A simple salute

Tomorrow I sing in a funeral for Ray Bevel in Andrews, TX. He is the first person that I've known personally to die in Iraq. He married Brooke Hooper last year before going to fight in Iraq. Ray's death is tragic, sad and indescribable. But something amazing is happening in front of my eyes.

Ray is coming home to a heroe's welcome. The 1,200 seat civic center in Andrews is expected to be standing-room-only for tomorrow's funeral. When they brought his body from the airport, the community lined up to honor his life. In Andrews, Ray's hometown, flag tributes are on display all over the town. The family got to be in Austin as the senate declared it named Ray Bevel day in Texas. Ray's life is having an impact on this region--even in his death.

Although I didn't know Ray well, he knew Jesus. He loved and gave himself for the well-being & freedom of others. Although I hope to live a long time, those things are worth giving my life for. Those things are worthy of great sacrifice.

I'm proud of you Ray. I salute your courage & faithfulness to your mission. I hope the people who know & love me best can say that about me at my funeral. God bless you and your family.


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