Celebrations are something that the Chaney’s know all about. Over the past several years, we have had many celebrations, from Glen’s 90th birthday party, to wedding renewals, to family celebrations and today I believe we will have the honor to have the celebration of Glen’s life. Now over the past several years, Glen and Billie have both made a few things very clear to me about when this day would come and one of those is that today was going to be a celebration of his life, but ultimately his reward in heaven through his relationship with Jesus Christ. Something I believe he made clear to not only me but his family and friends throughout his life because Glen knew that as much as he loved his home here, it was temporary and he was ready for his forever home.
It reminds me of a lesson Glen taught me at his 90th birthday, VeLora and I walk in the fellowship hall and embrace Billie and Glen as they welcome their guests and when we got to Glen and laid a nice kiss on Velora’s forehead and looked at me and said, when your 90 you get to kiss whoever you want. Glen ofcourse had the boyish grin and sense of humor when he said this but He was right, and today as we say goodbye here on earth to my dear friend, it is my privilege to fulfill his wish of making this a celebration because when you lived a full life that Glen Chaney lived, if you want your funereal to be a going to paradise celebration, then that is exactly what it is going to be.
So today as we celebrate Glen’s first Birthday in Paradise, I would like to share with you my top five reasons why we are celebrating my brother in Christ, Glen Chaney.
Reason #5 we are celebrating Glen today, is Glen was a leader by example. A self-made man, who didn’t know he was poor growing up until his friend down the street informed him that he was. But everyone around him lived the same way, so he knew no different and it taught him the work ethic that was a staple to Mr. Chaney and his family. Glen Served in the Army from 1945 to 1947. He was a veteran and was stationed in Germany during World War 2. He was a former owner and operator at Chaney Lumber and was awarded many award for his excellence in business. He was a former president of Kentucky Forest Industries and a pillar for Faith Christian Church and Faith Christian Camp.
Glen was a hard worker, and a very smart man and in everything he did he led by example with his work ethic, his character, and his heart. Today our small community and great state celebrates Glen’s life and his contributions to paving the way for the generations that have followed. His accomplishments alone give us reason to celebrate today.
Reason #4 we are celebrating Glen today is his servant’s heart. Glen’s success in life and American dream story is something we write books about but what is most notable about Glen Is his heart of Gold. Those who knew him best, described him as kind, good hearted and loving. Glen’s heart for others and service is a testament in almost everything he did. The most notable is his work with Shriners, selling advertisement and bring in donations for the children’s hospital. He worked diligently for years and took pride in the fact that in his ministry with Shriners he helped bring hope to hurting children and families. He also helped build and renovate over the years Faith Christian Camp as a camp for ministering the youth. Not to mention his countless contribution to the church, his service as a Mason where he did trainings for other Masons, and his outpouring of love to pastors and ministers like myself. His heart was second to none and anyone who got to know Glen Chaney, I know would all agree that he had a heart of gold and his heart was clear for anyone to see.
Reason #3 we are celebrating Glen today is his Friendship. I know many of us here today know no better friend than what Glen was. His friends were more like brothers, and the boyish charm and admiration they had for each other was evident when they got together. I remember the first couple months I was at FCC, Glen and Earl took me for a trip around London and their brotherhood and love for history was on full display. They told stories about their trips around the world together, their history trips with Burchel Martin and Bob Mackey to Virginia, Boston, and Philadelphia. This group of friends was thicker than thieves and there was no group of men that were more honest and good than they were.
It was always a history lesson when I got with Glen and Earl, and oh their stories, from Europe to the Lewis Clark Expedition, they were always telling entertaining stories from their experiences. They weren’t just friends though, they were brothers who lived life together and enjoyed life together. My favorite talks were when they would talk about heaven, Glen and Earl, were so excited to see Heaven and they made you excited to join them.
In fact I asked Earl Sunday, how he was doing and he said I’m doing okay but I’m a little disappointed. SO I asked him why are you disappointed Earl, He said because Glen didn’t invite him to go with him. The brothers that Glen surrounded himself with in friendship, were accountability brothers whose faith was evident and love for one another was on full display. Today we celebrate the friend we all cherished and rarely find in Glen Chaney.
Reason # 2 that we celebrate Glen today is his legacy he is leaving behind. Glen was a family man, a man who loved his family more than anything in this world. He beamed with pride and love when he was with his family especially when his daughters would sing together. I don’t know if I have ever seen someone more proud than when he watched them sing. You know, There are some people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. When it came to his family, Glenn’s heart was on his sleeve. He didn’t hide his affection for them. I had the privilege of doing Glen and Billie’s vow renewal, and Glen was dressed in his white suit and the love they shared for nearly 70 years still beamed in their eyes. And what a wonderful life they made and the amazing family and legacy they created.
Billie and Glen were always together, they were a team. And Wednesday nights were my favorite times with them because as many of you all know they are cracker jacks which brings a lot of good discussion and laughter. A lot of good memories. One of my favorites was when I was teaching about the fruit of the spirits and I told the class to be careful what you pray for because God will answer you by testing you. And Glen as only Glen would do said, that’s right, I prayed for patience and he sent me Billie. I still see his boyish smile when he would say something smart, but Even in the way they would tease one another and know each other’s jokes, was a testament to the love and team that they were. In many ways I laugh because the same way VeLora and I pick at each other, I would see Glen and Billie do and that always filled my heart that their love was even stronger after so many years. Billie what you all shared was truly something to behold, and you had his heart and he had yours for nearly 70 years. And that love you all shared has been a staple that has been passed down to your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.
It still amazes me that 4 generations sit at church every Sunday together, and that again is a testament to Glen and Billie’s legacy. That servant’s heart, and faith was passed down through their example. Glen always provided for his family and though he worked a lot when the girls were younger, they got to spend more time with him when they got older. In fact one of the favorite memories they told me about was the trip they took together was when they traveled to Europe with Glen. In fact Kathy told me that it was on that trip she found out her pickiness with her clothes came from Glen because she found out on that trip that he was more picky about his clothes than she had originally thought. Which makes sense because Glen was always the most sharped dressed man at church every Sunday.
Glen went to Europe with Brandon and Earl and spent time on the lake and four wheeling with his grandkids and great grandkids. There is no denying Glen was a family man and the impact he made on his family is evident. Jason was telling me that he spent most of his time with his grandpa at Ano in Somerset where he grew up. They would go riding and he would tell him about his childhood and family history. One of his favorite memories was a trip to a place called good water. It was a great big pond right on top of a mountain and they would always envision what Heaven would look like and Glen said he thought it would look like that.
Which brings me to the #1 reason we get to celebrate my dear friend Glen Chaney because Glen put his faith in Jesus. Every reason that we mentioned all circles back to this reason, because Glen’s faith was evident in everything he did. He prepared his life for the finish line, he prepared his heart for the promise land and I believe with all my heart that we are celebrating because Glen Chaney is not hurting no more, he is in paradise, the place he has dreamed of and imagined so many times before. When I think of what Glen Chaney is seeing right now, I think of what Jesus said to the thief on the cross, in Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Glen has fought the good fight, he has ran his race and I believe as Jesus told the thief, our good friend is in paradise today. A place where there is no sorrow and no pain. I urge you to celebrate with me as Glen looked forward to this day, and he has left us as friends and family with the greatest gift you can leave, peace in knowing who he lived for because Glen knew by heart and lived by what Jesus told us in John 14.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Glen knew the way, he knew Jesus. Not only did he know the way he let us know that he knew the way. After talking to his family, each member told me that when Glen took a turn for the worst, they prayed that God would take him because they knew where he was going. That is a blessing and that is why we are celebrating today because God has taken our brother home. What a glorious sight it must be, what a glorious celebration, even better than those wonderful Chaney parties, because Glen is in paradise. So let us close our celebrate by declaring in honor of Glen,
Well done, my child, your race is over. You have fought the fight. You have kept the faith. Enter into the joy of the Lord. Well done, my child, your crown is waiting. Here is your robe of white. Your mansion is just in sight. Come into this city of light. Well done, my child.