Wanted to share this true Obituary someone sent me

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by dianetavegia, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. dianetavegia

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    Shelby Kennedy's Homecoming

    Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalms 116:15)

    Shelby Kennedy (November 6, 1981 - May 31, 2005)

    One of the blessings of the life of Christ is Christian community — that glorious network of friends and family in geographic and spiritual proximity whose relationship one with another is God’s appointed means for encouraging the saints, building covenant-keeping assemblies and households, and advancing the glorious mission of the Church. Within such communities, our merciful Lord sometimes raises up a few special individuals whose life of servanthood, principle, and love is of such a quality as to win them an unusual admiration and affection from the entire community.

    In our portion of the San Antonio Christian community, that bright shining daughter of hope was Shelby Kennedy. Seventh of thirteen children to Ken and Deborah Kennedy, Shelby’s life was dedicated to her family’s missionary outreach called Only a Servant Ministries. Loved by thousands who knew her, Shelby will be remembered for her indefatigable optimism in the sovereignty of God, her radiant evangelistic spirit, her self-sacrificing servanthood, her effervescent spiritual joy, and her ferocious loyalty to her mother and father.

    Shelby was transported into the bosom of her savior Jesus Christ on May 31, 2005, after a heart-wrenching, eight-month battle with a rare and unusually brutal from of cancer.

    Shelby was known and loved by people in four nations. It was my great honor to serve as one of her church shepherds for a number of years, and to count her my friend. In the eight years that I have known Shelby, I never remember a time when she was not happy, radiant, grateful, and explicitly praising God. Many thousands of others would testify the same. This was a one-in-a-million Christian who had an unusual spiritual gift of faith.

    She brought hope to thousands through her mission work with her family throughout the world in regions as diverse as Mexico and South Africa. But Shelby’s heart always pointed to Haiti where she worked alongside, and on behalf of, her mother and father by personally administering Christian schools, participating in discipleship evangelism, and managing significant food distribution efforts for the destitute and needy.

    Shelby was a woman who passionately and desperately loved her two fathers. Her ferocious loyalty and honor to her earthly father was only exceeded by her absolute confidence, love, and devotion to her Heavenly Father. At a time when America’s Christian community is rife with self-serving sons, daughters, and men in the spirit of Adonijah, Shelby was known to all as an honoring daughter who modeled the Fifth Commandment. Her ferocious loyalty to her parents, to her convictions, and to her faith were among her defining character qualities. Shelby was one “daughter of Sarah” who would never exchange her rich spiritual inheritance for a mess of pottage. Because she honored her mother and father, because she remained loyal to her Heavenly Father — “it was well” with Shelby, even in the midst of great suffering.

    Shelby’s one unfulfilled dream was to marry a godly man like her father. This was not God’s will for her. It was, however, God’s will to allow Shelby to accomplish more for the Kingdom of God in her twenty-three years than most men could hope to accomplish in two lifetimes. In fact, Shelby goes to be with the Lord with a unique testimony that is reserved for only the smallest handful of recorded Bible heroes and modern Christians — Shelby, a sinner saved by grace, lived a life without regret, and without known blemishes on her testimony. To put it another way, there are no “buts” after Shelby’s name. No one says, “Shelby was a Christian, but...”, or, “Shelby had a good witness, but...”, or, “It is just too bad that....:” Shelby Kennedy was the finest example of servanthood, faith, and devotion that most Christians will see in their lifetime.

    Some might say: Phillips, this is just kind posthumous hyperbole. To that I respond: Speak to any in our community who knew this girl and discover that these sentiments are unanimously held by one and by all who knew her.

    Shelby’s eight-month battle with cancer was unusually difficult. She was diagnosed with a very rare and unusual sarcoma about which little is known. Those around her described her suffering as simply excruciating. By the time of her death, much of her remaining 90 pounds was the weight of the tumors which relentlessly attacked her and had spread throughout her body. Despite this fact, Shelby remained hopeful, trusting in God and utterly without complaint until the moment of her homecoming to Glory.

    Shelby’s passing into eternity will never be forgotten by those who stood beside her. During the final hour of her life, Shelby was at home surrounded by mother, father, brothers, and sisters. They sang hymns and praises, read Scriptures, and offered her words of comfort.

    Her last spoken words were to her father: “I love you, Dad.”

    Earlier this year, eighty-four-year-old Marine Silver Star Bob Boardman addressed a special memorial service at the Headwaters Ranch to the veterans of the Second World War. He made a stunning point, apropos for us to remember at the death of our sweet sister.

    Boardman said this: “When it comes time for you to die, make sure all you have to do that day is to die.”

    I will never forget May 31 as the day that Shelby was called to be with the Lord. I was celebrating my fortieth birthday with my family and friends in North Carolina when the news arrived. Though the Phillips family was separated from the Kennedys by more than a thousand miles, we were absolutely sure of one thing — Shelby Kennedy died with no loose ends, no regrets, no unfinished business, and no doubts. All she had to do on May 31, 2005 was to die.

    We laid Shelby to rest on Saturday. Her spirit is now with the Lord, but her mortal body remains in Texas where it awaits the resurrection of the dead. During my comments at the memorial and gravesite, I shared the following Scriptures of comfort. They mean a great deal to me.



    Lots of pictures on the link of this very special woman.

    [ June 07, 2005, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: dianetavegia ]
  2. TexasSky

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    Wow. I don't know whether to say I'm sorry for your loss, or how wonderful that you knew this woman.
  3. dianetavegia

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    Texas, someone who knew her sent me the obit. I never met her but was so touched by this testimony that I just wanted all of you to share it too!
  4. Melanie

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    Active Member

    Nov 21, 2002
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    I saw a really nice thing on tv not long ago. It happened in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand at the turn of the 20th century.

    A man was found dead outside of a village and this was very unusual for there were not too many white folks in the district. No-one knew who he was and after exhausting all avenues to identify him he was committed to the earth with the village in attendance giving him a Christian funeral. One man however thought about the unknown man in his lonesome grave and at his own expense had a tombstone erected with the words
    "To Someone's Dear One".
    When the benefactor died he had requested to be buried near the Unknown. I thought this was really sweet (an act of Christian charity), as how many people die abroad or in circumstances where their identity is lost forever.

    Your obit. Diane reminded me of that story but fortunately Shelby is never going to be forgotten by her loving family and friends.
  5. hillclimber

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    New Member

    Feb 10, 2005
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    Wow, thank you Diane. Stories like this are tremendously uplifting.

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