Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
A friend of the ministry, who lives over in Northern Ireland, wrote us the other day to say that her Ã¢â‚¬Å“MumÃ¢â‚¬Â just passed away. She told me the last time she saw her mom, she looked like someone you would see in pictures from the Holocaust. Skin and bones, and not much else. It was tough for her to see her mother in that condition.
But the exciting part of this difficult situation was her mom was pretty fired up about her faith and more than ready to meet Jesus! Here is the report we received from her about the funeral:
Well, Mark, did you hear us singing in all the way over in Atlanta?Ã‚Â We had a beautiful funeral, or dare I say, a happy funeral.
You know we have been in and out of lockdowns since last March and are currently still in lockdown mode. But during the funeral, it was more like: Ã¢â‚¬Å“What lockdown?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Long story: the Baptist church leaders from the church where my mum was a member and where the funeral service was being conducted, sent their young Pastor Jude (heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lovely) to tell my brother and I that we would have to wear masks in the church and that no singing or praising would be allowed. (My mum had her funeral service of thanksgiving all planned out for years previously.) Oh, and those leaders also said that no amplification of any kind could go out into the carpark in case individuals or mourners might be inclined to congregate in the carpark!!
I always thought the Ã¢â‚¬Å“good newsÃ¢â‚¬Â was meant for everyone to hear, but obviously that was not the case with these deacons and elders.
We requested that Pastor Jude go back and speak to the naysayer dissenters and tell them we would be singing without masks and that amplification would be used in the carpark for all those present to hear the gospel message.
My brother is fairly handy, which is Irish for Ã¢â‚¬Å“a genius with electrical components.Ã¢â‚¬Â So, he and a friend set up the transformer transmitter to send signal from the church to the carpark, to car radio, and to live zoom. People from all over the world were watching and listening.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure there were maybe 200 gathered in the carpark at church and another 200 individuals lining the route from MumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house to the church and to the graveyard. Then, at the graveside, maybe another 100 people were present. So much for the governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Stay-at-Home orders. Well, a funeral is one of the exceptions to that order, so no rules were broken, and we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ask anyone to turn up.
As I said to my brother while leaving the church and on the way to the graveside, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You know, we are making a bold statement here today so others can see that you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to live in permanent fear every day and be terrified of everything around about you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Of course, the preacher got fired up at the end of the service and spoke of MummyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s extreme faith in God for everything. He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Charlotte (my mum) made her mind up to refuse the vaccine months ago and passed away Covid-free: thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how she lived out her faith.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Gospel was preached with great zeal for all to hear and see in spite of the obstacles that were placed before us.
After the burial, everyone was invited back to MumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house for refreshments. I told them, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Please yourselves. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all welcome. There is plenty of food.Ã¢â‚¬Â
All in all, it was a lovely day. Mummy would have been proud. Interestingly, the preacher had been saved through DaddyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ministry, so they go back a long way.
Organisation is a wonderful thing: no stress, no pressure. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hoarse from singing as loudly as I could.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Living well for the Lord. Dying well for the Lord. Celebrating well for the Lord. Pastor is preaching well for the Lord because he was saved under her fatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ministry. Might be time to travel to Northern Ireland! Sure seems like the place to be!!
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S.Ã‚Â A friend met Denise in a parking lot last week. When Denise was asked how she expected to get to Heaven, she said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My mom was a Buddhist, but I believe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s by doing as much good to others as you can.Ã¢â‚¬Â She added she believes in reincarnation because her nephew had some amazing visions.
They discussed how only JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ blood sacrifice can remove sin and the importance of not trusting someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s experiences. The Bible has been put through the rigors of scrutiny, and her nephewÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s visions canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be substantiated. Will Denise stake her eternity on her nephewÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s visions or on God and His Word?
At the end of their discussion, Denise said she believes the Bible more than her momÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s prayers to a Buddhist statue, but she still has questions. She wants to read these booklets and share them with her daughter.
P.P.S.Ã‚Â These booklets are great to hand to people, like Denise, who have questions about who to put their faith in and what happens when they die. They are quick reads that convey important information with impact.
To help you reach the Denises of the world, we have put our booklets on sale atÃ‚Â 20% offÃ‚Â the suggested donation. Spring is coming. People are tired of being cooped up.Ã‚Â NowÃ‚Â is the time to prepare and get ready to reach them!