Prayer Requests - East Tenth Street Church of Christ

Prayer Requests
Members & Attendees
George & Ginny Lewis
David Hammack
Janet Edwards
Donna Jean Wheeler
Neida Jones
Larry Dixon
Kristen Hammack
Greg Shaffer
Frances Crawford
Steve & Frances Vester
Friends & Other Requests
Beth Carlisle
Diane Dickens
Arlene Mercer
Horace Deloatch
Pat Nicholson
Gilbert Portela
Kolton Newsome
Curt Snelton
Linda Snelton
Kristen Ham
Thomas Bell
Belinda Davis
Diane Davis
Rose Massey
Linley Johnson Jackson
Mrs. Mabrey
The Christian Caller
East Tenth Street Church of Christ
1207 East Tenth Street
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina 27870
(252) 537-4504 or 537-4831
[email protected]
Worship Services
Sunday School
Morning Worship
Sunday Evening
Dave Chapman 532-9072
Susan Wilson
Music Director Trudy Duke
Friends & Other Requests
The following families, in
the passing of their loved
The family of:
Bea Phillips
Robert “Hank” Haden
Phyllis Campbell
Gerald Jones
Tom Pooley
Non-Profit Organization
Postage Paid Permit 54
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Christian Caller – December 2, 2014
Dave’s Devotions
What would you want your obituary to say?
Last week, a man in Minneapolis named
Aaron Purmort died of cancer at the age of
only 35, leaving behind a wife whom he’d met
just a few years ago, and a young son. Of
course this was a tragic circumstance. Yet
Aaron, who was known for his sense of
humor, wrote his own witty yet touching
obituary. He disclosed his secret identity,
saying that he was actually Spiderman, and
that his son would grow up to avenge his
untimely death on their foe, Cancer.
After coming across this obituary in a news
story, I learned to my surprise that Aaron’s
was not the first lighthearted obituary to
appear in recent months—some of which
were written in advanced by the deceased
themselves, and others by family members
who wanted to accurately reflect their loved
ones’ unusual personalities.
Mr. Val Patterson of Utah made his obituary a
series of “confessions” of things that he
(presumably) did not really do, including this
item: “Now to that really mean Park Ranger;
after all, it was me who rolled those rocks in
your geyser and ruined it. I did notice a few
years later that you got Old Faithful working
again.” But Val also included a very real
confession, to his wife: “My regret is that I felt
invincible when young and smoked cigarettes
when I knew they were bad for me. Now, to
make it worse, I have robbed my beloved
Mary Jane of a decade or more of the two of
us growing old together and laughing at all of
the thousands of simple things that we have
come to enjoy.”
Raymond “Big Al” Brownley, of Pennsylvania,
died last month at the age of 82. As you
might expect of someone nicknamed “Big Al,”
he was a larger than life individual—a fact
which was actually spelled out in his obituary,
but which was also clear from what was
Big Al’s obituary took the unusual step of
including a list of things that he “despised,”
which included “canned cranberry sauce,
wearing shorts, cigarette butts in the
driveway, oatmeal . . . and anything to do
with the Kardashians.” But his obituary also
included a much longer list of Big Al’s loves,
including first of all his wife, and also his
friends, Elks’ club, hunting and fishing, banana
cream pie, bacon, country music, four-wheeldrive trucks, and a lot of other things that I
can’t print here, but which the newspaper
did. His motto was, “Life is hard, but it’s a lot
harder if you’re stupid.”
By far my favorite obituary (if I can say
something like that) was the one written
about Mary “Pink” Mullaney of Wisconsin. It
consisted of the many, many, many lifelessons she taught by her compassionate if
somewhat offbeat example, including these:
“If a possum takes up
(Continued inside)
Dave’s Devotions, continued
residence in your shed, grab a barbeque
brush to coax him out. If he doesn’t leave,
brush him for twenty minutes and let him
stay. Go to church with a chicken sandwich in
your purse. Give the chicken sandwich to
your homeless friend after church. Go to the
nursing home and kiss everyone.
“Invite new friends to Thanksgiving dinner. If
they are from another country and you have
trouble understanding them, learn to ‘listen
with an accent.’ Offer rides to people carrying
a big load or caught in the rain. Believe the
hitchhiker you pick up who says he is a
landscaper and his name is ‘Peat Moss.’ Allow
the homeless to warm in your car while you
are in Mass.”
Mrs. Mullaney’s obituary continued, “In her
lifetime, Pink made contact time after time.
Those who’ve taken her lessons to heart will
continue to ensure that a cold drink will be
left for the overheated garbage collector, the
hungry will have a sandwich, the guest will
have a warm bed and the encroaching
possum will know the soothing sensation of a
barbeque brush upon its back.” The obituary
closed by requesting donations for a
particular Catholic school and parish, “or any
charity that seeks to spread the Good News of
Pink’s friend, Jesus.”
Like all of the others, I’ve only given you a tiny
excerpt from “Pink’s” obituary. I can tell you
that after reading it, I am sorry that I never
knew her. I was deeply touched by her life,
just by reading about her.
So let’s go back to where we started, with this
question: What would you want your obituary
to say? The words published in a newspaper
are important, certainly; but they aren’t
nearly as important as the memories
imprinted on the hearts of those left behind.
What message is communicated by our
actions, our words, our likes and dislikes, our
strong convictions or our gentle grace? What
legacy are you creating with your life?
Val Patterson’s full obituary hinted at a life
filled with many accomplishments and joys.
But his comment about smoking which
apparently led to his premature death also
spoke of his regrets. We all have those;
thankfully, we also have God’s grace. But we
do ask ourselves, how will these decisions I’m
making now look, in light of eternity?
I think we all get a chuckle out of the folks like
Big Al who live life large. They remind us that
we too want to make the most of every
opportunity. We don’t want to squander the
opportunities God has given us, out of
timidity or fear or hesitation. Indeed, as
Aaron Purmort’s example reminds us, while
we might wish for more years, of far greater
importance than the length of our life, is what
we do with the time we are given.
But most of all, we want to share the love and
grace of Jesus Christ through our words and
our deeds. It was very evident that Mary
Mullaney’s amazing (even reckless) generosity
was a reflection of her faith in Christ. Let’s
show the love of Christ through in our lives
every day.
In the end, all that matters is that we have
accepted God’s grace in his Son. Having done
so, let’s make sure that grace shines forth
though us, so that when we leave this world,
everyone will know that we, too, were friends
of Jesus.
The families of Aaron Purmort, Val Patterson,
Raymond Brownley and Mary Mullaney have
our sympathies in their loss.
I hope to see you Sunday—or sooner!