Summary: Funeral Sermon for my Dad focus upon word of the Apostle Paul who says “The time of my departure is at hand.” He knew he had finished all that God required him to do.



I am honored to be standing here this afternoon for the celebration for the life of my father. I recognize I would not be who I am – what I am – where I am – if it were not for the many positive examples my Father set for his family. In particular we all know how proud Dad was of his military career – rightfully so. He had earned the rank of Specialist- (E-6) very early in his career. From there he elected to go to OCS – OFFICER CANIDATE SCHOOL and eventually earned his COMMISSION. I recall asking him not too long ago – why he made that decision. I said “Dad” it appears to me you had SEARGEANT MAJOR the top of the NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS RANK in the bag, the highest enlisted rank. Why did you choose to go to OCS? He looked at me as said “HE WANTED TO BE THE ONE TO GIVE THE ORDERS NOT TAKE THEM.” That’s how he led his life, take charge, don’t lose control, follow the Lord and the LORD WILL DIRECT YOUR PATH.

That was Dad, always setting the bar high.

• My brother Frank, Jr. and I followed in Dad’s footsteps and served our country in the U.S. Army as well

• Four of his Grandchildren served in in the U.S. Army

• Three served tours in Iraq

• One served a tour in South Korea

• There is also a great Nephew who is here today from his duty assignment in South Korea, and has served two tours in Iraq – he travelled all day yesterday and is here this morning, my nephew – SGT. MICHAEL BOWLES

I recall fondly growing up as a military dependent. One of the exciting things me and my siblings looked forward to with great anticipation was hearing that Dad received PCS Orders (Permanent Change of Station Orders). One of the benefits of military life even as a dependent is the unique opportunity to experience life in different parts of the country and the world.

• A permanent change of station, or PCS, is a fact of life in the military

• Receiving your PCS orders to transfer to a new duty station will happen at some point during your military career

• A PCS is an invitation to a new adventure — where you have the chance to live in diverse cultures and environments

• Dad received PCS orders and we travelled to FRANCE – PANAMA – NEBRASKA – MASSACHUSETS – INDIANA - NEW JERSEY

• Of course there was Dad going to serve a tour in Vietnam

I must admit moving and relocating also came with its challenges. Getting the house in order and everything boxed up and labeled and ready to go. That was always a stressful period. GETTING THINGS IN ORDER AND PREPARED TO MOVE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO ITS NEW LOCATION. Moving can be a blessing when you move on to greater things.

• When you move there is pain in the separation

• But also there will be joy that comes with the new place that you are now going to be connected

• You are moving from the old to the new, a new community

• You are transitioning into new horizons a place of new hopes and dreams

Perhaps there are some here this afternoon that say, well I can’t relate, I have never moved. I have been in this location all my life. That’s ok, because this fact of moving is true for the believers who have all experienced a big move in their life.

• You moved from Darkness into to Light

• You moved from a place of Unrest and Confusion into a place of Peace

• You moved from a life of Sin to a life that is Saved

• You moved from Living your Own Life to Living a Life for the Lord

Here, in this exciting text, we find the APOSTLE PAUL as he comes to the end of his life - he looks around – he looks back – and then he looks ahead. So the question must be asked in the midst of this text - WHY DOES PAUL DESCRIBE TO TIMOTHY HIS DYING THOUGHTS?

• It is to motivate Timothy to diligent and faithful service

• It is to motivate him to fulfill his ministry

• Paul has just given Timothy a solemn charge in the presence of God

• In order to give Timothy motivation to fulfill this charge he uses his own life as an example

• It’s as though Paul were saying, “Timothy, my life has come to an end. I have served Christ with all my heart and might. I have done what He has called me to do

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