July 09 2023
Today, Sunday July 09
A Tribute to a Special Friend
Psalm 73:15-22 A Psalm of Asaph.
“If I had said, "I will speak thus," Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—
Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, So, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.
Thus my heart was grieved, And I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.”
This morning I woke up a little after 3am with a dear friend of many years on my mind and immediately I began praying for her and her family. Tim and Tammy DeGraff were my next-door neighbors for almost 20 years in Blue Ridge Virginia. Tim and Tammy were the best neighbors ever. As soon as it started snowing, even if it was in the middle of the night, Tim would be on his four-wheeler cleaning off my driveway! Tammy was a pharmacist who worked for umpteen years at the local hospital. She made sure all my health needs were being properly taken care of. She would bring me the needed medications if we were too ill to go and get them. She often gave us, and all of our missionaries advise on what medicines we should take when we were overseas.
Tammy has been battling cancer for the past several years. This morning, right around 5am, I received a text from Tim informing me that Tammy had gone home to be with her Lord. I thought it was so fitting that the Lord would choose to take Tammy home to His house on a Sunday, the Lord’s Day, Resurrection Day!
Tammy was not only a special friend and neighbor, but she was also our head greeter and hospitality leader at Rainbow for so many years I can hardly remember when she wasn’t. She had the biggest smile and made everyone feel so special when they came into the church facility. Tammy organized and trained all the greeters and made sure everyone was in place every Sunday. She loved the Lord and loved His people too!
As I was texting back and forth with Tim this morning shortly after she went to be with the Lord, I began thinking about Tammy’s entrance into heaven. 2 Peter 1:10-11 (NLT) says, “So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Tammy’s life in every way proved that she was indeed one of God’s special “called and chosen” people! I’m sure the Lord gave her a “grand entrance into His eternal Kingdom” with a warm greeting “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord!” (Matthew 25:23). I also imagined that Sid Barker, Clarence Leonard, Betty Fernett, Jack Sutliff, George Young, Jerry Adams, Mike Dishon, and many many others that she had greeted every Sunday into the house of the Lord, were there at heaven’s gate to greet and welcome her saying, “Welcome to the Lord’s eternal house where we will worship Him forever.”
Tammy’s entrance into heaven this morning was indeed a “grand one”. But we will miss her greatly down here. Please be in prayer for Tim and all her family and friends!
It is so interesting also that the verses in Psalm 73 speak to this same theme. When Asaph looked around at the prosperity of the wicked and unrighteous people, he felt like he was trying to live for the Lord in vain. But when he “went into the sanctuary to worship”, he got a totally different perspective! He saw the end of the wicked and it was not good at all. They were on the slippery slope of eternal destruction and in the end will be consumed with terrors.
But the person who obeys and trusts the Lord, and lives for Him has a wonderful future. Asaph goes on to say in Psalm 73:23-24, “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.”
Today, Tammy has been received into the glorious presence of our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!
Are you prepared for that day?