Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - ForeTalk: 7 Critical Conversations for the Season of Now

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review - ForeTalk: 7 Critical Conversations for the Season of Now

The Best New Year's Resolution Ever
Every New Year seems to offer an insight into our past and a new occasion to remedy mistakes, oversights and faults. There is good reason to remember and recommit to doing what we have too long put off or avoided. The Psalmist says that counting our days is wisdom from the Lord.

Teach us to number our days that we may have a heart of wisdom

Psalm 92:12

Numbering our days can help us make the best resolution ever.

  • It is the best because it will benefit not only you but those you love most and those who love you most
  • It is a resolution that honors our wonderful Lord
  • It saves countless hours of pain and loss
  • It can save thousands of dollars for you and your family
  • It provides peace of mind and security
  • It can prolong your life, add days to your enjoyment and fellowship with those dear to you
  • It provides a guide and direction to your family, doctors and attorneys

Here is the resolution you need to make in 2013:

I hereby resolve to make my legacy one of compassion, generosity and love by completing my end-of-life documents in 2013 and sharing them with those dearest to me.

If you will take this resolution seriously you will be providing a gift that may endure for generations to come.

This gift has little to do with material wealth or your possessions. Here is an example of one who had little wealth but was rich in her legacy to her family and friends.

On a recent birthday celebration when her children were visiting, Anna, a 67-year-old mother of four, said she would like to talk with them before they returned home. As they gathered around the kitchen table, they saw a small stack of stapled documents by their mom’s side. Her daughter remembered her mother’s words:

“I’m so glad we have this time to talk. I have been thinking about this for some time and want you all to know how much I love you. I’ve been talking with my attorney and I have some important things to talk about.

Here is a copy of my will. Let’s talk about it now so I can answer any questions you have. I have appointed Bob (their brother) to be my executor since he lives closest, but I want you all to know and approve of what I have done. I want you to walk through the house and, if there's anything you would like to have, whether it's jewelry or furniture--anything that's important to you--let’s discuss it now so we can all agree. I don't want there to be any reason to be upset with each other about meaningless things that really have little value.

I've also made Bob my agent in my Durable Power of Attorney for Finance. If something were to occur and I am not competent to make my own decisions, I want you to know that all my financial matters are taken care of in a way that doesn't bring you any difficulty.

Here is a copy of my Living Will and my Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.

When I last close my eyes here, I will be opening them in the presence of the Lord. I don't want any heroic measures to keep me living. I believe there is a great difference between being kept alive and living, and I believe you know the difference. My Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and my Living Will make it clear what I mean. I want you to know that whenever that time comes I prefer a natural death.

This is my funeral plan: I've listed how I want the service to be conducted, who will speak, the Scripture reading, songs and music. I've listed the pallbearers, the honorary pallbearers and the calls I would like for you to make. This is very personal and I want to be sure that my last testimony points to what I believe about Jesus in a way that lets everyone know what my life has been about.

I've already paid for my casket and funeral, the burial place and tombstone so it shouldn't be a financial burden for any of you. Now, girls, if you come with me into the bedroom, I will show you the dress I want to be buried in…”

Eighteen months later when Anna passed away, her pastor asked how to help the family during this loss. He was told, “Mother has taken care of everything. We are just going to hug each other, shed some tears and celebrate Mom's goodness to us."

This is an example of love and compassion for those who love you most. You can make this your best New Year's resolution ever—and perhaps the most poignant. You can take away much of the pain and difficulty family members face when you are not there to provide your guidance. Without this kind of planning families can disintegrate into unnecessary argument and dissension.

Another story:

When April’s mother passed away after a brief illness, there was no plan to follow, no written instructions to guide her children. The family was scattered--only April lived nearby. As a result April had to make every decision alone, pay every bill out of her savings and wait until the estate was settled before she could be reimbursed. Her sisters were unhappy with the funeral arrangements; April had thought a funeral would be most meaningful for the family. However, the funeral schedule allowed little time for family members to prepare for travel and arrange time off work. A memorial service could have been scheduled later. Settling the estate without a will led to family arguments and hard feelings just when everyone needed to come together.

April was acting as she believed best. She took on a difficult role with no help or direction, and now she was the subject of intense criticism instead of receiving the comfort and support she needed.

No will, no final letter, no funeral or memorial-service planning, no burial or cremation plan means someone you love has to bear a difficult burden that could have been taken away.

There is nearly a 100% chance that death will disrupt the lives of someone in your family or one of your acquaintances in the year ahead. This New Year's resolution can change the pain comes from death to knowing and sharing the joy of Christ. Families need to affirm that there truly is “victory in Jesus” and your end-of-life planning may be one of the most powerful ways you can share that message with those around you.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.‘ 1 Corinthians 15:54
Take care of your family in 2013. Make and keep “the best resolution ever.”

About the Book
Based on the popular seminar by the same name, ForeTalk: 7 Critical Conversations for the Season of Now, is a unique new book by Stan Craig, a financial and religious advisor, which will be released in February 2013. It provides direction on how to outlive your life and create a positive and lasting legacy.

Meanwhile, in a new byline Craig discusses that one of the best New Year’s Resolutions you can make in 2013 is to take care of your family in 2013. He explains that you can take away so much of the pain and difficulty that family members face all alone when you are not there to provide your guidance. Without this kind of planning families can disintegrate in argument or spend unnecessary money for an elaborate funeral to make up a for lack of sharing in times past

About the Author
Stan Craig, author of the upcoming book ForeTalk (available in March 2013), is a pastor, financial professional, author, speaker and the executive director of a non-profit foundation. His new book, ForeTalk: 7 Critical Conversations for the Season of Now and the ForeTalk Seminar are direct results of his personal experience when his younger brother died of lung cancer and Craig was unaware of all that was required.

Craig holds degrees from University of Kentucky, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. and Th.M.) and the Wharton School. He took early retirement from Merrill Lynch in 2001 and is currently a Financial Advisor Consultant for Supernova, Inc. He is co-author of the books Leadership Defined and One Best Idea and serves as a seminary trustee and member of the financial board. He and his wife, Gloria, have six children and eight grandchildren and currently live in Louisville, Kentucky.

My Take on the Book
This was a straight forward book that really opens your eyes to the conversations that you need to have with the ones that you love about the things that matter in regards to your death. Now I know that this is not a topic that most people really want to talk about, but it is important that you need to have early as no one can really anticipate their own death and there are so many things that you have to deal with in the event that something does happen and you die to make sure that your family knows not only your wishes, but also that they are taken care of. This book helps you to plan each and every step of this and it does it in a way that is easy to understand and with the fact that the book is set up like a workbook, you are able to get through the book quickly. The book also gives you some good ideas for how to talk to your loved ones about these topics, as it is a touchy topic and very few will truly want to talk about it, but as I mentioned (and as the book mentions) it is VERY important. I highly recommend this book to all, as starting this today will definitely change the way you look at your world and the way you look at the end of your life. A great read!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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