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2019. I’m having trouble getting my head around that one. It seems like only yesterday, My wife and I were watching the fireworks as 1999 became 2000. I remember being so worried for about 4 months that the world was going to go haywire, because of computers not being able to cope with the New Millennium. We called it Y2K. Remember. People all over the world were storing up food, and water, and cash in case the modern world went off grid. In the States people stored up everything from guns and ammo to toilet paper. In a way, the fears over Y2K started the whole prepper movement.
Preppers are people who want to be ready for any emergency that hits us from a major problem with the grid to a zombie apocalypse. I was a prepper. I confess it freely. In my heart, I still am. I got to thinking about how easy it would be for something to go haywire. How would we get food, water, emergency supplies. I thought about it a lot and eventually came up with a plan. My wife and I made up a list and we went all out in getting it filled. We learned to grow our own food and eventually we became small farmers, like shareholders. We raised cows and goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and pigs. We stockpiled batteries and candles, soap, spices and toilet paper. We even bought 6 months supply of freeze dried food in case things got really bad. That stuff has a 25 year shelf life. I learned how to raise fish to eat. My wife learned to make soap. She turned that skill into a very profitable business. In the end, we had enough food stored up to last 2 years and I had enough seeds in storage to take care of us pretty much forever. We had a back up generator in case of long term power failure. I even had both a propane gas grill with 5 spare tanks of propane and a charcoal grill with several bags of spare charcoal in case we needed it for emergency cooking. I had spare fishing line and hooks, compasses, extra knives and knife sharpeners. We had a greenhouse. I could go on, but you get the point.
I my mind I was ready for anything. When I lost my job, and was unemployed for a long time, we had plenty of food and supplies. It turned an emergency into an inconvenience.
Why did we do it? Was I paranoid? Worried? Panicked? No, No and No. When you’re prepared you don’t have to worry. We had to eat anyway. We used soap and toilet paper anyway. By preparing, we were just being safe. I helped many people to also become preppers. I wrote articles for prepping websites. I had loads of fun. Like I said, Brittan turned her soap making into a profitable home based business.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because someday, all of us are going to die. We can’t avoid it. So far, death is pretty universal. Sometimes people live a very long time. Sometimes they die young. But I wonder how many of us look ahead and prepare.
For example, do you have a will? I know I need a new one. My life has changed a lot. I need to make some arrangements. I’m going to start on that tomorrow. Have you prepared your funeral arrangements? You could save your family a great deal of trouble, and heartache, that they don’t need, by making your arrangements in advance. You know, do you want songs? Which ones? Do you want certain people to offer eulogies? You know the drill.
What if you leave young children? What will happen to them? Have you made arrangements with someone for that likelihood?
Now, what about yourself? What arrangements have you made for your eternal destiny? Have you even given that any thought? When I look through history, and archaeological discoveries, I see very clearly that throughout the history of the human race, people have tried to make arrangements. From the ancient Egyptians to the Chinese emperors, we’ve found exquisite burial sites in their honor, with all kinds of things buried with people to assist them in their journey.
Oddly, many modern people don’t give it a single thought. We believe we’ve gone way beyond that kind of thinking. Yet, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the one thing that most people wonder about, and frankly are afraid of, is what happens after death? Do humans have a soul? Do we go somewhere? Thousands of books have been written about it. Movies galore. Every time someone has a near death experience and writes about it, the book becomes a best seller. We know that mediums and psychics make loads of money from people asking questions. Heck, even palm readers and travelers can set up a caravan and make a packet off of people who are unsure of their future.
Oddly, people rarely ask the Church about it anymore. Sometimes that’s because the answers people are given sound so trite or religious, that we’ve assumed Christians know less or have less viable information than anyone on the subject of life after death. Or, it’s presented in such a “repent or perish” kind of a style that we’re either scared or bored off.
That makes me sad. Because the Bible has a lot to say on the subject, yet most of us never ask. For example, the Bible does talk about an eternal place called Hell that’s pretty much not on anyone’s destination list. It really is a place, where the worms never dies and the fire is not quenched. Or outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Lovely. But did you know that the Bible says God doesn’t want anyone to go there. Yep, both Paul and Peter say it in those terms.
But God is perfect. Holy. And He can only have that around him. And all of us know that that leaves us out. We know we’re not perfect. All Of Us Know That’s a Fact. There’s no surprise there. But that’s why Jesus came. He wasn’t just another religious fanatic. He wasn’t some Green tree hugging hippie spouting for us to love one another and putting flowers down the barrel of tanks and cannons.
I know that’s how a lot of people think of him. But, for example, in the Gospel of John, when John the baptist saw him, He called Jesus, “the lamb of God.” We think of lams as cute little animals playing and frolicking in the fields all over Scotland. We even worry about them when one of them is sick or injured on the Yorkshire Vet television show. But lambs were also, sacrifices. Animals that were killed, with their blood spilled out, to ask God forgiveness. It’s gory and horrific to think about. But when John the Baptist said, “Look there’s the lamb of God.” He’s not calling Jesus a little cutie. He’s pointing out the Jesus was the one who would die for us. He would eventually be beaten savagely and nailed to a cross with his blood running everywhere so that we could be sure of a home with God in Heaven forever. And he proved who he was by rising from the dead three days later. Hundreds of people saw him. Not just one or two. I don’t know about you, but when a guy shows up three days after a public execution, I’m going to listen to what he has to say.
He says, I know you’ve messed up. I know all the dark things you done, all the thoughts that run through your mind, all the places you think no one knows you’ve gone. I know about your broken heart and your family. I know about your illness, physical and mental. I know everything there is to know about you. The good, the bad and the ugly. And I love you. See here are my hands and feet. I have the scars to prove how much I love you. I want you to live forever with me.
He wants to prepare you for what’s coming after you die. See, we can all prepare for what’s could happen here, while we’re still alive. I can tell you all about it. But as for what happens after you die, Jesus has already prepared a plan. He says, Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. But for some reason, we don’t. I think that’s so weird. I want you to think about it this New Year time. Who is this Jesus guy. Why does he say the things he says. Why did he do the things he did. Over the next several weeks we’re going to investigate several of the things Jesus did and said. I hope you’ll come back each week to see how this story ends. It’s really rather remarkable. If you have any questions or thoughts on what I have to say, send them to me. You can email, me email@example.com, you can use the comments on the website at www,radiofreebuckie.com, or you can send them via the radiofreebuckie FB page. I’d love to hear from you. I hope you’ll think very hard about these things. Until next week, Happy New Year. That’s all I’ve got for now. Talk to you soon. I’m out.