Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly

Acts 6:4

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word."

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1 Timothy 4:6-16

" If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim 4:6-16 (KJV)

"The Loss of A Friend" by Shane C. Montgomery

Saturday, December 4, 2010


  Today being Saturday, as usual, I find myself busy in preparing for tomorrows Lord's Day worship.  Today is also the day winter has chosen to make it's entrance known to all of us here in the Cincinnati area, the snow is blowing hard and coming down very fast, I foresee a good deal of snow shoveling early tomorrow to have the church ready for service, I double as the maintenance man as well as a few other duties in our small church.   My wife Jeannie is getting ready to leave for work where she works as a job coach for mentally impaired adults and has just received a phone call that none of the people she works with are well enough to work today, so this will surely cause some added chaos today. 


But none of this really matters today, today words and problems seem to just bounce harmlessly off of me.  About an hour ago I was checking my work email (I work with public utilities full time) and I was shocked and saddened by one email that informed me that one of my co-workers and a dear friend of mine, Joe B. has just passed away, his cancer has ended his earthly life.


Joe has not worked with us long, only since this past Spring.  Having spent the past 16 years in the business, I am often given the duty of training the new guys for a two week period and then mentoring them for the next several months until they are trained and comfortable enough to fully go out into the field on their own.  I took great pleasure in working with Joe and we instantly became friends.  Joe was a Gulf War Vet, same as me.  Joe was in Europe the same time me and my wife were prior to the war in Iraq and Kuwait.   But what truly brought me close to Joe was the fact that he had recently fought a long fight with cancer and was just this past Spring well enough to return to the work force.    The first day I met up with Joe to train him he walked up to me and said, "Hi Shane, they told me about your illness and how much pain the brain tumor is causing you, and I want to tell you I am here for you."   He went on to tell me about how he beat cancer and how he would be there for me on those "day after treatment days."   To his word, twice a week, first thing in the morning, Joe was calling me on my cell phone to ask how I was doing after my treatments.   When I returned from the Cleveland Clinic this past month, Joe was the first voice I heard on my voice mail, asking how I was doing.  Joe recently came into our pre work meetup and broke the news to all of us in the crew that his cancer had came back and it was very aggressive.  He said he was feeling very week and sick and that he would do his best but he could not promise that he would be much help.  None of us had any idea that he would be leaving us so soon.  Cancer took his life a mere month later!  ONE MONTH, was all it took to take him away from us.  We really never got to know him well enough in the eight months he was with us.  Like me, he had to miss work frequently to make doctors appointments and for testings and treatments in the hospital.  I think this is why I found a kindred spirit in Joe where some others never did, we had a common bond in our illness.  I honestly thought I would go before him.  I prayed Joe would get well and live long.  I prayed we would both live long, if it be the Lord's Will.


    Joe was a big man.  He stood 6'6" easily and when he stood next to me, he dwarfed me, at only 6' I felt like a child next to him.   His hands were like catchers mitts!  We spent many a day digging up buried utilities together and I sometimes looked at him like a big bear instead of a man.  But his size was deceiving, you would think him to be a brute, but he had a big heart and everything he did, he did out of love for others.   Joe will be missed.


  My heart is truly grieved and the grieving process, I know, will take as long as it takes.  It is okay to grieve, God expects us to, He understands what it is to love and loose people.   I have lost a friend, one who was always there for me.   For all Joe did for me, for his friendship, his encouragement, for those days when I was to ill to carry out my duties on the job site, he covered for me, and most of all for his loving heart.  For all this, I failed Joe in return.  In return for his love and his kindness, I failed him.  I did not return the love the way I should have.  Now I will have to live with this knowledge.  You see, Joe was not a Christian.


  Joe was full of love, but he was also full of sin and empty of Christ.  Joe never wanted to hurt anyone but Joe did not bow to God.  Knowing Joe it was obvious he was lost.  I tried a few times to witness to him.  I shared the Gospel with him once.   A few times, after he would unknowingly use God's Holy Name in vain, I would correct him and let him know why it was wrong to do that.  I showed Joe Christ, I let him know without Christ he would die an eternal death.   But I gave up to easy.   Joe was respectful of my faith, but he did not want to listen and I did not want to become a pest to a true friend.    Some friend I was!  I let my friend and co-worker die in his sins without Christ.   I am no friend, I failed him and I will have to answer for that.  May God have mercy upon my soul, even though I deserve Hell, and if only for this, than I would understand.  I deserve Hell for not taking the  Gospel Hammer and hammering at the heart of this giant that showed me such friendship.  I feel guilt, I feel remorse, I feel sorrow and I feel ashamed of myself.


  I know I could not save Joe.  All the preaching and sharing in the world could not save him, only Christ could have saved him, and maybe in the short time I was away from Joe in the hospital myself, just maybe Christ found Joe and did regenerate him.  But I do not know, that would be only speculation and wishful thinking.     All I know for sure is that I did not share Christ enough, I did not show Joe Christ as much as I should have.  Yes, I was a witness, but I was not a Bold Witness.  I knew he was sick and could possibly die but yet I did not tell him what he needed to hear.  I did not tell him "I know I have spoke to you of sin and of the need for pardon of those sins, I have told you of Christ and you were nice enough to hear me out, but I must tell you again my friend, because I value you, I Must Tell You Again dear brother!"   I could have did just that, but I did not.  I assumed I had a lifetime to tell him more of the wonders of Christ and what He did for us on the cross, how He washes our sins away and makes us new persons.   I could have told him again and again.  But I did not.


  Scripture tells us that "believing comes from hearing and hearing from preaching of the Word."   How was he to hear if for not a preacher?    I was that preacher!   I was, for the most part, a silent preacher!  What good is a preacher that does not preach the Gospel?    None.


  God in His mercy and love for His adopted children shows them great patience in their Sanctification.  This is my only condolence, for all my study and all my devotions, I am yet repenting.  I am yet being sanctified.   Praise be to the God of Heaven and Earth!    May He continue to Sanctify me as well as you dear reader.


    May this serve as a reminder to you and to me dear reader, assume nothing when it comes to time left on this earth.  Share the Gospel.   Be Bold, Be Obedient!   Be a true friend and do not let your friends die.


Shane C. Montgomery

4 comments:

{ Jeannie } at: December 4, 2010 at 8:16 PM said...

That is powerful stuff!

{ Bethany } at: December 17, 2010 at 4:45 PM said...

Wow Shane I'm sorry for your loss. Please dont beat up on yourself so bad. You dont know if he repented at the end. that he remember what you said. I pray for you brother you have always been an inspiration to me. God Bless and hope to talk to you soon

{ Craig } at: December 17, 2010 at 4:50 PM said...

OH MY THAT LAST POST WAS FROM ME, CRAIG MY DAUGHTER WAS SIGNED INTO GOOGLE AND SOME HOW GOT MEST UP

{ Wu Siu Yan } at: July 9, 2012 at 7:24 AM said...

A book that will make "denominational differences" disappear.

(*) The Book of Mormon
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17
(History of part of Joseph/Judah/Benjamin from 600 B.C. to 420 A.D.)

Note that I AM AGAINST THE MORMON CHURCH AND ALL DOCTRINES FROM JOSEPH SMITH, BRIGHAM YOUNG, ... but I believe the Book of Mormon as true history, just as I believe the Bible to be true history of Israelites.

Time is fast running out.

Wu Siu Yan from Hong Kong
http://wjesus.org
Encl.
THE TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God.
Amen.

OLIVER COWDERY
DAVID WHITMER
MARTIN HARRIS


THE TESTIMONY OF EIGHT WITNESSES

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship.

And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

CHRISTIAN WHITMER
JACOB WHITMER
PETER WHITMER, JUN.
JOHN WHITMER
HIRAM PAGE
JOSEPH SMITH, SEN.
HYRUM SMITH
SAMUEL H. SMITH

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