Saturday, 3 May 2014

Eulogy by Howard Wiens: 10:20

Hi. Pastor John, I take your word seriously about sticking to time. But seeing as how no one actually told me what the time limit was, I deem that obligation to be null and void.

Carlin Eugene Weinhauer was born on Halloween, October 31, 1939 to Frank and Thelma Weinhauer in Wellsville, NY. He graduated from high school in ’57 and around that time he attended a conference and gave his life to Christ with the commitment to go anywhere, at any time, at any cost. He attended Buffalo Bible Institute for a year, and then went on to Briercrest Bible Institute, where he graduated from the pastor’s course. Around that time he met Marcia Watne during one of the summers between college years, where she was teaching in rural Montana. At that time she joined him in studying at Briercrest and then they ultimately were married, August 11,1962.

In the fall of that year, they travelled to South Carolina, where he attended Columbia Bible College in Columbia, SC and received his bachelor of arts in Biblical education. During those years of study, they pastored the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, and he was ordained for pastoral ministry there. Soon after, they were called back to Montana to pastor three rural American Sunday school churches, and then they moved on to Chicago to attend Trinity Evangelical Divinity school. While there he received his master of arts in Christian education. Also in Chicago, they pastored the Bethel Community Evangelical Free Church. In 1969, Dad – just so you know he’s my father-in-law, but we always call him dad, so I’m just going to do that. In ’69, Dad was invited to teach at Briercrest. During summers, the family did camping ministries around Saskatchewan, but also travelled to Chicago to study and complete a master of arts degree in pastoral theology. One of his profs challenged him to see if he could get his PhD degree by the age of 40. Of course, challenge him? It’s Dad. So he did it.

Mom and Dad were at Briercrest for 15 years, where he taught Bible, pastoral theology, and served in various administrative roles, including vice president. He travelled a lot, raised funds, raised students, did pulpit ministries, and conference engagements across the Canada. While at Briercrest, in 1983, they travelled to Europe for two and half months ministering with Word of Life missions. And that was the first of many, many, many travels outside of North America. God moved Mom and Dad once again to congregational ministry to come here to Willingdon church in 1984, and they definitely served with joy during their 20 years here. While serving here, they visited a lot of countries. I don’t know what the last number was but it was in the dozens. Asia, Africa, eastern Europe, Brazil, Jamaica, etc. in many short term missions with a major long term project of planting a church in Chechnya.

As a young person, Dad spent time pouring over the pages of the National Geographic Magazine, because he loved geography and travel. And God fulfilled his heart's desire, as God tends to do, and he got many opportunities to minister far and wide in many countries, including teaching opportunities in China. Dad had a great love for the church, he had a great desire to see young pastors preach through the Word, verse by verse.

Eventually, in 2004, he retired from pastoral ministry here at Willingdon and was invited to join the elite team at MB Mission. It was a good call by MB mission, by the way. And he served in mobilization and media. Since then, Dad has led many teams of people to MB mission fields, all over, predominately Thailand, and along with Brazil, Burkina Faso, India, and he served that job with a lot of fun and a lot of joy.

It says here in the eulogy that he is survived by the love of his life, Marcia. I don’t know exactly who wrote that, but whoever did it, was the master of understatement. He loved her deeply; 51 years. He is also survived by his three daughters, Cheri, Lynda, and Becky; three sons-in-law, me, Allan, Brian; our kids, Jodie and her husband Matt, Camden, Brenna, AJ, Joey, Trevor, Alex, and Stuart. He is also survived by his sister, Carolyn, who lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As I think about Dad I have the picture, a little bit right now, of a building, and what I just gave you are the facts and the facts are the bricks of the building. But I think some of us want to spend a few minutes talking about the mortar that goes in between the bricks of the building. And so there are… Let me put it this way, when I was 23 or 24, I started dating his oldest daughter and I was a bit a cocky kid, who knew a little bit too much, and I had absolutely no idea the relationship I was about to embark on. No idea.

Dad was easily the top two or three most influential people in my life. Probably the most influential person in my adult life. I have two more children to marry off. That might be the two more honourable moments in my life than this, to be able to speak for Dad. In the last few weeks, as family, we have received many cards, emails, flowers, texts, and two words have stuck out in my mind. One is Giant. The other is Legacy. And I thought “why?” I mean I know why, but why? I think I came down to these three statements. Dad loved Jesus. That’s number one, second one is Dad loved God’s Word and thought every corner of it was true. And the third statement is that everything he did was covered by the first two statements. That was kind of it, and I think Pastor John said the same thing. That was Dad.

I want to share with you a few of life’s lessons passed on from a very wise man to a young man. What I learned from Dad: when faced with an opportunity, ask yourself why shouldn’t I do it, rather than why should I do it. I can recall – he was a tremendous problem solver, and just any opportunity he jumped at. I can recall – I was also on a Thailand trip, a different one, and a friend and I were sitting at breakfast one morning. We were in rural Thailand, I thought we were in Nowheresville. We were having breakfast and my friend said to me. “You know what would be fun to do today? It would be fun to go ride an elephant.” And I said, “yeah, that would be fun, but it’s not in the itinerary. It’s not going to happen.” At the time, I didn’t know this, but Dad was at the next table and overheard him, and that afternoon we were riding elephants. And to my knowledge, every Thailand trip they took from then on, they rode elephants. That was Dad, he was like “oh, these guys want to ride elephants. Bet you we can make that happen.” And so he did. That was Dad.

When I think about things I learned about relationships, I would ask about things and how to handle things and he would say to me, “Son, I just choose not to be offended.” What a learning moment for a twenty-something to actually learn that you can choose not to be offended. That wasn’t a part of my framework as a youngster. That was an amazing gift to me, to be able to say you know, I just choose not to be offended. That was Dad. I learned how you talk about your spouse, both in public and semi-public. I don’t know if Mom knows this, that there were a number of times when we would be together as a family, let’s say, maybe somewhere, we’d all be gathered and I’d be standing on the edge of room perhaps, just watching. And Dad would sidle up to me, and just really quietly say, “You see that woman over there? She’s something. She’s really something.” I was thinking like, okay, that’s how it’s done. And you know, it was just for me, just for my ears, but I learned that.

He talked to me about raising children. He said, “If you want to do something really meaningful for your kids, really lasting, love their mom.” Wow. He taught me that when you’re really passionate about something, it’s okay to cry. I don’t know how many times, if you’ve attended this church, I don’t know how many times, you can imagine him standing here, and he was preaching, and preaching and preaching. And all of a sudden, he would take his glasses off, and he would lean over here on the left side and his eyes would get wet, and I learned as a young man, “OK, bud, pay attention, this is what God’s saying right now.” That was his heart.

He was a great leader. What I noticed in life is that very good men understand the dynamics of leadership. Great men understand that there are times to be a follower. He was a great leader, but he was a really good follower, too. I distinctly remember one of my family’s first, I think it was our first trip to Disneyland. We had three little kids and we invited Mom and Dad to come along We wanted them there. We wanted a little extra adult help. Brenna, our youngest, was three. I had this niggling concern though, as the dad on this, that dad was a leader that he would kind of drive the whole holiday on this and decide where we were going and what we were doing. And I was like “I don’t know, this is our holiday, you know.” You know what? Every day, for seven days, every morning I’d say to Dad “This is what I think we want to do today.” and he’d say, “Great!” And he would just go with it.

Throughout the years, if you’ve known him well, he had a lot of short phrases, tended to be called Carlin-isms. I’ve got a bunch. God is enough. It’s just stuff. No education is wasted. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing. When tithing or giving always round it up. With regards to the church, every person a ministry. This is one of my favourites, with regards to missions – I don’t know how many times he’d lean over and out the side of his mouth say, “Just write the cheque”. Randy, do I hear an Amen? Do not underestimate the power of the Word of God. And my personal favourite, as a believe, I need to be ready to preach, pray, or die at a moment’s notice.

Many of those things you’d know about him. I just want to quickly share a few things you might not know about him, things that make him a little more human. He loved Coke mixed with eggnog. As Alex mentioned, he loved ice cream, in particular maple walnut, and I asked him a few years ago, if there’s one thing you could change, what would you change? And he says, “I’d have eaten more ice cream.” Some of the kids have mentioned that he was a car guy. He had a ’67 mustang, back in the late ‘60s. Wow. He lived by the principle that he always wanted his car clean and shiny. On any given Sunday afternoon, you could find him watching NASCAR. He enjoyed movies that had a lot of mayhem. The more car crashes and craziness the better. He was a really good singer, he was fascinated by new technologies as we mentioned. You know, he was a bit of a weather nerd. You could hardly ever talk to him without him asking how’s the weather, what’s going on here. Finally, he prayed a lot. If you’re in this room, there’s a really good chance he prayed for you many times. He had lists that he would just pray through, well, him and Mom. Mom and Dad prayed through lists.

Finally, two more things and then I’m done. I’ve had someone explain to me what Heaven’s like or what heaven must be like, and it was explained to me this way: we don’t exactly know what Heaven’s going to be like, but God’s promised that it’s going to be better than whatever you think the best thing on earth is. And so I thought about that for Dad, what would he think the best thing on earth is for him? And I can honestly say, I think the best thing for him, the thing that gave him the most joy, was watching his wife and his kids and his grandkids laugh out loud at the dinner table. I don’t know that anything gave him more joy than that. He loved his family. We’re going to miss him terribly.

I’m going to end with this. And I don’t know if Dad would be comfortable with this, but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s only because he wouldn’t see himself this way, but when I think of dad now, I think of the relationship I had with him, I think of 2 Timothy 1:13-14. And the Apostle Paul is talking to his son in Christ, Timothy, and I will not read this verses anymore without thinking about Dad talking to me. They say, and this is Paul talking to Timothy, but this is how I understand Dad talking to me now. “Follow the pattern of the sound words you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”

I think he lived his life really well.

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