Those who knew Derek Taatjes said he had a larger than life persona and preached every sermon as if it might be his last. It was! He knew life is shorter than you think. Be prepared. Don't wait to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. If he could speak to us this moment from Heaven he'd probably say, 'see, I'm here, so don't wait to accept Him. Why let Satan steal eternal life from your grasp'? Hell will never freeze over.
Youth pastor Derek Taatjes, the young 34-year old died in a house fire with his son and his funeral will be held Wednesday, April 20th at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan on the East Beltline at 11 a.m. Both died last Thursday of smoke inhalation - a smoldering fire in the basement that didn't set off a tested and good battery working smoke detector. It was an unforeseen accident that could happen in any home. Why him? Why the faster pastor on fire for Jesus Christ? Will his death yield fruit of the Spirit during Passover?
I've never met Derek, but from what I heard he was 'blazing hot for Christ'. The fire burning within his heart and mind wasn't orange or blue, but white hot, the hottest flame and he was destined to share his overflowing love for Christ with all who would listen to him praise the Lord. Derek lit a fire in others when nobody else could. With God's help he rocketed towards the Kingdom of God and his sparks ignited the dreams and goals of all who knew him. He had a burning passion for teaching others about God and Jesus Christ. His destiny was God-given and God-driven to achieve his dreams and goals in life. He was an accessible pastor, a man on a mission to save others for Christ and to help them achieve greater things if only they'd listen and learn lessons from his heart to the Father's heart.
Derek, like Joseph, knew their potential and limitations, but the motivation behind them was their love for God and Jesus Christ. Both were motivated by excitement to share dreams and goals. This motivational desire pushed them through life w/amazing speed. Both were positive men of conviction that what they did for mankind and Christ was far better than concentrating on themselves. Equally both didn't acquire instant success. They didn't veer off course when confronted with difficulties or problems. They kept their eyes on God and Christ.
Derek's goals and dreams must have been similar to Joseph's, the last son of Jacob. Both knew God and both lived their lives hoping that what they did pleased His sight. They poured out their heart for others and shared the Good News that Jesus is their Light of the World. God had a purpose for these men of faith. Neither of them took their eyes off Him.
You could say that Derek was a 'faster pastor' and flew by the seat of his pants. His pre-eminence was destined for God's service. He was fulfilling his destiny by fueling and sharing his life with the promises made by God. He lived his life like an open book that was pleasing God and God put him on this earth for His special purpose. Derek's mindset was that of Joseph and both sought foremost the Kingdom of God.
The youth pastor's candle of love for Jesus Christ burns brighter in the eyes of everyone he touched, that includes God and Christ. They won't forget Derek or Christ. Someone somewhere introduced Derek to Jesus Christ and his heart, mind and soul went ballistic for saving the lost. His goal - to save them for the Kingdom of God, an eternity with Him. I am not a pastor. I am a storyteller and what you read is from my heart today. The story continues... about dream interpretations in the Bible and destinies, dreams and goals in life.