Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rest Easy James Ryle...You Will Be Missed For Now

There have been many heroes in my life....
Growing up, my heroes were cowboy's and soldier's I saw on TV and at the movies.

Some were found in the pages of books that i read....Robinson Crusoe....Jim Hawkins from Treasure Island.....Robin Hood. Some were found in comic books.
Dreamed of being Robin following after Batman.
I wanted to be cub reporter Jimmy Olsen trekking after Superman.

I just knew that when I grew up, I'd be flying with the BLACKHAWK squadron.

It wasn't until I had grown up that I realized that heroes were all around me. Heroes that God had placed in my life. Real people who gave me guidance as I followed after Jesus.
One of the them came to me in a series of teaching tapes given to me by Brook Finlayson.
The series was "How To Hear The Voice Of God"....
The man teaching the series......James Ryle.

As Vicki and I made our way through the teaching, we were amazed because no one had ever taught us the simple idea of hearing God. Oh there were several along the way who mentioned the "still, small voice", but no one had ever laid it out like James did.

The "Hearing God" series was followed up by a teaching on Grace. James led us down a path that forever changed how we saw and felt about God's grace. Like many, I had been taught that Grace was God's unmerited favor given to us. James showed us the fallacy of such belief. Grace was more. Grace was a power. Grace was a force. Grace was the 
"Enabling Power of God in my life, that enables me to 
be who God created me to be....
And to do what God has called me to do."

James had a wonderful sense of humor and it made his teaching that much more enjoyable. In fact, I'll go one step further with this thought. When you listened to James, you never felt like you were being taught. It was more like an intimate conversation with someone who possessed a lot of wisdom, and simply wanted to share it.

Saturday, James died of congestive heart failure.
His race has been run.
Funny how God puts people (even if they are on a cassette tape) into your life to teach you. This was how I related to James Ryle. I never met him personally, but one day I will.
I never had a one on one conversation with James, but one day I will. And when that day comes, I hope to hug his neck and thank him for his faithfulness to the kingdom and to his Savior.

Though the body is still...
Thought the voice is silent..
It is but for a moment.
Truth be known...such stillness and silence only exists on this side of heaven.
James is celebrating and worshiping with the One he lived his life for.
Thank you Father, for the incredible gift of James Ryle that you gave to us.

I Corinthians 15:54-55
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is you sting?"

God on you....
michael b.

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