Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Fun

Backyard Fun

Grandma's Visit


Watching the Friendswood 4th of July Parade

Michael's favorite part of the parade were the DRUMS being played by the Friendwood High School Marching Band.

We went to the Bright's house for a fun Independence Day Party.
Michael will one day realize what a lucky boy he is to be between two pretty girls!

He eventually got over it and came back to play another day! 

Yes folks, this is how we roll through HEB!

Heaven is Sweeter

  On June 24, 2012 around 8:30 pm my sweet Daddy left this earth and went to his Heavenly home to be with Mom and JESUS!  We knew his days left were short but I really thought we had a couple of weeks left with him.  On June 13 Dad wanted a haircut, really really badly. So bad that he felt up for a drive into town to get one. So I took him and he did great on our little outing together. Hard to believe he left this earth just 11 days later. I took this picture at the barber shop right after his hair cut. Oh how I love him and miss him!

This picture was taken on Friday, June 22, just two days before he passed and it is the last picture I  took of Daddy.  These two loved and adored each other.  I pray that Michael will always know what a wonderful Grand-Daddy he had and how he loved him so very very much.  On this particular day Michael was extremely loving and gentle to his Grand-Daddy.  He would go over to him frequently and rub and pat his arm and back, lay his head on Grand-Daddy and give him hugs and kisses.
  So very precious.

On the day of Mom's funeral, ten years ago, Dad asked Steve, Philip and myself to "preach" his funeral when the day came. He wanted us to each take five minutes to talk about our "dear old dad."  With the grace of God we made it through.  God was glorified and Dad was honored, I can't ask for more than that. Here are my words that I shared...the first part is the welcome I gave at the beginning of the service.

Thank you for coming today to honor my Daddy.  We are all touched by your outpouring of love.  On June 20, I sat down with Dad to tell him that his doctor said it was time to begin hospice care.  He accepted this news calmly and graciously.  I believe he already knew what was happening to his body because he immediately began telling me every detail he wanted for his funeral.  So, today has been designed by Dad. He does not want sadness, but rejoicing.  As we had our conversation we cried and rejoiced together as he said, “I am going to see Jesus!”  His directions to us today are to sing songs with joy to the Glory of God  because, “HE SAVED ME…HE CALLED ME TO PREACH HIS WORD…HE GAVE ME A WONDERFUL FAMILY…MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN KNOW HIM, LOVE HIM,AND SERVE HIM…WHAT ELSE COULD A MAN ON EARTH WANT?”
So let’s honor his request, sing the songs he chose for today and lift our voices in praise to the one who saved him.
First, I want to thank Dad’s church family, the congregation of Point Blank Community Church.  There are no words to thank you for the unending love and support you have given our family…your prayers, gifts, meals, cards, love offerings and the list goes on and on… We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
As most of you know I am the baby of the family and as Dad called me, “the icing on the cake.”  Actually, he had several nicknames for me…Sisemo, R G, and Achey to name a few.  In fact if you were a close family friend or a family member, he most likely had a nickname for you too.  Or he might call you by your first name and middle initial.  Right, Jessie B? 
I took some time and read through Dad’s Pastoral Record Book.  I was touched as I read through the names throughout Dad’s ministry.  Many of your names are listed, including mine.  I also learned some things I didn’t know.  For example, Daddy’s first sermon was on July 5, 1964 and his last was on January 15, 2012.  In those 48 years he preached…
4,026 sermons
171 weddings
625 baptisms
341 funerals
I know for a fact some of you are upset that Dad beat you to heaven, because you now have to find someone else to preach your funeral.  Dad had a special gift for funerals…no one could preach a funeral quite like him.
Dad not only was a preacher but a singer as well, with such a beautiful smooth voice.  It pained him not to be able to sing in his last months, but oh he is singing with the angels now! I hope you had the opportunity to watch him singing on the DVD when you came in today.  In almost every sermon Daddy preached, he would also sing a song.  I have to confess, when I was a little girl I would get so embarrassed when he started singing.  But as I grew older I came to treasure and appreciate each song and I loved to hear him sing.   Not only could Dad sing, but he could whistle any song as well.  He loved to work outside and you always knew where Dad was because you could hear him whistling. 
Daddy loved to laugh and tell jokes, even in his sermons.   Everywhere he went he told a joke, whether it was to the cashier at Wal-Mart or the waiter at a restaurant.   Dad never lost his sense of humor, even in his last days he was still telling jokes.
Daddy was a champion domino and 42 player.  He loved to play the game and took great joy in beating the socks off his opponent, even if it was his favorite daughter!
Dad’s greatest love, after his Lord and Savior, was for his family.  He was the best Daddy a girl could ask for.  I have very fond memories of singing songs while we rode bicycles together, of tractor rides and Daddy Daughter dates.  One date in particular sticks out as my favorite.  I was probably six or seven years old.  Daddy took me out for a fancy steak dinner, shopping at Foley’s and bought me “high heels” and then took me to the rodeo! That was some date!  Now that I am older I appreciate the beautiful example he set of a Godly marriage by the way he loved his wife.  Daddy was doubly blessed in his life by two Godly women, first mom.  They had 48 wonderful years together.  And then the Lord led Dad to Lois Fae.  Lois, you have been such a blessing to Dad for the past seven, almost eight years.  Not only you but your children, Joy & Robert.  I thank all of you for loving him and taking care of him. 
One of the greatest lessons I learned from my Daddy (but I have yet to master) is to not worry.  Dad didn’t worry.  He laid his burden at the feet of Jesus and just didn’t worry about it;  which is exactly what God’s word tells us in Psalm 55, “to cast our burden on the Lord;” and in Matthew 6 He tells us, “Not to worry about tomorrow.”  Dad was a great example of what Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11, “...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Whereas I will lose sleep over a problem, Daddy could sleep like a rock. 
The absolute best thing I can say about my Daddy is that he made his life count. He changed lives for God’s kingdom and Glory.  No doubt that you are here today because he touched your life in one form or another.  Countless cards and messages have been sent saying how Dad helped him/her grow closer to God and changed their life.  Daddy would read them, and through his tears would say to me, “That’s what makes it all worth it.” I want to share one message in particular…
I thank God for you and your family. I will never forget the day your Dad led me to the Lord. I spent a lot of years running, but 3 years ago I surrendered all.   For the last 2 years I have been Praise and Worship leader at my church. I also lead a ministry group. I thank God for placing you all in my life and letting me see Him in all of you. I always loved hearing your Dad sing.  And hearing Him preach.
I pray for strength and comfort for you and your family in knowing your Dad has a place awaiting Him where there is nothing but pure beauty. A place where there is no sorrow or pain.....just peace and joy.
Please tell your Dad I said, "Thank you for giving to the Lord...For I am a life that was changed."
 Since Sunday night I have imagined what it may have been like when Daddy arrived in Heaven.  I have no doubt that he heard from his Heavenly Father, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  Wow.  I grieve for myself and my family, but I am so HAPPY for Dad!  I am thankful for the heritage that he has left us and it is now our job to carry it on.  So I challenge you as well as myself to make every day count for God’s kingdom and glory.  Please don’t let another day go by without reading God’s Word, telling your loved ones that you love them, and share the love and saving grace of Jesus.

Father's Day

I did a poor job of capturing sweet Father's Day moments on camera with Adam and Michael this year...shame on me.  But, here are Adam's Father's Day gifts ~ LOL!
And yes, those are Duplo (Lego) blocks...he and Michael had a blast building together.  In case you didn't know, building/creating with Legos is a favorite activity for Adam, he is such an engineer!

Celebrated Dad's last Father's Day on this earth.  I will forever treasure this picture.  He loved his card/gift.  He bragged about it and showed it off to all the nurses and visitors who came to the house.