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Dayle's Blog

10 Sept – The Power Of Repetition

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Some things we only learn by repeatedly doing them. Like our youngest son Isaac learning his timetables. If he doesn’t repeatedly use his timetables he will be unable to recall them when he needs to, and will therefore struggle to learn and master the next concepts he learns in maths.

There are many instances where repetition in our lives is actually necessary. If we don’t do some tasks or disciplines in life repeatedly we either lose that knowledge and skills or we simply don’t have the needed resources when we require them.

From learning our timetables, choosing to consistently eat well and exercise to strengthen and care for our bodies, practicing an instrument, technique and/or ball skills in sport, to reading and learning God’s Word and His ways, the power of repeatedly doing something should not be underestimated.

Sometimes we may feel like it’s boring to repeat something over and over and this can be true. That’s when we may need to consider whether we need to be creative and “mix it up a little” rather than lose interest and give up or do we need to just get on with it and do what we know to do.

The question to ask ourselves when faced with a dislike or boredom of repetition is, “will I regret it later if I give up now and stop doing and committing to what I set out to do? Will I regret not learning and repetitively practicing that skill? Will I regret allowing myself to be distracted from reading and spending time with God and His Word? Will I regret and wish I had just stuck to my commitment a year or even five years from now?”

The truth is that most repetitive things in our lives we don’t see the results of straight away. It takes time to build skills, knowledge, relationships and disciplines as part of our lives, but when they are positive the benefits are far reaching, and even life saving.

Just as Isaac is going to benefit from knowing his timetables as he learns more complex maths, we also for example benefit from reading God word and knowing Him. When faced with a decision, difficulty or a need in our lives if we have repetitively and consistently chosen to store God’s Words in our hearts and built a strong relationship with Him we can call upon that understanding, strength and the faith it’s generated whenever we may need it. It’s however difficult to draw from the resources of heaven and our faith if we haven’t bothered to build those things into our lives on a day-to-day basis already.

Today ask yourself, “What things do I want to build into my life? Am I willing to pay the price to consistently and repeatedly do what I know to do.” “And am I aware and prepared to face the consequences and any regrets if I don’t?”

For what we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while.

Don’t make the mistake of looking back five years from now and wishing you’d stuck to those things you knew you wanted to do and be. Each day ask God to help you be steadfast in your commitments; be creative if you need to be and just do it.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. “(Galatians 6:9)

“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:4)

Prayer: Lord thank you for the power of repetition, and what I can achieve when I remain steadfast. Help me to see the value in repeatedly spending time with you, in reading your Word, and in focusing on the things you have called me to do and be. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

9 Sept – Don’t Compare

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Comparison- a consideration or estimate of the similarities or differences between two things or people.

The danger of comparisons are that they are never fair. Primarily because each one of us is a unique individual with circumstances, characteristics, life events, health advantages or disadvantages, responsibilities, and God’s individual plan for our life that is vastly different from anyone else’s.

By comparing or allowing ourselves to be compared to someone or something else we negate the very things that make us unique. Rarely are any of us are on the same playing field, or have walked the same journey up until this point. In comparing we demand that we become like those we compare ourselves to which inevitably leads to feelings of diminished self worth or the tendency to become judgmental and harsh of others.

People’s so called perfection is an illusion. What we see or what others allow us to see is just a snapshot of their lives. It can be the truth, but not the whole truth. Perhaps if we knew everyone’s whole truths we wouldn’t feel so inadequate or feel like a failure in comparison. Most people, unless they are in a close honest relationship with someone, will only allow other people to see their best self on any give day, post on social media or the mask they choose to wear. Therefore we can actually be comparing ourselves to a carefully marketed and crafted image of “perfection” that is not real.

Our kids often say when they feel they’ve experienced an injustice that, “its not fair”. In actual fact life is not fair. Each one of us is born with looks, skills, social advantages or disadvantages, family and financial demographics, life events and different upbringings that when put on the playing field of life reflect a very uneven playing field. Some have a definite advantage, others have disadvantages and comparing ourselves or others will only cause damage to self esteem and relationships.

When we don’t allow comparisons we are far more likely to cheer one another on, to keep our focus and to make lasting friendships and healthy relationship choices. We step away from competition and choose to spur both ourselves and others on.

The only person we should ever compare ourselves to is ourselves and where we’d like to be in the future. Then we can structure our goals and strategies accordingly.

We can compare ourselves on how far we’ve come and honestly analyse where we are positioned in relation to our unique dreams and goals. This helps us to celebrate our wins, to stay on track, to assess any obstacles and to adjust our lives where necessary so we can be our best.

Today instead of falling into the comparison trap or allowing anyone to compare you to others, focus on self improvement and celebrating who you are. Allow some time to dream, talk to God about your life and then set some SMART goals.

Goals that are: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. Prayerfully build into your week strategies that enhance and build into these goals and that will encourage you in who you are, where you are going and in the dreams God has placed in your heart.

And be wise and gather around you those people who will neither compare or diminish you as the unique individual you are, but instead will offer their support, love and encouragement along the way.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” (1Peter 2:9)

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” ( Psalm 20:4)

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.” (Proverbs 21:5)

Prayer: Lord thank you that I am both unique and special in your sight and that I don’t need to compare or allow myself to be placed in comparison against others which only causes rivalry, diminished self esteem and judgement. Please help me to see myself as you see me and to be both real and honest with both myself and others as I continue to grow to become all that you created me to be. In Jesus name Amen

8 Sept -Dealing With Discouragement

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We are all going to experience some level of discouragement at some point in our lives. Especially if we are ever going to attempt to be or do anything. It goes with the territory of stepping out, of taking risks and of following our dreams and God’s leading for our lives.

Actually we are in very good company whenever we may feel discouraged. Noah preached for decades and only 8 people ever responded favourably. (Genesis 5; 2 Peter 2:5) Joseph helped someone, and when they had the opportunity to assist him in return they left him forgotten in an Egyptian prison for years. (Genesis 40:5-15; 23) Moses came down off Mt Sinai after having a “full on” encounter with God to discover that all the people he was responsible for leading were busy worshipping a golden calf. (Exodus 32:1-8) Jeremiah was thrown into a well for speaking the truth, and for doing what God had told him to do. (Jeremiah 38:1-6) David, Job, the early disciples of Jesus, Paul and many others all suffered from discouragement.

So how do we deal with a what the dictionary describes as a: loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness, downheartedness, dejection, depression, demoralization, disappointment, despondency, and hopelessness. Jesus sets an example for us in the way He lived while on the earth.

He refused to give up – the key to overcoming obstacles and disappointments in every situation is not “where you are, but what you are”. Joy and happiness is not to be dependent on our circumstances, but rather upon what we are within us. It’s why it is imperative we know who we are in Jesus.

He had perspective -Jesus looked at every situation from a heavenly viewpoint. He said for us to “lift up our eyes” (John 4:35). And to set our mind on things above, and not upon earthly things. God’s got all our needs and even the secret desires of our heart under control. He just says to seek him, amd He’ll add to us all the things everyone else spends so much energy and time trying to make happen. (Colossians 3:2; Matthew 6:33)

He kept walking – Jesus knew what he was on earth to do and he just kept his focus on sharing the good news and ultimately in dying so as to release mankind from the bondage of sin and the devil.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people”. (Matthew 4:23-24)

He drew aside and prayed – when faced with decisions or sorrow such as when John the baptist was murdered, Jesus draw close to the Father and received strength and comfort.

When Jesus heard what happened he withdraw by boat privately to a solitary place”. (Matthew 14:13)

And rising very early in the morning while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed”.(Mark 1:35-36)

He kept doing good, and speaking love, joy and blessing – In the midst of opposition and discouragements Jesus just kept right on doing what He was called to do, and ultimately He triumphed over sin and death.

…”Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him”. (Acts 10:38)

If you ever feel discouraged; lift your head up and look to and learn from Jesus. Know and remind yourself of who you are and what you are here for. Learn to wait and to draw your strength from a loving God who sees all. He says, “don’t grow weary in doing good for in due season you shall reap if you do not give up”. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

Plus be on the alert and watch out for God’s unexpected blessings and surprises to encourage you. He is a good God, and if we just hold steady and keep walking with Him He promises He’ll make it all work out better than we could ever of thought, dreamt or imagined. (Ephesians 3:20)

Prayer: Jesus thank you for your example of how to navigate and walk through discouragement. Help me to remember and to keep my eyes on the truth of who I am, and what I am here for so that I don’t give up. In Jesus Name Amen.

7 Sept – Calm Your Farm

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Our older kids often used a saying when they were growing up and wanted to tell each other to calm down or “chill out” a bit. They’d say, “just calm your farm”. I have no idea where they came up with such a saying but it is a good reminder when someone needs to settle and calm down a bit. Especially when the world and many people around us can be anything but calm and settled.

As a child I grew up on a farm and I know that if you get frazzled, loud or erratic in your emotions and expressions that nothing good is going to happen. The seasons, weather, crops and definitely other people and the livestock do not respond to such behaviour.

In fact when we lose our calm and peace we start to fail. We fail to keep perspective; we fail to think clearly and find solutions; we fail to hear clearly from God and to therefore exercise the appropriate leadership and authority we have been given by God to bring things into proper line. Plus we fail to keep safe and secure those we have an impact on or are responsible for; both our family, livestock, property and the wider community.

There are always going to be some pressure cooker moments in life wherever we are regardless of our vocation or life situation. My Dad was a sheep farmer on a large property in the rolling green hills of New Zealand. It is a beautiful part of the world, and many might presume such a life would always be tranquil and peaceful, which it was to a large degree. However even in this beautiful setting I also have vivid childhood memories of my Dad losing his cool as he threw his hands in the air, grabbed his hat off his head and started yelling until red in the face at Flo the sheep dog who was half deaf and therefore totally non-plussed at my Dad’s obvious frustration at her and the silly flock of sheep he was trying to move. No doubt Dad could have done with ”calming his farm”.

“Calm your farm” is keeping our internal world and therefore our external life together. It’s finding that place of rest and peace within us so that regardless of what is happening we keep our composure and calm.

A close, healthy, growing relationship and connection with God is the best way I know of keeping “my farm calm”. Time spent daily resting in His presence; off loading any worries and stress and reading His Word and then doing what it says throughout the day are great ways to keep calm. Coupled with proper care of our bodies through regular exercise, good nutrition, realistic expectations of what we can do in a day and adequate rest and relaxation will safe guard us from the pressures life may try to throw at us. Plus everyone and everything in our world will definitely thank us for keeping “calm our farm.”

Trust in the Lord, and do good;

Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him

And He shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:3-5)

Prayer: Lord please help me to find peace and rest in you today. I give you all my concerns and needs and I choose to keep my inner peace and calm as I trust you with all the things I need and want to do today. In Jesus name Amen

6 Sept – At the mention of His name

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I’ve found that when I am frustrated, annoyed or worrying about something I need to be careful of the words I speak. Too often we can pray one thing, but then when we come under pressure we say the complete opposite of what we have prayed. This is counter- productive to our prayers, essentially making them ineffective. That’s when we need to “zip it” and not say anything at all unless it agrees with what God says.

That’s where my vacuuming song comes in handy. I may be wanting to spout a whole lot of faithless, doubt filled rubbish out of my mouth because I am feeling annoyed or anxious but instead I’ve learnt to take my frustration and worries out in other ways like  vacuuming, primarily because its too noisy to hear much else unless I’m being intentional about what I’m saying.  I start to speak or sing Gods promises because I choose to turn “my worry into worship”, knowing that when I worship God I will start to see from the perspective of heaven and from the knowledge of who God is and what He is capable of, rather than just seeing my struggle. That changes how I look at my problem or issue and it instantly makes me more aware of God being on the scene.

One of my vacuuming songs for years happens to be, “Jehovah Jireh” my provider”. Jehovah Jireh is one of the names God uses to explain his character. It means the “Lord who provides”, which covers pretty much everything in life. He provides strength, joy, love, comfort, peace, finances, health, healing, wisdom, clarity, boldness… It’s just one of the names of God that reveals an aspect of who He is and what He promises.

I’ve discovered over the years that one of the most powerful methods of turning worry into worship is to constantly have a growing understanding of who God is and to understand His names and what they reveal about Him.

In the Bible a person’s name usually said something about that person’s character or destiny. This is why the many names of God are vitally important for us to see and understand. Each name of God reveals something about His character. At the same time, God’s names show us many different ways in which He is there to help us in our times of need or worry.

Here are some of the names of God:

  • Elohim (God)
  • Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
  • El Elyon (The Most High God)
  • Adonai (Lord, Master)
  • El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
  • El Olam (The Everlasting God)
  • Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
  • Jehovah Rapha (The Lord Who Heals You)
  • Jehovah Nissi (The Lord Is My Banner)
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
  • Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
  • Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
  • Jehovah Raah (The Lord Is My Shepherd)
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
  • Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)

We can see God’s names revealed throughout the bible, usually when people either faced a great need, or when God blessed them in a spectacular way. It’s the same today. God still wants to reveal Himself to each one of us.

God wants us to know Him and to know His name so that we will confidently trust and rely on Him, knowing that He will never abandon us. For us to know: He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our Healer; He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider; He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our peace. He is Jehovah Raah, our Shepherd.

When life begins to press in, we can draw upon the knowledge of who God is and declare His names back to Him and all of heaven responds, as His power is released to defeat every weapon that may have been formed against us.

Today, start discovering His name, and the promises behind it. Then choose to worship; knowing that it leads us into His presence, silences the enemy, and releases the power of heaven on our behalf.

You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.” (Psalm 8:2)

Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” (2 Kings 17:38-39)

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:40)

5 Sept – Who’s voice are you listening to?

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We can easily get into confusion if we listen to all the “voices,” around us rather than seeking to hear God’s voice speaking. Sometimes we can even go from person to person and place to place looking for what we want to hear, rather than truly seeking God and truth. There is always someone who will tell you what you want to hear if you look hard enough. Which is why it’s a good idea to watch that our hearts remain uncluttered from our own motives, issues, unforgiveness or fears, so that we arent deceived into hearing, doing and acting outside of what is God’s best for us.

God speaks in many ways; through the bible, through a quiet voice within us, through miracles, supernatural means, natural means, through our experiences, trials, visions, dreams, trances, through our minds “seeing” a part of a sentence or just a single word that we may not even understand at the time. He speaks to us by impressions, which often communicate knowledge, and by preachers, teachers, prophets, and others. It’s just whether we have ears and hearts to hear.

Today, ask God to speak to you in whatever way He wants to. It could be in reading the biblemand a verse just keeps on “jumping” out at you, or you are reminded of it later. It could be through an experience, another person, a vision or dream, or an impression or sense that God is saying something.

Write what you are “hearing” and seeing down. I practice in the little things as well as the big.  When you start to actively choose to listen you suddenly come to realise just how much God has been speaking and looking out for you the whole time.

God calls and speaks to each one of us whether we know Him already, or have never even had a conversation with Him.

The bible says, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD”.(Jeremiah 29:12-13)

I can guarantee that if you take the time to listen and to seek to hear God’s voice you will. Maybe the question then is, “What will you do when you do hear Him speak”?

Prayer: Lord please give me ears to hear and eyes to see the things you want to reveal to me. Forgive me when I have pushed you aside, or have listen to other voices rather than yours. I don’t want to do that anymore. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

4 Sept -People Pleaser

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I was having a phone conversation with someone today and as the discussion progressed I realised I was doing what I’ve often done and was backing down on my stance and convictions so as to keep the peace.

Unfortunately when you do this too often you just internalize what you are really feeling and in doing so risk becoming a people pleaser and feeling very frustrated. If you continue in this as your default setting you will eventually live life only pleasing everyone else, but failing to acknowledge your own thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams, which is not the life God wants us to live.

So today I stood up on the inside and spoke my mind and heart because something checked me on inside that I needed to say my piece and hold my ground. More importantly doing that was in fact okay regardless of whether it made the conversation uncomfortable or created conflict. I’ve discovered the hard way that sometimes we have to risk confrontation and experience a degree of conflict to gain honesty in relationships, and that’s ok. As long as we can step back when things get too heated and determine to come to a prayerful resolution once everyone has spoken their mind and “cooled off”.

The danger in suppressing our inner world on a constant basis is that we can also in the process shut down who we were created to be. We can lose ourselves in the midst of everyone else’s demands, noise and the pressure of life. Jesus said, “love your neighbour as you love yourself” (Matt 12:31), but perhaps traditional viewpoints and religion has made a demand, especially upon woman that everyone else must come before them. Your values, desires and dreams are secondary. As a result we can get very adept at looking like we are loving our neighbor, but it’s not loving them well or as we love ourselves.

Primarily because loving ourselves means caring for and highly valuing and honoring who we are, whilst continually seeking to connect with who God has created us to be. That we determine to grow and develop as a person to the best of our ability. Failure to do that is failure to truly love ourselves and therefore how can we freely and with honesty and openness love to the fullest anyone else?

Today God allowed conflict both within me and my external world to highlight the fact that to truly love others I’ve got to love myself first. Otherwise I will eventually only appear like I am being caring and loving, when really my actions and intentions are flowing from a place of guilt, fear and in time resentment.

I encourage you to take an honest look at your internal world. Assess why you do and say things and whether you express yourself honestly. Love and take care of yourself and forgo the temptation to discount yourself or to let go of your hope’s and dreams simply to please the majority. God put those desires and dreams inside of you because you are valuable and He wants to help you to fulfill your destiny. He says you are both valid and important and that you count.

Never doubt Gods mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.” (Ephesians 3:20 TPT)

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”( Roman’s 8:32)

“Trust in the Lord and do good.; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart..” (Psalm 37:4)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have created me with a plan and a purpose and it is you that bestowed gifts, talents and desires in my heart and life. Please help me to be honest, to care for myself better and in doing so that I will be able to love both myself and my neighbour in a greater way. In Jesus name Amen

3 Sept – A Clean Slate

Imagine if you had a blank sheet of white paper. It is completely free of spots, marks or wrinkles, and then imagine if that blank piece of paper represented your life.

The bible says that we’ve been given such a blank piece of paper; that we receive a clean slate when we ask Jesus to be part of our life. We acknowledge where we have messed up and fallen short and ask for His forgiveness. Then a clean slate is gifted to us, and it’s then our choice what we do with it.

God says He is faithful and just to forgive all our mistakes; where we haven’t acted, said or thought the right things. (1 John 1:9) He cleanses us and gives us His righteousness, His being right, His holiness, His cleansing, His strength and His purity.

A clean slate is free from disappointment, sin, and mistakes. It’s an opportunity to take hold of new life, to live out our new creation reality, and embrace a brand new way of living.

The bible says, “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)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:19)

No matter what we’ve done when we come to Him, God always gives us a fresh start because He loves us and wants us to live free and without the weights of the past.  It’s like if we wrote down all the wrong, messed up things we are guilty of and then God takes that list and tears it up. He promises that if we come to Him “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us”. (Psalm 103:12)

Today draw near to God and give Him your mess in exchange for the gift of a fresh start and a clean slate.

Prayer: Lord thank you that you offer me a blank page to write with you the next chapter of my story on. I choose to give you my life and I receive the gift of a new life and a fresh start with you. Help me to choose wisely what I write on my page and to make the most of every opportunity and blessing. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

2 Sept – I’ll walk with you

When I first started dating my husband Philip we would walk everywhere together. We would walk to lunch together, to church, to our friend’s houses, and even the hour it took to walk to work together. We learnt a lot about each other by simply walking and talking, and listening to one another. We watched, listened and adapted to one another as we set our course for life.

Now because we have been walking together for so long Philip instinctively knows which side of the path I like to walk on, what I do and don’t like, the streets I prefer, and where I like to go. He knows I like to walk and talk, and that most of the time it’s just okay for him to listen. He adjusts his steps, and I try to speed up mine.

When we choose to walk with someone we obviously won’t want to walk in the opposite direction because then we can talk, listen, and enjoy their company. Without walking right alongside one another we will not be able to understand each other as well, watch and hear changes in expressions and emotions, or decide and agree on a destination.

Walking with Jesus is much the same. When we ask Him to be a part of our life we enter into a relationship, embark on a journey with Him and adopt a new life style along the way. It’s a long walk, and not a short sprint, and it’s not all just about the destination, but also the things we discover and experience along the way.

As with any journey and relationship there are some things we need to leave behind. We don’t want to bring our negative past, our mess up’s, fears, sin and excess baggage on our journey. These things will only distract and weigh us down, and it’s the same in our walk with Jesus. He offers to take all our burdens, sin and past, so that He can free and cleanse us totally enabling us to not just walk, but to power walk and even run! (1 John 1:9)

Our relationship with Jesus is a daily walk. We decide each morning to walk in the same direction as Him, taking the time to talk and to listen, and choosing to walk so that our focus and attention will be on Him. It’s much the same as when I walk with my husband Philip. It’’s not burdensome, but about our love and commitment to one another. Our walk with Jesus is designed to be a long enjoyable walk, where He has promised to always walk alongside us in both the sunshine and the rain.

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith just as you were taught.” (Colossians 2:6-7)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Prayer: Jesus help me to walk with you everyday. I don’t want to rush ahead or walk in the opposite direction, but step by step in time with you. Help me to do that in both the sunshine and the rain. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

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