Oscar Barnes Jr. (11/24/1931 – 10/30/2016)

Jim less than one year with Dad

A little over two years ago it became necessary that I work with my Dad to manage his affairs.  The affects of dementia caused him to make dangerous decisions about his daily life.  Taking medications, preparing meals and buying groceries became tasks he once managed precisely, but could no longer manage without difficulty.

Dad has a propensity to write his thoughts down on pieces of scratch paper. He almost always stores them away in an important book like a Bible or a devotional. He’ll be occupied with a thought about his life or something of significance in a day’s walk. This is one he wrote on Sunday, March 25, 2007.

I shared this with my brothers before.  Now, though, Dad has passed and I’d like to share his thoughts with all who care to read them.

Before I Go Home

–Thoughts concerning how I may best be God’s messenger to His children to maximize the size of His family:

I. It’s a “we” deal;

Let’s share our love of/for our God by strengthening our knowledge of His sacrifices that we may spend eternity together with Him.

Minimize (eliminate) “I”, “you”

Go with “us”; brothers and sisters, His children, learn together, we, our family, our Father, etc.

II. His Story and sacrifice(s);

Opinions just will not “compute’ with our Christian family. “It’s in the book!”

III. Search for and concentrate our love and His mercy on the “lost” or “straying” person; not on the choir.

IV. My “close”

should always contain the message “there’s room for you” and the plea “will you come now.”

V. Preach

“The Gospel: (Our congregation knows what body or denomination they’re a part of.)

Never compete with different believers.

Invite them to worship with us.

I must perform my function of spreading love and the Gospel of abundant joy and eternity with God and inviting every human being I can reach to join us there via repenting and redemption of our sins and acceptance of Him, as our Savior.


My Dad was a good man when he died.  He is saved by grace.  He believed that God’s mercy is limitless.  He confessed his sins and readily acknowledged the pain he caused.  He knew he would not be able to make amends to many of the folks he hurt, but he also knew he could “pay it forward.”

Romans 11:32
For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

1 Corinthians 15:28
When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Thank You, Father for my Dad.  Thank You for letting me love him.  Thank You for changing his heart and bringing him into Your loving arms.  Thank You Father for Your “grace upon grace.”