Week Forty-Nine, 2019
DANCING AT MY FUNERAL
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
His book made a great impression on me when I read it several decades ago. Written by Maxie Dunnam, Dancing at My Funeral, is a classic. It gave me a whole new perspective on death and dying and a great move forward in my Christian faith.
What if the Christian community suddenly became known as the people who celebrated funerals? And we really mean party! What if we did it so often—and so big—that people started to notice? And what if the culture started asking why?
Why do we cry at funerals? What if Christians became known as the people who celebrate departures from this world? What if we made our memorial services bigger and better than the best wedding you’ve ever attended?
How would that impact the culture’s perception of how seriously we believe what the Bible says? And what would it say about heaven? What will your funeral say about your faith and how will it influence others in their faith walk? Should those in attendance clearly hear the Gospel?
A friend of mine was a funeral director. He had witnessed and conducted hundreds of funerals. I remember him saying that funerals should reflect the way the deceased lived.
We all have an expiration date. We just don’t know when, where or how. Sooner or later we will all be faced with death. For Christians, our funeral should be a time of joy and a time to celebrate, for it marks, not a death, but a rite of passage to a greater life beyond.
When we die, our spirit and body separate. Even though our body dies, our spirit—which is the essence of who we are—lives on. We celebrate other times and events of the passage of life, why not our funeral?
I’m looking forward to my funeral, hopefully, not occurring soon. I want it to be a soundtrack of my life…. well most of it. I want the Gospel preached and I want people to know of my assurance as to my next stop after this earthly life. The best is yet to come.
If anyone at my funeral has a long face, I’ll never speak to them again!
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
THE POWER STRIP:
Lynsi Snyder describes this culture-changing lifestyle well: “Picture our lives being a power strip. We plug so many things into the power strip—work, family, hobbies, and God. But that is all wrong. God must be the power strip and everything in our life should be plugged into Him as our power source. He gives us life and then we have His power in everything we do. “He shouldn’t be one of the ‘plug-ins’ in our life, but rather we should live plugged into Him and the calling He has for us.”
Who is your power strip today? God must be the power strip. Jim Denison
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As the weeks fly past, it is important to be intentional about certain things, lest we be held captive by the “tyranny of the urgent” for our entire lives. While all of us want to “finish strong,” we are often distracted by things that diminish our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength. Ultimately this can lead to a lack of will to do the things which are truly significant or we lack the conviction to stand firm when our “day of distress” arrives. Lt. Gen Robert Dees
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Half a million bats live at the University of Florida. Their spooky night flights draw scores of tourists. Since 1991, the University of Florida has maintained houses to accommodate its massive population of bats — about half a million now, making it the largest bat population in a human-made structure in the world.
Nearly every night, the bats leave their houses about 15 minutes after sunset to eat an estimated 2½ billion insects. The bats’ exodus has attracted scores of spectators, but getting them to live in the houses hasn’t always been easy.
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And then it becomes a rationalization: I can’t honor my commitments because I’m too busy! I can’t be with my family or friends because I’m too busy. I can’t work out, meditate, shut down at night to get to sleep, or make time for solitude and disconnection … because I’m too busy.
Most of us have used this “too busy” rationalization, because it feels very true. It feels absolutely true that we’re too busy. And there’s a corollary to this: if we want to be less busy, we have to get all our work done first (and be busier in the meantime).
Is it true? Or can we develop a habit of not being busy, even with the same workload? We need to get at the heart of this always-busy habit, and then reverse it. Leo Babuta
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
The great gift of God in prayer is Himself. Maxie Dunnam
There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart. Charles Dickens
While Saul was seeking Jesus, Jesus was seeking Saul. Pastor Andrew Evans
A Jewish mother is a travel agent for guilt trips. Sol Pitchon
A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. John F. Kennedy
Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work. Oswald Chambers
Life on earth has sharp teeth. Lecrae Moore
Do you see obstacles or opportunities? Pastor John Onwuchekwa
The devil doesn’t care what we depend on as long as it isn’t the Holy Spirit.
The worst of times are often the best of times. It just doesn’t feel like it at the time.
Sentimentality is the enemy of simplicity.