Christos Anesti, Aléthos Anesti Which is Greek for : “Christ is Risen!” And we reply “Indeed He Has! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

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In the Greek tradition, we crack eggs each Easter. One person says “Christ is Risen” and the other says “Indeed He has” and we smash eggs. (Its a fun time for the family and each year there is a winner- the one with the unsmashed egg wins, usually my brother wins and I always accuse him of cheating- it’s never ending) Legend has it that eggs were brought to the tomb by Mary that special morning.The eggs are dyed red in remembrance of the blood of Jesus, the shell represents the tomb that couldn’t hold Him, the smash of the egg is in remembrance of what Jesus did to the power of the grave by disarming the powers and authorities, making a public spectacle of our enemies. Amen!

Disclaimer: This is what I imagine and also what I’ve seen  along with scripture on the death, burial and resurrection of our Blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

A great heavenly host of angels, the prophets, the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Archangel Gabriel and all of Heavens armies, the entire host of heaven surrounded the cross at that moment. They had  watched as the Son of God as He was tried and beaten throughout the night, they watched as He carried the cross, beaten and bruised. The entire heavens stood silent as He was nailed to the cross. A great silence and stillness covered the heavens as tears slipped down their faces, their fury held back as they watched the Savior suffer in utter torment. Abraham watching his children spit and strike the Lord, the angels wanting desperately to rescue Him, and the prophets of old bowing their heads with broken hearts as they all watched the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Lion of tribe of Judah and the King of kings brutally  nailed to a cross. The Savior of the world in deep abandonment, sorrow, pain and rejection. It was through Him the earth an all creation was made, yet we didn’t recognize Him. He took the punishment we deserved. On the cross for 6 hours and soon the skies became as night. Dark clouds billowed in mid day and darkness covered the land. His friends, disciples, His mother, Joseph of Arimathea and many more stood off at distance on a small hill, they were still in the darkness facing the cross.  After  and after 3 hours of darkness, they heard the Lord cry out “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” and then another cry “It is finished!” He bowed his head and released his spirit. It was done. He died,  the earth quaked, the graves opened, the dead came back and were seen among the living, The soldiers gasped in fear and exclaimed ” Truly, this was the Son of God!”. The thick veil in the temple tore in two as the earth shaking, sky pitch black darkness, fear in every heart, walls crumbling, dead digging their way out…… and the proclamation echoed out:

“See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. FOR HE  will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence! For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about. And because of his experience, ” My righteous servant has made it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he has borne all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death.” He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. He has opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. Amen!
               He has made the people holy by the blood He shed, He has now become our High Priest. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. He mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. ”

As He released His spirit, He was taken up into the arms of the heavenly host who quickly gathered around Him and held Him with great love, comforting Him.

Now an honorable man, Joseph of Arimathea, took the body of Jesus down with the help of Roman soldiers, Nicodemus  and a few others. It was still dark as they took down His body. I could see them releasing HIs feet first, then His hands, His body slumped over on Joseph as they came in to prepare His body.  He was wrapped in white linen , placed in a wooden box like a casket with no top so they could properly carry Him. It was still dark and there were about 6 men carried the Lord to a place Joseph had prepared for Him. Guards were set over His grave so no one could claim that He would rise again as He had told His disciples, yet on the third day, another great earthquake shook the ground, a mighty angel came down and rolled the stone away and sat on it. The guards shook with fear and fell into a dead faint. The angel told the women ” Jesus is not here! He is risen from the dead!

He had risen, but He had not yet ascended to the Father.  He told the disciples not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father. Remember what Jesus said- the only sign given to them would be the sign of Jonah, just as he was in the belly of the whale for 3 days and 3 nights so the Son of Man will be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.  Moses and Elijah were there to witness, they had met Jesus before hand at the Mount of transfiguration to discuss what was to come. Jesus had a mission….

At His death, He disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of our enemies in high places! For He, our redeemer, triumphed over them by the cross.

Remember Jesus’ words in Mathew 12 and Luke 4 :

  For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. “This evil generation keeps asking me to show them a miraculous sign. But the only sign I will give them is the sign of Jonah.  What happened to him was a sign to the people of Nineveh that God had sent him. What happens to the Son of Man will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God…….

 When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the Lord God will live among us there. Psalm 68:18

However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people. Eph 4:7-8

For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit 1 Peter 4:6

 Who shall descend into the deep(go down to the abyss)?   Roman 10

So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—  those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 3:19-21

Jesus had risen from the dead, but had not ascended to the Father, so where was He for the 3 days? In 1 Peter, we are told He preached to the spirits in prison- the people from long ago who died in the flood of Noah’s day.  When did He do this? based on Matthew 12 and 4, I believe this happened while He was in “the heart of the earth for three days and three nights”. What I find so amazing about this- whether it happened at this moment or not- it did happen, is that God, after 4000-5000 years, he still deeply cared for all those souls who perished in the flood. He wanted to make a way for not only us today and all those after Christ, but also a way for all those who had died since the beginning of our time.

knowing this, I can imagine it now, I can see it as it’s happening:
   There He is, Jesus Christ, Savior of the World, given ALL AUTHORITY  in Heaven and Earth from God the Father. He is holding the keys to Hades. He enters in the heart of the earth,  the dark abyss with a mighty angelic force behind Him. Entering into the gates of Hell Proclaiming freedom every captive “ You have been set free! I have come to save You! Your Father in Heaven has sent for you!” His voice like thunder echoing throughout for every man and woman to hear. Teaching and preaching to them the Good News. He walked through the gates of Hell and throughout the pit of Hell, making sure He spoke to everyone who had ever been created, gathering as many as He could. Demons surrounding Him silenced in His Power unable to speak and filled with weakness, trembling in His presence. The Savior, full of power and authority continued showing the captives His hands and feet, showing everyone what our Savior had done so they could be set free. Many called out to Him, grabbing on to Him, following and believing, but yet others – in anger like the Pharisees, mocked Him and treated Him as the people of the world had treated Him. Just as the Pharisees knew He was God and choose to reject Him for their own pride, status and evil hearts, so some of the people in heart of death also treated Him.

     So the Lord Jesus took His captives to freedom as they He gathered them into the Heavens, out of the pit of torment and dread that was supposed to be eternal for each one of them. As they reached the Great Throne room before the Lord God Almighty, the Lord’s heart leaped for joy to see His children. He gave each one a Great Embrace as is they were the only child of the Father- telling them- “ My Child, I have always loved you with an everlasting love. Since the very beginning, even those of you who died in the flood during the days of Noah, I have never forgotten you. You have never left my mind. I am filled with Joy that you are here with me. I have a place prepared for you.” ( God never forgets you)


Jesus came back to earth to see and talk to His friends giving them instructions and proving that He is the Son of the Living God many times after His resurrection. Today,  He sits today at the right hand of God the Father. The heavens, the freed captives, and the angelic host filled the heavens with great Praises to the King of Kings and they have never stopped – even unto this day- I can still hear them sing praises to the new born king, Peace on earth, goodwill toward men, Christ was born in Bethlehem -the praises to Him ring forth forever and ever.
Amen and Glory Hallelujah! Our King is Risen.

As we say each Easter in celebration of Christ and God’s love for us :“Christos Anesti” and we continue to reply “Aléthos Anesti “ Which means : “Christ is Risen!” And we reply “Indeed He Has! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

Wont you join Him? There’s a place for you before His mighty throne, as space made before Him just for you – yes,  for you as if you were His only child.

Who has believed our message?
To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm?
 My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot,like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on him
the sins of us all.
 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
 Unjustly condemned,he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.
But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels

You are saved by grace? or works? or faith? or fruit? Can Grace save you?

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I had a dream and in this dream, I stood before a great king. He seemed larger than life and he sat on a great throne. It seemed I was only 1/3 of his height. We were going back in forth in debate- well only I was debating- on the subject of salvation, but the king only had one answer and would defeat my argument each time.

My Dream:

I walked into a room and there was a great king on a large throne and between us seemed to be desk. I stood and argued that it was not possible to be saved by grace alone. I argued with all the scripture I knew and the king would reply each time “No, it is only by grace that you are saved”

What! That can’t be, I would argue back. The bible is clear that we are not saved unless we believe and even that isn’t enough, because scripture says that even the devils believe, and with this that we need works, because the bible says with out works, our faith is dead. So we need to believe, but we need to add to that faith, but yet, still that is not good enough, we need works – because scripture says that.

The king would gently reply: “It is only by grace that you are saved”

Really? I argued back, so how does that make sense? What about John 3:16?So I guess everybody’s saved, if it’s only grace? But what about those who don’t believe in Christ? Are they saved only by grace because what good is believing, faith and works then? Do they all disappear? What about Hebrews 11:6- We can’t please God without faith and Romans 1:5 and 16:26 we need to believe and OBEY, and 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing and he cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit- so that proves we need works; and works without love is worthless, so now we need works, love, faith, and fruit to be saved!!!!!!

“ No, it is only by grace that you are saved” He kept saying to me. I was totally annoyed because I didn’t feel like I was winning this argument. The king would look at me with the most loving eyes and let me finish each thing I said before he spoke. He seemed to look at me as a loving father would, even in my frustration – he would calmly tilt his head back touching the back of his throne with his head and smile as if I were quite entertaining. He never got angry and always looked at me with loving eyes, even though I was mouthing off and flying my hands all over the place with my argument.

Each time I would finish my argument, he would pause…. Smile at me and say – in a ‘he was so right way’ – “it is only by grace that you are saved”.

And I kept on: Well why do I need to keep running the race? Aren’t I supposed to win the prize? I keep running as it says in 1 Corinthians 9, and what about faith- what good are we without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – His death and resurrection? 1 tim 1:9 and all the old testament great men were honored because of their faith – like Abraham- because of their faith- in Hebrews 11” And Romans 3 says we are made right with God because of our faith, not obedience. Doesn’t faith justify us in Gal 2:16 and Romans 5:1? So it’s not grace – impossible– Salvation is belief in Jesus, plus works, plus faith, plus love, plus fruit – because without that….aren’t we chopped off that vine?

The King loving and calmly replied (as he smiled at me)  “Lisa, it is only by grace that you are saved”

No, I said, you are wrong- impossible. I know all the scripture and I know I’m right. I saw him look at me, enjoying this conversation. He knew he was right and he knew my argument wasn’t standing up to his. So I continued on…..okay, well what about this verse: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” where does grace fit in there? Doesn’t that verse prove we are saved or not saved by our actions? And see! Look at Romans 4” But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” So here we go with rock, paper, scissors! It’s faith, and not works? But still – it’s faith in God, right? So now it’s just faith, but wait Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19).- so faith and belief are different? Anyways- how can God’s grace alone save us? I know God’s grace is important, but I know we are saved because we believe, and even that is not enough! Because even the devils believe, and we must add to that faith because without faith we cannot please God and to that we must add works because faith is shown in works, and to that we must add love because works without love is nothing and to that we add fruit, because without that we are cut off from the vine, and there you have it, I win.

He leaned over to me, and I really think he had a sparkle in his eye, patiently smiling, making sure I was done and said

It is only by grace, that you are saved.

The argument went on and on through the night. I kept quoting scripture, but the king kept winning the argument with his reply “You are saved by grace” ,Uggghhhhhh! I woke up and I still felt like I had not won this argument.

What exactly is Grace?

This dream prompted me to intensely study Grace and what I have found is truly amazing.  I think I have found some great discoveries as I study Grace. As I put all the scriptures together to define grace, I have found an interesting possible link between grace and the Holy Spirit. The definition of grace almost exactly matches the Holy Spirit, but that will have to be another post, for now, I just hope to have you thinking. As the Holy Spirit has sealed us for the day of redemption, could also God’s grace do the same? Is Gods grace the underlying denominator to faith, works, belief, love, and fruit?

As I study further, the analogy I imagine, I see it as a train on tracks. I am the train, the Holy Spirit is the force that moves me and leads me along the track which is Grace. You see, I am always in Grace, on God’s path sealed and led by the Holy Spirit – keeping myself and flesh in check not to go off those tracks – just my thoughts…..

   I studied Acts a few months ago in order to gather all he said to the people about Salvation in Christ Jesus and I came up with these 7 things:

ETERNAL SALVATION- AN UNDERSERVED GIFT FROM GOD

1-BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST- FAITH
2-CONFESS YOUR SINS AND REPENT
3-TURN BACK TO GOD- He wants you to SEEK HIM
4-BE BAPTISED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST-WASHING AWAY YOUR SINS
5-PROVE IT BY THE WAY YOU LIVE
6-GET RID OF ALL SIN AND WICKEDNESS
7-WATCH OUT FOR FALSE TEACHERS AND WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

As I considered all this I suddenly thought:

It is by grace that  1- I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ
It is by grace that  2- He forgives me when I confess my sins and repent
It is by grace that  3- He calls me to seek Him
It is by grace that 4- He washes away my sins through baptism
It is by grace that  5-He continues to work in me, leading, guiding and teaching me to be Holy like He is holy
It is by grace that   6- He gives me His Word to teach me how to live
It is by grace that  7- He gives me discernment and knowledge to know right from wrong.

And this verse was brought to my remembrance : “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9

I’m still not done studying, but I keep on…I keep on….


For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves

Ephesians 2:8

Want Revival? True Revival in the Church

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  1. Repent
  2. Pray
  3. Call out to Him with a Humble heart
  4. Call for a Solemn Assembly on your knees pleading for mercy
  5. Sanctify a fast among the people

            Last month I heard a great preacher, Richard Owens Roberts, speak on revival.  He described revival as a pebble being thrown into a pond. The rippling effect from that one action continued on and on and that is how it is in revival. The Holy Spirit moves and soon the rippling effect goes out beyond ourselves, beyond our churches reaching out to the unsaved and the lost. It’s going beyond those of us sitting safely in our churches. It reaches the lost, the hurting, the lonely and all God’s people.
  

     I saw revival when I was young and I’ll never forget it. People were on fire for Jesus.  A small bible study of 5 people turned to 10, then 100’s and soon neighborhoods were gathering together studying the word. In my family, it started with one person…soon my aunts, cousins, parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends were soon on fire for Jesus, learning scripture and leading bible study groups. The good news had spread like wildfire. Today my family (cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters)  are Christians, teaching their children and grandchildren God’s ways. It all started with that one revival- now my family, as if it were a rippling effect through the generations, teaches the next generation and on and on this goes, reaching out still to those around us.

     In revival, repentance is vital. We need repentance on a personal level, as we each search our hearts, and repentance together as a group or entity. I wonder how many of us really repent as we should? It’s important to ask the Lord to search our heart and see if there is any sin lurking in there that needs to be removed.  There have been many times I thought myself sin-free until I stopped and asked the Lord. He is gentle and kind but it’s never fun to admit you’re wrong.  Unforgiveness , bitterness, anger, and hurting others are sins that can hide from our view if we aren’t looking closely within ourselves.

Three things accompany revival when God is near:

  1. Prayer
  2. Repentance
  3. Humbleness

3 things proceed revival in our churches

  1. Terrible seasons (so be ready and prepared- don’t be shocked at the terrible time you may be going through)
  2. Moral and spiritual decline (sounds like today)
  3. Righteous judgment from God

Gather together and pray: Raise up our churches and don’t let God go! Keep seeking His face and glorifying the Lord. Be so close to God that what troubles Him, should trouble you. Commit yourself to seek Him. See what He sees, feel what He feels. 

But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace 2 Thessalonians 3 :13-16 

There is a measure of sin- and we have reached the overflowing limit

    There seems, according to history and scripture, to be a measure of sin. God has allotted to every person and entity a measure of sin. When the measure of sin is full, the wrath of God is upon that entity to the full. God has left some churches and it is too late to repent – TOO LATE, they never listened.

Is there hope for America? Is our measure of sin about to bring God’s wrath on us?

     There is still time for America, but our measure is almost full…but… by God’s grace we still have some time. We must face the sin in every one of us and in every entity, we must repent before it is too late.

Now is the time to call for a Solemn assembly and fast

Joel 1:14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord,

Joel 2:15Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly

Zephaniah 3:18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden

“And afterward,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens
    and on the earth,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be deliverance,
    as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
    whom the Lord calls (Joel 2)

We must:

1-     Cry out to the Lord, for the day of the Lord is near

2-     Return to God with all your heart with fasting, crying out to Him. Turn back to Him for He is compassionate and abounds in loving-kindness

3-     Proclaim a Solemn Assembly on your knees pleading for mercy

4-     Seek God and revival

   If we want revival, we must take extraordinary action It can all start with you. Come before Him with fasting, weeping, prayer, repentance and humbleness.

 “How will the people of the world know we are your people if you, O Lord, are not with us?” Ex 33:15

Refined in the fire

 ISAIAH 48:10-11 I have refined you, but not as silver is refined.
    Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.
11 I will rescue you for my sake—
    yes, for my own sake!
I will not let my reputation be tarnished,
    and I will not share my glory with idols!

 The bride are those who are willing to suffer for Christ, suffer for Christ’s kingdom.  God’s people must suffer hardships to enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22) Persecution, suffering and hardships make us worthy of His kingdom. Remember that God will provide rest for you, just as he gave rest to Elijah.

Psalm 71:21 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.

Psalm 119:107-112 I have suffered much, O Lord;  restore my life again as you promised.Lord, accept my offering of praise, and teach me your regulations.
My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions.
The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments.
Your laws are my treasure;they are my heart’s delight.I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end.

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Isaiah 26: 16-19 Lord, in distress we searched for you.
    We prayed beneath the burden of your discipline.
17 Just as a pregnant woman
    writhes and cries out in pain as she gives birth,
    so were we in your presence, Lord.
18 We, too, writhe in agony,
    but nothing comes of our suffering.
We have not given salvation to the earth,
    nor brought life into the world.
19 But those who die in the Lord will live;
    their bodies will rise again!
Those who sleep in the earth
    will rise up and sing for joy!
For your life-giving light will fall like dew
    on your people in the place of the dead!

Scripture to study and read: the Book of JoelPsalm 58, duet 28

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“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”

― Martin Luther King, Jr.

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