Gladys Weir - Funeral - 2005

Funeral Service for Gladys Weir

Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley

December 28, 2005 – 1:00 P.M.

 

Paul Boyd, Dale Shultz, Virginia Richmond, Bea Mookini, Isabel Boyd, and Evelyn Gerlund had a part in the service.

 

Pallbearers:  Ken Beckman, Larry Taylor, John VanDenBerg, Joe Alexander, Harold Hilton, Jeff Gillie, Larry Smit, David Drew, Bill Brown.

 

Pianist:  Joel Boyd

 

Evelyn Gerlund read the obituary:

 

Gladys Weir was born on December 18, 1909, in Dublin, Ireland and died at 4:30 pm on Thursday, December 22, 2005 at Eden Villa Care Home in Castro Valley, California.  Her parents, Harry and Agnes Weir, sisters Primrose Weir and Edie Leen and a nephew, Jack Leen, preceded her in death.  She is survived by a brother William and wife Joanne of Castro Valley, sister Jean Phillips and husband Jim of Wilseyville, nieces Gladys Ann Christie, Kay Vaughan and Helen Bonds and several great-nieces and nephews.

 

Gladys made her choice to serve God April 30, 1922 at a special meeting in Long Beach Hall.  Her Uncle Jack Carroll had the meeting.  She left home for Chelan preps on November 4, 1940.  This marked the beginning of her time in the ministry.  She joined Linda Hayes, her first companion, after the convention that year.  They went to Skagit County, Washington and she had her first gospel meeting on December 18, 1940 on her birthday.  In 2001, Gladys went to reside at the Creekside Care Home in Merced, California where she received excellent care.  She received further attentive care when she moved to Eden Villa Care Home, Castro Valley, California in 2005.  She passed away peacefully at Eden Villa on Thursday, December 22, 2005.

 

Evelyn Gerlund prayed.

 

Congregation sang “I’ve vowed to be true to the Savior.”

 

Bea Mookini

There are some verses I would like to read.  I thought about Gladys and my association with her and these verses came to mind.  The first one is in John 12:23 and 24, “And Jesus answered them, saying, the hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

 

I have appreciated thinking about Gladys in these verses. I believe that Jesus was teaching His disciples a beautiful lesson.  A lesson that I want to learn and a lesson that all God’s people want to learn.  It is a lesson about Jesus being the perfect example of the resurrection.  He likened it to a kernel of wheat dying and bringing forth much fruit.  A beautiful picture of the resurrection.  Wonderful to think that all of us can strive to love that appearing when one day, if we are faithful until death, as Gladys was, we might earn the privilege of seeing Jesus.

 

There is another verse I remember Gladys often speaking about.  Psalm 126:5&6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”  A promise that God has made.  “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”  I love to think about Gladys preaching about these verses and endeavoring to bring to others this wonderful promise that “doubtless, they shall bring their sheaves with them.” 

 

Two days ago, I heard about a young man giving his testimony and I was very touched by this testimony.  This young man watched Gladys walk on the platform this day and he said to himself, "I wish I could give her some of my strength."  He was a young man full of strength and in his heart, he had that thought, and said it in his testimony.  But when she walked off the platform, he said in his heart and in his testimony, "I wish that Gladys could give me some of her strength."  It was beautiful because what people saw when she walked on the platform was the power of the resurrection in her life.  The message she gave was also the power of the resurrection. The letters she has written bore the same fact – the power of the resurrection. She gave her life that others could receive this wonderful life in Jesus.  He is the resurrection and the life.

 

There are two men in the OT that had a vision of the resurrection.  I like to speak about them. One is David and one is Daniel.  In Psalm 17, we read about what David said in the last verse “as for me, I shall be satisfied when I awaken with thy likeness.”  David had an “as for me” in his life.  Do we?  He had that beautiful vision of the resurrection and that was his aim and his purpose.  Joshua said, “as for me and my house…” David said, “I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.”  Daniel 12:2, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel had a wonderful vision of the resurrection life. 

 

When my youngest sister, Pauline, passed away, one of the friends sent something I would like to read to you with Gladys’s name.  “Just think of her stepping on shore and finding it Heaven; of taking hold of a hand and finding it God’s hand; of breathing new air and finding it celestial air; of feeling invigorated and finding it immortality; of passing from storm and impact to an unknown calm; of waking up and finding it Home.” May this find us hoping in our own lives that we may look to Jesus, the resurrection and the life.

 

Isabel Boyd

Isaiah 53:8, “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?”  Psalm 22:30, “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.” When I was young in the work, I heard Gladys speak about that verse in Isaiah 53.  I very dimly understood what that meant to declare the generation of our Lord Jesus.  But I was quite sure Gladys understood it very well. Through the years, I have come to understand that it’s the seed that serves Him to whom it will be accounted. That is how we declare the generation of the Lord Jesus – by serving Him.

 

We had a very beautiful example of that in our sister Gladys.  I remember when she was young and vigorous and she served from morning to night. And then when a great handicap came to her, she continued to serve and amazed us all by how much she accomplished in her serving. 

 

Later after we were in another country preaching the gospel, Gladys wrote to us very faithfully.  I was sometimes very embarrassed by her letters because she seemed to be considering us as doing something great.  I knew it was not flattery, but Gladys was seeking to lift our eyes to the privilege that would always be ours of declaring the Lord Jesus so that the generation of the Lord might be proclaimed in that country.  It has often been an encouragement to me to think of the things she wrote and know she wasn’t writing about “me” but about the generation of the Lord that could only be proclaimed by our serving Him.  I was very impressed when I thought again these days about what Jesus said to His disciples, “I am among you as He that serveth.” He could have said a lot more about Himself, but He said, “I am among you as He that serveth.” That was His testimony of Himself.  I felt such a deep yearning in my heart to know what it means to declare the generation of the Lord in my service to Him. 

 

Many of us know Gladys had a background that was priceless. She had uncles and aunties declaring the generation of the Lord before she was born, and she had a sister that was doing the same.  Part of the reason was because of the home she came from. 

 

I have enjoyed some verses in Psalm 84, “Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.”  Gladys came from a home where she saw workers coming and going – those laying their lives on the altar and those whose parents were raising their young on the altar of God.  Anyone on the altar of God would have been very aware of the price that was paid.  I know that when Gladys saw those workers coming and going and the sacrifices her parents made to feed and keep them, she also saw the joy in the lives of those workers.  She saw their joy in giving themselves as they did.  Then when the time came, she was willing to put her life there. It made me feel so thankful for parents willing to do that.  The swallow will find a nest – a place to lay their young.  Parents have a wonderful opportunity to do that – show them the sacrifices and the joy.  It wasn’t in vain, was it? Sometimes parents may be fearful that the cost is too great for their children. But God’s children want to put their children where they will not only see the sacrifice, but the joy that results. 

 

Gladys once had a companion that wasn’t well, and I was asked to help them my first time home from Korea.  I remember being amazed and shocked, really, when we would be preparing for a gospel meeting, and Gladys would come in to my room weeping saying, “I don’t have anything to give them.”  I appreciated her humility in acknowledging her utter dependency on the Lord.  Her example in her serving and in this humility of waiting to receive something from the Lord impressed me very deeply, and I hope it would savor my own life and service to Him.

 

Virginia Richmond

It’s a great privilege to be here today and to be able to listen to what we’ve heard about our friend and the one who has gone from our midst because we know that all of these things are so very true, and the influence of her life has meant so much to all of us that stood by. 

 

Gladys loved light.  She loved to walk in the light.  The light was the thing God did from the beginning. In Genesis 1:16 – He made two great lights and made the stars also and He set them in the firmament of the Heaven to give light on the earth.  That was His purpose – to make light that we could walk in.  John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” In John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.”  I have appreciated the fact that this one who loved light and who began to walk in the light of the gospel when she was 12 and continued to walk in that light for 83 years.  It seemed so hard about her sight being taken from her, but that was the sight of this earth. There are the things we can see with our natural eyes.  But the light of Jesus – we never need to abide in darkness. In her life, when she started walking in that light, it was the morning time of her life.  Jesus was called the “Morning Star.”  Then she started walking in that light.  As she continued walking, that star continued to give her light until it became the Evening Star in her life.  I have been conscious of the planet Venus – a beautiful light in the evening sky.  That very same star that is in the evening some times of the year is the morning star other times that comes very early in the morning.  It’s because of the turning of the earth, no doubt, but what I appreciated is that light that began in the youth of her life gave her the same light through her life. It never changed.  The revelation she had from the beginning was never taken from her.  Like that morning star, it became the evening star in her life.  There were dark days, like we’ve heard.  Those dark days in her life didn’t change the revelation of Truth in her life at all. It seemed to us that she pushed herself so hard. But she didn’t let having one leg keep her from preaching the gospel. She continued to preach the gospel until she no longer could. That same revelation was real to her in the dark days as it had been before. That light from her life was reflected to us.  She became another that reflected the light given to her.  She knew it was very necessary.  She didn’t walk up on that platform with that one leg that it didn’t do something for my heart.  It influenced me. 

 

My first remembrance of Gladys was when I was 12 and at my first convention at Bakersfield.  I watched her comb her hair and I watched her with some of the other young people. I wanted more of what she had.  That light came to us as a result of her living in such a way that she reflected it to us. I never had the privilege of being on a list with her, but she was my friend. I lived under the same roof with her for the last year of her life. That last year of her life, her only interest was in writing to those workers in those foreign fields, as we’ve heard, and in everything going on around her.  There was a mission in that care home.  The interest she had in the workers and in the meetings and to those who were listening was great. She was always asking how they were doing.  She never missed a gospel meeting – sometimes even when it was impossible for us to get there. She would go to all efforts to find a way to get to those meetings. She was so interested in the children in that field and in those who made their choice in those meetings and she was interested in the changes in the workers and the change in our overseer.  Then she was so interested in the young ones taking up the same responsibility she had felt so deeply of showing forth that light to others.  I can’t help but tell you how much love and interest she showed to her family. She worried about them being sick and different things that happened in their lives. 

 

In that year, we saw the coming of the time when she was fading away like the stars of the morning.  I thought of hymn #397 and put Gladys’s name in those words. “Fading away like the stars in the morning, losing their light in the glorious sun – Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling, only remembered by what she has done. Shall she be missed, though by others succeeded, reaping the fields she in spring time has sown? Yes, but the sowers must pass from their labors, ever remembered by what she has done. Only the truth that in life she has spoken.  Only the seed that on earth she has sown.  These shall pass onward when she is forgotten:  Fruits of the harvest and what she has done.”  These things have meant a lot to me and she was my friend. She was your friend. She was a friend of sinners.  John 11 tells us about Lazarus - “Lazarus, our friend, is fallen asleep.”   I know that we see one side of death, but there is the other side – the resurrection. That side of death we haven’t seen yet.  When I think of her being such a friend of God’s people and a friend of God and a friend of His son, I’m sure that Jesus today could say, “She’s my friend, and I’m going to waken her to light that will never go out” – that same light that was shown to her as a little girl and carried her through such dark experiences and brought her to the end of life – an experience that isn’t easy.  But there will be no night there – no need of a candle because the Lamb is the light of everything. That morning star is what she followed from the very beginning and was with her through every experience until it became the evening star has now turned to another morning star that would say, “There is no need of fearing the dark because I am there.”

 

Sister workers sang “Songs of Zion.”

 

Paul Boyd

Bea mentioned that the one portion of scripture about when those Greeks came and asked to see Jesus. Jesus told them that portion that Bea read: a corn of wheat, unless it falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone. If it dies, there is a great harvest. He was giving them His business card because He was that perfect example of a corn of wheat falling into the ground and dying.  It seems sometimes we might better say the great sowing field. That is what God’s servants are doing – sowing the gospel seed and sowing their lives.  Mark 4 tells us “the Kingdom of God is as when a man sows seed in His field and then he sleeps and rises night and day and it grows.”  First is the stalk and then the leaves and then the ears and then the full corn in the ear.  And when that full corn in the ear is seen, immediately He puts in the sickle for the harvest is come. That seems to be a very nice explanation.  The seed of this sister’s life has produced a very nice harvest. There are a number here who represent that. 

 

We think of these funerals being a time of sadness and separation, but I like what Jesus said about the kingdom of God, it’s like this – when the harvest is ready, He puts in the sickle for the harvest time has come. I’ve been in several countries and seen the harvest, the natural harvest.  The harvesters may be tired and sweaty and dusty and weary but they don’t weep because it’s the harvest.  In every land I’ve been in, it’s the same. A lot of toil and effort put into that harvest, but there is no weeping because it is the harvest. We rejoice in the wonderful way our heavenly Father has planned for each of us – the very best.  It’s difficult for the human mind to grasp that.  We are so occupied often with the temporal things and we fail to grasp that our Father has planned everything perfectly that we should have the very best in life and death and forever.  It’s no wonder that we feel very grateful even at a time like this that our Father has planned this.  To Him, it’s a time of harvest and there is no weeping. But we are very grateful that we have been called and given the privilege of sowing our lives as seed. 

 

I like that natural picture of the seed.  It falls into the ground, there is some moisture, and then a new life comes out. It isn’t like the seed – it's living. The root goes down and the shoot goes up.  Always.  Never a mistake.  Someone asked why there is gravity. That is so we’ll know which way is to Heaven – the opposite of the way gravity pulls us. That new life that comes from the seed – that is nourished for a short time by the nutrition in the seed.  Then once the root is established in the soil, it begins to draw moisture.  I used to think a plant drew quite a little from the soil. What the soil offers is a very small part.  The main part is the water from heaven, and the root absorbs that moisture and sends it to the shoot and goes into the leaves and the sunshine produces photosynthesis.  It breaks down the water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released. That’s how we are breathing today.  The hydrogen goes back to the roots and picks up a little carbon from the soil.  That’s where we get our carbohydrates. But think of the harvest.  The seed falling into the ground is conscious it’s falling down. The new life coming up is rising above the soil a little. The soil has no strength of its own.  But the new life does and it grows up and the harvest comes and it’s garnered in.  It’s continually rising up into food for human beings.

 

They tell me that one of the astronauts smuggled some bread in his suit and took it to the moon. Imagine that.  A seed that fell into the ground and died produced something that could be used way up there.  A nice picture of what God has planned for His own.  Resurrection far beyond anything we could imagine.  God has planned the very best for all His children. So it’s really a thankful time – God harvesting His own. That gives us hope that He can do the same for us. That is our aim.

 

Dale Shulz closed in prayer.

 

Internment:  Mount Rest Cemetery on Thursday, December 29, 2005 at 2:00 P.M.

Ed Alexander spoke and Phyllis Munn prayed and all sang “I’ve a Friend.”