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I've been reading a book by a pastor named Erwin Rafael McManus. He tells about a conversation he had with his daughter, Mariah. He was explaining that Christians often face danger and even death. His daughter asked, "Has anyone ever tried to kill you, Daddy?" And he answered, "Sort of." She wanted to hear about it. Here's what he wrote:


"I told her there was an ex-convict who let me know while he was in prison that as soon as he was released, he was going to bring my life to a close. Instead of waiting for him when he hit the streets, I found him in the projects. Knowing I had Mariah captivated, I did everything I could to heighten the danger and mystery of the moment. I paused right after describing the dingy room in which only the two of us stood face to face --- William holding open the same blade with which he had slit another man's throat; me with nowhere to go.


Before I could go on, Mariah couldn't keep it in. With panic in her eyes, she blurted out, 'Did he kill you?'


It may seem cruel, but I refused to tell her. It's possible that even to this day my daughter thinks her father is dead!"



That's a funny story. But in a way, Mariah's father IS dead. In a spiritual sense, every Christian is dead, because for anyone who wants to follow Jesus, the first step is to die.

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