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Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

Who’s Your Best Friend?


At a memorial service last weekend,
175 friends and family gathered
From all over the USA to honor
My friend, Phyllis Wasick.

Phyllis died over two years ago
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Folks couldn’t celebrate her long life (88)
At that time; travel & gatherings shut down.

So now, as travel and gatherings resume,
We were able to gather together
To praise and celebrate our “Best Friend.”
I say that collectively intentionally!

Here is Phyllis with her daughter, Lisa
This was about a year before Phyllis
Went to be with her other best friends
Who had gone on to eternity before her.

At the memorial celebration of life
A few of her best friends were asked to speak.
It was not a “open mike” – that would have been crazy!
Everyone would have wanted to talk!

When asked, “Who was Phyllis’ best friend – really?”
The answer was, “The one she was with!!”
She made each one of us feel special.
She made each of us feel important.

She lived a life of love and inclusiveness.
She was a true friend to all and a servant, too.
She worked at the Food Bank, the church,
The library, and was a treasured Book Club member.

At the service, her great grandchildren
Gathered up front, led by one of her grandsons,
And they sang, “You are my Sunshine!”
Yes – the world was brighter with Phyllis in it!

So, who is YOUR best friend?
How would folks answer that about you?
Do you make each person you are with
Feel special, appreciated, and important?

It is a wonderful quality to posses.
I used to tell Phyllis, “I want to be you
When I grow up!” I am still growing –
And improving – with the memory of

Phyllis Wasick tucked deep in my heart!
Who inspires you to be everyone’s
Best Friend? It certainly was a lesson
Jesus taught every day of His ministry!

Click on that link to hear a piano rendition
of that song with the lyrics for you…
Sing along!!

Psalm 133:1

“1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

A friend encourages unity and interdependence. No divisiveness lives in a true friend.
Jesus was a friend to all ages!

A best friend cares about you
A best friend is a good listener
A best friend is someone you can confide in
A best friend knows how to keep sharing confidential
A best friend is supportive and trustworthy
A best friend loves you just the way you are
A best friend keeps in touch

Be a best friend to whoever you are with!
Maybe I can emulate my friend Phyllis-
With the help of God’s grace living in my heart
And the Holy Spirit within to guide me.

You can, too!

Jesus is my best friend!
And He helps me be more like Him every day…
Phyllis does, too!

Thanks for visiting my blog today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Wear Red!


Today was a day
we were encouraged
to wear red.

My cast insures
that I’ll wear red
whether I want to or not!

Hello from Bob & me

Tomorrow the pins
will come out
and the cast
comes off!

Then my prayer
is that the swelling
decreases & flexibility
begins to return.

That will be
a time to celebrate.
Don’t you agree?
Wheeee!

Oh, but why
“Wear Red”
You ask?
It’s Pentacost!

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

Tongues of fire
Descended on the folks
Gathered at the Temple

The tongues of fire
Were the Holy Spirit
Entering the Disciples

Here’s how the story goes:

At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed His disciples to go out into the world to minister and heal the sick on their own. Fifty days after Jesus’ death, the Holy Spirit (with tongues of fire) descended onto the disciples, allowing them to speak in tongues. All the people from all parts of the world who were gathered there were able to hear the Word in their own language as the apostles (filled with the Holy Spirit) spoke to them. Some explanations say that it was the “Pentecostal experience” that allowed the apostles direct communication with God. The PBS News Hour explanation of Pentecost says, “That signaled a major shift in the religious landscape and laid the foundation for what would become Christianity.”

Pentecost shares roots with the Jewish holiday, Shavu’ot. Since that holiday’s liturgical color is red, to symbolize the apostles “tongues of fire” and also the blood of martyrs, sometimes Christians will dress in red or decorate churches with red. Many churches hold baptisms and confirmations on that day, as well. (Our church was decorated in red and we held a fellowship hour after church celebrating the graduation of three of our young people from elementary to high school – and from high school to college.)

Many artists have tried to depict what
that day of Pentecost
must have been like
for the people there.

This is one of my favorites:

Here is another favorite…
It shows the people from various cultures,
each of whom speak a different language,
receiving the Holy Spirit.
God’s sign of UNITY
through and within
our diversity.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful
if we all could have a “Pentecostal experience”
where we understand every language
as if it were spoken in our own tongue?
No more language barriers?

How are you celebrating Pentecost today?
Are you wearing red?
Let’s all celebrate
UNITY
through and within
our diversity.

LOVE is why Jesus came!
Pentecost is a day
to celebrate His continued presence
through the Holy Spirit
sent to live in each of us!!

God bless you.
See you later…
After the pins come out!

Love,
JanBeek

Red-Yellow-Black-White


Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Jesus came to earth to show us how to live.
He gave His life – what more must He give
To teach us the lesson He came here to teach?
Just love one another! Live that lesson and preach!

Preach to the world the need for compassion.
Preach respect, integrity… Make them current fashion.
Don’t let fear and ignorance take the reigns
And infect our society and poison our brains.

White Replacement Theory? What a bunch of bunk!
Don’t let such absurdity enter you. It’s just junk!
God created each of us with blessed diversity.
He created us equally. Believe that with certainty!

Those who fear other skin or folks from outside the USA
Are showing us their ignorance by what they do and say.
They don’t understand the message God sent to earth
When He brought to this world His Son to give us second birth.

They don’t accept the well-known fact of Oneness,
The same blood, same love, same spirit of “Done-ness.”
We are were “done” by the Potter’s wheel and skill.
We all were created by our God, our Savior’s Will.

No color is more beautiful; No skin is a favored one.
No cuisine is more tasty. God differently flavored some.
So wrap your mind around the true acts of love…
Love others unconditionally – Give all hate a shove!

My heart goes out to the families and friends of the 10 who were senselessly murdered by a sick, crazed, fearful 18-year-old in NY this week. Additionally, worshipers were shot down in church two days ago… and the list goes on. It makes my stomach churn. It makes my head hurt. It puzzles my mind. I just don’t begin to understand. I want to help. I need to do my part.

So, with my left hand in a cast and my little finger throbbing, I hunt and peck with my right hand. I send my love out into the world – and I beg my readers to do what you can, too. Try to drown out hate with loud acts of love. Try to squelch fear with gigantic messages of compassion and understanding. Try to stamp out ignorance with numerous exchanges of God’s messages in His Word and through His Son. Do something. Do what you can.

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com


Dear Heavenly Father,
help us to set aside
fear,
hatred,
ignorance,
and
divisiveness,
and start
as a nation
and as a world
to
just love one another…
Amen

Hugs,
JanBeek

Bee Comforted


Just as the bees in a hive look out for one another, our WordPress community reaches out and cares for one another. Thank you all for your words of support and comfort during this time of pain and loss. Your words are sweet as honey!

Your comforting words remind me of this scripture:

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Not only did I present my request to God, but I told you, my friends, about our troubles: my fall and subsequent dislocated & broken finger, and our granddaughter’s miscarriage. From the goodness of your hearts, you reached out with words of encouragement. Thank you so much!

My hand is bruised and wrinkly – and the fingers are braced to keep the broken pinky immobile, but this will heal… and the good news is that it was my finger and not my head that took the brunt of the fall. I have an appointment next week with an orthopedic hand specialist. Hopefully no further intervention will be needed.

In the case of Hope and Drew (my granddaughter and her hubby), prayers are appreciated for their family as they move forward. Finding that she had lost the fetus, Hope’s comment was, “Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.” It was early in her pregnancy – and that’s a blessing. I think it is much harder when the baby is more developed, the sex is determined, and the parents are preparing their home and hearts for the new addition. In this case, they had not quite adjusted to the idea of a third child yet. So, we are just thanking God for the blessing of the two they already have… and praying for their well being.

I pray for more time to be with them, too… Children are such a blessing! God is good – especially when He allows us to live long enough to see our children’s children have children. Don’t you agree?

During this week following Holy Week, we still are in awe of the Easter miracle… and our minds are comforted by the resurrection message. We remember that this is the week when Jesus showed Himself to the disciples in the Upper Room. He returned to let Thomas touch His nail scarred hands and his pierced side. (I bet Jesus’ hands hurt more than mine does right now!)

He talked with His followers who were on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and was seen by hundreds before His ascension. Jesus’ words are a comfort to us all! Listen to them in song:

Bee Comforted!
Let not your heart be troubled.


In yesterday’s Mornings with Jesus
Dianne Neal Matthews wrote,
“Remember how Christ felt concern
for His disciples’ well-being
and sought to comfort them…
He paid a high price
so I can know supernatural peace
in all circumstances…
His soul was troubled
so mine doesn’t have to be,
regardless of what I face.”

I am thankful it was:

  • my left hand, not my dominant one
  • my finger, not my head that broke
  • early on in Hope’s pregnancy not the last trimester – and she’s OK
  • God’s concern for mankind that sent His Son to earth
  • His sacrifice that assures me of eternal life
  • your words of encouragement that comforted me

Thank you!!

Oh, and this is the day that my youngest granddaughter, Faith, who lives in CA with her husband and a new little girl, Mable, is celebrating her 26th birthday! Happy Birthday, Faith!! That’s another reason to be thankful, right?

Happy Birthday, Faith!!

Have a blessed weekend,
my friends. I send my love.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Best Laid Plans


Sometimes best laid plans
can definitely abort.
They did yesterday.

You may recall that
I was hoping to meet kids –
Yes, my great-grandkids.

And I was concerned
about my granddaughter, Hope,
at the hospital.

She came yesterday
with her hubby and two kids,
but I wasn’t there.

I ended up in
the Emergency Room…
A weird accident!

I misjudged the step
up onto the sidewalk curb.
Fell forward quickly.

My little finger
caught all of my body’s weight.
Dislocated it!

Sooooo…

I didn’t get to
hold my granddaughter’s hand –
or eat lunch with them.

Oh, what a bummer!
But my troubles are so small
compared to others.

Hope was expecting
our great-grandchild number 5.
Today she lost her.

A broken finger
pales in comparison.
My heart reaches out.

Yes, our best laid plans
can disappear in a flash –
or a careless fall.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

In your great despair,
keep thoughts always positive.
Let lessons teach you.

Slow down and beware!
Let your errs make you wiser.
No, never despair!

Know that Christ Jesus
is with you in your troubles.
Rely on His love.

Psalm 34:17-18

When the righteous cry for help,
the Lord hears and delivers them
out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

My prayers go out to Hope & Drew.

I look to the Lord
in whom my strength and healing
abides and helps me.

Pray with me today, will you?

“Dear Heavenly Father,
Be with Hope and Drew as they mourn
the loss of their unborn baby.
Help them understand Your will
and know the blessing of the two they have.
Be with me (Jan) and the finger
that needs to heal…
Provide comfort –
– and the lesson to be learned.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.”

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
and expressing your love
and concern for us.

I appreciate you.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

He’s Alive!


I serve a RISEN Savior
who is alive in me
through the Holy Spirit.

How about you?

Let His Light Shine!

These images of Christ are my favorites.

I am wearing a red sweatshirt today
that has a bright yellow sun in the upper left,
with blue, yellow, and white flowers
in the middle bottom.
The words on the upper right say,
“Kids make
the day
BRIGHTER!”
The letter are in green
to match the flowers’ leaves,
and in yellow
to match the bright sunshine.

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

On Easter Sunday we were expecting our granddaughter with her husband and two children. We hadn’t seen our granddaughter and her littlest one since before Christmas. They were scheduled to come at 2:00 pm for Easter dinner. No way we imagined they could come to walk with us at Easter sunrise. They live an hour away. But, coming for lunch would be wonderful.

At 1:00 pm I received a call from her husband. They had two or three reasons why I should not expect them after all. The table was set; the Easter gifts there; the Easter eggs with chocolates inside them were hidden in the downstairs music/game room. I was beyond disappointed. But, he said they would come on Wednesday instead. They’d be here at 11:00 am, he said.

Today is Wednesday. At 10:30 I got a call. I thought it was probably them saying they are on their way. No, that wasn’t the message. Instead, it was my grandson-in-law telling me my granddaughter is at the hospital. She can’t come. I won’t post here the reason. Suffice to say, she needs our prayers. I don’t know if he left her there (so she is in the hospital) or if he took her home … but he said he is coming with the kids without her.

Take a look again at those pencil drawings of Jesus. Which one is closest to the age of my great-grandchildren?

The second one… the one he is tickling could be my great-grandson. Make that big sister over His shoulder into a little sister. My great-grandkids are 3 and 5. Imagine Bob & me with them this afternoon. Pray that we can make them feel as happy as Jesus makes all those children feel.

Christ is alive in us. We have the love, joy, and peace of the Holy Spirit. He gave it to us. Lord, help us pass it on, OK?

Kids DO make the day brighter. Help us make their day brighter, too, OK?

They were this little two years ago when we took the to lunch here in Ennis around Christmas time. I posted the following photo of me with my great-granddaughter last Christmas when we met them up in Big Sky and had lunch together there – just the kids and their mom. Their dad couldn’t join us.

It was summer time when we saw them before that. Their mom & grandma (our daughter-in-law) are in this photo.

This time it’s just the dad and kids
and the mom can’t join us.
We look forward to the day
when we can ALL be together again!

I’ll post this evening
to show you
how they have grown now (God willing)…
we are waiting for them now.

Pray with me, will you?
Lord (our Living Savior),
guide their daddy
and the children
safely to their great-grandparents
in Ennis, MT today.
Please.
Thank you!
Amen.

See ya later!
Thanks for visiting
JanBeek

What’s Good About Good Friday?


That was the question we explored at tonight’s Good Friday service:
What’s Good About Good Friday?

Yesterday in my post titled, “Last Words,”
I promised I’d tell you about our Good Friday service.
I told you our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds,
had selected passages from scripture
that recorded Jesus’ last words.

I shared a few of Jesus’ last words spoken that
last Friday … words that were memorable to me:

  1. Mark 14: 24-25 = Last supper – blood of the covenant poured out for you
  2. Mark 14:27-31 = Prediction of Peter’s denial
  3. Mark 14:35-36 = Take this cup from me…
  4. Mark 14:42-43 = Are you still sleeping? … the betrayer is coming
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But those quotes were from Jesus’ last conversations with His disciples
before He was arrested… before He was hung on the cross.

Tonight’s “Last Words” were from the cross:

  1. Luke 23: 33-34 = “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
  2. Luke 23: 39-43 = “Truly I tell you, you will be with me…”
  3. John 19: 25-27 = “Woman, here is your son…”
  4. Matthew 27: 45-49 = “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. John 28: 28-29 = “I am thirsty”
  6. Luke 23: 44-46 = “Father, into Your hands…”
  7. John 19: 30 = “It is finished.”

The selection that was mine to read was #4. I practiced it a lot and still goofed up when I tried to read it orally because the scripture tells it in the language Jesus spoke: “Eloi! Eloi! Lama sabachthani!” I can say it just fine sitting here at my computer – but in front of the congregation? Put on the spot? I faked it! I hope most didn’t notice. I’m sure Jesus forgives me!

Each of us who read was invited to create and share a reflection and a prayer related to our selection.
Here is what I said: “Like Jesus, there are times in our lives when we are in great suffering or turmoil, and we feel God has forsaken us. The Good News is He never has and He never will.”

That’s what’s Good about Good Friday!

Jesus took away our sin. He died for us. Because of His life, death, and resurrection, we can dare to approach God knowing He will never forsake us. Never!

My prayer was this:

“O God, You are our hope and our salvation.
Your Son is our gift, our gateway, our guide.
We thank You for His sacrifice for our sake
that we might be assured of Life Eternal
with You in Heaven.

Thank You for never forsaking us
when we enter Your presence in faith.
We give You our hearts and gratitude.
Amen.”


Tomorrow is “Silent Saturday.”
I will not blog.

I’ll be busy Easter Sunday
with sunrise service and church
and guests here for dinner.
(Hopefully my granddaughter, Hope,
and her hubby and two children,
Xander & Sienna,
will be among the guests)

I bet you will be busy
doing meaningful things
this weekend also.
Happy Easter!

See ya Monday (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

His Last Words


It’s Maundy Thursday!

On this day,
Jesus washed the disciples’ feet;
He shared the Last Supper with them;
He revealed that one of them would betray Him,
He told them where He was going:

Mark 14: 24-25

24 “This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Before Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room,
they sang a hymn. I wonder what hymn they sang?
This morning in my devotionals,
I learned the definition of “Hymn.”
According to this morning’s Daily Word,
it is not just a song sung ABOUT God,
it is a song sung TO God.

I am going to pretend I was there,
and I got to pick the hymn
to sing with the disciples and Jesus.

What hymn would YOU choose?

Mark 14:26
“When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

There on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus predicted Peter’s denial.

Mark 14:27-31

27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep will be scattered.’[a]

28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”

30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice[b] you yourself will disown me three times.”

31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

Sure enough!
Before the rooster crowed twice,
Peter had indeed denied knowing Christ.

Would I have been brave enough
to admit I was one of His disciples
if I were in Peter’s shoes?

When Jesus went off by Himself
to pray to His Father
because
He was “overwhelmed with sorrow
to the point of death,”
Jesus told three of His disciples,
“Stay here and keep watch.”

Mark 14:35-36
35 Going a little farther,
he fell to the ground and prayed that
if possible the hour might pass from him.
36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said,
“everything is possible for you.
Take this cup from me.
Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

While He prayed, all three disciples fell asleep!

Would I have been the one disciple
who managed to stay awake
when Jesus went off alone
to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane?
Probably not!
I would have heard Jesus say:

Mark 14:42-43

“Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough!
The hour has come.
Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.
42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

At tomorrow’s Good Friday service, we will focus on the last words of Jesus. Our pastor has chosen seven scriptural passages to capture that last day with the disciples before His arrest and trial and crucifixion. Some of them are those quoted above. Tune in tomorrow and I’ll let you know which of Jesus’ last words I will have the privilege of reading at the Good Friday service.

Meantime, we’re headed for the Maundy Thursday service. I wonder what Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds will do for this evening’s devotional? It’s another “first” in our fresh-out-of-seminary pastor. Such a blessing!

Thanks for joining me for today’s post.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek


The Urge to Purge


It’s the urge to purge
That attacked my head today
Will it go away?

Unexpectedly
As I entered my office
It attacked my brain

Looking at the mess
The urge to purge arrived
I’ve avoided it

It’s easy to see
Why the urge is in my head
Will it reach my hands?

Jesus had the urge
He quickly cleared the temple
The Bible tells us:

Going into the temple
He began to throw out everyone
who had set up shop,
selling everything and anything.
He said, “It’s written in scripture,
My house is a house of prayer;
You have turned it into a religious bazaar.”

Luke 19:45-46

In today’s Mornings With Jesus, Jeanette Levellie was reminded of all the stuff she took home from her grandma’s house when she was there helping her mom with the clutter (er – a – treasures!). She wrote,
“Whenever I’m tempted to want more than I need, I remember that ugly feeling of greed I experienced while cleaning Grandma’s house. I remind myself that God’s house – my heart – is meant for fellowship with Him.”

My office doesn’t look quite as bad as that picture above, but it certainly is full of stuff that represents “more than I need.” My spare bedroom has in it a lot of the stuff that we stored there while we were having our floors redone a couple of months ago. If I haven’t needed it by now, don’t you think it’s time to purge? Likewise, my office would feel a lot more inviting if I got rid of the stuff that clutters the countertops in there, too. Right?

Is this a topic I have shared before? I think so… And I avoided the urge then, just like I am trying t squelch it today!! It’s not just my heart that needs cleaning of any type of greed, it’s my brain that needs to be told that overload of stuff is squelching my creativity! And it will be a major headache for Bob & my kids if I should keel over tomorrow!

Do yourself a favor, Jan:

If the urge to purge
Seemed to attack you today
Let it convince you

Envision the space
With room for meaningful work
That feels lots better!

Thanks, Jesus, for the inspiration.
I need to let your example inspire me!

Do you have an urge to purge today?
Let’s work on that together!
OK?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
I’ll give you a report!
Hugs,
JanBeek

Equipped!


Photo by sergio omassi on Pexels.com

Ephesians 2:10 (a & b)

“For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.”

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

As often happens to me,
I read the first devotional
this morning in Daily Guideposts,
and I was inspired to choose
the word for my blog today.
EQUIPPED!

Then when I opened
the next devotional,
“All God’s Creatures,”
the March/April
Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers,
and the word “equipped”
showed up twice on that page.

What are the chances, you ask?
Pretty good batting average, I’d say.
There it was again:

Ephesians 2:10 (a)

“For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus
for good works.”

The story in “All God’s Creatures” was about a woodpecker who was “beautifully equipped for his unique purpose in life…” as he aggravated the writer with his incessant tapping on the tree trunk outside his window.

The writer, Terry Clifton, mused that he, too, is “a result of God’s handiwork – equipped with talents and skills that have meaning and purpose for [his] life.”

What has God equipped you with?
What unique gifts and talents do you possess
that allow you to let God’s workmanship
shine through you to fulfill His purpose in your life?

On the Daily Guideposts’ page for today
Jerusha Agen wrote,
“All I have to do is walk with God
through each day,
confident He will provide
all I need to accomplish His work.”

Heart made of sand

It all sounds so theoretical, doesn’t it?
About as solid as that sand in the hand.
But, what scripture is telling us
is that our hearts are not made to be solid.

We are not expected to look at tasks
from our earthly perspective.
Tasks are formed for us beforehand
by our Maker in Heaven.

Don’t eliminate the second part
of the Ephesians 2:10 scripture:
“…which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.”

Photo by Werlley Meira on Pexels.com

Like a skilled woodworker
Who sees the image inside the log,
God chiseled our lives and purposes
Before the world saw us.

The tasks placed before us
Are designed with us in mind.
Look at them with Jesus glasses
And see their infinite possibilities.

Do not be overwhelmed
by the world’s naysayers.
Walk with God through each day
Confident you are equipped.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand.
He directs your path – and hears you.
He sees your needs and equips you.
Rely on Him – and step out in faith!

What tasks are you equipped to accomplish today?
“If you see someone falling behind, walk beside them.”

Let love pour from your heart
like sand from your hand.

I’m off for a walk in faith.
Join TazE & me?


See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love to you,
JanBeek

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