Category Archives: Eternity

Err On the Side Of Caution?

We just spent the past three days at our church’s annual family camp. Along with the usual lake-side, rustic-setting outdoor activities, we had some awesome Holy Ghost breakthrough meetings with our pastor and the guest speakers he invited to share with us. Wow! We will never be the same.

I’ve had a few holes poked in my nice comfortable theological box. Much needed, I might add.

You’re familiar with the phrase, “err on the side of caution”, which means to act in the least risky manner in a situation where one is uncertain about the consequences. This is human nature. As a matter of fact, we’re even encouraged to take this approach to a give situation. It’s safe.

But what if God is asking you to take a risk? To ditch the easy way and try something new? To take a leap of faith, not knowing what the outcome will be?

I can see the expression on your face. You’re wincing.

What if God is asking you to err on the side of believing too much and acting on it rather than not having enough faith and questioning everything? Don’t you think He would far rather have you take that step and make a mistake than never take a step at all?

These are the questions I am asking myself.

And maybe you need to ask them, too.

I sat in those meetings at camp, knowing that the Holy Spirit was nudging and challenging me to take some of those risky steps. I could almost hear Him asking me what in the world would make me think He wouldn’t ask me to do something so completely out of my comfort zone that I would have to trust Him. Did I really expect the Lord to let me just relax in my easy chair for the rest of my life? Um – no. I guess not.

So, it’s time to find out what my next steps are.

I’m sure there will be opposition, because people will always try to stop you from doing what they don’t understand.

I’m sure there will be difficult days. That’s a given.

I’m sure there will be some stumbling along the way.

But I have no more excuses. I’m being pursued by Jesus Christ, who loves me and knows me like no one else does. He has work for me to do, and saying “no” isn’t an option.

 And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.  Joel 2:28-29 (NKJV)

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Be Real

I may have touched on this a time or two in past posts and I will probably do it again. Why, you ask? The answer is simple. I know too many people who can’t, won’t or have forgotten how to be real. And it’s sad. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for someone to wear a mask all the time, never letting their guard down long enough to be honest with those around them.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the “unreal” people aren’t even being honest with themselves.

My very talented and insightful nephew wrote a song called Mirrors and Masks with these lyrics:

Take of your mask and lay it at His feet
Who you are is discovered in your defeat
Strip away your pretense
Behind your face is another waiting to be found
Who is hiding under there?
Come out, come out wherever you are . . .

How much truth lies in those words! All pretense is stripped away in the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ if we but lay ourselves open to His love and mercy, and allow Him to complete the good work He has begun in us. There is no need for masks. Just hearts bared and hands raised in awe of the One who died to save us and give us the promise of an eternity with Him.

No more pretending. No fake smiles. No empty words. God sees the truth anyway.

Be who you were created to be. Be real.

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One Week Until the End of the World

Apparently, it’s one week until the end of the world. You know, the whole Mayan calendar thing that has so many people counting down the days until time as we know it will cease.

I don’t believe it. Not even a little.

But let’s pretend for a moment, shall we? What if we actually knew the exact date for certain? What would we do in the time we had left?

I know I’d be taking stock of my life and eliminating a lot of inconsequential things. I’d be spending a lot more time with my husband and family. And I’d definitely be in serious consultation with God to make sure I was doing the things that are important to Him.

So why is it that we don’t do that all the time? Why don’t we live every day like it’s our last?

I’ll leave you to ponder that one.

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The End of the World . . . or Not

If the ancient Mayan apocalypse rumors are to be believed, the world will shut down three weeks from today. On the off chance they are right, then all I can say is HALLELUJAH! I’d be quite happy to take that little trip to my eternal home in Heaven.

But people believe this stuff. And they are afraid.

There have been misinterpretations of the Mayan calendar. According to so-called experts, on December 21, 2012, (also the date of the winter solstice), a calendar cycle called the 13th b’ak’tun comes to an end. And rumors have spread that a cosmic event is imminent on that day. Seriously?

This has got to be one of the wildest stories out there. How many predicted dates concerning the end of the world have come and gone over the years? And how many have been right? None. Not even one.

But this rumor has real-life consequences. There are people who take this seriously. Some say they can’t eat, or they are too worried to sleep. Others feel suicidal. We might see this as a joke, but there are a lot of people who are truly concerned.

Pray for them. Really pray.

God’s Word is clear that no one knows when time as we know it will come to and end. No ancient Mayan can name the day. No scientist can make an educated guess. No televangelist can say he’s had an exclusive word from the Lord.

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. Mark 13:32-33 (NKJV)

The real question is this: Are you ready for that Glorious Day, whenever that may be?

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-13 (NKJV)

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Reminders

Here are some reminders that are good for daily hourly, or even minutely review. Say out loud:

I am a child of the everlasting God.

I am forgiven.

I am cloaked in righteous armor.

I am part of a larger story.

My true and lasting affirmation comes only from my King.

I am unique and above all creation – planned and perfect in design.

I have been created for a glorious destiny.

All my ways are established by my Lord and King, and I walk in them.

My life and actions are real, authentic, and without compromise.

I am quickened and made alive through the power of the Holy Spirit.

My whole life is before me.

I am a shining gift from God to this lost world.

I know my name, I understand my calling, and I am worthy to walk in it.

I am strong, brave, and courageous in the face of my enemies.

I dwell on whatever is good, whatever is pure, and whatever is true.

My sins are scattered as far as the east is from the west.

The future glimmers with radiant light.

I will look to the new day, the dawning of hope.

I will step forward with the truth before and will no longer look on the day that is gone.

The past is over; the future has begun.

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Does God Exist?

This is a loaded question. The responses can cast you into the right bucket or the left bucket. Some will say there is no scientific evidence that God exists, therefore there is no God. Others say the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; therefore we must have faith that God exists to give meaning to our existence. The following story, which seems to show up somewhere every so often, illustrates how a person’s theory determines what is observed and how what is observed is interpreted according to the person’s theory.

A university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”

”God created everything? The professor asked. “Yes sir”, the student replied.

The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil”. The student became quiet before such an answer.

Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”

“Of course”, replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, “Professor does cold exist?”

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?”

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”

The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?” The professor responded, “Of course it does.” The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?” Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.” To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat. The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. Psalm 19:1-11 (New Living Translation)

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In the Clouds

Yesterday, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, a summer storm produced this unusual cloud formation. It got me thinking about Revelation 1:5-7, which says:

“Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us, who blood-washed our sins from our lives, Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for his Father, forever—and yes, he’s on his way! Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye, those who mocked and killed him will see him, People from all nations and all times will tear their clothes in lament. Oh, Yes.” (The Message)

I have no doubt that when Jesus comes again, He will ride a very unusual cloud formation and He’ll be seen by every eye, just as yesterday’s strange clouds were probably seen by everyone who was in Regina at the time.

Prepare the way the way for our Redeemer.
Prepare the way for our Restorer.

Make ready your heart. Make ready your home.
Make ready, you people of God. Prepare the way.

Make no mistake. Jesus IS coming back.

Soon.

I can’t wait!

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Not Perfect

There is a misconception out there that Christians are supposed to be perfect. I have gained first-hand knowledge of this fallacy from a few friends and family who seemed to have nothing better to do than to wait for me to slip up and make a mistake. And when I do (because we all do), they are very quick to point their fingers and accuse, adding my fumbles to their arsenal against Christians in general.

Here’s the truth: God’s people are not perfect.

We have flaws. Cracks. Chips. We’ve been broken, stepped on, pushed around, hurt, slapped, and disappointed. Just like everybody else. We bear the very same scars. We are not immune to the world and we don’t have a magic wand to make all the bad go away. As our pastor said yesterday, being a Christian can be like trying to keep your balance while walking into the wind with debris flying at you from every direction. It’s hard. Really hard.

But . . .

We have forgiveness from sin through Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean we don’t sin – it means that when we do, we have the privilege of coming to Jesus, owning up to the things we’ve done wrong, and receiving His complete and total forgiveness.

We have the Holy Spirit to give us directions to get through that windstorm – if we let Him.

And we have God’s promise of eternal life.

 

 

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Dear Mother

This is  a letter to my grandmother, whom I called Mother. She went home to Heaven recently.

Dear Mother,

You’ve been in Heaven for over three weeks now and I wish I knew your phone number there so I could call and ask you all the questions that have been going through my mind since you left.

I’m sure you’ve been busy getting settled in your new mansion. How does the garden look? I can just see all the gladiolas blooming just for you. Hopefully the rhubarb is under control. Just be careful when you cut it – I still have a scar on my finger from that time you let me do it and I didn’t realize how sharp the knife was. 

There is no doubt in my mind that you have a very well-stocked library somewhere in that house of yours, so maybe you’ve had time to start reading the books – all  your favorites by Gene Stratton-Porter, Harold Bell Wright, and Ralph Connor. I have some of the ones you left behind. And don’t worry, I shared them with Kim and Rochelle, just like you wanted.

I have to ask: how is Gramps? I can only imagine how wonderful your reunion must have been. I bet your knees went weak when you saw him! He’s probably shown you around everywhere by now and you’ve already caught up on all the news.

Have you seen my Dad? Please give him a hug and a kiss from me and tell him how very much I miss him. I think about him every single day.

And you’ve seen Jesus! That is the very best of all – to be with Him in Glory for all eternity. Everything else pales in comparison, I’m certain, and you get to be right there in His presence, worshiping Him. How awesome! I am full of joy that you and Gramps and Dad and so many other loved ones chose the Savior, because that means I will see you all again one day. I want to stand right beside you in that great cloud of witnesses.

Well, Mother, I don’t know how reliable the mail service is in Heaven, but I do know that my prayers reach the heart of Almighty God – every time, instantly – and Canada Post could never match that! 

I miss you, Mother!

Until we meet again.

Love, Wendy

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Resting

It’s been a crazy couple of days.

Yesterday morning, we started our road trip from Vancouver, BC to Saskatoon, SK, which takes an average of 18 hours to drive. We did it in 18.5, even after stopping for an hour in Edmonton to meet family for a quick supper. The drive was pretty ordinary until we were within a few hundred miles of our destination. I’ll save that story for another post.

Today we laid my precious grandmother to rest. Although her glorious entrance into heaven had already taken place the moment she breathed her last, today was a celebration of her life and her legacy. Family and friends gathered to sing, share and just be together – and it was good. I had the honor of reading my grandmother’s eulogy and a tribute I had written. I didn’t sob and blubber (which I’d been afraid might happen), so that was also good. After the service, we went back to “Mother’s” house to look at her things and see if there were little mementos we’d like to keep. I think the most valuable thing for me was one of her well-used Bibles, with her notes in the margins. It’s now in my suitcase. I can’t wait to pour over the pages and glean from Mother’s insights into God’s Word.

Mother is resting with Jesus now.

And I am resting too.

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