Are You Prepared? Part 2

By Retired Pastor, Rev. Kay Alewine

“To know the end, one must know the beginning.”  (Isa. 46:10, My own trans.)

I was totally confused!  The illustration that both gave means that if we want to know what happens in the End Times when Jesus will come for His Bride, we need to be in deep study of the Book of Exodus – for when that particular Pharaoh dealt with Moses he was full of the Devil Himself because the Egyptians all believed in many gods…and “whatever Pharaoh wanted, Pharaoh got!”  (God was “watching over” Moses as his mother put him in a basket covered in “pitch” (tar) -so the basket would float- when Pharaoh’s childless daughter came to take her bath in the Nile.

It is NO accident she was childless; or came at that precise time to find Moses; or that she took Moses home with her to be raised as her son in the court of Pharaoh!  (Did you know the familiar Hebrew translation of “Pharaoh” means “Big Mouth”???  Ha!  Take that, Devil!

Yes, I was shaken to my spiritual core – but I knew, that I knew, that I knew (an old pioneer expression that means “You better believe this!  It’s TRUE! It’s the Word of God”)

I was literally quivering all over (a sign the “Ruach” (Holy Spirit) is saying, ‘Listen!  Pay close Attention’!  Then they both told the REAL story of why God did what He did the way He did it!

Long before “time” as we know it ever began, Long before the heavens and the earth or the universe were ever created the Devil was God’s (Elohim’s) favorite Angel and was appointed by God (Elohim –Father, Son and Holy Spirit in One Being) to lead the music for all the other Angels to sing!  (There are no female angels – only males can be angels according to God’s Will!)

…Continuing on (More details later) Abraham – appointed by God to be the father of all peoples even though he had nothing but idolatry ALL his life-God called Moses by his name and prophesied that he would be the “Father of many nations” – meaning that all who would ever live from that point throughout our own day until the Millennium has been completed – ALL will be able to have Elohim as their Eternal Guide AND that the Blood of Jesus that He shed on the cross covers ALL our sins –  past, present and future as we repent!!!


Bill and Brad explained that there was a fierce struggle within Sarah’s womb between the twins because they supernaturally knew that the firstborn always got the main inheritance left by the father!  It’s ALL ABOUT MONEY, folks – just follow the money and you’ll always find out whose really in charge!  BUT GOD turned the tables on the fighting twins and told Abraham that the “Second Born Child” in this instance would receive the inheritance (which was beyond HUGE even by today’s standards)!  Keep in mind that Sarah is eavesdropping at one point and learns the Truth!  From that point, Abraham favors Esau, a hunter who kills everything he sees for the fun of it, and Sarah favors her second-born son Jacob, who is a musician, scholar, and poet at heart, and is assigned to watch over the many flocks of Abraham!

For years I had heard that the name “Jacob meant “usurper” but that night I learned that Jacob’s Hebrew name actually meant “supplanter”!  Easu won the battle in Sarah’s womb – BUT Jacob won the battle OUTSIDE her womb!

(Where it REALLY counted!)  Woo-Hoo . . . and Praise God!


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Are You Prepared? Part One

As much as I would love to keep on sharing the amazingly beautiful flora/fauna of Galveston, due to recent world circumstances, I believe it is for us time to study a more troublesome topic so that as events ranging from serious to tragic events begin to happen to Americans and the peoples of Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Russia, Africa and throughout all the world – especially in North/South Korea, all of China, Tibet, and throughout Hong Kong and Malaysia, and into Tibet and India.  Why, you might ask? Because the Enemy of our souls (our minds, our wills, and emotions) has unleashed the power that Adam and Eve surrendered to Him when they BOTH ate of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden!  Yes, Eve ate the first bite, being foolishly lured into believing what haSatan was telling her so she could be “as wise as God.”

But her husband Adam had been told the same lie and acted upon it as did Eve! – even though he, too, had been given an additional command from God telling him to “guard the Garden!”  Not only was Adam to tend/look after the Garden and all the animals/life within it – to “guard” in the original Hebrew meant to keep out ANY and ALL INTRUDERS – ESPECIALLY HA SATAN WHO WAS TEMPTING THEM TO BREAK GOD’S WORDS!

For all the years I served as a pastor, I taught Bible Studies that focused on both the Old Testament and the New Testament – focusing in on the original languages in which each was written.  While I was serving my first appointment in Arp, Texas, a small community of less than 900 people deep in the piney woods of Northeast Texas, I attended a Bible Study one night in a small hotel meeting room in Tyler, Texas that TOTALLY turned my Biblical understanding upside down and backwards!

There were two teachers who team-taught a study focusing on BOTH the Hebrew and Aramaic/Greek languages of the Old AND the New Testaments.  They introduced themselves as Bill Cloud and Brad Scott and each of them floored me (and evidently everyone else who attended) with truths about the Bible I had never heard before!

Their main shared theme was that as serious students of the Bible we needed to know that for each of us to truly understand the End Times – we need to know as well, (and even better) the beginning and entirety of the Old Testament!

I had NEVER heard such teaching in my entire life—learning/memorizing the Bible in the First Baptist Church of Galveston – THE first Southern Baptist Church in Texas!  Col. William Barrett Travis and David Crockett who died defending the Alamo were ordained to preach, as was Gen. Sam Houston, who though horribly wounded, led the Battle of San Jacinto and his meager army of wounded, crippled militia of Texians defeated General Santa Anna that won Texas her Independence from Mexico in 1836!

So beginning with this posting, I want each of you to understand that there is no exact English interpretation of the Bible, with the best English interpretation being the New American Standard Bible (NASB) that can be found online at Amazon      or in a Bible Bookstore. Amen!  Kay


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Bird of Paradise

By: Retired Pastor, Rev. Kay Alewine

One of the surest signs that winter has passed is “The Bird of Paradise” that is the first to bloom on the Island and in the immediate Gulf Coast area like the Texas City and Santa Fe areas.  It is my favorite Gulf Coast flower of all!

While I have seen these amazing flowers all my life, it really didn’t register with me until I met the very first true love of my life!  His name was Gordon, and he graduated LaMarque High School while I graduated from Ball High School in Galveston.  Our paths first crossed when it was announced that a local area student was writing a musical called, “Bird of Paradise” and was asking for interested local talent to audition.  What excitement as we showed up one by one at the High School to audition, and I got the lead female role!  I was floating on air and never ever missed a rehearsal!

Our first performance was a huge hit and we were asked to repeat it.  (In those days there was no “summer stock” shows so we made our own.)  Our senior year closed all that down but Gordon and I remained close friends.  At our Senior Prom he gave me a “Bird of Paradise” arm corsage – which was our custom back then!

While Gordon and I eventually parted our ways—he went to New York City – and even though I had already registered at Baylor University (THE University)—just a few days before I left for Baylor, I got a tremendous full music scholarship at Sam Houston State University that covered all my music major expenses (HUGE RELIEF) and half of my dorm room. Well, needless to say, my precious Dad, who had saved for years, was GREATLY relieved!


Bird of Paradise at Tiki Island

Please note the shape of the Bird of Paradise flower that has been posted on this blog, thanks to Kenneth, my second-born son.   Can you see the that the major part of the body forms ‘the body” of the bird, and that the front part of the mature flowers serve as the bird’s front head and plumes and the rear plumes are the bird’s tale.

The truly amazing outcome of this story is that THE FIRST MAN I FELL IN LOVE WITH AT SHSTC BECAME MY HUSBAND AND THE FATHER OF ALAN our first-born son; and sadly the father of our second-born and first daughter, Karen, who passed shortly after her birth and is now with Our Lord in heaven!—AND Dr. KENNETH ALEWINE, our second-born son (who took these photos!)



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By Retired Pastor: Rev. Kay Alewine

One of the greatest gifts living in Galveston offers is feeding the multitudes and varieties of waders, and birds that live in our area, and certain ducks that are on the path of many migrating ducks (like the Mallard Duck I fed a few days ago) . What a great surprise to see him come waddling up to share the bread I feed the birds everday.

The seagulls line our beaches by the Bay here where I live.  Their beautiful calls are a pure delight to hear by this native Galvestonian – and especially when we cross the Ferry to visit Bolivar Pennisula where the Pelicans (my most favorite bird) LOVE to lounge about on the pilings and follow the ferries for their share of food along with the seagulls.

But there is another bird here that as far as I know, I am the only one who likes them.  They occasionally get to share the bread tossed to the seagulls on the Seawall while our year-round tourists are feeding the seagulls.They are called “grackles” and are disliked mainly for their annoying call that sounds like a loud screech!

Since childhhod, I’ve never been able to see any kind of animal go hungry – especially a bird.  When I lived in Arp (at my last charge) I fed everything that came by for food – (even the skunks whose food I would leave at a distance down a long driveway to the left of our property from the parsonage and the church) along with the groundhogs who left their holes all over our yard, but were easy to see and avoid.  And I put out bird seed regularly for the all the birds who would come by daily – even though the squirrels regularly cleaned out the sunflower seeds for themselves!  But I knew I was to have mercy on them all. (Why? Later on down in this blog.)

Now that I am living here, I have figured out how to feed these long, tall black grackles without bothering any other of our residents.  I start by giving them day-old bread on the grass close to us on the north side of my trailer, and then make a pathway of bread to get them to come to the back of the trailer where there is a deep gully for the additional bread to accumulate so they can feed every day (Sundays, too).  So, why do I know to have mercy on them and feed them no matter what they sound like or look like?  Well, I’ll tell you.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden God drove them out of the Garden for their direct disobedience to Him.  The animals had to go with them so they could have food – EVEN THOUGH THEY NEVER SINNED.  IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT.  And the more I realized this the more I knew I was to have mercy on all of God’s critters.  And YET – there is one critter I CANNOT STAND!  The COCKROACH! SNAKES? (love them!) SPIDERS? (love them!) FLIES? – I try to get them outside so I don’t have to swat them.  READ ROMANS 8:19—28 (NASB – OLDER NIV)

Whenever I get some time to be alone with God I just might ask him “Why did you make ___”?


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A Wonderful Thing Happened Yesterday…

(A Reflection on What’s Happening! By Retired Rev. Kay Alewine)

Having recently moved back home to Galveston, TX (Born On the Island, 1940), I have finally reached a point where things are in place enough that I can begin to renew acquaintances with people in former congregations.  Yesterday I visited Grace United Methodist Church in Texas City, where I had once been Pastor.  Their pastor, Rev. Michael Scalora, gave a wonderful Word-based sermon (my favorite kind!) and Jon Roush, (Lay Reader) read the scriptures without error, as usual!  Their pianist is the amazingly gifted Kathie Bryant who played as always with such vim and vigor, with Pastor Michael singing along – WHAT A WONDERFUL SERVICE!

There’s nothing quite like a retired pastor getting to visit a church where they served for more than a few years!  What I was most blessed to see was that they came together! – they even sat down front!!! (I could never get them to do that!), and the physical improvements on the buildings had continued!  New air-conditioners for the Sanctuary!  Woo-Hoo! and Glory to God!

To hear Sally Epler announce the United Methodist Women’s “Call to Prayer and Self-Denial” in preparation for Lent was like music to my ears and having Shawn Bergman sitting on the front pew was another reminder of his amazing faithfulness to his congregation.

Each of the hugs were like honey from heaven June Simpson, Dallene, Betty, Jerry, Janie, Jean, June – with one of the biggest hugs of all coming from Patresa Phelps, who had made a beautiful diary case with the Star of David cross-stiched on the front of it and had given it to me as a parting gift when I moved on to another call.

And then I must remember my very dear friend, Randalle Slawson who invited my son, Kenneth, and I to visit Grace once again in the first place!

Surely, the good days like these don’t last forever, do they???  Hmmm…

So what are are we to do when the days get tough???…When the days seem hum-drum – nothing special going on?

OR Most Especially – When everything that could go wrong goes wrong?  When the bottom drops out and we feel like there’s NO WAY OUT!  Sometimes we experience the most horrible days one after another, after another, after another for weeks – and yes, even months at a time..   Unless…    We can remember that poster years ago that showed a little yellow kitten hanging onto a knot in a piece of yarn???  We tie a knot and HANG ON, my friends!

We give each day the best we’ve got!  Jesus said we are to be lights to the everyday world!  Lights SHINE!  Lights brighten the darkness that tries so hard to get us down and out!  Light shines whenever we have a smile on our face!  Whenever we tell those working to serve us “I appreciate you!”  A few words!  A word of appreciation!  Come on, my friends!



Handling the Day of Trouble or Calamity

During a time of trouble or calamity, (and for many now – terrorism), it can be difficult to remember the promises of God. Terrorism comes against people to cause them to be filled with fear and terror to such an extent that they feel:
1) they are victims who cannot help themselves;
2) their families cannot take care of them;
3) they cannot take care of their loved ones,
4) their government cannot take care of them,
5) and ultimately, for spiritual people who believe in whom or what they call god cannot take care of them.

For believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, this would mean they have lost faith and no longer believe that Yahweh God can take care of them. Thus, believing themselves to be helpless and overwhelmed, they surrender to what they perceive as “inevitable”, by giving up and becoming “forever victims”.

This depth of demonic suppression and oppressive control can be broken – But ONLY by the Word of God as written in the *Older and *Newer Covenants of the Holy Bible. Period.
*Testaments” are finite documents. “Covenants” that are made with God are eternal agreements, thus a betetr term to refer to the two sections of our Bibles.

The pressures of the moment may for a time seem totally overwhelming. But for those who believe in Yahweh God, He will never forsake us or leave us or let us down. HIS WORD IS ETERNAL AND WILL NEVER EVER FAIL OR FAIL TO EXIST! At such times, it is often helpful to read, meditate, and pray the entire chapter of Psalm 91.

It may be that during stressful times you will find that praying all of these scripture prayers at one sitting is too long. If so, note the passages that touch or speak to your heart in special ways and focus on them as you pray. Reading and praying these passages aloud can be even more helpful. It is been scientifically proven that people retain more of what is read and spoken, than that which is read silently. Another proven fact to consider is that when we hear our own voice, we are automatically far more attentive and much more likely to remember what we have heard.

A vital point: pray these scriptures on a regular, daily basis – even when times are not particularly stressful for you or when you are anticipating a rough time. Praying these passages of scripture during the good or better times helps us reinforce and deepen our faith even more and may give us additional insights we might not grasp when praying these verses under great stress.

Remember, Noah built his ark when the sun was shining (scholars indicate it took him 120 years). Because what he was doing must have seemed so out of the bounds of reason and ridiculous (building a huge ark, in the desert, when people had never even seen rain up until the day the flood began), he and his family must have been ridiculed, taunted, jeered and treated as objects of derision by others. And yet, Noah, the spiritual leader of his family as the husband and father, and most importantly, as a devout believer in God – he and his family kept working faithfully – fully persuaded by their faith in God. In addition, another point that is rarely taught at length by many preachers and teachers is that there was tremendous demonic activity and sheer evil prevailing over all the earth at that time.

The foundation for what you and I are called to battle against in spiritual warfare is best expressed by Paul to the congregation at Ephesus when he says “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” …
10) In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].
11) Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
12) For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
13) Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. These verses are from Ephesians 6, the Amplified Version. Please read the entire chapter and put on “the armor of God” by praying the entire armor section every day – over yourself, and all those you love.)

This depth of evil cannot be fought against successfully nor can a person achieve any amount of victory over it by any or all combined measures of human strength alone. Our only offensive weapon is the Word of God which is “more powerful than any two-edged sword”. Jesus is our example: whenever He faced Satan in the wilderness, and on every other such occasion – he quoted the Word of God to Him. I believe Jesus prayed the Word of God whenever He prayed.)

Think about it: Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:1), quoting the Word (Torah) against Satan – and “Yes, Virginia,” and every other doubting dreamer – there is a devil called Satan and he is very real!)

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Scripture Prayers of Protection:

Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus, acknowledging You as my Refuge and High Tower. You are a refuge and a stronghold in these times of trouble (high cost, family strife, destitution, desperation, and TERRORISM).
In the day of trouble You will hide me in Your shelter; in the secret place of your tent You will hide me; You will set me high upon a rock. And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies around about me; in Your tent I will offer sacrifices of praise and shouting of joy to You; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to You, O Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me!

On the authority of Your Word, I declare that I have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. When I cry for help, You, Lord. Hear me, and deliver me out of all my distress and troubles, You are close to me, for I am of a broken heart, and You save such as are crushed with sorrow of sin and are thoroughly penitent. Lord, many are the evils that confront me, but You deliver me out of them all.

Thank You for being merciful and gracious to me, O God, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge and am confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed. You bring to pass Your purposes for me and surely You complete them!
Father, You are my Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a vey present and well-proved help in trouble.

Lord, You have given and bequeathed to me Your peace (“shalom” = the Hebrew understanding: “nothing missing, nothing broken”). By Your grace, I will not let my heart be troubled, neither will I let it be afraid. With the help of the Holy Spirit I will stop allowing myself to be agitated and disturbed; and I refuse to permit myself to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.

By faith in You and by Your Strength living and moving in me through the power of Your indwelling Holy Spirit, I respond to these troubles and calamities: I am full of joy now! I exult and triumph in my troubles and rejoice in my sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character of this sort produces the habit of joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames me, for Your love has been poured out in my heart through the Holy Spirit Who has been given me.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen. So be it!

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: All are taken from the Amplified Version of the Bible, except the one from John as noted.
Psalm 9:9 Psalm 57:1,2 Psalm 27:5-7Palm 46:1 2 Corinthians 5:21 John 14:27 (KJV)Psalm 34:17-20 Romans 5:3-5

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Who Rolls Away the Stones in Your Life?

Who Rolls Away the Stones in Your Life?

Last Sunday we celebrated the Resurrection of Our Savior and Lord Jesus! We focused on the miracle of His life as He stepped out of the tomb at daybreak. The stone that had sealed His grave was huge! It had to take a number of strong men to roll it into place. As a congregation we reflected on this fact as I asked them … “Who rolls away the stones in our lives?”

Just by hearing this question, we know that yes, indeed, there are stones in our lives from time to time. This side of Heaven there will always be tiny rocks and pebbles that fill our lives from time to time! You know … the little aggravations of daily life that can get us going and mess up our days before they even begin! The “no milk for the cereal and we’re out of bread” (I knew I should have stopped at the store my way home yesterday!) starts to our mornings, or having to stop for gas on the way to work – especially when doing so will make us late!

In and of themselves, these little daily kinds of aggravations can be fairly easy to solve …. unless they begin to accumulate! The proverbial “snowball” seems to grow and grow until it turns into an avalanche by the time we finally get home! But then there’s dinner to fix, dogs to feed and walk, a kitchen to clean, laundry to do, and then – there’s homework time with the kids! And you-know-who just walked into the house mad at the world and needing to vent – ON YOU!

Years ago, a doctor by the name of Hans Selye studied the effects of dealing with stress in our lives. He reported that whenever we deal with the smaller, less significant stress factors in our lives, they can accumulate to present us with serious anger issues that can result in negative physical, mental and emotional consequences as well as contribute to serious relationship problems with loved ones, bosses and co-workers!

He explained that even as the little aggravations hit us, they can trigger chemical changes in our blood, as the adrenalin begins to flow in response to our being upset. Tiny little catecholamines are released into our blood system that result in an increase in both our heart rate and blood pressure, for instance. We may describe it as our “nerves being on edge”.

“Okay – so what?” you might be asking. The “so what” is that it takes 24 hours for these tiny catecholamines to dissipate to the point that our heart rates and blood pressures get back into a more normal range!

But what happens to us if we get irritated day after day after day? And fresh catecholamines keep surging into our blood system each time we feel stressed out and get “ticked off?”

You’re right. We never get back to the state of rest or relief from the pressure that we need to be able to carry on a “normal day” with our families or at work. The longer we live with the tensions eating away and our bodies, minds and spirits, the worse we will get.

The human body God creates was never designed to keep piling on level after level of stress without negative reactions pushing us to the boiling point day, after day, after day. Eventually we will reach a boiling point, that eventually may be followed by a breaking point.

The stress our modern society is living with today is both different and far beyond what our great-grandfathers and mothers knew. Their stress was more physical than ours. Without the plethora of modern conveniences we now see as essential to life, they worked long, physically difficult hours day after day to provide the most basic necessities for their families – just to put food on the table and have a roof over their head.

Today, our stress more often stems from the mental and emotional challenges we face to keep ourselves and our families going … and it is the mental and emotional facets of our lives that are “eating our lunch” literally and figuratively day after day. All those tiny rocks and pebbles of resistance we meet each day can begin to develop into rocks, and then before we know it – become huge stones that no man can move!

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”    John 14:1-6, NASB

These words from the Gospel of John are the same words Jesus spoke to His disciples just hours before He went to the cross and grave can give us new hope every moment of every day. He was preparing His beloved friends and family for life after the Resurrection. A life that is possible for each of us to live as we look to Him as both our Savior and Lord.
An easy life? No, not hardly! Jesus knew that for you and I to function in this kind of world, we need to look to Him to roll away the stones in our lives because we cannot do it on our own!   All the pleasures and material goods of this world won’t do it either!

It is only as we choose to believe in Him and live as His disciples that we can learn to make the most of every day – even on those hard, impossible days that seem to have no end.
By walking with Jesus and looking to Him each day –especially on the worst days – and following His teachings with faith in HIm, we will learn to live as victors over whatever comes our way. Because He has overcome the world, we can also. Because He lives we can face any today and every tomorrow, no matter what each day may hold, and become a stronger, more loving person, ready to share the hope, joy and peace so few people know today.

27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’”    John 14 NASB

33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”    John 16, NASB

We have choices every day to live victimized by the circumstances of our lives that surround us – or to believe the words of Jesus and live as overcomers in this life. Joshua put it this way,

 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the (Nile) River, or the gods of the Amorites (pagan believers) in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15, NASB

Whatever we choose to worship is how we choose to live.  What say you?

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