Monday, October 18, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
So, as you may have read in my previous blog, my last grandfather, Gordon “Papa” Matheny died on Wednesday morning, Feb. 17, 2010. Tonight (Sunday, February 21, 2010) was the funeral at Bethel Church (formerly Bethel Temple) in Tampa, FL. My last blog highlighted a bit of who he was, at least to me. Tonight confirmed that he was all that I stated, and more, to many, many others. There were approximately 500 people at the funeral tonight, with an additional few hundred more who came before to the viewing. It was a celebration of his life and ministry. There were many laughs and many truths. But at one point I saw something that really typified who Papa was to many thousands who were not in attendance.
First, I must precede my point by recounting something my father stated on the cover of Papa’s book (My Life With God) and again tonight; Papa was a rock… just like one that is tossed into a lake or pond, sending ripples thoughout the entire body of water. Papa’s life did just that; he impacted everyone he ever came into contact with for the Kingdom of God (and many times those who he directly affected, touched many others and so on).
Immediately after my father stated this analogy from the pulpit at the funeral, I looked around the sanctuary and noticed (for the first time) the six huge banners hanging to the right and left of the stage, with photos of differing ethnic peoples from around the world. They each were smiling warmly and in that very instance seemed to be smiling at Papa, oh so thankful for the impact he had had on them. It was powerfully symbolic of the tens of thousands (no exageration at all) of people around the world whom he preached to, prayed for, and gave the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to. He never went somewhere to just vacation or visit. He ALWAYS booked at least one service to preach while on vacation. And the far majority of the time preaching the Gospel was the ONLY reason he would go someplace. One of the numerous men who spoke at the funeral stated that Papa loved to preach so much that he would preach at the drop of a hat… and he would knock the hat out of your hand, if needed.
What an amazing man. At this point, there are only two men whom I’ve known that I will spend the rest of my life trying to gain approval from in the way I live my life. One is the late George Tyree. The other is my own “Papa.” I’m very proud to have been his grandson.
I was asked to create a memorial slideshow for the funeral. The following link is to the YouTube presentation of that slideshow. The music is Papa singing a few of his favorite hymns. Please enjoy and honor him.
Friday, February 19, 2010
So, at 7 in the morning on the day before yesterday (2-17-10), just before boarding a plane from Raleigh/Durham to LAX, I was notified my last grandparent had passed away. Gordon H. “Papa” Matheny was 87 years old. He died of cancer, but when you’re 87, a person partially (at least) dies of old age. He was a legend. He is the spiritual patriarch of our family. He has known Christ as his Lord and savior for more than 70 years! He has preached the Gospel for most, if not all, of those 70+ years. He’s been to more countries preaching and teaching the Word than I could ever dream of visiting in my life. I would be willing to bet many people haven’t even heard of some of the countries he’s visited to spread the Gospel. He lived a life of service to the Kingdom of God, unashamed to teach, preach and sacrifice for his Savior. Our family owes so much to Papa. Thank you Papa, for a life lived with passion and service. Thank you for the heritage you left us. We miss you, but also celebrate you and all that God has done through you.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
So, today I read about a man in Europe who grew up in a poor family, ended up a self-made multi-millionaire, and now is giving ALL of his money away to charities (http://neatorama.cachefly.net/money-happiness.htm). I was astonished at some of the amazingly selfish comments on this article. I chose to comment, myself. Here is what I stated:
Skepticism, cynicism, defensiveness, etc... all problems that observers have, and are not this man's problem. This man has the right and choice to pursue what he believes is right, righteous and/or honorable... IN HIS OPINION (subject to universal laws, of course). If there is/are additional motives (tax shelter, etc.) or if you don't agree with HOW he is sacrificing for the good of others and his own peace, who cares? I see very, very little of this level of selflessness (my own selfish life included). Nothing is perfect in this world, but acts of generosity like this should serve as a spark of light in a world darkened by consumerism, greed, and selfishness. I don't know this man, but we should all be convicted of our own selfishness from this one act of his.
Do you have any thoughts or FEELINGS?