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The Last Lesson of a Spiritual Giant

Romans 5

He stood tall, at one time. A strapping man, with land and livestock. And a Bible by his chair.

Today I saw him. And I walked right past him.

He was stooped. Frail. Aged.

With assistance, he hobbled up the stairs of the church. Dressed in a suit and a tie, with not just one Bible, but two, and a legal pad of notes.

When he was introduced, the church stood and clapped. The front rows were filled with men. Farmers. Families. Men who would normally don a pair of overalls rather than a suit for a day at church, came dressed to the nines. Men who cleaned up a bit and honored him by dressing in a suit. Because they knew he would see and know. That they were there for him. Because he had been there for them.

At first, he couldn’t speak through his tears. But when he started, his words held power. Power – because they might. just. be. his. last.

Wednesday he was released to hospice care. Sunday he was in church preaching.

He’s not a preacher. He’s just a man. A man who loves God. A man who loves to teach the Word. A man, going to church every Sunday. A man with something to say.

What were the words of this man, stooped low, yet a giant in faith?

1. Know that God loves you. The creator of the Universe loves you. Loves you so much he gave his son to die for you. YOU ARE LOVED.

2. Know the Word. But don’t just know what the word says. Know the Word. Dig into it. Live it. Read it. Cherish it.

3. Go to church. Connect. Why? Because when tribulations come – AND THEY WILL – You will either turn to God or you will turn away from Him. If you are plugged into church, you will have a place. 

He read from Romans 5. Have you read it lately? Meditate on it a bit.

By the chair in his home are stacks of Bibles and commentaries. Next to the medications lay devotionals and prayers. He did not loose faith in the trials. He clung to it with both hands.

He told his story. The past three years of his life have been the hardest. The past three years of his life have been the best. Why? Because he poured into the word. He went from knowing what the Word says to KNOWING.

In that step, he became a spiritual giant.

A frail man, with no earthly reason to rejoice, SHOUTED with glory because he knows God, is saved by God, and is loved by God.

And it is well with his soul.

With his last breath, he will praise God.

A spiritual giant.

*Vernon fought cancer for three years.  Four short weeks after he preached this sermon, he met his Savior. Face to face.*

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Heroes

Today is a day to think about heroes.

I heard a stat on the radio that over 800 first responders have died since 9 – 11. Many are due to lung disorders and cancer. As I researched this, the numbers appear to be higher, closer to 1,000, as the number of 800 is actually from 2010.

I can’t help thinking – the tragedy of that day will never end.

I also wonder if this knowledge will keep people from responding in the future.

No, I don’t think so.

Those who rush head-long into dangerous situations are heroes. Hero’s do not let things like stats keep them from saving lives.

Am I a first responder? Do I step into a dangerous situation to lend a hand? No. I am not a hero to the world. But I am to my kids and my husband. I am their first responder. Maybe someday I will save the world. Right now, it’s just my family. But to me, they ARE the world.

A hero doesn’t just build bridges, hero’s save them.

*Remember the post about one of my hero’s? If you don’t remember, you can read about her here. There is an update that I haven’t yet posted, but if you follow me on facebook, you’ve heard about it. Instead of my words telling you about it, you can hear it in her words in the documentary Blind Judoka.*

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