Saturday, February 7, 2015

3 Funerals, 8 days, all Christians

Three memorial services that couldn’t have been more different.

The first was a “full court press”—60 voice choir, 3 preachers, 4 friends reminiscing, video pictures on a big screen. It lasted an hour and a half.

The second, held in a funeral home chapel with canned music, was a more modest event with a seasoned minister and 2 friends sharing memories in less than an hour.

The third, at a small country church packed with local ranchers, consisted of 4 hymns sung by the audience with piano accompaniment, 2 scriptures read by the preacher and lasted an astonishing 22 minutes!

All the men who died were believers — a cause for rejoicing — but I wonder if all would have felt honored by their memorial service.

In trying to discern something meaningful from this week of remembrance and loss, is there a lesson or two to be learned? Perhaps…
Consider doing some advanced planning for one’s own final event.
Consider being involved in a local church with adequate facilities.
Consider investing one’s life in serving others in the name of Christ—leave a legacy worth honoring.

Ps. 116:15 says “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”.  A Christian memorial service ought to reflect that perspective so that it is precious in the sight of those attending as well. How do you want to be remembered when the time comes?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Has your faith bloomed lately?

Recently I purchased a bouquet of colorful fresh flowers: daisies, carnations and one lily that hadn’t opened yet.  As the week progressed, the lily pod kept darkening in color and I was disheartened to think that it was not going to bloom. Surprise!  This morning I discovered that the pod had opened with a lovely pink coloration, giving my bouquet a glorious addition.

The oft quoted “Oh ye of little faith” came to mind as I viewed this new development.  I had been discouraged because the lily was so slow to change and then, I suspected that the changes I was seeing weren’t positive. I didn’t have faith in God’s design and plan for that particular flower—and how wrong I was.

This scenario could be applied to many things.  How often have I questioned the rate of change in my life and others?  How often have I been discouraged in not seeing proof of improvement?  How often have I doubted God’s design that hasn’t come to fruition on my timetable and in my understanding? Oh ME of little faith! The Bible is clear: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not [yet] seen”. Hebrews 11:1 It goes on to remind us that God is pleased when we have faith in Him and trust His ultimate purpose and plan for us.

Even blooming bouquets can teach us something about faith. Thank you God for the beautiful lesson!