It is with great sadness and yet great peace to let you know that Earl passed away yesterday. He went peacefully in his own home with my mom beside him, as per his request. Widowed, he and my mother “dated” for 13 years. Besides being a part of our family, he was also my high school principal.
After numerous “heated discussions” over the years about the existence of God, most of you know – I had the great honor and privilege to lead Earl in the prayer of salvation less than a month ago. The doctors said that he probably wouldn’t make it through the night. Facing death without Christ, I saw a 76 year old man full of fear and panic as he motioned me over to the side of his hospital bed, barely able to breathe, and with a frantic plea to discuss “the end” once again.
Paul told us in Philippians 2:10-11 that one day EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. What a GREAT JOY to know that Earl asked Christ into his heart before it was too late and is indeed in heaven! God blessed Earl with an additional month – a miracle - after that night to enjoy his new life. When I took lunch (his favorite steak soup) to him for the last time a few days ago, I saw a man full of peace and contentment. Truly - a different person in Christ.
I attribute your numerous prayers as a direct contribution to Earl’s salvation. Thank you for your prayers during the previous months and please pray now for comfort for the rest of the family. A couple of weeks ago during his last week in the hospital, a nurse (God uses everybody) told Earl about Ecclesiastes 3, “A Time for Everything.” He asked if I would make sure that it was read at his funeral. I felt led to share this familiar and beautiful verse with all of you, as well.
Ecclesiastes 3 - A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
... a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
... a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
... a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
... a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
... a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
... a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
... a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
We don’t know when, where, or why things happen, but we can be assured that God’s love, plan, and purpose for each one of us is nothing less than absolutely perfect. “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
Keep loving, keep praying, and never give up hope. Be assured that God hears and answers ALL prayers. None of us can drift beyond His love. And His immeasurable love – is endless. May Earl, indeed, rest in peace -- and dance in heaven.