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Naomi Kjer 7/26/11 Writing for PR Feature Piece

Something Compelling to Hear: The definition of compelling: adjective for compel; having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention or respect. Who do you think of when you hear that definition? Someone famous? A parent? A friend? For me it was a stranger. Not in the sense of me not knowing him but in the sense of me only knowing the man who had been radically changed by the power of God; a man who has an unbelievable past but now lives with purpose. Not forgetting his past but using his experiences and lessons to mentor men who are filled with the same hatred, and hopelessness that he was once filled with. When first asking about his testimony and the things he had done in the past he simply smiled and said, I no longer know that man but Id be happy to share. He sat at my table with peace in his eyes and explained how grace and love now consume his life. The man sitting at my table is a man I fondly know through my father and through church. I admire this man, and am fortunate to know this man. That is one reason why I am compelled by him. I know the man he is now but have heard of the stranger he used to be. This man strongly reminds me of Saul in the Bible; a man who was a murderer and filled with hatred against Christians. Through the

power and love of God this same man was radically changed and lived out the rest of his life, known as Paul, to share the love of Christ. Bills life story closely compares. Bill grew up in a household with an abusive and alcoholic father. By the age of 10 he had already seen two men shot from the gun of his father. He grew up with intense hatred towards his father yet had slowly let the hatred consume him. In 1969 he shot and killed a man. When explaining his testimony he admits it meant nothing to him at the time and felt no remorse. The only remorse he had was the fact he was now going to prison, but even prison didnt faze him much. Yet, the event that made a huge impact in his life happened while he was in prison. While in prison, the same judge that sentenced him overturned his sentence for no reason, he didnt ask for it and she didnt have a reason for it. The only explanation is simply Gods grace in action. Shortly after being released he entered a church off Palafox as the same man filled with hatred, yet left completely changed. For the first time as he was soaked in his own teas he knew what love was. Love was, and is and will always be God. He is now a prison chaplain and travels from prison to prison sharing the hope, forgiveness, and love of God that most of these men in prison have never experienced. Meeting him now, you would never know the man he used to be. As he and the Bible explain it, when becoming a child of God you become a new creation, free from condemnation.