2008March24, Monday

Death and Taxes and Other Stuff

Posted in My Life at 11:36 by Trey Austin

Well, it’s been a little while since i have posted anything. I have been a bit busy with other things and have just neglected the blog here. A couple of folks in my congregation had family members die. I didn’t conduct the funerals, but i went and visited with the families for support. The funerals were interesting. When i think of a funeral, i think of a worship service. No matter what happens, it is always appropriate to worship the Lord who gives and takes away. However, these funerals were largely simply a chance to praise either the person who died, or for the preacher conducting to talk about his own experiences with his family and death. It was rather strange. No congregational participation at all in either one. No order of service. Just a preacher reading the obituary, a special music by singer/singers, and that same preacher preaching about all the great things that the person did and what an impact he had on his family, friends and community, and then shouting about how wonderful it is to be able to shout, because this person went to heaven (or how he can’t preach the person into heaven or hell–but that was only because the person wasn’t a believer). Of course, the problem is that the service is worship of the person and not of God in any sense. Well, it’s the way it’s done here, i suppose. The good thing is that most of the folks in my congregation know how very misguided and useless all that really is. That is something to be thankful for.

During Holy Week, because we have no kind of services to commemorate those events of Christ’s life, i went down to see my family. As all visits with family are, it wasn’t a vacation. The primary purpose was really to help them do their taxes and to prepare to do ours (we all use one tax program, so we don’t have to pay for it more than once!). Angela and i were preparing to get our own done once we got back home, but while we were there, we found out that our son doesn’t even have a birth certificate, let alone a Social Security Number with which we can claim him as a dependent. What a mess. More idiocy at some level of government. The paperwork was filed, but somewhere in Columbia it got lost. Now we are patiently waiting for it now that we refiled for all of it, and we have to see whether we’ll have to file an extension in order to get them in on time.

Meanwhile, i have been working little by little on my landscaping. I have ordered lots of plants that will be delivered sometime in the next few weeks. I just need to get all my dirt spread out and the beds prepared. They are almost done, and i am looking forward to having something other than a bunch of mud holes in the front yard here at the manse. I had posted some “before” pictures. I’ll be sure to link those when i post the “after” pictures.



  1. Taxes said,

    […] ryanteaguebeckwith wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe primary purpose was really to help them do their taxes and to prepare to do ours (we all use one tax program, so we don’t have to pay for it more than once!). Angela and i were preparing to get our own done once we got back home, … […]

  2. Mike Harmon said,

    I came across your blog on Technorati. Nice site layout. I will stop by and read more soon.

    Mike Harmon

  3. […] Trey Austin is very entertaining. Check out the latest and greatest post on Death and Taxes and Other Stuff. See below for a quick excerpt of the entertainment: […]

  4. Be thankful (as I know you are) your congregation knows the difference—certainly not all do, from personal and current experience.

  5. TJ said,

    Great comments in the first paragraph. But, of course, you and I have spoken about this very thing. Most funeral services I’ve gone to have been awful, simply awful. None quite so bad as the one in which the kid got up and told of Kurt Vonnegut’s view of heaven.

    I’m actually thinking about having a weekend seminar sometime on the topic of death and funerals and the like. I could call it something like “Dying Well.” However, I don’ t think that would be too appealing to most folks. Any suggestions?

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