Do you want every ebook in the world in Logos?

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 12:36 PM

I am afraid Francis is correct.  "All" is all — no exceptions.  I don't know how you get around that.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 12:43 PM

Consider this: 

When Abraham negotiated for the preservation of Sodom and Gomorrah he secured a deal from the Lord to save the two cities if 10 righteous could be found. 

It seems to me if Bob gets a 90/10 deal he is not doing too shabby. God settled for a handful, Bob is getting 90%.

 

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 1:09 PM
JAL ... I already suggested Bob is being given a level of expectation that he himself hasn't signed on to. And regarding my fanning comment, merger preening and Bob's proposal (actually just a question) have similar significance. I do wonder, however, about the strategy altering the customer-base. I don't see any erotic risks. But I suspect MJ's comment about where the center of Christianity is, might be prescient. The evangelical taste of Logos might be a memory, and maybe a good memory. Remember, the publishers aren't just english. Christianity is a big world.


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JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 1:20 PM

Super.Tramp:
When Abraham negotiated

I have read this as an account of how Abraham came to accept the righteousness of God in an immense and terrible circumstance.

I still believe that any decision concerning the matter under discussion will be made with integrity.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 1:22 PM

As have I:

JAL:
I have read this as an account of how Abraham came to accept the righteousness of God in an immense and terrible circumstance:
Super.Tramp:
When Abraham negotiated

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JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 1:22 PM

Denise:
Christianity is a big world.

     You help build my faith.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 2:19 PM

Francis:
Yet, you are still saying yes.

You cannot find any post I have made in this thread in which I have said yes to this proposal because I have not. You and others keep harping on FL selling erotica as if it is a given. You talk about a court of law. What does that have to do with this discussion? Courts require proof, but the nay-sayers in this forum have offered nothing but empty speculation. The very fact that you accuse FL of intending to sell erotica, is calling Bob a liar and morally corrupt.

Now, I am done with the thread and its repeated slurs from many on both sides of this argument.

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 2:31 PM

They have and I know enough to say that the average search causes extreme load: EDIT more or less people basically search from January 1. 1980 in the entire world and onwards except that Google has been forced to optimize to give results more efficiently than that to the thousands of the most frequent answers. Unless I'm completely misinformed, besides gathering more computer hardware than any other company in history has and probably ever will have, Google has hired many thousands to manually optimize everything.
When and if I search I restrict the search by how long time back in time to search, domain or topdomain and if using phrases try to use ones that actually will result in some - a suitable number of, hits. Just because I rarely search doesn't mean I'm bad at searching. Just because not that many others do the same doesn't mean I'm wrong in any way. There are of course tens of millions of other people in the world who are better than me at searching - I don't doubt that:

Rosie Perera:

I don't think concern about load on the search engines is a reason to refrain from using them. They've got loads of bandwidth:

Unix:

I barely use search engines, also in order to not to cause unnecessary load on them.


Financial, strictly financial. Just because I don't necessarily use internet or will have internet after October 2015, doesn't mean I don't need it for some of the same reasons, not for all the same reasons of course, as others. But I can't afford even when it has implications on my emotional health and social contacts. My priority is to one day publish a book, that costs $8,880 reg. price incl. all services I deem necessary - that will be my biggest cost in my entire life at least of the ones I will have to pay completely myself. I will have to save up for it for about a decade. I don't have a clue if they offer discounts. I have actually not found a cheaper viable way with proper kind of "marketing" included such as reviews. Even when talking about for example commentaries it's hard for me to entice people to read up and write reviews or tell about the discoveries they've had in commentaries they've previously read. So I will have to do something to get people to review it and it's not going to happen solely by me personally handing out free review copies at universities or to friends. And that was just one of the costs with publishing, also to get listed on both book interest sites, Facebook and Stores costs a lot as well as that a bonus with the publishing package is a fully programmable devoted homepage. I have a well-known/easy-to-find homepage but it has hardly anything to do with Christian books (it's about transportation business).

Is this on topic? Well browsing multiple stores or always doing at least two searches when looking up "Faithlife/Fallenlife" books will require more frequent and longer hours connected to the internet or using public internet:

Rosie Perera:

Do you mean "afford" as in financial cost or time? It's not that expensive for most people, relative to their income. And people budget their time differently depending on their priorities. For many people, being able to use the internet for searching and staying on top of the news and topical blogs is important for their jobs, and staying connected socially is important for their emotional health, so they prioritize internet over other things:

Unix:

It's unclear to me how others afford internet all their life?


You probably understood it but I implied that I have no need to download gigabytes of journals and hundreds of blogs. Denise recently reported that a Faithlife bundle was a download of 4 GB, that would be half of my Monthly data quota and make it nearly impossible for me to surf for 3 Weeks such a Month if downloading on one computer and I have up to three computers without Wifi (2 but also a third if I don't reboot it). (And I have another computer, my oldest laptop that would need to get updated as I use mainly Libronix on it and haven't needed to update it all the time.) EDIT: And the rest of my computers do have Wifi so I can use more GB on them of course.
Is this on topic? Well forums is less of a time sink than actually buying and using journals and I may learn something about how to use the software and how to lecture about the software at uni this Summer. May 25. 00:55 AM local time EDITed sentence for clarity what I actually mean: The futility of having several thousands of books/journals as extra bulk (this is not geared towards You, Rosie) to search through - at some of the occasions doesn't make the search results all that more relevant. True it's possible to make Collections but I've been suggesting Faithlife a few Months ago to make a particular Collection of the bundle that was very temporary in the Store and they haven't. EDIT 00:57 AM local time emphasis added: Faithlife should help out more uploading Collections for everyone to download - which I doubt they'll do with the books from the "new publishers":

Rosie Perera:

But you read the Logos forums, and that can be just as much of a time sink:

Unix:

I don't read blogs or journals:

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 3:08 PM

Unix:
Just because not that many others do the same doesn't mean I'm wrong in any way.

You are correct. I disagree with your internet usage policy but I respect your right to believe that way. I also appreciate you for not calling others immoral for disagreeing with you.

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 4:31 PM

To briefly continue the discussions that perhaps might be going on or might be abandoned on page 14 and partially to add one new idea I'm posting.

Like MJ. said which I quote in context as well: "The purpose of education, any education, is to provide you with tools to think about, to question intelligently and to apply a particular subject. If also provides a history of thought on a topic so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel or go down erroneous/unfruitful paths." - my reply: I think that before entering seminary You should already have a little bit of that, and while in seminary each student should be able to sometimes come up with questions no-one else in the class had thought about asking or is not quick enough to ask, otherwise it's a bit dull. Sometimes also needing to break the norm or surprise the classmates. Each student will inevitably progress at their own pace so we need to complement each others worlds of thought as well as teach each others what we've learned either from books, experience, other classes or tidbits from the mandatory textbooks that others haven't had the time to read through to notice. (Seniour) lecturers however sometimes have to remind us to stay relevant to the course and classmates may be annoyed and feel they can't focus if what we as students say to the class has no relevance for the upcoming test. Lecturer can't always silence but gives most students their turns to say something. These things are pretty obvious and long since past experience of most others on this forum.

Well Verbum is a large part of my education as I many times fail uni classes:

Unix:

I did say it was my humble opinion. What I was saying was what I think is or should be happening when starting out. When progressing, what You said should happen, also provided that one has an even intelligence. [...]

Then like You said, I'd have to agree perhaps we can only correct (the worst or the most hidden) errors at the stage when progressing further. [...]:

MJ. Smith:

I strongly disagree. The purpose of education, any education, is to provide you with tools to think about, to question intelligently and to apply a particular subject. If also provides a history of thought on a topic so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel or go down erroneous/unfruitful paths. Yes, with these tools we should correct errors in one's theology ... but there is no evidence that occurs. What appears to occur is the development of a desire to correct others' errors in theology. Spiritual discipline and friendships appear more effective in correcting errors in one's own theology.

Logos is a tool that can be used for educational or spiritual discipline ends. But it is just a tool. It is not an education nor a spiritual discipline. This is why I would like to be able to expand my Logos platform to include my logic, philosophy, history, educational theory, literature, system thought, ... books:

Unix:

IMHO, the one biggest purpose to take theology classes (such as semesters in uni seminary) and to research, is to clear misconceptions of all things related and correct errors in one's theology or if done with that correct factual errors such as wrong conclusions.


There is still no consensus on this. Some who want a separate storefront may not realize what happens when some are asking for a search engine covering both the Logos/Verbum/Noet stores as well as Vyrso and the "new store" - that search engine would effectively be yet another storefront! Would it even require it's own separate domain - I mean just the meta-search? So how many homepages do we want exactly? My sollution was the easiest one but not that many seem to have agreed on the exact idea I had - but please all who still read: chime in!
MY NEW IDEA is that select books from a new store (if one has to be started because of popular opinion - although forums represent only a small fraction of customers) should show up in Logos, Verbum and Noet stores as well - and not strictly "everything about "Christian" theology" but like I've discussed at length and many if not most have realized there's a lot "within Christianity" that's inferiour in scholarly terms or dated (even if not many decades old) or too broad or too much of the same popular theology, etc. Those books that would be selected for the Logos/Verbum/Noet stores should clearly be labeled (already in the search results) as being of a much more simple format and it should be very clear for everyone from start what the differences between the various formats are, by way of information which also would be kept highly visible on all the sites. Either the corporation will be proud to aid education (even in general and perhaps geared to research - we have too much of the filler low-end books as it is), or not:

Dan Francis:

Generally I feel the same way... but while they may get away with it in Vyrso (relabeling it a book store, not a Christian Book store), I am sure some people would put up a big deal about having books they consider an attack on their faith being sold in Logos/Verbum fronts. While I do not follow Richard Dawkins The God Delusion conclusion (to be honest i have never fully read it) this book should be allowed in a secular store front and is important in my mind for forming a response. Yet books like this appearing in Logos/Verbum store sight in my mind is highly provocative to put it mildly:

Unix:

Big Smile That illustrates it very well! (I already specified in one of my previous posts (I've been posting on pages 5, 10, 13, 14[, 16]) that I'm against a separate storefront):

John Goodman:

Maybe they could call the store alllife.com, fallenlife.com or perhaps better - reallife.com?

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 7:24 PM

Francis, I took time to carefully address each of your concerns. You didn't comment on them so I'm not sure if you found them helpful. Specifically i spoke of this being not as black and white as some imply. Do you see this as black and white or do you see any grey in things?

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 8:02 PM

Bruce Dunning:
Do you see this as black and white or do you see any grey in things?

50 shades of grey...............Devil  

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 8:40 PM

Unix:

Just because I rarely search doesn't mean I'm bad at searching. Just because not that many others do the same doesn't mean I'm wrong in any way. There are of course tens of millions of other people in the world who are better than me at searching - I don't doubt that:

Rosie Perera:

I don't think concern about load on the search engines is a reason to refrain from using them. They've got loads of bandwidth:

Unix:

I barely use search engines, also in order to not to cause unnecessary load on them.

Unix, I never said or suggested you were bad at searching or wrong in any way. I just was quaintly amused at your choice of reason for not engaging in the use search engines much: your stated reason was so as "not to cause unnecessary load" on the search engines, which sounds very altruistic to me. Not a trait one normally finds anymore in this day and age of computer usage. So thank you for letting the rest of us benefit from the bandwidth of Google. I was not intending to belittle you in any way. I'm sorry if it came across sounding that way, and I'm sorry if I worded it in an unclear way to make you feel you needed to defend yourself.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 9:23 PM

George Somsel:

I am afraid Francis is correct.  "All" is all — no exceptions.  I don't know how you get around that.

I hear people say this all the time..."All means all--no exceptions! And God says what He means and means what He says!" 

Which is true, of course...except for when it isn't. There are a number of places where YHWH speaks of "all" or "none" and immediately turns around and describes exceptions.

Perhaps the most obvious "all doesn't mean all" is Psa. 8:6.

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Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 9:45 PM

Francis:

Jack Caviness:
Your implication that Bob is dishonest and morally corrupt

I did not imply such a thing. I described a scenario that is in line with a business-oriented trajectory. It is only a fiction that is intended to stimulate reflection about what could be longer term results of that trajectory.

Jack Caviness:
No one on this thread has advocated that FL sell erotica

When Bob asks whether he should make a decision that might result in FL selling erotica and you say yes, you are advocating something that can have the same end result. Why is there any debate here otherwise? Has Bob committed to never selling any if it came through the catalog? Has he? No, he asked precisely about the possibility that this could happen!!! What of the 90-10 possibility: do you know that this will work with all publishers? Do you know that this will eliminate all erotica? No, you can't and you don't. Yet, you are still saying yes. In a court of law I don't think any jury would accept that someone is not liable who recommended a course of action that they knew could lead to injury and it did, just because they hoped it wouldn't.

Francis, I took your little piece of forward-looking-fiction as just that but also as food for thought and a reflection of the concerns that many of us have. True, we do not know whether FL will go down that path However, present developments make these concerns legitimate and it would be foolish for those of us who have invested a lot in Logos and might continue to do so in the future to fail to consider intended and unintended consequences of what Bob has proposed.

The scenario you gave makes perfect sense from a business perspective with the intent to maximize profit and market share. It does not have to be part of the plans today, however, it remains a possibility baring an unequivocal and binding pledge by Faithlife never to go that route. As such, it is not a matter of Bob being dishonest or lying but merely the recognition that he has not painted himself into a corner and his options for the future remain wide open.

Faithlife would not be the first or last company to shift their primary target customers (some might argue that Faithlife has already shifted from its original target market and that what is happening and what might happen in the future are just the logical conclusion of a process that was started a while ago whether or not it was the intended outcome)

Faithlife as a ministry to "serve the Church" accumulated a lot of goodwill, support and trust, however, Faithlife as a business with "wider horizons" will not necessarily benefit from the same enthusiasm (at least in certain quarters). I have come to a point where I see more and more Faithlife as a business primarily interested in my $$$ and not necessarily with my best interest in mind (the marketing push of the company has only served to reinforce this impression). I am more and more led to treat Faithlife the same way I treat other businesses by continually reexamining my investments in the company for future value and best return on investment without any regard for brand loyalty (at least not beyond the little “loyalty” generated by the high cost of switching and the lack of viable alternatives at the moment) or thinking that I am supporting a Christian ministry.

Speaking of future value for present customers. I find it ironic that many have expressed their desire to see Faithlife grow financially and market share wise as a way to guarantee that their beloved company will stay in business and thus provide continuous access to and maintenance of the software. Yet, experience has shown that growth in other areas, diversification, and change of focus are able to materialize the same fears and lead to the abandon or at least relegation to the sideline of once core segments if they cease to provide the best return of investment and best use of the assets of the company.

These are realities of the business world (Faithlife keeps reminding us that it is first and foremost a business) and ignoring these possibilities when dealing with a for-profit corporation is very unwise (to put it mildly).

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 11:01 PM

Bruce Dunning:

Francis, I took time to carefully address each of your concerns. You didn't comment on them so I'm not sure if you found them helpful. Specifically i spoke of this being not as black and white as some imply. Do you see this as black and white or do you see any grey in things?

Hi Bruce, 

Yes, I had read your responses and thank you for taking the time to do this and for your irenic tone. I did not respond because my intent had not been to ping-pong as it were between specific individuals with the risk to get back into a Faithlife type of debate, or worse, an all out dispute since this thread has already suffered from both. 

I do believe that I have already answered your question through my other posts, but since you are asking me what I think of your answers, here it is.

I recognize, as you wrote, that there are a number of posters who would prefer not to see erotica show its ugly head in FL's offerings. As I indicated to Jack in my latest response to him, the debate would not be here if there was no possibility of it happening. This is exactly how Bob has set it up. 

Bob Pritchett:

What do we do with a publisher's catalog that includes everything from academic biography to erotic fiction? The same massive publisher that has Timothy Keller's Reason for God also publishes 50 Shades of GreyWhat if we can't license one without the other? Should we not take any of the titles then?

I recognize that there are such things as disputable issues even by biblical standards (e.g., Romans 14). There are also some that are not: adultery is always wrong. There can be situations in which there is conflict between two moral imperatives such as the midwives lying to protect the Hebrew babies from Pharaoh with the result that God blessed these women. This however was a life-and-death situation, not a business decision. In other words, I see no real moral dilemma involved in the situation Bob has presented to us.

The basic question: is it right for Christians to sell or to encourage others to sell erotica is not grey. It's black and white and the answer is no to both. As I indicated also in my response to Jack earlier, I know that no one is cheering Bob saying "sell, erotica! sell erotica!" but I think that there needs to be greater willingness to admit that to encourage him, knowingly, to pursue a course of action that may result in selling erotica is but a step removed. The key point, as I have also noted earlier in my reply to Jack, is again, that the very real possibility of this is precisely what Bob has asked about. The question is not, as it seems to have become for some, "should FL distribute more books?" I do think that there would be concerns to be had with over-diversification as well (as I indicated earlier also) but this is not a moral issue. I would disagree, but not oppose it.

Bob Pritchett:
This would let us not offer the 10% least appropriate / most objectionable content. I'm hoping this will solve the problem. 
(bold added for emphasis).

I understand that you want to believe that the 90-10 deal would deal effectively with the key issue, but you must admit that you have no way of knowing this for sure. As I said earlier we have, for the present, no commitment from anyone (Bob or publishers) that selling erotica would not happen. 'Most' or 'hoping' is not enough. 

Bob Pritchett:
we have no intention of abandoning our focus on the church.

Bob Pritchett:
I think it's safe to say we're 'not becoming Harvard.' We're focused on serving the church.

As for whether the world cares for this or not, I don't agree with you. Many won't even notice, that's probably true. But remember that the very idea of attracting customers by offering materials from multiple disciplines necessarily implies that -- if it works -- many non-Christians would be visiting the site on a regular basis. Some here have hoped that this would actually prove to be a testimony to them as they encounter many Christian books in FL's holdings. But this is a double-edged sword: if some of them come to realize that there is any kind of claim to have a Christian orientation to the company (as reflected in its mission statement to which Bob is apparently committed, as quoted above) and yet encounter material such as erotica, they will smirk. As I said it before, I have this happen over and over again. Except in this case, they would be right because it would be wrong indeed to find both in the one place (a Christian claim and selling erotica).

I see you mentioned the weak stumbling. This is a very real concern too. I became a Christian later in life and am all too aware of what damage erotica can do to believers, their relationship with God, with the other sex in general and to their marriage/family if they have one. Many of us are burdened to have to constantly cope with sexually-laden adverts on the Internet. It would be a shame indeed that a brother or sister who comes to the site to find edificatory material, leave it having had impure desires rekindled. 

One way of expressing the concern of the last two paragraphs, is to ask how many individuals who could stumble because of this would be an acceptable loss for the sake of expanding the library (for us) and business (for FL)? I would never want to be in a position in which I knowingly set up the situation that ended up being the stumbling block for another person.

Let me reemphasize once more that the question Bob asked is not simply whether FL should have more books or even, whether it should diversify,but whether it should do so knowing that selling something like 50 Shades of Grey is a real possibility. So, no, I don't see any grey issue here.

I apologize for the length of the post.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 25 2015 3:50 AM

Francis:
I understand that you want to believe that the 90-10 deal would deal effectively with the key issue, but you must admit that you have no way of knowing this for sure. As I said earlier we have, for the present, no commitment from anyone (Bob or publishers) that selling erotica would not happen. 'Most' or 'hoping' is not enough. 

I know that you were responding to Bruce, and I know that I said I was done with this thread, but I am weak Embarrassed

FL should not deal with any publisher if more than 10% of their offerings are sexually inappropriate. If the 90-10 scenario does not eliminate erotica from the "new store", then FL would be ill-advised to pursue this venture. My greatest concern—which may also be your concern—is that FL will find itself on a slippery slope if they follow the proposed course of action.

My previous objection arose from my perception that some—not necessarily you, Francis—of those saying "NO" were doing so in a manner that implied "I am moral; you are not." As I said, this was my perception, and it may not actually reflect the intention of those making the remarks. After all, in any heated discussion—such as this one—feelings can run high and people—myself included—can make comments that they would not have made in calmer circumstances. Sometimes, it is difficult to disagree without being disagreeable. 

In the past, I have found posts by both you and Alain to be extremely valuable, and I expect that will continue.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 25 2015 4:06 AM

No worries, Jack. I am glad you gave in to your 'weakness' because I would not have liked if our exchange had remained ended on such a note. Beer

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 25 2015 5:27 AM

We Americans are quite hung up on sexual sin at the expense of others which we tend to embrace. Those of you who have served on the missions field can see where I am coming from.

Every culture has its vice(s) of choice, and vice(s) that it abhors.

Just be careful we don't exclude "Tiffany" (I had a cousin named this, and she hated her name saying it was a stripper name) but embrace Jack the Ripper. I think their are likely books already that are offensive to God, that have found their way in. But that we (and again this American's blind spots aren't the same as maybe the next canadians, or frenchmans, or englishmans, or africans, or so forth) can't see them at this point in time. Not saying excluding "Tiffany" is a bad thing. We definitely should.

I guess what I am saying is the American church supported slavery in the south. Abhorrent? Yep. But they were blind to it at the time. Where are we blind, and where will be seen as having failed by the next generations? Likely we have books in both our physical and digital libraries that support our blindness.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 25 2015 5:55 AM

abondservant:
We Americans are quite hung up on sexual sin at the expense of others which we tend to embrace.

Geeked Some members of one Church that I served criticized me because I stated that "Mary was pregnant" in a children's message. Not that it was a children's message, but that I should never use such words from the pulpit Geeked

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