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!


Blogger peg said...

Thank you for sharing your heart, Sandy. We are praying for your family and are sharing in your sorrow. God's amazing grace is magnified through your lives and your trust in His sovereign hand.
What a Savior we have and what an incredible reunion we'll soon enjoy!
With love and prayers,
Peggy Buckley

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Barranco

I am encouraged by your faith in Christ and deeply touched by your thoughts. Thank you for sharing with us. I see God's grace richly extended to you. I thank God for you and for Tim's life. We have been praying for you, and will continue our prayer.
May the Father of mercies and God of all comfort comfort your family abundantly.
Charis Liang(from Westminster Machen dorm)

4:14 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Dear Barranco family, You have been on my heart. I have never met Tim, but know from all I have read from others and heard from Shelah that he was a wonderful man and friend to many. I remember feeling great joy when Shelah began sharing about some of her interactions with Tim while she was at Westminster/CCEF. She called me several times last fall and told me how some young man had challenged her with discussions of complementarianism versus egalitarianism, or a perspective about God's grace, as seen in her own life. She had found a friend who was highly intelligent, and capable of deep discussion. Shelah was joyfully discussing challenging topics with a man her own age, and having fun while growing in the Lord. Tim made a big difference in my daughter's life, and I so appreciate the time she had to get to know him. Your family also opened their arms to Shelah when she was grieving, and I cannot express just how important that was to me. It was as if, to me, she had "kin-folk" surrounding her. Thank you so very much.

Donna (Shelah's Mom)

5:33 PM  

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