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A family had a small boy in kindergarten and chose to keep him ignorant of all the negatives of society, despite the fact his father would be shipping off for Iraq.   They did not do their child any favors because there are lessons we have to learn, things we have to come to accept, and things we have to face head on.  What happens when  this child runs straight into harsh reality?  When a father is wounded or killed?  When someone dies? When a marriage breaks up?  When things do not go as smoothly as mommy and daddy had led them to believe?   

They are all around us, Christians who believe that to be Christian is to live a life free of problems, free of issues, or tragedy.  When confronted by these realities of life the answer is to blame the individual: if you had more faith, if you had prayed more, if you had lived a better life...    The construct they have created denies them ability to accept that being a Christian might include suffering or sacrifice.

It is the sour which brings meaning to the sweet.  Without the one the other simply has no meaning.  Christian faith is not a pass to a life free of problems but assurance of companionship through the problems.  The three Hebrew youths made a decision to serve God in spite of the threat of a death in the fire.  They determined that they would do so and if God rescued them fine and i f not, they would be the most faithful men ever consumed in a fire.

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Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006



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