Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Billie Jones

Kayci and I drove to Dallas Monday evening. My bro-in-law, Korey, and I were supposed to fly out to California yesterday for the Pepperdine Lectures. Kayci and Truitt were planning on staying with my sis-in-law, Amy, and her two kids.
I received a call from my dad yesterday morning around 9:30 informing me that my grandpa, Papa, passed away early in the morning at the age of 80.
After cancelling my speaking commitments at Pepperdine, we drove over to Decatur where we spent a few hours with my grandmother. I was amazed by the people of the Decatur Church. They brought enough food to feed the entire town. They came and cried, laughed, hugged, and prayed with us. They are a church that knows how to enter into the sufferings of people.

The moment that made me cry was a when a little girl named Ainsley came into the home. She walked over to my mother and said in her little voice, "I'm sorry about your daddy dying." I witnessed the faith of a child.

Papa was a mighty man of God. Though I wasn't alive, the stories of his compassion during the Civil Rights movement makes me proud to be his grandson. He stood up for what was right--not just because he was a good man, but because he was a good man who had been touched by God.
He served as an elder for over 2 decades, always working to move elders from a "board-of-trustees mentality" to embrace the essence of shepherding.
We will miss his humor, his smile, his wisdom, and his presence. But days like this are made okay because we believe that the power of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is still at work today.

My dad and I will perform the celebratory ceremony tomorrow.


Ash, Kel & Ella said...

Josh, I am sorry for your loss. I've lost both grandfathers (one also being Papa) so I can sympathize with you. My family found comfort and peace in the stories my Papa used to tell us. We still re-tell the stories to this day.

I pray blessings on your family over the following days, weeks and years.

Rick Ross said...

We are SO blessed by our community of faith.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Billie Jones was a saint.

Olivia said...

Josh, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but glad to know that you are right there with your family.

My family continues to find peace in the memories of my Papa. This is absolutely a time of celebration, as a child of God has entered into His presence.

Our prayers and thoughts are here with you at Sycamore View.

Danna said...

All of you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Bogle said...

hey Josh, I just found your blog. I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. I said a little prayer for you this evening for the service tomorrow. Congrats on moving to TN.

jenlowe said...

You and Kayci are in my thoughts and prayers. I am sorry about the loss of your grandfather.

Anonymous said...

You guys are in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

You guys are in our thoughts and prayers.

Karen said...

Josh, I'm so sorry about your Papa. Your family will be in my prayers. He sounds like a faithful warrior for the Lord. -Karen in TN