when death knocks on your door…

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When the responsibility of turning off life support for my young son was placed upon me, it was obviously the hardest decision I have ever had to make.  Questions like, “But what if….”.

I’m not even going to entertain all the questions here, because as parents, I’m sure you can only begin to imagine the pain.

During those 37 minutes of agony for us all, God was already scooping up my 15 1/2 year old angel and holding him, all the while comforting me, as we kissed him for the last time.  His older brother and I lay in the bed next to him, and his protective dad stood close by, watching for any sign of distress.  He had assured me that if Clay had shown any signs of suffering,  he would demand they intubate him again.  So, he stood with clenched fists and tears streaming down his face as we waited for the certain to happen.

We whispered to him, reminding him we how much we loved him, and then Jesus quietly took him home.

We were never alone.  The spirit of Jesus was everywhere in that small hospital room.  It wasn’t ugly, it wasn’t loud….it was actually sweet.  Yes, we were devastated and immediately wondered what to do next, but the spirit of God kept us moving……kept us breathing…….and never left our side.

In the next few hours, we drove to a funeral home we picked out and made all the necessary arrangements.  Jesus was with us.

Next we went to the cemetery and found the most perfect gravesite under a beautiful tree.  Jesus was with us.

He never left our side and He hasn’t left me since.  When I am hurting, he is there.  I can look to His Word and find comfort in the scriptures.  I am reminded of the pain that He suffered on the cross, and I know He understands.

Yes, I cry a lot.  Yes, I miss him dearly.  But knowing at this precise moment, his crippled little body is whole, helps me put my own selfish desires aside and leap for joy!  Hallelujah!  I WILL see him again!

1 Corinthians 15:55  “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Are you feeling alone?  Have you placed your trust in our gracious Lord?  He wants to stand with you.  He wants to comfort you and He will uphold you with his righteous right hand.

Here are some steps to inviting Jesus into your life.  His grace is free and He is faithful and true!

First, realize you are a sinner (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)

Second, recognize Jesus died on the cross for all our sins (John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”)

Third, repent.  Confess you are a sinner and need His grace. (“Acts 17:30 “God commands all people everywhere to repent)

Fourth, receive Jesus into your life!  (Rev. 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and kock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.”)

Pray this prayer with me, “God, I know I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness.  I believe that You died for my sins.  I want to turn from my sins and invite you into my heart and into my life.  I want to trust You as Savior and follow you as Lord.  In Christ’s name, Amen.”

If you have prayed this prayer and truly asked God into your heart, then God has forgiven you and adopted you into His family!  Death has no power over you anymore! “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” You have a place reserved in heaven to live for eternity!

A quote from Billy Graham’s book, Death and the Life After, “I’m not afraid to die, for I know the joys of heaven are waiting.  My greatest desire is to live today in anticipation of tomorrow and be ready to be welcomed into His home for all eternity.  Will you be making the journey with me?”

the WHOLE serenity prayer…

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Did you know that there’s more to the Serenity Prayer?

Goodness knows who wrote it, since originally thought to be Protestant theologian, Rienhold Niebuhr.   However, the origin isn’t what this particular post is about.  I’m more interested in the second verse.

Yes!  There is a second verse!  I think the second verse is even more important than the first verse!!  It’s beautiful!!!

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

If I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.

Amen.

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in a little while….

One day our dream will come true….

One day there will be no tears…..no sadness…..no fear…..and no pain.

Philippians 3:20-21  “But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”

You might be wondering why you are still here, how your ‘affliction’ is meaningful to others.  You might feel as if you are a burden to others, but guess what?  God thinks the opposite.  He thinks it is necessary that others take care of you and you have no idea how much you are doing for their spiritual well being.  You need to endure not only for the benefit of others, but for the purpose of teaching….your life is like a huge blackboard that God is using to teach us about Himself.

You have a glorious future awaiting in Heaven if you have asked Jesus into your heart.  Not sure about your relationship with God?  Pray this simple prayer with me:  Lord Jesus, I reallize that I have lived my life separated from you.  Please come into my life, my heart, my mind and my spirit.  Make me the person YOU want me to be and forgive me of my sins.  Today I want to follow you.

Now sit back and enjoy Amy Grant’s beautiful song about going home…

what is on the other side…

A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave

the examination room.

“Doctor, I am afraid to die.

Tell me what lies on the other side.”

Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?  You’re a christian man

and don’t know what’s on the other side?”

The doctor was holding onto the handle of the door;

On the other side came a sound of scratching and whinning.

As he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room,

and leaped on him in an eager show of gladness!

Turning to the patient, the doctor said,

“Did you notice my dog?

He’s never been in this room before.

He didn’t know what was inside.

He knew nothing except that his master was here.

And when the door opened he sprang in without fear.

I know little of what is on the other side of death,

But I do know one thing…

I know my Master is there and that is enough.”

thoughts on heaven…

If God could make the the earth as beautiful as it is today…even with pollution, corruption, sin and selfishness….can you imagine what heaven will look like?

1 Corinthians 2:9  “However, as it is written, no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Forrest Gump goes to heaven….


 The day finally arrived.  Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven..
He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself.   
However, the gates are closed,
and Forrest approaches the gatekeeper.

St. Peter said, ‘Well, Forrest,
it is certainly good to see you.  We have heard a lot about you.   
I must   tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast,  
and we have been administering
an entrance examination for everyone.   
The test is short, but you have to
pass it before you can get into Heaven.’

Forrest responds, ‘It sure is
 good to be here, St.. Peter, sir.    
But nobody ever told me about any entrance
exam. I sure hope that the test ain’t too hard.
Life was a big enough test
as it was.’

St.. Peter continued, ‘Yes, I
know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions.

First:
What two days of the week
begin with the letter T?

Second:
How many seconds are there in a year?

Third:
What is God’s first name?’

Forrest leaves to think the questions
 over.   
He returns the next day and sees St. Peter, who waves him up, and
says, ‘Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over,
tell me your answers.’

Forrest replied, ‘Well, the
first one — which two days in the week begins with the letter ‘T’?
Shucks, that one is easy.  That would be Today and Tomorrow..’

The Saint’s eyes opened wide and
he exclaimed, ‘Forrest, that is not what I was thinking, but you do
have a point, and I guess I did not specify, so I will give you credit
for that answer.  How about the next one?’ asked St. Peter.

‘How many seconds in a year?
Now that one is harder,’ replied Forrest, ‘but I thunk and thunk about
that, and I guess the only answer can be twelve.’

Astounded, St. Peter said, ‘Twelve?
Twelve? Forrest, how in Heaven’s name could you come up with twelve seconds
in a year?’

Forrest replied, ‘Shucks, there’s
got to be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd… ‘

‘Hold it,’ interrupts St. Peter.
  ‘I see where you are going with this, and I see your point, 
though that was not quite what I had in mind….but I will have to give
you credit for that one, too.   
Let us go on with the third and final question.
Can you tell me God’s first name’?

‘Sure,’ Forrest replied,
‘it’s Andy.’

‘Andy?’ exclaimed an exasperated
and frustrated St Peter.

‘Ok, I can understand how you
came up with your answers to my first two questions,  
but just how in the
world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?’

‘Shucks, that was the easiest
one of all,’ Forrest replied. ‘I learnt it from the song,
ANDY WALKS WITH ME,
ANDY TALKS WITH ME,
ANDY TELLS ME I AM HIS OWN.’

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates,
and said: ‘Run, Forrest, run.’
Thanks again, Rea!!!

Heavenly Reward….

After his death, Osama Bin Laden didn’t go to heaven…..but to a holding area.

There he was greeted by George Washington, who proceeded to slap him across the face and yell at him, “How dare you try to destroy the nation I helped conveive!”

Patrick Henry approached and punched Osama in the nose and shouted, “You wanted to end our liberties but you failed!”

James Madison entered kicked Osama in the gut and said, “This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!”

Thomas Jefferson came in and proceeded to beat Osama many times with a long cane and said, “It was evil men like you that provided me the inspiration to pen the Declaration of Independence!”

These beatings and thrashings continued as George Mason, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans came in and unleashed their anger on the Muslim Terrorist Leader!

As Osama lay bleeding and writing in unbearable pain, an Angel appeared.  Bin Laden wept in pain and said the the Angel, “This is not what you promised me!”

The Angel replied, “I told you that if you followed through with your plans, there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you in heaven.  What did you think I said?”

soon…

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be nore more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” ~ Revelation 21:3-4 (italics mine)

what if today…

Heaven.  What if we were to hear the trumpet call today?  Am I ready?  Am I assured that my name is in the Book of Life?  Oh, yesssss…..

I have a few thoughts about heaven …A never-ending “welcome home” party is waiting for our arrival…Our heavenly Father will come to greet us with open, loving arms…we’ll feel more at home than we ever did on earth because we’ll be with our Father…there won’t be any more cosmetic counters…we will be naturally perfect. Yeah, I’m ready for that.

And to think that we will never, ever, ever be weary.  Sometimes I wake in the morning and I’m already tired…. and the day hasn’t even gotten started yet!  But we won’t feel like that in heaven.  No more pain, no more questions, no more evil.  Can you imagine?

Oh, yes.  I’m ready………..

Now you have to read this………………….


While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

‘Welcome to heaven,’ says St. Peter. ‘Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.’

‘No problem, just let me in,’ says the man.

‘Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.’

‘Really, I’ve made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,’ says the senator.

‘I’m sorry, but we have our rules.’

And with that, St. Peter escort s him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises…

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

‘Now it’s time to visit heaven.’

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

‘Well, then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity..’

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: ‘Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.’So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage and swirling flames of fire are consuming the people!

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above, all the while screaming in agony!

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. ‘I don’t understand,’ stammers the senator. ‘Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends are screaming and there is trash everywhere! What happened?’

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, ‘Yesterday we were campaigning.. ..

Today you voted.’