A Champion, Prophet, Friend

On the eve of tonight’s national championship game, my mind turns to another champion. A friend of mine that has been on my mind and heart all week.

In Memory of a Prophet, Priest, and Friend
Justin Blasingame
1957-2017

“Justin Guy Blasingame, 59, of Alma passed away June 15, 2017, in Montana.…”

So starts the obituary of one of my very best friends who continued his eternal life into the next realm about one year ago while on a mission trip to an Indian reservation in Montana.

This year I went to the same place to honor Justin and commemorate his life of friendship and service to the King. In my journal for July 31st I wrote, “I’m going today to Zortman, MT, and the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation where Justin died about one year ago — for six days of spiritual focus — and prayer — asking and listening — and serving the people there — some who know You and most who do not. Lord have mercy. A prayer. Amen.”

Later I wrote, “I’m going to Montana also, maybe foremost, to honor Justin and pray for what was important to him and in a small measure carry on his work … And to thank God for the privilege of having such a friend. :):)”

Daily during my time to prayer walk, and at times in between, I would walk up a nearby mountain overlooking our camp and the Rocky Boy reservation praying for Justin’s family by name, and for the people he had come to serve.

One day while picking up trash I stopped to visit with Bethany, one of our volunteer youth leaders, who remarked with her big heart and beautiful smile, “Justin is the reason we’re all here, really.” I knew that’s why I was there, but her statement was true and impacted me.

Later in camp I was telling pastor, PhD candidate, John from Georgia about the Bethany conversation, and repeated the thought coming to me at that very moment, “Like Sampson, perhaps, Justin may have accomplished more in his death than he did in his life.” John and Nolan nodded a hardy “Amen” as they wandered off to their next task.

While I don’t really see how that could be true considering what I knew and valued about Justin’s life. And considering the big crowds at his home going services. And all the people coming up to his spiritual, faithful, beautiful wife Flora, telling her of a time when Justin came up to them and spoke a word of prophecy or encouragement over them that so impacted their lives that they never forgot it. I suppose it could be true in the sense that “more” can mean “in addition to.”

And of course anything is possible with God! We know from Scripture that “little is much, when God is in it.” And “don’t despise the day of small beginnings.”

Rest in peace dear friend Justin. And I mean “rest” in the new way I’ve seen it lately. Like God rested on the seventh day after six days of creation — not because He was tired or needed rest, but because He was finished. Or like Jesus last words on the cross,, “It is finished.” His supremely important work of redemption was finished for all who believe, with Jesus’ last words and with His sacrifice.

Godspeed and joy to your family Justin, those who continue in the gift of earth life and living. May the Lord lift up His countenance on them and be gracious to them. May He turn His face toward them and give them peace. Amen.

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“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” Hebrews 4:9-16(KJV)

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:21-23 (NKJV)

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