Jesus, John and Heaven

>> Saturday, September 24, 2016

“John just went to Paradise.”

Those are the words that changed my life in an instant. My beloved was no longer breathing air on this earth. He was in Heaven. Now what?

Over the following weeks, I devoured books on Heaven. I needed input on where he was and what was happening to him.

It was all good. 

As time passed, when someone would mention about the death of a friend, I would instantly think about John. Were they having a talk in Heaven? When a close friend shared that her time might be short in this world, I remember my response.

“I’m jealous. You get to see John before I do.” I’m sensitive that way. (smile)

One day recently during my quiet time, the scripture I was reading mentioned Paradise. You know where my thoughts went. John was there. And just that quickly came the thought. So is Jesus. It seemed Heaven no longer represented Jesus to me. John was what mattered.

That’s just wrong.

Jesus was not introduced to me early in life. All I knew about was a scary God. I was in my 30’s before Jesus became real to me. I had never been told I could have a relationship with Him.

It’s been a wonderful discovery.

But something in the connection between Jesus and me got short-circuited when John died. My other half was in Heaven. I longed to see him again. And so he began to represent Heaven to me.

Jesus and I have walked together for so many years, I feel troubled in the knowledge that I could put Him in second place so easily. And yet He understands and still loves me. After all, it was His idea for John and I to meet, and He delighted in the love we had for each other. He also appreciates the fact that I am totally human. He’s not going to leave my side.


But I’m a work in progress.

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list.” Matthew 22:37 (MSG)



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It's a Fine Line

>> Thursday, August 18, 2016

John, my husband, struggled to take his next breath, which sounded like a grunt. It was not the first grunt.

“John, it’s time to go to the ER. You need to be able to breathe better.”

“I’ll be better tomorrow.”

That conversation occurred repeatedly until I used my tough love voice.

“Either you get up and get your pants on and let me get you in the car or I’m calling an ambulance.”

He put his pants on.

Admitted to the hospital, he was given diuretics to drain the excess fluid from his body, losing 12 pounds in three days. Finally discharged from the hospital, we traveled home accompanied by a prescription for a diuretic at double the normal dose.

Guess what? The medicine worked.  Too well. The above scenario was repeated. He needed to go to the hospital again. This time he was extremely dehydrated. Bags of fluid hung from the IV stand, replacing the water the prescription had removed from his body.

In the past few weeks I’ve witnessed that exact pattern in the life of a close friend. First too much liquid and then not enough. Both times he ended up in the hospital.

But isn’t life like that?

Food is good.  Too much is not.  Too little is not. The same is true in all areas of life. Exercise. Work. And what about churches? Some churches dole out way too many rules and dogma. Others offer Jesus as a nice guy, but there are other options. Moderation is the key.

It’s a fine line.



“You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.” Colossians 1:23 (MSG)



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Protection in Bad Weather

>> Sunday, July 10, 2016

My vagabond child, Lorri, can’t seem to stop traveling. Not only did she and I drive from my home in Kennewick, Washington to Banff, Canada and back the first part of June, but she also packed a U-Haul and drove from my home to Columbus, Georgia.

That took care of June.

On the fourth of July she climbed in a rental car (because hers had been rear-ended and was in the shop) and drove from Columbus, Georgia to San Antonio, Texas. That’s where my one remaining sibling lives, my brother Tony. I volunteered to be her weatherman as she drove those 13 hours.  Weather was not an issue.

I want you to know I take my job very seriously.

Her plan was to leave San Antonio this morning and arrive in Columbus early tomorrow.  Just before I climbed into bed last night I checked the weather app. OK, so I think it’s fun to watch the radar, figure out the direction the storms are going and keep tabs to see if I know what I’m talking about.

I’m a meteorologist wannabe.

Her entire route home said thunderstorms. And we know what thunderstorms can be like in places named Houston, Beaumont, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mobile and Columbus.

So I prayed and fell asleep, placing her trip in God’s hands.


Before church this morning, I checked the radar.  It wasn’t good. She was going to have some pretty rough weather to drive through. I hope she got an early start. Not so.  As I was leaving church I received a text that she was headed out. I sat in my car and checked the weather on my iPad (which I brought with me for just that purpose). It showed she could get as far as Lake Charles before the weather became a factor.

At Sulphur, just west of Lake Charles, she checked in again. I consulted the radar. My text told her the weather had moved north and she could proceed to Baton Rouge before she hit bad weather.

Each time I checked the radar, the weather ahead of her was clearing. My next text to her said, “Lorri, I am watching God clear the way for you.  Praises.”



This is a blog in progress. She is one hour from Baton Rouge now. If she wants to keep going the road ahead is good. Prayer works.

“You…provide a warm, dry place in bad weather…” Isaiah 25:4 (MSG)


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Earthly or Eternal Perspective

>> Friday, May 20, 2016

I stood on the patio…the morning sun peeking through the trees.  A gorgeous day was at hand.

We built such a lovely house, designed for our old age…all on one floor…wide halls…low maintenance. And John only got to enjoy it for three years. What a shame he can’t delight in the home he put so much thought into.

Just that quickly I had another thought.

Duh. He is living in a mansion and isn’t missing this house at all.  So I guess it’s up to me to enjoy it…and so I will. 

In life we are constantly given the opportunity to see our circumstances from an earthly perspective or from the eternal point of view. 

So what’s going on in your life? Any chance you need to change your perspective?

 “Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth.” Colossians 3:2 (ASV)


  

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