R.I.P Daniel Patterson and Noel Stanton - Jesus Army Life

The last few days have been humbling.

Last week I attended the funeral of a popular young man. There were so many people at the funeral that some people had to stand in the car park while the service went on inside. I'd estimate there were about 500 people there. But more than that, there were so many of his friends whom I knew personally, loved personally, there too. He was a crazy kind of guy, always ready to make people laugh, and with a sensitive heart too. And I was deeply touched. He taught me something.

I wondered what kind of impact I'd had on those young friends. Had I ever been too harsh, too judgemental, too critical? I'd never deliberately want to be so, but I'm now keenly aware that with so many people you only get one chance. One chance to show them the Jesus you love, by being the truest, most loving person you can be.

Next week I will attend the funeral of a popular old man. The tributes are pouring in. He's been the leader of my church for some 40 years and the impact he's had on many, many lives seems to me unrepeatable. He was a man who dared to speak truth and stand for truth where so many would settle for a quieter life. But more, what impressed me about him was that he stood for love - a practical, unashamed love, love that was even willing to be harsh if it was going to achieve what was good and right in the end. He had much wisdom too, a man who prayed and listened to God. He stood and many stood with him. And a church was built. He led the way in community and living celibate for Jesus. I know I desire to be someone who will dare to stand as he taught us to stand - till the end, sacrificing all, for Jesus.

I'm sure he made mistakes, God knows my first friend did, but I guess I'm asking what does it all count for? Am I, am I and my friends willing to carry on being real and raw in our faith, to continue loving, to carry on believing in Jesus even though it costs us? Times like these are life changing. It is what I signed up to this Jesus Army for: to be changed and to change others.

Last weekend, someone brought a challenge in church:

'When you make it to heaven and you meet those who died in prison for Jesus, who started revivals for Him, who faced execution in His name, what will you say you did?'

I want to live so I will have something to say.

PattyRest in peace Daniel Patterson

Extraordinary Daniel Patterson - Coventry Telegraph

Noel Stantonand Noel Stanton.

Jesus Army tributes to founder - Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Noel Stanton (1926-2009) - Jesus Army website

Noel Stanton - Man with the Mop blog