Note from Eric: Last week I posted an article by Bill Allison about a “Guilt-Free Bible Reading Plan” to help you read through the Bible in a year. After that post, my friend and worship leader for our fall retreat, Al Lowry, picked up the idea and ran with it, creating a Facebook group for anyone who wants to join him in reading through the Bible and sharing and discussing their thoughts online as they go along. If you’d like to join that group, just click this link to visit the group on Facebook 2015 Guilt-Free Read Through The Bible, then click “Join Group” in the top right corner.
Al also thought you might like to read a “letter” he received from his mom on January 1st, the one-year anniversary of her passing from this life to the next. It touched me, having lost many who are special to me over the years, and I pray it will touch you, too.
LETTER FROM MOM
by Al Lowry
(Mom left us a year ago. I woke up with this “letter” from her. These thoughts go out to all who have lost a loved one)
My dear family,
Amazing isn’t it, that I’ve been gone a year already. Time here has such a unique quality that it would be difficult to explain to you; all I can say is that this year has raced by, like it was only a second in time.
I know I left so suddenly that cold night exactly one year ago, but God was calling, and my room was ready when I arrived; it was so beautifully prepared.
I’ve always tried answering his call and am so grateful for this relationship and the inheritance he shares so generously; I still am totally amazed.
Thank you, all of you, for the love and attention you have lavished on me. Though I haven’t written, I know you and the family have received my communication in your thoughts. ( Didn’t you used to tell me that, Al, when I asked why you didn’t write more often.) lol
I see your tears right now, as I do whenever one falls for me, but please know I will continue loving you now and forever. The love only grows each day. Once again, hard to explain, but you get the whole picture from this side.
I feel your sadness, having experienced it so much myself when people I cared about left before me. However, the joy of being here, reunited with loved ones is …I can’t begin to explain.
It’s really true, there are no more tears in this place. The reunion with Cindy alone dried my last one, but it doesn’t end there. This place is nothing short of magnificent.
No more worry, no more sadness, and guess what?…
NO MORE PAIN:-) it’s gone, all of it, and my clouded vision has been completely restored. Try not to remember me as you saw me last, for that old body has had a total makeover. I am so happy.
Please share this with others who mourn over me, that I am well, very very well.
Tell your friends that heaven is real and an extraordinary place to fix their eyes on.
They too have family here who they will see again, as well as the creator of us all.
I know your dad is not a face book guy, but print this for him so he knows I love him and we will be together again.
Yes Jimmy, that bathing suit photo you keep of me is a pretty good current likeness.
Once again, I love you all very much, family and friends. Continue to pray for one another, you won’t regret it.
P.S. From Eric: here are a few verses to encourage you that heaven really is for real:
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Revelation 21:4 – “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
John 14:1-3 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
1 Corinthians 15: 12-20 – “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
1 Corinthians 15:35-52 – “But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
1 John 1:12-13 – “Yet to all who received him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
If you enjoyed reading our Christmas series, St Nicholas: The Believer, I’m happy to let you know the series is now available as an Audiobook from places like iTunes, Amazon and Audible. I’d be glad to send you a free download of the Audiobook if you’ll just leave a 1-2 sentence review on any of those websites. Your reviews help us to spread the word about the book and share the good news of Christ with many, many more! Just reply to this message to let me know you wrote a review on one of these sites ( iTunes, Amazon, Audible) and I’ll send you a link to the free download! Happy New Year! Eric