Summary: Funeral Sermon for 58 year old husband and father of 4 who died suddenly
This afternoon we have come together in this to celebrate, honor, and give thanks to God Almighty for the life of John David “Big Dog” Hall. David grew up learning the values of family and hard work, and he brought those values to his marriage with Kay. During their 29 years of marriage, the seeds of those values were tested and proven to be viable as David worked hard, laughed often and loved mightily. He often rose early, hit the road and hauled a load just to turn around and come back to his family road. Just last week he rushed home with flowers and gift in hand for his granddaughter’s dance recital. His vocation would morph from truck driver to building and supervising the building of cell phone towers. He worked hard from the time he was 18 years old. He enjoyed his work and those with whom he worked.
I visited David and Kay’s home a few times, but he wasn’t always there; in a year as his pastor, I saw him mostly on Sundays. Though he never said much, his smile, handshake, or hug spoke volumes. On most of the Sundays this year he was on the road going somewhere for work or trying to get back home to his family. It was easy to guess whether he would be at church by watching his Facebook posts and seeing from which state he was posting. I have learned a lot, though, the last few days by sitting around watching, listening, and visiting with his friends and family.
I was thinking about a conversation Richard Estes and David had one day at Richard’s store. I don’t know what the conversation was about, but sitting there on a stool David told Richard, “I know I don’t do everything like I need to, but I try to live my life right. Me and Jesus? We got things all worked out.” And you know, I think he and Jesus did have it worked out. David might not have been someone who went around quoting the Bible, but his life shouted God’s message. I don’t know who originally said it, but there is a saying: The best sermon I ever heard was the one I saw.
Today, let’s look through Scripture at the sermon David lived out for each one of us:
• In 1 Peter 4:10 we are told, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
David was a giver. He was a giver of himself. Many of you are here today because David gave of himself to you. In many ways, for a moment in time, he made you feel as if you were all that ever mattered. I have heard over and over that David would do anything for anyone who needed it. Kay said there were times that she would think he was mowing their yard and find out that he had taken the mower to someone else’s house and mowed their yard instead. They might have needed it more or couldn’t get out and do it themselves. Yes, David was a giver. He gave to his wife, children and grandchildren, his extended family, church, co-workers, and community.
• Genesis 2:18 was tailor-made for David and Kay. Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
David and Kay found each other and were married 29 years ago. I know the two of you loved doing things together through all these years. You probably helped him coach some of those baseball teams, and I heard something about you coaching a world series softball championship team? I can only imagine how proud he was for you. God made you for each other. Your likes were similar, and your children were the same ages, so they could truly be raised as brothers and sister.
I also understand that he liked to relieve you of some of the cooking duties even though you might have to pick up after him. I was asking about the photo of him grilling and was told that he really did like to grill hamburgers. The problem was that the burgers were usually not quite done in the middle and might have tasted a bit like charcoal lighter. Y’all probably had a lot of fun cooking out.
What is really sweet is seeing all the restaurants the two of you went to together. He always checked in at the restaurant as having dinner with his love. Did he ever find a restaurant he didn’t like?
As a father, David lived out these verses from Proverbs and 1 Timothy.
• Proverbs 22:6 New Living Translation (NLT)6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.