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Preparing for the Inevitable

This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

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A Culture of Resurrection, Part 1 (Preparing for the Inevitable #61)

Welcome to Episode #61 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Erwin Lutzer. He said, “Often we say that Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true, of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here.”

Our topic for today is titled “A Culture of Resurrection, Part 1” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

In 2004, at a regular staff meeting at Christianity Today, we learned that Fred Smith, a leading figure behind a number of Christian ministries, including that of Christianity Today, was in the hospital and likely to die within days. It was a situation we encountered frequently. The evangelical awakening after World War II had produced a number of men and women who started or significantly increased the scope of parachurch ministries, such as Campus Crusade, World Vision, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and a number of others. Fifty years later those evangelical entrepreneurs were elderly and many were dying.

The son of a pastor, Smith became a businessman during the Great Depression. He was president of a division of Genesco, at the time the largest apparel company in the world. But having grown up in a family dedicated to full-time Christian work, Smith was able to apply his unique sense of business efficiency and operations to ministries that were high on passion and motivation but low on thoughtful and strategic use of their resources. His insights were keen and poignant, usually cutting to the heart of an issue, yet full of humor. In addition to running Genesco operations, Smith served on the boards of Youth for Christ, Christianity Today and other organizations.

As Fred Smith got older, he retired from business and became less involved in actively overseeing Christian ministries. Rather than spending his sunset years on the golf course or on Caribbean cruises, Smith entered a new stage of kingdom service. He expanded the one-on-one mentoring that had characterized his professional life. He mentored a number of leaders, providing a sounding board for ideas and spiritual guidance for leaders who needed an unbiased peer. It was a ministry Smith had always performed, but mentoring took on new significance in his final years. Rather than seeking rest and comfort during his golden years, Smith focused even more on the mission he set for himself in his twenties. He even broadened this personal ministry by launching a website and forming an online community of those who were eager to learn from him. It was quite an accomplishment for a ninety-year-old man.

Smith’s late-life ministry followed the pattern he had established from an early age. At twenty-eight, Smith thought of what he would want said about him on his tombstone. “He stretched others,” Smith decided would be the motto of his life. So, into his nineties, and as his kidneys began to fail, Smith would host regular conference calls on the days he would be required to spend most of his time hooked up to dialysis machines.

As I wrote Smith’s obituary, assuming we would need to publish it soon, I became fascinated by Smith’s story and his common sense wisdom. I checked his “Breakfast with Fred” website regularly both to read Smith’s posts and Smith’s family’s updates on his health.

Surprising many, little by little, Smith returned to health. At more than ninety years old and after a lifetime of service to people and the church, Smith wasn’t finished. Eventually, he resumed his mentoring phone calls and webposts, and Smith lived for another three years. During that time, with the help of his daughter, he also wrote a book, Breakfast with Fred, published just as he died.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Grief and Mourning, Part 12: No Road Map (Preparing for the Inevitable #60)

Welcome to Episode #60 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Lamentations 3:31-33: “For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Earl Grollman. He said, “Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”

Our topic for today is titled “Grief and Mourning, Part 12: No Road Map” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

Though her death was horrible, tumors grew all over her upper body inside and outside her skin, Carol died well. “My wife was amazing during this,” Bugh says, “because she never complained, and she was always very positive. Now was she scared? Was she worried? Yeah, but she had a firm conviction in the sovereignty of God. She was a deeply spiritual woman. We didn’t like it, but we were willing to accept this as God’s assignment for our life. Carol never lasted in self-pity.”

Not only did Carol bravely face her trial, but she thought of what she wanted to say to her family, before her death. She had prepared letters to be given after her death to every member of her family. In the chaos of hospital visits and treatments, Carol found time to write down her last words to those she loved. “She wrote me an amazing letter,” Rob says. “She was profound. She said three things. She said, ‘You have no regrets in our marriage. You’ve been a great husband. You’ve been faithful.’ The second thing she said was, ‘You will make it.’ And the third thing was, ‘I want you to remarry.’ ”

Carol’s striking foresight recalls the Christian tradition of last words. And Carol’s words were so insightful, Bugh said, that she gave him the room necessary to launch the family into a new life without her. This also gave Bugh the opportunity to grieve. He had no regrets, no concerns plaguing him beyond the devastating loss of his wife.

As pastor of one of the largest churches in the area, Bugh also had the responsibility of grieving publicly. The advantage was that his family had an enormous amount of support. “The community rallied,” Bugh says. “The downside is there are moments where you just want to run into a cave and hide and just sob. Just sob.”

“If I stand up and just talk about God’s sovereignty, there are going to be people in the pews that think, Oh man, he feels so good, and I feel so crummy. What’s the matter with me?” Instead, Bugh told his congregation, “This is terrible, and I’ve had moments where I have just felt utter despair. But yet I do believe God is sovereign, and I have this contentment.”

Bugh still misses his wife terribly. “We had an extraordinary marriage,” he says, “And it’s gone. This woman that I did life with is gone. But yet I’m okay. That’s God’s grace.”

The loss was “more brutal than I could have imagined. Yet God’s grace is much richer, much deeper, much more profound, much more real than I would have ever thought.”

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will begin looking at “A Culture of Resurrection” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Daniel Whyte III’s Younger Brother Mark Anthony White Who Was the Baby of the Family Died of Complications From a Stroke Just Before Daniel Whyte III Recorded This Podcast Episode of “Preparing for the Inevitable #59: Grief and Mourning: No Road Map, Part 11”

Welcome to Episode #59 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Psalm 23:4: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

The featured quote for this episode is from C.S. Lewis. He said, “I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.”

Our topic for today is titled “Grief and Mourning, Part 11: No Road Map” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

“Grief just is. There aren’t necessarily rights and wrongs,” says Rob Bugh, pastor of Wheaton Bible Church in Wheaton, Illinois. A trim and energetic man, Bugh is still holding back the depth of his pain.

Despite years as a pastor, Rob discovered grief anew when, three months after a close friend died, Rob’s wife, Carol, was diagnosed with cancer. Grief, Rob said nine months after Carol’s death, is an “emotional, visceral response to pain, suffering, tragedy and death.”

Carol’s death came just eleven months after her diagnosis, and that time was filled with doctor’s visits, hospital stays, long- distance travel to specialists, and trips to the emergency room.

Rob says he was unprepared for the turn his life was taking. “One of my closest friends and my wife, they’re both getting horrific news. Their cancers are different, but they’re ravaging their bodies. And they’re brutal. How do you wrap your mind around that?”

“I’m in ministry,” Rob says. “I take care of people going through this, but I really never thought this would happen to us.”

Carol had turned fifty, and on a regular doctor visit she asked about some bleeding in her stool. Doctors performed tests, and the diagnosis was a rare form of rectal cancer. It was aggressive, and the Bughs fought it aggressively. But, as Rob says, they never received good news. Eventually they started running out of options. They continued trying new treatments, visiting doctors, seeking and hoping for a cure.

“Early on,” Rob says, “you’re 100 percent fighting.” But slowly, “There’s a growing awareness that God may be up to something else than bringing about healing.” They didn’t stop treatments, they continued hoping for a cure, yet gradually the realization dawned that there may be none. “There’s this resignation that comes,” Rob says. “Now you know what the gospel describes at Gethsemane when Jesus says, ‘Take this cup from me.’ That was a passage I prayed over and over, ‘God take this from us. Take this cancer from us, but not my will but thy will be done.’ ”

The final three months were hectic and incredibly stressful, and the couple had little time to talk about Carol’s death. And the end came much quicker than they had expected. Two days before Carol died, the family took her home and brought in hospice. And then, “all of a sudden it was all over.”

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “Grief and Mourning” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

PODCAST: Grief and Mourning, Part 10: Beyond Grief (Preparing for the Inevitable #58 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to Episode #58 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Psalm 31:9-10: “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. She said, “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

Our topic for today is titled “Grief and Mourning, Part 10: Beyond Grief” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

As surely and certainly as we hope in the resurrection of the dead, that is not the only reason Christians are to mourn differently than those who do not believe in a Savior who will redeem their bodies. As theologian and bishop of Durham N. T. Wright makes clear over and over again, the world to come is not completely separate from this one. Indeed, Jesus lives in a resurrected body even now. And the life of the God who raised Jesus from the dead lives within the Christian. So, while we wait for death’s final defeat, the beginning of that defeat in our own life begins in our salvation. In our journey through life—and through dying and death—we can find joy for we have a sure and certain hope in the redemption of our bodies. Second, we have access in this life to the power of the resurrection that gives us comfort from our grief.

As C. S. Lewis recovered from the devastation that followed his wife’s death, he began to think differently about how he should have mourned her. His journal, which became the book A Grief Observed, had been chiefly about himself, he said, then his wife, and finally about God. “In that order,” he wrote. And that order was the inverse of what it should have been. Never, he wrote, did he begin to praise either Joy or God. Yet, Lewis says, “Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it….Don’t we in praise somehow enjoy what we praise, however far we are from it?”

It is no easy task to move from the shock, anger and depression of the beginning of grief to the joy and praise that, with God, we can experience. Of course joy and praise can exist alongside ongoing pain and yearning for the departed beloved. As Walter Wangerin Jr. [WAN-GER-IN], a Lutheran pastor, writes, “even the weeping at weddings, is grief. When we die, we grieve.”

Death, Wangerin [WAN-GER-IN] says, is the breaking of any relationship. The first death was the Fall. And throughout our lives we die all kinds of small deaths. And we learn to grieve. We grieve at the ending of the relationship with our childhood sweetheart, when we leave home, as our children grow up, when our parents can no longer care for themselves. If we don’t resist the grief, we will find healing in the pain. “Grief is the grace of God within us, the natural process of recovery for those who have suffered death,” Wangerin [WAN-GER-IN] writes.

This is the essence of the gospel: Jesus brought God to humans, repairing the death of the Fall; and Jesus, rising from the dead, brought humans to God, ending the grief caused by the pain of our separation from God. If this good news means something more than hope in the by-and-by, if it means something right now, it means that God is with us in our grief and able to redeem it too.

Christianity does not shrink from death. It does not force a smile on the grieving. Christianity does not ignore death or say that it means nothing. Death is the last enemy, says Paul. It is evil, the greatest and most complete of evils. And if Christians are to know the greatness of Jesus Christ’s victory over death, they must know that death is evil.

Joy and sorrow, writes Wangerin [WAN-GER-IN], are not opposites. “It is through sorrow that one discovers a calm, abiding, indestructible joy.” Our faith offers us this paradox, that a seed must fall into the ground and die before it produces fruit. “Death leads to life,” says Wangerin [WAN-GER-IN], “And grief is the road between them.” Mourning, aided by the rituals of a church community, allows those who are swallowed by grief to slowly journey along that road.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “Grief and Mourning” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

PODCAST: Grief and Mourning, Part 9 (Preparing for the Inevitable #57 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to Episode #57 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Psalm 73:26: “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Cormac McCarthy. He said, “The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.”

Our topic for today is titled “Grief and Mourning, Part 9: Jewish Mourning Rituals” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

The Old Testament has plenty of instructions on caring for widows, and by extension, anyone in mourning. Deuteronomy 14:28-29 says that widows are entitled to the nation’s tithes so that they “may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you.” Psalm 68 says God is a “defender of widows,” and in Jeremiah 49 the Lord says, “Your widows too can trust in me.”

Due in part to these commands, the Jewish tradition has developed an elaborate set of rituals to guide the mourning process. Although Jews are not necessarily any better at always following their traditions than Christians are, the set of rituals following a death are becoming popular even among nonpracticing Jews. There are many ways that churches can learn from them.

Following the funeral, mourners begin one week of shiva. During these seven days, the mourner is to do nothing but grieve. The congregation visits throughout the week and every day says prayers. The mourner is not to clean the house or him- or herself. Neither is the mourner to cook, change clothes or play host to guests. The congregation brings the mourner’s food. “If death is not something to be marked for a week because it is so awesome an event,” says Rabbi Jack Reimer, “if death is nothing, if death is cheap, then life is cheap.” Because life is not cheap, the Jewish tradition takes very seriously the time of mourning, especially the shiva. This period allows the mourner to let go and succumb to death’s devastation. But the continuous presence of the community sustains the mourner’s ties to others. And its prayers sustain communion with God.

After a week it is time to rejoin the community. This reunion is in some ways forced on the mourner, because otherwise it may not happen. The mourner joins others who mourn by saying Kaddish, communal prayer, twice a day for the next eleven months. The immersion back into the community–a community of other mourners specifically–can be extremely helpful. Meeting twice daily is a sort of spiritual support group with mourners’ needs as the focus. Those who are working through their own grief are best able to help those newly grieving. The twice-daily prayer also helps those whose anger, because of their loss, may turn into anger at God. Affirming one’s faith twice daily is a powerful antidote to doubt at a time when it is most likely to creep in. On the one-year anniversary of the death, Yahrzeit, the mourner says Kaddish again.

After a year the formal work of mourning is over. But the community still commemorates those who have died. Four times a year special services are held, during which all those who have not lost an immediate family member may be asked to leave. The services remember all those who have died. This is the community of the bereaved, to which the mourner always belongs. This tradition helps the community take care of its widows, widowers and other mourners. It also ensures that the community will always know how to do so. “When we have a problem,” says Rabbi Riemer, “we can look up what those who came before us think we should do.”

Christians can learn much from Jewish mourning rituals in the way they allow the mourner time and space to feel the full force of loss, yet work to reintegrate the mourner back into the community and back to God. Because of the resurrection these mourning actions, while expressing the devastation of loss, are for Christians infused with hope. In Christianity death is not the end but a transition to a better, fuller life. Though Christians may find more hope in their understanding of the meaning of death and life, the Jewish rituals can be powerful.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “Grief and Mourning” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

PODCAST: Grief and Mourning, Part 8 (Preparing for the Inevitable #56 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to Episode #56 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Henry Wordsworth. He said, “There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.”

Our topic for today is titled “Grief and Mourning, Part 8: Can We Do That?” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

Lauren Winner, an author and professor at Duke Divinity School, discovered modern churches’ stark absence of mourning rituals after converting from Judaism to Christianity. In her book Mudhouse Sabbath, Winner writes of missing the mourning rituals of her Jewish faith. “The chapter on grief,” says Winner, “is the chapter by far that people respond to the most. It’s the chapter I still get mail from people saying, ‘How can Christians do this kind of communal bereavement process?'”

In the nineteenth century, says Winner, Christians also practiced mourning in a similarly intentional way. Among other things, the Victorians and Americans of the era wore mourning clothes and jewelry. These Victorian traditions expressed the view that what a person wore signaled something beyond a person’s fashion sense. “When I dress in mourning,” Winner says, “I’m both telling myself I’m bereaved, and I’m also making it communal.” Mourning clothes provide a signal that placed the burden on those who were not grieving. “It really is the opposite of the modern stance in which a bereaved person is praised for getting back to work in a week,” she says. In response the community is signaled to reach out in comfort and concern.

Mourners need to be able to communicate to the community that they are in need of special consideration. And the community needs to be willing to receive those signals. Rather than reinstituting mourning dress codes, churches could provide these signals in other ways. In the church bulletin, rather than simply listing mourners in need of prayer during the week of or following a death, churches could keep their names printed for a full year. The church could mark the anniversary of a death during a service or by offering coffee and donuts on a Sunday in honor of the deceased. A church team might be designated to provide one meal a month during the year following a death. The meal wouldn’t be provided because one can’t cook while grieving, but simply because the church needs an excuse to get together and show their concern.

Mourning rituals need not be elaborate or expensive. The goal is not necessarily to produce a display in someone’s honor but to simply provide everyone in the community the opportunity to recognize a loss. Cards, meals, and public announcements are ways of saying that an important member of our community is suffering and in need of our care.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “Grief and Mourning” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Grief and Mourning, Part 7 (Preparing for the Inevitable #55)

Welcome to Episode #55 of Preparing for the Inevitable – A Podcast on How to Handle Trouble, Suffering, Pain, and Death.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death. Trouble, suffering, and death are common threads that run throughout all of humanity. They are inescapable. You will never meet a person who has not, is not, or will not experience these terrible things in life. Yet, we attempt to hide from these inevitabilities, to pretend they don’t exist or that they won’t happen to us. Our world is filled with news of people dying, children suffering, entire government systems and organizations enduring trouble and turmoil, but we tend to see these as things that only happen to “other people” and never to us. Trouble, suffering, and death come equally to all people, of all races, from every socio-economic status, of every religion, in every country of the world. It makes us all equal. This podcast will show you how to accept these realities of life, and not just cope, but face trouble, suffering, and death in your own life and in the world with confidence, courage, class, and most of all, with faith, hope, and charity.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:4: “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”

The featured quote for this episode is from an C.S. Lewis. He said, “I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.”

Our topic for today is titled “Grief and Mourning, Part 7: The Danger of Interruption” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

While we do not mourn as those who have no hope, we do mourn. “We advocate understanding biblical lament,” Robert says. “Though heaven is a real place, we do lament here on earth.”

“A lot of folks think that Christianity simply has to be joy, victory, peace and comfort.” When Christians don’t allow for true lament, they can cut short the grieving process. “You will have trouble in this world, Jesus says. You’ve got to understand and accept that,” says Robert. “Blessed are those who mourn.”

Proper grieving takes time, and taking that time recognizes the importance of the person’s life. When two people, husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, close friends, have intertwined their lives together, it takes time to undo those ties. The grief process acknowledges the depth of the relationship. “A lot of people assume that you are going to want to go back to what you had before,” Robert says. “You don’t go back to what it had been before.” Mourning is the transition from one life with a person we loved to another life without that person.

Any person who loses a loved one needs to recognize, Susan says, “I was attached to this person. I walked through life with this person, and this person has interwoven his or her life with mine. I’m hurting in all the ways that this person was in my life. I have to make some really major adjustments.” Doing this takes time, and those in mourning should not allow others to hurry them through this process.

“Our society,” says Susan, “wants to make it easy on everybody.” We rush along the grieving process, encouraging people to move on or sending subtle expectations that a person in mourning should return to life as before. Like C. S. Lewis’s friends, death makes us feel so awkward that we push the grieving person to “act normal” again. This behavior doesn’t recognize “that when we do that we’re actually making it harder for that person to work through grief, because facing pain heals it.”

“We think that, from a Christian perspective, if a grieving person gets back and sings in the choir or teaches Sunday school again that will be a good sign,” Susan says. Unfortunately, getting back to the old things may be simply a distraction from doing the work of grieving. Churches too often play a role in distracting mourners from grieving, rather than helping them along that journey, Susan says. “Churches are much more available when people are dying than when people are grieving, and a lot of people feel that the church just doesn’t acknowledge them any longer [when they don’t quickly return to their old ways].”

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at “Grief and Mourning” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, please understand that after you die, you will be ushered into one of two places to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell. Here’s how you can be sure that you will not go to hell and suffer eternal damnation forever and rather have a home in Heaven when you die. The Bible says, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Here’s how you can be saved from sin and hell and have a home in Heaven when you die in more detail.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”