Alaska, Coronavirus, and the True Church – Part 2, by J.P.

(Continued from Part 1. This installment concludes the article.)

First – ​Narrow our Focus

First, we must narrow our focus to what we are actually capable of doing, while distancing ourselves from all those entities over which we have no power or authority. Lamenting the direction of the United Nations, FEMA, or even the cumbersome nature of the U.S. Government will only consume our energy and cloud our focus. It’s a tough call, but at this point in the game I believe it’s time to release our friends, family, and even churches that just don’t get it. This could be reversed later, in the event of a turnaround, but should not drain us at this point. It’s a hard reality but one which we must all face.

Secondly – ​Think Proximity

If you’re like me, in the event we have to “circle the wagons”, most of us could come

up with at least a short list of good and desirable folks we’d pick with which to share the challenge; my best hunting buddy, my sister and her son, a family from church that we get on well with, etc. That’s all well and good, but the reality is that most of those folks don’t live next door, or aren’t even within a reasonable walking distance.

Your best friend probably lives out in the Valley, your regular hunting Buddy lives in Fairbanks, and that family in your House Church most likely lives 10 miles away on the other side of the City. If we are serious about hunkering down, going into small group lengthy quarantine, or bugging out then these are the essentials:

1 – We cannot go it alone
2 – We must be “close”, in many ways, with our compatriots
3 – We must all be prepared with food and essential supplies – thinking the long haul as opposed to a quick fix

Third – ​Pull together the Basics
Let’s face it.​ ​if you are just now pulling together the basics with which to deal with the

coming pandemic, you are cutting the timeline a bit short. However, it’s not the time to despair. As thoroughly and efficiently as you can, make your list and do your shopping. If you happen to have a trusted friend who is a veteran prepper, by all means engage him or her in your process. It will shorten and bring quality to your process.

Here is a list of some of the areas you need to think through and plan carefully:

  1. Potable water/filter system
  2. Food, both emergency and long term storage
  3. 1st Aid and medical supplies
  4. Personal medications
  5. Fuel for travel
  6. Alternative light (multiple forms and sources)
  7. Alternative heat, fuel, and fire starter
  8. Sanitation and emergency toilet
  9. Personal hygiene products
  10. Security and self-defense

Add to your list as you see fit.

KEEP FOREFRONT IN YOUR THINKING: Base your thinking and your decisions on your best judgement. Hearsay, rumor, and even hysteria should all be part of the equation. However, ​step aside from the flow of the crowd mentality​, but DO NOT ignore it. Take your questions before the Lord and set your direction independent of mass thinking.

Now, on to the main point – Our Greatest Opportunity!

What about the Church ?

(Note: as I was writing this, ShepherdFarmerGeek’s article titled Church Pandemic Preparedness arrived on the SurvivalBlog March 4th posting. It has not been my intent to duplicate what SFG wrote. It’s a great piece. Check it out.)

To fully understand the potential of today’s church for impacting our world of disease, hatred, and confusion we must revisit Jesus’ teaching as to the nature of the church, as well as the New Testament model, His Body in action.

Basically, Jesus refers to the Church (his Body) as his physical presence on earth. Each one of us (Believers) is a key part of that Church Body, and as such his Church will function in his power and authority.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

Prepare for Trials

With that commission, we note the church in the New Testament – that thought nothing of an all-night intercessory prayer meeting. Its members were often beaten and thrown into prison, were stoned, went hungry, were regularly called on for Biblical hospitality, they shared sacrificially with other local Churches who were in deep need, walked hundreds of miles to consult with other Church leaders over a key theological matter, they were persecuted, and in the end they witnessed their leader being arrested, falsely accused, brutally beaten and crucified. And after Jesus’ ascension it started all over for them.

Contrast that spartan existence with today’s western Church life. We are blessed with quality speakers, talented worship teams, friendly greeters and usher teams, trained youth leaders and nursery attendants, and a latte to keep us alert and satisfied.

Pause and think for a moment on such a stark contrast. Did Jesus suffer shame and a horrible death to purchase our comfort and satisfaction, or did he die to enable us to break from ​“the pattern of the world” Romans 12:2,​ to “stand against evil”, minister to a broken world, or maybe to even offer our places of worship to house the sick and dying – if needed? That could be a wonderful alternative to having our church buildings officially closed to restrict the virus spread.

How many of us know of, or are a part of a church that is ready, at a moment’s notice, to deal with a serious, long term hardship? If so, then you are a part of a rare church in America. If not, then maybe it’s time to make some new plans.

Imagine for a moment, prayerfully approaching our Governor, the Anchorage Police Department (APD), the City Council, or a consortium of local Churches with a proposal to turn our houses of worship into Covid-19 Medical Centers, were the Alaskan situation to worsen to that point. Impossible, we might think! Well, certainly, if we wait for the government to shut down all large group meetings, and even lock our buildings.

​Perhaps the most important factor in all of this is that our God is a God of miracles! He loves to work miracles, big and small, and to our great loss, we rarely even ask.

We may not know where this is all leading. We may not know when and where we will meet again. We could lose everything in this world, but can we willingly embrace the realities of living out our faith in Jesus, no matter what the cost?

The Unknowns
  • How long will this last?​ We don’t know. Plan for longer rather than short and sweet. Go lean and expect to become even leaner!
  • How can we maintain flexibility​? Two things – turn from the “pattern of the world”, and rely totally on the Holy Spirit. We’ll have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
  • Making the hard choices​ (read “One Second After” by William Fortschen)
  • Who do we trust​? While continuing to reach out to the world, go into what’s to come, tight with the best, most reliable believers you know. Communicate openly with your group, and hold expectations high with much grace. Pray and pray some more.
  • Food Allergies:​ This is a phenomenon I don’t completely understand. I know it is real, and I know our society has exploited it in some situations. (I understand it has become a multi-billion dollar industry.) For those who wrestle with this challenge I urge you to pray and ask God to heal you, or provide you with a way to make it work in a time of extreme duress.
  • Children ​(food, strong willed behavior, compliance, etc.) This is a major area of concern. If you have a child who is strong willed, unruly, or hard to please, know that things will have to change. Do I dare say it’s time to buck up, and begin the process of change? Child and parent will be happier for it.
  • The Economy​. Many say the fall of our economy will be worse than the virus itself. It makes a lot of sense. Prepare for it.
  • Some Biblical Guidance:
  • Fear, scared ​- It’s real and it’s natural, but we are not to let a spirit of fear rule us. It is not from the Lord. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Home, family, house group worship/church​. Isn’t this where the heart of the Early N.T Church found it’s nest? Rom 16:1-27
  • Watchman on the wall​. Does your local church body recognize a “watchman on the wall”? Do you trust the watchman? Ezekiel 33. An amazing assignment, providing security and accountability for the local Church.
  • Signs of the times​! Jesus commanded that we understand them. It’s time to catch up! Luke 12:54-56
  • Listen to God, through the presence of the Holy Spirit​. “My sheep hear my voice.” Long for God’s voice, practice listening. John 10:27-28
  • Obey – He who loves me, obeys me​. That’s the bottom line. Period. John 14:21

Brothers and Sisters of the “Last Frontier” and the struggling world beyond, let us stand firm and united, in the truth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Seriously consider the entire 24th chapter of Matthew, especially verses 4-14.  “But he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”  (verse 13)


  1. Great insights! So true. Jesus never promised us an easy life. Every day is a gift from God- so is cultivating good character. Obedience and humility go farther than arguments, or proving “i’m right.” The gov’s not the savior, ever. Thanks.

  2. We started an underground church back in 2012 here in the Buckeye after seeing the country go to hell in a hand basket . We have been spied on with many attempted infiltrations by local,state,and federals . Any public postings such as on craigslist are quickly deleted and we have had to rely on shortwave and CB radio for comms . It has been an uphill battle but we have had much success especially when several ex-leo’s joined our group after receiving salvation . The sheer amount of money spent by government to infiltrate and spy on us is overwhelming . One small church could not be that much of a threat unless there is an underlying system already in place to destroy the true church in favor of the anti-church . When the gov is working hard to infiltrate and destroy the church we have found that He will protect and guide us . Watch your backs church leaders . The time is getting short .

  3. Alaska has had two blows caused by the Coronavirus. It killed the tourism industry, and the price of oil is so low that the tax on it will no longer sustain state government. The economy is going to be dismal, at best. There were a couple of series of TV shows a few years back about modern families who went to live on farms that were set up as they would have been 100 years ago. Some families muddled through for a few Summer months in a temperate climate, but none would have survived the coming Winter. Alaska is in even a worse position. Six months of Winter with a stagnant economy will be very difficult to survive. Prepare now.

  4. Well written, filled with insight, and a call to every Believer.

    From the article: …”or did he die to enable us to break from ​“the pattern of the world” Romans 12:2,​ to “stand against evil”…”

    Remember that in order to stand against evil, one must be able to recognize evil for what it is, and to have deep, truly unwavering Faith in God. In our experiences, too many people diminish the devastation of evil, and even make light of it. For any among us who have suffered the ravages of true darkness, there is no way not to understand it for what it is. By virtue of those experiences, we understand the world in very different ways. We pray that all of this has prepared us with the strength we need now, and will need even more in the future, to withstand the great storm coming. With certainty, we know that God will stand with us as we also stand with Him.

  5. Thank you for your article J P . You have made many great points to discuss and ponder upon. We are going forward into uncharted waters in our country and as Christians we must put on the the full armor of Christ as we move ahead.
    The prospect of home churching looms larger with each day. It may be a difficult transition ,but He will provide the guidance that we need. Thanks again for your words.

  6. If there is a long pandemic, this might be helpful. = On the Internet: ~How to Make Your own Face Covering~ Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, shares ways to create your own face covering in a few easy steps.

    The President has mentioned using a scarf, when out in public. … I even saw a tall Hi-Tone gal, put a farmer Red Handkerchief over her nose [like a stage coach robber], before she entered a grocery store.
    Surely, the tall Hi-Tone gal, decided, “If it helps, who cares what it looks like.”

    Protect your kids; protect your family. The masks might not be available. … When this pandemic is over, we need to bring back ‘Made in the USA’ once again.

    1. I’ve been out once, and wanting to appear as a, “gray man,” so I put a black handkerchief over my mask. Rain boots that can easily be disinfected and a hooded, washable coat covered me well. I was a stark contrast to the guy in flip flops, b-ball shorts and t-shirt, who looked at me in amazement, as we both walked into the grocery store. So much for my gray man effort! hahaha

      1. Surely, somewhere on Survivalblog can be found the Rawlesian precept, ‘Better to be ~smart and safe, than a sick and dying ‘gray man’ indistinguishable from everyone else.’

        [From Powerline April 5, 2020]
        “DATA SUGGEST MASKS MATTER, TESTS DON’T … Analysis of testing’s impact on death rates and Asia’s experience with face masks yields surprising results. >>Masks may be more important than testing to control COVID-19’s spread.”

        “I put a black handkerchief over my >mask.” = Good idea. The handkerchief also covers more of you, and adds more protection.

  7. I’m always blessed by the Survival Blog community and learn so much from the comments. It seems the love and concern among this group has intensified over recent months; truely a gift from the Lord for this time.

    Oldhomesteader – interesting point you make – 1,200 shipping containers arrive in Anchorage by barge every week, out of Washington. (That’s about 600 people per container) We are well aware of our dependence on the barge system here, but your numbers are sobering. Even so, there are still folks who are just now starting to catch on to the urgency.
    Add to that a daily air cargo from Amazon of 100k lbs to Anchorage alone. Its obvious our sustinence comes from out of state.

    SaraSue – We would be willing to share more of our life in AK as believers, and we’d appreciate learning from you as well, but I’m not quite sure how to pull that off. Its definitely something only God could do!

    I’m reminded again of God’s powerful words in 2 Chronicles 7:14. God will heal our land, but is dependent on us as believers. We must:
    – humble ourselves
    – pray
    – seek His face
    – turn from our wicked ways
    Only then will He hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.

    We must be on our knees! Blessings on you all.j

    1. From your post: “It seems the love and concern among this group has intensified over recent months; truely a gift from the Lord for this time.”


    2. The fact that the Rawles let us all chat here is a wonderful thing. We are becoming a close-knit community here even if far apart geographically. I only wish for OPSEC, that we had a private board to chat on. But, I know that’s a bit of an administrative nightmare because it requires logins/passwords/moderators/etc.

  8. JP, Really appreciated your article. Can you expound on, “but at this point in the game I believe it’s time to release our friends, family, and even churches that just don’t get it.” Do you mean give up on? This is a humongous pill for me to swallow. I have given them over to the Lord and I keep hoping.

  9. I want to chime in too regarding “It’s a tough call, but at this point in the game I believe it’s time to release our friends, family, and even churches that just don’t get it.” I agree 100%. But to Krissy’s point about it being a humongous pill to swallow, it’s exactly what I swallowed. I’ve spent a life time praying for, tolerating, trying to understand, being sensitive to, what other people think and do (mostly people in my extended family). The only way to let go, in my humble opinion, is to listen as hard as you can to what the Lord is calling you to do, not what others expect of you. We can drown in trying to meet expectations of others while completely missing God’s voice. Personally, when I decided to move to Idaho, I left my mother, my adult children, my grandchildren, a sister, etc. Qualifying that with I had other family who already lived here. Just about everyone was stunned and disapproving. The “organized church”, as I call it, has, in general, fallen away from the Word of God. I know unbelievers who are more… honest… is the only word I can think of. I understand when people feel the need to form home churches to study together because of this, and I’m not saying all churches. All those things to say, which barely scratches the surface, I think “letting go” is more about “releasing them to God”, which is not such a bad idea! We can never, in and of ourselves, “save” another person, only God can. I had to embrace a phrase that I repeat often to myself: “God loves X more than I ever could.” That just reminds me that I am not all that powerful, but God is. I think praying over others is powerful because it is an act of obedience to God’s will. I think God listens and answers prayer. I think releasing people and/or an organized church means, to me, I will not cleave to them, hang onto them, rely on them, because I can only rely on Christ the Lord God. This is not abandoning a child, never let that be the case. This is about letting go, releasing, letting God handle it/them, and then going about doing what God is calling us to do. I don’t think the meaning was to “give up on”. I think it was more of a “let go and let God”. Example: if God calls me to go and prepare a “safe house” for myself and my extended family, then that’s what I’m going to do, even if that means no one will understand why. If God calls me to be prepared, then that’s what I’m going to do. God may be calling you to prepare right where you are now, and within the body of Christ that you now participate in, within the family system you are now in. But, for myself, I have been called out of the norm into a lifestyle that rejects a lot of what modern society requires. I’m not sure I’m making any sort of sense today, but I hope that helps a tiny bit.

    1. SaraSue,

      You said this beautifully! You make perfect sense to me. It rings true on every level. We must take up our own cross and follow Jesus however and wherever He leads us. Often, we do have to leave family, friends and church to do so, to fulfill His calling on our lives. But He always provides other family and friends for us along the way. He is always faithful and provides for all of our needs.

    2. Sara Sue… Scriptural teaching is evident within what you wrote… turning things over to The Lord is not abandoning… we are to cast our cares upon Him… we are to place total trust in Him … Prov. 3:5-6 … may God bless you and answer your prayers

    3. SaraSue, As A.L. mentioned, you did say that beautifully! As in many things, we are likeminded on the release of our loved ones too. I have done that ions ago, by the grace of God. Thank you for all that you share for our benefit. You are a blessing.

    1. SaraSue, you expressed this in as clear a way as I have ever seen. I am so grateful. I am making a copy to draw from in the future.

      Please give us a biblical citation for “Don’t forget the donuts!!!!!!” Was that Paul or Peter?

      Carry on in grace

  10. Krissy, thanks for the question, I kind of figured the release statement would be a concern. First, about leaving family behind, as in move to AK, it was hard and many didn’t understand. Check out MT 19:29, God has mor e than blessed us in our move away and we’ve never regreted it although we left behind a very loving family. I know there’s more to your question and I’ll get back to you in a few minutes.

  11. Krissy, back to you. Thanks Lily, and especially SaraSue for your great input on this question. I could just sit back and let you all dialogue over this. It’s great to listen to, especially in this time of isolation.

    By “release” I don’t think I would ever take the position of “giving up on” as in hoping and praying for anyone’s salvation. In Old Testament situations God was an amazing example to us as when His people were so repetitively disobedient that He would turn away from them and cover his face so they couldn’t look at him.

    I would never get to that point with either the church or individuals, in regards to prepping, as their understanding my motivation isn’t a matter of them sinning. As a dad, grandpa, and as a Church elder I feel an acute responsibility to protect and provide. It just seems so Biblical to “understand the signs of the time” and to adjust, even prepare for things that are ahead of us.

    I find that being warned is not something that very many folks appreciate. As well, once things begin coming down they don’t throw their arms around me in gratitude. Somewhere “back there” I caught on that it was time to release them and stand ready if a situation presented itself where I needed to be of help.

    I don’t infer, in any way, that our family and friends are incapable. Much the opposite. In these times there is lots of good work being done, and we are communicating well. I think we’re all smiling inside, together.

    My bigger heartaches is over the church that finds it so hard to look ahead and ask the Lord what He’d have them do to be ready. Releasing them/it seemed the only thing left to do. In the current crises it is so hard to organize and even gather for a sizable need after the fact.

    For several years my favorite examples of corporate church preparation for disastrous hard times are Times Square Church in NYC, and Samaritan’s Purse. They are both a great example to the rest of the Christian world.

    Thanks for inviting me into your discussion. Blessings and let’s stay alert!

    1. JP… as an elder for The Lord’s Church you are a watchman on the wall… your writings are truly words to be heard and put into practice… may The Holy Spirit continue to guide and direct you into all truth… may you be blessed with wisdom, understanding, and discernment… your brother in Christ …

    2. JP, Thank you for taking time to reply. There is so much truth and wisdom in what you say, i.e., some do not want to be warned, and much more. Yes, I agree with releasing loved ones and the church. I think my first impression was wrong, taking it that I should not prepare for them. In addition, it is the Lord’s doing that He has made me aware of signs of the times to an extent, as well as prompting me to prepare. I cannot have any pride in that, or judgment on others that the Lord has not opened their eyes. He turns the hearts of Kings whichever way He wills. As concerned as one of my sons has been about my prepping, I told him I have to do what I feel the Lord wants me to do. I don’t have any prepping friends, and most on this blog are a true encouragement, like yourself. Thank you for that. As you quoted Mathew, may the Lord bless your family a hundred times in abundance.

      Here is a link to, “If My People.” Your scripture reference warmed my heart to when I sang this in high school choir back in the day. Blessings.

      1. Krissy! I sang “If My People” in high school choir too!!!!
        Private Christian High School. It was the primary song for the Western Association of Christian Schools annual chorale performance one year. All the choirs met and “competed” annually. Wow what an impact singing those beautiful hymns made on my life. Do you remember an old spiritual:
        Soon-a will be done a-with the troubles of the world
        Troubles of the world, troubles of the world
        Soon-a will be done a-with the troubles of the world
        Goin’ home to live with God

        No more weeping and a-wailing
        No more weeping and a-wailing
        No more weeping and a-wailing
        I’m goin’ to live with God

        I want t’ to meet my mother
        I want t’ to meet my mother
        I want t’ to meet my mother
        I’m goin’ to live with God

        I want t’ meet my Jesus
        I want t’ meet my Jesus
        I want t’ meet my Jesus
        I’m goin’ to live with God

        Any of y’all who think I’m plum crazy, look that old spiritual up on YouTube. It’s beautiful and describes how the slaves felt so long ago, and how many of us may feel today.

        1. SaraSue, Do I know that song? Ohhhh, my goodness, yes.

          One of the great joys of my life, was to be a guest of Israel’s Board of Tourism, and spend twenty-three days in Israel as a guest with The Master’s College Choir. Studying and visiting where the scriptures took place, plus hearing several dozens of concerts was a gift from the Lord to me. I experienced a little slice of heaven, when Christians from all over the world were singing a familiar hymn, but each in their own language. The Holy Spirit filled the entire area, and all I could do was sob because the glory was so beautiful. It was like a window opened from heaven and His glory shone down. It is hard to explain any better than that.
          I found a youtube of The Master’s College Choir singing, “Soon,” This is the version I heard them sing all over Israel. Hope you like it. It is dear to my heart.

  12. “If you’re like me, in the event we have to “circle the wagons”, most of us could come
    up with at least a short list of good and desirable folks we’d pick with which to share the challenge; my best hunting buddy, my sister and her son, a family from church that we get on well with, etc. That’s all well and good, but the reality is that most of those folks don’t live next door, or aren’t even within a reasonable walking distance.”

    I believe you’ve all ready mentioned the use of radio. The need for radio is underappreciated. It can tie far flung persons together. The Amateur Radio (Hams) know this and conduct nets held at scheduled times. People check in, and take turns talking and report anything they might have. This kind of radio is certainly not secure, but if the threat conditions are not high, then a simple check in process using code names, may not give away too much information. Even on a limit basis, it can help tie a community together, as members know that they are not alone, and potentially can reach their most trust and closest neighbor. I am attempting to find all in my community I can trust to a limited extent, and bring them together, and loosely organize them using low powered radio. And they can do what they wish with their radio. It opens up many possibilities. Many of them will be Christians. Those whom I may trust the most can be put on a separate net. During the later stages, I suspect Christians will become despised and demonized, and turned in like the Jews were. The Nazi’s paid 1 kilo of sugar for information that lead to the arrest of one Jew.

  13. Food Allergies, what to know.
    They have existed long before our current time.
    Sometimes they are simple, like a cousin of mine having a food allergy to chocolate. She is 80 now so she has had it since birth in 1940.
    There is a food allergy syndrome called Celiac, which has also been around from a very long time. It is called Celiac because it was something that many people of Celtic heritage would have, where they could not eat any dairy products or coarse grains like wheat and rye without getting a lot of digestion problems from doing so.
    Some of the more recent food allergies are due to the Frankenfoods (GMOs) that have flooded the market. Some people do not digest those kinds of foods very well.
    Eating organically grown foods is best, and will to some extent cut down on food allergies.
    Food allergies like Celiac are genetic, so it is something that has been around for a long time, and will be so for a long time to come.

  14. Psalms – Chapter 91
    You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shade of the Almighty,
    Say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
    He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare, from the destroying plague,
    He will shelter you with his pinions, and under his wings you may take refuge; his faithfulness is a protecting shield.
    You shall not fear the terror of the night; nor the arrow that flies by day,
    Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon.
    Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come.
    You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see.
    Because you have the LORD for your refuge and have made the Most High your stronghold,
    No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent.
    For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go.
    With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
    You can tread upon the asp and the viper; trample the lion and the dragon.
    Because he clings to me I will deliver him; because he knows my name I will set him on high.
    He will call upon me and I will answer;
    I will be with him in distress; I will deliver him and give him honor.
    With length of days I will satisfy him, and fill him with my saving power

    I particularly like this passage since the United States did trample the “Lion England” in our fight for freedom.

    The “Dragon-China communist party” is next to be trampled since they did release a Bio-Weapon on their own people which has spread to the world.

  15. I can hardly believe what a blessing this whole discussion has been. Thanks to you all. God is truly moving us on in His strength and power. Looking forward to our next time.

  16. One of the truths of the Scriptures that has been cloaked by religion or downplayed by men is that the early NT church met house to house. It was not until the time of Constantine when “church” and state merged and corporate worship in “converted” temples started taking place. This kicking into high gear the downgrade or declension away from God’s word as the papal institution was birthed and grew quickly into the woman drunken with the blood of the saints who trod under foot God’s word and His saints.

    Yet Rome never could and never will destroy God’s remnant. For throughout all of the centuries, even when Rome was at her apex, there always were faithful groups of believers outside the camp who tried, albeit imperfectly, to live after the teachings of Jesus and not the traditions of men. And always they were persecuted and despised by both the state and the false religionists (even as was true for Jesus).

    I encourage folks to study the Scriptures and you will find this to be so. Likewise, ponder the reality that most Christians today outside of the western nations largely meet house to house in underground churches. Soon, if not now, this will be the only way for God’s faithful to meet.

    Finally, for some good resources on meeting house to house and other related teachings see

    Blessings to all and may the Lord sustain us all.

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