Ralph Wiley (left) passed into the presence of his Lord yesterday. Shown with him in this recent photo are his son, Galen (right), who is pastor of the Lancaster (PA) Grace Brethren Church and his grandson Jonathan (center), who is pastor of young adults at the Columbus, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church. CE National has shared with us this post by Wiley’s grandson Jonathan:
Pastor Randy Smith of the Sebring Grace Brethren Church in Sebring, Florida, reported last night of the home-going of Ralph. “Our loss is Heaven’s gain.”, wrote Randy, “Ralph ran the race as an example to all of us. Now it is our turn, the baton has been passed. May we be found as faithful!”
Ralph worked for CE National for a few years developing ministries to seniors.
Ralph’s grandson, Jonathan, has been an Operation Barnabas leader. He is currently serving in the Columbus Grace Brethren Church in Worthington, Ohio. Jonathan wrote this tribute to his Grandpa.
I’m sure that at some point in your life you have lost a loved one. Some of us have been there many times. Well, it is my time again. Never fun. Yet in the midst of the grief, I sit here knowing how blessed I am to have had grandpa in my life.
You may have known him as Ralph Wiley, but to me it was just “grandpa.” If you knew him, you knew him. If you didn’t know him, I wish you could have known him. He was an extraordinary man. He had a wonderful sense of humor and an enormous capacity to love people.
Everyone loved grandpa. Probably what I’ll remember most is how much he loved Jesus and how much he loved grandma. As the recent years have come and gone, grandpa’s anticipation for heaven and seeing grandma again burned with searing fervency. I wish I could have seen that sweet reunion: the first time face to face with his Savior … and that long anticipated embrace with grandma.
Well done, grandpa! Well done! I know you have rich reward!
Since I learned that the doctor told grandpa that he had about two months to live, I have reflected a lot on I Corinthians 9:24-27. Go read it. We all are running in the race of all races. An imperishable crown awaits only those who run worthy of it. As I think of grandpa’s life, I am deeply impressed with how well he ran!
Additionally, my heart’s passion is stirred even more to live my days with determined purpose to deeply and intimately know Christ … and to win the victor’s crown. As grandpa settles into his place among that great cloud of witnesses cheering us on as we continue to run our races, let’s not fail to keep our eyes fixed on the Author and Perfector of our faith – Jesus! For He has conquered the grave! Jesus has conquered the grave!
Well, as I wrap this up I have a question for you. Actually it is grandpa’s question that he would ask to strangers anywhere. “How are you doing spiritually?” Really, how are you doing? Jesus conquered the grave and is coming again! Do you know Him? Do you really love Him?
Be honest with yourself. Are you more like Christ today than you were two months ago? Don’t take your eyes off the prize! Don’t waste your life! Run with purpose! Run in such a way as to get the prize!