Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
May 24, 1944 - April 10, 2008
Yesterday was Dad's memorial service. What an amazing event. Walking into the church and seeing the flowers and his picture displayed upfront was difficult, initially. It brought finality in our hearts to the fact that he's not with us any longer, and we cried. Soon guests began arriving and there were hundreds of sincere hugs, smiles and tears being expressed. I do mean hundreds; the church was overflowing. Dad's friend suggested that his Sunday school class come sit in the choir loft to make more seating available, but still, people were standing in the back and along the sides of the church.
The service started with a recording of 'In the Presence of Jehovah' by Damaris Carbaugh being played... In the presence of Jehovah, God Almighty, Prince of Peace - Troubles vanish, hearts are mended, In the presence of the King...
I always knew my dad was special… more compassionate than most… more thoughtful and tender than most. I know full well how precious he has been to me; to my husband and daughter; to my mother and brother, but didn’t realize until this week the magnitude of the lives he touched. It reaches way beyond what I could have imagined and my heart is full to overflowing as I try to fathom it.
My brother and I are blessed beyond measure to have grown up in the shelter of his wing, and as his children, we desire to pursue his legacy – to follow in his footsteps, to God’s glory."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Word of God Speak - MercyMe
I'm finding myself at a loss for words, and the funny thing is it's okay. The last thing I need is to be heard, but to hear what You would say.
Word of God speak, would You pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see Your majesty. To be still and know that You're in this place, please let me stay and rest in Your holiness; Word of God speak.
I'm finding myself in the midst of You, beyond the music, beyond the noise. All that I need is to be with You, and in the quiet hear Your voice.
Word of God speak, would You pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see Your majesty. To be still and know that You're in this place, please let me stay and rest in Your holiness; Word of God speak - would You pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see Your majesty. To be still and know that You're in this place, please let me stay and rest in Your holiness.
I'm finding myself at a loss for words,and the funny thing is it's okay.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Dad had a beautiful, peaceful home-going. His friend of 30 years and mentor in the Lord had just prayed, his wife and kids were with him, Jesus called for him and he quietly went.
That's all I can say for now. Words elude me as I ponder what has taken place today.
...Oh wonderful, merciful Savior, I praise You with all my heart and soul.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Mom said while she laid with him during the night, his breathing sounded different and sometimes he moaned. Not sure if it was dreams or pain, she just laid beside him and cried. She called us first thing this morning and we've all (Mom, John, Helena, Kristiina, Nic, Joe, and me) been together, all day.
Thankfully, he's resting very comfortably today. He hasn't been awake, though, for more than a total of 10 minutes, but he says he's not in pain today. "I'm fine," he says. And my prayer is still that God would hold him while he sleeps... he sleeps all the time, and so shall he be in His arms all the time.
Dad hasn't had anything to eat or drink today, but we celebrated when he managed to finish a half of a popsicle at about 3:00 pm.
His hospice nurse, Lori, came and checked him and then sat with us for 30-45 minutes answering our questions and describing how we can keep him comfortable. We all agree that he'll stay at home until the end (and dad participated in that decision). Judging by his symptoms, Lori thinks that he may drop his cloak of flesh and enter his heavenly home before the weekend is through (not a precise quote...but my interpretation).
I realize I'm blurting the facts rather numbly, but I am a bit numb. That, and God's grace is sustaining me... all of us. I have never known more personally the scripture that tells me God's grace is sufficient. It really is.
Monday, April 7, 2008
After a while, dad called to mom asking for something to drink. I took it to him and sat with him for a while. He was lying on his side and sipped his drink from a straw without opening his eyes, and I helped him steady the glass. When he was done drinking, we chatted for a little bit. He spoke softly, slowly, and just a few words at a time, still not opening his eyes. Among other things, he said he loved Kristiina’s laugh – he could hear her in the other room.
When a few minutes had passed, he said he was sleepy. I got up to leave, telling him I’d let him get some rest and kissed him on his head. As I was approaching the door he said something else. He speaks so softly I had to go back to his side to hear what he was saying. Then, he opened his eyes to see that I was there, and he said he’s proud of me; that I’m meek – a quiet person, but strong – and then he said he struggled to find the right words. …that God is evident in my life and he knows I’ll be okay and that God will always be with me, guiding and directing. And again, he said he struggled to express how proud he is.
Dad has always been such an encourager, I never doubted that he is proud of me; but that he thinks I’m meek left me speechless and tearful. Meek is exactly what I want to be. Jesus was meek. A friend of mine once said (I don’t know if she coined the phrase, or borrowed it from a preacher/teacher) that “meek is not weak, it’s bridled strength.” It’s having the ferocity of a stallion, but tempering it with the gentleness of a show horse. All I could do was thank him and tell him I love him.
Later, I was watching a video segment of Beth Moore that I had taped previously. It was based on Philippians 1:6 - being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, Psalm 138:8 - The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands, and Ephesians 1:11 - In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. Her point was that when we die, we’re “unzipping this tent of a body that we’ve been walking around in and step through, dropping it behind us.” That the flesh is all that perishes – who we are is imperishable, eternal. She said that in that regard, the work that God began in us, he will continue it even when our “tenure on this earth is done” because he’s carrying it on to completion until the “day of Christ Jesus.” And not only is He completing what He started in us, He’s fulfilling His plan for all that concerns us. In death, are we leaving behind a spouse, children? Does that make us anxious? He is faithful and trustworthy to work everything out! He has a plan and a purpose, and He’ll complete it. This is the condensed version, but the way Beth put it made perfect sense.
Hearing that after dad told me that “he knows I’ll be okay… God will always be with me, guiding and directing,” it confirmed what I already suspected... that he was assuring me that he is at peace because he knows in Whose care he’s leaving me. I’m thankful dad has peace... and he so clearly does.
The LORD has done great things for us,
Thursday, April 3, 2008
- Pam O'Brien
- I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18