With Ben Dennis
Psalms 37:23 The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way………………………………………………..
For many years, I was privileged and proud to know Jim Cross, a truly good and honorable man. That goodness and honor were evident in so many ways to all who were fortunate enough to know him and call him friend and brother………………………..
First, he was honorable in his relationships with his family. He loved and adored his Pearl of great price, his daughters, as well as all of his extended family. It was always obvious as to how much they all meant to him. He was there for them, neither complaining nor finding excuses not to be involved in their lives when they needed him….
Second, he was honorable in service to his country. A career military man, Jim served his country with pride and distinction and all of his friends knew how much he loved America and how proud he was to have served. He, along with countless others who have done so through the centuries, paid the price for our freedom and it is incumbent upon us to remember with gratitude theirs and Jim’s sacrifices. He had great admiration for those with whom he served, and he maintained close ties with many of his fellow sailors after his retirement……..
Third, and most importantly, Jim Cross was honorable in his relationship to his God. He worshipped his Creator with zeal and with a firm belief in the certainty of God’s promises for him and for all of God’s faithful children. In short, he loved his God with all of his heart, soul, and mind as commanded by Jesus Himself………………………….
In my many years of calling Jim Cross friend, I found him to be a man possessed with a great sense of humor as well as one who always wanted to be active and involved in good works. He made everyone around him better because of his character and personality. He fought through several years of illnesses and pain, never complaining but always expressing that admirable and fine attitude. He was in worship services even when he was in pain because he put a priority upon the time spent honoring his Master.
There are great lessons all of us can glean from Jim as to Christian living, loving God, and being the type person who brings honor to mankind, his country, and to his God. I am richer as a person and a Christian, as are so many others, for having known this truly good man. We will miss him greatly and we extend to his precious Pearl, daughters Fran and Lynn, and all of his family the deepest sympathy and love of this congregation.
One of my favorite secular passages is one from Shakespeare’s great masterpiece, Hamlet, and one that succinctly describes the man I proudly knew as Jim Cross.
“he was a man take him for all and all
I shall not look upon his like again.”