I have spent years honing my spiritual life. I want to make sure each day, that I live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. I praise and thank God for my blessings each day of my life, and I love singing praises to Him throughout the day. It makes me feel good — inside and out.
Recently, though, I sat down with Coral Gables attorney Charlie Morgan Jr., a dear friend who let me know that while I work on my spiritual “house,” it is also important that I get my natural “house” in order.
That means taking care of end-of life matters such as having a will that includes naming a durable power-of-attorney; a healthcare surrogate; signing a release of private medical records; and having a living will.
I am not a woman of great means, so I never thought that it was important to have a will. In fact, I purposely put off creating a will. I kept telling myself that I would do it soon. However, I knew the importance of having a living will and a durable power-of-attorney because I was the caregiver for my dear mom for nearly seven years. My mom was bedridden, but in her right mind. One day she said to me, “When the Lord comes for me, let me go. Don’t try to keep me alive on any machine.”
I remember saying to her, “Mom, I don’t know if I could tell the doctor to pull the plug on you. You will have to put it in writing and sign it.” And so that is how my mom got her living will. When her time came, the burden was not on me. She got her wish of going peacefully to be with the Lord.
The conversation I had with my friend was not morbid, but wise. It opened my eyes to the importance of actually taking the time to get these things in order, that it is right with the Lord. As we talked, my mind wandered off to a familiar scripture int the Bible where God told King Hezekiah to “set his house in order: for thou shalt die and not live.”
While I haven’t yet received such a message from the Lord, I realize that none of us came to this earth to stay. And that it is a wise thing to leave our estates in good shape so as not to place a burden on our children and loved ones.
I learned so much through the visits and conversations I had with my friend Charlie Morgan Jr., who told me that without a will whatever I had accumulated could be tied up in probate court for years. His advice is worth thousands of dollars, but yet he saw fit as a Christian to share this valuable information with me.
As we talked, I thought of two incidents in the Bible — one in the Old Testament and the other in the New Testament — in which men were given new leases on life to put not only their natural “houses” but also their spiritual “houses” in order.
In Isaiah chapter 38, there is the story of King Hezekiah, who was “sick unto death” when the prophet Isaiah brought the message that the Lord had commanded him to “Set thine house in order: for thous shalt die, and not live.”
It seemed that although the king was a godly man, he had not settled his earthly matters. However, because he had lived a prayerful and faithful life before the Lord, he “turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord.”
Long story, short: The Lord heard Hezekiah’s prayers and saw his tears and added unto his days 15 more years.
Then, there is a similar story in the New Testament, in which an unidentified rich man boasted in the abundance of his earthly possessions. According to the Bible, he had so much that he thought he would build greater barns to bestow all his “fruits and goods.”
To paraphrase the scripture, the rich man would have enough to last him for many years and therefore could sit back, relax and “eat, drink and be merry.”
But the rich man failed in two ways: He had accumulated much and was only interested in getting his natural house in order. He did not consider his spiritual house.
This meeting with my friend was invaluable. There are other things to consider in ones life, than material wealth. And if you haven’t already done so, let me pass on this information to you:
Suppose you get struck by a truck and are left in a coma: Do you have a durable power-of-attorney? A healthcare surrogate? A release of private medical records or a living will, which will let your doctor know that you don’t want to be kept alive by artificial means?
Perhaps I am preaching to the choir. But I say to all who haven’t taken care of this important matter, stop procrastinating. Just do it.
Theological training available
The Sistah To Sistah Connection under the Jacksonville Baptist Theological Seminary is offering a one-year training program for ministry leaders, ministers, preachers, evangelists and teachers, who need in-depth teaching of the Bible.
The cost for early registration, from July 21 through Aug. 4, is $15 per person. After Aug. 4, registration is $25 per person. Tuition for the course is $80 per person for each four-week session.
Early registration will be held 1 p.m. July 22 at the Parkway Professional Building, 6151 Miramar Pkwy, Suite 204. For more information, email email@example.com, or go to the website sistahtosistahconnection.com. You may also call 786-246- 7578.
Party and scholarship dance
Holy Redeemer Catholic Church will host its third annual Mardi Gras/Dr. Earl and Barbara Allen Scholarship Dance 7 p.m. Aug. 4 in the M. Athalie Range Parrish Hall of the church, 1301 NW 71st St. in Liberty City. The event benefits the church’s graduating high school seniors who are pursuing college, technical, or United States military education.
The scholarship dance is named for Dr. Earl Allen and his wife Barbara. Allen was a graduate of Florida A & M University and received his degree in obstetrics/gynecology from the University of Miami. He went into private practice and served hundreds throughout his career. Allen initiated the scholarship program over 20 years ago by providing books and awards to graduating high school senior of the church.
The event will feature the Miami Bahamas Junkanoo Band fellowship and dancing. Tickets are $20 each. To purchase tickets, call 305-691-1701.
Adult Education Ministry
The Universal Truth Center for Better Living (UTC) at 21310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens will present its Adult Education Ministry’s 2017 Summer Event — Tai-Chi classes — from 11 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays at the church. The classes are on-going year round with a one-time registration fee of $15 per person and a love offering.
Call the church at 305-624-4991 for more information.
The community is invited to hear the Rev. Jean Dade-Batchie preach on the lesson topic, “Grace is Greater than Your Fears,” the third in the series “Boldly Living in Grace,” at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Also, there is still time to be a part of the discussion “Crazy Faith, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives” and be inspired by the words of such notables as Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela, Chris Gardner, Moses and others. The discussions, which began Tuesday, continues at 6:30 p.m. on July 18 and 25. Dr. Barbara B. Cobb will be the facilitator. Registration is $25 per person.
On July 19, Cobb will also lead a seminar from 6 to 9 p.m. on Chris Hogan’s book, “Retire Inspired.” The registration is $15 per person.
Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.