Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘life after death’

Finding Faith & Forgiveness


Thank you for joining my A-Z journey
to explore ways to add meaning to our lives.

Today is the sixth day – the letter “F.”

F = Faith & Forgiveness

They go hand-in-hand. One invites the other.

man in black long sleeved shirt and woman in black dress

Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

FAITH

Faith is belief in the unseen. To look beyond the obvious and see endless possibilities adds depth and meaning to our lives. It opens us to gifts beyond measure.

In Mark 9:22-24, a father of a mute son said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, do it! Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus replied, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts.”

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat talk about faith,
“Recognize and accept that
there is another dimension to life
than what is obvious to us.
Live with obstacles, doubt, and paradox,
knowing that God is always present in the world.”

FORGIVENESS

And because we believe in the God who is our Creator, and the One He sent to forgive us for our repeated wrong-doings to ourselves and one another, we also have the capacity to forgive.

The Brussats wrote about forgiveness:
“In both your private and public lives,
discover the sweet release
that comes from forgiving others.
Feel the healing balm
of being forgiven and
of forgiving yourself.”

Enjoy the sweet smell
Of receiving and giving
Forgiveness’ balm

UNFORGIVENESS

“I am a wretched sinner! I am going to Hell!” Mark shouted from his nursing home bed.

“Mark, we all have sinned. We all make mistakes. None of us is perfect. You have asked God to forgive you. He has! You need to forgive yourself!”

“I can’t! You don’t know how bad my sin is! You don’t know what I did! I can never forgive myself! I am miserable,” Mark moaned.

My friend, Mark, died later that week!

I don’t know if he was able to forgive himself on his deathbed, but I believe our Lord and Savior died so that Mark could be forgiven. He did believe in God. He professed his belief many times.

John 20:21-23 says,
“Again Jesus said to His disciples,
‘Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me,
I am sending you.
And… He breathed on them and said,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone his sins,
they are forgiven’ …”

Are you looking for more meaning, more purpose,
and a peace that permeates your soul?

Live in Faith, my friends.
Know the Holy Spirit lives in you,
and know You ARE Forgiven.

You do not need to end your life crying in misery.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you will have eternal life in His name.

“Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

art cathedral christ christian

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.
He is risen indeed!

Be at peace!

 

Let His Love Light Shine


Sermon notes from 6/3/18 – Rev. Jean Johnson’s message inspired by Mark: 2:23 – 3:6 – filtered through the ears & pen of Jan Beekman

Let His Love Light Shine

 

We are servants of God,

So, do not lose heart.

The glory of God has shined

In and through us from the start.

 

Jesus Christ is our Lord.

He rose victorious from the dead.

His resurrection assures us

When we die, we’ll live instead.

 

The Lord surely restores us.

He guards and lovingly guides us.

The Lord, our God, is here

In us; seeking, He finds us.

 

Through the Holy Spirit,

God communicates. Hear Him speak.

We are called to carefully listen –

To obey boldly; don’t be meek.

 

Christ’s Glory is the glory of

Truth and Love shining through

In the midst of death and decay.

It’s forgiveness for me and for you.

 

God calls us to continually be

Followers in Truth and Love.

Our job is to live the Gospel message.

Let His Light shine through you from above.

 

Amen?

Amen!

What Do You Believe?


happy-easter-religious-cross-banner

Terminal or Eternal?

T ime on
E arth is not
R evolving.
M inutes spent
I n mortality
N ever repeat.
A lways spend each one
L ovingly and joyfully.

Time on earth is terminal.

Some believe in a revolving door called reincarnation, believing they’ll return as another person if the good deeds they do in this lifetime do not raise their karma above the 50% mark. Reincarnation becomes a chance to try it again. Be better, kinder, more loving and more wise the next time around, and eventually the Karmic Board will judge you worthy. Your life will tip the Karmic Scale and you’ll earn the right to resurrection and life in Eternity.

Others believe when this terminal life as a human being is over, they’ll return as a creature. They talk about what it might be like to come back as a family pet or as a bee, a bird, or a lion.

Acknowledging that life on earth is terminal, some think that this is all there is. When we die, that’s it. From dust we come; to dust we will return. No reincarnation. No resurrection. No nothing. What a bleak, meaningless existence that must be!

As for me, I believe life on earth is terminal. I don’t believe I’ll return as another person. I don’t see myself coming back in the form of another earthly creature. But, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this brief earthly life is not all there is. I want to live in love and peace, to spread joy and hope, and to serve my Maker and others. But, I don’t live giving out blessings because I think I’m earning the right to live eternally. I don’t serve to rack up points and move a notch closer to God in Heaven in the “After-Life.” My place already has been secured. I serve out of gratitude, hopefully with an attitude of generosity – grateful for the fact that the price was paid. Paid by God’s Son.

That’s what Easter is all about. It’s not bunnies and colored eggs, frilly new dresses, fancy hats, and patent leather shoes. It’s about a Man named Jesus, a span of three years of ministry on earth, teaching us how to live and how to treat one another, and a forty day period we call Lent. Lent is the time when Jesus was accused, tried, convicted for our sins, beaten, crucified on a cross, and buried in a tomb. Because He died with, “Father, forgive them,” on His lips, I am assured of my forgiveness. I know because He rose again, and because He lives, and because He promised, “I go to prepare a place for you,” when my terminal life on earth is over, I will take that place in Eternity reserved for me. My soul will live on. This is not the end.

This is what I believe. Easter assures me. This life is only the beginning.

Hallelujah! Happy Easter!

Limited Options


My friend, Jack Murphy, died two days ago. He was a member of the Writers of Madison County in southwest Montana. Suffering heart problems and other ailments, he had been contemplating his own death for several years. He didn’t dwell on the subject often in his writing. Usually he wrote whimsical poetry regarding such subjects as Humpty Dumpty’s tragedy or Little Miss Muffet’s victory over that dreadful spider. Now, after he left us at a much too early age, I am drawn to his shared poems and short stories. His words take on deeper, more profound meanings. I ponder his musings. I want to call him back to us and discuss his premises. He wrote of “Limited Options” and of leaving this earth as “an empty shell, no heart, no soul, no place to dwell,” to “drift away through time and space.” I had no idea in 2009 when he published his poem, Surrender, in the Madison County Writers’ Group Anthology that he really would “go” so soon. I miss him!

Surrender

It’s time to go, I hear the voice.
It’s time to go, I have no choice.

I sense a tug upon my sleeve
telling me it’s time to leave.

I am not sure I want to go.
I thought that at the time I’d know

if I was really tired of life,
the aches and pains and constant strife.

Do I have the strong resolve
or will that needed strength dissolve?

And leave me like an empty shell,
no heart, no soul, no place to dwell.

I don’t yet know if I should fight
to stick around to do what’s right

and let the natural things take place,
then drift away through time and space.

I want to bring Jack back. I want to discuss his eternal options. I can’t. He’s gone from this earth. But, I am praying that he has met his Creator and has learned that he now has the Unlimited Options of Eternity, not the “Limited Options” he anticipated in this poem. This was published in that same 2009 anthology:

I wanted to be the first to go,
make it quick, not too slow.

It does not happen, sad to say,
that life always works out that way.

But, often life does not conform,
it does not follow every norm.

Illness or accident oft is the one,
that gets the unadorned deed done.

The rules are vague, if there are rules at all,
on who will stay and who will fall.

The pain of loss is often deep
and it’s all right for you to weep.

As long as you remember, too,
the joy that they did bring to you.

The fun you had along the way,
and all the crazy games you’d play.

The loves and laughs, and serious times
that make up life and its designs.

If only we could get to choose
who exits first, who has to lose.

But, it is not our choice, you see;
it is not left to you and me.

We’ll love our lives until the end,
then ride the river around the bend.

Thus, when our final days are here
and we slip from life so dear,

We’ll drift toward that distant shore,
the lights gone, sleep now evermore.

Sleep now, dear friend, Jack Murphy. My faith wants to believe you are in the gentle, forgiving, ever-loving hands of our Savior, resting in eternal peace. I do remember “the joy you [did] bring” – and I weep with the pain of our loss. I hope to see you someday again – – – round the river’s band.

See Ya Round the River’s Bend

Tag Cloud