Friday, May 2, 2008

My Day and Heavenly Thoughts

My friend Tricia and I braved Costco and CVS deals with six kids today. Let's see ages...12,10,7,6,4,3. I was surprised we did as well as we did. We really were quite cool (though Tricia is always "cool" she is Miss Mellow!) the whole time. I did not realize how utterly exhausted I was till we got home and I unloaded my boatload of stuff and just crashed on the bed for a minute.

Other big allergies went into full swing today. For my sister/friends who will see me on Sunday anyway, my poor nose went raw from blowing yesterday and today. My eyes are burning raw, and my throat is itchy/sore. The big bummer is that generic allergy stuff does not faze me! Does anyone have any suggestions. Of course you know I have three kids so passing out from sleepiness is not an option. Well, it is, and it's tempting but you know.....someone has to be the adult around here. :)

CVS was a simple run, but a productive one! Five free toothbrushes. Three free toothpastes plus coupon overage, free 3M products (which will make my bible study times more fun 'cause now I have the highlight tabs! yippee... I was thinking of using yellow for highlighting favorite passages of heaven). I was supposed to get free razors too I think but they were out.

So, on to more reflections of heaven. BTW, is this meaningful to anyone, or am I a little overpowering with this subject? I hope you all find encouragement from it. I know I kinda started out with a shocking bang asking y'all to be comfortable with death. It will get better...promise. In fact, the truths to come are how I grew to become more comfortable with death, for the saved that is, and burdened for the unsaved. Truly burdened. Not wanting to prove myself right in knowing the gospel truth, but truly burdened that they would be free, and given a great future in heaven. Once you know about it more, you not only long for it always, you want everyone to have it too!

It is very hard to highlight what Randy Alcorn says, it is all so good. This is why I'm inviting you who are reading to pick up the book and join me. I will be going a little slower than I intended so if you still want to pick up a copy, I'm going to be on chapter one this whole weekend. One of the main reasons is that I want to pick up my own copy. I am reading the library one and my highlighters are craving some color time. I found a great way to really chew up the books I read when starting John Piper's "Desiring God". I chose three colors and used one for quotes from him that I liked, another color for quotes he quoted from others, and one last color for scripture referenced or quoted. This also helps when you blog journal about a book because you can find things faster. I need my own copy so I can do this so I will be slowing down until I can pick one up.

Today's soundbites from Alcorn's HEAVEN chapter one:

"I agree with this statement by John Eldredge in "The Journey of Desire": 'Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an unending church service...We have settled on an image of the never-ending sing-along in the sky, one great hymn after another, forever and ever, amen. And our heart sinks. Forever and ever? That's it? That's the good news? And then we sigh and feel guilty that we are not more 'spiritual'. We loose heart, and we turn once more to the present to find what life we can.' "

The reason this spoke to me the first time I read it over a year ago now, was because I was one of those Christians. I had been taught about heaven but the description above was the impression I got of what it was. Now, I don't know if that was because of what my parents did or did not say, but it developed just the same. Even up to two years ago, I had resolved that, although that did not sound appealing to me, I figured that the heart I would have once I got to heaven would find complete delight in that sort of existence since God did promise the joy. I had no idea I was misunderstanding heaven. I should have dug into the word at that point but it was faster to just settle. I am glad that I was willing to trust God even if it seemed dull to me at the time. I think he delighted right then and there that he was about to reveal some wonderful things about heaven to me.

I loved this too:

In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", Mark Twain portrays a similar view of Heaven. The Christian spinster Miss Watson takes a dim view of Huck's fun-loving spirit. According to Huck, "She went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it...I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said, not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together.'

The pious Miss Watson had nothing to say about Heaven that appealed to Huck. (And nothing, if we're honest, that appeals to us) what would have attracted him was a place where he could do meaningful and pleasurable things with enjoyable people. In fact, that's a far more accurate depiction of what Heaven will actually be like. If Miss Watson had told Huck what the Bible says about living in a resurrected body and being with people we love on a resurrected Earth with gardens and rivers and mountains and untold adventures- now that would have gotten his attention!"

Finally Alcorn says:

"We do not desire to eat gravel. Why? Because God did not design us to eat gravel. Trying to develop an appetite for a disembodied existence in a nonphysical Heaven is like trying to develop an appetite for gravel. No matter how sincere we are, and no matter how hard we try, it's not going to work. Nor should it.

What God made us to desire, and therefore what we do desire if we admit it, is exactly what he promises to those who follow Jesus Christ: a resurrected life in a resurrected body, with the resurrected Christ on a resurrected Earth. Our desires correspond precisely to God's plans. It's not that we want something, so we engage in wishful thinking that what we want exists. It's the opposite- the reason we want it is precisely because God has planned for it to exist. As we'll see, resurrected people living in a resurrected universe isn't our idea- it's God's!

(again...excerpts are taken from Randy Alcorn's book "Heaven")

....and don't forget the polls on the side..thank you to those of you who have answered.


Karen said...

I appreciate your posts on just about everything, Alicia...and especially on Heaven. I am very much at a learning point in my life...I've firmly believed in God forever, but not done much about learning about the details until recently (like reading *drumroll* THE BIBLE...good idea,eh?!). Your posts and insight often spur me into seeking more on the topic.

tricia w. said...

Yes, yesterday was a lot to do with six kids. It was fun.