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There's just something about a man that will look you straight in the eye and tell you the truth, even if it isn't what you want to hear. I've always respected that in a person, and for the most part, I try to be that kind of a person. So when I heard about Richard Reid, the so-called "shoe-bomber" pleading guilty for his December 22, 2001 attempt to blow up American Airlines flight 63 with explosives stuffed in his shoe, my immediate response was positive. Reid told Chief U.S. District Judge William Young, "Basically I got on a plane with a bomb. Basically I tried to ignite it [and] basically I intended to damage the plane."

After going over each count against him, the Judge asked Reid why he was pleading guilty. "Because at the end of the day," Reid said, "I know that I done the actions."

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning his actions-no sane person would condone the use of terror and mindless destruction of innocent people to make a political statement. My point is that I've got to hand it to the guy for confessing his crime and pleading guilty.

In a world where everything that goes wrong is always somebody else's fault and hiding behind the system for as long as possible is standard operating procedure, it is nice when someone just stands up, and tells the judge, "Yep, I did it."

But it is one thing to admit you've done something and another thing to disavow yourself from your past and determine to turn over a new leaf. Judge Young warned Reid that he will weigh the government's claim that he has al Qaeda links when he passes judgment on him. Reid responded, "I'm a disciple of Osama bin Laden. I'm an enemy of your country. I don't care."

The sad truth is-his confession wasn't enough. Not enough to earn my respect or the Judge's mercy. And neither will it be enough at the Judgement Day to come. On that day, Reid's only hope-our only hope-will be if we've repented of our sins and placed our faith in Jesus before we got there.

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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