Thursday, January 30, 2014

Faith and Death

Do those who believe in God fear death? That is a question that I am not qualified to answer. As a pastor I have been at the bedside of a few people that died in a very calm sense. They were not medicated to the point that they were not aware of their surroundings. I have witnessed, on a couple of occasions, individuals that seemed to be in some struggle or turmoil as they died. That was evidenced by sighs, groans and other noises and motions. I do not know what was going on, except to say, their death didn't seem peaceful.

Scripture tells us that, "Love casts out all fear, for love is from God." I want to align that verse with some anecdotal stories that go back hundreds of years. I have a very old copy of, Foxes Book of Martyrs. Stories of the faithful being tortured and put to death are centered on the presence of peace and the presence of a presence. Nero used Christians to light his gardens at night. The martyr was impaled on a large pike, covered in pitch and ignited. Christ followers were noted to sing and praise God up to the time of death.

I have no doubt that God was with the untold thousands of His children that left this world into His kingdom. The question comes to my mind as to what takes place within the human spirit when a person embraces Christ. I believe that a change takes place in the mind and heart of the person who confesses their faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is at that point the human spirit enjoys an intimacy with God Himself.

When John Wesley was dying his friends and family were gathered around him. There had been singing and praying and the time of his departure was close at hand. His biographer wrote that as Wesley was drawing his lasts breath he said, "I'll praise my maker while I've breath, and when my life on earth is done, I'll praise him, I'll praise him." After those words the saint of God and founder of Methodism moved into another world.

I am not afraid to die. Do I want to die? No, not today or anytime soon. Will I be afraid to die as I watch my physical capabilities falter? Will I be afraid to die as I understand, to the extent that I can, my mental capabilities falter and fail? Today I am not. May the rest of my life be, Today.

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, is soon to be released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,

Friday, January 17, 2014

Afraid to Die

One of the greatest honors I receive as a writer is a response or question from a reader. To me it means that not only is a person taking time out of their life to read my sentences, they are thinking about what I have to express. I know people are really busy, really caught up in their own, everyday life, paying bills, dealing with stress, and on and on. So, when a reader takes the time to reveal a part of their heart and soul and ends with a question, I'm set back a bit.

Yesterday I received a note in the regular mail from a reader. The snail mail in and of itself was an indicator, to me, that the sender respected my opinion and desired a thoughtful answer. I must admit that I do not send out many handwritten notes anymore. I think the last one was to an artist friend who sent me a handwritten letter. It was probably guilt that made me respond in a hand printed response.

One of the points in the letter was very revealing. The writer admitted to being afraid to die. That admission has been stirring in my heart since I read the very plain and simple words, "I am afraid of dying." I am sure the profession could, possibly should, be repeated by millions of people in every land. Possibly should be repeated, yes, the fear, once professed can be owned and understanding begin to take place.

Death is a mystery. Very few people have ever really experienced it and live to talk about it. I have not, so to me it remains a mystery. I know what I have read about death, and the beyond. Writers have been putting into words ideas and images about death and the beyond. I have read their words and have gotten some solace and encouragement from them. Yet, in my heart death still presents a veiled experience. What will actually take place in my mind and spirit as my body yields to the inevitable  power of the grave?

Now, some of my friends might be thinking that I have had some type of, faith crisis. No, I am not in the midst of doubting my absolute faith in, and love towards, God and His son, Jesus Christ. I had my crisis of faith some years back and it is because of that experience I can talk about this today. 

Back to the topic on hand, the fear of dying. Some people fear the process of dying. The thought of a languishing illness that robs the spirit of dignity is disturbing to me. When my time comes I want it to be quick and over. I am already dealing with issues that have been given to me due to my spinal cord injury. In many instances spinal cord damage and humiliation can be synonymous. I have been at the side of folks that have died after prolonged disease and illness and it is never, never, to be watched with light heartedness or anything less than, humbly experiencing the final results of being human.

I will be adding to this subject in the next week or so. Please feel free to comment..

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, is soon to be released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,