Andrew Walters’ Memorial
written April 7, 2018
Greetings from North Carolina where spring covers the countryside. Pine pollen blankets everything. New leaves of pale green, brown, and red on the trees contrast the dark bark and the evergreens. White and pink Dogwood blossoms peak through the forest. Redbuds contrast with their beautiful shade of purple. Maple keys redden the forests too.
The daffodils have come and gone. Wisteria catches the eye. The azaleas are pregnant with blossoms.
I’m traveling East on I-40 towards home as I type this in the car. I’ve been at a conference this weekend called The Age of Deception, which has reinforced my faith in Jesus Christ as well as my concern for the souls of this world.
Today we are celebrating Andrew Walters’ life. He shared such love with us. Didn’t he? God’s timing of this conference and Andy’s memorial is not lost on me. By the end of this reading, I hope you will see what I mean. Please read it through to completion for it contains the truth. Andy would want his loved ones to know.
When I heard of Andy’s passing, I was traveling south, having just celebrated the life of my 91 year old mother-in-law. As Facebook filled with remembrances, I realized I didn’t know Andy very well. I had come to Nonnewaug High School in tenth grade. I may have only had two or three distinctive interactions with him in high school.
At our twentieth reunion, the girls were identifiable. All you guys were boys when we graduated and looked very different twenty years later.
This very tall man with a buzz cut and thick glasses towered over me and asked, “Do you remember me?”
I looked up. I truly couldn’t identify him. Humbly I said, “No, I’m sorry, I don’t.”
“Here’s a hint,” he said with a big smile. “You French braided my hair for graduation.”
“Andy!” I exclaimed and gave him a big hug. It was so good to see him again.
Fast-forward 15 years to February 2017. I was able to take a week’s vacation, without my family, to Connecticut. Andy was one of the many people I wanted to see. The Holy Spirit on the inside of me wanted me to share the good news of Jesus Christ with Andy. We got together at a coffee shop and caught up on 35 years. Not an easy task for a few hours time, is it?
I had done the best I could to share the good news of Jesus Christ with Andy. In his mind, he didn’t have any divide between himself and God. I’d never run across that before. I left confused and concerned.
Andy perplexed me. God won’t tell me where Andy is, nor is it for me to know. However, God’s word tells me the possibilities—either heaven or hell—it all depends on what Andy did with Jesus.
In reading the remembrances on Facebook, Andy knew how to love, whether it was standing between girls and their abusive fathers, being a faithful friend, or sharing with others. Andy went before us; starting with going to higher-grade classes in elementary school, and ending with his death last December.
I don’t know where you are in life, your beliefs, or your health. I do know The Most High God loves you. I know too, our soul is eternal. I know that we’re designed to worship. And there are two entities which desire our worship – Almighty God and Satan.
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is just, long suffering, and patient. He desires us to fellowship with Him. He won’t force himself on us. He is knocking on our heart’s door. Do you hear him?
Satan, the Devil, is evil, the father of lies, and forces himself on us, scheming, destroying, and inciting fear and violence. Have you felt his pressure? If you haven’t it may be because he’s already got control over you.
John 10:10 describes these two perfectly. “The thief (the devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I ((Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
There are some sections from the Bible I’ll share. The first describes hell. If Andy is there, he’d want you to avoid it at all costs.
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus teaches saying,
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,
23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house-
28 for I have five brothers-so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
Please understand hell’s conditions. Torment, physically feeling, seeing, speaking, hearing, anguish, fire, a desire to prevent others from experiencing the same fate but no way to communicate with them. Please hear and heed this warning.
Using symbolism, Jesus describes the deception we need to avoid. John 10:7-15 says,
7 “So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.’”
Before going to the cross, Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. The cup in his prayer is symbolic of His crucifixion on the cross. Please understand the significance of his prayer, especially if you think there are many ways to heaven.
“And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’” - Matthew 26:39
Jesus’ death on the cross is the door to heaven. He explains how to get to heaven before He’s crucified, sharing:
1 “‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
4 And you know the way to where I am going.’
5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’
6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” - John 14:1-7
Thomas is the disciple who doubted that Jesus rose from the dead and wouldn’t believe until he had proof.
24 “Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’
28 Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’
29 Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” - John 20:24-29
God loves you! He loves each one of us. There is NOTHING you have done that He won’t forgive.
We each have a decision to make in regards to Jesus Christ.
Your eternal destiny is determined by your choice.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,” - Deuteronomy 30:19
Oh, with passion I type and pray. Believe in Jesus! If Andy is in heaven, which I pray he is, he’d want you with him, as Jesus does. But if he is in hell, and I pray he’s not, he wouldn’t want you to join him.
Turn and live. Repent. Believe in Jesus.
30 “Then he (the jailer) brought them (Paul and Silas) out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’
31 And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” - Acts 16:30-31
I’ve arrived home safely. God Bless each one of you.
Shared in the Name and authority of Jesus Christ.
Love, Laura Hamo, whom you once knew as Laura True.
I can be reached at lhamosing1 [at] gmail.com.