Thursday, May 17, 2007

Grupido Funeral

Today I am officiating the funeral of Larry Grupido who accepted Christ at the age of 59 on April 29th. I just thought I would praise God for what He has done in chasing Larry and providing Grace for a hurting soul to find rest.

Excerpts from the Funeral Sermon:

Phil 1:21 – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

When I read this verse I can’t help but think of Larry.

When the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church at Phillipi, the circumstances of his life weren’t exactly ideal. He was in prison - under house arrest in Rome – chained to a Roman soldier as his guard. Paul was a prisoner and yet this entire letter shouts with triumph. In 2 Corinthians 4:16 - 5:10, Paul tells us “do not lose heart, though our outer man is decaying . . ."

Here is the threat he is dealing with:
· His body--"the outer man"--is decaying; it is wearing out.
· He can't see the way he used to. He can't hear the way he used to.
· He does not recover from beatings the way he used to.
· His strength walking from town to town does not hold up the way it used to.
· He sees the wrinkles in his face and neck.
· His memory is not as good.
· His joints get stiff when he sits still.
· In other words, he knows that he, like everybody else, is dying. His outer man is decaying.

That's the threat to his courage and joy.

Although diagnosed on August 2005, Larry lived the last couple of months of his life a prisoner in a body that was filled with sickness – eventhough he asked WHY? He never really complained. He showed an appreciation of his loving, caring wife, ever protective of his children and trying to understand this God that he now believes in.

Ill: 1980’s Triathlon, Julie Moss (swim 19 miles, cycle 100 mi, run 26 mi). She was leading by over seven minutes when she hit a wall and colapsed. She fell again within ten yards of the finish line and crawled accross the finish line in second place.

A writer once wrote: Intense is the agony when the eye begins to see, the ear begins to hear, the heart begins to pound and the fact that the soul can feel the flesh and the flesh can feel its chains.

On April 29th, Larry walked the isles at our church and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith! I quoted Romans 10 and he took communion and said to me “ I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.” He asked me to come and talk to him about this God that he now believes in but does not know. He had questions!

He was a doer! He felt if he was a good person that that would be enough. I shared with him about the godliest person I ever read about “Mother Teresa” She admitted that she had mistakes in her life and had not treated some people the way she should have and needed the Cross of Jesus to make up for the gap between her and a holy God. Same with Bi8lly Graham.

He said he felt like a hypocrite, but I assured him that god had been chasing him all his life (Like He cahsed Adam and Eve). He said how can I believe in Jesus if I have not been with him. The early apostles wrote about Jesus but they were with him. I told Larry that God had been showing him unconditional love through his wife who had been faithfully praying for him since they met as young teenagers.

He also said that He did not understand why he was sick. He thought he had done something wrong in his life. That is why I chose 2 Cor 4:11 - 5:10 as the scripture today.

He loved his children the most and wanted His kids to love him.

I can hear Larry now saying Ed, make it quick! In the end, Larry chose God’s plan for the gap between him and a holy God.

...His wife of 37+ years said "The last 3 weeks of His life were the best three weeks of our marriage!" Praise God!!!


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