Finally Home

He is finally home.

If you’ve read my books and listened to the podcast, you know the impact my dad had on my life and faith. Last Saturday morning, at 98 years of age, my dad passed from life in this age to life in the full-on splendor of Jesus,  something he has been longing for as he has outlived almost everyone from his generation. I’m so grateful he no longer suffers from his declining health and is now at rest in the love of Jesus and reunited with his wife, his eldest son, and others from his nearly century-long journey.

The damage a dysfunctional family can do to a young life is incredible. I deal with many people who grew up in families filled with anger, abuse, or an absence of love. I am not among them. I grew up in a family where Mom and Dad loved each other and their four boys. We had lots of friends and enjoyed hosting parties at the ranch. My life was filled with laughter, support, and the example of growing faith in Jesus. For that, I will always be grateful.

Dad with our newest dog Zoey in 2016

I’ve often said that my dad was not only the father of my flesh but also my faith. I learned so much from him and had so many illuminating conversations with a man I will always admire and appreciate. My dad was many things—a World War II vet, wounded on the front in the north of France, the owner of a vineyard who sun-dried grapes into raisins, a compassionate husband, a rock-steady father to four boys, a scoutmaster, a congregational leader (multiple times), house church facilitator, and most of all a passionate follower of Jesus. He gave his life away to any who sought his help and wisdom and touched many with both. I get emails regularly from people that were enriched because they knew him.

He was a nominal Baptist in my younger days, but in the early 1960s, he decided to find out if God was real or give up playing the religious game. That sent him on a lifelong journey of deepening faith and service to others. I served with him on an eldering team once, and one of my friends from that team perhaps summed up his life best. “He doesn’t talk much, but you have got to listen when he does.”

Here are a few of the things I consider a legacy from my relationship with my dad, even more by his example of life than his words:

  • Follow Jesus no matter what, even when it costs you relationships you value or when others gossip about you to discredit you.
  • God is big enough to walk you through anything, no matter how dire it might look. He said that to me in my youth, watching one of his raisin crops destroyed by a deluge of rain. The money he would have received for that harvest was his sole source of income, and yet God took care of us anyway.
  • Be generous with others; you are part of a larger community than just your needs or desires.
  • Keep your heart grounded in the Scriptures, which can be a constant source of encouragement and wisdom.
  • Truth matters. If you let your fears steer you into believing a lie, it will destroy even the most precious relationships replacing love and affection with anger and hate.

For those that didn’t know my dad, I wrote two tributes to my relationship with him back in 2004 when my son and I took him to Washington, DC, for the first time in his life. We were there to attend the dedication of the World War II Memorial on the Mall and enjoy the sights of the city. It was the trip of a lifetime that I will always cherish with both of them. We laughed hard and celebrated with gratefulness my dad’s service to his country. You can read those blogs here:

In 2012, I interviewed my dad on The God Journey in an episode called A Journey of Growing Trust.

Having completed his journey here, he is now on to the most significant part of our human experience—where perfect love reigns, and relationships never die. I would love to know what he knows now. We look through a glass darkly, but one day we will be face to face with Jesus, as he is today. I can’t wait to sit down with him again and see our journeys in the full light of his glory.

Thank you, Dad, for being a part of my life as long as you could. Thanks for all the wisdom and character you imparted to me over nearly seven decades. Thanks for loving my family and helping us in so many ways. And thanks for enriching so many other lives as you traversed this temporal land.

A friend sent me a prayer this weekend that on the day I die, Jesus would send my dad to get me or at least come with him. I don’t know if God answers such prayers, but I know we will sit down for a long talk again someday. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that.

One of my last walks with Dad in 2021 at Shaver Lake

31 thoughts on “Finally Home”

  1. Pingback: Finally Home | Lifestream | Wayne Jacobsen – The Faith Herald

  2. So glad your dad raised such a good man as yourself…. your impacts on your fans from your dad and youself is refreshing to hear as we navigate through tough times…. may the many encouragements help you navigate through you season in this life.

    God’s love and blessings!

  3. Wayne,
    Thank you for the faith building tribute to your Dad…the father of your flesh and your faith. I’ll use that in the future I’m sure but I will be sure to give you credit (and of course tithe on it:-).

  4. Wayne – We’re so sorry for your loss. I know he had a long and fruitful life, but it still hurts. We lost my momma at the age 100, and though it hurt, I wouldn’t have asked her to stay one minute longer, because like your dad, she was now in the presence of her Savior.

    I pray the tears you shed are tears of joy as Father brings precious memories to your mind. I know you are praising Father for giving you such a wonderful father.

    Bob and I will be praying for you and Sara.


  5. What a heartfelt tribute written for your father. I remember Gene being all that you said. Known for his wisdom and counsel, he touched many lives and caused the souls of many to be empowered to press on in the faith. I remember him well. He will be unforgettable.
    I pray that our Heavenly Father will comfort and assist you and Sara with wisdom in the coming days, with all decisions regarding Gene’s memorial.

  6. Please accept my most sincere condolences. You are such a blessing. Praying for peace and comfort.

  7. Praying for you as you process this grief… and I am so thankful you have the memories of the sweet life you all shared together!! blessings, Ro

  8. Thank you, Wayne, for the loving tribute to your dad! He was special man with a heart for God and for His Church. Thanks for sharing the wisdom he passed on to you!

  9. Your words are deeply touching and beautiful Wayne. I would have loved to have known him. Sending love and deepest condolences to you, Sara and all your family.

  10. Dear Wayne,
    What a beautiful legacy your father lived. I know he will be missed however the memories of him will last a lifetime.

  11. Villadsen, Janet

    Yes Wayne. Everyone loved your dad. He lived a long loving life. Your beautiful words were appreciated. Prayers are with you and your family. Love to you.

  12. Tears…what a glorious life he lived.
    Thank you so much for sharing this, Wayne..It was a beautiful tribute to your father and how he served Jesus, his family, and his community.
    Prayers of peace and comfort as you mourn his physical presence and wait for the day you see him again.


  13. What a beautiful tribute to a father who gave you so much. How blessed you are to have his imprints in your life . Truly was touched, thanks for sharing, Wayne.

  14. Wayne, I was just wondering how your dad was doing last week, knowing the past few years had been challenging. I talk to my mom twice a day, most days… she’s 97 and has also outlived all her peers. Thanks for sharing this lovely tribute with us.

    I’m rejoicing with you that your dad’s free from the limitations of his weary body, and grateful for the depth and richness of your relationship with him. Trusting Jesus to walk with you and your family and friends as you experience this severe mercy (as CS Lewis called it) — as severe as death; as merciful as love.

    Grace and peace to you, brother.

  15. This is just beautiful! Thanks Wayne and thanks to your dad for running a race worth emanating!

  16. Vicky Kilian-Portman

    My sincere condolences and what an awesome man he must have been. You will meet again,
    and until then…Love. xx

  17. Rest in Peace M.JACOBSEN..Thank you for having given us your son, Wayne, the writer of HE LOVES ME , the book that changed my life and tought me that God is a Father and His Affection a solid Rock and a sure Shelter . God bless you now and I wish you Hapiness and Joy with This Father who tought you how to be a father.

  18. Thank you for your warm-hearted condolences and expressions of love and grace for me and my dad. I appreciate every comment and the love behind them. I am very grateful to have had the father I did and the friends I have all over the world. I’m a rich, rich man…

    1. Dear Wayne,
      It sounds like your Dad was one of the best of the “greatest generation”. Mine was, too. He went home in 2018 (96 y/o). What wonderful fathers God blessed us with!

  19. A real and genuine “man of God” I can see that from the way he trained you up as a child to follow the Lord wholeheartedly. Thank you, Wayne, for sharing that tribute with us! Blessings; Doug Frazer.

  20. How wonderful to have the precious memories and legacy of a faithful father. While you grieve with hope in your heart, I pray for the treasured memories to surface each day for comfort and joy.

  21. Ah this is beautiful wayne. Im so sorry about your loss. You have some sweet memories. Bless you for sharing these great tips from your dad too.

  22. Gosh Wayne, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hesitate to say loss because you know exactly where your dad is. ☺️ But, as you know, you will see him again. I love the memories that you’ve shared and I’m thankful that you allowed us to peek into your relationship with your dad.
    Love and hugs to you and yours

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