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 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED (252) 537-4504 or 537-4831 [email protected] www.easttenth.org Worship Services Sunday School Morning Worship Sunday Evening 10:00 11:00 6:00 Staff Minister Dave Chapman 532-9072 Secretary Susan Wilson Music Director Trudy Duke Friends & Other Requests (Continued) The following families, in the passing of their loved ones: 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 written. 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!
© Copyright 2020