Pastor Larry’s Blog—The sixth in a series of bi-monthly thoughts that will hopefully give you some joy in the journey of parenting and living life to the fullest.
I had the privilege of doing my father-in-law’s funeral and graveside service last week. Yes, I’m choosing my words carefully and thus why I used “privilege” intentionally. It was a privilege because of who my dad was and because of the legacy he left behind for all of us to savor and partake in.
Yes, it was an emotionally difficult time but also one of celebration and praise. We’ve been a part of each other’s lives since Sept. of 1981 and he has been a godly dad that I’ve had the privilege of watching as he grew in his faith over the past 37 years. To be honest, I never remember ever calling him Erwin or Mr. Klingenberg. He has always been “Dad” to me and he made me feel as if I was his son from the beginning.
It was a privilege to have a few extra special memories with him on the last 3 days of his life as well as the Christmas before as we all got together for what would be our last Christmas with Him and all of our family.
I also had the privilege of watching his influence over our family and the way he loved on all of our kids and so many others. His pockets full of “Smarties” at church, slipping our boys a few bucks when leaving their home, watching him buy “special gifts” for all of our family but especially for his wife were just a few things I’d seen over the years that showed his generous and giving nature.
While we have a few believers in my immediate family I’ve had the privilege of being a part of this godly family which numbers over 25 in our immediate family and well over 50 with the extended family. Not a perfect family by any means but a family on the whole that prioritizes Christ and truly lives for His glory. What a privilege for us to have him know his one and only great grandchild prior to his death (as pictured above).
While there are many verses that can be used to describe the legacy of my godly father’s influence, 2 Timothy 2:2 above says it best. We both heard and saw and experienced the difference a man who gave his heart to the Lord and walked with quiet, behind-the-scenes integrity, while serving so humbly (Phil. 2:3-5).
It’s a privilege to know that he is no longer in pain and enjoying fellowship with the Lord and his family that had already departed this earth earlier. It’s a privilege to carry on his godly legacy and, with God’s empowerment, to be a man who “passes on the baton” of godly leadership as my dad has done.
Erwin Klingenberg, February 16, 1936 – February 22, 2018