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Celebrating Mom, Pennee Murphree February 5, 2016

Editor’s Note: More for our remembrance but certainly something to share with family and friends, Special Note from Bob Whitaker, Remembering Mom, Oh Pennee and Brents Eulogy for Mom are part of a compilation of remembrances about mom. It will all be treasured. But Bob Whitaker’s letter, below, to our family comes just in time for mom’s first birthday away from her earthy family. It’s an encouraging read for any family missing a loved.


Pat and Pennee Murphree

Dear Murphree family,

I’ve known most of you from the beginning — I mean when you were born — and I’ve watched you grow up over the years and I’ve loved you and am proud of you. I knew your mother and dad better than most people because they were the first couple I married when I came to Chandler in 1958. Then, because of Julie’s frequent serious illnesses, I knew them even better. I want to make sure that you know something that I believe is extremely comforting and reassuring. Your mother knew and loved the Lord deeply. Her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and she is in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now think of that for a minute. The Bible says that “Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us.” And it says, “He will never leave us or forsake us.” If that is true, it follows that if you are walking with the Lord and listening to the Lord your mother is not far away. Not only that, but how can she be with the Great Intercessor and not be praying for you? I assure you, she is praying for you and I suspect that means that at times she knows what is going on with you. There have been times since I lost my wife Marilyn that I knew for a certainty she knew what was going on with me.


It is the strong belief of the ancient Catholic and Orthodox churches, and the major liturgical churches in the Protestant tradition, that our loved ones in heaven have an awareness of us and are praying for us. The Scripture thoroughly supports this idea. If you will look at Hebrews 11, it tells about the great Old Testament heroes of the faith. Chapter 12 begins by saying, “Since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus….” The picture there is we are in a stadium running the race of life. And in the stands around us are all the people of faith who lived before us. They are cheering us on as we run the race of life. They are saying to us, “Keep your eyes on Jesus and follow Him closely so that at last you may join us in heaven, triumphant in the faith.” The rest of chapter 12 gives even stronger exhortation to live a godly life and not disappoint our loved ones who have gone before us to heaven.

This whole idea of our loved ones praying for us is supported in the book of Revelation 1:9-11.

As you know, February 5th is your mother’s birthday. It is suitable to go on celebrating it as her birthday because, I assure you, she’s more alive than she ever was. We can look forward to being with her some day, together with the Lord. That day will not be long for a few of us and will come astonishingly fast for all of us. As you celebrate her birthday this year, remember that nothing will bring her greater joy than to see you united in family love.

Carolyn joins me in sending our love and our continued prayers.

With love in Christ,




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