Saturday, October 4, 2014

my tribute to Uncle Mike

As many of you may know my Uncle Mike died last week.  He had terminal brain cancer.  He died surrounded by love and family and went straight to the arms of Jesus.  

As I can't be there for the funeral, I asked my Dad if he could read the following at the service for me.


As I have sat and thought and pondered over the life of my Uncle Mike, the memories that stick most in my mind are of him standing at our stove in Dallas making chili and his laugh.  He made the yummiest chili and he had the most infectious belly laugh of any one I have ever heard.  You couldn’t help but be happy and join in when he laughed. 

When I got the news that he had gone home to Jesus a visual immediately popped into my mind of him wearing a white robe with a baseball hat and I heard his laughter.  It was a laugh of victory, joy and homecoming.  I saw him holding hands with Grandma Marie and Grandpa Gene and my heart was filled with joy and sadness.  Joy that his suffering is over and that he has heard those beautiful words “Well Done Mike Hampton!  Enter into your joy!!!”   Sadness that I won’t hear him laugh until I join him there, and yes it was all tinged with a bit of jealousy.

My father pointed out a crucial fact to me when Mike died.  Uncle Mike lead Dad to the saving knowledge of Jesus, which lead Dad to make the decision to attend the Sheep fold, which lead to him meeting my mother, which ultimately lead to......ME!  I now serve the Lord along with my amazing husband and kids in Africa.  Mike played a crucial role in that!  Kinda mind blowing!  We never know the impact our lives are having!  The groovy thing thing is now Mike sees the bigger picture and he sees that!  

The best way I know to honor my uncle is to share the love of Jesus with you all now.  The saving knowledge of Christ is what drove Mike.  At the core of everything Mike loved Jesus Christ more than anything.  If he were standing here now he would plead with you, probably beg you to consider what Christ has done for you!  One thing I have always respected about Mike is when life knocked him down, he NEVER EVER gave up on his love for Jesus.  He simply picked himself off, brushed off his knees and kept moving forward.   

Jesus Christ died on a cross for you and me.  He died a wicked and cruel death so that we don’t have to be separate from Him for all eternity.  Our sin keeps us separate from the love of Jesus, but the sacrifice He made on the cross is the bridge that crosses the divide.  When He said on the cross “It is Finished” He meant just that.  The driving, the trying, the striving to prove ourselves......the need for all that was wiped away with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross!!!  It is a free gift!  He loves you and me with a love that is beyond understanding.  Mike would say to you today “Please!  Don’t let the opportunity for peace pass you by!  Let Jesus take away the burden of your heart.....the burden of sin, the burden of sadness and rejection, and let him replace the emptiness with His Joy, with His Peace that goes beyond all understanding...with His Life!!!” 

My Uncle Mike loved life, but more than that he loved the people in it.  No matter what life threw at him, no matter how bad things got, he loved us and he loved Jesus!  


Thank you! 

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