Fifteen years ago today, James C. Cox died of cancer. My dad was 48. I helped him select the Scriptures he wanted read at his funeral, including the following:
Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Dad served in the Navy (on an nuclear sub) during the early stages of the Vietnam conflict. He took his bachelor degree in political science and Latin American studies at Cal State College (now University) Dominguez Hills and his masters (in Public Health Administration, I think) from Oklahoma University. My step-mother, my two brothers and three sisters and our children, and myself, we all miss him. I am thankful to Dad for my first Bible, for his examples (good and bad), for his sense of humor, for his intellect, for the way he loved my sisters, and for the courageous way he faced death. He is missed.