Today we are celebrating the life of a lady I love dearly.
She was a person whom I really enjoyed spending time with.
Someone who certainly encouraged my heart and spurred me on when I spoke.
Someone whom demonstrated strength and determination to me more than I thought possible.
This afternoon we celebrate the life of my friend Pat Tiller.
I am honored to speak to you for a few minutes this afternoon about her life and who she lived to please.
When thinking about what to speak on my mind thought of a number of scriptures but I settled on this one and it is a funny story too.
I am looking at the book of Ecclesiastes.
I think it is humorous because when I was with the family planning the funeral we were going down through what Pat wanted and she had selected this scripture.
Are you surprised that Pat had things all ready to go?
She was one who knew what she wanted and made no bones about it, all the details for this service were prepared by her and she made sure Cindy, George and Rick knew this was so.
No this is not the only part to make you smile.
One day I was visiting her and she came over with this piece of paper and handed it to me like it was a flyer for the store but it was her funeral plans and there was no more to it than that.
She had all the plans laid out.
A Lady of Faith
When we were looking through the scriptures someone was having trouble say this particular book of the Bible.
We had a chuckle at this but I thought to myself here she is gone but she still made us laugh and laugh a lot.
She loved to make others smile and to help us enjoy the best parts of life.
She had a lot of challenges in her life to overcome but she was fun to be around and like to have fun and be with people.
In fact the last night before she passed that was a comment George made and said I know mom is soon at the end for us all to be here and she was not waking to come out to join in with everyone.
Our scripture text was read by Heather earlier and it is a scripture that I love.
It states that there is a time for everything.
I believe Pat lived her life like that.
She was a person who put her hope in God and knew that He would direct her path and his timing was best.
In the mean time she was going to make the most of each day until He said her time was up.
Pat loved her family.
She loved her friends.
She loved her churches.
She was a part of both Faith Pentecostal and Long Pond Corp and loved the people of those congregations like family.
She met you with a hug and a kiss.
She was a pleasure to come in contact with.
Solomon’s words ring true in our ears, especially today.
For Pat, there was a time to be born and a time to die: May 11, 1943 and June 13, 2019.
Indeed, there is a time to be born and a time to die for all of us.
But this was not always so.
In the beginning, there was only a time to be born and not a time to die; a time to laugh and never to cry; a time to dance and never to mourn.
The Lord God looked upon all that He had made and behold it was very good.
The world knew nothing of weeping and mourning and death.
Man was created with eternity, not just put in his heart, but as a central feature of God’s plan.
Then “sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Planting and harvesting were cursed with pain and sweaty toil, thorn and thistle.
The blessing of birth came with pain.
The joy of marriage became mixed with strife.
And every human being returns to the dust from which the first man came.
We are all subject to times and changes over which we have so little control.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Solomon contrasts the changing human affairs with God’s unchanging will.
Throughout Ecclesiastes, he frequently changes his tone, describing both the frustration and fickleness of life, as well as the firmness of God’s Word and blessing.
In so doing, Solomon is showing that everything is in God’s hands.
I know you all will agree with me that Pat was certainly a person who believed that it was all in God’s hands and she was good with that.
She lived with that peace and she died with that peace.
She was a lady of great faith.
There was a story told about Pat and Ruth who were here at the church one day in the prayer room.
A person came to the church to do some work and said to the pastor there must be a crowd in that room.
The pastor smiled and said no it is only two ladies.
They were the two ladies praying trough on behalf of needs.
They were ladies of faith.
Ladies who pushed through.
A Lady who pushed through
Pat overcame a lot of challenges in her life.
She was not a rich woman.
She was not rich with material things or with lots of money but she knew how to work hard, push through the hard times with a smile and in spite of adversity.
It did not spoil her spirit.
She was not a bitter person.
She told me that before she knew the Lord she was a hard case and she laughed covering her mouth in her cute coy way.
But then she raised her hand heavenward giving Him the honor He was due.
Because God made a real difference in her life and gave her the strength to keep pushing though despite the challenges.
She knew what it meant:
She loved hard.
She dearly loved her family.
That is certainly evident.
She had expectations of them and wanted them to work to meet them.
For example, Cindy had to have the dishes done if someone was coming in.
It was shameful if things in her home weren’t the way she wanted.
She would be reminded of that if those dishes weren’t done.
She liked things done a certain way.
I would not mess with her.
She was small yet mighty.
She had a faith was as strong as her will.
She would not wavier in it not matter what.
She would never call me Melissa or Pastor Melissa because that was not the way it was supposed to be.
I am Pastor Hodder and there was no other title but that.
My friend Pat, knew that God had a plan and He had an order and that made her push through and fight strong to the end.
She yielded her life to His plan and will.
I remember one night giving her a hug good night and I broke down crying and she looked at me she said it is in His time.
I am in His hands.
I thank God for the peace she had to walk through the good and bad times with her hand firmly gripping His all the way.
The main thing that she wanted to make sure of is that her family was going to be ok and that the knew God.
A Lady with a Legacy
This afternoon, we have no doubt about where she is.
Pat left a testimony of faith.
She loved God.
She served God.
She was sure to be here no matter how she was feeling.
She was determined to be here whenever she could be at church.
She would fight to be here.
That is how much it meant to her.
Pat had a glimpse of eternity and the hope that knowing Christ as personal Lord and savior and what that means.
Those who knew Pat know that her life was very different before.
God made a huge change in her life.