Monday, August 25, 2008

oh my...

The weekend was full, with the funeral for Justin, Saturday morning and then leaving immediately for Missouri to share with students for the rest of the day.

The Memorial for Justin was packed with many who had been touched by his life. It was such a Christ exalting service, which was appropriate as he brought glory to God with his life. Students stood to tell of the depth of his care and concern for them.

Justin invested heavily in those he came to know. His expressions of love for these friends was such a blessing to hear about. One young man told a story to give us a picture of who he really was.

While attending Oklahoma State, Justin was driving near campus early one morning and saw a rather disheveled man walking along the road. Few would do this today, but Justin stopped to offer him a ride. The man got in and they began to talk.

Justin discovered the man's wife was stricken with a debilitating disease, they had fallen on hard times, and he was walking to work.

Justin asked the man what he could do to help.

For the next six months, Justin, a college student who was up into the wee hours of the morning studying and sharing with friends, got up every day to take this man to work at 5am. He did this until the man had to move. Justin packed and loaded his house up for him.

Few would invest so deeply in the lives of those they really don't know or care about.

For my family and me, it was an honor to hear them play "I Would Die for You," by MercyMe as the family walked in.

Also, listed in the Memorial leaflet they distributed were a listing of Justin's favorite things (taken directly from his "facebook" page). Among them, were his favorite books. The titles? "Bible," "One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven," and "I Would Die for You."

I cannot begin to express to you how deeply humbling this is.

After the students finished sharing, Justin's dad Mark, rose to say a few words. The service was broadcast on the internet via "First Baptist Tulsa's" website. He spoke directly to those in India who had last served with or been discipled by Justin. Then he addressed the rest of us.

His remarks were laden with Justin's intense desire to serve his Savior. He told a story of a conversation that occurred between Justin and his sister Jennifer.

Jennifer told her big brother that she did not want him getting killed over there in India. His reply was full of love. He conveyed that he had no intention of dying there, but went on to express to her what an honor it would be to die while serving His Jesus!

He is an inspiration to our world!

When the pastor began his message, I needed to leave to head to Missouri.

A youth rally had assembled in Neosho. Several churches were represented. They came together for 6 or 7 hours of fellowship, worship and teaching.

I spoke to them two times. First, I shared with them from Acts 2. I taught them about what it looked like for a church to live and dwell in the awe of God. We looked at what that should look like versus what it does look like. They were challenged to begin to seek the Lord His Word, true fellowship (not the surface stuff), worship, and prayer.

After dinner, we reassembled and I taught them differences between "commitment and surrender." Our world is full of students and adults who commit to many things, and then choose only what "fills them up" in the moment. Many of these commitments never get their attention.

We looked at how a surrendered life has a very different presentation. It portrays Christ, and even seeks to follow after His will at its very core. This infiltrates every other area of life.

At the conclusion of the message, many came to "surrender." The Lord moved over them and they were very responsive. Though no teaching on unity occurred, unity broke out among them as they realized how they had been living life separated from one another and their Savior.

I am most thankful for God's provision this weekend. I appreciate your prayer support, and know the Magers' family will continue to need our prayers for the moments, days, weeks, months and years to come.

He will provide.

He does and always will, if we seek Him first.



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