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Healing: Retelling our stories with the scripture lenses, because who will?

Jesus healed the sick and made them whole in more ways than one. He spoke healing, commanded an unclean spirit to leave, with mud healed a blind man, and to another laid hands. He still is this great physician to-date as He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Some few months back, I was in this late-night prayer fellowship and boom! …God released healing to a man by word of knowledge through the minister of the Word that night. The man had been unwell for quite a long period of time and I could tell from our conversation after the meeting that he had somehow leaned in on the medical reports which never seemed to change much in his frequent hospital visits. But now, the Lord had handpicked him in this meeting, spoke concerning his medical condition to a stranger he only met that night during prayers and had his hope restored. The man rejoiced, praised God and couldn’t keep silent about how he had battled with that condition.

Recently, i met a young girl who had a bowing deformity but unlike the man, her condition was restored through medical treatment at AIC Cure International Hospital, Kijabe https://www.curekenya.org/. I will be sharing her story herein.

John chapter 9 is one of my favorite healing stories as it makes a beautiful script with a happy ending. Jesus heals a man born blind in a very unconventional way. Soon after the man’s sight is restored, he’s unrecognizable and……he just can’t shut up about Jesus! Jesus healed him! He gave him something he’s never had from birth…eyesight! But the neighbors and the legalistic Pharisees seemed disgusted at this breakthrough.

His first encounter was with the unbelieving neighbors. They formerly knew him as the blind beggar and thought the man must have had a look-like or even maybe, just maybe, a twin they did not know of. They sought to know how he was healed but were still unconvinced. He told them:

“…a man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, Go to the pool of Si-lo’am, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.” (John 9:11 KJVER)

It must have sounded untrue or impossible because the neighbors did not stop at that. They took him to the authorities to launch further investigations. Still the blind man gave them the same answers as before and at one point got pissed at their constant questioning because he had said everything he had encountered.

 Jesus must have really done a pretty good job when He restored the man’s eyes because even the Jewish leaders did not believe he had been blind (v.18) .They kept the man in holding and summoned his parents to find out whether his story checks up.

“…We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now sees, we know not; or who has opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself” answered His parents (John 9:20-21KJVER)

The man had encountered the greatest physician who changed a condition that was seemingly impossible and unbelievable. Jesus had earliermade one thing clear that probably the neighbors and Pharisees could not take in; “God receiving glory”

 “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents: but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3 ESV)

It is tragic that instead of seeing God at work, celebrating a miracle and salvation that had finally come, the society, leaders and family disassociated with the man making him feel bad for a good thing that had just happened in his life. Sounds familiar? Would they have the man beg all his life?

Well, this is what I find interesting. The man would rather stick with his confession about Jesus and be an outcast than tell the Pharisees what they wanted to hear. He holds fast to his confession and thereafter Jesus comes seeking after him, re-introduces Himself to the-now-visionary man, and openly rebukes the seeing-but-blind Pharisees (v.35-41). Don’t you love such happy ending! Jesus, the King of King stands up for the man! How cool is that 😉

I shared the scripture above to share this modern day story of a young girl named Emma who was born with a deformity that may have defined her or led to questions similar to those the disciples (or maybe society) asked about the blind mind. Who did sin? (v.2)

Emma was born with a deformity known as Infantile Blount’s disease which appears in the form of bowed legs. After several failed attempts to find cure and treatment, God through a stranger, provided information that led the parents to find help in a children’s Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya. At least unlike the blind man’s story in John 9, close friends and family joined in support as Emma’s parents sought treatment and raised money to correct the deformity. Her now restored legs look surreal and unbelievably healed.

Let’s just say that God’s glory was in display in this 5-year-old as she went through her healing journey just as Habakkuk 2:14 says:

“For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord.”

To read my article about Emma in full click this link https://www.pd.co.ke/lifestyle/my-daughter-defied-a-bowing-deformity-narrates-kihara-8949/?fbclid=IwAR0H7rILuX3Jnq7Kj1kd5d_IdyqeChraih-InupMIS49ktNSVnfzzrmac-s as it was published in one of Kenya’s popular newspaper on 8th October 2019.

© Copyright 2019 – Mary K.

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Defining purpose in a name

I’m a firm believer that there is much more to a person’s name than just getting a trendy or fancy name for a new born.

The bible shows this to be true as God changed Abram’s name to Abraham marking the beginning of the future that God had in store for him. Abraham’s name means the father of multitudes. Though Abraham had no offspring at the time God changed his name, he took up this new identity by faith and lived it out, and as you can tell, his descendants lives on to date.

Jesus Christ, John the baptist, Josiah, Ishamael, Isaac and Solomon are some of great characters in the bible whose names were prophesied before time. God had a specific assignment for their lives as hinted in their name meaning. For instance;

Solomon’s name means “peace” . He was born in a time when God had promised rest and the building of the temple (1 Chr 22:8-9)

Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, said he would be called Emmanuel meaning “God with us” (Isa 7:14) and He indeed lives in us!

Josiah whose name means “Jehovah will support”  had his name and assignment laid out many years before birth. He would destroy high places and alters of idolatry during his reign (1 Kings 13:1–3)

I would go on and on, but following my understanding on the relevance of names given to children, I wrote the article below and was published in one of Kenya’s popular newspaper;

Click this link to download and read People Daily Ke article by Mary Kinuthia

Enjoy the read!

Mary K.

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What is your Hebrews 11 Faith story?

Faith is not wishful thinking. Neither is it something you switch on and off during a time of need or convenience. It is a walk and a lifestyle seen in our daily acts of obedience in reverence to God’s word. We cannot please God because of how successful or charismatic one is while acting out of His word. This kind of success is credited to one’s personal determination and ambition.

We please God is by living by faith founded on His Word! True pursuit of faith is sought by sons of God; those who are in a relationship with the Father, commune with Him daily and are in pursuit to know the rewarder (God) more than they are motivated to seek the rewards from Him.

This got me thinking. If we, the modern-day-bible believing Christians were to re-write the bible chapter of Hebrews 11, what would our life story reveal about what faith is?  What would your story be? Here are some of past testimonies from few years back shared by my faith circle:

By faith we cheerfully and willingly gave towards missions, also partnering in labour in the great commission, because we esteemed the preaching of the good news to the poor better than accumulating wealth for our own personal ambitions, pleasure and projects only.

By faith we diligently modeled Christ to our children through family devotions, encouraging active participation in the local church and teaching them the ways of the Lord. We believed children are a heritage from God and it is a divine call for every parent to raise a godly offspring for God (Deu 6:5-9).

By faith we rightly divided the word of truth without drifting into enticing words and perverted doctrine to draw followers and congregants to self. We believed in the divine sufficiency of grace knowing that what Jesus had started in our lives and ministry, He would bring to completion without having to fake anything or perfect by our own humanly works. What was begun by the Spirit would be perfected by the same Spirit of God.

By faith we waited on God and He gave us godly families just as he gave Shiphrah and Puah who walked in the fear the Lord (Exo 1:15-22)

By faith we remained faithful to our walk of faith and calling, even when we did not see instant results knowing that as we continuously plant and water, God in his time would bring the increase (1 Cor 3:6).

By faith we addressed our personality weaknesses, fear, rejection, failures, intimidation, addictions and self-esteem issues by prayers believing His grace stands out in our weakness (2 Cor 15:9). We believed in Him who is able to use the seemingly weak things to shame the wise and He did (1 Cor 1:27)

By faith, we forgave our offenders, accusers and enemies without having to send anything back to sender because we have tasted of His unconditional love and hate cannot find a place in us (Luke 6:27, 35). We couldn’t help but love them back, trusting in God’s justice system for He is a righteous judge (Ps 89:14).

By faith we refused to give brides to the corrupt road officers, choosing to spend the night in a prison cell and refusing to compromise our integrity. We believed God as a deliverer and a present help in trouble just as He was with Joseph, Daniel, Shadrack, Misheck and Abednego.

By faith we traveled far and wide to spend time in God’s presence, putting on hold personal plans, missing out big business and latest TV shows, because we believed a day in his presence (or a night or a week at church conference) is better than a thousand days in the office, watching soccer or playing video games.

By faith we served faithfully in our local church, not out of compulsion or with a need for recognition. But because we believed greatness in God’s Kingdom is reflected through servanthood and faithful stewardship. We believed God as the only rewarder and upholder of the humble (I Pet 5:5b).

By faith we obeyed the call to plant a church trusting Jesus as the builder and that He would draw church members (sons)to Himself when glorified.

 

The Just shall live by faith…Rom 1:17

 

Every small act of faith matters. It begins at the size of a small mustard seed and grows to a huge tree that provides shelter for others. Do you have a Hebrews 11 modern-day-faith story? Believe the Word! Live it! see what happens

© Copyright 2019 – Mary K.

My all time fave says it better in lyrics: The Blessing by John Waller

Local C.

The truth about the great commission is…

The local church is as a womb that provides spiritual nourishment and spiritual renewal constantly recharging the believers’ faith. This process is not in full effect if ever the great commission is bypassed by a church.

This month, my local church, Uzima Centre, has spent considerable time praying, planning and labouring (both physical and spiritually in prayer) in hosting a five days Tent Meeting Crusade at Ruiru City Stadium, Kiambu County. Here are some of the practical truths about the great commission i have learnt from my active participation of the ongoing 2019 Tent Meeting planning and those held in the past:

The genesis…

During His ministry here on earth, Jesus called the twelve disciples to be with Him, and then sent them out into all nations, giving them power and authority over All devils and commanded them to Heal the sick (Luke 9:1).  He laid down the model for the great commission which applies to His disciples today.

The truth about the great commission is that…

  1. You have to be with Him.

Mary sat at His feet, John rested on His bosom, while Peter, James, John and Matthew took up apprenticeship when they followed Jesus without much hesitation, even when it meant their profession would be at stake. Read your bible and pray every day sounds cliché, but the truth is that nobody has ever grown spiritually, received power, authority and commissioning without having spent a considerable time with Jesus (The Word) and serving under another’s authority. The sons of Sceva attempted their own one-day-self-appointing-and-commissioning but ended up with a thorough beating from the devil (Acts 19:11-20). The truth is that, you have to be planted in a local church where you are grounded in the Word and matured in Christ.

Uzima Centre Sunday worship, Equip & Leadership training program and worship training 

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Photo Credit: Uzima Centre , media team

2. You are not your own provider lest you glory in your own provision.

In Luke 9:3 Jesus forbade them not to take anything for their journey. The great commission is not a personal project but a God-given assignment in a set time and season. I am yet to see a kingdom vision that doesn’t require Faith in God. Truth is that, every God given vision may look intimidating but it calls for total dependence on God. The harvest is His, and so are the laborers and resources. We have access to them by prayer (Matt 9:37-38)

Uzima Centre believers labouring in Tent Meeting ground preparation, Ruiru City Stadium

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Photo Credit: Uzima Centre , media team

3. It takes a leap, stretch and exercise of faith.

Resources are spent for the mission, the invitations and fliers are sent out, numerous prayers are made, other mission distracting appointments are cancelled, family dinners are sacrificially missed, like the sower the seed of Word of God is scattered and an alter call is made. No one has the script of the final turn-out of events but God. The minister can do as much as believing, exercising faith and trusting God for a greater harvest by banking on the written and rhema (spoken) word until it is established. I have known our faith to waver but never has it been the nature of God to lie. The great commission is a call to step out of the boat like Peter at His command.

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Photo Credit: Uzima Centre , media team

4. It brings unity among the believers.

The early church embodied unity in serving together, reaching out and the results were tremendous (Acts 2:41-47). It takes humility to submit to another person’s kingdom vision and make it happen while yours is still on a-burning-heart-desire-stage 😉 . Just as Jesus submitted to God’s plan of redemption and the church submits to Christ, the believers are to submit to their appointed authority in church. Also, unity among believers brings an understanding that every person is a significant part of the body of Christ, whether seen or unseen. It is then that together they can accomplish much, attract a godly blessing and together make up a fixed dwelling place for God by His spirit.

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5. It’s the fulfillment of the command to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue and have dominion (Gen 1:28)

Reaching out is about adding into God’s ever increasing kingdom. The command to multiply is not only limited to procreation. All newly born-again believers who come to Christ are likened to a baby (I Peter 2:2). They grow from milk to meat after proper feeding of the word, becoming the light and salt to the world, a fragrance in this polluted world and a river that refreshes many.

 

Uzima Centre Tent meeting dates & Sunday School and Service

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Photo Credit: Uzima Centre , media team

© Copyright 2019 – Mary K.

If you so find yourself in Ruiru, Kiambu County (Kenya) on a Sunday, Uzima Centre Church, The Thika Road Church of Distinction, will be glad to worship together with you !

Tent Meeting crusade: 31st July – 4th Aug 2019 Join us!

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Lord, you have deceived me…

Dont say that to me

“I deserve better. Why do they treat me like this?” This statement has come up in many conversations I’ve had in the recent past.  Honestly, I don’t know anyone who has never had a reason to feel offended or has never offended anyone. Everyone has an inborn tendency to disappoint or be disappointed and it elicits a need to retaliate, seek justice and for some bitterness towards another.

Well, let’s take this a notch higher. I don’t know any follower of Christ who has never felt snubbed by God or Jesus if u like. Actually, it only takes one thought to get offended at what God has said, done or what He hasn’t done…yet. Personally, I’ve had several moments of disappointments and emotional roller coaster. He does have a way of keeping me waiting, and waiting….and waiting, challenging my due date and ways, and showing me it’s about His due time and season. But I’ve grown past them because I know His word is life in itself and by yielding to Him over and over.

Jeremiah shares my sentiments but in a more severe and acute manner. Out of sorrow, he felt deceived and overpowered by God due to the mockery and scorning he endured for speaking the truth of the Word.

Jer 20:7  O LORD, You have deceived me and I was deceived; You have overpowered me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me.

For me “deceived” is a strong word, because God is not a trickster. The devil is. Jeremiah then overrules his sorrow in verse 11-13 when he looks back in a positive light, remembers God’s faithfulness, greatness, and justice. He also has an indelible writing inscribed in his heart, a burning fire of the Word that compelled him to carry on with his assignment. I have been walking with God long enough to know that when you capture the revelation of His love you just can’t quit. It burns within. It compels you to speak out.

Fast forward to the dispensation of Grace.  It is possible that Jesus still offends more than any man who has ever lived on the face of the earth. Wherever Jesus went, he offended people, or people were offended because of Him. Unfortunately for many, He never apologized for his words and actions.

Think about how His devout servant and cousin, John the Baptist, was shut up in Herod’s irksome prison and died a gruesome death, yet Jesus came to set the captives free and did nothing about John. Blessed is he who shall not be offended in me (Mat 11:6), was all He had to say to John in such a time of acute stress. “Get behind me Satan!” This was His response to Peter, just moments after Peter outshined the other disciples with the brilliant revelation of Jesus being the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matt 16:16-23). His teaching and actions defied the wisdom of the well taught Pharisees, and He did not shy away from calling them hypocrites, serpents, and a generation of vipers right in front of their face (Mat 23:29,33). And if you thought it was all pep talk with His own family, well, you’re wrong. When His mother and brothers called for him as He ministered to a crowd, he disowned them saying “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father…the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mat 12:46,50).

Rock of stumblingI’m not trying to make it appear as if Jesus was on a mission to offend people, no. He was on a mission to tell the truth. When He said, blessed is he who is not offended in me, He meant The Word. He is the Word of God, the truth, the way and the life.

The Word of God offends.  Anything that is not of God, including a carnal thought will certainly get antagonized by the truth of the Word. In the same manner, those who do not accept or believe the truth get offended, and most especially by the one sharing this truth. Paul became an enemy to the Galatians (Gal 4:16) and Jeremiah a laughing stock to the Israelites for sharing the truth. The Word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword and it discerns thoughts and intents of a person’s hearts bringing his or her true nature to the surface. For the Pharisees, pride and hate came to the surface, for Jeremiah and the disciples their love for God did, in fact, it was solidified by the truth.

This being the eschatological times according to Mat 24:10 “And then shall many be offended…” it is certain that many will be offended with how God is working in their lives more than when Jesus walked on earth. War, loss, incurable diseases, nations rising against others, earthquakes, pestilences, unemployment, financial strain, persecution, deception and death toll continues to mount up.  In such times, many of Jesus followers will either persevere or give up, be blessed or offended. Those who are after earthly bread and fish (a decent way of saying prosperity) will depart and walk with Him no more as in John 6:66-69.  But those like Peter and the eleven, who knows that Jesus has the words of eternal life, and that there is no other place they would rather be, will let go offences and solder on knowing the reward of perseverance awaits.

The enemy is very cunning. He uses offense as a snare to cause division in the body of Christ, and make a great man/woman who has served God faithfully feel forsaken, disrespected and less anointed to the point of caving in. However, one solid foundational truth remains; that the leadership of Jesus is good. Whatever He says, what he does or does not do, or allows in our lives is motivated by His perfect love for us. All He requires is perfect humility. But when your proud ego gets easily affronted, Satan knows that he has already won because we stop growing in love. In fact, he will be happier to give you a pampering alternative which will not offend you, one your ego can easily embrace. It won’t be long though, until it eats away every productivity in your life like a cancer, unless you release it back to God. So, don’t harbor hard feelings, nor nourish those of others. Instead, point them to the healer, and let Him work His perfect work within.  That’s how we forsake all and follow Jesus.

Mat 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Marie K.

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Sow a seed…(Panda mbegu)

Mention panda mbegu (sow a seed) to Kenyans and many will hurl words of insults back at you. Others who’ve been intoxicated by ‘Preachers of L.A’ the movie will bitterly tell you how panda mbegu (sow a seed) churches have become mega through what they now believe to be a scam. To some extent, their anger is understandable following recent scandals. But to a greater extent, it is not.

The law of sowing and reaping, giving and receiving is a biblical principle that cannot be nullified. Seed time and harvest will never cease, and bread cast upon the waters will be found after many days as the bible clearly states. But, don’t get me wrong. As much as I believe in this law, I am not blind to the fact that panda mbegu (sowing) has been widely misused by those Jesus called hirelings. Those who do not care about the sheep.

Well, my intention today is not to stir anyone to send money to any televangelist with the promise of receiving a 24hr miracle. Neither am I writing to encourage those on facebook compelled to hit like, share, or type amen on those heart-breaking images/posts with the promise to receive an instant miracle if they do, or receive a curse if they don’t…No. I intend to extend the definition of this principle from monetary value to good works.

Last week, the generosity of Kenyans on social media touched the hearts of many. Following an article by a well-known blogger, Kenyans gave bountifully within 24 hrs to help Emmanuel a.k.a Jadudi meet the cost of a forth brain surgery in India. The trending hashtag #1MilliForJadudi got Kenyans donating, raising six times the required amount needed to get “that thing” (a cancerous tumor) out of Jadudi’s head.

Also, in the recent past, we’ve had similar acts of mercy, but this time on air, during a breakfast show in a popular Kenyan vernacular radio station. Listeners respond heartily to a highlighted plea, donate to off-set huge medical bills and support cancer victims acquire medical treatment abroad by giving surpassing the target in few hours. Shiro wa GP’s can attest to that. These campaigns have restored hope to many, rousing many terminally ill to soldier on and keep fighting. Well, I call this sowing mercy and kindness.

You know, we sow and reap different kind of seeds on a daily basis. When we show people compassion, we reap compassion. If treat them with honor, we reap honor. When we chose not to forgive, we reap unforgiveness. If we sow acts of betrayal, we reap betrayal. And those who show mercy obtain mercy according to the beatitudes. In actual fact, the harvest usually comes in multiples, either for good or evil deed. Just like Jacob had a taste of his own medicine. He succeeded outwitting his aging father, Isaac. Decades later, a more far reaching family deception befell him when Laban gave him Leah instead of Rachael.

The seeds of good deeds like those sown to Jadudi are always before God and bringing glory to Him. Whoever gives to the poor lends to God, and the Lord pays back those loans in full (Prov 19:17). Certainly, the best seed one can sow when trusting God for a spouse, a job, a child, or those other things we believe God for, is by making it happen for another. Pray for someone in the same situation, give shelter to a homeless person if you can, pay school fees for a needy child, rock someone’s baby before yours comes, take part in someone’s marriage plans, get involved and labor in whichever way you can for another.

Even so, we should not grow weary in instances where we do not receive any approval or appreciation from men. If we persevere, God will multiply our seed of good works and send back a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over in due season. It comes when we least expect.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not

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Harden not your heart!

When we hear a minister talk of a hardened heart, our mind quickly envisions an unbeliever resisting the Word; Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:7 also comes to mind; “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”. Listening to a sermon at my local church few weeks ago, got me thinking how believers harden their hearts just as much as non-believers do.

A hardened heart is one which resists the Word of God, knowingly or unknowingly. This heart condition is triggered by the deceitfulness of sin, unforgiveness, pride, unbelief, fear, past disappointments, bitterness, traditions, or failure. Sooner or later, a person’s ability to spiritually perceive, hear, discern, and understand becomes dull. It can be equated to spiritual retardation…auch! Yeah, for the natural man does not understand the things of God, they are spiritually discerned by a heart willing to yield.

Hardness of heart is a spiritual condition every believer should guard against. Out of the heart flows the issues of life. Although we have received the promise of rest, it is possible to miss it when we hear the Word and fail to mix it with faith (Heb 4:1-11). This is well demonstrated by the 12 spies sent by Moses to spy the land, which the Lord had already given them. 10 of the 12 spies brought back a bad report of defeat, which was contrary to God’s word for them. Their report also instilled doubt, fear, unbelief and stirred up restlessness among the Israelites. Shocking how simple words of mouth by the 10 spies who resisted God’s promises became contagious in the entire nation resulting to the consequence of death.

On the contrary, Caleb and Joshua were exempted from that death sentence for they mixed God’s Word with faith. These spies had a different spirit called faith, and by it they obeyed and followed God wholeheartedly. Prompted by their faith in God, they did not speak what everybody spoke, even under the threat of being stoned (Num 14:10). Neither did they perceive themselves as grasshoppers when everybody did. They rose above the toxic atmosphere in a nation that would rather complain than conquer. They had the wisdom to see and believe that the Lord, who had shown Himself almighty against the Egyptians, must be equally almighty against the Canaanites.

The antidote for a hardened heart is entering into God’s rest. This is not just something we do on the 7th day. It is something we do on a daily basis by laying down our fears, anxieties, heartache, and ceasing to strive on our human strength because God is in control. We enter by degrees into rest by being hearers and doers of His Word. Worrying, murmuring, rebellion complaining, repeating what talk show experts say, or trying to figure things out using our natural intellect alone cannot add one cubit to our stature. It only hardens the heart against God’s Word.

It takes intentional effort to soften our heart; diligently standing on His word in whatever circumstance. To trust Him, count on Him, and Hope on Him more than anything else in this world. Take hold of the shield of faith, and watch God’s powerful promises extinguish all the fiery arrows of the wicked.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.