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"I think I understand," replied Adam, turning some pages in his pocket testament. "Listen to this: 'Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.' You see, this man suddenly remembered that his brother had something against him. So, before he could sacrifice to God with a clean conscience, he had to go and make things right. Only then could he make the sacrifice. You know, a great man once said, 'Willingness to obey Christ is to be a Christian.' God wants you to repent of the sins you can remember, not of the things you can't. It's all about the heart. Here, listen to this verse: 'If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.' If you are willing to do your best, then the good things God promises are yours. Do you understand?" Chuck still looked a little unsure. "'To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.' Sin is by knowledge. It's the same with repentance," finished Adam, silently praying that Chuck would understand this principle.

Adam's prayer was quickly answered, for the last verse satisfied Chuck. A content smile spread across his face-- a smile that only comes with the understanding of God's Word.

"It's just like that verse, 'Wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul,'" quoted Chuck, relieved that God was not angry with him. Adam breathed a sigh of relief, for Chuck had found peace in the Truth. Suddenly, Chuck realized he was keeping Adam from his customers. "I'm really sorry for taking up your time," apologized Chuck.

"It was my pleasure," smiled Adam. "If you have any other questions, please let me know." The bear hug Adam received was sufficient to express Chuck's gratitude. As Chuck left, Adam thanked God for putting the right words in his mouth.

This was just one of the many crises that were averted within the last three days. With much patience and long-suffering, Adam helped Chuck to first stand in faith, and then to walk. And none too soon, for God was about to test Chuck's newfound confidence.

It was four o'clock in the morning, on a cool Tuesday. Vera had been called to the nursing home in the middle of the night, because Arnold was having "one of those difficult times," again. After a few hours of calming her husband down, Vera returned home, only to find Chuck rummaging around in the kitchen for something to eat. Since they were both up, Vera decided to have breakfast early. After fixing a hot meal, they sat at the kitchen table, each absorbed with their own thoughts. As Chuck buttered his toast, Vera crinkled a page she had saved from yesterday's newspaper and gave a sad sigh. Seeing that it had not gotten her son's attention, she sighed again-- only this time louder. Chuck finally looked up.

"What is it?" he asked, helping himself to more bacon.

"It's these statistics," lamented Vera. "Did you know, that without a father, boys are twice as likely to drop out of high school, two and a half times more likely to shoot or stab someone, and three times more likely to be in prison before their nineteenth birthday?" Vera looked up from her newspaper to be sure Chuck was listening before continuing. "It also says, without a father, girls are twice as likely to get pregnant in their teens, thirty-seven percent more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, and fifty-three percent more likely to attempt suicide." Vera eyed her son expectantly. Chuck stared silently at his plate. "When are you going to send for my granddaughter?" demanded Vera, dropping the newspaper page onto the floor beside the table.

"As soon as I get a few more things settled in my mind," replied Chuck, desperately trying to grasp a promise that would avert these catastrophes from happening to his daughter.
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