Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002

Subject: Promoted from Captain to Gatekeeper

Dear Ethan & Emily:

We are all saddened with a loved ones leaves us…even if it means going to be with the Lord.  Jesus wept just thinking about the death of his friend Lazarus (John 11:35) even though He knew He was going to bring Lazarus back to life!

You have received the message that Your Aunt Marna’s dad passed away late last night.  I, too, have moist eyes as I write this.  I did not know Mr. Carver very well, but I know he made quite a change in his life when he gave his heart and life to the Lord.  I remember him as a very commanding person to whom leadership came naturally and his Naval assignments would reflect his capabilities as he rose through the ranks to become a Captain and Commander of the Washington Naval Shipyard.

But, in spite of his many awards and elevated duty assignments, I know he would heartily agree with the Psalmist who declared in Ps. 84: 10b:  “I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.”  Certainly he would hate to leave his family (albeit even for a while until they join him), but the choice between living in a sinful world and that of living in God’s presence would be a “no brainer” for Bill Carver.  And all believers can say this because “A single day in God’s courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!” (v.10a)

In our sorrow today, let us be uplifted with the Psalmist in this 84th Psalm who declares in talking about going into God’s dwelling place (whether here on Earth or in Heaven):  “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty.  I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord.  With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God….How happy are those who can live in your house, always singing your praises.” (vv. 1 – 4)

So let us join in on the promotion party…and rejoice with Marna’s dad in his celebration of joy and happiness as he is promoted into a position of service in God’s dwelling place.  Whether as a gatekeeper or right hand attendant, he would tell you it is his “ultimate and best” assignment!

Remember these words on the day I also get my promotion! 

All my love,