by Pastor Don Elmore
Funeral Service of Ron Albers
November 15, 2013
Ron Albers was a friend of mine; a very good friend. I loved him and I love his family; his wife, Joyce, and his 8 sons and daughters. We bought beef from him on a regular basis. The last time Ron and Joyce brought the beef down it was in the back part of their van; Ron helped unload the beef and we distributed it to our members from our garage. Then we went to church.
I can tell you about Ron by what we believed. We talked about what we studied and learned. There are very, very few men who understood the Bible as well as he did. The sacrifices that he and Joyce made for their beliefs will remain with me for the rest of my life.
Ron and I both had the same father. It goes back a long way; but we both had Jacob/Israel, Isaac and Abraham as our fathers. Abraham was God’s friend. He cut in half a heifer, a she-goat and a ram, all three years old, along with a pigeon and a turtledove and made a path-way that Almighty God Himself, walked through by Himself. Abraham was in “a deep sleep” when God cut the covenant. So, it was an unconditional, everlasting covenant that God made with Abraham.
God made promises with Abraham and his son and grandson and 12 of his great-grandsons and 2 of his great-great-grandsons. He also made an oath with Abraham’s son Isaac. For when he was grown and childless, God told Abraham to offer him as “a burnt offering.” Abraham told Isaac what he was instructed to do, and Isaac allowed himself to be tied up. As Abraham brought back the knife and just before he brought it back to pierce Isaac’s chest, an angel called out to him to stop! The angel told Abraham that there was a ram caught in the thickets that he could substitute.
Then God said, “for now I know” that you believe me. For you believe the covenant. For you knew that Isaac couldn’t be killed or else he would have to be resurrected back to life for he was childless; for how could God keep His covenant if Isaac did not become a great nation and a multitude of nations?
The Bible is the instructional book for His People to learn from. One such group, known as the Pilgrim’s, who were Calvinists, as were most of the early settlers in the United States, but nevertheless they loved the LORD. They sold their homes, all of their immovable possessions to pay for their voyages. It was a voyage that was filled with many miracles. They were a church that was coming to the New World that took of the promise that they would be “a city set on a hill.”
The first example of one of the miracles was that there was a sailor who hated the Pilgrims. He called them every evil name he could think of. He bullied and harassed them. His favorite name was “psalm-singing, puke-stockings.” He boasted he would be happy to cast their dead body over the ship.
What would you do? Well, this sailor suddenly took ill. And within one day he was dead of a mysterious illness. His dead body was cast over the ship. The harassment stopped on the Mayflower immediately.
Another example: Shortly after passing the half-way point to America, the Mayflower ran in to a violent storm. The huge cross-beam supporting the main mast had cracked and was sagging alarmingly. The crew couldn’t budge it. But the Pilgrims did what the crew didn’t do: they prayed to their God.
After saying their prayers, they then remembered the great iron screw of the printing press they had brought. And why did they bring a printing press? They printed the books that they found worthy of their beliefs. Remember it was 1620 and the printing press was a relatively new invention.
They found the giant screw and cranked it up till the beam was back into its original position. The Mayflower was saved from destruction. For once, the sailors joined the Pilgrims in praising God. The ship could have sunk and everyone drown in the Atlantic Ocean. What a joyous occasion that was!
And on and on it goes. The area where they landed was not the portion of North America where they were to go. The Indian tribe where they built their settlement was the most white-man hating tribe on the continent. But that tribe had all died in a mysterious plague a couple of years before the Pilgrim’s arrived. The land was vacant. And on and on it goes.
But, what I want you think of is that in the first winter there were 47 of 102 Pilgrims that died. What do you think the survivor’s thought? Why would a Pilgrim die? Why would almost half of them die the first winter?
Is this how we should think of Ron’s demise too? To Joyce, his wife, to his sons and daughters; to his friends…let us turn to this scripture that the Pilgrim’s referred to in order to help them through the death of their spouse or child or father or mother or brother or sister:
“But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
We are the servants of God. We are not to serve false gods but we are to serve only the God who brought our forefathers out of Egypt. When we serve Him, we will not be afraid, He will strengthen us, He will help us, and He will uphold us with the right hand of His righteousness. For His is our God.
He fulfilled this promise to the Pilgrims; will He not do the same with us?
I will miss you Ron, but our God does not make mistakes. His thoughts are not our thoughts. As David said after the death of his seven-day old child: He cannot come to me, but “I shall go to him…”
David eventually did, and we will too. It won’t be long till we see Ron again. What a joyous hope we have.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel.
I will now read three of Ron’s favorite scriptures:
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
And the last scripture is from the Ten Commandments that our LORD God gave to the children of Israel; here is the 5th Commandment.
Exodus 20:12 “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
“And we know that all thing work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be, the firstborn among many brethren,
Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? Shall God that justifieth?
Who is he that condemneth? Shall Christ that died, yet rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us?
What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
Let us now pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven:
May “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” Amen.