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Friday, November 26, 2010

Hey! Everyone is welcome to this family, anytime!
AmIWho.jpg

 
“I was looking in the mirror, and all I could think were negative thoughts.

 
How could everyone love me? Then I considered how badly I had treated my family and what a drain I was on them emotionally and financially. Did they hate me? Was that why we no longer really talked? I grew more despondent. Was I ugly? Did they really want me?”

 We all have families and we all have varying degrees of attachment to different family members.

 
We also have differing attitudes to ourselves! 

Sadly, most of us at one time or another fail to love ourselves, right?


 
We have different ways of showing this don't we? 

One person may be full of bravado when around others showing of their strength and abilities physically, mainly because they want to hide their pain and insecurity in other areas. That’s called re-direction!

Directing peoples thoughts away from the truth!


 
Another person may fall into relationships where people tell them how wonderful they are, simply because they never received true love and acceptance from a parent and siblings.

This is substitution!


Still others continually downgrade their abilities when others complement them, because they don’t want to dare to believe that others really feel that way!

 
It’s sad but in one way or the other we all use these and other different defence mechanisms to protect our fragile self worth.

Rarely do we feel just great about ourselves, where we are in the world, and how others perceive us, right?


 
Then we find out that as a Christian we should be willing to admit we are christian!

This is a real test of whether we are comfortable with ourselves or only ready to put up masks, right? How many of us choose a piece of clothing simply because it avoids a Christian slogan? How many of us put down a christian friend because we are seen with them. How many gather in public to acknowledge God is our father? How many are willing to go out and help others at pain to ourselves?


 
What we fail to see is that God really loves us and NEEDS us!

 He didn’t make a way into his holy presence for us to use, that cost him blood, pain, horror and death, simply because he doesn’t care!

He cares for us deeply!

He also designed human life to be one where we do need each other. We need to care for each other, and care even more for those who don’t even love Jesus. In fact we need to care even if those who don’t love Jesus never return that care! 


 
Why?

 
Because we love them enough to know that a deluded person believes false things, and that they sometimes cannot see how much they will get hurt.

They need a chance don't they?

Like when we see a person going into heavy drug use, or continual loose sexual relationship. Others may reject them, but if we love Jesus, that love wells up and all we can do is love these people because we don’t want to see them hurt. Unfortunately free will says they each make up their own mind, right?

 
However, the real good news is that we are all different and part of a greater good when we work together.

 
The bible says this

 
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (NIRV)

 
 There is one body. But it has many parts. Even though it has many parts, they make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body. It didn't matter whether we were Jews or Greeks, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink.
 The body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts. Suppose the foot says, "I am not a hand. So I don't belong to the body." It is still part of the body. And suppose the ear says, "I am not an eye. So I don't belong to the body." It is still part of the body.

 
 If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body.

 
 The eye can't say to the hand, "I don't need you!" The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you!" In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can't do without. The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren't shown. But they are treated with special care. The parts that can be shown don't need special care.

 
   But God has joined together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn't have any. In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy.

 
  You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.

 
So, we need to understand we are part of a huge family that really loves each other and works together if they let Holy Spirit guide them (some don’t I know, but we can forgive them and still work around this tough spots).
 
We need to understand Holy Spirit enables us to truly connect with God, be ourselves and belong to the greatest loving family on earth!

 
Here is some of the things the bible says about Holy Spirit. Consider how Holy Spirit helped in each of these situations…

       Luke 1: 67 Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied
       Luke 4:1  Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert
       Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit
       Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.
       John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you
       Acts 1:2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen
       Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses
       Acts 4:25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David
       Acts 20:23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me
       Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

I want to consider what this means for me today. I should have a positive attitude to who I am empowered by Holy Spirit and I belive I should love and care, not only for myself, but also for all others.

What about you?

Fri, November 26, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What are Cherubim and Seraphim?
What are Cherubim and Seraphim?

 It is not because angels are holier than men or devils that makes them angels, but because they do not expect holiness from one another, but from God alone.  ~William Blake

 A few blogs back I described Cherubim and included the picture below...
 
CherubimPotentialImage.jpg


 I need to correct the information about Cherubim in my drawing (that’s the problem with doing representations). My drawing accidentally showed seven wings and they have six and it didn’t show the hands under the wings.

 Sorry folk, it’s just an artistic depiction and I don’t pretend to be a top of the line artist J .

 So let’s revisit what Cherubim are before I discuss the Seraphim.

Perhaps a better attempt at a picture is
CherubimPotentialImage2.jpg


 Before I do that let me explain that both Cherubim and Seraphim are spirits that serve God. One of the ways they do that is as God’s messengers. While we don’t know the full origin of the word Cherubim, the word Seraphim is linked to fire. They are the fiery ones!

 There is no real clarity if they are angels or not. We tend to believe that all non-human spirits that serve God are angels, but the bible never really says that!

 Cherubim are first encountered guarding the way back to the tree of life in Genesis 3.

 “he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” [Gen 3:24 NIV] 

Cherubim had the faces of man, ox(or cherub), and eagle(sometimes interpreted vulture).

 This is explained in Ezekiel 1:10 and 10:14.

 Ezekiel 1:10 (NIV) Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.

 Ezekiel 10:14 (NIV)14 Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.  

Then they had hands ..Ezekiel 1:8

 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands

 Notice in my picture above I had difficulty drawing 4 sides so it’s probably not the best of pictures but serves to remove that false perception they looked like little cupids (Cupid was a Roman god, i.e. an idol from Hebrew perspective) 

Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze.

  Again my picture leaves a lot to be desired…but I guess you get the idea! 

Okay, wing positions (again I screwed up)…

They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body.

 So two touched tips at the top, two curled around the body, and I guess the others went out from the sides laterally but it doesn’t say so, right?

 They let their wings down when they stand still. . .

 “When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.”

 Then they were scary in their fiery appearance and moved real fast

 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.

  Then each had a wheel alongside with a rim of eyes…

 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around

 By now I guess you know my original picture was really bad, but I also guess that you can see that trying to depict all this is real difficult. That’s what happens when we as humans try to explain spiritual things. We screw it up real bad!

 Does that mean we don’t try? No way! Do you feel you have gained some useful information from this last explanation. I hope you did! So imperfect though we are, we do make a difference if we try to do things right and are willing to admit our failures, right?

 Okay! Let’s move on a bit further…

 Some other places we find cherubim are:

 
  • On the two ends of the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant (See Exo25 & 37) in the Holy of holies of the tabernacle,
 
  • On the curtains of the temple (Exo 26)
 
  • On the walls and doors of the temple (1 Kings 8 and 2 Chronicles 5)
 
  • On the carts and lavers of the temple [not necessarily the tabernacle] (1 Kings 7)
 
  • In the temple of Ezekiel’s vision [Ezekiel 41 to 43] (note this also explains that not all Cherubim were depicted with all 4 faces, all the time)
 Where are they found?

Around the throne of God

 
Example 1
Psalm 80:1  Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
   you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
   shine forth

 Example 2
Psalm 99:1 The LORD reigns,
   let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
   let the earth shake.

 Then they symbolically carry God on wind
Psalm 18:10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
   he soared on the wings of the wind.


 Basically Cherubim look after, protect, and serve God!

 What about Seraphim?

 They are serving spirits and seem to be above the throne of God

 Isaiah 6: 1-2 I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.

 Okay, so they also have six wings and in this depiction the wings are covering different parts than the Cherubim. Maybe the covering of the face depicts saying no evil, and the feet, going in no evil direction. I dunno, but it’s a nice thought J !

 They are really focused on the holiness of God. They say…

 “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
   the whole earth is full of his glory.”

 See also in Revelations 4 it says

 In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

    “‘Holy, holy, holy
    is the Lord God Almighty,’
    who was, and is, and is to come.”
 It doesn’t say they were Seraphs or Cherubs, but they are saying what Seraphim say. Your guess is as good as mine as to what variety they were J.

 The only linkage of both of these categories of spirits to angels could be in Hebrews 1:7 (NIV) which says

 In speaking of the angels he says,
 
   “He makes his angels spirits,
   and his servants flames of fire.”

 So maybe they are angels, or maybe angels are also fiery?

 Whatever these spirits are, or represent, we need to know that God is more magnificent and scary in splendour than we can imagine. That we have not the faintest idea of the powers and spirits he has ready to do whatever he pleases, and despite that, this magnificent, all powerful God wants a relationship with us!

 He was willing to give it all up and become one of us to enable us to get that relationship. He was willing to take more pain and nastiness than anyone alive so that we could be cleaned up and be allowed into his presence in these amazing places.

 
He loves us! Isn’t that great?
    
Thu, November 25, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Splitting the veil!
Splitting the veil!

 In Exodus it says…

 "Make a curtain out of blue, purple and bright red yarn and finely twisted linen. Have a skilled worker sew cherubim into the pattern. Hang the curtain with gold hooks on four posts that are made out of acacia wood. Cover the posts with gold. Stand them on four silver bases. Hang the curtain from the hooks. “ (Exo 26:31-33 NIRV)

 This was the veil as described by God for the tabernacle built around1400 BC.

 Remember what cherubim looked like…
CherubimPotentialImage.jpg

 Not exactly cupid like creatures right?

 
The interesting thing is that the veil guarded the way to the place in the Hebrew old temple called the Holy of Holies. It was there to keep people from killing themselves by coming into the presence of God incorrectly.
 
It enabled access to God but protected those who didn’t understand God’s holiness.

 The colors had meaning that I have explained in a previous blog(Colors in a Christian world have meaning! ), but what is of interest to me today is the New Testament re-interpretations around the meaning of the veil.

 Jesus came in New Testament times to be the one who enables access to God. He enables access to God but protects those who don’t understand God’s holiness.

 God the Father cannot look on evil. It says in Habbukuk 13:1 of the Father that

 Your eyes are too pure to look at what is evil.
      You can't put up with the wrong things people do.
 The interesting thing is that before Jesus death people had limited access to God through the veil in specific circumstances…

 Hebrews 9:7
But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.

 But then Jesus died and then the veil was changed. In those days the tabernacle had been replaced by a temple and it is said that the veil was about 60ft high, maybe 30feet wide and about four inches thick.

 The purpose and decorations were the same, but now it was a bigger stronger separation. Jesus died and it says…

 Matthew 27:50-51 (NIRV)

  After Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, he died.

  At that moment the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook. The rocks split

 Or if we look at Luke’s comment in Luke 23:45 (NIRV) it says

 The sun had stopped shining. The temple curtain was torn in two.

 Why?

 The Father was opening up the relationship with mankind as his son was torn from life by the action of evil and men.

 Why?

 So that we could connect with God any time! Jesus made that possible and when Holy Spirit came the change was completed…remember in Acts 2…

 The day of Pentecost came. The believers all gathered in one place. Suddenly a sound came from heaven. It was like a strong wind blowing. It filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw something that looked like tongues of fire. The flames separated and settled on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.

  God’s presence is now with us as believers. So, the veil split, lets not be like the temple priests and try and put it back together. We no longer need to have special places to connect with God. We have the ability to get right with God and chat to him anywhere. He wants this personal relationship.

 

So do I, do you?

Wed, November 24, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Itís crazy to think we can answer every question in life, isnít it?
It’s crazy to think we can answer every question in life, isn’t it?
OptimisticFuture.jpg
 Wikipedia explains knowledge like this….[1]

Knowledge is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as 

     (i)                       expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject;

     (ii)                   what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information; or

    (iii)                awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

 The interesting thing is that (i) and (iii) are subjectively obtained by an individual via life, but (ii) is much bigger and extensive.

 It defines it as “what is known”!

 This in itself points out there is two camps, the “what is known” camp and the “what is not known” camp.

 It’s really interesting that in life that we spend much more time trying to figure out the “what is not known”
than the “what is known”,
 right?

 Think about it! Here are some examples…
  • What about how people react or will react to situations…know or unknown and speculative?
  • Whether global warming will change our lives?
  • Will the recession still occur or not?
  • How will I spend my time after I retire?
  • Will I be healthy in the next year?
  • Will I be successful at sport, my work, my love life?
 

Millions of other questions abound don’t they?

 
We live in the “what is not known” camp and yet “we live”!

 The fact that we don’t know everything about everything doesn’t stop us enjoying our lives.

If we stopped and considered what we don’t know we would become depressed and ineffective in our daily lives.

Do you know that psychologists know that depressed people have a more realistic view of the world than a normal healthy person?
 
Think how crazy that is!

 That’s one of the “known” facts!

 So when we look into what is happening around us and with us, we have to react in a level of optimism to even be considered healthy.

 
The fact that this optimism is UNREALISTIC is NECESSARY for us to live well!

 Where am I going with this?
 Well I know of a young lady who continually speaks of her inadequacies rather than her strengths, I know of those who are ill that don’t look at what they can still do, but focus on what they now cannot do!

 I see too many people taking themselves down because they dwell only on what they know, rather that search out the unknowns!

 Jesus was a person who continually pushed people to think about the future, unknown as it was, and framed it in ways people could imagine it more effectively.

 This is the key to success, framing out unknowns in the correct way so as to have an overall view of the general direction we are going.

 I was reading the latest Scientific American where that world known scientist Stephen Hawkins (not Dawkins) was discussing science and admits that there is no ability for science to disprove God exists.

 If he makes this statement, although he does not want to, then I guess it’s really not a problem for anyone else to make it right?

 So, following my thought thread, let’s say God does exist and Jesus is who he said he was.

 If that’s true, then Jesus’ view of the future and how we should frame our lives is critical to successful purposeful living, right?

 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

    All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

     Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30 NIV)

 So, Jesus makes things evident to children that adults fail to see. They have greater unknowns than adults, but he frames the key messages so they are simple and easily understood!

 It’s crazy to think we even “need” to answer all the questions of life isn’t it? It’s good to try provided we remember that real valuable knowledge is revealed by God as he pleases!

 We also need to know we are not to pick up those negative psychological pressures, but rather let God handle our futures. That may be the unrealistic approach, but to quote the psychologists, it’s normal to be reasonably positive and unrealistic!

 Let’s have a wonderful day lacking fear and enjoying our unknowns!


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge

Tue, November 23, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why does God suffer? Why do we suffer?
Why does God suffer? Why do we suffer?
PainWorld.jpg
Bruxy Cavey says. . . 

“Nothing has the potential to create a sense of God’s absence like deep, unjust, and/or unexplained pain.

 During these times, we may, like Jesus and David, feel forsaken by God.

 When this happens, remember that a palpable sense of God’s absence is itself evidence of God’s reality and engagement in our lives.
We don’t miss what we don’t know.
We don’t long for what we don’t believe in.
We don’t have a sense of absence for that which we’ve never experienced.
 
 

Your very yearning for God is evidence that God has been and will continue to be involved in your life.”

 Suffering is something everyone has to go through in some way or another.  It is something we question. Why does God allow this? Does he empathize with us? What is God’s part in this process? Can we know?

 How does the Christian God deal with suffering?

 Well for one thing we know Jesus suffered, anyone who thinks differently needs to see Mel Gibson’s film “the passion” which probably depicts less than what actually happened, and is horrific in it’s detail!

Jesus knew suffering at a level none of us are thankfully required to experience!

 It is important to know God wants us to be able to ask “WHY?”

 To ask “Why” is not being ungodly! Nobody has all the answers, but those of us that know God a little, know he loves to answer our Why questions in special ways.

 

Pain Hurts! It forces questions!

 Questions are what moves life ahead! People try to find solutions to problems because the problems exist. Right? We no longer have major fear of Polio, but other fears and pains have taken the place of that horrible disease that is now conquered.

 The challenge when in pain, is to see further than our immediate circumstances.

This is difficult folk! We really struggle to do this don’t we?

 Living doesn’t mean we have the answers to all questions does it? The joy of living is in searching for true answers. We as people have great satisfaction unveiling a great answer don’t we? This is why we like treasure hunt’s isn’t it?

 The real joy in hunting for answers is doing it with others and this is never truer than when we are in pain searching for answers. Other people are critical to helping us through. As a Christian, we find we have a huge family of people who really care and want to help. Honestly!

 Some people ask questions to make a point rather than really questioning. They have already stagnated into a decision and the only reason for the question is to force a point out into the world.

God will help with answers to true questions, but to those who already have decided and are using questions as manipulation techniques, please don’t expect God to respond!

 How do we know it is okay to ask why? See Mark 15:34 At three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? " This means "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?

 This is mind boggling! The actual words in original language(Aramaic) are recorded because the people of the time didn’t want to translate these words. Jesus said this!  

No one would have made this up would they? It’s just doesn’t appear to be good for the fledgling church does it?

 Psalm 22 ties into this and is the context for this. Jesus was pointing to this psalm. It is a statement of Jesus faith and God’s distance from Jesus at this painful time. So what does it say?

 My God, my God, why have you deserted me?
      Why do you seem to be so far away when I need you to save me?
      Why do you seem to be so far away that you can't hear my groans?
 My God, I cry out in the daytime. But you don't answer.

 There is more, it is infinitely deep in its cry, please read it!

This piece however shows God questioning God, Jesus questions God the Father because of pain! Jesus being man experience pain from our perspective and fails to see why he is suffering.

  Jesus did this to be in our pain fully! To fully understand our human condition. He wanted to be in the pain so he could know what our experience of pain is!

 The cross is a horrible death and is not good, but despite this it is the greatest point of victory of God, opening up the doors of heaven to us!

 From pain comes the greatest blessing! The deepest answer is God suffers pain with us, and does not like our suffering! Jesus wanted his suffering removed, but said not his will but that of God the Father. He submitted in pain to the will of God, despite not understanding it fully at the time!

 Jesus could not find a way of doing what he did without pain! He is there with us in the pain. He has been through it. We have his divine wisdom tied to deep understanding of our hurt! He doesn’t just say he feels for us, he really did feel the unjust pain!

 Know that the absence of an experience of God at these times of vast pain as a human is actually evidence God is there. Jesus knew God the Father was there while he called out to him, but his absence was so real during the pain times. The reason these words are recorded is to give us knowledge that God fully understands our situation in these times of pain. 

So let’s know that God will hold us up through these times and give us strength to go through to victory, with others around us!

 

Let us be a true friend to someone today!
Then let’s be honest in our questions to God today as well!

Mon, November 22, 2010 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

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simply click the XML button below the blogs!
Then you will get updated whenever a new blog occurs!


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