I had a "Giant Cavernous Aneurysm" behind my left eye. I went to Dallas for surgery and it was killed...however post op my eye is unresponsive. It is if I am looking out of a steamy shower door. Some days it is better than others. Please pray that my sight will be restored. God has been putting words on my heart that I feel I must put on paper. The following thoughts are those I feel that the Lord is speaking to me lately. Enjoy.

November 05, 2007

Live Like You Were Dying

“Bart, are you sure that there’s enough room for Carol and I to join you Monday night?” John asked. “Of course,” I replied. “Well then, I look forward to meeting you in person.”

I was honored. The former Chaplain of the Texas Rangers and the current Chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys and I had just spent 45 minutes on the phone together, forming what was to be a great partnership in reaching professional athletes and their families.

That was the last time I spoke to John…forever. John Webber died shortly after of our conversation Thursday morning. For all I know, our conversation might have been his last.

The eagerness in his voice didn’t sound like death was near. To the contrary, he sounded full of life. John left our conversation to work out at the YMCA, and after swimming some laps at the pool, he simply collapsed into the arms of his Savior.

The day after the Monday night event, John asked me to join former Dallas Cowboys Chad Hennings, Russell Maryland and John Gesek to share their testimonies at a luncheon in Dallas. Coming too was legendary sports announcer Pat Summerall, who would be there to share how his encounter with Jesus Christ had changed his life. But earlier tonight I found out that I needed to change my appointment on Tuesday from a luncheon to a funeral. The brevity of life overwhelms me.

His life’s work here on Earth is done…but the prize of his life’s work is only beginning. With tears in my eyes I wonder who was there in Heaven to greet John. How many lives that went before him were there because he took the time to listen and care? How many more will join him someday because he worked tirelessly to help broken people heal?

Take a moment to reflect on the brevity of life.

What’s it all for? Why are you here on this tiny blue Planet? What will it all mean when you, like John, breathe your last?

Did you provide a warm house for your family? Hard work and labor are a gift from God, but not at the expense of leading your family into the richness of a deeper knowledge and appreciation of God.

Did you fill your children’s tummies with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and get them to their soccer games on time? A caring mother is a blessing. But a mother who teaches the love of Christ to her children, leaves a legacy far beyond. Sing “Jesus Loves Me” to your children…no matter how bad it may sound.

I challenge all of us to live out the commands that God gives in Deuteronomy 6:

6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Take every opportunity to share with your children and to your world about the importance and the real meaning of life. It’s so much more than who you were or what you accumulated…because in the end, none of that mattered to John. It’s about your relationship with a great God, who wants to encounter you right where you are…no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. It’s about a God who wants to give you life worth living…not just on the other side of death, but here on Earth as well.

To borrow lyrics from the great poet Tim McGraw, “And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying and he said someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying. Like tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about what’d you do with it what did you do with it what did I do with it what would I do with it? Live like you were dying.”

I pray that we will embrace life for what it really is…temporary. It only took John Webber 59 years to reach his ultimate prize…looking into the eyes of his Creator to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” God only knows how many years it will take you.

Live today like it’s your last. Love today like it’s your last. Live purposefully.


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