Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Great Man

Yesterday was a day we have known was coming, and yet a day we have dreaded. My father-in-law passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning. He was 80 years old.

Billie Jones grew up on a farm in Trinity County (deep east Texas). And although he didn't stay on the farm, he never lost that down-to-earth charm.

Billie Jones LOVED people, almost as much as he loved the Lord. He never met a stranger. Or let me put it this way, if he DID meet a stranger, that person did not stay a stranger long.

He loved the Lord SO much! He taught me many things. How to be a good husband and a good father. But one of the most valuable lessons I learned was watching his focus on prayer.

He defined integrity, and this is what I will talk about quite a bit tomorrow at his funeral. He believed that if you said you were going to do something -- you do it. Even if it hurts, you do it.

In recent years, his thoughts have become more and more focused on heaven. A few years ago, I began a Bible class by asking people about places they would like to visit. He said, "Heaven." I kind of made fun of his "church" answer, and immediately regreted it. Why? Because I realized that for him, it was not a "church" answer. He TRULY meant it.

Yesterday, Billie Jones got his wish.


Kyle R. said...

I only got to know him for a short time, but what a great legacy.

Melanie said...

This is truly a moment where joy and sorrow meet.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your families loss. Mr. Jones was indeed a wonderful man. I'll never forget how he personally assisted me in obtaining support to enter preaching school.

He's home.

Anonymous said...

Dianne and I also remember his nickname for our daughter Sondra. We don't know why, but he called her "Oscar".

Jeff said...

I was glad to get to know Billie and hear his thoughts and wisdom in classes and just visit with him at church. You are one stayed a stranger with him.

Josh Ross said...

We are closer to Jesus because of him.

Mark and Melissa Taylor said...

He was a great man, and he will be missed.

randy said...

Billie's incredibly good attitude and spirit inspires me to do better. I would visit him and leave feeling uplifted.