Category: Pondering

Thoughts on Chavez and a Nuclear North Korea

In recent news, the world political scene has been changing.  Just recently, we learned of Venezuela’s Chavez’s death.  That brings uncertainty to the country and rest of the world hopes that new leadership will benefit the country.  On the other hand, North Korea just went through a similar loss of a leader when Kim Jong-Un succeeded Kim Jong-il after his death.  With the recent threats of nuclear attacks, I’m not sure that the change made much difference.

Here are just a few of the articles I found:

So, I thought that I would do a little brainstorming on the events and what the Bible might have to say about them.

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Heaven

Yesterday morning in church, Pastor challenged us to try to think of 10 reasons or 10 things we are looking forward to in heaven. The premise behind his message was that heaven is not a place where we will be bored playing harps on a cloud but a place to look forward to and a place that should give us comfort while here on Earth.

Do you mind if I think out loud?

Reason #1: Running miles without getting tired! No allergies!

I used to enjoying going to the creationist museum in Glenrose, TX. One of my favorite parts was the fact that after we learned what the Earth was like before the flood wrecked the life as they knew it, we would remember that God was going to create a new Heaven and a new Earth. I can only assume that our new Heaven and Earth will be at least as good as what God originally created.

From what I understand, the atmosphere before the flood was very different. It was somewhat similar to a hyperbaric chamber, which we use for speeding the healing of burns and other things. This better atmosphere would have allowed the pre-deluvians to run and work much more than we can now. With my bouts with asthma when I was younger, that sounded great to me.

The Bible mentions that the results of sin were weeds and thorns and hard work. So, previous to that original sin, we may have had work but without the difficulties of things to encumber us. For farming that would mean without the weeds and thorns mixing in with the crop. The plants must have polinated somehow, but surely God would have either made another way than through the air in that yellow nasty dust, or He would have equipped our body to handle it! For computer programming, would the encumbrances be the software bugs and hardware glitches? Can we assume no Windows — only Linux? –just kidding.

Reason #2: Freedom from Temptation

Romans 8 probably best describes the struggle that we go through as a Christian. On Earth, we are bound to mess up constantly. This brings guilt, regret, and frustration. Thankfully, we have a Savior who paid the penalty for all of our mistakes and is willing to forgive us, but it isn’t quite the same. One day, we won’t have to worry about it any more.  A bath is nice, but a dirt free environment is even better!

Reason #3: Better Relationship with God

I have heard many people claim that the most important thing they want to do when they get to heaven is to see Jesus or God. For me, I have to be honest. Maybe I don’t know Him like I should, or I am too connected to this world. I don’t know why, but I just can’t imagine it.

Instead, I look forward to that day when I will understand it all. In that day, I won’t have to keep reminding myself that a spiritual world exists, which I can’t see. I won’t have to remind myself that God is here watching my every move, wanting my attention and devotion. His glory will form the light for my world then. As the Bible says, my faith will become sight, and I look forward to that.

Reason #4: Asking Questions

In this world, we have so many questions which we can’t answer on so many different levels. When we get to heaven, we can ask the Creator, who made everything and holds it together, for a definitive answer. We can probably even ask the opinion of our loved ones who have been looking down from above.

There are the silly questions like why does that nasty iron in the water have to stain so bad? There are the what-if questions like if I had practiced more, could I have been a pro-basketball player? There are the Bible questions like how long were Adam and Eve actually in the garden before they committed that first sin? There are the dispute questions like who is right between my wife and myself on a thousand different issues? There are the parental questions like who “actually” knocked the drink over — the oldest son, the youngest son, or the dog?

Reason #5: Reconnecting with Loved Ones

I have three grandparents that have gone on before me, and I will enjoy getting to meet them again. In addition, most of my family and extended family have made commitments to Christ. In other words, they are trusting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as the payment for their sin so they can enter heaven as a washed saint. Whether God gives me more time on Earth or calls me home first, I know I will get to see my family again. Finally, there are friends that have moved away that I will one day get to see in heaven.

Reason #6: Timelessness?

I am not very sure about this one because I can’t imagine it. But, I would love to not have to worry about the time constraints that I constantly fight with now. Managing time is a difficult task, one which needs constant attention and effort.

On the other hand, I can’t imagine such a place. If I wanted to meet one of my long-lost relatives, and I gave him a call on the superior cell phone technology up in heaven (of course a smart phone running a form of Linux — just kidding), how do we plan to meet? We can’t give a time to meet. Do we just assume that since we have an unlimited amount of time, if one of us gets there first, he can wait as long as it takes for the other to arrive?

How do you heat your leftovers in the microwave?  My biggest question here is how long do I heat it for?  In heaven, it will be where are the numbers!

Reason #7: Meeting the Bible Characters

This reason is very close to reason four. But more than just answering the mysteries of the Bible stories, it would be nice to just listen to them talk and glean from their experiences.

I many times day dream of meeting a Bible character and explaining some of our new techology to them, like how cars work or how computers work. The problem is that they probably already know after watching from heaven. Maybe we could chat about how inferior the Earth was when sin was in it. We would talk about how slow our cars went and how much exhaust they would put out.

Reason #8: Freedom from Communication Woes

In college we read the book, Mythical Man Month. If I remember it right, the premise of the book was about how communication is a major part of a project that project managers need to plan for. When God confounded the languages at the tower of Babel, he probably did more than just create multiple languages. He limited our ability to effectively communicate.

I look forward to the day in heaven that we can avoid all these miscommunications we are used to now. This would be true for home, work, and church — Especially, Burger King!

Reason #9: Worry-Free Desires

Now, desires are dangerous things. God promises to give us the desires of our heart, but I think many times He expects us to grow close to Him and allow Him to change our desires. So, the question is whether or not each desire is a personal, selfish, sinful desire, or a true desire that God has placed in our heart. Is it one that will bring sin and pain, or is it one that we can enjoy? In the sin-free environment of heaven, we can enjoy each desire we have to the fullest extent!

Reason #10: No misspellings or typos!

Okay. I am stretching to make it to number ten. But, hey, I can’t type anything without a typo and a grammar error. And Lorraine can catch every one. I am counting on more oxygen and a brain that works better to help me write better in heaven! Until then, I must keep practicing.

 

So, that is my list. Can you write your own list? Please comment a link to your list if you do.

Lessons from the New Born

Just taking a minute to reflect on some of the things that we have learned through the birth of Clay.  Here are some of the thoughts:

  • Everyone/Every pregnancy is different
    • We heard horror stories from others (we probably told a few ourselves), but it is important to remember that those things aren’t guaranteed to happen to you.
    • We liked the book What to Expect When Your Expecting because it offered suggestions for symptoms, etc. that you might see for each month, but they were just suggestions.
    • Even between siblings, the pregnancies were different.  Problems we had with Kent we didn’t have with Clay.
  • Enjoy every moment
    • Despite the frustration and annoyances, time flies faster than you think.  Things change fast.  You don’t want to let the wishing you will get past the annoying parts make you miss the fun parts.
    • I believe God knew what he was doing having infants sleep most of the time.  If they came out running around getting into everything, we wouldn’t be ready.  But, they slowly ease into that stage.
  • Don’t forget Google.
    • I had co-workers asking me if we had checked the Internet for solutions to problems we were going through.  I would say that sort of thing isn’t out there, but sure enough they would find tips and tricks.
  • Family, Church, and Friends are invaluable
    • I don’t know what we would do without all of the help that we have had.
    • Talking with others who have just been through the same thing always helps.  Everyone has a different perspective, and you can glean ideas and take what works, leave what doesn’t.