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21Dec
A Healthy Approach To Prophecy
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I identify a lot with Amos who said in Amos 7:14 “But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’

I am a teacher of the Word. That’s my calling. God allows me the privilege to preach sometimes. He also allows me the privilege to prophesy sometimes. So I’m teaching mainly from the point of view of a receiver of the prophetic.

It’s that time of the year in Christendom where, rightly or wrongly so (that’s a conversation for another day), there’s all kinds of messages that go out in the form of prophecies about the next year.

I just thought it’ll be good to help you understand how to posture yourself in this season. If you approach prophecy, prophets & the prophetic wrong, you’re either bound to experience a lot of gas and no substance or you’ll miss out on what God has in store for you through an authentic expression of the prophetic gift.

So here’s what I’ve learned over the years, when it comes to the matter of prophecy, especially at this time of the year.

Prophetic words are declarations made in time, about what God has already completed before time began. In other words, a prophetic declaration does not necessarily create something new, it just helps you see what God has already created. All the prophetic words about the messiah did not create the messiah. The lamb of God had already been slain before the foundation of the earth (Revelation 13:8b) . The prophets were only declaring in time, that which was already completed outside of time.

Don’t give the prophet more credit than He/She is due. They are not God. They cannot create a better life for you. They can only help you see and articulate what God has already completed. They help you see what God intends to manifest in a season of your life. They bring light shining in darkness (2 Peter 1:19-21)

Prophetic words are not magic words that we sit back and expect to unfold like a good magic trick. They are given to help with the warfare of faith. If you don’t work the prophecy by believing it (faith) and conducting your life in the light that the prophecy brings (Works), you set yourself up for a shabby fight of faith. A fight that lacks precision. Wage a good war of faith with the prophetic word. (1 Timothy 1:18)

Even with the best of intentions, prophetic words can often come with flaws, because a perfect message communicated by an imperfect being is prone to be riddled with some error from the communicator. So don’t get so flattered that a word was brought to you that you swallow everything you heard. Check it with what God has been speaking to you.

By the way, don’t let it be the case that you only ever hear from God when someone brings you a prophetic word. That’s how you get susceptible to deception. Prophets and their ability to prophesy are gifts from God to you. Since we still have the flesh, our communication channel can be clogged with all sorts.

The gift of prophecy helps with that problem. The gift of prophecy should confirm something that you’ve already been processing in your personal time with God. If you don’t utilise this privilege of direct access to God, you will fall prey to charlatans in the guise of prophets. (1 John 2:20)

Seeing as you have direct access to God for yourself, this should eliminate the need for you to approach prophetic words suspiciously. Walking in Love is believing the best upfront whilst trusting God with any possible disappointments that come with having that posture. The best of everything God has for you comes through, when you’re in a posture of love. Don’t miss out on the gift that God sends you because you’ve met a dubious prophet before.

If you need to pay to receive a prophetic Word, it’s probably not a Word from God. If the prophetic word lines up with what’s in the Written word, but there are parts of it that doesn’t, lay the whole thing on the word. The Word is sharp enough to divide the soul from the Spirit. The Word will reveal which bit came from the soul of the prophet and which bit came from the Spirit of God in the prophet. If you’re not sure, about something that was said to you, keep it on the Word until you’re sure one way or the other. NEVER ACT ON SOMETHING, JUST BECAUSE THE PROPHET SAID. Every thing we do in the New Testament, we do by faith in God. If you don’t have faith, that this is God, don’t do it!

Honour those who God uses to prophesy to you, don’t worship them. By the way, God doesn’t only prophesy through people in the office of a prophet, He can use anyone! That’s why it’s wise to honour everyone around you…just as you’d honour the man or woman of God. It is disingenuous to honour people in the five fold ministry whilst you dishonour everyone around you. Wise people in the ministry do not lean on the honour offered by someone who dishonour those in their world.

I believe God still speaks through prophets today. But first, He speaks to you through His Spirit in you. Believe the Lord your God so shall you be established. Believe His prophets, so shall you prosper. 2 Chronicles 20:20. Prophecy in the life of a believer, works best and is such a gift that can cause you to prosper (to have a successful journey) when it comes to people who are established in God, through faith in God.

In the next season of your life, I pray that you will hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it! I pray you never lack direction in this next season. I pray you won’t beat the air in your fight of faith. I pray that you receive all you need to fight with precision.

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02Mar
What are you learning from your Pain?
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Pain instructs.

I believe God allowed pain to instruct us. It wasn’t his first choice. He is not sadistic to choose pain as an instructor. His first choice was obedience. God’s best plan has always been that we learn by listening to Him and obeying His instructions.

The fallen state of man however, makes it highly possible that we wouldn’t know how to discern the voice of God.

And even when we do, our sin condition often persuades us that there is life outside of LIFE HIMSELF, wisdom outside of the instructions of WISDOM HIMSELF. So we reject God’s instructions.

But God has set things up in such a way that even the negative consequence of being outside of God’s will, is pregnant with opportunities to return to Him. This is the mercy of God in action.

Pain and Hurt is a testament of the mercy of God. Pain is God saying, you didn’t hear me last time, will you hear me now that it hurts?

The trouble is that we have an enemy, His job is to pervert something that God allows for our good, he turns it around for evil.

So when we get hurt in relationships, the hurt was teaching you who you are, what you like, what is important to you.

But the enemy perverts that, and teaches us to hate others for hurting us. Teaches us to live a distrustful life because we’ve been hurt. Teaches us not to try again because failing hurt the last time.

I think this is why it is important to learn to yield our pain to God. When we do, He uses our pain to teach us His lessons.

When we don’t yield our pain to God, we open ourselves up to pick up the perverted lessons that the enemy wants us to learn in pain and hurt.

We don’t need to ask you if you are learning from your pain, because we all are. We do need to ask, what are you learning from your pain?

The right lessons will make you better, not bitter, wiser not foolish. The right lessons will provoke growth not stunt your growth. The right lessons will make you bolder, not more timid.

Don’t waste your pain. Tell God about what hurts. Find good friends who will partner with God to bring out the best lessons from your pain.

This is the gospel, that in darkest and most painful parts of the journey of life, resurrection is possible because God turns our pain and our hurt in to resurrection power!

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12Feb
Consider Jesus…
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Hebrews 3:1-2

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus

To consider is to scrutinise, to look closely at, to examine carefully…

the quality of your life, the quality of what you build here on earth, the quality of your legacy in the eyes of God, will be determined by your ability to see and understand Jesus right.

When we stand before God to give an account of our lives, and our talents, it will all be in relation to how we saw Jesus and who we perceived Him to be.

One day, there will be no other human beings to impress, no jobs to work, no cars to drive, no cities worth visiting, no career ladder to climb, no grind, no school fees to pay, no social media attention to covet. One day ALL OF THIS will become meaningless!

Actually, it wouldn’t be meaningless, it’s meaning will be redefined in relation to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:11-13

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

…In the final conclusion, the worth and value of everything we do here on earth will be defined in relation to Jesus.

We all owe it to ourselves to look carefully at this man Jesus. Who did He say He is? How does who He is and what He said affect my life today?

Consider The Apostle (sent one) and High Priest (one who stands before God on behalf of men).

Learn to do life, the small things and the great things, in full consideration of Jesus!

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29Jan
Beating Shame
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Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour. From my experience (personally and pastorally) I have found that when shame matures, it goes beyond being a feeling of humiliation that passes, as most feelings do. It becomes a force that seeks to shape our identity. That force makes us begin to be humiliated by who we are because of a wrong or foolish behavoior of ours.

God’s response to shame is the gospel. The good news of God’s unmerited favour! 

Paul was writing in Romans 1:16 to the christians in Rome who had heard of all the humiliating things that he had been through since he answered the call to preach the gospel. He said to them: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

In other words he was saying, I know that based on what you know of my experience for the the sake of the gospel, you have reason to think that I will be ashamed of preaching it, but I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ! If you knew the story of what he had been through for the sake of the gospel you will agree that that was an amazing statement.
When a person has an experience of the true gospel that they hear, it  strips you of shame and guilt!
Shame says you’re a pervert because of what you did with your body last night! The gospel says your body is special, the temple of the Holy Ghost, that’s why you shouldn’t have done that!
Shame called you an adulterous woman who deserves to be stoned…the gospel says you are not condemned, go and sin no more!
Shame calls you a failure and says you should stay down because you fell, the gospel calls you the righteous who falls seven times and gets up every time!
Shame says people like you shouldn’t be talking when these educated folks are speaking because you don’t qualify. The gospel says before I formed you I knew you and appointed you a prophet to the nations! The gospel says I’ve given you something to say! The gospel says that God justifies the ungodly!
Shame says you denied Jesus 3 times Peter go back to fishing because you are hereby disqualified from thinking you can change the World…the gospel says go tell my disciples and Peter that I have risen! The gospel pulls you back into the fold in spite of your betrayal!
Shame says the mistake of your youth will determine your future and confine you to bearing the identity of what you did…But the gospel says in Isaiah 54:4
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood.
I pray that this will be the season where you open your hear to hear the gospel. I pray that this will be the season when you set your expectation to have a personal experience of the gospel, the good news of God’s unmerited favour! I pray that inspite of how loud shame seems to be shouting, tugging or pulling, when you hear God’s Word, you will not harden your heart!
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03Oct
A miracle in the mundane
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We don’t always get spectacular, miraculous moments. But we ALWAYS get the mundane! Sleep, eat, rave repeat…in a loop.

Most of us are are not often thankful for the mundane routines of life because it’s mundane!

Truth is you don’t always need a miracle and a spectacle to change your future because most times everything you need to change your future is in the mundane routines of life. The miracle is in the mundane.

If you can appreciate the value of the mundane you can make your future appreciate in value.

If you can stop to find what works now and be grateful for that, If you can count your blessings and name them one by one as the songwriter says, you will find the power to rule over your future.

The present is a gift. The mundane routines are a gift. It contains the miraculous! Thank God for the mundane. There is a miracle in the mundane.

[wpvideo o39MWFz8 ]

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27Jul
When the promise doesn’t make sense
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If you’re like me, trying to live a life of faith in God through Jesus, there will be seasons of great contradictions. Living a life of faith is simply living a life that is directed and influenced by the Words of a living God, captured in scripture. Living a life of faith is choosing to live with expectations set by believing in the promises of God. 

The contradictions set in when you bump into situations that are directly at odds with the promises of God. 

When you expected help that never seems to be there. When you expected that they would fall on their knees asking what must I do to be saved after you shared the gospel with them as the Spirit of God led you to do. But all you got was a weird look. When you expected provision that is still pending.

I have learnt that these are the times when the quality of your faith is tested. I have learnt to fall back on the covenant. Psalm 89:34 says that God will not alter His Word or break His covenant. 

The Words of a God, His promises and instructions are backed up by the covenant. Even though God’s Word is good, on the basis of His integrity as a person, the covenant makes the promise legally binding. 

It’s one thing for a nice, trustworthy friend to give you a promise. It’s another thing for them to go through the effort to go to court, write up papers and sign an affidavit to make that promise legally binding. 

That’s what God has done. He gave His promise. Even though it is good enough, He legalises His promise by sending His son to die on the cross. Hebrews 6:18 tells us that this is God’s attempt to let you know how serious He is about His promise. 

I have learnt that the promise is given to set your expectation. And the covenant is given to help us keep our expectation set when the promise doesn’t seem to make sense. I have learnt to fall back on the covenant, particularly in seasons of great contradictions. 

Practically this means I am not afraid to be without an explanation for the contradictions, because I believe that the covenant ties God to me permanently, and if I keep walking conscious of His presence with me, in time, the pieces of the puzzle will fit. 

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Don’t quit or abandon the promise of God simply because it doesn’t add up right now and you’re looking like a mug right now. God has legally bound Himself to fulfill no His promise. Keep the faith. Be patient. You will inherit the promise. 

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04Sep
NO SUBSTITUTE FOR FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!
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Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

God in His wisdom has set up a covenant with mankind. A covenant is a binding agreement that outlines the basis of the relationship between 2 parties. In Hebrews 8, God tells us about the covenant that is currently in effect between God and man. A key part of this relationship is that we will all have the privilege of a personal relationship with God. Which means we get to have a first hand experience of Him!

I believe we are living in times when the only thing that will set you apart from the rest is YOUR personal knowledge of Him! There so many perplexing things happening in the World, and even in the body of Christ. I believe the only thing that can keep you in peace in the times we live in is a FIRST HAND experience of God.

I’ve been friends with my wife now for about 10 years and we’ve been married for 5 of those years. I have spent A LOT of time with her in these years! We haven’t been apart for long at all. So it’s safe for me to say I know her! My relationship with her is not based on how anyone else sees her, but it’s based on my personal, FIRST HAND knowledge of her.

Most Christians have a second hand experience of God. This means that what we know of God is what someone else said about Him.

Thank God for people he uses to teach us about God. I believe that preaching and teaching about God is indispensable to the health of our relationship with God. Just like learning about women and marriage is indispensable to the health of my relationship with my wife. But those who teach me about relationships are still not my wife! I will run into BIG trouble if I treat them in that way!

Those who teach you about God and His ability are NOT GOD! They will never be God! A relationship with them will never be a substitute for a relationship with God! We honour those who teach us about God, but we WORSHIP GOD! Real worship comes out of a first hand experience of God.

Every one has an opinion about God! With the internet, every one can voice their opinion, and with social media you can even get opinions about God that you didn’t ask for! Delivered direct to you door! Without a personal knowledge of God, you will be open to the torment that comes when you inevitable come across someone who says “you’re doing it ALL wrong!”

Learn all you can from those who teach about God. But prioritise a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him. He is available to us. I define worship as any intimate interaction you have with God. You can’t be tormented by different winds of doctrine if you worship I.e interact with God personally. Seize every opportunity you have to relate with God. It’s an awesome privilege made available to EVERYONE by & through Jesus.

How about right now, just talk to God. Say hello. He’s waiting. Fear of every kind dissipates when you have a FIRST HAND experience of God. We live in times when there is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A PERSONAL, FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!

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20Mar
Sometimes I am ashamed of Christianity
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If I’m really honest, I am sometimes ashamed to be associated with Christianity…the religion! 

I feel ashamed because for the most part our voice is only heard loud and clear condemning something or someone

I feel ashamed because for the most part we are always looking for new recruits, but once they sign up, we begin to hold them to spurious standards which we haven’t really kept ourselves. And like an abusive spouse, every time they inevitably fall short of those standards we beat them down with our Words, our silences and our glares. 

I feel ashamed because for the most part we have become a hospital that doesn’t like sick people. We talk much more than we do. 

I feel ashamed because for the most part we who are supposed to be a refuge have become the last place that our world will consider seeking refuge in. 

In spite of the shame i sometimes feel, as a result of the above (I’m sure you can think of more reasons) I know that the state of the RELIGION is only a reflection of the fact that mankind is still very sick. Sick with the nature of sin. Christianity, the Religion,  is man made. What else do you expect from something that is made by sick sick men (mankind).

In spite of the shame I sometimes feel, I am also very thankful for Christianity, the Religion. I am so thankful because this man made, thing…this religion, introduced me to the most awesome person I know. Yes at the time of introduction they didn’t do a very good job of announcing who He really was. However I still got to meet Him. His name is JESUS! 

I heard that He was a hard task master who wanted to make me a slave. I heard that He had a long list of things that I needed to do in order to be accepted by Him. But when I met Him, I found that He didn’t demand anything from me. Truth is, He gave EVERYTHING for me. In fact it is the nature of His sacrifice for me that demanded a response. The more I learn about His sacrifice & His mercies, the more I see that the only fitting response to Him is to lay my whole life down for His cause. In meeting Him I have also learnt that I can only do this with His help. 

I heard that He was a tough judge who was writing down everything that was wrong with me, and seizing every opportunity He could get to remind me of them. When I met Him, I found that in the multitude of everything that was wrong with me, He was/is the only thing that was RIGHT with and about me. 

Religion made Him the lead vocalist in the sound track of shame, which played loud on the stage of my life. But when I met Him I found out that He was really the only voice that spoke words that preserved my dignity. When I met Him I found out that He is not ashamed to call me His brother! 

Religion put a limit on His acceptance of me. Religion told me that even after meeting Him, I could do something thing that causes Him to change His mind about me. But when I met Him, I found out that His love for me was scandalous & illogical! His love for me was just plain crazy! In spite of my messy, messy life, He voiced His resolve to stick with me. In Hebrews 13:5b he said – I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless norforsake nor let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

There are so many more things I could say about Him, but let’s leave it there for now. I’ll say this though.. He is NOT THE PERSON RELIGION SAID HE IS. He is kinder, more patient, more accepting, more real than anyone could have described.

Yes, Christianity, the religion is messy…very messy. That’s because it is man made, and man is still very very sick. I pray that you can look past religion, and meet Jesus. The journey of discovering Him is a life time thing, but it starts with a simple decision. A decision you can make right now. No priest, pastor, bishop, christian is even needed to make this decision valid. You can make a decision to discover Him today, by yourself. Right where you are, you can speak to Him. In case you weren’t sure what to say, you can say something along these lines: 

“Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your son Jesus to die for me. The Bible says if I say with my mouth that Jesus
is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I will be saved. Jesus, I now confess you as my Lord and believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead. I welcome you into my life. Right now I believe that I am saved. I am born again. Thank You Father.”

It will be great to hear from you if you made this decision. Speak to someone who knows and loves Jesus. Look for a church where they are more interested in Jesus than they are in Religion. Welcome to the Jesus adventure! 

if you didn’t feel to make that decision today, I’m praying you get another opportunity to consider Jesus, despite what religion says. 

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13Nov
One reason I love Church
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Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23 NLT)

If we will produce maximum results from our lives, we have to be those who understand that we are designed to influence our world much more than our world influences us. We are not denying that our world will have an influence on us, but the challenge is to be more determined to ensure that the influence that you have on your world is greater than the influence that your world has on you!

As a christian who now has Christ on the inside of you…you literally have THE creative force of life on the inside of you. John 1:3 NLT says God created everything through HIM (the Word) and nothing was created except through him. So if you have the Word on the inside of you, you have the very creative force of life inside of you…and the challenge of living a fruitful life is that of ensuring that the created things on the outside do not enter in to crowd or drown the creative force of life in you! That was the problem with the thorny ground person described by Jesus in Mark 4.

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One of the reasons I love Church (I can at least speak for my Church) is that it is a place where there is a high concentration of the power that reinforces and helps us build up our confidence (faith) in the Word, the creative force of life, Jesus…so much so that external influences don’t stand a chance in altering my God given destiny as described by the Word, the creative force of life! Nothing on the outside should be allowed to alter your destiny as described by Jesus!

A good church will help you deal with the challenge of living by helping you ensure that the reality of Word (Jesus) on inside is greater than the reality of the things we see in our World.

Get connected to a good church!

Grace be with you.
Chido

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02Oct
The Running Generation…
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Habakkuk 2:2 – And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, so he may run that reads it

We need words, spoken & written words to communicate a vision. We need words to clarify a vision. We can only run with a vision that has been communicated effectively, continuously & clearly.

One of the most dangerous vision killers (in my humble opinion) is the “all talk and no action” syndrome. When a vision is communicated, and a vision is caught, it is to be passed on to anyone who would hear! However the real power of a vision is in running with a vision. Continuously talking about a vision is absolutely imperative, but it is not enough to make the vision a reality. Continuously looking for effective ways to communicate a vision is non-negotiable, but it is not the same as running with a vision! In fact the reason we communicate the vision is so that we can run with the vision.

Any cause that has more people talking about the vision than it has people running with the vision, will eventually stagnate and then fizzle out because talk alone does not produce results. Where there are no results, frustration sets in. Where there is frustration, it’s only a matter of time before you give up.

I say all of that to say this…ITS TIME TO RUN WITH THE VISION! If you are a christian, it’s time to do the Word at every opportunity you get! These are not times to just talk about the Word, it’s time to do the Word! If you belong to a local church (every christian should), these are not times to just talk about how great your church is, or just criticize your church and it’s leaders. These are times to go past your choking point in serving the vision of your local church. These are times to continue asking yourself, what is my part in vision? What does running with this vision look like today? Running with the vision might look like teaching the kids, it might look like cleaning the toilets, it might mean preaching the Word. Running with the vision might look like giving financially, it might look like serving in the car park.

Unfortunately I believe that most of us are happier to talk about the vision than we are to run with the vision. I am choosing to be that generation that runs hard with the vision. My faith is that by the time I am done here on this earth, there will be no doubt about what I believed and what I gave my life for. There will be no doubt about what I spent the strength of my youth on, and the wisdom of my old age on. There will be no doubt about what I spent my wealth & health on. I choose to be the generation that talks about the vision, but most importantly I choose to be the generation that runs with the vision!

The best part about making choices like this is that we know that we are able to do all things…through Christ! Jesus envisions us & empowers us!

Today I’m calling out to the running generation…RUN FOREST RUN!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4fEQGbObvc

Chido

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