Donald D. Karnes - Funeral Notes - Mercer's Funeral Home, Holton, Kansas - February 11, 2004, Wednesday 7 p.m.

21 Workers present: Brothers - Joe Hobbs, Chris Postma, Ron Thomke, Charles Middleswarth, Doyle Copeland, Dwight Craig, Errald McDonald, Stan Morrison, Leslie Pountney, Leslie Olsen, and Don Smith.

Sister Workers: - Marilyn Kleffman, Roanne Kooy, Bernita Niewenhuis, Sharon Carroll, Amy Ngo, Dorothy Kleeb, Christy Lester, Sherry Conley, Katie Keim, and Pearl Kots.

(The latter is a resident at the Seven Oaks Adult Care where Donald resided.)

Officiating: Ron Thomke and Joe Hobbs
Organist: Dorothy Kleeb
Congregational Singing
Service began with Obituary read by Marilyn Kleffman.

Chris Postma prayed.

Hymn 282 - Ron Thomke: explained how the hymns chosen, and that we would be singing this evening, had actually been chosen by Donald for his funeral service. (He has chosen four hymns, two to be sung in Kansas, the other two would be sung in South Dakota at the service there on Friday.) 282, 81, 245, 246.

Ron Thomke: It was quite a few years ago I first met Donald. However, I had heard of him many times before. Our paths crossed several times then, through the years, and every time I saw him, I felt he had such a keen mind, such a wealth of experience and wisdom. He held such an atmosphere of dignity. He was a giant among us. Now the finish has come for Donald, and in thinking of this occasion this evening those words of that hymn came to mind.. "when death would return our souls to thee, grant us the faith that understands our only hope is Calvary."

We don't deserve a place in heaven. This was forcibly impressed on my mind a few years ago by another older brother among us who taught us that our only hope is Calvary. It is not by any great deeds we have done that we merit a place in heaven. It is by and through Calvary. We can never obligate the Lord to receive us into heaven by our goodness.

John wrote in the Hebrews 9:14, "(Jesus) - He is the mediator of the new testament that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." It also says in this chapter that Jesus Once ... ONLY ONCE, appeared to put away sins of men. He was offered only once. He will appear again a second time, but not to make sacrifice or offer himself again. Now once he appears in the end of the world... from then till now this is where we are ... the end of the world. We are in the final count down. That's where we are now! The thought of "Jesus offering Himself!"

It is easy to give of material goods, give money, or something we possess, but to give our self is something else. To give what we are is much harder than to give what we have. Jesus gave a sacrifice of Himself. He gave all He had, all His life. He didn't just give part of what He was, but all He was. When Jesus was arrested and delivered up for judgment by men to be crucified, the enemy thought they had overcome Him and taken Him. But no..He just gave Himself to them. He was not overpowered at all. He simply gave Himself to them.

When Jesus died, He shared in an experience we all will share in someday, unless Jesus returns before we should die. The thought of death and dying are not so pleasant. Jesus knew the torture, the pain, the physical suffering of dying. He also understood He was bearing the sins of all men in doing so. He was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many. Our only hope is Calvary. The hymn we sang that Donald had chosen says, "My one desire to worthy be, to fill the place prepared for me."

I do not know which words of this hymn were special to Donald, but by the manner he lived, and by what we knew of his life, I feel these may have been the very words that he loved in that hymn. If we too could have such a goal in our living. I think this was Donald's goal because that is the way he lived. We cannot just live good lives and expect or obligate God to accept us into a saved eternity, but we live to be worthy of such. Being worthy is our goal. Live each day with this in mind that God has prepared a place for us, and we long to be worthy of it. If we live to fill the place given us on earth as we should, we will be worthy of the place prepared for us in eternity. If we can live like this our lives will be richer and better. Live with the thought in mind "and death would return our souls to thee"... and "worthy be, to fill the place prepared for me."

Hymn 8 - Donald's favorite and one he chose frequently in the meetings.

Joe Hobbs: The message of Paul and his feeling about his calling, things concerning his attitude when he felt the call of God, and the conviction he felt about God's work in his life were real to me as I think of Donald's life and what I knew of his conviction and commitment to the Gospel of Christ all his life long. He was committed to the Work of God even as a very young man in his late teens. He loved to tell the Gospel Story. It thrilled him to see the work of the Gospel in lives of others. He valued the favor this brought into his life from God.

Philemon 1:20, "According to my earnest expectations and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed... Christ shall be magnified in my body whether it be by life or by death Commending to the conscience, bearing in the body the marks of Christ." John 3:30, "John the baptist said, 'He must increase, but I must decrease.'" Donald, in the last month, years and moments of his life realized he was no longer able to go as he once had with the Gospel that he loved to tell the story of. He loved to tell when the scales fell from his own eyes. He told many times of the time in his experience and it was always a new and fresh story, though repeated over and over, because it was real to him. He loved to tell this story in many lands he was in, and was privileged to labor in laying down is life there for the Gospel's sake.

Phillipians, "Christ be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death." This is the true desire of every true servant of God. "That Christ be magnified".... the interest in the message of God much more then in the messenger! In the beginning when starting in the Gospel work, every servant of God feels the insufficiency of not being able for such a noble work, it is such a great work, but can glory in the fact it is God's work, not theirs. All they need to do is put their lives in God's hands, and make the effort to go forth to tell others of Jesus, that is all that really matters. This is the true ministry.

Donald often said that before he heard the Gospel (1927), that he often wondered as he walked out in the night time, seeing the stars above and their wonderful order, and wondered, "Where is the God who has such an order?" Meanwhile, there being such a lack of order in the chaos of the world around him. Such a lack of order and direction in his life as well. He wondered, "Where was the God who overruled in the affairs of men?"

Thus he rejoiced in he story of the Gospel as he began to understand the Gospel Story. He was committed to the Truths of the Scripture, to the power of the Holy Spirit of God as it began to deal with him and to reveal to him this precious story of Jesus. That Christ be magnified in my body, my manifestation of what the Truth is! This is a power we have in our hands as we represent the Truth of Jesus by the way we live our lives. "That the life of Christ be magnified in me" in my flesh, in my living. We begin to understand a bit more about what John said, "I must decrease.. He (Jesus) must increase."

Donald spoke often of the greatness of the nail prints in Jesus' feet. "Blessed Foot Prints Of My Savior." Those prints were in Jesus' hands, in His feet. Those precious foot prints of Jesus. Donald felt he would follow them where ever they would lead him, all his life long. This was Donald's commitment to the Gospel Story. In Proverbs 23:23, we read "buy the Truth and sell it not." Donald understood that verse as he lived his life. He knew what that meant. He understood those blessed footprints of Jesus marked the path for him, for all of us, for all our lives long. Every step of the way. In the highest respect to Donald, we see Jesus through Donald's life more that we see Donald. This is the greatest compliment we could ever pay to Donald. This will also influence us in the direction we should take, and may we follow those Blessed Foot Prints of Jesus with the same spirit and understanding that Donald possessed all his days.

Leslie Pountney closed the service in prayer.

Passing by the casket one last time were 21 workers and about 200 friends. One of his care takers at the home, and his doctor and wife. (The doctor had said of Donald, "I don't know anyone more ready to meet their Maker.")

Joe Hobbs and Chris Postma took the body via a Van on Thursday a.m. at 6:30 a.m. to Sioux Fall, SD for a viewing there at 3 PM and the funeral in South Dakota to be Friday 10 am. Burial to be in Madison SD next to Donald's first companion, Dave MacRae.