Stanley March Funeral, 2x2 Worker

Funeral service for Stanley March
LeRoy Sandford
It is wonderful to see so many here. Your presence shows a great respect for the work our brother spent his life in.

We will begin the service by singing, “Thou Hast Been my Help, Lord Jesus.” There is significance to each of the hymns that was chosen for this service. This hymn was chosen by Stanley at a potluck, and his comment was that the Lord had been his help. And thirty years ago, Stanley and I were together in NW ND. We were invited across to MT for special meetings. And we used our new hymnbook for the for the first time, December of 1987.

And Stanley said that when he learned that, “He hath Blessed Us”, would be in our new book, that he purposed at that moment that the first time he had an opportunity to choose a hymn from our new book, “He hath Blessed Us”, would be his choice. “Impelled By Love”, is very special to us in this ministry. And most of us didn’t go into this ministry because we were impelled by love. We went because we lacked peace, not being in the ministry, but now, we are impelled by love. And that was Stanley’s situation. Stanley told us from this platform, back in September that life is short. more than 99 years old, he said, life is short. But then he said eternity is long. And Stanley, early in this work, and maybe even later too, he felt like if I was cut out for this work, I was “sewed up” wrong. But then, at some point in the struggle, he felt that he probably couldn’t go on. But there was an older brother that told him, “You don’t know how far one step back into the bottomless pit will take you.”. So, Stanley stuck and stayed, and we are so grateful. So,we will begin with hymn 205. All join in singing hymn 205.

LeRoy Prayed

Ken Pinney:
I feel very thankful to be here this morning with you. I don’t know how many of you ever called Uncle Stanley “Uncle Stanley”, but that is what he was to me. And that’s what he is to me, maybe more than even Rob maybe even called him “Uncle Stanley” a few times. But to me that is what he is, my uncle, my great uncle. So, I have been thinking the last few days about what Uncle Stanley would do when he got to heaven. I’m not going to put him in heaven, but assuming and knowing that was his ambition and his love, his purpose. And you would’ve all heard him say that eternity is not going to be long enough for me to thank God for letting me live in this way or preach the gospel. So, what I have been thinking about these last few days as he would pass through that door.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. And it can go on for what we would think of for generations, but an endless time. Another thing that was coming to my mind, some of the last times that I was in meetings with Uncle Stanley in visits. He would call out these words, “In the beginning, God”. And he just seemed like he just put a period right there. And I a lot of times wondered, what did he really mean. But through listening to him through time and experience and watching and listening and hearing I realized what Uncle Stanley was saying is that, in the beginning, God, and in the end, God. Time, a hundred years can pass and still God. Now there is recorded, somewhere around 6 thousand years that people have been alive on the earth, but still, God.

And think about, people talk about so many billion years ago or so many million years ago or hundred million years ago, whatever, but in the end, God. And I have appreciated thinking about that very much, because if it doesn’t come down to God, we have missed the purpose, we have missed all the plan. Why did he make the earth? Why did he make me? Why did he make you? And if you don’t believe that he made you, where did you come from? And so, I just really appreciated thinking that, in the beginning, God. And then he began to create. He created the earth, he created mankind, all the things in the earth, all the things we enjoy, all that we feed on, all that we look to, and still in the beginning and in the end, God.

Another thing that has been on my mind the last few days is that I have a little list, and I’m not going to tell you what the list is, exactly, except I’ll tell you what it is, but I’m not going to name the people on it. But I think it is six men. Six men in the earth today, that are brother workers that come from Nebraska. That grew up here, were born here. Uncle Stanley was the oldest of those six men.

And last fall, just nine months ago, Eric started here. I know like when Uncle Stanley laid down his torch, not by choice, not because he wanted to, but because it was his lot in life, another picked it up. And what I have been appreciating is that that young brother was with Uncle Stanley when he went on into eternity. And we are thrilled thinking about the torch being passed. And I would say I wouldn’t fail, I’m not having Stanley Morrison’s funeral, but I want to have a little word. I just want to say this, that a couple of days ago it was like another torch was passed from Stanley to Warren. And so we value and appreciate the keeping of the ministry, the keeping of the preaching of the gospel, the hope eternal that comes to all them, to all them that receive the word of God and may God bless the ministry in our day.

I was thinking about a few people in the Bible that were like that. One of them were 2 men that were Elijah and Elisha. And we have read there, !! Kings 2. And their community, the people around, seemed to know that Elijah is going to die today. Not die, but he was going to be taken. And so, they came and they asked Elisha, “Do you know that your master is going to go on?” “Yes, I know, just keep quiet.” And then, another one, “Do you know that your master is going to be taken from you today?” “Yes, I know, just hold your peace.” And so they came to the brook and Elijah took out his mantle, whatever that was, and he struck the waters and the waters parted and they crossed over on dry ground. And he said, “now ask what I shall do for you. Whatever you want, I’ll do for you.” And he said. “that I may receive a double portion of your spirit” And so there was conditions. So that is a big question, a big request. But, if you see me go, it will happen. And so, they crossed over the brook and they went on to wherever they were going and there was an experience and there he went, and he saw him going, and the mantle fell. And he picked up the mantle and he went back to the brook, and he says, “where is the God of Elijah?” He struck the brook, the water and the waters parted, and he came back to where they had been, and you know, the people said, the spirit of Elijah, they could see it, it had been handed down. And now you know I was thinking about Jesus when he was coming to the end of his time in the earth, and Peter was there too in the judgment hall. And the people around him said, you are one of them. You are one of his disciples. No, no. Don’t get me involved in this. But you are one of them. How did they know? Did they know because he was a Galilean? I don’t think so.

I think because the spirit of Jesus was on him. And that can be the portion of the ministry. And you know when I have thought of this, and David is here, and there are others who have spent a little time with Uncle Stanley in the years, and the mantle is fallen. And they have picked up the mantle and it has kept them, and they have kept it. And you know, not for any glory to myself, but I am thankful that that mantle has been passed down to me! And it has been my portion to pick it up. So, a few years ago, 2001, I had the privilege of going to WI and having a year with Uncle Stanley. My uncle out in WY said you are going to get to know Uncle Stanley like none of the rest of us got to know him. And it’s true. I think I know him probably better than…until these last couple years when he has been right here and you all got to know him, but I got to know him a few years ago. And his testimony is true. And what came from others has been passed down now to us.

So, I have been thinking about one other person in the Bible. It was in the day of Elijah, he had a young companion, coworker named Gehazi. And Gehazi went out from the presence of Elijah or was it Elisha, I should have looked more closely. He didn’t take the mantle with him and it didn’t bring forth good fruit. It didn’t bring forth good opportunities. It didn’t bring forth a good life. And what happened? A curse of his unrighteousness would plague him the rest of his life. So, we are not telling you, you have to pick up the mantle from Uncle Stanley but pick up the mantle for your own soul and your own spirit, that the testimony of Jesus can be your portion and your privilege. And let the Spirit of God come on you and let it lead you in the Way, and may it be our portion all of us, men and women, children, old and young, and keep the course. And I’ll say it for Uncle Stanley … Stick and Stay!

Rob Eberhardt:
Everyone may help in singing number 269.
A person’s life can speak, and we remember perhaps some words, but the message of a life, 76 active years of service in God’s harvest field, is really difficult to sum up in just a few words. But the thing that I would like to remember about our brother and my former companion, is he kept things simple. In a life that offers much complexity and confusion, it is a wonderful thing to just have a simple goal. I’d like to read from the second epistle of Timothy, in the 4th chapter, verses 7 & 8. The reason I would, is because in a worker’s meeting in WI, I have a memory I hope I don’t forget, of Stanley. I’ll read the verses first. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge will give to me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” At the time he spoke those words, he said, I cannot say, “I have finished my course, but”, he said, “that is my aim”. A wonderful thing when we consider at the close of life, now he can say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” Until then, I believe that is why it was so important to Stanley that we could sing that hymn, thinking of the fact that he had to have a lot of help. Becausenobody that gets through life, keeping it simple, without a lot of help. I have appreciated looking at the life of Paul, and we like to consider that in God’s way, the thing that rejoices our hearts is to see that there is a continuity from generation to generationand where does it all begin? We know that God saw that all of us needed a lot of help. Because we were frankly guilty sinners, without hope and without Christ in this dark world. And God did the first part in sending Jesus to us. When I read recentlyagain about Paul’s experience, it just continues to come back to my mind, that when he was in the pursuit of life, the Lord intervened in a very, you might say, self-destructive course that he was occupied with. The Lord appeared to him, and forever afterward, his course in life was altered. And one of the things that I was appreciating about Paul and his constant repeating his testimony, is that he said, “For the glory of that Light, I couldn’t see.” But the Lord opened his eyes, and then he was able to see what he should do with the rest of his life. When Stanley and I were laboring in WI a few years ago, I heard him say on more than one occasion,

I grew up in Scottsbluff NE and the look of those little white-faced Herefords was all that was pleasant and pleasing to me, and that is what he as a young man would have chosen for his life, until the glorious Light caused him to have a completely different view. And afterward, that was no longer his pleasure. But, I think all of us can say, that we witnessed for many years that the great joy that Stanley had was declaring the glorious Gospel and the one that had come to love and save him, and turn him aside from his earthly pursuits, was the one he loved to tell people about. A year or so ago, it was my lot to be in on visiting a man that’s sitting in the prison. And Stanley, a few years back, was the first to go and try to reach out to this young man whose life had taken a downward course. And visiting this young man, he told us that his first communication with Stanley, he was not the least bit interested in what he had to bring. But he persisted. And today, he is also sharing the same joy that we experience. And he is very grateful that God sent him someone with more than a message, but a life that was in submission to His will. And that enabled him to share the same joy of salvation and that Stanley was able to show the continuity that we see in the scriptures, that everyone who encounters the Light of Jesus, not only does it personally affect us, but afterwards, it is our pleasure and our privilege to not only have the joy ourselves but to spread it and to share it with others. When I was reading about, oh, I looked at the 20th chapter of Acts, and I was appreciating the time that he went into the community of Ephesus and preached the gospel there, in the 18thand 19th chapters. But the 20th chapter, I’d just like to point out in verse 18, verse 24, verse 25, verse 27, and verses 34, 35, we read the familiar expression of what “I have”. And the first time, you know, that I came unto Asia after what manner I have been with you in all seasons. And there’s quite a lot in this chapter about when Paul was going to be saying good bye to them. He knew that after this experience that he was never going to be seeing these people’s face again.

But he told about, like I think about fighting the good fight of faith and finishing my course, what we read to you earlier. That Stanley could have had similar words in all the various places that Lord sent him with the Gospel. And he could say, You know the manner of life that I have lived, very simple, that it was to declare the life and hope of Jesus to other people. And when he was to consider all the things that what was necessary to do to finish his ministry, I like that just like I see in Paul’s life, he said, I have not kept back anything that was profitable unto you, but I have declared all of the council of Jesus to you. And I think of this, and one of the expressions I remember Stanley using, and I appreciated his directness. He said, “I believe in hewing to the mark and letting the chips fall where they may.” And what he meant was that, if people listened to the council of Jesus, that’s the only thing that matters. It isn’t about personal glorification or pleasing men but it’s in pleasing God. And if it’s necessary for salvation, he did not fail to declare with lip and life, and we love that, and would like to preserve that in our own life, that our ministry would be having the same effect. And when I think about, one of the things I noticed when I was reading this 20th chapter of Acts was that he said, in verse 34, you yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities and to them that were with me, I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. And I know that Paul had something very specific in mind, but these few verses speak to about example. And that Stanley learned a lot from the example of his Savior and he tried to emulate that example and there is no substitute. A person just cannot go out and preaching the word, however true those words are. But he put the burden of the ministry upon men and women’s shoulders, and their feet or their walk is establishing a pattern that either compliments the Gospel, the teachings of Jesus or it contradicts. And we’re so thankful for those thathave felt like Stanley that with the help of God, obtaining the help of God that he was enabled to do that and to leave a good and right example. And I think this morning that we all can appreciate memories that we have and hope to cherish the rest of our journey long. and some of the times I was with Stanley, I have memories of him in certain situations when the tears would freely flow. Tears of sympathy in people’s experiences, tears of empathy, where he would like to help people, and just tears of appreciation to his Maker for allowing him, as we were hearing, the privilege to invest his one life in carrying the Gospel.

I don’t think that we could complete a service like this without considering that, when you know how rare it is for God’s call to reach an individual’s heart, to raise them, to lift their eyes to see above the natural things to offer their lives in service. And then to be able to over a lifetime, a long lifetime, to be able to prove the Lord. It is our goal and prayer that God is still able in our day and generation to cause young men and women to lift their eyes and to see the need of the harvest. And that as a result of our time together we can consider how faithful the Lord Jesus is to provide and keep every one of us until the end of the journey. Two years ago this coming December it was my part to bring Stanley to NE. His old body was wearing out. His heart was still as strong as it ever was, and desire was as strong as it ever was to keep spreading the Gospel. And it was evident that even in the assisted living stage of life and in the nursing home stage of life, that the pleasure he had the most was in to share the Gospel with people that would come and listen. We think about the family that was so gracious in helping where they could in the latter stages of life. A continuation of God’s abundant provision to help His ministry to finish faithfully. And we love to think of this privilege that all of us have to honor a testimony that is a credit to God for His continued. I feel that it was a wonderful privilege, my early experiences with Stanley, he came to my area of the country, I’m from AL, when I was just a little boy. My earliest memories of meeting workers, Stanley was there. And then I got to be his companion, got to be with him different times. I know that when I labored in TN, Stanley was there as a visitor, at our convention at Paris, TN. There was a Sunday afternoon meeting where his name was on that list to have that mtg. And it was my lot to go and sit on the platform with him. So just before the meeting, I saw Stanley come toward the meeting shed and I went with him, and he had a long rather forlorn look. So I went to him and I said, “Stanley, what’s so troublesome?” “Oh Rob”, he said, “We’ve heard such wonderful rich things in this convention and I just don’t feel equal with it.” WE know the feeling, but I can tell you one thing, that was a rich rich meeting. And he spoke from the second epistle of Timothy. And one thing I hope I don’t forget. He said, “Paul, from the prison, wrote that letter. And it was customary when a person was condemned to death, they had an opportunity to write a final letter. Often it was used as an opportunity to submit a letter of clemency to the ruler, to be pardoned from their crime. But Paul chose instead to write to his young companion. And you know, he wanted him to fight the good fight of faith. And he wanted him to finish his course. And he wanted him to keep the faith. And so, now Stanley can say, “I have fought the good fight of faith, and I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith. Now I can wear the victor’s crown.

I can be presented a crown of righteousness.” Wouldn’t you like to have that? I do. We are thankful for such worthy examples before us. And we give thanks to God for the privilege of receiving the hope of the Gospel and the privilege of carrying it forth and the privilege we have in encouraging each other along until each of us finishes well.

We’ll sing now, the workers, Stanley’s coworkers will stand and sing the final selection: Impelled by Love

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To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.
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