My heart leaps with joy not sadness, as I heard the news of the passing of Dr Charles Stanley. He’s one of my favourite preachers, whose messages I’ve listened to for years. I’ve never met him, neither did I know him in person. But listening to him explain the words of the Bible in a simple easy-to-understand-manner, made me develop a deeper love for God’s word. Something I will never ever forget.
It shows you don’t have to know someone inorder to impact their life. I remember writing about legacy (on my blog) when I lost my mum, because I heard the amazing stories people shared about her life. A short while after, I came across Dr Charles Stanley’s message on Legacy. It gave me the assurance that building and leaving a lasting legacy that would outlive us (for God’s glory) is the way to go. For that, I will forever remember him. Especially for the legacy he left for us, to always ‘OBEY GOD AND LEAVE ALL THE CONSEQUENCES TO HIM.”
Farewell Dr Charles Stanley, (to me) you were a man who taught the world the gospel truth about God without compromise. Rest in the perfect peace of God, till we (finally) meet in eternity by the special grace of God.
Please see links below for videos and tributes given to this amazing servant of God. He’s done the work God sent him to do (here on earth), left a legacy for God and I hope it will encourage you to do the same.
My Grandpa Passed Away (Dr. Charles Stanley)
This post is a follow-up from my previous post 'To Live or Not To Live' which looks at the Mental Health crisis our world is facing today in relation to suicide. It is a very touchy subject, but one that is very close to my heart. In a world riddled with challenges (especially in recent years), people tend to seek out ways to escape and it's understable that no one wants to hear bad news. But the reality of the matter is this: 'Life is imperfect and that's perfectly okay'. There are times when I wonder (just for a split second), whether I'm doing the right thing by addressing these Mental Health issues. And articles like the one in the Evening Standard on Thursday 23rd March 2023, reaffirms (to me) that I am. I've come to realise that, there is much work to be done and mine (as a follower of Christ), is to do my little part to make the world a bearable place to live.
We walk past people daily, though we may not know them, it's proof that you are not an isolated being. We all have our struggles, but if we keep on fighting, WE CAN OVERCOME anything life brings our way. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HERE just like everyone else. So fight for your life!
There are organisations out there, doing their utmost best to address the issue, so that we can keep on fighting the good fight of living life the best way we can. Organisations such as the Samaritans and United Christian Broadcasters. I know the tremendous work these organisations do, as I've had the privilege of using both provisions myself. Additionally, the article in the evening Standard mentioned 'Shout', a free text messaging support service for those tackling Mental Health Crisis in Britain. Their work sounds promising. Feel free to visit their websites yourselves or share it with those you know may find it useful.
God loves us all, after all we are all his creation. This is what the Bible says to you when you're struggling to wade through the current of life. It says in the book of Isaiah 41:10,
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
So, when you're struggling to keep your head above water, remember that you can reach out to God and to others for help.
Please note: This is my personal perspective and it's by no means an endorsement. The decision to use any of these provisions is ultimately down to you.
Stay blessed and keep on going. Because, you are not alone in the fight, for this thing called life!
Seeing campaigns around town encouraging people to STAY, got me thinking. Life can be unpredictably volatile sometimes and it is important to have something to focus on during those challenging times. For a Christian, that focus is the HOPE that we have in Christ. It is what keeps us going even at the most difficult of times. To share the words of an early Christian, the Apostle Paul, who went through hardships that made him despair for life. He said,
" I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm."
2 Corinthians 11:23-27, New Living Translation
These were some of the things Paul faced in his life's journey. Which shows that no one really, not even Jesus Christ was immune to life's sufferings. That is why the Bible says,
" We have a high priest (Jesus Christ) who can feel it when we are weak and hurting. We have a high priest who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin."
Hebrews 4:15 - New International Reader's Version
What got Jesus through his ordeal? It was having his focus and his hope on God. Because during one of his most trying times Jesus said this to his followers:
“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me."
John 16:32 - New International Version
That is why Jesus is the perfect one to help anyone at a time of crisis, because he's been through it all and understands what we are going through. So focus on Jesus, make him your hope and he will be your anchor.
Stay blesssed and I humbly pray, that the Lord gives you the strength to keep on going.
Please note: Do find someone to speak to, if you're going through a hard time. There could be charity organisations in your neighbourhood or country that may be able to help you (if you do an online search). Here in the UK, we have the Samaritans at www.samaritans.org (available to anyone in need) or United Christian Broadcasters www.ucb.co.uk (there to help those wanting to know Christ or grow in their walk with him). You can also feel free to look through this website for posts you may find useful.
Exactly two years to this date, the 27th February 2021, I lost my mother suddenly and without warning. What made it challenging was that when it happened I wasn't there. Something I never imagined would ever happen to me. Mum was always there for me and the least I could have done was to have been there fo her. Besides that, there were so many things I wanted to do with her and for her, but all those plans came to an abrupt halt.
When I was told mum passed away, everything as I knew it stopped and my thoughts began to run riot. I thought to myself, " Is this a joke?" Mum was just smiling the other day, looking like her usual self. "How could this happen?"
Next thing I know, I felt a flood of overwhelming emotion flow through me. My eyelids became weighted with the build-up of warm tears about to force itself through my eyes. I slumped to the floor, devoid of energy, feeling helpless as warm tears flowed freely down my cheeks.
Then I heard a strange sound escaping through my lips. It felt alien to me, like it was coming from someone else. The sound turned into an uncontrollable high pitched cry that would last for hours because I couldn't seem to make it stop.
In between this strange happenings, I started feeling angry, but my anger was never directed at God. It was personal, because despite what was going on, I had the underlying awareness that she had gone home to be with the Lord. My struggle and my challenge was about me letting go. It was about me having closure and that part was apparent to me.
I hadn't been in this situation before, so I did what I had always done when I needed a solution to something. I prayed about it and read my Bible. I began reading scriptures related to bereavement and started to find out how to deal with my grief. I saw how the Israelites mourned the loss of their leader Moses for,
‘Thirty days, then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.’
This knowledge gave me the ability to grieve properly without inhibitions. It also made me comfortable to talk freely through my grief and even document my grief journey. Seeing how the Israelites grieved, for Moses for a period of time, gave me solace to mourn mum's loss, knowing that after a period of time (just like the Israelites), I too would be fine.
In exploring my grief, no emotion was too obscure. I allowed myself to work through my emotions and over time, I found myself in a better place or shall I say, a better space. Better, because now, I can think of mum without sadness (on most days), partly due to the legacy she left behind. That legacy, lives on in my household and in the lives of those she impacted.
That said, I must admit, there are still days when someone would say something or something would happen that would trigger memories of her. Memories that reminds me of the void she left behind. But that's okay, because I can remind myself that we will one day meet again in eternity and will never part again.
The Bible says this about death:
'None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle.'
Ecclesiastes 8:8 — New Living Translation (NLT)
Meaning that death is inevitable, it is a battle we all have to face and it can be a dark experience. However, when you:
'Pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.' (Psalm 62:8)
He will give us the grace to face, endure and overcome it. For those who died believing in Christ, they overcome death by living on in eternity. And for the loved ones they left behind, the Bible says, this:
'Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.'
Matthew 5:4 — The New King James Version (NKJV)
So, take heart if you are grieving the loss of a loved one, especially on days when you struggle to hold back the tears. And Let these words comfort you:
"...Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning."
Psalm 30:5 — New Living Translation (NLT)
Which means, you will eventually overcome it and find your footing in life again.
Mum doing one of her favourite things, dancing the night away!
'To live is Christ and to die is gain.'
I'm Kemi West. A simple Christian, learning to live life, through the teachings of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. I’m looking to share the gift of Christ with others.