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by Eric Thomsen, managing editor, ONE Magazine

“I’m not sure why I’m still here.”

His quiet voice shook with emotion; bright tears shimmered in his eyes.

“I was almost there. I almost made it home.”

As he described his brush with death in the fall of 2004, a note of regret crept into his voice. Then that familiar, gentle smile spread slowly across his face, and he sighed deeply. “I guess God’s not quite done with me yet.”

One week later, Dr. LaVerne Miley finished the job.

For decades, his “use me anywhere, anytime” attitude allowed God to impact the lives of people around the globe, from the dust of West Africa to college classrooms in Tennessee. No matter where he served, His ministry could only be described as remarkable, but he didn’t see it that way. Dr. Miley was simply doing his job. Reminds me of some other guys we know. David used five rocks, Daniel had only his integrity, and Paul penned letters from a damp prison cell. Dr. Miley packed his medical bag with a servant’s heart.

“It’s the end of an era.”

I can’t remember who said those words on the morning he died, but my mind has replayed them a thousand times. Who will ever take his place? I think Dr. Miley would shrug his shoulders, smile, look deep into our eyes and say, “You will.”

It’s true. God rarely takes remarkable people and makes them willing. He takes willing people and makes them remarkable. From the hardware store and the kindergarten reading circle to the corporate office, God is looking for men and women who simply will hand over their lives to Him without reservations. He promises to do the rest.

It’s time to step up to the plate. Will you stand shoulder to shoulder with the rising tide of Free Will Baptists and change the world one life at a time? This issue of ONE Magazine takes a closer look at the role that you and I play in God’s work. Will you carry your part of the load? After all, it’s our job. We learned that from Dr. Miley.



©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists