Dose of Truth

Second chances

Tim Richards

I once read about a man whose name was mistakenly included in the obituary column of his local newspaper. The notice that he had died frustrated him and made him angry. He did what most of us would have, he contacted the paper telling them he was still alive.

The editor apologized and agreed to correct the mistake in the paper’s next edition. However, “the dead man” was still very upset. The editor explained to the distraught man that their mistake had been unintentional and then suggested a unique solution, he said, “Tomorrow I will put your name in the birth column and you can have a fresh start.”

What an interesting thought. If you were given the chance to begin again would you? Many would jump at the chance, and it would not just be prisoners or those whose lives are currently messy. I suspect most would welcome the opportunity for a fresh start. All of us have things we would like to change if given the chance but you and I cannot change our past… or can we?

Frankly, this is one reason so many seek God. Faith in God offers us the opportunity of a new beginning. At some point all of us are eager for the opportunity to begin again, to have a chance at a fresh start.

That is what Jesus offered a religious leader named Nicodemus when he said, “…unless you are born again you cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, NLT) It is what Saul experienced on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians; after an encounter with God, he was transformed into the Apostle Paul. That is what Paul was saying when he wrote, “… anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (II Corinthians 5:17, NLT)

You do not need to contact a local newspaper if you need a fresh beginning to ask for a new birth announcement, you can go much higher. As amazing as it sounds we can approach God and trust him to give us a fresh start.

Being born again does not mean everything in our lives is going to become perfect. Anyone who claims God removes all of our problems is not fully in touch with reality. What God does offer, however, is a new life which is far more meaningful than the life we have lived in the past.

As a pastor and columnist for nearly 15 newspapers, Tim Richards has lifted the spirits and challenged the hearts of those who have strong faith as well as those whose faith is weak. In his third book, “Sailing Through the Storm,” readers will again discover new ways to live with godly perspective in a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at