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A Personal Word

DSC02465For most of my adult life, I thought of the words of Isaiah 40:7 as the words that I wanted to represent my life. That text says, “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” I wanted (and still do) to give my life to the wisdom of the Book of books.

But time changes perspective. I see something different in those words today. It wasn’t too long ago that I discovered that the New Testament seems to throw a different light on my “life verse”. The New Living Translation expresses Peter’s quoting of Isaiah like this: “…Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you” (1Peter 1:22-25).

The AD vs BC view of Isaiah’s words sounded so different to me in this “modern translation” that I started reading it in other translations. As I did, I became increasingly convinced that when the Bible speaks of the word of God, it isn’t always referring to “itself”.

DSC02301So I went back and read the Isaiah text again. As I read it over and over, it seemed clear that Isaiah was using the word of God in a mysterious Messianic sense. Verse 9 goes on to immediately say, “O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, “Your God is coming!” Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young” (Isa 40:9-11).

P1040374So I then started looking at the many times the New Testament refers to “the word.” As I did, I continued to come to the conclusion that New Testament writers often used “the word of God” to refer to either the message/Gospel of Christ, or to the Son of God directly.

Eventually I circled back to Peter and concluded that when he then went on to urge his readers to long for the “sincere milk of the word” (“pure spiritual milk”) (1Peter 2:2), he wasn’t just urging us to reflect on our Bibles. Seems to me now that he was was instead urging us to grow up into an experience of our salvation by making it a point long for a deeper and more personal understanding of the message and Good News of Christ (to which the whole story of Scripture leads).

P1030081Seeing the “word of God that lives and stands forever” as the long held Messianic mystery revealed— that our God would personally take the worst of our rebellion and then, after rising from the dead, offer to forgive us and bring us to his Father— has made the word of the Book of books a treasure far more priceless than I ever imagined.

Now, as some of you may have noticed, I’ve been trying in my own weak and near sighted ways, to see the meaning of no Scripture as an end in itself, but rather as a witness to the Savior and love that I, we, our neighbors, our home countries, and our world desperately need.


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87 Responses to “A Personal Word”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Matt has had his breakfast and is resting in his big chair reading over some of the things he has nearby to look at, I’m doing my second load of laundry with two more to go. I have already had my little visit with the husband and wife team that deliver the morning paper and while I have a few minutes before moving on into the next duty I am setting here at the computer with a cup of hot black coffee. This is when I finally have a little time to look at the news and look in on BTA.

    I mention these things because this is life, my life. And when I contemplate the higher things of life such as God and my place in it my thoughts can take on a long journey of things I have learned, things I am not sure of and things I hope.

    The subject of discussing the Bible cannot possibly be covered in one subject here nor in one commentary from me as “it” is too far reaching and in my learned observation “alive” as it is forever speaking to me in different ways and it is almost always very personal.

    John says that the “Word” became flesh, that the Word is God and that the Word is also Jesus of Nazareth. As I grew in learning it became clear who the “Trinity” is; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

    I am comfortable with this knowledge, yet there are other Christian groups who would argue with me concerning this one simple “Truth”.

    In discussing such matters with such groups their base argument springs from looking at things from the Bible in terms of their human experience and knowledge rather than from the “Person” who was able to create everything that exists out of nothing and is in all of what He created.

    We are “thrust” into life and must continue to struggle and toil our way through it. Not one of us it is said “ask” to be born, yet here we are and as a result we must endure life and all that it provides, with both happiness and heartache.

    In the process we strain to make sense of it all and in such a search we find answers written in a Book we call the “Book of Books” or the Bible.

    If we had ten thousand lifetimes we would continue to find new meaning and revelation from within the pages of the “written Word”, it all being very personal as well as all encompassing.

    The revelations we discover sometimes can be imparted on another and in too many cases remain a spiritual revelation unto ourselves.

    We can and should always share what we have learned, but like a seed it will have to either grow in the heart of those we share it with or wither and die, something we can never control.

    Curiously when I brought Matt home from the hospital that first year and while his mother was dying of cancer I kept a small journal of Bible verses that “shouted” out at me. Most came from Isaiah and Peter. All declaring who God is and where to put my trust in those first days of darkness in an uncertain life that lay in front of us.

    Like some of you I will be curious to se where this subject takes us.

    67, an overnight shower and cloudy skies this morning.

    Steve

  2. poohpity says:

    Mart, a couple of days ago I was confused about something I read in ODB which seemed to point us to thinking about the law as God seemed to lead the Israelite’s to do as in writing it on their door posts and to think on it day and night(BC) bringing that forward to AD. Which as I have experienced it to be the new command of believing in Jesus and treating others or loving others as you want to be treated or as I love you, a simple writing of the new command laws rather than the length of the OT but not done simplistically. Since I am not very good with writing what I mean it was not understood but it seems that what you are saying above has my meaning in it.

    You have brought up in the past about reading the book of books through the eyes, heart and mind of one who has accepted Christ and the difference that makes. I do not know because I doubt if I would have ever wanted to read it without having accepted Jesus in my heart but the discussions I have watched on DOD between those who had been brought up reading the OT without Jesus and the sense they found in it after accepting Christ, I was awe struck learning from their side. Very interesting thoughts again.

  3. jeff1 says:

    I think Steve that the difficulty for many believers, myself included, is the heartaches that we have to go through.

    I believe I struggle with an all loving God allowing suffering of any kind and not just to believers.

    I don’t know why it is such a stumbling block for me because my father brought me up with no illusions that following Christ meant having toil and troubles in this world and he has not been proved wrong.

    I believe to some extent I am a product of my time just as my Dad was his.

    My father went to war at 18 for no other reason than his parents had little money and he was one less mouth to feed.

    I think my father would tell you today that while he knew God was with him in his trials he had never expectations of life being easy and I believe it is because he was born into difficult times.

    I was born when life was much easier and so I have struggled more with difficult times than my father did.

    My father like so many from his day did adversity well and I have yet to meet too many like him because to my way of thinking he was of his time.

    I may see the world as not in a good place now but when I look at footage’s of history and wars from past I soon see that my perspective is just that “my perspective”.

    Between the ages of 18-25 my father had taken part in 8 Russian convoys and spent 2 years in the Palestine Police.

    I can recall my mother telling me how when the American soldiers came here how much better their Government looked after them compared to how Britain looked after their military.

    Change comes for the best because today families of soldiers are holding Governments accountable for sending them into wars and as a result Governments must ensure their war is justified.

    I believe there is good change and bad change and we must continue to discern where the hand of God is apparent.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I will share with you and all that read an actual occurrence of mine that Mart liked so well he put it in the Daily Bread journal several years ago.

    I had a dream and in this dream I am standing in this place that is all white everywhere but for the many people standing around and standing before me was a man whom I took to be the Lord. I ask him every “why” question I could come up with and He answered each one. Upon hearing the answers to each question it all made perfect sense completely satisfying and clearly reasonable. I was elated and so turned to tell my son Matthew the answers to all of his and my why questions, but when I turned to tell him I could not remember any of them.

    However it didn’t matter anymore that I remembered these answers only that I knew there are answers and that when I do finally get to remember them or hear them again, they will all make perfect sense once I am with the Lord again.

    I know only too well that my experience can’t give another that same sense of peace it did me. That for me it was healing and all I can say to those who can’t come to terms with so much bad things in life is that it may not be easy to trust God, but in that trust peace will come.

    On a personal note for all to read my wife Glenna is at the local hospital awaiting transport to a larger hospital in Morgantown for an emergency heart procedure. I would ask for your prayers for her and us while we go through yet another storm, expecting that silver lining after the storm clouds pass.

    Steve

  5. foreverblessed says:

    Prayers for your wife, and peace for you all.

    Thanks Mart for this topic, thanks very much!
    The eternal Word of God in us!
    The my Utmost for His Highest of today, July 14, is an excellent explanation of what Mart meant.

    Doing what Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, we cannot do it, but if Christ is in us, He will do it, the living Word in us

  6. phpatato says:

    Steve

    I will be keeping all of you in my prayers. Please keep us up-to-date if and when you find the time.

    Wish I lived closer to help out.

    Pat XO

  7. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I have had moments when I have understood that peace and in my heart I knew that I did not need to know all the answers because God was with me.

    It is keeping this peace that I find difficult because it is keeping my mind clear from the world around me that I struggle with.

    Thank you for sharing, because I believe to, that when I am with the Lord, all will make sense.

    I pray that all will be well with Glenna and your family and knowing that others care helps you get through another storm.

  8. poohpity says:

    Steve, my heart and prayers are with Glenna and the family. She is a dearly loved person.

  9. bubbles says:

    Just saw this. I will be praying for Glenna and you and Matt, Steve.

  10. street says:

    mart posted,”…urging us to grow up into an experience of our salvation by making it a point long for a deeper and more personal understanding of the message and Good News of Christ (to which the whole story of Scripture leads).”

    are you trying to say that effort in living in faithful obedience will bring a person into a deeper personal understanding and more abundant life? a life that will not pass away?

  11. street says:

    5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

    prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

  12. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Prayers going up for Glenna and the whole family, Steve. God is good and faithful. May His great love enfold her with assurance and calm. Blessings also upon her medical team in the hours to come.

    Glory to Jesus the Word standing in us — alive and in person.

    Maru

    17C and clear here with a steady breeze

  13. cbrown says:

    Steve, praying for Glenna,you and your family. Love in Christ

  14. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve.. I got word from Pat in regard to Glenna’s hospitalization. I am so sorry that you and Glenna are to endure yet another of life’s storms, but you are an amazing couple with an exceptionally close and beautiful relationship with the Lord and through it all you are Blessed with love, faith, and an upstanding character. I am praying for you, Matthew, and Glenna. Stay strong Steve.

    Pearl

  15. street says:

    some stories and verses that come to mind.

    first… 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

    11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

    next….14 And it will be said:

    “Build up, build up, prepare the road!
    Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
    15
    For this is what the high and exalted One says—
    he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
    “I live in a high and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
    to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
    16
    I will not accuse them forever,
    nor will I always be angry,
    for then they would faint away because of me—
    the very people I have created.
    17
    I was enraged by their sinful greed;
    I punished them, and hid my face in anger,
    yet they kept on in their willful ways.
    18
    I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
    I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
    19
    creating praise on their lips.
    Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
    says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
    20
    But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
    which cannot rest,
    whose waves cast up mire and mud.
    21
    “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

    mart, to be honest i am struggling with understanding this debt paul had for the gentiles and jews alike. the verse owe no man nothing but love comes to mind. i know i am no different than them. to have a reservoir of love that never runs out. another verse comes to mind of living with the strength and faith God has given to you. like you can not give what you do not have.

  16. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well in your lives! Mart your life verse is a beautiful and precious promise to those who have made Jesus the Lord of their life! Was reflecting on the pictures you shared for this blog topic…
    The pencils >>> the written Word of God – I pictured (in my mind) the Apostles Paul and Peter using the writing utensil of their day and writing such phenomenal letters to the church as the Holy Spirit gave them wisdom and divine revelation.
    The flowers >>> Their fleeting beauty contrasted with the eternal Word of the Lord.
    The Lambs >>> Their innocence and total dependence on their Shepherd contrasted with the Lamb of God (Jesus) who is also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah
    The Jewish man studying the Word >>> Jesus has a Jewish lineage/ancestry

    Further, your last paragraph…
    “Now, as some of you may have noticed, I’ve been trying in my own weak and near sighted ways, to see the meaning of no Scripture as an end in itself, but rather as a witness to the Savior and love that I, we, our neighbors, our home countries, and our world desperately need.”
    brought to mind the recent attack on humanity in Nice, France. Was wondering how many of those (innocent) people, who lost their lives, knew the Lord? Whenever something happens like that in another country, it makes the world seem much smaller… They love their families like we love ours, they strive to enjoy life just like we do, they love their country like we love ours, they feel pain, joy, sadness, love, hate just like we do… So, after pondering all of that, I came to understand, in a more meaningful way, that we all need JESUS!

    91 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    LOVE to all,
    Regina

  17. street says:

    thanks regina your comment on the pictures has given me a place to begin to process what mart is saying. i forgot he used the pics to springboard the lesson’s at hand. the pic of the sheep reminded me our Shepard is one of us. thinking we are a little insecure and bent when we fail to remember we are in His presents and in His hands at all times. in other words, as secure as the Thrown of God. yes mart, if we read Scripture and it does not lead us to Jesus we are missing the point.

  18. street says:

    erasers and and heroes come in handy. yet need grace every day to live before a Savior. Most Holy! calls us to be Holy.

  19. street says:

    personal word
    was out with a friend yesterday and we were talking over pizza. i said to him i wish i was as smart as i looked. of coarse i got a look from him and he smiled hard to keep from lol. i asked him to think about it. as i thought of what i said today i remember i was made in the image of God. yes our looks are fading fast. Jesus remains forever.

  20. jeff1 says:

    Looking at the news on the web site today and scientists through scientific facial mapping has chosen Amber Heard to be the world’s most beautiful face and I think to myself no wonder the younger generation need Jesus more each day.

    We live in a materialistic world where looks, money and power are all that matters and we should not be surprised at how we got here.

    As always God is with those who seek Him and I pray today that as the world gets darker more will seek Him because human nature being what it is I find God in the valley because when I am on the mountain I loose sight of who God really is.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    I would like to thank all of you who were concerned for my wife Glenna’s recent trip to the hospital and certainly for your heart felt prayers.

    I am very pleased to tell you that it turned out to be a false alarm as the specialists in Morgantown said that the test results she had obtained at our local hospital had been misinterpreted. They conducted their own tests including a catheterization and gave her a clean bill of health.

    She is now back at home recovering from a scare and the hospital stay.

    Once again thank all of you for your prayers and concerns.

    Steve

  22. cbrown says:

    Praise God!

  23. poohpity says:

    Praise God!

  24. poohpity says:

    Mart, I read Psalm 119 using word as in the Good News or for Jesus and it sure was eye opening.

    For instance;
    I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 The only way that we can do that is when we have the Holy Spirit and we can not have the Holy spirit unless we have believed in and placed our lives in Jesus’ hands which gives us the choice of which way to go. Psalm 119:81,89,105,107,114,130,147,160

  25. remarutho says:

    Thanks for the good report, Steve!

    I for one am ready for some encouraging news. World headlines, along with those at home, are alarming. Must mourn with the French people who, as you say Regina, are us. The families who have lost so much in a seemingly random act of insane violence are in my prayers today.

    The troubles of our human race make your quote all the more precious, Mart:

    “…Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you” (1Peter 1:22-2).

    Prayers going up that those whose earthly life ended suddenly Thursday night are now in Jesus’ personal presence. I entrust it all to Him, because His love and mercy are so great.

    Blessings,
    Maru

    13C and cloudy here

  26. joycemb says:

    Praise God Steve!!!

  27. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray you’re having a happy and productive Saturday. You’re welcome, street… Those thoughts/truths are what the Lord gave me as I pondered Mart’s intro comment… Reading the other comments on this blog topic right now.

    97 degrees and very hot in my neck of the woods…

    LOVE to all,
    Regina

  28. bubbles says:

    Thanking God things are ok with Glenna

  29. jeff1 says:

    The Legend of the Raindrop (Helen Steiner Rice)

    The legend of the raindrop
    Has a lesson for us all
    As it trembled in the heavens…
    Questioning whether it should fall-
    For the glistening raindrop argued
    To the genie of the day
    “I am beautiful and lovely
    As I sparkle here on high,
    And hanging here I will become
    Part of the rainbow’s hue
    And I’ll shimmer like a diamond
    For all the world to view”…
    But the genie told the raindrop,
    “Do not hesitate to go,
    For you will be more beautiful
    If you fall to earth below,
    For you will sink into the soil
    And be lost a while from sight,
    But when you reappear on earth,
    You’ll be looked on with delight;
    For you will be the raindrop
    That quenched the thirsty ground
    And helped the lovely flowers
    To blossom all around,
    And in your ressurection
    You’ll appear in queenly clothes
    With the beauty of the lily
    And the fragrance of the rose;
    Then,when you wilt and wither,
    You’ll become part of the earth
    And make the soil more fertile
    And give new flowers birth”…
    For there is nothing ever lost
    Or eternally neglected,
    For everything God ever made
    Is always resurrected;
    So trust God’s all-wise wisdom
    And doubt the Father never,
    For in His Heavenly Kingdom
    There is nothing lost forever

  30. joycemb says:

    Thanks Viv for the lovely poem and reminder that although we may feel lost on earth we are forevermore found in God’s Kingdom!

  31. street says:

    “Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
    For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.

    The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

    He saves me from the folly of man.

  32. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. Off topic…
    My Pastor was informed today while delivering his sermon that six (or seven) Police officers were shot in Louisiana… three died and three (or four) were hospitalized. So, we all prayed for the surviving officers and their families. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

    96 degrees and very hot in my neck of the woods…

    LOVE to all,
    Regina

  33. street says:

    knowing this love, understanding this love, and abiding/reciprocating this love is the chief end of God and hope of man. to be conformed to the image of Jesus.

  34. jeff1 says:

    I am glad Joyce you find my poem lovely because I find poetry and music such a comfort and inspiration to me and I like to fill my mind with it as it keeps out the bad thoughts and renews my mind with good ones.

    This is a beautiful song as again the words inspire and comfort and remind me who leads and who follows.

    I don’t know about tomorrow;
    I just live from day to day
    I don’t borrow from its sunshine
    For its skies may turn to grey.

    I don’t worry over the future,
    For I know what Jesus said
    And today I’ll walk beside Him,
    For He knows what is ahead.

    Many things about tomorrow
    I don’t seem to understand
    But I know who holds tomorrow
    And I know who holds my hand.

    Every step is getting brighter
    As the golden stairs I climb;
    Every burdens getting lighter,
    Every cloud is silver-lined.

    There the sun is always shining,
    There no fear will dim the eye;
    At the ending of the rainbow
    Where the mountains touch the sky.

    Many things about tomorrow
    I don’t seem to understand
    But I know who holds tomorrow
    And I know who holds my hand.

    I don’t know about tomorrow
    It may bring me poverty
    But the one who feeds the sparrow,
    Is the one who stands by me.

    And the path that is my portion
    May be through the flame or flood;
    But His presence goes before me
    And I’m covered with His blood.

    Many things about tomorrow
    I don’t seem to understand
    But I know who holds tomorrow
    And I know who holds my hand…

  35. SFDBWV says:

    “A Personal Word”

    As things here slowly begin to return to whatever normal is (as I have learned that normal changes with time) I have returned to give the subject some more thought.

    With regards to BTA all of what I write is very personal and I am sure with all others that write as well.

    If you consider that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one then as you read Scripture (The written Word) you are first reading what it is God had to say or report thousands of years ago. Amazingly it is a relevant to me today as it was to those to whom He first spoke to.

    The relevance in any Scripture comes as an awakening or revelation by way of Christ the Son of God who takes away the veil and uses what He said then to reveal something to me here and now. That I am now prepared to receive. Again it all being very personal.

    Another may not be yet ready to understand what has been revealed to me for my relationship with God, and that may be why some disagree so much over interpretation.

    As Mart expressed it is difficult to explain our thoughts as they are entwined with knowledge and emotion. But we do our best and let whatever it is we try to share be planted and leave it there.

    Referring back to earlier advice I was given and shared here; whatever it is you are looking for is what you will find.

    If your search is for Christ in the Bible in the text of the OT, you will find Him on every page.

    77 and sunny as I write. Glenna is asleep and Matt is about to get up to his bike. Life goes on today, tomorrow is another day whose script is yet known to me. I will trust it to God and leave it there.

    Steve

  36. joycemb says:

    So Mart, what you’re saying is you are seeing the Book more as a “How He Did It” as opposed to a “How I Find Him To Be” tome based on our individual perceptions, desires, and oftentimes prideful sense of “you must be wrong because I know I’m right”. Thanks for the thoughtful post. Hoping I can learn to quit trying to adjust people’s thinking and work more on my own as I seek Him for understanding.

  37. street says:

    joyemb posted,” based on our individual perceptions, desires, and oftentimes prideful sense of “you must be wrong because I know I’m right”.
    i think this is the thinking that tripped up job in his thinking. our thinkers are broken and unreliable.

    thinking about what peter was saying about growing up into salvation? in other words not using wood hay and stubble in our life like we did in the past. we have been give gold silver and precious stones to build and live by that will not pass away.

  38. jeff1 says:

    My father tried to tell me I was being self righteous but not in a “I know I’m right” for that was not his style.

    My father knew I had blinded myself but it was not until my enlightenment by the Holy Spirit did I take any notice and then I realized the righteousness of my father compared to the self righteousness of myself.

    I believe I am one of those people who has to learn the hard way while my father was by heritage a righteous man.

    My father knew the difference in right and wrong and he remained steadfast to that truth regardless of country, culture or class.

    I today know just how rare that kind of righteousness is and also that it is a God given gift and not man driven.

    Amazing Grace!
    How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me
    I once was lost but now am found,
    Was blind but now I see

    ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
    And grace my fears relieved
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed

    Through many dangers, toils and snares
    I have already come
    ‘Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far
    And Grace will lead me home

    The Lord has promised good to me
    His word my hope secures;
    He will my shield and portion be,
    As long as life endures

    Yet, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

    When we’ve been there ten thousand years
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’ve first begun

  39. poohpity says:

    Longing to be fed. Whether it is milk, bread or meat just being in a position of longing or desiring seems to be a very good place to be. When I consider how enormous our God is I realize that being open to receiving what God wants us to know about Him so we can live out our salvation we will never be able to. in our limited state, comprehend all of Him. The journey however is very sweet and very satisfying as we sit at His feet. He teaches each of us personally to benefit the many.

  40. joycemb says:

    “He teaches each of us personally to benefit the many.” Pooh that’s exactly the line of thinking I’m talking about. I’ve been challenged in my own heart to take my eyes off of what I think I can teach others to return thanks to God. Paul taught that in spite of himself the word of the Lord prospered. In returning praise to God for wisdom received from Him it takes our eyes off of ourselves and any praise we receive goes directly to Him.

  41. joycemb says:

    The Spirit of God is sweet, salty, and everything in between. As with Jesus. One and the Same Spirit. Sometimes as sweet as honey, other times like a two edged sword. Staying off the edge is vital to receive the good gifts given from Him, as you mentioned Street.

  42. jeff1 says:

    Who made the mountains?
    Who made the trees?
    Who made the rivers flow to the seas?
    And who sends the rain when the earth is dry?
    Somebody bigger than you and I
    Who made the flowers to bloom in the Spring?
    Who made the song for the robins to sing?
    And who hung the moon and the stars in the sky?
    Somebody bigger than you and I
    He lights the way when the road is long he keeps you company
    And with His love to guide He walks beside you just like He walks with me
    When I am weary filled with despair
    Who gives me courage to go from there?
    And who gives me faith that will never die?
    Somebody bigger than you and I
    Bigger than you and I…

  43. street says:

    joycemb posted,”“He teaches each of us personally to benefit the many.” Pooh that’s exactly the line of thinking I’m talking about. ”

    Matthew 21:13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

    John 10:8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them.

    Matthew 6:20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.

  44. street says:

    poo posted,”When I consider how enormous our God is I realize that being open to receiving what God wants us to know about Him so we can live out our salvation we will never be able to. in our limited state, comprehend all of Him.”

    i am not thinking,”God wants us to know about Him so we can live out our salvation,” i am thinking God is Salvation. if we are made in the image of God we should be able to understand what He reveals to us. yet there is no end to Him! yet One and true. paul talks about opening your heart to him, and the Old Testament calls to lift the gate, times 2 in order to receive. many can not receive because they are holding onto something else…….still working on pauls debt to jews and gentiles.

  45. jeff1 says:

    Life without purpose
    is barren indeed-
    There can’t be a harvest
    unless you plant seed,
    There can’t be attainment
    unless there’s a goal,
    And man’s but a robot
    unless there’s a soul…
    If we send no ships out,
    No ships will come in,
    And unless there’s a contest,
    nobody can win…
    For games can’t be won
    unless they are played,
    And prayers can’t be answered
    unless they are prayed…
    So whatever is wrong
    with your life today,
    You’ll find a solution
    If you kneel down and pray
    Not just for pleasure,
    enjoyment and health,
    Not just for honours
    and prestige and wealth…
    But pray for a purpose
    to make life worth living,
    And pray for the joy
    of unselfish giving,
    For great is your gladness
    And rich your reward
    When you make your life’s purpose
    the choice of the Lord.

  46. street says:

    12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

    14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

    16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

    17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

  47. street says:

    Romans 13:8
    [ Love Fulfills the Law ] Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

  48. jeff1 says:

    God’s love is so beyond man’s love and the nearest thing to God’s love is parental love and as God intended maternal love.

    Christ is the fulfillment of God’s love.

    I cannot out do God’s love for Christ’s death and ressurection would not have been necessary if I could.

    A Mother’s love is something
    that no one can explain,
    It is made of deep devotion
    and of sacrifice and pain,
    It is endless and unselfish
    and enduring come what may
    For nothing can destroy it
    or take that love away…
    It is patient and forgiving
    when all others are forsaking,
    And it never fails or falters
    even though the heart is breaking…
    It believes beyond believing
    when the world around condemns,
    And it grows with all the beauty
    of the rarest, brightest gems…
    It is far beyond defining,
    it defiles all explanation,
    And it still remains a secret
    like the mysteries of creation…
    A many splendid miracle
    man cannot understand
    And another wondrous evidence
    of God’s tender guiding hand.

    The only question I ask myself today is did ‘Christ’ need to die for ‘me’ and if the answer is ‘Yes’ then I put Him on the ‘Cross’ with the Romans and the Jews.

    There is no ‘BUT’S’.

    It is God’s love I am seeking because I will not find love equal to God’s until deliverance to His eternal Kingdom.

  49. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Agreeing over here, Mart, that the written word (the Bible) reveals the Personal Word (Jesus Messiah). You concluded your post this way:

    “Now, as some of you may have noticed, I’ve been trying in my own weak and near sighted ways, to see the meaning of no Scripture as an end in itself, but rather as a witness to the Savior and love that I, we, our neighbors, our home countries, and our world desperately need.”

    It seems to me in Scripture we read and experience the story of God forming a people for Himself. When we do, we cover actual ground and actual events that have happened concretely. The Bible is at once a record and an inspiration.

    We are also transformed in our heart, mind and spirit by faith, so that we are enfolded in the people of God — as we encounter the Person who is able to bring us into the presence of the Almighty.

    At the moment of Jesus’ resurrection (an actual event in history), the meaning of the centuries-long journey of God and God’s people was/is/will be revealed.

    The working of the Word cannot be analyzed away — and we may not relegate the Book of books to another dust-gatherer in the library. For example, teachers and preachers get lost in a philosophical mess when they put the Bible aside.

    Blessings,
    Maru

    14C and cloudy here. Forecast to reach 27C today.

  50. poohpity says:

    Jesus allowed Himself to be put on the Cross because sinners hide from God and He wanted to have a relationship with us and without sin being the problem any longer because it is covered we can come to Him freely. That is what He came for. That is part of living out our salvation is learning all we can about our salvation and the One who gave it to us. Phil 2:12-16 NIV

  51. street says:

    maru posted,”At the moment of Jesus’ resurrection (an actual event in history), the meaning of the centuries-long journey of God and God’s people was/is/will be revealed.”

    thinking the meaning the resurrection was/is/will be the reversal of sin death and curse. first fruit and more to come.

    “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”

    John 13:8
    “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

  52. joycemb says:

    “It is finished” are the sweetest words in scripture!

  53. street says:

    Seems to me now that he was was instead urging us to grow up into an experience of our salvation by making it a point long for a deeper and more personal understanding of the message and Good News of Christ (to which the whole story of Scripture leads).

    learning to live by the Spirit. longing for righteousness. strengthen by the Spirit to live a life of holiness robbing the devil of defiled flesh to honor God. to share in passion of obedience and suffering, to share in His Triumph. to know God in the wilderness and the rest of the ages.

  54. street says:

    joycemb i believe He is finished we are just a heart beat away from being finished here.

  55. joycemb says:

    He finished “IT”, didn’t He. We’ve only just begun to experience the fullness of “IT”.

  56. joycemb says:

    Yahoo!

  57. jeff1 says:

    There is a green hill far away,
    outside a city wall,
    where our dear Lord was crucified
    who died to save us all.

    We may not know, we cannot tell,
    what pains He had to bear,
    but we believe it was for us
    He hung and suffered there.

    He died that we might be forgiven,
    He died to make us good,
    That we might go at last to Heaven,
    saved by His precious blood.

    There was no other good enough
    to pay the price of sin,
    He only could unlock the gate
    of Heaven and let us in.

    O dearly, dearly has He loved!
    and we must love Him too,
    and trust in His redeeming blood,
    and try His works to do.

  58. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking the past couple days about the condition of the world around us. Mart’s last words in this subject was;” but rather as a witness to a Savior that I, we, our neighbors, our home countries, and our world desperately need.”

    So!

    Every day now we read or see some outrageous event going on that seems surreal and political pundits awash on the news telling us “something has to change” in order to get us “healed” as a people.

    Clearly there is an absence of “morality” and “common sense”. And while I believe there are plenty of good leadership available, it is that lack of morality and common sense in the majority of people that won’t elect them or place them in leadership roles, rather it is the opposite that people want and get.

    The rise of the “anti-christ” is upon us as people look for leadership that will heal all ills and restore “order” in the world.

    It is the work of demonic forces that are ripping apart the world and the goal of Satan to show that peace and order can come with the strong arm of tyranny instead of the purity of a resurrected heart within each man through Jesus Christ.

    The anti-christ will restore order, but it comes with a heavy price and is false.

    Indeed Mart has reason to be concerned for our world, for the end is also explained there within the pages of the “Book of Books” and it is indeed a “great and terrible day”.

    It was 46.5 degrees this morning as I could see my breath in the early morning air. I thought of how many of you would love to feel that cool kiss of mountain air this morning as did I, and wished I could send some your way.

    Steve

  59. street says:

    Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

  60. jeff1 says:

    The state of the world today is proof that all that was prophised in the bible is coming to fruition but ‘Jesus’ has overcome the world and the evil that is in it.

    In a secular world it is becoming much more difficult to see the hand of God but there is no mistake that it is still there.

    It is our portion to live in the end times but the God who was with our forefathers is still with us because God does not make promises and not keep them.

    I have wandered from God so many times that I do not always know He is leading me and equally I have been so weak of mind and spirit that I also know He carried me.

    Jeremiah 20:11

    But the Lord is with me like a dread champion;
    Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
    They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed, With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.

    I have failed God enough times mostly sins of ommision but it still remains a ‘thorn in my side’ because my greatest fear in life is that I will fail God.

  61. poohpity says:

    There has never been a person who has not failed God. God knew that, that is why His grace is so amazing. That is what makes knowing God and the “Good News/Gospel” sooooo important.

  62. joycemb says:

    I don’t think God’s intention is that we live in fear of what’s going on around us now or what may come depending on how we interpret the “end times” senario from scripture, in fact, how we interpret it has a lot to do with our peacefulness in the here and now. I think Mart is really on to something and I like it.

  63. joycemb says:

    Viv I think God expects from us nothing more than to believe in Him and the atonement then whatever He wants us to do He will provide the way and the means. Those who attempt great things for God are sometimes disappointed. But I think you mean just in your daily living you fail, correct? We are all wounded and weak in one way or another. Being perfect just can’t happen, only He is perfect. All our striving or just living even is precious to Him, because we are just that precious to Him. Sometimes I just sit on the ashheap of my life like Job did and just smile, because no matter my circumstances I know Gods got this. Our Blessed Benefactor is He.

  64. foreverblessed says:

    If we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, we are OK, we have everything we need.!

    I so like the morning meditation of Spurgeon of January 27,
    it has everything to do with the topic of Mart, The Living Word living in us, is forever, we fail, but He never fails.Keep looking in faith up to Him!

    “”And of his fulness have all we received.”
    John 1:16

    These words tell us that there is a fulness in Christ. There is a fulness of essential Deity, for “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead.” There is a fulness of perfect manhood, for in him, bodily, that Godhead was revealed. There is a fulness of atoning efficacy in his blood, for “the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” There is a fulness of justifying righteousness in his life, for “there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” There is a fulness of divine prevalence in his plea, for “He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” There is a fulness of victory in his death, for through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil. There is a fulness of efficacy in his resurrection from the dead, for by it “we are begotten again unto a lively hope.” There is a fulness of triumph in his ascension, for “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and received gifts for men.” There is a fulness of blessings of every sort and shape; a fulness of grace to pardon, of grace to regenerate, of grace to sanctify, of grace to preserve, and of grace to perfect. There is a fulness at all times; a fulness of comfort in affliction; a fulness of guidance in prosperity. A fulness of every divine attribute, of wisdom, of power, of love; a fulness which it were impossible to survey, much less to explore. “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Oh, what a fulness must this be of which all receive! Fulness, indeed, must there be when the stream is always flowing, and yet the well springs up as free, as rich, as full as ever. Come, believer, and get all thy need supplied; ask largely, and thou shalt receive largely, for this “fulness” is inexhaustible, and is treasured up where all the needy may reach it, even in Jesus, Immanuel–God with us.”

  65. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, I do mean in my daily living and having wrong thoughts, wrong attitude and critical spirit. All these I wrestle and stumble with.

    I get annoyed and angry with myself when I think I am making progress but someone makes a comment and I realize that I have not grown or their comments would not bother me.

    I do not get angry with others but with my own inability to rise above comments when I do know better.

    It is about ‘me’ knowing I should get out of God’s way but putting my mouth into gear before my brain.

    My father was a very different nature to me as I am more like my mother and she was very ‘volatile’.

    I need the calm and peace but sustaining it is what I find difficult.

    What you have wrote forever is so true so why do I struggle so much remaining at peace with Him?

  66. joycemb says:

    Viv just yesterday I was having a very nice visit with friends when out out my mouth came something my dad would have said and I could tell immediately by their faces it was not good. On the way home I thought of it and couldn’t believe I said it, as it’s not really like me at all, now. I felt so mad at myself and gave myself a good scolding for not thinking first about my comment before I said it. But then I thought about Gods grace toward me and my dad and feeling hope I was at peace with myself again, and will apologize when I see them again. I know they will say it’s no big deal, however I need to do it to feel clean again on the outside, if you know what I mean. Grace is the most awesome thing as pooh said.

  67. jeff1 says:

    I think that is why I love to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ because it gives me a peace and contentment.

    The words to it are splendid and are as poignant today because I regret so much when I realize I have not behaved Godly towards others.

  68. joycemb says:

    That’s great Viv, we must remember to extend that same grace to ourselves as well, as the song goes.

  69. street says:

    jeff said,”What you have wrote forever is so true so why do I struggle so much remaining at peace with Him?”

    thinking you are learning to Love Him.

    learning to love is the beginning of death of self.

    paul talked about being crucified with Christ, 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

    paul got to the past tense of taking up the cross, thinking we need to get there too. living by faith puts Christ into the believer. looking for a constant stream of light water love and a passing of darkness.

  70. jeff1 says:

    Sung by Elvis and the words tell us patience and endurance is required to live a life of faith.

    Tempted and tried we’re oft’ made to wonder
    Why it should be thus all the day long
    While there are others living about us
    Never molested, though in the wrong

    Farther along we’ll know more about it
    Farther along we’ll understand why
    Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
    We’ll understand it all by and by

    When death has come and taken our loved ones
    Leaving our homes so lonely and drear
    Then do we wonder how others prosper
    Living so wicked year after year

    Farther along we’ll know more about it
    Farther along we’ll understand why
    Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
    We’ll understand it all by and by

  71. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff. That song sounds like a paraphrase of Psalm 37:7

    I have heard the explanation somewhere that God works on those He has chosen (first), the peace of marble He has chosen, He works on, He chissles and cuts, and the peace He has not (yet) chose He leaves alone.
    The whole of Psalm 37 is beautifull!

  72. foreverblessed says:

    Actually, on second thoughts, Psalm 37 is about Isaiah 40:7, Mart’s topic:
    Psalm 37:1-2,3-6,39-40

  73. poohpity says:

    I wonder if God has not chosen all people of the earth to know Him but knew in advance those who would come to Him and those who make a choice not to. So it would come down to He has chosen us but left our free will and the open door to chose Him. God being all knowing knew who would come to Him from the beginning of time He knew our names.

    Sadly many do not desire to know God they are satisfied with knowing about God and receiving spiritual milk never digging into the meat. A superficial relationship rather than a deep intimate personal knowing. God knows!

  74. joycemb says:

    Just wondering Pooh, what guidelines do you use to judge whether a person has a “superficial” or a “deep, intimate knowing” of God?

  75. joycemb says:

    Are you aware that having a “personal” relationship with God is a 20th century construct created in the US? This is mostly unknown in European countries. So am thinking has our knowledge of God increased over centuries of “knowing”, or have we found a more ego-centric form of faith walking?

    This has been on my mind since knowing others here- Forever, Viv, Lovely (haven’t heard from for a while), and wondering how I come across to other Christians and could I learn more about God through those who worship differently without judgement or criticism even.

  76. jeff1 says:

    A deep intimate knowing of God comes from seeking the truth and not what I believe to be the truth.

    It is painful if you are a wanderer and stray from God.

    It is my past misguided beliefs/sins that separate me from God and it is knowing I am forgiven leads me to seek Him.

    It is in my mind there is the greatest battle and why weakness of mind can mean a difficult transformation.

    It is knowing that God will remain faithful in life and death as it is God whose forgiveness of our sins has given us life eternal that sustains me in my difficulties.

    When your weary, feeling small
    When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all(all)
    I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
    And friends can’t be found
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    When you’re down and out
    When you’re on the street
    When evening falls so hard
    I will comfort you (ooo)
    I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
    And pain is all around
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    Sail on silver girl
    Sail on by
    Your time has come to shine
    All your dreams are on their way
    See how they shine
    Oh, if you need a friend
    I’m sailing right behind
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind

  77. joycemb says:

    Our Daily Bread states, “YOUR TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST BEGINS AN EVERLASTING PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD”.

    Are there degrees of trusting? I don’t think so, but growing in knowledge of Jesus is a lifelong process, I think, and hope I won’t be judged or judge others for their faith-walk.

  78. street says:

    judgment and Love
    joycemb thinking of what you said about judging. it’s not that we are are not to judge but we are to do it correctly. thing is we do it so poorly. thinking of the verse that said it was not sacrifice I wanted but Mercy. God gave Mercy through the whole Old Testament. thinking of the mercy naaman received and the judgment against Jesus in nazareth. many are called few are chosen gives me chills. thinking of the flood, only 8. yet anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, now that is mercy.

  79. joycemb says:

    Your right I think it says somewhere that we judge ourselves when we deny Him. That’s scary too. All our scrapes and falls in our journey of learning to love and be loved seem to be part of the process, as Viv points out.

  80. poohpity says:

    One can find many things about people and their relationship with God when one takes the time to listen and share honestly with others.

  81. poohpity says:

    Did Adam and Eve have a personal relationship with God? How about Noah, Abraham, David, Elijah or any other prophet that heard and talked with God? The whole Bible is filled with people who had a personal relationship with God so it not just a 20th Century construct it has been something God has wanted with His creation since the beginning of time as we know it and then further shown in Jesus and what He did so that that could happen.

  82. cbrown says:

    The personal relationship a Christ follower has is completed in Christ’s Spirit.I was going to list all the references to this relationship but there were to many so here is one, John Chapter 14 and especially verse 25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

  83. jeff1 says:

    I have to say that I was not raised on having a personal relationship with God but on keeping God’s laws and it has taken me a lifetime of failure to get to the truth that my sins are forgiven even if I fail to keep His commands.

    The wrath of God is often taught more than the forgiveness of God and it is why I battle with guilt.

    Many are more focused on justice than mercy as evil in society creates a desire for it.

    The truth is in a secular world not all in authority behave justly and that muddies the water for those who do behave justly.

    The older I get the more alien this world becomes as I try to hold on to the christian values I was taught.

    As the song says this world is not my home I am just a passing through.

  84. street says:

    The older I get the more alien this world becomes as I try to hold on to the christian values I was taught.

    just hold on to Jesus, Logos, everything else will be made new. He has a way of turning what we have been taught upside down. pure milk of the word.

  85. joycemb says:

    Having a “personal relationship ” began with evangelicalism. There is so much involved here and I know my Bible as well as most. Just thinking about the rest of the world and its interpretation of scripture that’s all.

    Chris and pooh I know you are both evangelists so understand your function. I’m not trying to start a war just discussing how we think about our Christian Faith in relation to the rest of the world.

    Jesus and I had a great day listening and encouraging some of my neighbors today :-)

  86. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, you are astute, because in a secular world you have to consider how other followers interpretate or like myself choose to not interpretate.

    I have said before I have listened to ‘Day of Discovery’ and believe these men seek the truth of scripture but there are still those who like Jonah want God to be a God of wrath.

    Why do I know this, because I struggle with it, like Jonah did, as I cannot change my history but I can learn from it. Jonah was wrong, and I have learned from Jonah to be careful what I wish for.

    Other people can teach us and my father spent 7 years of his life at war and I never met a man so desiring of peace because he saw the horrors of war personally.

    I am thankful that the future is in God’s hands and those like my father who desire it because I do not want God to do ‘my will’ because I have seen too much of bitterness and hatred and I might make the wrong choice.

    I do not say to you I need ‘forgiveness’ as much as my enemies if I do not believe it.

    I wander from God today as I have in the past, but I trust God to deliver me, because having failed to keep His commands, it is ‘believing His promise’ and I take refuge in ‘Christ’ whom God sent to be my refuge and my hope not only for ‘myself’ but for ‘a world’ that ‘He’ died for.

    It is ‘Jesus’ who transcends time while I am a product of mine.

    Be Thou My Vision

    Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
    Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art
    Thou by best thought by day or by night
    Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

    Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
    I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
    Thou my great Father, I thy true son
    Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

    High King of Heaven my victory won
    May I reach heaven’s joys, oh bright heaven’s
    sun
    Heart of my own heart whatever befall
    Still be my vision, oh Ruler of all

    Thou and Thou only first in my heart
    High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art

  87. poohpity says:

    It has very little with how well we know our bibles it has more to do with how well we personally know our Savior and are excited to share all that He has done in our lives. In the bible however we see that most who were touched by the Master could not wait to share or in other words evangelize. It seems people usually do not share cause they really do not know what the Good News is or have a relationship with Him or feel they will be rejected. Sharing the Gospel can be done with more than just words but the most telling part is in the actions and behaviors.

    Read what Viv writes she shares the Gospel and I bet she really does not see that, she is though just by telling her story of the hope she has in Jesus Christ.

    The great commission was given to all those who follow Jesus. Go and make!

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