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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings – September 10, 2014

Just For Today
September 10, 2014
More Powerful Than Words

“We learn that a simple, loving hug can make all the difference in the world.”
Basic Text p.88

Perhaps there have been times in our recovery when we were close to someone who was in great pain. We struggled with the question, “What can I do to make them feel better?” We felt anxious and inadequate to relieve their suffering. We wished we had more experience to share. We didn’t know what to say.

But sometimes life deals wounds that can’t be eased by even the most heartfelt words. Words can never express all we mean when our deepest feelings of compassion are involved. Language is inadequate to reach a wounded soul, as only the touch of a loving Higher Power can heal an injury to the spirit.

When those we love are grieving, simply being present is perhaps the most compassionate contribution we can offer. We can rest assured that a loving Higher Power is working hard at healing the spirit; our only responsibility is to be there. Our presence, a loving hug, and a sympathetic ear will surely express the depth of our feelings, and do more to reach the heart of a human being in pain than mere words ever could.

Just for today: I will offer my presence, a hug, and a sympathetic ear to someone I love.

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Daily Reflections
September 10, 2014
RECOVERY BY PROXY?

They [the Promises] will always materialize if we work for them.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS p. 84

Sometimes I think: “Making these amends is going too far! No one should have to humble himself like that!” However, it is this very humbling of myself that brings me that much closer to the sunlight of the spirit. A.A. is the only hope I have if I am to continue healing and gain a life of happiness, friendship and harmony.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
September 10, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

Here are answers to the question of how a person can live without liquor and be happy: “The things we put in place of drinking are more than substitutes for it. One is the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.  In this company, you find release from care, boredom, and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Among other A.A.s you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties.” Does life mean something to me now?

Meditation For The Day

Do you want the full and complete satisfaction that you find in serving God and all the satisfactions of the world also? It is not easy to serve both God and the world. It is difficult to claim the rewards of both. If you work for God, you will still have great rewards in the world. But you must be prepared to sometimes stand apart from the world. You cannot always turn to the world and expect all the rewards that life has to offer. If you are trying sincerely to serve God, you will have other and greater rewards than the world has to offer.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may not expect too much from the world. I pray that I may also be content with the rewards that come from serving God.

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As Bill Sees It
September 10, 2014
Alone No More, p.252

Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded by people who loved us. But when our self-will had driven everybody away and our isolation became complete, we commenced to play the big shot in cheap barrooms. Failing even in this, we had to fare forth alone on the street to depend upon the charity of passers-by.

We were trying to find emotional security either by dominating or by being dependent upon others. Even when our fortunes had not totally ebbed, we nevertheless found ourselves alone in the world. We still vainly tried to be secure by some unhealthy sort of domination or dependence.

For those of us who were like that, A.A. has a very special meaning. In this Fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who understand us; we don’t have to be alone any more.

12 & 12, pp. 116-117

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Walk In Dry Places
September 10, 2014
Watch those feelings
Feelings.

In AA’s early years, there was very little talk about “feelings’ or “emotions.” The phrase “getting in touch with your feelings” had not been popularized, yet the AA pioneers knew that bitter and resentful feelings were destructive, while warm and optimistic feelings enhanced sobriety.

Now we know that feelings are extremely are extremely important for groups as well as individuals. We know that some AA groups can give off feelings that make them more attractive than others. Some groups are considered “cold,” while others are “warm.” Such differences are rooted in the feelings of each member of the group.

How can we be sure that our feelings will make our groups warm and inviting to others? We can “tune” our feelings by looking at our attitudes. If we are truly dedicated to our principles and want to share them with others, the feelings we project will be welcoming. Whatever we really feel will be expressed in our daily affairs and in our group activities.

I’ll check my attitude today for good feelings as I go about my work and activities. These feelings will, in turn, send out signals that everyone can understand and appreciate.

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Keep It Simple
September 10, 2014

If you want a thing done “right,” you have to do it yourself.
—Anonymous

We addicts can be very picky. We think there’s only one way to do things. It’s our way,

But we call it the right way. When we think like this, three things happen. First, we put down other people. Second, we end up doing all the work. Third, everyone feels bad. The other person feels hurt that we don’t respect him or her. And we feel angry because we “had” to do all the work.

We need to know that there are many ways to do things. It’s okay when others don’t do things our way. Their way probably works just fine for them. If they want your advice they’ll ask for it.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me accept other people and their ways.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll watch how other people do things. Maybe I’ll learn a better way to do some things.

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Each Day a New Beginning
September 10, 2014

It isn’t for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Most of us are on a long uphill climb at this moment. It is a climb we are making together, and yet a climb we can’t do for each other. I can reach out my hand to you, and you can grasp my hand in return. But my steps are my own, just as you, too, can only take one-step at a time.

For brief periods we skip, even run, along the uphill path. The rocks and the occasional boulder momentarily trip us up. We need patience and trust that the summit is still achievable. We can help one another have patience. We can remind one another to trust.

We look back at the periods that devastated us so long ago. And now we are here. We have climbed this far. We are stronger, saner, and more secure. Each step makes easier the next step – each step puts us on more solid ground.

I may run into some rocks or even a boulder today. I have stepped around them in the past. I will do so again.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
September 10, 2014
He Sold Himself Short

But he found there was a Higher Power that had more faith in him than he had to himself. Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago.

In 1930, I loved to Chicago. Shortly thereafter, aided by the Depression, I found that I had a great deal of spare time and that a little drink in the morning helped. By 1932, I was going on two- or three-day benders. That same year, my wife became fed up with my drinking around the house and called my dad in Akron to come and pick me up. She asked him to do something about me because she couldn’t. She was thoroughly disgusted.

pp. 258-259

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 10, 2014

Tradition One – “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. Unity.”

Thus has it been with A.A. By faith and by works we have been able to build upon the lessons of an incredible experience. They live today in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, which – God willing – shall sustain us in unity for so long as He may need us.

p. 131

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Xtra Thoughts
September 10, 2014

Today, I will be open to growing in my understanding of my Higher Power. I will be open to letting go of old, limiting, negative beliefs about God. No matter how I understand God, I will be grateful that God understands me.
–Melody Beattie

We are enrolled in a full time, informal school called, “Life.” Each day of this school, we have the opportunity to learn lessons. We may like the lessons or hate them, but they are part of the curriculum. The greatest lessons we learn are about love and fear, that every action is either an expression of love, or a call for love. And the great blessing is that every lesson repeats itself until we learn it.
–Mary Manin Morrissey

I have all the time in the world to do God’s Will for me today. I trust that my Higher Power is filling me with all the energy that I need for these 24 hours.
–Ruth Fishel

Those who withhold forgiveness only withhold it from themselves.”
–Paul Ferrini

Happiness is an inside job.
–Unknown

Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?
–Gerald Jampolsky

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 10, 2014
NEIGHBORS

“The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a drunk I said cruel things about other people. My prejudices hid my fears and insecurities. I condemned in others what I saw in myself.  I deflected attention from me by the name-calling others: sick manipulations. “Neighbor” was only a word that I could spell and interpret, useful for religious homilies or pretentious innuendoes but not something I really experienced.

Today I am able to be the “good neighbor” to many people, known and unknown. My recovery has brought people into my life. Relationships mean something; friends are important; the world is one. Black, Asian, Hispanic — all add a variety to my life that enable me to get in touch with buried feelings of my “difference”. In the stranger I discover something of myself; the foreigner has become both friend and neighbor.

God, I never cease to be amazed at the mystery and variety that is “me”.

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Bible Scriptures
September 10, 2014

But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?”
Romans 8:24

“One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.”
Proverbs 13:7

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Daily Inspiration
September 10, 2014

If a person or a situation causes you to feel insecure, you have forgotten who you really are. Lord, You are my Father. I am Your child. How can I ever feel like less.

God gives abundantly to those who pass His gifts on to others. Lord, let Your blessings flow in to me and then out from me. I will neither be selfish nor let my gifts stagnate.

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One Day At A Time
September 10
FAITH

“Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.”
The Big Book, page 16

The Big Book states that if we are rigorously honest we will receive release from our addictive compulsions. Working the Steps is what keeps us honest. I didn’t believe this with my whole heart and I lived within my disease. My sponsor told me to just “do it” and see what happened; to “act as if it were true.”

What is faith? It is the belief that if we stay close to our Higher Power we will be where we need to be. It is the guarantee that we do not walk through this world or this disease alone. Faith requires commitment to a belief that is greater than what we can see, hear, taste or smell. It’s knowing that there is a God who loves us as we are, and Who will journey through this life with us. And faith requires that we act on that knowledge. That is faith.

I did the Steps and the compulsion was removed. A miracle? Absolutely! I had faith that the program would work. Putting the faith to work by diving into the Steps released me from the grips of the disease, one day at a time. The beauty of the program is faith in a Higher Power who will walk us through one hour, one day and one miracle at a time.

One day at a time…
I will act as if there is a God who loves me.

~ Sara H.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 10

“One of the first things Seneca children learned was that they might create their own world, their own environment, by visualizing actions and desires in prayer. The Senecas believed that everything that made life important came from within. Prayer assisted in developing a guideline toward discipline and self control.”
–Twylah Nitcsh, SENECA

All permanent and lasting change starts first on the inside and works its way out. Having constant prayer and Creator directed visions helps us to live in harmony. This is the best way to grow strong and become a Warrior.  No matter what is going on outside of ourselves, it is our projection that makes it so. It is our projections that even give it any meaning. Another way is each day to turn our life and our will over to the care of the Great Spirit. Then He will show us His desire for us. When we are in alignment to His desire, we become very joyful and very happy.

Oh Great Spirit, You take care of me today and tell me what I can do for You today. Give me the discipline to talk to You whenever I am in doubt or fear. Let me come to You if I get irritated. You are my solution.

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Journey To The Heart
September 10, 2014
Laugh Often

“When I woke up the other morning, the blahs were back,” a friend said. “I switched on the television. An old movie, a comedy, was on. At first I thought it was a waste of time to get involved in it. Within half an hour, I was laughing out loud. By the time the movie was over, I felt good.”

Remember to laugh. No matter what our circumstance, where we are, what’s going on, laughter is important. It’s essential. Laughter changes our face. It changes our outlook. Some even suggest it changes our biochemistry.

Lighten up. Joke a little. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at life. The truth need not always be a grim, serious business. Often, the truth we’ve been so serious about finding can only be found when we laugh.

Learn the power of humor. It will take you a long way. And it will help the road you travel be more fun.

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Today’s Gift
September 10, 2014

Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.
—Madeline Bridges

Sometimes we feel lazy or bored, and then we don’t do our best work. Maybe our writing becomes hard to read, or we miss a porch when delivering newspapers. Perhaps we are daydreaming instead of listening closely to what a friend is trying to tell us. When we are not really paying attention to our activities or the people around us, we’ll likely miss out on something important because we do receive in equal measure what we give. And this truth works in every aspect of our lives.

When we treat our friends, our families, even people we don’t know well with kindness, we’ll experience kindness in return. Our own actions and attitudes toward others are what we can expect from others as well.

How can I increase the kindness in the world today?

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The Language of Letting Go
September 10, 2014
Self-approval

Most of us want to be liked. We want other people to think of us as nice, friendly, kind, and loving. Most of us want the approval of others.

Since childhood, some of us have been trying to get approval, trying to get people to like us and think highly of us. We may be afraid people will leave us if they disapprove of our actions. We may look for approval from people who have none to give. We may not know that we’re lovable now and can learn to approve of ourselves.

In order to live happily, to live consistently with the way our Higher Power wants us to live, and to tap into a way of life that is in harmony with the universe, we need to let go of our extreme need for approval. These unmet needs for approval and love from our past give others control over us today. These needs can prevent us from acting in our best interest and being true to ourselves.

We can approve of ourselves. In the end, that’s the only approval that counts.

Today, I will let go of my need for approval and my need to be liked. I will replace them with a need to like and approve of myself. I will enjoy the surprise I find when I do this. The people who count, including myself, will respect me when I am true to myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
September 10, 2014
Be who and where you are

One day when I was new to recovery from chemical dependency, I looked around at my living situation, my job, my relationships. Nothing felt right. A chronic sense of being in the wrong place at the wrong time was overriding everything I did. My life felt like an ongoing series of errors.

I had heard talk about a brilliant therapist, one who was particularly effective in getting to core isuues. Whatever was going on in my core. I wanted it to be resolved.

The problem was that this therapist lived way out in a rural area. I didn’t have a car. I’d need to take this bus. He saw people only during the week. I worked nine-to-five, Monday through Friday. And his fees, although well-deserved, were high for my budget.

I saved enough money to pay for a session. Then I made an appointment. I was so excited.

The big day arrived. I started my series of bus rides {I had to transfer three times} at 5:00 PM, when I finished work. By 7:30 that evening, I arrived at the estate where this therapist lived and worked. I was exhausted but elated when I finally sat down across from this teddy bear of a man who had helped so many people progress in their lives.

In elaborate detail, I began spilling out what was going on in my life. I explained that I was recovering, trying to do the right things, going to my support groups, making my amends to people I had hurt– but nothing felt right. A chronic sense of uneasiness plagued my life, no matter what I did.

He listened to what I said. Then he leaned back in his chair.

“Melody,” he said calmly, confidently.

“Yes?”

“You’re right where you need to be.”

Session ended.

I gathered my things, walked the two blocks to the bus stop, and rode the several buses back to my small cubicle of an apartment in South Minneapolis. The lesson stayed with me for life. When nothing in our lives feels right, sometimes the answer isn’t doing more or searching frantically for the miracle we need. The miracle comes when we accept, believe, and trust that who we are right now is who we need to be.

Save yourself the time, the money, and the trip.

Be your own guru.

God, thank you for where I am today. Help me trust that when I need to be someplace else, you’ll naturally move me to that place.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 10, 2014

It is not a question of how a husband and wife can be equal and alike. But rather, it is a problem of how a couple can be equal and different.
—Pierre Mornell

In seeking closeness with loved ones, we have often made the mistake of looking only for similarities. Although common ground helps understanding, we must learn how to get close to others by “borrowing their eyes and ears.” We expand our understanding of others by accepting that what we see, hear, think, and feel will not be exactly what anyone else does. We can deepen our relationships by exchanging our experiences with others.

We don’t have to agree on everything. Simply learning about each other’s differences and letting each other know that we hear and understand will create a feeling of intimacy.

I will be receptive and appreciate differences in those I love.

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Daily TAO
September 10, 2014
PATIENCE

This apple is like a jewel,
With every shade of red and green
And a perfect shape.
What a miraculous fruit.

The owner of an orchard came to visit me one day. He kindly remembers me every year with the best of his crop. As we shared a lunch, the talk turned to fishing. He told me that he had once had a great love of fishing, but that he now had little time for it. “I am an impatient man,” he told me.

I replied that I thought him very patient. After all, not everyone can plant trees and tend them until they bear good fruit. He insisted that therem was something to do every moment and that his orchards needed constant attention. “This year’s apples are a bit smaller,” he apologized. “I could have made them bigger by thinning the trees. It takes a man an entire day to prune a tree properly, and with over 500 trees, you can imagine the difficulty and expense of the task. So I let the trees grow as they wanted, and was still able to send my crop to market.” The apples were sweet, of course, and not nearly as small as he said they were.

Those who follow Tao say that all things happen in their own time. What is lazy and what is hard work? Those who follow Tao say to follow nature.  That requires patience. By knowing when to let the trees grow as they wanted, the orchard owner still had a good crop.

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Daily Zen
September 10, 2014

Clad in black robe
I should have no attraction to
The shapes and scents of this world
But how can I keep the precept
Of detachment
Gazing at today’s crimson maple leaves?

– Rengetsu (1791-1875)

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Food For Thought
September 10, 2014
Listening

As we learn to listen to our Higher Power, we also learn to listen with more awareness to others and ourselves. Being willing to spend time alone, in quiet, is essential to listening. We often fear silence and being alone, and we escape into distractions and busy work.

Prayer is not so much telling and asking as it is listening. Prayer in this sense may be practiced continually during the day. By taking Step Three, we are giving up our will and becoming receptive to the will of our Higher Power. We focus less on our egotistical concerns and more on God, as we understand Him. That understanding grows through listening.

By listening, we become aware of needs, feelings, and responses within ourselves, which we had previously ignored. Knowing ourselves better, we are more direct and honest with others and more responsive to them. The communication which develops with our Higher Power is on a level deep enough to relate us more meaningfully to everyone around us.

I will listen today to Your voice.

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Faiths Checkbook
September 10, 2014
Coming In; Going Out

Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
(Deuteronomy 28:6)

The blessings of the law are not canceled. Jesus confirmed the promise when He bore the penalty. If I keep the commands of my Lord, I may appropriate this promise without question.

This day I will come in to my house without fear of evil tidings, and I will come in to my closet expecting to hear good news from my Lord. I will not be afraid to come in unto myself by self-examination, nor to come in to my affairs by a diligent inspection of my business. I have a good deal of work to do indoors, within my own soul; oh, for a blessing upon it all, the blessing of the Lord Jesus, who has promised to abide with me.

I must also go out. Timidity makes me wish that I could stay within doors and never go into the sinful world again. But I must go out in my calling, and I must go out that I may be helpful to my brethren and useful to the ungodly. I must be a defender of the faith and an assailant of evil. Oh, for a blessing upon my going out this day! Lord, let me go where Thou leadest, on Thy errands, under Thy command, and in the power of Thy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, turn in with me and be my guest; and then walk out with me and cause my heart to burn while You speak with me by the way.

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This Mornings Reading
September 10, 2014

“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.”
—Mark 3:13.

HERE was sovereignty. Impatient spirits may fret and fume, because they are not called to the highest places in the ministry; but reader be it thine to rejoice that Jesus calleth whom He wills. If He shall leave me to be a doorkeeper in His house, I will cheerfully bless Him for His grace in permitting me to do anything in His service. The call of Christ’s servants comes from above. Jesus stands on the mountain, evermore above the world in holiness, earnestness, love and power. Those whom He calls must go up the mountain to Him, they must seek to rise to His level by living in constant communion with Him. They may not be able to mount to classic honours, or attain scholastic eminence, but they must like Moses go up into the mount of God and have familiar intercourse with the unseen God, or they will never be fitted to proclaim the gospel of peace. Jesus went apart to hold high fellowship with the Father, and we must enter into the same divine companionship if we would bless our fellowmen. No wonder that the apostles were clothed with power when they came down fresh from the mountain where Jesus was. This morning we must endeavour to ascend the mount of communion, that there we may be ordained to the lifework for which we are set apart. Let us not see the face of man to-day till we have seen Jesus. Time spent with Him is laid out at blessed interest. We too shall cast out devils and work wonders if we go down into the world girded with that divine energy which Christ alone can give. It is of no use going to the Lord’s battle till we are armed with heavenly weapons. We must see Jesus, this is essential. At the mercy-seat we will linger till He shall manifest Himself unto us as He doth not unto the world, and until we can truthfully say, “We were with Him in the Holy Mount.”

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This Evenings Reading
September 10, 2014

“Evening wolves.”—Habakkuk 1:8.

WHILE preparing the present volume, this particular expression recurred to me so frequently, that in order to be rid of its constant importunity I determined to give a page to it. The evening wolf, infuriated by a day of hunger, was fiercer and more ravenous than he would have been in the morning. May not the furious creature represent our doubts and fears after a day of distraction of mind, losses in business, and perhaps ungenerous tauntings from our fellow men? How our thoughts howl in our ears, “Where is now thy God?” How voracious and greedy they are, swallowing up all suggestions of comfort, and remaining as hungry as before. Great Shepherd, slay these evening wolves, and bid Thy sheep lie down in green pastures, undisturbed by insatiable unbelief. How like are the fiends of hell to evening wolves, for when the flock of Christ are in a cloudy and dark day, and their sun seems going down, they hasten to tear and to devour. They will scarcely attack the Christian in the daylight of faith, but in the gloom of soul conflict they fall upon him. O Thou who hast laid down Thy life for the sheep, preserve them from the fangs of the wolf.

False teachers who craftily and industriously hunt for the precious life, devouring men by their false-hoods, are as dangerous and detestable as evening wolves. Darkness is their element, deceit is their character, destruction is their end. We are most in danger from them when they wear the sheep’s skin. Blessed is he who is kept from them, for thousands are made the prey of grievous wolves that enter within the fold of the church.

What a wonder of grace it is when fierce persecutors are converted, for then the wolf dwells with the lamb, and men of cruel ungovernable dispositions become gentle and teachable. O Lord, convert many such: for such we will pray to-night.

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