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Archive for December 28th, 2014

(First Draft, since starting with the completed version might not happen in time)

I am prepared and even enthusiast about living for however much longer God has in mind for me, be that 50 minutes or 50 years. However, the longer I live the less likely I am to live substantially longer. I do participate in some risky behaviors, albeit, thoughtfully, cautiously, and frequently with prayer. And additionally I most fervently hope that me writing this blog just now is not an indication that God is getting ready to take me soon, though I will not object in the least if He does. Rather, I see this blog entry as a bullet on my to do list that has had a few red flags inserted by recent personal events. I want to mention my wishes for my funeral.

The most expensive item first: Bury me wherever is cost effective and convenient for those dealing with my loss. God can resurrect whatever parts and pieces He has ordained to be transformed into my new body from anywhere in this old world from mountain top to ocean depth and a whole lot of less glorious places than that. We respectfully plant bodies (good terminology given what I Corinthians 15 says about perishable seed) because they contained spirits made in the image of God and because those of believers will be resurrected to be in His presence, which is comforting to the mourning loved-ones. An inexpensive casket and what not is sufficient; I’ll assure you it won’t impress me.

I would like to influence several aspects of the service, however.

Primarily, focus on the Savior; I certainly will be. I have too few earthly accomplishments of merit with which to praise the Holy One. I do have this: grace. God has imparted grace to me in salvation, in living, in family, in provision of every talent, possession, happiness, pursuit, safety, knowledge, or any other thing you can think of He provided me with. Speak of His grace, sing of His grace, pray about His grace, urge hearers to partake of His grace.

One area of grace in my life was a love and desire to know and live by God’s Word (you can argue later about how I didn’t do either; the point is God gave this poor sinner so much). So please sing “How Firm A Foundation”. I have sung all 7 verses with a congregation before. They are very appropriate for this situation. Why are you in such a hurry, I’m not going anywhere? At least sing the first two, please.

If you think you are leaving this place (Earth, I mean) without the help of Jesus, you are headed the wrong way; reconsider now. I know where I’m headed and why, and I want you to hear about it at my funeral. Please sing all four verses of “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less”. If you cry, let it be because you understand just how deep His grace is reaching to secure your eternity. It is not your effort, not your rock solid faith or piety; it is the rock solid faithfulness and power of Jesus on your behalf, enabling you to believe, continue to believe, and improve in your living.

If you will tolerate singing yet a third hymn, let it be “My Hope Is In The Lord”, or a fourth hymn, sing “Praise The Savior”. These complete my list of most favorite hymns, though my children should know that I had many “favorite” hymns.

Read from I Corinthians 15. If someone is available who can or will, preach on it, especially the depth of witness to the event of the resurrection (verses 3-11), the reason it matters (verses 12-18), and Christ’s resurrection (verses 20-28). If time allows speak about the first and second Adam (verses 40-49) where you cannot neglect to bring in Romans 5 about justification by faith. If you see nodding off or rolling eyes, just tell them that I was dying to hear one more time about all that Jesus has done for me and them. No, actually, don’t mention half of what I’ve said in this blog. It may be a solemn occasion even if a celebratory one, owing to my home going.

If you want to read other Scriptures, some suggestions include Genesis 1 since by God’s grace I have always believed that God created the heavens and earth in six literal days, all the more as the scientific evidence pours in. Read from Revelation 21 and/or 22. The last chapter fortifies the weakest of faith. He is coming again; we can persevere by His enabling power and faithful Word through the Spirit we are given. Hold on.

A good call to worship to God, for that is what I hope my funeral will be, one of my favorite passages is Hebrews 1:1-4, though you don’t have to stop at verse 4.

I know this is getting a bit long and will have to be cut down, but I so love Hebrews 4:9-16. Please don’t be afraid to give a bit of commentary on each of the verses I have suggested so that God might powerfully move in the hearts of the faint-hearted and the lost. I am at my rest because Jesus didn’t rest until He had finished His work on my behalf (II Corinthians 5:21). How could you neglect to read a few verses from II Corinthians 5 at a funeral? Maybe I should just write the sermon and put it in a blog entry for you to print off and read. Perhaps, but probably not, because it would be better if the Spirit spoke to that crowd on that day. At some point I may well organize this rambling list of desires for my funeral into a more coherent service. I hope that you (the organizer) will not neglect this list out of hand. Blessings to you in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord.

If you want to read something I wrote, perhaps one of my better poems about God and our life in Him would be in order. Pick as you may, but here are some suggestions based on appropriateness or value: “Trust Is Your Rest”, “The Why”, “But a Few of His Benefits”, “Our Demise”, **”Ichthus Rhyme”, “First Cause”, “A Servant’s Ambition”, “Just Sayings”, **”Eyes on Things Above”, **”A Need To Create”, “Advent Colors”, or

God’s grace is my comfort and rest

My strong tower in the midst of test

While I trust Him I shall prevail

Raised from the dead without fail

Man, did that list get carried away. Pick one or none, but read Scripture and sing hymns.

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