July 21, 2015
My precious sister-in-law, Jeannie Elliff, bounded into heaven last night with joy. Jeannie had experienced a nine-year battle with cancer. When the final diagnosis came two months ago that there was nothing more to be done, Tom and Jeannie set their minds and hearts to “live fully until death catches us.” And, like no one else I’ve ever witnessed, they showed us the best way to die. Tom told me the day before her death that Jeannie was now ready, all the final goodbyes had been said and instructions given, and she was “headed for home as quickly as she can get there!”
Our last moments on this earth are coming for all of us. That is why preparation is necessary. Jeannie made those arrangements long ago. Having grown up in a Christian home, always in church, she made a decision as a child for Christ. But it was years later (5 years into life with her pastor-husband) that she realized she had never genuinely trusted Christ. She knelt before Him and was gloriously and completely saved. Every sin forgiven. Eternity secured. From that moment on, her destiny was not in question.
My wife, Holly, and I had the privilege of sitting at her bedside two days before her coronation day. Her first words to us, with her eyes barely open and strength almost gone were “God has been so good to me…all my life!” Then, as if she was receiving final instructions from the One-who-walks-with-us-through-the-valley-of-the-shadow-of-death, she would momentarily awake to give instructions. “Give this to (a friend),” she said. “I want to do something for (another friend).” “Has Jacqueline had her baby? Tell her we are praying for her.”
What is in you comes out of you in extreme moments. Jeannie went home blessing every person in her path. There was no “give me this, give me that” flowing from her lips. She was thinking of others. Her children and grandchildren, her friends. Those she had led to Christ. Someone she could help a little more in her last days. Like Dorcas’ disciples, women came through the house telling stories of anonymous gifts Jeannie had given them, blessing them and helping them to Jesus. The parade of changed lives was endless.
I pray I will die like this. No, I pray I will LIVE like this, all the way to the finish line. To live in such a way that my heart’s last beats are unselfishly beating for Christ and others.
I am so glad for you, Jeannie! You have dropped the bondage of this present darkness and moved into matchless Light and inexpressible Joy! We shout “Hallelujah!” for God’s great goodness and your great experience now in His presence.
And thank you, Jeannie, and thank you Tom, for once again teaching your younger brother, and all of us, one more lesson in how to really live.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.