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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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LISTEN: The Christian Funeral, Part 4 (Preparing for the Inevitable #44 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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 Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Madeleine L’Engle. She said, “Death is contagious; it is contracted the moment we are conceived.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Christian Funeral, Part 4” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Art of Dying” by Rob Moll. It is available on our website for just $20.

— Commercialization

Today, discussions of funerals—even Christian ones—tend to gravitate toward complaints about price-gouging and exploitative funeral home owners. Funerals are too commercialized and too expensive, many Christians complain. Such grumbles aren’t new. Churches once regulated the price gravediggers could charge after mourners complained they were being exploited.

The modern genre of funeral complaints began with a book published in the 1960s that critiqued abuses in the funeral industry and led to needed reforms. Jessica Mitford’s “The American Way of Death” pilloried the funeral industry for the ways it took advantage of grieving families, overcharged them and made themselves indispensable while providing few useful functions. Outcry following the book’s publication helped pass new laws that forbade abuses such as forcing patrons to purchase a casket only from the funeral home, which might have stocked only expensive and highly profitable ones.

Unfortunately, however, by treating the funeral industry strictly as a consumerist enterprise—in which costs and services are the only factors that matter—Mitford neglected the valuable function that funerals perform for the grieving. And she despised the religious role the funeral played for the faithful. Her book and similar complaints often lay the blame for the problems with modern funerals at the wrong feet.

By critiquing the lack of options provided for consumers and encouraging a get-the-job-done attitude, Mitford helped turn the grieving into consumers and the funeral parlor into a commercial enterprise rather than a site of service to families and individuals in need of community care. Funeral parlors, at least in the popular view, became akin to stores selling grieving paraphernalia.

People now take advantage of all sorts of options to extend their purchasing into the next life. They often feel the whole idea of a funeral is a little morbid, and perhaps a waste of time. Fantasy funerals offer an alternative themed events for golfers, packages for fans of any professional sports team, or films featuring the deceased and made at life’s “peak,” a time the dead would prefer to be remembered. An article in the New York Times explained the trend: “As members of the baby boom generation plan final services for their parents or themselves, they bring new consumer expectations and fewer attachments to churches, traditions or organ music—forcing funeral directors to be more like party planners, and inviting some party planners to test the farewell waters.”

Another trend, pre-death funerals, allows the dead-to-be to enjoy all the considerate words that friends typically offer at a funeral. The pre-deceased can say goodbye and make sure that the funeral goes according to plan. After all, if something goes wrong, there’s still time to try again. And why miss the last party to be thrown in your name? Those who object to such materialism or waste of money decide not to have a funeral at all. Or they have an abbreviated ceremony, hiring a cremation service to dispose of the body while friends and family get together at a restaurant or a room in a funeral home. While pragmatic, these options do not allow for the full expression of grief and Christian hope that can be instructive and comforting to those left behind.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue this topic 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 has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: The Christian Funeral, Part 3 (Preparing for the Inevitable #43 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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 Revelation 9:6: “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”

The featured quote for this episode is an old Celtic teaching paraphrased by John O’Donohue. He said, “We do not need to grieve for the dead. Why should we grieve for them? They are now in a place where there is no more shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation, or pain. They are home.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Christian Funeral, Part 3” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

— The Traditional Christian Funeral and Mourning Rituals (Continued)

Christians have always incorporated local cultures and particular practices into funerals, but “there is nevertheless a unifying force in the practice of Christian funerals,” writes Emory University professor and preacher Thomas Long: “the gospel narrative.” If we are to recover the funeral to its place of significance in the life of the church, we must start here. For in baptism, we were buried in Jesus’ Death, and we arose in His Resurrection. As Paul says in Romans 6:3-5: “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death. . . . If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.”

The Christian funeral is a worship service that dramatically recognizes “that the Christian life is shaped in the pattern of Christ’s own life and death.”


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: The Christian Funeral, Part 2 (Preparing for the Inevitable #42 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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 Hebrews 2:14-15: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

The featured quote for this episode is a poem from Jim Eliot. He said, “When the time comes to die, make sure that all you have to do is die!”

Our topic for today is titled “The Christian Funeral, Part 2” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Art of Dying” by Rob Moll. It is available on our website for just $20.

— The Traditional Christian Funeral and Mourning Rituals

The first opportunity most mourners have to be with an extended group of people is at the funeral. Friends and family fly in from around the country. Church members gather together. The visitation and funeral is when mourning, in most respects, begins. Though mourning can begin when a death is foreseen, it only anticipates the actual event. The funeral is when a mourner is for the first time among society as a different person. Between a death and the funeral, families are often caught in the chaos of death. The funeral begins to give shape to grief as the community expresses its faith and ties the swirling emotions following death into the larger story of humanity’s fall into sin, redemption and the re-creation of the world. The funeral is an essential element in the mourning process and a chance for the church to, first, begin reintegrating mourners into the community, and second, to publicly express the church’s and the deceased’s faith and hope.

Early Christian funerals were different from contemporary Jewish or pagan ones, says historian Frederick Paxton. Mourners had a unique sense of the meaning of death as well as the continuation of the life of the Christian community, which incorporated both living and dead. The New Testament books unanimously declare, Paxton writes, that “Jesus rose from the dead not at the end of time but in time, and by His Resurrection death had been overcome and the access to paradise lost through Adam’s sin regained.”

After centuries of Christian tradition, in the last 150 years funerals have slowly lost their Christian emphasis. They became memorial ceremonies calculated simply to soothe the grief of the bereaved rather than being worship services in which a community journeyed to the final resting place of the deceased. Funerals also became the concern of public health officials as cemeteries were moved out of town and new laws regarding the disposal of bodies were passed. As embalming became standard, families needed an expert to take care of the body rather than washing and dressing the body at home. Undertakers began consolidating and coordinating the many services required for a funeral, coffin maker, gravedigger, gathering space, the placement of obituaries. By the twentieth century all these things were being done by the person we now call the funeral director, with the church sometimes playing a specific, secondary role. Christians, along with the rest of society, had ceased to see the process of the funeral as a religiously significant event.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue this topic in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

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.

***

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 has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: The Christian Funeral, Part 1 (Preparing for the Inevitable #41 with Daniel Whyte III)



Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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 Genesis 25:8: “Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.”

The featured quote for this episode is a poem from James Whitcomb Riley titled, “He Is Not Dead”:

I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.

And you—oh you, who the wildest yearn
For an old-time step, and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same. I say,
He is not dead—he is just away.

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

WHAT WE DO AND WHAT WE SAY WHEN SOMEONE dies is an expression of what we believe about life and how we want to live. The altars people create following the death of a movie celebrity or pop singer reveal who our culture worships. When people say that someone will live on in our hearts, they express their faith in a specific eternal destination.

But not all expressions at death are filled with pop culture sentimentality. At the funeral of a longtime naval officer, I saw how our country, particularly our armed forces, views death. The funeral was a Christian service, presided over by the deceased’s thoughtful and well-spoken pastor. But while his Christian faith was the most important aspect of the man’s life, he also spent a number of years in full-time and reserved naval service.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Caring for the Dying, Part 11 (Preparing for the Inevitable #40 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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 Revelation 1:17-18: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Leo Tolstoy. He said, “It’s all God’s will: you can die in your sleep, and God can spare you in battle.”

Our topic for today is titled “Caring for the Dying, Part 11” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Art of Dying” by Rob Moll. It is available on our website for just $20.

— Lunch on the Deck

Whether we struggle to accept our loved one’s terminal diagnosis or we feel squeamish about interacting so physically with a dying person, our presence is the most powerful measure of care we can offer. If we’re not sure where to start, creating the conditions for a good death can sometimes be as simple as having lunch on the deck.

Nancy Capocy, a director at the local hospice, had a patient with an open wound down her stomach following surgery in the hospital. Margaret was confined to her bed. Her husband couldn’t get around well and needed two canes.

Her husband, Paul, had a deck built for her for when she came home. Unfortunately, she never recovered as he anticipated, and being bedridden, Margaret had not yet gotten to see the deck outside her own back door. “One of my greatest disappointments in life,” she told Nancy, “is that I’ll never get to see that deck.”

Nancy responded, “You don’t say that to a hospice nurse.” She asked Paul if they had a wheelchair. One was in the garage, so Nancy cleaned it up and called other nurses for some help.

“We took her out of bed, put her in that wheelchair, and took her out on her deck,” Nancy says. “She was so happy. She sat out there for a while, but she started hurting.” Margaret decided she’d better head back inside. “It’s time for my morphine, and I need to eat,” she said. “But this is the most glorious thing.” Instead, Capocy brought her medicine and lunch outside. “All of her neighbors came, and they took pictures.” The friends talked and told stories, ate and waited for the evening to settle in.

She died soon after. “Right before she died,” Nancy says, “she told me, ‘I always showed my family how to live. Now I’m going to show them how to die.’ ”

“I was standing by her bed when she died, and she was still alert enough to talk. Her husband was sitting on the other side of the bed, and he was sobbing. She looked over at him, and she said ‘Paul, please don’t cry.’ ”

“I knew he couldn’t help crying. He loved her so much. And I kind of leaned down and whispered in her ear. ‘You know, Margaret, if I was in your place and my husband was sitting beside my bed, he better be crying.’ ”

She turned around and looked at him, and she said, “Cry, Paul.”

He now had his wife’s understanding and permission to do what he needed to. Margaret died a few hours later. “It was a beautiful experience,” Capocy says. “She was a good Christian. She knew what was going to happen to her after she died. And she was not afraid.”

Learning to be with a dying person and create an environment in which he or she can complete relationships with loved one does not come automatically. Our own inabilities and discomfort can pose obstacles to saying the things we need to say, offering forgiveness and expressing love to those we love. These apprehensions can make it difficult for caregivers to have the end-of-life conversations that our medical system often makes necessary if we are to help loved ones make choices that assist in their dying well.

Yet all these difficulties and obstacles can be overcome by one simple thing: our presence. Even when we fail to do this or that task or say the right thing, being present makes up for our inadequacies and allows relationships to heal, grow and become complete.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue this topic in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

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.

***

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 has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Caring for the Dying, Part 10 (Preparing for the Inevitable #39 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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 Job 16:22: “When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Ha-ru-ki Mu-ra-kami. She said, “People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It’s too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.”

Our topic for today is titled “Caring for the Dying, Part 10” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Art of Dying” by Rob Moll. It is available on our website for just $20.

— Caregiving Alone and Making Family Decisions

Caring for a loved one who is dying becomes immensely more difficult and frustrating when only one family member has been doing the caregiving. Often only that person is able to recognize the nearness of death. The person most involved in caregiving is able to see that a loved one’s health problems are not just a series of one-time, isolated health problems. Rather they are symptoms of deeper problems, that he is dying.

When Grandpa, for example, is having trouble getting enough to eat and is sometimes confused, a fall may send him to the emergency room. Months later, he returns due to shortness of breath. Then, shortly after, a strange pain appears that make doctors want to perform a series of potentially invasive and expensive tests. You may recognize that all these different problems have a single underlying cause: old age leading to death. But family members, out of love for Grandpa, but perhaps without a complete picture of the situation, may disagree. All Grandpa needs, they say, is some attention from doctors.

These are difficult issues. Grandpa may recover and live healthily for several more years. He may only partially respond to treatment and live longer but suffer extensively. Or he may not pursue curative treatment and enter a palliative program that offers comfort, which leads to better mental well-being, which in turn leads to a couple years of enjoyable life. Grandpa’s health problems may indicate something much more serious, and he may only live a few more weeks. One hospice worker told me her first three patients all recovered; she was still waiting for one to die. How do we provide care in such a complex environment?

One doctor told me of a patient who, along with her husband, had decided to enter hospice. The doctor then began talking with the couple not only about her medical options but also about how she would use her remaining time. “If we’re not going to fight this,” he told them, “what do you need to do between now and then? One, you need to spend the time with family. Second,” he asked, “do you know you’re going to heaven?” Depending on his relationship with patients and their relationship with God, this doctor tries to nudge, in respectful and appropriate ways, his patients’ thoughts toward eternity.

“This way,” the doctor, who has a private practice, told me, “she’s dying in a way that is reflective. She’s thinking it through, as much as she’s able to think. But certainly her husband will be much more prepared with the groundwork we laid than if we had put her in the hospital.”

He was doing his best to help her die well and, to the extent possible, prepare for eternity. He knew the couple well, and with years of experience he understood the challenges they faced. But he couldn’t as easily have the same discussion with the couple’s children. Following the decision to enter hospice, the doctor received phone calls from both children, who asked why more wasn’t being done. Plenty was being done for the woman, of course. She was loved and cared for, and she received regular visits from her doctor. But she was not getting aggressive medical treatment intended to cure. For those family members far away, it was hard to understand, and they were not going to easily accept their mother’s entrance into a hospice program.

So, what do we do? How do single caregivers tell the rest of the family that Grandpa has confided in us when other family members have expressed deep concern about making the choices Grandpa has asked to be made? If Grandpa is mentally confused, how do we explain that we know his wishes best, having cared for him over the last few years? What if, on the other hand, we’re convinced that it’s worth giving doctors a chance to provide long-term health, even if it means short-term suffering through tests or medical procedures?

There is no formula to reach an answer to these difficult questions. And an inability to resolve them can lead to years of family conflict. On the other hand, wrestling through these issues as a family can bring a family together in the most meaningful way. One pastor tells me that these circumstances always expose the brokenness in our relationships. These are opportunities for Jesus to draw all the members of a family closer to himself, he says. But only if we allow it.

Caregivers may have the most insight into the best answers, but they may not recognize that others need time to come to terms with their own concerns and discover what is best. There are certainly right and wrong choices here—euthanasia, for example, or an insistence on extending life at all costs. But for the most part, the options before a family are choices between hard and harder. There is no joyful, easy road through the “valley of the shadow of death.” In these circumstances families are seeking the best way to navigate difficult and dark terrain. What is needed is patience, time and an abundance of understanding. We must acknowledge that the best options may never be known.

Conflict may best be addressed by spending time together and especially with the ill loved one. A brother who lives far away or is too busy to visit may simply need time with Grandpa. But he will have to recognize his need on his own. And there may be very personal and deep issues that make this realization difficult to accept.

Compassion and understanding, time and prayer may be the best options for any family struggling to answer these questions. What’s important is that families seek answers together and, as the Jefferson family did, offer care and assistance together.

In addition to family disagreements, the person most involved in caring for someone dying, whether husband or wife, son or daughter, may feel a desire for the end to come or feel a sense of relief when it does. This combination of grief and guilt is natural. Long-term caregiving is hard and often thankless work. It is not wrong to feel relieved of the task. It is holy work that includes modern-day caregivers in a long line of Christians dedicated to the care of the sick and dying, a tradition that reaches back to the earliest churches.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue this topic in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

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.

***

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 has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.