Death. Bring up death around adults and you can stop a conversation. Not a fun topic. But your kids might not understand.
For example, when I was about five, my great-aunt died. I had seen her at the nursing home and recall a gray-headed lady who wore a bun and had a huge mole on her neck.
After she died, my parents took me to the funeral home. I vividly recall standing at the casket, staring into her face. She didn’t breath and that made me feel like I was going to choke.
I attempted to walk away, but my dad grabbed my shoulders and made me stand there. Maybe I misunderstood what he was trying to do, but I couldn’t leave. That upset me.
Combine that with death-bed stories I heard from the pulpit, and I became afraid of death. Now I know I have mild-intermittent asthma. Whenever death became a topic, I felt out of breath.
Mom and Dad must have told our preacher, because when he arrived at the funeral home, he came to talk to me. A huge man with a booming voice, I hated being singled out for attention. Sheer terror filled my heart.
He told me he didn’t like going where death had been, but he went anyway.
My parents probably thought the pastor would help me. Nope. I wanted to escape.
My grandmother died later, and I refused to go. I recall seeing Mom and Dad exchange serious looks whenever the topic of death came up.
At six, I accepted Jesus as my savior because I didn’t want to go to hell, but that didn’t erase my fear of death. And I had no intentions of talking about how I felt.
Today Ginger Sanders came to share about her book, Firefly, which talks about how to explain death to children. She will give us tips on how to avoid what I experienced.
Why Easter is the Most Important Christian Holiday
Rabbits don’t lay eggs, they bear live young. Someone told me the story of a pagan holiday combined with Christianity. Something about a fertility celebration? It wasn’t Christian, but it got mixed in. However, I found family movies of my first Easter. My brother and I had Easter baskets, chocolate eggs, and fancy outfits. Watching my parents follow me around while I wore my pretty dress almost makes tears come to my eyes. (They are both in heaven.) In later years, I do remember picking out my fancy clothes and dying eggs for Easter egg hunts. We always went to church to sing and praise God for the resurrection. However, despite the fact what we celebrated every year, I didn’t”t realize how important Easter was until I got older. It may have been my fault for not listening, but I didn’t get it. Now I do.
My guest is my husband, Ray Simmons. He’s a Bible teacher and elder at Grace Community Church. We chose a different tradition raising our children, and he will explain why Easter is so important.
Ray Simmons leading Passover
1:00 Why is Easter so important?
2:10 What evidence do we have that Christ rose?
[tweetthis]He is risen. He is risen indeed![/tweetthis]
[tweetthis]Because Jesus lives, we have eternal life[/tweetthis]
Learn more about doing a Messianic Passover here or here.
Facing death can make you serious about life. When the Apostle Paul faced death, he wrote the following words: ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8 ESV)
Have you ever considered what you might think on your deathbed? What would you be glad you did? What actions would you like to change?
Several months ago, I started seeing double, and as a retired nurse, I was afraid. I couldn’t think of any illness that wasn’t quite serious that would produce those symptoms. I hurried to my doctor, very glad he could see me quickly, and I prayed for God’s presence. It made me think seriously. Am I loving others enough? Or Am I too selfish? It’s easier to ignore a little jam stuck to the countertops when life and death issues emerge.
Today I have two guests, one is Paul Perkins. He’s a banker from Missouri who has had severe health issues and died several times. His tortuous journey included a kidney transplant and a heart transplant. He’s telling his story along with Anita Brooks. Anita Brooks had her own near-death experience. She’s an author and speaker who assisted Paul with the book.
2:15 Paul, how did facing death change you?
3:50 What lessons stuck?
7:30 Anita, what got you through hard times?
10:00 Paul, you received two organs. How does it feel to have organs that belonged to someone else?
12:05 Anita, how does it feel to be an organ donor?
13:25 Anita, what was the recovery like for you?
15:45 Share how these experiences gave you courage
Healthy Grief Processing – Carol McLeod is my guest today. She’s an expert on grief processing after losing five babies.
Nobody wants grief. Truly! Like many of you, I grew up in America. All my life I expected good things. WE had the freedom to pursue whatever career we wanted, and I had dreams of being gloriously happy. On the other hand, the church taught we would face heartache. I heard that, but I’m not sure I really believed. My husband was the same way. He even commented how he was tired of singing about the ‘Sweet Bye and Bye’ while ignoring the ‘nasty now and now.’
However, the longer you life, you see heartache and sorrow. I can say now the Lord has walked me through some grueling times, things we never dreamed we’d face. Now I sense the brokenness of our world. It’s shocking the intensity of the pain we see. God designed us to live in a perfect work, and we ache when we see tragedy.
My husband calls Romans chapter eight ‘Groaning 101.’ “For we know what they whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth until now. Woe! you talk about childbirth, and we ladies can relate. That’s serious pain. And yes, that’s our world.
But the Apostle Paul wasn’t finished. “For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed.” (Romans 8:18) That’s a pretty huge contrast. The sufferings, however hefty they may be, can’t outweigh the glory we will have. What a statement. We all need that hope.
Here’s a guide to topics you might enjoy in the interview:
The Real Easter Story is about hope, and with the world in upheaval, we need lots of hope.
Easter stands alone as the most important holiday we celebrate.
Jesus predicted his death and resurrection, and according to his own words, it proved the validity of his claims to be the son of God, who came to die for our sins. Note:
Matthew 12:40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
If Christ has not been risen “…our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.” I Corinthians 15
Jesus”…was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
I remember during the time of the Reformation, they worshipped bits of the cross and even the nails. In fact, at one point Martin Luther joked about the number of nails that must have been used because at that time people claimed to have far too many bits of nails and fragments of the cross. While I’m not ready to say the Shroud of Turin is the burial garment of Christ, there are interesting bits of evidence that drop us back into the first century when we study the microscopic evidence.
The shroud is a long narrow piece of cloth. At that time, they folded a long piece of cloth over a body and tied at the feet, waist and head prior to burial. On this piece of cloth is a faint image of a crucified man. However, if you take a photograph, you have an incredible image of a man with details that wow the scholars and PhDs.
Crucifixion stopped in about 326 A.D. The shroud was dated with carbon 14 to be about the 1500s, but at that time, they would not know the details that appear to ring true regarding this burial cloth.
These details surrounding the shroud are worth studying because they give a picture of the historical events of the crucifixion and help us understand the suffering Christ endured.
Love a Dying Friend? What a tough assignment! But let’s start at the beginning of the problem.
All of us, realize something is wrong. We live in a world of disappointment, sadness, sorrow, and misery. However, God designed us to live in perfect world, without pain. We can share times sorrow left us devastated, empty and alone. Even those of us who grew up in healthy families can share deep hurts. For instance, in ninth grade I took Spanish. To master the language, my friend and I wrote each other notes. Someone ridiculed me in front of an entire class for that. That’s nothing compared to what others have suffered, but it was pain. I was embarrassed and devastated.
My grandmother moved into our house when I was young, and I suffered verbal abuse at her hands. She made me feel worthless and useless. I could never please her. Even now at times I feel like I don’t measure up.
Ladies, I believe Satan finds a way to leave an ugly mark on us all.
Romans 8:22 – 23 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
I feel that groan, and I’m sure you do also.
What a blessing when someone comes alongside as a friend and shares that pain. I think about that passage in Hebrews three that says “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,”
Today I have Jill Buteyan. She just completed a book called Just Show Up. She walked alongside a dear friend suffering with cancer and she gives advice on how to do that.