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Message in Funeral Liturgy Booklet

The following is a message that was included in the liturgy booklet from Tiny's Funeral on December 4, 1996.  Click on the cover artwork below for a larger, clearer image and an explanation.

Liturgy from Tiny's FuneralThe most important event in Tiny Tim's life happened sometime in 1951 when he was 19 years old. Some neighborhood boys invited him to a revival meeting and he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. For the rest of his life, he struggled to obey God's will in every area of his life.

Tiny never wanted to do just enough to get by. He always wanted to exceed the expectations. If he was supposed to do one song, he did three. If he was supposed to do two or three, he did five. No matter how he felt, the show must go on. He always stayed until the last autograph was signed and the last question answered. He never wanted to disappoint anyone, especially the Lord.

His favorite bible verse was Zechariah 4:6 " 'Not by might nor by power, but by My spirit,' says the Lord of Hosts." He always felt that his success was a gift from God and he tried to put God first in his life. His diaries and songbooks are covered with short exclamations of praise, such as "Christ be magnified," written across the top of the page. He liked to give the first fruits of the day to God and, since it became the new day at midnight, he tried to start his prayers then. From twelve until two, three, or four a.m., he said his rosaries and prayers, and he would never sing his secular songs until he had first sung his hymns to the Lord. Matthew 10:32 says, "So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge before my father who is in Heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father who is in Heaven."

For this reason, Tiny constantly alluded to the Lord in his conversations and was careful to say "Jesus Christ" and not just "God" because he did not want to deny the name of Jesus. Tiny's career brought him into contact with many worldly people who otherwise would not have heard the Gospel. Some of his friends have said that they came to believe in Jesus because of the things Tiny had told them.

It is customary at funerals to talk about the departed being in heaven even if the person was not a believer. In Tiny's case, he truly loved the Lord and that he was destined to be with Him in paradise.

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus." (I Thessalonians 4:13-14)

Strangely enough, Tiny's close personal friend, Johnny Pineapple, also had a vivid dream about heaven the week before Tiny died, and they had discussed it at length.

Tiny often said that he did not want to die. "I'm no brave guy," he said. He really enjoyed life. He always saw the happy and funny side of everything and he was constantly singing and laughing, even these last couple of months when he was not feeling well. Yet, as much as he loved life, he always said that he had been blessed with a full life and he was ready to go when God called him. He only hoped that he could face death bravely.

Right before he collapsed he showed relief that he was done with his show, happiness that the people had liked it, and weariness, but not pain or apprehension. When he slumped he was asked if he was OK and he said, "No," with surprise in his voice.

Seconds later, he was lying on the floor in complete cardiac arrest, and he never regained consciousness.

If Tiny had been more careful with his health, he may have lived on several more months or years, but he probably would have been in and out of hospitals, enduring all sorts of tests and procedures, increasingly weak, uncomfortable, and scared. He was not alone on the road. He died doing what he loved, singing the song that made him famous. But most importantly, he is with the Lord.

Tiny did many things in his life and made many people happy, but the most important thing he ever did was to entrust his life to Jesus Christ. All the fame, wealth, or success in the world could not have gotten Tiny where he is now. For that was the work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary and for His grace we thank Him now.

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