Author Archives: Faith Parry

Faith Parry ~ Dying Well

“Do you never think about [death]? Why do you not? Are you never to die? Nay, it is appointed for all men to die. And what comes after? Only heaven or hell. Will the not thinking of death, put it farther off? No; not a day; not one hour.”

— Rev. John Wesley, “A Word to an Unhappy Woman”

This might seem to be a strange post but I think it’s a perfect one, because the reason we, as Methodists, die well, is because of Christ’s death and resurrection. Let me back up and explain.


The early Methodists were known as people who died well. They had grace and assurance of God’s love and forgiveness for them, so they did not fear death. Furthermore, John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) made it a point to share the stories of those who died and went on to glory. Wesley knew that if we are going to die well, then we must live well. We must live every day honoring God so that we are alright if it is our last.

The country song “Live Like you are Dying” has it right in the title, but wrong in the words. It’s not about taking extra vacations (although you should spend plenty of time with your family). We should live every day in a way that, if we were to die, we would be proud of the lives we lived when we stood before God.


If you read my post on Lent, then you know that Lent is really about a time for us to mourn Christ’s death. If you go to an Ash Wednesday service, you’ll hear something like, “From ashes you came, and to ashes you will return. Repent and you will be forgiven.” The point of this is to remember that we all will die one day.

When Holy Week comes (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday), we really crank things up. On Maundy Thursday, we relive Christ’s last supper in different ways, then on Good Friday, many people go into mourning on a deeper level. Many churches cover the cross in their sanctuaries. The Catholic church always covers the crucifix and it’s the one time the Christ candle is burned out and the tabernacle is emptied. Christ has left the building.

But then, on Easter morning, Christ overcomes death and returns to life! For us as Christians, this is our reminder every year that when we die, our death isn’t permanent. One day, we will be physically resurrected and rejoined with everyone we love in the life everlasting.


A couple of weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure to usher a young girl, just a few years younger than me, into glory. I always consider this to be one of the most unique honors I have as a pastor because it’s a living testimony of this girl’s life. I get to listen to her family share of the life she lived for God and we get to ask God to welcome her into his loving arms. In the end, we pray that he will care for her until we all get to meet her again one day.

This is the hope of our faith. It’s the most beautiful thing to watch people, who in their grief, still see God at work. I want to live my life in a way that people will look back on it and know that I spent every day dedicated to God. This was one of the things Wesley wrote in his death accounts, and I hope someone can say it about me when the Lord takes me home:

“She was a woman of faith and prayer; in life and death adorning the doctrine of God her Saviour.”

— John Wesley



Rev. Faith Parry blogs about church life at 

Faith Parry ~ What Is an Awakening?

“[An awakening is] a renewing work of God, a fresh inbreaking of the Spirit’s love and power, and an abundant ingathering of the reborn into the church” — David Thomas, To Sow for a Great Awakening



In 1730, there was a spiritual movement called the First Great Awakening that lasted until around 1745. At the heart of this movement was John Wesley in England. It then stretched to Scotland with Jonathan Edwards, and George Whitfield spread it throughout the American colonies.

Then the Second Great Awakening started in Lexington with the Methodists again, spreading to Tennessee during the Revolutionary War. Churches multiplied four-fold.

But what is an awakening?

It’s when God’s Spirit moves and causes amazing results that can only be attributed to God. Communities are changed through God’s acts and transformed. This movement of God’s spirit is contagious.



“Travailing prayer is not the only thing we do. But it is the first thing, and the most important thing.” — David Thomas, To Sow for a Great Awakening

David Thomas explains in his book To Sow for a Great Awakening that “how” is the question he spent six years trying to answer. In the end, the answer was simply prayer.  Well, not quite that simple.

Consider words from the writer of Hebrews: “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.” — Hebrews 5:6, NLT



Thomas explains that we must pray to God for others in earnest and that we must travail. He explains that travail is, “a kind of burdened, focused pressing—seems closer to the throbbing core of prayer in Scripture. He explains that scripture doesn’t describe causal prayer anywhere, but always about prayer that is a person emptying his or her heart to God of whatever emotions are there. 

If we pray publicly in prayer meetings for the unchurched earnestly, it can be the most powerful witness for God’s love. We need to show people that our hearts agonize over the souls that are lost.


Would you be willing to take up the call to pray with earnest and travail for the unchurched? Could you let your prayers hit your heart on an emotional state? Will you express your compassion to God on their behalf?

Awakening is messy and costly to people who love it and long for it. Reputation is the first thing to go in this kind of praying and leading. Jesus taught that our seeds have to die before anything will grow (John 12:24). And maybe it comes to mind what it is you may need to die for awakening to spring up: distraction, pride, an attitude of expertise, self-sufficiency, being hip, affluence, avoidance, ease. — David Thomas, To Sow for a Great Awakening 

I’m willing to take up the call if you are.



This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.