A Speaker’s Grand Finale

April 30, 2011

I went to a wake and the deceased pastor friend of mine lied in a state of coma for a long time before The Lord took him. It became a sobering thought for me. Many of Life’s greatest lessons for me did not come from seminars or lectures, they all came from wakes and funerals.

When you go to parties your brain is parked on the parking lot. But when you go to funerals you come face to face with death? Actually no. You come face to face with the realities of life.

Here are my thoughts.

I don’t like to end my life with a comma (pun intended). A comma signifies an incomplete task. A sentence is not complete as it ends with a comma.

I want my life to end with a period. When my work on earth is done. It’s when I have finished the race and completed the task that God has called me to do.

Some people end their life with an exclamation point. All the toil and labor and all the things accumulated throughout their lifetime only to discover that they would not fit in their coffins.

Others end their life with a big question mark. Is this all there is to it?

My friend Larry Almeda experienced an accident in a chopper ride that malfunctioned. Fortunately he got away with some broken bones and scratches but in this experience he said something significant. He said, “In a helicopter that is about to crash, there is no time to pray.


How do you see yourself in the very last day of your life?

When people ask me how I would like to go when it’s time for me to depart,  I said I would like to go out in style. Doing what I love doing and that is speaking in public. Can you imagine the kind of impact that speech would have made?

What a grand finale wouldn’t it be?


On March 12, 2011; I was invited to an interview for a cable channel program.

The very charming Dina Loomis and husband Bruce were part of the panel. Raju Mandarayan took on the job of interviewer. We were laughing and enjoying each other both oncam and offcam. Right in the middle of the interview and when I was the one speaking, the 79 year old Brooks just gave out a heavy sigh, slid in his chair, gave up his last breadth and went home to be with The Lord. And the camera was still rolling.

Dina remained calm and strong and still a faithful witness of Jesus even during her husband’s final moments was still sharing the love and importance of being in Christ to everyone including the hospital workers.

I saw the doctors worked on Brooks. I saw how they injected the medicine, used the fibrillator to no avail. Science fails after all and is impotent in the light of God’s Sovereign will.

Driving to my next appointment from the hospital I prayed and worshipped. God gave me the impression that heaven applauded when Brooks entered Jesus’ Presence. You know what? Through the tears in my eyes I smiled and said, Bruce beats us all to the punch. He had his grand finale. Not many speakers could have that.


Before the interview, Brooks shook my hands and said how honored he is to be on the same interview. That caught me by surprise such that my flimsy return on the compliment paid sounded empty an unappealing. Today I want to say that sitting beside such a humble person adorned with such great accomplishments points to one realization; that I am truly the one who is honored.

Brooks is in a better place today and enjoying the Presence of God.

What a fitting finale for one who has been faithful.

I wish I would too.



This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Jef Menguin

    I was there when you delivered your speech at the Toastmasters convention. Brooks had also made an impact in my life. For one, it was he who told me that I cannot motivate people, I can only give them the tools they can use to get what motivates them.

    Thank you Francis for sharing these inspirational stories.

  2. grace g. guno

    when i read your article in business weak, i am so flattered to read your column that is full of reality in life and the key to be open minded on how thing goes. and even teach me to manage my self to become more productive and competitive to others despite of hesitation to exist in this real world. tnx i do hope that you respond my comment .

  3. grace g. guno

    you are inspiring everyones life that losing hope is not the key to face the reality that full of blames to God. God has always plan for us.

  4. Kenneth Morgan

    Thank you for such an inspiring article! When I go, I would want to be so someone else might live… That would make it worth it.

  5. Glenn

    If I could have it my way, I would have it, as many sincere and honest Christians would wish to believe, that when a man dies, he or she departs to be with the Lord. What a remarkably sobering and glorious thought. But sad to say, it is not true, it is not even biblical.
    I have shared this before, in fact many times already, but I’ll share it again anyway. Here is the Biblical equation for the first man Adam (You may also refer to Genesis): Dust (Elements of the Earth) + Spirit (Breath of life) = Living soul or Living being (Adam). When a person dies the equation is simply reversed: Living Soul – Spirit = Dust.
    Notice that in the creation account, the dust formed by God into His own image and likeness became a living soul (other translations, living “being”), when God breathed into its nostrils the breath of life (spirit). That living soul was Adam. All descendants of Adam (all humanity), including us, are living souls. Adam did not receive a “soul” from God. Adam himself was the soul as a result of the dust and spirit.
    The Bible says among other things, “From dust thou art, to dust shall thou return”; “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life”. There is no such thing as “immortal soul” in the Bible. Only God is immortal. Man is subject to death but he seeks immortality through Christ.
    What happens to the soul when a man dies? It goes to the grave and eventually returns to dust. The soul is the man himself composed of dust and spirit; it is not something separate and distinct. It is the RESULT when the elements of the ground formed by God and the breath of life are put together. How about the spirit? It goes back to God He being the source and giver of life. What then is the solution to death? The answer is RESURRECTION!
    When Jesus comes the second time around, all the righteous dead will rise first. And together with the living righteous men and women, they will be caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Note that the dead knows nothing, remembers nothing, feels nothing until that glorious day when Christ claims them as His own.
    The passage of time from death until the resurrection morning is as the twinkling of an eye for the dead knows nothing. This is the first resurrection referred to in the Bible – the resurrection of the righteous. It is only then that all the righteous believers will be taken up to be with God in heaven, NOT at the point of death.
    I could have elucidated this further but for lack of space and time, I just want you to consider this very seriously. I know you are a good and sincere Christian. That is why I am sharing this with you.

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