Life’s Journey

A journey of life

In our today’s discourse we shall examine the topic a journey of life and it’s expectation

A journey is a race that has a beginning and an end. Paul was inspired to write I have run the race and completed it and awaits the reward or prize. Another important component of the race of life is a reward or inheritance. In this race the runner does not obtain the reward automatically or in the lifespan of the race otherwise Bible Heroes like David, Abraham would have obtained it.

[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go.- Hebrew 11:8

By faith Abraham obeyed God’s calling to a place he would receive as an inheritance. He went but not knowing where he was going. This sometimes is the way a life’s journey looks like.

Lets examine some expectations in the race of life so that we run the race with understanding and wisdom. One thing is very obvious and that is we need help and grace of God to run a successful race. If we have a good understanding of the expectations we would not fail.

  • Opportunities and Oppositions
  • Setbacks meants to derail you
  • Failure to read God’s word and pray everyday.
  • Saying no to God when He deals with you about a specific area in your life.
  • Moral failure stemming from wrong habits and relationships
  • Allowing doubt and fear to cripple you
  • Wasting time on frivolous pursuits instead of focusing on the one thing God has called you to do.
  • Succeeding in your career and failing at home
  • Not sowing your treasure, talent and time into God’s Kingdom, resulting in a lack of resources to fulfill His will for your life
  • You must take responsibility for your life instead of blaming others
1Corinthians 16:9:
For a wide door of opportunity for effectual [service] has opened to me [there, a great and promising one], and [there are] many adversaries.

To every door (opportunity) there is always an adversary(Opposition). Infact if you dont encounter obstacles and oppositions, you should pray and ask God if you’re on the right track. The size of your God-given assignment usually determines the magnitude of the attack.

Attack is a sign of respect by the enemy that you are a high value target and a threat to his plan.

(Proverb24:16):
For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

2.Failing doesn’t make you a failure; giving up does, not learning from it does, refusing to change your methods does, refusing to try again does. If sin caused you to stumble repent and renounce it, then getback on track. Setbacks helps you getback on the railtrack of life. Draw on God’s grace, resolve to do better and keep moving forward.

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Fail early, fail often and always fail forward – Dr John Maxwell

Not everyone who starts the race finishes it. We are all athlete running a race on the track of time and life. How are you running your race? Are you running to obtain a reward? Are you running with uncertainty?

1 Cor 9:24-27):
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.
Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.
Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.
But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].

Other Forms of distractions

What are other distractions that may cause you to stumble on your journey?:

  1. Failure to read God’s word and pray everyday.
  2. Saying no to God when He deals with you about a specific area in your life.
  3. Moral failure stemming from wrong habits and relationships
  4. Allowing doubt and fear to cripple you.
  5. Wasting time on frivolous pursuits instead of focusing on the one thing God has called you to do.
  6. Succeeding in your career and failing at home
  7. Not sowing your treasure, talent and time into God’s Kingdom, resulting in a lack of resources to fulfill His will for your life

Psalm139:23-24):
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

10. You must take responsibility for your life instead of blaming others

Galatians 5:7):
You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth?

In the garden of Eden, when God asked Adam why he had eaten from the tree, he blamed his wife.

Gen 3:12):
And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me–she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate.

Eve blamed the Devil. Neither one would take responsibility for their actions. When you sin, God will readily forgive you.

Nehemiah9:17)
They refused to obey, nor were they mindful of Your wonders and miracles which You did among them; but they stiffened their necks and in their rebellion appointed a captain, that they might return to their bondage [in Egypt]. But You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great steadfast love; and You did not forsake them.

What He won’t accept is obfuscating, rationalising, justifying, excusing and blaming (Prov28:13)

He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy. – proverbs 28:13 [Ps. 32:3, 5; I John 1:8-10.]

So if you want to move forward you must take responsibility for your actions.

The wrong people will hurt you – There are two groups of people you should never be influenced by.

  • The first is composed of VNP people: Very Needy People, Very Negative People and Very Needing People.
  • The second contains VDP people: Very Draining People, Very Doubting People an Very Distracting People.

Love them and help them any way you can but never be influenced by them.

  1. The right people will help you –
    When God has a job to be done, He calls a man or a woman to do it. But He seldom calls them alone. He calls others to stand with them and support them. That means your willingness to reach for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but strength. Paul acknowledge the people who helped him fulfil his vision (Phillipian1:3-5):

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.
Php 1:4 In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight).
Php 1:5 [I thank my God] for your fellowship (your sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now.

If you’re wise, you’ll acknowledge the things God hasnt gifted you to do, delegate them to qualified people and work from your core strengths. That takes humility on your part, but in the long run it pays great dividends.

đź‘Ş of God

There are 4 primary elements that make us family of God. – Ephesians 3:15

1. We have been adopted into the same đź‘Ş family. – Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5

2. As adopted children we all have the same Father in heaven – Ephesians 4:6

3. Adopted children have an inheritance in the same city, New Jerusalem – Hebrew 12:22-23

4. Those in covenant adoption have their names recorded in heavenly registry called Lamb’s đź“– book of Life – philipians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 21:27

Urim and thummim – an instrument of Divine Guidance

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I was studying the word of God recently and these words urim and thummim came up in the passage I was reading. I decided to research on it further from the scripture.

What is urim and thummim? Why was it mentioned at all in the Bible? If it was mentioned in the Bible it must be important.

We need divine guidance if we must succeed in our destiny trip  and God provides these guides in the following way:

  1. By pillar of cloud and fire – Exodus 13:18-22

  2. 2. By use of urim and thummim – Exodus 28:30

  3. By the Prophets
  4. –
  5. Through Dreams e.g. Joseph, Daniel, Samuel, Jacob etc

  6. Appearance of Angel

  7. By Fleece – Judges 6:36
  8. This blog post shall focus on urim and thummim, its symbolism and background, its purpose and significance.

    Occurrences in the scriptures

    The words urim and thummim occurred about 5 times in the following scriptural references – Exodus 28:30, Leviticus 8: 8, Deuteronomy 33:8, Ezra 2:63, Nehemiah 7:65 in the Old Testament while the phrase cast lots occurred 21 times in the Old and New Testament of the scripture. We shall examine in this discussion if urim and thummim share similarity with cast lots.

    What Is Urim and Thummim

    No one know the precise nature of urim and thummim (U&T) or exactly how they were used. Its first mentioned was in Exodus 28:30:

    And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.- Exodus 28:30

    Prior to the above verse we read about the preparation of garment to be wore by the High Priest and specifications given by God to Moses.

    The High Priests ephod was made of linen and tied round the neck with golden chain, covered the whole chest and was decorated with 12 shiny gem stones set in gold and bearing the 12 names of 12 tribes of Israel.

    Evidently the urim and thummim were separate from the 12 stones and were kept in a square inside pocket or pouch of the ephod so that the High Priest could wear them against his chest whenever he entered the temple.

    The names of the 12 gem stones are sard(carnelian), topaz(chrysoberyl), carbuncle(garnet), emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure(amber), agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, and jasper. These stones all have natural color changing qualities in their compositions.

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    The positioning of the, breastplate(hoshen), the chest area where the heart is, suggests how precious at heart we are to God like the precious stones bearing the name of each tribe from the smallest to the greatest.

    Our names are engraven on the heart of Jesus and ever presented before God. Do not look at your shortcomings and failures but at your standing in Christ Jesus (our High Priest). We are precious in God’s sight and sparkle in His light like a jasper or sapphire

    onLet’s understand that it is only when the High Priest is dressed in ephod and before the Lord in the altar that the urim and thummim stones are with him. These stones are used when He asked God’s counsel for the children of Israel. These stones which also bear the names of the tribes of Israel may have important function relating to God’s will on a matter, rights, judicial decisions etc.

    Background

    The urim and thummim are mysterious objects. The Bible does not specifically describe them. Most Bible scholars suspect that the phrase refers to a set of two objects used by the High Priests to answer a question or reveal the will of God. The two words when translated may possibly means lights and perfections . Urim for lights and Thummim for perfections

    When taken allegorically it may also means revelation and truth or doctrine and truth. Hence they are connected with divination in general and cleromancy in particular.

    Cleromancy is a form of sortition , casting of lots in which an outcome is determined by means that would normally would be considered random but are sometimes believed to reveal the will of God.

    The casting of lots approved of God is not magic. God didn’t approve of any man performing magic for magic was the abominable practice of other nations (see Deuteronomy 18:9).

    When you come into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of these nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, Or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. – Deuteronomy 18:9-11

    If an individual produced great miracles using another name beside the name of God of Israel (Yahweh) he was considered a magician. Genuine miracle is performed under the authority of the name of God. Jesus cast out demons from their victims in the name and authority of God.

    Purpose of casting lots

    You shall inherit the land by lot according to your families; to the large tribe you shall give a larger inheritance, and to the small tribe you shall give a smaller inheritance. Wherever the lot falls to any man, that shall be his. According to the tribes of your fathers you shall inherit.- Numbers 33:54 AMP
    1. God gave the ancient Israelites the ritual of casting lots as a way to ascertain His will in uncertain matters. (1 Samuel 14:42, 1 Chronicles 24:5)
    2. Casting lots is a solemn appeal to God in a doubtful manner. God inspires the process so as to reveal His divine will.
    3. Casting lots was still practiced in Christs time. His disciples cast lots to determine whom God was selecting to replace Judas Iscariot:
    And they drew lots [between the two], and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to and counted with the eleven apostles (special messengers). –Acts 1:26
    1. After Pentecost in AD31, the Bible makes no further reference to the casting of lots. The Apostles relied upon the Holy Spirit to directly guide them – Acts 2, John 16:13, Acts 6:1-8

    Purpose of Urim and Thummim

    The urim and thummim was used for the general purpose of understanding the will of God (divine guidance) and foreseeing the future. Textual evidence shows that the Lord approve of urim and thummim and commanded the High Priest concerning how to use it (Numbers 27:21):

    He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him before the Lord by the judgment of the Urim [one of two articles in the priest’s breastplate worn when asking counsel of the Lord for the people]. At Joshua’s word the people shall go out and come in, both he and all the Israelite congregation with him.- Numbers 27:21

    Segun Adebanjo
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Learning Disability

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The moment we stop learning we start dying. Learning is an important regimen in our daily living. When learning disability sets in it is a suggestion of a disruption of a flow from  the word source.

A learning disability in simple terms is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities which affects someone for their whole life.

In the light of the scripture daily bible study is an important life activity for a true believer and his spiritual growth is divinely connected to it. Your day must start and end with the word of God. Whenever a believer begin to experience dullness  of hearing  and reading a learning disability has set in.

Of whom we have many things to say and hard to be uttered, seeing us are dull of hearing. For when for the time he ought to be teachers he have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God and are become such as have need of milk and not of strong meat. For every one that user milk is unskillful in the Word of righteousness for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.- Hebrew 5:11-14

The nourishment milk provides cannot be compared to meat. Milk are for start up Christians  (babe) but meat are for mature and experienced Christians. We must leave the first principles as a builder leaves the foundation.

The key word here is time. The people to whom these words were written had a learning disability as teachers that ought to be mature and eating milk but unfortunately they were still drinking milk. The teacher has to suit his pace to his scholars.

The phrase in the above scripture: “you have become dull of hearing” meaning slow to learn. This is the sad testimony of many Christians today who have refuse to graduate from the school of milk to the college of meat because of learning disability.

Many cannot get their spiritual nutrition direct from God’s word (The true Oracle) but have to live on What others have obtained and have passed on in speech or book. By the time you should be communicating the truth as teachers. You need to have someone communicate the truth to you. Seek a first-hand acquaintance with the word of God.  We grow by feeding and exercise.

Note the phrase “solid food is for the mature”. Who are the mature? You’re mature if you’ve trained yourself through the constant use or application of the scripture or exercising the word like the muscles of the body waste away from disuse.  It needs traction to work effectively. Your rule of thumb for growth is read and apply.

The mark of spiritual maturity isn’t how much you learn its how much you put into practice.  If we are spiritually unproductive it is due to our own hardheartedness. Obeying the scripture is the key to spiritual maturity and also the hard part. On the long term you retain about 10% of what you hear, 50% of what you see and 90% of what you do.

Don’t just listen to God’s word do what it says. The secret to unlocking your growth and cure to your learning disability is in applying His word in obedience.

Segun Adebanjo
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Insurance in the Bible

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The insurance issue has been confusing to many. Some believe that only those who lack Faith would seek protection by insurance. 

The fact remains that insurance does not prevent accidents.  It is merely a means or a vehicle of compensating people that suffered loss so that they can be economically stable.

Nowhere in God’s word are Christians promised hazard free lives, devoid of disaster and difficulty.

I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong neither yet bread to the wise nor yet riches to men of understanding nor yet favour to men of skill but time and chance happeneth to them all. – Ecclesiastes 9:11, LUV

Ecclesiastes 9:11 states “…time and chance happen to them all”. We should expect to have to endure various difficulties  (John16:33; Acts 14:22). The game of time and chance that operates the game of life happened to one of the underlying principle of insurance. Insurance is based on probability of loss occurring or not. Life itself is circumstantial in nature.

These things I have spoken unto you that in me he might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer I have overcome the world- John 16:33.

But we do have God’s promise that He will not allow us to suffer beyond what we are able to bear. 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that he are able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that he may be able to bear it – 1 Corinthians 10:13

It is clear from these scriptures that tribulation and temptation is common to man but the good news is that he has made provision or way to escape if our capacity cannot carry it. This calls for wisdom.

Proverb 27: 12 states a prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself but the simple pass on and are punished. God has given us wisdom and it is profitable to direct. Insurance channel is a way of escape to protect the excess of our tribulations. It is God that gave man wisdom to design insurance and should be embraced by a wise and prudent child of God.  God called it a way of escape.

Taking precautionary measures to safeguard ourselves from adverse effects of disaster is a principle clearly taught by the Bible. Carrying appropriate levels of insurance is a means of saving for future needs, a principle emphasised in the Bible.

Go to the ant thou slugged consider her ways and be wise. Which having no guide overseer or ruler. Provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest – Proverb 6:6-8

Through insurance a breadwinner makes provision for his family’s future well being should he die or become disabled. (1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 13:22)

Behold the third time I am ready to come to you and I will not be burdensome to you for I seek not yours but you for the children ought not to pay up for the parents, but the parents for the children – 2 Corinthians 12:14

Other types of insurance protects others. God’s law plainly demonstrates that we are responsible for compensating those incapacitated or otherwise adversely affected by our actions. Exodus 21 and 22 provide the general guidelines for many situations in which compensatory measures are required. Carrying liabilities insurance coverage helps to curb the financial impact on all parties involved.

Mans law also requires certain other forms of insurance in personal and business affairs. Certain minimum levels of liabilities insurance are required in most states in order for car owners to register their vehicles. As long as such laws and regulations do not conflict with keeping of God’s laws Christians are to adhere to them.

Christ stated, “Love your neighbour as yourself ” (Mathew 19:19; Mark 7:12). Christians are to consider the needs of others (Philippians 2:3). Carrying proper insurance is a vital part of living by these principles that Christ taught  (Mathew 4:4)

Segun Adebanjo
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Lift Your Limits

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For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. – Isaiah 64: 3, KJ

Today God may be saying to you what He said to His people Israel:

Enlarge your tent and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings do not spare lenghten your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left – vv2-3, NKJV

Most people automatically stay within lines even if those lines have been arbitrarily drawn or are out of date. Most of the limitations we face are not imposed on us by others we place them on ourselves.

The elephant is held back not by the puny rope but by its belief system. Are you too? Your only limit is you.

Our inordinate comfort to remain comfortable rather than expanding has created the traditional belief systems like the puny rope that has held us down.

Lack of creativity often falls into that category. If you want to become creative challenge your boundaries. Abraham was challenging his boundaries through Faith when God promised to make him father of nations. It’s looks impossible but there is no impossibility and boundaries to a man of faith.

One inventor said: “All human development no matter what form it’s takes must be outside the rules; otherwise we would never have anything new”.

When you want something you don’t have you must be willing to do something you haven’t done yet. You donts need someone else’s talent or education to do that. When God made you He deposited within you endowment required to fulfill your destiny you just need to unlock it and put it to work.

Then God said Let us make man in our image according to our likeness….Then God blessed them and God said to them be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over every living thing that moves on earth. – Genesis 1:26, 28, NLJV

Note the word likeness. There’s a part of you that’s like God.  You have divine DNA. You’re capable of being creative so lift the limitations on yourself.

Your only limit is you.  God has given you the endowment to possess the lands from the Gentiles – break forth to the right, break forth to left. No more limits. Go out and break limits.

Segun Adebanjo
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Call to God in distress

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We live in hard times marked with increasing disappointment and failures in both spiritual and human endeavours. Many are living with constant disappointment and failures in  their health while others it is with their marriage.

The outbreak of a global noisome pestilence aka coronavirus has introduced strange way of living and dressing to our lives such as social distancing, wearing of face masks, hand gloves, using sanitizer etc. Many have strong Faith in compliance of these rules but weak Faith in the word of God. Many turn to their Government at period of pandemic and distress for help rather than turning to God.

Government of all nations are arms of flesh that are repeatedly failing their people in distress. What many do not realise is that the solution to the plague is in the Word of God.  The answer to the cause of your distress is in the Word. The faith to kill the fear of coronavirus is in the Word of God. Unfortunately it is the Word of God that is least depended upon now.

If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land – 2 Chronicles 7:14

God is unveiling to us what we need to do in this scripture. Because we are made in His image we therefore carry His name (in Hebrew tongue is Yod Hay Waw Hay (YHWH) and also his mark. It is this divine mark that the devil is attempting to corrupt through fallen angels technology and replace with his own. We must be spiritually sensitive to the wiles of the devil else we fall victim.

It is at distressing Period like this that we are expected to humble our self and turn away from sins of idolatry, witchcraft, blood sacrifice, geomancy and other forms of wickedness practices  of the heathen especially through prayer and fasting to seek the face of the Lord. After doing this He said he would forgive us and heal our lands of this plagues.  So lets turn to God.

Let us turn to God that appoints during times of disappointment. Let us look at what the psalmist David did when he was in distress.

I called upon the Lord in distress the Lord answered me and set me in a large place. – Psalm 118:5

The time we suffered disappointment or loss is the time for us to reach out to God. Thomas Dorsey a versatile songwriter of the song Precious Lord Take my Hand received great inspiration from God to composed this song and it came during the time he lost his wife. What an irony an inspiration in time of depression and emotional  withdrawal.  He therefore became one of the most influential Christians songwriters of all time because he reached out to God for help.

We can begin to understand that period of distress or disappointment are times we should take advantage of because opportunities abound in them. It is a period that we should become more connected to God. We are powerless disconnected. Difficult and distressful period are period of meditation and innovation. The psalmist understood the secret in connecting to God at period of distress. There is an appointment in every disappointment.

When David exited his distress look at what happened to

him…… God set me in a large place.

After taking him out of distress his ground zero God took him to a higher level. He was rewarded and promoted for his losses.

In my distress I cried unto the Lord and he heard me. – Psalm 120:1.

He brought me forth also into a large place he delivered me because he delighted in me. – Psalm 18:19

Let’s be encouraged and empowered by the word of God that He delights in us even in our distress. Turn to God for help today.

Segun Adebanjo
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Power Over Failure

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And what shall I more say? for  the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and of Barak and of Samson and of Jephtae of David also and Samuel and of the prophets; Who through Faith subdued kingdoms wrought righteousness obtained promises stopped the mouths of lions – Hebrews 11: 32-34

Samson had incredible potential  but threw it away. He failed to control his impulses. He was physically strong but morally weak. Our moral strength is the true measure of our strength.

Samson ignored God’s principles, God’s plan and purpose for his life and his life became a pathetic cycle of failure. Failure is not planned. It comes naturally and gradually. It is a step by step process.

Samson never learned from his mistakes. In his unholy relationship with Delilah a strange woman he played with temptation and got burnt in the process. He lost his strength his pride, his leadership position and both spiritual and physical vision.

Our whole lives don’t fall apart in one day. Problems build up over a period of time because of failure to learn from our mistakes.

Nonetheless there is good news and a way out. Samson discovered the way out of failure and found his way into the hallway of bible Faith heroes. Samson repented and return to God and he was restored. God restored his strength and he ended his life with an inspiring act of heroism. It was at a high cost.

He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might he increaseth strength – Isaiah 40:29

God that gave Samson power to break his cycle of failure can do the same for you when you turn your life to him.

Segun Adebanjo
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