Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: God Is Never in a Hurry

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Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed” (James 1:4 MSG).

Be patient with God and with yourself. One of life’s frustrations is that God’s timetable is rarely the same as ours. We are often in a hurry when God isn’t. You may feel frustrated with the seemingly slow progress you’re making in life.

Remember that God is never in a hurry, but he is always on time. He will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for your role in eternity.

The Bible is filled with examples of how God uses a long process to develop character, especially in leaders. He took 80 years to prepare Moses, including 40 in the wilderness. For 14,600 days Moses kept waiting and wondering, “Is it time yet?” But God kept saying, “Not yet.”

Contrary to popular book titles, there are no “Easy Steps to Maturity” or “Secrets of Instant Sainthood.” When God wants to make a giant oak, he takes a hundred years, but when he wants to make a mushroom, he does it overnight.

Great souls are grown through struggles and storms and seasons of suffering. Be patient with the process. James advised, “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed” (James 1:4 MSG).

Don’t get discouraged. When Habakkuk became depressed because he didn’t think God was acting quickly enough, God had this to say: “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB)

Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. Years ago people wore a popular button with the letters PBPGINFWMY. It stood for “Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet.” God isn’t finished with you, either, so keep on moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

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Blogging Thru The Bible · Joshua

BLOGGING THRU THE BIBLE: All of the Joshua Bible Study Materials in One Place {Including Open Groups, Resources for Leaders & Resources for Children}

All of the Joshua Bible Study Materials in One Place

We begin our study in the the Book of Ecclesiastes on September 5th!

Here Is Our 2016 Fall Schedule:

Regrouping Begins & Facebook Group for New Leaders Opens –
August 29th – September 4th

Study the Book of Joshua –
September 5th – October 6th

Fall Break –
October 7th – October 16th

Study the Book of Judges –
October 17th – November 14th

Thanksgiving Break –
November 15th – November 27th

Study the Book of Romans
November 28th – December 19th

Merry Christmas!  Winter Break
December 20th – January 8th

This is not a journal – this is an in-depth Bible Study.  

If you are new, welcome to Good Morning Girls!
We are so glad you are here!

There are no sign-ups, enrollments or subscriptions required to join us. 

Join us at GMG UK Bible Study FB Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/724894230988215/

Here are all of the FREE Resources for the book of Joshua:

Printable Bible Bookmark for Joshua

Printable Joshua eJournal (this eJournal has been created for low-cost printing on a home printer and does not include the Joshua Intro, daily Verse of the Day and Reflection Questions.)

Printable Bible Coloring Chart

For Kids:

Printable Joshua Word Searches for Kids

Printable Verse of the Day Copywork Pages for Kids

Here at Good Morning Girls – You belong.  God’s word says in Romans 12:5:

In Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

YOU BELONG!

Here at Good Morning Girls - You Belong

Bible Coloring Chart Bookmark 2

See you soon!

Peace be with you all,

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Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Surrender: Let Go And Let God Work

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Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (GWT)

Surrendering your life means:

  • Following God’s lead without knowing where he’s sending you;
  • Waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come;
  • Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide;
  • Trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances.

You know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. You don’t have to always be in charge. Instead of trying harder, you trust more.

You also know you’re surrendered when you don’t react to criticism and rush to defend yourself.

Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You are not self-serving, you don’t edge others out, and you don’t demand your rights.

The most difficult thing for many people to surrender is their money. Many have thought, “I want to live for God but I also want to earn enough money to live comfortably and retire someday.”

Retirement is not the goal of a surrender life, because it competes with God for the primary attention of our lives. Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money,” (Matthew 6:24 NIV) and “Wherever your treasure is, your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21 NIV).

The supreme example of self-surrender is Jesus. The night before his crucifixion Jesus surrendered himself to God’s plan. He prayed, “Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine” (Mark 14:36 NLT).

Jesus surrendered himself to God’s will. He prayed, “God, if it is in your best interest to remove this suffering, please do so. But if it fulfills your purpose, that’s what I want, too.”

Genuine surrender says, “Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another’s life, please don’t take it away!” 

This level of maturity doesn’t come easy. In Jesus’ case, he agonized so much over God’s plan that he sweated drops of blood. Surrender is hard work. In our case, it requires intense warfare against our self-centered nature.

Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Motivation · Power Thoughts · Rick Warren

POWER THOUGHTS: Create a Spiritual Growth Chart

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“It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off” (Hebrews 2:1 MSG).

As you grow to spiritual maturity, you will have to cooperate with God in the process.

One way to do that is to believe God is working in your life, even when you don’t feel it. Spiritual growth is sometimes tedious work, one small step at a time. Expect gradual improvement. The Bible says, “Everything on earth has its own time and its own season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 CEV).

There are seasons in your spiritual life, too. Sometimes you will have a short, intense burst of growth (springtime) followed by a period of stabilizing and testing (fall and winter).

What about those problems, habits, and hurts you would like miraculously removed? It’s fine to pray for a miracle, but don’t be disappointed if the answer comes through a gradual change. Over time, a slow, steady stream of water will erode the hardest rock and turn giant boulders into pebbles. Over time, a little sprout can turn into a giant redwood tree towering 350 feet tall.

Keep a notebook or journal of lessons learned. This is not a diary of events, but a record of what you are learning. Write down the insights and life lessons God teaches you about him, yourself, life, relationships, and everything else. Record these so you can review and remember them and pass them on to the next generation (Psalm 102:18; 2 Timothy 3:14).

The reason we must relearn lessons is that we forget them. Reviewing your spiritual journal regularly can spare you a lot of unnecessary pain and heartache. The Bible says, “It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off” (Hebrews 2:1 MSG).

Talk It Over

  • How have you seen yourself grow in spiritual maturity in the last month? The last year?
  • What season of spiritual growth are you in right now?
  • What are some ways that you can keep a spiritual journal without having to use pen and paper?

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Love and joy to you all,

3l8vgf8e2pga9jxok0br

(Source: Rick Warren)

Motivation · Power Thoughts · Rick Warren

POWER THOUGHTS: God Grows Us One Step at a Time

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“So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to — the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy” (Ephesians 4:22-24 TEV).

Although God could instantly transform us, he has chosen to develop us slowly. Jesus was deliberate in developing his disciples, just as God allowed the Israelites to take over the Promised Land “little by little” so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed (Deuteronomy 7:22). He prefers to work in incremental steps in our lives.

Why does it take so long to change and grow up? There are several reasons:

  • We are slow learners. We often have to relearn a lesson 40 or 50 times to really get it. The problems keep recurring, and we think, “Not again! I’ve already learned that!” But God knows better. The history of Israel illustrates how quickly we forget the lessons God teaches us and how soon we revert to our old patterns of behavior. We need repeated exposure.
  • We have a lot to unlearn. Since most of our problems — and all of our bad habits — didn’t develop overnight, it’s unrealistic to expect them go away immediately. There is no pill, prayer, or principle that will instantly undo the damage of many years. It requires the hard work of removal and replacement. The Bible calls it “taking off the old self” and “putting on the new self” (Romans 13:12; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:7-10, 14).
  • Growth is often painful and scary. There is no growth without change; there is no change without fear or loss; and there is no loss without pain. Every change involves a loss of some kind. We fear these losses, even if our old ways were self-defeating, because, like a worn-out pair of shoes, they were at least comfortable and familiar.
  • Good habits take time to develop. Remember that your character is the sum total of your habits. You can’t claim to be kind unless you are habitually kind. Your habits define your character.

There is only one way to develop the habits of Christ-like character: You must practice them — and that takes time! There are no instant habits. Paul urged Timothy, “Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15 GW).

Talk It Over

  • Why do you think God allows us to go through pain and loss while we are growing spiritually?
  • What is the bad habit that you’ve had trouble changing in your life?
  • What one thing do you need to practice doing every day so that you are developing Christ-like character?

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Love and joy to you all,

3l8vgf8e2pga9jxok0br

(Source: Rick Warren)

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: What Will You Do Today That Requires Faith?

Motivate Me

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).

Failure is never final. You’re never a failure until you quit, and it’s always too soon to quit! You don’t determine a person’s greatness by his talent, his wealth, or his education. You determine a person’s greatness by what it takes to discourage him.

So what does it take to discourage you from going after your dream? It may be as simple as a friend or relative or family member telling you, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

The Bible says in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (NIV). You want to know how many times I wanted to resign from Saddleback Church? Just every Monday morning when I think, “God, surely somebody could have done a better job than I did yesterday. This thing is too big for any one person.”

God says, “Just keep on keeping on.” I may not be real bright sometimes, but I don’t know how to quit. I don’t know how to give up.

God works in your life according to your faith. The Bible says, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God” and “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” and “According to your faith it will be done unto you.” So what are you doing in faith? You need to ask yourself every day when you get up, “God, what can I do today that will require faith?” That’s an important question, because that’s what’s going to please God.

There are a lot of things in your life you don’t have control over. You didn’t control who your parents were, when you were born, where you were born, or what your race or nationality is. You didn’t control what gifts and talents you were given. You didn’t decide how you look.

But you do have complete control over how much you choose to believe God. God uses people who expect him to act, who never give up, who take risks in faith, who get his dream and go after it. It’s your choice whether you want to be the kind of person God uses to accomplish his purpose.

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Be blessed,

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 (Source: Rick Warren)

Blogging Thru The Bible · Joshua

BLOGGING THRU THE BIBLE: The GMG Fall 2016 Schedule and Something NEW!

JoinUs

Welcome GMG UK! 

We are reading through the Bible – one chapter a day – 5 days a week – going back and forth between the New and Old Testament.  We just finished our study on Book of James.

*claps with happiness*

Our first study for the fall will begin on Monday, September 5th and we will be studying the book of Joshua.

The {optional} Joshua Journal for this study is available now exclusively on Amazon!

Joshua-Girls-SPINE

 

And following that, here’s our study schedule for the year …

New Fall 2016 Schedule

Regrouping Begins & Facebook Group for New Leaders Opens –
August 29th – September 4th

Study the Book of Joshua –
September 5th – October 6th

Fall Break –
October 7th – October 16th

Study the Book of Judges –
October 17th – November 14th

Thanksgiving Break –
November 15th – November 27th

Study the Book of Romans
November 28th – December 19th

Merry Christmas!  Winter Break
December 20th – January 8th

There are no sign-ups, enrollments or subscriptions required to join us. 

Join us at GMG UK Bible Study FB Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/724894230988215/

Here’s what’s NEW! Drum Roll…

GoodMorningGuys.org screenshot

 

A new website for Good Morning Guys!

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GoodMorningGuys.org is geared at guys ages 10-20+ but can be read by any guy who wants encouragement in the Word!  So invite your sons, your son’s friends, grandchildren, or kids in the youth group to come join the guys as they read chapter by chapter, through the book of Joshua, along side the Good Morning Girls!

Let me introduce you to the writer – Courtney’s nephew – Johnathan Mizener!

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Johnathan writes:

My name is Johnathan Mizener. I’m Courtney Joseph’s nephew, and I’m so excited to be writing for the new Good Morning Guys Bible Study!

I’m 17 years old and a senior in high school at a small Christian school. I enjoy running, playing the guitar, eating ice cream, hiking with friends, anything related to cars, and just hanging out with my family.

My mom, Jen, is Courtney’s sister, and she has been married to my dad, John, for 23 years. I also have 1 sister, Julianna, who is 14 and a freshman.

At my school I play on our worship team for our weekly worship services, run cross country, and serve on the student council. I also just returned from a truly life-changing missions trip to the Dominican Republic with 25 other students from my school, and it really gave me a renewed passion for missions around the world.

At my church, I play on the worship team and help with our monthly outreach to impoverished children in the inner-city. I love serving God’s people and I love to write, so I’m so thankful for the opportunity to write for this Bible study.

I pray this Bible study helps you to grow in Christ like never before, and if you don’t know God, I pray this Bible study will help bring you into a relationship with Him. That’s the most important thing to me, and to see young men like myself know God deeply and live for Him without holding back is a huge burden on my heart.

It’s time for us as young men to stand up and stand out from the world, and to be leaders to those around us. I pray this Bible study helps you do that!

We’ll be starting in the book of Joshua September 5th.

I hope you’ll join us as we grow in Christ!

~Johnathan

Johnathan Collage

We are all excited for Good Morning Guys, please do spread the word.

Joshua-Guys-SPINE

Peace be with you all,

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Bible Study · How To

HOW TO: 7 Spiritual Habits that Reduce Stress

HowTo

Some people have called stress the “new normal.” A quick look at the stats seem to support this. A 2012 study at Carnegie Mellon University reports that stress levels were up between 10 to 30 percent over the past 30 years. Among women and young people, those stats were particularly disconcerting. Does the Bible offer any wisdom about dealing with stress in a 21st century world?

The Bible assures us, “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.” (Psalm 46:1, MSG) God is there to help. In fact, here are seven actions that will help you handle ongoing stress —

1.  I look to God to meet all my needs. “The Lord is my shepherd so I have all I need.” (Psalm 23:1, NIV) Stop looking to other people to meet your needs. They’re going to let you down, and that’s a big stressor.  There’s no one who could possibly meet all your emotional needs. Only God can meet all of them. Let Him.

2.  I need to obey God’s instruction about rest. Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest.”  (Exodus 34:21, NCV) So much of the stress in your life comes from always being in a hurry and working too much.  That’s why you overwork.  You never can get caught up. Rest is so important that God himself does it. You need it too.

3. I need to recharge my soul with beauty.I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:7-8, MSG) Beauty is an incredibly important part of stress management. Ugliness stresses you out.  Beauty inspires, encourages and motivates.  That’s why God made the world so beautiful. God made man to live in a garden not a skyscraper. When you’re stressed, you need to look at beautiful scenes and listen to beautiful sounds.

4. Go to God for guidance.If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5, NLT)  Not being able to make up your mind is a common source of stress. If you’re wavering back and forth about a decision right now, pray to God for wisdom. Read the Bible. Then wait, be quiet and just listen. At the right time — maybe not immediately — God will put the idea in your mind.

5. Trust in God in the dark valleys. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4, NIV) We all go through dark valleys. You’ll go through many in your lifetime. When you’re in a valley, you have to trust God. We can either react to dark valleys in fear or in faith. Fear leads to stress.Faith leads you away from stress. Shadows are scary. But remember — wherever there are shadows, there’s light. Look at the light. Look at Jesus.

6. Let God be my defender. “How I love you, Lord! You are my defender. The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.” (Psalm 18:1-2, GNT) Conflict is another major source of stress. Some people in your life just don’t like you. They will criticize you and attack you. Our natural response is to attack back. Instead, God tells us to trust Him and let Him defend us. That’s what Jesus did. That’s what we need to do.

7. Expect God to finish what He started in me. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6, NLT) Instead of letting fear of the future stress us, we must realize that God has our best interest at heart. He isn’t finished conforming us into the image of Jesus.  You have two choices for how you look at your future. You can ask, “What if?” and expect everything to go wrong, or you can expect God to keep his promise in Psalm 23:6 (NIV): “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Here are some other practical suggestions to keep in mind as you look to deal with your stress :

Serve someone. Nothing takes your mind off your own troubles like helping someone else. Opportunities for service are all around — from family members, to friends, to neighbors. It’s hard to stress out over your own problems when you’re helping alleviate someone else’s.

 Talk to God about your stress. Stress often comes because we worry about things we were never intended to worry about. Spend time talking to God. Tell Him about what stresses you. Then trust Him to take care of the situation in a way that takes into account both His glory and your best interest. Make your problem God’s problem.

Take a walk. Our bodies were made to move. One of the reasons we wrestle with so much stress in our lives is because we were designed to have more physical activity in our day. Feel stress? Take a walk. Ride a bike. Play a sport. Get outside and get moving.

Phone a friend. You were not designed to handle all your problems on your own. God wants us not only to take our problems to Him but to also share them with others. When stress begins to overtake you, talk to a friend. Share your hurts, fears and concerns. Ask for prayer both in the moment — and days to come. But here’s the kicker with this piece of wisdom, you must cultivate friendships on a regular basis if you hope to have friends available to help you deal with tough times. What regular practices are a part of your life that help you to cultivate friendships on a regular basis?

Enjoy a sunset. In times of stress few activities will put you and God in proper perspective better than enjoying the beauty of the Lord’s creation. Take to heart the stunning nature of what God has made, and you’ll be quick to remember your problems are small in the hands of an all-powerful Creator. Whether you find that beauty in a sunset, a painting, a sculpture or the seashore, find it and soak it in. Remind yourself of just how big your Heavenly Father is and just how able He is to care for your needs.

Write a letter.  Often the perceived source of our stress is no longer accessible to us. Maybe he or she has passed away or just isn’t a part of our lives anymore. Write that person a letter. Tell him or her what’s going on inside of you. Share your frustration.

Be blessed,

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(Source: Rick Warren, Google Image & Pinterest)

Motivation · Power Thoughts · Rick Warren

POWER THOUGHTS: God Understands You Can’t Change Overnight

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“Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24 NLT, second edition).

When God helps you grow spiritually, he doesn’t just snap his fingers so that it happens instantly. He does it incrementally. When God wants to make a mushroom, he takes six hours, but when he wants to make an oak tree, he takes 60 years.

Do you want to be a mushroom or an oak tree?

The Holy Spirit will make changes in your life far beyond anything you thought possible, but they’re not going to happen overnight. I want you to be stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually, psychologically, and financially, but you’ve got to be intentional about it. The Bible says, “Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24 NLT, second edition).

This is how we become more like Jesus. We throw off the old things and the old ways that keep us from getting to know Christ and becoming like him, and we put on our new selves with the help of the Holy Spirit. We let God do his work in us — no matter how long it takes.

“As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him” (2 Corinthians 3:18b TLB).

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Talk It Over

  • Why is it important to have goals?
  • What are your goals for the next 10 years of your life?
  • How do you want God to work in your life? Pray, and ask him to help you trust as he works in his time to fulfill his purpose for you.

 

Love and joy to you all,

3l8vgf8e2pga9jxok0br

(Source: Rick Warren)

Grace · Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Let God Take the Driver’s Seat

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Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am” (Matthew 16:24 MSG).

How do you let go and let God? First, you have to make Jesus the manager of your life.

The problem is, we usually want to be the manager of our own lives, and so we argue and disagree with God. We think we know what’s best. The reason you’re under a lot of stress is that you’re constantly fighting God in your mind — “I know God says to do this but I want to do that instead!”

Every morning when you wake up, you have a decision to make: Who’s going to be in charge of your life? Who’s going to be in control — you or God? Who’s going to call the shots — you or God? Every day, moment-by-moment, you are making that decision. When you choose to make yourself the manager of your own life, it causes conflict, confusion, and stress.

Jesus says in Matthew 16:24, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am” (MSG). Here’s what Christians tend to do: When we become believers in Christ, we give him the driver’s seat and then promptly hop into the backseat and become backseat drivers. We’re constantly giving him “advice,” like, “No, turn this way. Stop. Wait. Faster! I want to go that way. I want to see that sight.”

Your life doesn’t look very pretty when you’re trying to lead with God at the same time. You just need to let God be God and make Jesus the manager of your life.

Talk It Over

  • What are the details of your life that are most difficult for you to surrender to God?
  • How have you been quarreling with God without saying a word? What do your actions reveal about who is managing your life?
  • Determine today to give God control of the areas of your life where you have concerns and stress. What will that look like? What difference will that make in your life?

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Be blessed,

e3zejc7nn7jgkf9qte2u