Tag Archive | death

measurements.

Everyday we use measurements.

We rely on the accuracy of measurements.

We trust measurements.

Buildings, medicine, travel, food, time .. life requires a standard of measurement.

The Bible is a standard of measurement, too.

It is accurate. It is to be trusted.

The scripture is not a measurement to hurt us. It is for our good.

We may not understand the Bible 100%, but we understand enough.

When we are suffering, it provides the standard of measurement to help us.

All too often, we turn to other things.

I think God understands this.

So he waits.

We were made to reach out to Him. He wrote His words on our hearts.

We choose the measurement. Ours or God’s.

God uses the natural, physical world to explain the spiritual. They are parallel. Jesus spoke in parables to explain the spiritual.

Give us this day our daily bread. 

Bread that mysteriously anchors us, comforts us, guides us, frees us, strengthens us …

Bread that changes how we think, how we feel, how we act …

Are you grieving?

Do you know what God says about eternity? How he will wipe away every tear? And there will be no more sorrow or death?

This is a measurement for grief.

Without it, we will feel stuck in a place not meant for us. Unsettled. Asking the same questions over and over.

Until we apply the correct measurement.

measure

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do not despair.

The earth comes alive with fresh spring colors, celebrating rebirth.

Hidden eggs and colorful candy, butter yellow chicks and soft rabbits.

Cream colored lilies adorning churches.

Daffodils and tulips sway in the breeze.

Best Sunday dresses and ties to match.

Hymns and prayers, messages of hope.

Not everyone joins in the celebration.

A young mother is facing her fourth surgery today.

A family grieves the suicide of their loved one.

A couple have separated.

All around us, people are facing something.

Through faith men have conquered kingdoms

gained what was promised

and shut the mouths of lions.

Quenched flames 

escaped the edge of the sword

and women received their dead back to life again. 

But some did not.

There is suffering in life.

Repulsive, horrific, tragic, tormenting agony.

We question why? How can a “good” God allow such pain?

He did not remove it but God literally left his holiness and stepped into a world of corruption, depravity, and wickedness, in the human form of a man, to save it.

Perhaps it is because without the human form he would have obliterated earth entirely because of his holiness.

God wanted to show his love in a way we could understand. Jesus took on all of the depravity of mankind on the cross.

3 days later he came back to life, showing us He is God.

Who else would have power over death?

This is the hope of those who are happily celebrating today.

This is the hope of those who are not.

How is it that some get answers to prayers?

How is that some do not?

It’s easy to celebrate when there was a good outcome.

It is not easy to celebrate when there wasn’t.

Let’s remember

those who were all commended for their faith

yet none of them received what had been promised

since God had planned something better

so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Hold onto that hope today.

God didn’t give to one and not to you.

God gives those who are suffering comfort and peace.

God sees.

God knows.

God is with you.

God promises that one day, he will make it right.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

-The Bible

close up environment flora ground

Photo by David Alberto Carmona Coto on Pexels.com

 

heaven.

On June 23, 2018, my father died. He was 89 years old.

I helped care for him the month of June in between working at a nearby school. June came and went – hard to believe.

The days seemed long but looking back, everything happened so quickly.

And now, reality sets in. He’s gone.

From here.

This prompted me to re-read a book I read 13 years ago, Imagine Heaven.

The reason I chose this book is because the author, John Burke, spent over 30 years researching the topic of near-death experiences from all kinds of people and all kinds of religions along with what the Bible has to say about Heaven.

It got me thinking about how little I have heard about Heaven. I’ve been in church for over 30 years and I do not recall a sermon or teaching. Is it because the Bible has little to say about it? Maybe. But since it is our forever home, I would think God would want us to know something about it.

Because to live well here, don’t we have to know something about life there?

One common thread with those Burke read about and interviewed, was the intensity of love the departed individual experienced. With their life displayed in a kind of panoramic view, the good, bad, and ugly – the love was still intense – no matter what. No shame, no guilt, no condemnation. Just love.

Granted, this is difficult for us to grasp but so is the enormity of the universe. Yet, we believe.

*Side note: all to often in Christian circles, morality seems to have replaced the love of God. Usually, Christians lean to one or the other. God does not condone sin, but his way of drawing us is with chords of love.” Holding morality, Christian values, and/or character up as the standard is missing the point. Time and time again, God has chosen men and women in the Bible who would not meet the criteria in conservative, traditional, Christian thought. Are we holding the Law up to the world of morality? Or are we holding up the Light of the world?

Each day, I watched my father dying. Death is ugly. And if God is good, and if Newton’s 3rd law is true, then there has to be something far greater in power than death.

We have all seen the beauty around us. It is only a foretaste of what is waiting for us.

Have you lost a loved one? Are you hurting? Suffering? Live with the hope and confidence of Heaven.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

-Revelation 21

 Tree in meadow under dramatic sky

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are you a victim?

Well, sure you are.

Besides my faith, the one thing that has helped me not stay in a continual state of being a victim is knowing I am not alone.

Countless numbers of mothers have lost their children over the centuries. I think about the mothers who lost 2 and sometimes 3 sons during the Civil War. I think about the fatal diseases that took young lives. The accidents. The premature births.

There has been suffering since the beginning of time.

I wasn’t prepared. Mostly because life today is so different in many ways.

Or else we are busier than ever and don’t have much time to think about the what ifs.

Either way, things happen to other people, right?

And some parts of my faith made me feel insulated. After all, I prayed.

But then it happened on that warm, September afternoon. Death came to the door, knocked it down, and with it came the end of innocence.

We wonder where God is?

Well, where was he when sons bled to death on the fields of Gettysburg?

Where was he when cancer took one child and spared another?

Where was he when a mother labored for hours, only to hold a lifeless baby?

Where was he when my son decided to take his life?

All I know is God sees and he knows.  He promises to comfort. He promises one day we will understand.

We have to see beyond here and now or we will be hopeless. Hope sees beyond here and now. And the God of all creation promises he will fix it and make it right. All tears will be wiped away. All sorrow will be turned to joy.

We have to wait. And waiting is very hard sometimes.

If I hate God for what he has allowed to happen, the rest of my life will be bitter misery. It does no good.

So I join with the multitudes since the beginning of time and say, though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him.

And I will wait.

No longer a victim. But full of hope and expectation.

Vince Alongi / Foter / CC BY

Vince Alongi / Foter / CC BY

death.

a531bcaec2c71734101cdb348047f5ea Death is like a storm.

The winds howl, the rain plummets, the sky is black.

Beyond the threatening sky, there is blue sky and sunshine. You just can’t see it. But it’s there.

Death is not the end. But for now, it feels like it.

This Bible verse gives the Christian hope-

He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

Photo credit: jenny downing / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: jenny downing / Foter / CC BY

The Bible says God set eternity in our hearts. That’s why we wonder about life after we die.

The one who put eternity there is the one who has the answers to our wondering.

Only believe.

beautiful strength.

Jan11

 ballerina-8_l

You can’t fix grief.

A paper cut will heal quickly.

A gun shot wound requires more time.

Sometimes the bullet cannot be removed.

People live with bullets inside of them.

People live with broken hearts.

This isn’t hopelessness.

It is acceptance of what is.

Once accepted,  you carry grief with  strength…

beautiful strength.

~~~

Photo Courtesy:http://www.flickr.com/photos/mait/5184718154/

how?

Jun19

 

With all our technological, medical, and scientific advancements, the common and routine can frustrate us.

That’s because we are limited. And the first step of grieving is acknowledging and admitting death is inevitable. The truth sets us free. That means the part of us which is weighed down with confusion, discouragement, frustration and disappointment breaks free with acceptance.

We are made of the same stuff as our predecessors who lost loved ones to disease, accidents, and war.

We cannot stop it.

Generations before us lived with death. Does this make our personal grieving easier? No. But it helps us to know we are made of the same stuff as our ancestors. We’re human.

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We cannot control everything that happens to us the way we choose our ring tones or favorite search engine.

To grieve is to accept.

But to accept is to trust.

Trust in what? Or whom?

There is always someone who writes the book.

In the Beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth.

Genesis 1:1

~~~

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