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I Beg to Differ (Part 2) “Grieve Forward”


 

Reverend Matt Kuiken, of First ARP Church Gastonia, NC officiated my father’s funeral last Friday.  A young, up and coming vibrant man of God, he spoke exactly what I believe God wants his people to understand about losing those we love.  He framed the beginning of the service that we are to literally “grieve forward.”

Capturing the heart of his message reminded me of what God spoke to Joshua.

Joshua and Moses

Joshua and Moses The Bible Miniseries

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ minister, my servant is dead. So now arise [take his place], go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, the Israelites. Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses.” (Joshua 1:1-3)

Joshua was commissioned by God to become the leader of the Israelites before Moses died.

Now I just have to interject a personal observation here.

Joshua had some very large shoes to fill. Can you imagine having to step into that realm of authority and notoriety? Maybe it’s me, but Moses appears to always be the one who gets the most attention.

Anyway, back to the post at hand.

Joshua knew Moses’ time on earth was running out. He had been a rookie, an apprentice, a student of one of the most incredible human beings that ever lived. Years together listening to a bunch of griping, complaining wanderers must have connected the two men with a special bond.  Most likely, they were very close; maybe a “father/son” relationship that was born out of a mission from God.

As Reverend Matt spoke at dad’s life celebration, the words “grieve forward” must have been what the servant of the Lord was really saying to Joshua.

Grieve with joy, peace, hope and love for the one you will miss, but move ahead while you grieve. Don’t become stuck or stagnant. God obviously didn’t want Joshua to do that nor should we.

Joshua The Bible Miniseries

Joshua
The Bible Miniseries

Reverend Matt gave it an all-inclusive stipulation; just as God gave to Joshua.

Remember what they taught us; how they lived their lives and all they represented.

Remember the lessons and the discipline for future use.

Remember the good times, the joy shared and love they unselfishly gave.

Remember the moments of enduring hardships, difficulties and pain; and how they encouraged us to be strong, courageous and lean on God.

Remember; we will see them again; but….

As the servant of the Lord spoke to Joshua he also told him; “The mission that was given to Moses is in your hands.”

In other words, you have a job to do; an assignment; the purpose handed down by God yet to be fulfilled.

Isn’t that what Moses would have wanted?

I know it is what my dad wants us to do. Move forward with the torch that has been passed.

To be continued…..

 


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I Beg to Differ (Part 1)


Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Isaiah 41:10

As many of you know I lost my father last week. 88 years on this earth is a long time, but God graced his family and friends by allowing him to be with us that long.

In truth, God saved my dad 3 times before he took him April 29 from possible death over the last 30 years.  Each was a miracle and dad bounced back resuming his witty sense of humor while recovering each time.

4 years ago we almost lost him after major surgery that placed him in ICU with a 3 day window of life or death. Remarkably, once again he awakened defying the odds that even his surgeon did not expect. Not only did he survive and struggle to regain his independence, he did it with a clear mind and his satirical funny side. He was a lifeline of upbeat drollness giving the hospital and recovery staff a daily lift.  And then he brought it home.

Dad was a product of consistent prayer and faith he and my mother had for their 64 year marriage.

I write this post as a tribute to both of them for their love for each other and the stable foundation they gave me with God in the center.

The thought of losing him during that time 4 years ago was not on my radar. Literally, I fell apart. Coping with daily life became an emotional drain which landed me in my doctor’s office full of anxiety and panic. My doctor and her nurse are dear friends of mine.  Understanding my inability to move forward we addressed the issues.

Once it all set in I knew it would take more than therapy and Lexapro to arrive at a place of accepting the inevitable even if God gave me a few more years with dad around.

What I discovered over the last 4 years challenges the phrase, “We can never be prepared to lose a loved one or a friend.”

In my next post, I want to share with you God’s provision, comfort and supply he gave me to not only get through dads passing, but exceed that which only God can do in us. I even surprised myself. 

I beg to differ that we can be prepared for the death of anyone. 

To be continued….


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Hollywood Culture: A Deafening Cry for Help


The latest death in Hollywood, Phillip Seymour Hoffman is representative of our culture.  In the past few years actors or musicians who have passed due to drugs/alcohol continues to rise. Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Cory Monteith, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse to name a few became fatalities from fame and fortune they were unprepared to handle.

This group does not include those who have found the cliff only to be stopped by family, friends or habitual reasons that might affect their careers. Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Demi Lovato, Robert Downey Jr., Zac Efron and now Justin Bieber are living on the chopping block waiting to happen.

Is it any wonder the Hollywood culture ruins people?

The devil infiltrated the scene many years ago. Rock music has hit its lows with many involved in the cult or Satanic rituals.

Katy Perry, the daughter of Christian parents has recently renounced her faith. Her father is an Evangelical preacher who with his wife tour the country speaking the Gospel of Christ.  This evidence was revealed at the Grammy’s when Perry’s on stage performance was riddled with evil, darkness and Satanic overtures.  This gifted child has left the God who gave her the voice she has.

Katy was prophesied over by Kim Clement who is a good friend of her parents. The prophecy made years ago was that she would attain fame and fortune beyond imagination.  Is it a coincidence the devil has found her steering her away from her Christian faith?

The latest evidence of what was found in the apartment of Philip Seymour Hoffman as far as drugs go is incomprehensible. Not only was he hooked, he was buying from those who our military fight against every day.

Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) He is using the media or technology for all to see his grandiose achievements.  Too many lives have been lost or are on the brink of his evil attachment.

He must be stopped.

God wants these talented and skilled souls he created to understand the truth of Jesus Christ. He wants them to understand he is waiting for them to return to him.

Please pray for Hollywood to be cleansed of the evil it promotes. Please pray for those who have been caught up in this agenda to be brought to the cross for redemption. Please pray for salvation for those in Hollywood.

(Psalm 25:5)salvation_inside