Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Memorial (For a Dear Sister in Christ)

Now and then someone comes along who is the picture of humility and a tender heart: 

Mrs. Viola Barron, Born Dec 18, 1930, went to be with her Savior and Lord Oct 16 2013, just a couple months shy of turning 83.
And interestingly, she went into that good night without fear or sadness. In fact, she went willingly and gladly into the embrace of God. She was telling family members goodbye and promising to see them on the other side.
That sounds like Viola. The only answer I ever got, when I would visit her in the hospital, or call her on the phone, and I would ask how she was doing was “I’m fine.” There she be in the hospital with IVs and breathing treatments and she’d say, “I’m fine.”
Well it’s true; she was a very Fine lady. But she didn’t want to be a burden or a bother.
She didn’t think of herself as special or heroic or interesting when she was actually all of those things!
She was special to so many people; to her husband of 65 years, to her children and grandchildren. She was special to her Sunday School class and to her church family.
She was heroic. She took 5 little children, all under 6, by herself, to Germany in the mid-1950s. It wasn’t that easy to travel the world in the 50s. Of course she got a little help on the flight when a different soldier looked after each child on the troop carrier that she got to travel on. She was a heroic teenage girl working as a waitress who was willing to go on a date with a truck-driver named Harold. A truck-driver of all people! She was heroic as a grandmother always willing to do projects with the grand-kids around the house no matter what kind of mess they made.
And she was interesting. As a 12 year old she made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized at First Baptist Seymour, Tx. At around 14 she was working in the fields picking cotton. At 17 she got married to a man who went from being a truck-driver to a soldier.
She made all these moves with a house full of little children, moving between the USA, Germany and England, and from Washington State, to Hawaii, to Texas and several different places in Texas! She studied to be Nurses aid and worked at a State school for a while. When they lived on military housing she kept her house and her husband in tip-top condition and she became an expert at packing and unpacking for the many times they moved.
Yes She Was interesting, but I think for another reason. She embodied Ephesians 4:32 – Be Ye Kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.
Someone who lives such a compassionate, tenderhearted life is interesting to behold.

So there are a number of things we know about her. But one thing I haven’t mentioned too much about was her relationship with Jesus Christ!
Thumbing through someone else’s Bible is almost like reading their diary. You feel like you are getting a glimpse of someone that maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to have.
But you can learn what was important to them about their faith.
I want to share a few scriptures that I know were important to Viola:
At the very front of her Bible she had written Psa 71:3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
In fact she has a number of verses from Psalms highlighted.
Psa 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my heart instructs me in the night seasons. 8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Psa 18:1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
And Psalm 20 and 23, and 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. And 31 and 32 and 37 and 40 and 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
And on it goes through the Psalms and then we get to Psa 147:3 He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. 4 He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
Its not just the Psalms there were many proverbs marked, like Pro 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falls, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbles…
There are places in her Bible where you can’t turn very many pages without finding a verse that has been highlighted or has parentheses around it. And many of her verses have to do with the Salvation of the Lord. Like Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear:
Or Jer 29:11 I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
She had some of my favorite verses highlighted like Lam 3:22!
Then you come to the New Testament and find many verses there, too; in the gospels and the letters. But I want to get to 2 Tim 4:7 where she highlighted: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
You know, you can’t say that about everybody, but you can say it about Viola Marie Barron. And one of the reasons she fought to the end, and ran the race and kept the faith is because of Jesus Christ. She knew she was loved by God.
She knew He was and is a saving God.

And today, right at this moment, we are remembering Viola, a mom and grandmother, a sister and wife, and our friend – Right At This Very Moment – She’s basking in the presence of Jesus Christ. Bowing at His feet, or singing a new song, casting down her golden crown around the glassy sea; or who knows, dancing with abandon because of the unadulterated joy of His Presence.

     And I know, beyond any doubt whatsoever, she wants to see each and every one of you there - someday.
And she wants you to know, here, in this life, your sins can be forgiven. Your past can come to an end and your future can begin down a brand new road leading to Heaven. That if you will believe in your heart the Lord Jesus was crucified for you, died in your place, and took the punishment that you deserved; and trust with your whole heart that He rose from the dead to give you eternal life, then you will be saved. You will receive eternal life right now, and that life will carry you beyond the grave.

And that’s why Jesus said:
Joh 14:1 "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


    Viola went to meet her Lord on October 16, 2013 in Fort Worth. She was born December 18, 1930 to T.A. and Lilly Watts Copeland in Seymour. Left behind to cherish her memory are her husband Harold Barron, sons Danny Barron and his wife Marie, Steve Barron and his wife Frances, Mitchell Barron and his wife Judy, daughters Joan Williams and her husband Rick, Jan Copeland and her husband James, Jane Stephen and her husband Bill, sisters Katherine Miller and Roberta Bradley and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Viola is preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, two sisters and grandson Lee Williams.

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