Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Memorial for Emerson Wiltshire

To all of our friends and family - Sharron and I wish to say THANK YOU for your thoughts and prayers during the recent days. On Monday September 17th Sharron's dad - Emerson Wiltshire passed away. 

Here is a portion of the prepared orbituary:

WILTSHIRE, EMERSON Peacefully on Monday September 17th, 2012 at Greater Niagara General Hospital at the age of 84 years. Predeceased by his loving wife May (Smith). Loving father of Dr. Les (Anne) Wiltshire of Richmond Hill and Sharron (Rick) Hudgens of Raleigh, North Carolina. Cherished grandfather of Danielle (Jessie) Bolder of Concord, North Carolina, Stephanie (Joshua) vanAlmen of Charlotte, North Carolina, Deanne and Courtney Wiltshire of Richmond Hill. Great grandfather of Alyse and Breeley vanAlmen of Charlotte, North Carolina and Jordan Bolder of Concord, North Carolina. Brother of Elva Robinson and Lila Russell of Dundalk and predeceased by brother John Wiltshire. He will be missed by nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces. Emerson served as a Lion for over 50 years and was a recipient of a lifetime membership award. If so desired donations may be made to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. On line guest register  
The Memorial Service for dad took place on Friday September 28th.  The service was directed by Pastor Karen Jenkins of St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ridgeway Canada.  I want to express our appreciation to Pastor Karen for her kind words and the care extended to our family.

I was requested to share in the service by presenting an eulogy for the family.  Here are some of the thoughts I shared:
As I stand before you today – I am privileged to share some thoughts about the life of Emerson Wiltshire. Em has been my father-in-law for 34 years. He has truly been my dad.

Dad loved his family – his entire family. His family was BIG – it included blood relatives; through marriage relatives; and many people who came into his life throughout the years. He loved Gray County – where he was born. He said to me “Gray County has purer air, greener grass, and bluer skies.” His family would tease him – “and deeper snow” – but it never swayed his opinion. Dad would spend hours telling stories of his family. He told about working the farm with his father, brother, and brother in laws. He spoke about fishing trips, with his brother and brother in laws. And cutting wood with his brother in law. Dad always included humor with his stories.

He loved his nieces and nephews; telling stories of when they were born, Dad and mom would often open their home for them to stay. In his last days, he spoke often of his time in Brampton with his nephew Ron; and how the “girls” were such a help to him. He was so happy when Brian and Bruce brought his sisters to visit him in the hospital this past summer. He was so proud of his nieces and nephews. He would tell my wife Sharron about how they were doing and all their accomplishments. Over the years, he would be at their home to help around the house with jobs that needed his attention. He loved visiting with them, in person or by phone. One of favorite things was when they would join him on a trip in the truck.

Dad was a man who possessed a tremendous work ethic. He always insisted that the job be done properly, the first time. I am not sure – but have a firm opinion that Les or Sharron were never allowed to sleep beyond 6am while they lived under his roof. And I was always amazed to hear how dad would always wash the truck after each trip, no matter the time of day or the temperature outside. Dad was a jack of all trades – I have seen him upholster furniture, building, mechanics, cooking and even sowing.

Over the past 34 years I have been given the privilege of serving at several churches.

Examples: (1) Constructed wheel chair ramp) (2) Developed “pulley system” for Easter musical 
(3) Built bookshelves for me that are still in use today.

But he often said he could not do wood working as well as his brother John.

I saw a sign yesterday that reminded me of dad. It said: “You can do it my way or the wrong way.”

Dad was the person who would mow his yard while walking with 2 canes – his work with the Lions and recently his work for the Cancer Society – Dad was the person who gave and gave to his family and friends.

I must admit that Dad was a little OCD. Examples: His lawn, his car, his trunk. Ask any child who ever rode in his car. And apparently he seems to be a little accident prone. I heard that following an accident in the truck – his granddaughter Deanne – who was 5 at the time – told her teacher that “Grandpa jumped off a bridge.”

Stories: (1) Attempt to bond with Les and Dad in garage. (Secret language)

(2) Shortly after Sharron and I were married – intimidation – counsel – LIST – he loved it!

I am so thankful to dad for his daughter and my wife – Sharron. She has so many traits of her dad. He taught her to never feel that being a woman was an excuse for not learning certain things. To this day, Sharron knows more about automobiles than I do – hear a noise – she diagnoses the problems. I wish I had known dad when he taught Sharron to drive an 18 wheeler.

Dad always loved to laugh and found humor in most things. He has even said to me, I don’t waste my time picking on someone I don’t like. I wish I had known dad in his early years. I have heard the story of him taking his horse into the one room school he was attending. Some story of how mischievous he was when he took his future wife, May home to meet his family.

Story: I remember when I first met Mr. Wiltshire – and he asked me if I had ever heard his daughter burp – she sounds like a camel.

Story: The last week of his life Karen commented on his skinny legs and he said,” I know, looks like I won’t make the team this year.”

I want to close with this thought – Dad deeply loved his two sisters – Elva and Lila. Elva and dad were 2 peas from the same pod. She basically raised dad since he was a young child. Dad cared so much for Lila, and tried to be there for her over the years – and was so happy when she came to spend 2 weeks with him after Sharron’s injury. Dad loved his son and daughter. He shared his life with Les and the man Les is today is a tribute to the life of Emerson Wiltshire. Sharron is a gift to me and I thank God for knowing her father. Dad loved his grandchildren. You could see evidence of that in every picture of him with Danielle, Stephanie, Deanne and Courtney. His eyes gleamed with pride and admiration – and love. Dad loved Alyse, Breeley and Jordan (his great grandchildren) – as he held them in his arms in his last years. Dad loved his entire – and extended family. This past year Sharron has spent over 7 months in Canada to be with her dad. Les has given almost every weekend to be with dad. In his last days a close friend – Ray – would come to the hospital and sit by the bed to visit with dad. He would read the words to some of dad’s favorite hymns: The Old Rugged Cross; A mighty fortress is our God; and a less familiar song – Lord, I’m coming home. Dad was so ready to go home. It is with the hope of salvation that today we mourn with the blessed hope – that Emerson Wiltshire lived a good life – has left a heritage of family and has finally gone home – and today – no more pain or sorrow, he smiles from Heaven.

I realize that this posting is quite long.  But I feel that I should give an additional insight about the song I referenced above.  Here is a clip that I encourage you to watch and consider:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Preparing for worship on Sunday September 9, 2012

Tomorrow at NRN   is going to be a very special day.  As the vacation season is coming to a close, I am praying and trusting the Lord for a great day of worship and celebration. I plan to open our time together with a warm welcome and a reminder about why we have gathered:

Then, we plan to stand and worship the Lord in song:

I am looking forward to continuing in the current teaching series and bring a message about peace.

My prayer for tomorrow is simple:  Lord, I ask first, that I am open to the leading of your Holy Spirit to proclaim the truth of God in love and with clarity. May Your presence flow over us.  I ask for a great attendance tomorrow and for God's people to respond with generosity and faithfulness to present an offering that will meet our current financial needs as as church. Father, may you be pleased to give us fruit for our labor in the form of new believers in Christ.  May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding be experienced by all who will open their hearts to you.  Oh Lord, my the words of my mouth and the mediation of our hearts be acceptable unto you, our Rock and our Redeemer - Jesus Christ. Amen! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

OPEN HOUSE for Children's Ministry

This Sunday - September 9, 2012 is the time to join us for an OPEN HOUSE for our Children's Ministry at NRN!   The Open House begins at 10:10am and will conclude at 10:40am.   This is an opportunity to see the newly re-designed rooms for the Nursery, Toddler and Pre-School.

 The current theme for Kidszone - our ministry to elementary aged children - is the Armor of God.  On this Sunday the feature will be the NEW VeggieTale movie:  The League of Incredible Vegetables:

It was a bright and sunny day in Bumblyburg until Dr. Flurry came to town. This chillin' villain wants to freeze the entire city in fear! This job is too big for LarryBoy to handle alone, so he turns to "The League of Incredible Vegetables" for help! Thingamabob (Bob the Tomato), S-Cape (Mr. Lunt), Vogue (Petunia Rhubarb) and Ricochet (Junior Asparagus) are up for the task, but find that their own fears could land them in Dr. Flurry's deep freeze! Will they remember to turn to the One who is bigger than all their fears before the whole town ends up on ice? Find out in this heroic new VeggieTales episode with a lesson in handling fear!

We have secured a license to show this movie in an early pre-release.  This Sunday will feature the movie along with coloring pages and activities for the children and a lesson plan to go home for the parents. It is going to be an awesome day at NRN! 
I plan to continue in the teaching series on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.
and bring a friend......

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Preparing for Worship on September 2, 2012

It is Saturday evening and after a long day I once again sit at my desk and pray for tomorrow.   I am drawn to the songs for worship. My heart is ready and my mind prepared. Now I long to worship. Here is the song list for worship at NRN on Sunday September 2, 2012:

We begin with a hymn of joy...

We express our joy in praise to God...

We prepare our hearts to partake in communion....

I realize it is a holiday weekend and I know our attendance will be really low tomorrow.  I am also sure that God has placed a message upon my heart and I pray for the anointing of God to fall upon my words.  

Tomorrow morning I continue in the teaching series about the fruit of the Spirit.  The message is prepared , the power point presentations are ready, the video clips are previewed and timed.  It will be a difficult message to preach as I unwrap the choices of  experience JOY in our lives as I face the difficulties in our family with my father in law drawing nearer to death each day as the cancer takes over his body. I am so thankful for the Word of God that is trustworthy.  I am so grateful for the community of believers I am a part of.   I want to surrender my life to the Lord afresh and anew this evening and ask God to help my pour my life out to others tomorrow as I serve the Lord.