Category Archives: Walk With Christ

Trusting Our Master Trainer (November)

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Guest Post by Lacy S.

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord?
or who hath been his counsellor?”
(Romans 11:33-34)

“Oh, it’s so hard!” I thought to myself as I fought the tears that were threatening to burst. “How can I possibly rejoice in such a trial as this! If only I could escape the pain that I feel inside right now. If only….”

Have you ever felt like this before?

I certainly have. I have often asked myself this question, “How can I truly be content when I feel like running away from this testing in my life? I certainly am NOT enjoying this!”

Let’s pull the reins back for a minute while I give you another picture.

The day was hot.

I was in the corral training our horse. My mouth was becoming parched as I ran to the left and then spun on my heels back to the right. I was running Lady in circles and having her change direction at half and quarter circles. My goal was to get her to turn and face me, and ultimately to submissively walk to me.

It all started when I was trying to call her to come to me. She had responded by completely ignoring me and kept nibbling on the pieces of hay on the ground. “Ok,” I thought to myself as I picked up my training whip. I had come out to ride, not to do ground training; however, I knew that if Lady’s heart wasn’t with me on the ground it would certainly not be with me in the saddle either.

As I began making her run in circles, she held her head high, in a very prideful manner. Her eyes were looking toward the field where her pasture mates were. She didn’t want to be doing training right now. I supposed she was thinking to herself, “Why would Lacy ask me to run when there are other more lovely things to do in life?”

“All that I am asking her to do is turn and look at me,” I thought to myself as I gave her opportunity to do so. And now she was thinking of jumping the fence! Submitting to my wishes was a struggle for her. I gently kept up with my maneuvers. Suddenly she paused and looked at me. I stopped dead in my tracks. Only when her attention was on me was she able to have rest. I smiled; she was learning obedience by the things that she suffered. All too soon though, her mind would wander to something else and she would not listen to my cue that was asking her to just return back to me. I had to keep training—running her in circles and changing directions. She looked at me again and began making steps toward me. Soon I was rewarding her with praise, and then it wasn’t long before we were walking side by side in harmony. Lady’s head was now low, telling me that she had submitted her will to mine and she was content with that.

I think I can relate to my horse in some ways.

Sometimes I turn my eyes away from my Master Trainer and then I become discontent. I begin to wish for something or someone else. My focus turns from delighting in my Lord, to what the world offers or says will give me happiness.

Then the Lord in His mercy and grace gently chastens me. I try to run from it. It’s not pleasant and it hurts.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
(Hebrews 12:11)

I keep running. My Trainer continues His purging; He only wants what is best for me and at this point I can’t see that, or maybe I’m trying not to see that. He wants me to delight in Him. He is asking me to walk with Him, to be content in His will. It seems hard. “Why can’t I be happy? If only could have peace and joy in my life,” I think…then I remember these words from Psalms:

“Before I was afflicted I went astray:
but now have I kept thy word.”
(Psalm 119:67)

Suddenly I turn and look at my Savior.

A tear rolls down my cheek. I begin to walk toward Him and read His Word. He gives my heart understanding and opens my eyes. I repent of my discontentment in God’s will for my life, and for failing to delight in Him. I thank Him for His faithfulness to me. He gives rest, peace and joy, for in His presence is fullness of joy!

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life:
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
(Psalm 16:11)

Sister, do not run from the training of your Master. He desires to draw you closer to Himself. Turn to Him in your trials and trust in Him, for He knows what is best!

 

Guest Post by Lacy S.


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The Road of Holiness (October)

by Sarah Lee Bryant

“Sanctify yourselves therefore,
and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.”
(Leviticus 20:7)

Be ye holy.

Sometimes this command overwhelms me in its extent of application in our lives. Our holy God has called you and I to live holy lives— to be dedicated, consecrated: set apart for the Lord.

What a command this is! — because we live in a culture that is completely opposed to holiness and drinks iniquity like water (Job 15:16). We face pressure from every side that promotes selfishness, commonality, worldliness, and sinful behavior. What the world has to offer can whittle away our value for purity, holiness, modesty, wholesome and God-honoring attitudes — and this worldliness attacks from all angles. We cannot avoid it altogether.

So…the question is: How do we live in this world, yet not conform to its ways (Romans 12:2)? This is a vast topic, but here are a few thoughts have been on my mind lately.

Holiness will only come in our lives when our eyes are upon the Lord Jesus.

As we keep our gaze upon the holy, perfect Son of God, we will be transformed.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
(2 Corinthians 3:18)

As we all know, there are countless things each day that can distract us from this goal of focusing on the Lord. It requires discipline and a strong commitment to make the Lord the focus of our heart. It is a choice.

This entails reading God’s Word, meditating on it throughout the day, recalling it to mind in tempting situations, choosing to obey His will and trusting Him with the results…even in very difficult situations, when to our eyes of flesh, it looks like the choice of obedient faith will not “work.”

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Choosing holiness is essentially a walk of faith.

God’s Word is full of rich, deep promises to His people— to those who will live set apart for Him. We must, in turn, choose to believe and act upon the promises of God. Romans 1:17 says “The just shall live by faith.” This is a willingness to walk in holiness before the Lord, sacrificing whatever is not holy and edifying, and trusting that God will come through on our behalf— that He will fulfill His promises.

Here are just a few of these precious promises that we should meditate on constantly (do your own study and write down the promises you find!):

  • Psalm 34:10: “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
  • Joshua 1:5: “…I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
  • 2 Samuel 22:31: “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.”

The book of Proverbs repeatedly contrasts the results of one who chooses to walk in godliness, with the foolish one who walks according to his own fleshly desires.

Sometimes, it is important to step back and be reminded of this: when God calls us to this path of holiness, it is one that will bring the most blessing, freedom, and lasting joy. We must never doubt that, no matter how attractive the world’s ways may seem. They bring only lasting destruction and sorrow.

As we meditate on truth and holiness, we will be able to detect the temptations and lies of the world.

It is easy for worldly ideologies to creep into our way of thinking…but NOT when we are guarding our minds vigilantly! Some thoughts that we may struggle with could be… My sister treats me so unfairly…I just can’t forgive her! I need to find something “big” to do or get a job to be important. I need to dress more attractively to be accepted. I’m just not important to anyone…does anyone even notice my life here at home? Will God ever truly reward me for the sacrifices I have made to serve Him? Well, Susie did ___, and she seems to be happy – maybe I should try it too!

However, when we are actively filling our mind with God’s truth, then we will be able to detect these thoughts as lies…lies that demonstrate a lack of faith. We are not to compare our choices and lives to others around us; we are to be distinct and consecrated to our Savior and to live for HIS pleasure. When we remember this, we realize how foolish these thoughts really are!

But when we fail to recognize these lies as sinful lies, then we start to actually believe that they are true. We start to value different things. Our standards will change accordingly. This is the progression of compromise. Therefore, this is why is so vitally important that we guard our minds with all diligence.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life.”
(Proverbs 4:23)

So when we encounter the world’s lies or these thoughts pop into our minds, we are to cast them away (Philippians 4:8) — turning to a promise in Scripture. This battle of the mind is where the battleground of our Christianity — of holiness — is fought.

To fight this battle, we must be gird with the whole armor of God, so that we will be able to withstand the evilness of our day.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Let us never think that apart from the power of God, we can walk in holiness. It is only by His grace, strength, and mercy that we will be equipped to obey Him — come what may. So while we set our face like flint to do what is pleasing before the Lord, let us do so desperately clinging to the One Who calls us to holiness — and Who alone can equip us for the battle!

“For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”
(Isaiah 50:7)

His ways are peace and truth, so let us walk by faith, choosing His ways!

I’d love to hear how the Lord is encouraging you as you walk in His ways. How do you refute doubts and lies? What Scriptures verses strengthen you? Please comment below!

-Sarah Lee


Photography by Jenny S.

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A Prayer of Surrender (August)

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“I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.”
(Elisabeth Elliot)

by Sarah Lee Bryant

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come to You, weak and needy. Lord Jesus, I need Your strength to live surrendered fully to You, and to walk in the Spirit. (II Corinthians 12:9) I thank You for Your mercy and for Your Word, which has instructed me in how to live each day. (Psalm 119:15)

Lord Jesus, my life is Yours. (Galatians 2:20) I know that You owe me nothing in this life, yet You have given me so, so very much. Not only have You redeemed me with Your own blood (Luke 1:68), but You have also daily poured out Your blessings abundantly upon me. (Psalm 103) I owe you everything I have. (Colossians 1:16) Anything that You deem to do with and through me is Your own choice. My body is Yours, to work Your will and heart through. (Psalm 139) Lord, teach me to use it to work out Your will and heart. (2 Corinthians 4:10)

Heavenly Father, my mind is Yours. Lord, guard my thoughts, that I would not allow myself to think negatively about my circumstances or others. (Philippians 4:8) Bring Your truth and Your goodness to mind throughout the day, for I know You are at work even when situations may be confusing. (Psalm 77:12)

Lord Jesus, my mouth is Yours. Set a guard over my lips. (Psalm 141:3) Use my tongue to speak love, mercy, and kindness to others. Please give me an awareness that You always hear my every word. (Psalm 139:4)

Heavenly Father, You are giving me opportunities each day to become more conformed into the image of your Son. (Romans 8:29) Difficulties that I encounter in my circumstances or relationships are not problems – they are opportunities to be Christ-like and selfless! The Lord Jesus Christ’s example shows that there is ALWAYS a way to respond humbly and righteously. (1 Peter 2:23) There is never an excuse for me to respond selfishly. There is ALWAYS a better way. Lord, please remind me of this in my daily interactions.

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Lord Jesus, I ask You to teach to love the people You have put in my life deeply and genuinely— in a way that is lived out sacrificially. (Romans 12:10) Especially those closest to me— not just the ones across the street. (Galatians 5:14) Help me to focus on their needs and on how to serve them. Help me to put to death my own flesh and to let my will die in theirs. Remind me each day that You call me to submit to one another in love – true unselfish love. (1 Peter 5:5) Lord, give me Your love for them!

“…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

Give me grace to deal humbly in the smallest of interactions today— I want to show others how precious and valuable they are. Lord, I know that exercising patience in trials is more valuable to You than any talent or abilities I might have.

Dear Father, teach me how to embrace all of today’s unique blessings and trials, as the perfect laboratory which You have designed to mold me. (Romans 9:21) After all, this life is a gift and privilege to live for You— not for my own comfort or pleasure. You have given me this breath— and I owe it to You in service and obedience. I will be content here for as long as you see best.

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Father, I confess my inability to walk in Your ways apart from Your strength, so I ask for Your mercy, strength, and guidance. (Psalm 25:4) Lord, please use my failures to drive me to my knees before You— not weaken my resolve to obey You. (1 Corinthians 4:10) Help me to draw closer to You because of them.

When I grow weary, please remind me of the Hope for which I wait patiently. (Romans 8:24-25) Give me Your strength, so that even I, in all of my weakness, can run and not grow weary. (Isaiah 40:31)

Lord, all of these things ultimately are the fruit of loving You first and foremost in my heart. (Deuteronomy 7:9) Therefore, wean my heart from vain things. Grant me a deeper understanding of what You have done for me in salvation. I can only dimly grasp its glorious vastness, so please open my eyes to understand Your grace more deeply. (Psalm 119:18) Consume me with WHO You are.

Merciful Father, some of these things I am asking for, I do not even understand fully. Yet I know that You do. So I bring my requests before the great Throne of grace, because I know and trust that You are good, loving, merciful — my gracious Father, my Savior, my eternal faithful Guide — and I love You. (Psalm 18:1-3)

In Christ’s precious Name, Amen.

P.S. Here are some Scriptures to pray for yourself and others.


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Do You Truly Care About Modesty? (July)

by Sarah Lee Bryant

We as the King’s daughters probably hear a lot about dressing modestly.

Sometimes, though, we need to be reminded. That’s because we are constantly bombarded by the world with contrary messages. All around us, we see skin showing. We grow desensitized to impurity.

So why is it so important that we value modesty? While there are many Biblical motivations for modesty both in attitude and apparel, the Lord has been reminding me of these specific areas:

1. Modesty reveals that we are grateful for the covering blood of Christ.

Clothing symbolizes the covering that we as sinners need and have by the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for the atonement of our sins. Clothing covers our shame; Christ covers our sin. And when we willingly and purposefully dress for the glory of our Lord, in a sense our appearance tells the world that we are happy to be under His covering, we are grateful for His grace, and we are fully satisfied in Who He is to us.

2. Modesty is an outward manifestation of love.

When we dress modestly – not drawing attention to our bodies in such a way that could provoke unlawful thoughts or desires in others – we are demonstrating true love. Unselfish love. A love that is willing to show we care about others’ spiritual wellbeing before the Lord.

3. Modesty is beautiful and incredibly freeing.

Walking in obedience to the Lord in the area of modesty sets us free to live to Christ. We are free from the world’s standards and trends and vanities. We embrace the holy beauty of the Lord – which will never fade. Modesty enhances the beauty of Christ within our heart.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink,
or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
(I Corinthians 10:31)

Do YOU desire modesty?

However, have you ever been like I have felt at times… You knew the value and importance of modesty to God, but when it all boiled down to it… You just had no desire to dress modestly? You knew it was right (and maybe you even conformed to the standards required of you) but your heart simply wasn’t in it?

I know it sounds terrible put it so bluntly…but the truth is, in our flesh, we do not desire modesty. The old (sinful) nature within us desires the natural affections of the flesh. We desire the attention that we can get when we wear certain immodest clothing.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
(Galatians 5:16-17)

We must have a regenerated heart to have wholesome desires and to walk in obedience to the Spirit…and to truly desire to dress for the glory of our Savior!

And as we walk with the Lord, there may be times when we in our flesh simply don’t “want” to do what is right. Therefore, there is a battle between our spirit and flesh. The apostle Paul talks about this in Romans chapter 7.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
(Romans 7:18-19)

Realizing this when it comes to modesty in particular can be helpful. Modesty is a choice we make in obedience to our Lord and Savior, to bring Him the glory and honor. As we obey, He blesses.

Let me share how the Lord has been teaching me this personally!

I have always been taught the importance of modesty, and I am grateful for this. However at one time in particular, I began to wonder what the big deal was. Although I knew the “whys” of modesty, part of me still pushed against it. I struggled with a constant desire to want to wear things that would make me feel more attractive physically. Nothing radical – just a subtle tweak here and there.

However, I quickly began to see what a slippery slope this road was. Push the standard a little in one area – why not fit the rest of the outfit to match? I didn’t know why I felt so confused about these “little things” – because there were always others who dressed much less conservatively. After all, the Lord has given us liberty within Biblical guidelines – and the way He leads each of His children looks different for us all. No one else knew when I was pushing the line or had wrong motives…however, I knew.

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The issue for me was not the piece of clothing – it was the fact that I was pushing against the Holy Spirit’s promptings in my heart.

I knew what He wanted of me. I knew that He was convicting me of these wrong motives. The clothing was simply the outward manifestation.

Finally, one day after wrestling over this for quite a while, I realized I had a choice. I could choose to walk in obedience to the Lord’s leading in this area. I didn’t have to follow my fleshly desires and compromise. What a simple thing – but at the time, it was very profound!

That day, I literally told myself, You know, that piece of clothing may not be defined as ‘immodest’ by someone else…but it is simply not what the Lord wants me to wear at this time. I’m going to obey Him!

So I walked to my closet – and selected the few articles of clothing that I had felt convicted about…and gave them to a thrift shop.

I can’t express the freedom I felt in that moment.

When I choose to stop reasoning it out and justifying myself…and I repented, and heeded the leading of the Holy Spirit, all those fleshly desires for attention disappeared. I wanted to please the Lord in this area of my life!

In my flesh, I didn’t desire modesty. But when I made the choice to simply obey despite my feelings – the Lord blessed and I experienced incredible freedom! (One practical thing I have done since that time is write down a few personal guidelines, so that when I’m shopping I don’t have to wrestle with…is that too short…well it’s not that bad… Instead, I have a guide and can simply say…it doesn’t fit the criteria!)

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified
the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
(Galatians 5:24)

Sisters, the ways of the Lord really are peace and truth and freedom. If we will just trust Him and obey – we will experience that freedom! So often my faith is weak, and I am not willing to walk in faith and obey. And therefore I don’t experience the many blessings that the Lord wants to freely bestow. What a conviction this is to my heart.

What about you? Where is your heart? Do you desire to dress for God’s glory?

I’m not asking if you can check all the proverbial boxes of the “modesty checklist.”

That’s because you and I can be perfectly conforming to the outward standard…all the while our hearts are lusting after the sin and acceptance of the world. I’m asking…do you really have a heart that desires to bring the Lord Jesus Christ honor in how you dress?

Or has the Lord been gently tugging at your heart…calling your heart to purity? I encourage you to get in God’s Word, study this topic, and understand His heart for you. Confess any sinful desires to the Lord; He already sees it all (Psalm 51). Rid your heart and your closet of immodesty. Say no to your flesh, and say yes to His will. As I have found, you will experience incredible freedom and joy as you embrace His will!

All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
(Psalm 25:10)

May the Lord make you and I to be young ladies who truly have hearts that are all glorious within…and then our clothing will beautifully reflect that (Psalm 45:13)!

 


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I’m perplexed! What should I do? (May)

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by Guest Writer Hannah Heinritz

Have you ever been at a point in your life that you have been truly perplexed?

Where you’ve sat down, put your head in your hands, and said, “Lord, I really don’t understand what you’re doing in my life and the world around me.” Have you ever felt like you’re troubled on EVERY side?

Have you been burdened by living under persecution, not being in danger of your life per se, but rather that daily nagging rejection and disapproval of those around you because you’re living for the Lord? Or do you feel “cast down”; you just don’t have the strength or energy to go on? You wake up in the morning exhausted and pray, “How long Lord?”

As I have walked through a lot of troubles these past few months, I have often felt completely perplexed, troubled, persecuted and “cast down.” But over and over God keeps bringing to mind a precious message on 2 Corinthians 4.

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
(2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

God does NOT sugar-coat our suffering. His Word acknowledges the pain we endure, and the emotions we feel. But even in that, He offers us something so much bigger and more powerful – HOPE.

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There is HOPE.

I don’t know what you are going through today, what you have been going through or what you will be going through in the days to come…but God does, and He has a plan for your suffering.

He never allows suffering to come needlessly. He is not a cruel God who takes delight in our misery and pain. There is ALWAYS a purpose to the trials He sends. He is equipping you to minister His healing and His grace to those around you who are hurting. It’s only as we receive the comfort of God that we can give that same comfort to the broken people all around us.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them, which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

God opened my eyes to the fact that all the books and all the great conferences in the world will never be as valuable as the tailor-made trials that God brings into my life. God knows exactly what lessons you and I need and what dross needs to be burned out of our lives, and in His love and wisdom He knows exactly the best way to accomplish that purpose in each of our lives. When you are broken and feeling like your life is falling apart, God is at work and it is through that pain that He is equipping you to minister to others now and in the future.

You may be at the point the Apostle Paul was at when he said in 2 Corinthians 1:8,

“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.”

Maybe you’re in that same place and you’re thinking, “I feel like I’m drowning and I can’t make it up for air. I think I’m dying inside. If I make it through this, I’ll never be the same.”

The painful truth is that God does not intend for you to be the same! 2 Corinthians 4:10 says, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

For you or me to be effective in ministering to any person, God must strip and mold us. The suffering God sends is PURPOSEFUL. God is sovereignly ordaining these circumstances of suffering in each of our lives. As the sinful selfish part of me dies, the life of Jesus will be manifested more and more in my life.

In the fires of affliction, God does His work of sanctification in our lives (Romans 5:3-5). For this we should praise Him.

When we grasp this beautiful perspective, we can truly come to the point where we can say with Paul, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

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So what do we do in these moments where we are perplexed?

“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:15-16)


Go boldly before the Lord for the grace and mercy you so desperately need.
Jesus is there for you. He understands. And remember, there is a purpose for your pain, and if you let Him, God will use this for His great glory and your good.

This guest post was written by Hannah Heinritz. If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries click here. 


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