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Posts tagged ‘Julius’

JULIUS EWALD KARL: Stories from his life

JEK: Julius E. Karl’s Life in Photos – click here:  https://wp.me/p1buYw-l2

JEK: The story of His Life from Birth to Marriage

“Till death do us part” came in January 1999 after 31 years and 2 months of marriage ending Julius’ nearly 14-year fight with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Since that time, I [Yvonne] have chosen to focus on the positive and spend the rest of my life praising God for His mercy and grace. I take to heart the Apostle Paul’s words: A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes … In [Paul’s] judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is–and I think that I, Paul, also have the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 7:39-40).

Thank You Heavenly Father for bringing Julius and me through 31 years of marriage “to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” till death parted us in this life. Thank You for Your grace that was greater than all of our problems and for faith in You that held us together till the end. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

November 24, 2017, we would have celebrated our 50th Anniversary, and in his honor and memory, here is the story of his life from birth to marriage. It’s a story of overcoming hardship inflicted by war, living in four different countries, pursuing education to the highest degree and, through it all, loving and serving God, the Father of Jesus Christ.

Special thanks goes to Julius’ youngest sister Frieda, for contributing her written memories of the Karl Family’s life and for verifying specific dates and events. Some of the information was written and told by Julius himself before he died. Finally, Yvonne draws from stories Julius told over and over again to his family and friends. While somewhat in chronological order, there are overlapping stories and some repetition to bring clarity to the events.

Each chapter is short and listed separately below. It should open when you click on it.

JEK-Introduction

JEK-Chapter 01-His Immediate Family

JEK-Chapter 02-A Child in Time of War

JEK-Chapter 03-The Faith of My Parents, written by Julius in 1988

JEK-Chapter 04-Youth, Education, and Christian Commitment

JEK-Chapter 05-Growing Up and War Comes, by Frieda Karl, youngest sister of Julius

JEK-Chapter 06-Escape to Freedom, by Frieda

JEK-Chapter 07-Leaving Germany for Canada

JEK-Chapter 08-College Bound in USA

JEK-Chapter 09-Julius seeks and finds a wife 

JEK-Chapter 10-How Julius met Yvonne-The CHOG Connection

JEK-Chapter 11-The Wedding and After

JEK The End of his life journey & Yvonne’s Story at the Tomb (Israel)-https://wp.me/p1buYw-jv

JEK: Julius E. Karl’s Life in Photos – https://wp.me/p1buYw-l2

JEK-Chapter 12-Short Stories from Julius

JEK-Dissertation Abstract IU – for PHD 1974

Papers Julius wrote for B. A. Classes in 1965

JEK AutoBio 01-65

JEK AutoBio 06-65

JEK-My Education 01-65

 

 

 

 

 

Julius Ewald Karl: The End of his Life Journey

Julius Ewald Karl: The End of his Life Journey … and a Defining Moment in my Grief

by his wife of 31 years, Yvonne

For the most part, I have been an independent gal from birth – one of the characteristics my husband said attracted him to me. Although I was 10 years younger than he, we married, melded, and worked tirelessly and harmoniously in marriage and ministry giving no thought to age difference. In 1985 at the age of 54 (when our children were 7 and 12), he refused to give in to the diagnosis given him of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and continually declared the scriptures over himself and believed he would receive complete healing. Finally after 13 years of persevering through numerous monthly doses of chemo and radiation, he was pronounced cancer-free. We rejoiced. His energy was renewed—mentally, spiritually and physically. God had answered our prayer. We had a wonderful summer.

In September 1998, he began having pains in his legs then in his back. Simple tests showed nothing. However, in early December, the neurologist ordered a biopsy of his spine. Thus it was on 14 December 1998, the oncologist delivered the shocking news that cancer had now invaded his major organs. Furthermore, chemo treatments would neither cure nor lengthen his life and likely would make his remaining days more difficult. Julius turned down treatments – having already placed his life in God’s hands. He came home from the doctor and called our daughter and his sisters and told them, “My Father is calling me home.” He seemed convinced, but I still believed he would overcome this diagnosis as he had so many times before.

Immediately he took charge of end-of-life issues. He planned his funeral—which he chose to have in the funeral home chapel—and directed that a celebration feast be held at the church. He called a good friend since seminary days to come to do his service. He picked out his casket and his cemetery plot. He apologized for not having any life insurance and prayed God would take care of me. He told me to take care of business as quickly as possible and move on with my life … specifically to “take a trip.” He knew I loved to travel; he didn’t. He made it clear he only wanted immediate family with him when he died. He had fully embraced an imminent move to his heavenly home.

He was able to be up and dressed until about four days before his death. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, his sister came from Canada and mine from WV to see him unaware it would be his last day of communication. They said their good-byes knowing they wouldn’t again see him alive and returned to their homes with a snowstorm in the forecast.

Six weeks had passed since the final prognosis. Our children, now 25 and 20, kept vigil with me over the next hours. We played all 24 audiocassette tapes of one of his favorite singers, David Ingles, took turns reading scripture to him, and played the entire score of Handel’s Messiah. At 7:20am after a peaceful night, his pulse stopped. It was 25 January 1999. When we looked outside, a beautiful, deep snow had fallen leaving everything glistening white.

I had fasted and prayed over those nearly 14 years (minus the summer of 1998) for his healing, for us to grow old and share life together serving our Lord. I was disappointed, but accepted that cancer had taken his life and God whom He loved so dearly had welcomed him home. For years he had often said: “When I die, I’ll just move to my Father’s house!” He told me if he went first, he would be waiting for me. He repeated these things just days before he died.

Having grieved many times when it seemed like he might be at the end of his life, I was emotionally and spiritually strong when he died. Oh I missed him, and I cried … yes, I wept off and on for some time –usually in private. But God kept me strong. My joy was full even though a part was missing. As the years passed, I was content with memories, the love of my children, my extended family, and a multitude of friends … and most of all because I knew how much God loved me and would always be my rock and my fortress against sadness and discouragement. My life was truly hidden in Him.

A defining moment in my grief

Seven years passed. My brother-in-law invited me to go to Israel with the team from his church. My sister would also be going, and my niece said she would be my roommate. Prior to this, I had no leading or inclination to go to Israel. My husband, having been born in Germany during Hitler’s reign, had no desire to go and in retrospect was likely a bit fearful to be in the land of the Jews. But this was different!

Traveling around the land where Jesus had lived brought alive so many bible passages. My heart was thrilled and my mind kept rehearsing the stories. I could feel the oneness of spirit among my fellow travelers. We prayed; we laughed; we cried; we praised our Lord.

Then it was time to visit one of the places speculated to be the tomb of Christ’s burial. It didn’t matter whether that piece of information was validated or not, it was the idea of viewing the inside of an empty tomb and knowing it mattered not whether from there or from another tomb, Jesus Christ indeed rose from the dead, walked around town, and was seen by hundreds of people before He ascended to His Father.

Here, I pick up with the story I wrote earlier.  On 5 April 2006 there happened a moment in my life that greatly impacted my future. God and a new friend were there to comfort me through it. I don’t expect others to comprehend the magnitude of this event because it was just for me. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to share it.

 

My Experience at the Tomb, 05 April 2006*

Jerusalem, Wednesday, 5 April 2006.

After walking through the empty tomb at Calvary, we followed the path up to the park benches and sat down with others to discuss what we had seen and await the communion service we would soon experience together.

Throughout my time in Israel, I had been thinking how wonderful it would have been if my late husband could  have shared this experience of traveling through the Holy Land—walking through the land where Jesus walked two  thousand years ago.

Then my ears perked up. Could it be? Yes; there was a group of people assembled by the open tomb singing   “Fairest Lord Jesus”—in German! It was the first German I had heard in Israel, and this happened  to be one of my husband’s favorite hymns. I sang along on the first verse, but by the time they began the second verse the reality  of the words and the incident began to well up within the depths of my soul. This group sang all five verses in German—my husband’s native tongue.

It had been a while since my tears came gushing with this magnitude. You see, my husband is buried in the Resurrection section of the cemetery in our hometown of Livonia, Michigan. Right beside his grave is a replica of  the tomb with the stone rolled away and a sign reading: “He is not here; He is risen!” The German group was singing beside the open tomb—under the exact same sign. No one else in our tour group indicated they knew German. In fact, most of them were oblivious to the singing. A few people later  told me they thought the melody  sounded familiar but couldn’t place it. Why? It was just for ME! That’s how much my Lord loves me!

After returning home, I shared this story with my children. My daughter asked,  “Mom, what day did this happen?”   I thought back and realized it was Wednesday. You guessed it—April 5—my husband’s birthday! But he, too, has     risen and is very much alive with his Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Oh how HE loves me…. and you!

Any grief that remained in me was released that day at the tomb in Jerusalem. I will always be thankful for my new friend and sister in Christ, Hyacinth Rose, who held me while I released it all—having no idea what was happening in me but praying all the while and knowing God was at work. I shall forever feel bonded to her in love.

Since that time, I have noticed a new spring in my step, a new freedom that’s difficult to express. Grief is gone—even that which I did not know still remained. Now when I think of my late husband, it is with joy that he is in the presence of His heavenly Father whom he dearly loved, free from pain and worldly conflict and confusion, forever basking in the sunlight of God’s glory—Jesus Christ!

All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and

in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. – Jude 25

Oh how HE loves you and me!

NOTE: My late husband moved to his Heavenly Father’s house 25 January 1999. Any grief that remained in me was released that day at the tomb in Jerusalem. I will always be thankful for my new friend Hya who held me while I released it all!

*This is also in a separate article: https://wp.me/p1buYw-aL

These Last Ten Years

The following article was published in 2009, ten years after my husband went to live with His Heavenly Father.

Click on link below:

These Last ten years-09

Our last family picture – Christmas Eve dinner at the church  1998

Family-1998-02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God was doing A New Thing: A Very Personal Story

GOD WAS DOING A NEW THING

BUT I COULD NOT SEE IT

 It was August 1993. My husband Julius had already come through several near-death incidents. His emotions were spent. The church he pastored was struggling financially, although, thank God, the mortgage was paid in full. Nevertheless, his medications—including chemo and radiation—were running in excess of $3000 per month—not covered by our insurance. The church was helping us pay them. Our premiums had been raised to $1000 per month in the Church of God National Health Care Plan (New Life paid the premiums) then we were told the premium would expire in 3 months. A local Baptist pastor (Dr. Jenkins) who had befriended Julius volunteered to take us into their group health care plan temporarily. This helped considerably, but Julius was concerned that the pastor was about to retire and that the new plan administrator might not want to keep a non-Baptist in the group. Thus he surmised the way to insure coverage was for me to get a teaching job.

I had seen the fruit of our Christian School in my own two children and their success at the university. Closing the school was a major blow to me as I had been the principal (without pay–by my choice) since it began in 1983. The church had been declining in attendance since Julius was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in December 1985). He worked tirelessly on the tractor clearing the property, cutting down trees, leveling the ground to make the property appealing. Several young men and some faithful members could be seen helping him almost every day. The members remodeled the inside of the standing building as well. Pastor Lee Jordan made the architectural drawing for a new church building on that property. None of these things resulted in growth. Now, being the practical person Julius was, the only solution he could think of for our finances was for his wife to go back to public school or college teaching.

His decision put me on an emotional roller coaster. “If the walls could talk…” they would tell you how I lay on the floor crying out to the Lord to deliver me from having to go back into the public school. It was a selfish prayer, and the Lord chose to ignore it—because He had a plan for me.

I began calling the community colleges and high schools in the Detroit area. There was only one vacancy in my subject areas and that was at neighboring Inkster High School, and they were not taking applications. I left my name and phone number and mailed them a resume.

It was the end of August and time was running out. One morning after our family prayer time, I felt the Lord impressed on me to call Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville. I had taught there for two and a half years before we moved to Michigan—17 years earlier. My phone call was immediately put through to the administrator who pulled my records from the archives and nearly begged me to come as they were desperate for a high school teacher with my certification. I was hired over the phone.

An hour after that phone call, the car was packed and I was headed to Louisville, leaving my husband and son behind to take care of making transitions in Michigan—sell the house, transition the church, find a new doctor, etc. Our son, 15, was attending community college and living at home so he would need to find a place to live or transfer colleges. The plan was that I would return home for Thanksgiving at which time we would pack up and move south. (Hint: Man makes plans but God determines his steps…Prov. 16:9).

The seven-hour driving trip from Detroit to Louisville seemed like a few minutes. There was nothing playing in my car—no music, no radio, no cassette. I was just praying all the way—trying to make sense out of what was going on, searching my heart and examining if any of my own actions and behaviors to blame for my predicament. (The devil will always give you a list!) Julius was to call friends, Morris and Phyllis King, in Louisville to see if I could stay with them until I found a place for our family to live.

The principal waited at the school for me. As we talked, one of the teachers came into the office. When the principal introduced us, she threw her arms around me and said, “I prayed you all the way from Michigan!” She took me to my classroom and gave me a quick orientation. It would be an easy, comfortable assignment for me. I’ve enjoyed every teaching job I ever had and this would be no exception. It all “seemed” to be God’s way of working out our financial situation. But not every open door is of God, and I had no peace in my heart or mind. I shared a little of my circumstances and asked the principal to give me until 8 AM the next day to give my final decision. He agreed.

Julius and I talked on the phone for an hour and a half the night I arrived in Louisville going over all the pros and cons. After saying it looked like God was working out this opportunity for me, he said, “But you’re the one who’ll be working and you have to make the final decision.” At least, I thought, no matter what I decide, I won’t be disobedient to my husband. That gave some relief.

My friends, Morris and Phyllis, took me out to dinner at a lovely, peaceful, outdoor restaurant on the river. We came back to their house and talked…and talked…and talked. Finally, Phyllis (a psychiatric nurse) suggested I take a Valium so I could sleep. It was the first and last time I took Valium—and I didn’t sleep.

I lay awake tossing and turning and praying and reasoning with the Lord until 3:30 AM when  He spoke very clearly to me: “Get up, go home, and pour the sidewalk.” (A couple of weeks earlier, the city had sent a mandate to the church to pour a boulevard sidewalk, but the finances were not there to do it.)  Peace enveloped me. Sleep came. When I awakened the next morning, I felt refreshed and settled with just three hours of sleep.

I went to the school and told the principal how sorry I was to have given him false hope but that I must go back to Michigan. I shared my story with him—how I came to Louisville out of desperation, but now I had to go back home out of obedience.

Of course, that was before I had a cell phone, so I left the school and went back to the Kings’ house to call Julius and return my belongings to the car. The Kings had left for work before they knew my decision so I left a note for them. Julius still didn’t know my decision either because when I called, he was not home. I took grapes from the frig to eat on the way back to Michigan. Just before closing the door,  I remembered Julius had planned to visit Gus and Diane to share with them what was transpiring. I called them and he was just arriving. Although he had been pretty settled that I would take the Louisville job, he seemed relieved when I told him I had declined it. Then he told me, almost matter-of-fact-like: “Inkster called you this morning (Friday) at 8 AM to come for an interview Monday.”

I jumped. I shouted. I praised the Lord all the way back to Michigan. At exactly the moment I was obeying God and apologizing to the principal that I had to decline the job, Inkster Schools called. I knew in my heart I had the job. I knew it was a divine call—not just an ordinary teaching job. I was so excited for Monday to come. Of course, the rest is history… but the story is not over yet; you must read to the end!

I was hired. I felt at home from the first minute I walked into that high school classroom as a “child of the King” and an “evangelist” from the Most High God. I was on a mission in the midst of a community nicknamed “Little Saigon” and infested by gangs. My Bible stayed on my desk and by the end of first semester, my students and I had become acquainted. At some point, they asked to have prayer meeting in my classroom every day before school. When those teenagers prayed, the room shook, and God heard. They helped me more than they could ever know to cope with my husbands physical and emotional needs as he dealt with the cancer. I looked forward to getting up and going to work every day. I loved and still treasure those seven years at Inkster High School—and our family’s financial needs were met during that time. 

Seven years. God’s number of perfection. At the end of my seventh year, a private company was hired to manage the school district and the new company wanted to bring in young teachers whom they could train in their methods and curriculum; so they offered buyouts to a certain number of teachers, by seniority, who had taught there at least seven years and would turn 60 by June 30th.  Friends, I turned 60 on June 9th and by God’s grace was numbered among those honored. The by-product was retirement in the state teachers’ system with a monthly stipend of $500 plus Blue Cross/Blue Shield health benefits for the rest of my life. I did not see it coming, but when God issues an order, He follows through. 

But here’s the rest of the story: Remember, that night in Louisville at 3:30 AM the Lord told me: “Get up, go home, and pour the sidewalk.”

When talking with Julius that morning and giving him my decision, I did not tell him about the “sidewalk.” It didn’t seem important. As I headed back to Michigan, he visited with Gus and Diane for a while, then later in the day he went to visit an elderly church member, Eileen Honeywell, to cheer her up and pray with her. At some point during their conversation, Eileen said to him: “Didn’t you say in church that the city wants you to pour a sidewalk?” He confirmed they did. “How much will it cost?” He had done research and knew it would be about $800 for the cement and men from the church would do the work. She instructed her daughter right then to write a check to the church for $800 to pour the sidewalk. 

The Lord spoke to Eileen and she obeyed and gave. Before I even got back to Michigan that day—within hours—the Lord had fulfilled His word. (Eileen has gone on to meet the Lord, but this week I sent this story to her daughter Sheila who responded: “I really enjoyed your story. I remember the day very well as your husband had a shocked look on his face when Mom asked me to go and write him a check.”)

One more important part of this story. Initially, I thought my husband’s request for me to take a public school teaching job was selfish and not fully trusting God. In retrospect, I’m sure it was difficult for him as well—and God turned it into good. Julius had the opportunity to see how the Lord blessed me and how much I enjoyed the school; he was appreciative of the insurance benefits. I was able to express my gratitude to him for seeing the situation more clearly than I. He died in my sixth year of teaching thus did not live to see the rewards God brought to me for retirement.

The Bible says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice…” (1 Sam. 15:22). God rewarded my feeble obedience by totally directing my steps—even the detour via Louisville—during what was one of the darkest seasons of my life—a time when I was struggling to make sense out of everything that was happening in me and around me.

Thank God He doesn’t answer prayer based on how good or faithful we are. He answers prayer because He cares about us. He says: 

“For I am about to do a brand-new thing.

See, I have already begun!

Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home.

I will create rivers for them in the desert!”

(Isa. 43:19).

I pray you see this happening in your life as vividly as I see how God did a new thing in my life. It is a continuous process. He made a pathway through my wilderness and now He is creating for me…rivers in the desert. My heart and soul rejoice in the God of my salvation!

*This story began in August 1993 and ended June 30 2000.

(c) C. Yvonne Karl.  Published in The Alabaster Box, Vol.22 No.08 2007. yvonnekarl@gmail.com

My Experience at the Tomb, 05 April 2006

Jerusalem, Wednesday, 5 April 2006.

A defining moment for me

After walking through the empty tomb at Calvary, we followed the path up to the park benches and sat down with others to discuss what we had seen and await the communion service we would soon experience together.

Throughout my time in Israel, I had been thinking how wonderful it would have been if my late husband could have shared this experience of traveling through the Holy Land—walking through the land where Jesus walked two thousand years ago.

Then my ears perked up. Could it be? Yes; there was a group of people assembled by the open tomb singing “Fairest Lord Jesus”—in German! It was the first German I had heard in Israel, and this happened to be one of my husband’s favorite hymns. I sang along on the first verse, but by the time they began the second verse the reality of the words and the incident began to well up within the depths of my soul. This group sang all five verses in German—my husband’s native tongue.

It had been a while since my tears came gushing with this magnitude. You see, my husband is buried in the Resurrection section of the cemetery in Livonia, Michigan. Right beside his grave is a replica of the tomb with the stone rolled away and a sign reading: “He is not here; He is risen!” The German group was singing beside the open tomb—under the exact same sign. No one else in our tour group indicated they knew German. In fact, most of our people were oblivious to the singing. A few people later told me they thought the melody sounded familiar but couldn’t place it. Why? It was just for ME! That’s how much my Lord loves me!

After returning home, I shared this story with my children, and they cried with me. My daughter asked, “Mom, what day did this happen?” I thought back and realized it was Wednesday. You guessed it—April 5my husband’s birthday! But he, too, has risen and is very much alive with his Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Oh how HE loves you and me!

NOTE: My late husband moved to his Heavenly Father’s house 25 January 1999. Any grief that remained in me was released that day at the tomb in Jerusalem. I will always be thankful for my new friend Hya who held me while I released it all!

To read the story of my husband’s diagnosis and death, click hereJulius Karl-The end of his life journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(c) The Alabaster Box. C. Yvonne Karl, 2006.

yvonnekarl@gmail.com

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