Tag Archives: death

A soldiers bravery

If I could quote this entire book, I would.  I’ve loved it so much!  An old man is reminiscing about his time as a soldier in the war as a Turk against the “Franks”.

But I will tell you a secret, which is that almost no soldier believes he will be killed. This is because it is impossible for the human being to imagine that he is dead, and this is because he is always alive and present in the act of imagining. He sees his comrades die, but he thinks himself immune, and this fatal lack in his nature makes him a good fighter. Even a man who has decided to die on purpose and become a martyr does not really believe in his own death.

Birds Without Wings, by Louis Bernieres

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Top Death-bed Regret; from new book

Every morning I get out of bed, skip breakfast so I can make a big one later, and drop off my wife at work.  Our TV doesn’t work, and I don’t subscribe to a major newspaper, so most of the news I get briefed on comes from the radio in the car.  Emily and I happily listen to NPR every morning as well as other stations that might strike our fancy.

This morning I happened to tune into 101.9, the “Mix”.  If you hail from Chicago, you’ll know this station well.  They were talking about an interesting book compiled by a nurse.  This nurse tended to those on their death bed, and being at the bedside for countless people she heard many of her patients dying regrets in life.  She compiled the top regrets into a book.  I didn’t catch the book name, nor did they mention the author, which I wish they would have mentioned.

They did talk briefly about the single most mentioned regret that the nurse heard.  After considering the entirety of their lives, “working too much” was the most mentioned.

Why did they work too much?  What was the problem?  That’s a question that could have millions of answers, but I’m sure answers like “money, prosperity, happiness, nice house, nice car” is what composes much of the working classes motives.

More compelling, and striking to the heart, is the question Why did they come to this conclusion?  Why after a lifetime of good hard honest work, did they realize “Wow, I worked so much, but lived little.”  Wouldn’t they be proud of their accomplishments?  Perhaps thats why on peoples tombstones loved ones don’t put, “He worked hard all his life.”  Maybe after all has been said and done, work really isn’t the all in all.

Perhaps they suddenly realize all that they worked for, was in vain.  Death the ultimate sure thief, comes and takes away all that is precious.

When someone prepares for a disaster, they make sure they have means to survive for when the storm passes over.  Survival requires you to look beyond the disaster.   Before a hurricane, you stock up on fresh water and canned goods, because after that storm you may not know what will be available.  Your world is going to change.

If people spend as much effort looking at what might be beyond the grave with as much effort as they spend working all their lives for something that will be taken away, death won’t be so much of a thief.  But merely a transition.  And regrets?  A vapor of a memory for those who put their trust in the one who has already conquered the grave.  Jesus Christ our Lord!!

If you haven’t struggled through that in your life, I invite you to. Work, labor, struggle, wrestle with this question.  Where am I going?  That is a question worth working towards an answer!!

“That is it! That’s Jesus!”

Have you talked with someone and had to imagine their face?  Have you ever been in a long distance relationship and never actually met them in person?  Have you ever had a pen-pal and with great excitement you wait til you get a picture of them?

We were made to do two things (well many more, like eat); 1) to behold glorious things (which is why we go to geological attractions like the Grand Canyon and the Niagra Falls), and 2) to behold the glory in each other.  We each have a shadow of the glory of Jesus in our faces.  We were made after his image, his likeness, bone of his bone.  And some awesome day, some glorious day, we will behold the face of Christ, our God in the flesh.  Don’t we all yearn for that day?

Some have already supposedly seen him.  The apostles for one, but also some in our century have also.  People who have had near death experiences often describe going into a dream like state where they enter heaven, talk with Jesus, see Gabriel the angel, etc.  Many Muslims who have come to Christ have done so by way of talking with Christ himself in their dreams (which is obviously not a near death experience, and an important distinction).

Well what I’m about to say I don’t put a ton of stock in, but find it very interesting, and truthful in a very big way.  Two young people, one a boy at age 3, and a girl who was around 7-8 years old, both almost died, and both witnessed seeing Jesus Christ.

The parents of the boy, Colton Burpo, were obsessed with finding images and portraits that Colton might find in the likeness of Christ.  But again and again, Colton would say no.  Until they come across a picture that the girl painted after she came back, of Jesus.  When Colton saw this painting, he said, “That is it!  That’s Jesus!” So we have the testimony of two very young children who have seen Jesus, and agree together as to what He looks like.  You want to see a picture of what Jesus may look like?  Here it is:

Surprise!  He’s not white, or has blue eyes!

Todd Burpo, his father, wrote a book, last year, about this whole experience, of his sons getting sick, seeing him through, and takes us on a journey through years of Colton recounting and telling the story of what he saw in his “three minutes” of heaven.

Matthew Patton of Parchment and Pen wrote a good critical review of this book.  In which he asks the question, “Are they lying?”  After all, this sort of stuff could get one very rich quick in the world of Christendom.   This is a good review of the book if you are interested.

And because I think everything that is worth believing in, is worth questioning, (I’m not saying I whole-heartedly believe this story) here is a good clip by David Platt on why we shouldn’t believe this story of “ascending to heaven and descending again to earth”, which as Platt will explain, is only attainable and was only attained by Jesus Christ.  The other “experiences” of heaven, were through visions, not by one who died and came back again.  I don’t we think we should declare this story true too quickly.  Instead, let this be a time when we search the scriptures to see what it says on this sort of matter.

Here is a short clip that explains who Jesus is;

If this has interested you, and you want to go deeper into who Jesus is, and what he said, maybe you can start here;

Learn more.