photo credit: Leap Kye <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/10581663@N08/5883964562″>Matchbox – ’63 Cadillac Hearse</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Conversations about death and dying make many people uncomfortable.
Trying to relieve tension, they crack jokes about the afterlife. If unsure about where they will spend eternity, scoffers laugh off the truth about a literal heaven and hell. Living only for today (and what money can buy) the foolish forget you can’t take it with you.
Maybe you’ve heard what was sent with famed Frank Sinatra. I read interesting trivia in urbo.com. Sinatra’s friends tucked rolls of his favorite candy inside his casket. Someone put in dog biscuits for man’s best friend. I found one item very interesting; a roll of dimes was placed inside. Dimes? He made millions.
There was a time when dimes paid a crucial role in Sinatra’s life. His son, Frank Sinatra, Jr. had been abducted and held for ransom. The kidnappers feared phone tapping and said they’d only communicate through pay telephones. Frank Sinatra ran out of change during a conversation and panicked. Fortunately, he was able to get back in contact with the men holding his son.
To make a long story short, Frank Sinatra, Jr. escaped. The kidnappers were nabbed by the police and justice was served. It’s said that Ole’ Blue Eyes carried rolls of coins with him till his death. That explains the send off with rolled coins. So, some might say that he lived and died doing it ‘his way.’
“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NASB).”
photo credit: Lars Plougmann <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/75062596@N00/36425009134″>Leonora Christina’s final resting place</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
“A good name is better than precious ointment,
And the day of death than the day of one’s birth;
Better to go to the house of mourning
Than to go to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of all men;
And the living will take it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth (Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 NKJV).”
It may take a few readings before the scripture passage above sinks in. At first, it just doesn’t seem logical.
The day a person dies is better than the day he is born?
Families rejoice when a baby is born; they mourn when a family member dies.
You find a key phrase in the words ‘For that is the end of all men; and then the living will take it to heart.’
When grieving the loss of loved ones and friends we reflect on our own lives. Are we prepared to die?
If not, it is time to set our house in order.
Have you surrendered your life to Christ Jesus.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16 NKJV).”
“Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city (Luke 10:1-12 NASB).”
“The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. ‘Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven (Luke 10:17-20 NASB).”
photo credit: Noel F. <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/37563893@N00/45770871165″>Bartolo</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.’
And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel (Luke 1:76-80 NASB).”
photo credit: JLS Photography – Alaska <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50830796@N04/39252158801″>Merry Christmas!</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Many children write letters to Santa; it’s a very busy time at the post office.
When I was young, one of the Syracuse, New York television stations had Santa segments. He read letters from the boys and girls in the Central NY area. They asked Santa for gifts from their wish lists.
The Heavenly Father is the giver of gifts. I don’t wish; I pray.
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17 NASB).”
God gave the perfect gift.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16 NASB).”
The LORD gave the gift of life.
He gave us His Son.
He gave Jesus.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6 NASB).”
photo credit: mripp <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/56218409@N03/39624591724″>Dog owners are more healthy</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Dreaming of a white Christmas?
Your life can be transformed; you can be white as snow every Christmas.
“Come now, and let us reason together,’
Says the Lord,
Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool (Isaiah 1:18 NASB).”
Dressed in garments white as snow…
“He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Revelation 3:5 NASB).”
Children make angels in the snow. The Father makes hardened sinners as white as snow.
photo credit: Riccardo Palazzani – Italy <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/45503185@N06/23421017403″>Nativity 2015</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Luke 2:1-19 (KJV)
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.