Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jerry Patton: Medicine & Faith

Jerry Patton, a former member of the Oregon City Followers of Christ, and the grandson of an FOC preacher, agreed to write about his beliefs in regards to faith healing and the role of medicine in a believer's life.

* * * * *

It’s been a long time since I thought about being forbidden to use a doctor.  I can remember learning about that belief and knowing that it was something somehow I had to accept.   It’s not something that seems too menacing until pain, fear, and all kinds of thoughts are up in your face.  I did my best to embrace it, but it was that young age, probably around the age of 10, it didn’t seem to make much sense.  I could go to the dentist; he was doctor; he used drugs to deaden the pain, but that was alright.  It was there I began to realize this inconsistency.  Is this really the way faith is?  Sometimes it’s relevant – it matters - and then at other times it doesn’t?  Life hits you that way as you grow up.  Everyone gets to experience it and the crazy bewilderment it brings.

I think my experiences in being sick and injured are pretty common for the time period I grew up in: a busted lip, sprained ankle, colds, etc.  Very few folks took their children to the doctor the way they do now when all they have is a sniffle.  Even with my own kids, they were very healthy and occasionally visited the doctor when they couldn’t seem to get on top of a cold or infection.  We did make a few trips to the emergency room for stitches, an outpatient surgery for tonsil removal, but most of the time they were treated at home.  When our youngest was eight years old, my wife Paula graduated from Wichita State University with her bachelor’s degree in nursing and became a registered nurse.  I must say, I was thankful having her looking after us and so were all our nieces, nephews, and family, the church kids, the neighbor kids, and new mothers and fathers asking questions about a new one on the way.  She is always helping someone by looking at something or answering a question.

Sometimes, however, things are more serious.  I can tell you if we had not sought medical help, my father would be gone, my brother would be gone, and even perhaps a son would be.  I can simply find no place in the Old or New Testament that prohibits people from getting well.  The only time seeking care was considered wrong was if someone was using a medium or some kind of charm.  It was wrong because it was wrong to be with a medium in the first place and as for the charms, they were silly superstition, the same as idols.  Putting your faith in something like that is disrespectful to God.  At the church where I worship and fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, we have many that are sick or injured.  We lift them up constantly through prayer chains, Wednesday night hour of prayer, house churches, and whenever we meet.  We also lay hands on them and invite anyone to come join us as we pray over them.   We are very aware that medicine is useless without the blessing of God, and we believe medicine to be a blessing from God.  But God is sovereign and we respect his wisdom as he works out everything for the good.

We all know that wonderful passage from the Hebrew writer at the beginning of chapter 11 defining faith for us:

1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Why would the writer bring up faith?  Not that it’s written all over the Bible, both Old and New Covenant, but it is the language by which we commune with the Creator.  God belongs to the spiritual world where our bodily senses cannot reach and it requires faith for us to reach out to him.  He reached out to us first, where his plan would eventually merge heaven and earth and those who put their faith in Him would live with him there forever.   Through this plan he showed us we need a savior and he provided one:  the Lord Jesus Christ.  Through the life of Christ, his death on a cross, his burial, his resurrection from the dead on the third day, his appearance to many:  We have been rescued from darkness.  Those who put their faith in Christ Jesus have been claimed as “the holy ones” (the saints) of God.  

Faith and obedience are intertwined.  You can’t have one without the other.  They feed on each other.  Faith is built on obedience and obedience depends on faith.  But obedience to what?  This is going to sound funny, but, the answer is:  Loving one another as Christ loved us.  When you boil it all down, that’s where it is.  It requires an enormous amount of faith.  Jesus talks about it again and again.  His disciples, his apprentices are to practice loving others.  In order to do this, you have to set your entitlements, agendas, and needs aside in order to look out for those around you – even the ones that don’t think the way you do or the ones who don’t like you; especially them.  Who looks after my needs?  You do – through the power of Jesus Christ.  That’s where faith comes in, eh? 

When I decided to follow Jesus, all my claims of wrongs done me, all my entitlements bestowed on me by whatever means, are nailed to the cross.  It wasn’t very fair that Jesus, an innocent man, died on a cross:  what claim could I possibly have to anything?  Nailing them to the cross takes great faith, the kind of faith that makes us brothers and sisters to the One and Only King of Kings, Lord of Lords.  For me, this looking out for one another in love and compassion is what is meant by “walking in the Spirit”.

Galatians 5:16-26

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Did Paul really say that?  “Against such there is no law.”  When we walk in the Spirit and that lovely fruit is produced in us, there is no need for law, no need for rules.  Everything is fulfilled; especially us and we become what we were created to be:  Real human beings.  Now you can be someone who wants to focus on rules and about the only thing you’ll discover is how big a rule breaker you are.  And rules don’t change us, at least not in the direction we would want to go.  Paul says in the letter to the Galatians and elsewhere:  the law is death and if the Law of Moses is viewed this way then any law that man comes up with is certainly not any better and leads to the same things.

Law-keeping is focused on the mundane and diverts our eyes from taking care and looking after one another.   It gets us all wrapped around the axle in thinking about how we look, for the law shows what a righteous person looks like on the outside, but it does not have means to change us.  This is why we need the Spirit and walk with him faithfully as he trains us in his ways and over time he transforms us into the sons and daughters of The Most High.

Luke 10:25-37 NKJV

25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Don’t tell me there wasn’t some doctoring going on here.  The man received the best care he could have had in his day and age.  You wouldn’t receive much better care in an emergency room from a doctor and nurses.  Sure, we now have more modern ways to nourish him, and more effective techniques to bandage and treat his wounds but the outcome is the same.  Is there something wrong here?  Is it wrong to do good, even though you used some bactine, Neosporin, or alcohol? 

And then there’s that nagging question again - one of the things that has always puzzled me:   when does something rise to the point that it is wrong to seek out a trained professional, someone who has exhibited the God-given talent and gifts for healing?  Where is that line?  And who decides where that line is?  Men?  Bad idea.  I believe God has blessed us with incredible minds.  Do we do evil with them?  Sadly, yes.  But we can do good with them also and serving someone’s needs through healing is something that is right and good. 

Did the good Samaritan love this man even though he didn’t know him?  Of course.  Did it cost him anything?  Of course.  The good Samaritan’s actions may have delayed the business he was on and cost him a customer, but he put his faith in what is good even though the injured man had nothing to return.  In this act I see love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  

Love is so much better and yet, so much harder than law.  Is that why rules are chosen over love?  With law you know where you stand.  With love, you may never know, for the good you do may not come to fruition until you are long gone.  Loving others will consume our lives just like it consumed the life of Jesus.  But when you’re going to live forever, what does it matter?  Or do we really believe that?  There’s a saying I like:  “He is no fool who loses what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Words are so insufficient to communicate the wonder that God did through Christ.  God’s wonder continues in all the wonderful things he wants to do through you and me.  That’s what grace is.  Technically, it’s defined as “unmerited favor,” and because of the unmerited favor granted to those who put their faith in Christ, He reaches down and changes us through our love for one another.    There are basically four types of love: eros, phileos, storge, and agape.  Agape is the love that God has for us.  It is the type of love that reaches out and blesses even when the recipient has nothing to offer.   This is agape love:

I Corinthians 13:1-13  NKJV

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

With agape love, God raises the bar all the way to the top.  This is what God expects of his holy ones.  It’s the way he loves us and it’s the way he changes us.  Since we are made in the image of God, he has bestowed on us the ability to create and like him we can create something out of nothing if we choose.  Creative goodness; that’s what love is and God wants to teach us and train us into those who do it just like him.  Faith is required.  He has written an epic story to us revealing his plans.   He has saved us and given us a wonderful example in Christ Jesus our Savior.  He has given us a great teacher-coach-counselor in the Holy Spirit.  There is no doubt – He has held nothing back - He loves us more than we can imagine.

All the things I have written down here are just a very small trickle of the great river of truth and love that is Jesus.   I could go on and on.  I want to leave you with a story I heard that is so convicting.  There was once a group of preachers that would get together every now and then and share with one another the different things that were going on in each of their parishes.  One of the preachers had a bit of a cranky attitude at times.  At one of their get-togethers, he was being grouchy and so one of the preachers that was fixing the refreshments filled his tea glass all the way to the brim and then as he served it to him, he bumped into him quite abruptly spilling the tea.  The grouchy preacher started to huff and puff and as he did the offending preacher said, “You know, that’s just the way it is in life.  When you’re bumped into whatever it is that fills you is what spills out.” 

Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth:
Set up your kingdom in our midst.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God:
Have mercy on me, a sinner.
Holy Spirit, breath of the living God:
Renew me and all the world.
May the Lord of All be with you and bless you

and may Jesus Christ our Lord come quickly. 



  1. very well said. i grew up in the church not believing in doctors. i never questioned this growing up. it wasnot until i was shunned and later became pregnant that i used a doctor. i was so scared and thought i would die or go straight to hell for going to the doctor to have my baby.
    it has been a long road for me to understand that doctors are people and are there for us to seek medical care and advice.
    i saw the dentist growing up. my mom told me that god wanted us to see the dentist. she told me god did not want us to go to a medical docor. enough said. i believed her.
    besides i saw miracles and i knew that god heals that those believe.

    1. You say you were shunned at that church. was it the oregon city church... that sounds awfull, did you stop going because you were shunned??? did they shunn you because of your view on doctors or something else???

    2. No one gets shunned for going to the doctor.

    3. i was shunned for getting divorced. things have changed since the late eighties. we did not go to doctors. i would not have chosen to go to a doctor. i was in oregon city.

      i left and was in california and i had no choice but to go to a doctor. i really thought i would die. i was alone and did not have family. i was remarried but my new husband had no idea why i would be afraid to go to a doctor. the fear of doctors was something i grew up with i had no rationale for it.

    4. If you disagree with the followers they make your life miserable. Your own parents and siblings turn on you. I have seen parents burn photos of children who left the faith. You no longer have a family. They rule and teach with fear. How many follower children are afraid of God and his punishments if they do something wrong? I do not know why people are still protecting them.

  2. Very well written. I think this writer represents what Christianity is about. Thanks for sharing, Jerry and Suzi. Keep up the good work. Those who make unkind remarks on here should consider what Christianity really means and keep that garbage to themselves.

  3. I agree with Beth, amazing picture of a TRUE Follower of Christ, one who Followes Christ, aka, a Christian. Beautiful, true, Agape LOVE...

  4. Agape love??? did you take greek as a second language in school??? It seems weird to me to mix translations, kind of confusing. It also seems very hipocritical to use a word that is used to describe gods agape (selfless) love for the whole world in the same coment that you take a jab (True Follower of Christ) at the oregon city church. I don't think that you quite understand the weight of that word. I would suggest sticking to things that you truely understand.

    1. Must be hitting close to home someone is getting testing now that's the true follower that I grew up with thanks for sharing.

    2. Very well written. I agree with how you explained the way I feel. Thank you Jerry for taking the time to put your thoughts down.

    3. Anony 2:16am, I suggest you stick to things you can spell. By the way, your overuse of punctuation is almost as annoying as all of your stupidity and lies.

    4. Anon 323pm, what lies are you talking about in the post from anon 216 am? Stupidity and lies for calling out maggie about her constant jabs at the oc foc church when she claims to be so rightous. It seems strange that so many people talk about how they're eyes became opened when they leave but they spend the rest of there lives talking bad about the church. That isn't the love of god at all. I think people that leave should move on and stop re-hashing there past. I know in my life I have had to deal with some bad things and the last thing I want to do is talk about them all the time. All of you "ex-followers" need to move on with your lives and stop living in the past.

    5. Why should they move on at all. First, it's their life to do with as they please. Second, when you have loved ones left there, it would be pretty cold to just pretend they don't exist. But that is your point isn't it? You think just because Followers are that uncaring, everyone else is too. Pretending that they died, or whatever you tell yourself to help you sleep at night doesn't make it true. They are out there, caring about you, wondering about your welfare. If your honest with yourself you probably wonder about them too. Don't fault them for their love for you, just ask yourself why you won't show any love for them? Their not unbelievers, if you treat them like they are, that's on you not them.

    6. I do not believe Maggie or Suzanne or any of the other anonymous ex-Followers (or current Followers) are on here to make jabs at the Followers who still believe the way we were all raised to believe - that anyone who leaves is worse than those who were never in the church.

      I can see that Maggie is here on this forum to try to share the love Jesus with others. Not to brag that she knows more, but like the last poster at 8:07 said, because there are many people here she still loves and despite the fact that they want nothing to do with her, she can't stand the thought of them missing out on the grace of Jesus Christ.

      You offer no grace to those who think differently than you, but those who have left (or are thinking of leaving), care for you and want you to know the peace that can be found in Christ.

    7. Well I might not spell as good as most but I can read. Wich is more than I can say for you (anon 905 pm). if you dont think that people like suzzane and maggie are taking constant jabs at the foc than you havn't read this whole blog! calling people outside the foc "True Followers" is a direct shot at the foc. And what do you think suzi's point is calling the foc a "sing along" or calling it "playing church". come on you people are all full of bitterness and hate and try to cover it up by puting the chapter and verse of a book of the bible in your comments to try to look smart or something. to me you look like a bunch of self righteous bitter people who love to blame everyone else for the lives you led that pushed you out of the church.

    8. If it isn't a sing-along, then what is it? How is that a jab?

      If the FOC isn't "playing church" then please explain how you people are following the Biblical guidelines in the running of your church.

      People who include Bible verses with their comments are using logic and Biblical Truth to guide their words.

    9. If you can't see the "sing along" comment for what it is than you are either very slow or stupid. either way to respond any further would be a waste of both of our time.

    10. I can't quote it either, but backing up your point of view with scripture is painfully appropriate here. This isn't the place to keep the bible out of, neither is church. That's the point isn't it?

    11. I would like to say that I'm honestly sorry that I've called your church services a "sing-along." I am human and it is difficult to take some of the challenges and insults in stride, but that is no excuse. As a teacher, I hold myself to a higher standard than my students; and as a writer, I should also hold myself to a higher standard than my readers.

      I believe that if I were still in the church, I would be upset by having someone write about my church so publicly. This blog has turned into something I did not expect. It started as a graduate school project. I did not even tell my family about it in the beginning and sort of hoped they wouldn't notice - ha!

      People assume that my family fully supports everything I say/do, but that isn't always the case. My parents hold Walter White in high esteem and are protective of his memory and what he stood for as a leader. I found some good pictures of Walter and his family at their house, but they won't allow me to post them out of respect to him.

      All this to say that I mean no disrespect to you or to the church and I know that I can sometimes come off that way out of frustration, but that isn't the intention of my blog.

    12. Every comment they've made has been vicious. You handled yourself just fine until they got personal. They take all of this personal, just because you present facts. The Truth hurts, and calling it a sing along isn't respectful by any means, but what else would you call it? I think you defend yourself perfectly almost all of the time, but no one is perfect, keep your chin up sister.

    13. Agape: noun: the love of God or Christ for humankind. 2. The love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind. 3. Unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
      You were right, anon 4/16 @2:16 is of Greek origin. I did not take Greek as a second language, but because of being born again, saved, redeemed, whatever you may referr to a true follower of Christ is <----no jab intended...I understand what Agape love is. I was taught in 2004 what it meant from a bible study I was attending. It was remarkable to learn all the different attributes of God, with Agape love being one of them. I was quoting Jerry's post...I didn't make it up. You may jot be aware of the Agape love because you may not have the unselfish love for humankind in you. Live comes from God. If you are not a child of God, you are in darkness. I use scripture in posting, to be sure my words/speech align with the word, that I'm not just making stuff up, or repeating what I've heard or been told my whole life. <--- no jab at FOC intended...I've been there, been told that, had my EYES opened, and my heart softened toward God's Grace.
      I surely pray that the Lord convicts your heart, opens your eyes...and allows you to expeience His Agape Love. One annoy poster mentioned my love for people out bet I love them! I love my neighbors, my PTA members, my bible study "sisters", my kid's friends, my husband's employees...I love them BECAUSE God loves me. May God be with you, and help you not to be consumed by bitterness, anger, slander and hate. I try to overcome that daily. I pray I do not become bitter, angry hateful or's easy to be consumed by that after leaving there and having 25 years of your life stripped from beneath you because you disagree. God be with you, I'll pray for you, in Jesus name...

    14. to anon. poster 4/16 @10:54 pm your words about "jabs" at the FOC
      "calling people outside the foc "True Followers" is a direct shot at the foc."
      I wasn't a "Follower of Christ" just because I went to the FOC in OC for 25 years. I wasn't a believer of God's merciful grace he gave the "WORLD". So to say someone is a "TRUE Follower of Christ" is not a jab at the FOC, it's a fact that once I became a true "Follower of Christ" it was even hard for me to refer to it as that, as there were so many others that were lost calling themselves that, and it wasn't true. I'm not saying EVERYONE in the OC FOC is not a Follower of Christ. I just know if there were true Followers of Christ there, they wouldn't be attending the sing 10 song meeting. <---what else should we call it? Didn't the state of OR take away the "church" status?

  5. She does like to jab, kind of mean for such an enlightened soul. Someone who really understands religion better than anyone, the love and tenderness of Christ. It looks like true love jabs a lot, if you feel it as deeply as she does. Barf!

    1. If you're feeling jabs from what we post, it's probably that you're being convicted that it's true.

      The remarks made by me, as I can't speak for Suzi or any other anonymous poster, are actually "enlightenment" given through the revelation of Jesus' Grace He gives me each day. I have love for things/people I doubted I could love, until I accepted God's love of His only son.

      If you haven't accepted that, you WON'T have the love that you mock me for having. Until you receive the peace that only the blood of Jesus can offer, you won't feel the same way I do.

      That feeling, is most likely what makes you "barf".

    2. Your came out swinging, they earned it by egging you on, I don't blame you. But this magnificent love that you puke all over page after page is the equivalent of looking at a sad looking person in church, turning to the self righteous woman next to you, then saying look at how ugly she is, we should pray for her. Maybe it is authentic, I hope I'm wrong, but it always comes off as condescending, and self inflating. All wrapped up in a bubbly love that no one can understand unless they follow in your superior footsteps. If your love for them was so pure, it wouldn't be so backhanded, you have to admit. That's where the barf factor comes in. You've obviously spent a lot of time studying, that's great, but it seems like you post on her for no other reason but to put it on display. If your happy wherever your family landed, then I'm happy for you, Steve, and your children. Again, people were cruel to Suzie without cause, then to you and yours, maybe even more than they were to her. You had every reason to be angry, but it seems like your just using his word in anger to me. That bothers me, and again, I hope I'm wrong, if I've falsely accused you I am sorry.

    3. Please accept my humblest apology if I came acrossed as self inflating. That is truly not my intention.
      I can't describe the "love" I post about, but I can try... it's a love that covers a child in peace when their own parents closes a door on their 4 & 2 yr old grandchildren.
      It's a love that wraps it's arms around you when you sing "how great thou art" in a church 750 miles away from all you knew, and go sobbing to the church bathroom because it takes you back to familiar times at "home" hearing in your mind, Keith King singing at funerals, as this congregation sings about their Lord and Savior that you haven't fully accepted.
      It's a love someone can feel through a complete stranger claiming to be your sister in Christ, showing up on your doorstep, wanting fellowship with you, even though you don't believe the same as her...yet.
      It's a love of being baptized into Christ and wanting, desiring, yearning, to live for Him until you meet Him face to face.
      It's a love that's shown by a caring and self-less woman living in your home 250 miles from her home & her husband, for 13 days, sleeping on your couch until she helps your baby be born, because she believed it's what God would have her do, celebrating her 50 th Birthday with people she barely knows, but has a sister/brotherhood with them through Christ.
      And I could go on, not meaning to puke my love...but when you have experienced that type of love, it's hard not to share it, in hopes that someone could also receive it.
      If you won a contest, or lottery, and it was really easy to win, and anyone could win, if they just signed it was a dine deal, just sign up and win...who wouldn't you tell? Wouldn't you want everyone you knew, bums you saw on the corner, friends, family, co-workers, grocery clerks, (literally anyone) to know about this awesome gift/prize you received?
      That's exactly my aim. Although, I don't go to our local shelters in Kent and preach, or ask everyone I come in contact with if Jesus is their Savior...shame on me for not doing that.
      But that, is the love I spew.
      That love I type on the screen, unless you have lived it...received won't know of it.
      I could be totally out of place, speaking to someone that HAS received it, but if you, Anon at 6:59 pm on 4/24...had the love that you're complaining about wouldn't be complaining about me sharing mine. Would you?
      I'm not angry, and I posted originally with the intent that people, inside, outside, wherever, would see the change that happened in me from where I was...a lost sinner, high minded,self-righteous, thinking I was better than everyone outside of the OC FOC, to a more humble, daughter of the Risen King, sinner saved by the the Blood of the Lamb that I always sang about, sharing my testimony of God's goodness, which includes love.
      God IS Love.
      I don't take your post as false accusations toward me, I honestly with all my heart didn't mean to be cruel in jabbing, but I do believe I feel jabbed at when the word says one thing, and I'm doing another...that happens daily in my life.
      For as much as I have spoken of studying Gods word, I don't live it like I should.
      Please forgive me, and read with an open heartm that if by chance you don't have the love I described, that you pray about it, and ask God for it.
      Matthew 5:24 please look it up.

    4. To call you angry sounds like its a negative accusation, it isn't. It's a observation that by your own words looks accurate. If your parents shut you, and your little children out, that's sickening. Getting emotional when you hear a song that you remember from your past seems like you miss that, and them. Sadness and justified anger drive one to say things. It's a fact of life, it dioesnt make you a bad person. Admitting that you lashed out doesn't either. We're all human remember? If you look back through your posts it's pretty clear that you did do this for show, to show how great a change has happened in you, without them. It's not a crime, but it got old pretty quick. As for telling about the contest you won is interesting. A huge criticism of brethren leaving is that they never shared what they found when they left. Followers act offended when they don't come back and try to convince them of their findings. Some did recently, they continued to come to the FOC , and wherever else they were going. They tried to share the gift that they received, and then they were rejected by the ones who would've criticized them for leaving their friend behind. I know your writing stuff for the FOC to read, and for anyone else as you noted. But more for the FOC it seems.

    5. Thank you. Interesting insight.
      I haven't been angry in years. At first, before we'd even moved to Idaho Falls, I may have had some anger toward my mom for bringing my grandma Mary to our apartment to give my kids a Christmas present, after they told us they didn't want anything to do with us.
      Maybe my dad didn't know they did that, or maybe my grandma, after telling me my husband was taking my crown, decided to talk my mom into seeing me...who knows the reason behind it, but I was angry at first, but when I called my mom to tell her we were moving, and she could come say goodbye, she made an excuse they were going to the beach...little anger? you betcha!

      However, once I learned what to do with my anger (give it to God-and "leave it there") I felt very peaceful about the situation of my family, and clung to the verse that tells me to forsake for Christ.

      Can you look back though my posts, since you see where I'm lashing out, and point out which ones struck you as posting for show? I'm honestly unaware of ever posting for show (and I say that as it's a negative comment toward my intentions, since that's the way I take it from you)--but, you may not mean it as a negative accusation.

      Now, you're saying I should go out to the FOC in OC and bring my bible, and Jesus' message of salvation to those that want to hear?
      Who wants to hear? If they do, they sure aren't going to be first in line to speak to me, or my husband, or ANYONE that left for a better life with Christ...what will their friends think?
      What will they tell their grown children and grandchildren for going along with singing 10 songs and 2 min prayer for all these years?
      It's all about show out there, fear of man, woman, child etc. and you must know that.

      If anyone would just use their name on this blog, you KNOW they'd be thrown out--maybe not like Tommy was, but their parents, kids and friends would show up on their doors, and tell them if that's what they choose, then they're changing their phone numbers and never contact them again.

      Please, I beg you to tell me I'm wrong!

      Someone can't even go to prison, receive Jesus and want to live a Christ filled life...because that building paid for their attorney.
      Come on, you know as well as I (even being out for almost 13 years) that it ain't happenin.

    6. Truly sad we went to other churches for months and still went to that building to sing and worship. We tried to start a bible study there at the OC FOC we held it at the church. For three weeks then at our houses just incase it made some one uncomfortable to come to the church. A few came and droped off for there reasons I am not sure that's for them to comment on not me. But the majority was not intrested in studying the word of god. At least in a group that's there decision. I tried to share what I had found but no one is intrested in what I had to say then or now. That's ok for it is free will it is up to each man to decide what to do with the son of god. Paul through out acts tries to goto the Jews in each city. Even know the spirit tells him to goto the Gentiles. He calls the Jews his kindsman. That's the way I also feel my love for my family friends has never Stoped even know I don't go to that building. So I have returned to try to spread what I have found. But my love will never stop. How these people handle it is there own free will.

  6. This forum has a spell checker. Doesn't everyone have that? In case you did not notice, the words underlined in red are not spelled correctly, then you can right click on the word and correct it. I will not say anything personal about people who misspell, but it does show a lack of thought into what you write when words are misspelled.

    Corinthians 13 speaks about love being the greatest. Nobody needs to know Greek to know is central to the Christian life. It is talked about over and over again in the bible. When a child is suffering and you know the child could be helped by going to a doctor, then choose not to go to a doctor, how is that loving?

    People have been shunned by going to the doctor or speaking saying it is OK to go the the doctor, it has happened many times. To say otherwise is not true.

    Personally I believe that the idea that doctors are bad or not biblical, like Darren has supported is dangerous. It is dangerous because many people have died who did not have to. To believe otherwise is engaging in delusional belief denying what your eyes can see. Just like those that believed the old lady was going to have a miracle baby, it requires delusion to believe those things.

    1. Admitting that they have been shunned would be admitting that people perjured themselves recently. But to deny it and open it up to duiscussion is pretty stupid, even if they use spell check!

    2. I'm pretty sure that the group of Followers who are bullying others and shunning those who want their children to live have somehow justified the use of perjury on a regular basis. When the trial for Ava was going on and they agreed to perjure themselves and state under oath that they believed she would not die. Or to affirm under oath that one had never seen a doctor - only to be proven to be a liar for all the world to see. Perjury is justified as long as it allows us to let our children die without going to prison. Makes perfect sense...

  7. Spelling Nazi's please give it a rest. Who cares about spelling this isn't a Jr. High english class. Their is no spell checker available to me on this blog anyway.

  8. Thank you Jerry for your view I enjoyed reading I also feel the same way. But as we can read in the comments we need help spell check or not come lord Jesus come.

  9. Well the COTFB couldn't let the FOC get all of the street cred for themselves. They have a couple going to court for the death of their child in the news now. I started this with a little humor(I hope) , but it is really sad to see anyone going through something like this.

  10. Suzi, if you read the bible, women are not to be teachers. Maggie you wear your religion as a publican. Leave these people alone. No one is disecting your life, so stop doing theres. They know in their heart they are right. Let them live their life and meet their maker on their own. It also says in bible they will hate you without a cause. Sounds like all of you...

    1. The Bible says that it is a sin for me (a lowly woman) to be a Writing Professor? Really?

      Wow, I guess I'm going to Hell for sure ... all those poor innocent souls who have learned about composition and sentence structure from me, a woman!

      You don't hate me without cause? No, you hate me because of my gender.

    2. I am sorry for you Anon 4/18 10:06 pm that you don't want me to live my faith of sharing the gospel by trying to shed light on who Jesus is. I would hope you would want the WORLD to know Jesus Christ's plan for salvation. I will not leave anyone alone about coming to Jesus for the cleansing they need. It's really sad you don't know me very well.

  11. Very well said! I totaly agree with your view on Suzanne and on Maggie. The sad thing is your comment will probably get erased or you will have multiple Anon comments (probably from those two) telling you that you are sexist and wrong because you didn't quote the bible and refrence the verse that you speek of.

    1. Get ready for the attack! Suzanne and Maggie attack like wild dogs when they are challenged. They like to dish it out but they don't take it very well. Shumakers always think they are the smartest person in the room. Take it all in stride, suzanne is hoping to gain fame and fortune by writing a book about her former friends. She will probably delete this comment because its "off topic"

    2. Suzanne and Maggie are many things, but one thing is for certain... they are not cowards.

      Anyone can come on here an attack anonymously.

    3. Are you calling all anonymous posters cowards, or just the ones who disagree with you?

    4. 1. To 4/18 @ 10:23pm : I have only posted anonymously when I didn't know how to post with my name...then I posted with my name...then I realized I had a google account to post I now post with that, as I'm not ashamed of my postings, and have nothing to hide.

      2. To 4/18 @ 11:33 pm : if we attack as wild dogs, that has got to be your interpretation of us standing up for Christ. I try to speak the truth, I do know what scripture says, and by God's grace I can understand some of it! I can take whatever you can throw at me.
      Do you really think I'm weak when God made me strong?
      You think this is hard for me? You do not know me then.
      I have no idea who I'm speaking to as so many post anonymously. You know exactly who you're attacking. You might be able to fathom what I've given up, if you're still in the FOC, but you can not fathom what I've been through to get to such a peaceful place in my life. I surely hope you receive the peace that passes understanding, which is in the bible as well. Look it up. I just thought I was doing everyone a favor by telling them where I got it from...but that seems to backfire as well.

  12. Suzanne is a "keeper at home" the same thing as a writing professor? If it is than it sounds like your rite on track. If not than I would suggest pulling the beam out of your eye before you continue to write about this church. I would say the same goes for Maggie.

    1. So I have a beam in my eye? Or I shouldn't be a writer? I'm confused. What about the women in the bible that had jobs? Have you read Proverbs 31? Do you know who Lydia was? If you don't feel I'm not living my life according to scripture (God's word) then feel free to call me out on it. I want to improve daily. I fail daily. I just got done studying in 1Peter about taming my tongue. And I come on here and feel heated about proving myself to a bunch of anonymous attackers? I feel compelled to lead a sinner to the cross, and what better audience than here?

  13. Suzanne and Maggie, after reading through the blog it looks like you have been called, liars, a publican, have a beam in your eye, loose morals, you cannot be a teacher and are like wild dogs. If you are a member of the followers of Christ in Oregon City, and are posting that stuff, you should stop it. However, I remember when being there that people would attack you personally with all kinds of accusations, if you ever brought up any problem with the church. They will always believe it is the right church no matter what. If you are a current follower of Christ member, consider that the candlestick may have been removed, as it says in Revelation.

    Many people there believe that they are the only right church, and everyone else in the whole wold is wrong. The bible says that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, yet the followers of Christ in Oregon City, deny that biblical truth. When things about this church are criticized, it is too difficult for members to face that their church is wrong, so they attack the person saying it.

    Before you post here personal things about anyone, or attack anyone by saying things like, they are like wild dogs, remember the bible says you will give an account of every word you speak.

    1. You speak truth, Anon 4/19 @5:24 pm.
      I knew people that accused my husband of doing and saying things he did not. I had to point out to him the person that said it, as he didn't even know the guy! When you say someone said something that isn't true, that is called Slander. The KJV uses a different term that means the same thing. This is for the people who Slander Suzi and I. Not you. I am supporting you in your giving an account for every word...
      2 Timothy 3
      1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers,(Slanderers NKJV)) incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. all of the anonymous attackers, we (believers of Jesus Christ's sacrifice) are not surprised by your attacks. The bible tells us to expect them.

  14. Like I said before, women are not to teach. Maggie wears everyone thin on her praise the lord ways. If you truly read the bible, Maggies ways are not the correct way. No one is a coward, regardless of how they post. Maggie stop trying to prove you are so religious, if yo truly are then its in your heart not your in your praise the lord words that gets so old. I think Suzanne had good intentions, she was never ill hearted, but this has got out of hand. Leave this church alone, find another religous drum to beat. Everyone has the right to meet their maker in their own way, followers as in perfect as everyone else has the right to live their life as they choose. Quietly and privately.

    1. Jerry...Beautiful message that you shared with everyone.

      I do have one question for those who are attacking Suzi. Why is it wrong for her a be a teacher? I have been reading this blog and have seen several comments that it is wrong for woman to do things that are OK for the men at your church. Why? Does God not love both men and women? Why would he treat some of his children different than others?

      I am not attacking any church..FOC or any other. Just trying to understand.

    2. To 4/19@ 7:35pm:
      I do read my Bible. I regularly use my Daily Bible App, and post to my Facebook page if I feel the verse touches me in a way to share.
      Here are where my ways align with scripture. I will just use New Testament for sake of those that don't read the Old.
      I WILL NOT STOP PRAISING GOD! If I could shout it I would!
      I'll show you where "I'm getting this" from.
      Romans 15:11a <-----which is the beginning of the verse I'm quoting..."And again: Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!".
      1Corinthians 4:5b <---- which is the end of the verse I quote..."Then each one's Praise will come from God."
      Ephesians 1:12 to the Praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."
      This is only a few, as there are many others. Seek. Read. You'll get it one of these days.
      I do not want to leave anyone alone...neither does Jesus. I do not have any other "religious drum" to beat. I have the drum, or better yet, "the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more" of Jesus Christ's blood that was shed on the cross and I will NOT have any other before Him.
      I hope you do not have any other Gods before my Heavenly Father either.
      That's something to be afraid of!

    3. "varily I say unto you they have their reward"

      That seams to fit you better.

    4. Exactly!!! but you forgot to put the verse.

    5. If you're going to use quotes, as in the marks, are you referring to what the bible actually said...our what you were told? If I'm not mistaken, it's "verily" & they'd in the bible alot. I remember Glenford saying it.

    6. Whoops, or, not our. And that's not they'd. Uh oh. I made a mistake...proof I'm not perfect but I try to atleast quote correctly.

    7. The spelling Nazi's return.

      Varily verily, who needs a spell checker when you have Maggie.

    8. search in the King James version...Is this what you, Anon 4/22 @ 10:39 pm was referring to?
      Matthew 6 (in context)
      1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

      Do you know what Alms are? Alms, as taken from in the Biblical reference.
      Not found in the Old Testament, but repeatedly in the New. The Mosaic legislation (Lev. 25:35; Deut. 15:7) tended to promote a spirit of charity, and to prevent the occurrence of destitution among the people. Such passages as these, Ps. 41:1; 112:9; Prov. 14:31; Isa. 10:2; Amos 2:7; Jer. 5:28; Ezek. 22:29, would also naturally foster the same benevolent spirit. In the time of our Lord begging was common (Mark 10:46; Acts 3:2). The Pharisees were very ostentatious in their almsgivings (Matt. 6:2). The spirit by which the Christian ought to be actuated in this duty is set forth in 1 John 3:17. A regard to the state of the poor and needy is enjoined as a Christian duty (Luke 3:11; 6:30; Matt. 6:1; Acts 9:36; 10:2, 4), a duty which was not neglected by the early Christians (Luke 14:13; Acts 20:35; Gal. 2:10; Rom. 15:25-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-4). They cared not only for the poor among themselves, but contributed also to the necessities of those at a distance (Acts 11:29; 24:17; 2 Cor. 9:12). Our Lord and his attendants showed an example also in this (John 13:29). In modern times the "poor-laws" have introduced an element which modifies considerably the form in which we may discharge this Christian duty.
      Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
      So, considering the context, it's about giving, and charity. Something I didn't know of until I left OC FOC. They keep to themselves, they do not help anyone but their own, unless they've sinned, then they shun them regardless of their attendance. When someone "gives" they should not expect recognition. That was NOT the situation where I grew up and lived for 25 years. So can I ask, WHAT does your "quote" have to do with mine? I was talking about Praising God. What are you talking about?
      1 Peter 3:14-16 KJV
      14But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
      15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
      16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

  15. If you truly read the bible, like you say, you would not be concerned about "Maggie's ways". You would however, see that the bible says you are saved by grace, not works. The FOC church in Oregon city preached works for decades and currently practices almost nothing the bible says to do such as baptism, preaching, washing feet, etc. The church does this and yet claims to be the only right church.

    Many people in the church have decided they do not have to follow the law, and refuse to take their children to the doctor. Children die and parents end up in prison. Since that is the choice that has been made, and since children die who did not have to, the church has given up any right to live quietly and privately. When children die and they could have lived with a simple treatment from a doctor, you can expect to be talked about by everyone, everywhere.

    Until the church members start taking their kids to the doctor when their life is in danger, you should get used to being talked about.

  16. Faith without works is dead. Read your bible. FOC have more faith then you understand. And that faith is also in accepting the path god has put us in. Putting your faith in men is not faith. Its like well god your not good enough I am going to man. Maggie is not a concern just a annoying person to read. Her religion is wore on her sleeve. But oh well, move on leave them alone, they are not hunting you down...

    1. You are actually correct in the allegation I wear my religion on my sleeve. I actually have a couple of shirts with scripture on them. But it's not wrong. Here is where I came up with that defense. In Deuteronomy (Old Testament) I studied a few years ago in this book. What an enlightened study! Here is one verse, (the context was way too long, but you can go to Deuteronomy 6 for the whole context. Chapter 6; Verse 8 states: "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." NKJV I also have scripture and messages throughout my home. It's important to teach our children and this is what the verse above was talking about. So if I can help one person throughout my day by wearing my Proverbs 31 shirt, than I will. My children have shirts also. My favorite is my son's that he gave my daughter. It has Jesus' hands with holes where the nails pierced them and the saying is "One day we shall see Him face to face" I cannot wait for that day! That is faith, that my soon to be 11 yr old daughter wears her favorite shirt about her savior and isn't afraid to show her Love for Jesus.

  17. Read my bible? Do you believe the bible? It says...

    Ephesians 2:8-9 King James Version (KJV) 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    The bible says you are not saved by works, "lest any man boast". Yet, the FOC has long boasted of its works. Good works has been preached as a way for salvation for decades at the FOC, when there were preachers there.

    If you believe in grace (what the bible says) then you will have good works because of what Jesus has done for you. If you do not believe in grace (what the bible says) then you will do good works out of fear to earn your salvation.

  18. Grace is lost on the FOC, it always has been. And they're still refusing to use scripture to back up a poit of view? What good is reading or preaching if you can't remember it well enough to repeat it. The only truth is the Bilble, it's the only argument that counts for anything. The lack of reading isn't a problem for those outside of the FOC. I've heard it said that someone reads too much as an insult, but only inside of the FOC.

    1. I don't think it's fair to say that grace is lost on the FOC. There are people inside the church who do read the Bible and do strive to understand beyond what has been repeated to them.

      I also don't think it's fair to judge the church by those very few people who come on here and make unkind remarks and accusations - they are not representing the church, they are just people who are responding to what they consider judgement on their lives, culture, families, and history.

      I do not intend my writing to harm or judge the hearts of others. I want to explore the history and theology behind the religion of my youth.

    2. Grace is for people, not places like the FOC. It is available for anyone there today right now. Churches do not save people, Jesus and His grace saves.

      Bibles have not been present in that church for a very long time. There are none there and no one brings them Sundays. To talk about the bible Sunday will cause controversy. Most people there read the bible through the FOC point of view and see it as a list of rules.

      There are no bibles and no preaching, but the songs talk about grace. There is a song titled "Saved by Grace" which they sing often. There is a song about "what can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus." If you go there this Sunday listen to the words of the songs, they talk about grace.

    3. Please pray for the FOC to see and receive the Grace that God is providing through the sacrifice of His only son. (Him in flesh) Do not say Grace is lost of the FOC. I didn't know what to tell someone when he asked me if I was saved. I had no idea what that meant, and I don't think they do either, but it's not a lost cause. I plead anyone that has come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ to PLEASE pray for the ones that have not. If any of you knew me 13-20 years ago, you KNOW there is HOPE if there is life. If I can come out of there and receive God's Grace, ANYONE can! My daughter's middle name is Grace! Please don't give up. The whole body of members is not represented clearly by just a few anonymous attackers. There are good people willing to do the right thing, and at the cost of not being very popular I'm sure.
      It is true to say Churches do not save people, and that Grace is for everyone, EVEN places, ESPECIALLY Places like the FOC. Some choose to ignore it, because they believe it's a "worldly" practice. Some know of it, and received it, but are afraid to "show" it as they will lose their children and families. Current Members of the FOC have shunned & excommunicated family members that receive their faith through grace. That is what they believe is right. If they knew the truth, they woudln't have done that.
      Please as Suzi mentioned, know that Grace is NOT lost on FOC.

  19. True to say gods grace and mercy is wasted on FOC is harsh. God was long suffering with me. I am sure glad the lord tarred because if he would have come a few years ago I would have been lost. So I am glad that his grace covered me a sinner who is in need of a savior. My prayer is that all men come to the knowledge of the truth. That there is no peace in there soul entill they or any man surrenders there life to Christ. There is an assurance, peace, that comes with surrendering. Thank you Jesus for your work on the cross. Thank you for your obediance. Thank you for holding even me in your hand. Thank you that all men can come to you with no tricks no special hand shake no born into. Just your love for us. Thank you Jesus for accepting me. To have that assurance is peace and I belive God wants that for all men. Even those that are a far off. What a joy to be in the blood of the lamb. What hinderith you? Why do you tarry? Why do you wait? The time is now to choose. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall recive the gift of the holy ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children and to ALL those that are afar off even as many as the lord or God shall call. We don't need to take Greek as a second language to understand that all means All. So to say that it wasted in those at FOC might not be correct. But all must hear, confess. That he is Lord he is comming back and every knee will bow and every tounge will confess. So again repent and be baptized into Jesus Christ.

  20. I haven't looked at this blog for a while, the point I made was that they don't understand it, not that Gods grace won't work on them or anyone else. What they understand is harsh judgement of others, and each other. Grace isn't as much a part of daily life, as is rebuke, and legalism. There should be a balance IMO, between grace and truth.

  21. Truth only convicts a believer, Gods law doesn't apply to non-believers does it? Without reading and seeing the truth for yourself you can be pretty self righteous, because you don't see yourself as being convicted by the truths that your spouting. If you believe the truth, you will be humbled by it, and be gracefull because of your own conscience. But that's a constant battle that's probably the easiest one to lose on a regular basis.

    1. I pondered that same question when I was told somewhere in 2004-2005 that God doesn't hear our prayers unless we're saved. I thought that woman was a liar! I knew He'd answered my prayers for a companion, healing in our babies, delivery of our babies, a healing in my son's neck, etc. And I hadn't been "saved" at those times.
      After i heard this woman tell me this,I searched the bible..but what I was finding, was it's really written to those that are believers in God. Is that what you mean?
      I am not sure if God's law applies to unbelievers, but I feel it applies to the world, as that's who He came to save. Right?
      I feel unbelievers can be convicted by Gods truth because He wants the Holy Spirit to dwell inside us. How will the Holy Spirit get inside anyone if they're not convicted to believe and be converted?
      I agree that believing the truth will make one be humbled by it as the Holy Spirit leads.
      If no one spouts the truth, how will anyone know it?

  22. If you don't have the conscience to seek him in the first place, why would you open a bible. We think the laws in our land are correct only because they match our Christian beliefs. What if you lived in another land where the laws of the land went against your tenets. The only way you would be exposed to it is through word of mouth, a crazy man on a street corner compelling strangers to be saved? A casual acquaintance who strikes up a conversation? Or through Devine intervention leading them to the truth through his grace. Any of the above could happen, but the most likely way is through a acquaintance. So if we're not doing our job some people might just miss out that wouldn't have otherwise. And a final note, maybe it's his grace that leads us to them.

  23. I pray that all who have posted on this blog can quit throwing out insults and try to read with understanding, not through bitter eyes. I don't think Suzi ever wrote this with the intention of insulting or harming anyone...and I have to admire Maggie for saying who she is and not hiding about it. There is plenty of God's love to go around. The FOC church is very hard to understand to a "worldly person" and I appreciate this blog to get a little insight.

  24. Very well written article.. I enjoy following or catching up as I can... Very interesting stuff ;)


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