I’ll Light a Candle

What a beautiful winter morning! A gentle breeze is just enough to keep the fire I started lit this morning. I gathered sticks from the woods – the memories of life which once lived on the trees. Now they lie dead beneath the autumn foliage. It’s a somber reminder life is so precious and short for God’s creations.

I feel so incredibly blessed this holiday season. It’s just around the corner, and God’s fulfillment of promises fill the air. But a thought haunts my mind… all the children who are less fortunate than I at Christmastime. My childhood was full of unexpected events, too, such as divorce and death. So, when I was asked to write this blog, I gladly accepted the challenge.

Many children have no say of their ill-fated direction in life. They become victims of yet another divorce and single parenting. Even worse is the loss of a parent during the holiday season. Once upon a time, I had a classmate who faced this exact scenario.

Christmas trimmings lined the streets, and window displays were in full swing with animated characters warming the hearts of little children. An older brother told this young girl the cause of her parent’s separation “was all her fault.” At five years old, such a cruel statement was a bit much to bear for her little shoulders.

On Christmas, her mother suddenly passed away. Many questions went unanswered… this precious child only knew her mommy went to heaven.  Instead of anticipating the thrill of a Christmas morning, the little girl faced the world with a broken heart and fear of her future. Dare I say, as an adult, Christmas is a difficult time for her; fifty years later, the callous statement still lingers in the back of her mind.

There are seventy-four million children in the United States, and the divorce rate is 40-50 percent amongst marriages. So, the bigger question is, how do we help the afflicted youngsters during the holidays, carrying the burden of their parents’ selfishness? A family life of morals used to be respected, a flourishing way of life. What happened to these generations? Children, who never witness the truth about a love between parents, suffer voids in their little hearts.

Regardless of the circumstances, kids should have a Christmas. This joyful day is a celebration of our Savior’s arrival to earth. But, amidst the hustle and bustle, we should encourage the children to grieve – it’s ok! Support their thoughts and questions to ease their anxiety. Encourage simple ceremonies, such as lighting a Christmas candle near the parent’s photo, or placing a picture inside a bulb to hang on the tree. Wrap up a special gift for the child with a photograph of their parent. Create a special “memory” tree with ornaments that reflect the loved one’s life, or make a donation in their memory to a favorite charity.

Many organizations and charities assist children during the Christmas holidays. Some top names include Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Angel Tree, the Salvation Army, and the Christmas Spirit Foundation. The Lord gives us instructions to help those in need.

Years pass like dust left upon a shelf, and grief leaves an imprint on the heart.  Begotten memories, entombed in the body of a child, are reminders of Christmases tainted by disaster and hurt. Let us teach the suffering children that God is our only hope in life. His strength will help us endure the pain and strife of a world destroyed by sinners.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. — Psalm 127:3-5

As for the little girl whom I wrote about today, she joined her siblings and grew up in a blended family. But, just as her life settled into normalcy, her father quietly slipped away, too. Behold, an angel came to the rescue – her “stepmother.” Retrieving all the broken branches which laid in pieces on the ground, this special woman raised my friend to the beautiful lady and fellow author she is today. She was one of the lucky survivors! This is proof our Father’s power can conquer the hearts of the unknowing and replenish the trees.

Today, with Christmas just three days away, will you consider supporting a child’s organization or adopting a child for Christmas? Spend time with a mourning child and make the holiday one they will always remember, away from pain.

I’ll light a candle this Christmas in memory of all the innocent little children who are missing a parent. God bless you all, but especially… God bless my sweet friend!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


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Life is a beautiful lie and death is a painful truth. Do you believe this ??

Life is a beautiful lie and death is a painful truth

It’s 2.7 minute read.

Life is a beautiful lie:

I can give many examples but a few suffice.

1. Lies are loved and truths are hated.

2. Ugly looking person suffers at every stage.

3. God is remembered only when problems are faced.

4. Every one has a dark secret.

5. Men look at women in ‘sex angle’ irrespective of age or relation.younger the woman better.

6.Money overtakes health,family,friendship and ultimately happiness.

7. Remember people only like you for what you have ,and not for what you are.The more rich you are,greater respect you command.

8. It’s impossible for you to meet your soulmate.twin flame or kindred spirit.All humbug.Each soul is unique,The theories are good for reading and for some one to enact.

9. Appetite grows with wealth.Regarding the nature of appetite ….I leave it to you.

10. Nobody cares for anything until it happens to them.

11. Menstrual cycle ( bleeding ) every month for almost 40 yrs is truly harsh.

12. Life is unfair right from birth,some are born disabled,some born rich,some born poor.

13. You have to live with the constant judgement by others of you .

14.The world is a cruel place.

15. Social media killing people.

16. The person you love most, hurts you a lot.

17. You can’t make every one happy.

18. All good things have to end.

19. People change.Friendship changes.Nothing is permanent.

20. You get what you get ,not what you deserve.

21. Life hurts a lot more than death.

22. Humans are amazing in that their sex is not limited to the same species.

23. The one certainty in life is uncertainty,

24. You only live once, so enjoy the life is rubbish and not possible.

25. Life is fundamentally sad,but with tinges of happiness.

Death is a painful truth:

Life is a beautiful lie and death is a painful truth

1Whether people be of high or low birth,rich or poor,old or young ,enlightened or confused,they are all alike in that the will one day die. Yamamoto Tsunetomo

2. No body cares to remember you forever after you die.

3. Death is the last intimate thing we ever do. Laurel K Hamilton

4. You can’t prevent death.

5. Death is not painful.But fear of death is painful.

Remember Woody Allen’s famous quote ?

“I am not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

Thank you.

Philosophy Through Photography

If you can add more, please feel to express in comments

source/credits-Pixabay,quora,azquotes

Spiritual Happiness

Much is written about joy in the Bible. Jesus spoke of being joyful unto His Father, later transcribed to, “Be joyful unto the Lord.” As we face disillusions and fears, of either, we endure many hardships. I, too, have these familiar symptoms, but God always remains constant in my mind. These words resonate in my mind, “Bring Me your woes and do not worry for I will help you with your inspirational battles.”

Unforeseen problems arise in the worldly pressures and obligations that meet us, not greet us, at every doorstep. Life, sometimes, can appear to be short-lived… unless your faith asks God for a special blessing and miracle. Some have experienced God at His best as unfortunate events end with a silver lining.

I often write of my sordid past life, but I glance back at those times and realize God intervened in my life. Today’s blog, however, is not about me, but the one I’m closest to, my wife. This young, vibrant, and outgoing woman, plagued with a virtue of grief and sadness in the past few months, almost lost her life in a car accident twenty-five years ago. The doctors just diagnosed her with heart failure as a repercussion of the injuries.

In disbelief, we took part in many tests and things seemed questionable, but nevertheless, okay… until the last test screening. It confirmed her life might be terminal. I can’t say how one prepares to die, except to “live life like there’s no tomorrow”… and so we did, in apprehension. With no other choice, I fought for the spiritual happiness of both of us. I walked on pins and needles, often hearing the crunch of eggshells. I was too frightened to speak much, so I stayed in constant prayer. Following my blog called Faith for Two, I knew only God would see us through this dilemma.

Matthew 6:25-27

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

The day arrived for her medical procedure, and hopefully, it would not become an open-heart decision. I watched the love of my life that morning, and I observed her quietly whispering, “Goodbye, mommy loves you” to her favorite parrot of twenty-seven years. I read her last words, “No food or drink after midnight,” as she prepared herself for a procedure which could end her life. It would have been easier to move a mountain than to keep her spirits positive. I maintained my strong convictions and stayed where I knew God wanted me to be – in prayer. Only my Lord Jesus could restore that which would destroy her many years ago.

In the lobby, in front of the doors to the operating room, I kissed her goodbye. Keeping up our spiritual happiness, I told her,” I’ll see you for lunch.” With tears in her eyes, we prayed it was not our last forever kiss. I needed to go to God! Father bless her and keep her in your arms, my dear Lord.

The wait seemed like an eternity. I took a seat beside a minister, and we shared our own hearts. The door at last opened, and a doctor in scrubs called out my name, “BICKS.” He took me into a quiet room and invited me to sit beside him on the couch. I had my faith until the moment he elected to move closer to me.

“She’s all clear, Mr. Bicks,” he said. “We found no blockages, and she’s as good as new.” My sweet love, who worried for five months of dying, was born again to the likeness of the sweet, little girl I remembered thirty-two years ago. She will live! Thank You, Jesus!

A curious thought crossed my mind. Two weeks ago, the cardiologist saw the blockage in a scan, and now it doesn’t exist!? Was this one of God’s miracles? You decide…

It has been six days now, and I see a glow where worry over-shadowed her face. A renewed life called spiritual happiness far exceeds a biblical joy. Saved by grace, quite literally, His miracle child is born again. There is no greater gift than the gift of life; and when death comes calling, defying Satan’s force is a miracle!

Living in a spiritual realm of happiness, where no pressure or problems exist, can be conquered when we reach out in faith. A great example of this in the bible was the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people on five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:15-21 and Luke 9:12-17). It is called the marvel of God’s healing hands, just as He did to my wife.

We read the miraculous stories of defying doctors’ diagnoses, but until it happens to you, we shun it with some other explanation. The Lord’s greatest feat was saving my wife’s life, and not once but twice; she put her heart and soul close enough for Him to heal her with His touch.

May I suggest we armor ourselves in prayer each morning to maintain spiritual happiness? Don’t identify with suffering, loss, or sickness. Remain steadfast in our Lord’s word, and He will calm every facet of your life. Today, my wife and I wake with a smile and a good-morning kiss, for God came to bless us with another anointed day. Our spiritual happiness is more than we ever asked for, and it is all because we serve our Almighty Savior.


NOTE FROM ANNE BICKS:

I would like to sincerely thank everyone for your cards, love, and support through this difficult time. Your kindness means the world to me! God bless you all!


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Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the mother of everything.

Without sacrifice, you can’t get what you want in your life.

Your success always demands great sacrifice from you.

Are you ready for that?

Ask yourself.

Then you’ll know how to sacrifice in your life.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

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COPYRIGHT © Shubham Verma

Struggle

Life is all about struggle.

You never live without struggle.

Life begins with a struggle.

Life ends with a struggle.

Struggle is the part of our life.

A mother struggles to give birth to her child.

Every living creature struggles for survival.

Struggle is the rule of life.

If you struggle to get something today,

Tomorrow or in your near future, you’ll receive your grand rewards.

Don’t scare to struggle.

Enjoy your struggle and hug it like your true pal.

Your grand success and victory is always waiting for you.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

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COPYRIGHT © Shubham Verma

The Reign Will Return

Ominous clouds grew more abundant, and the earth trembled beneath the old wooden cross. The winds didn’t whisper – they yelled His name, Jesus, the son of God! Wait – that was two thousand years ago… or was it?

Sitting in a cloud darkened room, I hear the rumble of the shaking heavens. The day was Good Friday, but what was so “good” about it? Religiously speaking, it was the day God’s son brutally lost His life. It was so sad! Jesus lived and died with the knowledge He was only here to fulfill a prophecy for mankind. The weight of the world rested upon His shoulders. Was His death in vain? Surely, I pray it’s not true!

One innocent man was sent to earth to change our thinking, but I wonder, what did we learn? This Easter weekend, the earth will recall the event of two thousand years ago. Astronomers announced a very rare occurrence – the moon will turn pink (of all colors) and a high energy field will surround the earth. Coincidence? I wonder and gasp at the thought of Christ watching to see who’s paying attention to His signs. Alone in my conscience, I tremble at the possibility.

Jesus didn’t live His life according to anyone else. The parables He taught was open for interpretation so He could communicate with listeners. He loved and believed in mankind with all His heart and soul. As in ages ago, amongst the belting rain and clapping thunder, can we sympathize with the saddest biblical day? For Christians, His death still vibrates in our lives, thousands of years later.

Good Friday… whoever connects “Good” with the death of our Savior? He came to release the sin Adam and Eve placed on us at the beginning of time. Jesus made a stance and was crucified to save the world. If you think you suffer today, examine the agony God put His only son through to offer us everlasting life. How can one ever repay the Lord’s mercy? How do we repent enough of our sin?

But, the sun rises on Easter, with the promise of a brighter day. The folded loincloth left behind, which covered Jesus’ face in the tomb, meant, “I’m coming back!” Let us celebrate a second chance to make it right for the Lord! As for myself, I can’t wait to stare in the eye of diversity and shake the hand of a man named Christ Jesus. We have nothing to fear when we do not question our faith.

Let the earth tremor, for our wonderful Lord created a man we call our King, who died to give us life again. The reign will return in His “Good”ness forever! www.danabicksauthor.com

May everyone have a wonderful and blessed Easter!

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A Good Friday ‘Cross’ Application

Good Friday

Friday, April 19, 2019, is the annual remembrance of the LORD Jesus Christ’s death on a cruel Roman cross that paid the price for our sin. The crucifixion of Christ was the turning point of all history where God the Father reached out to humanity with the priceless gift of His only Son, Jesus.

Through that sacrifice, we are given the opportunity to come to God and receive His grace and the gift of everlasting life. Yet, the cross is more than the greatest sacrifice; it is a primary example for those who love Christ.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26 [ESV]

There are three facets of this teaching gem which Jesus gave to His disciples that bear some examination. These were spoken not simply as instructions to them, but to everyone who has claimed the mantle of Christ ever since.

The Sacrifice of Self-Denial

There is nothing more antithetical to modern society than self-denial. Yet, in truth, it has been that way from the beginning.

The original sin of Adam and Eve is a testimony to this. They refused to deny themselves the one thing which the Creator prohibited when faced with the pressure of temptation.

Humankind has been prone to that path ever since. It is unimpeachable truth that everyone has refused to deny themselves something great or small on at least one occasion and likely more than that.

Good FridayThe business of advertising for products or services is a fruitful source for examples of saying no to self-denial. One doesn’t even have to examine television commercials to find such examples today [although TV still has the most].

Just scan the titles of your emails or the ads and headlines from prominent websites. There you will find many emotional words begging you to take action NOW! Words such as “hurry,” “urgent,” or a favorite of many ‘journalism’ blogs, “blockbuster news!”

One of the most important techniques a new salesperson is taught is to create a sense of urgency and need for the product right away. The vast majority of sales pitches have this element expressed by phrases like, “for a limited time only,” or “offer expires today.”

Since the days of the Great Depression in America, the principle of delayed gratification has faded from the general teaching and upbringing of successive generations. Nowadays, the latest and greatest are all everyone seems to want, and they want it now.

Many industries espouse immediate satisfaction as their goal for the customer. Perhaps the most common example is seen with ‘smartphone’ usage where user impatience is often vocally expressed upon a delay of more than a few seconds for a text or a download to be sent or received.

In order to follow Jesus as He taught, the natural impulses of impatience must be sacrificed on the altar of the cross of Christ. That means a genuine intent to deny self and to embrace the long and lifetime personal ‘via dolarosa,’ carrying our individual cross for Him each day.

What Do You Have to Lose?

This question is twofold. First, what do you have to lose if you do follow the prescription of the LORD? Second, what do you have to lose if you don’t?

Good FridayJesus tells us here that if we follow Him, we will save ourselves by losing our life. He doesn’t mean most of us will lose our physical life, though there are some even today who put their own lives at risk when called to preach the gospel in hostile environments.

Those are the missionaries who take grave risks of imprisonment, torture, and death to bring the hope of Christ around the globe. They are the people whom organizations such as Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors advocate for and support.

These are truly the unsung heroes of the earth who practice the ultimate in self-denial for Jesus. When He returns, those heroes will be unsung no more and will embrace joy everlasting in a universe made right.

However, our LORD knows that only a choice few are called to that kind of work. For the rest of us, we are called to follow Jesus and demonstrate His love and grace to a different personal audience of co-workers, friends, and families.

While this may seem a less difficult task than moving to a different nation and living among a foreign culture, it can actually prove more arduous in the end. Jesus gives us insight as to why this is so.

And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.  Matthew 13:57-58 [ESV]

Anyone who has unsaved family members or friends can attest to the fact that you will likely face both unbelief and some hostility when you testify to them about Christ. Amicable relationships are another one of the things which may be ‘sacrificed’ when we carry the burden of our own “crosses” to follow Jesus.

One’s worldly ambition must also be nailed to a personal ‘cross.’ It is not wrong to seek to succeed in the world unless that success means living for the world and not for Christ.

Remember that the Bible doesn’t teach that riches and money are inherently sinful. Rather it teaches that the love of money is sinful and leads to ever more sin, as is loving anything or anyone more than God.

So what is lost if one does not embrace Jesus in faith and follow after Him? It is far more than losing friends or comfort or even mortal life; it is the forfeiture of the self and the soul.

Don’t Forfeit Your Soul for the World

Good FridayOne of the biggest points Jesus is making involves comparing the value of the material things of the material world with the value of the spiritual things of the spiritual realm. Our LORD is very clear about the value of both items and the verdict is that the riches of the entire world pale in value next to the human soul.

One of the most obvious reasons this is so is the factor of time. Time is something we measure but cannot master even with all the wealth in the world.

Time reminds us that we are mortal and our material lives will eventually cease. And no matter how much our physical life is extended or enhanced through science and medicine, death will remain on our horizon.

When one believes that the material world is either the most important world or the only world, it becomes easier to attempt to ‘gain the whole world.’ Our folly in this endeavor is the fact that all the riches in the universe could not buy us even a little more time.

Time is the one factor that everyone acknowledges is real, whether or not they believe in God. Yet, time is beyond our reach because it belongs to the triune LORD who created time in the first place.

Time is also the prison of the physical universe, including the physical body. For just as the universe had a beginning, so did our bodies, and just as our bodies will have an ending, so will the universe.

What is known as the Second Law of Thermodynamics or the Law of Entropy, confirms that time is running out for the universe. This scientific ‘law’ teaches the obvious fact that everything decays and runs down.

God’s Word taught that same principle long before science and it is called corruption. There are two types of corruption mentioned in the Bible, moral and physical.

Physical corruption leads to the destruction of the body, while moral corruption leads to the destruction of the soul. In a thrilling passage of the New Testament, Paul describes it this way.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 [KJV]

If you or I make gaining the material riches of the world our goal in life, we will lose both life and riches. Worse, we will willingly have forfeited our souls for that which is only temporary.

When Christ was horribly crucified He was not seeking to gain the world but to give sinners the chance to gain eternal life. Jesus confirmed that eternal life was real when He rose again, as will be discussed next time.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, King James Version, Public domain

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Jason St Peter’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of The People Speak!’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Sharon Tate Soberon’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of id-iom’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Sleeping Saints

A simple bible scripture quietly wrapped up within the Easter season, placed a conviction on sinners and nonbelievers. Christ’s crucifixion was not in vain. Allow me to test your knowledge of an event which surrounded the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is written in the Apostle’s Creed.

Did you know many saints were raised from the dead along with Jesus? It’s a shocking revelation, written only in the Book of Matthew, and overlooked by many because the occurrence is not mentioned by any other author of the Holy Word. But, here it remains…

Matthew 27: 52-53

52and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

As Christ died to take away our sins, the heavens turned an angry gray and black. The earth rattled and split rocks on the sacred grounds where He hung on the cross at Golgotha. God’s power showed His wrath to the Romans who did not believe He sent Jesus to earth to prove His existence. What better way to convince them than to raise the sleeping saints from Jerusalem?

The tombs of many people were broke open in a strong earthquake. After Jesus arose from the dead, the saints raised out of their graves and returned to Jerusalem, known as the Holy City. Friends and family instantly recognized them. Though we do not know for sure who these holy people were, they stayed alive during the forty days Jesus continued on earth, after His death. It is suggested they returned, along with Jesus, to heaven.

Can we not testify this biblical event immortalizes God’s power over life and death? The resurrection of the sleeping saints reveals all believers should have no fear of death, for one day, we too, will be raised to join our Almighty Father. This gives us reason to have hope in eternal salvation, and perhaps, assurance our sins will be forgiven in heaven if we become faithful followers of God today.

Image courtesy of Redeeming Grace Church

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EDITOR’S COMMENTS:

Matthew’s Bible passage swirls in controversy. Biblical scholars feel there is no validity to it because the raised dead, seen by others in Jerusalem, was not referenced anywhere else in the Bible. They suggest we should understand this passage to be a preview of our resurrection at the End Times. But, would resurrecting the dead really be so hard to believe since it was a divine act?

Based on 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, this event would undoubtedly undermine Jesus’s resurrection. Theologians believe God has resurrected no one to eternal life as an immortal spirit yet—except Christ.

As we’ve always commented on other controversial blogs we cannot disprove any biblical passages in this life. Our wonderful Lord wrote the Bible with the message it is never to be deciphered as we see fit, therefore in my eyes…so it shall stay.

“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

www.danabicksauthor.com

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SoLIDariTY BloGGerS’ FoRum 28

Nothing saddens the heart more than the death of a loved one. But this sting can be overcome. In a beautiful article, Chrystal Ward tells us ways of Overcoming the sting of death. It’s a good read.

Take a look. It can become handy. You can even use the tips to help someone experiencing the sting of death.

Chrystal Ward runs Maybe Crazy Help where she helps “others overcome the darkness within their minds.”

A stop at Maybe Crazy Help would be time well spent.

The Last Ride

A somber mood lingers… one less life on earth begins their journey. The black hearse pulls up to the curb. As it latches closed, it makes a distinctive noise only heard by those who no longer exist. The driver waits for the breezeway gates to slowly open. In a dignified pause, the inherited remain to honor what’s left of an era.

So, the journey begins across a herringbone walkway. Winding along the cobblestones of the cemetery, it’s a poetic view. Memories of many others, awaiting their turn to be eternal with God, lie in peace. The limousine turns in through a wrought-iron fence where Wye oaks litter the lawn. Families follow in due respect, honoring protocol.

Pallbearers stand in line behind the hearse. The coffin is guided respectfully along a path of boxwoods to the final resting spot. It is empty of a body and soul which will soon return to dust. One day, God will make His grand entrance to take them home – away from the cold and damp, pain and suffering. But for now, they wait on the last ride to heaven’s gates.

What Does the Bible Say About Death?

Genesis 3:19

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Are you going straight to heaven or to the burning inferno after your funeral? Well, neither answer is accurate… at least not yet. The Christian Bible, in over fifty verses, compares death to a state of sleeping, a state of unconsciousness. One such verse is:

Ecclesiastes 9:5

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.

But many believers think the soul is an immortal entity which continues living after death. This is a pagan belief initiated by the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greek philosophers. Then, the two Jewish sects, the Essenes and the Pharisees, adopted the same theory. The Jewish Encyclopedia states:

“The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato.”

Later, Christianity absorbed Plato’s same hypothesis that our soul is in a better place than living in this fallen world. It certainly gives us hope, especially if we’re masked as an evildoer. But, according to the Living Bible, a soul living after death is incorrect. Let me explain why this not so and the answer is found in the Bible.

In the beginning, God formed man by dust and breathed into his nostrils to become a living entity. However, when death occurs, the body dies (returning to dust) and the soul ceases. If it lived on, this would make us immortal, and the Bible clearly states only God is never-ending.

1 Timothy 6:16

“…who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion.”

Eternal Life

It’s a marvelous Lord we serve for He promises us eternal life if we righteously serve Him while on earth. But, as deceased bodies, we remain in the grave, asleep, until the trumpets of the Lord sound and judgment day arrives for all believers. We will receive immortality when Jesus comes to take us to paradise.

But, those who fall short of living in God’s word will be raised to life in a separate resurrection called the “resurrection of condemnation.” I can only imagine how many will live to see this day.

Many unpleasant questions arise about death. As believers, though, we can be self-assured knowing God is preparing a better place for us, known as paradise in the Bible, for all who loves, praises and believes in Him, regardless of religion. He will perfect our hearts in holiness, and we will live on in His perfect grace and beauty. We will swallow death up in victory as we take the last ride!

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