Tag Archives: Jesus

The Shepherd is my Provider (Psalm 23 Explained)

Psalm 23 Explained

I was asked today by a dear friend on my Google Plus network if I could explain the meaning of Psalm 23 and what was the reason this is also read on funerals when someone is getting ready to meet the Lord. I have never been to a funeral so I didn’t know what they read but is a beautiful chapter and here is what I would like to share about it.

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Psalm 23
New King James Version (NKJV)

As we see in verse 1 “The Lord is my shepherd,” we must put ourselves as sheep in the care of Jesus Christ our Messiah and savior who is Himself God as we read in John 1:1-3, 14 and Heb. 1:2

1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
John 1:1-3
New Living Translation (NLT)

2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.
Hebrews 1:2
New Living Translation (NLT)

Christ is our shepherd and we are His chosen ones as sheep (John 10, John 21:15-17 and Hebrews 13:20). The shepherd is the provider and protector of his flock. The sheep are helpless without him. Similarly, human existence is but a sinful, carnal experience without God in our lives (John 5:30; Rom. 8:6-11).

How about this phrase “I shall not want,” this is an indication that as sheep in Christ’s care, we won’t lack anything. We should have a full understanding in regards to putting God and God’s way first in our life. (Matthew 6:25-34). See also the blog post “What is the Motive in your Life” which talks about not getting distracted and to focus in God’s plan in everyone’s life, and also the blog post “God Gives Life and a calling in everyone’s life” which talks about seeking God’s will in our life and then follow it.

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.” Both the “green pastures” and “still waters” indicate a blessed abundance, further illustrating the benefits of a God-led life.

Psalm 23:3 begins, “He restores my soul.” We must understand that we are sinners, but also that Christ had redeemed us and would continue to restore us upon repentance. The blog post “Forgiveness is not an option but a command” is a good example showing an understanding of repentance and forgiveness.

“he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake,” indicates that it is Christ’s example that we are to follow, and that is to God’s glory when we obey. Yet is only through the power of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ in us, that we are even able to do so (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:13). All of our Lord Yahweh’s commandments are righteousness.

172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
Psalm 119:172
New King James Version (NKJV)

King David was the one who wrote Psalm 23 and he knew that occasionally the shepherd had to lead his flock through treacherous terrain, and so he writes (as the sheep), “Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” David had complete trust and confidence in God and His way—He had no fear, even in the “shadow of death.” The rod and staff are the shepherd’s tools, and are used to guide and correct the path of the sheep—much in the same way God has to oftentimes guide, and occasionally correct, our path. This comforted David and should also confort us. Paul indicates in II Timothy 1:7 that this mindset comes only from God: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” We must understand the promises of blessings and protections even in our hardest times of our lives we must have complete confidence. (Eph. 3:20; Luke 11:9-13; compare though with James 4:1-3).

We should all know that as long as we would follow Christ, “…goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” in the kingdom of God: “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” We must dwell in his house as servants, to serve him for ever. If God’s goodness to us be like the morning light, which shines more and more to the perfect day, let not ours to Him be like the morning cloud and the early dew that passeth away.

Personally, I would say that the reason why this is read in funerals is because it remind us of God’s promise and because it comforts the people left behind that God is taking care of the recently deceased as He will also take care of us left behind as we wait upon His return.

In conclusion, the best possible way to put it is that the Lord is our shepherd, and He knows what we need better than we do. God wants us to have what is best for us. As long as we trust in Him as our shepherd, He will lead us to places of safety. He knows how to direct us away from places where we will stumble. Even when we have fallen, He can still rescue us.

Has this message touched you in any way? The love of our Heavenly Father could change hearts even at the last minutes of our lives. Don’t wait until is too late before repenting of your sins and make a better change in your life to walk away from all the earthly pleasures. They give no life but bring sorrows and pain into our life and ultimately they only lead to death. Start the walk and make a change for yourself and your family. Be the leader your family deserves. All you have to do is Surrender and make the decision to follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


What is the motive in your life?

What is the motive in your life?

Now a days, most of us, think that success comes in a big peace into our life. But instead success comes in peaces into our life. Most people don’t have a formula for their problems. You want to get from one place to the other without suffering and expect to have success in your life without picking up the cross.

So what do we do? We pick up the pieces, develop a plan, and put the pieces together. Some might say that they don’t have enough money so they decide to go to school, which is a process that at the end will put you in a different place in your life.

So what to do? When you have a problem, work the pieces. Take it in small pieces and don’t dream of a big solution because that is most likely not going to happen. When you decide to work on your problems and you start to lay down the pieces, the biggest mistake that you could make is to start laying down the wrong pieces. When you are laying down a plan to solve an issue, make sure you don’t get distracted and get thrown off by a person, an issue, a relationship or spiritual warfare.

A person can have a strong passion to do the right thing, has a very clear, holy and righteous motive and then they can meet somebody. As you are laying down the pieces to develop a plan in your life, this distraction could make you get the wrong piece and this will change the course of your life.

We have been focus, we have been doing great, we were clear about the assignment but along the way we get manipulated by this distraction and they introduce a different set of values and priorities in your life.

Maybe you were married or in a relationship and all of a sudden you met this other person and now you’re not sure? Has this happen to you?

When you are succeeding in your plan, you become a target. As your motive is to spread the word of God and preach the gospel, you become more vulnerable. We must stay focus on the plan that we had lay down and stick to it. But as you are bringing glory to our Lord, we might be victims of this distractions.

Now you had a distraction in your life, which cause a change in your plan and now your life changes and often times we tend to focus on what the distraction did to you not on what we allow to happen. In order for you not to fall in this dirty plan from satan to get you off track, keep in mind this simple questions.

Be careful who you allow to override God’s will for your life.

Be careful when you allow someone to get into your life because you feel lonely, or you feel you have no friends. Maybe the lack of attention at home or the experimenting draws you into this distraction.

Some people are not thinking of you but just a moment of glory. 

They are not focus on you but themselves, on their needs, on their desires. They don’t care on the plan God have set up for you and the consequences of your distraction will bring into your life.

There is a story on 1 Kings 13 which explains how a young prophet was given a  commandment to follow and was given instructions on how to return back home but there was also an old prophet that heard about this young prophet prophesying the word of God to the king Jeroboam so he went and look for him. He lie to the young prophet about how to return back home. He told him that and angel of God has send him there to take him back home. He was not to eat or drink but to go back home in a different route and the young prophet believed him and fail to follow God’s commands. He was then kill as a punishment and the old prophet was not punished.

Is this fair? You are trying your best to fulfill the Lord’s plans and we allow a distraction to alter the plans. We get punish but how about the distraction? Well have you ever been the young prophet in your life and someone has taken advantage of you? Or have you ever been the old prophet and you have used others to your convenience making them stumble along the way?

Well my beloved brothers and sisters, I have been both in my life time. I have allowed distractions to get my focus off God’s plan and also there has been times when I don’t act mature enough to think about the other person’s feelings. We need to understand that there is one goal in this lifetime and is not about you all the time nor to fullfil your dreams and desires. People also have a plan in their life and we must ask ourself “are we the old prophet in their life?”

So what is your story? What have been your distractions in life? Has it been addictions, relationships, trouble forgiving, self focus? Whatever the distraction is you must repent and confess it to the Lord so your sins could be forgiven. Keep in mind that there is only one sin that will lead you to death and that is to not believe in the Son of God Jesus Christ.

Has this message touched you in any way? The love of our Heavenly Father could change hearts. Start the walk and make a change for youself and your family. Be the leader your family deserves. All you have to do is Surrender and make the decision to follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


Footprints

One night I had a dream–
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
“I don’t understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
“When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

Has this message touched you in any way? Make the decision and follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


Thankful for my 36 years

Thru all my life, God has been with me filling my life with blessings… I have nothing else than love for my Lord for as He has given me, He has also taken away! Bless it be the name of the Lord for what I have left.

O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:8 NLT

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?

Luke 16:10-12 NLT

I was given a wonderful family and much love and I wasn’t thankful enough to take advantage of their love. Now things have change and I can’t change the past but for sure with God’s blessings I could make sure the future will go smoothly ones and for all.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

Matthew 19:26 NLT

Thank you so much for the people that has stick around thru my transformation. I will make sure I love you all with all my heart. Here is something that I wanted to share during the times the Lord was working on me.

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, and at times, I am out of control and hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you for sure don’t deserve me at my best.”

At my best, it is. To God be the glory for as I know that everything I have went thru is for a reason and it has done nothing more than make me a better person and stronger in my faith. For that all I have to say now is….

But if you refuse to serve the Lord , then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord .”

Joshua 24:15 NLT

Thank you all for all the birthday wishes. I thank everyone of you that I have as friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Youtube. You guys rock! Let’s keep spreading the good news and hope that Rapture happens soon! God bless you all in Jesus name I pray!

 


We are not Alone

We Are Not Alone

Our God is everywhere. We could never run away from Him even if we tried. Such knowledge should keep us from entering into sin and encourage us to follow Him, knowing He is there to help us. Just as He is not limited by space, neither is He limited by time. He works with us day and night to strengthen and encourage us.

O Lord , you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord .
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
O Lord , shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 139:1-24 NLT

Each of us is an amazing creation – wonderfully made! More than that, God is thinking about us at all times! Anytime we see ourselves as worthless, we are not seeing the truth. We need to begin to see ourselves as God sees us. When we see the truth that we are wonderfully made by God Himself, we will be encouraged to surrender our lives to Him so that He can transform us into the people He created us to be.


Surrender your Life to God! (A Prayer for Fathers)

20120531-064214.jpg

There is nothing greater than a man who has surrendered his life to the power of the Holy Spirit and he becomes an instrument in this world and in this church. When God fulfills a man’s heart and he is content, he can do great things for God. God has given you a family and God has ordained you and God has given you strength and it is through Jesus Christ that we come to know who we are.

So let me pray for all the Fathers that this year would be the best year you ever had as a man, in your thoughts, in your purity and with your family that you have ever experienced.

Prayer: Father, I pray, God, this year more than any other year that You would grant these men, these fathers, great, great hearts of understanding. Lord, as they have grown before You, may they come to an understanding of who You are. I pray that their priorities would begin to change and that, God, You would become so dominant in their life that, Father, their family, their children and their wives would see it. Now, God, begin to use them in a way that they have never been used before. Lord, they are the pillars of the church. They are the pillars of a country. I pray, God, that You would make them men of integrity, men of strength and men of courage. Thank You, God, for their lives and what they mean to us. I pray, God that their families would always, always love them and respect them. In Jesus’ name we pray…Amen! God bless you!


IN TRIALS…

We Learn Patience

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
James 1:3 NLT

We Are Perfect and complete

So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:4 NLT

We Gain Wisdom

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5 NLT

Our Faith is increased

But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
James 1:6 NLT


Satan is eager to destroy you

Satan is after us to destroy us

Satan’s plan toward Christians is to distract, detour, confuse you and make you critical. Anything to make you walk away from God’s real calling in your life. Now are we going to let this happen? But what can we do to fight against satan’s evil plans? We must pray for God to give us strength and focus in our lives. Satan’s power dominates us as humans been but his power is nothing against the Lord’s. His grace is sufficient to destroy and keep him away.

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
1 John 4:4 NLT

We are in Christ and delivered from the power of satan.

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,
Colossians 1:13 NLT

Put on the The Whole Armor of God to protect us from the power of the evil one.

 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Ephesians 6:10-18
New Living Translation (NLT)

I believe we could not defeat the evil plans of satan by ourselves, but if we put our trust, our hopes, our love in the power of the almighty God, Lord of Lords, We could indeed overcome satan’s evil trials. Let’s stand together for Christ and with the power of the Holy Spirit we will overcome!

Has this message touched you in any way? Make the decision and follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


The Pharisees’ question concerning divorce.

But `God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. `This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

Mark 10:6-9 NLT

Wherever Jesus was, the people flocked after him in crowds, and he taught them. Preaching was Christ’s constant practice. He here shows that the reason why Moses’ law allowed divorce, was such that they ought not to use the permission; it was only for the hardness of their hearts. God himself joined man and wife together; he has fitted them to be comforts and helps for each other. The bond which God has tied, is not to be lightly untied. Let those who are for putting away their wives consider what would become of themselves, if God should deal with them in like manner.

If you want to further read more concerning Marriage, please click here for the “All you need to know about Marriage” blog post.


“God was working on me as he was working through me”

Alex Kendrick is living proof that God can use obedient people to accomplish the seemingly impossible. How can he and the pastors of a small Georgia church produce, direct and market one movie-much less four theatrical released films- that keep impacting the lives of millions of people.

In this I am Second film Alex details the incredible story of how God worked to create and distribute the movies. He also reveals how God was convicting him in many of the same areas as the movie topics. His dilemma-if he could be obedient in making movies for God, could he also be obedient in making changes in his life, too?

God said something to me…it’s like he spoke to me so clearly that I heard him word for word. He said, “Alex would you rather have an easier road with less fruit or a harder road with more fruit.” And I was so stunned at that, I turned to my wife and I said, “ God just asked me a question” And she said, “what?” And I said, “God just asked me a question.” And she said, “well what did you say?” I said, “I do not know. I did not answer.”

As a boy, for years we did not even have a television. Our parents were pretty conservative, loved the Lord and wanted to …you know rightly protect us. We were able to see on occasion a movie, a family friendly movie at the theater. I remember being enamored with these huge stories on screen. The Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Star Wars movies, and somewhere around the age of 9 or 10 I started thinking that I must do this. Most of the stories that I made as a kid with our home video camera were “chase them down beat them up” movies. We had to have action. We had to have humor. We would show them to our family and neighborhood friends and they would laugh with us but the older I got I remember seeing how a good story would impact the audience. That was my wakeup call. That God could say, “ Alex, I can use your desire to do this for my purposes and do more with it than you ever thought possible if you trust me with it.”

I prayed about it. And God gave me this idea for a plot called Flywheel. It was about a used car salesman who would live one way in front of his family and church friends and another way behind the scenes. Men began responding to the story of Flywheel saying, “that’s me” on the screen. “that is me.” Then before we knew it, Blockbuster video had picked it up and put it in their stores nationwide. And I was excited and at the same time I was overwhelmed. Our Pastor Michael then said, “this may be an open door that God has given us. We may need to pray about continuing this avenue for ministry.”

That led us to our second movie Facing the Giants. I had no clue what was coming. God was about to teach us something hard, and yet amazing. We felt a very strong sense that God was saying, “Deal with faith.” Everyone has a giant fear, sense of failure, struggling with inferiority, or some ball and chain in their own life.“

We asked the question – Is God only worthy of being worship when he is doing good to you or is he worthy of being worshiped because he is God? I was excited about this message, and then we go knock on several doors of distributors, hoping that somebody will pick it up and release it theatrically.

No one was interested. They said, “ it’s a nice story.” “not really our cup of tea or something we feel like would work well enough to invest for a theatrical release.” So I was frustrated. And I said, “God I feel like you gave us this theme and this message and you took us down this road. And we have poured our heart and soul into this. We did this for you and now it is sitting on a shelf. No one is interested, why?”

God said to me, “Alex you made a movie that says that God is worth worshiping and serving whether you win or whether you lose. Will you do that with this film?” so we surrendered it to God and I died to a theatrical release.

Soon after that a music company we had asked permission to use a song in the film calls us. And they say to us, “not only can you use the song, but our parent company is interested in releasing your movie theatrically. “ We said, “Who is your parent company?” They said, “Sony.” The one door we had not knocked on. God opened a door we could not have opened. We did not even knock on their door.

Facing the Giants was released in several hundred movie theatres in fall of 2006. It did better than any of us expected. The marketing budget was small and the number of theaters was so far less than any other Hollywood movie, but the response was incredible. People were saying, “this is my giant , that’s my giant.” God had done the same thing in my life and watching him do it in so many other lives was so fulfilling.

As the platform expanded for us to tell these stories, as more theatres jumped on board, more ministries caught hold of what these movies could do for people. For some reason, the path got harder for us.

My time with my wife and my children began to lessen and began to pull on my own identity. Who am I? What am I supposed to be doing here? And it would only get harder from there.

As we continued praying, God impressed on us to make a film about a marriage totally surrendered to him. God gave us this concept for what we called the Love Dare. About a husband who’s marriage was failing and so he wanted out and his wife wanted out and the husband’s dad who had trusted God late in his life came to him and said, “don’t get divorced, yet, I want you to hold off for 40 days, before proceeding and I want you to apply these principles to your life and how you treat your wife for 40 days.”

So we make this movie Fireproof. And my brother, Stephen, and I start praying through, should we write this book The Love Dare for real. As we are working on this book, we find a publisher for it, but before it comes out, issues in my own marriage started to bubble up to the surface.

Some insecurity in my wife and some of her frustration that– because I was pouring so much of myself into something that was good- she felt in many ways neglected- put on the back burner.

I knew she loved me and I knew I loved her, but I was thinking “what is going on here?” I was writing a book and making a movie about how to have a Godly marriage and my own marriage was being stretched and pulled more than it ever had.

And initially that frustrated me. And I remember thinking, “ why can you not be on my team?” so we agreed to go to marital counseling. While we are in counseling this book the Love Dare on how to have a good marriage is being released. It is not that the Love Dare wasn’t true and didn’t work ‘cause they are biblical principles and I ended up doing it in my own marriage. But God stripped me down to the core and reminded me that just because I know truth in my head doesn’t mean that I have it all figured out in my own heart. That I needed him as much as anybody. I had to cling to his grace and his truth as much as I ever had.

After Fireproof we asked “God do you want us to make another film and if so what should it be about.” And after praying God directed us to fatherhood. I do not have to tell you what is going on with men in our culture. They are not stepping up the way they need to step up and I was not stepping up the way I needed to step up. It kind of freaked me out because I was thinking, “God why are you making me live out the movies that we are presenting. You did it in Giants and you did it in Fireproof.” It kind of unnerved me because in some ways I was not so sure I wanted to do another movie.

God kind of has a way of knocking the pride out of you. But he also has a way of using you, so as long he gives me the strength and the grace to tell another story. If He is there with me, I’ll do it.

My prayer is that Courageous grabs men by their throats and reaches into their hearts and sparks them to chase after God. We want to see God rock our culture with men stepping up, so I’ll carry that torch. My brother, Stephen, will carry that torch. If He helps me. And I am counting on it.

My name is Alex Kendrick and I am Second.

Has this message touched you in any way? Make the decision and follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.


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