Death Be Not Proud – a poem about Nathan’s Win

Death be not proud

That you’ve gained one more soul

It was not a win for you

Swallowing whole

His breath and energy

Cancer and pain

You may count it as yours

But this loss is yet gain

 

Friends and dear family

Daughter and son

Draw near to heaven

Where life’s now begun

His grace is a blanket

His comfort a salve

His presence with Nathan

Is here with you now

 

Death be not proud

For this world is not home

For this earth which we roam

Will assault heart and bone

Rather, home is our city

In heaven and light

So I raise my proud fist

For one hell of a fight

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A Bray Say… conversation about heaven

So what does God do up there all day? Sit in his chair and play video games?

-No silly. I don’t know…the Bible doesn’t say exactly. I guess he listens to prayers, heals people, speaks to us though his Holy Spirit, and pretty much controls everything…

… (we talk some more about sin, the sea of forgetfulness & God not counting our sin against us when we repent)…

Adam & Eve had it perfect. Everything was fine. Until they put clothes on.

-They put clothes on cause they were ashamed. Everything was different after that. Because of their sin, we all have the tendency to sin & feel ashamed & Satan tries to make us think wrong thoughts about ourselves.

I’ve done that before, and he even tried to make me think some stuff about myself that wasn’t true and then make me think that God was the one telling me that.

-Yeah, he does that. But don’t you believe it. God would never tell you you’re stupid, or a jerk or anything else, especially after you’ve asked him for forgiveness for something. If you hear that, know that it is always Satan.

I hate Satan.

-Me too. Ya know, before Adam & Eve believed Satan about that fruit & sinned, the world was perfect. We’ll never experience anything like that kind of perfect world again until we get to heaven.

There’s gold everywhere there. I think I’ll cut a big chunk out of a street when I get there and chuck it down to earth for the miners.

Will we all be like the same?

– I think we’ll have the same spirit, but we’ll have glorified bodies. I think we’ll be able to even walk through walls.

Coooool…

I call robbing a bank!

 

As It Is Up There – a song about what it means to pray what Jesus prayed

What is it like…in heaven

Are there no tears; is there no war

Has everyone found what they’re looking for

.

I need to know…what it’s like in heaven

Wholeness & healing; laughter & rest

No more diseases, no fear, no regrets

***

Chorus:

I no longer want my will

But Your will be done

Your kingdom come

Right here (x2)     (I’m prayin’…)

As it is up there

***

(Lord, tell me…) Vs. 1, 2

Chorus

Instrumental Solo

***

Bridge: (optional echo after ea. line: “as it is up there”)

O, to worship with your angels

O, to worship ever more

Holy, Holy, Holy is the…Lord God Almighty

Who was –  –   & is & is to come!!

***

Chorus

***

…as it is up there

(random adlibs with the echo after ea. line: “as it is up there”)

Cant wait to join you there,

Jesus!

Heaven fills my heart;

Let it overflow

Onto the streets of this city

Let it be done

…As it is up there.

Bill Johnson Conference – Day 3 – Sustaining Revival

Tues. night – Nov. 10th

…was Day 3 of the conference, When Heaven Invades Earth. Here are the highlights and strangities (my newly-coined word) that happened:

We arrived and again, and after all the seats filled to capacity, we started by laying hands on those next to us & praying for them. It just helped bring about a sense of one purpose and a spirit of compassion. Worship was weird – we sang some familiar songs from the past 2 days, and some new, but the Spirit had not yet fallen. It seemed much more conjured up- with good intention, but not very anointed.

But, the atmosphere changed as Pastor Bill began to preach. Below are some of the notes I took about sustaining revival:

  • Walk with God; hear his heart…then declare what is his heart, by spoken word. You may be just ONE decree away from your miracle – from living in God’s perfect will.
  • When you repent, your story gets “re-written”!
  • When you cannot celebrate another’s breakthrough, and let jealousy affect you, you’ve just sabotaged your own opportunity for personal breakthrough.

{RESEARCH: The Great Welsh Revival of 1904-1906)

Luke 17

  • Dream BIG. He said ask, and I’ll give the nations to you as your inheritance. Some things we need to ask for and we will rec’v as our inheritance – by no human effort. Other things we want, we need to press in & push for.

When God asked, “can a nation be saved in a day?” He was not asking to get an answer, but a testimony!  It’s rhetorical. He wants your answer not to be Yes or No, but, “God, it can! And here it is! I present this fruit as a once-impossibility, but it has become possible through the words of my mouth! Lord, help me to accurately re-present Jesus to the nations, speaking  that which is not, as though it were – that men & a nation may be saved!”

  • All we are, are the Lord’s delivery people. Delivering packages of _______ from His Holy Spirit to whomever he has in mind (through our inborn gifts and talents) by faith in the Sender, and obedience.
  • Worship is attending to the Lord 1st; serving HIM. We are here to serve HIM – not the other way around. TRY to keep that mindset every time you serve in ministry or just show up at church – all throughout the service. It REALLY is not about us, but HIM (Do servants labor in the field and then come in to eat, without 1st attending to the Master? NO! They are to make sure their master is fed and satisfied 1st before they feed themselves.) This brings new meaning to me, about the importance of worship before and after a sermon. Sandwiched in between two opportunities to serve our Master, we have the privilege of dining at his table of wisdom & learning his truths until our bellies are satisfied as well.

Matt. 11 (context: John was in prison & began doubting if Jesus really was who he said he was. “…or should we look for another?”)

  • Jesus told John to stop looking at what God has not done (he hadn’t released him from prison, and it was lookin’ like that day would not come). **RATHER, Keep your eyes – your attention – on what God is doing! TOO many Christians walk around with the ball & chain of “why he didn’t come though for me”. (Not forgetting that which lies behind).
  • Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are not offended in me.” Why? Because offense creates the perfect soil for UNBELIEF to take root.
  • Keep watch for, & walk in what God is currently doing. If you stop, you will stumble on what he has not done – labeling him unjust – which leads to offense – which leads to unbelief.

Leviticus 6:12-13

  • Priests were given responsibility to keep the fire BURNing on the altar. We are priests! May we as the body, sustain revival on to the next generation – with an ever-increasing flame, by becoming the offering ourselves … “The Burning Ones”. With NO other option but to obey.

***

After the service:

– prayer for healing – MUCH healing took place. Someone’s flat feet got an arch! Debbie, my friend, was healed of arthritis, a black woman testified that a drunk driver hit her yrs ago and she’s had pain since…but NO pain anymore. A man went up and said that he couldn’t bend all the way down before (lower back injury) but then he did – & was totally thrilled! There were like 100 more…

– prayer for ea. other next to us – BOLD declarations / prophesying over ea. other – “pray crazy prayers”!

– songs of angels – i prayed to hear them in the building as we were all praying. Then it started – from one corner of the room and made its way around… I still don’t know if it was angels for sure, but it was like no other sound I’ve ever heard: melodies and harmonies all around the same notes, with no words, really – a lot of continual ooohs, aaaaahs, mmmmms… and within a few minutes most everyone was doing this – including me. If it started with angels, or if angels were singing along with all of us, that was a direct answer to my prayer! I was not gonna let it pass me by without singing right along with ’em… but even if that’s not what was happening, it was still beautiful & irresistible. I have a feeling that was a rare thing we were able to be a part of.

– Rosa (44) prophesied over me, touching my head & stomach, that I would write songs from the depths of my belly, that would bring HEALING! Without effort, God would just begin to give me lyrics and melodies. Which he has already done – I have a NEW song he has given me just this week.

– Rosa was standing rt next to me & was healed of a hernia & kidney disease – something fatal if not healed supernaturally! Then, she was slain in the Spirit – TWICE! Right by me.  I just looked down and saw her all slouched down in her chair, with this half-smile on her face.

– “The Fire-Line” (hard to explain…but here’s my attempt: we walked through a long line, between two rows of 20-30 spiritual warriors, prophets & intercessors, pastors, ministers, etc., And were touched and blessed, confessed over, and prayed for…for more of the whatever the Holy Spirit has for ea. of us individually. Otherwise known as “impartation”).

What a crazy but interesting night. As strange and foreign as a lot of this is to me, so much of what I took in, rang true, as I knew much of it was exemplified in the early church (Acts 2 / 4) when the Holy Spirit fell on them. Sure it was more charismatic than what I’m used to, but there was nothing offensive, nothing spoken contrary to the Word of God. So I’m all right with all of it.  😉 In fact, I want more – more of anything God and his Holy Spirit has for me.

as certain as death and texas

with hurricane ike’s death toll reaching 51 as of this morning, this great state of texas has been pulling together to help those who’ve survived. my church, calvary austin, put a team together & traveled to calvary houston which along with most of houston, is on its 5th day without power. this is the most current article i’ve found, written about hurricane ike, if you’re more detail-oriented.

here in austin, 300 miles inland, we were safe and warm. disconnected. only felt a brief wind. and it’s back to normal now. normal, disconnected, apathetic, comfortable, enjoyable. yet there’s a lingering sorrow.

there are so many i’m sure, who’ve discovered that a relative or friend is now dead. they may be wondering where that person is now. if they’re in a ‘better place’…or a worse; if there is even a heaven or a hell.

but these are some of the most commonly asked questions about heaven & the afterlife:

  • do pets go to heaven?
  • should Christians be cremated?
  • will we be married or have sex in heaven?
  • should we try to contact the dead?
  • can a person who commits suicide go to heaven?
  • will we remember our lives when we’re in heaven?
  • can people in heaven see what’s happening on earth? and the most important question of all,
  • is there more than one way to get to heaven?

well, earlier this week, my husband & i watched a really great video by craig groeschel who’s studied them all in depth. he gives Biblical explanations, references, answers and opinions for each one of them. i hope this video brings clarity to anyone on their spiritual journey to truth.

but before you navigate away, if you’re a praying person, could you agree w/me in this short prayer?

God, forgive those of us who forget so quickly those in need. quicken our hearts to action, giving us the faith needed to step out & use our resources, whatever they may be. show yourself real and your love present in the lives of those who have lost people they care so much about. bring them peace, beyond understanding.

you are still our God, unchanging and trustworthy. and we love you.

(photo taken not in texas, but haiti where the death toll is over 300 after back-to-back storms. read this well-written article about haiti if you can)

does the blood of Jesus cover the blood of suicide?

thanks, dad, for your permission to write about gramma.

my gramma was so wonderful to be around. she was kind, always had a hug. she loved “the peoples’ court’ and ‘hee-haw’ and ‘mama’s family’. we used to camp with her in her pop-up at wallowa lake & roller skate on her wood floor. she nursed my first bee sting i got (in my belly button) while lounging in a hammock in her backyard. she baked us a bunny shaped coconutty cake every easter. she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind & boy, could she be blunt (i got that gene). she doted on her weiner dog, trudy (sister to ours) was devoted to the Lord & loved her husband. she lost grampa ted after over 50 years of marriage. that next year brought with it the greatest test of endurance.

emotional stress turned physical & chemicals in her brain started getting off-balance. no one knew her depression had gotten severe. no one knew about the thoughts. not the cuban refugee family she took in to her home, not her pastor, not even her two sons. they would’ve removed the guns from the home.

i was called with the request to drive to her house as “there had been an accident”. i pulled up in my white vw jetta & my mom held me & told me then…gramma was gone. i was confused. i sat on top my car hood with my knees up to my chin & rocked back & forth. there was no accident. she’d stripped her life from herself probably not b/c she wanted to die, but b/c she no longer wanted to live…and in doing so, stripped her life from everyone else who loved her. the tears just streamed as i watched her pastor & the elders haul off the carpet they’d ripped out of that tiny room. i’m just glad it was dark out. i’m even more grateful i wasn’t the one to discover her. i loved my gramma & respected her. i honor her even today. i just wish she was still with me & i could share my life & family with her, like we do w/rick’s grandmas (that seems like a selfish reason, doesn’t it). she sure loved family. there are so many great memories i can recount, that the awful details are usually overshadowed in my mind…

but for the sake of discussion, honest reflection, & hopefully peace to a reader who’s lost someone this way, let’s bring the topic out into the light.

do people who do this go to heaven? to seek some answers (cause i know i have far from all the answers), i went to the Bible, God’s Word. it says that to be absent from our bodies is to be present with the Lord, and there are so many that display his abounding mercy…but i didn’t take much comfort in this passage: he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. ~ 1 Corintians 3:15-17.

this is the only place in the Bible where it refers to what may be suicide, although, it doesn’t even state it as such, specifically. no where else in the Word {Christians’ one & only true source of God-breathed, Holy Spirit inspired ancient text} does it state or even imply that suicide in & of itself, is a sin worthy of eternal damnation…an unpardonable sin. sheesh, even in judges 16:28-30, samson is granted by God the strength to do this. suicide, if unpardonable, would be not just mentioned as such, but woven throughout text.

i know from experience about the kind of God i serve. i don’t care if people call me biased or subjective. everyone of us is, really. God is just & merciful & kind. he is the essence & exemplification of love. he reaches to us beyond the point of our carnal death & gives us a chance to be judged, for the good, bad & ugly. not one of his kids will escape accountability. committing suicide? yeah, that too. they’ll have to answer for it to their Creator himself. sin cannot go unpunished. it was his life to make, & his to take, in his time. but for him to ‘sentence’ hell because of this would be unjust & uncharacteristic.

our lives are so valuable…often underestimated…& extremely important to God! read Psalm 139. to me, suicide can be the ultimate act of selfishness…but i think our Father looks beyond the sin at the time of death, & sees what mere man cannot: the whole person, their lifestyle, their love for him. he takes into account their suffering from mental illness or severe depression & applies the blood of his Son, Jesus to that final sin. so what if they aren’t alive to ask for it!?! his grace reaches beyond that technicality. his grace always looks at the heart.

his blood is not partial. it does not flow down our hearts full of sin avoiding a few choice acts. it cleanses all. that’s why i love to sing songs about it. the suffering & the blood of Jesus is worth squat if we humans can determine that some sins it does not cover (“how could he forgive a child molester or murderer?” “how could he forgive one who doesn’t ask for it because they’re dead now?”), & some it does cover. what if i’m saved, (i’ll use a lame example for lack of time) i’m driving & completely envying the person driving next to me. i end up rubber-neckin’ & crashing into a pole & i die? would a gracious God just look at my last sin of envy & say to me at the throne, ‘well in spite of your life of obedience & humility and your heart of love toward me & toward the least of these, you never repented of that last sin…so, since the wages of sin is death…’

absurd. that clearly goes completely against his character displayed throughout the entire Bible.

we all tend to ‘heirarchy’ the wrong we commit to help us feel better about our ‘little pet sins’, but to God, it is what it is ≈ that which separates us from him, and calls for a perfect atonement. envy, greed, suicide, homosexuality (sexual sin is different, but not worse to God. see 1 corinthians 6:18-20), disobedience, slander, drunkenness…you name it, it’s all sin. if we live this way, refusing to acknowledge/accept Christ’s atonement, it is serious business (see 1 corinthians 6:9-11).

the Word states there is o n e sin that’s unforgivable, unpardonable & results in hell: blaspheming the Holy Spirit ~ (my paraphrase: completely & permanently denying Christ, even after you know the truth in your spirit). this may seem contradictory to the scripture above naming many sins that can lead to eternal separation from God, but this one refers to a blanket statement, covering all of those listed, as examples. hell is for the unrepentant of heart that denies Christ. anyone who has guilt for their sin, confesses with humility & repents…(“such WERE some of you” oh, please don’t miss that part!)…he is immediately restored to right standing with God. my heart leaps for joy to read this again.

Christ words on this sin can be read in mark 3:22-30 & matthew 12:30-33 . dr. henry morris & author & theologian, dr. f.f. bruce shed some further light on that ‘unpardonable’ sin ~ to read their insights on the subject, click here (but come back!).

so yeah, i’m biased here. i miss her. but not so biased, i’m blind. i have faith (evidence of what i can’t see) that the saved don’t have to worry about heaven vs. hell when they die. they are free of every pain in their new bodies, enjoying the gift of eternal life. in my humble opinion, this is the bottom line: whether it was a life of a Christian taken by God in his timing, by someone else or by their own hand, that life…that blood is covered by the blood of their Savior. period.

oh…my gramma’s name?

grace.

now, as for whether or not we know if someone’s really saved before they die?! …well, that’s a topic for another day. i’m way past my wordcount on this one, but i’d loooove to read any comments on today’s.