“Grieving a Loss”

Nancy Guthrie is one of the best qualified people that I know of to speak with compassion and wisdom about “grieving a loss.” If you’re walking through that particular valley I pray that this video will be a help to you.

July 18 2014 | Blog | Comments Off on “Grieving a Loss”

“Blessed”

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” This is the story of two missionaries, Nate & Ruth, and how God has used the story of their mourning the loss of their child to comfort those who mourn throughout the nation of Brazil where they serve.

July 05 2013 | Blog | Comments Off on “Blessed”

“It is Not Death to Die”

One week ago today my grandmother (MaryBell Walden) left this world and was greeted by the loving embrace of Jesus. I miss Grandma a lot, but this song has been a good reminder to me that “it is not death to die.”

February 15 2013 | Blog | 1 Comment »

“O That We May Kiss the Rod”

My Grandmother MaryBell Walden passed away on February 1st after suffering with Alzheimers for a number of years. While Grandma’s passing was not unexpected, it has left a great hole in my heart and has given me much reason to think about her legacy and love for Jesus Christ.

When Jonathan Edwards passed away suddenly his wife Sarah wrote a letter to his oldest daughter in which she wrote:

423021_4908238398156_1405114765_n“What shall I say: A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands on our mouths! The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness that we had him so long. But my God lives; and he has my heart. O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left to us! We are all given to God: and there I am and love to be. Your ever affectionate mother, Sarah Edwards.”

While MaryBell Walden was not Jonathan Edwards, she has left me and my family with a great “legacy” of following Christ. I’ll be posting more on her in the coming weeks, but right now it seems that Sarah Edwards advice is very appropriate that “we may kiss the rod” and trust in God’s goodness during this season of sorrow.

February 11 2013 | Blog | Comments Off on “O That We May Kiss the Rod”

Help for the Grieving

This was a profoundly helpful video for me as I’ve been thinking a lot about how to minister to those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with loss or struggling to help someone in grief.

 

HT: Justin Taylor

August 17 2012 | Blog | 1 Comment »

O Death, Where is Your Victory?

A Story | Tears of Hope from Adam Kring on Vimeo.

March 18 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on O Death, Where is Your Victory?

Numbering My Days

psalm90_12One of the last things that I did before leaving Mount Vernon was to visit one of the sweetest women that I have ever met with my good friend Caryl.  We pulled up to her apartment, walked in and enjoyed talking to her about her many decades ministering at EBC, where her favorite plants were from, and what it was like to be diagnosed with caner.  It was a very special afternoon.

As I drove back to the church I noticed a group of college girls running on the side of the road conditioning for some kind of sport and then it hit me.  It wasn’t that long ago that this dear woman who I’d just visited was able to run and play with her own friends.  It wasn’t that long ago that the entire world seemed to be full of possibilities for her and adventure waited around every corner.  It wasn’t that long ago that cancer was the furthest thing from her mind and yet today, just a few short decades later it’s probably one of the only things on her mind.

I guess what I’m saying is that this experience was a powerful reminder that “life is short!”  It won’t be long before I begin to slow down myself, and it probably won’t be very long after that when God will call me home.  And in a few short years there will be very few people who even remember my name.  The Psalmist talks about this in Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The point is that we only get so many days and before we know it life has passed us by, so the question is how am I going to spend these few days that the Lord has given me? The best place to start is probably in asking yourself, “How am I going to spend today in light of how short my life really is?”

July 26 2010 | Devotional | 3 Comments »

You Don’t Know Jack

Jack Kevorkian has been out of the news for quite some time, but an upcoming film from HBO promises to make him a topic of conversation once again. 

In 2005 Wesley Smith wrote an article upon rumors that the movie was in the works:

He is ubiquitously portrayed in the media as the doctor who helped terminally ill people end their own lives. No doubt, that is how he will be portrayed in the movie — as the iconoclastic visionary whose compassion induced him to test the boundaries of the law to help the actively dying achieve a gentle end.

But this view of Dr. Death — who received the moniker when, as a medical student, he haunted hospital wards to watch people die — is a blatant, media-driven myth. In reality, Kevorkian’s notorious assisted-suicide campaign, which dominated the headlines throughout most of the 1990s, was driven by a ghoulish desire to conduct human vivisection [here’s the wikipedia explanation of vivisection], or “obitiatry,” as he liked to call it. Yes, you read right. Kevorkian’s primary motive in all that he did was to create the social conditions that would permit him to experiment on the people he was putting to death. . . .

. . . Kevorkian’s first targets in his quest to slice and dice people were not the ill, but the condemned. He spent years visiting prisons and corresponding with death-row inmates, seeking permission to conduct “obitiatric research” on those being executed.

Only after Kevorkian was thrown out of every prison he visited did he hit upon another angle. If condemned people were not going to be made available for “unfettered experimentation on human death,” perhaps he could gain access to experiment on sick and disabled people. His front would be assisted suicide. But his goal would remain human vivisection.

Kevorkian appears to have pursued a three-step plan toward achieving his dream: First, popularize assisted suicide and make it seem acceptable; second, give society a utilitarian stake in assisted suicide by using the victims for organ procurement; and finally, gain permission to conduct his death experiments on the sick and disabled people he would be allowed to kill.

The rest of the article is well worth the read and is eye opening to say the least.

HT: Justin Taylor

June 23 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on You Don’t Know Jack

Teach us to Number our Days…

I love the following quote from Frederick Buechne

”Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us.  We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true.  On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever.”

Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

March 17 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on Teach us to Number our Days…

What Breaks God’s Heart? (Death)

Cemetaery-238x204Several years ago my Pastor (then at Riverlakes Community Church) preached a series on “What Breaks God’s Heart”.  The title has always stuck out to me and I have often times meditated on what does break God’s heart.  The Bible is full of explicit references to the heart of God being deeply moved, even moved to tears over the heartache in this fallen world.  This is the second in a series of posts on What Breaks God’s Heart

In the fall of 2005 I was finishing up my last semester at The Master’s Seminary when I had one of the most intimate experiences with death that I can remember.  Each year I got to take a discipleship lab with one of the professors or one of the pastors at Grace Church.  This particular semester I got to spend some time with Jim Pile who is the pastor in charge of Pastoral Care at Grace.  Jim gets to spend a lot of time dealing with death and dying, so over the course of the semester we go to talk about death and dying quite a bit.  Toward the end of the class, I was given the rare privilege of visiting the Los Angeles County Crematorium for an extended tour of the facility.  I got to see the furnaces, a small chapel, and a large room full of brown plastic boxes.  Each of the boxes held a clear plastic bag of ashes.  Standing in this room I listened to the care taker of the facility explain how the facility worked, as I held one of the plastic bags with what remained of a human life in it.  As I thought about what was in my hand, the care taker’s words began to fade into the distance as I reflected on the fact that this person used to be someone’s child.  He was probably bounced on his father’s knee, he was probably rocked to sleep by his mother and he probably went to school with other kids just like him.  Maybe he was even someone’s husband, maybe they were still looking for him or maybe they could care less…and something inside of me just ached.

Death has a way of doing that to us, it always hurts and it seems so completely arbitrary and unfair.  In one box you may have found a drug dealer, and in another box you may have found a lawyer who fell on hard times.  But, when it was all said and done they ended up sitting side by side and soon they would end up in the same place.  Death truly is the great equalizer of all men and yet despite all of the thousands of years that mankind has had to come to peace with our own mortality, death still stings.

When I think of the question, “What breaks God’s heart?” I have to think that death ranks pretty high up there.  Death was the ultimate punishment handed down from God to man for his sin and since that time Adam’s tragic epitaph has been written over every man’s grave “and he died” (Genesis 5:5). 

Perhaps no single event makes this more clear than the death of Jesus’ friend Lazarus.  After hearing of His friend’s sickness, Jesus went to find that he had already died.  As Jesus looked over the crowd of mourners that day the Bible gives one of its simplest and most profound statements, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).  I’ve often wondered why Jesus wept over Lazarus death, especially when He knew that in just a few moments He would raise Lazarus from the grave.  It almost seems like one of those moments when He would say, “Why are you weeping?  Behold the power of God!”  But instead we find the Savior, God in the flesh, bursting into tears (BDAG) and weeping over the death of a friend.  The only explanation seems to be that death is really that bad.  Death always hurts, it is always heart wrenching and it is one of those pains that is so great that it broke the Saviors heart.

As Christians, we live in a wonderful place where death no longer has victory over us (1 Cor. 15:55).  We have been given a new life and promised a new body (1 Cor. 15:42), but in some way death will still touch each of our lives and that breaks God’s heart.

Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

July 06 2009 | What Breaks God's Heart | Comments Off on What Breaks God’s Heart? (Death)

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