Lord, we remember DENNIS HAMM and all that he meant to us, his friends, and his family, and we thank you for all that you have done in and through his life.
We thank you for all that You meant to DENNIS and all that DENNIS means to you. Lord I thank you for the number of times that I personally have been blessed by You through my conversations and time spent with DENNIS. Thank you Lord for the opportunities that I have had and that everyone here has had to experience Your grace and love through the life of DENNIS HAMM.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (NIV)
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Swift Current, the Swift Current Salvation Army, his friends and family and I will never be the same after having met Mr. Dennis Hamm. Dennis was a good friend.
As I was preparing for this time today I received an e-mail from Salvation Army Headquarters reminding us about an upcoming men’s camp and fishing trip this September. Dennis was already planning to be on that fishing trip. Dennis will be missed on that fishing trip and Dennis will be missed around The Salvation Army.
Again as I was typing my thoughts for today on my computer I heard the ride-on lawn mower come by my window. I stopped and looked over my shoulder almost expecting to see Dennis riding the mower like he did so many times before.
There is so much that the Lord has done through Dennis around The Salvation Army. Dennis would volunteer to do whatever he could do. I am sure that Dennis has been welcomed into heaven with open arms and I imagine that as soon as Dennis entered through the gates of heaven he must have turned to the Lord and right then volunteered - to drive the bus.
He then probably inquired as to whether anyone needed dog food and proceeded to see if there was a lawn up yonder needed cutting or a mower fixing; no doubt enlisting as many friends as he could find to help. Such was the heart of Dennis Hamm.
The Scriptures Harvey read from 1 Corinthians said in part:
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.
Dennis was no more of wise and noble birth than most of us here. He was neither saddled with wealth nor a university degree. He was no closer to the halls of power and authority than most of us here…But you would be hard pressed to find too many people who were willing to do more for God than Dennis did through The Salvation Army in Swift Current. He really was a fixture here. God used Dennis to help in many food drives and special events and you could always count on him to be there when volunteers were needed. He was a fixture at Bible study, fellowship time, men’s breakfast, fishing trips, Sunday service and just about everything else that God did through The Salvation Army here. I know God more through having met my friend, Dennis Hamm.
It came as such a shock to me when we received the news of his promotion to Glory this past Sunday. That morning he was better than I had seen him in a long time – it had been a rough couple of weeks. He was happy. He was on the door that Sunday morning covering for our usual church greeter and then, in the service, he covered for our audio-visual person who was away. Dennis pitched in everyway he could – even on his very last day here with us. If we can all spend our last day serving the Lord and our neighbour in this way! What an example the Lord has provided for us all through Dennis on his very last day here with us all.
Dennis was a part of so many people’s lives in the community. He never shied away from controversy or calamity. He had his opinions and he shared them and if someone near didn’t share those opinions, I can still hear his ‘whatever’ ringing in my ears. He could have a great sense of humour and if I made a comical remark to him, he would often raise his arm, and with a wide smile say, ‘Let’s step outside: One of these days, Captain, one of these days’. I will miss Dennis. I always looked forward to meeting Dennis and I do look forward to meeting him again in Glory.
Dennis was a soldier in The Salvation Army with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities accorded to Salvation Army Soldiers. Dennis was my friend and I will miss him. I will miss his stories. I will miss his adventures. I will miss the excitement. I will miss his ready willingness to offer his advice and his desire to volunteer with anything he could. I will miss my friend DENNIS HAMM.
I will miss my friend but it will not be forever: we can meet again. Because of this, for those of us here who do serve the Lord as Dennis did, today can be a time of celebration because Jesus has already won the victory through our Lord’s death and resurrection so that we each have the opportunity to be with Him forever. Dennis was a faithful soldier in The Salvation Army and in The Salvation Army we have a phrase for when a loved one passes on and that phrase is a ‘promotion to Glory’ and promotions, they are good things aren’t they? I pray that each of us, as we serve the Lord, will receive our own promotions and at that time, may we all meet again.
Let us pray: Lord we thank you for sending your only begotten Son so none of us need to perish and we thank you that, everyone who calls on Your name is saved. We thank and praise you for Your love that shone in and through Dennis’ life. Amen
Benediction: Now may we go now in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in joyous anticipation of the resurrection, at which time may we all meet again.