August 2000

To: Jim, Ray, Weyman, Nathan, Bill, Jim (My Son), This is letter #10

Brother Jim. And Brother Ray I would like tell you about two Christians our Lord gave me the honor to meet when my family and I were back on the East Coast.

I was working at the Naval Air Test Station in Maryland. One Sunday afternoon my family and I went to visit L J. and Rosalle Balderson in Heathsville Virginia. L. J. asked me to take a ride with him. He wouldnít tell me where we were going, the advice he gave was I should look and not say anything.

It was early evening when we left his home. We drove into an area where wooden shipping crates were arranged by streets. There were no street signs on any of the streets and I could see there were no addresses either. These wooden crates were peopleís homes and people were living in them. As I could see, all were white people and they were very poor.

L. J. pulled his car alongside one shipping crate and got out, I did the same. It was getting along toward sunset when we went inside. L. J. knew these people and introduced me to them.

L. J. took me into one part of the shipping crate where a man, I couldnít tell you his age, it was dark inside the crate. He was sitting in a wheelchair looking out what should have been a window (there was no window) towards the sunset. I could tell he was crippled and very poorly clothed. L. J. told me nothing about this person, so what was about to happen took me by complete surprise.

I believe I said hello to him, I donít remember. He began to tell me how beautiful the sunset was, in such vivid terms of colors, and the way he was explaining it to me, I took my eyes off of him and closed my eyes and to look at his sunset as he was seeing it. As he talked I was caught up with what he was saying and was carried away with him into his sunset. As I listened to this man I was sure he was not crazy, only a Christian could paint such a beautiful sunset. All this time I had not said anything to him; I just stood by his wheelchair in the dark. I really did not want to leave this mans side; his speech was so soft and tender. By the time he was finished explaining the sunset, it was dark outside and we said our good-byes.

I said nothing to L. J. as we drove home, to his nice home. I was stunned by what I had seen and heard, here was a poor white person living in such poor condition (This was in the days when there were no homeless people on our streets), but from what I could tell, trying to live a normal, healthy life, which is impossible, with these conditions. Have you ever tried to do this without any form of income? L. J. didnít say anything for a long time and I could tell he was deeply moved by our visit. After awhile he broke the silent and said: "Thatís our brother in the Lord, he is blind!" L. J. speech told me he had a very great love for this brother in Christ.

That evening I found the meaning of: "Having food and raiment therewith be content". Our brother was poor in eyes, but clear in godly vision. Poor in money but very rich in his spirit, our Lord had given him the strength to live out his life, in peace with God and mankind. He was poor in heath, but abundantly healthy in our Lord. He had his feet as it were planted in heaven, waiting for our Lord to take him home. His spirit would soon follow his feet into heaven. He was no drunker, no extortioner (one who misuses authority), not covetous (greedy for riches, something not needed), not a railler (one who ridicules). Just a dear brother in Christ warm in the love of our Lord and strong in the Spirit (Holy Spirit) of HIS might.

L. J. had let me inside a part of his Christian Life I had not seen and I will be forever very grateful to him for sharing this time of fellowship with me.

I was working one evening late into the night in a hanger in Florida. I was all alone taking inventory of the spacecraft shipped in from California. At the time I was a Quality Assurance Inspector for JPL. When I work alone, I like to whistle Christian songs, this helps me through the night and I donít get so lonely.

I was very busy, working and whistling away, not aware that anyone had entered the hanger. A voice from somewhere said to me: "Thatís a mighty pretty song you are whistling there!" I stopped what I was doing startled and asked: "Who said that?" A black man in his early twenty came into the light where I was working. I shook hands with him and he introduced himself to me. The reason he like the song, was because he came right out and said he was a Christian, but not for very long. He accepted the Lord in a Pentecostal Revival Meeting.

He gave me his testimony and I mine. We talked for a while about the Lord in our lives and we stopped to get on with our work. He came back into the hanger later on that night and we ate our supper together. I found out he was newly married and his wife was on the way with their first child.

He was such a likeable young man that I said why donít our families get together at my home and study the bible together? He looked at me with a frighten look on his face and then said: "They (whites) would kill me and my family!" We are not allowed in the white area. And if your family would come to my home, they would kill you and your family. They (blacks) donít want white people in our area after night. You ask what year was this? 1960

When ever I would work late into the night I would look for him to come into the hanger, so we would have fellowship and eat supper together. Some how those that he worked for, found out we were associating with each other and transferred him to another hanger. His management talked to my management and mine said: pain English: To knock it off!

I know they didnít let him go, or fire him, at various times we would see each other and he would shout to me from where ever he was, with a loud big "hello". I in turn would shout back "Do you love the Lord?" Have you been reading His Word?" "Howís the wife?" "Have that baby yet?" "Yes a girl!" "Both doing fine!" "Lord bless, the three of you!" And we didnít really care who heard us. We could not walk together or be seen together. But we did manage to show our Christian love for each other from time to time.

Here was a young man that had a hunger for Godís WORD and couldnít wait to learn more about his Lord and His Word. He wanted to know what I had learned from the bible since I believed and he gave me the liberty to pass it on to him. Our time together was warm, peaceful, and enjoyable, I would like to have stayed with him longer, but the Lord gave us all the time we needed when we were together. From that time on when ever Iíd meet a new Christian in the Lord, I would ask them: "What has our Lord taught you, since you believed?"

One day I looked out the window of our home in South Pasadena and I saw Brother Burl standing out on the front lawn next door. I thought nothing of it until sometime latter I looked out the window again and he was still standing there in the hot afternoon sun. I went out to him and asked why he didnít go inside to see his daughter and grandchild? He said that his son-law did not want him in their home when he was at work and he was honoring his request. Here was a minister of our Lord Jesus Christ obeying the wishes of his son-law. Some time later his daughter did come out with the grandchild, I stayed with him until she did.

Burl loved being a shoemaker and at times would have loved to be back in his shoe store, witnessing to the customers that came in about the Lord Jesus Christ. On a one to one bases, just he and the customer alone, with the WORD of God fresh in his memory. He missed that, being a minister of our lord. When he would talk about his store and the customers that would come in from time to time. His face would light up and you could tell he was reliving the pass all over again. He would learn the customerís name, and call them by their name; from then on it was just he, the customer and the Lord.

On the street corner he would give the clearest salvation message for a sinner to hear. Yes I stood with him on street corners too. He was always kind and gentle when he talked to passers by. He never raised his voice to get a point across to a listener. Whenever someone would stop to hear him. I would move in closer and pass out tracts, just to watch the personís face, with their different expression, showing emotional changes from time to time. He had a love for them and the word of God that seemed to hold the person he was talking too. You ask do I miss him? Yes I do! He was my brother in the Lord!

Brother Jim, Brother Ray, and what do you see in a Christian, that you can say with your inner spirit: "Thank you Lord for letting this person be a part of my life." Havenít you ever been blessed, by another personís Christian life? I have been many times. That they could love me enough, to share with me their love, that our Lord has given to them. Bless be the tide that binds our hearts in Christian Love. They make a part of my Christian life that I would never have if it were not for our Lord. He not only gave himself for us, but He also gave us each other, to be a blessing to each other.

An old man, traveling a lone highway
Came at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm deep and wide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
For the sullen stream held no fears for him,
But he turned when he reached the other side,
And build a bridge to span the tide
"Old man" cried a fellow Pilgrim near,
"You are wasting your time with building here;"
Your journey will end with the passing day,
And never again will pass this way
"You have crossed the chasm deep and wide,
Why build you a bridge at the evening tide?"
And the builder raised his old gray head;
"Good friend, on the path I have come, he said:"
There follows after me today,
A youth whose feet will pass this way.
"This stream, which has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired boy may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross this stream in twilight dim - - -
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

Brother Jim, Brother Ray I am that old man in this poem. And I have studied the verses on the doctrine of disciplines in Godís Word, for the church, which is Christís Body. In my last letter I gave them to you. So it is I, which has crossed over the chasm of confusion deep and wide, with long hours of studying, to find the truth in His Word.

The letters I am writing are (is really a bridge of truth from His Word) for that young Christian, who will one day want to find the real answer to the question on Marking to be Avoided of his fellow Christians. I will never pass this way again, but he will, on his journey through his Christian Life, when he will come to that chasm of confusion, it is then that he could use these letters, a bridge of truth, I have written for him to cross over on.

You say: He donít need your letters, he has the bible that he can read for himself. This is true, but just as someone has misused the scriptures and made a doctrine for their own use. To discipline Christians by, and to control them by, with scriptures taken out of their settings in the bible: "He will be as confused as I was," and not know if he can really trust the Word of God, as our Lord has had them written, because of the deceitfulnessí of this doctrine.

I want him to see the disciplines that our Lord Jesus Christ has given to Paul, for the church which is Christ Body, that were written in the scriptures not only for him, but also for all Christian who have put their faith and trust in our Saviour and in our Lordís written Word.

Yes he too, wonít believe that any Christian minister would ever try to deceive him. I surely didnít, and maybe the next time he wonít be so willing to receive everything as truth, without studying for himself in Godís written word, to show himself approved unto God.

So the letters I have written to you, are also written for this young Christian who may one day want to cross over this bridge of truth, into the truth of Godís Word: "It is God that disciplines His own Children. So that this young person, wonít be discouraged, when the chastening hand of our Lord is upon him. When he has been discipline of the Lord for believing in false teachings, for not believing in and accepting His written word. Our Lord is showing His love toward all of us, so we must endure, when He shakes us awake, to His disciplines. This is His way of showing us that He loves us, and that we are His children and not the devils.

Our Lord is not going out of His way to hurt any of us, He is wanting to strengthen us to live this New Life (Is it new? Yes everyday!) He has given us to the fullest, so that we can be a testimony to the world around us, that salvation is true, Godís word is true. That the world around us can see, our Lord is number one in our lives.

To keep His Word hid deep in our hearts and let our Lord take us through His Word with the help of His Holy Spirit, that is in each of us since we have believed in Him.

Brother Jim and Brother Ray I am going to take you back into the book of Luke chapter 8:11-15. Our Lord is talking to His disciples about the parable He has just given to many people.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the WORD OF GOD. Those (people) by the way side, are they that HEARD; then cometh the devil (didnít take him long), and taketh (snatch) away the WORD (of God) out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

They (people) on the rocks are they, which, when they HEARD, receive the WORD (of God) with joy; and these (people) have no roots, which for a while believe, and in the time of temptation fall away.

And that (seed, the word of God) which fell among the thorns are they (people), which, when they have HEARD, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of the life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

But that (seed, word of God) on the good ground are they (people), which in an honest and good heart, having HEARD the WORD (of God), keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Four different groups of people here, they all HEARD the Word of God, the Lord was faithful to them all, but they all had different happenings in their lives after they heard!

Brother Jim and Brother Ray; Can I accept what is written in Luke 8:11-15 as it is written or is there another meaning to these verses?

Brother Jim and Brother Ray I am going to ask you a few questions in light of the above scriptures:

Brother Jim and Brother Ray is it not obvious that the answer to all of the four above questions is YES! YES! YES! YES!

Brother Jim and Brother Ray; Donít you see not to do this, it blasphemes against His Word!

And I SAW a new Heaven and a new earth: For the first earth was passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John SAW the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God Out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God."

And God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death: neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be no more pain: For the former things are passed away.

And He that sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said unto me, "Write, for these Words are True and Faithful."

And He said unto me, "It is done." I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is A-thirst of the fountain of water freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:1-7

Brother Jim and Brother Ray can I accept the above words as they are written? Or is there another meaning I am to get from them? If I have to question one area of Godís writing, then I have to question anything and everything that God has said or written!

Brother Jim and Brother Ray, I do have some more verses for you, they are found in the book of John.

Our Lord Jesus is talking to His disciples in John 14:16-18: I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but you know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.

The Lord answering Judas Iscariotís question: said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My WORDS: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My sayings: and the Word ye hear is not Mine, but the Fatherís which sent Me. John 14:22-24.

These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:25&26.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me: And ye shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning. John 15:26&27.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. John 16:7-12.

Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13-15.

Brother Jim and Brother Ray can I accept Godís written Word above as it was written? You may say, this is a most stupid question to ask and you would be right, but this is exactly what you have caused in the minds of any Bible studying Christian, by taking verse out of their place in scripture.

Please show me in any of the following letters that were written, that THIS CONTROL has ever taken place.

I donít want to leave out John, it is obvious that here was a man of God that had a fathers heart and he opened up our understanding to the Eternal One the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the Only Begotten of the Father, the great I AM the light of the world, the Great Shepherd, the Door in which all sinners must pass through, the One in which all believers abide in and whose Word abides in them, the Word of Life,

Again I ask you to show me anywhere in the scriptures of any of these letters, where these men of God took the liberty to take control of any believerís life, or even wanted too?

I have another letter that I wish for you to read: I do believe Christian brethren over the years have tried their very best to be faithful to those in "leadership". But those in "leadership" have closed their ears and their hearts to any of this help.

Their faithfulness was answered from those in "leadership" with: "If you donít agree and stand with me in the markings, you are marked to be avoided. Quite a remarkable judgment handed down to those being faithful. No scriptural backing given for such a judgment.

During the Second World those of us that were enlisted personnel were not allowed to question any orders given to us by our commanding officers, without it turning into a summery court marshal. Today I understand that an enlisted man can question an order and also refuse the order if he or she wants to, without a summery court marshal. Strange isnít it. Think of this in light of the above paragraphs.

 

September 6, 1985

Dear Friends in Christ,

As concerned members of the body of Christ, and a part of the Tulare assembly, we find ourselves in the midst of a very sobering and far-reaching situation.

It is our sincere desire that any decision we make unclouded by the personalities or performances of others (not related to the issue) or by any personal prejudices or preferences.

One question we are brought to face is whether on not we still believe in the basic principle of rightly dividing. If it is a safe and dependable practice to carefully examine the context of a particular verse as to the subject matter of the whole chapter, or indeed the entire book, then it is our obligation as individuals to do so. If we are to "study to show ourselves approved unto God", it is our explicit instruction to do so.

We have been taught since childhood that to accept the conclusions or edicts of another without a personal study of our own to confirm the truth of these conclusions is certainly less than noble. "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians. For they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11 NIV

To "check up" on any man (no matter how lofty his position) is not unscriptural, it is our spiritual obligation. Whether or not we exhibit pride in doing so is another matter. If any of us are proud, regardless of our position, the Lord cannot honor our efforts. However, if we "check up" on one another in a spirit of love and humility the Lord will honor our efforts. To what extent and in what way He will reward us we donít know. (We are not always rewarded by a delightfully receptive response on the part of the one we are checking up on.) We do know Heíll give us peace and reassurance in our hearts.

We recall having been admonished thusly many times in years gone by, "If you believe anything just because I say it, you might just as well get yourself a Roman Catholic priest." Extreme statement? Perhaps not. There is no limit to how far we can slip, one inch at a time, when we begin listening to man only. If an individual tells us that he or "a select group" have the authority to apply a scripture beyond the setting of the text and beyond the purpose for which it was written, there should be nothing that would more quickly arouse our attention. What is the purpose of doing such a thing? What is he seeking to accomplish? Is it a means to a scriptural end?

It is inevitable that at this time, or sometime in the very near future, we must address ourselves specifically to the actions taken by many in supporting the "marking to be avoided" of certain families in this area. We have reviewed a well-delivered tape message of the menís meeting in Tulare on August 14. We have since reviewed the scriptures that were read to substantiate the intended action.

Such a sober action deserves a careful examination of the scriptures applied and a sincere belief that they are unmistakably appropriate to the disciplinary action taken. The scriptures such as Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5, and 2 Thessalonians. 3 are quite explicit as to the offences in question. As of present time we are not aware that any of the offences referred to in the above verses are those in question for discipline. The fact that we must therefore question such discipline is not to say that we champion the cause of any individual in question or that we necessarily endorse their actions, individually or collectively. It is simply a matter of whether this judgment is based on correct or forced application of scripture.

It is so easy to "go with the flow", but it does not make for peace within our hearts, if our conscience is pricked with the reminder that we have failed to: "Test everything, hold on to the good" 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NIV.

We lovely submit this expression of concern.

Of secondary concern is the question of arbitrary selection of certain individuals upon which to render discipline. If certain offences are deemed grounds for the ultimate discipline of marking, then it is imperative to maintain impartiality in that action. If discipline is withheld or administered on the basis of certain family ties, or the lack of them, can it be Godly?

"But the wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit; impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." James 3:17 NIV.

Timothy is changed by Paul, (when rebuke is in order) "in the sight of God and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality and do nothing out of favoritism." 1 Timothy 5:21 NIV.

We conclude with the following quotation:

"The quality of mercy is not strained;
It
droppeth as a gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath; it is twice blessed;

It blesses him that gives and him that takes:
"Tis mightiest in the mightest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;

His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;

But mercy is above this sceptered sway, -
It
is enthroned in the heart of kings,
It
is an attribute to God himself:

And earthy power doth then show likest Godís
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea consider this Ė

 That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render

The deeds of mercy."

Prayerfully,

Signed by:

Loren and Jeannette Johnson

I would like to break down this letter for you, sometime when a letter is separated in this way; we are able to more clearly understand the person who is writing.

Brother Jim and brother Ray, I wish you could understand what is being said here. Have you ever read of such a situation coming before the apostle to the Gentiles "Paul", or Sosthenes, Timotheus (Timothy), Silvanus (Silas), James, the apostle Peter, John the beloved, Jude? How do you think they would have felt to hear this? Do you think any of them or maybe all of them would have come to their aid?

A statement is made: "We have been taught since childhood that to accept the conclusions or edicts of another (person) without a personal studying (into the truth of Godís Word) on our own, to confirm the truth of the (their) conclusions, is less than noble."

(Remove not the ancient landmarks, which thy fathers have set Proverbs 22:28.)

Another statement: "To check up on any man (no mater how lofty his position) is not unscriptural, it is our spiritual obligation."

(Remove not the ancient landmarks, which thy father have set Proverbs 22:28)

Another statement: "How we have been admonished many times in the years gone by, "If you believe anything just because I say it, you might as well get yourself a Roman Catholic priest."

Brother Jim and Brother Ray, havenít you heard this yourself? (Remove not the ancient landmarks, which thy fathers have set Proverbs 22:28.) I have given this verse three times and perhaps I should explain why I have given it. These are landmarks (advices) that those minister of God that our Lord had lent to us, were they not ours to keep, gave this to us over and over, until they were fixed in our minds.

Another statement: "There is no limit to how far we can slip, one inch at a time, when we begin listening to men only."

(Not only us, but how far do you think the one that has started all this has slipped?)

When was the last time you really studied the Word of God?

When was the last time you allowed the Holy Spirit to take part in your life?

When was the last time you allowed yourself to love another Christian?

When was the last time you showed love to a member of the body of Christ, that is not in any assembly?

When is the last time you talked to someone about the Lord Jesus Christ?

 

When was the last you had a talk with your Lord about anything?

Another statement: If an individual tells us that he or "A select group" have the authority to apply a scripture beyond the setting of the text and beyond the purpose for which it is written - - - (I believe I would ask the spirit of him or them: "Did Jesus Christ come in the flesh?" "Are you the spirit of antichrist?")

Another statement: We must address ourselves specifically to the actions taken by many in supporting the "marking to be avoided" of certain families in this area.

Another statement: We have reviewed a well-delivered tape message of the menís meeting in Tulare on August 14.

. Another statement: Such a sober action deserves a careful examination of the scriptures applied (to the markings) and a sincere belief that they are unmistakably appropriate to the action taken.

Another statement: The scriptures such as Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Thessalonians 3 are quite explicit as to the offences in question.

Another statement: As of present times we are not aware that any of the offences referred to in the above verses are those (personís, scriptures?) in question for discipline.

Another statement: The fact that we must therefore question such discipline is not to say that we champion the cause of any individual in question or that necessarily endorse their actions, individually or collectively.

Another statement: It is simply a matter of whether this judgment is based on correct or forced application of scriptures.

Another statement: It is easy to "go with the flow", but it does not make for peace within our hearts, if our conscience is pricked with the reminder that we have failed to "Test everything, hold on to the good" 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NIV.

Another statement: Of secondary concern is the question of arbitrary selection of certain individuals upon which to render discipline.

Another statement: If certain offences are deemed grounds for ultimate discipline of marking, then it is imperative to maintain impartiality in this action.

Another statement: If discipline is withheld or administered on the basis of certain family ties, or lack of them, can it be godly?

Brother Jim and Brother Ray, all believers in Christ make up the body of Christ here on earth, in Ephesians 6:13-18 they are told to take up THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, that they may be able to withstand in the evil day, and HAVING DONE ALL TO, "STAND".

What are they to stand for? Stand therefore, having girded your waist with TRUTH - - -

What are they to put on their chest? Having put on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS - - -

What are they to put on their feet? And having shod your feet with the preparation of the GOSPEL OF PEACE - - -

What
are they to hold before them to protect themselves? Above all, taking the SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to quench (extinguish) all the fiery darts of the wicked one -

What are they to put on their head? And take the HELMET OF SALVATION - - - -

What are they to have in their hand? Taking THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT. - - - WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD - - -

What are they to do in the Spirit (Holy Spirit)? PRAYING always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit - - 

Why are they to be watchful? BEING WATCHFUL to this end with all perseverance and supplication FOR ALL SAINTS.

Brother Jim and Brother Ray:

I remain your Brother in Christ

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