The Story of my Cousin’s Death and what God showed me about Change!

In August of 2008, my cousin was tragically killed in an automobile accident at the age of 38. Another person ran a stop sign and rammed his truck right where he was sitting. It flipped over at least twice, and was really mangled up. He died a few hours after being taken to the hospital. There were a lot of things that happened, but this is the short version.

He left behind a wife and two children ages 10 and 12. They were, of course, devastated. As much as I hurt, I can’t imagine the pain that his parents, brother, wife, and children felt. I am so thankful that he had accepted Jesus as His Savior, though, and is now in heaven.

He was athletic director and head football coach at his alma mater high school. The outpouring from the players, students, and faculty was astounding. He had coached for several years and had touched many lives. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 people came to the viewing. Some stood in line almost 3 hours to see the family, and they received visitors continuously for 6 1/2 hours. It was an astounding outpouring of love and respect.

At the funeral the next day, people were there almost two hours early and some had stood in the same spot for almost three hours before the funeral was actually over.

The high school where he graduated had gone downhill over the last few years. He wanted to be part of the answer to help bring it back to its former glory, so he moved back 3 years ago to be athletic director. He went from assistant coach to being in charge of all sports and gave it everything he had. He was in the process of building the football program back again. Not only did he want to have a winning team, he wanted to instill pride, self confidence, and good moral values into each of his students and players. They were responding well, and many of them broke down into tears as they came through the line. It was easy to see how much they loved and respected him.

When he first became head coach, he told the players that he wanted them to develop moral values. He told them to dress appropriately, and showed them how to work together as a team. He would not tolerate bad language or talking back, and he didn’t talk bad to them either. He was passionate as their leader, but treated them with the utmost respect and expected them to always put forth their best effort.

They had really started to come together as a team, and this year were expected to do well and make it to the playoffs. He also had instilled in them that there was much more to life than football, with the most important thing being their relationship with Jesus Christ. He told them over and over that nothing was more important than that. It was his goal to use football and other sports as a tool to win them to Christ.

He brought in other coaches that had his same vision for the team and school by finding as many as he could who had graduated from there and still had an allegiance to the school. Then he started to build relationships with the other coaches and teachers. At the funeral, the principal spoke of his vision to get everyone on board and excited about making the school top-notch in every respect. He wanted it to become a model that other schools would want to copy.

For just one person, he was able to accomplish quite a bit in three years. He knew that God had given him a vision, and he wanted to do what it took to carry it out by being obedient.

You can be the instrument of Change!
You can be the instrument of Change!

The moment I saw this picture, I saw how powerful it was. By changing one symbol and one letter, the whole mood of the photo goes from negative to positive.

As I read all the comments of love and respect from hundreds of people, I realized that one person CAN make a huge difference when they have the power of God behind them. No, it won’t always be easy, but God is a master at accomplishing the impossible.

We as humans tend to look at things the way they are at the moment, and deem them impossible before we have even taken one step toward the direction of change. We look at what we think is a hopeless situation and forget that there is hope for it to ever be better.

When the children of Israel were at the Red Sea, things looked very bleak. There were mountains on either side, the sea was before them, and the Egyptians were closing in fast behind them. It truly looked like an impossible situation. There was no way that 2 to 3 million people could have had the time to get away from the enemy.

God’s whole plan was to reveal His Glory, though. He had already told Moses that he would harden the hearts of the Egyptians so they would come after them. It was his way of judging them for being a heathen nation as well as showing the Israelites His magnificent power and glory. God wanted all the heathen nations around to see that His Great Power was with them wherever they went.

So if you know that God is telling you to do something, don’t look at the immense problems you might see before you in the present. Take a step each day towards the goal He has given you and let Him take care of the rest of the details. He will come through in miraculous ways and show you that the “impossible” is always “possible” with Him.

Decide today that you will be the instrument of change with the Power of God behind you to lead, guide, and protect you. You can do anything with God! Don’t get ahead or behind; just walk WITH Him each day and be obedient to do whatever He tells you.

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God has radically changed my life, and I want to share the awesome things I am learning with you. I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life.


This post written by Cathy Deaton.

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Cathy Deaton

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About Cathy Deaton


My name is Cathy Deaton, Owner of Fan the Flame Ministries. God has radically changed my life, and He has shown me that I am to share the awesome things I am learning with the Millennial Generation (1981 – 1996), but I love connecting with Christians of all ages.  I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life. You truly can make a difference for God in an uncertain world.