This “Bonus” Life of Mine

Posted: July 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

I’m trying to wrap my head around my life. I just spent some time with a bunch of people most of whom are less than half my age. We had a nice time around a couple of slices of the most amazing Chinese pizza. We made small talk, had a few deeper conversations but mostly we just did that thing old fashioned church folk call “fellowship.” For the record, I hope that word never goes out of style. When our time together was over, I adjourned back to my home for the week, a beautiful rustic cottage not too far from a beautiful lake. Open rafters, bead board ceilings, paneled walls lined with kitchen artifacts and and vintage furniture. As I sat in my chair, trying to take it all in, and I began to think about what life was like when I was the age of my young friends. Where they live lives of hope, I was hopeless. Where they seem to be pursuing purpose, I was drowning my sorrows. At their age, I would have rejected the man I have become. They made me feel like part of the group. What a wonderful bonus. 

I am writing this on July 14, the day everything changed. Six years ago today I got a new name, “Pappy.” My grandson David joined us in this world and changed my life for the better and forever. He’s another bonus. 

I was speaking with one of my friends about an issue she was thinking about, and my mind went back to my bride, Dawn. I was sharing how I knew she was the one. She still is. Without her, I would not be where I am. She’s another bonus and a great one.

I keep saying the word bonus. Please don’t think this is something I feel I deserve. You see on one night when I was about 22 years old, the hopelessness caught up with me. I decided there was no point in going on. The time had come to end my life. In that moment, a thought hit me, I didn’t really want to die, I just couldn’t keep on living the way I was living. In that moment I cried out to a God I’m not sure I really believed in and said God help me. Everything, I just wrote about is a result of that prayer. You see it all could have ended that night, but it didn’t,

Instead I started living what I all the bonus life. I met Dawn, through a blind date. She ended up being like no one I have ever met, and she introduced me to Jesus. I asked God for help and that is what He did. Coming to know Jesus was the game changer. Without Him, I don’t know where I would be, though I have my suspicions. Dawn and I married (33 years now) and pressed on with God together through thick and thin and made a great life. We have two great sons, another wonderful bonus, and now I get the double blessing of be a grandfather. Knowing Jesus and desiring to follow Him eventually put me on the path to ministry. Today I pastor a wonderful little country church and travel the nation telling people about Jesus. Giving Jesus all of my life made the way for creating a unique ministry that put me in this very place at this time, with these very people. Everything past that day when I was 22, I consider to be my bonus life. I could not be happier. 

To be clear, I don’t deserve any of it, but that is the thing about grace. Grace is unmerited favor. It’s not given because I am good, it’s given because my God is good. My God is good. He changed the entire course of my life, and he’ll change yours too, Place your faith and trust in Jesus and watch to see what He will do. He has a great plan and purpose for your life. Follow Him in good times and in bad, and prepare to be amazed.    

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