Are Pastors Exempt?

It’s commonly thought that Pastors’ lives are somehow unique: They are protected from suffering and have a Red Phone to God. I’m a pastor. Read my story and see.

On March 6th the burned remains of my Mother were discovered after a 6 1/2 hour search. She was formally identified by the surgical markings on her toes. Today, sixty days after Mom’s horrific death, my Dad died. He suffered as well. Last May he spent ten days on life support following heart surgery and had been hospitalized eight times since then.

Both were great parents who contributed well to society. Some would say they were good people. Some would say, “Why do good people suffer?” The question’s fatal flaw lies in the fact there are no good people on earth. A better question is: Has a good person suffered? Yes. The Bible says that God sent his Son who knew no sin (was good) to become sin (be punished for our fatal flaws) for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God (we can be made good).

My parents weren’t intrinsically good, but were made good simply by believing that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross for their fatal flaws. They then demonstrated this faith remarkably in their lives.

Mom and Dad both suffered and died. This is not an indication that God isn’t good but that life is broken. The two can’t be confused. The same God who made them good has now delivered them from suffering and into his presence forever.

Pastors are not exempt. Even though Mom and Dad are with Jesus, I’m grieving and rightly so. I grieve because death is real and I won’t make friends with it. I’m hopeful because Jesus has defeated death.


30 Responses

  1. Our thoughts and prayers are with you….”Duck” taught both of our sons @ THS and they will always remember him fondly. He was our realtor when we sold our home in Thomas in 1999. He was a deacon of our church–Thomas First Baptist. We were all inspired by his positive attitude and his outlook on life as well as his faith. Please let us know when the funeral will be held so that we can attend and pay our respects.

    Randy & Cathy Stanford

  2. Justin, I am so sorry for your family and will be praying for you all.

  3. Justin,

    Shocked and sad but full of hope. May the Lord comfort you in these times of loss and strengthen you for greater service in His kingdom. We will lift you and your family up before the Throne of Grace.

    Your fellow servant,

  4. Justin, so sorry for your loss, but so thankful for your faith and thankful for Alvin and Phyllis who gave you a great start on your faith journey. I am now senior pastor at First Christian Church in Wagoner, Oklahoma. Our congregation will be praying for you and the rest of the family during this time of grief and transition. I was honored to work with your father at Thomas and will remember him as a faithful Christian and a friend to all.

  5. Justin, never knew your parents, but sitting here reading of your love for them and His love for all of us – choked up. Sorry for your loss, but thankful for your reminder that our hope isn’t in anything this side of the grave. Praying for you and your family.

  6. Justin just wanted you to know how sorry we are to hear of Alvin’s death. I’m sure he and Phyllis are haveing a great reunion with their Lord!
    Just wanted you to know you and Grant are in our prayers.

  7. Justin and Family,

    Your parents served as volunteers with us in the Balkan region. Being from Weatherford, I also had the opportunity to maintain contact with them over the years. They were wonderful supporters and workers on the mission field.

    They worked non-stop in a Bible distribution project. During one afternoon of work, I received a call from the translator working with your dad. She called me after informing the police they had been threatened for giving the Bible away. It was a fairly serious situation that resulted in the police threatening to arrest the person for making threats toward your dad and the translator and filing an official report on the incident.

    The translator was quite traumatized. Your dad was ready to go back out distributing God’s Word. Which they did.

    All of you will be in my prayers over the coming days. I am so sad for your loss and that which the body of Christ has suffered.

  8. Justin,
    We are so saddened by your loss of both parents. Please know we are lifting you and your family up to the throne for His comfort during this time of transition in your life.

  9. Hi Justin! Pascal and I are so saddened by the loss that you all have experienced recently. Because we love you guys so much, our hearts hurt! Although it has been many years since we have seen the two of you, the fondness of our friendship in seminary still remains the same! We want you to know that prayers are being lifted to the Father here in Brazil for you and your family. Grief is a natural process and one that we must go through during times like this. Our prayer for all of you is that God’s perfect peace will be so evident during every step of the way!
    Hugs from Brazil!

  10. Dear Justin and Heather,
    I am so sorry for your loss…we grieve with you. Michael’s parents both passed away by the time he turned 42. We know these days are both painful and rich…so much to do and so much that becomes unimportant in the light of His glory. May the Lord grant you His peace that is beyond our are all very loved. Francesca for all the Kunks

  11. Justin, I am deeply saddened with you and Heather about the loss of your parents – and grandparents. Will be praying for you. Carolyn A.

  12. Justin: You and all of your family are in my prayers. I’m very sorry for your loss. May God continue to provide renewed strength and peace.

  13. Justin,

    Our hearts are heavy for you and your family. We are praying for you guys. Thank you for continuing to share God’s Word even through the hardest of times.

    Ryan and Amy

  14. Justin,
    I didn’t know your mom and dad personally, but I feel like I did get to know them from what you’ve said and written. I do know that they were faithful servants of Jesus Christ. I do know that they allowed themselves to be used by God to accomplish His will here on earth. It is my privilege to count them as a brother and sister in Christ. I look forward to getting to know them in heaven.
    And they did a pretty good job of raising their two boys.

  15. Dear Justin
    What a loss .Your dad has worked for my company on and off for last ten years as auctioneer . We all enjoyed Alvin he always had postive attitude and a good story.We loved him working our auctions he always intertained us with a story . Just last week he worked for us on a 2 day auction sale in OK City . We will all miss him. Sorry for your loss

  16. Justin, Heather and kids,
    Our family grieves with you. How terrible to lose both parents so quickly! There are no words that can comfort-but to know Phyllis and Alvin are together in the presence of our Awesome Lord is a wonderful thought!
    Lean on each other and God as we know you always do. We are praying for your strength, comfort and endurance.

    Tim and Sheri Mullican

  17. Justin, Grant and Family: You are in my prayers and thoughts once again. Mr. “Duck” Beadles annd Mrs. Beadles will be forever missed and remembered. They were both positive roll models in the Thomas community.

    R.I.P. “Duck” (name given by the THS class of 1991)

  18. Justin -Your family will be in our prayers. We greive with you and are saddened by your loss.

  19. Our prayers are with you, Heather & family

  20. Justin-So very sorry about your father. You and the family are in our prayers.

  21. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Finnerud. Ryan Finnerud said: Please pray 4 my Pastor & friend @jrbeadles. He lost his dad yesterday & his mom 60 days ago. Read his story here. […]

  22. I’m Heather’s dad’s cousin (formerly Beth Pankratz). We were so sorry to hear about your parents. My husband is a pastor, too, and we’ve learned we are not exempt from pain and loss, but God is faithful. Without Him, I don’t know how we’d have made through our parents’ deaths and, especially, the death of my step-daughter at the age of 32.
    We’ve learned to believe that death is not a punishment. Death is a promotion
    May God comfort you.

  23. Dear Beadles Family,

    We have never met, but your parents were most precious to us. We first met Alvin little more than a year ago when he sold us our land. That made us neighbors. He couldn’t wait to bring Phyllis over to meet us and right away we all connected with them.

    Alvin would stop in regularly to bring the kids fruit and cookies. He would tell them about his grandchildren who were about the same ages as them. He took such pride in his family and treated us as such.

    The Friday before he passed away, he called us and said “I found some noodle soup that Phyllis made for me, I’m going to bring it over so we can all share it” he told us how he loved our family and loved having us as his neighbor.

    It feels so different here now. Unable to watch the road to see if he is driving by, and not being able to stop in or call just to see how he’s doing.

    Our family is grieving with you over your loss. We know we have lost a loved one as well. But we have this hope that if we continue our faith in Jesus, we WILL see Alvin and Phyllis again someday.

    Much love,
    The Schellenberg Family.

  24. You can’t see Jesus but you feel his presence with you at all times. The same goes with your parents…you won’t see them until you cross the same threshold, but you will feel their presence at all times. The love of a Mom and Dad is forever, just like the love of Christ for His children is forever.

    You and your family are in the palm of his hand and He will carry you through this very sad moment in your lives.

    We are with you in spirit and wait for the Beadles’ family safe return to Nacogdoches.

    In your corner,
    Gary and Kathy McEuen

    P.S. My Dad died in 1986 but he is with me each day and silently applauds my successes and is burdened when things do not go very well for me, just like Jesus!

  25. Dear Justin and Grant and your families,
    We are so very sorry for your great loss. Your parents were good friends , fellow teachers, and church members at Thomas–such wonderful,fun people. You guys were always my favorite fellows at church. Because we just lost my husband’s daughter 3 weeks ago , I can say with assurance that God’s peace will be with you. His love will surround you each day. Your wonderful memories and pictures will make you joyful yet sad. Best of all, we can remember those gone on are free. I can see them talking and laughing with Jesus. Be brave. God will help you always. Love in Christ, Karen and Dave

  26. Justin, I’m deeply sadened by the loss of your parents but I’m also filled with joy to see you carrying the armor of the cross of Christ. The twenty plus years that have passed since I last saw you or Alvin seem like the blink of an eye right now. May God bless and comfort you and your family.

  27. You are in our thoughts and prayers. It is comforting to know that your mom and dad are together now, cradled in the arms of their beholder.

  28. Pastor and 1st Lady Beadles: I was shocked to hear of your mother’s passing as well as your father. In times like this, all we have is to cling to Jesus and to one another. I pray He mediates over your pain, grief that He may work out in you all the Presence of His Glory upon your lives. So many times it is in the crushing times of our lives that God produces in us a greater anointing. A manifestation of His Presence upon our lives. You all are in our prayers.

  29. Justin, Grant and families,
    I just read of your loss and can’t imagine your sorrow. I am so sorry for the loss of both of your parents in such a short time. My prayers are with you all.

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