In the book “Children’s Letters to God”, a little boy named Mike wrote, “Dear God. What happens when you die? Nobody will talk to me about it. I don’t want to do it. I just want to know.”
A lot of folks are like Mike. They’re not ready to die. But they do have questions about it. Lots of questions. Continue reading
In the past month I have learned of several of my friends, family and brethren who are dealing with the dreaded disease of cancer. I have some idea how the families feel.
I have lost so many friends and family members to this ugly enemy called cancer. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Grandparents. And my own mother. I have seen it ravage the bodies of the young and old alike. Continue reading
The Englishman John Donne was one of the great Metaphysical poets of the 17th century. His most famous sonnet “Death Be Not Proud” is part of a sequence of poems called “The Holy Sonnets.”
The poet personifies death and says you are not as tough as you think you are. Continue reading
C. R. Nichol was one of the great preachers, teachers and religious writers of the late 19th and early 20th century. He was known, not only for his scholarly work, but for his wisdom and quick wit.
One morning, while taking a walk, a friend cheerily greeted him, “Good morning, Bro. Nichol, I see that you’re still in the land of the living.”
Without missing a beat, he quickly quipped as he walk on, “No. I’m in the land of the dying. But I hope one day to go to the land of the living.” Continue reading
Filed under Death, Eulogy
This week Norma Jean and I made a quick trip to Sellersburg, Indiana, to attend the funeral of my Uncle, James Key. He was 91. He was a part of what Tom Brokaw dubbed “The Greatest Generation.”
Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation” was a moving tribute filled with inspirational stories of those who served our country during World War II. He wrote about common people. Famous people. Men and Women. Heroes and Heroines. Those who served in uniform and out of uniform.
My Uncle James could have been one of the chapters in Brokaw’s book. He served abroad in the U.S. Army during the War. My cousin, Ryan, told stories of Uncle James narrowly escaping enemy fire. Continue reading
Her name was Mary Catherine Threlkel. She was my cousin. But we all knew her by “Wimpy,” the nickname given in infancy by her father because she was a fussy baby!
She died on April 8, 2015, at age 70. Last Saturday, I joined family, friends and fellow Christians in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, to honor Wimpy’‘s memory, mourn her passing, but to celebrate her life.
For over 40 years I have participated in speaking at funeral services for people of all ages and who were taken from this life in many different ways. Natural causes. Accidents. Disease. And tragic events. To stand in the specter of death is always a solemn experience. But when it’s a loved one, death suddenly becomes more personal. Painful. And thought-provoking. Continue reading
Filed under Death, Eulogy
Seven years ago today, September 18, 2007, Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, stood before 400 colleagues and students to deliver his final lecture entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”
It was Randy’s last lecture as a professor because he was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. On that day he was youthful, upbeat and vigorous. While he refused to wallow in self-pity, he spoke of how the cancer would eventually claim his life. Ten months later it did. Continue reading