Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The God of Second Chances

Happy 30th Birthday, Dad!
Yesterday was my dad's sobriety birthday.  He took his last drink on April 26, 1981.  When I telephoned to congratulate him, he said (like he always does), "That's a lot of 24 hours."  I know it's a pretty personal thing for him and our family, but it is also something to be celebrated.  So I'm writing about it.  I want our kids to know what sacrifices were made, what life choices were made.  I'm so proud of my Dad for reaching this milestone, and I am thankful to him and Mom for their lessons in gratitude and perseverance!

Dad with 2 of his 19 granddaughters Dani (napping) and Lacey!
This past weekend was full of family and faith.  It was the perfect time to celebrate the New Life of spring and the  New Life we all have in our Savior Jesus' death and resurrection!  The last book I read (which ranks right up there as one of my favorites), Cast of Characters by Max Lucado, ended with a chapter on the resurrection and how it profoundly impacted the disciple Peter.  Peter, as you may recall, screwed up big-time when he denied knowing Jesus three times during the trial and crucifixion.  In the gospel written by Mark, the angel who tells Mary Magdalene of Christ's resurrection makes a point of mentioning Peter BY NAME as one who needs to know this Good News:  

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”  (Mark 16: 6-7, my emphasis added)

Be sure to tell Peter.  Even though Peter gave up on Jesus, Jesus NEVER gave up on Peter.  And He never gives up on US, either.  So keep on looking for Him!
The annual cousins egg hunt - Payton, Wynne, & Cy
God is a God of Second Chances.  I've heard many godly people say that, including Max Lucado.  I look at my brother and his daughter and think of the second chances that were given in their situation.  Five years ago, if you would have told me that this guy would be married with children--I can assure you that NOBODY in my family would have believed you!  And my brother's wife would most likely testify to God's second chances, as well!
Tim & Elsie
When we look inward, we tend to spin our wheels.  We try to control everything.  We screw up and feel guilty.  We try HARDER to be in control.  It's not until we look UP and fix our eyes on Him that our lives get back on track.

Claire on the hunt

God is a God of Second Chances.  He doesn't want us to be miserable.  He rejoices when we return to Him, always welcoming us back with open arms. 
getting a special treat from Grandma

God wants us to get back in the game.  We're all here for a reason, and His grace was not wasted on any of us (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Ally, Payton, Cy, and Shae playing softball
Another member of our family is struggling right now, in the grips of addiction and mental illness.  We all need to "step up" for her in prayer and support.  God calls us to be His eyes, ears, hands and heart.
Wynne & Gabe
Not one of us is perfect.  Not one of us deserves the second chance.  But God gives it to us anyway.
Euchre ... or is it cribbage? Paul & Dan
For that reason alone, how can we not be thankful and rejoice?
Glory be to the God of Second Chances!!

But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I'm not about to let his grace go to waste.--1 Corinthians 15:10  The Message


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