Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Order of Service - Funeral for James Edward Myers - February 17, 2020
Order of Service – Funeral for James Myers
Prelude and Procession:
All Please rise.
Call to Worship:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.
(2nd Corinthians 1:3-5)
We have come together this morning to praise God for the life of James Myers; to mourn our loss with one another, to console each other in our moment of grief; to celebrate Jim's life and all that he meant to all that loved him; to celebrate God's love for Jim, and His love for each of us; And to commend Jim to God's everlasting love and care.
Please be seated.
Special Music: Terry Watters & Kathy Holm – “God Leads Us Along”
Dear Lord, You are the Father of all mercies Who cares for all Your people with an everlasting love. You are the God of all comfort Who consoles all those that are suffering the death of a loved one. You are the God of all peace Who has promised to pour Your perfect peace into the hearts of Your children who are going through the pain and suffering that the loss of a precious loved one brings.
Oh Lord... here today, for the family and friends of Jim Myers, I pray that You would become their strength in this time of loss; their hope in this time of bereavement; their joy in this time of sorrow and their perfect peace in the turmoil that their hearts are facing.
Dear Lord, we thank You that the sting of death has been broken forever and the curse of the grave has been destroyed through the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ who has broken forever the power of death, for all who trust in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Oh Lord, speak today into the hearts of all Your children who mourn... and let them not mourn as those that have no hope, for in You and You alone we hold onto Your love and grace... Lord for those that do not yet know You as the Savior Who died for them, so that by believing they might have everlasting life – we pray that they may come to know and accept You as their Savior and find their perfect rest in You – just as we today stand reassured that our departed brother Jim has surely and truly found his rest in You.
Praise be to you O Lord... in Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.
Reading from the Old Testament:
Psalm 23 King James Version (KJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Reading from the New Testament:
Romans 3:10-26 New Century Version (NCV)
10 As the Scriptures say:
“There is no one who always does what is right,
not even one.
11 There is no one who understands.
There is no one who looks to God for help.
12 All have turned away.
Together, everyone has become useless.
There is no one who does anything good;
there is not even one.” Psalm 14:1–3
13 “Their throats are like open graves;
they use their tongues for telling lies.” Psalm 5:9
“Their words are like snake poison.” Psalm 140:3
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and hate.” Psalm 10:7
15 “They are always ready to kill people.
16 Everywhere they go they cause ruin and misery.
17 They don’t know how to live in peace.” Isaiah 59:7–8
18 “They have no fear of God.” Psalm 36:1
19 We know that the law’s commands are for those who have the law. This stops all excuses and brings the whole world under God’s judgment, 20 because no one can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin.
21 But God has a way to make people right with him without the law, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. 22 God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same: 23 Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, 24 and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25 God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. This showed that God always does what is right and fair, as in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. 26 And God gave Jesus to show today that he does what is right. God did this so he could judge rightly and so he could make right any person who has faith in Jesus.
Special Music: Kathy Holm & Terry Watters - “Amazing Grace”
Message: Pastor Roy Karlen – Woodlawn Christian Church
At approximately 8:45 am on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, James Edward Myers, age 83, left behind this world in which we remain... and he was gloriously born into the Kingdom of Heaven. Not one of us gathered here today can scarcely imagine the beauty and splendor that Jim's new eyes saw on that early morning. There is nothing more magical than for one of God's children to return to Him and feel the love of the Father all around them... Praise be to God.
On March 12, 1936, Joseph and Eunice Myers of Sac City, Iowa, were blessed with the birth of their son James Edward Myers. Jim attended and graduated from High School in Minburn, Iowa in 1955. On August 20, 1961, Jim was united in marriage to Kathryn Thompson at the Methodist Church in Lohrville, Iowa. In their 58 years of marriage, their union was blessed with two children, Michael and Melissa, and three grandchildren, Gabe, Caleb, and Rebekah.
I asked Kathryn how she and Jim met and she told me that they met in Lohrville. She worked at the bank there and Jim came in to make a deposit. She saw him through the window behind the teller and took notice of him right away. He was new in town and she apparently spent too long looking and she got caught when Jim looked up. She quickly made it look like she wasn't watching but as soon as Jim left she rushed out to ask the teller who that was that had just come in. The teller told her that Jim and his Dad had just purchased the gas station in town and that Jim had come in to set up their account. She also told Kathryn that Jim had asked about her too... it seems Kathryn wasted no time in going to the gas station. And as they say... the rest is history. You really should have Kathryn tell you the story though and I'd encourage you all to do so.
Prior to moving to Lohrville, Jim had served in the US Army and just two months after Jim and Kathryn were married Jim's status in the Army Reserve was reactivated and he was on active duty once again. The Berlin Wall Crisis had occurred and once again the world was on pins and needles. Jim remained on active duty for a year stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington State.
For the first few years, the young couple lived in Lohrville and Jim worked at the service station with his father. Then in December of 1966, Jim accepted a position with the New Idea Corporation working in their Finance Department. He was paid a salary of $125 per week, given a corporate car, and health insurance. The young couple thought they had the world by the tail!
The New Idea Corporation made Jim a Territorial Manager in January of 1969 and they moved to Atlantic, Iowa. Jim's job started in January but they moved to Atlantic in December, on the day after Christmas if you can believe that. Thus it seems began the 'nomadic' period of Jim and Kathryn's life together. Kathryn told me that in the span of their 58 years together the couple moved over 30 times. Honestly, I quickly became confused as Kathryn rattled off all the moves and I suggest you ask her to outline all of these moves for you. Jim must have had the patience of Job in order to have endured all that packing, moving, and unpacking.
Just a very short outline of their travels included their next major move to Great Bend, KS in 1972 when Hesston purchased New Idea, there Jim had a new sales territory. Then Hesston moved Jim to Newton, KS where they made him a branch manager. Then the company moved him to Lee Summit, MO. Next came a transfer to Fort Worth, TX. When Ag Co purchased Hesston the new company moved Jim to Carlisle, IA, then to Adelle, IA, then to Perry, IA. And as Jim grew with the company they moved him back to Lee Summit, MO where he was in charge of dealer development.
Jim finally retired from AgCo in 1998 and Jim and Kathryn moved back to Lohrville briefly before deciding to go back to Lee Summit in order to be closer to their grandchildren. While they were in Lee Summit, Kathryn worked for a time for a local Christian newspaper.
In 2004, Jim and Kathryn moved back to Lohrville once again in order to take care of Kathryn's mother Abbie Thompson-Gutschall. Jim wanted to come back and take care of Kathryn's mother and Abbie lived with Jim and Kathryn. Kathryn said he was just wonderful to her mother and she always was proud of how well he treated Abbie. The house they lived in proved to be their longest stay in any one home with them living there six entire years... can you imagine.
In 2013 they moved into an apartment in Lohrville and then in 2015 they moved into an apartment here in Lake City... but they weren't done yet... they lived in three different apartments here in Lake City.
Over thirty moves in fifty-eight years of marriage... I think Jim was a saint... he had to be...
In 2017, reluctantly Kathryn moved Jim into Shady Oaks where Jim lived out the remainder of his days. Jim quickly became a favorite of the staff and was very much loved and adored by all, in spite of his sometimes cranky nature due to the progression of his dementia. When Jim was first at Shady Oaks he was a frequent escapee... walking out the front door upwards to fifty times. Often the staff would lure him back with the invitation to go have a cup of coffee with him and perhaps a cookie. Jim liked his coffee, cookies, or doughnuts and the staff could use them as bribes and incentives to get him to go along with them. After Jim's death one of the staff, Kyle told Kathryn and I a story about convincing Jim to go and get his bath with the promise of a cookie. Kyle said Jim took the cookie with him right into the tub... why not.
When I asked Kathryn for words to describe Jim she told me the following:
That he was driven when he set out a accomplish something, he always wanted to 'get er done'. That he was a helper, he was always happy to pitch in where there was a need. He was kind, caring, wonderful, and he liked to joke around, he was always fond of children and older folks. He was good to his parents and his in-laws. And that he was always good to Kathryn, he kept her in shoes... and apparently in houses as well.
When Jim and Kathryn first got married Kathryn's Father told Jim he could take either Kathryn or her dog Ginger but not both. Jim chose Kathryn... and I think he got the better end of the bargain... though it sounded like Jim really did like that dog.
Jim liked to roller-skate, to play baseball, basketball, and bowling. In fact Jim and Kathryn at one time owned the bowling alley in Rockwell City. But what Jim especially loved was playing golf. He would sneak out to go and play a round and kept playing after his retirement. Jim finally gave up golf in 2001, his dementia had started to creep in and he was having trouble keeping score. He desperately did not want anyone to think he was trying to cheat on his score and out of frustration he gave up the game rather than be thought to be cheating.
Kathryn told me about many vacations taken to Branson during the years, starting their trips there over fifty years ago. When they first went to Branson there wasn't much there, they'd go with their camper. But, Branson became and remained their favorite vacation retreat. There were other vacations to South Dakota, Wyoming, and Portland Oregon in 2000 to visit family.
In January of 1971, Jim and Kathryn met Don Welborn while they were living in Atlantic. Don was there visiting as a traveling preacher from Wakefield, TX. Don's teaching and preaching led Jim and Kathryn to join the Atlantic Bible Chapel and thus began their long and devoted Christian journey.
I will leave the rest of the many stories of Jim's life to his family and friends to share with you. I will close now with a couple of scripture selections from the Gospel of John. I am certain that Jim would want for this service to serve as a witness and a testimony to Christ and the relationship that Christ wishes to have with us all... if we will just return to Him and embrace the grace and love waiting for us.
John 1:1-18 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 15 (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”) 16 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
John 3:11-21 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.
At 8:45 am this past Wednesday, Jim truly came to the 'Light of God', and he looked into the very face of God Himself. Truly Jim had arrived at that place where he had longed to be since January of 1971... he arrived into the very arms of God Himself. Praise be to God... and thank you God for the life and love of James Edward Myers.
The family would like to now provide some time for those who wish to share a memory or a reading, poem, or prayer dedicated to the memory of Jim. If you would please either come forward to the pulpit or speak from where you are located. But please do stand if you are able and speak loudly enough that all might hear. Please come and share...
Thank you all for sharing your love and memories of Jim. God bless and comfort you through the love and embrace of His people.
Special Music: Terry Watters - Medley
The family invites you all to join them in further celebration of Jim's life and a time of shared remembrances and closure, by gathering with them for lunch in the Church's fellowship hall immediately following the service. After the luncheon, we will then journey to Evergreen Cemetery in Lohrville for the Committal Service. Let us please allow this closing prayer to serve also as the grace for our meal.
Let us pray:
O God, our Strength, and our Redeemer, Giver of life, and Conqueror of death, we open our hearts to you just as we are. We celebrate your gift of life freely given but are grieved by a sense of loss in the face of death. The love which binds us to one another leaves us aching as ties are broken. Accept our tears as emblems of devotion, and transform them into waters of life to nourish us in the days ahead.
We trust you. We love you. We know in Christ that your love is everlasting. Nothing can separate any of us from your abiding care. With you is eternal life.
With confidence, we now entrust Jim to your unfailing love and overflowing goodness. Through the power that raised Christ from the dead to live eternally with you, lift up this, your servant, to life fulfilled beyond our imagining. We give you but your own, enfold him in your everlasting arms, hold him for he is your child.
Now strengthen us, through the gift of your Spirit, to face into the future with confidence that you stand with us. Grant that the changes of life may leave us stronger as we journey through life.
Reassured of your abiding presence, help us to knit more firmly the ties that bind us one to another. Renewed by your love, help us to love in ever-larger circles so as to embrace your people everywhere till at last we are all united eternally through Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Committal Service –
Selfishly, we as mortals wish to hold on to Jim. It brings great pain to let him go. Living in the resurrection and hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the trust of a loving God and in the promise of eternal life, we now commit his body to its place of rest. We will continue to mourn Jim, but now his smile will warm the kingdom of God. We will continue to love Jim, but God will now take care of him. We will continue to carry Jim in our thoughts, but he will be kept safe in God's hands. Receive him in the arms of your mercy, O God, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of all your saints.
Let us hear these words from the Old Testament:
Ecclesiastes 3 New International Version (NIV)
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil?
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
Let us hear now these words from the New Testament:
Romans 8:18-28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Believing in the Resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we now entrust Jim to the care of Almighty God and we ask Our Father to open the doors to his mansion and lead Jim to the room made ready just for him. As we now commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we commend his spirit to its new home. Rest eternal grant him, and let light perpetual shine upon him.
God has blessed and enriched our lives in giving us Jim to know and love here on this earth. Though our time together was not nearly enough, in committing his body to the earth, we give over to God the care of his spirit, and we acknowledge that we will one day reunite with him in God's Kingdom. The Lord bless him and keep him; the Lord make his face shine upon him and be gracious to him; the Lord look upon him with favor and give him peace.
Let us now pray together the prayer that our Lord and Savior taught us to pray....
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may His strong arms encircle you and uphold you in your hour of grief. God's peace and strength to you all.
Military Honors Presentation
This concludes our graveside service. Thank you all for coming.