Author Archives: Rebecca

Leviticus 4-7; Hebrews

Sin and Blood. Choosing to do what is right. Always. God cares.

Every atonement for sin requires blood.

Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and carry it into the tent of meeting. He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the Lord, in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. The priest shall then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the Lord in the tent of meeting. The rest of the bull’s blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Leviticus 4 NIV

Unintentional, unknowing sin matters. Even if I do not realize I did what was wrong, it is still wrong before the Lord and the absolution requires blood. For me, that blood is in Christ. Forever in the Cross stark against a darkening sky… and the blood of Jesus poured out. So thankful.

13 “‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realize their guilt 14 and the sin they committed becomes known, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the tent of meeting. Leviticus 4 NIV

 

Jesus in my High Priest. And I can ask Him for forgiveness every day for wrongs known and unknown. His blood and perfect sin offering stand forever.

17 “If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible. 18 They are to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for the wrong they have committed unintentionally, and they will be forgiven.  Leviticus 5 NIV

I ponder this. The Lord requires His people to be fully upright and stand for truth (5:1). Speak up when it is needed. Tend carefully to the belongings of others and things entrusted. There is no room for shifty living. All things upright and in the light. I need this reminder and exhortation. Help me examine my life carefully, Lord.

[h]The Lord said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor,or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit— when they sin in any of these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they found, or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering.  Leviticus 6 NIV

 

Hebrews 3- a call for a tender heart. A reminder of identity.

Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.[c   

ESV

 

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  ESV

 

A watchfulness is needed. I must watch over my heart and my life. Take care… hold fast. Confess and repent. Sin is deceitful and hardening. It can dull and deaden a life and deceive. O! so deceitful.

Lord, search my heart and mind and see if there is any evil way in me. Please cleanse my heart and mind. Strengthen me to do right and to put way any wrong things in my life immediately (or as quickly as possible). Lord, in Your grace, make the wrong so very clear and unrelenting that I am unable to rest until I repent and restore if needed. Help me be strong and courageous if needed. Help me to see clearly to recognize the wrong. Thank you forever for the blood of Jesus! Revive and awaken me to this blood that avails for me even minute by minute. Jesus! Let my repentance be real and true and I pray You be strong in my life. Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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Exodus 13-15; Psalm 114; Ephesians 3

I have to go slowly. Take my time.  Listen. I can’t rush, and I can’t barrel.

Pause. The nourishment from the Word comes to me when I quiet. When I still. When I ponder. There is no rushing this process for me. I find my impatience telling. Peace, peace to myself- I preach.

Exodus 13-15English Standard Version (ESV)

Consecration of the Firstborn

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.

I can’t grasp, and I can’t cling. Consecration… present as holy. Open hands and Open heart.

Meaning and purpose is mine in Christ- for my life, my family, my marriage, my children! The Holy Spirit anoints it all.

In Exodus 13-15, God’s mighty outstretched hand is displayed. Chapter 15 is an exultant response of worship.

15 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider[e] he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a man of war;
the Lord is his name. v 1-3 ESV

 

“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? V 11 ESV

—and—-

20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. 21 And Miriam sang to them:

“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.” V 20-21 ESV

I feel the full-hearted swell of the people of God, praising and worshipping God.

Immediately (in Scripture) after this exultant wave of praise and victory and their realization that the Lord has utterly vanquished their enemy and protected them… they are led to another difficulty. Bitter, undrinkable water. And then-after three days- the Lord makes it sweet.

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah.[f]24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log,[g]and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. Ex 15: 22-24 ESV

And then to Elim… where they camp by twelve springs of water.

Highs and Lows. Victories and Frustrations. Fear and Safety. And the Lord in it all.

I ponder the ways of the Lord. It is a good lesson for me. I should not allow my circumstances to interpret my Lord to me- but rather- look to the Lord for understanding of my circumstances. His goodness and faithfulness are constant and unchanging.

Ephesisans 3- the new covenant

The tremendous fullness of Christ WITHIN

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[c] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. ESV

A fullness and provision that is always available and surpasses knowledge. The love of Christ and the power of the Spirit in every circumstance… and not just for a people corporately- but for me, the individual. Help me, Lord.

Lord, cleanse my heart and ignite my faith and passion for You. Help me to know the full joy of living for You, according to Your Ways, and in Your purpose. Lord, thank You that as Your follower… I can say: Who is like You? Majestic in Holiness? Awesome in Glory? Working wonders… Thank You that You are majestic, awesome and holy! Thank You that You work wonders! Thank You, thank You, thank You for Your great mercy and love. Forgive my sin and wrong-doing O God and release Healing in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

A Song for Worship, first heard by me on the Album Glory Revealed: Who is Like You by Tim Neufeld

 

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Genesis 38-40; Mark 15

Tamar:

A woman used and abandoned. Despised and forsaken? Feared.

11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow at your father’s house until Shelah my [youngest] son is grown”; [but he was deceiving her] for he thought that [if Shelah should marry her] he too might die like his brothers did. So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.  Genesis 38 AMP

Yet known by God and named in the genealogy of His Son. Forever remembered. Forever acknowledged. I ponder her brave audacity. I ponder the flesh-blood woman.

Given two sons…

So he was named Perez (breach, break forth).30 Afterward his brother who had the scarlet [thread] on his hand was born and was named Zerah (brightness). Genesis 38 AMP

one named “brightness.” Brightness after many dark days. Perez, the first-born also named forever in Christ’s genealogy. (Luke 3)

 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, Matthew 1: 3 AMP Emphasis mine

Spiritual battles played out against the backdrop of man’s passion.

Tamar (Genesis 38) juxtaposed next to Joseph (Genesis 39)

Now Joseph was handsome and attractive in form and appearance.Then after a time his master’s wife [b]looked at Joseph with desire, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me in the house, my master does not concern himself with anything; he has put everything that he owns in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God [and your husband]?”And so it was that she spoke to Joseph [persistently] day after day, but he did not listen to her [plea] to lie beside her or be with her. Genesis 39 AMP

Day after day. Joseph is subject to the beseeching pleading of a powerful woman. When finally, he is almost overtaken, he flees- leaving his garment alone in her hand.

And he is imprisoned. Yet, with his honor, integrity, and purity intact. And the Lord was with him.

21 But the Lord was with Joseph and extended lovingkindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the warden. Genesis 39 AMP

These two chapters side by side cause me to ponder the spiritual and life battles played out across and through the tender, sensitive, private sphere of a life: human desire. Purity and honor; integrity- these are important to God. I often think about this proving ground and how important it is to battle in the Lord and walk in the Light. How can I convey this to the young people growing up under my care?

 23 Yet [even after all that] the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot [all about] him. Genesis 40 AMP

But God did not forget about him. God did not forget Tamar. God did not forget Joseph. God did not forget Jesus…even when, in the moment, He cried out in an agony of forsaking:

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which is translated, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Mark 15 AMP

In Matthew 15, the full account of the crucifixion is given. And I ponder the holy veil torn in two and the life-altering significance of this reality; the entire trust and submission of Jesus; the courage of Joseph and what it must have been for him to retrieve the Lord’s body and wrap it in linen. The whole “world” watching…and the role different ones played. The women, the disciples, Pilate, the guard… and Jesus. Suffering and Death. Submission and Trust. The veil rent asunder.

Lord, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for providing connections for me amongst the readings. Thank You for Tamar, Joseph, Jesus, Joseph of Arimethea, and all the real, flesh and blood people who lived, and breathed, and died and witness Your great story and truth for all time. For how the Scriptures are God-breathed and profitable:

2 Timothy 3:16-17King James Version (KJV)

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Help me live for you. Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

 

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Genesis 12-15; Psalm 148; Mark 5

Jesus as the Source of Wholeness, Healing, and Life in Mark 5.

Wholeness:

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. (KJV)

A man in utter torment. A man full of “many.” From broken torment, to wholeness. From “we” to “me.”

Healing:

25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. (ESV)

She felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (ESV)

She pressed in to reach for Him. Healed by His power

Life-Giver:.

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”36 But overhearing[e] what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus[f]saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. (ESV)

One who was dead, now made alive.

Jesus. One very public miracle: healing a man and destroying 2000 pigs. One quiet,  personal healing: a woman acknowledged and declared. One secret healing: A little girl restored.

Jesus, worker of miracles. May I be close to You this year to feel Your power, know you in the secret place, and value that which You value. Your love is real.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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2 Chronicles 30; Zechariah 12: -13:1; Revelation 16; John 15

Happiest Christmas! I am amazed to be writing my last post of 2017. It has been a blessed journey with 66books this year, and I am grateful.

As I look to the year ahead, John 15 directs my heart and my mind; fills me with knowledge of my true priority (Jesus and abiding- to bear true, good fruit); exhorts me to lay down my life in love; and that difficulty and hatred should not surprise me, rather I should glorify God and find unity in Him in the midst.

Sometimes, I find myself lost amidst the shifting obligations of each day, even each hour, in my large, busy family. I find myself again in the truth of God’s Word.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15 ESV

An exhortation to find my life in Christ. Now more than ever before, I find myself more easily consumed by the cares of the world. I need to value true fruit whose source is in Christ. Everything else will be burned and tossed away. I ponder: how can I invest myself in fruit that will last? As I face the new year, what changes will I make to invest more fully in the Lord and His calling?

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15 ESV

Love. I recently read a profound blog post- found here that perfectly articulated the idea of God’s “given love.” It has been with me, resounding in heart, ringing in my mind ever since. “Abide in my love.” Beautiful command; O, my heart- Abide.

Christ speaks so that His joy may be in me and my joy may be full.

Much of this first half of the year has been consumed in senior year duties, responsibilities, and priorities for my first-born, and oldest, son. As I read this Scripture, the word joy throbs in my heart. This past week, my son submitted a college admission supplementary essay with the prompt: Celebrate the role of sports in your life. In the end, the essay was about a fullness of joy that basketball has brought him. I think about those words: celebrate, joy. Wonderful words! Wonderful, wild, happy words. I want my life to treasure Christ; therefore, to treasure His Words and be filled with fullness of joy.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15 ESV

I have always pondered the offering of self; the ministry inherent in laying down a life for love. It has informed much of what I do and have done since fully surrendering my life- or rather- growing in that surrender as a young college student. And even as I write that, I am reminded again, deep in my heart, that a life is a continual surrender, a continual re-orientation… and what do I need to do today, this week, this new year- to walk in this surrendered love?

Yet, today, my heart takes note: Christ calls me friend. And He will make known to me from the Father. It is only through reading Scripture and seeking the Lord, will I know and be able to do what Christ commands. And then… friend. And the command is for love. Verse 17: These things I command you, so that you may love one another.

Dear Lord, the hushed anticipation and celebration of Your birth is upon me… and the reality that Love came down; and Love comes near; and the miracle of Incarnation is kindling life and light in my heart. Help me live for You in this new year. Help me be a vessel of Your grace and a minister of Your love. Thank You for Christmas, Lord; and for 66books; and for a year in the Bible; and for the truth of Your Word. Bless the readers and writers. Draw our hearts near. In Christ, I pray.

Note: I am writing this Christmas Eve- and the bustle of my family is all about me; and I am not entirely sure of all the transitions in this post; my little girls are waving the jingle bells they were given at church all through the house, and my dear husband is calling…so I must go…but as always, I have tried to share my heart and a bit of my life. Deepest blessings and Merry Christmas dear 66books!! 

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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2 Chronicles 11; 2 Chronicles 12; Revelation 2; Zephaniah 3; 1 John 1

In the midst of darkness, discouragement, despair, hope is a flame.

A promise:

17  The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3 ESV

A warning:

14And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.  2 Chronicles 12 ESV

An exhortation:

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ Revelations 2 ESV

A new birth:

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 1 John 1

His promised fullness:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[d] from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.[e] 17      John 1:14-17

Lord, as the quiet rests all around me, I look to You. Through Christ, You are in my midst. A place of refuge rather than judgment. A place of singing mercy, rather than deserved retribution. If I turn to You, and set my heart on You, I will be and am protected from evil. Kindle my first love that I may do the works exhorted in Revelations 2. May the miracle of the birthing of God be alive in me this day. I cannot comprehend grace upon grace… You, Jesus, full…. full of grace and truth.

Father, have mercy on me and grant me grace to draw near to You that You will draw near to me. In the hush of this Christmas season, may my heart find quiet spaces to rest in You and know You. The glimmer of a house lit up with Christmas candles and the quiet glow of holiday lights has always, from the time I was a little girl, called my heart to You. In the cold chill of this December, may I be warmed in You. The Scriptures come to me in fragments, like my mind fragments in this season- filled with so many, many things. Help me live for You.

 

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

 

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1 Chronicles 23; 1 Peter 4; Micah 2; Luke 11

How, how often my mindset reflects a mentality that focuses on pleasing others and finding approval from man. I read the verses in 1 Peter 4 and see myself, so easily entangled.

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,[a] arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4 ESV

Instead of an outward focus, I need an upward focus. – to live for the rest of the time in the flesh for the will of God. And why am I shocked and surprised when I am maligned? Am I seeking the approval of man more or instead of the approval of God? My heart ponders.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4 ESV

God’s grace is varied and beautiful, like the people He has created. His reflection is found in the unique snowflake, the multitude of leaf color, the sun’s ever new reflection dancing on the water, the skyscape, the landscape. My heart treasures people- the work of His hands. Creation declares the glory of God. Living open-handed, in the freedom of His forgiveness; the blessedness of grace, enables me to love earnestly, serve as a reflection of God’s varied grace, recognize that the gift I have been given is not the gift of another. And that is good. And that is right. O, the wild freedom I have in Christ. The healing forgiveness. The blessed grace.

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory[b] and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[c]

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4 ESV

This passage has been a friend to me in different times and seasons. I think a lot about doing good. Doing good, for me, can be a lot about trusting God in all circumstances and about the orientation of my heart. Just as a turning my heart to capture and offer gratitude changes me from the inside out, so a focus on doing good as unto the Lord works an inward to outward change.  To be insulted and misunderstood for the name of Christ is actually to be blessed (v 14).

I ponder, and my mind needs a realignment toward the values Scripture portrays.

Lord, thank You for Your Word, for Your kindness, for Your beauty, for Your grace. Thank You for Your unending love and infinite understanding. When others misunderstand, or make judgments, I am safe in Your unending goodness and understanding. Help me to be so full of Your love and life, that the natural overflow in each day is one that reflects a passionate, whole-hearted commitment to You.  I need You, Lord.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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