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A man of Christian integrity - Jim Bell

One of the best qualities any person can have is integrity. This word describes a person who is honest and trustworthy, one who respects and obeys the law, and one who appreciates his fellow man and seeks to live in peace with his neighbors.

My friend, Payton Mayo, recently deceased, was such a man. He had a sincere faith in God and trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. He was a true Christian, one who not only obeyed the law of the land, but loved and obeyed the laws of God.

He not only appreciated his fellow men, he also loved his neighbors, his friends and most of all, his family.

I was fortunate enough to have Payton as a friend. We had some great times over the past 25 years, just doing ordinary things as friends do. We sang in the choir in our church. He was a great base singer, and when I joined the choir, our leader told me to sit by Payton and try to sing the same notes he did.

I missed a lot of notes and, sometimes, sang the wrong tune, but Payton didn't seem to mind, he just kept encouraging me and singing correctly so I could follow him.

Three couples of us loved to get together at one of our homes for dinner, and then play cards. We especially enjoyed playing "Uno," a game that was funny and required little skill, once you learned the rules. But it was ruthless, so it could upset the players.

Payton had a great sense of humor, and to my memory, never let the game bother him. We also made trips together to the mountains and the sea shore.

We had a lot of fun.

Payton was a well-educated man, graduating from Georgia Tech with a degree in electrical engineering. He was an avid fan of the Tech Football team and followed it closely. He made many contributions to his chosen field, designing systems and solving problems.

He traveled all over the world on missions for his company.

We were both deacons in our church and teachers in the Sunday School. One of the main things we had in common was that we loved the Lord and served Him. We had many and various conversations concerning Christian living and the truth of the Bible, which were very enjoyable.

The Bible has much to say about men of integrity, who believe in the Lord and follow His teachings. Consider Psalm 1: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he mediates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked. They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish."

Payton loved the Lord and witnessed for Him through his life of service, influence and encouragement to his fellow Christians, and to those who did not know the Lord.

My life has been enriched and encouraged by the friendship of this warm and caring man, a man of Christian integrity. I look forward to spending great times with him in eternity. May the Lord bring peace and comfort to his sweet wife and all his family.

My friend, if you are impressed with the life of this man of Christian integrity and do not know the Lord and his salvation, I pray you will put your faith in God through Jesus Christ, and receive His gift of eternal life.