Joel knew at a young age that his father’s suits and his mother’s dresses were a bit nicer than the average Methodist’s, and their cars and trucks were always newer, and they talked of finishing college and not just high school. He realized a lot as a child, but because he was a Banning he was also taught humility and the virtue of saying as little as possible.
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Jackie was not in the mood to do much explaining, but she made it clear to her parents that she was struggling with her faith and needed time to reexamine her beliefs. Privately, she was asking the obvious question: Her husband, a devout servant and follower of Christ, was reading his Bible and preparing his sermon, at church, when he was murdered. Why couldn’t God protect him, of all people? Upon deeper reflection, this often led to the more troubling question, one she never asked aloud: Is there really a God?

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