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This is for those who had experienced a death of a family member. I know how you feel because my father died. I spoke at his funeral. The message was well received. It is my prayer these words comforts you in your time of mourning.

The speech I gave.

I want to thank all of my family, friends, and anyone else who contributed for their part in putting all of this together. My father was in the hospital, when I spoke to him from Naples Fla., We talked about two things.

The first thing he asked was if I was still preaching. I told him yes. Good, he replied.

The second was about him getting a haircut whenever I come to visit him from out of town. I told him I would bring my clippers and cut his hair. He told me he could not get a free haircut. We laughed about that. I will give you a free haircut when I come, I said.

I went home and cut my father’s hair on November 3. I knew would be the last time I cut his hair.

His birthday was on November 4, and he died the day after, I returned home. He was 75 years old. We all need to examine ourselves and see if we have anything against a family member because we may not have another chance to talk to them.

Being the oldest of his children, it was expected that I speak at my father’s memorial service. I gave this speech. I attended funerals in the past. I can always recall hearing the person was a good person; they were loving, kind, generous, etc.

I have never heard they were hard headed, stubborn, prideful, selfish, or it was all about them. Why is that, I would ask myself? Is it because they do not want to offend or tell the truth about the other side of the person? I can speak for myself; I have areas in my life that needs to be worked on and so do you.

I must admit I thought about what I should say for days. I struggled to think of something and not until Wednesday morning did, the Lord gives me a message as I got out of the bed. I heard a quiet voice, saying; tell them a funeral is for the living.

I had written this message on February 27 2006, when I had returned home from my brother's funeral.

God has given me the ability to write inspiring messages, from anything I look at. Everything has a message within it. God is always speaking to us. The problem is we are not listening, or do not know how to listen. It is my prayer this message causes you to listen.

When we attend a funeral who is there? The person in the coffin and those that are living. The body in the coffin is not communicating to us anymore. Therefore, whom is the funeral for? It is for the living that attends.

Many people attend a funeral to seek out answers for his or her life. It is a place where tears, fears, family, friends, strangers, smiles, sadness, grief, sorrows come together in one place for a few hours.It is where the living thinks about their own life and about how they would want to be remembered and what would be said about them. It is sad that some people have instant religion because of a death, only to go back to do the same-old things after the person is buried.

Some really change because of a loved one’s death. Then there are those that really need to examine the reason why they are attending a funeral. What are their motives? Is it to see how the family behaves during the service or whether the deceased person still looks like themselves in death as they did in life? 

While all of this is going on within their minds, the body is lying peacefully in the coffin. It is not thinking about those in attendance. A funeral is for the living. It is a place where we give our final respect.

Funeral services can also be a place for the living to evaluate their own lives; to make a change where a change is needed, to forgive, to ask forgiveness, to really come together as a family. This is off the subject of what a funeral is a place for. We all have a family; it is a blessing, there are not members to hate, refuse to talk to or for whatever you have determined to stay away from.

In conclusion, here is a thought for you to take back with you. You too are dead in the coffin of your mind when you refuse to forgive, refuse to love, refuse not to ask forgiveness, and instead you hold on to bitterness; blaming God, instead of doing the Godly thing that the Lord requires of us.

Let this moment be a moment where you raise up from yourself-imposed coffin and begin to experience your own day-by-day funeral. Die to what the Lord wants you to die too, not what you decided to die for.

Do not be remembered as someone who did not listen only to physically die and leave nothing good for anyone to say or to benefit from. After I returned home, I was in the bathroom, spiritually speaking, a place for deliverance, when I heard a voice ask… when you looked into that coffin, who did you see? Did you see yourself? Physically and spiritually, you are a part of your love one they are living through you.

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