Posted in spiritual/religious

Heavenly Thinking, Eternal Living


In my childhood, there were lots of conversations about heaven. There were discussions about heaven as a city with streets paved in gold. There were discussions about heaven as a country with trees, shrubs, waterfalls, fountains, and flowers. There were discussions about the location of the third heaven: above the atmospheric heaven (the sky), and above the celestial heaven (home of the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, and the galaxies). There were discussions with some who believed that the more a person suffered in their earthly life, the more they would be rewarded in their eternal (heavenly) life. There was a song that stated I don’t need a mansion; I just need a little cabin in the corner of glory land, which inferred that there were different sized rewards in heaven thus creating competition between some of the church members. “I’ll be happy with just a cabin.” “Oh no, with all you do, you’ll surely get a mansion.” “Oh no, no, but you’ll surely get a mansion.” And so it went.

As an adult, I’ve had other discussions. One believes (as does the author cited below) that when you take your last earthly breath, you’ll also take your first eternal breath. This seems to go along with a Henry Van Dyke poem from years ago:

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying…

Another discussion is we are already eternal beings. When the earthly body gives out, the spiritual being goes on. There is no delay, no waiting. There is a quote that states, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” which goes along with the quote when Jesus said to one of the thieves on the cross, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” There is also a quote that God lives within us and that we are the temple of God. So if God lives within us, aren’t we already present with Him?

And if we are already present with Him, aren’t we already eternal beings? And more importantly, if we are already eternal beings with God living in us, then aren’t our daily actions already our eternal actions? And if our daily actions are already eternal actions, how are we doing? How are our actions stacking up? Are they eternal worthy? Are they heaven worthy? If not, should they be?


Cite: A Better Country: Preparing for Heaven by Dan Schaefer


Posted in self-improvement, spiritual/religious

Here I Am


Hope: Where do you go to find hope? Can you be hopeful and doubt? Can you be hopeful in times of change? How? Say, here I am. Here I am. I am here. While here, I will hope and will not doubt. Here I am. I am here and will stay despite the change. Here I am. It doesn’t matter what I’m going through, it matters what I’m becoming.

Strength: How strong are you feeling right now? How is your mental toughness? Your inner resolve? Your confidence? Your peace? Adversity happens to everyone. No one escapes it. Everyone gets weary and discouraged. Adversity is not to be avoided. It is to go through. How? Say, here I am. Here I am. When I’m weary and feel I cannot go another step, here I am. When I feel crushed by life, here I am. With all my inner strength, all my toughness, all my confidence, here I am.

Courage:  Courage is the quality of mind and spirit that enables a person to face danger, difficulty, and pain without fear. Courage is the motivation to do what needs to be done, whether it’s overcoming adversity or taking on a challenging task. Success is the outcome of courage. How? Say, here I am. Here I am. In the middle of financial crisis, in medical crisis, in relationship crisis, here I am. I may be troubled, but here I am. Here I am without fear. Here I am despite the pain.

Integrity: Integrity is the inner quality of your heart. Integrity shapes your character. Integrity is having your actions match up with your promises. A breach of integrity in one area of your life soon spills over into other areas of your life. Integrity is wholeness of spirit. Integrity is complete honesty, being honest in all the areas of your life. A person of integrity is an unbroken person. How to become this person? Say, here I am. Here I am. I am here. I am whole. I am honest in all my actions and words. I will not ‘fudge’. I will not give false witness, false impressions, or alternate facts. Here I am.

Perseverance:  Winston Churchill reminded us all in 1941 – Never Give In. Perseverance is enduring to overcome. Perseverance is continuing when you are weary, and when you cannot see the finish line. Perseverance is pushing toward the goal. Perseverance is endurance with confidence. Perseverance is believing what you are looking for to happen will happen. Perseverance is the heart of hope. How? Say, I will not complain or blame. Say, here I am. Here I am. I am here.

Cite: Hope: Comfort and Encouragement by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz


Posted in self-improvement, spiritual/religious

Labels Are Lazy


We are a country divided. There is no doubt about it. However, we do not have to be a hateful country.

After the election, I tried to post issues, mostly about bills that were being submitted to the U. S. Congress. Silly me, I really thought my Facebook family and friends and I could have a discussion of issues. I knew that some of us disagreed about some of the issues, but I know these people personally. I know them to be intelligent people. Still, within two comments of any posting, the labels began. Once the labels were tossed down like gauntlets, there was no turning back to thoughtful discussions. I tried this for a couple of weeks and then I gave up. I accepted the loss, that people I thought of as friends and I could not have a civil conversation about the issues coming out of Washington, D.C. and around our country.

I am saddened by the labels because how can I understand people who think and vote differently from me if we cannot talk together about why I think the way I do and why others think the way they do? What is it that makes us throw labels around at people instead of saying…wait…why does this upset you? What other options do you see? Why do we so easily go to the basest of our natures instead of being the adults we are?

Throughout the decades it has been proven that labeling, also known as name calling, is no way to get along with others or to reach understanding. Ns, Js, Cs, Ms, Os,  Ps, … none of these labels got us closer to unifying ourselves and our country. When I use a label, I make you less than human. Thus, I can discount you and be above you. Why then, are intelligent people tossing out labels so easily again now? Why are we being lazy? Why are we allowing the rebel-rousers to poke at us and get reactions so easily?

We have fundamental differences in this country. And I believe we are at a true point to decide how our country will go. While it is true we are on different sides of the arguments, and our opinions are 180 degrees apart, we must decide how we go forward. Are we going to try to win at all costs, meaning that our friends, family members, and neighbors are losers? Are we going to take a flame thrower to everything, or are we going to put the labels aside and learn how to talk to each other?  The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Posted in self-improvement

100 Days…What Will You Do?


We are told that habits can be created in 21 days. In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren states that even though it takes only 21 days to create a new habit, it takes another 21 days for the new habit to become ingrained in you. This is why there are so many 40-day events in the Holy Bible. U.S. presidents are measured by the amount of work they complete in their first 100 days in office that is called their honeymoon period. It is thought that by watching what they complete in the first 100 days, people will have a good indication of their character and integrity.

Since I challenged you to a 40-day journey in 2015, I want to challenge you to go on a 100-day journey with me this year. What do you want to conquer in the next 100 days? Lose 10 pounds? Exercise more? Try Meatless Mondays? Floss twice a day? Practice a new language? Be kinder to your neighbor? Learn a new dance?

What have you been wanting to do but have been putting off? Whatever it is, put aside the putting aside and commit, with me, to challenge yourself for the next 100 days. You can share your goal with me, or you can keep it secret. But whatever it is, we will start today. Are you with me?

If you are interested, here is a simple little chart that you can use to add a Y for yes or an N for no if you were successful in your goal each day. If you collect a few Ns along the way, don’t worry as change takes time. If you collect more Ns that Ys, you should ask yourself how important the goal is to you. If it is important, ask yourself what is stopping you from completing it each day. If it isn’t important, change to a goal that you can commit to and start again. Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination that is important. See you along the change path.

Date Day Goal
5-Feb 1
6-Feb 2
7-Feb 3
8-Feb 4
9-Feb 5
10-Feb 6
11-Feb 7
12-Feb 8
13-Feb 9
14-Feb 10
15-Feb 11
16-Feb 12
17-Feb 13
18-Feb 14
19-Feb 15
20-Feb 16
21-Feb 17
22-Feb 18
23-Feb 19
24-Feb 20
25-Feb 21
26-Feb 22
27-Feb 23
28-Feb 24
1-Mar 25
2-Mar 26
3-Mar 27
4-Mar 28
5-Mar 29
6-Mar 30
7-Mar 31
8-Mar 32
9-Mar 33
10-Mar 34
11-Mar 35
12-Mar 36
13-Mar 37
14-Mar 38
15-Mar 39
16-Mar 40
17-Mar 41
18-Mar 42
19-Mar 43
20-Mar 44
21-Mar 45
22-Mar 46
23-Mar 47
24-Mar 48
25-Mar 49
26-Mar 50
27-Mar 51
28-Mar 52
29-Mar 53
30-Mar 54
31-Mar 55
1-Apr 56
2-Apr 57
3-Apr 58
4-Apr 59
5-Apr 60
6-Apr 61
7-Apr 62
8-Apr 63
9-Apr 64
10-Apr 65
11-Apr 66
12-Apr 67
13-Apr 68
14-Apr 69
15-Apr 70
16-Apr 71
17-Apr 72
18-Apr 73
19-Apr 74
20-Apr 75
Apr-17 76
22-Apr 77
23-Apr 78
24-Apr 79
25-Apr 80
26-Apr 81
27-Apr 82
28-Apr 83
29-Apr 84
30-Apr 85
1-May 86
2-May 87
3-May 88
4-May 89
5-May 90
6-May 91
7-May 92
8-May 93
9-May 94
10-May 95
11-May 96
12-May 97
13-May 98
14-May 99
15-May 100