That’s Life

Earlham Advocate

Ramblings on Faith



I heard a great statement on Sunday night while watching some recorded television shows on my TIVO. This particular statement came from a show called Numbers. The plot line is this: a young man from a previous episode has escaped prison so he can seek out the FBI agent responsible for putting him behind bars and shooting and killing his girlfriend/partner in crime. The girl essentially decides she isn’t going to jail and does one of those “death by cop” scenarios. The boyfriend escapes from prison so he can eventually “join her” in the same type of scenario. He is facing 215 years in prison at only 19 years of age. The entire show points to the standoff in a synagogue with the young man and the agent. Words are exchanged and the FBI agent makes it clear he doesn’t intend to shoot the escapee. The escapee begins to cry and then says something to the affect: “I have 215 years and I have to pay for things I can’t take back.” The FBI agent respectively and compassionately says: “that’s life.”


That is life! Most all of us, at one time or another finds ourselves at the cosmic counter of life paying for things we can’t take back. Sometimes it’s a quick transaction and things are soon forgotten. Other times it’s a very complicated transaction that takes days, weeks or even years of reconciliation. There are some cases where we pay for something our entire lives. There are situations and complications and consequences that simply cannot be “taken back” and forgotten. That is the reality of life.


The good news is that even when there are consequences, whether brief or life time, there is forgiveness. There is plenty I want to take back. There are many scenarios I would like to do over. I still carry the consequences of bad transactions but I always remind myself that I am a new person in Christ and that I have forgiveness. Reconciliation in this world may not always be possible, but reconciliation in eternity is possible through Jesus. As much as I would love to keep beating myself up about certain choices I have made in life, Jesus continually reminds me that there is no shame and no guilt in Him. There are no lost causes, no overwhelming odds, no beyond repair, no helpless or hopeless situations when it comes to Jesus. If someone has told you otherwise, they lied and they don’t truly know the Jesus of the Bible. God specializes in situations that “can’t be taken back.” Just ask.

About admin

I am currently serving as the Associate Minister at a Church in Earlham, Iowa, population about 1300. There are probably another 1300 folks who live outside the “city limits.” I am married to my lovely wife Heather. We moved from Mesa, AZ in January 2006. We have a dog (Sammy) and a cat (Daphne). We also have a 92 year old house the sucks the life out of me (Rex), and costs a whole lot of money to upgrade, and is generally a pain in my butt…but I am not bitter. So far I have set my arm on fire, broken my wrist, broken my toe, got tendonitis in my foot, fell out of the bucket of skid loader, captured and “removed” 13 bats from my attic, been to the chiropractor dozens of times and have more doctors on my payroll than I care to admit. I am not very handy! Iowa has been so life-changing for me, but I love the pace of life, pace of ministry and the quality of people. I went to college at Atlanta Christian College near Atlanta, GA where I recieved a Bachelors Degree in Christian Ministry/Preaching. I went to Seminary at Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, TN., where I recieved a Master of Divinity degree with a specialization in Christian Care and Counseling. In addition, I have 2800 hours of post-graduate training as a Chaplain specializing in Crisis Care. I have served Churches in GA, KY, NC, AZ and now Iowa. I have also served as a Chaplain at hospitals in AL and AZ in addition to serving as a Corporate Chaplain with several companies in the metro Phoenix area for a short time. I was also blessed with the opportunity to serve as a Chaplain at the in-field hospital at a NASCAR race in Talladega, AL (once) and as a Chaplain to the Mesa Miners professional baseball team (six weeks). Rex L. Stancil Associate Minister Earlham Church of Christ 515.867.8559 mobile 515.758.2020 home 515.758.2787 office
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