Pastor Norma's Journal of Wisdom

Death


Build a storehouse of memories…

Today is the day to make tomorrow’s memories.

You are never too young to contemplate what kind of memories you want to make. Don’t live in the past or the future. Live for today. The past will serve to teach you lessons for today.

Practice little random acts of kindness throughout your day. You most precious memories will be of people, not things. Take a moment often to look inward to be aware of the person you really are. Think about the memories you are making in the hearts of others.

Think about the traits in others that have given you good memories and what traits have left an impression in you of a bad memory or memories.

When you’re young you don’t think of death that much. But death comes as sure as life.

Today you are developing character traits that will distinguish you from others.

Think about your friends for a moment. Each one is like a flower in a bouquet emitting a sweet fragrance into your life; building a storehouse of memories that will last a lifetime.

Face each day with an abandonment to live well, to love well, and to deposit precious memories into the hearts of those around you.

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

— — Clyde Campbell

We cannot mourn a life well-lived…

When someone dear to us dies we truly mourn for the person. Their absence from us leaves a void that no one else can fill. Though they are absent in the flesh they will always be with you in your soul and spirit – that part of you that will live forever.

Death cannot separate us from the person in our heart and mind. The influence they had upon you, whether good or bad, will remain with you until you die. One of the saddest things in the world to see is a wasted life. A life well-lived is a life that has made a difference somehow. A life well-lived is a life that has broken through the “self-life” and has served others, even in some small way. The average person lives their life with the big “I” as the center: “What am I going to get out of this”… “What’s in it for me?”… “I don’t have time”… “I want…”… “I need…”… etc. etc.

We are basically selfish. God made us for relationships; relationships with Him and with others. Relationships enhance our lives, because out of relationships I glean from other’s experiences and thoughts. A life well-lived is one where I am not sufficient in myself but I draw out of each relationship those things that enhance my life.

So many people die having never really lived. The eke out an existence, but because of pride, arrogance, and self-sufficiency they live for themselves and miss the best; living to serve and care about others and giving others a vital part of themselves each day.

When it is time to die, let us not discover that we never lived.

— Henry David Thoreau

Live as you want to be remembered…

Think of famous people and what they are remembered for. One example: Abraham Lincoln, the emancipation of slaves; John Wilkes Booth, the man who shot and killed President Lincoln. Give some serious thought to this question… How do you want to be remembered?

When you’re young it’s hard to think about death because you are so full of life. But death is inevitable. We must face it someday. And, sadly, it doesn’t always wait until you are old. Death has no respect of persons or age. It can invade our lives at any moment.

Begin to live your life now for how you want to be remembered. Every day you are contributing to the person you will be in the future.

I have had many experiences of observing death. For many years I played the organ for a funeral home and as a pastor I’ve conducted many funerals. It always saddens me to see a body in a casket and realize their life on earth is over. There are no more opportunities to “become” or to serve or work or play. Death is so final as far as touching the world.

Live each day as if it were your last. Oh yes, you will be remembered after you’re gone… make good memories today… tomorrow may be too late.

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

— Mark Twain

Death, a time to contemplate life…

What is life? Life is many things but I want to leave one very vital truth with you about life… and death. God’s word has the final say on death and life. Please hear me!

Life does not end with your last breath on earth. We are created in the image of God and God is eternal. We are created as eternal beings. We continue to live after we die. You will either live eternally in heaven with God or die eternally in hell. Hell is called the “second death”. Please take time to read Revelation 14:13, Revelation chapter 20 (all of it) and Revelation 2:11, and Revelation 21:4-8. Those are God’s final words on death.

Today is the day to begin to prepare for eternal life or you will face eternal death. Jesus is The Life! Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life… he that believeth in Me will never die (will live even though he dies) and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25).

The scripture also says: “It is appointed unto man to die and after that the judgement.” Deep down inside of us we know this truth even though people don’t like it or want to admit it.

I have done funerals for all kinds of people. Without exception the loved ones of that person want the assurance and hope that that person is in heaven.

Unfortunately I cannot know that. Only God really knows… but it’s interesting, isn’t it, that that is the final question? And you know sometimes it’s easier to believe a lie than to believe the truth. God’s word is the truth and the only truth. People that don’t believe that make up all kinds of things they can live with— like “everyone goes to heaven when they die” or “there’s no life after death. You just go into the ground and that’s it… that’s the end”. Or they believe in reincarnation, speculating that you will return to earth in some other form. And another lie some believe is that you can go to an “in-between” place (some call it purgatory) where your loved ones can still pray for you, and you can suffer for your sins, but finally earn the right to heaven.

Of all the things I write in this book this is the most important thing I can bring to your attention.

You must prepare now to die. It is not possible to make a decision after you die. Your destiny is sealed. You will either go to heaven or hell.

There is only one way to get to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Often people believe that you get to heaven by being good; that if your good deeds outweigh you bad deeds you will go to heaven. What is the criteria by which our deeds can be judged? Think hard and serious about this question. There is no criteria by which we could all be judged fairly! So the truth is that we are all sinners and because of that sin we just plain are not going to make it. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sin. To die for my sin, and to die for your sin.

God is holy and nothing that is unholy can live in His presence. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” We can appease our conscience by coming up with a better way in our mind, but God has an answer for that lie as well. He says, “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25).

  • 1. You must admit that you are a sinner. (Romans 3:23)
  • 2. You must admit that what we have earned because of our sin is death, even eternal death. (Romans 6:23)
  • 3. You must accept the truth that Jesus died for your sin and you must receive Him into your heart. (John 1:12, 1 John 1:9, and Romans 10:9-10)

I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 8 years old. That was 60 years ago at this point. That day when I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart He came in and has never left me.

Please don’t go through life without making that decision!

I love you!... and so does God!

One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day was; one cannot judge life until death.

— Charles de Gaulle

 

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