Modern medical advances save countless lives. But for all their merits, sophisticated technologies have created a daunting new challenge, namely a blurring of the expanse between life and death. The dying process is often hidden behind a complex web of medical terminology, statistics, and ethical decisions, making it difficult for patients and loved ones to know how to approach the end of life in a dignity-affirming, God-honoring, faith-filled way.

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When Is It Right to Die by Joni Eareckson Tada

More and more people who are terminally ill are choosing assisted suicide. When is it Right to Die? offers a different path with alternatives of hope, compassion, and death with real dignity. Joni Eareckson Tada knows what it means to wrestle with this issue and to wish for a painless solution. For the last 50 years she has been confined to a wheelchair and struggled against her own paralysis. And she sat by the bedside of her dying father, thinking, So much suffering, why not end it all quickly, painlessly?

The terminally ill, the elderly, the disabled, the depressed and suicidal, can all be swept up into this movement of self-deliverance. Skip the suffering. Put a quick end to merciless pain and mental anguish. These are tempting enticements to the hurting. Joni doesn’t give pat answers. Instead, she gives warm comfort from God and practical help to meet the realities for those facing death.

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The Tender Scar by Richard L. Mabry

“No one could understand the Esperanza story and remain an atheist!” a volunteer told Dr. Kraus. Such comments prompted her to record the remarkable events which she and her friends experienced as they struggled to open and maintain an inner-city health center.

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The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts

Kara Tippetts knows the ordinary days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow … and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer. In The Hardest Peace, Kara doesn’t offer answers for when living is hard, but she asks us to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace.

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Second Forgetting by Benjamin T. Mast

Charles is 78 years old and there is much he cannot remember. He cannot remember the names of his children, why he lives in a nursing home, or even whether he ate breakfast today. His forgetting causes confusion, and in his fear and uncertainty he sometimes lashes out at those who try to care for him.

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Standing in the Shadow by June Cerza Kolf

Answers. Hope. Healing. The end of a precious life has come unnaturally. You may wonder how you can possibly survive your loved one’s suicide.

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Treasures of Darkness by Ken Hekman

Adversity may be part of everyone’s experience. For most of us, it is just something we endure–to get through. But Ken Hekman took a different approach when faced with one of life’s most profound sorrows, the sudden death of his firstborn, a teenaged daughter.

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“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more” (Revelation 21:1, ESV).

I sat in a chair and watched her daughters and granddaughters lying around her on a king-sized bed as my mom wavered between earth and heaven. They stroked her in love and sang verse after verse of solid Christian songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Precious Lord Take My Hand.” I sat in wonder at the moment and place, like we were on a bridge between this life of touchable-being and the untouchable eternity that now I could reach over and grab. There was not so much the presence of one reality and a wish for the other, but an absolute truth of both, not so much like we were telling Mom goodbye and watching her cross the bridge—but more like we were walking across it with her, kissing her on the other side and handing her off to Jesus.

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Photo: Pixabay

Today I told two people that it would be futile to continue the fight against their malignancies and that their lives would likely be measured in weeks. The first man told me, “It’s all good. I’m going home.” The second young woman said, “I’m at real peace.” Her husband then clarified, “She’s like a child on the edge of the pool, jumping with arms outstretched for her Daddy.”

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Death’s Sting September 18, 2018

He called me after a conference on the West Coast where I had shared the time I was 33 years old, headed for the mission field, and experienced nights with a cold-sweating-fear-of-death. He asked for advice. He too is a follower of Christ who now fears death.

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CDD STAT -- Physician-Assisted Suicide

Learn more about the dangers of legalizing physician-assisted suicide in this special issue of Christian Doctor’s Digest with Dr. David Stevens as he interviews Kara Tippets, a Colorado mother of four living with stage-four cancer who believes it is possible to die with dignity.

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