Archive for August 2018

August 23 – 4 Asma   Leave a comment

MORNING:IMG_4898

Set before thine eyes God’s unerring Balance and, as one standing in His Presence, weigh in that Balance thine actions every day, every moment of thy life. Bring thyself to account ere thou art summoned to a reckoning, on the Day when no man shall have strength to stand for fear of God, the Day when the hearts of the heedless ones shall be made to tremble.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 235

 EVENING:

Say: O people! Let not this life and its deceits deceive you, for the world and all that is therein is held firmly in the grasp of His Will. He bestoweth His favor on whom He willeth, and from whom He willeth He taketh it away. He doth whatsoever He chooseth. Had the world been of any worth in His sight, He surely would never have allowed His enemies to possess it, even to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. He hath, however, caused you to be entangled with its affairs, in return for what your hands have wrought in His Cause. This, indeed, is a chastisement which ye, of your own will, have inflicted upon yourselves, could ye but perceive it. Are ye rejoicing in the things which, according to the estimate of God, are contemptible and worthless, things wherewith He proveth the hearts of the doubtful?

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 209

FROM THE EXEMPLAR  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O thou servant of God!

According to what I have heard, thou hast experienced a great financial loss. Do not feel sorry, for thou wilt be compensated. I hope that whatever thou hast lost will come back to thee. But this material loss is not a very grave one; it is for a time and shall pass away. Alhamdalláh!* — that thou hast a share in the Kingdom of God and art receiving gifts from the treasury of the Holy Spirit. Do not feel sorry; do not brood over the loss; do not sit down depressed; do not be silent; but, on the contrary, day and night be engaged in the commemoration of thy Lord in the greatest joy and gladness.

* Praise be to God!

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 133

FROM HIS HOLINESS THE CHRIST, THE HOLY BIBLE, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT LUKE [KING JAMES VERSION, 1604-1611]:

12:22 And He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

12:23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment….

…12:25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 12:26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom….

12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Posted August 23, 2018 by Once in Uncategorized

22 August -3 Asma   Leave a comment

From the Universal House of Justice quoting the Beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi:

On page 25[1] of “The Advent of Divine Justice” the beloved Guardian is describing the requirements not only of chastity, but of “a chaste and holy life” — both the adjectives are important. One of the signs of a decadent society, a sign which is very evident in the world today, is an almost frenetic devotion to pleasure and diversion, an insatiable thirst for  54  amusement, a fanatical devotion to games and sport, a reluctance to treat any matter seriously, and a scornful, derisory attitude towards virtue and solid worth. Abandonment of “a frivolous conduct” does not imply that a Bahá’í must be sour-faced or perpetually solemn. Humour, happiness,joy are characteristics of a true Bahá’í life. Frivolity palls and eventually leads to boredom and emptiness, but true happiness and joy and humour that are parts of a balanced life that includes serious thought, compassion and humble servitude to God, are characteristics that enrich life and add to its radiance.

[1 On page 25 in the 1956 U.S. edition; on page 30 in the 1984 U.S. edition.]

Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 53

MORNING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the eighth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is the following: Schools must first train the children in the principles of religion, so that the Promise and the Threat recorded in the Books of God may prevent them from the things forbidden and adorn them with the mantle of the commandments; but this in such a measure that it may not injure the children by resulting in ignorant fanaticism and bigotry.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 68

EVENING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the fifth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is this: Above all else, the greatest gift and the most wondrous blessing hath ever been and will continue to be Wisdom. It is man’s unfailing Protector. It aideth him and strengtheneth him. Wisdom is God’s Emissary and the Revealer of His Name the Omniscient. Through it the loftiness of man’s station is made manifest and evident. It is all-knowing and the foremost Teacher in the school of existence. It is the Guide and is invested with high distinction. Thanks to its educating influence earthly beings have become imbued with a gem-like spirit which outshineth the heavens. In the city of justice it is the unrivalled Speaker Who, in the year nine, illumined the world with the joyful tidings of this Revelation. And it was this peerless Source of wisdom that at the beginning of the foundation of the world ascended the stair of inner meaning and when enthroned upon the pulpit of utterance, through the operation of the divine Will, proclaimed two words. The first heralded the promise of reward, while the second voiced the ominous warning of punishment. The promise gave rise to hope and the warning begat fear. Thus the basis of world order hath been firmly established upon these twin principles. Exalted is the Lord of Wisdom, the Possessor of Great Bounty.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 65

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE CAUSE OF GOD ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

It has been shown conclusively therefore that the foundation of the religion of God remains permanent and unchanging. It is that fixed foundation which insures the progress and stability of the body politic and the illumination of humanity. It has ever been the cause of love and justice amongst men. It works for the true fellowship and unification of all mankind for it never changes and is not subject to supersedure. The accidental or non-essential laws which regulate the transactions of the social body and everyday affairs of life are changeable and subject to abrogation.

Let me ask what is the purpose of prophethood? Why has God sent the prophets? It is self-evident that the prophets are the educators of men and the teachers of the human race. They come to bestow universal education upon humanity, to give humanity training, to uplift the human race from the abyss of despair and desolation and enable man to attain the apogee of advancement and glory. The people are in darkness; the prophets bring them into the realm of light. They are in a state of utter imperfection; the prophets imbue them with perfections. The purpose of the prophetic mission is no other than the education and guidance of the people. Therefore we must regard and be on the lookout for the man who is thus qualified; that is to say any soul who proves to be the educator of mankind and the teacher of the human race is undoubtedly the prophet of his age.

Foundations of World Unity, p. 94

Posted August 23, 2018 by Once in Uncategorized

21 August – Asma   Leave a comment

Hands of the Cause of God, April 1963

MORNING:

These are they who, in truth, were not enjoined to prostrate themselves before Adam. They have never turned away from the countenance of Thy Lord, and partake at every moment of the gifts and delights of holiness. Thus hath the Pen of the All-Merciful set forth the secrets of all things, be they of the past or of the future. Would that the world might understand! Erelong shall God make manifest this people upon the earth, and through them shall exalt His name, diffuse His signs, uphold His words, and proclaim His verses, in spite of those that have repudiated His truth, gainsaid His sovereignty, and cavilled at His signs.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 14

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EVENING:

O CHILDREN OF ADAM!

Holy words and pure and goodly deeds ascend unto the heaven of celestial glory. Strive that your deeds may be cleansed from the dust of self and hypocrisy and find favor at the court of glory; for ere long the assayers of mankind shall, in the holy presence of the Adored One, accept naught but absolute virtue and deeds of stainless purity. This is the daystar of wisdom and of divine mystery that hath shone above the horizon of the divine will. Blessed are they that turn thereunto.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words, #69

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The supreme bestowal is the appearance of the heavenly messengers. How can we ever define or circumscribe this bestowal? If the scientists have proven that a molecule is an aggregate of myriads of atoms and the atom in turn is an aggregate of infinite electrons, how can the sun be comprehended? If the drop is infinite in its particles, how much more the sea! If the material world is infinite with regard to its manifestations of life, can the spiritual world be finite? The prophets of God have ever appeared in the ages of the past and will continue to appear throughout the ages of the future. Where was Adam when God was exercising his divinity? Where was this petty infinitesimal world of ours when God was bestowing his bounties upon this infinite universe? If we limit the number of his appearances through his prophets, it is equal to limiting God himself.

Man has ever longed for a direct means of communication with his Lord and has ever been in a state of anticipation for the unique advent on this earth of a divine being. The followers of all religions have been expecting the coming of a promised one and have longingly prayed for the dawn of the sun of truth. Alas! A thousand times alas! that when he appeared they remained of the heedless, nor turned their faces toward him. Pitiful indeed is their condition! In lamentation, during the darkness of night they prayed for the light of a new day; but when it dawned from the eastern horizon they cried clamorously: “Where is the sun? We do not see it!” They are of those who are bereft of sight.

Divine Philosophy, pp: 170-171

 

Posted August 23, 2018 by Once in Uncategorized

20 August ― The Feast of Asmá’   Leave a comment

20 August ― The Feast of Asmá’

MORNING:

O Husayn! Consider the eagerness with which certain peoples and nations have anticipated the return of Imám-Husayn, whose coming, after the appearance of the Qá’im, hath been prophesied, in days past, by the chosen ones of God, exalted be His glory. These holy ones have, moreover, announced that when He Who is the Day Spring of the manifold grace of God manifesteth Himself, all the Prophets and Messengers, including the Qá’im, will gather together beneath the shadow of the sacred Standard which the Promised One will raise. That hour is now come. The world is illumined with the effulgent glory of His countenance. And yet, behold how far its peoples have strayed from His path! None have believed in Him except them who, through the power of the Lord of Names, have shattered the idols of their vain imaginings and corrupt desires and entered the city of certitude. The seal of the choice Wine of His Revelation hath, in this Day and in His Name, the Self-Sufficing, been broken. Its grace is being poured out upon men. Fill thy cup, and drink in, in His Name, the Most Holy, the All-Praised.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 12

EVENING:

I pray Thee, O my Lord, by Thy hidden, Thy treasured Name, that calleth aloud in the kingdom of creation, and summoneth all peoples to the Tree beyond which there is no passing, the seat of transcendent glory, to rain down upon us, and upon Thy servants, the overflowing rain of Thy mercy, that it may cleanse us from the remembrance of all else but Thee, and draw us nigh unto the shores of the ocean of Thy grace. Ordain, O Lord, through Thy most exalted Pen, that which will immortalize our souls in the Realm of glory, will perpetuate our names in Thy Kingdom, and safeguard our lives in the treasuries of Thy protection and our bodies in the stronghold of Thy inviolable fastness. Powerful art Thou over all things, be they of the past or of the future. No God is there but Thee, the omnipotent Protector, the Self-Subsisting.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 301

FROM

His Holiness

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

 He chooseth for His mercy whomsoever He desireth.

He shall open unto you the doors of His knowledge, fill your hearts with His love, rejoice your spirits by the wafting of His holy fragrances, illumine your faces by the Manifest Light and elevate your names among the people.

Verily your Lord is the most merciful of the merciful! He will aid you through an unseen host, and help you by armies of inspiration from the Supreme Concourse, send you the fragrances of the Supreme Paradise, perfume your nostrils by the breath of purity wafted from the garden of the Supreme Concourse, cause you to enter the Ark of Safety, and reveal to you the Manifest Signs.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 408

Posted August 20, 2018 by Once in Uncategorized

19 August – 19 Kamal   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_2683I swear by God! Were he that treadeth the path of guidance and seeketh to scale the heights of righteousness to attain unto this glorious and supreme station, he would inhale at a distance of a thousand leagues the fragrance of God, and would perceive the resplendent morn of a divine Guidance rising above the dayspring of all things. Each and every thing, however small, would be to him a revelation, leading him to his Beloved, the Object of his quest. So great shall be the discernment of this seeker that he will discriminate between truth and falsehood even as he doth distinguish the sun from shadow. If in the uttermost corners of the East the sweet savours of God be wafted, he will assuredly recognize and inhale their fragrance, even though he be dwelling in the uttermost ends of the West. He will likewise clearly distinguish all the signs of God — His wondrous utterances, His great works, and mighty deeds — from the doings, words and ways of men, even as the jeweller who knoweth the gem from the stone, or the man who distinguisheth the spring from autumn and heat from cold. When the channel of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly and impeding attachments, it will unfailingly perceive the breath of the Beloved across immeasurable distances, and will, led by its perfume, attain and enter the City of Certitude.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 196-197

EVENING:

The Day Star of Truth that shineth in its meridian splendor beareth Us witness! They who are the people of God have no ambition except to revive the world, to ennoble its life, and regenerate its peoples. Truthfulness and good-will have, at all times, marked their relations with all men. Their outward conduct is but a reflection of their inward life, and their inward life a mirror of their outward conduct. No veil hideth or obscureth the verities on which their Faith is established. Before the eyes of all men these verities have been laid bare, and can be unmistakably recognized. Their very acts attest the truth of these words.

Every discerning eye can, in this Day, perceive the dawning light of God’s Revelation, and every attentive ear can recognize the Voice that was heard from the Burning Bush. Such is the rushing of the waters of Divine mercy, that He Who is the Day Spring of the signs of God and the Revealer of the evidences of His glory is without veil or concealment associating and conversing with the peoples of the earth and its kindreds.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 270-271

FROM THE MYSTERY OF GOD ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Should they show forth such a magnanimity, it is assured that they will obtain universal divine confirmations, the heavenly cohorts will reinforce them uninterruptedly, and a most great victory will be obtained. God willing, the call of the Kingdom may reach the ears of the Eskimos, the inhabitants of the Islands of Franklin in the north of Canada, as well as Greenland. Should the fire of the love of God be kindled in Greenland, all the ice of that country will be melted, and its cold weather become temperate — that is, if the hearts be touched with the heat of the love of God, that territory will become a divine rose garden and a heavenly paradise, and the souls, even as fruitful trees, will acquire the utmost freshness and beauty.

Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 27

Posted August 20, 2018 by Once in Uncategorized

13 August – 13 Kamal   Leave a comment

Every form of separation or division, of classifying ourselves or one another, of having a group consciousness, or of thinking of the Bahá’ís in terms of duality, is a reflection of the material world of today, and not of that realm of truth and oneness which the Bahá’ís are destined by God to reflect and manifest.

He says we must entirely banish from our thoughts all such limited concepts and realize that absolute oneness is the Bahá’í consciousness. It is not necessary that all Bahá’ís should think and feel exactly alike, but that all should unite in obeying the divine instructions, and in active co-operative service to the Cause of God.

We must never speak or think for a moment of these limited ideas, but create in ourselves and in each other a oneness and solidarity of thought and action, which shall constitute a mighty spiritual power subduing unto itself all the limited, narrow and negative concepts and conditions of the world.

It is this Bahá’í attitude, this closely knit and united Bahá’í body in America, rather than any organized plan of action which will profoundly affect the people and constitute a magnet drawing to itself all those who are seeking spiritual happiness and tranquility for themselves and for mankind.

Thus the standard of life and conduct of Shoghi Effendi for the believers is very high, and his family told us that he is not satisfied with anything short of perfection.

From informal notes taken by Mrs. May Maxwell at Haifa in 1924,
and reproduced for the information of the Bahá’í friends
with the permission of the National Spiritual assembly.

[This …version is a verbatim transcription of the original copy, including spelling errors. Online version provided by Robert Stauffer, 1997. Proofread by Vaughn Sheline and Thellie Lovejoy, 1998.]

CONVERSATIONS WITH SHOGHI EFFENDI, p. 1


 

 

MORNING:

Every man of insight will, in this day, readily admit that the counsels which the Pen of this wronged One hath revealed constitute the supreme animating power for the advancement of the world and the exaltation of its peoples. Arise, O people, and, by the power of God’s might, resolve to gain the victory over your own selves, that haply the whole earth may be freed and sanctified from its servitude to the gods of its idle fancies — gods that have inflicted such loss upon, and are responsible for the misery of, their wretched worshipers. These idols form the obstacle that impedeth man in his efforts to advance in the path of perfection. We cherish the hope that the Hand of Divine power may lend its assistance to mankind, and deliver it from its state of grievous abasement.

In one of the Tablets these words have been revealed: O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy deeds, through a virtuous life and a goodly behavior. Valiant acts will ensure the triumph of this Cause, and a saintly character will reinforce its power. Cleave unto righteousness, O people of Bahá! This, verily, is the commandment which this wronged One hath given unto you, and the first choice of His unrestrained Will for every one of you.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 93-94

EVENING:

…O thou who hast surrendered thy will to God! By self-surrender and perpetual union with God is meant that men should merge their will wholly in the Will of God, and regard their desires as utter nothingness beside His Purpose. Whatsoever the Creator commandeth His creatures to observe, the same must they diligently, and with the utmost joy and eagerness, arise and fulfil. They should in no wise allow their fancy to obscure their judgment, neither should they regard their own imaginings as the voice of the Eternal. In the Prayer of Fasting We have revealed: “Should Thy Will decree that out of Thy mouth these words proceed and be addressed unto them, ‘Observe, for My Beauty’s sake, the fast, O people, and set no limit to its duration,’ I swear by the majesty of Thy glory, that every one of them will faithfully observe it, will abstain from whatsoever will violate Thy law, and will continue to do so until they yield up their souls unto Thee.” In this consisteth the complete surrender of one’s will to the Will of God. Meditate on this, that thou mayest drink in the waters of everlasting life which flow through the words of the Lord of all mankind, and mayest testify that the one true God hath ever been immeasurably exalted above His creatures. He, verily, is the Incomparable, the Ever-Abiding, the Omniscient, the All-Wise. The station of absolute self-surrender transcendeth, and will ever remain exalted above, every other station.

It behoveth thee to consecrate thyself to the Will of God. Whatsoever hath been revealed in His Tablets is but a reflection of His Will. So complete must be thy consecration, that every trace of worldly desire will be washed from thine heart. This is the meaning of true unity.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 337-338

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Although the mineral, vegetable, animal and man himself are actual beings, the difference between their kingdoms prevents members of the lower degree from comprehending the essence and nature of those of the superior degree. This being so, how can the temporal and phenomenal comprehend the Lord of Hosts?

It is clear that this is impossible!

But the Essence of Divinity, the Sun of Truth, shines forth upon all horizons and is spreading its rays upon all things. Each creature is the recipient of some portion of that power, and man, who contains the perfection of the mineral, the vegetable and animal, as well as his own distinctive qualities, has become the noblest of created beings. It stands written that he is made in the Image of God. Mysteries that were hidden he discovers; and secrets that were concealed he brings into the light. By Science and by Art he brings hidden powers into the region of the visible world. Man perceives the hidden law in created things and co-operates with it.

Lastly the perfect man, the Prophet, is one who is transfigured, one who has the purity and clearness of a perfect mirror — one who reflects the Sun of Truth. Of such a one — of such a Prophet and Messenger — we can say that the Light of Divinity with the heavenly Perfections dwells in him.

If we claim that the sun is seen in the mirror, we do not mean that the sun itself has descended from the holy heights of his heaven and entered into the mirror! This is impossible. The Divine Nature is seen in the Manifestations and its Light and Splendor are visible in extreme glory

Therefore, men have always been taught and led by the Prophets of God. The Prophets of God are the Mediators of God. All the Prophets and Messengers have come from One Holy Spirit and bear the Message of God, fitted to the age in which they appear. The One Light is in them and they are One with each other. But the Eternal does not become phenomenal; neither can the phenomenal become Eternal.

Abdu’l-Bahá in London, pp: 23-24

Posted August 14, 2018 by Once in Uncategorized

12 August – 12 Kamal   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Ponder then in thine heart: Matters being such as thou dost witness, and as We also witness, where canst thou flee, and with whom shalt thou take refuge? Unto whom wilt thou turn thy gaze? In what land shalt thou dwell and upon what seat shalt thou abide? In what path shalt thou tread and at what hour wilt thou find repose? What shall become of thee in the end? Where shalt thou secure the cord of thy faith and fasten the tie of thine obedience? By Him Who revealeth Himself in His oneness and Whose own Self beareth witness to His unity!

Should there be ignited in thy heart the burning brand of the love of God, thou wouldst seek neither rest nor composure, neither laughter nor repose, but wouldst hasten to scale the highest summits in the realms of divine nearness, sanctity, and beauty. Thou wouldst lament as a soul bereaved and weep as a heart filled with longing. Nor wouldst thou repair to thy home and abode unless God would lay bare before thee His Cause.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 13

EVENING:

Yea, the seeker reacheth a station wherein that which hath been ordained for him knoweth no bounds. The fire of love so blazeth in his heart that it seizeth the reins of constraint from his grasp. At every moment his love for his Lord increaseth and draweth him nearer unto his Creator, in such wise that if his Lord be in the east of nearness, and he dwell in the west of remoteness and possess all that earth and heaven contain of rubies and gold, he would forsake it all and rush forth to the land of the Desired One. And shouldst thou find him to be otherwise, know assuredly that such a man is a lying impostor. We, verily, all belong unto Him Whom God shall make manifest in the latter Resurrection, and through Him shall we be raised again to life.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 75-76

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

There is not one soul whose conscience does not testify that in this day there is no more important matter in the world than that of Universal Peace. Every just one bears witness to this and adores that esteemed Assembly because its aim is that this darkness may be changed into light, this bloodthirstiness into kindness, this torment into bliss, this hardship into ease and this enmity and hatred into fellowship and love. Therefore, the effort of those esteemed souls is worthy of praise and commendation.

But the wise souls who are aware of the essential relationships emanating from the realities of things consider that one single matter cannot, by itself, influence the human reality as it ought and should, for until the minds of men become united, no important matter can be accomplished. At present Universal Peace is a matter of great importance, but unity of conscience is essential, so that the foundation of this matter may become secure, its establishment firm and its edifice strong.

Therefore His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, fifty years ago, expounded this question of Universal Peace at a time when he was confined in the fortress of ‘Akká and was wronged and imprisoned. He wrote about this important matter of Universal Peace to all the great sovereigns of the world, and established it among his friends in the Orient. The horizon of the East was in utter darkness, nations displayed the utmost hatred and enmity towards each other, religions thirsted for each other’s blood, and it was darkness upon darkness. At such a time His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh shone forth like the sun from the horizon of the East and illumined Persia with the lights of these teachings.

Tablet to the Hague, pp: 3-4

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Posted August 14, 2018 by Once in Uncategorized