Wednesday, November 21, 2012

it was the theme of his life…

kay warren tells about her father in law.  she said, “any of you who knew jimmy knew that he was a perpetually cheerful person.  he just didn’t have that depression switch on his life.  all of his life he was basically a very joyful person.  his life motto was, ‘i will do the best i can with what i have for JESUS CHRIST today.’”  she said, “i must have heard him say that 150 times in his life.  ‘i’ll do the best i can with what i have for JESUS CHRIST today.’”      

kay continued, “the last week of dad’s life was by far the most difficult week.  he lost his mind and, as the cancer began to take over, he went delusional.  he was awake 23 out of about 24 hours of the day and so we had to be constantly with him at his bedside, keeping him down so he couldn’t hurt himself.  for an entire week he just talked delusionally, this dream sleep with your eyes wide-awake where you talk what’s coming out.  you can learn a lot about a person by listening when they’re talking delusionally and the consciousness is not holding anything in.” 

she said, “as i listened to my father in law talk for the last week of his life, he never talked about movies.  he never talked about the books he’d read.  he never talked about his hobbies.  he certainly didn’t talk about bitterness.  there was no bitterness or anger that came out – not even crankiness, even till the last bit.  he didn’t talk about hidden secrets or closet skeletons or guilt or regrets.  this was a guy who was dying with a clear conscious.” 

“what he talked about the last week of his life in his delusional state were the things that mattered most to him.  he talked about building.  building churches.”  

she said, “he was a builder, a hammer and nails kind of guy.  he built in his lifetime over 100 church buildings all around the world – africa, asia, europe, ukraine, israel, guatemala, alaska.  he took teams of volunteers all around the world to build churches and do disaster relief.”

she said, “in that last week he talked about building –‘we’ve got to get that corner set…. we’ve got to fix that joist… we’ve got to repair that socket and build those stairs.’  he talked about organizing people.  ‘you take that team over there.’  in his dreams, he’d be planning out and talking about the building of churches.”

“but on thursday night, he became very passionate about one thing.  more than anything else he’d ever talked about.”  she said, “as we were setting in the room that night – myself, my husband and my niece, we were sitting in the room and my father in law tried to set up in bed and i kind of gently pushed him back down, and i said, ‘no, jimmy, you need to lay down.’  and he said this, ‘got to save one more for JESUS.’  he became very persistent, almost stubborn.  ‘got to save one more for JESUS.’” 

“here’s his body dying and he’s trying to get a little more strength.  ‘got to save one more for JESUS.’”  kay estimated that in the next hour he probably said that phrase 150 times.  “got to save one more for JESUS.”  that’s what he was passionate about. 

rick, kay’s husband remembered putting his head down on the side of the bed by his dad, tears were coming down his eyes, and his dad reached up his frail hand and put it on his head and said, “save one more for JESUS.”

i want that to be the theme for the rest of my life.  i invite you to make it the theme of your life.

just a thought from the front porch…

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