by Jeff Foxworthy
Comedian and Author of the You Might Be a Redneck If…
Years ago, my grandfather walked out to get a pack of cigarettes and never came back— and that’s no redneck joke. My mother found him twenty years later living in another city with another family.
His sin was passed on to the next generation. When I was nine years old, my father walked out on his marriage and left Mom to raise me and my younger brother and sister. I watched my mother struggle to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table from the money she made as a keypunch operator.
Dad ended up marrying six times with a thousand affairs in between. I grew up in the carnage of his cavalier decisions. I witnessed the collateral damage he left behind.
That’s why I identify so much with Mike and Chris Reis’ book, Recovery of a Lifetime. As you’ll learn in the following pages, Chris was only two years old when his father, Mike, left him and his family to live with a woman he had met in a bar.
As a little kid, when your dad chooses to leave, you always think: I wasn’t worth staying for. Someone else was more important than me. Yet everybody on the planet wants to be worth something. Everybody wants to be significant.
Recovery of a Lifetime explores this search for significance in a compelling narrative that will keep you turning pages. I first met Chris a couple of years ago when he joined our Bible study group that meets every Thursday morning in the back of a barbecue restaurant in downtown Atlanta. Chris immediately fit in with guys like former Braves players John Smoltz and Terry Pendleton and TBS announcer Ernie Johnson.
As a Falcons fan, I had to sneer at Chris a bit since he played for the New Orleans Saints, but I found out quickly that he was a great guy. He was so humble and vulnerable, which is what we wanted in our small group—someone who didn’t succumb to the applause of the world.
When Chris told me that he was working with his father on a book about their lives, I immediately identified with their mission. I loved the title Recovery of a Lifetime because I read somewhere that God is the God of “re-” as in redemption, resurrection, and recovery. One of the biggest delights of God’s heart is restoring things. He understands our fallibilities.
Think about it: we know that God said David was a guy after His own heart, but when you study his life, there were more than a few moments that he wasn’t proud of—like when he watched a woman take a bath and decided he wanted to have her, which led to her getting pregnant, which led to David having her husband killed on the field of battle.
Why God would still say that David was after His own heart? Answer: because David recognized his sins and walked toward God with a contrite heart. David sought restoration.
That’s why I believe you will be uplifted by this amazing account of restoration and recovery. Chris and his father, Mike, tell their story with humility and honesty that I’ve rarely seen in a book.
And we are the beneficiaries.