I will try to write a longer reflection tomorrow when I am back in Chicago but I wanted friends to know that my dear mother passed into the presence of her Lord this day at 12:05 p.m. I was there, saw her take her last breath, and rejoiced in her seeing the King of Glory. She took two deep breaths, moved her eyes slightly, and was gone, in an instant really. It was one of the most profound experiences I have ever had. I had been praying over her the hour before she died and thus was praying prayers of preparation for body and soul as she embarked upon her final journey. I believe she was ready in every possible way to go. I am at peace, rejoice in God’s grace, thank so many of you for praying and look forward to preaching the gospel at her funeral this weekend.

God willing I will preach from 1 Thessalonians 5:18 on Sunday morning in two services at Southwood Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Then at 2 p.m. I will preach at mom’s funeral service and help lead her burial service. My good friend, Dr. Michael Honeycutt, pastor of Southwood, will lead the service and assist me. I could not do this without him. Mike has become a truly dear friend to me and got to know and love my mom the last six years.

The great comfort tonight is that the Word of God says in no uncertain terms: "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." Marie Armstrong is gazing on the face of the one she loved her entire life. She is at peace. I miss her but can let her go to him with deep joy.

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Comments

  1. Pete November 19, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    You and your family are in my prayers.

  2. Jim Roberts November 20, 2007 at 12:31 am

    My most sincere condolences and prayers to you and your family

  3. Nick Morgan November 20, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    John,
    You and your family are definitely in my prayers! May God comfort you with His grace in your grief and lead you to joy.

  4. absent January 1, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord

    Bookmarked your post over at Blog Bookmarker.com!

  5. Michael Patterson September 10, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I am not completely convinced that this (absent from the body = present with the Lord) is what Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians 5: 6-8, which I am assuming is your source. This interpretation of 2 Cor. 5: 6-8 seems to contradict 1 Thes 4: 15-17. Is there a contradiction here?

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