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Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15 (ESV)

this past Tuesday and it brought to my mind so many wonderful thoughts. First of all, I was reminded of what it looks like in a person’s life to seek to love the Lord with all of their heart and life and to seek to love others as they love themselves.

If you were blessed to have spent any time around Clem at all you would have noted in short order that he had a true love of his Lord and Savior Jesus. It began with the smile that invariably would spread across his face and penetratingly reach out and touch your heart. It would continue as he seemed to be “fishing” for ways that he might be a blessing in your life. He always wanted to help others, and if he discovered a way to be of any help to you at all he would pursue it no matter the time required or the effort needed. And whenever you left his presence...his attitude and sweetness would linger over you for hours if not days with an ever motivating encouragement and belief that the Lord is good...all the time.

He was a strong man. He, like all of us in this broken world, had to make tough decisions and wade through the brokenness of this old world that he has now left behind for the loving presence of His Lord and Savior. Whenever he needed strength, he knew where to receive it. He would turn to the Lord, turn to the Scripture, consider what the Lord would have him to do, and when that was discovered that would be the action he would take. His faith has continued to strengthen throughout the years even as the outer man was becoming feebler.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is becoming feebler, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (ESV)

He was honest...he could be trusted...he was selfless...he was caring...he made the most out of the talents, treasure, and time the Lord extended to him...he was indeed a hard worker...he was joyful...he was patriotic...he was humble...he was friendly...he was faithful...he was a loving husband...and a loving father...and a loving grandfather...and a lover of Jesus...willing to witness of the saving power of the Lord to any who would listen. His prayers were thoughtful and the purpose of his life was defined by the Lord he loved.

He’s still impacting me this morning. No doubt...he was a sinner...just like I am...none of us are perfect down here...sometimes we do the wrong things or say the wrong things. But he is an example of how the life of faith is to be lived, growing in the Spirit of the Lord and becoming more like Christ every day...and enjoying with gratefulness and thanksgiving all the Lord had done for him while pursuing with vigor all the tasks the Lord ever set before him.

It made him a happy man...Christians should be happier than we often are or often appear...Clem was happy in the Lord and it was a powerful witness to all who encountered him...lost and saved alike...and his witness continues on today and will continue in the days ahead as we remember with fondness the treasured moments that he shared with us.

I’ve thought about what the life I’m living is unfolding to be. Are the fruit of the Spirit as evident in my own life? Have I the humility that one should have for being saved when one does not deserve it? Through the years have I developed sweetness in my spirit...and cultivated a spirit of giving to others whenever it is needed? Have I enjoyed the life that the Lord has given me or have I lived a worldly life, full of busyness and man-made ambition...instead of living my life in a Christ honoring manner in a broken and hurting world? Good questions for all of us, aren’t they?

The good news is, we still have time to praise the Lord for all that we have, and love Him each day with all of our heart, and intentionally love others as we love ourselves. You know when you live that way, like Clem did, it becomes more than just a catchy become a witness to the life changing power of God in the heart, in the life of a broken and lost demonstrates how a life can change its destiny along with its direction and begin to reach the potential that God has planned for each one of us.

What a team...for his loving and faithful wife Esther is cut from the same cloth...a wonderful example of what a shared partnership of faith can do in a shared life of marriage.

We will continue to pray for his family as they adjust to not having him present here, now, but with the full expectation that they will see him again.

We will continue to pray that the Lord will work in each one of us in the same manner as he worked in Clem’s life, that we might also bring glory to God...and we will also look forward to seeing him again in the presence of the Lord. Yes, we will recognize him and know him...if you think he was smiling down haven’t seen anything yet.

Yep, I’m smiling right now! Bet you are too.

Posted by Ralph Sawyer with 0 Comments
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What a morning that must have been! I’m sure at first it didn’t seem like it to the women on their way to the tomb. They were probably unaware of the birds singing, or the sparkling dew on the grass and the flowers. They didn’t see how fresh and alive nature was that beautiful morning. The sky must have been painted brilliantly as the first rays of the sun started to peek over the horizon.

They hurried along the path, carrying fresh linen, spices and ointment. Their eyes were red and swollen from crying, their hearts were broken, and their bodies exhausted from lack of sleep. They had seen Jesus, their Master, beaten and bloodied, mocked and spat upon, and then nailed to a cross to suffer and die as though He were a terrible criminal. But why? He had only shown love and compassion to everyone. They had seen Him heal people, defend the condemned, feed the hungry and change the lives of all who followed Him. Now He was dead, and they hadn’t even been able to prepare His body for burial. They had been worried about where He would be buried since He had no material wealth, property or burial site. It was ironic that a wealthy Pharisee, Joseph of Arimathea, had donated a new burial tomb for His body to be placed. By the time they had taken His body from the cross and carried it to the tomb, it was too close to the Sabbath to clean or anoint His body with oil and spices. Now, the Sabbath was over and they were determined to finish their service of great love and respect.

The women were aware they had other issues to overcome. They knew the entrance to the tomb was covered by a large, heavy, circular stone. They knew there were Roman guards stationed at the entrance of the tomb. Would they be allowed to enter the tomb? How would they be able to roll the stone from the entrance? Would the guards be friendly and helpful, or rude and abusive? They were afraid, and worried, but they must try. They loved the Master and couldn’t accept His body not being properly prepared.

A great earthquake occurred and a bright, shining angel descended from the sky and rolled away the stone from the opening of the tomb. The women had probably felt the earth moving beneath their feet. They were shaking with fear but so were the Roman soldiers who appeared to have fainted. Then the angel spoke to the women, “Do not be afraid for I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, He is risen! Come and see the place where the Lord lay.” He then told them to go tell the disciples.

They were still shaking and crying, but now these were tears of joy. Could it be? Could it really be? They turned to run back down the path they had come, when suddenly Jesus was there. He was smiling and He looked wonderful. He said, “Joy to You.” They ran to Him and fell at His feet, worshiping Him. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, go tell my brothers to go to Galilee. I will see them there.”

Can you imagine when they reached the disciples and told them, “I’ve just seen Jesus, I know He’s Alive!” Their faces must have been radiant, smiling and crying all at the same time. What a wonderful morning!

I can relate to the experience of the women because there was one wonderful morning that I saw Jesus. There wasn’t an earthquake or an angel rolling away a stone, but I did see Him. I saw that He is really who He said He is—The Son of God—and He loved me so much He sacrificed His life for me. I saw how unworthy I was and how wonderful He is. Oh, I know He’s alive because I talk with Him every day. Before that day, I existed, but everything was a struggle. I was burdened with guilt and the consequences of the choices I had made. That morning— when I saw Him for who He is—was my Resurrection Morning. If you haven’t seen Jesus, let this be your Resurrection Morning!


Posted by Dan Hubbell with 0 Comments

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