Tag Archives: death

Stop and play

GuitarLife is busy. It flows by so quickly and changes so much. Lately, I have been trying harder to just stop and do something that I enjoy. I have been able to carve out a lot more time by making one change in my life: I never watch movies or television anymore. Sometimes I’ll sit in the living room while my husband or son watches YouTube, but I am always reading or playing the guitar or eating dinner, and I never stay for long. I have decided that when I look back on my life, from my death bed, I will regret all the time I spent in front of the TV. I don’t know – maybe nothing will matter at that point – perhaps I’ll regret the fiction I read and any other time I wasted (Can we say FaceBook?). Do you think we will consider any of our learning to be a waste of time? But anyway…TV is definitely out. I’ll work on the rest later.

With the arrival of the warmer weather, my favorite retreat has been on the bench that my husband got me for our front porch. I sit out there so often that complete strangers recognize me when they come into my place of work! (I’m a hostess at Applebee’s.)

Now I just need to think of a way to get moving – one that I enjoy. Before Ian was born, I would get up when my husband went to work and go for a run. That’s what I’d like to try again, if I can just bring myself to start! Does anyone know where I can find some will-power laying around at 6:30 in the morning?

Anyway, what would you find the time to do if you cut television out completely? Or FaceBook, or your biggest time waster? I want to challenge you to try it for a week and pursue something you enjoy or something you’ve been wanting to learn. You never know – you might like it!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/41385059@N04/6178377279″>1979  YAMAHA FG531SB</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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On Heaven:

I have a really grown-up vision of heaven. In my mind, it’s not a place where people sit around all day playing harps and walking along the riverfront in white robes. (Although, there may be some of that, if that’s what pleases you.) But in my mind, it’s a thriving, bustling community with things to do – things yet to learn – and our Heavenly Father at the center of everything. You see, after the old earth melts with a fervent heat, God is going to create a new one (II Peter 3:10-12, Revelation 21:1-2). Now as a child, I thought that we were all going to live up in the sky somewhere in a place called heaven for the rest of eternity – but I don’t believe that anymore. You see, the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven to the earth. God is preparing that city as we speak (John 14:2-3, Revelation 21:2), but its final home will be on the new earth. People will inhabit the earth as it was originally meant to be inhabited. Now, imagine the world today as though Eve had never sinned. Imagine what society would be like. All of the creativity, all of the discovery, all of interesting ideas and inventions that have turned up in the past six thousand years, only without being corrupted by sin. No really – close your eyes for a moment and just think about it…Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. I used to be afraid that I would be bored, and not have anything to do or to learn. But then, as I came to know God better and understand Him more clearly, I realized that the desire to learn was created by Him and instilled in me. He knows it’s a good thing. And if, for some reason, he does take that away from us (in case we know everything already, which I don’t find desirable at all), He will replace that desire with something better, more compelling, more able to keep us entertained and interested throughout the eons of time.

On Death:

For years now, I’ve looked at it this way: Say you’re at work. It’s your last day of work for the rest of your life. Tomorrow, when you wake up, you will be a healthy, retired citizen with a bankroll that would make a millionaire jealous. Sounds appealing, right? Well, that’s where I am right now. In fact, if you are a Christian, that’s where you are too. We just have a few more years to go, and then…well, the rest! Eternity, and our Best Friend, and all the rest forever. Whenever I have a really bad day (whether it’s dealing with confrontational people or the loss of a loved one, or whatever), I like to remind myself of this: the time it’s going to take me to live the rest of my life on earth (be it seventy years or seventy minutes) won’t amount to a drop of water in the ocean of my life. I’m getting ready to retire! I can handle anything life throws at me because of that fact.

Why does God allow suffering?

A lot of people get hung up on why God allows suffering. But in order to be angry with God, they must believe in Him. What do they expect to gain by being angry and rebellious against God, anyway? Do they think that God is evil? What, or who rather, is their alternative? And do they presume to think that they are more merciful or just than God, or would be, if they were in His position? He is the very epitome of those things. We would not know about them without God having first given us a little piece of Himself. While I do not doubt God’s mercy or justice, I have often wondered why he allows suffering. But I don’t anymore. I believe that God is doing whatever it takes in this world to get the attention of every individual soul, in order to give them the opportunity to choose Him. Even I believe that all of the suffering in the world is justified by this opportunity, and God’s picture is infinitely bigger than mine.

I pray almost every day for God to do whatever it takes to save as many people as possible. But in a way, I feel silly saying that prayer, because I know that He already is. He wants everybody to be saved more than I do. He loves them more than I do. He suffers at the suffering of others more than I do. I think my prayer is just my way of telling Him that I won’t get angry if he takes my family or my comfort or my money. If He does, I trust Him enough to believe that it is for the best, if not for me, then for someone else. If I am slain, or homeless, or widowed, or afflicted with pain for the rest of my existence, what does that matter to me? I have a glorious eternity waiting for me! So if by my suffering, even one person joins us forever in eternity, it will have all been worth it.

When the Bottom Drops Out by Robert Bugh

In his book When the Bottom Drops Out, Robert Bugh shares his insights and encouragement for dealing with the death of a loved one. A well-loved and well-respected pastor, he had counseled many through similar situations. His understanding and empathy reached new depths, however, as he suffered the loss of his best friend to cancer, and slightly afterward, cancer consumed his wife as well. The faith of his best friend and wife as they approached the ends of their lives affected him deeply. The journey toward death by way of cancer is a difficult one, to say the least; but for Christians, there is hope. Hope for those heading home, and hope for those of us left behind to face what comes.

This book inspired me on so many levels. There were so many tidbits of wisdom within these pages. Several times, I had to stop and ponder or write down my thoughts in response. On top of encouragement and advice for dealing with death, he taught me many other things as well: Mr. Bugh reminds us that we are all important to God. He helped me understand the true meaning of sacrifice and forgiveness. He taught me to prioritize – obedience to Christ comes first; only after taking care of that can we experience true happiness. In his book, he also talks about dealing with any major change in your life, good or bad. Definitely a must-read for the living and dying alike.

If you want to find out more, check out the product page for this book. Or you can purchase it here.

Note: In exchange for an honest review, Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book.