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GOD & TEXAS: Place of Honor

Recently, I spoke at the historical marker dedication of the 130 year old Orchard Cemetery. Fort Bend County is thought to have over 170 cemeteries, one-half of which are being poorly maintained if not totally abandoned. 


However, the town of Orchard has made its cemetery a true beauty spot. It is picturesque and serene, and has a family-feel of love, respect, and sacred dignity.  


These are the abbreviated thoughts I shared with the gathered crowd: Most cultures provide a place of honor for those individuals that have perished. Some build tall monuments, and others place fencing around the site. Family members may bring flowers on special occasions, and others leave tools or gadgets that represent the hobbies or crafts of their loved ones. 


Occasionally, someone will ask, “Why preserve cemeteries? Why spend money to maintain them?” In this age where traditions are being questioned, municipal leaders must grapple with how they will handle their deceased.  Citizens determine the measure of respect they will place on their cemeteries. 


Communities who respect those who have gone before, will tend their local cemetery with purpose and esteem. They will mow the grass, pull the weeds, and repair the fences. And every effort becomes an act of love for their ancestors.  


By providing a well-manicured cemetery, you accomplish at least two meaningful deeds:

1. Those who have died are being remembered and cherished.

2. The living are reminded that at death, they will not be forgotten. 


The Bible teaches in Hebrews 13:7 (ESV), “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” 


As a younger preacher, I asked an aged minister for advice on conducting funerals. I thought he would cite the Apostles or the Epistles. Instead, he quoted Dr. Seuss. Yes, the same Dr. Seuss who wrote “The Cat in the Hat" and “Green Eggs and Ham.”  


Dr. Seuss said, “To the world you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world!” In other words, honor every person who dies as the most treasured of all individuals. People who come to the funeral expect the greatest reverence for their departed loved one.   Every person is precious to someone. 


Indeed, these graves are filled with people you love, and they meant the world to you. When you approach their marker, you may remember their humor, cooking, hugs, or accomplishments. And that’s why you preserve their gravesite. 

Further, as we honor those who have passed before us, we realize that death is in our own destiny. We are assured by our actions of remembrance, that we, too, will be remembered when we pass.  


To the world you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world. As we dedicate this cemetery marker today, may we remember to not forget: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.” (Psalm 116:15 NIV)

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To purchase the book GOD and TEXAS by David G. Rose please visit


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