Flight 666 | Dead in Dallas – Review

“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire..” – Revelation 20:15
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Flight666-36x36-Poster-web-700x700This past weekend, I got the privilege to assist with a church Youth Group field trip. I do not normally work with the teens at our little church, but was super excited to help coordinate and chaperone this trip.  

A few adults along with my husband and I loaded up our vehicles with 15 teenagers and headed to see Flight 666 | Dead in Dallas. This is what I call a sensory drama as the effects were amazing and made you feel as those you were truly experiencing what was being portrayed.

The preshow entertainment was rich in variety and set the tone for the rest of the evening. A young boy, who I later discovered was part of the show, opened with a Christian rap song that had the entire room bumpin’. The bass was thumping and the teens were clearly tuned in. The next performance was an interpretative dance to a song focusing on the grace of God. I really appreciated the variety of the opening acts, as these types of performances are not something we normally get to experience at our place of worship.

You know when a show begins with a cautionary warning stating if you have any health conditions that may be affected by loud music, screeching sounds or strobe lights, you may need to cover your ears and close your eyes, is bound to be a good one! The show began quietly with different scenes that gave us snippets of different peoples lives as they navigated through an airport and boarded a plane. There were several different ranges of people and behaviors:

~ There were teenage girls who focused on labels and putting others down.

~ There was a girl who stood up to the materialist ladies and witnessed to them even though she suffered much ridicule from it.

~ One of the pilots was a porn addict which led to dissatisfaction with his wife.

~ There was the deceitful adult trying to manipulate the airport into allowing his dog on the plane but later apologized for his behavior

~ There was the overindulgent mother who gave her daughter everything including the latest technology, birth control, alcohol and focused on being her best friend rather than a parent.

~ There was a boy who came from a rough home facing many uncertainties but decided to listen to a friend on the plane about another way of life.

~ There was the overly spoiled daughter who demanded everything from her mother and behaved in ways she knew was wrong from spending time with a Christian friend.

~ There was a lady who witnessed to the overindulgent mother using her own experiences as an example, explaining she lost a daughter due to her own lack of parenting, but turned her life around for her other two children.

~ There was the older male teacher making inappropriate advances towards certain female students.

~ There was a pilot who used to lead a sinful life but turned things around and witnessed to his co-worker about his porn problem.

~ The character that stood out the most to me, was a preacher who kept bragging about the size of his church and how many followers he had. He told the woman he sat next to how he preaches the love of Jesus and how everyone should spread the love. When confronted about preaching other biblical principals such as repentance, he confessed he avoided those tougher topics that might offend some of his congregation.

There was not an intermission during this show. Instead, in between acts, there was a gamut of heart racing special effects as the plane everyone was on went down. The room grew dark except for flashing strobe lights. The quiet conversations between the characters turned into shrilling screams and thunderous booms that resonated throughout the room as a horrific danger alarm blared over it all. It really was enough to take your breath away and I can see if you have any health concerns, why it is import to hide yourself from this dashing display. On top of the visual and auditory effects, the producers of this show didn’t leave out the physical dynamic either. Sprays of water took you by surprise and bits of confetti and sponge that represented rain from the thunderstorm and bits of debris.

Act Two started with a glorious stage change that showed The Lamb’s Book of Life on a pedestal and the beautiful gates to Heaven. In the corner was a rocky, cave-like entrance representing the gate to Hell. Throughout the second act, all of the characters from Act One stood before the angel reading the book who would let them know if their name was or was not written. The characters represented by blue font in the list above all had tearful but joyful entrances into Heaven. However, the characters represented in orange we dragged off the stage into the fiery hole.

834Once Satan’s victims were announced, they were claimed by demonic minions who crept through the audience causing quite the fright for the patrons sitting in the aisle seats. After the mock hell’s new regretful and screaming additions disappeared, Satan would walk the stage describing the sinful behavior of his new possessions and thanking those who allowed it. For example, after the overly spoiled girl was ripped from her mother’s arms and carried into hell by three or four demons, Satan proudly paced the stage thanking all the parents who befriended their children instead of teaching them and guiding them to be responsible adults. He thanked those who didn’t teach them his (God’s) word and for sending more and more souls his direction.

The experience of the show cannot be captured by words or even by a DVD representation. There is still one or two shows left and I highly recommend you go see this and take those you love with you. This show brings the reality of Heaven and Hell to the forefront of your mind and just might make you consider some changes in your own life to ensure your name is written in The Lamb’s Book of Life.

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For more information regarding this show please visit:

Flight 666 | Dead in Dallas

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I want to hear from you!

If you have watched the show, please comment below and tell us your favorite parts or add your own review!

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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Blackberry Pie

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
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Bfresh-blackberry-pie-05eautiful, delicious blackberry pie. I must admit, this is one of my weaknesses. I am typically more of a savory gal and would take a 2nd helping of meat and potatoes over desserts about 95% of the time. However, blackberry pie is the exception to my hearty eating habits and would generally take first place in order of consumption. To sum this up, I love a good blackberry pie. Unfortunately, blackberry pie and I had a nice little spat a few weeks ago that left me with a broken second molar on the upper right side of my mouth. Not fun.

I tried to deal with the annoyance of the broken tooth for as long as I could but after just a few weeks, the annoyance turned to pain and off to the dentist I went. Now I consider myself to be a pretty strong person. I gave birth easily four times, continued to type at work daily with a sprained finger and taught baton lessons to over 20 little giggling girls with a ripped tendon in my left foot; but when it comes to ear and tooth pain, I am a big baby!

Pulling a tooth is no big deal. People have it done all the time. I was good and numbed up and ready to go but for some reason, a nice dose of unexpected anxiety settled over me as the dentist began to do his thing. My heart started racing, I struggled to breath and the dentist thoughtfully took breaks every couple of minutes to help me catch my breath. This is actually very unlike me and I was disappointed in the way my body was behaving. I knew the only way to make it through at this point was to close my eyes and sing some of my favorite hymns and completely remove myself mentally from the situation; but wouldn’t you know it, my mind was a total blank. I couldn’t think of one song! Not one! So then I inwardly started to panic until I heard my favorite Christian artist come through the back of my mind reminding me ‘I can do all things, through Christ who gives me strength, and I don’t have to be…Strong Enough.’ Once that song came to mind, I repeated Philippians 4:13 over and over again until the dentist declared victory and the bad tooth was no more.

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I want to hear from you!

How do you handle those less than fun situations that you must endure?

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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God’s Not Dead – Movie Fun

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12
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untitledMy family and I went to see the movie, God’s Not Dead yesterday afternoon. When you have a large family, something as simple as going to the movie theater can be quite the investment so we try to be sure the films we choose are family appropriate and uplifting in nature. This movie did not disappoint.

The movie is about a college student who must choose between declaring that ‘God is Dead’ for the sake of keeping peace with the professor and his chance of passing or standing firm in his faith and convince his class God does exist. Of course no good movie is without conflict, so the main character, college student, Josh Wheaton, goes against the grain and becomes a defense attorney in a classroom trial where he presents his case to prove God’s Not Dead.

Josh faces this challenge without the support of his long-time girlfriend or parents and with just a couple lines of encouragement from a campus minister. The movie continues showing Josh present his case in a well-researched and professional manner which continues to infuriate the professor more and more. Things continue to get heated but Josh doesn’t back down. There are also four other side stories (one that ties in an interview with Willie & Korie Robertson) the movie follows that will bring laughter and tears. Be prepared for a surprising and unpredictable ending. I admit, part of the ending frustrated me and literally made my jaw drop, but I still really enjoyed this movie and pray for it to have continued success.

I would love to share more about the movie but don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, so just take my word for it; this movie is worth seeing. I highly recommend this movie for families with older teens looking at going to college in the near future. The dilemma portrayed in this movie is very real and the message given is one every Christian teen should hear before heading off to a secular university.

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I am psyched to see that folks all across the country are letting others know that God’s not dead. This limited-release movie has shocked the box office with the numbers coming in and more theaters are adding the film to their lineup for next weekend. I pray that more and more people continue to stand up and support films like these and let Hollywood know that there are still those out there who enjoy good, clean entertainment. You know, the kind where everyone is dressed and they speak using words you can say in front of your grandmother without blushing or getting beat with a pancake turner (love you Granny S.)! The kind of films that leave you feeling hopeful, inspired, motivated and just plain happy. Everyone likes a good warm, fuzzy now and again.

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Side note about this memorable experience:

We were humbled by an off-screen lesson that occurred during our movie outing. We took my 60-year old aunt with us to watch and enjoy the afternoon. I found out right before the movie started that this was the first time she had ever been to a movie theater. Her child-like innocence was heartwarming as we watched her take it all in. A great reminder of how blessed we are and how easy it is to take simple things for granted. 

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I want to hear from you!

If you have watched the movie, please comment below and tell us your favorite parts or add your own review!

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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Let’s Mingle!

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – I Corinthians 12:27
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bodyofChrist4I often see that people do what is familiar and that is fine to a point. Most people attend worship services in a location convenient for them and I get that. In fact, the church building my family attends is only five miles from our home. We can be in a house of worship and fellowship in just a short 10-15 minute drive.

Although we say things like, ‘We are going to church, we attend church, there is an event at the church,’ I feel it is important to point out that is simply a shortened slang way of speaking the true intention, such as: ‘We are going to the place of worship, we attend a church service, there is an event at the church building.’ The fact is, the church is not a location, not a building, not an event, etc. The church is the people. It doesn’t matter where you meet. You could meet in a barn, outdoors, a restaurant, etc., and still  have church (services).

In fact, Jesus himself said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20

My point is, I feel it is important to go beyond the boundaries of the church building you attend and meet other Christians. Fellowship with other members of the body. Show your children they are not alone in their faith but that there are others like them all over.

Nothing makes me happier than to hear my teenager talk about how she cannot wait to see a friend who attends church services at a different location. I try to take advantage of every fellowship opportunity I can find so my children can grow up knowing Christian children from outside our locale. Teenage and children events and activities are generally easy to find and many other church locations are usually willing and eager to participate. Some of our favorites have been:

    • Teen Youth Rallies – An event where teens from several church locations gather in one place (rotating hosts) for an evening of fellowship and fun; generally once a month throughout the school season. This event usually includes a special theme, games, challenges, tasty treats, a guest speaker or musician and a large amount of goofiness!
    • Local Christian Concerts – Many church locations host free or low-cost concerts with modern genre music styles that reinforce scripture. My family attends as many concerts as possible because it is an affordable way to spend time with each other, fellowship with other Christians, and reinforce God’s word. Our favorites have been the ‘Live the Difference’ concert in Pomeroy, OH, Winter Jam in Columbus, OH, and anywhere 64 to Grayson plays!
    • Bible Bowl – This is a bible knowledge quiz team that meets to compete with other churches once a month throughout the school year. My daughter has developed friendships with teens from other church locations through this program, not to mention the amazing amount of scripture that is instilled in her throughout the season.
    • Ohio Teens for Christ – This is basically a state-wide youth rally with a few extras thrown in such as a singing competition, preaching competition, a state-wide bible bowl competition, big concerts, workshops and more. I encourage you to visit their website to find out more about this amazing event at http://www.ohioteensforchrist.com/2014/
    • Church Camp – Usually a week long summer camp with a common theme, lots of good food, outdoor activities, crafts, contests, games, and more. There are several church camps available, check with your local church (location) for one nearest you. Southeastern Ohio folks can check out the Ohio Valley Christian Assembly for more information at http://www.ovcacamp.com/.
    • Retreats & Lockins – Overnight Youth Rallies or Mini-Camps.
  • Vacation Bible School – A week long program geared toward younger school-aged children. Children usually gather for a few hours each evening to explore a common theme through skits, songs, snacks, games and a lesson while raising funds for a local charity or Christian mission.

The kids are not the only ones who can gather to learn and have fun in the name of Jesus. There are always plenty of events for adults as well, such as:

  • Concerts
  • Retreats
  • Rallies
  • Bible Conferences
  • Ladies Aid
  • Workshops
  • Revivals

untitledI truly feel it is important that Christians understand we are all one part of the complete body of Christ. When attending these events, we should not just huddle within the same group of believers. Get out there, meet others and make new friends; meet other Christians, fellowship with them and understand we are not so and so from Church A or Church B, but rather we are ONE Church. We are all part of the SAME body. We are all working toward the SAME goal; and we are all called to be disciples and work for the SAME savior.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-21 

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I want to hear from you!

Please comment below with what things you like to do to fellowship with other members of Christ’s body!

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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Fun Permitted!

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.…” – Ecclesiastes 8:15
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Every once in a while, I will hear someone utter their cause of not coming to Christ is because Christianity is simply a long list of things you cannot do. Well sure, if you count things like murder, thievery and adultery but otherwise, this the biggest lie anyone can tell themselves. This blog isn’t to delve into all the wonderful reasons forming a relationship with Jesus will lead to a happier, more fulfilled eternal life but to explain that it is possible to have fun while loving and worshiping the savior.

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64 to Grayson

This past weekend, my family and a few friends visited a sister church who was hosting a concert featuring one of our favorite bands, 64 to Grayson. Even though we were in a church, surrounded by folks of all ages and pews galore, everyone was having fun. Not just fun, but a blast. The band played their heartfelt ballads and their toe tapping tunes and when I looked around all I seen were clapping hands and lots of smiles. Sure there were a few no no’s in the ways of most concerts…there were NO alcoholic beverages…there were NO curse words and there were NO half-naked back-up dancers but there was lots of laughter and better yet…praises for the savior who brought us all together.

The concert wasn’t an isolated occurrence. Every week, we attend a church service where we meet for a potluck dinner beforehand. This is always a time of laughs, amazing food and a chance to get to know people. Believe it or not, there is usually a constant stream of activities geared for the Christian crowd including concerts, movies, local theater, museums, restaurants and scheduled fellowship events such as wiener roasts, picnics, bus trips and so much more. In fact, things like these usually keeps my family’s schedule pretty full!

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My daughter, Alyssa, with 64 to Grayson member, Zack Shelton.

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Knowing and loving Jesus does not mean you are resorted to a life of mundane evenings and no social life. Jesus came to give us life, not take it away!

Jesus said, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). 

The opening scripture (Ecclesiastes 8:15) tells us we are to enjoy life.  I just wanted to throw out there that a relationship with Jesus is life-changing, wonderful, redeeming, peaceful and so much more, but let’s not forget…FUN!  

Now tell me, does anyone in this picture look like they are not having fun?

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For more information on 64 to Grayson, please visit:

http://64tograyson.com/

https://www.facebook.com/64toGrayson

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I want to hear from you!

Please comment below with what you like to do for fun!

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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I do, I don’t, We do!

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” – Ephesians 5:31
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ringsThis blog comes from heartbreaking observations as an extreme outsider on several different situations. This is not about any specific occurrence and ask that if you happen to feel that this blog is about you, it’s not so don’t make me start a bad version of Carly Simon karaoke. This is simply some ramblings of things weighing heavy on my heart at this time. 

Ok, so let me start this one off by saying I am divorced. I got married right out of high school but it didn’t work for many reasons. What finally pushed me to divorce was repeated acts of adultery that I could no longer bear. The end…right? Not quite. Even though the divorce was final almost nine years ago, the side effects of that life-long disease still flare up regardless of today’s blessings.

Now to continue, I am married. I remarried a little over seven years ago. I bet you expect me to say that I am now living my happily ever after, the end…right? Wrong! Happily ever after is one of the biggest teasers subliminally implanted into our brains as early as toddlerhood  by books, movies, songs, etc. Today, marriage seems to be little more than a hyped up reason for some adult attention and a reason to change your Facebook relationship status. Truth is: marriage is hard, marriage is work and marriage will not work without commitment and dedication.

There are days I like my husband and life is grand. There are days when I don’t like my husband and I know he reciprocates. However, in all those days, we continue to love each other. We have had our fair share of ups and downs and we have even come close a couple of times to giving up. There’s a confession for ya. However, we stuck it out and we are still going stronger than ever today. We have learned the only way our marriage will work is to have God in the center and trust me, I can tell the days when one of us didn’t pray or read God’s word. Those are the days we are going to struggle. I know we will continue to have ups and downs but that is part of it.

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Here lately, I am seeing a lot of married couples splitting up. Some have been together a few months, images23H0R2ZTsome a few years, almost all with children involved. I see many couples blasting their dirty laundry on social media sites like it was group therapy. It seems to me that many are just looking for the love and connection you can only experience with a relationship with God, but what ends up happening is usually a soap opera like battle. What is shocking to me is how fast many folks are finding comfort in another companion. I get the fact that you may need time apart from your spouse and you are confused and hurting, but are you really giving yourself time to figure things out when you are in the arms of another? When having trouble with one relationship, does it make sense to complicate things with another? I have been seeing a lot of finger-pointing and insinuations being blasted for the world to see. I figure these posts, tweets or whatever are simply for sympathy comments, likes and what not, and I will admit, I have looked for my own e-empathy here and there but there must be a line drawn somewhere, right?

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article-0-0355F9F60000044D-713_468x512Now here is what really gets me: the blatant disregard to the damage being done to the children involved. Oh sure, they may be fed and have a roof over their head and may even be a straight A student with exceptional gifts and talents, but the emotional toll the games of their parents is causing must be horrendous.  Yes, I know that children are resilient and may appear to be taking things just fine, but surely we all know that further down that just isn’t the case. I see these posts that say things like, ‘I am with so and so now and things are finally starting to look up for me.’ I can’t help but think what the kids would say. Would the kids say ‘I am so glad that mommy and daddy broke up last week and that they have a new girlfriend/boyfriend this week.’ Would they say things are looking up for me? I can’t fathom what is going on in people’s minds when they toss a marriage away like it was a boring blind date you didn’t wish to pursue. I understand if married couples need time apart or in extreme cases, the marriage must end. What I don’t understand is how someone moves on so quickly without taking time to heal, adjust and stabilize before moving on and allowing your children to do the same.

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God created marriage. Took me a long time to figure out that a marriage just isn’t between a man and a woman, but it is a union of man and woman with God in the middle. I have learned this first hand. The hardest part about marriage is sticking around when things are bad. It is easy to bail when times are tough but honestly, that is a cowardly and selfish thing to do. Try considering what God wants for your marriage before leaving. Slow down, pray and give your marriage a shot. Do not give up easily and do not move on too quickly.

I Corinthians 13:4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Malachi 2:13-16 – Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, ‘Why?’ It is because the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. ‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty.

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Final thoughts: Just try. Simple as that. Push through the issues and try. Turn to God and not another. Think of your children. Are you being the type of husband you want your daughter to marry? Are you being the type of wife you want your son to marry? Push beyond yourself and give things a real shot. I promise it is worth it.

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I want to hear from you!

Leave a comment below and tell about something you can do to make more time for Jesus.

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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