Monthly Archives: October 2013

Happy One Year Anniversary to My Blog Joaynn510!

As I go to check my stats on my blog tonight from my Kindle Fire, I noticed this odd notification symbol in my notifications waiting to be read. I click on it and to my surprise, lo and behold, this is what it said:

“Happy Anniversary! You registered on WordPress.com 1 year ago! Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!”

Photo credit: www.WordPress.com           Notifications View Archive

Photo credit: http://www.WordPress.com Notifications

I cannot believe it has been one year since I started blogging and never would have imagined I would have made it this far. I give all glory to God. What’s even more exciting is to my surprise I managed to get 500 likes, 7,228 hits, 1,236 followers, five awards, a number of pingbacks, and countless comments. Not to mention I am following many fantastically great blogs. Not bad considering I didn’t think it would go this far. Many times I wanted to quit (trust me) but after seeing this tonight, it inspires me and gives me the drive and motivation to continue.

I must send a huge, genuine, heartfelt “Thank You” to the beautiful connections I have established with many bloggers here locally and across the globe, to every one who took the time to visit my blog, liked my posts, commented on my blog, and even those who stopped by just to view. I appreciate and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Since the related article below appeared in the Zemanta recommendation while creating this post, I thought what better time to add it for viewing to acknowledge yet another accomplishment I am proud of.

I was invited to participate in aopinionatedman’s Project O opinionated project two months ago and my post appeared on his blog September 29, 2013. I had not managed to find the time or know-how to link it to my blog but the link automatically appeared tonight and only required one click. Now that’s what I call divine. Please feel free to take a moment and read what I had to say. I hope you enjoy it.

I am beyond excited and feel as though this is a major milestone for me in a world that began as unfamiliar but is beginning to grow on me. I am overjoyed! I look forward to what’s to come. What a way to end my night.

Singing Happy Anniversary to me! 🙂

Be blessed! -JD

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God Conceived in You the Vision. Move! Give Birth to God’s Vision!

Give birth to God’s vision!Before you were formed in the womb, God knew you. You were appointed. You were set apart. He knew everything about you (Jer 1:5).

God conceived in you the vision. He birthed something inside you. He planted the seed that will bring forth good fruit. You were called. God set you apart for his use. You’re pregnant with possibilities. But before you deliver, there’s a process you will have to endeavor.

The birthing process will involve preparation and planning before labor and delivery take place. You will experience birthing pains. There will be adjustments and changes you will be required to make. There will be trials. You may feel like giving up when going from place to place. It may seem like forever. Hold on. God will prosper you in the thing he called you to do. In your faith, stand firm.

God will prepare and equip you. He will perfect you. It will begin with God’s plan and will end with purpose. It will fulfill God’s purpose.  God plans, he prepares, he delivers. You will see the fruits of your labor in delivery. In the end, it will glorify God. All glory to God.

Trials test us to manifest God’s plan. When faced with circumstances, trust that it is part of God’s plan. When you go through the storm, you may not understand why it took so long to get through. It is the testing of your faith that will bring you through. God will bring you through the storm and the rain. You will find purpose for your pain. God’s plan is to prosper us and not to harm us. Planning and preparation is required and will be necessary for us.

“Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God (Isa 66:9).” God plans, he prepares, he will deliver. Trust God to bring forth the vision. God will not position us for greatness without preparing us for destiny. He will put us in position to fulfill his vision. We will walk in our destiny.

When God transitions you, He closes one door. He will open another door. Leave the past behind. Walk through the open door. Don’t look to the north, south, east or west. Lift up your eyes unto the hills from whence cometh your help (Ps 121:1).

Do not be in pursuit of power or in pursuit of pleasure while you wait. Whatever your gift, keep the faith. Use your gifts in proportion to the measure of your faith.  Before you set out to do the work of the Lord, allow God’s plan to work in your life that it may glorify God.

God wants to take you to the next level. Get ready. The playing field has been leveled. Don’t stay bound. Walking in wilderness for years like the Israelites. They traveled in circles, going around and around. God conceived in you the vision. God put you in the right place at the right time. Move! Give birth to God’s vision! It’s time.

Be blessed! –JD

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (NIV)

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Don’t Let Your Reality Become the Death of the Gospel – Preachers of LA

Ephesians 2Today’s writing sat in rough draft for more than one week and comes from a heavy laden heart and deep concern with how I feel we have become too casual in our obedience to God and our commitment to his Word. As I go off subject again, please know it is not my intention to offend anyone in light of my opinion but my hope is to share words of wisdom, heed of caution, and a little bit of knowledge. Additionally, please excuse the long post but some things cannot be left unsaid.

I have been looming over this subject the past few weeks as I sat and watched a reality show for the past two weeks, wondering what really is going on, not in the world but with the people of this world. I find the manner we condone behavior that is inconsistent with the Word of God have caused us to become too casual in how we maintain our relationship with God. While making the decision to use this as a means to ignore God’s standards and form predisposed ideas when it comes to unrighteous living. In short, we are committing a grave sin against God. And this by far, in my opinion, is a contradiction to the gospel and in no uncertain terms, is killing it. Simply put, it is becoming the death of the gospel.

For all purpose intended, what I am about to mention is only an observation of what I witnessed on the show and ask that you please don’t take this the wrong way as I am not judging others or the relationship of others because many of us may have experienced this same type of event or events in our lives. So please bear with me.

To my dismay, after watching Preachers of LA, headlined with six mega preachers, some well-known, that include Bishop Noel Jones, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Bishop Ron Gibson, Pastor Jay Haizlip, Pastor Wayne Chaney, and Deitrick Haddon, I became a bit disturbed and disappointed by the show and its inability to accurately disseminate the gospel and the lackadaisical portrayal of religious leaders as evidenced by extravagant displays of sparkling jewelry, fancy homes, and expensive cars observed in the very first show.

The show introduced the relationship between Minister Deitrick Haddon and a young lady that produced a child born out of wedlock resulting in the ending of a marriage based not solely on, but inclusive of infidelity. There was backlash from the public and during the introduction the cast member noted he has sought forgiveness and is now working towards redemption and a change of life. He announced the couple is now engaged and working towards marriage of which I commend. However, some parts of the show failed my expectations upon witnessing the lack of respect shown for the former spouse when making inappropriate references to her as if she did not exist as well as issues surrounding the marriage that conflicted with who this person supposedly professed to be Christ.

In the beginning when I opted to watch this show, my desire was to think objectively because I feel with life, there is a lesson and a teachable moment in everything we do and I wanted to be as open to the idea that this show could help someone who may be struggling in the same area where deliverance would be a potential in the saving or changing of a life. There are a lot of negative reviews the show is getting because some feel it clearly teaches against the principles of the gospel and conflicts with what we as believers are clear on regarding the will and the Word of God. I still was hopeful though because I believe everyone should have a chance to tell their story. But how and where we choose to present the information and the platform we use will make the difference in its impact.

It was upon viewing the second show I became confused with the purpose of the show for several reasons but narrowed it down when Deitrick Haddon was in conversation with Bishop Ron Gibson about shacking up with his daughter’s mother and his illicit response after being advised by the Bishop what the Word does not teach when it comes to “shacking.” Mr. Haddon adamantly stated, not verbatim, how frustrated and tired he was of hearing preachers telling him what the Bible says in relation to this and added he did not see where “shacking up” was nowhere in the Bible. I was taken aback. Hmmm….okay. But that doesn’t make it right, Right?

While I believe everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs and I am not one to judge, I believe God is not pleased with us when we use the Bible as a means to justify sin. When you start using the Word to condone unrighteousness and clear intentions to excuse reasons why you have fallen from grace without taking responsibility for your actions but choose to justify it because you say, “ God knows my heart. I’m a man and I’ve make mistakes.” Yet still do things that are outside the will of God and have found the smallest way to change the way you live, then you are only minimizing why you are not doing all you can to be consistent in your obedience to and respect for God. Additionally, in your failure to honor God’s Word, you make the decision to live according to the world’s standards, not God’s. And choose to take your positions or the gospel for granted.

When we take our privileged positions for granted, we lose focus of the true source, God, that motivates our drive and ambition to do what is pleasing in his sight. We fail to question our own integrity and our inability to see sin for what it is and work to change it. In my opinion, this is wrong. It is not what God intended.

The gospel is for spiritual growth and daily living. It is the good news of and from God, taught by Jesus Christ and His disciples. It is God’s message to mankind. When we read the Bible, we will find different names that tell a story with each emphasizing an aspect of the message. But be clear, there is only one authentic gospel. We cannot focus only on one aspect and exclude other forms only to create an incomplete picture of how we are supposed to live. We must be willing to focus on every aspect of the Bible to gain the whole picture of God, his character, his nature, and what he desires.

We should never take the Word of God out of context and use it for our intentional purposes and fail to prioritize God or conform to the ways of this world because of our status or things we have acquired. When we do so, we run the risk of contributing to the death of the gospel and will cause it to become extinct when we fail to rightfully portray God’s character. Whereby, escaping the true essence of what God desires and the power of his Word that we are to live by only to feed into societal beliefs of those who believe it is okay to do so.

Subsequently, it is never in our best interest to neither take the gospel for granted nor question God’s authority because of our failure to acknowledge accountability. The gospel is not something we should negotiate to condone our behavior just because it specifically is not found in the Bible. As a believer, we all know the Word is clear on how we are to live; righteously, and how we are to behave and act; accordingly, and how we are to honor God; faithfully with reverence and tenacity. No ifs, ands, or buts. It is clear.

2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

To go a step further, the Life Application Study Bible notes,

“The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God. It is not a human book. Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed his person and plan to certain believers, who wrote down his message for his people (2 Peter 1:20, 21). This process is known as inspiration. The writers wrote from their own personal, historical, and cultural contexts. Although they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrote what God wanted them to write. Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in control of its writing. Its words are entirely authoritative for our faith and lives. The whole Bible is God’s inspired Word. Because it is inspired and trustworthy, we should read it and apply it to our lives. The Bible is our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true. It is our safeguard against false teaching and our source of guidance for how we should live. It is our only source of knowledge about how we can be saved. God wants to show you what is true and equip you to live for him (LASB 2 Tim 3:16, 17).”

Need I say more?

With all things taken into consideration, we are aware that reality shows are scripted and may be appropriate for those who enjoy this type of programming, however, when one chooses to create a show led by religious leaders, it must be consistent with the teachings of the gospel and its principles must reflect the Word of God to encourage and build up the kingdom and not validate unrighteousness representative of inappropriate words, actions, or lifestyles of man formed out of foolish pride.

I take the Word of God very seriously and while I am not perfect, I strive daily to walk in obedience, live righteously, and commit to following God’s commands that I may glorify the kingdom. While I cannot speak for the world, I can only speak for myself and believe when we are representatives of Christ, especially when in a leadership role, we are to be examples of Christ. We cannot do as we please when we become Christians. Every fiber of our being must be in alignment with the Word of God, his character, and his nature. How we act and speak reflects on God. Therefore, we should make every effort to live for Him. There is no middle ground, no excuses, and no alternative lifestyle choices to support reasons why it is acceptable to do what we clearly know is not the right thing to do.

As believers it is our obligation to work to reach the lost but we cannot change the gospel. We are to worship but cannot water down the significance of God’s righteousness. We are to not make a mockery of the gospel to justify sin much like the Israelites who committed the same sins when they chose to forget the anointing, presence, and holiness of God. But we are to lift up the kingdom and rightfully represent Christ.

Dear sisters and brothers, take heed. Avoid taking the gospel for granted. Take it seriously. Don’t focus so much on yourself or what you have. Only to forget about the ONE who gave to you what you have. Make God the first and only priority in your life. Don’t put significance on possessions before purpose in your life. Obey the gospel. It is critical. Lead by example and not by distinction. Live the way God intends. Look to God, not man. Let the gospel be your resource and not become your recourse for adaptive living. In the end, you will reap what you sow because God does not approve of unrighteous living.

Don’t let your reality become the death of the gospel and cause it to become extinct in order to fit in with the world’s standards. Don’t ignore God’s standards. Let the gospel be used as a daily resource in order to live by God’s standards. Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Revere God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with your entire mind. Be conscious of God’s character and His presence daily. Let holiness exude from the inside out every day. Don’t let your reality become the death of the gospel. Work to live each day in alignment according to the gospel.

Be blessed! -JD

Ephesians 2:11-18 “But don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways 12 had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. 13 Now because of Christ – dying that death, shedding that blood – you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything. 14 The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. 15 He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody. 16 Christ brought us together through his death on the Cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. 17 Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. 18 He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.

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Come to God with Audacious Faith! Pray Audaciously!

Pray with Audacious Faith!There’s power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.
No matter what you’re going through God can make you whole again.
God will break every chain!

Faith without works is dead. Have saving faith. Pray with audacious faith.
Come to Jesus Christ. Believe in Him. Be obedient. Commit yourself to Him.
God says he will do it. Trust in Him.

Declare to the world what God has done for you.
Testify of his goodness and how he brought you through.
Your situation may have looked hopeless.
God placed your feet on solid ground.
No matter what you were facing, God turned it around!

It’s good to be afflicted, even when it may seem difficult to get through.
God knows best. He removes things that are not good for you.
The devil will keep coming but he doesn’t have any power over you.
Whatever he thinks he stole, God will restore all things back to you.

Pray audaciously. Yield to God’s authority.
Don’t be afraid to ask God for anything. He has all authority.
Be strong. Be bold in your faith.
Come to God with audacious faith! Pray audaciously!

Be blessed! -JD

James 2:19 “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”

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Satan’s in Opposition, You’ve Got the Victory; Shout Glory!

MP900201696As I sat in total darkness yesterday, I was in prayer and communion with God all day. Nothing was on, not the television or any other thing that could disturb me from hearing the voice of God. You see, I didn’t realize that there was something happening all week as I cried and poured my heart out to God. I cried and cried tears of confusion asking God to show me what it is I seem to be missing. I told him I felt as though my life is going nowhere and I felt helpless, worthless.

I told him how every day I must walk in humility. I have to humble myself before others even when I don’t feel like it, but must remind myself daily it is to bring Him glory. That in itself can be hard because humility will take you to a place you don’t want to go, but you will, and will cause you to insist on doing something you don’t want to do, but you will. It can be devastating when your mind is trying to convince you otherwise. Especially when you’re like me and are not used to the impact you encounter when things change. I don’t handle change well but know it is expected. However, when others have control and you only play a small role, it can be hard to humble yourself when you least expect it.

It was not until today I realized this month marked a significant turning point in my life. And for some reason the devil did all he could to remind me of it. I woke up from a dream that had me literally in tears. As I cried profusely, I told God, “I don’t know why I’m here  in tears. I had a long talk with you just last night and thought everything was going to be alright.” I rested well and felt I would wake knowing it would all be alright. This dream reminded me of a time when I lost everything. It was a time where my life drastically changed. I felt like Job, only I lost my faith. I felt alone, defeated. I lost trust in everyone and everything. I couldn’t make sense of anything.

I have been through some things in my life but this was by far nothing I had ever experienced in my life. And with Satan attacking me at that time and this week from every side, he did everything to bring this devastating remembrance of time back to mind. I couldn’t get a grip of myself and my thoughts. I became weak. My flesh started rising up over my spirit. I needed help. I couldn’t do nothing but cry out to God to keep my flesh from taking captive of my spirit. I told him, “I need you God now more than ever.”

This has been a long week filled with immense struggles, heartache, and tears. Lord, I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I’ve cried this week and today as I have in my entire life in years. I know there’s a purpose, promise, and potential You have designed specifically for me.

The devil keeps trying to condemn and convince me into believing You are not there for me. And tell lies to make me believe You cannot use a wretch like me. The devil is a liar and the truth is not in him! I rebuke that spirit. Every day is a struggle God but I’m glad I have you in my life. Without you, I never would have made it. You are the bread of life.

God, come into my situation. Cover me. Use me. Remove all fears, distress, worries, heartache, and pain. Restore me back to the place I need to be in order to live freely again. Break every chain! Deliver me God and make me whole again. I come against every lying tongue and every trick of the enemy. Satan you have no authority over me. You can’t ever take what God has promised me. What God has for me is for me.

Some believe as Christians, we are to never get depressed. I beg to differ. We do but we must learn to not become bound by it and do our best to rebuke that spirit. For some, this may not be that easy. It may take a while and for others, it may require professional treatment. Nevertheless, please know it can happen to any given person on any given day. Do your best, with God’s help, to not get stuck when you find yourself feeling this way.  Just because we are Christians we are not exempt. In fact, in many cases because we are Christians we aren’t exempt. Just one more trick of the adversary to cause destruction unnecessarily. No weapon formed against us shall prosper.

Satan will try and rob us of our joy, peace, and assurance in God. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy. We can’t give in to him. We are God’s property. The attack of the enemy starts in the mind. The devil will try to convince us that we are useless, unworthy to be used by God. He will condemn us, reinforcing feelings of fear, depression, guilt, and shame. The Holy Spirit will deliver us from these things.

When you’re stagnated, feel stuck, like nothing’s happening or going right in your life. God’s calling your attention to something. Move towards the light. Be assured of this; the Holy Spirit does not convict us, the believer, of sins or a multitude of sins. It convicts us the believer of righteousness in Christ. Take joy in knowing this.

Job was a perfect example. He lost everything in the first of Satan’s tests; his possessions, his family, his wife, his children. He passed the tests. He reacted rightly towards God. He acknowledged God’s sovereign authority over everything God had given him. He may have grieved but he never lost his faith in Him. He loved God for who he is and not what he gives (Book of Job). We are to do the same, just as Job did.

When you face the greatest opposition, you’re close to victory. The enemy fights the hardest to keep God from opening that door. You’ve got the victory. It is said when you face the toughest battles, the greatest breakthrough is on the way. The devil may try to stop it. Believe. It’s settled. It’s on the way!

Me: Shouting glory!!

Be blessed! –JD

Job 5:17-27 “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.19 From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you.20 In famine he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword.21 You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes.22 You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the wild animals.23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.24 You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.25 You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth.26 You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season.27 “We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.”

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Yes, God Can Use You!

To lose your identity because of your past is to devalue your worth as a result of it. Take joy in knowing this. Your past does not define you. God defines you. God loves you. Know your worth. In God’s eyes you are worthy.

To be driven by what others think about you based on your past is to deny your belief in what God knows about you based on your future.  God knows the plans he has for your future. Don’t let the attitudes and opinions of others distract you from what God has already planned for your future.

For years I kept denying God’s plan for my life in my refusal to consistently follow him. I refused to follow his order. I was disobedient. I resisted every attempt I made when it came time to reading the Bible to understand, learn, and grow in knowledge of God even though I was raised in the church and knew who God was. I knew how much he loved me. I wasn’t sure what he desired of me. Yet I allowed the lack of love from others define me. I used a million reasons as excuses to why God could not use me.

I had many flaws. I used to think I was not of value to God. I didn’t think I had anything to offer Him. I had low self-esteem and I was resentful towards people who didn’t look like me but felt looked better than me. I went through life hating (yes hating) myself because I was too skinny and thought I was not beautiful enough. I was too short, thought I was worthless, and I would never be a model because I was not tall enough. I could sing but felt I would never become a gospel recording artist or entertainment singer because I did not meet society’s criteria. I allowed the world to define my character.

I made matters worse by allowing others to define my self-worth. I kept holding on to the opinions of others and past hurts. Letting people convince me I was not beautiful inside because of my ungodly ugliness on the outside. I allowed them to fabricate only to expose hidden blemishes because of my unsubtle ugliness. Then one day I stopped listening to their voices. I listened to that small whisper of God’s voice. He told me, “Do not be dismayed. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are unique. I created you the way you are on purpose. You will be used for my purpose. Man does not define you. I define you.”

Now I’m free. Free of the chains that bound me. I’m no longer bound by my past. Everything I do centers around my Father, whose love and favor towards me will outlast. All that the world may think matters to me. I matter to God. That’s all I need.

God does not look at outer appearances; he looks at your heart. No matter your past hurts or flaws, you can be used by God. Your past does not define you. Your past is only a reflection of the things you managed, with the help of God, to get through. It is a mirror image of your future. You are chosen by God. Regardless of what you may have done or who you are. Step out of your comfort zone. You can still be used by God.

People may never appreciate, value, or think good of you. Don’t let it deter you from believing what God knows is best for you. The plans of God are good and perfect. God does all things in decency and in order. His plan is perfect.

Yes, God can use you! Don’t let others define you. Your past will not stop God from using you. Let go of doubt, fear, and lack of faith. Make a declaration today.” I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. I am unique. I am God’s masterpiece. My past WILL NOT define me. God can use me!”

Be blessed! –JD

Ephesians 2:10 “God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.”

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Today marks the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Show your support in honor of those who lost their lives in the fight and are no longer with us. Honor those who survived in the fight for their lives that are living testimonies who have overcome and are still with us.

Support, embrace, and encourage warriors who have been diagnosed. They will need your love and support the most. Be there for them as they go through. Reassure them you’re in this together and together, you all will make it through.

Celebrate relatives and friends who have lost the fight as well as those who have survived. You are more than conquerors. You won. You are a breast cancer survivor.

Donate your time. Volunteer. Simply wear pink or a pink ribbon today and this month every day. Together we can make a difference in the lives of others today and every day.

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lives (National Cancer Institute ). Get tested early with mammogram screenings for early prevention. Regular checkups will aid in early prevention that can save a life.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is not the end. Have faith. Surround yourself with the support of family and friends. You’re not alone. You’ll make it through. God is watching over you. God loves you.

Be blessed! -JD

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