Todd Hadley

Todd Hadley

Todd and Karon came to Charleston in 1998 in a denominational setting. There they began to have vision for church as we know it to change. The Lord placed people around them who were receiving similar revelation and who stood with them through the storms of doubt, disillusionment, and opposition. Out of this divine discomfort with institutional religion, the word came that the Lord was calling them to a new work. They realized they were in for quite a ride with Jesus.

Todd and Karon both grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and they were married in 1988. They have four children, Drew, Gabrielle, Hannah, and Lydia, all of whom worship and minister along side the whole of New Heart with the deep love of Christ.

Monday, 07 December 2015 00:00

Arise and Shine, Regardless

ariseshineIf you are like me, there are days where you feel more powerful than others. It just seems like God is so ever-present at times and then there are other days where things feel a little blaze’.

Last night our power went off at 3:45. I woke up and rolled over, knowing I had an appointment at 7am. Knowing that I had responsibility to awaken on time and show up. So before I rolled over and went back to my slumber, I got up and set my iPhone alarm to be certain of my arising.

Having served about 4 years, of my post graduate life, in the personnel field, I recalled this morning how many times I heard excuses for people being late or not showing up for the job they were assigned to. The power going off would have made the, “my alarm didn’t go off” excuse, pretty convincing.

This morning I sensed the Lord saying something like this; “just because the power goes off (or it just feels like it’s off), it’s not a reason to shirk your responsibility to show up.” I sensed He meant this in a day in day out responsibility we have to reflect His love in all situations. There were times when Jesus noted that the power was present to heal. I assume the opposite must have been true as well. We know it was in His home town, at least. Nevertheless, I can’t see Jesus not reflecting the loving image of God to the folks that came His way just because the power wasn’t present for one specific aspect of ministry.

I wonder how often God is waiting on us to be a little creative, to believe there is more that He has already deposited in us than we’ve realized. Many times I’m beginning to believe we are the answer to much of our prayers. When we don’t sense his power, maybe it’s more likely that we’ve grown dim in our perspective of it’s presence. I mean sometimes Jesus healed with mud in the eyes and other times he just spit the very image God was thinking right out of His mouth, literally.
God is a full-spectrum loving God. There are so many angles to gain a vantage point of what He is up to.

So if you don’t feel all so powerful today. Take some responsibility to show up, regardless. Sometimes I think that is all He requires of us. Just show up with your part and see if He doesn’t do the 30, 60, 100 fold thing.

As to the 3:45 thing. I landed on Psalm 34:5 today. It says;
“They looked to him and were radiant...”

That is what we are. We are radiant reflectors of our loving Father. Even if it feels like the power went off.

Isa. 60 says “Arise and shine for the glory of the Lord is upon you.” Rain or shine, my friend, it’s on!

Sunday, 13 September 2015 20:40

It's a Jubilee, RUN with it!

According to the Hebrew calendar, this is a year of Jubilee, and so you know, that only happens once every 50 years. Jubilee in Hebrew means simply, trumpet. I had this in mind recently, when I saw the new ad campaign for Asics running shoes (see video below). It begins with a runner who happens to run up on a shofar, which is a ram's horn that the ancient Hebrews would use as a trumpet. In the ad it's just lying in an empty street. The runner picks it up, sounds it out, and runners come out from everywhere to run with him.

For the Hebrews, when a jubilee year began, there would be an initial trumpet blast in the temple or tabernacle, made by a silver trumpet. It would be followed by the fathers and husbands in the homes, who would blow a shofar over their families. That way, the scripture would literally be fulfilled; "You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family." (Leviticus 25:10 NASB) The sound would go out to all the inhabitants of the land, over every hill and valley. The sound would continue to reverberate throughout the land, as each home aligned with the sound.

In the Asics ad, you see these runners assembling and moving in unison across all sorts of terrain, from highways to rivers, from snow-topped mountains to back roads. I see this happening as the body of Christ runs with the sound of the Lord, in the highways and byways this year.

Jesus began His ministry on a Jubilee year. It is recorded in Luke 4, where He reads from the scrolls of Isaiah 61. In His reading He declares the favorable year of the Lord. That is a Jubilee year. I find it interesting that the Lord's voice is said in Revelation to be a like a trumpet sound, and we're told He is the only one that is worthy to even open the scrolls. As Jesus reads the scroll in the temple, all are astonished, and as He finishes reading the proclamation, He says it is now fulfilled. In other words, the Jubilee is on!

Jubilee, like Isaiah 61, is about exchanges. It is about broken things mended, lost things restored, things once taken away returned to the rightful owners. If you read Isaiah 61 like Jesus did, you'll see the "instead ofs", that He mentions. One of my favorites is the recovery of sight to the blind. I really think that this is a year to see from the God-perspective everything that His Spirit came to bring. He sent His Spirit to first and foremost mend our broken hearts, to give beauty for the areas we've been burned, joy for our losses, and double honor where shame once had its dominion, just to name a few.

I invite you to study more of what this year holds and the prophetic understanding behind it for yourselves. There is way too much to put in this article. I hope this inspires you to search the matter out. Most of us will only see one Jubilee in our life time. Let's make the most of this Jubilee and RUN WITH IT!

Sunday, 04 January 2015 03:51

Let it Be

word of life“My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;11 so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.12 For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace.” (Isaiah 55)

If you are like me, you’ve heard the first portion of this passage read by well-meaning folks to explain that God is so far beyond our thoughts and ways that we just can’t know them. And if you don’t read the verses that follow, that’s how it sounds. But in these verses that speak of the word of God bearing fruit just like rain and snow, we find a truer picture of God’s heart. Put together with John’s Gospel account of the Word being with God and then becoming flesh and dwelling among us, they also become a thrilling prophetic expression of the Christmas story.

Reading Isaiah 55 and then John 1 together, you hear that God’s ways and thoughts are indeed higher, and that is one of the reasons He sent His Word in the flesh. He wanted to connect and communicate concepts that were higher and thoughts that were from His perspective. He wanted us to understand so many things that we perceive incorrectly. He wanted His Word to be real.

His Word came down so that we could go out in joy and be led forth in peace. That sounds like how the angels heralded his coming, doesn’t it? Isaiah 55 says the word of God, like rain and snow cannot come to earth without accomplishing its purpose. It also gives us a great picture of what the Word can do:

  • Rain brings what is high in the clouds down. It is a transfer of a lofty atmosphere to what lies beneath it.
  • Rain softens soil, awakens seed and brings growth.
  • Rain takes what was already inside the seed and makes it come to life, so to speak.
  • Rain evaporates and returns, having been successful in what it was sent to do.

All this sounds so much like Jesus, the living Word, Who ascended to the right hand of the Father and sat down because He accomplished what He was sent to do. This is what Christmas is about: God bringing His ways and His thoughts to earth in the incarnate Christ. God’s Word – the very essence of Himself – is no longer far off in the heavens or confined to an ark or a book, but It is living in flesh. We were made in His image and likeness and to carry His presence, and Jesus came to put us back to proper purpose. Colossians 1:27 calls it a mystery: “Christ IN you, the hope of glory.”

So shuck off the thought that you can’t know God’s mysterious ways and what He is thinking. As we have just recently celebrated the coming of the Word in flesh in the birth of our Lord, today recognize the impact of Christ IN you. Be as Mary, Jesus' mother, who when told of the life of Christ living in her, said, “Let it be unto me, according to your word.”

Allow the Word to live in your flesh and believe you were made for this. It was His design for you all along. He came to earth for this purpose, and like the rain and snow, He will succeed.

what-really-counts...the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6 NIV)

After a recent speaking engagement, having completed my most eloquent message, I was abruptly "lovingly thumped" by these words from the Lord:

It doesn't matter so much how eloquent your words were, nor how splendid your content was, rather what really counts now is, did you love well?

To begin with, I really had enjoyed “the flow” while speaking that day, a sure sign of a job well done in my profession. Afterwards I was prepared to be approached, as I often am, by many adults wanting to discuss the intricacies of what I shared or possibly to speak with me on some other highly-important life issue, all things I look forward to.

But this time was different. I was instead approached by a ten-year-old wanting to discuss a popular video game called Minecraft, and how it applied to what I was sharing. I paused for a split second, thinking, “I have other, important adult things to do.” And then I re-thought, and believed the Lord was saying, “this IS the important thing.”  I realized this fifty-something-year-old man suddenly had rare and amazing entrée into a ten-year-old’s world.

Spending time with a child and entering his world was the most important thing in that moment. I understood it so much that I not only discussed with him the game’s application to what I had spoken on, I also watched not just one, but three videos on the topic on his phone. And all the while those important adults, who I just knew would need me, found other conversations, other confidants, and other people to share their time. In other words, they were fine without me.

Before I knew it I had five children surrounding me, little ones curling up in my lap, and one six year old behind me who discovered my bald spot and promptly notified me that I had a hole in my head. It was quite the teachable moment for this teacher. Had I not spent time with those children in that God-ordained moment, I really would've had a hole in my head that needed examining. Thankfully, I was able to re-think and really find the most important thing.

What mattered most in that moment, as in every other, was loving well.

(PS: Someone happened to take a photo of this, early on in the process, to which I will always hold in my heart.)

Todd Hadley

Monday, 16 December 2013 00:00

Appropriating His Presence

easy buttonIf you have children one of the most annoying things is when they ask you to do something for them for the 95th time that you and they both know, good and well, they can do for themselves, perfectly fine.

I wonder how many of the songs we sing and the prayers that we pray are asking for something we already have the ability within us to handle. How many times are we the answer to our own prayers and the anthem to the chorus we’ve been singing.

I’m finding the constant request for more of God’s presence to be a regular these days. We sound like black holes of need as we enter the throne room instead of boldly approaching, secure saints, appreciative and ready to appropriate the benefits of being numbered in the King’s domain.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that we don’t need His presence. It’s that it has already been given and is readily accessible to all who believe. We’ve been surrounded by every spiritual blessing, seated in the heavenly places in Christ. It is the awareness of ready access, availability and nearness I am pressing for here.

I am finding more and more that the problem is not the lack of God’s presence. It is more simply awareness of His unending presence.
Leonardo Da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. So there is a simplicity to the Christ-life that is often complicated by well meaning teachers.

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple… that’s creativity.” Charles Mingus
So, let’s keep it simple.

You see, we don’t live toward a relationship in Christ. We live from one. We don’t live for God, we live from Him. We were dead and now the life we live is His life. Often believers say I gave my life to God. They really didn’t. The life you once had was dead in sin but now you have received life, the life of God in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:27 speaks of a Christ within that is the hope of glory.

The Proverbs speak of acknowledging Him in all our ways. Acknowledge His proximity. He is in you and you are in Him. How much closer could you get?

I think we know most of that but here is the real clincher.

“…for He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b NKJV)

The word in the original language for never and nor is “ou mee”. When you get this hopefully you will be saying; “Oh Me!” According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon it is a double negative which strengthens the denial; not at all, anymore, at all, by no means, by any means, neither, never, in no case, nor ever.

The Amplified Bible does a great job capturing the full meaning.

…for He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!]

The implications of this understanding are so far reaching that no book could contain them. So I won’t attempt to exhaust them. Here are just two things.

Firstly, you never have to worry about a loss of this relationship. The Lord says what He means and means what He says. He’s not going anywhere. The distance has been canceled. The covenant formed (You didn’t do anything to really form this covenant but believe. He did all of the work and that work was finished on the Cross). And lastly, the relationship is constant, unending, and eternal in conception and nature.

Secondly, wherever you go, there He is. 1 John says “as He is, so are we in this world.” David said; where can I go from your presence and the answer he found was absolutely nowhere. Now His presence is not to be thought of in a watching over your shoulder to catch you in a slip up. Far from that, He is actually with you, loving on you, for you, and enabling you to live in the newness of life, abundantly full life, beyond your wildest dreams kind of life.

So you know how the “What if game” plays in your head sometimes? It can be quite debilitating and cripple your stride, because you begin to question everything and can easily trip into doubt and unbelief.

Here is an idea. What if you went ahead and played the “what if game” all the way to the end? Guess what? You would end up with the Lord never loosening His grip or giving up on you nor leave you without support. You wouldn’t feel helpless even if that big “what if” played all the way out, now would you?

Whether you are in the bank teller line, in the Christmas shopping traffic, facing a challenging situation, or just sitting down to a cup of your favorite barista’s brew. He is there and simply isn’t going anywhere. And in His presence is fullness of joy. What security! What peace this brings to the now and to the future.

This amplified verse of Hebrews 13:5 is hanging by a magnet on my refrigerator door as a reminder of His ever-residing presence. I invite you to do the same.

Friday, 16 August 2013 00:00

How does Heaven see you?

heaven

Jesus came to give us abundant life, but often our focus is on what we don't have.  If you are like most of us in this present economy, you can sometimes have a perspective of lack and not abundance. When you have this perspective fear takes hold. Research has shown that we lose 20 points in our I.Q. when we are anxious and stressed.  I don't know about you, but I can't afford to lose even 10 points. Boris Pasternak said, "Fear has the largest eyes of all."

1 John informs us that perfect love is the antidote to fear. It will literally displace it. I believe that when we allow fear to enter our thoughts, we become momentarily unaware of the love of God . It's like we have a sudden mental lapse of just how good He really is.

Life in Christ was never meant to be about the things we don't have, and certainly has no room to entertain phobias and anxieties. God is love, and with His love we are meant to overflow. Romans 8 tells us that nothing can separate us from that love. When we enter into life with Jesus  there is a radical mind-shift, and life becomes not about the "have-nots", rather it's about discovering all the spiritual blessings we are surrounded with in Christ. Colossians 3:10 affirms that as believers we have all received of His fullness and abundance.

If you aren't experiencing the abundance, and a lack perspective is running rampant in your thought life, ask the Lord to open your heart-eyes, so you can see all He has already given you. Sometimes you need to relocate yourself mentally, quit ordering off the menu of men, and allow the Christ within to bring you to a new cuisine. When you do, He'll reveal to you your truest self and all that the true you already has.  Identify with what He says He has already given you, and it will begin to shape your identity and your perspective of circumstances.

"Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27

When I am in that "lack" mindset, I find it refreshing to spending time in the books of Ephesians and Colossians  (Notice the tenses specifically of how things are said).They describe our position and condition as a new creation drawing from the menu of heaven, and as I read I begin to dine from that list of specials. It is His kindness that leads us to such proper understanding. Allow Him to lead you to a new cuisine and lift your thoughts to things above. You were born from above, and that is where the family recipes are all stored. Feast your mind on those things. It is quite liberating, and even better, it is His good pleasure to draw with you from heaven's pantry.

Friday, 21 June 2013 00:00

Identity Radical Mind-shift

reflectionIn the second letter to the Corinthians, directly after we are instructed that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, Paul encourages us to gaze into the mirror with unveiled faces and see the image of who Christ is, so that as we do we may be transformed into the very same image.

It reminds me of the young lion Simba, in The Lion King. Simba was going through an identity crisis because his father had been treacherously murdered. Due to that trauma, he forgot who he was and wandered about the jungle identity-challenged.

In one scene a baboon was guiding him through this time of overwhelming confusion. The baboon declared to Simba that he knew his father and insisted that he was not dead. With a sharp, Donald Trump like pointing of a finger, he announced, "Mufasa's not dead; he lives. He lives in you!" Suddenly as Simba looked at his reflection in the river, it was as if for the first time; he no longer saw the identity-challenged young lion he had been. The image he saw changed in the water to the very image of his father. In that one moment there was an immediate paradigm shift in whom Simba thought himself to be. His perception did an about face. You see, his dad was a king, and now he saw there was a king in him as well. The Father's DNA, so to speak, had shown through. Simba went on to rule and reign as a Lion King should.

James, the brother of Jesus, not unlike the baboon in The Lion King, encourages us to look again into the perfect law of liberty, where we too will experience a mind-shift of who we really are. We have been conveyed into the Kingdom of the Son of God. A "kingdom" is a king's domain. That is were we live and have our being. It is where He dwells. Jesus said that the kingdom is not a place on a map but is in us. We too have a King's DNA in us. Our King, Jesus, was treacherously murdered but is not dead. He lives. He lives in you!

"Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)

Look intently into the libertine waters of reflection in the Spirit and see who you really are with your heart-eyes. You'll experience a radical mind-shift and be changed from the inside out.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 00:00

The First thing Forgotten

greatfulPsalm 92:2 (NKJV)
"To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night…"

Of all the things we tend to forget;  car keys, cell phones, someone's birthday, I believe Gratefulness is the first thing we forget. Have you ever noticed how often you need to remind a child to say thank you or maybe it was your spouse and not your child.  Gratefulness is not high on most people's priority list.

There is a French proverb that says "Gratitude is the memory of the heart." We are encouraged throughout scripture to be a people that love with all our heart. I believe gratitude is a heart thing.

The following medical findings from a well documented Doctor were discussed, in regards to gratefulness. The doctor said that all of the following can happen within 20 seconds of experiencing an attitude of gratitude.

  • Stress hormone levels of cortisol & nonrepinephrine decrease creating a cascade of beneficial metabolic changes such as enhanced immune system; coronary artieries relax thus increasing  blood supply to your heart.
      
  • Heart rhythm becomes more harmonious, which positively affects your mood and all other organs.
      
  • Breathing becomes deeper thus increasing oxygen levels to your tissues.

                                                                                       -- C. Northrup MD

If all of that can happen within 20 seconds, what could happen if you practiced this regularly? What would happen if it became your default throughout the day?

I encourage you to make it a regular part of your diet. It's good for your heart physically and spiritually. It brings a rhythm to your life that beats with that of it's master. For where the heart is you discover and enjoy what you treasure most and the issues of life can be filled with peace and joy.

Monday, 31 December 2012 03:30

Hidden

puzzle-pieces“ The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.”  G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

My wife Karon, and my girls have a tradition when we are on vacation. They won’t do it any other time but every vacation they love to pour a whole box of cardboard pieces over the whole kitchen table in our beach condo and go at it. I am always amazed at how Karon will be so persistent to go through those tiny pieces of cardboard and put them together for a beautiful scene.

I am rather reluctant to join in but she can usually draw the girls in enough to complete the task. However, I do get involved in the proverbial missing piece search. You know what I am talking about, if you have ever done a jigsaw puzzle. There is always one or two pieces that just disappear. You look under the couch cushions, beneath the chairs and wherever you happened to open the box for the first time. Sometimes I wonder if they didn't put it in the box on purpose just to make the puzzle last longer or more difficult. Sometimes I wonder if Drew hid it somewhere just to see us go through the search. Never the less, the search goes on because we all want to see the FULL picture. We want to see it made WHOLE, COMPLETE.

There is something that was hidden for generations. In fact the whole Old Testament period of time it was never revealed. It was hidden for good reason but now it’s made known. The bible refers to it as “The mystery”, the “mysterion” in the original language.

Enigma, puzzling, difficult to comprehend on the surface, this is what the mysterion was to the enemy.

It was God’s secret weapon, predestined before time began. It is God’s strategic move on the chess board of life to say “check mate” to the enemy.

Come join us at the gathering and discover more implications to just how this mystery has and is unfolding.

beachJesus has done everything to give us freedom - freedom from sin, freedom from death, freedom to live, freedom to love.  Just as He lived unbound in the world, freely doing all that He saw the Father doing, He wants that also for us. Only the Holy Spirit - the life of Christ in us - allows believers to live this way.  Because our freedom proves His victory, the enemy works against this in every way he can.  He cannot take away our freedom, but he’ll do everything to convince us we’re tied to something or bound by something.

Jesus tells us to put down what we carry and to pick up what is His and go with Him, to walk with Him in freedom (Luke 9:23; Matthew 11:28-30).  We have to do this constantly, daily.  The enemy’s strategy to stop us is to make us let go of Jesus.  He comes threatening to steal, kill, and destroy, trying to make us so afraid of loss that we’ll hold on instead to the things around us:  our relationships, our possessions, even our lives.  In trying to hold on to these things so they can’t be taken, we bind ourselves to them, and we give up our freedom.  

Jesus gives us two ways to ensure we live in freedom: “Give up everything”The world, and therefore our life, is full of possessions.  We’re surrounded by things, and in many ways it seems as if our lives depend on them.  The enemy threatens them constantly, and if we believe him, nearly all of our energy will go into trying to protect and keep them. We’ll give up our freedom from anxiety by worrying about how to keep them or what we’ll do without them.  We’ll give up the freedom to experience new things with Christ by constantly striving to hold onto things we’re not sure we can live without.   Jesus tells us to give up everything and not to worry about our provisions, what we’ll eat or what we’ll wear.  This has to be our prevailing mentality and sometimes our physical reality, so that we will really come to the point of seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Jesus’ desire is never to deprive us:  He is our sufficiency; in Him all things exist and are available to us.  He knows, however, that the world and its physical things must be so situated in our lives and our consciousness that if the enemy threatens to take them, he won’t be able to win any influence over us by fear of losing them.  In His love, God must bring us to a point of faith and satisfaction in Him where we won’t change what we’re doing or deviate from the Spirit’s direction to try to hold on to something in response to the enemy.  Everything we have is God’s.  All is given to us out of His love for us to use, experience, and enjoy, but none of it is ours to hold on to.  We don’t own these physical things, and as long as we don’t try to, they won’t own us.   In these moments when the enemy tempts us to take possession, to assert our right to a physical or worldly thing, we must be willing to deny ourselves. 

We must say no to that luxury or indulgence of the mind or flesh, confident that the only thing I cannot live without is Jesus. “I in them and You in Me” As adamantly as Jesus tells us not to hold to physical things, He says we cannot live without each other.  From the beginning, God said “it’s not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18)  This is still true.  Often, when the enemy sees us resist him by declaring we don’t need things, he lies again, saying we don’t need people either.  Too frequently, we believe him.  Jesus tells us to leave things behind, but to love people so much and give yourself so fully and freely to them that there’s no separation between you.   God is found and revealed in relationship - we were created for and into boundless coexistence.  The fall brought separation; Jesus came to bring us back together, first with God and then with each other. When the enemy threatens to steal a relationship, we cannot counter that it’s of no concern as we can when he threatens things.  To retreat into separation is to go against the divine purpose of God.  At the same time, we can’t be kept fighting to hold on to relationships.  If we do we’ll be in constant struggle, because they are constantly being threatened by the enemy and his world structures.  That fight and anxiety will again keep us so bound that we’ll lose our freedom (the other part of God’s divine purpose).

Jesus’ solution is to make us one.  He says in John 17:23 that He is going to make absolutely sure that we know the love of the Father, to make sure that it’s impossible for us to miss it.  He says that there’s only one way to make sure that happens:  “I am going to put Myself in them” He says to His Father. “I know that I know that I know that You are in Me, and so the best way I know to get them to You is to put Myself in them.  We will be inseparable, so there’s no chance they can miss You!”

His greatest strategy is ours too:  love and give yourself so fully that we cannot be separated.  He gives Himself so completely to us, so that we can then give ourselves so much to each other that the enemy’s threat becomes empty and powerless, because we are inseparable.  My life is inextricably joined with the Father, with my wife, with my friends, with my brothers and sisters, with the Church, and we can be separated no more than Jesus can be separated from the Father and the Spirit, no more than I can be separated from Jesus.  In Him and with Him we are perfected into oneness, and together we live freely.

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