An Update from Heaven

An Update from Heaven

Wow, Emily! You are going to love it here.

It is just as God said. Praise Him for He is faithful and His word is ever sure.
Our language was impoverished when it comes to its ability to communicate what heaven is really like. Paul, John, and the writer of Hebrews called it “glory” (II Cor. 4:17, Rev. 21:11, and Heb. 2:10); but even “glory” barely conveys what is like here. Our human language cannot capture what the regenerate, imperishable eye sees here.

I understand better now the difficulty John must have experienced when he was recording the Revelation (Unveiling) of Jesus Christ and wrote: “Where do I start? How can I possibly describe Him and this I’m seeing?” It is as glorious as the dwelling place of the Most High God should be! But most of all, He is here—my Savior and my Lord, the One I longed to see.

Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us? Only the Creator of all things could produce so many precious stones and pearls and SO much gold. And the crystal sea—gorgeous! The light is as John said: “like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” But only the Light of the World could eliminate the need for any other light source and Himself illuminate every corner and crevice. And, just as He said, there are people here from every tribe, tongue, and nation, from every age. Praise to the Redeemer is almost deafening!

“Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing.

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
To Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever.”

Amen

Being here with Him is so far beyond what I imagined with my earthly mind. I’m sure you understand the unsurpassed joy I felt when Jesus welcomed me and called me, by my NEW name.

Written on my crown,
a new name known only to Him,
autographed by Christ.
-dlp

If I had known it is so wonderful, I would have come here a long time ago! I am eagerly anticipating my reunion with you and our children. Be of good courage. Do not mourn like those who have no hope, for our Hope is Jesus and His resurrection. You may miss me, but please long to see Him more. Bring others with you when you come.

Haiku Images

I thought you might appreciate reading through the Haiku Cluster that the judges thought were worthy of first place winner in the competition. All of the haiku spring from the Scriptures related as listed.

Appropriate for the Easter season is “To say ‘I love you’ God sent a cross.” The truth that we are co-heirs with the eternal Godhead is incomprehensible, but the Scriptures certainly remind us how rich we are in Christ.

If a haiku or two moves you and you would like to share your thoughts, I would love to meditate on them with you.
A HAIKU CLUSTER
I bequeath to you,                                                                   Romans 8:17a
every sunrise I’ve painted,
all originals. -God

Adam, while you slept,                                                           Genesis 2:21-22
God slipped Eve into your bed,
then he left, smiling.

To say “I love you,”                                                                  John 19:17-18
we send flowers or a card,
but God sent a cross.

Five little fingers                                                                       Luke 2:7
squeeze young Mary’s nose and face
as God lies on straw.

Often mothers ’ prayers                                                         I Samuel 1:27
mend the broken jars of clay
they molded from birth.

Silent, by a grave,                                                                   II Corinthians 1:4
arm around a friend, healing
a hole in the heart.

Before life’s bookends                                                         Amos 4:12b
squeeze away your last-held breath,
prepare for closure.

A Conference to Remember

Last week my wife and I had the privilege of attending the Florida Christian Writers Conference at Lake Yale in central Florida. What an exciting adventure from the moment we registered on Wednesday afternoon and picked up our room key until we left on Sunday afternoon after lunch.

The time was filled with speakers, appointments with publishers and critique personnel, continuing classes and workshops. I learned so much from them as I had opportunities to talk about my writing – haiku, memoir, devotionals, and Bible studies for small groups. Outstanding!

But the most rewarding experience was spending time with Christian people who have the same love for our Lord and want to share it through their love of writing.

Marti Pieper, chaplain for the conference, critiqued my memoir, Naked with Clothes On. Diane Matthews critiqued my devotionals and also taught 3 days of 2-hour classes honing our skills in devotional writing.

More about it next week. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you if you have ever attended a Christian Writers Conference, or any other Christian Conference. It’s a time of getting to know fellow believers who are also on life’s spiritual journey. What a time we are having on this earth, and we only see through a glass darkly until we are eternally with the Lord.

I am asking the Lord to help me improve my writing skills so that they can “Spur one another to love and good works” (Heb 10:24).

NOTE THE NAME CHANGE: The blog name has been changed from Umbilical to Guardedhearts.

Newtown, Connecticut

O, little children,

   may we find you in heaven,

      laughing and loving.

This haiku, written by my 33-year-old grandson to share his grief over the loss of the dear children at the elementary school in Newtown reminds me of two contrasting Scriptures. First, “Herod, realizing he had been outwitted by the Magi [and not caring about children], gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under. A voice, weeping and great mourning, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Second, Jesus saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in. He took them in his arms, put his hands on them, and fervently gave them his divine favor.” In doing so, he personified the Hebrew customary act of the father blessing the children.

Jesus, showing his caring attitude toward children, used them as examples of, not their innocency or humility, but their spirit of openness to receive and their dependence on others for daily provisions and care.

This simple but profound warning, unless we accept the kingdom of God with the spirit of a child’s dependence and abandonment, we will eternally miss out on that “laughing and loving” in heaven.