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Summary: This message using a true story of a man in Chicago deals with remembering those who made a difference in our world.

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CHRISTIAN HERO

HEBREWS 11:32-12:2

[32]And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:

[33] who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

[34] quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

[35] Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.

[36] Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.

[37] They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—

[38] of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

[39] And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,

[40] God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

[1] Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

[2] looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Tomorrow is the day when we honor all those…

Who gave their lives in the cause of freedom.

Freedom is a precious thing.

There have been many wars fought.

Many lives have been lost to pay the cost for freedom.

Here are the estimated casualties

that have come from our country’s fight for freedom

over the past 229 years:

In the Revolutionary War 4,435 soldiers died.

The War of 1812 2,260 soldiers died.

The Mexican War 13,283 perished.

The Civil War 133,821 men died.

Spanish-American War 2,446 died.

World War I 116,516 U.S. soldiers gave their lives.

World War II 405,399 died.

The Korean War 36,574 soldiers perished.

The Vietnam War 58,177 of our men died.

The Gulf War 382.

The War in Afghanistan 184 deaths

The War in Iraq 1,649 deaths.

More than 775,000 U.S. soldiers have died

fighting for our country’s freedom.

Today, I want to share with you a true story.

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone was notorious for everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was his lawyer for a good reason.

Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie’s skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time. To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocities that went on around him. (continue to next page)

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had the best of everything: clothes, cars and a good education. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn’t pass on to his son: a good name and a good example.

One day, Eddie reached a difficult decision. Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al Capone, clean up his tarnished name and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against the Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he would ever pay.

Memorial Day is a time to remember our war heroes

Was Easy Eddie a hero?.

Let me ask you what is a hero?

Webster’s Dictionary says: A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life:

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