Monday, March 27, 2006

Good Bye

Grandpa's funeral was this last Friday, I was the best funeral I have ever been to (as far as funerals' go). The theme of the funeral was "A Godly Heritage". My Uncle said it best when he said "if anybody didn't know the Lord before this funeral, they did by the time it was over". My Uncle, my Mom, myself and Noah all had the chance to tesify as to how our lives were changed because Grandpa brought Jesus to our family.

This is what Noah said:

Thank you for loving us and asking Jesus into your heart. I have Jesus in my heart because of you. You are so special to me. I love you. I am glad you will have lots of energy in heaven. And thank you for all the smarties.

The night before the funeral I was up untill 1AM trying to write what I wanted to say. Originally I was just going to read what I wrote in my "Tribute To A Goldy Man" blog, but something didn't feel right. I was constantly praying while trying to write my speech and honestly I was starting to get a little upset. When I finally gave up I had calmed down a bit, I stated by faith that God must have something else for me to say and went to bed.

The moment I layed down the following song came into my head:

I dreamed I went to heaven
And you were there with me;
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea.
We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name.
We turned and saw a young man running
And he was smiling as he came.

And he said, "Friend you may not know me now."
And then he said, "But wait,
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight.
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start.
And one day when you said that prayer,
I asked Jesus in my heart."

Then another man stood before you
And said, "Remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry.
You didn't have much money,
But you gave it anyway.
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that's why I'm here today."

One by one they came
Far as the eye could see.
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity.
Little things that you had done,
Sacrifices made,
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven, now proclaimed.

And I know up in heaven
You're not supposed to cry
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes.
As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord.
He said, "My child, look around you.
Great is your reward."

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

This song called "Thank You" was written by Ray Boltz and seemed to sum up exactley what I wanted to say. So I read the lyrics. I made it up to the last verse that starts with "I know up in heaven you are not supposed to cry" and the tears started flowing.

I finished off my speech with the following:

This song really sums up what I wanted to say to pay tribute to one of the most special men in my life. I stand before you a rich man, as I have received and inheritance far greater than any material possession. My inheritance will not tarnish or fade, in fact it will last beyond the end of time.
My Grandpa forged a new path the day he gave his life to the Lord. By his decision he started a Godly heritage and gave the gift of eternal life through the saving grace of Jesus Christ to me and my children.

We had a lunch after the funeral and then just the immediate family went out to the gravesite. We sang "Great is thy faithfulness" and then lower his body into the ground. It could not have been more beautiful.

I hope that the day I pass from this world, that the things that were said of my Grandpa can be said about me. You know that really puts your life into perspective when you think about what would be said about you at your funeral if you died today. Would your memory be of someone who struggled through life or someone who lived every day for their Lord and savior.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tribute To A Godly Man

I would like to pay homage where homage is due, to a Godly man and loving Grandfather. This is my Grandpa, Ernest.

Ernest or Ernie as he was known to most was born in 1913 in Osler, SK. He grew up in a very large family with 3 brothers and two sisters.

He didn't grow up in a very good home, his father was a cruel man who was in constant bondage to alcoholism.

<- Ernie at top left and family

You will never read about my Grandpa in any news paper or history book, his memory will fade from this world with little notice.

He raised my Mom and her two brothers.

<- Bonnie, Rodney & Gerry

He will never be noted for accomplishing anything great in the eyes of the world. He made a meager living as a painter and for many years he struggled just to get by.

There were many things he didn't do in life and his contributions to society may seem small but in my life he was a giant. In fact he gave me the greatest thing anybody could have given me, eternal life.

My Grandpa was a very quiet man, to say that he was a man of few words is an understatement. It is not what he said, but what he did that made the difference.

Ernie found Jesus through a traveling evangelist and a tent revival meeting that came to his town when he was a young man. He wasn't sure why he felt called to the meeting but he knew something was missing in his life. He found it easy to give up smoking and drinking and never touched either again after that point.

I don't think he could have realized what he started when he asked Jesus into his life, nor the impact that it would have. It was that day that he started a Godly heritage.

Ernie constantly read God's word and for most of his life woke up to read his "Daily Bread" devotional and pray for wisdom to guide his family. He raised three kids and led them in daily devotions and prayer and they too came to the saving knowledge of Christ.

Ernie's children eventually got married and had kids, and they too have joined the spiritual heritage, which includes myself and my sister and cousins. And here I am, a man who's life has been changed because my Grandpa was obedient and listened to the calling Jesus.

At a time when I was lost and doubting everything in my life I had my Grandpa as my solid rock. Again it wasn't what he said, he never sat down and had a heart-heart with me, it was what he modeled. It was then that I decided that I wanted to be like my Grandpa.

<- Grandpa & Noah

I know that my Grandpa is going to have a huge place in the kingdom of God by what he started. Generation after generation his God loving descendants will reap the benefits.

I never knew my Grandpa to ever be in good health, but particularly for the last couple years he has been hampered by constant medical problems. He said many times that he wishes God would just take him home. Well this last Friday his health took a turn for the worse and as I write this blog he is slowly dying in a hospital bed.

Grandpa, be at peace, your work here is done. Go, be with Jesus and rest, good and faithful servant. Thank you for saving my life, I love you.

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