Funeral Service for Henry Reyenga Sr. Grampa Reyenga…

 

Welcome:

Born on April 8, 1929
Died on June , 2019

Husband, Father of four children, Grandfather of 16 children, Great grand father of ,

and a Christian Leader

This Picture was taken in 1936-37. Grandpa Reyenga was 16.

John (Jelle) Reyenga 1886-1958 – 72 years old

Dick Reyenga 1910-1968 – 58 years old

Dorthy Vanderleest 1922-1983 – 61

Hildeguard Reyenga 1895-1997 Almost 102

Jim Reyenga 1926-2013 – 87

Wilma Van Dyken 1928-2018 90

Henry Reyenga 1920-2019 – 99 years old.

They have one thing in common now. They have passed away.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

I just finished a book about what the Roman Pagens thought about Christianity when it came on the scene.

…The Christian did not fear death… They did. Christ. They had theories about the after life. Christian had hope.

Scriptures

Philippians. 3:8-11

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

1 Corinthians. 15:53-57

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

1Cor. 15:55-57     “Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s sing some songs of deliverance

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Song: Nearer Still Nearer

He loved to sing this with the tenor harmony. He also connected to the verse, sin with it follies I gladly resign.

Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Savior—so precious Thou art!
Fold me, oh, fold me close to Thy breast;
Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest”;
Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest.”
Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
Naught as an off’ring to Jesus, my King;
Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart;
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.
Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine!
Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign,
All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified;
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.
Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Through endless ages ever to be
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee;
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee!

Psa. 116:15     Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Psalm 23  1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 

Galatians 6:14-15

14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. 

Song: Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross

Grandp especially like the chorus. “Be me glory ever”

Jesus, keep me near the Cross;
There a precious fountain
Free to all — a healing stream —
Flows from Calvary’s mountain

In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

Near the cross, a trembling soul
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning Star
Shed its beams around me

In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

Near the cross! O Lamb of God
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me

In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

Scripture

Hebrew 12:1-2    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2 Timothy 1:12  Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

 

I Know Not Why God’s Wondrous Grace

Grandpaa loved this chorus as well. Especially the phrase. To keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.But “I know Whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
But “I know Whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:16     Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians. 5:1,4    Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

In the Sweet Bye and Bye
Grandpa really liked this song. We would visit the house where the song was written. Our home town is Delvan Wisconsin, but five miles from Elkhorn Wisconsin from 1985-2003
S. Fillmore Bennett and music by Joseph P. Webster

Mr. Webster, like many musicians, was of an exceedingly nervous and sensitive nature, and subject to periods of depression, in which he looked upon the dark side of all things in life. I had learned his peculiarities so well that on meeting him I could tell at a glance if he was melancholy, and had found that I could rouse him up by giving him a new song to work on.

He came into my place of business [in Elkhorn, Wisconsin], walked down to the stove, and turned his back on me without speaking. I was at my desk. Turning to him, I said, “Webster, what is the matter now?” “It’s no matter,” he replied, “it will be all right by and by.” The idea of the hymn came me like a flash of sunlight, and I replied, “The Sweet By and By! Why would not that make a good hymn?” “Maybe it would,” he said indifferently. Turning to my desk I penned the words of the hymn as fast as I could write. I handed the words to Webster. As he read his eyes kindled, and stepping to the desk he began writing the notes. Taking his violin, he played the melody and then jotted down the notes of the chorus. It was not over thirty minutes from the time I took my pen to write the words before two friends with Webster and myself were singing the hymn.—Sanford Fillmore Bennett (1836-1898)[2]

 

There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
Message: To Make the Run Successful…

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance.

2 Timothy 4:6     The time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

His story started ten years earlier. His father with his first wife welcomed Durk into the world.  Four years later, his wife and a second son died in the WW1 flu that struck Europe. After a time of mourning, his father married Hildegard Gezina Zomer, his nanny in 1919. She became pregnant with a son. This son began life in Heeg, Netherland on April 8, 1920. Today, we celebrate a life well-lived in Christ Jesus.

Henry Reyenga was raised in a Christian home. His mother was the granddaughter of Rev. Albertus Zomer, a friend of Abraham Kuyper, the prime minister of the Netherlands. John and Hilda Reyenga immigrated to the United States to Racine Wisconsin when Henry was 4 months old.

Early Life:

The Music of the Faith:

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Depression era: Troubles: Lacking basic necessity.  Henry surrounding himself with songs of deliverance.

Songs are poems. Songs have power. One of those songs was Life Mountian Railroad. This song reflected his life in Christ well.

Life is Like a Mountain Railroad…

Also known by its first line “Life is like a mountain railroad”, the song has been recorded by Boxcar Willie, the Carter Family, the Chuck Wagon Gang, Mother Freddie J. Bellon YouTube, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Brad Paisley, Russ Taff, the Amazing Rhythm Aces, and many others. Tillman’s tune is in 3/4 time, but a 4/4 version became also widespread after Patsy Clinerecorded it that way in 1959 as a solo;Willie Nelsonlater dubbed his voice into that version to form a duet.[14]On January 14, 2012, Brad Paisleyperformed a 4/4 rendition as guest on Garrison Keillor‘s Prairie Home Companion.[15]

Members of the Western Writers of Americachose the song as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[16]

The Metaphor:

Life is like a mountain railway
With an engineer that’s brave
We must make this run successful
From the cradle to the grave
Heed the curves and watch the tunnels
Never falter, never fail
Keep your hands upon the throttle
And your eye upon the rail.
I.  Bravery
Henry Reyenga was a brave Christian who loved his family. Many of us have epic stories where our dearly beloved bravely shared his convictions or his love.
Instances of Bravery:
Find of wife in Delavan, Wisconsin. He asked Ann Niewenhuis to a couple’s skate. She said yes. They married in November 1945. Bravely they bore children, John in 1947, Rich in 1950, Sally in 1958 and me in 1961.
He saw his life as an occasion to make the run successfully from the cradle to the Grave. He often told a story about how he was driving a Dean’s milk truck in a snowstorm in Wisconsin. As the story goes he needed to keep his eyes fixed. Finnally, the storm became so fierce that he chose to stop the truck. The truck stopped a few feet from going over a big ledge.
Those that knew my Dad saw the attention to making his run successful.
His most important Run or Journey was his faith! We will get to that.
Sucessful Run as a Father:
My sister Sally and I remember how he faced embarrassment to golf with us on Memorial day in the 1970s. The golf starter was going to kick us off the tee box because were to too young to golf on a busy holiday without an adult. Low and behold a voice from the distance, chime in to offer to be the Adult in the group. Our dad. Though he never swung a club, he showed up to golf with us. His first drive went three feet. He courageously made that day a memorable day. A brave man.
Our lives are like this too. We are inspired like never before to aspire to Bravery.
Philippians 1:20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
In our marriages. In our families. In our work. In this culture.
What is Bravery?
Bravery definition is – the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.
Many have commented that the Greatest Generation is passing away. This tested by WW2 generation bore many brave leaders. My dad married a brave Christian woman in 1945 just after the war. They did not have a lot of money, but faced many trials in raising four children.
2. Songs of Salvation on for hope!
Our was the home of songs of deliverance. Throughout all of our childhoods and through our connection to this man, music, the accordion, singing the old-time hymns was a centerpiece of our family culture.
The course of Life’s Mountian Railroad took a metaphor and shared the gospel.
Blessed Saviour there to guide us
Till we reach that blissful shore
And the angels there to join us
In God’s grace forevermore
Jesus Christ was my father’s savior. He made Profession of Faith and that faith in Christ guided him through his life.

Romans 1:16-17  I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Dad loved to play the accordion at churches, nursing homes, and homes. He loved to sing with his dear wife, my mom. He has mom play the harmonica, Rich and John played Guitar, Sally the Organ, and me the Saxophone. We all sang alone.

Sometimes people would ask him to play a polka on the Accordion. He knew some polka, but he said that he only plays sacred music. Then he would play, In the Sweet Bye and Bye or How Great Thou Art.

We all look forward to different events. Some events like eating we look forward to every day. Some event we do not look forward to. Getting tooth filled or waiting for a long traffic jam.

Some events are looked forward to by some people, but not by others. Take the Grand Haven coast guard festival. I love it. Pam, my wife, not so much.

Early Christianity was observed by Roman paganism as the religion that did not fear death. They observed this phenomenon at the games. Christians were condemned to die because of the  faith. They faced death fearlessly.

My father had the fearlessness. The song of Salvation that resonated…

Blessed Saviour there to guide us
Till we reach that blissful shore
And the angels there to join us
In God’s grace forevermore

3. Songs of Salvation for Connection with the Divine

I love hearing trains roll across railroad track and trestles.  Trestles are especially interesting. When this song was written and Grandpa was a youth, these trestles were largely made of wood.

As you roll across the trestle
Spanning Jordan’s swelling tide
You will reach the Union Depot
Into which your train will ride
There you’ll meet the superintendent
God the father, God the son
With a happy joyous greeting
Weary pilgrim, welcome home
Grandpa walked with God through reading the Bible, prayer, and song.  His spiritual ambition was to meet God face to face.
On June 25, at 7:45 am he met the Superintendent, God in person.
“Henry, Welcome home.”

1 Corinthians. 2:9

“No eye has seen,

no ear has heard,

no mind has conceived

what God has prepared for those who love him”—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song: Life Mountain Railroad

Life is like a mountain railway
With an engineer that’s brave
We must make this run successful
From the cradle to the grave
Heed the curves and watch the tunnels
Never falter, never fail
Keep your hands upon the throttle
And your eye upon the rail
Blessed Saviour there to guide us
Till we reach that blissful shore
And the angels there to join us
In God’s grace forevermore
As you roll across the trestle
Spanning Jordan’s swelling tide
You will reach the Union Depot
Into which your train will ride
There you’ll meet the superintendent
God the father, God the son
With a happy joyous greeting
Weary pilgrim, welcome home
Blessed Saviour there to guide us
Till we reach that blissful shore
And the angels there to join us
In God’s grace forevermore
In God’s grace forevermore

 

 

Rev. 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”