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Those of you who know me know that I love fishing. I do not however like hunting. For some reason the thought of shooting an animal is just not appealing to me. That does not mean I do not know how to shoot. When I was a kid I was in a gun club. I competed in target shooting and got my picture in the newspaper because I was a good shot.

One day a friend suggested we take our guns and go out hunting. We went out in the woods near the house and it wasn’t long before we saw a rabbit. My friend shot and missed. The rabbit was running away, and I took aim and fired – hitting it right in the neck. We ran over to it and saw it was suffering. Something in me just broke when I saw that terribly wounded animal. I was so upset by it that I took my gun and threw it into a pond on the way home. I haven’t picked up one since.

I went home and told my brother what I had done, expecting he would understand my guilt. He asked where I had shot it and then went and found the rabbit, cut off its feet and hung them from the rear view mirror of his car. Every morning for the next five years going to and from school I had to look at those feet and remember what I had done and revisit my guilt.

Anybody here ever felt like that? You did something in the past and to this day you are constantly being reminded of it? How do you deal with those feelings of shame and guilt? By repentance first and then by remembering the blessings of God and moving on.

(From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, "Remembering the Blessings" 1/19/2009)

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