Faith in Action

God Gold of the Day

“One day Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to where the Philistines have their outpost.” But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing. Meanwhile, Saul and his 600 men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree at Migron. Among Saul’s men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the ephod, the priestly vest. Ahijah was the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord who had served at Shiloh. No one realized that Jonathan had left the Israelite camp. To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh. The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba. “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” “Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.” “All right, then,” Jonathan told him. “We will cross over and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.””
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭14:1-10‬ ‭

I usually try not to use a whole bunch of scripture but this story was the perfect example for the experiences I’ve been going through. So lately after the Lord making it pretty obvious on the moves to make in my life, the where to go next part has kept me clueless and honestly stagnate in my faith. It’s been really hard trying to make sure I’m not going ahead of the Lord but also trusting in Him to open doors, knowing He will provide. The biggest problem I’ve had lately is becoming stagnate, sitting still, not moving in my faith. We read so many times in the Word to be patient, trust in the Lords provision and I guess it’s easy to hear that then sit and wait. I’ve been fortunate enough with several different opportunities in the job field and chances to serve that the door was pretty wide open before I even thought about moving. I don’t know if you’ve experienced anything like that, but it’s the same way with anything in life. When you go through high school, you got your mom doing your laundry, meals always provided for you, most of your needs are met by your parents. When you get to college, out in the world on your own, I can tell ya from experience how all those things your parents used to do for you aren’t so easy to learn how to do on your own. Until you have to actually do it yourself, you don’t realize all the blessings that were always given to you. The bad part is, if you sit and wait for all those things like laundry, meals, or dishes to get done like they’ve always been, you’ll learn real quick when the dishes and clothes start stinking from being piled a mile high and always being hungry looking for that next meal, you gotta do it. You have to stop sitting and waiting for a miracle to happen, get up and start figuring it out.

I say that example because it relates to the place I’m currently in. With jobs and opportunities to serve they’ve always kind of been there and I know the Lord is opening up doors as we speak but the biggest lesson I’ve learned lately is I can’t sit around and waste my life expected these things to be handed to me on a silver platter. We’re told to be patient and to trust in the Lord to provide and make a way for us, we’re not called to be stagnate to the point we become useless though. It can be scary, terrifying to the point of feeling paralyzed when we don’t know what to do in life and thank the Lord for showing me this story because it’s a lesson on not letting the fear of the unknown keep you still but to move in faith towards the giant of unknown.

Just like in this story with the way Jonathan goes against King Saul (his father’s) battle plans, he realized that sitting still is pointless and sometimes acting on a situation is a way of being faithful, trusting in the victory and provision the Lord provides. The context surrounding these verses is that the Israelite’s under King Saul are facing off to battle the Philistine army. Both armies are waiting on the other to make a move but so far neither are moving. Since nobody’s making a move both armies are just sitting and waiting until something happens. The Israelite soldiers were becoming tired and hungry, so if they continued to wait, Jonathan knew when they did battle they wouldn’t stand much of a chance.

The funny thing about this is that King Saul is standing there with 600 men, a priest who has all the tools and gadgets at that time to find out what the will of God is for any situation. He’s got everything he needs to go and conquer the Philistines right? Nope he’s still missing one thing, faith. He’s making this decision to stay still off of the numbers of the armies, comparing His resources with the enemies. He didn’t even realize that staying still might be what holds his soldiers back from fighting in the first place since they weren’t getting the food they needed. Saul’s lack of faith causing the Israelites to be stagnated was pushing them closer to defeat and death than the victory the Lord had for them.

Jonathan on the other hand is tired of sitting still because his faith wasn’t in numbers or the amount of resources he had. If it was then him and an armor bearer taking on the Philistine army wouldn’t have even been a thought. His faith was in the Lord, he knew that the Lord is capable of victory no matter what the odds looked like or how big the circumstances were they were facing. The biggest lesson in Jonathan’s action towards sneaking up and attacking the Philistines, was his faith. He wasn’t putting his faith on himself, his resources or anything except for the Lords provision and deliverance.

So many times in my life and I’m sure we all do it, we decide to sit still, be patient and say well “I’ll pray about it.” We say “I’ll pray about it” because we’re scared to take actions into unknown territory especially when the outcome is unknown too, or the chance of defeat is present at all. I’ll be the first to tell ya that I say take that route a lot because it’s easy and comfortable. You can’t lose if you’re not even playing the game. There is times where sitting still and being patient on what the Lord is working together is good but majority of the time, we’ll never even know what the Lord is trying to tell us, show us or teach us if we aren’t willing to trust him enough to take some steps of action. Even if they are little steps. Jonathan could have sat back and made excuses on why not to move all day long, he could’ve said “my dad Saul will figure it out, he always does.”

Throughout Jonathan’s faith in action, it’s not even that he’s being impatient trying to go ahead of the Lord. Words like “perhaps the Lord will help us.” Or when he says we’ll stick our heads out and if they say this then we’ll go back, if not we’ll go forward to fight. He is moving out of faith and staying in the Lords will with each step. He knows the Lord can wipe out the whole Philistine army with less than two men if He wants but to find what the Lord was wanting done, what His will was for the situation, he knew action was the only way. He could’ve very easily let his dirty laundry pile into a mountain and expect his dad to do it but he had faith that even tho that pile of laundry stunk and he didn’t know how to do it. The Lord would provide and show him exactly what to do.

I guess the big lesson for me was not just sitting around waiting on the heavens to open up with all the answers and solutions I could ever ask for but to trust in God’s answers and provision by moving in my trust. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, have many resources and the unknown looks terrifying but it’s only going to get scarier the longer I sit and look at it. The good thing is we don’t have to have all the answers or God’s plan written out exactly. We have Him and we know with Him He always will provide and we’ll always have victory despite anything that happens. It may not be given to us or be really easy to find that door He’s opening up, but how can we walk through the door or get to the door if we don’t start talking steps in faith. Not getting ahead and not just “praying about it” but moving and trusting, faithful action stepping with His will.

Gold at Rest

God Gold of the Day

I’ve been thinking about dedicating Saturday night/Sunday morning to just a random, surprise day of gold to send out! Since everyone is getting fed and getting their church on, from now on expect everything and anything to be sent out this day of the week! It could be some throwback gold, a song, video, or just a good funny for ya! This is going to be fun! Hope y’all enjoy and have a good Lord’s day resting up for the week!

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.

The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.

The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly,’Where is God?’

The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’

At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it!!!

Golden Goose

God Gold of the Day

Galatians 6:8/ Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

This verse has been sitting on me pretty heavy lately. You’ve probably heard it before, “you reap what you sow.” You’re probably wondering what “Golden Goose” has to do with a truth about farming and I promise I’ll get to that, but first I want to share something that’s been so heavy on my heart. So in my short Christian life through the process of learning more about Christ and growing in faith, it’s been extremely tough to find that balance of how God’s grace and forgiveness works. For the longest time I struggled with thinking that I had to earn His forgiveness and grace so I tried to be perfect. Of course, I fell short every time so when I failed I felt unworthy of Him. Then on the other side of it, once I started to understand that Jesus’ blood covers my sins and by God’s amazing grace and mercy I’m forgiven but then I started to look at my moments of sin as, “well it’s no big deal, I’ll ask God to forgive me after I do this one little sin and the grace of Christ will cover me.” Both sides are completely wrong and both lead to heartache and the wrong idea about what Jesus has done for us and the forgiveness that allows us to stand before God. The balance is so tough because on one end you sin and feel unworthy, weak, like a failure. On the other end, it’s like saying Jesus died on the cross and took my sin so I can sin?? Like I said, this Christian life is such a process and learning the balance of grace has been quite the journey.

So what does this have to do with sowing and reaping, and golden gooses, here it is. I’ve always heard this verse and it’s made sense but not in the terms of Gods grace. If Jesus has already taken care of our sins, why would we care about what we reap and sow? It’s like someone living like hell 6 days out of the week then coming to church on Sunday expected a big ole harvest. That makes no sense but the sad part is I’ve lived like that so much of my life and watched other Christians do the same. What gets me is since Jesus took care of our sins, paid the debt that we couldn’t pay, then there’s nothing really that bad that could happen if we did sin right? Well this verse from Galatians explains it perfectly, when we sow out of pleasing our flesh, whether saved or not, we reap a harvest of destruction. Something I’ve overlooked for so long is the fact that Jesus has taken care of my sins, He’s washed me white as snow but there is still consequences for our actions and decisions we make in this life. Yes if you’re a follower of Christ you have been forgiven, will always be forgiven, you have eternal life, but when you sin and mess up there is still consequences.

I heard it said like this that made a lot of sense, if a guy gets drunk and decides to drive. Then he gets in a wreck that causes him to lose his arm. Will God forgive him? Yes sir! Will he grow that arm back. Nope! Whether we can see the consequences or not from our sin, they are there. The awesome thing about the grace of Christ is when we are forgiven of our sins, His grace allows us to come to Him, seek Him, open our eyes to see where we messed up. His grace is not just forgiving grace, its life transforming grace. Jesus didn’t make the sacrifice He made on the cross so we could make a one-time confession of faith and of our sins then keep living in whatever way pleases us the most, or living like the world around us. When we realize the power of transformation in His grace we realize a lot about our sowing and reaping game. He allows us to see where we need to stop sowing, where we need to put more time into, when we reap a bad harvest how we can learn from our failure and focus on getting better the next crop.

To take it a level deeper on how important sowing good spiritual things allows us to reap good things, eternal life. Had a friend tell me one time “your mind is like a golden goose that lays golden eggs. It’s so priceless, so to make sure you protect your goose and keep receiving those golden eggs. You have to pay attention and protect your goose by constantly putting good stuff in, then your goose will keep producing golden eggs and just like the good stuff goes in, the good stuff goes out.” It’s crazy how much we take fore granted the root of why our harvest is so bad. Our mind. Jesus’ grace is powerful enough to renew our mind daily but a lot of the time we decide to pour in a whole bunch of crap that leads us to living in ways that pleases us, like the world, no golden egg harvest. This made me take a lot of inventory on what I feed myself or what I sow into my mind. Even to the point of looking at what I spend most of my time doing. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix but how many shows on Netflix really pour some good Godly stuff into you? Not that many. How much does watching tv or the news really pour some good positive Godly encouragement into your life? Not too much. The news these days is so negative and I’m not saying to not watch tv or the news cause you gotta know what’s going on. I constantly find myself wondering why my goose isn’t laying golden eggs and my harvest is so negative or filled with bad thoughts, decisions and actions. When I look at what I put in majority of the time, that’s the problem. If we pour in negative, lustful, evil things into us then we gotta expect that’s what’s coming out.

It’s been such a blessing to realize the power of God’s grace and forgiveness, how important it is to focus on my sowing game and protect my golden goose. I constantly ask myself why I sin the way I do or act the way I do, it comes down to how we spend our time, what we’re putting in front of our eyes, what our ears hear, the people we associate with. Our reaping is a product of where and what we spend our time doing. On the other end of grace, this doesn’t mean we have to read our Bible, go through Christian books or devotionals like crazy, because we can’t work ourselves into renewing our minds or changing what our harvest looks like. It’s His grace, the more we trust in Christ and trust in His grace to make us a little bit better each day. When we realize how much He truly loves us and how He so faithfully and constantly fights for us to move from the sin and despair we get so caught up in then we sow out of faith, love for Who He is. Only He can help us sow good Godly things into ourselves and only He can produce a harvest of righteousness that leads to eternal life. Honestly for me to see these truths in how powerful they truly are, I had to see the consequences. I had to get mad at the way I’ve looked at my sin saying it’s no big deal, I’ll still get to heaven and God will forgive me. It’s so much bigger than that. It’s so much bigger than us. Just think about it, the harvest you reap and golden eggs you lay when you live under His powerful grace, focus in on your sowing game, it won’t just change your life. That harvest that Christ produces changes everything and everyone around you. Kind of makes me feel selfish to have already wasted so much time sowing what pleased me instead of what glorifies Christ. Sow God, reap God. Grace of Jesus changes your world then changed the world. Oh yeah and PROTECT THAT GOLDEN GOOSE!!!!

Embrace the Suck

God Gold of the Day

John 4:15-18/ The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

Hope everyone is having an awesome day of dunking on your problems and most of all embracing the living water that is Jesus Christ! I want to give a big shout out to my buddy Zach Farley on creating the new Golden G’s for the logo!! If you ever need any graphic design work done I highly recommend you contact him! He’s one of the most creative and hardworking people I’ve had the blessing to meet!

I thought it was funny that I had plans of looking into WWJD throughout this story but every day God reveals new and awesome truths to show me how my plans don’t really mean that much. That’s been the cool part of typing out these God Gold messages, as much as I want to do it my way and dig into stuff that I want to talk about, He’s always showing me that His ways are so much better. It’s tough to step aside from what I think is best and that’s the same way with anything in life. At the end of the day, He’s always going to be so much better than I could ever be and I’m stinkin thankful I can share Him with y’all!

Looking at what the woman says responding to Jesus’ statements of truth about living water, of course she’s like “yeah give me some of that! Then I won’t have to continuously come to the well day after day trying to be filled and find my peace and joy in something that’ll always leave me wanting more.” I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve went after everything and anything to try and fill that void of emptiness with the hope that maybe I’ll finally have that peace and joy in my life. The result of trying to fill myself with what I got or what this world offers is me being empty at the end of the day. I don’t know how many times I’ve said “Yes Lord, I’ll take all the living water I can get because I’m tired of feeling this way.” Going through the same temporary pleasures, listening to the same lies I tell myself on how this time maybe they’ll give me the comfort and strength I need to overcome my situation or to just make me feel better. It’s so easy when you come to the end of yourself and you realize how incapable and weak you really are, and also realize just how much you need Christ to be your Savior. It’s easy to say you need Him but to come to the point where you truly and desperately need Him so you stop chasing all these things that you used to put your hope in and chase Him even harder, that takes more than just saying it.

It’s awesome how in the moment this woman starts saying “oh yeah that living water that sounds great, I’ll take some.” Jesus then asks her a question about her husbands, because he already knew how many husbands she had. He already knew that she was a prostitute and this was big area of her life where sin was present. So before she gets all excited about drinking this living water, Jesus makes sure she realizes her weakness and sin. Jesus is wanting to show her that anybody can say they need Him but to actually need Him, that starts with the humbling of ones self to see the sin, weakness and brokenness of themselves. Then the need for Jesus and His living water is magnified even more. He wants her to realize how she can’t do this life on her own, that her struggles are too much for her to handle and her need for a Savior. Her desperate need for Living water!

One of my biggest downfalls has always been honesty. Most of all honesty with myself. One of the hardest things to do is admit that I messed up or I need help. In the world we live in it teaches us to be self-confident and self-sufficient but to truly embrace Christ and our need for Him, we have to put the word, “self” aside. It’s so hard to confess that we are sinners, that we’ll sin everyday the rest of our lives, we’ll mess up, we’ll fail because we are weak, broken, and we suck. It’s hard to speak that truth to yourself, to come to terms with who you really are. It’s hard even hearing that but it’s the truth. That’s the beauty of the gospel, we suck and if it wasn’t for Christ coming to save us we still suck so everyday we’re still going to suck. Since Christ gave us Salvation, it’s not just a one time thing, He saves us daily and He also gives us the power and opportunity to realize every day our need for Him. The easy thing to do is lie to yourself, rationalize and justify the things you do, the moments of failure and we do that to make ourselves few better.

These truths are a big part of my relationship with the Lord because without realizing them I’m afraid I’d be stuck in the same old lies and excuses that I used to make, living life everyday thinking that I could figure it out or that I wasn’t really that bad. Living that way only leads to going throughout your years on earth in a sleepwalk. Walking throughout your days listening to the same old lies, putting your hope in the same old regular water, always having to go back to the well every single day for more water because you can never quite quench that thirst for more.

The good news is that Jesus gives a way out of that life of sleepwalking and lies. Jesus allows us to realize the need for Him, the need for change, the means by which to change and become better, to realize Who He truly is, what He’s sacrificed and won for us, what He’s promised us, and how much we desperately need Him. That all starts with coming to terms with the fact that we suck. By ourselves we don’t stand a chance and we’ll always look for that “more” in all the wrong places but speaking truth to yourself, confessing your mistakes, sins, and weakness. That’s the moment you realize your need for a Savior and when you come into His truth. He’ll show you through daily learning about Him and what He’s capable of doing in your life that Jesus “secret stuff” or living water, is victory. He’s the truth, through Him He allows us to be filled with that “more” we were looking for and to believe and put our trust in the “more” He’s made us for and He’s promised to give us! I’m excited to tell ya that you don’t have to keep going to the well. Even if you went to the well yesterday, just speak truth over the lies, embrace the suck, embrace the need for a Savior and just because you went to the well yesterday or the last 1,000  days, Jesus says with Him you don’t have to go to the well today. He’s going to supply you with the Living water you’ve been looking for!

Jesus “Secret stuff”

God Gold of the Day

 

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” /// John 4:10-15

Have you ever wanted to just put all the crap life throws at you, every obstacle and tough circumstance, just take a leap even when all those things are still trying to wrap you up to hold you back. And dunk on them. I’m talking about a posterizing, Sportcenter top 10 type dunk. The ones where there’s usually somebody in front of you that ends up on the ground because you just boomed on him bad. I can’t tell ya how bad I want to dunk but the problem I have majority of the time is I don’t know how?

When I was in high school I was always one of the taller guys on our basketball team but guys smaller than me would be dunking. No matter how hard I tried my hops just weren’t there. I jumped so high you could barely slide a piece of paper under my feet! I know, impressive right? I wanted to dunk so bad but I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do to get there. For awhile one of the dumber things I did was I found some ankle weights laying around the house. I started wearing them all the time and if I was sitting, standing, you best believe I was doing some calve raises. I was sold that wearing them was going to get my vertical up so I could dunk but after awhile of wearing them, I went in the gym and no surprise, I was still short. So at that point all I had was a Velcro rash on my ankles from wearing those things so much but no results. I didn’t know what to do next and honestly wanted to give up but thank goodness somebody told me, “dude do you jump rope?” I was thinking “well I used to in elementary school when we did jump rope for heart lol. He told me to jump rope and do line drills which is pretty much the same thing. I didn’t have a lot of hope, I felt like I was always going to be held back from throwing one down but I tried it anyways. Went back in the gym after a few weeks of jumping rope, just jumping all the time and that was it. I was playing pickup at my church, I picked off a pass and nobody was in front, I went up like I was going to try and dunk knowing it would probably hit the rim and everybody would laugh saying nice try. When I jumped I got a lot higher than I thought I could, while I was up there I did it! I finally dunked. I turned around jaw dropped, stunned and I think the guys I was playing with were just as surprised.

When looking at these verses where Jesus is telling this woman about living water, I couldn’t help but think of that experience and that memorable scene from space jam where Micheal Jordan went up from half court to dunk it, it was looking good until the Monstars grabbed on to him, holding him back from dunking it. But he kept stretching his arm out, kept reaching even when it looked impossible because the monsters were so big and weighed him down. But at the end of that play, he dunked on the monstars and the looney toons won the game.

So what does all that talk about dunking have to do with living water? Jesus tells this woman that if she knew that she was talking to the Son of God, the Savior of the world, then she would ask for living water. She then responds in such a human view, the well is too deep, you don’t even have tools. I just thought about situations and struggles in my life, how often do I realize the opportunity in front of me in my relationship with Jesus? How often do I keep my eyes set on how deep my well is or how bad my problems and not realize that Jesus gives me living water to handle those situations and even more have victory over them? It’s hard when when no matter what we try or how far we reach out, dunking and overcoming our circumstances seem impossible. What makes it even harder is when I look for all my answers and solutions in my strength, my tools the world gives me to the point that I trust way more in me and the resources of this world than trusting in the only way to truly dunk and have victory over what’s in front of me.

Living water is what Jesus promises this woman and when she hears that she is jacked up saying, “yeah I’ll take 10 cases!” Jesus explains it to us by comparing it to regular water, or the things we put our trust in to solve our problems whether that ourselves, a substance, anything that the world offers. He says when we put our trust in these things of the world or even ourselves, we’ll always be thirsty. It’s like wearing the ankle weights, it seemed like a good idea for a short time, seemed like a quick fix to my problem but do we really want a quick fix? Then always end up falling a few inches short of deliverance. The living water Jesus promises comes from Him and him alone, only He can supply it, only He can give us the satisfaction and victory we truly seek. And His water isn’t just a quick fix or temporary solution, it gives life, a lasting life, filling us for eternity. It’s Jesus and just Jesus. Only He can supply us with what we need to fight these battles we face. Even when it feels like the hits keep coming from every direction, you’re constantly being weighted down by the failure, insecurity, and doubt making this Monstar size problem bigger and scarier than ever. Jesus gives us living water, everything we need and then some to be strengthened, have peace, joy, and hope knowing that no matter what comes my way I don’t have to look to all these horizontal answers because my only answer and life, is vertical in Christ.

I don’t know where you’re at right now with your relationship with Christ or even if you don’t have one. I don’t know how many battles you’re facing each and every day that have you feeling beat and discouraged. I do know that I have struggles too and one of my biggest ones is letting go of myself and things of this world to truly embrace the power, love and faithfulness of the Savior. It’s a hard life and we’re always going to have tough times, we’re always going to fail, but the good thing is that we don’t have to live off regular water because we have the Son of God by our side. Constantly showing us and giving us everything we new to handle and live in victory over every and any battle we may face. It doesn’t matter how deep your well is, Jesus will bring the water to your life to the point of overflow. All we can do is put our hope and trust in Him and the gift of this living water. Embracing Him in every way we can whether through the Word, talking to Him in prayer, just looking to Him above all else. It’s a long tough road to get to dunking but keep seeking and sipping, Jesus has promised us living water. They are going to have to replace the goals before Jesus gets done because the dunks are going to be coming in hot.

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