Monday, May 9, 2011

My Dad Met Jesus on Palm Sunday

I had the unusual honor of preaching my Dad's funeral on April 20, 2011. My father was 84 years old.

Dad had a knee replacement the Friday before, and never really recovered from the anesthetic. Over the last year, or so, he had developed a tumor between the bones in his knee joint and it had to come out. Instead of cutting into the tumor, the doctors decided it was just as good to replace the entire joint and avoid opening an encapsulated cancer.

On his last Friday morning, he began to have difficulty breathing, followed by a blood pressure crash, then a heart attack. Because I am so far away, my brother handled the hospital and they decided to chopper him to a very special, Cardiac Intervention Center at East Carolina Medical Center.

They should have let him slip away. What followed was two, plus days of life support systems and a clear path away from life.

It became necessary to direct the doctors to remove life support in stages, to avoid any unnecessary suffering. First we removed the many drugs - 12 IV's running at once. Next came the pressers and then the respirator.

I sat with him, on and off for two days and held his hand, sometimes reading him Scriptures, sometimes talking, sometimes just holding his hand.

When the end came, it was merciful, sweet and gentle. God blessed us in that regard and in so many others, through the weekend.

Their pastor was fairly new to their church and I would not allow a stranger to bury my dad. My father loved to sing hymns and celebrate life with his family. In his honor, we held a marvelous Celebration of Life, that began with a 30 minute hymn sing so that the congregation would understood the joy we felt knowing that my dad met Jesus.

Just before I took the pulpit, my oldest brother's, youngest son asked me if I would baptize him before he returned home. It was such a sweet and appropriate request, I asked if he minded being baptized at the end of his grandfather's service.

He was overjoyed and all those who came to say goodbye to my dad, stayed to celebrate the miracle of rebirth, with us. It was... unique. Even the funeral home staff commented on how beautiful it was to intertwine new birth with a funeral. I'm not sure how many other pastors would try it but it was right for us.

We had no body to bury. Dad donated his remains to the ECU Medical School to study the effects of polio, over 74 years. He one of the older surviving polio survivors, in America. In about 18 months mom will get his ashes and we will go from there.

If you are still reading, thanks. I wanted to share our joy and sorrow, in such a way that you might feel encouraged.

He is not there...

He has risen, just as He said...

and that, beloved, makes all the difference.

Peace be the Journey
Truth cuts like a knife.
Lies lie there all your life.
Choose you this day whom you will serve...
Convenience or compassion

This Baby

A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:

'Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.

So the doctor said: 'Ok and what do you want me to do?'

She said: 'I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.'

The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: 'I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.'

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Then he continued: 'You see, in order for you not to have to take care 2 babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.

The lady was horrified and said: 'No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!

'I agree', the doctor replied. 'But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.'

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.

He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb.

The crime is the same!

If you agree, please SHARE. Together we can help save precious lives!

"Love says I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself..."

Jesus sacrificed Himself for the good of sinners! That's perfect love!


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