Recently, Dr. Brian Stiller provided me with the full manuscript of a funeral message Dad preached on Oct. 5, 1971 for his Dad, Rev. C. H. Stiller. Rev. Stiller was a man Dad counted as a very dear friend and one who had given Dad godly counsel at a key point of decision back in the summer of 1953.
Permit me to give you the beginning and the ending of that message from 49 years ago.
“Now while they were drawing toward the gate, behold, a company of the heavenly hosts came down to meet them, and it was said by the two shining ones, ‘These are the men that have loved our Lord when in the world and have left all for His Holy Name, and He hath sent us to fetch them, and we have brought them thus far on their desired journey so they may go in and look their Redeemer in the face with joy’. Then the heavenly host gave a great shout saying, “Blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb’. There came out also at this time to meet them several of the King’s trumpeters, clothed in white and shining raiment who with melodious voices and loud made even the heavens to echo with their sound. These trumpeters saluted Christian and his fellow with ten thousand welcomes from the world and this they did with shouting and sound of trumpets. Now I saw in my dream that these men went into the gate, and lo, as they entered they were transfigured and they had a raiment put on which shone like gold. There were also that met them with harps and crowns and gave to them the harps of praise withal, and crowns in token of honour.
“Then I heard in my dream that all the bells of the city rang again for joy and it was said unto them, ‘Enter ye into the joy of your Lord’. I also heard the men themselves that they sang with a loud voice saying, “Blessing and honour and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever.’” – Pilgrim’s Progress"
And also permit me to give you Dad’s conclusion to that message:
"I like the words of Cesar Malan, and I leave them with you:
“It is not death to die,
To leave this lonely road,
And amidst the brotherhood on high,
To be at home with God
It is not death to fling aside
This sinful dust
To rise on strong exulting wings
To live among the just.
It is not death to close
The eye, long dimmed by tears,
To wake in a glorious repose
To spend eternal years.
It is not death to bear
The wrench that sets us free
From prison dark to breathe
The air of boundless liberty.
Jesus, Thou Prince of Life,
Thy chosen cannot die,
Like Thee, they conquer in the strife
To reign with Thee on high.”
At 12:45 am Saturday, October 24, 2020 Dad crossed over Jordan into the land of eternal day. He was 98 years, 4 months and a day. On Wednesday morning he had been admitted to the same floor and unit at Calvary Place Personal Care Home where Mom has been living for four years so they had been able to see each other. Please be clear on this one point - Dad did NOT have Covid.
Thank you for your love for Dad as well as your share in the great work the Lord entrusted to him. Thank you also for your prayers for our family. Due to the pandemic and the current limitations imposed by the
Manitoba Dept of Health, only a small graveside service will be held with the family attending. Some form of video tribute for broadcast is under development but that will take time to complete.
Living Memorial Donations may be made in honour of Dad to either Calvary Place Personal Care Home (1325 Erin St., Winnipeg, MB R3E 3R6) or to Faith To Live By (Box 426, Winnipeg, MB R3C 2H6).
Pastor Jim Barber - Faith Bible Church
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