Blogs

The blogs are short articles, almost like a “sermonette” compared to a sermon. They are on a variety of topics, please enjoy.

Who is the greatest servant in your home?

If people who know you and your family very well were asked who the greatest servant was in your home, what do you think their answer would be? Or if they asked your children those questions, what would the children say? And why does this even matter? You’ll see that this matters a whole lot. What did Yeshua have to say about it? 

If you were to give an honest answer to that question about who serves and helps out most in your own family and household – what would your answer be? In old traditional families, daddy did the work outside and at the office and mom was expected to do the work (and serving) at home. I realize that has been changing with the under 65’s for the past few years, but my question still stands. 

I think many believers “serve” in many ways, especially outside the home. But the point of this blog today is – “OK, but what about at home?” And what about when no one’s around to see? Really this should apply everywhere anyway. Let’s see what Yeshua said. 

Luke 22:24-27 “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.' 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.” 

Please read and re-read those words of our Master and our Servant King several times. He is our Lord, our Master, our leader.  

In the world today, servants are seen as low down the echelon of power or greatness. We speak of “menial” jobs and low-class jobs in a demeaning way. So janitors, yard workers, garbage collectors, even waitresses and many more are looked down on. But think: if they all quit for a few days, we’d all sure know about it, wouldn’t we? 

And we aren’t thrilled when it seems a boss expects you or me to make the coffee – and then, horrors – clean up in the workplace dining area afterwards. 

Would Yeshua have felt demeaned to make coffee? I suggest he might have even offered to be the one to make coffee and clean up and I’ll prove it. First of all remember he said (Luke 22:27)—“…Yet I am among you as one who serves!” 

Click on Continue reading to wake us all up to become great in His eyes, by becoming ever greater in acts of service.

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Would you have prayed for Sodom?

Genesis 18

 

We all know what God says about sexual acts of any kind outside of male-female marriage. They’re all ungodly. That includes adultery between heterosexuals, bestiality, or sexual activity between same-sex partners, fornication – any sexual activity before marriage, and a host of other sexual sins. 

The marriage bed of a man and woman are undefiled before God (Hebrews 13:4) and HE will judge fornicators and adulterers.  He doesn’t need our help in “judging” sexual sinners. And I dare say that if we were all being 100% honest, an awful lot of us reading this would have to admit that at some point in our lives some of us have been fornicators and even adulterers in the past – and certainly so if you include the standards set by our King of what constitutes adultery.

So with that in mind, it’s amazing how many believing zealots go on a tirade against the sexual horrors we see going on today.  But again don’t forget – the adulterer is as sinful in God’s eyes as the other sexual sinners. 

In the light of all of this, here’s the question I have:  if you had lived in the time of Sodom and Gomorrah, and you learn that Almighty God is about to obliterate Sodom and four other cities nearby from the face of the earth for their many sins, would you have smiled and muttered “It’s about time!” – Or would you have fervently interceded for God to have mercy on them?  Be deeply honest to yourself about this.

Would you have ever prayed for Sodom? Do you know anyone who did pray for Sodom?

I think this could be a very timely topic in light of what’s happened in my adopted hometown of Orlando recently at the Pulse nightclub.

Click on “Continue reading” to ponder the possibility of interceding for Sodom – whether ancient Sodom or modern Sodom.  Why on earth would the people of God want to do that? Read on.  It might make you think.

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Does Yeshua, who is God, also HAVE a God?

This blog may surprise, maybe even dismay, some of you. For others, you’ve known this for years. But it’s a topic I’ve never heard preached in church services or on TV or on the radio. Maybe I’ve just missed them all. It’s this title – that though Yeshua (Jesus) is the Son of God, and therefore is God – scripture clearly also tells us that Yeshua HAS a God, like you and I have a God.

Have you thought of that a lot before? Nowhere in scripture are we told that the One we call “God the Father”, or “God Most High” – has a God. He is God. He is IT. Yeshua called his Father (and our Father) – “The only true God” (John 17:2-3), whatever you want to make of that. Maybe we’ll cover that another time.

But having said that, John 1:1-3 and many other verses clearly tell us that in the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God -- and was God. The Word became flesh (John 1:14). So we know the “Word” refers to Jesus Christ, or Yeshua (his Hebrew name). Yeshua, the King of Kings is also referred to as the Word of God in Revelation 19:13. As GOD in the flesh, He allowed people like the healed blind man of John 9 to worship him. Angels, shepherds and magi all worshiped him also, even as a baby or small child.

John 1:1-4

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”.
John 1:14

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

OK, are you with me so far? Yeshua (Jesus) is, was and always will be – God, as His father is God. In fact he sometimes said he and his father are one.

Nowhere are we told that God the Father – or God Most High – has a God. HE is it! There is no other. In praying to His heavenly Father, here’s something Yeshua said at Passover:

John 17:3

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”.

SO God the Father does not have any God. HE IS God.

But did you know Jesus has a God?

Click on “Continue reading” to see the clear verses that show Yeshua HAS a God!

Yeshua certainly acknowledges God the Father as HIS GOD, while He was a man of flesh here on the earth:

Mark 15:34

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

But what about after his resurrection? Would He still refer to God the Father as His God?

John 20:17

Jesus said to her (Mary Magdalene), "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'"

You see the doctrine that God the Father and Yeshua are co-equal parts of the godhead, is not borne out in scripture. Yeshua always taught that his Father was greater than he. (Clearly stated in John 14:28.)   He always referred to himself as the One whom the Father had sent, and he made it clear in numerous passages that the one being sent is not as great as the one sending!

So though Father and Son somehow make up ONE GOD, the Father is the greater of the two. Scripture says YHVH is ONE (Deut 6:4) – and the Hebrew word for “one” is “echad”. But that same word is used of Adam and Eve, or man/wife – who also become echad, one flesh, in their union (Genesis 2:24). So in the same way, God the Father and God the Son (Yeshua) can also be echad – one – ONE God. Let me know if you’d like me to expound on that later. Let’s stick to Yeshua having a God for now.

See John 10:28-29 – “Father is greater than all; My Father and I are one.”

Are you ready for more scriptures showing Yeshua has a God?

Ephesians 1:3

“Blessed be the GOD and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…”

Ephesians 1:17

“….that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him…”

Revelation 3:12 (Jesus speaking):

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”

Paul quotes Psalm 45 in Hebrews 1:8 to refer to Yeshua:

Psalms 45:6-7

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; (referring to Christ!)

A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;

Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You

With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

Interesting, isn’t it?

Are you ready for a few more? Some of you will probably wonder how you could have just read over these verses before without soaking in the richness of what’s included here: that Yeshua HAS a God. He’s not just God – but he HAS a God.

Romans 15:6

“…that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Corinthians 1:3

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…”

2 Corinthians 11:31

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.”

We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ – and I hope this blog has helped add another layer to the richness of knowing more and more about Yeshua, our Messiah, His majesty the Son of God.

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Persecution.

Are you ready for soon-coming real persecution? 

 

The righteous will suffer persecution. That was prophesied over and over.  Though we have a great Father, He does not spare all of us having to go through very rough times.

2 Timothy 3:12-13 promises that those who live godly IN Christ WILL suffer persecution – and it’s going to get worse and worse.  Christ said to rejoice when we’re persecuted for righteousness’ sake, placing us among those who were persecuted and martyred before us.  Paul said he went through much persecution – but in the end “the Lord delivered me”.  But even Paul ended up being beheaded.

A great start for a blog, eh?  Well, take heart.  This life is not what it’s all about.   Paul knew that.  He looked to the prize of the high calling he was offered.  And please remind ME of all of that when I am the one being persecuted.  But in the end, we win when our Leader Jesus Christ – Yeshua the Messiah – returns to take over control of the world. 

With recent events or terrorism in Paris, I thought this was appropriate to talk about. First let’s discuss it generally:  those who are not Muslim are going to be attacked over and over again – and those Muslims will in turn reap revenge strikes from the Western “Christian” world. So you and I are in the bigger target zone simply because we are not Muslim. God can deliver you from those attacks if you stay close to Him.  

But are you ready for more specific persecution that is already happening in Syria and Iraq and many other countries like Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, parts of Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa?

Here’s what I mean, but even here, it’s still aimed at the broader group of believers:

** We’re seeing our own countries setting up laws that require true believers in God’s word to do things against their beliefs – or suffer severe penalties including jail time.  Here are but a few of many examples:

--- Catholic groups are being forced to offer contraceptives against their beliefs

---College students are insisting on speech that only fits into the far left liberal framework.  Someone who speaks up FOR Israel is called anti-Palestinian and a bigot.  Jews and Christians are being spit on and mocked, or given bad grades by liberal professors.

---Already, the Bible is not allowed to be seen or shown in several college campuses.  Thanks to the Freedom from Religion Foundation.  This is also happening more and more in the various branches of our military.

---Bakers are being forced to bake cakes with wording on the frosting that goes against their beliefs.  If you speak your beliefs about one man/one woman marriage, you are accused of “hate speech” against the ever more vocal gay community.

Ironically, the far left can say and do what they please against conservative Christians – and get away with it. Somehow hateful speech against those who believe in the Bible is not “hate speech” -- but just saying you are for traditional marriage does get you labeled and marked as a hateful person!  Go figure!

At some point, every nation’s government will come under the coming world-ruling “Beast” system, spoken of by the books of Revelation and Daniel in particular.  The Bill of Rights of the United States’ constitution will be a thing of the past under the Beast system.  You will not be able to express your true beliefs without being severely persecuted, jailed, beheaded or killed.  That’s the word of scripture as I’ll quote shortly.  Everyone will be required to worship, to work, to speak in accordance to the wishes of the Beast system – or pay a severe penalty including death. That is coming.  The foundation of that system was laid down long ago and we’re seeing the “superstructure” of this system now rising. 

There’s a lot of discussion as to what the “Beast” is, what the “Mark of the Best” is, or what the number 666 means.  Whatever it is, someday it will be clear.  Some want to dogmatically preach their beliefs on these things – and that’s up to them.  We’ll have to see what it pans out to be.

But there is very clear warning to us from scripture: 

The whole world will accept that mark of the best and will worship the image of the Beast power of the end time…whatever all that means.  When it becomes clear, you and I cannot, must not, be part of that.  Those in the Creator’s Book of Life include those who will NOT take on the mark or worship the image of the Beast.  If, out of fear, you accept and surrender to the Beast system, you will incur the Creator’s wrath and not be in the book of Life. 

At baptism, you and I professed that we would carry our cross, follow our Savior, and drink of his cup – and whatever He has in store for us.  Some of you are putting too much stock and faith into a “place of safety”. I pray and hope there is such a place where we can be assured of divine protection.  But don’t forget, scripture is CLEAR that many believers are going to be beheaded and die in the coming martyrdom and persecution.  Christ warned not to seek to save our life as our first priority – or we would lose it (“He who seeks to save his life shall lose it…”  -- Luke 17:33)

If the very son of God was allowed such a painful death, if John the Baptist was beheaded, if James was killed with the sword, and Paul was beheaded, and many apostles were crucified or executed – what makes anyone think they won’t have to be tested as well?  I know, I know about the scriptures to the Philadelphians of Revelation 3, and being spared from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world.  What seems clear to me is that those who focus on establishing a strong, obedient and holy relationship with God have the better shot at being spared some or most of the coming trials.  But we must be willing to carry our cross and be crucified with Christ as well – and to be faithful to him to the very end.

NOW is the time to be affirming your faith in the living God. NOW is the time to be making your relationship with your Heavenly Father be ROCK solid. NOW is the time to be spending more time in fasting, prayer, seeking after Him than ever before. HE is not lost, that we must seek him – but WE have gone astray and must return to him and seek him.  Those who seek him diligently shall find him.  He is pleased when we diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6), 

For the promised scriptures about the coming persecution, the Beast system,  the coming martyrdom and what we must do, click on “Continue reading” to the right.

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Are you EXPERIENCING God?

Or are those days over?

We read over and over in the Bible – both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament – how men, women and even children experienced God.  By “experiencing God” I mean more than just praying to him or studying his word, though we can certainly experience Yahweh that way too. I mean we have those moments when we stand back and think – “WHAT in the world just happened?”  I’m talking about having visions and dreams, strong urges and thoughts, dramatic miracles and manifestations of the Almighty in various forms and means – to you, and to me.

We read of people even after Christ’s resurrection and ascension – still experiencing angels, directions from the Holy Spirit, having visions, seeing even Christ himself at times.  They could heal, could speak in tongues, raise the dead and have guidance on prophecies. 

I will give a sermon on this topic for this weekend and will give you all the scriptures and information in that sermon.  But I want you to start thinking about it now:  Are those days over?  Do you ever know that you know that you’ve just heard from God himself?  Do you ever get strong thoughts or messages that you know you didn’t originate?  Are you witnessing powerful instant healings from time to time?  Or are those days over? 

I contend those days are not over.  

There ARE people today who have met and talked to angels, sometimes without knowing that “person” was an angel.  There are people who have had visions – but are reluctant to ever say anything because they will be considered a bit odd probably. 

We know a lady who told us years ago that she was home alone with her daughter when a man came into the house, obviously intent on mischief.  I believe she said he had a big knife and ordered her to the bedroom.  Of course she was praying fervently.  Soon after stepping into the bedroom, the man looked above and behind her and started shouting “OK, OK, I’m leaving. Don't hurt me…” – and ran out the door.  The lady looked behind her and saw nothing, saw no one.  I believe the bad man was shown a big brawny strong angel standing behind the lady. 

I’ve had my own experiences.  I’d love to hear yours. 

For more, click on “Continue reading”.

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END-TIME events are heating up

Don’t be the frog in the heating pot of water

Wow, what can I say?  I just hope everyone who believes in our Messiah coming soon and looks for that day – can look past the horrible news of the last few days and months and look to our Redemption appearing in the clouds above us.

You all know the story of the frog in the pot of water that is gradually heating up.  Because the water doesn’t immediately start boiling, the frog gets used to the ever warmer water – until it finally is boiled alive. Sometimes I feel too many Christians are like that frog.  Prophetic world events are clearly heating up but I don’t see/hear many believers talking about it much. A few minutes on their Facebook pages show they’re much more interested in a thousand other things rather than on the return of the King of kings. 

Look at some of what’s been happening:

  • Our president refuses to follow strategies that would protect the nation. Instead he and his surrogates decide to empower ancient Persia with 100 billion dollars and an open path to their own nuclear bomb, plus the ballistic missile means to deliver them.  So much for supporting our real ally Israel – and for that matter, the Arab states who also oppose the agreement we made with Iran.  Remember, Iran is not Arab, though they are Shia Muslim.  There will be a race for more Mid-East states to own their own Bomb as well. Our President has just put the world into a much more dangerous situation.

  • Five black-robed lawyers decide that marriage can include same-sex couples, when the Almighty made them male and female in the beginning and very clearly disapproves of what we see going on today.  Yeshua told us that the last days would be as the days of Lot and Noah.
     
  • The descendants of Edom and Ishmael – traditional enemies of their relative Israel – continue to cause and spread unprecedented terror and horror throughout the Middle East.  We will see more and more of that same kind of terrorism right here in our country in the coming months and years.  
     
  • Anyone professing belief in Yeshua (Jesus) in the Muslim middle-east stands a high risk of being imprisoned (and abandoned by our President), beheaded, crucified, burned, tortured, sold into slavery, raped and killed.  Many continue to profess their belief in Yeshua - anyway.  Even if they believe differently than I do doctrinally, I salute them and pray for their strength and courage. Would you and I profess Him on pain of our own death?  

  • We’re seeing God, the Bible and the 10 commandments being kicked out of the public eye, out of the government, out of the schools and out of the military – while we give Korans and prayer mats to Muslims in our jails. We are no longer “one nation under God”.  Surely Yahweh will not continue to bless a nation that insults Him, his Word, and his law. 

  • We’ve lost the “pride of your power” as we try to “lead from the rear”.  Whaaat?  Nations are no longer afraid to thumb their noses at us. The world has become much more dangerous under our present leadership.

Click at the bottom right -- “Continue reading” – to learn a few more of the things we see happening as we come to end time leading to Christ’s return. How close are we? What should we be doing? 

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Where was the Messiah actually born?

How wonderful, though we know Christ was not born Dec 25th, how wonderful it is that he was born as our Savior.  We believe all the evidence points to a birth in the fall, probably either on the Feast of Trumpets or possibly even the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, since John 1 says he came to “tabernacle” with mankind.

But this blog is about WHERE exactly he was born. Could the exact spot in Bethlehem have been foretold 700 years earlier?   I’m not the first to write about this.  But most people seem to think he was born in a barn or stall, and might miss a more interesting explanation.  There are also those who believe he was born in a sukkah – a booth – since they believe this was during the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles.  Of course others believe he was born in a deep cave, the site of the present Church of the Nativity - - a site chosen by Emperor Constantine’s mother Helen, centuries after the birth of Christ.  I’ve seen that spot within the church and don’t believe he was born on that spot at all! 

There might be something more to the point. There might be a scripture in Micah that actually tells us where he would be found.  And remember, everything I write here is geared to a FALL-TIME birth, not December 25th.  So though we do not keep Christmas, we are delighted that God did send his Son to be our savior.  Now, where was he born? 

Everyone knows he was born in Bethlehem “in a manger” – which refers to a food crib for animals.  According to Luke 2, Caesar had ordered people to go to their home town to register (the KJV “tax” is more correctly referring to a registration, as most other translations have it, and as the Greek word more strongly implies).  Usually just the males would have had to go, but since Mary was also a royal descendant of the house of David in her own right, she would have had to register as well.

Luke 2:1-7

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Now compare this to a prophecy in Micah 4:8, written 700 years before the birth of our Savior.  It’s time to read about the Tower of the Flock, the Migdal Eder.  You’ll find this very fascinating! 

Click on “Continue reading” to find out the most likely spot where Yeshua (Jesus) was actually born! 

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I am “N”. Are you?

Just a quick thought for you to ponder, but a very important one.

If you’ve watched the news at all, you’ve heard some of the atrocities going on when ISIL Islamic terrorist butchers take over cities in Iraq and Syria.  I get daily reports of men and children being tortured and killed, beheaded, crucified and everything else imaginable. Teenage girls and young women are sold into slavery – yes, in 2014, human slavery is going on. And there are people buying girls for sex slaves.

In the recent past, residents of Mosul in Iraq,who were Christians, were given 4 choices: convert to their version of Islam, leave and forfeit everything they owned, or pay a huge tax – or be killed. Just so everyone knows which homes are housing Christians, an Arabic letter “N” (or the Arabic equivalent) is spray-painted on their house walls. The Arabic “N” looks like a 2/3 finished circle with a little dot at the top.  Sometimes they spray paint a complete circle around that – making it strangely look like a smiley face.  You may find it interesting to note that Mosul is the modern city where ancient Nineveh once stood.

Why “N”? 

n

 

Click on “Continue reading” to learn all about this and how it applies so profoundly to you.

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BE TRANSFORMED. In a moment – or over a lifetime?

The Scriptures tell us we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Romans 12:1-2

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Are we being transformed?  Are you partially transformed or totally new? 

You’ve no doubt heard stories of people who, upon coming to accept Christ as their Savior, were immediately transformed.  The acidic … became a genuinely gentle soul, a gracious speaker – instantly. Yes, I believe that can happen, like instant total healings do happen. You may even actually know people yourself who have experienced this instant transformation. 

Isaiah seems to have been such a person. He says he was a man with a dirty mouth (unclean lips) and yet in his one-on-one meeting with God, an angel touched his lips and he was cleansed (Isaiah 6:1-9). Isaiah ended up writing one of the most beautiful books in the Hebrew scriptures.

Some people, upon receiving the Holy Spirit, change dramatically – almost instantly. Peter, who had denied His Messiah three times just weeks earlier, upon receiving the Holy Spirit, preaches a most inspired testimony to His Messiah in Acts 2. He accepted beatings and threats and came close to being beheaded – but was so at peace that he was actually asleep when the saving angel appeared to deliver him (see Acts 12).

Frankly, many of us when seeing or hearing of these quick transformations – and then looking at ourselves – can get discouraged. We know certain sins, habits and ways we had in the past are now gone – but there’s still a lot left of our old nature we don’t want any longer.  We’ve overcome some things, but not everything - - yet. And when we see the old nature rising up in us, we can get very discouraged indeed. 

Or is that just me?

For most of us, transformation is not something that happens all at once, in an instant.

I have a little partially completed tiny statue on my desk that I look at once in a while. The inscription says, “Please be patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.”  And that’s the point of this blog: Yes, we are being transformed over time – “until Christ is formed” in us (Galatians 4:19). Paul seems to be making it clear that we should expect this transformation of what we are, to take some time, at least for most of us. Maybe it’s a little bit like a caterpillar being transformed, over time, into a butterfly.  It doesn’t happen in an instant.

Be sure to click on “Continue reading” to the bottom right here to read the rest of the encouragement from scripture that Yeshua takes his job of preparing the Bride very seriously. 

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