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Feel the comforting activity of the leaven of the Christ Science this Christmas day and everyday!

Janet Hegarty, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Feel the comforting activity of the leaven of the Christ Science this Christmas day and everyday!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for CedarS campers and friends from the Christian Science Bible Lesson for the Weekly Bible Lesson on "Christian Science" for December 22-28, 2008
Prepared by Janet Hegarty, C.S. of St. Louis, MO


Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and Possible Sunday School Topics that follow are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday or Tuesday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. (We no longer have a translator available for German.) JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

Jesus promised that he would ask God to send us a gift. He called this gift the Comforter. He explained that we would have this wonderful gift forever. He promised that the Comforter would teach us everything and that it would continually remind us of what Jesus himself taught and proved. There is no gift that is greater than this gift and it's yours!  Forever!!  It will never wear out, you can't lose this gift or break it.  It's impossible for anyone or anything to take this gift from you.  In 1885 Mary Baker Eddy described the gift in a sermon. She said, "The leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, is Divine Science; the Comforter; the Holy Ghost that leadeth into all Truth; the 'still small voice' that breathes His presence and power, casting out error and healing the sick." (Mis. 174:30-2)  Let's re-open this perfect gift this Christmas week. Let's re-discover the loving comfort and unstoppable power of the Comforter. Then let's rejoice in its ever-present healing activity.

Golden Text: Comfort - any time you need it.  "For the Lord has comforted His people."  This statement is certainly something to rejoice about.   When we take a closer look at it the idea becomes even more joyful.   God is infinite Love.  The comfort of infinite Love must also be infinite.  This infinite comfort is available to everyone and is always able to bring comfort, no matter what the difficulty is.  This comfort is not limited by what time of the day or night it is, or by what city or town or remote location we're in.  There are not any circumstances that can keep Love from bringing you (or anyone) the comfort you need exactly when and where you need it.   Divine Love is right where you are.  Divine Love's comfort is available for you now.   You can at any moment mentally climb up into your Father-Mother God's lap and feel the loving arms of Love around you.  Then you will hear Love's gentle, perfect, healing message.  But what if you don't feel you're hearing anything? Don't give up in discouragement.  Stand firm.  Universal Love always loves. It is impossible for Love to fail to love you and there is nothing that you have ever done or that you could do that could stop Love from loving you. Jesus showed many times that no one is left outside of God's love. You are surrounded by your Father-Mother God's loving arms and you cannot help but feel this Love and be comforted.

Responsive Reading: The promised light, our guide through the darkness.  A light breaking through the darkness is very comforting. The bright beam that shines from a light house located on the shore gives confidence to the ships that pass in the fog.  Sparkling Christmas candles in the windows of a home on an isolated road bring cheer and comfort to the traveler.  The verses of the Responsive Reading from Isaiah tell us that we each have "an everlasting light," a bond with God that we can rely on under all circumstances.  This light is the Christ-light or Comforter.  Through His "covenant," God has guaranteed that we can always look to this light for comfort and healing.  Sometimes we may feel we are in the darkness because we have made a mistake, done something that we later realized we should not have done.  This was the case with the people at the time these verses in Isaiah were written.  They had turned away from God and done things they should not have done.  How encouraging it must have been to them to find out that God had forgiven them and if they had the desire to do the right thing now, He would even give them all the light (spiritual courage and understanding) they would need to find their way out of the darkness.  This promise from God is for all His loved children.  This promise is for you.  If you find yourself in the darkness of fear or doubt or sorrow for past mistakes, remember, "thy light is come."  Follow this everlasting Christ-light and it will guide you all the way out of the darkness.

Section 1: The three wise men, Mary Baker Eddy and you.  The life of Christ Jesus made the truth of being clear to mankind.  He proved that God is the creative Principle of man and that only this Principle governs man.  He also proved that this Principle is Love and showed the healing power of Love. (S3)  Jesus didn't need to use drugs for healing.  Jesus' healing didn't require surgery.  He never told anyone that it would take time for the body to heal and he didn't examine the body.  Jesus knew without a doubt that Love, the Principle of being, made man wholly spiritual and so wholly good, not able to be sick or sinful.  This spiritually uplifted thought of Jesus, lifted the thought of those who came to him for healing above their own fears and false beliefs about the body.  Jesus healed through this Science of the Christ, Christian Science. (S4)  The wise men, who followed the star to find Jesus, must have been spiritually alert.  They must have been listening and expecting to hear God's angel messages as they made their journey to welcome Jesus. (B2) (S1)  Mary Baker Eddy was also spiritually alert.  She really wanted to understand God better.  To do this she watched and listened carefully, for the angel messages and these messages led her to discover Christian Science. (S5)  You, too, can be spiritually alert.  You can listen quietly and be aware of Love's angel messages.  These messages will show you that God is with you.  Then you will find that the healing Christ has tenderly lifted your thought above fear and false belief.

Section 2: The leaven of Christian Science powerfully transforms mortal thought. In this parable Jesus compares the "kingdom of heaven" to leaven. (B6) Leaven today is called yeast and comes in small packets. When you use yeast to make bread you only need 1½ tablespoons of yeast to transform 6 cups of flour. [Bible scholar, Barry Huff says that "three measures of meal ... is approximately 50 pounds (Jeremias 147). While such an enormous quantity may be an example of "comic exaggeration," in the OT, Sarah, Gideon, and Hannah each bake three measures of flour in preparation for a manifestation of God (Reid 287; cf. Gen 18:6; Judg 6:19; 1 Sam 1:24)] 

In Jesus' parable he explains that the mental action of the "the kingdom of heaven," the understanding of the allness of good and its effect on the human consciousness, is like the action of the yeast on the flour. To make bread, the first thing you do is dissolve the yeast and some sugar in warm water. Almost immediately you can see the action of the yeast. This action looks like foam on the top of the water. If you allow the mixture to sit for several minutes you'll see that the foam grows thicker and thicker. The whole mixture, with all six cups of flour in it, forms a ball that is about the size of a large grapefruit. Next, you allow the ball of dough to sit in a large bowl for about an hour. One hour later you will be amazed to see how the invisible yeast has quickly and actively transformed the dough. The dough will now be about the size of a basketball. It will also be much softer and lighter in texture.  The yeast doesn't stop its action there though, when you smash the bread dough down flat and split it into pieces to make the loaves of bread, the yeast continues to transform the dough.  Again you wait about an hour, allowing the small loaves to grow until they are higher than the top of the pans.  Like the yeast in the bread dough the "Science of Christ," which is the truth of being, is "ever at work."   It changes mortal thought, leading thought out of the dark beliefs of matter and into the light of Spirit. (S7)   When you make bread you can speed up the activity of the yeast, by putting the dough in a warm place.  To speed up the leavening influence of the Truth in your thinking, keep your "mental dough" warm by studying the Bible Lesson every day. Rejoice, the loving leaven of the Comforter is at work in your thought right now. Its secret powerful action will continue to transform your thought until all fear and error are removed!


[The next three sections explore how the Comforter's yeast has leavened and will continue to leaven the fields of science, theology and medicine so that they become "means of divine thought" instead of "three modes of mortal thought." (S&H #7, p.117:13-20)]

Section 3: The Comforter, Science, & the Holy Ghost.  Life without the Comforter would be like heading out for a long hike with the wrong map in your backpack.  Things might seem well enough when you start out at the trail head, but as you continue to hike and refer to the map you would become concerned.  You might ask, "Why is there a turn here when the map doesn't show any turn?  Where are the trail markers that the map refers to?  Why haven't we reached the lake that was supposed to be located near the trail head even though we've been hiking for over an hour?"  At this point you would be very comforted to discover, in talking with other hikers you meet on the trail that you have been trying to follow the wrong map.  As you study the correct map the scenes you've passed while hiking begin to make more sense.  Soon you understand where you've been and you have a good idea of what lies ahead.  Jesus promised the Comforter would come and "teach [us] all things." (B9)  Mary Baker Eddy has identified the Comforter as Science, "an emanation of divine Mind" (S11), totally separate from natural science.  To follow the map of natural science, with its false calculations (based on the idea that matter could be substantial), does not lead us to God or to the reality of being.  It is like hiking with the wrong map.  It may seem well enough to begin with but soon the contradictions appear.  You might ask, "How could God who is all good make laws which are impossible to satisfy and that eventually condemn us to be sick?  Why would Love put His loved children in a scary world with dangers waiting around every corner?"  These questions arise because the map doesn't fit with the journey we're on.  Be comforted!  The clear, correct, and wholly spiritual map of the Comforter is here as a certain Science that will lead you "into all truth." (S11)  [See the Possible Sunday School Topics (that follow) for examples of physical scientists illustrating the illusive nature of solid-seeming of matter (Section 2) and describing how the star of Bethlehem probably did appear. (Section 1)]

Section 4: The authority of the Comforter's theology of healing.   Let's think a bit more about the powerful action of the yeast on the flour.   There isn't anything uncertain about this action.  The yeast has work to do and it carries out its task with authority, evenly transforming all of the flour.  In like manner, the Comforter carries out its task with authority.  The people of his day recognized the authority of Jesus.  He preached with authority because he understood the authority of "the kingdom of God" in man and the universe.  He urged his listeners to believe the gospel, the good news that "God lovingly governs all." (B10) (S18)  Jesus' healing power provided proof that the Love of God is universal.  The good news that Jesus taught and practiced was not a personal power, though. Jesus taught others how to heal.  Jesus gave his disciples "power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases." (B11)  He taught them that the healing authority was the good news of "the kingdom of God," which, like the leaven, does its work, universally.  This leaven is still at work today.  Like Jesus' disciples, the Scientific healer of today is "guided by divine Truth."  The action of this universal Principle guarantees success. (S17)  The Comforter is at work in the human consciousness.  Depend on this authority and you will find "certain results" and discover your own your authority as a healer
[and as a "theologus (that is the student...of the divine law)." (S&H #17, p. 459:27)  Besides its role in promoting the rise in "healing services" in several churches, Truth's leaven is at work in all areas of religious thought.  Eden Theological Seminary (ETS) in Webster Groves, Missouri is a run by the United Church of Christ (UCC), formerly the Congregational Church that Mary Baker (Eddy) grew up in.  At ETS and in most mainline churches today many old theological doctrines, like the doctrine of predestination, are routinely questioned.  Solely patriarchal terms for God are no longer accepted.  A prayer at ETS recently started with "Our Mother, which art in heaven."  Women's roles in church leadership, biblical interpretation and theological insights trace Mrs. Eddy's pioneering and leavening work in these areas.]

Section 5: Awake from the dream of sickness.  Mind, not matter, is medicine.  Jesus' question, "Who touched me?" surprised the disciples.  In such a big crowd with everyone trying to get close to Jesus, there must have been many people who had actually physically touched him. (B14)  However, the touch Jesus was referring to was not a physical touch, it was a mental touch.  He mentally perceived the woman's sincere desire for healing and was aware of the loving mental response of the Christ, the "virtue" that had gone out of him.  The illness which the woman had suffered with for twelve years and which many physicians had failed to cure, was healed instantly by means of this loving and inspired exchange of thought.  Jesus practiced and proved that Mind, not matter, is medicine.  He understood the nothingness of sickness and the allness of good, "the kingdom of heaven" and its reliable healing action.  Another way to keep your "mental dough" warm is to read inspiring articles in the Christian Science periodicals.  There is an excellent article in The Christian Science Journal of October 1997.  The title of the article is "Breaking the dream of disease."  The article begins on page 4 and it includes an insightful discussion about the use of drugs in medical practice.  I'm sure the librarian at your local Reading Room would be glad to help you find this inspiring article in the bound volumes of the Journal.  Keep your "mental dough" warm and the powerful healing activity of the Comforter [the medicine of Mind] will wake you up from the dream of sickness and fear!

Section 6: When the whole is leavened.  These beautiful and encouraging verses from the Bible and Science and Health show us where the persistent leavening activity of the Comforter is taking us.  The aim of the Comforter is to awaken us to realize man's true spiritual nature.  When this work is accomplished life will be joyous and peaceful.  The allness of Love will be known, felt, and practiced by all.  This is certainly something we can look forward to.  Sometimes, though, the leavening activity of the Christ demands that we stretch ourselves beyond our normal boundaries.  To fulfill these demands can be a challenge.  At times like this, it can be helpful to think about where this spiritual journey is taking us.  Mary Baker Eddy tells us that she, "finds the path less difficult when she has the high goal always before her thoughts, than when she counts her footsteps in endeavoring to reach it." (S&H p. 426:5-8)  So, if you find yourself struggling, when the Comforter requires you to stretch a little farther, set your thought on the "high goal" and remind yourself that "whatever stretches you blesses you."  For instance, the Comforter might urge you to let go of jealousy so that your "waste places" can be comforted. (B18)  This could seem difficult, but if you think about what a blessing it will be to have a larger sense of God's love in your life, I know you'll be able to do it.  Or, what if the Comforter guides you to forgive someone so that your "wilderness" will be like "Eden"? (B18)  Then you could think about the wonderful peace of mind that will be yours once you've forgiven your friend.  With this goal in thought, I know that you'll find the courage to do it.  God has promised that you will be comforted.  Rest assured, the Comforter will not stop working until God's promise is fulfilled.  Enjoy the perfect gift you've been given and have a Merry Christmas today and every day!
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Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 8-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner's ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the "Possible Sunday School Topics" come on a following page or subsequent email.) This weekly offering is intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and new angles on daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e. B1 and S28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

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Possible Sunday School Topics for the lesson: "Christian Science" from CedarS Camps Sunday School teachers,
Merrill Boudreaux,
[Amy Robbins & Warren Huff]

Golden Text - Make a list of what could cause you to break into song right now. What is your favorite hymn? How about these words from Isaiah 40:1 "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God."

[In what ways do we see God's comfort every day? What reminders do we have of divine Love's tender care and blessings? In this week's "met" Janet Hegarty says: "You can at any moment mentally climb up into your Father-Mother God's lap and feel the loving arms of Love around you. ... It is impossible for Love to fail to love you and there is nothing that you have ever done or that you could do that could stop Love from loving you. Jesus showed many times that no one is left outside of God's love." Can you give an example or two of when Jesus included those who seemed to be left out of God's love? How were you inclusive this week? How can you be more so, and discover the good in everyone?]

Responsive Reading - The Comforter mentioned in the Bible is also known as Christian Science. Q. When this Comforter dawns on consciousness (individual thinking) what are the results mentioned in the Responsive Reading? A. They will turn from transgression, God's word in their mouth, the glory of the Lord risen upon thee, they shall all come together, the place to which they come (Lebanon!) is beautiful, they shall be righteous (right thinking and right acting), and they shall have everlasting light (enlightened understanding day and night). This inheritance from the Messiah, Redeemer, or Comforter, is permanent, and all to the glory of God.
[In this week's "met" Janet Hegarty says: "This promise is for you. If you find yourself in the darkness of fear or doubt or sorrow for past mistakes, remember, "thy light is come." Follow this everlasting Christ-light and it will guide you all the way out of the darkness." How can you better see this light and share it? Can it ever be extinguished?]

Section 1 - (Be spiritually alert to the coming of the Christ!) There is much captured in Section 1 about Jesus' life: his birth, growth, maturation into his public ministry. What do you know about Jesus' birth? Who were Jesus twelve disciples? How did they become his disciples? Q. What are some other terms you might apply to Jesus based on this Section? A. Leader, Rabbi, Healer, Speaker/Lecturer, Prayer, Wiseman, Graceful.
[Are we willing to search for, and travel far and wide like the wise men to find something as precious as the newborn baby Jesus? Mrs. Eddy writes that God had been graciously preparing her for the discovery of Christian Science. (S&H 5) How did God graciously prepare her? What is God graciously preparing us for? What are some ways that we can share primitive Christianity today?
If your class likes to have scientific confirmation of Biblical events you can tell them about astronomer Michael Molnar who recently discovered a series of astronomical events in 6 BC that could explain how the three stargazing Magi were guided by the "Star" of Bethlehem. He says: "Jupiter underwent two occultations ("eclipses") by the Moon in Aries (symbol of Judea) in 6 BC. Jupiter was the regal "star" that conferred kingships - a power that was amplified when Jupiter was in close conjunctions with the Moon. The second occultation on April 17 coincided precisely when Jupiter was "in the east," a condition mentioned twice in the biblical account about the Star of Bethlehem. In August of that year Jupiter became stationary and then "went before" through Aries where it became stationary again on December 19, 6 BC.] See this quote, more on his book plus a sky map at http://www.eclipse.net/~molnar/index.html

Section 2 - (Leaven) Jesus' parable mentions three measures of meal in which leaven is hid. What is leaven? What is its purpose? What kinds of leaven are there? (Yeast, Baking Powder, sometimes Baking Soda). Are there other things that can be leavened or raised? Q. What are the three measures of meal mentioned in S&H Marker 15? (S&H p. 117:13-16) A. Science, Theology, Medicine. How have these three areas advanced since the discovery of Christian Science in 1866? For the younger classes you might SHOW yeast, baking powder, and baking soda, and if you are ambitious show some bread dough which has been leavened, and some unleavened bread. How does each appear or taste?
[Why is only a small amount necessary to "leaven the whole lump" (B7)? What is the leaven that we see in our lives? Why does just a "grain of Christian Science" make such a big difference (S&H #9)? How are we leavening our thought?
In this week's "met" Janet Hegarty says: "When you make bread you can speed up the activity of the yeast, by putting the dough in a warm place. To speed up the leavening influence of the Truth in your thinking, keep your "mental dough" warm by studying the Bible Lesson every day." What is it that keeps you from being consistently faithful in studying the Bible Lesson every day?]

Section 3 - (Science leavened) What are the results mentioned in S&H Marker 12 about the result of thought when Science is properly understood? How can you better prepare each day to receive the Comforter, Holy Ghost, or Christian Science? What is the promise given to you in the Bible, Marker 9 (John 14: 12 and 26)?
Why do you think Christian Science is the Comforter that Jesus spoke of? What comfort does Christian Science give us? How do we see the Science aspect of Christian Science?
Mrs. Eddy wrote about the rule of healing and its "scientific certainty" (S&H 13). Do we expect this regularly?

[From CedarS 1st section PSSTs for 12-7-08: "Even physical scientists point out the illusory nature of solid-seeming matter. They tell us the human body would fit on the head of a pin if the space were removed between the body's atomic particles (electrons, neutrons and protons). (You may want to bring a pin cushion to class to illustrate this.) So how big on that pinhead called your body is that injured body part (or worshipped one)? Think about the fact that atomic particles are themselves more than 99% space. "Honey, I shrunk the kids" again! What seemed so solid and convincing is suddenly much less impressive. Seeing the spiritual nature of your body and of all makes it easier to see seemingly injured or diseased matter as merely a suggestion. Put it on a falsely mental basis where it is "amenable to Spirit only." (S&H 434:31)"

Physicist Albert "Einstein became especially interested in the ‘Scientific Statement of Being' given in Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures (p-468), and commented (in substance) that the statement was ‘the most profound statement uttered by mankind;' and wondered if this could be the long-sought-after answer to his unified theory!" Physics, Metaphysics and God, by Jack W. Geis, AuthorHouse Publishers, p-220 (800) 839-8640]

Section 4 - (Theology leavened) Q. Who are the remnant of Jesus' disciples? A. Us. What authority did Jesus give his disciples, and by extension to us? (See Bible Markers 11 and 12) What is your standpoint for the application of the Comforter in your life and the life of others? (See S&H #18) Can you depend on it? (S&H 412:13)
[What was the authority that Jesus spoke with? How do we have that same authority? How do we face challenges and rebuke the lie like Jesus did?
What are some ways that we see God lovingly governing us (S&H 18)? How is that comforting? How does this help us to face challenges more confidently?
You have divine authority as a healer and as a "theologus (that is the student-...-of the divine law)." (S&H #17, p. 459:27) Besides its role in promoting the rise in "healing services" in several churches, Truth's leaven is at work in all areas of religious thought. Eden Theological Seminary (ETS) in Webster Groves, Missouri is a run by the United Church of Christ (UCC), formerly the Congregational Church that Mary Baker (Eddy) grew up in. At ETS and in most mainline churches today many old theological doctrines, like the doctrine of predestination, are routinely questioned, as they were by Mrs. Eddy as a youth. Solely patriarchal terms for God are no longer accepted. A prayer at ETS recently started with "Our Mother, which art in heaven." Women's roles in church leadership, biblical interpretation and theological insights trace Mrs. Eddy's pioneering and leavening work in these areas.]

Section 5 - (Medicine leavened) Please share one of your own healings as testimony to the practical presence of the Comforter as being here today.
[The woman with the issue of blood touches Jesus' clothes when he is in the crowd (B14). How did Jesus know he was touched? What kind of courage did the woman need in order to touch his clothes? Are we willing to risk all that for a healing? Have you ever searched for a remedy to a problem? What changed in the woman's thought before she was healed?
[Physicist Albert "Einstein had witnessed and acknowledged several healings accomplished by prayer alone, including a broken arm and leg of (Dr.) Underwood's daughter, Nancy. ... two and a half hours after the incident. .... Dr. Underwood was exposed to radiation poison (from the Manhattan Project) - far more than the others (all 15 others died) ... he was healed through prayer, even though all his organs had begun to bleed and deteriorate, and a neurodegenerative condition had set in. Any scars from the experience also disappeared. This ‘medically impossible' healing was related at a Wednesday Testimony meeting in Boston." Physics, Metaphysics and God, by Jack W. Geis, AuthorHouse Publishers, p-220]

Section 6 - (The whole leavened) What is the promised result of the presence of the Comforter, Messiah, Christian Science in our world, our time - today? Please see the statement of the Peaceable Kingdom in (Bible Marker 17). What change is going on in our universe today? What is prompting that change? (See S&H Marker 26)
What do you expect the result to be? Remember the promises will be fulfilled.

[Isaiah describes peace in the form of predators and prey being safe with one another, led by a child (B 17). What is significant about that image? What can we do to move closer to that type of peace? Does something need to change in our thought? Why would a little child lead the animals?
What are the promises that will be fulfilled that Mrs. Eddy writes about (S&H 28)? What can we do to leaven world thought? What difference can we make in the world right now?]


 

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