minor prophets

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson

IN THE DOCK

Micah 6

Certainly not a very nice place to be in, arraigned on serious charges of misconduct. This was to be the lot of God’s people. A case was being filed against them and the nation would have to answer what they were being charged with. It certainly was not something that Jehovah desired but because He is Judge and Moral Arbiter of His creatures it was right at this time to bring His people to justice, to call it to account for its actions. This was no small law-court but a High Court where God’s people would be faced with divine prosecution.

1/. THERE IS AN ATTESTMENT – vv 1,2

The Lord calls the mountains to stand as a permanent witness to what is happening and invites them to listen to any complaints His people may have to present. Certainly they could have no charge to lay against their covenant God who had been loyal and true throughout. They would be silenced but the Lord had every intention of voicing His mind and for all to hear and assess and bear witness to. He even gives them time and opportunity to object, voice any protest in the proceedings.

2/. THERE IS AN INDICTMENT – vv3-5

The Lord forcefully presents the fact of His faithfulness and integrity to them over all their past history. A number of incidents are stated, mainly their redemption from Egypt, the way He had dealt with opposing forces on their behalf and how He had overturned the intention of Balaam. But what had they done in return? He had clearly taught and told them what His expectations were in a threefold affirmation – v8. “to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” Righteousness, kindness and humbleness were the requisites but they had failed on all three counts.

3/. THERE IS A JUDGEMENT – vv6-8

They stood guilty before God and so could not be acquitted. They could not go out of the High Court justified because they had failed in every way. The Lord would not be bought off in any way. No amount of sacrifices could alter His stance. The Lord is not to be bribed by the presentation of gifts no matter how many they be – w6-7. As far as He is concerned it is character before all such and His people had failed the test.

4/.  THERE IS A PUNISHMENT – vv9-16

The only thing left open to Him is to sentence and then cause judgement to proceed. The people and land are to be desolated and put through a period of awful loss and sorrow. They have to learn the lesson that they cannot sin with impunity. The inevitable has to occur. All must see that sin does not pay and that God does have to take out measures when nations and individuals go on in a life of evil. Justice has to be satisfied in the end. Others must learn the fact that to defy God and His laws brings its sad consequences.

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powerful quotes

 

leigh 10Rev. Leigh Goodwin

POWERFUL QUOTES

 

“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm … As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others” Audrey Hepburn

“The worst thing that one can do is not try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized and never knowing”David Viscott

You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only one who does what you do” – Jerry Garcia

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort”Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Knowledge is power, but only wisdom is liberty”Will Durant

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down” – Mary Pickford

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prayer dynamics

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson

WATCH WHERE YOU’RE WALKING

Taken from All About Prayer

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:3).

My child, you hold the thoughts and the intents of My heart. I made you a vessel in My own image for the very purpose of containing My very essence. I have called you like a tree planted by the streams of water, ready to bring forth fruit in its season. Your leaf shall not wither nor fade, and everything you do shall prosper. This is your heritage as you ponder Me day and night, delighting in My word.

Being that I have called you My tree, why do I find you walking around listening to the crackle of dead leaves under your feet, leaves of past struggles and remnants of dead things? The noise is distracting you from the fact that I did not call you to walk around under the tree, focusing on things long gone (Philippians 3:12). The enemy desires to convince you to give up your position in Me, your heritage. He tells you your branches are bare, and if he can convince you, then he perpetrates his final assault — drawing you into a place of unworthiness.

In this place, heritage and position are relinquished. Take wrong thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Make no way for them. There are many seasons in your life; all are important.

My precious child, fall is over and spring has come (Song of Solomon 2:10-12). The only value dead leaves hold is the remembrances of My salvation in them and the lessons you learned. Discard the rest. The only power they have to overshadow your life is the power you give them. As a tree of righteousness, you eclipse them. I want to readjust your focus, thereby, lifting your eyes to see with a proper perspective. I say, “Quit looking down now. Quit looking back; LOOK UP.” You are springing forth with life. I am sending My wind to blow away all leftovers. Therefore, don’t let the enemy rattle leaves like a sabre, drawing your attention away from Me. Ultimately, he wants you to distrust Me.

The wind is stirring, swirling around your feet; the leaves are blowing away. The birds are singing songs of forthcoming abundance. The thoughts and intents of the enemy, lies and dead leaves, are gone, leaving behind only one thing: a beautiful, budding tree of righteousness. Going from budding to blooming is not a long process, but a necessary one, full of life and purpose. I have fruit for you to bear, and it can’t be found among dead things. No longer will you focus on the thoughts and intents of the enemy for you hold the thoughts and intents of My heart.

PRAYER

I acknowledge today that I have and hold the intents of Your heart. You created me in Your image, and Your very essence dwells in me. Thank You for showing me my distraction. I refuse to relinquish anything to the enemy of my soul. I embrace You and the lessons I have learned. You are faithful and good to me each and every day. I lift up my head and focus on You. Let the Wind of Your Spirit blow through my life this very moment. The rattling of the enemy grows fainter and fainter as I speak the precious name, “Jesus.” Your Spirit, Your Word, and Your Truth surge through me, bringing the necessary nutrients for this season of my life. I am a tree planted deep in You. Help me to appropriate the grace available to walk out the thoughts and intents of Your heart. Open the eyes of my heart to Your perspective. As I love You with a passionate heart, my fruit grows in abundance. You are the love of my life and the delight of my soul. Keep me ever in Your presence. Amen.

Reflect and Journal

  • What things from the past have you been thinking on?
  • How are they robbing hope from the future?
  • What does being “An Oak of Righteousness” mean to you.
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points to ponder

ernest kitchen

Rev. E. Anderson

THEN THEY WILL UNDERSTAND

Doris Stickney

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond.

They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with his friends. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily, he gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you suppose he is going?”

Up, up, up he went slowly. Even as they watched him, the water bug disappeared from sight. His friends waited and waited but he didn’t return.

“That’s funny!” said one water bug to another.

“Wasn’t he happy here?” asked a second water bug.

“Where do you suppose he went?” wondered a third.

No one had a answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered his friends ogether. “I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk nust promise to come back and tell us where he went and why.”

“We promise,” they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the dan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he new what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water, nd fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse i move his wings. The warmth of the sun dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above water. He had become a dragonfly.

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by, he lighted happily on a pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of i pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There were, scurrying about, just as he had been doing some time before.

Then he remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up i lily stalk will come back and tell where he went and why.”

Without thinking, he darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water.

“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least I tried, but I can’t keep i promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would knov in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragon too. Then they’ll understand what happened to me, and where I went.”

And the dragonfly winged off happily into his wonderful new world of sun and air.

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past illustrious men and ministries

james caughey

James Caughey

James Caughey was an Irish-born emigrant to the United States who was converted in the times of revival in 1830-31 in the ‘Burned-Over District’ and soon after ordained to the Methodist ministry. He experienced powerful revivals in Canada but it was his revival labours in Great Britain during the 1840’s, for which he is most well known

His early ministry fitted him for the work that was yet to come. Ordained as an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1836 he was groomed in revival practices and camp meetings. In July 1839 after reading and studying about the need of the power of the Holy Spirit in preaching he experienced a personal baptism of the Spirit.

His powerful preaching soon attracted invitations from farther afield and from 1841-1847 he was led to minister in England, mainly among the midlands and north among the Methodists. During this time he earned the title ‘King of Revivalist Preachers.’ It was during this time, when preaching at Nottingham, that William Booth was converted under Caughey’s preaching

Caughey was a seasoned revivalist with a forceful personality, a sharp mind, a ready wit and an irresistible eloquence. His commanding height, keen eyes and strong features gave him a great pulpit presence. His preaching was simple and orthodox but shot through with insights and persuasive applications to his hearers. He effectively employed the American ‘altar call’ to bring is hearers to a decision for Christ but would also move around the hall passionately inviting sinners to the penitents bench to find freedom and forgiveness

He claimed over 20,000 converts during this time, nevertheless he found himself out of favour with the ‘High Church’ party within Methodism who frowned upon his conversion contrivances and ‘mushroom converts.’ The more ‘common’ approach to the masses was far too demeaning for the socially advancing Wesleyan establishment. Respectability always was the enemy of revivals.

On his return to America his fame had gone before him, mainly through his ‘Letters’ describing the success of his labours in England. This resulted in innumerable invitations to preach the north-eastern his return to America his fame had gone before him, mainly through his ‘Letters’ describing the success of his labours in England. This resulted in innumerable invitations to preach the north-eastern United States as well as in United States as well as in Canada.

He returned to England for a further two years, in 1857, again reaping a great harvest of souls. There were two further visits in 1860 and in the mid-60’

He was a great revivalist preacher who is almost totally unknown or ignored, being overshadowed in revival history by the revivalist giant, Charles Finney before him and the towering D. L. Moody afterwards. But Caughey’s influence on the British church was far in excess of both of these men. His unique contribution was enormous. He was mightily used to fan the smouldering embers of a church which had lost its fire and had no memory of its primitive vibrancy. His converts were mainly from the unsophisticated middle and working-class masses. His emphasis on the second work of grace or ‘entire sanctification,’ along with Walter and Phoebe Palmer, did much to conserve the fruits of his evangelistic work and paved the way for the holiness and Pentecostal movements.

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minute message

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson

SEEK GOD – NOT THINGS!

Taken from the Word for Today

‘…the Lord…gives you the ability to produce wealth…’Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV

GOD HOLDS back ‘…no good from those who do what is right’ (Psalms 84:11 NLT). But it’s important to acknowledge Him as the source of all your blessings. And on this one, we all fall short! Let’s face it, more isn’t always better. In fact, your dependence on God lessens as your dependence on things increases. That’s why Levitical Law discouraged empire-building. In the Old Testament, loans to the poor were to be interest-free (Exodus 22:25); outstanding debts cancelled every seven years (Deuteronomy 15:1-2); slaves freed and given the means to start over (Deuteronomy 15:12-14); repossessed land redeemed by family (Leviticus 25:25); and property that was sold, or lost and not redeemed, returned to its original owner (Leviticus 25:14-17). Why? Because God wanted His people to depend on Him, not possessions. So He cautioned them,

‘When…all you have is multiplied. You may say…”My power and…strength…have produced this”…remember the Lord…gives you the ability to produce wealth…’ (Deuteronomy 8:13-18 NIV). God’s principles haven’t changed. Andy Stanley points out that a list of do’s and don’ts is like having a man give you directions. If he hands you a map, you focus on it, but when you’re following the man you focus on him. The Bible doesn’t say that God is a rewarder of those diligently seeking ‘things’. No—it says, ‘…He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him’ (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV). Bottom line: if you’re depending on anything but God, you’ll always struggle. ‘Don’t worry about these things…your heavenly Father already knows…and…will give you everything you need’ (Matthew 6:31-33 NLT).

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message by rev rick warren

rick warren

Rev. Rick Warren

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR DAY

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NLT)

Many people say they don’t have time for a quiet time. That’s an excuse. Every person on the planet has the same 168 hours in his or her week. The question is: How do you spend the time you have?

You don’t have time for everything. No one does. You have to make time for what really counts. It’s not a matter of time; it’s a matter of priorities and values. The key to making time for a daily devotion is to make Jesus and his Kingdom the priority in your life.

Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NLT). Put God first in your life, and you’ll have more time. Whatever you need more of in your life, give God first place in that area.

Your quiet time and getting to know God should be the number one priority of your life. Why? You weren’t put on the planet to mark things off your to-do list. You were made to spend time with God.

A quiet time is a tremendous privilege you’ve been given. The creator of the universe has invited you to spend time with him every day. Imagine if your favourite actor, musician, singer, or athlete asked you to spend time with him or her every day. Would you say,

“Sorry, I don’t have time for you”? Of course not!

So why do you say “no” to God’s invitation to spend time with him? You are missing out on so much when you do.

TALK ABOUT IT

  • How do you currently prioritize your day? How would those priorities have to change if you made a quiet time with God your number one priority?
  • Does considering your quiet time with God a privilege change your attitude toward how you prioritize your day

Great Grey Owl

message of note

JOHN LASTERRev. John Lancaster

REMEMBER YOUR SPIRITUAL FIVE A DAY

As Christians we may no longer be ‘of the world, but we are certainly ‘in’ it, and that means we live our lives in a toxic atmosphere polluted by the influences of the world, the flesh and the devil. Unless we are extremely watchful, we unconsciously absorb substances which can seriously affect our spiritual well-being. We need to take the spiritual equivalent of the ‘five-a-day’ recommended for our physical health.

WE NEED A DAILY HEART CHECK

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life,” says Proverbs 4:23. “Examine yourselves,” says Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.”

The heart is the nerve centre of our personal life, from it flows our motives, desires, attitudes and choices. It is also the place where the flesh wars against the Spirit, where ‘polluted things hold empire over the soul’. We need to pray daily with the psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me.”

WE NEED A BALANCED DIET OF THE WORD OF GOD

We need the spiritual nutrients, the vitamins and proteins that only the Scriptures can provide because they are ‘God breathed, and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’ (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Such a diet means more than ‘pick and mix’ snacks; it means prayerfully reading and seeking to understand and prac­tise the full range of the Word. Many Christians would profit far more if they spent less money on adding to the growing pile of under-played CDs which totter on the floor like the tower of Babel (in more senses than one), and bought themselves a good one-volume Bible commentary to help their daily reading.

WE NEED DAILY TO DRINK DEEPLY OF THE NEW WINE OF THE SPIRIT

When Paul told us to ‘be filled with the Spirit’, he wasn’t offering advice but issuing a com­mand. By using the continuous present tense (‘be continually filled’) he was stressing the need for Christians to recognise their utter need of the Spirit’s enabling power and consciously seek a fresh infilling.

It is not enough to have ‘had the baptism’ in the Spirit 50 years or 50 days ago; daily we need to open our minds, hearts and wills to all that the Spirit desires to do within us. If you don’t drink, you’ll die of thirst.

WE NEED TO EXERCISE OUR MINDS AND HEARTS IN DAILY PRAYER AND WORSHIP

“Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws,” cried the psalmist. How long those times were we do not know, but they formed a rhythm we would do well to follow.

Under the threat of death, with secret service agents lurk­ing beneath his window, Daniel followed the normal pattern of his life, praying three times a day. We too need to open the windows of the soul ‘towards Jerusalem’, looking beyond the imposing structures of our contemporary pagan world to where the real power and glory lie -at the throne of God.

WE NEED TO PARTICIPATE BIN THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

“The New Testament,” said John Wesley, “knows noth­ing of solitary Christianity.” It is impossible to live a healthy spiritual life without receiving and contributing to the fellow­ship and ministry of the local church. Hence Hebrews 10:24-25 warns us against neglecting that fellowship, while stressing the blessing that mutual encour­agement brings.

As Church of England cleric John Donne reminds us, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” Whether we like it or not, we belong to the body.

There is much more in God’s menu for his family – a rich diet of good things – but this basic five-a-day will help keep us healthy and give us an appetite for second helpings!

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meet the christian ministers

davidmoore

Rev. David Moore

A SHORT HISTORY OF MIDDLEWICH COMMUNITY CHURCH

Middlewich Community Church, originally known as Middlewich Pentecostal Church  was established by Ron Hicklin in April 1981, under the umbrella of AOG Home Missions. Its first Pastor was Steve Kemp who served from August 1981 to 1993.

After Steve Kemp moved to Crewe AOG, Jim & Jackie Bowler (from Carmel Christian Centre, Denton) took up the reins during a transitional phase from 1994-96. As they already had their own church in Manchester they saw their role as preparing, advising and restructuring the church to face the challenges of the future. While they are not involved in the day to day running of MCC today Jim and Jackie still speak regularly at MCC and provide advice and wisdom to the Leadership Team as a ‘father / mother in God’.

April 1996 saw the fellowship appoint its current Pastor, David Moore. This first year was on a part-time basis to facilitate the completion of his degree in theology at Elim Bible College in Nantwich (now Regents College). David took up his full-time appointment in May 1997.

A major part of David’s church vision focused on youth. This emphasis resulted in the creation of the Microchips Project in November 1999. This vision would see the church establishing a dedicated youth and community centre that contained a cyber café, youth lounge, youth info shop, conference room and dedicated church offices.

September 2001 saw the completion of all the major rebuilding work within the centre (total cost, including purchase of building @ £300,000). In December 2001 Microchips was successfully awarded a Community Fund grant of £379,000, which would cover most of the projects running costs for first three years. The Centre opened its doors to the public on Thursday 9th May 2002. For the next five years Microchips reached out to hundreds of young people, seeing lives shaped and transformed by the love of God. Some of these young people now in their twenties are still part of MCC, while others are serving God in various churches around the nation / world!

In March 2005 MCC took over the lease of our current ‘church building’ on Brooks Lane. This site was previously the Pochin Sports & Social Club. This was a massive step up for us as a church community as we had previously only been able to hire premises for our Sunday meetings. For the first time ever MCC had a permanent home, a base from which we were able to launch all the ministries we enjoy today. Now in our ninth year the building is bursting with life with over 600 people use the building every week!

Nothing stands still and the Leadership Team decided to bring Microchips under the direct control of the church, merge the two charities, change its name to MoCoCo and rebrand the centre during 2007. MoCoCo was birthed as a community coffee shop and youth centre, ministering to hundreds of local people until the summer of 2012 when financial pressure forced its closure. Historically a major part of our church vision was to reach out to and minister to the youth and young adults of our town. We wanted to continue to use the MoCoCo building to fulfil this vision. Its closure provided us with an opportunity to seek God for a more sustainable use for the building by pursuing a long held desire to provide ‘supported social housing’ for young adults. As of March 2013 we have been granted planning permission to convert the building into 9 flats and one retail unit. Work is due to start during April / May of this year. Watch this space!

As our present church building (Brooks Lane) is only leased from Pochins we know that at some point in the future (after September 2017) we may be faced with a move!!!! With this in mind the church purchased a green field site opposite the Salt Cellar in May 2009 with the intention of building a new church / community facility. This nine acre field sits on a prime gateway to the town. In the coming months we will be seeking to move this building scheme forward by submitting an outlining planning permission.

In his book Teamwork makes the Dream Work” John Maxwell asks the question: “Are you dreaming big enough?” That might strike you as a strange question. “Dream bigger?” you may ask. “I’m not accomplishing the little goals I have already, and you want me to dream about doing bigger things?”

Many people are afraid to dream big. They are reluctant to hope for too much in case they are disappointed. As a result, they satisfy themselves with the status quo and the mundane. It doesn’t have to be that way! We need to change our strategy. Instead of working alone, we need to develop a team around us that can help us achieve our dreams.

Maxwell states that a team:

  • Makes us better than we are.
  • Multiplies our value to others.
  • Enables us to do what we do best.
  • Allows us to help others do their best.
  • Frees up more time.
  • Provides companionship.
  • Helps fulfill the desires of our heart.
  • Makes everyone on the team a winner.

Teams can be incredible. No task is too great, no goal too grand, no idea too far-fetched. Teams come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re married, you and your spouse are a team. If you are employed, you and your colleagues are a team. If you volunteer your time, you and your fellow workers are a team. MCC is full of teams: worship team, crèche team, youth team, pastoral care team, to name a few. All of whom are a crucial part of the bigger team that makes up Church.

Every organisation requires leadership, churches are no different! Our Church requires godly leadership that can hear from God and then lead and guide us into all that God has called us to do. Here at MCC the existing Leadership Team identified the need to increase the size of our team in order to facilitate our vision. After much prayer we asked Tim Edwards to step back into this role, one he had previously filled for many years. Tim is truly a “son of the house” (he became a Christian at MCC) and has a passion for the young adult generation of our church. We also wanted to acknowledge that God had sent Graham Warner to us for “a time such as this.” Graham comes with a lifetime of experience, including church planting and a teaching ministry. We look forward to working together as a team on your behalf, please pray for us!

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living dedvotions

ernest - computor

Rev. E. Anderson

ON THE EDGE BEWARE!

Taken from the Senior Living Ministries

Africa’s Victoria Falls produces a cloud of mist that is often heavy enough to impair visibility. Once a man was walking the path that skirts the giant gorge, and he noticed a sign on the rim but could not make it out. Not wanting to miss whatever it might be noting, he slithered and slid through the mud out to the very brink only to read the message:

As Christians, it can sometimes be easy to unwittingly miss the danger you’re in until you’ve gone too far. This is especially true when it comes to right and wrong ideas of God. You flip through the channels on TV at night and come across a preacher whose message sounds great at the beginning. But when you really understand the kind of gospel he’s preaching, you realize it may be very different from what the Bible teaches.

Sadly, many once-faithful followers of Christ have built their house on this “crumbling edge” of mistaken faith, and their whole spiritual life has fallen out from under them because they forgot to stand on the high ground of biblical truth.

So if you find yourself tempted to walk out into the heavy mist of dangerous doctrine where things may not seem as they should, watch out for the warning signs! Stay grounded in the truth of Scripture. Recognize when what’s being taught is not what the Bible teaches. When you do that, you can be sure you’ll build your faith on the solid rock of good doctrine and not on the crumbling edge of bad theology.

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Ask God to give you wisdom to discern between biblical and unbiblical teaching. And when you do hear false doctrine, flee from it and cling to the truth of the Bible!

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