Meet Mercy

“Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.” —Psalm 26:8-11


One recent Sunday morning, during a church service Scripture reading, Psalm 26 was read aloud. The closing verses above struck a particular chord with us. Finding ourselves in the midst of a worldwide political conflagration, with America—and indeed the world—in the throes of severe chastening by an angry God, we couldn’t help but ask ourselves… will the LORD destroy our nation to the uttermost or will He be discriminating in His judgments? With our increasingly rapid decent into tyranny, anarchy and insanity (see Deut 28:28), the theme of our prayers over the past 18 months has been mercy—that He will not “gather our souls with sinners” but extend special graces to His saints. In so many ways, that has already been true, but it remains our most fervent prayer that He might spare those who have—albeit with hands and feet of clay—striven to walk in integrity and have loved the place where His “honour dwelleth”.

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” —Psalm 85:9-11

Mercy is thy name; by mercy shalt thou be sustained

Drawing further inspiration from our favorite book of all time—The Pilgrim’s Progress—which we just read again as a family this year for the younger ones that missed it last time, we delighted in the blessing that Old Mr. Honest pronounced over a faithful daughter of the King:

“Then they told him of Mercy and how she had left her town and her kindred to come along with Christiana and her sons. At that the honest man said, Mercy is thy name; by mercy shalt thou be sustained, and carried through all those difficulties that shall assault thee in thy way, till thou shalt come thither, where thou shalt look the Fountain of Mercy in the face with comfort.”

More on mercy to His saints

“Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart…” —I Kings 8:23

“All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” —Psalm 25:10


Lael” (pronounced lay-elle)—a Hebrew name meaning belonging to God”—when coupled with “Mercy”, gives her name the joint meaning consistent with our prayer in this season: God, even in judgment, please grant mercy to Your people.

Happy Big Brothers and Sisters!

Our smallest baby yet! 6 lbs. 14 oz, 19.5″

By |2021-09-12T03:02:41+00:00September 12th, 2021|Baby Announcements|

Please Meet Our Newest Addition

“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace
 of earth, purified seven times.” —Psalm 12:6


“Hac ut luce tuas dispergam Roma tenebras sponte extorris ero sponte sacrificium.”

Hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in London, a portrait of William Tyndale features a paper ribbon on his desk which is adorned with the Latin phrase above, the approximate translation of which is:

“To scatter Roman darkness by this light,
the loss of land and life I’ll reckon slight.”

William Tyndale (1494-1536), Protestant Reformer and Bible Translator

Thy Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet (Psalm 119:105)

Illuminating a dark world with the light of the Gospel was the singular focus and driving life passion of the man known as “God’s outlaw”. Born in Gloucester County, England just two years after Columbus’s famous voyage, William Tyndale (1494-1536) is best known for his translation of the New Testament and much of the Old Testament into English. His translation differed from and is superior to John Wycliffe’s (1320-1384) earlier translation into English in the mid 1300s in that it was produced directly from the original Greek and Hebrew texts.

The Word of God to the Common Man

In his Book of Martyrs, reformer John Foxe (1517-1587) records the following account which occurred in 1522 when Tyndale was 28 years old:

“Not long after, Master Tyndale happened to be in the company of a certain divine, recounted for a learned man, and, in communing and disputing with him, he drove him to that issue, that the said great doctor burst out into these blasphemous words: ‘We were better to be without God’s Laws than the Pope’s.’ Master Tyndale, hearing this, full of godly zeal, and not bearing that blasphemous saying, replied, ‘I defy the Pope and all his laws. . . . If God spare my life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scripture than thou dost.'”1

In time, Tyndale’s dream of supplying the common people with the Word of God in their own language was realized—but it was to cost him his life. During his martyrdom, Tyndale famously cried out to God, pleading that the Lord might “open the King of England’s eyes!” Within just a few years, King Henry VIII authorized the production of four English translations of the Bible in England, all of which were based on Tyndale’s work.

Tyndale’s efforts resulted in the first English translation to take advantage of the printing press, and the first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. Later, in 1611, the translators of the King James Bible leaned heavily on Tyndale’s work. In fact, it is estimated that as much as 83% of the New Testament and 76% of the Old Testament in the King James Version is Tyndale’s work.

“With his New Testament, William Tyndale became the father of the Modern English language. He shaped the syntax, grammar, and vocabulary of the English language more than any man who ever lived… more than the author Geoffrey Chaucer, and more even than the playwright William Shakespeare.” —Steven Lawson2

During family reading time over the course of the last year and a half, our children (and we ourselves) have been inspired by accounts of various Reformers and missionaries who risked everything to translate and bring the Gospel to the darkest corners of the globe. Books such as Taking the World for Jesus and The Story of the Bible left us all energized for Kingdom work and piqued the children’s interest especially with all things linguistic, and ever since that time, our house has been littered with myriads of Bible translation segments. Unlike William Tyndale, however, the children have had the benefit of having access to Google Translate 🙂 Our prayer is that Tyndale Sterling would, like William Tyndale, grow to be a man of God, wholly devoted to Him and delighting in Him and His Word above all else.


God is both the Author and the Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). He Who began the good work of salvation in us has also promised to bring our salvation to completion—purifying, sanctifying, and refining us all along the way much like silver is purified.

“…He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
—Philippians 1:6, nasb

“… [H]e is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” —Malachi 3:2-3

“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.”
—Proverbs 25:4

It is often through trials that the Almighty chooses to draw us closer to Himself, crafting us evermore into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” —James 1:2-4

We thank God for those trials which, in His tender Fatherly care and infinite wisdom, He sends or permits to attend us, knowing that “…the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb. 12:6). We pray that He will allow us to view the refining process with an eternal perspective and to “consider it all joy” as He continues to “…work [all things] together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Our prayer is that Tyndale Sterling would be a man of great purity and holiness, refined by his Maker into useful service for the Kingdom.

During at-home worship time, one song we have grown especially fond of which expresses similar sentiments is “Refiner’s Fire”. Have a listen to this lovely rendition.

Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire
Is to be holy, set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy, set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Happy Brothers and Sisters!

1. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Hendrickson Christian Classics
2. The Daring Mission of William Tyndale, by Steven J. Lawson

By |2021-08-17T22:10:06+00:00June 20th, 2019|Baby Announcements, Family|

Hope Is the Anchor of the Soul

We are thrilled to welcome into the world and introduce to you our newest addition! Please see below for pics and name announcement…

“…that… we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” —Hebrews 6:18,19

Hope, n.
Confidence in a future event;
the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good;
as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises.
—Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

In a tempestuous world tossed about by the waves of confusion and despair, chaos and uncertainty, and void of all true hope, we cling humbly yet confidently to Christ our Anchor and the promise that the souls of those whom He came to save are eternally secure (John 6:39); that His Word goes forth, not returning void, but accomplishing that which it set out to perform (Isaiah 55:11); and that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to be complete it (Philippians 1:6).

It is the Divine gift of hope which gives the Christian the constancy and the steadfastness of confidence that many will long for but never obtain apart from Christ. It is this gift of hope that imparts the expectation of eternal victory (Romans 8:37) and grants the strength to persevere when “a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand” (Psalm 91:7). Though he may survey the wreckage all about him caused by sin, yet he remembers that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the unrelenting onslaught of the Church (Matt 16:18) and he thus smiles at the future (Prov 31:25, nasb).

History Teaches Us to Hope

“I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done… that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; —excerpts from Psalm 78:2-7

Nothing infuses hope into the lives of Believers more than recounting God’s past faithfulness to His people. Whether it be those peculiar providences in the life of the individual or the more broad “march of providence” which we witness unfolding upon us corporately over the ages, for a forgetful people, the cure for what ails us is well captured in the verses from Psalm 78 above. It’s also captured well—and almost poetically—in the comments below from one of American history’s most beloved figures:

“My experience of men has neither disposed me to think worse of them nor indisposed me to serve them; nor in spite of failures which I lament, of errors which I now see and acknowledge, or of the present aspect of affairs, do I despair of the future. The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.
—Letter from Robert E. Lee to Lt. Col. Charles Marshall, September 1870

May God, in His grace, be pleased to make our hope constant and make us, in that hope, constant in Him.

Hope with biggest brother, Calvin

Hope with big brother, Christian

Hope with big sister, Shiloh

Hope with “big” sister, Genesis

Abundantly blessed!!

More on Hope

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
—Romans 15:4

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” —Romans 12:12

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. —Romans 15:3

By |2021-08-17T22:09:33+00:00April 5th, 2017|Baby Announcements, Family|

We Are Delighted to Introduce to You…

This morning at 9:30am God graciously gifted to our family a new little member—a sweet little baby girl! We are grateful for the many prayers lifted up on our behalves and are pleased to introduce to you…


Genesis Verity Turley — Born April 28, 2015

Genesis Verity Turley — Born April 28, 2015

Genesis – The first book of the Bible, containing historical accounts spanning the first 2,369 years of Earth history, beginning with creation and ending with the death of Joseph.


[Fr. verité ; L. veritas, from verus, true] Truth ; consonance of a statement, proposition or other thing to fact.

“After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest scientific guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived—and is perhaps better for the siege. Even on the critics’ own terms—historical fact—the Scriptures seem more acceptable now than they did when the rationalists began the attack.”
—From an article in Time magazine, 1974

“Yea, Hath God Said?”

Despite his best attempts throughout the ages, The Enemy of our Creator has failed to destroy the credibility of God’s infallible Word. The assaults have only proven to further reinforce what Scripture has touted all along: That it is without error and can be trusted on every point. Nonetheless, his attacks persist and what better place to start in discrediting God’s Word than at the very beginning?

The Book of Beginnings

Whether it is from the God-hating philosophies of Darwinian Evolutionary theory, or the biblically and scientifically incoherent compromises such as day-age theory and gap theory, the book of Genesis has found itself at the epicenter of a battle waged for the souls of men, fought with particular ferocity in the last century and a half since the 1859 publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species*.

While perhaps almost cliché in their familiarity, the opening verses of the first book of the Bible—the account of God’s work during creation week—serve as the very bedrock to all of our Christian faith.

“…if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” —Psalm 11:3

It is then no surprise to find that the Enemy’s focus has been to discredit the book of Genesis. If the opening pages of Scripture were proven to be inaccurate and unworthy of our trust, it would only stand to reason that the rest of His Word would be likewise dubious at best. However, far from untrustworthy, Scripture repeatedly proves its dependability and continues to be consulted in the disciplines of archeology, biology, geology and others as the most reliable historical document we have. Discoveries in every field of science—from life’s irreducible complexity, the miracle of birth, red-light shift, the presence of soft dinosaur tissue, the world of genetics, and a whole host of others scream “designed!”. Even the flood-deposited, fossil-filled strata layers remind us that, if we become silent on this issue, even “…the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40)

6 Literal, 24-Hour Days

Despite many creative compromises concocted to avoid conflict with the widely accepted evolutionary worldview, the Bible is explicitly clear that creation week consisted of 6 literal, 24-hour days, roughly 6,000 years ago. On this truth rest the doctrines of sin and salvation, therefore we reject any theory that suggests the presence of death before sin—implicit in theories such as the day-age theory, because, if the Bible is wrong in identifying sin as the cause of our spiritual death, then Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins ceases to accomplish what Christ stated he came to accomplish. Scripture is clear: when man sinned, sin entered the world:

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” —Romans 5:12

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” –I Corinthians 15:21,22

Fighting the Good Fight

A mis-guided although honest assessment by an evolutionist:

“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!” —Bozarth, G. Richard, “The Meaning of Evolution,” American Atheist (February 1978)

Bozarth errs in this important point: We do not fight against science. Science is an important vehicle through which to bring glory to God by uncovering the brilliance of His creative works. We fight rather against false philosophies and vain deceit and “…and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God … bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”.

God be praised for the wonders of His magnificent creation! We will not lean on our own understanding, but trust wholly in His infallible Word and the indisputable Verity of Genesis.

*Full Title: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

 Our smallest baby yet, weighing in at 7 lbs. 3 oz.

Our smallest baby yet, weighing in at 7 lbs. 3 oz.

 Biggest brother Calvin is absolutely smitten!

Biggest brother Calvin is absolutely smitten!

Big brother Christian is elated at her arrival!

Big brother Christian is elated at her arrival!

A sister for Shiloh at last! And a real live baby doll to play with!

A sister for Shiloh at last! And a real live baby doll to play with!

By |2021-08-10T13:50:05+00:00April 28th, 2015|Baby Announcements|

We Are Pleased to Introduce to You…

A splash of pink has been added to a once all-blue home this morning as God has graciously and safely delivered to us our first daughter! God was exceedingly gracious to us and my wife was amazing. We are grateful for the many prayers lifted up on our behalves and are pleased to introduce to you…

Shiloh Faith Turley — Born June 29, 2013

Shiloh Faith Turley — Born June 29, 2013

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ….” —From Romans 5:1

What’s In a Name?

As with our boys, we have striven to give our firstborn daughter a name rich with meaning—one that is beautiful, will be an inspiration to her, and serves as a proclamation of those things which we as a family hold dear. Her name holds the following significations:


Shiloh is a name rich with meaning. It’s familiar in the Bible as the name of an ancient town wherein the Ark of the Covenant was first hosted before the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. It’s also familiar as the place where Samuel was dedicated to the service of the LORD by his parents and where he was first called by God.

Shiloh is also used in Genesis 49 during Jacob’s benediction to his sons where he states that “the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes.” Shiloh is a term used here to describe the Savior, Jesus Christ, and—derived from a root word most commonly interpreted as “peaceable”, “tranquil”, or “quiet”—the meaning ascribed is thus “Peace Bringer” or “Bringer of Peace”. Peace then in this sense is reconciliation, namely to a God against whom we have trespassed. Without the blood of Jesus Christ, there is no peace with God. Without His sacrifice, there is no reconciliation. He offers us both peace and reconciliation—but on His terms. Praise the Lord—the Prince of Peace—for reconciling us to Himself!

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” —Colossians 1:20

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation . . . and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. —Ephesians 2:16,18

Lastly, Shiloh is the name of a town just 100 miles from here and the site of one of the most well-known and pivotal battles of the American Civil War, fought in 1862. We learned that we were expecting Shiloh on the sesquicentennial year of that battle. The battle is of particular significance to our family as our ancestors were owners of a portion of the land that was to become the site of the great battle, and men from both sides of my family were present and fighting there for Southern independence.


Shiloh’s middle name is Faith for it is by our faith in Christ Jesus that we are justified and reconciled to Him, and by which we are made at peace with Him:

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand….” —Romans 5:1

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…” —Ephesians 2:8

More than anything in the world, we desire that our children would submit themselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ—the Prince of Peace—and that He would grant them faith in Himself that they may live a fruitful life of service to Him, exercising great faith in Him, and living at peace with their Creator.

By |2021-08-10T13:50:56+00:00June 30th, 2013|Baby Announcements|

Please Meet Our New Son…

“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.” —Psalm 128:1-4, KJV

Our sweet little Christian Clyde — Born September 26, 2011 A.D.

Our sweet little Christian Clyde — Born September 26, 2011 A.D.

“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” —I Peter 4:14-16, NIV (emphasis added)

Our gracious Heavenly Father has once again blessed our household with a new member, and one who indeed bears that name: Christian Clyde Turley. Choosing a name that a man may possess for his entire life—for perhaps a century to come—is a sobering and thrilling task. We enjoyed it this time every bit as much as we did with Calvin Blair, and God granted us equal unity as before and clarity of vision for which we were grateful.

Calvin holds his long-awaited little brother

Calvin holds his long-awaited little brother

Christian is inspired by a number of things. To us, it is a virtue name of sorts, such as Patience or Hope. Though we cannot know the fullness of God’s plan for little Christian (as we also cannot know if Patience will be impatient or Hope despairing), our highest aspiration for him as his parents is that he would follow Christ, and follow Him fervently. As III John states in reference to spiritual children:

“….I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” —III John 3-4, KJV

His name is also inspired by Christian, the main character of our favorite book, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Throughout his journey from the “City of Destruction” to the “Celestial City”, Christian experiences trials and temptations, faces common defeats and inspiring victories, exhibits great strengths and all-too-familiar weaknesses, and wages war against the flesh—all concepts keenly familiar to followers of Christ. It has been an inspiration to us towards further sobriety and deliberate living. Below is an illustration from an 1861 reproduction antique copy we own.

Christian’s Burden Falls Off

Christian’s Burden Falls Off

Clyde is inspired by a steadfast follower of Christ and Christian’s maternal great-grandfather, Howard Clyde Garrett, whose father’s name was also Clyde. Mr. Garrett has walked faithfully with the Lord for many years and had a profound impact on Melissa in her growing up years, reinforcing the importance of walking with the Lord that her parents taught her and creating a beautiful picture of a multigenerational devotion to God. Below, he reads to Calvin in their Bessemer, Alabama home.

Great-Grandaddy Howard Clyde Garrett Reads to Christian’s Big Brother, Calvin

Great-Grandaddy Howard Clyde Garrett Reads to Christian’s Big Brother, Calvin

Below are more pictures from the first 24 hours. Enjoy!

Mama and her two sons!

Mama and her two sons!

All the Turley Men

All the Turley Men

Grandpa and Grandma dote on Christian

Grandpa and Grandma dote on Christian

By |2021-08-10T13:52:04+00:00September 27th, 2011|Baby Announcements|

Please Meet Our Son….

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. —Psalm 127:3, 4

Our sweet little Calvin Blair — Born October 25, 2009 A.D.

Our sweet little Calvin Blair — Born October 25, 2009 A.D.

In God’s providence and boundless kindness, we welcomed into this world our little son this Lord’s Day at 7:00 p.m. After a relatively short (10 hours), but intense labor, our firstborn made his entrance into this life, safe and healthy. Mama is also well and we are both praising the Lord for His goodness to us!

What’s in a name?

God has given my wife and me great unity in all things, and the selection of our son’s name was no exception. Very soon after discovering that we were to have a son, we had chosen the name Calvin Blair for him. Names are important to us for a number of reasons, and among those reasons is the fact that we desire to give our children names that will be significant. Calvin’s name is intended,  in part, to honor his paternal great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather, Fred Calvin Blair, Sr. and Jr., who, in turn, we believe to be named after the great Reformer, John Calvin, in whose honor also we name him, this being the five-hundredth year anniversary of his birth. We desire that little Calvin Blair would be a man who desires to honor both his father, as well as the generations that came before him, and one who would be zealous and actively engaged in the Reformation of our day.

Below are photographs of both his great-grandfather Fred Calvin Blair, Jr. (photo circa 1920) and his great-great-grandfather Fred Calvin Blair, Sr. (photo circa 1910). Below also are a few more snapshots of our little man. More are sure to come in the days ahead! Enjoy!

Calvin’s Great-Grandfather, Fred Calvin Blair, Jr. — Born October 20, 1913

Calvin’s Great-Grandfather, Fred Calvin Blair, Jr.
— Born October 20, 1913

Calvin's Great-Great-Grandfather, Fred Calvin Blair, Sr. — Born September 1, 1884

Calvin’s Great-Great-Grandfather, Fred Calvin Blair, Sr.
— Born September 1, 1884

Gathering together to announce Calvin's name to the Turley and Keen families

Gathering together to announce Calvin’s name to the Turley and Keen families

Papa and Calvin getting some much needed rest

Papa and Calvin getting some much needed rest

Mama enjoys the gift of her new son — a hard-won prize!

Mama enjoys the gift of her new son — a hard-won prize!

By |2021-08-10T13:57:30+00:00October 28th, 2009|Baby Announcements|
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