A Successful Man
I began the morning by turning on my computer in preparation for another day of ministry. As I waited for the familiar icons and background to appear, I mentally prepared my to do list thinking this day would be like many others. My internet home pages appeared and I saw something that completely changed my focus and thoughts for the day. “As of 11:30pm (cst), January 4, our husband/Dad finished his race strongly and heard Jesus say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”-Dianne, Brian, and Karen (Hampton) Tippett.”
Shortly after I had fallen asleep last night, one of God’s choice servants had been borne on angel’s wings and safely traversed Jordan’s chilly waters into the very presence of Jesus Himself. Bert Tippett my mentor, co-worker and dear friend had been sent for by the Lord Himself. Bert answered God’s call one last time and reported for a new duty station in heaven.
How do you measure success? Many in this world would argue that success can be measured by the size of one’s house, the model of one’s car or the amount of money one registers in his/her bank account. I would argue that it’s not the material things one can hold in his hands that are the true measure of one’s success and bring contentment in life.
As a young man I asked the Lord to help me accomplish three things in life not realizing that those three things, if accomplished would help anyone’s life to count and be successful. I am not bold enough to proclaim that I have been successful, but here are the three. (1) I wanted to go to heaven when I died. (2) I wanted my family to know the Lord and be close all our lives. (3) I wanted to be used by the Lord in His service.
Bert Tippett settled the question of his eternal destiny many years ago. He is experiencing that blessed hope that we all long for. Word has gotten around heaven today. “Bert is here” His parents, grandparents, Mr. McDonald, Dr. Johnson, Brother Welch, Dr. Miley, Glen Thomas, Diana Harris and oh yes Paul, Abraham, Peter and most importantly, the Lord Jesus Himself were waiting just inside the gates of Glory. He was welcomed with hugs, handshakes and happy slaps on the back all around.
Bert was also a family man. You didn’t have to be around him long before Dianne, Brian and Karen were somehow worked into his conversations. Bert was truly successful at choosing a great lifelong partner, raising two good and dedicated Christian Children and serving well as the patriarch of a close and loving family.
We all have our Bert Tippett stories. Each one is a piece of a great ministry picture puzzle. The pieces were scattered over a 50 year span and only God had a peek at the picture on the box from the beginning. Putting picture puzzles together is a tedious and challenging process. Looking at one piece at time then connecting that piece to another until the outside borders are established, then the inside pieces are connected and finally the puzzle is complete. Bert spent much of his ministry encouraging, advising and even admonishing young people, one student at a time. It was time consuming yet little did he know the great picture that he was creating for so many lives.
Now the picture is complete. It is much larger and more beautiful than any picture Bert could have imagined for his life’s work. It has been framed with God’s approval and will hang in a prominent place in the hearts of all of us who knew him.
Bert Tippett would never say it, but deep down inside I think he knew. He truly was a successful man. Thank God for men and women who work hard, stay the course and finish well. So hats off to you Bert Tippet; A Truly Successful Man!