Summary: JR was a faithful Christian who had served as a teacher for 28 years.
1. It is an honor for me to be part of J’s service!
2. There is an old preacher story where a man approached a preacher after the death of his reprobate brother. The preacher agreed to do the service but the man persisted that he wanted the preacher to say good things about his brother, “Call him an angel,” the brother said. The preacher declined. The man tried to bribe him and then threatened him. Finally the preacher agreed to perform the service.
In the service the preacher began recounting the evil deeds of the deceased man. He finally said, “. . . .but compared to his brother, he was an angel.”
3. No coercion needed JR was an honorable man
• He loved his God
• He loved his family
• He loved his neighbors and friends
• He loved his nation
• He loved people
4. JR was my friend – a real encourager in a bleak time
5. He was YOUR friend also – he touched lives all over OK, the US, and even internationally
I. Generous and Serving Heart
• Stacey and Norm: We’ve made 20 moves to 7 states and have been with rich people and poor people and never met anyone as giving as JR. He’s the most generous man I have known.
• JR’s dad started Lariat Creek Camp and JR led in the management of the camp and led them to make improvements – caretaker’s house; new Community Center with handicap access; gave them the property; able to get the farmland near it to the camp as well
• In Israel JR constantly served others of the group – often lagging behind for the stragglers who couldn’t keep up
II. Hard-Working and Tough
• Learned hard work in farming from his dad and passed it on – “worked circles around everyone else” until the cancer started affecting him
• Hardworking as a teacher – some teach for pay; some as a calling – 28 years; 3 generations
[When CR texted me that he passed away, forgive me, but the first thing that came to mind was, “A Teacher Passed!” I might add, “With flying colors!”
o Creative – in a Sociology class he wore two different boots and made it obvious to the students; no one commented until a quiet student spoke up near the end of class – “I’m proud of you! You are the only one to speak up.” He was teaching a group lesson – unless one person speaks up in a group, no one will speak up. Sometimes it takes courage to speak up.
o History teacher – patriotic (knew our true history and that to make America great again we need God more than economics);
o Kind to students – Freebies on quizzes to give easy points with q’s like, “From what country did the Spanish Armada sail?”
• Tough: chased and run over by bulls; Jordan once beaned him with a golf ball, knocked him down and bloodied him – but he got up and was not angry with Jordan!
o Calm when most people would be stressed – Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. “If”
o When he did get angry if he got too quiet you knew you had crossed the line with him
III. Loving Husband and Dad
• JR loved his kids – both he and Chris saw it as a blessing that they had them in classes; Jordan and Stacey appreciate it NOW
• Showed love for CR with his timing
o Early last week he asked, “What day is it?” – “Monday.” He knew he would see his brother on Thursday – btw as they conversed about Herman’s drive, JR showed his sense of humor by saying, “I’m going to sleep through my next car ride.”
o THEN, he made it to their 50th anniversary and passed away early that Saturday morning.
• Showed love for CR with his micromanagement skills – to lovingly alleviate stress for CR
o He had checklists of things to do
o December – buy me a coffin and cemetery plot
o Wanted to go in the spring so people would not be cold at his simple, graveside service – today is a pretty nice day in February – he has connections and is still considerate
o Providential to have the whole family together for CR
IV. His Departure
2 Timothy 4:6-8 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.