lessons from songs: rest easy

14 Jan

I’m convinced I don’t know how to rest. whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual I don’t know how to do it. Even when I plan a day of “rest” I over schedule it so much I end up not resting. I also struggle to rest in my relationship with God. I get so caught up in the “what are we supposed to do as a child of God” I forget that he’s already done it. All we are supposed to do is rest in His presence.

This song came on during my drive to work and it was like the Lord was talking to me through my radio.

Rest easy Ruthanne. You don’t have to work so hard Ruthanne. You can rest easy Ruthanne. You don’t have to prove yourself Ruthanne. You’re already mine Ruthanne. You don’t have to hide your heart Ruthanne. I already love you Ruthanne. So you can rest easy.

Insert your name in that paragraph. Do you hear the Lord speaking to you?

Rest is not easy. But we can rest easy in the arms of our Father.

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Rest Easy

by Andrew Peterson

You are not alone I will always be with you
Even to the end

You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in mine
So you can rest easy

Do not be afraid
Nothing, nothing in the world
Can come between us now

You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in mine
So you can rest easy

You work so hard to wear yourself down
And you’re running like a rodeo clown
You’re smiling like you’re scared to death
You’re out of faith and all out of breath
You’re so afraid you’ve got nowhere left to go

Well, you are not alone
I will always be with you

You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in mine
You can rest easy

holiday movie review

8 Jan

my family loves going to the movies. it’s always something we enjoy doing together and this Christmas there were a few movies we were wanting to see…and they all turned out to be good ones.

Frozen-1024x1015Frozen

Frozen is Disney’s latest offering in the princess musical/movie category…and it didn’t disappoint. I think we can all agree that ever since pixar arrived on the scene Disney has struggled to keep up in the animated movie category. But they seemed to get the formula right with Frozen. From the soundtrack to the story, the animation and the hilarious snowman Olaf  this was just a precious movie that keeps you entertained and laughing the whole time. This is a great family movie.

 

saving mr banksSaving Mr. Banks

I think we can all agree that Mary Poppins is a classic family movie we all loved. I loved watching it growing up and remember singing along with Julie and Dick. But what I’ve never done is actually read the book this movie is based off of. I also knew nothing of P.L. Travers and how Disney came to acquire this beloved story. Enter Saving Mr. Banks. From the moment I saw this preview I knew I wanted to see the movie and would love it. I mean come on…Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, DJ Novak & Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney, how could it be bad! I’m a sucker for “the story behind the story” movies so this was so fun to watch. I had no idea P.L. Travers background or that she grew up in Queensland, Australia!! My home state! She had a hard childhood with an alcoholic father and a mother who had some bonding issues but this movie showed that she had a deep love for her parents and a strong passion for making sure the story she wrote was translated from the page to the screen well. You could also see that through the process of making the movie P.L. Travers learned to open up her own heart and not be afraid to let go of her past hurts so she could show love and kindness to others. Please go see this delightful movie! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to go home and watch Mary Poppins again and you’ll most definitely want to go fly a kite.

walter mittyThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Want a movie that has adventure, romance, humor, amazing scenery and a great story? The Secret Life of Walter Mitty delivers. Ben Stiller does not play his normal, wacky crude humor part in this movie and I really appreciated that. This was a great movie that inspires you to not be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone and embrace the adventures that we can experience in life. This movie has a great sound track…I also now would like to visit Greenland. This was a really great film.

reflecting on 2013

6 Jan
last year I reflected on 2012 here. It was a real good exercise for me so I thought I would do it again…
2013 Reflection
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Ran a 10K
Travelled to Seattle & Alaska
Went on a zip line!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 
I honestly can’t remember what my resolution was! I do want to make some this year. 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
Yes – my friends are really good parents. 
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. 
5. What countries did you visit?
Mexico, Canada & Spain
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Self-Control
7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 15 – Kate surprised me for my birthday party
July 4 – ran the peachtree 
October 28 – started at apostles
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably finishing the peachtree….and making some really good gluten free/vegan cinnamon rolls.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I can’t think of one in particular but I prefer to not think of things as failures but more as opportunities to learn and grow.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes, it’s better but I have a feeling I will be dealing with side effects from it for a while. 
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Foam massage roller.  
12. Where did most of your money go?
Food – whole clean gluten free vegan eating can be expensive. ;
13. What did you get really excited about? 
visiting the pacific northwest, alaska and canada. 
14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Beautiful Things by Gungor
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? 
happier!
thinner or fatter?
for better or worse…the same   
richer or poorer? 
richer…in a lot of ways but poorer in some ways too
16. What do you wish you’d done more of? 
Enjoying the moment
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Trying to please others
18. How did you spend Christmas?
At my parents house, in my jammies, cooking in the kitchen…it was delightful. 
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Sherlock, Call the Midwives, Downton Abbey
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman
21. What was your favorite music from this year? 
Andrew Peterson – Light for the Lost Boy
Ellie Holcomb 
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Saving Mr. Banks
Catching Fire 
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
30!! Boy was this a birthday to remember. 
On my actual birthday I was in spain and spent it on a winery tour then out to dinner with my GYFM team. 
Then a few weeks later I was surprised by my family who flew my best friend from Australia in for my birthday party. It was wonderful! 
24. What’s one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not letting certain things conquer me. sorry to be so vague. 
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Whatever I think is cute/not worrying what other’s think!
26. What kept you sane?
a good friend.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.  
That I’m not in control. And God will give me the grace to handle ANY circumstance/challenge when I’m ready. 

For 2013…
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Happy Thanksgiving!

28 Nov

My dad wrote this thanksgiving day devotional for a team of missionaries serving in Bangkok, Thailand. I thought is was really good and expressed what I am truly thankful for this year. His grace.

I hope you have a great day with friends, family and loved ones…wherever you may find yourself.

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As we look forward on this side of the ocean to this holiday that originated in gratitude but has morphed into food, football and family time here are some thoughts on thankfulness. It is hard for me to be thankful if I think that it all depends on me. The feeling that I must do this or it won’t get done often flows out of a desire to be responsible and a hard worker. The downside is that we often lose sight of how dependent we are on Christ. These verses in Colossians 3 have challenged me to see how thankfulness relates to who Christ is to me.

15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17.

In these closing verses of this section of Paul’s letter to the Colossians Paul speaks of three characteristics of Christian character. 1) The peace of Christ should rule, 2) the Word of Christ should dwell richly in us as we teach and sing, and 3) whatever we say or whatever we do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. That is quite a challenge. Totally absorbed in Christ, His peace, his Word, and His name. But there is one other common element in these three verses, the word – THANKS. Be thankful, have thankfulness in our hearts and give thanks to the Father. Thanks comes from “charis” the same root as the Greek word for Grace. Being filled with Christ, knowing his grace toward us creates in us thankfulness. Not only outward thanks but thankfulness in our hearts. A heart of thankfulness flows out of a heart that knows how dependent they are on Christ. Thankfulness flows out of dependency. When my heart acknowledges how dependent I am in all Christ is for me, and what he has done for me, thankfulness will flow. May God give each of us a realization of how much Christ is for us, and what he has done for us. May that flow into thankful hearts that openly give thanks to God the Father.

#wholenovember update

20 Nov

I said I would update you on how whole november is going…

I’ve hummed and hawed over even writing this. because I’m embarrassed to say I have utterly failed at whole november. I have no idea what is going on with me at the moment but I’m in a funk that I would love to shake out of. I’m praying it happens quickly. That said I’m just taking it day by day.

In the mean time I’m clinging to these truths.

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just want to be real with y’all…sometimes you’ve just got to abandon a plan…no matter how good…and focus on other things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

starting fresh #wholenovember

1 Nov

what just happened?

Life’s been a little nutso lately and I’m struggling to figure out where the last 6 months have gone.

I resigned from my job
I turned 30
I spent more time out of town then I did in town this summer
I hit my ‘goal’ weight.
I had surgery
I started working part time while finishing working full time
I got a new full time job at a new church
I’m leaving my beloved church (this Sunday is my last Sunday there) to go work at said new church

the list could go on and on.

With all this craziness let’s just say my eating habits have gotten all out of whack. Learning how to live and be after losing a significant amount of weight is soooo much harder than actually losing the weight. People told me this but I don’t think I believed them. Well I do now!

I’ve also noticed some less than desirable side effects (one is being played out right now…insomnia…yuck) and habits pop up because of all this that I’d like to see go away.

Basically…I need to

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So it’s November 1. I’m starting fresh. Getting clean. Going whole. I’m calling this #wholenovember .

I’m basing it off of the whole 30 diet but altering it some to make it non dairy vegetarian.

All I will eat is vegetables, fruits, lentils, chickpeas, some eggs and oats. nuts, seeds and other gluten free grains will be very limited. All of these things need to be in their whole forms. nothing processed and as plant based as I can get.

I am not going to weigh my self or track anything but my food for the entire month. This isn’t about losing weight. It’s about getting back on track.

I am under no illusion that this is going to be easy. Especially with the holidays around the corner…but I have to do something. I need to get back in the mind set of why I started this whole journey in the first place…to be healthy.

I’m sure I’ll be posting pics along the way of the journey on Instagram etc. so you can find those there. I’ll also try and give small status updates here on the blog too.

Do you need a fresh start? Feel free to join me in this journey too! Things like this are always more fun with friends. ;) Just use the hashtag #wholenovember on your fav social media outlet so we can track with each other.

Y’all have been so encouraging to me on this journey thus far. Thanks in advance for continuing that.

Here’s to #wholenovember !

BTDubs. I’m going to start an Instagram series called #30daysofthankfulness where I attempt to post a pic a day of something I am thankful for. Join me, won’t you?

Monthly Update – 10,000 Reasons

21 Oct

Ten Thousand Reasons

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning.
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me.
Let me be singing when the evening comes
Bless the Lord, O my soul. Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger.
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing.
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find


This song has become my anthem over the past month. The Lord seems to orchestrate it so that is comes on the radio right when I need to hear it. I especially love the last line of the second verse. For all Your goodness I will keep on singing. Ten Thousand reasons for my heart to find. I am feeling so blessed by the Lord’s goodness & provision for this child of His. It’s more than I could ask or imagine! Let me tell you what He’s done!


I am really excited to say that I have accepted a position at a Church here in Atlanta! I will be working with the Children’s and Women’s Ministries at Church of the Apostles providing administrative support and helping with their events. I am really looking forward to joining the Apostles team at the beginning of November! I just can’t believe the Lord’s provision in this. I was praying that I would find a full time job so I wouldn’t have a lapse in my health insurance and the Lord has provided that. I was praying for a job where I could work with a great team of people and the Lord provided that. I was praying for a job in ministry where my gifts and skills would be used well and He has provided that. To say that I am overwhelmed by my Heavenly Father’s love for me is an understatement!

In the mean time and in November I’ll be wrapping things up with GYFM and making sure they are set on a good foundation to move on when I am not there. I know the Lord will provide and care for my precious GYFM team as well. I’m excited to get the opportunity to go to the Global Missions Conference in November. If you are going to be there please let me know! I’d love to see you!!

This will be my last official “Ruthanne’s Monthly Update”. What a bitter sweet thing! I’m excited to be leaving this phase of life and moving on to another but will miss many things about my previous life stage. The Lord has taught me many many things – and continues to do so. But the theme seems to be; He is faithful even when I am not and He loves me even more than I could imagine. Great is His Faithfulness!

I am so thankful for you all and how you have prayed me through the last 5 years. I could not have done it without you!!! If you want to keep up with me and all I am doing you can look below and find links to my profiles on facebook, instagram, twitter etc. ;)

Love to you all!

By His Mercy, Ruthanne

in the kitchen with Ruthanne!

13 Oct

Life’s been a little crazy lately and i haven’t been experimenting much in the kitchen. But with the cooling temperatures outside and the over and abundance of pumpkin recipes on pinterest I’ve been feeling an itch to do some baking.

When you have a gluten and dairy intolerance baking can be a challenge but I love a challenge.

As I was reading the most recent Trader Joe’s Frequent Flyer pamphlet I noticed they had a pumpkin version of their popular “…walked into a bar” line of fruit bars. I love these kind of bars. The graham crackery bar with the fruit filling are sooo good. but they almost always have wheat in them. And sometimes the filling as dairy in it. So I decided to give a homemade gluten & vegan version a try.

So here’s my basic graham recipe. You can make this into graham crackers or into a fruit bar. These are not as sweet as a traditional graham cracker so if you want them sweeter just add more sweetener. See, baking is easy. ;)

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Gluten free/Vegan ‘grahams’

1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons flax meal (soaked in 2 tablespoons of water as an egg replacement) or 1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon stevia or 2 tablespoons of sugar
3 cups of water
combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl with a silicone spatula until smooth.
if you are using this for a fruit bar you want it to be the consistency of muffin batter. if you feel like it is too dry or thick you can add more water until you reach that consistency. if you are making them into graham crackers you want it to be in the thicker side.
*note* These don’t rise a ton so don’t be alarmed.
baking:
Fruit bars – pour half if the batter in to a greased square baking dish or lined muffin tins. layer in your filling then pour the remaining batter on top.
bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. if you are doing your bars in a muffin tin you’ll want to rotate them halfway through.
Graham crackers – Pour the batter onto the lined cookie sheet, and spread it out evenly to the edge of the sheet.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the center is just starting to crack.
Remove the parchment paper or silicone mat from the sheet (don’t burn yourself!) and cut the crackers into squares. (I got about 30 crackers out of this recipe.) Stick them back in the oven for 2-4 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let the crackers cool completely so they can crisp up.

Fillings:

You can use your favorite fruit preserves (fig is particularly yummy *fig newtons anyone?*) for a fruit version.

*I just thought of this* nut butter & chocolate chips for a reeces cup feel. OR chocolate chips and marshmallows for s’mores. OR combine those two fillings! Amazing! Your options are limitless!

Here’s my pumpkin spice filling recipe. I like to really taste the pumpkin so mine, again, is not super sweet. Adjust to your taste.

3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling – just 100% pumpkin)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (you can use pre-ground but fresh is really better)
1 teaspoon stevia or your favorite sweetener
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir to combine.

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Note: I made these into little bites in mini muffin tins but you can use a baking dish for bars or regular muffin tins or a loaf pan. If you use a loaf pan you may need to adjust your baking time.

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There you have it!!

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They’re not super attractive but they are so easy and really versatile. Have fun and let me know what versions you make!

lessons from songs

16 Jun

i was so encouraged by the worship at village church this morning. it was like long awaited rain that hit places in my heart that where dry and parched.

rather than explaining why these songs were sweet to me this morning. i’m just going to let the words and music speak, and i’m going bold certain lines that are encouraging to me. i hope they are to you as well.

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My Business Lies at Jesus’ GateListen here

My business lies at Jesus’ gate, where many a Lazar (beggar) comes. And here I seek and here I wait for mercy’s falling crumbs.

The Lord I hear the hungry feeds and cheers the souls distressed. He loves to bind up broken reeds and heal a bleeding breast.

His name is Jesus full of grace which draws me to his door. And will not Jesus show his face and bring his gospel store?

Supplies of every grace I want and each day want supply. And if no grace the Lord will grant I must lie down and die.

The Lord I hear the hungry feeds and cheers the souls distressed. He loves to bind up broken reeds and heal a bleeding breast.                                                                                                                                 

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Beneath the Cross of Jesus – Listen here

 

Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand, The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land. A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way. From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day

Upon the cross of Jesus, mine eye at times can see. The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me. And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess. The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place. I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face. Content to let the world go by to know no gain nor loss. My sinful self my only shame, my glory, all the cross.

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God Moves in Mysterious Ways – Listen here

God moves in a mysterious ways, His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines, of never failing skill. He treasures up His bright designs, and works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread. Are big with mercy and shall break, in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain; God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.

so…remember when I had a blog?

14 Jun

…and i actually wrote on it. yea…that was fun.

i’ve been a bit out of touch lately…and for good reason. let me tell you what’s been goin’ on.

ever since i got back from spain i feel like i’ve been on a really fast lazy river ride. does that even make sense? let me explain…so when you are on a lazy river you are just floating along on your inner tube, letting the current take you where it wills. you don’t have much control over it. well the past month has felt like that…only really fast. like so fast i might not believe you if you told me there is this month that occurs between april and june…people call it may…that’s how crazy fast life has been.

so i got back from spain, took a few days off to recoup from that trip and then went head-long into planning (with my mom) for my big 30th birthday party. oh yea! i forgot to mention i turned the big 3-0 in espana! it was a wonderful day. but the big celebration was happening on may 17th. and what a celebration it was. my party was so much fun! i literally had people from almost every part of my life there. from family to college friends to friends from church to friends from mtw. it was so cool. i hated that i didn’t really get to visit with everyone like i would have liked. but it was a fun party, with good food and good people. thank you so much to everyone who came.

but! while the party wasn’t a surprise, little did i know i had a surprise waiting for me a few days before.

this is what one look like when one’s best friend for 21 years flies half way around the world (literally….she flew from australia) and surprises one for her 30th birthday party.

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it was insane! i’ve never been so shocked in my whole life! i still can not believe she did that. and with a 10 week old baby! 10 weeks!!

and for your viewing pleasure…we have it captured on video.

it is still fun for me to watch.

and starting at that moment…everything i thought i was doing for the next two weeks completely changed.

when your best friend comes to america for the first time…you’ve got to show her around. and that means…

new york city, charleston, and lots of shopping ;) to be honest with you i barely took any pictures! i was really just trying to stay in the moment and enjoy kate’s visit.

it was so much fun. and then she left. which was not so much fun. and i went into mourning for 3 days.

since then i’ve been playing catch up and getting prepped for what has become a very busy summer. all of which i am super excited about.

i’ve been spending lots of time in the kitchen too! after all the birthday celebrations were over i really wanted to get back to basics and start eating as whole and clean as i could. i could tell my body and gut needed it. as a happy result i have some fun recipes that have occurred. most by accident. i’ll be sure to share them soon.

here’s a little compilation of pictures that i did take during the birthday celebrations. enjoy!

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ugly cry!

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dulce vegan bakery in kirkwood provided cupcakes for me for my party. and oh my word were they good.

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party decorations!

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me and my momma! thank you so much for throwing me an awesome party!


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good friends from church

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cousins!

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samford friends

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the fam at stone mountain

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me and annie getting to know each other. did i mention annie’s middle name is clare…just like me…*wink wink*

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on our way to new york!

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carriage tour of charleston

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me and mary! love me some mrs. graham. i’m so glad she made the trip with kate too.

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in charleston we got to visit with michael walters who was our youth pastor in australia. was so great to catch up with him! and meet his wife rachel and son thomas.

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