Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DON'T FAINT IF YOU'RE A SAINT


GAL. 6:7-9

What can God's people do so as NOT to faint?

1. Remember to Pray [Lk. 18:1-8]

2. Remember there is a Devil [I Peter 5:8]

3. Remember to Wait Upon the Lord [Is. 40:28-31]

4. Remember Joy [Pr. 17:22]

5. Remember the Promise [Gal. 6:7-9]

6. Remember to Encourage Others [Gal. 6:10]

This message was preached at Bradford Baptist Church November 29, 2011 during the 7 PM service.

Who Are You Serving?

 
Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Psalm 84:10 "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."

 

Who Are You Serving?

 

I have seen some amazing homes in my years of traveling. I've seen the Hearst Castle in California, beautiful homes around Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and expansive homes in the mountains on the East Coast. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see an amazing home? I wonder who in the world lives there! You also probably wonder what they do in order to afford such a house!

 

The psalmist reminds us in Psalm 84 that who you serve is more important than how you serve. That is, serving God is more important that the capacity in which you serve. Whether you type on a computer, cut wood with a saw, wrangle horses and cattle, or serve some other way, Who you serve is most important!

 

Don't lose sight of Who you serve while you are serving. We can get so wrapped up in God's will for our lives and our day that we lose sight of the One we are serving. Don't get so stuck on what you are doing that you forget for Whom you are doing it!

 

If you will serve the right Master, you will reap the right reward. The Bible promises, "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." Many times we are concerned about what we do and what we get from doing it. Instead, when you serve the right Master, you can trust Him for the right reward for your efforts.

 

What you specifically do for the Lord is important, but it is not the most important thing. Who you are serving is the most important thing! I know a guy who changed light bulbs for a living. That doesn't sound impressive, at least until I tell you that he changed light bulbs in the White House! Who he is serving (the President) elevates the importance of what he is doing (changing light bulbs). More than any president, king, or ruler, you serve the Living God, and you can trust Him with the reward. Remember Who you serve today!

 

 

Prayer Requests:

1. Services tonight in Starke, FL

2. BRR Conference on Marriage & the Home this weekend (Dec. 1-3)

3. A special word from Brother Rice...
 

 

 

Looking for more devotionals?  Visit the archives here

 
 
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Quotes of the Week

[One guy] looks like he's been in a famine & [the other guy] looks like he caused it. - Tom Jackson

Grace is the means, peace is the result. - Henry Hodges

He [Jesus] is a great Guide. He's not a great "guy". He is our Lord. - Hodges

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. - Margaret Thatcher

Those who substitute envy, idleness, lists of “demands” and self-indulgence for personal responsibility and productivity are guaranteed to find contentment perpetually elusive. - Doug Kutilek

If you look at the troubles which have happened in European countries, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of the worn out welfare society. I think the labour laws are outdated. The labour laws induce sloth, indolence, rather than hardworking. The incentive system is totally out of whack. - Jin Liqun, supervising chairman of China's sovereign wealth fund

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. - Herbert Spencer

I say with reverence that even the almighty and eternal God can never show His love in a greater manner than He did on the Cross on Calvary’s hill when He delivered up His own Son for us all and kept nothing back. - D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE LOVE OF CHRIST


[Preached at Bradford Baptist Church last night in the 7 PM service.]

II CORINTHIANS 5:14

THE LOVE OF CHRIST:

I. Should Motivate Us to be Saved [v. 8]

There is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun.

II. Conquers All [Rm. 8:35-39]

People turn to addictions instead of Christ during problems. Addictions end in death. Christ gives life.

III. Is Contagious [I Jn. 3:16-18]

The love of Christ should be contagious by every Christian's actions and attitude. It needs to be contagious in your home, in your church, at work, at play, and at school.

We Call, God Answers

 
 
Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Psalm 81:7 "Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah."

 

 

 

I think it's true that all of us need a person who we can call and know they will answer our call. It may sound insignificant, but nothing is more valuable in time of need than someone who will answer when you call!

 

God Almighty is speaking in Psalm 81, and He says, "Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee. . . ." I love the fact that when we call, God answers! When do we call? I wish it were different, but we call when we are in trouble. The truth is, we want deliverance; God wants our attention.

 

Our problem is not our problem; our problem is not calling out to God about our problem. Look up when you are in trouble! As this verse points out, sometimes God answers us by proving us. He may deliver or He may test, but both are in response to your calling. Sometimes God tests you by withholding an answer; sometimes God tests us by giving an answer. Whether He delivers or tests you, He always does what is right and what is best. Thank God that He answers!

 

May we respond correctly when we find ourselves in trouble. Remember to look to God and call on Him. Whether He answers by delivering or by testing, know that He graciously and mercifully answers when we call!

 

 

Prayer Requests:

1. Services tonight in Starke, FL

2. BRR Conference on Marriage & the Home this weekend (Dec. 1-3)

3. A special word from Brother Rice...
 

 

 

Looking for more devotionals?  Visit the archives here

 
 
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Monday, November 28, 2011

STAND STILL


EVANGELIST MATT DOWNS

EXODUS 14:10-14 [especially verse 13]

preached Nov. 27, 2011 in the evening service of Bradford Baptist Church

Truths to remember so that we can stand still:

1. Salvation is of the Lord [v. 13]

2. Answered Prayer [what God had brought them through- the 10 plagues]

3. Godly Counsel [v. 15] Read and Heed the Word of God!

4. Do Our Part [v. 21-31]

Once God speaks- move! Stand still to hear Him and then get going!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I PITY THE FOOL


Evangelist Matt Downs

Mt. 7:24-29 [especially verse 26]

Characteristics of a Fool

A Fool:

Forgets About God [Ps. 14:1]

Openly Mocks Sin [Pr. 14:9]

Opens His Mouth Exposing His Foolishness [Pr. 18:6-8]

Loves Possessions More Than God [Pr. 19:1]

Ignores Instruction [Pr. 12:15]

Saddens His Parents [Pr. 17:21]

Hides His Sin [Prov. 10:18]

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Question of the Week: Is evolutionary theory compatible with the days of creation?


Answers Weekly - Answers in Genesis

 

Answers Weekly

answersingenesis.org | newsletter archives | contact us
November 26, 2011

a weekly look at answersingenesis.org

top leftIn this issue . . .

Q: Is evolutionary theory compatible with the days of creation?

A: In the last two decades there has been a growing controversy in the church over the six Days of Creation recorded in Genesis 1 and evolutionary theory. Some Christians, who accepted the idea of billions of years as propounded by most scientists, claimed that no conflict exists between Christianity and evolutionary theory. Those who make that claim are not considering the biblical text carefully enough.
When Creationists object to Darwinian evolution, they have mainly two things in mind: (1) the widespread message that scientific thought and explanations as informed by evolutionary theory make God irrelevant to the origin of Creation and the development of life on Earth, and (2) the claim that evolutionary theory and Scripture are not in conflict.
These objections are linked to at least three core doctrines of Darwin's theory: (a) the appearance of organic beings through natural processes, (b) gradual evolution over millions of years, and (c) that human beings are not the work of a separate act of creation as stated in the Genesis record of Creation but have descended along with other mammals from a common ancestor.

Continue reading for an in-depth look at this critical question.

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News to Note Quick Look

Forensic fantasy: Australopithecus sediba got a makeover to celebrate the display of his mortal remains in London's Natural History Museum. The "boy," who along with his "mother" was presented to the scientific public in the 2011 September 9 issue of Science, underwent "forensic reconstruction" to produce a portrait perfect for his role as oldest ape-boy. Read more.

Dinosaur nursery: Fifteen juvenile Protoceratops clustered in Tugrikin Shire, Mongolia, suggest this kind of dinosaur cared for its young. This find is the only undisputed Protoceratops nest known. Scientists thought they had found a nest of Protoceratops eggs in the 1920s, but the inhabitants turned out to be oviraptorids. Read more.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Biblical Accuracy


Days of Praise
Biblical Accuracy
 
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" (John 3:12)
 
Many who profess to be Christian intellectuals today are arguing that we should defer to the evolutionists in matters of science and history, since the real message of the Bible is spiritual. The Genesis account, for example, is not meant to give us details of the events of creation, for scientists can give us this information. It merely assures us that God is somehow behind it all. But if this were all that God meant to tell us, its very first verse is enough for that! What is the need to describe all the days and acts of creation at all if the record has no real relevance to history or science?
 
As the Lord Jesus told Nicodemus in our text verse, if we cannot trust God's Word when it relates "earthly things," how can we possibly rely on its testimony of "heavenly things"? To some extent we can check for ourselves whether or not it is accurate when it records facts of history and processes of nature, but we have no means at all of determining whether it speaks the truth when it deals with heaven and hell, with salvation and eternal life, or with God's purpose for the world in the ages to come.
 
The fact is that the Bible is accurate in all matters with which it deals, scientific and historical as well as spiritual and theological. It is a dangerous thing to listen to these modern "pied pipers" of evangelicalism whose self-serving compromises with evolutionary scientism have already led multitudes of young people astray in our Christian colleges and seminaries.
 
We yet may not have all the answers to alleged problems in the Bible, but we can be absolutely sure of God's Word. When the answers are found, they will merely confirm what He has said all along. He is able and willing to speak the truth, and He means what He says! HMM
 
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

[Slice 2580] Worship on Empty


  A Slice of Infinity
 
 


 
Worship on Empty
 
Years ago, I read a definition of worship that to this day rings with clear and magnificent terms.(1) The definition comes from the famed archbishop William Temple: "Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of the conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose—all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable."
 
The more I have thought of that definition, the more I am convinced that if worship is practiced with integrity in the community of God's people, potentially, worship may be the most powerful evangel for this culture of ours. When people come to church, it is generally "beaten down" by the world of deceit, distraction, and demand. There is an extraction of emotional and spiritual energy that brings them on "empty" into the community. Yet that community's task is to so prepare during the week that it is collectively the instrument of replenishment and fresh energy of soul. Even being in the presence of fellow believers in worship is meant to be a restorer of spiritual hope. We so underestimate the power of a people in one mind and with one commitment. Even a prayer can so touch a hungry heart that it can rescue a sliding foot in a treacherous time. 
 
A few years ago, two or three of my colleagues and I were in a country dominated for decades by Marxism. Before we began our meetings, we were invited to a dinner hosted by some common friends, all of whom were skeptics and, for all practical purposes, atheists. The evening was full of questions, posed principally by a notable theoretical physicist in the country. There were also others who represented different elements of power within that society. As the night wore on, we got the feeling that the questions had gone on long enough and that we were possibly going in circles.
 
At that point, I asked if we could have a word of prayer with them, for them, and for the country before we bade them good-bye. There was a silence of consternation, an obvious hesitancy, and then one said, "Of course." We did just that—we prayed. In this large dining room of historic import to them, with all the memories of secular power plastered within those walls, the prayer brought a sobering silence that we were all in the presence of someone greater than us. When we finished, every eye was moist and nothing was said.  They hugged us and thanked us, with emotion written all over their faces. The next day when we met them, one of them said to me, "We did not go back to our rooms last night till it was early morning. In fact, I stayed in my hotel lobby most of the night talking further. Then I went back to my room and gave my life to Jesus Christ."
 
I firmly believe that it was the prayer that gave them a hint of the taste of what worship is all about. Their hearts had never experienced it.
 
Over the years I have discovered that praying with people can sometimes do more for them than preaching to them. Prayer draws the heart away from one's own dependence to leaning on the sovereign God. The burden is often lifted instantly. Prayer is only one aspect of worship, but one that is greatly neglected in the face of people who would be shocked to hear what prayer sounds like when the one praying knows the heart of God. To a person in need, pat answers don't change the mind; prayer does.  
 
 
 
Ravi Zacharias is founder and president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.
 
 
(1) Adapted from Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend (Thomas Nelson, 2007), ed. by Ravi Zacharias.
 
 
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Days of Praise
Captives of the Devil
 
 
"And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10)
 
Strange as it may seem, the experience of Job indicates that godly believers can be captured by the devil. God Himself allowed Job to fall into such captivity, for He told Satan: "Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life" (Job 2:6). All the sufferings which Job endured were inflicted by his captor, who hoped thereby to get him to renounce the Lord. Similarly, Peter was briefly bound in Satanic captivity. "Simon, Simon," said Jesus, "behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).
 
Such bondage, however, is temporary. Job was delivered "when he prayed for his friends" and Peter when he was "converted" and went forth to "strengthen |his| brethren" as Christ had told him (Luke 22:32). In both cases, they continued strong in faith during their captivity, and deliverance came when they turned their concerns to others.
 
More serious is the case of those who are in bondage because of sin. Nevertheless, Christ died to set them free, "that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15).
 
Christ died to set the captives free, but they must first be told and then gently led to freedom by those who care for their souls. "The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:24-26). HMM
 
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[Slice 2582] Real Food

  A Slice of Infinity
 
 



Real Food
 
A powerful story emerged from the bombing raids of World War II where thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. After experiencing the fright of abandonment, many of these children were rescued and sent to refugee camps where they received food and shelter. Yet even in the presence of good care, they had experienced so much loss that many of them could not sleep at night. They were terrified they would awake to find themselves once again homeless and hungry. Nothing the adults did seemed to reassure them, until someone thought to send a child to bed with a loaf of bread. Holding onto bread, the children were able to sleep. If they woke up frightened in the night, the bread seemed to remind them, "I ate today, and I will eat again tomorrow."(1)
 
I love this story and the image it sets boldly in my mind. But I first heard it as a young woman in the throes of an eating disorder, and I just could not relate. For a growing number of lives around the world, the thought of bread is far from a source of comfort. Eating disorders are a rapidly escalating epidemic no longer seen primarily as an American phenomenon as once thought. According to one psychologist, "[R]eports have emerged of an increased incidence of eating disorders in the Middle East, Africa, India, and various countries in southern Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and South Korea."(2) For many individuals, the thought in the night that they will face food again in the morning is terrifying. 
 
There was a time long after recovery in a clinical sense of the word when fear of food was still what centered me. I realized this in my aggrieved reaction to a seminary professor's pronouncement. "Heaven is a feast," he said in class, "and God is the one preparing it." Later he added a similarly troubling thought for me, "The image of the banquet is central to our communing with God." His words were devastating, largely because I suspected they were right. The table is intricately connected with the faith Christians profess in remembrance of the one they follow. The ministry of Christ and the call of God is resounding and specific: "Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find" (Matthew 22:9). I had for so long wanted to understand these ideas figuratively: the kingdom as a vast table at which Christ wants us to sit for the sake of talking, nothing more than decorative bowls of plastic fruit in front of us. No need for real food.
 
However we approach the rich imagery of God's language, these images of banquet, feast, and table are clearly intended to bring something powerful to mind, and the great lengths I went to put these images away should have been something of an indicator for me. The psalmist writes, "The poor will eat and be satisfied... All the rich of the earth will feast and worship!" (Psalm 22:26, 29). But in my malnourished imagination of God's house and kingdom, food was exactly what I had been trying to avoid. To commune over food with people, much less at the table of God, was something that expended everything within me. The table was a symbol of stress and discipline, a daily battle from which I wanted to be released—not invited. Yet how often God invites us to face the one thing we cannot, the very thing that brings us to surrender and live. God prepares a table in the presence of our enemies, and at times the enemy is us. 
 
Though I had convinced myself that food would one day be a problem fully behind me—even if this meant waiting for eternity—God seemed to be shouting an invitation to the table today. My presence was requested at the banquet; I was invited to the feast. It was an invitation that both startled and confused me. It drove away the hope to which I cleaved on bad days and woke up with each morning: God doesn't care about food; God doesn't care about my battle with it. But one day it will be no more. Yet this lie Christ graciously purged from my altar. Slowly, cautiously, my eyes were opened to life and to the Last Supper, to bodies and to bread, to healing and to his assurance of real food.
 
On the night Jesus was betrayed, he took bread and broke it and gave it to those he loved. Holding onto him, like children with bread, we are given peace in uncertainty, mercy in brokenness, something solid when all is lost. In his severe mercy, we are all invited to the table: Come, take and eat.
 
 
Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
 

(1) Dennis Linn, Sleeping with Bread (New York: Paulist, 1995), 1.
(2) Richard Gordon, Eating Disorders: Anatomy of a Social Epidemic (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000), 80.
 
 
 
 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. We will never sell or distribute your email to any third party. If you have questions or comments, email slice@sliceofinfinity.org.
 
 
Copyright (c) 2011 Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)
 
A Slice of Infinity is aimed at reaching into the culture with words of challenge, words of truth, and words of hope. If you know of others who would enjoy receiving A Slice of Infinity in their email box each day, tell them they can sign up on our website at www.rzim.org/Slice

Monday, November 21, 2011

Days of Praise
Our Glorious Bodies
 
 
"We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:20-21)
 
Two vivid contrasts are highlighted in this text: We now have a vile body that will be changed into a glorious body. Our Lord Jesus will fashion us after the pattern of His own body.
 
There is ample evidence, both in Scripture and in our own experience, that our present physical bodies are "vile." The English word seems more intense than the Greek, which simply means "lowly" or "humble." Christ humbled himself when he took on our flesh (Philippians 2:8). The Virgin Mary saw herself in a "low estate" as she compared herself to the wonder of what was happening to her (Luke 1:48).
 
But one glorious day, the Lord Jesus will change our humble bodies into that which is reflective of His own. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). What a marvelous thought! Even "after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:26).
 
The exciting description of those absolute changes are encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15:42-58. We have a mortal body now, but then it will be imperishable. There is no honor to our bodies now, but then they will be glorious. Weakness is our burden now, but in eternity we will be endued with power. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for this majestic promise. HMM III
 
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

THE WIELDER OF THE SWORD

REVELATION 2:12-17

Pastor Rick Jackson

In the Bible the wielder of the sword is one who had governmental authority. In Romans 13:1-5 for instance we are told of the purpose of human government. Here in Revelation the Sword Wielder has higher authority still.

I. THE WIELDER OF THE SWORD IS AWARE [2:12]

1. Of Your Toil [2:13]

2. Of Your Situation [2:13]

3. Of Your Stand [2:13]

Just knowing what we do is known and appreciated makes a big difference. Down through the years stories are told of soldiers that did incredible things because of their respect for their commander. Heb. 4:12-14

II. THE WIELDER OF THE TWO-EDGED SWORD [2:12]

1. Knows When Compromise is Made for Material Gain [2:14]

2. Knows When Compromise Causes Others to be Led Astray [2:14]

1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

3. Knows When Compromise is Made with False Teachings [2:15, I Tm. 4:1-2]

III. THE WIELDER OF THE SWORD IS KNOWS WHAT CHANGES ARE NECESSARY [Heb. 4:15-16]

1. Change Your Mind [v. 16]

2. Change Your Manner [v. 16]

3. Change Your Future [v. 17]
1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Question of the Week: When should we speak up about origins?


Answers Weekly - Answers in Genesis

 

Answers Weekly

answersingenesis.org | newsletter archives | contact us
November 19, 2011

a weekly look at answersingenesis.org

top leftIn this issue . . .

Q: When should we speak up about origins?

A: First of all, it is important to remember this biblical principle:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven . . . a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7)
Matthew Henry commented that there is "a time when it becomes us, and is our wisdom and duty, to keep silence, when it is an evil time (Amos 5:13), when our speaking would be the casting of pearl before swine, or when we are in danger of speaking amiss (Psalm 39:2); but there is also a time to speak for the glory of God and the edification of others, when silence would be the betraying of a righteous cause, and when with the mouth confession is to be made to salvation; and it is a great part of Christian prudence to know when to speak and when to hold our peace."
Scripture clearly states that at certain times silence is a virtue. Yet at other times remaining silent is wrong, cowardly, and traitorous. The question for many creationists is: how can we know when to "keep silence" and when to speak? While the Bible doesn't offer a specific answer for each particular situation, it does give principles that can help you evaluate each situation you face.

Continue reading to learn some guidelines that will help you wisely assess not only when, but also how to speak up about the topic of creation vs. evolution.

News to Note Quick Look

The social contract: In a world where evolutionary scientists presuppose everything resulted from the random interaction of elemental parts, many puzzle not over whether social behavior evolved but how. Thus evolutionary anthropologists led by Oxford's Susanne Shultz have challenged conventional evolutionary thinking with a novel proposal. Read more.

Sickle-cell mystery: Back in 1954, British geneticist Anthony Allison reported people carrying sickle-cell trait were better able to survive malaria. No one knew why. But sickle-causing hemoglobin results from a mutation, so this "beneficial mutation" has been touted as proof of Darwinian evolution. Evolutionists claim enough good mutations can evolve a new kind of organism. Read more.

Also:

Answers ... with Ken Ham radio program

After Eden

After Eden

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