Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Give Thanks, the finale...

Throughout our lives, many people and events will come and go. And as the years pass, most of them will become a faint memory. However, there are those that happen along our path that somehow, someway influence or affect us in a way that cannot be forgotten. It is these people or events that have silently shaped our spiritual paths. I like to refer to these as spiritual mile markers. I would like to encourage you to focus on the people whom you would consider to fit in that category. I hope to address the 'events' category in another post. During this Thanksgiving season, I've asked you to consider the 5 people/things that you are most thankful for, and also the 5 individuals that you have able to begin or strengthen your relationship with. Today, in the finale of this series, I ask you to list 5 of the individuals that you consider to be spiritual mile markers in your life, and say a special prayer for these.

Here are mine...

1.) Mrs. Vivian Burton. My very first Sunday School teacher. In her class, Jesus became more that just a Bible Story Character.

2.) My grandmother, Rose Wheeler. It was through her life that I truly saw Jesus in the flesh.

3.) Harold Heathcott. My high school business teacher. Maybe not the most spiritual man I've ever met. But certainly the one who pushed me and challenged me to be more than I could ever dream of in every aspect of my life. My absolute favorite teacher. The only teacher that really believed in me.

4.) One of my first buddies in the ministry, Jim Webb. The one who opened a brand new door of worship for me. The one who helped me realize that true worship was the autobahn that ended at the throne of God. A pastor who was years before his time.

5.) My father, Jim Whaley, Sr. Without a doubt, the most gifted man and gifted speaker I've ever known. He was the epitome of when Jesus told Peter that "it was on this rock, that I will build by church." The one who personally led me to Christ...baptized me...and taught me the reality of soul winning. (Definitely another post in the making.) One of the true beginning revolutionaries.

And I close with the words of one of Ray Boltz's most memorable songs...

Thank You

I dreamed I went to heaven
And you were there with me
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea
We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name
You turned and saw this young man
And he was smiling as he came
And he said friend you may not know me now
And then he said but wait
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start
And one day when you said that prayer
I asked Jesus in my heart

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave

Then another man stood before you
And said remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry
You didn’t have much money
But you gave it anyway
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that’s why I’m here today

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave

One by one they came
Far as the eyes could see
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity
Little things that you had done
Sacrifices made
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven now proclaimed
And I know that up in heaven
You’re not supposed to cry
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes
As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord
He said, my child look around you
For great is your reward

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave...

I am so glad you gave

1 comment:

Robert Fellows said...

My spiritual mile markers are:

5)My mother, Barbara, who is no longer here with me. The woman prayed for me everyday of my life until God gave her a front row seat.

4)My Godfather, Oliver Tolbert, who took me to church with him when I was just a kid in Los Angeles, CA. Definitely the spark.

3)UAM Campus Minister Rob Leonard who made me seek while I was in college. I wasn't an avid goer to the MBSF, but he always welcomed me when I needed a place of refuge.

2)My moms cousin Nettie Overton, who made me check the condition of my heart after my car accident in 1995. "God's trying to tell you something...", she said. And indeed he was....

1a)My good friend Andy Connard. Andy gives me perspective anytime I am in his presence. The uncanny thing is, he has the unique ability of doing so without even trying. Andy and I have known each other for years, but the past year has been invaluable to me.

1b)I met Jim Whaley when I taught in Prescott from 2000-2002. When we crossed paths in Monticello in 2002, I knew God had placed this man in my life for a reason. The journey is just beginning....

Yes, I realize I cheated, but the last two gentlemen are important "mile markers" for me.