For Those With Unsaved Loved Ones Still Alive

The father of one of my dearest friends has a bleak report from his doctor. My friend is saved, but her dad, to my knowledge, is not.

I’ve always referred to my friend’s dad as “Skip”, since I first met him in the early 1980s, as he reminded me of a TV show host named Skip Stephenson. I can’t remember anything about the show, but the name has stuck for my friend’s dad all these years.

How scary for my friend, for her sister, for their mother, and for Skip himself, knowing his medical condition is not likely to improve and death is imminent.

Of course, death is imminent for everyone. Any of us could take our last breath before finishing reading this page, for any number of unexpected reasons.

The important thing is that we be prepared for what lies beyond our final earthly breath, whenever that may be.

If the Bible is true, and I believe it is because all that has been written about Jesus even many hundreds of years before He came to earth in the form of a man came to pass with accuracy impossible to force, then what is written in it on how to obtain eternal life in a new body, in a perfect place, free from pain and decay, is the way I choose to follow.

And that way is simply through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as restitiutionary payment in full for my own state of separation from God. No ritual. Nothing to do. Nothing to buy. Everything good to gain.

The linked article below says it better than I can. May the reader find hope through checking it out, may Skip be saved and his entire family, and may somehow there be peace in this troubling time for them and for all who struggle through in these imperfect bodies.

For The Unsaved: About Christ

PS: I just discovered that this post had the “allow comments” button disabled in my settings. I have now corrected that and the commenting should work.

Surprise Me!

Maybe the joy I get from secular music such as this will be exponentially increased in the new heavenly songs in our mouths as we all praise Jesus together, free from our earthly desires that are the norm here.  In heaven, what would we need to desire, for all will be full and perfect! I look forward to finding out what God has prepared for us who love Him.

In the 1980s, during my teen years, while I was getting ready for school, I’d usually play vinyl records on the turntable. I didn’t want to be the only one picking the music, though, and so sometimes I’d ask my sister to choose one.

She’d say, “I don’t know what to put on. What do you want to hear?”

Huh? What’s the joy in that? If I told her what I wanted to hear, that’d be the same as me picking the record myself.

I told her, “Surprise me!”

I liked all of the music in my and her record collection. Even if what my sister chose wasn’t one of my top favourites, I enjoyed it because my beloved sister was the one who set it up.

I was just thinking about that memory and comparing it to how it will be in heaven. Of course, my analogy is shallow and doesn’t fully grasp the enormity of what heaven is. The similarity lies in that I don’t know what to expect, but I know it will be good and I will enjoy it because the One who set it up is my Beloved.

I have a few ideas as to what heaven will entail, made familiar to me by the words of Scripture, but God does say that it will be beyond what I can envision. My imagination is pretty wild, and so I have faith heaven will be absolutely out of this world – literally – largely because sin and its destructive consequences will be gone forever.

So much is in God’s Word, but this one little piece is jumping out at me right now, in Ephesians 3:20…

“…Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”

I looked up more info on the Greek word for “think”, and here’s what I found:

Info on the word “think” in Strong’s Concordance

It’s something to ponder, eh? (See what I did there? But really!)

Anyway, all this to say that I look forward to the surprise that God has in store, the details of which I cannot comprehend yet. I trust that it will be good, for all that I know of Him, from reading the Scriptures, has proven good.

Maranatha!

Sin and Forgiveness

The following was written by a friend and brother in Christ, Paul Kocourek. I felt moved to share it.

Some people like to quote the following against homosexuals:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
(1 Cor 6:9-10)

But they fail to include the very next verse:

“Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:11)

There is salvation and forgiveness for homosexuals (and all others self-identified as LGBTQ+), just as there is salvation and forgiveness for:

fornicators

idolaters

adulterers

effeminate

thieves

covetous

drunkards

revilers

swindlers

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and YOU WILL BE SAVED, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)

Our sins — all of them – deserved the death penalty. God so loved us that He sent Jesus to die the death penalty we each deserved.

It doesn’t matter if we are not a LGBTQ+ person, and committed only one sin, and the rest of the time we are practically a saint. Why? Because to break one of God’s commandments is to be guilty of breaking ALL of them.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10)

One “little white lie”, one moment of lust or greed or pride, is as guilty and deserving of death as murder. So, when Jesus Christ went to the cross to suffer, bleed and die, He paid for ALL our sins, dying the death we deserved. The combined weight of ALL our sins was laid on Jesus at the cross, and so He died for ALL of them!

Three days later, Jesus arose victoriously from the grave, proving the death penalty was satisfied and the payment accepted. Now God can totally PARDON us — forgiveness is available to every one of us, free and clear, ours simply for the asking, accessed by faith in Jesus, trusting and believing that He:

1) died for our sins

2) was buried

3) rose again the third day

Friend, if you haven’t yet accessed that pardon, yours free and clear, simply for the asking, won’t you pray now and choose to believe in Jesus, as per the three points above?

God promises that when you do, you will be totally forgiven, right then and there! It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done, or how terrible and grievous or how many are your sins. Trust in Jesus and you will be totally cleansed from them all!

A Positive Spin

mt timothy road

A photo that has nothing to do with the blog entry: a road near home, as seen from the passenger seat of our truck

Looking back at my recent blog entries, I realize there have been mostly negative ones. Me complaining. Me whining. Me seemingly teetering on the precipice between life and death, or at least that’s how it feels to me when I’m there. Me, me, me…

The thing is, the times I feel most like blogging are when I’m struggling, feeling alone, and needing a place to vent. During buoyant times, I’m too busy enjoying the moments to do more than imagine how I’d write about them.  Thinking about this, I do consider that maybe I should include a few more happy posts. Maybe that will happen.

Although it must look like all I do is complain, more often than not I don’t blog about my struggles. I keep them to myself, or I talk to the One who already knows about them while the song “Where Could I Go But To The Lord” wafts through my mind.

I appreciate the writing of others in their angst, showing a heartbeat to the person behind the text. Maybe there are people who appreciate mine. Like validation. The “I hear ya, bruh” type thing that we sometimes need.

So, there’s a bit of a positive spin on my negativity.

I’ll leave you with my favorite version of the song I mentioned above – Where Could I Go But To The Lord as recorded by Emmylou Harris. This is how it runs through my head, ever since I bought the cassette tape in Petersburg, Alaska’s hardware section of Hammer & Wikan in the early 1990s.

Forsaken Forest

FORSAKEN FOREST

There is a dark wall of forest around my heart.

The trees are tall, evergreen, angry, with needled fingers pointing while I cry on the ground.

Some say they love me but their words demand that I follow only their rules.

One berates me because I am friends with her mother, whom she hates.

Another hates me because I don’t like the same music as he.

Still another hates me because I remained in contact with her ex, a man who was my friend before I knew her.

Two more cut me out of their lives because I left a man who was my husband, with whom, they opine, I should have stayed. I regarded one as a father of sorts. He has departed this realm. Now the mind of the other, his wife, has left her aging body.

One especially was close to my heart. We talked almost daily. We shared meals, music, laughs, tears, secrets… Life.

Many more stand in the shadows, regardng me with disdain so deep, my attempts to reconcile are lost in their darkness.

Their roots whisper, “Remember when we used to talk? We laughed together many a time. We trusted each other with deep thoughts. We bounced ideas around. I knew you cared. You were always there. For me. But I remain as I was – not there for you.”

Scars are scribed where their branches had grown so closely into my life, they grafted in. When they pulled their arms away, it left open wounds.

I never cut them off myself. My arms still reach out, though with more caution: “Will you ever return?”

The wall of this forest blurs my outlook. Covered by the past, I am hidden from the future.

My yellowed leaves fall to the dirt like the friends who did forsake me.

As the wall of trees looks down on me, my figurative tears dilute their shadows and turn them to mud. I care less.

But, given time, light, and water – the water of love – I will grow back. Alone on the surface perhaps; damaged; spent; and even physically demolished, but never forsaken by the One who provides life eternal – Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

(Proverbs 18:24)

Prayers Don’t Go Out To People

Have you ever seen people commenting on social media to another person “Prayers going out to you”?

Please, please, do not write “prayers going out to you” unless you are talking to God Himself through Jesus Christ His Son.

If you want to pray FOR someone, you might tell them “prayers going up for you” or “I am praying for you”, but never would you pray TO them.

If I Die…

For my loved ones – warm pie, a family favorite

Someday, maybe after I die, my kids might read through my blog and see this. I want to say here that I love all seven of you more than words can describe, and although I tell and show my love for you all the time, if there is any doubt, here it is in writing.

I also want to say that all the photos I have taken, videos I have made, and writing I have done in journals over the years is no indication of any favoritism. I would hate for any of my kids to feel I didn’t love them equally because there wasn’t as much record of them in one form or the other. Each one of you are tied for first place in my heart.

I am writing this on Friday, August 2, 2019. I will schedule this blog entry to be automatically posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

I set it at 11:11 a.m. That is a special “TIME” of any day, of course, for us.

Why schedule it? Because I am planning to go on a two-night road trip tomorrow (which would be Saturday at the time of this writing) with my oldest daughter as she has an appointment and also wants to buy some things in the city that she can’t find up here. I don’t like to post on the internet about when I will be away, so by the time this publishes, I should already be back home…

Unless the Lord takes me to my forever home.

If I don’t return from my trip, may my remaining children know how dearly I love them. May they seek assurance through studying God’s word to know that faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only way to heaven. I want them to be with me there.

I want everyone who reads this to be there, too. I share the desire of God’s heart, which is that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Sincerely, with love,
Mom/Steeny Lou

Sharp pain in right temple

All day, off and on, a sharp pain has stabbed my right temple. It lasts only a second at a time and happens sporadically, several times an hour.

I am so stressed and grieved, the instigating last straw being the loss of my writing in a WordPress draft last night, that I do not feel like myself. It is not like my usual state of depression when things overwhelm me. It is deeply physical this time, very much like grief over loss of a loved one.

I wanted to say this in case I die tonight and the reason is otherwise unknown. A friend or family member might see this and know I had a strange pain in my head, not like the usual pain attacks I get every few weeks.

I took an Aspirin pill within the past hour. I haven’t tried Aspirin in years.

If I die and am therefore unable to say further words directly, I leave this here: please, my family and friends, please, I beg you, read the Bible and seek to know the truth. Please accept Jesus and thereby embark on the same eternal destiny as me. I want to see you there. I love you and do not want you to perish.

Just a flower I saw yesterday