Key Not Detected

>> Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This past weekend I rode with a friend to an out-of-town event, so I left my car key in a container on my kitchen counter. I had a lovely time and returned home Saturday evening.

Sunday morning I gathered my purse and Bible, went to the garage, climbed in my car and pushed the “start” button. Nothing happened. Before my mind had a chance to go through all the possible scenarios, these words appeared on the screen.

Key not detected. 

I always carry my key in my purse, the one lying on the seat beside me. As I stared at my purse, puzzled, I remembered. My key was still in the kitchen, right where I left it.

Imagine my surprise when I read the title of the sermon on the bulletin…The Power to Open Heaven for You. We need a key to get in. I listened as the pastor explained we would not be passing through the door to heaven unless we had a relationship with Jesus. He carries a whole key ring.

I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” Revelation 1:18 (NLT)

When I come to the end of my journey here on earth, I do not want to hear “Key not detected.”

And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door:…” Matthew 16:19 (MSG)



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Thrown in the Deep End

>> Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When John and I had our new home built, he designed his office just the way he envisioned it. A big window along one wall that looked out to the living room…and beyond through the living room window to the fire pit on the patio. It was my suggestion to put blinds on the window to his office, just in case it got messy in there. (Smile) 

When I sold our business and had to clean out his office, I brought his personal stuff home and placed it in his home office too. And then I closed the blinds and shut the door. After his passing, I was not ready to probe the contents of his boxes and belongings.

Recently my Internet was not working correctly. After time spent at Charter, I returned home with a new modem and router. A Starbucks friend, Steve, offered to come over and get the new equipment set up. But they resided in John’s office and were connected to his computer.

I could feel John’s presence when we entered that room. Hopefully this wouldn’t take long. The equipment was hooked up, the phone call placed to activate it and then the computer restarted.

My heart sank to my toes.

The screen said iCloud wanted John’s password. We tried the only one I had ever heard John say. It didn’t work. I went numb at the thought of losing the memories in there. And so began my search…through his personal stuff…his boxes…the essence of John. Steve left me to my task while he attended a meeting. I cried. I prayed. And I continued digging.

No password.
 
Steve returned with a ray of hope. He knew another way to get a password reset…use John’s Gmail account. But of course, Gmail wanted John’s password. The only one I knew worked. But relief was slow coming. After Steve left, I sat in the family room and stared…totally drained emotionally.

As the hours passed and I began to recover, my hesitancy to enter John’s office slowly dissipated. The anticipated grief in that room no longer hung as a weight around my neck.

I had been thrown in the deep end of the pool…and hadn’t drowned.

His office door is open. I say “hi” to him as I pass. Soon it will be cleaned up and the blinds will be opened. Inadvertently I was forced to take one more step to wholeness.


“Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!” John 16:24 (MSG)



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Paradise

>> Friday, April 1, 2016

As May 26th draws near, my thoughts turn to last year. My husband, John, lay in a hospital bed in our bedroom. Two friends, one on each side of his bed, watched over him, allowing me the opportunity to take a shower.  As I brushed my teeth, the question came through the closed door.

“How soon will you be through?”

It’s amazing how many thoughts can go through your mind in a matter of seconds. But foremost in my head was the question, “Is this it?”  I didn’t want it to be.

“Why?”

A different voice replied. “John just went to Paradise.”

In that instant, my life changed.  But so did John’s.

Paradise was mentioned a few times during the Easter season. The thief hanging on the cross next to Jesus was told, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” May 26, 2015, that’s what Jesus said to John.

How could I wish him back in that hospital bed?

Our pastor was attending a meeting in Chicago. Earlier that day I had texted him to tell him I thought the time was drawing near. When John breathed his last and I let Pastor Phil know, his reply is forever etched in my heart.



            “The arms of Jesus is a very good place. We will see him soon.” 

Such comfort.  John had traveled to Paradise and was being held. I could let him go.

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 (NIV) 


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