Tag Archives: Blessings and Stories

Blessings and Stories: Eternity

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts, so I decided to today when I couldn’t think of anything to post.  And I found quite a few things I had forgotten about writing while I was flipping through my “Blessings and Stories” notebook, so there may be some more posts like this in the future!


For a long time I have believed that I will go to heaven when I die.

(Once when I was little, I decided that heaven didn’t exist, and you just sat in the dark after you died.  I’m not sure if I would have come to that conclusion if I had really thought about it, but I didn’t think too hard.)

Anyway, for a long time I have believed that I will go to heaven when I die.

But just recently it really occurred to me: heaven is something that is real, and it’s going to happen to me.

I once had a friend ask me, “Do you get dizzy when you think about forever?”  I had never gotten dizzy when I thought about forever, and I thought it was kind-of a weird question.

But at that moment, as I began to think about what heaven really meant–of seeing Christ’s face, and of spending eternity with the One who died for me–I was dizzy!

I think of taking my last breath, and knowing that everlasting joy, peace, hope, and comfort lay ahead!

And I think of Jesus, hanging on the cross, taking His last breath, and knowing that IT WAS FINISHED.  And I thought that I had had a sense of accomplishment before!

Blessings and Stories: Love

Happy March, y’all!  Lucy figured out about St. Patrick’s Day, and was just sure that we needed shamrocks now that it was March. 🙂


She saw them at someone else’s house–they do Christmas in China, but not St. Patrick’s Day.

I thought I should do another “Blessings and Stories” post; so, keeping the Valentine’s Day theme (because March is not May), I did one I wrote about love.


When I was little I came to the conclusion that we would be happier if we didn’t lose our hearts to stuff.  I realized that if there wasn’t anything I didn’t want broken or lost, and I knew I would go to heaven, I would have no problems.  No worries.  Zero.

But there was a hitch: people.  If there were people in you life that you loved, you would worry about them.  Even if you knew they were going to heaven, you would worry about them–and you don’t.  Sometimes you just don’t know.

And try as I might I couldn’t get past that.  I knew it was important to love people–I wasn’t giving up on that.  But loving is problematic.  It’s dangerous, and it’s inconvenient.

I remember a time when two of my friends weren’t getting along, and I felt stuck in the middle of it; and when I told my mom about it she explained that if you lived all alone on an island you would be lonely, but life would be easier.  ‘Cause relationships are messy.  Very messy.

Recently we re-watched The Princess Bride.  It’s a good movie; entertaining and funny, but it’s morals are “off”.  And there’s this theme in it that if you love someone hard enough then neither of you can die.  Which is absurd.

It makes love practical.  And love is not.

Oh, and love is not a feeling.  Whatever anyone says.  It’s not a wishy-woshy sensation that makes you go light-headed whenever someone walks into the room.  It’s a choice.  And a hard one sometimes.

Love is not practical.  It doesn’t make things perfect.  It will wreck your life.  And resurrect it again.  Because God is love, and Jesus will wreck you life, and then bring it back together again–exactly what happened to HIM when HE loved us.

I love the quote from the movie Frozen: “Love is putting someone else’s needs before you own.”  Because that’s a choice.  And you rarely feel like putting someone else first.

I wrote on my blog recently: “I’m in love.  And that’s dangerous, because when you truly love someone you are willing to do anything for them.”

I liked the quote from the Rend Collective song The Cost: “Real love is not afraid to bleed.”

Love is patient.  Love is kind.

But love is courageous.

Blessings and Stories: “Going on an Adventure!”

Exciting title, huh?  🙂 Things have been crazy around here with China coming up in two days!  (I can’t believe it!)  But there is still a serious lack of packing going on over here.  We are last minute packers for sure!  This post is an entry I made in my notebook this May.  (By the way- all posts that start with “Blessings and Stories” are going to be from that notebook.)

Recently, in our series about the book “Live Ten” by Terry A. Smith, our pastor talked about adventure (I’m not sure if that was his name for it or not).

In “Live Ten”, Mr. Smith said he once knew a pastor who lad a very quiet life, and once actually told Mr. Smith that he had asked God for this peaceful lifestyle: simply saying he wanted to live a quiet life and not suffer too much–and God had given him just that.  Think of what he could have missed!

Pastor Matthew (our pastor) used a story from “The Hobbit”: Bilbo Baggins is sitting outside.  Earlier in the book, you get this description of Bilbo’s family:

“The Bagginses have lived in the neighborhood of the Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected: you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him.” (11)

Bilbo was sitting outside, when Gandalf comes by and they strike up a conversation.  Gandalf at last explains that he is looking for someone to take on an adventure and is having trouble finding anybody.  Bilbo’s answer is simple:

“I should think so–in these parts!  We are plain quiet folk and have no need for adventures.  Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!  Make you late for dinner!  I can’t think what anybody sees in in them.” (14)

After some more conversing, Gandalf right out announces that he is bringing Bilbo.  Bilbo makes it quite clear that he’s not interested and “scuttles” (15) inside.

“Gandalf in the meantime was standing outside the door, and laughing long but quietly.  After a while he stepped up, and with the spike on his staff scratched a queer sign on [Bilbo’s]… beautiful green front-door.  Then he strode away, just away, just about the time when Bilbo was… beginning to think he had escaped adventures very well.” (15)

But anyone who is familiar with the story will already know he had not at all.  And, as Pastor Matthew put it, “We’re glad he went, because it makes a good story.” (Paraphrased)  I mean, think about it: that would be a pretty boring story!

But it’s not easy!  (Though adventures generally aren’t!)  But not one place in the book did I ever find Bilbo say after he got home, “I wish I hadn’t gone.”

The Christian life is hard, but it’s worth it–SO worth it!

Katie Davis, a missionary to Uganda, said in her book “Kisses from Katie”: “I view nothing as a sacrifice in light of eternity with Christ.”

I too, find myself hoping that I can go on living peacefully in the suburbs of Nebraska, and have nothing horrific or tragic happen to me.

BUT–when I really  think about it, I don’t want to be the one in heaven standing next to martyrs and saying:

“I lived a nice quiet life, in a nice quiet neighborhood, and sometimes told my neighbors ‘Jesus loves you’ and only left my country once for a vacation.”

Jesus, I want to give you my ALL!  Take me on an ADVENTURE!!!

“But what was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.   I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”  -Philippians 3:7,8