I have had several questions about the title of this blog. People seem confused that I am pastor at Homer Christian Church and yet it is entitled “Second Chance Pastor.” Please let me explain. I chose the name of this blog because I have found in life that everyone makes huge mistakes and then they want a chance to start over and do it right. I believe that this second chance is called grace and it is found in Jesus Christ. No matter what Church I serve, I will always be a pastor of grace. I live in that reality and celebrate it daily.
As a result I am always looking for ideas and illustrations of second chances. Recently I was watching a horrible movie and I heard a song in the background. I looked it up and found a Paul Simon’s song called “Rewrite” from his latest CD. Here is the opening line:
I’m workin’ on my rewrite, that’s right
Gonna change the ending
A song about a man trying to rewrite his life. That is the sound of a second chance.
This week I have been sharing some of the lessons I have learned in the last 6 months. Another relationship lesson that I have learned lately is what I call the “similar demographic myth.” The myth is that for us to build a relationship with someone, they need to be in a similar demographic as me. If I am single, it is best for me to build relationships with singles. If I am part of young married couple, it is best for me to have relationships with young married couples. The same goes for divorced people, elderly people, handicapped, etc. I have seen this myth played out in every Church I have served. Someone visits the Church or even starts attending regularly and then they leave because there is “no one in their age group to connect with.”
I will admit it can be much easier to build relationships with people of similar demographics. You already have something in common and you share common experiences. It can be easier to jump right in and start talking. But here is what I know about life – anything easy is usually not the best.
Lately God is showing me that some of my best relationships are with people outside my demographic. I am learning that these people help me grow because they are from a different place in life. They have the naive outlook of a young person or they have the wisdom brought about by years of life. I am learning to stretch myself and become friends with teenagers, with young marrieds and with older singles. These people enrich my life and give me fresh perspective that is helping me to grow as a person and as a Christian.
Don’t believe the myth just get out there and spend time with people. You will be amazed what you real friends might look like.
One of the biggest struggles and lessons I have had lately is about consistency. With summer here, I have this strong desire to skip out on some of my daily routines. I want to read the Bible sporadically or pray when I have more time or write my blog when I have nothing else to do. The truth is, doing things sporadically rarely has a great result. Exercising once a week is of less benefit than exercising once a day. The people who accomplish much in this life (for the Lord or otherwise) usually do it through the discipline of daily work.
My commitment for the summer is not to become sporadic in my walk with God but to live consistently.
HERE is a great article I ran across about specific compliments to give your wife.
As I head into summer my mind is filled with all kinds of lessons that I have learned this past spring. I am also reflecting on all the lessons he is currently teach me. Here are just a few of the things God is teaching me:
1. The Power of Relationships – All of our lives are deeply connected to other people. Our lives are affected by our parents, our children, our friends, our teachers and almost everyone we come in contact with. The interesting side note is that very few of us get any instruction on how to relate to other people. The people who teach us how to live in relationships are teaching us the greatest lessons in our life.
2. My Greatest Ministry May Take Place in My Own Family – I have often dreamed of leading numerous people into a saving relationship with Jesus. I have dreamed of leading a large Church. I have dreamed of the American definition of success for a minister. Lately, I realize those dreams will probably never come true for me. Now I am beginning to see the unlimited potential in my children. If I can influence their lives and teach them the truth about God then my life is not a waste. It will have an impact far beyond anything else I can do. If I only have four true converts in my life, that is great, if they are my children.
3. All Long Term Relationships Are Hard Work – Everyone understands that having a long and loving marriage is hard work, but I am seeing that it is true in any relationship…even with other Church people.
Those are just a sampling. Maybe I will post more this week. What lesson is God teaching you?
I had a friend in college who used to say, “Some things in life are like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you get tired, you quit when the gorilla gets tired.”
We have arrived at Memorial Day weekend and this will be my last post until next Tuesday. I ran across a Memorial Day weekend prayer and I have made a couple additions. Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading and God Bless.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We remember this weekend those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day. We thank you for the price they paid for the freedoms we enjoy. We thank you that we are able to worship you freely and may we never use our freedom as a cover up for evil.
As we remember this freedom we ask that you would hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.
We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their lives.
May the members of our armed forces be supplied with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord’s mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.