Monday, March 28, 2011

Self Publishing

March 29, 2011.

Outside my window...sunny all week, but still a cold wind. On Wednesday, it's supposed to go up to 9C. Feeling more like Spring.
I am thinking...I received some information in the mail today about self-publishing from a Christian company. I know some of the authors represented. They do good work. That might be the path I look at for non-fiction. I think I would probably want traditional publishing for my fiction, if they would want me. :) Still it's exciting to consider and makes me work harder at finishing my manuscript.
I am thankful for...the hospital allowing facebook and twitter at work again.
From the kitchen...cedar planked Atlantic salmon and stir-fried vegetables.
I am uniform.
I am reading...The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha.
I am hoping...this patient stabilizes.
I am hearing...the calm before the storm. A potential emergency at work.
Around the house...I actually enjoyed the class on fire warden training even though I was sleep deprived. We had the guest speaker and his family over on Sunday night. It was my Mom's 71st birthday on Sunday and we took her out for dinner.
One of my favourite things...good fellowship at church.
Some plans for the three nights. Maybe attend Missionfest on the weekend.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Women in the Genealogy of Christ: Part Five: Mary

The Women in the Genealogy of Christ: Part Five

The Bible
Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers
Three Days by Melody Carlson
Her Name is Woman, Book One by Gien Karssen
Roman Catholicism by Lorraine Boettner
Christianity Through the Centuries by Earle E. Cairns

Poor Mary. She’s hardly mentioned in Protestant circles because she’s mentioned so much in Catholic circles. Do you know many Protestants who name their daughter, Mary? No, although it’s a fine name and she was a remarkable woman. I think she would be shocked to see what’s been made of her: elevating her to the status of co-Redemptrix, giving her qualities of deity, pronouncing her sinless, immaculately conceived, ascended to Heaven, worthy of worship, a hearer of prayers, and the queen of Heaven. But more on that later.
Let’s see what Scripture has to say about her, and what Mary herself, has to say.

Read Matthew 1, 2, Luke 1, 2, 8, and John 19, 20

After the book of Malachi closes, there are over 400 years of silence before the events recorded in the Gospels. No prophets speaking. A sense of anticipation and expectancy. Surely God would do something and the Jews would be free of their Roman oppressors.
Many Jews had returned from exile; others were scattered throughout the nations. These were referred to as the ‘Diaspora’, or the dispersion.

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were born under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Galatians 4:4

The Fullness of Time

A Christian high school textbook called Christianity through the Centuries shows how this period of time was the most favourable for Christianity to make an impact on the world. Not before, and not since have all these political and cultural factors been in place on such a large scale.

1) Romans
-a large region under one law and government. Universal law and Roman citizenship; this idea anticipated a gospel that proclaimed the unity of the race both in setting forth the penalty for sin and the Saviour from sin.
-free movement because of peaceful development (Pax Romana)-the peace of Rome, or on Roman terms. Pompey swept the pirates from the Mediterranean, and Roman soldiers kept the peace on the roads in the realm. This allowed Christians to move from place to place to preach the gospel.
-roads radiated out from the Roman forum to all parts of the Empire. “All roads lead to Rome.”- built of concrete. Paul made use of these roads on his missionary journeys.
-Roman soldiers who converted to Christianity spread the gospel in the places in which they were stationed. i.e. England.

2) Greeks
-intellectual environment
-the Greeks conquered Rome culturally.-Horace
-universal language of the ancient world was Greek, like Latin in the Middle Ages, or English in the modern age.
-the Old Testament was already translated into Greek (the Septuagint)
-most cultured Romans knew both Greek and Latin
-dialect spoken was Koine Greek; a very precise language, i.e. four words for love.
-Greeks had turned from their old religions to philosophy, which could not fulfill (Stoics and Epicureans)
-Christianity alone could fill the vacuum of spiritual life.
-Christianity offered a personal relationship with God, to Greeks who had hungry hearts created by inadequate philosophy.

3) Jews
-the heredity of Christianity
-salvation was “of the Jews” John 4:22
-monotheism. After the Babylonian captivity, the Jews never again lapsed into idolatry.
-numerous synagogues throughout the Mediterranean for three centuries before Christ. These were the first places the gospel was preached, both by Jesus, and the apostles.
-Messianic hope
-Ten commandments; a pure ethical system
-reverence of the Word of God
-many proselytes to Judaism
-viewed history as having meaning
-Palestine was an important crossroad, linking Asia, Africa and Europe by a land route.

“This thing was not done in a corner.” Acts 26:26

“In the period of its birth and three centuries afterward, conditions were more favourable for the spread of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean world than at any other time in the ancient or medieval eras.” Christianity through the Centuries, pg. 43

Who are the Players in this Story?


-older than Mary; a carpenter by trade; of the line of David; betrothed to Mary.
-a betrothal was binding, and breaking the engagement was equivalent to divorce.
-relatively poor, as evidenced that they could only purchase a turtle dove for sacrifice, rather than a lamb.
-the gift of gold from the Magi, if it was significant, would have helped with family expenses over Jesus’ lifetime.
-Joseph was genuinely shocked to find out that Mary was pregnant, because he knew he wasn’t the father. He came to the only logical conclusion; Mary had slept with someone while engaged to him.
-yet he still loved her and didn’t like the idea of shaming her, or seeing her put to death, as the law required.
-if not for divine intervention, he probably would have gone ahead with the annulment and been done with it.
-an angel tells him not to fear, but to go ahead with the marriage because of the special nature of the child in her womb.
-Joseph is an honourable man and a mature believer, since he must have been aware that his reputation would be at stake as well. People would talk, and what could he say? How could he possibly explain the situation?
-because of the unique circumstances, he marries her, but does not sleep with her until after she gives birth to Jesus.
-until suggests that after that time, he did sleep with her, as would be expected in a normal marriage.
-the list of the names of their other children attest to this (Matt. 13:54-56) (Mark 6:3), as well as the reference to her ‘first born son’, which implies other sons.
-four brothers are named. Also, since sisters are plural, we can assume at least two, perhaps more, since it says ‘all’ and not ‘both’. At least six or seven children were born after Jesus.
-also John 7:5 “Most natural meaning is the other sons of Mary and Joseph. People at large did not believe in him, but here John says even his own brothers, the members of his own family, did not believe in him.” Roman Catholicism pg. 157
-Psalm 69:8 –Messianic psalm “I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children.”
-Acts 1:14 his brethren are mentioned in addition to the disciples.
-they were his half brothers and sisters, being the children of both Joseph and Mary, while he is the child of Mary alone.
-Mary’s virginity until Jesus was born was the only thing needed to safeguard the deity of Christ and the purity of Mary. Nothing beyond that is required.

“To remain virgins after this is an unnatural relationship. It is absurd, and nowhere in Scripture is approval ever given for such an abnormal relationship. Such an arrangement would have been contrary to nature and simply a frustration to both parties.” Ibid pg. 158

-Mary did not remain a perpetual virgin, as the Roman Catholic church teaches. Neither did Joseph.
-the reason for this view, other than to elevate Mary, is to justify the celibate state of priests and nuns.

-“Rome teaches that the single state is holier than the married state and that there is something unclean and defiling about marriage.” Ibid pg. 158

-Joseph teaches Jesus his trade of carpenter and that is what Jesus is doing until his 30th year.
-the absence of any mention of Joseph in the narratives during the ministry of Jesus suggests that Joseph had died at some point before that.
-we don’t know what he died of, but it’s interesting to note that Jesus did not heal him. It’s not likely that He could not heal, but that since the time had not yet come for His publicly ministry to begin, He chose not to heal Joseph. How did Mary feel about that, I wonder?
-as the eldest son, the care of the family fell to Jesus.
-at the beginning of His ministry, when Jesus left carpentry for good, the care of the family would have fallen to His younger male siblings, who also would have been apprenticed as carpenters.
-however, as Jesus was dying on the cross, He handed over care of His mother to his favourite disciple, John, over His yet unbelieving siblings. Read John 7:5.
-this shows us something of the character of Christ, to be concerned about the welfare of others, even as He is dying an excruciating death.

Joseph receives supernatural revelation four times; Mary, just once.
1) When he is told to marry Mary.
2) When he is instructed to flee Bethlehem and go to Egypt.
3) When he is told to leave Egypt and return home.
4) When they settle in Nazareth.
-each time they moved, he obeyed quickly. He left all, his home, family and business to protect the family God had given him charge of.
-they left Bethlehem just before the slaughter of the innocents. (Matt. 2:14-16)
-how must they have felt when they heard about the massacre by Herod?
-Joseph was an outstanding man, since he was chosen by God to be the foster father to our Lord.


-a young girl of marriageable age; perhaps 14-15.
-after 400 years of silence, since Malachi, everyone was anticipating what God would do.
-every young woman wanted to be the mother of the Messiah.
-they were feeling the heavy oppression of the yoke of Rome.
-betrothed to an older man in an arranged marriage. She may have loved him, or at least respected him.
-very brave, as she realizes that there will be public scorn over her pregnancy.
-she travels to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. Mary knows about this from the angel, Gabriel who had announced her pregnancy.
-Mary and Elizabeth’s babies have an instant bond, even before birth. They would not meet until Jesus’ baptism, even though they were second cousins. John spends his life out in the wilderness.
-we know Mary is also of the family line of David, but we don’t know her mother’s name. The Roman Catholics, since they believe in the immaculate conception of Mary, have to go back a generation to venerate her mother, too. Since she is not named, they make up a name, like they do for the Magi, but there is nothing in Scripture to substantiate that. They name her Anne, so they could make her a saint, and pray to her. Also the reason many Catholics will combine the names Mary-Anne or Anne-Marie, to get the ‘blessing’ of both women. But I digress. This topic brings out the Protestant in me.
-Mary knew the heartache of having unbelieving children. James, however, becomes a believer and the head of the church in Jerusalem and presided at the Jerusalem council. (Acts 15:13,19).
-two books of the New Testament, James and Jude, were written by the sons of Mary and Joseph.
-the Roman Catholic church tries to explain these people away as cousins, even though there is a Greek word for cousin, and it is not used in reference to them.
-So, if Mary was about fifteen when she gave birth to Jesus, she would have been 48 when He was crucified. Hardly an elderly woman, but still a woman in a culture where she would have needed someone to provide for her.
-Mary experienced the humiliation of being the subject of gossip, the joy of family life for a time, the heartache of not knowing where a child is, and if he’s all right. She knew the pain of having unbelieving children. She had times of being proud of her son, and the great heartache as she watched His life taken away before her eyes.
-her courage is seen best at Calvary, where most mothers would have collapsed; she persisted.
-as you read the portions of Scripture where Mary is mentioned, you see a progressive distancing of her from Jesus. Family influence decreases as it does as our children grow up. But more than that, she began to see Him not as her son, but as her Saviour.

Regarding the R.C. view of the sinlessness of Mary:
1) After Jesus birth, Mary brought two offerings, one a burnt offering (symbolizing surrender of the will to God) and two, a sin offering (a sacrifice acknowledging sin).
2) In her psalm of praise to God she refers to Him as “God, my Saviour.” Luke 1:46-47
3) Her last recorded words were at Jesus’ first miracle, the wedding at Cana. They are very telling. “Do whatever He tells you to do.”
4) John, into whose care Jesus placed her, knew Mary the best, yet he records the least about her. That is significant.
5) When his brothers come looking for Jesus in Luke 8:19-21 Jesus begins to distance himself from His earthly family to show that the service to God, and in particular His work as Messiah is more important than anything else.
6) After Jesus is raised from the dead, Mary is seen in the upper room, along with the other disciples, praying, not being prayed to.
7) We have no details about her life or death after this. Her purpose in life, while significant, was over. She gave birth to the Messiah, raised Him, and then became one of His followers. Her work, like that of John the Baptist, had ceased.

-What must it have been like to have had the perfect child? No rebellion, no tantrums, no selfishness? She must have really noticed the difference once she had the other children.

Mary, Did You Know?
By Mark Lowry

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
And this child that you delivered
Will soon deliver you?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
And when you kissed your little baby
You’ve kissed the face of God?

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding
Is the great I AM.

A Brief Word on Mariolatry

-although I would like to focus just on the positive aspects of the life of Mary, reading only what we find out about her in Scripture, one can’t ignore the monolith of Roman Catholicism, which has deceived so many, in particular in relation to Mary.
-We already looked at the R.C. view of the perpetual virginity of Mary. Keep in mind, this becomes a slippery slope, and for one thing to be true, it assumes other things.
-the R.C. view of the immaculate conception; when a Protestant hears the term, they assume they are referring to Christ, and they would agree with that. They are referring to Mary.
-further, this leads to the doctrine of the sinlessness of Mary, both that she did not commit sin, and that she could not sin.
-all these steps lead to her deification (making her God). Mariolatry demands it. In order to give her the worship they feel she deserves, she must be sinless.
-there is no Scriptural support for this view, but then the R.C.’s never let that stand in their way. Further, they pronounced anathemas (curses) on anyone who did not believe these doctrines, or questioned them.
-Since Mary refers to herself as a sinner, that should settle whether or not a Christian should pray to her.
-she is an admirable character, greatly blessed by God, but she was not sinless. She was only human. She needed to be born again.
-they then had to go farther back to say that she was without original sin (a sinful nature), which is further attested to in her own virgin birth.
-then, if she has no sinful nature, and did not sin during her life, why would she need to die, since death is the penalty for sin?

-“She is given a supernatural entrance into life, and must have a supernatural exit from life.” Ibid. pg.163

-to fix that ‘problem’, one Pope said, she died, but rose again on the third day (sound familiar?) and was taken up into Heaven, escorted by Jesus and an entourage, and made the Queen of Heaven.
-read quote on page 162 of Roman Catholicism on the assumption of Mary.
-then, seated in Heaven, she makes intercession for the millions of people who seek her assistance. How does she do this, being a mere human? Can she hear all prayers, indeed, any prayers? Well, only if she is given the quality of omniscience.
-now, you can pray to her, since she is seen as MORE sympathetic than Jesus.
-this is totally false and missing the point of the incarnation, itself. That’s why God became man, after all. To feel what we feel.

-“They see her as having a mother’s heart, and influence over her son, because ‘what son would refuse the request of his mother?’” Ibid. pg 147

“How dishonouring it is to Christ to teach that He is lacking in pity or compassion for His people, and must be persuaded to that end by His mother! When he was on earth it was never necessary for anyone to persuade Him to be compassionate, rather when He saw the blind and the lame, the afflicted and hungry, He was ‘moved with compassion’ for them and lifted them out of their distress. He had immediate mercy on the wicked but penitent thief on the cross, and there was no need for intercession by Mary although she was there present. His love for us is as great as when He was on earth; His heart is as tender; and we need no other intermediary, neither His mother after the flesh, nor any saint or angel, to entreat Him on our behalf.” Ibid. pg 147-148

-the great antithesis is not between Eve and Mary, but between Adam and Christ.
-the R.C. view has Christ not as a risen Saviour, but a helpless babe or a dead man on a cross. This is the reason we don’t have crucifixes. The cross is empty, as is the tomb. We serve a risen Saviour!
-the R.C.’s, although they give Mary characteristics that only God can have, will admit she is not technically divine.
-nevertheless, they associate her with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in matters of salvation, and refer to her as a co-Redemptrix with Christ.

“At the present rate, we eventually shall have in Heaven no longer a Trinity, but a quartet!” Ibid. pg164

-What is the remedy for Mariolatry? Let the Roman Catholic people read their Bibles, particularly the New Testament. There they will find the living, compassionate, redeeming Christ, with very little said about Mary.”
-this is part of the reason they are discouraged from reading their Bibles.

- this series has looked at five simple, obscure women, made incredible because they were chosen to play a part in the greatest story ever told.

Questions or comments?

Monday, March 21, 2011


March 21, 2011.

Outside my and grey. Not too Springy.
I am thinking...I must be worried. I woke up twice today, upset because I dreamed that members of my family made poor decisions. It's probably because I am worried about another member of my family. I should just pray for her instead, and if she really is a believer, she'll see what she's doing does not honour God.
I am thankful for...good preaching. I've been at this church almost 27 years, and have benefitted from at least two hours per week of solid, Biblical preaching. I've heard that if you have had at least one year of Sunday school, you already have more training than some Pastors in certain countries.
From the kitchen...beef teriyaki stir fry.
I am wearing...jeans and a green sweater.
I am reading...Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.
I am relative will feel convicted about her choices.
Around the house...we had relatives over on Friday night. It was good to catch up. Saturday was a quiet and sedate day: my husband was writing his sermon, I was writing my message for the Ladies' Meeting, my daughter was writing a poli-sci paper. We were scattered throughout the house on different computers. Even my other daughter was writing a paper in Hamilton. Both girls have their summer jobs lined up. They are both camp counsellours, but in different places. On Sunday, my sister's family came for dinner. My husband had a busy morning at church, since he was also preaching, but it went well. He preached on the Whole Armour of God. Pedro Rodrigues preached in the evening, on Prayer.
One of my favourite things...teaching adults. After 24 years of teaching children, I feel like I finally found my niche. I like teaching the College and Careers, and the Ladies.
Some plans for the four nights. I don't mind so much because the madness has ended, and now we are back to our usual busyness, without six leukemia patients. On Thursday morning, I'm required to do some Fire Marshall training. Someone's bright idea. I was volun-told. All I know is I won't get home until after 11 a.m. and still have to work again on Thursday nigt. Just griping in advance. Saturday morning, I'll be speaking on Mary, at our Ladies' Meeting.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tsunami in Japan

March 14, 2011.

Outside my window...a sunny,bright day. I'm wearing a thinner jacket and running shoes, trying to hurry spring along. It was daylight savings time change this weekend, so even though I feel more groggy, it's nice to be going to work in the evening when the sun is still shining.
I am thinking...this past weekend there was an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. They also had a volcano erupt, and explosions at their nuclear power plant. So sad. Whole towns were swept away, even many inland who would have never expected a tsunami. These events show the sovereignty of God and the power of God. Life is short. Life is fragile.
I am thankful for...good news of friends. My friend, Cathy West has her first book coming out tomorrow, on Amazon. It's called Yesterday's Tomorrow and is set during the Vietnam war. Go out and buy it.
From the kitchen...cod, broccoli, and veggies and dip. My husband and I are serious about the diet I did last year that worked for me. Unfortunately, I gained it all back. Round Two.
I am wearing...jeans and a grey sweater.
I am reading...Sunset Beach by Trish Perry, and Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander.
I am get through these shifts this week. I honestly dread going to work these days, and you know I've always loved my job. I really hope these "temporary" changes will not become permanent.
I am hearing...conversations on the train. Some Anarchists are talking about Pride week. I don't agree with either one.
Around the house...we had our girls' night/Jane Austen marathon. It was hardly a marathon since we're too old to stay up late. We watched the BBC version of Sense and Sensibility, and then a modern movie called The Jane Austen Book Club, about a group of women who read all six books and discuss them. Their lives are supposed to parallel the stories, but they added in the usual gay storyline, which has nothing to do with any of her novels. It ruined a perfectly good movie for me. On Saturday, we quested downtown to find a vintage store. Cathy's book is set in the 1960's, so she needed to find a dress for her book launch party next week. It was a successful trip. We also enjoyed time with Kody, my daughter's friend's puppy. Makes me want one. I was in the nursery on Sunday and it was relatively painless. We had fellowship after the evening service because our Pastor and his wife are travelling to Texas for three weeks.
One of my favourite things...a fresh haircut, except he styled it so poofy, I look like a mushroom.
Some plans for the three nights. Get my hair highlighted on Friday morning, to hide my greys. Have my mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law over for dinner and a hot tub on Friday, work on and finish my message on Mary for the following week, and then my husband is preaching on Sunday morning. It's been a while since he's preached. Pedro Rodrigues is preaching in the evening.

Monday, March 7, 2011

So Close to the Kingdom

March 7, 2011.

Outside my window...snow on the ground, but milder, and the sun is still shining at 6 p.m. Come on, Spring!
I am husband had the opportunity to share the gospel very clearly with my mom the other day. He was telling her about the Christian foundations course he's beginning to teach next week. The curriculum, Creation to Christ, has a timeline. He showed it to her and reviewed how God chose Abraham, Noah, Moses, David, etc. She said, "So that's where Jesus fits in? I think I understand." That's huge. Not understanding was always one of her big excuses. She also admitted she is a sinner. That's another huge step. Then she said, "But I don't feel like one of you." My husband told her that if God is opening her eyes to understand the gospel, she just needs to obey and the feelings will come later. He told her to pray. She thanked him for not pushing her. He said that's not how it works. She needs to deal with God herself. Then he prayed with her, but didn't want to 'decision' her. She is so close to the Kingdom, but not there yet. Please pray. Only God can change her heart. If you knew how hostile she was to the gospel when I was saved over 30 years ago, you'd know how amazed I am that she is at this stage. She'll be 71 this month. Lord, please save her! I hope she'll begin the classes with my husband. It could be just what she needs. He's a good teacher and the curriculum is very basic, but a good overview of what the Bible teaches.
I am thankful for...a job that pays 100% sick benefits, so our income wasn't affected when I was off work last week.
From the kitchen...tacos.
I am reading...Thirsting Soul: The Saving Work of God in the heart of man, by Roger Fellows.
I am hoping...that I feel okay at work this week. I'm not 100% yet, but I ended up missing all four of my nights last week. I felt so week, I couldn't do anything but sit around. I had a cough and body aches, mostly, but thankfully no fever. Now my husband has it.
I am hearing...the train.
Around the house...My husband missed church yesterday because of illness. That rarely happens. My eldest will be home on Friday night. My youngest was interviewed for membership at her church. She also received a favourable response from one of her job applications, but is torn because she's still waiting to hear from some of the jobs she applied for with the Ontario Government, which she'd rather have.
One of my favourite things...a new show I saw yesterday, called Secret Millionaire. I thought Extreme Makeover, Home Edition made me cry! It really is a great feeling to be the answer to someone's prayer, even if we can't give away thousands of dollars.
Some plans for the three nights. Shop, clean and bake. Host a girls' night/Jane Austen movie marathon with my eldest daughter, two of her friends, and the mom of one of her friends. Kody, the dog will be coming, too. I'm making homemade pizzas and lemon poppyseed cake. Should be fun, if I can locate enough of the movies.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Funeral Plans

Sounds morbid, I know. But hey, I’m an oncology nurse. That makes me a realist. I know people die every day, and that I will also one day, die. Also, the fact that I am currently home from work suffering from a bad cold, makes me think about it. No, I don’t feel sick enough to die, but I might as well plan for it while there are no strong feelings attached to the idea of planning my funeral.

I’ve mentioned this to my family before, but I suppose it’s best to write these things down, so that my wishes are there for them and they don’t have to wonder what to do.

That being introduced, I would like three hymns sung at my funeral. I will include them in their entirety, because I don’t want particular verses left out inadvertently, and I also would like them sung to a particular tune.

The first is my favourite hymn, And Can it Be? By Charles Wesley
It’s my favourite because I am still amazed that God would take me, an arrogant and ignorant person, and make me interested in His great work on the cross.

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain-
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father's throne above
So free, so infinite His grace-
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race:
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray-
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

The next is O for a thousand Tongues to Sing by Charles Wesley, 1739
I would like it sung to the tune that we sing at the Carey conference, with men and women each singing their parts, and sing it loudly and heartily, because I’ll be listening from the rafters.

O for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my god and King, The triumphs of his grace.

My gracious Master and my God, Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad, the honors of they Name.

Jesus, the Name that charms our fears, That bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ‘Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of reigning sin, He sets the pris’ner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.

He speaks and, list’ning to his voice, New life the dead receive;
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice; The humble poor believe.

The other is Be Still my Soul, by Katharina von Schlegel, 1697
Number 579 in the Trinity Hymnal, sung to the tune of Finlandia, of course.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on they side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy god to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know his love, his heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: they Jesus can repay
From his own fullness, all he takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

If there is time, I also like Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness, by Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, 1739 Number 439 in the Trinity Hymnal, because of the words.

Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies;
Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.

Jesus, be endless praise to thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me—
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.

O let the dead now hear thy voice;
Now bid thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness.

If possible, I would like our friend John Himanen, to sing his song, I Know You Well. If that is not possible, I would like it played as the casket is taken from the church.

The day will come when all our work here on earth is done
And we'll leave this troubled world behind
It may be soon for I know Jesus waits for me
And He yearns to place His hand in mine
Well the future is not mine to see but here today
I give Him all my life to hear Him say

I know you well, you ran the race
You made your home inside My grace
I know you well, you fought the fight
You did not waver when I called you to stand for what's right
I know you well.

I do not look for man's applause in choosing how I live
I have no need of worldly fame
Above all else I pray each moment of my life
Would glorify His holy name
And of all the things that ever will be said of me
Lord, I long to hear that You've been pleased.

I know you well, you ran the race
You made your home inside My grace
I know you well, you fought the fight
You did not waver when I called you to stand for what's right
I know you well, I know you well, My child.
I know you well.

If I had the gift to speak in tongues of men and angels
And if I had the faith so mountains I could move
What wouuld I gain if love was lost in reaching greatness
If you could not say to me

I know you well, you ran the race
You made your home inside My grace
I know you well, you fought the fight
You did not waver when I called you to stand for what's right
I know you well, I know you well, My child.
I know you well.

I asked my husband once about writing a verse from a hymn on my tombstone. He said, ‘no way, you have to pay by the letter’. Oh, well, so he’s not always sentimental. So I said, ‘okay, at least write that verse on my funeral program.’
Perhaps a bible verse on my tombstone. Something short, like “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Or even just, “saved by grace”.

The verse is from the hymn, The Sands of Time are Sinking, by Anne R. cousin, 1857
Trinity hymnal, 599 the last verse.

“The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory,
But on my King of grace;
Not at the crown he gifteth,
But on his pierced hand:
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Emmanuel’s land.”

I would also like someone to read the following quotation from Richard Baxter’s book, The Saint’s Everlasting Rest. Following was a review I wrote of his book, Aim High.

Richard Baxter was a Puritan Pastor in England from 1615-1691. He wrote many books, which were, essentially, a collection of his sermons. This quote is from his book, The Saints' Everlasting Rest. It gives you perspective about the brevity of this life in the light of eternity. No one could doubt the pastoral heart of Baxter, or his own love for the Saviour. An eleven year old boy who was dying, asked to have some of Mr. Baxter's book, so that he could "read a little more of eternity before I go to it."
It is written from the perspective of a soul newly arrived in glory and reflecting on the journey and the destination he/she almost missed out on. I can't read it without crying.

"From heaven's height the soul surveys the Promised Land. Looking back on earth, the soul views the dreary wilderness through which it passed. To stand on Mount Memory, comparing heaven with earth, fills the soul with unimaginable gratitude, and makes it exclaim:
'Is this the inheritance that cost so much as the blood of Christ? No wonder! O blessed price! Is this the result of believing? Have the gales of grace blown me into such a harbor? Is this where Christ was so eager to bring me? O praise the Lord! Is this the glory of which the Scriptures spoke, and of which ministers preached so much? I see the Gospel is indeed good news!
Are all my troubles, Satan's temptations, the world's scorns and jeers, come to this? O vile, nature, that resisted so much, and so long, such a blessing! Unworthy soul, is this the place you came to so unwillingly? Was duty tiresome? Was the world too good to lose? Could you not leave all, deny all, and suffer anything for THIS? Were you loathe to die to come to this? O false heart, you had almost betrayed me to eternal flames and lost me this glory! Are you not ashamed now, my soul, that you ever questioned that Love which brought you here? Are you not sorry that you ever quenched His Spirit's prompting or misinterpreted His providence, or complained about the narrow road that brought you to such a destination?
Now you are sufficiently convinced that your blessed Redeemer was saving you, as well when he crossed your desires, as when he granted them; when he broke your heart, as when he bound it up. No thanks to you, unworthy self, for this crown; but to God be the glory for ever!'"

But above all, at my funeral, preach the gospel. Remind everyone there, that life is brief at best and they will soon stand before the God of all the earth. He will either be their Saviour or their Judge.