The impact of one life


Today I am grieving the loss of a dear friend, Bill B. Hart, of Eastland, Texas. Bill was a founding board member of First Fruits Ministries and served until his death on September 14, 2008.


Bill’s accomplishments in life were many. From being a decorated Air Force pilot in WWII, to serving as a County Judge and City attorney, to teaching Sunday School and singing in the church choir. He was a faithful husband and a loving father. Though 85 years old, Bill was still practicing law and going to the office daily. Bill never talked about his military exploits or his career accomplishments. Each time we visited he had only two passions. He loved God and was serious about God’s interests. And Bill loved his wife and family and was always watching over their souls in prayer. I don’t think there was a time that I went to his office that he did not ask me to pray with him for his family.


Bill impacted my life in many ways. His passion for God, his expectation of the power of God, and his love for people have marked me. I cannot count the times I sat in his office and listened to him recount the most recent providential encounters he had had with people he was able to share Christ with. He saw his Law office as a missionary field and regularly counseled and prayed with his clients. He was intentional about this. He believed the gospel and he believed that all people need Christ. His life clearly proved his faith.


I have such a profound sense of loss today.


I think it is rare to have such a close friend who is more than 40 years your senior. I respected Bill’s wisdom and experience, but he also respected mine. We were close friends who shared our secret struggles and fears with each other.


Sometimes you don’t realize how much another person has impacted your life until they are gone. I hope you have or have had such a friend and brother in the Lord as I did in Bill. And I hope that you are seeking to be such a person to others.


I pray to God that regardless of how long I live, that there will be men 40 years younger than me who feel the weight of the impact of my life when I’m gone. Our prayers and thoughts go out to Bill’s darling wife, Gaye. She is a true specimen of grace! Her character and faith were shining like the sun at the funeral last week.


My friends, only Jesus can produce lives like these. If we want our lives to mean something and to really carry an eternal weight of glory, then we must be passionate about loving and following Jesus – like Bill Hart. May he rest in peace.

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