I Have A Secret To Share…..

i have a secret
Let me tell you a secret…..

Do you have a worried, restless and troubled mind that lacks peace?
Are you filled with anxiety and discontent about your circumstances?

We all struggle and go through hard times. Paul, like us had to learn that no matter the circumstance, good or bad, rich or poor, hungry or full, how to be content.

He tells us in Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

What is this secret? It is found in verse 13- “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”

What does it mean when he says “I can do all things”? Does it mean I can accomplish this task, jump over a building or do the impossible because God will enable me to do it?

This verse is one of the most quoted, but many times out of context. We must always look at scripture in context- the verses before and after, and what the whole book is about to determine what it says. In the verses before Paul is telling us he learned the secret to living in all circumstances- good and bad which is “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”. Literally, “I have the strength to withstand all things because God put His power in me”

The secret is a learned mindset to rely on and be totally dependent on God’s power in us. As we depend and rest in the Lord daily we can be content, free from fear, anxiety and restlessness; to live the life He has called us to.

Paul tells us the same thing in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

And Ephesians 3:16-21 “ that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen”

This is a secret meant to be told…. encourage each other when fearful, anxious, discouraged and discontent or feel like you can’t take one more thing or life is going great, we still need the power of Christ living and working in us.

We can be confident along with Paul that the good work God began in us He will accomplish and perfect for His will and good pleasure. (Philippians 1:6, 2:13)

Living inside out is living in and walking in the power of Christ!
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Worthy Conduct

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Continuing my study through Philippians 1:27-2:13, I am reminded that Paul said to “conduct yourselves in a manner” (NASB) or “let your manner of life be” (ESV) worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27)

In other words he is saying that as believers we should live with integrity. Our lives are to be consistent with what we believe, teach and preach because we have been changed by the gospel. God brought us into relationship with Him through Jesus Christ and our daily lives are to reflect that change.

How should this look in our lives? In verses 1:27-2:11 Paul give us a pretty good description.
As believers we are to stand firm in our faith, living in unity and striving together to spread the gospel. We are stronger together and with this unity we are not to be alarmed or fearful by those who are against us.

Paul tells us that not only has God granted us the ability to believe, but to also suffer for him. He stresses the importance of unity and living out the purpose God called us to-sharing the gospel.

We are to do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, to bring honor and glory to ourselves. We are to be humble in our thinking and actions. This will result in having more regard for others than ourselves, looking after them, putting ourselves last.

As always, Jesus is our example and we are to have his attitude- humility, selflessness and serving others.

Can we live this way by our own strength and will? I know in and of myself I can’t. Oh I may try for a while but I always will fail. I can only live a worthy life because I have been changed by Christ and the Holy Spirit lives inside of me guiding and directing but I still have the flesh and the selfish desires it creates.

In my own strength, in my flesh I get alarmed when someone is against me and those old insecurities creep in. My one purpose is not to share the gospel or allow fear to get in the way. Suffer for Christ-No Thank You! I want everything to go smooth. I don’t always put others needs ahead of mine. I can feel hurt or excluded from people or situations when I think others don’t care to be with me or everyone is getting together and not asking us, etc… It doesn’t take too long before sinful thoughts invade and flesh start to take over my actions.

That’s why I love Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” and Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure”

God brought me into relationship with Him, forgives my sin, and enables me to “conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel”. God, my Father does the work in me and is renewing me into the women He wants to use.

He changes my heart to know I am His daughter so there is no need to be fearful. I can count it a joy and be willing to suffer for Him because He has my best interest. When those lies and thoughts enter and I have doubts and feelings of loneliness, I can reach out to others, thinking of them instead of myself. Because I have been forgiven much, I want to freely share the gospel with others.

He enables me to live a life that will display His glory and show Jesus is Lord!

On this journey of Living Inside Out I would love to connect with you by email, Facebook or Twitter. The links are on the side bar.

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Bible Study Books Giveaway

bible study giveaway 2

Bible study is vital to our walk with Christ and growing in relationship with Him. There are some wonderful Bible teachers today that help guide us on our journey through the Bible and help us study for ourselves.

I am excited to give away 4 Bible studies this weekend by 2 of my favorite teachers- Kay Arthur and Nancy Guthrie.

Forgiveness: Breaking The Power Of The Past by Kay Arthur

forgivness

This is a 40 minute study to give you the basics of inductive Bible study. This eye opening study deals with the difficult questions of forgiveness. You will discover what the Bible says on this vital topic and see the great mercy of God. You will see how choosing to forgive will free you from a painful past and enable you to live out God’s purpose for you.

God’s Answers For Relationships and Passions- a study on 1 & 2 Corinthians by Kay Arthur

Gods answers

This is from the New Inductive Study Series and will help you dig into the Scriptures for answers. God’s precepts, promises and purposes are made clear in each brief lesson. You will learn to resolve conflict with other people and see how our passions affect our relationships. Learn how to live in a way that builds harmony and glorifies God.

God, Are You There? By Kay Arthur

God are you there

This study through the Gospel of John challenges you to take God at His Word and see that you can truly rely on Him. “This study is an easy to use “quick” start if you are new to God’s truth in the Bible.” You will discover that God is there and He knows you, He has accomplished what was necessary to save you and never leave you.

The Promised One by Nancy Guthrie

the promised one book

This is from her series, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament. Through this study you will see how Genesis points us to Jesus Christ. You will see Jesus in the shadows of the Old Testament, apply the gospel to issues such as shame, fear and the desire for significance and develop your longing for what is ahead when one day the world will be made new.

To enter, comment below and also mention what book you would like to win. If you have not done so, “like” my Facebook page and tweet about the giveaway.

4 winners will be randomly drawn midnight Saturday.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Attitude Check

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As I continue through Philippians 1:12-26 I am convicted and encouraged by Paul’s example, attitude and view of his circumstances. Paul was imprisoned for preaching the gospel, some were preaching to cause him envy and strife while he was in prison and he also longed to be with Christ.

Paul’s only attitude and thought about his circumstances was for God’s glory and that the gospel is preached. He rejoiced because his imprisonment furthered the gospel and had become well known. He rejoiced because Christ was being proclaimed, no matter what the motives of others were.
His joy was not tied to his circumstances or his critics.
His joy and desire was for Christ, to be with Him, but also knowing that God had him where He wanted him. Paul was God’s witness to those outside of Christ and for those in the church.

The way Paul followed Christ and lived his life helped others to be bold and not fearful to speak the word of God. They saw what was happening to Paul and they knew it could happen to them but they were not fearful-their goal was that Christ was preached!

I have to ask myself:
Do I rejoice in circumstances I don’t like?

Is my goal and desire that Christ is exalted in everything or do I complain, become apathetic and want to give up at the slightest discomfort?

Is the gospel forefront in my thoughts and actions and do I share it without fear?

I want to check my attitude, to be aware if it is not exalting Christ.
I want to be like Paul and rejoice in everything with the goal that Christ is exalted.
This is not something I can drum up in myself. It comes from my relationship with Christ-to know Him and the Word.
I am so thankful that God is at work to make me into the woman He wants me to be.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6)

As I follow Him, He leads the way, guiding me to change my attitude, enabling me to be joyful, courageous, stronger and not fearful to live for Christ.

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Encouraged By Paul’s Prayer

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Today we will look at Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-11. His prayer comes after he told them how much he loves, is encouraged by and thankful for them and their participation with him in spreading the gospel. He reminds them (and us) that the salvation God began in their (our) lives, He will finish and perfect. God is the one that will bring it to completion and keeps them (us) eternally secure. (Philippians 1:3-8)

As we look at this prayer we see such rich truth and encouragement in what he is praying for them. I want this to be my heart’s desire and prayer, not only for myself but for the believers around us. As he delighted to pray for them, I too want to delight in praying for the church.

Paul longs for them with the affection of Jesus Christ (v. 8). This is the strongest Greek word to express compassionate love. It means bowels-, inward parts, our entire being. This is the part of the body that acts with intense emotion. This is the affection Jesus has for us, that Paul had for his followers and we too can have for our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is love that involves all of our being.

Paul then prays that their love- will abound more and more in real knowledge and discernment. This agape love- a love feast will grow by leaps and bounds and will result in people really caring about and taking care of each other. This love is not sentimental, but genuine and biblical knowledge of God and His word. This love will cause us to know Christ and others more. (v9)

The result of this knowledge and love will enable us to approve the excellent things, to be sincere and blameless (v.10). We will have the ability to distinguish what is right and wrong, what is really important and have right priorities.

To be sincere is “without wax”, literally tested by sunlight and judged genuine, pure. It is the picture of inferior pottery with the cracks filled with wax then glazed and painted over. It would only prove to be a fake when held up to the light. Have you ever seen the wax figures? It is hard to tell them from the real thing. The only way to see what is real or fake is through Jesus, the Light of the world, He brings us into relationship with him and makes us sincere. Oh, to be a genuine follower of Christ, not a waxy fake.

Our lives will be blameless and lived with integrity and we will not lead others or ourselves to stumble or sin.
Paul continues since we have been filled with the fruit of righteousness that only comes through Jesus, we will be transformed (v.11).

-We have the ability to love as Jesus loves in real knowledge and discernment with our whole being.
-We will have a biblical love that will grow by leaps and bounds.
-We will know and love Jesus and really know, love and take care of each other.
-We will be able to know right from wrong, what is really important and have the right priorities.
-We will live in a way to not cause others or ourselves to stumble or sin.
-We will be sincere, genuine, not a waxy fake.
-We will live our lives to the glory and praise of God.

Heavenly Father, as we are aware of and filled with your love, may our lives truly love, being filled with knowledge and all discernment. I pray our priorities will reflect you and what you say is excellent. I pray we will be sincere, genuine, the real thing-not “waxy”. Help us as we grow in relationship with you and those around us to be blameless and not stumble or sin or lead others to do the same. Thank you that we are made righteousness by Jesus. Thank you that you fill us up with yourself and enable us to live our lives for your glory and praise. Amen

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Grace and Peace

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This year in my quiet time I am reading through and studying Paul’s letters. I am starting with Philippians and from time to time I will share with you and offer some encouragement from God’s word as we follow Christ.

One thing I have noticed from reading his letters over the years is that Paul greets his readers with “grace and peace”. Sometimes it so easy to quickly read over what we think are simple words to get to the “meat” of the text. As I began to slowly read and observe (thanking God for my Precept training) I kept coming back to grace and peace. These are not simple words and just a way to greet someone in a letter. I did a word study, (I love my Key Word Study Bible and http://www.blueletterbible.org) and am amazed at the depth of Paul’s greeting and meaning of these 2 little words.

I want to encourage you with this greeting from Paul and may we encourage each other.

May God’s holy influence upon your souls that first turned you to Christ, keep, strengthen and increase your faith. May you grow in your knowledge, faith and love to enable you to live your Christian life.
May His peace which is the safety, security and tranquil state of your soul through Jesus Christ assure you of your salvation.
(Philippians 1:2-based upon definitions of grace and peace)

As we are on this journey of living Inside Out, we need to rest in the grace and peace of God and extend it to others.
I would love for you to join me as I go through Philippians this year and share your insights.

Grace and Peace!

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A Passion For God’s Word

all scripture

My passion is to study the Bible and encourage women to do the same. God’s word is living and life changing when we get to know and apply it to our lives. It is vital we know His word and what it says to grow in our relationship with the Lord.

As a new year begins one goal that many want to accomplish is to read and study the Bible more.
To encourage you in your goal I am sharing the top post of 2013. In this post three of my friends share their love and passion for Scripture.

I am excited to have Melissa Deming, Christina Fox and Jessalyn Hutto share with us their passion for God, His Word and Bible study. I am so thankful for these ladies. They encourage, teach and mentor women daily with truth from Scripture. You will be blessed reading their comments.

Melissa Deming
The more I study the Bible, the more I discover its beauty. Far from being an old boring book full of tedious names and stuffy stories, the Holy Scriptures are a literary masterpiece. It’s why in many circles one cannot be considered well-read until he or she has grappled with the scope of the biblical storyline, interacted with its flawed characters, risen and plummeted through its rollercoaster plot, and cheered over the piercing resolution at the end of the story. Only a masterpiece can maintain a unified story that stretches over 66 books, from beginning to end – Genesis to Revelation. Only a masterpiece can utilize such literary devices that make Western epics and modern titles seem pale.
For example, did you know that the book of Ruth was written using a daunting (and very rare) literary device called a chiasm? The book is structured in layers with the outer layers mirroring each other and the inner layers mirroring each other. Where the layers finally meet in the middle, the reader finds the main point of the entire story. And oh, the middle section of Ruth (where the layers meet) a lovely place to dwell, indeed, as God provides our heroine a kinsman-redeemer!
God’s inspiration is of the very best kind. Believers need not be ashamed to take pleasure in studying God’s Word over other books. The Word of God is robust and grand. I study it because it is life-giving. I study it because it is life-changing. I study it because it is living! But I also study it because it is truly lovely – a literary masterpiece unparalleled. And why wouldn’t it be? Its author is, after all, the God who imagined colors, the God who fashioned the delicate wings of the butterfly, and the God who painted the evening sunset – all through his spoken Word. Could we expect any less grandeur from his written Word as well?

Melissa Deming 2
Melissa has a M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University. Melissa and her husband, Jonathan, is helping start a church plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They have five-year-old twin boys, Zacharias and Jonah.
Melissa has written a new Bible study: Daughters of the King!
http://www.hiveresources.com

Christina Fox
Following the resurrection, Jesus met Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus. Not realizing who he was, they told him what had happened in Jerusalem. Jesus responded, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And He explained to them the Scriptures. And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
I often wonder what that conversation was like for those disciples. All of a sudden, the stories they’d heard their whole life fell into place. From Creation to Moses to David to the prophets, all of Scripture is about Jesus. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
This is why I study Scripture, to know this Jesus in whom “all things hold together.” He is the exact representation of the invisible God, who took on flesh, lived in this sinful world without sin, was despised and rejected, and died so that I might live. All of Scripture points to him; Jesus is the scarlet thread woven throughout all of God’s Word.
Like reading letters from the one we love, reading Scripture opens my eyes to God’s great love and mercy for me through Jesus Christ. Every year, I go through the Bible from beginning to end, reading the beautiful story of love, a story of sin and redemption, of runaway sinners and a holy God revealing his plan to pursue and bring them back to himself. In finding Jesus in the pages of Scripture, my heart resonates with Cleopas and his friend when they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32) Because the more I read, the more I see how much I need a Savior and just how great a sacrifice it was when God became man and dwelt among us. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). And the more I study, the more I love him in return.

Christina Fox
Christina, her husband and 2 boys live in Florida. She received a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and worked in the counseling field for about eight years before her oldest son was born. She no longer practices as a counselor but spends her time writing for various websites and publications. She is in her third year of homeschooling, a Bible study leader, Sunday school teacher, and facilitates a women’s discipleship group.
http://www.toshowthemjesus.com

Jessalyn Hutto
From my earliest days as a Christian, I was taught the importance of studying the Word of God. My church leaders and mentors stressed the need for me to be a diligent student of my Bible: reading it, memorizing it, meditating on it, and studying it. As I have grown in my walk with the Lord I’ve come to view bible study as less of a discipline and more as a nutritional necessity for my spiritual life. Knowing God, which is the sole purpose of studying his word, is my greatest desire because he is the source of all joy, peace, comfort, and hope. It is for this reason that I continue to come back to my copy of the Word day after day, seeking to understand it properly, and praying for a more complete vision of our holy and wondrous God. His Word is a precious gift to us and we rob ourselves of immense blessing if we don’t seek to mine its depths and understand its content.

Jessalyn Hutto 2
Jessalyn is married to Richard and they have 3 little boys. When her husband graduates from seminary in December they are looking forward to where God leads them in ministry. Her greatest desire is to encourage women to trust in the grace of our Lord and Savior, not only for salvation, but for the strength to daily live a Christ-exalting life.
http://www.desiringvirtue.com

Please share your comments from the following questions:

What do you love about God’s Word and the study of it?

What are you goals for the new year to be in the Word?

Do you follow any specific reading plan?

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Christmas Should Not Be Stressful

Holiday-stress

The holidays can be discouraging and stressful on many people, especially women.
I hear and read comments (I have been there myself) about all the things that most feel they have to get done. The thoughts of sending Christmas cards, buying the perfect gift, baking all the cookies, decorating, attending parties, etc… can be overwhelming.

We need to take a break, stop and think on Jesus. He is the Promised One who came to rescue and redeem us from our sin. He came to earth as a baby- to die!

Have we become so familiar with the Christmas story and the songs we don’t really think about the words as we are busy preparing for the “big day”? I know I have and I want to begin now to change my thought process. I do not want to be mindlessly singing the Christmas songs and reading the Advent Scriptures. I want to really take the time to meditate on the words, worship and serve my King, Jesus.

adore Him

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:6-7

Jesus is not just a baby in a manger to sing sweet songs about.
He is: Immanuel, God with us
Wonderful Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace
There will be no end to His kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness
(Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7)

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace (Micah 5:2-5a)

Jesus, the coming Messiah, born in the little, insignificant town of Bethlehem is the Promised One, King of kings and Lord of lords , eternal ruler who is great and reigns over all to the ends of the earth.
He is the Great Shepherd that stands, actively shepherding His flock.
In the strength and majesty of the LORD He leads, guides and meets all our need.
He is our peace; therefore we are secure in Him.

Our greatest need and peace is only found in Jesus. He came to make peace between us and God, bringing us into relationship with the Father. We are eternally secure in His steadfast love. (Micah 7:18-19)

The words to this carol are so powerful and humbling to cause worship and praise of our Lord!

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconcile.
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic host proclaim
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.

Christ by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail, the incarnate deity,
Pleased as Man with Man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.
(Charles Wesley)

Please share your your thoughts, Scripture and songs that you love during this time.

I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter or Email. The links are on the sidebar.

This Christmas

kimlenon:

Family time, decorating, traditions and fun are an important part but I was focusing on who I did not have or get to spend time with instead of Who had me and my relationship with Him!

Originally posted on Inside Out:

Daughter, Ruth Ann's home

Daughter, Ruth Ann’s home

I have come to realize that in the last several years around this time I start to become “blue”. Not a depression but an underlying sense of sadness. There was no desire to put up a tree or decorate if was just going to be Dave and I….why bother, too much work just for us and other excuses I would make.

When the children were young it was a fun family time and we looked forward to it every year. Thanksgiving was always a favorite time then the rest of the month we prepared for Christmas celebrations and celebrating Jesus’ birth.
Over the years they got married and started their own families and traditions, rightly so. We moved away seven years ago for my husband’s job so our time together at the holidays became few and far between. The thoughts of “why bother, Christmas is really…

View original 304 more words

God Is With Us

Immanuel

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”, which means, God with us. (Matthew 1:21-23)

Immanuel, God is with us; what an amazing thing to realize that God is with us! He sent Jesus to save us from our sins, brought us into relationship with Him, and never leaves us alone!
During the Christmas season more people are feeling alone, hopeless, depressed and caught up in “too much to do”.
To help overcome these thoughts, feelings and busyness we need to stop, really think on, and remind ourselves that Immanuel has come, God is with me and I am never alone!

Gods presence

How has knowing God is with you now helped you?

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