The views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author. They are not and do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) or position(s) of the organization, board of directors and/or any other individual(s) or entity (ies) affiliated or unaffiliated with Christians in Public Service, Inc. Email dburton@cipsinc.org 


 

He Makes All Things New
Monday, April 4, 2022 10:06 AM

He Makes All Things New

Monday, April 4, 2022 10:06 AM
Monday, April 4, 2022 10:06 AM

God told Jeremiah to go down to the potter's house. When Jeremiah got there, he said he saw the potter "making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make." - Jeremiah 18:1-4

This is where I am, where we are as an organization. Where you may be in your personal life or career.

We can't be afraid to begin again, nor afraid to yield to God's will to make us over again. Sometimes life demands it. God knows the way we should take and what it will take to get us there. Even if that means making us over to start over.

Thank you for your patience and prayers as we transition, shift gears and in some cases break the mold.

God created time but exists outside of time, yet orchestrates the times. In our personal and professional life, we must have ears that hear and be attuned to what God is doing in us, the new thing He has prepared to do through us; and, where he is leading us.

We never want to live our life where the Spirit of God "used to be." Yesterday's anointing won't do for today's challenges. 

David was anointed three times and had to wait seven years before being crowned Israel's king.

If your life is stale and your career has stalled, perhaps it is time to go back to God for a fresh anointing.

The power is in the anointing, by way of the Holy Spirit, not in our title by way of our position. 

As Jeremiah was watching the potter remake the vessel, God said to Jeremiah, "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!" 

The same is true for you and me. Trust the Potter. You are in his hands. Don't fight to stay where you are, when where you are no longer is where God wants you to be.

He makes all things new and if you have not yet noticed, the whole world is in a new season.

Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone),

Celebrating Nine Years
Sunday, March 20, 2022 1:11 AM

Celebrating Nine Years

Sunday, March 20, 2022 1:11 AM
Sunday, March 20, 2022 1:11 AM

Today, we turn nine. On March 20, 2013 seven courageous people began this journey with me. To support an idea, a big idea, given to me on an uneventful, routine day while walking across the campus of Dallas Theological Seminary.

I was at the time, a student. But not the average student who was pretty clear on why they were in seminary. Whether to prepare for pastoral ministry, missions, professional ministry, Christian counseling or any of the myriad of reasons for undertaking such a rigorous course of study.

Though knowing God had led me to seminary, I was not at all the ministerial type. My whole life had been wrapped around politics. I loved God, but not to the extent that I had a burning desire or even a passing desire to attend seminary.

I had at the time been elected to my fourth term on the Duncanville, Texas City Council (a suburb just south of Dallas). I had for years been actively involved at the state and national level.

Outwardly successful and together. But inwardly filled with turmoil. Broken in a number of ways with fissures visible to no one on the outside. But inside, I was nowhere near as together as I appeared.

I was a seeker. Not seeking to know God, as I by that time had been a baptized believer for years. But being led to seek Him at a deeper level. There had to be more.

Long story made short - I eventually, after many days that turned into months that turned into a couple of years into seminary, found peace and this work found me. Literally, found me.

Many know the story of how this organization was founded and I won't go into that here. But it was nothing short of amazing and it was nothing I nor anyone else could have ever conceived. It is a work from the beginning led by the Holy Spirit. 

It had no name, but the mission was clear. Back then, we had no place to meet and one of our founders, Helen Roberts, worked for the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, headquartered in Dallas. They were kind enough (and I will be forever grateful) to allow us to use their beautiful facility.

On a bright, crisp Wednesday morning, March 20, 2013, we sat around a table, prayed, talked excitingly about the work before us and we formed what would become Christians in Public Service.

The original mission remains our guiding light - from March 20, 2013:

"to be a nonpartisan, interdenominational organization providing support, educational programs, networking, professional and leadership development opportunities principally, but not exclusively for elected and non-elected Christian public servants who lead, work and serve in the public arena."

We have not wavered. One of our founders Dr. Ron Anderson, now home with the Lord, was instrumental in providing the framework for what we would eventually become though he didn't live to see it. But I can't help but believe that he somehow saw it.
 
As we begin this new season, turning a year older and emerging from such a horrific pandemic, we will stay the course. Looking to God, leaning neither to the right nor to the left but on Him as we have from the beginning. Taking on no one's issues or causes, but taking the Kingdom view in all that we do, teach and model. It's what we were founded to be and by God's grace, hard work and continual prayer, have become.
 
I have learned so much over these nine years - about people, about myself, even more about the faithfulness of God. As we have stumbled our way in finding our way, our blueprint has been God's word. Not political issues nor any hint of political party agenda(s). Our agenda is a Kingdom-focused agenda. Not perfect, but authentic.
 
We are the real deal and the test of time is one that we have passed. I have sometimes failed some tests, which sends me consistently back to the Book and on my knees.
 
We don't seek to be popular, but principled. In all we do. In all we are. Principled. Purposed. The principles of God's word are our foundation, furniture, pots, pans, meat and potatoes, bread and butter. With character, courage, authenticity, integrity, consistency and love for all.
 
This is who we are and with a grateful heart I say, "happy Founder's Day to us!"

Want to support our work? Please give here. There is so much darkness and deception. We stand for light and truth!
 
Petitioning the King - The Prayers God Answers
Saturday, March 12, 2022 12:12 PM

Petitioning the King - The Prayers God Answers

Saturday, March 12, 2022 12:12 PM
Saturday, March 12, 2022 12:12 PM
 

It is a blessing to live in the United States of America. But it does not help when it comes to how to live, work and prosper under Kingdom rule.
 
America was founded as a democratic republic with representative form of government.
 
We elect representatives to plead our cause and represent our interests on city councils, school boards, in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill --- all the way up to the person who will lead us as a nation - the President of the United States.
 
While a representative republic, working as designed, is ideal - and I am thankful to have been born in America (even more in TEXAS), it puts us at a disadvantage experientially when it comes to knowing how to live in a Kingdom where the King has the final word and we have little to no knowledge of kingdom rule.
 
Yet, this is how God rules and reigns. We, as Christians acknowledge His kingship but many of us don't really know the implications for us of the same.
 
There is no voting in a Kingdom. The king decrees and so it is. The founders of what would be America revolted against kingdom rule and colonized the new country under a totally different form of government from the one from which they broke away.
 
Freedom from church rule was paramount to them as was freedom from the religious hold over government that was the rule of law in England.
 
Separation of church and state was paramount to them. Just not in the way the religious have twisted it in America to fit a political narrative.
 
The separation was to protect the state, not the church. Church rule in the new Americas would have been a deal breaker. They did not want a replica of rule that was the Church of England. The church controlled the government.
 
There would be no Church of America as there was the Church of England and every citizen would be free to worship (or not worship) as they pleased.
 
Contrary to "patriot theology," the founders did not bind colonial existence to the foundation of religion with the intent of America being a "Christian nation."
 
It makes for great political religious rhetoric, campaign literature and theatre, but it simply is not historically accurate.
 
It is historically factual, however, that most of the founders were Protestant. George Washington's parents were Puritan and he was raised Anglican. Washington would later in life become more deistic in his religious views. 
 
Thomas Fitzsimmons and Charles Carroll were Roman Catholics and Carroll would be the only Roman Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence.
 
Many Americans balked at John F. Kennedy's election for fear that his Catholicism would somehow interfere or unduly influence his decisions. Many oblivious to the fact that a Roman Catholic was a signer of our most precious document.
 
I love God. I am a baptized believer, trained in theology and love America. But, as a country of laws and as a matter of law, including constitutional law, the United States is a secular nation. It was set up to be that way.
 
There are many Christian countries, to name a few - Ethiopia, Zambia, Greece, Hungary, England, Norway, Vatican City, Costa Rica, Denmark. But America is not one of them. 
 
This is why as Christ followers, indoctrinated in a country built upon the foundations of constitutional law, representative government and dominated by one religion - Christianity - many are confused as to how to be effective and impactful as both.
 
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke record how Jesus tells us the way to pray - beginning with the most crucial, "Our Father...." Abba Father. The Father is also King. And this is where many American Christians miss it because we have not for the most part been taught better.
 
Much of the media and world's attention is focused on the horrifying acts of aggression, murder and destruction in Ukraine. And there are cries from all corners of the world to pray for Ukraine.
 
To be effective as Christians in our prayer for Ukraine and in prayer in general, we must pray in a way that the King will acknowledge. These are the prayers He answers. 
 
Emotional appeal is genuine but when we pray, we are talking to the Father but petitioning the King. And it is the King that acts on our behalf as father. Emotional appeal to a King when not in line with his rule, word or decree is useless.
 
This is why Jesus tells us that in order for our prayers to be answered we must abide in Him and His word abide in us (John 15:7) and that we cannot get to the father (i.e. the King) no other way but through him (John 14:6).
 
There is a way to come to God (i.e., the King) and it is not by democratic agreement, but by the decree of the King (i.e., his word).
 
This is hard to fathom in American Christendom with the proliferation of prosperity gospel and nationalistic, mega and MAGA-ministry theology.
 
There is no strict formula for prayer. The acronym ACTS has been taught by many, gleaned from Paul's writing in the Book of Philippians as the easy method to remember to pray (A - acknowledge to God who He is; C - confess any known sin; T - give thanks for what he has already done; and, S - supplication - ask for what we need).
 
But this doesn't get us to the heart of God's heart that causes him to act on our behalf. The heart of God that David, as a young boy and as king, understood. The importance of the decrees of the King. 
 
O, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, Because I have observed Your precepts.
Psalm 119:97-100
Pray for Ukraine, yes. Pray the Lord does what only He can do when it comes to kings and rulers. Pray that as channels of water, He turns Putin's heart (Proverbs 21:1) against the desire to further do harm to Ukraine and to all who are innocent.
 
As his word abides in us and we in Him, we trust Him to do it. (John 15:7). Ask Abba Father on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine to turn Putin's heart toward Him and no more against them who too, are His.
 
As humans, we are dealing with kingdoms. Not religion. Not Christianity. Not Americanized evangelicalism. Two massive spiritual kingdoms beyond what we can fathom. Yet we have been invited by God into His kingdom as sons and daughters.
 
So many of us have not been taught over the years, at the fault of religion how to be in relationship with God. God is not democratic. God is not the ultimate patriot Republican. God is not American. God is not Jewish or any other religion. God is spirit. All nations of the world are his.
 
God is from everlasting to everlasting and to his Kingdom there is no end. There's not been a time he wasn't or will be. And it is fascinating how He is calling us, those with a desire to know him, back to him. And the only way to do that is through His word.
 
Not because of anything mystical or mysterious to which only pastors and preachers and prophets have access. But us all who know Him. To connect the visible with the invisible, the finite with the infinite. His word is that bridge.
 
It's not church buildings. It's not religion. It's not long meaningless, wordy prayers. It is about relationship.
 
God is not concerned so much about what we as "believers" have concerned and concern ourselves with. And as Americans, have been ingrained with and have become so accustomed to and indoctrinated in. 
 
To understand God and to relate properly to God is to understand how kingdoms function. The people of the United Kingdom are more versed in this than those in the United States.
 
Countries and islands once under British Empire rule better understand the nature of kingdoms than we as Americans do. We are behind the curve. Way behind. We have got to get to know better God as King.
 
Today, as world systems, governments and economies are teetering - now is the time to study the King's decrees (the Bible) -- God's words and his ways like never before. Ask Him to help you understand what you are seeing and experiencing from His perspective - in context of Kingdom rule and authority.
 
Because like it or not, as free and liberated as we are, America is still under Kingdom rule. God's rule. 

 
Church membership while good, won't get it. Prosperity gospel won't get it. Cursory knowledge of God won't get it. We must know Him and become versed in kingship.
 
Read David's writings in Psalms. Moses' writings from Genesis through Deuteronomy and in Hebrews. Read the epistles of the Apostle Paul. Get to know God the King so that you will know better and understand how the King acts as Abba Father on our behalf when we petition him in prayer.
 
The absolute power from the King available to us when we operate obediently and in accordance to his decrees (i.e., His word).
 
We are living in amazing times, as we witness history unfold. As we watch the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth and the kingdom of the earth clash.
 
The God of the heavens and the earth - Jehovah God, and the god of this world, Satan. We are eye witnesses to amazing real-time battles.
 
And Abba Father, the God of the heavens and the earth, King over all creation has invited us to be part of it all - in Him and through Him. Wow.
 
Get to know the King and how to live subject to the same for yourself so that your prayers will be effective. Not bouncing off the ceiling but traversing the throne-room of heaven to the King on the Throne. With our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ at His right hand giving his stamp of approval.
 
When we are in right standing with the King, taking the right posture before the King, we stand as righteous in the eyes of the King. And the prayers of the righteous avail much (i.e., are answered.) James 5:16

I Once Was Blind...
Sunday, February 13, 2022 8:44 AM

I Once Was Blind...

Sunday, February 13, 2022 8:44 AM
Sunday, February 13, 2022 8:44 AM

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author. They are not and do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) or position(s) of the organization, board of directors and/or any other individual(s) or entity (ies) affiliated or unaffiliated with Christians in Public Service, Inc. Email dburton@cipsinc.org 


I've seen and lived both sides. From a committed atheist to a committed Christian. Studying all 66 books of the Bible not just in seminary, but every day in some capacity since.

I speak with knowledge from both perspectives. I get the perspective of atheists and agnostics; some of whom more giving, kind and thoughtful than many Christians I know. Especially many who claim to be Christians today.
 
I can't and won't claim to be better than or holier than anyone because who I am today will not allow me to forget who I was yesterday. And while I don't linger in the past, I am humbled in my present by my past with hope for my future because of who I am today in Christ.
 
It's why my defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his commandments is not rooted in politics or any political agenda.
 
In fact, when it became so clearly and painfully obvious to me that the party I had been committed to all of my adult life began to, so artfully and skillfully, twist God's holy word into political talking points and used not to evangelize and disciple as Jesus taught but as weapons against people... even skilled pastors and preachers doing the same ...giving even more credibility to it, I had to turn away.
 
Not turn away from God. Not from his word. But from people who were and are misusing his Word. Even some preachers and pastors I once knew, loved and respected.
 
The shock of learning that so much of it had been an act all along is still something I am getting over. I still love them but I don't know what it would take to step back into their sanctuary. I now know I am not fully welcomed there.
 
Many sadly have traded the good news of the gospel for the red cap of deceit, control, money, superiority driven by a thirst for power. Even if it means drinking from the cup of deception to obtain and keep it.
 
The reverberating sounds of shattering glass, the piercing screams of police officers in pain, the sound of a gallow being raised... the loud, foul angry chants for their god believing as gospel his word, is only matched by the deafening silent consent of pastors and others who yet keep silent and utter nothing of justice and righteousness from the only true God.
 
Only because many serve both and it is impossible to preach against what you believe in your heart to be true, even though it is a lie. Such is the case across the landscape of America today.
 
To be honest, most days I still feel weird in this new political reality. I know too much Word to stay committed to the right and I know too much Word to be committed to the left.
 
The only thing I know for sure is that I am committed to the God, who through Jesus Christ saved me, even knowing all about me, with the invitation and privilege to know Him. I am awestruck by this.
 
An atheist once who couldn't see and believe in what seemed to be nothing more than a fairytale told and believed only by fools.
 
Admittedly, I once was a fool. Once so very foolish. It's because I know better that I am no longer a fool and because I have learned better that I refuse to be fooled.
 
Many Americans are being fooled today. Have been and are being deceived. The spirit of deception in high places (heavenly places as the great Apostle Paul wrote) is strong. High places, from boardrooms to C-Suites to green rooms. From pulpits and podiums.
 
Satan is the prince of the power of the air and is controlling much of what we see and hear across the airwaves. 
 
Today I know better. I know the ways of this prince - the god of this world. But thankfully I also am knowing God. "Am knowing." We won't fully know God until we are finally back home with Him in the Kingdom.
 
Yet, I know enough. And this is what keeps me sane in an America whose leadership seems increasingly anything but.
 
O say can you see? I can. I once was blind but now I see.
 
Christmas 2000 Years Later - There is Still No Room for Him
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 12:24 PM

Christmas 2000 Years Later - There is Still No Room for Him

Wednesday, December 22, 2021 12:24 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 12:24 PM

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author. They are not and do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) or position(s) of the organization, board of directors and/or any other individual(s) or entity (ies) affiliated or unaffiliated with Christians in Public Service, Inc. Email dburton@cipsinc.org 



It has been quite the year! I often found myself, though serving, praying and working, lost in the confusion of the day.

Nothing was making sense to me anymore. Everywhere I looked, there was confusion, shouting, anger, hate, racism, unloving, unkind people who claimed the mantle of Christianity but showed anything but.

Finding myself after a long, exhausting year in the month of December, planning for our annual award luncheon, I was emotionally, physically, spiritually spent.

The only thing that kept me going was the promise I made to Dr. Ron Anderson, one of our founding directors, now home with the Lord and after whom the award is named, that I wouldn't quit. Though this year for the first time --- that thought appealed to me stronger than at any other time since founding this organization.

I kept telling myself, "just get through December 4th Dorothy." The date of our luncheon.

My house was a mess. I was a mess. Thanksgiving a blur. Nothing was coming together for the luncheon and I had never felt so alone.

I had to somehow find my center again. 

After the luncheon - which thankfully for the sake of His name, God answered my and others' prayers and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful ever.

But I was no less mentally and physically exhausted. In the meantime, Christmas was all around. The sights and sounds of Christmas -- the carols, the trees, decorations.

But my life and home were a wreck. I withdrew. Started cleaning like a mad woman. Throwing this out and that out. Dusting in places I hadn't touched in seemingly years. Our beautiful 4,200 square-ft. home seemed empty, cluttered and lifeless. Kinda like I was.

Do you know that our surroundings are a reflection of us? 

I didn't need a new mirror - I needed a new me - from the inside.

We have books everywhere in our home. I am an avid reader, with a goal of reading 4 books a month. I had not met that goal in months and my bible-reading was practically on auto-pilot. Even recording my weekly podcast and devotional were from auto-pilot. I was empty.

I desperately needed a new view of Jesus. No, I needed Jesus. I wanted to, had to, somehow find my way back to Christmas 0001 - back to the manger. Back to the formative years of the Savior. Back to his life. Back to His teachings. Back to His ways.

The book of Luke - yes Dr. Luke gives us the most comprehensive recording of the life of Jesus and I delved headlong and heartlong into it. Reading and slowly meditating on a chapter a day. Making my way still with wonder through its pages.

Meditating on Jesus' life. His works. His words. His ways. A seminary grad and lifelong church member, I am today like a kid in a candy store. 

I got some rest, deep-cleaned our home. Back-breaking work, but there is something cathartic about mopping and cleaning! 

I began thinking about the state of the church today and how far off the mark we are. How far from the teachings of Jesus. 

How did we get from there to shouts of "Let's Go Brandon!" (F*ck Joe Biden!) in sanctuaries and among those who claim him?

This is not meant to be a criticism of Christianity but studied observation. And a lot of thought over this past year.
 
The evangelical church, of which I have been part for over 35 years now, trained in it - but it was, in America, founded in supremacy, rooted in domination, control and misconstrued hiearchy.
 
While at the same time sanctioning, participating in and furthering the evil and cruel enslavement of other humans... themselves created in the very image of God.
 
It is little wonder why it is so weak today.
 
The only question is why it took so long for it to become so evident?  It had to be revealed and only God could reveal it.
 
Multi-million dollar tax-free "ministries" sprang up, patterned after the capitalistic and political system of the country, not patterned after the Kingdom.
 
In fact, the true Kingdom as Jesus taught, would be booed and hissed today. Dismissed as socialism, leftist lunacy and yes, some would even find a way to throw in CRT.
 
Evangelicalism in America today does not for the most part operate or even give cursory nods to the Kingdom.
 
But "ministry" as they wanted it to be. Fashioned it to be. Created it to be. Using the Bible to justify or in many cases misjustify it and bend it toward a particular political bent.
 
Preaching people into heaven, damning them to hell, with so much emphasis on evangelicalism and being "born again." But little to no emphasis on love, humility, giving, kindness and sacrifice.
 
Leaning as heavily on the "rule of law" as the religious leaders of Jesus's day did religious law, rarely speaking of grace, compassion and selflessness.
 
Jesus never day-to-day preached and certainly did not build his work on the "born again" ministry mantra. This came out of the religion of the church. Hello!
 
SHOCK OF SHOCKERS. Jesus mentioned being "born again" only one time. One. time. And that was to a frightened little religious leader who sheepishly came to Jesus at night, wanting to know what to do to get into this Kingdom Jesus taught daily about. Nicodemus.
 
Jesus never made this the cornerstone and centerpiece of his teachings. Because it wasn't.
 
What did he teach? "The Kingdom is like..." "The Kingdom is like..." "The Kingdom is like..." He taught the Kingdom.
 
Everything he taught was about the Kingdom. He taught the Kingdom. Principles of the Kingdom. How we, his followers are to live, serve and go about life according to the same.
 
He literally brought heaven to earth. Emmanuel, God with us. This is who that babe in the manger was.
 
Jesus never taught religion and "ministry" and all this Americanized stuff.
 
In fact, He came to set us free from this. Just as he did when he was opposed by the religious of his day. 
 
Jesus told the Pharisees and religious leaders one day who were complaining about his disciples not following along with their old guard rigidity -- Jesus said,
 
"No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says,'The old is good enough. - Jesus (Luke 5:36-39)
 
And this is where we are --- "the old is good enough" for way too many. Especially for those who have shaped and formed Christianity to their liking and political bent.
 
When the foundation is weak and laid wrong and the house constructed on that foundation, with furnishings stained generationally with the blood of the innocent handed down, we get a church that is foundationally weak.
 
And people fleeing from the house with no ability for the head of the house to fight back against the very things on which it was built. An old, faulty foundation, modeled not after the Kingdom but capitalism, greed and power - sprinkled on top with religious isms.
 
It is easier as we are seeing today for many religious leaders to throw in their lot with the ones closest to their political leanings and pocketbook. Just as it was when Jesus came on the scene, that first Christmas so very long ago.
 
Today, it is as it was then, with many religious leaders pining for power, access and proximity to it. Forsaking the poor, the immigrant, the last, least and lost. The very people Jesus spent his time on earth with.  Not Roman government leaders.
 
The Kingdom is not taught as Jesus the Christ taught it and serving others as far as many church leaders are concerned is just something they don't do. it's not politically expedient and not worth the wrath of the talking heads.
 
But when it comes to invitations to the White House, commentary on entertainment news or on the red carpet? Katy bar the door. You couldn't pay some of these religious leaders to spend time with the poor, the immigrant or the lost. This can't profit them.
 
Denigrating or elevating others instead based on their politics. If their political views align. It's sick. And Christianity in America is sick.
 
It's about power not the Kingdom and that's why even many pastors are fleeing "the ministry." That or keep silent or throw in their lot, as many have done, with the politicians. Thus the state of play.
 
Just as it was when Jesus was born.
 
This is the problem Christmas 2021 as it was Christmas 0001. It is impossible for the preachers and the pastors and the generationally compromised evangelical church to do anything to fight back against this present darkness. It sees no need. Nor did the religious then. Same.
 
In fact many have thrown in their lot and bet the farm by joining it. Jesus never did.
 
I no longer get angry at them. I pity them and am sad for the world that so desperately needs what Jesus taught. Kingdom living. Kingdom serving. Kingdom sharing. Kingdom relationships. Kingdom wisdom. Kingdom life.
 
Christmas 2021. "Away in a manger..." and in many ways, there is still no room for him.
 
 

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