Welcome to the conversation! I am so glad you are here. My name is Joe Puentes, I’m a follower of Jesus, ragamuffin, husband, dad, blogger, and pastor, living in the high desert of Central Oregon. More importantly, I believe there is hope for everyone.
No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, you are never beyond a second chance.
I believe everyone has a second chance through this amazing thing called grace—this grace that comes only from Jesus. And I want you to believe it too.
That’s what this blog is all about, really—helping you know there is hope for a second chance on life, as we love Jesus and love like him. We will find that no one is beyond the love and forgiveness that God has for each and everyone of us. Once you trust in this truth, I hope to help you discover that there is something bigger and something better out there for you and for those you love. Your story can change!
Things I like to write about
Grace and hope
Church and ministry
Loving God and loving your neighbors
Faith and spirituality
Marriage and being a dad
Blogging and culture
My story starts with growing up in a broken and single parent home, one that forced me to grow up fast and become pretty independent early on in life—my parents divorced when I was really young. And like most young people of divorce this had an adverse affect on me, especially in my early teen years. However, at some point in high school, I refused to be a victim of my circumstances, and tried to make my situation better—often times meeting with failures and setbacks. Feeling hopeless and without purpose, direction or dignity—I often turned to drugs and alcohol, which resulted in me making poor decisions, and giving into my anger and rage.
After meeting a girl at a party, who would eventually become my wife, I met another person who would change my live forever. This person was Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t fix my life, but instead he gave me hope, dignity, and a deep calling to love him and love like him, all of which can be summed up in one simple phrase—a second chance. This second chance on life has led my family and me on a great adventure. One that has consisted of career changes, living in faraway places, meeting extraordinary people from all over the world, and a life of deep fulfillment and conviction.
More precisely, we became a ministry family. We have served in churches in four different states over the past twenty years (California, Missouri, Colorado, and Oregon)—churches of all different shapes and sizes (Warehouses, church buildings, and in a high school—small churches, mega-churches, and multi-campus churches), and in different roles (Youth Pastor, Neighborhood Pastor, and Lead Pastor). Through all this, one thing has become very clear—Jesus’ calling for his Church is simple—we are to love him and love like him.
At some point during all this a friend of mine told me something that changed the way how I see people and interact with them. He told me the reason why we love people is not so they will become Christians, but because we are Christians. Everything changed after I began to believe this. It was liberating really—I was free from having expectations on people and myself. People were no longer a project to change, but a person to love for just who they are and not for who they should be—a person of a second chance. And God loves us more than enough to not leave us where we are because He has so much more for us—something bigger and something greater in store for you and me.
“The reason why we love people is not so they will become Christians, but because we are Christians” —Brian Mavis
Since discovering this truth, I have sought to let this story of amazing grace saturate my life, my relationships, my teaching and preaching, and my writing.
What I’m up to now
Aside from being a husband and dad of three young adults, I get to serve and pastor a little church that meets at a high school in a small town in rural Central Oregon. It’s here that I’ve been able to decompress and detox from a hurried and busy life and ministry—one where my identity wasn’t in Jesus, but in accomplishments and full calendars. It’s through the people of this little church in Prineville, Oregon that God spoke to me and told to me to focus on things that matter most—I am to pray, preach the gospel, and love His people. I am to serve as an example to His Church on what it means to love Jesus and love like Him.
Grace, mercy, and peace,
Nine Random Facts About Me
– My favorite T.V. show is Longmire (Walt Longmire is the man!)
– My favorite band is The National (Doesn’t get any better)
– My person(s) is Fina, Angelica, Thomas, and Elle. I can’t imagine my life without them (my wife and three kids)
– I’m left handed (Don’t judge me or think any less of me)
– I’m an introvert (I know being a pastor you’d think otherwise)
– My dream is to blog for a living, while living in an R.V. traveling the United States
– I knew Charles Schulz and almost knocked him out with a line-drive hit at softball practice (Creator of the comic strip Peanuts)
– I met and hung-out with Metallica and Tupac (Before either were household names)
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Disclaimer: Just so you know, this website is my personal blog. The opinions and ideas that I express here are not necessarily representative of those of my employer or any other organization that I am associated with. All content on this blog is on an as-is basis and I make no claims as to its accuracy, validity, completeness or how current it is. I will not be liable for any errors or omissions, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.