A Conversation

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23 Responses

  1. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael,

    I picked out the artwork because in Christian conversation there is always a third…

  2. Michael says:

    I love the artwork…and I hope He stays for the conversations here…

  3. EricL says:

    Well said, gentlemen. My wife and I have begun writing a series of Bible studies and one we need to do (but will be difficult to write for personal reasons) is on honoring our elderly, which includes this very vital topic of death.

    Thank you for expressing it so well.

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, EricL…it’s tough, but necessary…

  5. bob1 says:

    This is very valuable. Thanks to you folks for contributing this.

  6. Michael says:

    Thank you, bob1…

  7. His Kid says:

    This is an important conversation so thank you for posting this. I play a small harp and over the years have played at bedside in hospice situations. Most of the time, I played for those who were “actively dying”…those in the last 24-48 hours of life. People have asked me how I can participate in such a difficult situation. The truth is…I am deeply humbled to be in the presence of those taking their last earthly breaths, and with the loved ones that surround them. My hope is that the music envelopes them in warmth and helps them to focus on the things that are most important…and more often than not, it is an intimate time and space that I can only describe with the word, “holy.”

  8. Michael says:

    His Kid,

    Good to see you again.
    What a wonderful ministry you have…and what a gift you give to those moving on and their loved ones.
    It is holy, indeed…

  9. Muff Potter says:

    I am scared you know whatless of death.
    The usual nostrums from the ‘Christian’ panoply of ‘answers’ no longer works for me.
    Rather than dwell on the inevitable (death), I find it comforting to do the best with what I’ve got in the here and now.
    In these later years of my life, I find the Jewish view of death more practical and down to Earth than the fundagelical obsession with ‘heaven’, a place that is always something ‘other’ with little or no connection to this here and now.

  10. Michael says:

    Muff,

    I hear you.
    “Heaven” sounds like a quiet hell to me…heaven and earth becoming one place with all my loved ones (mostly cats) resurrected and living here as we were created to live excites me.

  11. bob1 says:

    His Kid, What an awe-inspiring thing you’re doing. Words are inadequate. It’s much, much more than a thing…

  12. Dread says:

    Richard John Neuhaus, As I Lay Dying: Meditations Upon Returning as I am sure you are familiar, written when the great man ‘almost’ died is a similar discussion.

    He’s gone now, and I thank God for his writings.

  13. AA says:

    Good conversation, thanks for posting

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    I’m not sure what entering into the full life of the Trinity will mean, but I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the end that the Church Fathers, over and over again, wrote about and anticipated. It is beyond time, it is beyond place, it is beyond description. I do know, however, that facing the end of all things should motivate us to works of mercy in the here and now…

  15. Officerhoppy says:

    Good conversation. Thought provoking

    I don’t know what the experience after death will be. For the present, after 35-40 years of ministry, I’ve kinda stepped away from it all. As I’ve posted here before, I am at a place of rediscovery in my Christian walk. With out the pressure and expectation of performing and thinking as a pastor, I feel some freedom to explore, and challenge my beliefs to see what is real

    While Duane’s list of 7 is noble and altruistic, at nearly 71 years of age, I’ve become more centered on doing things that I’ve wanted to do and bring me some sense of fulfillment.

    My health is not good. I’ve survived cancer, two hip replacements, I’m in stage 3 kidney failure, need surgery on my back, have Afib, need a knee replacement, and, and, and.
    I wake up each day with a positive attitude but for the first time in my life, since I live in constant pain, while not looking forward to it, the thought of death is beginning to sound like a welcomed relief.

    Until then my focus is doing music and, as I understand it, being Christ to people—in some small way—rather than preaching or talking about Him.

  16. Linn says:

    As a young believer I was blessed to know a number of senior believers. In many ways they did some parenting that my own parents were unable to do. Of course, they started dying as I hit my 30s, which was very upsetting at first. But they were ready and wanting to go to heaven. Now that I just turned 65, I am hoping that my own life can have an influence as a life well-lived and ready to meet Jesus on the many young people I come into contact with.

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    OfficerHoppy

    We are not the collection of our conditions… Something else I’ve learned.

  18. Muff Potter says:

    Thanks Michael, it’s good to know that I’m not alone with dissent from fundagelical ideology.
    I hold fast to the tenets of The Apostle’s Creed as non-negotiable parameters up front and on the table.
    The rest of the stuff?
    I pick, choose, and un-choose according to the dictates of my conscience.

  19. Steven says:

    Thank you for posting this. Quite thought provoking and not discussed openly enough. Somehow, though, by the end of the article I was wishing for the conversation to have continued longer.

  20. Steven says:

    Duane,

    Thanks for that reply to OfficerHoppy. That’s a wonderful revelation

  21. sarahmorgan says:

    I appreciate this conversation and discussion….been thinking a lot about death recently, as tomorrow is the funeral of my last living parent.

  22. Michael says:

    Sarah,

    Our condolences to you as we pray for your comfort and peace….that’s a tough one…

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    Sarah,

    Remembered you this morning in prayer in the Daily Office…

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