Monthly Archives: February 2012

Born to Earth, Born to Eternity

I have been away from the blog for the past three weeks. I have been busy in and out of the hospital with Theresa and her father. Fortunately, Theresa is getting better. Unfortunately, Theresa’s father passed away on the 18th. He was 96 years old. In his life, he touched many lives. He worked as a lawyer and served on planning boards throughout the area. Theresa is one of eight. He worked hard to support his large family.

I could tell the lasting impact he had on his children. Not only was he surrounded by his children in his final days, but was visited numerous times each week for many years prior. He had a long, wonderful life on earth, and I have no doubt that he has begun his new life in the eternal as well. He will also continue to live here in the hearts and minds of those who loved and knew him.

Religions, or the lack of, have strived to explain or answer the question as to what happens after death.  Some believe that there is nothing after death – we’re here and then we die and that is the end of the story. Some believe in the journey of the soul to be transferred into the body of a newborn. Others believe that the soul is reborn into any creation, not necessarily human. Others believe that souls spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. Often people believe a combination of these, not really sure what to believe.

I believe that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Jesus died for all of us. There are those who defiantly resist God, and they will be dealt with as God sees fit. It is not my place to judge.

Funerals are for the living. They are a ceremony, not only to celebrate the life of the one is no longer alive on earth, but to support the family and say our goodbyes. It is part of the grieving process. Theresa’s father’s funeral was a positive one. I enjoyed listening to the memories and stories. Even though there were lots of tears and crying, it was wonderful to learn how he had touched the lives of so many people.

I was in the Army and so was Theresa’s father. He had military honors at the graveyard. A musician played taps on a very soulful bugle. It brought a tear to my eye. The carefully folded flag was presented to Theresa’s oldest sister.

Charles Spurgeon said, “When the time comes for you to die, you need not be afraid, because death cannot separate you from God’s love.”  I know for sure, that even in death, Theresa’s father will never be separated from the love of his family and friends.

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Re-glazing

In preparation for readying our home for sale, we had the bathtub re-glazed. The technician prepared the area after we had moved out everything that was removable the night before. The walls were covered in paper and tape. A large exhaust fan was placed in the window.

The tub was stained by hard water and the finish was worn from scrubbing and traffic inside the tub. The technician washed the entire tub in acid to remove any buildup, stains and to prepare the surface to accept the new glazing solution. The process took about 3 hours. The results were very positive. The tub looked new again. It was if we had replaced it. I hope the new owners appreciate the brightness of the “new” tub.

This reminded me of a passage in the Bible, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  2 Cor 5:17 NKJV   Like that tub, we are stained, scarred, and our surface has been worn and will be subject to further wearing down. The Bible, its teachings, our experiences have prepared us to be cleansed, like the paper and tape. The blood of Christ has cleaned us, like the acid that cleaned the tub. The Holy Spirit indwells us, like the new glazing solution renewed the tub. We are a new creation.

So that makes us perfect, right? Not at all. We are still human and still imperfect. We are still subject to all the influences that surround us. The newly glazed tub will be used and worn down. But with much care, the tub can be kept clean and shining. We are like that. We need nourishment for our bodies, mind and soul. We need to care for ourselves and for others.

The Apostle Paul in the book of Romans expressed the difficulty in always doing the right things. He wrote: “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.” Rom 7:14-16 NIV.

When we realize that we can do nothing without God, we are new creations. We are and were and will be loved by God. We aren’t perfect and we won’t be. We should do good things because it pleases God, not out of fear of reprisal. Even Paul, who journeyed with Christ and was filled with the Holy Spirit realized that he still had his human nature. Like the tub, I would like to think that I am re-glazed. I know that I am imperfect and I accept that I am. There are those who feel that we must be perfect to gain God’s love, but that isn’t true at all. God loves us always. God may not always appreciate what we do but He loves us just the same. If we feel we have to earn God’s love, then we will forever be disappointed in ourselves and lose sight of the love that is always there for us. Each day, when we awaken, we have a chance to show the world that we ARE a new creation.

Take care, be well and stay safe.

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