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Electrician Traces Success to Lenient Judge

Tom Hallman, Jr., a reporter for The Oregonian, recently chronicled a young man’s turnaround in the daily newspaper, highlighting the pivotal nature of a judge’s leniency.

For De'Onn Wooden, a series of unpaid traffic infractions led to a warrant for his arrest as a young man in the early 90s. According to Wooden, the judge was ready to sentence him to prison, but his pastor advocated for his behalf. He testified before the judge that Wooden had turned his life around since the initial infractions. Because of the pastor’s passionate advocacy, the judge relented, suspending the warrant, reducing his fine, and putting him on a payment plan.

Growing up in the violence-plagued streets of Compton, California, Wooden's prospects were grim. Gang shootings were a nightly threat, and survival was a daily struggle. However, a move to Perris, California, provided a glimmer of hope, leading to an education in drafting. Venturing to the Pacific Northwest at 20, he faced racial discrimination but persevered, eventually settling in Northeast Portland.

Now, 30 years later, Wooden is on the verge of realizing his dream: launching an electrical-services company, with a vision to extend opportunities to women and minorities who have faced life's challenges and seek a fresh start. As he prepares to start his own business, he plans to pay it forward by offering apprenticeships to underrepresented individuals, showing that hard work and determination can conquer life's obstacles.

Possible Preaching Angle:

When God’s people show mercy to those who don't deserve it, we reflect God's heart for all people.

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