I’m preparing to have the funeral for one of our dear, sweet members… Lois Aderholt. I thought I would share with you some of the things that are going through my mind.
The first pastor I worked for was Bill Taylor. He was a wonderful mentor and gave me lots of good advice. One bit of advice he gave me was that a pastor needed to have two people in his life. First, he needed to have someone who would tell him the truth. Not a person who gave criticism unsolicited. But someone, when asked, would be honest and tell the pastor the truth. Second, a pastor needs someone who will always love him no matter what. This is a person who would always encourage you when your confidence was attacked. Lois was my encourager.
For me, Lois was a cheerleader. She always had a grin and always gave a positive spin on everything. Even when she knew things were bad (like her battles with cancer), she never let herself slip into negative talk. As a pastor I have had many valleys when I doubted my leadership and my decisions. And I have had people attack me and doubt me (and many times I have deserved it). During those times, I would turn to Lois and she would always tell me how great a pastor I was. I knew it wasn’t the whole truth, but it sure felt good to know that someone was glad I was their pastor. I’m going to miss Lois.
As I’ve contemplated what to say at her funeral, I can’t think to two better words to describe Lois than GOOD and FAITHFUL.
Lois wasn’t great. But she was good. She was a simple person who enjoyed simple things. She was a good switchboard operator at Adrian College. She was a good board member for Child Evangelism Fellowship. She was a good singer and sung in choirs & Sweet Adelines. She was a good flutist and a few years ago would do special music in church. She was a good Sunday School teacher and AWANA leader. She was a good church member. She did what she could and she did it to the best of her ability. She served God well.
And Lois was faithful. She came to everything. Even if she couldn’t bring herself, she would call someone (like Ron & Patty Nichols) to bring her to church. She continued serving the Lord long past her effectiveness. That may sound like a bad thing, but Lois wanted to serve the Lord until she couldn’t. She wouldn’t let her ailments and disabilities stop her. She continued to be faithful.
Jesus shared a parable about ‘The Faithful and Unfaithful Servants’ in Matthew 25. In the story, a man went on a journey to receive a kingdom and gave his servants some money to invest while he was gone. When he returned, he rewarded each servant. His comment on those servants who were rewarded was they were GOOD and FAITHFUL (Matthew 25:23).
This is Jesus’ explanation of what will happen when we see Him in Heaven. (Remember, only those who personally trust Jesus as Lord & Savior will go to Heaven). Jesus does not expect us to be talented, or great, or successful… he wants us to be good and do good. And He wants us to be faithful, to continue, to be dependable.
I am going to miss Lois. But I think when I get to Heaven and the rewards will be given to those who served Jesus, I will be watching Lois receive many, many rewards because she has been good and faithful.
Are you good and faithful?
Now that Lois is gone, someone will need to take her place in our children’s ministry. Will you?
At your funeral, will the pastor say you have been good and faithful? Will the legacy of your life be that you loved Jesus and served Him with all your heart for all your life?