but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -matthew 6:33

Monday, April 25, 2011

Planning a Funeral

As a psychology student at LMU, we normally take part in some interesting activities. I'm currently in a Human Development class, which picks up with adolescent years and ends with a study of death and dying. I just finished up doing 12 nursing home hours and needless to say that was an experience, but a good one at that. Our last assignment of the semester involves us planning our long term care plan and visiting a funeral home for arrangements. This of course raised some eyebrows because of the funeral home, but personally I thought it was kind of neat. I was nervous though until Kasey, a friend of mine, and me decided we would go together!

We arrived at Reeces Funeral Home in Harrogate this afternoon and made our way in. I happened to know the lady working the front desk, so this was able to take some more stress off. We told her why we were there and what we needed. She surprised us by asking if we wanted to take a tour! We could not turn that down!

First, we visited the room where families go to make arrangements. Next, we went into the casket room. This was pretty awesome. I never realized all the different ones there are to choose from. My preference was the Cedar wood with crepe lining while Kasey chose the copper. I have to say, the copper was pretty cool. There were also stainless steel ones...who knew?! After searching through the caskets, we made our way on through the home.

We came to the chapel, which was beautiful. She showed us an extra room that attaches onto the chapel itself. She said for families who come in for someone who has died and there is a step family involved, the extra room is for the families who do not get along and do not want to be seated in the same room during the funeral. This stunned me, that a family could not get along for a family member they all once knew. Next, she took us to a room that I will never forget. 

The only room left in the home for us to see was the room where everything happens- the embalming room. I was kind of eerie at first about going, but since Kasey was there with me I figured I could go. It of course was not nearly as bad as I imagined it to be...it wasn't like there were any bodies or anything. Just the machines in there though were enough to make me want to head back on down the hallway. 

The lesson I took away from this is even though death is not a topic anyone really wants to discuss, especially among family members, it is really important and helpful! The lady at Reeces told us how often children will come in there trying to plan a funeral for a parent and ends up bickering over which casket would be the best. As she said, that is the time for grieving, not arguing with the people who can ultimately be your support system. I at first saw this assignment as a nuesense, but not I see it as an assignment everyone should take part it. This way, there are no questions about your wishes once you are no longer able to wish them. It is not something you really do for yourself, but for those who are left behind you once you are gone.

Special thanks to Reeces Funeral Home for inviting us in and helping us out!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He has risen! He has risen indeed!

Ever since I can remember, at church we have had a tradition to look at your neighbor and say, "He has risen!"; then the neighbor replies back with, "He has risen indeed!". We have been blessed at Binghamtown by the tomb that Preacher Bingham II replicated from the garden tomb in Jerusalem. It sits behind the church and is visible all days of the year, but it plays a special role each Easter as the sunrise service takes place. We are shown once again how Jesus arose from His grave and holds the keys to hell. That is one magnificent promise.

There were a number of baptisms during this morning's Easter service; several of which were children. While sitting with one of my good friends and co-workers I told her I might start crying. It only took the first child being baptized and I was already blubbering. It was an extraordinary sight to see though, and I do not regret one tear.

"I sing because there is an empty tomb. I sing because there is a power that saves. I sing because his grace is real to me. Oh I sing because I'm not alone. I sing because someday I'm going home, where I'm gonna sing throughout eternity". This very song is one I think of often that Jimmy used to sing in church. I miss hearing it so much, especially this morning. It also reminds me to pray for Jimmy each and every day. He leaves such an impression on lives through his music ministry and his talent of his voice.

Each year since I can remember, me and mom have made our anual bunny cake. It always amazed me when I was little because I never understood how you took two circles and made a bunny. Now that I understand that you can cut one of the cirlces and get two ears and a bowtie, it makes perfect sense. We normall have a white bunny, but this year we decided to go with a chocolate bunny. I personally like this one a lot better. I did everything in pink along with the speckled m&ms, while mom did the rest (baking the cake, cutting the cake, and frosting it with chocolate-the tedious parts!). 
Bunny Cake
Also, even though I am counting down the days until I am 20 (nineteen more days), one is ever too old to receive an Easter basket...

Lifesaver gummies, Lindor cookies and cream truffles, Reese's pieces carrot, and iTunes&Subway giftcards
I am so very blessed to say that I have been a born again Christian since I was six years old. I still remember the exact place I was when I accepted Christ into my heart and he saved me. It was on a Sunday night- the best Sunday night of my life. I have not been the same and I know without a shadow of a doubt Heaven will be my home.

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name" -Romans 1:4-5
The preacher gave the meaning of the word declared as: God being the guaranter of the guarante (our salvation).

He's alive and I'm forgiven! Heavens gates are opened wide!

Have you thought about accepting Jesus? If not, today is the perfect day to start a new life.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First Post

I have been interesed in blogging for a while now, but I have not had the time to do it. School is going to be ending soon so I figured with the extra time on my hands I might try this. I like trying new things, so blogging looked like a good option. I'm not sure how much extra time I will have this summer because I will be working 32 hours a week along with a 3 hour summer class but I am looking forward to it! I only have a few (3) months left of living at home, which mean I have 3 months to get everything ready for my room at lmu. I am most excited about decorating so I cannot wait to decide what my room theme will be.

I am very excited about the next couple of months. First off, come May 14th, I will no longer be a teenage! Yes, I will be 20. Not much comes with the age besides no longer being a teen. Also on this day, one of my very good friends will be getting married so I am very excited for them- Ashley and Adam. In June my cousin Rachel is also getting married. Congrats to both of these girls!

I'm most intrigued in following others blogs and posts instead of posting ones of my own. I will probably be posting about news and other topics I find interesting. Everything is a learning experience, and I expect that I will be able to do so through blogging.

God Bless.