Celebrating Michael Penny

May 22, 2021

Celebrating the life of Michael Penny

This has been a very privileged opportunity to share a few moments together in celebrating the life of a dear friend and family member, someone who occupies a very precious portion of our hearts. For each of us there is a perspective of Michael’s life from personal experiences through the years that has made an impression and impact. Our treasured memories could collectively occupy endless moments with their telling. There is a perspective, though, that I believe is the one Michael considers to be essential for this moment:

Psalms 116:15 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.

Michael’s heavenly Father, the one who has welcomed him to his eternal home, is here right now, treasuring this opportunity together with us. His is a perspective that began even before Michael’s forming in his mother’s womb. His physical body and the characteristics that would make up his engaging personality and abilities was uniquely planned and carried out with a purpose for their earthly opportunities. From his birth and through every breath of his earthly life, God was there for him, not just seeing the challenges, victories, and failures, but knowing and providing for their health, abundance and fulfillment. Though Michael has finished this portion of the Father’s plan, it is but the start of a treasured life that has no end because of a death that happened some 10 years ago.

First of all, I would like to share an experience I had with Michael for me is a great example of this. We had this PT Cruiser that had been sitting in our driveway for a much-extended time. When we first got it, it was a cool ride that we were proud of. We maintained and cleaned it with care. However, with the added miles and passing through our children’s hands it had reached the end of my ability to keep it on the road. I had replaced radiators, starter, exhaust and attempted to fix a bunch of things that I just could not seem to figure out. I finally decided that it would have to go and thought maybe Michael could help me find where to get rid of it. When I called him, though, he heard something in my request that was quite different than my intent. What he heard was opportunity. He ended up taking that end-of-the-road PT, fixing all the stuff that was beyond me, selling it, and giving me what was paid. My perspective of the horse whispering, car fixing, people caring, self-sacrificing Michael was given a whole new perspective by what he did with that PT.

This, in a way, is what happened for Michael those several years ago in a parking lot. The precious life that had come into this world with great potential and gifting had come to the end of his ability to do anything with. It had been used up and given to a way of life that could no longer work for him. It was at that moment that the Father, who had been there for him all along, got a call from him requesting a way to just get rid of it. That call, however, was heard in a much different way. God heard opportunity for exactly what He had desired and planned for him. Sitting in his truck, Michael seemed to hear God speak to him to get out, lock it, leave his keys and anything else he might hold onto in it and begin walking. This was the beginning of an exchange of his old, broken and hopeless life for a new, hope-filled life that wouldn’t be limited to an earthly body. That day there was a death to anything that could be lost in this life for something that would never end. When he died that day, he took on new life with an eternal purpose.

The significance of a passing-

John 12:24-25 24 Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died. 25 “The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever!

Now everything he would do had eternal meaning and responsibility. He expressed to me that he could no longer maintain relationships and engage in activities that would take him back to that old way of life. His desire now was to influence others rather than be influenced by them, to somehow represent the reality of One who had given him such a great deal.

The old replaced completely-

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 17 Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. 18 And God has made all things new, and reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God.

There is an opportunity for us today to respond to Michael’s desire. As we have been forced to relinquish our hold on him in this life, in this moment there is a way made for us to follow him in that call he made long ago. By giving up our hold on an old and limited life, we can let it go for a new and eternal one. By joining Michael, the resurrection of Jesus that is his promise can become yours as well. As this time of Michael’s death is so very precious to the Father, He is also here for you with a provision of life that doesn’t have to wait another moment.

New life doesn’t have to wait-

John 11:23-26 23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise and live.” 24 She replied, “Yes, I know he will rise with everyone else on resurrection day.” 25 “Martha,” Jesus said, “You don’t have to wait until then. I am the Resurrection, and I am Life Eternal. Anyone who clings to me in faith, even though he dies, will live forever. 26 And the one who lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Must be born again-

John 3:5-6 5 Jesus answered, “I speak an eternal truth: Unless you are born of water and Spirit-wind, you will never enter God’s kingdom realm. 6 For the natural realm can only give birth to things that are natural, but the spiritual realm gives birth to supernatural life!


If you would like to respond to Michael’s wish for you today, please pray this prayer with me:

“Jesus, I see that I too must have the new life that Mike has. I am at the end of my ability to do anything with my old life, and give it up completely to you. I believe that Jesus rose from the grave to give me new life. I receive You now as my Savior and look forward to eternal life with You.”

For those who have accepted this new life there is hope beyond today’s loss-

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13 Beloved brothers and sisters, we want you to be quite certain about the truth concerning those who have passed away, so that you won’t be overwhelmed with grief like many others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who died while believing in him. 15 This is the word of the Lord: we who are alive in him and remain on earth when the Lord appears will by no means have an advantage over those who have already died, for both will rise together. 16 For the Lord himself will appear with the declaration of victory, the shout of an archangel, and the trumpet blast of God. He will descend from the heavenly realm and command those who are dead in Christ to rise first. 17 Then we who are alive will join them, transported together in clouds to have an encounter with the Lord in the air, and we will be forever joined with the Lord. 18 So encourage one another with these truths.

Hope in this new life -

Revelation 21:4 (TPT) 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and eliminate death entirely. No one will mourn or weep any longer. The pain of wounds will no longer exist, for the old order has ceased.”