Archive for the tag “2016”

My Last Decade in Pictures

The last decade was a roller coaster for me. Of all the previous decades, 2010-2019 was the toughest time I ever had in my life. The lowest lows and the highest highs.  So what I would like to do is give you a glimpse of my last decade through the pictures I took.

The first thing I learned is that I didn’t really start taking pictures until about 2012. This means that the lowest time of my life has no pictures to accompany it. The decade started with my divorce. It was rough. I was married for 18 years and it ended pretty rough.

I moved out of a large home on 5 acres and into a small rental home that was built in the 1940s that was freezing in the winter and deathly hot in the summer. I would get the kids every other weekend and the occasional holiday.

It was rough, but thanks to the men at the church I was attending, they brought me back to Christ. By 2012, I became a deacon at that same church. And a little later that year I was asked to lead the mission journey to Peru.

That was one of the most impactful trips I ever took in my life. I learned that even though I was going through a rough patch in my life, it couldn’t compare to the lives that many of the people in Peru were leading.

This would be the first of many trips to Peru over the course of the decade, which you will see more pictures later.

Since I worked at Whole Foods Market, I was able to take several trips throughout the decade to coffee farms throughout the world. I was able to see some of the most beautiful farms and meet a lot of great people.

Throughout the early part of the decade, I spent time simply getting to know my kids again. Working for Whole Foods Market, I was required to travel a lot. There were some years that I was traveling 45 weeks out of the year.

Matt Fred 2013

So I took the opportunity to do all the crazy stuff with Matt that I didn’t have a chance to do earlier. We would hang out, go to DC United soccer games, and practice his soccer skills.

Matt Fred DC United 2013

In 2013 I became an elder at Chesapeake Christian Fellowship. The same men that built me up are the same ones in this picture ordaining me to become an elder.The two of us

Then, early in the decade, I also took a trip around the United States with my kids. I took 3 weeks vacation, turned in all my stock options, and rented an RV and traveled around the United States. It was during this time that I not only got some great time with the kids, but I met a woman who would go on to make a major impact in my life. You see, it was during the trip around the United States that I officially met Mimi Baker (now Mimi Noble). We had spoken online for about 3-6 months prior, but had no idea what each other were really like.

As I sat on the side of a lake while both our children were playing in the water, I got to know her and realized that God was showing me the woman I would eventually call my wife.DSC00893

In 2014 Kenzi went to her first middle school dance. I couldn’t believe how much she had grown up.

Kenzi Fred 2014 MIddle School Dance

That same year, I was able to start seeing Mimi much more often. She moved to Virginia and then eventually, after I moved out of the little rental home and into another one, she moved into the rental home. We were only 15 minutes apart now, not a couple thousand miles.

Fred Mimi 2014

In 2014, as the relationship between Mimi and I grew, we decided to make our first purchase as a couple even though we still didn’t live in the same house. We got a dog. Funny thing is that the dog’s name is Peru. We didn’t give her that name, she was given that name at the pound. Mimi and I had gone to Peru a couple of times by 2014 already and she had fallen in love with the country and the people there as much as I had.Fred Peru Dog 2014

In 2015, I realized that I had fallen head over heels in love with Mimi Baker and I asked her to marry me.

ring 4


wedding day

Later in 2015, we went back to Peru. It was this year that I totally screwed my back up. A few months later in 2016 I would be going back in for back surgery.


I love serving side by side with Mimi! She has such a tender heart for people and a great work ethic.


Also in 2015, Kenzi would be playing her final year in sports. From this point forward she would be focusing on her photography and art.

Kenzi sports 2015

When we got back from Peru in 2015, Mimi and I had finished having a home built and we moved into it. We made God the promise that if He were to give us the house, we would use the extra bedrooms to house missionaries and people who were in need. Since we made that promise, we had a whole bunch of children who were rescued around the globe and were now part of a national concert tour, we have had several young adults stay with us, we had a young woman who was lost and has since become a missionary to the nations, and we have housed several other missionaries from around the world.


2016 saw Mimi and I heading back to Peru and spending more time there with the people. We would meet Paige and Stalin, a couple missionaries, one from America and the other indigenous. They will become more important to us as the decade continues.

franks-house-6Peru 2016

I was also, beginning in 2015, but really by 2016, learning how to be a stepdad. Being both dad and stepdad is a very challenging thing. Each of the kids are so different, and their backgrounds are tough to bring together.

Jake Ryan 2015

Also in 2016, my little girl, Kenzi, got her first job. She would be a junior counselor at the local church camp in the summers. This would become a job she would love and grow with throughout the rest of the decade.

Kenzi first job 2016

2017 came in and was immediately rough. My mom was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer. From the time she was diagnosed until the time she went home to be with Lord was only a matter of weeks. My mom was born on Easter Sunday and she died on Easter Sunday.


But a week before Easter, my mom wanted to make a big dinner for her own birthday. It would be the last time that all of us would see her alive.


We went back to Peru later that year and enjoyed a great time there with the people we served as well as the people who joined us on the journey.


Ryan had a great year. He was on the JV baseball team and was doing very well.

Ryan Baseball 2017

Ryan also received plenty of awards academically in 2017.

Ryan award 2017

Also in 2017, Mimi’s oldest daughter, Brieanne, married the most amazing young man ever. Hopefully he will continue to make foods with Old Bay in them, so I can continue to respect him. 😉

Brie wedding 2018

Also in 2017 I undertook my largest home improvement project I ever did, I built a patio, with my 75 year old dad.

Patio 2017

Matt got his first job in 2017 selling fish and crabs.

Matt first job 2017

And he decided to switch things up a little and play football. He was actually very good! But he didn’t like all the pain his body felt after each practice and game.

Matt football 2017

I took the kids white water rafting in 2017.

Kenzi Matt Fred Rafting 2017

Kenzi had her first art show where she sold her photos.

Kenzi art show 2017

Jacob graduated high school in 2017.

Jake Graduation 2017

At the end of 2017 we had the opportunity to take everyone to Disney.

Disney 2017

And, in 2017, Jacob got his first car, a 40th anniversary Mustang.

Jake first car 2017

In 2018, Kenzi graduated from high school.

Kenzi and I

Those same missionaries, Paige and Stalin, would come to DC and spend almost 2 weeks with us. We took them on the tour of the area.

DC with Paige and Stalin 2018

Also in 2018, which was a good year for Kenzi, she won several awards at a local art show and won over $100,000 in scholarships to college.

Kenzi art show 2018

In 2018, I wanted to give Mimi an opportunity she was talking about for a long time. She had always wanted to take a horse drawn carriage through Central Park in NYC. We decided to do that and it was just as magical as we through it would be.

NYC 2018

In 2018, Kenzi started college at McDaniel in MD.

Kenzi first day of college 2018

Mimi’s and my final trip (for now) to Peru would be in 2018. It was such a beautiful trip and we fell in love even more with the people of Peru.

Peru 2018

At the end of 2018 and really starting in 2019, I left the retail/restaurant world and went into ministry as Director of Ministries for Friendship Community Baptist Church in southern MD. I was sad to leave my church home of 16 years, but in order to keep growing, change is required. And this change has been such a good fit for me and my family.

New job 2019

In 2019, Matt and I had the opportunity to take a skiing/snowboarding trip. It didn’t end so well because the friend that came with us hit his head on one of the final runs of the day and got a pretty bad concussion.

Skiing with Matt 2019

2019 saw Mimi’s aunt Becky going home to be with Lord. But before that happened, Mimi got spend a lot of great time with her in Minnesota, almost a month.

Mimi and Becky 2019

Also in 2019 Mimi decided to start farming Monarch butterflies. Apart from having a few endings that were not so desirable, most of the Monarchs were grown from egg and released into the wild.

Mimi butterflies 2019

2019 was also Matt’s final year of soccer. He had been playing soccer with many of the same boys since he was 5 years old. It was great to see him be able to finish his high school soccer life with those kids.

Matt Soccer 2019

In 2019, Friendship Community Baptist sponsored 5 homes in the county and did construction projects on them. We did everything from adding gutters, replacing windows and doors, and installing hot water heaters.

Christmas in April 2019

Also in 2019, Friendship Community Baptist did 6,208 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. A church of 200 doing 6,208 boxes is a pretty amazing feat!

OCC 2019

We have made a lot of friends at Friendship Community Baptist. Our small group had a Christmas gathering at one of the houses and we enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship.

Small group Christmas gathering

The Christmas gift that Mimi got me was given to me early, concert tickets for Tran Siberian Orchestra. It was an amazing concert! Not exactly Mimi’s favorite music, but I was in heaven!

Tran Siberian Orchestra 2019

Also at the end of the year we started going to concerts with my dad. This one was in DC, the military Christmas concert.

Military Christmas Celebration 2019

Wasn’t exactly on our financial plan for this time, but Mimi’s car decided to die. We ended up purchasing a new-to-us 2015 Mazda.

Mimi new to us car 2019

Christmas service at Friendship Community Baptist reached almost 300! Not only that, but God blessed us with 20 baptisms and several Gospel encounters throughout the year.

Christmas 2019

This is the picture I will end this with. My Christmas gift for the end of the decade was ending it with a woman who truly loves me and cares so deeply for me.

Christmas 2019 2

So there you have it. My last decade in a few short pictures. A lot happened last decade! I can only imagine what will happen in the 20’s.


Supporting the Government 4: The Democratic Hopefuls

The past few weeks I have looked at the Republican candidates, probably angering not just conservative political supporters, but also angering much of the religious political groupies.

This past week I was at the Southern Baptist SEND conference. It was amazing and we had a surprise, at one point we saw an interview with Marco Rubio and then after that video interview, Jeb Bush walked out on the stage and spoke for about 20 minutes. Even after listening to him speak, I am still not going to change my view of him, I still believe he is a liar.

But I am not here to discuss Republicans anymore. I want to discuss the top Democratic contenders this week. Pretty much whenever someone thinks of a religious fanatic like myself, they think that being Democrat is a sin. And to most evangelical Christians, being Democrat is putting a scarlet D on your chest.

The first is Lincoln Chafee, former U.S. Senator and Governor from Rhode Island. Chafee served as a GOP Senator until he became disenfranchised with the system and turned independent. Even though he has declared as a Democratic Presidential candidate, he really tends to be more moderate and has earned a reputation of being a fence-sitter on various issues.

Unfortunately, on many of the issues which I, as a Christian, hold dear, we will find that not only he, but most likely all the candidates will differ significantly, some of which will nullify my vote for them. But one thing they do have going for them, on most of the major issues that I disagree with them on, they are not lying, like many of the GOP candidates have.

With Chafee, he believes completely in a woman’s right to personal reproductive decisions. I do agree with his immigration standpoint, which is legalization and guest worker programs. He supports gay rights. But one thing surprised me. He supports allowing churches to provide welfare services. I would think, and I would hope, that this means that he supports keeping the sanctity of the church as equal to those of other non-profits. Overall, he received 50% by the Gospel Coalition for being mixed on his voting record.

Overall, I would withhold my vote from him, but only because of his personal views on the issues above, not because he is a liar.

Martin O’Malley, Former Governor of Maryland

I know of O’Malley because of living in Maryland for almost all his political career. While I am impressed that he took a huge political swing at both Obama and Hilary by saying that “we must save our country now.” O’Malley has a history of making big promises as Governor but not following through. For example, he promised to reclaim the city’s abandoned buildings but between 2002-2007 the number abandoned buildings actually increased by over 2,500. Just after his exit from office, Baltimore was ranked as the least likely to allow children to escape poverty in a Harvard survey of 100 of the largest cities in America. He also raised taxes significantly during his time in office, taking the top personal tax rate to 5.75% (up 1%), increased corporate taxes by 1.25% to 8.25%, increased the sales tax from 5 to 6% and almost doubled the gas tax, increasing it from 23.5 cents to 43.5 cents. All of this increased taxation led to an exodus of 31,000 residents from the state while he was Governor.

Even if it weren’t for the issues that I am analyzing candidates for in this blog, I would not be able to vote for O’Malley. He simply does not have a strong financial record and has actually hurt the most impoverished throughout the state. But as for the issues, O’Malley has come out in support of abortion funding. He did say, however, that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

Mr. O’Malley, what do you mean? That is about as clear as a black piece of paper.

So, sorry Martin, I cannot support your campaign and will not be voting for you.

Jim Webb – former Senator from Virginia

Webb started out as a Republican and served as Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration. Most recently, though, he was a Democratic Senator from Virginia. He left operational politics in 2013, citing that he could not stand partisan politics that happened in Washington. As for the issues, he is blatantly pro-abortion, even going so far as to believe that the unborn deserve no rights. With civil rights, he has some strange beliefs. He believes that racism can end if the “right leader found a way to bring Scots-Irish and African Americans to the same table.” Ooooooook? That makes little sense to me, but I would give him a shot and see what happens with that. With same-sex marriage, he is a little schizophrenic. He support the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell rule that was done away with, but he supports same-sex marriage to non-military.

Sorry, Mr. Webb, I cannot vote for you. Not only are you schizophrenic, and a little out there, you oppose that which I feel is important to not oppose.

Joe Biden – Vice President of the United States

Vice President Biden has not officially declared, but was urged by his dying son to run for the Presidency in 2016. A strange twist is that there is a rumor that he would ask President Obama to be his running mate. Well if THAT isn’t enough to stop me from voting for him, there is quite a bit more that I can provide to show that he is not worthy of my vote. One of the major things deals with abortion. I can honestly call Biden a liar. He says that he accepts that life begins at conception, but that abortion needs to be allowed by the government. This is a blatant view that goes against what he says. Either he doesn’t truly believe life begins at conception, which means he lied, or he is too weak of a person to truly stand up for what he believes to the be the right choice.

Vice President Biden, I am sorry, I cannot cast my vote for a liar if you choose to run. I must say, however, that Biden would be the most logical choice for President from the Democratic party, especially if he can get Obama as a running mate.

Bernie Sanders – Junior Senator from Vermont

Sanders calls himself a “Democratic Socialist” and typically runs Independent but chooses the Democratic party because of their support of his views. I must admit that there are some views of his that I totally agree with. For example, I agree with his views on up to 14 weeks of paid time off for new parents. I also agree with his view of mandatory sick leave of 7 days for all employees. But in the grand scheme of things, I cannot agree with him on several key issues, such as when life in the womb should be protected. In 2009, he supported abortion for population control purposes. He also refuses to define the life in the womb as a child. He also voted against protecting the sanctity of marriage as one man one woman. To go along with that, he voted against protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. He is also considerably for removing God from the public. For example, he is for allowing public funding of responsible fatherhood programs, but voted no on the bill because it included faith-based organizations that would be eligible for funding.

Sorry, Bernie, I cannot vote for you. While I do like some of your ideas around the corporate world, I cannot honestly change how I feel about hot topic issues and my Christianity.

Hilary Clinton – Former Secretary of State

Hillary started her career of lying by explaining where she got her name. She explained that she got it from the first man to ever climb Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, but unfortunately, he wasn’t known until 6 years after her birth. She is clearly pro-choice as is evidenced by the significant number of quotes and stances on pro-choice. She also, not surprisingly, is for gay marriage and redefinition of marriage. But her big issue lately is the Benghazi scandal. The basics of the story is that Clinton used her personal email to discuss incidences related to Benghazi in 2012. Now she is claiming that she is unable to produce the records of what was really said. She has gone so far to say that no subpoena of her records was ever issued, but that was later proven false. A lot more will come out of this in the days leading up to, and even after the election. And I would suspect, that just like many of the GOP and Democratic candidates, she will prove to be even more of a liar than she already is.

Sorry, Hillary, you need to be able to speak the truth at all times if you even expect me to consider voting for you. But the fact that you have the stance you do on abortion and gay marriage means you will never earn my vote.

So there you have it. As of now, the closest I can vote is GOP. Unfortunately, both parties have drawn their lines in the sand on various issues and neither party is acceptable in my eyes.

Next week I will finish this series with what I would proclaim if I ran for President of the United States.

Supporting the Government 3: The Top 8 Republicans

Last week I looked at the bottom 8 contenders for the Republican ticket for President in 2016. In there, I found that some of these candidates are outright liars and others are viable in the Christian mind. Of course, it all comes down to action while in the Oval Office, but these small snapshots will hopefully give you an idea as to those candidates that might win my vote.

This week, I would like to look at the top 8.

Rand Paul – Senator from Kentucky

People know Rand Paul’s dad, Ron Paul, more than they know of Rand. Rand titles himself as a constitutional conservative and is very much seen as the leader of the conservative-libertarian bloc in Congress.

Out of the gate, Paul has typical Libertarian double-speak. He has come out opposing national laws for same-sex marriage and has literally said that “human life begins at conception and should be granted legal protection from that moment.” But in a turn of events, in March 2013, Paul said that as a physician, there are “thousands of exceptions” to a pro-life stance on abortion. It is this kind of double-speak that shows me he is a liar, but he is someone who will say anything get the vote.

Sorry, Senator Paul, but even before I go any further and waste any more of my time on you, a liar like yourself will not receive my vote.

Mike Huckabee – Former Governor of Arkansas and now TV personality

Mike has been down this path before. He was runner-up behind McCain in 2008. He is the complete opposite of a Constitutional Conservative (which many know as the Tea party). Immediately I see something in Huckabee that I like. He understands something that the Founding Fathers of the country understood, they said we are ALL equal. This means that we all have intrinsic worth and children in the womb have the same rights as children outside the womb. But he did go on to say that he would approve a law that would terminate a pregnancy if the mother is in danger. While that is a gray area for me personally because my feelings want to take over, I understand what the right choice to do is, and that is err on the side of life for both mother and child. This leads to healthcare reform that gives serious attention to coming up with winning solutions for both mother and child in these situations.

I also agree with him on views of same sex marriage and his view that it IS government’s role to legislate morality. The government is required to legislate morality. Don’t we have laws against theft and murder? If so, then we are saying that it is alright for the government to legislate morality in those cases. Why not in the case of same-sex marriage and abortion?

Now, here is where I do have to question Huckabee. In 2007 it came out that he supported accepting illegal immigrants after 3 years of being in the country. However, in 2008, he came out and said that “illegal immigrants must go home and start over.” And in January of this year, he said that we need to allow illegal immigrant children into college despite the crimes of their parents. Now I believe that we need immigration reform, and I agree with much of what Huckabee says about immigration, but his double speak on the issue causes me concern. It is not enough for me to outright call him a liar, because in the full context of those quotes, which I did not put in here, I can understand his position clearly and it seems to follow a biblical worldview. But to say that I am not concerned would be false because it shows he could very easily sway his mind a different direction once elected.

Mike, I would not withhold a vote from you, but I would watch you very carefully in the debates as we get closer.

Dr. Ben Carson – Physician and Citizen Politician

I have a warm spot in my heart for Dr. Carson. When my daughter was born, she had a head deformity. Not severe, but enough that our pediatrician wanted her seen by the doctors at John’s Hopkins neurosurgery department. We set up the appointment and took our daughter and saw Ben Carson! We took along one of his children’s books and asked him to sign it, which he did gracefully. From what I remember of him, he was very soft-spoken, tender-hearted, and easy to talk to. He didn’t rush us as parents and seemed honestly concerned for ours and our daughter’s welfare.

Ben’s view on abortion is that he is “unabashedly and entirely pro-life.” He goes on to explain that he has performed surgery on infants pre-birth and through that has realized that they are “very much alive.”

Ben is also for giving homosexuals rights, but not marriage. He claims, as I believe, homosexuality is a choice, not something we are born as. He did have a time in 2013 when he came under fire for likening homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. He admitted he took the metaphor too far and apologized publically.

As for immigration, he believes that we should not deport the illegal immigrants, but create a guest worker program for them similar to Canada’s. He does feel that there should be stronger penalties for those who employ illegal immigrants, but that we need to create a program for immigrants to do the jobs that American’s choose not to do.

I am a little concerned with the wording used on his website for faith in our society. He wrote an example of people performing their faith privately to explain his stance. As a Christian, the Bible calls us to perform our faith in the public eye. We cannot be closet Christians. While I don’t believe that a certain faith should be mandated in America, I do believe that we need to be able to practice our faith in the public eye.

Based on my study of Dr. Carson, I would not withhold a vote from him, but I would watch him very carefully in the debates, especially around the topics of faith. I would also watch carefully around abortion because I want to see if his words that he shares on his website are his beliefs in the debate.

Marco Rubio – Senator of Florida

Rubio is very strongly pro-life and has come out saying we need to legislate rights for children in the womb. With regard to gay marriage, he has said that he supports the states right to re-define marriage, but strongly believes in one man-one woman marriage. I find this is a little suspect. To me it sounds too much like the easy way out to have both sides support him and he can, like Pilate, wash his hands of the whole debate.

One thing I found interesting is that he supports a $20 million tax credit to companies that produce G-rated and PG-rated movies. I think that is a great way to show that he believes it IS government’s role to legislate morality. With regard to immigration, he believes in a modified amnesty. They would receive their cards after 10 (or 15, depending on which quote you read of his) years. He also believes, as I do, we need to focus on stopping the future illegal immigrant and stop punishing the current ones.

His faith life is interesting. Being Latino, one would think Catholicism would lead his views, and it does, to a degree. But when he was a pre-teen, he was Mormon and, at 13, convinced his family to convert back to Catholicism.

My concerns with him are more from a scandal standpoint. First he is a member of the Tea Party, an organization that I do not associate with. But a scandal broke a few years ago that he overspent on the GOP credit card, including expenses on haircuts and repairing his family minivan. He also double-billed the GOP for flights that he took. Now he has paid back much of the money, but has refused to pay some back claiming they were legitimate expenses.

I don’t know how I feel about Rubio. I think he is a fairly casual Christian who will use faith as a vote-generator but will leave faith out when it help gain votes. Just because I have a negative feeling in my gut, I will withhold my vote for Rubio until he proves himself more. Overall, it was the scandals that did it for me.

Scott Walker – Governor of Wisconsin

Walker doesn’t post his views to issues directly on his website. They are found in reading various blog posts. And this is not unlike him to avoid issues. He has come out saying he believes in evolution and then ran away from the issue as people asked questions about it until he finally came out with a statement that he believes God created humans but science and faith are not incompatible. While I agree with him that science and faith are compatible, I also strongly believe that if you get the first few chapters of the Bible and the last few chapters of the Bible understood and believe them, then the middle makes sense.

He claims he is strongly pro-life, yet will only approve a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. However, only a month earlier, he said he supports banning all abortions. Typical government double speak.

Because of this, Scott, I cannot vote for you, someone who blatantly lied to the people! You claim to support banning all abortions yet sign the bill to ban after 20 weeks. Liar.

Reject your vote for Scott Walker.

Jeb Bush – Former Governor of Florida

Ok, I have to come out and say it, the name Bush scares the crap out of me! During the darkest point in our American history since the Civil War, I supported what was likely one of THE worst presidents I believe our country ever knew (I think it is a toss-up between Bush 43 and Carter).

In a typical political fashion, you can see the changing of beliefs through the years as a politician ages and gets more ambitious. When he first started, he was quoted saying “Don’t need laws about abortion if we understand about moral absolutes.” A few short years later, he was claiming that he does support abortion for limited cases (rape, incest, etc….). Then in 2012, he came out against the views of the GOP (not always a bad thing, but in this case I believe it is) in saying that we have to change the message in order to build a base among women and minorities.

In January, it came out that Bush said that we should not have rights for LGBT because that approves of sodomy. Yet in the same month, he is quoted as saying that we need to respect same-sex unions and lifelong commitments.

Bush does feel as I do that illegal immigration is not a crime, but an act of serving your family in most cases, to get them a better life. To that, he supports the DREAM act. He has come out saying that the GOP needs to be considered the party of inclusion and acceptance and has started voicing his views which run counter to traditional GOP agendas.

Jeb, sorry. I cannot approve of your stances and you changes. You are entirely too prone to wave in the wind, wherever the votes will fall. For that, Jeb, I must call you a liar and reject a vote for you.

And that brings us to the last name,

Donald Trump – Businessman and television personality

Trump and I don’t believe in much of the same stuff at all. He calls for banning late term abortions only unless the woman was raped or the baby is a product of incest. Even though he claimed the be converted to pro-life.

He has come out saying we need to tolerate diversity, but then not long after comes out saying no partner benefits and gay marriage.

Overall, I could say a LOT more about Trump, but will decline. I am sure you can see where my vote is going, and it is NOT to Trump. You are a wishy-washy liar under the guise of a strong businessman.

Next week I will look at the Democratic contenders for the Presidency of the United States.

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