Dad’s final sermon delivered at Hope Community Church, Nelson on 9th September 2011
Monthly Archives: October 2011
A service of thanksgiving to God and celebration of Doug’s life will be held at Hope Community Church, Ranzau Road, Hope, Nelson, New Zealand at 14:00 – 17:00 on Tuesday, 11 October.
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Take Highway 6 south from Richmond 4 kms, Turn right into Ranzau Rd, 1km on left is Hope Community Church.
Take Highway 6 north toward Richmond. Turn left into Ranzau Rd, 1km on left is Hope Community Church.
Take Highway 60 towards Richmond. Turn right into either Bartlett Rd or Pughs Rd. Turn left into Ranzau Rd. Hope Community Church is on your right
Dad has beaten us all into God’s presence. In the last hour his cancer has been defeated once and for all.
Mother and Rebekah were with him for his graduation, though Simeon, Philippa and I thank God that we were able to say our goodbyes to him in meaningful ways, even though at the time we didn’t know they were goodbyes.
In the last week he spent precious time with our Wellington family, and kept his promise to Abe and Phoebe to take them on the ferry. This weekend Alex, Rosemary, Shona and Bruce filled his love tank with their friendship and fellowship. And on Sunday he baptized and dedicated Abe and Phoebe.
Today he sits down for the marriage supper of the Lamb with a full appetite and an empty stomach.
For Dad, it was a week that could not have been better.
In Greek mythology, the hero Hercules had to wade into a murky swamp to slay the serpent Hydra. The problem facing Hercules was that every time he cut the head off Hydra, two more heads grew in its place.
Hercules battle against the many-headed Hydra reminds me of Mum and Dad’s battle against cancer. No sooner does he seem to have gained a victory in one part of their fight than two more heads spring up to attack them.
Recent news from Mum and Dad about his health celebrated the reduction in fluid build-up around his ankles and legs allowing for greater mobility for Dad. A minor victory.
Last night however, Hyrda seems to have struck back in the battle. Dad had a lot of pain and was attended to at home by nurses from the Hospice. In the morning, despite additional doses of morphine, Dad’s discomfort hadn’t subsided. He was taken by ambulance to receive additional care and attention at Hospice.
Initial reports from the staff do not appear to be hopeful.
A special note on Mum
Her care for Dad during his long battle with cancer (first diagnosed in September 2008) has been nothing short of Herculean. Together with Dad, she has been constantly cutting the heads off the Hyrda, never failing or giving up in the task. Although it seems to be a losing battle, with the help of our Saviour and ever-loving heavenly Father, she has been writing ‘victory’ over this battle on Dad’s life.
How firm a foundation by John Rippon
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.