Preparing for Your Royal Wedding!

Preparing for Your Royal Wedding!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

You’ve got your royal wedding guest name, tea and biscuits, and are just waiting to enjoy the lavishness of the Royal Wedding as Prince Harry marries commoner Meghan Markle. It is exciting! With so much attention being paid to their glorious day, I can’t help but wonder how prepared we each are for our own Royal Wedding. You do know your Royal Wedding Day is coming, right?  It’s true. So let’s start preparing for your royal wedding!

Here’s the checklist you will definitely need to have in hand to make sure your royal wedding goes off without a hitch!

Preparing for Your Royal Wedding

1. Finding a Royal Groom

In any marriage, finding a groom is of the utmost importance! LOL! Since most of us are commoners, where on earth do we find a royal groom?

Did you know that the Bible speaks of our relationship as God’s people with Jesus in marriage terms? It’s quite interesting and a big reason why the sanctity of marriage is so important.

From the moment God created the first union of Adam and Eve, he planned to explain to us how our irreconcilable differences would never part us. Even when we were extremely unfaithful and caused our sin to separate us from our Creator, our Lord had a plan to reconcile us to Him. Read Hosea sometime. His love in the midst of our unfaithfulness is astounding!

Anyway, the point is, as a church body, when God sends Jesus back one day, he will collect his bride, the church. Are you a follower of Christ Jesus and part of his church body?  If so, then you’ve got your groom. If not, then doing a bit more study is called for on your part.

Preparing a Place for His Bride

Jesus said that he was going to prepare a place for us. This is marriage talk. Did you know that?  In Jewish custom, the groom was charged with preparing a place for his bride before they were married. The groom prepared a place by adding on a room to his father’s house. Yes, the couple would live in the groom’s father’s house after they were married. The groom would work and work until his father said the room was complete and then, he could finally go get his bride.

Now with that Jewish custom in mind, read what Jesus said.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14: 1-3

Wow!  Doesn’t that make so much more sense now?  Our groom is preparing a place for us in Heaven! Our bridgegroom is Jesus! He will come back for us and we need to be prepared for that moment – our royal wedding day!

How does the Bride Prepare for the Royal Wedding?

Now, preparing for Jesus’ return is a little tricky but easy all at the same time. it’s tricky because we have no idea when he is returning. He does not either. Only the Father knows!

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Matthew 24:36

As we read through all Jesus’ parables about being prepared, we see a common thread and start to understand how to be prepared:

  1. We are each responsible for our own preparedness. No one else can do it for us, we each have to believe He is the only way and we have to dedicate ourselves to following Him.
  2. Since we don’t know when Jesus is coming, we must always be ready for his return. This means that we should be doing God’s work in our lives.  We should be putting his desires and will before our own.
  3. We are called to be faithful. This life and it’s difficulties may seem long and neverending at times, but we must glorify God and stay faithful even through the trails. Take heart, Jesus is coming back and all of this hurt will fade away.

Let’s go back to the Jewish custom of preparing for marriage.

The bride never knew when the groom would be coming, so she always had to be prepared. Likewise, her bridesmaids would be ready to help her at any given moment as well. Typically, once the father released his son to go fetch his bride for the wedding, news would spread quickly before his arrival. Almost like trumpets announcing his arrival.

The parable of the 10 bridesmaids expresses the importance of our being prepared while we wait for Jesus’ return.

At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves. 

But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Matthew 25:6-10

Always be prepared! This must of been where that motto game from. The sole job of the bridesmaids was to be ready to help the bride when her bridesgroom came. In this parable, only half of them were ready for the bridegroom to come!

Then what about the bride? Can you imagine what would have happened, if when the groom arrived and found his bride in the arms of another? In essence, that it what it will be like if we are not obediently serving our Lord when Jesus returns!

Can a virgin forget her ornament, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me Days without number.
Jeremiah 2:32

It’s ridiculous to think that if we were planning on marrying a royal prince that we would forget simple things like the dress or allow our excitement to dwindle. Instead as the day of the wedding draws closer, our excitement builds. Let our thrill for faithfully following Jesus so overtake our souls that when He returns, he will find a bride eagerly anticipating his arrival! 

Ready for the Royal Wedding!

One day the trumpets will sound and the glory of Christ will be witnessed, but the absolute best part is we will finally be united with Him forever away from the pain and hurt of this world. As you watch the royal wedding tomorrow, take these verses to heart because one day soon, a wedding whose splendor you cannot even imagine will take place!

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah!
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, 
and his bride has made herself ready. 
Fine linen, bright and clean, 
was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Revelation 19:6-8

 

Romans 12:12 {My Favorite Verse}

Romans 12:12 {My Favorite Verse}

Candace B

Candace B

I am a proud wife and Mother! My hubby, Tyler, and I both attended Oklahoma Christian where our love grew! We got married, had two beautiful kiddos, our son Gunner and daughter Brooklyn, and we are living a truly blessed life! I am currently a stay-at-home-mom and I help my husband in every way in his position as a youth minister (It's a true labor of love and we wouldn't be anywhere else!). I am also working on my teacher certification so when both my kids get into school I will have a job that I am passionate about, get to see my kids all the time, and will be out when they are out. I am most importantly a Christian and strive daily to keep God #1 because he is the reason I have all the amazing blessings, I give him all the praise!
Candace B

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My Favorite Verse

Romans 12:12 (NIV) “Rejoice in hope, [be] patient in affliction, [be] faithful in prayer.” 

I think that as I have grown there have been different verses that “speak” to me or become my favorite verse. When I first became a Christian at twelve, I loved John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

I still enjoy this verse. There is something about it that speaks to the world and most people know this verse…which is AWESOME!

I believe there are times that you read the Bible and God speaks to you. Verses that you have read before suddenly have a whole new meaning. We know that God shows us these in times of need, or to get us prepared for something, or to show us someone we can bless with God’s love.

Romans 12:12 has been my favorite verse for about six years now. It reminds me, quite simply, what to focus on and to show Christ in ALL I say and do.

Rejoice in hope:

Hope is something wonderful to have in anything you do! I have been known as the eternal optimist, and I love that. Most importantly I have hope that stems from the life I live in Christ. I have hope, no matter what the cost, no matter how good or bad the situation is. As long as I have hope and faith in God, He will take care of whatever it may be.

Patient in affliction:

I don’t know about you, but this is something I have to pray for daily because I seem to never have enough! Kids, marriage, LIFE, there are so many stresses that require a constant need of patience. This portion of the verse is very powerful, because it shows me that I can show God’s love by being patient.  By being patient, it shows others that I am different, that I am set apart. Christ is shining through me.

Faithful in Prayer:

This should bring it home for all of us. How is your prayer life? I try my best to not only pray daily but have a constant communication with God because this is how we strengthen our relationship with God. How do you strengthen any relationship you have? As a wife, mother, and friend, I make a point to be a part of their life. I have communication with them on a daily basis to show that I love and care for that person.

My husband and I encourage our kids to pray for the sick, the good and bad situations, and also to pray for things that they might be struggling with, such as talking back or throwing a fit when they don’t get their way. When we bring it before God, we are putting our full faith in him that he will help us in whatever we need.

Contributing to the Needs of the Saints

Verse thirteen concludes by adding that Christians should be “contributing to the needs of the saints, [and] practicing hospitality.” I love that this verse solidifies what we have focused on. By focusing on others’ needs and showing love and care to everyone we encounter, we are given daily opportunities to demonstrate how we rejoice in hope, have patience in trials, and are faithful in prayer.

What a wonderful world it would be if we would facilitate love, patience, and hospitality to all we know! Let’s be prayerful and focus on these words that God has gracefully given to us and simply show more of God’s love to all we see.

We want to hear from you!  Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

 

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Laura P

Laura P

Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.
Laura P

Growing up in church, there are several Bible stories you get used to hearing over and over again.  As a child, it’s usually Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors, and so on.  As a teenager, it’s generally lessons about obeying authority, modesty, and relationship advice.  Moving into  young adulthood, we’re generally exposed to the rest of the Bible.  Believe it or not, there are actually many parts of the Bible that are still foreign to me, and may be to you as well.

I always find myself surprised when I hear a parable I don’t recognize–not that I feel like I know the Bible in its entirety.  However, the parables are usually prime picking for good lessons, so they’re generally pretty well-known.  I ran into one the other day when I was doing my morning devotional that really spoke to me. Now I’d like to share it so it can speak to you too!

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Jesus Tells the Parable of the Persistent Widow
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said, “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

For some time he refused.  But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on earth?”

Luke 18:1-8

luke-18-7-8

Perhaps you are familiar with that particular parable, but I wasn’t.  I also wasn’t raised with the mindset that you pester someone until you get what you want.  I was raised with a more “southern charm” set of manners.  Don’t backtalk, always say please and thank you, and if you ask a question once, you don’t keep asking because that will result in a punishment because it’s just rude.  But the point Jesus makes is very clear.

Jesus wants us to pester the Father. 

Be persistent. Carry on. Ask repeatedly. Insist on being heard.  Pretty much the opposite of the general manners I grew up with.

Honestly, this one has proven difficult for me.  The idea of continuing to petition God the Father day and night makes me uncomfortable.  All of my good manners say, ask once and leave it.  Maybe ask twice if it seems really important, but more than that is just rude.  But Jesus clearly says…

“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly.”

The words are clear. We are to petition the Lord and he will see that justice is served quickly.

Will you join me in throwing manners out the window and getting down to the business of being open and real with God? 

The Parable of the Persistent Widow (p)

Praying Luke 1

Praying Luke 1

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Praying Luke 1

Luke’s perspective is different from the other gospel writers. Unlike the other gospel writers, who were Jews, Luke was a gentile writing to Thoepholis, which is translated those “friend of God.”

As we begin praying Luke 1, we start seeing the details of how God brought everything together over time to make every prophecy come true, then we better see his patience and love for us.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9

Luke 1:1-2

Lord, you know us to well. You know we are a doubting breed of people. Sometimes we can’t see what is right before us and all around us.

You open our eyes to truth and paved the way so that there would be signs through prophesies that would point to your coming. Then you fulfilled every single one of them. Nothing was done in secret and many were actually first hand witnesses of everything you did here on earth!

Oh, Lord, we praise you! For our sake, you brought together these first hand witnesses and encouraged them to write down all that they saw, so that years, even upon thousands of years later, we can still have first hand knowledge of what actually happened.

Thank you for those providing for our faith in such a beautiful way.

In the One who is the Word and instructed others how to write the Word – Amen!


Luke 1:3 – 4

Lord, we do love you! We want to grow in our faith and know you more. We want to be molded by you and not the culture around us.

We thank you for Luke’s example of thoroughness in how he investigated everything from the beginning and wrote it down, so we would know with certainty the things we have been taught.

Now, we pray, that we will take his example of investigation and do the same on our own lives.

Instead of just believing outright what we are taught by others, we pray that we will study your word on our own. Give us wisdom and discernment to see what your truth is. Help us distinguish it from the lies we are told.

Let us fall in love with you by reading it from your word!

In the One who is the Word – Amen!


Luke 1:5

Lord, we stand in awe of your plan. Sometimes we read over these verses quickly and don’t see the beauty of what you have done.

In this one verse, we see specific planning, with specific people, during a specific time frame. None of this was by mistake and from the beginning of time you were weaving your plan through the ages so that everything would take place at the exact time it needed to happen.

Your patience in allowing everything to come together at just the right time is astounding. Your promises unfold one at a time and as we read through the New Testament we see your promises being fulfilled over and over again!

Praise you, Lord, for your divine plan. And praise you for choosing us to be part of it!

We are not an afterthought but also part of what you had planned out in the beginning. We are here with a specific purpose to call people to you!

May we be bold as we proclaim the good news to those around us.

In the One who planned for a beautiful miracle to occur with Zechariah and Elizabeth – Amen!

Luke 1: 6-7

They were righteous…but!

Lord, it’s the “but” in our lives that calls us to lean into you and trust you even more.

The “but” reminds us that you are in ultimate control and that our relationship with you is not be based on “If I do this for you, then you will do that for me.”

You are faithful even when we are not faithful. You are good and just and loving even when things in life aren’t going perfectly. Your perfect plans prevail even when the timing is completely outside of our expected timeline.

Oh Lord, we love you and we trust your will for our lives. We pray that whatever our “but situation” is that we will not let our desire for it overtake our desire to love and serve you faithfully.

May we surrender to your will and timing in our lives. May we glorify you in all situations.

In the One who defies our imagination His love for us – Amen!

Luke 1:8 – 9

How good you are, Lord!

It might have seemed by chance that Zachariah entered the temple that day, but you had it all planned out. He loved you and served you. He continued to be righteous even though one of the prayers he had prayed for years and years had seemingly gone “unanswered.”

You chose from the beginning a specific moment to answer Zechariah’s prayer!

You are not fickle or uncaring. Very much the opposite! You seem to love to surprise us with your love!

When we start to doubt that our prayers are going unheard, help us to hold on to this passage and remember that your timing is perfect!

In the One who chooses the perfect time in our lives for everything – Amen!

The Rest of Luke 1

There is more of Luke 1 to come! We will continue to see how God not only has set everything up, but how he fans the flames of faith in those he has chosen to work through!  Some were willing and others were doubtful. Praise be to God that He loves everyone and no matter if we say, “Yes, Lord, I’m ready.” or “How in the world will this happen.,” our faith will grow abundantly as we obey Him.

Finding His Eyes of Grace

Finding His Eyes of Grace

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

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When was the last time you felt yourself losing your patience with someone? Was it on the freeway when a stranger cut you off? Was it with your kids during the difficult hour before dinner? Was it with your husband when he irritated that last nerve you had in you? Oh, there are plenty of opportunities to practice patience in our lives! More than patience though, what we really need are eyes of grace.

Using Eyes of Grace Instead of Judgment

Do you ever find yourself judging others? Of course you might not want to admit this, but I’m willing to bet that all of us have. Maybe it was the single mom who walked into church halfway through the sermon with her two children, all of them looking sloppy and making noise. Maybe it was the teenager wearing a “dress” that should be a shirt. Perhaps it was the older woman who never has a kind word to say. Yes, there are often times when it’s tempting to be judgmental. What we really need are eyes of grace. 

Do you suffer from insecurity? Or wish that you looked different or had nicer clothes? Do you feel defeated before you even begin to try something new? Do your failures and shortcomings speak louder than any victory? If so, sweet friend, you are not alone, and you are desperately in need of eyes of grace.

Grace is life-changing. Of course, the best example of grace is from our Father in Heaven.

 

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies us intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:4-6

Undeserved Grace

The Lord envies for our hearts intensely, yet time and time again we give in to the world. At least I do–I can’t speak for you. What a comfort to know that God extends me more and more grace. Grace I do not deserve. But really, grace is never deserved, it’s a gift we are given because we are loved so greatly. God’s eyes are full of grace when he looks on his children. As a daughter trying to be more like her Father, I must also try to see myself and others through His eyes of grace. 

 

When we exchange our pride for eyes of grace, we see ourselves not just for who we really are or who we want to be, but for who we are in Christ. This is not a place of insecurity but a place of victorious security! 

As we interact with others if we exchange our judgmental thoughts with eyes of grace we will see others the way God sees them. We will look on their disposition with love and understanding. This does not mean that if we notice a sin in their life that we accept their sin, just as I don’t want to accept the sin in my own life. What it means is that we see their heart, and seek to lovingly nurture it.

When our patience runs thin, and we exchange our anger for eyes of grace, we will remember to let the Holy Spirit shine through us in those times. Mercy and forgiveness will be on our hearts because we know that we’ve received it often ourselves.

 

0001-187308394

Recite Before You Respond

In the book Toddlers on the Move by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller I’m learning lots of tips for staying patient, as that’s a needed skill with a toddler! They suggest when you find yourself turning angry to recite the fruit of the spirit before you respond.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

 

You see, we can’t offer this wondrous grace on our own. We are only human, and we most definitely fall short. But if the Holy Spirit is living in you then you’ve got His eyes of grace living in you. You must call upon the Spirit and beg that you see through HIS eyes of grace.

When we use His eyes of grace it reminds us that we want to treat others and ourselves the way Jesus would. The best way to do that is to let the Holy Spirit’s fruit pour out from us.

Eyes of grace–we all want to be seen through them–and the good news is that we all are.

But he gives us more grace. (James 4:6)

 

A Game Changer: How Monopoly and Bible Studies are Alike

A Game Changer: How Monopoly and Bible Studies are Alike

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Do You Know the Rules?

Today for the first time ever since having kids, I pulled out one of my favorite games from my younger years: Monopoly.

As my best friends could attest, I was a Monopoly fanatic. Every year at least once, typically on New Year’s Eve, we would stay up all night (or until they finally gave up) for a marathon Monopoly session. I loved buying and owning and winning money. It was the only board game that seemed to never end.

When I pulled out my husband’s Star Wars version of Monopoly for our family to play, I decided to take the time to read the instructions, since it had slightly different rules and it had been so long since I played.

As I sat there reading the instructions, I was absolutely floored!

Nowhere in the instructions did I find…

  1. If you buy property, pay a tax or a fine, put your money in the middle of the game board.
  2. If you land on Free Parking, collect all the money from the middle of the board.
  3. Purchase a house any time you want for any property you have.

Instead, the rules said:

  1. The Bank collects all the money. (My previous understanding of putting it all in the middle and then winning it from Free Space never existed.)
  2. You can only purchase a house for a property, if you own all the colors of that property group! (What!?! Well, that makes it more difficult!)
  3. The game can be played in 60-90 minutes! (You mean, it’s not supposed to take 5-8 hours to play this game?)

I literally sat there stunned. Why did I not know these rules? Why were the rules I knew about so different?

Talk about a game changer!

Processing this, I realized that I had never actually taken the time to read the rules for myself. I just wanted to play, so I readily accepted what other people told me the rules were.

I couldn’t help but realize that I had readily accepted what others had told me in other areas of my life as well. 

A handful (ok, maybe two handfuls) of years ago, one of our elders led a class that came to be known in my mind as “Is it Biblical or is it Tradition?

A Game Changer Bible (1)

 

I loved that class for one main reason. It got me into God’s word on a new level. Instead of taking what others said and molding the Bible to fit, we tried to figure out if our traditions were actually biblical. Were they really as important as we elevated them to be, or did we turn it into something more than it should have been?

There were many heated debates in this class over the years. When the dust settled and our eyes focused on God’s word, we couldn’t help but realize some of what we had readily accepted as an absolute truth was maybe more of a protective gate to keep us from doing something truly sinful.

A Spiritual Game Changer

I will be forever thankful to that elder for taking the time to hold our hands and walk us through the Bible text. He helped us walk the traditions that we held up higher than the actual truth out of our lives.

It is considered noble to test everything someone says against the Scriptures.  In Acts 17:11, Luke writes about the Bereans:

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

Just thinking about this makes me giggle!  I take Paul at his word, but here the Bereans test everyone against Scripture and make sure that they echo God’s truth.

So yes, let’s accept God’s word with eagerness. But let’s also remember to examine every source to make sure it tells God’s truth.  Even this blog (and any other). This will keep us from faltering and putting our faith in a person rather than God. It will also help us not risk our heavenly future based on the wrong instructions of others.

Have you taken the time to examine your beliefs and traditions against Scripture? Or are you just accepting what others have told you to be true?  

 

 

 

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