Life In The Kingdom – Our Forever Home

A new Existence

My mother-in-law passed away this past week; and as my husband and I prepare to travel out of state to the funeral, I have been thinking a lot about the transition into eternity.  That, after all, is what death is.  It is not really the end.  It is the beginning of a new life in a new place.  It is a new state of existence in the spiritual realm.  All that may sound spooky or maybe almost science fiction to some people; but that is really what life is all about. Our life on this earth is temporary and in preparation for our permanent, eternal home.  And, for those of us who know Jesus Christ personally as our Lord and Savior, that eternal home is Heaven.  The Bible states:

life-is-a-journey-to-heaven

 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:18 (NIV)

 

This is the third in a series on Life in the Kingdom.  We have learned that we are part of God’s family adopted as children. We then learned that we as a church are the bride of Christ.  Today I want to share a more personal experience as I learn to deal with the death of my mother-in-law.  

I was running an errand today and as I was driving, I turned on my CD player in the car.  The song that happened to play was The Revelation Song.  I thought about the scripture to which this song is referring:  “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come,” the living creatures proclaim. They do not rest day or night and never cease to proclaim the holiness of God.  And since we are preparing for the funeral for my mother-in-law, I thought of her and how she is present with the Lord at this very moment.  2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us that: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (NKJV)  

At that moment, while Kari Jobe was singing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Holy, holy is He,” I actually was envious of my mother-in-law.  You see, at funerals, we are sad because we will miss those who die.  031116_1918_TheHalfWasn20But Christians who die are with the Lord and are no longer sad.  There is no more death in Heaven.  No more crying.  No pain.  No sickness.  No sorrow.  No arguing or complaining.  So when we cry at a funeral, it should not be for those who have gone to Heaven.  We cry for us.  We are the ones grieving, but those who have died are rejoicing in the presence of God.  And that, my friend, is something that I certainly look forward to.  That is what I eagerly await–meeting my Savior and Lord face to face.

So now, my friend, let me encourage you to trust in the Lord.  Give your life to Him.  Know for certainty that when your body wears out and you leave this earthly existence, you will find yourself in the presence of the Lord.  

“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

 

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Life in the Kingdom – God’s Family

Adopted into the Royal Family

This is the first in a series about life in God’s Kingdom and belonging to His family.

We have the wonderful opportunity of joining the Royal Family.  King Jesus (2)And, no, I am not talking about England.  This Royal Family is part of the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven.  We cannot see it now.  It is in another realm which we will reach after the end of our time here on earth.  But we can become a part of this Kingdom now, once we give our lives over to the leadership of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Then we become children of God. And His Spirit comes to live within us.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.  So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.  Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.  Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”  For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.  And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.  Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” Romans 8:14-18

So we become part of God’s family through adoption.  Romans 8:29 goes on to say that Jesus is the first of many brothers and sisters.  In addition to becoming adopted as God’s children, we become part of a huge family with many brothers and sisters.

Many brothers and sisters  

I remember first moving to Texas with my husband and 11 month old daughter.  I had lived in Tennessee for 17 years and knew many people.  But in Texas, I didn’t know anyone.  There was great joy and comfort knowing that God was with me.  I felt His presence.  Also, when I joined a church I was immediately with family: a group of many other members of God’s family.  The kinship was immediate. Like meeting family members for the first time.  Even though I didn’t know them personally, there was a connection–a common attachment: God was our Father and they were my brothers and sisters.  

heaven is my home

So come on in, my friend. 
Become a part of the most elite family in the universe.

Coming soon:  Hear more about the Kingdom of God and our part in His family. 

Retirement

I may be a minority here but I feel this way a lot here lately.

Retirement

Beginning of life: all is exciting and new.  Experiences mostly intriguing.

On into your teenage and young adult careers, we are focused on building and achieving.

Reaching into the middle aged or life comes to a high as we are about to reach are goal.

Into our older years, once our goal is reached, we slow down and take a look back

Now at the peak of our career, we no longer climb or move upward, we no longer grow.

Going nowhere!! Existing until our final day.

Our Problems Disappear

where-all-problems-go-away-true-story-⚽👌-7856435We all need a place to escape sometimes.  For some of us it is a soccer game, as in this picture here.  For others it is something a little (or a lot) more destructive, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, and the list goes on.  

What are we escaping from?

We escape from  work, family problems, financial problems, heartache, health problems, etc.  Problems are many times the focus of our attention because we are drawn to what hurts at the moment.  It’s like when we stub out little toe; we grab our toe and moan until the pain subsides.  Likewise, most of us focus on our problems or pain until it goes away.

What is the real problem?

The real problem is not work, the family, finances, heartache, or heath, etc.  It is our focus.  What is our focus.  I have found that the more I focus on myself, the more problems I seem to have.  I am always concerned about what I want, how I feel; and I complain about what is not perfect and who is not doing what I want.  

Change of focus

So where should our focus be?  Many times in my life I have felt my focus being pulled away from my own problems when I see another bigger problem out there somewhere.  Out in the world, in my community, or among my friends.  When I see a catastrophe like war, tsunamis, or poverty  or when I see a friend get evicted from their home or someone I know loses a family member, that is when my problems seem to disappear.  In the light of major catastrophes or serious problems all around me, my problems seems to be a trivial matter.  So the problem is not my situation.  It is my focus.  It is my response to my problems.  Do I sit and sulk?  Do I worry and complain?  Do I have a pity party and wonder when I will get my way, when my kids will finally behave, when my bills will ever get paid?  If so, I end up worrying and becoming depressed.  However….

 Focus on Jesus

If I focus on Jesus, first of all, I know He has the answer and with Him I can get through the problem.  My problem may not actually disappear, but I do not worry about it because “Papa” will take care of it and see me through it.

Focus on others

Prayer is a wonderful thing.  When I pray for myself, I can focus on Jesus and know he has my problems in His hands and will fix everything until I feel okay again. When I pray for others, I get my focus off of myself and realize that I am not alone in my battles, pain, and heartaches.  

When I see what is happening in the world I still know that God is sovereign and is not up there wringing his hands wondering what to do.  He has it all under control. Sure, He gave some authority to us and commanded us to take charge of things on Earth, but He is there to help us if we ask Him.  

JOY

I once heard the definition of Joy as Jesus Others Yourself.  That is what our focus should be.  Jesus first, others second, and ourselves last.  We are here to Worship God.  That is our primary focus.  Then we are also here to love others.  Sometimes our focus should be on them more than ourselves.  Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”  We should thing of others needs.  Although we should not neglect ourselves, we should just realize that when we put others first at times, our problems seem smaller or even non existent as we focus on something else.

Continue reading “Our Problems Disappear”

MY EATING PLAN

  http://nourishinghope.com/food-pyramid/

I discovered this new food pyramid online.  I like this style of eating and have been trying to move to this diet for a while due to diabetes in my family.  I am glad that I found this online. It’s good to know someone else feels the way I do about limiting my grains and legumes so much.  I have diabetes in my family and have been trying to eat low carb for a while.  I am not diabetic; but have been told I could be pre-diabetic.  I feel that is no longer the case because of my low carb healthy eating style.  Research this for yourself beginning with this website above and see if it’s right for you.  I feel much better since I have been eating this way–more energy, less cravings, weight loss (about 2-3 pounds a week or 10-12 pounds a month).  Please feel free to comment below about what new healthy diet you have discovered.

STOP THE PAIN!!

PainLady I was talking to a nurse today who told me many patients proclaim, “I didn’t know it would hurt this much” when they come out of surgery.  And they expect to be medicated until the pain is completely gone.  But it is not always safe to be medicated that much.  Sometimes we just have to live with some pain until we are healed.  Medication is only to alleviate some of the pain, not necessarily to totally remove it.

That’s the way it is with our emotions too.  Sometimes we want to totally get rid of the pain of rejection, depression, anger, hatred, emotional pain of abuse, etc.  And that’s why I believe addictions are so much of a problem today.  Whether it is gambling, drugs, alcohol, shopping, eating, watching TV or whatever one chooses to escape from the pain, many of us have succumb to addictions.  I know I have my moments of trying to escape the pain of this world.  How can we solve this problem?

Know That Pain Will Come, it’s a Promise14aae7048c09c0c60020fb1dc4196650

We were told there was going to be pain.  Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.  Jesus was a man full of sorry and He has grieved because of the state of man’s soul who has not trusted in Him. He told us that we should be ready for pain and sorrow.  That means I should not expect to be happy every day.  I have joy because Jesus is with me, supporting me through difficult times, but it is not always fun or easy or pleasant.

Know That There is a Solution,  It’s also a Promise

Jesus said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  He is always with us.  He will never leave.  He wants to carry our burdens.  The bible is full of verses that comfort the soul.  The greatest comfort is knowing that this fallen world is only temporary.  One day I will pass on into the spiritual realm and live life with Jesus face to face.  This world will pass away, but the love of the Lord lasts forever.

Learn to Live with Some Pain

Knowing that there will be pain helps me expect it and prepare for it.  Knowing that it is temporary lets me realize that I won’t be in pain forever.  Also as I grow older, I know that physical pain is a part of life.  I seldom take pain medication.  I just live with it for a while.  I know it’s going away eventually, when He comes to take me Home to Heaven.

BE OF GOOD CHEER!!

Look at the stars

I love this quote I found online.  I believe this to the very core of my being.  There is light!

Looking around at the world today and all that is happening in the news, we will notice a lot of bad; there is a lot of hatred, sorrow, terrorism, etc.  We will notice people who don’t care any more.  There is more financial stress, more destruction, and more illness, and the list goes on. Many people can grow cold and uncaring or just become immune to all the evil in the world.  What was once devastating or shocking to society years ago will be acceptable or ‘normal’ today.  Take divorce for example.  It is very commonplace today, but a couple hundred years ago, if someone were to say they were getting divorced, they would probably be either shamed or pitied greatly.  Now it is much more acceptable.

In a world growing cold, immoral, or uncaring I can find myself becoming judgmental.  It’s just not the way it used to be.  More and more of what is acceptable now was immoral 50 years ago.  It is very easy to focus on what is bad in the world.  The news, for example has mostly stories of terrorism, war, and crime with only a short human interest story at the end.  There is a way I’ve learned to stop being so sorrowful and disappointed concerning the world system.

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Look at the stars

The more darkness there is, the more stars I can see.  I can go out to the country and see an image such as the one here.  A  multitude of stars in space.  There is darkness all around, but so many stars to enjoy.  If I keep my head up instead of down, I can see more light instead of darkness.

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In the city, with all the lights, buildings, and cars, there is much less light in the sky.  It’s easy for me to be so distracted by the action, people, and things around me that I no longer see the stars.  The world is in the way.  Even when I do look up, the stars are much less noticeable.  Most of them are dimmed in the midst of the lights of the world.

Look to God

god-is-light-in-him-there-is-no-darkness-at-all-quote-1ddf4ec73a44f86ca71ac6d1320605afeThese two verses say it all.  “God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5.  and “Set your mind on thing above.”  Colossians 3:2.  If I keep looking up, if I look at the stars in the night sky instead of the darkness itself, I can see light.  There is still good in the world.  There is still happiness. God is teaching me not be so negative.  Do not see the glass half empty.  Do not look only to the faults in the world.  See the small points of light in the midst of darkness.  Focus on the positive.

Like Carrie Hope Fletcher said, “Happiness is always there. You just have to choose to see it. There’s no point dwelling in the dark and ignoring the light of the stars.”  See link above for more information on Carrie Hope Fletcher.