Whitney Houston

1963-2012

  LIFE IS SO SHORT

Was it a credible tweet? We were visiting with friends. I looked at my phone and there it was: “Whitney Houston dead at 48.” We weren’t planning to talk about Whitney Houston but, at that point, how could we not? Such a news flash interrupts conversations and patterns of thought. Death has a way of doing that! The tweet was from a credible source.

Like many others, we started the process of reflecting on her life. Today, reflections and memories of Whitney Houston are everywhere.  A quick search and you are overloaded with things to read and video clips to watch.

  • Her roots in Newark, New Jersey.
  • Her first solo performance at the New Hope Baptist Church where she sang: “Guide us O Thou Great Jehovah.”
  • Her early performances and rise to fame.
  • Her stunning rendition of the American National Anthem at Super Bowl XXV in 1991
  • Her movies
  • Ultimately, Guinness World Records in 2009 would classify her as the world’s most –awarded female act of all time.
  • Emmys, Grammys, and other awards bring the total to 400+ awards during her brief life.
  • 170 million albums
  • Her struggles

Within two hours of that first tweet, Wikipedia had updated Houston’s biography to include the pronouncement of her death at 4:00PM, February 11, 2012, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California.

Her last movie Sparkle will be released in August 2012. She sang her last song on stage just two nights before she died.  In a one minute performance with Kelly Price she sang: ‘Jesus Loves Me, This I know for the Bible tells me so.”  Whitney Houston had sung that song for years – as a child in church, as a star doing world tours before packed stadiums – but this was the last time she would ever sing it.

She was to attend a party later that night on the eve of the Grammy Awards – but then the stunning and tragic news broke. Her family, colleagues and her fans around the world started the process of mourning and warmly remembering Whitney Houston.

Our prayers are with her daughter Bobbi Kristina and her family and her many friends who loved her.

Reflections

Such shocking news gives all of us a cause to pause. The dreams of life are abruptly interrupted by reality. All the glistening bubbles of life eventually burst. The fleeting moments of fame are just that – so fleeting. Like a vanishing vapor. How short the runway is. The stage lights dim so quickly and the room goes dark. The strongest of voices so quickly become ever so silent. Medals tarnish; awards collect dust; pictures get dated and memories fade. Social media activity grinds to a halt and soon the message bounces back: ‘This account no longer exists.’

There are numerous versions of the ‘Jesus Loves Me’ song, so well known for more than one hundred years in so many parts of the world. In memory of Whitney Houston, will you take the time to at least read the lyrics, if you can’t sing them? Think about the words deeply and personally.   

Jesus loves me! This I know,

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong;

They are weak but He is strong.


Chorus:

Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me,

Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! He who died

Heaven’s gate to open wide.

He will wash away my sin.

Let His ransomed one come in.

Jesus loves me! He will stay

Close beside me all the way.

When He comes or when I die,

He will take me home high.

Saviour, take this heart of mine;

Make it pure and wholly Thine.

You have bled and died for me;

May I henceforth live for Thee.

Friend, if your life is not in order, you will not be able to order it in the next life. If you do not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ – then you are not at all prepared to die – by any stretch of the imagination.

Life is short and although death is certain, its timing is usually unexpected. Don’t take any chances. The risks are too great. Heaven or Hell.

The Bible says:

 The wages of sin is death;

But the free gift of God is eternal life

Through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

This is the record, that God has given to us eternal life

And this life is in His Son.

He that has the Son has life.

He that has not the Son of God

Has not life.

1John 5:11-12