Tag Archives: Beauty in Death

Death is Not Dying

Our life is fragile and easily blown away. But death is not dying.

Today I finally sat down to watch the video of Rachel Barkey speaking to a group of women about the terminal cancer that fills her body and the faith in God that fills her soul. It’s a beautiful address that everyone should hear. It’s just under an hour long but it’s well worth the time out of your day. She is a beautiful inspiration and I believe that through her upcoming death God will work wonders and be glorified. I can not wait to meet her in heaven some day and while it is so sad that she is only 37 and leaving behind a husband, two young children, and other family and friends, she will be in heaven and God will use her life and death for His good and glorious purposes. Now go and watch the video and let her words speak for themselves!

(Picture courtesy Keara Jaelyn.)

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Longing for Persecution

I have to admit something to all of you; I am sick and tired of nominal and lukewarm Christians. It is one of my greatest annoyances. I hate how our churches and youth groups are filled with people that say they are Christians, have “prayed a prayer”, and don’t do “bad” things, yet it stops right there. They are without all fire and passion and even love. Their “Christian” life only extends as far as Sunday mornings and other church events, except for the fact that they don’t take the Lord’s name in vain or such. It is a sickening ailment of the American and Western church.

When I look at the American and Western church then also look at the persecuted church, I am shocked by the difference. In the underground and persecuted church, people risk their lives to just go to a church service or to own a Bible. In the Western church, most people miss church to spend time at their cabins and to go hunting (at least where I live) and Bibles are in abundance, yet we barely even take time to read them. The persecuted church will not deny Christ even if it comes down to dying, when the Western church will deny Christ for the sake of popularity.

Now I know full well that there are Christians in the Western church that are willing to die for their Lord and Savior and have a passion for him, as well as people in the underground church that deny Christ or who betray others in the church. This is just a generalization of the majority.

There is such beauty in the persecuted church. I have been reading Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand and the stories he tells of himself and others that have been persecuted for Christ’s sake under the communists are amazing and heart wrenching. The love expressed by the underground church is nothing less than beautiful.

We need that. We need faith that stands the roughest storms. We need courage that will take a stand for what they believe and say, “Here I stand I can do no other”. We need lives that are ready to be laid down. We need passion alive in the hearts of those who claim to know the King of kings. We need to have the fire and power of God at work in the church of America. We need the stuff of the persecuted church.

The change starts with you and me. If we don’t have passion, fire, courage, strength, and faith present in our own lives we can’t expect it from the people around us. We are to lead by example and show the radiance of Christ in our own lives. I also think we need some persecution and testing to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. We know nothing of persecution, but I know that in the years ahead we might get a taste of it. I know that it will be good for our church and will take away the dead and nominal Christians and just leave the ones that are truly followers of Jesus. Then maybe we will start to show some of the beauty of Christ. God bless.

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Heaven (No Fear of Death)

I was reading again from the book They Found the Secret, this time about John Bunyan and was again underlining and writing many things in the margins. While studying this third chapter today I came across a quote that I loved and I wanted to share it with you all.

“I saw myself within the arms of grace and mercy; and though I was before afraid of a dying hour, yet, now I cried, ‘Let me die’; now death was lovely and beautiful in my sight, for I saw we shall never live indeed until we be gone to the other world… God himself is the portion of the saints.”

Well that just spoke to me so clearly. This was a man that had been in fear of death, and struggled with understanding the assurance of salvation, and now he had found such joy in knowing that nothing could separate him from the love of Christ and that heaven is far better than earth.

People are often so afraid of dying, even Christians. Most people don’t want to die. We don’t grasp the brilliance of heaven compared to the scum of this world. Sometimes we even think heaven might be boring because we can’t sin. But heaven is going to be amazing. Having the presence of Jesus in the flesh will be wonderful! We often focus more on the things of heaven like “everything will be beautiful and there will be palaces of gold and yada yada yada”. We often do not dwell on the fact that JESUS, our redeemer, savior, Lord, maker, lover of our soul, our saving grace, will be there. We will be with Jesus! What a sweet time that will be!

I love this quote from C.S, Lewis in The Last Battle, the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia series.

“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one of eather has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

 Hold tight to the promise of heaven. That someday all our troubles on this earth will be done and we will begin a story that each chapter is better than the one before. Each day more glorious. Each moment more precious. And it will never end. We need no fear of death or dying, for even the momentary pain we will experience will be nothing compared to the overwhelming joy that we will have in heaven.

 Heaven isn’t so great because there isn’t “bad stuff” or because there is a lot of “good stuff” or a lot of perks or a lot of amazing people. Heaven is awesome because Jesus is there. I pray that we will never forget that and that we will dwell on that constantly.

Your sister in Christ,

Olivia

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