Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Here's a hint for the May Faithbooking Lesson:

Our next Faithbooking Crop will be on Saturday, May 10 from 9:00 am-4:00 pm (or until 9:00 pm, if you choose!) at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville. The crops are FREE and include snacks, beverages, and make-and-take supplies. Feel free to work the crop around your schedule, just let me know if you plan to attend and I'll be sure to have a spot ready for you.

PS: The crops are open to everyone and anyone regardless of cropping experience. If you'd like to get started but do not have the financial means to do so, just shoot me an email (scrappin' scholarships are available). Too, you do not need to be a member the church to attend. If you have any questions, just let me know!

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another *project* looming?

Look at this!! A chipboard keychain... I had so much fun with my last chipboard project, it might just be time for another. You can find the Maya Road Family Keychain Chipboard Set by clicking HERE.

Too, if you've still haven't found something for Mom... how about a unique journal? I picked this one up for myself at a "My Eyes... My Heart" in Farmington where there were several different styles sprinkled throughout the store. Their website is HERE.

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a song from Katie's service

In Better Hands - Natalie Grant

It’s hard to stand
On shifting sand
It’s hard to shine
In the shadows of the night
You can’t be free
If you don’t reach for help
And you can’t love
If you don’t love yourself
But there is hope when my faith runs out…
Cause I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining
When the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying
Though my feet are on the ground
So take this heart of mine
There’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now

I am strong
All because of you
I stand in awe of
Every mountain that you move
I am changed
Yesterday is gone
I am safe
From this moment on…
And there’s no fear when the night comes around
I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining
When the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying
Though my feet are on the ground
It’s like the world is silent
Though I know it isn’t true
It’s like the breath of Jesus
Is right here in this room
So take this heart of mine
There’s no doubt

You can’t be saved
If you’re not reaching out for help

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

God's impeccable timing...

Considering my post from late last night, this video is quite fitting. This pastor interviewed Angie and Todd for his church. The video is 20-minutes long and well worth every second. If you find yourself ever wondering why things happen the way they do, you will be deeply touched.

(The code appears to have a glitch at the moment; to view the video directly from its original post click HERE.)

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when life catches you off guard

Today was one of those days. The "catching off guard" sort.

It began like any other... I woke up early to spend time in God's Word (no small feat these days) and even managed to grab a shower before walking the kids to the bus stop. I thought I'd enjoy a quick cup of coffee and a chat with my mom before heading off to the grocery store.

That's when my friend called. A 23-year old woman the Lord had placed in my life died on Thursday and her funeral was today. Part of me wanted to take the easy way out, to use the late notice as an excuse not to attend. But after talking with my mom, I knew better - we were supposed to be there.

You see, my mom and I met Katie and her mom several years ago (the Lord's hand was all over the connection). Katie had been struggling with an eating disorder and both she and her mom were looking for hope. They'd heard our story: my mom having lived through it with two daughters and my many years of successful recovery. We met over lunch and parted ways, though Katie continued to weave in and out of our lives. She even called me during one of her hospital stays and I offered her the only thing I could (the only thing any one of us could) and that was the Truth that had set me free. I remember Katie's doubt as she expressed feelings of unworthiness - God's promises for hope and a future surely weren't meant for me...

Yes, Katie, especially for you.

The dark battle reminds me so much of this BarlowGirl song:

Why? Why are you still here with me?
Didn’t you see what I’ve done?
In my shame I want to run,
And hide myself.
Yeah, but it’s here I see the truth,
I don’t deserve you.

But I need you to love me,
And I, I won’t keep my heart from you this time.
And I’ll stop this pretending that I can,
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need you to love me

I, I have wasted so much time
Pushing you away from me.
I just never saw how you
Could cherish me.

Cause you’re a God who has all things,
And still you want me.

And I need you to love me,
And I, I won’t keep my heart from you this time.
And I’ll stop this pretending that I can,
Somehow deserve what I already have
Yeah, ye-ea-eah

Your love makes me forget what I have been.
Your love makes me see who I really am.
Your love makes me forget what I have been, oh-oh.

And I need you to love me, yeah
I need you to love me, ye-ea-eah!
And I’ll stop this pretending that I can,
Somehow deserve what I already have
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need you to love me, yeah
I need you to… oh oh oh oh eo (x4)
Love me, love me, yah

And wouldn't you know it? This song was on the radio as I made my way to the funeral. The verse below was also on my mind and one of many shared at today's service:
THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion – to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit – that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3 (AMP)
Jesus brings FREEDOM. He came for the broken, needy, and downtrodden - He came for you and me. Every single one of us. The only requirement? To simply accept it. He doesn't expect us to be clean or perfect or have everything in order. He simply wants us to come to Him. ("I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Me." John 14:6).

I have so much more swirling through my head tonight... I'll have to continue on another time. Just know, no matter where you are at or what you have done - you are not alone. Know that you are loved and cherished by your Father in heaven.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

simply beautiful.

If you haven't had a chance to check out Angie's blog in recent days, you should do so today to view her slideshow. Be sure to first turn off the blog music player on the left lower side of the page because the photo slideshow plays to a new song written about their heartwrenching journey. Click HERE for Angie's blog posting/slideshow.

Grab a box of Kleenex as well.

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*this song* reminded me of *this event*

The song is Rain Down by Delirious? and the event is ReignDown USA. Hosanna! will feature a live satellite feed of the event at 5:00 pm tonight, in place of the usual Saturday worship service.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

i'm so lovin' this song...

Drifter by DecembeRadio

I used to have a home.
A place I started from.
A place to call my own
bright lights and late nights.
The devil took me on a midnight ride.
Left me out in the desert on my own.
Now I feel alone
I need a hand to help me find my way back home.
I'm a drifter
out on a dead end road
trying to find my way back home to get to you
Oh to get to you
Lord I've been gone for far too long,
headed to places I don't belong
and I've got to get back home to you.
Sometimes I think about the past
and the road that I was on,
the one that lead me home
I'll walk on another day
I may wander but I'll never stray,
cause I found out the hard way sin don't pay.
Now I feel alone,
I need a hand to help me find my way back home
I'm a drifter out on a dead end road
trying to find my way back home
to get to you
Oh to get to you
Lord I've been gone for far too long
headed to places I don't belong
and I've got to get back home to you
and when I feel the night is closing in
and I can barely breathe the air
I just remember that I've got a friend who really cares
Oh who really cares
I'm a drifter out on a dead end road
trying to find my way back home
to get to you
Oh to get to you
Lord I've been gone for far too long
headed to places I don't belong
and I've got to get back home to you.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

can you believe this?

The sunset was quite spectacular this evening, just look at that clear sky! You'd never believe it rained all day.

I forgot to wish my sweet nephew a very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week!

And someone else has a birthday tomorrow... you might want to stop over to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister-in-law Amy. Her blog is HERE.

Too, I stumbled upon a cool book I thought worth sharing, called "The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties" by William Doherty and you can check it out by clicking HERE.

LOST is back, gotta go!

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The Wonder Years

Let's say your tweenage son approaches you with a few VERY DETAILED plumbing questions... wanting to know how the two "houses" work together. Errr, ahhh... how two systems function as one. Wanting details. Are you prepared?

I began reading up on parenting books about a year ago, knowing full well this day would come. I'm thankful I did as we prepare to cross such a grown-up threshold. The hubby and I want our son to grasp more than just the mechanics, we want him to be a young man of integrity.

For those of you likely facing similar plumbing conversations in the future, I thought I'd pass along a few resources. We began by giving him THIS BOOK and followed up with THIS BOOK. Now, we have begun reading THIS BOOK together - a helpful tool for navigating through some of the more challenging aspects of The Talk. (The girl version of the book is HERE.) Ideally, dad would take his son through the book and mom would do the same with her daughter. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

Some of you might be nervous about approaching this topic in such a direct fashion. As parents, it is our job to nurture and equip our children physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is our responsibility to provide them with the tools, instruct them on their usage, and at some point - let go.

Our son will learn about plumbing one way or another. Wouldn't it be best from someone with his best interests at heart?

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A poem by Ren

The Sun

Sun reflecting
on the pond.
A yellow half circle
quietly floating
on the bank.
Its warm rays beaming out
like kitchen knives

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ren's note... just to clarify things.

I keep meaning to post a couple of really cool kid things but continue to forget. Not today! If you have kids anywhere from four years old to tweeners, you might want to check out Adventures in Odyssey either by listening to AM 900 at 6:30 pm weekdays or by clicking HERE. The programs remind me of old radio theater... speaking of which, you will find several classic tales HERE (including my favorite, The Secret Garden). My boys love Adventures in Odyssey and have been listening to the program for years. (I have to admit, I kind of like it myself and have grown quite fond of the characters.) They also have a website chock full of games and other fun things. You can purchase episodes HERE and HERE.

Too, I must confess... I've been holding out on you my bloggy friends. Withholding a Very Cool Website in the hopes of impressing my nieces with the most unique birthday gift ever. EVER. I'm not very good at keeping secrets and have already told one of the nieces' moms about the Very Cool Website. Ready? It's called LittleMissMatched and you can get to it by clicking HERE. There are even a few things on my Mother's Day wishlist... like THIS, THIS, or ONE OF THESE.

There you have it, the secret is out.

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on the heels of the neighborhood vole infestation

I'm proud to announce a new Discovery Channel television series: Verminators. And, if you haven't already been completely grossed out by my recent posts concerning the critters, you just might have to check it out. It's so good, it will make you itch.

In addition sharing great television, I thought I'd post a few of recent questions, along with the answers. A Q&A of sorts. If you have a question to add, please feel free to drop me an email or post it here as a comment.

Could you give me the names of some good Christian artists?

I know that Christian music is a new thing for many of you. Music is (and always has been) important to me - unfortunately, much of what I used to listen to would bring me down. (Being a melancholy-sort, it doesn't take a whole lot to make that happen.) I was first introduced to contemporary Christian music at my church and then realized there was even a local Christian radio station. Much of what I share with you, I hear on KTIS first. I have found the radio station (just like the music) to be extremely uplifting. If you're looking for some specifics, just click on the "music" link to the right.

What's with the different Bible versions?

First of all, I'd like to address the historical accuracy of the Bible by directing you HERE. Secondly, I'd like to direct you to this helpful resource featuring over 50 versions of the Bible. Though they may differ slightly in wording, the intent remains the same. Take John 3:16 for example:
  • For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. ~Amplified Bible (AMP)
  • For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. ~New Living Translation (NLT)
  • This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. ~The Message (MSG)
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~New International Version (NIV)
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ~New King James Version (NKJV)
  • For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. ~New American Study Bible (NASB)
As you can see, the versions are very similar but when you put them alongside one another, it adds depth to the verse. Despite popular belief, the different versions do not contradict each another.

Is there really room for another blogger?

Yes! Each one of us has our own unique voice and purpose. If you have the desire, what have you got to lose by trying? It is free and very easy to begin. Click HERE for more information.

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mom so rocks!!

As promised, here are a few more Mother's Day gift ideas:

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Monday, April 21, 2008

days like today...

Wow, what a beautiful day! It was my first official porch-sitting day of the season, my favorite place to be in the summer. Days like today make me think of food like this, shoes like these, camping, late summer nights, and Grandma's pool. I can hardly wait!

With Mother's Day just around the corner, I thought I'd offer some unique gift ideas. Here's a cute idea for personalized towels (a great craft project for the kids), some lovely hand-stamped jewelry, and a very special made-from-scratch cake. I'll pull together a few more ideas in the days to follow...

Have a great evening!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

my first blog mail.

I received my first piece of bloggy fan mail this week. Ren arrived home from school with this note from his friend Pippy:

It was all folded up with a "lock" drawn on the left-hand side, along with a serious warning: DO NOT OPEN REN OR YOU know what i will Do.

It was for me, and me alone. I opened the note to find this:

To: Tina Vega
You scared me with choclet rain.
Sinseeraeey: Pippy

He was referring to this post HERE.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

It's opening weekend...

I featured a post on this movie several weeks ago and I'm excited to say, it's opening weekend! (Just click HERE for a theater near you; I'd recommend running your search by state.)

Here's some "supplemental reading" I'd also promised to share. By clicking HERE, you will find a report from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel that refers to some of the shenanigans involving the Smithsonian. By clicking HERE, you will find an offical report by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform which is entitled, "Intolerance and the Politicization of Science at the Smithsonian/Smithsonian Officials Permit the Demotion and Harassment of Scientist Skeptical of Darwinian Evolution."

I'm sure we'll be seeing some interesting things in the media as a result...

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

coffee w/sharon

Perhaps I should rename this post - Lost in a Big City because I was, and it is... Sadly, I spent the better part of our coffee date lost. Once I found the place I was caught off guard by parking meters - HUNDREDS OF THEM. Knowing that many of the lots work on an honor system, I grabbed a handful of ones before leaving - but quarters????? I'd fed most of them to my children at The Malt Shop (they have a very cool gumball gemstone machine onsite). I lived in Minneapolis for six years, worked downtown for five years, and never once relied on quarters for parking.

Laundry perhaps, but not parking.

Admittedly, I've never really hung out in the Warehouse District either. That's what I get for hanging out with such a hip & cool friend. Thankfully, she's also a friend who carries extra quarters!

The place I barely made it to: Moose & Sadies.

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a few cool things

1. This cute t-shirt. A birthday gift from my sister-in-law which was found HERE.

2. This very cool store. I had NO CLUE we had such a cool shop out here in suburbia! It's one of those stores you could spend hours in (without the kids). They have a little bit of everything - including Webkinz. It would be a great place to shop for a one-of-a-kind gift. The name is Ficus & Fig and their address is HERE.

3. This great band.

They are called NEEDTOBREATHE and it looks like they'll be playing at the Uptown Bar on Monday, April 28 at 5:00 pm. I might have to see if I can swing it... anyone else game? You might be familiar with this song:

Have a great evening!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

look what I found!

I'd searched for this article before and couldn't find it... but lo and behold, I did today! Here's the link to a local newspaper article about our monthly faithbooking crops - just click HERE to read it.

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coffee w/dana

I met Dana in December after purchasing a book from her through eBay. (See post HERE for details.) After recently posting a comment to her blog, she sent me a little note and mentioned getting together for coffee. Before I knew it, I'd gotten caught back up in the rhythm of of life before having a chance to respond.

Then my sister-in-law sent a note asking about Dana, vaguely recalling our eBay connection. Amy had been working on a special scrapbooking project involving her paper (Dana is on the design team for Dream Street Papers).

It was just the reminder I needed to get moving on the coffee thing!

We met today and had a great time swapping stories and talking about life. Her journey with breast cancer has given Dana a great deal of wisdom, insight, and appreciation for the little things. Her husband is also a photographer so needless to say, we tackled that topic as well!

By the way, there's a great coupon HERE for Caribou Coffee. The Orange Zest White Mocha ROCKS!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

hey croppy/bloggy ladies...

Mellissa has a blog! She has been my journaling inspiration for a number of years; the girl could take one battered photo and turn it into a colorful masterpiece with mere words. If you have a chance, stop by to say "hi" (just click HERE to do so).

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So... what's the big deal? (Part 2 of 2)

I found this thorough resource that might have answers to questions you might have about Christianity - from suffering to science and everything between. Just click HERE to begin your exploration.

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and the winner is...

Amy! Congratulations!!!

Thank you so much ladies for taking the time to play. I'll try not to wait so long for our next prize giveaway! Have a great night.

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So... what's the big deal? (Part 1 of 2)

You know how I feel about controversial topics... unfortunately, this one will likely top the Scattergories incident. I'm sure by now you've heard about Oprah's latest book club pick and its author, Eckhart Tolle. (If not, click HERE for a NY Times article that will bring you up to speed.)

Here's the issue... the book is a promotion of New Age thinking (a.k.a. New Spirituality). Both Tolle and Oprah are affiliated with Humanity's Team (click HERE to access their site). Pay particularly close attention to their mission statement and be sure to visit their affiliated organizations.

What's the big deal, you ask? Well, buckle up - there's a lot of information to cover. Let's begin with the six main characteristics of New Age thinking:

(1) All is Unity
(2) All is Divine
(3) Humanity is divine
(4) A Change in Consciousness
(5) All Religions Are One
(6) Cosmic Evolutionary Optimism

And the The 13 main principles of New Age philosophy are:

(1) One Global Order - One World Government, One Currency, One Universal Being
(2) Universal Energy, Universal Matter, Universal Life, Universal Soul as God
(3) An Eternal Universe - Uniform in Space and Unending in Time
(4) Divine practices (Astrology, Yoga & other esoteric arts)
(5) Syncretism (Unity of all Religions)
(6) The need for Meditation (for generating altered states of Consciousness)
(7) Life is Cyclical - everything is cyclical, subject to the cyclical upheavals of Time
(8) Holistic Medicine & Vegetarianism (the patient is more important than the doctor & an alkaline diet)
(9) Pacifism (Anti-war activities)
(10) Reincarnation (The Law of Conservation of Soul)
(11) The Evolution of Man into Divinity (The latent Life Force evolving naturally to the Divine)
(12) The Union of Man with the Divine (Merger of man into the Infinite)
(13) Matter's Illusoriness - Esse est percipii - Perception is Essence; Mind is Substance

The practices of the New Age are psychic practices such as: Astrology, Reiki, Bioenergy, Chakras, Nirvana, Christ-Consciousness (consciousness or awareness of the self in and as the Christ), Spiritualism (contacting spirits of dead), Prajna, Reincarnation, Yoga, Meditation and the occult disciplines, as well as psychotherapeutic techniques and scientific applications of the healing powers of crystals and pyramids. (This is excerpted from an article which you can read in its entirety by clicking HERE or HERE; I shortened the last paragraph and expounded on a few of the terms.)

When it comes to Christianity, churches may differ on certain doctrinal issues (a.k.a. rib issues) that the Bible may not be completely clear on. In the big scheme of things, these rib issues are not worth fighting over. But spine issues on the other hand, are a very big deal. They are the basic tenets of the Christian faith:

1. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the inspired and infallible Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21)
2. There is one God, existing eternally in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (John 10:30; John 14:26; Philippians 2:5-7)
3. Jesus is the Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit and virgin born, the Son of God, the one and only Savior, the Lord of all. (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:34)
4. Christ sacrificially died on the cross and shed His blood as the atonement for sin. (1 Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 9:6; Colossians 1:15-20).
5. God raised Him from the dead bodily; He ascended into Heaven, and He will visibly return in glory according to His promise. (Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Hebrews 9:28)
6. Salvation is God’s gift of eternal life, presented to all who, by faith, accept Jesus Christ as Savior and receive spiritual new birth by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 5:1; Romans 3:24)
7. The most basic checklist of forbidden occult practices is found in the Book of Deuteronomy 18:9-14 and includes:
  • No human sacrifice.
  • No divination (an attempt to get guidance from any supernatural source other than God). This includes astrology and horoscopes.
  • No sorcery (using magic powers). No spell-casting.
  • No interpreting omens (trying to discover hidden knowledge through reading tea leaves, tarot cards, or—in Bible times—the entrails of animals).
  • No consulting a medium or spiritist (those who contact spirits or allow the spirits to communicate through them). No consulting the dead.
  • No engaging in witchcraft (appealing to any supernatural power or spirit other than God). Witchcraft is also associated with the use of drugs, incantations, spells, potions, charms, and amulets to experience something supernatural or to ward off evil spirits. Known as Wicca, modern-day witchcraft is a pagan religion in which nature and goddesses are worshiped.
See what happens when I start digging (it's worse than the voles)! Needless to say, New Age philosophy and biblical Christianity appear to differ on several major points. I respect where each and every one of you are at and am simply trying to lay it out on the table. Don't take my word as the final word! As always, I encourage you to look into things further and dig around for yourselves.

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