What Happens After Death?

Life is a gift – to be enjoyed and lived to the full. Yet life is uncertain and death is inevitable. In many ways, life is like a room with two doors. We enter through the door of birth and we leave through the door of death. There is a “time to be born and a time to die”. None of us knows the distance between those two doors.

Let’s face it, death is not something we like to talk about. Sometimes we live as if we’ll never die. No wonder, we are often unprepared for it (see my recent poem called Gone). The truth is, all of us have an appointment with death. No one escapes it. The last time I checked, the death rate was running at about 100%.

Some of the common questions people ask today are, “What happens after death?” and “Is there an afterlife?”

There has been some intriguing research done on near-death experiences. Of people who have been close to death, about 40 percent report a similar pattern: an experience of journeying through a tunnel, a burst of light, a feeling of being in the presence of a loving reality, quite often accompanied by a sense of being out of one’s body.

The last component sometimes includes a sense of being able to see one’s body from a vantage point beyond the body. A significant number of reports include details about what was going on that the person could not have witnessed from within his or her body.

This is very interesting, because if our consciousness and perception can even momentarily be separate from our bodies, then the modern linkage between the brain and human consciousness is called into question, and we have no idea what is possible beyond death. Just because a body stops breathing or a brain shuts down, doesn’t mean the person ceases to exist.

There are a wide variety of ways people have thought about this through history, including Christians and those of other religions. So, what happens after death – is it heaven, hell, purgatory, reincarnation, soul sleep, or nothing?

If heaven, are we the same person – or different? Will there be family reunions in heaven? Most funeral sermons suggest so. If so, is this good news or bad news? If you liked your family, this may be good news but if you didn’t, maybe not! Eternity with these people!?

The truth is that none of us knows for sure what happens after death. Of course, our beliefs are important but simply believing something doesn’t make it a reality.

Continue reading “What Happens After Death?”

Rene Conner Passes Away

Early last Thursday morning, my step-mum, Rene Conner passed away peacefully in her sleep at the Ringwood Private Hospital. She was 89 years of age. It was really hard to see her go but we are glad that she is now free from pain and discomfort. My 91-year-old dad found it very hard, as you can imagine.

Today we have a public thanksgiving service for her at CityLife Church at 12.30 pm Melbourne time.

UPDATE 21st October: You can watch the video recording of the service online at this linkI have summarised part of my message from the service in a post called “What Happens After Death?” and I wrote a poem recently called Gone.

Below is a brief eulogy of Rene’s life.

Continue reading “Rene Conner Passes Away”

Navigating the Storms of Life

Navigating the Storms of Life (JPEG)

Nahum 1:3. The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. NKJV

The book of Nahum is one of the 12 minor prophets found at the end of the Old Testament. Nahum lived in the seventh century BC during a time of great political upheaval due to the rise of the Assyrian Empire. His messages sought to encourage God’s people who were being oppressed by a seemingly invincible foe. The book opens with a song of praise to God for his power and justice. The spectacular manifestations of nature are symbolic of his power. Continue reading “Navigating the Storms of Life”

Stormy Winds

The-perfect-storm-michael-swanson

Have you ever been in the middle of a storm – a literal one or maybe a storm of adverse circumstances? I sure have – many of them and of all kinds. In fact, just over three years ago, Nicole and I were in the middle of what felt like a perfect storm. It was bigger and more fierce than anything we had ever experienced before and it was totality beyond our ability to control or navigate. There were headwinds blowing at us from multiple directions. Everything seemed to be shaking and we felt like we were in a spin of ginormous proportions. Continue reading “Stormy Winds”

Kid’s Humor (Part 2)

Children-laughing-together
I love kids. Especially their sense of humor.

No wonder Jesus loved them too. I love the story about Jesus and some children that is recorded in the Gospel of Mark (10:13-16) …

“One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them, but the disciples told them not to bother him. But when Jesus saw what was happening, he was very displeased with his disciples. He said to them, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.’ Then he took the children into his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.” [NLT]

Here are some of my favorite kids’ letters to the pastor.

  • “Dear Pastor, I’m sorry I can’t put more money in the offering, but my father didn’t give me a raise in my pocket money. Could you have a sermon about a raise in my pocket money?” Patty (10)
  • “Dear Pastor, How does God know the good people from the bad people? Do you tell him or does he read about it in the
    newspapers?” Marie (9)
  • “Pastor, I know God loves everybody but he never met my sister.” Arnold (8)
  • “Dear Pastor, I would like to go to heaven someday because I know my brother won’t be there.” Stephen (8)
  • “Dear Pastor, I liked your sermon on Sunday. Especially when it was finished.” Ralph (11)

Enjoy 🙂

Kid’s Humor (Part 1)

Laughing_kids
I hope you had an enjoyable Father’s day a few weeks back. It’s a happy day for many people as we take time to thank and honor our dads. But not for all. Maybe you always wanted to be a dad but it hasn’t happened OR you had an absent or abusive father OR maybe you didn’t even know your dad. That can be hard. May you know God’s comfort and strength.

My dad is 91 years of age now and he grew up in a Salvation Army boys home, never knowing his dad or mum. That was incredibly difficult for him but after he married my mum he tried to be the dad he never had to my sister and me.

When our kids were little, when father’s or mother’s day came around one of them was bound to say, “When’s kids day??” Of course, I told them that every day was kid’s day. I love children – their sense of wonder, their frequent laughter, and even their mischievousness.

I thought today I would post a few funnies from the kids of this world … enjoy!

Kid’s Doctrine – taken straight from Sunday Schools around the world:

  • “The first book of the Bible is the book of geniuses in which Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.”
  • “Noah’s wife’s name was Joan of Arc.”
  • “Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night.”
  • “Samson slayed the Philipines with the axe of the apostles.”
  • “Unleavened bread is bread that is made without ingredients.”
  • Moses went to the top of Mount Sianide to get the 10 commandments and the seventh one is, ‘Thou shalt not admit adultery’.”
  • “Solomon had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.”
  • “Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.”
  • “The people who followed Jesus were the 12 decibels.”
  • “The epistles were the wives of the apostles.”
  • “A Christian should only have one wife. That’s called monotony.”

[Source: Unknown]

NEW Book Release: “How to Avoid Burnout: Five Habits of Healthy Living”

How to Avoid Burnout (Front Cover) copyThis year I set a goal of writing three new books. Early in the year, I released Money Talks: Practical Principles for Becoming Financially Free which has already helped a lot of people.

I am excited to announce the recent release of How to Avoid Burnout: Five Habits of Healthy Living. Continue reading “NEW Book Release: “How to Avoid Burnout: Five Habits of Healthy Living””

Ancient Celtic Christianity

C
Have you ever heard of ‘Celtic Christianity’ or ‘Celtic spirituality’?

It refers to the form of Christian faith that existed among the Celtic-speaking people of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales during the Early Middle Ages. Although, we don’t know everything we’d like to know about these people, we can glean much from their writings and the historical narrative of their era.  Continue reading “Ancient Celtic Christianity”

NEW Book Release: “How to Avoid Burnout”

I am excited to announce the release of my latest book “How to Avoid Burnout – Five Habits of Healthy Living.”

Here is the description:

“In a world of rapid change, growing complexity and increasing pressure, stress and burnout are becoming far too common. In this practical book, Mark Conner shares five habits for healthy living, gleaned from his decades of experience as an organizational leader and Christian minister.” Continue reading “NEW Book Release: “How to Avoid Burnout””

Could You Live to 100 Years of Age? (Part 4)

100
Peter Drucker,
the father of modern management, once noted that we are the first generation to have two lives – a first half and a second half. Over a hundred years ago, many people lived to only 45-50 years of age. Now, as we have seen in this series of posts, many people are living well into their 70s and 80s … and some well beyond this (100+ and 110+).  Continue reading “Could You Live to 100 Years of Age? (Part 4)”

Beware: Impulse Buying!

Salesssss

I remember early on in our marriage shopping for a new BBQ. The store had a sale on so I bought not only a whiz bang BBQ but also a heap of extras to go with it. In the end, I had overspent and busted our budget plans. It took a few months to recover from that impulse buying spree. Nowadays, when Nicole and I are discussing a possible purchase we will often say to each other, “Let’s not do another BBQs galore!” Continue reading “Beware: Impulse Buying!”