Birds of a Different Color – Christmas Eve

cardinals, goldfinch, bluebird, nuthatch, chickadee:
art credit: James Hautman

It was Christmas Eve all through the land

All the birds stared in amazement at the Christmas tree so grand

The little birds could barely contain their excitement

The older birds looked on, filled with contentment

The eagle remembered how far they have come

He remembered all the work ALL the birds have done

Which made this day an even more special day

He took his place and said: “Birds, I have something to say”

Want to see one--not at a zoo--SOON!:
photo credit: Paula Krugerud Photography

“I’ll keep it short since tonight the little ones can’t be up late.”

“It has been a long time since we chose to love instead of hate.”

“It was a lot of work to repair our broken relationships.”

“As you all know, it hasn’t always gone to script.”

“We have learned from our mistakes, our experiences.”

“We have learned to work through our differences.”

“We have returned this land to the way it was created.”

“For that reason alone, tonight we ALL should be celebrated!”

“We are gathered here today because of the one who was born.”

“Who also died for us, tattered and torn.”

“As some of us birds are getting older,

We know we can’t carry this land on our shoulders.”

“We must teach the next generation

That love is the only way to rule this nation!”

All the birds started to sing

A beautiful sound that caused a gathering

All the animals from the forest came

The deer, the rabbit, the skunk and others you know by name

They gathered around the Christmas tree

They held hands and all sung with glee

The sound reached near and far

Then humans arrived, by foot and by car

They couldn’t believe their eyes

It was then they started to realize

Everything they thought they knew had to be ruled out

Because right there was a hawk singing with a field mouse

There was a bear beside a deer

There was a sheep standing by a wolf  with no fear

There was a fox right beside a hare

All these beautiful birds were there

They could hardly believe their ears

When the animals said: “There is nothing here to fear!”

“Yes, at one time we were all enemies!”

“We decided to let love rule our hearts until our eyes could see!”

Then the humans held each other’s hands

All the different people across the land

Blacks and whites, Muslim and Christian

All races, all people, could see the animals vision

The eagle then spoke once again:

“One last thing to say my friends.”

“To move forward you must move on from the past!”

“You have to live as last is first and first is last.”

“Let every man, every woman, every boy, every girl

Know what it’s like to have peace in this world!”

“Let ALL our voices join together as we sing Silent Night!”

Then they sang Joy To The World  and We Wish You A Merry Christmas

I can only say it’s all true, as I was there to witness

All the birds of a different color

Helped all the people discover

Instead of fighting they should ALL join hands

Because love is the only way to rule the land

Merry Christmas to ALL and to ALL a love filled night 

Image result for birds of a different color winter christmas tree

art credit: Peter Rabbit

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Let It Be Christmas by Alan Jackson –

Santa’s Wish (Teach The World) by The Tenors –

Better Together by Gaither Vocal Band –

Join With The Angels by Matthew West –

Rest In You Tonight by The Oak Ridge Boys –

Gather Round by Band Of Merrymakers –

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath –

Wish List by 7eventh Time Down –

Silent Night by Pentatonix –


Christmas Will Come

Christmas will come

No matter what you’ve done

Whether you believe or not

It doesn’t matter if you forgot

He came to fulfill His obligation

There is no need for negotiation

Many said He wasn’t God, they lied

He was born, He lived, He was crucified

Christmas is about His birth

He came to show us our worth

Born with silver spoon or born in a slum

Have no doubt Christmas will come


It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor,

Find it in your heart or in a store

If you live in America or Tel Aviv

It doesn’t matter what you believe

If you have or haven’t heard of Him

Whether your light is bright or dim

Santa Claus is not the reason

That we celebrate this season

If you can buy ten gifts or none

Have no doubt,  Christmas will come


A long time ago on a cold December morn

A beautiful, wonderful baby boy was born

To save this world of our sin

And that death would not win

Many years after His manger birth

He taught of ways not of this earth

To get to Heaven He is the only way

He forgives the times we sinned today

With the pounding of a drum

Have no doubt, Christmas will come


When we are down, our spirits He will lift

In all our wants we only need one gift

That was given to us free of charge

The cost of His death for me was too large

For me to live, this gift I must accept

I will live for Him, I will never forget

With the softness of a hum

Have no doubt, Christmas will come


Lights, trees, ornaments, presents

Christmas coming did not represent

Love came down, a star shined bright

Darkness was overtaken by His light

It doesn’t matter where you’re from

My dear friends, Christmas will come


Do you believe?

Do you deceive?

Some may try to stop it or delay

But you can’t stop His birthday

No matter how far away you run

Jesus Christ is here, He did come

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done

Have no doubt, Christmas did come

Christ Is Come by Jeremy Camp – 

Christmas Is Coming by Jason Gray – 

All Things Collide by Brad & Rebekah – 

You’re Here by Francesca Battistelli – 

Even So Come by Kristian Stanfill – 

The King Is Coming by Newsboys – 

That Day Is Coming by The Collingsworth Family – 

Come Lord Jesus by Dustin Kensrue – 

For All The World by Phillips, Craig and Dean – 

The Gift

Image result for thank you jesus for the gift

 

There didn’t seem to be much she didn’t want. It seemed like half the toy catalog was written down on her list. Barbies, doll houses, princess things, and dolls. Not to be left out were matchbox cars, board games, Playmobil things, and a football. She even asked for love. She was just a young girl.

Image result for old fashioned window toy store

Her list changed over the years. Now there were clothes, gift cards, and money on the list. She also asked for  iPods, iPads, and other things that start with I. One thing hadn’t changed though, she still asked for love. She was just a teenage girl.

She had most everything she ever wanted.  She didn’t have much of a list this year. A new pair of Nikes, some pots and pans for her new apartment, gift cards, and money. Mostly, she just wanted her family to be together. She still was asking for love. She was just a young woman.

She had everything she had asked for. She had been married a few years and had her first child. She asked for her child to be healthy.  She asked for her husband to be faithful. She asked for good friends. She asked to be successful in her career. She asked for her bills to be paid. She asked to always be loved. She was just a young mom.

Image result for my house isn't fancy i don't have any money

She was confused about her life. Something was missing. She had everything she wanted. She had a great career, she had great friends. She was happily married, had two healthy, happy children and a strong foundation from her parents, but she had forgotten about the one who loved her.  Somewhere along the way she had forgotten about her faith. She asked for love. She asked for forgiveness. She was just a young Christian woman.

 

She thanked God for the life she had. She asked that her children have a relationship with Jesus. She asked that they don’t wait as long as she did to accept Jesus in her life. She asked that they realize how much they are loved. She knew the gift that Jesus had given her. He was born, He lived, and He died on the cross for her sins. She asked for love and she received the love of her Heavenly Father. She received a gift she could never pay back. A gift given to her a long time ago. She just had to be open to receiving it. She was just a woman on her journey to eternal life.

Image result for jesus is the greatest gift

She asked for one more day. She asked for memories she couldn’t recall. She shed a tear for a child lost too young. She asked to see her parents again. She remembered Christmas past. She asked if she had done enough. She thanked God for the gift of love He had given her. She was just a woman at the end of her days here on earth. She was just a woman, filled with joy for the life she had lived. She was just a woman that loves God. She was just a woman that accepted His gift.

Image result for 2 corinthians 9 15  manger scene

She was just a woman who asked for love.

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Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Burl Ives – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMletImQ_cs&w=420&h=315]

Children Again by Jason Gray – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI9fnwl5FgQ&w=560&h=315]

Hold On Christmas by MercyMe – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxvR2ptGTws&w=560&h=315]

The Gift by Collin Raye – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJDmQI1Euk8&w=420&h=315]

The Giver and the Gift by Point Of Grace – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcP9VQCQBK8&w=560&h=315]

Beautiful by Kutless – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztUsXFyJuT8&w=560&h=315]

For God So Loved by Brad & Rebekah – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo8H9te9TNI&w=560&h=315]

Love Is Here by Laura Story – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQu0hQb2GSE&w=560&h=315]

Your Love Is Mine by I Am They – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_uJYKoHhQo&w=560&h=315]

Leaving Heaven by Matthew West – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvfKG8BFBd8&w=560&h=315]

The Perfect Gift by JJ Heller – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mDftjVZXPs&w=560&h=315]

Love Will Save The World by Brentwood Benson – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjY03bl5QWc&w=560&h=315]

For All That You Have Done by Rend Collective – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkK01FsfK74&w=560&h=315]

What Christmas Present Will You Give Jesus?

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how many presents under your branches are for me?

How many presents are under the tree for Jesus?  It is his birthday. He is the reason for the season.

What presents can you give to Jesus you wonder?  There are many and I bet you have never thought of them. Maybe some of you are giving Him these presents every day.  Maybe some of you give them one day and take them back the next.

Present one:  trust.  Do you give him all your trust?  Do you trust him even when things are going bad? Do you trust his plans for your life? Do you trust him completely, 100%? If not, maybe this year is the year you give him the present of your trust.

Image result for bible verses trust in god

Present two: your heart. Do you give him your heart?  Does he come first in your heart? What does your heart treasure the most? That new job promotion? Your wife? Your football team?  This season put Jesus first in your heart.

Image result for ezekiel 36-26

Present three: love people. Do you truly love others? Do you know your neighbor’s names? Have you forgiven those that have hurt you? Have you reached out to people that may not know about Jesus?  Do you live your life that will lead other people to Jesus? Are you making disciples?

Image result for bible verse loving people

Present four: family. Is Jesus part of your family? Do you talk to him like you do your spouse or children? Do you share with him your heart? Do other members of your family treat him like he is part of the family?

Image result for bible verse jesus is family

Present five: time. How much of your time have you given Jesus today?  Have you set any time out of your busy day to just spend with him?  Five minutes of quiet time with just you and him? Two minutes? One ?

Image result for psalm 27 8

This post was inspired by a devotional I read that really spoke to me so I wanted to share it with you.

What other gifts can you think of that you can give to Jesus?  Not only on Christmas but every day.

Where’s The Line To See Jesus by Becky Kelley – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OExXItDyWEY&w=560&h=315]

A Gift To You by Kids Worship Childrens Ministry –  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3iG1gkW9R0&w=560&h=315]

Jesus What Can I Give You by Oceans Edge Music – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIjBK-jD38o&w=560&h=315]

Give It All by We Are Messengers  – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNljt27vZc4&w=560&h=315]

Christmas Must Be Something More by Taylor Swift – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGEbfP3Afbg&w=560&h=315]

Nothing To Give by 7eventh Time Down – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqpH1arHGl4&w=560&h=315]

Little Drummer Boy from the cartoon –    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZvjPCcHI4g&w=560&h=315]

What Is Christmas by Kutless –  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbHH38d1k3w&w=560&h=315]

Baby Boy by For King and Country – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV4llLa_2nk&w=560&h=315]

Give by Jason Crabb – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlXajGcSC_s&w=560&h=315]

What God Wants For Christmas by Darius Rucker – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqlH19dhI9Q&w=560&h=315]

A Christmas Prayer

Image result for charlie brown i think there must be something wrong with me

A Christmas prayer

For the ones out there

Who aren’t full of happiness and  cheer

Who are depressed and worn out this time of year

This time of year can be tough

Sometimes you just want to scream ENOUGH!

Maybe it’s the loss of a loved one

Or past hurts that have been done

 

Everyone else seems full of glee

You’re thinking “everyone but me”

You aren’t the only one faking a smile

Remember the season is because of the birth of a child

It’s not the decorations or presents

Or all the parties and events

Here is an open invitation

To join in the celebration

Image result for bible verses on hope and strength

No gifts to bring or trees to decorate

Whenever you are ready, we will wait

A genuine heart with love to give

I believe you are meant to live

Do not give up, Do not be dismayed

If you are having a string of bad days

There is a hope for a better tomorrow

One not promised without sorrow

One not promised without pain

One not promised without rain

One promised that you are never alone

One promised that you have a home

One promised that you are loved

One promised of HOPE,  sealed by His blood

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I can’t promise tomorrow will be better

I can promise you have a helper

Instead of falling down it’s time to rise up

Don’t give up when you’ve had enough

The night will fall and the sun will soon shine

Please, please give it some more time

Tomorrow is new

Perhaps a blessing for you

Tomorrow will soon be here

And maybe, just maybe, it’ll be your year

A baby boy was born in a manger

Don’t let him be a stranger

Get to know hope, love, forgiveness and grace

Tomorrow you will gladly embrace

I want you to know you are known

And that you aren’t alone

Don’t give up, YOU are loved, even when you are blue

This is my Christmas prayer for you

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Talk to your doctor if you are feeling sad for long periods of time. They can refer you to a mental health specialist. If your feelings of sadness during the holidays are accompanied by suicidal thoughts, do one of the following immediately:

  • Call 911.
  • Go immediately to a hospital emergency room.
  • Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

You can improve your mood by practicing self-care during the holidays. Eat a healthy diet, and maintain a regular sleep pattern and exercise program. According to the kept Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, as little as 30-minutes of cardiovascular exercise can provide an immediate mood boost similar to the effects of an antidepressant medication. Joining a support group where you talk to people with similar experiences to yours can also help.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU HAVE WORTH AND YOU ARE LOVED MORE THAN YOU KNOW!

Image result for bible verses on tomorrow is a new day

Lots of songs but couldn’t decide to put suicide or hope or someone loves you song so put a mix of all them.

Why by Faith Hill – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3idrXjpP3Y&w=560&h=315]

Why by Rascal Flatts – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EXGJKxi_PU&w=560&h=315]

Different Kind Of Tears by Sully Erna – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjqtPnwRmcg&w=560&h=315]

Before The Morning by Josh Wilson – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=New8i_eX3x8&w=560&h=315]

Somebody Stand By Me by Faith Hill – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41zDrJO4_rE&w=560&h=315]

Home by Phillip Phillips- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoRkntoHkIE&w=560&h=315]

Pray For You by Blessid Union Of Souls – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm9nUVxHTrI&w=560&h=315]

I Don’t Have The Answers by We Are Messengers- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvIIbyQLnHc&w=560&h=315]

10 Years Today by Bullet For My Valentine- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3-Bq8xrq8I&w=560&h=315]

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Kix- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRx0NIvwQQg&w=560&h=315]

Hold On by Good Charlotte- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb-SDUnhMGw&w=560&h=315]

The Fuzz by Jeff Rosenstock – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mOlwcFMZSU&w=560&h=315]

Hold On by Wilson Phillips- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIbXvaE39wM&w=560&h=315]

The Last Night by Skillet – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UizRJdg98rI&w=560&h=315]

The Reason by Lacey Sturm- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlMYN4vQBWw&w=560&h=315]

Take The Bullets Away by We As Human- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2T40qPAO-0&w=560&h=315]

The Right Time by Disciple – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug6gJAfbKNU&w=560&h=315]

Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.- [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rOiW_xY-kc&w=560&h=315]

Goodbye (I’m Sorry) by Jamestown Story – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnCMnsPH6d0&w=560&h=315]

Just Say Jesus by 7eventh Time Down – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8CLgiYZyZE&w=560&h=315]

Pray For Me by Kirk Franklin – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TgkgGOmPJU&w=560&h=315]

Welcome To My Life by Simple Plan – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0U0AlLVqpk&w=560&h=315]

My Story by Big Daddy Weave – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TKAN-nAsu8&w=560&h=315]

Hope Was Born This Night by Sidewalk Prophets – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fok1h3p1sh8&w=560&h=315]

The Reindeer Revolt- The Story

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You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, you know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you know Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint? Of course you don’t, because most of you have not heard of the great reindeer revolt.

It was December 17, 1938. Exactly seven days before Christmas Eve. As you would expect, the North Pole was extremely busy getting everything ready for the big night. All the elves were making the last of the toys for all the good girls and boys. Santa was checking his list, then checking it twice just to be sure no one was missed. Mrs. Claus was busy making snacks for everyone. The reindeer were finishing up the last of their training exercises.

Maybe it was because the reindeer were tired or maybe they felt they weren’t being respected enough but for whatever the reason, some of the reindeer decided they had had enough. Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint had enough and decided they were no longer going to work on Christmas Eve. “We work every Christmas Eve and we are tired of it. We want to stay home and enjoy the evening with our families. All of us should join together and tell Santa no more.”

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,  and Vixen all said no. “We are not going to revolt against Santa. How can you do this? Think of all the children. We work one night a year. We have 364 days to relax and take vacations and do whatever we want. We enjoy our job and traveling all over the world and seeing all the decorations and the children eagerly awaiting our visit.”

This was not the first time that Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,  and Vixen had seen a bad attitude from Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint. In fact, over the last six months they had seen many warning signs.  They tried talking to them, but never seemed to get anywhere. Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint had even started calling Rudolph names and would not let him play in any reindeer games.

All the reindeer argued and fought for several days. We are right and this is what we are going to do. No, you are not right, we are right and we will stand our ground. Back and forth, back and forth it went.

Finally, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,  and Vixen decided that this could not go on. They made a very difficult decision, one that did not come easily and one that made them very sad. These reindeer have been friends their entire lives but they no longer saw eye to eye. They told Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint that they could no longer be friends. They didn’t want Santa to think they were revolting too, just because of who they were friends with.

Santa saw what was going on and felt very sad for the reindeer. But, he too, had to make a very difficult decision. If Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint did not want to fly on Christmas Eve, then he was not going to force them. But he knew he needed eight reindeer to fly.

He held tryouts and four reindeer stood out amongst the rest. They were Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. They joined forces with Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,  and Vixen and became the eight famous reindeer you know today. Minus Rudolph of course, he would join the team a little later.

That is why you have never heard of Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint. That is why a year later that Johnny Marks wrote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with its famous opening lines of which you know.  You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, you know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, and the rest is history.

That is also why you should be wise and choose your friends wisely. You will be known by the company you keep.

Image result for proverbs 13 20

Friends by Blake Shelton – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2tzzDtDw-k&w=560&h=315]

I’ve Got Friends That Do by Tim McGraw-  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW5kWTaTXYw&w=560&h=315]

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by –  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0byH9h1ClBY&w=560&h=315]

The Christmas Tree

Image result for christmas tree farm

From the time she was a small sapling she knew what she was born for. She was born and raised on a Christmas tree farm. She heard stories from her family and friends about how one day she would be picked to go be inside someone’s house

Each year she grew a little bigger but each year she kept hearing people say the same thing. “She isn’t big enough.” “Her branches are still too weak.” “Her needles are too thin.”

She would wonder the same thing each year. “What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want me? ”

Another year passed and she thought for sure this would be the year. She was almost as big as all the other trees but it was the same old story for our Christmas tree. “She isn’t quite there yet.” “She’s almost full enough but not as full as we want.” “Her branches still aren’t strong enough.”

Many more years passed and she still wasn’t being picked. She was really starting to wonder what was wrong with her. She was bigger than almost all the other trees. Her branches were fuller and stronger than the other trees. Other trees that were born after her were being picked but she still wasn’t. “Why doesn’t anyone want me?”  “When will my time come?”

Another year passed and she was a full ten feet taller than any other tree. She had beautiful branches but she still wasn’t being picked. Now she heard things likes she’s too big, she can’t fit in our house, we don’t have enough lights and decorations to complete her.

Our Christmas tree was so sad. No one wanted her when she was young and small and no one wanted her when she was old and tall. She was thinking she will never know what it’s like to be decorated and look so lovely.

Our Christmas tree continued to grow and by the next year she was seventy-five feet tall. She could see the entire farm. That was when she saw this big truck coming on  the farm. They came right up to her. One guy got out and looked at her and said “this tree is what we have been looking for. She will look beautiful at Rockefeller Center. We will decorate her and have so many lights on her. Millions of people will see her and admire how beautiful she is!”

Moral of the story is God will use you in His time. Be faithful and trust in Him and He will use you in ways you would never believe. We just have to be patient and wait for our calling.

Just Like Me by Vanessa Williams – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60uuSSxNu98&w=560&h=315]

O Christmas Tree by Bobs and Lolo – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st4ccWKl3Xc&w=560&h=315]

One Little Christmas Tree by Stevie Wonder – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLjVcHG4B1U&w=420&h=315]

The Little Christmas Tree by Nat King Cole – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWif91Q6zs&w=560&h=315]

While I’m Waiting by John Waller – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6X71sXagUY&w=420&h=315]

Use Me by All Things New – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q19ReZQ7PRU&w=560&h=315]

I Will Wait by Aaron Shust  – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn0Q1CAUIPc&w=560&h=315]

I Will Wait by Darlene Zschech – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeHk7u3Fx-c&w=420&h=315]