Friday, May 26, 2006

Driving to Church...

I was driving home to Cleveland today... as I was driving through the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside, I remembered a drive I had with Tim to church one Sunday. I was running late (as usual) and didn't get to finish all of my daily scripture readings before he was at my door.
"Do you mind if I read a little out loud, Tim? I didn't get to finish my reading this morning." He grinned at me from the driver's seat -
"Sure. Nathan and I used to do that in the car on the way to church... what were you thinking about reading?"
"Well..." I looked at the four chapters listed for March 19th in my book... "How about Proverbs 6?... Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise..." I paused, scanning the rest of the chapter.
"Hmmm...." Tim looked at me quizzically - "not exactly setting a worshipful tone, is it? How about something else?" He laughed.
"I'm also supposed to read John 9" I turned to that section of my bible.
"John 9! I LOVE that story." Tim smiled and settled back in his seat, waiting for me to read.
I remember pausing at this - recognizing yet again how well Tim knew scripture. I had no idea what story he was talking about.
"As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth..." I read the story of the blind man Jesus healed by making mud on his eyes and telling him to wash...
"Oh, wait - here's my favorite part!" Tim smiled as I read -
"One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see."

I flipped through my bible a little, trying to find something in the psalms to help prepare our hearts for Sunday worship...
"Hey, you've got a lot of hilighting on that page...let's read that one." Tim looked over and saw a lot of yellow on psalm 16:

"Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you...
the Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lrod who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

May the Lord bless you today with a worshipful heart and joy in his presence.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Here is a picture of Tim - the one many of you saw this from the bulletin - I have a couple others of him as well... I'll post them periodically... thanks for asking for them! Thank you for your prayers ~ Shelah

Monday, May 22, 2006

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Sal and I would like to thank everyone who has cared for us so well these past twelve days. We have been surrounded by so many who love us and our Timothy. Our family, neighbors, friends, care groups, churches, Beachmont Camp families, Sal's District Court co-workers, Mary's co-workers at Bear Creek Elementary School, Andrew's bosses and co-workers from Merritt Athletic Clubs, Tim's co-workers from the YMCA, Westminster students and faculty have blessed us in so many ways during this time. We have felt your prayers and enjoyed your memories and stories about Tim. We are drained this morning and waiting to have the crew come and dig up our front yard to replace a broken sewer pipe we've dealt with this past week as well. Thanks to someone from our care group's recommendation we have a company doing the job for $800 less than the price our regular plumber gave us. Fortunately we were able to continue using the toilets. The kids had to run up to Grandmom's house for showers. It will be good to have this job done!
We just ask for continued prayer as we go through this week closing out all Tim's accounts, packing all his things and bringing them home from school, and attending his graduation. Westminster is awarding him a diploma on Thursday and we hope to celebrate with his friends who are graduating. God has been so gracious this week, ordering our days so that we could move through them with a peace and ease knowing He was in control. He brought just the right people to us at the time we could receive them and we never felt overwhelmed. He also gave us restful nights. Shelah (Shay-la), the young lady Tim was courting, has been such a blessing to us spending several days visiting with us, sharing memories, looking at pictures together, sharing e-mails Tim sent each of us, and mourning ourloss together. We have so many memories of this time that we will always cherish: all those faces of people who came to the funeral home, the God honoring funeral service and kind memories of Tim that were shared beautifully, the line of 120 cars going down Belair Rd. to the cemetery, the wonderful time of fellowship at Beachmont, the opportunity to worship at Grace Community Souderton yesterday, the thoughtful words that were shared at the memorial service afterwards for all those who knew him these past four years, and the chance to show Tim's grandmom his dorm and school.
In going through some e-mails I sent to Tim this year, I came across one where I shared some quotes from Jerry Bridges' book The Grace of God and the Bondage of the Will (not sure how to underline title). We had to read the first chapter entitled "Does Divine Sovereignty Make a Difference in Everyday Life" for the discipleship class Joe, Joanna, Sal, and I have been taking this year. I realized that God was preparing me through this article. This is what I shared with Tim in March. "...what difference does diviine sovereignty make? It makes considerable difference. Calvinists recognize that when they have done their best to plan and make wise decisions, their planning is at best imperfect andtheir decisions may sometimes turn out to be bad decisions. But they also believe that God is in control of even their bad decisions in such a way as to accomplish his sovereign will. In other words, they believe that God cannot be thwarted or frustrated by their bad decisions. They do not use this as an excuse for irresponsibility, but they do take courage in the fact that God's will and God's plan are not finally dependent on their coming through for God." For those of you who are seeing opportunities they missed to go deeper with Tim and draw him out more, I hope this quote will comfort you the way it did me along with the many ways God has shown me His sovereignty in my life during these past 7 years in a Sovereign Grace Church. A pastor several years back, seeing my sense of over-responsibility shared something that has stuck with me, "If you miss it and God wants it done, He will bring someone else to do it." A few other quotes from this chapter that spoke to me are: "If God is not is control, then I ought to be afraid. It is of little comfort to me to know that God loves me if He is not in control of the events of my life." "Both Arminians and Calvinists can be battered by a similar set of circumstances. Arminians apparently believe that the most God can do is to pick up the pieces of a disastrous situation and try to bring about some good from it. Calvinists believe that God was in control of the disaster from start to finish and that he knew from all eternity how he would use the disaster to bring glory to himself and good to his aching child." I hope this comforts and blesses you as it has me.
As I'm writing this, I'm remembering that the only reason I've come to understand God's sovereign grace is because of Tim. We had never been part of a reformed church, but in high school Tim started reading books by Tozar, Spurgeon, Sproul, Michael Horton, and others after doing a 13 week section in his Konos curriculum on the early church. Among the assignments he had during this time was one to read Augustine's City of God (~600+ pages). He had to summarize each chapter. I think we checked the book out of the library 3 times before he finished the assignment. When Andy and Mary hit this assignment, we read Tim's notes. They would have thrown themselves out a window if I had asked them to plow through this book. :) After reading Horton's Putting Amazing Back into Grace, Tim came to me and told me that I needed to read the book- it would change the way I worshipped. He began to explain election to me and I quickly told him that I wasn't interested in arguing with other Christians over religion and that I had been told you need to be like a child to come to Christ and I do four year old very well, thank you. Tim persisted and after reading it four times and asking him a ton of questions, the light began to dawn on me. Shortly after this time, the Lord brought us to Chesapeake and Tim was so right,it does make all the difference in how I worship, and it is important to pursue sound doctrine. How blessed we were to have Tim in our family; how kind of God to lend him to us for these 26 years!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Site now open to all...

I have just discovered how to enable everyone who reaches this site to write to Tim... so feel free - I will be checking often and will publish them as soon as I can - on behalf of his family and friends - thank you for loving Timothy so well. I look forward to many more opportunities of fellowship together with Tim in a little while...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Schedule of Events May 17 - 21

* Viewing in Maryland - Wednesday, May 17 from 2-4 pm & 7-9 pm
Rucks Funeral Home
5305 Harford RdBaltimore, MD 21214

* Funeral service in Maryland - Thursday, May 18 at 11 am
Grace Community Church
11611 Belair RdKingsville, MD 21087

* Memorial Service in Pennsylvania - Sunday, May 21
(Tim's family will be coming up for the service and the memorial this Sunday.)
Grace Community Church (meets at Penn View Christian School)
Godshall Rd (just south of Rt 113)
Souderton, PA
(The worship service is at 10 am. The memorial on Sunday will be immediately following.)

Prayers for today...

Today is the viewing in Maryland - we're going down to spend some time praying and releasing Tim to Jesus... tomorrow is the funeral in Maryland at 11am at Grace Community.

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Please pray for the Barranco family:
Salvador, Sandy, Todd, Mary, Andrew, Joe, and Joanna.

~Pray for all the little details of getting ready to greet so many that loved their son - pray for grace and strength and peace and wisdom and words and compassion.... Pray for insight in others into creative ways to serve the Barranco family.
~Pray for God-sized comfort and wisdom - for a sense of purpose in the suffering that comes from the Lord.

Please pray for the pastors and counselors near to Tim:
Mike Emlet, Aron Osborne, Dan Muelners, Jeremy Hetrick, Jeremy Bell, Trevor Haines, Paul
~As they are searching for words to share to serve God's people, they are also grieving the loss of a dear friend. Ask for God's nearness to provide strength and peace that "passes all understanding."

Pray for dear friends of Tim:
Tara and Pete, Jaime and Mike, Jeff, Nathan, me... so many others...
~Pray that we can look for God's purposes for us in this today... that we will see God's compassion in our grief and cry out in times of need.

Pray for CCEF staff - especially interns and counselees that knew Tim well.

Pray for the Westminster students - finishing exams this semester...

Pray for the campers, counselors, and staff of Beachmont Christian Camp...

Tim was my good friend while I was at Westminster last semester, and we'd also been courting since March - we were spending time together to see if God would have us marry someday. In the eight months that I've known him, Tim's character, service, and obvious passion for God stood out so clearly that I've been compelled to learn from him.

I'm still learning from him.

During our courtship, Tim's gentle and sacrificial leading of our relationship has affected me so deeply that I've changed my career goals - reoriented my priorities to glorify God even more. Because of his patience in sitting down and walking me through the word of God, I have a completely different perspective on marriage and on love. I know this is because of Tim's precious investment in me.

I know that God is sovereign, and that He loves us well. It gives me hope to know that all burdens of earthly living are now far behind Tim as he stands before our savior. How precious to rest in the knowledge that any joy I could have offered him here in what "could have been" cannot even compare to what he is now experiencing with God!

I can just see him there - full of joy, being welcomed with open arms... and seeing our Father place his hand on his shoulder and speak to him: "Well Done!" Doesn't that give you such a hunger for heaven? Don't you just want to be with him? =)

Ask God for words of wisdom and direction in our thoughts, that we'd experience the nearness of God, and be reminded regularly of the sovereignty of God.

Pray that I'm able to grasp onto the steadfast love of the Lord in times when the waves of grief are overwhelming.

I miss him so much...

Thank you for your prayers and your support...


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Last Letter e-mailed to Tim, April 18th

I remembered sending Tim this e-mail after spending Easter week at the Outer Banks with him and decided to share it so that everyone might know that we have been aware of his struggles these past two years and have done everything he would let us do to help him through this time. I hope it gives some insight into how we have tried to encourage and support him at the same time respecting his decisions as an adult.

Dear Tim,
I hope all is going well with you. We really enjoyed your company on vacation. We knew you had a lot on you and didn't expect you to be care free. It was good just to be around you: your gentleness, kindness, the servant's heart you have, the quiet strength you project, the way you orient yourself to others, and the respectful way you treat each of us. It is easy to see Christ in you- I think that's why people enjoy being around you. God has graced you with many qualities of His Son. It's not the flashy stuff that some others might have, but Christ certainly wasn't flashy. At the end of the day you can't sit down and add up the impact you had on anyone, yet you've had a great impact on everyone who's ever known you. God has given you many gifts and it is easy to see Christ in you. God has clearly gifted you for what he has called you to do. You have faithfully followed His lead and He is sovereign over every aspect of your life right now. There are so many lessons in all you're going through. Don't minimize the pressures that you have and are living with at this present time. Trust whatever doors God opens or keeps closed for a while and don't let Satan convince you that it's your fault if things don't go the way you or others think they should. Think how going through these times of testing are going to grow your faith if you keep your eyes on the Lord and your confidence in Him and Him alone. You seemed surprised when I told you how well you did with the Bible reading at the Easter Sunrise Service this past Sunday. Every time I've heard you speak, I'm amazed at your ability to connect with the listners, project your voice, present the gospel with clarity, and bring the Word of God to life. I realized this week that I haven't told you how many evidences of God's grace I see in you and your life. I think I haven't trusted myself- I'm your mom, it's only natural for me to think you're great, maybe I'm not being objective. As I started thinking about this, this week I remembered what a critical spirit I have and how I always see any weaknesses or faults in people (especially my kids) before I see the good. Yet, every time I've heard you speak I'm blown away and amazed that God would have placed you in our family. I hope you are continuing to journal and I hope this summer you have a lot of time to reflect on all God has done in your life and that He will show you what He has allowed you to walk through these past two years. As I've thought about you this week, two hymns keep coming to mind. I hope they're in your hymnal- What a Friend We have in Jesus and Count Your Blessings. Also, the Casting Crowns song- The Voice of Truth. When I heard it on the radio yesterday, I thought of you and who's voice you might be listening to. When you find yourself stressing over things, what scriptures are you holding to? , are you taking your thoughts captive and replacing them with God's truths?, are you disciplining yourself to take your fears and worries to the Lord and leave them there after expressing them to God in prayer, are you able to leave them there? This morning I was struck by a few lines from Hebrews 12: 1-3 let us throw off everthing that hinders..........let us fix our eyes on Jesus......consider Him..... so that you will not lose heart! For these next 3 weeks just do whatever you have to do for school. The finish line is in sight for this season of your life. Don't rehearse your failures, but think of all the ways God has brought you through these 4 years. He won't abandon you now. Go forward in faith that God will complete what He has started. Get everyone you can to pray for and over you during these last few weeks of your race so that you may finish amazed at what the Lord has done in and through you!

In Memory of Timothy...

The loss of our dear friend and brother Timothy Barranco is, at times, most deeply felt because of the heart for God we saw in him. Tim drew us to Jesus with his life. Let us draw even nearer to Jesus in his death... honoring what God has done in him and through him. Let's give God the glory for a man who lived his life for that day... and is now standing before his father in glory.

Feel free to use this blogsite to honor Tim and pray for his family and friends, to recall your favorite memories about him, and even questions or struggles as we all are working through giving him up to Jesus.