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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 327:- What's Heaven Like? {FMF}

What's Heaven going to be like?

This is on my mind from time to time, as things are going downhill for me, and it my not be long until I find out.

(This is being written ahead of time for Five Minute Friday. If I can include the keyword, I will.)

(The word is STEADY. It's in there.)

There are tantalizing descriptions in the Bible; streets of gold, walls with gemstone foundations, choirs and music...

Which reminds me of a story I heard, about a man who died and went to Heaven. When he saw St. Peter he asked for directions to the nearest bar.

"Sorry," said Pete. "Don't have those here."

"Well, OK," said the man. "How about a pool hall?"

"None of those either."

The man was getting exasperated, and asked "Well, what DO people dp here?"

"Well," said St. Peter, "the morning is for worship...in the afternoon there's Bible Study, and praise choir in the evening."

The man said, "You've got to be kidding...this is NOT what I expected Heaven to be!"

St. Peter put his hand on the man's shoulder. "Son, for everyone else, this is Heaven. For YOU...you're in hell."

But I digress.

My thought is that the Biblical descriptions are meant to convey something utterly indescribable to an audience that needs a description.

Kind of like atomic physics...we think of the things that make up atoms...protons, neutrons, and electrons...as being little solid balls whirling madly around each other. But they're not...atoms are made of things that can be broken down still further, and the floor you're standing on, which you think of as solid, is really made up of energy binding itself into a coherent shape. A typical atom is 99.999999999999% empty space. What you call a solid is really an energy field. Like in Star Trek. Feel an unsteadiness in your footing, suddenly? Does it help to know that you are effectively a force field, too? Engineered by God, not Starfleet.)

And that, I think is a good way to look at Heaven...something that is so far beyond our experience that we can't really grasp its reality.

But that's all physical. I think that the essence of Heaven can be found right here, and it's something we can understand now:


By the way, I was recently honoured by an invitation to write a guest post for Bronwyn Lea's blog...I'd be thrilled if you took a look by clicking here.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.



Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.







57 comments:

  1. Andrew, I think you're spot on. We can't grasp heaven. And though Paul and John (in Revelation) describe aspects of heaven, how does one describe intimacy and love and joy and peace and . . . ? Your video about nails it, I think. A blessed reunion between us and our Father. And Jesus. I still can't really imagine it.

    And the story of the man's conversation with St Peter? Made me smile. :) Perspective.

    I'm continuing to pray for you, Barb and your dog-children, my friend.

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    1. Jeanne, yes...it IS all about that blessed reunion!

      And there's no reason to try to imagine it because you will one day LIVE it!

      Glad you enjoyed the humour, and we so appreciate your prayers.

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  2. I agree, no way we can imagine what heaven will really be like. One thing I know for sure though, is that I want to be there!

    Cathy #3 on FMF this week

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    1. Cathy, I'm with you...heaven is where I want to go, too!

      Thanks so much for stopping by...I do appreciate you.

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  3. I love physics and the majestic artwork of God! Wow! We are a force field, perfectly engineered by the maker. I love this perspective. I love your steady faithfulness to Him, friend. I'm #5 this week. xx

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    1. Carolina, you made my day! Thank you so much for this!

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  4. Andrew,
    from what I can glean, Heaven will be full of purpose. You will not be idle or bored or unhappy. I'm a little jealous that you're so much closer to that discovery than the rest of us.

    It's pretty cool to think of the laws of physics being breakable when we're in Heaven. Our transfigured bodies will not be limited by time or space! As much as you think it, you can be there. (no more need for roads or vehicles)

    I look forward most to the lack of separation from loved ones! Blessings as you continue to pour out the love of a Savior with every breath you take, Andrew.

    "It's your breath, in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, pour out our praise, it's your breath, in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only. Great are you Lord!"

    :) One of my favorite worship songs. I chanted it while doing a mini-triathlon two years ago when I couldn't breathe well and needed to deeply exhale all the CO2 building up.

    Your post reminded me of countless films where the sci-fi action hero is about to make the winning attack and they say "Steady, steady, not yet, steady, steady..."

    This is how you are. Still waiting. Not quite finished, but the building anticipation is quite tense.

    I have been praying that you would be caught up in your spirit when it's intense in your body. That you would experience pure joy and pure love from God that would ease the physical traumas you daily endure.

    Much love, Andrew. You and Barbara have added to my life!
    Love,
    Tammy
    (may or may not link. I still haven't answered the comments from two weeks ago)

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    1. Tammy, I have no words for the joy that your comment brought us. We are so very, very grateful!

      And yes, it is a feeling of being on the brink, so to speak...with the requirement to be spiritually ready, yet relaxed enough to make my actions in the temporal count. Not an easy dichotomy to try to master.

      Love back, dear Tammy. You have added much to our life, and the smiling faces of your family watch over the living room, and watch over me as I sleep.

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  5. Andrew, heaven is something I think about often and I think you are right, it's undescribable! I don't think my feeble mind can wrap my head around that much glory and beauty and wonder! The Bible does give us some clues, but it's far outside of my head. All I know is that it's more wonderful than whatever we have here and whatever we can possibly imagine. Prayers for you!

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    1. Bonnie, first and foremost, there's NOTHING feeble about your mind!!!!!!

      It's way past what anyone can imagine...a difference of kind, and not of degree.

      Thank you so much for the prayers...you are in mine, every day.

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  6. Hi Andrew, I came across your blog through your guest post on Bronwyn's blog. As I was reading your post, I was brought to tears by your words and by how you embrace life. I don't know what to say really except that I loved reading your post. I appreciate your words, and how you encourage and think of others, even strangers, even in your pain. I especially liked what you said about favour:

    "I saw that favour was not the good job or the research contact or the book deal. Favour was being led by the hand by the Almighty, into a place where I could accept, without resentment, the hand that is dealt me, and embrace, without anger, the further pain that will surely be mine before this life is done."

    I just found out a few days ago that my aunt had stage 4 lung cancer. She has always been fit and healthy, so I was caught off guard. Thank God her salvation is secured.

    I will be sharing your words with her to encourage her. I will reminder her of God's promises...and I will tell her what true favour really means.

    Thank you so much. I needed this. Thank God. You are in my prayers. Truly.

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    1. Jennifer, first let me say that your aunt - and you - are in my prayer. The road is hard; I hope that prayers from afar can lighten the load, just a bit.

      That my words found a resonance in your heart...that is the most important thing that I can do, and I am so very grateful to you for sharing this with me.

      I appreciate your prayers, more than I can say, and you will be in mine.

      For did not Tennyson say that through prayer, the whole world is bound 'round the feet of God, with golden chains?

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  7. Hi Andrew, I agree with you. I don't think we can truly capture what heaven will be even with all the descriptive words we've been given. But I know this ... I don't want to miss it and am glad we won't. Praying for you and Barb. And your little story made me smile and that was even before my first cup of coffee this morning :) Blessings!

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    1. Joanne, I'm with you...I don't want to miss it either!

      And I'm so glad I could give you a smile...blessing back, from all of us!

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  8. Hi Andrew. I have never seen a movie (think: The Lovely Bones) or read a book (think: The Five People You Meet in Heaven) that was theoretically portraying Heaven that made me say "oh yes THAT is exactly what it must be." And I think that's because it defies description.

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    1. Paula, I am with you on this. It will defy description, and we will be SO happily surprised!

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  9. Love that you drew on physical science -- one of our most dedicated attempts at description -- to portray the impossibility of true description -- as physical science keeps discovering. Unsteady and yet entirely steady, for God is our all in all, the fulness of everything created even though we don't yet have the ability to perceive it in its fulness. Thank you and peace.

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    1. I wish I knew what to call you...you come up on Blogger as 'Unknown'.

      I love the way you put this..."unsteady and yet entirely steady".

      He is indeed in the fulness of everything.

      Blessing and peace to you!

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  10. Heaven is Real! Yet, do we really know what to expect once we get there! The thing is, who is there to let us know if we are right or wrong?!

    Always giving us something to ponder, Andrew...I'm late to the party, so to speak! Haven't been writing - or reading - for awhile! But have posted this week's FMF prompt as well as the Simple Woman's Daybook.

    As always, I am thinking of you and Barb, sending prayers and hugs for both of you!

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    1. Barbara, I'm just so glad to see you here, and please pardon my tardiness in replying. Tough few days.

      We so appreciate your prayers; you are in ours.

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  11. I think when the Bible says the stress in Heaven are paved with gold that means gold - and money - won't have any more value than paving stones when we get there. What really matters will be things like faith and love. (We won't need hope anymore.)

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    1. Jan, I never thought of that...what a cool concept.

      And you're right...every hope we had will be fulfilled.

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  12. Hi Andrew! I was thinking about Heaven in my post this week too- #44...I'm so glad we don't understand Heaven. I would probably be really prideful and not want to go if I could comprehend every bit of what God has planned. I'm so glad He's an infinite God and so beyond my understanding! Thanks for your post!

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    1. Amy, I'd probably be a lot like you...to prideful to go if I could understand it all.

      It would seem like there were no challenges, and as time goes on I suspect that Heaven will be full of the good kind of challenge.

      Thanks so much for being here.

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  13. Hey Brother! I think you are so right --we can't fathom really what Heaven is like... what it will be like for us... but I know that it is/will be even better than we can ask or imagine! I've been quieter lately - but you have been in my prayers! Praying still!

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    1. Karrilee, thank you so much for being here, and especially for your prayers...and yes, it will be beyond anything that we can know.

      But I do know this...I will see YOU there!

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  14. Such comfort in this post, Andrew. I LOVE that God is bigger than our ability to understand. I remember seeing a documentary about the nature of atoms etc, and the narrator was explaining that scientists are unsure WHAT actually holds atoms together. By all accounts, they should just go flying off into space. Does this verse seem completely appropriate?

    Colossians 1:17 "He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together."

    Courage, my friend. He's STILL holding you together!
    Shauna (waaaay over in FMF#51)

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    1. Shauna, you're so right...what we don't know includes that very piece of information...why the whole thing doesn't simply fly apart.

      But Colossians spells it out in the only way that makes sense. The more I learned about science (I have a doctorate in structural engineering, and a masters' in materials science) the more I became a Creationist.

      Thanks so much for being here!

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  15. You're right. We can't fully comprehend what Heaven is like. Even if God spelled out every detail, I still don't think we'd "get" it. What matters is that we'll be Home. We'll be in the presence of the King, our Father, who loves us forever and ever. Perhaps the Who, not the what, is meant to be our focus.

    And yes, I do now feel a vibration under my feet, and it's freaking me out. :)

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    1. This is Marie, by the way. Not sure why my name isn't showing up.

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    2. Marie, yes...we will be Home. After the past two days, that seems pretty cool. I know you understand.

      Sorry about the vibration! But please know you are in my daily thoughts and prayers.

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  16. Always love reading your words, Andrew. You continue writing even though the pain continues and you always find ways to inspire us! "My thought is that the Biblical descriptions are meant to convey something utterly indescribable to an audience that needs a description." I totally agree!

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    1. Gayl, thank you so much, and please pardon my tardy reply. I so appreciate your being here.

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  17. Heaven... such a captivating and bewildering concept... I love the story you told and I think it is true. It can be so much in our perspective - this life we live now, and what is to come later. I think you demonstrate Heaven in your prose as you recount your experiences.

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    1. Emma, I am so honoured by your gracious comment. Thank you!

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  18. Hello, Andrew!
    As your time draws nearer to reaching the ultimate prize...meeting Jesus, I think it perfectly natural to dwell on your new living arrangements. Your description of the indescribable in physics terms makes so much sense to me, and honestly, not one I've thought about when thinking of heaven. I believe we are going to be so overwhelmed by His awesome presence the particular make up of heaven won't matter to us. Thank you for sharing your journey and heart. Your faith walk is an inspiration.

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    1. Larri, I think you're right; the overwhelming reality of God's presence will be the dominant experience. The rest, as they say, will be commentary.

      Thank you so much for being here.

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  19. Thank you as always for your thoughts on life, death, and eternity, Andrew. It seems so silly to try to get a firm grasp on all these realities and think we have them mastered -- but so often we try to do that, for our own comfort and safety. Life is a constant letting-go of what we thought we knew.

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    1. jeannie, I love the way you put this..."Life is a constant letting go of what we thought we knew."

      Perfect! Thank you so much for being here.

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  20. It is so amazing that even during the midst of the storm, you always manage to show up... (and make us smile). Thank you for the humor you are able to incorporate even into the most serious of thoughts. Be encouraged!

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    1. Tondra, I am so glad I was able to give you a smile. And I am encouraged, every day, by the love around me and the God above me.

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  21. So true. I think heaven is something we long to understand more, but which our minds can't fully grasp. I'm sure it will be more amazing than we could ever have imagined.

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    1. Lesley, you're so right...it will be streets ahead of anything we could picture.

      I really appreciate your presence here.

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  22. Dear Andrew,
    Since I met you on Bronwyn's blog I have been praying for you and will continue to. I am in southern Ontario in Canada. The coyotes started in around 2 am, which got the 8 dogs in our house barking and the rest of the guardians of the surrounding farms howling in chorus. Maybe so I would spend time in the Lord for you. I would like to be able to send you the perfect version of Bridge Over Troubled Water, all your favorite hymns, all my favorite hymns, and then all the music you can let pour through you. You remind me that Heaven is not just then and there but here and now. Thank you, Jesus, for your presence with Andrew. Your newest grandmotherly friend, Laurna

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    1. Laurna, thank you so much for this, and please excuse the tardiness of my reply. Your prayers mean the world to me; Tennyson said that prayers bind the whole world 'round the feet of God with golden chains, and I believe that.

      I love "Bridge Over troubled Water"; thank you for bringing it back to mind!

      God bless, Laurna.

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  23. My Grandma always told us as little girls that whatever we needed to be happy in heaven would be there. At the time she said that, it was our dollies. Through the years it changed - it was basketball courts when my youngest son was 14 and discussing how bored he'd be in heaven. It's now bikes and ramps for our 14 yr old grandson. We had a glance at heaven the final 24 hours of my mom's life. She was in and out of sleep, completely lucid with the most wonderful dreams to tell us between her naps. Quite lovely and very clear that it is a place we want to go. Not receiving God's redemptive work through Jesus at Calvary means eternal separation from God - I cannot even imagine how hellish that would be. (((xo)))

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    1. Susan, thank you so much for sharing this...I, too, think that Heaven will be far more 'fiulled' than we can imagine, and there will be more to do than eternity could hold.

      Today was a terribly hard day, and barb says I told her of some glimpses of Heaven.

      She thought it was nice.

      XOXOXOWaggyWaggyWOOF!

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  24. it is interesting that the visions in revelations are often taken so literally when they were placed there to give us an idea of something that is beyond our experience. you are so right about that! in other places in the new testament, it talks about a time when we will all have resurrected bodies, there will be new heavens and a new earth and the indication is that there will be work for all us to do! we won't be bound by the brokenness of the world we have lived in. our bodies won't be broken nor will heaven. imagine a place where music will be perfect and unimaginable, colors will not be limited by our color spectrum, relationships will have no hindrances, we will be able to be open and vulnerable with no fear of hurting or being hurt.

    heaven will be beyond delightful and it will last forever...with Jesus! there will be no darkness there of any kind...literal, spiritual and any other type! the ability to be creative will be astounding, gardening will be so fun...no weeds or disease. never too little or too much rain. all our goals will be in line with GOD's. we will understand the why's of so much of our lives. i can't even imagine what it will be like! and it will never, ever end!

    neither will hell:(

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    1. Martha, I LOVE the way you put this!. Especially "...we won't be bound by brokenness..."

      Something I need to keep in mind.

      Thank you so much for this comment, and for your presence here.

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  25. There is so much we don't know and cannot comprehend, but one day, it will all be made clear. Until then, I can anxiously await no more tears, or sorrow, no more separation, no more ugliness. Praise God! Whatever Heaven really is, I wonder if it really matters? We only need know our Savior is there. Our God is there. Others too. I also wonder how much of our thoughts in this life are elementary? We're down here thinking of golden streets (1+1=2) when in reality heaven is so much more than we can dare to imagine or comprehend. (Trigonometry).
    Writing at my new blog this week. mywritingplayground.com
    Prayers and love always

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    1. Christy, you are so right...our thoughts ARE elementary. I agree with Jan Collins' comment above, that the streets are paved with gold because the value of LIFE ETERNAL is so great that gold is suitable for pavement.

      Thanks so much for the prayers. It's been a vicious weekend,and prayers are sure needed.

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  26. So many comments I had to scroll down forever! You are so loved by all who visit. Continually praying for you. I'm just getting to know you through FMF and I don't know what my number is this week.

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    1. Elizabeth, that love is what carries my heart when I can't go on. I do feel it! Thank you so much for your prayers; they are truly, truly appreciated.

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  27. Andrew, I find inspiration in your post. While Heaven is what we are called to embrace, the reality is that the unknown is scary. As you said, our mind can't comprehend it. However, you point out that what we are standing on is deceptive. We are comforted only by appearance. If we realized how much "mystery lies in the smaller elements of this world, we would fear that as well. Thanks for the perspective!

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    1. Stephanie, please excuse my very late reply to your gracious and deep comment. Being comforted by appearance...that is so true, and a brilliant way to put it.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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