Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grandpa Jones

Grandpa went to heaven exactly a week ago.  It was bittersweet to be sure.  We all miss him terribly and feel a great emptiness without him here in the flesh.  At the same time, he's no longer in pain.  His mind is clear and he's seeing his Jesus face-to-face.  No one can be sad about that.

I believe in the fellowship of the saints.  I know that Grandpa is watching us, praying for us, and worshiping Jesus right along with us.

We worshiped at his funeral on Wednesday.  And I just felt like he was still there, with his faithful hands raised, as they always were during worship.  We heard some good preaching at his funeral, and I could almost hear Grandpa saying, "Amen!"  He loves preaching.

My older three kids took it especially hard and cried half the day of the funeral.  On the way from the service to the cemetery Meg said, "I do not want to go to anymore parts of this.  I just want to go home."  Through her tears, she put on her brave face, and said good-bye to her Grandpa.

I was privileged to write and read the eulogy at the funeral.  I almost didn't get through it.  Here it is:
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.  I Thessalonians 4:11-12

Allen Dale Jones, or Grandpa Jones, as so many of you know him, was born on June 13, 1927 in Sullivan, Missouri to Charles Elmer and Charlsie Hattie Jones.  In high school, his family moved to California where he attended Mt. Tamalpais High School.  Dale began working full time in the tenth grade and for a short while at Nabisco.

He attended Glad Tidings Bible College (which was later renamed Bethany Bible College), in San Francisco for one year – perhaps preparing the way for his daughter, Dorothy, to attend the same college many years later.

He enrolled in the U.S. Army and served our country for three years, honorably discharged as a Sergeant.  While in the Army, stationed in Alaska during the Korean War, he met a buddy named Jimmy Sandoval.     One day Dale lamented to Jimmy that that he didn’t have anyone writing to him or to write to.  Jimmy said, “Well, I have a sister you could write to if you want.”  So, he wrote his first letter to Martha.  And she wrote back.   They wrote regularly to one another for about a year.   Until one day Martha’s phone rang and Martha’s mother, Selina, answered the phone, “Who is this?!  Dale Jones???”  And Martha, although sick with asthma at the time, jumped out of bed and said, “Dale Jones!  Mama, don’t hang up!”  He came a-courtin’ that very night—with a box of chocolates, a Whitman’s Sampler to be precise.  (She still has the very box.)  Shortly after Martha’s mother said, “If you don’t plan to marry him, you better break it off.”  So, Martha told Dale, “We can’t go together unless we plan to get married.”  Dale replied, “Let’s get married then!”  Just 10 weeks after their first face-to-face meeting they were married in San Jose.  And that was the beginning of the dyad we know and love as Grandpa and Grandma Jones.

Eventually they would be joined by four children—Dorothy, Rick, Dean, and Janice.

After they married, Grandpa Jones had another year in the army, stationed at Fort Ord, California.  At the end of his service, they moved to Colorado in search of a better climate for Martha’s health.  They stayed there two and a half years. 

In 1960, again in search of a place restorative to Martha’s health, they moved to Paradise, California, where they lived for thirty-four years.  Many of you visited them there, in their little house on Ripley Lane.  Every working morning, Grandpa headed faithfully to his job as a custodian at the local school—black lunch box in hand.  He worked that job for twenty-eight years—showing us all what faithful provision for one’s family looks like.  On the days he didn’t go to work, he’d tend to the family car, mow the grass, sweep the roof, and be found for long hours reading his Bible.  They attended Paradise Assembly of God, where he was a trustee, for most of that time—being the first ones to arrive, sometimes before the place was even unlocked or heated up.   They didn’t get there first to get a front row seat, because, truth be told, they usually sat in the back.  But, they were there—helping, smiling, and being a constant faithful witness of their faith.  Through good times and bad they loved and served that church.  Grandpa was often the first one to the altar to pray after the sermon—praying for his brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren.

In 1996, the Joneses moved to Paso Robles to be near some of their children and grandchildren.  That is when many of you met them.  I’m sure we introduced them as “Dale and Martha” but from the first meeting you probably called them Grandpa and Grandma.  And you have seen how Grandpa seeded the altars and how he loved and prayed. 

Only in eternity will we know the full impact of his life, his love, and his prayers.  It has been said that history belongs to the intercessor.  If that is true, then Grandpa Jones has certainly changed the world—on his knees.  He lived an obedient life.  He finished well.

Micah 6:8 says, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Grandpa Jones finished well because he did exactly what the Lord required of him.  He did justly, loved mercy and walked humbly before God all the days of his life.


Anonymous said...

Oh.Daja. How precious. Your grandpa...and grandma, both together. Your family... all of you, loving beloved Grandpa 'all the way home'... all the photos in the montage are wonderful; had to get the tissues when it got to Grandpa's family/ children/ grands/ great-grands, loving him... touching him so sweetly...at the end. What a true picture of 'heaven on earth' as I look at your family... and a reminder of how 'beyond our comprehension' beautiful heaven is. Prayers of condolence as you and family grieve his earthly passing, 'but not as those who have no hope'. PRAISE GOD for JESUS, our LIVING HOPE, and His resurrection promises. They are TRUE. ~ann in faith

Ha-v-v said...

Daja and family ! I truly enjoyed your eulogy and loved the video. I especially loved watching your Grampa through time with all his children and grandchildren. To see him set on the floor with the babies was so precious. Then when it came to your babies and Sarah Kate's babies, I lost it. I cried at the love they had for their Grampa. Our children have that love for their Grandparents Im so glad. Im glad for the love that is between a grandchild and grandparent, its irreplaceable. My love and prayers continue to all of your family, Mom, Dad, Janice, Josh and Serena, Sarah Kate and her precious ones. To all the siblings of your Mom and to your Grandma.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful eulogy & montage of pictures, honey. A true tribute to your Grandpa whom it's obvious you loved very very much. My sincerest condolences upon your loss. I will keep your dear family in my prayers during this difficult time of healing.

Love you~ Andrea

Persuaded said...

Of course I don't know your Grampa... but I was moved to tears reading this. What a godly heritage he provided for your family. There is no greater legacy than that♥ I look forward to meeting him one day in glory!

Sarah said...

So sorry for your loss, but I praise God that your Grandpa is with Him.

I lost my Nan at the start of the year. I miss her so much. Grandparents are special.

erc said...

Beautiful tribute, Daja!

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