Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Life Is a Gift from God

In 1976, Becky and I were married at Grace Bible Church in Dallas. This congregation had been founded by her grandparents (among others). Her youth pastor was an unknown seminary student named Chuck Swindoll. Becky's parents, Brad and Betty Lapsley, were the first missionaries to be sent out by Grace. Since our marriage, Becky and I must have visited mom and dad in the Big D over 20 times. 


This was the first trip I made to Dallas when dad wasn't physically present. 

Love has been defined as a full-hearted pouring out of oneself for others. Dad and mom poured out their lives for the Ethiopian people. Dad established two elementary schools there and helped bring the gospel to Southern Ethiopia. I'm sure I'm a better man because I knew him and because I married his eldest daughter. I know a little bit about the loneliness that life has dealt to mom. She and dad were married for 69 years. Both were spiritual parents to many. They were always there for Becky and me. 

The Scriptures abound with pictures of heaven -- rewards for service on earth, immortality for mortality, a glorious body for a vile one, satisfaction for hunger and thirst, and life out of death. Dad's graduation to glory deserved all the accolades he received at his funeral service. Dad's pastor spoke. Becky's brother spoke. One of dad's grandsons spoke. All made a joyful offering to God. The Lord, in turn, overflowed with consolation for the grieving. We were reminded that every discipline imposed upon us during our earthly journey has one purpose -- to bring us to our full glory and to make us part of that which can never die. I am comforted when I think that pain and tears are part of God's economy on earth. None of us goes on forever, no matter how hard we try to conceal the aging process. Life is a gift from God, pure and simple, and it is taken back when he determines. Whatever remaining years he gives us we are to use to praise his name, serve others, and enjoy his goodness. 

I wasn't able to get pictures of the funeral service for obvious reasons. Instead, I'll post what few pics I do have. I think they will show you the strange peace that is ours as Christians when we lose a loved one. 

Four generations (only Becky is missing).

Mom being greeted after the funeral service. 

Interment at Restland Cemetery. 

"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."
Enjoying Ethiopian dinner last night.

Mrs. Lapsley and I at breakfast this morning. I love you, mom!