My entry today comes from a very sad heart. About 3:00 am this morning, Allison's grandfather went to be with Jesus. He was a great man. The sadness is overwhelming because his passing brings the end of an era in the city of Bradenton, the Bartley family, and the lives of so many people. But, there is joy in being able to say with confidence that he is with Jesus. As I laid awake for hours, very early thinking about how great he was I was reminded of something very important...
Proverbs 3:3-4 "Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation."
Paul Bartley was such a man. He was a great husband, a wonderful father, an amazing grandfather and great-grandfather, a loyal friend (to a fault!), a successful photographer, successful business man, a great leader, an influencer, a writer, an artist, and he loved the Lord! But, most of all he was known for caring for others. He always put other people first. He cared about you and was interested in you. That is a rare trait in today's world. He was kind-hearted and genuine. A real man! He asked Jesus to take him home last night, and Jesus heard his prayers. He was a man of faith.
It is my hope one day when I leave this world to go home with Jesus, that people will say of me the same as I say of Allison's PawPaw. He truly was an amazing man. He had "favor with God and man and a good reputation". He left a legacy, and left a world changed because he was in it. Pray for Allison's family as they say goodbye to this great father, husband, grandfather and friend.