Posts Tagged With: death

R.C. Sproul Jr. on the Death of his Daughter Shannon

As I’ve been following the events in this brother’s life since Shannon passed in early October, I’ve watched the glorious power of Christ at work to hold him up and keep his faith and trust in God. In this video of his preaching Shannon’s memorial service, the peace and hope in Jesus that brother Sproul possesses is open and visible. You would do well to watch this.

Grace to you,

-Justin

Categories: The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weep with Those Who Weep: Upon the Death of R.C. Sproul Jr.’s Daughter Shannon

Earlier today, R.C. Sproul Jr.’s daughter Shannon passed away and was caught into the arms of her gracious Creator. Only a little while ago this year his wife Denise passed away from cancer. R.C. Sproul Jr. has been transparent and honest in public (I follow him on Twitter) about his pain in losing Denise, while also relating joy and trust in God for all His good will to be done.

Shannon was a child with a serious medical disability whose life was definitively different than those of all her siblings, yet they all shared in the most important thing: the glorious love of Christ Jesus manifested through godly family. Although I don’t know this family personally, I am drawn into their joys and their grieving as I look on from afar. The grieving is obvious, but some people may wonder what joy I could be talking about. Read on and see…

I encourage you to watch this short clip from Joni Eareckson Tada’s TV show highlighting Sproul’s daughter Shannon. You will see the tragedy of her disability received as a God-given gift of grace. The reality of God’s complete control over our suffering is the obvious anchor for the Sproul family. In this video you will also see the now deceased Denise Sproul – and her caring, strong personality shines through just as R.C. so often describes her.

This all speaks to me in technicolor and 3-D of the love of God, His mercies, and His providential allowance of pain to draw us to Himself. Please pray for the Sprouls.

The Sproul segment starts about 14 minutes in. Please do visit and watch.

Click here for video.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Meaning Woven into Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Breath of Hope in Death

Like your first time downhill skiing without knowing how to stop, you fly towards death – yet there stands the great God and Savior with nail-pierced hands. Even a crash is safe when Jesus waits for you at the end.

Categories: One Breath | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Grateful for the Art of Whitney Houston

1963-2012

As a child of the late 80’s and early 90’s, I inevitably grew up listening to the peerless voice of Whitney Houston being played in my home, Walkman, and at any given supermarket around Buffalo. Before I was 10 years old, I knew I wanted to dance with somebody who loved me. I believe it is safe to say there are very few if any other recorded voices in history which were as marvelous as Whitney’s.

When I consider the works of a particular artist, especially regarding musical arts, originality and uniqueness are just about at the top of my list of criterion for how I judge quality. In this sense, Whitney did not invent R+B or soul music, but she was queen of the mountain in her class, doing it better than the others. I did love her style, and in memory of her life and career, give thanks to God for the lovely gifts He gives to the society of men.

It is singers and artists like Whitney who set the bar so high that I am made to feel like I am being cheated by the many wannabes out there pretending to have talent. Maybe that’s why my iPod does not have an extremely wide variety of artists…

Interpretation of her life and death

The media will inevitably molest the last fiber out of her death, prodding and poking into the deepest speculations of her psychology and downfall. I, on the other hand, will simply recognize that Whitney’s life and death illustrates biblical truth on a public, spectacle-laden level.

1) She was given a gift which brought her intense fame and success – a gift which was meant to awaken a worshipful thankfulness to God from her and from us the audience. I’m not saying her music didn’t do that, but sadly her lifestyle seems to have more so followed the Romans 1 darkening of the heart rather than the Psalm 107 enlightening of gratitude.

2) She was a mortal, a sinner like anyone else, and needed the same redemption as the lowest, most obscure peasant in India. No amount of talent or fame can lift a person above their need for the saving atonement for sin which Jesus accomplished at His cross, and in His resurrection from the dead. In this I do not judge whether or not Whitney trusted her life to Jesus at some point, receiving the forgiveness of her sins, but rather I recognize that her private life spoke of an unfulfilled longing for something more which all the money and fame did not provide to her. As C.S. Lewis said,

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

3) We can and should appreciate her art and talent, but never in a way that glorifies her, the creature, as it was all a gift and signs meant to point us to the glorious Creator – the greatest lover of music. The full meaning of music and the ecstasy we feel in listening to it is found in completing the equation: Beauty + the perception of beauty = joy and goodness unto thankfulness and worship of the Lord of the cosmos. God loves a cheerful worshiper, and He gives talents to men and women to then bring us the deepest, most satisfying joy of all; the joy of knowing and loving Him, being a vessel of mercy in the house of our Creator forever.

In coming months, I plan on delving into the art and interpretation of the cosmic meaning of another famous singer who died similarly to Whitney… my boyhood anti-hero Jim Morrison of The Doors.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: The Arts, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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