All posts tagged: heaven

Jesus has a Response to #FOMO

“Wonder and perish,” the line says. Reading the passage in my timeworn Bible, it entered my head like this: Bla, bla, bla, WONDER AND PERISH, bla, bla, bla… Did the highlighter fairy flutter some fluorescence on that line in the night? But it was all black and white, text on paper, no lairy yellow or green. My eyes were drawn to those words because God was showing me something. That’s what he does. Dreams, whispers, a friend’s timely visit, the balm of nature – and words that leap from the page, grab hold of the eyeballs and brand themselves on the brain. “Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you,” Acts 13:41 flared at me. Life is short and fragile. Death is undiscerning and impatient. What do we do with this knowledge? Christian or atheist, we agree on these points surely, it’s what we do with the information that sees us travel different paths. We all grapple with the, “What’s this all …

Proof of God.

You know those moments in life you wish you could bottle? The ones that make your synapses zing and your nerve endings tingle? The fleeting moment when you stand in awe of just how precious life is. – When winter light falls on our city just shy of dusk and, from an elevated view, houses seem to drink of it until their windows glow. Within, people are busy cooking dinner, bathing kids, debriefing after a long day, getting schoolwork done, lighting the fire, laughing at the dog. The tender motions of normal. – When you’re right and he’s wrong and the verbiage flies back and forth like a tennis match, only the projectile is heaving with increased breadth and ugliness, gaining speed and venom until you don’t remember the point you were trying to make, let alone what started the argument in the first place. You rub the palms of your hands down your jeans as if the friction might reignite your angry passion but instead, stealing a glance at your forever and always, you both start …

Life: A Dangerous Topic

Forty-three years ago, photographer Robert Wolfe snapped a photo of a living, two-month-gestation baby. A golden droplet the size of a mandarin segment encases the undeniably human embryo. Head, eyes, arms and fingers are evident in exquisite detail. The fingers of the doctor or nurse hover below, giving scale to the dot of life they are about to grasp. The photo was taken during surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy at the University of Minnesota in 1972. The doctor who administered the anaesthetic beheld, “what I believe was the smallest living human ever seen.” This is what he described: “The embryo sac was intact and transparent. Within the sac was a tiny human male swimming extremely vigorously in the amniotic fluid, while attached to the wall by the umbilical cord. The tiny human was perfectly developed, with long, tapering fingers, feet and toes. It was transparent, as regards the skin, and the delicate arteries and veins were prominent to the ends of the fingers. The baby was extremely alive and did not look at all like …

“I Want to Live the Kind of Life He Lived” (A Daughter To Her Dad)

Loved ones come and loved ones go. It is a reality of life that there comes an end point. Whether they meet death fresh-faced with barely a day to their name or as a sage with decades of experience and wisdom, one point remains true: life is precious. Here, Christine bravely lays bare her grief in homage to her dad who died a few months back; a man whose 82 years were lived with the kind of dignity and faith that has left the sweet kiss of legacy on those who remain. Another This Little Life story… “The hymn beautifully expressed what had been on our hearts during the 12 weeks of our dearly loved father’s hospital stay. When peace like a river flows all through my life, When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot you have taught me to say: It is well, it is well with my soul. It was evening as the family gathered one last time to farewell Pieter, our Dad and Opa. I got the call just after …

If “God has Planted Eternity in Men’s Hearts and Minds”… Where’s Home?

Moving house is an upheaval that most of us have the smarts to do just twice or thrice in a lifetime.  The impost of upending your life’s accumulation into cardboard boxes is unmentionable, albeit cathartic. I’m an ‘If-it-hasn’t-been-used-in-the-last-12-months-get-rid-of-it’ girl.  This invariably causes friction with my ‘I-better-hold-onto-this-in-case-I-need-it-next-decade’ husband. We managed.  We wrapped it all in newsprint, packed it in boxes, stacked it in a truck and shifted it to a neighbouring suburb within a few days, thank you very much.  I may have taken a few stealthy armloads to the wheelie bin when hubby wasn’t looking… During this madness there were a few moments when I had headspace to look around and mourn what we were unlatching ourselves from.  A red front door.  A sun-drenched window seat.  A magnolia tree.  A gate to the best neighbours in the world.  A doorjamb marked with our son’s height at birth, one, two.  A doorbell that can be heard four doors down.  I allowed a self-indulgent tear to be shed over the place we had called home for the …

The One Word “Written on the Brow” of Every Man, Woman and Child

“Where there’s tea, there’s hope,” said the quote written across a gold-framed mirror on the wall in a looping hand.  We were having breakfast in the most adorable little teahouse* with bold, emerald green wallpaper in a vintage design, French-style seating and a single pink tulip propped in a vase at each table. As I gobbled down my pesto eggs on sourdough with a pot of earl grey tea, that little sentence kept niggling at me.  Finally, I pointed it out to my brekky buddy. “Really? Tea and hope?” I scoffed, “What a lot of shallow nonsense!” I should point out here that I’m a tea girl.  I enjoy the occasional coffee, but tea is my staple.  My kitchen features a precarious mountain of tea canisters and it’s a joyful day when I discover a new blend to add to the collection. Tea equals contentedness, comfort and enjoyment? Yes. Tea equals hope? Not so sure. I rate such a statement up there with that ridiculously over-used poster ‘Keep Calm and (enter meaningless activity here)’.  My …

Urgent Community Announcement – Keep Reading, it Just Might Save Your Life

There will be an earthquake on Thursday at 5:30pm. At peak hour traffic the six-magnitude quake will test the city’s infrastructure, shaking the swampy foundations of Invermay, bringing Launceston’s few storied buildings to their knees, compromising the structural integrity of bridges spanning the Esk Rivers and rattling windows from Youngtown to Rocherlea. Before you write me off as some kind of freak doomsday prophet, consider the hypothetical (yes, it’s just a hypothetical!). Imagine you were given a memo with the potential to save thousands of lives while simultaneously subjecting yourself to ridicule. Imagine you were the only person who knew that an earthquake would ravage Launceston this Thursday. The question is, would you open your mouth? Your mind is racing with what-ifs. If your information is wrong you stand to forever scar your reputation not to mention inconvenience a city-full of people, many of them family and friends. But if you’re right, you will save lives. As a resident of this fair city I sincerely hope that you wouldn’t keep that kind of information to yourself. …

Lost and Found

I lost something dear to me recently. Problem is, it was someone dear to me who lost the thing that is dear to me, so I had a little wrestle happening in my head between turning into a shrieking banshee mother and showing some grace a la Mother Theresa. I kept my cool. When I was a little tot my grandparents gave me a bracelet. It’s a pretty common style; gold chain and plate with my name engraved in looping letters. It has a locket too – my favourite part – with a blue enamel swallow. It’s old, the gold plating is peeling away now, but I still love it. I keep it in a ring box in my bedside table, and a certain little someone discovered it recently. The last sighting was of said toddler clutching the bracelet in one hand, ring box in the other, with a look of elation on his face, a giggle in his throat. “Put it back,” dad growled, and he wandered off. Later, I found the ring box …

Holiday Reading: Heaven is for Real

Do you ever wonder about heaven? What does it look like? How does it work? What will I look like? How will time operate? I do. Sometimes I think on it, allowing my imagination to run away, but generally all that’s gained is a longer list of questions. I mean, what enjoyment could there possibly be in an eternity of harp strumming? And the scriptures say our body will be restored – but really, couldn’t God give me something more ‘heavenly’ – Jennifer Hawkins’ body would do. Some of us wonder about heaven for more meaningful reasons. We have lost a loved one and we consider whether they made it, or how they are occupied ‘up there’. I have just read the most profound story of a nearly four-year-old boy who experienced heaven as his body was lying on an operating table. Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo (little Colton’s dad), is a slip of a book (163 pages) that I read in about three sittings in the lead-up to Christmas. God told me …