Broken and Poured Out

Surrender to God and allow him to break you for his glory.

George Wright
Sep 8, 2019    40m
In this sermon Pastor George Wright teaches us that it is when we are in our brokenness that we become truly able to pour out and surrender to God. He shares several passages of scripture that support this message of how being broken and poured out is the way to more God. Video recorded at Columbia, South Carolina.

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bookMark 14

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

George Wright: 00:00 My message today comes from Mark's Gospel chapter 14. So if you would grab a Bible, you may not have one with you, we've got Bibles spread around the room and we would encourage you to grab one of those so you can see for yourself what the word of God is saying, Mark chapter 14. Before we step into this scripture, I do want to let you know of a new ministry that starting this week in the life of our church here at Shandon. On Tuesday nights we're kicking off something that will be called the porch, and the porch is a worship gathering for young adults. We're so excited about this, because this has been a fast growing demographic here at Shandon. And we also understand that that young professionals, young adults, are the fastest growing demographic in the city of Columbia. And so we've got this great opportunity to gather together for a specific night of worship on Tuesday nights at seven o'clock, it's going to be at 2121 Divine Street, the building that's called The Lighthouse, which is our college home base. But we're crashing the college space on Tuesday nights, so the young adults can have a night of worship. And we'd love for those of you who feel like you're young adults, or who know you're in that category, come join us. But more importantly, bring a friend with you. The reason we're doing this at our location down on Divine street is we want to be more centrally located in the city, and we want this to be an opportunity for friends to be invited. So we'd love to see you Tuesday night at seven o'clock. It's going to be fun to see how God uses this great opportunity.

George Wright: 01:33 So Mark, chapter 14, this is a beautiful, beautiful encounter that we see between a woman and Jesus. And God uses this encounter to model for us, and show us, what it really means to have a life that is surrendered and following after Jesus. So this is a great, great, great teaching opportunity for us as we turn our attention to the word of God. Let me invite you to stand with me as I read these verses to get us started. To set the context, to lay out this story of what is happening here in Mark chapter 14, so we see this incredible act of worship through a woman named Mary. It says this, "It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.” And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me." This story is all about surrender, this story is all about being broken and poured out, and this story shows us a picture of what it means to follow after Jesus.

George Wright: 03:42 With that in mind, would you pray with me as we commit this time to the Lord? Father, as we stand before you now, we are standing to be reminded that the word of God is our foundation. And so as we turn our attention to your word, the foundation of our faith, what you say is right, good, and true. I pray, Lord God, that you would use this time for your glory to speak into our lives. As we stand here in this room, as we gather even with some who are joining us online, there is no way in human terms that we all could hear something specific for our lives, but in spiritual terms, as you, the Holy Spirit move among us as your word speaks to us, there is something that we all need to hear. And so I pray, Lord, that it would be so, that you would speak into our lives that we might see with greater clarity, the love and the grace that you have made available to us. We lift up this prayer as we turn our attention to you in the name of Jesus. Amen. Amen. You may be seated. Thank you for standing.

George Wright: 04:55 So have you ever had something that was very expensive or very valuable to you that was broken? Can you think of a time, or a story, where something that you held very dearly, something that was important, something that was costly, something that was of great worth was then broken. And that's not a fun experience, right? I can remember the first time that I, in my memory, the first time I made my mom cry, I was about seven or eight years old. Now, I'm confident that I made my mom cry many times before this, but this is the one that I remember. And the reason I made my mom cry is simply this, my younger brother, and I have two younger brothers, but my middle brother Andrew is only two years younger than me. And so we were rough housing and wrestling as we often did, but on this particular day, our rough housing and wrestling started in the hallway in our house and it carried the living room. Now, I don't know how many of y'all have a living room in your house right now, or maybe you grew up living in a house with a living room, but can I just say this about a living room? A living room is not for living, right? It's actually the room you're not allowed to live in, at least that's how it was in our house. Like this was the room where the antique nicer furniture was. this was the room where the few valuables that my parents displayed were put out on display, this was also the room where there is a really nice plush rug that no one was allowed to walk on. Why do you put something on the ground that people can't walk on? I don't understand, but that's what we had in our living room. We had this nice stuff and we knew, the three boys knew, you weren't supposed to go in the living room. Unless of course there was someone invited over for dinner that you had no idea who they were, and then they were invited in the living room to sit. It didn't make any sense. Right? We couldn't go in there, but guests that we didn't know could go in there. So anyway, that's beside the point. So on this particular day the wrestling match that started in the hall got carried into the living room, which by the way was the perfect place to wrestle, that carpet was phenomenal that had been laid down on the floor. And we were rough housing and carrying on. And I kind of flipped my brother over, which I often did, I was the older brother by the way, I won those matches. I flipped him over and his leg hit a table beside one of those chairs that we weren't supposed to sit in, and the table fell over right at the edge of the rug where the hardwood floor was. And what was on that table shattered into hundreds of pieces and broke, and the thing that shattered was a porcelain bell that was incredibly important to my mom. I didn't understand all this at the time, again, I was seven or eight years old. When my mom heard the commotion, and heard something shattered, she came into the room and without even saying a word, she just immediately began to cry when she saw that bell shattered on the ground. Now I can just tell you this, I would far have preferred for her to just yell at us in that moment then to see her crying, to recognize the pain that we had caused her. And then come to find out that bell was her grandmother's, it was one of the only heirlooms that she had left from her grandmother and we had destroyed it. We had wasted this thing that was so valuable to my mom, and I remember how painful that was as a kid watching my mom be upset that something that valuable had been wasted and destroyed.

George Wright: 08:52 It's in that light that as we turn this story, we see something beautiful, something valuable, something very costly that is broken and then poured out, seemingly wasted. And there's a group of people, as we've just read, in this scene who watch what this woman does as she breaks this alabaster jar, very valuable and the contents are very costly and she just wastes it, she just pours it all out on Jesus. And they're thinking, woman, what are you doing? How could you be so wasteful? How could you be so foolish? We could have sold that. We could have done so many good things with that. We could have fattened our pockets with that. What are you doing? Don't break something that is so incredibly valuable.

George Wright: 09:52 Now, the other gospels also record this story. We get a little more context into what's happening in John's Gospel, chapter 12, you can read this later. But in John's Gospel he tells us that this woman actually was a woman named Mary, who is the sister of Martha, and also the sister of Lazarus. You may have heard that name Lazarus. Lazarus was the one who, in John chapter 11, Jesus raised from the dead after he had been dead and in the ground for four days. This is a family that Jesus knew well, these are close friends of Jesus. And Mary comes to Jesus in such joy, in this act of worship and devotion, and takes one of the most valuable things that she has and she breaks it and pours it out as a sacrifice, and as an act of worship. To say to Jesus, I am so grateful, so grateful for who you are, so grateful for what you have done. My heart is overflowing with gratitude, and I want to show an act of love and devotion in an extravagant way. And Jesus says to her, while some in the room are indignant and some in the room are frustrated in some of the room are confused, Jesus says to her, leave her alone. What she has done is a beautiful thing.

George Wright: 11:28 Here's the first point I would lay before you from this story today, and this is incredibly important in understanding a relationship with God. We see this here. The pathway to experiencing more of God is being broken and poured out, broken and poured out is the pathway to more of God. Do you want to experience more of God in your life? The pathway is being broken and poured out. But let's be honest here, brokenness is painful. We often don't like it. In fact, we, we don't search brokenness out. I would venture to guess that if you are thinking about a new year, and a new plan for your life, and you are listing out goals for the year. You probably would not put on that list, I want to be broken more this year, it's not something that we look for, it's not something we desire, it's not something that we want. But as Jesus begins to show us here in Mark 14, it is something that is necessary.

George Wright: 12:48 And it's interesting, brokenness can come as an act of worship, or brokenness can come as a result of sin. It can come as a result of us trying to play God. It can come as a result of us trying to be in control, of us refusing to surrender. Brokenness is all about surrender, and brokenness as necessary. Because it is brokenness that leads us to see our need for God, and to seek God at work to meet us in the midst of our need, giving to us what we need in our time of need.
George Wright: 13:28 When I was in high school our student ministry, our youth group, had a song that we would sometimes sing
on Wednesday night. And the lyrics of the song went something like this, brokenness, brokenness is what I long for, brokenness is what I need. Brokenness, brokenness is what you want from me. Now you can see why I don't sing in the praise band. My wife is so nervous right now., she's like, please stop singing, it's only going to get worse. That's about as good as it gets right there. But that song, brokenness, brokenness is what I long for, brokenness is what I need. Brokenness is what you want for me. And in high school, one of our youth leaders who was on staff at the church at the time, one Wednesday night after we sang that song, he came to me. And I have no idea still why he did this, he said, I'm not going to sing that song. I have no desire to sing that song. I do not want brokenness. That's not what I long for. It's not what I need. I'm not singing that song. We're not going to do that song anymore. About a year later, he was no longer in ministry. Because there was stuff in his life, some issues of sin, that he had not been willing to deal with. He was compromising in some areas, and when it to light, it disqualified him from the position that he had been holding. It was painful to watch. This is not meant to like scare you or sober you, this is just meant to say brokenness is necessary and if we resist brokenness and yet say we want to follow God broken, this will be more painful at times. Because it needs to break loose the issues of our life, the sin of our life, that prevents us from being where God wants us to be. It breaks loose the control of the things in our life that might prevent us from going where God wants us to go. But above all, most importantly, brokenness is so beautiful because it allows us to experience more of God.

George Wright: 15:45 There's another amazing example of this in John's Gospel. In chapter 3 of John's Gospel, is the apostle John, the disciple John, is recording and writing about a man named John the Baptist or John the baptizer. He's the one that was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. He was sent to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. And John is baptizing people in John chapter 3, and many people are coming out to see John, and to be baptized by John. Many people are repenting of their sin, and they are returning to the Lord through the ministry of John. These incredible things are happening. And then in this pinnacle moment for John the Baptist and his followers, Jesus comes to the water. And Jesus says to John, I want to be baptized by you. And John begins to argue for a moment with Jesus saying, no, no, I need to be baptized by you, Jesus. I'm not worthy to baptize you. And Jesus says, no, this is how it needs to be. And so this beautiful scene happens where John baptizes Jesus, and he comes up out of the water and the Spirit of God, the scripture says, descends like a dove on Jesus and a voice from heaven of God the Father says, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. This is the crowning moment for John the Baptist and his disciples. You see, this is the moment, if you're in ministry, your resume becomes a golden ticket. I'm the guy who baptized Jesus. You put down your resume, people are going to pay attention to your ministry, right? I mean, if you want a book deal in ministry, this is a good way to get it. I baptized Jesus, let me write this story. New York times bestseller, but something happens instead. In this moment, that should have been the crowning moment for John and his followers, his disciples, all of the sudden the followers of John, they move over and they start to follow Jesus. The disciples of John are like, hold on, this is not how it's supposed to go. This is not what we had planned. This is not what we had in mind. We thought we were going to get more popular, and have more followers. Now, all of the sudden the followers are going over here, and they're following Jesus.

George Wright: 18:08 And so they come to John, that's where we pick up in verse 26, and they're concerned. It says, "They came to John, and they said to him, rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan to whom you bore witness. Look, he is baptizing and all are going to him". This is bad news, right? We're losing our following. We're not getting as many likes as we used to get. You'd better figure this out. John answered, so beautiful. He says, "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear witness that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him." And then John teaches this incredibly valuable lesson. He says, "The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom who stands and hears him rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice." What is John doing? He's saying, listen, if you are a true friend of the one who is going to be married, if you are a true friend of the bridegroom who is about to receive the bride, you don't stand there on your buddy's wedding day and complain that she's not marrying you. That'd be a terrible friend. No, no, no, on the wedding day, you celebrate that's your man is receiving this incredible gift of grace in his bride, and you stand there with a smile and you rejoice that the bridegroom is receiving his bride, John is saying look, that's what's happening right now. Jesus, the Messiah, has come to begin to gather his bride, the church. You may not see this now, those of you who have been walking with me. But I want you to know this is good, this is the point, there is great joy as the bridegroom receives his bride.

George Wright: 20:10 So then these famous words of John are said, "Therefore, this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease." Broken and poured out. He must increase, but I must decrease. To have more of him, there needs to be less of me. He must increase, but I must decrease. I want more of him, so there needs to be less of me. Broken and poured out for the glory of God. Church, this verse needs to be underlined in your Bible, highlighted in your Bible, committed to memory. This is what it looks like to be a surrendered follower of Jesus, trusting that God's way through Jesus really is the best way for our life. He must increase, and I must decrease. And as we've talked about at times, this is very painful. Most of the time, brokenness is painful. But John is showing us here, this is where true joy ultimately is found. You see, one of the beautiful gifts of the gospel, is the gospel leads us to see our sin so that we can then see what the savior has done about our sin, so that we can then be forgiven of our sin as we trust in him and made new. But seeing our sin, and seeing what needs to be surrendered is painful. It's not easy, but it leads us to true joy. It shows us what God has done for us, and it shows us a very important lesson that we all need to be reminded of. That when we live for ourselves, and when we live for our way, it is exhausting and ultimately it is empty. But when we live for Jesus, when we are broken, when we are poured out for the glory of God to be revealed in our lives, when we get more of him and less of us, that's where we find true joy. And that's where we see God truly at work in our lives, broken and poured out for the glory of God.

George Wright: 22:58 So here's a bold prayer, a bold prayer that I would challenge you to pray. It's a prayer that some of you, quite honestly, I know just don't want to pray, but some of you really need to pray this prayer. You want to see more of God at work in your life, you want to grow in your faith, you want to draw near to the Lord. Would you be willing to pray this simple, bold, prayer? God, break me for your glory. Even saying that is hard to say. Break me for your glory, show in my life what needs to be broken, so that I can experience more of you. Show me in my life what I'm holding onto too tightly, so that I can trust you and see you at work in me. Show me in my life what I actually have placed above you, that is preventing me from experiencing more of you. God break me for your glory. Are you willing to pray that prayer? Being broken and poured out is the pathway to experiencing more of God.

George Wright: 24:32 We go back to the story, Mark 14 verses 8 and 9, when we see something absolutely beautiful in the gift of being broken and poured out. Jesus, again, speaking about Mary, speaking to those who have been scolding her says, "She has done what she could; She has anointed my body beforehand for burial." And then Jesus makes this amazing statement, he says, "And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” That's an incredible statement to make. Jesus is saying this act of worship, this act of sacrifice, this example of being broken and poured out, this will be remembered, this will be told about as long as the gospel is shared in memory of Mary's faith. Now, why would Jesus say something like this? Why would he make such a bold statement that says, look, this is going to be remembered. Well, I believe it's for a couple reasons. I really think Jesus is saying, look, this will be remembered because this is the pathway to experience more of God. This is the pathway to experience the gift of salvation. We must come to a place where we surrender, where we recognize we are broken, we recognize we do have a need for the savior. So Jesus again, is pointing us to the good news of the gospel. But I also believe Jesus makes this statement, and some of you really need to hear this today, Jesus is making this statement because he knows that Mary is breaking this jar and pouring it out on Jesus as an act of worship in gratitude for what God has done in her life in one of the worst moments of her life. Remember her brother is Lazarus. Remember she was devastated by the death of her brother. Remember, Jesus did a miracle in what appeared to be totally a hopeless situation, as he resurrected Lazarus from the grave, and Mary is overflowing with gratitude, and Mary's getting to minister out of this moment of horrific pain that has led her to incredible joy in Jesus.

George Wright: 27:18 Listen, I'm not saying that all of your pain and all of your struggles turn into a party, that's not what I'm saying at all. But what I'm saying is in Mary, we see this incredible reminder that some of the greatest ministry that God will ever invite us into, will come out of our greatest moments and seasons of brokenness. Mary is ministering out of brokenness, and Jesus says that will be remembered. Church, you need to remember this, God is inviting you to minister out of your brokenness. Why do we need to hear this? We need to hear this because so often we come together and gather for church, and we act like everything's going great. We put on a smile, we put on our best face. And people in the hallway say, hey, how are you brother? How you doing? Things are great. Things are so good. The kids are perfectly obedient, they never do anything wrong. Straight A's all the way. They smile every time I tell them something to do. Our marriage is perfect, I mean every day I wake up and she just says, I love you so much, it is the greatest gift of my life to be married to you, I can't get over how I hit the jackpot when I married you. Is there anything I can do to serve you today, honey? We know that's not real, right? And yet so often that's what we put on when we come together.

George Wright: 29:01 And Jesus is saying, hold on church. Church, don't miss this, don't miss this, there's people around you right now in your gathering who are holding on by thread. There's people right now in your gathering that are suffering greatly. There's people right now in your gathering that are struggling with doubt and wrestling with their faith, they are walking through tremendous difficulty and tremendous pain. And what they need right now is not someone to look at them and say, hey, everything's great in my life, everything's perfect in my life. They need someone who can come alongside them and say, man, I've been through some tough stuff too. Let's walk through this together. I know it's hard, let's see what God may do as he meets us in this struggle, right? I mean, you've been there, you don't want to talk to someone about problems with your children when they constantly act like their children are perfect. If you're struggling in your marriage, you don't want to talk to someone who's constantly acting like their marriage is absolutely perfect, you want to talk to someone who's been through a struggle. When you've lost a loved one, when you have a family member that is suffering through illness, you don't want to talk to someone who has no idea what in the world you are talking about. You want to talk to someone, you want someone to come alongside you who can walk with you from experience. That's what the body of Christ is to be. And Mary is showing us this picture of ministering out of her pain, ministering out of her brokenness, and Jesus is saying to the church, this needs to be remembered. Because the greatest moments of ministry will come out of your greatest moments of brokenness if you will allow God to meet you, and use you through it, for his glory.

George Wright: 31:07 But not only that, as we close our time this morning, we see through these final verses that we've looked at, that Mary is anointing Jesus for the cross. She is preparing him for his death, that's what Jesus says. And what we see here is this amazing gift that comes through Jesus Christ. That being broken and poured out is exactly what Jesus has given to us. Being broken and poured out is exactly what Jesus has done for us. When you walk through brokenness, when you are suffering, when you are in a place where you don't know what to do, you have a savior who has broken himself for us. And he meets us in the midst of our brokenness, and shows us that he is with us, and he shows us whether it truly means to experience the grace of God.

George Wright: 32:15 At the end of Mark 14, right near the end of Mark 14, we jump from this scene of Mary and Jesus, to a scene that we actually have been talking about for the last few weeks here at Shandon. It's the scene of the last supper, what we call the Lord's supper. John tells us in John 17, that it's in this scene that Jesus is gathered with the disciples in the upper room, and he prays this prayer for his disciples. That's what we were talking about for the last few weeks, the prayer of Jesus. But we were reminded here through Mark's Gospel, at the Lord's supper, that Jesus is showing his disciples this incredible gift of what he is doing for them and what he is doing for us. Look at Mark 14 verse 22 it says, "As they were eating, he took bread and after blessing it...(What does it say?) he broke it. He took bread after blessing it, he broke it, and he gave it to them and he said, take this my body. And then he took a cup and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them and they drank all of it. They all drank it, and he said to them, this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out, poured out for you. Broken and poured out. This is what Jesus has done for you. This is the gift of love and grace that invites you into the pathway, so to speak, of knowing God and his great gift of salvation. He must increase, I must decrease. This is where true joy from the Lord is found. Jesus is broken, Jesus is poured out, Jesus invites us to know him through this incredible gift.

George Wright: 34:21 So do you want to experience more of God in your life? That's the question. Do you want your faith to grow? If the answer is yes, what needs to be broken and what needs to be poured out? What step of faith is God prompting you to take? What step of faith is God's saying, this needs to change in your life so that you can experience more of me? What needs to be broken and poured out? Are you willing to step out on faith, as an act of worship? And pray a bold prayer that says, God break me for your glory. Whatever you want from me, I'm in. Do you want to see more of God in your life? Something needs to be broken and poured out. And as it is, the savior who was broken and poured out will meet you in his mercy and in his grace.

George Wright: 35:26 You may be here today, needing to trust your life to Jesus Christ. That may be the very act of surrender, that God is prompting in your life. To say, yes, I need to trust Jesus, I need to trust what he has done for me. I've been trying to do this on my own, I've been trying to be in control, but today I'm ready to follow Jesus. That may be your very act of surrender. You may be here today just needing to get alone with God, to bring something to the cross, to say, I know this needs to break in me so that I can experience more of God. Perhaps today you just need to come forward as we sing, and get on your knees before the Lord and just pray. Just pray, God, I'm pouring this out for you, I'm bringing this to you, I'm confessing this to you. Whatever it may be, I need you to meet me in the midst of this breaking, so that I can experience more of you. Maybe your response today is to come forward and pray as we sing. There is some of you here that need to take an even bolder step than that, we're about to have a time of baptism celebration together after we sing this song, we've got a group of people that are going to be baptized. Some of you today perhaps need to join them. You've made a decision to follow Jesus, but you've never gone public. And for some reason maybe it's been fear, or maybe it's been pride, or maybe it's been you just haven't had the opportunity. For some reason, you have not been willing to go forward and be baptized, and today you need to have something break so that you can step out in faith and say, I am following Jesus and I want the church to see it. Will you be poured out as an offering, and the gift of worship, to the Lord?

George Wright: 37:19 If you're here today knowing you need to be baptized as a follower of Jesus, we've got everything you need. We've tried to make this really simple and really easy, as we stand to sing, if you know you need to follow Jesus or you know you need to be baptized as a believer, we're going to have some of our decision counselors that will be to my left and to your right and they'd love to talk with you and they'd love to take you to a changing room where you can be baptized. We've got clothes for you. We've got a towel for you. We've got everything that you need. You're about to go to lunch anyway, if your hair is wet, nobody's going to care, it's no big deal. And so if you know today that God is prompting you to step out on faith, to be broken and poured out for his glory, respond in faith, don't resist what God may be doing in your heart. Go forward and go public, and say, I'm following Jesus.

George Wright: 38:07 Let me have a word of prayer, and we're going to just open up the altar for those who want to pray, we're going to open up this side door for anyone who knows they need to step out on faith to trust Jesus. For anyone who knows they need to be baptized, just go right there, you'll see the light coming through the door, that's where you go. And we're going to celebrate the end of this time together with the gift of baptism. Let's pray. Father, we love you. We are so grateful for your love. We are so grateful that you did not stay in heaven removed from us and our brokenness, but you came down to meet us in our brokenness and then humbled yourself in the greatest act of love that the world has ever seen by allowing yourself to be broken and poured out at the cross. Thank you, thank you, Jesus, for the incredible gift of love that you have shown to us. I pray, Lord, for those who have never experienced the gift of salvation, that today would be the day that they would get out of their seat, they would go and talk to someone saying, I need to follow Jesus. I'm ready for my sin to be forgiven. I'm ready for a new story. I know I'm broken, and I know I need the savior. For those who are here, that if they had been following Jesus, but they've never made it public, I pray that you would give them the faith to get out of their seat, to say, I'm ready to be poured out, I want my life to be an act of worship, and I want others to see Jesus in me. For those who know they need to get before the Lord, just give them the faith to come forward and get on their knees to pray. To say, Jesus, I know something needs to break, and I'm ready for you to do your work. Whatever the case may be, spirit, we know you are prompting us to respond in faith. I pray that you would give us the courage to respond as you lead. We love you. It's in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Recorded in Columbia, South Carolina.
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Shandon Baptist Church
5250 Forest Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29206