I was raised in a Godly family, but not a Godly home.

While I never remember my grandparents even talking loud, my parent’s went all out.

At times, the hollering turned to combat.

While I had met Jesus as my savior at age 11, I never let Him be Lord until I was nearly 40.

I answered the call to preach in 1992 at the age of 23.

I’ll never forget it was the only time my Papaw ever hugged me on his own.

The pride in his face made me swell with joy.

I knew that I had earned the approval of the man who meant the most to me in my earthly life.

But at age 27 I got married and got a new job.

The bad thing was, despite the better pay and such it was a second shift job.

Little by little I started letting go of God’s hand.

Solomon said it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine, and he is right.

I looked at the job as a blessing from God, but soon I found myself thinking that it was ME who had accomplished

That ended in 2001 when the company turned on me.

They eliminated my job, cut my pay 5$ an hour and for two years I wondered how I could make ends meet.

How I could cloth and feed my child on such a meager pay.
Bitter?? OH YOU BET!!!

By this time, I had slipped into disobedience.

But, the worst was yet to be.
In 2003, I found a new job, BUT it was no better for I found myself now working the “graveyard” shift.

It was also this year that I found myself embroiled in a fight at the church.

I went from disobedience to COMPLETE disobedience.

In 4 years, I attended church exactly ONCE.

HOWEVER, I did tell the pastor that I would NOT disrespect him or God’s house by showing up only to fall asleep.

I lived a life that would make folks shudder.

I still resisted alcohol and drugs and remained faithful to my wife, but everything else was open to discussion.

I grew to view most everyone as either a hypocrite or a sham.

I saw the evil they did when they thought no one was watching.

You see, sinners are not the only ones who watch us, so do prodigals who want to excuse their actions.

In 2007, God blessed me and I got a dayshift job.

I promised God that if He granted me the job, I would get things straightened out.

Sad part is it took me nearly two years to do so.

Then, this past Christmas season, I was asked to be in the Christmas program at the church.

Imagine my surprise. I had not been part of the church for 6 YEARS!

Imagine even more my surprise when I said yes.

Those two ladies took a chance on an old backslider not knowing if I’d take a part or if I did if I’d show up.

Oh how I praise God that those folks never gave up on me, and still saw some good in me.

Now, I’m one for the flat truth. Like it or not, if it hurts it hurts- just let the chips fall where they may.

And being part of a church program, I couldn’t take part unless I went through with it and made things right.

Now, I have always had an inkling of somethings that were going to happen.

I’ve dreamed dreams that came true in every aspect.

And I always felt that if I backslid one more time, there would be no coming back.

Then it happened, backwards I went.

BUT I thank God that what I had believed was a lie.

God NOT only took me back, but He restored me to the place I was when I let go of His hand.

You see, there is a difference between starting over and starting again.

When we start over, we start from the beginning; but when we start again, we pick up where we left off!

Today my life is much changed.
I have joy and peace and am grateful that God grants us second and third chances!

My papaw used to sing a song……….

I traveled on sin’s broad road
far away from the blessed abode
and beneath my heavy load, but now I can shout.

For Jesus the savior came when I called on His precious name

He took all my sin and shame and he lifted me out

Thank you, Lord,

For allowing me to learn from so many different people

I thank you for the freedom to learn and for giving me the desire to educate others.

I ask your continued blessings.
In your holy name,




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