Sunday, December 13, 2015

A new book by Reverend Thomas V. Parrish, Stepping Into Eternity, describes "the truth of what believers in Jesus Christ can expect at the doorway to eternity." Reverend Parrish, a Lutheran clergyman, begins by describing the experience of his mother's passing, where "she was visited by Jesus Christ who spoke directly to her and then proceeded to take her by the hand and walk her into the Kingdom of God." He writes about the "peace, hope, and joy" he witnessed at the passing of more than 30 believers. This book is intended to guide those who have made a commitment to Jesus through their final moments on earth, quoting his mother-in-law "The church does a fairly good job at teaching us how to live as Christians, but I did not receive any teaching or practical preparation for dying."

The section on being a witness for a dying person is especially valuable, regardless of your faith status. "Listening to the dying means disciplining yourself to really hear what they are saying without being pressured to fill the void or satisfy your inner need to be comforting." He writes with insight about the importance of reflecting back the experience of the person who is dying, which brings more comfort than attempts at reassurance. He urges friends and family members to "let them lead the discussion and stay focused on their needs, not your needs." He speaks with great feeling about the importance of touch. And he writes with great compassion about comforting those who are ready to die and struggle to find God's purpose in letting them suffer.

For more information, visit Reverend Parrish's To Eternity website.

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