Showing posts with label Heaven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heaven. Show all posts

The Best Glimpse of Heaven

Fall has arrived! When Derek came into kiss me good-bye after firing up the chain-saw this morning, his face was freezing cold. A cold front has moved in, I have candles lit all over the house, I'm drinking Vanilla Maple tea from Celestial Seasonings, Derek is off cutting wood so we'll be ready for winter, and all feels right with the world. I think I'm going to spend time today making some sort of delicious fall-ish soup. And I feel the need to bake something. Something with spice and cinnamon.

I went on a candle-buying spree yesterday - I bought tons of candles with scents that remind me o Autumn. I love those five-piece candle sets from Walmart! I got mulled cider and pumpkin festival candles - I'm all stocked up on candles now. And if you've never checked out Hobby Lobby candles when they are on sale, you should. They have all kinds of great candles, for pretty good prices. I got some "Indian Teak" scented candles and I love them - they smell so rustic and spicy - exactly the way Autumn should smell.

I love just spending cold fall days like this curled up on the couch with a book and a cup of tea - and my favorite Autumn tea is most definitely Vanilla Maple tea from Celestial Seasonings. You have got to try this tea! It's so good.

On days like today I feel like my heart is overflowing with thanks. Because really, what other reason would the Lord give us a season as beautiful as Autumn except to show us how much He loves us? It's my favorite season - it's filled with warmth, home, family, and the most beautiful displays of God's creation.

Autumn is the season that reminds me the most of Heaven - when I imagine what Heaven will be like (even though I will never really know how wonderful it is until I get there), I imagine something like Autumn. Not only because of everything I mentioned above, but also because I just feel so alive in the fall. I don't know why, but everything feels clear and beautiful, the blessing are so obvious everywhere I look, and my mind can't help but turn to my Creator - and I think that's how it will feel in Heaven as well, only infinitely better. I think Autumn is the best glimpse of Heaven that I will get while living on this earth, and that's the main reason why I love it so much.

I hope your day is filled with wonderful scents and cozy feelings, but also with thanks and praise to our Redeemer! Someday we'll enjoy an eternity of the beautiful feelings that fall brings, but it will be even better because we'll be with Jesus. We may have to wait a little while until that wonderful season that will never end begins, but until then, enjoy this glimpse, and soak up this Autumn season!

Unseen Things

I think lately the Lord has been trying to show me how I'm way too concerned with what others think of me. I spend a lot of time fixing my makeup, wrestling with my unruly hair, exercising, and generally trying to make sure I look good. There are countless times when I lose sleep worrying about something I said or didn't say, and hoping it came across right. It's a little too important to me what others think of me. I'm assuming I'm not the only one who does this.

I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to make sure we give a good impression, or taking care of our physical appearance - I think it's a good thing, actually. But the past month or so the Lord has been impressing it upon my heart how I'm just getting too concerned about those things, maybe putting more effort on my outward beauty than my inward beauty. Outward beauty doesn't last, but inward beauty will matter for eternity. Life will move on, and everyone except those who are closest to me will eventually leave my life, but Jesus will always be my Lord; He will be for eternity. I think I should be worrying a little more about what He thinks of me, and a little less what those around me think. I want to make my Saviour proud.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, but for my point today especially verse 18:
". . .While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18).
The Lord has been telling me lately that I need to focus a little more on unseen things, that I need to invest a little more in eternity. And with His help, that's what I'm going to try to do.

The Day After: Remembering My Sojourner's Heart

Barak Obama won the election last night. It was what I was most afraid of. My mom said you can either laugh or cry at a time like that. I found myself crying.
I really love the United States of America (maybe sometimes too much for my own good), and I'm very proud of my country and what it has stood for from the day it was founded. It is one of the only places on earth where you can start with nothing and through hard work reach the "upper class". We have more rights in this country than any other I can think of, and we are free to live and believe as we wish, and do the best we can in life. It is a country that was founded and is based upon Christian principles, whether people will admit it or not, and I believe that is why the U.S. is so prosperous. I'm really afraid that this could all change now. It's like watching something die. I pray the Lord will preserve us and the United States of America over the next 4-8 years.
Last night the Lord brought these verses to my mind; this is right after the chapter was talking about people of faith:

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar off were assured of them and confessed that they were pilgrims and strangers on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind the country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."
Hebrews 11:13-16

I may love this country, but at a time like this I'm remembering that this isn't my real country. It's not my true homeland. God saw fit to allow me to live here for now, and I love it, but my citizenship actually lies somewhere else: in Heaven. In reality, Christians don't really belong anywhere in this world; we're sojourners, just passing through. And as stated above, may God preserve us until we finally reach our Homeland.

The Season of Autumn

There's something about the changing of the seasons. It occurs so gradually, you hardly notice it's happening, but one day you can just feel in the air that the world has put one season behind and is tentatively stepping into the next. I especially notice this in the fall. In your head you may know that according to the calendar it should be autmun, but it isn't truly autumn until you feel it in the air. There's a certain crispness and spice that is felt more than seen or smelled or anything else. It starts with a certain "wiff" of fall-ness on a day that you would still be expecting summer. Then before you know it this season of change is in full swing.

The leaves change and brilliantly paint the hills in color. The air is brisk, and you start to smell smoke from the chimneys of neighbors' houses. Soups, cidars, teas, and of course, candy corn are served once again, and pumpkins appear in the gorcery stores. Football games prevail on the TV (especially in our house; Broncos games, CU Buffs games, and any other game that may affect the aforesaid teams). My dad starts to scout for hunting seasons, we start target shooting for practice, and the camo and hunter's orange is brought out of the box. The ground is covered with a beautiful mixture of green, red, orange, and yellow, and the fallen leaves bring that wonderful spicy, musty fragrance that is impossible to reproduce and always seems to elicit warm, comfortable, contented feelings from me.

My dad has always said that it is in the fall that he feels the most alive. I must have inherited some of that love of autumn from my dad, because I always feel exactly the same way when fall starts sneaking into the world and bringing with it the feelings that have always characterized the season for me. I think fall is one of the most beautiful exhibitions of the creativity of God, and I can't help but thanking Him for giving us a world with such amazing mountains, rivers, trees, and seasons. I think the reason I love the Autumn best is because there is a certain clarity, spice, and satisfaction that makes it so special. I feel alive, as my dad says, and I feel as if I'm home. I think Heaven must have a little bit of autumn in it; I think that maybe God created the fall to give us just a glimpse of how beautiful Heaven must be. But the fall can only be an imperfect glimpse of Heaven, like a dream is an imperfect, foggy glimpse of the world we know. One day death will blow that fog away, and we'll wake up to a more beautiful reality than we could ever imagine, and then we will really be alive. Because it reminds me of the beauty of Heaven, autumn will always be the most special season to me.

With that thought, excuse me while I go enjoy a cup of Vanilla Maple tea and some candy corn.

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
1 Corinthians 2:9
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