June 2015 Newsletter
Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given me; for you loved Me before the foundation of the world.’’ -John 17:24
My Dad went home to be with Jesus on May 2. He was an extraordinary father, a magnificent husband, and a loyal friend. Most of all, he loved Jesus well. Loretta & I were able to talk with him during his last moments. We sang songs over him, quoted scriptures, and told him how much we love him before he went home. One of his favorite worships songs was “I love your Presence”. He’s now in God’s presence with no limitations and no pain. He finished his race well and is now part of that cloud of witnesses cheering us on. We miss him so much but we know we’ll see him again soon.
Obviously, it’s not easy letting someone we love so much go. But in essence, we’re not really letting him go. He’s still alive. In fact, he’s more alive than he has ever been. That was Jesus’ promise: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)” My family and I believe it. My dad is just as conscious and alive as we are now expect for the fact that he doesn’t have a physical body. But he is still the same person. He vividly remembers his 70 year life in this age. Who knows what he’s up to now? Maybe he’s talked to Elijah, Moses, or David. Maybe he’s had a few conversations with Jesus Himself. Maybe he’s in a heavenly pottery shop doing the same things he loved to do here on earth. We know one thing. He’s not bored. He waits for the restoration of all things just like we do. But he’s on the other side now. He joined all the saints of old who eagerly wait to return with Jesus to the earth at the sound of the last trumpet. When that last trumpet sounds my Dad will get his physical body back. He will eat, work, and touch just like he used to. But it will be in a resurrected body that will never grow old! Eternity has become real to my family. This short 70, 80, 90 year age is just an internship. It’s a short speck of time compared with the billions of years we’ll live with Jesus. Yet how often we lose sight of eternity! We place so much emphasis on this short time frame and forgot that our real assignment is in the next age. My Dad always redirected people’s attention to the age to come. He always said stuff like, “this life is just a vapor”, “this is all fading away”. But now it’s more real. By the grace of God, I want to live for that age to come like the men and women of faith who’ve gone before me. We’re waiting for a city, Who’s builder and maker is God.
Our hearts are healing. Loretta, my Mom, and I were so encouraged by the body of Christ after my Dad’s passing. There was probably over 300 people who came to his memorial service, most of whom where believers. I know my Dad was smiling during the service. We sang worship songs, shared about who he was to us, and even gave a salvation call for unbelievers. The service was followed by military honors and a huge meal that our Church family helped provide. Not to mention the huge rainbow right after the service. About a week after the service our family spread his ashes over the bluffs of Lake Michigan. We couldn’t help but think of how cool it will be when those ashes come back together and his resurrected body forms. The first place he’ll be when he gets his body back is Port Washington. Though it has been difficult to not see him anymore we want everyone to rest assured that this family is filled with hope. To live is Christ and to die is gain.