Our heavenly home

Three days after I wrote my last blog sharing how difficult it was leaving my parents to return to Asia I received a phone call from my mom. It was call I knew was coming at some point but one that you can’t really prepare for. The Lord called my dad to his heavenly home in the dawn hours of October 19th. My older brother had stopped by the house that morning on his way to work (as was his custom) and was with my dad and mom during my dad’s last moments.

dad-in-blue

Two days later I boarded the plane and I arrived at my parent’s home on the 22nd. What I walked into was a home filled with love. Love that was expressed in cards, flowers, food and the presence of family and friends. I also walked into a house that was very different than when I left on August 6th. I would be lying if I told you I was’t expecting my dad to be sitting in his room when I got home. He was supposed to be sitting in the chair asking; “what are you doing son”…a common question he would ask as I walked through his room on way outside.

The following day our family held a life celebration service. It was a time of sweet memories. The words spoken by family and friends were a testimony of the impact our dad had on the lives of many people. It became apparent as we listened to each person at the service and through other encounters that our dad was the same giving, encouraging, a developer of lives, a believer in people, and a thankful person to everyone. These remarks were not a surprise seeing that he was the same with everyone and he didn’t appreciate pretense. What you saw is what you got.

dad-in-koh-kong
Dad and James in Koh Kong, Cambodia

Now ten days later the family is missing an awesome man. A man that valued impact over praise. A man that would rather give to a need than horde for himself. A man that cared about the mission of God and found great joy in doing his part in seeing the Church established. A man that was excited that his children loved the Lord and were serving Him.

Losing a loved one is hard. It cuts deep into the inter-most part. It’s real pain. I know people (some I work with) that have lost their parents. As hard as you might try to identify with their grief you can’t fully grasp it until you are faced with it yourself. Today, we’re faced with that grief.It hurts. Really hurts. Life is different than it was before. Along with this pain is the truth that our dad (and my mom’s husband) has laid down his treasure at the Lord’s feet. He is worshiping the Father; even now as I write these words. WOW! That truth has never felt so real as it does right now. There are tears mingled with a smile. Moments of hurt followed by an awe that Kenneth Cottle is with God.

Please pray:

1)For my mom as she grieves the lost of her husband and for me, my brother (Wayne) and my sister (Sheila) as we grieve the loss of our dad

2) For the grand kids, other family members and friends as they grieve

3) Please pray for Lynette as she holds down the fort in Cambodia along with Rachel and Caleb

4) Pray for those who were at the life celebration service that don’t know Jesus. That they would reflect on their life and would draw closer to God.

 

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4 thoughts on “Our heavenly home

  1. Thanks so much, James, for sharing your heart and journey with us. It’s healing to us and hope it was healing to you, as well. God is pretty amazing in how he’s created us for community, and your suffering is a communal suffering when we are properly being the body of Christ. Our family is on the outskirts of your pain and joy in this moment, but we rejoice that we can have a tiny part, and we are thankful to know others are right there in the midst of it with you and being who they need to be as part of His body – rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn. May God continue to meet you in your loss and through the Family of God around you.

  2. What a wonderful testimony for your father. It is hard when you lose a loved one. We just learn to live our lives until we are with them again. So sorry for the lost of your dad.

  3. I love your poem. It highlights the influence of a godly father who is present to his children. His legacy lives on in you and you extended family. You have reminded me to continue to be thankful for my dad who in 1968 at the age 51, went to be with the Lord. His legacy through his children and grandchildren has touched people in all five continents. For an uneducated, converted cowboy from Colorado, it shows what God can do through a life yielded and faithfully lived in companionship with Jesus.

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