps it’s just me… maybe following popular blogs, bloggers or blogging isn’t for me.

I don’t want to read mediocre writing anymore. My time is precious and whatever I ingest, I want it to be substantive. Not some cheap substitute for the real thing.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the art in the 1500, 1600 and 1700’s?

Such as, Mozart, Beethoven and Shakespeare?

Where did the caliber of art go?

There was none of the microwavable art that we see today.

Artists respected art. Now artists prostitute and exploit art for their own gain or recognition.

The artists of the past were givers, not takers.

Today everyone wants in on the game. They want a piece of the pie. It’s all about them.

There is no respect for art anymore. Just a bunch of recyclable trash that does not edify anyone.

Artists need to recognize they have a responsibility to humanity to be good stewards of art and the gifts God blesses them with.

Do you agree or disagree and why?

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No Compromise

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Galatians 5:9

I keep hearing this verse in my head. When the Lord puts a scripture on my heart, I know there is a reason.

What is the Lord is trying to tell me?

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Recently, I have been making bread from scratch. It’s been fun discovering the magic of dry yeast.

It’s amazing how a little bit of yeast does make the dough rise.

I began thinking of this in a spiritual context.

In the Bible, leaven denotes sin.

******

Years ago, when I first became a Christian, I was an aspiring actress and singer. A friend of mine, who is now a pastor, took me to his church. It was in the basement of a house in Brooklyn. I lived in Manhattan at the time. He and his wife picked me up and took me there.

I went and heard their pastor preach and was immediately convicted. I remember standing in this pastor’s kitchen afterwards. He asked me what I did for a living? I told him I worked as a secretary while pursuing a career in acting and singing. His immediate response was for me to give up acting and singing.

I was like, what? Give.it.up? Just like that. He said, You love Jesus, right? Well, you need to give up that life if you want to live for Him and serve Him. He told me we are in this world, but not of it. (Romans 12:2)

I was furious. Who was he to tell me such a thing? Didn’t he realize how much I’ve invested, not just money, but time, in pursuing my career? Is he kidding me?

Needless to say, I stopped going to that church. But his words continued to echo in my head.

God knew my heart and began dealing with me. Eventually, I did renounce that life. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually God got a hold of me and I gave it up willingly.

My desire for God became bigger than my ambition.

Now I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer, even when I didn’t know it. I filled notebooks with poetry and poured my heart out on the page for years. I never imagined I would one day have a blog and share my heart on this platform.

God is speaking to me once again. Will I compromise in my writing? Will I use my gift to promote others rather than Him? Will I be His mouthpiece in this lost world? Will I write what He tells me, even if it’s unpopular? Will I write despite man’s rejection or opposition?

I’ve been a Christian over 25 years now and I know not to say ‘no’ to God or what He’s asking me to do. It would be suicide.

This morning I wrote in my journal, I’d rather run the risk of man’s rejection than disobey or grieve God’s heart.

I need God. I need His love, His wisdom, His fellowship, His friendship, His help, His guidance, and His presence. This world can’t give that to me, only He can and does.

I know this may seem narrow and rigid to many believers today, but what I find myself continually repeating to my brothers and sisters in Christ, is that we all have different callings. My calling may not be the same as your calling. What may be ok for you, may not be ok for me or vice versa.

God has a specific call, plan and purpose for my life regardless of whether other people understand it or not. I know enough at this stage of the game not to compromise what He is telling me to do. I refuse to compromise.

Are you willing to run the risk of rejection from man for the sake of God? What are you willing to give up for God? Are you willing to take a stand for Christ in these last days even if it’s unpopular and not what everyone else is doing?

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Rise Up Church

Everywhere you turn, a tragedy befalls us.

Yesterday was the mass shooting in the DC Navy Yard. This morning the abduction of a 14-year old girl in Georgia.

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It’s not that I’m focused on tragedy or negativity, it’s just what is happening all around us.

Yes, I can perhaps bury my head in the sand, and pretend all is well, but I would only be lying to myself.

I’m not the type of person to focus on myself and forget about everything else.

My life is good, but just because things are relatively good, doesn’t mean I should forget others who are suffering.

I guess I’m this way because I have been through my share of hardship in life.

Sure, following the news can be overwhelmingly hard and there are times I do need to unplug from it all.

But most times than not, I feel burdened for the state of affairs. It’s not something I can shake off or ignore. I wish I could, but for whatever reason, God didn’t design me this way.

Even in the midst of tragedy though, I can still see God’s goodness and beauty. His signature is everywhere; from the rising sun, the mountains and vast oceans.

He is a divine artist and the master designer of this universe. He is a great and loving God.

His heart grieves and for whatever reason, so does mine.  He yearns for His Church to rise up in this lost, dark and broken world.

Every Sunday He passes the pews and sees His beloved sleeping. He is so loving and kind, He just passes quietly as not to disturb them. But oh, how sorrowful He is, when those He passes aren’t discerning the time nor the hour.

He is calling His sheep. He is saying, Rise up Church, for now is the time and the hour. Wake up from your slumber.

The days ahead will be far worse than they are now, we must wake up before it’s too late.

I tremble at that thought as my heart can hardly stand what’s happening now.

I am so broken and burdened, and I don’t even understand it myself. It’s definitely not depression, it’s this heaviness or sorrow in my soul.

The sorrow of seeing the Church powerless.

I’ve been praying for revival. The Church and this world needs a revival. I know there are many scattered, praying for this as well.

May the Lord come and visit us soon.

Am I the only one who notices the direction in which this world is going? Do you see it too? Please share in the comment section below.

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