Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Uncommon Christian

Ralph "Jack" Dyess - Our Grandaddy

Chris & I experienced a hard loss just as 2008 began. We started back to work after a restful New Year's day and then Thursday morning January 3rd Chris got the call. His Grandfather was at Lewisville Medical Center in the ER and time was the unknown. I was on business in Chicago so Chris made arrangements to fly from Newark to Dallas and I did the same from Chicago to Dallas. We arrived that Thursday evening and headed straight to the hospital. Everyone was there, all the siblings, aunts, uncles, parents & even the little ones. We spent a few hours with Grandaddy as he was awake & although not comfortable I know he was enjoying that all the family was around. Chris & I both were able to speak to him and remind him of how loved he is! The next day his body really slowed down and mostly he slept. Chris had a few other conversations with him that I know he will never forget. On Saturday morning January 5th Grandaddy made his was home, home with his Heavenly Father & home with Chris' Grandmommy.

Chris and his Uncle John, as well as Dick participated in the funeral. They all did such an amazing job! There were so many stories shared that really reflected the life of such an incredible man - and an incredible legacy. They spoke of Grandaddy's hard work ethic, his soft heart, his sharp mind that never stopped learning & studying God's word, his devotion to a wonderful wife, his ability to teach young minds, his understanding of unconditional love as seen through his granddaughter Kimberly. Really the list could go on forever. The things I will always treasure were only 3 years in the making but still so special. The first night I met him with Chris - he wanted to know if I like farming....planting seeds and watching them grow - he was in his way describing the wife I would be to Chris and how I would share his church planting dream. He sat directly across the table from me that night as well as many other times and would remind me that he did that so he could take in my beauty :) We talked to him often over the phone and he would always ask Chris "How is your beautiful bride?". It makes me smile even now. We will never forget his voice. Most importantly he always expressed how proud he was of Chris for following the Lord's guidance in his life, and choosing to follow His calling into ministry. You could see so much JOY in his eyes - he just beamed with God's glory! His faith was obvious everyday and we were also proud of him!

Many thoughts went through my mind at the funeral and in the days since. One thing I haven't been able to get off my mind is what a wonderful CHRISTIAN Grandaddy. He was truly an UNCOMMON CHRISTIAN. It was back in high school that our youth minister centered a retreat around the poem below and I just kept repeating parts of it in my head - so I thought I should share my thoughts on Grandaddy for you to read.... as well as some pictures.

I choose to be an “Uncommon Christian”

I will live my faith in Jesus of Nazareth,
As seen in my everyday life, conduct, attitude & speech.
To the best of my ability and by the Grace of God
People will see Jesus when they see me.

I cannot justify loving only those who love me,
Aiding only my friends, and praying only for my fellow Christians.
I will love those who hate me, aide my enemies,
And pray for those who do not know my Lord.

I aspire to be like Him, to live on unseen resources of faith,
To tap the unlimited supply of His love
Through the life of His indwelling Holy Spirit,
Emerge from my moral conflicts “more than a conqueror”.
And through this power to rise above all earthly standards
To the completeness of His perfection.

I acknowledge that this is an impossible quest,
But I accept the challenge of its impossibility in
The knowledge that its pursuit will force me to rest on Him.

I desire great challenges, expect rippled seas & abandon all personal “rights”.

I consider it a curse to have a quality of life that is indistinguishable
from unbelieving men & common Christians.

My present failure to fulfill these intentions merely proves,
That God is needed even more than when I first believed.
I need God more each day than the last.
(Vandelia Winter Retreat 1995)

More pictures to come on future blogs. We want to keep his memory alive!