Thank you Lawrence for sending me your notes in the mail. I wrote in a summary of the memorial service that Lawrence Johnson is a master at preaching funerals. Let me share with you some of the things Lawrence said:
"Today we have gathered here to pay our respects to life of the Reverend Carr. I became acquainted with Raymond when I was a student at Emmanuel College in 1953-1955. He was the pastor of the Franklin Springs Pentecostal Holiness Church. It was my privilege to serve on the Georgia Conference Board with him for 22 years. He had many friends, but some were not so friendly. However, Raymond kept his cool. He was a genuine Christian and loved the Lord and his churches. I loved and appreciated his help. He is at rest now, and we will meet him again.
I wish to speak about Raymond's death:
Death appears at different times and ways.
a. As a youth--Premature
b. Middle Age--An unwelcomed guest
c. Infant taken from the mother--merciless
d. Mother or Father--No respecter of persons
Death as a friend
a. After a long and useful life
b. When illness lingers on for endless day and nights and hope of recovery is gone.
Death comes as an angel of mercy.
c. It is answer to the sigh, "Lord, now lettest Thy servant to depart in peace."
d. Death is a friend because it brings release. "Though it is hard for us, we know it is best for him."
Release from sleepless nights, and from long creeping days of intense suffering. It releases from a diseased body and sets the spirit free.
Vacates a dilapidated house and moves into a mansion where there is a view of mountains and seas.
Takes off an old suit and puts on a new and beautiful garment.
e. Death is a friend because it is a time of reward. It is the beginning of an abundant life.
Wow! What a message. It is a blessing to all of us who have lost a loved one. It has helped me greatly as I am dealing with the death of our daughter Stephanie. I am sure it will bless you, too.
[Important statistic: Lawrence Johnson is a meticulous record keeper. He has kept a record of all the funerals he has done as an ordained minister of the Gospel. That number now stands at 391.]