Home > Faith & Family > Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?

Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?

Saturday night, February 19, 2011, at about 11:00 PM, my step-father (I’ll call him Joe) received his final wish and was ushered into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Like Jacob/Israel of old, he was able to have last words with each of his children and loved ones, and then was “gathered to his people.”  I have no doubt that he will hear those words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord!”

You see, although my personal relationship was carried out almost entirely by long distance phone calls, in the same way astronomers deduce the presence of a planet by its effects on other heavenly bodies, so Joe’s character can be readily deduced by its impact on the lives of others, and most notably on that of my Mom.

I did have one opportunity to observe Joe firsthand when they were eventually able to visit us here in Chicagoland, and in that short time, I truly grew to love and respect this gentle giant. (And by giant, I don’t mean in stature but in Christian integrity.) His sense of humor was infectious, his faith in his God triumphant, and his care for my Mom obvious. How could I not love this man? It was with no difficulty at all, and the very truth, that I shook his hand as they were leaving and told him point blank that I was proud to call him “Dad.”

That pride was even more reinforced by my phone calls with my Mom and Joe in the ensuing years. The joy and happiness, in the Lord and not in frivolous things, that Joe inspired in my Mom was such a blessing to observe. I was constantly challenged by the calm acceptance of the physical pain he endured as his body succumbed to age but his spirit clung to the truths of Scripture and rejoiced in the Lord regardless, truly a living lesson in Philippians 4 (the whole chapter!) attitudes.

The strength I’ve seen in my Mom in the last few months as Joe’s health declined and he was hospitalized is a direct reflection of the spiritual life Joe nurtured in her, and while I weep over the events that have required the utilization of that strength these last days, I rejoice that my Mom has had that strength at her disposal planted in her from her time with her husband.

So, yes, I know my step-father is now enjoying his rest from pain and his audience with his Lord. May I find the same strength of character and follow in his footsteps to the foot of the same cross of our Lord and Savior. Amen.

~~~

As a measure of the character of the man, I give you a short piece he wrote last Veteran’s Day regarding the meaning of that day that was published in their local paper.

Army Air Forces, World War II
November 11, 2010

I am an Iwo Jima survivor, and Veterans Day to me represents the sacrifices our men and women endured during the wars.

As a combat veteran, I am appalled as to what is happening to the freedom that was bought by the lives of all servicemen and women. It seems that those in power have totally forgotten what our Constitution stands for and the oath that they swore to uphold. They should be ashamed of what they are doing in Washington.

Recently I had the honor to visit Arlington National Cemetery. I stood in awe of the many graves that represent the price paid for the freedoms we enjoy.

Please, each and every president, senator and congressman, visit this hallowed place, examine yourselves and honor those brave men and women by standing up for what you once swore to uphold. Be not a Democrat or Republican or independent, but be an honest and truthful public servant. God bless and save America.

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  1. 22 Feb 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Dear brother,
    Oh the sting of death!
    My prayers are with you and your mother in this time of mourning. It sounds as though your step-dad’s life is a Christian biography, lived as a display for the glory and good pleasure of the God he served. Praise God for men like this! I hope it will be said of us all, the tribute you have paid here to your Dad.
    God bless Interface!

  2. 22 Feb 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Thank you, brother. My Mom shared with me the plans for the memorial service/celebration, much of which my step-dad had planned beforehand. It is a tribute to his walk with God that even in death, he wants to be evangelistic. And he will be getting the full military honors as well. He will be missed, but that sorrow is shaded by the knowledge that we will see him again.

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