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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

More Heavenly applause—when Nancy got home!

by Rick Blumenberg / @rickblumenberg

I thought it was interesting that about the same time I was posting "The Applause of Heaven" to my blog, Nancy Barker, one of the great saints from First Church of God in St Joseph, MI, went home to Glory.

In Psalm 116:15 we're told "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of the saints". So I believe this is another time when the applause of heaven breaks out—when one of the saints finishes their time on planet earth and goes home to the eternal family.

I think when Nancy got home the applause must have been deafening. We're sure going to miss her, but I know there is a multitude that Nancy helped to get safely home and when she arrived I think they were all there to greet her.

Nancy loved Jesus with a joyful exuberance that was contageous. During years of battling cancer, she never lost her joy. And even while she struggled with her own cancer, she was helping others to deal with theirs.

My best memory of Nancy will always be when she told us at prayer meeting one night about meeting this really neat young lady who worked at the mall. As I remember the way Nancy told it, the young lady was reading a new age book and Nancy said, "That won't do you any good. You need to know Jesus." The young lady looked up, closed the book and said, "Well why don't you tell me about him." All of you who know Nancy know how quickly she did just that.

That night at prayer meeting Nancy told us about this meeting and we prayed for a young lady named Ann Drea. Within a year, she was a member of that prayer meeting and soon became a prayer warrior like Nancy. Now, several years later, her son and husband are also mature, committed Christians and their family is an amazing blessing to our church and to everyone they meet, exuding the love of God just like Nancy did. Ann Drea now leads that Wednesday night prayer meeting, and her husband and son are also active, vibrant, Christians.

As long as Nancy's converts are alive and serving the Lord, she will still be around. And all of us who knew her are better because of her presence in our lives. Earth is richer because she lived and especially because she lived for Jesus, and heaven is richer because she died—but she didn’t really die. She just laid aside her worn out, cancer riddled body and put on a new, celestial body that will never know decay. She is probably sitting now at the feet of Jesus and still praying for the salvation of everyone still on earth.

Nancy also left a wonderful personal family and there again—as long as you all are alive, Nancy will still be with us, and then someday, when each of you are through with earthly life Nancy will be there to greet you when you cross over. More than anything else she wants all her siblings, her two “wonderful” sons and all her family to join her on the other side. I know it is difficult to say goodbye, but I hope you’re all making plans now to join her when your time on earth is done.

All of us who knew Nancy miss her greatly already, but we wouldn’t wish her back. She’s earned her promotion—no one deserves it more.

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.


Monica Bolin said...

Touching and so beautifully written, Rick. Thank you for this tribute to a life lived with such single purpose... she lived to glorify God and introduce every soul she came into contact with to her Heavenly Savior, Jesus. We are all lives that were changed and better because she lived!

Anonymous said...

Goosebumps! Thanks Rick!

Rick Blumenberg said...

Thanks Monica and Beth, for your kind words.

Today was a painful day for the Saints of Southwest Michigan as two of God's special people were eulogized in worship services just two hours apart.

Nancy Barker and Heather Shannon are safe now in God's holy Presence, but the grief shared by those who loved them will linger for awhile until God's comfort brings His marvelous peace.