The Caskey Family


Preserve My Life. . .
October 1, 2011, 7:33 am
Filed under: Discipleship, family news, Friends, grief, Jeremy, Ministry, Seminary

“Teach me O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Psalm 119:33-37

This morning I wake up to sad news. One of the most godly men I have ever known in my life has been diagnosed with brain cancer. This man and his wife ministered to my family spiritually at times when others didn’t know how to. They loved us, taught deep truths, prayed for us and did the hard things God calls some church leaders to do.

In a nutshell, “Uncle Neil,” as us children called him, buried my mother, baptized my brother, married Jeremy and me, and took a hard (but necessary) stand of church discipline with one family member. Some of my earliest discipleship as a believer came from his wife as she was my prayer partner, and from him as our family’s pastor when I most needed solid Biblical teaching.

The longer I am a Christian, and the more I spend time with God in His word and with the Church, the more I realize that “preserve my life” means more than “God, keep me alive.” This last verse (37) is one of Jeremy’s favorites, and I find it fitting as I reflect on the impact a very godly man has had on our family. Though I beg God to “preserve his life” now that I know he has cancer, God HAS ALREADY preserved His life according to HIS word. Uncle Neil is not perfect (I’m sure his wife or son could give examples) but God has preserved Him spiritually and given him a long ministry not just to our family but to many others. And though his body may not last as long as we would really like, the effect of his life and faithful obedience even in the hard things will be serving the Kingdom far beyond what he can see.

I can’t help but find this a bit poignant as we set out in ministry. We didn’t expect to be here. But God expected it. He planned it. And in HIS great mercy, He has given us godly men like Neil, and Frank, Chris, Jim and so many others who have discipled us and been tools in the hand of Almighty God to shape us into instruments for HIS glory. We are thankful. And humbled. May we be found faithful, and may God see fit to also preserve US according to His word.

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Comment by Roseann

Pastor Neil and Janie-Lou were leaders and mentors for so many of us who *passed through* Guam. He discipled Tim, we played piano/violin duets at church, we ran w/ him in the GRC and he also married us! THey even came to our farm in SD for the Reaffirmation of Vows; great memories of water skiing on the Missouri River the next day!

Yes, we pray for him and his family as they have been faithful servants!

Comment by Janita M. Brockel Pavelka




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