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And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. (Matt. 10.14, KJV).

"As he walked down the long drive, his briefcase in one hand and a book of papers in the other, he paused as that verse came to his mind.  He had a strong desire to do something ritualistic.  His pain and hurt was so deep he felt pretty raw as he tucked his tail and left the institution he had given so much of his life to and with so much blind faith.  A religious institution, it claimed to be, and expected its people to be good, kind, wise, spiritual and grace-filled.  Yet, the governing body...and the people in charge...were devious, lying, cheating, and petty individuals who made a kindergarten class look mature.  Yes, he longed to do something demonstrative, filled with ritual, and significance.  A stomping of his foot, a dragging off of his loafers to wipe the dust of the place off his foot, and a fist raised as he spoke some Old Testament curse inspired by his pain and disappointment. He was too hurt, though, and his shoulders sagged as he trudged on down the drive and his uncertain future."

Those in ministry - pulpit, classroom, or other forms - are often particularly subject to being abused, maligned, and ignored.  The truth is sometimes the blow from the sinner is the kindest blow; it is the blow from those who claim to also be Christ followers which leaves the harshest scar.  

Too often business - even Christian business - is too much a thing of balance sheets and bottom lines. People are used and tossed away like garbage with no concern for their life.  This is especially disturbing when the wise voices are the ones silenced, when those with spiritual discernment are the ones shown the door, and the one who has a vision is blinded.

Let those with ears - hear.

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



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