Linton Ward Funeral



On behalf of the Ward family we would like to thank you for coming this morning. Certainly, Linton would have very much appreciated your presence.
The circumstance that brings us together today is the most solemn kind of circumstance, and one we must often face in this world of sickness, sorrow, and death.
Today we have come together to weep with those who weep, and to express our love and appreciation for the Ward family and their friends.

Ed Major - Opening Hymn | Does Jesus Care?

Lanny Hosfield - Opening Prayer

Tyler Ward - Reading of Obit

Ed Major - Hymn | Last Mile of the Way

Eulogy | Matthew Allen

John 11.35 - Jesus wept.
He openly cried over Lazarus’ death. There was no holding in of emotions.
Thisis the man of sorrows acquainted with grief as prophesied by Isaiah, Isaiah 53.3b.
Jesus’ tears are a shocking outburst of our sympathetic high priest.
This passage teaches us that Jesus weeps when we weep, it also tells us when we are brokenhearted, He is with us.
He comes to us and surrounds us with His love during our sufferings.
Psalm 34.18-19 - The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
When people are brokenhearted and wounded, God’s word tells us that God will bind up our wounds:
Psalm 147.3, 5: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.
A few verses before, in our John 11 text, Jesus says:
John 11:25–26 CSB
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Do you believe Jesus is the resurrection and life?
Days like today are what our faith is all about.
Days like today are where our faith gets very real … because it brings home the very obvious reality that it is only by faith that we walk and in grace that we stand.
Faith in a power that transcends this world.
Faith in the work of a Savior who lovingly and willingly sacrificed Himself in our place so that we can die with hope.
Faith in the word of God which tells us that by His own resurrection, Jesus has taken away the sting of victory of death.
It is this faith that propels us to lead lives just like Linton did … living a life of surrendered dedication to Christ … which propels us with the strongest of assurance.
Paul wrote:
Romans 8:11 CSB
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.

Remembering Linton

Today we have come into this place to honor the life of our brother Linton, who has been a part of the Brownsburg family since the beginning.
He was loved and respected.
He was hospitable … and often moved with great kindness.
He was a man of God’s word.
And for me personally, he was a man of encouragement … always patient, always kind, and always ready to help. I always enjoyed spending time with him and just listening to his stories.
He, like several others before him in his generation here at Brownsburg, has now gone on to his reward … leaving behind an immense spiritual legacy of leadership, love, and guidance.
Lives have been changed for the better because of his spiritual influence. And for that, we are thankful and give the praise to God where it belongs.
The legacy he leaves behind today … is gathered together in this room.
A loving and dedicated wife.
Faithful children and grandchildren.
Good people who have become dedicated servants of the Lord, just as Linton was.
The way Linton touched lives is so evident, seen in what you have already observed at last night’s visitation with all the people gathered … and you’ve seen it again today.
Perhaps the best way to reflect more on Linton’s legacy is to listen to the writings and poems his family has written as they look back on his life:
Joanie writes...
Death is never easy. But, God tells us in Ecclesiastes that it is better to go to a house of mourning. I believe it is for the lessons we can learn, and Dad Ward teaches us even today.
Dad was a committed man. He was devoted to his Savior Jesus Christ and Jesus' Church. Dad never forsook Jesus from the moment of his baptism to his death. Dad was steadfast in his marriage, his children and his work. He kept a straight course, even when the journey became rough and bumpy. He stayed true, never forsaking the commitments he enlisted himself in.
Dad loved ... and he loved deeply. He didn't love with showy or mushy words. But, I know he loved because all you have to do is look at his family. Dad and Mom Ward, raised children who love and respect one another and others. Their children were always there when Dad and Mom needed them. Even in times when there is no need, they get together to be with one another. Dad and Mom took others in when there was a need and made them feel welcome ... and their children do the same. I can say with conviction of heart, from the time I became a Ward, I've never once felt unwelcome, but I've always felt a part of their family. It's a gift they've given to so many other people in their lifetime. And Dad played a huge role in teaching that gift to his family.
Dad was a story-teller. This is my favorite recollection of Dad, and I believe just as important. I have memory after memory of Dad telling a story, usually after we've sat down and finished a family meal. These stories were his real life happenings and they were anywhere from thoughtful to humorous ones and many that were filled with much wisdom. These stories contained true accounts of his life working on the farm, or fantastic stories of school bus shenanigans, or thoughtful stories of family and friends that he held dear and was willing to share. I learned a lot from so many of his stories and I realize they impacted me as I applied the wisdom he shared to my life. For that I will always be grateful. I urge older family members to share your stories, while I encourage those younger to stop and listen to them speak.
Dad left a wonderful legacy. As part of his family, we can keep it going if we follow in his footsteps to fulfill our commitments, love more deeply, and stop & listen to one another share their stories. He will be missed, but he can live forever in our lives, if we so choose.
Your loving daughter-in-law, Joanie
Linton’s love and influence was felt throughout the entire family. Remember his grandfather and his very special experiences, Jeff’s son Justin wrote:
Sizzling pan of lacy eggs, barnlot weeds and squealing pigs,
Snoring here and certainly there.
Rocks in gas tanks, lessons learned, combine rides and stockyard tours.
Ice cream heavy, pool day floats, candy rains down on the 4th.
Farm to table, blessings passed, shuck the sweetcorn, porch swing thrill.
I am loved and so are you, grateful gracious in joy we grew.
Today, may we all realize and give God the praise for Linton Ward being a part of our life. His spiritual and family legacy will go on and his impact will be felt for generations to come.
As we reflect on Linton, perhaps our greatest amount of praise and celebration of his life focuses on his spiritual influence because he understood Death is not the end.

Death is Not the End

Psalm 116.15: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.
The death of one of God’s children is the crowning glory of a life of faith.
We go to an eternal world, one filled with the light of our great God.
We pass from a world filled with pain, sorrow, and tears to one where every tear is wiped away from every eye and there is no more sorrow, crying, or pain.
Our death supplies our entrance into higher, eternal fellowships.
For Linton, the eternal inheritance is no longer a hope — it is a reality.
D. L. Moody once said:
Someday you will read in the papers that I am dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment, I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all, into a house that is immortal, a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint, a body fashioned unto His glorious body.
Because of his relationship with Christ, our brother Linton is not dead.
He was prepared for this day.
He is alive and well.
He is in a place of rest, comfort, and peace.
We trust in the power of God. He has promised that those who live for Him in this life will reign with Him in the next.
You see, Linton knew that. He knew that for the Christian, the best is yet to come.
2 Corinthians 4:16–5:1 CSB
16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 1 For we know that if our earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands.
Did you hear the contrast in the last verse I read from 2 Corinthians 5?
Right now we live in a tent. You know, our bodies are like tents.
They are temporary and not designed for us to live in them permanently.
They can be flimsy, easy to tear down, and are meant to be replaced.
Our bodies wear out. They break down. While we can maybe slow down the aging process, we can’t delay things forever.
Paul says, one day we’ll trade in our tent for a building.
A building is strong, built on a foundation, and not meant to be moved.
Someday we’ll trade in this tent and replace it with a building made by God himself.
Death is not the end.
Death is not reincarnation.
Death is not evaporation.
Death is not annihilation.
Death is a trade-in.
One day we’ll trade in our broken down bodies for a new body. Paul says this new body:
is from God.
is not made with hands.
is eternal.
is heavenly.
This is what Paul means in verse 1 when he says “we know.”
There are many things about the future that we do not know, but this much is certain...
We won’t have to live in these tents forever. Someday our “tent” will be replaced with a “building” made by God.

There Has to be More

If Linton could speak to us today, he would definitely testify to that.
He would tell you not to neglect that which is really important — that is, a faithful relationship with the Savior.
When it comes down to it, that is all that matters.
There is no promise of eternal life for the person who does not have a relationship with Jesus.
Do you believe in the message Jesus brought? He said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. (John 14.6)
Before the day of death comes we must confess Him and crown Him as the Lord of your life?
We must turn away from sin and be united with Him in the waters of baptism and wash away your sin.
The need for Christ is real, because the reality of our death is real.
Hebrews 9.27: it has been appointed for all men to die once, then the judgment.
So when death strikes close to us, we see how much we really do need Jesus.
We need Him to save us from our sinfulness.
We need Him to lead us safely through this life.
We need Him to give us strength and comfort.
We absolutely need Him when we must walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
It is only through Jesus that we will be victors over death.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 CSB
55 Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting? 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
I believe Linton understood this promise and lived with this hope.
Think about how Paul concludes his thoughts in this chapter:
1 Corinthians 15:58 CSB
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
This was Linton. Think about everything we’ve heard about him today and you’ll see a steadfast brother in Christ.
Someone who was immovable.
And, someone who always abounded in the work of the Lord.

Even in Death There is Comfort

We have comfort in the fond memories of Linton and how he touched our lives.
Treasure each memory of him.
Let his good character, good values, and spiritual example influence us throughout the rest of our lives.
There is comfort in knowing that our Lord will come to us in our deepest times of grief, … just like He did with the family of Lazarus.
He not only comes to us, but meets our loved ones to provide comfort, console, and receive them into His presence eternally.
Today, our brother Linton is a recipient of that comfort and consolation from His Lord.
Jesus is always there for us, ready to bless, and willing to receive.
The Psalmist has said:
Psalm 23 CSB
A psalm of David. 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. 2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.
Let us give thanks for Linton Ward, the life he lived, the inspiration he was, and the example he set.
Our world is a better place - lives have been touched - and God glorified - because of this godly man.

Ed Major - Hymn | Last Mile of the Way

Dave Roberts - Opening Prayer

Graveside Committal

We have reached the end.
We can go no farther with Linton.
Today, based on the fruit of Linton’s life, we stand confident in the promises of our God.
We trust that he is alive and at peace.
We trust that Jim has moved on to enjoy the fellowship of the saints.
And for this, we are thankful.
As we mourn for his death today, let us remember Psalm 121, where we have the promise that God will help those who seek him:
Psalm 121 CSB
A song of ascents. 1 I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. 4 Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. 5 The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. 6 The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night. 7 The Lord will protect you from all harm; he will protect your life. 8 The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.
Let’s pray.
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