Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An Appointment With Death

An Appointment With Death

Ps Victor Wong, the consultant to SIB Church gave us a sermon at Elpizo on the above topic today. He made us do something we normally do not do, a death therapy. Actually I can't quite make out what to think of it but I think it made me confront with death more personally rather than leave it to the hands I leave behind eventually.

We have homework too! What weird thing he made us do we are to share with our spouse and then again with our children.

We were each give our tombstone on paper.

First, I was asked to draw a picture of myself in the box given. I drew my present hair do (curly!) and with big eyes and a smile..he he

Then, I wrote down my birthdate. He asked us to think about a date we think we would die. He said it was just a therapy and nothing prophetic. If we were totally troubled about it, then to leave it out but he assured us that this whole exercise will benefit us much. So, okay, I added 40 years more to the year of year 2051. He said we could add the day and the month as well but no number appeared in my head so I just left it out.

The thing is in our journey as Christians, God heals us from the inside out. He starts with our spirit and that healing slowly flows to our mind and body. So, it does not matter how hard others pray for us. Some are discouraged when we pray and God still takes them home so soon.  Our spirit is already healed (saved) and whether we die young or old, whether we choose a further date or we think we die sooner, our home address just changes from here on earth to home with the Lord in heaven. That is the assurance we have in God. 

So, this is just a death therapy and we filled the death date we thought we would die.

Next, he asked us to write down at the bottom of the tombstone a bible verse. He said if we did not write any bible verse, he is quite convinced that our family would fill in Psalm 23 for us! So, better squeeze your creative juices and think one yourself now!

I thought of the rhema that God first spoke to me in this journey so I chose:

 2 Timothy 1:7

" For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Then, we are to write our epitaph in the middle of the tombstone. It could be very short words like "Praise the Lord!" or "I finished well" but you could also write a long wordy one. You could thank your other half and your family and friends. I wrote thinking of encouraging others to seek God seeing what He has done in my life, miracles after miracles.

So i wrote:
"God gave me a second chance in life. He too can give you a second chance if you seek Him with all your heart, soul and mind."

Ps Victor changes his tombstone every year and reads it out to his wife. He shared us somehow he thinks he will die at 50. Having heard him, I think God put that in his heart so that he would seek to accept death and teach others the same. I have never met anyone like him! He has read many books on death and even movies which he gave us a summary on.

The Bucket List
P.S. I love you
Seven pounds
Tuesday with Morrie

And the book written by Randy Pausch called the "The last lecture". He died last year of cancer and would rather teach his last lecture to leave his legacy behind to his three young children rather than spend time with his children.

He told us of his close friend who eventually died of cancer. There were so many questions he wanted to ask his friend but he didn't know how to. His friend's wife felt she could only support him by taking care of him and bringing him to many alternative treatment. He cut off his relationship with his two daughters because he didn't want to hurt them. As a result the two kids felt the sickness was all their fault. Ps Victor felt he could not answer why God would not heal him. He felt  totally helpless and he asked God what he could do as a friend.. He sensed God telling him to write book for his friend called "Unspoken Words".

In it he wrote the many questions and thoughts in his mind, his friend's wife and his children, all of which he could not say it aloud. He finished it in 2 days and gave it to his friend. Because of that book, the family was reconciled and he passed away the following day.

Ps Victor had once told his friend that he should have spent his time with his family rather than seeking and seeking alternative treatments

Regarding the homework, he said initially our children would be worried of losing their parent if we bought up the topic but because we share with them what to expect, they will treasure their parents even more.

Okay, here is the weirdest part. He has a plan to hold his living funeral soon, possibly next year and you are all invited, believers and non believers.

He will have his coffin there but he will surprise you whether he will be in it or not. He will have a real life opportunity to thank his family and friends. He said he expects some parts to be teary and some parts of laughter too. He will also paste up cards he received throughout the journey that touched him.

He is 45. Despite the death he feels in 5 years he thinks he will serve in SIB for another 7 to 10 years! Told you he is weird. He said that if he lives beyond 5 years, he would just continue glorifying God. So see, it does not matter when we think we will die because we are already assured to be with God early or late in life. :)

And I guess that is the bottom line I learned. So, do not take a chance on your afterlife. 

John 14:6
 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

You can be totally assured to be with God when you believe in Jesus.

Romans 10:9-11

 "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced"

1 comment:

  1. Liz,

    Whether it is a therapy or NOT, I surely would NOT deal with the subject in the prescribed manner, and or be willing to be subjected to it. Well, it maybe my view only, but I do NOT think my avoidance of such, is superstition. It begs the question of “where is the scriptural basis of what Ps Victor Wong was prescribing?” If it is in my meeting (well, I do NOT yet have my meetings), I will NOT permit it. If I am in a such meeting, I might walk out, although the respect for the organisers or church leadership, if it is a church service, would weigh in. No, if we truly believe we are joint-heirs with Christ Jesus, our words and actions do carry some degree of prophetic significance. What distinguishes between one act being prophetic and another NOT? When you deem it prophetic, then it is prophetic; when you deem it NOT, it is NOT prophetic? Although we are NOT to be over religious, we do need to be careful; be careful, we do NOT, steal (our action), and then deem it that we merely borrowed! Also, do NOT forget, what we do can be watched by Satan and his minions, even as it is being watched by God. When you said 40 + 40 (year 2051 + 40), you are saying something. If you are saying you won't die until you have lived as long as Adam (930 years), what is that? No meaning? If no meaning, then what is it all about, a sick game?

    For those tuning in, I am NOT being insensitive; Liz is a Christian, and Christians are NOT at complete liberty to do anything they want, without ill consequences. Sure, when we are confronted with the issue of death, we can talk with someone(s); and as the “someone”, we do have to give a listening ear, and release words according to what the Word says (well, that is for Christians). We can talk to our loved ones, at the appropriate times (pray first, if possible), but do NOT keep having the issue hanging from your lips, for it may unduly affect your loved ones, especially the children. Remember that some people take a much longer time, and need time, to take in such issue. Avoid non-biblical ritualistic exercises; they may have ill spiritual consequences. Whatever “weird” thing that God prescribed (YOU GOT TO MAKE SURE IT IS TRULY FROM GOD) for an individual to do for himself, he should do it, but we must be careful if such is to be applied, generally. General principle: Doctrines and theologies are NOT formed from experiences, but solely from the Word.

    Indeed, as your son put it out to you, God IS TO BE WITH YOU in everything you do.

    Father God, may you assure your love in the heart of your daughter, Liz. Amen. Anthony Chia.