See you later, Brother Buck!

Today the folks who knew wore purple at my church. As I looked out across the auditorium from the platform it occurred to me that it didn’t seem strange or odd for us to do that. That’s who we are. Tears were welling up as I felt the love of my church for this man. We found out just about 5 weeks ago that one of our dear ministry leaders was diagnosed with an aggressive pancreatic cancer. The prognosis was that he had about 6 months to a year to live. Two days ago hospice was called in and had narrowed that time down to hours. The Lord says that death of his saints is precious. That might alarm and offend someone but think about it. Death means that his children are home. What loving parent doesn’t long for their child to come home?

The stories I am learning about Brother Buck still amaze me. He was an unassuming matter of fact man that cheered on the work of our church and the members who were saved or got back in their race. Few knew until the end how far this man had climbed in his field and how much he had accomplished outside of church. Much of his last conversations were about going on with the work and about the church he loved.

There was a strength and steadiness about him and a gentle quietness about his serving the Lord that was inspiring. That is why everyone rallied around this dear man wearing purple today to support him as his life hung in the balance. It’s what we do. Whether it’s by the bedside or roadside we love and serve each other. We have been taught well by people who have raced before us to be there when one has a need. We have been shown by example to love and serve. We have been taught to be thankful not for what we have but for the GOD who gave us everything.

He had just retired in January and was given a clean bill of health at that time. Just a few days after finding out he was going to go to heaven much sooner than anticipated. He spoke to the church only a few days after hearing the news. You can listen or watch here.

 Keep Reaching Forward (choose audio or video version) 

His message was much like his life. Straighforward, kind, strong and wise words flowed from him that day. He had very little strength to deliver them and you could tell he wanted to share this great and beautiful tragedy with us. He was ready to go home but for the sake of the Kingdom and much still to do in his family he was also willing to try to stay as long as he could. Treatments were started but his body was so compromised by the cancer and his life was diminishing daily. It became evident he would be going home very soon.

What a testimony and life he had. What a race he ran! What a place that will be empty for someone else to fill in the gap. His life makes me question my own brief time left and my purpose in the Kingdom. I want to serve with passion, character and great expectation! I humbly desire in a small way to honor the GOD who loves me beyond what I can ever comprehend. We weep temporally and rejoice eternally with Brother Buck. We are not saying good bye! We are saying see you later dear Godly man and friend to Harvest, Brother Buck.

(at 12:45 pm today Brother Buck exchanged one glory for another that we can only imagine. He is home with our Father and Lord.)

The Secret to Life ~ Your flight has been cancelled.

The Secret of Life is in letting go. Listen to this song Completely and read below.

I was supposed to be on my way to an adventure in Atlanta. This was all changed in a week that has been unlike any other I have had in a while. I can’t remember my heart being taken through so much so harshly and quickly. The reason I wasn’t going was partly my fault.

I prayed before I went to bed about the situation and everyone involved. I knew I had to give this completely to God to move forward in my own life. I knew also that God’s direction would be the only one that made sense. I felt His peace and fell asleep. It was the first time in over a week I didn’t go to bed feeling restless. He was my rest and peace. I surrender all.

About 3:19 am my phone went off. I didn’t hear the ring but I heard the vibration. I knew it was the airlines 2 hr. notification. I dismissed it and went to sleep. At 3:27 another vibration and I looked at it because my children live so far away and it was a number that I barely remembered was an elderly lady who calls confused from SC thinking I am her daughter. I put the phone down and dosed back off only to hear the phone vibrate again. I figured it was the notification that the flight had taken off. I saw the number but still didn’t put anything together. Ok, between 3:27 and 5 am my phone vibrated several more times. This was annoying to say the least. I awakened enough to realize that it was only 5 am and the airline must be trying to reach me!

I checked my messages and they said that my flight had been cancelled. They didn’t give a reason. I called the airline and found out that indeed my flight had been cancelled and I could be put on a later flight. I explained to them that I didn’t want to do that and before I could explain further they said. Then we will credit your card for this trip.

Now that might sound like normal routine to you but I believe God woke me up to get that refund. First, I have flown over 100 times in my life and never ever had a cancellation. Secondly, I gave everything to GOD. After this extremely tough week, I believe he wanted to confirm I had trusted him the way he wants me to.

Thirdly, this is the most important to me. I had been chastised and rightly so, but one phrase I was hit with were the sarcastically rebuking words “the God that I serve or I serve a God that” as if I knew little about God. I don’t remember now because everything has been deleted. Yet, It really hit my heart hard and hurt. My heart was to help and not to anger or cause grief. I am glad God really knows what I was trying to say.

I haven’t done everything right in this life but I have always turned to GOD and depended on him before all is said and done. What I tried to accomplish with my words was said in a terrible way for which I take responsibility. Once something is out there you can do little about it. Still there’s no excuse.

All I have ever had and known was real in my life was my Father’s love. I am thankful at a time when life was tough, God took a moment to reach back to me and remind me he’s still in control and there’s little that I control. That although I am not perfect I still serve a God who is. I am thankful he restored money I could not afford to lose and also restored my heart because HE is the God I serve and he does love and forgive everyone including me and people who can’t love me and can’t forgive me. For that I am thankful because we all need his precious grace. This gal needed not only the grace but as my Father keenly saw I needed the love and affirmation. God touched my heart today and I am his and he is mine.

God hasn’t finished with me or with my story. I don’t know what to expect anymore except to keep my dreams big and my worries small. No one can shut a God door.

Rev. 3:8 I know they works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.