Eternity is Now in Session … A Review

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John Ortberg has asked an important question that all of us need to consider: “What if salvation isn’t mostly about getting us into heaven but about getting heaven into us?” (p. 7).

In Eternity Is Now in Session, Ortberg examines the meaning of salvation in light of eternity.

This book arrived from the publisher two weeks before I was scheduled to teach on John 3. I devoured the book, rereading passages and highlighting key thoughts. God’s timing is always perfect! I used quotes from this book in the teaching. Continue reading Eternity is Now in Session … A Review

God Bless America … Let Freedom Reign!

Freedom wall in Murrieta, California

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people whom He has chosen as His heritage! Psalm 33:12

The United States of America was bought with the blood of our colonial soldiers and the protection of God Almighty, and it is preserved by the blood of our American men and women soldiers and the prayers of Christians. Freedom is hard won.

Thank you to our military members, veterans, and their families for the sacrifices that they have made, both apparent and those that are unspoken.

Thank you to our Father in heaven. Oh, LORD, You promised that if Your people who are called by Your name will humble ourselves, pray and seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways, You will hear, forgive, and heal our land. LORD, hear, forgive, and heal our land; return America to You.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17

Let freedom reign!

 

Life with a capital L: a small group resource & my blessing

God has been at work in my life. For a second time, God sent me Matt Heard’s message to live life with a capital L.

Twelve days after my Mama stepped into heaven, I reviewed life with a capital L. This book helped me glean the richness of the journey Mama was taking as she lifted one foot toward heaven and eventually, the other, reaching her destiny and true Life with a capital L.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Mama’s Life in heaven.

I am so glad that Heard created a small group participants’ guide and DVD. The guide can be used in 4, 6, or 12-week sessions with the DVD and the book.

Heard uses every-day examples to illustrate Biblical concepts. For example, he describes the difference between a bucket and a pipe: if you pour water into a bucket, the water stays in the bucket and will eventually become stagnant; however, if you pour water into a pipe, the water flows through the pipe, much like when a Christian serves as a conduit for God’s love, showering it on others, and as a result, God pours more love into that Christian to give the love away.

What’s in the guide

In the participant’s guide, Heard provides the facilitator with tips on how to lead the group. The participant’s guide includes:

  1. Warm-up questions (before the video).
  2. Video reaction prompts.
  3. Word studies (to go deeper in the Bible).
  4. Group discussion questions.
  5. Closing prayer prompts.
  6. After session reflections.
  7. Resolutions (prompts for prayer, reflection and action throughout the week).

Personal reflection

Daddy’s journey to heaven was 15 years before Mama’s. She missed him so much. Often, she would ask me why she was still living. I told her that God wasn’t finished with her, yet, that God had something else for her to do.

I wondered why she had to go through the last few weeks of her life. I know now. In those last few weeks of pain, there were glimpses of heaven. She served as a conduit for God’s grace and love to spill out onto her caregivers and onto her children. She didn’t know the reason for those weeks, nor did I. I’m sure she knows now. I know now.

One caregiver said that she had not seen such peace in a hospice patient. Her conclusion: “She must have her spiritual house in order.”

Without a word, in dying, Mama pointed people to Jesus; Mama lived life with a capital L in her dying.

Final resolution

Matt Heard’s final resolution sums up Life:

I will keep in mind that my ultimate redemption is graciously secured and that Christ will get me home.

I will pay attention to today’s heaven moments – whether physical aches, unfulfilled longings, encounters with beauty, broken experiences, or opportunities to obey – and will hope for the day when Life with a capital L will no longer be diluted by a fallen body and fallen world.

I miss our morning calls, Mama. They were Life.
I miss you, Mama.

My tears are filled with your Life, glimpses of heaven.
I’ll see you in heaven, Mama.

Matt Heard’s message is important. Please share this message.

Make it Yours!

Above all, make it your resolution this week to ask God to show you the
path to living Life with a capital L.
My prayer:

Father in heaven, thank You, again, for Matt Heard and the message You have given him. Bless him as he seeks Your face, Your guidance, and Your future messages. Guide us towards a deeper Life with You. We want to be used by You. We love you, Lord.

More Information

Author Bio

I unexpectedly received a copy of the Participant’s Guide and DVD of life with a capital L: Embracing your God-given humanity from Multnomah Books.

8 steps for our move into eternity

   

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him [Jesus], for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19:7-8

A Jewish young bride-to-be prepared her body, her clothes and possessions, and her mind to be pleasing to her groom for the time when her groom would come to take her as his bride, a time unknown to the bride or the groom, a time when the groom’s father decided the groom had prepared a suitable space for the bride. The groom also prepared himself and their new dwelling place, usually an addition to the father’s home.

Usually in the night a year or so after betrothal, the trumpet blew, the rejoicing began, and the grooms and friends paraded to the bride’s home to take her to his father’s home where the marriage was celebrated.

A year’s anticipation and preparation.

Trip from home

For Keith and me, a two-week trip abroad takes months of planning, preparation, and enthusiastic anticipation. Our preparation includes:

  1. Intensify our workouts to prepare our bodies for the cobblestones, stairs, and climbs that we will encounter.
  2. Learn about the food and precautions that I need to take as a celiac (gluten-free) to keep me healthy.
  3. Research the countries and learn the customs and a few words of the languages of the countries we’ll be visiting.
  4. Plan our itineraries down to the timeframes and places.
  5. Understand the weather.
  6. Pack our bags.
  7. Discuss past experiences.
  8. Anticipate the day of departure.

Move from earth

As Christians, we have a much more significant trip ahead of us, a permanent move, a move from earth into a new heaven and a new earth, a move escorted by none other than the Creator of the Universe, our Messiah, Savior, Jesus.

What if we prepared for this move as intensely as we prepare for a short trip? It might look like:

  1. Intensify the care we give our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Consume the Word of God as we learn about God’s nature.
  3. Research the customs and understandings of Biblical times.
  4. Pray for wisdom in preparation.
  5. Understand the path we are to take on earth.
  6. Pack our bags with what matters for eternity.
  7. Discuss God’s work in our lives and the lives of others.
  8. Anticipate that glorious day when Jesus will come for His bride, the church.

Are you ready?

My prayer

Jesus, our Bridegroom, teach us how to prepare for Your coming for Your bride. Fill us with wisdom as we eagerly anticipate Your return. Lord Jesus, come quickly.