I Was Possessed

The brisk and windy autumn day lifted the leaves into the air signifying that Halloween was only a few days away. The leaves swirled and formed what looked like arms and hands reaching towards the stars. I pulled my jacket a little closer around my neck as we continued walking to church with only the moon lighting the night. I had been praying most of the day between all of my household chores for my friend to get better. Tori’s heart was enlarged and her cardiologist feared that she could die of a heart attack any moment. It was a frightful revelation for her family and friends. Determined we trudged on as the dim light of the church piloted us forward. Arriving, I reached into my pocket and pulled out my key. The church was plunged in blackness. Unlocking the door I reached in and flipped on the entry way light.  We headed for the sanctuary. I opened the doors and switched on the pulpit lights leaving the rest of the lights off. A soft warm hue cast its shadow over the pews. Walking down the middle isle we choose a pew and sat down. Quietly I opened my bible and read a short bible verse on how to pray for healing.

James 5:16: “So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed.  The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect.”

We followed the verse completely confessing our sins to each other. Diligently we began to pray pleading for a miracle from Jesus Christ to save Tori’s life. Within moments I felt my body begin to shake and I felt a trembling vibrating me on the inside… I was possessed! I didn’t feel bad, but I defiantly felt different.  A surge of power leapt from my insides and ignited my hands turning them red and hot. I didn’t understand why this was happening to me? Yet, I was unafraid!  Gently I moved my hands over Tori’s heart and her heart condition improved! I was amazed, but I didn’t understand completely what had happened.

We had come to church to pray for a miracle, but much more transpired. I knew that for the first time in my life I had encountered the Holy Spirit. I was possessed! What was this awesome feeling I was experiencing? I felt transformed!

All my life I had been taught that when you are baptized you received the Holy Spirit. But now I knew this was not true! I was changed and turned into a different person. The Spirit inside of me began to tell me that I was blessed, because I was given the privilege to know God’s will for my life.

‘Wow’ I needed to know more and so I quickly found scriptures that lead me to understand the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. I learned how God talks to people. I learned how the Spirit works in a person’s life.

Hebrews 8:10-12: “Now, this is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel in the days to come, says the Lord:  I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  None of them will have to teach his fellow citizen or tell his fellow countryman, ‘Know the Lord.’  For they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and will no longer remember their wrongs.”

My possession completely changed my outlook on life. I didn’t want to live the Christian life as I had been taught by people. Now I wanted to live God’s will for my life. I did this by listening closely to the voice of God within my being. Before my baptism in the Spirit I loved and served a God that demanded complete obedience for my sins or I would be condemned to hell.  Now I followed a God that was personally involved in my life and loved me for who He made me to become. Now my life had a God purpose. Up until now I believed that my life was about being a good wife and mother. But when the Spirit began to instruct me in God’s ways everything changed.

Ephesians 3:16-19: “I ask God from the wealth of His glory to give you power through His Spirit to be strong in your inner selves, and I pray that Christ will make His home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, so that you, together with all God’s people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep is Christ’s love. Yes, may you come to know His love-although it can never be fully known-and so be completely filled with the very nature of God.”

Immediately the world I knew began to change as I started to grow in the knowledge taught to me by the Holy Spirit. I began to love people unconditionally because the Holy Spirit filled me with love.  Unfortunately my fellow church members were locked into a religious way of worship that demanded the approval of men. They didn’t want the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit that demanded they live by faith. They needed rules and regulations because this gave them control. This way they could control the people who chose to worship god with them. They took away my church keys and asked me to leave the church. My marriage fell apart and my parents turned their back on me. They claimed I had changed and I would no longer follow how they believed you were supposed to worship God.

I had changed because now I was possessed by the Holy Spirit. I felt a supernatural strength fill my being and make me strong in my inner self so I would stand up to those who used God to manipulate people to do their will.  Even though the world I once knew began to crumble the love of God filled my heart and helped me to not give up. I didn’t understand why following Jesus Christ as my Savior made those around me persecute me? But I received something I never knew existed before; it was a knowledge that taught me about the world.

2 Corinthians 3: 18: “All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into his likeness in an ever greater degree of glory.”

Very soon the veil of darkness lifted and I saw the purpose behind the corruptness of the world. I began to understand why there was so much hatred and violence. Why people suffered from losing a loved one from diseases. I even understood why death plagued the world. My knowledge of the world changed the way I prayed for my loved ones. It changed how I lived my life. The knowledge the Holy Spirit taught me transformed me into a better person who loved people just like Christ.

I was possessed by the Holy Spirit. I no longer chose to do what others said was right, instead I chose to be transformed within. My possession taught me about love. The Holy Spirit taught me why Jesus came to save people. When we place our faith in Jesus we are changed into different people who love. Jesus’ mark of ownership is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is our constant companion and our guide. The Spirit helps us when we are suffering and in trouble. Ask God to possess you today. Surrender your life and allow the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to possess you and teach you God’s will for your life!

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Why Is My Teenager Angry

I want to Know My Future “Caleb it’s time to take out the trash.”  The fight following that simple request was like a tornado ramming into the house and taking off the roof. Screams erupted and before I could back out of his room we were in a shouting match over a chore that would have taken less than two minutes if he had just paused his game long enough to get it done.

I could feel my anger over his attitude elevating my blood pressure and forcing me to stand my ground over the principle of being respected as his parent.  Before long I felt I had no choice but to threaten to remove his Xbox from his room if he didn’t do what I told him.  Caleb in anger rammed his fist through the bedroom wall in defiance while running down the stairs to take out the small bag of trash.

I could feel tears welling up in my eyes at yet another explosion.  What happened to my sweet little boy who would run to help me put away the dishes?  Ever since he turned thirteen every time I asked him to pick up his room or brush his teeth it was like World War III!

Most parents do not understand that a very important spiritual law enters into the life of teenagers at the age of twelve for girls and thirteen for boys.  This is the age of accountability.  This means that when your children turn into teenagers they don’t only have to adjust to their changing bodies, but they also must begin the lessons of discerning the differences between right and wrong.

When Adam and Eve ate the apple they ended the perfection of God’s once perfect earth and turned our world into a battlefield between good and bad.  This is when Satan entered into the world and became the voice of evil within the minds of men.

Genesis 3:7a, “As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding.”

 

Understanding can only be achieved by being presented with opposites.  Gaining this wisdom can only be realized when people have freewill to decide for themselves what they are going to do.  In the story of Cain and Abel, we see that Cain chose to kill his brother out of jealousy.  Before the death of his brother, Abel; God came to Cain and told him, he was wrong.

Genesis 4: 7, “If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling; but because you have done evil, sin is crouching at your door.  It wants to rule you, but you must overcome it.”

The first thing that all teenagers struggle with is their emotions.  They feel deeply about everything.  Cain let his emotions take over his ability to control his feelings and he killed Abel. I realize this is an extreme example of bad behavior, but it also reveals the beginning of God’s plan to take the imperfection of the world and use it to teach people.  Read Genesis 4: 8-15 and you will see that God gave out a punishment fitting the crime that Cain committed.  It is an example to all people what will happen when you allow your emotions to take over your ability to reasonably react to a problem in life.

Cain and Abel’s story teaches everyone that if you choose wrong then your life will get harder.  It explains how important it is to have self-control in a world where one wrong decision can change the entire course of your life. This is the reason why it is so important for parents to teach their children about godly principles.  When we have God on our side then we know the difference between right and wrong.  The Bible is our guidebook, it gives hundreds of stories and examples of how our emotions can lead us to murder, commit adultery, steal, drink in excess, and carouse with the wrong people.

Knowing God’s laws are important, but there is something else that is even more important.  Our world is surrounded by an unseen spiritual world that interacts with this world.  Demon spirits have the ability to influence our thinking and manipulate us into doing Satan’s will.

Ephesians 6: 10-12, “Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power.  Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks.  For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.”

Paul’s solution to this problem is by emphatically telling us in Ephesians 6:18,that our only recourse against evil is to be consistent in prayer.  As parents we must teach our children to pray and we must pray for them!

Jesus’ gave a simple prayer to His disciples when they asked Him to teach them how to pray.  Read Matthew 6:9-13, and pay attention to the last part of the Lord’s Prayer!

Matthew 6: 13, “Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.”

When you are part of a teaching world then you will be tested.  Teenagers will be tested by their emotions with their families, friends and schools.  Parents will be tested on how they react to their teenagers.  The only way we can be patient with our teenagers is by being aware of how the spiritual world that surrounds our lives works.

Ephesians 6: 4, “Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry.  Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction.”

It is very important for parents to act in maturity.  We must not give into anger and use words that are judgmental and condescending.  We must listen to what they are saying and work with them.  At the same time be consistent with chores.  Always be encouraging because as parents we understand what our children are going through because we were once teenagers just like them.  Draw upon those memories and you will be the parent they need when they fail to do what is right.

Explosions from teenagers are rarely about how a parent is treating them.  It is an accumulation of everything they are facing in their lives.  If they are having difficulties in school they will take it out on their families. If they are being bullied or their friends have turned against them they will bring it home and take it out on their parents. You are their sounding board and unfortunately you are also the one they express their frustration with. To be a good parent is to not hold everything your child has done wrong against them.  Talk to them when they are reasonable and always with confirmation that you will always love them no matter what.

Our world is filled with teenage runaways because parents were unable to reach compromises with their children. Many teenagers have even been put out of their houses because their parents don’t know how to get through to them.

Christians should react differently with their teenagers, from how the people who don’t have God in their lives respond.  They should love always and be patient most of all because they remember what it was like to be their age.

Caleb sat in his room waiting for my reaction to his newest hole he put in his bedroom wall.  I walked into the room and told him I loved him.  I explained when I handed him the plaster, that it was his responsibility to fix his mess.  Caleb nodded his head in agreement and apologized for his explosion. After a few minutes of talking he explained how he was having difficulties in one of his classes at school.  Quickly the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to why he had over reacted to the trash.  It was never about the chore it was about his frustration at school.

Quietly, I told him to get his book and together we would figure it out.  Relief spread over his face and suddenly what had once been an uncomfortable nightmare of explosive emotions turned into a bonding time bringing us closer together. By the time evening arrived we had conquered the problem and once again I had my loving boy back.

 

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My Spirit Guide

I Want to Know My Future   When Samuel was three years old his grandmother read him the story of Samuel the prophet in the Bible.  He loved the scriptures about Samuel’s life so much he asked her to read it to him every time he spent the night at her house. When he graduated from preschool all of the children were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up.  Samuel boldly stated that he was going to be a prophet.  He had taken the story of Samuel in the Bible and made it his very own.  Today Samuel is able to read the bible on his own. Sometimes when he reads he doesn’t understand the stories.  When this happens he prays for help from God. God sends the Holy Spirit to teach him the true meaning behind the story.

1 Corinthians 2: 10-12, “But it was to us that God made known his secret by means of his Spirit. The Spirit searches everything, even the hidden depths of God’s purposes.  It is only a person’s own Spirit within him that knows all about him: in the same way, only God’s Spirit knows all about God.  We have not received this world’s spirit: instead, we have received the Spirit sent by God, so that we may know all that God has given us.”

When Samuel prays for guidance the Holy Spirit inspires and helps him to understand the bible and how to apply it to his everyday life.  Today he chose to read about Cain and Abel.

Genesis 4: 2b-6, “Abel became a shepherd, but Cain was a farmer.  After some time Cain brought some of his harvest and gave it as an offering to the Lord. Then Abel brought the first lamb born to one of his sheep, killed it, and gave the best parts of it as an offering.  The Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering, but he rejected Cain and his offering.  Cain became furious, and he scowled in anger.’”

“Holy Spirit,” Samuel whispered.  “Why was Cain angry at God?” At once the Holy Spirit opened Samuel’s mind so he could understand what he read. “Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted because he didn’t give the best of his harvest,” replied the Holy Spirit in a whisper that only Samuel could hear. “Cain didn’t care about God or his brother.  Abel gave out of love and a genuine commitment to following God. Abel wanted to honor God by giving the first born lamb instead of giving the third or the forth offspring from his animal. Cain gave what was left over out of obligation to God, but Abel gave the very best because he loved God and he wanted to follow the Lord’s teachings in all he did.”

Hebrews 11:4: “It was faith that made Abel offer to God a better sacrifice than Cain’s.  Through his faith he won God’s approval as a righteous man, because God himself approved of his gifts.  By means of his faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”

Samuel wanted to be a good Christian. He wanted to show his love for God by reading the Bible.  He didn’t want to sin. He wanted to do what was right. He prayed that he would be strong enough to resist sin in his own life. He continued to read. The muscle in Cain’s back tensed as he picked up a large boulder and smashed it with all his strength into his brother.  A shocked look of disbelief appeared on Abel’s face as blood gushed from the large opening in his head. A shiver of regret sent a sudden flow of words racing through Cain’s mind. “What have I done?” His rage had subsided but now he could see what his jealous anger had done. Abel was dead! Immediately he grabbed a shovel from his gardening tools and started digging a hole in the ground to cover up the evidence of his crime. The sweat was pouring off his forehead and his shirt was wet as he heaved another shovel of dirt upon the gray lifeless form of Abel.

Cain was afraid and tried to hide.  But Abel’s blood and the dirt from covering up his body still clung to his clothes. He had tried to wash himself clean from Abel’s blood, but it could not be done. He had sinned by murdering his brother and his conscience declared him guilty.

Genesis 4:6&7: “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry?  Why that scowl on your face?  If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling; but because you have done evil, sin is crouching at your door.  It wants to rule you, but you must overcome it.’”

Samuel knew that murder was sin. He didn’t need the Holy Spirit to tell him that it was wrong. “How do you master sin, Holy Spirit?” Why does it want to rule over me?”

The Holy Spirit explained. “The people of this world live in a teaching world.  Everyone must learn from what they experience in life the difference between what is right and what is wrong. God teaches people by giving them two examples.  When Cain was tested over the offering he gave God he became jealous and killed Abel.  Murder is sin.  When sin controls your life it becomes your master.”

Genesis 4: 10-12: “Then the Lord said, ‘Why have you done this terrible thing?  Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground, like a voice calling for revenge.  You are placed under a curse and can no longer farm the soil.  It has soaked up your brother’s blood as if it had opened its mouth to receive it when you killed him.  If you try to grow crops, the soil will not produce anything; you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.’”

“Sin separates you from God.  Sin has consequences. Because Cain killed his brother his love for the soil was taken away. Instead of repenting for what he did and learning from his mistake he chose to rebel against God. He left the land of his birth and built a city.” The Holy Spirit continues to teach Samuel about the consequences of sin.

Genesis 4: 16&17: “And Cain went away from the Lord’s presence and lived in a land called ‘Wandering,’ which is east of Eden.  Cain and his wife had a son and named him Enoch.  Then Cain built a city and named it after his son.”

The Holy Spirit opened Samuel’s mind and helped him to understand the ramifications of Cain’s actions.  “We live in a world where people are given the ability to make their own choices.  Cain decided to live his life independent from God.  That is the reason why he built a city. Sin is not following God. When he chose to be unchanged from killing his brother he revealed his heart.  His only desire is for himself. This is the reason why he built a city and called it after his son.  He would make the earth his only home.  He wanted no part of God or the reward of heaven. Sin had become the master of his life.

Samuel loved the teachings he received from his Spirit guide. He wished all people would listen to God and learn the things he did. “My Spirit Guide is available all the time. He is with me day and night. He leads me only if I take the time to listen.”

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Why Did My House Burn Down

Why Did My House Burn Down     The flames reached high into the sky with smoke sending ominous black clouds filled with ash into the atmosphere. The wind wailed and pushed the twisting fire onto the nearby trees. I couldn’t believe what was happening my house was engulfed in orangey red flames. I had just grabbed the last family picture and headed down the road in my car when I noticed that I was not the only one barely escaping the fire. My neighbor’s homes were on fire and they were fleeing too. The once peaceful neighborhood built in the middle of the beautiful forest was now scorched black and rapidly burning.

“God, why is this happening to my family and neighbors? I don’t understand. We attend church and tithe ten percent. Why did my house burn down? Please God help my family and friends!” As the words left my mouth I immediately prayed the Lord’s Prayer.

Matthew 6: 9-13: “This, then, is how you should pray:  ‘Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored; may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today the food we need.  Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.  Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.’”

The fire raged for weeks. The once beautiful mountain valleys and peaks were burnt beyond recognition. The fire consumed thousands of acres of land. The smoke was so dense that it hung in the air and made it difficult to breath.  I was forced to live in a motel to wait out the fire. When the fire stopped we would be allowed back on our property so the insurance adjustor could assess the damage and file the claim for payment.  I had so many questions about what my family and I should do next.  Should we rebuild our home or should we abandon the land and find a new house far away from the dense forest and mountain side?

Philippians 4: 5&6: “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.”

I had so many questions that needed answered. But now all I could do was wait out the fire and trust that God would give me no more than I could handle. My heart soared with thankfulness to God as firemen came from all over the United States to fight the fire.  Not long after that hundreds of volunteers arrived asking what they could do to help.  They provided us with food and clothing.  Their generosity was overwhelming, but very much needed.  I thanked God for their gifts. I found myself thanking people for their kindness over and over again. I made new friends. I talked to my neighbors more than I ever had before. We were bound together because of the fire.  Now we looked for each other when we met for updates on the fire. We hovered together and talked about what the future of our community might look like.  None of us had answers, but it was wonderful to know that we were not alone.  We were all going through this together.  A new kind of community formed.  We talked about our losses. We talked about our futures. We found common ground because of the fire.  Until now I didn’t know how many people in my community were Christians. Now everything was different we were talking about our faith.

“God, this is really hard! Thank you for sending the firefighters to stop the fire.  Thank you for the people who have come to help us and give us supplies. I have so many questions about what I am going to do next. I loved my home. Please help all of us to overcome the difficulties we are facing because of the tremendous test of my faith that this fire has caused.”

1 Corinthians 10:12&13: “Whoever thinks he is standing firm had better be careful that he does not fall.  Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people.  But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.”

The fire is out! Together my neighbors and I began the pilgrimage that will show us what has happen to our homes. My breathe catches in my throat as we approach our neighborhood. My home was less than five years old. One of the many selling points of our community was the posh golf course and the country club atmosphere that surrounded all of the beautiful homes. Each home was encased in beautiful trees and spaced far enough apart that every home felt like it had its own private peace of heaven. But now everything was different. I looked in disbelief.  The club house was gutted by the fire. Just the cement foundation and the tall chimney stood scorched by the fire. The beautiful green grass of the golf course had paths of fire cut through the landscape. The trees and the vegetation were burnt and looked lifeless. Here and there were patches of grass and in the mist of all the damage stood a loan tree that was untouched by the fire. I looked in amazement as I continued to drive forward towards my home.

Tears flowed from my eyes as I surveyed the damage. My home was completely destroyed. It was not just my home but the whole community was damaged beyond repair. I got out of my car and walked around the landscape. I remembered the trees and bushes I planted. I looked at where my garden had been and there were only remains of my dead dry plants. It was a lot to take in. I felt my breath catch in my throat and my chest felt like a heavy weight was pressing down inside. All hope of rebuilding seemed lost. The neighborhood was completely destroyed.

“God, why did this happen?  I feel hopeless and scared! I don’t understand why this fire destroyed everything I owned. What am I going to do now? How am I going to start all over again?”

Romans 8:26: “In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are.  For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express.”

Immediately I felt the Holy Spirit give me a hug. A peace surrounded me and a comfort that my Heavenly father heard my prayers made me feel better. My feelings of devastation now were less and a determination filled me with power. I would rebuild! I could replant my trees, my grass and my garden. I could build my house better than it was before. Together as a community we could rebuild and make it better than before.  A joy filled my heart with love.  I knew that Jesus Christ would be with me and my plans to rebuild were God’s Will!

The heavens opened and angels were quickly dispersed to send a message to every child who called out to God for help through prayer. God loved the people who lost everything in the fire. His Holy Spirit became like a warm blanket holding each person tightly to God’s chest. He filled them with a vision of a new community. He gave them hope.  Most of all the love of God flowed through each of them giving them a determination to begin once again.

“Why did my house burn down?”  I don’t know why I suffered this lose. But I do know that my faith grew because of the fire. I was never alone because God surrounded my life and gave me the strength to rebuild again.

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Fourth of July, a Time for Freedom

I Want to Know My Future     The armed forces from every branch stood in parade formation with their right hands to their heads in a salute to the Nations flag. The President and many government officials were present to show their respect during the Fourth of July celebration. Over two hundred years ago this flag was chosen to represent every America by our founding fathers. As it was raised high on the pole a quiet stillness came over every civilian who witnessed the ceremony.  The red and white stripes blew majestically in the warm summer breeze. The white stars, on a square blue background, shone brightly as they represented the fifty states of the United States of America.

The flag is a representation of our sacrifices as a young country and our determination to be different from all other countries in existence. This is the reason why the Declaration of Independence is clearly written that individual liberty is essential to the America way of life. Freedom was the founding fathers main agenda. It is written in our laws that every person has the freedom to pursue their own happiness. This freedom came at the cost of breaking free from England and declaring that we were no longer its slave.  It was also very important to follow up freedom with the right to pursue our own religion. We were no longer forced to abide by the Roman Catholic churches doctrine. The United States of America became one nation under God. This only meant that we believed in God as the creator but each person had the ability to pursue what god they would worship because all men are created equal.

In 1776 the United States was a baby nation. It has grown over time through civil war, world wars, and equal rights.  People have given their lives for causes and the ability to define what real freedom is all about.  Susan B. Anthony fought for equal rights for women. Martin Luther King fought for equal rights for African Americans and now many are fighting to obtain equal rights for homosexuals who would like to have the same rights to marry as heterosexuals.  In our pursuit of happiness for every individual we are constantly given examples of why we must not judge by our religious beliefs. We can only make good decisions when we treat people’s life choices with respect.

Throughout history religion has been the reason why many wars have been fought. It is because of what religion requires that there is so much controversy.  Jesus came to make following God simple. Unfortunately people have ignored the love teachings of Jesus.  Instead they have chosen to hold onto the teachings about God found in the Laws of Moses to use them as weapons to control lifestyles and cultures that they do not understand. This is the reason why it is so important to separate how the government judges people from the way religion judge’s people.  The United States of America is not one culture.  We are made up of many nationalities.  We are many religions.  We are many different people striving to hold onto freedoms that we did not have in our former countries.

In the bible Paul had a huge job. His mission was to go to the Gentiles and tell them about the saving power of Jesus Christ.  It was his responsibility to teach people about unconditional love and faith in Jesus. He first went to his own Jewish nation, but they preferred the Laws of Moses.  They liked the rules.  The rules gave them the power to control their religion. This is the reason why the early Christian church suffered tremendous persecution. Paul wrote many letters to the early church proclaiming how the new teaching about Jesus Christ was better than the Law of Moses.

Romans 3: 21-24, “But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed.  It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it.  God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ.  God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all.  Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence.   But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.”

These verses reflect how Jesus Christ makes it easy for all people to follow Him. The problem with these versus is that it requires faith in the unseen. Faith is not a law it is a belief in something you cannot see. The United States is not built on faith. It was built on giving people the freedom to choose for themselves. It is impossible for any government to have faith. They must make decisions based on what is best for the people from the laws established in the Constitution. This is the reason why the Constitution does not stipulate what religion all Americans must follow.

I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I am also a Christian author who is a homosexual. There are many controversies in Christian doctrine that condemn people for being gay.  That is the reason why I would not want a Religious Right person or a Tea Party person as president of the United States. They use the Laws of Moses to condemn anyone that does not follow them. Overly religious people are the reason why women and African Americans had to fight for equal rights. It is also the reason why homosexuals are condemned and denied the right to marry legally today.

I fight for the right to be a Christian homosexual.  I believe that God made me this way.  I also believe that people who do not know the love of Jesus Christ are the reason why I am denied the ability to legally marry my wife. They love the Laws of Moses because it gives them the rules to control lifestyles they do not understand.  They use the bible as a weapon to deny rights to every citizen in the United States of America.  This is not right. If they really followed the doctrine handed down by Jesus they would believe as I do.

John 12: 47 “If anyone hears my message and does not obey it, I will not judge him.  I came, not to judge the world, but to save it.”

1 John 3: 7&8: “Dear friends, let us love one another because love comes from God.  Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Fourth of July celebrates the freedom of all Americans. That means all lifestyles.  The separation of God and State is only possible when we look at the facts.  Homosexuality has been present in our world since before Christianity was born. It was found in the Greek culture. It was alive during Roman times. Even the Jewish race has homosexual priests and allows gay marriage today.  It is time that the United States stops persecuting its citizens and remembers the laws found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  People came from every part of the world so they could join in the freedoms that all Americans share. Today during this Fourth of July celebration we need to reflect on how our nation was founded.  We need to look proudly at our flag and remember that our ancestors died so that all people had the freedom to pursue happiness.  This only happens when we separate government from religion. Today we must remember our past and when we remember we will do what is right and give homosexuals the right to marriage.  We will understand that it is not about religion it is about equal rights under the laws of the United States of America.  Have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Posted in Christian, Civil rights, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Faith, Fourth of July, Gay, gay marriage, Homosexual, Martin Luther King, persecution, revelations, seperation of religion and state, Spirituality, Susan B. Anthony, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ultimate Test

I Want to Know My Future    It was not a welcome sight when the black clouds blew in producing a tropical storm packed with strong winds and heavy rain. Rich had made plans with his father and brother to put new shingles on his leaky roof. They had allotted five days to accomplish the task before Alex and his dad had to leave Florida for Kansas where they lived.  From the moment they arrived it rained and poured every day. Finally believing they had enough sun they began the task of ripping off one side of the roof in preparation to shingle. By the time the last rotted pieces were cast to the ground a powerful rain cloud appeared leading to a torrential down pour of rain. Rich and Alex immediately put plastic on the open roof but the rain was so strong that it tore through the plastic and flooded the house. By evening plaster from the ceiling in the garage was falling down. Rain was staining the ceiling inside the house. Rich believed that with his father and Alex’s help he could save money, but now he had to call in professional roofers to fix the roof fast.  Everything he expected to accomplish backfired and he had to pay the full price for his roof. Rich was a good Christian man. He believed he was following Christ by becoming a minister in a Southern Baptist church. He felt he was living the life God meant for him to lead. His wife and children attended the same church. God was important to him and his family. Being a minister does not pay a lot of money and doing the roof with his brother and dad’s help seemed like the best solution to saving money.  Then why did it rain?  Was this the ultimate test from God? Now he was out the money for the roof and he had to pay for the damage inside his house too. Doesn’t God care about his children and take care of their needs? I am the mother of Rich and I love him very much.  As a family we attended church on a regular basis. Following God and instilling Christian faith in my children was very important to me. I married a man who shared my faith but after twelve years of marriage I discovered I was gay.  I fell in love with another woman and after accepting my sexuality I filed for divorce. Instead of my husband giving me a fair custody arrangement with our children, he chose to condemn me publically for being a homosexual.  I wrote about how my friends, family and church persecuted me in my books. I am now a Christian author. I write for God and present facts that support homosexuality as a normal lifestyle created by God. I also write books so people will understand that we are in a teaching world that requires us to learn from the tribulations that we go through. Rich was eleven years old when his father and I were divorced. He was the oldest child and put in the middle of the controversy over whether homosexuality was right or wrong.   He was told by his father during his childhood that I was a terrible sinner for being gay. He is very close to his dad and the prejudice his father preached to him as a child is the principle that Rich lives by today. Rich is now 35 years old and he has chosen to not listen to me about why I am gay. As a result we are not close. Two weeks before they began to do the roof, his wife publically declared that homosexuality is a sin on facebook.  She even went as far as stating that people who are homosexuals are demon possessed.  Rich and several other people liked her comment. My son Alex told me about the comment immediately.  I was disappointed in my son and his wife.  I was also afraid for them because I was called by God to be a Christian author. I know my bible well and I know that when you follow Jesus Christ as your Savior you will be held to higher standers than people who do not believe in God. Ephesians 6: 2&3, “‘Respect your father and mother’ is the first commandment that has a promise added; ‘so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.’” Many Christians feel they can use the bible to condemn others for homosexuality. They believe the ‘Laws of Moses’ give them the right to be prejudice. Unfortunately if you live by these laws, you cannot pick and choose which ones you will follow. You must follow all of them. When Rich and his wife publically declared my lifestyle evil, they condemn themselves and disrespected me.  This is the reason why it rained and poured and they ended up paying more for their roof.  God uses the things of the world to discipline His children and to get them to see the error of their ways.  I have learned through the years that it is better to love than to judge.  When you follow the principles of love you do not judge. You love unconditionally. It is important that when it comes to family that you have an open mind. God uses families to teach us to be more tolerate of people and lifestyles we may not understand. John 13: 34&35, “And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.’” I love my son unconditionally. I wanted his plan to redo his own roof to succeed.  But when he condemned my lifestyle he came under God’s judgment. That is the reason why it rained. When I first accepted my homosexuality, I studied books and the bible to understand why most churches condemn gay people. That is one of the reasons why I write articles and books. I learned from multiple materials the real truth. I pray that someday Rich will read my books.  The reality is he has two children. The possibility of one of them being like me is very real.  Being gay has been the best thing that has ever happened to me because it taught me to not judge what I didn’t understand.  This is the reason why the principle of unconditional love is the best way to handle lifestyles you don’t understand.  When you love you do not judge. Do we know the mind of God?  God uses the world to teach us revelations that we would not understand unless we go through something that makes us think.  This is how God teaches about what is right and what is wrong.  Rich did not go through the ultimate test instead he received the discipline of God. We live in a world that demands we learn. When we fail to learn we come under God’s judgment.

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Does God Allow Child Abuse

I Want to Know My Future Jesus loved baby Brenda. The one year old baby sat in an empty tub all alone in the bathroom for hours without toys or food.  Her mother was drunk and asleep in the living room.  As the child grew her mother punished her regularly for being a child. If she was dirty she was spanked. If she spilled her milk she was isolated in her room.  If she refused to wear the clothes her mother chose for her, she was whipped without mercy.  The little girl suffered in silence, unprotected and not loved.  A tear fell from Jesus’ eyes. He loved Brenda and He watched over her every day. He whispered words of encouragement in her little ears. He healed her wounds.

Philippians 1: 28: “Don’t be afraid of your enemies; always be courageous, and this will prove to them that they will lose and that you will win because it is God who gives you the victory.”

When the child grew she embraced her life by making herself invisible from the people who lived in her house.  She walked in the hallway with her back against the wall terrified that her older mentally ill sister would suddenly appear.  If she caught her she knew that the beating she would receive would be severe. Jesus knowing what was about to happen commanded Brenda to run as fast as she could away from her. Sometimes Brenda’s sister caught her and Jesus gave her the idea to curl up in a ball and cover her head with her arms to protect herself.  Jesus loved Brenda and He helped her by showing her the safe places in the top of closets. He even helped her climb a big tree to escape the daily evil she faced in her abusive home. He never left Brenda alone.

Philippians 1:29: “For you have been given the privilege of serving Christ, not only by believing in him, but also by suffering for him.”

Her parents were living their lives in a drunken stupor. They dragged the little girl to bars and left her to take care of herself for hours.  The little girl learned to play quietly under tables and in the bathroom.  Her parents were so consumed with living their lives that they ignored how unsafe the environments were for the little girl. Jesus witnessed her pain and gave her the courage she needed to live. He never left her alone.

Philippians 2: 1: “Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you.  You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another.”

Brenda loved to go to school and she excelled in every subject.  Her brilliants were recognized by the school and she was put in accelerated classes.  Jesus blessed her in everything she did. He taught her the difference between right and wrong and Brenda made choices to never be like her parents or sister. She was nice to her fellow students. She was compassionate when a child was hurt on the playground.  She encouraged another child when she was bullied by another student.  She learned to love others even when she was not loved at home.  Jesus was her teacher helping her to see that how she was treated at home was wrong. When Brenda was twelve she got sick and had to have her tonsils out.  Her mother dropped her off at the hospital and abandoned her for the next three days. She only came to the hospital to pick her up. Brenda was sick and alone, but Jesus never left her side.  He loved her even when her parents were too busy drinking to take care of her.  He used this time to teach her how wrong her parents were to leave her alone when she was sick.  Brenda learned lessons that helped her to decide to do the right thing even when the wrong thing was done to her.

Philippians 2: 14&15: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be innocent and pure as God’s perfect children, who live in a world of corrupt and sinful people.  You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky.”

When Brenda was sixteen and her sister was at college her mother had an operation.  Brenda stayed at the hospital and helped her mom.  When she came home to recover Brenda took care of her.  Brenda would never be like her mom. She would do the right thing even if her mother never did the right thing for her.  She had learned the lessons Jesus whispered in her ear as she grew up in a home where she was not loved.  She was a bright shining star for Jesus. When Brenda grew up she turned into a young woman with integrity and she had a determination to succeed.  She made choices to never drink.  She made choices to never abuse a child. She made good choices because she learned the lessons Jesus taught her from the suffering she went through in her childhood.  She went to college and became a Social worker and she helped abused children.  Later she helped patients who were victims of Aids. Many of them died from the disease and their deaths gave her a calling she never expected. Now she would dedicate her life to helping people who were dying.  As her career grew she felt a call from God to establish her own hospice business.  Determined to do God’s will she sold everything she had and began her own business.  She was very successful in everything she did because she loved Jesus.  The principles He taught her during her abusive childhood helped her to do the right thing for all the people she helped.  Brenda’s company became known throughout the entire state as a model for other hospices to follow.

Philippians 3:10&11: “All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.”

Does God allow child abuse?  “No!  He hates child abuse.” We live in a corrupt and evil world where people have the ability to make bad choices that hurt children.  They hurt children because they choose to do what is wrong.  Jesus loves children.  He sends His Holy Spirit to help them survive the trauma of abuse.  He blesses those who listen to His voice and gives them a better life that lifts them up and turns them into better people.  They are the people who run businesses with integrity.  They are the children who make a choice to live good lives that become role models for everyone else.

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We Are At War

I Want to Know My Future

“I know it’s hard to understand what it is like to be persecuted.” The minister began as he quietly cleared his throat. “We live in a society that is safe and secure and we have homes and jobs.”

This was the second time in two months I had heard this kind of message from clergy. I had to literally hold myself in the pew to keep from running to the front of the sanctuary and telling each pastor they were wrong! We are at War!  Lack of understanding about our world is spreading confusion through the church and turning many people away from God.  People do not come to church to find out how good they have it.  They come to church to find out answers as to why bad things are happening to them.

A little girl with hearing aids in both ears was sitting next to me in the church pew.  An elderly woman who could barely stand up during prayers and singing sat on the opposite side of the girl’s father. A man in front of me had a cold and was continually wiping his nose and covering his mouth when he coughed.  Another lady was so bent over from osteoporoses that she could barely see where she was walking when she went to the front of the sanctuary for communion. There was a woman sitting on the opposite side of the church with a turban wrapped around her head because she had lost her hair while going through chemotherapy. Another man was on crouches.  Another woman was suffering from mental illness. Grandparents behind me were beseeching God in prayer because their son’s family’s house was robbed and they lost many valuable possessions. A pregnant woman in the balcony just found out that her unborn child was sick. I was surrounded by people that were suffering and being persecuted from sicknesses, job loss and multiple problems that they were too afraid to admit to their friends at church.

Today’s church is longing to be fed the needed nutrition they need in order to hold onto God and believe that He is on their side. They need ministers to understand that even if they have a job and a home, they need encouraging words of help from the Bible. That is the reason why people go to church.  They need ministers that can interpret what is happening to them so they can receive hope and enough strength to keep going forward even when it is hard.

John 15: 18-20, “‘If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, then the world would love you as its own.  But I chose you from this world, and you do not belong to it; that is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: “No slave is greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours too.’”

If you follow Jesus you will go through persecution in the world that will lead to human suffering. We are at War!  It is a war that tests us through every day life experiences. This is the reason that at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry He healed the sick, fed the five thousand, calmed the stormy sea and cast out demons. These were the problems the people faced individually. The people needed to know that God cared about them and that He would help them in their every day needs.

John 15: 5&6:  “‘I am the vine, and you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me. Whoever does not remain in me is thrown out like a branch and dries up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burned.’”

Jesus is the vine and Christians are the branches.  Jesus is explaining the cost of living in the world. We are in a battle between right and wrong and the only way we will survive is by holding tightly to Jesus.  An extraordinary thing happens when you follow Jesus, you bear fruit.  Fruit is growth on the vine. That means when we are persecuted by going through something bad, we gain knowledge from the trials and become stronger because of our faith in Jesus. This is the reason why a woman with faith who has cancer never gives up. She trusts her life to Jesus and believes He has a purpose for her going through cancer. A man who has just lost his job is not afraid.  He trust in Jesus and believes that He will help Him find a better job than he had before.  The opposite side of this coin is what happens when we let go of Jesus.  We become dead branches. Dead branches are used for firewood. These are the people who stop holding onto Jesus.  They allow their sicknesses to become a reason to believe in nothing.  The same thing happens when a woman loses her child to a disease. She is mad at God and refuses to trust her child’s life to Him. The people who let go of God die and become firewood.

We are at war!  This is the reason why everyone that is following Jesus Christ is going through something.  Satan wants to defeat us but Jesus wants to help us win the personal battles we face! Jesus wants to wrap us in his arms and comfort us. He wants to wipe away our tears and give us hope that we have a future life in heaven that is far better than our life here.

John 15: 7&8: “‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.  My Father’s glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples.’”

Jesus is the Savior of the world.  He came to help us understand that when we go through bad things, He will be there with us. Following Jesus comes with a cost because we will go through many tests in the world. We must pray for His help.  We must listen to the Holy Spirit who is working in our individual lives.  We must hold tightly to our faith and pray for protection from Satan because when we commit our ways to Christ; we are at war!  This is the reason why we need to read our Bibles daily and pray to our heavenly Father.

Luke 3:16:  “So John said to all of them, ‘I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am.  I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’”

We need God in our lives in order to win against the fire that is trying to consume our lives.  Fire stands for tribulations.  Fire is the persecution we come under when we are learning the lessons the world has to teach us.  The only way we can win is with the help of Jesus Christ.  This is the reason why Jesus came and died for our sins.  He came that we would have life in a world that is ruled by Satan.  This is the reason why bad things happen to good Christian people.  When we endure the fire and overcome the test, we win the victory over the world, because we are at war!

1 John 5:3-5,”For our love for God means that we obey his commands.  And his commands are not too hard for us, because every child of God is able to defeat the world.  And we win the victory over the world by means of our faith.  Who can defeat the world?  Only the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

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It Just isn’t Fair That I’m Sick Part Five,Six and Seven

A different Kind of Healing   Part Five

As weeks turned into months she began to pray less for healing for herself and more for the people she met at her physical examination appointments.  She made friends with other heart patients and their family members, who were far worse off than she.  She became they’re encourager and an inspiration to those who thought that God didn’t care about them. Her fearless example of perseverance no matter how bad her heart condition became, helped them to let go of the words that echoed in their heads. “It just isn’t fair that I am sick.”

She realized as the months turned into years that she had lived her life for herself before. Even her service in church was all about the praise she received for teaching Sunday school and singing in choir.  Her illness saved her!  It had taken her down a different path she would have never chosen for herself and it turned her into a better person. Now she really cared and loved people, because she knew what it was like to be weak and scared.  This revelation brought her pure joy. She worshiped God and praised Him for allowing her to suffer with a terminal heart condition.

John 15: 11-14:  “‘I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My commandment is this:  love one another, just as I love you.  The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them.  And you are my friends if you do what I command you.’”

Dear Jesus, Thank you for allowing me to be sick.  Your loving care surrounds my life and blesses me every day. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

 

I Trust You With My Life   Part Six

John 15: 15-17: “‘I do not call you servants any longer, because a servant does not know what his master is doing.  Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father.  You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind that endures.  And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name.  This, then, is what I command you:  love one another.’”

Every hospital test and doctor appointment opened up her heart to the needs of others.  She loved the doctors, nurses and the members of their staff.  She prayed for them and encouraged them in the jobs they did.  She understood by her own experience how hard it was for them to lose a patient.  She consoled them and encouraged them to lean on God.  God would help them to endure the pain they felt from not being able to save a life.

The scriptures became alive more than ever before, helping her to see that no one in the world was suppose to live a life separate from pain.  Suffering changes a person’s character and makes them a better person.  Her limits that were brought on by her illness actually taught her more about God than when she had lived a perfect healthy life.

Even on her worse days when her heart was about to give out she reached out and found hope through her faith in God.  She no longer told herself, “It just isn’t fair that I am sick!” rather she praised God for finding her worthy to suffer for His sake.  She was His witness and her life helped others to not lose hope even when you are given a terminal illness.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for saving me.  Thank you for being the Lord of my life.  Thank you for giving me a mission of prayer.  Thank you for my family and friends. I love you, Lord.

She is Not Dead!  Part Seven

Dear Jesus, “You are my Savior!  Let my life be a living sacrifice to you, no matter where it leads. Let my death honor your sacrifice for me.  Thank you for allowing me to suffer for you. I give you my body, mind and soul. I love you!”

As she lay dying in the hospital bed she smiled at the nurses and aids that hovered around her bedside.  She had grown to love them so much and they loved her.  With her last dying breath she assured them that she was going to paradise to be with her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Three hundred people gathered for her funeral.  Everyone had a story to tell about how she helped them through their illness.  They were stories of how much she inspired them to never give up. They were words of encouragement to the families and even the hospital administration staff that God will never let you down.   Her eulogy was about a person who loved God and who refused to say, “It just isn’t fair, that I’m sick!”

Hebrews 2: 14&15, “Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature.  He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death, and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.”

In this Easter season let us remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us. He died on the cross. He rose again. He became our Savior. Jesus did this all so we would have a better life in union with Him!

Philippians 4:13, “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.”

The End

 

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It Just Isn’t Fair that I’m Sick Part Three & Part Four

I Want to Know My Future

I repent   Part Three

Her friends were astonished at the severity of her disease.  In the past they had gone on outings of shopping trips to adventures that took them to beautiful Rocky Mountain walking trails and parks.  They were her confidants in relationships and work.  Now everything was different, it just wasn’t fair to see their friend so frail and weak.  In time each one went their separate way.  They no longer could find anything in common with her.

Now not only was she suffering from the disease of congestive heart failure, but she felt abandoned by her friends.  Even her family was moving on with their lives and calling her less and less frequently.  It just wasn’t fair!  She felt all alone, except she felt the Spirit of God beckoning her not to give up, but to live with the life that she was given.  In her aloneness she read her Bible and prayed.  She asked Jesus to help her through each day.

John 15: 5-7: “‘I am the vine, and you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.  Whoever does not remain in me is thrown out like a branch and dries up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.’”

Dear Jesus, Please forgive me for not trusting you with my life. I am your servant.  Please help me to overcome the burden of my condition. Help me to believe in you even when it’s hard.  I give you my life.

Confronting My Condition   Part Four

In agony she refused to give up and surrender to her heart condition.  She prayed for God to heal her; but God refused.  Determined, she walked forward into every doctor appointment with her head held high.  She felt a spiritual change come over her and a strength she had never experienced before. Her attitude of ‘why me’ changed to how can a serve Jesus? In her weakness she made a choice to be cheerful and encouraging to the patients who sat with her in the waiting room.  She would not give up and die and allow Satan to rob her of her hope that Jesus had a plan for her life that went far beyond the sickness she had to bare.

She didn’t have the strength to teach Sunday school anymore, but she could pray for the kids she once taught.  She didn’t have the breath to sing in the choir, but she could cheer them on every Sunday when they sang.  She may not be the same person she had been before with her family, but she could encourage them in their lives.  Her changed attitude created a life of purpose she had not known existed in her former life.

Philippians 4:6-8:  “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.  And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.

In conclusion, my brothers, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise:  things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.”

Dear Jesus, I Don’t understand why this is happening to me, but I give you my life.  Help me to be a witness for you.  Let my life reflect the power of God and what He can do even when your body is weak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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