24 December 2016

Joy To The World by Teresa S. Mathews



This time of year, life can be very stressful with all the shopping and partying and gift giving but when you are dealing with the loss of family members and sickness it can be especially trying. This is the second Christmas our family has celebrated without my sweet husband Carlton and the first after losing my mom in October. I am also in the middle of radiation treatment for breast cancer. Yes, this year has been a little difficult for me and my family but through it all I still love Christmas, especially the music! 

As a kid, I grew up surrounded by music, from my mom’s singing and my older siblings playing various musical instruments and singing, to my dad “loading-up” the record player listening to his favorite Southern Gospel albums. Our house was one that resonated with music! From the time, I was big enough to talk I was begging for a piano, and even though Daddy didn’t have a lot of money, he believed that GOD would provide one, and He did!! I started piano lessons at the age of five and I have never stopped playing. 

Christmas music has always been dear to me, who doesn’t feel better when you hear the upbeat tempo of Joy To The World or for the kids or the kids at heart, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer?! Music can certainly make a difference in your life, when you are feeling down it can lift your spirit. I know with all I have been going through it certainly has helped me. Paul in the book of Ephesians, Chapter 5, verse 19 wrote “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” 

Paul was a man that penned most of his work while in a damp, nasty dungeon, if this worked for him, it will work for us. So, if you are like me and are going through sickness or the loss of a loved one or maybe life has worn you down, try Paul’s advice. No Excuses, GOD doesn’t care if you aren’t the perfect singer, or if singing just isn’t your thing, find some music and let it speak to you. 

Another part of that verse in Ephesians talks about giving thanks for ALL THINGS! Yes, even after losing my sweet Carlton to cancer and now going through cancer myself, I can still find a reason to be thankful. I have made it a habit to say “thank you Lord for all your blessings.” No matter how bad things are, you can look around and find someone who is having a harder time than you. When you praise GOD in the bad times, you are showing Him that you trust Him completely and that is what brings joy to your life and isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Below is some of the Christmas Music I enjoy listening to.

My Version of I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

The Piano Guys Carol of the Bells

Lauren Daigle Noel

And when I need something a little upbeat

The Brian Setzer Orchestra Jingle Bells



Merry Christmas from the Overcoming with God Bloggers


66 comments:

  1. A beautiful post, Teresa! It helps put me in the proper perspective, bc in the midst of all the celebrations that we're supposed to have today I am not feeling well at all. But as you put it so aptly in your post, there are others that are having it much worse. And there are those that don't have family around them and are living on the streets, or suffering in the hospital. So I thank God that it isn't worse. I thank God for your beautiful talent that you have shared with us and for the other videos as well. Merry Christmas and God bless you, Teresa.

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    1. DIANA some days when we are sick it's very hard to see the good in our situation but GOD is faithful to us and even in the bad times He will bring joy to our lives! Love you my twin!! :-)

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  2. Thank you for your lovely post Teresa! You are such a blessing and inspiration to all of us. Your sweet spirit shines through! God bless you and your family and may He heal you and be with you. Live and hugs!

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    1. CARRIE, GOD has been so good to me in giving me such precious friends to help me walk this path. You are one of those people that I will be forever thankful for, and so are the other Angels and all the sweet followers we have.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your beautiful post Teresa!...and your lovely music and the other music as well. You are such a blessing and inspiration to me and so many as God's love shines through you. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas!
    Love and blessings, Tina

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    1. Thank you so much TINA, having you as a friend has certainly blessed me and bought joy to my life! :-)

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  4. Thank you for your wonderful post and Merry Christmas to you all!

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    1. MELANIE you are very welcome and I hope you had a very Merry Christmas as well! :-)

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  5. Thanks for your beautiful post - Teresa, you are such an inspiration to each of us!! I love to hear you play the piano - "White Christmas" is one of my very favorite Christmas songs. God willing - one day I will have the opportunity to hear you play "live".

    I'd hate to ever have to make a choice between books and music - since I'm addicted to both, LOL - music has been a part of me before I ever became such a fan of books. I've always loved singing - having sung in 2 professional groups as well as my church choir for many years - and listening to music. I took lessons on the piano, organ, and accordion when I was young (frequently playing the organ or piano in church years ago). Music has always had the ability to touch my heart and soul deeply and quickly- soothing and drawing me nearer the Maker of music!!

    Praying for you and your boys - Christmas blessings, joy, peace, prosperity, and healing to you!!

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    1. BONNIE, GOD has certainly blessed us with a love for music. I'm looking forward to seeing you again, maybe this summer we can figure something out. Thank you for your prayers and I am believing we are both going to have a much better New Year! Love you so much!! :-)

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  6. Teresa, what a blessed word! May you continue to find joy in your heart as you praise God. Thank you for sharing and may 2017 be a wonderful year of healing to your body and your spirit!

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    1. Thank you so much ANNE. I am looking forward to a new beginning in the New Year. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts!! :-)

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  7. So sorry to hear of your loss and all that you've been going through lately. I'm praying for you Teresa and many hugs. Jenny

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    1. Thank you so much JENNY. I am so grateful for the prayers that are going up for me. (((BIG HUGS))) :-)

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  8. Thank you, Theresa. I so needed this. I'm crying as I read it. You have such a beautiful spirit, it shines through you! You're a blessing to everyone!

    I wish I was able to meet you, Diane, and so many other wonderful ladies before moving away from SC. But as God would have it, it happened after we moved away!

    I will pray for you dear lady! Merry Christmas! Love and hugs!!

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing your music with us this day Teresa. It is such a blessing. I always wanted to learn piano but never could. My mom plays by ear, and does so very well. I spent my morning in tears listening to music (the station played I'll Be Home for Christmas and the tears spilled out). It's hard living so far away from family. But as you say, there is always someone who is going through something worse. Thank you for the reminder.
    I pray for comfort and peace for you and your family. And also strength and healing for you in the New Year.
    Again, Thank you for sharing your music with me and everyone else also. You are a blessing!

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    1. Oh ANDREA, it's so hard to be away from family, especially at the holidays. I'm so sorry you've had to shed tears but remember no matter what we are going through GOD holds us close to His heart.

      My brothers also play the piano by ear and I did take lessons but I can also play a lot of music by ear; it seems like an added blessing!

      Thank you so much for your heartfelt prayers and your sweet comments! I hope your Christmas turned out so much better than you dreamed it would. (((HUGS)))

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  10. Teresa, you are an awesome witness to all who see you! You have been through (and continue to go through) really tough times, but still you are a positive witness for Christ. I know the past two years have not been easy for you. God doesn't promise us easy, He promises to never leave or forsake us!! I know He is near to you (and your sons) and I am thankful you continue to give Him the glory. You remain in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for a beautiful post!!

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    1. LADETTE, you are so right, we have no promises for an easy life but we are promised that HIS grace will be sufficient. Thank you so much for your prayers, they are exactly what is getting me through this time in my life. (((BIG HUGS)))

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  11. Thank you for your beautiful post. I too grew up around music. Some of my fondest memories as a child was when I would wake up to my Daddy playing his guitar and singing. All gospel songs, early in the morning but then sometimes he would pay songs like"Turkey in the Straw, HawHaw! Just lsilly little songs for us kids. Me, my sister and brother all play instruments and sing. Good memories!

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    1. BRENDA, that some wonderful memories you shared, thank you!! It was so fun when my daddy would sing, because bless his heart he really couldn't carry a tune, but the sweetness of him singing You Are My Sunshine to me as a child still warms my heart! :-)

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  12. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post, Teresa. I'm so sorry for your losses and that you are having health problems. I've always been a music lover, too. Praying for you and your family to be comforted and feel of God's love for you.

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    1. WINNIE so glad you liked the post. It makes me glad to know that you too love the experience of wonderful music. Thank you for your precious prayers, so glad you stopped by!

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  13. Thank you for the beautiful post and the reminder that God is always with us and if we take our focus off of our troubles, He will make the burden lighter. Your living out this principle shines through your words. I also enjoyed the music selections you shared. :) Prayers for strength and healing for you and your family.

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    1. ANDREA, thank you so much for stopping by and especially for your prayers and well wishes!! :-)

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  14. What an amazing blessing and inspiration you are, Teresa!! Thank you for sharing these truths as it's so important to remember this. We can get so caught up in our troubles we take our eyes off Jesus. And that doesn't help at all! Recently I was feeling quite down but remembered after a while to lift it all up to God. He immediately told me to "Trust in my lovingkindness." I went from down to up in a matter of seconds! :) Wonderful choices of music too, sissy. I loved them all, especially that gifted piano player in the first video. Prayers, hugs, and blessings sweet T.

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    1. SISSY, it's amazing what the power of prayer and praise can do! I'm so glad He blesses us with His lovingkindness and blesses us with friends to brighten our lives. Love you so much!! :-)

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  15. Teresa, I love your sweet post. It is really difficult to go on in life without those with whom we loved and laughed and struggled. Yet, every day there is so much for which to be thankful. How blessed we are, as Christians, even in the most trying of times. Music can certainly sooth our hearts and minds and uplift our spirits. It is one of God's wonderful blessings for us and to us. God bless you as you go through your treatments.

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    1. KAY, I have a favorite verse from Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." I love that our mighty GOD loves us so much He sings over us. So singing and music are very dear to our Father. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!! :-)

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  16. What a beautiful uplifting post. Thank you for sharing! May God grant you peace.

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    1. Oh thank you ROBIN, peace is something I have been asking GOD to give me.Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! :-)

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  17. Dearest Teresa, Thank you for the wonderful post !! The little reminder of being thankful, because even though things are very hard - you helped me realize how much I do have to be thankful for !!!! That one little phrase, THANK YOU LORD FOR ALL YOUR BLESSINGS, will be something I will say EVERYDAY !!! Thank you for that !! Such great ladies on this blog, thank you Carrie for leading to this wonderful group !! The ladies that are leaving will be SO missed, but will be forever in everyone's hearts !!! Thank you all for the love and guidance you have shown us all !!! Blessings to you all !!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart !!! Xoxo Rosemary / Chicki rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    1. Oh CHICKI, I agree 100% that we are all going to miss our Angels, DIANA and NOELA, but I know the Lord has great things in store for them in the future and for OWG and our sweet CARRIE. Thank you for your sweet words and for coming by!! (((HUGS)))

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  18. Sweet Teresa!!! I love this post. You reminded me of childhood memories when my dad would also 'load up' the record player and the music would flow. I'd not thought about that in years! Now we just turn on Pandora but oh for the days of 'vinyl'. :) My philosophy has always been the same--all the years we raised our Amy and people would say they didn't know how we did it. Well, we did it because God gave us faith and the realization that there was always someone out there that had it harder than we did. You are truly an inspiration to us all!!! Praying for you, my friend. And for those two handsome boys of yours. Children are a heritage and one of the greatest from the Lord. Much love to you in the coming year! {{hugs}}

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    1. ANNE, I remember last year when the nursing home called to tell me Mom was "rolled" out of bed during a changing and her hip was broken. I was crying on the way to the hospital, because it had only been a few weeks since Carlton had passed and I was complaining that I couldn't take anymore and the Lord dropped in my spirit the scripture from 2 Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Just when we think we can't go on any further, He will give us the grace we need to make it. How mighty is our GOD!!

      I love you Anne and I'm glad I'm not the only one with sweet memories of the good ole "vinyl" days! lol

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  19. Thank you for sharing today.. I do enjoy music & these were wonderful, thank you.
    God Bless..

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    1. DEANNE I'm so glad you enjoyed the music! Thanks for coming by OWG!! :-)

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  20. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart, Teresa. Music is very important to me as well, especially at Christmas time. I miss the yearly performances of Handel's Messiah, the choir programs and just playing Christmas songs on the piano. I, too, started playing quite young - as a child of four. Now I have so much arthritis in my hands that my keyboard stands unused much of the time. I am, however, very grateful for the music that our Lord encouraged people to write, especially for Christmas!

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    1. Oh BETTI I'm so sorry that you aren't able to play much anymore, I too have arthritis in the joints of my hands and there are days I get upset to think I may not be able to play someday. If that day comes I will be glad to listen to others sharing their talents. Thank you coming by! May GOD bless your hands to be pain-free so you can get back to playing!! :-)

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  21. This was a lovely post. Thank you for sharing the beautiful music. We will be praying for you and you will be missed on the blog.

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    1. Thank you so much AMY! I'm glad you enjoyed the music. I appreciate your prayers and hopefully I'll still be popping up on here as soon as I finish my treatments. :-)

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  22. Christmas songs always lightens my heart.

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    1. KAREN I'm so glad to know you also love Christmas music, it makes me sad that we have to wait another year to be able to turn on the radio and hear them playing. :-)

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  23. Music is so great at lifting the spirits. Unfortunately, I don't always remember. I loved the songs that you included with your post, they were very moving and encouraging. I am praying for you and all that you've been through and are going through

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    1. BECKY thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for me. I'm so glad you enjoyed the music I shared. I had so many more I wanted to share but I figured I would still be uploading them on here so I stopped with those few! lol

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  24. I'm so glad music brings you joy! I will be praying for you. I, too, recently lost my dear husband, brother, and mother. I'm so thankful I know Jesus personally to help me through each day. My sweet father just turned 92, and he is the biggest blessing in my life. My father-in-law just turned 89, so I am doubly blessed. My Mom and best friend went through breast cancer. Life is so full of blessings and heartache. Praying for you! God Bless YOU!
    Susan in NC

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    1. SUSAN it's so hard to lose our loved ones, especially when it close together. I'm glad you still have your dad and Father-in-law. I still have my husband's wonderful parents in my life and I'm grateful for them. Thank you for your prayers and for dropping by!! :-)

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  25. Thank you Teresa for this inspiring post! Will praying for you!

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    1. LYNNE you are so welcome! Thank you for your prayers and for coming by OWG!! :-)

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  26. Praying for your needs. God hears! Praying for blessed and Happy New Year!

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    1. LUCY thank you so much for your prayers and amen to the fact He hears us when we call out to Him. I'm looking forward to a blessed and healthy New Year!! :-)

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  27. Just checking in and saw this post. Praying for everyone. Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi MELISSA!! So glad you checked in with us and thank you so much for your prayers! Hoping you have a Happy Happy New Year!!

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  28. What a beautiful post! And I love music and how it brings about the spirit of Christmas! Love all the songs that you shared! :) My prayers are with you!

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    1. Thank you so much SYDNEY! So glad you enjoyed the music! There were so many more I wanted to share but those were at the top of my list. Thank you so much for the prayers! :-)

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  29. Such a nice post! Prayers for you and a very blessed New Year!

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    1. Thank you so much SONJA! I sure appreciate the prayers and I am believing for a wonderfully healthy New Year!!

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  30. Hello sweet Teresa. Always good to hear from you. I pray it will be GOD's will to heal you. You are so encouraging to others. They need you around. Christmas is one of the times I feel more close to my Joe. We both loved Christmas so much, especially decorating our house and the phone calls from all of the kids. He helped me get the lights on the tree, then would lay on the couch while I decorated the tree and house. Each year when time to put the tree up and decorate, I can just see my Joe lying on the couch watching me. He only lived 7 months after we got moved here to be near the kids. We had been living in OK. and KS. Not seeing them very often until he got cancer and came to the Houston area to his cancer doctor. Teresa, I am always telling GOD I realize there are so many worse me and I could be worse but I know he still understands us when we hurt and get down. I do pray HE will heal your cancer. I can see my kids now that we moved here and I thank GOD for I have had so many health problems and have needed them. I was in the Hosp. again just recently and all 4 of the kids was with me. Love all of yoou OWG girls so much and many other friends on here. GOD bless you all. Maxie

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    1. MAXIE, life is so different when you lose the love of your life. I really didn't feel like putting up a tree this year but my dear sons helped me put it up. I am so thankful I still have them with me.

      Thank you so much for the prayers, I am going to believe with you for my complete healing, however that may be.

      I'm so sorry you were in the hospital, but so glad you are out and doing better. Thank you for your prayers and thank you for coming by , it always makes me smile ear to ear when I see a post from you! (((BIG HUGS)))

      Happy New Year!!

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  31. Dear Teresa, HOW I've missed you, my sweet friend!

    It was a joy to read this inspiring piece and see your resilient God-breathed spirit through what has truly been some difficult years for you and your family. Thank you for the reminder to praise and thank Him in all things, something I've deeply believed for decades, but something that's not always easy to do. But, OH, the blessings when we apply His Word in such a manner!!

    You are continually on my prayer list, my dear friend, and I pray that God's blessings will overtake you in 2017!!

    Love you!!
    Julie

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    1. JULIE!!! It's so good to see you here! You should see the grin on my face!! Thank you for taking time to come by and bless me!!

      Love you so much and I thank you for the prayers, it's what's is getting through these trying times!

      Looking forward to being able to catch up on my reading and those long-over-do reviews!!

      (((BIG HUGS))) to you my dear, sweet friend!!

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  32. Visiting the blog is always such a blessing and your post gives me much needed encouragement. Teresa. Music is such a wonderful way to express your feelings. Thank you for your wonderfully encouraging posts. I pray it is his will for you to have complete healing. You are in my prayers for health and happiness.

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    1. DEANNE I'm so glad you were encouraged by my post. Music is a wonderful blessing from GOD, I don't know what I would have done these past couple years if not for it.

      Thank you for your prayers and I hope you have a wonderful New Year!! :-)

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  33. Hi Teresa. I've gotten behind on reading blog posts and Facebook. I just saw this post and thoroughly enjoyed reading about your love of music. My prayers are with you and your family. I absolutely love listening to these songs. I am always amazed by Carol of the Bells. Thanks for including it.

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    1. Hi DEBBIE, it's so great to see you here! Carol of the Bells is an amazing song, I always love hearing it, no matter the version.

      During Christmas, I have really enjoyed putting lots of music on my iPod and relaxing!

      Thank you so much for your prayers and for dropping in!!

      (((BIG HUGS)))

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