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What is it, should you scream and shout, holler about fire and brimstone. Or should you listen and whisper, to make your point when asked?

Old things, New things, Different things

Posted by tawodi on February 17, 2009


I have been ill for the last three months on and off,  that is why,  with apologies,  I have not written much at all. Quite frankly I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep going at all but things are,  for now,  improving.

As most of you, we are also girding our loins for the future,  which is any thing but clear for all of us. In as much as the financial institutions of the country and much of the world have been gutted, by the people and politicians who were in charge of,  and also supposed to protect them,  and us. 

So,  like everybody else,  I have been watching carefully the turn of events and praying for a good outcome….we will see.

O.K. now for something new. For some time I have been in touch with a man who is in India conducting a ministry of support for 15 local villages and their people.  Most of what he has been doing is teaching people how to create small truck gardens to help feed their families by growing vegatables and such. In that area,  a small patch the size of the average living room here in the U.S. can provide almost all the needs of a small family,  year-round with careful tending. Also,  his helpers and he,  have been teaching reading and simple math skills and other things to the children, as the government is almost totally absent from this area and does not provide these vital steps up for it’s people.

They are located in Andrha Pradesh in Orissa state and some of you may be aware that,  that area of India has been the victim of outbreaks of anti Christian violence over the last few years. There is a great deal of inter-religious strife, ignorance and violence because the local shamans see Christianity as a threat to the social structure, such as it is.

This man,  Pastor Cornelius Sikala by name,  has helpers who conduct with him this life saving and enriching work in 15 villages in the local area. And they need,  rather desparately,  the help that some may be able to give.

I have checked very carefully and these are ligitimate people and activities, so I am throwing whatever I can for support their way and reaching out to all everywhere for help for them.

You can reach them at the following e-mail address  graceministries177@gmail.com  once you have contacted him he will give you all his bank particulars so you can check him out and then send whatever help you can.

This is the first time I have done this and is a new thing for Tree of The Mustard Seed Ministries, as we also operate solely on a no fee and no compensation basis ourselves, to provide the care we do.

I am going to up load a few pictures of their work at Grace Ministries for you to see here. Pastor Sikala has sent me dozens of pictures.

picture-1061picture-1067picture-1074picture-1062

 

Immediatly above is Pastor Sikala,  above that are pictures of his congregants gathering clothes,   food and tools for the villages they serve. Please help these people all you can,  ANYTHING you send will help.

Blessings on you all,  here’s hoping I can continue……Rev. Bruce………………………Tawodi

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” I’M NOT WHAT YOU THINK”

Posted by tawodi on February 4, 2008


This line appears in the book , Conversations with  God  and  according to the author  is a  five  word  conceptualised answer  of  the  question,  ” Can you give us a one or two, paragraph answer of what God is?”

I saw this  movie  once again the  other day and today at  Bible  discussion group  as I expounded on concepts of God,  it popped back into my head and begged the question, once again ” WHAT is God and WHO is God?”

We turn to scripture to begin to learn these things and also we have listened to clergy and others to form our individual concepts of who and what He is.

Once we turn to scripture we find no description of God. Do we ?  Oh there are any number of attributes  that we ascribe to Him but there is no description, and we find there can not be,  because according to scripture one can not look on  the face of God and live………..How inconvenient, or perhaps depending on your viewpoint,  convenient.

I mean come on,  He can be any thing you want Him to be,  can’t He?  Or can He?  On closer examination we notice that we can gather from these descriptions of attributes  a  very accurate “picture”  of  God,  at least as far as our finite minds are capable of apprehending.  It of course is to be understood that as finite  creatures we CANNOT  comprehend the  infinite,  It is a simple impossibility.  So  we are left to try,  as best we can,  to answer  these questions.

EXAMPLES OF ATTRIBUTES;  Creator, able to create by speaking the concept and bringing to reality by the simple application of will. Infinitly just,  allways in perfect balance with His creation and it is in balance as created and given to mankind as caretakers. Arbiter of laws and justice based on His perfection and demand for certain ” levels of performance” by us,  his creation. Which upon examination, are not all that hard to live up to. ( see ten commandments) forget the “fences” erected by men to ” protect”  the laws,   God doesn’t need our protection for His laws. There are 613 such fences at least,  that we know of.

Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all forgiving, ( if asked)  all encompassing, every where, and capable of a separate and distinct relationship with every one who asks for one, ( you usually must ask)  ( but not always) and who sent His Son for our redemption, as an intersessor Priest,  for all time and all humanity.  And, we are told who will return as a conquering King to rule Heaven and earth forever, ( with a slight break of some time ) and then cast out all not worthy to remain.

Did  I  forget anything ?  Oh yeah!!  It’s a really,  REALLY,  poor career move,  to tick Him off!!

Next question I am asked is,  do I have a personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ? The answer is yes I do.  The next logical question is. How do I know this?  That is not so easy to explain as it is subjective in nature and extremely personal as these things  are wont to be. but  I will explain as best I can and let you  be the judge.

January 8 1983 5:30 A.M.

I awakened like most mornings and lit a cigarette as I sat there in bed. As I did a brightness entered the room and hung suspended in the upper corner of the doorway. It was very bright with what appeared to be rays of luminescence shooting out of it.I knew it for a presence and asked who are you? He answered, “You know who I am.” I said yes, Jesus. I then asked, why are you here? He answered “Because you need me.” yes, I did, but it MUST be understood, I had not been praying or seeking intervention, anything but, I was struggling with a whole bunch of stuff I cannot get into here, having to do with the disolution of my first marriage.I asked what was I to do, all I had ever wanted was my family and now it looked like that was the one thing that I couldn’t have, I was losing that too.Why did this have to happen, why had my life allways been the way it had? From the time I was a kid the people who were supposed to love me the most, were the ones who trashed me the worst!!
He said “You had to pass through these things to be who you are” At that, I got incredibly angry, be who I am, I’m nothing, what is this some kind of boot camp I didn’t know about to toughen me up for some cosmic ****!!
There was silence and then he repeated, “You had to pass through these things to be who you are.” I immediatly retorted, Who am I, what am I to do!!?? He answered “You are to help people”
My answer was, Oh great! I can’t even keep my own socks pulled up and I’m supposed to help other people!! He repeated ‘You are to help other people.” the presence then faded and I was alone with an incredible sense of peace. I stubbed out my cigarette and lit another and thought about what had just happened. Then I got up and made a pot of coffee and started the day of getting the kids ready for school and mundane morning things.

I had been seeing a counsellor to attempt to save my marriage and by that time we knew there wasn’t much chance of that and my appointment was for the following day.

When we met he asked, Well anything new? OH BOY, was there!! I told him what had happened and we talked about what I thought about it and what I proposed to do, well, my only thought was to keep on taking care of business so to speak and survive.
After a few days we talked again and I asked so do you think I’m nuts? He answered no, he saw this occasionally and depending how the person reacted to it, the determination of nutsness was pretty easy to make, I wasn’t nuts, it happened, do with it what you will.
Well what I decided was, well, now I know what a nervous breakdown feels like and got on with life. But I must admit, a little tiny part of me didn’t believe that.

Fast forward to June 9 2002

I was on a road in McHenry Illinois after visiting family and was leaving town, after I saw my brother, I was going to hit the road back to New England.
As I drove I had a sense of presence, I can’t describe it better than that, it was a beautiful sunny, normal, day I remember saying I don’t need this, I’ve got 1250 miles to drive I don’t need this! The sense seemed to lift, after about half a mile, it again happened and I pulled over and got out of the truck. I went to the passenger side of the truck and put my head down on the fender (pretty tall truck) and said allright, what do you want…I have tried to describe this many times and can only give a visual reference, it was like looking at a field of grain and watching zephers of wind play with the stalks of grain gently teasing it into motion, thats what it felt like as the following was said.” I want you to visit the sick, I want you to visit the shut ins. I want you to carry my word to those who can not hear it and be for them, a voice.” I was struck with the gentleness of it, it was not a command, it was a summons, a request. I thought a moment and said allright, I will submit. I will do as you ask. The next thing I heard was “And they don’t have to know your name.”

The signifigance of that last sentence is profound. I had been an entertainer for quite a few years, singer and band leader and been out of music at that time, for 14 Years. I had thought of ministry for a time some years ago but was terrified of my ego . Ego is soul killing stuff, so I did not pursue it after a year of talking with my minister about it. He told me Bruce, the only thing wrong is you think too much!! I knew though, the power ego can have and the destruction it can do. Well that last sentence, “They don’t have to know your name,” was probably the only sentence on earth that would convince me to do it .That and one other thing,there were witnesses. While I was communing, if you will, two cars had stopped and one of the three different people walked up to me and asked if I was all right? I answered yes, I was just resting, and then one of them said what was that?
I allmost fell down, I asked what they meant and they tried to describe what they saw and as close as they could come, it was like heat waves rising or almost, but not really, like a mist that suddenly was gone. I didn’t know what to say, so I told them what happened. We said a brief prayer together and got in our respective vehicles and drove away, they to wherever, me into a brand new life.

Thats it, thats what happened, I don’t know why. I’m once again not special. I have no answers for any body, usually I just try my very best to do what I believe I must. to fullfil my vow. I have spent thousands of hours trying to understand this and I can’t, there is no reason for it to be me, not any one of you, no reason at all. I still have my bad spells, anger, self pity, poor judgement, all the things that make up who and what, an average human being is, in our world. All I know is this .Every once in awhile He lets me know what He wants, this is one of those times. I don’t know why and I would be a liar if I told you I really understood any of it. He wanted this here, now, today. I’m kinda shaky right now, so when I post this, I’m gonna take a break I’ll maybe be back later. I love you all, as does He, don’t give up on Him, He has not on us.

 Some have enjoyed reading this and learning of another’s experience,  I still sit and wonder …..Why me????

Posted in the military forums April 2007.

Now, if you have not nodded off or said O.K., this guy’s nuts,  and left,  I must clarify several,  heck many,  things before we go on.

The first of which and the most important is that I have NO inside track on God. I don’t profess to know His mind,  or plan for mankind and only am armed with the tools that we all have as gifts from Him, our creator.

You MUST apply every bit of your own intellect to anything I say,  or write,  and make your own judgements as to it’s validity in your,  or any one elses life.

You must NOT take what I say and attempt to apply it to your self,  before you have weighed the statements and experiences here and applied your own understanding of what they mean TO  YOU!!

If they don’t fit your concepts in general,  throw them OUT!!

I say these things in all humility because I am a man only not some prophet. some are all too ready to give up soveriegnty of themselves to some one they think has the answers.  I indeed have answers FOR  ME  not perhaps for you.

Some have said that by putting these caveats in,  I am assuming that which I vehemently deny, please believe me that is not true, I have no authority to shape your beliefs,  none at all.

O.K.  I put  this here now to show that there is such a thing as a relationship with God that can indeed be personal.  I ask only that you accept it as MY truth. not necessarily yours.  I also ask you to consider the real risk I have taken by posting it and by including it here as the internet is forever and I am aware of that so if the word goes out that I’m nuts,  it’s forever!!  Quite frankly,  I’m not too worried about that,  because I have found that many have had this,  or similar,  experiences.

Now with two critical concepts stated we find it is time to see where to go from here. We have studied aspects and attributes, we have discussed one personal account of interaction with God and Jesus Christ. What conclusions can we draw from this……………nothing yet.

It is fairly late and i’m going to stop for now and add more tomorrow, I promise!!  see you then

Be well all……………………..Rev.  Bruce……………………………………Tawodi   02 07 08

O.K. to pick up the thread again, I must first apologise. I was taken ill with a massive infection and had to have surgery last monday finally to remove it and some dead tissue( yucchh!)  Needless to say I was far from feeling profound through all of that!

We have come to a place where you will have to supply some answers for yourself,  in regards to who and what is God, and, how do we place a call so to speak. How do we begin to understand how to interact with such a being??

Jesus said, we must be as children to enter the kingdom of heaven, also that that kingdom was within us……….What does this mean??  If you are much older than thirty you probably like most have lost your sense of wonder, do you remember that feeling when you went to a new job or town to live and would generally explore to find where every thing was? Buy books to learn about your new town and try and find your nitch within it? Join some clubs or ball teams or the Elks lodge? I’m sure you understand what I mean. when you were a kid that sense of wonder was always there waiting to bring excitement to you days and new meaning and nuance to your life.  That sense of wonder is what I am talking about!!

Where do we find it,  now that we’ve become old and jaded??  INSIDE US !!  Where we find the kingdom of heaven!!

Generally speaking,  we must learn a whole new way of thinking,  call it constructive thinking,  or positive thinking. We must discover once again that way of relating to our world with open eyed wonder so that we can see the possibilities clearly when they are presented to us. This is but the first step. If we waste time with negative,  or destructive,  thinking we will never tap into the true flow of the power of God in our lives!!

Remember God is first and foermost THE CREATOR!! and to do so, it is a positive energy to create, that is what is meant, that we are in the image of God! We are the only creatures on the planet that can create!! 

With these two simple concepts in place, we can now look at the increasing complexity of our existance, as humans and, children of God.

Remember, we can create our reality!!  God tells us this in the Bible in many places, as does His Son, Jesus the Christ.

You will find it is a real struggle to follow me for a while here,  but if you open your heart,  you can get just a glimmer of the meaning I am trying to convey.

Let’s start with prayer,  it is the most common way we,  as humans,  try and communicate with God, and what are we told about its power??  Verily, if you have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed you can move mountains. now most of us do not beleive that for one minute,  do we?? Let me ask you why that is? If God didn’t mean it, or Jesus didn’t think it was true, why did they say it?!!?  Another quote in regards to prayer is, “ask and it shall be given you.”  Once agian, why say it, if not true?!!?  These are perhaps some of the most important questions in our world and nobody gives any real serious thought to them, or at least doesn’t seem to, so that in  getting the true answers,  we can apply them to our life.  We are told by our Holy men we can ask but Gods answer very often is what we should have, not what we ask for…………bullfeathers!!  That is NOT what God told us, is it!!

Now I will impart a lesson and you will have to learn it, use it, and belive in it, and, when wonderous things begin to happen to, and for, you we will go on from there and you will learn, as have I, just who this friend is, that we call God.

The very first thing that you must learn is that you will almost never get what you pray for simply because you want it. to want is to imply you yourself can not get it and to imply that is to “create that reality”  God almost never will give you that which you can earn, or aquire, yourself.  If you are praying for the well being of someone else and for it to be Gods will that the person be uplifted through a disease or affliction or a bad set of circumstances it is almost universally true that circumstances will arrange “them selves” so that the intrinsic strength of that person and their physical wherewithall can come up with the desired outcome with a small or large portion of outside help from God. Doesn’t it always seem to take that form?? That is because of a simple but profound reason, we create most of our own reality.  Bear with me here, I know this seems too fantastic to believe,  let alone understand,  but it is true. When we believe we cannot, we indeed CANNOT, it is that simple, when we thank God for the gifts He has given us, to meet life head on, and with the strength and dignity as HIS CREATIONS, we find we have resources we were not even aware of, to apply to the seemingly impossible prayer we asked of HIM!!  Remember the operative phrase here is,  FAITH!!! 

I CAN PROVE THAT THIS WORKS!!  IT WILL NOT FAIL !!!

Here is how you begin,  some where in your life is a seemingly insurmountable problem,  that you want to solve,  but can’t. I DON’T care what it is!!!  You in all humility MUST confess to God AND MEAN IT that this problem is beyond your control but that you KNOW that it is within HIS power to help you confront and conquer it,, at this time freely give up to God,  what ever the problem is,  do NOT think about it,  do NOT worry about it,  do NOT continue to discuss it with friends to get their thoughts on it.  GIVE IT TO GOD!!  What follows will amaze you !!!

After a time, an hour, a day, a week, a month,  whenever it is,  that your gifts and abilities are aligned with the proper circumstances to solve the problem,  you will be made aware of what you are to do,  when you are to do it,  and exactly how the solution will occur. I,  and many others I have given this to,  have NEVER seen it fail NOT ONCE EVER!!!!

This will be the very first true evidence of God moving in YOUR life,  incontrovertable,  provable and true,  and will be one of the most profound things to EVER happen to you in your whole life. you will know where the solution came from and there will be, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!!!

At the beginning of next week I will give another lesson about this incredible friend I have come to know that you, as well as I, call………………GOD

Be well my friends………trust in Him…………………Rev.  Bruce…………………………..Tawodi

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REAL MEANINGS OF SACRIFICE

Posted by tawodi on June 16, 2007



Just some thoughts; This was posted Sat morning by me on the military threads and I thought what the hay, it’s pertinent, so brought it here for you.

I was reading this thread and W.T. really has it right, but, and this is NOT critisism, most miss the basic points of sacrifice not W.T., I know he gets it, but most do not.

With the fall of mankind, not because we ate an apple or what ever it was, but by thinking we could be as God (remember that was what Satan told Eve and she told Adam) What caused our fall was arrogance, plain and simple.

From that point onward we needed to propitiate our sins with sacrifices. BUT, it should be remembered that God IS justice, there is no sacrifice worthy of him but a PERFECT sacrifice.

This is crucial to understanding the meaning of Jesus’s existance, mission, ministry, and purpose, for us, and to us.

We, as human beings, are incapable of doing ANYTHING that will restore justice between us and God, period, end of story, NOT open for discussion.

It is this simple understanding that trips so many humans into the fog, so to speak, and understand it you MUST!!!

Most grasp the fact that works will not save you, not without faith, in justification of those works.

Faith with out the works, that faith COMPELS us to perform, is the fruit of that justification, by that faith.

I would ask that you clip and copy this last few paragraphs, they are critical for understanding what was given to you, simply for asking.

When reciting the Jesus prayer (I’m a sinner etc. etc.) Most do not truly believe it when they say the words. Oh, they know they “make mistakes” and such but “sinner” that’s a little strong isn’t it??

No, it’s not, what it actually means is that you, as a human being, have ABSOLUTELY zero, zip, nada, none, can’t get it, and never will, concept of what perfection IS!!!

But that’s O.K., God knows that and doesn’t expect it of you, but He does expect you to understand that much, and by understanding that, you can then accept that He has provided a way home, as He said He would, in Genesis 3,verse fifteen. The mention of your salvation by a redeemer starts there, that far back in the Bible, and most never realise it!!

A dead Man on the cross is not the lesson to be learned from the crucifiction of Jesus.

The terrified scattered survivors who were galvanized by his presence, ALIVE, AMONG THEM, EATING AND DRINKING, (spirits can do neither)Talking, teaching, loving, and forgiving, ( Peter on the beach being asked three times, Peter do you love me? feed my sheep) these are the things that speak to the reality of Christ Jesus, Lord of Heaven and Earth, Possessor of these powers granted by God, for us, to Him, for our salvation and intersession in our imperfection and shallowness of existance, to deepen the bonds to enrich our understanding of just how much God loves us, but to also show us how much Jesus loves us, to suffer so and lay down His life BY COMMAND, for us, never knowing if we will do what is necessary to earn the gift of life, or not.

These are the things you must know, to even begin to understand, the tennets of Christianity and the things that are there, for you, just for asking.

Be well friends…Rev   Bruce                                                                                           Tawodi

 
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THIRD SHOW IS ARCHIVED

Posted by tawodi on May 29, 2007


Hello all tonight I did the third Tawodi’s hawks nest and it was fun!! hope it was for you too.  I wandered a bit because quite frankly I was a little giddy……..allright a lot giddy!!

Today it became official,  I am now registered with the state of Massachusetts as Independant Clergy,  affiliation  to the Tree of The Mustard Seed ……..Church.  Non Denominational,  Following the Apostle’s Creed.

I started out with that announcement and quickly realised that if I stayed in that mood, I was going to be giggling all through the show.  Maybe not a bad thing,  and when I listened to it after it was archived it had me laughing in spots, because it was all stream of conscienceness stuff off the top of my head.  I felt that it had gotten away from me,  but when I listened I realised it went fine.  I didn’t sound like any bigger an idiot than I actually am!!!

For those who read this I need some input as to what YOU  want and expect from the show and this site,  I’m still feeling my way. The interfaith movement of reconciliation between Christians,  Muslims,  and Jews,  MUST be the first consideration as that is my sworn lifes mission,  till I shuffle off this mortal coil (or am pushed) so lets hear from you out there.

I think I have discovered a way to put up the Catholic reconciliation dialogs that I mentioned I would.  So those of you who want them,  can access them and print them out, free of charge.  To bring to those who are active in your churches and mosques and synagogues,  for you and others of your congregations,  to study and perhaps join us here,  to bring about understanding in this country and later the world,  if possible and I believe that it is possible!!!

If you have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed you can move mountains!!!   Be well all………Tawodi

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WHAT DOES ECUMENICAL REALLY MEAN ?

Posted by tawodi on May 19, 2007


In the Chaplain Corp in the military it,  means that when the Chaplain speaks and/ or preaches he realizes that the soldiers and sailors who are listening,  are a captive audience.  In peace time they may be on a base, aboard a ship, or on duty some where there is no Church,  Synagogue,  or Mosque,  any where nearby,   where worship would be possible for his charges to go and worship in their own faith structure.

Some of the finest preaching I have ever heard,  has been done in these surroundings.  Some of the finest people I have ever known,  have been one or the other of those in attendance rendering worship to the God of Abraham,  Isaac, and Jacob, later Israel. Abraham being of course the Father of the Jews, the forefather that led to founding of the Hebrews, the Arabs, brothers of one another by Abraham, followed later by those of us known as Gentiles welcomed into the covenant, by the Grace of God,  through the sacrifice of Jesus,  The Christ our Lord and Master.

In short,  the people of the three major faith systems in the world,  have worshipped, at times, together.

In 1964 the Vatican issued the Lumen Gentium in November of that year.  It came out of the Vatcan 2 council,  which,  as some of you may know,  there are still Papal Encyclicals being issued which were adjudicated then and are still under study even now. When the Lumen Gentium was sent to the world,  it out lined the acceptance of the Muslim faith and the things which would and have and are being done,  to create bridges of understanding between the two disparate faiths.

That’s right,  there is a fourty three year history of reconciliation,  that has been carried out between the Catholic Church and the world of Islam,  right under our noses.  Pope John the sixth and Pope John Paul the second have issued over the years many encyclicals dealing with this effort and have preached many times in Mosques around the world.  

I have in my possession,  the entire history of this,  given me when I requested it right from the Vatican archives .

 I WILL MAKE IT AVAILABLE,  TO ANYONE WHO REQUESTS  IT,       FREE OF CHARGE !!!

Also in my possession,  is a thirty eight page  compendium,  of the ongoing efforts of reconciliation between the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church .

I WILL MAKE IT, AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WHO REQUESTS IT ,      FREE OF CHARGE !!! 

It will take awhile for me to set up links,  so it can be sent to you over the net and you won’t have to give me your E mail address.  Something you may not want to do and I wouldn’t blame you,  with so much spam out there today.

There is and are,  those who for whatever reason are creating walls between  “US ”  and   ” THEM”  these walls must be torn down,  or we will all descend into a maelstrom of hatred we may not be able to recover from,  as a race.

I am not a fool,  I am not saying we should not be on guard against those who would do us harm.  I am saying the blanket condemnation of an entire people is,   WRONG!!!   I don’t care what reasoning you use,  what excuses you make,  or just how terrified you are.  It is   WRONG  to do this.  As I have said elsewhere,  I will fight to my dying breath,  those who would spread this hate.

We are all products of our cultures, some have been twisted by governments,  or hatred and missuse of various scriptures in all faith systems. It is my deeply held belief that those of us who exhibit true servant leadership,  as the faiths themselves dictate  we must,  then God will judge us accordingly,  we must NOT let men do it for us.  That is not their place,  it is the province of God,  no one else!!

Today is Saturday,  whether you celebrate the Sabbath today or on Sunday,   pray for the wisdom of God to make your decisions,  open your heart,  think of your and their children,  who are depending on you to provide a world that is safe for them to live in.  Work for that,  if for no other reason.

THE ONE TRAP YOU CAN NEVER ESCAPE FROM IS THE ONE IN YOUR  MIND,  THAT YOU HAVE MADE. Tawodi.

Be well friends,  and at peace, …Tawodi…out

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