SONG: Just a Closer Walk With Thee (solist: Jeannie Jones)
We gather today to celebrate the vibrant life and joy of Betty Mosely. We also gather to comfort each other in the time of loss and to stir up the embers of hope that are found in Jesus Christ alone.
The Apostle Paul wrote these appropriate words:
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed….because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us in his presence…Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
This is our hope and our comfort today.
Will you pray with me?
Gracious Father, it seems like it has been so long since Betty has been truly healthy. Today we are grateful that the journey has been completed and she is home, healthy and more alive than she has ever been. We ask you to help us today. Help us to remember, to celebrate, to comfort and to hope. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen
Betty was born March 13, 1923, in Vermont, Illinois, the daughter of Floyd and Lora (Miles) Hamm. Betty attended school in Fountain Green, graduating in 1942. Later that year on September 7, 1942, she was united in marriage to Rollie Mosley in Kahoka, Missouri. They had a great time together. Betty was a homemaker and babysat for many of her nieces and nephews until January of 1973, when she and her husband moved to Ferris and opened Mosley’s Corner Store. Betty was an excellent cook. People drove from miles around to eat her great home cooked meals. Mosley’s Corner Store closed in 1989, due to Rollie’s poor health. Mr. Mosley died on January 8, 1990. Betty loved spending time with her family. She is a member of the Ferris Christian Church.
Betty was residing at Wesley Village in Macomb when she went to be with the Lord on Friday, February 27, 2009, surrounded by her loving family.
Betty is survived by
two daughters, Linda and her husband Jerry Jones of LaHarpe, Illinois and
Joyce and her husband Mike Dyche of Frederick, Illinois;
a grandson, Harley and his wife Sherri Jones of LaHarpe,
a granddaughter, Kara and her husband Devin Burg of Huntley, Illinois;
two great granddaughters, Karly Jones of LaHarpe and Olivia Burg of Huntley;
two step-grandsons, Mike Dyche, Jr. of Rushville and Steve Dyche of Beardstown;
four step great grandchildren, Shelby Thompson of LaHarpe, Dugan Thompson of LaHarpe, and Kaitlyn and Keaton Dyche of Rushville;
one brother, Perry and his wife Beverly Hamm of Macomb;
and a sister-in-law, Coleen and her husband Harmon Dochterman of West Burlington, Iowa.
She was preceded in death by her parents; four brothers; and five sisters.
SONG: If You Only Knew
- I have a lot of wonderful memories of my grandma.
- I will never forget the sound of her voice, or her beautiful smile.
- I always loved calling her on the phone; she would always answer “yello” and then laugh and say “well hello Kara”
- I have such fond memories of the years grandpa and grandma owned the restaurant
- I am sure that I was probably in the way, but they always let me help clear the dishes and talk with customers
- Grandma made the best food
- Her specialties were her cheeseburgers and fries, her fried chicken, and her famous homemade beef and noodles
- I never had any doubt that Grandma and Grandpa were so very proud of Harley and I
- Grandma was quick to show people all the pictures that she had of us and tell about all the things that we were involved in
- Grandpa and Grandma were so giving
- They took us to the rodeo every year
- Bought me my first pair of earrings
- Brought us a little gift each time they came to visit
- But most importantly they gave us their time, love, and attention and that is what is most important
- I remember grandma and grandpa coming and staying with us every Christmas when we lived in Arizona-it was the highlight of our year
- I also remember coming back to Ferris and surprising them
- I remember when we moved back to LaHarpe and we would spend the night with grandma and grandpa
- We would watch “Hee-Haw” and go to the Ferris Christian Church on Sunday morning
- When I was in the pageant-I had to do a lot of traveling and grandma went everywhere with me to keep me company
- She always said I drove too fast and to keep it on 55-which I never did
- When we were moving from Quincy to Huntley-Devin had to go ahead and move up there before the end of the school year.
- I was afraid to stay by myself, so grandma came to live with me for about a month ( I am not sure what grandma would have protected me from but I felt safe with her there)
- At Christmas we always open presents from youngest to oldest. So, Grandma would always go last
- I remember when Devin proposed to me at Christmas. He wanted to do it after all the presents had been opened, so he was waiting for Grandma to open her last present. I think she set a world record for the longest amount of time to open a present. Poor Devin!
- I remember taking her to the doctor or Chiropractor in Macomb and eating together at the Student Prince.
- I will never forget the day she fell off the steps at mom and dad’s house and broke her shoulder.
- Karly was just 2 years old, so we would tell her to be very careful of Grandma’s owie. Karly started calling her Grandma Owie and the name stuck and that is the name we all called her.
- We loved playing pitch with grandma after church on Sunday.
- There are so many little things I love about Grandma.
- I loved the way she always wore a night hat to bed to protect her hair.
- I loved the way she always wore a plastic rain hat when it was windy or raining.
- She had so many funny sayings like:
- Kara, you are a bull in a China shop
- Well that was a rip-snorter
- When I wouldn’t sit still she would say, “ Kara you are a fart in a skillet”
- When Karly and Olivia were babies and would not sit still, she would say they were such “wiggle tails”
- I used to always get embarrassed when she would walk up to someone and say “Now you look familiar, do I know you?”
- Now I find myself doing the same thing. I always say to Devin-here goes Grandma Mosley and then I ask the person if I know them.
- I loved how it would take her five different names before she would get to my name- Well yello Linda, Rollie, Joyce, Vivian, Harley-Oh well my goodness Kara.
- After she had open heart surgery, she lived with us.
- I helped to take care of her and I loved that role. It was my way to show how much I loved her.
- I was so happy that she was at the hospital the day that Karly and Olivia were both born.
- I am so glad that girls had a great relationship with her. Not many children get to know their Great Grandmas like they did.
- I am so glad her suffering is over.
- We will miss grandma so dearly, but I am sure meeting Jesus, and her reunion with grandpa, her parents, her brothers and sisters, and all her loved ones was wonderful.
- The last thing I said to her before she passed away was “Grandma-I want you to be there with Jesus to meet me and walk me home.”
- I look forward to the day I see her again.
Betty Mosley was a woman who had a heart filled with love. She had a warm smile and a quick wit. She lived her life for her family. She loved her siblings, her husband and adored her children, grand-children, great-grandchildren, grand-cats (it’s possible the grand-cats should be higher on the list), and her nieces and nephews.
Betty was not bashful about going up to someone and saying, “I think I know you.” I have the impression she would rather be wrong about knowing someone than risk coming across like she didn’t care to someone who knew her.
Betty was a details person. This is probably what made her a great cook. She was interested in the details of your life. At Christmas as she sat in her spot at the big doors she always wanted to know who gave you the gift you were opening and what the gift was. If you asked about her day she would give what seemed like a minute by minute description of everything she had done. When staying with Mike and Joyce she would recount every car and person who went by. Of course one day she talked to Joyce and reported that Mike was down at the bins with some woman with black hair, a black car and a red blouse. I guess she was concerned that some hussy was trying to move in on Joyce’s man. Turns out it was a red four-wheeler with a black seat in the back of a black pick-up truck!
Betty was always a stylish person. She wanted to look her best and always waited to put on her lipstick until she arrived at her destination (even though she was probably running late) so she would look her best on arrival.
Betty was the disciplinarian at home. She was not afraid to use the yardstick on the girls. She trained her girls to be socially appropriate. It was important to write thank-you notes and know how to formally introduce people.
Betty would sometimes leave the girls with Grandparents but never with a babysitter. She took her responsibility for her children with utmost seriousness. Some might say she could be a tad over-protective.
People knew Betty as a great cook. Her fried chicken and beef and noodles were exceptional.
Betty loved to play Pitch, she enjoyed her soap operas, and enjoyed musical programs on television. She had a playful spirit and even though she would often start to tell a joke and mess up the joke, she had an uncanny ability to make up a new punch line and still make it funny.
As you have already heard, she loved her family. She always had a bunch of pictures in her wallet. She wanted to talk to her girls everyday. She worried about her family constantly. She was concerned about Mike racing. She worried about Kara living up near Chicago (even though she loved Devin sometimes known as Kevin). We even think she may have fought dying because she was worried about her family.
Betty showed what a strong woman she was as she battled various illnesses these last few years. As she got older and her mind played tricks on her she would tell you she was a “ding bat” but she was being way too self-deprecating. Betty may have been fuzzy on details but she wasn’t confused at all about what was important in life. She didn’t have much stuff, but she was one of the richest people around. She was content. Her heart was filled with joy and with love. She loved God and was grateful for those God gave to her. She cherished life and was unafraid of death.
As she lingered near death these last few weeks her character was reflected in the care and love shown to her by her family. During this last part of her life’s journey her family was right by her side. It was obvious that she had been successful in passing on her faith and her values. Though she leaves a void by her passing, she has equipped her family to carry on.
We are comforted today by the words of Jesus,
Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. You know the way to the place where I am going…Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me. [John 14:6]
When Jesus spoke these words He knew that his death was around the corner. He knew that it would leave His followers (and His friends) stinging from their sense of loss and confused over their purpose and their future. Jesus’ words were words of confidence and hope and that still give us hope today.
The first thing Jesus tells His disciples is to “believe in God, believe also in me.” How you view life, and how you view death is determined by your belief or lack thereof in God. Those who say there is no God are left with the unhappy conclusion that man is simply a cosmic accident. There is no ultimate meaning to our existence. We live, we die, and that’s it. It is a very bleak picture.
Even if you believe in God I must ask: Who is this God you believe in? Is he a god of your own imagination or do you believe in a God who has revealed Himself to us.
God has revealed himself to men though the years and this revelation is recorded in the Bible. God has also communicated with us in a special way through Jesus. He was “God become man to dwell among us”. It seems very reasonable to me that the God who created us would want to have a relationship with those He has created. He would want us to know about Him.
In the words of Jesus I read earlier He told us two things that are very important.
First, Jesus tells us that this life is not all there is. Paul says when we die we will have “an eternal house in Heaven not built by human hands.” Jesus says He is preparing a place for us and He will come and take us to that place when we die. This means Betty left this world holding the hand of Jesus!
Jesus says Heaven is real. As you read through the Bible Heaven is described as a place where pain, frustration, discouragement, physical limitations, and imperfections disappear. It is described as a place of reunion and productive, fulfilling and meaningful activity. It is a place where we will know God fully and we will be fully known. It is because of this belief that we rejoice in Betty’s death. Just as at the resurrection of Jesus we can say of Betty, “she is not here! She has risen.”
But there is more. Jesus explained to the disciples that there is only one way to get to Heaven: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”. Many rebel at these words. They say they are narrow-minded. But the invitation is not restricted. Jesus invites everyone to turn to Him as Savior and Lord. However, not everyone will do so.
Let’s be clear. Not everyone goes to Heaven. In fact, it may be safe to say that the majority of people do NOT go to Heaven. There are always those who say, “I want to go the Hell because that’s where all my friends are.” They miss the point. When God’s love is replaced by God’s wrath there will be nothing good about Hell. The bond of friendship which we cherish comes from God . . . it will be gone. The delight we feel at the pleasures of the world comes from God . . . it will be gone. Joyous laughter . . .gone. Taste buds….gone. Amusements . . . gone. There is NOTHING heavenly about hell.
The Bible tells us no one deserves heaven. Imagine registering for a class where getting a score of 100% is required to pass. It wouldn’t matter if your scores were in the 20’s or 90’s both would fail. The first point you lost would guarantee your failure in the class. The Bible tells us God is holy and only those who follow Him perfectly will gain Heaven by their merit. Some people live better lives than others . . . .but no one lives a good enough life. I believe Betty Mosley is in Heaven . . .but not because she was good enough to earn it.
The Bible tells us that Jesus came into the world to pay for the price of our sin failure. He came to be our substitute. He took the failing grade and penalty that we deserved.
How is this possible? If you were holding a bunch of hostages would you trade all those hostages for the President of the United States? I would think you do so without much thought. Someone might say, isn’t it better to have a bunch of hostages rather than just one? Not if that one is the President. His value is in the office that he holds.
On the cross, Jesus as Son of God traded His life for all those held hostage by sin. Because of the value of His position as Son of God He can trade His life for ours. Why would He do it? It’s because He loves us more than we realize.
Jesus is the only way to Heaven because He is the only one who can pay the price of our sinful failures. All the other religions in the world may be well meaning but they are designed to help us score a little higher in our “test scores.” However, when passing is 100% doing a little better doesn’t make any ultimate difference. You still fail.
So, does everyone go to Heaven? No. Jesus said whoever believes in Him will live even though He dies. He doesn’t impose His gift on anyone. We must put our faith in Him. So, there are two questions: What does it mean to believe in Christ? And did Betty Mosley believe in this way?
According to the Bible, believing in Jesus involves several things
- First, it means we recognize that we are lost without Him. It means recognizing that we have failed to meet God’s standards. If we don’t admit we have a problem, we can’t get help.
- Second, it means acknowledging Jesus as the only One who can save us. It means believing He is God’s Son who died in our place. He means believing He uniquely and truly rose from the dead.
- There is one more thing: We must be willing to bet and build our life on this belief. We must personally surrender to him. We must embrace Him as our King, our Lord, our guide, and our Master. When Jesus called people we are told they “left everything and followed Him.” Jesus tells us that the true believer is the one who lives differently because of their belief.
Anything less than this kind of belief is just being religious. Religion without trust in Christ is just another club to which you belong.
The second question is: Did Betty believe in this way? I believe she did. In fact, I believe she lived the way she did because of this belief. Her faith was deep but it was also something she didn’t feel she had to talk a great deal about. When I asked her if she was sure of her faith she said she was. It would have been nice if she talked about her faith more. It would have granted even more peace during this time.
Three things I encourage you to get from all of this:
First, in this time of sadness I hope you will realize that we grieve, but not as those who have no hope. We know where Betty is. We know she is home with the Lord who guided her life. We believe she has been reunited with those family members who have gone before. We believe she is no longer sick. The headaches are gone. The mind is restored. She is more alive now than she has ever been. The smile is broader, the laughter is fuller, and the sparkle in her eye is unmistakable. Our grief is for our loss . . . not Betty’s.
Second, I hope you will do a personal inventory of your life. Where do you stand with Jesus Christ? Do you think you are “good enough”? Do you think you are “too far gone?” Are you putting your trust in your church membership or your family association? Are you betting you life that there is nothing beyond the grave? If any of these things are true I invite you to put your faith, trust, and confidence in Jesus Christ. I invite you to receive forgiveness, new life, and the assurance of Heaven. You can do this right now. With a simple and sincere prayer you can say, “Lord, I need you. I turn to Jesus as my Savior and I ask you to help me follow Him as my Lord and Master.” Jesus said, “Anyone who comes to me, I will not cast out.” If you come truly and sincerely you will be forgiven. You will become a child of God and the Lord will make a place for you in His house.
Make that choice and then spend the rest of your days getting to know Him. Start living the new life that God intended you to live. Discover the contentment that Betty knew. Start looking forward to Heaven.
On more thing, if you trust Jesus as your Savior and Lord . . . tell your family. Let them know that you have been forgiven and are headed to Heaven because of what Jesus has done for you. If you will do this, if something should happen to you your family won’t be left wondering. They will know and they will draw comfort from your testimony. More importantly, if you share your belief your family may also come to trust Jesus and you will be able to die with the peace of knowing you will see them again.
We are left with an imprint of Betty Mosely on our lives. You will remember her
- Every Christmas morning when you ask “Who’s that from”
- As you wait till the last minute to put on your lipstick
- When you tell someone “you don’t look THAT bad”
- When you call someone “wiggle tail”
- When you eat Fried Chicken or beef and noodles
- When you grab the phone because you want to keep in touch with family
- When you get all confused telling a joke
- When you give more details in a story than are necessary
- Every time you think about Heaven and Betty waiting to hug you after you have been welcomed home by the King.
- And I pray some of you will remember Betty each time you look back on this day and say to someone, “Let me tell you about the day I decided to follow Jesus.”
[SOLO: Dancing with Angels]
Let’s pray together.
Our Father, we thank you that this is not the end of the story. We thank you that Betty Mosley is now with you. Though we already feel an ache in our lives we can’t help but smile at the thought of the wonder she is experiencing with You. So welcome her warmly with your incredible love.
We ask that you fill our ache with that same love. Give us strength to live on. Plant a portion of Betty’s spirit within us that we might have that same sense of joy and love that she knew.
Lord, for those who do not yet know you, we pray You have brought them to this place so that they might know that life that comes through you alone. Open their hearts. Turn on the light of faith. Help them to take that step that leads to new life.
Now our Father we ask for your blessing. We ask you to build our faith, grant comfort in our sorrow, renew our hope, and give us a strong and sure appetite for Heaven. We ask this all in the name of rich and wonderful Savior. Jesus. Amen.