When we pass from this life to Heaven, we all hope that we, in some small way, have made a difference…even a small one. For many of us, that is really a pipe dream. We live our lives, maybe making a difference in the lives of our children and family, but we live our lives in relative anonymity where the rest of the world is concerned. Even most of the pastors I have known, only influenced their church members, and really no one else. In the case of my pastor, Dan Carlin, that is simply not the case; and his passing on December 9, 2020, has affected people all over the world. Pastor Dan was given a vision to take our service to television, and it has been on KTWO television on Sunday mornings at 9:30 all over Wyoming since that time, over a decade now. It is also livestreamed on Facebook. Many people have grown and been blessed because of his vision.
Pastor Dan has been my pastor since 1983. During those years, my faith and the faith of my entire family truly exploded. The growth was truly astounding. Before moving from the church we had been attending, we knew that we were saved, but that was as far as we were taught that God took things. Beyond that, we had been taught that we were basically on our own, and the things that happened to us and our family members were just God’s way of “teaching us something.” We knew that couldn’t be all there was, because we knew that the love of God, the mercy of God, and the grace of God go much further than that. Yes, we heard other evangelists over the years, but the person who was the main source of our teaching about the true nature of God was Pastor Dad and his wife, Pastor Fran…and we are forever grateful for their tutelage. Pastor Dan has truly been my spiritual Dad and Pastor Fran, my spiritual Mom. There can be no greater blessing. That is what makes saying goodbye to him so very hard, but today we had to do just that.
For every person, there is a time to die, and for someone who is saved, that is a time of rejoicing. Pastor Dan was excited to go. Sure, he hated to leave his family and his church family, and he made sure that he told each of us “goodbye” before he left us. His family told him that the decision was his, and that if he went home to Heaven they would be happy for him, even though they would be sad for themselves. Heaven is a far better place…one without sickness, sadness, pain, or evil in any form. Who could ask for anything more than that. It is a place where you can meet Jesus…our Lord and Saviour. It is a place where you can finally see the face of God. It is a place of joy unspeakable, where everyone lives in perfect harmony. There is perfect peace in God’s perfect Heavenly home. We love and miss you very much, Pastor Dan.