Thursday, July 3, 2014

Papa Got His New Heart -- In Heaven from Jesus

REPOSTED from my mom's blog: 

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

After fighting the good fight, Lee went to be with Jesus on June 28th at 2:45pm.  Tonight we experience utter heartbreak and simultaneous joy for we know that while we grieve his death he is already with Jesus and could say "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." and heard in return "Well done, good and faithful servant...Enter into the joy of your master" Amen and amen. 

His passing was peaceful, and we know that he finally received his much-anticipated new heart!  And we have great joy in knowing that this heart will never wear out.  He's rejoicing with Jesus, hugging on Lonnie Jr. and Gabbie and those that got there before him.  

Lee's memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 12th at 11am at LifeWay Church - 5015 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way, WA.  The service will be officiated by Pastor Don Turner and our brother-in-law, Pastor Lonnie Arnold.

We would be honored to have you join us in remembering Lee's life.

photo credit: Mark Hendricks
The doctor told his nurse (who told Seth) that they were to pull out every possible treatment because this man is special.  It is healing to our family to know that they exhausted all options in treating Lee.  The nurses were so attentive, constantly adjusting his medications and equipment, never leaving his side (literally -- they left the room to use the restroom -- and were never gone more than 5 minutes), and called his doctor if there was more than a minor fluctuation.  His doctors did everything they could to restore his health to the point that he could return to The List.  Ultimately, God saw fit, in His goodness, to take him home, and we know that Lee was ready.  

We credit this attention above and beyond attention to Lee's unwavering faith.  He shared his "win-win" philosophy with anyone who would listen.  As he would say...if I get a new heart, I win.  If I'm with Jesus, I win.  He truly lived out his faith and we know that he planted and watered many seeds for the Gospel.
Doing what he loved

He was always upbeat.  He rarely let his condition keep him down, despite being unable to do so much that he loved.  I don't believe many fully realized how sick he was, and how he longed for heaven and complete healing.  Still, like Paul, he fought on for us.  

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus...(Philippians 1:21-26)

His doctors, until the end, commented on how well he looked and they would have to read his chart and vitals to recognize how sick he was.  Unless you were with him daily, and knew the man he used to be, the active, helpful, craftsman, sports-loving guy he wanted to be, you wouldn't have seen how sick he really was.  

We love him and will miss him dearly.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed with us -- we've truly experienced the comfort and peace that comes only from God and is communicated through His body.
This comes from his brother-in-law, Lonnie Arnold on Lee's passing: 

Lee lived a life of a humble Christian man. He was a devoted follower of Christ, a loving husband and father. He was affectionately known as Papa Lee by all the Arnold children, and he was a second father to them all. My life has been incredibly blessed by the Lord to have Lee alongside me in my Christian journey. He provided endless encouragement as a Brother in the Lord, and a true fellow father in parenting our children. His godly wisdom was always was filled with spiritual insight and genuine love for me and my family. He walked and talked with me through both difficult and delightful days. I will miss my dear brother, brother-in-law, and irreplaceable friend. I rejoice that Lee is with Jesus. He has arrived at the goal of the Christian life. His hope has been fulfilled, and the joy of being in the presence of the Lord infinitely exceeds any joy of this fallen world. Oh yes, we miss you Lee. The temporary separation produces deep grief because of the depth of love we experienced with you for years. Yet at the same time, I bless the Lord for the gift of your life in Jesus, which based on the unbreakable promise of God, we will share many more conversations in eternity, filled with praise and glory. I will miss you my brother. You have been one of the richest gifts of God in my life!!!

From his cousin, Shannon: 

The adorable man with the mischievous, smiling Irish eyes is my cousin Lee Hendricks. We lost him on Saturday afternoon after a long battle with heart related conditions; he had been at the Mayo Clinic waiting for a heart. The tenacity and faith was humbling, but he was so much more.

He was a man of epic dreams who made you imagine the impossible. The testament to his role as a father is seen in his fabulous kids Seth, Sarah and Katie, and his role as a husband to his wonderful wife, Peg Hendricks. 

I feel privileged and thankful for the time that he was in my circle. Time to spill some fine Irish whiskey for my sweet cousin.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20-21

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