Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Name Dropping

Have you ever been irritated by someone who is, shall we say, a "name dropper".  It drives me absolutely crazy and I have no idea why.  It's as if these people dangle little names within their conversations in an effort to convey their own importance or something. 

Even though these people irritate me, I have to admit that I like to be a name dropper too.

When it's a really tough day at work and I get to a point that I want to throw my hands up and quit, I often sneak to this little quiet place in our office, get by myself, close the door, and whisper His name over and over. Immediately it begins to soothe my frazzled spirit and the more I say His name the more His peace washes over me. When I face an uncertainty and can't understand why it's happening or what is going on around me, His name calms the storm within my heart.

There is power in His name.




No matter what you come against today, there is power in that name. Every knee will one day bow to it, and every tongue will eventually confess it.

But until then, His name is a safe place.

A place of refuge.

A place of protection.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.

Proverbs 18:10

When you are angry, when you are frustrated, when you are weary, when you are fearful, when you are lonely, when you are _____________________  - you fill in the blank.  His name.

Stop for a minute, close your eyes, and whisper those two syllables Jesus.............

His name.

A healing balm.

His name.

Sweet peace it brings.

Proverbs 18:10, is our new Godsword.  I think it's a wonderful verse to run to when we need protection, when we need to be reminded of a safe place. 

This is the type of name dropper I want to be.

My Godsword this past week:
Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly holds it back.  Proverbs 29:11

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Care Bear and Pooh Bear

Woven throughout my posts and stories, you have met every member of my household except for two.  You have heard about my husband, Todd.  You probably feel like you know both of my girls, McKayla and Brenna, by now, and you recently were introduced to their canine little sister, Marlie.

But like I said, there are 2 family members in my house that you haven't met, and today I would like to introduce you to Care Bear and Pooh Bear.  

Care Bear and Pooh 2005
Pooh and Care Bear July 2011
Minus some feet and ears a little nibbled
thanks to Marlie!

 The first picture of Care Bear  and Pooh Bear was taken in 2005, and they are much more weary and ragged today, as you can see, but despite their nibbled feet and nearly severed ears, they are still waving cheerfully! 

When Brenna was just a tiny little tike, she was sick with bronchitis and a high fever, and for some reason during that illness she latched on to these two little objects and still sleeps with them every night to this day.
3 year-old Brenna fast asleep with her 2 best friends
August 2005
There were countless nights during her preschool and toddler years when she would wake during the night, toddle to my room, rubbing her sleepy eyes and whimper, "Mommy, I can't find Care Bear," or "Mommy, Pooh Bear's gone."

I would somehow drag myself from dreamland  in those wee hours and follow her back to her room in search for her missing friend.  I can't tell you how many hours I have spent looking beneath the covers and between the sheets for one of these M.I.A. characters.  When they couldn't be found mixed in the covers or on the floor next to her bed, the search had to take on a new seriousness!  It usually meant that Care Bear or Pooh Bear, whichever was the victim that night,  had fallen between her bed and her bedroom wall.  I would look down there, see the prized possession with my eyes, and just know that I could reach them, but after trying and trying, stretching and stretching, most nights I would have to tip toe down the hall and get the yard-stick. My arm was not long enough to reach despite my earnest, sleep-deprived efforts.

It is so frustrating to me to be able to see something, it look reachable, and then when I extend my hand, there's too little arm and too much distance.  Who of us hasn't stood on her tip toes reaching for something on the very top shelf of the cabinet, we stretch, we can touch the object we are after, yet that is it. Just because of a few millimeters, I have to go get a stool!  Our arm is just too short to grant us the length required for a full grasp.

A pastor reminded me of a wonderful verse on Sunday that had gotten pushed to the back of my mind.  When he used this verse in his message, it came alive to me because of our history with Care Bear and Pooh.

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor His ear too dull to hear.
Isaiah 59:1

I just love thinking about what that verse says to us.  He will never need a yardstick to reach whatever it is that we need.  He will never have to stand on His tip toes to touch us without clutching us in His grasp. His arm is long enough to reach me and save me no matter where I am, no matter what situation I am in. 

His ear is never too dull to hear my whimper when I toddle to His side asking for His help. 

My Long-Armed God, how marvelous You are.  How touching the words You penned within Your book are to my soul.  What comfort to know that I will never be anywhere that you cannot reach me and that you can always hear my voice.  You amaze me, God, that you are a Tender Father, a God that rushes to my rescue, a Fierce Protector, and all the while you purposefully listen for my voice.  I cannot express how near you feel to me right now and I cannot wait to get to Heaven so that my mouth might be able to give you adequate praise.  I am not worthy of such a pure, relentless love, but because you offer that relentless love wrapped in mercy and tied with grace, I receive it.  I thank You for touching me with Your holy presence one more time.....Until we meet again, Sweet Jesus, Amen.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Clutter Free

Solve Your
NO. 1

I'm normally not a big magazine buyer unless we are going to be in the car for an extended period, but this time they got me, hook, line, and sinker! You see, although my husband is a neat freak, we have this clutter problem. The problem resides on our bar and it DRIVES ME CRAZY! I feel like my whole house is a wreck if that bar is cluttered, so the thought of solving my NO.1 CLUTTER PROBLEM was quite appealing to me.

I scrambled through the pages to find the article that caused me to fall victim to their marketing schemes and there it was on page 95 of the August issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine

You've Got (Too Much)
The number one decluttering tip: Empty that box!

In this article the author gave some practical tips on controlling that little metal "in box" that stands at the end of our driveways. One of the catch phrases highlighted within the article was this:

Chuck junk with confidence: Sort your mail standing up - right next to the recycling can.

When I sort next to the trash can, the mail can't make it inside my house, cluttering up my bar!

While the US Postal Services processes 563 million pieces of mail each day, our minds process over 70,000 thoughts a day. When there are 70,000 thoughts floating around in our minds, there's a huge potential for our minds to become cluttered. Given the number of thoughts we have, a huge number of those thoughts that can be classified as "junk mail" to our brains and to our hearts. Thoughts that can do damage to us. Thoughts that can change our countenance. Thoughts that can affect our decisions in ways that are not God-honoring.

What can we do about those thoughts?

Stand up! No, I don't mean you have to physically stand up, but stand up within your spirit so that you are ready to take action. Stop those thoughts at the door with this scripture:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

If the thought doesn't line up with one that would be obedient to Jesus and what He calls you to, then take it captive in your mind and reject it.

Then - Recycle! Recycle with Romans 12:2

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Ask God to change the way you think when it comes to thoughts that aren't honoring to him. When that "person" that rubs you the wrong way, starts actually rubbing you the wrong way, as your blood begins to boil, ask yourself, "Do the thoughts I am having about this jerk obey Christ?" (Obviously not, or I wouldn't be using words like jerk!) If the answer is no, then the thought has to go. Don't entertain it. Take it captive and lead it away from your heart. Then ask Him to show you something, some trait about this person that He loves about them. The last time I did this, He whispered to my heart, "I died for her.", and immediately my perspective changed. I was able to forgive, and that felt much better than the bitter root that was begging to be planted.

The more we renew our minds and allow Him to change the way we think, the more we can discern His will for us, and isn't that what we are all after anyway?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beneath the Surface

There is this bush that blooms every spring that I absolutely love.  The aroma that pours out from its delicate clusters of blooms is the most beautiful perfume to me that God created.  If I were to describe what Heaven would smell like, this would be the scent I would choose.  I have no idea what this plant is called, but since I first inhaled this sweet fragrance I have not forgotten it. 

Every spring I drag my good friend out for a walk on our lunch break, not once but several times over the course of a few weeks.  We walk in the direction of this gift of spring as soon as the time draws near for the little blossoms to display their glory.  We are usually a week or so early, but I wait for this all year, so we are careful not to miss it, so we walk down Broadway often, and when this flower has bloomed, you just know.  You can catch little puffs of it's scent when you are still blocks away.  Even though I know there are days my friend would rather relax on her lunch break, she always goes with me and knows just how much I enjoy it.

One Saturday afternoon this past spring, she called me.

"Guess what?" I could sense the excitement in her voice.

"What?" I asked in anticipation.

"I am at my mother-in-law's, we are out in the yard, and she has THE BUSH!"

"Oh, my goodness I can't believe it!  Ask her what it's called!"  I almost couldn't contain my joy, and my kids were looking at me as if I had just landed from Mars.

She answered me with, "Well, I asked her, and she doesn't know."

My shoulders sunk a bit, if I could just find out the name of this bush, I could go to the greenhouse and get one for myself.  I had been on a quest to find out its name for several springs and once again was coming up short until she finished with, "She said I could dig up a piece of it and bring it to you."

The joy and excitement returned, because that thought hadn't crossed my mind, and I looked forward to her bringing me a little sprig to nurture until next spring.

Well, we are now in the dead of summer and several days ago my friend asked me how that little sprig was doing.  I told her that I planted it in a pot, but all of the foliage had since fallen off, and all that remained was a stick projecting out from the dirt. 

I told her that I was chosing to remain hopeful that something was going on under that dirt that I could not see.  Only time would tell, maybe some day I would see a sign of life.

Well, guess what? Yesterday I walked around the side of my house.  I passed by the little pot that I feared would not bring forth new life next spring, and much to my surprise there were new tender green leaves! 

My steps instantly got a little lighter and I am excited about what spring will bring in 2012.  Those little leaves confirmed to me that all along, even though there was nothing going on that I could observe on the surface, there was much going on underneath it.  Life was developing in the dark places and opened up in the light.

I've learned that sometimes God works that way with us too.

From Isaiah 43:18-19

Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

My friends, I know how hard it is to have no idea what God is doing.  We have to trust Him completely.  Trust Him enough to believe that even though we see nothing on the surface, He is doing a great work beneath it.  It's easy to dwell on the past, how things "used to be", easy to ask ourselves "why"  and "how".  If we are too busy dwelling on the past, when the new "thing" springs forth we may not be aware of it.

And OHHHHH, I want to be aware of it.

I can't wait to see evidence of His great work that has been taking place beneath the surface when life springs forth for the eye to behold.

What a masterpiece it will be.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Field Trips

We have a dog in our family, I'm sure I have mentioned this before, and her name is Marlie. We acquired and named this beloved puppy before the movie "Marley and Me" came out; however, after seeing the movie, I just know if our Marlie had auditioned for the part, she would have gotten it, because the role would have been so natural for her, if know what I mean!

Let's just say our Marlie likes to take "field trips" - and she doesn't bother to get her permission slip signed before leaving either! I don't know why, but Marlie makes the most of any opportunity to take off if she sees the door open just a smidge. I have no idea why she does this, but it infuriates me! She will take off across the field, just frolicking around like she doesn't mind the fact that her little field trip will cost lots of pain and inconvenience later when I have to pick all of the cockelburs from her fluffy white fur.  (And you know all the while, I will be griping about it.)

The girls freak out every time this happens, which makes matters worse because our four-legged friend seems to feed off of their energy.  We call her and she'll turn around, look at us, stop, allow us to approach, and just when you think she's going to run back to us, she whips around and takes off again.  I go to the cabinet, dig out some kind of treat - preferably something in a bag that rattles - and trek across the field toward her, in one breath I'm murmuring something like, "Their ain't no dog worth gettin snake bit over!" while I tromp over the weeds and in the next breath I am sweetly calling this precious fur ball "Come on, Marlie...come see Momma....I brought you a treat!" in the nicest voice I can dig up.  The more I call, the further she gets from me.

I'm getting mad just thinking about it, and the poor dog is laying right here beside me!

BUT- when she finally decides she IS coming home, there is no doubt within her at all.  She runs full force, her hair blowing backward, tongue flopping around, and jumps right into my arms.

When I read Hosea 11:1-2 recently, it made me think of Marlie's field trips...... and mine.

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.  But the more I called to him, the farther he moved from me, offering sacrifices to the images of Baal and burning incense to idols.

After reading these words, I immediately thought of Marlie's field trips and how frustrating it is when she does this.  I call and call and call her, she looks at me, but then chooses the the other direction.  I do the same with my Father, taking field trips in life that I have no business going on.  He calls and calls and calls me, and I know He is what is best, but in the moment I surrender to my flesh and tromple off in the cockleburs......And sometimes come home to Him with cockleburs stuck all over me. 

My sweet sister, what is He calling you to?  Do you hear Him pursuing you, calling your name?  It is He who loves you.  It is He who made you.  It is He who died for you.

And it is He who will gently, with His heart full of mercy, who pulls the cockelburs off of you, one by one until you are just like new.

Run full force into His arms.....He is waiting to receive you.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Friday, July 15, 2011

As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
Psalms 42:1-2

Father, if one moment of this day finds me without longing for You, touch my heart, touch my soul with thirst for the Divine.  Pour upon me by the power of Your Spirit a desire to seek You just as the deer searches for the streams refreshing water.  May my heart pass beyond the things that will not satisfy my thirst in pursuit of your refreshment.  May I be unsatisfied my God until I find myself at Your feet drinking from the life You have given for me.  Oh Lord, you ARE ENOUGH.  This world offers nothing, but You offer everything.  You are the source of my everything.  Words are not enough to express my awe at Your hand reaching and extending grace to a sinner such as me. 

Make me thirsty today, God.
Refresh my thirst, Sweet Jesus.
Spirit, continually beckon my return to the Fountain.

You are worthy of all praise.

To You be all glory.....

Forever and ever.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can I Just Vent?

Hello everybody! Happy Warrior Princess Wednesday! First things first -

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15

I'll admit, I'm a little rusty on this one as far as saying it word for word; however, the concept of it has been ever present over these past two weeks.  I'm convinced it is no coincidence that things occur in our lives just as we are trying to apply a spiritual principle that seem like pop quizzes.  I have had SEVERAL pop quizzes over the past two weeks and have had to apply this verse as the answer.  Not only has it served as the answer, it has also served as a shield for my heart preventing bitter roots from having a place to grow.  I may have trouble quoting it exactly, but I am totally getting it when it comes to the application!

Can I just vent to you for a minute?

Your ears perked up at that question, didn't they?   It's a question we have all both asked and heard.  Sometimes there are things going on in our lives that are hard to deal with and it feels like we have just got to let something out or we are going to explode.

Kind of like Mount St Helens.....You know, the volcano.  Funny the word volcano should come to mind, because check out this definition of the word vent I found:

Vent as a noun defined:  An opening through which gases, especially air, can pass; The opening of a volcano from which lava flows; A verbalized frustration; The excretory opening of lower orders of vertebrates; A slit in the seam of a garment; To allow gases to escape; To allow to escape through a vent; To express

What happens when lava flows from a volcano?  The hot, molten lava coats everything it touches and eventually cools to a hard shell.  It's heat taking the life from what it has touched and its shell paralyzing any new breath of life.  The landscape is forever changed when a volcano erupts.

Do you ever feel like Mount St. Helens?  I know I sure do.  Nobody likes for a volcano to erupt because of the damage, destruction, and devastation it causes, but we are not quite so worried about the eruption of our own volcanoes, which also leave behind their own damage.

We may think it completely innocent to vent to those around us, a third party to lend an understanding ear, but our venting will leave lava that does not go away. 

Next time I am tempted to vent, I want to remember Proverbs 29:11

Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.

Vented anger does do damage.  Our words do hold power within them, and once they are spoken, there is no pulling them back in.  When I vent my lava, I am forever altering the other persons thought process toward a situation.  They may never see the other person the same.  They may never be able to extend the party that has offended me the grace needed for forgiveness.  I have to decide if I want to be foolish or wise when I find myself in a situation where I can feel an eruption starting to build.  I can vent if I want, but I would be a fool.

When we are known as one who has regular "eruptions", others don't take seriously what we say.  They see us as always flying off the handle.  But, on the other hand, when we are wise and remain quiet in how we handle things, our viewpoints are taken much more seriously by those around us and we don't leave ash and debris behind after our lava has destructed everyone in its path.

If I must vent -- then I should vent to God.  He is completely capable of listening.  He does not change, and my venting won't change His outlook either.
God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth,
You are worthy to be praised with my words, my heart, my life, and even the way I chose to handle diffcult situations can be praise to You.  Father, I do want my life to be a living sacrifice to You this day.  Please pour out Your wisdom, Your power, and Your strength on me so that I might find myself able sacrifice my own fleshly desires and surrender them to Your plans and purposes.  May my life be one of worship in every aspect today.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Swim Down

When the girls were really little, Todd was in school and working. He had class every Thursday night, and since the girls were very young and didn't quite understand why Daddy had to be gone, I took the opportunity to make those nights special. Thursday nights officially became "girls night" at our house. Although we don't have Thursday night girls night now, they still remember them - vividly. On Thursday mornings before I went to work, I would remind them, "Tonight's girls night!" and they would get all excited.

After I came home from work on those special days, we would eat dinner, get our baths, and then all pile into my bed with popcorn in tow and EVERY Thursday night we watched Finding Nemo.  They never tired of the story and I don't think I ever got through the movie without crying.  (I know your shocked.)

Have you seen the movie yourself?  If you haven't - you must.

Isaiah 8:11 says "The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone does."

I think this warning would serve us well too.  If we think like everyone else, the world,  where will that take our thoughts?

In the movie, Finding Nemo, Nemo was just reunited with his Daddy when a huge fishing net drops from a boat above encapsulating hundreds of fish, including their dear friend Dory.  The net tightens around the fish and begins to be raised toward the ocean's surface.  Nemo enters the net with them in an attempt to save his friend and the other fish.  While all the other fish are swimming to and fro in a panic stricken state, Nemo, his father, and Dory spread some advice to all of the fish.

Little Nemo yells from the net,

"Swim Down!  Tell them to swim down!"

Eventually the word spreads through the net and all of the fish begin swimming down and it changes the direction of things.  They swim down resisting the force pulling against them, and eventually break the net and find themselves free!  If they had continued to be in that state of panic and fear filled thoughts, they would have never broken free.  If Nemo had adopted the thoughts of everyone else and decided there was no hope, things would have had a much different outcome for all involved.

BUT- Nemo DIDN'T think like everyone else, and neither should we.  The world's thoughts can be void of hope, but our's can be full of hope.

Don't think like them, think like Him!

Here's a clip from the movie, if you'd like to watch:

Swim Down, Girls!  Swim Down!
And Keep Swimming!


Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Taking Stuff Apart - Part 2

In case you missed the last post where we started taking Hebrews 12:15 apart, click here and we'll bring you up to speed.

As a refresher, let's repeat our Godsword for this week:

Hebrews 12:15

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (New Living Translation)

Now, get your screwdriver, or your dynamite, whatever it takes to get into this word to understand how it works.  When I understand how something works, it makes all the difference in the world to me and applying Scripture is no different.  I tend to remember scripture more clearly and use it more readily when I take it apart.

Moving on to the next phrase:
Watch out

Pretty self-explanatory - we are to be alert and oriented at all times.  When I say "watch out" to my kids, its usually to warn them about what could happen if they aren't watching.
So - we are to watch out, but what are we watching out for? What could happen if we aren't alert?

A root of bitterness can grow up and trouble you.

What kind of root?

A poisonous one.

Some of you know my husband and his weird ways, which by the way, do make my life easier in some ways.  Let's just say he likes things tidy, including our landscaping.  He can spot a weed that has sprung up as we top the hill by our neighbor's house!  However- he doesn't always pay attention to what kind of weed it is, and doesn't watch out. He just yanks that baby right out of the dirt without a second thought, and low and behold, what springs up next? 

Poison ivy - the rash.

On his hands.

And it spreads.

And he's miserable.

Let's just say, it troubles him!

Being the wonderful wife that I am, we now have a picture posted on our refrigerator so that he knows what poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac look like.  Now he can watch out for what could be poisonous to him - and bring him MUCH trouble.

What would happen though if he pulled that weed and touched one of us before he washed his hands?

We would have poison ivy too.....and it would spread....and we would be miserable.

Which brings us to the next part of this verse - 
corrupting many.

Wow.  The poisonous root of bitterness that affects me can affect many.  We influence people everyday and bitterness is contagious.  We have to watch out for things that tend to poison us.  Not allow them an opportunity to grow so that we don't play a role in corrupting someone else.

Anybody got any RoundUp I can use?

I need a squirt - or maybe ten!


Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Taking Stuff Apart

When I was a kid, my brother and I were always taking things apart and putting them back together to see how they worked. Now - don't get me wrong - we didn't necessarily break things, but if something was broken or not working right, we were quick to try to figure out why.

With that thought in mind, let's take our memory verse for this week apart and see how it works.

Hebrews 12:15
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.  Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.  (New Living Translation)

The NASB says it this way:
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

the NIV-
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

and the King James
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;


"Look after each other"  not look after some, but each; not look after your friends.  Each includes every single one.  - Hold that thought for a minute -

"so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God" or as worded in the NASB  "no one comes short of the grace of God"  that phrase comes short- when I looked up the definition of it's original meaning, I found myself screnching my toes back into my shoes just a tad.  Here's a few of the phrases my eyes fell upon:  to suffer need, to be in want, be destitute.

If we were to replace that phrase with it's definition, it would read something like this:
Look after each other so that no one suffers need of the grace of God
Look after each other so that no one is in want of the grace of God
Look after each other so that no one is destitute of the grace of God

If I am looking after other people and find someone in need of the grace of God, I should give them that grace. 

Yes - even the person who cursed at me and treated me terribly. Yes, that happened to me this week :)
Yes - even the person who made a mistake after explicit instructions were given.
Yes - even the person whose opinion differs from mine on important issues.
Yes - even that coworker, in the moment they irritate you most, is in need of God's grace extended.

Now that we have all of the screws out of this verse and little pieces scattered everywhere, just think on that today and look for people in need of some grace, and next week, we'll talk more about how this verse works and about why to extend that grace.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!
Love you all,

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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