Monday, March 31, 2008

in virginia

Hello! I have a moment and I wanted to share pictures from things we've done this weekend... I have loads of pictures!!!! (but unfortunately, they won't upload... I'm rather upset)

Okay... so first of all, it took Brooke and I nine hours to drive up to Purcellville, VA (to Patrick Henry College). We made really good time, considering we made lots of random stops on the drive.

The first night, we met up with Jonathan and Chris, two of Brooke's off-campus friends, for dinner. We went to their house and watched a movie. It was a rather late night (we got back to PHC at around midnight).

Saturday we left for DC at 8:30 am... lots of fun but also quite cold. We saw lots of stuff :) Library of Congress, Capitol, White House, National Archives, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial... and more... I'll put pics up like I said so you can see everything. That was a super long day and we were exhausted from all the walking. Good though.

When we got back to campus (around 6:30 pm) we changed quickly and met up with a guy named Brian, another Brooke, and Jonathan. We rode in Jonathan's (big, huge, very loud) truck to a mini-golf place. I kept score as everyone else played in the FREEZING weather. We went to IHOP for dinner (yum!). I think I've taken a bite of college life because we got back super late.

Sunday we went to church near Leesburg I think, to Cornerstone Chapel. Good sermon. We returned to school and waited with a girl named Emily for a guy to return from the airport and went to lunch at Quiznos in Leesburg. It was cold so that was our only stop. We picked Erin up from the airport later that afternoon, and then went to the Urbina's house (my mom was really good friends with them when they lived here when I was little, they live in Purcellville, and wanted to have us over)... we had really good chili, talked, and played Rummikub for awhile. Brooke has decided to adopt them as her surrogate family.

We went to the grocery store and picked up some things to eat (nice thing, food). Meredith, Brooke's roommate, was back by that time so she slept in her bunk and Brooke and I took the top. My, that was cozy.

Got up at 7:30 to go running here. Horrible idea because I've been sick, so after a little while my lung decided it didn't want to continue helping me breathe. We went with a guy named Jarod, so he and Brooke ran ahead while I pretended to be a chainsmoker, coughing up my lung. Okay, so that's a little dramatic, but what can I say? it was cold, wet, and I couldn't breathe. (edit: YES just one of them... the other one felt just fine )

Today Brooke will have class and I'll write my paper. I'm supposed to go to Western Civ with her at 1pm but until then am by myself :) At around 4, we will dress up and go to DC for this supposedly really awesome Italian food, and maybe see the monuments at night. I think it will be a big group: Brooke and I (obviously), Brian, Jonathan (again), Erin, Cilla, Molly... and the list goes on. So I'm looking forward to that. My plane leaves from Dullas at 8pm on Tuesday and I'll get back late that night (I have a fun layover in Charlotte and I need to figure out how to navigate an airport so I'd love prayers for travel-ish things).

Good for you if you read that. It was long, I know (I wrote all that here because I didn't feel like writing in my journal). I'll put pictures up in another post soon. For now, I'll see y'all later :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

celebration post

This post celebrates the end of week 10 of school (my weeks run from Tuesday morning-Monday night)
2 - amount of exams taken
5 - the weeks of school left, now that I'm in week 11! I get a life back on May 5th!
6 - the hours of sleep I expect to get tonight, also the amount of days I did school this week... fun stuff.
9 - the length of my paper (supposed to be 7-10... it's 11 including cover page and works cited)
12 - the posts I made on the discussion board this week
45 - the estimate amount of errors I probably overlooked... hope not
100 - the grade I hope to receive (haha yeah right...)
3,200 - amount of words I wrote
1,000,000,000 - the amount of things I could have said about Jesus and didn't.

...But I'm done with it! I submitted Jesus According to Mark and John tonight (well, this morning, technically) and it probably stinks and I will never ever pick it up and read it again and will never ever let anyone read it (because it probably stinks). Wow... an overview of Jesus as contrasted in two books of the Bible is so overwhelming; because it's well, God, that I wrote a paper about. I hope I did Him justice (I didn't... I never could). I hope that I never have a similar assignment. I'm so glad that's finished!

*happy dance*

Saturday, March 22, 2008

that we might HAVE life...

Because of Easter, I was reading the story of the crucifixion last night. I started in John, because my Bible was opened to John, and then read the account in the other three gospels.

I intended to write a post about the actual resurrection, but some verses in John really stuck out to me and I think it would be best to share them. This is a conversation between Jesus and His Dad and it concerns YOU, so eavesdrop, er... listen carefully:

"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and (also) Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You.
But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they might have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask on behalf of these [the disciples] alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." {John 17:3-7,13-26}

I know that's a lot to read and consider, but take a big bite... read it, think about it. Do you see how selfless Jesus is? He had the world, literally, and gave up the glory of heaven, glory He shared with GOD to do what He did. He didn't die for us so that we might "just" have forgiveness from sins, no, from this passage we see that He died so that we might share the relationship that He, the Son, was to have with the Father. So that we might be perfected in unity with God. So many times in this passage Jesus says, "even as you have given Me, or loved Me, or known me..." and He wanted those things for us. I am ashamed and yet so in awe of the person Jesus was. Not because He would be willing to die so that we could live, but He wanted us to REALLY live, and to experience a life that was rightly His and only His. What in the world?

I wish I didn't miss this part of Easter. The part where He gives us all that we don't deserve. I think "Easter! New clothes, bunnies, dying eggs..." and really cheat myself of an amazing experience: thinking about Him and why He came.

"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I come that they may have life, and have it abundantly." {John 10:9-10}
Happy Easter everyone! He is Risen ~ and WE have life too!

Friday, March 21, 2008


I was really encouraged by a friend tonight. She had probably typed what she said as a quick note, but it meant the world to me, to know that she is praying for me and that her experiences have been similar to mine.

The neatest thing of all, though, is that I've never met her. She's in my Evangelism class and we're Facebook friends, and she lives across an ocean. Yet though she's from a different culture, background, etc, we're sisters in Christ. I really felt that tonight. We've been praying for one another and I don't actually KNOW this girl.

That really reminds me of these verses Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, people he'd never met: For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself. [colossians 2:1-2]

quiet time notes

I will bless the Lord at all times;
I will means a choice, a determination to... At all times - no matter what situation, place, time of day... always. "Happy is he whose fingers are wedded to his harp. He who praises God for mercies shall never want a mercy for which to praise. To bless the Lord is never unseasonable" - Charles Spurgeon

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
I won't just think about Him and keep Him in my heart - I will SPEAK praise. If I were always to praise God, just think about what would happen (or not happen)... no slander, no rebellion against God, nothing like that... because I would be in continual praise. I would be joyful - my countenance would exude joy!

My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
"What scope there is for holy boasting in Jehovah! His person, attributes, covenant, promises, works, and a thousand things besides, as all incomperable, unparalleled, matchless; we may cry them up as we please, but we shall never be convicted of vain and empty speech in so doing. Truly he who writes these words of comment has nothing of his own to boast of, but much to lament over, and yet none shall stop him of his boast in God so long as he lives" - Spurgeon
I think that last part is just so neat. Not only does he focus on how amazing and far beyond deserving our Lord is, he includes himself in the picture. He has nothing to boast of, only things to lament and regret, YET no one can keep him from boasting in God for the rest of his life.

The humble will hear it and rejoice.

"We ought to talk of the Lord's goodness on purpose so that others may be confirmed in their trust of a faithful God"
Wow. I don't think I ever thought about that. I'm very selfish in my ways. I never thought that my speaking of the goodness of God would perhaps be used in the lives of others to confirm their trust. How humbling is that? I speak of God's goodness so that you may see that He's good. I've learned from other people, lots of people. I love hearing other's thoughts and opinions and such but it never even entered my mind that because of the things I say, someone might see God in a fresh light. That's power right there. It's scary but it sounds amazing. I want to be like that!

~Psalm 34:1-2~

I love this Psalm. For weeks, I've been eyeing it, but this morning I decided to do a little more research. I intended to go in small portions, to do the first three verses... but it was so good that I stopped where I was, to chew on it for a little while (I was experimenting with a new word there, but "meditate" really does sound so much better... otherwise I sound like a cow). Mr. Vince gave me Charles Spurgeon's 3 volume "Treasury of David" which is massive and contains so much insight, so I picked the first one up and read a little bit of what it had to say about these verses I've been pondering. So good, and aren't those neat quotes?

I have some things I'm making my application from these verses:
1. Bless God by praising Him
2. Speak of His praise, don't just keep it inside
3. Forget yourself and focus on Him, channel all your pride through Him
4. Don't forget other people; let them see what He's doing so that they might rejoice also (and so they might spread that joy to others).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

what are YOU afraid of?

There was a wasp in my room this afternoon. I huddled on my bed in fear as my brother chased the angry little thing around with various things lying around my room, not helping the wasp's mood or my trembling self.

Which leads me to a question: What are you afraid of that doesn't make much sense?

In addition to wasps, I fear needles, poisonous snakes (I'm always afraid I'll step on one in the woods) and am deathly afraid of electric fences.

I'm looking forward to hearing these answers :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Scott!

{March 18, 1995}

This picture was taken when he was a baby.

Now he's taller than I am.


Happy Thirteenth Birthday, "little" brother!

(edit: he's taller than becca too... and today we discovered that he is also taller than mom... he was an inch shorter a week ago. ha!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

pretty flowers

Today was rather nice.

I was inside for most of the day but joined Mini on my porch for a bit of sun.

And I had a bit of nature to enjoy in my room... definitely brightened the day for me.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

just wait?


This word has been brought up in so many conversations lately that I couldn’t help but write about it. Seriously, lots of people have used this word recently, and I wondered why.
What is the importance of this word? What does it mean?

After careful consultation, my dear friend Mr. Dictionary says that to wait means to “remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens, to be available or in readiness, or even to remain neglected for a time.

So why do we wait? Why should we wait? Is not this life to be LIVED? Read the Bible: Of course it’s to be lived. God wants action from His followers, He wants us to live and move and exist in Him… and I would imagine that that requires living.

During my quiet time this morning, I read this: “They all wait for You to give them their food in due season…”. “They” refers to God’s works, if you read the rest of the Psalm (which I love! It’s all marked up in my Bible). A note I wrote next to the verse is dependent on Him alone. Him alone: God alone. God. Alone. Am I dependent on Him alone?

Now this begs the question: why would I depend on Him and Him alone? What about the authorities or even the friends He has placed in my life? This passage does not say. I think we know why. Couldn’t the “works of God” get their own food? Couldn’t they provide for themselves? (Now I’m talking about human “works”) They could, yes. So is their “waiting” pointless? No, I don’t think so.

God has given me life and breath. He created the Universe, and He is Lord and Ruler of all things. Think of all He has done. Just try!
I think waiting on God shows Him respect. I think it gives Him the glory, and I think it shows submission overall. We know the things we are capable of – we’re able to do a lot of things! But we wait because it shows Him preference. Because He deserves that respect. We are saying, “God, I know what I want to do, I know what my desire is, but I want to hear Your voice, and I’m waiting on You. Waiting is really an example of submission. It is not an easy thing to do, patiently.

To say, “No, I think I’ll wait” when all YOU want to do is to GO takes a lot. But think about what waiting means to God. I don’t think He’ll be impressed with you, because He’s not, He knows you. I don’t think He’ll give you the honor, because by waiting you’re pretty much giving most of it to Him anyway. I think when we wait we give Him glory. We say, “Not MY will, but Yours, Lord”

We wait because it is good, because He is our strength, because waiting will preserve us, because we do not know the future, we wait as a testament to God… we wait for a multitude of reasons. Think about who God is – that’s why we wait. Because He is God. Because we’re not and we acknowledge that!

Psalm 62:5 says, "My soul, wait in silence for God only, for (because) my hope is from Him". I think that the best place for a servant of God to be is dependent on God. Whatever we're doing, whatever stage we are going through... we do it in dependence on Him and Him alone. Not because waiting is good, but because God is. You know?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

birthday things

Well, here we go: pictures! We'll go square by square, clockwise from the top left.
{friday, march 14 - saturday, march 15}
went over to emily's in honor of my birthday and jillian popped out of the back door and surprised me! it was such a nice surprise... we had a great time!)
1. We made pizza! Mine was pretty normal - cheese and mushroom
2. Emily posing after taking a pizza out of the oven
3. Jillian's pizza was yummy! Alfredo sauce, spinach and broccoli
4. Emily posing with the cake that no, we didn't make - her mom made it :)
5. Another pose with the cake... by the way it was chocolate and involved ricotta cheese... it was good!
6. Jillian smiling with a piece - you can see that tired smile :)
7. Me smiling with my cake and flowers
8. Emily made pancakes and blackberry syrup for breakfast!
9. Blowing the candles out in the morning!

{saturday, march 15}
day two of time with my girls... this time looking a lot more presentable... ready for a shopping trip!}
1. Jillian and I in the car (don't worry, we were still parked). We liked how the flowers looked with my green shirt and her purple shirt... I like this picture
2. Pretty self-explanitory
3. Smiling with all the racks of cast-off clothing.
4. Outside Goodwill with some of our purchases
5. A silly picture to end the afternoon
6. I love my girls - hanging out with them this weekend brought back lots of good memories
7. Em and I walking to our cars
8. Jillian with the suitcase I bought. I'm sad that picasa cut off her head when I made a collage... sorry Jillian!
9. I don't remember this being taken... but I needed 9 pictures to make a collage :P

{sunday, march 16}
we went downtown for yet another birthday celebration. molly, emily, jillian and i. had lunch and just walked around. good time, and nice to relax.
1. Molly, Jillian and I on the swing downtown. We tried so hard to get a shot of all 4 of us!
2. Artistic Em took this one through the chain of the swing we were sitting on. I rather like it.
3. Molly and I not ready for the camera (but I still thought the picture was cute)
4. An attractive flower Jillian and I found
5. I thought this would make a good picture. I'm a bit biased since this is one of my favorite places to be :)
6. Jillian and I in black and white (see those flowers in the background?)
7. All four of us, but again, Picasa cut people out :(
8. The fabric from my dress and Molly's skirt and shirt. I looked down and it looked neat
9. *sigh* we must be rather determined people... Jillian and half of Molly are cut out of this one.
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more birthday celebrations!

What did I do this weekend?
a. go to emily's house
b. go to jillian's house
c. stay home

a. invited me over
b. surprised me at emily's
c. surprised me at my house

time to eat! what did we do?
a. make pizza
b. bake a cake
c. watched others do all the work

after we ate...
a. stayed up late talking
b. went to bed at a decent hour!
c. watched a movie and then fell asleep

in the morning...
a. went to the easter blitz
b. watched a movie
c. slept in!

after "starting my day", I...
a. had cake
b. had pancakes
c. a & b

when all the fun was over I...
a. took a shower and then went home
b. sat around for awhile
c. went to goodwill

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

realizing what He's saying

There I was, sitting in the Mansell’s kitchen, holding a diapered lamb as I fed it out of a bottle. Ms. Sharon, Jillian and I sat around the island countertop, talking about things and what God was teaching us. I love talking to them. There is so much wisdom there, so much that goes straight back to God’s Word.

We shared a lot of things, and I love how when you're talking with others about what you've learned you really go, "Oh that's what God's teaching me!" when all your thoughts really come together and make sense :) I had one of those moments that I will share now: It is God that we are to seek, not God’s WILL, not God’s PLAN, not even God’s BEST. Seek God – plain and simple. If we are seeking His will, we aren’t really seeking Him; we’re seeking a byproduct from Him. If we seek His best, we’re looking to that, and not to Him. Basically, we have made a god (lowercase intentional) in our own image. We’re worshipping the product as we should be worshipping the Producer. I can’t tell you how many times I have sought for God’s will and not for God Himself. I want His best and it’s an honest desire, but sometimes… I go about it in a way that isn't right. If I am not seeking Him, I will not be satisfied. If I do not look to Him for the answers, I won't find them. He is the reason for living, not the secret to getting what we want.

I was telling Mom last night that all the times where I was really seeking God's will, He brought along something where all my trust had to be on Him. I just realized a few weeks ago that He was trying to show me to seek Him and not "God's Will".

"But as for me, I trust in YOu, O Lord, I say 'You are my God'. My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me." {Psalm 31:14-15}

Monday, March 10, 2008

another year older

I am now nineteen! I had a really good birthday yesterday!
My Sunday School class was, embarrassingly, devoted entirely to ME. Erin and Jillian divided the girls into three groups and instructed them to write all the things they thought of when they thought of me. Those lists were used for charades. Goodness, THOSE were funny. I took pictures of the cards... my two favorites are "quaint" and "looks like she just flew in from New York". Click on the picture to read the notes... they're just too funny.
Following the game, Erin shared about her first time meeting me, how I've grown since then and talked a lot about how much I've impacted her and the people I'm around. I don't know if it's true, but all of it was so nice and I might have teared up a little bit (stinkin' Erin and Jillian!). After that, Rebecca and Angel and I stood on chairs (all of us have birthdays this week) for the birthday song. I was glad to not be alone, because standing on a chair in front of a lot of people is a bit odd.

After the song was over, I blew ten candles ("We did one and nine because we didn't have nineteen, see?") on some brightly colored (pink, blue and yellow) cupcakes. Then we all partook of lots of sugar and took a few pictures :)

After class was over, I went into the main building and received so many "Happy Birthday" wishes that any time anyone said anything to me the rest of the day, all I could say was, "Thank you" and hug them (perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration).

My dad's parents came over for lunch (stuffed shells, mmm!) after church. Opened gifts and had cake (Red Velvet). Becca took over 100 pictures so now I get to see all sorts of candid expressions of myself. Woohoo.
For those interested, I unwrapped a lamp (I'd really been meaning to buy one for my room), an iPod speaker/alarm clock/iPod charger... from Mom and Dad; note cards from Becca; a backpack from Scott (my faithful Nike backpack is gettin' old); a tea kettle from Nana (I really wanted one... I hope it whistles :P); a shirt, the game, Cranium, play dough (in case the play dough in Cranium runs out, I hear), an Old Navy giftcard, and blue Peeps from Grandmamma and Granddaddy. I opened the play dough first and was very confused by it!

Many wall posts on Facebook, birthday cards, text messages and voicemails (left while I took a lovely three and a half hour nap in the afternoon) proved that there were quite a few people who remembered my birthday. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ten More Years

Look at those pictures. Aren't they funny? Ten years apart. The picture at right was my favorite. I thought I looked absolutely amazing in that one. The one at left isn't anything special, it was just the only picture I had of myself that happened to be in front of me when I was looking for contrast. Ten years.
Think about it. Ten years' difference between the two pictures. I see tons of physical differences and it's odd to think that I am or was both of those people in the pictures. That's me.
You see the physical differences... but I remember what I was thinking, what I spent my time doing... things you wouldn't know about. I know how I have changed in those ways.

After I laughed a little bit at what I used to look like, and at the difference between these two pictures, I wondered what will change in ten MORE years? I will be almost 29 years old. It's not ancient, but it's definitely a different place. Will I be (eek!) married, will I have kids, will I still live here? Wow... those are scary thoughts... probably why God lets us live one day at a time... we couldn't handle it otherwise!

I realize when I look at the contrast in these pictures, that mentally and spiritually, I've grown so much. I've done things in the past years, through God, that I would never have dreamed about doing. I have plans that would have sounded foreign and silly ten years ago. My goals are different, mindset is different... I'm NOT the same person.

In ten more years, will I change? Other than just physically, which I expect to happen. Will I mature in my walk with God? Will I mature in my thought processes and actions? Or will I be the same person? I've grown a lot and am content with where God has me, but it would be really dissatisfying to be exactly the same... to continue my pattern of life, to learn the exact same things, to struggle in the exact same areas and never grow. It would be so wasteful.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom." I really like that. So keep reading... "O satisfy us in the morning with your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, and the years we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants and Your majesty to their children. let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands." (Psalm 90:12,14-17)
In that passage I see a lifestyle taking place. God works, we respond. We work, God blesses. We serve, He rejoices and shows Himself to us. In summary, I see the focus being GLORIFY God. LIVE for God. WORSHIP God. SERVE God. God first - it's all for Him, and we're nothing but servants.

In ten years? Who knows what I'll be like physically. But spiritually, I want to grow (actually, I want to see growth in ONE year!)... I want to be more like Christ and to serve Him, living to glorify Him. Do I expect things like marriage and children to happen in that time? Well... yeah, I do. But first, and always, I serve. First, and always, God is most important. If I really believe that it is He who began a good work (and I do), I know that He will give those things to me in their due time. I don't have to sell my soul and wait sadly for some guy to come along, because I have the best thing that ever happened to anyone already, and I trust that if He wants those in my life, He'll bring them along.

Ten years. What can He do?

Monday, March 3, 2008

my day off :)

Things that are making me happy today:

- not a ton of school to accomplish... only two [small] things due tonight!
- a birthday in six days :)
- pictures on my wall of friends, trips, and fun things
- the light blue yarn of the scarf I'm knitting
- the books on my bookshelf
- a "little" brother who's three inches taller
- a day off from work, and nowhere to go today
- time to spend writing in my journal
- sleeping in late
- the God of the universe

I read this passage of Scripture today:
"They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me. I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul. Jeremiah 32:38-41
~ I love how God's heart is so clearly seen in this passage. He loved the people of Israel so much. His desire was for their welfare... He wanted them to follow Him and Him alone. I don't have much to say about this passage but it makes me so thankful for a God of the Universe who seeks after His people and wants them to desire Him with all their heart, soul and strength.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

happiness is:

... an extension on a paper :)

My NT paper's due date is now the 24th.

What a great stress reliever.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

a new place to be

This site is a continuation of my old blog... I was ready for an updated look and Xanga just wasn't working for me. Welcome!
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