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Posts Tagged ‘funeral’

March 20, 2017 marked a day of loss for a very good friend of ours. Her mother passed away. Less than two years ago, I lost both of my parents and so I understand how she is feeling at this moment.

We knew her mother and she was a wonderful Christian lady. There is no doubt in my mind that she is now absent from her body and present with her Lord. I know that the family is as assured of this fact as I am, but it does not take away the sorrow and loss that is being felt right now.

Sorrow and loss are feelings that we all must face because our original perfection was destroyed by our open rebellion against God. Yet God, in His mercy, chose not to leave us in our sinful state, but in His Sovereign Will, would one day restore that perfection.

Until all of creation is renewed, we will be very well acquainted with shedding tears. There is nothing wrong with expressing sorrow over lost loved ones. Jesus himself wept in the Scriptures. There are two recorded instances of Jesus crying. Once over the loss of a dear friend and the second over His beloved Jerusalem. However, Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”

Throughout the life of Christ, I believe that he saw tremendous amounts of sorrow and grief. I also believe that because of His love for us, he shed many silent tears.

We are told that time heals all things. As nice as that sounds, I do not believe that. Death is our enemy. We were created to live, not to die. I’m not even sure that time lessens our sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one. I think it is more accurate to say that we become adjusted to live with the loss. Regardless of the years that will pass, one rogue memory brings everything back, and that feeling of loss will still be there.

First Thessalonians 4:13 is the light at the end of the very dark tunnel of sorrow. That light is hope. So yes, even as Christians we will experience sorrow and grief. Our consolation in this is that we know a day is coming where our hope will be fulfilled in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Revelation 21:4 which states “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For now, my family grieves for our friend and her family for their loss. I pray that in the days to come, she will cling close to our Savior and be assured that one day soon, the sorrow will be gone and our age old enemy, death, will be swallowed up in Victory.

 

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It has been so long since I have logged into my own blog that I could not remember the password. That may be good for the two of you that read this, but I’m not sure yet.

Do I have a good reason for dropping out of life? Or perhaps I should ask is there ever a good reason for dropping out of life. I wish I had a good answer to that question without relying on some old and pat cliché.

The past two years have not been good. Starting with the death of my mom on July 7, 2015, a very good friend on July 18, 2015, my father-in-law on September 5, 2015, my dad on October 9, 2015 and the list continues on like that for two years.

Of course many have told me that I am depressed or wallowing in the depths of despair and need to seek out “professional” help. I do not feel depressed and I am not wallowing anywhere (outside of the occasional times I get my wheelchair stuck in the mud).

What I do feel is reflection. Even now I have a very good friend in New Zealand, from playing on line games, who is only 35 years old, laying in a hospital bed, and feels like giving up. I also have another very good friend in NYC that is scheduled for back surgery on Tuesday for spinal stenosis. So this new year is not looking much brighter then the last two years.

It is very easy to ask why…but we all know why. What I ask is “Have I done enough?” Have I been there when people need me? Have I offered a smile, held their hand, laughed with them, cried with them. Could I have done more? These are the questions that cause me to reflect as I go into 2017.

My only New Year’s resolution is that I want to be a better person for people when they need me most.

In my book, regret is a much worse feeling then depression.

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MomA Time for Everything

I was not going to write anything about today, July 7, 2015, but the longer I laid in bed this evening, my mind kept going to my blog.

My mother passed away this morning at approximately 3:00 AM. She had been battling Parkinson’s now for about three years. The last year had been incredibly difficult on mom and the rest of the family, especially dad. My dad is 82 years old, has dementia along with other physical ailments, and yet faithfully provided 24/7 care for mom at home until May of this year.

Mom suffered from the numerous symptoms of Parkinson’s, and in May we had to bring her to a Gero/Psychiatry Ward where she could receive the care that she then required. After three weeks there, we were told that mom was in the end stages of Parkinson’s and we needed to put mom on Hospice, or Comfort Care as it is now call. A little over a month later brings us to today.

The past four days have been difficult as mom lay in bed in a coma state, no longer to eat or take fluids. I have been through many emotions since Saturday, more today, and more yet to come with the funeral ahead.

All of the family has been very attentive to dad. I have been sitting with him a lot, giving me a chance to observe him. Both of us have shed tears, talked, and had a few chuckles remembering funny things. What we have also down a lot of is just sit and be quiet. Dad has always been a strong man with a big heart. I can see how much he is hurting, but I also know there is nothing I can do to take away his hurt. He and mom had been married for 55 years. Mom was the love of his life, and losing her has taken a part of him away.

These would indeed be very dark days without hope. There are three Bible passages that come to mind that I have shared with mom on several occasions over the past three years.

The first one is 1 Peter 1:3 which says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Jesus Christ is our hope and mom had her hope placed squarely on the promises of God.

The second one is 1 Corinthians 15:23 which tells us “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.” Mom will have a glorified body without sin, pain, Parkinson’s, anxiety, worry and the list goes on. Summed up in one wonderful word, perfection.

The last passage is taken from Ecclesiastes 3.

A Time for Everything

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

I think that I have experienced most, if not all, of these in my life. I know mom did as well. A time to die may seem very final to some. In our case, with the blessed hope of Jesus Christ, I know that death is only the door that we all must walk through to go from this life to the next. I have no doubt that mom is now with her Savior, and someday I will be with her once again where death will no longer be able to separate us.

Right now, I am in the time to mourn. But I know the time to dance is coming.

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379272_336372316469200_713330326_nI just attended the funeral of a friend this past week. We lived about five hours apart so we did not see each other very often. But we did email, an occasional phone call and he even traveled to Israel with us in 2010. He was very young, 35, and in a wheelchair like me. His paralysis was different than mine and was the result of being hit by a car which resulted in traumatic brain injury and paralysis. Cognitively he was fine but was left with debilitating motor functions.

 
Marcus was an amazing man. His injury occurred when he was five years old, so being in a wheelchair was about the only way of life he remembered. Yet Marcus shined. He was a quiet sincere person that people enjoyed being around. I remember a couple different times when we were in Israel together, our group would be running around taking pictures and buying out gift shops, but he and I would choose to find a cafe for a coffee and a chance to talk. His mother would join us and we would have a wonderful time doing nothing.

 
Marcus was a poet, a singer and had so much to share for anyone who would stop and listen. He had devoted his entire life to serving his savior Jesus Christ and serving others around him. The physical limitations that he had in life he considered to be very minor. Others would look at falling, stroke like paralysis and lack of independence as major obstacles in life. But not Marcus. He lived each day with a smile, a dry sense of humor and the desire to live life. He had gone to college and had an undergrad, but was continuing his education. He wrote. He sang. He was an inspirational speaker and never missed an opportunity to talk with people about his personal testimony and relationship with God. Marcus was a hero.

 
He will be missed by everyone that knew him. So I dedicate this posting to Marcus Twisdale and share his testimony with you. Hopefully by reading it you will get to know just a little bit about a great man.

 

God’s Grace
Potter Crafting Pot on Potter's WheelI’d like to express once again how grateful I am that the Lord has chosen to use me. I’m a frail vessel just like anyone else whose feet trod the ground of this planet. I have nothing to offer the Father that He doesn’t already have and more of. He’s righteous, I’m filthy; He’s infinite, I’m finite; He’s incorruptible, I’m corruptible; He’s omnipotent, I’m weak. He has used me as He did Job to show His glory as the God of faithfulness. When all was done and the tests were over God was still there.

I can’t say I’ve suffered as much as Job but I do believe God is a Just and Righteous God. He has loved me enough to save my soul from an eternity without Him and loves me still to use this vessel.

God has taken me from birth to where I am now with a few road blocks along this thirty year trek but continues, as He said He would, to provide for my needs “according to His riches in Christ Jesus.” The One Who “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,” has provided for me time and time again. When times ran rough all I needed to do was go to His throne of grace “to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

At five years of age, Aug. 17, 1982, the Lord displayed his strength in my life. I was hit by a car in my neighborhood. Given a 50/50 chance of coming out of surgery, no one knew what to expect. But God had a plan as He always does. He prevented total paralysis of which the doctors thought would be the case. He provided strength to move and much more that was highly unexpected. God prevented the development of a speech impediment and gave a good strong voice. He prevented the inadequacy of limited movement, if any, and allowed me to stand and walk for as long as I did.

I’ve had four surgeries on my legs and one on my good arm back on Aug. 8, 2006 and God’s grace has provided after every operation to carry on for Him. Things have had to be adjusted but, again, God provided what I needed.

I’d like, for the next few lines, to talk about an instance involving God’s providence. Back on April 2, 2002, four months after starting and continuing to take muscle relaxers for leg tremors, not knowing I had “Walking pneumonia” also, a friend of mine found me in my dorm room @ Liberty Univ. passed out on my floor. I was the only one using the room, the door was shut and locked and I wasn’t scheduled to meet anyone anytime soon. God provided a friend to think about me. It was because of God’s grace to provide and my friend’s inquiring mind that I am here for further service.
I wrote this short testimony for two reasons; one is that I wanted this to be an encouragement to someone. Seeing what God has done through people of faith in Him always brings a smile to my face. Second, today is the 25th anniversary of the day my life shifted gears for the glory of God and I wanted to tell of what He had done for me one more time.

Ps. 9:11, Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people His doings.

Lord bless you all,
George (Marcus) Marks Twisdale, Jr.

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