The Gospel of John tells us: “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (John 1:47) I’d like to share with you briefly about a man I knew in whom there was no deceit. His name is Glen Paden. If I could have shared at his memorial service here is what I would have said.
Glen Paden was one of the finest, godliest Christian gentlemen I have ever known. He was, in every way, a gentleman — kind to all, gracious to everyone with whom he came in contact. Though he was short in stature he was a giant among those who knew him. When I had the privilege of appointing a task force to study our California Southern Baptist Convention I knew the man we had to have as the Chairman was Glen. He gave the group instant credibility. No one could question his love for our CSBC and his desire to honor God in the decisions that were made.
Glen was also a theologian. From the time I first knew him, he was enormously encouraging to me as a friend and as a pastor. On many occasions we had the joy of discussing sound biblical theology as friend to friend and always found great pleasure in rejoicing together for the grace of God in our lives.
Glen was a model father and grandfather. He was in every good sense a godly patriarch of his family. He loved them deeply and always looked out for their best interests. I have had the privilege of having his grandson Joey as my son-in-law now for six years. I can only say that I hope to have half the close relationship with my grandchildren that Glen had with Joey. Joey admired his granddad and treasured their closeness. He always sought his wisdom in difficult decisions and gladly accepted his advice. My daughter Hannah came to look at him as her granddad also. She loved him and knew of his deep love for her. I am so grateful to Glen for the way he welcomed her into the family.
Glen was a giver. Years ago when I was playing golf with my friend Doug Metzger he let me hit a few shots with a new 3-wood that he had found. I asked where he got it and he said it was one just like Glen Paden had. Later I decided to try to find one online. I wrote Glen and asked for the specs on his 3-wood so I could look for one just like it. To my surprise his 3-wood arrived in the mail just a couple of days later. What a giving heart!!!
So with great sadness that we’ll never be able to talk again this side of heaven I am so thankful to God that my life crossed many paths with Glen Paden. I am a better man for having known him. To God be the glory!