Passing the Baton

Wrapping my brain around what has transpired in the last weeks and then this morning has been nearly impossible. Speculation and conjecture are duking it out in my gray matter. Yet, my heart is mechanically ascending to the truth that Billy Joe Daugherty has put on immortality.

Maybe the swirling disbelief and surreal incognizance is similar to what most U.S. citizens felt on that fateful Friday exactly 46 years ago on this day, November 22, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated. People say they remember every detail about where they were when they first heard the news. This is about the only way I can describe it. My husband says it is like the world stopped turning for a while.

The personal impact that Pastor Billy Joe made on my life is unquantifiable. He founded the mission school that trained me. He pastored the church that fed me for two years. He continued to be a strong advocate for the work going on here in Bolivia the whole time we have been here. He loved his wife and nurtured God-fearing children. He encouraged us with faith filled emails. He sincerely greeted us whenever we were in Tulsa. He left a strong impression of what a follower of Christ looks like.

Pastor Daugherty turned the world upside down. He ran a good race. He fought the good fight of faith. He is amongst the great cloud of witnesses that surround us, urging us on. The baton has been passed. My only honorable response to this tragedy is to follow his exemplary integrity, passion for the lost and undying love for God.

Before I even heard the news this was a passage I was meditating on in preparation for a message of salvation that I was going to deliver at church:

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:53-58

Amen and Maranatha.

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6 thoughts on “Passing the Baton

  1. I’ve been watching the news of his illness and now his death on Facebook. I know he is legendary in Tulsa and all around the Faith camps in the US! So sad to hear of his passing…will pray that his family is comforted as well as those who have known and loved him! If only we all could leave such a big mark on this world!!

  2. Oh Ang –

    This post made me lose it all over again. It is just as you described. Our heads and hearts are swirling in thankfulness, disbelief and grief.

    While I am so thankful for this influence in our hearts and that he has finished his race strong…my heart still feels this emptiness this morning.

    I am thankful for Pastor Billy Joe, the life he lived, the choices he made, the heart he imparted, the legacy that continues in our hearts and for the Church that will not be triumphed over. And still my heart is heavy.

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