Funeral|Memorial Day [v28]

JUNE 2001

IN REMEMBRANCE — A few days ago, one of my good friends, Rob Marklewitz, past away suddenly. He had always watched what he ate and was in good physical shape. He was rested and re-invigorated from a recent vacation in the Keys. But a ‘minor’ inflammation of his liver quickly developed taking his life the next day–why??!

He was a very giving person that had a ‘zest’ for learning new things–and ‘life’ challenged that quality extensively. After graduating with a fine arts degree from the Center for Creative Studies, he built a video production company, Vision Production, in the late 80’s. Seeing an opportunity, he re-focused the company’s efforts into the leading-edge area of multi-image presentations for annual meetings and product introductions. Vision became a premier supplier and grew substantially.

As the auto industry had done before, the early 90’s saw them “pull the plug” on these ‘extravaganzas.’ So, with the innovative skills of a young programmer, John Wolak, they developed computer-aided interactive multi-media presentations. But the ‘instantaneous’ change in the market left them with large “old technology” leases to be paid while investing in new equipment for the future. This put Rob in dire financial straits personally, but he was determined to “pay everyone back.” As he had done many times before, he ‘re-invented’ himself again and used all he had learned to ‘resurrect’ Vision to be a considerable web site production company. He NEVER GAVE UP!!!

I will miss him. It is always hard for us to be separated from those we have been close to. None of knows how long we will have on this Earth–and life can be taken from us suddenly. But death does not have to be the “end of the road”–it can merely be a ‘gateway’ to eternal life beyond the grave. The Bible teaches that every one of us will continue some type of existence after death–either in heaven or in hell. The most important decision you will ever make is the decision you make about eternity.

This Memorial Day holiday, as we think about the courageous men and women that gave their very lives for our county’s freedom, might I suggest that you seriously consider why Jesus gave His life for you.

The Bible says that Christ died on the cross and shed His blood for our salvation, and God raised Him from the dead to demonstrate, beyond doubt, that here is hope beyond the grave. As one of the best-attested facts of history, Josephus, a Jewish historian, stated that Jesus did rise from the dead and was seen physically by many people in the weeks after His resurrection. God, in His great mercy, will give us the wonderful free gift of a new birth into “an inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade”–if we just sincerely ask.

Do you have this hope today? If you were to die tonight, do you know–beyond doubt–that you would go to Heaven to be with God forever? A place of perfect peace and beauty, the fullness of great joy, and where there “shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain.” None of us need to fear death. You can have this certainty if you confess your sins to God and trust Christ alone for your salvation and eternal security. Nothing offers more courage, security, optimism, and confidence that this life is not our destination.

Might I challenge you to earnestly consider giving your life to Jesus without delay. If you truly seek Him with all your heart, He will show you His ‘face.’ He will NEVER GIVE UP on you!

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v28) for JUNE 2001
(NOTE: Please send your ‘thoughts’ to me at: mbesh@ameritech.net)

I am glad to organize and distribute more ‘stuff’ if y’all send it to me…

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SEE IT THROUGH
When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!
[Edgar A. Guest]

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Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air… but only for one second without hope.  [Hal Lindsey]

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CHOICE
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.  [Victor E. Frankl]

We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.  [Thomas Merton]

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.  [William Jennings Bryant]

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MEMORIAL DAY – A DIRGE FOR TWO VETERENS
The last sunbeam
Lightly falls from the finish’d Sabbath,
On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking,
Down a new-made double grave.

Lo, the moon ascending,
Up from the east the silvery round moon,
Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon,
Immense and silent moon.

I see a sad procession,
And I hear the sound of coming full-key’d bugles,
All the channels of the city streets they’re flooding,
As with voices and with tears.

I hear the great drums pounding,
And the small drums steady whirring,
And every blow of the great convulsive drums,
Strikes me through and through.

For the son is brought with the father,
(In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell,
Two veterans son and father dropt together,
And the double grave awaits them.)

Now nearer blow the bugles,
And the drums strike more convulsive,
And the daylight o’er the pavement quite has faded,
And the strong dead-march enwraps me.

In the eastern sky up-buoying,
The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin’d,
(‘Tis some mother’s large transparent face,
In heaven brighter growing.)

O strong dead-march you please me!
O moon immense with your silvery face you soothe me!
O my soldiers twain! O my veterans passing to burial!
What I have I also give you.

The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.
[Walt Whitman]

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A MEMORIAL DAY PRAYER
Eternal God,
Creator of years, of centuries,
Lord of whatever is beyond time,
Maker of all species and master of all history —
How shall we speak to you
from our smallness and inconsequence?
Except that you have called us to worship you
in spirit and in truth;
You have dignified us with loves and loyalties;
You have lifted us up with your lovingkindnesses.
Therefore we are bold to come before you without groveling
[though we sometimes feel that low]
and without fear
[thought we are often anxious].
We sing with spirit and pray with courage
because you have dignified us;
You have redeemed us from the aimlessness
of things’ going meaninglessly well.
God, lift the hearts of those
for whom this holiday is not just diversion,
but painful memory and continued deprivation.
Bless those whose dear ones have died
needlessly, wastefully [as it seems]
in accident or misadventure.
We remember with compassion those who have died
serving their countries
in the futility of combat.
There is none of us but must come to bereavement and separation,
when all the answers we are offered
fail the question death asks of each of us.
We believe that you will provide for us
as others have been provided with the fulfillment of
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
[Rev. Dick Kozelka]

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WHAT IS A DAD?
A Dad is a person who is loving and kind,
And often he knows what you have on your mind.
He’s someone who listens, suggests, and defends
A dad can be one of your very best friends!
He’s proud of your triumphs, but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient and helpful and strong
In all that you do, a dad’s love plays a part.
There’s always a place for him deep in your heart.
And each year that passes, you’re even more glad,
More grateful and proud just to call him your dad!

Thank you, Dad…for listening and caring, for giving and sharing, but, especially,
for just being you!   Happy Father’s Day   [Dave & Sonya]

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MY HERO
As I ponder the love that I saw in his eyes,
A Godly love, given without compromise….
I recall many times that he stood by my side,
And prodded me on with great vigor and pride.
His voice ever confident, firm and yet fair,
Always speaking with patience, tenderness and care.
The power and might of his hands was so sure,
I knew there was nothing we couldn’t endure.
It’s true, a few others provided insight,
Yet, he laid the foundation that kept me upright.
He’s the grandest of men to have lived on this earth,
Although he’s not royal by stature or birth.
He’s a man of great dignity, honor and strength.
His merits are noble, and of admirable length.
He’s far greater than all other men that I know,
He’s my Dad, he’s my mentor, my friend and hero.
[Debbie Hinton Young]

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BRINGING UP FATHER
When I was a boy of 14,
my father was so ignorant
I could hardly stand to have
the old man around.

But when I got to be 21,
I was astonished at how much
the old man had learned in seven years.
[Mark Twain]

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MOTHER TERESA’S PRAYER
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
…Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
…Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
…Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
…Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
…Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
…Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
…Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
…Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

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DON’T MISS THE GRACE
“I’m not sure I’ll meet the criteria on the Day of Judgment.”
“I’m just not sure I’ll measure up when I face God.”
“I’m not sure I’ve done enough to get in.”

OUCH! Those words of doubt and despair really hurt. I hope they’re not your words.

Many of the world’s religions make acceptance by its god the responsibility of the worshipper. If he or she works hard enough, is dedicated enough, does enough good works, then maybe that person can achieve his or her reward. If, however, that person doesn’t do enough good works, too bad! They’ll have to try it all over again on a return
trip through mortality or have to settle for something short of the ultimate reward. Goodness is something to be achieved, earned, and accomplished by had work, dedication, and personal sacrifice. So get with it and hope your god likes what it sees.

At first glance, and to many popular observers of Christianity, the Christian faith isn’t a lot different. This, however, is not the case at all.

Jesus tells us we can be born again, this time into God’s family (John 3:3-7). Once we’re born of God, we are God’s children and a glorious future awaits us (cf. 1 John 3:1-3). We’re part of the Father’s eternal family, adopted at the cost of Jesus’ death on the Cross. We’re not striving to get accepted by God; we’re already accepted because of the price Jesus paid! We’re not working to be righteous; God declares us righteous by the atoning work of his Son on the Cross and by the power of his incredible resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21; Romans 4:25). Our lives are motivated by the joy of being God’s children and our desire to reflect his character and grace. “Is there really that big a difference between the two concepts? It sounds so much the same, what does it really matter?” Yes! The difference is everything. It matters eternally. It is the difference between a suffocating and depressing driven faith, or a liberating and exhilarating empowered faith. Don’t trust me, read Paul’s letter to the Galatians!

Doing good deeds to be accepted by God is to turn our backs on grace and try to gain our own salvation based on our own merits, works, and efforts Galatians 5:4. Reaching, struggling, and striving for something that we will never accomplish is debilitating; we cannot be “good enough” to deserve heaven. Each of us will fall short of God’s glory; none of us will be declared righteous if God is our standard (Romans 3). Bottom line: If we don’t measure up to him, then we don’t get in! If we have to reach that standard by our good works, then life is a journey of the damned and religion is divine mockery of our human failure. On the other hand, Christians know that God has made them full heirs of heaven by his grace Romans 8:14-17) . Their passion is to be like their Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. They know that they have been accepted by God and made holy by the work of Jesus. They know they will never completely measure up to the perfection of their Father on their own. But, because they know they are already part of God’s family and that he has given them eternal life (cf. 1 John 5:13), theirs is a journey of joy. They can rejoice in the outcome of their faith as well as the progress God is making in them 1 Peter 1:8-9). They know that God is at work in them through his Spirit to make them more like Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18). Their motivation is a heart of thanks because of the tremendous gift of salvation that God has given them. Their desire is to reflect God’s glory and his grace those around them. Their joy is to see others born into the Kingdom of God.

I hope your heart’s desire is to be the kind of person that God wants you to be. But please, open your eyes. If you are a child of God, a disciple of Jesus, God wants you to live with passionate and holy joy at being ransomed, redeemed, and saved by his grace. He doesn’t want you worried whether or not you’re going to get in, meet the criteria, or you’ve done enough to earn your way in. God asks you to be faithful to who he has made you and to be honest before him about your imperfections, trusting in Jesus to save and perfect you.

Jesus has paid the ransom price to redeem us. Let’s live like we’re redeemed, not like we’re afraid of where we stand!   [Phil Ware]

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DON’T EVER STOP DREAMING YOUR DREAMS
Don’t ever be reluctant
to show your feelings when
you’re happy, give in to it.
When you’re not, live with it.

Don’t ever be afraid to
try to make things better you might
be surprised at the results.

Don’t ever take the weight of the
world on your shoulders.
Don’t ever feel threatened by the future,
take life one day at a time.

Don’t ever feel guilty about the past
what’s done is done.
Learn from any mistakes you might have made.

Don’t ever feel that you are alone
there is always somebody there
for you to reach out to.

Don’t ever forget that you can achieve
so many of the things you can imagine. …
It’s not as hard as it seems.

Don’t ever stop loving
don’t ever stop believing,
don’t ever stop dreaming your dreams.
[Author Unknown]

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I CAN
I can’t give solutions to all of life’s problems, doubts, or fears. But I can listen to you, and together we will search for answers.

I can’t change your past with all it’s heartache and pain, nor the future with its untold stories. But I can be there now when you need me to care.

I can’t keep your feet from stumbling.
I can only offer my hand that you may grasp it and not fall.

Your joys, triumphs, successes, and happiness are not mine;
Yet I can share in your laughter.

Your decisions in life are not mine to make, nor to judge;
I can only support you, encourage you,
and help you when you ask.

I can’t prevent you from falling away from friendship, from your values, from me.
I can only pray for you, talk to you and wait for you.

I can’t give you boundaries which I have determined for you,
But I can give you the room to change, room to grow, room to be yourself.

I can’t keep your heart from breaking and hurting,
But I can cry with you and help you pick up the pieces and put them back in place.

I can’t tell you who you are.
I can only love you and be your friend.
[Unknown]

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EMBROIDERING YOUR LIFE
When I was little, my mother used to sew a great deal. I would sit at her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She informed me that she was embroidering.

As from the underside I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat.

She would smile at me, look down and gently say, “Child, you go about your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side.”

I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with the bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few minutes would pass and then I would hear Mother’s voice say, “Child, come and sit on my knee.”

This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower, or a sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy.

Then Mother would say to me, “My child, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that there was a plan on the top.

It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing.”

Many times through the years I have looked up to Heaven and said, “Father, what are You doing?”

He has answered, “I am embroidering your life.”

I say, “But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The threads seem so dark. Why can’t they all be bright?”

The Father seems to tell me, “‘My child, you go about your business of doing My business, and one day I will bring you to Heaven and put you on My knee and you will see the plan from My side.”  [Author Unknown]

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Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability. Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and to others.

If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, and troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from one another never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back; neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration they say just what they think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God.  [Francois Fenelon]

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THAT’S WHEN A MAN NEEDS A BROTHER
Lonely and alone, discouraged and empty hearted
That’s when a man needs a brother

When the burden is heavy, the load to much to bear
That’s when a man needs a brother

When in despair, and needing someone to care
That’s when a man needs a brother

When the strong arm on your shoulders make the tears flow free
That’s when a man needs a brother

When the words, “we’ll make it through together” seem so sweet
That’s when a man needs a brother

When courage is needed and strength to carry on
That’s when a man needs a brother

When you think you can do it alone
That’s when a man needs a brother
[Author Unknown]

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YOUR CROSS
Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,
There will always be sunshine after the rain.
Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall,
But God’s always ready to answer your call.
He knows every heartache, sees every tear,
A word from His lips can calm every fear.
Your sorrows may linger throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish at dawn’s early light.
The Savior is waiting somewhere above
To give you His grace and send you His love.
Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,
God always sends rainbows after the rain.
[Andrew Chase]

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A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
[Chinese Proverb]

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DON’T WASTE YOUR PAIN
Dear God, please grant that
I shall never waste my pain
but invest it wisely.
Let me be a “wounded healer”
to lend a helping hand
to those who are stumbling or
have fallen along the way — for
to fall without getting up,
to fail without learning,
to sin without overcoming,
to be hurt without forgiving,
to be discontent without improving,
to be crushed without becoming more caring,
to make mistakes without gaining wisdom,
to suffer without growing more sensitive
to the needs of others —
makes of suffering a futile exercise,
a tragic loss, and of pain,
the greatest waste of all.
[Dick Innes]

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DEEP THOUGHT:
Let us all reflect and remember the special people that have been in our lives past–how they were an influence on the person we have become–and how the ‘seed’ they planted in us will continue to ‘grow’ and influence us even after they have left this Earth.

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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