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Blog posts by Chris Cruz.

Hello! As you may have noticed the blog and podcast haven’t been an update as usual. I’ve been in a time of transition and I really felt the Lord calling me to give myself a break from blogging and podcast. I am so thankful for all the support you have …
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We’re told it’s like a clover. It has three leafs but still one clover. We’re told it’s like an egg. It has three parts but still one egg. We’re told it’s like matter. A liquid, solid, and gas but still one substance. The example would be water, ice, and steam …
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The desire to do big things is a common trap for young leaders! Why is it a trap? Unfortunately, young leaders can make the size of a task equal to the importance of a task. A young leader can create a hierarchy of task importance where tasks that are less …
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On a random and uneventful evening, Heaven was eager. The Holy Spirit rushed into my life and took me straight into His heart. Death and resurrection were my portions that night. I was a new person: the Holy Spirit buried an unsatisfied, hurt life, and raised me into something out …
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I was 22 when I was hired! I became a full-time Pastor in a school of ministry with over 1,200 students. I was YOUNG! Honestly, I look back wondering what the heck were they thinking adding me to the pastoral team! I am very thankful for their belief, but it …
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Making a difference can feel overwhelming. You feel the charge, change the world but don’t know where to start. In order to walk the walk, instead of just talking the talk you need to remember the size of a task doesn’t equal the importance of the task. Using your gift …
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One of America’s best theologians according to Time Magazine in 2001 Stanley Hauerwas said: “Christians are nothing without the Holy Spirit.” We have to muster the courage to be formed by the Holy Spirit if we’re to embark on the formation of Christ in us. It’s a beautiful process of …
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If you’re unfamiliar with Church history this is a great post to read. I love hearing about the ancient paths and history behind Christianity. The stories I’ve read are shocking and I feel like Indiana Jones explore history. When we study Church history it helps uncover truths making for a …
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Life can get busy. Our day can be filled with too much. The overachiever with more ideas in their head than time in the day can suffer a spiritual deprivation. Parents can lose sight of their day in a moment. Prayer is one of the first things rescheduled or not …
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For so many years I have been told by mentors and friends that I am multifaceted. I think they meant to bring encouragement to me, but I only saw it as a flaw. I longingly looked at people who had had one dream their whole life, thinking of how uncomplicated …
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Comparison feels like a common struggle in life. Society constantly offers us measuring sticks, but there’s a way out. I am a competitive guy, like really competitive. I’ve written my fair share of apologies for being too much. Comparison fueled my competitive drive. I needed to win or at least, …
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  t’s no secret, I am an avid reader. I love books and I love recommending books. I’ve decided to increase the book recommendations for you guys. Here’s a list of 10 books I think every Christian leader should read, especially young leaders. This is NOT a definitive list and …
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Christianity was once reckless; some would say rebellious. It began as a counter-culture movement. Opposing the first-century heavy hitters of Rome. How did they oppose Rome? The early Christians boldly proclaimed “Christ is Lord” in the face Rome’s announcement “Caesar is Lord.” The first century Christianity wasn’t a safe, politically …
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I am a follower of Jesus, and that makes me a disciple. Historically disciples follow a rabbi. The 12 disciples followed Jesus. They followed Him into unique situations. Peter walked on water. James and John go up a mountain to see Jesus transfigured with Elijah and Moses. I bet there …
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God’s saying more about our cities than we can imagine. It’s just whether people actually listen. God’s eyes are always searching for someone whom He can show Himself strong through to take His promises into a reality for His people. Someone has listened on behalf of the city of Los …
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I am a learner. I absolutely love reading books, especially theology books. I find a unique joy in the stimulation of my thoughts about God. I don’t believe everyone will be theologians, but the moment we start talking about God we’re doing theology. Theology can be distracting when maturity and personal seasons aren’t taken …
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You need to start considering yourself a spiritual catalyst. Jesus is clear about it. He calls you salt and light. He commissions you to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper and cast out demons. Freely you’ve received, freely give. Your true communion with God cannot be fully …
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God’s three in one. This belief’s common among Christians today, but it wasn’t during the 1st and 2nd century. The Church Fathers fought to cement this reality in the Christian tradition. They fought off various heresies and formed Creeds to nail it down. The Trinitarian revelation of God is felt …
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I am contemplative this morning, I’ve embarked on my first authentic experience into Advent. This season has always been around, but I’ve failed to partake of its rich treasures. I say “authentic” because I am not making it about chocolates for each day, but a deep inner pilgrimage into Christ. …
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The other day my mom showed me a speech on Youtube. I didn’t expect much, it was from a Charlie Chaplin film. If you don’t know much about Charlie Chaplin, he continued making silent films even when sound was well introduced into film. He’s a comedian and he wrote, directed …
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The early Church Fathers were pillars of enemy love. Today when I talk about nonviolent enemy love I am regular given disclaimers and times when it would never work. Peace needs a chance. Peace begins by the being formed in how we pray. My prayer life has been under a …
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I personally love Theology, but it can get boring. It’s a fact. We decided to spice it up a bit just for fun. We designed a brief visual guide to Free Will VS Predestination. It’s a unbiased take because I think it’s important to honor leaders and church fathers who …
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Why are we careful with drinking in public? I can’t control what they do. Isn’t getting drunk your own choice? Have you ever heard that reasoning before? I am not responsible for someone’s lust, why should people be cautious of what they wear? These are legit questions concerning being cautious with …
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“You must live above reproach” or “avoid the appearance of evil” or wait, how about “you don’t want to cause your brother to stumble?” This is all advice we’ve heard at one point or another. Social media is bringing this conversation back to the surface. There’s a new access to …
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I’ve been cut from the cloth that believes followers of Jesus improve the world. I feel strongly about the Bible calling me salt and light. I don’t buy into escapism theology, getting my ticket out of hell and watching as the world burns feels foolish. I don’t celebrate bad news as a …
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Have you ever really thought about the story of Abraham and Isaac? It’s a story about a man going up a mountain to sacrifice what’s right in the eyes of God. Isaac was the promised child, he embodied all that God promised Abraham. This wasn’t Ishmael taken up the mountain, this …
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Note: I oringally wrote this for Moral Revolution Pornography can feel like a python squeezing the life out of you. I know first hand, I was caught in the trap for years. The struggle can feel like a vicious cycle that pulls you deeper into hurt and isolation. We need lifelines, rescue …
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  “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” – A.W. Tozer How we see God determines so much of our relationship with Him. Our image or understanding of Him molds our actions towards Him. Therefore, it is critical that we …
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The incarnation of the word of God is fascinating, offensive, and enlightening. The gospel of John strikes me like mystical poetry, and in his gospel, John describes Christ as “the true Light, which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” The ancient text here actually means to shed light on …
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“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love,” was said by A.W.Tozer. He’s talking about the moments you’re engulfed in the bliss of your union with God, then, in love, you’re filled with a deep wanting to know Him more. This longing doesn’t come from …
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The practice of communion or the Lord’s Supper, is flat-out beautiful. It’s this ancient and mysterious ritual, but a ritual in the best way. One that is alive and beyond just eating and drinking something. It’s kind of crazy, this practice has survived thousands of years and is still done …
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Last year I had the joy of going to New York on a holiday with my wife. We were celebrating our last vacation together as a family of two, and we wanted to take a “grown up” trip before our lives were filled with rest stops and singalongs. New York …
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eading the Bible can be one of the simplest, complicated, liberating, baggage-laden tasks in the Christian life. Depending on one’s background, that oddly heavy, silk tasseled, leather-bound book can either cause the mouth to water or flood the reader with guilt and anxiety. For the last couple of years I’ve taught …
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Christians have wrestled with the problem of suffering in the world for years, and many are professionals at blaming God. I was once counted among them, confused and lacking any other idea of another way of looking at it. My questions were real and my answers felt shallow.  I wondered, is the suffering in …
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I grew up in New Jersey where cursing seemed like a normal part of life, I heard thre F bomb daily in my school. I also grew up in a Christian home where cursing was absolutely prohibited and soap for you mouth was readily available. Top that off with growing …
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Building relationships with leaders can be tricky. They can feel closed off or hard to reach, but our craving for relationship remains. Some of our attempts to connect and build a relationship will succeed but others won’t. That’s kind of the nature of relationships, some work, and others not so …
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Christianity is a movement not an institution. It’s not a museum where it’s best days are behind it. Christianity is a force on the earth, that is advancing because of people giving their lives. Christianity doesn’t make sense unless you’re willing to give up your life for Him. Christian lives …
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Are you called into the ministry? It’s a question so many Christians ask each other. It’s something I’ve definitely asked myself. The only problem is that it’s a misguided question. It points at a destructive belief in our time. We need to ask ourselves an honest question. Do we see …
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Every Sunday, around the world Christian communities gather to worship. The expression of worship varies from city to city and nation to nation, but all are beautiful. I’ve spent the last 8 years in a community that has a priority of worshipping together. The worship experience every Sunday at Bethel …
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I’ve heard sermons, read books, and discussed what church looks like in the New Testament. The books I’ve read are honestly convicting and thought provoking, but they frustrate me. While I am convicted, I feel they fall short. I admire their genuine quest for true Christianity, not a pagan one, …
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Are we head smart but experience poor? This is a real question facing the church. Our information age feeds us ideas within minutes if not seconds of their inception. The rise of the self-help era has led to ideas being taught, consumed and repeated at an unparalleled rate. It’s honestly …
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Have you ever felt inexperienced and in over your head? Me too. I was 23 and just asked to be a pastor at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. I was young and passionate but inexperienced. I felt like a minor league baseball player getting a call to be brought up …
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Hi, my name is Chris Cruz and I am addicted to vulnerability. Yup, I can’t give it up, it’s like a sweet sweet drug. I’ve experienced so much joy and health from it that I constantly pursue an open and honest life. It began when Jesus challenged me in 2006. …
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In my last post, I discussed how Christ unexpectedly treats the oppressors of the world. In the same breath, Jesus also gives us an unconventional message to the oppressed at the Cross. I honestly thought they would have been off the hook because they were suffering. Jesus issues a challenge …
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A few years back I began a pilgrimage, an adventure of sorts. I was intrigued to study what happened on the cross. I started reading the Bible, theology books and listening to sermons with a new focus. Honestly, I was thrown into a whirlwind. The best kind of a whirlwind. …
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I want to be close to God. It’s what I’ve wanted from the moment I experienced the Holy Spirit. I was undone but in all the right ways. God was present and I knew it. I wanted that same sense of closeness as much as possible. In my passion, I …
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The other day I found my new favorite statue of Jesus. This work of art immediately spoke to me. In the midst of all the pictures of a tall standing Jesus in Brazil, and huge crucifixes hung up  in churches, I see this statue of Jesus–homeless on a bench. He is laying down, …
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I want to begin by saying that I love evangelism. My friends and I can tell you story after story of watching God move in crazy ways. I’ve taken big risks and small ones. These risks have led to divine moments and not so divine moments. I’ve seen drug addicts …
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The baptism of the Holy Spirit has been a controversial subject in church circles for years. It’s purpose, evidence and down right legitimacy has been argued over by friends, charismatics, and church fathers. Personally, I had heard people speak in tongues before, but I wasn’t on treasure hunt for this …
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Have you ever gotten what you’ve really been praying for? One time I was given a generous amount of money, it shocked me. It was going to help a dream come true for my wife and I. When I heard we were being given this I cried like a baby, …
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Servanthood is an essential part of following Jesus. It’s a non negotiable but it’s commonly misunderstood. It’s either taken as a “I am a slave and doormat to whatever you want” or “I am in a season of serving and then I’ll get promoted because of it” and both leave …
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I don’t know if your church lays hands on people but I’ve had some weird moments of people laying hands on me. I specifically remember this one time that there was this girl praying for me in really creepy voice and she was like two inches from my face. It …
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“Do I have to be a hipster to intern for you?” A student asked me a few years ago. “No!” I quickly answered, my heart sinking as I felt the sting of his question. It wasn’t even about him asking me. I was hurting because my actions were somehow conveying …
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In the midst of chaos, we often find ourselves grappling for peace. Our souls ache for rest and settling during the storms of our lives. Let’s face it: We will always have cares, worries, and circumstances that are beyond our control… But is peace even possible? If so, where do …
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Ever wonder about the genealogy of Jesus? I think to understand it you should know about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey just outside of Trenton. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a big deal, I even saw it first hand as …
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Jesus never walked independent of His Father in heaven. He was in complete obedience and submission to that relationship. He never acted out seeking his own initiative, everything he did was of the will of the Father. This has many implications but one I want to explore is the implication …
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The opening scene of the books of Hebrews gives us a revelation that sets the stage for our understanding of God. Chapter one is the key: it begins by saying, “God speaking in various times and in various ways spoke in time by the fathers and the prophets, has in …
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Have you ever been around someone whose passion, extravagant giving, or hope offends you? I remember being in the car with my wife when this happened to me. I can take you to the exact spot where it all went down. We were talking about what everyone loves talking about… …
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God is not invisible. Christ has a body; we must ask ourselves a question: Why can’t they see Him? We’re part of a body. Every believer is unified into this body but we’re not a headless horsemen; our head is Christ. Our Father integrated us into a deep communion with …
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I was thinking this morning, my relationship with God isn’t thriving because of myself. My fire for Him is alive in part by the words of Saints past and present. I’ve set in my heart I will be a student of His heart; I learned, one way is through the …
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I don’t know about you but Jesus’ life challenges me. As I read the gospels I’ve become so aware of the brutal truth that His life is impossible for me to emulate on my own. He did some pretty crazy things that are just flat out impossible. Raise the dead? …
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Have you every heard someone speak and it feels like all your cells are doing jumping jacks? The speaker said, “You can heal the sick.” My heart started racing, I was holding back tears and feeling an unusual sensation that can only be described as the Holy Spirit. If my …
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I have a reputation for being intense. I confess, I am an expressive person– when people compliment me, they describe me as passionate before they say anything else. I don’t hold back. It’s lead me to amazing things, and to “not-so-amazing” things. While I am passionate, I am also honest– I take to candid …
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Prayer is simple, powerful and effective. Jesus taught us how to do it and when we understand it we become dangerous. Dangerous, because with it we hold the power to drive change. Prayer is not our last resort but our means to influence. Here’s 3 quick tips that will change …
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Have you ever felt guilty for being tempted to do something wrong? Not actually doing it, just being tempted. I have. It was a common occurrence for me. Check out stands, magazine racks and bookstores were the worst. I never thought bookstores could have so many opportunities for me compromise …
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In 2007 I decided to do what seemed unconventional. I travelled across the country to attend a ministry school. Except this wasn’t your normal school where you insert four 4 years and out pops a degree. It was something very different– I couldn’t have predicted my transformation even if I …
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Time to turn over the cassette tape and listen to part 2 of the painful truth about purity plans. If you haven’t read part 1, you should. It’s worth the 3 minutes. Here’s where our last one-way conversation left us: what about when we know we’re pure, but we still …
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Last year I realized that I was believing a lie. It didn’t happen on purpose or overnight, but I was believing that people didn’t want Jesus. That they didn’t want to hear about him or about christians. It wasn’t until a conversation with a friend where I began to question …
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While in college for Marketing and Advertising, I took a History of Modern Art class. It was in a dark theater, where the professor would breeze through slides of paintings while lecturing. He talked like a romantic, sometimes making the class compelling and other times, he lost to my iPod. …
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The Bible has started wars, confused, oppressed and liberated people, yet, it remains. Despite it’s misuse or historic association with rules the Bible carries on being a fruit bearing practice in my communion with God. Although, my approach to the Bible varies I am always in conversation with it. (Read …
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The last 2 years I’ve been brought into our school’s sexual purity class to share my perspective. I had struggled with pornography growing up, and I’ve been free for many years. I knew crazy rule-based purity plans can make people feel like failures. I was very ready to take a …
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I find when people talk about reading the bible they can sound like politicians– polished, premeditated, and always giving the “right answer.” I don’t want to go on a rant on what they say, because I am guilty as well. And to be fair, a bunch of it is true, …
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I’ve spent the last 5 years being part of a leadership team and leading a team. I’ve learned that trust is the currency of leadership. It’s the foundation to your team and without it you wont reach your potential. Trust changes results. I’ve had trust, lost trust and I like …
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Have you ever been to New York City? It’s wild but compelling. You can walk in any direction and feel like you’re in a different country. New York City has so much going on, so many people from so many walks of life. I grew up on the east coast …
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Have you ever felt like God isn’t moving? Me too. The truth is He constantly is doing things but we just might need to pay attention. He actually sets up divine moments for us to engage. Seizing these moments sounds so appealing but can be confusing. My life moves fast, …
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The battle to be ourselves happens to all of us, whether we’re the president, pastor, teacher, loud, quiet, introvert, or extrovert. We cannot escape the temptation life presents to be fake. This battle has defeated the best of us but the good news is that there’s a way out. The …
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Let me start with the truth that titles are very helpful and we need them. I don’t want to get rid of titles but I want us to not need them to live a certain way. We can put so much emphasis on a leadership title that we actually wait …
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God asks question, it’s just how things work, but there’s one question I believe God asks all of us. This question is a crucial one, the answer actually becomes our compass for navigating life. It guides our walk with Him and can determine whether we actually trust Him. The question …
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