mgpcpastor's blog


Leave a comment

If The Doctor Asks You… (via Kathryn Butler at Desiring God)

Last Saturday night I participated in a phone conversation that dealt with directions about various medical treatment choices that may or may not be needed for someone who is not capable of making those choices themselves.
I found this article by Kathryn Butler at Desiring God covered a lot of the considerations that were being put before us, and approaches how those options can be thought of from a biblical perspective.
It is more positive to have given some thought to this beforehand, and to have even discussed them with those for whom you may end up making choices (or who may be making them on your behalf).
Butler is/was a trauma and critical care surgeon, her reflections do not come from a place of pure theory.
Well worth a read:

Making life-or-death decisions for loved ones cripples many with feelings of guilt and doubt that persist for years, and which can progress to depression, complicated grief, chronic anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
So how do we make compassionate, Christ-honoring decisions about our loved ones’ care when the unthinkable happens? How do we discern the right path when time to reflect is nonexistent, and when the mind balks at the ramifications of our choices?

Read the whole post at Desiring God.


1 Comment

Start Planning Your Own Funeral (via Grayson Pope)

Taking a cue from one of the less likely of Jonathan Edward’s well-known resolutions, Grayson Pope invites us visit the house of mourning to learn enduring lessons.
By planning your death, you should also be making plans about living.

An excerpt:

Start Planning Your Own Funeral
Jonathan Edwards is known for his famous resolutions—short promises he made to help keep himself on the path of righteousness. His ninth resolution reads, “Resolved, To think much, on all occasions, of my dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.”
He was resolved to think about his death and the normal circumstances it would bring. That means Edwards was resolved to plan his own funeral in his mind.
His example is one we can follow. Try this short exercise: for 10 minutes today, think through the reality that you will die. Reflect on all that thought brings, from death certificates to funeral plans and coffin choices.
Remind yourself that in Christ “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28); that your next breath comes only if he allows it. Imagine you will die tomorrow, next week, or next year.
Then, ask yourself questions like, “If I were about to die…”

  • “What would I do differently? What would I start doing? What would I stop doing?”
  • “Would I keep living the way I am—living where I live, doing the things I do, working the job I have?”
  • “What would I be ashamed of not attempting for God?”
  • “Who would I spend more time with?”

Surely, God will bring some things into focus, namely that we should live today like we’ll die tomorrow.
Resolve to think about your death more often.
Resolve to plan your own funeral every now and then, at least in your mind.

Read the whole post at Gospel-Centered Discipleship.


Leave a comment

Vale R.C. Sproul

R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness Of God was one of the first Christian books I read.
(Recommended by my pastor Roger Stone, naturally)
It was a formative influence in understanding the Bible.
Sproul died today and there are many tributes all over the internet.

Here’s a topical hymn, the lyrics of which were penned by Sproul.
Now he is seeing the reality of that which his words could only imagine.
This is Highland Hymn.


Leave a comment

Laying R.I.P. To Rest (via Nick Batzig)

There’s a difference between deserved and heartfelt appreciation for those who are deceased and the use of unhelpful sentimental phraseology about their eternal state.
This is not about making judgments, it’s about leaving what is unknown unsaid.

From Nick Batzig’s post at Reformation 21.
…I’ve noticed something of a concerning trend over the past several years. It is the way in which believers speak about culture-impacting individuals at their deaths. Instead of simply expressing appreciation for their life and achievements, it has become commonplace for Christians to use the shorthand R.I.P. (“rest in peace”) on social media when speaking of individuals–in whose lives there was no evidence of saving grace–at their death. At the risk of sounding ill-tempered, I wish to set out several reasons why I am troubled by this occurrence.

Read the whole post here.


Leave a comment

God Is A Giver Not A Taker

As time goes by I find the sadness about the growing numbers of those who are gone is tempered and softened by an enlarging sense of thankfulness for the many wonderful relationships that God has brought into my life.


Leave a comment

Christian Funerals – Grief With Hope (via Constantine Campbell)

At Desiring God Con Campbell reminds us that if Jesus can weep before the grave of a friend we shouldn’t be in too much of a rush to make our funerals too happy.
From the post:

Sometimes our Christian funerals are too happy. Yes, we believe our loved one is with Jesus. Yes, we believe that he or she will rise again. We do not grieve as those without hope. But we still grieve. If Jesus weeps for Lazarus, who he knows will not stay dead for long, it is appropriate that we weep for those who have died. They are with Jesus, but we will not see them again in this life. We will not speak with them or embrace them again here. It is right to grieve — with hope, yes — but still grieve.
After he wept for Lazarus, Jesus went to the tomb and ordered the stone to be removed (John 11:38–39). Martha, who so far has shown great faith and insight, doesn’t fully understand what’s going on. “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days” (John 11:39). Jesus responds to Martha with a mild rebuttal, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). What he is about to do will reveal the glory of God.
After praying, Jesus shouts, “Lazarus, come out!”
And he does.
The Resurrection and the Life
The raising of Lazarus is an incredible miracle. It is the seventh, and final, sign in John’s Gospel. It is also the greatest sign, as though the others have been leading up to it. Each one is more spectacular than the last, climaxing now in Jesus’s authority over death itself. While Mary and her friends knew from the previous signs that Jesus is powerful — he could have prevented Lazarus’s death — they did not believe he had power over death itself. The seventh sign proves them wrong.
This is why Jesus told Martha that he is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). He embodies resurrection.

Read the whole post here


Leave a comment

Most Prevalent Obituary Euphemisms For Death In USA States (via Mental Floss)

I found the variety of terms in this infographic interesting.
In Australia I think ‘passed away’ might be most used.
From Mental Floss.
map_click_to_enlarge