JOY - DECEMBER 10th/11th

DAY 1

READ LUKE 1:76-77

What did the angel tell Zechariah? (Read Luke 1:13 for help) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What did the angel say the baby’s name would be? _________________________________________________

Why did John’s birth seem impossible to Zechariah? (Read Luke 1:18) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Just think about how joyful Zechariah and Elizabeth must have been when this special baby was born! What seemed completely impossible to them was possible with God! Anything is possible with God. And that’s a great reason to have joy.

Ask a parent to show you some of your baby pictures. What did they do to prepare for you coming into the family? Did anyone throw a party for them? Then ask them to tell you the story of the day you joined the family.

THANK God for the joy we can have because ANYTHING is possible with Him.

DAY 2

READ PSALM 43:4

We’ve been talking about real joy this month. Sometimes finding joy means remembering what’s true. Even when things are hard, or when they don’t go your way, God is still the same. He is still a holy and loving God. He’s still the One who made you and sent His only Son for you.

Worship is a great way to remember who God is and how much He loves you. Play some worship music and pay attention to the words of the song. If you don’t have a way to play a worship song, sing one of the songs you’ve learned at church. Sing to God and thank Him for the joy you have because of all He’s done for you.

ASK God help you find real joy as you worship Him.

DAY 3

READ MATTHEW 19:26

Can you think of a situation right now that is hard for you? Maybe it’s something that makes you sad or unhappy? Write it down below:

__________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________.

We all face hard stuff. Sometimes the hard stuff makes us think that God doesn’t want to help us. Or that He doesn’t care when we are sad. But this week we learned that we can have joy because ANYTHING is possible with God.

Take a look at what you wrote above. How can knowing God and trusting Him make this situation better? How can BELIEVING the truth that all things are possible with God help you face this situation? Remember, you can have joy because anything is possible with God.

LOOK for God doing amazing things and find joy— even in the hard stuff—because nothing is impossible for Him.

DAY 4

READ EPHESIANS 3:19-20

Did you read the part of the verse that says: God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine? That doesn’t mean if you ask God for a horse for your birthday, you’ll suddenly find a unicorn on your doorstep. God isn’t a big Santa Claus that brings presents or a genie that grants three outrageous wishes.

What it DOES mean is that when you choose to follow God, HIS plan will be bigger and better than anything you could have asked for or imagined on your own. And the joy that He gives is bigger and better than any unicorn, Christmas morning or granted wish.

Grab a piece of paper and draw a large heart in the center of the page. Write the words of the verse inside the heart and decorate it. Hang this verse in your room where you will see it everyday.

KNOW that joy comes in believing anything is possible with God.

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JOY - DECEMBER 3rd/4th

DAY 1

READ PHILIPPIANS 4:4

It’s easy to be happy when everything is great—when life is good and things are going the way we want. But what about when things don’t go your way? No matter what happens, you can have joy because God sent the best gift ever: His one and only Son, Jesus! That’s what Christmas is all about.

Philippians 4:4 is a great verse to remember and say to yourself when things don’t go your way. With an adult’s permission, grab a stocking from the mantel or a sock from your drawer and ten index cards (or a piece of paper cut into 10 smaller pieces). Write one word of the verse on each card and stuff them in your stocking. Set a timer and see how quickly you can put them in the correct order. BUT there’s a BIG catch. You can only pull cards out of the stocking ONE at a time. Work until you have all the words in order. Then repeat to see if you can beat your time.

THANK God for sending His son Jesus so you can have JOY!

DAY 2

READ ISAIAH 9:6

Use today’s verse to unscramble the words below:

Who did Isaiah promise would be born? _________________
                                                                                S U J E S

He would be called . . .

Mighty __________ Wonderful ____________ Father Who Lives ___________
                   D G O                        DV I A R S E                                 R F O V E R E

Prince who brings ________________
                                         E P A C E

This week, we learned that we can have joy because God keeps His promises. No matter what—when things are going well and when nothing is working out the way you want—you are never forgotten by God. He remembers you and He keeps His promises. Thousands of years ago, God made a promise to send a Savior to rescue us. And years later, He kept that promise by sending Jesus! We celebrate this promise every year at Christmas time. God sent His one and only Son to be our Savior. What an awesome gift!

ASK God to help you find joy because He keeps His promises.

DAY 3

READ DEUTERONOMY 7:9

Did you catch that? God will keep His covenant for all time. A covenant is a promise. And you know a promise simply means you will do what you say. It’s not that easy for us, is it? Like when you promised your little brother you’d play with him and then you didn’t. Or when you promised to clean your room, but you quickly found other things to do. We make promises ALL the time but we’re not always great at keeping them.

That’s not how God works. When God makes a promise, He ALWAYS keeps it. For all time. He is perfect. His love is perfect. He never makes mistakes. So when you read one of God’s promises in the Bible, you can know for sure He will keep it. That’s a big reason why you can always have joy!

Name a promise of God. If you can’t think of one, ask someone who knows and loves God to help you find some of God’s promises in the Bible. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How does knowing, for sure, that God will keep this promise make you feel? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LISTEN to God’s promises and believe that He will keep them. Always.

DAY 4

READ PSALM 105:7-8

Who is God? He is our creator, our heavenly Father and our place of safety. He loves us more than we can imagine. And He sent Jesus on that first Christmas to rescue us, to bring us closer to Him—because He loves us. Through the prophet Isaiah, God promised to send His Son. And He kept that promise by sending Jesus for the whole world, for you and for me, for all time to come! He ALWAYS keeps His promises. He never makes excuses or "forgets" to follow through. Remember, you can have joy because God keeps His promises.

This verse is missing all its consonants! Look up the verse and fill in the blanks.

"___e i___ ___ ___e ___o___ ___ ou___ ___o___. ___e ___u__ ___e___ ___ ___e ___ ___o___e ea___ ___ ___. ___ e ___i___ ___ ___ee___ ___i___ ___o___e___a___ ___ ___o___e___e___. ___e ___i___ ___ ___ee___ ___i___ ___ ___o___i___e ___o___ a___ ___ ___i___e ___o ___o___e." ___ ___a ___ ___ 105:7-8

KNOW that when God makes a promise, He WILL keep it! God would.

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HONOR - NOVEMBER 26th/27th

DAY 1

Read Luke 1:46-49

Who is speaking these verses? ___________________________________________________________________

Why is she thanking God? ___________________________________________________________________

Can you imagine how Mary must have felt? An angel appeared to tell her she’s going to have a baby. And not just any baby—Jesus! Think she was scared? She could have said, "No way, God. Please pick someone else!," but she chose to follow God’s special plan for her. And she honored God by these words, giving Him all the credit.

And guess what? You could speak these same words back to God. God has chosen you to do big things for Him. He has and will do great things for you if you choose to follow Him. You can honor God, just like Mary did, by giving Him the credit He deserves. Because every good and perfect thing comes from Him in the first place.

Thank God for all that He’s done for you because He deserves all the credit!

DAY 2

Read Proverbs 15:33

Think about the last time something good happened to you. Maybe your team won the championship game. Maybe you aced your spelling test. Sometimes, we have backwards thinking and we believe that all the good things that happen are simply because of us. But a WISE person, a smart person, recognizes that all the good stuff comes from God. A wise person knows that everything you are and everything you have comes from Him. When you remember to say "thank you, God" instead of thinking that you should get all the credit, you honor God.

Speaking of backwards thinking, can you see what’s wrong with today’s verse? Write it out the RIGHT way.

33:15 sbrevorP ".deronoh eb ot tnaw uoy fi duorp eb t’nod oS .droL eht rof tcepser evah ot uoy sehcaet modsiW"

Ask God to help you turn your thinking around so that it’s not about you but it’s really about Him.

DAY 3

Read Revelation 4:11

Have you ever been to the mountains? Ever stared out at the ocean or stood in a forest covered by giant trees? Did you know that God created it all? Imagine the power and creativity involved in shaping those mountain peaks or filling that ocean with endless species of sea life or carefully clothing all those trees with so many beautiful fall leaves. God did that. It was all part of His plan. And because He made it all, God deserves ALL the credit.

Grab a piece of paper and draw something BIG that God has made—like the ocean, or the mountains, or the forest. Write this verse somewhere on the page.

Look at all that God has made and take time to praise Him for it all.

DAY 4

Read Psalm 8:3-4

Have you ever tried to count the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the beach? Impossible, right? Can you count the hairs on your head? Set a timer for 30 seconds and see how many hairs you can count. If your hair is short, grab a mirror to help you.

Are you a little frustrated right now? It’s IMPOSSIBLE to count the hairs on your head. But you know what? It’s not impossible for God. God knows how many stars are in the sky, (and what their names are by the way). He also knows how many hairs are on your head RIGHT now. And after you brush your hair and several come out, God STILL knows how many are on your head. That’s because He cares about you even MORE than He cares about the stars in the sky or the sand on the beach. God made you to be like Him, in His own image because He loves you. So when it comes to showing honor, we need to put God FIRST.

Know that God is worthy of all honor because He made you.

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HONOR - NOVEMBER 19th/20th

DAY 1

 

Read 2 Samuel 9:13

Answer the questions below about our Bible story from this week. If you need help, read 2 Samuel 9.

What was the promise David made?

____________________________________________________________________________

Who was Mephibosheth?

____________________________________________________________________________

Why did Mephibosheth need help?

____________________________________________________________________________

How did David keep his promise to Jonathan?

____________________________________________________________________________

David wanted to honor his friend. So he sent his servant to find out if any of Jonathan’s family was still alive and if he could help them. When he found Mephibosheth, he was in need. David treated him as his own son when Mephibosheth had nothing to offer in return. David kept his promise to Jonathan even after Jonathan had passed away.

It’s important for the people around you to see that they can trust you. This week, make sure to follow through with what you say you will do. Because you honor others when you keep your promises.

Thank God for David’s example as someone who showed honor by keeping his promises.

DAY 2

Read Proverbs 20:25

Do you know what the word "hasty" means? It means quick, fast, hurried, swift or rushed. What’s the opposite of "hasty"? The opposite is careful, cautious, thoughtful, or wise. When you make a promise, you shouldn’t do it in a fast or in a thoughtless way. You should think first and be careful about the things you promise. You can show God you love him and that He’s important to you when you make a promise and follow through.

Think about a promise you CAN keep and write it below.

God, I promise to _______________________________________________.

Ask God to help you honor Him by making a thoughtful promise instead of a careless one this week.

DAY 3

Read Ecclesiastes 5:5

Did someone make a promise to you this week? Maybe your friend said you could play on her tablet. Or maybe your Dad promised to take you outside to throw the ball after work. Did they keep their promise to you? Sometimes it’s hard to follow through with the things we say we’ll do.

You can’t control the promises that other people make to you but you CAN control the ones YOU make. That’s why it’s better to think about it before you say you will do something. If you can’t do it, then don’t make that promise in the first place. Because you honor others when you keep your promises.

Today’s verse is written below but there are two extra letters between each word. See if you can mark them out with an "x" to reveal today’s verse.

ItnaisehnotakgoodqltonbmakezxalkpromiseryandeunotiwkeepeyitItxyisth
bettersktowrmakeghnowlpromisewiatmkall. Ecclesiastesns5ay:5

Look for opportunities to KEEP the promises you make.

DAY 4

Read Numbers 30:2

While you gather with family to eat a meal this week, we have a little honor challenge for you.

Find a plastic cup and a piece of paper. Cut the paper into small strips. On each strip of paper, write one of the following promises:

"I will let everyone else serve their plates first."

"I will wait for the other person to finish talking without interrupting."

"I will pull out the chair for my aunt before she sits down."

"I will wait to take my first bite until everyone else has started eating."

"I will choose my dessert last."

"I will let my little brother or sister have the last piece of pie."

Choose one of the strips before the meal starts and PROMISE to show

honor by following through with what it says. Feel free to allow other

members of the family to draw a strip, but ONLY if they agree to follow

through.

Know that God loves it when we follow through on a promise we’ve made to honor others.

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HONOR - NOVEMBER 12th/13th

DAY 1

Read Mark 9:35

This verse is like a weird math problem. If you want to be first, you have to be last. How can you be first and last at the same time? That’s mathematically impossible, right? Wrong. God’s math is WAY different from ours. See, God knows that it’s better to put others first. When you do, you’re showing God that you trust Him. You don’t have to push ahead and get our way all of the time. You honor others by putting them first.

Grab a piece of paper. Think about a time this week when you didn’t choose to put someone else first. Maybe you shoved your way to the front of the line, or chose the bigger half of the cookie. Draw a picture of how you would respond differently if you chose to put the other person first instead.

Thank God for teaching you some new math—that last really means first.

DAY 2

Read Philippians 2:3-4

Think about your morning routine. Sometimes it could be a little busy with everything that has to get done before you get to school. At any point do you stop and think about putting someone else first? Did you let your little brother choose his cereal before you? Did you ask your mom what she had planned for the day?

It’s easy to put yourself first, to think about what you want and do whatever you have to do to get it. But God wants you to think about others first. He wants you to stop thinking about "you" and help someone else. It’s harder. It takes more time. But in the end, showing honor is the better choice.

Grab a piece of cardboard or heavy paper. Cut it into a rectangle to look like a license plate. Draw a thin border around the edge. In the center, write "U B4 ME" (translation: "You before me.") Put your license plate in place where you will see it every morning as a reminder to choose to put someone else first!

Ask God to help you remember UB4ME this week!

DAY 3

Read Matthew 7:12

Have you ever heard of the "golden rule"? The golden rule says to treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s not hard to think about how you would want someone to treat you, right? Of course not! You want people to be kind to you, to listen when you talk and to help you when you need it. When it comes to showing honor, one of the best things you can do is remember the golden rule and to put it into practice. Think about how you would want someone to treat you and then treat the person the same way!

Grab a piece of paper and some crayons. Draw a long, thin rectangle to look like a ruler. Inside the ruler, write today’s verse. Then color the ruler yellow or gold to remind you of the golden rule.

Look for ways to treat others the way you want to be treated this week.

DAY 4

Read 1 Samuel 20:17

The story of David and Jonathan’s friendship is such a great example of honoring someone else. David and Jonathan looked out for each other in so many different situations. Do you have a friend like that? Are you a friend like that?

We have a little ‘honor’ challenge for you this week. Choose for ONE day to put your brother or sister (or someone in your family) FIRST. That means you let your little sister pick the movie you watch, or your little brother gets the bigger brownie, or you let your mom or dad choose the pizza toppings. Think you’re up for the challenge?

Know that we honor others when we choose to put them first.

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HONOR - NOVEMBER 5th/6th

DAY 1

Read Romans 12:10

This month, we’re talking about honor. Honor is letting someone know you see how valuable they really are. You can show others honor by the way you treat them. Not just your friends, but also every person you meet. Everyone is created by God and is special to Him. So it’s important for us to treat others with honor, too.

Our verse for this month is a great one to memorize. Grab a friend or sibling and a ball. Toss the ball back and forth as you say the words of this verse, BUT let the other person go first—every time. Repeat until you can say the verse from memory!

Thank God for the opportunity to honor others more than yourself.

DAY 2

Read Romans 15:7

When it comes to showing honor, it’s important to remember what Jesus has done for you. When He chose to die on the cross, He paid for YOUR sins, not His own. Jesus never messed up. He lived a perfect life. And His death on the cross was for everyone. By choosing to face the cross, it was like Jesus was saying, "I love you. You’re worth it. You don’t need to change one single thing to earn my love. I accept you as you are."

Since Jesus did this for you, how do you think He would want you to treat the people around you? Would He expect you to honor and accept others for who they are too? Absolutely! And when you treat others this way, you are honoring your heavenly Father. Pretty cool, right?

Complete today’s verse below by filling in the missing words.

"___________ has___________ you. So accept _________ _________ in order

to bring ______________ to ______________." Romans 15:7

Ask Jesus to help you accept others and show honor just as He’s accepted you.

DAY 3

Read 1 Samuel 16:7

Have you ever heard the phrase, "don’t judge a book by its cover?" Write down what you think this phrase means below:

____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________.

Samuel did this once. God told Him to find the next king. So he went to a man named Jesse who had lots of sons. One after the other lined up before Samuel. Samuel thought surely God would choose the strongest or the most handsome son. But He didn’t. God chose David—the youngest of Jesse’s sons. God wasn’t looking at the outside. He cared about the inside. He sees what’s in your heart. And that’s why you should honor others and give them a chance. Don’t judge them on the outside and decide they aren’t worthy of your time. It’s what’s on the inside that really counts.

Look out for what’s on the inside and be careful not to judge a person based on their appearance.

DAY 4

Read Luke 18:10-14

Read today’s verses and answer the following questions:

Who are the two people in this story? _______________________________________________________________

What were they doing? _______________________________________________________________

What did the Pharisee pray? _______________________________________________________________

What did the tax collector pray? _______________________________________________________________

Whose prayer was accepted by God?_______________________________________________________________

Sometimes, we only show honor to the people we believe deserve it. But real honor starts with recognizing how we also mess up and asking God to forgive us. We honor others when we treat them the way God treats us, by accepting them for who they are and choosing to put them first, no matter what.

Know that God wants us to approach Him like this tax collector and to treat others with honor as God would.

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COURAGE - OCTOBER 29th/30th

DAY 1

Read Joshua 1:9

This month’s verse is a GREAT one to memorize. When you get scared, or think you can’t do whatever it is that needs to be done, you can say this verse to yourself to remind you of what’s true! So, this week, we’ll focus on a different part of the verse each day and what it means. Hopefully, by the end of the week, you’ll have it memorized.

The first part of the verse says, “Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid.” Are you scared to do the right thing? Joshua was telling his men to be brave anyway and replace that fear with confidence.

Find a piece of poster board or a large piece of cardboard. Use a marker to write out Joshua 1:9 in large block letters. Say the verse aloud five times. Then, grab a piece of paper or a sticky note and cover the first two sentences (“Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid.”) Now, repeat the verse five more times while the first two sentences are covered up. Can you do it from memory? Save this poster because we’ll use it all week long.

THANK God for giving you the confidence to be strong and brave and unafraid.

DAY 2

Read Joshua 1:9

So yesterday, we learned the first part of the verse! Now it’s time to move on the third sentence. It says, “Do not lose hope.” You know what hope is right? Hope is believing that something good can come out of something bad. It doesn’t mean that you won’t face stuff that’s hard. It doesn’t mean that you snap your fingers and suddenly all your problems go away. What it DOES mean is that no matter what happens, you can believe that good things can come from those hard times. And the truth is, when you trust God, they will! So do not lose hope! When you’re not sure you can stand up and do the right thing, DO NOT lose hope.

Take a look at your verse poster for this week. (If you missed Day 1, look there for instructions to make your poster). Can you recite the verse with the first part covered? Great job! Now, read the third sentence out loud: “Do not lose hope.” Grab a piece of paper or a sticky note and cover up that sentence. Can you say the verse while the first two phrases are covered?

ASK God to remind you to show courage and not lose hope.

DAY 3

Read Joshua 1:9

Do you want to know the real key to having courage? Take a look at the fourth sentence in this verse. It says, “I am the Lord your God.” And who is God? He’s the creator of the universe, the God who loves you, the one who MADE you. He sent His son Jesus to die for you. He is more powerful, more loving, more faithful, and more trustworthy than anyone or anything. All things come from Him. And He is in control. God is with you. He is YOUR God. And if you trust Him, even when you aren’t sure how things will all work out, He will give you the courage you need.

Get the verse poster you made on Day 1. Recite the verse with the first two sections covered. Could you say those phrases from memory? Are you ready for an even bigger challenge? Okay, now cover up today’s phrase (“I am the Lord your God.”) with a piece of paper or a sticky note. See if you can recite the verse with the first three phrases covered up. Repeat the verse five times.

LOOK for ways to trust that God is in control and that He will give you the courage you need to do the right thing.

DAY 4

Read Joshua 1:9

We’re finally to the last part of our memory verse for this month—and we’ve saved the best for last! Take a look at the very last sentence. “I (that’s God!) will be with you wherever you go.” Wow! God is with you.

He’s with you when the bully starts coming towards you in the lunchroom. He’s with you when everyone else is cheating on the test. And He’s with you when your parents ask you what really happened. God is with you. Always. You are not alone. You can do what you should do, you can have courage in any situation, because God is WITH you.

Now, are you up for our verse challenge? This is it—the final day. Get your verse poster from Day 1 and recite the verse with the first three phrases covered. Then grab a piece of paper or a sticky note and cover the very last sentence. Can you say the whole verse from memory?

KNOW that God you can have courage because God is with you wherever you go.

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COURAGE - OCTOBER 22nd/23rd

DAY 1

Read Psalm 27:1

Have you ever heard your mom or dad say, “Don’t play with lighters?” Your parents don’t let you play with lighters because fi re can be a dangerous thing. When you light a candle or light a fi re in the fi replace, fire is fine! But if you’re not careful, fi re can cause a LOT of damage.

Find a candle in your house and ask your parents to light it for you. Take a look at the flame. Fear stops us from showing courage. If you let it, fear, like that flame, can easily get out of control. But God can help calm our fear. Now, put the lid on the candle or ask your mom or dad to snuff it out. Just like that, when you ask Him, God can put a stop to fear. He is your place of safety. So the next time you begin to feel fear taking over, ask God to help you remember that you have nothing to be afraid because He is with you.

THANK God for helping calm your fear before it gets out of control.

DAY 2

Read Psalm 56:3-4 DAY 2

Reading God’s word always reminds you of what’s true. When we’re faced with a situation and we’re fearful, remembering God’s words can help you stand up and do the right thing. That’s why it’s good to read your Bible and think about what it’s saying to you.

Read this verse one more time. When you are afraid, you can always trust God. You can praise Him or thank Him for what He’s done for you. You can ask Him to give you confidence to stand up for what is right. And you can move forward with courage knowing that no one else is more powerful than God. You can do what you should do because God is with you and ready to help.

In space below, write out this verse in your own words. To challenge yourself, see if you can write it out in 8 words or less.

_______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________.

ASK God to help you remember that you can always trust Him when you’re afraid.

DAY 3

Read Isaiah 41:10

Can you think of a situation where you needed to do the right thing, but everyone around you was afraid? Maybe you got a new coach that’s been pretty tough on the team during practice. Maybe you and your friends notice that the new kid is getting picked on, but none of you are sure what to do to help. When you need to show courage and everyone around you is afraid, think about today’s verse. Even if your friends quit the team or decide not to stand up to the bullies at school, you’re not really alone. God is with you. He will make you strong and help you. He will keep you safe in His mighty hands.

See today’s verse below? In each of the blanks, write your name. When finished, read the verse aloud.

“ So do not be afraid. I am with _______________. Do not be terrified. I am

_____________________’s God. I will make _____________________ strong and help

_____________________. I will hold ______________________ safe in

my hands. I always do what is right.” Isaiah 41:10

LISTEN to the promises that God has made to you above and believe them!

DAY 4

Read Romans 8:15

Do you know someone who is adopted—maybe someone in your neighborhood or at school or even in your own family! In your own words, write down what it means to be adopted in the space below.

_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________.

When a child is born and his birth parents cannot take care of him, then a family that can take care of him will step in and adopt that child. When a child is adopted, he becomes part of a forever family that will love and care for him always. Did you know that you can be adopted into God’s family?

It’s true! God is perfect and we are not. Our sin separates us from Him, which is really bad news. God didn’t want that separation so He sent His only Son, Jesus. Because Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sin, we can become sons and daughters of God. We are adopted into His family, forever when we trust Jesus as Savior. We can call God, Abba, or Father. Isn’t that amazing?

KNOW that we can show courage because God is our Father.

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