June 6th

Ray, Fred, Frank

Ray, Fred, Frank and Danny Neudecker

Something I had not forgotten, because Sally and I sent Ray a card, but I didn’t actually do anything about it. I didn’t spend time with Ray and I should have…. I will probably regret not doing so. But he and I have different lives… we always have, but I do love talking to him. Well anyway, June the 6th was Ray’s 71st birthday… Lord how time goes by.

Ray passed the next year in May of cancer.

The picture to the left was taken about 15 or 16 years ago because Danny, Fred’s youngest is now in high school and mostly grown up.

So before I go further, Happy Birthday Ray!

Another reason for this day was my aunt past away on June 5th at about 1:20 in Memphis, Tennessee in 2007.

Katherine Kuehn was 91, she had celebrated that birthday in May.

Katherine was named for her grandmother, as I was for her father. She the youngest and last surviving of my father’s siblings.

While born in 1916 in Jackson, Tennessee, she spent most of her life in Memphis. She was a retired librarian with the Memphis city school system, a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She along with my great aunt Leota Williams were the matriarchs of my family. The guiding lights, the principles of truth, the sun and the moon, these expletives could not describe better the effects of these two woman on my life.

All of this reminds me of a story that I read once about a Sunday school teacher asked some 5-year-olds a series of questions in an attempt to help them realize that trusting in Jesus is the only way to get to heaven.

He asked the question, “If I sell everything I have and give the money to the church, would that get me into heaven?”

“No,” the children  answered.

Once more the teacher asked “How about if I keep everything clean in and around the church?”

Another “No” came from the class.

As if begging the teacher continued, “If I love my family, am kind to animals, and give candy to every child I meet, will that get me to heaven?”

Another unanimous “No!”

Finally the inevitable questions comes, “What will get me into heaven?”

A little boy shouted, “You have to be dead!”

Wow! That was blunt and certainly was not the answer the teacher expected, but the youngster was right. The Bible tells us that we all must leave our flesh-and-blood bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-52). Unless we are alive when Jesus returns, we all must die before entering His presence.

British preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon captured this truth in a sermon titled “Why They Leave Us.” He pointed out that Jesus’ prayer in John 17:24 is answered every time a Christian dies. The person leaves his body and enters the presence of his Savior, where he beholds His glory.

So we are always reminded of the reality of life, that there is death, and with death there is everlasting life.

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