Into His Rest Ministry


September 17, 2013


Our responses to trauma and pain have taken us to places we were never intended to go.  And unfortunately many of us have chosen not only to visit these places, but to stay. It is amazing how comfortable we can get being and doing things that were never ours to do.


When I was in college my nickname was “ice.” I didn’t come up with the name but I wore it like a badge of honor thinking it was a great way to keep people away that I didn’t want to be bothered with. The problem is it also kept those away who I wanted to get to know more intimately.


I’m now sure though the name may have been given in college the behavior I exhibited began long before college ever entered the picture.  I had learned that being like “ice” was the way to survive childhood trauma and pain, and since I was determined not to feel that pain again, I created a “ way out.”


God’s “ way out” is not to escape the pain but to go through the pain. Isaiah 43:2 says, “ When you walk through deep waters, I will be with you. When you pass through swollen rivers, they will not flow over you. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, neither will the flames harm you.”


What a great promise for those of us who are still wearing our badges of honor and behaving in self -protective modes! When we are busy protecting ourselves, God is left on the outside. Most times, He’s out of the picture altogether and we don’t even know it.


I very recently discovered the warmer more tender parts of me that have been hidden away and covered over by “ice.” Through the years God has been gently calling me to reclaim those parts, and He continues to call today.  There are people in your life, and mine too who need to discover their tender parts. What I have discovered is when I am a willing participant, not only do others reap the benefits, but God also includes me. That’s the beauty of God’s economy. No one is left out!



Journey of Reclamation

August 2, 2013

Beverly and I were recently at a wedding in California near where we used to live. When we first lived there, we worked at a lifestyle center. We had been invited there to develop a mental health component to supplement the 18 day residential program. Residents who chose were exposed to both the health and mental health components, and God did some very powerful healing as the result of the program. During the three years we were there, I also developed a Bachelors degree in Biblical Counseling at he college. All went well at first. There was positive energy and excitement about our being there and what we were doing. People were being helped and drawn closer to Jesus. They gave powerful testimonies about the benefit the experience had been to them.

But there were persons in powerful positions who did not understand our work and could not in their minds reconcile our work with the writings of Ellen White. They called for meetings to try to point out our “errors” and to suggest that we simply take our guests through the book Steps to Christ and pray with them as their therapy. We wrote and responded with extensive information to support what we were doing, but to no avail.

It got to the point where these powerful persons said to administration, “Either they leave, or we will.” The Board intervened and moved our program out from under the supervision of these persons, but when clients would register for our program, they were told not to work with us, and that we were of the devil.

After three years, it became clear that we needed to leave. Bev had been urging me to leave for a while. Michael hated being under the rigid rules that were imposed. I resisted for a while because I saw the value of what God was doing in people’s lives there, and of the degree program at the College. However, when a reorganization occurred and our program was put back under the supervision of a physician, I knew it was time to go. So, at the end of the school year in 2000, we gave notice and left.

With this backdrop, during our recent trip to California, I felt an urge to return to the lifestyle center. I didn’t quite know why, but sensed that it had something to do with healing and closure. Bev agreed to go with me so we drove there together. It was sunny when we arrived. I kept myself open to whatever feelings and experiences that were to come. We drove up the driveway onto the property, passed the Inn and parked behind the cafeteria. After we got out of the car, we walked to the Inn, and upon entering, saw two men who were seated, talking at a table. As we greeted them and began to talk about our history there, they told us that they were planning to start an emotional healing component that sounded very similar to what we did when we were there.

It felt good to know that they were finally open to emotional healing. It was as if God was saying that they had not been ready for what we did when we were there, but that He was affirming our ministry. We exchanged contact information and took a tour of the renovated Inn building. When we left, we drove to the places on campus where we used to live, did a quick drive around the campus and left. There was certainly still pain there, but it was not overwhelming. I had previously made a conscious decision to forgive those who had hurt us there.

Soon after that we attended a spiritual conference  One of the teachings the presenter shared was  the Journey of Reclamation where God had taken him back to places of pain in his life if a very miraculous way. These places had been so painful that he did not want to go, but God had so clearly arranged the circumstances that he surrendered to going to the painful places. As always, God had special gifts of healing for him there.

One of the most striking aspects of “reclamation” is the understanding that when we are hurt or traumatized at a point in our lives, we disconnect from a part of ourselves in that place. It is a form of dissociation that helps us to survive the pain when we are unable to experience the safety of God in that moment.

When God leads us on a Journey of Reclamation, He intends to restore (Joel 2:25) the years that have been lost. He wants to reconnect us with those lost parts of ourselves so that we be whole. There are some essential elements to the Journey process:
1. Return to the place of pain (Hosea 2:14). God often arranges circumstances so that we can physically return to these places. However, that may not always be possible. Therefore, God may take us back in our memories as we sit quietly with Him.
2. Experiencing the pain. It is natural to try to avoid pain. That’s what most of our addictions are about. For many people, the pain has been so overwhelming that going back there is quiet terrifying. Therefore, it is important that they first find a safe place where they experience God. This can be a literal place like the place of personal worship each day. Often, however, it is a safe place in the mind that we can see and experience in our mind’s eye. Experiencing God there and allowing Him to take us to the places of pain where we can be comforted is vital to this kind of healing experience.
3. Grieving the losses. Allowing ourselves to grieve with God is very healing. Some people grieve very openly with deep sobbing and many tears. Others grieve more quietly and internally, but grief connected to the pain of loss is necessary. It is important to identify what part of you was lost. For example, for me at the lifestyle center, the attacks were on our professionalism, the legitimacy of our ministry, the methods we used, our spiritual connectedness with God and our personal value.

Often the impact of these losses as adults are connected to similar childhood experiences. In other words, the power of a present experience can be greater when there remains significant children pain or shame that has been unresolved. We relate to the present experience with the tools or coping strategies of the child we were when the original pain occurred.
4. Reclaiming the part of you that was lost. Work with persons who have dissociated due to trauma reveals that it is important for them to reintegrate the parts of themselves that were lost during the traumatic experience. Similarly, during the Journey of Reclamation, when God arranges for us to re-experience a painful event from our past, he knows that there is a part of ourselves, most often of our child, who we need to embrace. He may give us a picture of that child when we revisit painful places and invite us embrace that part of our child. This work can be done in a safe group. God is not limited in the ways he works with us to reclaim our past.

As for me, I am still on my Journey of Reclamation. I see more clearly why God led me to return to the California lifestyle center. In addition to this experience, God has allowed me to go to other places that were important parts of my past. The most important thing for me is that He is with me on the journey. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Openness to God’s leading and healing is what is important. May God bless you as He leads you in the reclamation of your past.

When “Help” feels like “Harm”

July 29, 2013

When “Help” Feels Like “Harm”

Jeremiah 29:11 – I already know the plans I have for you. I will help you, not hurt you. I will give you a future and a hope. (Clear Word)

When my daughter was three years old she was playing with her brothers and fell, hitting her face on a bedpost that left a gash, clearly requiring stitches. We spent several hours in the emergency room and when it was her turn to receive care, we thought it would be easy enough to hold on to a three- year-old girl to get a few stitches. We told her the doctors were going to “help” her, not “harm” her, but no amount of words, kisses or hugs were reassuring enough to calm her down. I cringed at the thought but they had to put her in a straight jacket in order to “help” her!

I sometimes wonder if that is how we see God. Harming, when He says He is helping, taking, when He says He’s giving, against us, when He says He’s for us! And what does He have to do to prove it? If you had enough money, your health, a nice home, a good job, would that do it? What if He answered all of your prayers with a “yes” when you wanted it and a “no” when you didn’t? Would that do it? Have you ever felt God’s “straight jacket” and thought He was “harming” not “helping you?

I don’t know about you but my experiences don’t always leave me thinking that God is helping me. At night when I’m lying in bed and I’m in so much emotional pain I can’t sleep, I wonder if this is God helping me! Sometimes when I’m in worship and I’m wanting God to listen and answer me but I get nothing, I’m again questioning if this is Him helping me? When I peer into the past and I see abuse, abandonment, violence and fear, was this when God was helping me?

What about when I’ve given my best and I have nothing left to give or my heart is broken in so many pieces I can’t feel anymore or my children are in need and I can’t do a thing to help them, is that when God is helping me? Doesn’t He know how awful it feels for a parent to see their child in trouble and not be able to lift a finger to help?

Oh! But Wait! He does know, doesn’t He? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (KJV) But I think it was probably worse for Him because He could have lifted a finger and chose not to. He could have helped His Son, but He didn’t. (At least not the way we think.) He had all power to save His Son, but He chose not to. He did that for me! And He did that for you because They made the decision a long time ago to “help” us and not to “harm” us! So thankful that decision has never changed!!!!


October 19, 2012

In a giant leap from more than 24 miles up, a daredevil skydiver shattered the sound barrier Sunday while making the highest jump ever — a tumbling, death-defying plunge from a balloon to a safe landing in the New Mexico desert. Felix Baumgartner hit Mach 1.24, or 833.9 mph, according to preliminary data, and became the first man to reach supersonic speed without traveling in a jet or a spacecraft after hopping out of a capsule that had reached an altitude of 128,100 feet above the Earth.

Landing on his feet in the desert, the man known as “Fearless Felix” lifted his arms in victory to the cheers of jubilant friends and spectators who closely followed his descent in a live television feed at the command center. “When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about breaking records anymore, you do not think about gaining scientific data,” he said after the jump. “The only thing you want is to come back alive.”

A worldwide audience watched live on the Internet via cameras mounted on his capsule as Baumgartner, wearing a pressurized suit, stood in the doorway of his capsule, gave a thumbs-up and leapt into the stratosphere. “Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are,” an exuberant Baumgartner told reporters outside mission control after the jump.

Risk takers like Felix Baumgartner have much to teach us. How many of us prefer to play it safe rather than take risks in our own lives and even for the Lord? We like the security of predictability to being led by the Spirit who is like a wind that blows wherever it wishes. While the need for safety is a major need in the human life, are we willing to take risks when prompted by the Spirit? Are we willing to go out of our comfort zone to give funds that we’ve been saving, to move to a strange place, to speak with people we don’t know because the Spirit leads us to do so?

Felix prepared for his record-shattering jump for seven years. He made jumps from fifteen and eighteen miles before attempting this jump. His helium balloon and space suit had been tested. How many of us take the time to prepare ourselves for the work of evangelism we are called to do? Our work of preparation is both internal and external. Internally we need to prepare our own hearts and lives so that when we encounter others it is from place of authenticity, vulnerability and empathy. When the Spirit shows us ourselves as we truly are, we “see how small we are” and minister from a place of humility and care. Externally, there are skills we need such as how to give bible studies, do friendship evangelism and conduct small group ministry.

Are we willing to invest time and energy into helping others share the journey with us to meet the Lord in the air when we will not need a helium balloon or space suit?

Fake it Til You Make It!

August 1, 2012

My friend, Joanne Palmer is at it again!  Her latest writing was  so powerful, I just had to share it.  Please leave us your thoughts.

It’s hard to believe you can be so foolish. All you’re concerned about are the externals of religion. You keep looking at your behavior and your zeal for God, but inside you’re controlled by your own ego, greed and self-indulgence. Matthew 23:25 (The Clear Word)

Fake it til you make! Really? Fake it til you make it? Who said that? And where did that thought come from? And if we were doing that, when would we do it? When we’re little children learning life or teens learning how to become socially adept? And where? Would it be okay in school learning our ABC’s or at church reciting a memory verse on 13th Sabbath that you know you didn’t learn? And for how long? Do you fake it for a  few months, couple of years or over a lifetime?

When we were younger, my mother (and I’m sure yours too) gave instructions before leaving the house which usually included the question; “Did you put on clean underwear? What if you get in a car accident?” I ask the same question: “What if you get into a car accident while you’re faking it til you make it and you die in the process?”

Not many of us are so bold as to acknowledge that we are in the process of faking it. As a matter of fact we present as just the opposite. We have made it, and are just waiting on the rest of you to get there. The problem is we can’t really tell you where “there” is because it keeps changing. And since we are not being honest we can’t even acknowledge that it keeps changing.

The above text seems to suggest that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and though we hear this over and over it has not moved us to a real experience with one another or, dare I say, with God either. How different are we than the Pharisees? Does “Happy Sabbath” or “Call me if you need me” or “I’m praying for you” really mean anything now or is this a means of “faking it til I make it? When I see you at church and my heart says, “please don’t let her speak to me today,” but as you walk over to me I smile and my lips say, “So glad to see you,” what is that?

Matthew 23:28 KJV says “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” I wonder what it would be like if we could say when we’re angry, hurting, feeling alone, in despair or just unhappy and it would be okay. I understand that God is in control and He is good and He is working it all out for my good. But does He really expect me to fake it on the outside until He fixes me on the inside? Or would He be a proponent of open, honest, authentic, relational communication among those of us who profess to be His? Otherwise how will we ever be “true” witnesses and who wants to follow “fake” people? I don’t recall any situation in the Bible where Jesus “faked” it. Do you?

Inside Out

July 25, 2012

We are happy to be back in business after a major hack job on the blog!  So much has happened since we last posted!

My friend, Joanne Palmer, wrote the following thoughts that seems appropriate to share at this time:

“Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.”1 Samuel 16:7.

Have you ever heard children sing a song called “Inside Out?” The words simply say,
“You must serve my Jesus from the inside out.” What a novel idea! Our lives are often filled with doing God’s work. We give Bible studies, go to church, work in the homeless shelters, give our tithe and do a host of other things, all in the name of serving God. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these activities of course, if we are serving God from the inside out.

But what is it that God requires of us? Micah 6:8 indicates that we are “to be just, to show mercy and to walk humbly before our God.” This text seems to indicate that what’s going on inside is more important than what we show on the outside.

I remember in a conversation one day with a close friend when she asked me if I thought I was better than my sister who was a drug addict. Of course my immediate response was “No, why would you ask me such a thing?” In my heart I thought, “She has nerve to even think that about me.” But later on when she knew I could hear her better she shared that if my sister and I were stripped from our “outer garments” (and you know she wasn’t talking about clothing), and people could only see our insides, no one would be able to tell the difference. Ouch! While I’m acting like I’m in better shape just because I don’t engage in certain activities, inside, my heart look just like hers, as far as God is concerned.

Remember the scenario in Luke 18 when the Pharisee thanked God that he was not like “that publican?” I wonder how many times in our hearts we have thanked God that we are not “like” our fathers, our mothers, that alcoholic, that church member. In actuality, if we are serving God from the “outside in” rather than from the “inside out,” we are indeed, just like that person.

When I think of how we present on the outside there are two scriptures that come to mind. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also…” (Matthew 23: 25 & 26). The second text found in Romans 2: 1 says,” Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”
Though we may not be as bold in verbalizing our thoughts as the Pharisee, and we may not outwardly judge others, we speak our reality in our actions, our attitudes and our relationships every day. Think about it. Are we being just, showing mercy and walking humbly before God? Are we viewed as serving God from the inside out? If not, maybe we need to take a closer look at ourselves and consider the messages we are sending out. Heart service beats lip service every time!

Mother’s Day, 2012

May 10, 2012

The story is told of a dear old woman who attended the funeral of a friend.  As she made her way down to the front of the church that was covered in flowers, mourners were startled to see that she had a big bowl of soup that she carefully carried down to the front of the church.  One gentleman decided to approach her to gently remind her that her friend was deceased and would not be able to enjoy her homemade soup.  She looked at all the flowers adorning the front of the church and turned to him and said, “She could surely eat my soup if she can smell all the flowers up front!”

I supposed you chuckled as I did when I first heard this story. The imagery is so startling! Giving flowers, or bringing food and perhaps clothing, is a great way to show love and care for those who are living, not the dead! “The dead know nothing!” The wise woman makes a fine point:  why not bring food, flowers or other expressions of love while a person is alive and can enjoy them.

Yet, honoring those we love does not have to be only for a day or a season.  It is a great habit to develop to frequently express gratitude for those who enrich our lives daily.  It only takes a moment to pick up the phone to say, “I love you” for no other reason than because…There is an old gospel song we used to sing with a powerful line:  “Give me my flowers while I yet live so that I can enjoy the fragrance that they give!”

As tributes pour in for mothers this week, I challenge you to ask, “How can I bring a bowl of soup or flowers while my mother can yet ‘taste’ and ‘see’ of my love for her?”   What meaningful way can you honor her in her love language: touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, the gift of time, or gifts?

So, join me in committing to develop the habit of expressing gratitude daily, by taking your mother or some special woman in your life a bowl of soup or flowers to bless them, while they are living.  We can make a difference in the life of a mother not just on Sunday  but everyday.

We’d love to hear feedback from you in space below!






I Have A Dream

April 2, 2012

After 3 weeks of computer woes (with a MAC, no less!) I had  finally gotten back on track and finally finished a blog posting when the news of the killing of Trayvon Martin emerged. Like others, I had been closely following the  story, as it unfolds.

Haji Williams, our guest blogger, has written some thoughts that are worth sharing with you.

I have a dream that my son will not be judged by the hoodie he has on but by the content of his character.
Corey Jenkins

There are many brands that are now forever linked to the shooting of Trayvon Martin who was gunned down by George Zimmerman in a gated community in Sanford, Florida: Skittles, Arizona Tea, and the infamous hoodie.  This branding got me to thinking, “What does a hoodie say about the content of one’s character?”

Be honest.  Prior to Trayvon’s shooting death, what was your perception of a man, black or white, walking down the street wearing a hood pulled over his head with his hands in his pocket? (I am in no way implying this is what happened in the Trayvon Martin case). I know I’ve crossed the street a time or two behind a hoodie! However, many were enraged when Geraldo Rivera went on his hoodie-rant saying Hispanic and African American kids shouldn’t wear them, because of the negative stereotype often associated with certain attire. I was not offended because I believe it is high time we take responsibility for how we are portrayed not just in the media, but in real life. Ask yourself what “hoodie” do you wear out into the world everyday? Image matters, people often judge what they see and fear what they don’t understand. If celebrities, athletes, and countless industries are allowed to “build a brand” why can’t the average citizen do the same? Let’s build a new image for the United States, one that proves a person can be judged not by the color of the skin but the content of character.  After all, isn’t it your character that makes an eternal difference?

I want to let make it crystal clear that I believe that George Zimmerman should be arrested and charged for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, period! What I also want, is for us to use this incident to examine stereotypes and negative imagery and take responsibility for how we come across in the world, and remember, don’t let your “hoodie “ speak louder than your character!

To those that say what I wear and how I look shouldn’t matter, just turn on the TV. Earlier today the news station HLN reported they will no longer show the pictures of a younger Trayvon Martin nor will they show the 2005 mugshot of George Zimmerman. Why, because mainstream media understands that people are far more influenced by what they see rather than what they know

Please join in the discussion by sharing your thoughts  below.

The Face of Addiction-Whitney Houston

February 14, 2012

Disbelief and then overwhelming sadness hit as I heard and tried to grasp the news about the death of Whitney Houston. She was only 48 years old…. Gone way too soon. She had a tremendous voice that has now been silenced in death.

Everyone acknowledges that she had a troubled life, and waged a very public battle with addiction. Unfortunately, her troubles were often attributed to her marriage to singer, Bobby Brown.

I want to attempt to set the record straight. Whitney’s troubles did not begin nor end with her marriage and divorce. Her addiction started long before she picked up her first drink, smoked her first cigarette, or had her first hit of crack or cocaine.

Addiction is a cunning and baffling disease. It is considered a primary, chronic disease of the brain. It is characterized by the ABC’s as noted below:
• Inability to consistently Abstain
• Impairment in Behavioral control
Craving or increased “hunger” for drugs or rewarding experiences
Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal  relationships
• A dysfunctional Emotional response

Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.1

Now that the therapeutic definition of addiction has been identified, let’s speak to the bottom line: PAIN and Comfort.

I heard one comment that Whitney was called “The Queen of Pain.” She was not alone. Everyone experiences pain. After all, we live in a world of sin, and pain. We all need comfort for this pain. No one wants to live in pain (physical or emotional) all the time.

If we were left to find our own source of comfort, we all would be in trouble and like Whitney, even die from our choices. However, we are not left without a way of meeting this need. The bible says that God is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1: 3-5). He is the only ONE who knows how to provide the comfort our hearts need. When we turn to something other than Him, like Whitney and a myriad of others, we may end up caught in a web of addiction that can lead to spiritual and even physical death.

What’s the personal “takeaway” from this tragic ending of a gifted woman we can receive? Let me urge you to start by taking a personal inventory and by asking yourself some hard questions:
• Do I engage in anything I know is not good for me, yet I can’t seem to stop?
• Do I experience any stress or pain that I have chosen to comfort myself?
• Have I found myself minimizing and discounting the nature of my form of “comfort”: food, sex, VIDEO GAMES, people pleasing, TV, pornography, religion… the list can go on and on.
• Have others expressed concern about something I’m doing that I have chosen to ignore?

Into HIS Rest Ministries exists to point people to the matchless love and provision of God. We invite you to seek the God of ALL comfort in a new and fresh way, asking Him to search your heart. He wants so much to supply all our needs.

If these thoughts have spoken to you in any way, please feel free to leave a comment below.

“I Missed You Daddy!”

February 1, 2012

This morning on the news was a touching story of the birthday surprise for a 6 year old little girl, whose dad was deployed to Afghanistan for a year. Unbeknownst to her, he was able to make it home to surprise her at school on her birthday.     She ran and jumped into his arms while crying.  “How   did you ever make it? I really missed you daddy!  I am really happy!” all spoken while she was holding him tightly.  She stroked his head and told him how much she loved him.

We’ve seen stories like this before, however, this story was different.  What made this story so touching was the loving expressiveness caught on tape of the little girl toward her dad  when he suddenly appeared.   Likewise, Dad had to fight back tears (this was a military man after all, and this was being filmed for TV!).   This was a moving story.  I was really blessed.

As I reflected on the story, it raised questions for me from several perspectives and prompted me to write them down and I now share them with you.

The Father
From the father’s perspective, what did this man have to do to make getting home to his daughter for her birthday a reality?  How did Dad contain his excitement when he realized that he would be able to pull this off?   Can you imagine the eager anticipation he must have felt, waiting in the wings till he was given the signal to come out.  The father reminded me of  Jairus who went out of  his way to plead with Jesus to come and heal his is daughter.

The Little Girl
Could the little girl dare to even hope to receive the greatest birthday present possible- that of seeing her dad?   Instead of being rendered speechless with joy, she poured out her expressions of love and joy at seeing her dad onto him.

O that all children could respond so positively to the sight of a dad.  O that all children had a dad who would put forth the effort to pull off this surprise.

The Onlookers
What about onlookers, including children in the classroom that day?  Was there a longing generated in some child’s heart for a dad?  O that we all received such a positive and warm reception from the one we call dad.

The Local News Station
Was the local news station contacted and agreed this would be a great story to report on? Little did either party realize what a special response would be captured!  There surely had to be some thought and effort put into making this a joyful reality.  Imagine the local reporter’s excitement that this story was to be picked up by the network!

Many of us have never had an experience of being loved or have a love for our earthly dad as this little girl.   God is so committed to restoring in relationships that which was lost that He has undertaken the task Himself to make sure that it happens. Psalm 27:10 says: “When my father and mother forsake me then the Lord will take me up.” I am grateful that although my earthly dad was not there, God has stepped into the gap and surprises me as this dad surprised his daughter.  I want my heart response to be like that little girl where I recognize what great love God has for me.  He is standing in the gap where my dad was unable to stand.  He has won my heart over and over again.

In the end, I have more questions than I do answers.  The questions have been a blessing.  The greatest blessing has been thinking from God’s perspective and His wonderful heart of love.  I want to be like that little girl.  I want to pour out my love and worship for my Heavenly Daddy for all the world to see.

Please leave your comments below, as we would love to hear from you!







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