Home…finally!

My dear friend, Lupe passed away on Monday night. She had spent the afternoon with her grandchildren, her estranged son and her husband. During their visit she had an anxiety attack and the nurse had to give her something to calm her down. Hubby asked her if she was afraid and she said no. Everyone left, but her husband who stayed with her until she calmed down and fell asleep. Since she was out he figured he would go home and take care of some stuff and come back the next day. Soon after returning home the hospital called him and told him he needed to return to the hospital. He got there as fast as he could. She was in rough shape. Lupe was having a difficult time breathing, but her hubby said she was sleeping peacefully. He said she gasped. She took her last breath and went home.

I could not have known that my visit the Wednesday before would be the last time I would see her. I had car problems during the weekend, so I was not able to visit with Lupe on Monday morning. She usually had dialysis on Tuesdays and was out the whole day, so I would not visit until Wednesday. That visit would never take place.

I have not had a chance to cry for my dear friend. I will miss her. I hate that I had to hear about her death from my sister, that read it on Facebook. I know her husband was probably caught up in the moment, but he thought enough to call family living hundreds of miles away, but could not text me to tell me my dear friend had passed. Family quickly posted on Facebook. My flesh was offended. I called him right away to hear the news from him and all he could tell me was she had passed last night. He could not talk anymore because he had another call coming in. So, I confess I have been wounded. This flesh! Who will save me?

Well, last night I had a dream. In my dream I find myself at home. We were all there. It was a beautiful home too, very spacious. I looked out the window and saw Lupe and her husband pull up in front of the house. I could see her husband look back as if he were reaching for something in the backseat, then Lupe opened the door and got out of the car. She darts to the front door. It opens and she quickly walks in. Yes, she walks in. She is smiling ear to ear. She is dressed in jeans and a nice fitting top. Her hair is short and styled. She is beaming with joy. She is looking so young, healthy and happy, completely restored. I had never seen her that joyful. From the look on her face I could tell that she was happy to be home.

We can see her. I can’t see who “we” are, but I know I was not alone. For some reason, I get the feeling that she is looking for me, but she never sees me. We don’t engage in conversation. She is walking around just a smiling…she kinda seems to walk on and then I wake up.

It was truly awesome. I was happy for her. I was confident the Lord had given me a glimpse of what my friend had just experienced. Going home. As believers in Christ we all want to get there. We all want to go home. Our loved ones will miss us when we leave this earth, but truly the next life is more than we can imagine. Jesus had prepared a place for us that will surpass anything on this planet, of that I am confident. It sounds morbid, but I am so glad that Mercy came running to save my friend from further pain and suffering. He leaves me completely humbled. Our God is an awesome God! I am trying not to harp on how I found out about Lupe’s death, because the Lord was gracious to show me how she got home.

Praise God, for His mercy is new everyday!  Be blessed! sunrise-2011

The Voice of Truth…is Heaven for Real?

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A couple of years ago my two-year old grandson was sick with vomiting, fever and just feeling pretty bad. At some point, he began to look bad. His eyes were sunken in and his color was a bit off. It happens when you have stuff coming out both ends. Anyway, my daughter and I were keeping a close eye on him, believing that it was nothing more than a stomach virus. Well, it was late one evening, after about three days of illness that my daughter was in her room, sitting on her bed and just holding him. It was an ominous sight that to this day I cannot forget. My daughter, already tired herself, was holding my grandson. His little body laid almost draped over her, almost lifeless. She was worried and had called me in to check him out, not sure what to do for him. I cannot tell you the fear that came over me upon seeing his lifeless little body. I told my daughter that we had to get him to the emergency room, asap. We did not call EMS. We just got in the car and sped to the Children’s ER which was about twenty minutes away. When we got to the ER, of course they took him right back in. ER doctors immediately started running tests and such. As it turned out he had acute appendicitis and by God’s grace, we got him medical help in time. The doctors performed an emergency appendectomy and he was going to be alright. The doctors told my daughter that if we had waited any longer his appendix would have ruptured and things would have been worse. Praise God. God is so good.

So, I just finished watching the movie Heaven is for real. This movie is about a little boy that goes to heaven during emergency surgery. It’s a touching story based on real life. The reason I shared this story about my grandson is because the little boy in the movie had his appendix rupture and he nearly died. So the experience hit close to home. I don’t want to spoil the movie for those that have not seen it yet, but as I watched as the father struggled with his own faith, the mom not sure how to help, and the Christian community coming together to pray and support that also had a difficult time accepting and believing this little boy’s experience…I found myself… not questioning the validity of the boy’s experience, but just having a heck of time deciding whether to believe or not believe that God would reveal Himself through this little boy. There have always been individuals that have reported near-death experiences, some pleasant, others not so pleasant and most of us have some doubt about the validity of such experiences.

So, the little boy shares with his father his varied experiences while visiting heaven. His mother just seems to pass it off as a dream based on past experiences, and exposure to the things of God. Totally, nonspiritual, she was being a mom. Well, the movie goes on and later on, the boy shares something with mom that she knows he could not possibly know and she too begins to believe in his outrageous tale. After a while, typical… the critics come out, the supports start questioning the father’s behavior and such. In the end, everyone must make their own choice.

As I watched, I thought…how many Christian genuinely believe that Heaven is a real place and that Jesus is real and that we are not alone in this universe? How many believers can accept Jesus as a brother, father? How many Christian women would accept Jesus as their husband? Not just in a spiritual sense but like the Catholic nuns that wear a wedding band to signify their marriage to Him (I guess they still do that???).

Today, as I was skimming Yahoo news, I read that Ann B. Davis (of the Brady Bunch) died yesterday, right here in my hometown. It was reported that she had lived here, 18 years in a “Christian community”. I was like…what? She lived in San Antonio? What Christian community? I don’t know of any such here…that’s just the way it was reported.

Davis’s death and my grandson’s experience raised some questions for me. I have read of other near death experiences, but never watched any in film. This particular film struck a chord with me because of my grandson. Also, because of the mom’s nonchalant attitude at the start of it all…but more because God had a message of love and comfort to a world stricken with grieve and doubt, cynicism and just pure hate for the things of God. The little boy had a message for his mom, but also to rest of the us (I won’t spoil the movie). Reading about this “Christian community” that I knew nothing about also raised concerns about what “we” as Christians are doing to reach the lost with the love of God. Are we just sitting pretty somewhere, content in our own righteous living, unnoticed?

Well, I thought…the world wants us to believe that God, that Heaven and hell for that matter exists only in our finite minds. If we, as humans have retained anything it’s that human knowledge, unfettered, can be a dangerous thing. Not because knowledge is always a dangerous thing, but because the human chooses to believe in “survival of the fittest” as an end goal rather than on the Creator of the man and His destiny for each one of us.  You can fill in the blanks. History is filled with plenty of examples.

I just wonder, …as believers, can we distinguish the voice of truth from all the voices in our head? False teachings, false teachers, and false prophets grace our churches at every corner and people blindly enter, and our “Christian communities” sit by unnoticed. The biggest problem we face is that every church pastor, preacher, teacher, etc. believes they are preaching truth.

In this last hour…God has a message for us. How many of us are listening? Heaven is real. And if heaven is real…