Friday, September 14, 2007

My Appologies

I just wanted to say, I'm sorry for not having written for the last few weeks. I've been extremely busy. It's amazing sometimes how so many different things can pop up that absolutely fill our time isn't it?

Without going into any details, I'll just say, I get up, go to work, get home and go to sleep. At least for a few more weeks anyway this will be the routine. I'm pretty much on 6 day work weeks with long hours right now and a full day at Church on Sunday's really fills my time. But you know what? I'm doing OK. There's not much time left for writing however, but this temporary assignment to help out another store in another city will be over soon and hopefully my routines can get back to normal. I used to think I was busy before, but that was nothing.

Philippians 4:13 comes to mind...
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

I thank God for His strength right now. I know that as I work and exhaust myself each day, I'm renewed in my strength as I pray and meditate on his word each and every day. Even though the times alone with God are short... He still strengthens me.

In the midst of all this busy work, I lost a dear friend of mine this week. Chester Prater passed away and his funeral was Wednesday this week. His battle with brain cancer now over, he's in a much better place (Heaven) and his suffering is now over. His family has been a great source of encouragement and strength for me as well this week. I do not believe I've ever known a man like Chester in all my life. I've never seen him complain, he always smiled and was so genuinely happy all the time. Even during his suffering he was a very nice pleasant man, he handled this very well. He loved his family so much, his wife and children and the grandchildren were the love of his life. I've always believed the greatest testimony that any of us can give is the example we give others as we handle and live through difficult times in our lives. The love of God and the peace that we have from knowing that our life will be spent eternally with Him, can really shine through to others as they see us become weaker and weaker in our flesh, but become stronger and stronger in our faith and Spirit. Chester and his family were that example for me and many others the last few weeks as he struggled with cancer. What a legacy he left for all who knew him. His legacy is one of trusting in God to provide. His legacy is one of faith unlike any other man I've ever known. His legacy is one of how to raise a family and love his wife as God would intend for a husband to do. The best legacy he left however was a picture of what Jesus Christ looked like in a man. When I read in Galatians and study the fruits of the Spirit I see Chester. This man lived for Jesus and his life was a reflection of Christ and that is the best legacy that any Husband, Father, or Friend could ever leave behind. What a testimony he gave us!

Galatians 5:22,23 describes Chester better than I ever could.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Anyone that knew Chester saw all these characteristic's manifested in the way he lived. He was full of the Spirit and the Spirit showed itself through Chester. Thank you Chester for this example of faith, of love, of kindness, of gentleness, of patience, of goodness, of peace and of course... the joy you had in your life was the greatest testimony of all. May God continue to bless your family as they wait for their hour to come when they too go to be with the Lord. Until then... may we remember the example you gave each of us!

Your friend and brother in Christ,