Bob Jones University Alumni and Friends
Loading...
Alumni Stories Overview

Last Father's Day

Ken Endean's Story

In memory of Dr. Kenneth N. Gamble, BJU Class of 1959

As we relaxed together under the clear Arizona night sky, I sensed something was weighing on my wife.  “Are you okay?” With tears in her eyes she replied, “What do you give your father for his last Father’s Day?” 

Less than two months earlier, my father-in-law had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. While the prognosis for a prolonged lifespan was grim, his spirit was tremendously upbeat. In the over thirty years that I have known him, I’ve admired his consistency and his unwavering, steadfast trust in the Lord and His sovereignty.  For over sixty years, he had pastored the same church. With the news that his days on this earth would soon be ending, he found new energy in sharing the message of the hope of salvation. 

In him, I’m observing how Christians, with the hope of heaven, should face death.  He seizes every opportunity to tell others of his condition and the importance of preparing for eternity. He shares what God has done and is doing in the church and in his life.  His frequent comment is that “it’s all good.” He demonstrates a natural concern for what his family is facing, a genuine compassion for community and church friends, and a confident anticipation for what is to come. Rather than fighting to remain on this earth for as long as possible, he joyfully prepares to go to his eternal home.

He is living what he has preached—what he believes. He is demonstrating what the historian Alexis de Tocqueville noted:

In ages of faith, the final end of life is placed beyond life. The men of those ages, therefore, naturally and almost involuntarily accustom themselves to fix their gaze for many years on some immovable object toward which they are constantly tending; and they learn by insensible degrees to repress a multitude of petty passing desires in order to be the better able to content [i.e. satisfy] that great and lasting desire which possesses them (Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences, 108).

Or to put it in Biblical terms, he set his mind “on things that are above, not on things that are on earth… and [his] life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:2-3).

So, what do you give him for Father’s Day?  The books that he has always appreciated are difficult to enjoy because the nature of his disease makes reading arduous.  The anticipation of eternity makes the seemingly practical very impractical. He doesn’t need another shirt or tie. Practical gifts are impractical by their temporal nature. 

What did we give him?  My wife found a book of all 150 of the Psalms, beautifully illustrated.  The text will not only be familiar but will continue to be a source of comfort and strength. That’s what we gave her father for what will most likely be his last Father’s Day.  What he has given us is a personal perspective of how a man with a living faith anticipates dying. While the temporal becomes very impractical, the eternal is always pertinent.

It’s all good.

kgamblefamily.jpg

 

 

Written the week before Father’s Day, 2016. My father-in-law, Rev. Dr. Kenneth N. Gamble, entered the hospital on Wednesday, July 6th, and entered his heavenly home on Sunday—the Lord’s Day, July 10th.  Now, truly, it’s all good. ©

Alumni Relations
1-800-320-4383
BJU Advancement
888.252.6363
©2019 Bob Jones University. All rights reserved.
BJU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, national origin, protected disability or veteran status.

Bjualumni.com may collect Personal Information such as your first and last names, home addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers; payment information when you make a transaction such as donating; and demographic information. 

Bjualumni.com uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol to encrypt the transfer of confidential information obtained by forms on this site. These forms can be identified by the address starting with “https:” instead of “http:”.

If the information you shared included credit card information for a purchase or donation, this information must be released to the card-issuing bank to confirm payment.

Bjualumni.com may release account information when we believe, in good faith, that such release is reasonably necessary to (i) comply with the law, (ii) enforce or apply the terms of any of our user agreements, or (iii) protect the rights, property, or safety of bjualumni.com, our customers, or others. Bjualumni.com may be required by law enforcement or judicial authorities to provide personally identifiable information to the appropriate governmental authorities. We will disclose personally identifiable information upon receipt of court order, subpoena, or in cooperation with a law enforcement investigation. Bjualumni.com fully cooperates with law enforcement agencies in identifying those who use our services for illegal activities and reserves the right to report any activities that we in good faith believe to be unlawful.

In some cases we allow third parties to use cookies, web beacons, and similar technologies to collect or receive information from Bjualumni.com and use that information to provide measurement services and target ads (you can opt-out of the collection and use of such information for ad targeting at any time). We use the information we gather to enhance the user experience on our site. We use tracking information to determine how well each page performs overall based on aggregate user demographics and traffic patterns to those pages. This helps us continue to build a better site for you.

Bjualumni.com does not sell, trade, or rent your personal information to any third parties other than those listed above.