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May 19, 2007.  My friend’s mother passed away last month.  She was 91 and one of the most amazing women you would ever know.  Her name was Josephine but she went by Joy.  There was no more perfect name for her.  She was joy personified!  And her joy came from an abundant joy-filled life in Jesus Christ.


Maybe the most important thing about Joy was her confidence in who she was. She understood that her identity was found in Jesus Christ.  You just had to know her to realize how intimately she knew Jesus.


Through the years I have had the opportunity to read several Last Wills and Testaments.  I can honestly say that I have never read one that testified more clearly to the presence of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as does Joy’s.  As illustrated in the first paragraph of Joy’s will, one can see how well she understood the depth of her spiritual identity:


I, Josephine G. Jefferies, residing in Xenia, Greene County, Ohio, realizing the uncertainty of this life, and with full confidence and trust in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in His death for my sins on the cross, and in His shed blood as an atonement for my soul, and knowing that by faith in His sacrifice on the cross for me I have eternal life, do hereby publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all Wills and Codicils by me heretofore made.


Joy enjoyed Jesus in a way that all of us should.  He was her friend and Savior, her protector and provider.  She was a faithful mother who blessed her children with her faith in God and blessed the children of others as their loving teacher and friend. 


Perhaps the most telling observation I made when Joy passed away was my friend’s response to his mother’s death.  In the midst of his loss he found great joy!  Weeks later, reading his mother’s will there was a wonderful smile on his face…and it looked just like Joy!


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