Now that the semester is winding down and I have finished all my reading I figured I should pick up a book that is something other than my textbook readings. I have been reading Why I Stayed by Gayle Haggard. For anyone that doesn’t know about the whole story, Ted Haggard, Gayles husband, was a leading pastor of the evangelical movement and was the pastor of a mega church called New Life. After hiding sin, some accusations came out against him and he confessed that he was in sin and was dealing with homosexuality and had hidden sin in his life. As the issue came out all over the media, many people bashed him and shunned him, but in this book, Gayle talks about Ted’s Haggard repentance and real sorrow for his sin. The REAL story of what happened after the sin was confessed is held in this great book. I must say that God’s grace and mercy shines throughout this book as you read about Ted’s repentance and the restoration of the Haggard family and marriage after this horrible sin. The verse that has been brough up and has been coming to my mind throughout this book is Galatians 6:1 where Paul tells us to restore our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are overtaken in a sin. I believe, and know that Ted Haggard admits to this in the book, that he has lost his opportunity to be a pastor again because of the sin, but that doesn’t mean God’s grace, mercy, and restoration will not happen. I have enjoyed reading this book and it has been reminding me that no matter how bad we may mess up in our Christian life, God will always restore us and show us mercy if we confess and turn from the sin!
A great website that featured this book and I have enjoyed reading there material is People of the Second Chance (www.deadlyviper.org). This website has brought a lot of things to my attention and has got me to really think about how so many leaders in the Christian world have fallen and the human tendency is to shun them and we do not practice grace and mercy towards them. We must remember God will always show grace and mercy to His children no matter how bad we mess up!