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Dad’s Eulogy

June 5, 2011

I do not often use this blog to discuss the goings on in my personal life. The purpose for me of doing this is to edify and encourage the body of Christ and to proclaim the Gospel to those who may be passing by on the internet super-highway. This is an exception to that rule. A little over a week ago God called my Dad home. It was quick, sudden, and unexpected and we have been reeling from the blow ever since. For reasons I cannot fully explain I was moved to insist that I have the opportunity to speak at Dad’s funeral. I wanted to honor my dad and proclaim that Gospel that he lived and died by. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am not a street evangelist nor am I a preacher but I knew if I didn’t do this I would regret it for the rest of my life. We do not often get opportunities like this and if we are going to Honor our Lord and Savior then we need to react to the promptings of the Spirit when they arise.

Here is the text of the eulogy I presented at Dad’s funeral on May 28, 2011…

I want to thank everyone for coming today. I also want to thank Mom and the Pastor for allowing me to do this for my Dad. What I do today I hope and pray that my children will one day do for me.

When I was growing up Dad would regularly fall asleep in front of the TV. You could always tell by the snoring (which he always denied.) When I would turn it off of change it he would instantly wake up and complain. “Dad, you were sleeping.” I would always say. His reply was always the same, “I was just resting my eyes.” I told him that someday I would put that on his tombstone. “Here lies Carl Baker, he’s just resting his eyes.” I will come back to that later.

Dad was many things in his life, you couldn’t define him by a profession as is so common today. He was just a regular honest worker. There are many other things you could define him by:

  • Dad was a tinkerer. Mom calls him a carpenter but he did far more than that. If it needed fixed or improved he was your man.
  • Dad was a picker. He would take things that others had thrown away and turn some of them into beautiful and useful items. Others were still junk. (Sorry Dad.)
  • Dad was a talker. Most of us are born with a filter between our brain and mouth. Dad’s never worked quite right and as he got older it degraded and nearly vanished completely. You always knew where he stood (whether you wanted to or not.)
  • Dad was a farmer. He loved to plant a garden and grow everything from corn and beans to apples and strawberries. Some may think he did this to save money. I think he did it because he loved to plant a seed and see God make it grow.
  • Dad is a follower of Christ.

There are many people here who can talk about Dad’s life and there will be an opportunity for you to do so at the end of the service. I knew him for 37 years, only 34 of which I can recall with any amount of clarity. My privilege to day is to talk about Dad’s faith. A faith he planted as a seed in me that God has grown. Dad taught me many things about being a Christian. Since I have become an adult I have expanded on that through a study of theology and the Bible. Dad was no theologian but he taught me many things about being a Christian nonetheless.

Dad believed the Bible to be the Word of God. Whenever confronted with a problem or a situation he knew was wrong my Dad’s response was simple, “It’s not Biblical.” That settled the matter for him. No argument, no question. Dad understood the authority of the Bible. Because he understood this he also believed what it says about mankind and our need for a Savior.

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. God has set a standard that He wants us to follow and we have wandered badly from that standard. We often compare ourselves to others and think we are not as bad as them so we will be ok. But when we compare ourselves to His Law we stand convicted, all of us. You, me, and even my Dad.

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We stand here today to mourn and celebrate the life of my Dad. We also stand here reminded that things are not right with the world. Death is the enemy. Without sin there would be no death. This verse also reminds us that Salvation comes from God as a free gift.

John 3:3 – Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. In order to be saved from our sin there needs to be a change in our hearts. Dad always described himself as a “born again Christian.” He liked to say it so much that I hated to tell him that the statement was redundant.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. God has made a way for us to be saved from the just punishment our sins deserve. Jesus Christ, the Son of God entered into this world as a man, lived a perfect life and willingly gave himself on Calvary’s Cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Our sins are transferred to Him and His righteousness is transferred to us. This is the way, there is no other. Dad knew this.

Romans 10:9-10 – if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Christ defeated death by rising again after three days. The grave could not hold Him. What must our response be to God? The Bible says we must repent which means to admit we are a sinner and turn from our sin. My Dad knew he was a sinner and put his whole life in the hands of Christ. If you knew him you saw the evidence of this every day.

The Bible makes another promise that is especially relevant to us today. It is a lengthy passage but well worth our consideration. 2 Thessalonians 4:13-17 – But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

For those who know Christ death is not the end. My Dad’s body lay here and we rightly mourn our loss but he stands right now with his Savior in paradise and waits for the day when Christ will make all things new. I ask you today, do you know Christ? Have you been forgiven of your sins? Take my Dad as an example. Let today be the day when you repent and turn your life over to Christ. Then some day your epitaph will say the same as his. “Here lies Carl Baker, he’s just resting his eyes.”

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