Friday, August 08, 2014

Jim Watt Memorial

( Text of my sharing at tomorrow's memorial)
In the spring of 1961 when I was 6 years old, my parents strong believers had formed a Baptist Church in a small town in northern Illinois, and we had an early morning tradition of inviting other pastors to speak on Easter Sunday service. I  remember holding hands in a large circle of 25 mostly young families that Sunday morning . This kind of community and relationship based Church  forms the basis of my understanding of the kingdom of God.
As I grew up and graduated from high school I had a strong inclination to come to the Pacific Northwest  and graduated from Seattle Pacific and met and married my wife Carlene. We first met 40 years ago and last June celebrated our 38th anniversary. I taught in several public and private Christian colleges and eventually moved to Portland to a large Foursquare churches and for nearly 17 years experienced much growth and blessing.
In the fall of 2001, my wife and I resigned from the position. Not because we had a clear understanding of the future, we knew God was still and will always be faithful. But we stood at the end of our map, and just a little bit like Lewis and Clark we knew we were in for an adventure that was not clearly defined and like Abraham who stepped out of his territory into a place he was not sure of.
I was familiar with a God who was faithful in the clarity of his plan for us. This was indeed a new season. There were times in that first year without  regular paychecks or insurance where we would ask ourselves, Lord, what and where should you have us go?
Sometimes the clarity of his voice was strong and clear whether through a dream, impression, or prophetic word. One of those times was in the spring of 2002 and I heard clearly the Lord say I want you to go to Bothell Washington to a small church conference and I did. I had never heard of the Church and was completely unfamiliar with the conference speakers. One of the speakers was Jim. I sat spellbound as I heard the story of the history of God's faithfulness through his coming to a knowledge of Jesus ;while in the Navy in World War 2. Eventually, he was led to North Battlefield Canada and experienced an outpouring of what is now known as the Latter Rain outpouring. I did not remember nor paid much attention to the others speakers, but I bought the conference audio tapes of Jim, and brought them back to Portland and played them for a small group of friends and my wife. I was encouraged by his testimony of God's faithfulness despite not having a map. I was excited and passionate for them one day to meet this man.
One year later I discovered a group of pastors in Seattle who were familiar with Jim and I arranged for our group of 12 or so to meet with him for an afternoon. As we listened to his testimony together, and asked him questions of every kind his graciousness and passion for God and the kingdom was infectious! He prayed and prophesied over each one of us individually.
During a break, I introduced myself to him and told him I was from a small town northwest of Chicago I was sure he had never heard of. Jim said, "Well in the early sixty's, I pastored a Baptist Church near Round Lake Illinois. I knew your church and I knew your pastor."
I had encountered Jim Watt when I was 6 years old at that is Easter Sunrise Service when the Baptist churches worshiped together. My folks later described Jim as a fiery preacher!
After some 37 years, I met the man who for several of us became a mentor, spiritual advisor, and friend. These past 12 years or so, my wife and I would often visit and experience Marie's cookies and special treats while Jim would sit in his book lined study with his computer and socks and sandals while I asked him questions and we prayed together. I marveled at his capacity to remember dates and times. I still have many of these audio recordings.
God faithful. It is his nature. It is His glory. It is his goodness.
As we concluded our meeting in 2002 with our ministry team, Jim asked a penetrating question that none of us there ever forgot. It is a question I can easily imagine Jesus asked of his disciples before his ascension. Just one question that keeps coming back again and again and, a question that I would ask you even this day. This day of remembrance and celebration of a man who lived in the atmosphere of God's faithfulness.
He asked, do you believe there are enough in this very room to change the world?
I would answer in the same manner as I did 12 years ago. Because of the faithfulness of God and because of men and women who have remained faithful and passionate and examples of upright and righteous elders who do not demand loyalty but remained committed friends. I would say, unequivocally , convincingly, and with conviction because of what I see in you , yes!

Note From Marie:

Dear family and friends,

This is Marie writing, Jim's partner, friend, and wife of 65 years.

Since Jim has been very ill the past year, he has been unable to send out his weekly mailings, plus other messages he felt were important enough to be shared.Unfortunately, I am not a computer person, though I thoroughly enjoyed all the E-Mails and articles Jim printed for me. Now God has provided my 23-year-old grandson, Paul, Peter's oldest son, to do Computer mailings, etc. for me, and live with me. 

God, who knows the end, from the beginning, blessed us with Paul living with us the past month and helping with Jim. However, Keelan is still the webmaster. He is still grandpa's right hand for website.

On May 5, 2013, Jim had his first bladder cancer surgery. About a month later, he suffered a minor stroke, that impaired his memory and speech. However, he managed to keep going for awhile. 

But after his second surgery, Sept. 25th, 2013, he was in much pain, and unable to do much, let alone his computer work. His ability to read was gone, and he didn't talk much.

He was fully bedridden at the first of the year. We were so blessed that hospice came to help. He had a most wonderful Christian man as his nurse's aid coming in three days a week for an hour, to do his grooming and bless him. We are so grateful for James.

Hospice provides a "Respite" Nursing Home time for 5 days, to give caregivers a rest, once a month. 

Last Monday, July 14th, an Ambulance picked Jim up at our home to go to Orchard Park Nursing home in Tacoma for the five day stay. He was supposed to come home Friday.

Because, at almost 91 years of age I didn't have the strength to continue looking after him, we decided to leave him there another week. 

On Friday afternoon, July 18th, I spent about 3 hours with him. Before leaving, I prayed for him, and told him God would provide for all his needs, all he had to do was call - Jer. 33:3 - and Heb. 13:5-6 -- "I will never leave you, nor forsake you, so boldly say, the Lord is my helper, so I will not fear..."

Then, the Lord gave me another verse for him - 2 Tim. 4:6-7 - "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith - Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness...".

I never realized these would be my last words to my husband. As I left him, I was wondering if I was able to continue caring for him at home, little realizing he had a much better home to go to!

The next morning, Sat. July 19th at 11:30am, I received a call from the Nursing Home; he was not responding very well. Do you want to come and see him? Of course; but before we left, at 11:45am, another call from the Nursing home - "He had left us". So, praise God, we know where he is. He is rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus, and the rest of our loved ones whom have already moved on.

Later that afternoon, I was able to see him, and again spend some time with him, praying, praising God, and thanking him for the 65 years we had together. Though he had left us earlier, his body was still peacefully waiting for the next part of his journey. 

Truly there is rejoicing in heaven over Jim's admission. "Well done thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you enter into the joy of the Lord," Matt. 25 21. 

Jim celebrated his earthly birthday, July 5th as he turned 91 years of age. Then 14 days later he celebrated his real birthday; being with Jesus in his Father's mansion; John 14: 1-2.

There will be a Memorial Service, Sat. Aug. 9th, at 1:00pm at Christ Church, 941 So. Dash Point Road, Federal Way, WA. 98003. Phone 253-941-2711.

We are also celebrating a Memorial Service in our home town, Port Alberni, B.C - on Vancouver Island, at the First Baptist Church, Sat. Aug. 23rd at 1:00pm, where our nephew, Pastor Bert Thomson, will be officiating. His dad, Albert Thomson, was the first one in our (Gaudet) family to come to Christ under Jim's preaching, at the Baptist Church in Port Alberni in July 1951. What a glorious, long life, walking with Jesus, and what a heritage he has left behind. God Bless Albert!

God has done so many miracles for us during Jim's illness. We are most grateful to all who have carried us in prayer. It has made such a wonderful difference for us. Thank you.

His grace has been abundantly poured out over us. Thank you, Jesus. 

We will be releasing a biography of Jim's life in our next e-mail. So, bless you, dear family and friends, and please continue to pray for our family - me, Marie, mama - Daughter Anna and husband Garl, their two sons, Keelan in Houston, Texas and Seth and Jennifer Long and family, as well as son, Jim, and his daughter, Chelsea and son Brody, and his son James. Also, our 2nd son, Peter, and his 3 sons, Paul, Mark, and William. 

We hope to see many of you at the Memorial service in Federal way, WA. and Port Alberni B.C. Aug 23rd.

God bless each of you and thank you for being there enjoying His love, protection and bountiful provision, and His Angels He sends to minister to you. (Heb. 1:14).

Lovingly, in the joy of the Lord, and in His strength... Be blessed. 


P.S An added miracle - I am soon to be 91 (Aug. 17), I got my driver's License renewed, Mon. July 12th, for the next 4 years, passing the eye exam, with NO GLASSES! 
4119 North East 8th St. 
Gresham Oregon 97030