Today Miss Lillian can sing because she is truly happy!
Today Miss Lillian can sing because she is truly free!
Miss Lillian can sing because she is in the very presence of her Creator… the Lord Jesus Christ!
And Miss Lillian is singing because she is walking hand in hand with Louie… And today Louie does not have to carry her big black bag. Those of you who do not know about the big black bag need to know that when Lillian was talking with deaf people, her late husband would always stand beside her, hold her purse, and fill in the blanks of dates, places, and things she forgot, so that her hands would be free to communicate with the deaf people.
We gather this morning to remember and celebrate the life of an amazing gracious lady… Lillian Fitzgerald Beard!
We could stay here for days praising her deeds. We praise her gracious character. We praise her signing and interpreting skills. We praise her for what a wonderful wife and partner she was with Louie, and we praise her gift of encouragement to all of us…
But you know, Miss Lillian would be the first to tell us that every good that came out of her life was all because of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was always careful to give God all of the glory.
Miss Lillian’s heart desire was for all people to know this same Jesus whom she trusted as Lord and Savior many years ago as a young child.
Everywhere Miss Lillian went and everyone she met; she told them about her precious Lord…
I have here in my hand a book of valuable golden nuggets… This is Miss Lillian’s workshop teaching notes along with Louie’s notes when he would teach the spouses of interpreters.
Gold Nugget One: She says… “Our job is not complete until the deaf hear.”
A reference to Isaiah 29:18… “In that day the deaf will hear the words of the book…”
Miss Lillian wanted all people, especially deaf people, to spiritually hear the words of this book, the Bible. Many of you received a direct witness of the gospel from her. If you ever met Lillian, within one minute, she was saying something about Jesus!
Gold Nugget Two: Miss Lillian had prescriptions (Rx) in her notes. You all remember the prescription D-E-A-F. D = desire, E = Effort, A= Ability (attitude), F = Faithful.
Here’s another one. Teach: The Word! Win: Know Jesus as Lord! Help: The Deaf to be part of the church! Sing: I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God! Develop: Help young Christians be active in service!
Gold Nugget Three: Miss Lillian says, “There’s no such thing as retirement in the work for the Lord. Keep busy… there’s always work for you to do in the church.”
Gold Nugget Four: Prayer… “Prayer is the communication line between God and each one of us who are Christians.” Pray for…
Your Pastor: (My experience: As pastors we all get discouraged from time to time and feel like quitting. Sometimes I can be very discouraged and then suddenly joy, peace, and happiness will life me up. Then I realized probably Miss Lillian was praying for me at that moment).
Miss Lillian lived by these nuggets. She was ready; which meant she was ready to go home a long time ago. Her philosophy was simple… Like Paul wrote. “For me to live is Christ… to die is gain.” Philippians 1:19. If Miss Lillian continued to live; then she would live for Christ and serve him. If she died, then she would go to heaven and be in the presence of Jesus forever without physical limitations.
Once Miss Lillian told her doctor that she didn’t want to be here on earth one day longer than the Lord wanted her here. You have to understand. I own Property on both sides of the fence!”
On June 19, 2010, she did not cross the fence but went through the gate. That gate was the Lord Jesus Christ…. Then she heard these words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
The Scripture tells us in Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints.
Right now Miss Lillian is enjoying all of the joys of heaven… No more sickness, or pain, or tears. She is with the Lord for evermore. Yes, we will miss her greatly, but we rejoice with her and celebrate her home going! May God bless each of you!.