Mother and Child

fetus doodle icon, vector color illustration
by tkbrown
She looked upon the child in her arms
and was amazed--
in awe of what her body had created--
and she knew, without a doubt,
she had been blessed.

From the moment of conception
your child grew from a one-celled ovum--
to the babe in your arms--
directed by dna and rna
strands of life
combining mother and father
to create a new person
through genetic procreation.

Two weeks after conception
your child's
sex, hair color, eye color, . . . 
height, and skin tone
have already been determined.

As the babe grew, your body nurtured,
sustained, protected
the growing embryo,
and by week three
there was a primitive
but beating heart.

By week four, eyes and ears,
a spinal cord, muscles,
arms and legs,
even nerves were present
as the amniotic sac
and the placenta
provided nourishment.

Six weeks into your baby's life,
eyes, arms,
hands with all ten fingers,
legs, and feet
were much better formed.
Your child was able to move
and respond to touch.

At nine weeks,
The embryo became a fetus--
able to grasp, suck his/her thumb,
and by the tenth week
fingerprints were visible.
In addition to sensing touch
your baby could feel pain.

At twelve weeks,
your child slept
and awakened.

Gender was apparent
by week thirteen,
and at the fourteenth week
your baby was growing rapidly;
hair was visible,
you could begin to feel
energetic movement,
and you began to show
as your "baby bump"
began to become visible.

By the eighteenth week,
your baby's ears were fully functioning
and your voice could be heard.
Your babe weighed about a half pound
(as much as a small can of tomato sauce)
and was eight to ten inches long.
You began to wear maternity clothes,
and the blessing of
having a child
became much more real to you.

Week twenty-two marked
an important developmental milestone.
Your baby's head now formed
about one-third of total length,
and if born at this point,
may have survived outside the womb--
with intensive medical care.

At the twenty-sixth week,
taste buds were fully formed,
eyes and lungs were fully functioning,
and your baby could cry.
Your "baby bump"
had grown considerably.

At thirty weeks, senses of
vision, hearing, taste, and touch
were being used.
Eyes were able to open and close;
your child could look around
and recognized your voice.

Between the thirty-sixth week
and the fortieth week,
your body began to prepare
for your babe's entry
into the outside world.
Your child shifted downward
and into position"
now ready for the big day.

Full-term,
 your child
will weigh, on average, six to nine pounds
and is ready for life outside
the protection of your womb.

When born, at the fortieth week,
your baby's heart
is pumping 300 gallons of blood a day.

As you speak to this baby in your arms,
a tiny smile forms,
the eyes flutter open
in recognition of your voice.
and you know you are blessed.
~~~~~~~~~~

Pregnancy is God's test of our ability to truly love another person unconditionally and His way of saying, "You have what it takes to love this child and teach him/her the way to live."

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Photo Above: courtesy of depositphotos.com.

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Sources:
Cherry, Kendra (1 June 2020). Stages of Prenatal Development. “very well mind.” verywellmind.com. (8 May 2022). https://www.verywellmind.com/stages-of-prenatal-development-2795073#:~:text=The%20process%20of%20prenatal%20development,known%20as%20the%20fetal%20period.

Eds. Foundations of Life. (2022). Fetal development. “Events.” foundationsoflife.org. (8 May 2022). https://foundationsoflife.org/unplanned-pregnancy-free-pregnancy-services/fetal-development/.

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The Word Was Made Flesh

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14 — “Holy Bible: New Testament–King James Version (KJV)

God’s Word became flesh–a living, breathing person in the form of His only begotten Son. He came to earth as a babe and grew to adulthood as a person–just as you and I are persons who grew from infancy to our current age–interacting with others. He experienced the same temptations you and I face. According to John, the difference is: God’s Son was full of grace and truth.

Have you ever closely read Jesus’ interactions with others? He rarely allowed Himself to show anger. He rarely condemned or rebuked others. He always thought before He spoke and never said anything in a way it could be misconstrued. He lived in such a way that grace and truth were exemplified.

Being a Christian means to be Christ-like. Our goal as Christians is to emulate Him in all we do. Do we bridle our tongues as He bridled His? Do we commune daily with the Father in heaven? Do we regularly feast on His Word? Jesus said:

“‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'”

Matthew 4:4 “Holy Bible: New Testament–King James Version (KJV)”

Does your life glow with grace and truth? Do you try to respond to the demands of others as Jesus would have? How often do you stop and ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”

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Photo Above:

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 1:14. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (17 April 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/John-1-14/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 4:4. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (17 April 2022). https://www.kingjamesbible.me/Matthew-4-4/.

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2022 – March

. . . and the March-Winds Came

~~ a calendar quindecim ~~

by tkbrown
March came in like a proverbial lamb;
and she quickly began picking up steam.
The first few days were sunny, mild, and calm;
then snow brought by Winter's battering ram
escorted an annual Easter Squall
as cool weather squatted a few more days.
Another warm-up brought daffodils tall,
thunderstorms, tornadic torrential flays,
rooftops off homes, powerlines ripped from poles,
trees uprooted, homes and vehicles flipped,
damage for miles in corporate locales
where lives have been marred, heartstrings are now ripped.
From the anchoring strengths of hearth and home
where rebuilding takes time, tilling the loam
must be completed to stimulate phloem. 

Lives must be rebuilt in this worldly realm
while another, still being ripped apart,
cannot ponder whence the 'morrow's dire helm
will position them. Those who leave home port,
praying for a reprieve, can have no thought
or hopes quite bold as news from home is told
and the days flow forth. Homeland hopes for bought
or borrowed time as loved ones lives unfold,
then refold when words not sharing their pain
rip hearts asunder -- tell home's not the same.
Faces turn ashen as their colors drain,
emotions rage for lost hopes they can't claim.
Now, as the month begins its final wrap,
it is preparing to give us a slap
when leaving us with a severe storm snap.

~~~~~~~~~~

March 2022 — In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion

So, this says The Old Folks Saying Rings True.
It certainly does this year for me and for you!

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Photo Above: by jeffjacobs @pixabay.com.

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Take Away This

~~ a rondine ~~

by tkbrown
Take away this; then replace it with that,
give little thought for the things to be lost--
the value they held or replacement cost.
The morning will bring a new coat and hat;
'Twill wrap-up warmer than the one thrown out,
bolster the image and smooth the way flat.
Take away this.

New thoughts, new ways will remove tit for tat,
excluding habits known to increase frost,
forbidding views of traditional host,
supplanting the old with new voice in chat.
Take away this.

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Take Away This . . .

~~ Poetic Form Commentary ~~

by tkbrown

While the rondine form in poetry has traditionally been utilized as a romantic vent, my use of the format has — from the beginning — taken a different course. When my mind conjures a rondine, it tends to address irony by focusing on a specific word whose original intent focused one direction but often presents a view taking a divergent path.

With this rendition of the rondine, I have taken my variance up a notch to address political concerns and somber reality. Since the coronavirus sidelined our world’s best laid plans a few years back, our whole outlook on life has seemed to change — and I am not sure it has been for the betterment of our society as a whole. Therefore, I have tried to be the voice of many who are unsure whether or not to speak out.

My past tendencies of a poetic nature have presented themselves in batches of a particular form. Thus, I am inclined to believe this will be the case in this venue. I have written political satire before–though I am not sure this is satirical. As you read, contemplate what the poem says to you, and please scroll down to “Like” if you appreciate what I have written. Then post a comment letting me know what you think. Does the rondine enhance the message presented–pro or con, I would like to hear your thoughts.

Thank You for reading. I appreciate you!

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Photo Above: by Steve Johnson @Unsplash.com.

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God’s Righteousness

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

“‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.'”

Matthew 5:6 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In His “Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented a series of “Blessed are . . . ” statements which modern-day theologians reference as “The Beatitudes.” The problem with grouping them together is it tends to discourage the study of each statement individually. If we look at them as separate indicators of desirable characteristics in those who follow Christ, they take on much more meaning.

With the indicator noted above in Matthew 5:6, Christ emphasized the importance of “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” as personal descriptors of a devoted Christian. He also noted: those seeking righteousness to this extent will be filled. In other words, if a follower truly hungers and thirsts for righteousness, time and energy will be spent trying to emulate the example Christ gave us when He was on earth, since everything He did was done in a manner well-pleasing unto God. We see this in Matthew 3, verses 16 and 17:

16 — “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, low, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.”

17 — “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

Matthew 3:16-17 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Thus, one must first “hunger and thirst after righteousness” in order to be filled. This hungering and thirsting will increase our “searching of the scriptures” which will allow God to “fill our desire for righteousness.” The more we learn from the scriptures, the more we understand of what God wants from those of us who follow Jesus’ commandments.

As newborn Christians, we are to “desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow” in likeness to Christ. This growth is how we are filled with God’s righteousness.

1 — “Wherefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”

2 — “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

1 Peter 2:1-2 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Peter goes on to say that those who believe and follow Jesus are “the chosen ones;” thus, they shall be filled with righteousness if it is searched and applied. He goes to great lengths in this chapter to describe the differences between those who believe and those who do not believe Jesus Christ is God’s Son.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:”

1 Peter 2:9 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In searching the scriptures, if we hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, we will learn how emulating Christ’s actions and attitudes, while He was on earth, will satiate us and increase those behaviors in us. Thus, we “shall be filled,” and we shall become more like Christ as we continue to grow and live for Him.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of God’s righteousness.

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Photo Above: by permission from Benjamin South @facebook.com.

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Sources:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Matthew 5:6. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (15 February 2022). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A6&version=KJV.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 3:16-17. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-Chapter-3/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Peter 2:1-2; 2:9. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (15 February 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Peter-Chapter-2/.

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My Brother’s Keeper?

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

Genesis 4:1-17:

  • 1 — “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain and said, ‘I have gotten a man from the Lord.'”
  • 2 — “And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”
  • 3 — “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.”
  • 4 — “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.”
  • 5 — “But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”
  • 6 — “And the Lord said unto Cain, ‘Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?'”
  • 7 — “‘If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.'”
  • 8 — “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
  • 9 — “And the Lord said unto Cain, ‘Where is Abel thy brother?’ And he said, ‘I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?'”
  • 10 — “And He said, ‘What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.‘”
  • 11 — “‘And now art thou cursed from the earth which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;'”
  • 12 — “‘When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.'”
  • 13 — “And Cain said unto the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear.'”
  • 14 — “‘Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that everyone that findeth me shall slay me.'”
  • 15 — “And the Lord said unto him, ‘Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”
  • 16 — “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.”
  • 17 — “And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.”

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Genesis 4:1-17 — Notes

God evicted Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because they defied His command in choosing to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. Thus, their eyes were opened and they understood the difference between good and evil. Fearing they might also partake from the fruit of the Tree of Life, God found it necessary to send them out of the Garden.

Setting up a household out in the great big world, Adam and Eve began to live the life of a hunting and gathering family–hunting for meat and tilling the soil to grow fruits and vegetables for the family. Soon Eve was expecting their first child. When he was born, Adam and Eve named the child Cain. A short time later, Eve bore a second son whom they named Abel. Cain and Abel grew strong and capable in their worldly home as their individual areas of interest and expertise diverged. Cain was good at tilling the soil and growing a bountiful harvest from it. Abel, on the other hand, preferred to tend the sheep and expand his flock.

Cain was thankful and appreciative of the bountiful, abundant harvest he reaped from his tilling of the ground. He proceeded to gather some and present it in beautiful form to the Lord as a sacrifice. Abel, seeing Cain sacrifice to the Lord a portion of his harvest, offered to the Lord some of the firstlings from his flock and the fat thereof.

The Lord had much respect for the sacrifice Abel presented, but He was not pleased with the produce presented as Cain’s sacrifice. This upset Cain very much. The more he thought on it, the angrier he became. His attitude became downcast and sulky. God asked him why he was being so belligerent and told him if he presented a satisfactory sacrifice, it too would be accepted. He further explained the consequences of continued unacceptable behavior and not doing well in His sight would be to have sin lying at the entrance to his home. Sin would ensnare his every desire and present it to Cain until he ruled over sinful desires and cared not about pleasing God.

Henceforth, when the two brothers were toiling in the field, Cain talked to Abel. However, he was not pleased with Abel’s responses. As his attitude became increasingly sullen, he became extremely opposed to Abel’s beliefs. Finally, his ire was roused to such a point, he rose up and killed Abel–spilling Abel’s blood into the soil.

When God came to talk to Cain, He asked about Abel. Cain said he did not know the whereabouts of Abel. He said to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

God was angry and chastised Cain. He said, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.”

Cain bowed his head, shook it and said, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth, and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me.”

God said, “Not so, Cain! Whoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall reap upon him sevenfold.” Then the Lord placed a mark upon Cain so all would know who he was. Knowing the curse set upon anyone who killed Cain, they would be deterred, go on their way, and leave Cain alive.

Then, Cain went out to the land of Nod on the east of Eden and dwelt there with his wife. When she bore him a son, they named the boy Enoch. Cain built a city in his son’s honor and named it Enoch–after his son.

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Comments

So, the moral of this story in Genesis 4 is fourfold:

1.) One of the ten commandments later given to Moses for governing the Israeli people as they wandered in the wilderness forty years was: Thou shalt not kill. Here, Cain killed Abel. Then, he denied this fact to God. God knew he had killed Abel, and He tried to give him a chance to tell the truth–come clean about his sin, but Cain denied any knowledge regarding Abel’s whereabouts.

2.) We are our brothers’ keepers to some degree. We should always try to have some knowledge of our brothers’ whereabouts and status–even when they do not communicate with us. We should try to acquaint ourselves with information about them, whether they are biological or other familial brothers. This also applies to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

3.) Anger, uncontrolled and unbridled leads us to action with unacceptable consequences. Cain’s anger led to despondent mood, self-pity, and finger-pointing. These “sins,” in turn, led to Cain killing Abel and trying to hide that fact. He did not consider the magnanimous nature of his offense. Maybe we can equate this as the reason humans today consider small, minor, “more acceptable” offenses to be less important–and to the human belief of God viewing them the same.

4.) God makes no difference in “degree of sin.” Sin is sin, and if not forgiven via cleansing by Christ’s blood, it is punishable by an eternity in hell just as Cain was eternally banished from God’s presence.

It is our choice where we spend eternity. God drove Cain from his homeland–even out of His presence–meaning Cain then had no chance of ever redeeming himself with God. This shows us, in like manner, how sins continually committed today–without atonement–can cause our hearts to harden to the point we do not care what we do to self or others. When this level of hardness develops, we have no chance of ever heeding the message of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. As a result, we choose to spend eternity in hell with other sinners–eternally apart from God in heaven. All sin has consequences. Therefore, when we choose to enact any sin, we choose those consequences along with “it.”

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Source:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 4. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (14 November 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Genesis-Chapter-4/.

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Photo above: Ugo Mendes Donelli @Unsplash.com.

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Fall . . .

. . . is on the way

by tkbrown
Just when it looks like summer
has settled in to stay,
sunshine follows days of wet
with a teeny bit less heat
during mid-day sun
and some temperature drops
as nighttime turns to  dawn.

Cooler temps have been knocking
for a few days now,
patiently awaiting just the right time
to make a grand entrance
and take Mother Nature's bow.

Highs in the seventies
and lows in the sixties--
then suddenly lows drop
into the upper forties.

Knock, Knock, Knock:
Fall pleading to be let in
to meet the schedule
as planned--
beginning an end to life's cycle
currently at hand
as the never-ending circle
inches forward in the sand.

As time and warmth fall back,
colors explode along scenic drives
to ease the pain when mostly black
with touches of grays, browns,
and splotches of green
signal hibernation--
from which Mother Nature
slowly awakens the Southern Hemisphere
where leaves and buds begin to appear
in varying shades of yellow green
and the most beautiful flowers
a body has seen
poke their heads out to welcome the sun
as we flip earth's annual cycle
of fertility and recline.

The fall equinox
with it's Harvest Moon
is knocking quite loudly
on summer's tune
as Mother Nature's produce
is reaped and stored while Earth's
lower half is tilling and sowing
for the abundance provided
by summer's noon.

With a knock, knock, knock,
cooler temperatures arrived--
just a wee bit cooler,
from those storm clouds derived.

When the sunshine returns
with an inviting hue,
heads swivel about to view
the blinding sheen.

Then suddenly, a warning
of a cold night to be--
quite unexpected
during Harvest's Jubilee.
As it slowly returns to normal
over nightfall--two or three--
we will see the colors blossom--
yellow, orange, sienna, and red
will be ushered in for free.

God will be busy painting hillsides
as He beckons days of gold
followed by the nighttime
filled with shivers from the cold.

It is time to pick the pumpkins,
acorn squash, and butternut--
put them in the freezer
for the goodness they impart.
Apples, pears, and walnuts
are being harvested as well
to create delicious treasures
for a healthy winter shell.

Cooler days just seem to call
for something cooking on the stove:
time for Shrimp and Pumpkin Curry,
a pot of aromatic Red Beans,
Sage and Walnut Pumpkin Butter
spread upon a wholegrain bread
or saucing tortellini
for a filling winter spread.

It's time to create
a healthy formula
where spices explicate the flavor--
taking sugar down to size--
in recipes far better
for the heart, and health, and eyes.

These pursuits decrease the half-life
of the wither doldrums when
idleness is created
by the binds of winter strife.
The harvest--then in storage--
promotes artistic flair
just to see the results,
small the aromatic air,
and exhilarate the taste buds
from the harvest reaped in fall.
≥∑ tkbrown 25 September 2021

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Photo Above:

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Satan’s Role . . .

. . . in the Garden of Eden

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“But of the fruit of the tree, which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.'”

Genesis 3:3“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

Thinking back to the devotional about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, what can we learn from Satan’s role? He appears in disguise as a serpent and delights in creating havoc when things are going well. God created Adam; then He created Eve as a helpmeet to Adam. He put them in the Garden of Eden which He had filled with every beautiful tree and trees with fruit for them to eat. However, He told them not to eat from two trees or they would surely die.

Satan saw how smoothly things were going. God was even going to the garden every afternoon in the cool of the day to walk and talk with Adam and Eve. Satan decides to “have a little fun and confuse the issue with Adam and Eve.” How often have you heard one person say, “so-and-so was picking on me!” The other person laughs a heartless laugh and chortles, “I was just playin!” Well , this is the attitude Satan had when he talked to Eve about the tree from whence she and Adam had been told not to eat.

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1 — “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said, ‘Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?””

2 — “And the woman said unto the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:'”

3 — “‘But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.””

4 — “And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die.””

5 — “‘For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.'”

6 — “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.”

7 — “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”

8 — “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.”

9 — “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?'”

10 — “And he said, ‘I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.'”

11 — “And He said, ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?'”

12 — “And the man said, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.'”

13 — “And the Lord God said unto the woman, ‘What is this that thou hast done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.'”

14 — “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, ‘Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field, upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.‘”

15 — “‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.'”

16 — “Unto the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'”

17 — “Unto the man He said, ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;'”

18 — “‘Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;'”

19 — “‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.'”

20 — “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.”

21 — “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.”

22 — “And the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:'”

23 — “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”

24 — “So, He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Genesis 3:1-24 — “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

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So, Satan saw: Adam and Eve were happy in the garden of Eden, things were going as God intended. Satan was unsettled by this. He plotted and schemed (which is normal for Satan) and devised a plan to cause God some grief. Unbeknownst to Adam and Eve, they became putty in Satan’s hands, and he molded them as he wished. They fell right into his plan. The result was: God’s plans went awry.

This is the same role Satan plays in the world today. All of the chaos around us, all of the violence and ill-will–Satan’s doings: and humanity falls right into his scheme and pushes it along.

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12 — “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

13 — “For thou hast said in thine heart, ‘I will ascend unto heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:'”

14 — “‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.'”

15 — “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.'”

Isaiah 14:12-15 “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

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When we are tempted to do wrong, Satan is pushing those buttons, making us believe there is nothing wrong with whatever we are being tempted to do. He tells us “if God is good, He will not punish you.” He makes us believe all manner of falsehoods about any and all things by which we are tempted. After all, he is the one tempting us. When we do his will instead of doing the will of God and Jesus in heaven above, Satan wins. If this happens often enough for a long enough time, we reach a point where our hearts are hardened to God’s word.

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12 — “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;”

13 — “but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Hebrews 3:12, 13 “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

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If we allow our hearts to harden against God and His plan for us, we will never listen to His plan of Salvation again. We will never believe Jesus is God’s Son. Ultimately, we will never enter heaven–and Satan will have won. At that point, he knows we will spend eternity with him in hell; since he is the father of sin, he will then be the father of those who follow him instead of God and Jesus.

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“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

John 8:44 “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

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“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

1 John 3:8“Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KVJ)

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If we wish to make an eternal home in heaven with God and Jesus, we must first believe Jesus is God’s Son. Then, we must study God’s word, that we might know what to do in order to follow Him instead of Satan. Finally, we must do all that Jesus and His apostles commanded. They spoke with authority by divine inspiration in order to guide those who were receptive to God’s will in the way they must go.. Today, we must adhere to Christ’s plan of eternal salvation, and we must be faithful to that plan unto death if we wish to spend eternity with God and Jesus in heaven.

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“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

1 Peter 5:8“Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

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In order to defeat Satan in his game of deceit, it is necessary to arm ourselves with the knowledge of God’s word. We must overcome temptation and devote our life in service to God and His Son, Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 5:8 (above) says Satan “is like a roaring lion, roaming about the earth, seeking whom he may devour.” When we do wrong, there are always consequences for those wrongs. When those consequences “eat at us” it is Satan devouring our lives one sin at a time. If we do not stay alert and resist his temptation, he will win–we will be cast into hell along with him for all eternity. Therefore, we must gird ourselves with God’s protection as we turn from sin. If we are truly trying to overcome temptation and avoid all sin, and if we ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, God will provide the knowledge, faith, and strength to avoid Satan’s snares,

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“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

James 4:7 “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version: (KJV)

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“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.”

Ephesians 6:12“Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

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“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

2 Corinthians 11:14“Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

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I pray we all strengthen our faith in God and Jesus through the study of God’s word that we might turn from Satan. His trickery may make him appear to be an “angel of light,” but it will only give him cause to lock us in hell with him for all eternity. There is an old saying: “misery loves company.” We read above, in Isaiah chapter 14 verses 12 through 15, about Satan (Lucifer) deciding he was going to overthrow God and take over heaven as the Most High.” The result was: God cast him to the pit of hell. Now, he wants us there with him to keep him company. He wants to ease his own guilt by convincing all who are in the world to embrace his guilt and join with him in it. He does not want to be alone in his guilt for all eternity. He wants us in hell with him.

Therefore, I pray we all turn to God for strength and perseverance in our fight against Satan that we might have eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

May God give us the knowledge, the understanding, the faith, and the strength to “win the good fight” that we might spend eternity in heaven.

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“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Ephesians 6:11“Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV)

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 3:3. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Genesis-3-3/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 3:1-24. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Genesis-Chapter-3/.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Isaiah 14:12-15. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version” (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 August 2021). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2014%3A12-15&version=KJV

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Hebrews 3:12, 13. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). bible gateway.com. (29 August 2021). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%203%3A12-13&version=KJV.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 8:44. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/John-8-44/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 John 3:8. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-John-3-8/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 1 Peter 5:8. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Peter-5-8/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). James 4:7. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/James-4-7/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Ephesians 6:12. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ephesians-6-12/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 2 Corinthians 11:14. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/2-Corinthians-11-14/.

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Ephesians 6:11. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (29 August 2021). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ephesians-6-11/.

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Photo Above: by Roman Grac @pixabay.com.

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High School

Dedicated To: those who are now in High School and to those who have been.

Diploma: by Mica Hart @pixabay.com.
by tkbrown
Tis the month when school bells begin to ring
even though the virus is surging again.

Teachers, students, classrooms,
binders--three ring,
notetaking, not writing, something akin
to mega seminars--and yet it's more--
with old friends, new friends,
and many new plans,
not enough time,
no energy left at end of day.
Crawling into bed--
out like a light--
the backs of my eyelids
such a beautiful sight.

All too soon morning light peeks in
reminding of needs to be met.

A brand-new day, an old routine
with advanced equations,
how to calculate sine.

What happens later
midst well-laid plans
was not intended--
it was not planned--
protect my heart from this 'start.'
I do not understand
how it managed to rend
the innermost core
and alter who I am.

New emotions running deep,
welling up, unable to keep
them in.

Sensations flowing new and free
at the chance, passing sight of thee--
concentration and focus have all but flown
out the open window where seeds have been sown.
The future is out there, unsure as to where
this path of emotions is leading--
the person I was
taking steps toward
the one I will become.

That first High School band
marching on the field
to enrich experience at halftime
for those watching, marching,
and me.
Do others feel the same?
Is the aura surreal?
Does it show on my face--
this awesome new feel?
One day at a time--
sometimes just an hour--
seems such a waste of rhythm
when my mind is speeding ahead
toward the end of these four."

Can I wish my life away
and be sure I will remain
the person I was
when I stepped onto this train?

Maybe I should
step back for a bit
to catch my breath
before I take . . . a run for it.
High School.

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Photo Above: Gundula Vogel @pixabay.com.

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Adam and Eve

I — God’s Fortitude

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“So He drove out the man, and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Genesis 3:24–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

We tend to not give much thought to God’s character traits, His personal strengths, even His weaknesses. Perhaps we should take a few days to look at these aspects of God and Jesus. We might, then, understand the two of them a bit more.

A few of the words that come to mind when I think of God are compassion, strength, godliness, cleanliness, love, honour, devotion, and fortitude. While each of these are important–and we will look in depth at each–I think the word “fortitude” describes so many facets of both God the Father and God the Son.

When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden in which He had planted every good and beautiful tree and trees with fruit for them to eat. He formed a river which ran out of Eden by which He watered the garden.

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8 — “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.”

9 — “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

10 — “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads.”

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Genesis 2:8-10–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.'”

Genesis 2:18–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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21 — “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;”

22 — “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

23 — “And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'”

24 — “‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.'”

25 — “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Genesis 2:21-25–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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How difficult it must have been for God when Adam and Eve committed the first sin–eating of the forbidden fruit. He had provided much good food for their consumption. Yet, they gave in to temptation and ate the fruit of the one tree from which He had forbidden them to eat. How heartbroken He must have been when He went to the garden for their daily walk together and could not find them.

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7 — “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”

8 — “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.”

9 — “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?‘”

10 — “And he said, ‘I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.'”

11 — “And He said, ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?'”

12 — “And the man said, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.'”

13 — “And the Lord God said unto the woman, ‘What is this that thou hast done?‘ And the woman said, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.'”

14 — “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, ‘Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:'”

15 — “‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.'”

16 — “Unto the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'”

17 — “And unto Adam He said, ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it:’ cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;'”

18 — “‘Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;'”

19 — “‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.'”

20 — “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”

21 — “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.”

22 — “And the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.'”

23 — “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken.”

24 — “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Genesis 3:7-24–“Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Much like we as parents must deal with disobedient children, God had to deal with a disobedient creation. Then, each pointed the finger of blame toward another before admitting personal guilt as well. The man and woman who were made after His own image, were cast from the garden due to their disobedient acts.

When God entered the garden looking for Adam and Eve and was unable to find them, He knew something was amiss. How many of us, as parents, would have similar hunches upon being unable to find our children? When He called for them, and Adam responded with fear due to them being ashamed because they were naked, God knew of their disobedience already. Putting a disobedient child out to fend for him-/her- self is one of the most difficult tasks a parent must face. The fact that God had to walk in these shoes first with His own creation tells us it is due to the child’s choices these steps had to be taken. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God; so, He had to put them out of their beautiful garden He created just for them. From that day forth, they were to fend for themselves. Pain, sweat, and death would be served as punishment for their disobedience.

This took “fortitude” for God to take this stand with Adam and Eve. In this one sequence of events, we can see the strength, the courage, the bravery it took for God to stand up to Adam and Eve with a love that did not cast them away from Him–rather it cast them out of the luxurious life He had created for them.

Thus, when you are tempted to ask, “How can a loving God be so cruel as to punish us when we have done wrong?” remember, it was Adam and Eve who punished you. As their seed, we reaped the consequences of their actions along with them. This is why we now have the New Testament plan of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord–God’s Son. This is why we have full freedom to choose to be a recipient of this salvation, or we can choose to ignore it and experience life separate and apart from God. It is not God who punishes us! It is our choice; therefore, it is “we” who punish ourselves.

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16 — “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

17 — “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.”

18 — “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

19 — “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

John 3:16-19–“Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)”

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 2:8-10. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version” (KJV). U.S. Congress. (1 August 2021). Genesis 2:8 – 2:10 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 2:18. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (1 August 2021). GENESIS 2:18 KJV “And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Genesis 2:21-25. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). Genesis 2:21-25 KJV – And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Genesis 3:7-24. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). Genesis 3:7-24 KJV – And the eyes of them both were opened, – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). John 3:16-19. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (1 August 2021). John 3:16-19 KJV – For God so loved the world, that he – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: by Roman Grac @pixabay.com.

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