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10/30/2005

REMEMBERING KYLE LAKE

(Picured: UBC Lead Pastor Kyle Lake, UBC Community Pastor Ben Dudley, Lead Worshipper David Crowder celebrating UBC's tenth anniversary recently)


University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas lost a pastor and friend today. Kyle Lake, father of three, died this morning baptizing in UBC's morning service, welcoming people into the Kingdom of Heaven. Seems appropriate to me. My greatest memory of Kyle was him teaching me how to tell others about Jesus. He couldn't have been more than nineteen and I was just a couple years younger, in the youth group of FIrst Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas where we both grew up. His enthusiasm for talking about Jesus and his knowledge of scripture inspired me. I'd never seen anyone so close to me in years so far ahead spiritually, so brave and wise. We younger kids worshiped Kyle, the good looking soccer player everyone wanted to be, standing before us not to draw attention to himself - though there was plenty to admire - but to focus our desires on Christ. He pointed us in the right direction, a life of building Heaven on earth, and then left town headed in that direction himself, eventually pastoring University Baptist Church in Waco.

He leaves behind an amazing Mother and Father who showered Kyle and his brothers and sister with love and sound teaching and made him the man he became. He leaves behind a wife willing to put up with a pastoring husband and his congregation and the demands it must have made on them both, willing to sacrifice for the purpose Kyle and she were made for. He leaves behind three small children who will no doubt remember their father as a playmate, corrector, protector and teacher and will hopefully be told the stories of his life lived well for the rest of their lives. He leaves behind a congregation of students who, if they listened and watched closely and imitated well, are closer to the image and walk of Christ for having their lives crossing paths with Kyle's. He leaves behind many friends and fellow ministers in the emergent church movement who should now do their best to love and learn and communicate and serve as well as Kyle did.

We know today that Kyle is seeing God clearly now, face to face, his view unobstructed by the haze of this life. He's missing none of us. He's lacking nothing. His days are infinite and his heart whole. His tears gone. His hope realized. His company is a crowd that will only grow with time, a multitude of men and women lead to citizenship in Heaven by his words and laughter, random stories and worshipful listening, prayers and preaching of thirty-three years spent well.

We'll miss Kyle. He'll leave a hole in many lives. So we mourn that death exists, robs, surprises and perplexes. We mourn children without a father and a wife who'll sleep alone, parents who couldn't have imagined they'd bury a child.

We believe God though. We know that His plan has always included Kyle's death and that it plays a key role, somehow, in bringing fame to Himself, bringing the image of God into greater focus and putting our lives under examination in light of our mortality. God is up to something. Always. And He is keeping His promise to Kyle tonight, the promise of an eternal home, a lasting peace, a crown to lay at the feet of Jesus, a place to worship and delve deeper into the vast knowledge and love of Jesus. So we celebrate. This is not the end of Kyle's life, merely a transition to life at it's fullest, without boundaries and body and cares and fears. Kyle is home.

And I'm reminded, losing a friend I'd lost touch with and never got to know as much I wanted to, not to waste people and minutes and skills. I'm seeing life more clearly tonight, in light of mortality, reawakened to eternal perspective. The things I fear seem smaller, the people I aim to please seem less worthy of pleasing, and the time seems short and weighty, purposed from sunup to sundown. The bedtime ritual went by more slowly this evening, in technicolor, slow motion, every sentence prayed by tiny lips reveled in, every stroke of small hands across my beard filled with contentment and comfort. I hugged and kissed my wife harder, longer, noticing how she smells and talks and feels. Staring her in the eyes, telling her more often than usual what she means to me and how much better life is with her for me, not with cliches but with new words that on any other day she'd laugh off as cheesy or strange but today they mean more to both of us. Hundreds of names have filled my head, people I need to talk to, calls I need to make, needs I need to meet and prayers that will be prayed. The first prayer is that the newness of life that this taste of death has brought many of us will last longer than the funeral flowers, that we'll live fearlessly and focussed - that we will live like Kyle seemed to years ago teaching me about Jesus and teaching me how to introduce others to Him.

38 Comments:

Blogger Toby said...

Shaun,

I met Kyle once, for lunch at Burrito King in Waco. He truly was a remarkable man of God. we spent over an hour talking about emerging church and UBC and how we became involved. It was a great time of sharing with a fellow pastor, believer, brother in Christ... I grieve for his wife and children only imagining how my wife and 3 daughters would respond. My heart is broken for them tonight. My prayers are with you and Brian, and the rest of his friends also. He will be sorely missed.

10/30/2005  
Anonymous kat said...

I never met Kyle, but his twin sons are in my daughter's class and I see them all the time. My heart really breaks for them.

I found out what happened this afternoon at my soccer game and even though our team is a VERY random group of people, everyone had a connection to him. I haven't talked to anyone today who hasn't been affected by what's happened. His life touched a lot of people. He really left a legacy.

10/30/2005  
Blogger Carlos said...

Our hearts and prayers litter UBC Waco tonight. thanks for making sense of what was in my head tonight.
Los

10/31/2005  
Blogger sngwriter05 said...

Never been to Texas, so I've never met Kyle....but my heart and prayers go out to everyone affected by this loss.....

10/31/2005  
Anonymous tunz4jesus said...

Shaun,
Thanks for sharing your words. I also lost a friend, mother of three, to cancer on Sunday. I am/was struggling, trying to make sense of things. Kathy is at peace, celebrating with our Lord.
Thanks again for your blog, it was something I needed to hear at the time. I am sorry for your grief, I will lift you and your family up today as well as the UBC/Lake family.
Shari

10/31/2005  
Blogger GrovesFan said...

Shaun,
I am so sorry for your loss and for the hole that will surely be felt at UBC as well as by his wife and children. What a testimony he lived though. Meeting our Lord while doing His work was a reward. I'll be praying for his family in these coming days. How blessed we are to know beyond doubt that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. I know it sounds lofty and may not bring much comfort for awhile, but because his wife and children know this, they can grieve with hope and the promise of an eternal reunion.

Beth

10/31/2005  
Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

Wow Shaun, I just wanna give you a hug. My prayers are with the Lake's even as I "speak". Love to you Shaun thanks for showing your heart.

10/31/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaun -I am in the same boat as you, man. I am Kelly Hayley, from the same youth group in Tyler. I just got back from overseas as an international missionary. I have barely been back and am very sad TO be back. Then this.

I admired Kyle and I was 1-2 years ahead of him. I never got a glimpse of a prideful bone in his body - and I went on several mission trips and youth camps, etc. with him to get lots of exposure, so I can say it with experience too.

I only wish that I had been younger-in his class, so that I could have had more exposure to this young man. I agree with your word about his parents. I was able to tell his father that just before I left for overseas. All four kids were winners. I just found something special to be in Kyle early on.

Thank you for saying a word for Kyle and his family. This is the second friend (both younger than me) who has tragically gone to the Lord early this past couple of months. I am really suffering today - therefore, I can only imagine what his family is going through.

10/31/2005  
Blogger matt said...

Mortality is so sudden. How can we not live every day for God and to enjoy as much as possible. Also pray for the David Crowder band. They are on tour right now and have to keep playing every night while trying to deal with the loss of their close friend.

10/31/2005  
Blogger Alan said...

Shaun,

If you are going to leave a post on someone's blog, you should at least have the decency to make it original and not a cut-and-paste job.

I am sorry that all of you will still have to worship the 'God' who allowed this horror to transpire. I can't imagine what you would say in a prayer to him after this.

10/31/2005  
Blogger Christine said...

I was there yesterday... Kyle Lake was such an incredible, humble man. He was so real... I can't describe it in any other way, but when he preached it just wasn't fake. It wasn't like PREACHING... it was... natural, friendly... he's the best pastor I have ever had even though I only had the opportunity to be a part of UBC since the beginning of this school-year. We will remember him forever.

10/31/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Alan,

I am thankful to have another day to wake up and worship God, despite the many painful tragedies in the world. Of course my heart is breaking for this family, but hopefully yours is too. After all, God or no God these events still happen.

10/31/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun, I too remember Kyle from very early on being so strong in his faith and wanting to share the gospel with everyone he came incontact with. I was awaken this moring at 7:00 with a phone call from my parents telling me the sad news. My first thoughts and prayers of course where for his whole entire family. I can't imagine the amount of deep pain they all must be going through. Second of all, just like you said, I though of all the people I needed to contact to let them know the sad news. My fondest memory of Kyle was when we where in Florida for youth camp which turned into such a horrible trip. He was my group leader and I just remember sitting and listen to him speak and thinking even then that he was born to be a leader and teacher of the word of God. You're right, when you said that we once worshiped this good looking, soccer player, Belle Guard, Homecoming Nominee, etc. etc. He was such a great person and came from such a great family and home. He is already so dearly missed. Thanks for sharing your memories of an old friend.
In Christ, Tara Poston Rhodes

10/31/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaun,

All I can say is.... Thank you and I am sorry. Jimmy here. Just wanted to be sure you knew about Kyle. Guess it was foolish to think that you didn't. Thanks for remembering a friend. He was most definitely that for me and more.
I will always remember the guy with the endless smile. The guy that always had time for someone else. The guy that was the first of us at a pretty young age to truly take a stand for Christ. He was an amazing guy, that's for sure.
Most of all I will miss my friend. I'll miss the kind of friendship that the years and clutter don't diminish. I am sure the rest of our group of freinds from back in the day would agree.
I wish I was able to look and see the power and presence that God has for me right now. Unfortunatley my mind is clouded with a mountain of grief. My heart wants to trust and lean on the Holy Spirit. I want to be an ecouragement to others in this time as well, but for some reason am unable. My heart is heavy. I loved the guy. My childhood and youth are littered with his memory. Youth camps... Disciple Nows... RA's... Sunday School... Soccer... Accountability Group... Experiencing God... School..and on and on. Guess I should have taken a different route and shared what he continued to mean to me instead of letting the clutter of life be the excuse. If there is an impact, it is this: prioritizing time for a relationship with friends. Even if it means just a few minutes every now and again. Talking to someone 5 or so times in 10 odd years is really unacceptable, especially if they are a longtime close friend. Thanks again for your eloquence.... your time... and your openness.
I love you man.

Jimmy

10/31/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Alan, I went searching for details of my friend's death by using a blog search engine. As I read numerous blogs this morning I learned specifically how Kyle died but I also learned that a few people, you being just one, were using Kyle's story written up by the AP and CNN as entertainment and/or to make the claim that God had smote Kyle for being Baptist. So I left a very kind post on your site and two others explaining who Kyle was to me and so many. I did not criticize you for posting the way you did, though I admit I called it calloused. I didn't say anything negative about you or ask you to retract your post. I didn't scold in any way. I just talked about Kyle and what he meant to many of us, not to prove a point or peddle guilt, but to make the news story of a man dying ironically more real to your readers.

I hope my comment on your blog didn't come across as anything more than that. Kyle was a real man with a real family and the pain some of us feel from his passing is real also. That's all I tried to communicate, to help a bunch of human beings reading your blog feel somewhat attached to another human being who passed - a human being many of us here happened to have been very attached to at one point or another. I think I accomplished that. I posted the same message from your blog on two others and one of those other blog owners retracted his "amusing" post about Kyle's death and apologized - something I didn't ask him to do - and said he made light of Kyle's death because he forget momentarily that the people in the news are real people with real grieving families. My comment made Kyle human to that blogger and he responded with compassion and kindness, like a human being with loved ones of his own.

Alan, it's odd but while I don't know you I get you right now. On many days I wouldn't but I do today. I'm a little pissed at God. I believe God exists and, beyond that, I believe God came to earth as Jesus etc etc - you know the drill I'm sure. I've read your site. I've been you, well, the atheist part of you anyway. I haven't always believed there is a god/God/Jesus person running things. But unlike you - and I'm guessing here based on things you've written and things you've said here so far - my disbelief was because of my love of Science and logic and not because I thought God didn't deserve my belief. That seems to be the difference between you and I, from what little I can tell. You seem to be admitting here that you think God's a jerk, if He exists, a Force that does as much harm as good, that can't be trusted, that does as He pleases and doesn't always please us. So, then you seem to reason, why trust Him. Why should we believe in a God that's just plain mean at times?

See, I think God's a bit of a jerk sometimes too. By human standards He's not the ideal god. I'd rather have a God who woke up each day with me on top of His to do list, who got the biggest thrill out of me and making every day end like an eighties sitcom: perfectly, every loose end tied up, no tragedy or irony or doubts. But that's not the God that He is. And I do believe He is, even on days when I don't like who He is. I guess I reason that something or someone is regardless what whether we like them or not. Part of me doesn't like God today, or what He's done, but that doesn't change the fact that He still exists. I can't stick my fingers in my ears and my head in the sand and deny Him because I'm pissed at Him. That's completely illogical. My emotions don't dictate reality.

I'm not saying this because I believe in just a few sentences I can convince you that God exists, something you've decided over much time not to be true. How naive would that be? I say all this to you because there might be other people reading this who think, "Yea, I'm with Alan, God's a jerk and I'd rather just not deal with Him." I feel that way some days too. But if my opinion of God created or killed Him in this way then I'd be God wouldn't I? God is still God even on days like today when I don't get or fully appreciate Him at all times. This tragedy hasn't changed Him in the least.

So, anyway, your question was what kind of prayer could I pray to a God that's so precocious and unfair by human standards at times. Well, off the top of my head, here's one:

"God, I don't understand you right now. It seems pointless right this minute, from down here, that Kyle's life would end so soon. He has kids! He has a church that needs him and a wife that's left alone now. Why? I'm just being honest, God, you know I think this way even if I don't say it out loud, I don't get You sometimes. "

Here's another:

"God, I know You're real and good and that my mind can't possibly take in what it is You're doing right now, why you've taken the life of a good man so early in his life. I know this. So, I'm praying to You now asking you to keep me focussed on these facts: You're good, You're real, You have a plan. Don't let me doubt all of You because of one temporary moment of sadness. I'm human and I know I'm prone to doubt when my feelings get intense like this. So keep my belief strong. I believe but protect me from unbelief."

Or:

"God I'm feeling a lot of stuff right now but I'm not feeling half of what Kyle's kids, family and church are feeling. Take care of them. Show me ways I can tangibly help them, ways I can meet real needs they might have."

Or:

"God, please use the good and bad, the bitter and sweet, parts of life to prove that You are real and to teach us more about who You are. God thank you for teaching me already because of Kyle's death that my life here with skin on is smaller than small in the grand scheme of eternity past and future. I feel inspired to make the most of the time I have here, not the most money or comfort, but the most evidence of You, to bring more of the perfection of Heaven to earth. But I feel small and incapable. So I'm begging You to make me more than I am today, to give me words to say and ideas that I just don't have right now in the middle of all this sadness. WHen the fog clears, I guess what I'm asking from You, is that You'd use everything in me, every day I have left to finish what You've started here: the perfection of humanity and earth."

Or:

"I don't know what to say, God. So, I'll shut up and listen instead. Talk to me. I'm listening."

Thanks for asking, Alan. Seriously, good question. Made me think and pray honestly for the first time since all this happened.

10/31/2005  
Blogger GrovesFan said...

Shaun,
I'm with you on this one bro. I didn't even know Kyle, but his death has affected me for sure. I know God has a plan; one we may not get to see, but it's there. Thanks for the honesty, the sometimes gut-wrenching truth that makes you so very human like the rest of us. I'll be praying too, even though I haven't figured out what to say yet either. God knows, and that's all that matters.

Beth

10/31/2005  
Anonymous keith said...

Shaun, I've been thinking all day of what I would say in response to Alan's comments, but I couldn't have said it better than you have here. Thanks for taking the time to think it through and write it out. I'm learning.

10/31/2005  
Blogger Alan said...

I won't take up a lot of your blog with this response. I would just like to take this one part of what you said and then change a few words.

You said,

"...but that doesn't change the fact that He still exists. I can't stick my fingers in my ears and my head in the sand and deny Him because I'm pissed at Him. That's completely illogical. My emotions don't dictate reality."

I say

"...but that doesn't change the fact that He does not exist. I can't stick my fingers in my ears and my head in the sand and believe in Him because I love/fear/trust Him. That's completely illogical. My emotions don't dictate reality."

Faith and religious belief rely on emotion. They could not exist unless people responded through emotion rather than reason and reality. There is no rational need for God, only an emotional one.

One of the (many) things I dislike about some religions is their preying upon those in need - many times in emotional need. So I do not feel comfortable using your blog at this time to say anything else about what I believe. I would welcome any of you to reply to my blog if you should desire to. Please just don't say that you are praying for me. (We atheists hear that sooooo much)

To all of you who knew Kyle, I am truly sorry about your friend. I am sorry that, unfortunately, the only thing that a lot of people are going to remember about him was the tragic way he died. Obviously that it not what was important about his life.

Alan

10/31/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Thank you, Alan. I agree. Kyle's life should be remembered by more than how he died. Thank you for thinking of him as a person and a friend now and not just a headline made for jokes. SIncerely, thank you.

And typing is a horrible way for me to communicate well but I'd love to talk again sometime. If you're ever in the Nashvegas area e-mail me: shaungrovesfanmail@charter.net. We'll grab coffee or something. Actually, I hate coffee. I'll buy you some Chic-fil-A and Dr.Pepper.

SG

10/31/2005  
Blogger Fruitcake said...

Thank you, Shaun, for sharing what you did. Specifically your prayers. August 6th, a 6-year-old boy for whom I was the only babysitter died. He was born with a heart condition--actually about 4 different "conditions" equaling about 15 "problems" the doctors were gradually fixing as Ian gained the strength.) His death was a shock; yeah, we knew he had these problems, but it wasn't during a surgery that he died of complications...it was while he was playing on his grandparents' farm on vacation. This past week I've been grieving more. I still don't have any answers to all of my "why" questions, but that doesn't change the fact that God is God and He's the one in charge. He did give Ian life to begin with and he knew that he would only have 6 years here. I'm sorry for your loss. I selfishly don't want to think about what pain would come about from losing a close friend. I will pray for you and the others.

10/31/2005  
Blogger MattyMatt said...

hello shaun,
though our only connection is that we're both members of the blogosphere, i'm so sorry to hear about your loss. i'm also really touched by the grace and affection with which you remember kyle. though i'm not involved with any particular faith, your post has served to remind me of the importance and beauty of faith to so many great folks such as yourself, and kyle, and your friends and family. thank you for making it possible for so many strangers to share in his memory. from your description, i think he would very glad to know how many people he is continuing to touch.
matt.

11/01/2005  
Blogger Tracy said...

Kyle's death has been a blow to many people, even those who didn't know him. Thanks for such a touching eulogy.

I also appreciate your vulnerability and transparency in your comments.

11/01/2005  
Anonymous Laurel said...

Shaun, I just stumbled across your blog, and as a UBCer, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your words and prayers. We are shocked and in pain, but the amount of support we have recieved is such a blessing. Besides Kyle's contagious smile and authenticity, I will miss his wisdom most. One thing that jumps out in my memory from a sermon last year was Kyle talking about Romans 8:28. He said that disaster, illness, trajedy, dissapointment, and even death are all natural consequences of the fall of man, and our decisions- not God's hand. I dont believe Kyle's death was caused/allowed by God- but I do believe that God will use it for good. We deal with suffering with the help of the Spirit, and God can create good out of disaster. I'm not going to pretend I understand why this happened. It doesn't even seem real to me. But I am already seeing the good that God is creating. Thank you for sharing your memories and for your prayers.

11/01/2005  
Blogger Graham said...

Shaun,
This is Jo Girard Franklin. I appreciate what you wrote about Kyle. Your words were true, sincere, and spoke to my heart. Christine, Natalie, and Anne went to his service today. Christine said it was "so Kyle". People remembering his life, celebrating his laughter and his love for God. My prayers are with his family, and I long to see how God will reveal His glory through this tragedy.

11/01/2005  
Blogger smb said...

hey shaun, im sorry for your loss, i didnt know mr. lake, but i know you, atleast a little, i have met you twice and both times i got the feeling that you were a genuine guy, man of god. and that means alot to me, i believe you are in a position to carry on where your friend had to leave off to return home. your blog is a place i visit two or three times a week, and always leave encouraged and impressed. so i just wanted to thank you for that, and let you know that if you ever need anything just shout me a holler brother. thanks for all you do, and for providing a medium of thought and a place to wonder big things out loud.
peace out
smb

11/01/2005  
Anonymous Tony said...

Shaun, Anne told me to read what you wrote about Kyle. Your words stirred many nearly forgotten memories of good times in Tyler. I too looked up to Kyle, and remember him as the counselor on many of our summer camps, even though he was a year or two older than most of us. That's the part that struck home to me, realizing that he was so close to our age yet so much more mature in his walk with Chris.

11/02/2005  
Blogger EL MOL said...

great post
thanks

11/02/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Tony, Anne, Christine, Jo, everyone else from my childhood,

I'm glad that at the very least Kyle's death has brought so many old friends out to catch up with each other. If you guys ever need or want to talk I hope you know I'm easy to reach. E-mail me at shaungrovesfanmail@charter.net and I'll e-mail you back my numbers and non-fan e-mail.

I spent all of Monday sitting at my computer replying to people from my past trying to deal with Kyle's death and making sense of their own lives. Seems like death has a way of spurring us on to live well, to live better than we are at the very least. "Fans" from past shows in Waco and students from UBC have e-mailed as well. I've been busy helping others make sense of life/God/death while I try t make sense of it all too. God's taught/reminded me/us of a lot through it all too. So I'm grateful. One student e-mailed to say he'd begun examining his life and taking Kyle's words seriously now that's he's gone. This tragedy, you'd think would fertilize doubt in a lot of folks, has instead given him faith he never had before in a God he didn't think existed. Another person has decided to pastor differently, another wrote me to say she didn't know Kyle but was inspired by all of our memories of him to make numerous life changes like doing more at church than attending, taking each of her friends and family members on a "date" to tell them, as uncomfortable as it can be, how much she loves them and specifically how they've made her life better. The ripple effects of Kyle's passing will be felt far beyond UBC, Texas and even America. A life well lived tends to have that kind of impact, the same impact it had while it was still being lived.

One great reminder from all this came from Brian Seay last night as he spoke at IKON, the bible study he and I teach on Tuesday nights in Franklin, TN. We're teaching through Genesis and we've finally reached the end of the epic tale. We finished last night with Jacob/Israel's death. He was able in the end to pay tribute to God, to pass on his faith to his sons, the twelve tribes of Israel. And this passage meant more to us at IKON because we'd studied the book of Genesis from the beginning. It was no small thing for Israel/Jacob to have such a great faith in God in the end. Brian recounted for us all the tragedies and disappointments and failings in his 100 plus years of life. How odd that a man whose life was so tragic and dark at times was so believing in the end, so fruitful: twelves sons that would found a nation, one of the sons (Judah) would birth kings like Solomon and David and eventually Jesus.

Brian pointed out that we're all made to be fruitful but that being fruitful requires pruning. Pruning, he said, happens when a plant is traumatized. The gardner is skilled in the art of traumatizing plants so that they produce what they couldn't produce if they'd been left unscathed, their skin unbroken, all their leaves left intact.

It seems, looking back only three days since Kyle's death, that this trauma is producing fruit already. The great growth spurts in my life seem to have come from this kind of trauma: family financial struggles as a kid, clinical depression and other health problems off and on in high school and college, the death of my grandmother when I was nineteen, working with orphans in college every day was a trauma that sped up my development as a human being and follower of Christ, 9/11 and a lot of other stuff, big and small, in between. Trauma, pruning, has drawn me our of myself and towards others in need, given me empathy and gentleness and wisdom, made me doubt and then believe more strongly than I had before, moved me to write songs and teach the bible, forged friendships, given me ideas and dreams and calm and discontent and kept me from being so comfortable with myself and my life that I become apathetic and old and merely religious and unproductive. Trauma produces fruit.

I'm not traumatized by Kyle's death because we were close though, because we weren't. He impacted my life when I was in high school the couple times I heard him speak. He was the first person who taught me specifically, for instance, how to talk to someone about Jesus - everyone else just told me I should but not how. He knew me. I knew him. We weren't best friends. We grew up in the same place and know the same people and his face was one I noticed more than others in the crowd but I noticed it across the room, not right beside me. I know his parents better than I did him. His folks are friends with my parents and his brother Jody is friends with my sister - they're all still back in Tyler. We're connected in lots of ways but were never truly close. His death then traumatized ME because we are so similar in upbringing, age, family situation, job, skills and passions. It's as if when he died I got to see my own death as it could be for me any day. And I'm not thinking then that I've wasted any time. I'm not thinking my life has been less than it should have been. But I'm thinking I want more of the same life I've had. Life with purpose, direction, no wasted chances to know God and make God known. My eyes are wide looking for what's next and wallowing in what's now, lapping up every moment with the people closest to me. I'm inspired and even more discontent with mediocre apathetic religious living waiting for death. Live!, I want to shout. Make a dent, be a friend, share a meal, and do it today! I'm fully alive in the wake of Kyle's death. But with this inspiration and self-examination there's grief for his wife and kids more than anyone else because I wake up to my wife and trick-or-treated with my kids this week. That's where the grief comes from now. I grieve for his family because I imagine what life would be like without any member of mine. I grieve for his friends because I know how rare friends, in the truest sense of the word, are in adulthood and how life-shaping they can be - friends like Brian and Amy I have today and friends like Jo, Tony, Anne and Christine were to me once upon a time.

I guess I'm rambling just to say I'm getting better, seeing the hope coming through the despair, the good coming out of this, getting the messages loud and clear, but I'm still grieving for the people who were truly close to Kyle in ways I wasn't. I wish there was more I could do for them and for all the hurting people at UBC while we all wait for the grief to produce the fruit we could never have seen without this trauma.

11/02/2005  
Blogger Clint&Allison said...

Not clearly seeing the screen through tears but attempting to write/type anyway..ie beware of the misspelled words.
Missing you yesterday but so grateful and soul soothing to see so many of us that could make it, come to honor our friend Kyle.
What an amazing testimony to see the thousands of people coming to pay their respects to someone who touched so vast a crowd. From the Heads of Depts and police officers filing by to the smallest amoung us and those who never dreamed of ever or even thought of owning a suit broken-hearted saying their last good-byes.
In an errily phophetic way the words in closing were the words Kyle never had a chance to preach on Sunday morning. He urged each present to feel the wind on your face, live life to the fullest, be grateful for the most mundane of days, notice the beauty suurounding you that was gift created all for your purpose, to tell your parents you love them and hug your kids tighter. That was my friend Kyle. Living all his 33 years to the very fullest.
I grieve for the faces of his family, his dad and mom, David and Shirley for the extra parents they were to all of us, His brothers, Jody and Jona, and his sister Kristi, and for his beautiful wife Jen and three precious babies as they must somehow go one with huge holes in their hearts and a loss we cannot understand.
I take comfort in the fact that he is with the one he truly loved the most and that he will live in my heart until I can see him again. I have loved Kyle since 4th grade as did everyone who spent time with him.
May the fruit that come from our loss be to His Glory. ~~ Blessings, Allison Taylor

11/02/2005  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

My heart goes out to the Lake family. We too (in greenville, NC where David crowder played last night) have lost a "warrior for Christ" just 3 weeks ago. Our fellow youth leader at my church, Matt,32, died in a car accident, and he too left behind a wife and two young kids. Matt and Kyle had so much in common. From reading about Kyle and knowing Matt, they both had eternal perspective and every chance they got they shared the salvation message with everyone they could. These men and their wives sacrificed everything for the cause of Christ. They impacted thousands of lives because of the love they received from their friend Jesus. For this we mourn the physical loss of our dear friends, but rejoice because death is not the end for Christians. For us, heaven and eternal life with Christ is the aim of our faith. DEATH HAS NO VICTORY! We will keep standing firm in Jesus Christ and sharing our faith and being imitators of Christ. Our goal should be to finish the race strong just like these men did.

I just wanted to say thank you too to the David Crowder Band. Last night was such a blessing. Thank you for your selflessness, and we in greenville, NC and all over the nation are lifting up the Lake family and UBC to Our heavenly Father who loves us more than we will ever grasp!

11/03/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Kelly, I deleted your post. No harm, no foul. I just think it's best to talk to other SHLOGGERS about such weighty matters directly. I've had enough cyber-conversations to learn that some conversations are best had between two people only and not between two people with everyone else watching. You wrote wisely and beautifully and I hope you say all of that again, just between the two of you via e-mail. You can e-mail other commentors by clicking on their name. That will take you to their profile (if they're a blogger.com member) where you can e-mail them directly and privately. If you want a copy of the post I deleted, I have that to send you. Just drop me an e-mail at shaungrovesfanmail@charter.net and I'll send it your way. Thanks for understanding and for being here.

SG

11/03/2005  
Anonymous Dave L said...

We battle against powers and principalities. Some believers have little or no impact, or perhaps even a negative impact for the cause of Christ because of how they live their lives. They have little to fear from Satan who applauds their ineffectiveness and takes advantage of their help.

For those who serve God, Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour. When he is given opportunity, he acts.

Electricity seeks a gound with the lowest impedence (the least path of resistance). Normally this is supplied by the PA system. However, something as simple as lifting a ground to get rid of hum in the PA can shift this to any device connected electrically to the PA system. If it has a lower impedence it becomes the new ground. Someone standing in a pool of water holding a mic might become the perfect grounding conduit.

Satan took advantage of an opportunity to take out a warrior for God. It was tragic and it was unecessary. It increases sorrow that it could have been avoided so easily with an overhead mic and standard electrical safety precautions. It is also an example of the enmity Satan has for believers. A highly effective minister of the gospel put himself in a position of physical vulnerability during a baptism and the enemy seized the opportunity.

It reminds me of Keith Green who died in a plane crash in 1982. As I recall from the news coverage at the time, his small plane had too many passengers and too much weight for its capacity. Another warrior for Christ died that day. ( http://www.lastdaysministries.org/keith/history.html )

It is wrong to blame God for this or to say it is proof that God does not exist. There is a real war, and there are real casualties. We should not afford our enemy any opportunity.


We need to remember that God made the laws of physics. He doesn't normally bend the rules for us just because we are his children. (When He does, we call it a miracle.) The enemy knows this and watches for an opportunity. We should be loathe to give it to him.

My heart also grieves this loss and goes out to family and friends who are suffering. The battle is real. Be vigilant.

11/04/2005  
Anonymous Karen said...

Thank you for posting this great tribute to Kyle. I was fortunate to attend UBC and to witness a man filled with the Holy Spirit. This week in my bible study we have been studying Acts and I came across this verse Acts 7:55-56(niv). It has helped me to think of God's great glory! And thank you too for your great gift of verse and music. Both you and Kyle are an inspiration to me to be more vocal about my love for Jesus! I think we all agree that this trajedy should inspire each of us to live our life more fully to Christ's purpose!

11/04/2005  
Blogger scott ayres said...

This event has been hard, real hard for me. On one hand I understand where he's gone and I know he has received he gift that we all long for. But, on the other hand I'm overwhelmed at time with grief and anger. I either want to laugh about the jokes and stories Kyle used to tell over a burger and shuffleboard at Crickets, or cry, no sob, over the loss of perhaps one of the most influential people in my past, or I get so pissed off I cuss at God and want to give up this whole damn thing we call religion. Why would our God allow something like this to happen to a man of God who is doing His work?? Just makes no sense to me...

I think what pains me most is that I never took the opportunity to tell Kyle how much he meant to me and how much he influenced me. It's funny how we don't realize those things until something tragic happens.. We get so wrapped up and caught up in ourselves, and our own pursuits that we forget to pause and thank the ones that got us here. So, I want to take a moment and publicly thank Kyle for what he was and is to me.

Thanks for being a free spirit.
Thanks for making me laugh and laugh alot.
Thanks for being the one back when we started the 2nd or 3rd married couples group at UBC to break the ackward silence when topics got tough (and by breaking the silence I mean breaking wind at times!)
Thanks for being there for Lisa and I after our first miscarriage, with a smile on your face and a casserole dish in hand!
Thanks for letting me yell at you and your God.
Thanks for letting me get angry and not telling me I was going to hell for telling God to fuck off.
Thanks for healing me and showing me how to trust in God again.
Thanks for being at the hospital at our 2nd miscarriage and making fun of Lisa's socks as she went under anesthesia.
Thanks for your prayers.
Thanks for the lunches at Cricket's and for letting me whip you at pool a few times, although I think you always won at shuffleboard, too much of a girlie sport like soccer for me!!
Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder, snot and all.
Thanks for buying me breakfast at Barry's Bagels one morning so we could discuss me getting into youth ministry.
Thanks for telling me it was ok to mess up and just be me, the kids will appreciate honesty instead of political correctness.
Thanks for being my reference as I applied at churches and putting your reputation on the line for me (although at the time your reputation wasn't that good! It was 1999 afterall!).
Thanks for crying with us as we left UBC, our home, to pursue what God had in store for us.
Thanks for wearing those goofy zip up padded vests. I thought only my trucker dad wore those, somehow you made them look cool.
Thanks for being just a phone call or email away when I wanted to catch up every couple of months.
Thanks for preaching from your heart.
Thanks for not taking yourself seriously at all.
Thanks for showing all of us that pastors aren't hypocrits.
Thanks for being honest.
Thanks for being an author.
Thanks for being a movie watcher.
Thanks for wiping a booger on me once during a prayer!
Thanks for being a husband and for showing young college students how to love your wife.
Thanks for being a dad, I wish I could have seen you with your kids, I know you were great...
Thanks for being my pastor.
Thanks for being my friend.
Thanks for being you.....

I'll miss ya man, enjoy Heaven, and save a place for me at the pool table.. I get winner...

Grace and Peace,

Scott Ayres
Minister through Sports and Recreation
The PARC @ SLFUMC
www.theparc.org

[ Lisa and I started going to UBC, less than a year after it started, in early '96. The church grew so fast in that first year, that during the Baylor school year it had to meet at the Hippodrome (an old civic theatre seating close to 1000). Now when Baylor was out, we went back to reality and met at this tiny, old church house with maybe 25-40 of us there. Kyle came on staff shortly after this (maybe a year or so) and fit right in with us. It was an exciting time when we bought the building on Dutton and started renovating it and making it our own. Lisa and I went to church there for 4-5 years and left the church maybe 6 months after Kyle took over for Chris (Chris moved back to Houston to start Ecclesia). It was hard for us all, but Kyle filled his shoes well and didn't miss a beat in pastoring the community there. Lisa and I had a hard time leaving in late '99 as God called us into youth ministry at this small country church out in the sticks, but it was what God wanted for us. And I remember Kyle being so supportive of it and helping me through it. We got to know Kyle and Jenn well the previous year or so in our married bible study group. Kyle and Jenn were a part of our 3rd year of meeting and were freshly newlyweds, man they would make me sick!!! I can't think of any other couple besides Lisa and myself that were more in love..]

11/13/2005  
Blogger jodylake said...

Jeffrey Kyle Lake was special. He was different and for those who were fortunate enough to be close to him, they knew this. I love Kyle. I miss my brother and one of my best friends. I was blessed to have been close to him for 33 years. It pains me to live life without a friend that brought me so much joy in living life.

For years we teased Kyle that he was adopted. He was so different with his sandy blonde hair and calming blue eyes. He was a sparkling and radiant person. Kyle was never adopted by my parents. We are full blooded brothers. No, Kyle was not adopted, but was on loan to us for 33 years. I thank God for that time together with him, but I wish I had more.

We played soccer together. My senior year in high school, Kyle made the varsity team as a sophomore. During one practice, coach selected me as one of 6 captains for a 5 on 5 drill. My first selection was Kyle. Many of the other guys on the team made fun of us for my selection of Kyle. I next chose Joel "Bubba" Smith. We faired very well. The truth was that I knew Kyle was good, very good. We played soccer together since the time I turned 5. I miss playing soccer with Kyle.

Today is a different day. It's quieter today than it was 18 days ago. I wish Kyle were here to visit with me over a cup of coffee. I would love to send him a funny text message or receive a funny one from him. He was such a good brother, friend, counselor and pastor. I'm going to miss Kyle. Although I believe he is in our presence and I will someday see Kyle again, I miss him. I appreciate your prayers and ask that you continue praying for Jenn, Avery, Jude and Sutton and our entire family in the days, weeks and months ahead. God bless you.

Jody Lake

11/17/2005  
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