Posts Tagged ‘death’

  

“And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭14:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

James Bosworth was a war hero, surviving a suicide mission at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 that needlessly claimed hundreds of British Cavalry and was immortalized in Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”. Years later, while operating as a station manager, he was killed in a freak accident by a locomotive. The irony of his death was found on his tombstone epitaph: 
“Though shot and shell flew around fast, On Balaclava’s plain, Unscathed he passed, to fall at last, Run over by a train.”

Death is not something many folks want to talk about, yet it is as much a part of life as any other aspect. We all live, we will all die. And yet, what will our death say about us? How will we be remembered? As the hermit with no friends to mourn him? As the scared spinster that was too afraid to find the zest of life? As one who was religious but not very holy?

You are living your epitaph now. So live as you would like to be remembered! Be the one who loves people, who seized the moments, and had a passionate relationship with the Savior! Pass from this life to the next as an inspiration to follow! Your are loved! 

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“You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care.” (Job‬ ‭10‬:‭12‬ NLT)

Lake Natron in Tanzania is one of the most serene lakes in Africa, but it’s also seemingly mythological, appearing to turn living animals to stone! The water’s alkalinity comes from the minerals that flow into the lake from the surrounding hills. And deposits of sodium carbonate — which was once used in Egyptian mummification — also acts as a fantastic type of preservative for those animals unlucky enough to die in its waters, appearing to turn them into stone!

While the caustic waters of Lake Natron only preserve after it has eaten away life, God preserves our life from destruction. Yet to a life undedicated to Him, it risks the ruin of itself due to the erosive nature of sin, selfishness, and self-destruction based upon Free Choice, which is not free from consequence. This dissolved life now stands as a monument to the world as stark as flamingo skeletons in briny waters. But does anyone notice?

Take today to REALLY LOOK at lives around you. Pay attention to more than gaudy trappings and sparkling laughter. Look in the eyes for life! See for yourselves the devastation of sin and the sweetness of salvation! Where lives are truly saved, God creates monuments of testimony! You are loved today! 



We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭2‬ NLT)

This past week, I sat on a church platform as a precious man was being eulogized and ushered into Glory. The world lost a valiant spiritual warrior. And yet in that service and the subsequent wintery cold graveside ceremony, no one was angry or bitter. We knew Rick was home, the place he longed to be. Not a single soul would have taken that from him!

As we grow older, our bodies get worn and can’t function like it used to. Our mind isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be. A good appearance is still possible, we just have to get up earlier to accomplish it! But both the physical and mental tolls we pay begin to add up. That’s why it’s natural for a Christian to begin thinking more about the home to come and less about the one we presently occupy. Weariness longs for change. 

Coming to Church each week solidifies the thought in our heart that there is still a life to come! While we live, we are to do the works of a Disciple: Knowing God and making Him known. And God blesses us with beautiful experiences along the journey! Yet our hearts should always burn bright with the expectation of a better life yet to be! Come to church today and be reminded of your future home! You are loved!

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And you yourselves be like men who wait for their master…” (Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭36‬ NKJV)

Growing up in an Army town, you never knew exactly when deployed soldiers were coming home. Women in our church were vigilant to keep the house cleaned, there hair fixed, and the diaper bag packed, because at any moment, the phone might ring and be told that the plane was coming in! For military families, you can’t get ready; you have to live ready.

We have a promise from our Savior: One day He is returning for us. It might be the whole church body or you alone through a life circumstance. Regardless, when it’s our time to leave this world and face eternity, there won’t be a chance to “get ready”. Spiritual vigilance, much like the military, means that we must live ready, anticipating our Lord’s call to come home!

Always remember that we are not earthly beings having spiritual experiences in this life; we are spiritual people having an earthly experience until our home is built! Live ready to serve in this life, and ready to go for the one to come. It could be today! You are loved!

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Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.” (Psalms‬ ‭116‬:‭15‬ NKJV)

My Uncle Kennon was a wonderful Methodist pastor and Air Force Chaplain, but a terrible carpenter. One day he decided to reach the town drunk by repairing a hole on his barn roof. In the process, he accidentally dropped his hammer through the hole, which happened to land on the drunk’s homemade still, destroying it! Consequently, the man decided it was a sign from God, gave up drinking and got saved!

His wife, my Aunt Mary Elizabeth, was just as funny. Having taught classical music and played in numerous orchestras, she seemed to know absolutely everyone. In one story, her and a daughter were traveling out of state. My aunt struck up a conversation with an unknown couple from Japan, because she didn’t ever meet a stranger. In the course of conversation, they were good friends with a Japanese gentleman that she had taught music to in Japan when she lived there shortly after WWII!

My Uncle Kennon went to be with the Lord in 1990. Today, we lay Aunt Mary Elizabeth to rest. If God has a trophy room reserved for His saints, they should be on the top shelf. Always remember that our loss is Heaven’s gain, and our reward will be to join them again in Heaven! Celebrate life today! We are loved!

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The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion.” (Luke‬ ‭7‬:‭12-13‬ NLT)

As I drove home last night from a basketball game, something crashed into my windshield, sending me into cardiac arrest! As I investigated the side of the road for the culprit, I found the last thing on my mind: a small screech owl. I took it home, wrapped it in a blanket, and let my wife hold it. As she did, he gradually fell asleep. But within an hour, he began having a labored breathing, looked around, and then quietly passed. It was a sad moment in the Sullivan home.

Death is a tragic event. Even Jesus was moved by it whenever he encountered those suffering from loss. When it occurs, there are always those left behind, asking hard questions and grappling with closure for the hole that has been ripped into the fabric of their life. However commonplace death may be, it still hurts.

Take time to be aware of those that have experienced a loss. Sometimes the greatest need for comfort isn’t at the funeral, but months later when all the phone calls and visits have stopped happening. Be moved with compassion whenever you see them hurting, letting them know they are loved.

Simon Peter asked, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ And Jesus replied, ‘You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.'” (John 13:36 NLT)

During Jesus’ final days, He began preparing His disciples for His leaving. I imagine it was quite a shock to His followers, who reacted with a combination of panic and denial. So, Jesus gives them this word of comfort: You may not go with me now, but one day you will, and at that moment you’ll know how to get there.

For anyone that’s been to the funeral of a loved one, this may be our only word of hope too. It’s hard to say “goodbye”. So if we walk in the footsteps of Christ, it’s no longer “goodbye” but “see you later”! Death is not an end, only a door to another journey that we will all must make!

As you live today, do not live in denial of your future in eternity. If we Christians are wrong, nobody suffers, but if we’re right, those unprepared will. It’s not about be good, but being holy. Know today that your future is prepared and reserved! Live ready for both worlds! You are loved today!
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