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Iron Horse-Michael C.


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Hello all, my name is Adam and the user known as Iron Horse is my father. His name was Michael and earlier today he lost his battle to a lung disease, Bronchiolitis. He's had this condition for almost 7 years and he developed pneumonia the past couple of weeks and today he left this earth. He was a great father and he was an even better grandfather to 6 grandkids. He will be missed by many and he loved many.

 

I know that the folks here were a part of his life, and that he loved coming here and debating with you. We talked a lot about the discussions that took place here, so I know that he enjoyed his time here. I also know what it's like to be in a community like this, I am a member of a very similar board. I am a Christian also and know the way forums are. Even though people can disagree and even sometimes to the point that it gets a little nasty, we are all human and we all know that death can be difficult. But I also know that closure is good for the human soul, that's why I logged in to let you know that this will be one of the last post from Ironhorse. I will check through out the week but don't plan to come back much after that.

 

You guys know he loved Dylan, so I will leave you with this..

 

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

 

He walked many roads, and consider him a wonderful man....

 

 

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I am very sorry to hear this, Adam. Your father and I disagreed a fair amount, but he was a decent person. We had some good discussions. We will miss him around here. Sincerest condolences to you and your family.

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Hi Adam

 

I am sorry to hear of your fathers death. My condolences to you and your family at this time.

 

Like Disillusioned, I also disagreed with IH a lot, but we had some decent discussions surrounding religious subjects. He was one of our regulars here and will I miss the discussions.

 

 Thank you for letting us know.

 

LF

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4 hours ago, ironhorse said:

Hello all, my name is Adam and the user known as Iron Horse is my father. His name was Michael and earlier today he lost his battle to a lung disease, Bronchiolitis. He's had this condition for almost 7 years and he developed pneumonia the past couple of weeks and today he left this earth. He was a great father and he was an even better grandfather to 6 grandkids. He will be missed by many and he loved many.

 

I know that the folks here were a part of his life, and that he loved coming here and debating with you. We talked a lot about the discussions that took place here, so I know that he enjoyed his time here. I also know what it's like to be in a community like this, I am a member of a very similar board. I am a Christian also and know the way forums are. Even though people can disagree and even sometimes to the point that it gets a little nasty, we are all human and we all know that death can be difficult. But I also know that closure is good for the human soul, that's why I logged in to let you know that this will be one of the last post from Ironhorse. I will check through out the week but don't plan to come back much after that.

 

You guys know he loved Dylan, so I will leave you with this..

 

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

 

He walked many roads, and consider him a wonderful man....

 

 

 

I'm sorry to hear this news, Adam. We bantered back and forth and he never wavered from his faith.  He just kept coming back for more abuse. :) But you're right, even though we like to battle it out over religion and philosophy over the years, we're all in this life thing together. It was good to see his posts pop up now and then. :) He caused quite a stir here. lol.

 

Thank you for taking the time to let us know what happened. I offer my condolences to you and your family. Dealing with the death of a parent (or anyone for that matter) is not easy ... and even though I still cry  now and then about my own parents being gone, it's a positive moment because I get to remember how they were and that I love them.

 

Take care, Sir.

 

Midnite Rider

 

 

 

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I am sorry for your loss, Adam. I hope you find joy in the life you had with your father and that your memories of him stay with you as long as you live.

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Adam, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad.  I’m glad you have such good memories of him.  My sincerest condolences to you and your family.  Thanks for letting us know: it’s always tough when somebody just disappears from a forum like this and everybody is just left wondering. 

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Adam. Im sorry for your loss. 

I wish you and your family well. 

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Adam and family,

 

Your father was a member here for five years (IIRC).  He was steadfast in his religious faith throughout that time.  He was civil and showed respect for others.  Not surprisingly, he and other members (myself included) would often get into heated discourse, generally about religion and occasionally about philosophy, science or other topics.  He would often say, "I don't know all the answers", or something similar.  I suspect his time here encouraged him to search for some of those answers.

 

I am saddened by news of his death and trust you and your family will cope with his loss and emerge with strength.

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So very sorry to learn of your loss Adam.  IronHorse, in spite of our theological differences, was a valued member of this community. He will be missed. 

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Adam, although I had very little interaction with your father on the forums and didn't know him very well, I'm nevertheless sorry to hear of your families loss. What I do know is that your father played the role of a christian apologist here at ex-C, a role that we basically need people to fill, to be honest. Otherwise it's nothing but a lot of preaching to choir, so to speak. Maybe down the road you may want to take the reigns and perhaps keep the "ironhorse" legacy going in his absence. Just a thought. 

 

Very sorry for your loss. 

 

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Adam, I'm very sorry for your and you family's loss. Thank you for letting us know.

 

I was one of the people that would argue or debate with your dad from time to time and he was always polite and steadfast no matter what we threw at him. Of course it's vastly different for you than us, but we here at the forum will miss him too. 

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My sincere condolences on the loss of your dad, Adam. It's never easy losing those we love. Best to all of your family. I am not a debater but your dads' name, 'Ironhorse' was popular. He will be missed on Ex-c. Thank you for letting us know. Big ((hug))

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I want to thank everyone here for the kind words about my father. If anyone knew how he was about discussing issues it was me, he was just as stubborn with me at times! This was a tough week for us but it ended beautifully with a wonderful service yesterday. I may come back and join in this group, just not sure if I have the time. I did want to leave something with you all so you could understand more about him than just being Iron Horse. He used to run a Saturday night coffee house in the early 90's called the Iron Horse that was a haven for teens, and there where no strict dos and don'ts except don't break the law! This place was for kids who liked music, often they would be smoking, cursing, acting crazy and my dad would be right there in the middle talking to them about life or religion. He just wanted a place to minister to people that didn't make them feel like they where a part of a strict religious organization. On sunday mornings is when he had church, and it was a little traditional in how it operated but that was on paper. He wanted a place where people could experience God's love in a  non traditional church setting. It impacted many lives, never become extremely big but none the less it was a great ministry.

 

I wanted to leave you with the eulogy that I wrote for my father, I know that he would have wanted me to leave this here because you guys where such a important part of his life in the latter years. Again thank you for the condolences.

 

I want to thank everyone for the love, and grace and comfort that has been shown to us through this week, even those that couldn’t be here today. It’s a huge statement to the life of Michael when this many people have come to honor his life.

He lived a wonderful life, he impacted so many people on so many different levels. There wasn’t anyone that he couldn’t relate with, talk to and just have good old-fashioned fellowship with. He lived everyday with love in his heart for his fellow man, with concern of their wellbeing.

 He contended for his faith, which was the cornerstone of his entire being and how he viewed this world. He desired for others to be able to know and experience the love, grace and mercy that came from his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 He didn’t hold to a small view of God, or a view of God that we can put into a box. Nor did he approach sharing the Gospel in a way that isolated anyone, he was willing to go where they were to share this wonderful message. You could disagree with him but that didn’t change his view of you, he just wanted you to know what he knew and what he now sees.

I know that my father would want me to share the Gospel in this moment. As we searched through his writings this week we came across the bulletin that we have for today and when I opened it I knew the scripture that I saw. Was the scripture that God had intended for me share in this moment just as my father did 26 years ago.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

This is who my Father was, He loved God with all his heart, his soul and his mind. He had a tremendous love for his neighbor, his fellow man, his fellow sojourner in this life.

If my Father were here today, he would argue that even as good of a man he was, even as well he studied the scriptures, even as well as he lived out his Christian life and even as well as he treated his neighbor.

He’s not the one you should follow, he’s not the one that you should imitate, his life isn’t the life you need to imitate. But there is one that you should follow, One who my father called Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

You must meet Him, you must make a choice about who He is. As C.S. Lewis famously asked. Is He Lord? Is He lunatic? Is He liar? If He is Lord, then it’s not even His life that you need to imitate, you must be willing to go further than just imitating Jesus Christ.

You cannot read about His life and just start to imitate Jesus in your life. He must be found living in you and through you. You must be willing to follow Him, go where He is leading.

When you meet Him and you accept Him as Lord, then truth enters into your life like nothing else you’ve experienced in this life. A change that is almost indescribable because it’s so foreign to human nature. When the Light enters darkness, it shows you a world that was virtually unknown to you previously.

Truth reaches down, and your heart is flooded with a love that surpasses any experience of love you’ve ever known. A love that allows you to understand grace and forgiveness from a different perspective, allows you to cherish love, appreciate love and express love on a divine level.

 A love that is expressed by sacrificial actions towards the one who is receiving it. But to go beyond just doing what you want others to do to you. It’s giving the very best to the one who’s done their very worst to you and doing it because you love them.

Truth reaches down and touches the soul that brings about a peace in the toughest of all moments. The souls of men are the most delicate of all God’s creation, in the blink of an eye, it will shatter. It can be destroyed from the outside just as quickly as it can be destroyed from the inside.

Yet it’s truth that can overcome in those moments. It’s the truth that the same God who has created the soul and has the power to destroy both body and soul can grant everlasting life to a soul. No man can escape their own soul, we can try to run, hide, deny and even forget about our soul but no matter where we turn. It’s there in front of us, it’s the eternal shadow that we live with.

Truth reaches down, and the mind is changed, it’s renewed, it’s no longer operating under the old debased way of thinking. It’s understanding of the world in which it is surrounded by comprehends everything through the lens of truth.

The Bible, the greatest book in human history is the unending well of truth that men draw from. You do not just read it, you digest it and you live it. You don’t imitate it, you believe it.  – the problem people have with God and the Bible is a matter of believing. Belief is the struggle of men, or it’s the unbelief that is the real struggle. No matter what side you are on, the struggle is hard for everyone.

We struggle with what has happened to us, we struggle with what is about to happen us. But it’s in these tough moments of life like when we are faced with our own mortality that our belief or unbelief is put to the test.

 My father wrote down these words on June 19th, 1974 that I ask each of you to ponder. “Where we are now will determine the power of our faith.” Or to reword it slightly and challenge each of us today, “Where you are now will determine the power of your belief/unbelief”

The sun once asked the moon “Why aren’t you like me – a light that brightens the world, a shining face in the sky – for all you are, only becomes lost in the darkness.” The moon never replied.

When truth touches the heart, soul and mind of a man it allows him to become a light that brightens the world around him. It allows him to follow the pathway that has been lit by his Lord, the Light of the World.

It’s a path that isn’t easy, has its setbacks, and moments of joy but when examined from the end and not the beginning anyone can see that it impacted and accomplished all that his Lord wanted.

That short poem my father wrote in his journal in 1974 that causes us to examine our own lives, are we like the sun or are we like the moon, left with no reply? Only you can answer that.

My father loved to write, and I have had the chance to read a lot of his stuff this week. And I thought to my self this week if my father had one more chance to pen just one more journal entry, I wonder what it would say?? Maybe it would sound a little like this….

Meanwhile back on the ranch…it’s hotter than pepper pie today but the kids have been good.

The boys been going all over this mountain like a rolling stone. They’ve rolled, they’ve tumbled and cried a little bit been throwing knives into trees.

The girls have been keeping them in line, but that’s just like a woman. God bless them pretty women, I’m sure glad they are mine. Their Nana must be real proud of these two dolls.

Daniel snagged him a big bass, his uncle taught him well. Hopefully Ma will fry it up tonight for supper. He’s got a ball game tonight but if the fish are biting, I know he’s not going to want to leave. Later on I’m gonna let him go and hunt for a ground hog with the 410.

Jackson had him a fish but it got away. Like his daddy he doesn’t have much patience for these fish. I told him that I had a good Three Stooges and Buster Keaton recorded we can watch later. Right now, he’s down in carpenters creek near honey suckle bridge, the water is wide at that part and he really gets into too much of nothing.

Now the twins have been riding down the driveway like they are on Highway 61. The gravel road is bumpy, It’s a hard road to ride, and it’s ride boys ride. They really are the two Jokers in this deck.

Sawyer, he got one over on me earlier in checkers. He’s tough on that board, glad we don’t gamble he would probably win the whole farm. When you play with Sawyer, you never really know whether he was bluffin’ or whether he was true. And he got the last cup of coffee this morning!

Ben and I have been talking today, he asks a lot of tough questions for a kid his age, sometimes I just have to tell him “I don’t know”. I tell him that he is just going to have to figure that one out on his own. “Never stop asking questions”, that’s what I tell him it’s the best way to learn.

My father held that view. Real education that is meaningful, and lasting is self-education and it continues through life. I’ve got to play him in checkers tonight also, so I had better be on my toes because I know he’s got trouble on his mind.

Now for Leila, there’s just too many games to play, trees to climb, and butterflies to chase around here. She caught a grasshopper, she made it a home with an old mason jar, I hope it makes it till tomorrow because, tomorrow is a long time. She was dancing earlier lookin’ like a queen without a crown, to the ghost busters song. I was thinking, You angel you, You got me under your wing, The way you walk and the way you talk, I feel I could almost sing.

Her daddy is working hard on that garden, sure hope the critters don’t wipe us out. He keeps the land tilled and he’ll work till the night falls across the valley. We need another good batch of beans to put up for the winter. Last years was the best I ever had.

Rachael brought me my coffee this morning, she knows how I like it and she never messes it up. It’s simple, pour it from the pot to the cup, some say it’s watered down love. If this is love then gimme more, and more, and more.

She’s a little upset with me because I hid her pacie, she started crying and I said Baby, please stop crying, You know, I know, the sun will always shine. She just looked up and then started to sing, the B I B L E is the book for me!

And you know the sun has shined brightly so far and the Son will always shine. A hard-rain’s gonna come but that ain’t nothing this bunch can’t handle, cause there’s better days promised on the horizon. Spring is in the air, buckets of rain are on the way and we need it, there’s always new life after the rain.

We will wake in the morning feeling wonderfully different. We will be alive and happy as a newborn calf in a field of clover. We will have a big silly grin that just won’t go away.

But I like living where I can shiver and shake my way through a rough winter and then get a good dose of sunshine come spring. Just when you need it bad, you get it good!

Well I’ve finished my last Cheerwine, and it’s time to go. I’m heading to my birthday party and I hear the master calling, ringing them bells where the four winds blow.  

Take my advice and cast your sail when the wind is sure, don’t look back, keep blowin in the wind and set sail for the place where we will be forever young.

And Mama this one’s for you:

(This is an original Poem by him, one of many)

In the good old days

I could dream away into your smiles,

First thing in the mornings

And then some after awhile

Smiles, smiles

Could make my heart run wild

Making me act just like a little child.

But today I see no smiles

No smiles to warm my heart,

And this child is crying to see you smile again.

Smile again Mama.

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My condolences. Your dad and I never saw eye-to-eye on much, and I am known for being caustic.

 

That said, I've been where you are, in the years of dealing with a loved one's eventually-terminal disease, and in the shit-storm of funerals and estates and all that.

 

I'm sorry you're going through it, and I hope your efforts to honor his life brought some measure of closure to the pain and struggles, and that your memories of your dad are a comfort and a treasure.

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