So, from about age 13 until about age 35, I was in religion in some way or another. Some time around age 24 or so I became fully vested in my desire to please “god” and went all in. My life went from knowing and practicing what was told to me as the truth to trying to find the truth for myself and studying to find that truth. I spent the next 10 – 11 years fasting often, praying three or more times everyday, looking at life through a different set of eyes than most will ever find. I would be considered a radical by most outside of the united pentecostal and considered a good god fearing man by those in the religion.
During my life living in religion of some sort or another, I experienced many things that would make most people never question their faith and indeed, I never did. I knew without any shadow of doubt that I was following god truly and that I was doing the best I could to do what he wanted me to do. Sometime around 24 I began studying the bible intently. I bought other books to help me get to the root of the scriptures so that I knew for sure that it was translated or transliterated correctly. I was constantly listening to god and trying to follow his voice (which I did, actually hear a voice). I kept discovering more and more things that the bible said we were supposed to be doing to please god that we were not doing. So I kept changing myself to further align my life in such a way that it was as he told me it was supposed to be.
During this time of introspection and change. I experienced miracles that most only hear about. I have prayed for someone and they were healed, instantly. I have prayed for help with a physical tool that I had lost but needed it to be able to do my job and it miraculously appeared (trust me, this is the skeptic speaking to a real memory. It happened and there are no explanations). I traveled from Quinlan Texas to Flathead Indian reservation in Montana without any money to pay for gas and we made it there and back because “god” provided. I prayed for many things and experienced many things that happened in my life that would keep most people under the veil of deceit that is woven by religion. All I can say is that I still know that those things happened. I know that they were real and that they can happen. However, I now know that they were not the god of my religion that made them happen but myself. My connection with the universe on a level that most will never experience because they don’t know it exist, is what brought these experiences to me. I am sure that these things are still possible and probably even more possible since I am not restricted to those religious rules and paradigms any longer.
So, fast forward through all of those experiences to a fateful day sometime in 2005 (I would be 35). I had been using this tool I found online for studying the bible easily. It made looking things up really easy and had any version of the bible as well as the greek and hebrew along with Strongs concordance and many other tools. You could pull them up and have multiple windows open side by side and see it all easily. I was using this tool to share some “inspiring” scriptures with some guy online. I go over this elsewhere in a post called, What were they thinking?, if you are interested. This was the initial clue that something was wrong and it led me down a path to discover that it was all wrong. From “What were they thinking?” the next step was a serious study on the very origins of christianity, jesus’ birth. I wanted to start from the beginning and verify that things were like I thought they were. That study took me less than 15 minutes to discover that I had been following a lie for the last 23 years of my life. I talk about that study and realization in the post “A Hard Question”.
Now, imagine if you will. You have lived you life in total, complete surrender to pleasing a god (or make it personal, make it a person you truly love) only to find out that that person is a complete lie. That that person doesn’t even exist as you thought they did. Now, continue your imagination journey and add in that you have experienced all of these wonders (as in, how are they possible.) and then also add to that that you made choices in your life that quite literally could have changed the course of history for the world (it’s possible for any one of us). You don’t go to college because you were told if you do you would back slide, become a heathen and end up in hell. You don’t enlist because of the same reason. You don’t experience friends, television, going to things that are fun, wearing clothes you want to wear, seeing people you want to see, marrying people you want to marry or find attractive, even though you are connected and a match, because they are not in your branch of religion or because you are already married or engaged to be married (Polyamory is a natural human behaviour, by the way) all because of the same reason. Your religion says you will be lost. You will displease your god (which I loved with my entire being and wanted to please).
Now, imagine yourself, seeing that everything you gave your life for for over 20 years is a lie. Tell me, how do you think you would feel?
I felt like my heart was literally torn from my chest. The pain washed over my body in waves, almost so unbearable I thought I would physically die from the pain. I cried and screamed in pain. I cried and pleaded with the god I thought I had been following and dedicating my life to to explain it all away. I have never had someone really close to me die but I can imagine that it was like having a loved one suddenly die, right before your eyes, with no justifiable reason. Like maybe being mugged on the way back from the grocery store to your car and your spouse of 20 plus years is killed right in front of you and that person just vanishes. I’m not sure, but I would think it was similar although I don’t think that would be as horrific as what I experienced as most people do not give their every waking hour to their spouse in thought and desire to please. Along with worship and adoration with undying unwavering dedication to do whatever they tell you to.
For the next few months I desperately tried to reconcile what I saw and I tried to make it work but the more I looked the clearer it became. It was all just lies. Lies on top of lies. Too many discrepancies to ignore the obvious for me. no one told me it was wrong. No one convinced me of the errors. I saw them myself, through study, by myself.
When it became obvious that there was no going back. No sky daddy to make things all better. No religion to soothe my pain. I began the initial stages of grief. Each stage was real and took some time to go through (about five or six years, I would say). Lora and I both went through years of depression. We were numb for several months (maybe even more than a year. It is hard to remember that time.) Not knowing what to do, who we were or where we were going. it took years to be able to come out of the depression and we had no where to turn. At some point during the acceptance phase but still somewhat unbelieving that it actually happened. I started the group on Facebook called “Recovering Ex-Christians”. I didn’t know for sure but expected that there were others out there that had or would be going through something similar to what we were/had gone through. It wasn’t long until I realized I wasn’t alone.
Over the next few years we began to explore and discover who we are. Trying to figure out what life is all about (you know, that thing that most people do in their early years. Sometime between teen and 30.) Our journey has been full and rewarding. We are happier now than we have ever been and we know who we are. It took us longer than most but we are here. We are 40 plus year old 20 year olds. We are confident in ourselves and know what we want and our life experiences have given us an insight into life that many will never find. We are grateful for each day and we live each moment that we can in awareness that it is special and ours. We embrace life. This is your only life, you should live it and enjoy it for you. Fuck the world and it’s expectations. Only you are responsible for you. You be happy and do whatever that means, as long as it is not hurting others. 🙂
Because of the journey I took and the pain I experienced when I discovered it was all lies. I have shut out and boarded up that door in my life for the last 10 years. I now know that it is ok to open that door again and to get back in contact with the universe and experience that power again. My fears are that I will deceive myself or be deceived again, into believing or following after something that is restrictive or manipulative. I think and I hope that because of my life experiences that I will be more sensitive to that now and that I will hopefully steer clear of anything that might try to enslave me or strap my thoughts into a paradigm that keeps me from experiencing freedom.
I am finally to a place that I am willing to venture back out into the unexplained. The area of woowoo. That place where most just shake their heads and assume that it is all bullshit or crazy people talk. My goal is to stay grounded in reality while still experiencing a complete and true connection with the universe… with everything that is. Not a god, not a religion, not anyone’s ideas or teachings. No, never again. I have found my way to being a complete person. A person that I am proud to be. I value my life experiences and the journey I have taken to get where I am. It has made me who I am and I like who I am.
I hope that life has brought you to a place that you know who you are and that you are enjoying life, as best you can where you are with what you have. It is a state of mind. A state of mindfulness. An acceptance of what is and an expectation of what can and will be.
I believe and know that there is much more to our existence than our senses allow us to observe. I have experienced, first hand, things that are not explained away. I don’t care who (or if anyone) believes me when I talk about those things. I was there, they were real for me. I don’t need anyone to approve or accept them as real. 🙂
I know that I am connected to all things on some level. I don’t know to what extent or how that benefits or affects me but I know it to be factual for me. I look forward to my journey to the end of this timeline. I expect many things will happen and I look forward to the people and experiences I will have along the way. If you are a part of my life, I value you and appreciate that you are in my life. You are part of that connection to all things. Sometimes, I think that I feel you thinking about me. I wonder if you ever feel me thinking about you.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could learn how to tap into and identify those “feelings”. To recognize when someone we care about is thinking about us. To realize it, return the feelings and just know that they know. 🙂
Thank you for reading. Thank you for your time. I wish you all the best. 🙂
I just sat down to have a bite to eat and thought I would take a minute to watch a video (which I never do, by the way. Usually the TV stays off until the evening when I am sitting down to call it a day.) I just did a search for the first thing that came to mind which was Enlightened Connection. I skipped over many videos that just didn’t seem to call out to me. Then I came across this video. Nothing about it seemed special from the description on my TV but I thought… meh… what the heck.
It took me a bit to get dialed in and connected to the speaker but once he started speaking about his subject it got a lot easier.
All I can say is this guy is talking about what happened to me a little over a week ago and the way he explains it is spot on.
Something happened to me last week, I feel I see things differently and that I see myself differently. I see myself in a way that I never knew was an option. I have never known of or heard of anyone talk about the things I have come to realize on a level I now know. I realize and accept that I am unique in this world on a level that most will never understand (and we all are. but most will not ever experience the clarity of this truth.)
If you can set aside 20 minutes or so to really be present with this video, I hope you can hear what he is saying.
Ascending to the “next level”, so to speak. Becoming truly self aware *should (once you recognize the need) be a goal for everyone everywhere.
May you be enlightened.
*I say should because I see it as an obligation that everyone has. As the speaker points out in the video.
1. There is a need
2. You recognize the need
3. It’s an authentic need
4. You are the only one that can meet that need.
I am currently in training to become a certified Cuddle Party Facilitator. As soon as my training is finished I will start hosting Cuddle Parties at our home in Quinlan, TX.
I will post more on Cuddle Parties and what they are.
This is what I heard for around ten months before my daughter’s 5th birthday.
Every opportunity and every time she thought of it she would be sure to turn those baby blues on and look up at me with more sincerity than anyone could begin to hope to understand and say those words with a smile, hope and expectation of that Spot dog… “Daddy, all I want for my birthday is a spot dog.” Sometimes she would add “you don’t have to get me anything else… promise.” and “I promise I’ll take really good care of him.” and probably some other cute, adorable pleadings I don’t remember that any 4 year old girl would say that was dead set on getting a Spot Dog.
You might think that this affinity for a “spot dog” was the result of some extended 101 dalmatian movie time but in actuality, she had never seen the movie.
I never told her I would. I never promised her she would get a “Spot” dog. I thought about it a lot (she never let me forget). I had already made up my mind early on that she would get her spot dog for her birthday. She was so insistent and so sure that this was what she wanted, I had to get her that dog but I wanted it to be a surprise so I never let on that we were scouring the papers, pet stores and local shelters for that perfect “Spot Dog”.
My sister-in-law actually owned a pet store at the time and was also looking for a Spot Dog. We knew we didn’t want a Dalmatian (even though they fit the description and are super cute, somehow we knew that wasn’t what she wanted.) We knew that we did not want to support the puppy mills either.
Time was running out for our search and we kept coming up empty handed. I started to feel that it just wasn’t going to happen. We just would not be able to find her that Spot Dog before her birthday.
10 days before her birthday and we are still empty handed. As fate would have it, I happened to be driving an eighteen wheeler for a short stent that year and I just happened to be in Blaine WA the weekend before her birthday (less than a week away now).
I decided to go walk about and see what the “big” town of Blaine had to offer and thought maybe I might run across something for my daughter (nothing like waiting to the last minute).
Again, as fate would have it, Petco (or some store like Petco, it has been too long for me to remember.) was hosting an adoption day and S.P.O.T. just happened to be the ones there. I am not sure how all of that works but I do remember the name of the shelter was S.P.O.T..
It was Sunday (I think) and I went in to see what they might have. I should have been surprised but I have to say that somehow, when I saw that they were having an adoption day, I knew I would find her Spot Dog there and find him I did.
There he was in all of his spotted glory. So small and cute and perfect. I knew instantly that he was the one. They only had two dogs left (actually only one, his sister was already spoken for). Why no one had snatched him up already can only be attributed to fate. He was so cute and well behaved.
Instantly I sealed the deal. I bought a crate, food, collar, leash, chew toy food and water bowls and arranged to pick him up the next day after I finished unloading (remember, I am in a big truck).
On the way home I knew we had a keeper, he was so good on a leash and would go relieve himself on command (the guy who brought him to me the next day had taught him this.)
I brought him home and snuck him in the house while my daughter was down at her Gran-pa’s. Then we came home and there he was, waiting for her when we walked in the door. She was so excited and so happy, she knew she was going to get him. She never doubted it. He was perfect and everything she wanted in every way.
You couldn’t ask for a better story in real life. This was the kind of story you read in a book that someone made up. How could you hope to find a more perfect match? You couldn’t, trust me.
My daughter started asking for a “Spot Dog” and continued asking for a “Spot Dog” for almost an entire year before her 5th birthday. less than a week before her birthday I happen to be some 2,300 miles from home and S.P.O.T. just happens to have one “Spot Dog” left, just in time for my daughter’s 5th birthday. What is the statistical probability of that equation? Anyone?
Now, almost 9 years later. We are taking our precious friend to the Veterinarian because he is sick and may not make it. He has lived a long life and has a very special place in our hearts. One that will never ever be filled or replaced should he not make it through this sickness.
The thought of loosing him is painful and brings our whole family to tears. We don’t want to loose him, he is part of the family now.
We trust that he will pull through like he did before back in 2005 when he was paralyzed from mid section down. He couldn’t walk and had no control of his bodily functions. The Vet we went to back then recommended that we put him down because there was nothing they could do and that he would only suffer and probably wouldn’t live another week.
We refused and brought him home. We started giving him a daily dose of aspirin and ice chips to hydrate him. After a few days we started seeing improvements and he started eating again. Within a few weeks he was walking again and had control of his functions again. Now, some 8 years later (take that Mr. negative Vet), we are faced again with mortality and all of it’s ugliness.
It made me want to find the people that made all of this possible and give them a big hug and a sincere Thank You from the bottoms of our hearts.
The prognoses is good that he will make it through this and we expect him to be home by Friday. But even still, we are faced with the possibility and it makes me thankful. Thankful that I have had the distinct honor of being his friend. That I have learned and loved, felt joy and peace, just from his friendship. He means the world to me and my family and when the day does eventually come, I will never forget him and will try my best to always remember the good and not dwell on the grief of his absence.
I would never say anything to offend you as a person so please don’t take it personally. My views of religion (christian and otherwise) may be somewhat extreme to most.
Having said that, I believe that my beliefs are based in and come from truth. I have no problem with you following your beliefs, it does not bother me and I do not think less of you in any way.
Please just understand that I do not and will not believe the same as you do. It is my journey that has brought me these understandings and beliefs. I accept you as you are, I would hope that you can do the same for me.
I am also willing and able to back everyone of my beliefs with solid proof should I be asked. I try not to discuss religion with my friends because I want my friends to remain my friends and I understand that it may be hard for some to accept my views (even when presented with factual truth). Therefore I do not always share my views.
I also remember how hard it was for me when I discovered the truth and how it felt to have my world crumble around me. I do not wish this on anyone and that is why I refrain from voicing my views and beliefs.
If you ask me (about my beliefs) I will tell you but it will be reluctantly. I believe that faith in something, whatever it may be, whether it is true or false, is an integral part of the human condition and I do not want to falter anyone’s faith. I accept your faith and your belief, that doesn’t mean I agree.
So, please forgive me if I do say something that offends you, it is not my intention, ever.?
Having said that, there are a few things I would like to state.
I do not need saving. I have been down that road and I know what it has and what is there. I followed the bible as it were a literal word from God and that he wanted me to follow it, every jot and tittle as though ti were from the lips of God himself. I studied to shew myself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. I studied day and night, I believed with all of my heart. I had faith that caused people to be healed and miracles to happen before my very eyes, literally. I know the bible and I know christianity (for more than 25 years). Seeing that I know all of this, please understand that there must have been some life changing revelation that occurred in my life to change my beliefs to what they are today. I did not make the change haphazardly without weighing the consequences. I did not suddenly wake up one day and forget everything that I learned, experienced or knew.
It was definitely life changing and it was not an easy road. I do not recommend that path for anyone. Though I will say that since the revelation I have been more at peace, happier and (I believe) a better person than I have ever been. Though it was a painful journey that almost cost me my family my sanity and my life, I would do it again.
You can not change my mind. Nothing you can say can convince me that what I have seen is not what I saw. You can not twist the words in the bible to mean something they where never meant to mean and you can not hide the truth from me concerning the bible. I have seen the light (if you will) and the truth has set me free. I will never be bound by those lies ever again. If you try to change my mind you will likely be inundated with proofs in my rebuttal that will send you down the same road I have traveled and you do not want to go there if you do not have a strong spirit and an understanding spouse/family/friends. So, don’t try to change my mind unless you are willing to accept the real truth yourself.
That is one of my biggest problems with religion (most religions) now that I see things the way they are. Most (not all) are sure that their belief is the right belief and no one can tell them any different (even though someone told them to believe the way they do now, whether or not they admit to it). You are wrong and they are right, end of discussion. Logical reasoning would interject that if you are right then listening to differing opinions or beliefs with an open mind would not sway you from your path. If you are right then it doesn’t matter what others say or what proof is put before your eyes and ears. Unfortunately, what usually happens is they pretend to listen and pretend to think about it but never really do.
Then there are those who when presented with the truth refuse to change because that’s the way they have always done it/believed it and they are not going to change. For instance, I talked with a person last year about christmas (because they kept saying in posts that jesus was the reason for the season and to keep christ in christmas so much in our secular group that I couldn’t take it anymore) and it’s origins and how that it is not a christian holiday no matter how much people try to make it one. They admitted that it was pagan and that jesus wasn’t even born in December and all of the other things that are lies about christmas. They said, my parents (father a preacher/pastor) believed that way and celebrated it and I am going to until I die, even though I know that what you are saying is true. In affect saying also that, even though I know better I will continue to tell lies and spread deceit and insist that everyone believe the lie that jesus is the reason for the season when I know it is a lie. So christian like, don’t you think?
I don’t need your pitty! I am very happy and content with who and what I am. Besides, according to most of your christian beliefs I am saved because at one time I confessed with my mouth and I also received the holyghost with the evidence of speeking in other tongues too. I have also been baptized in jesus’ name so then there is that as well. Basically, I have already done all of the things you think I need to do to go to heaven. So. don’t pitty me or think that I need your pitty.
If you ask my opinion or why I believe something I will answer you. Don’t think I will sugar coat it either. After all, the truth will set you free.
No hard feelings, I just don’t need or want any religion.
To answer some questions that I am sure some may have.
No, I am not an Athiest.
Yes, I believe in God. The supreme creator of all things.
No, I am not a sinner.
No, I do not think it is OK to lie, cheat steal, do anything illegal, etc. and no I did not get my morals from the bible or my previous religious beliefs. My moral beliefs were ingrained in me from the beginning, without being taught.
No, I do not think I am better than everybody, just you. lol Just kidding.
By the way, I really love you all and I really do not want to offend or hurt anyone. However, I must speak the truth and I must speak what I beleive, just don’t take it as a personal attack on you because it is not.
OK, I am glad I got that out of the way. Anymore questions?
This year is a milestone for everyone in our family.
I turned 40.
Morgan turned 18.
Kaitlyn will turn 13.
Lora will turn XX.
Yesterday our little gun store had it’s one year anniversary.
We all started taking Aikido classes.
Morgan will finish school (maybe) and will start driving by himself (soon).
Morgan had his first breakup (she broke up with him) and broke up with someone else.
We got a personal loan earlier in the year so that we could build our credit up and then we bought a used car (awesome 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara) on credit. The first things we have had to make payments on in years. This is actually a big step for us. I am not to big on being in debt to anyone.
With our new found credit worthiness we must have peeked the USDA’s interest because they are now going to garnish Lora’s wages if we do not enter into some type of agreement on a pay back plan for a loan that we defaulted on in 2001. They have been taking our income tax refund every year to pay it off, you’d think that was enough but obviously it is not. They would rather see us on welfare and food stamps as long as they get their money.
Wow, what a year and it’s only September. Life zips by so quickly it is hard to know what is most important outside of family. it won’t be much longer before it is just Lora and I. Then what? When we don’t have them around to focus our attention and rearing expertise that we have gained and honed over the years, then what.
Hopefully our gun store will get to the point that we can have someone else mange it and have a chance to enjoy some time together for a change. Maybe we will get a chance to do a little traveling or get to take a vacation for the first time.
Whatever life has in store, I guess we will find out in due time. Though life is great and full of experiences that build who you are, the concept of life on an eternal scale seems so meaningless. No matter what religion you are, this life is too short to make a difference in the overall scheme of things. Even if you believe in an afterlife, what good does having so few years do when compared to all of time. It makes my life seem so pointless. In a thousand years I won’t even enter the radar of my descendants or anyone else for that matter. I hope that I am around in a thousand years to enjoy my descendants. To see their lives and be a part somehow.
no one knows for sure what happens after you die. No matter how much you believe or how sure you are of your God or religion, no one knows for sure.
So, regardless, you must live your life for this life.
The scenario of someone going back in time and changing something in their time line and then returning to their time line is not possible.
If time travel is to ever be possible, there must first be a way to identify every possible time line that exists (which would be infinite).
If you had no way to identify which time line to time travel to, there is no way of knowing where you would end up and no way to get back to the same time line you just left.
Time travel would require that we have some way to identify not just a time and place in time but also a time line, time, and place in time. Infinite time lines would require that there must be some identifying marker which exist in every time line with which to identify individual time lines if time travel is to be possible. A Time Line DNA of sorts. Something specific to each time line and only that time line. Something that is not associated with current events or people in existence. Something more prevalent throughout the universe because time is not caged in to just our reality. Our time line exists to the ends of the endless universe and any change would be seen to the very outer ends of our time line in our endless universe. This marker must be something that intertwines itself into the very fabric of existence on such a micro (or beyond) scale that it can not be seen or understood by us at this time. Somewhat like DNA is to all living things. There was a time when we did not know DNA existed. This could be similar. A marker that identifies every reality and dictates its makeup.
If the existence of such a marker could be proven, then the search for time travel could be accepted as viable.
Although, I believe that it would be easier to switch time lines and pick one that had the variables you wanted rather than going back in time and trying to change something to change the current reality. So, the only practical application of Time Travel would be for observation purposes only. Because any possible change that you could make will have already been made in another time line and it would not be new. The time line you would be trying to create would already exist and you would not change the time line that you were in. In effect, all that would happen is that you would change time lines. The old time line would still be there.
Also, I believe that it could be possible that when you have Deja Vu, you may have just traveled through or may be remembering one of the other infinite time lines for a brief moment.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you have Deja Vu that you remember more than others and sometimes just few things are the same and at other times a lot of the things are the same. If there are infinite time lines, it could help to explain this phenomenon.
Ponderous isn’t it?
Every year I have to endure as person after person spouts ignorance to the masses regarding Christmas. Every year I usually have to say something to someone at least once before it is all said and done.
Why can’t people just enjoy the holidays without trying to convince everyone and their brother that it is Jesus’ birthday or that Jesus is the reason for the season?!!
For Christ’s sake people (pun intended), look it up. In this day and age of freely available resources almost anything is waiting at your finger tips to be learned.
I know they mean well, frankly I don’t care. What really baffles me is those who know it isn’t his birthday and know that the holiday has it’s roots in Pagan celebration and still say that “Jesus is the reason for the season”. Can someone explain that to me?
Seriously, if you are a confessed Christian and you confess that you know that Jesus was not born at this time and you confess that you know that Christmas was a Pagan celebration originally, could you in good conscious with your God continue to tell everyone that Jesus is the reason for the season and that you are celebrating his birthday? Isn’t that the same thing as lying? Doesn’t God look down on that?
One or two years ago my family and I celebrated our first Christmas/Yule. Why you may ask did we celebrate it if we are against it.
Well, I am not against it. That’s just it. I am against misinformation. I have no problem with Christmas, I do have a problem when people try to say it is all because of Jesus that we have Christmas. Nothing could be further from the facts and it really bothers me that people continue to live in ignorance even to this day. People actually know the truth and still proclaim that is all about him.
Well, that is what has been on my mind of late.
Things are coming along with our Gun business. Since September we have sold 7 guns and someone is coming by tomorrow to possibly buy another one. I am looking forward to being able to finish the Gun Store soon so that we can start filling it with guns and armor to sell.
I am looking forward to the new year and I am hopeful. Even though things are not looking good for our country. I believe that ultimately, things will turn out for the best. We may have some hard times ahead of us but it is hard times that bring people together in unity. Too long this nation has been slowly loosing it’s unity. This (the enslaving of us and our children to the government in the name of bail outs and insurance for the poor.) just might be the catalyst needed to bring everyone together again.
Blessings and Peace to all through the coming year.
Last Friday I ordered a microphone from Make it Louder so that I can see where I can improve my sound system for competition.
This device is supposed to be very accurate and able to withstand decibel levels up to 186 DB. You can use this device with just a multimeter or you can download their free software and use it’s real time anylizer. They also have a paid version of the software that allows a closer look at a more precise display of frequecies.
As soon as I get a chance I will give a report on this equipment.