“To Die is Gain”

Paul said it this way, “To live is Christ; to die is gain”. He was way up in years and could see the end in the distance. He even told the Lord that it’d be OK with him if he could just go ahead and die, but God saw it fit to leave him awhile longer. But Paul had a great perspective on death, and one that I think we should at least consider adopting, ourselves. 

I see this verse clearer this week than I’ve ever seen it before. I know it’s because of my Dad’s transition from Earth to Heaven a week ago. Totally unexpected and devastating to our whole family in every way but now, a week later, I think I’m getting a little glimpse into what Paul was saying. 

 We’ve had literally hundreds of people call, text, message, drop by, etc. No one really knows what to say….and understandably so. I have found, especially in the last few days, that it doesn’t really matter when they don’t know what to say. Just being there, just caring, however it is expressed and however it comes across, means everything to us right now. I know I speak for the whole Taylor family when I say we’re amazed by the number of genuine friends that we have. And for that, we’re eternally grateful.

Our terminology, when someone dies, might need a little tweaking. “Sorry for your loss”, “Sorry you lost your Dad”; Those are some of the common condolences. Heck, I’ve used them many times myself.  *(Nothing is lost if you know where it is!) But if what Paul said is true…maybe we should change our condolences to, “Happy about your gain”!, or, “So glad to hear about your Dad’s promotion!”, or, “Congratulations on your Dad’s new place!” It would be much more appropriate, especially when we have the correct perspective.

I have my moments, don’t get me wrong. It just comes out of nowhere when I least expect it and the tears are immediate. But so far…I can’t stay sad for long. And my sadness….it’s not for my Dad, even though I miss him a lot. No, I’m sad for me and my crew (My Mom, my brother and our families). But as quickly as I get sad….I can hear my Dad telling me to “Dry it up”! (something he’d say when we’d cry from a spanking). “Don’t be sad….be happy!” He’d already told us more than a few times not to worry or cry for him when he was gone. It seems to me that it’s the ultimate win-win scenario!

“To live is Christ….and to die is gain”!!

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VIP’s #10 – Cliff & Charlene Taylor


I’m Going Out on a Limb, Here, And Say It’s Beyond Your Capacity to Imagine!

Did another funeral yesterday (#347). It’s always an honor to be asked to do a service for a family. And even though it’s a day of sadness and grief for family and friends….it’s a great opportunity to give them comfort and to tell the ‘good news’. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of different situations with families going through the loss of a loved one. It’s hard when there’s tension among the siblings, which I see a lot more than I’d like to. I feel for the family members who regret not having spent the quality time with the deceased that they feel they should have. There’s dozens of other scenarios that the passing of a family member brings to light. I’ve tried to be as helpful as I possibly could be in those, sometimes volatile…and painful, situations.

There’s nothing like a funeral to bring people’s thoughts on eternal things. I think that can be a very good, very productive thing in people’s lives. Of course, for me and the performing of a funeral….the one thing that can calm all the fears and uncertainty for the family is if the deceased person had a relationship with God. If so, the service can be upbeat and encouraging. Most of the time at least one of the family members knows the answer to the question…but not every time. In those situations where nobody really knows…I always have peace knowing that the Lord is gracious and compassionate….and a fair Judge.

I have an opinion that I can’t prove….so it’s just an opinion…but I’ve thought about it a lot. I think we’ve underestimated death and our passing from this life to the next one. My opinion is that it’s a whole lot more glorious than we would ever think. If the Father is as good to us in this life as He is….it just makes sense that our passing from here to there would be Some Kind of amazing trip! The problem is that we haven’t had anyone come back and tell us how it is.

You may have a really healthy imagination but my opinion is that the trip is glorious beyond our capacity to imagine!