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A Life Well Lived–A Tribute to a Friend

March1

Professionally, Dave Kamauf was a senior financial analyst at Memorial Hospital.  But I knew Dave as a friend and a teacher.  My son was his student in his high school boys’ Sunday School class.  Later, Dave became the adult Sunday School teacher and my husband and I sat under his instruction.  A devoted student of the Bible, Dave made his lessons practical.  I can see him now with the Wall Street Journal in his hand, eager to read an article related to our lesson.  Dave also taught night classes at Allegany College and at the federal prison for several years.

Dave’s passion for education expanded beyond his own teaching efforts.  A firm believer in Christian education, he put his four girls through Calvary Christian Academy and served for thirty years on the CCA school board.  Dave was a man of integrity who was able to keep confidences.  Even his wife never knew what issues were discussed at those long, late night board meetings.  She does know, however, that our previous administrator, Floyd Rinehart, considered Dave a wise mentor, both in their similar jobs in the finance departments of Memorial and Sacred Heart hospitals, and also as they worked together guiding CCA.

Dave lived life intensely.  He cared deeply about the things that were important to him—his Lord, his family, his teaching, his friends, his job.  When he became ill several years ago, he fought hard to live and to live well.  In spite of medical treatments that left him weak, he continued teaching Sunday School.  Sick as he was when he returned from Texas nine days before he died, he told his pastor, “Maybe I can teach three more lessons.”  Like the apostle Paul, he lived out the paradox “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).  Like Paul, he wanted to see people come to know his Savior.

That desire of Dave’s heart was granted when his pastor used Dave’s notebook and taught Dave’s final Sunday School class to those of us who attended his funeral.  Three people responded to the pastor’s invitation for prayer as they considered accepting Christ as their Savior.

Resisting De-Feet

March6

              I have to admit that part of me did not look forward to the spa treatment I received as part of the Go The Extra Mile (GTEM) award I received at work recently.  My feet are not in good shape.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had a pedicure; what’s more, my feet are not very pretty—not only are they size 10s, but I’m genetically predisposed to bunions; then too, I’ve suffered occasional sprains and a broken ankle and a broken foot, so my feet are . . . well, not very attractive.                 

                However, it was a soothing experience to spend an hour soaking my feet, having dead, rough skin removed,  being massaged with various creams, and even having my nails polished.  Yes, my toenails, which I do not intend to expose in public, are now polished a lovely pale pink.

                But the next day, as I took my shower, I just KNEW that dead skin was beginning to build up again, and I wondered how long I would be able to maintain the beauty of my new feet—such as it was. 

                Of course, my pedicure reminded me Peter’s initial unwillingness to have Jesus wash his feet.  When Peter refused, “Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.’  Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!’  Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet . . .’” [John 13:5-10].

                I’m  enjoying my softer, more attractive feet.  But it is more important that I maintain an attractive life.  Along with the Psalmist, my prayer is ”Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me” [Psalm 51:10].

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I am a Christian, a mother and grandmother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, a widow, a friend. . .  My life is first of all defined by relationships–to God, to my family, to my students, to my friends. Of course, I am many other things: a reader, an e-mail writer, a piano player, and a somewhat reluctant traveler, for example.  And now I am a blogger.  I’m not sure why, except it seems to be a logical next step for someone addicted to e-mail.

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