Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day with Father God

Father's Day was spent with our family, but Daddy spent it with his father, and Father God. It was a great time of visitation today--I have no idea how many people came but there was almost a chapel full at one time and a steady stream until after 5:30. Extended family was at our house for supper, furnished by the Gold Band Class, complete with pudding for the twins. Wish you had been here too. The slide show Muffin and Kak did is wonderful. Many folks commented on it. The mandolin music they downloaded was perfect for it. Tomorrow before the service and at the closing they are running the slides again, with our recorded CD.

CB's friend who is having a baby tomorrow came. Dr. Will, a former student's mom, several of the Denton Valley crowd also came. My 7th grade orchestra teacher came early, before the family arrived, and signed the book. And one of my orchestra friends from HS came--haven't seen him since high school. Lots of people sat down and watched the slide show several times.

A sample of tributes to my dear Daddy:

In his sermon today, Dad mentioned your Dubbie and how his faithfulness set the stage for the faith of all of you.

It was in January of 1958, having become a mid-term seminary graduate, that I, J. B. Fowler, was appointed to be pastor of Grace United Methodist Church. My wife Pat and I were more than excited to begin our ministry at Grace Church. With dedication and enthusiasm, we began our work and with supportive and dedicated laity, we accomplished more than we could have imagined possible. I remember that until the largest church in town received its confirmation class, we had received more new members than they had.
Growth and ministry was possible because of the dedicated members of Grace Church. And when I remember those who anchored and led our congregation, chief among them was Dub and Evlyn. Dub and Evlyn are synonymous with the mission and ministry of Grace United Methodist Church. Their contribution to this church can not be measured. Will Dub Allen be missed? Absolutely! And in ways we do not yet know. But he, like others we can recall, will be remembered because they have been loyal and dedicated disciples. In a real way, he will live on in our thoughts and memories. And we will remember him because of his inspirational faith. He was a good man who lived a good life and made this community and this world a better place.
Over the years, Dub lived his faith. His life was a wonderful Christian witness. He was God's gift of neighbor, friend, brother, father, husband--he was the best of these and those of us who were blessed by his life give thanks to God for him.
I remember one specific act of love and caring: Pat died in 1988. I shall never forget Dub's unexpected appearance at her memorial service. Now I know the very gates of heaven have again been opened wide. I know, even now they greet one another in the Kingdom of heaven. Whenever again we worship together and praise God with the wonderful affirmation,
"Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven,
We laud and magnify thy glorious name. evermore praising thee and saying:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts: Heaven and earth are full of thy glory!
Glory be to thee, O Lord most high! Amen."
we will know that the company of heaven has grown. We will remember Dub and we will know that he joins us and those faithful who have gone before as the company of heaven gathered at the throne of God. These holy words will forever carry new meaning and we will remember those who have joined the "company of heaven."
We remember our Brother Dub and even as we go through the pains of grief and loss, we will be thankful for him and praise our God from whom he came and unto whom he has returned. Amen.

When I Die

by J. B. Fowler

When I die,

Do not weep for me

Not only because of what you believe is yet to be,

But because such a wonderful life was given me.

Celebrate with me the gift of my life,

A gift with all its wondrous parts.

Mother, father, brothers, sisters, friends, teachers, colleagues,

The myriad of those who influenced and shaped the construct of my life.

I experienced all of life.

I have felt the hardness of struggle, failure, and despair.

I have been knocked down , counted out.

But I have gotten up again to know the exhilaration of pursuit,

The satisfaction of commitment,

The fulfillment of accomplishment,

And the surprise of success.

Life, I knew it all!

I knew its hopes, dreams, wonder, fulfillment,

And I knew the greatest of its gifts ; the gift of loving and being loved by others.

These are the fabric of my life, creating a wonderful tapestry.

Life has been good.

Weep not for me!

More of life I could not expect.

A greater gift I could not know.

And yet it is for more I hope

And like you, I yearn.

In which I have faith and believe.

1 comment:

Sun-Moon Mom said...

You don't know me but I am an online friend of Christel's. We both have twins and joke that some day my boys will marry her girls. I just wanted to say that your love and pride in your father is a testiment to the character and grace of Dubbie. I just wanted you to know that the words your write in honor of him are beautiful and inspire me to be a better mother to my children.
Kerrie Turner