Our Understanding of Earth and Our Assumptions of Heaven

I think we are all guilty at times of importing our understanding of earth into our assumptions of heaven. We are all guilty of importing our understanding of how things work here to how they will work there. We look at the world we know and extrapolate to the one we don’t. I sometimes fear, though, that our thoughts of heaven are actually marred by our experiences of earth. I have often heard people speak of those who are in …

A Tragedy at Sea

I once read of a terrible tragedy at sea, a shipwreck in which many were swept into the ocean and lost. As the ship foundered and splintered, as first the lower decks and then the upper succumbed to the winds and the waves, most of the passengers sank into the depths. But still fighting for their lives were a father and son who had been traveling together from the Old World to the New. As the ship slipped lower and …

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The Thing About Light and Momentary

They are words that can be tremendously encouraging or tremendously discouraging. Said at the wrong time or in the wrong spirit they can compound hurt, but said at the right time and in the right spirit they can be a cool drink on a hot day, a soothing balm on a sore wound. They are the words “light and momentary.” As the Apostle suffered physically and spiritually, as he spoke of the outer self wasting away, he proclaimed “this light …

The Harder Our Earth, the Sweeter Our Heaven

The man who lives in the Swiss Alps is probably not terribly impressed when he visits North America and strolls through the Adirondacks or the Smokies. The woman who has spent her life snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef is probably not too enthusiastic about snorkeling off the East Coast of Canada. The person who has grown up on the beaches of Maui is probably not going to break the bank to vacation on the beaches of Lake Superior. There …

Why Do Billionaires Want to Live Forever?

Why is it that billionaires always seem to want to live forever? Why is it that the 1% of the 1% almost always seem to veer from their core businesses into attempts to prolong their lives indefinitely? Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is invested in Altos Labs which is attempting a kind of “biological reprogramming” to extend lifespans. Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page were instrumental in launching a business called “Calico” which is carrying out studies that may eradicate all disease. …

Sorrowful Departures and Joyful Arrivals

Like most major airports, Toronto’s Pearson International divides the arrivals area from the departures so that one is a level above the other. I have passed through both of them hundreds of times and have made this observation: The upper level is a place of sorrow while the lower level is a place of celebration. The upstairs departures area is distinguished by family members weeping and saying farewell, the downstairs arrivals area by family members waving and hugging and crying …

When the Best Part Is the Door

If you have ever visited Wittenberg, Germany and have taken the time to tour its famous Castle Church, you may have made the same observation I did: The best part of the building is its doors. Castle Church is, of course, the spot where Martin Luther chose to post his Ninety-Five Theses. Centuries later, King Frederick William IV chose to commemorate the event by commissioning a beautiful set of bronze doors inscribed with Luther’s words. And, though they’ve been refurbished …

The Music of Heaven

One quiet evening many years ago, I was sitting on the screened-in porch of our old family cottage when I heard the music of bagpipes. Curious, I followed the sound, which me led as far as I could go, down to the shore of the lake.  Somewhere across the water, I could hear the piper playing. The evening was quiet and the lake was still, and the sound carried so well that I could hear every haunting note with perfect …

A Heart That Is Free, A Step That Is Light

The great general had led his troops to a hard-fought but resounding triumph on the field of battle. With the enemy army now vanquished and scattered, he rallied his regiments to press on toward the capital where they would secure the final victory. And though the men marched briskly, he urged them to still greater speed. In their haste, they began to toss aside whatever was superfluous, whatever was redundant, whatever was unnecessary. Soon the road was littered with all …

I Knew It!

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to enter heaven? Do you ever wonder what you will see first, what you will hear first, what you will feel and experience first? Do you ever wonder what your very first thought will be after you’ve fallen asleep in this world to awaken in the next? I’m sure you do. We all do. We all wonder what’s just beyond the great chasm that separates life from death, earth from heaven, here from …