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Dayle's Blog

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February 2019

19 Feb – Put wheels on your faith

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To knock involves physical movement, where we take action. It means to strike noisily to attract attention; to collide forcefully and to make a dent in something by striking it. Asking and seeking are not complete without knocking. We can ask and seek God, but if we do not “put wheels on our faith” and do something in what we have sought and asked God for, it can all come to nothing.

When Jesus said knock and the door will be opened to you he was telling us that action for the thing desired is necessary. (Matthew 7:7) If a person needs something that is behind a door the most natural things to do is knock. It’s an invitation to come to God and ask in faith.
The heroes of faith again and again put their faith into action, – they moved expecting God to act and answer on their behalf.

However it’s important in all our asking, seeking and knocking to keep in mind that God has no obligation to provide positive answers to prayers that are harmful, outside His will, or below His best intentions for us. Our responsibility is to ask in faith and continue to ask, whilst seeking Him to discern and know His heart and will for situations and our lives. Once we know His will and best for us we can take action and expect our prayers to be answered.

God says we can come boldly to His throne of grace to find grace and mercy in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) We “knock”, as a way of saying, “I’m acting in faith, bringing my requests to you and I honour you as I come before your court.” We actively approach God knowing His will because we’ve sought Him and as a result God promises to release the supernatural ability of heaven on our behalf.

Jesus said, “Ask, seek, and knock. These commands are followed by fantastic promises, “for when we ask we receive, when we seek we find, and when we knock the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

God is not angry with us for asking or sees anything we ask, seek and knock for as trivial or unimportant. He is a good Father who always wants to exceed our requests . He promises to give good gifts to those who ask, seek and knock. (Ephesians 3:20) So go ahead and ask, seek and knock!

Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:23)

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for is all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things. (Romans 8:32)

Prayer: Lord please help me understand that you want me to ask, seek and to knock so that I can know how good you are and acknowledge you in every part of my day. Today I choose to ask, seek, and knock. In Jesus Name Amen.

18 Feb – Seeking

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Seek – Seeking is more than asking; it is a setting of priorities and a focusing of the heart. But the big question is, “What is it that we are seeking?” Is it money, comfort ability, a partner, fame, success, freedom. Is it God and His way of doing things?

The bible has some really awesome promises regarding seeking after Him. It says that, “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing, and that if we seek Him first He will add all the things to our lives that everyone else will spend a lifetime chasing.” (Matthew 6:33)

Even the strong and the wealthy grow weak and hungry, but those who passionately pursue the Lord will never lack any good thing.” (Psalms 34:10 TPT)

God encourages us to seek Him and His strength and to seek His presence continually for when we do that with our whole hearts we will be blessed. (Psalm 27:8; Psalm 34:10; 105:4; 119:2).

God is not hiding from us and when we pay attention and seek Him with our whole heart, mind and strength we will find Him.

I love reading, listening and being around “God seekers”. These people aren’t spectators who made speculative guesses about God. They don’t take seeking and searching for the truth and to know Him half heartedly, but are willing to go to great lengths to find the truth and to really know and be a friend of God. They’re what I call “inspiring God seekers” for they chase after God with all they have and challenge, inspire,  and stir up in me a hunger for more.

Seekers ask questions, they study, they watch and learn from what is happening around them and they do whatever it takes to grow and find God and answers. They want to understand and to experience God more deeply.

The bible says, “But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for Him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)

God seekers give up everything to seek out God. They often lay their time, money, and possibly even their reputations on the line to really know Him.They aren’t passive or mere spectators like many people can be, but engage fully in their seeking after God.

Today, how serious are you about knowing the truth about the universe, about why and how you are here, and God’s purpose for your life? How engaged are you with wanting to know Him more? And how often do you let other pursuits or distractions get in the way of searching and growing in your relationship with God?
Today  I encourage you to give yourself a challenge and to ask yourself, “What would I give up or invest into, so that this time next year I will know Him more deeply and be changed because of it?

For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognising and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10-11)

Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life….saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’  For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them….  But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right–the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. (Matthew 6:31‭-‬33 AMP)

Prayer: Lord help me to be a seeker of you and truth. Please show me if there is anything or anyone who is hindering me from knowing you, and help me to take the action I need to stop that happening.  Would you bring people into my life that will inspire, challenge and draw me closer to you. In Jesus name Amen.

17 Feb – “Call to me, and I will answer”.

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When I was growing up I didn’t like to ask for many things, perhaps because finances were often stretched, other pressures were obvious in the family dynamic or I didn’t want to be a bother or disappointed. This hesitancy to ask unfortunately carried over into my adult life and relationships with both people and God. Its easy to begin to think it is better to go through life not asking anyone for anything, yet that would mean that we are primarily dependant upon our own limited resources, whereas God wants us to know we can ask of Him.

Jesus said, “And I say to you ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and I shall be open to you.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
We aren’t designed or meant to do life alone or only in our own strength, primarily because it limits our possibilities, relationships and God ordained opportunities. Doing life in our own strength and never asking God or others for anything means we only have our resources and abilities available to us, whereas God’s grace extended towards us means we have available  His supernatural ability to enable us to do and be what we previously would never have dreamed possible.

As I’ve learnt to ask God for help and grace to do or be what I want and need to be I have discovered he’ll impart wisdom and understanding to solve problems, grace and strength to handle difficult situations and ability which has unlocked potential and gifts in me I previously didn’t know existed. Other times I’ve asked and help has been sent to assist me through finances or another person coming alongside me.

God wants us to ask, and He wants us to use our mouths to petition Him for what we desire so that He can be our ultimate source so that we know He hears us and our prayers. When we go to His Word and find the answers through what He has promised, He clearly states, “ask and you will receive”. Jesus said, “until now you have asked for nothing in my name; ask and you will receive so that your joy may be made full.” (John 16:24)

Asking in prayer is how we communicate our needs and desires to God. When we ask we acknowledge He is far bigger than any problem or issue we may be facing and as we ask with faith it changes our perspective to see that nothing is impossible for Him. The bible actually says that the angels are waiting at the ready to act when they hear us speaking Gods word with faith. When we ask, they go to work on our behalf.

Bless the Lord, you His angels, you might ones who do His commandments, obeying the voice of His word“! (Psalm 103:21)

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” (James 4:2)

Today I encourage to begin to ask God for what you need and petition Him with the desires of your heart.

Start where you can believe for and ask according to His Word. Nothing is too small or insignificant to God for He is interested in every detail of our life. Ask for help where you need it, lean on His wisdom and strength, and listen to His promptings because they often hold the answers to our asking, such as an inner nudge telling us, “go down that way to a parking spot, connect with that person or take that offer or opportunity up”.

Ask so you can receive!

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. (Psalm 37:4)

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened“. Matthew 7:7-8 NLT)

16 Feb – “What I’ve always wanted to do and be is….”.

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I would hazard a guess that there are things that all of us have always wanted to do and be. Whether that is writing a novel, travelling to a foreign country, opening a little coffee shop or parachuting out of a aeroplane.
We all have things we dream about. But how many of these things do we ever actually see happen?

Fear usually steps in, practicalities, financial considerations or some other limitation clouds our view to see our dreams come to pass and we persuade ourselves that it’s just a dream, that it could never actually happen and it probably wouldn’t work anyway.

The tragedy is that the more we limit our dreams and assign all the things we want to do as pipe dreams, the more we train ourselves to think small. Our confidence in what we can do and whom we could be lessens as we doubt our ability to do anything that really matters to us.

But what if we could see some or all of what we have always wanted to do and become happen?

Here are three thoughts on how to move forward to do what we’ve always wanted to do.

1. Dream – A key is to open up our hearts and minds to dream and imagine and then take the time to investigate what’s involved. Look for resources that can inform and help and talk to other people who might have done something similar. Then take the time to pray and bring those dreams to God.

Dreaming is free and there is no risk as it is simply allowing ourselves to remove the limitations so we can gather ideas and resources we think might help us to get moving. We can write down all the questions we have about what we want to do and then go and find the answers to them.

2. Make a decision
Once we have allowed ourselves to dream and started to research all the possibilities we can decide whether this really still matters to us. Does it make our soul sing thinking about it? Will we grow as a person and find enjoyment? Is it what God wants us to do – is His blessing on it?

We also have to consider what’s important to us in the season of life we are in and what are our priorities? Do any of these need to change? What is at the top of our list in life? Are our dreams and priorities right for the stage we are at in life? Can we commit to starting to do some of the things we have always wanted to do?

3. Do one thing everyday
When we make the choice to start to pursue our dreams and can answer what is actually important to us, then we can begin to do one thing today towards making it a reality. Then tomorrow do one more thing.

That might mean writing 100 words towards starting that novel we’ve always wanted to write, or choosing to forgo our daily coffee so as to save the money towards an overseas holiday instead. Is it turning off the TV an hour earlier so we get up earlier to exercise to train to run that marathon or simply be fitter, or choosing to take a course of study we’ve always wanted to.

God desires for us to have dreams. He actually says He will do above and beyond what we can dream or wish we had always had a chance to do. He’s actually for us and not against us. He wants us to really live and not just exist. But first we have to make some choices about what is really important and valuable to us and how that fits into the plan God has for our lives.

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20 AMP)

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Today take some time to dream a little. Think about those things that you’ve always wished you could do and contemplate whether they are actually worth the commitment and cost for you to do them. Pray and ask God for His wisdom and enabling and then if you still want to move ahead begin to do just one thing everyday towards those things you’ve always wanted to do becoming a reality.

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have given me the ability to dream. Please help me to be honest and real about what I really want to do in life and to not keep putting things off because it doesn’t seem practical or I am afraid. Thank you that with you all things become a possibility.  In Jesus Name Amen.

15 Feb – Planning to win!

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Scheduling is an important life skill of planning our life so that we can achieve our goals and priorities in the time and energy we have available. It can greatly reduce our stress and give us peace of mind, as we know that we have formulated a plan of action and that our goals are attainable.

A schedule helps us to be prepared for obstacles as a good schedule includes a contingency plan with space in our day for unexpected challenges or emergencies. Its wisdom to only schedule 60% of the day, so as to leave room for urgent needs, spontaneous moments, emergencies, or someone or something just “messing” with the plan. (If you are a parent this goes with the territory). Otherwise we can get too inflexible and legalistic about our schedules and run the risk of becoming uptight and controlling.

Planning our daily and weekly activities clearly illustrates whether we are staying focused on what is really important because we soon see what we are spending our time on.

When planning a schedule it’s important to understand what we can realistically achieve with our time. God does do “time miracles” to give us extra time (that’s for another blog), but He also gives us wisdom to live by too, so it’s important to schedule time for God, family, friends, exercise, hobbies and just having fun.

The aim of a schedule is to achieve a good work-life balance. This takes wisdom and prayer, so take the time to pray carefully over your schedule and ask God to lead you as you plan.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:6)

Here are a few ways to help begin to schedule your time and see you achieve your goals:

1.Set a regular time to do your scheduling – at the start of every week or month for example. A simple and easy way to begin to keep a schedule is to use a pen and paper and organise your time using a weekly planner or diary. You can also use an “app” or any other tool that suits your situation. Make sure it has enough space for the level of detail you need.

2.Start by establishing the time you want to make available for your work, family, relationships, interests, hobbies and quiet times with God, study etc.

3.Schedule in essentials in your day/week. What you need to do regularly? When we write these daily activities down it quickly reveals to us what we are spending our time on and whether we are doing and being those things we value or not.

4.Schedule in those things that are a priority and important, as well as those things that cannot be delegated or avoided. Plan to do the high priority activities in your day when you are most productive, alert and energised.

5.Schedule in a contingency plan. This is my issue; I can often not leave enough time for the unexpected, emergencies or the “I have to deal with this now” moments. The more unpredictable or flexible our life tends or needs to be, the more “contingency time” we need. If we don’t schedule this time in emergencies will still happen and we’ll end up working late, stressed out, always running behind and at the risk of burn out.

6.Create a schedule that is consistent in the daily essentials, as this will create positive habits. What do you do every day/week that you can build more consistency into? (eg: exercise, Jesus time, family night, date night, etc)

7.Make sure that your schedule is not too intense. Only plan 60% of your day and leave room for “down time,” otherwise you will end up stressing over your schedule, which is pointless.

8.Put your schedule in a visible location so that it is easy to see and follow. Following a plan is just as important as creating one. We don’t create a schedule with the intent to ignore it, but if it’s too rigid or hidden away we just won’t look at it.

God promises that He will direct our steps and give us a heart of wisdom if we seek Him. When we have little children He also promises He will lead us gently, so if that’s you, give yourself a break and don’t put so much pressure on yourself…There are seasons for things.

He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; he gently leads those that have young.” ( Isaiah 40:11 NIV)

Every day is a gift from God, so let’s make the most of each and every day and make a plan to win!

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Prayer: Lord please help me to be wise with the time you have gifted to me. Where I am not as organised or as careful with my time as I could be please help me to set a schedule and plan in motion. In Jesus name Amen.

14 Feb – Run away calendars

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Seeds of gifts and abilities have been planted inside each one of us but for those seeds to grow to their full potential they must be “watered” and given attention to make sure they become fruitful.

Jesus cautions us in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 to ensure we invest our talents wisely. Meaning we’re not sitting around waiting and doing little or nothing with all we have been given. Instead we choose to build into those things that are important and valuable to us. Plus in doing so we often become an answer to someone elses prayers and problem.

However in the pursuit of cultivating what we have had sown into our lives we must watch our runaway calendars because otherwise they will hold us hostage to tangible things like meetings, appointments and projects, without giving proper priority to the intangibles: who we are becoming, our relationships with family and friends, our connectedness to God and our purpose. Without conscious intervention our tendency to over-schedule means that the priorities we care about most and the gifts we are to cultivate will take a backseat to the urgent noise of life every time.

One way we can start is by redrafting our schedule and filling it up the way God would fill it if He were in charge of our time and calendar. A great way is to begin to seek Him, ask for His help and guidance when feeling overwhelmed and time poor and start plugging into the available time slots of our calendar those things that determine who we want to become. Then we will, with Gods help gradually become the kind of people we want to be.

A good question to regularly ask is, “How would God have me spend my day?” And then seek His wisdom on how to manage our time and commitments most effectively to do that. 

Secondlydon’t mistake the urgent for the important. Everyday concerns and presuures often sound important but they’re usually not. They can in fact wait so that you can focus on what is actually important first. Learn to prioritise.

Don’t compare yourself with others. When we get into the comparison trap we can minimise and disregard the gifts and talents God has given us and end up doing nothing to grow our potential.  We can start to consider it pointless to even begin because we’re too busy  looking at others rather than at Jesus and what and who He says we are.

Today consider what gifts and talents have been planted within you. Then make a decision to ensure you don’t disregard, minimise or get too busy and distracted in your everyday schedule that you leave no time or space to cultivate those things that you value and which God has placed within you to bless both your life and the lives of all those around you.

“Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. (2 Peter 1:3 The Passion translation)

Prayer: Jesus would you please give me wisdom in my schedule so that I can best use my day doing those things that are important and that help me to become all that I was created to be. Please help me to stay out of the comparison trap. In Jesus name Amen.

13 Feb – What do you value?

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There are so many things we could be doing, yet if we tried to do all of them we quite simply wouldn’t have enough hours in our day. Unfortunately many times we try…we try to do what we think we should, we bow under expectations and what we see others around us or on social media doing, and when we fail to keep up or end up in a frazzled disappointed mess we wonder what is wrong with us.

All round us is the opportunity to try, buy and sample new things. We are inundated with advertising, offers, choices, peer pressure and general noise, which if we are not very careful can influence our decisions and what we spend out time thinking about and doing. The urgent, and “should’s and can do’s” can drown out the important and  our unique call and purpose.

However there is another way of life and that is to examine and ask ourselves regularly, “what am I doing, thinking about and feeling pressured by”?

What are the most important things in my life?

What do I really value?

What things have become a burden of, I should do this but I really wish I didn’t have to?

What things am I involved in that looked and sounded like a good idea at the time, but now are not working?

Being a wife, a mum of six kids, a pastor, homeschooler, as well as everything else I like to pursue, I know what it is to be busy and to have a lot of “noise” in my head.

Along the way I have learnt that some things are not necessary, like a spotless house and everything looking and being perfect. I’ve learnt the beauty of going with the flow where needed, choosing my battles wisely, and understanding not everything we can or should do needs to be done right now. There are seasons for things in life and some pursuits can and will wait for another time. If they are important God will bring them into our lives at the appointed time and when we have room in our life and hearts.

More important is that we discover what we value right now in the season we are in, with the relationships and purpose we have today, so that everyday we can filter all the pressure, expectations and choices through those values. When faced with a decision or we hear or read something that says, “you have got to try this or you should be doing this”, we can then weigh these choices against our values and decide whether they fit or should be put on the shelf for another time or passed by all together.

Today take some time to examine and search out what you value, what is really important to you and what God is encouraging you to spend your time and energy on. Then clear out any mental, emotional and physical clutter, take a deep breath and get on with what is most important and valuable to you and which helps you to continue to become the person God created you to be.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

Prayer: Lord would you please help me to slow down and to take the time to examine what is really of value to who I am and who you’ve called me to be. Please help me to then declutter my life so that I make the most of my day being and doing what I most value and is important. In Jesus name amen

12 Feb – Focus on love

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The big thing that makes life work is love. Everything works as it should when founded in love; our faith, our hope, our relationships, even the plans for our lives. Primarily because focusing on love affects how we think, act, what we plan, how we see ourselves and others  – everything!

The question is “what are we focused on”? God teaches us that, “our eye is the lamp of our body. When our eyes are healthy, our whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, our body also is full of darkness”. (Luke 11:34)

The light of the body is the eye. The eye is the point of vision. When our vision is focused we will fulfil and walk in our purpose. When our eye is good, our whole body is full of light. But when our eye is focused on the mistakes, hurts or unhealthy negative things, then our body and thoughts fill up with darkness instead of goodness, love, hope and light.

God wants love to be our focus.

If we focus on cultivating love it makes our faith work. When faith is at work nothing is impossible! Mountains of doubt, fear, and disappointment disappear as our faith, fueled by knowing we are loved overcomes and moves obstacles out of our way.

Love causes compassion to rise up in our hearts to care about others. To cast aside fear, doubt and negativity about ourselves and other people so that our hearts become engaged!

Love activates our faith to start believing, to start reaching out to love in action.

I love the account of Jesus feeding the 5000, in Matthew 14:13-21. Jesus exhibits a faith that is motivated by a genuine love and concern for people. In Jesus feeding the 5000 we see that love was the motivation behind the miracle as He had compassion for them.

Read through the Gospels. (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible). You’ll soon discover that Jesus was always motivated by Love. He is love. Love compels Him. Love compelled Him to go to the Cross. Love still compels Him to reach out to each one of us.

The best that God wants for us is found in Love! Let’s put our energy and focus into seeking after and loving God – the source of love, with everything we have, and receiving His love for us so that it can flow over to those all around us.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for your love for me. I ask for your love to cover me, to flow through me and to fill my heart with compassion for whomever you lead me to today. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

11 Feb – Changing the way we think.

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It  was only a few years ago that neuroscientists believed that the brain was like a hardwired machine. Any damage or trauma experienced to a persons brain was seen to be incurable and function rather than restoration was the aim of health practitioners.

In the last few decades however science has made the discovery that our brains are in fact changeable and malleable. Instead of us having brains that are “stuck” in certain thought patterns, mindsets, negativity, damage, trauma or even predispositions, our brains are in fact changing moment by moment every day. This change and adaptability is called nueroplasticity.

This nueroplasticity is exciting as it means regardless of what has happened to us or how we may currently think, we can change the physical makeup of our brains through our thinking and choices. Plus everynight while we are sleeping baby nerve cells are being created so that when we wakeup each morning they are at our disposal to replace any negative toxic thinking, to learn and to rebuild healthy thoughts. The birth of these new baby nerve cells is called neurogenesis.

We may not be able to control everything about our day, but we can definitely control our thoughts and consequently our reactions. Each morning those new nerve cells can be shaped and used to replace any thoughts we don’t care to have. Science is agreeing with what God says. We can be transformed, healed, set free and given the ability to start each new day afresh.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Today check up and observe your own thoughts and change them if you need to. Are they in line with how God wants you to think? Are they full of love, hope and joy?

Be encouraged by how God has created us. We aren’t stuck with the way we think or the habits we may struggle with, even if we have thought or reacted in certain ways for years. God has wired and created us to grow, develop and change! Reach forward and towards the person and way of thinking and living Jesus has called you to be.

As reknowned nueroscientist Dr Caroline Leaf says, “If you wired those toxic thoughts in, you can wire them out.” 

But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” ( Philippians 3:13)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

Prayer: Lord thankyou that you have created me with the ability to constantly change and develop. Help me to observe and change if necessary the thoughts and habits I have so that I can be the person you made me to be. In Jesus name Amen.

 

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