No Regrets

We buried a friend yesterday.  A dear, godly man.  Like unto a saint.

Curious, inquisitive, life-long learner, gentlemanly, courteous, quick-witted, affable, gracious, congenial, patient, kind. Rich voice, gentle hands, hearty laugh.  Settled & secure in God's sovereign grace allowing him to be a portent for many.

"He didn't wear Christianity on his lapel, but on his life.  You just knew."

I'll miss Bill Long.  He blessed me.  More than words can say.

I love Bill Long.  A treasured friend.

I'll see him again.  Thanks be to God.

Hearing such rich remembrances of a gracious soul, I wish I'd have known him even better.  Spent more time. Asked more questions.  Sought greater depth.  A sapling sheltered by a giant.

Love well, Dear Friends.  Grow where you are planted.

Spend time.

Share life.




That you'd have no regrets.

Present Tense

Somewhere along the way in one of my preacher books I learned that our English word eulogy means "good words." At any memorial service I officiate, I am sure to recall as I know, or call on others who do know, to speak good words about the person who has passed from this life.

Today, I write facing the inevitable passing of a trusted friend. I know his eternal destiny is secure in the hands of Jesus, but I mourn. I have been encouraged to think what I might say when officiating his memorial service. I know the Christlike character traits he exhibits that I will extol. I know I will preach from the book of James. I know I'll cry like I am right now...

But I know one more thing.

It would be unrighteous for me to wait until after he has passed into his eternal reward to speak these words of him. I must speak them to him while I still can.

Rather than saying, "I loved him because he was," to others, I must say, "I love you because you are," to him.

When you have something good to say--not just to the person near to heaven, but to everyone, anytime--when you notice an admirable deed, when you hear a kind word, when you see Christlike character, don't wait. Speak your blessing at that moment. Offer your praise without delay.

Philippians 4:8 challenges,
whatever is true
whatever is noble
whatever is pure
whatever is lovely
whatever is admirable
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
think about such things.

Speak about them too. 

Present tense.

Dr. J.

Kenneth R. Jacobs, 75, died Wednesday February 11, 2009 at an Abilene, Texas medical facility. He was born July 9, 1933 in Franklin, North Carolina. His parents were Floyd S. Jacobs and Wilmer M. (Angel) Jacobs.
Kenneth entered the army on June 20, 1950 and served for four years and one day. This was during the Korean Conflict. After he was honorably discharged, he apprenticed to become a journeyman carpenter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He worked in several cabinet shops in Iowa and Illinois.
In 1962 he married Marilyn J. Jacobs on April 28th. They were married for almost 47 years. They lived in Quincy, Illinois, Sweetwater, Texas, Lubbock, Texas and Abilene, Texas.
In 1963 he enrolled in Quincy (College) University in Quincy, Illinois. He graduated with a B.A. degree in history in 1967. In 1968, he took a job teaching history in the public schools in Sweetwater, Texas, and enrolled in Hardin-Simmons University in the master’s degree program where he studied under the legendary Dr. Rupert N. Richardson, dean of Texas Historians.
Dr. Jacobs completed his master’s at Hardin-Simmons University in 1971 and received a graduate teaching assistantship at Texas Tech University. He taught survey history classes and studied for his doctorate at Texas Tech University. In 1977 he received his doctorate in history and political science after studying under the eminent historian Dr. Earnest Wallace. In September of that year he accepted a position as assistant professor of History at Hardin-Simmons University. He was an immediate success in the classroom. The students loved his relaxed manner and the humor in his lectures. Attila, a massive tomcat, and “the Big O,” who could be approached about poor grades, are two characters that will live on in the memories of his students.
Dr. Jacobs was professionally active at Hardin-Simmons. He became associate editor of the West Texas Historical Yearbook in 1978. He became an editor of this journal in 1985. He held this position until his retirement at the end of the 1997-1998 school year. He was named Rupert N. Richardson professor emeritus after his retirement.
He published several articles in Texas history in professional journals, and in 1984 co-authored a book with Dr. B. W. Aston and Dr. Fain Downs, The Future Great, concerning Abilene, Texas. In 1990 Dr. Jacobs edited a new edition of a famous book by his mentor Dr. Richardson The Comanche Barrier. He held memberships in the American Historical Association, Phi Alpha Theta, The Southern Historical Association, The West Texas Historical Association and the Texas Historical Association.
During his career at Hardin-Simmons University, Dr. Jacobs received several honors. In 1986 he was named Reata man of the year. The next year the faculty voted him the Cullen Teaching Award. In 1989 the students at Hardin-Simmons named Dr. Jacobs the teacher of the year, an honor that he treasured above all others. In 1997 the All School Sing was dedicated to Dr, Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs was the original faculty sponsor the Theta Alpha Zeta fraternity.
Dr. Jacobs was preceded in death by his parents and by his brother Floyd S. Jacobs, Jr.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn and several cousins. He is also survived by his special adopted family Bryan, Elizabeth, and Luke Adams and many friends and former students.--Abilene Reporter News.

Dr. Jacobs was my favorite history professor, my fraternity sponsor, & a dear friend. 

I love Dr. J.
He was easy to love. All at once larger than life, yet accessible. A history professor & a dedicated husband. A mentor & a friend. You could count on him. You could count on comments, witticisms, criticisms, Attila, the Big O, Miss Marilyn, Miss fill-in-the-name of his grader at the time, and many, many more. Keen mind, quick wit, twinkling eye, & sonorous voice.

"Mr. Householder, can you tell me the year that all good things began?" Of course we all knew the answer that we would pronounce in our most dignified voice, "1901, Sir, the year Theodore Roosevelt became president." That oft repeated question spurred me in later years to read presidential biographies. I started with none other than TR. Many times as I read I would wonder if this story or that character trait of TR may have been attractive to Dr. J. The appeal of TR to man of history like Dr. J was obvious.

Such was the appeal of Dr. Jacobs to a young man like me.