Friday, October 9, 2009


I received the news two days ago that my nephew, Kent Thelen, had died. Kent was 44 years old and has battled brain cancer for over 13 years. Doctors told him he had only a 20% chance of making it five years and he made it a lot longer than that. He battled to the end and never gave up hope. My sister and Kent's brother and father as well as our entire family and his many friends are sad and grieving his death. I wont say loss.

Is a person ever lost when you know where they are? I know where Kent is and that is in heaven. So he isn't lost. He will not come back to us but we will go to him if we have a relationship with Christ. Kent knew Jesus personally and loved both Him and his fellow man. Love was all over Kent. You couldn't find a person that knew him who didn't say that Kent was a loving person. Not only was he loving but serving was his passion in life. Kent loved to serve others. He was named citizen of the year in the small fishing village of Cordova, Alaska where he has lived for the last several years. He was a volunteer for many organizations, served in his home church, and loved the arts. He has a beautiful voice and I will always remember he and my wife, Jeanne, singing "A Whole New World" for Tony and Karol Piantine's wedding. Kent will be missed dearly and I ask prayers for his family, especially his mother, brother and father. We know God is good, all the time, even when times aren't good.

The point I want to make here is: how do you answer the question about being lost? You can be strong, healthy and making your way through life thinking all is well and still be lost. There are many who are lost today and have no understanding of it. Jesus pursues the lost and desires that all be a part of His Kingdom. The Word says "As many as receive Him, He gives the right to be called children of God." And, " He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and receive eternal life."

Kent's life spoke volumes about the love of God. He was truly the "sweet fragrance" of Jesus wherever he was. I believe there will many more in God's Kingdom because of how he lived out his life. It was an honor to know him and to be his Uncle Jerry.

Kent, I love you and will miss you. But even more, I am looking forward to seeing you again in God's great heaven. Heaven is a lot closer now that you are there. What a great reunion day that is going to be!!