A Little Grace Goes a Long Way

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:6

My parents might be shocked to read this, but I wasn’t a well-behaved child growing up. It seemed like I was always in time-out, getting spanked, or otherwise suffering the consequences of my own actions. This was true at home, at school, in church, or out in public. I was a natural-born trouble-maker and there were times that I pushed my parents and the other authority figures in my life to the breaking point. I was a very strong-willed child and I was determined to do things my own way.

Once, I was given the assignment to write sentences at home for misbehaving at school. In my mind, this was the worst punishment that had yet been invented; the boredom of writing the same thing over and over was more difficult for me than any spanking or time-out. Although I’m sure I deserved it, I honestly don’t remember what I did to earn this consequence. However, I will never forget the way the teacher handled it.

You see, that night my dad was going to take us to the circus. Like any other kid, I was excited about this and couldn’t wait to see the show. However, I knew that if I went home with sentences to write, there would be no circus for me. Nearly in tears, I told the teacher privately about our plans and asked if there was anything she could do. She thought about it for a few moments and said “Have fun at the circus. We’ll worry about your sentences tomorrow.” The next day, after having a blast at the circus the night before, I was allowed to do my sentences a day late. I had never been so happy to receive a consequence.

My teacher would have been justified to refuse to help me. It wasn’t my first offense, and it wouldn’t be my last either. She could have insisted that I be “taught a lesson,” but while it has taken years to process, I think I learned one anyway. God is gracious to us on a daily basis. Every breath we take, every meal we enjoy, every heartbeat – 3 billion of them over the average lifetime – is a manifestation of His grace and mercy.

2020 hasn’t been an easy year, and it shows no signs of getting easier. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic troubles, civil unrest, and natural disasters, today may prove to be the most bitter and contentious election of our lifetimes. Our society seems to have plenty of anger, hate, and frustration, but suffers from an extreme shortage of grace. As we navigate what seems sure to be a turbulent next few weeks, let us remember that God chose to show us grace when what we really deserved was judgment. I pray that we will keep that in mind and let grace always be at the forefront of our dealings with others.


Stephen Nichols

Director of Communications



New Creatures in Christ

Scripture has been a part of the PAYH program’s foundation since its inception, and it is both taught and memorized on our campus. This year, we are pleased to have Gady Youmans teaching God’s Word to the young men. Gady, who is currently working on his doctorate in Biblical Counseling at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is guiding the young men through a chronological study of the Old Testament. Before taking the young men through a chronological tour of the Old Testament, he led them through the “Romans Road,” and 4 of them accepted Christ!


Founders’ Day

Instead of a normal work day, the PAYH young men spent Paul Anderson’s birthday honoring his legacy. After being allowed to sleep in, the day began at 8:30 AM with prayer at the knoll where Paul is buried. Eddie Burris, who came to the home as a young man in the 1960’s and has been employed at PAYH for over 50 years, gave them a lesson in the home’s history. After a mid-day meal, they concluded with a series of physically intense games on the field.


Paul Anderson: Legacy

On October 17th, 1932, a champion was born. After overcoming Bright’s Disease as a young child, Paul Anderson went on to win the 1956 Melbourne Olympics before founding the Paul Anderson Youth Home. This year, as we prepare to celebrate 60 years of operation, we look back and remember the life and selfless sacrifice of our PAYH Founder.

Watch our newly released tribute to his life and legacy at payh.org/legacy.



We said goodbye to one of our young men last month. After losing his best friend, Hudson described his life as a “disaster.” At PAYH, he learned to respect himself and others, how to discern right from wrong, and how to apply himself as he seeks God’s best for his life. Quoting Philippians 4:13, he said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Listen to his testimony in his own words at payh.org/hudson.

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