Jim Ratcliffe's Last Message - from Notes on Pat Romanufa's General Letter - Minnedosa Special Meeting - Sunday, December 19, 1999

In his last meeting, Jim Ratcliffe so helpfully spoke of the great need to keep the channels open and clear - how easy it is for the cares of the day and the seasons to close or plug the channels, if we are not very careful.

He spoke of the channel of prayer and how worry and hurry can so easily close this channel.

We should keep the channel of reading open, thus availing ourselves of the help that is there for us. We have this Bible of precious truths of God - the will of God in our hands. How terrible it would be if we neglect to read all that God has made available to us.

Keep the channel of the Fellowship Meeting open and thus the help that our Father provides. It is so needful for us to come in that condition of spirit so we can get help.  [The scriptures were 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Corinthians 14]

Jim emphasized the help we can get when we pray in the spirit, sing in the spirit, and speak in the spirit. We can do all these things in vain, if they are not done in the spirit.

What do we remember when we look upon the Emblems? 1 Corinthians 11:24-25,
“And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, 'Take eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, 'This cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'”

Do we see all of God's will through the life and teaching of Jesus? Take that away and what do we have left? Nothing is left. Could I ever look on that piece of bread and not be thankful? The cup represents the blood and sacrifice of Jesus. Here I am standing before God face to face, with all my sins and shortcomings - it is only the fruit of the vine, the shed blood of Calvary that can wipe away my load of sin.

Only one audibly gives thanks for the bread and another for the cup, but we can all give thanks from the heart. Oh, that we would never let our privileges become common or familiar to us.

[Pat wrote that Jim had periodically been suffering from shortness of breath during the special meeting rounds. After this, the last meeting of the rounds, Jim fell and was taken directly to the hospital were he was diagnosed as having Congestive Heart Failure. Jim died December 28, 1999, exactly three months short of his 96th birthday and spending 65 1/2 years in the ministry in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Africa. Jim achieved many goals during his lifetime, including a desire to 'die in the harness.']