A life lesson learned while roughing it

I just got back from an epic week of camping in Colorado with my parents. We had a fantastic time, and it was so great to just relax. Even though we were completely isolated for the whole week, God still made Himself obvious. Actually, He was probably more obvious than normal because I wasn’t distracted by everything else in my life.

He reminded me of some pretty cool things as I was reading in front of the campfire or listening to the wind in the pines or marveling at the mountain peaks. So this week, I’ll be sharing some of the lessons I learned (and photos I took) when I was out roughing it.

Campfire at Happy Meadows (c) acw 2015

Campfire at Happy Meadows, west of Colorado Springs

Today’s verses are 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.

Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

My dad always gets the fires started whenever we go camping. In Colorado, you have to buy local wood to burn, but (in case you don’t know anything about starting a fire), you can’t just light the wood. You have to have something to get the first started. Some people use lighter fluid, but we tend to go more toward the old fashioned methods like paper and kindling.

What was interesting to me this time around is watching how rapidly paper and small strips of wood were consumed. It feels dumb to say it, because it’s obvious. Paper burns fast. And while it might provide a flash of momentary heat, when it’s 40 degrees outside, you need something with substance that’s going to burn for a long time.

The verse for today is talking more about items which are symbolic of deeds and achievements–those things that fire won’t consume. If you accomplish something for God, that accomplishment will last forever. In comparison, accomplishing something for yourself is like wood or hay or stubble. It burns up fast and leaves nothing useful behind.

Taking that into account, how does your list of accomplishments stack up? Have you done things in your life that will last for eternity? Or are you just accomplishing things that make life more comfortable for you (or even others) right now? There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable in this life exactly. I’m not saying that. But if you really think about it, what matters more?

As Christ-followers, this life isn’t our final destination. We have another life to live beyond this one, and we’ll live that life forever. So isn’t it more wise to be preparing for the life to come with more focus and determination than we give to our temporary lives here? What good is it if you live in a big fancy house on Earth for 80 years and when you get to heaven for all eternity, all you have is a tent with a few cans of Spam?

Do what God says. Put priority on His rules, on His plans, on His directions. Do that first. Then let the other things trickle in later. Maybe it means you’ll have to wear less fashionable clothes or drive an old car or live in a smaller house. Maybe not. But you’ll know for sure that if your life ever starts to burn down, the things that matter–the ones that will last forever–will come out untouched.

Earth is just a rest stop

When was the last time you were at a rest stop somewhere on a road trip. My family has taken so many road trips over the years, so rest areas are just a normal part of travel. And it’s true, some rest areas (the newer ones) are very comfortable. They have gift shops or information booths staffed with actual people. But here in Kansas, the rest areas aren’t always that nice. Most of the time, there’s just one main building that has restrooms and some overpriced vending machines.

Sure, it would be nice if they were all climate controlled. And it would be even better if the toilets were real, rather than chemical jobs. But it’s just a rest stop. It’s a place to get out of the car for a little bit, but you don’t stay there. You get back in the car and keep on going.

Have you ever thought about how similar that is to the lives we’re living today?

rest_areaToday’s verse is Hebrews 13:14.

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

It’s easy to get caught up in this life because it’s right in front of us. We live it every day, and we experience the troubles that come at us on a regular basis. And it’s tempting to think that this is the way it’s always going to be.

But it’s not. Because Earth is just a rest stop. We’re not sticking around for much longer. Rest stops aren’t designed to be comfortable because you’re not staying there permanently. Like the old song says, “This world isn’t my home. I’m just a’passing through.”

So what does that mean for us? How does that help us get through a difficult day or face an unpleasant situation?

Well, it helps because we remember that this life isn’t all there is. If you follow Christ, you’ve got a much better life coming after this one is over. This little insignificant life on Earth is just the beginning of your eternity, and it’s not even a very good beginning because we can’t experience all the awesome that God has in store for us. So on those difficult days, remember that there’s more to this life than what you can see.

If a rest stop was really comfortable, it would be awfully hard to get back into the car, wouldn’t it? What if they had a coffee bar? What if they had free cookies? What if they offered unlimited tacos? I mean, you could just hole up in the rest area station for the rest of your life and get along just fine, right? Because who wants to get back in that car and keep driving when you can sit around and eat free tacos?

You don’t know what the road ahead holds for you. It might be difficult. It might be worse than your situation is right now. And wouldn’t it just be better to stay put and enjoy the comforts of your luxurious rest stop?

That’s an exaggeration, of course. Although I’ve been to some rest areas that I wouldn’t mind sticking around a bit longer. It usually had to do with the ready availability of ice cream. But on the other hand, I’ve been to some rest areas that I couldn’t wait to leave. They were dirty and broken, and I just wanted to be done with them and leave. And sometimes I wonder if that’s how we’re supposed to see the world.

We need to be here, though. God put us here for a reason, so we need to accept that. But that doesn’t mean we need to get comfortable here. And that absolutely doesn’t mean we need to wish that it would become more comfortable for us. It won’t. What it should make us do is long for our true home more desperately than ever before.

When was the last time you yearned for heaven? Have you ever? Makes you wonder where your priorities are, doesn’t it?

So don’t long for easier times. Don’t wish for smooth sailing. I mean, you can. There’s nothing wrong with that, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for it either. Bet don’t be surprised if you don’t get it, and don’t get it in your head that God is mean. He’s just trying to help us understand that Earth is little more than a rest area on the great adventure we’re on with Him.

 

Apricots blossoming in the Safe Haven Farm orchard, Haven, KS

Old thoughts don’t belong in a new life

The brain is a miracle. Have you ever stopped to marvel at it? It’s the most complex computer ever created, and even though we use it every day (some of us less than others), we still don’t understand why it does what it does most of the time. My brain thinks all the time, and mostly I can keep my mouth shut, though when I’m tired who knows what I’ll say.

Most of the time, my thoughts are positive, constructive, helpful, but on rare occasions, they’re the opposite. Sometimes I just wake up and I’m in a bad mood. Sometimes I crawl out of bed and have to face the world when all I want to do is hide from it. And it’s on those days when it’s important to have some kind of rein on your thoughts, because you live what you think. Your life is a reflection of your thoughts, maybe not immediately. You can have bad thoughts and still keep up the appearance of a good life, but if you have lived a life infused with bad thinking, your actions will reveal it.

Apricots blossoming in the Safe Haven Farm orchard, Haven, KS

Apricots blossoming in the Safe Haven Farm orchard, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Colossians 3:1.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

Our busy, crazy, out-of-control lives make it really easy to focus our thoughts on everything that’s going wrong. Even our life circumstances seem to conspire to get us to think about the unfairness or the injustice we face daily. But as followers of Christ, what should we think about? That’s an important question to ask yourself.

The Bible is the ultimate how-to book. It has everything you need to live a life that’s pleasing to God and satisfying for you. It’s not an easy read. It’s painful most of the time, but if you really take it in and build your life on it, not only will you have peace with God, you’ll have peace with yourself.

One of the topics the Bible tackles frequently is our thought life. I love that phrase: thought life. We all have one. We have our life that we live where everyone can see us, and then we have our thought life that we live in silence, in shadow, in secret from everyone but God. Some people’s thoughts would shock you. What people think in the anonymity of their own minds would rock your world. And sometimes I forget that God can hear me, and honestly that’s embarrassing. It’s worse than cussing at a bad driver when I have a guest in my car.

When we choose to follow Christ, He gives us a new life, and part of that new life is having power to make choices like He does. As a follower of Christ, you can choose not to sin. You can know what sin is and choose not to do it. Part of that comes down to what you’re thinking about. You have power over your thoughts. Just because a random spark of an idea pops into your mind, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. That doesn’t mean it’s something you should spend a lot of time focusing on. Just because you thought it doesn’t make it true or real or good, and you can choose whether to keep thinking about it or discard it.

As Christ-followers, our thoughts should reflect Christ. What we focus on should be the things that last forever. We have new life; why should we nurse old thoughts?

So the next time a thought pops into your brain, examine it. Don’t just cling to it because it’s your thought. Don’t mull over it like it’s something precious inherently. Identify it. Compare it to Scripture. Is it something God would think about? Is it something you would be ashamed to tell Jesus you were thinking about (even though He already knows)? Is it helpful? Is it encouraging? Does it make you better for thinking it?

If it’s a thought that tears you down, get rid of it. If it’s a thought that belittles someone’s existence, get rid of it. If it’s a thought that demonstrates rebellion toward God or other authorities, get rid of it. If it’s a thought that in any way contradicts what God says is right in the Bible, don’t think it. You don’t have to. You have power over your thoughts, so exercise it and think about things that will help you.

It starts with your thinking. Letting your thoughts rot with hurtful, hateful, selfish things will make you a hurtful, hateful, selfish person, and no Christ follower should live like that. Set your sights–focus your thoughts–on the things that are real, the things that matter, the things that will last forever. Before you know it, your life will be focused on the things that are real, the things that matter, the things that will last forever.

Painted plaster rocking horse ornament, Haven, KS

Where Christmas lasts forever

I heard a song on the radio yesterday that bothered me. Maybe it shouldn’t have, but it got me thinking about what our perspective and our attitudes should be about Christmas as followers of Christ. Before I really start into this, though, I want to preface this post by saying I’m sure the song stemmed from the best of intentions. And I’m sure it probably is even a blessing to a lot of people. I honestly hope it is.

The song is called “One Last Christmas” by Matthew West (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye39mgcHC3E). I love Matthew West songs. I love his ministry, and I read up on the events that inspired this song. And it truly is touching. Basically, a family with a 13-month-old child was told that he wouldn’t live to see his next Christmas, and they set about helping him make it that long. In the song, the family and really the whole community celebrates early so that the boy can enjoy Christmas before he dies.

From what I understand, the music video is being used as a means to help raise funds to run St. Jude’s Research Hospital for an entire day in memory of the little boy who was sick. It’s sweet and honorable and admirable, and I can’t say enough good about the song’s intentions. But I feel like the heart of the song misses the point.

Why push and focus all our energy on having one last Christmas when what’s waiting on the other side of eternity is so much better?

Painted plaster rocking horse ornament, Haven, KS

Painted plaster rocking horse ornament, Haven, KS

Today’s verses are Revelation 21:1-6.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”

I don’t have children. So I can’t tell you what it’s like to hold a child in my arms and know that he or she won’t live another year. I don’t know what that’s like. And on the opposite side of the coin, I’m certainly not advocating a defeatist mentality. If someone is sick and there’s something that can be done to treat it, for heaven’s sake, treat it! I’m a firm believer in using the knowledge and technology God has given us to treat illness.

But I fear that in all of our comfort and our conveniences, Christians have lost sight of what truly matters.

I love Christmas. It’s my favorite time of the year. I love being with my family. I love giving gifts to people. And something is different for me this Christmas that I’ve never had before, something new to experience. A baby girl. Little Baby Hoo gets to have her first Christmas this year, and I’m absolutely giddy to be able to be a part of it. And even though she’s not “mine” per se, I still get to be in her life, and with just that barest amount of empathy I can begin to grasp the utter hopelessness of a parent with a terminally ill child. I think it would tear my heart out.

But, Christians, hear me out. When did this world become so important? When did this life become so wonderful that we yearn for one more experience down here as opposed to looking forward to the life to come? I remember worrying as a child that Jesus would come back before I learned to drive. I remember being concerned that I wouldn’t get to experience all the things people get to experience as they’re growing up. And then one day I heard a message my awesome pastor gave about what Heaven is about.

It’s not just sitting around twanging on harps and singing hymns all day long. It’s bigger and better than the best existence any of us can imagine. This life is easy to hold on to because it’s all we know, and it can be hard to long for something that we’ve never seen. Sometimes that’s where I get caught because I get so deep in this life and what’s happening here that I forget I should be living for heaven. But as Christ-followers, we need to understand that we aren’t meant for this world. We’re just visiting, just passing through, and what God has prepared for us after we leave this life is so much better than what we have here.

So instead of yearning for one last Christmas, why can’t we look forward to all the Christmases in eternity that will be so much better? Unless you don’t think we’ll celebrate Christmas in heaven? I think we will. It will look different, but the reason will be the same. Christmas is still marked in heaven as the day Christ came to Earth to save us, and I see no reason why we won’t celebrate it in eternity. I want to. I always want to remember what He’s done for me.

I don’t want people to misunderstand. I have the greatest love and admiration for families who are struggling with health issues, especially this time of year. But I’m afraid that we are all just glossing over the most important aspect of Christmas, and that is to look forward to what’s coming rather than cling to the temporary lives we’re living now.

Would you be disappointed if Christ came back today? Would you be disappointed if God called you home tomorrow? What are you holding on to in this life that you would choose over eternity?

Check your focus, because your focus will determine a lot about how you live your life. If you’re living for this life, you will rely on temporary solutions and things that don’t last to get you through the challenges you’re facing today. If you’re living for eternity, it’s a lot easier to realize that the troubles we have today are merely stepping stones for our real life after this one, where Christmas lasts forever.

Bust of Pericles in the British Museum, London, England

How a ride on an elevated train reminded me of heaven

In June and July of this year, I got to go to Scotland and England. I can tell you it was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I’m a history buff. Always have been. And it was so strange to walk around a corner in the British Museum and come face to face with a sculpture I read about in a history textbook in junior high. But to a certain extent, I expected that in the United Kingdom. I had prepared myself for facing the reality of Scotland and England, grasping that what I had only read about and seen photos of was actually real.

I didn’t expect to experience the same sensation in Chicago.

That’s where I am as I write this blog post this morning, Chicago. Downtown in a swanky hotel. I’m here for the week for a media event for work. I’ve never been to Chicago before, unless you count the airport, and thus far I really like it. It’s a beautiful city, even though most drivers seem to be a little horn-happy. But as I was riding the Blue Line into downtown from O’Hare, I sat in my seat and realized something.

The “L” really does exist. And it looks exactly like it does in The Fugitive. That movie, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, was one of my favorites growing up, and I realized that the elevated train I was riding in really reminded me of the one where the shoot out takes place between Dr. Richard Kimball and the one-armed man who killed his wife toward the end of the movie. Maybe it’s a silly revelation, but getting to ride on that train solidified in my brain that what happened in that movie wasn’t all a figment of Hollywood’s imagination. Why? Because I experienced it for myself. I didn’t just take the movie’s word for it. I rode an elevated train myself.

And as I rocked along in my seat on the way to downtown Chicago this afternoon, I couldn’t help but rejoice in eager anticipation of another day that’s coming soon, where I won’t have to rely on my imagination anymore.

Bust of Pericles in the British Museum, London, England

Bust of Pericles in the British Museum, London, England

Today’s verse is 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.

If you’re a follower of Christ, you believe in the bigger picture. You know God has a plan. You know He’s working everything out for our good. You know that this world isn’t our home, and we’re just passing through. Right? You know all those things. But there’s a big difference between knowing them and seeing them, between hearing about them and experiencing them for yourself. Someone can tell you over and over and over again that heaven exists, that there will be no sorrow, that there will be no pain, but how are we supposed to grasp something like that without experiencing it? How are we supposed to wrap our heads around what heaven is when we can’t even wrap our heads around the fact that God loved us enough to let us in for free?

This isn’t what I really planned to post today, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. In this world right now, we don’t see things they way they were meant to be seen. We don’t see God the way He was meant to be seen. The dirt and dust and muck of the world blinds us and makes it difficult to see. But a day is coming when all of that will be cleared away and we won’t have trouble seeing anymore. And all the whys and hows won’t matter because we’ll understand exactly what their purpose was.

It wasn’t yesterday, but it might be today. And if it’s not then, it might be tomorrow. You never know, but God has promised that the day is coming, and God always keeps His promises.  

So, yes, right now our promised eternal life doesn’t make sense. It’s like watching Harrison Ford shoot at a one-armed man on an elevated train in Chicago. We’re just taking the filmmaker’s word that elevated trains really look like that, really move like that, really have people in them like that. But one day, when you get to go to Chicago, you’ll see for yourself that elevated trains really do look exactly like that.

The day is coming when we won’t have to take God’s word on what heaven is like.  On that day, we’ll get to experience it for ourselves. And that’s enough to make me smile this morning.

Sunrise at Safe Haven Farm - Haven, KS

The best is yet to come

Could you use some good news this morning? I could. This hasn’t exactly been an awful week. I’ve absolutely had worse, but every day this week has felt gloomy, as though I’ve been living in some kind of hazy shadow world. Every day has felt like the mornings when the fog is thick on the roads and even if you try to shine your light brighter all it does it reflect back in your face and blind you.

I’ve finally just hit the point where I want some good news. It doesn’t even have to be great news. Just something good. Just something positive and uplifting. Something to remember on the foggy, dreary, gloomy days when all I want to do is stay in bed and give up.

So I needed this bit of good news today.

Sunrise at Safe Haven Farm - Haven, KS

Sunrise at Safe Haven Farm – Haven, KS

Today’s verses are Romans 8:18-27.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Know what this set of verses means?

The best is yet to come.

That’s what it means.

I get bogged down by life easily. My life is just so full, and that’s a good thing. But it can get too full pretty quickly, and before you know it, I get caught in the trap of thinking that this is all there is. I mean, theoretically I know that this world isn’t my home and that heaven will be better and that God’s going to make a way where there seems to be no way. I know that He’s a strong tower. I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

I know all that. But that’s tomorrow. And I’m stuck in a perpetual today. So how do I focus on what matters, how do I keep pressing forward, how do I keep taking aim over and over and over knowing that I’ll miss even when I do my best—and do all of that cheerfully?

I know the best is yet to come. But how do I live like it? Right now I’m like a tired old horse struggling under the weight of a plow in a field too dry to work. And this set of verses says I’m supposed to wait with eager hope? Well how do I hold on to eager hope when the hope I feel is more like dragging an anchor along the bottom of a muddy lake. Hope is more like a chain around my neck than a set of wings that lets me fly. At least, that’s what it feels like on these gloomy days.

Maybe it’s cliche and maybe people are tired of reading it, but the best verse to remember when you’re trying to hold on to eager hope is the verse that directly follows the passage above: Romans 8:28.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Want to know how to hold on to hope when it feels like everything is going wrong? Want to know how to keep living in the light when it feels like everyone around you is lost in the darkness? Want to know how to react when you don’t get what you want or what you think you need? Remember Romans 8:28.

If you are following Christ, if you are seeking Him first, if you are partnering with Him to make a difference (no matter how big or how small), God is working out the details in your life. And even when it seems like everything is falling apart, God still has a plan … and it’s a good plan.

If you’re down and facing a lot of discouragement, just remember that God has a plan. And remember that this world isn’t the end. There’s something beyond this world, a life beyond wonderful, and when God is finished with us down here, we get to go there.

Tomorrow may be hard to face, but hold on to hope because God is working things out down here. And when He’s done working things out down here, we get to go home. And once we get home … well, even our best days here pale in comparison to what our worst day in eternity will be like.

 

Something to look forward to

Have you ever noticed that Christians talk a lot about hell but we don’t talk much about heaven? There’s this prevailing idea in American culture that heaven is a place full of clouds where angels float around plucking harps all day. That concept of heaven isn’t supported anywhere in scripture. Honestly, I’m not even sure where the idea of angels playing harps came from. I know angels are musical but first and foremost they are messengers. And angels aren’t going to be the focus of heaven. Heaven is all about one person: Jesus. And if I know Him as well as I think I do, sitting around listening to harps all day would bore Him out of His skull.

The verse for today is Revelation 21:2-4 and it’s a popular one that floats around the church. At NewSpring you’ll especially hear it during Judgement House.

2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.[a] 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Forgive me a Judgement House Tour Guide moment . . . . “We don’t know all the glories of heaven, but we do know that Jesus will be there ready to welcome us home.”

Heaven is a wonderful place. And maybe that’s why we don’t think about it. Maybe we don’t talk about it because it’s going to be so incredible that we are afraid to imagine it. In any case, I think we need to spend more time contemplating what heaven will be like. After all, it’s going to be our home for eternity. Shouldn’t we want to know everything we can about it?

Like here. If you know you’re moving, do you just pick up all your belongings and move to a new city without learning something about the city? Maybe some people do. But it’s a good idea to learn about the schools. To learn about which neighborhoods and areas of town are best avoided at night time. To figure out where the closest Wal-mart is. To make sure there’s a library close by.

Granted, we don’t have a lot to work with as far as knowing what heaven is like. From the Revelation we know that it’s beautiful and extravagent. I find it ironic that gold costs so much down here and in heaven they use it to pave the streets. That tells you how much gold is worth in heaven. But I am less concerned with what heaven will look like than I am in what life will be like there.

It’s a given that heaven will be beautiful. Earth is beautiful. The mountains. The oceans. The plains. Canyons. Trees. Clouds. Flowers. Earth is a wonder and it’s broken. Earth is incredible and God made it in six days. Imagine what He has done with 10,000 years! Imagine what He has made without us crazy human types up there to screw it up! The scenery of heaven isn’t going to be clouds and blue sky. It will be like Earth. Just better. Flawless. Unbroken. Whole.

But life in heaven? No. We’re not going to sit around playing harps all day. Well. Let me take that back. If you love to play the harp, you’ll be able to do that.

I really believe that whatever gift God has given you is what you will do when we get to heaven. There’s this concept that all we’ll do is sing hymns and play music. Maybe. If those are your gifts, that’s great! But the real point is that in heaven we will spend all day, every day worshipping God. And the very simple truth is that worship isn’t just singing. Worship isn’t just playing music. Worship is living life for God. Making every moment of your life about Him. Intentionally living every moment of every day for Him, doing what He asks, listening when He speaks, going where He tells you to go, and staying when He tells you to stay.

You can worship God when you drive a car. You can worship God when you mow your grass. You can worship God when you drink a cup of coffee (right, Colonel?). Worship is a lifestyle. And when we get to heaven, worshiping God with every breath will no longer be a challenge. Pride won’t get in the way anymore. And that’s what I look forward to most. Being able to use the gifts God has given me without the fear of me taking over, without the danger of pride having a part in my actions.

I don’t think God would have created a world of people with vastly different personalities and talents and gifts only to snatch them all up in the end, stuff them in angel robes, thrust a harp in their hands and expect them to float around plucking strings all day for eternity. That’s not God’s style. If He’s given you a gift, He expects you to use it, both here and in the life to come.

So it might be a good idea to figure out what your gift is. =)

I know for me, I can’t wait to get to heaven. I’ll be able to tell stories all day long. And then fearing dangling participles is no longer a concern. =)