Getting Older Involves a Lot of Dying

I am finding that getting older involves a lot of dying. And while I’m not that old yet, I expect that as more time passes, it will also come with a lot more death. Obviously physical mortality will be my final end, just as it has been for everyone else, but I’m seeing there is lots more I’ll need to die to before that. Dying to dreams. I have always been something of a dreamer. I like to look forward …

Between Life and Death

We’ve all heard the witticisms about death and taxes as the world’s only inevitabilities and about humanity’s mortality rate continuing to stick stubbornly at exactly one hundred percent. We all know we are going to die and that we ought to prepare ourselves accordingly. But what’s equally inevitable and perhaps even more painful, is that people we love are going to die. Harder still, is that we may need to guide them or even make decisions for them in those …

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Heaven on Earth

It does the Christian good to consider heaven. It does the Christian good to consider what awaits us when we at last succumb to death. It has been the subject of countless books but, interestingly, few that have remained in circulation for very long. For that reason we are served well by new works on the subject. I was glad, then, to find a copy of Derek Thomas’s Heaven on Earth: What the Bible Teaches about the Life to Come …

How To Grieve Like a Christian

This life is full of loss and full of grief. Though there are times we experience great swells of joy, we also experience deep depths of sorrow. No sorrow is deeper than the sorrow of loss. At such times it is important to consider how Christians grieve. Christ has Lordship over all of life, even grief. The gospel informs all we do, including our grieving. When dealing with the loss of a fellow believer, it is a privilege to grieve …

6 Very Good Reasons to Consider Your Short Little Life

Our lives are short. They are, in the words of the author of Ecclesiastes, little more than vapor, dust blow by the wind. Yet the very thought that could dismay or depress you, can also motivate you. Here are some blessings that will be yours when you pause to consider your short little life. Considering your brief little life will cool your love for the world. We are easily delighted by the things of this world, but we are just …

4 Reasons to Be Glad that Life Is Short

One of the great sorrows of life is its brevity. This life is but a breath, a vapor, a mist that vanishes with the sun. Even the eldest among us dies too soon, for we were made to live forever. Yet, while it is right to lament life’s brevity, we can also find in it reason to rejoice. There are reasons to be glad that life is short. Here are four of them. Because time is short, we will not …

Kindness that Comes Too Late

I have always been glad that there was one person who brought out her alabaster jar and anointed the Lord before his burial. Most people would have waited. They would have kept the jar sealed until after his death. Only then, when his body was torn and cold, would they have broken it open to anoint him. But this one woman did not wait. She opened the jar while he could still enjoy its scent, and while his worn and …

5 Marks of a Good Funeral

I have been to good funerals and bad funerals. In fact, I’ve been to beautiful funerals and full-out dreadful ones. What distinguishes the best from the worst? In How to Finish the Christian Life, Don and George Sweeting offer their observations on the best ceremonies they have attended and officiated. Here are their five marks of a good funeral. A good funeral is understandable and faith-building. That is, the funeral has been prepared in such a way that it is …

What God Does With Your Sin

Sometimes it’s better to show than to tell. Sometimes it’s more effective to rely on illustration than description. Maybe this is especially the case when we are distressed, ashamed, or sorrowful, when emotions threaten to displace reason. In those moments, God comforts us not only with descriptions of what he does with our sin, but also with vivid illustrations. Are you distressed by what you’ve done? Do you hear whispers that you have sinned beyond God’s desire or ability to …

I Forbid You To Say These Things at My Funeral

YouTube told me I ought to watch a clip from a recent episode of America’s Got Talent. After all, who doesn’t like to see some unknown person make it or blow it on the big stage? In this case the young man did a tremendous job of imitating Frank Sinatra and, of course, received thunderous applause for his effort. When the cheering had subsided he was told by the judges that his dear grandmother must be looking down from heaven …