Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A page from Joe's life...

This last June, my cousin Joe passed away at the age of 86. He was such a blessing to those who knew him. He was a veteran of WWII serving in the U.S. Army under General George Patton in the Third Army, 76th Division, K Company and was one of the first to enter Germany. He was a warrior who loved his wife, his family and his flower gardens, especially his irises. I can remember as a young girl going to his home out in the country and marveling at his beautiful flower gardens. 
 Joe was so robust in how he spoke and lived his life. He had an honest twinkle in his eyes, and a hardy laugh that was absolutely contagious. I especially liked how he was refreshingly blunt, yet still loving when he was speaking with you. 

I loved what was shared at his funeral. It was something he said in those last 2 weeks.

  “Whatever you have for me Father, I will take whatever you have for me. “

He said it with eagerness, and an amazing steadfastness that comes from a life lived following after Christ.

This was his attitude even in those last 2 weeks. He knew his time here on earth was drawing to a close, but still he was willing to take whatever God had for him.

I want to live each day like this. To awake each morning and say to my heavenly father,

“Whatever you have for me Father God, I will take whatever you have.” 

This can be a scary thing to say. Honestly I get some butterflies even just thinking it. You see God not only loves us where we are at and wants to bless us, but He also wants to grow us deeper and stronger in Him. He wants to refine us like a silver refiner purifies the dross or impurities away from the silver. God lovingly desires to remove these areas of sin, hurt, and anger,  from our hearts. Areas in our lives that are holding us back.

Each time God brings me through this process it is always for my best. Even when it seems too rough of a road to travel down I always find peace, healing, and freedom at the other end of it. 
There are times in this fallen and messed up world when some really awful things happen to us and yet we are still called to have an attitude of joy. A joyful expectation of what is to come and a confidence resting not in ourselves and our abilities, but in God’s amazing power and love for us. Do you know what? I love that Joe could say that. He had seen good and hard times, awful and great times, but he knew where his strength would come from and rested in that.

I love how James puts it all in perspective. He says it so well.

James 1: 2-4

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Did you catch that last part?  The Lord is doing this so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything! Wow! I am definitely not there yet, but I love that the Lord’s end goal is for my best. I am so grateful that God loves me just where I am, but is not going to leave me there. In my past blogs I have mentioned again and again that following Christ is the greatest adventure you could choose to take. Will you put your complete trust in Him today? Awake each morning and say like Joe,

“Whatever you have for me Father God, I will take whatever you have.”

And then whatever comes my way I will strive to live like Jame's says, and this time I will make it personal…

I will consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever I face trials of many kinds, because I know that the testing of my faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I think it’s easier to do this when I remember who my God is, how much He loves me, and adores our time together. How amazingly powerful and wise He is and yet, how he cares about every detail in my life. Then it is much easier to say this with bold confidence putting my trust in the only one worthy of it. My Lord!

Today I am taking a page from Joe's life and placing his simple phrase on the mirror in our bathroom. I want to live expectant and excited for what God, my heavenly Father, has planned for each day.
“Whatever you have for me Father God, I will take whatever you have.”

2 Cor 12:9-10

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Joseph Krepel
Dec. 5, 1925 - Jun. 15, 2012


  1. Great! Joy and gratitude in whatever He sends:) That's a high calling but the only way to really live!

  2. Some days it is easier than others. It always depends on whose strength I am depending on. If it is my own than I end up in a heap of failure. If it is Christ's then joy abounds and there is hope & peace through each storm. Yesterday I ran both gambits! lol