Monday, October 31, 2005

Kyle Lake

I will miss Kyle. As one is wont to do in these technologized times, I just went back through all my email exchanges with him -- he was such a wonderful and generous guy. Once I recommended him for a speaking gig, which he took and did a wonderful job at. A couple weeks later, I received a gift card for The Cheesecake Factory in the mail from him, along with a grace-filled thank you note. That blew me away -- I would never have thought of doing that.

I don't know if Relevant used it, since I haven't seen the book yet, but here's the endorsement I offered after reading the manuscript of Kyle's just-published book on prayer:

“When people who are attempting to follow Christ open up and get honest with one another, it’s practically inevitable: they start talking about their frustration with prayer, their feelings of guilt at not praying enough or well enough, and their deep fears that maybe prayer doesn’t really work after all. In other words, they last thing we need is another book on prayer that if full of platitudes and euphemisms. Thank God that Kyle has the ability to look at Christian prayer for what it really is: the maddening, beautiful, confounding, inept attempts of human beings to communicate with our Creator. This book is a gem. And one more thing, Kyle is one heckuva writer!”

One more thing: Kyle and I were supposed to go duck hunting on a trip arranged by Jason Mitchell in January. I wish I would have gotten that chance, especially after reading Jason's tribute.


Blogger Amanda said...

Thanks for calling attention to this amazing pastor, Tony...what a tragedy.


9:29 AM  
Blogger LukeMiller said...

a family, a congregation, and hundreds of friends and colleagues feel a tremendous loss today. thanks for your tribute to such a great man.

10:44 AM  
Blogger marko said...

tony, a shorter version of your endorsement is on the back cover of kyle's new book

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for referring us to the beautiful tribute, Tony. Your endorsement of Kyle's book is wonderful. Hope you are having a great week! Pax, Adele

12:23 PM  
Blogger Bob Robinson said...

The grief that Emergent has had this year is amazing (with first Stan and then Kyle).

I'm not only praying for Kyle's family but for the hearts that are grieving all over the country who have come to know Kyle and are hurting.

10:22 AM  
Blogger scott ayres said...

This event has been hard, real hard for me. On one hand I understand where he's gone and I know he has received he gift that we all long for. But, on the other hand I'm overwhelmed at time with grief and anger. I either want to laugh about the jokes and stories Kyle used to tell over a burger and shuffleboard at Crickets, or cry, no sob, over the loss of perhaps one of the most influential people in my past, or I get so pissed off I cuss at God and want to give up this whole damn thing we call religion. Why would our God allow something like this to happen to a man of God who is doing His work?? Just makes no sense to me...

I think what pains me most is that I never took the opportunity to tell Kyle how much he meant to me and how much he influenced me. It's funny how we don't realize those things until something tragic happens.. We get so wrapped up and caught up in ourselves, and our own pursuits that we forget to pause and thank the ones that got us here. So, I want to take a moment and publicly thank Kyle for what he was and is to me.

Thanks for being a free spirit.
Thanks for making me laugh and laugh alot.
Thanks for being the one back when we started the 2nd or 3rd married couples group at UBC to break the backward silence when topics got tough (and by breaking the silence I mean breaking wind at times!)
Thanks for being there for Lisa and I after our first miscarriage, with a smile on your face and a casserole dish in hand!
Thanks for letting me yell at you and your God.
Thanks for letting me get angry and not telling me I was going to hell for telling God to fuck off.
Thanks for healing me and showing me how to trust in God again.
Thanks for being at the hospital at our 2nd miscarriage and making fun of Lisa's socks as she went under anesthesia.
Thanks for your prayers.
Thanks for the lunches at Cricket's and for letting me whip you at pool a few times, although I think you always won at shuffleboard, too much of a girlie sport like soccer for me!!
Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder, snot and all.
Thanks for buying me breakfast at Barry's Bagels one morning so we could discuss me getting into youth ministry.
Thanks for telling me it was ok to mess up and just be me, the kids will appreciate honesty instead of political correctness.
Thanks for being my reference as I applied at churches and putting your reputation on the line for me (although at the time your reputation wasn't that good! It was 1999 afterall!).
Thanks for crying with us as we left UBC, our home, to pursue what God had in store for us.
Thanks for wearing those goofy zip up padded vests. I thought only my trucker dad wore those, somehow you made them look cool.
Thanks for being just a phone call or email away when I wanted to catch up every couple of months.
Thanks for preaching from your heart.
Thanks for not taking yourself seriously at all.
Thanks for showing all of us that pastors aren't hypocrits.
Thanks for being honest.
Thanks for being an author.
Thanks for being a movie watcher.
Thanks for wiping a booger on me once during a prayer!
Thanks for being a husband and for showing young college students how to love your wife.
Thanks for being a dad, I wish I could have seen you with your kids, I know you were great...
Thanks for being my pastor.
Thanks for being my friend.
Thanks for being you.....

I'll miss ya man, enjoy Heaven, and save a place for me at the pool table.. I get winner...

Grace and Peace,

Scott Ayres
Minister through Sports and Recreation

[ Lisa and I started going to UBC, less than a year after it started, in early '96. The church grew so fast in that first year, that during the Baylor school year it had to meet at the Hippodrome (an old civic theatre seating close to 1000). Now when Baylor was out, we went back to reality and met at this tiny, old church house with maybe 25-40 of us there. Kyle came on staff shortly after this (maybe a year or so) and fit right in with us. It was an exciting time when we bought the building on Dutton and started renovating it and making it our own. Lisa and I went to church there for 4-5 years and left the church maybe 6 months after Kyle took over for Chris (Chris moved back to Houston to start Ecclesia). It was hard for us all, but Kyle filled his shoes well and didn't miss a beat in pastoring the community there. Lisa and I had a hard time leaving in late '99 as God called us into youth ministry at this small country church out in the sticks, but it was what God wanted for us. And I remember Kyle being so supportive of it and helping me through it. We got to know Kyle and Jenn well the previous year or so in our married bible study group. Kyle and Jenn were a part of our 3rd year of meeting and were freshly newlyweds, man they would make me sick!!! I can't think of any other couple besides Lisa and myself that were more in love..]

10:18 PM  
Blogger jodylake said...

November 19, 2005

Jeffrey Kyle Lake was special. He was different and for those who were fortunate enough to be close to him, they knew this. I love Kyle. I miss my brother and one of my best friends. I was blessed to have been close to him for 33 years. It pains me to live life without a friend that brought me so much joy in living life.

For years we teased Kyle that he was adopted. He was so different with his sandy blonde hair and calming blue eyes. He was a sparkling and radiant person.
Kyle was never adopted by my parents. We are full blooded brothers and friends. No, Kyle was on loan to us for 33 years and I thank God for that time together, but I wish I had more.

We played soccer together. My senior year in High School, Kyle made the varsity team as a sophomore. During one practice, coach selected me as one of 6
captains for a 5 on 5 drill. My first selection was Kyle. Many of the other guys on the team made fun of us for my selection of Kyle. I next chose Joel "Bubba" Smith. We faired very well. The truth was that I knew Kyle was good, very good. We played soccer together since the time I turned 5. I miss playing soccer with my friend, Kyle.

A few years ago, Kyle and I were able to go on a turkey hunt together. One beautiful spring morning, we sat under a cedar tree while calling in a gobbler. Within a matter of minutes, a beautiful gobbler that was fanned up and drumming came in close to us. Two other birds were with the gobbler. The birds came within a few feet of us. Neither one of us took a shot at the birds. We embraced the beauty and serenity of the moment and enjoyed our hunt
together. I will miss hunting with my brother, Kyle.

Today is a different day. It's quieter today than it was 18 days ago. I wish Kyle were here to visit with over a cup of coffee. I would love to send him a funny text message and receive one back from him. Extraordinarily gifted, Kyle could make anyone laugh. He was also a talented writer, as well as speaker. He was such a good brother, friend, counselor and pastor. I'm going to miss

Although I believe he is in our presence and I will someday see Kyle again, I miss him. In the days, weeks, and months ahead I ask for your continued prayers
over Jenn, Avery, Jude and Sutton and our family. Through God's grace and goodness, one day soon, we will all be together. God bless.

Jody Lake

1:02 PM  

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