A Celebration Not a Funeral


IMG_0326I recently had the distinct privilege to attend the Memorial Service for a wonderful man of God. Growing up in a ministry home, I have attended a lot of funerals, but none quite like this one.  Per Mr. Walter Freese’s wishes, we spent the service glorifying the God that he so faithfully served during his ninety years on this earth.  We were able to hear from his family who spoke highly of his integrity, love of country, love of family, but mostly, his love for his Savior.  It was one of the most Christ-exalting celebrations I have ever attended.  Mr. Freese was a dear man who fought in WWII and was severely injured.  He miraculously recovered from his injuries, and it seemed from his vibrant testimony that he had his sights set on living his life to the glory of his Savior.  I have only known Mr. Freese for the last ten years or so while I worked with his son-in-law at Tabernacle.  However, there was never a time that I talked with him in person or on the phone that he did not say something to point me to Christ.  His obvious relationship with his Savior was evident in everything he spoke of.  One of the things I count a great joy was the time I spent with him just a month or so before he passed away.  We talked for a long time about anything and everything.  He was still seeking the Lord’s face about how he could be used for the Lord’s glory even at ninety years of age.  Before I left his house that day, he prayed with me and for me.  Many have described Walter Freese as a man of prayer, but it is hard to understand until you are there holding his hand and being witness to his amazing relationship with the Lord.  I will never forget what I learned from his life.

His daughter asked me to sing at the memorial service and gave me this song. Look at the words by Mary McDonald and be encouraged that while we may struggle on this earth for whatever length of time God allows us to have, there is a “Heavenly Home” waiting those of us who have trusted Christ as Savior.

No more hunger, no more thirsting,

No more weeping, no more tears;

No more sin, no more temptation,

No more doubting, no more fears.

In that home, the Lamb shall find them;

He shall lead them on their way,

Where the living fount is flowing,

And shall wipe all tears away.

 

Heav’nly home, happy home;

Never sigh or sorrow come.

“Alleluia,” songs we raise,

Joys eternal, endless praise.

 

No more longing for the morning,

No more watching for the day,

No more groping in the darkness,

No more mists to clear away.

Morning splendors are eternal,

For in heav’n there is no night.

All unknown are mists and shadows,

For the Lamb, He is the Light!

 

Heav’nly home, happy home;

Never sigh or sorrow come.

“Alleluia,” songs we raise,

Joys eternal, endless praise.

 

No more weariness for pilgrims,

No more restless tossings there;

No more sorrow, no more sighing,

No more watching, no more prayer.

Ended every pilgrim’s journey,

They have entered into rest.

Joys eternal, endless praises!

In that homeland of the blest.

 

Heav’nly home, happy home;

Never sigh or sorrow come.

“Alleluia,” songs we raise,

Joys eternal, endless praise.

 

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