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
There is a great scene in The Fisherman’s Lady by Scottish author, poet and preacher, George MacDonald. Malcolm, the fisherman, and his friend, the schoolmaster, are sitting in a graveyard following the death of a local woman and discussing dying.
“But, sir, isn’t death a dreadful thing?” asked Malcolm. Continue reading
(Note: This post was the sixth most read of 2013)
David Cawston, in a sermon entitled “Ready to Face the Music,” began with this riddle. Can you guess the answer?
“There is a preacher of the old school, but he speaks as boldly as ever. He is not popular though the world is his parish, and he travels every part of the globe and speaks in every language. He visits the poor, calls upon the rich, preaches to people of every religion and no religion, and the subject of his sermon is always the same. He is an eloquent preacher, often stirring feelings which no other preacher could in bringing tears to eyes that never weep. His arguments none are able to refute, nor is there any heart that has remained unmoved by the force of his appeals. He shatters life with his message. Most people hate him; everyone fears him.”
“His name?” Continue reading
Yesterday morning when I turned on the news I learned of the death of troubled country music singer Mindy McCready from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She leaves behind two sons, 6 years old and 10 months.
Then after returning from the hospital and visiting a sister having surgery, I checked facebook and learned that two my friends suffered the loss of loved ones. Our prayer list is filled with good people who are sick. Suffering. Fighting seriousness disease. And dealing with terminal illness.
It reminds me of this Bible warning.