On September 23, my father finished his race and received his eternal inheritance. His soul has been in the presence of his Savior for a week. Today, we say our formal goodbyes. While we grieve the loss of Dad’s presence with us, we also rejoice that he has now received the goal of his faith.
We intentionally planned today’s services to celebrate this godly man who spent his life walking with Jesus. Paul’s words in his second letter to Timothy could have been written by Dad.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day (2 Timothy 4:7-8a).
The Bible repeatedly uses the image of a race to represent a believer’s life on this earth. Those who have trusted in Christ for our eternal salvation are called to lay aside everything that may hinder us and “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Our focus is Jesus. Our prize is eternity in His presence.
Our father made Jesus the foundation and goal of his life. We want the service to reflect that. We want to acknowledge the joy of his homegoing even as we grieve the loss of his presence with us.
We chose joyful hymns that sing of Dad’s spiritual reality.
When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.
Victory in Jesus, our Savior forever. He sought me and bought me with His redeeming love.
We searched Dad’s Bible for passages he had marked.
We wanted to read Scripture that meant the most to him. He marked words that reminded him of his security in Christ:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35, 37-39, ESV
Dad marked verses that pointed to his eternal home:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3, ESV
Legacy of Faith
Dad also marked numerous passages that challenged him to focus on the eternal and not the spiritual. He underlined multiple Scriptures that describe the life of a true disciple. And that’s what my father was – a true disciple of Christ.
Everett Ray Head left a strong spiritual legacy. Daddy dearly loved his family and friends, but loved Jesus first and most. He spent his life closely following Jesus, faithfully serving the body of Christ, and loving his neighbor as himself. He was a godly father, an encouraging son and brother, and a kind and generous neighbor. If he saw a need, he met it with no expectations. He had a burden for the lost and boldly shared that salvation is found in Jesus alone (1 John 5:11-12).
So today, I will boldly follow my father’s footsteps. Do you have a saving relationship with Jesus? If not, find out more about eternal salvation. Only Jesus can provide a way to God the Father. He is our only hope.
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Loving tribute to your Dad Kathy!!
I’m sorry for your loss. My dad joined our Heavenly Father earlier this year and I miss him so much, but rejoice that he is with Jesus. Your words about your dad could have been written about my dad also. So many people told us how he helped them even when he was a teenager. If he saw a need he was there. Even if it was just to listen or to give a hug. A big hug to you and your family on this day.
What a precious tribute to your daddy. I know you will miss him, but all too soon, you will see him again. I’m thankful for the legacy of love and truth he left in your life, Kathy. To God be praise for His redeeming, transforming work in your daddy’s life, and for your blessings as his daughter (and His daughter). Hugs.
Beautiful words for a father well loved. I lost my dad 18 years ago and my mom 6 years ago and trust me, you will continue to feel his presence and his love throughout your life. We were both blessed to have Christian parents and it is very comforting to know they are safe and happy in the arms of our Lord! God be with you this week. I continue to pray for you and your family.
Beautiful testimony to your dad’s legacy. What a blessing to have a dad who finished well and who set such a godly example not only for you, but also for your children and grandchildren. Love you friend! May the peace and presence of Jesus flood your soul with comfort and joy. ❤️
Kathy, What a wonderful Dad God gave you! What a precious legacy! And what a faithful daughter you are in carrying on that legacy of faithfully walking with your Savior and sharing His good news with others. We still miss you at FBCTW! Praying for you and your family during this time.
Kathy, I am very sorry for your loss. Your memories of your dad embodied what I want my children to remember of theirs. I follow your online ministry and I enjoy it every morning. Praying for you and your family during this difficult time.
Beautiful testimony to your father! Sorry for your loss, but you’ll see him one day and rejoice together again!
How blessed you are to have had a earthly father who was such a wonderful example to not only his family but to others. I know you will miss him but just knowing you will see him again someday can only peace. My prayers are with you and your family.
Love and prayers for you and your family Kathy.
Bob and Patty Edwards
Thank you Patty.
Please accept my sympathies in the loss of your earthly Father. May you and all who knew and loved him feel God’s loving arms holding you ever so close during this difficult time.
Thank you Sherry. God has been very close to us these last few days.
I am sorry for your loss, and you and your family are in my prayers.
Thank you Brenda.
Well done good and faithful servant
awwww…so very sorry, sister….; savor those memories! and keep up your good work when able!
and as the others said – thanks for your poignant thoughts….
grace and peace…
Hi Kathy, I’m sorry for the loss of your father that you, and your family are experiencing at this time. I’m also happy for you, and your family’s joy in knowing without a shadow of a doubt that your father went home to be with our Lord. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain ( Phil. 1:21 ). May the Holy Spirit comfort, and keep you, and your family..
What an awesome legacy your earthly father left! What a wonderful, loving, spiritual dad you had! I know you will miss him! To be reunited will be grand and awesome in our Fathers house! God bless you and comfort you in your magnificent loss’
What a special tribute for a special man. He lead a graveside song service at my dad’s funeral 20 years ago.
When We All Get to Heaven and Amazing Grace
May God bless you and your family with comfort and peace at this time.
Wow! Thanks for sharing that. We sang “When we all get to heaven” today.
Fare well Dad.A life well lived. Bless your soul
Kathy. Heaven’s gain and your loss. I loved reading all the loving and wonderful things about your precious dad. The names of the songs. Victory in Jesus and his favorite passages.
Be sure to grieve your loss. I put off grieving for 2 years when my daddy died.. I became sick with throbbing joints and hives. When I began the grief work almost instantly those symptoms went away.
Love you and the ministry God ha given you. Praying for you.
South Carolina USA
Bless your Heart!
I know you will miss your Dad like I miss mine. He has been in Heaven for 20 years.
I’m looking forward to the day when we will see each other again and will never be apart forever more.
I am so truly sorry for your loss. My mom left here two years ago to spend her time in heaven. I miss her everyday but I am so thankful that she loved God and that she made him such a huge part of my life as well. Sending prayers and hugs.
Thank you Cathi, and I am sorry for your loss as well. Like you, I am thankful for the spiritual legacy my parents have left me!