Life and Longevity

Life is not measured by its longevity but by its quality. John Boy Walton, of the popular Walton series TV Miniseries, quipped, “Life is not measured by birthdays but by memories.” Life has its up and downs. Life always has those moments when we question the unexpected loss of someone we held dear to us but God said He alone is the giver of life. God expresses the quality of life is based on the fear of God so life and death are in the hands of God. There are parts of life and much of death we don’t understand. In fact, we know very little of what the other side looks like.

The Bible tells us about the streets of gold, the Crystal Sea, gates of pearl, the throne of God but little about what life is like in the eternal heavens. Jesus tells us He has gone to prepare a mansion for us but doesn’t tell us why we need a mansion in heaven. Jesus tells us there is no marriage nor giving of marriage in heaven; yet we will be known as we are known. Yet there is much about life in heaven we don’t understand. We wonder – what really awaits us after death, we speculate, wish and hope.

But there is one scripture in the Holy Bible that helps me more than any other. In Hebrews 11:1 -2b Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; …..  These witnesses are not mourning their passing but are rather standing on the balcony of heaven but watching below those who are still running the race. Not tears but applause. Not sorrow but cheering; Cheering on those who are yet to cross the finish line; Applause for everyone to run well; Applauding our efforts as we move closer and closer to the finish line.

In the stillness, of the midnight. Precious sacred scenes unfold,*  tears run silently down our cheek, in the pain of loneliness grips our soul, we are compelled to listen, to listen carefully to the soft applause of our loved one; “run, run well; keep on running, cross the finish line with faith; we applaud you.”

So while we may not see them it is definitely clear that they can see us and they are cheering us on – yes, you can make it.

 

*Precious Memories, original lyrics, © 1966 by Stamps-Baxter Music & Printing Co. J. B. F. Wright, author-composer of “Precious Memories” (originally copyrighted in 1925)

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

 

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Why I choose to go to church

Two well known bloggers wrote popular blogs on why they quit church and many people have left churches for less reasons than thy noted on their blog. Although this is not a new concept, people have been leaving church since the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ but has been enhanced with the idea with “we left the church but didn’t leave Jesus.” This blog is not intended to be a rebuttal to these bloggers but a request for each of us to examine our own heart and lives and ask the question, “Why church?”

1. It isn’t my church – it is His church. Jesus said, “I will build my church,” Notice the use of the word “my” not mine but His. I must come to the reality of coming together as a church is to become an integral part of the church He is building.

2. Jesus likened the church to His body. The church is the vehicle for Christ to exhibit His life into regular, imperfect people. There will never be a perfect children’s ministry, a perfect pastor or a perfect church but God takes this imperfect mass of people and brings them together as His body.

3. The church is God’s way of reaching a community. A Spirit filled church makes a difference in the community – one soul at a time. Churches create a moral climate in the community, provide an anchor for marriages and an evangelistic thrust.

4. Church is a place of accountability. The strong moral compass of the Holy Spirit through a body of believers enables me to stay in an arena of truth.

5. Children need a strong moral stability surrounding them. Church does not replace parental moorings of biblical truth but support it. Parents have a biblical obligation to “raise up a child in the way they should go,” and the church offers a spiritual atmosphere to encourage parental teaching. Plus, provide an environment to back up what parents are teaching.

6. Church is a place to give. I know there are those who choose to support a tv ministry but I choose to bring my tithes “into the storehouse,” where the funds can be used to help local shelters, feed those in my community, provide programs for children and teenagers, and to support home and world missions, as well as, the present pastor.

7. There is strength in numbers. The church congregation can do more together than I can do alone.

8. One day I may need a Pastor. A death in the family, a hospital stay or a marriage breakup are just three of the hundreds of reasons why someone could need to have a Pastor present in my home or praying for me.

9. The times we are living in requires church attendance The Bible says, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” (pretty straightforward) and, it continues, “even more as you see ( evil) days approaching.” We need each other now more than ever.

10. The church is likened to marriage. (Ephesians 5). Even as the union of Husband and wife is for “unto death do us part” so Christ and the Church (Bride) are to be inseparable and not divorced.