Pennies from Heaven

I remember growing up we had a good friend of the family named Buck. One side business among several he had at one time was an ice cream truck he would drive around town in the heat of the Texas sun, selling lots of ice cream and snow cones to many hot and famished people, adults and children alike. A few years after this story, I would actually be driving this truck for him as a summer job during college.

At the end of his days, he would count his money and balance it out as any businessman would. For the bank, he would have to roll the change into paper rolls to deposit them, for they would not take it any other way. He found pennies, though, not to be worth it, in his opinion, so he threw them into a bag where they accumulated. As I was graduating high school, he considered those would be a good graduating present for me, plus they would be off his hands and he wouldn’t have to count or roll them. I would have that problem, which I gladly took with thanks. After taking them home and rolling them and counting them, I took them to the bank and exchanged them for paper currency, and headed to the mall to see what I could buy for my graduation present from Buck.

At the mall I purchased a nice digital watch, which was brand new technology in the 1977, I drove up to our family business, where he worked for his main job, and proudly showed him and my mother what he bought me for my graduation. He seemed a little shocked and asked how much the watch cost. He seemed a little beside himself when I told him the pennies totaled over $80 and that more than paid for the new shiny technology on my wrist.


At that point it became clear that if he had realized the pennies had added to that much money, he would’ve had it counted and given me a lesser amount, more like $20. I remember asking my mother if I should take the watch back and give him his money back so he can rethink and re-give his gift. There was no doubt Buck loved me almost like a son and his wanting to give me a gift was genuine, but his attitude toward money was always clear.  Mom’s response to me was “No. He should learn from laziness of not wanting to count and roll the pennies he guessed would only add up to about $20.”

Ever since, I’ve always stopped to pick up pennies. I’ve always remembered the phrase, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” At both, I remember this experience with Buck. I have realized how pennies can add up and how they can become a blessing for rainy day when funds elsewhere may be tight. Or how they could be a gift for someone else somewhere down the line, passing a blessing as Buck did for me, only I won’t go into it blind.

Recently, however, a new perspective to stopping and picking up pennies changed everything for me on this. While the result may still end up blessing someone else as mentioned above, I’ve learned that God can still use these little copper tokens to remind me of His blessings for me.

It came to my attention that embossed on every regular U.S. coin are the words, “IN GOD WE TRUST.” I had always seen these words, but now they had meaning. These words beg the question why do we trust God? It all comes down to why do we trust anyone? We trust anyone who is true to their word, who keeps their promises. Somebody much more learned and patient than I (Max Lucado) has determined that there are over 7400 promises of God in the Bible.  And we know He always keeps His promises.

Ezekiel 12 (NIV) 28
“Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

1 King 8:56 (NIV)
“Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”

Romans 4:20, 21 (KJV)
“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith [believing] giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised he was able also to perform.”

Malachi 3:6 (KJV)
“I am the Lord. I change not.”


pennySo every time I see a penny, nickel,
or other coin on the ground,
I consider now that God
has put it there to remind me
That He is always there, and
He always keep His promises.

This little token serves as an unexpected special blessing, sometimes at the end of hard day when nothing went right, or to begin a day to get things started on a great note. But regardless of when it happens, I feel a sense of peace rush through my heart and soul, followed by a smile that sneaks out the corners of my face because I am reminded He is there. At that moment. In that place. He knows if I need that blessing whether I do or not. Sometimes maybe it’s just a blessing for no reason at all. I love doing that for those I care about so, since I believe He is much more loving than I can ever be, I think He probably does that for us at times.

In the future, if I give a bag of pennies or coins as a graduation gift, it won’t be because I was too lazy to roll or take them to get them counted and turning it over to someone else to do. I would see it as passing on all the blessings God had given me, day after day after day, to someone else as a huge, single blessing to them. It would be in hoping they will learn to recognize the little tokens of blessings in each day of their lives, being reminded that He is forever there with them, through all of the good and the bad…

and He always keeps His promises.


© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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It’s A Wonderful Life

In the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey is afforded the opportunity to see what the world would like if he had never been born. As he moves about Bedford Falls, he learns how different everything is. His guardian angel, Clarence, points out, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

Every day…   every single day, we face choices as to how we treat those around us. Whether we realize those choices or not, and even if we do not even know the people we are affecting, those decisions and actions have impact on others. Whether you are at home with your family, at work with those you share your career with, or just those you pass in public, at the grocery store, at the coffee shop getting your favorite coffee, at the gym, the library, or anywhere else your day may take you. You will interact with others in a variety of ways.

So how do you treat others? And if there is no direct interaction, how do you present yourself?

Jesus said in  Luke 6:31(NIV) that famous verse:

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

It is a simple but profound statement that has permeated the roots of most if not all morals and religions in the world in some form or fashion. No one anywhere debates the wisdom this. It is taught to our children from a very early age and has been given the simple title of The Golden Rule. But, as easy as it sounds, so many of us have a hard time practicing this.

If this was truly practiced, the word revenge would not be in our vocabulary. Wars would be significantly lessened if not extinct. Politician Ron Paul once said, “Maybe we ought to consider a Golden Rule in foreign policy: Don’t do to other nations what we don’t want happening to us. We endlessly bomb these countries and then we wonder why they get upset with us?”

In Romans 12:16 (NIV), we read

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

and in Philippians 2:4 (ESV)

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

and finally we read Philippians 2:3 (ESV)

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

I find it somewhat amazing that we have the Ten Commandments, and Jesus simplifies that down to two in Mark 12:28-31:

…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

and that this should be all we need to carry out the task of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. But yet, Paul gives us a number of verses that reinforce how to do that. And to this day, we listen to sermons, Bible Studies, and so forth on the subject because we struggle so much with this. Unfortunately, as long as we are human, we will have this issue! But let us strive to be more like Christ each day and to love our neighbors, and to truly do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Then we exude Christ to those around us.

If we are ever given a chance to what the world would be like without us, may we see a great difference in our world. We should recognize the evidence of what our lives have added by having Christ shine through us to those around us. We, as believers, are all ministers for Christ.  Therefore, live every day… every day… so that your life’s legacy is told in the lives of others around you.

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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Handling Change

How often are you thrown by a change in your life? Good or bad? How well do you handle it? Nobody likes change when it happens, especially negative change. Anxiety rises, and some handle that better than others.

When working towards a pilot’s license years ago, I quickly learned that most of what I studied and practiced was for emergency situations. If this unexpected event happened, then this. If this, then that. One circumstance would be studied after another. This training was in place to be able handle that unexpected change in the normal routine of flight. The more prepared I was, the better I could handle whatever circumstance arose, without the anxiety and indecision that would be there otherwise. I would have faith in my training and skills to handle the problem and realize everything would work out the best it could because of that.

How well you know God and have faith in Him is the same way. Trusting in Him, resting in your faith and knowing He never changes are things that can change your life. Believing down to the roots of your soul He is always there and keeps His promises allows you to let your anxieties go and put your complete trust in Him.

The Bible tells us he never changes in Hebrews 13:8 (ESV):

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

and in James 1:17 (ESV):

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

and in Malachi 3:6 (NKJV)

For I am the Lord, I do not change

We can trust this because it says in Psalm 18:30 (NIV):

As for God, his way is perfect: 
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.

Some people will argue He does change because there are examples in the Old Testament of Him changing His mind. Because He is a loving and compassionate and loving God, He has shown He CAN change His MIND, if people change their behavior:

This is shown in Jeremiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.

But just because he can change his mind, doesn’t mean he has to, as he proves with Balak in

Numbers 23:18-20 (NKJV)

Then he took up his oracle and said:

“Rise up, Balak, and hear! 
Listen to me, son of Zippor!  
“God is not a man, that He should lie, 
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do? 
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? 
Behold, I have received a command to bless;
He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.
As well as with King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:28, 29
At this Samuel said to him: “Jehovah has ripped away the royal rule of Israel from you today, and he will give it to one of your fellow men who is better than you. Moreover, the Excellency of Israel will not prove false or change his mind, for He is not a mere man that he should change his mind.”

We must remember God can change his mind, but HE never changes.

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, perfect is his activity, For all his ways are justice.A God of faithfulness who is never unjust;Righteous and upright is he.

1 John 4:8

Whoever does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.

The Holy Bible contains 7,487 PROMISES made by God to man according to Professor Dr. Herbert Lockyer (1886-1984)  In his 1962 book titled “All The Promises Of God,”

Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Ezekiel 12:28 NIV

“Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Knowing the Lord never changes, but He is a compassionate and loving God who keeps His promises, it should be simple thing for us to give up all of worldly concerns, needs, problems, anxieties, etc. to Him. We believe He will handle everything according to His divine purpose. We trust in Him much more than we trust in our emergency flight training. Our faith in Him grows as we give Him more and more of our lives. We need to give him all of it!

The secret to this?

A close relationship with God.

How do we get this?

Begin with 1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  Wow! There are two promises right there! He will forgive our sins! He will purify us from all unrighteousness! And we already know he will keep those promises! These will work immediately to make us closer to Him. Evidence of that will be increased joy, happiness and peace, although not all problems will disappear. we are still physical residents of this earth. But I often remember one of my favorite quotes, which I’ve used countless times, by C.S. Lewis. He said, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

Add this to another favorite quote, this one by A.W. Tozer said, “We are saved to worship God. All that Christ has done in the past and all that He is doing now leads to this one end.”

By worshiping, praying and seeking a closer relationship with God, you will find your faith growing, joy and peace more present in your life, and seeing evidence of God around you in life more than you ever had. Your eyes, ears and heart will be opened to new levels of wisdom bestowed upon you as the Holy Spirit leads. Things you’ve been told for years now will make sense.

Grow your faith and seek God more every day and find Him you will!

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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Two Greatest Commandments is Really Three

This is a little different look at the two great commandments we covered back in March.

In Mark 12:28-31, we read,

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The key word at the center of both commandments is LOVE. That is because God is love. Everything that is of God, that is a part of Him, is based in love.

We see this in 1 John 4, beginning in verse 7.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

So how are those two commandments Jesus gave us three? Let’s look at 1 John 4:20-21.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

So the first commandment Jesus gave us, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” depends on the second, which is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” How can you love God if you hate your neighbor?

But read closer. “You shall love your neighbor… as yourself.”

How can you love your neighbor, and God, if you have issues with yourself? You must love yourself first. Do you have skeletons in your closet, or something in your life, you haven’t forgiven yourself? Do you believe He has forgiven you, but you are still carrying the burden of guilt of them on yourself? Or maybe you haven’t given them up to Him yet. Either way, you are not loving yourself and are keeping yourself from loving your neighbor and God.

1 John 1:9 says

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Once you have done that, and He has forgiven you, and He has cleansed you of that unrighteousness, shouldn’t you let go of your guilt? He has made you new, as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Forgive yourself. Let your guilt go. Love yourself so you can love your neighbor and love the Lord your God with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength!

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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Visualizing Jesus

Meditating and visualizing Jesus physically right beside you

Jesus walking up and hearing the grass and sticks crack beneath his feet as He approaches

Having conversation with Him as you would your better than you and your best friend have ever talked

Feeling love like you’ve never felt it before

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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Hearing God

Devotional on why we hear God sometimes and sometimes we don’t.

“the teacher is silent during the test”

Bruce Almighty “God just give me sign” – truck full of signs passes

listening for what we want to hear

© 2018 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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In the old classic Christmas movie “Miracle on 34th Street,” we hear the quote “Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.” has as one of its seven definitions of faith as “belief that is not based on proof.”

When it comes to having faith in God, many of us who call ourselves Christians are very often found wanting in this area. Jesus Christ pointed out in Matthew 17:20

“… Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

It is easy to say “I have faith.” It is harder to truly have faith and to then see Him work as a result !

Faith in the Lord is built first by seeking a closer relationship with Him in every part of your life. Then, as your faith grows, you see him working according to His plan. You see this because you had the faith that He would handle things. When you see Him do this, your faith grows even more.

As a kid growing up, I noticed how the older generations seemed to have a trust and faith I didn’t have. I am now am reaching those ages, and I am learning to trust in Him more. I also find He’s even more a part of my life.

Maturing in our Christian faith, we can see His work more and more often. We can now trust that when He calls us to something that He will handle the details. Once you have seen this first hand, it works to strengthen your faith and trust in Him.

C.S. Lewis said “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

How can you see God working if you don’t have the faith?

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we live by faith, not by sight.

No matter the sacrifice, have faith in God. When He moves, trust and have faith that He will keep His promises. Then open your eyes and watch Him work! Continuous faith, coupled with prayer and study in the Word, increases the closeness of your relationship with Christ. The closer you draw to Him, the more you see Him work and then your faith strengthens. It is a cyclical pattern that can only work to get you closer to that place where you have the faith of a mustard seed!

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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Reflecting Christ

Mirrors are reflectors. They reflect the light that hits them. What we see in the mirror reflects the light that is illuminating us as we stand in front of the mirror. That light shines off of us at the mirror and reflects into our eyes where our brains interpret the image how we appear at that moment in that light.

Gazing into the mirror is how we can see ourselves as others see us. We cannot step outside our bodies to look ourselves, so, up until recent technological advances, mirrors have been the only way we have had to check out how we look and learn how others view our outward appearance.

When we read the creation story, we find that Genesis 1:26 (ESV) says,

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,”

so we think God patterned our physical appearance very specifically. However, since God no has bodily form, he is referring to his image as his spiritual form. So man was given spirit, a living soul, created to live in harmony and communion with him.

So, with this image in mind, how do you view yourself when you look in the mirror? It is possible to view beyond the physical appearance and into the spirit.

In the 1970’s a Christian artist, Sharalee Lucas, recorded a song by the name “Jesus in Your Eyes.” This was very popular song back then for weddings given the love song nature of the lyrics. But it spoke about being able to discern Christ in another person.

I see Jesus in your eyes, and it makes me love Him

I feel Jesus in your touch, and I know He cares

I hear Jesus in your voice, and it makes me listen

And I trust you with my love, because you’re His.

I see Him… [1]

Have you ever had someone you’ve just met say, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?” If someone can ask that before you say a word that’s even better.

We can never be fully like Christ, but we strive to always be. And as we become more like Him, the more others will see Christ in us. Do others see Him you? When you stand in front of the mirror, do YOU see Him in you?

[1] I See Jesus In Your Eyes—Words & Music – Sharalee Lucas—Copyright © 1986 Songs Of Rambo McGuire—Catalog info-Songs Of Rambo McGuire—Administrator Info-Songs Of Rambo McGuire

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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A Path to Peace and Joy

From the book of Joshua, I think we have all heard in some form or fashion the story of the Battle of Jericho. Israel surrounds the town of Jericho, marches around it for days, and on the seventh day, the trumpets blasted, the voices shouted and the walls came down. All spoils except the silver, gold and bronze and iron were to be destroyed. However, a man by the name of Achan kept some spoils for himself and hid them by burying them under his tent.
Not knowing this, Joshua then proceeded to next the town of Ai. It was a small town, so Joshua sent only a small army to battle them. The Israelites lost and had to retreat. God told Joshua, who was distraught over the loss, that someone had hidden the spoils and until their sin was exposed, He would not be with them. Joshua lined the entire nation up and they all passed in front of him tribe by tribe. When Achan passed in front of Joshua he admitted his sin. Joshua had the spoils along with Achan, his family, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, stoned then burnt, ridding the nation of the sin that had so angered the Lord. Having seen the cleansing, the Lord turned from His anger and blessed Israel yet again.
What is the lesson to be learned here today? You may hide your sin from man, but not from God. When praying specific prayers, God knows what you want before you ask it. He wants you to ask specifically so that YOU know what you need. If He knows your need better than you know yourself, isn’t it logical to conclude that He knows your sin even before you confess it? He knows we need to confess our sin to have a true penitent heart and to restore our relationship with Him.

How grateful we should be that Christ came to earth? We do not need to fear the wrath of judgment that Achan experienced because Christ did that for us.
When we gave our lives to Christ, we were forgiven our sins. The Father’s love is unending. But when we still sin, which we do because we are still human, our relationship with Him is strained. He doesn’t love us any less. As a parent doesn’t love their child any less when they err, so is God with us when we sin. Our relationship is strengthened through confession. This is the basis of 1 John 1:9 which says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This begins a cause and affect sequence which is the real topic of this lesson. To be cleansed from all unrighteousness means a close relationship with God. A close relationship with God is the only place where true peace can be found.  C.S. Lewis said, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
And by finding true peace you can find joy. If you are having a hard time finding peace, then I would suspect you are having a difficult time with joy as well. Not all sources of tension limiting peace and joy are a result of sin. A family member suffering from cancer or some other disease is a good example of this. But if your lack of peace and joy can be traced to your guilt, your sin, then begin the road of restoration with confession and with working to be closer to and worship Him.  When we confess our sins, we grow closer to Him. Being closer to Him overwhelms us with peace, overflows in joy and manifests itself in glorious praise of God.

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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Reflecting the Greatest Commandments

Do you ever wonder what it would be like if Christ was actually walking earth today and you ran into him? When we look back to evidence in the New Testament, it appears he must have had an appeal  beaming out from him that captivated those around him. How do you think it went in recruiting the disciples? It almost gives the impression he walked up, said drop your nets and follow me. Except for maybe Peter and Matthew to a degree, there is no implication there were huge debates, followed by PowerPoint presentations by Jesus showing returns on investment, and so forth working to convince each of the future disciples why they should do just that. It seems they sensed his special anointing, and felt strongly that was something they had to do. I doubt they knew at the time the scope of the decision they were making. They were making a decision that would etch them into the history of all mankind and would alsolead to their persecution. Had Jesus told them up front, “Hey follow me, but know you will ultimately be killed for it,” The number of  recruits would have been sizably less. But once they understood the significance of the Spirit in the man, and that spirit was made alive in them, they realized physical, earthly death was not the end or even that big of deal. Living for Him, reflecting Him… that is!


Jesus would be doing the same if He were walking the earth today. His charisma, being so magnetic, would draw people to him. He would be where Christians today fear to trod. I believe he would be in bars and strip clubs, the casinos, the gang-infested neighborhoods, the sex-trafficking houses where young girls are sold. And I believe in each of those, within minutes of entering, all activities would cease, and there would be a number of people at his feet listening, intently and remorsefully. As always, there would be those whose hearts are hard and resist. Jesus had those even 2000 years ago, such as when the Pharisees even tried to trick Him. In Matthew 22:36-40:


36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”


They failed but Jesus’ response brings three topics to light, two of them are obvious.

  1. Love God.
    This commandment is first because it is the most important.
  2. Love your neighbor.
    The second obvious statement.
    Not so obvious! Do not forget to love yourself!

So many people have guilt, remorse, low self-esteem, etc. which gives them anxiety, depression and much more. All of this impacts their ability to love themselves. These can impact to the point of serious health issues and even suicide.


You can love God, and you can love neighbor, but not love yourself. But how much can you truly love them? Work on forgiving yourself, letting the things go that God has already forgiven you for. Pray for peace. Meditate on it daily. Hourly if needed. Truly, truly give it. Your CAN let it go. Once you do, you WILL find that peace and you will find yourself loving yourself. Then you will love your neighbor and God even more after that. Your faith in God goes up, your peace and joy will skyrocket. You will want to grow closer to Him everyday!


If your life is in order already, then praise the Lord! Keep working to become a fully developing follower of Christ.


While we can never be fully like Him, we strive to always be more like Him. And as we become more like Christ, the more others will see Him in us. Do others see Him you? When you stand in front of the mirror, do YOU see Him in you?

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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