Summary: This is a funeral sermon for a 35 year old friend who died due to cancer of the brain. He lived the last four years trying to be a disciple of Jesus in a real way.
Song #1 -- Hallelujah -- Family Enters
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14.1-3
My name is Perry Greene. Most of you have no reason to know me. I met Jake about four years ago in a Thursday evening Bible study at the home of Bobby Peck in OKC. Jake was friends with Mike and Patty Wilson and accepted their invitation to the study. Jake became an immediate friend to all of us in the group. Over these four short years we got to know Jake in health and in illness. I got to see him "in action" on a trip to Israel two years ago. It is an honor and privilege for me to conduct this funeral service for my friend.
Purposes of Funerals
1. Honor a loved one
Jake was an honorable man and so, it is easy for us to lift him
2. Comfort a family
Jake loved his family and wanted them to be at peace with his process
3. Reconnect with priorities
4. To remember
a. We generally want to remember our past.
1) Photo albums
2) Monuments; Tombstones
b. We also want to be remembered -- we give pictures and gifts to be remembered.
Disney World memories
Song #2 -- "Remember Me" -- [Cued by Perry Greene]
Memories of Jake
I have conducted many funerals during my career. Some of those funerals have been difficult in getting material for the service. Not today. Everyone here has a Jake story. If we all took turns telling stories about him, we would be here all day. Let me summarize some things that many of you have said about Jake. Some of these things come from the FaceBook page and some from personal word of mouth stories.
We remember Jake as "One of a Kind"
* He had a warm and captivating smile
* He always had a Good word
* He was good and kind -- repairs for neighbors; being kind to fellow high school students when others were not; made people feel at ease
* Jokes and Pranks -- part of his happy outlook
* Vibrant and fun-loving
o OSU tailgating
o He probably got more out of his brief 35 years than many would get out of 100
* Athletic and competitive
o Appropriate that we have this service in the gym where he played basketball
o O, and apparently thrilled the hearts of some of the girls in the school
o Had the confident "strut" of a winner -- both on and off the court
* Gifted with financial savvy -- successful businessman; helped people get out of debt; gave good financial advice
* Loving Husband; dad; son; brother
* Strong in dealing with his cancer. He did not let cancer define him.
o In spite of pain and discomfort, he kept working
o Knowing his challenges gave the rest of us a dose of reality and put our minor aches and pains into perspective
o "I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." Christopher Reeve
o Jake knew: 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4.6-8
* Jake was confident -- not afraid to die
o Channel 9 Interview -- his only concerns were Susan and Blake; "We are all going to die."
o Upon hearing the news of his latest condition -- Susan cried and Jake smiled. The Dr. was shocked and asked, "Do you understand what I just told you?" "Yes, I am going to die." Then joked with Susan about where she would bury him.
o I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1.12
o Jake had some understanding of what is on the other side from us
Song 3 -- "I Can Only Imagine"
Jake would not want this time to be just about him. He would want us to spend some time looking to the God who worked in his life.