What my dad would want you to know
Yesterday we celebrated my dad’s life –
These are my words:
Thank you for coming- we are grateful for the part you have played in the life of our family and for the honor you show by helping us today in honoring the life of Rex.
Some of you knew Rex better than others. Some of you knew him as a friend, a brother, an uncle, a father, a grandpa, a neighbor, a colleague, an elder or mentor and only one person knew him as a husband (my mom).
We each have limited time on this side of the veil. My dad, though flawed, did a good job. He lived a good life, created amazing human beings and loved his wife and grandkids well.
Ever since I can remember my dad was always there for me. He gave me advice and comfort in addition to half of my gene structure and a love for southern food, pie and ice cream! I have him to blame for my sense of humor, my occasional temper and so many other things that I love and dislike about myself.
There are not enough words to express his influence in my life but what would I want you to remember most about my dad? While My dad knew where he was as going and looked forward to it, we are here to remember with delight about where Rex A. Moses has been. Dad lived a good life of integrity and faith. I am going to state the obvious – which was just what he would do all the time!
First, my dad would want you to know that he served and loved a God of joy! He often pondered his undeserved blessings. He would review how good God was to him and how humbled he was to know God’s favor. He laughed hard. My dad had a sense of humor. Whether or not it was a good sense of humor is up for debate – he only had a few jokes in his repertoire and it was hard to tell if he was serious or kidding until you learned to see his tongue in cheek and His eyes sparkling with mischief. He could crack himself up all the time. There is not enough time this side of heaven to declare all the blessings he experienced because he put his faith in a good and joyful God.
Next, my dad would want you to know that he believed – that God can do anything. My dad was smart and worked hard yet he knew the only one who could do it all was God! He believed Jesus plus nothing else is Everything! My dad loved math and weird word problems. The one statement that defies everything is the reality that anything times nothing is nothing yet with God all things are possible. He trusted in a God who can do anything. Dad knew he couldn’t do it on his own and trusted in a God who could. I am grateful for my dad’s work ethic. He worked hard long hours so we could have the things we have and the opportunities we enjoyed. There was never a lack of food, clothing and shelter. We traveled and had plenty of books, games, lessons and friends. My parents valued education and provided that as well. Dad was always reading and studying. His favorite thing to study was God’s Word and his common topic of conversation was prophecy. One time he told me that he asked God to let him be alive when the rapture happened and He came to gather His bride. Though that didn’t happen he as he expected he did experience the Lord’s return for him and he is alive in the land of the living and he will be fully present and alive when Christ does return.
Third, My dad would want you to know that he owed God everything. He was a spendthrift. He was Scottish and it showed. You might even call him a tightwad, frugal or even a penny pincher. But what he really was was a good steward of what was only loaned to him. My dad would want you to know that he owed God everything. My dad taught us the value of a dollar and the importance of tithing and saving. The truth is that He stewarded well – his time, his resources, his family. When he gave it was generously, cheerfully and gratefully. He planned well for the future of his kids and grandkids and accepted both blessings and sorrow with eternity in mind. He clipped coupons and looked for bargains. I even remember once when he came home with a station wagon full of groceries and a negative balance receipt. Double coupons actually required the store to pay him to take the groceries.
Finally and most importantly My dad loved Jesus. This is the most important thing about my dad and what he would want you to know most about him. When he was 7 his father gave him a Bible story book which he read over and over, familiarizing himself with Bible stories and learning there was a loving God. He bought his own Bible as a young teen and read it from cover to cover. When he got to a passage in Romans he realized the weight of his sinfulness and he called out to the Lord and said, “If you don’t save me I guess I will have to die and go to hell.” As soon as he prayed that prayer, he felt the Holy Spirit come upon him and the purpose of his life changed from that moment forward. He heard a lot of sermons and read the Bible many times. He lived to know God intimately.
My dad loved well because He loved Jesus. He cared for the lost. He prayed often and faithfully for others. He set a godly example in his marriage. I never questioned whether or not he loved mom and even though he had a temper and made parenting “errors”, I never questioned his love for and faith in me either.
He shared his faith with his family and even though others taught me to swim and ride a bike, dad told me about a personal relationship with Jesus and he modeled what it looked like. I learned the importance of God’s Word as we had devotions and as he showed me how to hide it in my heart.
Once dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and His mind and body diminished, he still had his faith. Though increasing in helplessness he still testified of God’s goodness. Everyday he continued show his kids and grandkids what a life committed to Jesus looks like. Dad still walked the life of faith he walked for many years. As I spent time with him in the past few months he couldn’t remember details and verses that he studied over and over but he prayed with meaning and when I asked him about the Lord he talked more than he otherwise did. Perhaps it is the spiritual disciplines, the habits, the consistent practices that have been an integral part of dad’s life over the long haul more than anything he can remember. It says to me that the value is in the faithful rhythm over a lifetime- a long obedience in the same direction – that helped my dad even as everything else is slipping away. Since he couldn’t remember new information very well, it must be the well-worn habits that are deeply embedded within that can still be accessed somehow. The truths of a joyful God who can do anything, to whom is owed everything and who allows us to love him.
I don’t really want to learn to live without Dad’s presence in my daily life and rhythm. But I am forever grateful to know the delight of a heavenly Father because of my father. I am startled daily by a God who loves and can do anything. I owe God everything. May each of you know the blessings, the hope of eternity, the love and extravagant grace of the same God for whom my dad lived. And may God get all the glory. Always.
Here is the program: