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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

There are a whole lot of ways to answer this question, just make sure yours is the right one. Mine wasn't.


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Why do you want to go to Heaven?

Why do you want to go to heaven?

Is it to see someone that you miss desperately?

Is is to escape something terrible?

Is it to get relief from pain?

Is it to avoid hell?  (yes, there is a hell)

There are a whole lot of ways to answer this question, just make sure yours is the right one. Mine wasn't.

These are all legitimate desires, but not one is spiritual.  Self-preservation and self-gratification are favorite ways for the enemy to tempt the one looking too closely in the mirror.  One juicy bite of pride in the garden long ago caused the Father to leave. The God of the universe, who was once seen by two pair of eyes, is now referred to as invisible.   I wonder if Eve, after all the punishments were announced,  I wonder if she missed her intimate life with God?  Did she long to hear His footsteps in the garden?  Was the worse consequence she received that day, the separation from her Creator?

That’s all God wants of us ya’ll.  He wants us to long to see Him.  To anticipate a reunion. To love Him more than that special person you miss.

I have personally had heaven issues in the past, one of the reason for this post.  I artfully hid this secret from my inner self.  The fact that Jesus was in heaven was just secondary to the reason I really wanted to go.   Thankfully the Holy Spirit specializes in wake up calls.

So exactly what did my repentance look like?

Honesty came first.  I didn’t love God as He commanded…with all my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength.  I was a halfhearted lover.  And y’all, that’s never good for a relationship.  (I wrote a post about that here) Next I admitted to myself that I was helpless in knowing how to drum up this kind of passion in my love for God.  Finally,  I turned to the Holy Spirit for help.  He helped me change my behavior toward God.  And let me note here, the behavior came first, the fervor came later… a miracle performed by my friend the Holy Spirit.  I began drinking in scripture, praying with purpose,  making time for solitary praise and meditation, and I started talking about Jesus to everyone…just as if I couldn’t live without Him.  Soon I discovered I couldn’t.

There are a whole lot of ways to answer this question, just make sure yours is the right one. Mine wasn't.

Now… HIS face is the first one I want to see when I step out of my earthly body.

In my imagination,   this is what heaven looks like to me.  Upon my arrival, those I love are close but not in the forefront.  They are to the side eagerly anticipating  the moment I catch the first glimpse of the One who died for me.  My eyes are locked on Jesus as my mother and father take my hands.  Together we worship Him, joining our voices as a family united in our joy.  He is the center of our attention.  As it was in the beginning.

Blessings, Alice

Picture:  taken on my 2018 trip to Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado.

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There are two ways to bear a burden:  with God and without God...and I hate to say it but I am experienced in both ways.


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Two Ways to Bear a Burden

There are two ways to bear a burden:  with God and without God...and I hate to say it but I am experienced in both ways.

Without God

Bearing burdens without God includes lots of fear, stress, anxiety, and plenty of self-pity.  Burdens are heavy y’all.  It’s like the earth’s  gravity has increased and each movement is cumbersome and toiling.  My heart is heavy, my soul is heavy, and I get so tired.  Tired.  Wondering if the heaviness of what I am carrying will squish me right into the earth.  When my youngest son was hit by a Mack type Truck while riding a motorcycle in Cambodia, I was beside myself with fear.  God spared his life.  He survived with a broken pelvis and dented up arm.  But then the fever came.  Sitting in a developing 3rd world hospital was scary enough, but waiting for the fever to break caused me to just about come undone.

It doesn’t have to be a dramatic accident that causes us to lose it.  It could be the day to day living in an oppressive situation or the unending absence of an unanswered prayer.  It’s times like these when the enemy loves to lie to God’s children.   I can’t begin to understand God’s will, and why some things happen, but I do know that in life,  God requires us to go through hard times.  It may be for a  moment, or it may be for a season, but some things are just required.

There are two ways to bear a burden:  with God and without God...and I hate to say it but I am experienced in both ways.

With God

My advice for bearing burdens with God, comes from the direct experience of failure.  Wallowing in my fear, I couldn’t figure out how I had gotten so far from God.  I took these measures to reset my faith.  First, I decided to admit my need for help to people who could remind me of scripture and pray over me.  I also found comfort in the promises found in the Word and in the declarations of God’s character…a sure way to fight the lies from the devil.    Sometimes I would fall asleep quoting particularly relevant verses over and over.   I also took deep spiritual comfort in the idea of sharing in Christ’s suffering.  Another way I fought my way to peace was to be grateful.  I made a list and used it when I prayed.  Finally, I admitted to myself that I had a problem with trust.  I begged Jesus to show me how to say “Not my will but Yours.”  (links to scriptures are included)

I love what Oswald Chambers said about burdens:

“Roll thy burden upon the Lord”– you have been bearing it all; deliberately put one end on the shoulders of God…Commit to God “that which He hath given thee”; not fling it off, but put it over onto Him and yourself with it, and the burden is lightened by the sense of companionship.

There have been time when I have been so distraught that words can’t be formed.  Those final days when my mother lay suffering with ALS were a nightmare….a perfect moment to turn to the Comforter.  Pray to the Holy Spirit ya’ll.  Tell Him to take your groans before the Lord…and He will.

Blessings, Alice

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Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.


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Why Our Family DE-emphasized Santa

From the earliest of age I have not been very impressed with Santa.  I remember laying awake terrified that a strange man would be lurking around in our living room, and worse, that my parents would let him.  Later, the idea of presents dried my tears when sitting on the mall Santa’s lap, but I still didn’t like it and I have pictures to prove it.

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.

When I had children of my own I decided that there would be no more white lies about Santa.  Here is my reasoning.  I spent a good deal of time training my kids to know the difference between real and make believe, especially from the Bible.  Let’s face it, there are plenty of crazy stories in the Bible that seem like fantasy.  When we opened the  Bible together, everything they heard…snakes talking, arks floating, men in fiery furnaces, Jonah being swallowed by a fish, God being born in a  manger…no matter how fantastic…all of it was TRUTH.  I was determined that my children would be able to trust me to tell them the truth, even about Christmas.  I would stop the innocent Santa lies of my mother, and my grandmother before her.  I would never tell them that there was another man who had the same omniscient qualities as God…someone who knew everything about them…when  they  sleep, and when they are awake. I just couldn’t do it.

Lest you think we were opposed to Santa altogether, let me be clear that Santa still came to our house.  We still had all the fun of Christmas morning that the rest of the world did.  The only difference was that the kids knew the real origin of all the gifts under the tree.    Our children enjoyed talking about Santa as if he were real, much like my granddaughter imagines she is having conversations with her stuffed animals.  We never had any problems with our children revealing this big secret to their classmates once they were school-aged.

I know this idea is not for everyone, but it worked for our family.  My daughter is now a mother and she and her husband are putting more emphasis on the birth of Jesus than I ever did.  If I could do it again, I would use this time of year for our family to grow spiritually together with an emphasis on giving.

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas, Alice

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.

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This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.


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Finding Perspective While Stuck in the Wilderness

As you rise the next hill your hopes are dashed once again, it’s just more wilderness for miles.  Your trouble seems to go on and on.  You are still waiting and waiting and waiting…and waiting for that relief to come, for that job to be less stressful, for that special someone to come along, for your health to improve,  for things to get better.

This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.

The same old scenery makes you antsy…makes you dissatisfied…makes you discouraged.  Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy…whispering  that God has abandoned you to the scorpions and cactus.  Poor you!

Not so, the Word says.  You can still have a fulfilling, beautiful life while you wander.  The Holy Spirit led me to find these deeply meaningful verses for you, if you read them with the spiritual in mind.

Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.  Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  Deuteronomy 8:2-3 NLT 

Here are some noteworthy observations from this passage.

You are being led.

If you remember Israelite history, the people were never alone.  God went before them in a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.  (fact check: Exodus 13:21-22) This is a profound truth for you to think about…God always kept Himself visible to His people.  All they had to do was look, and there He was.  It may look like you  are going in circles, but the leader is leading…the follower needs to follow.

You are being humbled and tested on purpose.

Somebody much bigger and smarter than you has your best interests at heart.  He promises that things are in the process of working out for your good if you love Him.  (fact check: Romans 8:28)  But now you are hungry…starving, longing for a bite of relief.  Just wait y’all, bread is on the way.

You are being taught how to eat.

There’s purpose to your hunger.  Sometimes you just need to hear that word…purpose.  The gnawing in your spiritual stomach is to teach you  that people do  not live by bread alone….that there is something sweeter for your soul than the physical….that time is not to be wasted with meaningless distractions, where a soul drops exhausted into bed each night, proud to have made it through one more day without dwelling too much on life. Y’all the bread of life is rich and satisfying.  This is how we truly live, by every word that comes from the mouth of God.   So breathe in the aroma of a freshly baked loaf, and cut yourself a slice.

 

This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.  
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I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.


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3 Assurances That you CAN Raise Your Children to see Heaven

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree.  The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder’s wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven.  I guess she thought I was arrogant when I expressed my belief that Jesus centered parenting produces Jesus lovers.  She boldly told me it was impossible to be so sure, that some, even after good parenting will turn away and be lost.

No.

Unacceptable.

This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.  But it’s hard y’all.  This task of raising children is thwarted at every hand by the devil and His minions.  And let me say this, even though your child dallies in a certain sin for a season doesn’t mean they are lost forever.  I believe they will always return to the fold.  Look at the last part of this scripture:  Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it. Proverbs 22:6 NLT

But, I didn’t want my children to waste their lives away from God and then come back to Him when they were older.  My goal was to have strong, steadfast, faithful children so they could in turn raise strong, steadfast, faithful children.  Our strategy was to parent with this goal in mind.  So if you are having doubts about your ability to save your own children, be encouraged with these thoughts from scripture.

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.

1.  Children are Good Soil

Matthew 13:3-8

But, good soil has to be cultivated, fertilized, watered, nurtured.  If the soil is not cared for, or left on its own then it becomes dry and hard.  If the rocks are not plucked out carefully, then roots will not take hold.  If not diligent, then thorns will pop up.  A parent must constantly working the soil of the child.  But happily, this good soil will produce an abundant crop.  This is a promise.

 

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.

Message from a teenage boy to his mother after an argument.

2.  It’s God’s Will

Ephesians 1:11

Your children are predestined to become believers.  They were entrusted to YOU.   For an analogy…our family loves the Houston Astros team  My children were destined to love this team too.  Why?  We wear the shirts, we gather around the radio or television, we discuss stats in the car and around the table, we travel to Houston for a live experience,  we whoop, we holler, and we sing.  So now, even though my son lives in California, he is not ashamed to put on his Astros hat when the Angels are playing Houston.  He proudly roots for his team even though he is surrounded by the enemy.   He has been TRAINED.

God has put these children in your family so you can train them for His team.  It’s inevitable.  It’s His will.

3.  You have Power.  POWER.

Ephesians 3:14-21

This immense love of God can only be understood through the Holy Spirit.  He strengthens you, He dwells in your hearts, and He can do more that you can you can ask or imagine.   So partner up and ask Him.  You are not alone for one second.

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You can find the above post Fight Like A Boss, Against Unseen Forces here.

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