Looking Back on Biden’s Muddled Christmas Message

Looking Back on Biden’s Muddled Christmas Message

Tim Graham  @TimJGraham / December 28, 2022

President Joe Biden delivers a Christmas address from the White House on Dec. 22. He never specifically referenced Jesus by name. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)


Tim Graham@TimJGraham

Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.

Imagine being a speechwriter for a so-called devout Catholic president and being asked to write a Christmas speech. It sounded like the first instruction was: Don’t say the words “Jesus Christ.”

There’s mention of “the birth of a child—a child Christians believe to be the son of God; miraculously now, here among us on Earth, bringing hope, love and peace and joy to the world.” There are citations of “O Holy Night” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” but there’s no “Jesus.”

Christmas, according to President Joe Biden, isn’t the arrival of our eternal salvation, but just a message of “hope, love, peace, and joy.” It’s a message that “speaks to all of us, whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other faith, or no faith at all.”

Jesus did bring a universal message, but it carried with it a message of conversion. Accept Christ and put faith in Him. It’s more than a Hallmark card sentiment. It can be controversial, and politicians try to manage controversy very carefully. A Democrat whose loyal voters often have “no faith at all” don’t want a Jesus appeal in their political Christmas pudding. Their ACLU antennas are always attentive.

But Biden’s Dec. 22 Christmas message was even stranger when he tried to claim he opposed how “our politics has gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan.” He offered no apologies for uncorking angry partisan lies like the Republicans were somehow “Jim Crow on steroids,” guilty of a “21st-century Jim Crow assault,” and they even made “Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.” 

The “fact-checkers” never raised an eyebrow.

Sure, Biden wants to take a brief timeout and say, hey, let’s not see one another as “Team Red” or “Team Blue.” That sounds nice. But within a day or two, the White House was out screaming about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sending buses loaded with 100 illegal immigrants to unload near the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C. The White House called it a “shameful stunt,” and the “news” network publicists helpfully repeated it.

It didn’t matter to Biden’s narrative shapers that illegal-immigrant advocates were standing outside the bus to receive them. As advocate Amy Fischer told NPR, “We had volunteers ready to meet the buses and then immediately transfer onto buses that were provided by the city to transport them to a church that had volunteers, community, hot food, clothes waiting for people, toys for the kiddos.”

There were no apologies from Biden for allowing a record 2.7 million illegal border “encounters” in fiscal year 2022—a new record—with the promise of an even greater surge as Democrats push to erase the COVID-19 restrictions of Title 42. It’s a “Team Blue” move to maximize immigration and suggest your opponents hate humanity when they advocate for restrictions.

Similarly, “devout Catholic” Biden never apologizes for trying to override any restrictions on abortion. Just last week, it was reported that Stephanie Carter, an Army veteran and nurse practitioner at a veterans hospital in Texas, is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs for forcing her to handle and distribute abortion pills in violation of her religious beliefs.

The Biden administration is aggressively searching for loopholes to provide “abortion access” in states that now ban abortions. But there are no loopholes for Christians like Carter to opt out of handing out death pills.

The networks didn’t report on Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, who recently tweeted Biden is “an evil president” who “promotes” the “murder of the unborn at every turn.” Somehow, that message wasn’t appropriate for Christmas.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  “How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is given.”

There is a certain stillness at the center of the Christmas story.  A silent night when all the world goes quiet and all the glamour, all the noise, everything that divides us, everything that pits us against one another, everything — everything that seems so important but really isn’t, this all fades away in stillness of the winter’s evening. 

And we look to the sky, to a lone star, shining brighter than all the rest, guiding us to the birth of a child — a child Christians believe to be the son of God; miraculously now, here among us on Earth, bringing hope, love and peace and joy to the world.

Yes, it’s a story that’s 2,000 years old, but it’s still very much alive today.  Just look into the eyes of a child
on Christmas morning, or listen to the laughter of a family together this holiday season after years — after years of being apart.  Just feel the hope rising in your chest as you sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” even though you’ve sung the countless times before.

Yes, even after 2,000 years, Christmas still has the power to lift us up, to bring us together, to change lives, to change the world.

The Christmas story is at the heart of the Christmas — Christian faith.  But the message of hope, love, peace, and joy, they’re also universal.

It speaks to all of us, whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other faith, or no faith at all.  It speaks to all of us as human beings who are here on this Earth to care for one another, to look out for one another, to love one another.

The message of Christmas is always important, but it’s especially important through tough times, like the ones we’ve been through the past few years.

The pandemic has taken so much from us.  We’ve lost so much time with one another.  We’ve lost so many people — people we loved.  Over a million lives lost in America alone.  That’s a million empty chairs breaking hearts in homes all across the country.

Our politics has gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan.  And too often we see each other as enemies, not as neighbors; as Democrats or Republicans, not as fellow Americans.  We’ve become too divided.

But as tough as these times have been, if we look a little closer, we see bright spots all across the country: the strength, the determination, the resilience that’s long defined America.

We’re surely making progress.  Things are getting better.  COVID lon- — no longer controls our lives.  Our kids are back in school.  People are back to work.  In fact, more people are working than ever before.

Americans are building again, innovating again, dreaming again.

So my hope this Christmas season is that we take a few moments of quiet reflection and find that stillness in the heart of Christmas — that’s at the heart of Christmas, and look — really look at each other, not as Democrats or Republicans, not as members of “Team Red” or “Team Blue,” but as who we really are: fellow Americans.  Fellow human beings worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.

I sincerely hope this holiway [sic] se- — this holiday season will drain the poison that has infected our politics and set us against one another.

I hope this Christmas season marks a fresh start for our nation, because there is so much that unites us as Americans, so much more that unites us than divides us.

We’re truly blessed to live in this nation.  And I truly hope we take the time to look out — look out for one another.   Not at one — for one another.

So many people struggle at Christmas.  It can be a time of great pain and terrible loneliness.  I know, like many of you know. 

It was 50 years ago this week that I lost my first wife and my infant daughter in a car accident, and my two sons were badly injured, when they were out shopping for a Christmas tree.  I know how hard this time of year can be.

But here’s what I learned long ago: No one — no one can ever know what someone else is going through, what’s really going on in their life, what they’re struggling with, what they’re trying to overcome.

That’s why sometimes the smallest act of kindness can mean so much.  A simple smile.  A hug.  An unexpected phone call.  A quiet cup of coffee.  Simple acts of kindness that can lift a spirit, provide compo- — comfort, and perhaps maybe even save a life.

So, this Christmas, let’s spread a little kindness.

This Christmas, let’s be that — that helping hand, that strong shoulder, that friendly voice when no one else seems to care for those who are struggling, in trouble, in need.  It just might be the best gift you can ever give.

And let’s be sure to remember the brave women and men in uniform who defend and protect our nation.  Many of them — many of them are away from their families at this time of year.  Let’s keep them in our prayers.

You know, and I believe Christmas is a season of hope.  And throughout the life of this country, it’s been during the weeks of December — even in the midst of some of our toughest days — that some of the best chapters of our story have been written.

It was during these weeks back in 1862 that President Lincoln prepared the Emancipation Proclamation, which he issued on New Year’s Day.

At Christmas 1941, in the week — weeks after Pearl Harbor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt hosted Winston Churchill in this White House.  Together, they planned the Allied strategy to defeat fascism and autocracy.

And it was 1968 that the most terrible year — of years — a year of assassination and riot, of war and chaos — that the astronauts of Apollo 8 circled the Moon and spoke to us here on Earth.

From the silence of space, on a silent night on a Christmas Eve, they read the story of Christmas — Creation from the King James Bible.  It went: “In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth.  And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

That light is still with us, illuminating our way forward as Americans and as citizens of the world.  A light that burned in the beginning and at Bethlehem.  A light that shines still today in our own time, our own lives.

As we sing “O’ Holy Night” — “His law is love, and His Gospel is peace” — may I wish you and for you, and for our nation, now and always, is that we’ll live in the light — the light of liberty and hope, of love and generosity, of kindness and compassion, of dignity and decency.

So, from the Biden family, we wish you and your family peace, joy, health, and happiness.

Merry Christmas.  Happy Holidays.  And all the best in the New Year.

God bless you all.  And may God protect our troops.  Thank you.

Adrian Rogers: The Wisdom of Christmas

The Wisdom of Christmas

Find the Christmas story, please, in Matthew chapter 2, and we’re talking today about Christmas wisdom, how you can have some wisdom in your Christmas. Now let’s read this story here, Matthew chapter 2 verse 1 and I’m going to read right through verse 12 here. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men,” now just underscore that, “wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him.’ When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and the scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. They said unto him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet, ‘And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah, for out of thee shall come a governor that shall rule My people Israel.’’ Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search diligently for the young child and when ye have found Him, bring me word again that I may come and worship Him also.’” Of course, you know what he wanted to do was not to worship Him but to kill Him, as you can tell by reading more Scripture. “And when they had heard the king, they departed and lo, the star which they saw in the east went before them till it came and stood over where the young child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy, and when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshipped Him, and when they had opened their treasures they presented unto Him gifts: gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”

Now there’s a lot that we don’t know about these wise men. For example, we don’t know how many there were. Some say there were three because three types of gifts. Maybe so, but maybe not, the Bible doesn’t say with specificity. We certainly don’t know they rode on camels. They may have. Some scholars say they probably rode Arabian horses. We really don’t know. We really don’t know what country they came from. Most likely however, they came from Babylon. There’re a lot of things that we don’t know about these men. We don’t have to know because if we had to know, the Bible would’ve told us with specificity. But we do know this; that they were wise, because the Bible says they were wise men. The biblical word for that is magi. These were men who were students of Scripture, they were students of prophecy, they were students of the stars in the sky and most likely if they were from Babylon they were students of the prophet Daniel because Daniel spent a great deal of time in Babylon, and Daniel himself was a great, great prophet and very wise.
Now there’s something else we don’t know. We don’t know exactly what that star was. Now there’s some astronomers who say, “Well, it was a super nova, or alignment of the planets that caused, at that particular time, excessive brightness in the sky.” That’s impossible that it could’ve been something like that for this reason. It moved and it led them, so you could not have some super nova, some star like that. Others say, “Alright, then, it was a comet.” No, it couldn’t been a comet because a comet just flashes across the sky and it’s gone. And, it couldn’t been a comet that would’ve stayed up there for months as these men traversed that distance of about three hundred miles from Babylon or wherever it was in the east when they first saw the star. What was it?
Edersheim, who is a Messianic Jewish scholar, says that the word star has a number of meanings in the Bible, and it comes from a root that literally means brilliance, light. And most likely what this brilliance was, this aura, this thing in the sky, was the Shekinah glory of God! And when you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Because the glory of God has already led people in the Old Testament. For example, what led the children of Israel through the wilderness?

Exodus 13 verse 21, a pillar of fire by night, a pillar of cloud by day. That was what they called the Shekinah glory of God, that effulgence of God that had a physical manifestation of God’s glory, and of course it could move, it did move, it guided them through the wilderness. When Solomon dedicated the temple, what happened? The Shekinah glory of God came into the Holy of Holies. And before the Babylonians invaded Israel, Ezekiel the prophet, in Second Chronicles chapter 7 verses 1 and 2, tells about that Shekinah glory, how it departed from the Temple. He said it came out of the Holy of Holies to the threshold there of the Temple, and then later on it moved from the threshold of the Temple, it moved on to the gate, the Eastern Gate. And Ezekiel saw it. And then he saw that glory as it moved on to the Mount of Olives and went on up and disappeared. What I’m trying to say is that the glory of the Lord could be seen as a brilliance. Ezekiel described it.

As a matter of fact, when those shepherds were in the field, what shone around them? The glory of the Lord! And then they went, and it came over the place where the young child lay. So, I think that what happened is, and it’s a wonderful story, is that the glory of God appeared to these wise men there in the east and that glory of God led them there to that place, that house where the young child was. For example, look in Luke chapter 2 verse 9, just write it down, “And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were sore afraid.”
Now, there’s some things we may not know about all of the details. We know everything we need to know, because if we need to know anymore, the Bible would tell us. But we do know this; that these men were exceedingly wise men. Why? Because they sought out the Lord Jesus Christ to worship Him.

Look up here and let me tell you something, now, my precious friend, listen to me; the wisest thing you could ever do at Christmastime or any other time is to worship Jesus. Now I hope that doesn’t fall flat, I hope you don’t miss that. Friend, that is the bottom of all bottom lines. That is the wisest thing that anybody could ever do, and it’s simply to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Now there are a lot of people who want the joys of Christmas without the worship of Jesus! Impossible! Impossible! Now you may have a giddy time, but you’re never going to know the joys of Christmas until you learn to worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

I want you to see that these men were so interested in worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ, that they did this in spite of great difficulty. The Bible says in Matthew 2 verse 1, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to worship Him.” If Babylon, that’s a distance of about three hundred miles. There was the difficulty of distance. Friend, a three hundred mile trip today, if you’re riding in a fine automobile, may tire you out. Can you imagine what a trip would’ve been like in that day? The difficulty of a trip like that!

And there was not only the distance but the discomfort. They were not riding in an air-conditioned automobile; there were no trains, no planes, no motels. This is rugged terrain. They’re coming over that kind of inhospitable terrain to worship the Lord. And very frankly, those of you who are watching on television, this is a rainy day in our city today and I hate to tell you this, but there are some folks who are not here today because it’s raining. One morning Joyce and I, it was about 5:30 in the morning and a thunderclap hit. She said, “Adrian, did you hear that?” I said, “What?” She said, “Ten thousand Baptists just rolled over and went back to sleep.”

I mean, you know, difficulty. Here these guys came to worship the Lord in spite of difficulty. I’m amazed at what will keep some people out of the house of God, and I go turn on my television, I see up there in Green Bay, the Green Bay Packers playing football on television, and there are guys out there without their shirts on, full of embalming fluid in the snow. You don’t know what I’m talking about when I say embalming fluid. I hope you don’t. Well, I hope you do. I hope you know, but I hope you don’t know by experience. Alright

now, I mean, these guys are out there, I mean, bare-chested, rooting for people pulling a football up and down a pasture. And yet people say, “Well, you know, it’s raining; we couldn’t come this morning.”
No, here were men, they wanted to worship the Lord in spite of distance, in spite of difficulty, and in spite of danger. There was old Herod the king. He was the one who had all the little boy babies murdered later on, he said, “Tell me where He is that I might come and worship Him.” He didn’t want to worship Him; he wanted to murder Him. He tried to murder the baby Jesus. He’d already murdered a couple of wives; he’d murdered three sons. As a matter of fact, Herod, who was so hated, had arranged that when he died, there were some prominent citizens, he had a list of them, they were all to be put to death the day he died. Do you know why? He wanted there to be some tears the day he died. So he had a list of people. I mean, that’s the kind of a man that Herod was! And these wise men, since that’s his jurisdiction, had to deal with him. In spite of distance, in spite of difficulty, in spite of danger, they sought to worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

I wonder, does worship mean that much to you, or do you have sort of a take it and leave it attitude. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29 verse 13, “You shall seek for Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart!” God have mercy upon our half-hearted worship, say, “Amen.” I mean, if He’s worth anything, He’s worth everything.

Worship means “worth-ship,” that’s where we get the word worship. “Worth-ship.” What is Jesus worth to you? I believe the biggest cult in America is the cult of the comfortable; we just want to take it easy. Jeremiah 29 verse 13, “And ye shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all of your heart.”

Now, how did these wise men find the Lord Jesus? I want you to listen, because our message today is going to have two points. Number one, how they sought Him, and number two, what they brought Him. Okay? How they sought Him, and number two, what they brought Him.

Now, first of all, I want you to see how these wise men sought the Lord Jesus Christ. How they sought Him. Matthew 2 verse 1 says, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men to Jerusalem.” There were three things that helped them to find the Lord Jesus and, friend, if you’re listening through television or if you’re here today without Christ, let me tell you how you can seek the Lord Jesus Christ.

First of all, there was the ministry of the Spirit, there was the ministry of the Spirit. What put in the hearts of these men to seek the Lord Jesus? The Holy Spirit. In Romans 3:11, the Bible says of our human flesh, “There’s none that seeketh after God, no, not one.” Now there are a lot of people in the realm of church growth today who say “Well, we need to have seeker-sensitive services,” that is, the people are coming seeking God. Friend, the Bible says no man seeks God. None, not one. You say, “Well, I sought Him.” The only reason you sought Him is because He first sought you. Listen, friend, when God got you, you were running from God. The only reason God got you is He can run faster than you can, I mean, “There’s none that seeketh after God, no not one.” “We love Him because He first loved us.” First John 4 verse 19. It is God who put the desire in our heart to seek Him. It was God who put the desire in the heart of these wise men to seek the Lord God.

Worship is a desire planted in the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit. And I want to tell you, today God is seeking you. You say, “How do I know?” Well, in First Peter 3:9, the Bible teaches the Lord, “Is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” And in John 1:9 the Bible says Christ is, “That light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” and I can tell you with authority today that Jesus is seeking you, and I don’t believe it’s incidental or accidental that you’re in this service today or listening by television or tape. God is seeking you! And by the dear Holy Spirit of God, if you will listen, there’s a still small voice in you that is inclining your heart to worship Him. You can stultify and smother that voice if you will, but God is reaching out to you through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit and the bride say,

There’s a second thing that enabled these wise men to seek Him. Not only the ministry of the Spirit, but there was the message of the Scripture. Look in Matthew 2 verses 2 through 6 of this same chapter. And the Bible says, “Saying, where is He that is born king of the Jews, for we have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him. Then Herod the king, when he heard these things, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him, and when he had gathered all the chief priests and the scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.” Now that’s a strange thing. Where’s the Messiah going to be born? He brings the high muckety-mucks in there, the priests and the scribes. “Tell me where He’s going to be born.”

“And they said unto him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea.’” Now how did they know that? “For thus it is written by the prophet, ‘Thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah, for out of thee shall come a governor that shall rule My people Israel.’” It’s very plain. The Bible prophesied in minute detail things about the Lord Jesus Christ and one of these was His birthplace. These men had the Word of God. They had not only this prophecy from Micah chapter 5 and verse 2 that tells that Jesus Christ would be born in Bethlehem, but if they came from Babylon, they also had the prophecies of the prophet Daniel, who told in Daniel chapter 9 verses 24 through 27 in that remarkable prophecy, the time that Jesus would come as the Messiah. These are wonderful prophecies.

Now I want to tell you something else; if you want to find Jesus this Christmas season, not only is there the ministry of the Spirit, there’s the message of the Scripture. Open the Bible and read. Listen, many of these people missed His first coming because they simply did not read, believe, or obey the Scripture. We don’t have any record, for example, that these scribes and these priests went down there to worship Him. That’s amazing. They knew where He was, they knew about it, but they still didn’t go. We don’t have any record that Herod went. That’s amazing. There was the message, the plain message.

You can hear me preach today and believe it intellectually and miss it altogether, did you know that? Isn’t it amazing that there are unbelieving believers, they never really ever act on what they say they believe? And by the way, as the Scriptures clearly and plainly delineated His first coming, listen to me carefully, the Scriptures clearly and plainly delineate His second coming. And there’s some who missed His first coming, and there’s some who are going to miss His second coming for exactly the same reason! They’re not listening to the ministry of the Spirit and the message of the Scriptures.

But now there was a third thing that led these men, these wise men, and that was the miracle of the star, that we read about in Matthew 2 verse 10. The Shekinah glory of God was leading them step by step. Well, you say, “When God appears to me in Shekinah glory, then I will follow Him.” Friend, God knew what was necessary for those people in that day at that time. Listen carefully to me. When you set your heart to find God, when you want to know Him, whatever it takes,

whatever is necessary, God will get that to you that you might know Him. Now it may not be a miracle of a star; it might be some other kind of a miracle. It might be that God will send some messenger to you. It may be that you will hear the urging of a next-door neighbor. I don’t know what kind of a star God will send to you, but God will reveal His glory to you!

Now, if you don’t want the Lord, God’s not going to lead you, God’s not going to guide you. I don’t even find any record that the star appeared to Herod at all, for example. Why? Herod didn’t want to know the Lord. I’ve often said some people can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman. They don’t want to know! They don’t seek God. You get serious about seeking God, listen to me, you get serious about seeking God, I promise you, on the authority of the Word of God, He’ll reveal Himself to you. Whatever’s necessary! If you want to know Him, you can know Him.
So these men were wise, number one, in how they sought Him. They were wise, number two, in what they brought Him. Now what did they bring Him? Well, the Bible says that they brought Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Now, is that just incidental? No, it’s fundamental. Why these three specific gifts?

Why are these things mentioned in the Scripture? I remind you that Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture’s given by inspiration of God. There’s nothing there that is not important, properly understood. So, the gold, number one, speaks of His sovereign dominion, His sovereign dominion. Now, look in Matthew 2 verse 2, “Where is He that is born,” what? “King, King of the Jews.” And then look in chapter 2 verse 6, “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not least among the princes of Judah, for out of these shall come a governor,” that means a ruler, “that shall rule My people Israel.”
It is obvious, beyond any equivocation, that these wise men knew that that child was a King. If you want to have wisdom this Christmas, you’re going to understand the same thing. “He is Lord, He is Lord, He is risen from the dead, and He is Lord.” You see, when they brought gold, gold was the most precious metal they knew. In that day it was used to signify a king. They made their crowns of gold. The Bible speaks of crowns of gold. Daniel said that Messiah would be a King. He speaks in Daniel 9 verse 25 of Messiah the prince. Isaiah the prophet said in Isaiah chapter 9 verse 7 that He was to be a King. Listen to this, “Of the increase of His government at peace there shall be no end. Upon the throne of David and upon His kingdom to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform this.” That little baby is King.

Now you’ll never, never, never, never know the meaning of Christmas until you crown Him King. Have you done that? The angel said to Mary in Luke 1 verse 33, “And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” When you deal with Jesus, you’re dealing with sovereignty, and He is worthy of our tribute. When you come to an earthly king, you had an earthly king or even a government, you pay tribute. Jesus said in Matthew 22 verse 21, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God, the things that are God’s.” I’ll guarantee you, when income tax comes around, unless you’re a dirty crook, you’re going to pay your taxes. You render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.

I want to ask you a question; have you rendered to Jesus the things that are His? Do you realize that He is King of kings and Lord of lords? Have you taken the crown from your head and put the crown upon His head? Do you say, “Lord Jesus, I surrender my gold to You? I pay tribute to You, I do homage to You, I bow my knee to You.” Have you done that? I say, listen, have you done that? In everybody’s heart there’s a throne. When self is on that throne, Christ is on the cross; when Christ is on that throne, self is on the cross, and everybody’s in one of those two categories today. These men were wise because they recognized His sovereign dominion. “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?”

Alright, but secondly, not only did they bring to Him gold, but they brought to Him frankincense. And frankincense speaks of His sinless Deity. Not only is He King, friend, He is God! He is God. You say, “Well, what does the frankincense have to do with this?” Well, look again in Matthew 2 verse 11, says, “They brought unto Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”

What is frankincense? Frankincense is one of the ingredients in a sweet perfume that was used in the tabernacle and the temple for one purpose; the worship of God. As a matter of fact, God said in Exodus chapter 30 verse 27 that it’s not to be used for any other purpose. It is sacred, to be used for Almighty God. Now, not only did they worship Him therefore as King, but they worshipped Him as God. As a matter of fact, the Bible says, “They came and worshipped Him.” Look in chapter 2 verse 11, “When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshipped Him.”

If that Child is not God, that’s the ultimate in blasphemy. That anybody would worship a two-legged creature who is not God. Why, if He’s not God, He has aided and abetted the greatest crime of the centuries, and that is enticing people to idolatry. The Bible says in Exodus 20 verse 3 that we’re to worship God, we’re to have no other gods before us. In the book of the Revelation chapter 19 and verse 10, an angel appeared to John, so awesome, so glorious. John, when he was stricken in awe with this particular angel, John fell to his face to worship him. The angel said, “Hey, wait, wait, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, get up, don’t worship

me,” The angel said, “Look, if you do it, we’ll both be in trouble. You’ll be in trouble for doing it; I’ll be in trouble for letting you do it. Worship God.”
One of Jehovah’s false witnesses comes and knocks on your door. You ask him this question, “Do you worship Jesus?” “Well,” he’ll say, “We venerate Jesus.” “No, no, do you worship Jesus?” “Well, we admire.” “No, no, do you worship Jesus?” You see, he’s between a rock and a hard place. If Jesus is not God, they have no business worshipping Him, and if Jesus was worshipped in the Bible and they don’t, they’re not doing what the Bible teaches. You see, either He’s God or He’s not God.
Now my friend, when they came and they worshipped Him, and they brought that frankincense which was a sweet perfume to be used for God only, and they bowed down and worshipped Him, they were saying not only is He one of sovereign dominion, He’s a king, but He’s one also of sinless Deity. He is God. Now folks, if there’s a message that needs to be preached in this day and this age, that’s the message.
Sometimes the Muslims say, “Oh, we believe in Jesus.” Oh, they believe in Jesus as a prophet. We believe in Jesus as God. Paul told Timothy in First Timothy 3:16, “Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh.” You’ll never know Christmas as you ought to know Christmas until you see, friend, His sovereign dominion, till you see His sinless Deity.
We sing that Christmas carol, “What Child Is This?” Let Isaiah answer that question, Isaiah 9 verse 6, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
Now thirdly, not only did they bring to Him gold, and not only did they bring to Him frankincense, which was that sweet perfume to be used for God only, but thirdly, they brought to Him myrrh. Now what is myrrh? Look again at Matthew chapter 2 verse 11, “And when they had come into the house and saw the young child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshipped Him, and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” And myrrh.
What is myrrh? Well, when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, one of the things they offered Him to drink was myrrh. It was a bitter herb. Put in your margin Mark 15 verse 23, “And they gave Him to drink wine mingled with myrrh, but He received it not.” When they would bury the dead, one of the spices they used, the bitter spices to embalm the dead, was myrrh. That’s a strange thing to give a baby that’s just been born. Something bitter. Something used to embalm the dead. Now whether these wise men knew with precision what they were doing, I have no knowledge, but I know this; that God the Holy Spirit was working in the whole thing. And here you have a prophecy, a prophecy not of, only of His sovereign dominion, not only of His sinless Deity, but of His sacrificial death, His sacrificial death. They gave Him myrrh. This was a baby that was born to die. They anticipated, they recognized His death upon the cross.
Now, today you can make much of Christmas and everybody loves Christmas. I mean we get together, we eat, we give presents, the lights are beautiful and a little baby. Who can’t get excited about a little baby? But you know something? In the Bible we find no record that the early church ever celebrated Christmas. I don’t think it’s wrong to celebrate Christmas. But the early church had a memorial, not to remember His birth. They had a memorial, the Lord’s Supper, to remember what? His death, His death. The more carnal a person is, the more they will make of His birth, the less they will make of His death. Oh, they love the cradle; they don’t love the cross. And that same crowd, that same giddy crowd that will be dancing around the cradle on Christmas evening, will be in a drunken stupor on New Year’s singing, “Auld Lang Syne.”
Now, they don’t see this baby as a sovereign king. They don’t see Him as sinless deity; they don’t see Him as the sacrificial Savior who’s going to die a death, an ignominious death on the cross.
Would you like to worship Jesus with wisdom this Christmas? Thank God that this babe was born to die. Did you know, He was the only one ever chose to die? No man ever has chosen to die. You say, “What about

those men who are suicide bombers?” They don’t choose to die. They’re going to die anyway. All people are going to die. The only thing they did was to choose the time of their death. All people are going to die. I’ve told you before, there’s a new statistic on death. One out of one people die. You’re going to die. Jesus was the only one who chose to die. In John 10:18 He said, “No man taketh My life from Me. I lay it down of Myself!” He didn’t have to die! Because there was no sin in Him. “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. He didn’t have to die. He could never have died unless He willingly, voluntarily, vicariously laid down His life upon that cross. “No man taketh My life from Me, I lay it down of Myself.”
That baby was born to die. He was born a naked baby, He died a naked man upon a cross. The painters have been kind to Him and at least have put a loincloth on Him. No, my dear Savior, stripped of His clothing, nailed, writhing in pain, naked upon a cross. From the time He was a child, He had the shadow of a cross.

Do you want to be wise this Christmas? Friend, you be wise like these men, in the way they sought Him. You be wise like these men in what they brought Him.

The gold tells me, are you listening? Your wealth belongs to Jesus. Don’t get the idea you’ve done Him a wild favor if you give Him a dime out of a dollar. Friend, the whole dollar is His; He just lets you use it. It’s all His. You don’t believe that, do you? Friend, it is all His! Psalm 50:12, “The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” So your wealth belongs to Him. Does that turn you off? In Mark chapter 10 verses 17 through 22, it turned a rich young ruler off one time, and he went away sorrowful. He’s King, He’s sovereign. Your wealth belongs to Him.

I’ll tell you something else. He is God! And your worship belongs to Him. You need to fall on your face before Him, make Him Lord of lords and King of kings.

And I’ll tell you a third thing. He is Savior, and your witness belongs to Him. You need to receive Him and then go tell it on the mountains. Let everybody know that Jesus is the Lord of lords and the King of kings and if we believe what we believe, this Christmas message, and in these pregnant days in which we live, we’re going to tell the world there is a Savior born who is Christ the Lord, is Christ the Lord.
That’d be a wise Christmas, wouldn’t it? To seek Him the way these men sought Him. To bring to Him what they brought to Him. To recognize who He is and say, “Lord, my wealth, my worship, my witness is yours, Lord Jesus. With every inch, every ounce, every nerve, every sinew, all of my fiber, as much as in me is, Jesus, You’re Lord.”

Are you afraid to do that? Don’t be. You want to have a real Christmas? You say, “Pastor Rogers, you’re making it tough.” No I’m not. His commandments are not grievous. I’m making it joyful. I’m telling you how to have a real Christmas. I’m telling you how to make the joys of Christmas burst aflame in your heart and in your life. We serve a wonderful Savior, do we not? We really do. I’m so glad to know the Lord Jesus Christ, and I want you to know Jesus.

I’d like every head bowed and every eye closed, no one stirring, no one looking around. The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, all things are become new.” How would you like to have a brand new start? How would you like to start the New Year, a new start, with a new heart? To find Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord? I want to lead you in a prayer, and in this prayer you can give your heart to Jesus Christ.

Now, if you are wise, you’ll know that He is seeking you today. Through His Spirit, through the Scriptures, through this message. He wants to save you. Would you pray a prayer like this? “Lord Jesus, I know that You’re King of kings. I take myself off the throne and I enthrone You. I know that You are the mighty God, I stand in awe of You. I worship You. I believe that You died on the cross to pay for my sin with Your blood. Thank You for paying for my sin. And now by faith, by faith I receive You into my life as my Lord and Savior. Come in right now, forgive my sin, cleanse me.” Oh, friend, He will. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they’ll be white as snow.” “Cleanse me, save me, Lord Jesus. Take control of my life and begin now to make me what You want me to be. And give me the courage to make it public, help me not to be ashamed of You. In Your

Image result for hugh hefner christmas 2017


December 9, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Since October 19, 2015 I have written you nonstop and I wanted to slow down and not write you every week now but move to more of a monthly mode so I can take more time considering the last few messages I should send to you. Since Christmas is coming up later this month I wanted to include something about Christmas in today’s letter. I know you are very familiar with Charlie Brown so I chose to use something from him. When I was growing up in Memphis I was a member of Bellevue Baptist where Adrian Rogers was my pastor. Rogers loved to quote from the Charlie Brown series because he knew that many times there was a Christian theme and below is just such a case:

Charlie Brown: I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn’t have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT!!!!!! [shouting in desperation]

Charlie Brown: Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.

[moves toward the center of the stage]

Linus Van Pelt: Lights, please.

[a spotlight shines on Linus]

Linus Van Pelt: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not:”

[Linus drops his security blanket on purpose]

Linus Van Pelt: “for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”

[Luke 2:8-14 KJV]

Linus Van Pelt: [Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown] That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS ALL ABOUT? It is about the messiah who left heaven to live 33 years on this earth as the GOD-MAN and died for our sins. WANT SOME EVIDENCE? Take a look at this article below from Walter Kaiser, Jr.

The Promise of the Messiah

By Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.   •   November 22, 2006

In his “Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy,” J. Barton Payne itemized 127 Messianic predictions involving more than 3,000 Bible verses, with a remarkable 574 verses referring directly to a personal Messiah! My book “The Messiah in the Old Testament” examined 65 direct prophecies about the Messiah. These incredible promises formed one of the most central themes of the Old Testament: the coming Messiah.

The word Messiah or Anointed One (or in Greek, Christ), is taken from Psalm 2:2 and Daniel 9:25-26. The term took its meaning from the Jewish practice of anointing their priests and kings. But this term was applied in a special sense to the future Ruler who would be sent from God to sit on the throne of David forever. He is the One that God distinctly identified many years ahead of His arrival on earth, as Acts 3:18 affirms: “But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ [Messiah] would suffer” (NIV).

Likewise, according to 1 Peter 1:11, the Old Testament prophets predicted “the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow” (NIV). The Messiah’s coming was not a secret left in a corner, but the repeated revelation of God to His people in the Old Testament.

Here are some of the definite clues about this coming that God gave in the Old Testament:

  • The Messiah would be the seed/offspring of a woman and would crush the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15).
  • He would come from the seed/offspring of Abraham and would bless all the nations on earth (Genesis 12:3).
  • He would be a “prophet like Moses” to whom God said we must listen (Deuteronomy 18:15).
  • He would be born in Bethlehem of Judah (Micah 5:2).
  • He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
  • He would have a throne, a kingdom and a dynasty, or house, starting with King David, that will last forever (2 Samuel 7:16).
  • He would be called “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” “Prince of Peace,” and would possess an everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 9:6-7).
  • He would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, righteous and having salvation, coming with gentleness (Zechariah 9:9-10).
  • He would be pierced for our transgression and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).
  • He would die among the wicked ones but be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9).
  • He would be resurrected from the grave, for God would not allow His Holy One to suffer decay (Psalm 16:10).
  • He would come again from the clouds of heaven as the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14).
  • He would be the “Sun of Righteousness” for all who revere Him and look for His coming again (Malachi 4:2).
  • He is the One whom Israel will one day recognize as the One they pierced, causing bitter grief (Zechariah 12:10).

The prophesies about the Messiah were not a bunch of scattered predictions randomly placed throughout the Old Testament, but they form a unified promise-plan of God, where each promise is interrelated and connected into a grand series comprising one continuous plan of God. Thus, a unity builds as the story of God’s call on Israel, and then on the house of David, progresses in each part of the Old Testament.

However, this eternal plan of God also had multiple fulfillments as it continued to unfold in the life and times of Israel. For example, every successive Davidic king was at once both a fulfillment in that day as well as a promise of what was to come when Christ, the final One in the Davidic line, arrived. Each of these successive fulfillments gave confidence that what was in the distant future would certainly happen, because God was working in the fabric of history as well. And although the promise was made to specific persons, such as Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David, it was cosmopolitan in its inclusiveness. What God was doing through Israel and these individuals was to be a source of blessing to all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3).

Some insist that the Messiah whom Christians revere is not the same one that Jewish people also look forward to meeting. Some years ago, I had an opportunity to be part of a televised debate with a rabbi who is a Jewish New Testament scholar around the question, “Is Jesus the Messiah?” The rabbi explained the Jewish point of view: “Evangelicals believe the Messiah has two comings: one at Christmas and one at His second coming. We Jews believe He will only come once, at a time of peace on earth just as the prophet Zechariah declared in Zechariah 12-14. Since we still experience wars, Messiah has not yet come.”

I responded, “It says in Zechariah 12:10 that ‘They will look on me.’ Who is the one speaking here?”

He replied: “The Almighty, of course.”

I responded, “It says, ‘They will look on me, the one they have pierced.’ How did He get pierced?” He answered that he did not know. I said, “I have an idea. It was at Calvary.” He did not counter with any further argument.

The Bible is saying that on that future day of His Second Coming, Jews and Gentiles will personally see the One who was pierced for the sins of the world. In other words, that “future day” will not be the first time they have seen Him. So even the Old Testament, it turns out, anticipated two comings of the Messiah: one at His birth and another when He comes as triumphant king at His Second Coming.

What would this world be like without the Messiah? What would Christmas be like without the fulfillment of all those ancient promises and the prospect of Messiah’s coming yet once more as King of kings and Lord of lords? His arrival has made the difference between light and darkness itself. Think what His triumphal appearance once more will mean to this world. Everyone, including all of nature itself (Romans 8:20-21), will let out a burst of praise such as has never been heard: Here comes the King Himself, our Lord and our Savior! Joy to the World!


Jesus came over 2000 years ago and he was the light of the world. By contrast those who reject him will be thrown into hell and that is a place of eternal darkness. Below is a portion of a sermon by Adrian Rogers and I want you to notice the quote by Dr. Robert G. Lee who the pastor of Bellevue near the year of your birth (1926):

This Place Called Hell

Adrian Rogers

Revelation 21:6-8

I want you to take God’s word and turn with me, please, today to revelation, chapter 21 and we’re going to read verses 7 and 8. Revelation, chapter 21 verses 7 and 8.

Now listen to this scripture, revelation 21, verse seven, ”he that overcometh shall inherit all things and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” what a wonderful promise that is!! But now listen to verse 8, ”but the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

The late, great Dr. Robert G. Lee, who was the pastor of this church, said this, and I wrote it down, he said, ”I know some people call the preacher who stands squarely upon the teaching of Christ and his apostles narrow, harsh, cruel.” then he said, ”as to being narrow, I have no desire to any broader than was Jesus. As to being cruel, is it cruel to tell a man the truth? Is a man to be called cruel who declares the whole counsel of God and points out to men their danger? Is it cruel to arouse sleeping people to the fact that the house is on fire? Is it cruel to jerk a blind man away from the rattlesnake in the coil? Is it cruel to declare to people the deadliness of disease and tell them which medicine to take?” and then dr. Lee said this; he said, ”I had rather be called cruel for being kind, than to be called kind for being cruel.”

Hell is a place of eternal darkness. Now heaven is spoken of as a place of light. Look if you will in revelation, chapter 21 and verse 23. It speaks of this wonderful city called ‘heaven.’ ”and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did light it, and the lamb is the lamp of it. And the nations of them who are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” heaven is a place of fantastic beauty, and fantastic light.

But, my friend, hell is a PLACE OF DARKNESS . Jude, verse 13 calls it the blackness of darkness forever. Listen to it again, the blackness of darkness forever. Listen to what our dear savior said in Matthew, chapter 8 and verse 12, ”but the children of the kingdom,” he’s talking here about the kingdom of Satan, ”shall be cast into outer darkness: and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” outer darkness, darkness, darkness!! If you die without Christ and go to hell, never again will you see a glimmer of light. Never will you see the twink’ of a star. Never will you see the glory of the sun. Never will you see the luster of the moon. The blackness of darkness forever! The bible calls it out of, outer darkness, outer darkness.

When I was in seminary, I had a dear friend, a boy named harold. He’s a preacher of the gospel on the gulf coast of mississippi. Harold was going home for the thanksgiving holidays and he had a tragic automobile accident. When harold awakened in the hospital, the people came to him and said, ”son, you are alive, your body is crushed and broken, but you’re going to live. But your wife is dead, and you’re children are dead. You’re left alone.” I talked to harold about that. The tears came to my eyes as he told me about that night. He said, ”I was in pain.” he said, ”I was in confusion; I was in despair.” and he said, ”the night went on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on. And I thought, ‘oh, my God, will the sun never come up? When will this night end?”’ he thought if he could just see the sun come up, if he could just get out of this horrible night, he could make it. You know, the bible says, ”darkness may endure for a season, but joy cometh in the morning.” an’, my dear friend, if you go to hell, they’ll never be a morning. Never a morning, never a sunrise, never any light, outer darkness. The blackness of darkness, forever.

Evangelist robert sumner tells of a boy, 14 or 15 year-old boy, who was raised in an unGodly family near where he lived. This boy was sick; he knew he was going to die. He had an unGodly father who didn’t believe, didn’t understand the word of God. This boy was afraid of being put in the ground in the grave, afraid of being covered with dirt, afraid of being shut away from the light.

And he made his dad make a solemn promise. He said, ”dad, when I die, I want you to put a window on my grave to let the sunlight in.” and this dad and the boy in their superstition, in their ignorance, not knowing that when we die the soul is separated from the body and the body sleeps in the earth and has no sensation at all, but not understanding that, or somehow in their superstition, built a shaft going down to that coffin with a window on the top, so that the sun could shine on that dead body. But, my dear friend, if you die without Jesus Christ, no man’s art can fashion a window that will let in the slightest ray of light. The bible calls it outer darkness. No longer will you ever see the smiling face of a child, no longer will you ever see the beauties that God has described in this city of light here in revelation, chapter 21.

I want to help you to receive Christ today. Right where you are, you can trust him, you can pray a prayer right where you are and say, ”oh, God, I’m a sinner and I’m lost and I need to be saved. Jesus, you died to save me, and you promised to save me, if I would trust you. I trust you today with all of my heart. Come into my heart, forgive my sin, save me, Lord Jesus.” the bible says, ”believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” father, I pray that many today will say an everlasting ‘yes’ to Jesus Christ, in his name I pray, amen.

(End of Sermon)



Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: While I was researching some material on Christmas to send  you today I realized that you will be getting more than one letter this month because there is too much material on Christmas that I think you can relate to, and, in fact, you have made a big deal about Christmas your whole life.

Francis Schaeffer has rightly noted concerning Hugh Hefner that Hefner’s goal  with the “playboy mentality is just to smash the puritanical ethnic.” I have made the comparison throughout this series of blog posts between Hefner and King Solomon (the author of the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES).  I have noticed that many preachers who have delivered sermons on Ecclesiastes have also mentioned Hefner as a modern day example of King Solomon especially because they both tried to find sexual satisfaction through the volume of women you could slept with in a lifetime.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

Mariah Robertson

Mariah Robertson

Mariah Robertson was born in 1975 in Indianapolis, Indiana, grew up in Sacramento, California, and lives and works in New York. A photographer often working without a camera, Robertson creates images through ceaseless darkroom experimentation.

Through this open approach, a roll of metallic film accidentally exposed in her studio led to a series of large-scale works. Without knowing exactly what outcomes her hand-applied color chemicals will cause, she balances this lack of control with her mastery of the material. Her willingness to push the boundaries of photography allows her a freedom not often found within the field.

Artist’s website


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