Sunday, August 24, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Uncle Raymond, dad's oldest brother, died in his sleep Friday night. He was 99. 

He just missed the century mark, but Uncle Raymond made other marks so much more important. He was faithful to the Lord, his family, his calling.

He was a faithful husband, father, preacher, educator, prayer warrior, friend to saint and sinner, and a general enemy of the Devil.

What more needs to be said? That is all that matters.

When I first began this trip, I went to Wilmington, NC, and visited with my sister, Norma, and Ron for a few days. While there, Ron spoke at a special service in a black congregation where pastors and churches were uniting to break down racial barriers in their city.

It was a great service and Ron preached a powerful message. After the service we had a few moments with the good Bishop in his study. As we left his office, Ron spoke to one of the deacons and the deacon asked Ron if he knew where Lake City was? 

Ron said yes that I had an uncle who lived there and the good deacon asked me if I knew Raymond Dykes? I responded by asking him if he knew Uncle Raymond?

"Yes," he said. "He visited the jail where I was over 30 years ago there in Lake City." 

I wish I could remember the deacon's name because the deacon was still impacted after 30 years passed by the witness and life of Raymond Dykes. 

"He touched my life," he continued. 

We hugged and shared about Uncle Raymond for a brief moment. Everyone there was amazed at this unusual coincidental meeting. It was amazing.

You see, Uncle Raymond faithfully went to that jail for many, many years. I am sure he wondered if it mattered. Did he touch any lives? Was it worth it?

Faithfulness matters. It matters to God . It matters to family. It matters to saints and sinners alike. 

I still can't get over this chance meeting just days before Uncle Raymond passed. Was it chance?

This trip hasn't been chance. It is been God driven. He knows. He leads. He speaks.


How do you live to be 100?


Live 99 years and be very careful for 1 year.


Uncle Raymond is in heaven with Kristy and other members of our family. Kristy won. Uncle Raymond won. They were faithful.


At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Nicole said...

Amen. This jouney speaks to your life. You have learned how to die. Now you must learn to live again.

How hard it is to enter back into it all without the one who shared it with you for so many years.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Katy McKenna said...

No coincidences there. Just blessings, arranged before hand...

My favorite story is of the 100 year old who was about to blow out the candles on his cake. He was asked the secret to his longevity and replied. "I don't have one. But if I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." :)

Prayers for your journey....

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Barbara J. Robinson said...

I feel your loss. Though I know Mom and my sister are in heaven, I miss them so terribly on earth. I still mourn and grieve and Mom died 10 years ago, and my sister died in 2004 during all the hurrianes. Fay brought back memories of those days. The Holy Spirit Comforter and time ease the pain and loss and allow you to move on with life, but it is always right beneath the surface, and sometimes the slighest little thing brings tears to my eyes when I long for them. I'm sorry for your double loss. Kristy is there to welcome him. Life is not chance or fate. As you said, our journies through life are God-driven. Bless you.

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Carrie Turansky said...

Yes, faithfulness matters! And your uncle Raymond is receiving his reward and enjoying heaven today. I will be praying for the family as they gather to remember him and comfort each other.
Carrie in NJ

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

That was such a wonderful story about your Uncle Raymond. God knew that it would be encouraging to not only you, but to all of us reading about it. I think it would be wonderful to live to 99,but if the Lord takes me before that then that's okay too. I pray you continue to have a great trip.

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton, thought I'd share a little tidbit with you this evening. I remembered seeing Kristy's famous meatloaf recipe when skimming over her past blogs, one day. I went back to October, 2007 and found the picture and recipe. Today I made the most wonderful meat loaf and family raved over it! As we sat at the table, I shared with them just how I acquired that recipe........and All were going, "Awwwwwwwwwww.." It was so yummy! I just wanted to share that with you.

FAITHFULNESS indeed does matter. So often my pastor spoke these words at funerals; "Everyone preaches their own funeral and writes their own epitaph." I've dwelt upon that statement many, many times - because it's so true.
Just as Kristy preached a "whammo" funeral, so did your Uncle Raymond!
And, TODAY (together) they rejoice...and Yes, they won the race! They reached the Finish Line with flying colors, running on streets of GOLD! PRAISE THE LORD!


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