Tag Archives: Jesus

The Reason Why Sometimes You Need a Good Funeral

Need A Funeral

I attended a funeral yesterday and it was probably the most hysterical funeral I’ve ever been to.

It was a time of sharing stories about the deceased and laughing at his personality. He was a serious guy who showed his true nature in the most hilarious ways.

All in all, I really enjoyed the funeral.

And that is a weird thing to say.

But as I looked at his family, smiling through their tears, barely holding it together because of their overwhelming loss, my heart was sad.

And since it was the day before Easter, I could only think about The Death. The Death of all deaths.

The Death of a carpenter on a cross—the death that took on my sin and released me from the consequences that should be mine.

A casket sat at the front of the church where the funeral was held. The casket held a 56 year-old man who had lost a long battle with cancer. During his life, though, both my husband and I had had the pleasure of working with him in our careers in education.

I know his family is mourning. They feel sorrow and anguish. They are full of grief and an overwhelming sense of loss. They are physically spent from feeling the weight of his death.

And I imagine that the disciples, along with the friends and family of Jesus, felt the same way when He died.

They were heavy. They were weary. They were physically spent from their sorrow. They wanted him back. They grieved. They cried. And they felt his loss in a powerful, unexplainable way.

And they had no idea what was coming.

If you’ve lost someone you love, you know the feelings I am describing. That loss renders you non-functional. It’s only by the grace of God that you can pick yourself up and attempt to participate in life.

And they felt this over the loss of Jesus.

Now, for those of you who have lost a loved one, imagine if that person who has passed away suddenly reappeared. “Hi! Guess what? I’m not dead anymore! I have risen like I told you I would and I’m alive!”

What would your reaction be? To scream in disbelief? To pass out? To lose control of yourself? Doubt and demand proof? Or to throw your arms around that loved one and dance for joy?

Jesus reappeared. He overcame death. He came back. He conquered the grave so that we might live eternally with him.

The older I get, the more funerals I have to attend. Luckily for me, the vast majority of the people who have passed away recently have been followers of Jesus Christ. These people made a commitment to follow the One who overcame the grave.

Although some of my friends and family members are gone, there WILL be a day when I can throw my arms around them and dance for joy. Because of Christ’s great miracle, because He is alive, I might be parted from my loved ones for a short time, but I am promised a day of reunion. I am promised to get to do what the disciples and friends of Jesus got to do—see Him in the flesh after his death.

So while I sat at a funeral the day before Easter, I rejoiced. I was filled with hope. I was overcome with joy and gratitude.

The resurrected Christ made it possible for us to spend eternity with the people we love.

Someone once said to me, “You haven’t lost them if you know where they are.”

I know where my Savior is. And can you believe that I am jealous of my friends and family who have seen Him already?

Sometimes funerals are a wonderful reminder of what we have to look forward to—and it will be so much better than anything we can experience or imagine here.

Share with me: Do you have an idea of what you’d like your funeral to be like (someday long from now, of course)?

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A Blog Post About Why I Don’t Really Like Blog Posts

at-the-ruin-881944-mIsn’t blogging a bit pretentious? For me to assume that anything I have to say is of any importance to you?

Isn’t it a bit pretentious for any of us to assume that our words–thrown out there into the great, vast cyber-world–matter at all?

Honest moment: I’m a blogger who doesn’t have much time to read blogs. I read them when I can, I follow my favorites, and I do what I can to support my fellow writers by sharing their brilliance (and some of them really are brilliant–always share brilliance when you find it!), but I don’t have daily time to sit and read blogs. It seems that everyone these days has a blog– there’s so much information and opinion and life out there to share and learn from. But I don’t know how most blog-junkies do it. I envy them.

And here I am, adding to the chaos of social media with my own little Hale and Hearty Words. And what does my little corner of the blogosphere say about me? Should it matter?

Perhaps it stems from some sort of insecurity. Perhaps I want to avoid confrontation, so really opinionated posts aren’t good. (Although if you look through my past posts you’ll see that I really don’t shy away from opinionated. Opinionated is one of my many middle names.)

Perhaps it stems from the fact that I read incredible blogs and then I’m worried that my posts don’t carry as much wonder and awesomeness.

Perhaps it stems from the fact that I’ve gone from regular blogging to being an on-and-off blogger, blaming everything from having a new baby to taking on a new job– the severe lack of time that keeps me from blogging.

Perhaps I’m just suffering from a lack of inspiration.

So I turn a wary eye to my blog, concerned that pretentiousness exists in the very fact that I have a blog.

But then I remember that God called me to writing. 

I remember how much I love words– how much they inspire me.

The words of others have impacted me in such a way that I believe God himself was speaking through them.

And I recall how God has opened so many doors for me to write and I need to take advantage of them.

So I blog. And I ask you to forgive any pretentiousness. I don’t mean to imply any or show it.

I only mean to inspire, laugh, give my opinion, and encourage readers with these posts. What this blog says about me, I hope, is that I love my Savior and I want you to love Him, too. I want you to be inspired and encouraged, and I want you to know that words are powerful.

So if you are reading this, please know that I appreciate you. And there is no pretentiousness in that.

Share with me: On average, how many hours per week do you spend reading blogs?

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Please Don’t Tell Me You’ll Pray for Me

Please Don't Tell Me You'll Pray for MeI don’t want you to tell me you’re going to pray for me.

That’s right.

I don’t want you to just tell me.

What I want is for you to actually pray.

When it comes to prayer, your follow-through is much more important than your good intentions.

There is a disease within the church that manifests itself in good-intentions, presenting in kind words and affirmations but rooted in symptoms like selfishness and broken trust.

We’re quick to promise our prayers to the needy, quick to confirm that we will lift their concerns and hurting souls up to our great and mighty God, but we hide within us the truth—we have no intentions of doing so.

We say we will because it’s the “Christian” thing to do.

“I’m going to pray for you.” “I’ll be praying.” “I’ll add you to my prayer list.” “Praying!” “I’ll take it to the Lord.”

Those are promises. Promises that come with mighty weight.

People depend on those promises of prayer.

Their comfort comes from the thought that their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are going before the God of Healing and Comfort and presenting their requests before the Lord.

Prayer, Praise, & Dirty Little SecretsThose who need the prayer seek the security of knowing that there is a unified, praying army beseeching the gates of Heaven, presenting requests to God on behalf of those who are weary, weak, and hurting. On behalf of the lost.

But perhaps the army of prayer warriors isn’t as strong as one might think. There’s a chink in the armor—that chink is you.

Perhaps you are too busy. Perhaps you are forgetful. Perhaps you don’t really believe in prayer at all.

You are the one who said you would pray, but you haven’t. You don’t. You only said those words because that’s what one says to someone who is hurting.

After all, what more can you do?

But that’s just it—praying for someone is the most powerful, life-changing, loving thing that you can do.

Praying for someone demonstrates not only your love for that person, but God’s love.

You are a manifestation of Jesus Christ, loving that person through prayer. You are handing their brokenness, their pain, their anxiety and weakness to the Healer, the Provider, the Creator of all things.

So don’t let them down.

Praying for someone requires no fancy words or mammoth time commitment. What it requires is a loving heart of truth, the follow-through of loving someone in Christ beyond the capacity of your forgetful mind and your busy schedule.

It requires devotion to a Christ-like walk that loves by following through.

So don’t just tell me you are going to pray for me.

Do it.

Share with me: How can I pray for you this week?

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