A place to find Hope

Tag: struggling

Think Very Hard Before You Vote. It is a Vital Year

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More doctor appointments today. See my eye doctor this afternoon. He is prepping me for my second cataract surgery.

I went to a neurologist two weeks ago because of a bad tremor in my left hand. She did Botox on it and in the past that worked fine. This time I think it is worse after to procedure. Can’t control my whole left arm much now.

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I am not a very political guy, but in four days from now we elect our president. The is the most important election in our countries history. There never has been such a divided country since the Civil War.

Here is my take on it. You don’t have to agree with me, but I need to share.

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In 2016 everyone one on the planet thought Hilary Clinton was going to win the election. She didn’t! WHY!

Many so called scholars think it is because God didn’t want her to be president. I tend to agree with that. It really seemed impossible to have a non-politician beat a veteran one. It happened, and Hilary is still complaining today. She thinks he stole the election from her. He didn’t. God gave it to him.

Now it is 2020. Trump is behind in almost every poll out there with only four days left. The odds are against him again. However, it looks like God is on his side, and I predict another with for President trump.

He is heading our country in the right direction. Yes, I do not like him blasting away on Twitter. Yes, he is cruel in calling people names. His personality turns me off, and yet he would be a much better president than Joe Biden, who seems to have a pile of worries coming at him from all directions. Mostly from his own son.

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If you haven’t voted, please do. This is a critical election. Each vote counts in the very tight race. Use your right to vote.

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How are you handle all this garbage we face each day? We are hit with this election and ads on TV by the millions. We are struggling with the pandemic that seems to be getting worse. The rioting is back worse than ever. Philadelphia is the latest victim.

I wish it all to go away, but it hasn’t so we must buckle up and face the storms head on. This is the time to really lean on God for his comfort and protection. He is a fortress in all this chaos.

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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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Crucial Times are here. We Need to Lean on God

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I am a day late. It is Saturday and I usually post on Fridays. Well my Friday was full of fun. I had a day full of health tests. I went to get my blood check since I use blood thinners. Test turned out fine.

Then I had a CT scan to see if I had a stroke recently. It turned out negative and I am fine.

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Great results on both tests, but it is getting tiresome to do so many tests. I know it is because of my age. I have two more appointments next week for different things. They all know my first name down at the clinic.

There is a bit of worrying going on of course, but I again have to just know that God is in charge.

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The election is only days away. It is an extremely important election for president. The outcome could drastically change the way our country continues on. Two complete opposites. I am going to be bold and say I am voting for President Trump. Here is why:

  1. No one in their right mind thought that he was going to win in 2016. It had to be God who was in charge of the minds of the people and wanted Trump to be president.
  2. President Trump has done many things that he promised to do. Not any presidents can say that.
  3. He has affectively closed down the illegal aliens from coming across our southern borders. That was crucial in stopping drug trafficking, and the virus from crossing our borders.
  4. He will be putting his third supreme court nominee into service. That will completely change outcomes on very important issues. It has been speculated that if he is reelected he will be able to nominate two or more judges.

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How are you doing? Is there some hard days in your life? Do you feel the heavy burdens of this world?

You certainly are not alone. There are many people struggling right now. It is time we put on the armor of God and fight back. Do not let this crazy world tear you down. Remember, God is by your side 24/7. He will not let you face more than you can handle.

Yes, it is hard, at best, to be strong at this time, but when you face walls in front of you. Go around, under, or over them with God’s help.

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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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Be Strong and Ask God to Lighten Your Burdens

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I have been struggling with things that are happening around me. The Pandemic, wild fires, rioting, election coming up, etc.

A bit overwhelming to say the least.

Why am I struggling?

  1. I am on lock down with the pandemic because of health problems.
  2. The wild fires got way too close, and several towns near me were completely destroyed.
  3. The rioting is still bad in Portland, Oregon. They tore down two statues, and broke many business windows. The statues they tore down didn’t make any sense. One was Teddy Roosevelt, and the other was Abraham Lincoln. This is not rioting because of Black Lives matter. It is just straight Anarchy.
  4. The election for president is near, and the attacks from both sides are getting to me. All the negativity is sad.

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How can I overcome all this turmoil?

I have to always know that God is in charge! He controls what happens. He has a plan through all this mess. We don’t understand, but He knows what is best.

I need to be strong for my family. I am getting up in years. (I’m old!) I need to continue to lead and share positive vibes to my family and friends. They need it just like I do. I find when I am positive around family it rubs off on me and makes me stronger.

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How about you? Does it seems like the whole world is on your shoulders? Do you wish you could spend all day in bed to avoid things?

You certainly are not alone. People are frustrated and depressed. You may not have the same issues I have, but you may have much more.

Be strong! Don’t let the dark side overcome you! Head to the light! God is by your side 24/7. He will hear your pleas. Lean on him with all you burdens and He will lighten the load.

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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. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

Are You Desperate for God’s Word?

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I am as bad as some are who don’t read their Bible every day. I think about God often. I pray to Him every day. I never miss a prayer, but I miss times I could be reading and learning.

In my prayers I need to start asking God to give me the desire to read His Word. I need to be hungry for it. I need to realize that it is life’s manual for survival.

I have come up with a plan to stop whatever I am doing and read every day at 10:00am. It doesn’t need to be a long time in the book. Just read!

It just happens to be 10:00 am, so I best be reading.

(Later)

I felt the need to read Proverbs. Most of Proverbs was written by Solomon, the son of David, who was the King of Israel.

Solomon was a very wise man. He made judgements for people. They lined up to ask him his advice.

One day two women came before him both claiming that a child was there’s. He asked them many questions to see who the real mother was and then he said, “I will have the child cut in half and you both can have him.” One woman screamed, “No Master! This woman can have my son so he will still be alive.”

Solomon instantly knew who the real mother was, and gave her the son. She truly loved her son enough to give him away so that he could live.

That is what I learned by reading today. I am blessed!

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Are you struggling during all the turmoil right now? A pandemic is killing our people. There is rioting in many cities. There are many people out of work because of the pandemic.

How can we survive all of this?

Go to the top of this page and read again. We need to be in God’s word to survive. We need to find comfort and hope through His Word.

God’s Word is a manual of guidance we can all use. Just take one half hour of each day to read His Word and grow.

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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. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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Remember:


You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

The Best Four Letter Word in the World is Hope

Times are not friendly on our planet. There are riots, pandemics, shootings, and violence.

Some people do not know what hope is. They hide in their basements and try to not face the world.

You often see the picture of an animal sticking his head in the sand out of fear. That is what we are facing.

What things do we need to do to overcome all of this?

Suggestions:

  1. God never wavers. He is always by your side.
  2. Jesus went all the way for you and I to have eternal life.
  3. 99% of what we worry about never happens.
  4. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
  5. Block out all the negative stuff in your brain and replace it with positive stuff.
  6. Walls form. Work your way around them, through them, or under them.

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In the title I mentioned that hope is the best four letter word in the world. Well, the worst word in the world is hopelessness. Just the opposite of hope.

Hope is an anchor for our lives. This anchor solidifies like a boat in the wind. our hopes are in the promises of God.

Hope is my favorite word. I have two books with the word hope in them. The first one is Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. This book won a national award from the Readers Favorite Awards. You can order a copy from this site.

My second book that is almost finished is called, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. This book is reaching out to veterans and current service members who may be struggling with PTSD, TBI, depression, anxiety, etc.

Why am I writing this book? I am heart broken that 22 veterans or service members, are taking their own lives every day. Yes, I said every day. I am hoping this book will help bring that number down to zero.

Cling to hope. Hope gives you a chance to face life as we know it today.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

Finding Encouragement in Discouraging Times

We have had a rough road to ride on for the last several months. The COVID-19 virus is causing havoc on our country. It seems to be getting worse then getting better.

The rioting, burning of businesses, shootings, beatings, that are going on in our big cities is not only frightening, but very sad.

It seems the all these cities are run by democrats. Don’t know if that means something.

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Encouragement for the discouraged.

The Pastor of my church had a message on this. The title was From Brokenness to Blessings.

He said he understands all of us who are fearful, and frustrated. We have battles every day, and to have this be on top of it all is hard, at best.

What are his answers?

  1. God guarantees victory. Pretty simplistic right? However, we often forget that. We forget that God is in charge and He won’t give us more that we can handle.
  2. The best is yet to come. Hard to see that right now, but I bet we look back at this a few years from now and feel we are so blessed at that moment.

Do not go into hiding.

We do not need to hide in our basements. We need to be out there helping those who are overcome with fear, and depression. This is the perfect time to show our love for them.

We have the love of God in our hearts. We need to let others know how that feels.

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How do we hold on?

How are you doing? Are you having trouble getting up every morning because the world is crazy right now? Do you dread turning on the TV, because there is so much negativity? Are you struggling because the virus is closing down your work?

You certainly are not alone.

I feel your pain.

I am in total lock down. Haven’t been in retail store in four months. No restaurants. Only drive up, and take out. Can’t see my children. I text them and call them a lot.

Why am I in lock down? I am afraid I have three underlying problems with my health. If I was to get the virus, I am gone.

Am I crying and frustrated? At times I am close, but I am suppose to be the father figure, and show strength and perseverance.

Again, God is with you. Jesus is with you. They are just a prayer away.

Lean on them for your strength. They are you fortress. They are your protectors.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

We Need to Spread Love, Not Hate

How can we exist will all the turmoil going on around us? The Pandemic is growing fast again, with even other strands coming with it that are much more contagious.

We still have huge unrest in our country. Rioting, arson, tearing down statues, killings, Looting, and terror.

Where do we go for help? What can we do to overcome this?

We have a ugly new problem raising in our country. It is the “Karen’s,” that are causing it. They verbally attack black people with hateful words and even have pointed guns at them.

They have no concept of love. They only know hate.

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What the world needs now is love, sweet love! Where do they get it?

Well… it is simple to figure out of you are a Christian. We are suppose to be the poster child’s for love, right? Unfortunately that is not completely true. There are people right in my home church who seem to love to degrade others.

I am very saddened by this. I can not understand how someone can hate so much. They must hate themselves.

What we need to do is put God first in our lives. We need to try to live a life like Jesus. He never sinned. He never was mean to anyone. He loved everyone.

Speaking of posters child’s. We should be a poster child that shows love to everyone. What a difference that would make in our world today.

If you are struggling with thinking about wrong things, take an inventory of your life, and see where it is coming from. Push the negatives out of your mind and feel it with love and understanding.

Love is not just a four letter word. It is the word that changes the world.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

So many Problems Attack us All At Once

I had a great message online from my church on Sunday. I also was on a phone conference with a dynamic young man who is on fire for the Lord.

From the phone call I wrote down two of the quotes from Taylor Wilkens, area leader for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes.)

  1. Everything can be chaos around us, but God will help us through the storm.
  2. There are so many bad reports coming from TV and newspapers, when will the good reports start coming in?

He is spot on, and we need to realize that. We are never alone in this world. God is always there for us through the good times, and the bad times.

We are overwhelmed with negative TV, and news in general. When is the last time you saw a feel good story? We need to be strong and block out all of the negativity.

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Referring to the protesters, My Pastor said, “Fireworks are exciting. The start is good, but then it is just a pull of smoke.” This reminds me of all the protesters who think what they are doing is right, but in the end they are causing more harm than good.

My Pastor also said, ” You have a house that you have built. You worry about room sizes, where to put the windows, the paintings, etc. Did you think about the foundation? Most people don’t.” Our foundation is the Bible. We get all our guidance from it. If we live by the Bible, our foundation will be strong.

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We were told that in reality we are just apprentices for God. We are still learned and growing. You never out grow being an apprentice. I am up in years and I am still learning much.

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There is an abundance of fear in our world. We can help others with fear. Reach out to those around you. See how they are doing. Help them if they are struggling. It may be right in your own neighborhood.

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We read the story about Peter wanting to get out of the boat and walk to Jesus. We need to get out of our boat and help others. What fear is holding you back from getting out of your boat? Ask yourself, “Why can’t I get out of my boat? Remember, God is not done with you yet. He needs you out of your boat. If we walk with Christ and not towards Him in the water, we are at the safest place to be. I realize that stepping out of a boat right now with all the storms around us is hard, at best, but we Have Good on our side. We win!!

Sorry for the many different topics here, but they were building up in my head, and I was getting a headache. :0

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never every give up!

Now What Do I do???

It has been a long time since I last posted. I have many excuses, but you don’t want to come to my pity party.

We live in a very interesting time. Can’t go to my favorite restaurant. Can’t hug my children. Can’t go grocery shopping. (I am one of those special people who have underlining problems.)

The list could on much longer, but you all know what they are. We are basically locked down in our homes.

So what do we do now?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Yes, you can watch TV all day.
  2. You can go on walks. My wife and I just got in from our walk. (Thought I was going to die, but now I am really glad it did it.)
  3. Get creative in your projects around the house. I have cleaned out to drawers that have been a mess for years. Very organized now.
  4. Call everyone you know to see how they are doing. You will put a smile on their face, which puts one on your face.
  5. Read a book. I feel that is what many are doing. Suggestion…The Bible. It is full of drama, happy endings, sad endings, and much hope. You will not find any other book so prefect for what we are going through right now.

I, of course saved the best for last. My Bible is my fortress, which is full of hope, praise, encouragement, faith, love, and much more.

Are you struggling with life right now? Do you feel depressed, and alone? You have many on that same boat with you.

Never let the dark side overcome you. Don’t fall for Satan’s lies that you are worthless.

God made you in His image. He loves you. He will protect you and guide you. Got doesn’t make mistakes. You are His child and He has a purpose for you.

Remember:

You are never unloved.

You are never Alone.

You are not forsaken.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

Taking a Gamble at Thanksgiving

 

Gambling on Hope

By Linda S. Clare

Thanksgiving had just finished pounding my emotions into a paste not unlike my mashed potatoes. I’d spent the morning tending to two of my small grandchildren while my only daughter packed up her things for a trial separation from her husband. One of the kids was running a fever. I took the poor sick boy back home with me, careful not to let on how deep the pit in my stomach had become.  He watched a cartoon while I dove in to prepare the Titanic turkey meal of the year, all while trying hard not to break down and cry.

Somehow, I was driven to fix all the usual stuff: sweet potatoes topped with mini-marshmallows, the dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, dinner rolls and of course those mashies—although I decided at the last minute to skip the cream cheese and sour cream that my nieces and nephews call Magic Potatoes.  The cousins weren’t coming, so why bother?

Unlike last year, I didn’t forget to buy black olives. What’s Thanksgiving without kids sticking them on their fingers? But I didn’t even use cloth napkins or a tablecloth. It was all I could do to clear off the Black Friday ads and set out the gravy boat. Go ahead and judge—I bought pies.

Instead of a feast for fourteen, I was cooking for four and a half. One son texted (texted!) to say he, his live-in girlfriend and my other grandson weren’t going to make it. Another son didn’t check in at all. My sister and all those cousins were traveling to other dinners in other towns. And my mom, who’d planned to be with us from Arizona this year, had broken her hip the week before and was in a rehab. All of us felt as if we’d hit a giant iceberg.

 

Like the Titanic, our family had crashed and sank, swallowing up any hopes I had for a happy Thanksgiving. I stirred the gravy with a forced smile and halved the brussels sprouts before tumbling them into a pan with melted butter. Moms of addicts know how to keep going even when we’re going down for the last time.  Part of me was tempted, like those hurled overboard by the Titanic, to let go and sink to the depths. But I’d already messed up the sweet potato casserole, so I hung in there.

At my house, I’m the one who cheers everybody on when things are rough.  Most days, I hand out hope with a cheerful smile and one of my mother’s clichés—It’s always darkest before the dawn. Yet this Thanksgiving, instead of strewing thankfulness and hope all over my home, the Chief Hope Dispenser now needed some hope herself. And it occurred to me that living with addiction and keeping hope alive is a lot like gambling.

I’ve never understood gambling. To acknowledge that you’ll probably lose your hard-earned cash and then still cast your lot has always felt like a bad bargain to me. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dollar scratch-off or a millionaire’s wager at a Vegas blackjack table. Somehow, I don’t get the thrill of anticipation. I’m oblivious to the poker player’s rush, the heady what if of lotteries, the anxious wait at the slots as the fruit spins furiously. All I hear is the house always wins.

And yet like all of us, I gamble every day.

Not at the video poker lounge or casino, but in my life, every day, every minute, I’m gambling. Playing the odds is really an institutional form of hope.

Up to the moment I receive an editor’s rejection notice, there’s still hope for that acceptance. Before I step on the scale, I’m still hopeful that I’ve reached my ideal weight. At the store, I choose apples with the hope that they won’t be wormy or overripe. Then I gamble on a check-out lane and hope it’s the fastest choice—which hardly ever pays out. Most of the time, the house really does win.

And at this holiday time of year, we who love addicts run a gamut that pits terrible odds against a sliver of hope. It’s gambling in its rawest, most awful form, and yes, those hopes are up against crushing odds. Will my recovering adult addict make it through all the holiday drinking and merrymaking? How do you hope for a merry or even so-so holiday if you know your loved one will also be tempted to celebrate, triggering a binge or relapse? During those idealized and cruel ads and movies depicting happy families, will you take a chance and hope for a drama-less season with the addicts in your life? Are you feeling lucky? Or better yet, are you feeling hopeful?

But don’t place all your hopes in a leaky lifeboat. The Titanic’s designers were blind to the suffering of steerage passengers, and in their ignorance, didn’t provide life boats for all aboard. Those in charge held out promises that we now know were exaggerated, even manipulated—all to tout the mistaken belief that the ship was unsinkable. Many who gambled (hoped) based on those promises paid a terrible price in the icy waters of the Atlantic.

My three sons are all active in their addictions. In their own unique ways, they try to convince me to place in them all my hopes for a serene and thanks-filled holiday. They assure me they’ll show up sober to the Thanksgiving table. They promise there will be no drama, no shouting, stealing or sneaking. I want to believe. I’m hungry for hope.

But if you’ve lived with addiction, you know these promises often evaporate like mist on the water. The addicts you love force you to choose between hoping once again and cynically viewing the excuses and reversals this disease breeds.

Some parents of addicts conclude their adult kids are simply manipulating them, telling lies to get what they really want: another high. Parents like these can’t bear the moment when hope slams into that unseen berg. Again. So they take steps to protect themselves. I can’t judge those who detach, especially in cases where violence, abuse or mental illness is just too great a foe. Do what you must.

I look at my sons’ promises and see addicts who’d love to make them come true. Every moment of every day they are fighting to be rid of the scourge. Again and again I grab onto the hope that this time he’ll make it. This time my wager with hope will pay off.

For me, hope is the “evidence of things not seen” that comes from a force much larger than I am. God throws down with me in my hopes and prayers for my sons’ recoveries—and a peaceful Thanksgiving dinner. With addiction in your life, it’s not always easy to see God’s hand on hope and be thankful.

It’s hard to give thanks when your house has just burned down or your living room sofa sits in three inches of putrid floodwater. Some days, it’s so impossible to give God another chance, to gamble away your sanity in exchange for a vague hope and no earthly guarantee. Yet my God can make a damaged ship float, even if He has to carry it across the seas.

And gambling and hope are relative. Is the woman, treading water as the lifeboat comes by, losing her transatlantic cruise or is she lucky because there’s one spot left in the row boat? In the same way, I probably won’t ever buy a lottery ticket, but I’ll hold onto the hope of a meaningful Thanksgiving Day with my family. They may disappoint me, but my hopes will not reside in broken promises, but in who they are struggling to be. I make lousy potatoes, but as long as I’m tethered to that Master Shipbuilder, it’s a good bet that I can gamble on hope and win.

When my daughter finally arrived with the baby, we sat down to a little turkey breast, still-tough but buttery brussels sprouts and the library paste potatoes. Empty places at that table reminded me of what might have been.  I wished I could rewind history and that this time addiction stayed away.  For a long moment, only the sounds of forks clinking and chewing invaded the silence.

But then, my grandson waggled the olives on his fingers. His Papa stuck olives on his fingers too. Baby sister shoved a fistful of cranberry sauce into her mouth, and as if we’d spotted the rescue ship on the horizon, everyone laughed.

And I was truly thankful.

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