Movieguide® Founder Dr. Ted Baehr Shares Funeral Sermon for his Wife, Lili
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Founder and Publisher
Editor’s note: The following is the text Dr. Ted Baehr preached at Lili Baehr’s funeral on Friday, May 13, 2022.
Just as I know that God’s Holy Spirit is here, today, with us because the Bible tells me so; I know that my beautiful, brilliant and Christian wife, Lili Baehr, otherwise known as Noni, otherwise know as Griselda, otherwise known as Liliana, is also with us because the Bible tells us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, who are none other than those wonderful saints that went on to glory before us.
A saint is a person set apart by God when that person is born again through faith by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I remember quite well the very moment Lili prayed to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior in tears and was born again on the Merritt Parkway, driving from an all-night church service in Darian, CT to New York City on January 1, 1980.
My son Jim is reading her diary, and everything he has quoted indicate how committed she was to Jesus Christ. In fact, with all her radiation and chemotherapy which was so hard on her and then COVID and pneumonia, she would sit up in bed as if she was trying to get up. I would ask if she wanted to go to the bathroom (which required a lot of help including from Jeremy or Peirce or Jim), but she would say “NO”. I would ask, “do you want to go to Heaven to be with Jesus Christ?” Lili would say, “Yes.” I would add, “Do you want to go now?” She would say “NO” and lie back down, because she wanted so much to come to the celebration of life that she planned to the last detail.
However, in spite of the secure knowledge that I have that my Lili has gone on to glory to a mansion prepared just for her in Heaven and to a Heavenly banquet with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, I weep when I think Lili has died and left us behind.
I do not weep just for me, because I will miss Lili everyday of my life, or because of our children whom she loved and who wanted her to see their achievements as they grew up and raised their own families, but also because she wanted to live more years in the temporal before going home to the majesty of the eternal.
Now, I know that Jesus has wiped away Lili’s tears, and the angels have rejoiced to have her enter into Heaven, but I also know that Jesus wept when Martha told Him that her brother Lazarus had died even though Jesus was about to raise Lazarus to life, because Jesus understood the sanctity of life here on earth – after all, He made each of us…and He gave His precious life to purchase eternal life for each and every man, woman and child who would accept His gift, and sealed our eternal life with His resurrection.
Although He lived at a pagan time, where life was cheap and disposable, where pleasure took precedence over life, where people were murdered in the Roman Coliseum to entertain the populace, where babies were left to die outside the city gates, where bodies were thrown into stew pots to feed the hungry, He knew how unique each one of us is… and, He knew the mission and ministry that to which He appointed each of us…He wept at the death of Lazarus.
Furthermore, he knew how He had designed that mission and ministry into the core of our DNA.
In Lili’s case, God had a special design in mind. God designed Lili to be the most beautiful, elegant, brilliant, godly woman in every way. Possessing great talent, a wonderful mind and extremely classical beauty, she was open, honest, decent, funny, and encouraging in ways that caused most of those who knew her to love her.
In spite of all her gifts and talents, Lili dedicated herself to her children and family, often at great cost to herself. Lili gave her life away to each of us and to Jesus Christ.
Although I weep at her passing, I also rejoice that Lili has gone ahead of me to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We live in an age of confusion. As a friend of mine reports when he visited India, where I have taught and led many to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he was repulsed by the poverty and chaos. He asked a cab driver what was wrong with his country, and the man honestly replied, “We are confused,” because pluralism destroys reason.
Today, we are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and about what makes us happy and what makes us sad. Many have forgotten that life is tenuous and can be cut short in an instant. Many who ponder the afterlife want it their way without thinking about the consequences. They are in a sense like the inhabitants of the TV program “The Twilight Zone” who get what they want only to find out that it is not what they really want.
Lili was not confused. She lived her values and was certain about the meaning of life. She listened to her family and blessed those who knew her.
At the end, she knew that her Redeemer lives.
– Because she saw God answer her prayers consistently in miraculous ways.
– Because she saw his whole family come to know the Truth which set them free from the confusions, delusions and demons of our age.
– Because the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the best attested event in ancient history, much better attested than the very existence of Socrates or Caesar.
– Because she understood that Jesus Christ was the only Way.
– Because God gave her faith, which is a gift.
And, now, she is amongst the great cloud of witnesses watching us celebrate her and the God who made her so wonderfully.
Among those wonderful witnesses are many of her friends and acquaintances. These were people who knew the Truth that set them free and apart.
Along with us, they are witnesses to the Resurrection.
For me, I want to say to you, Lili, that I miss you! I love you! I thank you! And, I look forward to joining you in Heaven!
As His Word written tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ” (Hebrews 11:1)
But, for now, God has appointed me, and each one of us here to fulfill a special ministry which includes knowing Him and making Him known. In other words, which includes being a witness to the Resurrection!
Let us all witness to the resurrection and celebrate Lili’s absence from the trial and tribulations of this mortal coil, but NOW, she is present, healed and young again with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at His heavenly banquet!
Lili, I can’t wait to break bread again at the heavenly banquet!!!
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