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The Heavenly Race – Bob Jennings

Preached in 1998

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God is GOOD

God is GOOD

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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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