Using your Natural Gifts

Using your natural gifts

Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:5-6  5 Trust in ADONAI with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will level your paths.

When we acknowledge God in all our ways we come to understand that our lives and all our resources are all about Him.  As a matter of fact it is this attitude that should prevent us from indulging in our own self interests and lead to a more satisfied life filled with joy.  To help us and to help us help others in this life, God gives us good gifts, and when used in connection with trust and reliance on Him, produces level paths and Kingdom stability.

Y’akov (James) 1:17  17 Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who made the heavenly lights; with him there is neither variation nor darkness caused by turning.

When it comes to blessings and gifts from God, we need look no further than our God given abilities.  When we are born, many of us have the gifts of (eye) sight, hearing, movement and (audible) communication or some combination thereof.  Most of us have at least one of these and many of us have all of these.  No matter, they are gifts from our heavenly father.

If you have been given eyesight, rejoice and give thanks that you can see.  What a blessing it is!  Of the many things you could look at today, use your eyesight to notice all the wonderful things that your heavenly father created just for you.  Use your eyes to read God’s words (another gift you have), use your gift of sight to see all the other gifts surrounding you.  Use your eyesight to notice others and others needs.  Do not condemn others based on what you see but use your sight to discover, what of God’s gifts you posses that could help your fellow human beings.  Do not waste God’s gift by looking at evil, this gift is given to you to bless you and enable you to do His work.

If you have been given hearing, rejoice and give thanks that you can hear.  What a blessing it is!  Every sound you hear is a precise vibration that is transformed by the mechanism of the parts of your ear.  Use your gift of hearing to listen to the sounds of God’s words, whether they be from your lips or the lips of others.  If someone quotes a scripture to you, be thankful that you are able to hear those precious words.  Use your ability to hear and to listen to peoples needs.  Listen to the meanings of people’s words so you may provide comfort and physical and emotional blessings to your fellow man.  Do not use your hearing to listen to evil.  Remove yourself from Lashan Harrah (evil speech), the tearing down of someone or foolish talk.  Draw near to God and listen to the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and invite others to join you.

Do you have the ability to move?   If you do, rejoice and be glad that you can move.  What a blessing it is!  Today you can use your ability to pick up the book of God’s words, to turn its pages.  You can raise your hands and move your legs in un-abandoned worship to the creator and sustainer of the universe.  You can use your God given ability to help others in need, to relieve someone’s physical burdens.  Your ability to move is not for yourself, it is to be used in service to God and to others.  Use your ability to protect others from evil but do not use your ability to perform acts of evil.  Run from evil, it is your ability to do so and your God given way out of evil situations.   Acknowledge God in your movements and He will direct your paths.

Has God gifted you with speech?  Rejoice and be glad that you can speak.  What a blessing it is!  Use your speech to sing praise to God, use your speech to speak praise to God.  Use your speech to build others up.  Mishlei (Proverbs) 25:11 says:  11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word appropriately spoken.  God has not given you the ability to speak so that you may satisfy yourself with your opinions.  Rather, He has given you the ability so that you may speak out His words to illuminate the darkness that has come into the world.  Speak His words to others, speak His words to Him in prayer.  Use your gift to be silent when you do not know what to say.  Let Him fill your mouth with wisdom and speak only words of life.  Mishlei (Proverbs) 18:21  21 The tongue has power over life and death; those who indulge it must eat its fruit.

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Israel

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How can we argue why Israel has the right to exist without using the Bible?

Let’s look at Israel’s right to exist outside of scripture.

The first declaration by a nation supporting a Jewish national home in the land then known as Palestine came in 1917 when British foreign secretary James Balfour wrote what would become known as the “Balfour Declaration”

This declaration committed Britain to a solemn pledge to help the Jewish people establish a national homeland.

This declaration just didn’t happen out of the blue, but is the result of 20 years of effort on the part of the Jewish people lead by Theodore Herzl, author of “The Jewish State” in 1896, leading to the Basel Conference in 1897 unifying the global Jewish movement of its day and thus establishing what we know today as Zionism.

Zionism = The dream of the Jewish people to return to what was then their former homeland.

After Herzl’s death, the mantle was passed on to Chaim Weizmann who would champion the Zionist cause and helped lobby Great Britain, resulting in the “Balfour Declaration”

The “Balfour Declaration” was introduced in 1917, during World War 1, which not only involved Europe but also the Middle East.

When the war ended the victorious nations convened in Paris in 1919 for the Peace Conference. The allied powers who met were:

·         United Kingdom (Great Britain)

·         France

·         Italy

·         Japan

·         United States

During this conference, Weizmann presented the following political claims, like a statement in a court of law…

1.      Recognition of the Jewish people as a people by international law

2.      Recognition of their historical connection to the land known as Palestine.

3.      The right to reconstitute what they used to have.

Reconstitution refers to Israel’s prior connection to the land…to where Winston Churchill not only endorsed the “Balfour Declaration” but agreed history had attached the Jewish people to the land.

“It is manifestly right that the Jews who are scattered all over the world should have a national centre and a national home where some of them may be reunited. And where else could that be but in the land of Palestine, with which for more than 3000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated”

Also at this conference, the Arabs through Faisal Hussein presented their claims.

·         They were seeking legal standing as well.

·         Asking for their right to establish an independent Arab state

Each presented their political claims to the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers.

These five nations had the legal power of disposition after the war. They were the key victorious nations who had legal title by way of peace treaties. Because of their authority, they were able to transfer that authority to others, thus being able to establish the right of territorial sovereignty for which the Jews and Arabs each made their claims.

One of the cornerstones associated with deciding the transfer of sovereignty was found in the Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations…

Since the war had destroyed what was the Ottoman Empire, the League adopted a mandate system that would put them (Ottoman) under the tutelage of more advanced nations. What they called big brother helping little brother

By the end of the Paris conference in 1919 the claims made by the Jews and Arabs had not been addressed. Those claims would wait until the following year in Italy at San Remo.

Again the Representatives listened to each one’s claims.

The final answer – they said yes to both sets of claims.

They agreed with the claims of the Jewish people as well as the Arab people.

Prior to San Remo, the “Balfour Declaration” carried political weight, but did not have international legal authority. Now in 1920 it obtained both.

Weizmann stated: “This is the most momentous political event in the whole history of our Zionist movement.

What the San Remo resolution did was enact the “Balfour Declaration” as part of the law of the nations of the world.

Great Britain and France would undertake the mandates that Article 22 stipulated. There were a total of three:

1.      France would oversee the Syrian mandate (which would include what is today Lebanon)

2.      Great Britain would oversee the mandates of Iraq and Palestine

The initial mandate for Palestine included territory on both sides of the Jordan River. However, to settle a dispute between the French and British, Churchill at the Cairo Conference in 1921 gave Trans-Jordan to Faisal Hussein.

This decision eliminated more than 3/4 of the territory originally given to the Jewish homeland and ended up creating an additional Arab state in the region.

Under Article 6, the following was stated…keep this in mind regarding today’s climate:

“The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage in co-operation with the Jewish agency…

Article 6 encourages settlements. Quite a contrast to the views being expressed today. Today, settlements are viewed as illegal, because of the view that Israel’s right to exist and develop the land for its people is not real and legitimate.

Article 6 further conveys – “not only do the Jews have the right to establish settlements, but that the world has the obligation to help them settle.

The “San Remo Resolution” was internationally ratified on July 24, 1922 by the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations. A total of 51 nations would ratify the resolution that included the following:

“Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

Six days later, the United States House of Congress unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine”

What did the Arabs receive?

Basically they received the rest of the Middle East as we know it today…

·         Syria that would include Lebanon

·         All of Mesopotamia

·         All of Arabia

Yet, James Balfour makes this statement:

“Why are you complaining? You are getting all these lands and we are granting a niche.

What is interesting, in the Resolution, there were no national or political rights granted to the local Arabs or the Arabs who resided in Palestine. Those rights were granted to the Jewish people exclusively.

Then there is the question of Articles 181 and 242 dealing with the partition plan of 1947 and redefined borders of 1967. Under Article 80 of the UN Charter, it states that all previous obligations enacted by the League of Nations would be preserved.

All this proves the right of Israel, without mentioning the Bible!

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Merely lumps of clay

MERELY LUMPS OF CLAY

“House of Isra’el, can’t I deal with you as the potter deals with his clay? – says ADONAI. Look! You, house of Isra’el, are the same in my hand as the clay in the potter’s hand.”

Jeremiah 18:6

Imagine a clay pot complaining about the potter who created it! The lump of clay is nothing. In fact, it’s completely worthless until the potter skillfully molds it into whatever he desires.

In Biblical imagery the potter usually refers to God, and the clay to mankind. Yet people always complain about God. In fact, many denied He even exists. Here’s what the prophet Isaiah had to say on the subject: “Woe to anyone who argues with his maker, like potsherds lying on the ground! Does the clay ask the potter, “What are you doing?” or, “What’s this you’re making, that has no hands?” Isaiah 45:9

How strange that people today tell the potter what he should do or how he should think. More ridiculous still is the “Clay” denying the potter even has hands. Yet the world is filled with people who claim God does not exist.

“Woe” to them, Isaiah says of such folly, “How you turn things upside down! – Is the potter not better than the clay, Does something made say of its maker, “He didn’t make me”? Does the product say of its producer, “He has no discernment”?” Isaiah 29:16. People who presume to dictate to God or deny His existence don’t know their true standing in life. They have foolishly tried to put themselves in God’s place.

A potter shapes soft clay with his hands into any shape he desires. As Isaiah declared, “But now, ADONAI, you are our father; we are the clay, you are our potter; and we are all the work of your hands.” Isaiah 64:8. God is sovereign He does as He wishes; He creates and shapes each individual for His own purposes. It is up to us to do His will – not the other way around.

“Who are you, a mere human being, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to him who formed it, “Why did you make me this way?” Or has the potter no right to make from a given lump of clay this pot for honorable use and that one for dishonorable?” Romans 9:20-21

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Big Mistake!

Our next service is on Wednesday (10/15) at 6:30pm. Our schedule and announcements were incorrect; there are no services on Thursday (10/16). I am sorry for this.  Rabbi Judah

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Are you wise?

ARE YOU WISE?

“Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike.” Matthew 5:45

Yeshua told us to treat people as kindly as we can, for that emulates our heavenly Father. He shares His sun with everyone, whether they are righteous or unrighteous; and He waters the field of both the right righteous farmer in the ungodly land owner.

Were they wise, people everyone would look to the sky, see the beauty of the sunrise, feel the refreshing drops of replenishing rains, watch the migration of birds, and praise God for the genius of His creation.

Were they wise, secularists and atheists and skeptics would notice the brilliance of the stellar heavens and their self evident intelligent design, and they would praise the God of the stars. Were they wise, all the hedonistic, self-absorbed people on earth would pause to thank God for their pulsing hearts and breathing lungs and incredible brains.

The evidence of God’s goodness is everywhere to be seen. Most people are blind to it, but they’re the ones most meeting our kindness. Let’s praise God for His power, and let’s share His compassion today with those who don’t believe in it.

“You have heard that our fathers were told, `Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you not to stand up against someone who does you wrong. On the contrary, if someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too! If someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well! And if a soldier forces you to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two! When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him. “You have heard that our fathers were told, `Love your neighbors — and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike.  What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that! Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:38-48

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Sukkot

Sukkot

“ADONAI spoke to Moses saying: Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and say, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Feast of Sukkot for seven days to ADONAI. On the first day there is to be a holy convocation—you are to do no laborious work. For seven days you are to bring an offering by fire to ADONAI. The eighth day will be a holy convocation to you, and you are to bring an offering by fire to ADONAI. It is a solemn assembly—you should do no laborious work. So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you are to keep the Feast of ADONAI for seven days. The first day is to be a Shabbat rest, and the eighth day will also be a Shabbat rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit of trees, branches of palm trees    , boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and rejoice before ADONAI your God for seven days. You are to celebrate it as a festival to ADONAI for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations—you are to celebrate it in the seventh month.”  Leviticus 23:33-36, 39-41

Next week we celebrate Sukkot, Weds. Oct 8, Erev Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles. The main focus of this time is joy. In my opinion, Sukkot is one of the most prophetic of the Appointed Times. Here are some samples of the future that is prophesied. “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you will have the Passover, a feast of seven days when matzah will be eaten. On that day the prince will prepare a bull as a sin offering for himself and for all the people of the land. He will prepare a burnt offering to ADONAI for the seven days of the feast—seven bulls and seven rams without blemish daily for seven days and a male goat daily for a sin offering. He will prepare as a grain offering, an ephah for a bull, an ephah for a ram and a hin of oil for each ephah. He will do this in the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, during the Feast, for seven days, for sin offering as well as burnt offering, grain offering as well as oil.” Ezekiel 45:21-25

“Then all the survivors from all the nations that attacked Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, and to celebrate Sukkot. Furthermore, if any of the nations on earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, they will have no rain.” Zechariah 14:16-17

One of the great focuses of this festival is rain. It is a transition in Israel between the dry season and the rainy season. Hence the significance of Hoshana Rabbah! “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Yeshua stood up and cried out loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ Now He said this about the Ruach, whom those who trusted in Him were going to receive; for the Ruach was not yet given, since Yeshua was not yet glorified.  When they heard these words, some of the crowd said, “This man really is the Prophet.” Others were saying, “This is the Messiah.” Still others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from the Galilee, does He? Didn’t the Scripture say that the Messiah comes from the seed of David and from Bethlehem, David’s town? So a division arose in the crowd because of Yeshua. John 7:37-43

So, enjoy this festival. And especially enjoy your relationship with God in the Messiah.

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Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur

“ADONAI spoke to Moses saying: However, the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom Kippur, a holy convocation to you, so you are to afflict yourselves. You are to bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI. You are not to do any kind of work on that set day, for it is Yom Kippur, to make atonement for you before ADONAI your God. For anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. Anyone who does any kind of work on that day, that person I will destroy from among his people.

You should do no kind of work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It is to be a Shabbat of solemn rest for you, and you are to humble your souls. On the ninth day of the month in the evening—from evening until evening—you are to keep your Shabbat.”  Leviticus 23:26-32

Yom-Kippur takes place next week, Friday & Saturday, Oct. 3-4. It is the most revered Holy Day in the Jewish community. Synagogues are filled to capacity with worshipers. Even marginally religious Jews will attend services on this day. It is a day marked by repentance. Rabbinic Judaism teaches: “At this time, when the Temple no longer exists, and we have no atonement altar, nothing is left but repentance. Repentance atones for all transgressions. Even if a man was wicked throughout his life and repented at the end, we must not mention anything about his wickedness to him, as it is written, “You, son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous person will not deliver him in the day of his transgression. Nor will the wickedness of the wicked person make him stumble in it on the day he turns away from his wickedness. Nor will the righteous person be able to live by it on the day he sins.” (Ezekiel 33:12) Yom Kippur itself atones for those who repent, as it is written, “It is to be a statute to you forever, that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you are to afflict your souls, and do no kind of work—both the native-born and the outsider dwelling among you. For on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. From all your sins you will be clean before ADONAI.” (Leviticus 16:29-30) Moses Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance, 1:3, 2:1, 9–10.

We who are Messianic do not have to wonder whether our repentance has been through and our good works adequate, because our Salvation, finally and forever, rests not on our own performance, but on the finished work of Messiah. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us.  How much more then, having now been set right by His blood, shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!” Romans 5:8-9. Salvation is God’s gift to the believing heart. On Yom Kippur we follow Yeshua our Messiah. “But on the other hand, the One who does remain forever has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, always living to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:24-26.

As Yeshua intercedes on behalf of the People of Israel, so do we plead with God to forgive, restore and bless our People. May they soon find the truth of Messiah and True Atonement. “I, I am ADONAI—and there is no savior beside Me.” Isaiah 43:11

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Possessing the promises

POSSESSING THE PROMISES

“… through trusting …, received what was promised,”

Messianic Jews 11:33

The Bible is full of promises, but how are they obtained? Can we purchase them like items in the store? Can we earn them like wages in a job? Can we win them like dollars in a lottery? If you have a perplexity in your life presently, there is surely a promise in the Bible that would meet your need. If you’re worried about the future, there is a word from God to give you confidence. But how do you occupy that promise?

Through trusting! Through faith! It’s like Salvation. Messiah has already purchased what we need and it’s available by grace. Our job is to receive it by faith, which means trusting Him to do just as He has said. God has given us the gift of faith that we can take what’s unseen and make it a part of who we are.

Messianic Jews 11 gives a lot of examples of that.

“What more should I say? There isn’t time to tell about Gid’on, Barak, Shimshon, Yiftach, David, Sh’mu’el and the prophets; who, through trusting, conquered kingdoms, worked righteousness, received what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, had their weakness turned to strength, grew mighty in battle and routed foreign armies.  Women received back their dead resurrected; other people were stretched on the rack and beaten to death, refusing to be ransomed, so that they would gain a better resurrection. Others underwent the trials of being mocked and whipped, then chained and imprisoned. They were stoned, sawed in two, murdered by the sword; they went about clothed in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted, mistreated, wandering about in deserts and mountains, living in caves and holes in the ground! The world was not worthy of them! All of these had their merit attested because of their trusting. Nevertheless, they did not receive what had been promised, because God had planned something better that would involve us, so that only with us would they be brought to the goal. Messianic Jews: 11:32-40

Abraham didn’t know where he was going, or how to find the land promised him, but he took every forward footstep with the assurance that God could and would unerringly guide him. We can do the same and through trust obtain the promises. But you must move, when He says move.

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Moadim (The Appointed Times)

Moadim (The Appointed Times)

 God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” Genesis 1:5

G-d created time.  The natural beauty of the world declares the glory of G-d.  “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky shows His handiwork.” Psalms 19:1.  G-d’s will is that we follow His directions.  “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10.  The High Holy Days are a part of G-d’s plans for us as community.  “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and tell them: These are the appointed moadim of ADONAI, which you are to proclaim to be holy convocations—My moadim (designated times).”  Leviticus 23:2.  The High Holy Days should not be viewed from our perspective as having to do with our performance.  As we all know “it’s all about G-d and the Messiah”, so we approach this season in His freedom and love.  G-d is the Lord of time, since He created it.  He knows best how we should use our time.  “Make the most of your time because the days are evil.”

Ephesians 5:16.

It is imperative that we come into the High Holy Days with an attitude of appreciation and freedom that we have in the Messiah.  “Therefore, do not let anyone pass judgment on you in matters of food or drink, or in respect to a festival or new moon or Shabbat. These are a foreshadowing of things to come, but the reality is Messiah” Colossians 2:16-17.  It is appropriate, therefore, that we celebrate these festivals in a way that is consistent with our Messianic faith and exalts the Person of Yeshua.  The Moadim (Appointed Times) all find their fulfillment in Messiah.  “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.   Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.”  Matthew 5:17.

G-d’s Moadim (Appointed Times) remind us that He is Lord of the calendar, the King of creation, and that He is to be worshiped every day.  G-d’s Appointed Times have a great deal to teach all who have crowned Him Lord of their lives.

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How do you handle money?

HOW DO YOU HANDLE MONEY?

“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

 In 2009, discussions began between Bill and Melinda Gates with Warren Buffet, among the world’s richest people, about what to do with their vast billions when they die. The results of those discussions is “The Giving Pledge” – an international efforts to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to give away at least half of their wealth to philanthropic or charitable causes. So far, 114 billionaires have signed The Giving Pledge.

 There is much to commend about the efforts of wealthy people to be generous. But the most basic reason to make giving decision is because, as the saying goes:  “You can’t take it with you.” Everything we have had, now have, or will have will remain on earth after we die. “And he gave them this illustration: “There was a man whose land was very productive. He debated with himself, `What should I do? I haven’t enough room for all my crops.’ Then he said, `This is what I will do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I’ll store all my wheat and other goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, “You’re a lucky man! You have a big supply of goods laid up that will last many years. Start taking it easy! Eat! Drink! Enjoy yourself!”‘  But God said to him, `You fool! This very night you will die! And the things you prepared — whose will they be?” Luke 12:16-20. The Bible is clear about the differences between laying up our treasures here and laying them up in heaven. Treasures acquired on earth can provide returns for eternity only if they are invested for the glory of God now.

How do you handle your finances? Invest them now to bear eternal fruit forever. Learn to trust God’s Instructions.

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