In Memory of Robert Allan Denerley
If I were to describe my relationship with my father and categorize our time together I would place our story in the adventure section.
Dad would read some of Genesis story to answer my typical boyhood questions about life and creation, subtly laying a moral foundation for me, which would be really important later for family volleyball games where the rules were negotiable.
My dad taught me that it matters how we treat others and how to be a team player. We are to be people of character; honest, giving, faithful, fair, and forgiving. We are to lead balanced lives.
Learning about relationships with women was of particular importance. Dad continued to counsel me during my time in college for I didn’t struggle academically as much as I did relationally.
The help Dad gave me paved the way for me to venture out and start a family of my own.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ~John 14:1-3
The ten years my wife and daughter spent with Dad can be described as kind, supportive, and encouraging. Marriage and parenthood ain’t for wimps, and Dad was my model for maturity when stress became overbearing.
My daughter’s 9th birthday party was themed after Disney’s “Descendants” and the same week of her party Dad entered Brigham and Women’s hospital for his surgical procedure. As we know now, Dad’s procedure can hardly have been called a belly check…
Brothers and sisters, friends and relatives, young and old, we are fellowshipping in the midst of Robert’s death and simultaneously celebrating his life. We are coming together to move forward in our lives without Robert—without Dad.
In Disney’s “Descendants” the future is uncertain for the characters who are the sons and daughters of famed Disney villains. These are school age youngsters from the Isle of the Lost thrust into attending the Aura Don Academy—the school for the children of Disney heroes and heroines. One of the movie’s songs sung in the midst of decision making is “There are So Many Ways to Be Wicked.” And it is true, there are many ways we can go about living our life for ourselves, but I want to encourage you that it matters how we treat one another. This was important to my father. Even truer, there is only one way to be righteous and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~John 14:6
We all have to face death and if we are honest, we are all facing a final judgement.
Jesus Christ is no joke. He takes away our failures and gives us His perfect righteousness as a gift.
Sure, dad was a good husband, father, coach and leader, but make no mistake, it is Christ and Christ alone who delivers souls from hell into eternal blessedness. Robert couldn’t do it; Moses couldn’t; not Buddah, Mohammad, or some pagan animal spirit.
The Lord says: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever live and believe in me shall never die.”
Please pray with me:
O God, you are Holy and Just. Please receive my earthly father Robert into the courts of your heavenly dwelling place. Wash him in the holy font of everlasting life and clothe him in God’s heavenly wedding garment. Let his heart and soul now ring out in joy to you, O Lord, the living God. May your angels surround him, your saints welcome him in peace; may he gaze upon you Lord, face to face, and taste the blessedness of perfect rest in Jesus Christ.