Walking With God
In a devotion written by the late Dr. Herschel Hobbs for Open Windows I read of Enoch’s walking with God "and Enoch was no more for God took him." Dr. Hobbs wrote:
"About 60 years ago a Southern Seminary guest speaker in chapel spoke on Genesis 5:24. In closing, he described Enoch’s walk with God by telling a story: 'Each day God and Enoch took a walk together. Each day took them a little farther from Enoch’s house and a little nearer to God’s house. One day God said, "Enoch, it is nearer to my house than your house. Come, go along home with me." And he was not; for God took him.'"
I was enthralled thinking of how, without experiencing physical death, Enoch "went to be with the Lord," as several translations and commentaries read. We hear this expression often in messages and conversations at the funeral home, but we are accustomed to having with us the body which housed the spirit of the deceased person. How, I wonder, could we deal with the questions if we did not have the body?
With my limited knowledge and resources, I found an— other record of one’s being taken without experiencing physical death. In II Kings 2, we read the account of Elisha and Elijah as they journeyed from one place to another being questioned about when Elijah would leave. Then follows the very vivid record of Elijah’s dropping his mantle for Elisha and being "translated" to heaven in the chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire. This account with its descriptive language defies equal even in our modern-day science fiction.
Noah, too, is described as walking with God. The Living Bible, a paraphrase, says: "But Noah was a pleasure to God .He was the only truly righteous man living on the earth at that time. He tried always to conduct his affairs according to God’s will." The Good News Bible goes even further in describing Noah: "Noah had no faults and was the only good man of his time. He lived in fellowship with God, but everyone else was evil in God’s sight and violence had spread everywhere." Matthew Henry in his commentary says plainly: "Noah was the one good man upon the earth at this time and God found him out."
We acknowledge that our going to be with the Lord is not contingent upon how we walk with God. However, since I came to accept Christ as my Savior, lam assured I shall be with Him when I die. I have felt that the axiom, "If we talk the talk we should walk the walk" is true. I cannot conceive of being His child and not desiring to walk in accordance with His teaching.
Today I may face no difficulty in my walk, yet before long some temptation raises its head and I succumb. I fail to claim His promise that no temptation or trial shall come to me which He does not empower me to resist. In my weakness I am not being consistent and truthful to what I propose to be in my life.
I read an account of a blind man who always carried a lighted lantern at night. Some who saw him and his lantern were amused, and others puzzled. Finally someone asked the man why he carried a lantern when he could not see.
He replied, "to keep others from stumbling over me." As a Christian I have this same responsibility. I must not cause someone to stumble over me. Day by day I must be faithful to my claim of being a Christian. Slipping back once this day might not affect my life significantly but it might take its toll in my witness to someone who in their own life is struggling to walk in His way.
One of my greatest sources of strength to ensure a constant walk comes from my prayers, asking God to help me be faithful in my daily walk. His aid is there waiting for my taking.
Our nation as an acknowledged leader of world nations has yet to experience the full measure of His grace available through prayer. The only answer we need is the promise, "If my people, who are called by my-name-, shall humble Themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin and heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14). It saddens me to think of how proudly our nation once stood among the nations of the world and how we must now appear. From our earliest days men have fought and died that we might live in peace in our blessed, bountiful land. Now in cartoons and editorials and on talk shows our national leaders and candidates for places of leadership are objects of crude comments and jokes. God must be hurt with our rejection of Him and His teachings.
One of my favorite places is Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington, where we have visited several times. I could sit endlessly on the porch looking over the Potomoc River. I always am reminded of the familiar painting of General Washington standing in the boat crossing the Delaware River and of the painting of him kneeling in prayer. The Father of Our Country had a strong faith in our Heavenly Father.
We, boastfully, pride ourselves in sending missionaries into even the most remote areas of the world. Those people in turn hear of the godlessness of our people and must surely have difficulty rationalizing the two.
I am not at all pleased with myself that I have never read the Bible through. Oh, I have begun many of the "Read-the-Bible-Through-in-a-Year" plans but I have never followed through to the finish. I find Matthew Henry’s commentary is nearest my level of ability for study. As I read his explanation of the scriptures on "Walking with God" that I found through concordances and Nave’s Topical Index, I thought that if I ever do read through my Bible I would like to do this with Matthew Henry as my guide.
Recently I was given a copy of Max Lucado’s Inspirational Study Bible,which lam finding helpful. The tinnitus (ear noise) has taken much of my ability to read and retain.
A number of years ago our good friend Tommy Lane gave us Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter’s Awake My Heart, which has been a blessing to me, and also Majesty the God You Should Know, by Dr. Baxter, which I have not read as carefully as I would like. I have it laid aside along with Billy Graham, A Prophet with Honor, also a gift, to read later.
Greg Brewer, of Promises and Praise Bookstore, was amazed I had never read The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan. Recalling that comic books are available in many of the classics, I began to watch for and found The Pilgrim’s Progress in this form. I also found a hardback well illustrated and narrated version of the story easier for me than the original. Through these I am reading and satisfying my long desire to go through this story. Reading of John Bunyan’s life and his imprisonment, it is difficult for me to conceive of his writing such a great and lasting work of literature.
I was eager that grandson Brett not be deprived of this story as I had been. So eager in fact was I that I gave him at various times three copies of the comic-book version. With the last he said to me very kindly; "Pat-Pat, you might like to give this one to someone else. You have given me two already." What memories my grandchildren will have of me!
My thoughts about walking with God lead me to thinking about hymns with this theme. Those which come to my mind include "Oh, Master, Let Me Walk with Thee," "When We Walk with the Lord," and my favorite perhaps "Oh, for a Closer Walk with Thee." Also I think of "My God and I," "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked," and "I’ll Walk with God," which speak eloquently of walking with the Lord.
When our daughters were married, I asked each of them if we might use "I’ll Walk With God" when the mothers were brought in. The only explanation I had for my choice was that those words expressed my prayer for the girl’s lives from that day forward as they walked into another stage of their lives.
When the family was planning Granddaddy Waller’s funeral service, we knew without discussion his favorite hymn, "Ready," would be included. As another selection, "My God and I" seemed perfect. This was especially appropriate in that part which says "My God and I go through the fields together. We walk and talk as good friends should and do." We have listed "My God and I" as one of the music selections in our plans for Don’s funeral.
But praying and reading about walking with God do no good unless I use these to aid me in my walk with Him.
One day as I was shopping at a garden center in the early morning I became confused in placing my order and was embarrassed that I was not communicating well. I commented to myself that I had rushed out too hurriedly and not had my quiet time and my day was already showing that. The gentleman who was so kindly trying to help me overheard my comments. When I looked up at him still with questions, he said, "I find that my best time with the Lord is about five o’clock in the morning." How easy it became to work out my order. I felt a kinship with this gentleman and my shopping became a pleasure rather than a chore as he advised and guided me.
When I had left the house that morning very much aware I not spent any time with the Lord, I put my Bible and devotional book in the car. After the garden center, I went to a shopping mall. Just as I came to the parking lot, a hard rain began. I parked my car, reached for my Bible and thought, "Well, God, you have made it plain I am to spend some time with you." I had taken my Bible thinking I might get to the little park on Old Canton Road. Behind the part of the park visible from the street, is a quieter more peaceful area. The sounds of traffic are hardly audible there. Parking in a way to put the street behind me, looking into the woods, I can almost feel I am in a pasture back home.
After the mall that day, I went by a grocery store which employs many retired people in various positions. The gentleman who helped take my purchases to my car saw my Bible and was instantly ready to share his faith and relationship with the Lord.
As I drove away I felt God had three times in one day shown His presence very vividly. I was encouraged to be more faithful in my walk with God.
I share these thoughts about walking with God to stir others to think through their walks with Him. In the preparation of each newsletter, I pray, think, and work toward helping by sharing. This newsletter is our way to stay in contact with you. We of the Waller Funeral Home treasure our ties with close, lifelong friends and are grateful for new friends we have come to know through our contacts at the funeral home and elsewhere.
FEELINGS. . .
Much has been written about men being unable to reveal their true feelings. Should men keep a tight rein on their emotions, or should they loosen up?
It’s important for men to be willing (and able) to cry and love and hope. We need more tender men who are not ashamed to weep. On the other hand, there are dangers in permitting emotions to rule our mind. Feelings must not dominate rational judgment, especially in times of a crisis, nor should we allow the minor frustrations of living to produce depression and despair.
Both men and women must learn to ventilate their feelings and be "real" people without yielding to the tyranny of fluctuating emotions.
—from Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family Bulletin, with permission.
Visitation is a traditional part of expressing condolence and concern at the time of death. The practice of scheduling definite hours for visitation is a relatively new practice, developed because of the difficulty of family and friends managing to spend time together in the busy time between a death and funeral service.
Before scheduling began, families usually tried to have family members at the funeral home "around the clock," which was difficult and still did not ensure friends could visit with all family members. At the same time, family members wanted to be available at home for the visitation of friends. Scheduling a definite time, usually 2 or 3 hours, has been found to be more satisfactory in most circumstances. Informal home visitation and spontaneous visits to the funeral home are still appropriate and are preferred by some families.
Visitation is often held at the funeral home with the body of the deceased present—with either an open or closed casket depending on circumstances and preferences. In some situations, visitation is held at a church. Some families still prefer scheduling visitation for the family home.
Visiting with friends and other family members can provide consolation and closure, a time to acknowledge the life and death of a friend or loved one and recognition that the deceased will no longer be a part of the group. By their presence, friends show sorrow for the loss of a loved one and concern for the family. Reminiscing about pleasant experiences involving the deceased is appropriate and consoling. Photograph albums, photographs on an easel, or other memorabilia are appropriate if the family chooses.
Funeral home visitation is usually easier on the family. No extra preparations or cleanup of home or food are required.
Family members can leave when they are tired or upset. Parking is easy and facilities are comfortable, accessible, and spacious.
A warm, gathering of friends and family, full of love and remembrance, can be very beneficial to all concerned.
The personnel of Waller Funeral Home help with the details for visitation and are available on the premises during these times to welcome and assist families and friends.
From the Scriptures. . .
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. Psalm 23:4
He has shown you, 0 man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 NKJ
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 NKJ
We dedicate this issue of Sea ions to those who died and whose families we served from November 25, 1995, through February 13, 1996.
Mrs. Josephine H. "Jo" Gratz 11/25/95
Mr. Thomas Marshall Bennett 11/28/95
Mr. Richard A. Avent 12/09/95
Mr. Carlisle Sykes Wilson, Jr. 12/12/95
Mrs. Pearl Murphrey Bynum 12/13/95
Mr. Johnny Mack White 12/15/95
Dr. Thomas Marion Pullen 12/17/95
Mrs. ClydeIl Fudge Fudge 12/17/95
Miss Kathleen Taylor 12/17/95
Mrs. Dorothy Maples Faust 12/18/95
Andrew David Cerveny 12/23/95
Mr. Jesse Parker, Jr. 12/24/95
Mr. Kenneth Murray Howland 12/27/95
Mrs. Mable Brewer 12/28/95
Mrs. Macel Jennings Jordan 1/02/96
Mrs. Shirley Welling Caron 1/03/96
Mr. Edwin E. Brummett 1/05/96
Mr. Clyde Evritt Cook 1/09/96
Mrs. Doris Wiley Frazier 1/14/96
Mr. Raymond Earl Hollowell 1/16/96
Mr. Thomas Buford Bunch 1/20/96
Mr. John Cornish Barbee 1/21/96
Mrs. Alene Mills White 1/21/96
Mrs. Ola Mae Reynolds 1/23/96
Mrs. Mary Lucille Robbins Shaw 1/27/96
Mr. James Andrew Roberts 1/28/96
Mrs. Bessie Tidwell Baker 2/01/96
Rev. George Witte Cantin 2/05/96
Mrs. Ruth Anderson Allen 2/06/96
Dr. George Martin Street, Sr. 2/06/96
Mrs. Lynn Ferguson Coaten 2/08/96
Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Noe Kiamie 2/12/96
Mrs. Ruthie Smith Noyes 2/13/96
A Grief Education and Support Group meets in the Magnolia Auditorium at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30-7:30 p.m. For more information, call the Hospice office at Magnolia Health Services and Hospice (234-8553).
•For information about hospice care, call Magnolia Health Service and Hospice (234-8553).
•Grief helps and also inspirational literature are available in our lending library at Waller Funeral Home.
The value of preplanning and pre-arrangement cannot be over-emphasized as a way to ease the emotional and financial stress at the time of family bereavement.
•Check cemetery policies where you plan interment for yourself or a loved one. Policies vary in cemeteries in this area and, in some cases, availability of desirable plots is decreasing and costs are increasing.
•Be sure to let us know if you have a change of address.
•We continue to be thankful to the Oxford Police Department and the Lafayette County Sheriffs Department for their assistance through traffic control during funeral services.
•Inspirational and stick-on calendars are still available at the funeral home for the asking.
•We are proud to be a part of this community, and we strive always to provide caring, professional service.