Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Set Thine House In Order

Isa 38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.

I wonder, am I ready to go? I mean, ready in every way?

As a police and fire chaplain, I attend many families who have lost a loved one. I sit, pray and counsel with them as they begin to deal with the enormous task of picking up the pieces and tying up the loose ends left by their dearly departed. Nothing is as overwhelming as that first week or two after one has passed.

Thankfully, a good funeral home is priceless when it comes to guiding them through a concise "to do" list. A well prepared pastor is also invaluable.

It has been our experience that those who have "set their house in order" make things a lot easier on the ones they leave behind.

Following is a list, but not exhaustive, of things to consider:

Note: Extend your life! Live a life pleasing to the Lord and worthy of extension, as did Hezekiah (see vss 2-5). Also, start eating better and taking care of yourself. Have decent medical care available. I know we all want to get to heaven, but hey, heaven can wait a few more years, you are going to be there forever. Perhaps a soul is still needing the Lord that only you can win. Your family would probably appreciate a little more time with you. Live right and serve the Lord, it will add quality time to your life.

1. Set your financial house in order. Make sure that you have enough life insurance to cover the cost of the funeral ($12,000), incidentals and some left over to help your loved ones fill in the gap left by your passing. Life insurance is relatively inexpensive and is available through many outlets. For instance, some mortgages, car loans, credit cards, etc. offer death benefits to survivors. Some of these can pay off the house, car or credit cards.

2. Have a legal, concise will drawn up and updated. Include a living will in case you are totally incapacitated. This is important for the disposition of your estate, but especially critical if your children are not yet adults. Their education and spiritual life must be considered. You should decide, not the state, what will be the fate of your children and goods. Name an executor (of whom you have received permission) and a backup to see to the disposition of your estate. Make sure your named beneficiaries are updated and notified.
Get your outstanding bills paid. Don’t saddle your loved ones with this burden.

3. Keep all information, insurances, savings, wills, military and other relevant records, etc. in a concise, safe, easy to locate place where 2 or 3 close relatives, pastor or friends are aware.

4. Write down clear instructions as to your wishes. People's memories can play tricks on them, especially while grieving. This includes your funeral arrangements. Predetermine which funeral home, mode of burial, preacher, music, singer, cemetery, plot, Scriptures, etc.

5. Leave a legacy. When your name falls from the lips of those who remain, make sure your memory is an honorable one. Hezekiah is a great example. These thousands of years later, he is known for godliness and sparking a national revival. When you get your house in order, your spiritual house is of utmost importance. Consider leaving something to God’s work.

We have merely touched the hem of the garment, leaving you to fill in many blanks. You get the idea and hopefully, we haven't stepped on your grave.

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