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Richard Farmer Funeral

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Sermon Outlines for Funerals 32. Tragedy (James 4:13–15)

Tragedy

James 4:13–15

1. Three pressing burdens of a preacher

I. Bring a Word of Comfort to All

A. Two outstanding characteristics of God

1. His justness (justice)

a. Moses’ evaluation—Deut. 32:4

b. Paul’s statement—Gal. 6:7

c. Jesus’ revelation—Matt. 10:42

d. Glimpse of judgment—Matt. 25:31–46

2. His great mercy

a. Lord’s own estimate—Jer. 3:12

b. Publican’s plea—Luke 18:13

II. Bring a Word of Understanding to the Young

A. The young have many questions about death

1. What has happened here?

a. From human viewpoint—a tragedy

b. Life and death can be illustrated by filling a jar with lake water and then pouring it back into the lake (Gen. 2:7)

2. Why has this happened?

a. Generally speaking—Rom. 5:12

b. Specifically, no one can say

c. We trust in God’s wisdom—Rom. 8:28

d. We believe someday we will know all “whys”

III. Bring a Word of Concern to the Unsaved

A. Tragedy reminds us of our text—life is uncertain

B. This fact alone should cause concern

C. if one is saved, maybe the “why” will be answered

Dear God of eternity, life is so precious to each of us that all that is within us says no to death. We see death as the dark, mysterious enemy that destroys the good that You have created.

Help us to see death as You see it: not the end but the beginning, not a wall but a doorway, not a dark road but a path that leads to eternal light and life.

We will miss our loved one, but we thank You, Lord, for memory. May our minds and hearts be filled with the wonderful recollections of the past.

Help our sadness to wear a smile as the passing of time wipes the tears away. Time can be a great physician, healing the void that we now feel.

Every life is a gift from You, dear Father. Thank You for sharing this special person’s life with us. We will cherish the memory forever. Amen.

Memories

Richard "Dick" Paul Farmer, age 77 of Arcanum, Ohio passed away suddenly and peacefully in his sleep Tuesday morning February 13, 2018 at his winter home in Lakeland, Florida.
Born May 13, 1940 in Palestine, Ohio and the son of the late Willard P. and Helen N. (Spencer) Farmer. Dick was a kind and gentle family man. He loved being outdoors and was always willing to help those in need. He enjoyed camping and working around the house. His favorite pastime was wood carving and he was a member of the Miami County Wood Carver's Association and the Greenville V.F.W.
Dick was a graduate of Palestine School in 1959 and served 8 years in the United States Air Force during Vietnam. In 1970 he met the Love of his life Penelope Ann Cable and they got married on April 3rd 1971. He worked for NCR for a short time before making a career as a shift supervisor at Fram/Honeywell in Greenville Ohio.
Dick is preceded in death by his parents, sister Martha, and brothers Terry and Kenny. He is survived by his wife Penelope Ann of Arcanum, sons Darin of Ogden, Utah, Greg (wife Tina) of Canton, Ohio and Hollis (wife Angela) of Greenville; grandchildren Brandon, Jacob, Wesley, Hunter, Trenten, Kianna, Teresa, Danielle, and Evelyn; sisters Carolyn (Marvin) Miller of Sebring, FL., and Esther (Kent) Winterrowd of Tehachapi, CA; brothers Robert (Linda) Farmer of Greenville, Denny (Linn) Farmer of Leo, IND., Jim (Clara Joe) Farmer of New Madison and Mark (Karmey) Farmer of Arcanum; sisters-in-law Gail Farmer and Marine Farmer both of New Madison as well as numerous Nieces and Nephews.
The Pastor’s Manual Funeral Services for General Purposes

Beloved, let us seek comfort in the assurances of God’s Word.

Psalm 23 CEB
A psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff— they protect me. You set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over! Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live.
Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 CEB
There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens: a time for giving birth and a time for dying, a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted, a time for killing and a time for healing, a time for tearing down and a time for building up, a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing, a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones, a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces, a time for searching and a time for losing, a time for keeping and a time for throwing away, a time for tearing and a time for repairing, a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking, a time for loving and a time for hating, a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes
The Sovereign
James 4:13–15 CEB
Pay attention, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such-and-such a town. We will stay there a year, buying and selling, and making a profit.” You don’t really know about tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for only a short while before it vanishes. Here’s what you ought to say: “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
of the Sudden
(A Sudden, Unexpected Death)
1. Three pressing burdens of a preacher
Mark 4:35–41 CEB
Later that day, when evening came, Jesus said to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” They left the crowd and took him in the boat just as he was. Other boats followed along. Gale-force winds arose, and waves crashed against the boat so that the boat was swamped. But Jesus was in the rear of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning?” He got up and gave orders to the wind, and he said to the lake, “Silence! Be still!” The wind settled down and there was a great calm. Jesus asked them, “Why are you frightened? Don’t you have faith yet?” Overcome with awe, they said to each other, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”
The Sea of Galilee is a sparkling jewel in the northern part of Israel. It is not large. It’s more like a lake than what we think of as a sea. Only thirteen miles in length, seven and one-half miles at its widest point, surrounded by hills, including the Golan Heights, it was the chief source of revenue for its fishermen, of pleasure, and of beauty for those who lived around its shores. Jesus made his headquarters here. Many of his miracles and much of his ministry took place here. He called the early band of brothers, his disciples, from this area.
The Sea of Galilee is a sparkling jewel in the northern part of Israel. It is not large. It’s more like a lake than what we think of as a sea. Only thirteen miles in length, seven and one-half miles at its widest point, surrounded by hills, including the Golan Heights, it was the chief source of revenue for its fishermen, of pleasure, and of beauty for those who lived around its shores. Jesus made his headquarters here. Many of his miracles and much of his ministry took place here. He called the early band of brothers, his disciples, from this area.
Seeking a break from the demand of the excited crowds that had begun to follow him, Jesus took a boat, and with some of his disciples, drifted off for some rest and relaxation. But suddenly their leisure day was disrupted by a violent storm. This was not unusual. The sea is 680 feet below sea level, surrounded by hills that send the cool air from the heights of Mt. Hermon hurtling through their ravines that serve as giant wind tunnels to collide with the warm, moist air flowing east from the Mediterranean Sea. The result can produce a very dramatic storm. In that sudden storm, Jesus did an astounding thing. And in that we learn some things that counsel us in the light of the devastating experience that we seek to navigate through in these days.
I. Bring a Word of Comfort to All
A. Two outstanding characteristics of God
1. His justness (justice)
I. No Guarantee Against the Sudden
a. Moses’ evaluation—
b. Paul’s statement—
First of all, we are reminded that although the Sovereign of the universe is on the boat, it is no guarantee against the sudden—in this case, a sudden storm (v. 37). It has been the mistaken notion of many that if a person is a faithful follower of Jesus, he or she is protected from the troubles of life. Their children will be successful, sickness will never come their way, their financial ventures will always succeed, and disappointment will never knock at their door.
c. Jesus’ revelation—
d. Glimpse of judgment—
A quick look at some of the men and women who knew and served God in the Scripture will reveal the falsehood of this belief. Joseph went to prison. Job lost everything but his life. Jeremiah was put in prison. Paul had an affliction that plagued him all his life. All of the original disciples were martyred for their faith in Jesus, except one. And he was an exiled prisoner. Jesus never promised a “rose garden” tour of life. However, he did promise, “I am with you” (). It may be tough to be in a storm with Jesus, but imagine being in one without him.
2. His great mercy
a. Lord’s own estimate—
II. It May Appear God Isn’t Doing Anything
b. Publican’s plea—
II. Bring a Word of Understanding to the Young
Second, it may appear that in these sudden experiences of life that grieve us and threaten our sense of God’s nearness and care that God isn’t doing anything (v. 38). These experienced, veteran fishermen were thoroughly frightened. Their lives were on the line, yet Jesus appeared to be sleeping through the situation.
In life, things come at us that we cannot control. Some things come through the actions of other people, and some things in life are never explained. God seems to be silent when we long for a word. One theologian, in facing this dilemma, said that “sometimes the silence of God is God’s highest thought.”1 Like these hardy fishermen, we protest the seeming inaction of Jesus when he seems to be asleep at the wheel of our lives.
A. The young have many questions about death
1. What has happened here?
a. From human viewpoint—a tragedy
b. Life and death can be illustrated by filling a jar with lake water and then pouring it back into the lake ()
III. Fear Can Replace Faith
2. Why has this happened?
Third, we can respond like Jesus’ disciples. Fear can replace faith. Jesus did hear their cries for help. He sprang into action. He spoke, and the winds ceased and the waves curled up around his feet like submissive tigers under the voice of their trainer. He then asked a penetrating question, “Why are you so afraid?” There are three words for fear in the language of the New Testament. Here Jesus used the one that is always used in a bad sense.
a. Generally speaking—
b. Specifically, no one can say
The men were deeply terrified. When fear comes, faith is removed. We live in a world with much to cause fear: the fear of terrorists, of illness, of losing our jobs, of being victimized by brutal criminals or white-collar fraud. Fear can immobilize us as it did Jesus’ companions. When fear knocks, we must send faith to answer the door. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind ( KJV).
When the sudden comes in our lives, the Sovereign Savior is looking for us to look at him. They had seen Jesus do mighty things in recent days. They knew he had the power to heal the sick and cast out demons, but their faith trembled at this unexpected turn of events. In the light of his power and faithfulness in the past, Jesus asked, “Do you still have no faith?” (v. 40). Jesus challenges us to look deep within us and remember some things that can turn our pain, our grief, our questions, and our uncertainties into the beginning of healing in the face of this unanticipated event.
c. We trust in God’s wisdom—
d. We believe someday we will know all “whys”
IV. Jesus Hears Our Cries
III. Bring a Word of Concern to the Unsaved
A. Tragedy reminds us of our text—life is uncertain
We are to remember that although Jesus did not hear the howling storm, he heard his disciples’ cries. Much as a mother hears the cries of her baby and a shepherd hears the bleat of the sheep, so does Jesus hear our cries. “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” ().
B. This fact alone should cause concern
C. if one is saved, maybe the “why” will be answered
V. Sudden Storms Serve to Turn Us to Jesus
Keiningham, C. W. Sermon Outlines for Funerals. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981. Print. Sermon Outline Series.
Sudden storms also serve to turn us to Jesus (v. 38). We can be so caught up in everything else in life that God is moved into the edges of our existence. It doesn’t happen quickly. But gradually the joy of knowing and serving him evaporates from our lives. Then the sudden storm hits. Before the storm we had forgotten what God looks like and now, in the storm, we turn to see him again.
VI. Storms Don’t Last Forever
This story tells another helpful truth: storms don’t last forever. In certain localities in this country and the world, as on the Sea of Galilee, a storm can brew within a matter of minutes and hurl its fury in torrents of rain, lightning flashes, and thunder. Then it’s over. One minister said his favorite text was, “It shall come to pass” ( KJV). So, too, will the turbulence through which we presently walk. The pain will linger, but its power will be softened.

Hear our prayer, O God, as we lay before You the concerns of our heart. Our hearts feel pain in these moments. Hear our cries, especially those that are deep and silent. You know the sorrow that has befallen us and You are aware of the grief within us. We come to You for healing and strength.

Lord, You have been our refuge for all generations. Men and women have called upon Your name since the beginning of time. Through this affliction draw our hearts closer to Your great heart of love. May these moments discipline us to train our eyes more steadfastly upon You.

We stand strong upon Your assurance that You have made preparations for us, in this life and in the life to come. Your loving assurance is our only refuge in this setting.

We thank You for the heritage of our faith. Through it our troubled hearts find rest even in sorrow.As we commend our loved ones to You, we do so with confidence that they rest securely in Your loving arms. Bless their passing and our memory of days which now appear to be gifts not only from them but from You as well. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Graveside Service

In the midst of life, we are in death;      from whom can we seek help?(NINTH CENTURY)Our help is in the name of the Lord     who made heaven and earth.God who raised Christ from the dead     will give life to your mortal bodies also     through the Spirit that dwells in you.(, ALT.)
Listen, I will tell you a mystery!We will not all die, but we will all be changed.For this perishable body must put on imperishability,     and this mortal body must put on immortality.Then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:   
 "Death has been swallowed up in victory."     "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"But thanks be to God,     who gives us the victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ. Almighty God,     into your hands we commend your son/daughter,     in sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life     through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. This body we commit to the ground(to the elements, to its resting place ),     earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. (TRADITIONAL)
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.Yes, says the Spirit, they will rest from their labors     for their deeds follow them.(, ALT.)

Let us pray

O Lord, support us all the day long of our troubled life,     until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,       and the busy world is hushed,       and the fever of life is over and our work is done.Then in your mercy grant us a safe lodging,     and a holy rest, and peace at the last;through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Henry, Jim. A Minister’s Treasury of Funeral & Memorial Messages. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003. Print.
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