Friday, September 26, 2008

What is your testimony?

This morning, I had the privilege of attending a funeral for my friend's dad. He was a wonderful Christian man and it was very evident by how many people were there and what people had to say about him. I left not only feeling sad for the family he left behind but challenged thinking "what would they say at my funeral?" I want to live my life in a manner that not only pleases God but is a testimony to those who know me or would come to my funeral. I know this man believed as I do that "to Live is Christ and to die is gain". I want my funeral to be a time of praise and worship.
I know this may sound really morbid - but life is so short and we are not guaranteed another minute so I was thinking in the service ......if I died in childbirth or a car wreck tomorrow - what songs would I want sung? (I'm hoping to live to be at least 85 and see Harper's children but you just never know).

I know I would want "Blessed be the Name" sang!

This song has meant so much to me in the last year and I know that I want to praise God no matter what the circumstances.

I want this song sung, "Unto the Lamb" because I think I'll be singing it in heaven while my funeral is going on.

I want "Lord, You're Holy" sung. I couldn't find a video but it just calls out the name of Jesus.

And of course - my favorite David Crowder song - "Wholly Yours". I could sing this song 10,000 times and never get tired of it - it expresses just how I feel about God.

And "Canons" by Phil Wickham just makes me want to raise my hands and dance in praise to God!

I wonder - what songs would you want song at your funeral and why? (I'm not wishing death on anyone but I just wonder what songs you would want to represent you)


The Allens said...

I love Blessed be the Name and I can see that it would mean so much for you as you were waiting for God to grant you the gift of Harper. Amazing Grace is a big one for me. It was my grandmother's favorite song and my grandmother was a saint. I love Our God is an Awesome God. It is a bit more 'rowdy' than most songs at funerals, but I think at funerals it is important to remember that Our God IS an awesome God and He DOES reign in all circumstances - especially those we can not understand.

Wendy said...

Two for sure-I Can Only Imagine, this was played at my very dear friends funeral who died in a carwreck and left behind two small children, I have loved it ever since. And It Is Well With My Soul-because I want everyone to know I am ok, because I am with my King.

Rhonda said...

"He walks with me". I can still hear my daddy's voice singing that in his sweet tenor. I miss that man but when Jesus does see fit to call me home I know we will be together again as we both walk with our Heavenly Father!!

Johnson Boys said...

Hey Kelly I nominated you for an award jump over to my site to pick it up.

BTW congrats I love your prego stories I am on Baby #2 due on March 11th.

Kewiki said...

Definitely "In Christ Alone" during the funeral but afterwards it better be something I liked, maybe the Beatles Hippy Hippy Shake to celebrate!

Love your blog!


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

It Is Well With My Soul, My Jesus I Love Thee, and I Can Only Imagine.

Great question!!!

Brittany said...

Without completely racking my brain, because I haven't thought about it often, I know I would want "Go Rest High On That Mountain" by Vince Gill, "The Dance" by Garth Brooks, "How Great Is Our God", "Amazing Grace"... those are just a few off the top of my head - I will have to put more thought into it though and let my loved ones know!

While reading your post, I thought of this poem... it always gives me a reality check.

The Dash
copyright 1996 Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars....the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?

Jamie said...

You are not weird. I have thought about this before too.

I definitely want "It is Well" (With My Soul).

Old song but so good!!

Yoli said...

Kelly! I think of this sometimes and think I better write it down so "whoever" will know what songs I want!! "He Walks with Me" "It is Well" "Just a Closer Walk with thee"

LOVE YOU A GOOGLE... said...

I think we have all thought about it and I have even gone so far as to imagine different songs for different timing. If I live to be a ripe old age and die a happy old grandmother thare certain songs vs. something terrible ending my time here on Earth prematurely. I have always loves the song "Praise you In This Storm" by Casting Crowns, that to me fits the latter kind of funeral; and "It is Well With my Soul" and "The Dance" and "Walk On" by U2.

Kristin said...

"Blessed Assurance", "Great is Thy Faithfulness", "The Doxology", and "When Peace Like a River".

What a great question!

Anonymous said...

When I think about my funeral...I just imagine having a whole praise & worship time like we do at the beginning of church...I would love to have all my friends and family participating in praise & worship for about 30 minutes and sing all the greats! I would also like the traditional hymns sung during the service...How Great Thou Art, It Is Well and the great gospel song Going Up Yonder! :-) I would also like everyone to dress in pink (any shade) since that is my favorite color! :-) So yeah...I may have thought of this a time or two...ha!

Leah said...

Great post. You know, after loosing my mom a month and a half ago, I have had MANY "life is too short" moments.

My mom didn't have her funeral planned out because even in all her sickness, she was so hopeful. I think to her, focusing/talking about her funeral would have been giving up. However, her funeral was a CELEBRATION!!! We laughed and praised the Lord for her life.

I am so thankful for the hope of heaven! I'm like you...there are way too many songs, but I love the Rich Mullins song that talks about "When I leave I'm gonna go out like Elijah." I used to laugh and say that I wanted everyone to wear a bright color to my funeral, because they shouldn't be mourning, they should be rejoicing!

Oh, and here is a sister told me one time that she wanted Amazing Grace on bagpipes played at her funeral. I asked her if she just wanted to torture us!! That's terrible!!! She would be dead and never able to hear it! HA!

~Bekah said...

This is such an awesome subject, and it's not morbid at all! I know I want "In the Garden" (the hymn) and "Written in Red" and "Wings of the Dawn". These are some old hymns and sheet music i remember singing as a child in choir and in youth choir and love their messages.

Megan L Hutchings said...

What a great question! I have thought about it before, but I have never written it down. My parents keep telling Web & I that we need to do a living will.

Sitesx6 said...

I think of this too.....I've told my husband I want everyone to celebrate my life, but HE NEEDS TO THROW HIS BODY ACROSS MY COFFIN AND SOB! :) and NEVER re-marry. :)

Songs I'd want:
It is well with my soul
In Christ Alone
Homesick (Mercy Me)

Oh my gosh, I just started a blog! I've been reading other's for a year, finally I did it.

Whitney said...

It's definitely something to think about - you can never be too prepared.
I know for sure that I want "Remember Me" by Mark Schultz and "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong played on the piano. I also want "His Eye is On the Sparrow" sung. As far as praise songs go I would like Chris Tomlin's "Indescribable" and "How Can I Keep From Singing" sung.

Jackie said...

Two of my favorite songs...first, Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) by Chris Rice, because that song sums up everything that I want my life to be about. And then His Eye is on the Sparrow, my favorite hymn ever.

beckylbranch said...

I've thought about this a lot recently, especially because Papa just died a couple weeks ago. His funeral was so sweet. It was just a bunch of country folk and the pastor asked if anyone would like to share a moment they had with my grandpa...and a bunch of people stood up and spoke about him. It was wonderful to hear their stories and what a blessing he was! I need to put a story on my blog about his testimony in his last days because it is so sweet. As far as a song...I haven't really thought about it or death a lot, I just think of it as a happy time and maybe "I'll fly away" I love that one! Becky

beckylbranch said...

Oh-and your blog looks so good too :)

Becky said...

There are oh, so many church songs that I love, but one I know I want played for sure is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sung by Judy Garland. I think it is such a beautiful song and I know that when people hear it, I will be singing it in GLORY, with the clouds far behind me...somewhere over the rainbow :)

Blessings Kelly!

Jill said...

We're going through a 3-week series at church called "One Month To Live" and of course, it not only has me thinking about what I would do if I only had a month to live as well as what I would want my funeral to be like. I know that I want my funeral to be a praise service! :) I have been to only one funeral that was like this and it was awesome...I remember leaving and feeling uplifted, knowing exactly where that person was and knowing I would see them again someday.

I think it's a good idea to write down exactly what you want at your funeral, so that it reflects you.

Kelly said...

Hey Kelly - I am a faithful blog reader of yours and just had to comment on this question.

Definitely "I Can Only Imagine" and for sure "Amazing Grace", because like others have said, I will be with my Savior!

Great question!

Jacquie said...

I haven't actually thought of songs, but I'm with Tedra. I want praise and worship songs. I do want an upbeat service. I told your Dad that... cuz you know, he'll be doing my funeral. Anyway, I want the Hoppers to sing "Days of Elijah" and whatever songs Randy picks out... cuz he knows how to pick 'em! (Will keep these notes to let the preacher know when the time comes?)

Jacquie said...

Sorry, "Will YOU keep these notes..."

Anonymous said...

Having been faced with possible death diagnosis, I have thought about this alot.
My child is coming home--David Phelps
I can only imagine--Second Baptist church choir with Greg Kelly as soloist
Praise you in the storm-Casting crowns
And several others
I had voiced to Mark that I do not want black worn to my funeral either. I want it to be a homecoming celebration!

taralynn819 said...

We absolutely wanted "In Christ Alone (My Hope is Found)" sung by the congregation at my dad's funeral. My dad wanted the gospel at his service and, by golly, we were going to infuse it into every aspect!

My dad also chose a song himself; the hymn, "God Will Take Care of You". I just know the true words to that song especially brought him great comfort during his difficult illness. My brother and his wife sang a duet of "Be Thou My Vision".

The songs we chose for my dad's picture slide show were "Closer to You" by Mark Schultz, "I Commend My Soul" by Scott Krippayne, and "Benediction" by Marty Goetz (which is basically this verse put to song, "And now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or him be the glory, Amen").

Gospel, gospel, gospel!!!!!

Maggii said...

It's not uncommon to have these kinds of thoughts especially right after the death of a loved one..When my Brother died.we all relized we need to let our loved ones know what we'd like in the event they had to plan our funeral...

BTW I have soemthing special for you at my blog...

Rebecca Jo said...

Steven Curtis Chapman talks about when their daughter Maria died, they kept singing that song "Blessed Be the Name"....

I want "How Great Thou Art" - it was at my grandma's funeral & I love the words of it....A wonderful classic!

Leigh Ann said...

I love all the songs you mentioned. I haven't thought specifically which songs I would want, but one of my favorite songs is "Legacy" by Nichole Nordeman, and every time I hear it, these lyrics always get me... "Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?"..."A child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy"..."Just want to hear instead, "Well done" good and faithful one." It makes me teary just reading those words.

I adore your new blog look. Precious.

Melissa said...

oh thank you for this worship today! I know that wasn't the point of this entry, but my little one is sick and I had to stay home from church. I just sat and watched that choir worship with tears just flowing! God is so worthy of our praise! I sometimes ache to just sing to the top of my voice to Him! Thank you!

A Belle and her Beau said...

This is funny bc my mom and I have talked about this several times! My mom always says that she wants "I'll Fly Away" and I like that one too. I also like "As the Deer Panteth for the Water" and I cry everytime at church when I hear it. One of my very best friends lost her mother a couple of years ago and "Here I am Am" was sung at her funeral ... absolutely the saddest song I have ever sang at any funeral and I could barealy get through the chorus:

"Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord. If you lead me.
I will hold you peoplr in my heart"

Lori said...

I don't know what songs I would want sung, but I would want the plan of salvation given strongly. My in-laws and most of hubby's side of the family are not Christians. (mine is)

My family would grieve with hope, my other side of the family would not and that hurts me the most.