Hope of Heaven

I see myself at heaven’s door

I can hear its hinges creak

Around its frame a light shines out

As it opens before the King

 

What have you brought He asks

From the life you lived on earth?

Oh not a lot I sadly say

As I struggle to begin

Light at Night

Well, there were the mission’s trips

And every day I prayed

And regularly I read your word

And all the tithes I gave

 

When I stopped – he paused and gently said

That’s not why angels sing

Those were not from your deepest heart

But just temporary things

 

But the forgiveness you gave your parents

When their divorce left you alone

And the love you shared with strangers

When you opened up your home

And the tears of repentance that you wept

And your confession in the dark

These are the things that I truly treasure

And for these there is a crown

 

 

 

The Biggest Mountain

… if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you Matthew 17:20b

Maybe when you have heard this verse mentioned it was used in the context of a surgery to be faced, a marital crisis brewing or a financial disaster looming on your horizon. But a mountain also represents any impossibility that separates us from God’s plan for our lives. What is the biggest mountain that separates us from God? Today’s encouraging  news is that moving that mountain has nothing to do with its size but it has everything to do with our small faith in a big Savior!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord Romans 8:38-39 new-alaska-pics-4

No mountain can separate us from God’s love because of the cross of Jesus. Our sin which loomed like a giant mountain in our path has been removed and cast into the sea of God’s forgetfulness. It will no longer be remembered anymore forever. When one day we open our eyes in eternity with God we have the wonderful assurance that this biggest mountain of all has been moved! Since He has moved that giant mountain we joyfully use our mustard seed faith to face any small mountain today!

People are a Loan Not a Gift

img_5240The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,                                                                                        The world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1

This week of my cousin Tom passed away. (He is the one peeking over my God’s mother’s shoulder) Tom was a gentle man who we thought would somehow always be there. He and I were born the same year, had been on summer vacations, horse back riding and even briefly played in the same band.together. It seemed my quiet cousin would always be there and yet he is suddenly gone.

How often we say things such as, “She is one of God’s greatest gifts to me! or What a gift God gave us with this son or daughter!” But in reality none of those we love so dearly belong to us. The time we spend here on earth together is just a short term loan.God holds the appointed time the loan will be called in, in His hands. They are not ours but how we treat those God has trusted into our care changes us for eternity.

Sometimes people are like little birds singing outside our windows. We may throw them a few crumbs but we don’t realize the value of their songs until the day they are silent. People are a loan. We do not possess someone else’s life, they belong first to God. How I miss Tommy today. I cannot go back to say or do something more for Tom but his sudden absence stirs something in my heart to treat with more earnest and sincere love those who remain behind.

Springs of Living Water

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For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:17

We have this promise at least three times in the Bible. Long ago, God promised through the prophet Isaiah, that His people would draw water from the wells of Salvation. Hundreds of years later Jesus Himself came and sat by a well in Samaria and promised a woman that if she would drink the water He was offering that it would become within her a spring of the water of life.

Yet God also holds a promise of living water for the future. It will be more than the joy the Israelites felt when they returned to their promised land. It will be a fullness even greater than the living water that began to Spring up in our hearts when we first received Jesus Christ as Lord. There is to come a Spring that irrepressibly bubbles up and pours out always new from a source deep in the heart of our God. He promises to lead us there daily to drink. There He promises to wipe the tears from our eyes and give us freely the fresh water of His own spring. How will it work? What will we feel? How will it appear?

Today can be your day to meet Him by the well. Today can be the day when you joyfully draw water from the Spring of His salvation. Then, when Jesus truly becomes your Shepherd and you follow Him in this valley, then one day on the mountaintop in Heaven He will show you the answers to every question. Uncertainty, pain, frustrations and tears will be wiped away by the fingers of Jesus Christ and you can drink the pure cool rushing waters of His eternal spring for ever and ever!

Eternal Life

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Luke 10:25 …”Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life? ”

My Black-Eyed Susans only have life for a few short days but they shout out God’s glory with every moment they have been given. What mystery lies ahead in the morning of eternal life? How may we live out the praises of He who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light?

The Price and Value of One Single Life

 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?     Matthew 18:26

The world counts success in gaining position, possession or pleasure as something of value. Those who break through hardships to lay hold of a passing prize are loved, envied or hated depending on which side of their battle you happen to be on. They win respect and by that respect are counted as persons of value. From the other side of heaven’s window  the race for value takes on a different hue. While the world pours praise on outward beauty, or physical ability, God treasures the hidden inner value of a soul. There was in fact no price too high to pay for the value that Jesus said rests in the blossom of even one single soul.

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He came and daringly broke through the barriers of shame, hardship and suffering and paid the terrible price on the cross to bring us to the throne of mercy. Jesus came to give value, not to take it. Jesus came to pay a price, not to exact one. As we venture out into another week of busyness, work and struggle we should ask God for His eyes. Only when we ask to look out through heaven’s windows will we know as He does the price and value of the lives around us as well as for our own!

Never Be Afraid!

They say that the bee sees the colors of the flower as if they were the lights on a landing strip. She sees the pattern and lines up her flight path to directly intersect with the center of the bloom where the nectar can be found. In the same way  the promises that God gives us in the Bible are sent to guide us to our heavenly landing. While the world’s way of thinking  is to run from any hint of the end of earthly life, the Word of God places a hand around our shoulder urging us on. As Paul is writing to the Philippian church from his Roman prison cell he stares the possibility SCRANTON-20130710-00048_crop_cropof death squarely in the eye and says:

 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.  Philippians 1:21-23

As I myself am growing older, I am beginning to see the glow of some of those lights on my own landing strip. Though one side of me stirs with a tendency towards panic and flight, the quiet sense of God’s Spirit within claims His promise of my heavenly home. Though the journey will be fraught with difficulty and will pass through the unknown regions ahead I am encouraged by the thought that.

No Captain fears entering his final port of call

No Engineer trembles as he is  pulling into the train station

No passenger cowers  in his seat after the plane has landed and the seat belt sign goes off

No soldier runs away after the end of the war when he sees his mother and father waiting for him on the porch

No child is ashamed to receive his rightful inheritance –

    Though He suffered on the cross to the point of feeling abandoned, Jesus was never afraid. He chose to trust the Father and commit Himself into His hands. As we look to Him, the eternal , “Brave Heart” we can rest in Him completely and choose to – Never Be Afraid!