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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

04292015 Funeral Sermon for Denelda "Nell" Tyrrell

Sermon Audio


Funeral Sermon

Denelda "Nell" Tyrrell
April 29, 2015


May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Heavenly Father, today we gather to remember and mourn the death of Your child in Holy Baptism Denelda.  The Words spoken at her Baptism wove Denelda into the fabric of salvation as only a perfect Craftsman could.  For in her being washed with Water and Word, the promise of life and salvation not only was offered by God, but the garment of salvation was prepared for her.  Today in our sight Denelda wears the garment of salvation You prepared for her.  We humbly ask You heavenly Father to comfort us as we mourn, surround us with Your love and compassion and enable us to hear Your Word and Your Name as the salve of the Gospel for each and every one of us.  For with Denelda’s putting on the garment of salvation in her entrance into the church triumphant You have fulfilled Your promise to her on the day of her baptism and we ask You to comfort all of us who gather with Your Love that You offer to all of mankind, but today especially to and for Denelda’s family and friends gathered here to say goodbye.  AMEN.

Have you ever taken a look at people’s hands?  Farmers hands are worn, calloused and cracked from the hard work of being a mechanic, a grain scooper, a sprinkler repairman or a chemical applicator.  But a seamstress hands are usually sleek, nimble and only have callouses on the finger tips from where the needles have poked through the fabric.  Yet, a seamstress’s hands have to know and have a feel for fabric and the correct choice, color coordination and placement, how to choose the right stitch and even how to make sure the stitch doesn’t unravel even after lots of stretching and use.

Denelda had these skills as a seamstress and shared and taught them to her daughter and made special mementoes for more people here in Goodland and Salina than could be counted.  Not only did she sew she knitted, crocheted and even made prayer shawls and baby hats as a ministry of love.  Woven into each piece, whether garment, shawl, blanket or hat for newborns was not only the dedication she showed and shared, but the love she had for the one who would receive the gift.  It wasn’t just a chore, it was a love that Denelda had learned and was willing to share even to her last days.  But she must have learned how to love from someone.

Yes, when first married, Denelda and Charles the love of her earthly life were inseparable.  If you saw Denelda, Charles a barber here in town, wasn’t far behind or was close by.  They clearly were two peas in a pod, made for each other and united in Holy Matrimony on May 4, 1947.  Their union was a result of God’s definitive action in their lives and they shared their love for one another and of nature in trips to the mountains to see the Aspen’s and even playing games and sharing in and building family memories with their immediate and extended family.  Denelda was unlike most who played games, she didn’t care if she won or lost, it was the joy of togetherness and bonding with one another around the table throwing the dice, laying down the cards or even coloring.  Denelda could even give and receive a good ribbing and sometimes even the laughter shared would resonate through the house at night.  Yet all of this came as a gift from her first love, not Charles, nor her daughter Carolyn or her parents whom she joyfully shared her love of and with, but Denelda learned about love from someone closer and more special, her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Denelda was baptized in the font of Holy Baptism on February 24, 1928 and took responsibility for her faith on March 29, 1942.  On those faithful days Denelda not only received the gift of eternal life, but was woven into the fabric of salvation by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and shown the love Jesus Christ had for her and for all of us from the Garden of Eden.  Denelda was baptized and confirmed into the plan of salvation and was offered eternal life and took this responsibility clearly, unmistakably and without reservation.  For in Denelda’s baptism, she was promised that in response to Paul’s question “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?”, her response would be given by her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ with Paul’s words.  Paul said, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the faith Denelda clung to her entire life and wove into the making of each piece she stitched, knitted or crocheted as the meticulous craftsman she was.  But Denelda not only shared her faith, she shared the love of Jesus Christ with others.  Denelda clearly made everyone feel important and was willing even to take ‘new names’ because it made more sense, even and especially to her grandchildren.  The reason I say this is because her siblings, Wilmer, Loren and Opal, knew her best as “Nell”, but her grandchildren knew her as none other than “Grandma Missy”.  Yes there is a story, simply it is this, when her grandchildren were little, they knew she had a dog named Missy and once when trying to distinguish between Grandparents, as kids sometimes have trouble doing, the grandchildren heard both Grandma and Missy and married the two names and in true loving fashion Denelda became lovingly known as “Grandma Missy” from that day forward.

Grandma Missy loved to laugh and believed and lived by the simple motto, “Simple things were always fun”.  Whether it was being taught how to use the ‘new fangled’ texting phones or having her nails done in a fancy way or even teaching how to latch hook or seeing her children and grandchildren learn how to make bows for on top of gifts, Denelda was always discovering and sharing her knowledge and innovation with anyone who would sit and visit with her, whether here in Goodland or in later years in Salina.  Denelda could even make smores on top of an electric range, all because having fun was part of her DNA.

But clearly today as we gather, death and separation does not feel like fun, for, Denelda, the woman we know and love is not here to enjoy the teasing of Dale or the potential of a police officer giving her a ticket for sitting in the floor of the van, instead of a seat and wearing a seat belt.  Yet, her memory and love she had for others still lives on in each of us and in all of our memories and even continued to her last hours.  You see the pride Denelda took in her work was clear and the final stitch on the canvas of her life here on earth connects not only with we who gather here today, but with a great great granddaughter yet to make her earthly appearance.

On the day Denelda entered into the church triumphant, where God fulfilled the promise made to her in her baptism of eternal life, Denelda bequeathed a blanket made with the same love, devotion and compassion she shared with all of us gathered here.   At nearly the same time the blanket was unwrapped at the baby shower, God received Denelda into His Holy arms where she now has been enfolded for eternity into the folds of God’s arms and rests from her labors.  I share this not in defeat or loss, but in the strength of God and the clear fulfillment of God’s promises to her and one day to and for each and every one of us.  For God’s promise to Denelda in her baptism was that one day she would wear for eternity the garment of salvation prepared for her when she entered her heavenly home with her Lord and Savior.  And that day has finally come.  The canvas of Denelda’s life is now complete.  For God the perfect craftsman, not only wove Denelda into the fabric of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, but perfectly connected each of us with her and her fun loving, ‘politically incorrect’, but loveable spirit that we knew and loved.

And today as we say goodbye, we see, not just a seamstress, but the full canvas of life of God’s child Denelda wearing the garment of salvation prepared for her by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ many years ago.  May we be comforted by this knowledge and feel not just the love of Jesus Christ, but how like her Savior Who formed, shaped and redeemed her with His own hands and sacrifice on Calvary, now holds her and Charles together for all eternity.  Waiting for each of us to laugh and have fun with them in heaven and be together again with them in God’s Kingdom for all eternity because of the free offer of grace by God’s Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ when we will be woven in God’s eternal garment of salvation in heaven for all eternity.  AMEN.


Now may the peace of God which surpasses all human understanding, guard your hearts and minds and may we find comfort and peace because of what Jesus Christ did for Denelda and each and every one of us knitted into the garment of salvation by our baptism into His life, death and especially His resurrection!  AMEN!

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