My father was a good man.

Daddy and me, September 1972

But he wasn’t just a good man.

He was a good father.

But he wasn’t just a good father.

He was a good husband.

And he wasn’t just a good father and husband.

He was a good son, brother, and uncle, too

And he wasn’t only a good family member.

He was a good friend.

He was more than a good friend.

He was also a good teacher, principal, and real estate agent.

He wasn’t just a good, hard worker.

He was a good member of his church and community.

I could go on and on for my dad was strong and good in many, many ways.

Yet, as true as my words are and as proud as I am to be his daughter, my dad wasn’t perfect. He was just a regular man, complete with his own share of character flaws and personal failings.

And that’s important to know because last year, on this day, when my dad met Jesus face-to-face, it wasn’t all those good things about him that mattered.

The only thing that mattered was his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You see, my father understood his sins could not be made up with good deeds. He believed the words of the Bible, which clearly tell that the wages of sin is death, and no amount of human effort can pay that fine in full.

But the Bible is also clear that the fine has been waived and a way has been made through Jesus Christ.  All that a person must do is admit their sinful state, repent and seek after God, allowing Him to be Lord of their life.

My father believed those words too, He accepted that free offer and developed a personal relationship with Jesus through prayer and Bible reading.

This is the only thing that mattered on the morning of September 17, 2014.

Today, marks one year since my father’s death. And even though I am away on a vacation with my husband, I will miss my father. I will think about him and thank the Lord that He blessed me with a really good father.

But mostly, I will be taking comfort in knowing that my dad is in heaven … not because my father was a good man, but because my father knew Jesus.

In Memory of James Malcolm Terry

November 9, 1947 ~ September 17, 2014

The righteous man will be remembered forever. ~Psalm 112:6


Last year my brother Reid preached a sermon at my father’s funeral based on the thoughts presented in this blog post. While I am not quoting him directly, I have written based on my brother’s original ideas. I appreciated his thoughts then, as I do now, for they bring me a measure of comfort as I recall the man my father was in this life and who he is in the light of eternity.

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