Tag Archive | Heaven

heaven.

On June 23, 2018, my father died. He was 89 years old.

I helped care for him the month of June in between working at a nearby school. June came and went – hard to believe.

The days seemed long but looking back, everything happened so quickly.

And now, reality sets in. He’s gone.

From here.

This prompted me to re-read a book I read 13 years ago, Imagine Heaven.

The reason I chose this book is because the author, John Burke, spent over 30 years researching the topic of near-death experiences from all kinds of people and all kinds of religions along with what the Bible has to say about Heaven.

It got me thinking about how little I have heard about Heaven. I’ve been in church for over 30 years and I do not recall a sermon or teaching. Is it because the Bible has little to say about it? Maybe. But since it is our forever home, I would think God would want us to know something about it.

Because to live well here, don’t we have to know something about life there?

One common thread with those Burke read about and interviewed, was the intensity of love the departed individual experienced. With their life displayed in a kind of panoramic view, the good, bad, and ugly – the love was still intense – no matter what. No shame, no guilt, no condemnation. Just love.

Granted, this is difficult for us to grasp but so is the enormity of the universe. Yet, we believe.

*Side note: all to often in Christian circles, morality seems to have replaced the love of God. Usually, Christians lean to one or the other. God does not condone sin, but his way of drawing us is with chords of love.” Holding morality, Christian values, and/or character up as the standard is missing the point. Time and time again, God has chosen men and women in the Bible who would not meet the criteria in conservative, traditional, Christian thought. Are we holding the Law up to the world of morality? Or are we holding up the Light of the world?

Each day, I watched my father dying. Death is ugly. And if God is good, and if Newton’s 3rd law is true, then there has to be something far greater in power than death.

We have all seen the beauty around us. It is only a foretaste of what is waiting for us.

Have you lost a loved one? Are you hurting? Suffering? Live with the hope and confidence of Heaven.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

-Revelation 21

 Tree in meadow under dramatic sky

Photo on foter.com

he is not so far away ..

“But then I remember this means he is not so far away, and we’re not so far from him, and it makes me smile”.

Mary Katharine Hamm lost her husband in 2015. She was pregnant with her second child.

She recently wrote this article  I know will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one.

After reading her story it occurred to me, no 2 personal experiences I have read about grieving are the same.

We who are grieving over a severe loss, walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, enveloped by the coldest, darkest place we’ve ever known. And yet, it  seems each of us finds glimmers of light along the way.  The smallest speck of light is the brightest because it is the darkest there, illuminating what we would not have seen otherwise.

 He is not so far away …

This thought brings a new feeling of comfort.

Heaven may be closer than we think.

lights

Photo by mripp on Foter.com / CC BY

all will be made right.

When I read this story and watched the video, the first thing that came to my mind was this: if we can be so moved by this and so many other heart-warming stories, doesn’t that tell us there is a loving God?

Yes, there are horrible tragedies many of us have lived through. It doesn’t negate your pain and suffering.

But life is not all horrific. We must also embrace the good and allow it to stay in our thoughts. It points to eternity with our loving God.

If such love can happen here, what does God have waiting for us in Heaven?

Keep looking ahead for that day where all that went wrong will be made right.

know.

images (2)What does it mean to know God? Can one know God?

For centuries, religion has made God seem distant and mysterious. But when you read the Bible, you find that God tells us he is very near to us. That’s good news, especially for people who are hurting.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34

Photo credit: nexus6 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: nexus6 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

If you have only known God to be unreachable, detached, distant, or mysterious, today is your day to know He is not any of those things.

You can know all about Him.

Just ask him.

scripture friday.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven,

where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

– The Bible

heaven

~~~

Photo credit: Daniel Pascoal / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

I wonder.

Death separates.

Heaven connects.

If our loved ones could speak to us, would they say, “Don’t cry for me! I want you to live and be happy. One day we will see each other again!”

I wonder.

pretty tree

We need to feel the loss.

But we have to decide where our thoughts will dwell.

Every day it’s on Heaven.

Every day it must be Heaven.

~~~

Photo credit: Pathos Photos / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

9 years.

Standing at your child’s grave is surreal. Even after many years you wonder, did this really happen?

At the same time, you know it did.

I stare at the etched letters of his name. I look at the date of his birth and remember. I look at the date of his death and remember.

So much life has gone by.

I remember being afraid I would forget his voice. I haven’t.

I’m in two worlds with two different measures of time. He is not here, he is there. But where exactly? I know there is heaven. But I don’t know where it is or what it looks like.

I just know this: to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). And it gives me peace.

pine

I clean the headstone since I can’t stand the little bits of green moss that settle in the crevices. I pull a couple of tiny weeds. I didn’t help him then – perhaps I can be of help now?

There are no tears. I’ve cried them all.

I leave that place under the pine tree with an empty place in my heart.

And I wait.

~~~

Photo credit: jenny downing / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)