Video of Bob Jennings’ Funeral

(The below was from an email that Tim Conway sent to his church, after reflecting on the graveside service, which occurred after the above video.)

Brethren, I wish I were a poet…then I might be able to paint an appropriate picture of the scene we witnessed there in that small rural Missouri cemetery last Saturday.

It is autumn in Missouri.

It struck me as fitting that Bob’s journey here came to an end even as the leaves that were so recently budding forth in Spring, are now also coming to their end, some hanging red, yellow, and brown upon their tree waiting to be blown from their tree by the wind…while a myriad of others blow across the ground like a wave upon the ground.

The day also was coming to an end as the sun was dropping low in the mostly overcast sky…twilight at hand…so the day of Bob’s earthly pilgrimage has come to an end.

There was a typical green tent set up over the grave site. One side was enclosed…it was the side on the south as a strong wind blew warmly from that direction, ahead of a cold rainy front that was pushing in from the West. The kind of high clouds that precede a storm covered the broad November sky. The Jennings family sat and stood along that closed side of the tent, in front of the casket…that casket that Bob’s sons had made with their own hands.

There may have been two hundred people there…or maybe one hundred…most dressed in suits and ties and dresses. All stood motionless…in silence. The wind blowing. The dry leaves giving the type of sound they give when the wind blows through them. One of the trees nearby is already barren. The oak tree beside it will hold onto its dead leaves until spring…as oaks do…so it was able to speak in the silence.

It was growing dark.

Out there among the woods and farmlands of the cemetery a lone voice broke the silence and overshadowed the song of the wind in the leaves lifting up the words of “Be Still My Soul”.

Then there was silence again as a hired man who likely knew not our dear departed Brother, worked to move flowers and plants and then Bob’s body was lowered into the ground before us all.

The casket slowly sunk…wind blowing.

On that casket, Bob’s sons had put these words: O grave where is your victory, O death where is your sting? Clint stood at the head of the grave watching his beloved fellow laborer’s physical body descend down into it’s temporary resting place with those words of triumph witnessing to the fact that this grave must one day give up it’s contents.

All were dismissed. Terri came forth from the tent with her sorrows overruled by a broad smile. As the family and friends consoled and spoke in soft tones…the clunk of the vault cover could be heard falling into place and sealing all it’s contents within.

Those words Bob spoke at the end of his sermon here were played at the funeral. They undoubtedly drifted through the thoughts of many as we made our way away from that little cemetery:

“…press on…my love to you, my love to you….fare well…ooooh…good bye…there’s no good bye…we’ll see you in a little while, you won’t be far behind me…”

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Funeral for Robert Jennings, Sedalia, MO

Funeral Service
Time: Saturday, 2:00 p.m., November 10, 2012
Location: Sedalia Middle School, 2205 South Ingram, Sedalia, Missouri
[parking in the back of the building]
BearersSons: Jared, Zachary, Evan
Son-in-law: James Jennings, San Antonio, Texas
Brothers-in-law: Gary Glasscock, Baring, Missouri; Mark Glasscock, Gorin, Missouri
Officiating: Clint Leiter, beloved co-pastor, Highway M Chapel, Sedalia

  • There will not be a visitation prior to the funeral.
  • After the funeral there will be a procession to the cemetery located at Smithton.  The cemetery is one mile south of the west end of Smithton.
  • After the burial there will be a meal provided at the Sedalia Middle School.
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I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

The most important thing in life is to be ready for death. So ready to die that when it comes time to die all you have to do is die. There is a here and hereafter & either in heaven with Christ or banished in hell.” – Bob Jennings (Preached at a Funeral in 2008)

This morning at 11:53 a.m. Bob fell asleep (1 Thess. 4:14) and has finished his course and departed to be with the Lord.

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, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:7-8

(Funeral service will be this Saturday, the 10th, the location is pending.)

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Hospice

Health:  I have continued abdominal swelling, much weakness, always chilly, but slight recovery of metabolic energy – not using the walker now, not using much oxygen.  The hospice has been a fine service.

Article:  Dear friends, I submitted the following article to the local newspaper.  Someone reported they said it was the 2nd most-read.  That could be taken either way, that is, a lot of folks would like to see me gone, or else are concerned about my leaving!  I pray it is concern for their souls.

Pastor bids a final farewell
Terri and I moved to Sedalia with one
child in 1983 to pastor a new church
which has met at Highway M Chapel
since 1987. Alas, pancreatic cancer
showed up two years ago. Apart from
divine intervention, I’m near the end of
the road. Permit a farewell to my dear
community.

In the almost 30 years we have raised
our five children, lived our lives, gone in
and out of the businesses, talked on the
sidewalks, preached indoors and out,
and I’ve written maybe 300 letters to the
editor. This appears to be the last. The
song writer says, “Time, like an ever-rolling
stream, bears all its sons away.”
Especially being a Christian, I’ve
known that life is brief, death is certain,
and an appearance before the judge of
all the Earth is coming. Yet, my life is
more of a “disappearing vapor” than I
imagined. Indeed, the one great thing in
life is to be ready to die. It is simple, but
big.

Yes, I’d like to stay on with my family,
with my church, and with the souls of
men to try to serve. But God’s will is
sovereign. And, I am ready to die, in that
I was saved from my sins by the grace of
Christ 41 years ago. Heaven is OK!
This world is passing away, ruined by
sin. There is no fix to all the misery. A
new president cannot fix the land. Hospitals
remain, law courts remain, the jail
house remains, the military remains,
and tears will continue to fall.

My closing exhortation to fellow-
Sedalians is that Christ is the only hope.
Make sure you have Him. That’s all one
can have, ultimately. All else is stripped
away. He will fix you; He will fix it all. He
conquered the grave. I go down with a
glad shout, “O grave, where is your victory?”
When the Lord Jesus returns I
will rise again with all the Christians to a
new heavens and new Earth. There is a
heaven to gain; there is a hell to shun.
Farewell to all. It has been a well-spent
journey here in Sedalia.

Robert C. Jennings, co-pastor, Hwy. M Chapel, Sedalia

 

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Which Prayer?

The doctors had given me one or two days, and it has now been 14, by the great mercy of God, as it is written, “Great are Your mercies, O Lord; revive me according to Your ordinances,” Psalm 119:156.  But the songwriter says, “Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.”  I must now use a walker, and barely can use that.  I am glad to have the Lord, Shepherd, Savior, Friend, Redeemer.

Over the past two years, some have urged me to pray 1) importunately, that is, to pray to God desperately and persistently.  Some have urged that I pray 2) resignedly, that is, very simply to leave my state of affliction with God and resign.  What do the scriptures say?  We find both.  I have done both.  I know those who have counseled me would agree to both.

Importunate prayer:

  • Jacob:  Jacob wrestled with God, “I will not let you go unless you bless me,”  Genesis 32:26.  He got the blessing.  Why?   Persistence.
  • Moses:  Moses broke all theology.  God told him, “Let Me alone…that I may destroy them.”  But Moses entreated the Lord anyway and the Lord “changed His mind,” Exodus 32:11-14.  Why?   Moses’ persistence.
  • King Joash:  Joash was reproved by the prophet for not striking the arrows to the ground more, as it is written, “So the man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times,’” 2 Kings 13:19.  He did not push it hard enough.
  • Bartimaus: Everyone told blind Bartimaus to be quiet.  But he “cried out all the more,” Matthew 20:31.  He was healed.  Why?   Persistence.
  • Hemorrhaged woman:  A woman with anhemorrhage broke through the opposition and got in touch with the Lord, as it is written, “After hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak,” Mark 5:27.  How?   Persistence.
  • Canaanite woman:  This courageous woman prevailed and received demonic deliverance for her daughter after 1) silence from Christ, 2) after the disciples’ displeasure, and 3) after being called (in effect) a goat and a dog by the Lord.  How?   Persistence.
  • The widow:  This woman got what she wanted even though the judge was unjust, Luke 18:1f.  How?   Persistence.
  • The friend:  He got bread loaned to him from a friend for a friend, not because of the friendship, but “because of his persistence,” Luke 11:8.
  • Your faith:  The Lord Jesus gave the centurion these amazing words, “It shall be done to you according to your faith,” Matthew 9:29.

Resigned prayer:

  • Paul:  “Concerning this (thorn in the flesh, a demon, an angel of Satan) I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me,” 2 Corinthians 12:8.  Paul was denied, but given compensating grace.  He was “well content.”
  • Paul:  He was “hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart.”  But he was content to remain and serve the saints, Philippians 1:23f.
  • The Lord Jesus:  After strong cryings and tears to escape the cup, Hebrews 5:7, yet He resigned with these famous words, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will,” Matthew 26:39.

Ultimately we must rest right there, knowing that we are God’s property, bought with a price, and our times are in His hand, Psalm 31:15.  Anything further and we would lose our mind trying to twist God’s arm and wondering if, if, if we’d only done more what could have been.  And the Spirit of God is a promised helper, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, Romans 8:26.  My love, Bob J.

 

 

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The Gates

Dear folks, I thought it was the end of the pilgrim path Sun. night.  My metabolism seemed barely alive.  Much pain.  We felt compelled to go to the ER.  The blood was poor.  They did an IV for about 40 minutes, and they sent me home, estimating that I had 1 or 2 days to live.  I think they gave me what was for me an overdose of pain killer and it caused nausea, dizziness, flashes, and I’d say it affected my liver function, as, since then I’ve had extreme weakness.  I can hardly walk.  My legs hurt.  There is slight improvement today.  I have an extremely sensitive bowel, and am eating rice, bread, and bananas only.  Hospice has started coming.  All the family is here.  God is good.  God is.  We march onward to the prize before us — the Lord Jesus Himself.   My love, Bob

Gates of death: Psalm 9:13  Be gracious to me, O Lord; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death…

Gates of Zion (church): Psalm 9:14  that I may tell of all Your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation.

Gates of hell: Matthew 16:18  I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Gates of pearl / heaven: Revelation 21:21, 22  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls … blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.

Jesus already entered the gates of glory / heaven: Psalm 24:7  Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!

Make sure right now that you enter the right gate – the narrow gate, not the wide gate of false profession: Matthew 7:13,14  Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

 

 

 

 

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One More Trip

Swelling:  The abdominal swelling is getting worse rapidly with various pains and malfunctions.  Unless God intervenes, my course will be finished soon.  It appears that the prayers of saints, so many of them, are being overridden by the prayer of the Lord Jesus – “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).  The Great High Priest has prayed that His elect be with Him.  What can we do or say, but bow to His sovereignty, and that, gladly?  Destined for glory with the Lord Jesus!  I put my hands over my face for such marvelous, matchless, infinite grace.

Trip:  Terri and I had hoped and prayed for one more trip together, especially to see newly married James and Bethany in their ‘new’ house in San Antonio along with all the saints.  It began to appear impossible, but faith came and the next day (Wed., 29th) we were on the road, and we met with the saints at Denton, TX, that night, arriving in SA the next afternoon.  It was so special to gather with the church on the Lord’s Day.  Everything in the temple said, “Glory” (Psalm 29:9).  We arrived back Monday night, none too soon as internal bleeding had come back, but I’m so thankful to say that it was soon healed.

Casket:  Jared’s came about 3 p.m., and the boys, Jared, Zachary, and Evan, after some solemn tears together, began building the casket, and finished with some joy – O grave where is your victory?  Raymond and Jaben spray painted the handles, we swept up, the family sang Abide with Me, and we said good-bye, purposing to be on our way with work to do.  Great realities!  Without Christ, all would be very dark.  With Him, all is filled with hope – the resurrection, heaven, sinlessness, 2nd coming, the presence of Christ who so loved even me.  There will be one more trip for the Christian.

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