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From the Ground Up

David Obermiller


David Obermiller

Farm manager at Fresno Adventist Academy.



  • November 11, 2015
    6:45 PM


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Our Dear Heavenly Father. We thank you in praise you for your goodness for your safety in bringing us all here. And for the blessing that I trust people have received today. And that I know they will receive through the rest of the weekend. Lord we ask again for a special major of your spirits. Give us love ones who Another give a servant hearts. Give us the ears to hear. And also make us doers. Of the words and not just hears only. As we go into this meeting and hear brother David over Miller. We pray that you will open our hearts open our minds. Teach us what you have us to learn in Jesus name we pray. A man. Good evening everyone. Have you all had a good day today. Or. My name is Paul de singer and. At the beginning of our evening sessions we wanted to take a few minutes to highlight. Different ministries resources books educational opportunities. Things that could be a blessing to you. Many of them will be at ones that you know people that have abuse here or other men other opportunities that could be a blessing to use the we're going to be highlighting a few of those each evening. During this segment. Right before we go into our evening meeting and my dad and I are going to start off. This evening. My dad when we live on balance a blessing farm in Tennessee and have been busy in the garden but with other things as well you know Paul you've been very busy very focused. Lately it seems like you've got two things on your mind. One of those who do. Well. One of them is definitely my dear. Fiance Natasha Neblett she is watching the live stream I just want to say a special hello to her. Really excited about that we're are we're planning to be married in February. So we're very excited about that. With Bill that's where those you're been were we've also we've also been working on setting up but you know it's wonderful. There's nothing like having hands on gardening experience and training right. But unfortunately not everyone can go to a farm to experience that or not everyone has experience guard or garden or ride out the back door that they can learn from. And so I've been putting together an online resources An online. University or membership program now actually. That is teaching people how to grow their own food so it's a it's a huge library of a videos it's mostly through videos. So there's video sessions and then also demonstrations showing people what to do worksheets that go along with the sessions so people can go through it and learn as much as they can especially if you don't have an opportunity to go to a farm and learn hands on. Because we want to get this information to as many people as possible so that's been a huge project putting it together over the last two and a half years we're still building it really polls. But a lot of work into the one thing I'm really excited to go or. The monthly webinars we're doing. Yes so just recently. We started we started. We transitioned into a monthly membership so people can subscribe. On a monthly basis. And my dad and I were actually a team my dad and I get on every month. And we have a live web in our or it's real it's really a live community meeting with our members. Where people can jump on would we do a training. Section in the beginning. And then we have a time for question answers and people can actually come on live with us this kind of like calling into a radio talk show they can come on live with us we can talk face to face. You know we can cover questions that people have in their garden. That they're struggling with right now or. You know what I. They want to talk about. So that is really exciting and we've been doing a few of them it's been as been a great response. And the training is linked to the course that Paul has put together he has twelve modules that we go through the twelve months and there are also appropriate to the. The season and what should be going on in the Guard. So I think it's a really nice deal. Yeah. And it's been exciting to watch it grow over time. We've we have members that have joined from literally all over the world. Austria. Estonia I think it was someone that just you know end up in the stone room was trailing in New Zealand Canada. Literally all over the world so it's exciting to be building this community that can help each other because it's not just about us. It's about this community that can help each other in different. Different aspects not everybody has the exact same experience in their garden. So just quickly before we we quit. You're working on a workshop for for January. Yes So for the first time we've decided to do a five day workshop which is going to be an online workshop where January seventeenth or twenty one. We're going to be taking five. Evenings and dedicating them to training you how to prepare your garden so they went by the time you leave the workshop. You would have your guard plans. Your seeds. Ordered and a planting calendar set out for your season so you wouldn't have to worry about what you need to be doing each week you can just go to the calendar and know exactly what you need to plant when and what you need to transplant when and if you want more information about this. I'm going after this meeting I'll be back in the booth section the. The membership pro breath program is called Garden launch. It's a monthly membership. You can jump in actually for a dollar and try it out for a dollar and. I'm going to be offering a discount. Over the over the conference of. So forty percent discount. So you can come back and find me in the booth area after that to learn more about that or learn more about the. Our first works out as well. Thank you Paul. Yeah thanks to all right now I want to invite Tom Myer to come out. Tom ire on many many people here might recognize you from the microphone. Many people might recognize you from Little Light Ministries. How how in the world did you end up at an agriculture conference. Let alone interested in agriculture doing things with agriculture a good question. You know. Those of you who seen battlefield Hollywood are and he does. Presentations OK number of you. We basically started out talking about mental health. And really trying to get people off the couch. And it naturally kind of led into agriculture. It's not by our choice but because that's just where God let our ministry. When we moved up to northern California. I met Lynne hoed and was doing. Gardening demos with him and we started making some videos with him. And so who's seen planting by the blueprint anybody seen that here. OK if you view. And then he just released this new and here I just have a couple of copies back at the booth. All on on gardening. And so learning from him. It was really the inspiration behind putting together this little soil amendment kit. We call so will salvation. How to start a microbial revival and mineral Reformation. It's basically an inoculation kit uses concentrated seawater to get the ninety two minerals from the ocean there. With ninety percent of the sodium removed and then beneficial bacteria and protozoa as analogies and and. So that was kind of the inspiration behind that. I've been in to help grow while and it's been an a passion of mine so that's why we came with bentonite clay. For those of you who have heard about that. It's a very beneficial. Natural remedy. And then also a super tonic a cold and flu remedy that I've been making for a little while. So that's exciting. That's exciting I love it. Tom. So where are you now. What are you doing now. So my family and I received a call from Daystar Avonex Academy. And we just moved out there two months ago. And so I kind of change gears. And I've been the chemistry and math teacher and science teacher there. So I found out that the whole school actually made it out to the conference here today. How how in the world did that happen so all have actually three students come up here and they can help. Kind of share that it was definitely an answer to prayer we wanted to. You know we were sending our farm manager of course. But then as I will help you get the whole school to go. And so of course the first hurdle was going to pay for that being a self-supporting school. So here's how we did that. First of all. We went around and he. Any call the whole bunch of friends and hey you want to go to the agriculture conference. As a school. And you know he got a couple thousand from doing that and then we you know some of us kids asked our parents for money and we got some there in a little bit. We're still sore about two thousand five hundred dollars. And it was about five days before we were supposed to like leave to go on the trip and. Sean the farm injure came up with this going to idea to just harvest a lot of the vegetables. And then make C.S.A. boxes and go around the community. Giving them as a donation bases. And so we did that we filled about one hundred fifty boxes and on just a donation basis we made. Roughly around two thousand three hundred and fifty four dollars. Well. Present Lord. All right. So. Juliet. I was just out at once and saw the sweet grass. Heart. Sitting out there with you guys running it. What do y'all doing with the real grass here. Well. We wanted to figure out a way to raise money for our mission trip. And we also wanted to do something to bring here to the Agra conference and. So we came up with this idea of doing a weak ass cart. And so a couple of the guys who are in the car carpentry. Class. Put together a cart and then we brought thirty. Trays up we crashed and. We're making wheat grass. Coconut water dreams and. So if you guys want to come over and check them out and help. To help us. Go to our mission trip. How many of you a drink the wheat grass today. It as a get him out and got it today. All right. Yes. So Michael you want to tell us why it's so good for us to yet tell us about that we've grown the sure. And here's the cool thing about we crass is that you're not only going to help us go on and message. But for it. You can help yourselves to cause this REALLY GOOD BOY Yeah OK we've got. Let's see ninety five plus trace minerals find it in it that are essential. We actually get that from sea salt that we used to water it we dilute it and water it with that you've got as unlike claim. You've got rock boss fate. One ounce of wheat grass choose is equivalent to two pounds of Jews Drene vegetables. Two pounds I mean that's like a little cap ball. OK that's crazy awesome. And when you make of the coconut water company waters ph perfect. So it's just good for you. OK and that one last thing. One last thing has a great. We love it. One last think you're not you don't just have the wheat grass here. And selling it week grass juice but you. You also were doing something else so that we grab you know how. Yeah. So we also got these really cool week grass kiss. There we go that come with everything including the added minerals that you need to make. Super super potent healthy. Wheat grass. It's got the trays it's got the covers it's got the salt. The Adamites soil. Just about everything you need and the seed as well. However I thank you all so much so if you guys want to do your own we grab that home definitely connect with it. With all of the gentle. Gentlemen and ladies here. And you can get your own kit. To do it at home. All right. So I'm going to have Alan filer come up here now. Alan. There was a there was a gentleman here. Not too long ago these chairs were cleared out and he actually demo to putting up there who Palace. Over here I believe earlier today. Unfortunately he's not here this evening right. Yes. Yes but not tested. OK. OK So how how can people find out more information about the two thousand and so if you're doing. Mr Sloan's not here tonight. Paul said. But he's a local resource that we just want to highlight in the Texas Oklahoma area for those people that are from Texas and Oklahoma. And maybe Missouri. He can. I don't know about Missouri but definitely Texas and Oklahoma. He can actually deliver houses around those areas. And so he's not going to be here he's going to be here tomorrow morning. But he's not going to be here for the rest of the conference. So. But if you guys are interested in getting a hoop house in the future to extend your season. There is a little table that has some specifications sheets about houses that he built and pictures and stuff in the back. And then also his car that you can contact him on he's in Kingston Oklahoma. And also the hoop house that he has here is usually sells for two thousand dollars but he has it for a reduced price here if anyone wants it at the conference for fifteen hundred. But we're expecting that there's probably more than one person that will want it. So there is a little puff of a card and some pins and a little little pocket that I'm hopefully going to get a bigger one. To put there that you can put your name and phone number in. And then we'll take a drawing on Sabbath night after the night meeting. When the blues are open for the Who house for who will get it perfect perfect. All right that you all are interested in who passed. Now the time to get it. Enter the drawing. And it's the Oklahoma and Texas weather. Approved yet. And it has a really cool little vent in the middle to yeah you know take a look at it you can walk inside and try it out all the little gadgets in it so. Thanks so much Allan. All right now. We have there in Greenfield. And there and something exciting is happening with it at Agra board. And a new initiative that you all are coming out with Tell us a little bit. Tell us a little bit about that it's connecting something coordinating training with farmers help a little bit more about that vision. Well when we formed the the board. Two years ago. One of the things that we recognized was the there was a great need for farmers in the administration which in fact. Anybody who's involved in institutional work. Realizes that. They're getting pulled in many different directions I've lost count of how many times of being asked to come and work at a different place because these just not the farmers out there to fill a need. So what we did was we actually in now. Mission Statement and objectives. It actually clearly outlines what we are endeavoring to do to fill that need and. Perhaps I can read that you mind sharing because not everyone probably knows what the mission statement and objectives are. I should have it memorized but I don't. It's the mission statement is to encourage and support. All seeking to understand and follow God's plan for agriculture. Through networking. Mentoring and information sharing and in these five objectives. Number one through promote a biologically driven. Scientifically sound system of agriculture and harmony with principles found in the Bible. And the Spirit of Prophecy. Number two to stimulate prayerful study and discussion on the role of agriculture in preparing god same time. People. Number three to educate families and individuals about the country living message and embolden them as they transition to an ng. Agrarian lifestyle. Number four and this is the key one. To train and equip a new generation of aid been a spy. Has to fill a need in schools institutions and communities. And the first one kind of ties in with it to work with the Seventh Day Adventist Church and supporting ministries and individual families to elevate and inspire agriculture. Agricultural evangelism. And education. So. So they are and we're talking about training and in turns and farms are you actually is thinking of starting at haulage or a school or something like that how does this work. Not quite but the networking aspect of the board is to basically what we want to do is is compile a list of five. That have the capability of taking on and then tune in and giving them a meaningful experience. And then also any young person all of all to a person that has the energy and. And so forth that Farming requires that is interested in learning. Could be connected. And we can compile that list and try to make good fits and connect them with the opportunities. Then in addition to that. What we have in vision does a month long and taints of training course where we can bring in expert instructors in different fields that would be better able for success in farming. And that might be something interesting for. Not only those who entertaining but those who maybe feel like they never got the right training that they desired. And so in visioning that starting January two thousand and seventeen and possibly dovetailing into the conference that is plains that time period. So who would be your ideal participant in something like this. Well somebody who feels cold by God to go into farming not just as an enjoyable. Occupation but to fulfill the occasional The the spiritual reasons for agriculture. To see it as a pot of helping finish gods in time with the character development of young people and. And that sort of thing so it's more of a a mission. Type of a calling. Rather than just an occupation to end a living or to have something to do. Yeah absolutely. So you know young people older people people there feel like they're called to farm. Where is this going to be as THEIR you have a location nailed down how is that going to work we don't have a specific location in fact we might be mobile we actually go to that or an operation to be able to see. And participate in as well as receive instruction. We want to model true education where we don't just hear information because what we hear doesn't stay with us very long. But what we do with our hands we usually retain for a lifetime. So that we want to model that type of training. Absolutely. So how would someone like say there's someone here in the audience right now that sparks in their mind I'm really interested in that. I want to be a part of that whether they're. What or whether to participate or maybe there's even a farmers here that are thinking hey that's something that I would like to see my farm move towards I want to help train up start. I want to help train young people or whoever comes how how can they connect with you and with this whole project. Well if we would put a sign up sheet. At the board booth. And so anybody that's interested could actually put down the. There be a fine taking on into new or whether it's a somebody wanting to be an intern enough stuff. So we will compile that list and then we can also put up on our website. A form to fill out for anybody that's watching this not here. And they could fill it out there and so we will start the communication process is still it's still in the conceptual stage where we form in a committee that's going to be steering this and. So we see it kind of progress in through this year and. And the block training program. A year from January so it's a little ways away. But it doesn't prevent us having people placed for the next. Growing season. Absolutely absolutely. So if you're interested in. If you're interested in possibly being a participant or if you're a farmer that is interested in your farm moving towards education or maybe you already are an education that definitely check out the sign up left and put your name on it. One last question. How could people. Maybe there are some people here as well or watching on the live stream that. Absolutely really love the idea and want to support it in some way. How can they support you in this whole project. And that you know the whole board. Right. Well that would be a blessing if they were able to probably a check made out to the had been a segue recall Szell association with the memo saying. Training Program. And it would be. Does ignited for that. And maybe lastly before I run off the stage have. There really is a huge need out there I don't think anybody has an idea of how big the need is and so my appeal is if you're a young person that has an interest. I would really pray about it and I asked law does is something that you want me to do and if the Lord lays it on your heart be through what we are offering or other opportunities. It's a high calling It's not about running a fireman and making money in. Winning souls for Christ in the very slow process of growth that occurs in young people and others and old people it's the character development and Ellen White say it in a board meeting or to a board. That was the Healdsburg College Board. They were trying to carry out industries which agriculture was part of and. They weren't making money and they say were worried about it and probably one of the shut it down like a lot of places that aren't making money from it and she wrote in the statement that she said. Even if you were losing team times as much as you are now. It would still be worth it because the number of souls that will be saved in the kingdom. As a direct result no one will know until the day of judgment. So we can't see what's going on in a person's life as they develop the character through the. The work and experience and the spiritual inspiration. But God says it's going to reap a great rewards. That's my appeal if you feel called to that. And then. Thank you so much there aren't any. I'm older. Volvo. Van Gerwen old old. One. Announcement I forgot if you look in the back here there's a white board with some notes on it. This is our communication board we wanted to give you a place where. If you know about a place that needs a farmer or. If you would like to go somewhere you know this is a way for us to kind of communicate with each other so take advantage of that I know there are some here looking for farmers. So just just use that. I get the privilege of introducing David over Miller. I wish I knew him better but he lives on the other side of the country. David is at Fresno advantage to cattle me the farm manager there and it's really neat. I wish he had time to give his testimony here. He started out as a literature evangelist and then ended up at Seoul's West. And while he was there. He studied and was reading the book education and came under real conviction on agriculture and he told his wife you know I don't. I don't know how to do this. I need to go learn how to do this. So he put his money where his mouth was so to speak. He moved to Byron Smith farm son is on a farm and spent four years there. Learning how to grow. Good food. And then was called to go to Fresno. Advantage to get out of me where he has been there for two years as the farm manager. And what's really neat. This is this is a conference school and their day are committed to this. And tomorrow morning. For the morning meeting. You're going to hear from the principal at Fresno had miscast him. So we'll look forward to that but tonight. We know that you'll be blessed to hear what David over Miller has to share that evening everybody. How are you doing. Happy to be here. I've had all wild right to get here and can ask a question of the P.A. booth. I can hear myself really loud in the monitors up here. If we could turn the of down or off of that so much better. You don't notice the difference that you know why does i was amazing by itself. I had quite the journey to get here. I was teaching intensive it's old west for the last three days crammed in fifteen hours of class. Jumped on a plane this morning to fly here and got here at four with three other people to get here at six twenty. But we're really happy to be here I want to ask you to entertain my curiosity for just a minute. Which if you're willing to do that for me. How many of you were here last year. Good number of you. Are you grateful for the weather. Last year it was cold and Tennessee. Much much better weather here right now actually warmer here than it was in California when I left. We were floating around sixty sixty four. Forty degrees last night was seventy three when I drove into the campus here this evening and fell very nice and let me ask one other question. If you would entertain my curiosity one more time. How many of you are here. As professional or farmers as a vocation. And how many of you are just here as gardeners. And for some other reason. Are a. So farmers in the making. Somebody said up front here as ing. Well this. This evening likely to pull out your a. I see the screen up there and you didn't need your bulletin at all. Re storing the ways places in it and you're familiar that scripture comes from where. But you know. OK I got as the kill. Isaiah Chapter fifty eight. Is it Chapter fifty eight and to this more this evening. Almost said this morning. This evening I'd like to play upon that theme. The title of my message this evening is from the ground up from the ground up that were playing upon the theme of the conference and that is to restore the waste places. I know the floor might be hard I don't want to push my luck of being that we're strangers but could I ask you to kneel with me for prayer this evening. The Father in heaven and I was really impressed the driving into this campus. To read the sign. And the loop that the Lord our God walks in the midst of our camp. And therefore the camp should be holy. What a what a potent reminder of the very real and intimate presence of Jesus Christ. And the reminder of how much we need that presence. Not of the company of individuals. But as individuals privately. Lord it is my request here for myself. That you would you would join me. I'm in need of hearing you speak. I am in need of of you teaching me as much as anybody else here. And my life has been a journey of dependence upon you were learning. Dependence upon you Lord I'm so grateful for where you've taken. Each of us. And where you've brought us to. And today you've brought us here. You've brought us here to meet you. To learn about your plan to talk about the Scriptures. And the life that is to come in the garden and have. Lord I praise tonight that you is. You would be our teacher. Because you're the master gardener. And as an agricultural conference we need your hand in your touch upon us as growing plants. As we grow in phase. And look to bear fruit will all be the result of your intimate knowledge of growing the human heart. And to beautiful beautiful garden. The Lord this evening we ask this because of think you promised in Scripture. To be our teachers to guide us into truth. And to join us with your presence. And Lord I take you this evening as a man of your word and ask you to fulfill your promises for us because we are dependent upon them. In the name of Jesus Christ we all together pray and say you know. Would Like To this evening. Start with a little bit of a review. A brief review of Israel's history. You'll remember that the Israelites. Desire to King. And their first King was Saul and false start it is his career his political career as a converted believer. But temptation came to him and you know that very quickly Saul. Went from being a good king. To a bad king. And the for thirty eight years. Saul maintained just thrown. Knowing that it was going to be passed on to King David. We know that David was a good king. But he as the Bible says was a man after what God's own heart. Though he had a few bumps in the road along the way. David passed on his throne and is his legacy. To his son. Solomon and Solomon for a while. Walked in the steps of his father David. Saul Solomon made a few mistakes. Mistakes that cost to. Very dearly didn't say. And it's here we sort of pick up and move towards the theme of the conference. As as God be held. Solomon's departure from the faith. God had to relay the unfortunate consequences of his disobedience. And first Kings Chapter eleven. If you have your Bible with me or walk in to turn their first Kings Chapter eleven. God passed on the words of Solomon. He says there. Believe this is verse twelve. That I will surely render the kingdom. From you and will give it to your servant but I won't do it because of David my servant I won't do it in your days. But in the days of your son. And here. Upon solemn as death we have the the split in the kingdom. Remember there were ten. Northern tribes that became Israel and the two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Were passed on to the descendants of David. Then a fortunate thing is that never and Israel's history. That is the northern ten tribes. Did they ever have a good king never. You can search the Bible through. They lack one. Even one decent leader. And several hundred years later in the year seven twenty one. The Assyrians being the world power of the time came and took. Israel took them into captivity. And all that remained was the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Judas fortune was a little better. But not great. They went through a sequence of good kings bad kings good king bad kings sometimes several good kings and several bad kings. And that takes us to the story of Hezekiah go with me to Isaiah thirty nine. Isaiah Chapter thirty nine. And you'll recall most of the story will pick it up in verse four but while you're turning I'll tell you the first part. Hezekiah got sick. God told him you're going to die. Now. Hezekiah did the commendable thing you got down on his knees. Shed some tears and. As the prophet Isaiah was still leaving the facility. God said to him. Go back inside and tell Hezekiah that I have heard his prayer. And I have heard his cry. And I will extend his life for fifteen years. Or would you say to that as I was you was not a persuasive response. You know what has the cause said now. And so what would we say that happened. Through hope to be a little better and we'd say. Praise the Lord. You remember the sign that has a Kayasth for in the sun moved backwards in the sky. That Hezekiah was healed and that was the sign of the miracle of the healing. And yet over in the country of Babylon. Certain men who like to watch the heavens. Discern the movement of the sun and became very curious as to what happened. And word got back that Hezekiah had been healed and that there was an association between what happened to Hezekiah and what they had seen in the sky. And so a delegation was sent from Babylon to Israel. And they came in and choir at what had happened and Hezekiah made a decision he made a decision that was permanently. To effect the tribe of Judah. And the city of Jerusalem. A decision that I hope though I am tempted. That I will not repeat. And that is to take credit to myself for what God does for me. Verse four says this is the prophet Isaiah speaking. He asked of Hezekiah. What have they seen in your hands. And Hezekiah answered. What was it all all that is in my house they have seen there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them. But I have to protest at this point that Solomon. Scuse me as a Kyle was not telling the truth. He was not telling the truth of the Prophet Isaiah. He indeed did not show the Babylonians all the treasures of his house. He neglected. The most important. Treasure in his house. He failed to tell them that the Lord was this treasure that the Lord was the reason for everything that he had material goods. And his very recent healing from a fatal disease. You and I are each tempted. Our churches tempted. Christianity is tempted to forget the source from which all our blessings flow. In our day to day walk in our day to day conversations with people. We often forget to take advantage of the opportunity to point people up to the real treasure. I would ask the question. As I look at this story did Hezekiah even know what his real treasure was did he value. His earthly goods. Properly in comparison to his attorney all goods. You and I face the same temptations. We look at our farmland. We look at our work. We look at our careers. Our families perhaps our reputation perhaps our bank account perhaps our looks perhaps our. Whatever the things are. And we forget that they're not the real treasure. Jesus said in the Scriptures where a man's heart is. Where will it be where his treasure is. I want to ask you a question. Where is your treasure. What is your treasure. Who is your treasure. If someone asked you what would you tell them. If you tell your neighbors to tell your friends. Which you tell them about the real treasure. The Treasure of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately I was a passed on the bad news in verse six. Verse five it actually starts here the word of the LORD of hosts. Behold the day has come that. All that is in line house. And that which lie fathers have laid up. Store until this day shall be carried to Babylon. And what does it say that he would have of all. Nothing. Not. It said in verse six shall be left. I don't want to dwell too much on this point but my friends. We must remember even in this conference of good as agriculture is as good as working the land is as powerful and as potent nature is to teach us the realities of eternity. The beauty of Jesus Christ the handiwork of God as beautiful as all that is there is one treasure. That must be. Be be obtained at the price of all other treasures. To maintain the treasures on this earth is to lose the one treasure that really matters. When has a cause showed what he said to be was all he wanted keeping none of that and I am looking at this story and looking how we get to this this theme. To not want to forget that to trade everything. For that one treasure is to ensure that we keep everything. For eternity. That's a fair trade. So Hezekiah with the. Relatively speaking the last decent King. The Jews would have every king. With the exception of Josiah. And a brief and last minute conversion of man NASA. Every king was it wicked Cheney. And in the year six zero four roughly the Babylonians came and destroyed Jerusalem. Took the is reliance the Judeans captive in to Babylon a process of captivity that took place for nearly twenty years from six zero four to six eighty five B.C. and here. Now. The people who should have been the light of the world. Sat in the darkness of captivity. And the city which had been set on the Hill now sat in rooms. I find. I don't want to be negative. I don't I struggle to be positive like many of us here. But I am. I must conclude from this story an evaluation of us as a society us as a church us as a culture and even of a may push it a little further to say each one of us as individuals to some degree is just like ancient Israel. That we and little ways sometimes big ways. We have given ourselves over to a captivity of a very different sort. We might be in America we might be in the land of freedom. But that doesn't mean that we are free indeed. And that was the Jewish problem in the days of Jesus. They said to Jesus when he talked about freedom that we have never been in bondage to what they say. Any man. But was a true. And Jesus possessed. True freedom. But they'd so physically free. Had traded away. A very different type of freedom. And a very different type of captivity. We today. Are in captivity. Some of us more. Some of us less. But we are in captivity. To the philosophies. And the thinking. And the methods. And the practices of the world around us and we are still in need of being set free. This takes us ties it Chapter fifty eight. If you turn with me there. Will go to our are taxed for the. The conference as a chapter fifty eight verses eleven and twelve. This is a chapter that Adventists of traditionally interpreted many Christians have interpreted to be an eschatological passage an end time passage and verse eleven says the Lord shall guide the continually insult shot a spy they stole and drought and make fat by bones and now shall be like a watered garden like a spring of water. Whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of the shall build the old waste. Places. Also to raise up the foundations of many generations and the shall be called the repairer of the breach the restorer of the past to dwell him. That is God's call to each one of us here tonight. It is the opportunity that God offers to each one of us tonight. Not merely to be an inhabitant. But to be a restorer to be a repair or to be a builder of the things that once were the things which always should have been. I want to. I want to explore this passage. A little bit thoroughly or at least partially thoroughly. You can say partially and thoroughly at the same time a kind of strikes me as a contradiction there for a moment. But before we do that I'd like you to turn to Isaiah fifty three one to go back just a few chapters that is if if you want to read verse three and want to point out something about the language that fear is a here prophets timing. Most specifically regarding physical captivity in Israel. Although spiritually extending that to a spiritual captivity. It shares the same theme between Isaiah fifty eight now is a fifty one verse three. It says the Lord shall come for desire and he will comfort all her waist places. And he will make her wilderness what's if they like Eden and her with me. Desert like the Garden of the Lord. Those very words going back to Isaiah fifty eight. Those very words appear. A good one and I want to point out because this is an agricultural conference that the work of restoration is set in the context Linguistically it is of the language of natural biological processes of gardening. God's God's promise to restore the spiritual captivity or physical captivity. Is couched in the language of a man who takes a parts dry bare and piece to the ground and turns it into a lodge. Garden. So being that this verse and Isaiah fifty one. Perfectly uses agricultural if you will terminology. I find that the theme for this year's conference is more than adequate. Because the work of gardening. And in many ways. Or farming or agricultural The words are synonymous. Is the work that God is doing in each of us. And in our church collectively. But to explore this passage is a little more detailed to look at a couple of words. Isaiah fifty one and fifty eight use the words waste. Places. And the Hebrew word actually here indicates desert it means to be dry. It's a dry and is caused by heat and the lack of raying the leaves desolation and emptiness and God wants to take that barren parched land. The human heart and make it to be a large garden. It says here that the foundations of many generations shall be raised up literally to be built up and to breach the hold in the wall. To be restored. The past to dwell in you think through the Bible. And you think about this passage here in particular. Most often for Seventh Day Adventists. This passage takes on a very specific profit fulfillment for our church and. What you will know the answer here. What specific thing. Have Adventists known to be. The hole in the wall. The stabbed. In fact versus thirteen and fourteen. Help us to conclude that right. Verse thirteen and fourteen talks about the Sabbath turning away your foot from the sabots if you do the Lord's pleasure not our own. Then we will walk in the high places of the earth and God would feed us with the Heritage spiritually. Of Jacob our father. And he ends with the promise of the mouth of the Lord has spoken. It. And I would ask is that true that the staff it is a breach in the wall. That must be restored. You are Seventh Day Adventists year right and there are Sabbath keepers. We rephrase my question. The answer is yes. But let me rephrase my question is that the work in full and exclusively. No it's not to go a little bit earlier in the chapter. I'd like to take a look at the chapter fifty eight. Verse six and verse seven. As if it D.H. verse six says is not this the fast that I have chosen to loose the bands of wickedness to unto the heavy burdens to let the oppressed go free that you break every yoke. Is it not to deal by bread to the hungry that they'll bring the poor that are cast out to your house. When you see the naked that you cover him. And that you hide not yourself from your own flesh and now skip down with me to verse ten. And if now she will draw out they sold to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul. Then shall the light rise in obscurity and I don't know shall be as the noonday. And please tell me the very first word of verse eleven. And now and in English is a can join in word write it takes what's before and what's after and puts them together as one united idea is that correct. OK so what god. What Isaiah fifty eight is suggesting is that the the message of the Sabbath truth though it be given to the entire world is not a fulfillment of Isaiah fifty eight. If that's all that's done. If all that done is it and if you did it with the most sophisticated technology and social media that's available to the church today. If you were able to take the Sabbath truth. And make it a worldwide. Known fact tomorrow. Would we have to fill the. The commission of Isaiah fifty eight. No we have not because there are two parts to fulfilling. I was the A fifty eight. And they are not separable. The Sabbath is an outward sign of the rest. That God offers. The Sabbath is an outward sign of the freedom from captivity that God offers. And that that symbol means nothing if it's not reality. Because without setting free the afflicted soul. Without liberating. The Soul that is captive to Sten. The Sabbath is worthless. And I would say and I'm going to Paris myself perhaps this evening. By admitting that in my own ministry. In the past. I have bought into the idea that sharing concepts and thoughts. Is the same as freeing of soul and evangelism takes on the form of merely sharing ideas rather than touching and changing the human heart. But the work of rebuilding the wall. Will never be complete. Or fulfilled. If the two are not joined together. Ellen White writes in the book prophets and King. That the work of restoration and reform carried on by the returned exiles. Under the leadership of the rubble as raw and Nehemiah present a picture of the work of spiritual restoration. That has to be worked out in the closing days of Earth's history. What was literal for them becomes spiritual for us. She goes on the prophet here describes the people who at a time of general departure from truth and righteousness. Are seeking to restore the principles that are the foundation of the Kingdom of God. When I ask a question. Are you that people are you that person is that the burden on your heart. Would you say that we live in a time of general departure from truth and righteousness. I would ask is it just general. When you watch the news of you see what happens in our world. Can you say that is just a general departure from truth and righteousness. In some cases. It appears to be more of an extreme departure from truth and righteousness. But none the less than that that context that societal context. She describes a people who are seeking to restore the king they linguistically what's the word speaking. It's a verb. It conveys activity. It conveys aggressiveness. It conveys an intent to do something and to accomplish something. Doesn't the in are we here seeking to restore the waste places. The principles that are the foundation of the Kingdom of God. That is our call it is the invitation. That God offers to each one of us right here. Tonight. Right now. A city without walls. The Bible says that the vulnerable stood. Not one of security. Not one of protection. Not one of prosperity. But very vulnerable. A position that none of us really desire to be in and read one more line from this. Again. We often focus on the Sabbath. But this one line. She says because prophets and kings again. In the time of the end. Every divine. Institution is to be restored. How many institutions. Now when you think of it as the to Sion was the first thing that comes your mind a school. Of bank. A medical institution. But is this the type of institution that God is really referring to know the word institution means that which is established. And what's being what's being called here of us tonight is a fifty eight. Is a reversal of fortunes entirely. A reversal of circumstances entirely. Restoring everything that God had originally established just like it was intended to be from the beginning. It's the all. We go back to God not looking for a partial restoration. He wants us to display in foal. All of the treasures. He offers to mankind. And you know going back to the theme here to restore the waste places and being that this is an agricultural conference. I would like to present to you the idea that agriculture is intimately bound to that idea on the screen. The scripture there and Isaiah fifty eight says that the foundations of many generations would be raised up in the Psalms you know it says I believe this is Psalms eleven. It says if the foundation. Be what destroyed what shall the right just do. And I want to propose to you this evening. That agriculture is the very foundation of every other component work. Of our church. It is that it is a foundational building block of every other thing we do is individuals. Our mission. Our medicine. Our evangelism. It is the foundation of everything that we do a redo a couple lines. Taken from Ellen White she writes that in regard to parenting. That our children should be in till the years of eight or nine you know. Free as lambs. Primarily learning from where from nature. From the garden. As they age and move into the school years the more traditional school years. She writes the following. I've been shown that the study of agricultural lines. Should be the A B. and C. of the educational work of our schools. I don't think you can get any more foundational than those first three letters of the alphabet gen-U. in regard to medicine she writes. Never never. She uses the word never twice not me. Never never should our sanitariums be established in studies. They should be established in the country. Amidst the pleasant surroundings. And in connection with plenty of land she writes. This is a positive. Nest S A T. It's foundational to our service to the community. If you go back to Isaiah fifty eight. It speaks of giving bread. To the hungry. And how can you feed the hungry. If you have no food to give them. And this is not just symbolic food although that's that's certainly true too but this is literal food. The Jesus speaks of as well. And where there is no farming. There is no food. You've all heard of the drought in California right. Throughout much of the Central Valley of California and the Central Valley of California is one of the most prolific agricultural regions in the world. There are these signs all over the place that say food grows. Where water flows is anybody's seen that. By the way anybody here from California the Johnsons or anybody else from California. You see these signs all over the place. But yet we're disconnected as a church. From from the opportunities we have to feed the poor and meet the real needs of people and Ellen White not to go into this right here right now. She writes extensively about using agriculture as a means to teach people to live off the land for the poor to be able to provide means for themselves. She goes on and on and on with this and more than a couple of places. But agriculture is also foundational. If not critical to our mission as a church as a whole when you think of our commission as a church. You'll probably think first of a passage in Revelation. The three angels messages. And I saw another angle flying in the midst of have been having the. To preach on to the whole world. To paraphrase. Those three angels messages have been one of the distinctive features of our church. Since its inception. More than one hundred fifty years ago. But I want you to listen to this statement. I want you to open your hearts. To these next few words. She writes There is too much. Among us there is too much clinging to old customs. And because of this. We are far behind where we should be in the development of the third angel's message. The very next. Words are the education. Learned on the school. Farm is the education. Most essential to our missionaries. I want you to mentally. Masticate on this chew on it for a while because she just made the reform of education. Crucial to the fulfillment of our churches mission. She just made agriculture the founding block of education therefore making agriculture. Crucial. And necessary to our church's fulfillment of its mission and taking the three angels message to the world. But you remember that first angel possesses the gospel. And we're not to get too much. Caught up on the beasts and torments and steals of God and Mark's the beast and buying and selling. What we ought to be caught up in is the gospel of Jesus Christ is the message which the whole world must hear. And except if they will be saved. And she just made the reform of education and making agriculture a port a part of education. Foundational as a prerequisite if you will to fulfilling our mission as a church. Let me say that in a very different way. It does not matter what other type of evangelism. We do as a people. Or how extensively. It is done. If the work of reforming education and combining agriculture with education is not done. We will go nowhere. She says that here are so herself. Before we can carry the message of present truth in all its fullness to other countries. We must first break. Every. She's quoting from Isaiah fifty eight again. We must come into the line of Tridge occasion walking in the wisdom of God and not in the wisdom of the world. Shift suggesting that we are captive to the world's wisdom it so we break the yokes that bind us to worldly thinking in the world the methodology. Whether it's an education or in medicine or in parenting or in evangelism or in service or whatever other thing that happens to be until we break those yokes we as the people. I don't want to be the bearer of bad news. But is honest reality which we must all except that we will go absolutely nowhere. Our desires to see. He who we love come. Will not be realized and as long as we delay even if we're dead we will sit in the grave and till this right here is accomplished. We will not see the Deva turn a T.V. and till this. Restoration of the waste places. Happened. So the work of restoration. In our closing time here. I would like to draw some parallels between what. With the rubble bowl and is Nehemiah accomplished. And what that means to us. Before I forget I skipped something in my notes on education here. Every major revival in Bible times. Was preceded by a revival in educational principles. Every viable which And most cases. Included an agricultural background to give you some examples. When you think of Moses who led Israel out of Egypt. Where did he get his education. Farming. Shepherding sheep. Do you think of the man right before him. The most significant person right before Moses and scripture. It was Joseph and Joseph you know a story kind of a spoiled little brat. His brothers didn't like him. He winds up being sold to the Ishmael lights who carried him down into Egypt and he's sitting in jail eventually. And Pharaoh has a dream. But if you could use one word to describe the contents of Pharaoh's dream. What would it be food. Josephs an interesting story to me. Because Pharaoh was so disconnected from food. That he couldn't discern what it really is a very simple. Dream was sitting on the plane today. Talking to a man named Randy. And he was telling me about his forty chickens. That he has in the foothills. Above. Los Angeles and he said he gets people. He gets quite a number of A from his forty chicken. And he was telling me about people buying AIDS from him and such and such. And someone once asked him. Do you need a rooster to get eggs. Which reminds me of Joel Saletan. You know Joel salad and telling the story of someone visiting his farm and asking. Aren't the cows with horns. The boys. Unfortunately while we laugh a roomful of farmers and gardeners here most certainly realizes that most Americans think that milk comes from the grocery store. And the produce comes off the truck. And we're about as disconnected from food as Pharaoh was. But to come back to the point here. It was Joseph agricultural background. That gave him the ability to interpret the dream. I want you to notice something that Scripture and. And when you have the time go back to Genesis forty one and reread the. Because in many places in the Bible were a vision or dream was given. God often has to give the interpretation. That happened with Daniel another can as are now because as it gets a dream. Daniel did not know it's a dream meant. He and his three friends went into a serious moment of prayer. And what it God do God gave Daniel. The answer to the dream. You can read all the way through Genesis forty one. And you will not find a single spot where God was asked by Joseph what the dream and he listen to the content of the dream. He interpreted in light of his an agricultural background and knew exactly what it meant. If you think through the story. It says there were seven cows the first seven cows are pretty fat nice lookin cals well fed child. Then there were seven cows that came afterward and they were a little bit on the opposite side they were suffering from a lack of food. Then there were seven years of grain that were plump and fat and full and and nice and you know fall followed by. Seven years of grain which were the exact opposite. But do you remember. Why in the Bible. Why those ears of grain were withered at the end. It was a little detail. Just as they were blasted with an east wind. And now. Put the whole story together in reverse. Joseph says. I understand that perfectly. The deserts of a Rabia lie. Exactly east of Egypt. And there's going to be a shift in climate where the dry east winds bring in dry air from Arabia. And there'll be a lack of water for the crops in Egypt. And what was once. Really well water will become really dry and the crops will wither up. And once the crops wither up what do the animals no longer have to eat food. And so Joseph says in very simple terms. You have a serious famine come and you've got seven years to get ready for it. And then you've got seven years to live through. And it was all based upon his previous experience with God never sharing with him in vision or dream. What that dream meant. We live in a society today that is absolutely no different. We are so disconnected from food. We have no idea where food comes from and how it works. But Joseph experience. Set him up to be a man of great importance to Egypt. And also to his brothers in Israel. You go through the Bible. Ilija. Life is a little bit of a. It's a little more subtle. All we know about allies is he was a Tishbite from the land of where Gilly it it's does. But you remember where deleted was. And why the Israelites lived in Gilliard when you go back to the Book of Deuteronomy. And when the Israelites were coming up on the Promised Land there were a couple of tribes that had large flocks. And they looked at the land of Juliet east of the Jordan river there and said this is prime farm land. Please let us stay here. Moses said that's fine as long as you fight with your brother and you can come back here. After we take possession of the promised land you can have the land. East of the Jordan. And so Alija grew up the Tishbite. And the land of deleted. What was a man doing. In the land a billion farming. The live shows simple Elias sure was doing what when a ledger called him. John the Baptist grew up where Jesus themself. Ellen White says and grew up in the rural districts of Nazareth. And a very very interesting quote from Justin Martyr the second century Christian says the Jesus grew up in his father's carpenter shop. Making agricultural tools. You familiar with Justin Martyr. And all of a sudden Jesus's intimate knowledge of agriculture. Pops up all over the Gospels. The story of the sower. The story of the man who leased out as venue. AND ON AND ON AND ON JESUS betrays a very intimate familiarity with agronomy which I suggest to you was learned firsthand. Because why would the master gardener who put the first pair of humans in the garden. Not give his son. The very same experience. And while it's not mentioned directly in the scripture. Jesus his language be trays again. A very intimate familiarity with the act of growing food. You go through many of the reformers they were farmers and bringing us down even to our own church in the Advent movement who was started by William Miller. When God called him off his far. Every religious revival of significance. Has been accompanied by a corresponding revival in education which was often based in the land. There are couple parallels and I'd like to close between the work of Cyrus or scuse me the work of Ezra Nehemiah and the rubble. And some things for you to think about. In regard to agriculture in our world today in our church in our mission. Number one is that the whole project started with a decree by Cyrus. It was backed by him financially. And the most challenging thought to me is that the church was sleeping. And it took a decree from an otherwise pagan and unbelieving man. To initiate the work of reform. And I look at our world today and much of the agricultural work much of the medicine work. Much of the really good a holistic type stuff comes from people outside of our faith. And it should be a shot across the bow. A shot in the arm. That calls us to reconsider the truth that we are living slip by before the rocks cry out any louder. Number two is that the work of rebuilding the temple. Happened first by the way. But there would be no comparison between the second temple. And the first temple. The work of restoration. Right now is an unfortunate reality that what we could have done as a church will never be the potential that we were able to live up to. Unfortunately Ellen White says the same thing to what we could have done in the past will not happen in the future to the same extent. When the men building the temple in Israel in ancient times rebuilding the temple. Saw it. And they had lived old enough long enough to see the first temple you remember that they wept. Is an unfortunate realization on my part of that what we have yet to do in front of us will never be what it could have been. Except that that second temple was special in a different way. Haggai chapter too few for million. Says that a certain person. The desire of all nations would personally. Walk that temple. I don't know your background I did ask a little bit at the beginning. We are not here at this conference I would hope that this is associate ssion and each of us farmers. Is not gathered here to build and improve our farms. Strictly on Agra nomic or economic level. I would hope that we are not here to Castle build and daydream about our own fortunes in our own prosperity. We are to build a temple through this work. Which the second coming of Christ will be the direct result of. We may not have the privilege of experiencing everything that we could have experienced. But we have the privilege that the people who who built the first temple. Did not have. And that is the second coming of Christ. We are building a mission. Not a farm. We are building a cause. Not growing things. If we're to get better at anything it's the filling our mission. Not growing food. That's just a part to the bigger picture. To me that's a beautiful promise that you and I have the opportunity to start. Or perpetuate a movement which will result. And the standing under the tree of life. That's far better than the alternatives. Number three the third parallel. Those three men were opposed. Severely. In their work. And this is not a work for the faint of heart. I favor approach that says the oughta know what you're getting into. Jesus says. You gotta count the cost. And what you and I and many of us here are setting off on as a journey will be a journey of difficulties and hardships. It is not a journey for the faint of heart. It's reminds me of a statement by Mark Twain. In the beginning of a change he says a time of revolution. The Patriots as a rare man. Brave. But hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds Mark Twain says the timid. Join him. Because it cost nothing to be a patriot. Right now the work we initiate is the work that many of us will initiate alone in the midst of great opposition. The Second Coming of Christ. The desire of nations. Seen with the I will not be realized. Without effort and commitment. If you farmed a little while to realize the farming's not always easy as it. It's often hard work for not growing things. Is a set up to realize how bad you are growing things sometimes. But the promise of the reward is worth. The opposition and the effort. Number for the introductory verses of the book of Nehemiah. After the temple had been rebuilt. One of Nehemiah's associates came to visit him. And it says in the first chapter that Nehemiah asked about Jerusalem about the rim that were there from the captivity. And unfortunately the news was that the wall was still broken down into the people that were there were suffering from great. Affliction. And the verse. Here. Verse four of you would turn with me there if you have your Bible end with or this will be a last verse we look at. Nehemiah chapter one verse four. It's near my eyes response. A response that each of us needs to have Verse four says it came to pass when I heard these words that I sat down and was wept and mourned certain days. Fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. My friends this evening. You and I should be deeply stirred. Deeply troubled deeply upset. Deeply sorrowful about the things that we see around us in the world. We should be sincerely and deeply motivated by the affliction of other people and make a commitment as Nehemiah did. To change it. Number five is not everyone is going to want to go along with you. Unfortunate reality when the Israelites had the opportunity to return. As wrist says that many of them didn't. You're going to find that many Christian. Many Adventist are quite comfortable living in Persia. If you're going to find that many people enjoy their homes and babble on that many people are quite happy being Roman. Even if it means. Captivity. But we must go alone. Those who go alone. Will eventually end avidly and fire someone else to go with them. But first you must. Perhaps go alone. As were told expected a large number would go. You would think here this is the most exciting thing that we have to talk about right that's why we came all the way to Texas to talk about this because we're all passionate about it. And for many of us it doesn't make sense why anybody would be passionate about this doesn't. But the reality is a lot of people don't want anything to do with farming and want turned on the news a governor in the southern states trying to reinitiate jobs in his state and courage and people to take jobs in agriculture. And I saw on the news the laser response you said. My family came out of that. And I ain't going back. Many people in society have the perception that farming is not for those who want to move up in life. I would put this into you again not to be redundant I do want to move up in life. I want to move permanently up in life. And so do you. But sometimes to get there you go alone. And lastly. There will be the potential for distractions. Family distractions financial distractions education distractions. The devil has a strange way of multiplying distraction. Doesn't the reasons why something can't be shouldn't be couldn't be done. So Nehemiah. When my favorite passages of Scripture. The M I was being tempted. He was being lured away by Chan ballot and yes I'm trying to distract him from the work of rebuilding the wall and I want to read you. His response to them in E.M.I. six verse three. He said. I am doing a great work. And I cannot come down. Because why should the work speaks. So I can meet with you. The voice of distraction. Is the voice that speaks to all of us. And if the second coming of Christ. The mission of our church. The realisation of eternity will ever be ours. Our words must be near my eyes words. I am not coming down to you. I have a great work to do this evening. I would like to ask a couple of questions. I believe that God is working here in your hearts. But I know sitting here. Just like me. Are those of you who are tempted to view other treasures. Greater than the one treasure. And I'd like to ask you to make a fair. More than fair exchange. Perhaps someone sitting here this evening. Is struggling with their relationship with Christ Jesus appeals to the heart. But it seems the world. Appeals more loudly. The treasures of heaven perhaps being offered to you. It's team down. Compared to the treasures of the world. And just quietly without looking around. Someone who would say. That's me Lord. And I want to learn that you are the chief treasure. To couple hands and God bless you. There's one treasure. Above all treasures. But you don't truly value him. And I want to say Lord help me see you as my trash. I'd like to end with a challenge to you in the form of a question. No response. No hands. No standing as a student the last couple days students always want to take tests and give the answer the teacher wants to hear. I say the real test of life is the real test. And what we do is far more important than what we show with our hands here this evening. But I'd like to ask you to leave with the intention to study the role of agriculture in fulfilling our church's mission. Not agriculture as a means of self preservation. Not country living as a way to escape temptation those things are all true. But the real thing. The primary thing as a means of fulfilling our mission to fulfill the Gospels. Spread to the world. So that we can go home. And thirdly. I'd like to ask you to make a commitment. I know some of you in your farming. Perhaps some of your from schools perhaps some of your trying to do things gardening with your children. It's not quite gone the way you wanted it to go. But I'd like you to make a commitment to not be distracted. To not come down from the great work that God has for you to be distracted by those who don't want to see you facility. But you stand with me for prayer. Our Father in heaven. We meet here this evening. But I know that even myself. I don't truly understand the scope of what I've just shared. I don't fully understand all the ramifications. And the consequences the positive consequences of this meeting here this weekend and the effect that it will have upon the world. I know merely. What you've said. And what you've asked us to do. But I don't know the full extent of how good it will be. I prayed tonight for those three things that I had just mentioned. You pray for each of us. I pray for myself to make you the treasure above all treasures. I pray that I that we would make a commitment to understanding the importance of this work. To our mission. As a church. To serve other people. Not merely to serve ourselves. And that you would make us. Like Nehemiah men who would not be deterred from the work of rebuilding the past the dwell in the wall of that city. The temple where the Lord Himself would walk. Lord if you do those three things will be a miracle. But your God of miracles. And so we trust this to your hands. What you command. You will enable us to perform. You will finish this media was brought to you by audio person a Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse or you would like to listen to more sermon. Leave visit. W.W.W. audio verse. Dot org.


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