God’s Visitation-Part 1 Thursday, Jun 1 2017 

I’d like to begin this post with the story of how Israel got its’ name:

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Here we have an example of a historical fact. I-sra-el, or “I struggled with God.” It is also an example of a visitation from God. One of many throughout the bible that I would like to now bring to your attention.

Another instance is Moses and the burning bush:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

Now here we have another instance of God’s Visitation. I will continue in Part 2.

God’s Anchor Tuesday, May 16 2017 

As we begin this study of God’s Anchor I’d like you to turn in your bible to the book of Acts, which is a record of the acts of the Apostles of Christ. It is in the New Testament. It is the first book after the four gospels. Now go to the 27th chapter beginning in verse 13. We have here the story of “The Storm.”  Just as in life, the story begins where “life is a breeze”. We see here in the first verse of this story, “When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity”; so far in the story things are going pretty good. If you know how the weather works on this earth, you know that a “south wind” is warm and a “gentle south wind” is even better. In order to move forward on the sea in a sailing ship you need the wind to blow. Back in the day of Paul, the people of that era did their business primarily by ship. It was their most rewarding form of transportation. So, as the story goes, “opportunity knocks.” They see their chance. And they take it. It says in the text, “So they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.” Now the word “Crete” means carnal or fleshly. You’ll notice that at first they “sailed along the shore”. This is like what our Christian life is like when we first get saved. Many times, God calls us away from our old life. Some of us, unsure of our bearings continue to hang around our old friends and continue to pursue fleshly and carnal pursuits.

But the Holy Spirit frequently sends us a reminder of our calling. As the story goes, “Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island.” Putting on our weatherman’s hat again, we know that winds from the northeast are “cold” and “harsh”.

 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.” When we are first saved it can be difficult to pull away from “the world”. Many people flail. Change can be scary.

As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, 17 so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor[b] and let the ship be driven along.” We may even try to hold our old life together as it is falling apart. Cauda means tail. It is when we are at the “end” of our old life that the enemy attacks the hardest because he does not want to lose us. He lies to us about our destiny. He uses fear as a weapon against us. Syrtis means quicksand. “They lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along.”

“We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” He steals our hope. He seeks to kill and destroy our new life. He blinds us to the truth. You see sailors use the stars to guide their ships. But when you cannot see the stars you flail, and the storms of life keep raging on.

  “After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.” The truth comes out. Paul had warned them not to sail. Do we listen to our spiritual authorities in Christ? Or do we go on about doing things the old way? The truth is that everyone dies, “only the ship will be destroyed.” But we shall be saved. This is the encouragement of the gospel.

Do we anchor ourselves to this earth and just flail along?

“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” Do not be afraid.   “Keep up your courage.” “Have faith in God.” “It will happen just as He told us in His Word.” “We must run aground on some island”. i,e, pay the consequences of our actions. But we and our household shall be saved. This is the end of the story but the beginning of a new life in Christ.

 

God’s Day Tuesday, Apr 11 2017 

Some believe that everyday is God’s day. When defined as a set 24 hours, this is certainly true, but I’ve been pondering the fact that we know that God lives outside of time and yet he does everything within its’ proper time. This blog post just might blow your mind as I take you to a place you may have never been.

You may have never thought about this in exactly the way I intend to spell it out to you here. Oh, I know, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

But I also know that, ” with the LORD a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day”,  2 Peter 3:8  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

So imagine for a moment that you could understand the concept of one day stretching out into a thousand years. This is one of those impossibilities that is possible with God. Just like the camel through the eye of the needle.

I can’t help but think that God takes great musings about this pondering of His awesomeness.

Back to “a day”. The best way to understand this is back at the beginning. Genesis 1:4-5

God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Here we see exactly what God is doing. It is the essence of who He is that comes out so clearly. God “sees” what is good and separates it from darkness. Only God is good. Mark 10:18 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. ”

Why do I attempt to explain God to you? Every attempt I make fails miserably. I digress at every turn unable to put forth the meaning my mind so eagerly clings to in this expansion called “today”.

The point I’m trying to make is that every day is important, valuable, priceless, irreplaceable, unwavering in its’ capacity to glorify the God of the universe within the actions of His called and beyond the circumference of His chosen. We cannot contain all that God’s “Day” encompasses.

Only God can truly know his day and what it will be. Will it be full of gentleness, meekness and peace; absent of any need or want or worry? Or, will it be a “Day of Reckoning”? You decide.

God’s Breakthrough Sunday, Apr 2 2017 

Now before you flog me and have me crucified hear me out. I’m writing you to tell you the truth about God. So many of you don’t even believe there is a God. If that is you then this post is for you.

If you do believe there is a God it will be okay for you to read this post because it just might help you to see God from a new perspective. Each person has there own perspective about God and who He is and how he operates. Maybe you’ll identify with mine.

“There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

Almost since the beginning of time, man has sought the answer to who is God?

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” John 14:6

Please don’t just skip over this verse because in it are the keys to the kingdom. God is telling us exactly who He is.

First he is the great “I AM.”  Exodus 3:14

Second he is the “Way”. Jesus said this to his disciples to reveal his true identity.  John 14:6

Third he is the “Truth”. It doesn’t say that he is truthful, although He is truthful. It says He is the “Truth”. He is the living breathing truth in each of us. When you are full of truth you are full of Him. The truth isn’t just something you speak, although it is that, it is a goal, a purpose, a “Way” of living. It is your whole focus.

The Scriptures are full of times Jesus said, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you.” That is like saying “Very truthfully, I say unto you.” There is no greater truth than Christ and him crucified. The facts of his life are the truth of your salvation. He is your salvation.

Fourth Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father but by me.” John 14:6 Again He is telling you who God is and how He operates. He operates through Christ. And when you are “in Christ” you have God in you by means of his Spirit.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

He says, “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD.” Romans 14:11

It does not say just “Christians”. It says “every knee”.

He says, “I am God Almighty”. Genesis 35:11

Fifth, He is the Life. This life he speaks of is eternal, everlasting, unending, for..EVER.

He says, “I am the Alpha and Omega”. Revelation 1:8

He is.

He is God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Ghost. We are made in his image; body, mind, and spirit.

” We are his workmanship.” Ephesians 2:10

“We were made to worship Him”. John 4:23

When God breaks through and reveals himself to you, it is no small thing. See how he revealed himself to Saul on the road to Damascus.  He says, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me.” Acts 9:4.

 

God’s Way Saturday, Mar 11 2017 

Lord, Thank-you for the eternity you have placed in my heart. Thank-you, LORD, that you: teach me your way everlasting, are a light unto my path, are the way, are the truth, are the light. Thank-you for your presence, LORD.

Thank-you for the flaming sword that guards the way to life eternal. Your way is holy and righteous. Direct me to do what is right. Make straight paths for my feet. May my deeds bring you glory, Father. Help me to settle matters quickly with my adversary. Bring sound judgment here. Bring me your heart of compassion. Give me food to feed your sheep. That none should perish in my path.

Thank-you for your Spirit that teaches me all things.

I receive your free gift of salvation. I receive you.

I will seek you early in the morning. Come to the garden. I hunger for you. You are life.

Glory, Jesus, to your name. I cry out to you. I lift my heart, my hands, my life. On my knees, I pray. I am secure in you. You are Most High. In you there is mercy, enduring mercy, forever. Your Way is right. I worship you.

I enter into your rest, LORD. I accept your peace. I accept your terms. I accept your promises. I accept your will. I accept your plan. Thank-you, for being my God. Jesus, have mercy on me. You are perfect in all of your ways. You are holy. You are the name above all other names.

God’s Actions Friday, Jan 13 2017 

When I was about ten, I got my first pair of glasses. Now before I got them, I did not know that I could not see. That first time I put on my new glasses, I was amazed at what I was able to see. I could see the individual leaves on trees and individual gravel pebbles on the ground.

We know from the bible that God “sees” all things.

Psalm 33:12-14 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the Lord looks down
    and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
    all who live on earth—

Psalm 34:15-19 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;

God has many actions.

John 21:24-25

24 This is the disciple which testifies of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

When we call to him, he answers.

Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

The Lord “vindicates”.

Deuteronomy 32:36 36 The Lord will vindicate his people
    and relent concerning his servants
when he sees their strength is gone
    and no one is left, slave or free.

The Lord “speaks”.

Genesis 1:3  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

The Lord does “marvelous works”.

Isaiah 29:14 14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
    with wonder upon wonder;
the wisdom of the wise will perish,
    the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.

The Lord listens.

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

The Lord suffered for sin.

1 Peter 3:18 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

The Lord has gone to heaven.

1 Peter 3:21-22 Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

God calls.

1 Samuel 3:4 Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

God gives counsel.

37 So Saul asked God, “Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel’s hand?” But God did not answer him that day.

He directs.

Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.

He saves.

Isaiah 45:17 Isaiah 45:17New International Version (NIV)

17 But Israel will be saved by the Lord
    with an everlasting salvation;
you will never be put to shame or disgraced,
    to ages everlasting.

He justifies.

Isaiah 45:25 25 But all the descendants of Israel
    will find deliverance in the Lord
    and will make their boast in him.

He creates.

Isaiah 45:18 18 For this is what the Lord says—
he who created the heavens,
    he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
    he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
    but formed it to be inhabited—
he says:
“I am the Lord,
    and there is no other.

He establishes our thoughts.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

He is merciful, truthful, respectable.

Proverbs 16:6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
    through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

He gives peace.

Proverbs 16:7 When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
    he causes their enemies to make peace with them.

He gives us all things.

Romans 8:32 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

He leads us by His Spirit.

Romans 8:14 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

He heals the sick.

Mark 1:34 34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

He sees, hears, delivers, is close, saves, keeps, opens the eyes of the blind, helps, creates, gives hope, keeps truth forever, executes judgment, gives food to the hungry, looses prisoners, loves us, preserves, relieves orphans and widows.

But more important than all these is “He Reigns.”

Psalm 24:7-10

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.

 

 

 

God’s Purpose Thursday, Jan 5 2017 

When we go about our days there is a purpose to our actions. We set goals and then go about doing what we must do to achieve those goals. At the end of the day, we get a sense of satisfaction from our accomplishments and we can rejoice in a job well done. Now, imagine for a moment if everything you did depended on the actions of other people? Your entire purpose was to accomplish things through the lives of other people.

God has a unique purpose for you.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

God knows that some people will refuse his plan.

30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves.

God also sets the time of your demise so you will be able to fulfill his purpose.

“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep. (falling asleep in the bible means he “died.”)

God also sets the place you will live.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

God has “elected” us for his purpose.

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”[a]

Notice that even the order of our birth is directed by God, as well as how many kids are in each family.

God works through people.

He is able by his Almighty power to accomplish his purposes through us and in us.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

 

God’s Gift Wednesday, Jan 4 2017 

When a person gives a gift to someone they don’t expect to be paid for it by the receiver of that gift. That is what the word gift means-something given freely. At Christmas time, we all get great joy out of giving gifts to our children and grandchildren and watching them open up their presents and enjoying them. They can only open one gift at a time and play with one toy at a time. We don’t expect them to open up everything all at once but we wait for them to check it out, see how it works, what they can do with it. Sometimes, children will even start playing with the box that the gift came in and get great enjoyment out of it.

But God gives gifts to us that keep on giving.

Let me show you what I mean.

Remember the woman at the well? 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Remember what he spoke to his disciples after he was resurrected? On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

Remember what Paul told the Romans? 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Remember what Paul told the Ephesians? For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Remember what Paul admonished Timothy? 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

And-For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

So far we see that the gift of God is actually multiple gifts: living water, baptism of the Holy Spirit, eternal life, faith, salvation, spiritual gift, boldness, power, love and self-discipline.

In Hebrews we learn that the gift of God can be shared and tasted: It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance.

In James we learn that he had planned to give us his gift from the very beginning: 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

In Peter we learn that God has a purpose in giving us gifts: 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

In John we learn God gives us peace: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

So now we know that in addition to all the other gifts, he has also enlightened us, shared the goodness of the word of God, shared his power, given us every good and perfect gift, truth, grace, and peace.

The most precious gift of all was the gift of his Son, Jesus by whom we have access to the Father through his blood. Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

God’s Fire Tuesday, Jan 3 2017 

When my husband and I were first married, we went camping a lot.  The very first time we went, it rained all night long.  I was amazed at how dry we stayed in that little tent.  We didn’t have all the gear we have now back then, so we set up a big blue tarp over a picnic table and our propane lamp and stove.

In the morning, everything was drenched and there was a river of water flowing down the hill behind our tent from all the rain.

Finding dry wood for a camp fire wasn’t happening. Everyone else that had been there had packed up and left.

Have you ever tried to start a fire outside even with a little wind or rain?  Every time you light a match you have to protect the flame with your other hand until the fire “catches”. You’re limited by the time it takes to catch and the length of your match.  You might waste two or three matches before you figure the direction of the wind and can huddle your whole body against the wind to protect the flame.

That is how it is when you attempt to share Christ with someone who has been unchurched. It is important to get your own fire going before you attempt to light the fire of others. But that same joy that comes when you are finally able to get the fire going comes when you lead a soul to Christ.

When you tip your candle into their candle and there is a sudden crackle and blaze as their candle lights up.  The light shines and they begin to “see” what you’ve been talking about.

When you have the Spirit of God in you to help, it is like having a propane tank at the ready to light up the whole area. People come, even from a distance to share the fire of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

 

God’s Seed Monday, Jan 2 2017 

Have you ever wondered how a little seed becomes a great big tree? Or how deep the roots go down into the soil?

For many years, I grew a garden and even now, I have a few grow boxes in the side yard for tomatoes and herbs. I grow a few flowers including marigolds.  At the end of each season when I pull up the stalks, I harvest the marigold seeds from the dried pods on top. You hold the base of the pod upside down between your thumb and forefinger and twist.  It pops open and gravity brings a shower of seeds out. Each pod contains many seeds.

It always amazes me how many seeds I get from each plant.

That is how God’s word is when you don’t just read it but you dig a little deeper into scripture references, meanings of words, and looking up the Hebrew meaning of names and places; it is amazing how much you can get out of each scripture.

If you take the time to highlight key verses that speak to your heart and memorize verses you can use later as weapons against the attacks of the enemy; then you grow spiritually.  Your harvest becomes peace and joy and love.  The mysteries of God are revealed day by day continually season after season.

2 Corinthians 9:10-15

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

 

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