>>All members of this dear family , on behalf of this community, we want to extend to you our deepest in every way. I remember after 9/11, two firefighters came to my office at the Auburn methodist church. Would you consider becoming the chaplain for our fire department? We realised we realised we need somebody to some spiritual direction. And spiritual strength and to be there for us. It is the biggest honour of my ministry and I said, “I want to start right now.” And beginning that Sunday morning for our firefighters and police officers, we started a Bible study. My sweet wife would bake biscuits and we would speak to so many of these brave men and women right before the service and I want to say to them and all of you who are here you police officers and our firefighter s, I say you are my heroes. My heroes are not professional athletes. My heroes are not coaches. My heroes are not Ministers or bishop s working closely with our public safety department, my heroes are our police officers. As I read this psalm, I want you to allow the Holy Spirit to let it bring comfort to your hearts. I don’t know of any part of the Bible that has wiped away more tears, answered more questions, warmed more hearts and lifted more spirits than has the 23rd psalm. Henry Ward Beacher said the 23rd psalm is the nightingale of all the psalms. To our police brothers and sisters, I want you to know the nightingale sings its sweetest when the night is the darkest. David, the sweet singer of Israel, the man of God’s own heart, the man after God’s own heart, I think he was at his literary best when he penned these words and I believe these are God’s words of comfort and strength for you here today. David writes, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake,” then David speaks of that great inevitable of life. He speaks of the final common denominator of every person in this arena today. David speaks of death. Sorren Kirkeg an aard the Danish theologian in speaking of death said, “For all of us there comes the midnight hour when we must unmask.” David addresses this. He says though I work through the valley of the shadow of death, that inevitably and invariably it nearly always comes much, much sooner, David says, “Though I walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death, I shall not fear.” We’re living in a world of fear today and our psychologist friends tell us the greatest fear of the human family is our fear of death. Frances Bacon, the British essayist, said, “Adults fear death as a little child fears going into a darkened room,” but notice what David says, “Though I walk through that valley of death, I shall not fear.” Then in the next verse he tells us why he’ll not fear, my brothers and sisters. And I want you to know from me this is the most comforting verse in all of holy scripture. It’s helped me through many a valley. David says, “I’ll not fear,” and here it is, “For thou art with me.” God wants you to know today that he is with you every step of the way, whether you are on the mountain-top basking in the salubrious sunshine of God’s love or whether you’re down in the deep dark valley and your eyes are filled with tears and your heart is breaking and you don’t feel you can put one foot in front of the other. He says, “I’m with you. I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Though I walk through that valley, I’ll not fear for I’m with you. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil and, Sara, he closes with this mighty affirmation of eternal life, “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This past week following Will’s death, somebody propounded to me a deep theological question. This person asked me the question, “Where was God when this awful thing happened, when brother Will was killed and two brave officers wounded on Sunday night?” I’ll tell you my response to them. I said, “He was in the very same place, the very same place when his precious son was wounded and killed on the old rugged cross on that Good Friday,” and just as his heart broke then, his heart is breaking right now and he’s hurting more than any of us in this arena today. I know that during a time like this as we try to process what has happened we have so many emotions that are going through our hearts and our minds. Yes, there’s anger, yes, there’s guilt, pain, hurt, grief and how do we understand God within the context of this tragic event? I want to tell you how I believe God want us to understand him. I believe he want us to understand him in three ways and I want you to listen to this because it can help you. God wants us to understand and know that he is a God of love. The most important thing you can know about God is that God loves you. John chapter 4 verse 8 simply says, “God is love.” John 316 tells us how much God loves us for God so loved the world he sent his only son to die on the cross for us. God loves you. I want you to realise that right now. I read about two little boys and one little boy was trying to explain to the other little boy how much God loved him and as these two precious little boys were talking to each other, the first little boy said to his friend, “God loves you so much. I wish you could understand how much God loves you.” He said, “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it. That’s how much God loves you.” Every morning he gives to you a beautiful sunrise, every evening this loving God gives to you a beautiful sunset. Every spring he presents you with a bouquet of lovely roses. Just think, just think, God could live anywhere in his vast universe and he has chosen your heart. Face it, Brandon, God is crazy about you. God’s a God of love. Number two, God is a God of strength. I know that police officers are viewed as being very, very strong but I also know that deep within there can be a weakness when somebody we love is taken and I simply want to say that you’re not strong enough to walk through this valley by yourself. You need to lean upon those ever-lasting arms. Had it Bible says we’re to cast all of our care upon him, Sara, because he surely cares for us. God is a God of strength. He didn’t make you to walk alone, he wants to walk with you, he wants to lift you up. Finally, God is a God of love. You need to be reminded of that. God is a God of strength. We need to be reminded of that. Then number three, God is the God of eternity. God did not make us for this finite existence on this planet earth. He made us for something bigger and he made us for something better. He made us to ultimately dwell with him in his eternity. We experience that eternity when we trust God and when we love Jesus. Brother Will says he knew this great love. My brother John at the Fraser church in Montgomery baptised Will and Will was a blessing to all who knew him. Every time I saw him he had a big smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. My friend Tommy Dawson said his smile was contigious. You could be having a bad day and his smile would cheer you and everybody else up in the room. He did not have a mean bone in his body. He simply loved and cared about people and his one desire was to help them. Someone, as Will said, bravery is not the absence of fear but action in the face of fear and brother Will was the manifestation of and incarnation of that quote. Yes, he was brave but, Sara, for me, more than being brave, his life was characterised by sincere care and genuine love and he genuinely loved his Lord, his family, his brothers and sisters in arms and the citizens of this community and he is truly the incarnation and manifestation of those words of our Lord when he said, “Greater love has no man than he lays down his life for his friends.” Just as Will’s wonderful Lord laid down his life for him, so brother Will laid down his life for us. Susie told me that before Will – brother Paul, before Will left Sunday night to go to work, Susie said she talked with Will on the telephone and, Susie, some glad day – Sara, some glad day, you are going to talk with him again. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, though they die, they shall live forever.” Hallelujah. Praise his wonderful name. (piper plays Amazing Grace)>>Thank you to Auburn university and Auburn athletic department for allowing such an awesome facility to celebrate the life of such a brave man. Particularly I want to thank Anna Thompson for all of her work with her staff to pull this together in such a short period of time. Sunday May 19, Auburn faced a circumstance that we’ve never experienced. Sunday, May 19 our community felt sadness that was unprecedented and since May the 19th, Auburn will never be the same. Auburn will never be the same because of the life of Will Buechner. As we get to run from the storm Sunday night, he and two other brave man ran toward the storm and in today’ Auburn News there was a beautiful editorial written about grieving and bereavement that included the quote that Brother George mentioned that said bravery is not the absence of fear but action in the face of fear. I don’t know if Will experienced fear last Sunday evening but I do know that he exhibited bravery. Thank you, Sara, for sharing your husband with our community. Thank you to all of Will’s family for raising a man that has made such a difference and to Henry McKenna, you have a daddy that had an indelible career and a rich legacy for a life. People will continue to replicate his journey for years to come. Simply put, you have a daddy that will never be forgotten. Auburn will never be the same because of the efforts of our police force. Each day, all of us citizens in our world with expectations and understanding of our day’s outcomes but each day you enter our world with no promise of what you’re going to face. You face what we’re afraid of. You’re always courageous, you’re always faithful to those that you protect. All of the good things that we have in Auburn, all of our recognitions, all of our efforts, all of our initiatives begin with the fact that you keep us safe. Blessed are the peace-makers for they are the children of God. God bless each of you for what you do on behalf of a citizenry that counts on you every day. For our community, may the needs of the Buechner family always be on our hearts and minds. May the courage of this young man be one that forever motivates us to love and care for our neighbours. May we never ever forget the sacrifices that are made on our behalf each and every day. Auburn will never be the same but we will be better. We’ll be better because William Buechner blessed us with his life. Thank you.>>To William’s parents, Bill and Susie Buechner, his wife Sara and her children Henry and McKenna, his sister Brigette and everyone else Hinze family, like others you’ve heard today, I just first want to thank you for sharing him with our family. You should know that William, he did the job in the way that you should be proud of. Words like honour and courage come to mind with William, and dedication. He did the job right. Most importantly, as I look back over William’s career, his integrity was never questioned. Not once. To William’s law enforcement family here today, we’re proud that his family can see what he means not only to the Auburn Police Division but all of us in our law enforcement family. To all of you that travelled here from afar today that did not know him personally, I can assure you that the man that you travelled so far to honour is worth every mile that you travelled. Who has William been to the Auburn Police Division? There are many things could be said as I mentioned earlier, professionalism, we could talk about the things he’s done, we could talk about letters of appreciation that were given to us on his behalf, we could talk about accommodations, we could talk about the great things he did on a daily basis, how he backed up his shift-mates and how he was there for them. All of those things speak to who Officer Buechner has been and I would go further and say he has never been less than he should have been. He remained constant in all that he did. If you started a police department from the very beginning from the ground up, William, Will Buechner s the guy you’d want to start the department with. He was always the same dependable, steady – a guy you could send to any call. He could talk with anyone and he treated everybody the same. When we hire a new police officer, we say some words to them about this police, this community, this division, and we tell them that the police is not what it is today because of those that are here now, it is because of those that were here 30, 40, 50 years ago and we challenge them to make the place better. To this family y can tell you that he made this place better in everything that he did. William, as I said earlier, he loved his family at home and those of you who know him best, he loved his law enforcement family and his first responders, those that are here today. He loved everything about the job of policing, every last part of it. The people, the things he did every day, what the job is, what the job meant to him, right down to the stuff – and you guys know what I’m talking about – if you wanted to know about the latest greatest piece of equipment, ask William because he had one. He loved Auburn and when I talked with his mom the other day I did not realise this but Will could have worked other places. Auburn was not the only place he was offered a job. He chose this community and I believe this community chose him. In the end, Will Buechner gave more to this community than anyone who sits here today. In that regard, he stands above all of us here today. He is the true hero. During his 13 years with the law enforcement career at Auburn Police Division, he responded to over 34,000 calls and that’s not because he was sitting on the sidelines, people. He was headed there, you couldn’t tell him no. His supervisors probably sometimes would have rathered that he not but he went in anyway like he did Sunday night. He responded to help someone in need. Over the last few months we’ve been challenged, at times we’ve seen dark clouds pass over our community. Even before Sunday night we’ve had tragedies that have occurred here and all over the country and even all over our country. We have all experienced loss, we’re experiencing that today, the family experienced loss, but we cannot let that loss extinguish our hope. We will make sure we remember there is a gift from God that we’re able to remember and I assure you, the family, that we will remember William and everything that he meant to us. I believe that Will is depending on us today to honour his sacrifice by picking ourselves up off the ground and doing the job that he loved to do so much and that was be a police officer. His family, we are always here for you. Please contact us. Our relationship with you does not end today. You will always be a part of our family. Thank you. (Applause) (gentle piano music)>>Good afternoon. I’m officer Bradley Henderson. I’ve been working for the Auburn Police Division for about 5 years. Four of those years, myself and about 20 men and women seated right here, we’ve worked on Will’s shift. I began working with Will January 2015. Since that time y got to know him as the outstanding officer that he was but even better as a friend. We were all friends. We were really close. There’s no denying we had a very strong bond together. A lot of people got to know him. I’ve heard so many stories about who he was and what he was to those people. There’s two particular traits that have stood out that I wanted to share with you all. The first is the impeccable police officer that he was. His attention to detail and passion for this job was without question the best I’ve ever seen. I mean, he would write two pages of a report, every single report. He could not leave anything to question. He wouldn’t leave anything out and that was him, that was Will. One night recently we were driving around looking for a suspect – I can’t remember what it was about but all the officers on scene gave it a pretty concerted effort to find the guy and eventually we just had to stop. About an hour later, Will comes over the radio and, you know, that was him. He wasn’t going to stop. That’s not Will. The second trait is by far my favourite. Will had a sense of humour that – we’ll call it unique. He loved to laugh. He loved to laugh. He was an artist at spreading laughter and joy. Some nights I’d get a text, usually a Facebook message, about 2 in the morning on a Tuesday and I’d be like, “Will, go to sleep.” That was my typical reaction, followed by a whole lot of snickering as my wife’s kicking me because I’m waking her up. His life was special. His favourite thing – favourite thing to do – was to ride that motorcycle with those men right there. The Gunners law enforcement motorcycle club. We’d get together all the time, he’d tell me about the trips they would take to Tennessee, all the funny and crazy stuff they used to do together. He loved, loved you, Sara. He did. His kids Henry and McKenna. The day he told me he was going to be a dad, I’ve never seen a happier guy. They were special. He was really, really proud to be a father and a husband. Before Sunday, I thought I knew what love was. I’ve got a wife and kids of my own, they taught me a whole lot about love but I loved him. We all loved him. You’re going to hear this countless times today, you’ve already heard it, they say there is no greater love than for one to lay down his life for his friends. Spending time with the guys from my shift, my community, my family, they’ve shown me what real, true, raw love is. I love each and every one of you. I’m here to tell you that because of service like William Buechner’s, the people of this community will be free to enjoy their lives. There are hundreds of men and women in this building who put on their duty belts every single day, they kiss their wives and their children good-bye and they walk in to danger. That’s just what we do. I will make this clear: There is no room in this city for evil. I promise the Auburn Police Division will stop at nothing to provide each person the right to live free and to live happy. No matter the cost. Please remember why we’re here today, take the positive out of this that we can be together, heal together. Lean on your family and your friends. Those are what matters. It’s what mattered to Will. Go live your lives the way that God intended to do. Be happy because we have the watch. Thank you very much. (Applause) (gentle piano music)>>Afternoon. My name’s Danny and I was in the Gunners Motorcycle Club with Will. I’m proud to be able to talk to you a little bit about him today. I’m extremely proud to be able to call Will my brother. The first day I met him was the day I was introduced to the Gunners law enforcement motorcycle club. I was basically coming in to see if they were going to accept me into their brotherhood and I don’t know if you know but we have road names, we give each other road names and there’s a story behind everybody’s road name. When I met Will I asked if he had ATF on his cut and I said, “Are you in the ATF?” I assumed it was what he did. He said, “It’s an acronym for my three favourite things, alcohol, tobacco and firearms.” He loved those things, he did. No-one under 30 years old is going to know this reference but do you all remember ‘Sesame Street’ when they said one of these things is not like the other, one of these things is doing their own thing? That was definitely ATF. He did things his own way unapologetically. An example is we ride, we have a whip we put on our handle bars, this black and blue, and we ride with it on our left side. Well, ATF refused to do that, he put it on his right side so we were riding with ours on the left, and his wise right. As a small tribute today riding over here with him, we all put ours on the right side. Things just like – there’s hundreds of examples of him just doing it a little different than everybody else , you know we would be at Hooters and there would be 10 of us and we’d think let’s order about 100 wings, everybody has enough to eat, and he sits down and orders a burger. That’s who he was. He was always the guy doing things his own way a little bit and we loved him for it. Not long after I joined the club, I was getting recertified at work and going through some stress and not been too long since I got out of the military and I was struggling getting into civilian life and one night ATF called me y was at work and he said, “What are you doing?” I said, “Working.” He said, “Can I come over?” I said, “Yeah, come over.” He just came over to talk to me just to let me vent about the stuff that was going on in my life at the time and somehow he knew I needed that, and I did. That’s not an uncommon story. Every one of these guys could tell you something similar to that. That’s just who he was to us. Sara, McKenna and Henry, he loved you very much. Devoted husband and father. The I’ve been thinking about Henry a lot this week. All the events that he’s going to miss, it makes me angry, makes me sad. I know we’re all feeling that stuff but we can never fill the void in Henry’s life left by ATF not being here but he’s got a lot of aunts and uncles who are going to fill as many gaps as we possibly can. I take some pride in knowing that he lived an impactful life and the things he did, big and small, has probably allowed other people to go home and enjoy their families, enjoy those same milestones that Will’s going to miss. It traffic stop, stopped a tragedy a quarter mile away. There’s no way to calculate those kinds of things. He may have intervened so something didn’t get out of hand. The lives he’s touched is probably countless and this community’s better for him being here and the men and women like him just sitting here. So I’m just proud to be able to talk to him about it and I hope it’s fitting that I end with lyrics from a song but I’m not going to sing because I wouldn’t be able to pull that off. How can we not talk about family when family’s all that we’ve got? Everything I went through you were standing there by my side and now you’re going to be with me for the last ride. It’s been a long day since I seen you, my friend. I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again. We’ve come a long way from where we began and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again. When I see you again, we’re gonna ride again. Kick stands up. Gunners forever. Forever Gunners. (Applause)>>Sara, we do not know each other but my husband and I had the fortune and privilege of meeting your husband just over a month ago. We have a 16-year-old daughter who made some bad decisions that could not only have cost her to potentially be seriously harmed but could have also gotten her into some very serious trouble. I know there is nothing that could ever replace what you and your children have lost but I hope that it may give you some small comfort to know that your husband saved our daughter’s life. He showed her compassion that she did not deserve but he taught her a lesson that she needed to learn. She will have a future and all had of the opportunities and a full, happy and long life thanks to your husband. He was an amazing man with a kinder and more gentle soul than his line of work often allows men to have. He was and is truly a hero. When we saw the news Monday morning about the officers involved in the shooting, we followed the news closely throughout the day hoping and praying that your husband was not involved. Our daughter actually saw the article confirming that he was the officer that was shot and killed before my husband and I did. She immediately called to let us know and while cry ing expressed to us that she had hoped for the opportunity to thank him one day and show him that what he does truly matters. She knows as well as we do that he saved her life and we owe him a debt we can never repay. We are forever grateful to him. Thank you for your husband’s service. Thank you for supporting him in his service. Thank you for giving him a happy home and family to come home to. I truly believe that his love for his own family is what gave him the ability to save my daughter when he could have condemned her. Thank you for having the courage to love a man that asks so much from you so that he could help serve people who mostly did not want to ever meet him. Thank you for all your nights waiting and worrying and praying it would not be him. I’m deeply sorry that this time it was. Thank you for your service as the wife of an officer sworn to serve and protect. He was outstanding at his job and please always know that he made a difference and changed at least one life.>>We’re here today to honour the life of Will Buechner. He was a husband, a father and a son and I wrote down in my journal this week a selfless protector. A hard-working professional and a faithful friend. I spent many times with Will at our church of the highlands here in town and he would serve as a protector for us every single Sunday that he could. Every time he would see me he’d say, “Pastor, everything’s under control.” I don’t know if he was telling the fwruth I sure felt safe when he said it and it meant a lot to me for him to say that and I want to honour all of you, all you officers that serve our amazing city, that we support you, we love you, we pray for you and we honour you today and it’s easy to feel confused. I think there’s lot of question we may have and this side of heaven there’s a lot of things we won’t understand. My prayer today is that this pushes you towards God not away from God. Because he’s the only one – listen to me – he’s the only one that can give you the grace you need to walk through these tough times. “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There, we’ll receive the mercy and we’ll find the grace when we need it most.” My prayer for you in this service, over the next few moments s you experience his grace and Sara, the family y pray you experience his grace. What I want to do today is give you some hope and honour William’s life. I believe we are all here, we want to make the most of our lives and these moment kz be catalytic moments for lot of us and as our city begins to heal and continues to heal from this day forward, I want us all to leave here differently and my prayer is in this moment I can give us a few things, a few ways we can walk out of here today just a better person. One of the first thing we can do is realise our time is limited which means our time is valuable. It’s a gift. If you wanted to make the most out of life you have to realise that it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. I think sometimes we get them mixed up. Psalm 90 says teach us, Lord, to realise the brevity of life, it’s so short, so that we may grow – watch this – in wisdom. So many times we think the big events make the biggest difference but it is about the little things. It is about the rides in the car, it is about when you think of a friend you text them, it is about the laughter, about the small things riding in the car together, spending time or talking on the phone togethertism is those moments when we realise how valuable our time is. It’s being in the moment, when our spouse talks to us or our children come up to us and we’re not too busy. It is being in the moment, giving them all of our attention, making sure they know they’re the most important person in the room. That’s how Will was. Truth is in a lot of our lives we could say the phrase, “I’m too busy or I’m too tired ca,” but it in those moments beyond that that we make the greatest memories. You never know whose life is impacted on the other side of your inconvenience. William understood the time we had, time is valuable. Here’s what I love about him. We call him a hero but he was a hero in his own home and that’s my prayer for my life. I want to be a hero in my oown house first and he was and that’s where it matters and I honour him for that. He understood that time was valuable. It meant something to him and I want to encourage all of you that as you grow closer to the Lord, spend time with him. He loves to spend time with you. Matter of fact, he delights in it. He likes when you talk to him. Our heavenly father loves it when we’re honest with him, we tell him what’s on our heart. He knows everything about us, the good, bad and ugly, but he wants a conversation because he’s a relational God. It gets us close to him. Let me say it this way, he created you so he knows everything about you and he loves you and one of the best gift we can give ourselves and those we love is spending time with the Lord. Time is valuable. Another thing I wrote down this week is make joy your legacy. Legacy is one of my favourite words. It’s what people remember once you leave this earth. We all have a legacy. We’re building our legacy is what we’re doing, all of us. I spent time with the family this week and I just listened to them. We were all sitting around in their living room and there was a common theme in every conversation I had about Will. You know what it was? Joy. Here’s the truth about joy: Joy will set you apart. Joy is what set Will apart. That many of you are close to Will because you laughed with Will. He had a joy about him. Joy is a part of his legacy. Listen, his joy was a gift from God to us, wasn’t it? It was a gift from God to us and he could always find the joy, the humour and the optimism out of every situation. What a gift. He knew how to draw the joy out of every situation. It was almost as if he had a different perspective. A perspective that I think we all need to make sure that we have. Because, listen, when you meet somebody that’s joyful, you know it. There’s something about their life that you know is different and here’s the secret – here’s the secret to a joyful person: They know why they’re here on this earth. The two most important days of our life is the day we were born the day we discover why and Will knew why he was here on this earth. I use the word “purpose” joy comes when we know why we’re here on this earth and you know what, he knew why he was here. He had purpose. Purpose woke him up every day. Purpose made him smile. Purpose made him work hard. Purpose made him honour those around him and go the extra mile to make sure something was done correctly. That was purpose and he had it. We all have to make sure when we look at his life and think about his legacy that we know exactly why we’re here on this earth. Joy comes from knowing your purpose. Happiness is substantial. Joy is internal. Joy knows the end result. It is the peace that comes when you know what the outcome is going to be. It’s being connected to your purpose and it’s only found in Jesus. I love what psalm 16 says, it says, “You make the path of life known to me, Lord. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.” Listen to me, God created you with a purpose, on purpose, for a purpose and a legacy of joy comes from knowing why you were here on this planet. My prayer is all of us know that purpose. Another thing I think we could take away from this life well lived today, just knowing we should never miss an opportunity to remind someone much of you love them. Relationships matter. People matter. All of you matter. Your friends, all of you got up and talked about your friendships but how many times has God placed somebody on our heart and we didn’t take 10 seconds to Sunday text to tell them you love them. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them because words matter, words build our lives. Words from Will built many of our lives. Who in your life has it been a long time since you told them how much you care about them or love them? Don’t miss an opportunity to tell those you love how much you care about them. It’s moments like this, they’re catalytic, they say, “You know what? I need to make a few calls y need to send a few texts. I need to have a few conversations.” I don’t want to take for granted to moment I have to remind those who are close to me to remind them how much I love them. If you ever wonder if you’re loved, I don’t think you have to go further than John chapter 3t just says, “For God so loved the world that he did something I don’t think anybody in this room, matter of fact I know no-one in this room will do, they gave down their son, Jesus his son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have ever lasting life. God did that because he wanted you to know how much he loves you. He did not miss an opportunity to show you how much he loves you. We have to make sure the people around us know that by our words, by our actions and maybe even by our forgiveness, maybe that season of unforgiveness ends today because we want those around us to know how much we love them. Friendship – I read this quote this week – friendship isn’t always who you’ve known the longest, it’s who has come into your life and never left your side. Lastly and most important, I’m reminded this week and I want to share this with you with an open heart – don’t miss heaven. Don’t miss heaven for this world is not our home, we’re looking forward to a city in heaven which is yet to come. Jesus talked more about heaven than any other place. You know why he did? Because he saw it. Be like you’re going on a trip with your friends and taking four or five of your friends on a trip and you know where the destination is but they’ve never been there and you can talk about it in a way that it comes out in your voice, it comes out in your excitement and they have no idea what you’re talking about but they see you excited because you can’t wait for them to get there. Jesus talked about heaven that way because he saw it. Jesus always encouraged people, he never encouraged them with the now, he always encouraged them with heaven. See, there’s a common misconception about Jesus. Something God has obligated himself to make – some think God is obligated to make our life perfect but Jesus never promised a problem-free life, he promised to give you the power to overcome every problem and this messes up with someone people’s theology to be honest with you because the ultimate reward is not a better now, the ultimate reward is a better place and that’s the message of Jesus, that’s the gospel. It’s about a better place and the greatest tragedy in our lifetime is to miss heaven because heaven is a real place, heaven is a right place, hefbson a relational place and hefbson a rewarding place. You see, on earth we live by faith but in heaven we live by sight. Will got his sight. Jesus didn’t just come here to teach us all how to live, he came to show us that every mistake we have ever made or will make will be forgiven. It could be wiped out in one second. Romans chapter 1 says the good news tells us that God makes us ready for heaven, he makes us right when we put our faith and trust in Jesus. It doesn’t say when you become perfect or you get yourself right or you do a week of things without sinning or you do a week of things that would honour him. He doesn’t say that, he says when you put your faith and trust in him everything changes. You mean, pastor, it’s that simple? You know what I did last week? You know what I’ve done with my life? It’s that simple to have a relationship with God and get to heaven? Yes, it is that simple. You put your faith and trust that Jesus was more than just a man, that he died for you so that you could have heaven and it says, as the scripture says, the man who finds life will find it through trusting God. So many people we try to find so many things to fill these empty spaces in our life. God created every person with a space in their heart that only he could fill and if you’re like me, I’ve done this with my life in my past y tried to fill that space with things of this world and can I tell you it left me empty. Many of you will come up and say, “I’ve tried to too,” and it leaves us empty. The only thing that can fill that void and that space is your creator, Jesus. When we put our faith in Jesus, it’s times like this when we realise there’s something bigger, there’s something better and there’s something higher. Can I tell you, family, our God has everything under control. Would you bow your heads with me. Today we talked about making the most of life and we have but there’s one decision that it would need to make, to really make the most out of our lives and that’s giving our life to Jesus Christ. Will made that decision in his life and today you may need to make that same decision. Some of you have thought about this for weeks, for months, for years, and I want to encourage you don’t drag that indecision for another day. Open your heart to let Jesus be Lord of your life. Heavenly father, what a gracious God you are for sending Jesus Christ to die for me and thank you that because you’re the power of the cross we are set free from the penalty of guilt and from the power of sin that binds us up today from the presence of sin and eternity and today we offer ourselves to you and if you’ve never done something like this, if you’ve never received Jesus as your Lord and saviour, right there where you’re seated you can whisper something like this, say, “Dear Jesus Christ, I open my life up to you and I want my life to be different because Jesus Christ died for me. I want you in my heart. I want to experience heaven and thank you for loving me at my worst. Thank you for dying for me at my worst and I receive you as my Lord today in Jesus’s name.” Father, we thank you for this great moment, thank you for your love. Lift up this city as we heal, lift up this brotherhood of men and women, we lift up Officer Sistrunk and Officer Elliot as they heal and we honour a great friend, a great man and we thank you, Jesus, for giving us the strength. We bless our brave women and men, we bless our leadership and we bless our city in Jesus’s name. Amen.>>That concludes the funeral service at this time. On behalf of the family, thank you for your attendance. In just a moment, the family is going to exit followed by the chief and Auburn police department. At this time, if you would all rise, please. Now may I have my pallbearers. (gentle piano music) This concludes the funeral service at this time. You may be dismissed to your vehicles.