I believe The Holy Spirit has led me in a slightly different direction this week due to so many family, friends and loved ones that I know personally have been infected with COVID. In particular there are 3 that have passed away that I knew somewhat or fairly well and all of them in different stages of life and all in some way or another have blessed my ministry and me.
I pay tribute to three Godly people who have impacted my life and in some way have impacted yours through this ministry. This is The Body of Christ!
JIM SHEEHY – 56 years old with so much to offer as you will see. (Luke 15:3-5)
I begin with Jim Sheehy, a gentleman who came to The Lord later in life and a close childhood friend, Steve Kitts, introduced me to him. Steve and I were childhood friends because our fathers sang in a Gospel quartet together for decades. We reconnected nearly 20 years ago and together have grown in The Lord.
Jim and Steve started a men’s small group in Louisville, KY, and I was privileged to share with them several times over the last few summers. Jim became not only a supporter of Love & Lordship (L&L), he was also a great encourager to this ministry and me and for that I’m eternally grateful. He regularly asked if we could do a couples or men’s retreat and was willing to provide a family cabin on a lake in Indiana for the venue. We have not yet been able to make that happen but I believe because of Jim’s influence, we will see it come to fruition in God’s good timing and Jim will be looking down and smiling on us.
Just to give you a sampling of what Jim’s life for The Lord became, here are some excerpts from the men in their group…
“Celebrating today that Jim finished strong and was a true disciple. He is still affecting and attracting people to The Lord by his life’s work and heart for Jesus. I pray that I can touch a fraction of the individuals Jim did for Jesus. “Well done servant!” — Brad Hicks
From Steve Kitts, “We say goodbye for now to Jim Sheehy. Thank you all for the outpouring of love that you have shown while he was sick and ultimately went ahead of so many to see the Lord. Jim was passionate about Jesus and intentional about sharing God’s love with anybody who would listen. And even some who wouldn’t. He used to meet with an atheist almost weekly and the guy would literally mock him and his faith, but he respected him at the same time. He was always curious about the joy that Jimmy carried inside…He cared about the one. Jesus came to seek and save the lost that don’t know Him and aren’t prepared for eternity. That should be our main focus as Christians today. Jim made an impact for the Kingdom of God that will be felt for decades and beyond. That impact was not based on a self-promotion formula or strategy, or chasing wealth or status, it was pure love that flowed from Jesus through his heart and shined brightly through this dark world. We can all carry his legacy with us and share God’s love and the hope we have in eternal life. The time is short, the time is now! Don’t let the world distract you. Focus on kingdom work. And if you don’t know Jesus, seek him, find him, knock and the door shall be opened, Jesus and Jimmy… They are looking for you. Waiting for you in paradise. I love my dear brother in Christ and I will see him again! Oh glorious day! His work continues in and through me and you! Even if you didn’t know Jim, go and do likewise!”
Jim leaves behind a wife and two teenage boys. I know what he would want us to pray for them more than anything…that they know and love Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and to know that he will see them again.
BOB HALE – 72 years old, a minister of the Gospel all of his adult life. (1 Peter 3:15)
Bob never gave a penny to L&L or any other ministry I was involved with but he had a profound impact on my life and ministry. Bob and I were introduced to each other when we both taught at a private Christian high school nearly 30 years ago. I became fond of him right away because of his love for The Lord and his willingness to stand for what was right no matter the cost.
I had the privilege of being in a couple of small groups with Bob and I never left the meeting without some bit of wisdom or discernment that Bob shared. Over the past few weeks I’ve been blessed to be in a small prayer group on Tuesday mornings facilitated by Tommy Green in which, until the last couple of weeks for health reasons, Bob never missed. His prayers always led me (and others) to God’s Throne.
Bob’s last ministry was with The Lexington Leadership Foundation and their Fatherhood Initiative. He coordinated classes for struggling fathers and asked me to teach one of them. While he never donated to L&L, he always encouraged me, and the message of The Lord through this ministry, both publicly and privately.
He was a dear friend and his encouragement to me gave me strength and mentored me in The Lord and His Word.
Bob Hale, you will be dearly missed and I look forward to seeing you again, brother!
Noreen Jacoby, 92 years old, Mother of 17 children with 50 grandchildren and 52 great grandchildren (none of this is a misprint)
“Precious in the sight of The Lord is the death of His saints.” Proverbs 116:15
I met Noreen while my family attended First Assembly of God, Lexington, KY. The first time I preached there she was one of the first to greet me after the message, encouraged me and told me she would be praying for the ministry and me. Little did I know the powerful impact that the prayers of this Godly woman would have on my life and so many others?
She immediately began supporting L&L financially and has sent in a $50 check every month for the past 10+ years. But that’s not the powerful part.
When she encouraged me after my first sermon at the church she said that no matter what I faced that the message was greatly needed for the making of disciples in loving relationships, especially marriage and family (don’t know why she would have said that…refer back to the number of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for a hint) and to strengthen Christ’s Church. That’s when she told me she would be praying for me every day.
I was grateful but didn’t think much of it until I received that first envelope with her $50 check and with it a note card with a prayer written on it. There was a prayer in every single envelope for the next 10 years.
The best way to honor Noreen is simply share some of the dozens of prayer notes I received faithfully every month over the years…what a blessing!
“Greg, may this ministry continue to bless each and every heart as they receive your teachings. May the anointing of The Holy Spirit not only minister to you but to each and every one seeking healing and restoration in their spirits, souls and bodies. In Jesus Name I pray. In His Love, Noreen.”
“Dear Greg, many wounded soldiers in the Body of Christ. So very very thankful that Our Heavenly Father has chosen you to minister to these precious souls so they can be made whole to be the vessels of God to others. His Holy Spirit is moving mightily through you to restore what the cankerworm (Joel 2:25) has destroyed. Rejoicing and praying for The Holy Spirit to refresh your spirit, soul and body. Hugs, prayers and love, Noreen Jacoby.”
“May our Heavenly Father fill you with the gift of fortitude as you share His Word; may He soften hearts to hear; Know He is well pleased with you. He is moving mightily in this world. May these young men and couples grow stronger in their relationship toward our Heavenly Father and each other through His Word and this ministry is my prayer! Father we thank You that You are doing a new work. We give you praise, honor and glory both now and forevermore. Be Glorified in our lives in Jesus Name, be Glorified. Love in Christ, Noreen Jacoby.”
She was a supporter, an encourager and a powerful prayer warrior like few others and I will greatly miss her notes of prayers but I know she is among the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and is interceding on behalf of so many, including me, always pointing us to Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Thank you, Noreen! You are greatly missed but I will see you again, mighty prayer warrior!
Thanks as always to all those who are praying! Please let me know if The Lord and His Spirit are impressing on your heart to join this ministry as a Prayer Warrior. We can’t do it without prayer and you!
Each of these lived and is living the life that God intended and He wants You to know that life as well!
I close with a poem and a video link that I pray encourages you to always trust in The Lord…
GOD KNOWS BEST
“And though beyond understanding,
May this set your heart at rest,
That somewhere in all His goodness,
Our Loving God knows best.”Anonymous
“Scars In Heaven” by Casting Crowns… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCdevloDE6E
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – I don’t know how you’ve been affected by COVID or other trials during the past few months but I do know that God is faithful and I pray that you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
I pray this encourages each and every reader that no matter what you are facing, there is a Hope and that Hope is Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) –
- Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
- How are you living out your faith and hope?
- How might it bring you closer to Christ and others in Him? If you don’t know Him what is keeping you from Him?
- Seek out someone who can encourage you in your faith at all times and especially in troubled times. For those who don’t know Christ as Savior and Lord, seek out someone to guide you to Him.