A place to find Hope

Author: Butch (Page 3 of 11)

Was Your Merry Christmas Really Bah Humbug??

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My apologies for not posting for a few days. Christmas took up all my spare time.

It has been quite a ride. Coming into last week, I was in a hum bug mood. I couldn’t get the Christmas spirit going. I was having my pity party that no one wanted to come to.

Then things started to happen.

Christmas Eve came and it was just my wife and I alone. Except that we did a Zoom gathering. ALL of my family was on one screen. Three of my children and their spouses. Nine grandchildren, and a partridge in a pear tree.

We all opened our presents while the others watched. We did gift baskets this years so that we didn’t have to buy so many presents. It was wonderful. Each basket had goodies galore. Wine, bakery goods, nuts, and many other wonderful stuff. The bakery goods were hand made by the way. I have gained six pounds just since Christmas Eve!!

Then we went on and had a very small gathering of my wife’s sister, brother-in-law, their daughter and her husband. We exchanged gifts, and I made out like a bandit. I got a logo mask from my alma mater at Oregon State University. Yah! A great puzzle of different dogs. (I love dogs!)

We had homemade snacks.

Then yesterday afternoon we connected again on Zoom with some close friends we have known for over forty years. One couple was from Cannon Beach, Oregon, and a lady friend from Jacksonville, FL. Each of them also had their children on Zoom with them. It was so much fun. Remembering things from the past and catching up.

We were on for over an hour there. Too many memories.

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Why am I sharing my boring times this holiday? It is because I needed it to happen to get me out of my funk. I was so deep in despair that I couldn’t see the forest through the trees.

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How about you? Did you have a nice Christmas? Were you able to connect with family like I did?

If you didn’t, do not fear. You aren’t alone. We all have your back. There is always that rainbow to remind us what is most important. God is with us. He is in charge.

We all need to cheer up. A new dawning is coming. A new year is coming for us to start over. We can forget 2020 in a few days and move on.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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We Must Always Remember What the Christmas Season is For

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Just two more days until Christmas. Are you ready? Did you buy all the presents you wanted?

If you did, time to stop and think about the season is really about. It is nice to get presents, but that isn’t what Christmas is about. It is nice to see loved ones, but that isn’t what Christmas is about. It is nice to donate to our favorite nonprofits this time of year, but that isn’t what Christmas is all about.

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Christmas is about a little baby being born, that changed the world. It is about Jesus Christ laying in a manger is smiling at the wise men. He is our biggest gift ever.

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Back to my poor me stories. Today one of my grandsons stopped by so we could give him his present. We all had our masks on, and talked for a few minutes and then he was gone. I hadn’t seen him in months! I will so miss all my family not being here in person, but we are doing a Zoom gathering tomorrow night. Just not the same though. I am a hugger. How can you how hug someone on a screen?

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The vaccine is finally flowing. I know it will take a while to get to me, but I saw on the news that people with my health risks will next after the first responders. That will be great.

One thing that caused my blood to rise greatly was the fact that our governor had the prisoners in the prisons of our state to get their shots before even the assisted living people. The inmates complained that they can not social distance, so the governor felt pity for them. I am a very compassionate man, but this is a real stretch.

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We must ALWAYS remember that God is with us. He is with you when you are sad, and He is with you when you are happy. Let Him guide you through this awful storm we are all facing. He wants to best for His children.

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Remember:

You are not alone.

You are not forsaken.

You are not unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

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The Rush is Peaking. Don’t get Caught in the Rat Race.

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My last post I told you that I wasn’t able to get any presents for my wife. Well, I got brave and took off shopping. What I got wasn’t too romantic, but I think she will like them. She collects metal reindeer. I bought her a beautiful silver plated reindeer last year.

I went to same place where I bought last it year. I was hoping I would find something. GOD IS GOOD!! When I walked into the shop I saw it instantly. It was a matching silver plated reindeer with the head looking the other way. Perfect!

I got two other gifts I hope she likes.

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I also told you in my last post that I wasn’t going to be able to see my children in person. It would only be by Zoom.

That changed completely. On Saturday, my daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren came to give us their gifts. They didn’t stay long.

Then yesterday, we were surprised again as my son, and daughter-in-law came by bringing gifts. They stayed a little longer, and we got lots of talking done.

THEN! Last evening my third child came knocking at our door with gifts. It was my oldest son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. I couldn’t resist, I gave my youngest grandchild a huge hug.

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All that worrying I had done wasn’t needed. I found presents for my wife, and I saw all three of my children, plus four grandchildren. Doesn’t get much better than that. We will still do our Zoom gathering, but I will have a bigger smile on my face.

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How are you plans going? Do you still have Christmas shopping to do? By the way it looked out there, I think many haven’t finished yet.

Here is the key thought. Do not let the rat race pull you down like a huge magnate. In just five days the rush will be all gone. Time to relax and smell the roses.

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2020 is a year we won’t forget. It will be on our minds for years. The thing we need to do when we get through this storm, is to thank God that we made it through the storm. Over a quarter of a million people in the United States didn’t.

There is a reason God wants to spare you. Seek that reason out through prayer.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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You’re Probably Asking, When Will I Get the Vaccine?

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The wonderful news is that the COVID-19 vaccine is available. The bad news is when do each of us get our shot? There is a priority list and some have a long time to wait.

I completely understand taking care of the doctors and nurses, and even the police and firefighters. I also have no problem with the assisted living people getting their shots before me.

Then what? I am a health risk with underlining health issues. I hope it isn’t too long before my name comes up.

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With the pandemic causing havoc at Christmas time, I am heart broken that I will not be able to see my children on that day. The best we can do is have a Zoom gathering, but that isn’t even close to being able to gather together. We do a lot of hugging, laughing, and opening of presents. That is all gone.

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We need to be strong and hang tough. All storms end. This storm will end. We will mark 2020 off as the year of all years in our lifetime. We need to remember that God is with us. With him on our side who can be against us?

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As I said before I am on lock down since March, because of my health issues. I haven’t been able to get out and even get my wife a present. The hurts deeply. I so want to let he know how much I love her, and ordering online is not my cup of tea. I will have to venture out and get creative.

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The COVID-19 has struck close to us. In our cul-de-sac, a married couple came down with the virus. They only live two houses away from us. Even worse is that yesterday we found it has hit one of our family. My nephew has come down with it.

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So what should we do to wait out this horrific storm?

Pray for God’s protection. Lean on Jesus to hold your hand and guide you. Be sure to continue your worship on Sundays by going online. I have a connection to my home church, and it is so reassuring to see the pastors sending out their messages of hope.

Never let the dark side overcome you! Go to the light of Jesus.

Reach out to others that you think may be suffering. You do not have to see them in person. Email them or call them.

Keep in touch with your family. Zoom has become a wonderful way to keep in touch with loved ones. Yes, it is not the same, but very important.

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May God be with you! May He protect you, and give you peace.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

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Being a Servant to Others Can Change the World

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It is another day of sitting here in my PJ’s and typing. I guess that is one plus to being on lock down.

The vaccine is on its way. It will take a while to get down the list of people, but it is available now. Stand strong and this will all be over in the next few months.

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I learned through prayer that during this horrific time, the best we can do is be servants. Too simple, and yet the outcome is huge, if we all took this approach, what a difference there would be in this world.

What does it mean to be a servant? It doesn’t mean you are a slave for someone. It means you are reaching out and helping those around you who are hurting.

An example of this is right in my neighborhood and just two houses down from me in our cul-de-sac.

The husband and wife there have both come down with the virus. It had gotten pretty serious for the wife. She was sent to the hospital with double , Severely dehydrated, and failing kidneys.

It didn’t look good for her at all. I shared her problem with a breakfast of Christian men. There were ten of us. We all prayed for the family yesterday morning. This morning we got an update and the wife did a complete reversal. The doctors were dumbfounded. They didn’t think she would even recover. She will be coming home once she is stabilized.

Prayer is powerful!!

The men at the breakfast didn’t know who the people were, they still prayed for them. They were acting as servants for this couple.

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Where can you be a servant?

Reaching out to those around you is a great start. You neighbors may be hurting. Give them a call and see how they are doing. Some may be ill. Some may be depressed. Check with your family as well. You call may put a smile on their face and give them hope.

Go volunteer at your local food bank. There are huge lines all over this country. They will be so thankful that you have come, and will place you where they need you the most to help out.

Set up prayer groups, and find out where prayer is needed. There are hundreds of people suffering right now. Pray without ceasing. God will hear you!

Come up with your own ideas on how to serve. You will feel that you are doing God’s work, and you will be helping people that need help.

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When I think of being a servant, I can not compare my self to Jesus Christ. He came onto this earth to be a servant. Everything He did was to serve others.

If we could just try to use Him as an example in everything we do, miracles would happen.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

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Remember, the Darkness Can Not Overcome the Light

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Darkness seems to be spreading through out our world. The pandemic has raised its ugly head even more.

We have enough on our plate to have to worry about getting the virus. It is Christmas time and people should be doing Christmas shopping and yet, they stay at home and do it online. It is another form of a lock down.

I have been on lock down since March. I have health issues and the virus would do me in if I got it.

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So what do we do? Should we give in to the darkness?

Of course not!! There is always light, and darkness can not overcome it.

I am referring to the light of Jesus. He is always there showing us the way through the darkness. If you fear what is ahead, Jesus said, ” Fear not for I am with you.”

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I have gone through some horrific times in my life, and every time I came out at the other end, because of the light ahead.

I also need to remember that if I reject the light, there is not alternative, but to face darkness.

Do not give in to the darkness. Look for the light.

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Yes, we face many mountains in our lives. They seem too high and mighty. However, God is mightier than any mountain. He can move them for you.

Some people make mountains out of mole hills. They over react and start saying, “The sky is falling!” Never listen to them. You know God is there for you, and with him on your side who can be against you?

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If you for some reason feel inferior to others. Stop! God created you in His own image. He made everyone equal. He doesn’t make anything that is bad. He doesn’t make mistakes.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Please Remember What is Christmas Really All About

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It has been a rollercoaster ride this whole week. I am beyond tired, but I am going to post anyway.

I have been “running,” all week. Not to the point where I can brag about my step totals, but just going, going, going!

I had two appointments to go to. A trip to the Oregon Coast. A trip to pick up groceries we had ordered, and much more.

It is called the “rat race,” and I am not able to keep up with it. I haven’t done all of my Christmas shopping yet, but I have to do it online. I am on lock down because of the virus. I have too many health problems. I would be a dead duck if I caught the virus.

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Poor me, poor me, poor me!!!

How do I even exist through all of this turmoil. Here are somethings I do to keep my sanity:

  1. Pray every day for God’s peace and comfort. REALLY helps me through the day.
  2. Think about my family, one person at a time.
  3. Call someone to cheer them up. Cheers me up too. Win! Win!
  4. Write my two blogs that reaches out to those who need help. (My other blog is www.dougbolton.com.)
  5. Read, read, read!
  6. Watch free movies. Only on Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
  7. Stop and take a big breath, and let the air out slowly. It is amazing how this helps.
  8. Go for a walk. Not able to do that much lately because of the weather, but I do work out twice a week.
  9. Just sit and think. Very relaxing, and I come up with many ideas by sitting and jolting down what I am thinking about.
  10. Make posts on Twitter, Facebook, Parlor, plus, another social that is only for veterans called, www.rallypoint.com. Check it out if you are a veteran. Made many friends there.

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We need to take a step back and remember what the season is really for. I hear some say they hate Christmas because of the hustle and bustle. They dread this holiday.

My thoughts are that getting Christmas presents for each other is a wonderful idea, but that is not what we are celebrating. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus. We are celebrating His coming onto our earth to save us.

Think about that during the rush. Thank Him for what He has done for you.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved,

And above all…..never, ever, give up!

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Beware The Christmas Rush Could Pull You Down.

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Well. the pandemic has hit very close to home. I live in a cull-de-sac and just three house away a neighbor has come down with the virus. Last night she got worse and they came with an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

Praying for her each day.

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I watched my church online yesterday, and as I listened to the songs, I found these encouraging thoughts.

1.I know I will never be alone.

2. We need to let the King of our heart be the wind for our sails.

3. God will never let you down.

4. Sing louder in the presence of your enemies.

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Thoughts from the service itself:

  1. Apart from God we are in darkness. Jesus is our light.
  2. In a time of hopelessness, God brings hope.
  3. God’s fullness is coming. (Jesus)
  4. The light we need to survive is Jesus.
  5. The wisdom of Jesus is forever.
  6. Reach out to Jesus in faith.

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While you watched the video you can comment on the side. The pastor asked when does Christmas really start?

Some said the day after Halloween. Others said the day after Thanksgiving. Then one said,” It shouldn’t start until Christmas Eve, and end by 5:00pm Christmas Day.

Yes, this person got a few not so friendly names like Grinch, and Scrooge.

I posted this:

“We enjoy our time with family at Thanksgiving and we are thankful. We love our fun times at Halloween and we are thankful.

BUT!! Christmas isn’t just like for family at Thanksgiving. Christmas isn’t just like laughter and trick or treats at Halloween. Christmas is a birthday party for the baby Jesus. It is a time of joy that He came into the world for us.”

That seemed to quiet the “Grinch.” I know the guy and he is is a special Christian. I think he was just joking and the people didn’t realize it.

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This is way off subject, but today is December 7th. On December 7th, 1941 Pear Harbor was bombed. Thousands lost their lives. We must never forget and honor those heroes who gave their all.

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How are you doing? Has the Christmas rush hit you? Is the rat race too fast.

Take a big breath, and realize that God just gave you that breath. Concentrate on His love. Yes, it is a hectic time. Do not let it pull you down. Cling to the robe of Jesus, and let Him lead you through the storms we face.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

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Worry and Doubt Can Drag you Down Like A Huge Magnate

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Self-doubt can pull anyone down like a huge magnate. If we have doubt, we already have two strikes against us.

We need to know that God has our back, as they say in the military. He will not allow anything to come after us that we can not handle.

It is amazing what we can do when we know God wants us to use the abilities He has given us.

Paul said, “Take every thought captive.” He went on to say, “Demolish doubt!”

He is saying, do not let doubt get in your way for anything. Confront them, and get them out of your way.

More and More I keep myself focused on what I need to do for the Kingdom of Christ instead of letting my doubts sidetrack me.

Don’t let others control your mind-only Christ has that privilege.

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I have been racing around in circles the last few months.

Things are pretty confusing, with the election not figured out yet, and the pandemic roaring loudly.

I wonder who I should believe? I wonder what is store for my down the road? It can get overwhelming sometimes.

I have said this before, and will probably say many more times, GOD IS IN CHARGE!

I have to stop this fretting, and worrying.

In my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World, I had a chapter heading that said, Worry is the dark room where negatives are developed.

I have to be reminded of that often. I allow myself to sway away at times, and it is such a waste of time.

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General Flynn just suggested to President Trump that he should suspend the constitution and declare Marshal Law. I think that isn’t very sensible. It can only lead to s Civil War in my opinion. We need to find other solutions to straighten the mess in our government.

One obvious suggestion is prayer.

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I took part in a Zoom breakfast with eight of my Christian buddies.

We are all in our 70’s and 80’s, and can not go to restaurants.

The discussion was self-doubt, like I opened this post with. One of the guys put out a hypothetical thought. “Why do I pray when God already knows what I am going to ask for. Interesting!

God wants a conversation with us. We are His children. Wouldn’t you want your children to talk to you?

I talk to Him every day. Probably a boring prayer to some, but it is consistent. I pray for my health. I pray for my family. I pray for our nation. I pray for my friends. EVERY DAY!

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Do We Really Need to Go to Church to be Christians?

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It’s Monday, and I am suppose to dread the thought of it, but I am retired and every day is like Saturday to me. I put in my time, and now I am enjoying every day.

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Things are still in a turmoil in our country.

The rioting has spread. The pandemic is at a all time high, and we STILL do not know who our next president will be.

It is hard, at best, to be optimistic during this time. I am stubborn and will not let the dark side put out my light of hope, who is Jesus.

He is with each of us every day, 24/7. Never wavering. Never forsaking, never turning his back on us.

That gives me tremendous comfort. When I am down and depressed, He is there to take my hand and give me hope.

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I was told by someone that they don’t go to church.

I asked why? They said they are a Christian, but don’t feel they need to meet every week with other Christians. They feel they can make it on their own.

Dr. Phil might ask, “How is that working for you?”

I can not separate myself from the church. Right now I can only be at church through an online set-up, But I am refreshed and ready to take on another week.

Just being there, hearing the songs, and listening to my pastor reassuring me, makes the whole world different to me.

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Another thing I have been doing is talking to God every day.

I thank His Son for dying for me on the cross, and then I got through my list of family and friends I pray for. I even pray for our national and local governments.

I do this every day. I love my family and friends, and I love my country. I seek God’s wisdom to guide us all through the storms.

Things don’t seem to be going the way we would like it, but God is in charge and He never makes mistakes.

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How are you doing?

Is there a lot of turmoil in your life as well? Do you wonder what is going to happen to you in the future?

There is millions of people with you in the same boat. Many are clinging on for dear life. Some are ready to give up. The suicide rate is sky rocketing during these times.

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Don’t let the world dictate to you what you should fear. Jesus said, “Fear not.” He will be there for you during the good times and the bad times.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….Never, ever, give up!

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it.

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