Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tribute to Klinton

About a month ago, a young man who I never had the privilege to know, passed away. Below is a Eulogy given by his brother-in-law. I only hope that one day I may come to know our King Jesus the way this young man did.

Eulogy by Daniel Harris

My First Encounter With Klinton
About 6 1/2 years ago I was at a Church for a youth group all night event. A young man got up on the stage. He was very good looking. He played the bass and sang a song that he had written. I thought the song was great. It had a catchy bass line, wonderful melody and great lyrics. His voice was smooth and soothing with much emotion. The lyrics of his song reflected the fact that this young man really had a relationship with God beyond most people his age that I had encountered. I liked the song a lot and planned on telling the young man as much, and I did. This was the first time I encountered Klinton Joshua Jacob Boylan.

We got off to a fairly good start for the most part but there were some rocky times as he was intending to marry the baby sister of six brothers. We had our moments but as time went on, my brothers and I came to realize that there could be no one better for Elizabeth than Klinton.

As I grew to know Klinton I realized with joy that he had a great zeal and passion for Christ. He was consumed by this incredible obsession with God. Jesus was and is His favorite person to write songs about. Jesus was and is His favorite person to talk about, his reason for living and the love of His life. And Jesus was and is Klinton's great Savior from sin and hell.

Klinton's Love for His Lord and God, Jesus Christ
In my opinion, if there is one thing that is definitional to Klinton, it is His intense love and devotion to God. He expressed this love and devotion on earth as I'm sure He does in heaven in many ways including outbursts of praise to God. He would often times say as many of you heard him, "I love the Lord!" seemingly out of nowhere. But not really out of nowhere, but out of a heart that was intensely captured by and intensely in love with God.
Klinton now loves God more than He ever has before.

Klinton's Longing for Righteousness and Hate of Sin

Klinton was so intense in his pursuit of holiness and righteousness; so intense in his hatred of sin and longing for the day he would not have to battle it that sometimes it made those around him (including me) uncomfortable. I guess at least for my part this may have been because I already thought Klinton was beyond me in many ways so seeing the intensity of his hatred of his own sin made me feel REALLY sinful. Klinton would say sometimes spontaneously say, "I hate my sin". Klinton was not perfect on earth, but he is now in heaven, and I know when he entered God's presence His joy was great at seeing Jesus and being totally and completely sinless and righteous never again having to fight that war against sin. This was made possible by His Savior, Jesus Christ.

Klinton's Love for His Wife and Children

God was the source of an uncommon and supernatural love in Klinton for his family as he would have told anyone who would have asked.

Whenever just the boys were hanging out; rock climbing, skateboarding, climbing trees or just goofing off with Klinton, he would almost always be the first to say he was leaving. Even though we knew why, we always asked, "Why are you going buddy? Keep hanging out with us." His response was always something to the effect of, "I love my wife and want to spend time with her. I love my kids and am going to be with them."

He worked hard for his family not just as an electrician but in remodeling his home for his family, building a picket fence around his house for Elizabeth, building a backyard play toy with a slide and swing for his children and much more.

There were the camping trips and Creation Fest that he took his family on and invited others to come along with as well. And when Klinton was with his family I could see his deep, rich, unconditional, devoted love and admiration for his wife and children.

He strived to obey the command in Ephesians intensely. "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church."

When Klinton was on a lot of medication at the hospice, as you can imagine he was kind of out of it much of the time. But when his kids came into see him it was like he snapped right into himself, he'd get a big smile and just love on them.

Shortly before Klinton went to be with our Father in heaven, he was at home and at the point of barely being able to swallow his pills, yet even at this point he was able to say his final words to his devoted and loving wife who stood by him with divine compassion through it all. His last words were, "I just need you to know how much I love you."

When Klinton was no longer able to talk or move, Elizabeth was by his side holding his hand through it, but if she let go of his hand, he would move. He would move his hand letting her know how much he loved her, needed her and wanted her to be with him holding his hand.

Klinton's Witness
The name Klinton means "City on a Hill" and that described Klinton incredibly well. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way let your light shine before people that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

For a while, many of Klinton's friends went climbing at Spire Rock in Spanaway. Often while we were there we observed Klinton telling people about Jesus and he always did it with love and grace and humility.

I remember one time I was on top of the rock with Klinton and we thought we smelt a skunk. We then noticed another guy up there in-hailing a certain substance. Klinton then casually walked over to him and graciously told the guy about his faith in Christ and how Jesus is the way to have true, eternal abundant life. I was amazed. This in turn encouraged and motivated me share Jesus as well.

Klinton regularly shared Jesus at his work and every one of his co-workers knew he was a Christian.

He never stopped sharing Jesus. In the hospitals with every Doctor and so many nurses, in the hospice, in his blogs; Klinton would not and could not stop sharing Jesus.

Klinton's Musical Abilities For God's Glory

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, bassist, cellist; Klinton was a great musician. He loved music. One of my great regrets is that we did not play more music together. But a great reward was playing music with him while he was here.

Klinton, Elizabeth, my brothers Mike, Josh and I, all led worship together for quite a while. We Harris's in our music can be a little elitist at times unfortunately, and did not like just anyone playing music with us, but I remember when Klinton joined on the team it was so great a blessing to have him. He contributed so much.

All of Klinton's talents for music were given to Him by God and given back to His God by Klinton. He wrote amazing songs to Jesus. I hope Klinton did not think I was "just saying that" when I told him how great I thought his songs were. They are incredible, really. He played instruments for Jesus. He sang for Jesus. And he was very gifted in every one of these areas. And I believe he is still using His music to glorify His God today.

Klinton's Belief in Heaven and How to Get There
Klinton would tell anyone plainly, that if their hope of heaven was not grounded in Christ and His life, death and resurrection from the dead, then their hope, was nothing more than wishful thinking. I want all here to know what Klinton desperately wanted the whole world to know including you; Christ in your life is all that matters when all is said and done. He is Lord, He is King, He is God and He has authority over all His creation. And He is the way to heaven and eternal life.

Jesus loves us all limitlessly and is emotionally concerned about us. He is eager to save us from eternal separation from God in hell if we would only turn away from our crimes, the wrong things we have done and trust Jesus to save us. It is a free gift of grace from God. Klinton would tell you, Jesus Christ is the only way because He is the only one that has dealt with our sin problem. He is the only way because no one loves you more that God in Christ. He conquered death and will conquer it for all who believe in Him. Jesus Himself said that He is the way, the truth and the life. This is reality. This is where true, satisfying, eternal life is found; in Jesus Christ. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the gospel Klinton believed and wants you to believe today if you don't already. Trust in Jesus who loves you, and He will save you.

Klinton's Influence on me
I really miss Klinton. He was a very dear friend and brother. I long to see him again where there will be no more death, sickness, crying or pain. I long even more for the day when Elizabeth and his kids will see him again in the glory of heaven in the presence of the most beautiful one of all, God Himself revealed in Jesus Christ who made the way for all who trust Him.

I ask myself, "How will I allow this incredible life to impact my own? How have I been and how will I be influenced?" Because of the example of Klinton in my life, it was not hard to come up with this abbreviated list of how his life has and is influencing mine.

1) I will strive to love and follow the Lord more passionately because Klinton modeled this for me.

2) I will love my wife and children more. I will make them a greater priority and give them more time because Klinton left me this example.

3) I will share the Gospel more boldly, more often and without hesitation because Klinton showed me how.

4) I will strive to live in greater righteousness and holiness because Klinton modeled this for me

5) I will hate sin more and flee from it to the Savior because Klinton demonstrated this in his life.

6) I will not compromise the Gospel for man-made substitutes because Klinton modeled this for me.

7) I will not let persecution slow down my witness because Klinton showed me how to persevere.

8) I will strive to be a more forgiving person because Klinton forgave me when I did not treat him as I should have.

9) I will strive to love people through actions as I saw Klinton do so often.

10) I will die believing that I will be with Jesus Christ on the other side. Klinton showed me how.

Of course Klinton would say to all this, "Oh hush. It's Jesus that enables you to do all these things, not me." Klinton would be quite right of course. But, I believe God not only enables us to do these things through Christ, the Spirit and the Word, but also helps us by giving us Godly examples like Klinton. As the Apostle Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ."


  1. Thanks for posting this Katie. What an amazing man of God. I wish I'd had the privilege to know him in person. And yet, my life has still been forever changed by learning about how Klinton chose to live his life.
    As I'm typing, "In Christ Alone" is playing on your music player. That song will always remind me of Klinton, as Daniel concluded the eulogy with the lyrics.
    "No guilt in life, no fear in death. This is the power of Christ in me. From lifes first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from his hand. 'Til he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand." May each of us live our lives in Christ alone.

  2. what an amazing testimony. I didn't know the man and yet his life has left its mark moving my heart.

  3. This was so special to hear live at Klinton's funeral. What a legacy he has left behind.