Things I Think

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71 Responses

  1. 1.) You hang with the wrong Christians. At my church and I am sure most Lutheran churches we are having services both Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving morning.

  2. I must confess, we do have more open space on our calender for dates like Thanksgiving than do evangelicals who fill their calender with Prophecy Conferences. 😉

  3. London says:

    1. I wish people would refuse to shop on thanksgiving at stores that don’t honor their employees family time on thanksgiving evening. Disgusting.
    2. Me either.
    3. Quit looking at the coverage as soon as I heard Obama won. I’ve unclicked “show in timeline” on all my ultra right wing friends on FB
    4. A pastor doesn’t have info about national security that needs to be guarded, but yeah, they should be removed too.
    5. You accomplished it by hanging out with heretics 😉
    6. See your #3. Can’take the hangover go away if you keep pouring the drinks.
    10. Nothing new there. Lots of snake oil salesmen in the pulpit.

  4. 7. I would dearly love to never preach or teach on eschatology, but I would have to cut out about three quarters of the Bible to accomplish that.

    It seems that would be the easiest bible teaching task – the same message for 3/4th of the scriptures.

    “Jesus will return and judge the living and the dead?” or if you want to add variety, you could say “Jesus will return and separate the sheep and the goats.”

    I see the problem – adding enough variety to keep the people interested. I guess you could throw in a “Jesus will return to separate the wheat from the tares”

  5. None of these apply to me apart from 2.
    Depends what you mean by horror movies.
    Slash/gore fests bore me.
    Classic horror like haunted houses Frankenstein etc really are right up my street

  6. Lutheran says:

    10. Carl Trueman is a real treasure to the wider Church, IMHO. Thanks for posting that, Michael.

  7. Bryan Stupar says:

    I believe President Obama is lightyears better than Caesar.
    Regarding Caesar, Paul declared, “for he is God’s servant for your good.” -Rom. 13:4
    By this criteria I can only speculate how Paul (and all 1st century believers) would’ve viewed our President.

  8. Kevin H says:

    1. And now Black Friday has actually crept into Thanksgiving day itself the past couple of years. 🙄

    2. I like a movie with good suspense, even if it’s scary. But the slasher movies and those out just to get a scream, I don’t get at all either.

    4. Penn State, although certainly compelled by public pressure, has taken more steps to address its problems than mnay church institutions have taken to address their own similar problems.

    6. And here I thought it was God who sent Hurricane Sandy as judgment upon America, from what I had read. So someone else is claiming it was Satan? So if these people are all supposedly speaking for God, how can they both be right?

    8. I thought it was a swarm of bumble bees.

    10. That Trueman is a wise man and I admire his willingness to speak.

  9. Alex says:

    “Cultists and con-men are identifiable only by their culture, not by their confessions.”

    Amen, times the US Deficit.

    You, I and many others have been beating that drum for years.

  10. Alex says:

    Well. would love to stay and chat, but I almost forgot that the deadline to respond to ‘ol Calvary Chapel Bob’s lawsuit is today. I better get crackin!

  11. sarahkwolfe says:

    1. Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays. My family is a family of story-tellers and we are comfortable sitting around the table for hours. The food was always fantastic, and it was a full day of just being together. I’ve never shopped on Black Friday, and never intend to. I will say that this year has been very bittersweet as for some reason I have been flooded by memories of Thanksgiving growing up (it was a formal, dress-up event) and am now preparing for the Thanksgiving of present…very informal and not quite as comfortable sitting and telling stories. I’ll be very aware that my Dad is sitting at home with mom not celebrating at all because the confusion of being at the holiday table is too difficult for mom.

    2. I like suspense movies, but not horror.

    3. I’ve still had a few conversations…with folks both elated and devastated. Mostly there is a settling in, but there is also a relief that the election process is over.

    4. Yep.

    5. I may be a pollyanna…but I am continually amazed by what I see happening in the church around me. It is a public institution…and yet it is filled with passionate people doing some pretty great things, and just living a life that shows they believe in God.

    6. I know that I am loose with my words sometimes and little people constantly repeat back to me those words at key moments. I’m glad I just have 4 listening to me.

    7-8 no big comment…

    9. Yep.

    10 really good stuff.

  12. Ixtlan says:

    @ 7
    It depends which Caesar. The Apocalypse was not nearly so kind to the government as Paul.

  13. DavidH says:

    1. Our family Thanksgiving celebration has become very small. It’s just me, my wife, my son, and my mom. These have become very precious days for my little family. My mom is almost 81, and such a dear person to us. She spent years battling depression, and has finally found a medication that works. I’m blessed to have her. And I thank God for a wonderful wife and a great son.

    3. & 5. Politics and religion shouldn’t be mixed. It never becomes a solution.

  14. Em says:

    #7 – “By this criteria I can only speculate how Paul (and all 1st century believers) would’ve viewed our President”
    hmmm … i speculated on that comment … perhaps those folk – pew sitters, church leaders and Apostles – had too much on their plate, learning to do the Lord’s business, to care about the government much … except, maybe, staying clear of it as much as possible

  15. nomans says:

    1 Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
    2 LOVE a good thriller/horror movie
    3 that can be fixed by simply editing who you read
    4&5 yes and amen
    6 disagree
    7 just because something takes up space doesn’t mean it deserves emphasis… Or in other cases, mania (not yours)
    8 just plain mean
    9 WORD!
    10 again i say WORD!
    11 is all caps + exclamation point redundant?
    12 ok, i added that last one

  16. jlo says:

    Thanksgiving will be bitter sweet for me this year.

    I get to spend the day with my Mom and cousin, which I haven’t done for the past eight years, which is the sweet part.

    I will miss hosting the day for my in-laws, which is the bitter part.

    But on the other hand I won’t have to cook for 30 people.

  17. Nonnie says:


  18. PP Vet says:

    1. Agree
    2. Agree
    3. Agree
    4. Agree
    5. Agree
    6. Agree
    7. Agree
    8. Agree
    9. Agree, except the English language has not changed much in the last two weeks, and it is still true that there is no apostrophe in the possessive pronoun “its” (there is an apostrophe in the contraction “it’s” of course).
    10. Agree

  19. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I love Thanksgiving, reminds me of the old Starrcade’s that Jim Crockett Promotions use to put on back in the 80’s

  20. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I think each person should celebrate whatever Holiday as they wants, for some one day is special and for others every day is the same and neither is wrong. I don’t celebrate Easter or Haloween but I do celebrate Thanksgiving and to a lesser extent Christmas without the presents

  21. filbertz says:

    We catered a church’s Thanksgiving meal last night…well over two hundred people, and they had a grand time enjoying each others company, recounting their blessings, and chowing down on traditional holiday grub. It was a lot of work for us, but to witness their solidarity and joy was balm to my weary soul.

    Pittsburgh’s uniforms were ghastly. Throwback? More like throw-up. 😉

    Anyone’s pronouncements (#6 above) should be questioned and scrutinized. I chastise my students from time to time for giving me a free pass.

  22. Em says:

    #10 – is full of food for thought for me today … “culture?” how did the Church’s message slide from being in contrast to the times, from challenging them to accommodating them? in reality, has looking and acting successful by the world’s standard – like Romans (or Greeks) – ever made the gospel more impacting?

    when one considers the condemnation our Lord had for Jewish religious practices 2,000 years back . . . ? . . . has the mindset of John the Baptist ever really been understood? … or the mind of Christ? … dunno … “forgive us of our sins” is for serious prayer

    Carl Trueman’s words are so well spoken and even frightening … praying that those of us who need to hear them will

  23. Josh Hamrick says:

    Is Trueman talking about The Elephant’s Debt?

  24. victorious says:

    #5. Yes and Amen. However, I need to be careful in my skepticism of the institution because people of thr church still function to varyin degrees within it.

    Trueman nailed it.Culture of the truth does correspond with the truth of creed in deed.

    Apostasy begins with a departure in ethics. At first it is covered by orthodox creed. Subsequent generations distort the doctrine to fit

  25. Em says:

    may God bless and keep jlo … and all whose (not who’s) Thanksgiving observance is challenged by stress and sorrows

    FWIW – the various forgotten or overused apostrophes and commas? God forgive us, if You care Lord 🙂

  26. Hey…just found out the PP is back up. Out of the loop. Re Ptts uniorms, I couldnt help but think of the old Saturday Night Live! Sketch with John Belushi. They were all dressed up a killer bees

  27. Scott says:

    #6 made me laugh out loud. Don’t hold your breath on the good weather though, at least in our neck of the woods, we’re in for some nasty weather the next couple of days.

  28. Scott says:

    I’m so happy I get to spend Thanksgiving at home. I’m equally thankful that my boss is actually paying me to be with family and to overeat. That’s a good deal 😉

  29. Babylon's Dread aka Alan Hawkins says:

    4. It’s an odd time when the general is fired for adultery and the preacher just gets relocated…

    Why did the info on this long-over affair come out a week after the election and a week before the Benghazi hearings? Methinks something more sinister than an exercise of reckless libido was afoot with that. Something of a General relocation for political ends. As for relocating the preacher? Hell shoot him.

  30. Babylon's Dread aka Alan Hawkins says:

    I hate horror movies but they beat the economic collapse of a nation that cannot say no to itself. I suspect we will live to see more of both.

  31. Babylon's Dread aka Alan Hawkins says:

    As for cynical… well I am cynical of institutions religious, corporate and public … they all serve the beast … but the bride doesn’t

  32. Nonnie says:

    BD, Just keep on talking!!! We are listening!! Great stuff.

  33. Dave Rolph says:

    I alerted my church on Sunday of the dark days we are facing as a nation. But my concern isn’t political. I am deeply devastated by the collapse of Hostess. I don’t know if I want to live in a world without Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

  34. Scott says:

    No fear, Dave. Looks like a Mexican company called Bimbo is in the running to buy the recipes and name trademarks. They will produce the products in Mexico on .50 an hr wages and ship them back up here to us.

  35. Babylon's Dread aka Alan Hawkins says:

    As for preaching without eschatology … Michael is correct. It would be like eating without swallowing. Anyone who says “Jesus is LORD” has preached the eschatos present and future. “For the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ”

  36. Babylon's Dread aka Alan Hawkins says:

    Once again Christians in my tribe have ballyhooed a new “leader” who is anointed but without character. … Not sure I can sustain this… No I can sustain restoration just not the ballyhooing tribe….

  37. Alex says:

    If Mexico passes…the Chinese Govt. will buy the Twinkies, build a factory in China and sell them to us in Wal-Marts across the land. The Twinkie will live on!

    Sucks for the Twinkie Union. I guess they weren’t special like GM Union workers. Cold hard capitalism and no bail out for the Twinkie dudes. Sucks to be them. Guess they should have donated more to the 0bama campaign 🙂

  38. Babylon's Dread aka Alan Hawkins says:

    What would we do without Mexico and China … alas our bitten apples would demand so much greater consequence.

  39. Alex says:

    Hey, the South said they needed the Slaves for their Economy to survive….I guess we need the Factory Slaves in China and Mexico, Vietnam, India etc as well…just sayin’

  40. jlo says:

    I used to be involved in a ministry that distributed food twice a month, to those that needed it within our body. Bimbo was the company that donated bread.

  41. Scott says:

    Just think how the Nexican drug cartels could capitalize on smuggling drugs in via products like Snowballs, Zingers and Ding Dongs.

  42. Scott says:

    I heard today that guys with Hostess delivery routes in California made around $80,000 a year plus $25,000 in benefits.

  43. jlo says:

    Pot – Twinkies. just cut out the middle man. 😆

  44. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Michael, your points 3 and 7 are more interlaced than might first appear. 🙂 Lots of horror movies take inspiration from End Times hysteria and demon possession tropes. Even the slasher genre ,rather broadly, has some serial killer wreaking vengeance via identity-guilt on fornicators. I was musing on how in politics we see one of the few places in which a frequently secular and “post Christian” society is still willing to employ apocalyptic language … which may get back to point 3.

  45. Em says:

    2 – real life has enough horrors IMHO – give me the good old English Who dunits especially Foyle’s War … but one gets the impression for a country its size, England sure has a lot of murders 🙂 (& that’s without guns)

    God keep all close and comforted … and, if MLD and BD will forgive me, come soon, Lord Jesus, please

  46. Papias says:

    1. Christmas will come. I will begin playing Christmas music soon.
    2. I enjoy a good scary movie(The Changeling w/George C Scott is one of my favs, as well The Legend of Hell House w/ Roddy McDowell).
    I also like the zombie genre and have partaken of every Walking Dead episode thus far. The combination of end times and the genres propensity to show us that we have more to fear from the living than the dead is captivating. And yes, Glenn should have shot Merle and taken his chances with Daryl – but the setup for the BIG MEETING between those in the prison and those in Woodby(sp?) is a coming.
    6. People need to know when leaders are going off the rails.
    8. The Steelers looked like Stryper, and I like Stryper. 🙂
    10 . Trueman says it better than I could dream of saying it.

  47. Another Voice says:

    Christmas and Easter have been celebrated by Christians worldwide for centuries and centuries. Thanksgiving is like July 4th. Foundational to America, but uniquely American – and Christians can enjoy what both American holidays celebrate with a similar thanks to the Lord.

    And whereas I would love to see the commercialism of Christmas and Easter disappear, I have no desire to see Thanksgiving lose its football, big baloon parade at Macy’s, family and food get togethers, or (though not my practice) its Black Friday tradition. (I do wish the stores would wait until Friday though). Shopping for some, after Thanksgiving, is as much about family and tradition as watching the Cowboys or Lions is to other families.

    But it is funny how time alters perspective. Imagine if today, in the moment, an embattled President (Republican no less), hated by half the people and under strong attack from his own side as well, had suspended the Constitutional protection of habeus corpus. (Oh wait, that happened. Well continuing on…)

    He had just presided over the worst bloodshed in the history of the nation, and who was fighting for his political life one year before his reelection, had given a speech declaring these problems were God’s judgment because of the nation’s sins, and the nation needed to get right with God.

    Now, I’m the first to put Lincoln next to George Washington as the two Presidents without whom we would not have a United States today. And I do not doubt Lincoln’s sincerity of belief in what he said in the proclamation.

    But Thanksgiving is a political holiday as is July 4th. I love America and I love these two holidays – and I love the freedom that both speak towards.

    And I thank God for that freedom.

  48. Another Voice says:

    Oh man, horror movies that inspiration from endtimes hysteria??

    I don’t think we can blame the pretribbers for humanity’s obsession with the end of the world. Though the end of the world obsession does substitute as a religion for many people in this world.

    Horror movies are over 100 years old. They are usually cheap to produce and don’t require a huge box office to make money. And on occasion one hits the jackpot and has a successful franchise develop like Halloween, Friday the 13th or the more recent Saw series of films.

    Guys like them because their girlfriends get scared and cuddle up to them. Guys without girlfriends like them so they can crack jokes with each other throughout the films. It isn’t rocket science and the intended audience is hardly those with less years removed from getting social security compared to graduating high school

    I watched every horror movie made in the 1980s during one of the golden eras – and I could not have told you one word in those years about ‘the endtimes’

  49. I have a unique connection with Thanksgiving, 1955.

    Because of that I have had plenty of Thanksgiving Day sensory overload, such as the earliest memories of the Macy’s Parade, and the new ones made when I moved to Southern California and learned of KTLA’s Twilight Zone Marathon, which had the greatest spiritual impact for me when I least expected it, especially being profoundly touched by

    TIL “The Macy’s / Thanksgiving Connection”
    “Abraham Lincoln’s successors as president followed his example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt broke with this tradition. November had five Thursdays that year (instead of the more-common four), and Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. Although many popular histories state otherwise, he made clear that his plan was to establish the holiday on the next-to-last Thursday in the month instead of the last one. With the country still in the midst of The Great Depression, Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas. Increasing profits and spending during this period, Roosevelt hoped, would help bring the country out of the Depression. At the time, advertising goods for Christmas before Thanksgiving was considered inappropriate. Fred Lazarus, Jr., founder of the Federated Department Stores (later Macy’s), is credited with convincing Roosevelt to push Thanksgiving back a week to expand the shopping season., and within two years the change passed through Congress into law. Republicans decried the change, calling it an affront to the memory of Lincoln. People began referring to November 30 as the “Republican Thanksgiving” and November 23 as the “Democratic Thanksgiving” or “Franksgiving”. Regardless of the politics, many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change. Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt’s change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt’s recommendation, 22 did not, and some, like Texas, could not decide and took both days as government holidays.
    In 1940 and 1941, years in which November had four Thursdays, Roosevelt declared the third one as Thanksgiving. As in 1939, some states went along with the change while others retained the traditional last-Thursday date.”

  50. Moral of the story (so far), nothing is sacred unless we make it so

  51. Another Voice says:

    I forgot about the Twilight Zone marathon. When I was a kid in the 70s that was the only time all year I could watch the Twilight Zone and then I would have something to discuss with the son of the friends of my parents we had dinner with each year (neither of us had family in the area) – a much older guy (the son) who I only saw once a year and thus did not have much in common to talk about.

    (And as an aside, more than half of those shows were also about the end of the world)

  52. Babylon's Dread aka Alan Hawkins says:

    Lord I forgive EM but … Thy Kingdom Come…

  53. DavidH says:

    We need a revival of the Twilight Zone Marathon, and The Three Stooges Marathon.

  54. “(And as an aside, more than half of those shows were also about the end of the world)”

    …which is why it was so refreshing to find the jewels like the one I posted about

  55. I was so torn about how ChuckSr was telling everyone about how he would be surprised to be here beyond the new year with The Lord’s Soon return. Yep, about half of The Twilight Zone Marathon consisted of dystopian horror which appealed to us all, being morbidly fascinated by the soon Rapture, hoping to be pure enough to escape the judgment and wrath to come. That episode, , was when I made peace with the idea that death is part of life, and that life, to be enjoyed fully, was not something to be morbidly feared, separating from the world, huddled away and locked from life. That was when I decided that life was beautiful, and that perhaps God would bless each day, one more day as a gift.

    And when we celebrated the New Year with our “Chuck Is Surprised Party”, we all decided that generations before us were convinced that they would be The Terminal Generation, and that they were also wrong.

    “You see. No shock. No engulfment. No tearing asunder. What you feared would come like an explosion is like a whisper. What you thought was the end is the beginning.”

  56. Alex says:

    G’s #55 is a beautiful post. That quote is awesome.

  57. PP Vet says:

    Last horror movie I saw was in April of 1970. In Paris. In English with French subtitles. Night of the Living Dead. Or, to be more precise, La Nuit des Morts Vivants.

  58. Lutherans take all opportunities to gather for thanksgiving – even “civic” days. On the Sunday around Veterans Day each year we honor those who served the nation as a part of their Christian vocation – with the emphasis on Christian vocation.

    I disagree with AV to the extent that there is a division – that Thanksgiving Day is a political holiday – all days belong to the Lord and I think even Presidents have lucid moments where they realize that the hold a great vocation before God – and the declaration of a day of thanks comes in that vein.

  59. Nonnie says:

    Funny, I have never thought of Thanksgiving as a political or national holiday, but rather as a holiday that remembers special time in our nation’s history; a time when folks humbly came together to thank God for His grace and sufficiency in their lives. I honestly thought Thanksgiving was a day of honouring the Lord, rather than a political holiday. My husband and I still celebrate it (in our own way) even when living overseas and not gathering with our family. To me it is also a reminder that everyday should be a day of thanksgiving. He is worthy.

  60. Michael says:

    It’s utterly odious to me to consider Thanksgiving a “political” holiday…

  61. Another Voice says:

    Like I said, it is funny how time alters perspective. The history about how this became a holiday are as I stated above. If we had a Huffington Post back in 1863 they would not have been amused.

    (By ‘political holiday’ I simply meant it is something a politician proclaimed and Americans (only) celebrate as a result and (like July 4th) it became traditionalized in our country)

    G properly points to a time in our history when the politicians, for their own purposes, tried to screw around with Thanksgiving as a holiday until they decided to finalize as to when this holiday would be celebrated. THEY decided.

    MLD is right, Christians can give thanks around a variety of days (like my July 4th example).

    Our family has a special dinner each Friday night where we give thanks to the Lord for our blessings and the prior week and the weekend to come.

    Once a year isn’t enough for us 😉 But that’s why I said I would hate to see the traditions of Thanksgiving go away for they make the holiday what it is for American families across our nation – whereas I would love to see the Easter bunny disappear.

  62. Another Voice says:

    The National Day of Prayer originated in 1952 and has been celebrated by every President from all political parties, every year, since. In the 1980s a fixed date for the National Day of Prayer was set.

    Try to explain to Christians from other countries why Thanksgiving is this important Christian holiday and the National Day of Prayer is mostly ignored, and usually discussed only by making cynical comments about political agendas.

    Time? Because Thanksgiving is an extra 90 years older?

    Because the government takes the day off and most employers do the same?

    Because the North won the Civil War (thankfully)?

    Or in the words of Fiddler on the Roof…TRADITION!!

    To repeat, I love Thanksgiving. ALWAYS have. And while it may have more meaning now that I am a Christian, as MLD noted, so does Veterans Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, and so forth.

  63. Em says:

    #52 – BD, you are right to be offended – my wording was way off – i was thinking of the protest that goes up here over the interpretations of a rapturing out of the Church and the soon(?) following thousand years that our Lord will reign on earth …

    MLD and BD forgive me, i know you both long for our Lord’s return as strong or stronger than any Believer

  64. Em says:

    growing up in the 40s, as taught (filtered by me?) at R.D. White elementary school, the Thanksgiving observance was celebrating survival and cooperation between the Pilgrims and the Indians – half the class wore pilgrim hats and the other half wore headbands with feathers – we learned that we had to cooperate 🙂 dunno 🙄

  65. Another Voice says:

    Em – I went to R.D. White as well. 🙂

  66. Alex,
    Thanks. It was a life changer for me, hope you find the same comfort.

    Praying for your victory in court

  67. Em says:

    old folk memory lane alert *

    AV, R.D. White in “my” day was a great school with great teachers (& one weird one) – one of the rare schools at that time to have a cafeteria and a gymnasium … Fridays they served hot dogs (with or without catsup and mustard) and for those many students for whom hot dogs were against their religion they served mac ‘n cheese and all with the obligatory choice of veges cooked to oblivion: string beans, peas, corn … the big transition was to complete third grade, move upstairs to desks with real ink in the inkwells and … gasp! your very own ink pen … back in those days no one brought school supplies from home – that would have been akin to third world desperation

  68. Another Voice says:

    Em – I was there from K-6th. Upstairs for us happened at 4th grade. We did not have a gym though?? Wonder what happened. There was a great yard for organized sports at lunch and break, and a great teacher who did the organizing. I recall driving by there a few years ago and saw most of that playground space lost to bungalos for more students.

    We had a great auditorium too, and did major plays once a year (and sang carols to Jesus at Christmas).

    6th grade was the best. We did things quite differently than the earlier years, and made us feel so much older.

    I too had great teachers. One in particular changed my life greatly. A great man and truly a servant.

    As to school supplies. Yes, we too were given them on the first day. And that is why to this day I cut scissors lefthanded. It is all they had left by the time they got to my last name in the handing out. 🙂

  69. Another Voice says:

    I see now I misread you. You moved upstairs at 4th grade too! 🙂

  70. Lutheran says:

    ‘the book was written not to strike fear into people, but to encourage and give hope to a persecuted people.’


    Fee’s perspective appears to dovetail nicely with another Regent (or maybe ex-Regent) professor, Marva Dawn’s book on Revelation. I’m thinking especially of Revelation as a book of hope. Her POV is more about the hope the Book gives to people with a lot of physical limitations and chronic health conditions.

  71. Em says:

    AV, yes, the auditorium – i remember those wooden folding seats, it seemed like such a large cavernous space back then … the gym was a wing that jutted out into that great playground that you described, it was where we held our scout meetings … perhaps, it was converted to classrooms? or torn down even … all the teachers in my day were women

    enough of this – “times were better then” :smile”

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