Enhancing On-going Ministry Through Equipping, Encouraging, and Interceding

Breakfast Bob 1951-2018

For sixty-six years and nine months I had a younger brother, my only sibling. To be ten years apart, and for most of our lives, separated by hundreds of miles, we were extremely close. We talked often, and in recent years communicated by e-mail and text messaging. We both spoke at our mother’s funeral in 1996. We both spoke again at our father’s funeral in 2002. Following the second funeral, I jokingly said to him. “In the next funeral, you’re on your on” and we laughed. After all, at ten years his senior, I should be the next to go. Last week, that joke ceased to be so funny. We gathered around his hospital bed and the nurses removed all the tubes and disconnected all the machines. With a career in Southern Gospel music, (where he picked-up the nickname “Breakfast Bob”) his hospital visitors were many. If I live to be 100, I think I shall never forget the moment when Tonya Goodman Sykes and Tony Gore stood beside my brother’s hospital bed and sang, “I will meet you in the morning just inside the Eastern Gate…” We accompanied him as far as we could, then released him at the Gate to the Lord who loved him even more than we did; the Lord whom Bob loved, trusted, and served. He will be missed by many, but our sense of loss is overcome when we think of the reunion that is on-going in heaven. “Then be ready, faithful pilgrim, lest with you it be too late…What a blessed, happy meeting just inside the Eastern Gate!” We haven’t lost him. We know exactly where he is, The Bible assures believers that “to be absent from the body” . . . is to “be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). We grieve and sorrow at his loss, but we do not “sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Even though we grieve due to our loss, Bob is not grieving today. He now resides in a heaven where there is one eternal day. Twice in the Book of Revelation, we are told there will be “No night there” (Revelation 21:25l 22:5). So, as far as Bob is concerned, the separation will be brief, and we will be joining him later on today. That is our blessed hope, and our blessed assurance. “Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with His goodness, lost in His love.”

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