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Tuesday, January 29

Go Rest High on the Mountain

In the past 6 weeks 2 people that were very close to me passed away. I know that death is just a part of living and it is the way that our spiritual souls are able to enter into eternity. But even knowing all of that, most, if not all of us, struggle to understand and accept death. Today I struggle to put into words what I am feeling and thinking, but it is important for me to try.

In December, during our Torch / IRC meeting, Tim Hines announced to us that Gerardo Flores, a long time employee of Baxter School of Biblical and Cultural Studies, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, had died. This came as a shock to most of us since we had just seen Gerardo just a couple of months ago. Those who knew him will always remember his huge smile, which he wore most of the time, and his outgoing and friendly personality. He was always there, ready to help in any way, and was a true friend and dedicated Christian.

For years he went by the nickname, “Tony,” because I had trouble pronouncing his real name (I have been known to do that from time to time….). He married his wife Sandra, a few years ago and they worked at Baxter together. Anytime I could not find “Tony” I could go to her and she could locate him for me. Gerardo was a wonderful man, husband, and role model for all of us who went to Honduras. He had struggled for years with a chronic disease that required blood transfusions. He had become sick and went to the hospital for a transfusion but for some reason he died just a day so so later. He was a special man, and I know that I, for one, will miss him greatly. But I am so glad that he came into my life and that I was able to spend time with such a great man.

This week, another friend passed over to the other side to receive his reward. Clint Chaney, from Sarasota, Florida, died this week after a battle against skin cancer. Clint and I were both from Huntsville and I have been friends of his family all the way back to high school at Madison Academy. Clint and I were both diagnosed with melanoma within a week of each other; about 4 years ago. My cancer was very aggressive but remained isolated in the same basic area in which it was found. My doctor’s attacked the disease aggressively because it was evident it was there and it was growing. I continue to fight the cancer but at the moment it appears that it is in remission. However, Clint’s melanoma migrated beneath the surface and traveled throughout his body and went unnoticed until just a few months ago. By the time Clint knew what was going on the melanoma was so advanced that it was all but impossible to treat. However, he and his doctors used all of the treatments that were available and he faced the cancer head on. In the end he and his wife decided to allow nature to take its course and began the journey to prepare for the end. Of course, it was only the end of his physical body, Clint was preparing to cross over from physical life and death to eternal life.

Clint, with his wife Angie, faced the ordeal with the strength and the fortitude that most of can only hope to have. They lived out the life that can only be described as an image of what a true Christian couple would be in the face of a difficult challenge and ordeal. Clint was a wonderful Christian young man and taught us all how to live, and die, in Christ. Even until the very day he passed away, he lived his life as an example to us all. Clint listened to the singing at church by phone just moments before he passed. Clint said that he was ready and he died as a man full of hope in the saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Everyone that I have talked to in the past few weeks has told me the same thing; Clint was a true role model of what a Christian is in both words and in actions. I am going to miss Clint deeply but rejoice that he is now at home where he wanted to be. I am proud to call Clint and Angie both friend and a brother and sister in Christ. Clint lived his life as a legacy for all of us and his life was not in vain.

Clint and Gerardo were friends. Clint met Gerardo a few years ago when he was with us on a mission trip to Honduras. I am convinced that they have hooked up and are hanging out together along with all of the other friends and loved ones that have gone on before them. I cannot help but rejoice for the victory they have received and the joy that they are now experiencing. The old, corruptible bodies have been put away and their eternal bodies now allow them to be what they have both always dreamed to be.

Even though I am sad to say farewell, it is good to know that I have not said goodbye. For we too have a crown of righteousness awaiting us, in that moment, when we will be separated from this world to enter the next. Until that day comes, I pray that I will live in such a way that I too may join them and to hang out, in a new body that will be perfect and incorruptible, living in the place I dream to be some day.

Clint loved to sing and he was really quite good at it. He could play a mean guitar too. So, I leave this blog with the words of a song that came to mind when I was thinking about Clint and Gerardo. I think the words reflect the way I feel and I write them as a way to comfort those of us who hurt right now.

Go Rest High on that Mountain

I know your life on earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, you work on earth is done
Go to heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and Son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
I wish I could see the angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, you work on earth is done
Go to heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and Son

Vince Gill

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I Corinthians 15:55-58

Please offer up your prayers to Angie Chaney and Sandra Flores and their families at this time. Let their morning be turned into dancing; their sorrow into joy. With love,

TR



"And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 14: 13

7 comments:

Ben Cooper said...

Thank you for that blog.

Anonymous said...

I heard about Gerardo and I was so sad. He was a great man. Baxter will not be the same without him.

Anonymous said...

THANKS! BOTH OF THESE WARRIORS FOR GOD WILL LONG BE REMEMBERED & HELD UP AS EXAMPLES. THEIR INFLUENCE LIVES ON WITH OUR DESIRE TO GO BE WHERE THEY NOW ARE!

Anonymous said...

AdiĆ³s mis hermanos, Dios le bendice hasta que encontremos otra vez.
Farewell my brothers, may God bless you until we meet again.

JSM said...

...mr. nurse angie?
...what?
...must process...

Ken Haab said...

Clint Chaney will always be an example of the Christian man I hope to walk as. My ears will remember his quietness, while my eyes will remember how loud he showed his love for Jesus in everything he did.

Jenny said...

I did not know either man but I know those that loved them and for their loss I am so sad. I pray that I can face death as Godly as they did when my time comes. I am so sorry for your loss.