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Dayle's Blog

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May 2019

24 May – Learning to Trust

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The thing about trusting someone else is that it often means trusting them to in some way provide. To provide emotional, mental, spiritual or physical support, and for us to open our hearts to them.

For those of us who are more independent and want to or who’ve had to take care of ourselves, trusting someone else can be difficult. Difficult because all our attitudes about people, our circumstances and any trust issues we have will come to the surface where we are given the choice as to whether we will open our hearts or not.

God however repeatedly asks us to trust Him and to have growing, open-hearted, honest relationships. He wants  us is to learn to trust Him to lead and guide us; to trust Him that He has our best interests in mind and that He is good and loving; to trust Him to provide for all our needs and to grant us the desires of our heart. A natural by-product of learning to trust God like that is that we also learn to trust ourselves and others more.

However trust doesn’t happen without a knowledge of the one we are trusting and choosing to grow a healthy relationships. We dont need to trust everyone – that would be foolish, but to really achieve and become all we were created to be we are going to need both God’s and other people’s input and support and to trust them to do that for us.

But trust takes time to build as we gain an understanding of God’s extreme love for us, and then learn to recognize those same trustworthy qualities in other people. However if we consistently choose to keep everyone at arms length we wont see who we can trust, even when they Dan be right in front of us.

The question and decision we get to make everyday is, “Will we seek to trust God to love and care for all our needs, help us achieve the dreams in our hearts and bring people into our life to make our lifes richer? Or will we keep our hands tightly on the reins, only trusting ourselves, never letting anyone else in close and then wonder why we feel so tired, lonely and anxious all the time?”

The thing is with God on our side we actually don’t have to be in control of everyone and everything in our life. Living like that all the time is actually quite exhausting. Instead God simply and repeatedly says in His Word, “Trust me. I know everything about you and I’ve got you and all that concerns you covered”.

Today I encourage you to take some time to get to know God more so you can discover for yourself you can trust Him. Then take some steps each day to open up your heart to those who have the same trustworthy traits that God has, and who will help you become the person God always purposed for you to be.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Prayer: Lord please help me to get to know you more, and to learn to trust you and other people more. sus name Amen

23 May – Better together

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I was having a conversation this week about our effectiveness and being prepared to combine and connect up our gifts and skills with others to have the greatest impact.

Connection with other people in this way is like being in a team with a common goal and vision, and if we choose our connections wisely being in a team is good tor us. It helps us to connect, to learn more about ourselves, to gain leadership skills, to give to others and to hone our people skills.  If we struggle with trusting people, our pride, communicating well or have negative attitudes and a poor work ethic then being part of a team will quickly highlight these areas in our lives, which is great because we then get to choose whether we will grow and challenge ourselves to be better.

My husband and I are a team. We have grown to learn how to work together, to rely on each others strengths and to fill in the gaps with one another’s weaknesses. We seek to help one another to get things done and to fulfil the dreams God has placed in our hearts. We are better together!

But “better together” didn’t just happen overnight. Much like a soccer or football team, there’s been times we’ve had to change strategy, to regroup, to choose to deal with our own issues, hone our skills in an area to make things work better and to choose to keep running when the going has gotten tough.

We’ve discovered that we really need to rely on God our coach, for directives on how to “play” well and how to navigate as our team has increased with children, friends, work and church family. We’ve also learnt that we don’t have to “fly solo”, because God will always bring people around us if our hearts are open and we allow Him to. (Psalm 68:6)

We know that we need to constantly be strengthening and building the basic team of Jesus and us, and then He’ll add from there. For without that solid foundation and connection it’s much more likely to all topple over and we’ll end up in an exhausted heap.

Helen Keller an American author, political activist and lecturer who was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree knew the importance of teamwork. Her many accomplishments were made possible through the connection and friendship of her instructor and teacher Anne Sullivan. Helen Keller said, “walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light, for “alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.

Today as you go through your day don’t forget to check how your team is looking and seek to strengthen it? How is the foundational team of you and Jesus going? Have you taken some time to listen and hang out with Him recently; to hear His plans and strategy? How are the connections around you; your partner, family, your church, work or social group going? Because being part of a team means making a commitment to one another, determining to fill in the gaps when someone else can’t, to back each other up, to believe in one another, to be wise about our choice of team and to learn to trust other people. 

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Prayer: Lord thank you that I can choose to be part of your team and family. Please help me to see just how great that team is, and to also have wisdom and an open heart to know who the other people you would have me connect with.  I don’t have to fly solo anymore. In Jesus name Amen.

 

22 May – The right direction

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There is a question that most people ask themselves at one time or another. It’s, “How do I know I’m heading in the right direction?”

This question could be in reference to many things that involve a risk or change of some sort such as starting a business, changing employment or career paths, beginning a new relationship, getting married, starting a family, choosing a school or university, even taking a holiday or travelling overseas. Every time we begin something new or venture out we have the same question, “Am I heading in the right direction, and how will I know?”

“How will I know?” The fact is we often don’t know 100%. We don’t know for sure everything we try or embark upon is going to work out exactly as planned, or always be a resounding success. There will probably always be some questions, anxiety and lingering doubts and fears. But courage is not an absence of these feelings; courage is acting even when we do have these fears.

The “How do I know I’m heading in the right direction”  question is in fact a perfect opportunity for our faith and trust in God goodness to be activated and for us to put ourselves out there and to grow. The unfortunate alternative is to continually vacillate over which direction to take so that in the end we do nothing, experience little, go nowhere, and miss out.

A reporter once asked Mother Teresa what it was like to have absolute, total clarity in life, to which she responded:

I have never had clarity. What I have always had is trust.”

When we don’t know or are unsure of which direction to take we are forced if we are smart to look beyond ourselves. To look to God for wisdom and clarity and to allow others that He draws around us to help and speak into our lives. As we launch out in a particular direction we often in fact access courage, skills and abilities we didn’t realise we had.

Today don’t just sit there. If you don’t know what to do, and which direction to take seek God and then gently step out and do something.

As you begin to move in a particular direction keep asking questions, keep praying, keep listening and being willing to adjust and shift tact and direction where needed. Look for the open doors and opportunities and the “red flashing warning lights” to not go there. Pay attention to the answers that present themselves along the way and keep trusting God to lead you step by step. Then sooner or later you’ll realise you’ve figured it out and will reach your destination.

But remember there is only one thing that gets us heading in a direction at all and that’s taking that first step,  while we trust God to lead.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:29)

And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left”. (Isaiah 30:21)

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”. (Proverbs 3:6)

Prayer: Lord please help me to trust you to set me in the right direction. I trust you to guide me today and to take care of me as you guide my steps. In Jesus name Amen

21 May – A different rest

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There is a rest that I’ve been discovering over the last few years. It’s a different rest from taking a break, holidays or even just chillin. It’s a rest on the inside; deep down in the place where everything else in life flows from. It’s a rest in my spirit, and it’s a realization that I don’t have to do things like; storm the gates of heaven in prayer anymore, because they’re wide open already. Its a rest in praise and worship because there’s no need to push in or up, we are seated in heavenly places already. It’s a rest in knowing that I am a new creation and my past is washed away; that I am actually a citizen of heaven and always and already welcome there. (Matt 11:28; Psalm 95:2; Ephesians 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:17)

So often even when we decide to invite Jesus to be part of our lives there still remains a striving and struggling in our relationship with God. We wrestle in prayer hoping our requests are being heard. We keep singing from earth when we can step into heaven and sing from a place of absolute joy and rest. We speak and sing songs about ourselves as those who’ve just scraped into God’s good books when He is saying, “Come, come up here. Dine with and ask of me…I want to give you everything, because when I look at you I am delighted”. (Zephaniah 3:17; Heb 12:22)

God and the reality of heavenly places and the unseen realms are closer than the very air we breathe. However if we keep thinking we are not worthy, good enough or see ourselves through the lens of our mistakes, failings and shortcomings we won’t ever fully discover the rest and deep, deep peace and joy that comes with knowing we belong to God. That we no longer need to push and strive, but just receive from him and walk in who He says we are. That all we need do is turn our face and attention throughout the day into His presence; right there next to, within and all around us. He desires for us to know Him more and who we truly are in His sight.

Jesus broke all the barriers when He died and rose again, so the only thing between that rest and encompassing presence of God we can live in, is us.

Today I encourage you to drop any barriers, distance or in-attention you’ve allowed or put up between you and God…He didn’t make them and He is calling, “come with me, come up here and let me bring you true rest. “Ask of me and receive all you need, and then lets just walk together you and I.”

Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll discover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I wont lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

20 May – The Shredder

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This is a repost but it’s a goodie…

This week my husband has been shredding old documents. He has been doing this with much gusto and as a result the first shredder he brought “blew up” – well it suddenly started billowing smoke and looked like it was about to catch on fire. He has since realised he has to take a little longer in his “shredding” process, but he is getting the job done.

The past ten years of our life is in these shredded documents. Optometrist receipts, orthodontist paperwork, cars, holidays, music lessons, school bills, etc etc etc. Being shredded is reminders of family milestones, kids expenses, the good, bad and all the moments in between.

However watching my husband in his shredding process I wonder if there is something very therapeutic about “shredding?” It’s like we are clearing out the old and making way for the new. It’s remembering all that we have accomplished; all that God has provided for and all that we have been through to get to where we are now. Some reminders are good memories and some aren’t, and most are now only useful to be “shredded” and used in the compost bin. But regardless of which category these items fall into, they are the past and the truth is that each new day is an opportunity to reflect, give thanks and then move on. We can choose to take the good and thank God for all that he has done and provided for, and to also take the decidedly not so great and determine to learn from it, as we trust God to make something good come from all we experience, much like paper shredding’s do wonders for the compost bin.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Today I encourage you to do some “shredding” of your own. Some things in our lives and especially in our past simply belong in “God’s shredder”. The wisest thing to do is to bring these things to God and give them over to Him, knowing that He will in time bring something good out of everything we go through in life.

Plus as I am discovering, our shredding has now created all this space where we had been storing those old documents. In our cleaning out we have made room for something brand new and far more interesting, which is much like when we get rid of unnecessary old stuff in our lives and make room for God to do something brand new.

So…”Happy Shredding”.

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall” (Psalm 55:22)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 Prayer: Lord I thank you that each new day is an opportunity for you to do something amazing in my life. Help me to bring all my life to you and that I will make room for what you want to do today rather than holding onto the past. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

19 May – Stronger on the inside!

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There are a number of ways to get strong in our physical bodies, but how do we become strong on the inside?

God knew that we would need edifying and building up regularly to prevent us slipping into a negative attitude and frame of mind so He said to do some things to enable us to keep running our race and to remain strong and healthy on the inside.

Jude 20-23 in the bible explains some things to focus on:

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (NKJV)

v22 “Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way.”

v23 Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.”(The message)

Building up our faith is one of the most effective ways of strengthening and making us strong. One of the ways we do this is to read and study God’s words in the bible and then to go out and practice living it.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” (James 1:22-25 The Message)

It’s also helpful to:

  1. Read different bible translations to look at what God is saying from every angle. The New King James, New Living Translation, The Message Bible, The Amplified Bible, The New International Version and the Passion Translation line my bookshelf and are all regularly laid out on my bed as I study out what I am reading
  2. Listen to preaching that builds your trust in God. God uses others who are more mature in an area of their faith to help us grow.
  3. Surround yourself with faith filled people who actually believe God and what His word says.
  4. Pray in the spirit. It is a gift from God which is designed to edify our spirits and to strengthen us in our faith.

I’ve discovered that we can look amazing; have a wonderful partner, family, a home and money to spend on whatever we wish, yet if our spiritual  life is lacking and in a weakened state then all the trappings of a “successful life” won’t amount to much, especially when we face the more difficult challenges of life. Sadly the more depleted or empty we allow our spiritual lives to be the greater the emptiness and inability to deal with “real life” becomes.

God wants better for us and if we just listen and take the time with Him we will become far stronger and more capable than we could possibly imagine.

Today be honest with yourself and God, understanding that He doesn’t want you to be lacking in any way. You were created to be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually strong.  I encourage you to make a decision to do something about building into your spiritual life by asking Jesus to be part of your world and to remove any pain and hurt you have suffered. Let Him fill any emptiness or lack you feel and then choose to concentrate on building your relationship and life with Him little by little and day by day. Believe me if you do, very soon you won’t recognise yourself for the spiritual heavy weight you have become.

Prayer: Lord help me to face facts and be honest about my spiritual condition. I ask that you help me to build my faith and trust in you today. In Jesus Name Amen.

18 May – Rise up and take courage

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I was contemplating the danger of living passively. The dictionary meaning of passivity is “the acceptance of what happens, without active response.

Far too often we do accept what happens in life with very little response. Where we should stand up we don’t. Where we should shout and resist evil, sickness, and lack of any kind we don’t.  We unfortunately far too often tend to live passively; not wanting to make too much fuss, allowing ourselves to come “under circumstances” instead of rising above them and being altogether complacent.

There is an account of a woman in the bible who had been unwell for many years. She had spent all her money trying to find a cure and had become a social outcast because of her health issues. However it seems this woman never gave up her hope of being healed because when she heard of Jesus coming to town she made sure she was right there amongst the crowd. She was in no way passive in her approach but  was determined, desperate and persistent. She seized hold of Jesus and took what she needed and as a result she was instantly and radically healed.

Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His (Jesus’) garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him[a] said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:43-48)

This woman needed a breakthrough and she received it not because she sat back and waited passively for it to come to her, but because she seized it by force. She pushed her way though the throngs of people all pressing to be near to Jesus until she was able to reach out and touch him.

The bible has an interesting piece of scripture in it. It says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”  (Matthew 11:12)

The violent take it by force? The original Greek meaning of the word violent men and force is that the “violent” are those of eager, impetuous zeal, who grasp the kingdom of heaven and all that belongs to them. They grab hold of all that God says is their’s with as much eagerness as those who would snatch and carry off the spoil of a conquered city. This is what the woman with the issue of blood did. She grabbed hold of the kingdom of Heaven that Jesus brought to earth and she took it by force.

There are times when living passively can get you killed, stolen from and stomped all over because that is exactly what the devil and his demons are out to do. (John 10:10) When we are facing a battle, whether it is relationship problems, strife, sickness, lack or anything that looks, smells and talks like the devil it is imperative that we put all passivity aside and rise up and take courage. It is imperative that we ask God to fill us with his love, strength and power so that we will have boldness, eagerness and zeal to resist every thing that is not of God and instead take hold of all that is ours in Jesus and what he desires for both our lives and those around us.

Now is not the time for passivity or to have the approach of “whatever is God’s will” prayers. If you don’t know His will and understand how to claim and declare it boldly and with passion and zeal, then find out! Open up a bible and discover for yourself what God’s will and purpose is, listen and learn from people who know how to preach and teach how to use your faith, and then do as the woman with the issue of blood did and grab hold of what is your’s with everything you’ve got.

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8)

“Put on the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

Prayer: Jesus please fill me with your love, power, passion and zeal. I don’t want to be beaten up, stolen from or pushed around by the devil any longer. Today I choose to put aside passivity and take hold of all that you have given me through your finished work on the cross. In Jesus name Amen.

17 May – Be an instrument of change!

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John Wesley once said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.

John Wesley who spoke those words was a man whom God used to bring incredible change to a country and even, some say brought England back from the brink of revolution.

England at the beginning of the eighteenth century was in spiritual and moral decay. Thomas Carlyle described the country’s condition as “Stomach well alive, soul extinct.” Sir William Blackstone once visited the church of every major clergyman in London but found that in most sermons,  “it would have been impossible to tell just from listening whether the preacher was a follower of Confucius, Mohammed, or Christ!”

Morally the country was becoming increasingly decadent. Drunkenness was rampant; gambling was so extensive that one historian described England as “one vast casino.” Newborns were left to die, exposed in the streets. 97% of the infant poor in the workhouses died as children. Cruel bear baiting and cock fighting were accepted sports and tickets were sold to public executions much the same as if one was going to the theatre. The slave trade brought material gain to many while further degrading their souls. Bishop Berkeley wrote that morality and religion in Britain had collapsed “to a degree that was never known in any Christian country.”

But there were those who decided to stand up for who and what they believed, and because they did they stemmed the tide of immorality, lawlessness and godlessness.

Because of their commitment things started to change for the better and the subsequent move of God that followed cut across denominational lines and touched every class of society. England itself was transformed by this revival. In 1928 Archbishop Davidson wrote that “Wesley practically changed the outlook and even the character of the English nation.” Some historians maintain that the revival so altered the course of English history that it probably saved the country from the kind of revolution that took place in France.

What a different world it would be if we realised how much of an impact we can make and how great an agent for change we can all be when we grasp hold of both the responsibility and ability we have to act and stand up for good, to pray and to bring our petitions directly to the courts of heaven. For in doing so we can obtain the answers and change we so desperately need and desire.

Perhaps if we understood and took more seriously who we are and the authority we have been given we would more readily step up and govern through prayer, faith and action. We would open our mouths and hearts and begin to expect things to change for the better because that’s what’s on God’s heart.

Really, isn’t it time that those of us who profess to be followers of Jesus step up like John Wesley and others like him have done in the past? We too have a job to do – it is our turn and time now!

I encourage you today to pick up your bible again and to read what it says about Gods ways and heart for all mankind and for our nations. Consider carefully the things we are facing in our country and the world and then seek Jesus for His plan and solution.

Those who have gone before us paid a great price; they stood up, spoke up and took back what the enemy had stolen.

If the tide has been turned before – and it has, then it can be turned once again to goodness, purity, godliness and love.

Let’s take our petitions directly to the courts of heaven and to our righteous Judge. Let’s stand up, speak up and see heaven’s blueprint for our lives, communities and nations come to pass. For we do not belong to those who shrink back, but to those who have faith! (Hebrews 10:39)

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”. (Hebrews 4:16)

Jesus said “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  (Matthew18:18).

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NIV)

Prayer: Lord forgive me for where I have allowed complacency or fear to silence and dictate to me what I say, do and believe is possible. Would you please stir the fires of revival and faith in my heart and reveal to me your blueprint for my life and the future of this nation. I want to be used by you as an instrument of grace and change. In Jesus name Amen.

16 May – Be Nice – people like that!

 

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I was riding on the subway in New York City a few years ago and I noticed a sign on the wall that said, “Be nice, people like that! ”

Be nice, people like that,” sounds like a very obvious way to live but how often do we forget to be nice in our daily dealings with others? How often do we fail to be caring, kind, polite, patient and considerate of others, especially those close to us, and instead we behave far from nicely?

When some of our kids were younger they were known to be absolute angels when at school, yet on coming home all their angelicness seemed to disappear. I would ask in exasperation why they were so good at school, but seemed to find it so difficult to be nice and well-behaved once they arrived home? They’d tell me it was because they’d used up all their niceness during the day.

Perhaps we all feel to some degree like we can run out or use up all of our niceness at times. Fortunately for us God says that as we draw close to Him He sheds His love abroad in our hearts. We no longer need to love or live in our own capabilities, but through His power at work in our hearts. Plus the more we realise and recognise who we are in Jesus and that we are a new creation in Him, the easier it is to act and speak with love and “niceness” continually. It actually just starts to flow out of us, and the more we draw near to God the freer it flows.

Today if you are struggling to be “nice” ask God to remind you of who you are in Him, and what He says about you. Then make a decision to open up your heart to allow His love to fill and overflow your heart.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; Behold, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5 NLT)

Prayer: Lord thank you that I don’t have to go through life trying to be nice alone. When I open my life up to you, your goodness and love floods my heart. Please help me everyday to take the opportunity to be nice to others, because not only do other people like that, they also need it. In Jesus name Amen

 

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