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Monday, February 26, 2007

Tony Award or Oscar Award?

Tony Janacito passed away this past week. He was 92 years of age. I visited with his wife, Jane, last night for a few minutes on the phone, while most of the world was watching the Oscars. People were engaged with interest, wondering who would garner the next golden Oscar statue, or gazing upon the style of clothing that the movie stars were wearing.

Meanwhile, I was chatting with Jane, who lost her husband, which was, indeed, a far greater concern to me. You see, it's when you lose your husband, wife, or any loved one, that things take on an eternal perspective.

Many of you do not know Tony, but trust me, there are a LOT of people who DO know Tony... Because every Sunday of his life, with very few exceptions, Tony led someone down the aisles of our church to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In all my years of ministry, I have never met someone who so diligently led men and women to salvation. Every Sunday, I'd see Tony walking down the aisle... and to his side would be someone that he had befriended and led to the Lord, and now they were stepping forward to accept Jesus as Lord.

Talk about receiving a trophy!!! When Tony got to heaven, he received his heavenly reward. There are many people who are grateful to Tony for taking the time and the interest to be concerned with their eternal soul.

Tony, I want you to know that you are going to be missed in a mighty, mighty way. Our church will never be the same without you. You were a true soulwinner. God used you in ways most people only dream of. Thank you for always being concerned about the lost.

May you dwell in your heavenly home with your eternal rewards forever and ever and ever.

1 comment:

cynthia_lieberman said...

Tony Janacito is one of the reasons that I became part of Shepherd of the Hills. My daughter was only two (she is 19 now) when we moved into this neighborhood and I had spent numerous Sundays looking for the right church. One Sunday, while at Mason Park gym, we heard singing and the Shepherd band and choir and she loved the music. It was Tony who met us at the door, greeted her with such joy and sweetness, and it was very moving. He was so welcoming and never told me to take her to the nursery instead of being in the service. She always liked to sit in my lap, color and hold on to her mom in the pew. To this day, even at 19, she still likes to lean on me in church like she did then. And up until Mr. Janacito just passed, he STILL remembers her (who is away at college now), and also my son (who came later) and asks about them. He always gave me his warm welcome as I marvelled at his dedication, his loving soul, his resilience as he got older. I thank the Lord for his example; he was a wonderful inspiration and I will miss his sweet personality and greetings on Sundays.

God Bless you Jane and thank you Lord for allowing him to brighten my life (and my childrens') while he was here on earth.