Friday, March 29, 2019

Someone close passed away ...

During the past two weeks, two people very dear to me passed away.  I grieve with their close family, particularly.  It is so painful when a person we love, with whom we have spent countless hours, is suddenly gone out of our life.  The hurt and loneliness is intense.

Though I was not direct family, it hit me more deeply than I expected.  First of all, Dianne's cousin died, suddenly.  I had not had a lot of contact with her and her husband, but the moments we did connect were special.  When he and I met and talked at the funeral last Thursday, the closeness was right back there again.  I grieve and pray with him as he navigates this journey.  Friday evening and Saturday I was rather depressed myself, a natural part of grieving, questioning a lot of things.

Then, a few days later I heard that my former employer had passed away on Sunday, after his second open heart surgery.  It shocked me to my core.  I was not aware of his medical condition.  I had not spoken to him in some time. And yet, it hit me hard. He had been more to me than a boss.  I had always seen him as a brother, both of us being pastors. After I heard of his passing, the words of David after Jonathan his friend had been killed, echoed round and round my head.  "How are the mighty fallen ... I grieve over you, my brother" [1].

During the last couple of days, the new reality has been settling in.  Life is different without these people there.  I am so sorry for those dear ones who are missing Darla and Rick.  I pray for your comfort.

Navigating this week personally, leads me to share with you some Bible scriptures about this subject - what happens when a loved one dies?

First of all, the Bible teaches us that we as human beings consist of spirit, soul and body [2]. The Bible describes our physical body as a tent, a temporary dwelling in which we live [3].  Another way of looking at this is that we are spirit, temporarily housed in a physical body.  When we die, this spirit goes to be with God who gave it [4]. 

The book of Revelation gives us a tiny insight into what our spirit will be like in heaven.  Our spirit will be in God's presence, able to communicate, is given a white robe to wear, will sing praise to God, is waiting for the resurrection [5].

When Jesus returns to this earth [6], the dead in Christ will be raised first, with a new glorious spiritual body [7], we who are alive will be changed, and together we will meet Jesus as he descends to this earth [8].  This is when we will be reunited with our loved ones.

There will be no more tears, pain and hurt.  The old things will have passed away [9].

Our loved ones have not departed for ever, rather we will be reunited with them and then spend eternity together, serving our Lord and King who loved us with such an amazing grace!

I pray that these words will bring you comfort as they do me, as we navigate our personal journeys of grief.

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1.  2 Samuel 1:17-27
2.  1 Thessalonians 5:23
3.  2 Corinthians 5:1-4
4.  Ecclesiastes 12:7
5.  Revelation 6:9-117.  Revelation 7:9-17
6.  Zechariah 14:3-4, Acts 1:9-11
7.  1 Corinthians 15:51-53, 40-44
8.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
9.  Revelation 21:1-5, 22:1-5

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Getting to Know God

Good morning!  I want to share about something that has been on my heart for a while.  Actually, for a very long time.

When I was a 12-year-old whippersnapper, I read through the story of Abraham as described in Genesis.  I was captivated by the fact that not only did Abraham talk to God, but God actually spoke back to him!  This communication was so clear that Abram (his birthname) was prepared to leave his urban house in Ur (with hot and cold water and indoor plumbing), to go live in a tent on a one-way trek through the desert.  Without asking for confirmations (like Gideon), or dillydallying along the way.  He just did it!

God's communication must have been crystal clear.

This birthed in my heart a hunger to have this same kind of communication with God.  For a long time, this was swept under the rug, I was not in an environment where you did this.  Age 45, however, there was a huge change in my spiritual walk.  God broke through with truth, and a lot of the cobwebs were swept aside.  I learned that there were actually a lot of people who heard from God.  I started to read books about the subject, and learned to quieten myself down and be open and listening actively for God's communication.

This then started a search for God, wanting to know Him deeper and deeper.  Believe me, there have been many ups and downs along this journey, I do not consider myself particularly special, with the exception that I have a unique set of fingerprints!  However the Holy Spirit continued to carry me on, along this quest to know God. I am still on this quest.  I pray that maybe you will be inspired by my experiences, and have an amazing testimony of your own, getting to know our heavenly Father in a whole new way!

Have a blessed day!