Friday, July 12, 2013

Death and Life


I had a really interesting conversation last night with an incredible group of incoming Wartburg students. We were sitting around at a welcome event hosted by Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry and they started asking me the most amazing questions about why I became a Pastor and what such a life is like. Eventually we got on the topic of their own hopes and fears and I was absolutely blown away by their honesty and insightfulness.

At one point we were talking about a great class that my colleague Pastor Ramona teaches called "Living with Death". All of the students I hoped to one day take the course, and one young woman even admitted that she's terrified of dying. We had a great talk about why we fear death, the hope of the Gospel, and fear of the unknown.

Today I came across this article from a Hospice Nurse who shares the top five regrets of the dying patients she's worked with over the years. Nothing terribly surprising but I was intrigued by how many regrets had to do with going along with the expectations of others rather than living the lives we are meant to lead.

I'm so glad that I had that conversation with our new students. Moments like that remind me why I do what I do. I'm also glad for that conversation because these students are thinking about big questions even before officially starting College. That bodes well for the future.

I don't know that we ever get over the fear of death, but having fewer regrets seems to be a good place to start. If I could give one piece of advice to all our incoming students (and to myself) it would be to listen...truly listen...to the person God created you to be. There are so many voices competing for attention in our lives, both those of others and our own. It's hard to step back and listen for who we really are when you're worried about finding a job and living the American dream. And yet if we don't it's even harder to choose the things that matter.

One of my favorite quotes about vocation comes from Parker Palmer's book "Let Your Life Speak". He says "“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” I can't wait for another year of listening with students to our lives and what they are telling us about who we are.

Who knows...maybe knowing our mortality is the best way to live a better life?

1 comment:

  1. CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD?

    On the Day of Pentecost Peter quoted the prophet Joel (Acts 2:21'And it shall be that everyone who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.')

    To call on the name of the Lord is to acknowledge the authority and power of the Lord, and follow in obedience by meeting the terms of pardon.

    The apostle Peter did not tell those on the Day of Pentecost to say the "sinner's prayer." Saying the "sinner's prayer" is not calling on the name of the Lord.

    Peter preached the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Peter declared the Jesus was Lord and Christ. (Acts 2: 22-26) They obviously believed Peter's preaching because they asked the question(Acts 2:37 ....."Brethren what shall we do?")
    Peter did not tell them to say the "sinner's prayer." What was Peter's response to their question? (Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.)


    THE NARRATIVE OF CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.
    1. FAITH: Believe in the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
    2. CONFESSION: Acknowledge Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God.
    3. REPENTANCE: Make the commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God.
    4. WATER BAPTISM: Be immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.


    HOW DID THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD? (Acts 8:25-40


    1. Philip preached Jesus to him. (Acts 8:35)
    2. He confessed Jesus as The Christ the Son of God. (Acts 8:37)
    3. He was baptized in water. Immersed by Philip. (Acts 8:38-39)
    The Ethiopian eunuch did not say the sinner's pray nor was he asked to do so by Philip.


    Romans 10:13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."


    Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.


    To call on the name of the Lord is to acknowledge His power and authority and confess Him as Lord and Christ . (Acts 2:26,Acts 8:37, Romans 10:9-10) To call on the Name of the Lord is to repent and be baptized. (Acts 2:38)


    WE ARE TOLD TO CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD TO BE SAVED.


    We are never told we are saved by "faith only." We are never told that saying the "sinner's prayer" is calling on the name of the Lord.


    IF SAYING THE "SINNER'S PRAYER" IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION? THEN WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SALVATION.


    THE REQUIREMENTS!
    1. Faith: John 3:16
    2. Belief and baptism: Mark 16:16
    3. Confession and belief: Romans 10:9-10
    4. Born of water and Spirit: John 3:5
    5. Grace and faith: Ephesians 2:8
    6. Buried through baptism: Roman 6:4-5
    7. Water baptism: 1 Peter 3:20-21
    8. Baptism: Acts 22:16
    9. Baptized into Christ: Galatians 3:27
    10. Believe: Acts 16:30-31
    11. Repentance and baptism: Acts 2:38
    12. God's mercy, water baptism, and the Holy Spirit: Titus 3:5
    13. Water baptism: Colossians 2:12-13
    14. Repentance: Acts 3:19


    IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED THESE REQUIREMENTS---THEN YOU HAVE CALLED ON THE NAME OF THE LORD!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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