Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy New Year!

Philippians 3New Years is hours away for some and has already begun in other parts of the world for others. Many of us made it, and for some the day didn’t come. Be thankful God kept you when the new year comes. Let the new year be a time where you reflect on not what you may not have or didn’t get throughout the year but let it be a time where you thank God for blessing you to see another new year.

Many of you will make New Year’s resolutions that in most cases may fail. God’s resolve are many that began with Christ Jesus and does not fail. God’s resolve is good and is everlasting. The gift he has given you in Christ Jesus. Christ is everlasting.

God resolves to never leave you alone, to meet every need, clothes on your back, and shoes on your feet. He will supply a roof over your head, food to eat, a place to lay your head to sleep. If God be for you, who can be against you? Thank you Jesus! God’s resolve will always be with you.

We all have gone through something. And many of us have survived. It’s not because of us but because of God’s grace we were undeserving of. The storms of life can flow like a river and may cause you to drown in fear or sorrow. God will calm the raging sea and see you through the storm with hope for tomorrow. Whatever you may have gone through, it did not destroy you. God has a plan. It’s designed for your good. God sent it to develop you. There may have been insurmountable trials, coupled with disappointments, illnesses, and setbacks. But your still standing tells you God is not through with you yet.

Many of you may become comfortable with where you are now. And at some point you will become satisfied. God will take you from a place of complacency just as you are and will transform you into the person he wants you to be. It will be between you and Him, not you and me. And when he does, you can’t take everyone with you where God is taking you. Some people cannot travel along on the journey with you. You’ll meet new people along the way. It’s all part of God’s plan to fulfill his purpose. He will have his say. When God moves you, don’t bring old habits from the past into the place God takes you from. Move on with new things leaving old things behind where God moves you from.

Start the New Year right. Resolve to honor and glorify God. Commit. Let past failures motivate you. Pray for wisdom. Rely on God’s strength. Make a decision to let go of the things that hinder you from moving forward and walk in your destiny. Be the best you can be.

Don’t let a day go by that you forget to pray consistently for others. Pray for me too. “As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you” 1 (Samuel 12:23). We are not promised today or tomorrow. Live each day as if is your last. And remember, only what you do for Christ will last.

Happy New Year! From my family to yours, have a safe, wonderful, and blessed New Year!

Be blessed! -JD

Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)


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My 2014 Declaration

My 2014 DeclarationI’ve decided to bring in the New Year by releasing some things that hinder my progress and my ability to be the best I can be. Whatever relationships I find no longer contribute to my well-being or my growth will be considered null and void unless something changes that would cause me to respond positively, as I desire to do with all things. I will not have any regrets and will release any and all baggage when I reach the baggage claim department, and only pull off the rack pieces of luggage that will contribute to my future success in a positive manner. I will not take any prisoners nor will I be a prisoner to my past or the past of anyone else that chooses to remain bound and does not wish to grow. Any Negativity, Naysayers, Debby-Downers, and all negative energy will be left at the door of your hallway where the door never closes. #2014

Be blessed! –JD

Ephesians 4:22-24 “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (ESV)

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Dear NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo, Can There Be Such a Thing as NaNoWriDisMo and NaBloPoDisMo?

Dear NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo,I just learned from a BlogHer email that NaBloPoMo begins January 1, 2014 and the race is on for numerous people to participate in the upcoming NaBloPoMo event.

I thought, how fitting the timing since I was in the process of blogging about a small change I would like to see with NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo for those disabled but would like to be a part of this glorious event in the near future. As well as those who may have some difficulty participating given the requirements and writing challenges.

I am a person who has a compassion for all no matter what one suffers with. Granted it was not until after I became diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome after suffering with hand and elbow conditions, Fibromyalgia, and other conditions that I developed a greater compassion for those in pain and those who have become disabled as a result of their diagnosis. I empathize with ones who are limited in their capacity to function as they were accustomed to and know what it is like to face challenges or obstacles when desiring to be a part of the norm.

When I first began my blog, I didn’t realize the amount of time, effort, physical strength, and writing that would be required to maintain the blog. While I welcomed comments, sometimes it would take days, weeks, or longer periods for my response because of limitations with my hands but I no doubt would respond as time permitted. My writing also averaged minimally compared to other bloggers because of days that prevented me from posting due to excessively flared symptoms that kept me bed-ridden. But all I knew when my children introduced me to blogging and agreed to help me to encourage me and take me out of my comfort zone, I wanted nothing more than to connect with others and do something different even though my body was saying no.

As such, when I first heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I did not have any idea what was the world of NaNoWriting. As November approached, mid-way through my joining social media over a year ago, a friend of mine named Sezoni Whitfield, whom I met on social media who support writers in their projects and conduct writer interviews via WritersKaboodle on Twitter introduced me to the idea and asked if I were interested in participating.

I told her I had never heard of it, and given my limitations with my hands and elbows along with the pain and challenges I faced daily with what I considered severe symptoms of Fibromyalgia coupled with chronic pain, there was no way on earth I could ever begin to write every day to complete 50,000 words in one month. Even though I have managed to write a memoir that took me years to compile and is in its final stage awaiting final editing review, it in no way can compare to having to post every day and meet the 50,000 word challenge.

But then I had an afterthought and in response to that challenge, I decided to take a look at my blog posts and do a word count from November last month as well as posts from November 2012 and this is what my family and I came up with. In 11/2013 approximately 29,150 words were written and in 11/2012 approximately 38,843 words were written not towards a novel but just my thoughts on my blog.

Now, if I were to go and count I’m sure the words I wrote in my memoir would exceed 50,000 yet it was not done in a month as would be required if I chose to participate with NaNoWriMo in November. Therefore, prompting my idea for change.

I joined BlogHer a short time later in November and saw National Blog Posting Month (NaBlogPoMo). I decided to further research and after gaining insight I had a strong desire to participate but knew I couldn’t meet the challenge. A year went by with not much changing with my physical limitations but I was still interested in the possibility of participating. It was not until last month when I received an email from BlogHer noting the end of NaBloPoMo that again I wished I could have been a part of it. Sadly I couldn’t because the challenge was too great.

So I started thinking, what if NaNo (Writing Month) was to include a writing challenge in November for people with disabilities and gave them similar requirements that included 30 days with a lower word count of approximately 39,000 – 40,000 words. With the hope of writing something that doesn’t necessarily need to be a novel but can be smaller like an inspirational journal for publishing (NaNoWriMo). Additionally, the same requirement would apply for NaBlo (Posting Month) with the exception of creating inspirational blog posts for thirty days instead of writings towards a novel. And each entity called it National Novel Writing Disability Month (NaNoWriDisMo) or National Blog Post Disability Month (NaBloPoDisMo).

Granted, I know there will be a lot of variables to consider when making such a change and given the fact some people do not wish to be placed in a certain category, for me I feel those with disabilities would welcome the idea who face challenges but desire to be included. And it possibly may motivate and inspire them to meet the challenge along with others who participate in this worldwide event.

I am not one to view things in a light that would place labels on others nor do I wish it to be viewed this way but my hope is for others to see it as inclusiveness that would give equal accessibility to those we don’t know who may feel inadequate or incapable of participating and choose not to because of a disability, but desire to do so. I believe it would be exhilarating, freeing, empowering, and amazing!

Whew….now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I feel better. And remember, these are just my thoughts. Thanks for listening. Be blessed! -JD


NaNoWriDisMo and
NaBloPoDisMo member

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From My Family to Yours, Merry Christmas!

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:21-23

wpid-textgram_1387379412.pngToday is Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Christ, and I can’t help but sit here and reflect on the significance of its true meaning as I get goose bumps and marvel in the fact of how thankful and grateful I am to God that He sent His One and Only begotten Son as a gift to us who died on the cross that we may have everlasting life.

Christmas is not about whether or not we get presents but the privilege of Jesus’ presence in our lives. Therefore be thankful not for what you didn’t get but for what you have; the gift of Jesus Christ. To God be the glory! Lord we are grateful. Hallelujah!

As you celebrate this holiday, not just today but every day, give glory, honor, and praise to God and always remember the true reason for the season is Jesus.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Be blessed! -JD

Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NIV)

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Will You Let A Thorn In Your Flesh Stop You?

2 Corinthians 12

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, 8 it tells us Paul had a thorn in his flesh but there is no specific answer to its source. There were several speculations surrounding the issue of uncertainty as to what was the thorn. The assumption was it could have been an illness such as malaria or epilepsy or a disease of the eyes (Gal 4:13-15). Some assumed it may have had to do with a spiritual, emotional affliction or problem. Whatever the case may be, the assumption is there was a debilitating condition that rendered Paul, at times, flawed in his weakness.

It was a chronic, debilitating problem that at times, got in the way of Paul being able to do his work. It was a hindrance to his ministry. Yet he sought God for healing. He prayed three times to God to remove it. God refused. Still Paul trusted God even though his problem had not been removed. God did not remove his physical affliction. Instead God healed Paul’s spiritual condition.

From what I learned in my Bible reading, Paul never received physical healing like he asked. But in the midst of his suffering what he did get from God was something far greater than that. He received “grace, a stronger character, humility, and an ability to empathize with others” (2 Co 12:7, 8). Even though the thorn seemed difficult for him, he continued in his ministry to reach others with the gospel. Paul didn’t let a thorn stop him. It benefited others around him. Others were able to see God at work. In his infirmities, Paul continued his work.

Paul was not prideful. He may have been weak physically, but he was able to build his character and rely on God’s strength. How awesome was it that God could take a person who couldn’t find physical healing and suffered in weakness and use him for his glory through his strength. Who could ask for much more than that? What a blessing!

Paul’s experience was a chronic problem from an unknown source that could have been emotional, physical, or spiritual. What if this was to happen to you? What if you were in Paul’s predicament? What if you couldn’t see your way through the pain or trouble, would a thorn in your flesh be difficult? How would you be deal with it? What if you suffered from a number of limitations or physical illnesses? Yet still desired to do the work of the Lord? And be a witness to the world in showing them through you, the power of Almighty God. Would you do the work you’re called to do? Or would you let a thorn in your flesh stop you?

For me, as a person who suffer from chronic pain, I find that a thorn in the flesh speaks emotionally, physically, and spiritually to my pain. Out of problems I encounter, not spiritually, but based on my physical and emotional suffering. At times I find it bothersome and troubling. Wishing somehow, like Paul that it be removed. Regardless, I still manage to give God glory no matter what I go through. I am called to do the work of the Lord. I will gladly serve God.

Healing may not come in the form we wish. Yet we must learn how to glorify God in spite of it. In our afflictions we must never fail to thank God even when there are times we may feel the same way as Paul. Especially when faced with problems that leave us confused, riddled with pain, or a lack of strength to go on. At that time, admit to God your weaknesses. It will affirm God’s strength even if he doesn’t heal your physical ailment. It will deepen your relationship with Him. You will develop character too. Paul was living proof.

Recognize through your limitations God can use you. Pray, believe, and trust God when you’re going through. Rely on God’s power for effectiveness and not on your own. Turn to God and seek help that you may be effective to do God’s work assured you are not alone. Remember Paul. Use his example for assurance. He showed us that holy living and courageous faith do not ensure instant physical healing. But what was most important is he received spiritual healing. It may not be physically. God will heal you spiritually.

Trouble, hardships, trials, and tribulations should never drive you away from God. Your spiritual condition is far more important than your physical condition to God. Just as God was able to demonstrate his power in Paul, he can do the same for you. Don’t quit. Even in your affliction, you can minister to others and comfort those who may suffer just as God comforts you.

What would you do, if A THORN IN YOUR FLESH was as difficult as Paul’s? Will a thorn in your flesh stop you from doing the work of the Lord? I’ve learned, “Nothing must separate you from God’s love. No matter what your thorn in the flesh may be, believe and trust God. For His power is made perfect in weakness. Trust in God. His grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:8).”

Be blessed! -JD

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest in me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”


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You Were Setup. You Came Back. This One’s for You!

wpid-textgram_1387342570.png“A setback is a setup for your comeback.”

Sit back. Watch the look on faces of those who tried to set you up when they see that you’ve come back!

And say to yourself, “God did that!”

Be blessed! -JD

Proverbs 24:16 “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” (NIV)

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God is preparing you for better. Be thankful. Your latter will be greater.

God is Perfecting YouThe remainder of the year is going by quickly and in less than two weeks before its end, some wonder what the New Year will usher in. Many of us don’t know what or where we’re headed in life while others may have taken many different directions trying to figure out this thing called life.

I began to reflect on my life and how this year has been a long journey filled with heartbreak, pain, disappointments, and tears yet I couldn’t help but rejoice in the things I’ve managed to learn about myself during particular seasons in my life. I may have met with hard times, challenges, and strife, but I am grateful for each experience as it dramatically changed my life.

A long time ago, 11 years to be exact, I created personalized multicultural heritage designs and started a book  that remained hidden in files I put aside because of challenges I faced. Things changed, of which I had no control. It was as though I lost all control. I felt why bother. I didn’t have the financial resources to back up my plan nor did I have the mental or physical capacity to delve into the project to complete it. So I left it.

I became ill around that time and lost significant use of my hands without experiencing difficulty, pain, burning, numbness, and just downright discomfort. For years it rendered me hopeless. Every day I found myself in tears. Every entire being of my body burned and hurt for months, days, years. I became frustrated with my life and kept asking God, “now what?’ I was impatient and wanted everything to work as fast as it could so I could live a life I had become accustomed to.

But you see God had other plans. His plan was not my plan. He took me from a place where I thought I had everything to a place where I lost everything. I didn’t have much money, no job, and a meager income to support myself. I lost hope in myself.

I was mad and took my frustration out on God and said to him, “Okay God, what you expect me to do with this? I don’t have a life. I don’t have a car, a job, and I lost my house. All I have are the clothes on my back. And now I have to start all over again. How am I supposed to get those things back?” I thought, “Why is this happening to me?”

For years, I kept looking for answers to questions I knew He had already given me. But I kept missing it. I didn’t want to face it. I was a very independent person and with the changes I encountered I had to learn to depend on others. Feeling sorry for myself as I cried out, “poor me” because of my suffering. I hated the life I was living. There was nothing I liked about this new life I had been given. But there was something God needed me see in it; a lesson I had to learn from it.

Over a year ago, I started recording my thoughts and under the advice of my children who created an account for me on social media that grew into a few, I began to post things I would learn about God and wanted the world to know too. Although my situation and circumstances had not changed as I’d hoped, I noticed things around me began to change. That began with me. There was hope.

As I would speak about God, I started looking at life differently. I began to learn lessons from Bible readings and Bible teachings. My walk and my relationship deepened with God undeniably. I thought as I laughed to myself, “This is the very thing I kept running from for years because I thought I’d lose myself. So…this is what I’ve been missing?” Thank God I am no longer running from my assignment and my calling. What a blessing!

At times, I may have had no money or only two nickels to rub together but I was content because God was preparing me for better. He said, “Dear child, I know your future. I have plans for you. Plans to prosper and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).

I’ve had writers block for months because of severe headaches but have been recording my thoughts. As God allows me, I meet each challenge with a new attitude. That’s a good start. 🙂 God is paving the way. No matter what my situation may look like, I look forward to each day.

A few months ago God began opening doors for me. I can now see clearly. I have a new release on life. God changed not my situation but changed me in it. I’ve learned to have patience, am compassionate about others, and no longer easily lose my temper. I rely on God and God only for provision. Even when things don’t turn out as I expect. I may not have much but as long as I got King Jesus, that’s enough!

My future success in things I hope for look promising since beginning this journey. God is making ways out of no ways for me to complete the journey.  I’m just waiting on instructions from Him to move forward. While waiting, I thank God and am grateful for every experience.

I’ve learned, sometimes when life happens and we don’t understand why, its God saying to us “not yet.” “It will come in my time.” There are things he must perfect in us, so that we are prepared when he elevates us. Whatever you may be going through, don’t give up.

Just as God is preparing me, He is preparing you too. He’s perfecting the gifts in you. And in his timing, he will elevate you. In your struggles, God is preparing you for better. Be thankful for every experience. Your latter will be greater.

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (NKJV)


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“But You Don’t Look Sick”

wpid-textgram_1386924105.pngWhen you’re hurting on the inside but dressed nicely and look good on the outside. “But you don’t look sick.” What people don’t know, on the outside looks can be deceiving.

They don’t need to know you’re sick. Keep your head up. Smile. Dress well. All that matters; God is a healer. He knows you’re sick.

“But you don’t look sick.”

Be blessed! -JD


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Simple Words of Wisdom

After suffering a significant number of headaches in addition to acute flare ups of Fibromyalgia symptoms the past few weeks, today is the first day in a long time I’ve managed to collect my thoughts with a few random sayings and feel well enough to transfer a few words of wisdom from my head to the place you are now reading in order to create a post. Each saying is not in any particular order and came off the top of my head. Thought I’d share before I lay down my head. Enjoy!

wpid-textgram_1386018284.pngNew you. New attitude. Make it that when people see you they’re confused. Throw them off when you react differently; they will see the new you and no longer see the “old me.”

Stop relying on people to embrace or validate you. They may say or do things to hurt you. You’re beautiful in God’s eyes. His word is truth. Love those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Be good to those who despise you. For those who don’t like you say, “God bless you.” No matter how people may treat you, God will take care of you. They’re not in control of your destiny. With God on your side, you win.

As seasons change, is the same reason God allows seasons to change. God uses circumstances to speak to you. The devil is a liar! God got you! Lot’s wife looked back when told not to and turned to a pillar of salt. Don’t look back on the past only to kill your future. Press forward.

Be careful who you surround yourself with. The devil comes in sheep’s clothing. Everybody that’s praying with you ain’t praying for you. Satan will find his way into any situation to gain victory. You don’t have to wait until the battle is over to shout. With God fighting your battles, you’ve got the victory!

Simple words of wisdom…

Be blessed! –JD

Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (NIV)

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The Art of Patience | Post-Graduation

When I first read this post from my phone two weeks ago, I held on to it to read and re-read along with the fact my headaches were so bad that I could not think or find strength to put my thoughts together, deciding at that moment a desire to reblog it to share with others because it touched me so deeply.
Many of the words and thoughts shared by Lady Journal met me at my core simply because I find my situation similar to many of the things she touch on as well as find myself in this season of trying to understand “patience.” Thank you so much Lady Journal for a well-written, beautiful post.
I couldn’t help but share this. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
This is my first time reblogging someone else’s post so please bear with me if it doesn’t appear correctly. Let’s hope it does. Blessings! -Joaynn

Samantha Cabrera

Dear Post-Graduates,

I understand very well that it takes time to find yourself steady after graduation; meaning, you have a job (with benefits), you have a steady income and you know pretty much where you’re headed. For many graduates, they already have this–maybe even a happy marriage with little ones. For me, it’s a lot different. Oh, and I’m in college debt (as I’m sure majority of graduates still are). The one that’s considered “good debt”.


I don’t have a steady career right now. I’m a freelancer and an artist, but God knows how much I’ve been praying for a wonderful job that I can do well, especially to start paying off all of this college debt. But He also knows I dream of pursuing my M.A. in English or Creative Writing. So, there’s to more dream debt. And, He knows that I’m not even close to marriage or…

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The Past, Present, and Future is not a Mystery

wpid-textgram_1386277478.pngThe past and present is a perception of your future reality. It’s not a mystery.

The past is a reflection of what once was. The present is the reality of what is. The future is what God promised will be. Life everlasting.

2 Peter 3:11-13 “Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.” (MSG)

Be blessed. -JD

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Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela (Madiba)

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, it goes to his heart.”   – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013

Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013 (Photo credit: Debris2008)

Yesterday my heart was heavy. Yet I rejoice. The world has lost a great and honorable man. Heaven is rejoicing.

An angel has gone on to rest. God has sent home one of our best.

Mr. Mandela  was a man of dignity and integrity. He fought for social change, justice and equality with grace and humility. He sacrificed his life for the lives of others. His legacy will live on forever.

He was a man who was dedicated to the struggle of  the people of South Africa. He was a beacon of hope for mankind. He will always be remembered.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mr. Mandela, the country, and the people of South Africa.

Rest in peace Nelson Mandela. #Madiba #NelsonMandela

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” -Nelson Mandela

(Excerpt: Final words from four-and-one-half-hour long speech at Rivonia Trial April 20, 1964: )

Be blessed! -JD

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12/04/2013 · 3:21 am

Take Refuge in God


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12/01/2013 · 6:22 pm