Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Death’ Category

Welcome Home

Beloved, Lift Your Head

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

2 Corinthians 1:2-5

Lately there has been much sadness in our world.  Many losses, hurts and pain.  But when we concentrate on a scripture such as the one above that has so much comfort and hope – we are encouraged and given new strength to go on.

When things happen unexpectedly, such as a sudden death in someone young – it always catches us off guard – but God is never caught off guard.  He knows the total number of our days.  And He promises to be there to walk through any difficult season that we may have to face here on earth.

When we lose someone – we grieve.  But we grieve for ourselvesnot for them.  It is a necessary process we must all walk through.

Some of the comfort we receive is in knowing that they are safely home – in the arms of Jesus.  Other comfort is from family and friends – who offer support and encouragement to go on.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve.  Instead we should say:

When we grieve.

Because we do.  Because we will.  And God knows this.

And because there are no answers to the questions – we must trust that He is still working behind the scenes, far beyond what we can understand – to bring about His purpose and plan to save a lost and dying world – even if it means that we lose something in the process.

For them – to die is really gain.  And when we die – the same is true for us.  As Christ followers we have that incredible hope.

The following video is the story behind the song by Michael W. Smith, “Welcome Home” – I know that the testimony of the parents who lost their college age son – will encourage you today.  And below this video – is the actual song with lyrics.

If you are grieving today, or know someone who is – I encourage you to watch both of these videos today.

 

God Bless

[VERSE 1]
I can’t believe that I’m here
Having to say goodbye.
And I can barely see you through
These tears I cry.
I close my eyes.

[CHORUS]
I can hear the sound
As angels gather ’round
Saying this is where you belong
Welcome Home!

[VERSE 2]
There are the days that my heart aches
wishing you were here.
But I know where you are
The hurt and the pain disappear.
There’s no more tears.

Chorus

Welcome Home!

Chorus

What a lovely sound
Angels all around
Saying this is where you belong
Welcome Home!
Welcome Home!
Welcome Home!

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R.I.P. Common Sense

Saw this last night and couldn’t resist!

Enjoy and God Bless

Printed in The London Times

From London Times

Today we mourn the passing of a be…loved old friend, Common Sense , who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

The Recent Tragedies

A couple of weeks ago my husband did a memorial service for a 16-year-old girl who died tragically from a gun-shot wound.  And last night a young 17-year-old girl from the church body where we were on staff for 13 years – was killed in an automobile accident.

Both of these events – as well as many more this past year, seem senseless and hard to understand.  I can’t even begin to know the depth of sorrow that the family members and close friends are going through.  It is one of life’s biggest mysteries.  But I also believe that these lives are in God’s hands – and sometimes when you have no other explanation for things that happen – it is reassuring and comforting to know.

One of my favorite older Michael W. Smith songs is a song called ‘I hear Leesha’ – written about a young girl lost in a car accident.  It is reported that she was the younger of two sisters in the car – and the older one survived.  The older sister had a terrible time over the loss until she had a vision where she saw her sister in heaven telling her,”I’m okay”.  It’s a very moving and powerful song – especially if you’ve ever lost anyone close to you.

This song is dedicated to the families of these two girls – and I am praying that you will find comfort in your time of deepest darkness and sorrow.

God Bless


Seems like it was only yesterday
She was living here
Yea, she was living here
Lord knows why He’s taken her away
It isn’t very clear, no it isn’t very clear
Into every life a little rain must fall
And losing one you love is like a storm
But storms are passing
Chorus:
I hear Leesha
Singing in heaven tonight
And in between the sadness
I hear Leesha
Telling me that she’s alright
Life goes on even after life
That’s what I believe
Yea, that’s what I believe
Leesha’s gone, but she will still survive
In a memory that I’m keeping here with me
Silencing the voice of mortal tragedy
Listening to whispers of the soul
All is peaceful

Leesha

One of my favorite older Michael W. Smith songs – written about a young girl lost in a car accident.  It is reported that she was the younger of two sisters in the car – and the older one survived.  The older sister had a terrible time over the loss until she had a vision where she saw her sister in heaven telling her,”I’m okay”.  It’s a very moving and powerful song – especially if you’ve ever lost anyone close to you.  Enjoy!

Seems like it was only yesterday
She was living here
Yea, she was living here
Lord knows why He’s taken her away
It isn’t very clear, no it isn’t very clear
Into every life a little rain must fall
And losing one you love is like a storm
But storms are passing
Chorus:
I hear Leesha
Singing in heaven tonight
And in between the sadness
I hear Leesha
Telling me that she’s alright
Life goes on even after life
That’s what I believe
Yea, that’s what I believe
Leesha’s gone, but she will still survive
In a memory that I’m keeping here with me
Silencing the voice of mortal tragedy
Listening to whispers of the soul
All is peaceful

All Will Be Well

Cheer up people!  Easter means: whatever is wrong – will be right.

Pastor Greg Daulton

Heard a fantastic and moving message this wonderful Easter morning – as we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection.  Our pastor said the above statement  in his opening thoughts this morning.  We continued to sing songs of praise and worship as his statement began to slowly sink in.  What a simple thought – what a profoundly deep and moving thought.  Nothing is so wrong – that won’t someday be fixed.  No more tears.  No more wondering.  No more heartache.  Jesus has won the battle – and we are victorious!  That’s something to get excited about!!

His message this morning was full of joy and hope – as he told us that Easter was all about laughter! How often do we forget?  Church can become about rules and duty – appearances and posture – and eventually we can lose sight of what really happened as a result of Jesus overcoming death.  It meant that we don’t have to fear ANYTHING – even death.  He has made it so there is peace surrounding this event for us – and there is deep joy and yes, laughter in the midst of trials and pain.  We can not only laugh in the face of all of this – but we are free to laugh at ourselves.

I know something about laughter – having a very healthy sense of humor – as my family and many friends can testify to.  But I also feel things like hurt and pain – rejection and betrayal most deeply and can cry quite easily because of a broken heart.  I believe both of these are healthy expressions of the emotions that God gives each of us.  To experience and drink in all of life to the fullest.  To be unafraid of being me.  Jesus gave me permission to be me.  He has won the battle once and for all over death.  He brings a safety blanket for me – as I trust and walk with him.  Others may walk away from us – but He never will.  He whispers to me – “one day there will be no more tears – all will be well.”  We are free.  Free to laugh – free to relax in this amazing grace of His.

What I find interesting is this:  When Jesus rose – he told the women at the tomb – “Go tell my disciples and Peter”. Why Peter?  Because Peter was the one who failed.  Interesting.  I could very well insert my name there – and you could your name.  He called him by name – the one who failed him.  There is nothing that you can do that is so bad – that He will not seek after you – and make it right. I’m sure the disciples weren’t crying anymore when they heard the news!  And I’m sure Peter was laughing the hardest – knowing all was well.

Below is a video of the late Keith Green – one of my favorite Christian artists.  He is performing “The Victor” live in 1978.  His amazing passion and talent leave me breathless.  Take a listen – you will be inspired today – as you begin to let what Christ did for you on that Easter Sunday some 2000 years ago – bring back some of the lost laughter.  Let Him begin a new deep work of joy and laughter in your life today – with no fear – no worries – as you discover, some day, all will be well.

Swallowed into earth’s dark womb
And death has triumphed
That’s what they say
But tried to hold him in the tomb
The son of life
Rose on the third day

Just look
The gates of hell
They’re falling
Crumbling from the inside out
He’s bursting through
The walls with laughter (hah!)

Listen to the angels shout

It is finished
He has done it
Life conquered death
Jesus Christ
Has won it

His plan of battle
You know it
He fooled them all
They led him off to prison to die
But as he entered hades hall
He broke those hellish chains with a cry

Just listen to those demons screaming
See him bruise the serpent’s head
The prisoners of hell
He’s redeeming (oh!)
All the power of death is dead

It is finished
He has done it
Life conquered death
Jesus Christ
Has won it

Just look
The gates of hell they’re falling
Crumbling from the inside out
He’s bursting through the walls with laughter (hah!)
Listen to the angels shout
(listen, oh, listen)

It is finished
He has done it
Life conquered death
Jesus Christ
Has won it

It is finished
He has done it
Life conquered death
Jesus Christ
Has won it

My Shadowland

The other night I had the privilege to see the play “Shadowlands” the “love story” of C.S. Lewis and the woman he fell in love with and married.  She was in her early 40’s and he in his late 50’s.  Unlike any of his fictional stories – this was the true account of his journey through love and loss – joy and pain – struggle with questions and faith in God – changing many of his opinions on many things he had held as “truth” – and even visiting the “dark side” in his despair.

Love and loss can do this.  Each one of us has a story.  Each one of us has questioned things about life and even about God – at one time or another – if we’re really honest.  You see – there’s nothing like pain to make you really honest.  It probes around inside of you and won’t let go of you.  Your “real” self comes out – the good, the bad and mostly the ugly when you are in pain.

I love this quote by C.S. Lewis:

    “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

      My “shadowland” is a journey through that pain, loss and ultimately – victory over something.  Most everyone has something that is their “test” and the hardest thing they will ever have to endure.  Many times – it is private and not many people know about it – but it is still there – and it still casts a “shadow” over your life.  But I, like C.S. Lewis have discovered the nearness of God though that struggle – and a wisdom and strength that cannot be earned any other way.  It is in the “dark” times that we are so much more dependent of God – and we fully appreciate it when we come out into the light.  It is sometime much later that we begin to see the reasons why.  Sometimes we never know the reasons.
        What is your “Shadowland” today?  What are you going through today that maybe very few people know about?  Maybe no one knows except God.  Maybe you are even questioning your very purpose in life – and your relationship with Him.  I am praying for you today that like me, you will begin to see the purpose in your loss – and will be able to see God’s hand over your life and struggle as you surrender to that loss.  I pray that you will be able to hear God’s voice to you in your conscience and His shouts to you in your pain.
          I am praying for you
            God Bless

          My Love List

          There is an excellent book called “The Love List” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott that has a list of wonderful things for marriages.  In it they have things that couple should do once a day – once a week – once a month and once a year.  I thought I would take this list and add a few of my own personal favortes to it.  Enjoy!

          The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

          E.E. Cummings

          Once a day:

          1. Find something that makes both of you laugh.  Humor has become the foundation of our  marriage – even in the rough patches.  Humor can relieve the tension – and even take the focus off of the negative and prevent us from being too self absorbed and selfish.  Those that are the healthiest laugh often and can even laugh at themselves.

          2. Take time to touch.  Even if it is just a caress on the arm or hand – and kiss on the cheek  – it is still some physical contact that says much.  I am a “huggy” person – so physical touch is never hard for me.  If you don’t tend to be too physical – it may be just what your partner wants and needs – just a little squeeze for reassurance can mean so much.  Learn to be a FLIRT!!  It does wonders, that’s all I can say!

          3.  Say something nice.  We can live off a good compliment for days – sometimes even weeks!  A kind word of encouragement is so endearing – especially from one you love.  This will boost their self esteem level and help them to be more positive and productive.  Our words are so powerful.


          The development of a really good marriage is not a natural process.  It is an achievement.

          David and Vera Mace

          Once a week:

          1. Have a date night.  More often than once a week if you can manage it.  It isn’t always possible at different seasons of your life – especially with young children, as that can get expensive – but budget for it – it is time and money well spent!  We are in a season of our lives where we have been dating much more often than once a week and it has changed and rejuvinated our marriage.

          2. Plan to do active things together.  Maybe you both could take up golf or join a gym together.  Greg and I love to play golf – we played it before we had any children and we began to get back to playing it a couple of years ago – we need to do it more often!  It’s fun to play together!  Maybe just getting out for an after dinner stroll – or driving to a scenic place and doing some hiking and have lunch together.  All good stuff.

          Spending recreational time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband.

          Willard F. Harley Jr.

          Once a month:

          1. Plan your schedules together.  Find out what is happening during what days – what times are going to work for “dates” and when you’re going to be especially busy.  We do this now – sometimes even doing this on a weekly basis so we know how to plan – the schedule gets trickier when you are both self employed!

          2. Take inventory of the previous month.  What worked?  What didn’t?  Talk about it – and make a conscious effort to spend more time to put the priority of you marriage at the top of the list.  Greg and I have literally spent hundreds of hours talking over the last year to make our marriage better.

          3. Stay connected during the week physically and emotionally.  Be in tune to the other ones needs.  Greg has learned that I need emotional connection.  I need it all the time.  It has not been easy for him to stay alert and in tune – but he decided that it was worth it – and he says it’s been like going back to school and getting his degree in understanding me.  What a high compliment to me!  That he thought I was worth it.  That he would relearn some things that he had not been doing all through our marriage – that led to some misunderstanding and problems.  It was hard work – but he was determined!  Physical connection has been a bonus because of the hard emotional work.  We’ve become like a couple of teenagers – and I wouldn’t trade that away for anything in the world!  So worth it.  Talk A LOT!!!   Get really honest and authentic.  Do it.  It’s worth it – not always easy – but worth it.

          Thrills come at the beginning and do not last…Let the thrill go and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills.

          C.S. Lewis

          Once a year:

          Have a real vacation get away.  We try to do “mini” trips throughout the year – but once a year you should really go somewhere new and have a real “change”.  Plan for it in advance – put it on the calendar and then DO IT.  We like to go on cruises – we plan about a year and a half out – book it – put a deposit on it and then save for it throughout the year and a half.  We have been all over the place because we have not only talked about it – but we’ve been ON PURPOSE about going.  If you never plan for it – you will never do it.  This is our special “alone” time – just the two of us and it is not easy for us to share those times with others.

          2. Don’t be afraid of change.  Change is the constant in this world and we must embrace it.  If we settle just for the “same old, same old” – that is what kind of marriage you will have.  You must stay current and be willing to listen more and talk less – truly make the necessary adjustments for our partner.  If we truly love and want to be loved back – you must resist the tempatation to take them for granted and think, “they already know how I feel”.  As time goes by it is even more important to do things for your partner to let them know that they are first priority.  If you do not do this – it can be like “death” to a marriage.  Ask your partner what you can do to be “better”.  And then really listen.  Make the decision that they are worth it to you.  Woman need emotional connection and a smart man will fill that need for her.  Men need physical love and admiration.  A smart woman will fill that need.  No one wants to be accused of not doing the best thing for the one they love.  Marriage problems begin because people stop doing these things.  They don’t pay attention anymore.  Don’t be that person.

          Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.

          Simone Signoret

          Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s week as you embrace a “Love List” of your very own.

          God Bless

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