Saturday, July 14, 2012

Six Feet Under

*Eat, drink and be merry....for tomorrow we shall die....

Sorry Dad we just don't have the same tastes! But I still love you! Who cares if we disagree? As long as we can do so without being disagreeable and without malice? Right?

Dad: Yes that is a coffin in this very old drug store in St. Augustine FL

Once again I've looked into something my Father-in-law likes and found it extremely distasteful to me. Like the poet Charles Bukowski I found the series on HBO, "Six Feet Under" very sad and depressing - Here's what I wrote about Bukowski in November 2010

A Deliberately Wasted Life
If this is all there is to life and death- why even go on? A title to one episode is from Shakespeare's Macbeth: "Out, out, brief candle!" The rest of that line from Macbeth, also goes well:
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Christ offers so much more! I had a pencil that had erasers on both ends once and it said, "Life without Jesus is like this pencil: No point to it!"

I so much want to tell people who might be wondering, "Isn't there more to life?" YES! There is so much more! Jesus loves you. He died on the cross so you could have an abundant life NOW. Jesus Himself said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John10:10) And for ETERNITY! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Don't we all have a fascination with death? Look at all the popular movies, books and TV shows. It's hard to find one, especially a drama that doesn't have something to do with it, huh?

I was home alone one night last year and turned on the TV, I don't know why because this is unusual for me- I usually only watch certain things (Used to be "Bones" Now it's either "Psych" or "The Mentalist") and watch them with my hubby and/or one of my daughters. And I usually watch because I have laundry to fold. This night was different, I might have had something to fold but I don't remember. I flipped through the channels and found an episode of, "Six Feet Under" and out of curiosity watched it. I most likely will never do so again, but watching that one episode was Providential for me. It just confirmed to me the emptiness of life without God. In the same way Bukowski attempts to make the drunk's life romantic- this show glorifies sex without restraint, alcoholism and substance abuse! Even more than the movie Crazy Stupid Love which I blogged about last August (2011) and actually challenges some of these views-"Six Feet Under" seems to say “evil” is “good” and the “good” is “evil” without any arguments otherwise! (Isaiah 5:20) They spoke about the person who had died and what she had done in her life...not much of anything worthwhile in my view, some things immoral were applauded as if they were great accomplishments! And the deceased bodies? Not handled with any dignity at all!

I guess so many people think God is some COSMIC KIll-Joy. And for something on TV or in the movies to be good, it has to have all the "No-Nos" in it. Please don't think that if you become a Christian you can no longer have fun, because it's not true! I read this on facebook one day and it made me sad:

All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening. Alexander Humphreys Woollcott

God created all the things people love! He created food, animals, nature, touch, scent, sight...he even created sex- between a man and a woman, but it's for married people! Studies have shown that people who are married have more satisfying sex lives anyways.

There's the joke that people like us with five or more kids get asked, "Don't you know what causes that?" haha "YES, AND WE LIKE IT!" ;-)

I just received my order for 200 of the cards with that verse above (Romans 6:23) on them. This is what they look like:

And there's a story that goes with them: In 2000 my brother Paul (he's in the middle of the seven of us) was in prison in Arizona and he wrote to me and sent me one of these cards! I thought it was sooo cool and at that time I was not sure where Paul was with God, so I sent the card back to him, saying, "This is so cool-keep it!" On August 24th, 2002 Paul was 45 years old and still in prison- he had a heart attack and passed away.

Here is a portion of a letter I found in my mom's office after she passed. It's a letter from Paul in prison, dated, April 9, 2000....I will never forget sitting in Mom's office reading this to my sister in the wee hours of the morning, the day after I arrived for Mom's memorial (April 2009) this letter Paul speaks of a girl who worked for him who was going to stand up for him in court, she has braces on her legs but Paul speaks of her "great out-look on life". Paul had diabetes and my Mom was on oxygen for the last 10 years of her life because she had had a Pulmonary Embolism. Paul says, "And someday we all will not need our pills, shots, air tanks or braces. I'm trying to think of this time, not of the problems of such small perportions I have now!" My sister and I chuckled at that! Paul! Don't you remember where you are! But IT WAS of "small proportions" because in just two more short years Paul would leave this earth!

He would finally be free-what we were all praying for! After it happened I sent out an e-mail and remembered in it visiting him when he was free in Arizona- I dragged him to a Baptist Church I had found in the area. I don't remember much about it- I think it was 1995? But I remembered asking Paul how he liked it, he replied, "I liked that last song they sung, 'I'll Fly Away'". One line says, "Like a bird from these prisons walls has flown....I'll fly away!"

I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days...Deuteronomy 30:19-20

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:26

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment....Hebrews 9:27

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

The eye has not seen, neither has the ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

*Eat, drink and be merry....for tomorrow we shall die....Is actually from the Bible! (Ecclesiastes 8:15, Isaiah 22:13, 1 Corinthians 15:32)

I wrote this poem back in March. It was inspired by the Sidewalk Prophets song, "Live Like That" and all the voices that speak to me when I read!

I Hear Dead People
I sit here in my room and they speak to me,
Mom says, "Don't give up"
Peter says, "Trust"
Murray says, "Pray"
Paul says, "Press On"
Barclay says, "Teach"
Jones says, "Reach"
Tozer says, "Seek His kingdom first"
All the while I still thirst
Solomon says it starts with wisdom-
Jesus says, "I Am the Way"
Lord I could sit and read all day!
Amy (Carmichael) wrote such beautiful poems,
Peale says, "You have self-control"
Catherine (Marshall) says, "You'll meet Him at every turn"
Yet still I have so much to learn!
Oswald says, "Give Him your all"
And deep in my heart I hear His call...
Oh Lord when I have gone away,
Will there be someone to say,
"Though she's dead, she still speaks,
Encouraging me-Take the Higher Way"?
Hebrews 11:4

This poem is in my book The Seven Story Tree

So, still fascinated with death? Me too! But instead of watching "Six Feet Under" why not read one of these great books from the experts!

View From a Hearst by Bruce Goddard (Bruce goes to my church!)

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

Here are some of my other posts on Heaven;

The Never Ending Story

Visiting Mom's