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Death Makes An Appearance

Death Denial Assurance

Source: “Decaying foot horrifies grieving family as they bury grandfather,” By CHRISTINA CARREGA, Daily News, August 11, 2017

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-11-09

Scripture: Psalms 23:4 ; 1 Corinthians 15:55

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

Daily News reports:

After a graveside eulogy and a few prayers, the scene morphed quickly from silence to Stephen King with the appearance of the foot.

“We all looked down and we were looking at what apparently was a human foot and leg wrapped in plastic, with cloth wrapped around it, sticking out on top of my father’s casket,” said Alonzo Butler, 53.

One of the mourners snapped a cellphone photo of what looks like an outtake from “The Walking Dead.”

Relatives later griped the cemetery workers ignored the dangling foot and quickly filled in the grave.

... Mount Holiness owner James Shmergel felt that the attention to the ghoulish grave mishap was overblown.

“Is it newsworthy? In a cemetery?” asked Shmergel. “Not really.”

The Butlers may hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit seeking compensation for pain and suffering.

But cemetery caretaker Bill Plog, who started at Mount Holiness in 1983, said he was surprised such incidents were so rare.

“There was a casket,” he said. “It deteriorated. You can purchase a concrete vault, but people don’t. That grave there is from 1969 . . . It’s unfortunate that this happened, but this is a graveyard.”

APPLICATION

Death is disturbing, so we do our best to literally bury it.  We don’t want to see it, not even at a graveside! But is denial really the best way to deal with this reality? 

King David, in the 23rd Psalm, suggested that we, “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (v. 4).  This may seem like a pretty negative outlook on life, but although David was a realist, he was not a fatalist.  Even though he recognized the presence of death, he did not live in “fear” (v. 4). Rather, he found comfort knowing that God was always with him (v.4), and he possessed the assurance that one day he would, “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (v. 6). 

Death is meant to be disturbing; it is designed to get our attention.  But most importantly it’s intended to draw us closer to God, the only place where comfort and assurance can be found. 

Remember, this is a graveyard! But according to King David, God's comfort and assurance are the ultimate reality, even in the graveyard!

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55). 

"This Won't Happen to Me"

Denial Consequences Temptation

Source: "A View From the Zoo," 1987 (Updated in 2005)

Contributed By: Paul Lingren | Date Posted: 2016-04-27

Scripture: Proverbs 6:27

Author: Rev. Gary Richmond
10

ILLUSTRATION

Rev. Gary Richmond wrote a book titled, "A View From the Zoo.” He wasn’t writing about college; he was telling of the couple of years he worked with animals at the L.A. Zoo. He shares stories of animals and makes adaptations to human life. Some of the stories are parables. 

One story is about bandit, an 18 month old raccoon pet of a neighbor of Gary's. The animal was irresistible. It followed its owner everywhere and had some very appealing mannerisms. It grew to 25 pounds and seemed to be the best companion anyone could expect.

Gary mentioned to the zoo veterinarian about the unique relationship and asked why don’t more people keep raccoons as pets. The vet’s answer greatly surprised him: "They undergo a glandular change at about 24 months. After that, they become unpredictable, independent, and often attack their owners."

"Are there any exceptions?" Gary inquired.

"None that I know of," was the reply.

"Then Julie is likely to be bitten?"

"Any time now, I should think," the doctor added with conviction.

Gary knew that a thirty pound raccoon can be equal to a one hundred pound dog in a scrap, and felt obligated to warn his neighbor regarding her safety. He explained to her that she was in danger. Her response was more emotional than rational:  "It will be different for me...Bandit is different." And she smiled and added, "Bandit wouldn’t hurt me. He just wouldn’t."

Three months later Julie, the neighbor, underwent plastic surgery for facial lacerations sustained when her adult raccoon attacked her for no apparent reason. The raccoon was released into the wild.

APPLICATION

Gary Richmond goes on to point out a variety of individuals who have said something much like Julie, "This won’t hurt me. It will be different for me." You know the examples: People experimenting with drugs; a pregnant girl abandoned by her "lover;" a woman leaving her husband believing her kids won’t suffer, as others have; and a college student who says a few drinks don’t slow him down, just before he crashes his car and kills himself and three friends. The list could go on and on.

Perhaps we should do as Gary Richmond advises us: "Now, repeat out loud the following phrase, ’Maybe it won’t be different for me.'" This could lead to us recognizing our need to correct a situation that is likely to lead to our devastation, depression, or destruction. If you are engaging in any behavior that has risks which you have denied so far, please take a moment to reflect on what you are doing and correct your actions.

"Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?" (Proverbs 6:27).

By All Means, The Gambling Must Go O

Love (Divine) Priorities Denial

Source: NEWS OF THE WEIRD, "Week of April 26, 1998" posted UExpress.com, retrieved 6/14/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-17

Scripture: 1 John 3:11

Author: Chuck Shephard
2

ILLUSTRATION

In his weird-but-true news report from April, 1998, Chuck Shephard describes the lengths one state went in assuring the perpetuity of its gambling industry:

In March, the Oregon Lottery Commission awarded a $124,000 contract to a company to advise it on how best to restore its gambling games to operating status in case of a catastrophic earthquake or asteroid collision, with a goal of having video poker back up within two hours of a disaster. Several critics suggested there might be more pressing problems after an earthquake, but the commission pointed out that gambling generates $1 million a day for the state.

APPLICATION

This story illustrates how embracing the wrong priorities can skew our perspective. Before your view of life becomes twisted, make sure you embrace the priority God places on love.

"For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another" (1 John 3:11).

Why Is It So Hard To See Black and Blue

Abuse Denial Restoration

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-09

Scripture: Galatians 6:1 ; James 5:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

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Of Lullabies and Lamenting

Worldview Hope Denial

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-09-20

Scripture: Psalms 40:3 ; Psalms 98:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Blame-It-On-Someone-Else Method

Blame Denial Deceived/Deception

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-23

Scripture: Genesis 3:12

Author: Kent Crockett
4

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From Rehab With Love

Addiction Denial Bondage

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-12-16

Scripture: Proverbs 23:29 ; Proverbs 20:1

Author: Elizabeth Landau, CNN
1

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Take Me Off Your List of Souls To Be Saved

Witness Denial Hardness of Heart

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2013-10-11

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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I Never Faced Death

Death Victory Denial

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-05-08

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:51

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Guilty As Charged

Guilt Denial Sin Nature

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-03-14

Scripture: Romans 3:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

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