Wednesday, November 02, 2005

thoughts on Kyle Lake

I haven't been blogging in the past few months. I haven't been reading other blogs either. I am not sure why that is but right now I guess I just want to get some thoughts out about my friend Kyle Lake.

We weren't the best of friends. Not like my friends Jason and Chad. But he was my pastor when I was in seminary and he and I had some great conversations together. I often remember him over in the corner of Common Grounds typing away at his first book. I would be over on the couch doing my seminary homework. He would look up and give me a smile and I would return the favor. We didn't need some lengthy conversation. He had been where I was, a Truett Seminary student, and I knew he understood.

Kyle was the first to introduce me to church planting, the emergent church and the ideas of post-modern Christianity. He gathered future pastor type people together in his home one semester for a study on church planting and the post-modern church. He was way smarter than the rest of us in that room so most of us just sat and soak up his wisdom. We tried to chime in and give our two cents when the time was right. I am now a church planter with Horizon Church and that small group was the beginning of it for me.

I remember after one of the nights at his house most everyone else left. It was a cool Texas night with thousands of visible stars in the sky. He walked me out to my car as we talked. He said some life impacting words right then. He said something like, "Mark, I think you have what it takes to be a church planter. I think you are going to be a great pastor." I wasn't expecting those words from him but I needed them.

Kyle let me preach a couple times at UBC. He did that with a lot of the seminary students there. He was gracious like that. Kyle was the first example of what it looked like to be a young pastor in a young church. Kyle was also the first to show me how the arts can communicate the gospel.

But I don't want to make Kyle out to be perfect. Those of us who knew him knew that he wasn't. And there are plenty of people that were in that church longer than me who know him much, much better than I ever could. Kyle could be such an ass sometimes. He would let things fly out of his mouth which were totally inappropriate for a leader. But he was the kind of ass like Dave Reichley can be or like Clay Carver can be. The kind that you just have to smile at sometimes.

I am glad to have gotten to know Kyle over those two years at UBC. I wish now that I had spent more time with him. I am sure he could have taught me more. But God put him in my life at just the right time and the course of my life was adjusted just a little more towards Christ.

Kyle, you made it buddy. Well done. Your closest friends will be sure to take care of your wife and kids for you. You have fun up there with your Lord and Savior. Thanks for the encouragement way back when. Thanks for the example you set. Thanks for all the deep conversation. And even in your death, you remind me once again to give all I've got while I can. You finished the race man. Way to go! Pour a cup of coffee for me and I will be home soon.


At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your work!

signs of a cheating spouse.

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Barbara and I am writing a piece about Kyle Lake for a Canadian newsmagazine named Maclean’s. I would like to talk to his friends to get a better sense of him as a person. Please call 416-764-1319.

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:37 PM, Blogger Mark said...

No hablo espanol. Lo siento mucho.

At 11:52 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Here is a rough translation of what roberto just wrote:

"The devil is loose in blogs. But I believe that we find it more frequently in bloggers of English speech than in blogs which are written in Castilian. Its probably mainly because blogs in Spanish are very badly catalogued by google."

Well, I don't know you roberto, but you just responded with a very wacked out post for a very heart felt blog entry.

At 12:25 AM, Anonymous E said...

Thanks for your post - reading all the good things about him helps, a little.

At 12:47 AM, Blogger CJ said...

hey dude, just got a chill reading your post...I was just talking to my friend Christy earlier today and she told me she visited a church called "horizon" on Sunday and was freaked out by how "UBC" it felt. We both were UBC attendees when we lived in Texas...and then I stumble on your blog after searching for blogs about Kyle...freaked the ever lovin crap out of me! I called Christy immediately and she said (in a raspy just woken up voice) yeah, CJ, I talked to him tonight and we are going to meet soon.
crazy, anyway, thanks for your heart felt words man. grieving with you. -cj

At 2:04 PM, Blogger brendar said...

1. Wonderful post, sorry for your loss.
2. I believe that your blog is being spammed.
3. No one is as big of an ass as Reichley.

At 1:46 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 ackward 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..]

At 9:35 AM, Blogger clay carver said...

"But he was the kind of ass like Dave Reichley can be or like Clay Carver can be. The kind that you just have to smile at sometimes. "

Andy told me you called me an ass on your blog and i said, "nah, Mark wouldn't say that." What do you know. Mark said that.


At 12:25 PM, Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

Merry Christmas and a very happy
new year!


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