Friday, December 20, 2013

My Last Will and Testament

We were all born! What other date with destiny will we all have? We will die, all except a blessed few who are alive when Jesus comes in the sky! From the moment we're conceived we commence our journey to death. Due to apoptosis 70 billion of our cells die each day.  "Apoptosis" is the technical term for "programmed cell death". God programmed the rate to give mankind a limited lifespan:

Genesis 6:3 "And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
We're all dying at 70 billion cells a minute.  If we're "blessed" (which is arguable) the maximum life span is 120 years. However, many will die before their time. King Hezekiah asked God for an additional 15 years. He got misery! (Isaiah 38:5). Extended life does not equal joy!
When are we dead? Scientists even argue the point. Is it when the heart stops. Is it when oxygen is depleted? Is it when brain activity ceases? You get the point! It's debatable... when are you dead?
We do know that there is a time interval between "heart death" and "mind death" where the dying person realizes they're dead and have an anxiety attack. Doctors even prescribe a fast-acting sub-lingual anxiety drug to lesson the panic. "I was scared to death!" may be more common than we think.
From the time we're born we're dying because we're human, but "nature" is also trying to kill us! Anything from harmful sun rays to non-potable water to killer virus's are after our life. Mankind tries to survive nature and we all fail. Even if we escape natural forces our fellow-man steps in! Many are killed by wars and hate. Life is not "like a box of chocolates". It's a "jungle out there!" Death is the occupation of Satan, but he joy of the Lord!
When does God say we die? It's when our spirit leaves our body!
Luke 8:53 "And they laughed him (Jesus) to scorn, knowing that she (the 12 yr old girl) was dead. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway"
Mankind consists of mind, body and spirit. All three must take absence to be dead. It would appear that the "last to go" is the spirit. Hence, death is at the expiration of the mind and body and the departure of the spirit. A dead body is no use to a living spirit, so the spirit makes its pilgrim way to where spirits reside... the spiritual world!
Yes, we're all destined to die. It's unavoidable and the older we get the more we consider death. At sixteen I was invulnerable and eternal. At forty I saw the light. At sixty I'm blessed each day that I arise!

Benjamin Franklin said in 1789 "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Dr. Franklin said this. He didn't make it up. Another wrote similarly before Dr. Franklin, but the origin is from King Solomon:

Solomon said (Ecclesiastes 12:7) "Then (list of events) shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

You can see that Ecclesiastes 12:7 and Luke 8:53 are in harmony and scripture is internally consistent. It's the same truth for all ages because truth isn't time dependent. Truth isn't variable! Both, written 800 years or so apart, agree that the spirit leaves with death. Therefore, death is the departure of our living spirit. We never die. We live on! What's problematic is where our spirit is to reside. For me and my house, I choose God's Paradise!

Moses spoke of conception and death. We start this life with the elements (dust) and after experiencing the flow of life-blood we return to the elements. In between lies sorrow and joy, peace and tribulation, hunger and provision, doubt and faith,  uncertainty and hope, and solitude and communion! We shall return from whence we came as did all before us (excepting Enoch, Elijah and Jesus).
Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Christians celebrate death! It's not something relished, but it's inevitable. We "see the departed off" not for the dead, but for the living. We're to comfort others who have lost one they love!  We console the living for in their sorrow man thinks hard of his own destiny. Theologians have taken Genesis 3:19 and made it a funeral prayer:
From the Book of Common Prayer we have:
"Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself."

Yes, life is all about dying! If not dealing with death, it is our futile struggle to avoid death. Just as the Romans ate cake and partied as their civilization died, many eat, drink and are merry in the face of reality. That's how they cope with certainty. They are fooling no one, but themselves. Few think of death because it's not a pleasant subject and mankind lives for pleasure. We just sing a little louder!

We must all face death! I've prepared my heart long ago, but I have failed often. Here's my "Last Will and Testament":

1)  I ask God to honor my belief and faith as weak as it is.
2) I ask God to forgive my many sins, especially those I do continually.
3) I ask God's pardon that my eminent death is "all about me".
4) I ask God to comfort me in my demise. To heap hope on me in abundance!
5) I ask my children to forgive my imperfect role as father.
6) I ask my wife to forgive my short-comings as a husband.
7) I ask God to forget my blunderings in marriage.
8) I ask God to forgive me for not loving him enough.
9) I ask God to forgive me for not loving others enough.
10) I ask that Jesus mediate for me with his Father.
11) I thank God for his mercy.
12) I thank God for the joy I've had in this life.
13) I thank God for pulling me through the hard times.
14) I thank God for providing health, happiness and hospitality. All my comfort he has provided.
15) I leave my wealth here from whence it came.
16) I leave my problems and sickness behind.
17) I ask that the Lord provide in my absence for my wife.
18) I ask that there be no strife for what little wealth I leave.
19) I ask that friends and family forget bitterness and remember the good times.
20) I ask that my legacy be what I've written for generations to consider.
21) I thank God in advance for my heavenly home he's prepared for me.
22) I remit my soul to God and look forward to kneeling in his presence!
23) I await the time I can sing those praises which linger in my heart because my voice is lacking.
24) I thank the angels from God who protected me so many times when I flirted with death.
25) I thank the Holy Spirit for tugging at my heart and allowing my mind to acquiesce.
26) I ask that I not linger at death's door nor feel the pain of death.
27) I bequeath what remains to those I leave behind in the hope that they follow me later where we shall unite again!

My home, my hobbies, my enjoyments along with the pecuniary are all temporal gifts. I'm grateful for their use this short time and leave them behind because I no longer have a need for them!

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